| Posted 06/20/12 at 07:09 PM||Reply with quote #1 |
OK. I'm going to try this again and I promise I'll ignore anything and everything posted by jude.
I'm still interested in what AS, RSMartin, JB and Crash have to say concerning this argument. I'll do my best to piece it together so the overall body of information is in here. I'll do it in separate posts to try and make it a bit easier to follow and that way we can catch up with where we were at relatively easily. If you are only seeing one or two posts in here bear with me. The site only allows 1 post every 60 seconds to avoid spammers. I have about 10 posts to put up so it may take a little time to get them up and going.
The point of this is to hopefully try and make the Christian side a bit more easy to understand for those that have never done any homework on what 'the other side' believes.
Since I have this time let me also put in a few more things at the beginning that may help as well. From a creationists perspective.
We do NOT have a problem with speciation. We understand that organisms can 'change' via the mechanisms of mutation and natural selection. Those two mechanisms are testable, observable and repeatable in the real world are not, in any way, disputed in the creationist world.
Where we differ is that creo's don't believe mutations and natural selection have the power to do the things evo's say they can do. For instance, those mechanisms have never been shown to turn one organism into a completely different organism (macroevolution if you will). The fact that two birds can no longer breed is not disputed. The issue is.....they're still just birds. This is really where the major crux of the problem lies between evo and creo attitudes. Evo's think mutations and natural selection can do this given enough 'time'. Cells into fish, fish into amphibian tetrapods, so on and so on. They have been taught to repeat the same old mantra of 'well if a man can walk a block why can't he walk 100 miles?'
The problem here is that we cannot test, observe, or repeat processes that supposedly take millions of years to do. That's not real science. That's taking what we know about mutation and natural selection and then simply extrapolating it backwards to fit your worldview.
The other issue here is that it's not the creo's job to prove mutation and natural selection CAN'T do this over millions of years. It's the evo's job to prove it CAN happen over millions of years. They try to put the onus on us when it's not our job to prove anything! It's yet another sneaky weapon in the evo arsenal. This isn't how real science works. If you make a claim something can be done or does happen then it's up to YOU to prove it can. I can't say "There are pink monkey's on Mars......now YOU must prove there aren't." It's my job to prove there's evidence to support there are actually pink monkey's on Mars.
OK....so hopefully that gives you a little bit more background on where we stand as creationists. The following posts further lend themselves to the logic and empirical evidence that's used to come to the conclusion of 'God' or some kind of intelligent designer. I hope this at least helps some of you better understand our perspective on the world. Let me just remind all of you that our faith in God is not a blind faith. We have sound, logical, and empirical reasons for believing what we believe.
| Posted 06/20/12 at 07:09 PM||Reply with quote #2 |
From the Santa Claus topic so as not to hijack their discussion
rsmartin - But you DO ignore everything that's put in front of you....here's a great example.
"Unless you can provide empirical evidence, or logic based on empirical evidence, you're not providing evidence. Period. "
Let's just take the empirical findings concerning the fine tuning of the universe that was brought up in another thread.
Here’s what I wrote about it in that thread
I agree with you Lawless. It’s been interesting to watch how others avoid the fine tuning aspect in this thread by simply explaining it away with “Well….it COULD happen naturally so therefore it MUST have happened naturally….no other explanation is necessary.”
Let’s just take the four forces. Strong, weak and electromagnetic are all about the same but gravity is much weaker than the other three (which, FYI, is NOT what the big bang would predict). However, change any one of these forces by even a sliver and life, as in human life at least, cannot exist. For instance, “If the strength of the strong nuclear force were changed by plus or minus 1% the rate of the triple-alpha reaction would be affected so markedly that the production of biophilic abundances of either carbon or oxygen would be prevented.” Adams, F.C. : Stars In Other Universes: Stellar structure with different fundamental constants, JCAP08(2008)010.
A simple 1% difference in just the strong force alone means human life doesn’t exist? Come on…..that’s like rolling a trillion sided dice and getting the exact number you needed. Now, to add to that, roll 3 more trillion-sided dice and they ALSO have to come up with just the exact numbers necessary to get human life. If even ONE of those die don’t give you the right number then human life doesn’t exist and the process starts over again…..roll all four dice. And that’s just for the four forces!!!! Now you have to roll a separate die for EVERYTHING in the universe!
In the world around us ONLY intelligence has been shown to ‘fine tune’ something so it runs perfectly and yet if there is even a chance at rolling 4 trillion-sided dice and getting the right numbers then who cares about actual empirical evidence? Let’s just go with ‘nature did it’ and have faith in that. It’s amazing what lengths some people will go to in order to avoid even the slightest chance of a God.
So what say you to this? Here is 'logic' based on EMPIRICAL evidence on just one small part of the fine tuning of the universe. Are you saying that it’s impossible for an intelligence to be involved with this and that nature absolutely, by itself, can account for this?
| Posted 06/20/12 at 07:10 PM||Reply with quote #3 |
Posted By AtheisticSeeker
Are you saying we should reason, "Fine tuning, therefore God"?
The way I see it, the apparent fine tuning is a mystery that needs to be solved. I mean, we may discover some truly remarkable and elegantly simple non-God mechanism for the fine tuning. If we just say "God did it", and leave it at that, then we could be missing out on discovering something truly awesome.
If you look at various moons in the solar system, you'll see that some are uttlery covered in craters, whereas others are relatively crater-free. We could have said "God likes the un-cratered moons more, and so he protected them from meteors". But if we had done that, then we would have missed out on discovering that some moons are geologically active, which caused some of the topsoil to fill in the craters.
See what I mean? Just saying "God did it and that's that" pretty much puts a self-imposed limit on our understanding.
And if you insist on maintaining the God of the Gaps, then that's fine. But with each ground-breaking discovery you make, your God becomes more and more impotent.
| Posted 06/20/12 at 07:10 PM||Reply with quote #4 |
Posted By Lawless
God of the gaps has been a pretty standard go to excuse by atheists for quite a while. The problem with your logic that fine tuning is an of the gaps argument, AS, is that it completely ignores the fact that fine tuning equates design, design equates intelligence. If the chance of something happening by random chance alone is 10 to the power of 15,000 as it is with some constants in the fine tuning problem, then that means the chances of it happening through chance alone is 1 to the power of 1 with 15000 zeroes after it. That's pretty well impossible. So you have three choices. Chance, physical necessity, or design. The chances of it being chance are mind bogglingly impossible. Physical necessity is not a proper answer as the constants and quantities are independent of the laws themselves. i.e. Gravity began to exist when matter which was attracted to other matter began to exist. However the strength of gravity was independent of it's coming into exist. Why is it so weak compared to the other forces?
Finally we're left with design. The problem with these "of the gap" claims is that what you're doing is proclaiming that any inference to the explanation of design is inherently less desirable than any unintelligent naturalistic explanation. You said:
I mean, we may discover some truly remarkable and elegantly simple non-God mechanism for the fine tuning.
Which appeals to your obvious bias towards the source material. You have no objective basis for claiming that the discovery of intelligence behind the universe is less remarkable than positing an unknown unintelligence cause to the fine tuning and the universe itself. You're simply presupposing atheism to be the better worldview, and claiming that any decision or discovery which speaks against that should be ignored due to the fact that there may one day be an explanation for these natural occurrences.
Isn't that faith?
But with each ground-breaking discovery you make, your God becomes more and more impotent.
Quite the opposite is true. Any apologist on this board will quote multiple scientific, philosophical, archeological, scriptural, or theological disciplines to support their argument. In your statement above, the only support you've offered for Fine Tuning being natural is that we should hold out hope that a natural explanation is one day found. You're quite literally speaking from the same faith based stance that you accuse theism of adhering.
You'll forgive me for not accepting, "We may be able to explain it one day." as a proper explanation for a problem that has arisen through the discovery of the fine tuned constants and quantities.
If you can't give me a reason why intelligence was not behind the fine tuning, and cannot provide an adequate natural unintelligent explanation then the only reason you can give for not inferring intelligence is that a natural explanation will somehow be more extraordinary?
| Posted 06/20/12 at 07:11 PM||Reply with quote #5 |
Posted By AtheisticSeeker
Consider this proposition:
"Fine-tuning is evidence that the universe was intelligently designed."
"Intelligent design" is equivalent to "not by purely naturalistic means".
Thus, if you hold to the bold proposition, then you must also say that fine-tuning is evidence that the universe did not come about by purely naturalistic means.
But let's consider how you might have come to that bold conclusion in the first place.
Was it because no purely naturalistic mechanism known to date, other than mere chance, can account for the apparent fine-tuning, and the odds of it happening through mere chance are laughably small? If so, then you ARE playing the God of the Gaps game, because the key words in the last sentence are "known to date".
Was it because you are certain that it's impossible to come up with a plausible purely naturalistic mechanism? If so, then you better have a pretty solid proof, because human history is rife with very smart people finding very clever solutions to very difficult problems.
Or was it simply your hunch? If so, then I'm sympathetic to that. We've all got our hunches. You see the finely tuned universe, and you see the hand of God. I see the finely tuned universe, and I see a puzzle for scientists. But if it's just your hunch, then fine-tuning can't be properly presented as "real" evidence for God.
| Posted 06/20/12 at 07:12 PM||Reply with quote #6 |
Posted By EQuestions
AS - Allow me to add on to Lawless's reply.
First off......you CAN NOT just use 'nature of the gaps' either! This whole God of the gaps thing is ridiculous because you guys simply turn around and imply Nature of the gaps instead. Here's the issue. We are NOT using God of the gaps....we're using logic based on empirical evidence to come to an 'intelligent design' conclusion which is what rsmartin requested. This is the biggest point that we cannot seem to get across to you atheists. We've tried to explain this to you guys in numerous other threads and you just seem to ignore what we're inducing here.
Look at the EMPIRICAL evidence. If ANY of the four forces were off by less than 1% human life could not exist. As has been mentioned the cosmological constant can't be off by even that much or human life can't exist. Now take into consideration the precise tuning of the proton, electron, and neutron. Any of these values are off by even a slight degree and nothing can interact with anything else in the way it does.....no human life possible. The list goes on and on......now....
Based on every piece of empirical evidence we have it's been shown hundreds of thousands of times that nature is NOT a creative force, it's a destructive force. It never creates anything....it just tears it down or destroys it. Nature, by itself, has never been proven to create AND sustain any kind of perfect values for anything we know of outside of evolutionary 'faith' and 'assertions'. If it has then what EMPIRICAL evidence can you show for this to be true and what is the mechanism that allows for nature to assign such perfect values to everything around us?
Now....based on EMPIRICAL evidence.....the ONLY mechanism we are aware of in the universe that can provide any kind of 'fine tuning' to something is intelligence. Period. Building a dam to regulate water flow. Nature provides the water, intelligence provides the mechanism to regulate it at a certain, fine tuned, sustained flow. Floods and tornados DESTROY the dam, destructive force, but they do NOT 're-regulate' the flow to a 'more precise value'. ONLY the mechanism of intelligence has been shown, EMPIRICALLY, to do such a thing.
So, based on empirical evidence, why can we not infer an intelligent agent to the universe? Or to life coming from non life? Or to the double helix? Or to the regulation and sustained values of biological processes throughout the genomes of every living organism? Why must we simply accept your 'nature of the gaps' argument when we have a perfectly legit reason for believing in an intelligent agent based on logic and empirical evidence?
So this proves my point that you guys simply ignore any and all evidence put in front of you for a God. You scream "GOD OF THE GAPS" and then run back to 'nature of the gaps". We have a mechanism for the fine tuning argument....intelligence. Do YOU have a mechanism to explain this via nature? No. We HAVE a mechanism for life from non life. Do YOU have a mechanism for this via nature? Ummm.....no.
So now let's talk about how REAL science works. REAL science is based on EMPIRICAL evidence. We have a mechanism that more than adequately explains the world around us based on the actual empirical evidence. REAL science also takes the idea that is best explained by what we empirically know. The BEST explanation, based on what we know about the world around us, is MUCH better supported by the mechanism of intelligence....especially when the 'nature did it' guys don't even have a mechanism to put forth to explain the fine tuning and life from non life. So, who's really basing their worldview on real and empirical science here?
So, after having read over what I wrote, let me just say that I'm not trying to start a flame war here but I am a bit frustrated. I really like you AtheisticSeeker because you are actually one of the most, if not THE most, rational and calm atheists on this site and I truly appreciate you for that. I'm just frustrated that we can not seem to get you to understand that our argument is not based on blind faith or simply claiming God of the gaps arguments. That's all. So why are we so crazy as to infer an intelligence to the world around us? I think I would turn your words around on you..... If we just say "Nature did it", and leave it at that, then we could be missing out on discovering something truly awesome.
| Posted 06/20/12 at 07:13 PM||Reply with quote #7 |
Posted By Lawless
Actually, AS, your statement that intelligent design infers non-natural explanation is completely fallacious. The Fine Tuning argument, as well as the ID movement due to biological complexity, is only inferring that there is intelligence behind the design of the universe and it's fine tuned constants and quantities. You see you're the one who's trying to derail this observation by changing, or adding additional properties to the subject in question.
Your declaration of "of the gaps" reasoning is not only massively fallacious, as on it we could never infer intelligence behind anything, but it's once again positing naturalistic un-intelligent explanations as the only ones which are to be allowed in the pool of live options. You're not only disallowing supernatural explanation, but also intelligent natural explanation.
There is no hunch here, AS, the obvious inference to the best explanation when approaching a problem such as a massively fine tuned universe is that the universe was designed by a level of intelligence. If I went to Mars and found a clock which ticked down perfectly the solar year of a Martian calendar and predicted the movements of the stars to within an infinitely narrow margin I would not throw my hands up and declare, "My God! Look at what blind collisions with asteroids did to this planetoid!" I would conclude. "Holy crap! Aliens used to be here!" As would anyone else on earth.
And so you see your attempts at reasoning that there may one day come a naturalistic explanation for the fine tuned constants and quantities are not the more intellectually sound opinions to hold. Quite the opposite, in this circumstance it is actually the theist who is not holding to any faith based arguments, but rather you. If you're to tell me that you're holding out hope that one day science will find an answer for the fine tuning of the universe then you are an atheist who believes in naturalism based upon faith, and not reason or rationality. You're turning a blind eye to the evidence and throwing up excuses such as "God of the gaps" reasoning in order to justify why it is okay for you to not conclude that the fine tuning of the universe is due to intelligence despite there existing a very sound logical argument as to why this is the best explanation.
| Posted 06/20/12 at 07:14 PM||Reply with quote #8 |
Posted By JBiemans
I am sorry but I have seen this too much lately, and I have to speak out about it yet again:
Highly improbable, no matter how bad the odds does not equal impossible.
Everyday mundane things can have ridiculus odds of happening, and yet they are every day and mundane. Watch
I just typed 40 random keys on my keyboard, so what are the odds that that specific combination would come up ?
There are 46 possible keys on my keyboard that make characters, and I typed 40 characters Thats 46^40 or 3^66. Now imagine if I had typed 200 random characters 46^185 or 4^307. I cannot even calculate the odds for 46^200. Would it be impossible for me to randomly type 200 characters ? 400 characters ? etc.
You may argue that "sure an improbable event happened, but it was the product of intelegence." Which would be a good retort if it were not for the fact that any mechanism could hit the keys and come up with the same result.
So improbability on its own, while interesting, is not sufficient to conclude anything at all. Like AS pointed out God is more improbable then anything, would you say that makes God impossible ?
| Posted 06/20/12 at 07:15 PM||Reply with quote #9 |
Posted By EQuestions
"Highly improbable, no matter how bad the odds does not equal impossible."
I agree but here's the crux of the whole situation.
We KNOW, empirically, that nature cannot create something with finely tuned parameters like we find the universe to be or a perfectly functional self replicating cell that's perfectly suited to its environment from the very instant it 'pops' onto the scene. That doesn't make it impossible per se but there is no shred of empirical evidence that's ever been produced to prove that nature could possibly do this on its own.
We KNOW empirically, that an intelligence CAN and DOES do stuff like this in the world around us. This we see all the time. Cars, homes, dams, computers, etc. Now we can't, HUMAN intelligence that is, create a finely tuned universe or life from non life but, based on all the other stuff the mechanism of intelligence can create, can safely deduce that it would be WAY more plausible to believe that an intelligence, one maybe much bigger than our own, can create a finely tuned universe or life from non life in a much more explainable way that nature in and by itself could. That's the issue.
Now, if you want to think that it's every bit as likely for nature to do it on its own then fine. My question would be what is the mechanism by which nature uses to create life from non life and a universe that just happens to have all of the correct parameters to sustain HUMAN life?
My argument for an intelligence provides both the mechanism AND is backed by the empirical evidence in the world around us. ONLY intelligence can create such finely tuned and complex structures such as we find in cars and computers.
So I would ask you to show me empirically where nature creates such complex things without an outside influence and to provide us with a mechanism for the creation of life from non life and a universe from nothing with all of the proper parameters for human life.
Without those answers it appears, at this time, that I have more evidence to back up my side of the argument than you have and since real science is based on the BEST explanation at the time that fits best with the empirical evidence I think it should be at least a consideration that a God is more probable an explanation for the things around us than is nature in and by itself.
| Posted 06/20/12 at 07:15 PM||Reply with quote #10 |
Posted By RSMartin
I don't say it's impossible but what is your evidence that God is behind it?
| Posted 06/20/12 at 07:19 PM||Reply with quote #11 |
Posted By EQuestions
RS - You're missing the point. Based on logic and empirical evidence is it more likely that nature can perform the things I mentioned or is it more logical that an intelligence is behind all we see in the universe?
*WHEW* OK.....I think this pretty much catches everyone up. Most curious as to how it's viewed by the atheists.
Intelligence is a mechanism that more than adequately explains the world and the complexity of the universe, earth, human genome, etc all backed by the empirical evidence we have. How is this not the 'best' explanation so far if no other mechanism can be given and no empirical evidence can be shown for anything else?
CRASH - This is basically what Meyer is getting at in his book.
| Posted 06/20/12 at 08:02 PM||Reply with quote #12 |
|I am sorry, I ready your initial post but only skimmed the rest since there were so many of them, and I was already vaguely familiar with them from the past threads.
Your last question is where it gets interesting. To paraphrase you asked:
"Why isn't intelligence a better explanation the no explanation at all?"
I hope that is a fair paraphrase, and if that is what you are wondering, then I can answer my opinion on that. I do not feel that intelligence is a good answer, because intelligence as an explanation must first presuppose the intelligence is even a possible explanation. Given my understanding of reality, the only intelligence that I have ever had interactions with is human intelligence, and this intelligence requires a brain to exist.
Given the fact that brains would not exist without the universe, I would conclude that intelligence would not exist without the universe.
This, of course, does not mean that I think it's impossible that intelligence could exist without the universe, but I would first need to have it demonstrated before I could conclude it as an explanation. The good analogy I heard for this the other day went something like:
"Postulating about a magician on the stage does nothing to explain the magic trick."
Now as for your question about micro vs macro (your terms) evolution. I think its great that you accept those things you listed and I agree with you regarding them. I also agree with the statement that you do not like about walking. Perhaps I could explain how I understand it.
If you agree that minor changes can happen due to mutation and selection, what is the barrier that stops that change ? I imagine that you would like to limit the change to within the kinds, but where is that limiter ? We have yet to find it. From there, I simply extrapolate backwards. I then use the principle of uniformitarianism to conclude that without any limits, the change would continue backwards.
You may ask "Why should I accept uniformitarianism", which is a fair question. I would answer thought, that without it, we cannot know anything, because everything we think we know today could be wrong tomorrow. So do you have any idea what the limiter could be ?
There is also more then this, and I can go into more detail if you like, but I think this post is long enough for now. After reading some of your post here, I have a higher opinion of you then I origionaly had, and I think you are doing well on your search for knowledge =)
| Posted 06/20/12 at 09:39 PM||Reply with quote #13 |
Originally Posted by Equestions
Where we differ is that creo's don't believe mutations and natural selection have the power to do the things evo's say they can do.
I'd like to see how your lack of belief in this compares to my lack of belief in God.
I think God is a possibility, but feel that the arguments for his existence aren't strong enough to overcome the implausibilites associated with God. (e.g. unembodied mind, atemporal causality, existence of a supernatural).
Is your position about evolution similar, i.e. that you consider it a possibility - but that the arguments for it aren't strong enough to overcome the implausibilities you perceive to be present?
Unrelated question: If mutations and natural selections aren't true, do you then automatically assume God did it, or do you consider the possibility there might be other explanations?
In general for any phenomenon that is observed, if there is no convincing natural explanation for the phenomenon, do you then infer God did it - or do simply accept the fact that we just don't know?
| Posted 06/20/12 at 10:10 PM||Reply with quote #14 |
|All of these points are easily defeated, and I have done so elsewhere.|
I just ask the creationists the following questions..
1.Who designed God?
If no one, or nothing designed God, how did a magical being with such immense powers to create entire universe, an unembodied consciousness, come into being? Does he just exists instead of nothing by pure chance?
Why does the creationist believe consciousness on earth must have been created but then posit that God was not created?
Where did God's consciousness come from? If it didn't come from anywhere, and there is no possible reason for it's existence..
If it came from no where, what incredibly LUCK that there just happened to be this magical being who exists for literally no reason and has these magic powers to create the universe!!!!
2. How old do you think the earth is?
3. What is your opinion on dinosaurs? Why are you correct about your opinion on dinosaurs and every paleontologist in the world wrong?
4. Why does every single person with a Ph.D in Biology think you are wrong?
5. What are neanderthals? What is homo erectus?
| Posted 06/20/12 at 10:35 PM||Reply with quote #15 |
|Oh yea..and the following question..who is more likely to be correct about evolution?|
Equestrians: An uneducated man who has never read a single book on evolution. Not one. Ever, at least not by an actual biologist.
The 10,000,000 biologists around the world who spend their entire life studying this very topic and have unanimously come to the conclusion that evolution is as much a fact as the earth being round.
As the National Academy of Sciences says
The National Academy of Science (U.S.) makes a similar point:
- Scientists most often use the word "fact" to describe an observation. But scientists can also use fact to mean something that has been tested or observed so many times that there is no longer a compelling reason to keep testing or looking for examples. The occurrence of evolution in this sense is fact. Scientists no longer question whether descent with modification occurred because the evidence is so strong.
- Let's put a probability on this.
- Who is more likely to be right?
- Equestrians or the entire field of much brighter, much more knowledgable scientists?
- How much probability given the facts do we give of Equestrians being correct?
- 0.0% probability?
- 52% probability?
- I'd be most interested in hearing from Equestrians himself on the matter of what probability he assigns to himself being correct and all the scientists in the world wrong?