Secular myth: Science and God are competing explanations.

Posted on December 21, 2015 By

Secular myth: “Science and God are competing explanations for such things as the origin of life and the origin of the universe. There is no need to cite God as an explanation, since science explains such things without the need for God.”

Reality: This commonplace atheist reasoning commits what is known in philosophy as a category error because it confuses different categories (or levels) of causation. The following two statements commit the same category error:

“Living things are not caused by God, but rather, by natural processes.”

“Aircraft are not caused by people, but rather, by manufacturing processes.”

Put another way, in no way does it follow that merely describing how something was made amounts to an explanation of the cause for that something. Atheists here confuse scientific description with explanation. Bold declarations from atheists that “science explains things without the need for God” therefore amount to a category error. Bo Jinn writes in Illogical Atheism:

“In no way does it logically follow that something was not designed and built from the mere fact alone that that something could be understood scientifically. The law of gravity and Newton’s laws of motion are to God and the universe what binary strings and electronics are to Alan Turing and the computer processor. Function and agency account for two entirely different explanations as to how and why something exists. Aristotle explained this over two thousand years ago… Aristotle stated that everything in the universe could be understood in terms of:

A formal cause, a material cause, an efficient cause and a final cause. Science accounts for only two of those causes; the formal and the material. If we were to apply Aristotle’s theory to the Harrier jump jet…:

-The Harrier’s material causes are the components from which it was constructed.

-Its formal causes are the laws of mechanics, aerodynamics and internal combustion.

-Its efficient causes are Ralph Hooper, Sir Sydney Camm and Sir Stanley Hooker [thedesigners of the jet].

-Its final cause is to be flown in dogfights.

Only the first of those categories of causes were open to the scientists in the story. Only the first two of those categories are open to science in the study of the universe.”

Atheism is a belief system which requires one to frequently ignore questions of efficient and final causation. As a further example of the category confusion which permeates atheist thought, atheists frequently cite natural laws as an alternative to God for explaining natural phenomena. But citing natural laws leaves us with the question of who or what enforces natural laws. In the theistic model, it is immediately obvious why matter follows natural laws: The same mind that creates matter (God’s mind) also directs it. As Robert Boyle, the founder of modern chemistry, put it:

“The nature of this or that body is but the law of God prescribed to it [and] to speak properly, a law [is] but a notional rule of acting according to the declared will of a superior.” [italics added]

Or, as James Joule, the propounder of the first law of thermodynamics, for whom the thermal unit of the “Joule” was named, put it:

“It is evident that an acquaintance with natural laws means no less than an acquaintance with the mind of God therein expressed.”

Or, as the knighted mathematician, physicist and astronomer Sir James Jeans put it in his book The Mysterious Universe:

“There is a wide measure of agreement which, on the physical side of science approaches almost unanimity, that the stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine. Mind no longer appears as an accidental intruder into the realm of matter. We are beginning to suspect that we ought rather to hail mind as the creator and governor of the realm of matter.” (italics added)

Atheism, however, is stuck with an “it just does” answer to the question of why matter so consistently follows natural laws such as the laws of physics and thermodynamics. But, it just does is not an explanation. Rather, it is an avoidance of a question which atheism can never coherently answer.

—————-

The above is Secular Myth #1 from my ebook Seven Secular Myths which is free to weekly newsletter subscribers. Please enter your email below to subscribe and instantly receive the free ebook.  


37 comments


  1. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
    0
    Livvy Relova says:

    I really admire your impeccable logic. You present ideas in a very straightforward and methodical way that is impossible to contradict. I almost feel sorry for the atheists who post comments thinking they stand a chance only to have their arguments decimated.

    Thank you so much. You’ve been a great help to me. God bless you and may you have more success.


    1. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
      0
      Scott Youngren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

      Thank you so much Livvy!! I really love hearing from folks like yourself who have benefitted from my website! Keep in touch!

      God Bless you as well.

      Scott


  2. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
    0
    SKL YJD says:

    Sorry if this comes through twice but was not sure if it arrived.

    OK Scott, I understand your statement
    “I am denying the random mutation evolutionary hypothesis of Darwinism,”
    And this statement that can only be your assumption.
    “Atheists can only assume that genes mutate randomly…because their worldview demands it.”
    Many religious people have no problem with any part of evolution and not all atheists are believers of evolution.
    I have cut and pasted the information below from: http://gbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/5/1/77.full Arnaud Le Rouzic, Thibaut Payen, and Aurélie Hua-Van
    The impact of transposable elements (TEs) on genome structure, plasticity, and evolution is still not well understood.
    They are virtually universal, and they probably have existed since the origin of life; describing the dynamical properties of TEs thus appears as a necessary step toward a better understanding of genome evolution (Lynch 2007).
    The recent improvement in sequencing technology, as well as the availability of the corresponding data in public databases, makes it possible to anticipate significant progress on these issues. Yet, an important factor limiting the exploration of genome evolution remains the availability of efficient statistical and analytical tools able to extract meaningful and synthetic information from such a large amount of data.
    Seems to me that God has not yet got a role to play according to these guys yet.
    Barbara McClintock you mention was a brilliant scientist and discovered mobile elements in the 1940,s now known as transposons, however this contrasts regarding Dr.Amit Goswami’s theories pasted from one of many sites with the same headlines. You seem to have picked a nut-case.
    http://waterfordwhispersnews.com/2015/02/10/we-honestly-have-no-fucking-idea-what-were-doing-admits-leading-quantum-physicist/
    “THEORETICAL Quantum Physicist Dr. Amit Goswami admitted today that he, and his peers, have absolutely ‘no fucking idea’ what they’re doing, and claims they were no nearer than prehistoric man to figuring out the Universe.”
    “Over the years there have been just a handful of us pretending to know something about the universe that no one else does,” he went on. “But this is all lies to feed the charade. I’ve had some great times during the years; travelling the world, and giving talks on our pretend finds”.
    “I’m coming near the end of my days now and I just want to get this off my chest,” he said. “I just hope the world can forgive us”.
    And of course we have Perry Marshall who is an author, speaker, engineer and world-renowned business consultant in Chicago. With a decade of research, he brings a fresh perspective to the 150-year old evolution debate. But you will note he is not a scientist but a businessman.
    Right the facts surrounding this issue and any others are as I have always said, the evidence will be found and scientists will adjust their theories and modify their thinking when the time comes. As far as proving a God exists, good luck with that.
    If all the gods and deities were not made up by man for thousands of years we would not have atheists. Do not make the mistake of assuming all atheists are automatically evolutionists or anything else. Atheists are just not believers in imaginary deities whatever they are called. You may go on and call atheism a belief but in reality it is simply not acknowledging that Micky Mouse is real or that Thor the God of war is not real. Atheists may go further and actively promote the non-belief of gods and become anti- theists.


    1. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
      0
      Scott Youngren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

      SKL YJD,

      You write: “Seems to me that God has not yet got a role to play according to these guys yet.”

      This is the same old category error that absolutely permeates atheist thought. The following two statements commit the same category error, because they confuse different levels of causation:

      “Life was not created by God, but rather, by natural processes.”

      “Automobiles are not created by people, but rather, by manufacturing processes.”

      As Bo Jinn puts it, “In no way does it logically follow that something was not designed and built from the mere fact alone that that something could be understood scientifically. The law of gravity and Newton’s laws of motion are to God and the universe what binary strings and electronics are to Alan Turing and the computer processor.”

      I asked you to answer the following question in my last comment. But, as I predicted, you ignored it. I am just going to bring this up again until you answer:

      Why does matter so consistently follow natural laws (or regularities, or what ever term you prefer) such as the laws of physics and thermodynamics?

      Atheism is stuck with an “it just does” explanation, which amounts to just-so storytelling. Citing Mickey Mouse as an explanation for why matter follows laws actually has much more explanatory power than the atheist explanation (which is really an avoidance of explanation). This is because, even though Mickey Mouse is an imaginary cause, at least he is a cause. Citing an imaginary cause such as Mickey Mouse is far less superstitious than citing no cause whatsoever. So your “Mickey Mouse” rhetoric actually helps to illuminate the emptiness of your atheist position.

      You attack Amit Goswami and Perry Marshall, but this is an open-and-shut example of the logical fallacy known as ad hominem (Latin for “against the man”). A copy and paste of a post about Ad Hominem:

      An Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument. Typically, this fallacy involves two steps. First, an attack against the character of person making the claim, her circumstances, or her actions is made (or the character, circumstances, or actions of the person reporting the claim). Second, this attack is taken to be evidence against the claim or argument the person in question is making (or presenting). This type of “argument” has the following form:

      Person A makes claim X.
      Person B makes an attack on person A.
      Therefore A’s claim is false.
      The reason why an Ad Hominem (of any kind) is a fallacy is that the character, circumstances, or actions of a person do not (in most cases) have a bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim being made (or the quality of the argument being made).

      Example of Ad Hominem

      Bill: “I believe that abortion is morally wrong.”
      Dave: “Of course you would say that, you’re a priest.”
      Bill: “What about the arguments I gave to support my position?”
      Dave: “Those don’t count. Like I said, you’re a priest, so you have to say that abortion is wrong. Further, you are just a lackey to the Pope, so I can’t believe what you say.”

      Please note that Goswami’s and Marshall’s arguments are the same regardless of who presents them. In other words, an argument is an argument regardless of whether it is presented by Albert Einstein or Bozo the Clown. Attacking the person making the argument is an attempt to avoid that argument, and simultaneously distract attention from the fact that you have avoided the argument.

      Do you wish to deny, for example, what Goswami points out about the tautological and self-defeating nature of Darwinism? No intelligent reader of these comments is going to be fooled by your attempt to distract attention from your failure to rebut Goswami’s points by making a personal attack against Goswami. Please furnish your logically constructed, fact based rebuttal to Goswami’s following points regarding this issue:

      “The Darwinian theory of evolution is based on natural selection: Nature selects those organisms that are fittest to survive. In the materialist view, an organism is just a bundle of molecules that are completely specified by their physical and chemical properties. Nowhere among these properties will you find a property called survivability. No piece of inanimate matter has ever attempted to survive or in any way tried to maintain its integrity under any circumstances. But living bodies do exhibit a property called survivability. Now the paradox. A Darwinist would say that the survivability of the living form comes from evolutionary adaptation via natural selection. But natural selection itself depends on survival of the fittest. See the circularity of the argument? Survival depends on evolution, but evolution depends on survival!”


      1. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
        0
        SKL YJD says:

        Scott, this is so predictable “Automobiles are not created by people, but rather, by manufacturing processes.”

        This Bo Jinn you quote obviously just quotes God as a creator just as you believe and has come up with nothing, so what’s new from religious evidence of a god…nothing, and when has something happened to indicate God is in command? Oh yes a woman claimed she could see God on the toilet door, and a bunch of people claimed they were given command of a tornado in Mississippi by God so they could direct it away from their area, but unfortunately it killed many other Christians.

        From Wikipedia, “The laws of science or scientific laws are statements that describe or predict a range of phenomena behave as they appear to in nature. The term “law” has diverse usage in many cases: approximate, accurate, broad or narrow theories, in all natural scientific disciplines (physics, chemistry, biology, geology, astronomy etc.). An analogous term for a scientific law is a principle.”

        Of course to ask the question about why physics and thermodynamics follow natural laws is an age old question that we do not know just like how and why did the universe begin. “We do not know” is actually a real fact and not a superstition as you seem to imply.

        I can understand why you ask the question nobody knows because It is a natural human condition from when man first walked the earth to either offer the answer as a creation of a god or invent a god to explain what they could not understand. This is the same sort of situation when weather, natural disasters, eclipses of the sun, shooting stars and many other phenomena was unexplainable by a simple people who were frightened and superstitious.

        Is it not about time that you gave the science some credit to the point we are at now and put a stop to your own superstitions? It is well understood that for centuries superstition has been a natural human trait embedded in human history in an attempt to control their future including the comfort of life after death through the power of a deity, therefore is it not time to start looking outside the box you live in?

        I think your attitude of such a strong dislike against atheism is proving how strongly superstition has manifest itself within human society and Micky Mouse has nothing to do with scientists speculating or reality of life.

        Amit Goswami is not even taken seriously by his own colleagues and if you take the time to check it out there is no other conclusion. Perry Marshall is simply not a scientist and I only pointed out he is a business man. Therefore from what you say, am I to understand you take the arguments you present for the existence of God from people in the Bozo the clown category?


        1. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
          0
          Scott Youngren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

          SKL YJD,

          You say that my citation of Bo Jinn is predictable. Of what relevance would this be if it were true?

          You seem to confuse characterizing an argument, on one hand, with actually providing a logical rebuttal to an argument, on the other hand.

          An excerpt from my essay titled Why Trying to Explain Away God With Science is an ERROR:

          …bold declarations from atheists that “science explains things without the need for God” amount to a category error. Bo Jinn writes in Illogical Atheism:

          “In no way does it logically follow that something was not designed and built from the mere fact alone that that something could be understood scientifically. The law of gravity and Newton’s Laws of motion are to God and the universe what binary strings and electronics are to Alan Turing and the computer processor. Function and agency account for two entirely different explanations as to how and why something exists. Aristotle explained this over two thousand years ago… Aristotle stated that everything in the universe could be understood in terms of:

          A formal cause, a material cause, an efficient cause, and a final cause.

          Science accounts for only two of those causes; the formal and the material. If we were to apply Aristotle’s theory to the Harrier jump jet in the allegory above:

          -The Harrier’s material causes are the components from which it was constructed.

          -Its formal causes are the laws of mechanics, aerodynamics and internal combustion.

          -Its efficient causes are Ralph Hooper, Sir Sydney Camm and Sir Stanley Hooker [the designers of the jet].

          -Its final cause is to be flown in dogfights.

          Only the first of those categories of causes were open to the scientists in the story. Only the first two of those categories are open to science in the study of the universe.”

          Science, in short, does not even address efficient and final causes in regards to such issues as the origin of the universe or the origin of life.

          Therefore, a statement such as, “Living things were not caused by God, but rather, by a process of evolution,” is every bit as much of a category error as the statement, “Aircraft are not caused by human agency, but rather, by a manufacturing process.”

          God and human agency are proposed efficient causes. Evolution and manufacturing processes are proposed formal causes. Atheist reasoning commits a category error when it confuses different levels of causation. Further, atheist reasoning suffers an explanatory failure when it disregards the need for explaining all levels of causation.

          SKL YJD, you can continue to equate belief in God with superstition, but as long as you do so while simultaneously ignoring the questions of final and efficient causation, you are just spinning your wheels. More to the point, you are committing the logical fallacy of assuming what you intend to prove.

          I asked you why it is that material things follow natural laws such as the laws of physics and thermodynamics. Your response was:

          Of course to ask the question about why physics and thermodynamics follow natural laws is an age old question that we do not know just like how and why did the universe begin. “We do not know” is actually a real fact and not a superstition as you seem to imply.

          The problem with answering that “we do not know,” is that we DO know why material things follow natural laws such as the laws of physics and thermodynamics.

          As I demonstrate in my essay titled God Is Real…Why Modern Physics Has Discredited Atheism, modern physics has demonstrated that the material world is a construct of consciousness (read: God). As demonstrated by the famous double-slit experiment (which I provide a link to in the above mentioned essay), particles only take on material form after an observation is made by a conscious observer. Prior to observation, particles only exist as an immaterial “probability wave” (or possibility wave). It is necessary for a conscious observer to make an observation, thereby “collapsing the wave function.”

          This is why, for example, the Nobel Prize winning physicist Max Planck, who founded quantum physics said:

          “I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”

          and the great physicist Sir Arthur Eddington said…

          “The idea of a universal mind or Logos would be, I think, a fairly plausible inference from the present state of scientific theory.” [“Logos” is defined as “the word of God, or principle of divine reason and creative order.”]

          and the knighted mathematician, physicist and astronomer Sir James Jeans wrote (in his book The Mysterious Universe)…

          “There is a wide measure of agreement which, on the physical side of science approaches almost unanimity, that the stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine. Mind no longer appears as an accidental intruder into the realm of matter. We are beginning to suspect that we ought rather to hail mind as the creator and governor of the realm of matter.” (italics added)

          SKL YJD, go ahead and continue trying to discredit Amit Goswami and Perry Marshall. You are just making it more and more apparent to intelligent viewers of these comments that you are committing the logical fallacy of Ad Homimem.

          Even if Goswami and Marshall were the two the most stupid people who ever lived, you would still be faced with responding to their arguments. Again, attacking the people making the arguments is a very transparent way of avoiding the arguments. Absolutely no intelligent third-party reader of these comments is going to be fooled by your attempt to distract attention from your failure to respond to the arguments by making attacks on the people presenting the arguments.

          For example, are you going to deny Goswami’s points about how no inanimate material thing has ever tried to survive? Part of that citation again:

          “In the materialist view, an organism is just a bundle of molecules that are completely specified by their physical and chemical properties. Nowhere among these properties will you find a property called survivability. No piece of inanimate matter has ever attempted to survive or in any way tried to maintain its integrity under any circumstances. But living bodies do exhibit a property called survivability.”

          Do inanimate objects such as rocks and dirt try to survive? YES OR NO? ANSWER THE QUESTION OR ADMIT THAT YOU CANNOT COHERENTLY ANSWER FROM THE FRAMEWORK OF YOUR ATHEIST WORLDVIEW!!!

          Please note that trying to distract attention from your failure to respond by attacking Goswami will not fool any intelligent third-party viewer of this discussion.


          1. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
            0
            SKL YJD says:

            Scott the statements you make regarding the justifications you use to suggest a creator are made like you know exactly how it all happened and everything about our existence in this universe. Apart from sounding absurd and intolerant you have absolutely not a single shred of evidence to back up these religious claims.

            This is an argument from ignorance or anecdotal evidence at best that you and your Christian brethren use all the time and based on this I cannot believe how you claim to know everything.

            You do not understand, here are some simple facts. The first one is NOBODY knows, even if you think your god has told you these things through an ancient book or you believe he has spoken to you.

            The second fact is that you quote religious scientists born in the 1800’s such as Max Planck who was religious but did not believe in a Christian God, Sir Arthur Eddington was inspired by his Quaker religious beliefs, Sir James Hopwood Jeans was brought up in a strict, very religious Victorian home and was less religious than most but did quote the bible so they all believed in some form of religious creation.

            The third fact is all religions (especially the Islamic religions who are stuck in the past) have struggled to evolve with science and have had to be dragged screaming into the modern world. Just like the reluctance of the religious leaders to believe early thinkers and scientists that include Michael Servetus 1511 – 1553 who was pronounced a heretic by Protestant and Catholic Churches and he was burned at the stake. Hypatia of Alexandria, 370 – 415, daughter of the philosopher Theon, made such attainments in literature and science as to far surpass all the philosophers of her own time and she was killed by a Christian mob. Giordano Bruno 1548 – 1600 supported the Copernican view that the earth orbits the sun, and that the earth is not the centre of the universe. The Pope decided that Bruno was a heretic and he was burned at the stake.

            Do you see how science has systematically removed Christian superstitions and over the last hundred and fifty years removed a resolute Christian belief of a young earth and the Adam and Eve myth from most denominations because the scientific evidence has been overwhelming, and guess what? More of the same is inevitable.

            “Extinguished theologians lie about the cradle of every science as the strangled snakes beside that of Hercules; and history records that whenever science and orthodoxy have been fairly opposed, the latter has been forced to retire from the lists, bleeding and crushed if not annihilated; scotched, if not slain.”

            ― Thomas Henry Huxley, Lay Sermons, Addresses, and Reviews

            In a measure of understanding our universe and many things within our world such as how our brain works we are in the infancy, however scientists will eventually discover where the physical and natural laws came from, life on other planets and the origins of life on earth.

            My answer- Inanimate objects do not have a survival function that much is obvious. You appear to know what my atheist world view is so you must also know my world view can be adapted and changed to suit reality. For example, if science was to discover unquestionable evidence intelligent aliens had visited earth my world view can adapt and change to suit my own understanding of reality and logic unlike your own rigid faithful based beliefs.


            1. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
              0
              Scott Youngren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

              SKL YJD,

              You write, “Apart from sounding absurd and intolerant you have absolutely not a single shred of evidence to back up these religious claims.” Here, you have given us a textbook example of trying to use a forceful assertion to compensate for a deficient argument. I mentioned the evidence from modern physics, which demonstrates that the material world is a construct of consciousness (please view that video of the double slit experiment from my essay titled God Is Real…Why Modern Physics Has Discredited Atheism).

              But instead of responding to this evidence, you try to bluster your way out of it by making a forceful assertion (“not a single shred of evidence”). Do you really think that you are fooling any intelligent third-party viewers of this discussion by ignoring the evidence I present and then forcefully asserting that I don’t have any evidence?!

              Next, you write: “The second fact is that you quote religious scientists born in the 1800’s such as Max Planck who was religious but did not believe in a Christian God, Sir Arthur Eddington was inspired by his Quaker religious beliefs, Sir James Hopwood Jeans was brought up in a strict, very religious Victorian home and was less religious than most but did quote the bible so they all believed in some form of religious creation.”

              Here, you commit what is known as the Genetic Fallacy. An excerpt from the Wikipedia post for Genetic Fallacy:

              The genetic fallacy (also known as the fallacy of origins or fallacy of virtue[1]) is a fallacy of irrelevance where a conclusion is suggested based solely on someone’s or something’s history, origin, or source rather than its current meaning or context. This overlooks any difference to be found in the present situation, typically transferring the positive or negative esteem from the earlier context.

              “Chronological snobbery” is a version of the genetic fallacy which works the same way in reverse, where the thing in question (usually an idea) is very old, so it must be bad or inferior. It does not follow logically from the fact that an idea is very old that it must be bad, inferior or false.

              There is nothing in the Christian Bible which contradicts the Copernican view. I challenge you to prove otherwise. Therefore, your mentioning of Bruno is an irrelevant historical factoid.

              Very few Christians believe in a young earth and the Bible uses a variety of literary genres, some of which are literal, and some of which are allegorical. The Bible was never meant to teach science. Regarding Adam and Eve, one can either accept the story as allegorical, or accept interpretations such as those by Gerald Schroeder, who has the unique qualifications of being both a biblical scholar and a physicist (formerly a professor of physics at MIT). Click here to read Schroeder’s post.

              It is the materialist worldview (which atheism is grounded in) which has been proven wrong by modern science, as I demonstrate in my post titled God Is Real…Why Modern Physics Has Discredited Atheism. Please furnish your fact based, logically constructed rebuttal to this essay.

              Lastly, you write: “My answer- Inanimate objects do not have a survival function that much is obvious. You appear to know what my atheist world view is so you must also know my world view can be adapted and changed to suit reality.

              SKL YJD, you obviously have a FAITH that everything can be explained in terms of inanimate matter. If your view is not a FAITH, then please cite the science which you use to justify your belief that evolution occurs as a result of unintelligent means. Your view that everything will eventually be explained in terms of inanimate matter was referred to as “promissory materialism” by the eminent philosopher of science Karl Popper.


              1. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
                0
                SKL YJD says:

                Scott I think you are so tied up in trying to tie me up by claiming my forceful assertions, fallacies, examples of Ad Hominem, “Chronological snobbery” and firing out quotes from every Tom, Dick and Harry etc. That you are losing your way.

                I understand that scientists are human and have world views along with professional views, however unless their views are considered the world standard and accepted by the main stream world scientists they just remain as just that, views or opinions, not solid evidence of anything.

                I have come across this address that is a 15-minute radio show that not just reinforces my confidence in scientific people and the procedures they use but indicates even more to me that God is not an answer for anything we do not understand and putting him as the ultimate creator does not solve anything.

                http://www.cbc.ca/radio/quirks/quirks-quarks-for-nov-21-2015-1.3328206/spooky-action-at-a-distance-1.3328387

                The problem you have is that you equate everything to the Bible. The fact that religious people of those days were so sure the world was the central point of the universe because they claimed the bible indicates that the earth is the centre of the universe. The Catholic Church persecuted scientists who formed other opinions and was deemed as heretical to think otherwise. Nicholas Copernicus and Galileo Galilei were two scientists who printed books that later became banned.

                Do not believe this if you do not want to and I am not about to find biblical passages or to quote historians to back this up. I am also not going to troll through information as rebuttal to your essay that is based on opinions from mostly religious scientists.

                Gerald Schroeder also has his views of religion and scientific discoveries and has mixed them together quite well. Of course there are hundreds if not thousands of variations such as this, so it is very interesting but highly unlikely.

                You write that “SKL YJD, you obviously have a FAITH that everything can be explained in terms of inanimate matter. If your view is not a FAITH, then please cite the science which you use to justify your belief that evolution occurs as a result of unintelligent means.”

                Call my atheist views “faith” or whatever you like but my faith is nowhere anything like your faith. I have a quiet confidence but do not know it is a fact that scientists will prevail in their work to find the evidence of why we exist, the secrets of our universe and the workings of our brain etc.

                I do not have faith such as yours that is obeyed without question and considered to be the absolute divine truth above all evidence to the contrary offered by lying, non-religious soul destroying scientists nor do I have a pretend god to ask for confirmation of his existence and to keep me in line.


                1. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
                  0
                  Scott Youngren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

                  SKL YJD,

                  Christianity was responsible for the rise of modern science. It is no coincidence that science arose in Christian Europe, after failing to take root in a multitude of other societies. Historians have not failed to notice this.

                  Ronald Numbers writes:

                  Generations of historians and sociologists have discovered many ways in which Christians, Christian beliefs, and Christian institutions played crucial roles in fashioning the tenets, methods, and institutions of what in time became modern science. They found that some forms of Christianity provided the motivation to study nature systematically; sociologist Robert Merton, for example, argued seventy years ago that Puritan belief and practice spurred seventeenth-century century Englishmen to embrace science. Scholars still debate what Merton got right and what he got wrong, and in the intervening years they have drawn a far more detailed portrait of the varied nature of the religious impetus to study nature.

                  Although they disagree about nuances, today almost all historians agree that Christianity (Catholicism as well as Protestantism) moved many early-modern intellectuals to study nature systematically. Historians have also found that notions borrowed from Christian belief found their ways into scientific discourse, with glorious results; the very notion that nature is lawful, some scholars argue, was borrowed from Christian theology.’

                  “Faith in the possibility of science, generated antecedently to the development of modern scientific theory, is an unconscious derivative from medieval theology.”

                  -Alfred North Whitehead, Science and the Modern World (1925)

                  “[T]he fundamental paradigm of science: its invariable stillbirths in all ancient cultures and its only viable birth in a Europe which Christian faith in the Creator had helped to form.”

                  -Stanley L. Jaki, The Road of Science and the Ways to God (1978)

                  “[T]heological assumptions unique to Christianity explain why science was born only in Christian Europe. Contrary to the received wisdom, religion and science not only were compatible; they were inseparable … Christian theology was essential for the rise of science.”

                  -Rodney Stark, For the Glory of God (2003)

                  The claim that the church persecuted Galileo is a persistent atheist myth which has no basis in reality. Tom Gilson describes what REALLY happened between Galileo and the church in True Reason:

                  Scientists before Copernicus and Galileo did not think of the center of the universe as the place of honor and privilege. Aristotle viewed the earth as a “cosmic sump” where air, water, fire, and matter mixed to cause decay and death. In the Divine Comedy, Dante placed Satan’s throne at the center of Earth. Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and other scientists saw the heliocentric model of the universe as exalting the status of Earth rather than denigrating it.

                  Galileo’s problem was not simply that he challenged the authority of the Church. The issue was far more complex. Galileo also upset secular professors whose careers were dedicated to the older cosmology. Prior to the 16th century, most educated people (regardless of religious persuasion) accepted the primary cosmological model of the ancient Greeks, who believed Earth sat stationary while the sun revolved around it. When Galileo offered scientific evidence against this model, he “rattled the cages” of both the Church and academia.

                  Galileo made three costly mistakes in his diplomacy (or lack thereof) that led to his reproof. First, he broke his promise not to teach that Copernicanism was true. Given that the evidence for heliocentrism was inconclusive at the time, Galileo agreed not to teach its truth. But he went back on his word with the release of Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems.

                  Second, Galileo openly mocked the pope in this same book through a fictitious dialogue between two people— himself and the pope. This was especially odd since Pope Urban VIII was both a friend and supporter. Galileo named the pope Simplicio, which means “simpleton” or “buffoon.” Galileo’s character was articulate and elegant as he responded to the foolish and simplistic remarks of Simplicio. Needless to say, the pope was not amused.

                  Third, Galileo spoke authoritatively on the meaning of Scripture, which was clearly outside his area of expertise. He spoke with authority on issues that he was simply not qualified to address. Thus, his opponents criticized him not only on scientific grounds, but also because of his theological views and the arrogance with which he presented them.

                  Galileo was neither executed nor persecuted by the Church for his diplomatic blunders. After his trial before the Inquisition, he was placed under the care of the archbishop of Siena, who housed him in his beautiful palace for five months. Galileo was then released to his home in Florence where he received a Church pension for the rest of his life. He was able to continue his scientific research in areas unrelated to heliocentrism.

                  What can we conclude about the Galileo incident? The popular claim that the Church persecuted Galileo for advancing science is a caricature. As Dinesh D’Souza points out in What’s So Great About Christianity, the Galileo episode is a blip on the radar of an otherwise harmonious relationship between scientists and the Church. “Indeed,” says D’Souza, “there is no other example in history of the Catholic Church condemning a scientific theory.” This myth persists because it’s consistently presented as fact in textbooks, history programs, and, most recently, in the writings of the New Atheists. It’s time to put it to rest.

                  SKL YJD,

                  You say that you have a “quiet confidence that scientists will prevail in their work to find the evidence of why we exist, the secrets of our universe and the workings of our brain etc.”

                  “Quiet confidence” sounds an awful lot like faith to me. And, here, again, you confuse scientific description, on one hand, with explanation, on the other hand. This is the same old category error which so thoroughly permeates atheist thought. An excerpt from my essay titled Why Trying to Explain Away God With Science is an ERROR:

                  …bold declarations from atheists that “science explains things without the need for God” amount to a category error. Bo Jinn writes in Illogical Atheism:

                  “In no way does it logically follow that something was not designed and built from the mere fact alone that that something could be understood scientifically. The law of gravity and Newton’s Laws of motion are to God and the universe what binary strings and electronics are to Alan Turing and the computer processor. Function and agency account for two entirely different explanations as to how and why something exists. Aristotle explained this over two thousand years ago… Aristotle stated that everything in the universe could be understood in terms of:

                  A formal cause, a material cause, an efficient cause, and a final cause.

                  Science accounts for only two of those causes; the formal and the material. If we were to apply Aristotle’s theory to the Harrier jump jet in the allegory above:

                  -The Harrier’s material causes are the components from which it was constructed.

                  -Its formal causes are the laws of mechanics, aerodynamics and internal combustion.

                  -Its efficient causes are Ralph Hooper, Sir Sydney Camm and Sir Stanley Hooker [the designers of the jet].

                  -Its final cause is to be flown in dogfights.

                  Only the first of those categories of causes were open to the scientists in the story. Only the first two of those categories are open to science in the study of the universe.”

                  Science, in short, does not even address efficient and final causes in regards to such issues as the origin of the universe or the origin of life.

                  Therefore, a statement such as, “Living things were not caused by God, but rather, by a process of evolution,” is every bit as much of a category error as the statement, “Aircraft are not caused by human agency, but rather, by a manufacturing process.”

                  God and human agency are proposed efficient causes. Evolution and manufacturing processes are proposed formal causes. Atheist reasoning commits a category error when it confuses different levels of causation. Further, atheist reasoning suffers an explanatory failure when it disregards the need for explaining all levels of causation.


                  1. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
                    0
                    SKL YJD says:

                    Scott you boldly state “Christianity was responsible for the rise of modern science.”

                    Don’t know where you get that exaggerated statement from? I agree that the first “natural philosophers” or “men of science” in astronomy had its origins in the religious, mythological, cosmological, calendrical, and astrological beliefs, however this was in the time of very few, if any non-believers and this has little to do with modern science as we know it today.

                    Quote whoever you like but this sums it up from Wikipedia. “The relationship between religion and science has been a subject of study since classical antiquity, addressed by philosophers, theologians, scientists, and others. Perspectives from different geographical regions, cultures and historical epochs are diverse, with some characterizing the relationship as one of conflict, others describing it as one of harmony, and others proposing little interaction.”

                    Wikipedia also says “The Scientific Revolution (1550-1700) established science as a source for the growth of knowledge and it was in the 19th century that the concept of “science” received its modern shape with new titles emerging such as “biology” and “biologist”, “physics” and “physicist” among other technical fields and titles;”Religious opposition to science is now primarily been against biological evolution because it threatens certain religious doctrine, however it is not exactly clear what aspects of evolution and to which level religion believes or disbelieves.

                    Do you think the Catholic Church is wrong about Galileo? Regardless, they agree Galileo was tried by the Inquisition, condemned as a heretic, his books were burnt, and he spent the rest of his 8 years of life in house arrest, after all they should know as they were the perpetrators of these events. By the end of his trial, Galileo was forced to recant his own scientific findings as “abjured, cursed and detested,” a renunciation that caused him great personal anguish but which saved him from being burned at the stake. If this had not been an accepted account of what happened by the Catholic Church, why would the former pope John Paul II bother to issue a formal apology for the church’s treatment of Galileo in 1992?

                    In 1616, the Copernican view was declared heretical because it refuted a strict biblical interpretation of the Creation that “God fixed the Earth upon its foundation, not to be moved forever.”

                    Your statement to me “Science, in short, does not even address efficient and final causes in regards to such issues as the origin of the universe or the origin of life.” This is in a similar vein as the one above. As you can see not much has changed in religious attitudes.

                    Such statements explain that you believe so strongly that God is the only answer for everything, and nothing else regardless of evidence provided could ever provide any answers. What would you say if the planet was seeded with life from somewhere else like another planet such as from a meteorite that crashed into the earth? God sent the meteorite to earth, right?

                    You state “Quiet confidence” sounds an awful lot like faith to me. Don’t make me laugh, not your one-eyed brand of faith, we have an open mind to reality.

                    Religious people commit the category error of substituting current knowledge with faith in gods for efficient causes. Atheists only believe the empirical evidence and logical explanations presented to them and theists will only faithfully believe what their deity wants them to believe.


                    1. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
                      0
                      Scott Youngren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

                      SKL YJD,

                      You write, “Atheists only believe the empirical evidence and logical explanations presented to them and theists will only faithfully believe what their deity wants them to believe.”

                      But you have failed to respond to the empirical evidence and logical explanations for the existence of God which I have furnished. Let’s start with just one logical argument for God. DNA, the language of life, is a language in the most literal sense. Languages are ALWAYS the product of a conscious and intelligent mind…no exceptions.

                      Please present your logically constructed, empirically based rebuttal to my essays which discusses this topic, titled There’s Nothing Random About Evolution and How Atheism Relies on Special Pleading

                      At some point in time, SKL YJD, you are going to have to produce a logically constructed, empirically based argument for atheism. I don’t think you are going to fool anyone by merely asserting that atheism is logically and empirically based without actually providing logic and empirical support for atheism.

                      For example, if atheism is true, then life must have originated from a non-intelligent source. Please provide your rationally constructed, empirically based argument for how life originated from a non-intelligent source. I have provided my logically constructed, empirically based argument for how life originated from an INTELLIGENT source in the essays I link to above.

                      Scott


                    2. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
                      0
                      SKL YJD says:

                      Scott, I must ask what “empirical evidence and logical explanations for the existence of God which I have furnished.”

                      Just because science cannot answer every question you ask immediately, it does not mean that they eventually won’t, and it definitely does not identify any such evidence to prove any god exists. The way you present this, indicates absolutely blind faith or you think all atheists are utterly stupid.

                      Languages and the brain are far from being understood, and may never be completely understood in the next 100 years. You may be more gullible than I thought if you believe this and the many other discrepancies in science you are claiming are the final outcome and dead end of scientific research and the only way to go is just give up and use God as an explanation, that is just way to easy.

                      Check out these and the many other very interesting sites on brains and while you are about it find out why you lack the rationality of the human thirst for research into life and universe.

                      http://www2.leeward.hawaii.edu/hurley/Ling102web/mod5_Llearning/5mod5.1_neuro.htm
                      This module introduces you to some of the regions and properties of the human brain that are thought to be essential to understanding and using language.

                      http://io9.gizmodo.com/8-things-we-simply-dont-understand-about-the-human-brai-949442979
                      Despite all the recent advances in the cognitive and neurosciences, there’s still much about the human brain that we do not know.

                      https://www.newscientist.com/blogs/culturelab/2012/11/will-we-ever-understand-how-our-brains-work.html
                      WHEN it comes to the human brain, many scientists believe that we are incapable of understanding how it works because we lack the tools and intelligence to measure its mind-blowing complexity. Others are starting to question that notion, and to subtly redefine the task.


                    3. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
                      0
                      Scott Youngren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

                      SKL YJD,

                      You write, “Just because science cannot answer every question you ask immediately, it does not mean that they eventually won’t, and it definitely does not identify any such evidence to prove any god exists.”

                      But, yet again, you are arguing for atheism from what science does NOT know. I am arguing for God based upon what science DOES know. You are therefore committing the logical fallacy of Appeal to Ignorance.

                      You have linked to a few articles about what science does not know. How does citing what science does not know constitute an argument for atheism? You seem to be arguing that because science still has much to learn, atheism must be true. Is this what you are arguing? I hope not!

                      Again, science DOES know that DNA is a language…in the most literal sense. And language is ALWAYS the product of a conscious and intelligent mind…absolutely no exceptions. Therefore, DNA is the product of a conscious and intelligent mind. Information scientist Henry Quastler puts it succinctly: “The creation of new information is habitually associated with conscious activity.”

                      Please provide your empirically based, logically constructed rebuttal to this argument.

                      The physicist Paul Davies points out that the phenomenon of the genetic code mediating information between the two languages of life (proteins and nucleic acids) provides a mystery: How can mindless processes set up codes and languages?

                      In his book Evolution 2.0, Perry Marshall explains the scientific reasons why DNA is a language in the most literal sense. This is not some “loosey-goosey analogy,” as he puts it:

                      Rutgers University professor Sungchul Ji’s excellent paper “The Linguistics of DNA: Words, Sentences, Grammar, Phonetics, and Semantics” starts off,

                      “Biologic systems and processes cannot be fully accounted for in terms of the principles and laws of physics and chemistry alone, but they require in addition the principles of semiotics— the science of symbols and signs, including linguistics.”

                      Ji identifies 13 characteristics of human language. DNA shares 10 of them. Cells edit DNA. They also communicate with each other and literally speak a language he called “cellese,” described as “a self-organizing system of molecules, some of which encode, act as signs for, or trigger, gene-directed cell processes.”

                      This comparison between cell language and human language is not a loosey-goosey analogy; it’s formal and literal. Human language and cell language both employ multilayered symbols. Dr. Ji explains this similarity in his paper: “Bacterial chemical conversations also include assignment of contextual meaning to words and sentences (semantic) and conduction of dialogue (pragmatic)— the fundamental aspects of linguistic communication.” This is true of genetic material. Signals between cells do this as well.

                      Atheism relies on mindless chemical and physical processes to explain life. But the insurmountable problem for atheism is that such mindless processes can never account for the fact that DNA is a language which utilizes the arrangement of symbols…just like a human language. Much as the chemistry of the ink and paper that constitute a newspaper cannot explain the arrangement of the letters in the words of a newspaper, the chemistry of a DNA molecule cannot explain the arrangement of letters in a DNA molecule. Michael Polanyi, a former Chairman of Physical Chemistry at the University of Manchester (UK), who was famous for his important theoretical contributions to physical chemistry, emphasizes this point:

                      “As the arrangement of a printed page is extraneous to the chemistry of the printed page, so is the base sequence in a DNA molecule extraneous to the chemical forces at work in the DNA molecule. It is this physical indeterminacy of the sequence that produces the improbability of occurrence of any particular sequence and thereby enables it to have meaning–a meaning that has a mathematically determinate information content.”
                      It would be just as absurd to assert that mindless chemical or physical processes could write a newspaper article as it would be to assert that such processes could produce a DNA sequence.

                      Again, the arrangement of symbols (such as letters) according to a language is not something that can be accomplished, even in principle, by unintelligent chemical or physical processes. Werner Gitt is a former Director and Professor at the German Federal Institute of Physics and Technology (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Braunschweig) and former head of the Department of Information Technology. In his book Without Excuse, he discusses the substitutive function of what he terms “Universal Information “(UI):

                      “Universal Information is always an abstract representation of some other existing entity. Universal Information is never the item (object) or the fact (event, idea) itself but rather the coded symbols serve as a substitute for the entities that are being represented. Different languages often use different sets of symbols and usually different symbol sequences to represent the same material object or concept. Consider the following examples:”

                      “-the words in a newspaper, consisting of a sequence of letters, substitute for an event that happened at an earlier time and in some other place,”

                      “-the words in a novel, consisting of sequences of letters, substitute for characters and their actions,”

                      “-the notes of a musical score substitute for music that will be played later on musical instruments,”

                      “-the chemical formula for benzene substitutes for the toxic liquid that is kept in a flask in a chemistry laboratory,”

                      “-the genetic codons (three-letter words) of the DNA molecule substitute for specific amino acids that are bonded together in a specific sequence to form a protein.”

                      The substitutive function of the the symbols in a code or language is something that can only be set up by the activity of a conscious and intelligent mind.


                    4. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
                      0
                      SKL YJD says:

                      You state “Again, science DOES know that DNA is a language…in the most literal sense. And language is ALWAYS the product of a conscious and intelligent mind…absolutely no exceptions.”

                      You again state “Atheism relies on mindless chemical and physical processes to explain life. But the insurmountable problem for atheism is that such mindless processes can never account for the fact that DNA is a language which utilizes the arrangement of symbols…just like a human language.”

                      And again “The substitutive function of the symbols in a code or language is something that can only be set up by the activity of a conscious and intelligent mind.”

                      The genetic code is not a true code; it is more of a cypher. An essential property of language is that any word can refer to any object. That is not true in genetics. Read it here:

                      http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB180.html

                      If I am guilty of the logical fallacy of Appeal to Ignorance, you are guilty of being ignorant with blind bias and manipulating this issue to appear this is clear evidence that God exists. I understand many scientists have offered their views one way or the other on DNA but this is expected and healthy for scientific understanding and this is how evidence is found and tested.

                      I have not found any evidence that the majority of scientists believe this DNA language ‘is ALWAYS the product of a conscious and intelligent mind” but you have simply argued a case for God upon what science does not yet know.


                    5. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
                      0
                      Scott Youngren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

                      SKL YJD,

                      You write, “I have not found any evidence that the majority of scientists believe this DNA language ‘is ALWAYS the product of a conscious and intelligent mind” but you have simply argued a case for God upon what science does not yet know.”

                      No, you have it backwards. I have argued for God based upon what science DOES know. You are apparently arguing that, some bright and shining day in the future, science will discover a way for mindless material processes to create a language, and that we should therefore conclude that DNA is the result of mindless material processes. But this is an open-and-shut case of the logical fallacy of Argument from Ignorance.

                      The talkorigins.org post that you linked to says that “the genetic code is not a true code, it is more of a cypher.” I Googled “cypher” and here is what I found (a copy and paste):

                      noun: cypher
                      1.
                      a secret or disguised way of writing; a code.
                      “he was writing cryptic notes in a cipher”

                      synonyms: code, secret writing, cryptograph, cryptogram
                      “information in cipher”

                      verb
                      verb: cypher
                      1.
                      put (a message) into secret writing; encode.

                      So, apparently, the argument that your talkorigins.org post is making is, “DNA is not a true code, rather, it is more of a secret code [cypher].” Did you really read this post before you linked to it? In what way does arguing that DNA is a secret code [cypher] counteract the argument that DNA is a code? This must be the most bizarre argument I have ever seen in my years of debating atheists, since it tries to counteract a theist argument by acknowledging the argument!!!

                      This is the incoherence in which atheism is caught.

                      And your talkorigins.org post also states, “An essential property of language is that any word can refer to any object. That is not true in genetics.” So the word “cat” can refer to any object? Sure, we could use the word “cat” to refer to the objects we wear on our feet, or we could use it to refer to the large mechanical objects we use to get from one place to another. But if the word “cat” referred to absolutely anything, and there was no agreed upon definition of “cat,” then communication could never occur.

                      And, again, you try to argue that code is not necessarily the product of a conscious and intelligent mind because you have not “found any evidence that the majority of scientists believe this DNA language ‘is ALWAYS the product of a conscious and intelligent mind.” Here, you once again commit the logical fallacy of Appeal to Authority by trying to argue that truth can be determined by taking a poll of scientists. Since this has not worked in the past, why is it going to work now?! Again, just to cite one example, if you had taken a poll of scientists in the 19th century, you would have been hard pressed to find a scientist who did not think that light waves travelled through “luminiferous ether.”

                      As the late great Harvard University paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science Stephen J. Gould put it:

                      “Unconscious or dimly perceived finagling is probably endemic in science, since scientists are human beings rooted in cultural contexts, not automatons directed toward external truth.”

                      Or as biologist Lynn Margulis (winner of the U.S. Presidential Medal for Science) put it:

                      “…people are always more loyal to their tribal group than to any abstract notion of ‘truth’ – scientists especially. If not they are unemployable. It is professional suicide to continually contradict one’s teachers or social leaders.”


                    6. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
                      0
                      SKL YJD says:

                      You are correct this is a bazar argument because you try to force your opinions as facts. You did positively state that “Science does know it is a language” You also did state “language is ALWAYS the product of a conscious and intelligent mind…absolutely no exceptions.”

                      You are so positively sure of yourself you think you know everything. Even a leading scientist will not claim he knows everything that you do. You also suffer from selective reading (that is a natural trait of religious apologetics) because you obviously did not see the words “Genetics is not true language.”

                      You are so impatient to discredit science with anything you can find on the internet, whether the writer is a real scientist or not. You take all of this stuff literally just like your Bible, therefore you will regularly be barking up the wrong tree.

                      I understand scientists on the fringe of the main stream do sometimes latch onto something that has merit, for example the Big Bang theory was a theory once rejected as fringe science. Unfortunately, I do not see your creationist theories being in the same league.

                      Brilliant as she was, Lynn Margulis has her reasons and opinions because she was regarded by some to be a scientific rebel and throughout her career her work could arouse intense objection. Therefore, your tribal group argument is just another attempt to discredit the main stream scientific communities in your quest to find some credibility for your God.


                    7. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
                      0
                      Scott Youngren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

                      SKL YJD,

                      I am afraid that you are the one denying and attacking science.

                      We know that language is ALWAYS the product of a mind because language is abstract and symbolic. Again, the arrangement of symbols (such as letters) according to a language is not something that can be accomplished, even in principle, by unintelligent chemical or physical processes. Werner Gitt is a former Director and Professor at the German Federal Institute of Physics and Technology (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Braunschweig) and former head of the Department of Information Technology. In his book Without Excuse, he discusses the substitutive function of what he terms “Universal Information “(UI):

                      “Universal Information is always an abstract representation of some other existing entity. Universal Information is never the item (object) or the fact (event, idea) itself but rather the coded symbols serve as a substitute for the entities that are being represented. Different languages often use different sets of symbols and usually different symbol sequences to represent the same material object or concept. Consider the following examples:”

                      “-the words in a newspaper, consisting of a sequence of letters, substitute for an event that happened at an earlier time and in some other place,”

                      “-the words in a novel, consisting of sequences of letters, substitute for characters and their actions,”

                      “-the notes of a musical score substitute for music that will be played later on musical instruments,”

                      “-the chemical formula for benzene substitutes for the toxic liquid that is kept in a flask in a chemistry laboratory,”

                      “-the genetic codons (three-letter words) of the DNA molecule substitute for specific amino acids that are bonded together in a specific sequence to form a protein.”

                      The substitutive function of the the symbols in a code or language is something that can only be set up by the activity of a conscious and intelligent mind.

                      Gitt skillfully explains this crucial point:

                      “An abstract symbol set provides for an immense number of combinations of basic symbols to form words. These words may then be arranged in near-limitless ways to form phrases and sentences that, in turn, are used to form larger bodies of text/messages such as paragraphs. Thus, for example, the English letters ‘a, c, and t’ may be used to form the word ‘cat’ (a mammal that purrs and meows).”

                      “The very same letters may also be used to form the word ‘act’ (a word that, depending on the context, will have any one of a number of meanings; e.g., consider the phrases ‘caught in the act‘, ‘the second act of the play’, ‘an act of Congress’, ‘performed a heroic act‘ and others). The point to notice is that the letters ‘a,c, and t’ by themselves do not have a one-to-one relationship with the entity that they are combined to represent.

                      These letters acquire function and meaning only after they are combined in agreed-upon sequences and assigned meanings.

                      Simply put, what a symbol serves to represent must be decided upon by a conscious and intelligent agent. Symbolic representation is by necessity a mental process. Biologists with less rigid ideological commitments to atheism (or at least more intellectual integrity) have been frank enough to admit the necessity of mind (a conscious and intelligent agent) in the origin of life. The Nobel Prize winning Harvard University biologist George Wald, although certainly not an ideological ally of theism, stated the following in his address to the Quantum Biology Symposium titled Life and Mind in the Universe:

                      “It has occurred to me lately—I must confess with some shock at first to my scientific sensibilities—that both questions [the origin of mind and the origin of life from nonliving matter] might be brought into some degree of congruence. This is with the assumption that mind, rather than emerging as a late outgrowth in the evolution of life, has existed always as the matrix, the source and condition of physical reality—the stuff of which physical reality is composed is mind-stuff. It is mind that has composed a physical universe that breeds life and so eventually evolves creatures that know and create: science-, art-, and technology-making animals.”

                      DNA is a language (because it utilizes abstract, substitutive, symbolic representation) that is very similar to a computer language. Microsoft founder Bill Gates writes: “Human DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any we’ve ever created.” Natural processes do not create anything even vaguely resembling a computer program.

                      You continue to commit the Genetic Fallacy by labeling Lynn Margulis a rebel. Aren’t you going to attack Stephen Jay Gould too…since I quoted him to make the same point as my Margulis quote?


                    8. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
                      0
                      SKL YJD says:

                      OK Scott, human’s, animals and even insects communicate with language. I cannot really understand how and why a conscious and intelligent mind that is required for language advances your cause for a creative Christian God.

                      Even if you are right about everything you claim do you expect the scientists to automatically dust of their Bibles?

                      To change the subject, I understand your faith would reject the next realistic alternative of first life starting on earth from a seed or a cocktail of organic molecules through travelling on a meteorite to earth or alien colonists reaching a habitable planet orbiting a nearby star.

                      Support grows for the panspermia theory as new research shows life may have spread through space like an infectious virus, ending up with us here on Earth, scientists claim. An organism found in space from an atmospheric balloon has baffled scientists who think it is a seed sent to Earth by aliens. The alien life forms may have swept from planet to planet creating the seeds of new species wherever they found a habitable environment.

                      NASA is currently sending a balloon into the stratosphere to look for life.

                      Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe, director of the Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology at the University of Buckingham in England has long-maintained biological material including bacteria and viruses are constantly raining down from the skies. He also said that mainstream science and institutions have fought against theories which expound these beliefs but now evidence from meteorites, from samples of bacteria from space and from space observation is making resistance more difficult.

                      This is food for thought and very interesting for us atheists, but I guess it has to be God or nothing for you.


  3. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
    0
    SKL YJD says:

    Right on Dennis, the usefulness of any god is irrelevant in this scientific world and can only work for superstitious people who live life worrying about what happens after the natural process of death occurs.


    1. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
      0
      Peter says:

      God will be found in the hearts of the poor, as they have been abandoned by the wealthy.
      God will be there to comfort the sick, when unfortunately they cannot be healthy.
      God will be there to comfort the mourners, when they feel all hope is lost.
      God will be there to protect the homeless, when the live out in the cold and the frost.

      God won’t forget his suffering children when the world wants to kill
      God won’t forget the plain ordinary folk when their lives aren’t full of frills
      God won’t forget those that work hard to put some bread on the table
      God won’t forget the others that steal, to avoid work whilst their able.

      To hell with your claims about worrying about, what happens after we die
      Tell that to those that want to drink water but discover the well has ran dry.
      Their Hell is not after but rather it’s here, present in this mortal life
      Why hasn’t science saved them from all their troubles & strife?

      Because no matter what science discovers, one thing is always for sure
      The few will be rich, with food on the table, the many will always be poor.
      Some keep saying God is not real, science is all that matters.
      Yet with war and greed and evil and famine, the world is lying in tatters.

      If you’re OK in your little hole, as someone who has not a care
      Fair play to you friend, you got lucky but let me make you aware
      There is more to life, reason & spirit than the eyes could possibly see
      God may not be useful to you right now but one day he likely will be.


      1. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
        0
        SKL YJD says:

        Nice poem Peter but lets be fair here, so I penned a final verse to equal it up a bit.

        God is only usefull for those who have faith and hope
        because this is the only way they can cope
        for the unbelievers and the dying from starvation God does not care
        and you have to admit he has has hardly played fair
        so to the devil we all go because God failed to show.


        1. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
          0
          Scott Youngren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

          SKL YJD,

          You are apparently angry at the God which you do not believe in. Don’t you see the contradiction?

          Do you also get angry with Mickey Mouse?


          1. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
            0
            SKL YJD says:

            No Scott I am not angry at the God of the Christians or any other god before him or afterwards because they are only invented by ancient people to explain the natural events on the planet that they could not understand and to reduce violence between the tribes with a strong possibly of also satisfying some political motives of certain individuals. I am amazed that so many intelligent people cannot understand this and Micky Mouse I love because he is so real and does make people happy.


    2. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
      0
      Scott Youngren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

      SKL YJD,

      I will essentially copy and paste my reply to Dennis, since it also applies to you:

      By merely stating that “God is irrelevant in the scientific world” without also providing your atheistic explanation for such things as the origin of the universe, and the origin of life from non-living matter, you are making an assertion, but you are not providing a logical argument. What logical argument do you provide for atheism? What naturalistic explanation do you provide, for example, to explain the origin of the universe and the origin of life from non-living matter?

      The universe (which includes the properties of time, space, matter, and energy) originated at the cosmological event known as the Big Bang. Since nothing can cause itself, the cause of the universe must be timeless, spaceless, immaterial, and energy-less.

      Further, modern physics demonstrates that a conscious observer is necessary to “collapse the wave function,” thereby producing material particles form an immaterial probability wave. (Please read God Is Real…Why Modern Physics Has Discredited Atheism).

      Please provide your atheistic explanation for the origin of the universe. Put another way, what timeless, spaceless, immaterial, and energy-less entity or property was responsible for the origin of the universe?

      I suggest that a conscious entity is necessary to produce physical reality, since this is what modern physics has demonstrated.

      You can say that God is unnecessary [irrelevant in the scientific world], but what is definitely necessary is that you provide an atheistic explanation for the origin of the universe…not to mention the origin of life from non-living matter. As demonstrate in There’s Nothing Random About Evolution, DNA (the language of life) is a language in the most literal (not metaphorical) sense. Only minds produce languages.


      1. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
        0
        SKL YJD says:

        Scott. I actually said “the usefulness of any god is irrelevant in this scientific world” and does not call for providing a thousand pages of text regarding every scientific issue in conflict with every religious belief to support the comment, especially since you obviously have a firm knowledge of the scientific claims that you are trying to discredit with your God.

        Merely cutting and pasting or embedding web site addresses are a waste of time and effort for atheist explanations because science is the default position. In this I mean we do not have a belief system such as a religion or a political party to sell to anyone because we generally accept the scientific evidence that is officially adopted by the educated free world countries.

        If just 20% of the world’s prominent scientists agreed with creationism and the biblical events, you would have some creditable support and possibly an argument that your God is relevant in a scientific world.

        As you do not hold the high ground in this debate you need to provide evidence for a few things yourself and the first and most important is the credibility of your religion.

        I am well aware of the many hundreds of deities worshiped since man walked the earth and we do not know what makes the Christian God more creditable than other current deities worshiped around the world considering Christianity, Islam and Judaism have many similarities that are often denied and played down by their representatives.


        1. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
          0
          Scott Youngren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

          SKL YJD,

          I think it is obvious what is going on here: You are trying to avoid subjecting your atheistic/materialist beliefs to logical scrutiny which they cannot withstand. You do this by:

          1) Posturing and posing (“you do not hold the high ground in this debate.”) The validity of a truth claim such as atheism can only be determined by the strength of its logic. It cannot be established by trying to adopt a posture of superiority.

          2) Conflating your atheistic/materialist religious beliefs with science (“science is the default position”). All philosophical/religious conclusions derived from scientific observations require interpretation and logical arguments to defend those interpretations. By conflating your atheist views with “science,” you are trying to avoid logically defending your views.

          3) Appealing to the authority of scientists.

          By arguing that a philosophical/religious belief system can be judged true or false by the portion of scientists endorsing it, you are committing the logical fallacy of Argument from Authority. A copy and paste from the preceding Wikipedia post about Argument from Authority:

          In informal reasoning, the appeal to authority is a form of argument attempting to establish a statistical syllogism. The appeal to authority relies on an argument of the form:

          A is an authority on a particular topic

          A says something about that topic

          A is probably correct

          Fallacious examples of using the appeal include any appeal to authority used in the context of logical reasoning, and appealing to the position of an authority or authorities to dismiss evidence, as authorities can come to the wrong judgments through error, bias, dishonesty, or falling prey to groupthink. Thus, the appeal to authority is not a generally reliable argument for establishing facts.

          I give several examples of where scientific consensus proved to be wrong in The Mythology of Atheism. This may have been due to some combination of “error, bias, dishonesty, or falling prey to groupthink,” as the above Wikipedia post mentions. An excerpt from The Mythology of Atheism:

          Those with a short-sighted view of the history of science are prone to overlook the fact that alchemy (which believed that metals such as lead could be turned into gold) and astrology were once considered scientifically respectable. In fact…. the scientific consensus of one age usually becomes the myth or superstition of the next age. Elite physicists Paul Davies and John Gribbin cite examples of this trend among scientific theories in their book The Matter Myth:

          “A classic example concerns the ‘luminiferous ether.’ When James Clerk Maxwell showed that light is an electromagnetic wave, it seemed obvious that this wave had to have a medium of some sort through which to propagate. After all, other known waves travel through something. Sound waves, for example, travel through the air; water waves travel across the surface of lakes and oceans. Because light, which Maxwell discovered is a form of electromagnetic wave, can reach us from the Sun and stars, across seemingly empty space, it was proposed that space is actually filled with an intangible substance, the ether, in which these waves could travel.

          So sure were physicists of the existence of the ether that ambitious experiments were mounted to measure the speed with which the Earth moves through it. Alas, the experiments showed conclusively that the ether does not exist.

          …For nineteenth-century physicists, however, the ether was still very real.”

          You say, “We do not have a belief system such as a religion or a political party to sell to anyone…” Well, you are trying to sell atheism to the readers of this website, aren’t you? Atheism fits many of the diverse definitions of religion present in religious scholarship. Atheism is a truth claim, and must be evaluated logically just like any other truth claim.

          You are trying to sell materialistic explanations for such things as the origin of the universe and the origin of life, aren’t you?

          You seem to be trying to shield your beliefs from logical scrutiny by labeling them non-beliefs.

          You write: “I am well aware of the many hundreds of deities worshiped since man walked the earth and we do not know what makes the Christian God more creditable than other current deities worshiped around the world considering Christianity, Islam and Judaism have many similarities that are often denied and played down by their representatives.”

          Yes, Christianity, Islam and Judaism have many similarities. And as a Christian, I agree with certain aspects of the Jewish and Islamic conceptions of God…such as monotheism. What makes the Christian concept of God different from other deities? Andy Bannister writes in The Atheist Who Didn’t Exist:

          When certain atheists include “God” in one of those notoriously quixotic lists they love rattling off – including him along with Zeus, Thor, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and even Bertrand Russell’s famous invisible floating teapot – they’re making a tremendous category mistake, because every single one of those other entities is an object inside the universe. God, on the other hand, according to Christianity is the creator and sustainer of the universe, the author of the story. Listen to how David Bentley Hart puts this:

          [God, capital “G”] is not a “being”, at least not in the way that a tree, a shoemaker or a god is a being; he is not one more object in the inventory of things that are, or any sort of discrete object at all. Rather, all things that exist receive their being continuously from him, who is the infinite wellspring of all that is, in whom (to use the language of the Christian scriptures) all things live and move and have their being.

          Similarly, Nancy Pearcey writes in Finding Truth:

          Think of the divine as whatever is furthest back, beyond or behind everything else. For example, in polytheism, the personal gods and goddesses are not the ultimate reality because they derive from some pre-existing primordial substance— and that is what actually functions as the divine (even if the term is not used). For example, in ancient Greek mythology where did the gods come from? The essential story line is that the universe began as a divine primeval substance called chaos— an undefined, unbounded nothingness. Out of this initial state arose the first gods. The earth goddess (Gaia) mated with the sky god (Uranus) to produce the Titans, and from the mating of two Titans came the gods of Mount Olympus— Zeus, Apollo, Athena, Poseidon, and all the rest.


          1. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
            0
            SKL YJD says:

            Scott you must be dreaming, I dismiss with the swipe of my hand the 3% (and that is being generous) of scientists supporting creation or some other theory.

            My appeal to authority in this case being modern day scientists of whom over 97% believe in evolution as against creation. This is not a portion as you state. I am not trying to avoid defending or subjecting my beliefs to scrutiny, posturing, posing or dismissing evidence and the chances of these scientists at this overwhelming majority coming to the wrong judgments through error, bias, dishonesty, or falling prey to groupthink would be extremely unlikely and I am not concerned about committing the logical fallacy of Argument from Authority.

            The arguments you use about scientists being wrong in the past does not hold water in this day and age. Dragging out old alchemy claims such as you have and the well trotted out luminiferous ether from over 100 years ago are rare events and science learnt from this and was the better for it.

            The real facts you forget to mention are the persecution of scientists by religions including Christianity that is well documented, as a quick look on the internet will testify to the fear by the Catholic Church of heretics spreading teachings and opinions that contradicted the Bible.

            They persecuted scientists such as Galileo and Copernicus for the theory that the Earth revolved around the Sun because it conflicted with the Bible. Luckily for scientists today Christians are not allowed to persecute scientists but apart from that I would say little has changed in attitude on the side of religion.

            You think I am selling atheism to readers, so tell me what I have to offer considering I have no incentive of eternal life in heaven to offer or the threat of burning in hell. I am purely identifying alternatives to readers. Atheism is not a belief system or as you said a “truth claim” and stands alone from scientific beliefs including evolution and is by default the starting position for humans because it is not regulated or guided by a set of rules and the benefits for those that discard religion is simply freedom to believe in anything they want, including reality.

            The parts you quote from Andy Bannister and Nancy Pearcey are only very nice words for the believers in God.


            1. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
              0
              Scott Youngren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

              SKL YJD,

              You write, “…the chances of these scientists at this overwhelming majority coming to the wrong judgments through error, bias, dishonesty, or falling prey to groupthink would be extremely unlikely and I am not concerned about committing the logical fallacy of Argument from Authority.”

              Again, you are providing assertions, but no logical arguments to support your assertions. Please pay particular attention to the crucial difference between an assertion and a logical argument.

              And citing authority opinion without also citing the reasoning to support that expert opinion is the logical fallacy of Appeal to Authority…no matter how you slice it. Consensus scientific opinion has been wrong in many more cases than just alchemy and luminiferous ether. In his landmark work on the psychology and sociology of science titled The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn cites the examples of Aristotelian dynamics (which was superseded by Newtonian physics), phlogistic chemistry (which said that a fire-like element called phlogiston is contained within combustible bodies and released during combustion), and caloric thermodynamics (which said that heat is really a self-repellent fluid called caloric that flows from hotter bodies to colder bodies). (Click here for many more examples).

              Groupthink is alive and well within academia. I discuss this point in detail in my essay titled If the Evidence for God Is So Strong, Why Are So Many Smart People Unconvinced. Some excerpts:

              In The Altenberg 16: An Expose of the Evolution Industry, Oxford University and University of Massachusetts-Amherst Professor of Biology Lynn Margulis (winner of the U.S. Presidential Medal for Science) discusses the persistence of neo-Darwinian theory, despite its deteriorating scientific basis, with journalist Susan Mazur:

              Margulis: “If enough favorable mutations occur, was the erroneous extrapolation, a change from one species to another would concurrently occur.”

              Mazur: “So a certain dishonesty set in?”

              Margulis: “No. It was not dishonesty. I think it was wish-fulfillment and social momentum. Assumptions, made but not verified, were taught as fact.”

              Mazur: “But a whole industry grew up.”

              Margulis: “Yes, but people are always more loyal to their tribal group than to any abstract notion of ‘truth’ – scientists especially. If not they are unemployable. It is professional suicide to continually contradict one’s teachers or social leaders.”

              Here again the reader can clearly see that atheistic conclusions which purportedly arise from scientific research, such as neo-Darwinism, can hardly be characterized as the logical result of an objective examination of facts. Rather, they precede the examination of facts and reflect the religious beliefs of a scientist’s “tribal group.” This can be the case even when such theories have a basis which has been eroded by advances in scientific understanding.

              The late great Harvard University paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science Stephen J. Gould commented that:

              “Unconscious or dimly perceived finagling is probably endemic in science, since scientists are human beings rooted in cultural contexts, not automatons directed toward external truth.”

              In what “cultural contexts” are atheist biologists rooted, causing them to perpetrate “unconscious or dimly perceived finagling?” For one, in the cultural context that the material world is the most basic, fundamental plane of existence (a worldview known as “materialism” or “naturalism”). The Harvard University geneticist Richard C. Lewontin commented in 1997 that, in reference to defending Darwinism in a debate:

              “We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”

              In a similar light, Nancy Pearcey notes in her essay How Darwinism Dumbs Us Down:

              “The media paints the evolution controversy in terms of science versus religion. But it is much more accurate to say it is worldview versus worldview, philosophy versus philosophy…”

              “Interestingly, a few evolutionists do acknowledge the point. Michael Ruse made a famous admission at the 1993 symposium of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. ‘Evolution as a scientific theory makes a commitment to a kind of naturalism,’ he said—that is, it is a philosophy, not just facts. He went on: ‘Evolution, akin to religion, involves making certain a priori or metaphysical assumptions, which at some level cannot be proven empirically.’ Ruse’s colleagues responded with shocked silence and afterward one of them, Arthur Shapiro, wrote a commentary titled, ‘Did Michael Ruse Give Away the Store?‘”

              “But, ironically, in the process, Shapiro himself conceded that ‘there is an irreducible core of ideological assumptions underlying science,’ He went on: ‘Darwinism is a philosophical preference, if by that we mean we choose to discuss the material universe in terms of material processes accessible by material operations.’”

              SKL YJD, you say that atheism is not a belief system or a truth claim. Well then it can neither be true nor false. Andy Bannister humorously highlights the absurdity of the idea that atheism does not need to be defended because it is merely a “non-belief” by telling a story about a guy who denies the existence of the nation of Sweden:

              “You think that my denial of Sweden is an actual claim of some kind, that it’s a belief. But it isn’t. It’s a non-belief. There’s nothing I need to explain – rather, I’m talking about something I lack, namely a belief in Sweden, so I don’t need to give any evidence for it.”

              “Come again?” I said. “Yes,” he continued, warming to his theme, “I don’t have to provide evidence for my non-belief in Atlantis, El Dorado, Shangri-La or the Customer Support Department at American Airlines, and nor need I for my non-belief in Sweden. I’m not making a claim of any kind – in fact, quite the opposite: I’m claiming nothing. I’m merely rejecting one of your beliefs, your belief in Sweden.

              The point, SKL YJD, is that all truth claims (including atheism) need to be logically defended…even the ones that portray themselves as merely “non-belief.” And if atheism is not a truth claim, then it cannot be true or false. Andy Bannister continues:

              The problem is that only beliefs or claims can be true or false. For example, it makes perfect sense to ask whether a statement such as “It is raining today” or “The Maple Leafs lost at hockey again” are true. Those are claims, they are beliefs, and they have what philosophers call a “truth value”. They are either true or false.

              On the other hand, it is utterly meaningless to ask whether the colour blue, a small off-duty Slovakian traffic warden, or Richard Dawkins’s left foot is “true”. That would be a bizarre category error. These things are not claims or beliefs and thus do not possess any kind of truth value. They simply are.

              So what about atheism? Well, as far as I can make out, I think my atheist friends are claiming that their belief is true; that they really, really believe it to be true that there is no God. Well, if that’s the case, then it makes atheism a positive claim and claims must be defended, evidence martialled, and reasons given. Otherwise, if atheism is not a claim, it cannot be true or false. It simply is, and to say “I am an atheist” is up there with saying “Wibble, wibble, wibble”.

              You have no incentive of heaven nor disincentive of hell, but atheism has other motivations. Specifically, atheism is often motivated by the need to be free from having to answer to a higher moral power.


              1. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
                0
                SKL YJD says:

                You do not seem to understand but I have stated what I believe and if it is an assertion or a very safe assumption that has as much merit as any form of faith that you may have in your God.

                Call it citing authority but it is a logical argument because If the premise is true, then the conclusion must be true. what I state is objective, reasoned, rational, natural, sensible, understandable to mention a few supporting phrases.

                Your highlighted link to your essay has this statement “The New Testament maintains that unbelief is generated not so much by intellectual causes as by moral and psychological ones. The problem is not that there is insufficient evidence to convince rational beings that there is a God, but that rational beings have a natural antipathy to the being of God.”

                Completely wrong, but of course your subjective Bible would say that. Logic and insufficient evidence is the main reason why people are atheists and antipathy may come into play when God has been force fed.

                Lynn Margulis had a colourful life with many controversial statements who was well thought of by Richard Dawkins. You appear to clutch at straws with your arguments to discredit evolution and you roll out reels of information on each issue to obtain credibility, however it is more like desperation.

                From Wikipedia “Groupthink is a construct of social psychology but has an extensive reach, and influences literature in the fields of communication studies, political science, management, and organizational theory, [1] as well as important aspects of deviant religious cult behaviour.”

                Again you have little credibility to gain from waving this flag. I cannot believe it is a prevalent problem in the huge scientific world when you consider how many scientists believe in evolution. You have debunked your own theory anyway by holding up Lynn Margulis as evidence against evolution and Stephen J. Gould for supporting groupthink. Lynn Margulis was an outspoken evolutionist with personal views as was Stephen J. Gould and both obviously did not buckle to groupthink and were honoured amongst their colleagues.

                Your continued use of scientists individual views and comments are never going to debunk the basics of evolution, identify groupthink or advance creationism. There are many estimates of how many scientists are in the world from hundreds of thousands to 12 million therefore you have your work cut out for you if you are to convince anybody of your claims.

                To clarify my earlier comments on belief and truth claims. Atheism is a non-belief in a deity, however atheists do not claim they know the absolute truth of the beginning of life as theists do and they do not have a faith based belief system driving them like the theist does. Hope that clarifies.


                1. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
                  0
                  Scott Youngren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

                  SKL YJD,

                  You have stated your beliefs, but you have failed to provide any logical argument to support your beliefs. Your seem to be arguing that Darwinian evolution must be true because so many scientists support it. But, as I have demonstrated, the history of science clearly shows that scientific consensus is a very poor judge of truth. The history of science is littered with examples of scientific theories which enjoyed a consensus of support, but later turned out to be WRONG.

                  In his landmark work on the psychology and sociology of science titled The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn cites the examples of Aristotelian dynamics (which was superseded by Newtonian physics), phlogistic chemistry (which said that a fire-like element called phlogiston is contained within combustible bodies and released during combustion), and caloric thermodynamics (which said that heat is really a self-repellent fluid called caloric that flows from hotter bodies to colder bodies). Google “discredited scientific theories” to find many more examples.

                  Arguing that Darwinian evolution must be true because so many scientists support it is an open-and-shut case of the logical fallacy of Appeal to Authority.

                  You are continuing to support your beliefs with bald assertions, such as when you say, “Completely wrong, but of course your subjective Bible would say that. Logic and insufficient evidence is the main reason why people are atheists and antipathy may come into play when God has been force fed.”

                  You assert that there is logic to support your views, but I am scratching my head to determine what specific logic you are referring to. And you continue to confuse and conflate evolution, on one hand, with Darwinism, on the other hand. These are not the same thing. Stripped of its atheistic philosophical add-ons, evolution only means change over time. Virtually nobody denies change over time, and therefore virtually nobody denies evolution.

                  The specific atheistic philosophical add-ons to evolution which I am referring to are randomness and purposelessness. As I discuss in my essay titled There’s Nothing Random About Evolution, modern science has shown that evolution is the result of directed (as opposed to random) processes. One such directed process is known as transposition, the discovery of which won Barbara McClintock the Nobel Prize in biology. If you deny such directed evolutionary processes, then you deny science. Further, as Perry Marshall points out in his book Evolution 2.0, it is possible to prove that a pattern is non-random, but there is no mathematical procedure for proving that a pattern is random. Atheists can only assume that genes mutate randomly…because their worldview demands it. But the random mutation hypothesis (Darwinism) can never be verified, and therefore it stands in opposition to the scientific method itself.

                  Marshall cites the renowned mathematician Gregory Chaitin from his paper Randomness and Mathematical Proof:

                  “Although randomness can be precisely defined and can even be measured, a given number cannot be proved to be random. This enigma establishes a limit to what is possible in mathematics.”

                  You write, “You have debunked your own theory anyway by holding up Lynn Margulis as evidence against evolution and Stephen J. Gould for supporting groupthink. Lynn Margulis was an outspoken evolutionist with personal views as was Stephen J. Gould and both obviously did not buckle to groupthink and were honoured amongst their colleagues.”

                  Once again, you confuse and conflate evolution, on one hand, with the random mutation evolutionary hypothesis of Darwinism, on the other hand. These are not the same thing. Virtually nobody denies evolution because virtually nobody denies that life changes over time. Stripped of the atheistic philosophical add-ons of randomness and purposelessness, evolution only means change over time.

                  Yes Margulis and Gould were atheists, and that is why I cite them. It is much better to demonstrate my points by citing atheists whenever possible. Gould and Margulis are two excellent examples of people who apparently held their atheistic beliefs for other-than-logical reasons, such as the need to be free from having to answer to a higher power for their actions.

                  It is easy to see how Darwinism (not to be confused with evolution) is wrong, because it contradicts itself. Darwinism asserts that evolution is random and purposeless, but Darwinism relies on survival of the fittest, and survival is a purpose or goal. Theoretical physicist Amit Goswami (as I cite him in There’s Nothing Random About Evolution) comments on this contradiction which is intrinsic to atheism:

                  “The Darwinian theory of evolution is based on natural selection: Nature selects those organisms that are fittest to survive. In the materialist view, an organism is just a bundle of molecules that are completely specified by their physical and chemical properties. Nowhere among these properties will you find a property called survivability. No piece of inanimate matter has ever attempted to survive or in any way tried to maintain its integrity under any circumstances. But living bodies do exhibit a property called survivability. Now the paradox. A Darwinist would say that the survivability of the living form comes from evolutionary adaptation via natural selection. But natural selection itself depends on survival of the fittest. See the circularity of the argument? Survival depends on evolution, but evolution depends on survival!”

                  You write, “Atheism is a non-belief in a deity, however atheists do not claim they know the absolute truth of the beginning of life as theists do and they do not have a faith based belief system driving them like the theist does.” But you very clearly do make truth claims about the beginning of life. Specifically, as an atheist, you must claim that life originated from a non-intelligent source. You say that atheism is not a belief system or a truth claim. Well then it can neither be true nor false. Andy Bannister humorously highlights the absurdity of the idea that atheism does not need to be defended because it is merely a “non-belief” by telling a story about a guy who denies the existence of the nation of Sweden:

                  “You think that my denial of Sweden is an actual claim of some kind, that it’s a belief. But it isn’t. It’s a non-belief. There’s nothing I need to explain – rather, I’m talking about something I lack, namely a belief in Sweden, so I don’t need to give any evidence for it.”

                  “Come again?” I said. “Yes,” he continued, warming to his theme, “I don’t have to provide evidence for my non-belief in Atlantis, El Dorado, Shangri-La or the Customer Support Department at American Airlines, and nor need I for my non-belief in Sweden. I’m not making a claim of any kind – in fact, quite the opposite: I’m claiming nothing. I’m merely rejecting one of your beliefs, your belief in Sweden.

                  The point, SKL YJD, is that all truth claims (including atheism) need to be logically defended…even the ones that portray themselves as merely “non-belief.” And if atheism is not a truth claim, then it cannot be true or false. Andy Bannister continues:

                  The problem is that only beliefs or claims can be true or false. For example, it makes perfect sense to ask whether a statement such as “It is raining today” or “The Maple Leafs lost at hockey again” are true. Those are claims, they are beliefs, and they have what philosophers call a “truth value”. They are either true or false.

                  On the other hand, it is utterly meaningless to ask whether the colour blue, a small off-duty Slovakian traffic warden, or Richard Dawkins’s left foot is “true”. That would be a bizarre category error. These things are not claims or beliefs and thus do not possess any kind of truth value. They simply are.

                  So what about atheism? Well, as far as I can make out, I think my atheist friends are claiming that their belief is true; that they really, really believe it to be true that there is no God. Well, if that’s the case, then it makes atheism a positive claim and claims must be defended, evidence martialled, and reasons given. Otherwise, if atheism is not a claim, it cannot be true or false. It simply is, and to say “I am an atheist” is up there with saying “Wibble, wibble, wibble”.

                  If the statement, “Life originated from a non-intelligent source” is not a truth claim, than it cannot be true. Something which is not a truth claim cannot be true (or false).


                  1. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
                    0
                    SKL YJD says:

                    Scott,
                    When I am using the term evolution I am meaning the basic principles of Biological evolution that include these very simplistic definitions:

                    “The process by which different kinds of living organism are believed to have developed from earlier forms during the history of the earth.”
                    “The central idea of biological evolution is that all life on Earth shares a common ancestor, just as you and your cousins share a common grandmother. Through the process of descent with modification, the common ancestor of life on Earth gave rise to the fantastic diversity that we see documented in the fossil record and around us today. Evolution means that we’re all distant cousins: humans and oak trees, hummingbirds and whales.”

                    I understand you as a Christian believer would challenge natural selection and you have many unsolved problems in biology to use as the Wikipedia briefly explains in this statement. If you want more detail, I am sure you can find it.

                    “At present there is no theoretical model for how adaptation occurs that is close to being complete. Mathematical models of evolution (e.g. within population genetics) describe how the process of natural selection influences the frequency of already-existing gene variants based on their relative fitness’s. Only a small amount of theory treats the problem of modelling the generation of new variants through mutation, in terms of either the fitness’s or phenotypic forms they confer.”

                    All along I have supported the basic principles because of the many thousands of scientists who support it. If they are wrong as your faith keeps telling you they are, they will adapt and change their thinking and their theories I have no doubt. I also have no doubt that religions will not adjust their thinking or their faith to accommodate the evidence of scientific research in any field you may mention. I also believe that you will never find anything created by God within Biological evolution and as time goes on this will become more evident.

                    Gods and deities have been a creation of man for centuries, even this century people have claimed to be some sort of reincarnated god. Because of this an atheist position is not a belief it is the default non-belief position. If you believe in Micky Mouse and I don’t it does not infer I have a belief system rejecting Micky Mouse. It is simply the fact that I do not recognise Micky Mouse ever existed so what else can I do but explain this fact to believers. It could be said I have a belief that he does not exist and this may be true but it is not a belief system or a truth claim made in the same context as a religion. An atheist would not have to defend the non-existence of gods and deities if they were not invented in the first place.


                    1. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
                      0
                      Scott Youngren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

                      SLK YJD,

                      Let’s be clear. I am denying the random mutation evolutionary hypothesis of Darwinism, that is all. There is nothing about evolution which is contrary to Christian faith, because evolution only means change over time…when stripped of the atheistic philosophical add-ons of randomness and purposelessness. It is only these atheistic philosophical add-ons to evolution which conflict with Christian faith.

                      There is nothing about common ancestry which conflicts with Christian faith. Common ancestry can be cited as evidence for a common creator. Further, you have failed to respond to what I pointed out in my previous comment: Modern science has shown that evolutionary processes are DIRECTED, not random. A copy and paste from my essay titled There’s Nothing Random About Evolution

                      First of all, as Perry Marshall points out in his book Evolution 2.0, it is possible to prove that a pattern is non-random, but there is no mathematical procedure for proving that a pattern is random. Atheists can only assume that genes mutate randomly…because their worldview demands it. But the random mutation hypothesis can never be verified, and therefore it stands in opposition to the scientific method itself.

                      Marshall cites the renowned mathematician Gregory Chaitin from his paper Randomness and Mathematical Proof:

                      “Although randomness can be precisely defined and can even be measured, a given number cannot be proved to be random. This enigma establishes a limit to what is possible in mathematics.”

                      But the fundamentally unscientific nature of the random mutation evolutionary hypothesis is only its first problem. Marshall continues by calling attention to the research which has proven that evolution is clearly NOT random. Scientists such as the famous evolutionary biologist and geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky conducted six decades of research in which fruit flies were exposed to radiation in order to induce the mutation of genes, with the intent of accelerating evolution. But after 60 years of research, and despite the fact that a new generation of fruit flies occurs every 11 days, no new species emerged, or even a new enzyme. Rather, the only results are what amount to frankenflies, including mutant fruit flies with legs growing out of their heads where their antennae belong.

                      So, if it is not random, how does change over time (the definition of evolution stripped of its atheistic philosophical add-ons) really happen?

                      Marshall answers:

                      “Remember the fruit fly experiments? [Nobel Prize-winning biologist Barbara] McClintock’s experiments were similar. She too used organisms damaged by radiation. She discovered that radiation broke chromosomes and triggered editing systems in real time. Cells would reconstruct the damaged chromosome with another section of radiation-broken genetic material.”

                      “…Barbara McClintock had discovered that plants possess the ability to recognize that data has been corrupted. Then they repair it with newly activated genome elements, and in the process of repairing the data, the plants can develop new features!”

                      Random mutation and natural selection is not what drives evolution (as Darwinism insists). Rather, directed processes drive evolution. The directed process mentioned above is known as transposition, and amounts to a cut/copy/paste of genetic information within a cell. The discovery of transposition won Barbara McClintock the Nobel Prize in biology, and her face on a U.S. postage stamp.

                      And despite the fact that no legitimate biologist denies transposition, Marshall notes, it is noticeably absent from popular presentations of evolution, such as in books by atheistic evolution promoters Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne. Scientists with an atheistic agenda do not wish to call attention to directed evolutionary processes such as transposition.

                      Physicist Amit Goswami echoes Marshall’s point about the directed (as opposed to random and mindless) nature of evolution in his book Creative Evolution: A Physicist’s Resolution Between Darwinism and Intelligent Design. Atheistic scientists argue in favor of upward causation, in which elementary particles make atoms, which make molecules, which make living cells, which make the brain, which produces consciousness. According to the upward causation model, then, everything begins with elementary particles, and winds up with consciousness (in human brains), as a result of mindless and random processes working over millions of years. But, as Goswami points out, downward causation (in which a consciousness comes first) is the actual state of affairs:

                      “The new evidence suggests that certain bacteria, when threatened with mass starvation, accelerate their own mutation rate to evolve to a new species that can survive on the available food (Cairns, Overbaugh, and Miller 1988). This behavior is called directed mutation. Critics of directed mutation point out that under starvation perhaps the mutation rate of all the genes is enhanced, not just the one needed for survival. But even so, the question remains: What enhances the mutation rates? The correct explanation is to see this phenomenon as direct evidence in favor of downward causation (Goswami and Todd 1997) and the causal efficacy of organisms, as also propounded by organismic biologists.”

                      You are just digging yourself deeper in a hole by continuing to commit the logical fallacy Appeal to Authority. Yes, there are many thousands of scientists who support the random mutation evolutionary hypothesis, but belief in luminiferous ether also shared a consensus acceptance among scientists. Further, we can be certain that the random mutation evolutionary hypothesis has been adopted due to sociological factors such as groupthink, because, as I alluded to above, there is no way to verify that a pattern is random. The random mutation evolutionary hypothesis can never be verified, and therefore stands in opposition to the scientific method itself.

                      You write, “Because of this an atheist position is not a belief it is the default non-belief position.” Once again, if atheism is not a belief or truth claim, then it can neither be true nor false…much as a rock can neither be true nor false.

                      Labeling atheism a default position is your way of avoiding logical scrutiny which atheism cannot withstand. For example, I have never gotten an atheist to coherently answer the following question:

                      Why does matter so consistently follow natural laws (or regularities, or what ever term you prefer) such as the laws of physics and thermodynamics?

                      Atheism is stuck with an “it just does” explanation, which amounts to just-so storytelling. Citing Mickey Mouse as an explanation for why matter follows laws actually has much more explanatory power than the atheist explanation (which is really an avoidance of explanation).

                      In the theistic model, it is immediately obvious why matter follows natural laws: The same mind that creates matter (God’s mind) also directs it. As Robert Boyle, the founder of modern chemistry, put it:

                      “The nature of this or that body is but the law of God prescribed to it [and] to speak properly, a law [is] but a notional rule of acting according to the declared will of a superior.” [italics added]

                      Or, as James Joule, the propounder of the first law of thermodynamics, for whom the thermal unit of the “Joule” was named, put it:

                      “It is evident that an acquaintance with natural laws means no less than an acquaintance with the mind of God therein expressed.”

                      Or, as the knighted mathematician, physicist and astronomer Sir James Jeans put it in his book The Mysterious Universe:

                      “There is a wide measure of agreement which, on the physical side of science approaches almost unanimity, that the stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine. Mind no longer appears as an accidental intruder into the realm of matter. We are beginning to suspect that we ought rather to hail mind as the creator and governor of the realm of matter.” (italics added)


  4. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
    0
    Ron Mitchell says:

    Scott, I appreciate your tireless efforts to try to make believers out of “scientific sceptics”, but I doubt that it will work. We know from Ephesians that we are saved by grace thru FAITH and that not of ourselves; it is a gift of God and not of works … etc. So I think that even if someone were to discover that God is real via the facts of science, he still wouldn’t have gotten there via the faith route. But keep trying, who knows how God might work with some people. … Ron


    1. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
      1

      A fair point, Ron, but mostly irrelevant since the idea of god is unnecessary as an explanation. Not only is there no competition there is simply no reason to interject god where one is unnecessary.


      1. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
        0
        Scott Youngren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

        Dennis,

        By merely stating that “God is not necessary” without also providing your atheistic explanation for such things as the origin of the universe, and the origin of life from non-living matter, you are providing an assertion, but no logical argument. What logical argument do you provide for atheism? In other words, what naturalistic explanation do you provide for the origin of life and the origin of the universe (for starters)?

        The universe (which includes the properties of time, space, matter, and energy) originated at the cosmological event known as the Big Bang. Since nothing can cause itself, the cause of the universe must be timeless, spaceless, immaterial, and energy-less.

        Further, modern physics demonstrates that a conscious observer is necessary to “collapse the wave function,” thereby producing material particles form an immaterial probability wave. (Please read God Is Real…Why Modern Physics Has Discredited Atheism).

        Please provide your atheistic explanation for the origin of the universe. Put another way, what timeless, spaceless, immaterial, and energy-less entity or property was responsible for the origin of the universe?

        I suggest that a conscious entity is necessary to produce material reality, since this is what modern physics has demonstrated.

        You can say that God is unnecessary, but what is definitely necessary is that you provide an atheistic explanation for the origin of the universe…not to mention the origin of life from non-living matter. As demonstrate in There’s Nothing Random About Evolution, DNA (the language of life) is a language in the most literal (not metaphorical) sense. Only minds produce languages.


    2. Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/godevide/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-popularity/inc/class-comment-popularity.php on line 363
      0
      Scott Youngren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

      Ron,

      I can certainly understand your frustration. However, I have found that many non-Christians do benefit spiritually from logical arguments. It is just that the sort of atheists who post comments on websites like mine are frequently not looking for the truth. Rather, they are looking to rationalize their atheism so that they can be free from having to answer to a higher moral power…although this is not the only motivation. Consider the following email I received from a guy who calls himself “Australian atheist.” He did not post any comments at my website, but he observed my exchange with a different atheist:

      Scott, I am an atheist, and not very good one at that, TBH I think I just like arguing with people. You have honestly got me thinking. I don’t understand much of what the comments were, however it is clear that you destroyed all your ‘opponents’ them with actual logic. I am amazed at the few that had a cheap shot at you and as you said they probably won’t reply because it is all just rhetoric mumbo jumbo.
      Just thought I would say, you have me thinking really hard. I have a Christian enemy (really I like the guy) and I think I might just explore it further.

Leave a Reply to Dennis Mitton Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *