Evolution News

Birds fly, but they don’t like it

Spread the love

Also: Emus and moas only look alike. Genes tell a different story.

From New Scientist:

Huge flightless birds like emus and moas may look alike, but their genes now tell us they are only distantly related. Ancient DNA reveals that birds lost the ability to fly on six separate occasions within 10 million years. It seems the extinction of the dinosaurs created a brief window for big ground-dwelling birds, before large mammals evolved.

and

While we think of birds as flying animals, Penny says their natural state is foraging on the ground. If there are no predators and no competitors for food, it makes sense for them to grow and lose the ability to fly.

So all those adaptations for flight just happened, because of competition in foraging?

Note: Emus have been successfully raised in Canada.

Follow UD News at Twitter!

109 Replies to “Birds fly, but they don’t like it

  1. 1
    Barb says:

    From the article “Feathers–A Marvel of Design”, Awake!, July 2007:

    “Feathers are a little too perfect—that’s the problem,” notes Yale University’s Manual of Ornithology—Avian Structure and Function. Feathers give no indication that they ever needed improvement. In fact, the “earliest known fossil feather is so modern-looking as to be indistinguishable from the feathers of birds flying today.” Yet, evolutionary theory teaches that feathers must be the result of gradual, cumulative change in earlier skin outgrowths. Moreover, “feathers could not have evolved without some plausible adaptive value in all of the intermediate steps,” says the Manual.

    To put it simply, even in theory, evolution could not produce a feather unless each step in a long series of random, inheritable changes in feather structure significantly improved the animal’s chances for survival. Even many evolutionists find it a stretch of the imagination that something as complex and functionally perfect as a feather could arise in such a way.

    Further, if feathers developed progressively over a long period of time, the fossil record should contain intermediate forms. But none have ever been found, only traces of fully formed feathers. “Unfortunately for evolutionary theory, feathers are very complicated,” states the Manual.

  2. 2
    ppolish says:

    Instead of wings, birds should have evolved sharp sword appendages. Don’t mess with the chicken. Flight is for wussies.

  3. 3
    ppolish says:

    One of the “fine tuning” puzzles these days in Physics is the “Hierarchy Problem” – why is Gravity so dang weak compared to the other forces of Nature.

    Earth Birds don’t realize how lucky they are. Pretty darn lucky. Astronomically lucky. Magically lucky. Impossibly lucky. Have to love the luck.

  4. 4
    Mung says:

    From the article “Feathers–A Marvel of Design”, Awake!, July 2007:

    Awake! Is that the same magazine that claims that Jesus Christ is a created being?

    Because Jesus was directly created by God when God was all alone, Jesus is rightly called the “only-begotten son” and “the firstborn of all creation.” … Clearly, then, as the very first of God’s creations, Jesus could not be the Creator, “the only God.”

    But doesn’t the Watchtower also teach that Jesus is a god?

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god. 2 This one was in the beginning with God.

    Yet the Watchtower also teaches that in the beginning God was alone. It also states:

    The Bible identifies Jehovah as the only true God. (Psalm 83:18; John 17:3) The prophet Isaiah recorded God’s own words when he said: “Before me there was no God formed, and after me there continued to be none. I—I am Jehovah, and besides me there is no savior.” — Isaiah 43:10, 11.

    Not only then does do the JWs’ teach that Jesus is both a god and not a god, they also teach that Jesus Christ is not a savior. So why do they call themselves Christians?

    But it doesn’t end there.

    The Scriptures do at times refer to actual persons as gods. However, a careful examination clearly reveals that the term “god” in these instances is not intended to designate these individuals as deities.

    And yet if you look at the note in the New World Translation in John 1:1, quoted above, the note for “the Word was god” reads: Or “was divine.”

    So Jesus is both god and not god, a deity and not a deity, divine and not divine, and not our savior. These are the teachings of the JW’s.

  5. 5
    Piotr says:

    Instead of wings, birds should have evolved sharp sword appendages. Don’t mess with the chicken. Flight is for wussies.

    Well, if you really annoy an ostrich, it can eviscerate you neatly with a single kick.

  6. 6
    Mung says:

    p.s. The Watchtower also teaches that Jesus is both Lord and not Lord. And that the end is soon.

    From that same issue of Awake!:

    Soon, however, Jehovah God will eliminate every trace of Adamic sin from all who exercise faith in the shed blood of his Son, Jesus Christ. “The wages sin pays is death, but the gift God gives is everlasting life by Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

  7. 7
    willh says:

    Mung wrote:

    … they also teach that Jesus Christ is not a savior…

    Based on Isaiah chapter 43? Well it does seem that for the man Jesus Christ to be a savior of the Israelites from the Babylonians was somewhat impossible; he wasn’t present as that man, and the Christ yet, to “bring down all the bars of the gates”. However his Fathers roll as Israel’s only savior in the case of a domineering 6th century BCE Chaldean empire is without question?

    Isaiah 43:14&15 (NWT)

    14 This is what Jehovah says, your Repurchaser, the Holy One of Israel:
    “For your sakes I will send to Babylon and bring down all the bars of the gates,
    And the Chal·de?ans, in their ships, will cry out in distress.
    15 I am Jehovah, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.”

  8. 8
    ppolish says:

    That’s what I’m talking bout, Piotr, big tough survival of the fittest birds. Big fluffy feathers I could do without though:)

    As the mammals got bigger, why didn’t the Big Birds get bigger too? Even a Honey Badger might care enough to avoid a 40 foot “Thunder Chicken”.

  9. 9
    Mung says:

    willh:

    15 I am Jehovah, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.”

    Mark 1:24 (NWT):

    “What have we to do with you, Jesus the Naz·a·rene?? Did you come to destroy us? I know exactly who you are, the Holy One of God!”

    John 1:49 (NWT):

    49 Na·than?a·el responded: “Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are King of Israel.”

    Yes, Jesus is the Holy One and King of Israel.

  10. 10
    Piotr says:

    ppolish:

    Mamy flightless birds did get bigger. The flying ones have to mind their weight. But they can be dangerous too: after all, they are the surviving theropods. Have you ever seen films showing Mongolians Kazakhs hunting wolves with golden eagles? You can watch them on Youtube. The only thing a grown-up he-wolf can do when followed by an eagle is run for his life. If the bird gets him, the poor devil’s dead in a few seconds.

  11. 11
    ppolish says:

    Eagle sounds scary Piotr. And yes, some big carnivorist birds went extinct. Some nasty ones yikes.

    But the article explains that there existed “a brief window for big ground-dwelling birds, before large mammals evolved.”

    It could be argued that the eggs of big ground birds were threatened by small mammals and reptiles too in addition to big mammals.

    The “brief window” evo theory sounds cool though. Cool evo science.

  12. 12
    willh says:

    Mung said:

    … Yes, Jesus is the Holy One and King of Israel.

    I see what you are trying to show, but was there not also a human king in Israel, king Hezekiah in Jerusalem, when Isaiah penned those words quoted from Isaiah 43:15? Is there not enough latitude to see that the term king is not always so explicit or exclusive?

  13. 13
    Barb says:

    Wow, Mung. You really have your knickers in a twist over the fact that there’s a Jehovah’s Witness posting here, don’t you?

    Try getting over it.

    Ironically, you didn’t refute anything stated in my original post about feathers, which was at least partially related to the OP.

  14. 14
    humbled says:

    “So why do they call themselves Christians? This is not for you to decide Mung.

    Theologically, Christians don’t agree on much. Catholics don’t believe Protestant ministers have Priesthood authority, Baptists don’t believe in modern prophets, and Mormons don’t believe the Pope is the vicar of Christ on Earth.

    Culturally, however, there’s a lot of common ground. The sanctity of life, marriage, and families in a social context far outweigh disagreements on Christian theology. The shared fight for religious freedom against the secularism of modern society dwarfs the interpretation of holy writ. This is where I focus my attention and would like to encourage you to do the same.

    “Christianity today has largely left the religion which he (Christ) preached, taught and lived, and has substituted another kind of religion altogether. If Jesus should come back to now, hear the mythologies built up around him, see the creedalism, denominationalism, sacramentalism, carried on in his name, he would certainly say, ‘If this is Christianity, I am not a Christian.'” – Dr Fosdick

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I didn’t realise UD had so much of a WTTBS/ JW contingent. On theology, probably the best identification/summary of a common core is the Nicene Creed (which, contrary to Dan Brown is not a Constantine cookup, it first came out 325 then after 50 years of debate was strengthened 381). As the linked will show, it is based on the AD 55 record of the c 35 – 38 AD “official” testimony of the 500+, stated in 1 Cor 15:1 – 11 with context setting background and follow on info towards the Eschaton. Those debating Jesus may find here helpful, and here also on the triune conception of the one true God. KF

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Barb, pardon a follow up; do you see why — as was recently discussed — it is reasonable on context [think, what did Simon of Cyrene carry for Jesus after he stumbled? how much would the upright part of a cross credibly weigh?] and on the reality of metonymy as a common figure of speech to understand the cross of Christ as being in the T or t shape, with a fairly prominent sign-board over Jesus’ head that is close enough to the traditional imagery that there is no good reason to impugn it and erect a barrage of hostile talking points to project on the common symbol? Do you see the issue of setting up and knocking over a loaded strawman that arises when the occurrence of the word stauros in isolation from textual and historic context is used as pivot for such? And, do you see why I therefore suggest that some rethinking is in order not only on a particular case, but more broadly on approach? [This is of course by way of follow up to an exchange a week ago.] That said, perhaps we should return to main focus.

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: All that noted, Wallace used feathers as a pivotal case study pointing to design. The complex integrated mechanism speaks loudly. And feathers have always been feathers — especially those that carry out flight related functions.

  18. 18
    willh says:

    Has anyone got any insight into the identity of fossilized feathers? Is it possible to catalogue them as to their species for instance? If so are they all extant, or are any pegged as from long extinct birds? Any thoughts are appreciated.

  19. 19
    Barb says:

    KF:

    PS: Barb, pardon a follow up; do you see why — as was recently discussed — it is reasonable on context [think, what did Simon of Cyrene carry for Jesus after he stumbled? how much would the upright part of a cross credibly weigh?] and on the reality of metonymy as a common figure of speech to understand the cross of Christ as being in the T or t shape, with a fairly prominent sign-board over Jesus’ head that is close enough to the traditional imagery that there is no good reason to impugn it and erect a barrage of hostile talking points to project on the common symbol?

    I wasn’t attempting to impugn the cross; I was merely showing, via scriptural citations and secular historical evidence, that it has been used by religions other than Christianity and that, according to some historians, it is not the instrument on which Jesus was executed.
    It’s not about a figure of speech, it is about accurately translating the words used in Greek when copying the Bible. The KVJ uses the term cross when translating the word stauros. But other translators, notably W. E. Vine, a Greek scholar himself, state that the word should be translated as “upright pale” or “stake”.

    Do you see the issue of setting up and knocking over a loaded strawman that arises when the occurrence of the word stauros in isolation from textual and historic context is used as pivot for such?

    I don’t see any evidence that the word stauros was taken out of context in either the NWT or any other translation that I posted about in the other thread. There’s no strawman here; there’s only biblical exegesis.

    The Imperial Bible-Dictionary says that the word stauros? “properly signified a stake, an upright pole, or piece of paling, on which anything might be hung, or which might be used in impaling a piece of ground.” The dictionary continues: “Even amongst the Romans the crux (Latin, from which our cross is derived) appears to have been originally an upright pole.” Thus, it is not surprising that The Catholic Encyclopedia states: “Certain it is, at any rate, that the cross originally consisted of a simple vertical pole, sharpened at its upper end.” This isn’t a fallacious argument; I’m using historical evidence to prove my point.

    There is another Greek word, xy?lon, that Bible writers used to describe the instrument of Jesus’ execution. A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament defines xy?lon as “a piece of timber, a wooden stake.” It goes on to say that like stauros?, xy?lon “was simply an upright pale or stake to which the Romans nailed those who were thus said to be crucified.”

    In view of the basic meaning of the Greek words stauros? and xy?lon, the Critical Lexicon and Concordance, quoted above, observes: “Both words disagree with the modern idea of a cross, with which we have become familiarised by pictures.” In other words, what the Gospel writers described using the word stauros? was nothing like what people today call a cross. Appropriately, therefore, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures uses the expression “torture stake” at Matthew 27:40-42 and in other places where the word stauros? appears. Similarly, the Complete Jewish Bible uses the expression “execution stake.”

    And, do you see why I therefore suggest that some rethinking is in order not only on a particular case, but more broadly on approach? [This is of course by way of follow up to an exchange a week ago.] That said, perhaps we should return to main focus.

    I have considered other evidence, and I’m not sure exactly what you want me to re-think. What I posted came from (a) the Bible, and (b) Greek scholars and historians. If you believe that either of those sources are incorrect, then say so. I happen to agree with their conclusions, although I am very aware that the cross is venerated by most religions today.

  20. 20
    Barb says:

    With respect to fossilized feathers: the claim that birds evolved from reptiles with scales slowly turning into feathers is not found in the fossil record. Evolutionists point to the fossil of an ancient bird called the Archaeopteryx, which had teeth and a long bony tail, and claim that it is a “missing link.” However, a number of critical aspects are ignored. Reptiles are cold-blooded and often sluggish, whereas birds are warm-blooded and are among the most active creatures on earth. Flight depends upon many coordinated factors being present at one time. It is noteworthy that Archaeopteryx already had fully developed wings perfectly feathered (not scales half developed into feathers), and had special feet equipped for perching. The relative proportions of the head and brain case are those of a bird and are quite different from those of reptiles. So, Archaeopteryx did not evolve from a reptile to a bird.

    The book Integrated Principles of Zoology notes that “Strangely enough, although modern birds possess both scales (especially on their feet) and feathers, no intermediate stage between the two has been discovered on either fossil or living forms.”

    To put it simply, even in theory, evolution could not produce a feather unless each step in a long series of random, inheritable changes in feather structure significantly improved the animal’s chances for survival. Even many evolutionists find it a stretch of the imagination that something as complex and functionally perfect as a feather could arise in such a way. Further, if feathers developed progressively over a long period of time, the fossil record should contain intermediate forms. But none have ever been found, only traces of fully formed feathers.

  21. 21
    Mung says:

    Barb:

    Wow, Mung. You really have your knickers in a twist over the fact that there’s a Jehovah’s Witness posting here, don’t you?

    Not really, no. But I do have a problem when they start pushing their false doctrines and their publications that spread those false doctrines.

    Documentation on the Watch Tower Society’s prophecies regarding the ‘1914 generation’ — “The Generation That Will Not Pass Away” — and how the Society modified and eventually abandoned those prophecies.

    1914 GENERATION” Prophecy Proves False

  22. 22
    Mung says:

    In 1918, Rutherford exclaimed in a series of public lectures, “Millions now living will never die!” This was related to his prophecy that the resurrection would commence on earth in 1925, with the return of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to earth. This article provides quotes regarding this failed doctrine of Rutherford, and shows how in recent times the Watchtower dishonestly presents this historical episode.

    1925 and the Watchtower teaching that Millions now living will never die!

  23. 23
    Mung says:

    Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Cross of Christ

    Those who follow the teachings of the Watchtower Society eventually develop a fierce antagonism for the terminology and visual representations of what they consider an “apostate” Christian Church. Clear examples include the calling of their meeting facilities “Kingdom Halls” instead of “churches” and divisions of the Bible “Hebrew and Greek Scriptures” instead of “Old and New Testaments.” However, Jehovah’s Witnesses despise no Christian symbol as much as the cross, which they call pagan and a phallic symbol.

    The Watchtower’s contempt for this symbol of Christ’s atoning sacrifice is one of its “revised” revelations. At its inception in 1884 and for more than half a century, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society held the cross in high esteem. Many of the sect’s publications during these early years contained references — some with vivid illustrations — of Christ’s death upon a cross.

    The Society’s early symbol, a cross and crown, was featured on the cover of each edition of The Watch Tower magazine. Founder Charles Taze Russell’s pyramid monument at his gravesite in Pittsburgh’s Rosemont United Cemetery bears the image, a testimony to the Society’s former esteem of what it now calls pagan.

  24. 24
    Mung says:

    Philippians 3:18 (NWT):

    For there are many — I used to mention them often but now I mention them also with weeping — who are walking as enemies of the torture stake* of the Christ.

    * The note:

    Torture stake.

    The rendering of the Greek word stau·ros?, meaning an upright stake or pole, such as the one on which Jesus was executed. There is no evidence that the Greek word meant a cross…

    That claim is simply false.

  25. 25
    Barb says:

    Mung won’t let it go:

    Not really, no. But I do have a problem when they start pushing their false doctrines and their publications that spread those false doctrines.

    Then you have a problem. Because the Witnesses are certainly not going to stop preaching and publishing simply because you don’t like it. I suggest you learn to deal with the fact that not everyone agrees with you. And that not only includes the Witnesses but other non-Witness historians and scholars as well.

    And again, linking to “apostate” websites proves nothing. Only hearing one side of the story makes you look ignorant.

    Torture stake.
    The rendering of the Greek word stau•ros?, meaning an upright stake or pole, such as the one on which Jesus was executed. There is no evidence that the Greek word meant a cross…
    That claim is simply false.

    From my post at 19:
    The Imperial Bible-Dictionary says that the word stauros? “properly signified a stake, an upright pole, or piece of paling, on which anything might be hung, or which might be used in impaling a piece of ground.” The dictionary continues: “Even amongst the Romans the crux (Latin, from which our cross is derived) appears to have been originally an upright pole.” Thus, it is not surprising that The Catholic Encyclopedia states: “Certain it is, at any rate, that the cross originally consisted of a simple vertical pole, sharpened at its upper end.”

    There is another Greek word, xylon, that Bible writers used to describe the instrument of Jesus’ execution. A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament defines xylon as “a piece of timber, a wooden stake.” It goes on to say that like stauros, xylon “was simply an upright pale or stake to which the Romans nailed those who were thus said to be crucified.”

    Other authorities agree with what the Witnesses have published regarding the translation of the word “stauros”:

    The Encyclopædia Britannica, 1907 and 1942 editions, under the term “cross” states that Christ is “generally believed” to have died on such a cross, that at best it is only “by general tradition” that the matter is established. As for religious authorities, one states: “The accounts of the manner of the crucifixion being so meager, any degree of certainty is impossible.” [Encyclopaedia Biblica, Vol. 1, p. 957.]

    And another tells that “no definite data are found in the New Testament concerning the nature of the cross on which Jesus died. It is only the Church writers after Justin Martyr who indicate the composite four-armed cross as Christ’s vehicle of torture.” [New Schaff & Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. 3, p. 313.]

    And concerning the terms stauros and crux we are told that ‘stauros properly means merely a stake.’ “In Livy [Roman historian shortly before Christ’s ministry] even, crux means a mere stake.” “The Hebrews have no word for Cross more definite than ‘wood.’” [Smith’s Bible Dictionary, Vol. 1, p. 508.]

    “Jesus died on a simple deathstake: In support of this there speak (a) the then customary usage of this means of execution in the Orient, (b) indirectly the history itself of Jesus’ sufferings and (c) many expressions of the early Church fathers.”—The Cross and Crucifixion, Hermann Fulda, Breslau, 1878.

    That Christ did not die on the traditionally shaped cross is also indicated by the testimony of the catacombs. Thus Dean Burgon, in his Letters from Rome, wrote: “I question whether a cross occurs on any Christian monument of the first four centuries.” Mons Perret, who spent fourteen years doing research in the catacombs of Rome, counted in all a total of 11,000 inscriptions among the millions of tombs. According to him, “not until the latter years of the fourth century does the sign of the cross appear.” Among the signs that do appear are the dove, a symbol of the holy spirit; the lyre, a symbol of joy; the anchor, a symbol of hope and the fish. Why the fish? Because the letters of the word “fish” in Greek are the same as the first letters of “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior.” [The History of the Cross, Ward.]

    A point Mung brought out in another thread: the apostle Paul states that Christ became a curse to those under the law by being fastened to a xylon, since “Accursed is every man hanged upon a stake [xylon].” Paul was there quoting from the law of Moses, which required that the bodies of executed criminals be fastened to a tree or stake as a warning and which meant that they were cursed by God.—Gal. 3:13; Deut. 21:22, 23. It’s not a mistranslation. The word xylon is accurately translated in both scriptures. A like example is found relative to one of the decrees of Cyrus, which warned that anyone refusing to obey, “a timber will be pulled out of his house and he will be impaled upon it.” In the Greek Septuagint Version the term for timber here is xylon. Again, not a cross but a simple straight beam.—Ezra 6:11.

    In fact, even to cherish the instrument on which Christ died does not make sense; it is utterly incongruous. Rather than being venerated it should be loathed and abhorred. Who would think of kissing the revolver that had been used by a murderer to kill one’s loved one? It is just as senseless to bestow affection on the instrument on which Jesus met a cruel death. Thus Maimonides, the Jewish scholar of the twelfth century, tells us that the Jews viewed the torture stake as a disgusting thing. [Exercitationes contra Baronium, I. Casaubon, 16, An. 34, No. 134.]

    So, Mung, are all these secular, non-Witness scholars wrong in their interpretation and translation of the word stauros and xylon? Are you claiming to have more (or greater) biblical exegetical knowledge then all of them? Remember, some of these authorities published their works long before the Witnesses produced the NWT (in 1950).

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    Barb:

    Again, pardon me but no.

    The abuse of Greek — a common enough failing — is an illustration of a wider problem of failing to read in light of literary and historical context.

    We know that metonymy exists, by which an associated or partial reference stands for the whole. Holland for Netherlands, England for Britain [Scotsmen particularly object!], hands on deck for sailors, the Crown for Her Majesty, and more.

    There is therefore a context to understand that stauros does not necessarily and always denote a simple upright stake. And if it did, the text would never have come to be misread as denoting a t.

    Whether religions or whoever used cross-like symbols is irrelevant. In that time and place, the cross was the worst form of gibbet, for the lowest class of criminals. For Jews, a man hanged — crucifixion being a particularly cruel form of hanging — was accursed. That is why Paul states, turning shame, disgrace and folly on its head:

    1 Cor 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

    18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
    and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

    20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

    21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach[b] to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. [ESV]

    In short we see here a Divine inversion, an irony that turns the despised into the greatest hope, and even treasure; with echoes of a condemnation of man’s tendency to abuse the seat of justice, martyring the innocent and just but letting the guilty free. Then, turned into our great hope of redemption.

    And as I pointed out a week ago, there are several good reasons why the argument raised by WTTBS is not correct:

    1 –> Crosses were known to be T, t, X, Y (this last the fork of a tree often).

    2 –> Thomas speaks of the nails in Jesus’ hands, immediately implying T, t, X or Y.

    3 –> The text indicates Jesus carried his cross, which normally referred to the cross-bar. A Calculation on reasonable dimensions and density of wood put the cross-bar into the 40 – 60+ lb territory, but the upright could easily have been 150 or more lbs.

    4 –> The cross-bar could have been — barely — carried by a man horribly whipped, the upright no way. Eventually Simon of Cyrene had to be forced to carry it.

    5 –> The cross bar immediately puts us to T or t.

    6 –> The placard, which reasonably had 2″ letters and 20 – 30 characters in three languages, would have been a significant item, requiring fairly serious nailing: 24 – 30″ across, maybe 12″ high, ~ 1/2 inch or more thick wood.

    7 –> Most consistent with the traditional t, and superposed on a T, would have effectively resulted in a t. (Remember, as crucified in the place of a ringleader, the placard was very important.)

    8 –> All this was worked out and noted to you a week ago. You kept silent but resurface a week later as if nothing relevantly corrective has been pointed out.

    9 –> Where, frankly, this is a part of a wider pattern of seeking to discredit and dismiss the teachings of the historic Christian faith that so often comes from sects that seek to set up polarising distinctives.

    10 –> There is excellent reason to understand that, even on a minor point like this, we see the rhetorical pattern, and how it errs. By snipping a point or two out of context then using it in an argument that very well may be persuasive to the casual onlooker. But, which on closer inspection, becomes tendentious at best.

    11 –> Now, I am not saying this by way of attack, but to invite a more careful re-examination. In this test case, that will lead to the conclusion that cross is a well-warranted rendering of Stauros, the Greek equivalent in the context of a gibbet, to Crux . . . cross.

    KF

  27. 27
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Thayer has an apt summary:

    >> – Original: ????????
    – Transliteration: Stauros
    – Phonetic: stow-ros’
    – Definition:
    1. an upright stake, esp. a pointed one
    2. a cross
    a. a well known instrument of most cruel and ignominious punishment, borrowed by the Greeks and Romans from the Phoenicians; to it were affixed among the Romans, down to the time of Constantine the Great, the guiltiest criminals, particularly the basest slaves, robbers, the authors and abetters of insurrections, and occasionally in the provinces, at the arbitrary pleasure of the governors, upright and peaceable men also, and even Roman citizens themselves
    b. the crucifixion which Christ underwent
    – Origin: from the base of G2476
    – TDNT entry: 16:32,1
    – Part(s) of speech: Noun Masculine >>

    This hows that stauros speaks of stake, and particularly of that gibbet we call the cross, which was known to come in several forms, t, T, X, Y and I as typical ones. As shown, the context of the NT makes plain that it is t or T, with the placard over his head making the traditional t moist likely.

    Mung’s remark on how polarisation is provoked, gives a rhetorical context.

  28. 28
    Eric Anderson says:

    humbled @14:

    Well said.

  29. 29
  30. 30
    Barb says:

    KF:

    There is therefore a context to understand that stauros does not necessarily and always denote a simple upright stake. And if it did, the text would never have come to be misread as denoting a t.

    But:

    PS: Thayer has an apt summary:

    >> – Original: ????????
    – Transliteration: Stauros
    – Phonetic: stow-ros’
    – Definition:
    1. an upright stake, esp. a pointed one
    2. a cross

    Yes, it does. You even posted the definition of stauros, which as I noted earlier (along with definitions from Greek scholars) means upright pale or stake.

    All this was worked out and noted to you a week ago. You kept silent but resurface a week later as if nothing relevantly corrective has been pointed out.

    And I posted relevant scriptures from varying translations that translate “stauros” as stake or pole; neither you nor Mung corrected or showed why those translators were incorrect in their translations. As above–and in the post last week, I showed how various Greek scholars also believe that stauros is to be rendered as pole or stake. Again, neither you nor Mung has attempted to show why these scholars are incorrect in their assumptions or research.

    There is excellent reason to understand that, even on a minor point like this, we see the rhetorical pattern, and how it errs. By snipping a point or two out of context then using it in an argument that very well may be persuasive to the casual onlooker. But, which on closer inspection, becomes tendentious at best.

    There is nothing being taken out of context. The scriptures and their various translators seem clear on this.

  31. 31
    Piotr says:

    If you are interested in the opinion of a lingust who has no personal stake in this business (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun) but knows something about Ancient and Koine Greek, it’s quite clear, just from the examination of the use of the word by ancient authors, that:

    (1) Originally ? ??????? meant an upright wooden pale, pole, post or stake of any sort. It was used in such senses from archaic times throughout the Classical period –by Homer, Xenophon, Thucydides, Herodotus, etc. Close relatives can be found in other Indo-European languages, for example Old Norse staurr ‘pole, staff’; the word derives from a well-attested Proto-Indo-European verb root meaning ‘stand’.

    (2) In the 1st c. BC it began to be used with reference to an instrument of execution, equivalent to Latin crux (first documented in Diodorus Siculus, and later of course in the New Testament). One could be impaled or hanged on it. An upright stake was its necessary component, but the word could be used metonymically of any construction with such a vertical support. Lucian’s figura etymologica (in his “Judgement in the Court of Vowels”) associates the stauros with the letter tau, so it evidently could include a crossbeam.

    (3) There’s little evidence either way as regards the crucifixion of Jesus, but if he was tied or nailed to the stauros rather than impaled on it, a tau-like shape makes more sense than a plain stake.

  32. 32
    Piotr says:

    Oops, the message box has got a problem with Greek letters. For the question marks, read ho staurós.

  33. 33
    kairosfocus says:

    P: Yes, ligatures, greek, math symbols etc show up while composing but post and bang, ???????????. KF

  34. 34
    Piotr says:

    One can get round it by using HTML codes for Greek letters:

    σταυρóς

    (same for mathematical symbols like √ or ≈)

  35. 35
    kairosfocus says:

    Barb: Unfortunately, you showed an example of the problem above. You narrowed semantic envelope to just one meaning in a context where Thayer was careful to identify two. In addition you ignored historical evidence (I just gave a link that elaborates on that), and the evidence of the textual context and linked physical implications . . . it is so basic I hesitate to call it physics. A plausible wood density is 0.7 or so and as an index a 6″ x 4″ 6-ft beam weighs about 43 lb, and the general range puts us at ~ 40 – 60+ lb. Jesus carried his cross (until he had to be assisted), which on history implies the cross-beam, not the upright which probably would have weighed in at ~ 150+ lb. The history gives multiple forms, T, t, X, Y, I. Of these only T and t will fit the evidence and of these t better fits. Where, we know a common linguistic practice, metonymy where part stands for whole, etc. And, that crux and stauros can mean the t ot T form at the time. The sign-board above the head, readable from a distance, implies again T or t, with t most likely. Thus stauros does not force reading I and the context and history point to T or t, with t most likely. Please, think again. KF

  36. 36
    kairosfocus says:

    P: Yes, there are workarounds. KF

  37. 37
    Mung says:

    Define irony.

    Barb:

    And again, linking to “apostate” websites proves nothing. Only hearing one side of the story makes you look ignorant.

    Barb:

    You even posted the definition of stauros, which as I noted earlier (along with definitions from Greek scholars) means upright pale or stake.

    How does it follow from this that Jesus was not hung on a cross. Explain the logic.

  38. 38
    Mung says:

    The New World Translation –
    “The translation is evidently the work of skilled
    and clever scholars
    , who have sought to bring out
    as much of the true sense of the Greek text
    as the English language is capable of expressing.”
    -ALEXANDER THOMPSON:
    (The Differentiator, April 1952, Page 52)

    Really?

    The translators of The New World Translation were: Nathan Knorr, Albert Schroeder, George Gangas, Fred Franz, M. Henschel

    “Fred Franz was the only one with any knowledge of the Bible languages to attempt translation of this kind. He had studied Greek for two years in the University of Cincinnati but was only self-taught in Hebrew.” [“Crisis of Conscience”; by Raymond Franz; Commentary Press, Atlanta; 1983 edition; footnote 15; page 50.]

    Four out of the five men on the committee had no Hebrew or Greek training at all, and only a high school education. Franz studied Greek for two years at the University of Cincinnati, but dropped out after his sophomore year. When asked in a Scotland courtroom if he could translate Genesis 2:4 into Hebrew, Franz replied that he could not. The truth is that Franz was unable to translate Hebrew or Greek.

    What we have is a very inexperienced translating committee that twisted Scripture to make it fit the Society’s doctrine.

    The Jehovah’s Witness Bible

    See also:
    A CRITICAL LOOK AT THE JEHOVAH’S WITNESS BIBLE

    Barb assured us that there was nothing inferior about the New World Translation and challenged me to show that there was. So I’ve been taking her up on that.

    But she can apparently dismiss all criticism as from “apostate” sources. How convenient.

    Barb cites W.E. Vine, but:

    The periodic lectures he gave on prophetic and other subjects were designed to guide, protect and help the assembly, and having in mind a wider ministry the townsfolk were invited to attend. Sometimes he would take as a subject some of the present-day heresies whose little coteries of supporters stalk around the cities and towns of our land seeking to gain adherents. He would expose Jehovah’s witnesses (see p. 121), Christadelphiansm, with its denial of the Trinity and the Deity of Christ and teaching conditional immortality; Theosophists, with their doctrine of universal brotherhood and system of investigation into the mystic potentialities of life and matter; Christian science, representing that God is mind and not a person; Seventh Day Adventists – a religion of Cain, leading the mind away from Christ to a side issue. Having thrust at some of these giants, he would say: “Most modern errors can be summed up in this way: All religions exhibit expressions of the divine – salvation without a Saviour, education without the word of God; spirituality without the Holy Spirit, creeds without Divine authority (see 1 Pet. iii. 15 and Jude 3, 21). Craving for the mysterious increases as faith in the Divine revelation decreases.”

    (W. E. Vine: His Life And Ministry, First Edition 1951, Oliphants LTD, London)

  39. 39
    Mung says:

    kf,

    Thank you for your contributions. Of course, how a Greek word in the New Testament should be translated into English (or any other language) depends on more than a single definition of that word.

    From the fact that stauros can mean pole or stake, and even apart from whether that was even it’s original meaning in Greek, that isn’t the sole determinant of how it should be translated, not for an experienced translator anyways (see my post @ 38).

    Even Strong’s has:

    stauros: an upright stake, hence a cross (the Rom. instrument of crucifixion)

    What you won’t hear from the JW’s:

    Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance
    cross.

    From the base of histemi; a stake or post (as set upright), i.e. (specially), a pole or cross (as an instrument of capital punishment)

    HELPS Word-studies

    4716 staurós – the crosspiece of a Roman cross; the cross-beam (Latin, patibulum) placed at the top of the vertical member to form a capital “T.” “This transverse beam was the one carried by the criminal” (Souter).

    Now the latter certainly brings to mind specifically your arguments about what it was that was carried and other New Testament references to the cross as something to be borne/carried.

    And the New Testament also witnesses to the fact that there were nails, plural.

  40. 40
    Mung says:

    humbled:

    “So why do they call themselves Christians? This is not for you to decide Mung.

    Yes, it is.

  41. 41
    Barb says:

    How does it follow from this that Jesus was not hung on a cross. Explain the logic.

    Based on the evidence from historical sources and the scriptures themselves, it seems like a valid conclusion.

    Barb assured us that there was nothing inferior about the New World Translation and challenged me to show that there was. So I’ve been taking her up on that.

    But she can apparently dismiss all criticism as from “apostate” sources. How convenient.

    Why would I take anything from a source that clearly has an agenda? Really, I expect that your critical thinking skills would be better than that.

    You cite no scholars, no scriptures to defend your points. You have not answered any points I made in the other thread with respect to the NWT, or the other translations that harmonize with it or utilize the same basic sources for their translations.

    I cite Greek scholars, some of whom like Vine and Kedar do not even care much for the Witnesses. Yet they both acknowledge the rightness (in Kedar’s case) of the translation of the NWT. These are objective sources, Mung, unlike yours.

    Your sources aren’t scholarly and aren’t scriptural. Explain why I should take anything they say seriously.

    “So why do they call themselves Christians? This is not for you to decide Mung.

    Yes, it is.

    Really? Because in the Bible, it states that God committed all judging of humankind to the Son, Jesus Christ. So now Mung thinks he’s on an equal plane with Jesus.

    Wow.

  42. 42
    Mung says:

    Barb:

    You even posted the definition of stauros, which as I noted earlier (along with definitions from Greek scholars) means upright pale or stake.

    Mung:

    How does it follow from this that Jesus was not hung on a cross. Explain the logic.

    Barb:

    Based on the evidence from historical sources and the scriptures themselves, it seems like a valid conclusion.

    Conclusions are neither valid nor invalid. Validity applies to arguments.

    How do your derive your conclusion, Jesus was not crucified on a cross from your premise?

    Please explain the logic.

  43. 43
    Mung says:

    Barb:

    Why would I take anything from a source that clearly has an agenda?

    You mean like the Jehovah’s Witnesses? Don’t be a hypocrite Barb. You didn’t just claim they had an agenda, you identified them as “apostates.” You’re not judging, are you?

    Barb:

    …in the Bible, it states that God committed all judging of humankind to the Son, Jesus Christ. So now Mung thinks he’s on an equal plane with Jesus.

    You’re not judging are you Barb? Don’t be a hypocrite Barb.

    How does the Watchtower Society judge who is an apostate and who is not? Isn’t the judging of who is an apostate and who is not committed to Jesus Christ?

    Is the Watchtower Society on an equal plane with Jesus Christ?

  44. 44
    Mung says:

    Barb:

    You cite no scholars, no scriptures to defend your points.

    A lie.

  45. 45
    Mung says:

    The Jehovah’s Witnesses are defined less by what they affirm than by what they deny. They are primarily opposed to orthodox Christianity.

    I, on the other hand, accept the majority of the orthodox faith while questioning futurism in general and dispensational premillennialism in particular.

    Barb, a JW, decided to challenge my preterist position.

    This brings into question the JW’s position.

    They claim that Jesus returned in 1914.

    They claim that the generation alive in 1914 would not pass away before the end.

    Sites on the internet that point out this false prophecy are judged “apostate.”

    Go figure.

  46. 46
    Mung says:

    Barb:

    I cite Greek scholars, some of whom like Vine and Kedar do not even care much for the Witnesses. Yet they both acknowledge the rightness (in Kedar’s case) of the translation of the NWT.

    Yet you ignore other Greek scholars.

    And you ignore the writings of Vine and Kedar that do not acknowledge the “rightness” of the translation of the NWT.

  47. 47
    peter_G says:

    stay on topic, please do not preaching Christianity here. I wish to see more scientific discussions.

  48. 48
    Robert Byers says:

    This YEC agrees its no big deal to see flightless birds. In fact almost everry island of size had such birds. Especially with the rails.
    They just show diversity. Easily they would get big. Nobody should of thought big birds were related just because big and flightless.

  49. 49
    kairosfocus says:

    P-G: A good point, though not always possible. My thought is, one of the meta issues is on patterns of thought, reasoning, holding/changing of views and persuasion, as well as responsiveness to evidence. The above exchange echoes all too many that have happened on scientific evidence and analysis. Taking feathers, from Wallace they have been seen as a structure that strongly points to design, particularly those connected to flight. This has to do with massive irreducible complexity and the vera causa principle of explaining on known demonstrated causes for a class of phenomenon. Likewise, the LOSS of flight capability points to a significant pattern of actually observed evolutionary change, as in typical cases of bacterial immunity or the sickle cell trait. Co-optation faces huge hurdles to get to a set of complex well matched properly interfaced parts to form a functioning whole’ patently astronomical odds; again and again. All these point to serious gaps, and yet — given an a priori commitment that is so often imposed in the name of redefining science — vera causa gets short shrift and we are in effect told that the dubious happened with the effective degree of certainty of the roundness of the earth. That looks like ideological imposition to me, held on to in the teeth of evidence and stoutly defended by any and every rhetorical means deemed necessary. KF

  50. 50

    Barb quoted AWAKE!:

    “Feathers are a little too perfect—that’s the problem,” notes Yale University’s Manual of Ornithology—Avian Structure and Function. Feathers give no indication that they ever needed improvement. In fact, the “earliest known fossil feather is so modern-looking as to be indistinguishable from the feathers of birds flying today.” Yet, evolutionary theory teaches that feathers must be the result of gradual, cumulative change in earlier skin outgrowths. Moreover, “feathers could not have evolved without some plausible adaptive value in all of the intermediate steps,” says the Manual.

    Unfortunately, Awake! got the intended meaning of “Feathers are a little too perfect – that’s the problem” wrong. Here is that statement in context:

    “Feathers are a little too perfect – that’s the problem. Birds are so thoroughly adapted to their aerial way of life, and their feathers are so exquisitely designed for both flight and thermal protection, that feathers no longer bear any of the small but telling flaws that allow evolutionary biologists to see how feathers developed from reptilian scales. There are no obvious traces of how feathers came to be, so until evidence is found we can we can only look for the simplest explanation that accounts for all the known facts.”

    So the “problem” presented by feathers is not that they “give no indication that they ever needed improvement” but rather that the incremental evolutionary history of feathers is difficult to infer from their contemporary structure, due to their exquisite degree of adaptation. The article goes on to review several hypothesized evolutionary scenarios, and then notes that the solution to this problem will ultimately turn on the evidence:

    ”In discussing these theories, Philip Regal (1985) sounds a warning for all those who might predict any animal’s natural history on the basis of anatomy alone. Regal notes that the Gray Foxes….of California’s Channel islands are entirely insectivorous, a fact you would never guess from their anatomy or the natural history of other foxes. North America’s mightiest predator, the Grizzly Bear…subsists almost entirely on berries and ground squirrels through much of its range, again a fact its anatomy would never suggest. Until we have more fossil evidence we will never know how birds developed such complex adaptations to flight.”

    This was written more than 20 years ago (in 1993). Copious fossil evidence documenting the presence of feathers of various degrees of complexity on numerous theropod species has been found since the first such discovery in 1996, permitting a much more detailed phylogenetic reconstruction the evolutionary history of the feather.

  51. 51
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Could the backers of evolutionary materialism kindly humour us by providing the empirically grounded, observationally based evidence that he cause of the origin of birds was blind chance and mechanical necessity working through the differential reproductive success and resultant culling of incrementally inferior/superior varieties, based on chance variations or whatever variation thereof is favoured? That is, of body plan origin — particularly including flight based on the origin of the integrated system from skeleton to breathing to muscles to controls to feathers. KF

  52. 52
    bornagain77 says:

    as to this claim:

    This was written more than 20 years ago (in 1993). Copious fossil evidence documenting the presence of feathers of various degrees of complexity on numerous theropod species has been found since the first such discovery in 1996, permitting a much more detailed phylogenetic reconstruction the evolutionary history of the feather.

    that claim is simply false. In fact, as this following recent discovery revealed, the first evidence we have shows that Birds were complex from the start:

    When Dinosaurs Flew – February 4, 2014
    Excerpt: A study published online by PeerJ on Jan. 2 detailed the examination of a startlingly complete and pristine specimen of an ancient, dinosaur-era bird: Hongshanornis longicresta, which flapped throughout what is now China roughly 125 million years ago during the early Cretaceous Period.
    This particular specimen, discovered a few years ago in rocks from northeastern China, is the latest example of the unexpected diversity of primitive birds that have been unearthed from that part of the world.,,,
    Roughly 90 percent of the skeleton is complete, with wings and tail so finely preserved that the outlines of feathers and what may be dark color bands on the tail can still be seen. That high level of preservation — particularly around the wings and tail — has allowed the team to perform an aerodynamic analysis of the bird, revealing how it likely flew.
    Michael Habib, assistant professor of research at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, analyzed the shape of the wings and tail and determined that the bird “flitted about,” bouncing through the air with bursts of flapping.
    The flying style is far closer to that found in modern birds than what was supposed of ancient flyers — which have been thought to rely more on gliding due to a lack of enough muscle mass in flying appendages to achieve flapping bursts.
    “This isn’t a mode of flight we expected from Cretaceous birds,” Habib said, adding that its small size and overall shape are comparable to that of modern birds. “It was pretty much a Cretaceous starling with a larger tail like a mockingbird.”
    Transported to the modern world, it wouldn’t look like anything special to the casual observer, until a closer examination revealed claws at the end of the bird’s wings and tiny teeth in its beak.,,,
    http://dornsife.usc.edu/news/s.....aurs-flew/

    News for the Birds – May 7, 2014
    Excerpt: Yanornis is called an ancestor of birds, but PhysOrg reported on April 18 that a fossil found in China shows that “the digestive system of the ancestors to modern birds was essentially modern in all aspects.”,,,
    But if it was already “essentially modern” in the ancestors, and already integrated with the flight systems, where is the time for natural selection to have supposedly produced it?
    http://crev.info/2014/05/news-for-the-birds-2/

    Modern birds, long thought to have arisen only after the dinosaurs perished, turn out to have lived alongside them – 2010
    http://www.scientificamerican......ed-victory

    “Tracks of birds were found in the Dinosaur Cove in southern Victoria that date to 105 million years ago. The evidence indicates that true flying birds existed at the same time as dinosaurs during the Early Cretaceous. The evidence is a bird’s landing tracks. The tracks have a backward pointing toe that is the same as modern birds. …The birds were estimated to be the size of a small heron by the scientists.” (True flying bird tracks from dinosaur times discovered in Australia, October 28, 2013)
    http://www.examiner.com/articl.....-australia

    How Birds Evolved by Incorrigible Storytelling – September 30, 2013
    Excerpt: Aside from beginning with the Kipling-style title, Shurkin wrote a completely fact-free story, relying on nothing but imagination: in short, “The arms got longer, the legs got shorter, and they were flying.” –
    http://crev.info/2013/09/how-b.....rytelling/

    Another Flap Over Dinosaur Feathers – October 31, 2012
    Excerpt: The photo of 1995.110.1 shows only dark criss-cross markings on the bone that they “inferred to be traces left by shafted feathers.” They don’t bear any resemblance to actual feathers. This means that only one fossil had the carbonized impressions extending from parts of its forelimbs at some distance from the bones, leaving plenty of leeway to speculate about what they were, or whether they had any connection to the animal. Yet their artwork shows the adult with fully-fledged wing feathers, barbs, barbules and all, and even multiple colors!,,,
    There’s no way this specimen can have anything to do with the origin of avian flight. The authors did not even try to connect it to flight.
    http://crev.info/2012/10/anoth.....-feathers/

    “Feathers give no indication that they ever needed improvement. In fact, the “earliest known fossil feather is so modern-looking as to be indistinguishable from the feathers of birds flying today.”
    Yale University’s Manual of Ornithology—Avian Structure and Function

    “The whole notion of feathered dinosaurs is a myth that has been created by ideologues bent on perpetuating the birds-are-dinosaurs theory in the face of all contrary evidence”
    Storrs Olson – curator of birds at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History

    The hype about feathered dinosaurs in the exhibit currently on display at the National Geographic Society is even worse, and makes the spurious claim that there is strong evidence that a wide variety of carnivorous dinosaurs had feathers. A model of the undisputed dinosaur Deinonychus and illustrations of baby tyrannosaurs are shown clad in feathers, all of which is simply imaginary and has no place outside of science fiction. – Storrs Olson

    Bird Evolution vs. The Actual Fossil Evidence – video and notes
    http://vimeo.com/30926629

  53. 53
    willh says:

    Reciprocating Bill wrote:

    … Copious fossil evidence documenting the presence of feathers of various degrees of complexity on numerous theropod species has been found since the first such discovery in 1996 …

    Is the progressive development of complex structures of flight feathers actually illustrated in these finds? I have tried to uncover details but run into generalities, evidences of feather type only, many poor fossil preservations with unclear structure, or such indirect indicators as ‘quill knobs’. Flight restrictions included description of a creatures limiting skeletol structure but not a demonstration of an incomplete flight feather. There still seems a yawning gap in this important feather types progress.
    I would appreciate any direction to this.

  54. 54
    Dionisio says:

    #51 by kairosfocus

    Could the backers of evolutionary materialism kindly humour us by providing the empirically grounded, observationally based evidence that the cause of the origin of birds was blind chance and mechanical necessity working through the differential reproductive success and resultant culling of incrementally inferior/superior varieties, based on chance variations or whatever variation thereof is favoured? That is, of body plan origin — particularly including flight based on the origin of the integrated system from skeleton to breathing to muscles to controls to feathers.

    Sir, FYI – we agreed that no bullying should be allowed in this blog. We can’t ask anyone for information we know a priori they don’t have any clue where to get it from. That’s unfair. Rhetorical questions are not politically correct when they could potentially reveal the precarious situation some longstanding ‘theories’ are in today. The establishment might react with justified disappointment and remind us that we are just a bunch of ignorant creationist IDiots who don’t understand the magic ‘n-D evo’ formula RM+NS+T (whatever that means).
    😉

  55. 55
    Dionisio says:

    #51 by kairosfocus

    Could the backers of evolutionary materialism kindly humour us by providing the empirically grounded, observationally based evidence that the cause of the origin of birds was blind chance and mechanical necessity working through the differential reproductive success and resultant culling of incrementally inferior/superior varieties, based on chance variations or whatever variation thereof is favoured? That is, of body plan origin — particularly including flight based on the origin of the integrated system from skeleton to breathing to muscles to controls to feathers.

    They might respond saying that the answer to your question is available online, you should search it yourself, because it would take many books with many pages to describe what you want to know. They’ll say it’s out there written somewhere, but your question is too general.
    So better more politely we should narrow down the subject and ask more specific questions, which are simpler to answer, because they require less text to describe the requested explanation. Thus the discussion may flow more smoothly.
    For example, since I’m studying the cell fate determination, differentiation and migration mechanisms in the first weeks of human development, one question could be about the origin* of the centrosome of the spindle apparatus operating on the intrinsic asymmetric mitosis of the zygote.
    That’s an example of being fair and nice 😉
    However, I’m not holding my breath while waiting for the answers. My wife say I don’t look good when I turn blue 😉

    (*) please, note that at this point I’m not interested in the origin of that stuff, but in how it currently works. However, I suggest the ‘origin’ question as an example of narrowing down the ‘origin’ questions to very specific issues, in order to invalidate the ‘too general’ argument.

  56. 56
    Joe says:

    Unguided/ blind watchmaker evolution cannot account for feathers. That is because it cannot account for eukaryotes.

    Unguided/ blind watchmaker evolution cannot get beyond populations of prokaryotes given the starting point of populations of prokaryotes.

  57. 57
    Dionisio says:

    #54 & #55
    Recent experience in this same blog taught me the hard way that I should avoid asking general questions that might provoke answers like the ones I got more than once, telling me to study basic biology, to take formal classes, to buy books, to look somewhere else outside this blog, etc.
    Even the sample question suggested in #55 could still be narrowed down and itemized into more specific issues. However, I’m not ready for that yet. Need to dig deeper, but I plan to get there shortly (Dios mediante). Just pray for me, if you belong to Him who claimed to be VIA+VERITAS+VITA. If you don’t, then I pray that you do 🙂 Rev. 22:21.

  58. 58
    Barb says:

    Mung continues,
    1.

    Conclusions are neither valid nor invalid. Validity applies to arguments.

    Yes, and…? My argument was valid.

    How do your derive your conclusion, Jesus was not crucified on a cross from your premise? Please explain the logic.

    I have, on more than one thread here. If you cannot or will not be bothered to read what I post, then what is the point? Continue in your ignorance, then.

    You mean like the Jehovah’s Witnesses? Don’t be a hypocrite Barb. You didn’t just claim they had an agenda, you identified them as “apostates.” You’re not judging, are you?

    No, Mung, that is a statement of fact. Most—if not all—of the websites you linked to are run by former Jehovah’s Witnesses. They are obviously biased. Are you really not understanding this point? And many of them—whether they contribute to the site itself or are the site’s webmaster—are apostates. They voluntarily chose to leave, and they do have an axe to grind against the organization they left. Is your prejudice against this religion blinding you to this fact?

    You’re not judging are you Barb? Don’t be a hypocrite Barb.

    I’m not. You made a statement that you are qualified to judge whether or not Jehovah’s Witnesses are Christians. Were you being untruthful? Do you have such authority, and from what source? Don’t simply repeat the same phrase over and over again.

    How does the Watchtower Society judge who is an apostate and who is not?

    That’s often very easy. Many apostates are those who previously considered themselves Witnesses and who did the following: (1) attending meetings at the Kingdom Hall, (2) engaged in the preaching work that Witnesses are known for, and (3) followed the scriptural principles for Christian life. In various ways, they try to cause division amongst the congregation members (often by slandering or gossiping about others) and oppose the work that the Witnesses do. Some print their own literature that consists of little more than lies about the Witnesses. Once a person begins actively opposing the Witnesses by conduct and action as well as by words, then they’ve self-identified as an apostate.

    Isn’t the judging of who is an apostate and who is not committed to Jesus Christ?

    The judging of humankind as a whole is left to Jesus Christ. However, you ignore the point that Jesus Christ as King utilizes humans here on earth as part of God’s organization. You will hear the Witnesses refer to Jesus’s illustration of “the faithful and discreet slave” that provides (spiritual) food for Jesus’s followers on earth.

    Is the Watchtower Society on an equal plane with Jesus Christ?

    No. Please tell me you haven’t missed this point as well as the many others I’ve tried to make.

    You cite no scholars, no scriptures to defend your points.
    A lie.

    Then by all means, post the CVs of the relevant scholars from the websites you linked to. Post their credentials.

    The Jehovah’s Witnesses are defined less by what they affirm than by what they deny. They are primarily opposed to orthodox Christianity.

    Not really, but you seem to be on a roll here. Orthodox Christianity also does not hold to many scriptural principles. The Witnesses do make this known. It’s up to an individual to decide who is more closely following the teachings of Jesus Christ.

    I, on the other hand, accept the majority of the orthodox faith while questioning futurism in general and dispensational premillennialism in particular.
    Barb, a JW, decided to challenge my preterist position.

    Oh, here we go.

    This brings into question the JW’s position.
    They claim that Jesus returned in 1914.

    Mung knows very little about what the Witnesses believe, since he’s not listening to the one who’s trying to explain their beliefs to him.
    If anyone wants to know what the Witnesses have said about 1914, go here: http://www.jw.org/en/search/?q=1914

    They claim that the generation alive in 1914 would not pass away before the end.

    See above.

    Sites on the internet that point out this false prophecy are judged “apostate.”
    Go figure.

    Yes, they are, and for the reasons listed above. Do try and not be so obtuse.

    Yet you ignore other Greek scholars.

    Which ones have I ignored?

    And you ignore the writings of Vine and Kedar that do not acknowledge the “rightness” of the translation of the NWT.

    Are you being deliberately obtuse? I posted a quote as well as a letter from Kedar ACKNOWLEDGING THAT THE NWT WAS AN ACCURATE TRANSLATION. Kedar does not agree with what the Witnesses believe, but he had no problems with their Bible translation. No wonder you’re not getting the point. You’re not bothering to read anything I post, which might actually give you a clue. And you completely ignored the religion professor (BeDuhn) whose book indicates that the NWT is a scholarly translation. Please try to at least read what I posted and if you disagree with what those scholars stated or wrote, explain why.

    stay on topic, please do not preaching Christianity here. I wish to see more scientific discussions.

    Tell that to Mung. He’s the one who brought this discussion from another thread here since he can’t stand the fact that a Witness is on this site.

  59. 59
    Barb says:

    Reciprocating Bill writes,

    Unfortunately, Awake! got the intended meaning of “Feathers are a little too perfect – that’s the problem” wrong. Here is that statement in context:

    “Feathers are a little too perfect – that’s the problem. Birds are so thoroughly adapted to their aerial way of life, and their feathers are so exquisitely designed for both flight and thermal protection, that feathers no longer bear any of the small but telling flaws that allow evolutionary biologists to see how feathers developed from reptilian scales. There are no obvious traces of how feathers came to be, so until evidence is found we can we can only look for the simplest explanation that accounts for all the known facts.”

    So the “problem” presented by feathers is not that they “give no indication that they ever needed improvement” but rather that the incremental evolutionary history of feathers is difficult to infer from their contemporary structure, due to their exquisite degree of adaptation. The article goes on to review several hypothesized evolutionary scenarios, and then notes that the solution to this problem will ultimately turn on the evidence

    Evolution, an unguided process, cannot (by definition) design anything. If, however, one accepts that birds were designed to fly, then feathers do not pose a problem whatsoever in terms of scientific study. And, as pointed out above, there are no transitional scale-to-feather forms to study, which clearly presents a problem for evolutionists.

  60. 60
    ppolish says:

    Dino’s flapped the arms while running uphill. You know, physics. Cool Science:
    http://ed.ted.com/lessons/how-.....arl-zimmer

  61. 61
    Piotr says:

    “The whole notion of feathered dinosaurs is a myth that has been created by ideologues bent on perpetuating the birds-are-dinosaurs theory in the face of all contrary evidence”
    Storrs Olson – curator of birds at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History

    In any science you will always find a few oddball dissenters who steadfastly refuse to accept the mainstream interpretation of the evidence — simply because they have their own idea and they like it better. Storr Olson and Alan Feduccia think birds evolved from more primitive archosaurs in the Triassic (rather than from theropods).

    Olson wrote the “open letter” (from which you quote) back in 1999, in the wake of the Archaeoraptor hoax. The fact that Archaeoraptor was a forgery made in China doesn’t mean that other “dino-birds” are fake as well, and in the fifteen years since 1999 plenty of new fossils have been found. I wonder what Olson’s current opinion is (Feduccia, as far as I know, hasn’t given up).

    Anyway, Olson didn’t think birds and their feathers were intelligently designed — only that their ancestry was different from that proposed by other paleontologists.

  62. 62

    Barb says:

    …there are no transitional scale-to-feather forms to study…

    Answer is:

    The origin and early evolution of feathers was poorly understood until feathered dinosaur specimens were discovered in western Liaoning. Feather-like filamentous integumentary structures or feathers of modern aspect have been found in all major coelurosaurian clades recovered from the Jehol shale beds (Norell and Xu 2005), including compsognathids, tyrannosauroids, therizinosauroids, oviraptorosaurians, dromaeosaurids and possibly troodontids. They are diverse in morphology, including single filaments, compound structures composed of either multiple filaments joined at the base into a tuft, or multiple filaments joined in series along a central filament, plumulaceous feathers and pennaceous feathers with both symmetrical and asymmetrical vanes (Chen et al. 1998; Ji et al. 1998, 2001; Xu et al. 1999a,b, 2000b, 2003b; Norell et al. 2002; Xu and Zhang 2005)….

    In general, the feather morphologies of the Liaoning taxa display an evolutionary trend of increasing complexity and a distinctive distribution pattern as one approaches the base of Aves. The basal coelurosaurian compsognathids and tyrannosauroids have relatively simple, filamentous structures; the more derived coelurosaurian oviraptorosaurians have pennaceous feathers with symmetrical vanes; and the most bird-like dromaeosaurids have flight feathers with asymmetrical vanes. The available evidence suggests that relatively simple filamentous structures evolved phylogenetically earlier than the planar, pennaceous feathers; pennaceous feathers with asymmetrical vanes evolved later than the ones with symmetrical vanes; flight feathers and their homologues first appeared on the tail and arms, and later on the legs. Based on developmental data, Prum (1999) proposed a model of the origin and early evolution of feathers, which is largely congruent with the fossil evidence. Xu (2006) revised Prum’s model, suggesting the following evolutionary scenario of feathers: (1) the first feathers represented by single tubular filaments; then (2) distal branching of the filament appeared; (3) rachis and planar form of feathers evolved, which might be correlated with the appearance of a feather follicle; (4) feathers with fully closed symmetrical vanes evolved, followed by ones with asymmetrical vanes; finally, (5) feathers of modern type are degenerated from the flight feathers and their homologues while most other morphs might have reduced and lost from the avian body. This scenario suggests some distinctive feather features, such as their tubular nature and branching, evolved before the appearance of the feather follicle, emphasizes the significance of planar form in feather evolution, and underscores that the flight feather homologue might have evolved before other various feathers of modern birds. In general, this evolutionary scenario features both transformational and innovative processes, different from Prum’s that is characteristic of a total innovative process (Prum 1999). These evolutionary models could be tested by further discoveries of integumentary details on non-avian dinosaurs, particularly of more plesiomorphic morphologies on more basal taxa than the known feathered coelurosaurian species….

    The Liaoning theropod specimens conclusively indicate that simple, filamentous feathers evolved first and pennaceous ones of modern aspect developed later in coelurosaurian evolution and both have nothing to do with flight. Furthermore, feathers with aerodynamic features evolved before the origin of avians.

    XU XING and MARK A. NORELL, Non-Avian dinosaur fossils from the Lower Cretaceous Jehol Group of western Liaoning, China Geol. J. 41: 419–437 (2006)

  63. 63
    kairosfocus says:

    D, you mean they might try a Bain on me? To such, I say: molon labe! KF

  64. 64
    bornagain77 says:

    And from a few months ago, we have evidence overturning that 2006 time line,,,

    A new specimen of the Early Cretaceous bird Hongshanornis longicresta: insights into the aerodynamics and diet of a basal ornithuromorph. January 2014
    Excerpt: The discovery of Hongshanornis longicresta, a small ornithuromorph bird with unusually long hindlimb proportions, was followed by the discovery of two closely related species, Longicrusavis houi and Parahongshanornis chaoyangensis. Together forming the Hongshanornithidae, these species reveal important information about the early diversity and morphological specialization of ornithuromorphs, the clade that contains all living birds. Here we report on a new specimen (DNHM D2945/6) referable to Hongshanornis longicresta that contributes significant information to better understand the morphology, trophic ecology, and aerodynamics of this species, as well as the taxonomy of the Hongshanornithidae. Most notable are the well-preserved wings and feathered tail of DNHM D2945/6, which afford an accurate reconstruction of aerodynamic parameters indicating that as early as 125 million years ago, basal ornithuromorphs had evolved aerodynamic surfaces comparable in size and design to those of many modern birds, and flight modes alike to those of some small living birds.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24482756

    Moreover, as stated in the previous article, these early birds were more complex than modern birds:

    When Dinosaurs Flew – February 4, 2014
    Excerpt: “This isn’t a mode of flight we expected from Cretaceous birds,” Habib said, adding that its small size and overall shape are comparable to that of modern birds. “It was pretty much a Cretaceous starling with a larger tail like a mockingbird.”
    Transported to the modern world, it wouldn’t look like anything special to the casual observer, until a closer examination revealed claws at the end of the bird’s wings and tiny teeth in its beak.,,,
    http://dornsife.usc.edu/news/s.....aurs-flew/

    Of note:

    ba·sal
    ?b?s?l,-z?l/
    adjective
    technical
    adjective: basal

    forming or belonging to a bottom layer or base.

    ———–

    Moreover, even if the fossil record did cooperate with you, you still have no empirical evidence that Darwinian processes can create functional information.

  65. 65
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related note to Darwinian processes NEVER demonstrating the origin of functional information/complexity above that which is already present in life, it is interesting to note the exquisite design that is present in feathers:

    FLIGHT: The Genius of Birds – Feathers – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2yeNoDCcBg

    Birds and Flight – Prof. Andy McIntosh – video
    http://edinburghcreationgroup.org/video/3

    Evidence Of Design In Bird Feathers And Avian Respiration – Andy McIntosh
    http://journals.witpress.com/paperinfo.asp?pid=399

    But Is It Evolution ? – February 2011
    Excerpt: Airplane wings exploit some of the same aerodynamic tricks. But a bird wing is vastly more sophisticated than anything composed of sheet metal and rivets. From a central feather shaft extends a series of slender barbs, each sprouting smaller barbules, like branches from a bough, lined with tiny hooks. When these grasp on to the hooklets of neighboring barbules, they create a structural network that’s featherlight but remarkably strong. When a bird preens its feathers to clean them, the barbs effortlessly separate, then slip back into place.
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20110218a

    In fact it is a major challenge for engineers just to copy the aerodynamics of bird wings much less improve on them:

    The Marvelous Flight Capabilities of Birds – December 2, 2012
    Excerpt: “Avian flight,” a new study,,,, “complex biotechnical architecture of avian wings,” the “magic structural wing asymmetries” so important for aeroelastic flight control, and the “extremely precise coordination of the complex wing beat motions, together with a perfect flight guidance and control performance.”
    Then there are the flight muscles, sense organs and “extremely developed cerebellum” functioning as a guidance and control computer center. These “biological elements communicate with lightning speed like an autopilot as a biotechnical marvel with unimaginable precision.” As the paper concludes, “With their spectacular flight capabilities, birds are really the inimitable flight artists of nature.”,,,
    Unimaginable precision. Spectacular flight capabilities. Extremely precise coordination.,,, A remarkable design that our best engineers still cannot figure out.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....es-of.html

    Suddenly, It’s OK to Say that Owls Are Engineered – February 14, 2014
    Excerpt: With two other engineers, Jaworski is already working on designs for quieter blades for windmill farms, imitating the features of the owl’s wing. “Commercial aircraft could also benefit from owl wing research,” ,,,
    “The more closely you look at owl feathers, the more amazing they reveal themselves to be.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....82211.html

    How Bird Wings Work (Compared to Airplane Wings) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jKokxPRtck

    Can Humans Improve on Nature? If So, What Does it Mean for Intelligent Design? – February 9, 2012
    Excerpt: Now if they (Darwinists) can,, design a 747 that lays eggs that hatch into new 747s, then they will really be something to talk about.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....55981.html

    Bending rules for animal propulsion – 18 February 2014
    Excerpt: Animal propulsors such as wings and fins bend during motion and these bending patterns are believed to contribute to the high efficiency of animal movements compared with those of man-made designs. However, efforts to implement flexible designs have been met with contradictory performance results. Consequently, there is no clear understanding of the role played by propulsor flexibility or, more fundamentally, how flexible propulsors should be designed for optimal performance. Here we demonstrate that during steady-state motion by a wide range of animals, from fruit flies to humpback whales, operating in either air or water, natural propulsors bend in similar ways within a highly predictable range of characteristic motions. By providing empirical design criteria derived from natural propulsors that have convergently arrived at a limited design space, these results provide a new framework from which to understand and design flexible propulsors.
    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2.....s4293.html

  66. 66
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, as starling murmuration, and globe spanning migrations testify, the ‘quantum’ navigation capability of birds is ‘nothing short of miraculous’:

    Jim Al-Khalili and the Quantum Robin – video
    According to Quantum Physicist Jim Al-Khalili, the phenomenon Quantum Entanglement in Robins is “nothing short of miraculous.”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jepgOQEvWT0

    Featherweight songbird is a long-distance champ – February 2012
    Excerpt: A tiny songbird weighing just two tablespoons of sugar migrates from the Arctic to Africa and back, a distance of up to 29,000 kilometres (18,000 miles), scientists reported on Wednesday.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....champ.html

    To Birds, Storm Survival Is Only Natural, – November 12, 2012
    “…powerful new satellite tracking studies of birds on the wing… reveal birds as the supreme masters of extreme weather management, able to skirt deftly around gale-force winds, correct course after being blown horribly astray, or even use a hurricane as a kind of slingshot to propel themselves forward at hyperspeed. …
    Among a bird’s weather management skills is the power to detect the air pressure changes that signal a coming storm, and with enough advance notice to prepare for adversity. Scientists are not certain how this avian barometer works, yet the evidence of its existence is clear. …
    …once the storm had passed they took off, presumably heading back to where they wanted to be. “Birds have tremendous situational awareness…They know where they are and where they’re going, they’re able to fly back repeatedly, and they’ve shown an amazing ability to compensate for being pushed off track.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11......html?_r=0

    FLIGHT: The Genius of Birds – Starling murmurations – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GR9zFgOzyw

    Starlings – Murmuration
    http://vimeo.com/31158841

    Verse, Quote, and Music:

    John 14:4
    “You know the way to the place where I am going.”,,

    “Death is not the end, it is simply walking out of the physical form and into the spirit realm, which is our true home. It’s going back home.” –
    Stephen Christopher

    Alison Krauss-Gillian Welch – I’ll Fly Away – music video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdRdqp4N3Jw

  67. 67

    BA,,,

    And from a few months ago, we have evidence overturning that 2006 time line

    My assertion was that “Copious fossil evidence documenting the presence of feathers of various degrees of complexity on numerous theropod species has been found since the first such discovery in 1996, permitting a much more detailed phylogenetic reconstruction the evolutionary history of the feather.”

    In response to that, Barb says there are no forms to study. Obviously, she is wrong, as indicated by the XU article and its references, which document Chinese discovery of that copious fossil theropod evidence beginning more than 15 years ago.

    Your example reinforces my point, pointing to even further data.

  68. 68
    bornagain77 says:

    Reciprocating Bill, I certainly don’t think finding fully functional birds earlier than expected in the fossil record, and having then stay virtually unchanged for 125 million years, reinforces your Kipling style ‘just so’ story as to how birds got their wings. But hey if that is what you choose to believe go for it. ,,,

    A few more notes:

    Darwin’s Legacy – Donald R. Prothero – February 2012
    Excerpt: In four of the biggest climatic-vegetational events of the last 50 million years, the mammals and birds show no noticeable change in response to changing climates. No matter how many presentations I give where I show these data, no one (including myself) has a good explanation yet for such widespread stasis despite the obvious selective pressures of changing climate.
    http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/12-02-15/#feature

    Darwin ‘Wrong’: Species Living Together Does Not Encourage Evolution – December 20, 2013
    Excerpt: Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution set out in the Origin of Species has been proven wrong by scientists studying ovenbirds.
    Researchers at Oxford University found that species living together do not evolve differently to avoid competing with one another for food and habitats – a theory put forward by Darwin 150 years ago.
    The ovenbird is one of the most diverse bird families in the world and researchers were looking to establish the processes causing them to evolve.
    Published in Nature, the research compared the beaks, legs and songs of 90% of ovenbird species.
    Findings showed that while the birds living together were consistently more different than those living apart, this was the result of age differences. Once the variation of age was accounted for, birds that live together were more similar than those living separately – directly contradicting Darwin’s view.
    The species that lived together had beaks and legs no more different than those living apart,,,
    ,,,there is no shortage of evidence for competition driving divergent evolution in some very young lineages. But we found no evidence that this process explains differences across a much larger sample of species.,,,
    He said that the reasons why birds living together appear to evolve less are “difficult to explain”,,
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/darwi.....on-1429927

  69. 69
    Dionisio says:

    #63 by kairosfocus

    D, you mean they might try a Bain on me? To such, I say: molon labe! KF

    No, I don’t think they’ll go that far in this case.
    Your comment #51 is very good. Your request is very accurate and valid. However, I assume you noticed the subtle sarcasm embedded in my previous comments 😉
    My point is that those who lack sound arguments and also lack the humility to admit it, usually feel insecure, so they become mean and aggressive in their responses.
    Your comment #51 requested things that would make nervous a few folks out there. But that’s their problem, not ours 😉
    BTW, I just learned a new Greek expression I did not know. Thanks.

  70. 70
    Mung says:

    A simple question for Barb. What is the Greek word for cross?

    You’ve told us what Greek word does not mean cross, but not what Greek word does mean cross. Or is it your position that no such word existed in the Greek language of that time?

  71. 71
    Piotr says:

    I certainly don’t think finding fully functional birds earlier than expected in the fossil record, and having then stay virtually unchanged for 125 million years, reinforces your Kipling style ‘just so’ story as to how birds got their wings.

    What the heck are you talking about? “Earlier than expected”? If birds come from flightless theropods, they can’t be (and are not) earlier than the ancestral group of theropods, Eumaniraptora, including also troodontids and dromaeosaurids. They all existed in the Late Jurassic, at the right time to become bird ancestors. You find all kinds of forms among them, cursorial as well as arboreal, including small, lightweight feather critters capable at least of gliding (though they can’t be classified as birds).

  72. 72
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    “You find all kinds of forms among them”

    ,,, and continually (re)drawing imaginary lines between all those different forms, every time a different form is found in the fossil record earlier than expected, is not scientifically demonstrating that transition between forms is possible. In fact, cladistics, as Berlinski has shown, is severely abused in the unrestrained imagination of Darwinists.

    A One-Man Clade – David Berlinski – July 18, 2013
    Excerpt: The relationship between cladistics and Darwin’s theory of evolution is thus one of independent origin but convergent confusion. “Phylogenetic systematics,” the entomologist Michael Schmitt remarks, “relies on the theory of evolution.” To the extent that the theory of evolution relies on phylogenetic systematics, the disciplines resemble two biologists dropped from a great height and clutching at one another in mid-air.

    Tight fit, major fail.7

    No wonder that Schmidt is eager to affirm that “phylogenetics does not claim to prove or explain evolution whatsoever.”8 If this is so, a skeptic might be excused for asking what it does prove or might explain?
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....74601.html

    And as pointed out to you before Piotr, when we look at empirical evidence itself, instead of looking at lines on a sheet of paper that was drawn by a ‘Darwinian artist’, Darwinian processes are found to be grossly inadequate towards explaining any transition in form:

    “Any transition of form is pure fantasy. There is no demonstration of it.”
    Douglas Axe – co-author of Science & Human Origins – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxMmLakH2LQ

    “Charles Darwin said (paraphrase), ‘If anyone could find anything that could not be had through a number of slight, successive, modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.’ Well that condition has been met time and time again. Basically every gene, every protein fold. There is nothing of significance that we can show that can be had in a gradualist way. It’s a mirage. None of it happens that way. – Doug Axe PhD.
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5347797/

    Thus what are we to trust, dogmatic Darwinian imagination or consistent empirical evidence? If one wants to to remain scientific, he will follow the evidence where it leads.

  73. 73
    kairosfocus says:

    D: Let’s hear the solid answer to 51. KF

    PS: King Leonidas was dead on point, in two words.

  74. 74
    Piotr says:

    KF:
    Do you mean this?

    Could the backers of evolutionary materialism kindly humour us by providing the empirically grounded, observationally based evidence that he cause of the origin of birds was blind chance and mechanical necessity working through the differential reproductive success and resultant culling of incrementally inferior/superior varieties, based on chance variations or whatever variation thereof is favoured?

    Sorry, but I don’t even know what it means. It looks like a bad case of logorrhea.

  75. 75
    Joe says:

    If birds evolved from flightless theropods then there should be some science to support this. How many mutations did it take and what genes were involved? That is the least that is required. If you don’t have that then all you have is a bed-time story.

  76. 76
    Joe says:

    Piotr:

    Sorry, but I don’t even know what it means. It looks like a bad case of logorrhea.

    Piotr pleads ignorance. KF was referring to the alleged theory of evolution. It is very telling tat you have no idea what it entails.

  77. 77
    Barb says:

    Mung,

    A simple question for Barb. What is the Greek word for cross?
    You’ve told us what Greek word does not mean cross, but not what Greek word does mean cross. Or is it your position that no such word existed in the Greek language of that time?

    The word commonly translated as cross is “stauros” which, as has been explained repeatedly means “upright stake or pale”. Go to an interlinear translation and you will see ‘stauros’. If you can find another word translated as cross, let me know.

    see definition at Wiki

    Also see: this website for more definitions and comparisons
    And this: various translations using the term cross

    It might be translated as “cross” depending on the translators, but the basic meaning—which Kairosfocus also pointed out—is upright pole or stake.

    And also see here

  78. 78
    Piotr says:

    Piotr pleads ignorance. KF was referring to the alleged theory of evolution. It is very telling that you have no idea what it entails.

    I wouldn’t recognise it as a fair description of evolution. It’s ironic that a fan of Laconian terseness needs so many long words to say nothing of substance.

  79. 79
    Joe says:

    Piotr:

    I wouldn’t recognise it as a fair description of evolution.

    Ignorance does that to people. It is a fair description of evolution to all of us who know what evolution posits.

  80. 80
    Eric Anderson says:

    Piotr, when asked to actually provide the evidence, says, in essence:

    “I don’t understand the question.”

    Here, I’ll restate it:

    What is the evidence that purely natural processes produced a bird from a reptile?

    —–

    [Note: When we say “evidence” we mean evidence. Not stories; not assumptions; not wild speculations; not even comparative genomics/morphology. We’re talking about actual, demonstrated evidence for the mechanism of chance+necessity actually producing the systems in question.]

    [Note 2: Most skeptics are not even demanding to know the specific pathway that the evolutionary mechanisms took in our particular history. Personally, I would be duly impressed with evidence for any plausible pathway. Something that stands a reasonable chance of occurring in the real world. Something that at least gives a reasonable explanation of the details. Something that passes the laugh test.]

  81. 81
    ppolish says:

    Evo Science is like Theology. Asking for “evidence of Evo” reveals a fundamental ignorance. The Hand of Evolution touches everything. Believe.

  82. 82
    Mung says:

    A simple question for Barb. What is the Greek word for cross?

    Barb:

    It [stauros] might be translated as “cross” depending on the translators, but the basic meaning…is upright pole or stake.

    So if Jesus had actually been hung on a cross, the Greek word that would have been used to convey this fact would have been stauros, and not some other Greek word?

    If you can find another word [other than stauros] translated as cross, let me know.

    Yes, my point exactly. Unless and until you can come up with the alternative, stauros is the word the original writers would have used if Jesus had actually been hung on a cross.

    If not, why not?

  83. 83
    Barb says:

    Mung,

    So if Jesus had actually been hung on a cross, the Greek word that would have been used to convey this fact would have been stauros, and not some other Greek word?
    Yes, my point exactly. Unless and until you can come up with the alternative, stauros is the word the original writers would have used if Jesus had actually been hung on a cross.
    If not, why not?

    As has been pointed out repeatedly, stauros is translated as cross in some instances, and upright pale or stake (the actual definition) in others. Try reading the links I posted, you might get some insight. The point that you seem to be completely missing is the actual definition of the word, which IS NOT cross. Are those translations erring? Why or why not?

  84. 84
    Mung says:

    From the book, Creation, by Joseph Franklin Rutherford

    here

    Then Jesus was crucified on a cross. Now Jesus was not crucified on a cross.

  85. 85
  86. 86
    Barb says:

    And…? There is an article here explaining the clarification and why it took place. This was in 1936.

    Do you have anything substantial to add? I have already mentioned that the Witnesses have clarified their understanding of the Bible. Do you not understand this point?

    here is another article on the subject as to why the Witnesses do not use the cross in worship. Did you get anything from the links I posted?

    Oh, and have you gotten around to rebutting the scholars who agree that stauros should be rendered stake and not cross? How about the ones who believe that the NWT is a scholarly translation?

  87. 87
    Piotr says:

    What is the evidence that purely natural processes produced a bird from a reptile?

    “A reptile” in this case is a theropod dinosaur (not a turle, an alligator, or a boa constrictor). The evidence is the paleontological record: we know about 30 genera of dromaeosaurids and about 20 genera of troodontids, plus some scansoriopterygids, representing the closest relatives of birds, and we have a similkar variety of “true” birds from the same time. Unless you are a dinosaur specialist, you simply cannot tell where the division line between “dinos” and “birds” is, because in fact any such line is arbitrary and artificial: birds are specialised theropods (even if Professor Olson thinks otherwise), and their evolution was a smooth process. Pre-avian theropods show a mosaic of features that we find later in typical birds: feathers, small size, pneumatic bones, reduced teeth, scansorial adaptations, the ability to glide or even fly. If the first bird was specially designed and created, please tell me which particular fossil form is close to it, and why its very similar contemporarries shouldn’t qualify as birds.

  88. 88
    bornagain77 says:

    Poitr, translation: you have no real empirical evidence, and only imagination, that any transition in form is possible.

    “Any transition of form is pure fantasy. There is no demonstration of it.”
    Douglas Axe – co-author of Science & Human Origins – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxMmLakH2LQ

  89. 89
    Piotr says:

    BA77, @88

    That book should be entitled “Cargo-Cult Science on Human Origins”. It has nothing to do with bird origins anyway.

  90. 90
  91. 91
    Mung says:

    He [Jesus Christ] finished this work of laying down His life, surrendering it, sacrificing it, permitting it to be taken from Him, when He on the cross cried: “It is finished!”

    – Charles Taze Russell, Studies in the Scriptures, Volume 5

    He saw men plunged in deep distress,
    And flew to their relief;
    For us he bore the shameful cross,
    And carried all our grief.

    – from Volume 5, Study XI

  92. 92
    bornagain77 says:

    Piotr, you claim that birds, whose inherent complexity is orders of magnitude more complex that anything man has every devised, came about by Darwinian processes. Specifically, you claim that unguided ‘random’ mutations and unguided natural selection, completely free of any intelligent intervention, built this bewildering complexity. Yet, you have no evidence that random mutations and natural selection can build even one molecular machine, much less do you have evidence that Darwinian processes can coordinate trillions upon trillions of protein molecules into the coherent whole that is the miracle of a bird. Yet you say that believing contrary to your completely unsubstantiated position is a ‘cargo cult’. I beg to differ. Each cell in your body has 3 1/2 billion letters of code on its DNA alone. Which is equivalent to a small library of books. Every book has an author! NO ONE has ever seen unguided material processes write even one sentence. Yet you believe that the 3 1/2 billion letters of code had no author. Piotr, contrary to what you have deluded yourself into believing, I’m not the one believing a ludicrous ‘cargo cult’ science, YOU ARE!

    Is There Evidence of Something Beyond Nature? – Lennox – semiotic information – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6rd4HEdffw

    Verse and music:

    John 1:1-4
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    The same was in the beginning with God.
    All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.
    In Him was life, and that life was the Light of men.

    Creed – My Own Prison
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBBqjGd3fHQ

  93. 93
    Barb says:

    Mung, what part(s) of my previous post(s) did you not understand? Should I repeat something using smaller words?

    Did you refute the scholars who agree that the NWT is a good translation yet? How about the Greek scholars who acknowledge the the word you keep looking for is properly translated as stake or pole and not cross?

  94. 94
    Mung says:

    Barb, the JW’s own history depicts and translates stauros as a cross. Are you prohibited from reading those or even looking at them? We’re not talking “apostate” sources here are we?

    Look for the Greek word for cross on page 252 (second paragraph from the bottom of the page, just before the dash. Then scroll down a couple more pages to see the image of Jesus on a cross.

    HERE

    Here’s the English:

    There was, then, a fuller sense in which that Jewish age closed with the end of the seventieth week, or three and one-half [page 224] years after the cross—after which the Gospel was preached to the Gentiles also, beginning with Cornelius. (Acts 10:45) This ended their age so far as God’s favor toward and recognition of the Jewish church was concerned; their national existence terminated in the great time of trouble which followed.

    As an interesting aside, and reaching back to a former discussion, Russell appears to have been a preterist. The 70 weeks and the “great tribulation were past.

    We can both trot out our “greek experts” but the facts are that the modern JW position is contradicted by it’s past.

    Is Charles Taze Russell now an apostate as well?

  95. 95
    Mung says:

    Barb, keep repeating: It only means pole or stake, it only means pole or stake, it only means pole or stake. It never means cross, it never means cross, it never means cross.

    Even though you’ve already granted that if it actually was a cross, the authors would have used the Greek word stauros.

    So even given that the word has a range of meanings that can include that of the traditional cross, how is it that you can continue to maintain that because some Greek scholars say it primarily mean a pole or stake that it Jesus was not crucified on a cross?

    I keep asking you for your logic and you keep not giving me any logical explanation.

    How do your derive your conclusion, Jesus was not crucified on a cross from your premise?

    Please explain the logic.

  96. 96
    Mung says:

    Why is there a cross and crown on this pyramid?

    Is Joseph Franklin Rutherford also an apostate?

  97. 97
    Barb says:

    Mung, you have the entire argument backwards. The Witnesses at one time did believe that Jesus was executed on a cross. That is why you see it in earlier publications. However, based on the links I provided above, the matter was clarified in 1936. What part of that statement do you not understand? No crosses appear on any WT publications after 1936.

    Here’s some additional information from the 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses: “Another change in viewpoint involved the “cross and crown” symbol, which appeared on the Watch Tower cover beginning with the issue of January 1891. In fact, for years many Bible Students wore a pin of this kind. By way of description, C. W. Barber writes: “It was a badge really, with a wreath of laurel leaves as the border and within the wreath was a crown with a cross running through it on an angle. It looked quite attractive and was our idea at that time of what it meant to take up our ‘cross’ and follow Christ Jesus in order to be able to wear the crown of victory in due time.”

    Concerning the wearing of “cross and crown pins,” Lily R. Parnell comments: “This to Brother Rutherford’s mind was Babylonish and should be discontinued. He told us that when we went to the people’s homes and began to talk, that was the witness in itself.” Accordingly, reflecting on the 1928 Bible Students convention in Detroit, Michigan, Brother Suiter writes: “At the assembly the cross and crown emblems were shown to be not only unnecessary but objectionable. So we discarded these items of jewelry.” Some three years thereafter, beginning with its issue of October 15, 1931, The Watchtower no longer bore the cross and crown symbol on its cover.

    A few years later Jehovah’s people first learned that Jesus Christ did not die on a T-shaped cross. On January 31, 1936, Brother Rutherford released to the Brooklyn Bethel family the new book Riches. Scripturally, it said, in part, on page 27: “Jesus was crucified, not on a cross of wood, such as is exhibited in many images and pictures, and which images are made and exhibited by men; Jesus was crucified by nailing his body to a tree.”

    Even though you’ve already granted that if it actually was a cross, the authors would have used the Greek word stauros.

    You have it backwards. The word stauros is properly translated “upright pale or stake”. NOT CROSS. Some translations do use the term cross. As explained in the other thread, there is a long history of religions other than Christianity using crosses or types of crosses in their worship of their god(s).

    So even given that the word has a range of meanings that can include that of the traditional cross, how is it that you can continue to maintain that because some Greek scholars say it primarily mean a pole or stake that it Jesus was not crucified on a cross?

    Because he was not, based on the Greek words used and based on historical evidence. References were provided for you to read. Haven’t read any of them? Then get started.

    I keep asking you for your logic and you keep not giving me any logical explanation.

    Try actually reading my posts for a change.

    How do your derive your conclusion, Jesus was not crucified on a cross from your premise?

    1. The Greek word stauros properly translates to upright pale or stake.
    2. The Greek word stauros is used in many translations to describe the instrument of Jesus’s execution.
    3. Therefore, based on a clear understanding of the Greek language, Jesus died on a stake or pole and not a cross.

    There’s one argument for you. Now consider the evidence from history and from Greek scholars and writers:

    There is no evidence that the Greek word stau•ros? here meant a cross such as the pagans used as a religious symbol for many centuries before Christ.

    In the classical Greek the word stauros? meant merely an upright stake, or pale, or a pile such as is used for a foundation. The verb stauro?o meant to fence with pales, to form a stockade, or palisade, and this is the verb used when the mob called for Jesus to be impaled. It was to such a stake, or pale, that the person to be punished was fastened, just as the popular Greek hero Prometheus was represented as tied to rocks. Whereas the Greek word that the dramatist Aeschylus used to describe this simply means to tie or to fasten, the Greek author Lucian (Prometheus, I) used anastauro?o as a synonym for that word. In the Christian Greek Scriptures anastauro?o occurs but once, in Heb 6:6.

    The root verb stauro?o occurs more than 40 times, and we have rendered it “impale,” with the footnote: “Or, ‘fasten on a stake (pole).’”

    The inspired writers of the Christian Greek Scriptures wrote in the common (koine?) Greek and used the word stau•ros? to mean the same thing as in the classical Greek, namely, a simple stake, or pale, without a crossbeam of any kind at any angle. There is no proof to the contrary. [emphasis mine]

    The apostles Peter and Paul also use the word xy?lon to refer to the torture instrument upon which Jesus was nailed, and this shows that it was an upright stake without a crossbeam, for that is what xy?lon in this special sense means. (Ac 5:30; 10:39; 13:29; Ga 3:13; 1Pe 2:24) In LXX we find xy?lon in Ezr 6:11 (1 Esdras 6:31), and there it is spoken of as a beam on which the violator of law was to be hanged, the same as in Ac 5:30; 10:39.

    The Latin dictionary by Lewis and Short gives as the basic meaning of crux “a tree, frame, or other wooden instruments of execution, on which criminals were impaled or hanged.” In the writings of Livy, a Roman historian of the first century B.C.E., crux means a mere stake. “Cross” is only a later meaning of crux. A single stake for impalement of a criminal was called in Latin crux sim?plex. One such instrument of torture is illustrated by Justus Lipsius (1547-1606) in his book De cruce libri tres, Antwerp, 1629, p. 19. The photograph of the crux simplex on our p. 1578 is an actual reproduction from his book.

    The book Das Kreuz und die Kreuzigung (The Cross and the Crucifixion), by Hermann Fulda, Breslau, 1878, p. 109, says: “Trees were not everywhere available at the places chosen for public execution. So a simple beam was sunk into the ground. On this the outlaws, with hands raised upward and often also with their feet, were bound or nailed.” After submitting much proof, Fulda concludes on pp. 219, 220: “Jesus died on a simple death-stake: In support of this there speak (a) the then customary usage of this means of execution in the Orient, (b) indirectly the history itself of Jesus’ sufferings and (c) many expressions of the early church fathers.”

    Paul Wilhelm Schmidt, who was a professor at the University of Basel, in his work Die Geschichte Jesu (The History of Jesus), Vol. 2, Tübingen and Leipzig, 1904, pp. 386-394, made a detailed study of the Greek word stau•ros?. On p. 386 of his work he said: [stau•ros?] means every upright standing pale or tree trunk.” Concerning the execution of punishment upon Jesus, P. W. Schmidt wrote on pp. 387-389: “Beside scourging, according to the gospel accounts, only the simplest form of Roman crucifixion comes into consideration for the infliction of punishment upon Jesus, the hanging of the unclad body on a stake, which, by the way, Jesus had to carry or drag to the execution place to intensify the disgraceful punishment. . . . Anything other than a simple hanging is ruled out by the wholesale manner in which this execution was often carried out: 2000 at once by Varus (Jos. Ant. XVII 10. 10), by Quadratus (Jewish Wars II 12. 6), by the Procurator Felix (Jewish Wars II 15. 2), by Titus (Jewish Wars VII. 1).”

    Evidence is, therefore, completely lacking that Jesus Christ was crucified on two pieces of timber placed at right angles. The Witnesses responded to this research with the following: “We do not want to add anything to God’s written Word by inserting the pagan cross-concept into the inspired Scriptures, but render stau•ros? and xy?lon according to the simplest meanings. Since Jesus used stau•ros? to represent the suffering and shame or torture of his followers (Mt 16:24), we have translated stau•ros? as “torture stake,” to distinguish it from xy?lon, which we have translated “stake,” or, in the footnote, “tree,” as in Ac 5:30.”

    I’m not sure what parts of any of this research you don’t understand. Try actually responding to any of the points I’ve made here for a change. Explain to me why you think these scholars are incorrect in thinking that Jesus did not die on a cross. Explain to me why you think that their scholarship is incorrect in some way. Otherwise, you’ve got nothing.

  98. 98
    bornagain77 says:

    Piotr, if all the scientists in the world, with all their supercomputers put together, were given the task to build a ‘simple’ insect wing from scratch they could not do it. They cannot even get close to creating ‘simple’ life in the lab using all their intelligence combined, much less an insect wing! Yet you believe that a bird wing, which is far more elaborate and sophisticated than an insect wing (or even a airplane wing) arose by purely unguided processes,,,

    Rare Glimpses of Amazing Birds-of-Paradise Courtship Rituals – video playlist
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....W8CJmPNNNA

    ,,, Piotr there is a severe disconnect in your ability to think properly if you think that was not designed!

  99. 99
    bornagain77 says:

    The Digital Code of DNA and the Unimagined Complexity of a ‘Simple’ Bacteria – Rabbi Moshe Averick – video
    https://vimeo.com/35730736

  100. 100
    Mung says:

    Barb:

    The Witnesses at one time did believe that Jesus was executed on a cross. That is why you see it in earlier publications.

    Yes, thank you for acknowledging this fact. Did they just not understand the “correct” meaning of the Greek word, or is all this discussion of the meaning of stauros just a straw-man?

    So first it was believed by JW’s that Christ was hung on a cross. Did the Greek text somehow change and it wasn’t noticed until 1936?

    Then (1936) they (JW’s) believed Christ was hung on a tree:

    The death of the perfect man Jesus would, in any manner inflicted, meet the requirements of the law, because death was the penalty inflicted upon Adam. Why, then, was Jesus crucified? Jesus was crucified, not on a cross of wood, such as is exhibited in many images and pictures, and which images are made and exhibited by men; Jesus was crucified by nailing his body to a tree. His being put to death in this manner symbolically said: “This man is cursed of God.” Dying as a sinner was ah ignominious death, and being crucified upon a tree in effect said: “The one here dying is put to death as a vile sinner.” Such was a provision that God had made in his law. (Deuteronomy 21: 22,23) The curse of God was upon Adam because of Adam’s willful sin. To become the ransomer or redeemer Jesus must die as though he were accursed of God, a vile sinner, yet without sin in fact; and for this reason Jehovah suffered his Beloved Son to be put to death by nailing him to a tree. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” (Galatians 3:13) “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.” — Acts 5: 30.

    The crucifixion of Jesus upon a tree is a testimony to all creation that he willingly suffered the most ignominious death in order that he might prove himself entirely obedient to the will of God under the most adverse conditions and thereby meet all the requirements of God’s law as pertains to a sinful man.

    – Joseph Franklin Rutherford, Riches (1936)

    That’s Rutherford, in 1936.

    According to one source:

    Therefore, according to the Society’s own account, scholarship really had nothing to do with its adoption of the “torture stake” doctrine.

    Now given that Vine’s Expository Dictionary, who JW’s seem to love to quote, wasn’t published until 1940, what were they relying on for their understanding of the Greek text, when matters were “clarified” in 1936?

  101. 101
    Mung says:

    Barb:

    Try actually reading my posts for a change.

    I try to, really. It’s your links to those apostates that give me fits. I’m really not allowed to read those.

    Frankly, I’m surprised you’re allowed to read this website.

    “There is no need for any individual to prepare Internet pages about Jehovah’s Witnesses, our activities, or our beliefs. Our official site (www.watchtower.org) presents accurate information for any who want it”

  102. 102
    Mung says:

    One internet source says:

    The Organization once taught that Jesus [was] crucified on a cross not a stake. They even had pictures of Jesus hanging on crosses [a cross] in their publications.

    True. Right Barb?

    Barb:

    The Witnesses at one time did believe that Jesus was executed on a cross. That is why you see it in earlier publications.

    They believed and taught what they believed. Right? Even though it was false (according to Barb).

    Barb, can you cite the JW publications which state that the earlier teachings of the JW’s were false?

  103. 103
    Mung says:

    The JW’s proclaim that Jesus is both god and not god, that Jesus is both lord and not lord, That Jesus is both deity and not deity, that Jesus is both divine and not divine, that Jesus is not our savior, and that the end is soon.

  104. 104
    Mung says:

    Stauros in both classical and koine Greek carries no thought of a “cross” made from two timbers. It means only an upright stake, pale. pile or pole.

    – Aid To Bible Understanding

    So Barb, just to get things on the record, you disagree with that “aid” to understanding?

  105. 105
    kairosfocus says:

    Piotr

    EA puts it well:

    _____________

    >>What is the evidence that purely natural processes produced a bird from a reptile?

    —–

    [Note: When we say “evidence” we mean evidence. Not stories; not assumptions; not wild speculations; not even comparative genomics/morphology. We’re talking about actual, demonstrated evidence for the mechanism of chance+necessity actually producing the systems in question.]

    [Note 2: Most skeptics are not even demanding to know the specific pathway that the evolutionary mechanisms took in our particular history. Personally, I would be duly impressed with evidence for any plausible pathway. Something that stands a reasonable chance of occurring in the real world. Something that at least gives a reasonable explanation of the details. Something that passes the laugh test.]>>
    _____________

    Empirical evidence that passes the vera causa test of demonstrated, observed causal efficacy, please.

    No causal mechanism on the unobserved remote past should be entertained that is not seen to work with relevant capability before our eyes today.

    That is, no gross, question begging extrapolations.

    KF

  106. 106
    Piotr says:

    The “unobserved” remote past is actually observed indirectly via its traces and effects. We use whatever evidence is available. We have the bones of those animals; we have clear impressions of their bodies (feathers and all); and we have molecular evidence confirming that the surviving groups of archosaurs (birds and crocodilians) are each other’s closest relatives, in agreement with the fossil record. You can ignore and dismiss all that evidence; you can repeat, “You were not there”, or insist that I should “evolve” a crocodile into a sparrow in a lab or it doesn’t count. I don’t give a damn: it’s your problem.

  107. 107
    bornagain77 says:

    Piotr, translation,

    “I have no empirical evidence that Darwinism is true, therefore I rely on imagination”

  108. 108
    Joe says:

    Piotr, How the evidence is perceived is directly tied to one’s personal bias. If there isn’t any genetic evidence that the changes required are even possible then you lose. And guess what? That genetic evidence doesn’t support your position. THAT is YOUR problem- no way to test the claim.

    The fossil record = “I wouldn’t have seen it if I didn’t already believe it.” You don’t know what makes a bird a bird nor a reptile a reptile nor a dinosaur a dinosaur. And without that knowledge your position is lost.

  109. 109
    Barb says:

    Mung’s incessant misunderstanding goes on:

    The Witnesses at one time did believe that Jesus was executed on a cross. That is why you see it in earlier publications.
    Yes, thank you for acknowledging this fact. Did they just not understand the “correct” meaning of the Greek word, or is all this discussion of the meaning of stauros just a straw-man?

    The discussion of the meaning of stauros is important, obviously. It is entirely possible that they did not discern the correct meaning of the term. I wasn’t around to ask them how their research was coming.

    So first it was believed by JW’s that Christ was hung on a cross. Did the Greek text somehow change and it wasn’t noticed until 1936?
    Then (1936) they (JW’s) believed Christ was hung on a tree:
    The death of the perfect man Jesus would, in any manner inflicted, meet the requirements of the law, because death was the penalty inflicted upon Adam. Why, then, was Jesus crucified? Jesus was crucified, not on a cross of wood, such as is exhibited in many images and pictures, and which images are made and exhibited by men; Jesus was crucified by nailing his body to a tree. His being put to death in this manner symbolically said: “This man is cursed of God.” Dying as a sinner was ah ignominious death, and being crucified upon a tree in effect said: “The one here dying is put to death as a vile sinner.” Such was a provision that God had made in his law. (Deuteronomy 21: 22,23) The curse of God was upon Adam because of Adam’s willful sin. To become the ransomer or redeemer Jesus must die as though he were accursed of God, a vile sinner, yet without sin in fact; and for this reason Jehovah suffered his Beloved Son to be put to death by nailing him to a tree. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” (Galatians 3:13) “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.” — Acts 5: 30.
    The crucifixion of Jesus upon a tree is a testimony to all creation that he willingly suffered the most ignominious death in order that he might prove himself entirely obedient to the will of God under the most adverse conditions and thereby meet all the requirements of God’s law as pertains to a sinful man.
    – Joseph Franklin Rutherford, Riches (1936)

    And your point is what…that the Witnesses are not allowed to change their minds based on further study? Why is that?

    Therefore, according to the Society’s own account, scholarship really had nothing to do with its adoption of the “torture stake” doctrine.

    Who’s the “one source” you’re quoting here? Another site that’s biased against Witnesses?

    Now given that Vine’s Expository Dictionary, who JW’s seem to love to quote, wasn’t published until 1940, what were they relying on for their understanding of the Greek text, when matters were “clarified” in 1936?

    No. If you noticed, much of the commentary regarding ‘stauros’ and its meaning by other scholars was published before 1936. It’s not unreasonable to assume that they studied the works of these scholars before coming to their conclusion.

    I try to, really. It’s your links to those apostates that give me fits. I’m really not allowed to read those.

    Don’t be deliberately dense. Or are you truly unaware of what “bias” is and how it affects decision-making and critical thinking? If not, I suggest you find a basic textbook on critical thinking and begin reading it.

    Your entire weak argument comes down to the fact that you don’t like Witnesses. And that “argument”, such as it is, is easily dismissed.

    Frankly, I’m surprised you’re allowed to read this website.

    Why wouldn’t I be? The Witnesses have published articles on design in nature many times, as I’ve linked to, and conducted an interview with Dr. Michael Behe that appeared in a special issue of the Awake! Magazine on evolution in September 2006.

    “There is no need for any individual to prepare Internet pages about Jehovah’s Witnesses, our activities, or our beliefs. Our official site (www.watchtower.org) presents accurate information for any who want it”

    Creating a web page =/= visiting a website. Really, you don’t understand the difference? Forgive me if I begin questioning your intelligence.

    Nice non sequitur. Did you have a point, or not?

    The Organization once taught that Jesus [was] crucified on a cross not a stake. They even had pictures of Jesus hanging on crosses [a cross] in their publications.
    True. Right Barb?

    Asked and answered. Find something else. Oh, and what’s the “one source” you’re referring to here?

    They believed and taught what they believed. Right? Even though it was false (according to Barb).

    The clarification was already posted in this thread. Read it.

    Barb, can you cite the JW publications which state that the earlier teachings of the JW’s were false?

    Asked and answered above in another post. Try reading it.

    The JW’s proclaim that Jesus is both god and not god, that Jesus is both lord and not lord, That Jesus is both deity and not deity, that Jesus is both divine and not divine, that Jesus is not our savior, and that the end is soon.

    Huh?

    Stauros in both classical and koine Greek carries no thought of a “cross” made from two timbers. It means only an upright stake, pale. pile or pole.
    – Aid To Bible Understanding
    So Barb, just to get things on the record, you disagree with that “aid” to understanding?

    Wow. You really are being deliberately stupid.

    FOR THE RECORD: The definition of stauros as “upright stake or pale” has been posted by myself and by Kairosfocus. It completely agrees with the Aid to Bible Understanding comment that you posted above. And also for the record, the book you’re citing has not been used by the Witnesses for decades. It was replace by a two-volume Bible encyclopedia called Insight on the Scriptures in 1988.

    Do try and keep up.

    Posting information that has no modern relevance to Jehovah’s Witnesses or their beliefs makes you look idiotic. The reason(s) for their beliefs that Jesus did not die on a cross have been answered repeatedly. That you don’t like the answer is your problem and yours alone.

    Again, refute the scholars whose work is cited above.

    Refute the fact that they agree with the Witnesses that Jesus did not die on a cross.

    Refute the fact that the Greek language itself does not agree that Jesus died on a cross.

    Refute the Greek scholars who acknowledge this fact.

    Bring something substantial to the argument besides your blind, irrational hatred of a religious group. Your “arguments” are veering from merely pathetic to wildly irrational and stupid.

Leave a Reply