Joined: Oct. 2007
Faith is a funny thing. One can have faith that the Sun will rise in the east tomorrow morning, and one can have faith in Jesus Christ. But even tho one "has faith" in both cases, there seems to be a fairly significant distinction between the "faith" one has that the Sun will do, tomorrow, just what it's always done in the past however-many million days... and the "faith" one has in something that one believes because Someone In A Position Of Authority Said So. And it's worth noting that in the case of religious belief, there's one truly humongous pile of different religions, every one of which has Someone In A Position Of Authority to back it up, and every one of which contradicts most/all of the others, sometimes in relatively trivial ways (quick: what are the doctrinal differences between Anglicans and Methodists?) and sometimes in extremely significant ways (Christians say the Messiah has already been here; Jews are still waiting for the Messiah to show up).
So if your Creationist buddies want to make noise about how "it's all faith", fine. Insist on distinguishing between sun-rises-in-the-east-Faith, and Faith-based-on-authority... and ask them how the heck can you tell whether any given idea that's believed on account of Faith-based-on-authority is true? With an idea that's believed on account of sun-rises-in-the-east-Faith, you can always check it out and see for yourself whether or not whatever-it-is is true; with an idea that's believed on account of Faith-based-on-authority, the historical record suggests that there isn't any way to determine whether or not whatever-it-is is true. Rather, the historical record of religious belief, and Faith-based-on-authority in general, suggests that under a Faith-based-on-authority paradigm, 'erroneous' ideas aren't disproved, but, rather, are actively suppressed by violence and torture, up to & including the outright murder of 'heretics'.
Your Creationist buddies want to play the it's-all-faith card? Fine. Demand that they provide examples of scientific ideas being suppressed by violence, torture, and/or outright murder.
edited to correct a dumb-ass brainfart about how the Sun rises in the west... oops...