Atheist Professor Jerry Coyne Fiddles While the Darwinian Palace Burns

April 25, 2013 6:39 pm 499 comments

Darwin's Doubt, due out June, 2013, HarperOne Publishers.

Jerry Coyne, who teaches evolutionary biology at the University of Chicago, long ago took upon himself the role of Grand Inquisitor of Modern Atheism. On his Why Evolution is True blog he routinely informs us of the latest heresies against Atheistic/Darwinian orthodoxy. Some of the heretics he has “outed” are academics of the highest caliber (all of whom are non-believers by the way): Jerry Fodor – Rutgers, James Shapiro – University of Chicago, George Church – The Wyss Institute of Harvard University, Thomas Nagel – NYU, and of course, Discovery Institute Fellow, Dr. David Berlinski.

Recently, Coyne’s zealousness has reached a new fever pitch. He now self-righteously points a finger and proclaims “I Accuse!” at a major publishing house that dared to publish a book without prior ideological approval from…..Dr. Jerry Coyne! On June 18, HarperCollins is officially releasing Dr. Stephen Meyer’s new book entitled Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design. Coyne had this to say on Why Evolution is True, 4/17/13:

“This isn’t an ad for an upcoming book showing that Jesus caused the Cambrian explosion of animal life (the rapid origin of many phyla about 540 million years ago); rather it’s an indictment of a once-reputable publisher, HarperCollins, who under the imprint of HarperOne is going to publish this book in June.”

Coyne candidly  admits that the Cambrian Explosion poses serious questions for evolutionary biologists and that – at present – there is no definitive scientific explanation:

“There are of course many theories for why so many phyla originated within a short time…my former colleague, paleontologist Charles Marshall, summarized many of them, concluding that we can’t yet lean strongly toward one explanation, even toward one key factor. That’s the way science works, when we don’t know, we say so.”

Dr. Stephen Meyer, author of Darwin's Doubt.

Coyne, however, presents an alarmingly dishonest and distorted picture of Dr. Meyer’s explanation of the explosion of life that took place in the Cambrian period:

“But creationist Stephen Meyer, from the Discovery Institute, has apparently wrapped up the story. He’s hit upon the real reason for the Cambrian explosion: it’s intelligent design! Yes, baby Jesus made the phyla. As the ID blog, Evolution News and Views notes when touting the book: Here is a sweeping account…of the frontiers of the scientific critique of Darwinism and the case for ID…he demonstrates that the weaknesses of orthodox evolutionary theory…are precisely the positive indications that point most persuasively to intelligent design. Evolutionary biologists…have come tantalizingly close to reaching this conclusion themselves.”

To which Coyne adds: “Tantalizingly close? My yiddishe tuchus! [my Jewish butt]…I doubt that [any evolutionist working on this problem] would entertain intelligent design for a second.

(I guess that Coyne – by pointing out to his readers that his “tuchus” is Jewish – wanted to remove all doubt that he might entertain ideas about “baby Jesus” creating new phyla. Anyone who is familiar with Coyne’s blog knows that he –as a passionately committed atheist – has real confusion about his Jewish identity. )

Of course, Dr. Meyer – who was a geophysicist with Atlantic Richfield and has a PhD in the history and philosophy of science from Cambridge University – makes no references to Christianity in Darwin’s Doubt. However, if Dr. Meyer’s commitment to Christianity itself offers us grounds to question his scientific analysis and conclusions, then Coyne’s zealous ideological commitment to materialism/atheism would likewise offer us grounds  to question the scientific analysis and conclusions reached in Coyne’s  book, Why Evolution is True, published in 2009.

Dr. Jerry Coyne of the University of Chicago.

Professor Coyne closes his tirade with a finish that would do any fanatic proud:

“Shame on him [Meyer], but even more shame on HarperCollins for feeding and misleading the public with creationism masquerading as science. Have they no shame at long last?” [as the crowd jumps to its feet roaring “Praise Darwin! Praise Darwin!]

Dr. Coyne, if you want to criticize Meyer’s work on its own merits, then by all means; but condemning a publishing house for publishing a book that challenges your views?! That is a clear indication that your emotional commitment to your atheistic ideology has  skewered your rational faculties. That is real grounds for us to doubt your ability to approach this subject with any objectivity at all.  Shame on you Dr. Coyne, shame on you. I will add a free piece of advice: As increasing numbers of  fiery arrows – launched by critics of Darwinian orthodoxy -  find their mark and the Darwinian edifice burns around you, it might be advisable to put down the fiddle and start taking note of  the location of the nearest exit.

Rabbi Moshe Averick is an orthodox rabbi, a regular columnist for the Algemeiner Journal, and author of Nonsense of a High Order: The Confused and Illusory World of the Atheist. It is available on Amazon.com and Kindle. Rabbi Averick can be reached via his website. If you wish to be informed when new articles appear, send an email to moe.david@hotmail.com with the email address and the word “Subscribe” in the subject line.

499 Comments

  • Steve Stoddard

    If science gets burned, it will be religion that does it, not science itself. Science is on the side of truth — it is religion that threatens the prospect of the mythical “fires of hell.”

  • Steve Stoddard

    Science, Richard Feynman once said, is “the belief in the ignorance of experts.”

    While religion, on the other hand, is belief in the irrelevance of facts and knowledge.

  • Steve Stoddard

    If you think of science as a “palace,” with the theists wishing to burn it down to get rid of all the knowledge so they can replace it with faith, you have a sad, but true, story. Something like: “The Warriors of God Wage a Crusade/Jihad Against Science!”

  • Steve Stoddard

    An intelligent being who designed and originated life is an impossibility. It is a simple contradiction to declare that “there was intelligent life before there was life”!

    (And if you wish to postulate a God Who is Unalive, then you would have to logically postulate Him as Unintelligent. So your theory would amount to “Unintelligent Undesign.”)

  • Steve Stoddard

    [][]… “dirt-did-it”![][]

    That is more realistic than “Creation, by God!” — but still doesn’t explain the origin of life.

    • Steve Stoddard

      The fact is that life originated 100% naturally — and 0% supernaturally — but that’s just background; it doesn’t explain it in the least.

  • Science Teacher

    The whole edifice of ID rests on the natural human tendency to give “Goddidit” an automatic mulligan from any further explanation, while demanding that any naturalistic explanation be fully validated at each step from beginning to end.

    As humans, the pattern-detectors of our brains are wired to easily spot the human, even where it doesn’t exist. Lightning? Obviously, the weapon of Zeus, who looks a lot like a Greek athlete throwing a javelin. OK, Zeus is out of fashion, so clearly Yahweh operates the Department of Lightning.

    In order to convince people that lightning is not the weapon of some “person in the sky,” scientists starting with Ben Franklin had to demonstrate experimentally that lightning is electricity in motion, provide complete theories of how clouds generate lightning, how “electricity” works, and so on. No one ever had to provide any description of how Zeus or Yahweh went about generating lightning, how they aimed it, etc.

    Being human ourselves, we have a pretty good implicit understanding of how humans do things. Ask how the light bulb came to be, and it’s easy to understand “ThomasEdisondidit” as an explanation, even if we have no idea how we’d go about constructing a light bulb from scratch ourselves. We’ve all made things ourselves, so we have what seems to be a pretty good understanding of how “ID” works.

    So, ID’ers bring up a case like bacterial flagella or bombardier beetles. If the evolutionists can’t explain in exhaustive detail every single step of the evolutionary process with complete fossil documatiation, then there’s a “mystery.” So, when they say “Evolution can’t explain this! God must have did it!” it seems to make sense without further explanation.

    “God” is basically a human with magic powers. We all know you don’t have to explain how magic works, it just does. The wizard waves a wand, and *bling!* stuff happens. That’s what makes it “magic” instead of physics or engineering. So, when the ID’er says “Goddidit,” it’s very easy for the human mind to imagine a Merlin in his lab drawing up plans for flagellum motors, stirring some bubbly potion with his wand, and *kazaam!* flagellum motors exist. As humans born with a tendency to assume humanness first (“What’s that sound? A burglar! No…just the wind–whew!”), the “human explanation” seems almost self-evident. Flagellum motors were made by a super-human. End of story.

    Evolution, being a non-human, naturalistic process, is not automatically, intuitively understood by humans as human action is. In order for a human to accept it, a whole lot of scientific explanation is necessary. This applies equally well to any other natural process. Explaining the movements of the planets of the solar system scientifically required the Principia Mathematica. The theory that the planets were carried around by angels or held aloft on the shoulders of Atlas needed no explanation at all to seem credible.

    ID’ers and Creationists are able to take advantage of this limitation of human consciousness by adopting a one-sided uber-skepticism with regard to naturalistic theories. “OK, Mr. Evolutionist, explain the bacterial flagellum! Well…um…alright, but what about the metamorphosis of the Monarch butterfly? Betcha can’t explain how that ‘just evolved!’” And so on, until they find something evolutionists haven’t explained yet. Barring the achievement of human omniscience, sooner or later they’ll stumble upon an unanswered question.

    Then, it’s “Ha! Evolution can’t explain that! Therefore, Goddidit!” Triumphant, their uber-skepticism immediately vanishes, replaced by unquestioning acceptance. However, if their own theory were held to the same standards as a naturalistic theory, its emptiness would be immediately evident.

    Scientist: “You propose an ‘Intelligent Designer’ as the central explanatory mechanism of your theory. Is this a human being?”

    ID: “No, of course not. He’s not part of this world.”

    Scientist: “So your Designer is not an entity that is a part of this world, like an extraterrestrial being?”

    ID: “Well, no, because the Designer created the Universe as well. Look at those finely-tuned cosmological constants! Don’t know how those got to be that way, do you? A Designer must have done it!” >does victory dance<

    Scientist: "So your Designer exists in some other dimension. Where is this other dimension? How does it interact with our universe?"

    ID: "Um…"

    Scientist: "If this other dimension is not a universe like this one with the same physical operating principles, what is it like? How do things work there? What is your Intelligent Designer made of? How does it perceive events taking place in our universe? We know that when we observe quantum particles, the act of observation affects the particles. Can you provide a mathematically rigorous description of how your Designer can observe quantum particles in a way that does not affect them (since we cannot detect any effects of your Designer's observation of quantum events)?

    ID: "Er…the Designer is outside of time…um…we just don't ask stuff like that. There's a real nice church a couple blocks down the street from here…"

    Scientist: "How would such a being select and set cosmological constants for a universe it was going to create? Can you provide a rigorous mathematical description of how something like that would be done? Are there creatures with "motors" in the Designers dimension? Are there proteins and acids, or lipid-walls? If not, how did your Designer come up with things like that in the first place? I mean, could you design a device that would work in some other dimension where all the principles of physics work differently than they do here?"

    ID: "What part of 'Goddidit' don't you understand?!"

    Scientist: "All of it. You want me to specify exactly how every single protein of a bacterial flagellum could evolve in mathematically rigorous and evidentially validated scientific papers. That's fine, it's my job. But if you want to call yourself a scientist, then you need to do the same with your theory. You haven't provided anything like a scientific model of what your 'Designer' is supposed to be, what his, her, or its native cosmos is supposed to be like, how that cosmos interacts with ours so that your 'Designer' can do anything here to begin with, where your 'Designer' or its cosmos came from, how your 'Designer' can design things like cosmological constants and flagellum motors for a cosmos entirely different from its own…or for that matter, why there's only one Designer! How do you know there's not ten of them–or billions?"

    Intelligent Design "theory" rests on two pillars, without which it would not exist at all:

    1) "Designer" is used with a capital-D and in the singular, counting on you to automatically assume "Yahweh" without the ID'ers having to come out and say it.

    2) Scientists must rigorously explain and validate their theories against a steep ramp of hyper-skepticism, but ID'ers get an auto-mulligan: their explanations are sufficient if they consist of only four words: "The Designer did it."

    • Steve Stoddard

      The “God/Designer”(s)/”other-cosmos dwellers” are imaginary. They are fictional characters pure and simple — there is no getting around that.

      The Supernatural is not merely unexplainable, it is literally impossible.

    • Steve Stoddard

      ID: “What part of ‘Goddidit’ don’t you understand?!”

      I have no problem understanding it. “Goddidit” is pure fiction, nothing more, nothing less.

      • Steve Stoddard

        The point is that no matter how much science hasn’t explained, yet, religious stories are never an explanation for anything. Religion is fiction, not cognition.

      • SS, you probably prefer “dirt-did-it”!

        • Steve Stoddard

          Not really — even though dirt is smarter than God.

          Dirt, at least, really exists, whereas God doesn’t.

    • Steve Stoddard

      ID: “Er…the Designer is outside of time…”

      And that literally means that “God is outside of existence,” i.e., purely imaginary.

    • Conversation between a normal guy and a materialist/atheist:

      NG: Do you think you are intelligently designed?

      MA: No, because there is no proof of a designer of life.

      NG: Do you think you are intelligent?

      MA: Yes, a lot more intelligent than you!

      NG: Where did your intelligence come from?

      MA: It came from matter through evolution.

      MG: So matter made you intelligent?

      MA: No, matter does not have that property.

      NG: Evolution made you intelligent?

      MA: Yes, I have evolved to be intelligent.

      NG: Evolution wanted you to be intelligent?

      MA: No. Evolution does not have goals.

      NG: So how did you become intelligent?

      MA: I was lucky.

      NG: In your case I would say that’s true!

      :-)

      • Steve Stoddard

        []
        NG: Do you think you are intelligently designed?

        MA: No, because there is no proof of a designer of life.
        []

        “MA” is a little off his rocker, there.

        In fact, an “intelligent designer of life” is an impossibility — since it is literally a contradiction in terms (sort of the ultimate in the fantasy of being able to lift yourself by your own bootstraps . . . .).

        • SS: “…an “intelligent designer of life” is an impossibility…”

          Au contraire, it’s the only possibility! Constantly repeating “impossible” won’t make it so, you should get use to it.

          • Steve Stoddard

            An “Intelligent Designer Accounting for the Origin of Life” is plainly not a possibility. Think about it.

            Intelligence is an attribute of particular living species. So basically, you are trying to claim that something already alive designed and created itself as a living being.

            But obviously, prior to the origin of life, there was nothing living, and therefore nothing intelligent. Thus, there could not possibly have been an “Intelligent Designer” prior to the existence of intelligence, i.e., life.

            Your “Creator God” would have had to be non-living, non-intelligent, and non-designing.

          • Steve Stoddard

            Do you believe that God is the moderator?

          • Steve Stoddard

            Whoa — how did that one get moderated before those from two days ago? Could it be true that God works in mysterious ways?!

    • Do you actually think anyone even bothered to read that horrendous diatribe, Steve?

      • Steve Stoddard

        What exactly is it, EJ, that you are feeling is a “horrendous diatribe”? Rabbi Averick’s article? Science Teacher’s post?

        I read both of those, and though the Rabbi’s article came closer to that, I still don’t think I would go as far as your description.

      • Steve Stoddard

        Oh, perhaps you meant Babamar’s thing.

      • Science teacher

        I’m well aware that you can’t “bother” to educate yourself. My posts are for the benefit of youngsters who stumble on this sight and are at risk of being sucked into Averick’s vortex of ignorance.

        • Steve Stoddard

          []“Averick’s vortex of ignorance”[]

          Good description. That’s what Averick’s “IDOL” sits in the middle of . . . .

        • As if you were actually teaching kids to think and reason. That wonderful American education system!

          • Steve Stoddard

            U.S. public schools are the real black hole of the universe. The sooner they are abolished, the better.

    • This is very weak.

      • Steve Stoddard

        Why do you think so?

      • Steve Stoddard

        Not only “why,” but it would be interesting to know precisely what you have in mind as the target for your charge of “weak.”

        What are you thinking?

    • Steve Stoddard

      [[{}[]‘… the “human explanation” seems almost self-evident. Flagellum motors were made by a super-human. End of story…. The theory that the planets were carried around by angels or held aloft on the shoulders of Atlas needed no explanation at all to seem credible.’[]{}[]

      When dealing with fictional stories, humans can engage in the willing suspension of disbelief in order to make it more fun — or, in the specific case of religion, more comforting. Fantasizing is not cognition — and is not really so demanding and specified!

      • Feyerabend: anything goes

        • Steve Stoddard

          You may imagine that “anything goes” — or have a deep and abiding faith that “anything goes.” But reality doesn’t follow your imagination.

          You may imagine that God will forgive you for being irrational, but in reality that doesn’t happen.

        • Steve Stoddard

          It is not true that “anything goes.” Reality is very specific. You could look around and see it.

  • Steve Stoddard

    “Now scientists have found ways to improve plant and animal cells on the genetic level. They have searched for and found genes responsible for both desirable and undesirable traits and then unlocked the DNA—adding, eliminating or turning down the expression of these genes.”

    http://blog.aynrandcenter.org/modifiedmonday/

    NOW you could say there is a sort of “code in DNA.”

    Humans have ideas. Nature doesn’t. And certainly God couldn’t.

  • Steve Stoddard

    Have the theists all gone to heaven?

  • Steve Stoddard

    Off the subject (’cause it’s so quiet around here): I’m curious if Rex knows whether Rex Tugwell was a Soviet agent like Harry Hopkins?

  • Steve Stoddard

    It is cool to note that there is no sound argumentation on the pro-theism side of the argument. That is due to the confused and illusory worldview of the Supernaturalists. They are not being realistic, to say the least.

  • Steve Stoddard

    \\|//
    Moshe Averick
    April 18, 2013
    10:17 am
    “There is no law of Chemistry that would tell you that UUU should code for a particular amino acid. It is purely arbitrary. Just as there is no reason why ‘D-O-G’ should represent a dog and not a cat.”
    //|\\

    Rabbi Averick, you still have not grasped the essential nature of language and code.

    Languages and codes are things people make up for conceptual purposes (thinking, communicating, producing, etc.). The “genetic code” is NOT something anyone made up for any purposes whatsoever. The laws of chemistry, DNA, etc., existed perfectly naturally, i.e., non-arbitrarily, long, long before consciousness evolved to be able to create languages and codes (and even think up arbitrary thoughts).

    “Sodium combined with Chlorine will by the laws of chemistry bond to form Sodium Chloride. Based on the laws of chemistry it is totally predictable.”

    DNA works on the same basis of natural (i.e., non-arbitrary) processes. Certainly, at this point in time, we have a better understanding of the apparently simpler processes like sodium chloride bonding, but that doesn’t mean that we need to attribute everything we haven’t yet figured out to “The Will of God.”

    In fact, attributing anything to “Creation, by God!” is an utterly fantastic notion. It makes no sense whatsoever. Supernaturalism is a doctrine that is anti-cognitive, anti-understanding, anti-reality.

    Your religious belief in your “IDOL” is grounded on nothing but blind faith (aka “BF“) — it is completely arbitrary; that is, it has no basis in reality.

    • Since you seem to love endless repetition, Steve, how about this classic piece from Kobe B?

      “Just entered this website and noticed this article- interesting. Thought I’d read the comments. BIZARRE. I’ve truly never seen anything like it. There seems to be a guy in a severe OCD state. I didn’t count exactly, but he seems to have posted over THREE HUNDRED COMMENTS. Shouldn’t there be some sort of monitor stopping this type of irrational behavior? The normal rules of behavior are that there is a certain amount of back and forth, and at a reasonable point, someone dominating the soapbox, after making his point (let’s say up to 3 or 4 repetitions), then comes down to give a chance for others to make theirs. Go on any other website and see if you can find such a thing. It’s pushing the limits when someone hits 20-25 comments, but I’d be shocked if you could find a reputable site where they allowed 50. But 300+? That’s the kind of thing that ruins websites, and I’d suggest to the Journal that they step in and have a little talk with the fellow about normal adult behavior”.

      He never mentions any names, but everyone obviously knows who he is talking about. Absolutely hilarious.

      • Steve Stoddard

        Not to mention totally insubstantial and irrelevant. But why should you mind that? When you are full of BF, sticking to the subject is not your best option: your pro-theism views have no foundation in reality. You could make 300,000,000,000,000+ posts and it wouldn’t make any difference. (It would be like trying to use Obama’s budgetary dreams as your inspiration.)

  • Steve Stoddard

    Snowflakes and DNA do exist and not as the result of any conscious intention. That it, they demonstrate complexity and specificity, but NOT specification.

    Belief in a “Supernatural Specifier” is not based on reality.

  • Steve Stoddard

    The “Darwinian Palace” of Rabbi Averick’s title is the rational practice of science, the use of observation and logic in pursuit of understanding the facts of reality.

    That’s the “Palace” that “Creationists/Supernaturalists” want to burn down — desiring to replace science with religion. Those theists want to wipe out nature in favor of “The Kingdom Of God” (on the basis of the feeling that it is “incredibly stupid not to believe in God”). Are they going to get away with it?

    • I never said that “it is incredibly stupid not to believe in God”, Steve, but clearly an accurate representation of the facts is too much to expect from you.

      So much for “the the use of observation and logic in pursuit of understanding the facts of reality”. Hypocrite.

      Still, you wouldn’t think that it be all that hard to quote someone in context without adding additional phrases that were never included in the original.

      But that wouldn’t serve your paranoid agenda quite as well, would it?

      Since the comment you falsified in order to justify your bogus accusations lies directly adjacent to your so called rebuttal, your petty misrepresentations are pretty easy to deflate.

      That does qualify as incredibly stupid, however, no one is really surprised anymore when Mr. Reality gets it wrong again, are they?

      • Steve Stoddard

        []I never said that “it is incredibly stupid not to believe in God”,…[]

        In fact, it is not “smart” to believe in God: it is totally an “act of faith,” which is the opposite of reasonable.

        []So much for “the the use of observation and logic in pursuit of understanding the facts of reality”.[]

        That would not be religion now, would it?

        Nope: it’s science — which is rejected by the faithful theists.

        []“That does qualify as incredibly stupid,…”[]

        It certainly looks like EJ feels that it is “incredibly stupid” not to agree with him about the supernatural. Doth he protest too much? His method of misdirection and misapprehension is not too logical, to say the least.

        Oh well, if you can’t stand the heat, you could stay out of the kitchen.

      • Steve Stoddard

        \/
        EJ
        June 14, 2013
        9:19 am
        “… clearly an accurate representation of the facts is too much to expect from you …”
        /\

        As I’ve been saying all along, the accurate representation of the facts is that there is NO evidence for the existence of anything “supernatural,” e.g., God, and a world of evidence for the basic, primary, inescapable existence of nature.

        Do you have a good reason to object that that is somehow NOT an accurate representation of the facts? Why does that strike you as a “paranoid agenda”?

    • SS, what kind of pot are you smoking? It must be very strong, because your comments don’t make any sense.

      I never touched the stuff, I prefer to leave it to atheists, because their believing in this one and only life make them really in need of it!

  • Steve Stoddard

    Snowflakes demonstrate ONLY complexity, NOT specification. There is no information conveyed in snowflakes, leaves, wings, fingerprints, tails, etc. DNA is likewise part of nature in an identical way.

    In nature, there is no “specified information” in anything, not in snowflakes nor in DNA, etc.

    • If you are not aware of how incredibly stupid such claims sound, then you are ignorant, and woefully uninformed about this subject, Steve.

      On the other hand, if you indeed realize that your assertions are technically false, but make them anyway in order to pacify a need to dominate the argument, or present the appearance of actually having something to say, then you are a liar.

      Either way, it is still BS.

      • Steve Stoddard

        Snowflakes and DNA demonstrate complexity and specificity, but NOT specification (since they do exist and are not the result of any conscious intention). There is no information conveyed in snowflakes, leaves, wings, fingerprints, tails, DNA, etc. Nature is not man-made — and certainly not “God-made.”

        In nature, there is no “specified information” in anything, not in snowflakes nor in DNA, etc. The notion of a “Supernatural God” with miraculous powers of specification is BF (Blind Faith). Theism is irrational in the 21st century; it was irrational in the 11th century, and in the 1st. It has never been reasonable, i.e., based on evidence, and it never will be. You can’t get evidence of non-reality.

      • Steve Stoddard

        \/
        EJ
        June 12, 2013
        6:05 am
        “… incredibly stupid …”
        /\

        You should try to explain why you feel that the idea of “DNA as part of nature” is (as you put it) “incredibly stupid.”

        Notice that you do not actually have an argument, that is, evidence and logic, to support your belief.

        All you have is BF — and that doesn’t work in this context.

        The notion of a “Supernatural Information Giver” is pure fantasy — completely unrealistic, and literally impossible.

        So you substitute “incredibly stupid” for trying to explain your beliefs on the matter. If you indeed realize that your assertions are technically false (as you do appear to realize), but make them anyway in order to pacify a need to dominate the argument (i.e., play the “Supernaturalist Trump Card”), or present the appearance of actually having something to say, then you are not making sense and not being a good debater.

      • Steve Stoddard

        \/
        EJ
        June 12, 2013
        6:05 am
        “Either way, it is still BS.”
        /\

        In your dreams, EJ, only in your dreams.

        In fact, the origin of life did not involve any code or communication of information in DNA.

        If you try to think in terms of an “elementary code” that makes, for instance, water out of hydrogen and oxygen, maybe you will be able to see what I’m getting at. The belief that the nature of things depends on conscious intention is a wild fantasy — quite at odds with the logic of reality.

    • There is no information in your comment either!

      Why don’t you go pollute another blog?

      • Steve Stoddard

        Geez, don’t be such a sore loser. Big disappointment. (And if you really feel polluted, you don’t have to read anything by anybody who disagrees with you. Think about it.)

      • Steve Stoddard

        Or you can wait for God to come to your rescue. Maybe the dream will come true this time!

  • Steve Stoddard

    []
    Babamar
    June 6, 2013
    5:40 pm
    “I say: God,…. Now let’s argue about that giving references to modern discoveries …”
    []

    There are no “modern discoveries” of God. There are no “ancient discoveries” of God, either. There is no evidence whatsoever for God, modern or otherwise.

    There are ZERO references to actual discoveries or logical inferences concerning the existence of God. Zilch. You’ve got nothing to give. You have no realistic argument on your side.

  • Steve Stoddard

    []
    Babamar
    May 30, 2013
    7:28 am
    “… only a mind, intelligence, can create a code.”
    []

    Correct. That is, of course, why “code in DNA” before humans existed is nonsense. No humans, no mind. No mind, no code.

    • SS said: No humans, no mind. No mind, no code.

      I say: God, Mind, DNA code, Life!

      Now let’s argue about that giving references to modern discoveries and let’s bury poor old Darwin once and for all.

      • Steve Stoddard

        God is a myth.

        Mind comes after life.

        There was no “code in DNA.”

        The sequence you offer is imaginary. Realistically, your notion is impossible.

        • SS, your problem with understanding our world was identified long ago by Plato who said:

          “Atheism is a disease of the soul before it becomes an error of understanding.”

          Saying that DNA is not a code is “an error of understanding” and it is impossible to have any discussion in the absence of logic.

          • Steve Stoddard

            There is neither logic nor evidence for the “code in DNA” notion (which is an article of faith, not part of a rational discussion).

            Religious belief is a massive “absence of logic.” That’s why you really have nothing to discuss (and so avoid discussion by asserting articles of faith, e.g., “code in DNA” and “a God beyond space and time”).

          • Steve Stoddard

            [[]] Plato who said:

            “Atheism is a disease of the soul before it becomes an error of understanding.”[[]]

            Plato was certainly wrong about that. It is actually theism that is a “disease of the soul” — since it is irrational and unrealistic. “Atheism” is more like a healthy tonic for the soul, i.e., the mind.

        • SS: “Nobody programmed either the periodic table or DNA…”

          You are mixing apples with oranges.

          There are strict rules that govern the placement of elements in the periodic table, but there are no known rules or laws, chemical or physical, that govern the placement of nucleotides in DNA, because DNA is a code.

          “Genetic INFORMATION is ENCODED as a sequence of nucleotides (guanine, adenine, thymine, and cytosine) recorded using the letters G, A, T, and C. ” (Wikipedia, my emphasis)

          I guess you are the only one not understanding what DNA is!

          SS: “God is a myth.”

          Proofs of God’s existence are many. Some are metaphysical, like Aquinas five ways, others are based on the material world like the kalam cosmological argument based on the beginning of the universe or the teleological argument from fine-tuning, still others are scientific of which the DNA code is the most compelling because only a Mind can create a code.

          It is you who refuses to have a logical discussion by continually repeating like a mantra the creed of your atheism without providing any evidence for it.

          Plato was right.

          • Steve Stoddard

            [[]]“Proofs of God’s existence are many.”[[]]

            Attempted or alleged “proofs fo God’s existence” are indeed legion. They are all bogus, without factual and logical grounding.

            There is zero evidence for God, and no argument for His existence that can stand on merit.

          • Steve Stoddard

            [{}]“There are strict rules that govern the placement of elements in the periodic table, but there are no known rules or laws, chemical or physical, that govern the placement of nucleotides in DNA, because DNA is a code.”[{}]

            Your use of the assumption that “DNA is a code” to establish that “there are no known rules or laws” concerning DNA is another illogical argument without any evidence to support it.

            You cannot prove that “DNA is a code” by assuming that “DNA is a code.” You certainly can’t prove it any other way, either. For proof, you would need evidence — and you don’t have it.

          • Steve Stoddard

            {[]}“… of which the DNA code is the most compelling because only a Mind can create a code.”{[]}

            The fact that only a mind can create code is precisely why it is impossible for DNA to be a code — since, biologically speaking (historically, chronologically, etc.) DNA came first and minds only came later.

            You are trying to “put the cart before the horse,” as they say — wishing you could reverse cause and effect.

            And claims for “Supernatural Intelligence” that doesn’t follow causality are plain nonsense. You can’t make that work: no logic, no facts.

          • Steve Stoddard

            [[[]]]“… the kalam cosmological argument based on the beginning of the universe …”[[[]]]

            The error in that argument is the baseless assumption that the universe needs a magical explanation. In fact, it doesn’t need any explanation at all. There is necessarily no cause for the universe, since any such alleged “cause” would be non-existent on its own terms.

          • Steve Stoddard

            []“Plato was right.”[]

            Not exactly.

          • Steve Stoddard

            [()]“It is you who refuses to have a logical discussion …”[()]

            Not so. It is those who insist on the existence of “the supernatural” who are thereby refusing to participate in a logical discussion. It is not exactly logical to be unrealistic.

        • SS: “…DNA came first and minds only came later.”

          Saying that DNA became a code because we now exists is like saying gravity became a law of physic because we now exist.

          With reasoning like that no wonder you’re an atheist!

          • Steve Stoddard

            You sound very confused. Think about what you might like to say that is not only grammatical, but even follows the points being made by others.

        • Steve, unfortunately for you apparently, the phrase “genetic code” has been ubiquitous in our culture for decades. It shows up in scientific and popular literature constantly as you well know. Deal with it. In private. Having people laughing at you is not a good way to deal with it.

          • Steve Stoddard

            If it bothers you so much, you shouldn’t read this stuff.

            We need to deal with the fact that “genetic code” is a metaphor. Taking it literally is not a good way to deal with it.

      • Steve Stoddard

        []“… poor old Darwin …”[]

        And you still haven’t answered the question about why you are confused on the issue of Darwin saying something about DNA.

        Also: why pretend that God is not unreal?

        • Darwin did not know about DNA. This is why his theory of random mutations filtered by natural selection, known as darwinism, has been falsified by modern discoveries about the cell, the DNA code and the machinery of the cell. A very good book on the subject is “Programming of Life” by Don Johnson, who has PhDs in both Chemistry and Information Science.

          • Steve Stoddard

            The “code in DNA” is no more literally code than the “code in the periodic table.”

            Nobody programmed either the periodic table or DNA. Neither water nor life is a product of intention.

            Notice that the only way you can sneak “intention” in there is by imagining some “Supernatural Intelligence” — an impossibility.

  • Steve Stoddard

    []
    Eddy M. del Rio
    May 27, 2013
    4:43 pm
    “… being strictly regulated by laws of physics.”
    []

    So another of your ideas, Eddy, is that DNA violates the laws of physics? Does that make sense?

  • Eddy M. del Rio

    SS and AW, you guys need some more time to get caught up with the biologic information era. Let’s talk again in 5 years, when I think only an idiot would still have their head in the sand on the subject.

  • [][]“DNA and the Universe were created by intelligence.”[][]

    Not actually. But there is a popular story to that effect making the rounds.

  • Fine, Eddy! I don’t care anymore. DNA and the Universe were created by intelligence. Maybe a Yahweh. Maybe a pantheon of invisible wizards. Again I ask, so what? What is a useful application of this “knowledge”?

    • Consider what the “useful application” of counterfeit money is. Many people consider a good con to have a “useful application.”

      If nothing else, “the supernatural” has a “useful application” for those who prefer fantasy over reality. It is some story!

      • That works both ways.

        The atheist is the one living in a fantasy by denying any accountability to his Creator.

        Prefering instead the fantasy of self over the responsibilities inherent in the reality of a Creator.

        • Steve Stoddard

          []“The atheist is the one living in a fantasy by denying any accountability to his Creator.”[]

          It is not a fantasy to recognize the impossibility of a “Supernatural Creator.” Acknowledging reality is realism, not fantasy.

          []“… the fantasy of self …”[]

          You may think of yourself as a “fantastic creation,” but the sensible view is that life is perfectly natural. Why deny it?

    • AndrewMellon

      []“Again I ask, so what?”[]

      Perhaps the idea is that “since God created us, God owns us.”

    • Steve Stoddard

      Soothing faith in the unreal?

  • \|/
    Eddy M. del Rio
    June 2, 2013
    9:24 pm
    “You know full well that snowflakes demonstrate ONLY complexity, NOT specification …”
    /|\

    Exactly the same as DNA. DNA shows “ONLY complexity, NOT specification.”

    Notice how it is necessary for you to sneak some miraculous supernatural power in there if you wish to claim “specification.” You are being entirely unrealistic in that respect.

    • If DNA were not specific, then life could not and would not function as we know it.

      Basic biology, and yet you claim DNA doesn’t demonstrate specificity?

      The falseness of such assertions are only surpassed by their absurdity, but a factual foundation is apparently not a criteria which you allow to limit your desperate attempts to deny the obvious.

      At least Steve agrees with you, although since he isn’t any more honest or objective in his unsubstantiated declarations, that isn’t exactly a positive reference either.

      Standard fare from the atheist, whose agenda is simply to deny a creator, regardless how or with what.

      • Steve Stoddard

        []“Basic biology, and yet you claim DNA doesn’t demonstrate specificity?”[]

        EJ, you not only need lessons in biology, in particular, and the scientific method, in general, but you could also use some vocabulary work.

        Note the difference, for instance, between “specificity” and “specified.”

        [][]“Standard fare from the atheist, whose agenda is simply to deny a creator, regardless how or with what.”[][]

        Since a “Supernatural Creator” is a physical and logical impossibility, atheism makes sense and theism doesn’t.

  • \|/
    Eddy M. del Rio
    June 2, 2013
    9:24 pm
    “You know full well that snowflakes demonstrate ONLY complexity, NOT specification …”
    /|\

    Exactly the same as DNA. DNA shows “ONLY complexity, NOT specification.”

    Notice how it is necessary for you to sneak some miraculous supernatural power in there if you wish to claim “specification.” You are being entirely unrealistic in that respect.

  • Eddy M. del Rio

    Someone needs some help coming into the 21st century in biology.

    Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a molecule that encodes the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms and many viruses.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA

    DNA Is a Structure That Encodes Biological Information
    http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/dna-is-a-structure-that-encodes-biological-6493050

    Only when this model was proposed did DNA’s potential for replication and information encoding become apparent.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK26821/

    ­DNA is o­ne of the nucleic acids, information-containing molecules in the cell
    http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/cellular-microscopic/dna1.htm

  • [][]“DNA is the carrier of genetic information.”[][]

    It is “information” only from the human perspective. Before there were humans, genes were no more “information” than electrons were.

  • \|/
    Eddy M. del Rio
    May 27, 2013
    4:43 pm
    “Chemical phase transitions have nothing to do with information, being strictly regulated by laws of physics.”
    /|\

    That is an interesting perspective on the world. I must say that I think I agree with you on that point.

    Where we differ, in my estimation, is on the notion that DNA is “regulated” by “laws” that are somehow non-physical (and non-strict).

    I think DNA exists in the same universe as hydrogen and oxygen — and it is “regulated” by the same existing laws of that same existing universe. DNA has no capabilities of acting as if it exists in some alternate universe where the laws of physics don’t apply.

    And DNA certainly doesn’t (as in your religious scenario) have free will, so that it needs information to guide its behavior. In the real world, DNA has no more options to not follow the strict laws of physics, chemistry, etc., than do hydrogen and oxygen (or electrons or rocks, etc.).

    • Eddy M. del Rio

      SS, If DNA *information* was governed by chemical/physical law, there would not be the variety of DNA information that exists, for law would have resulted in a necessary product that was repeated and identical every time.

      • No two snowflakes are identical. Are snowflakes also designed by an invisible wizard? Or are snowflakes teh product of chemical and physical laws?

        • Way to go, AW.

          And to give Eddy a hint: there are no “invisible wizards,” but there are physical and chemical materials in the world.

        • Eddy M. del Rio

          You know full well that snowflakes demonstrate ONLY complexity, NOT specification. There is no information conveyed in snowflakes, leaves, wings, fingerprints, tails, etc. DNA would be identical if it were the product of chemical law.

          • There is no more “information” in DNA than there is in snowflakes. Nature doesn’t stop to talk to itself.

          • “SS, If DNA *information* was governed by chemical/physical law, there would not be the variety of DNA information that exists, for law would have resulted in a necessary product that was repeated and identical every time.”

            The argument you’re presenting is as follows:

            Premise #1. There are a variety of DNA molecules.
            Premise #2. Chemical/Physical laws can’t produce variety.
            Conclusion. Therefore, DNA is not the product of chemical/physical laws.

            Snowflakes demonstrate that the second premise is false, and your conclusion is therefore unsound.

          • DNA also shows “ONLY complexity, NOT specification.”

  • [[]]“DNA is essentially a storage molecule. It contains all of the instructions a cell needs to sustain itself.”[[]]

    That is a case of anthropomorphizing the process. You could look it up.

    Instructions are organizations of material created and used by humans. Instructions came after humans, not before. It is not reasonable to try to reverse cause and effect. It is even impractical to put the cart before the horse.

    • SS wrote “That is a case of anthropomorphizing the process.”

      Merriam-Webster definition of anthropomorphizing: to attribute human form or personality to.

      What a lame thing to say! Saying my computer stores information does not attribute any human form or personality to it. The same goes for DNA!

      • Your computer stores information and your refrigerator stores food. Neither of them do any storage if you didn’t put something in.

        Further, computers and refrigerators did not exist before humans invented them. The claim that there is “code in DNA” implies that human invented DNA — which is quite impossible.

        And the notion that God invented DNA is, if anything, even more impossible. Humans, after all, actually do exist, whereas God is fiction.

        • SS, DNA is the carrier of genetic information.

          Just Google it!

        • SS, I can understand that your atheist/materialist worldview forbids you from acknowledging that DNA is a code, because DNA comes before the organism.

          This is why Lewontin wrote “patent absurdity of some of (materialism) constructs”.

          We Christians don’t have to buttress such “absurdity”!

          • Religion preaches the absurdity of the supernatural — that’s what the miracle of “code in DNA” is all about.

            Try to image how absurd my view looks to you. That is almost how absurd your view looks to people who do not believe in ghostly gods from the back of beyond.

            Code in DNA is manifest nonsense, just like everything else “supernatural.”

          • [{}]“… your atheist/materialist worldview forbids you from acknowledging that DNA is a code, because DNA comes before the organism.”[{}]

            One should acknowledge facts as facts and fantasies as fantasies. And “code in DNA” is fantasy (or a least metaphor) not fact. As you acknowledge, “DNA comes before the organism,” i.e., DNA comes before code.

            Reality should always be the ultimate limitation on explanations of what we want to understand in the world.

        • SS, there is one thing you seem to understand very well and this is that only a mind, intelligence, can create a code. Admitting DNA is a code is admitting that a mind is behind life but, of course, that would be thinking outside the materialist box.

          BTW, have you ever heard of the “Sequence Hypothesis”?
          (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sequence_hypothesis)

          • [][]“… thinking outside the materialist box.”[][]

            That is the religious approach. But understanding how DNA works is a scientific question, so the religious approach is inappropriate.

            Religion cannot explain anything in the world. Religion is mythology and blind faith, not understanding or reasonably dealing with the real world.

          • You are right. Darwinism is a <i
            religious approach!

          • Excuse me?

            What did Darwin have to say about DNA?

            And how is evolution supposed to be non-materialistic?

          • Darwinism tries (and fails) to explain the evolution of life on earth by random mutations filtered by natural selection, i.e. a blind, undirected, no goal-seeking process. Darwinism is a materialistic theory that explains nothing about the evolution of life but its faithful adherents, a.k.a. dar-winos, believe Darwinism is true.

            Hence the religious approach!

          • Excuse me?

            What did Darwin have to say about DNA?

            And how is evolution supposed to be non-materialistic?

            And what has evolution got to do with the origin of life anyhow??

          • What did Darwin have to say about DNA?

            And how is evolution supposed to be non-materialistic?

            And what is evolution supposed to have to do with the origin of life??

          • More duplication — this is weird.

  • Eddy M. del Rio

    SS said, “Note that there is no more actual “information” or “code” in DNA than there is in a water molecule.”

    But the Nobel Laureate David Baltimore http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Baltimore said, “Some say biology is the science of the 21st century, but, in truth, it is information science that will dominate,” says Caltech president David Baltimore. “It will be like the physics of the 20th century where Einstein took the teachings of Newton, which were enough to put people on the moon, and allowed people’s minds to reach into the atom or out into the cosmos. Information science, the understanding of what constitutes information, how it is transmitted, encoded, and retrieved, is in the throes of a revolution whose societal repercussions will be enormous.”

    Finally, DNA is now being used to store human-authored data. See http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature11875.html

    SS, such is impossible with water molecules.

  • When did the alleged supernatural supposedly begin? What’s the theory?

    Was it always there with nature? Did it have its own “Supernatural Big Bang”?

    Is there supposed to be anything complex or functional about the alleged supernatural?

    How is it supposed to work if it isn’t real?

    • Indeed, is God supposed to be an effect without a cause, a cause without an effect, an effect that comes before its cause, or what?

      Is God simply nothing in particular?

    • Eddy M. del Rio

      Only contingent beings require a cause. God is considered a self-sufficient and necessary being — what Aristotle called “the *unmoved* Mover” or, interestingly, “Thought thinking of itself.” (his Metaphysics). Very specifically, there is no fallacy of infinite regression.

      • [][]“God is considered a self-sufficient and necessary being …”[][]

        Being imaginary, God is entirely contingent on having somebody imagine Him. There is nothing necessary, and certainly nothing self-sufficient, about God.

        If you would notice, there are many different notions of God — not just a single, “necessary” one.

        And a God Who commands His believers to have no other gods before Him — well, that is certainly not a “self-sufficient” God (certainly not psychologically-speaking).

      • [][]“Thought thinking of itself.”[][]

        There is certainly nothing “God-like” about thinking about thought. That is basic, standard epistemology — logic, language, etc. Most people can do it to some extent, at least.

      • [][][]“… there is no fallacy of infinite regression.”[][][]

        There is certainly no “fallacy of infinite regression” with nature.

        And there isn’t with God, either, as there had to have been a first person who dreamed Him up.

      • So God is “necessary” and other things are “contingent.” I’m sure this sounds very thorough to you, but all you’ve actually done is make an assertion. You assert that the Universe is “contingent,” by which you mean “something which requires an explanation”; while God is “necessary,” by which you mean “I don’t have to provide an explanation.” If you think that this kind of thing passes as any kind of rigorous proof, rather than self-satisfied word salad, then I don’t think you understand this discussion as well as you think you do.

        • Wow, AW, you’ve sure got Eddy nailed to a “T”!

        • Eddy M. del Rio

          AW, what is your alternative to Spontaneous Generation vs Infinite Regression? What do you propose to explain the presence of the universe?

          • [{\/}]“What do you propose to explain the presence of the universe?”[{/\}]

            The universe doesn’t need an explanation, in the first place.

            In the second place, nothing can be explained by nothing. And if you didn’t have the universe, i.e., something existing, then nothing would be would be what you had left over.

            Notice that the explanation of something is always something else. And since the universe is everything, then there is nothing else out there to explain it.

            The notion of a supernatural “something other than existence” is mythology, mysticism, balderdash, an article of blind, i.e., religious, faith, etc. — you get the idea.

          • What do you propose to explain the presence of God – spontaneous generation or infinite regression?

          • The explanation for all three of those items, AW, is that they are all imaginary.

            They arise as mythology about miraculous, mystical, fictional “possibilities.”

      • [][][]“Only contingent beings require a cause.”[[[]]]

        All you are saying there is that “only caused beings are caused” — and, of course, that is the only kind of beings that exist.

        God is unphysical, unenergetic, in short, unreal, and therefore, naturally, not caused (but only imaginary).

  • \|/
    Eddy M. del Rio
    May 12, 2013
    1:09 am
    “The set of *conceivable* causes includes natural and supernatural.”
    /|\

    I think you are misusing the word “conceivable” so that you can equate “thinking of explanations” with “imaging nonsense.”

    Ideas about nature are cognitively conceivable because there is evidence to tie them to.

    Beliefs about the supernatural are inconceivable because there is cognitively nothing to base them on or tie them to.

    The whole point of having religious faith is that God is literally inconceivable. That’s what it means to claim that “God is beyond space and time,” that “God is not part of the physical universe,” etc.

    • Another thing to notice, Eddy, is that you have not got the slightest clue about the unnatural abilities God is supposed to have to do the things the stories tell of Him doing. It is inconceivable to you.

  • Science Teacher

    @Eddy

    We actually both agree that existence is eternal, we just disagree as to its contents. Your conception of existence would look something like this:

    {[Supernatural realm: Yahweh + whatever else supernatural exists]—–> the natural Universe}

    where these brackets { } enclose the set of everything that exists and these [ ] enclose all supernatural existents. In your view, the natural Universe is something like a projection from Yahweh, whose own existence is eternal.

    Either creation of the natural Universe is a use of Yahweh’s power, or it isn’t. If it is, then the matter/energy content of the natural Universe existed eternally, in Yahweh. In other words:

    {[Yahweh]} = {[Yahweh + created supernatural stuff] + the natural Universe}

    In this scenario, the matter/energy of the natural Universe merely changed form from a supply of supernatural Yahweh-power, into natural matter/energy. If you adopt this scenario, then you can have no quarrel with the idea that the matter/energy of our natural Universe has existed eternally in some form. All that remains is to compare the probability of naturalistic versions of this (like sequential Big Bangs arising from vacuum fluctuations or black hole formation in an existing natural Universe) against the “It’s magic!” “explanation.”

    If the creation of the natural Universe is not a use of Yahweh’s power (so that conservation of energy does not hold in its creation), we get something like this:

    {[Yahweh]} < {[Yahweh + created supernatural stuff] + the natural Universe}

    In this scenario, the creation is truly ex nihilo, so that a "Yahweh + Created Stuff" existence is greater than a "Yahweh Without Created Stuff" existence. The natural Universe is appearing out of nothing, without Yahweh having to exert or transform any power to do it. The sum total of all that exists has increased. Were I to ask, "How does Yahweh do this?" you would undoubtedly say, "It's a miracle" and expect inquiry to stop. While the premise of your argument asserts that all natural effects have a cause, you have no problem with the idea of natural effects occurring out of nowhere if Yahweh says so.

    But what exactly is Yahweh doing here? He says "Let there be a Universe," and *poof* the Universe appears. If the Universe truly appears ex nihilo, then there is no relationship between Yahweh's magic words and the Universe. How can there be? At the time Yahweh exerts his magic cause, there is no Universe to effect. The Universe is just popping into being out of nothing–out of nothing, not out of the power of Yahweh's magic (that would be the first scenario above).

    When we talk about causality, we're talking about a transfer of energy from one thing to another. We know of no verified violations of this principle, so any claim that there is one has a very high burden of proof. Extraordinary claim. Extraordinary evidence. So if Yahweh is not transferring and transforming energy in order to create the Universe, there's no link of causal force between him and its appearance. He's superfluous. "It just appeared supernaturally" is no more or less absurd than "It just appeared supernaturally because somebody said some words." The "supernaturally" in both sentences erases logic and reason from the claim.

    • Eddy M. del Rio

      Fascinating discussion Mr/Ms. Science teacher, sincerely. I will reply more simply: If Yahweh(Y) created by a transfer of energy, that implies a diminishment of Y’s energy afterwards, if we hold to the 1st Law of Thermodynamics. Would you accept such a proposition? Second, if a thing changes or ages then it must be finite. If the universe is finite (and I think we agree that it is), then how other could it have come to be rather than from a supernatural act of ex nihilo? Aren’t we left with either: the universe popped into existence accidentally by no cause, or it popped into existence intentionally by some supernatural cause? (Of course this discussion is one of philosophy/metaphysics.) I disagree that IF Y created ex nihilo, then “he’s superfluous;” Y would nonetheless be the Creator (self-sufficient) and we the created (contingent).

      • [][]“… the universe popped into existence …”[][]

        In your dreams.

        The real world, of course, doesn’t have that kind of “pop.”

      • Science Teacher

        >If Yahweh(Y) created by a transfer of energy, that implies a diminishment of Y’s energy afterwards, if we hold to the 1st Law of Thermodynamics. Would you accept such a proposition?

        Yeah. That’s what I said in my last post.

        > Second, if a thing changes or ages then it must be finite.

        Yahweh has thoughts and feelings. Therefore, Yahweh changes. Therefore, Yahewh is finite.

        So, did Yahweh pop into existence or was he created?

        • Since Yahweh is a fictional character, He was created by somebody trying to construct a story about an unreal power. He popped into the literature out of somebody’s imagination.

          So, it was both: He did “pop into existence” because He was “created” — just like Elmer Gantry and Bugs Bunny. “Eh, what’s up God?”

        • Eddy M. del Rio

          I can tell you unequivocally that Judaism holds to a single, self-sufficient, necessary (not contingent) and intelligent and all-powerful being, that despite being emanent, is transcendent to the created universe which was created and is sustained by same. Christianity holds the same view. Not surprisingly “Science Teacher” your views are not held by either.

      • [][]“Aren’t we left with either: the universe popped into existence accidentally by no cause, or it popped into existence intentionally by some supernatural cause?”[][]

        No, you have proposed a false alternative. The universe never “popped into existence” — period.

        “Ex nihilo” and “supernatural” are equivalent — in that both are impossible (and in contradiction to nature).

    • []‘The “supernaturally” in both sentences erases logic and reason from the claim.’[]

      That is an interesting observation.

      The “supernatural” is unreal, so naturally there cannot be anything logical and reasonable about it. As has been said: “There is no there there.”

  • Science Teacher

    @Eddy

    The Universe didn’t “come into existence” during the Big Bang. Prior to the Big Bang, the Universe existed in a dense, extremely hot state. The Big Bang theory describes how the Universe then began expanding rapidly. After the initial expansion, the Universe cooled sufficiently to allow energy to be converted into various subatomic particles and later, the neutral elements with which we’re familiar. Equivocating “coming into existence” with what the Big Bang actually describes is the fallacious foundation of the Kalam cosmological argument.

    • Eddy M. del Rio

      Mr. Science Teacher, Your statement “Prior to the Big Bang, the Universe existed in a dense, extremely hot state” is entirely unfounded as BEYOND the reach of science, and is therefore not a *scientific* statement, but a metaphysical one.

      • Science Teacher

        The Big Bang describes how the Universe went from a dense, hot state to a rapidly expanding state. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang

        • [][]“The Big Bang describes how the Universe went from a dense, hot state to a rapidly expanding state.”[][]

          Nobody knows HOW the “Big Bang” happened — IF there ever even was such a thing. Since it is generally ascribed to some miraculous “singularity,” it is probably imaginary just like God.

          I tend to think of the “Big Bang” as an attempt salvage the belief in “Creation, by God!” through secularizing it. Which, in this case at least, is not any improvement.

      • Your view that “God Designed and Created the Universe” is entirely unfounded as BEYOND the reach of science, and is therefore not a *scientific* statement, but a metaphysical one.

        Mystical metaphysics, no less.

  • \|/
    Eddy M. del Rio
    May 12, 2013
    1:33 am
    “Since life and the universe demonstrate that they are specified, the best explanation is that they were designed.”
    /|\

    Specifically, Eddy, your argument is: “”Since life and the universe demonstrate that they are designed, the best explanation is that they were designed.”

    The point is that in this context, there is no substantial difference between “specified” and “designed.” Both are conscious processes, and they are functionally equivalent in terms of your “argument.” There is no “demonstration” and no “explanation.”

    You are assuming the existence of God as an article of faith. Apart from blind faith, you’ve got nothing. (The pretense of an “argument from design” doesn’t work at all.)

    • Eddy M. del Rio

      SS, me thinks you have read neither Dembski nor Meyer (certainly not Plantinga, Flew or Nagel). If we compare the face of a random mountain and compare it to Mount Rushmore National Memorial, it is likely that both would be equally mathematically complex, and as such of equal improbability, but only one would have specification to something other that humans would recognize. In the same way, we recognize the construct of the code in DNA, as well as it’s data replication, copying quality control, manufacturing execution and quality control, etc. and understand that the only cause KNOWN and OBSERVED to produce such traits is an intelligence. That is why some evolutionary scientists search for *evidence* of intelligence coming to us from space.

      • [][]“… we recognize the construct of the code in DNA,…”[][]

        Not until somebody has put some code in there. Before humans started doing that, there was no code there to recognize.

        It’s a myth that code could have got into DNA without living intelligence, viz., humans, putting it there.

        • Eddy M. del Rio

          I can’t believe how sorely uninformed you are regarding this aspect of cellular biology!

          Even as far back as in his “Life: An introduction to Biology” on page 161 of the second edition (1965) George Gaylord Simpson noted in a chapter summary: “Complexity and information: heredity as information for the control of development.” And/or on page 30 of his little book titled, “Evolution” Colin Patterson writes, “Second, the model [DNA molecule] offers a method of carrying coded messages – the sequence of the bases … and the sequence of the bases could be a coded message written in a four-letter alphabet … and within about a dozen years this code (the genetic code) had been cracked.”

          You are in some deep state of denial.

          • On the contrary, I do not deny at all that many people have made the “code in DNA” error.

            The fact that many people make the same error of thinking does not magically change the error to truth. Think about it.

      • \\//“… mathematically complex,…”\\//

        It matters not how “mathematically complex” the description of anything is. Reality is not dependent on “mathematical complexity.”

      • The argument from design employs fake induction by extending valid reasoning to invalid claims where it doesn’t apply. For example: We can definitely know with a high degree of certainty that watches are designed by people. Is it because they are so complex? Of course not. Lots of complex things exist in the world that were not designed by people. If we find a watch on the beach, it is entirely unlike the beach, in that it resembles things that we know humans create.

        We know no such thing about sand, rocks, or water. We experience all those things occurring in the natural world. Not only can we not conclude that those things were designed by humans, there’s no justified leap of inference that tells us that they were designed at all. In the natural world, things that we observe to have been designed, were designed by things with brains — the end result of long natural processes with no designer in sight.

        Creationists like you make the claim that since some things we observe are created by humans, all things must be created by magical super-humans. This is as useless as saying that since some crops are grown by farmers, all plants which grow must have been someone’s crops, even in periods of time when we are not aware that any farmers existed.

        • Very nice post, AW. Rabbi Averick and the Creationists have no sound argument in rebuttal.

          The “IDOL” can’t beat real farmers.

        • Eddy M. del Rio

          AW, you disappoint me. “Creationists like you make the claim that since some things we observe are created by humans, all things must be created by magical super-humans. This is as useless as saying that since some crops are grown by farmers, all plants which grow must have been someone’s crops, even in periods of time when we are not aware that any farmers existed.”

          How disingenuous (speaking of fake induction). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the logic is this, EVERYTIME we OBSERVE certain FEATURES that WE KNOW are caussed by INTELLIGENCE, means that it is a logical to inference Intelligence as a cause when we see similar features elsewhere of an unknown cause.

          Secondly, as a perfect example consider a French formal garden. All natural, but all of it demonstrating transcendent intelligence.

          • Eddy, not only are you wrong grammatically, but you are also wrong logically, scientifically, philosophically, observationally — to name a few of the ways you are wrong.

            Remember: it makes no sense to infer intelligence in the absence of life.

          • [][]“… consider a French formal garden. All natural, but all of it demonstrating transcendent intelligence.”[][]

            Nonsense.

            The notion of “transcendent intelligence” is yet another of your attempts to posit intelligence in the absence of life — which is utter nonsense.

            All versions and transmutations of “the supernatural” are blithering nonsense. You cannot get away from that little flaw in your faith.

          • So are French formal gardens designed by God?

          • What “similar features” are you referring to?

            The appearance of design is subjective. What features denote design? Complexity? Order? Beauty? Suitability to a purpose? Any of these can be lacking in objects we know to be designed (i.e., manufactured by humans). We recognize designed objects by comparison with previously known designed objects and by contrasting them with naturally occurring objects. Also, in a universe that was actually designed, it would not be possible to compare, for there wouldn’t be anything that would be naturally occurring.

            In the case of the Paley’s watch, we have knowledge about how watches are designed, we can identify specific designers and manufacturers. We even teach these skills to new designers and manufacturers. Thus, we know the watch had a designer because there is no evidence that watches occur naturally and a mountain of evidence that they are designed and manufactured. Furthermore,
            Where the giraffe is concerned, the opposite is true. We have no evidence to support the idea that the giraffe was designed and overwhelming evidence that it is the result of natural processes.

          • [[[]]]“So are French formal gardens designed by God?”[[[]]]

            Don’t bet on it.

      • [{}]“In the same way, we recognize the construct of the code in DNA, as well as it’s data replication, copying quality control, manufacturing execution and quality control, etc. and understand that the only cause KNOWN and OBSERVED to produce such traits is an intelligence.”[{}]

        Since what is “KNOWN and OBSERVED” is that DNA produces intelligence, then obviously you have got the story backwards.

        That is: DNA came before intelligence, not vice versa.

  • Eddy –

    This is getting old. You’ve convinced me. There is a supernatural being who created the Universe and life.

    So what?

    • Moshe Averick

      AW,

      If you really are convinced we can move to the next step. Moral accountability to this supernatural being and let’s start exploring the possibility of divine revelation.

      • Why are we morally accountable to this being?

        • No reason in the world.

        • Eddy M. del Rio

          It seems by your question that *IF* (for the purpose of argument) God were the cause of the universe, and anyone could ask why we might be accountable to same, then *without God* to be accountable to, there is certainly *no* moral accountability, no? It just doesn’t make sense that there should be no moral accountability required IF God created/caused the universe, but that there is(is there?) moral accountability without God.

          • [][]“… *without God* to be accountable to, there is certainly *no* moral accountability,…”[][]

            In practical terms, “accountability to God” is the negation of morality. Moral accountability is incompatible with Commandments From God.

            You are confusing “obedience” with “moral action.” Not the same thing at all. “I was only following orders!” is NOT the essence of morality.

            Ayn Rand had an interesting comment on that subject: ‘If I were to speak your kind of language, I would say that man’s only moral commandment is: Thou shalt think. But a “moral commandment” is a contradiction in terms. The moral is the chosen, not the forced; the understood, not the obeyed. The moral is the rational, and reason accepts no commandments.’

          • Eddy -

            Your response is incoherent. Let’s try this again.

            1. Define morality.

            You might try responding with something like: “Morality is defined as …”

            2. Why am I morally accountable to God?

            You might try responding with something like: “You are morally accountable to God because …”

          • [][]“1. Define morality.”[][]

            Morality (aka ethics) is a code of values to guide man’s choices and actions — a code which is accepted by choice.

            A moral code is a system of teleological measurement which grades the choices and actions open to man, according to the degree to which they promote or negate the code’s standard of value. That standard doesn’t have to be supernatural — it can, and should, pertain to real life.

          • [][]“2. Why am I morally accountable to God?”[][]

            You are not “morally accountable to God.”

            God is a fictional character, who may be an allegorical, inspirational character, but to whom no one could possibly be “morally accountable.” One cannot be accountable to nothing.

      • Also, define “morality”.

        • Morality is a code of values to guide man’s choices and actions — a code which is accepted by choice.

          A moral code is a system of teleological measurement which grades the choices and actions open to man, according to the degree to which they promote or negate the code’s standard of value. That standard doesn’t have to be supernatural — it can pertain to real life.

      • The notion of “[m]oral accountability to this supernatural being” is even more outrageous than merely believing in the existence of a “Supernatural Specifier.” That is really letting your imagination run away from reality.

      • []“… let’s start exploring the possibility of divine revelation.”[]

        There is no possibility of divine revelation. The fact is that you have nothing to start exploring on that score.

        An actual case of “nothing to see”!

    • [][]“There is a supernatural being who created the Universe and life.”[][]

      Not exactly. There are stories about such a fictional character. No “supernatural being” literally exists. Only literarily.

  • All the evidence you can find is only of the universe existing. You can not find any evidence of the “absence of the universe” or the “non-existence of existence.”

    The notion that the universe had a beginning is pure mythology. It is wishful thinking to feel that you have found evidence for such a beginning.

  • Eddy M. del Rio

    Ok, no *real* defeaters thus far (just rejection by SS) but AW helped to correct a problem. So we have:

    1. If things come into existence (have a beginning) then they are caused.
    2. The universe came into existence (had a beginning). [If you have a problem with this premise then see the subroutine below]
    3. Therefore the universe had a cause.

    [Subroutine for no.2 above:
    4. If things have an age, then they had a start/beginning or came into existence.
    5. The universe has an age (13.798 ± 0.037 billion years).
    6. Therefore the universe had a beginning
    /came into existence.]

    Now,
    7. Nothing can cause itself.
    8. The universe is something caused.
    9. Therefore the universe is caused by other than itself.

    Further,
    10. The domain of the universe is all things natural.
    11. The universe is caused by other than itself (No. 9 above).
    12. Therefore, the universe was caused by a supernatural cause.

    Finally,
    13. The only conceivable supernatural cause for the universe is God.

    Disagree all you want if you like, but what I’m interested in is *rational* critique of the particulars or of the logic so that I can optomize or correct this sequence. *A priori* rejection of conclusions may feel good but is logically meaningless.

    • []“2. The universe came into existence (had a beginning).”[]

      That is certainly not true. If nothing existed, i.e., if there were no universe, then there would be nowhere for anything to begin.

      The notion of a “cause for the universe” is arbitrary and nonsensical.

      []“5. The universe has an age …”[]

      And #5 is just a repeat of #2 using different wording. It is still the same arbitrary nonsense.

      []“8. The universe is something caused.”[]

      Another repetition of the false premise. It won’t be true no matter how many times you repeat it.

      []“12. Therefore, the universe was caused by a supernatural cause.”[]

      The “supernatural” is non-existent. Since it is not part of the universe, it cannot cause anything.

    • Depending on what you mean by “universe”, then either #2 or #12 is false.

      If your using “universe” to refer to the current state of all energy that exists, then #2 is true. But the current state of all energy that exists was caused by the previous state, as is always the case (Conservation of Energy), so #12 is false.

      If by “universe” you’re referring to all the energy that has ever existed, then #2 is false. Energy didn’t “begin to exist” at the moment of the Big Bang.

    • [{}]“3. Therefore the universe had a cause.”[{}]

      It is impossible for the universe, per se, to have “had a cause” or to have “come into existence from nothing.”

      Think about it.

      1. The universe is made up of things that exist.

      2. The only way there could have been no universe would have been if nothing existed.

      3. If nothing existed, that would include “no causes” as well as “no effects.”

      4. So what part of “no causes” don’t you understand?

      • Eddy M. del Rio

        Which premise are you disputing? No.1 or no.2?
        Or, are you disputing that the conclusion (no.3) follows logically from the given premises?

        • No. 1 is true. No. 2 is false.

          If nothing existed, i.e., if there were no universe, then there would be nowhere for anything to begin, nothing from which anything could begin.

          The notion of a “beginning for the universe” is arbitrary and nonsensical.

          • Eddy M. del Rio

            Then apparently you must defeat the subroutine (nos.4-6) that establishes No.2.

          • To repeat from above:

            []“5. The universe has an age …”[]

            And #5 is just a repeat of #2 using different wording. It is still the same arbitrary nonsense.

            Claiming that something “began at time X” before now is the same thing as saying it has “age X.” You’re not getting anywhere.

        • What part of no causes don’t you understand?

    • []“9. Therefore the universe is caused by other than itself.”[]

      Logically, that means “something is caused by nothing.”

      But that’s impossible. How in the world do you expect that to work?!

      • Eddy M. del Rio

        Actually, it is atheists that believe that “nothing causes something” because they believe the universe just began (most folks recognize that the universe started). What atheists don’t allow, is anything supernatural … yet they’re left with the fact of the presence of the non-eternal universe.

        The set of *conceivable* causes includes natural and supernatural. If one proves that a cause could not be natural, then the only *conceivable* cause remaining is a supernatural one. When one considers the phenomenon of a “Fine-tuned” universe, the presence of Complex-Specified-Information and Irreducibly Complex Processes evidenced everywhere in life, together with the limited probabalistic resources of the universe, it is no longer a far-fetched idea, and is a *logical* option.

        Of course, if one could prove that a supernatural cause is not possible, then we would be left without any explanation for the presence of a non-eternal universe.

        • ][][
          Eddy M. del Rio
          May 12, 2013
          1:09 am
          Actually, it is atheists that believe that “nothing causes something” because they believe the universe just began ...
          ][][

          Obviously, Eddy, you have not been paying attention. (Or else you are deliberately obfuscating and distorting!)

          If you check out the posts I have been making, you could see that I am an atheist and I do NOT "believe the universe just began."

        • [[]]“… if one could prove that a supernatural cause is not possible,… “[[]]

          Of course, that is just another way of saying: “if one could prove that an impossible cause is not possible,…”

          Or, alternatively: “if one could prove that a supernatural cause is natural,…”

        • [[]]“… just began …”[[]]

          What is supposed to be the difference between believing that “the universe just began” and that “the supernatural just began”?

          • Eddy M. del Rio

            The exact difference between a contingency and a self-sufficiency. Only the first logically requires a cause.

          • So, you see, the universe is possible — it actually exists. And the supernatural is impossible — it cannot exist.

            Thus, the universe is “self-sufficient” and the supernatural is imaginary — “contingent” on being believed rather than real.

    • [][]“13. The only conceivable supernatural cause for the universe is God.”[][]

      If you are going to indulge in that sort of mythology, you might as well conceive of a different bunch of Gods than the ones people have already dreamed up. There’s no limit to the supernatural . . . . it’s not like reality.

    • \\\
      Eddy M. del Rio
      May 8, 2013
      7:39 pm
      “Ok, no *real* defeaters thus far …”
      ///

      So long as you ignore facts and logic, that is …

  • Eddy –

    I agree that the Big Bang does not violate the law of conservation of energy.

    What’s your point?

  • The “ID” argument (or the Averick “IDOL,” as I like to call it) basically boils down to this: “The parts of the universe interact in such a way that I can imagine them having been designed by somebody, therefore, God exists.” (“And God, of course, wasn’t designed because He’s better than reality.”)

    • Eddy M. del Rio

      Nope. The argument for design is:

      Everytime I see something with Complex Specified Information/Irreducibley Complex Process as a part of it, it HAS BEEN ALWAYS OBSERVED to have come from intelligence.

      Life and the Universe demonstrate CSI/ICP.

      Therefore, the inference to the BEST explanation is that the universe and life are ALSO the product of intelligence.

      “Can imagine them” has nothing to do with it; it is based upon uniform and repeated OBSERVATION.

      • [[]]“Life and the Universe demonstrate CSI/ICP.”[[]]

        Only in your imagination, not in real life.

        There is no “OBSERVATION” of any kind that supports the idea of a “cause for the universe”.

        All the observation you can do and all the evidence you can find is only of the universe existing. You can not find any evidence of the “absence of the universe” or the “non-existence of existence.” There is literally “nothing to see there.”

        The notion that the universe had a beginning is pure mythology. It is wishful thinking to feel that you have found evidence for such a beginning.

      • [[[]]]“Complex Specified Information”[[[]]]

        In the first place, “Life and the Universe” do NOT demonstrate any effects of having been “SPECIFIED.”

        In the second place, you are trying to pass off a circular argument as somehow meaningful.

        Your “argument” merely says, “Since life and the universe demonstrate that they were specified, the best explanation is that they were specified.”

        You are merely passing off your arbitrary assumption that God created the universe as proof that God created the universe.

        • Eddy M. del Rio

          Yes, the argument you present IS circular, but it is not *my* argument. Mine is:

          Since life and the universe demonstrate that they are specified, the best explanation is that they were designed.

          If you could produce an example of specified information that WE KNOW WAS NOT the result of intelligence, maybe you would have an argument.

          • }{}{“If you could produce an example of specified information that WE KNOW WAS NOT the result of intelligence,…”}{}{

            That is a trick question.

            Since only intelligence is capable of specifying information, your challenge comes down to the impossibility of: “produce an example of a result of intelligence that WE KNOW WAS NOT the result of intelligence.”

            You’re still expecting a miracle!

        • Eddy M. del Rio

          Also, in this post you conflate traits of artifacts with agency. Because you reject agency in an *a priori* fashion, you can do no other than to equate an effect with a cause.

          • The point is that a “supernatural agency” is an artifact of the imagination — not some actual, literal part of the world.

            There is no basis in reality for accepting the notion of a “supernatural agency.” It’s pure fantasy — the stuff of religious faith.

      • In other words:

        1. iPhones are complex
        2. iPhone are made in a Chinese factory.
        3. Girrafes, HIV, and iPads are complex.
        4. Girrafes, HIV, and iPads are made by an invisible wizard.

        Seemless.

  • Eddy M. del Rio

    2. Minor Premise: The universe had a beginning.

    (This is another way of stating the opposite of an eternal or steady-state universe, and is in keeping with observations of an expanding universe.)

    Can you claim otherwise and defeat this premise?

    • The universe could not have had a “beginning” or “cause,” since it would not hae existed (i.e., been part of the universe).

      If the universe isn’t “eternal,” then you’ve got nothing.

      And “steady state” is a red herring.

      • Eddy M. del Rio

        Ok, Mr. Stoddard thinks that there is no evidence for the universe having started. Any other opinions out there on this?

        • Naturally, there’s no evidence for it. You would have to look in non-existence for it, and there’s nothing there.

          “Outside the universe” is a nonsense phrase. So if “before the universe.” So is “supernatural intelligence.”

        • It is not a “matter of opinion.” It is literally impossible for there to be evidence of “the universe starting.”

          All the evidence you could find would only be of the universe existing. You could never find any evidence of the “absence of the universe” or the “non-existence of existence.”

          The notion that the universe had a beginning is pure mythology. It is wishful thinking to feel that you have found evidence for such a beginning.

        • I would have thought that the Laws of Thermodynamics would be enough.

          If the Universe were infinitely old, then wouldn’t it have reached thermodynamic equilibrium by now? It obviously hasn’t.

          That alone would seem to provide a solid support for the premise that the Universe had a beginning.

          I have never heard anyone, other than Dyson and Steve Stoddard, dispute that. Dyson’s short sighted examples and his claim that gravity changes everything are rather inadequate.

          Especially since he is only describing long term changes, and never provides a true demonstration of the reversal of entropy.

          Steve’s comments speak for themselves.

      • Eddy M. del Rio

        Question just for Steve Stoddard: If the Universe had no beginning, how can it have an estimated age?

    • What do you mean by “universe”?

      1. everything that exists?

      or

      2. that which emerged from the Big Bang?

      You also never answered my question regarding what you mean by “cause”.

      • []‘What do you mean by “universe”?’[]

        Everything that exists, ever has existed or ever will exist.

        And that would include “The Big Bang” if there ever was such a thing. In other words, “The Big Bang” could not have been the “beginning” of the universe, since it would already have had to have been a part of it.

        {}‘You also never answered my question regarding what you mean by “cause”.’{}

        Okay, I’m sorry. What part of “cause” don’t you understand?

        “The law of causality is the law of identity applied to action. All actions are caused by entities. The nature of an action is caused and determined by the nature of the entities that act; a thing cannot act in contradiction to its nature . . . . The law of identity does not permit you to have your cake and eat it, too. The law of causality does not permit you to eat your cake before you have it.”

        “Nature, i.e., the universe as a whole, cannot be created or annihilated, that it cannot come into or go out of existence. Whether its basic constituent elements are atoms, or subatomic particles, or some yet undiscovered forms of energy, it is not ruled by a consciousness or by will or by chance, but by the law of identity. All the countless forms, motions, combinations and dissolutions of elements within the universe—from a floating speck of dust to the formation of a galaxy to the emergence of life—are caused and determined by the identities of the elements involved.”

      • Eddy M. del Rio

        AW, I mean “that which emerged from the big bang.” I know Steve doesn’t recognize anything else. Also, I did answer your other question (whether you are satisfied or not is another matter) at 2:09PM (what I see) yesterday.

        • I am not satisfied with your answer.

          I asked you: “So when you say that effects require a “cause” are you simply referring to the prinicple of conservation of matter and energy?”

          A yes or no question.

          You responded by saying that “shadows are caused”.

          I’m going to assume the answer is yes.

          • Eddy M. del Rio

            AW, no. My response should make it *easier* for you to dispute. If I retain the simple “All effects have causes,” then you can try to find an example of a defeator in *any* category you like. However, to claim that the universe is an uncaused effect, is both illogical and begging the question.

          • Eddy, your belief that “the universe is an effect” is another way of stating your blind faith in the existence of God.

            The universe is not an effect.

        • You don’t understand my position on the matter.

    • [[]]“… The universe had a beginning.

      “(This is another way of stating the opposite of an eternal or steady-state universe, and is in keeping with observations of an expanding universe.)”[[]]

      There are at least a couple of errors in your notion of the alleged “beginning.” For one thing, “eternal” does not mean “steady state” in this context. For another thing, an “expanding” universe does not equate to an ex nihilo universe.

      Also, I’m not sure there are confirmed observations that the universe is “expanding.”

  • Eddy M. del Rio

    “It is not possible for me to think, ‘Reliance on my reason, including my reliance on *this very judgment,* is reasonable because it is consistent with it’s having an evolutionary explanation.’ Therefore any evolutionary account of the place or reason presuppooses reason’s validity and cannot confirm it without circularity.”
    Thomas Nagel, Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False. Oxford, 2012, [80-81]

    • Eddy M. del Rio

      Typo: … of the place *of* reason …

    • Basically, “evolution” is irrelevant to the validity of reason.

      The validity of reason rests on how it works, not on how it came to be. Logic was developed long before anybody ever heard of Darwin.

      • Eddy M. del Rio

        “Logic was developed long before anybody ever heard of Darwin.”

        This is very interesting from you, because you have basically admitted what I have said regarding the place of science vs the place of philosophy: that logic is *deeper* or more fundamental than science. But the problem is demonstrated in that an evolutionist’s logic is dependent upon a material process that has no ability to even appreciate truth, let alone ensure it’s propagation.

        • You seem to have this notion that “truth” is independent of the real world — but, you are actually thinking of religious fantasy, not objective truth.

        • []“… egarding the place of science vs the place of philosophy: that logic is *deeper* or more fundamental than science.”[]

          In the cognitive hierarchy of concepts, logic is “deeper” than biology, geology, etc. But in terms of the subject matter, there is only reality. There is nothing “deeper” than reality. That is, there is no supernatural, mystical, transcendent realm of some sort of not-reality.

          • Eddy M. del Rio

            What about when “the subject matter” is *thinking and logic*? Can you swim in THAT pond? This is what Nagel and Plantinga are illuminating.

          • Thinking is a conscious process that humans can perform. It is no less natural than water flowing or birds flying.

            Logic is a methodology of thinking — based on the basic physical fact of reality that things are what they are.

            From the human viewpoint that’s metaphysics, i.e., an acknowledgment that nature is nature and there’s no alternative to things being what they are.

          • []“Can you swim in THAT pond?”[]

            Nature, i.e., reality, is the only pond there is. If you are going to swim, or think, there is nowhere else to do it.

            And no way to do it right without using logic (i.e., the law of identity).

            If you try to swim, think, or do anything in some mysterious “supernatural realm,” you will come up with a big, fat zero.

          • [[]]“This is what Nagel and Plantinga are illuminating.”[[]]

            “Illuminating” by obfuscation is an interesting tactic. Naturally, they’re on the wrong track.

    • [[]]“… any evolutionary account of the place or reason presuppooses reason’s validity …”[[]]

      Well, of course it does. Otherwise you wouldn’t be trying to account for anything!

      You cannot reasonably argue against reason.

  • Eddy M. del Rio

    Starting clean.
    1. Major Premise: Things that come into existence have a cause.

    (This is another way of stating that we don’t believe in spontaneous generation of anything, or that we believe that all effects have causes.)

    Can you claim otherwise and defeat this premise?

    • [[]]“Things that come into existence have a cause.”[[]]

      True.

    • It depends what you mean by “cause”.

      In physics, “cause and effect” refers to a transfer of energy from one thing to another. Ice “comes into existence” when thermal energy is transferred from water into the environment. A bat “causes” a baseball to move by transferring kinetic energy. The ball can’t move without a force being applied to it.

      So when you say that effects require a “cause” are you simply referring to the prinicple of conservation of matter and energy?

      If not, please clarify.

      • That certainly seems to be part of the deal. But I think it is more complex. For instance, Morse Code wouldn’t exist if Morse hadn’t thought it up.

      • Eddy M. del Rio

        AW, can you cite an example of any natural effect that is not caused? Ice is caused (“What caused that ice?”), motion is caused, shadows are caused, symphonic compositions are caused, etc. If you can defeat the first premise, I really want you to. There is no equivocation involved in the premise; it’s a universal claim, more specifically: things that come into existence have a cause. If you prefer the IF/THEN form: “If things come into existence, then they have a cause.”

  • Eddy –

    “I *sort of* agree with you.”

    There is no “sort of” logical.

    “The syllogism that *you* created is actually VALID”

    No it isn’t. The conclusion does not necessarily follow from the premises. That’s why the conclusion is false, despite both premises being true.

    “but NOT TRUE”

    Syllogisms are valid or sound. Conclusions and premises are true or false. Learn what these terms mean.

    “what I mean is that the conclusion follows logically from the premises”

    No it doesn’t.

    “but it is FALSE because the first premise is too broad and can be refuted by more limiters.”

    The first premise is true. Only people use computers. The conclusion is false b/c the syllogism is invalid.

    “Now your object is not to creat a strawman syllogism and show it false and then simply declare mine false,”

    Can you follow this syllogism:

    1. Our syllogisms are logically equivalent (A=B)
    2. My syllogism is invalid (B=C)
    3. Therefore, your syllogism is invalid (A=C)

    “it is to show *mine* to be false (the premises) or invalid (the logical conclusion).”

    It is invalid. It is also unsound. Again, you should look up what that means.

    “For a starter on Premise No.1, can you cite any example of somthing that exists (an artifact, a being, a work of art, a thought, etc. ) that is known to have not had a cause?”

    God.

    “If you can, then you have defeated my first premise.”

    Glad that’s done.

    “Also, if it is any different to you, you may drop the word “Only.” (Things that come into existence have a cause) Right or Wrong? If wrong, why so?”

    Still not valid.

    1. People use computers.
    2. GW was a person.
    3. GW used computers.

    • Eddy M. del Rio

      All I’ll say to this is that the *premise* stated “that come to exist” though my parenthetical did not. Why do you think it logical to refute an argument by stating that another is illogical? Are you arguing that there is no place for deductive reasoning? If you want to participate in a piece-by piece dissection above (my new post) then by all means participate. Thus far, Mr. Stoddard has conceeded the veracity of the first (major) premise. I’m sure you have appreciated my efforts here to explain the same concepts about syllogisms to others.

      • “All I’ll say to this is that the *premise* stated “that come to exist” though my parenthetical did not.”

        Okay…

        “Why do you think it logical to refute an argument by stating that another is illogical?”

        Because the two arguments are analogous. The invalidity of my argument illustrates why yours is also invalid, though this point is clearly going over your head.

        “Are you arguing that there is no place for deductive reasoning?”

        There is no place for invalid deductive reasoning.

        “If you want to participate in a piece-by piece dissection above (my new post) then by all means participate.”

        Thanks for your permission.

        “Thus far, Mr. Stoddard has conceeded the veracity of the first (major) premise.”

        Don’t care.

        “I’m sure you have appreciated my efforts here to explain the same concepts about syllogisms to others.”

        Not really.

    • Eddy M. del Rio

      Not to belabor because I know you are wanting to help (and you have). But to say:
      “[Only] people use computers”, is really saying that “computers are used [only] by people.” This is the defect in the premise I was trying to express. Certainly:

      1. Computers are used [only] by people
      2. GW was a person
      3. Therefore, GW used computers

      is false.

  • ‘Coyne candidly admits that the Cambrian Explosion poses serious questions for evolutionary biologists and that – at present – there is no definitive scientific explanation.’

    For, ‘no definitive scientific explanation,’ read:
    ‘no scientific explanation.’

    To paraphrase molecular biologist, Cornelius Hunter of this parish, Words have important shades of meaning; and it matters!

    • []“‘no scientific explanation.’”[]

      At present.

      Naturally, if the explanation is ever found, it will be a scientific explanation — because supernatural processes are impossible.

      Even if nobody ever figures out the “Cambrian Explosion,” we know for certain that the cause was 100% natural, since there is no other possibility.

  • Rabbi Averick, you have claimed that:

    [][]“… it is the believer in a naturalistic origin of life who bears the extraordinarily heavy burden of proof.”[][]

    The believer in nature has nothing to prove in that regard, since nature is self-evidently here. On the other had, the believer in God has no ground whatsoever to stand on. Nature is real; God is imaginary.

    And just to point it out, before life existed, nobody could possible have wanted life to exist, since nobody was there before anybody existed.

    What part of “no life” don’t you understand?

  • They are publishing a book about the religious, i.e., anti-science, doctrine known as “intelligent design” as if there were some substance to it. They are not honestly promoting Meyer’s book as the science fiction/fantasy it is.

    The notion of “intelligent design,” aka the “IDOL” doctrine (aka “Creation, by God!”), is anti-science because it is supernaturalistic, i.e., anti-nature (therefore, anti-science — against the primacy of nature).

  • Rabbi Averick is ignoring the fact that even if “Darwinism” collapsed totally, there still would be nothing in the world to support “Intelligent Design.” The fantasy of God remains a fantasy no matter how many different scientific theories come and go, stand or fall, explain or fail.

    Supernaturalism is incapable of explaining anything at all about the world (because it isn’t about anything real).

  • Eddy M. del Rio

    I’m wondering what cased my comment to be removed?

  • Eddy M. del Rio

    @Mr. Stoddard: You fail to realize that your philosophy of knowledge (epistemology) means that your very own Reason is suspect. This is pervasive in the scientific community. For a basic appreciation of the problem I would recommend Thomas Nagel’s “Mind and Cosmos”; Alvin Plantinga’s “Where the conflict truly lies” might be too stiff for a scientist’s first foray into philosophy.
    @Eitan: your argument is a perfect example of the fallacy of Begging the Questian. It appears that you too need a course in Logic 101.

    Amazing!

    • Does Moshe need a course in Logic 101?

      “From the sum total of human experience we have derived the principle that above certain levels of functional complexity and specified information it is ALWAYS the result of intelligent intervention, with no exceptions.”

      “Bacteria have a functional complexity on the level of a Saturn rocket and in order to survive and self-replicate, their DNA must – and does – contain encyclopedic amounts of digitally encoded information.”

      “The obvious conclusion is that the molecular machinery of the bacterium and it’s digitally encoded operating instructions (DNA) are the result of intelligent causation.”

      - Moshe Averick

      • Eddy M. del Rio

        This is a proper demonstration of inference to the best explanation. (Start with known and repeated observations, observe similar or identical effects, infer the same forensic cause).

        • Not exactly.

          In fact, it is a demonstration of fantasizing that something impossible, viz., the supernatural, is magically real (i.e., is a causal factor in reality).

          • Eddy M. del Rio

            What you demonstrate is an *a priori* rejection of a conclusion, but an acceptance of the logical procedure (Inference is the same process used by Darwin to establish his theory). That’s a bit conflicted. Perhaps for you, reading how the torch-carrying atheist philosopher, Antony Flew, abandoned atheism might be interesting. http://www.amazon.com/There-God-Notorious-Atheist-Changed/dp/0061335304

          • []“What you demonstrate is an *a priori* rejection of a conclusion,…”[]

            A problem with theism is that one can only believe in God a priori, that is, without evidence or experience, because God isn’t actually part of the universe.

            But, by that very fact, atheism is not an “a priori” rejection of some conclusion that God exists. Atheism is merely the recognition that there is nothing in the world on which to base such a conclusion (viz., that there is a God).

        • Eddy, the easy REFUTATION of ID lies not in it’s validity. It is a perfectly *valid* argument; But it is a *false* argument because your major premise:

          “1. Functional complexity and specified information is ALWAYS the result of intelligent intervention, with no exceptions.”

          This is NOT a universally accepted truth, and by using this as a premise in your syllogism, you commit the fallacy of Begging the Question. This is the precise kernel of the dispute! You should know better (I think).

          Evolution and ID are two opposed theories proposed to explain observed nature. Contrary to your liking and opinion, an invisible wizard capable of magically creating bacteria has NEVER been demonstrated — thus the continual presence (and increasingly so now) of “unbelievers.”

          Imagine if I started my “Irrefutable argument” for an unguided origin of life thusly:

          1. All living things *were the result of an unguided process*.

          I would rightly be laughed out of the discussion!

          • Eddy M. del Rio

            Eitan, that’s so CUTE! Now to be serious:
            1. the fact that you respond does not change the fact that your original argument is false for the reason that I (and others) stated. If you think otherwise, then place your argument on the table.
            2. What you argued against in your parody is not MY argument, so is a classic Strawman. In contrast, I argued against YOUR written argument. However, your parody does demonstrate creation of yet another poor premise on your part. Here’s how I might have stated a major premise: “Uniform and repeated experience affirms that intelligent agents produce information-rich systems.”

          • Your hysterical, incoherent yammering doesn’t change the facts that:

            1. My argument is irrefutable.

            2. Moshe’s argument for ID commits the fallacy of begging the question.

          • Let me see. Eitan’s irrefutable argument seems to rest upon the premise that his argument is irrefutable.

            Perhaps he should simply borrow a page from Steve Stoddard and repost his serial repetitions as new comments. That way they sit close the top, thereby lending themselves the appearance of being timely and original.

            Apparently that makes incredible irrefutable arguments all the more incredibly irrefutable.

          • []
            Eitan
            April 29, 2013
            11:12 pm
            1. My argument is irrefutable
            []

            That may seem to make sense in your fantasy world, but it doesn’t cut it in the real world.

            []2. Moshe’s argument for ID commits the fallacy of begging the question.[]

            But you are on to something concerning this point. The “IDOL” fantasy does assume (by blind faith) that God exists — in order to pretend to prove (by false analogy) that God exists.

          • [][]“1. Functional complexity and specified information is ALWAYS the result of intelligent intervention, with no exceptions.”[][]

            That is tautologically true, of course.

            Since specification of information is an intellectual process, it is necessarily a form of “intelligent intervention.”

            Intelligent processes are ALWAYS intelligent processes, without exception.

    • [{}]“… your very own Reason is suspect.”[{}]

      You may suspect that your “Reason” doesn’t work, but even though we may agree with you about your case, it is not incumbent on anyone else to harbor similar self-doubts.

  • As a scientist, I agree with Rabbi Averick.

    Darwinism is irrelevant to the existence of god. Arguments against the existence of the Jewish god do not require Darwinism, and the existence of divine revelation is safely disproved without invoking DNA. There is no evidence for a caring, benevolent deity, no evidence for divine revelation and no evidence for the truth of the Torah (mainly referring to the narrative sections, though many of the laws are copied from previous sources, the Hebrew grammar is atrocious, we do not know the original text) -though one can take all of these things on blind faith which therefore require no evidence and maybe is stronger thereof.

    What will happen now:
    Someone will call me a heretic, min, or meshummad.
    Someone else will cite the Kuzari.
    I will ignore the first comment and write that the Palestinians have disproved the logic of the Kuzari.

  • The argument of the existents of a divine creator is distilled down to “Yes, he does! So there!” Every-time the cult tries to give “proof” ,it is proven wrong.

    • And… materialism boils down to assertions that cannot be proven at all and presupposes a laundry list of things in order to jury-rig together a worldview that seems coherent at a quick once over.

      Both sides offer non-falsifiable claims, therefore both sides can be considered “irrational” (even though there really isn’t such a thing under materialism). The only “rational” position is a purely agnostic one, saying “we don’t know yet. Let’s keep trying to find out”. Coyne is as much an evangelical zealot for materialist atheism as Billy Graham is for moralistic therapeutic deism calling itself Christianity…

      • [][]The only “rational” position is a purely agnostic one,…[][]

        Of the three positions, viz., atheist, theist, and agnostic, agnosticism is the worst possible choice. Theism and atheism show respect for the concepts of right and wrong, but agnosticism says to hell with it all.

      • [][]The only “rational” position is a purely agnostic one,…[][]

        Of the three positions, viz., atheist, theist, and agnostic, agnosticism is the worst possible choice. Theism and atheism show respect for the concepts of right and wrong, but agnosticism says to hell with it all.

  • Genesis
    by Liar Lunatic

    What if its all poetry?

    Since science can only concern itself
    with physical emanations of Ultimate Reality,
    What if the fundamental particles are really verbs and nouns?
    adjectives and adverbs, the stuff of worlds
    cuplets and rhymes, the elements
    sonnets and ballads, minerals
    and light comes from a person?

    What if its all poetry?

    What if matter is actually made of what really matters
    our perception of meaning is an electron-scanning microscope
    looking closer at the smallest patterns of existence?
    What if iambs are atoms
    and rocks are merely metaphors?

    What if it’s all poetry?

    What if relationships are stars
    exploding with the source of ultimate meaning
    and conscious awareness is the fuel?
    What if fools are pollution
    and broken hearts the blackholes of fundamental existence?
    If selfishness and greed are genetically altered absurdities
    propagated by brokenness and hurt,
    like a cancer?
    What if love is the source and the goal
    and there have been too many mutations?

    What if it’s all poetry?

    What if we thoughtful sparks
    slipping through the biochemical cracks of biological creatures
    are composed of material… innuendo
    are as real as we feel
    as important as we hope
    as loved as we want to be
    And the stuff that makes us, dependent upon the words of a Lover?

    What if it’s all poetry?

    What if ancient wisdom had it right all along
    and modern science is only catching up?
    What if Higgs is a field, of dreams, giving weight to God’s ambition;
    forming particles from the echoes of His kindness and patience?

    If 96 % of the physical world seems to be dark energy and matter
    maybe it’s because we’re still living in the dark ages
    and what matters most is moral and wise
    and we are only making matter worse by inversion.

    What if the extra dimensions we find in our math
    are the places we should have gone to
    And the infinite universes birthing infinite possibilities
    are infinite poetry
    flowing from an infinite Poet?

    What if it’s all poetry?

    What if the Large Hadron Collider is telling the truth?
    What if everything that is came from nothing… but ideas?
    What if we are words
    formed into fields
    that give rise to particles
    shaped by laws
    molded and connected by ele-mental attractions
    which are being used as ink on this cosmic page
    for the poetry?

    And the language of life;
    more words and more personal;
    us,
    written in dust
    with care and precision
    and a vision for our future
    that ages of edits
    -mutations of circumstance and egotistical intent –
    have only managed to alter the reflection of perfection still finding the Author’s intention?

    What if it’s all poetry?

    And we find ourselves reading in wonder
    as our science plunders the pages
    denying the Poet,
    insisting on chance
    Meter and rhyme unfolding in intricate theology
    Language and story in physics and biology
    The weight of scribbled matter, psychology
    The search for reason in unreasonable space
    The search for purpose
    in meaningless traces of eternity,
    Just chance?

    What if it’s all poetry?

    What if Spirit is deeper than flesh?

    What if what matters – is what makes up matter;
    what makes us matter
    and all that matter is now holding this tale like a book?

    Look,

    What if it’s all a poem spoken to become us,
    broken lines with an ultimate purpose?
    It’s the only way a Poet
    would create us
    and know us.

    • Paul Sternberg

      1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

      John 1:1-4

      Your poem reflects the Greek idea of a Logos (Word) behind reality. The Apostle John picks that up that idea in the beginning of his Gospel and identifies the Logos as Jesus.

      During his trial before Pilate, Jesus stated (John 18:37), “In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” Pilate, in good post-modern form,replied, “What is truth?” Pilate asked the question that has not changed in 2000 years and is still being discussed here – what is truth? For Steve Stoddard and his ilk, truth is the idea that you can define God out of existence and never have to seriously confront any challenges to that view. An agnostic at least admits that he is unable to reach a definitive conclusion on what is true. The theists recognize a Truth that transcends what we see and experience – but does not invalidate what we see and experience.

      Science should be on the side of Truth and seek truth – wherever it leads. Philosophical biases against against explanations of data should not be science. When faced with the problem of data that cannot be adequately explained – the best science can say is “I don’t know”,and metaphysics takes over and says, “but I can believe”.

      • [[]]“The theists recognize a Truth that transcends what we see and experience …”[[]]

        That’s the fundamental contradiction of theism.

        Truth corresponds to reality. That which “transcends what we see and experience” is fantasy, not truth.

        The “supernatural” is the negation of reality, so there is nothing actually there to believe in. Theism depends on blind faith (i.e., on the rejection of real life experience as the basis for belief).

      • [][]“Science should be on the side of Truth and seek truth …”[][]

        Correct: science summarily rejects theism — and all forms of blind, i.e., religious, faith.

  • I don’t think Dr. Coyne is “condemning a publishing house for publishing a book that challenges his views.” After all, he is a scientist, and challenges of scientific views are standard procedure.

    What he is condemning is the anti-science view of “intelligent design.”

    • Bathsheva Gladstone

      What he’s doing is calling for censorship. Pure and Simple. And yes, challenging views scientific and otherwise is par for the course. He certainly wouldn’t renounce the Journal of medicine for publishing some findings he didn’t agree with. So it’s not entirely an accurate statement to suggest he’s not doing this because its’ conflictual with what he believes and espouses.

      As an academic to call for censorship is absolutely amazing. It’s sad to see lately that these hallowed halls, shrines to free thought and democracy quickly becoming purveyors of a new and heartily disguised form of proselytizing christian fundamentalism with a new dogma. Science died, rose again and thus saved the world. And the only thing that was sacrificed was the ability to freely form your own opinion.

      • He is not calling for censorship. He is simply pointing out that it is not honest for religion to pretend to be science. The publisher is free to publish such books. There is no law saying that publishers must all have good reputations (and so must be forbidden from publishing nonsense).

    • I am sure Dr. Coyne is very grateful to you, Joe, as we all are, for your wonderful interpretation of his statements and for your brilliant clarification of his thoughts.

      Did you help him with his Ph.D, as well?

    • No the article is spot on.

      Please explain to us why Intelligent Design is anti-science?

    • Joe,

      “rather it’s an indictment of a once-reputable publisher, HarperCollins, who under the imprint of HarperOne is going to publish this book in June.”

      “but even more shame on HarperCollins for feeding and misleading the public, etc.”

      These are verbatim quotes from Coyne’s blog.

      • Exactly. They are publishing a book about the anti-science doctrine known as “intelligent design” as if there were some substance to it. They are not honestly promoting Meyer’s book as the science fiction/fantasy it is.

        The notion of “intelligent design,” aka the “IDOL” doctrine, is anti-science because it is supernaturalistic, i.e., anti-nature (therefore, anti-science, which is the study of nature).

  • I’ve been hearing about the imminent collapse of “darwinism” for at least twenty years. Almost as long as I’ve been hearing about the imminent return of Jesus. So I hope you’ll forgive me if I don’t hold my breath.

    • By all means, dont hold your breath, arensb. You might evolve into a life form which has no need to breath.

    • Arensb,

      People also used to say that they aren’t holding their breath waiting for the Jewish people be gathered back from the four corners of the earth and return to the land of Israel with “the assistance of the kings of the nations of the world” as a medieval commentator put it.
      :)

      I guess we’ll have to wait and see how long it will take for Darwinism to collapse.

      • True, but for the better part of 2000 years, anyone who said “Israel will be a nation again in five years” would have been wrong. It took a long time, and a lot of effort by a lot of dedicated people to make it happen.

        Likewise, if you plan on overturning mainstream biology, or “darwinism” as you call it, someone will need to come up with a scientific theory to replace it. And no, intelligent design creationism isn’t a scientific theory. Not until its advocates come up with some testable predictions and run experiments to test those predictions. Sorry.

      • You are still ignoring the fact that even if “Darwinism” collapsed totally, there still would be nothing in the world to support “Intelligent Design.” The fantasy of God remains a fantasy no matter how many different scientific theories come and go, stand or fall, explain or fail.

        Supernaturalism is incapable of explaining anything at all about the world.

    • lol, and the world has been hearing about the imminent collapse of theism for hundreds of years. (The claims of the “imminent return of Jesus” are based on horrible theology, for the record, so you can toss them in the dumpster out back). The imminent collapse of Christianity has been predicted since the second century AD.

      Besides, if Darwinian mechanisms selected for theistic and deistic beliefs (80% of the planet believes in a god or gods), and these are false, how do you know that your belief in Darwinian synthesis isn’t just another false belief that Darwinian mechanism have selected for?

  • Libertarian Joe

    If you want to cling onto your God of the Gaps, go ahead. But when the gaps have been filled by science (such as with evolution) and you still cling to your prehistoric religious explanation of (insert scientific phenomenon), you know you have deep-seated issues.

    • Actually, the gaps aren’t being filled by science, they are growing consistently larger. To assert other wise either represents a lack of knowledge or is an attempt at obfuscation and denial.

      Secondly, the Bible is anything but “prehistoric”. Such labels are only indicative of ignorance.

      Lastly, someone with a handle like “Libertarian Joe” probably shouldn’t be lecturing other people about their “deep-seated issues”.

    • Haha, all you’ve done is replace God-of-the-gaps with darwin-of-the-gaps.

    • Dear Lib Joe,

      As far as I’m concerned the “God of the Gaps” claim is nothing more than a canard; it’s a smokescreen to avoid dealing with profound problems with a so called “scientific” atheistic worldview.

      Please see the following: http://www.algemeiner.com/2012/06/05/the-flawed-logic-of-the-atheist/

      http://www.algemeiner.com/2011/09/25/dear-professor-dawkins-science-is-a-servant-of-truth-not-atheism/

      • The Flawed Logic of the Theist

        We live in the real world, not the fantasy world of theism. Theists wish for something “other” than nature, like, for instance, an imaginary Supernatural God.

        There is no logic or evidence for theists to go by, they simply rely on blind (i.e., religious) faith — and a habit of preaching according to scripture.

        Rabbi Averick claims to have evidence and logic to support his belief in “Creation, by God!” — the funny “IDOL” theory. But he has never been able to produce that alleged evidence and logic. He wrote a book — but that failed to do the job. (He also quotes a lot of people — and gets nowhere doing it.)
        Reply

        In one of those cited articles, Rabbi Averick tries to deal with four points about theism:

        I. The Argument from Ignorance or “God of the Gaps”

        II. Who Designed the Designer?

        III. “Science Will Find an Answer” or what I call “The Argument from Non-Sequiturs”

        IV. The Argument from Infinite Possibilities or “Atheism of the GAP”

        On all four points, the rabbi fails to make a sensible case either for theism or against atheism.

        On the “God of the Gaps” point, the rabbi goes off into a diversion about “SETI,” and never deals with the point that while there are gaps in human knowledge, there are no gaps in reality per se. He still wants to pretend that ignorance (aka a gap in knowledge) justifies belief in God.

        On the “Designer” point, the rabbi simply refers to an earlier debunked article.

        On the “Non-Sequiturs” point, the rabbi merely pulls off the non-sequitur of going on about WWI (which certainly has nothing whatsoever to do with the origin of life).

        And on his last point, the rabbi goes off into yet another diversion, this time about “infinite possibilities” — which he seems to feel we should believe makes God not impossible after all.

        So, the rabbi threw out a bunch of distractions, and wound up getting nowhere, as usual.

      • Rabbi Averick claims:

        [][]“However, once we accept that we are here because someone wanted life to exist, the parameters of the discussion have been irrevocably transformed…. at least be prepared to admit that the believer in God the Creator is standing on rock-solid, rational ground; that it is the believer in a naturalistic origin of life who bears the extraordinarily heavy burden of proof.”[][]

        The believer in nature has not to prove in that regard, since nature is self-evidently here. On the other had, the believer in God has no ground whatsoever to stand on. Nature is real; God is imaginary.

        Before life existed, nobody could possible have wanted life to exist, since nobody was there before anybody existed. What part of “no life” don’t you understand?

      • []… so called “scientific” atheistic worldview.[]

        It is true that science is necessarily atheistic, but that is a virtue, not a problem, from the cognitive perspective.

        • Eddy M. del Rio

          That’s funny. Tell it to:
          Bacon (established the scientific method), Kepler, Pascal, Newton, Boyle, Faraday, Kelvin, Maxwell, Plank and many others. !

          • Eddy M. del Rio

            None were atheists.

          • Eddy M. del Rio

            It refutes your statement: “It is true that science is necessarily atheistic”

          • No, it doesn’t.

            Check out the practice of “compartmentalization.”

            And think of it logically. Science is the study of nature, not “supernature” (whatever the hell that is supposed to be).

          • Eddy M. del Rio

            Just a few to prove your universal wrong, Steve.

            Newton: In Principia he stated, “The most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.”

            Planck: “All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force… We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter.”

          • In those two examples, you have shown Newton and Planck making the same mistake of getting things backwards — of wishing to make consciousness, which is an attribute of some living entities, somehow magically precede the existence of not only sentient things, but even insentient things.

            We can see by the successes of their scientific endeavors that they kept that supernaturalism in a separate compartment. They were clearly religious — they were just smart enough not to let that religion dilute their actual science.

  • This goes back to the foundations of naturalistic scientific philosophy. How can one argue against the authority of naturalistic empirical objective observations when the success of such philosophy/world view has been demonstrated so many times?
    Intelligent design is trying to fill in the gaps with supernatural causes, when history has shown that filling-in-the-gaps has never proved to be reliable.
    Even if God created the universe in such a way that it runs on naturalistic auto-pilot, Still it is justified then to approach the science from a non-theistic point of view. If there is a God, then he wants to stay hidden, does not want anybody to know, its Gods Will then we (the seekers of empirical truth) be atheist, No?

    • Dear Joe Cool,

      I disagree that Naturalistic/atheistic philosophy has been successful, but that is too involved to delve into here.

      Intelligent design does not in any way at all deal with the supernatural. It simply states that the Origin of Life itself, and the “organized complexity of the living world” (Dawkins’ phrase) is best explained by the intervention of an intelligent creator than some purely naturalistic process. ID does not deal with the identity of the intelligent designer or creator. That is a separate philosophical issue.

      Please see the articles that I pointed out in my respoinse to Libertarian Joe.

      • You are trying to have your cake, Rabbi Averick, while eating it, too.

        Your claim that your “IDOL” doctrine “does not in any way at all deal with the supernatural” while holding that the “best explanation” is nevertheless NOT a “naturalistic process,” is simply self-contradictory.

        You cannot have it both ways (supernaturalistic and non-supernaturalistic). In real life, there is no alternative to 100% purely natural processes.

    • Eddy M. del Rio

      “How can one argue against the authority of naturalistic empirical objective observations?”
      Who, pray tell, is doing that? This is a stawman from one who apparently can dissect only with a salad spoon.

  • Bathsheva Gladstone

    I think if we look at what Atheism/humanism is becoming, we can see that its new hysteria and fervent anti-religionism is a bit of a paradox, considering that it in itself is a religion. It’s one thing to have your own view, but their lack of acceptance for a differing view, coupled with the vitriolic hatred and the venomous attacks against anyone who doesn’t acquiesce is off putting to say the least.

      • Bathsheva Gladstone

        You’re resorting to a second hand opinion from a second hand website, based argument and signing your name duh, as a basis for your argument? Ingenious! To think of all the philosophers and/or religious scholars who have fiddled around and resorted to years of theory and evidence to the contrary to base their arguments, when all they had to do, was go to something like about or ask for the answers. Who knew?

        Humanism which was never atheism but a brand of christianity and atheism are indeed religions,(how these two meshed is an interesting and compelling argument as to why yes! they/it are a religion[s]) when an all mighty higher power is adhered to above and beyond anything else without question, duh!, you’ve got yourself a religion there.

        And just like with christianity, if someone doesn’t agree with a humanist/atheist you’re more than likely to get a fervent and vitriolic dose of the spanish inquisition thrown your way.

        • Yes, you can use the internet to learn things. You’re welcome.

          Atheism is the belief that there are no Gods. There is no higher power that “is adhered to above and beyond anything else”.

          If atheism is a religion, then not collecting stamps is a hobby.

          • No higher power that “is adhered to above and beyond anything else”.

            Higher powers such as the scientific elite speaking in the name of “science”?

          • Atheism and scientific materialism are not the same thing, though there is a correlation.

        • Eddy M. del Rio

          Bathsheva, you stated “Humanism which was never atheism but a brand of christianity and atheism …” If I understand you correctly, then I respectfully differ thusly: Humanism, simply, is a system of thought that elevates Humankind to it’s own highest authority, and this view is/was held by members holding several different spiritual views, including Christian, Jewish and atheist among others. Humanism is/was NOT “a brand of Christianity.”

    • Atheism is areligion, i.e., not a religion.

      • Eddy M. del Rio

        Then belief in anti-matter is NOT physics!

      • A better way to determine whether a worldview is a religion is to look for certain characteristics that religions have in common.

        The framework set forth by Ninian Smart, commonly known as the Seven Dimensions of Religion, is widely accepted by anthropologists and researchers of religion as broadly covering the various aspects of religion, without focusing on things unique to specific religions.

        The seven dimensions proposed by Smart are narrative, experiential, social, ethical, doctrinal, ritual and material. Not every religion has every dimension, nor are they all equally important within an individual religion.

        Smart even argues that the “secularisation” of western society is actually a shift of focus from the doctrinal and ritual to the experiential.

        Atheists often claim that their belief is not a religion. This allows them to propagate their beliefs in settings where other religions are banned, but this should not be so.

        Contemporary Western Atheism unquestionably has six of the seven dimensions of religion set forth by Smart, and the remaining dimension, ritual, has also started to develop.

        Other than the denial of the divine, there is little difference between Atheism and other worldviews typically labelled as religions.

        Atheism: A religion by Daniel Smartt

      • Eddy M. del Rio

        My other reply to this was not quite as accurate as I should have made it, so I’ll try again.
        Steve wrote:
        “Atheism is areligion, i.e., not a religion.” This is simply erroneous. “Atheism” is “no theism” that is, the contemporary BELIEF that there is no God (Gk: theos). [During the Roman era, Christians were actually accused of atheism because they were not polytheists.] Contrast that with the statement “There is no sulfur.” Because the *domain* of the notion “There is no God” is a religious one, not one of physics or chemistry, etc., it is a *spiritual* statement and claim.

        • [{}]“Atheism” is “no theism”[{}]

          And that means no religion for atheists, since religion is the realm of theism.

          • Eddy M. del Rio

            I would say to you that the acts of worship (“religion” as you say) flows *secondarily* from views on theism (an ontological statement about supernatural beings). A/theism is an ontological view, not a scientific one. Religion is a sociologic phenomenon. You are conflating much here where distinction is needed in order to discuss with accurate meaning.

          • Theism is the metaphysical view underlying religion. Atheism doesn’t lead that way.

            You seem to be painting “religion” with too broad a brush — as if it were “religious” to have any metaphysical viewpoint at all.

  • I guess I should publish my own book called “Mayer’s Doubt”. Though it would be a short book. Intelligent Design fails for such obvious reasons:

    1. Intelligent Design begins with the premise that all functional complexity and specified information is the product of intelligent design. This has not been proved, and is exactly what the argument is all about.

    2. Intelligent Design cannot take place without an intelligent designer already in place. Everyone agrees that intelligence can do fantastic things. The question is: Where did this intelligence come from in the first place. There are no examples of life that are the result of guided processes.

    3. ID proponents are completely clueless as to how life could have arisen through intelligent intervention. The religious have had thousands of years to come up with an explanation of how an immaterial being creates stuff. But you still have nothing.

    Meanwhile, my argument for an unguided origin of life remains irrefutable.

    FIRST PART OF MY IRREFUTABLE ARGUMENT FOR A NATURAL, UNGUIDED ORIGIN OF LIFE:

    1. All living things evolved from simpler self-replicating things.
    2. The first bacterium was obviously a living thing.
    3. Therefore, the first bacterium obviously evolved from simpler self-replicating things.

    There is evidence that all living things evolved from simpler self-replicating from multiple scientific disciplines. There are zero examples of life that are not the result of evolution. When we discover a lizard in the jungle, nowadays we understand that it evolved from simpler self-replicating things. Bacteria are alive. Bacteria obviously evolved from simpler self-replicating things. We do not even consider any other answer unless we are prepared to take a leap of faith that there is an immaterial being that could produce them. The very heavy burden of proof is on you to prove that such a notion is plausible.

    SECOND PART OF THE ARGUMENT:

    The question then becomes, where did the first self-replicating molecule come from? Logically, there cannot be an infinite regress of self-replicating molecules. Therefore, the only logical conclusion is that a self replicating molecule formed spontaneously through a natural, unguided process, because this conclusion solves the philosophical problem of the infinite regress.

    How did it happen? How could anyone possibly know? What is important is not that we understand how he it happened, but that it DID happen.

    THIRD PART OF THE ARGUMENT:

    There are two (and only two) possibilities for the origin of the first cell: Chance or Intelligent Intervention. According to multiple expert statisticians, the probability of Intelligent Intervention is ZERO. That means that the alternative is statistically CERTAIN.

    • I rather suspect that a lack of relevant content is more likely to be the major factor contributing to the brevity of your “book”, but since Rabbi Averick repeatedly provides you a fresh forum in which you can paste your 500 word manifesto, you don’t really need to worry about publishing anything, do you Eitan?

      • Have you read the rabbi’s “book”? Despite using this forum to repeatedly publish the same “relevant” content.

        • In case it escaped your attention, Eitan, this is the Rabbi’s forum. How he chooses to use his own platform is his business. Everyone else is merely a guest here.

          He is the reason this forum exists, and the reason that those of us who are less talented and original in our thought process even have a chance to participate in this discussion at all.

          Rabbi Averick doesn’t talk about books he should publish, he writes books that get published. Big difference.

          • Original? Talented?

            He’s recycling 100+ year old arguments that have been refuted for decades.

      • Do you have any substantive criticisms of my irrefutable argument?

        • Your argument, Eitan, is only “irrefutable” in your imagination.

          Several flaws have repeatedly been pointed out.

          There is, for instance, the false alternative of “Chance or intelligent intervention.”

          There is also the unsound premise: “1. All living things evolved from simpler self-replicating things.”

          And there is still that goofiness about solving the “philosophical problem of the infinite regress.”

    • [][]“There are two (and only two) possibilities for the origin of the first cell: Chance or Intelligent Intervention.”[][]

      Not exactly. In fact, neither of those is a possibility for the origin of life. Intelligence came after life began — it could not have magically preceded it. And the laws of physics and chemistry do not operate by chance.

    • Well said, Eitan! So many of my religious friends have tried to argue a scientific/rational justification for their “faith” instead of just accepting that “faith” or “belief” doesn’t require a rationalization beyond their own need for a “faith” to help them deal with the moral, psychological, or existential conundrums and tests that living presents. Personally I’m not a person of religious faith but in relating to those who are I adopt the attitude of Lenon/McCartney: “Whatever gets you through the night, it’s alright. It’s alright.”

    • 1. Intelligent Design begins with the premise that all functional complexity and specified information is the product of intelligent design. This has not been proved, and is exactly what the argument is all about.

      Specified complexity yes, “all” other functional complexity not necessarily. Integrated circuits are designed largely by software, not by human intelligence. But humans wrote the initial software, with some of its modifications directly coded, and some self-modified. Both evolution and embryogenesis display similarities.

      2. Intelligent Design cannot take place without an intelligent designer already in place. Everyone agrees that intelligence can do fantastic things. The question is: Where did this intelligence come from in the first place. There are no examples of life that are the result of guided processes.

      ‘Initial’ ID processes were likely directed, while some subsequent (adaptive) processes may be ‘designed in’ processes to aid survival. Subsequent directed processes to re-engineer genomes are a possibility, and trump the statistical improbabilities of novelty from random mutations, however selected upon.

      Regarding the origin of prior intelligencia, there is obviously no way to know at this time, which does not, however, preclude their existence. And regarding “life that are the result of guided processes”, no claims are made in that regard. Present life is self-sustaining.

      3. ID proponents are completely clueless as to how life could have arisen through intelligent intervention. The religious have had thousands of years to come up with an explanation of how an immaterial being creates stuff. But you still have nothing.

      Nor are ID detractors able to explain life’s origin(s) either. ID however, is the more statistically probable. Regarding the “religious”, their sources are written, historical accounts, and faith. The so-called reams of data, or mountains of evidence supports lineage diversions and progressions, but not the premise of natural causation with regard to non-evolvable complexities and radical body-play revisions. That aspect of evolutionary theory is speculative at this time.

      “The question then becomes, where did the first self-replicating molecule come from? Logically, there cannot be an infinite regress of self-replicating molecules. Therefore, the only logical conclusion is that a self replicating molecule formed spontaneously through a natural, unguided process, because this conclusion solves the philosophical problem of the infinite regress.”

      “Infinite regression” with regard to cellular existence disproves itself via logic, since ‘infinity’ exceeds the age of the planet. And with regards to ‘spontaneity’ being the only logical explanation, that subjective statement itself is illogical. The infinite regression paradox refers to the question of who “designed the designer” ala David Hume et al, but since we ourselves can only think in terms of ‘designed’ entities, we lack discernment in that area. But, when the evidence of design preempts other explanations, that dated and unanswerable question becomes moot.

      “There are two (and only two) possibilities for the origin of the first cell: Chance or Intelligent Intervention. According to multiple expert statisticians, the probability of Intelligent Intervention is ZERO. That means that the alternative is statistically CERTAIN.”

      Sorry, but we have no “experts” capable of concluding that, except by totally subjective thought, and a materialist philosophy bias.

      • [{}]“ID however, is the more statistically probable.”[{}]

        “ID,” that is, supernatural intervention in nature, has a probability of ZERO. That is, supernatural intervention is impossible. The supernatural is non-existent.

      • You clearly did not read the article carefully or understand the major points.

    • Eitan,

      1. Intelligent Design begins with the premise that all functional complexity and specified information is the product of intelligent design. This has not been proved, and is exactly what the argument is all about.

      I’m sorry Eitan but it has been proven. From the sum total of human experience we have derived the principle that above certain levels of functional complexity and specified information it is ALWAYS the result of intelligent intervention, with no exceptions. As I have pointed out to you many times, examples from Darwinian Evolution are irrelevant as The Darwinian evolutionary process depends on the pre-existence of highly sophisticated molecular machinery and a fully functioning digitally encoded information processing system (DNA, etc) pre-loaded with encyclopedic amounts of information.

      • “functional complexity … is ALWAYS the result of intelligent intervention, with no exceptions.”

        Except life. That’s a pretty big exception.

        And as I have pointed out to you many times (including above), examples of intelligent design are irrelevant as the intelligent design process depends on the pre-existence of highly sophisticated complex intelligence.

        • Also, as I’ve already explained to you numerous times, Science has proven that life is ALWAYS the result of evolution from simpler self-replicating things.

        • Mark Patterson

          “Except life. That’s a pretty big exception.”

          That is the very point at issue. You can’t start with the conclusion you want to get the premise you want.

          We don’t know how life started. Chemical evolution is one hypothesis. ID is another. ID corresponds better with our understanding of how complex functional systems come to be. Chemical evolution doesn’t have much to offer at present, and probably never will, because when we come to understand how natural processes work, we can boil it down to a few simple equations. Life is not like that. It is based on large quantities of such information.

          • My argument is a proper demonstration of inference to the best explanation.

            Start with known and repeated observations: Living things evolve from simpler self-replicating things.

            Observe similar or identical effects: Bacteria are alive.

            Infer the same forensic cause: Bacteria evolved from simpler self replicating things.

          • “ID corresponds better with our understanding of how complex functional systems come to be.”

            Intelligent Design cannot take place without an intelligent designer already in place. Everyone agrees that intelligence can do fantastic things. The question is: Where did this intelligence come from in the first place. There are no examples of life that are the result of guided processes.

      • [][]“… the premise that all functional complexity and specified information is the product of intelligent design…. has been proven. “[][]

        While it is inescapably true that “all specified information is the product of intelligent design,” I disagree that it “has been proven” — since a tautology is not susceptible to proof one way or the other.

        Also note that “DNA, etc.” is NOT a “digitally encoded information processing system”, not even a little bit.

        • Mark Patterson

          ““DNA, etc.” is NOT a “digitally encoded information processing system”, not even a little bit.”

          It is a nearly exact analogy. The DNA is coded in a base-4 system with 2 nucleotide couplets. It even has an element of the binary about it that our electronic systems use. Dawkins can admit that it is about information. Why the need to deny this?

          • []“It is a nearly exact analogy.”[]

            Precisely. And this is a clear case of how it can be an error to take a metaphor literally.

            Note that there is no more actual “information” or “code” in DNA than there is in a water molecule.

    • [][]“1. Intelligent Design begins with the premise that all functional complexity and specified information is the product of intelligent design.[][]

      Not exactly.

      In fact, it is technology that begins with that principle. Religion, in the form of “Intelligent Design” is trying to pull a fast one, and steal the premise for illict, illogical use.

    • Eddy M. del Rio

      Eitan, the easy REFUTATION of your irrefutable argument, lies not in it’s validity. It is a perfectly *valid* argument; But it is a *false* argument because your major premise: “1. All living things *evolved* from simpler self-replicating things”, is NOT a universally accepted truth, and by using this as a premise in your syllogism, you commit the fallacy of Begging the Question. This is the precise kernel of the dispute! You should know better (I think). Evolution and ID are two opposed theories proposed to explain observed nature. Contrary to your liking and opinion, evolution sufficient to explain new and complex species has NEVER been demonstrated — thus the continual presence (and increasingly so now) of “unbelievers.” Imagine if I started my “Irrefutable argument” for ID thusly:
      1. All living things *were intelligently designed* from the mind of an intelligence.
      I would rightly be laughed out of the discussion!

      • My argument is a proper demonstration of inference to the best explanation.

        Start with known and repeated observations: Living things evolve from simpler self-replicating things.

        Observe similar or identical effects: Bacteria are alive.

        Infer the same forensic cause: Bacteria evolved from simpler self replicating things.

        • Eddy M. del Rio

          Poor Logic:

          Given A+B=C
          therefore,

          E+F=G
          H+I=J
          K+L=M
          N+O=P

          (I’m sorry)

          • I guess you need a class in logic 101. What you wrote has nothing to do with my argument.

            I’m SO sorry! ;)

      • []1. All living things *were intelligently designed* from the mind of an intelligence.[]

        That is obviously a false premise, as it posits that the effect preceded the cause.

        And the idea that the “Intelligent Designer” was not a living thing simply turns the “ID” process into an unguided process.

  • “he demonstrates that the weaknesses of orthodox evolutionary theory…are precisely the positive indications that point most persuasively to intelligent design.”

    Which is all they ever do, how about coming up with some testable hypotheses or ideas?

    Coyne has every right to treat ID this way, they bring it upon themselves. Until they produce something more than the missing peices that we already know are missing, then they are contributing nothing to science. Saying “Goddidit! coz you don’t know how it was done” is not science, it says nothing!

    • Intelligent Design is the antidote for Darwinism.

      • No person who supports evolution makes the claim that Darwin did it. All Darwin did was show us the evidence that is already there, in front of our eyes. He doesn’t expect us to take his ideas on faith and neither do any other evolutionary biologists; they provide us with real, tangible, evidence.

        The God of the gaps argument presented by ID essentially says scientists don’t know the answer therefore “Goddidit!”. They do not provide even the smallest amount of evidence that their hypothesis of an “intelligent designer” may be correct. They just make the (false) assumption that if evolution is wrong in some small way then their “Intelligent Designer”(read God) must be responsible. This is a false dichotomy, there are many other unproved hypothesis that could be put in the place of this designer. In fact considering the rather imperfect state of the world, I think an intelligent devil is more likely.

  • Some of Rabbi Averick’s advice: “As increasing numbers of fiery arrows – launched by critics of Darwinian orthodoxy – find their mark and the Darwinian edifice burns around you, it might be advisable to put down the fiddle …

    Rabbi Averick doesn’t appreciate the fact that Darwin could be dead wrong, and it still wouldn’t promote God from fiction to fact. Fictional characters cannot actually create anything in reality — regardless of how much scientists really understand about anything.

    As someone said, Darwin has “bupkis” to do with the falsity of the doctrine of “Creation, by God!”

    • Let me see if I understand your objections:

      For decades Darwinian evolution was supposedly a done deal, portrayed as undisputed scientific fact which was established beyond a shadow of a doubt, but now it doesn’t really even matter anymore if he was completely wrong?

      Meyers, on the other hand, is a dangerous heretic and a threat for having the audacity to point out the flaws in Darwin’s theories and for having the impudence to dare an alternative view?

      Even worse, Harper Collins has the gall to oppose the atheistic elitist establishment’s gag order by publishing a work which opposes their official canon?

      Will this outrage never end?

      • []
        []
        “… outrage …”
        []
        []

        Don’t hold your breath waiting for it to end . . . ’cause it’s in your imagination — and I don’t believe you are going to let go of such a fantastic notion.

  • The University of Chicago has a glorious history as being a mecca of intellectualism and the free exchange of ideas. Dr. Coyne’s criticism of a work that challenges his views coming to light is incongruous with the institution that pays his salary. Maybe Coyne ought to consider a book burning campaign to prevent ideas that he proclaims as abject stupidity before the tome proliferates his universe.

    • Dear goddidit,

      You are mistaken. Every scientist in the world agrees that we are able to discern and identify phenomena which are the result of the intervention of an intelligent creator/designer whether or not the identity of that intelligent being is known, or whether it is an intelligent agent who is completely unknown and totally out of our experience;

      That is why there is a long running scientific project called the Search for Extra-Terrestrial INTELLIGENCE. If we are not able to identify phenomena which are the result of totally unknown intelligent agents the whole thing would be a colossal and idiotic waste of time.

      • In January, after a previous column, some commented:

        “Mark (and myself) have indicated that intelligent design is an argument from ignorance/god-of-the-gaps argument.

        You have attempted to counter this by saying that SETI does the same thing as cdesign proponentsists.

        This is not actually a counter argument to either Mark or myself.

        Rather, it is a tu quoque fallacy. Even if it was true that SETI is doing the same thing as cdesign proponentsists (it is not), that would be an argument against SETI, not an argument in support of ID.

        Furthermore, SETI is not doing the same thing as cdesign proponenstsists because they actually have observable evidence to back up their hypothesis. We can observe intelligent life creating electromagnetic signalling systems. We understand the mechanisms by which this can be achieved. We can look at the design documents that were used to construct the devices that transmit and receive such signals. And we know pretty well what signals designed in this way look like in ways that distinguish them from other signals found in nature.

        But even so, SETI still makes sure to make a very strong effort do disprove their hypothesis that a given signal is ‘designed’ before they declare success. For a while, pulsars were considered to be a candidate for an attempt to communicate by other intelligent species. But rather than just declare success ‘because it looks designed’ they tried very hard to rule out an unknown natural cause first. The attempt to disprove the intelligent-life hypothesis is what led to the discovery of pulsars.

        Cdesign proponentsists do not have anything to say about the mechanisms that the intelligent designer uses to implement its designs, have nothing to show for a design document that can be understood and can be verified to exist before the phenomenon in question, and never seem to actually try to disprove the notion of intelligent design at all, let alone thoroughly and rigorously.

        It is this absence of observable evidence that makes it an argument-from ignorance/god-of-the-gaps.

        It is the observable evidence that SETI starts with and their attempt to disprove their hypothesis before declaring their success that distinguishes them from cdesign proponentsists.”

        Did any of this register? Or are you just going to pretend your inane argument was explicitly refuted?

        • Duh,

          I’m sorry they are doing the exact same thing. We have observed intelligent beings creating digital information storage systems. In fact scientists are now using synthetic DNA to store vast amounts or information. There simply is no getting away from it. In fact there is a peer reviewed paper that recently appeared in Icarus to the effect that DNA would fit the profile of a message from aliens.

          Everyone agrees that there is no way that a bacterium could pop out of a prebiotic soup all at once and if it did it could only be the result of ID. Why? Because everyone agrees that there are levels of functional complexity that can only be the result of ID. It is absurd to assert that a bacterium could result through a naturalistic process all at once. Therefore atheists have concluded that life must have started through a step by step process, not because there is any evidence to suggest that such a thing is possible, but because the only alternative is a creator. It is your extraordinary burden to prove that such a thing is possible.

          • We know that “step by step processes” are possible because we have seen examples. We know that your “IDOL is impossible because it is a contradiction.

            It makes a difference that natural causes are real, while supernatural causes are unreal.

          • “We have observed intelligent beings creating digital information storage systems.”

            Are any of those beings immaterial?

            “the only alternative is a creator.”

            Prove it.

          • To quote Eitan:

            “There is evidence that all living things evolved from simpler self-replicating from multiple scientific disciplines. There are zero examples of life that are not the result of evolution. When we discover a lizard in the jungle, nowadays we understand that it evolved from simpler self-replicating things. Bacteria are alive. Bacteria obviously evolved from simpler self-replicating things. We do not even consider any other answer unless we are prepared to take a leap of faith that there is an immaterial being that could produce them. The very heavy burden of proof is on you to prove that such a notion is plausible.”

            It’s hard because both your arguments are “irrefutable”.

      • The key issue here is that “non-living” means “non-intelligent,” i.e., that intelligence is a function of life. Thus, it is impossible (logically, physically, and in every other way) for LIFE to have be INTELLIGENTLY DESIGNED (since before life, there was no intelligence).

      • [[]]”… the whole thing would be a colossal and idiotic waste of time.“[[]]

        Scientifically, SETI is a waste of time. But then, so are Star Trek conventions, and yet they are something some people like to spend their time and money one. After all, science isn’t the only thing in the world. The realm of fantasy (science fiction, religion, etc.) is rather popular.

  • Thanks, Moshe. one doesn’t need to be a biologist, or even need letters after their name, to plainly see that the human race and most of the animal race need two, a he and a she, each with their correct anatomy to connect and produce a progeny, each after their own kind. This arrangement could never come to be by evolutionary happenstance, but bespeaks an intelligent, creative force so far greater than human ability, it necessitates calling it/him not only a god, but THE God. No! Man is not the most intelligent being in existence.
    All one needs do is look around at the reproductive civilization mankind has accomplished in a little over 6000 years – a time span given to us by that same intelligence in His Word as a kindness to us.
    The evident design promoted in His Word was to create one human pair – he ans she – which in turn began the population of this planet which planet having been afore prepared to a large degree for the human creation. As He took 1000′s of years preparing for the habitation of man, He has also planned man’s history for 1000′s of years, and will continue to do so.
    In giving the first pair, life, shows He intends life for us on a continuing basis, which this life (birth to death)would serve no basis, if the experience and lessons learned of unrighteousness did not have a future use in experiencing righteousness, carefully guided by and planned for by His intelligence.
    In His Word, He tells of mankind’s history, written in advance, which man, even if aware of it, cannot alter it, nor has he.
    Happenstance has NO intelligence, even if one fudges trying to rely on a trumped-up “law of averages,” nor can happenstance predict and lay-out man’s history written in advance, in any way whatsoever. Nor would happenstance select and covenant with one nation through whom to write intelligent laws still in use after over 3000 years.
    People steeped in ‘happenstance/evolution rail against religion, and as religion requires beliefs, which evolution also requires beliefs, so theirs is a religion as well – designed for disbelief in the one Almighty Creator, while He allows them to use their God-given brains to be exercised for a non-intended purpose. That doesn’t alter His plan or purpose, which as it unfolds will bring their misguided reasoning (insanity?) to become sane, to be taught respect for Him and His ways.
    Happenstance is not scientific, it is mindless, illogical, and tends to create the need to down-play those of saner minds when they can’t undo their facts and solid discoveries. Likely, they would find one item said herein and pounce on that in some distorted way, casting aside all here written, OR, they with the a debater’s clever slight of hand, seek to dismiss this whole effort.
    Those who will learn, will learn, others will learn in anon. Thanks for the space, Moshe. Keep-up the good effort. Signed OBTom

  • In years to come people will regard Meyers’ work and it’s proponents in much the same light we regard Erich don Daniken’s Chariots of the Gods today : superficially convincing to the non-critical eye until you look at the ‘evidence’ and realise that there isn’t much, and what there is is largely fiction.

    • Correction, in the years to come people will still recognize the Bible as the Revealed Word of God.

      On the other hand, your prediction of von Daiken’s place in history ironically fits Darwin’s current status quite well.

    • I think the book that best fits your description is “Origin of the species” by Charles Darwin.

      http://www.evolutionisstupid.com/

    • Dear Flipper,

      I feel the same way about “The God Delusion”

    • Eddy M. del Rio

      Perhaps I’m the first (and only one) to say it: I predict that Meyer’s SITC will replace Darwin’s Origins! Just as the first had an unauspicious and controversial start, with a delayed but pervasive influence, so the second. Here is the influence of Meyer already: now we speak of matter, energy, time *and information.*

  • Isn’t it simply the case that Gd is not a predicate of scientific discourse. The scientists’ work is observing the world and coming up with rational explanations of how it works, what laws and principles underlie the phenomena. Gd cannot be an element of scientific discourse because once you invoke Gd that is the end of inquiry. Gd did it! Ok, what next? Well, nothing is next. Gd is a stopping point. Of course, we do not live as just a scientist. There are many other aspects to living a life. Belief, spirituality, even religion, etc. But those are not elements of life qua scientist. So, a priori, the appeal to Gd is outside of science.

    • Ira,

      The appeal to “God” might be out of science but not the appeal to an Intelligent Designer. That is the whole point of the SETI project: The Search for Extra-terrestrial INTELLIGENCE>

    • Eddy M. del Rio

      I would agree with you only in this way: the discussion on origins is ante- (not anti-) science and is about unique and unrepeatable events, and therefore not within the domain of operations science. The problem or question of origins yet remains. If we believe that:
      1. Only things that come to exist have a cause.
      2. The universe had a beginning.
      3. Therefore the universe had a cause.
      4. But we know from the Law of Causation that nothing can cause itself (and that causes are greater than their effects).
      5. Therefore the cause of the universe CANNOT be natural (a domain of the universe).
      6. If the cause of the universe is not physical, then it is metaphysical.

      • []“2. The universe had a beginning.”[]

        That is a false premise.

        Nothing was the beginning of the universe.

        No “cause for the universe” could ever have existed (since if it wasn’t part of the universe, there was nowhere for it to be).

        There is no alternative to nature. There was never nothing.

        • Eddy M. del Rio

          Steve, did you read it carefully? You quote one thing (“2. The universe had a beginning.”) but then *supplant* it with “Nothing was the beginning of the universe.” I don’t even understand that sentence. You seem to have moved to discussing *cause* but there is no mention of “cause” in the second premise. Now to put the monkey on your back again, are you stating that the universe DID NOT have a beginning? If so, I would have to ask you how you would prove that in light of what we know about the universe. If you want to argue that my second premise is erroneous, by all means do so but you don’t get to *change* my premise to your liking.

          • []“… are you stating that the universe DID NOT have a beginning?”[]

            Naturally, the universe had no beginning.

            Nothing caused the universe to be.

            How do you imagine that any causal factors could exist if nothing existed?

      • []“3. the universe had a cause.”[]

        That is a false premise.

        Nothing was the cause of the universe.

        No “cause for the universe” could ever have existed (since if it wasn’t part of the universe, it couldn’t have existed anywhere).

        There is no alternative to nature. There was never nothing as the cause of something.

        • Eddy M. del Rio

          Wow, I’m not sure how to engage you without insulting you. What you quote as No.3 is NOT a premise, it’s a *conclusion* that follows from the major premise (no.1, which I take you accept since you have not retorted against it) and the minor premise (no.2). You have clearly now stated that you believe that the universe had *no* beginning! Given that, you are now in the category of a flat-earther and I can think of no further way to carry an intelligent conversation with you. You evidently found the power of the argument so disturbing that you must resort to histerics. PROVE that the universe had *no* beginning (here’s a clue … it’s called the Big BANG!)– an application of inference by application of the observed phenomenon of an expanding universe.

          • []“3. the universe had a cause.”[]

            That is an unwarranted proposition (whether you call it a premise or a conclusion).

            Nothing was the cause of the universe.

            No “cause for the universe” could ever have existed. If it wasn’t part of the universe, it couldn’t have existed in the first place. You are in effect trying to “steal the universe” and pretend that it came from nothing.

            There is no alternative to nature. There was never nothing as the cause of something. If you really believe that nothing could cause something, then you are kidding yourself.

            The “Big Bang” (as the origin of the universe) is just another version of the fantasy of “Creation, by God!” (And if you feel that your faith is an insult to atheists, I suppose we have to live with that.)

      • []“3. the universe had a cause.”[]

        That is a false premise.

        Nothing was the cause of the universe.

        No “cause for the universe” could ever have existed (since if it wasn’t part of the universe, it couldn’t have existed anywhere).

        There is no alternative to nature. There was never nothing as the cause of something.

        • Eddy M. del Rio

          Steve, this is actually in reply to your post of May 3, 2013 1:53 pm:

          All you’re doing is repeatedly affirming your position. To dispute my argument, you must do one of two things: A. prove that either premise (nos. 1 or 2) is factually wrong (this is the issue of “veracity”), or B. prove that the conclusion (no.3) does not *follow logically from* the major and minor premises preferably by citing a fallacious form of logic (this is the issue of “validity”). The other thing you can do — though it appears foolish — is to persist in declaring your view without engaging in a *logical* discussion. You seem to be my only hope for a logical discussion on this thread – don’t let me down!

          • It is “factually wrong” that “the universe had a beginning.”

            By the logic of it, such a “beginning” would have had to be a magical “something from nothing” which is not an actual possibility. A “beginning before anything existed” could not have existed. Can’t get around that fact.

            (Even if there is something to some sort of “Big Bang,” it was NOT a “Bang From Nothing” miracle. Miracles are supernaturalist fantasies, not actual possibilities. Any “Bang” was a bang of SOMETHING.)

            So nothing was the cause of the universe!

      • The syllogism consisting of #1-3 is invalid. And statements #1 and #2 are not necessarily true. Other than that, your argument is spot on!

        • Eddy M. del Rio

          Come on AW, you can do better than just *claim* that. Please *demonstrate how* the conclusion (no.3) does not follow logically from the major premise (no.1) and the minor premise(no.2)? Next, if you disagree that either premise (No.1 or 2) are NOT true, then *explain* why you think so.

          • 1. Only people use computers.
            2. George Washington was a person.
            3. Therefore GW used computers.

            This is not a valid syllogism.

            1. Only things that come to exist have a cause.
            2. The universe had a beginning.
            3. Therefore the universe had a cause.

            Same logic, still invalid. In these syllogisms, “people” is analogous to “things that come to exist”; “use computers” is analogous to “have a cause”; “GW” is analogous to “the universe”.

            ———————

            When you say, “the universe had a beginning”, what do you mean by “universe”?

            1. everything that exists.

            or

            2. that which emerged from the Big Bang.

          • Also…

            “Only things that come to exist have a cause.”

            What is that even supposed to mean?

        • Eddy M. del Rio

          AW, in reply to your post of May 3, 2013 1:39 pm: I *sort of* agree with you. The syllogism that *you* created is actually VALID but NOT TRUE; what I mean is that the conclusion follows logically from the premises, but it is FALSE because the first premise is too broad and can be refuted by more limiters. Now your object is not to creat a strawman syllogism and show it false and then simply declare mine false, it is to show *mine* to be false (the premises) or invalid (the logical conclusion). For a starter on Premise No.1, can you cite any example of somthing that exists (an artifact, a being, a work of art, a thought, etc. ) that is known to have not had a cause? If you can, then you have defeated my first premise. Also, if it is any different to you, you may drop the word “Only.” (Things that come into existence have a cause) Right or Wrong? If wrong, why so?

          • Neither of our syllogisms is valid. As my syllogism illustrates, even if both premises are true, the conclusion is not necessarily true. That’s the definition of an invalid syllogism. It is true that only people use computers. It is also true that GW was a person. If you change the first premise to “ALL people use computers” and yours to “ALL things that come to exist have a cause”, then the syllogisms are valid.

            To answer your second question: “can you cite any example of something that exists that is known to have not had a cause?”

            Answer: God.

            False premise = unsound conclusion.

          • Naturally, it is true that “things that come into existence have a cause.” What is manifestly untrue is that “the universe was caused to come into existence.”

            Obviously, such a “cause” could not have existed — since to exist is to be part of the universe.

            It is a religious fantasy that you can get something from nothing.

          • Eddy M. del Rio

            AW, in fact, you were correct on the defect in the first premise of my syllogism, but I think I have rectified that in my restart at the top.

            Steve, said, “What is manifestly untrue is that ‘the universe was caused to come into existence.’” We haven’t got there yet. You accepted the 1st premise and now must decide the veracity of the second: The universe had a BEGINNING.

  • On the basic issue of the “Averick IDOL” (aka simply “Intelligent Design”), Darwin is irrelevant. Design by a Supernatural Being is impossible, regardless of what really happened at the origin of life (or during any subsequent processes).

    “Intelligent Design” as an explanation for anything (creation, explosion, or whatever) is out of the question because nothing supernatural is literally a possibility of any kind.

    [P.S. Even if Jesus wasn't entirely fictional, God certainly is nothing more than a fictional character.]

    • “Intelligent Design” as an explanation for anything (creation, explosion, or whatever) is out of the question because nothing supernatural is literally a possibility of any kind.

      You appear to have some agreement with Richard Dawkins who stated in ‘The Blind Watchmaker’, “Any God capable of intelligently designing something as complex as the DNA/protein replicating machine must have been at least as complex and organized as that machine itself.”

      He then invokes Occam’s Razor, “The more we can get away from miracles, major improbabilities, fantastic coincidences, large chance events, and the more thoroughly we can break large chance events up into a cumulative series of small chance events, the more satisfying to rational minds our explanations will be.”

      So is the supernatural not just ‘improbable’, but ‘impossible’? From Jerry Coyne’s WEIT tome:

      “Now, science cannot completely exclude the possibility of supernatural explanation. It is possible-though very unlikely-that our whole world is controlled by elves. But supernatural explanations like these are simply never needed: we manage to understand the natural world just fine using reason and materialism.”

      So, according to these two authorities on the question, the issue appears to settled.

      • It is not a matter of “authorities,” no matter how many.

        If all the people in the whole world agreed that the supernatural was actually possible, the supernatural would still be impossible. Wishing doesn’t make it so — no matter who (or how large a group) is wishing for it.

        • “It is not a matter of “authorities,” no matter how many.”

          I meant that term as humor, evident by remarking that the issue was ‘settled’. Obviously, no hominid could be such an authority, regardless of their stature or expertise.

          “If all the people in the whole world agreed that the supernatural was actually possible, the supernatural would still be impossible.”

          Depends on your definition of supernatural (outside of nature, violating nature, performing miracles, omni^3, etc).

          If it merely means intelligentsia beyond our own, and capable of genetic engineering a priori, then what would be your basis to summarily rule it out?

          “Wishing doesn’t make it so — no matter who (or how large a group) is wishing for it.”

          Pursuers of science don’t “wish” for the supernatural, just grant money.

    • Eddy M. del Rio

      Mr. Stoddard, your very expressing “nothing supernatural is literally a possibility of any kind” is a self-refutation, for your *opinion* (and mine) are not *naturally* caused! You seem to be oblivious to the the Problem of Mind and Reason that you — as a evolutionary materialist — are vulnerable to and that you are skating on nothing but a thin ice of assumptions. There is NO Darwinian mechanism to explain why our ration should be concordant with actual truth! Are you aware of this?

      from Thomas Nagel’s *Mind and Cosmos*:
      “Evolutionary naturalism provides an account of our [mental] capacities that undermines their reliability, and in doing so undermines itself.” [27]
      “Evolutionary naturalism implies that we shouldn’t take any of our convictions seriously, including the scientific world picture on which envolutionary naturalism itself depends.” [28]
      “The priority given to evolutionary naturalism in the face of its implausible conclusions about other subjects is due, I think, to the secular consensus that this is the only form of external understanding of ourselves that provides an alternative to theism — which is to be rejected as a mere projection of our internal self-conception onto the universe, without evidence.” [29]

      BTW, Nagel clearly reveals that he is not a theist and that he belives “that we are products of the long history of the universe since the big bang, descended from bacteria over billions of years of natural selection.” [30]

      • You are certainly entitled, Eddy, to claim that nothing you say can be taken seriously. But you are only entitled to speak for yourself.

      • Eddy M. del Rio

        I guess that’s your way of ignoring the problem. That’s OK, everyone doesn’t have to be aware and engaged. It usually takes a few decades (but probably less in the accelerated stage of information sharing that we live in) for certain ideas to trickle down from the ivory-towered intelligentia to the general population (Realativism, Darwinism, Communism, Humanism, etc. as examples).

        • It does not mean that I am ignoring “the problem” to point out that “the problem” is imaginary. You feel that you cannot take any of your convictions seriously, but you are kidding yourself if you feel like that is somebody else’s problem.

          • Not moderated, yet.

          • Eddy M. del Rio

            Ok Steve, let’s see if we can move this subject forward. I know (and everybody else does too) that you are a totally committed single-channel atheist, but I’m not going to talk about God (and have never done so on this page). I would explore the idea of knowledge with you a bit if you’re up to it.

            What confidence do you have that *your* thoughts are *true*?

          • Eddy M. del Rio

            Also, you misrepresented my position. I’m saying that *those who hold* to a materialistic reductionalism (as you do), with a *true* adherence to the belief that their presence and capacities are a result of Neo-Dawinian processes, THEY undermine any confidence in the truth of *their* thought. This is the problem that has been recently exposed by Plantinga (theist) and Nagel (atheist). As scientists are in general ill-equipped in matters of philosophy that are two-layers deeper than their realm of work, scientists are *presently* having difficulty appreciating the problem. In my experience it’s sort of like telling fish that they are *in* water, and just as frustrating. And now to thouroughly confuse you, I do not hold to materialistic reductionalism, but DO HOLD to the scientific method of empirical experimentation! If you can’t understand or appreciate that, it simply means you know very little about the history of science. (Can we have an intelligent conversation?)

          • [][]“What confidence do you have that *your* thoughts are *true*?”[][]

            Sometimes, total confidence. Other times, not much. Depends on the context.

            For instance, I think in is sunny here today. Looking out the window confirms that I am right about that much. No doubt about it.

            On the other hand, I have a thought that misinterpretations of red shifts are an important component of the “Big Bang” notion. But they might be only a minor part of the misconception. I’m not sure.

  • Brian Westley

    And your qualifications in biology are? Oh yeah, bupkis.

    • “Bupkis” is sufficient. No knowledge of biology is needed to know that whatever happened at the origin of life (and during the whole history of life — not to mention everything else), it was a 100% NATURAL process. No other kind of processes are within the realm of possibility.

      Nothing at all in the world supports the “IDOL” thesis. It is sheer imagination, resting on nothing but blind (i.e., religious) faith.

    • Brian,

      If you’ll notice, the article did not talk about biology at all. The article talked about the attitude and approach of Jerry Coyne to the whole subject. Stephen Meyer is highly qualified to write about the subject as are James Shapiro, Jerry Fodor, and David Berlinski.

      One does not have to be an expert in biology to realize that when someone actually starts railing about publishing houses, someone is off-kilter.

      • ??? You didn’t think that Brian actually bothered to read the article? Nah, why bother reading something before commenting.

      • Of course, Coyne’s response to the “tantalizingly close” remark is spot on.

        And in fact, it is a shame that “HarperCollins [is] feeding and misleading the public with creationism masquerading as science.”

      • Brian Westley

        “Stephen Meyer is highly qualified to write about the subject as are James Shapiro, Jerry Fodor, and David Berlinski.”

        No, they aren’t. That’s kind of the point.

        “One does not have to be an expert in biology to realize that when someone actually starts railing about publishing houses, someone is off-kilter.”

        I suppose you wouldn’t rail about a publishing house that published your books while another branch of the same publishing house reprinted “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” as non-fiction?

        • To assert that David Berlinski is not qualified to write about this subject merely reveals your own lack of understanding of the subject matter.

          Not only is David Berlinski a genius, there is probably no one who better understands the issues better than he. There is certainly no one who can match his eloquence or the coherence of his communication.

          You don’t have to take my word for it, though. Ask Richard Dawkins.

          • Dawkins has this “praise” for Berlinski: “Are there, then, any examples of anti-evolution poseurs who are not ignorant, stupid or insane, and who might be genuine candidates for the wicked category? I once shared a platform with someone called David Berlinski, who is certainly not ignorant, stupid or insane.”

        • Brian,

          As to your point number 1 that they aren’t qualified: ridiculous, of course they are qualified

          point number 2: absurd comparison

          • Brian Westley

            Well no, they aren’t qualified; they practice pseudo-science and try to pass it off as science. My Protocols comparison is to pseudo-history, where you end up with similar problems if you allow any self-proclaimed “expert” to say what is historical. The same thing happens with your science “experts”. Ever wonder why the overwhelming majority of scientists say that these guys aren’t scientists?

          • Berlinski is NOT a believer in “Intelligent Design,” is he?

          • Apparently, Berlinski is a believer in “ID,” just a particularly dishonest one.

        • Eddy M. del Rio

          The reason scientists object to the likes of Stephen Meyer, PhD in History and Philosophy of Science (Cambridge), is because scientists are sadly almost uniformly *totally oblivious* to the place of science in human thought. Science stands upon mathematics, so any mathematician can claim that a scientist’s work or thinking is erroneous based upon his math. But mathematics stands upon Logic and epistemology, which are of the domain of philosophy. Therefore, philosophers (Like Meyers, Nagel and Flew) can speak of the error in the works and thinking of scientists. Philosophers who are ALSO mathematicians (like Berlinski and Lennox) can simply usually have their way with scientists willy-nilly. Poor Hawkings’ claim of “philosophy [being] dead,” just shows you what an imbicile an intelligent person can be who knows nothing about what his Reason stands upon.

          • [{}]“… what his Reason stands upon.”[{}]

            Reason stands upon the ground of reality and the methodology of logical identification and integration.

            Philosophy handles the broad metaphysical view, while science handles narrower specialized areas.

            There is no mysterious supernatural “underlayer” to consult.

      • whats off-kilter (dishonest or ignorant) is when publishers print “science” authors who de-value the naturalistic/materialistic/critical philosophical foundations, the hundreds of years of historical philosophical debates that defines what science is to begin with. This is why scientifically minded people would criticize pseudoscience books, because it aint science.

        This is the “ideology” that offends you: the strictly objective naturalistic/materialistic approach to gathering data and knowledge, I make the assumption that in reality, it righteously offends or contradicts your own personal subjective definition of who-god-is.

        Cambrian Explosion could have multiple naturalistic explanations, no miracle needed. Let history show how many times we have been wrong when we fill-in-the-gaps without a scientific materialistic-naturalistic philosophical methodology to guide us

        • Wrong again, Cool.

          Actually, history shows the scientific establishment is consistently wrong in its most tightly held and widely believed views, but it is still ever ready to ridicule and excommunicate those which dare to question the official party line.

          If you don’t know that, then you haven’t really been paying attention, but that isn’t really any surprise either.

          Just keep your head down, don’t ask any questions, and don’t make waves.

        • Joe Cool,

          I have no problem with scientific investigation at all.I have great respect for the scientific endeavor. if you are under the impression to the contrary then you are gravely mistaken. My guess is that you never read David Berlinski’s “The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions” nor “Signature in the Cell”, Meyer’s earlier book.

          However, as much respect as I have for scientific investigation I am not in awe of scientists. They are not special in any way and they are no different than any other human beings. They are subject to the exact same failings as everyone else. The history of science is a history of blunders, prejudice, stubborn refusal to accept new paradigms, etc.

          Please see my article: “The Myth of the Almighty Scientist”
          http://www.algemeiner.com/2012/12/07/the-myth-of-the-almighty-scientist-genesis-and-genes-by-yoram-bogacz-review/

        • Eddy M. del Rio

          JOe cool said, “the strictly objective naturalistic/materialistic approach to gathering data and knowledge.” I don’t know if you’re a scientist or not, but you just demonstrated the problem I just discussed. You would have to dig two layers deeper than the floor you’re standing on to get it. Thanks for the demonstrated object lesson!

          • There is no alternative to nature. That is the whole basis of knowledge (the fundamental source of “data”). There aren’t any “layers deeper” than reality.

            The fantasies about “the supernatural” are not about anything actually real.

      • Berlinski is NOT a believer in “Intelligent Design,” is he?

      • It is the blindly faithful belief that “Intelligent Design” (aka “Creation, by God!”) is magically science rather than fantasy that is “off-kilter.”

        • Eddy M. del Rio

          On science [and] fiction:
          Amphibian + instant time (kiss of loving girl) = Prince Charming (fairy tale), but

          Amphibian + enough time (evolution) = Albert Einstein (true science).

          Yeah right.

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