I hope that you have enjoyed reading our debates and conversations ~ they have been very interesting for me.
You make a lot of points, here ~ many that I have read before ~ and this discussion, if pursued, is likely to take the thread kind of off-topic, as far as the Christmas connection goes. But, then, it's all inter-connected, really.
The Adam and Eve story was just one example of beliefs and tales that I do not accept as anything other than folklore and / or mythology. 'Noah's Ark' is another such tale; 'Jonah and the Whale' another, etc.
Yes, I accept the 'Adam and Eve' story as an allegory for the beginning of life on Earth.
But I most certainly do not accept that science is a god.
Science is science and has nothing to do with religion or god ~ except as an occasional counter to certain beliefs.
Actually, no-one knows how life began. Certain believers have mythological creation stories, but they are ancient, based on the limited knowledge available at the time, and cannot be accepted as truthful, without employing a lot of blind faith ~ which has no place in science and learning.
Some scientists do have some hypotheses about the beginning of life, which are based upon scientific knowledge.
Here is a really good presentation on the subject:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6QYDdgP9eg
We are made from 'stardust'. Stardust provides the chemicals, required for us to exist. 'Stardust' is chemicals. These chemicals could be called a 'muddy soup', I suppose. I don't see a problem with that, provided the term is not used in a dismissive or derisive manner.
If we take these chemicals as the 'muddy soup', then of course it is rational to accept that we came from this 'muddy soup' ~ because we, self-evidently, are made from these chemicals.
It is not so rational to believe that a woman was made out of the rib of a man ~ but it is rational; to say that new life ~ babies ~ can come from existing life ~ parents.
It is not so rational to say that a man was moulded out of clay or earth, either ~ but it is reasonable to say that the elements that make up the Earth also make up us.
Thus, Genesis is a good allegory, but is not literally true.
An F5 tornado plowing through a trash dump has a better chance of producing a bound set of encyclopedias than the previous scenario does of having produced "life".
I keep hearing this one ~ or versions thereof ~ and it is simply untrue. It is fundamentalist Christian propaganda.
As for scientific theories, I don't think that too many people have a problem with the theory of gravity, or with various mathematical theories. It is important to note the difference, though, between a scientific theory, a scientific hypothesis and the general 'theories', 'hypotheses', ideas and suggestions that may be put forward by non-scientists ~ or even the ill-educated.
If you study the writings of scientists, you will find that 'scientific theory' is as 'factual' as a scientist is ever likely to be.
Good scientists are aware that new knowledge may change their conclusions, but, based upon all of the knowledge currently available, and all of the scientifically plausible likelihoods, the best minds, the most intelligent specialists, the most highly educated experts, the most highly qualified scientific minds in the world ~ past and present ~ have come up with the 'Theory of Evolution'. That's good enough for me.
The Theory of Evolution' makes sense to me, without me having to be as knowledgeable, on that particular subject, as the experts are. As a non-scientist, I respect their learning and their expertise. I also know that this theory may have to be 'tweaked' to allow for new information. That's fine; that's science.
As a historian, I understand about the need to ascertain truths about ancient documents, but the Bible could be ancient and unchanged, with associated proofs of its age and reliability, without it ever being evidence of anything more than the existence, history, beliefs, hopes, etc, of an ancient tribe. It would not be evidence or proof that the mythology and religious beliefs of that tribe were true.
I respect everyone's right to their own beliefs ~ but I believe that the facts should always be taken into account.
Faith is faith. Religious beliefs are based in faith. I dare say that certain scientists sometimes act on faith. But science is science and is not a religious faith.
Thanks for your thought-provoking comments, Giornale, I wish you well too, in your own quest, and hope that you will keep reading.
Here is Richard Dawkins speculating
on life's origins ~ and it is, and has to be, 'speculation':
'Richard Dawkins on the origins of life'http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wa55s9Gs_Eg
This is interesting, too:
'Stephen Hawking - How Did Life Begin?'http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1R8-E71wAc
But we have certainly traveled a long way from the similarities between Santa and Satan or even Santa and Jesus