agit-prop, opinion manipulation and well-poisoning games Answering the problem of evil (vs good) Atheism Darwinist rhetorical tactics Geo-strategic issues Logic and First Principles of right reason

Answering AK’s claims [a] “[the so-called Gish Gallop is an] ID technique” and [b] “evil is a concept fabricated by religion”

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Sometimes, one of UD’s frequent objectors makes an inadvertently telling objection that deserves highlighting in order to publicly document what we are up against. In this case, AK has provided us with TWO, as headlined. Accordingly, over the past several days, I responded in the Skeptical Review thread. This morning, on seeing doubling down, I have further responded and I now highlight for all to see:

KF, 125: >> . . . let us go back to your context from 64 above: the ID technique [–> that’s already a Big Lie agit prop tactic and slander] that you excel at called the Gish Gallop [–> diagnostic, terrible sign], made famous by Duane Gish and others [–> root-slander]” and again at 100 above: “evil is a concept fabricated by religion.”

Before anything else, I note this is an attempt to relativise and dismiss the reality of evil and to side-step two significant developments. First, that while up to the 50’s – 70’s the appeal to the problem of evils was a favourite tactic of atheists to try to dismiss the reality of God. But after Plantinga’s highly successful free will defense [–> cf. PS below] was put on the table the deductive form collapsed and the inductive one was broken in its impact. But of course, some of us are old enough to remember and to bear witness.

In short, deep inside the dismissal is resentment that a favourite rhetorical appeal of atheism has collapsed decisively, and that at the hands of a Christian theist and leading philosopher.

The second matter turns on recognising what evil is, as a secondary phenomenon:

EVIL: the frustration, twisting, perversion or privation of what is good in itself that prevents or hampers it from attaining its proper end. A proper end that is often naturally evident. Such as, that our minds are properly aimed at and governed by truth and linked correct, cogent reasoning and duties to the just, the good, the prudent, the wise, etc.

As WmAD famously highlighted from Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy, that issue is the problem of good:

In his Consolation of Philosophy, Boethius states the following paradox: “If God exists, whence evil? But whence good, if God does not exist?” . . .

I doubt that you would as cavalierly assert through the confident manner fallacy: evil [–> GOOD] is a concept fabricated by religion . . .

But the two are inextricably intertwined, indeed evil parasites off the good and much of its repugnance when its destructive effects are manifest for all to see comes from its patent violation and frustration of what is a manifest proper end.

And so, we can hardly but observe that you are forced to appeal to our sense of duty to truth, justice and more, even as you work as a saw-tooth cutting away at our connexion to the root of such things.

Now, Rational Wiki (and no I will not link the source, do your own search):

The Gish Gallop, named after creationist Duane Gish, is the debating technique of drowning the opponent in such a torrent of half-truths, lies, and straw-man arguments that the opponent cannot possibly answer every falsehood in real time. The term was coined by Eugenie Scott of the National Center for Science Education. Sam Harris describes the technique as “starting 10 fires in 10 minutes.” [U/D May 16: Subsequently RW updated their definition to speak of “weak arguments.” This is itself problematic (as, in inductive contexts arguments may mutually reinforce as a cumulative case and “weakness” is often a matter of opinion, especially when tendentious charges of “half truth” and out of context or distorted quotes or the notion that you cannot use an expert’s admission against interest are in play) and it turns out that Ms Scott suggested misleading citation and used “half truth” — a half truth being a whole lie — right from the beginning. As at May 15, 2018, Wikipedia used: “During a Gish gallop, a debater confronts an opponent with a rapid series of many specious arguments, half-truths, and misrepresentations in a short space of time, which makes it impossible for the opponent to refute all of them within the format of a formal debate.” The term is clearly tainted with invidious insinuations and attacks to the man. It should not be used, especially as it is already a case of attacking a man, by its very name.]

Each tooth of a saw cuts a tiny curlicue of sawdust, but with many teeth going zip-zip-zip, soon a pile of sawdust tells how much of a cut has been given. (That is how mass-mobilisation agit prop activism cumulatively wreaks havoc.)

Now, too, before I speak more specifically, remember my metaphor just above on the cumulative impact of corrosive polarising slander and cutting off the roots of our civilisation — noting, the dismissive genetic fallacy on evil also made by you, AK: one tooth of a zipping saw does not do much, it seems, from how tiny a sawdust shaving is. But once we see many teeth in action, the cumulative effect is huge as the sawdust pile grows and grows and grows zip-zip-zip, especially if the branch we are sitting on is under strain and has to bear all of us.

Then, beyond a certain unpredictable point, a critical threshold is hit and CRAACK, SNAP, COLLAPSE.

Too late, bitterly too late.

Where, we are dealing with a civilisation that — having nukes — is far too dangerous to fail safely.

In that light, AK’s strawman tactic of twisting my words into:

Civilization is going to come crashing down because I used the term “Gish gallop” . . .

. . . only manages to show the sort of destructive blindness caused by evil and in accumulation, the zipping saw at suicidal work in our civilisation may well precipitate the unthinkable.

FYI, AK, you sheared off one little curlicue of sawdust from the branch on which we are all sitting. You did this by a doubly slanderous reference. Which, I called you on, and which you show no signs of due responsiveness and responsibility over. And indeed, making that particular reference is a serious sign of how far the rot has progressed in a particular case.

I don’t know if we can wake up from the stupor of a Plato’s Cave suicidal horror show already in progress, but that will take a miracle of mass repentance.

This I do know, our civilisation is in self-induced mortal peril, and the saws are busily zipping away with destructive agit prop cutting us off from the root and support that are vital for our civilisation to thrive.

Not that the blinded, benumbed and polarised will be particularly inclined to wake up to, face and do something about our common peril.

Now, here is my longstanding response to the Gish-smear slander, here at UD (and no it is not a threat to ban, in answer to yet another twister of facts and issues out there):

In short, this term [= Gish gallop] is an accusation of lying, distorting and the like on a wholesale basis, further allegedly in order to overwhelm an opponent and thus prevent answering the flood of falsehoods.

Something is very wrong here, however, even after taking the questionable list of sources cited at face value for the moment, for the sake of discussion.

For, it is well known that to select several examples of actual falsehood or gross error and to expose them normally suffices to ground the conclusion that the party who has actually indulged such a flood of false assertions, is not responsible or credible and should be dismissed.

One slice of such a spoiled cake has in it all the ingredients, and all that.

In short, if the accusation were TRUE, it would be quite easy to overturn such an argument.

It would fail so spectacularly, that it would be rhetorically suicidal.

Provided, the other side of the debate or discussion were in command of the actual facts, not mere ideological talking points and disputable opinions.

So, it is quite plain that there is no real need for such a named fallacy.

And, in the case of Mr Gish, it is well known that he consistently won debates on origins science by focussing on the problem that the fossil record is full of gaps that lead to a want of on-the-ground evidence for body-plan level macroevolution. [Kindly, see the linked discussion of the real facts, — let me now use the unlimited number of links capacity of an OP: “here is Ken Ham’s summary of the relevant history, and here and here we may see John Morris of ICR on debates. It is to be noted that Creationist spokesmen, for forty years, have actively sought debates, and have had such a long-running pattern of success, that it is the advocates of body-plan level Macro-Evolution by blind chance and necessity who have counselled their colleagues not to participate in debates. As a result, while Gish seems to have taken part in some 300 – 400 debates and Henry Morris some 100, such are reportedly rare today.”]

Nobody wins 300+:0 public debates, inducing opponents to find excuses to dodge further debates and to smear the debater unless he stands on solid facts and cogent reasoning. In this case, were [neo-] darwinist evolutionary theory even roughly true, 250+k fossil species in museums and the billions of further readily seen fossils in the field [e.g. Barbados, where I have lived, is literally built out of layers of fossil limestone, often in the form of corals] would overwhelm us with gradualism of body form transformation as a dominant, obvious pattern. Instead, as Gould et al inadvertently highlighted by championing Punctuated Equilibria, the actual pattern is one of systematic gaps and persistent absence of the roots of the tree of life icon — OoL by blind watchmaker mechanisms. That’s why we see so many evolutionary just so stories in the textbooks, the museums, the documentaries and the literature.

By utter contrast, we may answer the slanders against ID simply and directly.

On a trillion directly observed cases [including your objecting comments above, which are meaningful text strings], functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information — FSCO/I for handy short — is a highly reliable sign of intelligently directed configuration [= design] as relevant cause. This is backed up by the search challenge posed by blind chance and mechanical necessity driven needle in haystack search for configuration spaces that start at the 500 to 1,000 bit threshold of complexity. That is, such a search challenge overwhelms sol system or observed cosmos scale resources, given 3.27*10-150 to 1.07*10^301 and sharply up possibilities, overwhemingly non-functional gibberish.

The only empirically warranted, analytically plausible cause of FSCO/I is design.

The issue is not evidence and analysis, but that design is repugnant to a culturally dominant ideology, evolutionary materialistic scientism. Which, on closer inspection, is readily seen to be self-referentially incoherent and thus irretrievably self-falsifying.>>

Food for thought. END

PS: Let me excerpt here a short summary [scroll down here] of Plantinga’s reply to the problem of evil:

>>Leading design theorist and philosopher-theologian William Dembski helps us put the intellectual forms of the problem of evil in context, by citing the sixth century Christian philosopher, Boethius:

In his Consolation of Philosophy, Boethius states the following paradox: “If God exists, whence evil? But whence good, if God does not exist?” Boethius contrasts the problem that evil poses for  theism with the problem that good poses for atheism. The problem of good does not receive nearly as much attention as the problem evil, but it is the more basic problem. That’s because evil always presupposes a good that has been subverted. All our words for evil make this plain: the New Testament word for sin (Greek hamartia) presupposes a target that’s been missed; deviation presupposes a way (Latin via) from which we’ve departed; injustice presupposes justice; etc. So let’s ask, who’s got the worse problem, the theist or the atheist? Start with the theist. God is the source of all being and purpose. Given God’s existence, what sense does it make to deny God’s goodness? None . . . . The problem of evil still confronts theists, though not as a logical or philosophical problem, but instead as a psychological and existential one [as was addressed above] . . . .

The problem of good as it faces the atheist is this: nature, which is nuts-and-bolts reality for the atheist, has no values and thus can offer no grounding for good and evil. As nineteenth century freethinker Robert Green Ingersoll used to say, “In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments. There are consequences.” More recently, Richard Dawkins made the same point: “The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference.” [“Prepared Remarks for the Dembski-Hitchens Debate,” Uncommon Descent Blog, Nov 22, 2010]

In short, when we come to core worldview problems, we should address the comparative difficulties of the main alternatives, and make our choice on which difficulties it is better to live with.

Plantinga’s free-will defense, in a skeletal form, allows us to effectively address the problem. For, it is claimed that the following set of theistic beliefs embed an unresolvable contradiction:

1.      God exists
2.      God is omnipotent – all powerful
3.      God is omniscient – all-knowing
4.      God is omni-benevolent – all-good
5.      God created the world
6.      The world contains evil

To do so, there is an implicit claim that, (2a) if he exists, God is omnipotent and so capable of — but obviously does not eliminate — evil. So, at least one of 2 – 5 should be surrendered. But all of these claims are central to the notion of God, so it is held that the problem is actually 1.
Therefore, NOT-1: God does not exist.

However, it has been pointed out by Plantinga and others that:

  1. 2a is not consistent with what theists actually believe: if the elimination of some evil would lead to a worse evil, or prevent the emergence of a greater good, then God might have a good reason to permit some evil in the cosmos.
  2. Specifically, what if “many evils result from human free will or from the fact that our universe operates under natural laws or from the fact that humans exist in a setting that fosters soul-making . . . [and that such a world] contains more good than a world that does not” ?
  3. In this case, Theists propose that 2a should be revised: 2b: “A good, omnipotent God will eliminate evil as far as he can without either losing a greater good or bringing about a greater evil.”  But, once this is done, the alleged contradiction collapses.
  4. Further, Alvin Plantinga – through his free will defense — was able to show that the theistic set is actually consistent. He did this by augmenting the set with a further proposition that is logically possible (as opposed to seeming plausible to one who may be committed to another worldview) and which makes the consistency clear. That proposition, skeletally, is 5a: “God created a world (potentially) containing evil; and has a good reason for doing so.” Propositions 1, 2b, 3, 4, and 5a are plainly consistent, and entail 6.
  5. The essence of that defense is:

    “A world containing creatures who are significantly free (and freely perform more good than evil actions) is more valuable, all else being equal, than a world containing no free creatures . . . God can create free creatures, but he can’t cause or determine them to do only what is right. For . . . then they aren’t significantly free after all . . . He could only have forestalled the occurrence of moral evil only by removing the possibility of moral good.” [NB: This assumes that moral good reflects the power of choice: if we are merely robots carrying out programs, then we cannot actually love, be truthful, etc.] [From: Clark, Kelley James. Return to Reason. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1994), pp. 69 – 70, citing Plantinga, God, Freedom and Evil, (Eerdmans, 1974), p. 30.]

  6. Nor is the possible world known as heaven a good counter-example. For, heaven would exist as a world in which the results of choices made to live by the truth in love across a lifetime have culminated in their eternal reward. This we may see from an argument made by the apostle Paul:

    Rom 2:6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” 78 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. [NIV]

  7. Anticipating the onward response that in at least some possible worlds, there are free creatures, all of whom freely do what is right, Plantinga asserts a further possibility: trans-world depravity. That is, in all worlds God could create in which a certain person, say Gordon, exists; then that person would have freely gone wrong at least once. And, what if it is further possible that this holds for every class of created, morally capable being? (Then, there would be no possible worlds in which moral good is possible but in which moral  evil would not in fact occur. So the benefit of moral good would entail that the world would contain transworld depraved creatures.)
  8. Moreover, Plantinga proposes that there is a possible state of affairs in which God and natural evil can exist. For instance, if all natural evils are the result of the actions of significantly free creatures such as Satan and his minions, then since it is logically possible that God could not have created a world with a greater balance of good over evil if it did not contain such creatures, God and natural evil are compatible.
  9. At this point, albeit grudgingly, leading atheologians (Such as Mackie and Williams) concede that the deductive form of the problem of evil stands overturned. Thus, a new question is put on the table.
  10. It is: But what if the world seems to contain too much evil, and evil that is apparently pointless, i.e. gratuitous? First, the greater good “absorbs” at least some of the evils. To this, the Christian Theist further responds that there are goods in the world that are left out of the account so far; especially, that the fall of mankind led to the greatest good of all: that God loved the world and gave his Son, setting in motion the programme of redemption as a supreme good that absorbs all evils. That is, it is rational for a Christian to believe there are no un-absorbed evils, even though the a-theologian may beg to differ with the Christian’s beliefs.
  11. However, it should be noted that there is an existential or pastoral form of the problem of evil (as we saw above): where the overwhelming force of evil and pain brings us to doubt God. To that, no mere rational argument will suffice; for it is a life-challenge we face, as did Job. And, as a perusal of Job 23:1 – 7, 38:1 – 7, 40:1 – 8, 42:1 – 6, God may be more interested in exposing our underlying motives and calling for willingness to trust him even where we cannot trace him, than in satisfying our queries and rebutting our pained accusations. That is, it is at least possible that God is primarily in the business of soul-making.
Where then does the problem of evil stand today?
On balance, it is rational to believe that God exists, but obviously there are many deep, even painful questions to which we have no answers. And, those who choose to believe in God will have a radically different evaluation of evil than those who reject him. >>
PPS: For reference, the seven mountains model:
. . . also, the window of change/change challenge model:
. . . and the Overton Window, double-BATNA model:
H’mm, I feel prompted to add this, on the SWOT-BAU vs. ALT solution strategy (which ideally works by bringing a cross-section of stakeholders . . . including hitherto marginalised ones . . .  to the table to ponder together a wall-sized version of the chart and use ZOPP-style contributions to collaboratively synthesise a solution-strategy):
PPPS: I tracked down the source and confirm the slander. I clip for record from another thread (on somebody’s review of Darwin’s Doubt):

KF, 151:>>I took time out to track down the essay where the ideas are introduced by Ms Scott. The taint [of slander] I pointed out is there from the outset. Ms Scott complains on citing Gould on the trade secret of paleontology, then says:

Creationist debaters (at least the nationally-prominent ones) are masters at presenting these half-truth non-sequiturs that the audience misunderstands as relevant points. These can be very difficult to counter in a debate situation, unless you have a lot of time.

[–> she later contradicts herself on this point, arguing for a tight time debate format that locks out substantiating the big picture problem that is at stake; surely, 45 minutes and what a 20 – 30 minute rebuttal is a lot of time, especially after hundreds of debates have been done and books have been published so the substance is no surprise. BTW, Creation Scientists Answer their critics is a key part of that literature, as well as Gish’s Fossils say no series]

And you never have enough time to deal with even a fraction of the half-truths or plain erroneous statements that creationists can come out with. Even if you deal with a handful of the unscientific nonsense spewed out by your opponent, your audience is left with the , “Yeah, but…” syndrome: well, maybe there are intermediate forms and the creationist was wrong about radiometric dating, YEAH, BUT why didn’t that evolutionist answer the question about polonium halos?” (or some other argument.)

[–> Thin gruel. If one has solidly broken several key cases AND has laid out the positive evidence that actually shows by clear observed case the pattern of body-plan level macroevo that surely is there all across the fossil record, the other side should be shattered. Oh, maybe, the point is, that from molecular machines in the cell to major body plans, there is a systematic pattern of gaps and islands of function isolated by gaps without functional forms . . . in which case Gish and co clearly have a point, one the public has a RIGHT to hear.]

The evolutionist debater is never going to be able to counter all of the misinformation that a creationist can put out in a lengthy debate format. And the way these things work is that suspicion is sowed in the minds of the audience no matter what . . . .

[–> suspicion that a case has not been made on the empirical merits, substantiating the arguments by icon?]

Now, there are ways to have a formal debate that actually teaches the audience something about science, or evolution, and that has the potential to expose creation science for the junk it is. This is to have a narrowly-focused exchange in which the debaters deal with a limited number of topics. Instead of the “Gish Gallop” format of most debates where the creationist is allowed to run on for 45 minutes or an hour, spewing forth torrents of error

[–> see the contradiction? What about the cross-complaint that YEARS of schooling, hundreds of hours of TV time, acres of museum space and more are used to indoctrinate and it is complained that there should never be a forum where both sides can make the case they have in summary at feature article length or book chapter length?]

that the evolutionist hasn’t a prayer of refuting in the format of a debate, the debaters have limited topics and limited time.

There is much that is utterly wrong with this essay, for reasons already highlighted and in part noted in-quote.

In particular, a torrent of half-truths is a thinly veiled way of saying reams of lies. For, a half-truth is a whole lie. Including twisted quotation — as I was accused of above. I here substantiate that my concern was there from the beginning, though Ms Scott is a bit more genteel than the raw statement in Rational Wiki which I found years ago on first encountering this pseudo-fallacy.

Where spewing reams of half-truths, lies, distorted dishonest quotes etc is an actual problem, any half-decent lawyer knows that if you pick out several points of error, and properly expose falsity and deceit or even just incompetence, the credibility of the other side is shattered.

So, the rhetorical premise Scott offers is fundamentally false.

Her claims about Creationists dodging narrow formats is also misleading, as in fact the claimed gradualism is a matter of a wide array of evidence relative to 150 years of fossils, with a broad pattern that should be there but is not. That’s Gould’s famous trade secret. And no it’s not just rates, the rates issue [as is suggested in Punctuated Equilibria] was put up to explain the gaps. The systematic gaps.

So, the core point is there, right from the beginning. The term is tainted, it insinuates deceitful insincerity and manipulation of the public. Even, going so far as to suggest that a format that gives time to make the case is calculated to get away with in effect public education fraud.

I am reminded of the what, six year old offer here at UD that we would publish an up to 6,000 word or so (the limit is generous and flexible, where at 120 WPM that is 50 minutes of speech, about the times in question) essay that would outline and substantiate the core blind watchmaker thesis case for ooL and tree of life. Links can go elsewhere but the case as a summary must be made in the essay. After a year of pursuing it, no satisfactory submission was received from the penumbra of objector sites.

That is relevant to the credibility of the argument Ms Scott made. No, I do not buy the claim, for cause.

Coming back to the core point, it is clear that “Gish gallop” is loaded to the point of slander and should not be used. it boils down to saying that if one puts up a sustained, lecture length or magazine feature article length argument with many sources, using expert testimony against interest one is a liar and misquoter, pretty automatically.

That is patently false and unjustifiably accusatory.

It is time this was set aside.

And, web searches show the term is now being migrated into making even more loaded political points in what is in effect a policy opinion verbal war that is deeply poisoning the atmosphere for discussion.

Something is wrong here, seriously wrong.

Something connected to the obvious ongoing suicide of our civilisation.

It is time to turn back before the crumbling cliff’s edge collapses underfoot.>>

253 Replies to “Answering AK’s claims [a] “[the so-called Gish Gallop is an] ID technique” and [b] “evil is a concept fabricated by religion”

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Answering AK’s claims [a] “[the so-called Gish Gallop is an] ID technique” and [b] “evil is a concept fabricated by religion.”

  2. 2
    Eugen says:

    Kairos

    Interesting silence from AK. I didn’t watch old debates but I wouldn’t be surprised that when anti ID people don’t have good argument they personally attack opponent.

  3. 3
    Allan Keith says:

    Eugen,

    Interesting silence from AK.

    I addressed his comment in the other thread. No point repeating it here.

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    Eugen (attn AK):

    I just came back in, went online and saw the above. I looked at the response, and for cause I further reply as follows:

    this [term] was coined for the debating style of Duane Gish, a creationist proponent. Whether it accurately describes Gish’s debating style is immaterial.

    What part of slander do you not recognise?

    This further doubling down is sadly telling.

    Now, on your second assertion, I see:

    With regard to evil being a fabrication of religion, I was obliously exaggerating. The term “evil” is used in many fashions in the English language. In its simplest form it is just a qualifier on the good/bad spectrum. However, in the religious frame of reference, it is used to imply something much more. That is the use of evil that is a fabrication of religion. And anyone who watches religious programming will know what I mean.

    My reply stands, “fabrication” is an obviously loaded term and your insinuations and suggestions about “religious programming” are yet further doubling down.

    You have tried to circumvent the issue of gross error regarding the nature of evil by suggesting “The term “evil” is used in many fashions . . . In its simplest form it is just a qualifier on the good/bad spectrum.” Good vs bad only manages to use a synonym for evil. Fail.

    There is a substantial conceptualisation of evil on the table:

    what evil is, as a secondary phenomenon: the frustration, twisting, perversion or privation of what is good in itself that prevents or hampers it from attaining its proper end. A proper end that is often naturally evident. Such as, that our minds are properly aimed at and governed by truth and linked correct, cogent reasoning and duties to the just, the good, the prudent, the wise, etc.

    The pattern, sadly, continues.

    KF

  5. 5
    vmahuna says:

    “Good” and “Evil” are ENTIRELY determined by individual societies and/or religions. There was an article a week or 2 back, which was of course NOT covered by ANYONE except the most minor conservative web sites, that reported that more than a dozen Christians was burned alive in an industrial kiln by Moslems for the offense of BEING Christians.

    Now surely the Moslems strongly believed that what the CHRISTIANS were doing (um, refusing to renounce Christianity and accept Islam) was “evil”, and that by obeying explicit instructions in the Koran the Moslems were doing “good”.

    And as I’ve mentioned before, the Bushmen of the Kalahari have a rule about “family management” that runs something like: 1 walks and 1 is carried. This refers to the iron rule on infanticide. That is, a mother is allowed to have 1 child who is old enough and strong enough to walk WITH THE ADULTS and 1 child who is not yet capable of keeping up on a 10 mile march and needs to be carried.

    If the mother produces a THIRD child before Child #2 can walk unassisted, Child #3 is smothered or starved or simply abandoned.

    To the Bushmen, this is “good”, and overpopulation of the Kalahari (where each human requires 50 SQUARE MILES of hunting and gathering) is “evil”.

    Oh, and also in the unreported News, there is a good chance that the Bantu majority in South Africa will finish killing off ALL of the remaining “Boers” by the end of the year. This is a “good” thing, yes? I mean, we all know that every single Boer who ever lived is “evil”, don’t we? And so killing a white man (or woman) for being white is ENTIRELY different from killing a black man (or woman) for being black.

  6. 6
    Allan Keith says:

    V, very good comment. Personally I despise the use of the word “evil”. When someone says that something is “evil” they are saying that it is beyond discussion. Homosexuality is evil. Abortion is evil. Contraceptives are evil. Evolution is evil.

    Something is either good for the thriving of society and its individuals or it is the. We should just start there.

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    The Moral Argument
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxiAikEk2vU

    William Lane Craig defeats atheist Sam Harris and destroys Harris’ ‘moral landscape’ with one knock down argument, which Sam Harris FAILS to respond to.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YKkYU5W-IM

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    VM,

    You have inadvertently echoed an issue raised by Plato in The Laws Bk X.

    Let me cite this:

    Ath [in The Laws, Bk X 2,350+ ya]. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ –> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity] . . . .

    [Thus, they hold] that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.-

    [ –> Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT, leading to an effectively arbitrary foundation only for morality, ethics and law: accident of personal preference, the ebbs and flows of power politics, accidents of history and and the shifting sands of manipulated community opinion driven by “winds and waves of doctrine and the cunning craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming . . . ” cf a video on Plato’s parable of the cave; from the perspective of pondering who set up the manipulative shadow-shows, why.]

    These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might,

    [ –> Evolutionary materialism — having no IS that can properly ground OUGHT — leads to the promotion of amorality on which the only basis for “OUGHT” is seen to be might (and manipulation: might in “spin”) . . . ]

    and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [ –> Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality “naturally” leads to continual contentions and power struggles influenced by that amorality at the hands of ruthless power hungry nihilistic agendas], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is,to live in real dominion over others [ –> such amoral and/or nihilistic factions, if they gain power, “naturally” tend towards ruthless abuse and arbitrariness . . . they have not learned the habits nor accepted the principles of mutual respect, justice, fairness and keeping the civil peace of justice, so they will want to deceive, manipulate and crush — as the consistent history of radical revolutions over the past 250 years so plainly shows again and again], and not in legal subjection to them [–> nihilistic will to power not the spirit of justice and lawfulness].

    That should already be clear enough for many.

    For those who that doesn’t help, should ponder the German defense at Nuremberg, but we followed orders by those properly over us in accord with our laws. The answer given by the War Crimes Court is echoed in the outline definition above: in effect, there is a law of our nature, evident to the reasonable, responsible man, which exposes the inherent criminality of those orders.

    If that still does not register, can you agree that it is manifestly, self-evidently evil, wrong, wicked to kidnap a young child on the way home from school, then bind, gag, torture, rape and murder?

    If not, that speaks to a defective moral sense, not to such not being manifestly evil.

    KF

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Plato’s other warning from The Republic, with relevance to how especially democracies can commit suicide — being based on that of Athens:

    It is not too hard to figure out that our civilisation is in deep trouble and is most likely headed for shipwreck. (And of course, that sort of concern is dismissed as “apocalyptic,” or neurotic pessimism that refuses to pause and smell the roses.)

    Plato’s Socrates spoke to this sort of situation, long since, in the ship of state parable in The Republic, Bk VI:

    >>[Soc.] I perceive, I said, that you are vastly amused at having plunged me into such a hopeless discussion; but now hear the parable, and then you will be still more amused at the meagreness of my imagination: for the manner in which the best men are treated in their own States is so grievous that no single thing on earth is comparable to it; and therefore, if I am to plead their cause, I must have recourse to fiction, and put together a figure made up of many things, like the fabulous unions of goats and stags which are found in pictures.

    Imagine then a fleet or a ship in which there is a captain [–> often interpreted, ship’s owner] who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but he is a little deaf and has a similar infirmity in sight, and his knowledge of navigation is not much better. [= The people own the community and in the mass are overwhelmingly strong, but are ill equipped on the whole to guide, guard and lead it]

    The sailors are quarrelling with one another about the steering – every one is of opinion that he has a right to steer [= selfish ambition to rule and dominate], though he has never learned the art of navigation and cannot tell who taught him or when he learned, and will further assert that it cannot be taught, and they are ready to cut in pieces any one who says the contrary. They throng about the captain, begging and praying him to commit the helm to them [–> kubernetes, steersman, from which both cybernetics and government come in English]; and if at any time they do not prevail, but others are preferred to them, they kill the others or throw them overboard [ = ruthless contest for domination of the community], and having first chained up the noble captain’s senses with drink or some narcotic drug [ = manipulation and befuddlement, cf. the parable of the cave], they mutiny and take possession of the ship and make free with the stores; thus, eating and drinking, they proceed on their voyage in such a manner as might be expected of them [–> Cf here Luke’s subtle case study in Ac 27].

    Him who is their partisan and cleverly aids them in their plot for getting the ship out of the captain’s hands into their own whether by force or persuasion [–> Nihilistic will to power on the premise of might and manipulation making ‘right’ ‘truth’ ‘justice’ ‘rights’ etc], they compliment with the name of sailor, pilot, able seaman, and abuse the other sort of man, whom they call a good-for-nothing; but that the true pilot must pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, and whatever else belongs to his art, if he intends to be really qualified for the command of a ship, and that he must and will be the steerer, whether other people like or not-the possibility of this union of authority with the steerer’s art has never seriously entered into their thoughts or been made part of their calling.

    Now in vessels which are in a state of mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be regarded? Will he not be called by them a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing?

    [Ad.] Of course, said Adeimantus.

    [Soc.] Then you will hardly need, I said, to hear the interpretation of the figure, which describes the true philosopher in his relation to the State[ –> here we see Plato’s philosoppher-king emerging]; for you understand already.

    [Ad.] Certainly.

    [Soc.] Then suppose you now take this parable to the gentleman who is surprised at finding that philosophers have no honour in their cities; explain it to him and try to convince him that their having honour would be far more extraordinary.

    [Ad.] I will.

    [Soc.] Say to him, that, in deeming the best votaries of philosophy to be useless to the rest of the world, he is right; but also tell him to attribute their uselessness to the fault of those who will not use them, and not to themselves. The pilot should not humbly beg the sailors to be commanded by him –that is not the order of nature; neither are ‘the wise to go to the doors of the rich’ –the ingenious author of this saying told a lie –but the truth is, that, when a man is ill, whether he be rich or poor, to the physician he must go, and he who wants to be governed, to him who is able to govern. The ruler who is good for anything ought not to beg his subjects to be ruled by him [ –> down this road lies the modern solution: a sound, well informed people will seek sound leaders, who will not need to manipulate or bribe or worse, and such a ruler will in turn be checked by the soundness of the people, cf. US DoI, 1776]; although the present governors of mankind are of a different stamp; they may be justly compared to the mutinous sailors, and the true helmsmen to those who are called by them good-for-nothings and star-gazers.

    [Ad.] Precisely so, he said.

    [Soc] For these reasons, and among men like these, philosophy, the noblest pursuit of all, is not likely to be much esteemed by those of the opposite faction; not that the greatest and most lasting injury is done to her by her opponents, but by her own professing followers, the same of whom you suppose the accuser to say, that the greater number of them are arrant rogues, and the best are useless; in which opinion I agreed [–> even among the students of the sound state (here, political philosophy and likely history etc.), many are of unsound motivation and intent, so mere education is not enough, character transformation is critical].

    [Ad.] Yes.

    [Soc.] And the reason why the good are useless has now been explained?

    [Ad.] True.

    [Soc.] Then shall we proceed to show that the corruption of the majority is also unavoidable, and that this is not to be laid to the charge of philosophy any more than the other?

    [Ad.] By all means.

    [Soc.] And let us ask and answer in turn, first going back to the description of the gentle and noble nature.[ — > note the character issue] Truth, as you will remember, was his leader, whom he followed always and in all things [ –> The spirit of truth as a marker]; failing in this, he was an impostor, and had no part or lot in true philosophy [–> the spirit of truth is a marker, for good or ill] . . . >>

    (There is more than an echo of this in Acts 27, a real world case study. [Luke, a physician, was an educated Greek with a taste for subtle references.] This blog post, on soundness in policy, will also help)

    PPS: From a textbook:

    Excerpted chapter summary, on Subjectivism, Relativism, and Emotivism, in Doing Ethics 3rd Edn, by Lewis Vaughn, W W Norton, 2012. [Also see here and here.] Clipping:

    . . . Subjective relativism is the view that an action is morally right if one approves of it. A person’s approval makes the action right. This doctrine (as well as cultural relativism) is in stark contrast to moral objectivism, the view that some moral principles are valid for everyone.. Subjective relativism, though, has some troubling implications. It implies that each person is morally infallible and that individuals can never have a genuine moral disagreement

    Cultural relativism is the view that an action is morally right if one’s culture approves of it. The argument for this doctrine is based on the diversity of moral judgments among cultures: because people’s judgments about right and wrong differ from culture to culture, right and wrong must be relative to culture, and there are no objective moral principles. This argument is defective, however, because the diversity of moral views does not imply that morality is relative to cultures. In addition, the alleged diversity of basic moral standards among cultures may be only apparent, not real. Societies whose moral judgments conflict may be differing not over moral principles but over nonmoral facts.

    Some think that tolerance is entailed by cultural relativism. But there is no necessary connection between tolerance and the doctrine. Indeed, the cultural relativist cannot consistently advocate tolerance while maintaining his relativist standpoint. To advocate tolerance is to advocate an objective moral value. But if tolerance is an objective moral value, then cultural relativism must be false, because it says that there are no objective moral values.

    Like subjective relativism, cultural relativism has some disturbing consequences. It implies that cultures are morally infallible, that social reformers can never be morally right, that moral disagreements between individuals in the same culture amount to arguments over whether they disagree with their culture, that other cultures cannot be legitimately criticized, and that moral progress is impossible.

    Emotivism is the view that moral utterances are neither true nor false but are expressions of emotions or attitudes. It leads to the conclusion that people can disagree only in attitude, not in beliefs. People cannot disagree over the moral facts, because there are no moral facts. Emotivism also implies that presenting reasons in support of a moral utterance is a matter of offering nonmoral facts that can influence someone’s attitude. It seems that any nonmoral facts will do, as long as they affect attitudes. Perhaps the most far-reaching implication of emotivism is that nothing is actually good or bad. There simply are no properties of goodness and badness. There is only the expression of favorable or unfavorable emotions or attitudes toward something.

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, there we go again. What part of the following definition is so hard to understand?

    what evil is, as a secondary phenomenon: the frustration, twisting, perversion or privation of what is good in itself that prevents or hampers it from attaining its proper end. A proper end that is often naturally evident. Such as, that our minds are properly aimed at and governed by truth and linked correct, cogent reasoning and duties to the just, the good, the prudent, the wise, etc.

    If you want a concrete, real-world example — yes, it happened on my Uni campus when I was a student and the murderer has never been caught — see the case above.

    When something is properly identified as evil, those who set out to support or spread it are enablers of evil. And, quite properly, they stand exposed as such. The promotion of what ought not to be done, or lacking concern that such ought not to be, are both evils also.

    That holds, whether or not the evils happen to be fashionable in a certain time and place. As, say, once was so regarding enslavement of people kidnapped from Africa and their descendants.

    Likewise, today it is fashionable and even institutionalised to support the ongoing worst holocaust in history. 800+ millions of our living posterity in the womb over 40+ years, now mounting up at another million per week. To support this, law, parliaments, honourable professions, law enforcement, the media, education systems and more have been systematically corrupted through one of the most corrupting influences ever: bloodguilt. And, with those institutions corrupted, it is no surprise that every further species of evil that is somehow fashionable is descending on our civilisation like vultures coming to a near corpse and maybe hoping to speed things up. Worse, the very fabric of moral clarity itself is under attack . . . how dare you oppose or question what we want to do by way of frustrating, perverting or otherwise bending out of evident, proper end ever so many things, starting with our minds, our tongues and of course sexuality.

    All of this and more are examples of why our civilisation is in deep trouble.

    I honestly don’t know — and perhaps doubt — that we can turn back before it is too late.

    With nukes in play.

    THAT is how suicidal we have become.

    KF

    PS: We have not forgotten how you have doubled down on slander.

  11. 11
    Origenes says:

    Allan Keith @

    vmahuna: “Good” and “Evil” are ENTIRELY determined by individual societies and/or religions.

    Based on a whim?

    Allan Keith: V, very good comment.

    What exactly is “very good” about vmahuna’s comment? And what, according to you, is “good” and what is “bad”?

    Allan Keith: Personally I despise the use of the word “evil”. When someone says that something is “evil” they are saying that it is beyond discussion.

    It is as if you consider it “evil” to say that something is beyond discussion. Correct? If so, why?

    Allan Keith (mocking): Homosexuality is evil. Abortion is evil. Contraceptives are evil. Evolution is evil.

    Is it okay with you when a society determines that homosexuality, abortion, contraceptives and evolution are “evil” and “beyond discussion”? If not, why not?

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    “The first principle of value that we need to rediscover is this: that all reality hinges on moral foundations. In other words, that this is a moral universe, and that there are moral laws of the universe just as abiding as the physical laws.”
    – Martin Luther King Jr., A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

    “Yet our common moral knowledge is as real as arithmetic, and probably just as plain. Paradoxically, maddeningly, we appeal to it even to justify wrongdoing; rationalization is the homage paid by sin to guilty knowledge.”
    – J. Budziszewski, What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide

    Besides denying the reality of objective moral laws, Atheistic Materialists also deny the reality of all other immaterial entities. Immaterial entities that everyone, including atheists, regard as concrete and real.

    Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – 39:45 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/8rzw0JkuKuQ?t=2387
    Excerpt: Basically, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris), who has unreliable beliefs about reality (Plantinga), who has illusory perceptions of reality (Hoffman), who, since he has no real time empirical evidence substantiating his grandiose claims, must make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Behe, Gould, Sternberg), so as to ‘explain away’ the appearance (i.e. illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the reality of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God.
    Bottom line, nothing is real in the atheist’s worldview, least of all, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,,
    Paper with references for each claim page; Page 34:
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pAYmZpUWFEi3hu45FbQZEvGKsZ9GULzh8KM0CpqdePk/edit

    Thus, although the Darwinist firmly believes he is on the terra firma of science (in his appeal, even demand, for methodological naturalism), the fact of the matter is that, when examining the details of his materialistic/naturalistic worldview, it is found that Darwinists/Atheists are adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor for reality to grab on to.

    It would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.

    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

    And while the Atheistic Materialists may try his damnedest to deny the reality of objective morality in particular, since it interferes with how he would prefer to live his life,,

    “I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning;,, For myself, as no doubt for most of my friends, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom. The supporters of this system claimed that it embodied the meaning – the Christian meaning, they insisted – of the world. There was one admirably simple method of confuting these people and justifying ourselves in our erotic revolt: we would deny that the world had any meaning whatever.”
    – Aldous Huxley, Ends and Means

    And while the Atheistic Materialist may find it relatively easy to personally deny objective morality since it interferes with the way he may prefer to live his life, on the other hand the Atheistic Materialist has a much harder time trying to deny the reality of immaterial mathematics.

    Although it is almost universally acknowledged that mathematics exists in some transcendent, immaterial, “Platonic” realm,,,

    Platonic World vs Physical World
    https://i2.wp.com/abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/images/platonic_physical.gif

    Mathematical Platonism
    Excerpt: Mathematical platonism enjoys widespread support and is frequently considered the default metaphysical position with respect to mathematics. This is unsurprising given its extremely natural interpretation of mathematical practice.
    http://www.iep.utm.edu/mathplat/

    Mathematical Platonism
    Mathematical platonism is the view on which mathematical objects exist and are abstract (aspatial, atemporal and acausal) and independent of human minds and linguistic practices. According to mathematical platonism, mathematical theories are true in virtue of those objects possessing (or not) certain properties. One important challenge to (of) platonism (to reductive materialism) is explaining how biological organisms such as human beings could have knowledge of such objects. Another is to explain why mathematical theories about such objects should turn out to be applicable in sciences concerned with the physical world.
    https://philpapers.org/browse/mathematical-platonism

    ,,, the reductive materialism that Darwinian evolution is based upon, as mentioned previously, denies the existence of anything beyond the material realm.

    What is the difference between naturalism and materialism?
    Excerpt: Naturalism is the view that the world can be explained entirely by physical, natural phenomena/laws. Naturalists either assert that there is no supernatural (or metaphysical) existence, or that if there is, it has no impact on our physical world.,,,
    Materialism is the related view that all existence is matter, that only matter is real, and so that the world is just physical. It simply describes a view on the nature of the universe, while the different branches of Naturalism focus on applications of effectively the same view.
    Thus, the difference between the two is the purpose of the definition – materialism makes an argument about the ontology of the universe, while naturalism takes a premise (effectively that of materialism) to make an argument on how science/philosophy should function.
    https://philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/2406/what-is-the-difference-between-naturalism-and-materialism

    There simply is no place for the immaterial realm of mathematics to find grounding for its reality within the reductive materialism that undergirds Darwinian thought.

    What Does It Mean to Say That Science & Religion Conflict? – M. Anthony Mills – April 16, 2018
    Excerpt: In fact, more problematic for the materialist than the non-existence of persons is the existence of mathematics. Why? Although a committed materialist might be perfectly willing to accept that you do not really exist, he will have a harder time accepting that numbers do not exist. The trouble is that numbers — along with other mathematical entities such as classes, sets, and functions — are indispensable for modern science. And yet — here’s the rub — these “abstract objects” are not material. Thus, one cannot take science as the only sure guide to reality and at the same time discount disbelief in all immaterial realities.
    https://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2018/04/16/what_does_it_mean_to_say_that_science_and_religion_conflict.html

    As David Berlinski states, “There is no argument against religion that is not also an argument against mathematics. Mathematicians are capable of grasping a world of objects that lies beyond space and time….”

    An Interview with David Berlinski – Jonathan Witt
    Berlinski: There is no argument against religion that is not also an argument against mathematics. Mathematicians are capable of grasping a world of objects that lies beyond space and time….
    Interviewer:… Come again(?) …
    Berlinski: No need to come again: I got to where I was going the first time. The number four, after all, did not come into existence at a particular time, and it is not going to go out of existence at another time. It is neither here nor there. Nonetheless we are in some sense able to grasp the number by a faculty of our minds. Mathematical intuition is utterly mysterious. So for that matter is the fact that mathematical objects such as a Lie Group or a differentiable manifold have the power to interact with elementary particles or accelerating forces. But these are precisely the claims that theologians have always made as well – that human beings are capable by an exercise of their devotional abilities to come to some understanding of the deity; and the deity, although beyond space and time, is capable of interacting with material objects.
    http://tofspot.blogspot.com/20.....-here.html

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    Therefore, besides Darwinian evolution already being shown to be mathematically impossible (by Sanford, Dembski, Marks, Axe, Behe, Durston etc.. etc..),,,

    The waiting time problem in a model hominin population – John Sanford
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....PMC4573302 /

    LIFE’S CONSERVATION LAW: Why Darwinian Evolution Cannot Create Biological Information – William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II
    http://www.evoinfo.org/publica.....ation-law/

    Estimating the prevalence of protein sequences adopting functional enzyme folds – Doug Axe
    http://www.toriah.org/articles/axe-2004.pdf

    Waiting Longer for Two Mutations – Michael J. Behe
    http://www.discovery.org/a/9461

    Measuring the functional sequence complexity of proteins – Kirk K Durston
    https://tbiomed.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1742-4682-4-47

    ,,,, Darwinian evolution is further falsified by mathematics as being a scientific theory since Darwinism denies the very reality of one the thing it most needs, i.e. mathematics, in order to be considered scientific in the first place.

    Darwinian Evolution vs Mathematics – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3gyx70BHvA

    But to focus in on objective morality a little more,,, although the origination of a single gene and/or protein by Darwinian processes is shown to be mathematically and empirically impossible, it is now found that humans are “Intelligently Designed” in a sophisticated way so as to distinguish the moral nuances between hedonic and ‘noble’ moral happiness:

    Human Cells Respond in Healthy, Unhealthy Ways to Different Kinds of Happiness – July 29, 2013
    Excerpt: Human bodies recognize at the molecular level that not all happiness is created equal, responding in ways that can help or hinder physical health,,,
    The sense of well-being derived from “a noble purpose” may provide cellular health benefits, whereas “simple self-gratification” may have negative effects, despite an overall perceived sense of happiness, researchers found.,,,
    But if all happiness is created equal, and equally opposite to ill-being, then patterns of gene expression should be the same regardless of hedonic or eudaimonic well-being. Not so, found the researchers.
    Eudaimonic well-being was, indeed, associated with a significant decrease in the stress-related CTRA gene expression profile. In contrast, hedonic well-being was associated with a significant increase in the CTRA profile. Their genomics-based analyses, the authors reported, reveal the hidden costs of purely hedonic well-being.,,
    “We can make ourselves happy through simple pleasures, but those ‘empty calories’ don’t help us broaden our awareness or build our capacity in ways that benefit us physically,” she said. “At the cellular level, our bodies appear to respond better to a different kind of well-being, one based on a sense of connectedness and purpose.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....161952.htm

    Moral evaluations of harm are instant and emotional, brain study shows – November 29, 2012
    Excerpt: People are able to detect, within a split second, if a hurtful action they are witnessing is intentional or accidental, new research on the brain at the University of Chicago shows.
    http://medicalxpress.com/news/.....brain.html

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    In fact, even infants are found to have a fairly sophisticated moral compass,,

    The Moral Life of Babies – May 2010
    Excerpt: From Sigmund Freud to Jean Piaget to Lawrence Kohlberg, psychologists have long argued that we begin life as amoral animals.,,,
    A growing body of evidence, though, suggests that humans do have a rudimentary moral sense from the very start of life. With the help of well-designed experiments, you can see glimmers of moral thought, moral judgment and moral feeling even in the first year of life. Some sense of good and evil seems to be bred in the bone.,,,
    Despite their overall preference for good actors over bad, then, babies are drawn to bad actors when those actors are punishing bad behavior.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05.....&_r=0

    Wired to Be Social: The Ontogeny of Human Interaction – 2010
    Excerpt: Kinematic analysis revealed that movement duration was longer and deceleration time was prolonged for other-directed movements compared to movements directed towards the uterine wall. Similar kinematic profiles were observed for movements directed towards the co-twin and self-directed movements aimed at the eye-region, i.e. the most delicate region of the body.
    http://www.plosone.org/article.....ne.0013199

    Although that is certainly pretty good as far as it goes, since Darwinists can’t even explain the origin of a single gene, as to establishing the reality of objective morality, in this following video Dr Suarez goes even further as to establishing the reality of objective morality by showing that Immanuel Kant’s requirement for the moral argument to be considered valid has now been empirically met in quantum mechanics:

    God, Immanuel Kant, Richard Dawkins, and the Quantum – Antoine Suarez – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQOwMX4bCqk

    Moreover, the following studies actually show that our moral intuition itself transcends space and time:

    Quantum Consciousness – Time Flies Backwards? – Stuart Hameroff MD
    Excerpt: Dean Radin and Dick Bierman have performed a number of experiments of emotional response in human subjects. The subjects view a computer screen on which appear (at randomly varying intervals) a series of images, some of which are emotionally neutral, and some of which are highly emotional (violent, sexual….). In Radin and Bierman’s early studies, skin conductance of a finger was used to measure physiological response They found that subjects responded strongly to emotional images compared to neutral images, and that the emotional response occurred between a fraction of a second to several seconds BEFORE the image appeared! Recently Professor Bierman (University of Amsterdam) repeated these experiments with subjects in an fMRI brain imager and found emotional responses in brain activity up to 4 seconds before the stimuli. Moreover he looked at raw data from other laboratories and found similar emotional responses before stimuli appeared.
    http://www.quantumconsciousnes.....Flies.html

    Can Your Body Sense Future Events Without Any External Clue? (meta-analysis of 26 reports published between 1978 and 2010) – (Oct. 22, 2012)
    Excerpt: “But our analysis suggests that if you were tuned into your body, you might be able to detect these anticipatory changes between two and 10 seconds beforehand,,,
    This phenomenon is sometimes called “presentiment,” as in “sensing the future,” but Mossbridge said she and other researchers are not sure whether people are really sensing the future.
    “I like to call the phenomenon ‘anomalous anticipatory activity,'” she said. “The phenomenon is anomalous, some scientists argue, because we can’t explain it using present-day understanding about how biology works; though explanations related to recent quantum biological findings could potentially make sense. It’s anticipatory because it seems to predict future physiological changes in response to an important event without any known clues, and it’s an activity because it consists of changes in the cardiopulmonary, skin and nervous systems.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....145342.htm

    Thus, Kant’s criteria for accepting the validity of the moral argument has now been met. Firstly it has been met by showing that there are indeed influences arising from outside space-time, and secondly, and more importantly, it has been met by specifically showing beyond space and time moral influences on humans.

    Verse and Music:

    Matthew 22:36-40
    “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
    Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

    The Allman brothers Band – Soulshine – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4L3BYTS8uxM

    Supplemental Note:

    ABC News – The Science Behind the Healing Power of Love – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6t1p-PwGgE4

  15. 15
    Allan Keith says:

    Origenes,

    What exactly is “very good” about vmahuna’s comment? And what, according to you, is “good” and what is “bad”?

    Anything that benefits the individual without harming others or the survival of society is good. Or anything that benefits the survival of society without harming the individual is good. Anything that does the opposite of either is bad.

    It is as if you consider it “evil” to say that something is beyond discussion. Correct? If so, why?

    No. That’s not what I said.

    Is it okay with you when a society determines that homosexuality, abortion, contraceptives and evolution are “evil” and “beyond discussion”? If not, why not?

    No.

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    AK,

    circular and question-begging:

    Anything that benefits the individual without harming others or the survival of society is good. Or anything that benefits the survival of society without harming the individual is good. Anything that does the opposite of either is bad.

    In addition, there is the problem of short vs long term.

    A much better approach pivots on Kant’s insight that we can recognise many evils from how they use others of substantially equivalent moral worth as means to our ends, and equivalently, that such evils cannot sustainably be universalised. In short, evils parasite off goods and frustrate or pervert them from fulfilling proper ends.

    We are back to the summary as has been already given:

    what evil is, as a secondary phenomenon: the frustration, twisting, perversion or privation of what is good in itself that prevents or hampers it from attaining its proper end. A proper end that is often naturally evident. Such as, that our minds are properly aimed at and governed by truth and linked correct, cogent reasoning and duties to the just, the good, the prudent, the wise, etc.

    KF

  17. 17
    Origenes says:

    Allan Keith @15

    AK: Anything that benefits the individual without harming others or the survival of society is good. Or anything that benefits the survival of society without harming the individual is good. Anything that does the opposite of either is bad.

    Two questions:
    (1) This is based on what? Personal preference?
    (2) What if the “others” and the “society”, which you refer to, are evil — say Nazi-Germany? Is it “bad” to hurt members of the SS (“others”) and thwart the success of Nazi-Germany (“survival of society”) when it benefits the individual?

    AK: No. That’s not what I said.

    So, what did you say?

    AK: No.

    Why not?

  18. 18
    Allan Keith says:

    Origenes,

    Two questions:
    (1) This is based on what? Personal preference?

    No. Logic.

    2) What if the “others” and the “society”, which you refer to, are evil — say Nazi-Germany? Is it “bad” to hurt members of the SS (“others”) and thwart the success of Nazi-Germany (“survival of society”) when it benefits the individual?

    Since the Nazis were harmful to a large number of their society, and because their aggressive actions hurt the survival of their society, your question is irrelevant.

    So, what did you say?

    I said that when someone says that something is “evil” they are saying that it is beyond discussion.

    Why not?

    Because I don’t see how it can benefit the individuals in society or the survival of society.

  19. 19
    Allan Keith says:

    Because I don’t see how it can benefit the individuals in society or the survival of society.

    Or, more accurately, banning these actions does harm to individuals with no proof that banning these actions are required for survival of society.

  20. 20
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, circularity and question-begging again:

    banning these actions does harm to individuals with no proof that banning these actions are required for survival of society.

    Do you not see how many implicit oughts are here, without actual grounding? Especially on your evident worldview? So, too, that your views actually are parasitical on the grounding of OUGHT that is rooted in the very theism in our civilisation that you seem to despise (given tone of dismissive references to “religion”)?

    As in, there is an IS-OUGHT gap to be bridged, if moral government (including of our life of the mind) is to be coherent. There is but one level where it can be bridged, given the force of Hume’s “surpriz’d” argument about reasoning is-is then poof ought-ought out of nowhere. Namely, the world-root. Our world has a bill of necessities that implies the roots of reality must fuse is and ought, on pain of reducing even the moral governance of mind by duties to truth, reasonableness, soundness, prudence, justice etc to grand, self-referential delusion.

    After many centuries of debates, there is but one serious candidate, but a candidate that many have a visceral hostility to. Namely, the inherently good and wise creator God, a necessary and maximally great being worthy of our loyalty and of the responsible, reasonable service of doing the good in accord with our evident nature.

    This is philosophy, not theology. The challenge is, if you think you have another candidate, put it up: ____, then test it on factual adequacy, coherence and balanced explanatory power. I can safely predict that none will come from evolutionary materialism and its ideological fellow travellers.

    Going further, we can highlight the central evil of our time: the global holocaust of living posterity in the womb, 800+ millions in 40+ years, and mounting up at another million per week. Manifestly, the living child in the womb is human. So, why is it that its right to life itself is so routinely given short shrift? Do you not see that the corrupting of consciences and institutions alike across the world — in a day when we need to responsibly manage nukes — is an obvious existential threat? That, likewise, as one corruption sets a precedent for others, we face a rising tidal wave of corrupt behaviours brought in under false colour of rights and imposed through lawfare and manipulation? Manifestly harming others?

    (Notice, how you left off the my right to swing my arms ends where your nose begins principle? Origenes is right to raise Germany in the 1930’s – 40’s as a test case. The civil peace of justice must duly balance our rights, freedoms and responsibilities in a community that promotes responsible thriving across the span of generations. A tall order and, increasingly, one we fail to meet through the impact of the self-destructive dynamics of mutiny on Plato’s ship of state. In particular, Democratic self government is inherently unstable and prone to fly out to anarchy, rebounding therefrom into the vortex of tyranny, or to directly slide down the vortex through behind the scenes manipulation by corrupt and cynically ambitious elites. That was the challenge addressed through modern, constitutional, representational democracy with stabilising checks, balances, freedom of conscience, freedom of the pulpit, freedom of expression and freedom of the responsible press. All of which are manifestly collapsing today.)

    I cite such, of course, to show that a lot more than simple “logic” is at work. And, to show that when the “light” in us is in fact the manipulated darkness of the shadow-shows in a Plato’s Cave, our darkness then becomes even deeper. For, if we test the right and the truth by requiring conformity to the wrong, the right and the truth will never align with such a crooked yardstick.

    That is why we need plumbline, self-evident moral truths (and other key truths) that we have confidence are naturally evident, so that we can then see if our yardsticks are crooked.

    Let me again cite as a test case one you have studiously avoided addressing and which over the years has served to bring out a lot here at UD. Namely — and sadly, this is real-world not a hypothetical: it is self-evidently evil to ambush, pounce on, kidnap, gag and bind a young child on the way home from school, then — for one’s sick pleasure, sexually assault, torture and violate then murder the child.

    Unsurprisingly, this is a generation that in large part routinely despises and dismisses plumbline, self-evident truths. Especially, when such truths do not conform to the politically correct agendas of entrenched, powerful, favoured factions.

    The true “morality” of far too much of our day is the antimorality of might and manipulation make ‘right’- ‘rights’- ‘truth’- ‘justice’- knowledge’- ‘science’ [see the history of eugenics] . . . and more. And the agit prop and lawfare games are steadily going zip-zip-zip through the root of the branch on which we are sitting.

    Sawdust is piling up real fast.

    We are headed for a crash.

    With nukes on the loose.

    KF

  21. 21
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    Two questions:
    Origenes: (1) This is based on what? Personal preference?

    AK: No. Logic.

    And without free will, just how do you, a Darwinian materialist, choose things that are logical?

    Sam Harris’s Free Will: The Medial Pre-Frontal Cortex Did It – Martin Cothran – November 9, 2012
    Excerpt: There is something ironic about the position of thinkers like Harris on issues like this: they claim that their position is the result of the irresistible necessity of logic (in fact, they pride themselves on their logic). Their belief is the consequent, in a ground/consequent relation between their evidence and their conclusion. But their very stated position is that any mental state — including their position on this issue — is the effect of a physical, not logical cause.
    By their own logic, it isn’t logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....66221.html

    And why is the immaterial entity of logic considered to be real and universal by you, a materialist, whilst the immaterial entity of morality not considered to be real and universal by you but to be non-real and, ultimately, subjective?

    As an atheistic materialist, you just can’t pick and choose which immaterial entities you want to be real. The reductive materialism of Darwinian evolution denies the reality of ALL immaterial entities:

    What Does It Mean to Say That Science & Religion Conflict? – M. Anthony Mills – April 16, 2018
    Excerpt: In fact, more problematic for the materialist than the non-existence of persons is the existence of mathematics. Why? Although a committed materialist might be perfectly willing to accept that you do not really exist, he will have a harder time accepting that numbers do not exist. The trouble is that numbers — along with other mathematical entities such as classes, sets, and functions — are indispensable for modern science. And yet — here’s the rub — these “abstract objects” are not material. Thus, one cannot take science as the only sure guide to reality and at the same time discount disbelief in all immaterial realities.
    https://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2018/04/16/what_does_it_mean_to_say_that_science_and_religion_conflict.html

    “Yet our common moral knowledge is as real as arithmetic, and probably just as plain. Paradoxically, maddeningly, we appeal to it even to justify wrongdoing; rationalization is the homage paid by sin to guilty knowledge.”
    – J. Budziszewski, What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide

    From Adam Sedgwick ? 24 November 1859
    Cambridge
    My dear Darwin,
    ,,,, There is a moral or metaphysical part of nature as well as a physical A man who denies this is deep in the mire of folly Tis the crown & glory of organic science that it does thro’ final cause , link material to moral; & yet does not allow us to mingle them in our first conception of laws, & our classification of such laws whether we consider one side of nature or the other— You have ignored this link; &, if I do not mistake your meaning, you have done your best in one or two pregnant cases to break it. Were it possible (which thank God it is not) to break it, humanity in my mind, would suffer a damage that might brutalize it—& sink the human race into a lower grade of degradation than any into which it has fallen since its written records tell us of its history.
    https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-2548.xml

  22. 22
    blip says:

    Allan, an honest question to you:

    What say you of Jesus Christ?

    An honest answer, after a bit of careful thinking, would be much appreciated.

    Please dont take the position my question has nothing to do with this post. Or with you, for that matter. This will be evident to you in time.

    Jorge

  23. 23
    Allan Keith says:

    Blip,

    What say you of Jesus Christ?

    I believe that he either existed as a single person or was an amalgamated story of a couple people (I lean towards the former). I think that most of the things he taught with respect to how we should deal with others is excellent advice and well worth following.

    But do I think that he was born of a virgin? That he was the son of god? No.

    Do I think that he had personal ambitions? Yes. Do I think that he may have acted on occasion in a manipulative way? Yes. Do I think that he occasionally acted selfishly? Yes. In short, I believe that he was a man trying to live as selfless a life as he could, succeeding more often than not. In general, an excellent role model, for the most part.

  24. 24
    blip says:

    Interesting how you should consider keeping company with a madman who approved of mass slaughter and claimed to be the one and only God you so despise, don’t you think?

    I asked you to please think a bit before responding. Why didn’t you?

  25. 25
    Allan Keith says:

    Blip,

    Interesting how you should consider keeping company with a madman who approved of mass slaughter and claimed to be the one and only God you so despise, don’t you think?

    With regard to his claim to be god, I just assumed that he was either manipulating the crowd, as many evangelical ministers do today, or he was simply delusional. Even delusional and manipulative people can have good advice.

  26. 26
    blip says:

    Just assumed? Sounds like a teen’s response to me. No offense to teens meant. I have one barely out of that category myself and I love her dearly.

    So am I to take it this is how you offer advice here? In other words, do you provide answers here to manipulate the reader while under the delusion that you are offering something of value? You do think of yourself as a fairly lógical and nice guy don’t you? And you say Jesus is an example to emulate, so you might actually enjoy hanging around him, right? Manipulating and delusional though he might be? I can’t quite pout my finger on it, but I wonder if you have just found your missing twin.

    I did ask for a bit of thought in answering. Is it so difficult, really?

  27. 27
    Allan Keith says:

    Blip,

    So am I to take it this is how you offer advice here? In other words, do you provide answers here to manipulate the reader while under the delusion that you are offering something of value?

    If by ‘manipulate the reader’ you mean to make them think outside their comfort zone to stimulate discussion, then yes. Whether or not people find value in what I say is up to the individual. I have no delusion that people like KF or BA77 find any value in what I say. That is the nature of having deep held unwavering beliefs.

    You do think of yourself as a fairly lógical and nice guy don’t you?

    No more so than the next guy.

    And you say Jesus is an example to emulate, so you might actually enjoy hanging around him, right?

    No, I said that he was an excellent role model for the most part. But, yes, I think I would enjoy hanging out with the dude. Have a beer or two. Talk philosophy, the camel races.

    Manipulating and delusional though he might be?

    They are often the most interesting people. Besides, don’t be fooled into thinking that people with mental illnesses can’t make huge contributions to society. Often times they are the most imaginative.

    I did ask for a bit of thought in answering. Is it so difficult, really?

    Not really. I highly recommend it. 🙂

  28. 28
    kairosfocus says:

    AK & Blip: the exchange just above is a bit off topic, but I find a significant side-light when in ultimate defence of slander and trivialising our understanding of evil, AK trots out the tired old “true believer” canard:

    I have no delusion that people like KF or BA77 find any value in what I say. That is the nature of having deep held unwavering beliefs

    FYI, AK, those who disagree with you and for cause find evolutionary materialistic scientism to be self-referentially incoherent and thus irretrievably self falsifying as well as clearly utterly amoral in the end (as in what radical relativism boils down to: might and manipulation make ‘right’ ‘truth’ etc) and so too manifestly morally bankrupt are not thereby inevitably one or more of indoctrinated, closed-minded true believers or else ignorant or stupid or insane or wicked.

    Perhaps, you may find it helpful to see how I actually provide a 101 level context for worldviews worth holding with some degree of reasonable, responsible confidence, here on. And, on the side issue just above, you may wish to take a look here on.

    We are not the simplistic cardboard cutout figures you suggested above.

    KF

  29. 29
    blip says:

    Allan, you know fully well that manipulation is meant negatively, not whichever way you wish so you can have your out in a tight spot. I mean it as in lying. And it is obvious that is how you took it yourself the moment you pulled those low-life manipulating evangelical ministers out of the closet. Honestly, you do not manipulate well. You are so easy to see through.

    So if thinking through things isn’t so hard for you, I suggest you stop recommending it and you start actually doing it. You haven’t as of yet.

    After giving an initial, honest, if not well thought through, answer about your impression of Jesus, you put yourself in a compromising corner. Because you claim he is a good role model (which means he is one good to emulate, despite your objection).

    But he also said he is God although you say you can forgive the delusion, without having explained where the delusion lies. More assumptions on your part?

    And he never takes God to task for the slaughter of so many that God commanded to slaughter. Unlike you. What’s this, a blind spot on the part of Jesus? Maybe he is trying to cover up something? Still a good role model for you, Allan? Are you going to start recommending Jesus follow you now?

    The fact remains that Jesus doesn’t offer you the comfortable option of thinking of him as a nice role model.

    He is either delusional for saying he is God and saying he is sinless. In this case, he needs to be cared for but not seen as a good role model. Not emulated.

    Or he is a liar and dangerous for saying he is God and sinless (while he isn’t) and for convincing you he is a good role model, and for approving the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people by God’s command. In this case, he needs to be contained somehow. The religious leaders of the time assumed (here we go again, assumed) that death would contain Jesus well enough. How could it go wrong? Right?

    Or something else is going on. But you’ve been making so many assumptions, we haven’t gotten to this point yet.

    You stand to gain much by taking the thought to the next level, not just recommending it on the sly. What do you say? Dare to be honest?

    Or do you continue to go to your delusional dentist for work in your mouth?

    Or do you continue to go to your liar of a doctor to give you honest medical advice about your health?

    And where did you get the idea Jesus is good anyway? Tabloids in the check-out lanes, perhaps?

    Regardless, you will indeed have a beer with Jesus. Or barbeque. The menu depends on the dietary needs of invited guests.

    Please get serious on your thinking. You want to be challenged. Here it is.

  30. 30
    blip says:

    KF, it is a bit off topic in one sense, but not in another. All these thoughts are tied together, after all. You, BA77, and others have made it quite clear with your very helpful posts tying biology, quantum physics, math, philosophy, etc.

    But there always have to be limits, of course. My apologies if I went too far in this thread.

    It’s just that the key issue that we must all face, including Allan, is what to do with Jesus. How we respond to Jesus sets in motion a plethora of perspectives, concepts, convictions, actions, promises, etc., none of which will fall properly into place without getting back to the central question: “But who do you say that I am?”

    Given this post in some measure calls Allan to task on his deceptive ways, I thought it good to add my comments here.

    Sadly, it remains all too clear to me that Allan is more about obfuscation, deceit, changing the subject, rebellion against “that which does not exist” (how silly to waste one’s energy on non-existing things), than he is about challenging himself, or even others, to grow some.

  31. 31
    kairosfocus says:

    Blip, I simply noted on the main focus; there is no rebuke meant, just let us not end up way out on a tangent that snaps off from the focal concerns. You have brought out significant issues and concerns by bringing up easily the most controversial figure in human history. Those help us see how people tick. And yes, it all connects, hence my linking a 101 on worldviews. Where, what is evil and why do we see some of the views we are seeing are in the end worldview questions. Where, it is interesting that the typical objectors we deal with have not really thought through even a worldviews 101 framework. Yes, there have been exceptions, but that is exactly the point. In context, I recently saw where Nat Geog started an article by suggesting that Jesus of Nazareth can seriously be viewed as a mythical figure. So much for that once great magazine — that sort of sloppiness and failure to do basic homework on a COVER STORY indicts the entire editorial board. And yes, it is indisputable that Jesus is one of humanity’s great teachers. So, we have indeed got a serious challenge: how can the speaker of the all time most famous and influential sermon (given on a mountain in Galilee) be someone who claimed power to forgive sins, claimed to be THE way, truth and life, accepted worship and convinced his closest associates that he was not only without sin but God incarnate who rose from death with 500+ witnesses? How did he convince the first arch persecutor too? His hitherto dubious brothers who tried to take him in charge as a lunatic? And how did all of this happen by 35 – 38 AD? Those are indeed serious challenges that typical skeptics by and large have not cogently addressed. Going beyond, I wonder if professed atheists appreciate enough of the logic of being to know that God is a serious candidate necessary being [as opposed to flying spaghetti monster parodies etc] and as such will either be actual or else would have to be as impossible of being as a square circle is? KF

    PS: The last point closes the circle as the problem of evil was a standard argument to dismiss the possibility of a being like God. Until Plantinga blew it up 50 years ago now. See the PS to the OP for an outline.

  32. 32
    blip says:

    Agreed. The problem of evil is definitely real from an experiential perspective, but only if we are willing to believe in good, as everyone naturally does, even unrepentant atheists, against the very fabric of the cherished philosophy. And once the good is let in by the atheist, it becomes an insurmountable problem for him/her. That is, if honesty prevails. Why is there good? Atheistic materialism is not capable of addressing this. It is a problem far more difficult for the atheist than the problem of evil for the Christian and far too difficult for atheism to address. But to say so is for the atheist to admit defeat. So it will never be said. Unless honesty prevails. But if not, then begin the obfuscations, the ad hominem attacks, the snarky remarks, the changing of the subject and definitions of words. But all the effort leaves a very visible serpentine trail of emotional rebellion and cowardice, quite frankly. That about defeat!

    But it doesn’t have to be that way.

    I should know, for I was once an atheist myself. One thing that saved me through the nightmare was that I wanted to know the truth and I was not interested in having a soap box from which to pounce on theists or anyone else for that matter. Life just seemed to always leave me behind and I wanted to understand why. In other words, I honestly wanted to know truth, if there were such a thing.

    And I came to know. Not by any superior effort or quality on my part. Not my doing in the least. All I can take credit for is a brokenness on my part, a willingness to admit it, a desire to move on if at all possible. That’s it, if that much.

    I do wish Allan and others on this site who tend to be of like mind, would seriously consider what is being said here, for there is a lot to learn, for their own good. And should any of them be willing to seriously challenge himself on the central point, should he come to see the error of his ways and say so, no one will think the worse of him. We all start at this point. On the contrary, he would be encouraged to learn more and all would be grateful for his change.

    The atheist, like many others, is so willing to settle for so little, even when offered the way to so much. Will pride win out over peace offered and cut off an eternity? I hope not, for your sakes.

  33. 33
    kairosfocus says:

    Blip,

    thanks for onward thoughts, which give context that is illuminating.

    I suspect, we have a deeper, cultural agenda and dominant worldview problem multiplied by the sort of obvious bigotry corrected in the OP. And yes, that is a strong word but it is an apt one when we see the attitude to slander and dismissive stereotyping exposed in the exchanges above multiplied by resistance to correction.

    When a culture in large part turns from light it once had and puts in its place Plato’s Cave shadow-shows that are rooted in clearly self-referentially incoherent and amoral schemes of thought such as evolutionary materialistic scientism . . . which cannot even deal with the conscious, rational, responsible freedom that is a necessity for genuine reasoning, warranting, knowing and moral guidance of the life of the mind under duties to truth, the right, etc, something is wrong.

    When we see willingness to substitute the inherent blindness of computation for conscious, rational, insightful contemplative reflection, something more has gone wrong. Notice, the notion that consciousness, mindedness and conscience somehow have to emerge from computational substrates; driven by the imposition of said evolutionary materialism — never mind the fairly obvious self referential incoherences that rapidly emerge.

    It is not for nothing that J B S Haldane warned:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209. (NB: DI Fellow, Nancy Pearcey brings this right up to date (HT: ENV) in a current book, Finding Truth.)]

    Notice, too, how institutions, education, media, professions and more have been corrupted to sustain and enable the ongoing worst holocaust in history: the slaughter of inconvenient living posterity in the womb at a current global rate (per Guttmacher and the UN) of about a million further victims per WEEK, cumulatively 800+ millions in 40+ years. With that amount of mass bloodguilt corrupting consciences, minds, professions, institutions, law, media, courts, government, our whole moral framework and foundation HAVE to be seriously warped and undermined. That is why our judgement, collectively, is so undermined that every species of perversity and pathology now openly parades around demanding recognition of ‘rights.’

    But, given moral government of the mind and of decision and action, we cannot justly demand of people that they enable us in the wrong and destructively pathological. To properly claim a right, one must first be in the right or one imperils the civil peace of justice. For, justice is based on the due balance of rights, freedoms, duties and responsibilities in the community, families and individual lives. That is why it is so significant to see how the my right to swing my arm ends where your nose begins principle is being neglected, creating an ever widening polarisation and struggle on the nihilistic premise that might and manipulation make ‘right’ ‘rights’ ‘truth’ ‘warrant/justification’ ‘knowledge’ ‘science’ and more.

    All of which points to shipwreck.

    But those who have seized power under such circumstances (through subversion of the cultural high ground institutions per the canons of cultural marxism — see the seven mountains model of that pattern of dominance) have substituted power and cynical manipulation for reason and moral suasion on principles. We are thus reduced to a power clash, fighting uphill against deeply entrenched fortifications manned by the utterly ruthless.

    When things are entrenched like that, the historic evidence is, things have to be broken to the point where obvious failure and pain leading to cognitive dissonance overwhelm the defences so that culturally there is a forced search for an alternative. That’s what happened, turn of the ’90’s with marxism-leninism and the bloc of nations caught up under that prison of nations. To reach there 100+ millions lost their lives. The other lot of forgotten dead in a forgotten holocaust in living memory. This past century of high-tech neo-barbarism has been one of the worst on record. A lesson on what happens when powerful, ruthless men systematically dismiss and forget God. Putting in God’s place idols of pseudo-scientific utopianism and political pseudo-messianism. Predictable shipwreck that we could have realised had we bothered to take the summary in Rom 1 seriously. (And don’t get me started on Paul, true founder of modern Christianised Western Civilisation by his synthesis of the heritage of Jerusalem, Athens and Rome. Oh, apostate Christendom, look to your sources!)

    Ironically, despite the pretty direct evidence of Venezuela and the many witnesses to the utter failure of such systems, marxist schemes are re-emerging as a favoured ideology today, most often in forms tied to cultural marxism. Indeed, answering the question, what is a community organiser of the Chicago school founded by Saul Alinsky et al will be an illuminating experience in itself.

    My problem is, nukes are on the loose, this is not a time when we should be sawing away zip zip zip at the moral roots of the branch on which we collectively sit.

    And yet, for no good reason, that is exactly what we are seeing.

    Those sawing away imagine that they are enlightened and project to us all sorts of stereotypes that polarise and lock out re-thinking what they are doing. Yet, in demonstrable fact, they are deeply endarkened instead.

    Plato’s parables of the cave and of the mutinous ship of state is far more relevant than we want to think.

    But, how many are willing to learn lessons from the collapse of Athens? How many have even paid slightest heed to the history? Does a name like Alcibiades even ring a bell of warning?

    Much less, how many would pay heed to a high-point of the greatest sermon ever preached — preached by that same Jesus of Nazareth so many would despise and dismiss or else would try to take captive and tame today:

    Matt 6:22 “The eye is the lamp of the body; so if your eye is clear [spiritually perceptive], your whole body will be full of light [benefiting from God’s precepts]. 23 But if your eye is bad [spiritually blind], your whole body will be full of darkness [devoid of God’s precepts]. So if the [very] light inside you [your inner self, your heart, your conscience] is darkness, how great and terrible is that darkness! [AMP]

    KF

  34. 34
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Let me cite Rom 1:

    Rom 1:1 Paul, a [a]bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle (special messenger, personally chosen representative), set apart for [preaching] the [b]gospel of God [the good news of salvation], 2 which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the sacred Scriptures— 3 [the good news] regarding His Son, who, as to the flesh [His human nature], was born a descendant of David [to fulfill the covenant promises], 4 and [as to His divine nature] according to the Spirit of holiness was openly designated to be the Son of God with power [in a triumphant and miraculous way] by His resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.

    5 It is through Him that we have received grace and [our] apostleship to promote obedience to the faith and make disciples for His name’s sake among all the Gentiles, 6 and you also are among those who are called of Jesus Christ to belong to Him;

    7 [I am writing] to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called to be saints (God’s people) and set apart for a sanctified life, [that is, set apart for God and His purpose]: Grace to you and peace [inner calm and spiritual well-being] from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ . . . .

    16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation [from His [–> justly, richly deserved] wrath and punishment] to everyone who believes [in Christ as Savior], to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

    17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed in a way that awakens more faith]. As it is written and forever remains written, “The just and upright shall live by faith.”

    18 For [God does not overlook sin and] the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who in their wickedness suppress and stifle the truth, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them [in their inner consciousness], for God made it evident to them.

    20 For ever since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through His workmanship [all His creation, the wonderful things that He has made], so that they [who fail to believe and trust in Him] are without excuse and without defense.

    21 For even though [d]they knew God [as the Creator], they did not [e]honor Him as God or give thanks [for His wondrous creation]. On the contrary, they became worthless in their thinking [godless, with pointless reasonings, and silly speculations], and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory and majesty and excellence of the immortal God for [f]an image [worthless idols] in the shape of mortal man and birds and four-footed animals and reptiles.

    24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their own hearts to [sexual] impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them [abandoning them to the degrading power of sin], 25 because [by choice] they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

    26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading and vile passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural [a function contrary to nature], 27 and in the same way also the men turned away from the natural function of the woman and were consumed with their desire toward one another, men with men committing shameful acts and in return receiving in their own bodies the inevitable and appropriate penalty for their wrongdoing.

    28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God or consider Him worth knowing [as their Creator], God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do things which are improper and repulsive, 29 until they were filled (permeated, saturated) with every kind of unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice and mean-spiritedness. They are gossips [spreading rumors], 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors [of new forms] of evil, disobedient and disrespectful to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful [without pity].

    32 Although they know God’s righteous decree and His judgment, that those who do such things deserve death, yet they not only do them, but they even [enthusiastically] approve and tolerate others who practice them. [AMP]

    Food for thought.

  35. 35
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I need to highlight strategic change issues, so I added a PPS to the OP on the Seven Mountains model, the window of opportunity for change and the Overton Window-BATNA framework. Will we find critical mass to turn back before we go over the cliff as a civilisation? Even, with nukes on the loose? (Let us not forget that on the eve of WW1, many in the great powers realised how ruinous a great war would be. They still went over the cliff.) KF

  36. 36
    Charles Birch says:

    For me, the current state of humanity has been eloquently summed up by the poet Christopher Fry, in ‘A Sleep of Prisoners”

    The human heart can go the lengths of God…
    Dark and cold we may be, but this
    Is no winter now. The frozen misery
    Of centuries breaks, cracks, begins to move;
    The thunder is the thunder of the floes,
    The thaw, the flood, the upstart Spring.

    Thank God our time is now when wrong
    Comes up to face us everywhere,
    Never to leave us till we take
    The longest stride of soul we ever took.

    Affairs are now soul size.
    The enterprise
    Is exploration into God.
    Where are you making for? It takes
    So many thousand years to wake,
    But will you wake for pity’s sake!

  37. 37
    Allan Keith says:

    Blip,

    Allan, you know fully well that manipulation is meant negatively, not whichever way you wish so you can have your out in a tight spot.

    Actually, manipulation is used for altruistic as well as selfish reasons. Politicians do it, activists do it, church leaders do it, parents do it.

    So if thinking through things isn’t so hard for you, I suggest you stop recommending it and you start actually doing it. You haven’t as of yet.

    You are certainly entitled to your opinion.

    After giving an initial, honest, if not well thought through, answer about your impression of Jesus, you put yourself in a compromising corner. Because you claim he is a good role model

    You must read for comprehension. I said that he was a good role model, for the most part. There are some of his teachings that I do not agree with.

    But he also said he is God although you say you can forgive the delusion, without having explained where the delusion lies. More assumptions on your part?

    Firstly, I said that I assumed he was being manipulative, or delusional. Personally, I think that being manipulative is the more likely of the two. Secondly, if he was delusional, how would I know where his delusions came from? Schizophrenia is a possibility, but that is just a guess.

    And he never takes God to task for the slaughter of so many that God commanded to slaughter. Unlike you. What’s this, a blind spot on the part of Jesus?

    He was Jewish and trying to convince other Jews to modify the way they think about god and worship him. In short, to be less judgmental of others. How far do you think he would have gotten if he had thrown out all of the existing Jewish teachings?

    Maybe he is trying to cover up something?

    You would have to ask him.

    Still a good role model for you, Allan?

    Because of the many good things he did and taught, absolutely. I also think that Martin Luther King, Ghandi, and Malala are all very good role models, even though they are very different and I don’t share any of their religious beliefs. A role model need not be perfect. In fact, I think the fact that they aren’t perfect makes them better role models.

    The fact remains that Jesus doesn’t offer you the comfortable option of thinking of him as a nice role model.

    Who cares? Good role models don’t ask to be role models. They are role models because of how they live their lives.

    And where did you get the idea Jesus is good anyway?

    All I have to go on are the things written about him. Same as you.

  38. 38
    LocalMinimum says:

    AK @ 37:

    There are some of his teachings that I do not agree with.

    Can you provide some of these?

  39. 39
    Allan Keith says:

    LocalMinimum,

    Can you provide some of these?

    This is probably the most obvious one:

    “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

    There is also this one:

    “Love Your Enemies and Bless Those Who Persecute You”.

    But maybe that is because I am not as forgiving as Jesus.

    “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”

    But don’t misunderstand. I have no problem with people who accept these as ways to live their lives. I just don’t accept them as reflecting any higher truth.

  40. 40
    Mung says:

    Why are atheists seeking a world of truth, beauty and light and why can’t they face the fact that evolution can’t provide it?

  41. 41
    Allan Keith says:

    Mung,

    Why are atheists seeking a world of truth,…

    Who said that we are? I was just saying that Jesus’ teachings do not reflect any higher truth. As would be the case when there is no higher truth.

  42. 42
    bill cole says:

    AK

    Who said that we are? I was just saying that Jesus’ teachings do not reflect any higher truth.

    How do you know?

  43. 43
    Allan Keith says:

    Bill Cole,

    How do you know?

    It is merely my opinion based on my interpretation of the evidence available to me. Just as your interpretation of the evidence available to you informs your opinion that his teachings are based on a higher truth. The fact that we differ may be as simple as the likelihood that we are each working from an incomplete set of evidence, viewed from different contexts.

  44. 44
    asauber says:

    Why are atheists seeking a world of truth,…

    Who said that we are?

    This is kind where the rub is. You a/mats invariably misrepresent yourselves. You try to pass yourselves off as good people, when just below the surface you intend to compromise anything that might resemble an actual position re:the truth. Anything Might Go.

    Andrew

  45. 45
    bill cole says:

    AK

    It is merely my opinion based on my interpretation of the evidence available to me.

    What evidence is that?

  46. 46
    Mung says:

    Allan Keith:

    Who said that we are?

    Observation.

  47. 47
    Mung says:

    “evil is a concept fabricated by religion”

    Is that bad? If it is not bad, then why care?

  48. 48
    LocalMinimum says:

    AK @ 39:

    Denial of the extraordinary claims would be consistent with your position as an A/Mat.

    “Love Your Enemies and Bless Those Who Persecute You”.

    But maybe that is because I am not as forgiving as Jesus.

    A fair admission. This command points to a higher road and a higher principle that improves lives and the world in general; but it requires extraordinary wisdom or faith in a higher Being to look past the immediate self-imposed deficits.

  49. 49
    Allan Keith says:

    LcalMinimum,

    Denial of the extraordinary claims would be consistent with your position as an A/Mat.

    No. A/Mats are skeptical of extraordinary claims. And I don’t apologize for that.

    A fair admission. This command points to a higher road and a higher principle that improves lives and the world in general; but it requires extraordinary wisdom or faith in a higher Being to look past the immediate self-imposed deficits.

    Personally, I think “Forgive thine enemies” would have been more appropriate. But I must have missed the public consultation process.

    I agree that it would require extraordinary wisdom, but I don’t see where the faith in a higher being is necessary. For example, it would have been easy after WWII to severely punish the Germans and Japanese. But cooler (and smarter) heads prevailed. They realized that if you want to prevent recurrence, you don’t do something that will just ingender continued hatred from those who were your enemies. The US approach of providing aid and support to get its enemies back on their feet and prospering is something that took guts. But it was the smart thing to do if the goal was long term peace. And this did not require the faith in a higher being to realize this.

  50. 50
    Barry Arrington says:

    AK

    No. A/Mats are skeptical of extraordinary claims.

    Like the extraordinary claim that a bag of chemicals configured in just the right way suddenly becomes subjectively self-aware?

    Funny, I’ve never met an A/Mat who was skeptical of that extraordinary claim. Can you point me to one?

  51. 51
    Barry Arrington says:

    AK

    No. A/Mats are skeptical of extraordinary claims.

    Like the extraordinary claim that non-living chemicals spontaneously combined in just the right way to become living things?

    Funny, I’ve never met an A/Mat who was skeptical of that extraordinary claim. Can you point me to one?

  52. 52
    Barry Arrington says:

    AK

    No. A/Mats are skeptical of extraordinary claims.

    Like the extraordinary claim that everything came from nothing? Or the universe created itself? Or “because we have something (e.g., gravity), the universe can and will create itself from nothing?

    Funny, I’ve never met an A/Mat who was skeptical of those extraordinary claims. Can you point me to one?

  53. 53
    Barry Arrington says:

    AK

    No. A/Mats are skeptical of extraordinary claims.

    Like the extraordinary claim . . .

    Well, you get the picture. I could go on all day.

    AK is typical of A/Mats who would impose super heavy evidentiary burdens on theists for what the A/Mats label “extraordinary claims” while at the same time swallowing their own extraordinary claims down with nary a thought for the fact that they lack even the slightest evidentiary support.

  54. 54
    LocalMinimum says:

    AK @ 49:

    No. A/Mats are skeptical of extraordinary claims.

    I can’t recall any proper skeptics who’ve identified as atheistic materialist. What I see is Epicureans who’ve surrendered skepticism, if they could even find it in the first place.

    Materialism as a creed is generally a failure to come to terms with epistemology.

    Personally, I think “Forgive thine enemies” would have been more appropriate.

    That’s in there, too. But it goes a step further, in actually considering and acting to further the welfare of folks you aren’t getting along with.

    I agree that it would require extraordinary wisdom, but I don’t see where the faith in a higher being is necessary.

    Hence the junction “or”.

    For example, it would have been easy after WWII to severely punish the Germans and Japanese. But cooler (and smarter) heads prevailed. They realized that if you want to prevent recurrence, you don’t do something that will just ingender continued hatred from those who were your enemies. The US approach of providing aid and support to get its enemies back on their feet and prospering is something that took guts. But it was the smart thing to do if the goal was long term peace. And this did not require the faith in a higher being to realize this.

    The conflict proceeding immediately in historical terms from the conclusion of “The Great War” and the punitive treaty with Germany, I don’t even know if it could be properly called hindsight.

    I very much like your example for the principle, though.

  55. 55
    Allan Keith says:

    LocalMinimum,

    I can’t recall any proper skeptics who’ve identified as atheistic materialist.

    Look closer.

    That’s in there, too. But it goes a step further, in actually considering and acting to further the welfare of folks you aren’t getting along with.

    For who’s benefit? If I communicate with and provide support to my past enemies, they are less likely to be future enemies. A purely self-serving and manipulative strategy, a strategy that I happen to support. But the bigger question is, why aren’t we using this strategy more often before they become enemies? Rather than take this approach, we invoke sanctions.

    I very much like your example for the principle, though.

    Thank you. I’m obviously not the complete {SNIP — language, thread owner] that some here would project. I’m looking at you Barry. 🙂

  56. 56
    kairosfocus says:

    AK,

    I see your:

    A/Mats are skeptical of extraordinary claims,

    Which seems to be a compressed form of a common epistemological error, descriptively termed selective hyperskepticism. To see why it is a gross error, simply reflect on the correction:

    extraordinary claims require extraordinary [–> ADEQUATE] evidence

    In short, the selectively hyperskeptical assertion is a clever-sounding way to announce selective closed-mindedness. What “I” am inclined to agree with is of course not “extraordinary.” But, equally of course, what “I” am disinclined to believe must meet extra-stringent standards, usually calibrated to be beyond the evidence that is available on the question, which is usually a pressing issue.

    Such a self-serving double standard on warrant is patently fallacious.

    Instead, what is needed is a reasonable, responsible standard, which duly and consistently weighs the sort of evidence and argument that are likely to be available and the near and far, immediate and cumulative consequences of rejecting truth or accepting error on relevant matters.

    Greenleaf had something significant to say:

    Evidence, in legal acceptation, includes all the means by which any alleged matter of fact, the truth of which is submitted to investigation, is established or disproved . . . None but mathematical truth is susceptible of that high degree of evidence, called demonstration, which excludes all possibility of error [–> Greenleaf wrote almost 100 years before Godel], and which, therefore, may reasonably be required in support of every mathematical deduction. [–> that is, his focus is on the logic of good support for in principle uncertain conclusions, i.e. in the modern sense, inductive logic and reasoning in real world, momentous contexts with potentially serious consequences.]

    Matters of fact are proved by moral evidence alone; by which is meant, not only that kind of evidence which is employed on subjects connected with moral conduct, but all the evidence which is not obtained either from intuition, or from demonstration. In the ordinary affairs of life, we do not require demonstrative evidence, because it is not consistent with the nature of the subject, and to insist upon it would be unreasonable and absurd. [–> the issue of warrant to moral certainty, beyond reasonable doubt; and the contrasted absurdity of selective hyperskepticism.]

    The most that can be affirmed of such things, is, that there is no reasonable doubt concerning them. [–> moral certainty standard, and this is for the proverbial man in the Clapham bus stop, not some clever determined advocate or skeptic motivated not to see or assent to what is warranted.]

    The true question, therefore, in trials of fact, is not whether it is possible that the testimony may be false, but, whether there is sufficient probability of its truth; that is, whether the facts are shown by competent and satisfactory evidence. Things established by competent and satisfactory evidence are said to be proved. [–> pistis enters; we might as well learn the underlying classical Greek word that addresses the three levers of persuasion, pathos- ethos- logos and its extension to address worldview level warranted faith-commitment and confident trust on good grounding, through the impact of the Judaeo-Christian tradition in C1 as was energised by the 500 key witnesses.]

    By competent evidence, is meant that which the very-nature of the thing to be proved requires, as the fit and appropriate proof in the particular case, such as the production of a writing, where its contents are the subject of inquiry. By satisfactory evidence, which is sometimes called sufficient evidence, is intended that amount of proof, which ordinarily satisfies an unprejudiced mind [–> in British usage, the man in the Clapham bus stop], beyond reasonable doubt.

    The circumstances which will amount to this degree of proof can never be previously defined; the only legal [–> and responsible] test of which they are susceptible, is their sufficiency to satisfy the mind and conscience of a common man; and so to convince him, that he would venture to act upon that conviction, in matters of the highest concern and importance to his own interest. [= definition of moral certainty as a balanced unprejudiced judgement beyond reasonable, responsible doubt. Obviously, i/l/o wider concerns, while scientific facts as actually observed may meet this standard, scientific explanatory frameworks such as hypotheses, models, laws and theories cannot as they are necessarily provisional and in many cases have had to be materially modified, substantially re-interpreted to the point of implied modification, or outright replaced; so a modicum of prudent caution is warranted in such contexts — explanatory frameworks are empirically reliable so far on various tests, not utterly certain. ] [A Treatise on Evidence, Vol I, 11th edn. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1888) ch 1., sections 1 and 2. Shorter paragraphs added. (NB: Greenleaf was a founder of the modern Harvard Law School and is regarded as a founding father of the modern Anglophone school of thought on evidence, in large part on the strength of this classic work.)]

    I suggest, you need to take an inventory of how you have approached warrant on a list of significant issues that have come up here at UD, and on broader issues in general. Selective hyperskepticism tends to become a destructive, self-serving habit of mind.

    KF

  57. 57
    Allan Keith says:

    KairosFocus,

    Which seems to be a compressed form of a common epistemological error, descriptively termed selective hyperskepticism.

    Those are big words that appear to preclude an illuminating prognostication that present a counter-argumentative rebuttal of… OK, as the youth say WTF? What are you trying to say?

    Are you saying that I am being hyperskeptical because I don’t blindly accept your claim that god-did-it?

  58. 58
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, I already took time to explain the error and to correct it. If you had even bothered to look at the specific one line correction to Sagan’s form of Cliffordian evidentialism [yes, that is a technical name] — which is the popular one nowadays, you would have seen the corrections in a nutshell by use of strike and insert. I amplified and took time to cite a longstanding corrective from Greenleaf’s Treatise on Evidence. I have done my job, now it is time for you to do yours. KF

  59. 59
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Let me continue from where you so cleverly cut off citation:

    >>Which seems to be a compressed form of a common
    epistemological error, descriptively termed selective hyperskepticism.
    To see why it is a gross error, simply reflect on the correction:

    extraordinary claims require extraordinary
    [–> ADEQUATE] evidence

    In short, the selectively hyperskeptical assertion is a
    clever-sounding way to announce selective closed-mindedness. What “I”
    am inclined to agree with is of course not “extraordinary.” But,
    equally of course, what “I” am disinclined to believe must meet
    extra-stringent standards, usually calibrated to be beyond the evidence
    that is available on the question, which is usually a pressing issue.
    >>

  60. 60
    Allan Keith says:

    Kairosfocus@58&59, I honestly don’t understand what you are on about. All I said is that I am skeptical of extraordinary claims. I am skeptical of Bigfoot, alien abductions, and the existance of god. At no point did I say that I needed extraordinary evidence to convince me otherwise. Those are words that you put in my mouth, took offence to, and then berated me for. And you talk about others raising strawmen.

    For any claim, extraordinary or otherwise, all I am looking for is compelling evidence to support them. I haven’t seen any compelling evidence for the existance of god, or the evils of sex education, contraceptives, homosexuality or same sex marriage. Or for the existance of objective morality, or for the decline of morality and civilization. Maybe compelling evidence exists for all of this, but you certainly have not presented any. When you do, I will reassess my opinions.

  61. 61
    LocalMinimum says:

    I can’t recall any proper skeptics who’ve identified as atheistic materialist.

    Look closer.

    Materialism is inherently incompatible with genuine skepticism.

    It develops limits for reality on the basis of human cognition, while offering “just is but nothing more” handwaves of that which is and is likely to remain outside human understanding. All this anthropocentric nonsense while demanding human understanding is nothing special.

    No proper skeptic would be satisfied with this.

    Atheistic skeptics tend to identify as agnostic, or at least not as materialists.

    If I communicate with and provide support to my past enemies, they are less likely to be future enemies. A purely self-serving and manipulative strategy, a strategy that I happen to support.

    The principle refers to current enemies, even those that become future enemies. “Purely self-serving” was not offered as a prerequisite.

    Thank you. I’m obviously not the complete {SNIP — language, thread owner] that some here would project.

    Oh, no. You’re not going to pick fights then hide behind me. I just wanted to give credit where it’s due, in our own discussion.

  62. 62
    jdk says:

    LM writes,

    Atheistic skeptics tend to identify as agnostic, or at least not as materialists.

    I’m agnostic about materialism (but lean toward that not being the case), and agnostic about the existence of some type of cosmic something that is not material, but atheistic in that I think that all gods that humans believe in, no matter what the religion, don’t exist.

    Do I qualify as a skeptic? 🙂

  63. 63
    Allan Keith says:

    LM,

    Materialism is inherently incompatible with genuine skepticism.

    No more so than theists, or deists, or Republicans.

    The principle refers to current enemies, even those that become future enemies. “Purely self-serving” was not offered as a prerequisite.

    No, I offered it as an observation.

    Oh, no. You’re not going to pick fights then hide behind me.

    Who’s picking fights? I just like a good discussion. If others perceive it as a fight then that is their problem. I am a lover, not a fighter.

    I just wanted to give credit where it’s due, in our own discussion.

    I get so little praise here, I take all I can get. 🙂

  64. 64
    blip says:

    Allan, no, you are not hyper-skeptical because you don’t blindly accept God did it. You are so because you do not want to accept, eyes wide open and seeing clearly, that God may have done it, let alone actually did it. On the other hand, you will swallow hook, line, and sinker, the poof-the-big-bang-did-the-evolution-that-did-it! dogma because it’s expedient for you to do so, to justify your craven desires.

    People here have given you many things to consider carefully, from science, philosophy, logic, mathematics, humanities, politics,… But you refuse to bother to even consider any evidence, discarding it instead with the mocking disdain or the shallow jest that is your signature.

    I know well where you come from. I am well acquainted with atheists like you. I was a different kind of atheist, one who also assumed any form of theism was a crutch, a lie, a manipulation (that word you like to twist). But I was willing to listen, learn, discuss, disagree, re-engage. Because truth and understanding were my desire and my guide.

    Not so with you. To you, truth is true if it gets you your way, or gets you ahead by whatever metric you may be using at the moment that convinces you that you are getting ahead.

    And when the winds change, it’s time to make the truth false.

    In your sick little world, the metric must forever be changing, at your service. Because you must be Master of the Metric, at all cost. You must be god. It’s Babel all over again, fist raised in the air, middle finger, or the trusty old phallus, depending on the victim you have in mind.

    You will spill yet more ink like a squid trying to vanish before you admit this applies to you but it clearly does, as can easily be seen in your earlier comments when manipulation was used by you, initially with the correct, negative, meaning. It was made very obvious how you meant it by your reference to pastors being manipulative. So you let the cat out of the bag. Then when I challenged you on it, rather than admitting you were being manipulative in the normal, negative, sense of the word, suddenly manipulation took on a positive meaning. But the cat was already out of the bag. You were not speaking positively about pastors, as is obvious to everyone, but you thought it expedient to lie to get your way. And rather than admit it or have the common sense to sweep it under the carpet and hope no one would bring it up again, you doubled down. The only problem is, no one here is stupid, although you are beginning to make a very credible candidate yourself.

    Sometimes you might take on a false magnanimous aura, “Oh, the Americans did the right thing by being considerate to their vanquished enemies, but I don’t see that requiring God.” All the while brushing under the carpet the fact that the materialist-socialist-atheist fascists (Nazis, and allies) and the materialist-socialist-atheist communists (Soviets), felt no such compulsion to be considerate, since their stomach was their god. Like you. May you never hold another’s lunch bag in your hands.

    Eventually, the deceit wears thin. Invariably, the approach leads to tyranny. Over others first, whomever happens to be within your reach. But ultimately, over yourself. Yet you will lose the most. You aren’t aware yet how much you are about to lose.

    Frankly, had I experienced a discussion like this during my years as an atheist, and someone had called me out for being the liar that you are, I would have been so ashamed of myself, my conscience would have gotten the better of me. And I would have had to accept correction, painful as it would have been. But it’s ultimately more painful to be a self-serving fraud like you. Thankfully, it was not necessary, because the desire for truth and understanding were stronger in me than my own will to get my own way.

    That is the difference between former atheists like me and you. Not that I was better than you back then nor am I better than you now. But I am willing to face the truth, to be corrected, to learn, to listen, to do the hard work necessary to understand. I’m also willing to be truthful, which is why I don’t mince words and call you a liar. Unlike you, I get no pleasure out of calling people out. But you will hear the truth, that you may have the opportunity to receive hope. For there is hope.

    But as of now, you won’t give a moment’s thought to the need to engage in honesty, to provide evidence based on reason outside of yourself, to consider another’s perspective, to engage in a serious discussion. Your approach generally ends in your opinion as fact, in facts another brings up as opinion, and in your signature snarky remark. You don’t even have sufficient respect for yourself. Which is why it’s so easy for you to show no respect for anyone else.

    Because ultimately, that is all atheists like you have to offer. Your self-absorbed, self-inflated, all-important, pathetic little will. You think you offer anyone here a challenge to their “thinking outside the box”. Your ego betrays you. Your evidence non-existent, your arguments childish, irrational, boring, mocking. One big ZERO all around. There’s your future.

    Your problem is not just banal ignorance. It is heart disease.

    It does not have to be so.

    But as God hardened pharaoh’s heart by telling him what would happen and pharoah fell for it by setting his will against God, so you harden your heart by hearing the truth spoken to you and you setting your will against it. Rather than reflecting for your own sake.

    But the day will come when you will know the truth so well that you will be completely helpless to twist it. You won’t even be able to deceive yourself any longer into believing that you are right. You will not be able to plead ignorance for the choices you make. The day approaches quickly.

    The only question remaining is whether it will be too late.

    [To anyone who has read this message and feels upset in any way, I offer no apology. If canceling my access to commenting is considered prudent, I understand and will continue to thank you for your many good articles, excellent comments, discussions, links, and the great effort expended in providing a wealth of information, citations, resources from so many different fields, in a unified world view. Well done! I will continue to read and learn.]

  65. 65
    kairosfocus says:

    Blip, your comment is well within the reasonable, responsible comment standard. It is strong, but we expect strong commentary at UD. Our request and insistence is that such be civil. KF

  66. 66
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, you would do well to note Blip’s observations. I point out that it is not just a matter of your having made a rhetorical opening by a slip of pen. The remark I cited and corrected above unfortunately rings true as a summary of general approach. I therefore draw out a further point: selective hyperskepticism implies that one rejects improperly what s/he sould at minimum consider fairly and responsibly AND it also means that one is hyper-credulous towards things one is inclined to accept. Accordingly, it is wise to ask, why am I exerting an evidentiary double-standard. That is a hard question, but an important one. And BTW, the elevatorgate scandal of some years ago at an atheists conference is a capital example of how that practice tends to spread through becoming a habit. The difference is, women were complaining of sexual advances and that issue is one that is not so easily brushed aside. On the table is a matter of a gross error on defining evil involving the genetic fallacy and obvious contempt towards the Christian Faith. It is significant that you have been largely unresponsive to a form of a longstanding, time-tested definition that is powerful i/l/o say Kant’s Categorical Imperative. Likewise, you are clearly guilty of prejudicial projections and slander including to people who have put not just career but quite literally life on the line on matters of truth. I don’t know if that point will wake you up to the magnitude of the slander you indulged, but it should. The accusatory, slanderous term Gish Gallop is utterly illegitimate, was set up by Ms Scott of NCSE et al as a stereotyping, scapegoating smear, has been used to unjustifiably marginalise and dismiss without fair consideration, and worse. It should be set aside with due expression of regret for uncivil behaviour and should never be used again. That is the sort of thing that has to be done to rebuild a basis for serious conversation, resort to such dismissive slander is a breach of civility of the first magnitude. KF

  67. 67
    Mung says:

    Allan Keith:

    Kairosfocus@58&59, I honestly don’t understand what you are on about.

    That’s ok, the rest of us get it.

  68. 68
    LocalMinimum says:

    jdk @ 62:

    Do I qualify as a skeptic? ????

    That would depend on how you came to your your beliefs, but you aren’t disqualified on the basis of materialism 😉

  69. 69
    ET says:

    Allan Keith:

    For any claim, extraordinary or otherwise, all I am looking for is compelling evidence to support them.

    All evidence to the contrary, of course. Evolutionism and materialism make untestable claims and don’t have any evidentiary support.

  70. 70
    ET says:

    Allan Keith:

    A/Mats are skeptical of extraordinary claims.

    All evidence to the contrary, of course. Atheistic materialism makes extraordinary claims- claims that cannot be tested. And it reliance of sheer dumb luck pushes it outside the realm of science.

    Allan is either deluded or a pathological liar.

  71. 71
    bornagain77 says:

    blip at 64;

    “You will spill yet more ink like a squid trying to vanish before you admit this applies to you but it clearly does, ”

    What an apt metaphor!

  72. 72
    Allan Keith says:

    blip,

    Allan, no, you are not hyper-skeptical because you don’t blindly accept God did it. You are so because you do not want to accept, eyes wide open and seeing clearly, that God may have done it, let alone actually did it.

    I have never denied that god, or some other designer, may have been responsible for life. I just state that nobody has provided evidence that I find compelling enough to toss out evolution as the best explanation.

  73. 73
    ET says:

    Allan Keith:

    I just state that nobody has provided evidence that I find compelling enough to toss out evolution as the best explanation.

    Your shameless and cowardly equivocation is duly noted. As is your inability to assess the evidence.

    There isn’t any evidence that evolution by means of blind and mindless processes can produce anything but genetic diseases and deformities.

  74. 74
    Charles Birch says:

    Allan @ 72

    Allan, apologies for asking you this ‘evidence’ question again – I put it to you in another thread and you did respond, but I’d like to get more specific here.

    I’m not trying to catch you out; it’s just that this question is central to my understanding. of why atheists remain atheists, despite the existence of several strands of evidence that suggest theism is, at least, an equally reasonable interpretation of existence (and in my own view, is a somewhat more plausible interpretation than is atheism).

    The question is, ‘what evidence would persuade you of the existence of God?’ And I’m not necessarily talking about the Abrahamic God; a vast all-encompassing self-aware Mind that is the ultimate Source of everything, would qualify.

    I’d like you to get very specific here:

    Can you suggest ONE piece of evidence that would (a) convince you of God’s existence, and (b) couldn’t be explained away by anything other than God (benevolent, highly advanced aliens, for example)?

    I have noted that most atheists claim ‘lack of evidence’ as a major basis for their atheism, yet they never clearly state what evidence they are looking for, nor how they would differentiate this ‘irrefutable evidence for God’ from non-theistic explanations.

    IOW no matter how strong the evidence, the committed atheist would always have an ‘out’ such as an intervention by benevolent aliens.

    Unless……well, what WOULD convince you?

    Charles

  75. 75
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    “A/Mats are skeptical of extraordinary claims. And I don’t apologize for that.”

    What a{SNIP! — language, BA77, thread owner] joke. The one thing that is completely missing from Darwin’s theory, that typifies other sciences, is a healthy skepticism.

    “Much of the vast neo-Darwinian literature is distressingly uncritical. The possibility that anything is seriously amiss with Darwin’s account of evolution is hardly considered. … The methodological skepticism that characterizes most areas of scientific discourse seems strikingly absent when Darwinism is the topic.”
    Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....98141.html

    In fact, every other theory of science, besides Darwin’s theory, has a rigid demarcation criteria, based on some law of nature, that allows one to easily delineate that theory as scientific since that theory can then be tested against and potentially falsified. i.e. Each theory, besides Darwin’s, has ‘self-skepticism’ built into it.

    Again, Darwin’s theory, since there is no ‘law of evolution’ in the physical universe, has no such ‘self-skepticism’ built into it.

    Moreover, the falsification criteria set by Charles Darwin himself for his own theory are ad hoc and are not ‘naturally’ derived from physical law.

    Moreover, even when Charles Darwin’s own ad hoc falsification criteria were met, Darwinists still refused to accept falsification of their theory.

    As such, the one thing Darwinists cannot ever claim in science is healthy skepticism. In fact, a term that would be much more appropriate to describe Darwinists is not healthy skepticism but ‘extreme gullibility’!

    A few notes:

    Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rzw0JkuKuQ

    “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.”
    –Charles Darwin, Origin of Species

    “Charles Darwin said (paraphrase) “If anyone could find anything that could not be had through a number of slight, successive, modifications my theory would absolutely breakdown.” Well, that condition has been met time and time again now. Basically every gene and every new protein fold, there is nothing of significance that we can show that can be had in that gradualistic way. It’s all a mirage. None of it happens that way.”
    – Douglas Axe – 200 Years After Darwin – What Didn’t Darwin Know? – (5:30 minute mark) video – Part 2 of 2
    https://youtu.be/VKIgNroTj54?t=329

    Charles Darwin famously offered the following suggestion as to how his theory could be falsified:
    “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Dr. Loennig has repeatedly offered examples which defy a gradualist explanation, for example, listen to this
    interview where he discusses carnivorous plants, whose complicated traps were clearly useless until almost perfect. (I have written on this topic myself, here. )
    But Darwin offered other suggestions as to how his theory could be falsified, one of which was as follows: “If it could be proved that any part of the structure of any one species had been formed for the exclusive good of another species, it would annihilate my theory, for such could not have been produced through natural selection.” Loennig has recently written an article which falsifies Darwinism on this criterion also, 
    ‘Plants Galls and Evolution’ by Wolf-Ekkehard Loennig ,,,
    “The biological facts have proved that complex parts of the structure of thousands of plant species have been formed for the exclusive good of galling insects (i. e. other species), and this phenomenon has – in his own words – annihilated Darwin’s theory, as well as that of his modern followers, for “natural selection cannot possibly produce any modification in a species exclusively for the good of another species”
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/wolf-ekkehard-loennig-falsifies-darwinism/

  76. 76
    Allan Keith says:

    Charles,

    Can you suggest ONE piece of evidence that would (a) convince you of God’s existence, and (b) couldn’t be explained away by anything other than God (benevolent, highly advanced aliens, for example)?

    The obvious would be observing something that completely defies all physical laws that we know of. For example, the moon reversing the direction of its orbit. But less absurd would be randomized controlled studies that show conclusively the efficacy of prayer. If those studies were conclusive, that would go a long way to convincing me that there is some higher power.

  77. 77
    Mung says:

    Allan Keith:

    For example, the moon reversing the direction of its orbit.

    What physical law states that objects cannot have the direction of their orbit changed?

    ETA: Besides, the moon is an alien spaceship.

  78. 78
    Charles Birch says:

    Hi Alan,

    Those are good examples but are still explainable without reference to God.

    Aliens could have reversed the moon’s orbit.

    Some form of telekinesis, or distant healing (involving currently unknown but materialistic processes) could account for the positive effects of prayer.

    I have thought about this for a long time and have concluded that there is absolutely nothing imaginable – up to and including the galaxies rearranging themselves to form the words ‘Hi guys, it’s God’ – that is immune from a 100% materialist explanation involving any of the following:

    – highly advanced aliens
    – hallucination
    – misperception
    – coincidence
    – luck
    – currently unknown but material processes

    If the moon reversed its orbit tomorrow (and if we weren’t all wiped out by the ensuing earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tidal waves), would you plump for God or aliens, if the aliens chose to remain hidden?

    Perhaps – and this to me seems like the sensible option – you could conclude that either God or aliens are reasonable explanations.

    But if push came to shove, do you think you could entertain that possibility, or do you think you’d still go with the aliens?

    Charles

  79. 79
    Allan Keith says:

    Charles,

    Those are good examples but are still explainable without reference to God.

    Aliens could have reversed the moon’s orbit.

    That is why I said that it would have to be something that violated our known laws of physics. Surely the aliens would still be obeying the laws of physics.

    If the moon reversed its orbit tomorrow (and if we weren’t all wiped out by the ensuing earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tidal waves), would you plump for God or aliens, if the aliens chose to remain hidden?

    If aliens did it, they would have had to expect an enormous amount of energy. Energy is measurable. If the moon’s orbit reversed and there were no such indication, I would certainly consider some higher being as the best explanation. Of course, I may end up being wrong, but I think it would be fair to say that this would be the best explanation given the evidence available.

  80. 80
    Charles Birch says:

    Hi Alan,

    Thanks for the response. That seems an eminently sensible position.

    Charles

  81. 81
    Barry Arrington says:

    AK

    Surely the aliens would still be obeying the laws of physics.

    Why do you say that? Humans, when they create, are not bound by the laws of physics. Why should aliens be? Do you doubt that humans are not bound by the laws of physics? Think of an elephant. Where in the physical world is the elephant you just pictured in your mind instantiated?

  82. 82
    Allan Keith says:

    Barry,

    Think of an elephant. Where in the physical world is the elephant you just pictured in your mind instantiated?

    Is it pink?

  83. 83
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, consider:

    B: Lord, could you kindly heal X and Z from their diseases which were just diagnosed?

    L: Why are you not praying for Y also?

    B: This is a randomised statistical test.

    L: That’s asking amiss.

    B: oops, please, Lord forgive me and touch Y also.

    L: I will heal all three, you have now prayed.

    S: See, prayer does not work, everybody got well whether or not they were prayed for.

    In short, you posed a complete misunderstanding of the nature of prayer.

    KF

  84. 84
    Barry Arrington says:

    “Is it pink?”

    Certainly.

  85. 85
    Allan Keith says:

    Barry,

    “Is it pink?”

    Certainly.

    Then an intervention might be warranted.

  86. 86
    Bob O'H says:

    ba77 @ 75 –

    In fact, every other theory of science, besides Darwin’s theory, has a rigid demarcation criteria, based on some law of nature, that allows one to easily delineate that theory as scientific since that theory can then be tested against and potentially falsified.

    Can you tell us all what this criterion is? As far as I’m aware, philosophers of science had given up on this decades ago.

  87. 87
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I have just updated the OP to reckon with RW’s subtler update to its definition of the so-called Gish gallop. I note, for reference that as at yesterday evening Wikipedia speaks of: “During a Gish gallop, a debater confronts an opponent with a rapid series of many specious arguments, half-truths, and misrepresentations in a short space of time, which makes it impossible for the opponent to refute all of them within the format of a formal debate.”

    This is patently self-refuting, for the suggested tactic would be suicidal as noted in the OP above; no-one who spewed forth reams of out of context twisted citations, misrepresentations and half-of-the-truth deceptions would rack up a long-format [lecture length presentations] debate score of 300+:0. Where, of course, a half-truth is a whole lie. Moreover, the basic fact is that an expert’s telling admission against interest is by the criterion of embarrassment MORE likely to be truthful than other things said, and that empirically observed facts offered as science are public domain things.

    Ever since Darwin’s day, there have been systematic body plan origin level gaps in the fossils and today we cannot justly claim want of adequate sample. That’s why — pace Scott on oh it’s just rate differences in her 1996 essay — Gould spoke of such systematic gaps as the trade secret of paleontology and with others set out to found a new school, Punctuated Equilibria, to account for those systematic gaps. This school has failed, too. In short, the dominant pattern of the fossil record is of systematic body plan level gaps, showing as sudden emergence and continuation of a plan until it vanishes or is present today. Sometimes, a body plan disappears for a considerable part of the record but is seen living today.

    It is also a matter of fact that on a trillion observed cases, the only actually demonstrated cause of functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information (FSCO/I) is intelligently directed configuration. Blind watchmaker, chance and necessity accounts of OoL and of origin of body plans gain force from an ideological imposition that only naturalistic/ evolutionary materialistic accounts of origin are permitted to be deemed scientific.

    Such so-called methodological naturalism has long since been aptly critiqued by Philip Johnson:

    For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence.

    [–> notice, the power of an undisclosed, question-begging, controlling assumption . . . often put up as if it were a mere reasonable methodological constraint; emphasis added. Let us note how Rational Wiki, so-called, presents it:

    “Methodological naturalism is the label for the required assumption of philosophical naturalism when working with the scientific method. Methodological naturalists limit their scientific research to the study of natural causes, because any attempts to define causal relationships with the supernatural are never fruitful, and result in the creation of scientific “dead ends” and God of the gaps-type hypotheses.”

    Of course, this ideological imposition on science that subverts it from freely seeking the empirically, observationally anchored truth about our world pivots on the deception of side-stepping the obvious fact since Plato in The Laws Bk X, that there is a second, readily empirically testable and observable alternative to “natural vs [the suspect] supernatural.” Namely, blind chance and/or mechanical necessity [= the natural] vs the ART-ificial, the latter acting by evident intelligently directed configuration. [Cf Plantinga’s reply here and here.]

    And as for the god of the gaps canard, the issue is, inference to best explanation across competing live option candidates. If chance and necessity is a candidate, so is intelligence acting by art through design. And it is not an appeal to ever- diminishing- ignorance to point out that design, rooted in intelligent action, routinely configures systems exhibiting functionally specific, often fine tuned complex organisation and associated information. Nor, that it is the only observed cause of such, nor that the search challenge of our observed cosmos makes it maximally implausible that blind chance and/or mechanical necessity can account for such.]

    That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

    . . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [Emphasis added.] [The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]

    KF

  88. 88
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H: You are correct that philosophers of science have long since despaired of any hard and fast delineation of sciencs vs non science and also of any definitive, specific, technical methodological summary. That said, and leaving room for a rhetorical flourish, BA77 is right that by far and away most sciences are far more accountable before empirical observations and do not have the sort of a prioris I just commented on. That there is no hard line of demarcation has a further impact you should have mentioned: it means that the tendency to dismiss what one does not like as pseudo-science is not well founded, and particularly that naive falsificationism (post Kuhn’s work on paradigms, puzzles and anomalies as well as Lakatos on armour belts of auxiliary hypotheses protecting the core) is dead. Instead, we are forced to look at the cumulative weight and cogency of evidence, inferences and explanatory constructs to identify which case is best so far on the merits. It is fair comment to note that there are major challenges to the blind watchmaker narrative on origin of life and of body plans and there are exceptionally powerful armour belts that guard the evolutionary materialistic account of the world of life, and that these unduly shield it from empirical testing. It is also fair for me to say that the only actually observed adequate cause of FSCO/I is intelligently directed configuration; with a trillion member observation base. This is backed up by search challenge for blind needle in haystack search in relevantly large config spaces on the gamut of the sol sys or the observed cosmos. To infer that on evidence from the living cell up across the tree of life to ourselves, there are good reasons to infer design as cause on reliable tested sign is not mere ignorant or foolish “god of the gaps” reasoning. Instead, we have a grounded inference to the best current explanation, where blind chance and necessity AND the ART-ifical, working by design are all valid causal factors to be considered. The blind watchmaker scheme of thought does have a serious empirical testing challenge. KF

  89. 89
    bornagain77 says:

    Bob (and weave) O’ Hara asks

    “Can you tell us all what this criterion is? As far as I’m aware, philosophers of science had given up on this decades ago.”

    I consider the falsification/testability criteria of Popper to be the gold standard of science.

    Karl Popper stated,,,

    “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.”
    Karl Popper – The Two Fundamental Problems of the Theory of Knowledge (2014 edition), Routledge

    Early in his career, Popper also noted that Darwinian evolution itself is set up in a way that makes it impervious to empirical falsification. Specifically, Popper called evolution via natural selection “almost a tautology” and “not a testable scientific theory but a metaphysical research program.”
    Popper was attacked by Darwinists for these criticisms. So Popper, in approx 1978, for the most part, took his criticisms of Darwinism back. But when John Horgan interviewed Popper in 1992, Horgan noted that Popper “blurted out that he still found Darwin’s theory dissatisfying. “One ought to look for alternatives!” Popper exclaimed, banging his kitchen table.”

    Dubitable Darwin? Why Some Smart, Nonreligious People Doubt the Theory of Evolution – John Horgan – July 6, 2010
    Excerpt: Early in his career, the philosopher Karl Popper ,, called evolution via natural selection “almost a tautology” and “not a testable scientific theory but a metaphysical research program.” Attacked for these criticisms, Popper took them back (in approx 1978). But when I interviewed him in 1992, he blurted out that he still found Darwin’s theory dissatisfying. “One ought to look for alternatives!” Popper exclaimed, banging his kitchen table.
    http://blogs.scientificamerica.....evolution/

    Tom Bethell also interviewed Karl Popper after the Darwinian backlash and Popper again reiterated his claim that Darwinism was not a testable scientific theory.

    Tom Bethell on Karl Popper’s rejection of Darwinian Evolution as a testable scientific theory – 5:54 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/MLdZzf8HoUU?t=352

    Darwinian Evolution simply lacks any of the rigor that one usually encounters with a scientific theory. As David Berlinski notes: “On the other hand, I disagree that Darwin’s theory is as `solid as any explanation in science.; Disagree? I regard the claim as preposterous. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to thirteen or so decimal places; so, too, general relativity. A leaf trembling in the wrong way would suffice to shatter either theory. What can Darwinian theory offer in comparison?”

    “On the other hand, I disagree that Darwin’s theory is as `solid as any explanation in science.; Disagree? I regard the claim as preposterous. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to thirteen or so decimal places; so, too, general relativity. A leaf trembling in the wrong way would suffice to shatter either theory. What can Darwinian theory offer in comparison?”
    – David Berlinski, “A Scientific Scandal?: David Berlinski & Critics,” Commentary, July 8, 2003

    The primary reason why Darwinian evolution lacks any of the rigor that is usually associated with the hard sciences is because Darwinian evolution has no mathematical model to test against. As Dr. Robert Marks states “Hard sciences are built on foundations of mathematics or definitive simulations. ,,, there exists no model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution. According to our current understanding, there never will be.,,,”

    “There exists no model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution. Hard sciences are built on foundations of mathematics or definitive simulations. Examples include electromagnetics, Newtonian mechanics, geophysics, relativity, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, optics, and many areas in biology. Those hoping to establish Darwinian evolution as a hard science with a model have either failed or inadvertently cheated. These models contain guidance mechanisms to land the airplane squarely on the target runway despite stochastic wind gusts. Not only can the guiding assistance be specifically identified in each proposed evolution model, its contribution to the success can be measured, in bits, as active information.,,,”,,, “there exists no model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution. According to our current understanding, there never will be.,,,”
    – Robert J. Marks II – Top Ten Questions and Objections to ‘Introduction to Evolutionary Informatics’ – June 12, 2017

    And the primary reason why nobody has ever been able to build a realistic mathematical model for Darwinian evolution to test against is simply because there is no ‘law of evolution’ within the known physical universe for mathematicians and physicists to ever build a realistic mathematical model upon:

    Laws of science
    1 Conservation laws
    1.1 Conservation and symmetry
    1.2 Continuity and transfer
    2 Laws of classical mechanics
    2.1 Principle of least action
    3 Laws of gravitation and relativity
    3.1 Modern laws
    3.2 Classical laws
    4 Thermodynamics
    5 Electromagnetism
    6 Photonics
    7 Laws of quantum mechanics
    8 Radiation laws
    9 Laws of chemistry
    10 Geophysical laws
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_of_science

    As Ernst Mayr himself conceded, “In biology, as several other people have shown, and I totally agree with them, there are no natural laws in biology corresponding to the natural laws of the physical sciences.”

    The Evolution of Ernst: Interview with Ernst Mayr – 2004 (page 2 of 14)
    Excerpt: biology (Darwinian Evolution) differs from the physical sciences in that in the physical sciences, all theories, I don’t know exceptions so I think it’s probably a safe statement, all theories are based somehow or other on natural laws. In biology, as several other people have shown, and I totally agree with them, there are no natural laws in biology corresponding to the natural laws of the physical sciences.
    ,,, And so that’s what I do in this book. I show that the theoretical basis, you might call it, or I prefer to call it the philosophy of biology, has a totally different basis than the theories of physics.
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/media/pdf/0004D8E1-178C-10EB-978C83414B7F012C.pdf

    In the following article, Roger Highfield makes much the same observation as Ernst Mayr and states, ,,, Whatever the case, those universal truths—’laws’—that physicists and chemists all rely upon appear relatively absent from biology.

    WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT? Evolution is True – Roger Highfield – January 2014
    Excerpt: If evolutionary biologists are really Seekers of the Truth, they need to focus more on finding the mathematical regularities of biology, following in the giant footsteps of Sewall Wright, JBS Haldane, Ronald Fisher and so on.
    ,,, Whatever the case, those universal truths—’laws’—that physicists and chemists all rely upon appear relatively absent from biology.
    Little seems to have changed from a decade ago when the late and great John Maynard Smith wrote a chapter on evolutionary game theory for a book on the most powerful equations of science: his contribution did not include a single equation.
    http://www.edge.org/response-detail/25468

    It should also be noted that modern science was born out of the Christian presupposition of universal laws/constants. (i.e. Newton’s first great unification)

    Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation
    Excerpt: The first major unification in physics was Sir Isaac Newton’s realization that the same force that caused an apple to fall at the Earth’s surface—gravity—was also responsible for holding the Moon in orbit about the Earth. This universal force would also act between the planets and the Sun, providing a common explanation for both terrestrial and astronomical phenomena.
    https://www.learner.org/courses/physics/unit/text.html?unit=3&secNum=3

    “Men became scientific because they expected Law in Nature, and they expected Law in Nature because they believed in a Legislator. In most modern scientists this belief has died: it will be interesting to see how long their confidence in uniformity survives it.”
    Lewis, C.S., Miracles: a preliminary study, Collins, London, p. 110, 1947.

    Moreover, if variance were to be found in the universal laws/constants, it would destroy our ability to do science.

    Scientists Question Nature’s Fundamental Laws – Michael Schirber – 2006
    Excerpt: “There is absolutely no reason these constants should be constant,” says astronomer Michael Murphy of the University of Cambridge. “These are famous numbers in physics, but we have no real reason for why they are what they are.”,,,
    The observed differences are small-roughly a few parts in a million-but the implications are huge (if they hold up): The laws of physics would have to be rewritten, not to mention we might need to make room for six more spatial dimensions than the three that we are used to.”,,,
    The speed of light, for instance, might be measured one day with a ruler and a clock. If the next day the same measurement gave a different answer, no one could tell if the speed of light changed, the ruler length changed, or the clock ticking changed.
    http://www.space.com/2613-scie.....-laws.html

    And yet, even though science itself is dependent on the invariance of universal laws/constants, Darwinian evolution, besides having no universal law/constant to appeal to as all other hard sciences have, is found to based on randomness instead of a unchanging universal law/constant, and that is the primary reason Darwinism is, as Murray Eden points out, ‘inadequate’ as a scientific theory:

    Professor Murray Eden of MIT, in a paper entitled “Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory” stated that “the randomness postulate is highly implausible and that an adequate scientific theory of evolution must await the discovery and elucidation of new natural laws—physical, physico-chemical, and biological.”

    “It is our contention that if ‘random’ is given a serious and crucial interpretation from a probabilistic point of view, the randomness postulate is highly implausible and that an adequate scientific theory of evolution must await the discovery and elucidation of new natural laws—physical, physico-chemical, and biological.”
    Murray Eden, “Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory,” Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, editors Paul S. Moorhead and Martin M. Kaplan, June 1967, p. 109.
    https://people.eecs.berkeley.edu/~christos/evol/compevol_files/Wistar-Eden-1.pdf

  90. 90
    bornagain77 says:

    In fact, not only is there no ‘law of evolution’ within the known physical universe for Darwinists to build a realistic mathematical model upon, as the following video shows,,,

    Evolution vs Entropy – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGaSE-Q8nDU

    The Austrian physicist Ludwig Boltzmann first linked entropy and probability in 1877. However, the equation as shown, involving a specific constant, was first written down by Max Planck, the father of quantum mechanics in 1900. In his 1918 Nobel Prize lecture, Planck said: This constant is often referred to as Boltzmann’s constant, although, to my knowledge, Boltzmann himself never introduced it – a peculiar state of affairs, which can be explained by the fact that Boltzmann, as appears from his occasional utterances, never gave thought to the possibility of carrying out an exact measurement of the constant. Nothing can better illustrate the positive and hectic pace of progress which the art of experimenters has made over the past twenty years, than the fact that since that time, not only one, but a great number of methods have been discovered for measuring the mass of a molecule with practically the same accuracy as that attained for a planet.
    http://www.daviddarling.info/e.....ation.html

    ,,,the second law of thermodynamics, entropy, a law with great mathematical explanatory power in science, almost directly contradicts the primary Darwinian claim that greater and greater levels of functional complexity can easily be had and/or ‘naturally selected’ for over long periods of time. Indeed, entropy’s main claim is that, over long periods of time, everything in the universe will decay into simpler and simpler states until what is termed thermodynamic equilibrium is finally reached.

    Imre Lakatos, who was a student of Karl Popper, and who is also regarded as another prominent philosopher of science in the 20th century, as the following article points out, basically tried to tiptoe around the failure of Darwinism to have a rigid demarcation criteria in science,,,

    A Philosophical Question… Does Evolution have a Hard Core?
    Some Concluding Food for Thought
    In my research on the demarcation problem, I have noticed philosophers of science attempting to balance (usually unconsciously) a consistent demarcation criteria against the disruptive effects that its application might have with regard to the academic status quo (and evolution in particular)… Few philosophers of science will even touch such matters, but (perhaps unintentionally) Imre Lakatos does offer us a peek at how one might go about balancing these schizophrenic demands (in Motterlini1999: 24)

    “Let us call the first school militant positivism; you will understand why later on. The problem of this school was to find certain demarcation criteria similar to those I have outlined, but these also had to satisfy certain boundary conditions, as a mathematician would say. I am referring to a definite set of people to which most scientists as well as Popper and Carnap would belong. These people think that there are goodies and baddies among scientific theories, and once you have defined a demarcation criterion. you should divide all your theories between the two groups. You would end up. for example, with a goodies list including Copernicus’s (Theory1), Galileo’s (T2), Kepler’s (T3), Newton’s (T4) … and Einstein’s (T5), along with (but this is just my supposition) Darwin’s (T6). Let me just anticipate that nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific, but this is exactly what we are looking for.”

    So basically, the demarcation problem is a fun game philosophers enjoy playing, but when they realize the implications regarding the theory of evolution, they quickly back off…
    http://www.samizdat.qc.ca/cosm.....ore_pg.htm

    ,,,although Lakatos tried to tiptoe around the failure of Darwinism to have a rigid demarcation criteria in science, Lakatos was at least brave enough to state that a theory is pseudoscientific if it fails to make any novel predictions of previously unknown phenomena. And Lakatos was also brave enough to state that “nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific”.

    Imre Lakatos – Pseudoscience – Darwin’s Theory
    According to the demarcation criterion of pseudoscience originally proposed by Lakatos, a theory is pseudoscientific if it fails to make any novel predictions of previously unknown phenomena, in contrast with scientific theories, which predict novel fact(s).[21] Progressive scientific theories are those which have their novel facts confirmed and degenerate scientific theories are those whose predictions of novel facts are refuted. As he put it:
    “A given fact is explained scientifically only if a new fact is predicted with it….The idea of growth and the concept of empirical character are soldered into one.”
    See pages 34–5 of The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes, 1978.
    Lakatos’s own key examples of pseudoscience were Ptolemaic astronomy, Immanuel Velikovsky’s planetary cosmogony, Freudian psychoanalysis, 20th century Soviet Marxism,[22] Lysenko’s biology, Niels Bohr’s Quantum Mechanics post-1924, astrology, psychiatry, sociology, neoclassical economics, and Darwin’s theory.
    Darwin’s theory
    In his 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture 1[23] he also claimed that “nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific”.
    Almost 20 years after Lakatos’s 1973 challenge to the scientificity of Darwin, in her 1991 The Ant and the Peacock, LSE lecturer and ex-colleague of Lakatos, Helena Cronin, attempted to establish that Darwinian theory was empirically scientific in respect of at least being supported by evidence of likeness in the diversity of life forms in the world, explained by descent with modification. She wrote that
    “our usual idea of corroboration as requiring the successful prediction of novel facts…Darwinian theory was not strong on temporally novel predictions..”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imre_Lakatos#Pseudoscience

    Lakatos also went on to state that “In degenerating programmes, however, theories are fabricated only in order to accommodate known facts”

    Science and Pseudoscience (transcript) –
    “In degenerating programmes, however, theories are fabricated only in order to accommodate known facts”
    – Imre Lakatos (November 9, 1922 – February 2, 1974) a philosopher of mathematics and science, , quote as stated in 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture
    http://www2.lse.ac.uk/philosop.....cript.aspx

    And another prominent philosopher of science of the 20th century, Thomas Kuhn, who introduced the term ‘paradigm shift, also noted that when faced with an anomaly, a theory’s defenders “will devise numerous articulations and ad hoc modifications of their theory in order to eliminate any apparent conflict.”

    Inquiry-Based Science Education — on Everything but Evolution – Sarah Chaffee – January 22, 2016
    Excerpt: As Thomas Kuhn wrote in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, when faced with an anomaly, a theory’s defenders “will devise numerous articulations and ad hoc modifications of their theory in order to eliminate any apparent conflict.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....02534.html

    And in regards to a theory making predictions that are shown to be false and then making up ad hoc theories to try to cover up those falsified predictions, then by that demarcation criteria of Lakatos and Kuhn, Darwinian evolution more than qualifies as a pseudoscience. Here is a site, that was put together by Dr. Cornelius Hunter, that goes over many of the failed predictions of Darwinian evolution.

    Darwin’s (Failed) Predictions – Cornelius Hunter
    https://sites.google.com/site/darwinspredictions/

    As Dr. Hunter states in the following article,,, “With each new absurdity another new complicated just-so story is woven into evolutionary theory. As Lakatos explained, some theories simply are not falsifiable. But as a result they sacrifice realism and parsimony.”

    Here’s That Algae Study That Decouples Phylogeny and Competition – June 17, 2014
    Excerpt: “With each new absurdity another new complicated just-so story is woven into evolutionary theory. As Lakatos explained, some theories simply are not falsifiable. But as a result they sacrifice realism and parsimony.”
    – Cornelius Hunter
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....uples.html

    Of humorous note, in regards to a theory adding ad hoc theories to cover up embarrassing findings, the only thing that anyone can ever seem to catch ‘evolving’ in the real world is the theory of Darwinian evolution itself. As Dr. Hunter notes in the following article, Darwin’s pseudo-theory is forever plastic and is able to explain completely contradictory results with equal ease.

    “Being an evolutionist means there is no bad news. If new species appear abruptly in the fossil record, that just means evolution operates in spurts. If species then persist for eons with little modification, that just means evolution takes long breaks. If clever mechanisms are discovered in biology, that just means evolution is smarter than we imagined. If strikingly similar designs are found in distant species, that just means evolution repeats itself. If significant differences are found in allied species, that just means evolution sometimes introduces new designs rapidly. If no likely mechanism can be found for the large-scale change evolution requires, that just means evolution is mysterious. If adaptation responds to environmental signals, that just means evolution has more foresight than was thought. If major predictions of evolution are found to be false, that just means evolution is more complex than we thought.”
    ~ Cornelius Hunter – Arsenic-Based Biochemistry: Turning Poison Into Wine – December 2, 2010

  91. 91
    bornagain77 says:

    The following further highlights the fact that Evolution simply fails to qualify as a science by any reasonable measure of science one might wish to invoke and thus, once again. Darwinian evolution is more properly classified as a pseudoscience than a real science.

    “There are five standard tests for a scientific hypothesis. Has anyone observed the phenomenon — in this case, Evolution — as it occurred and recorded it? Could other scientists replicate it? Could any of them come up with a set of facts that, if true, would contradict the theory (Karl Popper’s “falsifiability” tests)? Could scientists make predictions based on it? Did it illuminate hitherto unknown or baffling areas of science? In the case of Evolution… well… no… no… no… no… and no.”
    – Tom Wolfe – The Kingdom of Speech – page 17

    Darwinian Evolution Fails the Five Standard Tests of a Scientific Hypothesis – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7f_fyoPybw

    But in regards to falsification in particular, even though Darwinian evolution is not mathematically structured in such a way as to make it easily susceptible to empirical falsification, Darwinian evolution can, nevertheless, be rigorously falsified. It just takes a bit more effort to do so than usual.

    Charles Darwin himself set out some falsification criteria for his theory. One example he set out is that Darwin stated that “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.”

    “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.”
    –Charles Darwin, Origin of Species

    And that criteria for falsification, that Darwin himself set out, has now been meet.
    In regards to how his work, and the work of others. falsify Charles Darwin’s claim, in the following video Dr. Axe states:

    “Charles Darwin said (paraphrase) “If anyone could find anything that could not be had through a number of slight, successive, modifications my theory would absolutely breakdown.” Well, that condition has been met time and time again now. Basically every gene and every new protein fold, there is nothing of significance that we can show that can be had in that gradualistic way. It’s all a mirage. None of it happens that way.”
    – Douglas Axe – 200 Years After Darwin – What Didn’t Darwin Know? – (5:30 minute mark) video – Part 2 of 2
    https://youtu.be/VKIgNroTj54?t=329

    Darwin offered other suggestions as to how his theory could be falsified, one of which was as follows: “If it could be proved that any part of the structure of any one species had been formed for the exclusive good of another species, it would annihilate my theory, for such could not have been produced through natural selection.”

    Natural selection cannot possibly produce any modification in any one species exclusively for the good of another species; though throughout nature one species incessantly takes advantage of, and profits by, the structure of another. But natural selection can and does often produce structures for the direct injury of other species, as we see in the fang of the adder, and in the ovipositor of the ichneumon, by which its eggs are deposited in the living bodies of other insects. If it could be proved that any part of the structure of any one species had been formed for the exclusive good of another species, it would annihilate my theory, for such could not have been produced through natural selection.
    – Charles Darwin – Origin of Species

    Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig has recently written an article which falsifies Darwinism on this criterion also,

    Plant Galls and Evolution How More than Twelve Thousand Ugly Facts are Slaying a Beautiful Hypothesis: Darwinism – Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig – 7 September 2017
    Excerpt: If it could be proved that any part of the structure of any one species had been formed for the exclusive good of another species, it would annihilate my theory, for such could not have been produced through natural selection
    – Charles Darwin,,,
    ,,, in thousands of plant species often entirely new organs have been formed for the exclusive good of more than 132,930 other species, these ‘ugly facts’ have annihilated Darwin’s theory as well as the
    modern versions of it. The galls are not ‘useful to the possessor’, the plants. There is no space
    for these phenomena in the world of “the selfish gene” (Dawkins). Moreover, the same conclusion appears to be true for thousands of angiosperm species producing deceptive flowers (in contrast to gall formations, now for the exclusive good of the plant species) – a topic which should be carefully treated in another paper.
    http://www.weloennig.de/PlantGalls.pdf

    In regards to the falsification criteria of “any one species had been formed for the exclusive good of another species”, instead of eating us, time after time we find micro-organisms helping each other, and us, in ways that have nothing to with their own ‘survival of the fittest’’ concerns.

    “Microbial life can easily live without us; we, however, cannot survive without the global catalysis and environmental transformations it provides.”
    – Paul G. Falkowski – Professor Geological Sciences – Rutgers

    NIH Human Microbiome Project defines normal bacterial makeup of the body – June 13, 2012
    Excerpt: Microbes inhabit just about every part of the human body, living on the skin, in the gut, and up the nose. Sometimes they cause sickness, but most of the time, microorganisms live in harmony with their human hosts, providing vital functions essential for human survival.
    http://www.nih.gov/news/health.....gri-13.htm

    The following researchers said they were ‘banging our heads against the wall’ by the contradictory findings to Darwinian ‘survival of the fittest’ thinking that they had found:

    Doubting Darwin: Algae Findings Surprise Scientists – April 28, 2014
    Excerpt: One of Charles Darwin’s hypotheses posits that closely related species will compete for food and other resources more strongly with one another than with distant relatives, because they occupy similar ecological niches. Most biologists long have accepted this to be true.
    Thus, three researchers were more than a little shaken to find that their experiments on fresh water green algae failed to support Darwin’s theory — at least in one case.
    “It was completely unexpected,” says Bradley Cardinale, associate professor in the University of Michigan’s school of natural resources & environment. “When we saw the results, we said ‘this can’t be.”‘ We sat there banging our heads against the wall. Darwin’s hypothesis has been with us for so long, how can it not be right?”
    The researchers ,,,— were so uncomfortable with their results that they spent the next several months trying to disprove their own work. But the research held up.,,,
    The scientists did not set out to disprove Darwin, but, in fact, to learn more about the genetic and ecological uniqueness of fresh water green algae so they could provide conservationists with useful data for decision-making. “We went into it assuming Darwin to be right, and expecting to come up with some real numbers for conservationists,” Cardinale says. “When we started coming up with numbers that showed he wasn’t right, we were completely baffled.”,,,
    Darwin “was obsessed with competition,” Cardinale says. “He assumed the whole world was composed of species competing with each other, but we found that one-third of the species of algae we studied actually like each other. They don’t grow as well unless you put them with another species. It may be that nature has a heck of a lot more mutualisms than we ever expected.
    “,,, Maybe Darwin’s presumption that the world may be dominated by competition is wrong.”
    http://www.livescience.com/452.....f-bts.html

    Moreover, Natural Selection itself, Charles Darwin’s main claim to scientific fame, has now been shown to be grossly inadequate as the supposed “Designer substitute’ that Darwin had falsely imagined it to be.

    The waiting time problem in a model hominin population – 2015 Sep 17
    John Sanford, Wesley Brewer, Franzine Smith, and John Baumgardner
    Excerpt: The program Mendel’s Accountant realistically simulates the mutation/selection process,,,
    Given optimal settings, what is the longest nucleotide string that can arise within a reasonable waiting time within a hominin population of 10,000? Arguably, the waiting time for the fixation of a “string-of-one” is by itself problematic (Table 2). Waiting a minimum of 1.5 million years (realistically, much longer), for a single point mutation is not timely adaptation in the face of any type of pressing evolutionary challenge. This is especially problematic when we consider that it is estimated that it only took six million years for the chimp and human genomes to diverge by over 5 % [1]. This represents at least 75 million nucleotide changes in the human lineage, many of which must encode new information.
    While fixing one point mutation is problematic, our simulations show that the fixation of two co-dependent mutations is extremely problematic – requiring at least 84 million years (Table 2). This is ten-fold longer than the estimated time required for ape-to-man evolution. In this light, we suggest that a string of two specific mutations is a reasonable upper limit, in terms of the longest string length that is likely to evolve within a hominin population (at least in a way that is either timely or meaningful). Certainly the creation and fixation of a string of three (requiring at least 380 million years) would be extremely untimely (and trivial in effect), in terms of the evolution of modern man.
    It is widely thought that a larger population size can eliminate the waiting time problem. If that were true, then the waiting time problem would only be meaningful within small populations. While our simulations show that larger populations do help reduce waiting time, we see that the benefit of larger population size produces rapidly diminishing returns (Table 4 and Fig. 4). When we increase the hominin population from 10,000 to 1 million (our current upper limit for these types of experiments), the waiting time for creating a string of five is only reduced from two billion to 482 million years.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....MC4573302/

    As Dr. Richard Sternberg states in the following video,

    “Darwinism provided an explanation for the appearance of design, and argued that there is no Designer — or, if you will, the designer is natural selection. If that’s out of the way — if that (natural selection) just does not explain the evidence — then the flip side of that is, well, things appear designed because they are designed.”
    Richard Sternberg – Living Waters documentary
    Whale Evolution vs. Population Genetics – Richard Sternberg and Paul Nelson – (excerpt from Living Waters video)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0csd3M4bc0Q

    Here is another falsification that comes from population genetics. Donald Hoffman has shown, through numerous computer simulations of Darwinian evolution, that if Darwinian evolution were true then ALL of our observations of reality would be illusory.

    The Evolutionary Argument Against Reality – April 2016
    The cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman uses evolutionary game theory to show that our perceptions of an independent reality must be illusions.
    Excerpt: “The classic argument is that those of our ancestors who saw more accurately had a competitive advantage over those who saw less accurately and thus were more likely to pass on their genes that coded for those more accurate perceptions, so after thousands of generations we can be quite confident that we’re the offspring of those who saw accurately, and so we see accurately. That sounds very plausible. But I think it is utterly false. It misunderstands the fundamental fact about evolution, which is that it’s about fitness functions — mathematical functions that describe how well a given strategy achieves the goals of survival and reproduction. The mathematical physicist Chetan Prakash proved a theorem that I devised that says: According to evolution by natural selection, an organism that sees reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees none of reality but is just tuned to fitness. Never.”
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/20160421-the-evolutionary-argument-against-reality/

    Yet, reliable observation is a necessary cornerstone of the scientific method.

    Steps of the Scientific Method
    Observation/Research
    Hypothesis
    Prediction
    Experimentation
    Conclusion
    http://www.sciencemadesimple.c.....ethod.html

    Thus, since Darwinian evolution denies ‘reliable observation’, which is a necessary cornerstone of the scientific method itself, then Darwinian evolution can never be based upon the scientific method and is therefore falsified once again in its claim to be a scientific theory.

  92. 92
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, completely contrary to what Hoffman found for Darwinian theory, it turns out that accurate perception, i.e. conscious observation, far from being unreliable and illusory, is experimentally found to be far more integral to reality, i.e. far more reliable of reality, than the mathematics of population genetics predicted. In the following experiment, it was found that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.

    New Mind-blowing Experiment Confirms That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It – June 3, 2015
    Excerpt: The results of the Australian scientists’ experiment, which were published in the journal Nature Physics, show that this choice is determined by the way the object is measured, which is in accordance with what quantum theory predicts.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Truscott in a press release.,,,
    “The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence,” he said.
    Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.
    http://themindunleashed.org/20.....at-it.html

    Apparently science itself could care less if atheists are forced to believe, because of the mathematics of population genetics, that their observations of reality are illusory!

    As Richard Feynman stated: “If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what his name is… If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.”

    The Scientific Method – Richard Feynman – video
    Quote: “If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what his name is… If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL6-x0modwY

    Thus in conclusion, although Darwinism lacks a rigid falsification/demarcation criteria based on some universal law/constant, that characterizes other hard sciences, Darwinism is still, regardless of whether Darwinists ever accept it or not, thoroughly falsified.

    Apparently, Modern Science has a way of weeding out even pseudosciences even though those pseudosciences are not set in a precise way, on a universal law, so as to make them testable/falsifiable like proper and normal sciences.

  93. 93
    ET says:

    Testability, Bob. If the claims of an alleged theory cannot be tested then it isn’t scientific. And neither Darwin’s claims nor those of the modern synthesis can be tested.

  94. 94
    Bob O'H says:

    ba77 @ 89 – Ah, I wondered about that. I’m afraid your knowledge of the philosophy of science is about half a century out of date. Falsification doesn’t work as a demarcation criterion in either theory or practice. In theory it doesn’t work because falsification can be swept onto secondary assumptions, or theories can be adapted. It doesn’t work in practice because almost every major theory has been falsified, and yet many are still used. Quite simply,science has never worked that way.

  95. 95
    Allan Keith says:

    ET,

    Testability, Bob. If the claims of an alleged theory cannot be tested then it isn’t scientific. And neither Darwin’s claims nor those of the modern synthesis can be tested.

    Maybe you could enlighten us on how plate tectonics causing mountain formation was tested.

  96. 96
    Mung says:

    Allan Keith:

    That is why I said that it would have to be something that violated our known laws of physics.

    I ask again. What known law of physics states that an object in an orbit cannot have it’s orbit changed?

    For example, the moon reversing the direction of its orbit.

    There is no law of physics that states that the orbit of the moon cannot be reversed. It’s a fake example. Do you have another example, one that is actually relevant?

  97. 97
    bornagain77 says:

    Bob (and weave) O’Hara, in typical fashion, claims as such

    “In theory it (falsification/testability) doesn’t work because falsification can be swept onto secondary assumptions, or theories can be adapted.”

    Actually, only fringe and pseudo-theories, such as Darwinian evolution, appeal to “secondary assumptions, i.e. punk eek, convergent evolution, etc.., and/or try to “adapt” their theory to avoid falsifying evidence.

    As to:

    “It (falsification) doesn’t work in practice because almost every major theory has been falsified,”

    Perhaps you would be so kind as to provide the actual experimental tests that have falsified General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics and Intelligent Design?

    Seeing as you fancy yourself so knowledgeable in these matters, you should be able to recite the exact experimental falsifications of each of those theories specific predictions right off the top of your head. 🙂

    Whereas, on the other hand, just the other day News cited this article noting the stubborn robustness of General Relativity in the face of extreme testing of its specific claims in particular:

    Troubled Times for Alternatives to Einstein’s Theory of Gravity – April 30, 2018
    New observations of extreme astrophysical systems have “brutally and pitilessly murdered” attempts to replace Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
    Excerpt: The neutron-star collision was just the beginning. New data in the months since that discovery have made life increasingly difficult for the proponents of many of the modified-gravity theories that remain. Astronomers have analyzed extreme astronomical systems that contain spinning neutron stars, or pulsars, to look for discrepancies between their motion and the predictions of general relativity — discrepancies that some theories of alternative gravity anticipate. These pulsar systems let astronomers probe gravity on a new scale and with new precision. And with each new observation, these alternative theories of gravity are having an increasingly hard time solving the problems they were invented for. Researchers “have to sweat some more trying to get new physics,” said Anne Archibald, an astrophysicist at the University of Amsterdam.
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/troubled-times-for-alternatives-to-einsteins-theory-of-gravity-20180430/

    Bob (and weave) I seriously don’t see why Mr. Arrington tolerates your, and a few other nameless atheists, shameless dishonesty on his site.

    IMHO, you add nothing to this site.

  98. 98
    Allan Keith says:

    Kairosfocus,

    In short, you posed a complete misunderstanding of the nature of prayer.

    I didn’t pose any understanding of prayer.

  99. 99
    Allan Keith says:

    Mung,

    I ask again. What known law of physics states that an object in an orbit cannot have it’s orbit changed?

    I didn’t say change, I said reversed. If id did this slowly, laws of physics dictate that it would fall into the earth. If it did it quickly, laws of physics dictate that the moon would fall apart.

  100. 100
    Allan Keith says:

    BA77,

    Actually, only fringe and pseudo-theories, such as Darwinian evolution, appeal to “secondary assumptions, i.e. punk eek, convergent evolution, etc.., and/or try to “adapt” their theory to avoid falsifying evidence.

    This is the first I have heard that people consider Newtonian physics to be a fringe pseudo-theory.

  101. 101
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related note to the Atheist’s war on science and his war of falsification in particular:

    Scientific method: Defend the integrity of physics – George Ellis & Joe Silk – 16 December 2014
    Excerpt: This year, debates in physics circles took a worrying turn. Faced with difficulties in applying fundamental theories to the observed Universe, some researchers called for a change in how theoretical physics is done. They began to argue — explicitly — that if a theory is sufficiently elegant and explanatory, it need not be tested experimentally, breaking with centuries of philosophical tradition of defining scientific knowledge as empirical. We disagree. As the philosopher of science Karl Popper argued: a theory must be falsifiable to be scientific.,,,
    Pass the test
    We agree with theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder: post-empirical science is an oxymoron (see go.nature.com/p3upwp and go.nature.com/68rijj). Theories such as quantum mechanics and relativity turned out well because they made predictions that survived testing. Yet numerous historical examples point to how, in the absence of adequate data, elegant and compelling ideas led researchers in the wrong direction, from Ptolemy’s geocentric theories of the cosmos to Lord Kelvin’s ‘vortex theory’ of the atom and Fred Hoyle’s perpetual steady-state Universe.
    The consequences of overclaiming the significance of certain theories are profound — the scientific method is at stake (see go.nature.com/hh7mm6). To state that a theory is so good that its existence supplants the need for data and testing in our opinion risks misleading students and the public as to how science should be done and could open the door for pseudoscientists to claim that their ideas meet similar requirements.
    What to do about it? Physicists, philosophers and other scientists should hammer out a new narrative for the scientific method that can deal with the scope of modern physics. In our view, the issue boils down to clarifying one question: what potential observational or experimental evidence is there that would persuade you that the theory is wrong and lead you to abandoning it? If there is none, it is not a scientific theory.
    https://www.nature.com/news/scientific-method-defend-the-integrity-of-physics-1.16535

  102. 102
    bornagain77 says:

    If Newton were here, he would slap you in the face for comparing his theory to the pseudoscience that is Darwinian evolution.

    A short Schem of the true Religion – Isaac Newton
    Of Atheism
    Opposite to the first is Atheism in profession & Idolatry in practise. Atheism is so senseless & odious to mankind that it never had many professors. Can it be by accident that all birds beasts & men have their right side & left side alike shaped (except in their bowells) & just two eyes & no more on either side the face & just two ears on either side the head & a nose with two holes & no more between the eyes & one mouth under the nose & either two fore leggs or two wings or two arms on the sholders & two leggs on the hipps one on either side & no more? Whence arises this uniformity in all their outward shapes but from the counsel & contrivance of an Author? Whence is it that the eyes of all sorts of living creatures are transparent to the very bottom & the only transparent members in the body, having on the outside an hard transparent skin, & within transparent juyces with a crystalline Lens in the middle & a pupil before the Lens all of them so truly shaped & fitted for vision, that no Artist can mend them? Did blind chance know that there was light & what was its refraction & fit the eys of all creatures after the most curious manner to make use of it? These & such like considerations always have & ever will prevail with man kind to beleive that there is a being who made all things & has all things in his power & who is therfore to be feared.
    http://www.newtonproject.ox.ac...../THEM00007

    Moreover, at least we know, experimentally, precisely where Newton’s theory breaks down, and that experimental ‘anomaly’ is a major reason that led to the formulation of Einstein’s theory. Moreover, Newton’s theory, although not exact, was good enough to at least land men on the moon, whereas Darwinian evolution, besides being completely fruitlesss for the progress of man, has actually hindered science by postulating junk DNA, vestigial organs, etc…

    i.e. Darwinian evolution is a useless, even harmful, pseudoscience!

  103. 103
    ET says:

    Allan Keith:

    Maybe you could enlighten us on how plate tectonics causing mountain formation was tested.

    Maybe you can enlighten me and show me where I made that claim. Or perhaps you should stop being such a cowardly jerk.

    What I do know is evolutionism is totally BS because no one can test its claims. And I understand why that bothers you.

  104. 104
    ET says:

    Allan Keith:

    This is the first I have heard that people consider Newtonian physics to be a fringe pseudo-theory.

    Only a desperate punk would say that in response to:

    “Actually, only fringe and pseudo-theories, such as Darwinian evolution, appeal to “secondary assumptions, i.e. punk eek, convergent evolution, etc.., and/or try to “adapt” their theory to avoid falsifying evidence.”

  105. 105
    ET says:

    Allan Keith:

    If id did this slowly, laws of physics dictate that it would fall into the earth. If it did it quickly, laws of physics dictate that the moon would fall apart.

    Good luck supporting those claims

  106. 106
    Bob O'H says:

    Perhaps you would be so kind as to provide the actual experimental tests that have falsified General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics and Intelligent Design?

    I think general relativity & QM falsify each other, don’t they? 🙂

    I’m not a physicist, but General Relativity has been “falsified” by gravitational lensing, for example. It is saved by the ad hoc modification of adding dark matter. I know less about quantum mechanics, but I would be surprised if something similar hadn’t happened.

    As far as I know, ID (if the theory is “some parts of nature are the product of design by an intelligence”) can’t be falsified (I’m also assuming we’re excluding humans from this), simply because an intelligence could produce something in a way that it indistinguishable from what could be produced without intelligent design. If you know of any way of falsifying it that doesn’t fall foul of this problem, I’d be interested to know (and before you try it: no, I’m not going to accept tests of evolutionary theory as helping).

  107. 107
    Allan Keith says:

    ET,

    Or perhaps you should stop being such a cowardly jerk.

    Only a desperate punk would say that in response to:

    It is the civil and respectful discussions that take place at UD that make it such a respected site. 🙂

  108. 108
    Allan Keith says:

    Bob O’H,

    As far as I know, ID (if the theory is “some parts of nature are the product of design by an intelligence”) can’t be falsified (I’m also assuming we’re excluding humans from this), simply because an intelligence could produce something in a way that it indistinguishable from what could be produced without intelligent design.

    I don’t know if it is a case where ID can’t be falsified. It is more that ID encompasses so many possibilities that it can’t be tested.

    The designer could be the Judeo-Christian god, it could be Zeus, it could be an alien, it could be an intelligent agent that isn’t a god, it could be an inter-dimentional intelligent unicorn. It could have taken place 6,000 years ago or several billion years ago. The development and evolution of life could have been instilled in the universe at the time of its formation and then allowed to run its course. The designer could have employed gradual directed changes to obtain the diversity of life we see today or each species may be created as we see them now.

    All other scientific endeavours make every effort to narrow down the likely possibilities and test them. And based on the outcome of the testing, narrow down the likely possibilities further. ID, however, refuses to make any efforts to do this.

  109. 109
    ET says:

    Allan:

    It is the civil and respectful discussions that take place at UD that make it such a respected site.

    You don’t know anything about being civil or respectful. And you definitely don’t understand science

  110. 110
    ET says:

    Bob:

    As far as I know, ID (if the theory is “some parts of nature are the product of design by an intelligence”) can’t be falsified

    We have said exactly what would falsify it. Your willful ignorance is not an argument.

    simply because an intelligence could produce something in a way that it indistinguishable from what could be produced without intelligent design.

    That is true however if there isn’t any positive evidence for an Intelligent Designer then we don’t infer there was one.

    ID critics are ignorant of science and it shows

  111. 111
    ET says:

    Allan:

    It is more that ID encompasses so many possibilities that it can’t be tested.

    Seeing that you are ignorant of science you aren’t anyone to make such a claim.

    All other scientific endeavours make every effort to narrow down the likely possibilities and test them.

    Except for materialism and evolutionism- oh, that’s right, those are not scientific endeavors.

    ID, however, refuses to make any efforts to do this.

    ID is not beholden to your asinine and unscientific agenda.

  112. 112
    bornagain77 says:

    “I think general relativity & QM falsify each other, don’t they?”

    No.

    They both explain their respective areas of description extremely well. Failure to unify them does not count as a experimental falsification of either theory.

    Moreover, unification is achieved between the two theories when the Agent Causality of God is rightly let back into the picture of moderns physics as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned:

    Copernican Principle, Agent Causality, and Jesus Christ as the “Theory of Everything” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NziDraiPiOw

    of related note: Denial of their very own agent causality is the primary reason that Atheists and atheistic materialism in particular, wind up in catastrophic epistemological failure!

    As to gravitational lensing and dark matter, that was the point of News post, all theories proposed to supplant General Relativity in the face of dark matter (and dark energy) have all fallen by the wayside from general relativity’s robustness in the face of extreme testing.

    Thus, as far as we can tell, it is not so much that general relativity has been experimentally falsified, (it most certainly hasn’t), it is that we have no clue what this supposed dark matter is that General Relativity has led us to in the first place.

    i.e. As far as we can tell, especially with the subsequent experimental failures of all alternative theories that try to ‘explain away’ the dark matter discrepancy, dark matter is real we just don’t know exactly what it is.

    Assuming dark matter is not real just because you don’t know what it is, is NOT a experimental falsification of General Relativity. It is merely you not knowing exactly what it is. (Moreover, I believe anthropic fine-tuning comes into play with both Dark matter and Dark Energy, i.e. If they didn’t exist we would not be here to talk about it!)

    You mentioned quantum mechanics and how you ‘guessed’ there might be some ‘dark matter’ equivalent for quantum theory.,,, I can think of no such analogous anomaly for Quantum Mechanics.

    Whereas, on the other hand, I can recall that non-locality and Leggett’s inequality have been experimentally verified to almost absurd levels of precision:

    Quantum Entanglement, as far as I can remember right now, is said to be verified by 70 standard deviations, whereas Leggett’s inequality is verified by 120 standard deviations!

    Experimental non-classicality of an indivisible quantum system – Zeilinger 2011
    Excerpt: Page 491: “This represents a violation of (Leggett’s) inequality (3) by more than 120 standard deviations, demonstrating that no joint probability distribution is capable of describing our results.” The violation also excludes any non-contextual hidden-variable model. The result does, however, agree well with quantum mechanical predictions, as we will show now.,,,
    https://vcq.quantum.at/fileadmin/Publications/Experimental%20non-classicality%20of%20an%20indivisible.pdf

    To paraphrase the question Berlinski asked, “what can Darwin’s theory possibly offer in comparison as far as experimental robustness?”

    i.e. Darwin’s theory is a pseudoscience that is held to be true by its “zealous’ proponents in spite of the repeated experimental falsifications of its primary claims! For instance:

    Darwinism vs Biological Form – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyNzNPgjM4w

    the failure of reductive materialism to be able to explain the basic form of any particular organism occurs at a very low level. Much lower than DNA itself.
    In the following article entitled ‘Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable’, which studied the derivation of macroscopic properties from a complete microscopic description, the researchers remark that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,, The researchers further commented that their findings challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”

    Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Gödel and Turing enter quantum physics – December 9, 2015
    Excerpt: A mathematical problem underlying fundamental questions in particle and quantum physics is provably unsolvable,,,
    It is the first major problem in physics for which such a fundamental limitation could be proven. The findings are important because they show that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,,
    “We knew about the possibility of problems that are undecidable in principle since the works of Turing and Gödel in the 1930s,” added Co-author Professor Michael Wolf from Technical University of Munich. “So far, however, this only concerned the very abstract corners of theoretical computer science and mathematical logic. No one had seriously contemplated this as a possibility right in the heart of theoretical physics before. But our results change this picture. From a more philosophical perspective, they also challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-12-q.....godel.html

  113. 113
    bornagain77 says:

    As to:

    “As far as I know, ID (if the theory is “some parts of nature are the product of design by an intelligence”) can’t be falsified”

    That claim is patently false. In fact, there is a currently a 5 million dollar prize being offered for anyone who can demonstrate that information can come from ANY natural processes rather than from a mind.

    ,,,, And whereas Darwinian evolution has no known law of nature to appeal to so as to establish itself as a proper, testable, science, Intelligent Design does not suffer from such an embarrassing disconnect from physical reality. In other words, Intelligent Design can appeal directly to ‘the laws of conservation of information’ (Dembski, Marks, etc..) in order to establish itself as a proper, testable, and rigorous science. (of related note: ID can even appeal to conservation of Quantum Information to support its claims)

    Conservation of information, evolution, etc – Sept. 30, 2014
    Excerpt: Kurt Gödel’s logical objection to Darwinian evolution:
    “The formation in geological time of the human body by the laws of physics (or any other laws of similar nature), starting from a random distribution of elementary particles and the field is as unlikely as the separation of the atmosphere into its components. The complexity of the living things has to be present within the material [from which they are derived] or in the laws [governing their formation].”
    Gödel – As quoted in H. Wang. “On `computabilism’ and physicalism: Some Problems.” in Nature’s Imagination, J. Cornwall, Ed, pp.161-189, Oxford University Press (1995).
    Gödel’s argument is that if evolution is unfolding from an initial state by mathematical laws of physics, it cannot generate any information not inherent from the start – and in his view, neither the primaeval environment nor the laws are information-rich enough.,,,
    More recently this led him (Dembski) to postulate a Law of Conservation of Information, or actually to consolidate the idea, first put forward by Nobel-prizewinner Peter Medawar in the 1980s. Medawar had shown, as others before him, that in mathematical and computational operations, no new information can be created, but new findings are always implicit in the original starting points – laws and axioms.,,,
    http://potiphar.jongarvey.co.u.....ution-etc/

    Evolutionary Computing: The Invisible Hand of Intelligence – June 17, 2015
    Excerpt: William Dembski and Robert Marks have shown that no evolutionary algorithm is superior to blind search — unless information is added from an intelligent cause, which means it is not, in the Darwinian sense, an evolutionary algorithm after all. This mathematically proven law, based on the accepted No Free Lunch Theorems, seems to be lost on the champions of evolutionary computing. Researchers keep confusing an evolutionary algorithm (a form of artificial selection) with “natural evolution.” ,,,
    Marks and Dembski account for the invisible hand required in evolutionary computing. The Lab’s website states, “The principal theme of the lab’s research is teasing apart the respective roles of internally generated and externally applied information in the performance of evolutionary systems.” So yes, systems can evolve, but when they appear to solve a problem (such as generating complex specified information or reaching a sufficiently narrow predefined target), intelligence can be shown to be active. Any internally generated information is conserved or degraded by the law of Conservation of Information.,,,
    What Marks and Dembski (mathematically) prove is as scientifically valid and relevant as Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem in mathematics. You can’t prove a system of mathematics from within the system, and you can’t derive an information-rich pattern from within the pattern.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....96931.html

    And since Intelligent Design is mathematically based on the ‘law of conservation of information’, that makes Intelligent Design very much testable and potentially falsifiable, and thus makes Intelligent Design, unlike Darwinism, a rigorous science instead of a unfalsifiable pseudoscience.

    The Law of Physicodynamic Incompleteness – David L. Abel
    Excerpt: “If decision-node programming selections are made randomly or by law rather than with purposeful intent, no non-trivial (sophisticated) function will spontaneously arise.”
    If only one exception to this null hypothesis were published, the hypothesis would be falsified. Falsification would require an experiment devoid of behind-the-scenes steering. Any artificial selection hidden in the experimental design would disqualify the experimental falsification. After ten years of continual republication of the null hypothesis with appeals for falsification, no falsification has been provided.
    The time has come to extend this null hypothesis into a formal scientific prediction:
    “No non trivial algorithmic/computational utility will ever arise from chance and/or necessity alone.”
    https://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/The_Law_of_Physicodynamic_Incompleteness

    In fact there is currently up to a 5 million dollar prize being offered for the first person that can “Show an example of Information that doesn’t come from a mind. All you need is one.”

    The Origin of Information: How to Solve It – Perry Marshall
    Where did the information in DNA come from? This is one of the most important and valuable questions in the history of science. Cosmic Fingerprints has issued a challenge to the scientific community:
    “Show an example of Information that doesn’t come from a mind. All you need is one.”
    “Information” is defined as digital communication between an encoder and a decoder, using agreed upon symbols. To date, no one has shown an example of a naturally occurring encoding / decoding system, i.e. one that has demonstrably come into existence without a designer.
    A private equity investment group is offering a technology prize for this discovery (up to 5 million dollars). We will financially reward and publicize the first person who can solve this;,,, To solve this problem is far more than an object of abstract religious or philosophical discussion. It would demonstrate a mechanism for producing coding systems, thus opening up new channels of scientific discovery. Such a find would have sweeping implications for Artificial Intelligence research.
    http://cosmicfingerprints.com/solve/

  114. 114
    Mung says:

    Allan Keith:

    I didn’t say change, I said reversed.

    So there is no law of physics that states that an object cannot have it’s orbit changed but there is a law of physics that says an object cannot have it’s orbit reversed?

    What law is that?

    I’m trying to pin down exactly which law of physics you think wold be violated if an object in an orbit were to have its orbit reversed.

    So far I haven’t heard one.

  115. 115
    Mung says:

    Bob O’H:

    As far as I know, ID (if the theory is “some parts of nature are the product of design by an intelligence”) can’t be falsified…

    It is notoriously difficult to falsify something that is obviously true.

  116. 116
    Mung says:

    Allan Keith:

    I don’t know if it is a case where ID can’t be falsified. It is more that ID encompasses so many possibilities that it can’t be tested.

    I don’t know if it is a case where Natural Selection can’t be falsified. It is more that Natural Selection encompasses so many possibilities that it can’t be tested.

    I don’t know if it is a case where Evolution can’t be falsified. It is more that Evolution encompasses so many possibilities that it can’t be tested.

  117. 117
    Bob O'H says:

    ba77 @ 112 –

    As to gravitational lensing and dark matter, that was the point of News post, all theories proposed to supplant General Relativity in the face of dark matter (and dark energy) have all fallen by the wayside from general relativity’s robustness in the face of extreme testing.
    Thus, as far as we can tell, it is not so much that general relativity has been experimentally falsified, (it most certainly hasn’t), it is that we have no clue what this supposed dark matter is that General Relativity has led us to in the first place.

    Right, but general relativity is falsified by gravitational lensing. What’s saved it is the introduction of an ad hoc hypothesis of dark matter. A strict falsificationist would have dumped general relativity, but real scientists accept that it had to be modified, and saved.

    This is one reason why falsification fails as a demarcation criterion: it doesn’t work. Scientific theories aren’t discarded after a falsification.

  118. 118
    Bob O'H says:

    ba77 @ 113 –

    “As far as I know, ID (if the theory is “some parts of nature are the product of design by an intelligence ”) can’t be falsified”

    That claim is patently false. In fact, there is a currently a 5 million dollar prize being offered for anyone who can demonstrate that information can come from ANY natural processes rather than from a mind.

    If someone won that prize, it wouldn’t falsify ID, though (at least as I stated it). ID doesn’t, to my knowledge, say that all processes in nature that produce information are the result of a designer, only that some processes may be.

  119. 119
    ET says:

    Bob:

    Right, but general relativity is falsified by gravitational lensing.

    Reference please.

    If someone won that prize, it wouldn’t falsify ID, though (at least as I stated it).

    Yes, it would, at least as Dembski, Meyer and Behe understand ID.

  120. 120
    Allan Keith says:

    Bob O’H,

    This is one reason why falsification fails as a demarcation criterion: it doesn’t work. Scientific theories aren’t discarded after a falsification.

    This is correct.

    The theory of continental drift has been around since the late 1500s. In 1912 Wegener expanded on it but it was not generally accepted because he did not have a plausible mechanism for it. Sound familiar? When seafloor spreading and subduction were discovered, the theory was modified to take this into account.

    ID in its present form is like Wegener’s continental drift theory. It may be correct, and is better than its creationist predecessor, but because of the reluctance to propose and test possible mechanisms by which it could work, ID will never advance past the stage of being a fringe theory with religious origins.

  121. 121
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    ‘but general relativity is falsified by gravitational lensing.’

    No it hasn’t. The predictions of General Relativity are what gave us gravitational lensing in the first place and told us that more matter must be present than can be seen. What has been strictly falsified, as far as the experiential evidence itself is concerned, is not General Relativity but is our materialistic “baryonic” conception of matter.

    The majority of dark matter is thought to be non-baryonic in nature
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_matter

    In fact, I view this as yet another falsification of atheistic/materialistic presuppositions and certainly not a problem for General Relativity. And certainly not a problem for overall Theistic concerns.

    As Dr. Hugh Ross states, 99.73% of the universe is invisible and can’t be seen:

    Table 2.1 – Hugh Ross – Why The Universe Is The Way It Is
    Inventory of All the Stuff That Makes Up the Universe (Visible vs. Invisible)

    Dark Energy – 72.1%
    Exotic Dark Matter – 23.3%
    Ordinary Dark Matter – 4.35%
    Ordinary Bright Matter (Stars) – 0.27%
    Planets – 0.0001%

    Invisible portion – Universe – 99.73%
    Visible portion – Universe – .27%
    https://books.google.com/books?id=U5LToA5PI-UC&pg=PA37#v=onepage&q&f=false

    And yet if it were not for all this invisible stuff that composes the vast majority of the universe, we would not be here to talk about it:

    Dr Ross touches on the extreme (1 in 10^122) fine tuning of Dark Energy in the following video

    Hugh Ross – Why the Universe Is the Way It Is – video – 22:30 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/xx0PRWbNc2U?t=1348

    The anthropic fine tuning of Dark Matter is discussed in the following articles:

    The Dark Matter ‘conspiracy’ – Apr 30, 2015
    Excerpt: One of the most surprising scientific discoveries of the 20th century was that spiral galaxies, such as our own Milky Way, rotate much faster than expected, powered by an extra gravitational force of invisible ‘dark matter’.
    Since this discovery 40 years ago, we have learned this mysterious substance, which is probably an exotic elementary particle, makes up about 85 per cent of the mass in the known Universe, leaving only 15 per cent to be the ordinary stuff encountered in our everyday lives.
    Dark matter is central to our understanding of how galaxies form and evolve and is ultimately one of the reasons for the existence of life on Earth – yet we know almost nothing about it.
    “One of the surprising findings of this study was that spiral galaxies maintain a remarkably constant rotation speed throughout their disks,” Dr Cappellari said. “This means stars and dark matter conspire to redistribute themselves to produce this effect, with stars dominating in the inner regions of the galaxies, and a gradual shift in the outer regions to dark matter dominance.”
    But the ‘conspiracy’ does not come out naturally from the models, and some fine-tuning is required to explain the observations.
    http://phys.org/news/2015-04-dark-conspiracy.html

    Dark Matter Deniers
    Exploring a blasphemous alternative to one of modern physics’ most vexing enigmas.
    By Steve Nadis|Thursday, May 28, 2015
    Excerpt: If dark matter is responsible for such uniform rotation speeds, it would require an extraordinarily precise distribution of the invisible stuff – “fine-tuning in the extreme,” as Milgrom calls it. “It’s like taking 100 building blocks and throwing them on the floor, and lo and behold, I see a castle.
    http://discovermagazine.com/20.....er-deniers

    And again, extreme testing has falsified all theories that seek to challenge General Relativity on Dark Matter and Dark Energy

    Troubled Times for Alternatives to Einstein’s Theory of Gravity – April 30, 2018
    New observations of extreme astrophysical systems have “brutally and pitilessly murdered” attempts to replace Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
    Excerpt: The neutron-star collision was just the beginning. New data in the months since that discovery have made life increasingly difficult for the proponents of many of the modified-gravity theories that remain. Astronomers have analyzed extreme astronomical systems that contain spinning neutron stars, or pulsars, to look for discrepancies between their motion and the predictions of general relativity — discrepancies that some theories of alternative gravity anticipate. These pulsar systems let astronomers probe gravity on a new scale and with new precision. And with each new observation, these alternative theories of gravity are having an increasingly hard time solving the problems they were invented for. Researchers “have to sweat some more trying to get new physics,” said Anne Archibald, an astrophysicist at the University of Amsterdam.,,,
    For any alternative theory of gravity to work, it has to not only do away with dark matter and dark energy, but also reproduce the predictions of general relativity in all the standard contexts. “The business of alternative gravity theories is a messy one,” Archibald said. Some would-be replacements for general relativity, like string theory and loop quantum gravity, don’t offer testable predictions. Others “make predictions that are spectacularly wrong, so the theorists have to devise some kind of a screening mechanism to hide the wrong prediction on scales we can actually test,” she said.
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/troubled-times-for-alternatives-to-einsteins-theory-of-gravity-20180430/

    Dark energy alternatives to Einstein are running out of room – January 9, 2013
    Excerpt: Last month, a group of European astronomers, using a massive radio telescope in Germany, made the most accurate measurement of the proton-to-electron mass ratio ever accomplished and found that there has been no change in the ratio to one part in 10 million at a time when the universe was about half its current age, around 7 billion years ago. When Thompson put this new measurement into his calculations, he found that it excluded almost all of the dark energy models using the commonly expected values or parameters.
    If the parameter space or range of values is equated to a football field, then almost the whole field is out of bounds except for a single 2-inch by 2-inch patch at one corner of the field. In fact, most of the allowed values are not even on the field. “In effect, the dark energy theories have been playing on the wrong field,” Thompson said. “The 2-inch square does contain the area that corresponds to no change in the fundamental constants, and that is exactly where Einstein stands.”
    http://phys.org/news/2013-01-d.....-room.html

    To reiterate, there is NO experimental test that has EVER falsified any of the predictions coming from general relativity.

    What has been falsified has been a purely materialistic conception of nature.

    Again, Dark Matter (and Dark Energy) is a problem for atheistic materialists, not General Relativity.

  122. 122
    bornagain77 says:

    It is the height of hypocrisy for Bob to speak of a supposed hypothetical falsification of ID, and how it supposedly wouldn’t strictly falsify ID, and yet ignore the fact that Darwinian evolution has been repeatedly falsified from several different lines of evidence all to no effect of the core RM/NS theory that is still taught in public schools as if it is gospel.

    I certainly don’t think Darwinists, since they can’t even figure out their own theory is a big stinking pile of pseudoscience, should ever take it upon themselves to lecture others on how they think science should be done! 🙂

  123. 123
    ET says:

    Allan Keith is totally clueless and bordering on being a pathological liar.

    Intelligent design is a mechanism and it has been demonstrated that it can produce CSI and IC. It is the only known mechanism capable of doing so.

    Do we have to know exactly how some intelligent designer produced what we have no clue how to produce from scratch? Only scientifically illiterate punks on an agenda of complete nonsense would have you thinks so.

    What ID has is a methodology for determining whether or not intelligent design exists. And that is still much more than materialism has. And evolutionism doesn’t have a methodology to test its claims. Sure it has proposed mechanisms but not one has been shown to be capable of producing anything beyond a mere change in allele frequencies over time within populations.

  124. 124
    Allan Keith says:

    ET,

    Allan Keith is totally clueless and bordering on being a pathological liar.

    Your kind words are always appreciated.

  125. 125
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, A quick look shows talking points declaring that “ID” is not falsifiable or even testable. Pardon directness: nonsense on steroids. The heart of ID as a scientific initiative is the question as to whether it is possible to infer that entities X are designed, based on signs they manifest. A chief such sign is functionally specific, complex organisation and/or associated information, FSCO/I. It is observable and there is a trillion member base of such observations. Were we to reliably observe that FSCO/I beyond 500 – 1,000 bits of complexity comes about by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity, that would suffice to shatter the inference that FSCO/I is a highly reliable sign that a key cause of X is intelligently directed configuration. That is, it is testable, an excellent case in point being random document generation — the million monkeys test. Which is not exactly utterly unknown. Indeed, random document generation exercises so far max out at about 10^100 short of the lower end of the complexity threshold. The claims and suggestions above fail. KF

  126. 126
    ET says:

    Allan Keith:

    Your kind words are always appreciated.

    The truth, it hurts.

    Again, not my fault.

  127. 127
    kairosfocus says:

    ET and BA77, I believe some turning down the rhetorical voltage is advisable. KF

  128. 128
    kairosfocus says:

    GTR, IIRC, was first seriously supported by gravitational lensing effects in 1919 through observation of an eclipse and apparent movement of stars. KF

  129. 129
    Allan Keith says:

    KairosFocus,

    ET and BA77, I believe some turning down the rhetorical voltage is advisable. KF

    Yah think??!!

  130. 130
    ET says:

    kairosfocus- that was the toned-down version. Allan Keith is here only to muddy the waters and flail away at ID and Christianity. That is its agenda.

    Everything it spews about ID has been refuted thousands of times. Just because it comes here with a fresh sock doesn’t mean we have to start all over again refuting and correcting the same stupid ramblings. There comes a point when you just have to acknowledge what you are dealing with, call it for what it is and move on.

  131. 131
    Charles McVety says:

    I have to agree with ET. Allan Keith is obviously a God hating heretic who refuses to accept the divinity of Christ, the sanctity of marriage and the evil of Darwin. He should not be allowed to post comments on an excellent God fearing site such as this.

  132. 132
    ET says:

    Whoa- I don’t care about any of that- what Charles posted in 131.

    My point is that Allan, Bob, and Seversky all post comments containing points refuted a thousand times, ie PRATTs. And they do it just to kick up the mud.

    It is beyond the pale and bordering on the psychotic.

  133. 133
    Charles McVety says:

    ET, if they are beyond the pale and boredering on the psychotic, why should they be allowed to comment here? Why not kick them out?

  134. 134
    ET says:

    Charles, First it has to be pointed out and acknowledged. Then a remedy can be proposed.

  135. 135
    jdk says:

    at 131, Charles writes,

    He should not be allowed to post comments on an excellent God fearing site such as this.

    What say you, UD particpants: is UD a “god fearing” site?

  136. 136
    Charles McVety says:

    Jdk, of course it is a God fearing site. I have been reading the articles and comments for a few weeks. Barry, KairosFocus and Bornagain77 are obviously good Christians who do not accept the racist nonsense that is Darwinism. They accept that God is responsible for the universe, for life, and for our souls. How anyone could doubt this is just nonsensical.

  137. 137
    jdk says:

    Yes, but ID itself is not a religious idea, and thus not specifically Christian. Some (many) of the posters here are Christians, but the theory of ID, to the extent that there is one, merely says that (from the ID Defined link here) that “The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection.”

    Furthermore, it is firmly stated that detecting design does not involve asking about the designer.

    So as a site about ID, I don’t think this is a god-fearing site, even though many of the posters might be god-fearing Christians.

  138. 138
    Charles McVety says:

    jdk “So as a site about ID, I don’t think this is a god-fearing site, even though many of the posters might be god-fearing Christians.
    You are deluded. The most prominent voices here are Bornagain77 and KairosFocus. I really haven’t seen many other ID supporters. And there is no doubt that they are God fearing Christians.

    I don’t hide the fact that I am a Christian. Anyone who is also a Christian must accept the fact that the universe and life were created by God. Anything else would be nonsensical nonsense.

  139. 139
    ET says:

    jdk:

    Furthermore, it is firmly stated that detecting design does not involve asking about the designer.

    No, Jack. ID is not about the Designer. People are free to ask and free to try to figure that out. ID doesn’t prevent that. ID just makes it a separate question just as the origin of life is a separate question from evolution.

    And why this “God fearing” stuff? Why isn’t it “God loving Christians”?

  140. 140
    jdk says:

    139: “ID just makes it a separate question.”

    That’s what I’m telling Charles. This is an ID site, but not necessarily a Christian god-fearing (or God loving) site. Some people may tie their ID thoughts to their belief in the Christian God, but that is not a necessary conclusion following from a belief in design detection.

  141. 141
    Bob O'H says:

    kf @ 125 –

    olks, A quick look shows talking points declaring that “ID” is not falsifiable or even testable. … It is observable and there is a trillion member base of such observations. Were we to reliably observe that FSCO/I beyond 500 – 1,000 bits of complexity comes about by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity, that would suffice to shatter the inference that FSCO/I is a highly reliable sign that a key cause of X is intelligently directed configuration.

    That wouldn’t be a falsification, though. How would you falsify ID? Before you try it, I’m not going to accept erifying that another cause is possible as valid: a designer could produce something that mimics what would be seen from another cause.

  142. 142
    bornagain77 says:

    Well, who would have ever thought that Bob (and weave) would hold Intelligent Design to be a more powerful scientific theory than either Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity???

    In post 106 Bob falsely claimed that General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics have both been falsified (in fact in post 94 he claimed that almost “EVERY” major scientific theory has been falsified):

    I’m not a physicist, but General Relativity has been “falsified” by gravitational lensing, for example. It is saved by the ad hoc modification of adding dark matter. I know less about quantum mechanics, but I would be surprised if something similar hadn’t happened.

    And yet is post 141 Bob claims ID can’t be falsified.

    That wouldn’t be a falsification (of ID),

    Thus apparently the fertile imagination of Bob (and weave) finds no trouble in imagining falsifying evidence against our two most powerful theories in science, but when it comes to Intelligent Design all of the sudden he can imagine no evidence as to what might falsify ID. Ergo, according to Bob, ID must be a more powerful scientific theory than either General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. 🙂

    And so it goes with debating Darwinists. You just can’t make this stuff up.

    Of related note to information falsifying the reductive materialistic presuppositions of Darwinian evolution.

    Another specific prediction of the reductive materialistic framework that undergirds Darwinian thought is that the information in life is merely ’emergent’ from a material basis. (Darwinists use to claim that the information in life was merely a ‘metaphor’, and that life was just, basically, ‘complicated chemistry’ but now, since information is found to be far integral to life than they presupposed, Darwinists now mainly claim that information is merely ’emergent’ from a material basis.)

    Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life – Hubert P. Yockey, 2005
    Excerpt: “The belief of mechanist-reductionists that the chemical processes in living matter do not differ in principle from those in dead matter is incorrect. There is no trace of messages determining the results of chemical reactions in inanimate matter. If genetical processes were just complicated biochemistry, the laws of mass action and thermodynamics would govern the placement of amino acids in the protein sequences.” (Let me provide the unstated conclusion:) But they don’t.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-353336

    Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life – Hubert P. Yockey, 2005
    Excerpt: “Information, transcription, translation, code, redundancy, synonymous, messenger, editing, and proofreading are all appropriate terms in biology. They take their meaning from information theory (Shannon, 1948) and are not synonyms, metaphors, or analogies.”
    http://www.cambridge.org/catal.....038;ss=exc

    Yet, as this following video shows, immaterial information is now shown to be its own distinct physical entity that is separate from matter and energy.

    Information is physical (but not how Rolf Landauer meant) – video
    https://youtu.be/H35I83y5Uro

    A distinct immaterial entity that has, of all things, a ‘thermodynamic content’

    Demonic device converts information to energy – 2010
    Excerpt: “This is a beautiful experimental demonstration that information has a thermodynamic content,” says Christopher Jarzynski, a statistical chemist at the University of Maryland in College Park. In 1997, Jarzynski formulated an equation to define the amount of energy that could theoretically be converted from a unit of information2; the work by Sano and his team has now confirmed this equation. “This tells us something new about how the laws of thermodynamics work on the microscopic scale,” says Jarzynski.
    http://www.scientificamerican......rts-inform

    Information engine operates with nearly perfect efficiency – Lisa Zyga – January 19, 2018
    Excerpt: Physicists have experimentally demonstrated an information engine—a device that converts information into work—with an efficiency that exceeds the conventional second law of thermodynamics. Instead, the engine’s efficiency is bounded by a recently proposed generalized second law of thermodynamics, and it is the first information engine to approach this new bound.,,,
    https://phys.org/news/2018-01-efficiency.html

    The coup de grace for demonstrating that immaterial information is its own distinct physical entity, separate from matter and energy, is Quantum Teleportation:

    Quantum Teleportation Enters the Real World – September 19, 2016
    Excerpt: Two separate teams of scientists have taken quantum teleportation from the lab into the real world.
    Researchers working in Calgary, Canada and Hefei, China, used existing fiber optics networks to transmit small units of information across cities via quantum entanglement — Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance.”,,,
    This isn’t teleportation in the “Star Trek” sense — the photons aren’t disappearing from one place and appearing in another. Instead, it’s the information that’s being teleported through quantum entanglement.,,,
    ,,, it is only the information that gets teleported from one place to another.
    http://blogs.discovermagazine......-HqWNEoDtR

    In fact, as this following video shows, quantum information, of which classical information is a subset, is now found in molecular biology in every DNA, protein, etc,, molecule of life.

    Darwinian Materialism vs Quantum Biology – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHdD2Am1g5Y

    (Immaterial) Quantum information simply is not reducible to any materialistic explanation. Period! As the following article states, “entangled objects (i.e. material particles) do not cause each other to behave the way they do.”

    Quantum correlations do not imply instant causation – August 12, 2016
    Excerpt: A research team led by a Heriot-Watt scientist has shown that the universe is even weirder than had previously been thought.
    In 2015 the universe was officially proven to be weird. After many decades of research, a series of experiments showed that distant, entangled objects can seemingly interact with each other through what Albert Einstein famously dismissed as “Spooky action at a distance”.
    A new experiment by an international team led by Heriot-Watt’s Dr Alessandro Fedrizzi has now found that the universe is even weirder than that: entangled objects do not cause each other to behave the way they do.
    http://phys.org/news/2016-08-q.....ation.html

    The One Theory of Quantum Mechanics That Actually Kind of Makes Sense – But most physicists don’t buy it. – Dec 1, 2016
    Excerpt: But despite Einstein’s reservations, multiple mathematical theorems have all but proven that hidden variables cannot explain away all of the bizarre behaviors seen in quantum mechanics. The most recent and famous being John Stewart Bell’s theorem, which concludes that, “No physical theory of local hidden variables can ever reproduce all of the predictions of quantum mechanics.”
    http://www.popularmechanics.co.....cs-theory/

    Thus Darwinism is now also experimentally falsified in its claim that information is ’emergent’ from a material basis.

  143. 143
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related note, encoded ‘classical’ digital information, such as what William Dembski and Robert Marks demonstrated the conservation of,

    Conservation of Information in Search: Measuring the Cost of Success William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II
    http://www.evoinfo.org/publications.html

    ,,, classical ‘digital’ information is found to be a subset of ‘non-local’ (i.e. beyond space and time) quantum entanglement/information by the following method:

    Quantum knowledge cools computers: New understanding of entropy – June 2011
    Excerpt: No heat, even a cooling effect;
    In the case of perfect classical knowledge of a computer memory (zero entropy), deletion of the data requires in theory no energy at all. The researchers prove that “more than complete knowledge” from quantum entanglement with the memory (negative entropy) leads to deletion of the data being accompanied by removal of heat from the computer and its release as usable energy. This is the physical meaning of negative entropy. Renner emphasizes, however, “This doesn’t mean that we can develop a perpetual motion machine.” The data can only be deleted once, so there is no possibility to continue to generate energy. The process also destroys the entanglement, and it would take an input of energy to reset the system to its starting state. The equations are consistent with what’s known as the second law of thermodynamics: the idea that the entropy of the universe can never decrease. Vedral says “We’re working on the edge of the second law. If you go any further, you will break it.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....134300.htm

    Scientists show how to erase information without using energy – January 2011
    Excerpt: Until now, scientists have thought that the process of erasing information requires energy. But a new study shows that, theoretically, information can be erased without using any energy at all.,,, “Landauer said that information is physical because it takes energy to erase it. We are saying that the reason it (information) is physical has a broader context than that.”, Vaccaro explained.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....nergy.html

    Information is Physical (but not how Rolf Landauer meant) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H35I83y5Uro

    Also of related note, Quantum Information is, like the conservation of matter-energy, (physically) conserved:

    Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time – 2011
    Excerpt: In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed. This concept stems from two fundamental theorems of quantum mechanics: the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem. A third and related theorem, called the no-hiding theorem, addresses information loss in the quantum world. According to the no-hiding theorem, if information is missing from one system (which may happen when the system interacts with the environment), then the information is simply residing somewhere else in the Universe; in other words, the missing information cannot be hidden in the correlations between a system and its environment.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....tally.html

    Quantum no-deleting theorem
    Excerpt: A stronger version of the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem provide permanence to quantum information. To create a copy one must import the information from some part of the universe and to delete a state one needs to export it to another part of the universe where it will continue to exist.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q.....onsequence

    Of semi-related note:

    What is information? – animated video
    Quote: “If information is not (physically) real then neither are we”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AvIOzVJMCM

    Verse:

    John 1:1-4
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

  144. 144
    Bob O'H says:

    bs77 @ 142 –

    Thus apparently the fertile imagination of Bob (and weave) finds no trouble in imagining falsifying evidence against our two most powerful theories in science, but when it comes to Intelligent Design all of the sudden he can imagine no evidence as to what might falsify ID. Ergo, according to Bob, ID must be a more powerful scientific theory than either General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics.

    Err, no. The problem I see with ID is that it can explain everything, and therefore explains nothing. Seeing pink unicorns in your pyjamas? The designer did it!

  145. 145
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H: ID as a scientific enterprise turns on the validity of the design inference on observable, tested, reliable sign. FSCO/I captures the relevant range where such inferences would be made, including the functional span of CSI. IC is a subset. Were this to be shattered by decisive counter example, the foundation of a design inference on sign would be gone. Falsification of the design inference on key signs out up would falsify ID as a scientific research school of thought. That should be obvious, as ID is not interested in cryptic design that is not evident on signs. Also, ID is happy to miss many potential cases of design by deliberately biasing the filter to minimise the likelihood of inferring design when it is not so: willing to assume non-design in many cases, to be highly confident of correctness when design is inferred; e.g. OoL as cell-based, origin of major body plans, as GP discusses, origin of many protein super-families given the distribution in AA sequence space and data on info content preserved across the span of life forms (generally interpreted as reflecting historical pattern of descent). That’s why the complexity thresholds are set to be such that sol system to cosmos scale resources will be hopelessly overwhelmed by search challenge. All of which has been repeatedly discussed. KF

    PS: Cosmological fine tuning ties in through evident configuration of the cosmos that supports C-chem, aqueous medium, terrestrial planet in galactic habitable zone life.

  146. 146
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H: On what basis do you infer that ID “explains” “everything”? I would suggest the evidence is, it seeks to adequately and confidently explain but one thing: causal origin of FSCO/I, which is relevant to OoL, OO body plans, OO key proteins. That is a narrow span, but a strategically decisive one. And something as simple as successful random document generation of 72 – 143 ASCII characters of functional language or computer code would shatter the inference. On a trillion member observation basis, FSCO/I is reliably the product of design. Can you provide an actually observed counter-example: ______ . I confidently assert, no, for cause after years of following the matter. KF

  147. 147
    Bob O'H says:

    kf – ID is much broader than you seem to think. This is a well known definition:

    The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection.

    There’s no mention of FSCO/I (or even information!).

  148. 148
    bornagain77 says:

    LOL, what a joke. ID is very much falsifiable (5 million dollars worth of ‘put your money where your mouth is’ falsifiable!). Darwinism, on the other hand, at least how Darwinists treat it, is beyond empirical reproach. i.e. Darwinists, contrary to what Bob falsely claims (again), treat their theory as if it explains everything and can be falsified by nothing.

    As WJM quipped:

    Who would have thought that it would be biologists that came up with the first Theory of Everything?
    Biological divergence? Evolution. Biological convergence? Evolution. Gradual variation? Evolution. Sudden variation? Evolution. Stasis? Evolution. Junk DNA? Evolution. No Junk DNA? Evolution. Tree of life? Evolution. No tree of life? Evolution. Common genes? Evolution. Orfan genes? Evolution. Cell with little more than a jelly-like protoplasm? Evolution. Cell filled with countless, highly-specified nano-machines directed by a software code? Evolution. More hardy, more procreative organisms? Evolution. Less hardy, less procreative organisms? Evolution.
    – Evolution explains everything. –
    William J Murray

    Completely contradictory findings do not even so much as provoke a whisper of doubt in the minds of die-hard Darwinists

    “Being an evolutionist means there is no bad news. If new species appear abruptly in the fossil record, that just means evolution operates in spurts. If species then persist for eons with little modification, that just means evolution takes long breaks. If clever mechanisms are discovered in biology, that just means evolution is smarter than we imagined. If strikingly similar designs are found in distant species, that just means evolution repeats itself. If significant differences are found in allied species, that just means evolution sometimes introduces new designs rapidly. If no likely mechanism can be found for the large-scale change evolution requires, that just means evolution is mysterious. If adaptation responds to environmental signals, that just means evolution has more foresight than was thought. If major predictions of evolution are found to be false, that just means evolution is more complex than we thought.”
    ~ Cornelius Hunter

  149. 149
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    The problem I see with ID is that it can explain everything, and therefore explains nothing.

    Your problem is your ignorance. ID doesn’t explain everything. Not all deaths are murders. Not all rocks are artifacts and not all fires are arsons.

    Bob’s “argument” is a limp noodle.

  150. 150
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    That wouldn’t be a falsification, though. How would you falsify ID?

    By demonstrating an intelligent designer is not required to produce the object/ structure/ event in question. As Dr Behe said:

    Now, one can’t have it both ways. One can’t say both that ID is unfalsifiable (or untestable) and that there is evidence against it. Either it is unfalsifiable and floats serenely beyond experimental reproach, or it can be criticized on the basis of our observations and is therefore testable. The fact that critical reviewers advance scientific arguments against ID (whether successfully or not) shows that intelligent design is indeed falsifiable.

    In fact, my argument for intelligent design is open to direct experimental rebuttal. Here is a thought experiment that makes the point clear. In Darwin’s Black Box (Behe 1996) I claimed that the bacterial flagellum was irreducibly complex and so required deliberate intelligent design. The flip side of this claim is that the flagellum can’t be produced by natural selection acting on random mutation, or any other unintelligent process. To falsify such a claim, a scientist could go into the laboratory, place a bacterial species lacking a flagellum under some selective pressure (for mobility, say), grow it for ten thousand generations, and see if a flagellum–or any equally complex system–was produced. If that happened, my claims would be neatly disproven.(1)

    How about Professor Coyne’s concern that, if one system were shown to be the result of natural selection, proponents of ID could just claim that some other system was designed? I think the objection has little force. If natural selection were shown to be capable of producing a system of a certain degree of complexity, then the assumption would be that it could produce any other system of an equal or lesser degree of complexity. If Coyne demonstrated that the flagellum (which requires approximately forty gene products) could be produced by selection, I would be rather foolish to then assert that the blood clotting system (which consists of about twenty proteins) required intelligent design.

    Let’s turn the tables and ask, how could one falsify the claim that, say, the bacterial flagellum was produced by Darwinian processes?

    THAT is how it is done. If one archaeologist says she has an artifact and another demonstrates that it can be produced by mother nature the “artifact” tag is removed.

  151. 151
    Bob O'H says:

    ba77 – I’ve asked several times how ID would be falsified, and haven’t got a satisfactory answer. The nearest I’ve even seen is that ID is falsified if a totally different mechanism is shown to be possible. The problem is that you need some quite specific assumptions about any designer in order for this to act as a falsification (i.e. that the designer would not do things in a way that could be mistaken for the natural process being investigated). But then a “falsification” could be swept aside by saying that the designer designed things to look the way they are.

  152. 152
    ET says:

    Dr Behe refutes Bob O’H:

    “Intelligent design is a good explanation for a number of biochemical systems, but I should insert a word of caution. Intelligent design theory has to be seen in context: it does not try to explain everything. We live in a complex world where lots of different things can happen. When deciding how various rocks came to be shaped the way they are a geologist might consider a whole range of factors: rain, wind, the movement of glaciers, the activity of moss and lichens, volcanic action, nuclear explosions, asteroid impact, or the hand of a sculptor.

    The shape of one rock might have been determined primarily by one mechanism, the shape of another rock by another mechanism.

    Similarly, evolutionary biologists have recognized that a number of factors might have affected the development of life: common descent, natural selection, migration, population size, founder effects (effects that may be due to the limited number of organisms that begin a new species), genetic drift (spread of “neutral,” nonselective mutations), gene flow (the incorporation of genes into a population from a separate population), linkage (occurrence of two genes on the same chromosome), and much more. The fact that some biochemical systems were designed by an intelligent agent does not mean that any of the other factors are not operative, common, or important.”

  153. 153
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    – I’ve asked several times how ID would be falsified, and haven’t got a satisfactory answer.

    Clearly you are lying, Bob.

    The nearest I’ve even seen is that ID is falsified if a totally different mechanism is shown to be possible.

    If nature, operating freely, is shown to be sufficient to account for what we are investigating then we do not infer an intelligent designer did it. Newton’s four rules and parsimony apply.

    The problem is that you need some quite specific assumptions about any designer in order for this to act as a falsification (i.e. that the designer would not do things in a way that could be mistaken for the natural process being investigated).

    The problem is you and your ignorance, Bob. If there isn’t any POSITIVE evidence for an intelligent designer then we don’t conjure one up just because.

    Science 101, Bob.

    But then a “falsification” could be swept aside by saying that the designer designed things to look the way they are.

    No Bob. That isn’t how science operates.

    Get an education and stop being such a little crybaby.

  154. 154
    ET says:

    Four Rules of Scientific Reasoning from Principia Mathematica
    by Isaac Newton

    1- admit no more causes of natural things than are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances,

    2- to the same natural effect, assign the same causes,

    3- qualities of bodies, which are found to belong to all bodies within experiments, are to be esteemed universal, and

    4- propositions collected from observation of phenomena should be viewed as accurate or very nearly true until contradicted by other phenomena.

  155. 155
    Bob O'H says:

    Refutes, ET? That quote is exactly in line with my arguments: even if intelligent design has taken place, that doesn’t mean that other mechanisms haven’t also occurred. Thus one can’t falsify ID by showing that other mechanisms have occurred.

  156. 156
    ET says:

    Refuting Bob O’H:

    ID is based on three premises and the inference that follows (DeWolf et al., Darwinism, Design and Public Education, pg. 92):

    1) High information content (or specified complexity) and irreducible complexity constitute strong indicators or hallmarks of (past) intelligent design.

    2) Biological systems have a high information content (or specified complexity) and utilize subsystems that manifest irreducible complexity.

    3) Naturalistic mechanisms or undirected causes do not suffice to explain the origin of information (specified complexity) or irreducible complexity.

    4) Therefore, intelligent design constitutes the best explanations for the origin of information and irreducible complexity in biological systems.

    Notice number 3- that means if natural selection can produce it we don’t infer intelligent design.

  157. 157
    ET says:

    Bob:

    That quote is exactly in line with my arguments:

    No, it isn’t. You sed ID can explain everything. That quote refutes you.

    even if intelligent design has taken place, that doesn’t mean that other mechanisms haven’t also occurred.

    True, but you don’t understand what that means.

    Thus one can’t falsify ID by showing that other mechanisms have occurred.

    Total nonsense. If you can show that non-telic processes can produce what ID claims required an intelligent designer then you have falsified that claim.

    Clearly you have reading comprehension issues.

  158. 158
    Bob O'H says:

    ET @ 157 – There are 2 different arguments:

    1.What Behe is saying in 152 is that other factors are at work other than intelligent design (note that he doesn’t say whether design can mimic the effects of these other factors). Thus, he’s happy to acknowledge that non-telic processes also operate. Thus if you show that a non-telic process has operated, that doesn’t falsify ID (in general), at best it show that a telic process didn’t operate in that instance.

    2. Non-telic processes may be operating, but can they be distinguished from telic processes? If they cannot, then ID can explain everything that non-telic theories explain, plus more. Thus, they it is possible to use ID to explain everything (regardless of whether that explanation is correct).

  159. 159
    bornagain77 says:

    Bob falsely claims (again) that ID is unfalsifiable, And yet here Bob sits without even one example of unguided Darwinian processes producing a single molecular machine.

    2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Points Strongly to Purposeful Design of Life – Michael Behe – December 6, 2016
    Excerpt: The 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to three scientists who built simple “nano” machines out of individual molecules.,,,
    Articles reporting on the Prize were filled with praise for the ingenuity of the scientists. Yet there was also an undertone of skepticism about the whole project. One German chemist foresaw looming technical difficulties, “I’ve always been a bit skeptical of artificial motors. They’re too difficult to make, too difficult to scale up.” An overview article remarked that “Some chemists argue that although these motors are cute, they are ultimately useless by themselves.” So far the nanomachinery hasn’t been put to any practical use,,,
    Many of the pioneers of the field drew inspiration from molecular machines discovered in biology such as the bacterial flagellum, a whip-like outboard motor that can propel bacteria through liquid. Yet the molecular machines laboriously constructed by our brightest scientists are Tinkertoys compared to the nanotechnology found in living cells.,,,
    ,,, right at this very moment sophisticated molecular robot walkers à la Star Wars are transporting critical supplies from one part of your cells to others along molecular highways, guided by information posted on molecular signposts. Molecular solar panels that put our best technology to shame are found in every leaf. Molecular computer control systems run the whole show with a reliability that exceeds that of, say, a nuclear reactor.,,,
    http://www.cnsnews.com/comment.....esign-life

    “I build molecules for a living, I can’t begin to tell you how difficult that job is. I stand in awe of God because of what he has done through his creation. Only a rookie who knows nothing about science would say science takes away from faith. If you really study science, it will bring you closer to God.”
    James Tour – one of the leading nano-tech engineers in the world – Strobel, Lee (2000), The Case For Faith, p. 111

    Bacterial Flagellum – A Sheer Wonder Of Intelligent Design – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFq_MGf3sbk

    Of related note to the unfalsifiable nature of Darwinian explanations is this:

    Bechly: Why the Phenomenon of Living Fossils Is Under “Massive Attack” – May 15, 2018
    Excerpt: It’s another case, according to Bechly, where evolution acts as a “magic wand,” wondrously encompassing all evidence however plainly contradictory of its expectation. Under the theory, things evolve when they evolve and do not evolve when they do not evolve. Can you beat that? No, you can’t beat it. An idea like that that can never be falsified.

    On the other hand, groups of creatures that slip into existence and remain in stasis for long periods fits well with the theory of intelligent design. ID predicts discontinuities in the fossil record in keeping with deliberate infusions of information. Species might go extinct, as trilobites, for one, did. What they don’t do, not through random, unguided processes, is gradually transform into totally different species.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/05/bechly-why-the-phenomenon-of-living-fossils-is-under-massive-attack/

  160. 160
    Bob O'H says:

    ba77 @ 159 – if you want to show that ID is falsifiable, then show that ID is falsifiable. Don’t try to show that another theory isn’t falsifiable: it doesn’t help your case.

  161. 161
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    1.What Behe is saying in 152 is that other factors are at work other than intelligent design (note that he doesn’t say whether design can mimic the effects of these other factors). Thus, he’s happy to acknowledge that non-telic processes also operate. Thus if you show that a non-telic process has operated, that doesn’t falsify ID (in general), at best it show that a telic process didn’t operate in that instance.

    And? If someone shows that non-telic processes can produce what ID claims required an intelligent designer then that inference is falsified.

    2. Non-telic processes may be operating, but can they be distinguished from telic processes? If they cannot, then ID can explain everything that non-telic theories explain, plus more. Thus, they it is possible to use ID to explain everything (regardless of whether that explanation is correct).

    Yes, non-telic processes can be distinguished from telic processes. That is the purpose of archaeology, forensic science and SETI.

    Again- not all deaths are murders; not all rocks are artifacts and not all fires are arsons.

  162. 162
    ET says:

    Biob O’H:

    if you want to show that ID is falsifiable, then show that ID is falsifiable.

    Already done. So what else do you have?

  163. 163
    Bob O'H says:

    ET @ 161 –

    And? If someone shows that non-telic processes can produce what ID claims required an intelligent designer then that inference is falsified.

    Once again: no it isn’t. If I show that A produces X, that doesn’t mean that B can’t produce X.

  164. 164
    ET says:

    Bob,

    Clearly you don’t understand science. If someone can demonstrate that non-telic processes can produce what ID says required an intelligent designer then parsimony takes over- Newton’s four rules of scientific reasoning take over.

    It means that an intelligent designer is added without cause.

  165. 165
    ET says:

    To Bob O’H:

    Four Rules of Scientific Reasoning from Principia Mathematica
    by Isaac Newton
    1- admit no more causes of natural things than are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances,

    2- to the same natural effect, assign the same causes,

    3- qualities of bodies, which are found to belong to all bodies within experiments, are to be esteemed universal, and

    4- propositions collected from observation of phenomena should be viewed as accurate or very nearly true until contradicted by other phenomena.

    What part of that don’t you understand?

  166. 166
    bornagain77 says:

    Bob apparently doesn’t understand falsification.

    Intelligent agents, with extreme difficulty, can build molecular machines and win Nobel prizes for their ‘Tinkertoy’ imitations of the molecular machines found in life.

    Darwinian processes have been shown to be grossly inadequate for making even ‘Tinkertoy’ imitations.

    Hence the claim, only intelligent agents can design and build molecular machines.

    To falsify the claim all you need to do is produce one molecular machine by unguided Darwinian processes.

    It is not that hard to understand Bob. Along the lines of grasping the simple fact that 2+2=4.

    Why you are so obtuse to what is so blatantly obvious only you and God can possibly know.

    As far as I can tell from my perspective, it is a heart issue with you not a head issue, since I’ve seen you be reasonable on other issues that do not deal directly with Intelligent Design.

  167. 167
    LocalMinimum says:

    Bob O’H:

    If I show that A produces X, that doesn’t mean that B can’t produce X

    They’ve already made it clear they and leading proponents of the field allow A producing X as a falsification. You’re the one worried about B still producing X.

    You’re insisting that ID is unfalsifiable on the basis of your personal exclusion of a rule that makes it falsifiable. Which is a straw man.

    ID isn’t about finding every intelligent causation, it’s about inferring intelligence against unknown causation.

  168. 168
    ET says:

    The (design) explanatory filter demonstrates that once you have attributed something to necessity and/ or chance the design inference doesn’t even get heard.

    It would take extraordinary evidence to overturn it once the EF spits it out before the final decision node.

    Bob’s point is that intelligent agencies can mimic nature. ID’s point is we may get a false negative due to that but it’s the false positives that we care about. Good thing none have been found, yet.

  169. 169
    Mung says:

    Charles McVety:

    He should not be allowed to post comments on an excellent God fearing site such as this.

    Neither should I, but here I am.

  170. 170
    Mung says:

    Bob O’H:

    The problem I see with ID is that it can explain everything, and therefore explains nothing. Seeing pink unicorns in your pyjamas? The designer did it!

    Do you know of another way to get pink unicorns on pajamas?

    Perhaps evolution can do it?

  171. 171
    bill cole says:

    Bob OH

    The problem I see with ID is that it can explain everything, and therefore explains nothing. Seeing pink unicorns in your pyjamas? The designer did it!

    Or it explains everything therefore it explains everything.

  172. 172
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H: With all due respect you have set up and knocked over a strawman. First, notice that I pointed out that the relevant subset of complex, specified information is FUNCTIONALLY specific, as WmAD long since noted. FSCO/I is simply a descriptive acronym for that subset, taking in that functionally specific organisation is informational. Also, irreducibly complex organisation is a subset of this. And while ID can be defined in various ways — e.g. that scientific enterprise that studies signs of intelligence (and has concluded that we may confidently infer from certain signs that certain features of the cosmos and the world of life were designed) — there is no responsible doubt but that the inference to design on sign is absolutely central to ID. In that context, it is trivial to note that were it shown that FSCO/I (as just explained the umpteenth time) were to come about by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity per observed cause, then the design inference on signs relevant to the world of life would be shattered. ID would be falsified. So, no, your attempt to reframe ID as unfalsifiable fails. As should have been quite evident all along — this is an utterly needless rhetorical tail chase. KF

  173. 173
    gpuccio says:

    Bob O’H:

    Please, excuse me if I arrive late to this discussion about ID falsification.

    I think the point is simple enought: ID is completely falsifiable.

    Your arguments derive from a false definition of ID. ID is not the generic idea that design exists and that it can do things (which is, of course, true). Also, it is not the generic idea that something we observe could have been designed.

    That generic idea, of course, is not falsifiable, because anything could have been designed.

    But that’s not the point of ID theory.

    The point of ID theory is completely different. It is that:

    In some cases, design can be correctly inferred from properties of the designed object, in particular from the observation of complex functional information in the object.

    This is completely falsifiable. You just need to show that objects that exhibit complex functional information do originate from systems where there is no design intervention.

    Moreover, as we believe that design detection by complex functional information beyond, say, 500 bits, has no false positives, even one example of an object that exhibits 500 bits of complex functional information, and was generated in a system which doen not imply any conscious design intervention, would falsify ID theory.

    Any thoughts about that?

  174. 174
    gpuccio says:

    Mung:

    OK, for pink unicorns on pajamas I would definitely infer design. I see your point! 🙂

    But what about green horses? 🙂

  175. 175
    Bob O'H says:

    LocalMinimum @ 167 – I’ve explained why I have the rule, and I haven’t seen anyone give a logical objection to it. ET’s response (@ 164) is to move away from falsification to an older epistemology, ba77 shifts the goalposts, from “ID is the best explanation for something” to “ID is the only explanation for something”, which contradicts both this website and Behe (quoted at 152). kf insists on equating ID with FSCI/O, and then uses the same goalpost shift as ba77. gpuccio also makes the goalpost shift (and his “in some cases…” makes ID unfalsifiable, because if one does not infer design, it just means that that was not one of the cases).

    Really, folks, if you are going to insist on a falsificationist view of science, then your theories have to make bold predictions that can be falsified. You have to say “X was designed” and test the design, not test another theory. That’s not how falsification works.

  176. 176
    gpuccio says:

    Bob O’H:

    Excuse me, but I don’t understand.

    “In some cases” just means that we can infer design only if it is linked to complex functional information.

    Of course there are cases of design that cannot be detected from the objetc: that includes all cases of simple design.

    I don’t see what is the problem.

    ID is the theory that design can be inferred from the object if and only if that design is characterized by complex function information.

    IOWs, if we observe complex functional information we can infer design. If we don’t observe it, we cannot infer design. The object could be designed or not, but there is no scientific way of affirming that it is designed.

    IOWs, ID is a procedure to detect design with no false positives and a lot of false negatives.

    And so? Where is your problem?

    The ID procedure to detect design is completely falsifiable. Again, one single example of an object originated in a system where no design interventio took nplace, and that exhibits complex functional information, would falsify the whole procedure.

    Again, ID is not about detectin all cases of design: it is about detecting cases where an objective property of the designed object (complex functional information) makes the detection possible.

    Please, be more clear about your problems with these very simple ideas.

  177. 177
    gpuccio says:

    Bob O’H:

    You say:

    “Really, folks, if you are going to insist on a falsificationist view of science, then your theories have to make bold predictions that can be falsified. You have to say “X was designed” and test the design, not test another theory. That’s not how falsification works.”

    Well, here is the “bold prediction”:

    No object which originates in a system where no conscious design intervention takes place will be ever found to exhibit complex functional information higher than 500 bits.

  178. 178
    Bob O'H says:

    gpuccio – your “bold prediction” about intelligent design simply excludes intelligent design from the system. In other words, by design (ha!) is specifically says nothing about intelligent design. That’s not how it works.

  179. 179
    bornagain77 says:

    Bob (and weave),,, Split hairs much?

    “ba77 shifts the goalposts, from “ID is the best explanation for something” to “ID is the only explanation for something”,

    Golly gee whiz, If the “only” known cause for molecular machines does not constitute, by far, the “best” explanation for molecular machines, I certainly would like to know what the best explanation for molecular machines would be in your fertile, unscientific, unfalsifiable, Darwinian imagination.

    Speaking of falsification, I have a question for you,,,,

    Scientific method: Defend the integrity of physics – George Ellis & Joe Silk – 16 December 2014
    Excerpt: In our view, the issue boils down to clarifying one question: what potential observational or experimental evidence is there that would persuade you that the theory is wrong and lead you to abandoning it? If there is none, it is not a scientific theory.
    https://www.nature.com/news/scientific-method-defend-the-integrity-of-physics-1.16535

    ,,, is there any evidence whatsoever that would ever falsify your seemingly unshakable, yet erroneous, belief that you are the product of mindless accidental processes. Like for instance, the existence of your own immaterial mind with its immaterial thoughts (i.e. mathematics, language), and/or the existence of your own ‘beyond belief’ brain?

    Mind and Cosmos – Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False – Thomas Nagel
    Excerpt: If materialism cannot accommodate consciousness and other mind-related aspects of reality, then we must abandon a purely materialist understanding of nature in general, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology. Since minds are features of biological systems that have developed through evolution, the standard materialist version of evolutionary biology is fundamentally incomplete. And the cosmological history that led to the origin of life and the coming into existence of the conditions for evolution cannot be a merely materialist history.
    http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/pro.....9919758.do

    The Half-Truths of Materialist Evolution – DONALD DeMARCO – 02/06/2015
    Excerpt: but I would like to direct attention to the unsupportable notion that the human brain, to focus on a single phenomenon, could possibly have evolved by sheer chance. One of the great stumbling blocks for Darwin and other chance evolutionists is explaining how a multitude of factors simultaneously coalesce to form a unified, functioning system. The human brain could not have evolved as a result of the addition of one factor at a time. Its unity and phantasmagorical complexity defies any explanation that relies on pure chance. It would be an underestimation of the first magnitude to say that today’s neurophysiologists know more about the structure and workings of the brain than did Darwin and his associates.
    Scientists in the field of brain research now inform us that a single human brain contains more molecular-scale switches than all the computers, routers and Internet connections on the entire planet! According to Stephen Smith, a professor of molecular and cellular physiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, the brain’s complexity is staggering, beyond anything his team of researchers had ever imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief. In the cerebral cortex alone, each neuron has between 1,000 to 10,000 synapses that result, roughly, in a total of 125 trillion synapses, which is about how many stars fill 1,500 Milky Way galaxies!
    A single synapse may contain 1,000 molecular-scale switches. A synapse, simply stated, is the place where a nerve impulse passes from one nerve cell to another.
    Phantasmagorical as this level of unified complexity is, it places us merely at the doorway of the brain’s even deeper mind-boggling organization. Glial cells in the brain assist in neuron speed. These cells outnumber neurons 10 times over, with 860 billion cells. All of this activity is monitored by microglia cells that not only clean up damaged cells but also prune dendrites, forming part of the learning process. The cortex alone contains 100,000 miles of myelin-covered, insulated nerve fibers.
    The process of mapping the brain would indeed be time-consuming. It would entail identifying every synaptic neuron. If it took a mere second to identify each neuron, it would require four billion years to complete the project.
    http://www.ncregister.com/dail.....evolution/

    “Complexity Brake” Defies Evolution – August 8, 2012
    Excerpt: Consider a neuronal synapse — the presynaptic terminal has an estimated 1000 distinct proteins. Fully analyzing their possible interactions would take about 2000 years. Or consider the task of fully characterizing the visual cortex of the mouse — about 2 million neurons. Under the extreme assumption that the neurons in these systems can all interact with each other, analyzing the various combinations will take about 10 million years…, even though it is assumed that the underlying technology speeds up by an order of magnitude each year.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....62961.html

    Of related note as to the immaterial mind:

    A MAP OF THE SOUL – by Michael Egnor – June 29, 2017
    Excerpt: Aquinas taught that our soul’s immaterial powers are only facilitated by matter, not caused by it, and the correlation is loose. His insight presaged certain findings of modern neuroscience.
    Wilder Penfield, an early-twentieth-century neurosurgeon who pioneered seizure surgery, noted that during brain stimulation on awake patients, he was never able to stimulate the mind itself—the sense of “I”—but only fragmented sensations and perceptions and movements and memories. Our core identity cannot be evoked or altered by physical stimulation of the brain.
    Relatedly, Penfield observed that spontaneous electrical discharges in the brain cause involuntary sensations and movements and even emotions, but never abstract reasoning or calculation. There are no “calculus” seizures or “moral” seizures, in which patients involuntarily take second derivatives or ponder mercy.
    https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2017/06/a-map-of-the-soul

  180. 180
    gpuccio says:

    Bob O’H:

    My prediction simply derives from the basic foundation of ID theory: that only intelligent design can generate complex functional information.

    Now you are evading my clear questions.

    ID theory states that only intelligent design can generate complex functional information. Therefore, when we observe complex functional information in an obbject, then, and only then, we can safely infer design. Therefore, the procedure that infers design from complex functional information has no false positives, and many false negatives. Therefore, if we positively infer design from complex functional information we are right.

    This theory can be easily falsified: one single example of object exhibiting complex functional information, and whose origin from a non design system can be independently proved, will falsify it.

    Therefore, ID theory is absolutely falsifiable.

    And it makes a bold prediction: that we will never find any object originated in a non design system that exhibits complex functional information.

    So, it is a theory easily falsifiable, and never falsified. Perfectly good as a scientific theory according to Popper’s ideas.

    I have always thought that you are an honest discussant. Must I change my mind?

  181. 181
    gpuccio says:

    Bob O’H:

    You say:

    “That’s not how it works.”

    Instead, that’s exactly how it works.

    Falsifiability means exactly that: that it is possible that some specific facts, if observed, will make the theory inconsistent.

    One single object exhibiting complex functional information, and which can be independently shown to originate in a non design system, will falsify the whole ID theory.

    That’s how falsification works.

  182. 182
    Allan Keith says:

    Bob O’H,

    Really, folks, if you are going to insist on a falsificationist view of science, then your theories have to make bold predictions that can be falsified. You have to say “X was designed” and test the design, not test another theory. That’s not how falsification works.

    Before you can do this you have to propose hypothesis about the mechanisms for realizing the design. Only then can you test them. But ID as a concept is not falsifiable. If we observe that unguided evolution can produce something with over 500 (or 1000) bits of information, ID isn’t falsified because we haven’t observed unguided evolution produce something with 5000 bits of information. Or 10,000. Short of observing unguided evolution reproduce the entire ecosystem, you can never rule out that design didn’t have some role to play.

    And even if we were capable of reproducing the entire ecosystem using unguided evolutionary processes, what is to say that a designer wasn’t involved in establishing the universe and all of the laws such that our ecosystem was inevitable. Or that the designer only steps in at intervals to ensure that everything is proceeding as he wants.

    ID doesn’t rule out any of this.

  183. 183
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    ET’s response (@ 164) is to move away from falsification

    That is completely false, Bob. What I said in 164 is the falsification. Thank you for proving that you do not understand how science operates.

    Really, folks, if you are going to insist on a falsificationist view of science, then your theories have to make bold predictions that can be falsified.

    I have presented just that, Bob- see my comment in 156

    You have to say “X was designed” and test the design, not test another theory.

    You are totally clueless, Bob. Newton’s four rules come into play here, Bob. I see that you still cannot grasp what they mean.

  184. 184
    ET says:

    Allan:

    Before you can do this you have to propose hypothesis about the mechanisms for realizing the design.

    That is completely false and borders on the moronic.

    But ID as a concept is not falsifiable.

    Yes, it is and we have said exactly how to falsify it. Again your ignorance is not an argument.

    If we observe that unguided evolution can produce something with over 500 (or 1000) bits of information, ID isn’t falsified because we haven’t observed unguided evolution produce something with 5000 bits of information. Or 10,000. Short of observing unguided evolution reproduce the entire ecosystem, you can never rule out that design didn’t have some role to play.

    Wow, that has been covered in the ID literature. Again your ignorance means nothing.

    One last charge must be met: Orr maintains that the theory of intelligent design is not falsifiable. He’s wrong. To falsify design theory a scientist need only experimentally demonstrate that a bacterial flagellum, or any other comparably complex system, could arise by natural selection. If that happened I would conclude that neither flagella nor any system of similar or lesser complexity had to have been designed. In short, biochemical design would be neatly disproved.- Dr Behe in 1997

    and

    How about Professor Coyne’s concern that, if one system were shown to be the result of natural selection, proponents of ID could just claim that some other system was designed? I think the objection has little force. If natural selection were shown to be capable of producing a system of a certain degree of complexity, then the assumption would be that it could produce any other system of an equal or lesser degree of complexity. If Coyne demonstrated that the flagellum (which requires approximately forty gene products) could be produced by selection, I would be rather foolish to then assert that the blood clotting system (which consists of about twenty proteins) required intelligent design.

    Let’s turn the tables and ask, how could one falsify the claim that, say, the bacterial flagellum was produced by Darwinian processes?

    And even if we were capable of reproducing the entire ecosystem using unguided evolutionary processes, what is to say that a designer wasn’t involved in establishing the universe and all of the laws such that our ecosystem was inevitable.

    Then you would also have to refute that just by showing that your position has something to account for it.

  185. 185
    ET says:

    Refuting Bob O’H and Allan K:

    ID is based on three premises and the inference that follows (DeWolf et al., Darwinism, Design and Public Education, pg. 92):

    1) High information content (or specified complexity) and irreducible complexity constitute strong indicators or hallmarks of (past) intelligent design.

    2) Biological systems have a high information content (or specified complexity) and utilize subsystems that manifest irreducible complexity.

    3) Naturalistic mechanisms or undirected causes do not suffice to explain the origin of information (specified complexity) or irreducible complexity.

    4) Therefore, intelligent design constitutes the best explanations for the origin of information and irreducible complexity in biological systems.

    Notice number 3- that means if natural selection can produce it we don’t infer intelligent design.

  186. 186
    Bob O'H says:

    gpuccio –

    Falsifiability means exactly that: that it is possible that some specific facts, if observed, will make the theory inconsistent.

    Yes, but that’s done by invoking a system where the theory is relevant. Invoking a system that explicitly excludes the theory is just silly.

  187. 187
    Mung says:

    gpuccio:

    Your arguments derive from a false definition of ID.

    This is spot on.

  188. 188
    ET says:

    Clearly Bob does NOT understand how science and falsification work. He is completely dug in now and will never change his mind regardless of who corrects him.

  189. 189
    Mung says:

    Bob O’H @ 106:

    As far as I know, ID (if the theory is “some parts of nature are the product of design by an intelligence”) can’t be falsified

    That’s a big IF Bob. 🙂

  190. 190
    Mung says:

    ET:

    Clearly Bob does NOT understand how science and falsification work. He is completely dug in now and will never change his mind regardless of who corrects him.

    What is the point in arguing about how falsification works with someone who believes in evolution the designer?

  191. 191
    Allan Keith says:

    AK,

    But ID as a concept is not falsifiable.

    ET,

    Yes, it is and we have said exactly how to falsify it. Again your ignorance is not an argument.

    AK,

    And even if we were capable of reproducing the entire ecosystem using unguided evolutionary processes, what is to say that a designer wasn’t involved in establishing the universe and all of the laws such that our ecosystem was inevitable.

    <ET,

    Then you would also have to refute that just by showing that your position has something to account for it.

    But Behe said that if we could show that unguided evolution could produce something as complex as the flagellum that ID would be falsified. Now you are saying that even if we could demonstrate that this was the case that we would then have to prove that the universe itself wasn’t designed. Which is it ET? Because this definitely sounds like ID is not falsifiable.

  192. 192
    Mung says:

    Allan Keith,

    I ask again. What known law of physics states that an object in an orbit cannot have it’s orbit reversed?

    I’m trying to pin down exactly which law of physics you think wold be violated if an object in an orbit were to have its orbit reversed. So far I haven’t heard one.

    If you don’t know of any such law just say so.

  193. 193
    ET says:

    Allan Keith:

    But Behe said that if we could show that unguided evolution could produce something as complex as the flagellum that ID would be falsified.

    Biological ID would be so falsified.

    Now you are saying that even if we could demonstrate that this was the case that we would then have to prove that the universe itself wasn’t designed.

    To refute cosmological ID

    Which is it ET? Because this definitely sounds like ID is not falsifiable.

    It definitely sounds like you cannot follow along because you are scientifically illiterate.

  194. 194
    Allan Keith says:

    Mung,

    I’m trying to pin down exactly which law of physics you think wold be violated if an object in an orbit were to have its orbit reversed. So far I haven’t heard one.

    Gravity and momentum.

  195. 195
    Allan Keith says:

    I thought that it would be informative to summarize some of ET’s more insiteful and constructive criticisms of his opponents:

    Allan is either deluded or a pathological liar.

    Your shameless and cowardly equivocation is duly noted. As is your inability to assess the evidence.

    Or perhaps you should stop being such a cowardly jerk.

    Only a desperate punk would say that in response to:

    ou don’t know anything about being civil or respectful. And you definitely don’t understand science

    Your willful ignorance is not an argument.

    ID is not beholden to your asinine and unscientific agenda.

    Allan Keith is totally clueless and bordering on being a pathological liar.

    Only scientifically illiterate punks on an agenda of complete nonsense would have you thinks so.

    It is beyond the pale and bordering on the psychotic.

    Your problem is your ignorance.

    Clearly you are lying, Bob.

    The problem is you and your ignorance, Bob

    Get an education and stop being such a little crybaby.

    Clearly you have reading comprehension issues.

    You are totally clueless, Bob.

    That is completely false and borders on the moronic.

    It definitely sounds like you cannot follow along because you are scientifically illiterate.

    With watertight arguments like this, it is a mystery why ID has not been accepted by the scientific community.

  196. 196
    ET says:

    Wow, Allan Keith is clearly a desperate loser- yes you can add that to your list, Allan.

    Neither you nor Bob have an argument, Allan. Both you and Bob have all of the appearances of being scientifically illiterate trolls.

    And given what I was responding to all of those responses are spot on. It isn’t my fault that you are an ignorant troll, Allan. I am just pointing out the obvious.

    So what was Allan’s point? To prove that he and Bob are ignorant trolls or what?

    With bluffing liars like Bob and Allan it is a wonder why anyone would accept evolutionism as anything more than the spewage of pathological liars.

  197. 197
    bornagain77 says:

    AK, and other than the fact you do not like being pointed out as a liar, your proof that you are not a liar is what exactly?

    Reading over your posts, and the great lengths many UD regulars have gone to to point out what is blatantly obvious about falsification, you either must be, as Mr. Arrington once put, either really, really, really, stupid or else a liar.

    You may be offended by both conclusions, but you leave us no other option. Hurt feelings do not negate valid conclusions!

    Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rzw0JkuKuQ

    “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.”
    –Charles Darwin, Origin of Species

    “Charles Darwin said (paraphrase) “If anyone could find anything that could not be had through a number of slight, successive, modifications my theory would absolutely breakdown.” Well, that condition has been met time and time again now. Basically every gene and every new protein fold, there is nothing of significance that we can show that can be had in that gradualistic way. It’s all a mirage. None of it happens that way.”
    – Douglas Axe – 200 Years After Darwin – What Didn’t Darwin Know? – (5:30 minute mark) video – Part 2 of 2
    https://youtu.be/VKIgNroTj54?t=329

  198. 198
    mike1962 says:

    Allan Keith,

    Is it always evil to torture babies for fun?

  199. 199
    gpuccio says:

    Bob O’H:

    It seems that I must change my mind. What a pity.

    You say:

    “Yes, but that’s done by invoking a system where the theory is relevant. Invoking a system that explicitly excludes the theory is just silly.”

    OK, it’s very easy to make a prediction about a system that includes the theory. It’s something like that:

    Conscious intelligent beings can generate rather easily complex functional information.

    This comment of mine is, in itself, proof that the prediction is satisfied.

    But that, in itself, would not be enough to infer design from complex functional information, because, as anyone can understand, if non conscious systems can also generate complex functional information, then complex functional information cannot be used as a safe indicator of design, especially not one with no false positives. Can you agree about that?

    That’s why the “prediction” that no non design system can generate complex functional information is of course crucial for the theory to work.

    And that prediction, as explained many times, can be easily falsified. But never has been.

    Therefore, as said many times, ID theory is perfectly good as a scientific theory according to Popper’s ideas.

    It’s really disappointing that you must recur to such false arguments and reasonings to deny something that is perfectly clear, simple, obvious and true.

  200. 200
    Allan Keith says:

    Mike,

    Is it always evil to torture babies for fun?

    Given that there have been several cultures throughout history which participated in child sacrifice, I must conclude that it has not always been evil.

    If I lived in one of these cultures would I consider it “evil” (i.e. very wrong)? I would like to say that I would, but I will never know.

  201. 201
    ET says:

    Allan:

    Given that there have been several cultures throughout history which participated in child sacrifice, I must conclude that it has not always been evil.

    That doesn’t follow. Also child sacrifice and torturing babies for fun are not the same. So you need to try again and answer the question.

  202. 202
    Bob O'H says:

    gpuccio @ 199 – For a start, how do you define “complex functional information”?

    But that, in itself, would not be enough to infer design from complex functional information, because, as anyone can understand, if non conscious systems can also generate complex functional information, then complex functional information cannot be used as a safe indicator of design, especially not one with no false positives. Can you agree about that?

    Yes, yes! This is one of the points I’ve been trying to make!

    That’s why the “prediction” that no non design system can generate complex functional information is of course crucial for the theory to work.

    No, not necessarily. As Behe pointed out, multiple mechanisms could be operating. So (say) the flagellum could have evolved naturally, whilst malaria might have been intelligently designed. This would be entirely consistent with ID.

  203. 203
    Origenes says:

    I am convinced that Bob O’H, Alan Keith and many other a/mats who visit or have visited this forum, know that they are on the wrong side of truth. They know it, but carry on regardless. They just don’t care.

    1) People ought, in areas of religion, to form beliefs in accordance with truth only if there are objectively correct moral values.

    2) If naturalism is true, there are no objectively correct moral values.

    3) Therefore, if naturalism is true, then we have no moral obligations to form beliefs in accordance with truth.

    Victor Reppert

  204. 204
    Bob O'H says:

    Origenes – I can assure you that I don’t believe I am on the wrong side of truth, and that I very much care about truth.

  205. 205
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    As Behe pointed out, multiple mechanisms could be operating.

    And clearly you don’t understand what that means. Dr Behe makes it clear that non-telic processes cannot produce irreducibly complex systems and structures.

    So (say) the flagellum could have evolved naturally, whilst malaria might have been intelligently designed.

    No one even knows how to test the claim that any flagella evolved via blind and mindless processes. And if that complexity is greater than that of the parasitic part of malaria, which could have evolved naturally, then malaria is taken out of the equation also.

  206. 206
    gpuccio says:

    Bob O’H at #202:

    “For a start, how do you define “complex functional information”?”

    Well, that’s moving the goalposts!

    Pressed about ID falsifiability, you ask me how I define complex functional information?

    Have you never followed any of my many OPs here?

    However, here is one of my first OPs, dedicated exactly to that definition:

    Functional information defined

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/functional-information-defined/

    In brief, functional information is a continuous variable, –log2 of the ratio between the target space and the search space for an explicitly defined function.

    Complex functional information is a binary variable derived from the continuous variable above defined, using an appropriate threshold. 500 bits is appropriate in the general case.

    “Yes, yes! This is one of the points I’ve been trying to make!”

    So, we agree at least about that!

    “No, not necessarily. As Behe pointed out, multiple mechanisms could be operating. So (say) the flagellum could have evolved naturally, whilst malaria might have been intelligently designed. This would be entirely consistent with ID.”

    What do you mean? That makes no sense at all!

    To what statements by Behe are you referring?

    The problem is simple: if an object, or a system of objects (in the case of IC), exhibits complex functional information, we infer design.

    It it does not exhibit complex functional information, we do not infer design.

    This, and only this, is consistent with ID theory.

    What do you mean by:

    “the flagellum could have evolved naturally”?

    If it exhibits more than 500 bits of functional information (I believe it does, even if I have never analyzed that system in detail), then we can infer design. From the point of view of ID, it cannot have come into existence without an explicit design intervention. If you can demontsrate the opposite, you will have falsified ID.

    As Behe says very clearly (see comment #150):

    In Darwin’s Black Box (Behe 1996) I claimed that the bacterial flagellum was irreducibly complex and so required deliberate intelligent design. The flip side of this claim is that the flagellum can’t be produced by natural selection acting on random mutation, or any other unintelligent process. To falsify such a claim, a scientist could go into the laboratory, place a bacterial species lacking a flagellum under some selective pressure (for mobility, say), grow it for ten thousand generations, and see if a flagellum–or any equally complex system–was produced. If that happened, my claims would be neatly disproven.

    And what do you mean by:

    “malaria might have been intelligently designed”?

    If you refer to chloroquine resistance, the only issue about malaria discussed by Behe, of course nobody has ever even proposed a design inference for that. It is a two AAs variation, well in the range of RV. I have debated that issue in some detail in this OP:

    What are the limits of Natural Selection? An interesting open discussion with Gordon Davisson

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/what-are-the-limits-of-natural-selection-an-interesting-open-discussion-with-gordon-davisson/

    Point 7.

    The problem is not that “multiple mechanisms could be operating”. Of course non design mechanisms are always operating, even when design is the main factor. I suppèose that when a great painter paints a masterpiece, non design mechanisms are always acting: the way the paint dries, possible factors due to the environmental situation, maybe an earthquake, you tell it. But the painting is, just the same, the product of design.

    The point is that complex functional information is always the product of intelligent design. All the rest can be attributed to other mechanisms, but not complex functional information.

    ID theory is perfectly falsifiable, and your “objections” make no sense.

  207. 207
    gpuccio says:

    Bob O’H at #204:

    “Origenes – I can assure you that I don’t believe I am on the wrong side of truth, and that I very much care about truth.”

    And I believe you.

    But then, try to understand the things that are said to you, and not to evade the arguments that are clear and undeniable.

    I am available to discuss any aspect of this issue, but you must understand and really consider the things that are being said.

  208. 208
    gpuccio says:

    Bob O’H:

    By the way, don’t be confused because Behe speaks of IC and I speak of complex functional information. They are two aspects of the same thing. We can discuss that, if you like.

  209. 209
    bornagain77 says:

    as to this claim:

    “the flagellum could have evolved naturally, whilst malaria might have been intelligently designed. This would be entirely consistent with ID.”

    Okie Dokie, let’s see if that claim holds water. Any bets?

    Well Malaria, like the rest of the pathogens I have looked at, is not the result of a gain in functional information but is the result of Genetic Entropy:

    Setting a Molecular Clock for Malaria Parasites – July 8, 2010
    Excerpt: “Malaria parasites undoubtedly were relatively benign for most of that history (in humans), becoming a major disease only after the origins of agriculture and dense human populations,” said Ricklefs.
    http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_s....._id=117259

    Genome sequencing of chimpanzee malaria parasites reveals possible pathways of adaptation to human hosts – 18 July 2014
    In summary,,, homologues are found in all Plasmodium species, implying a universal and ancient role in the relationship between Plasmodium parasites and their vertebrate hosts.
    There are 568 rif genes in P. reichenowi and only 185 in P. falciparum, with the number of pseudogenes differing by a similar ratio (49 and 27, respectively; Table 2 and Fig. 2b). The number of stevor genes is also higher in P. reichenowi (66) than in P. falciparum (42). Successful colonization of humans is therefore clearly possible with a much reduced repertoire of these two important multigene families.
    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2.....s5754.html

    Also of interest is the extreme difficulty that the Malaria parasite has in developing chloroquine resistance

    Waiting Longer for Two Mutations – Michael J. Behe
    Excerpt: Citing malaria literature sources (White 2004) I had noted that the de novo appearance of chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum was an event of probability of 1 in 10^20. I then wrote that ‘for humans to achieve a mutation like this by chance, we would have to wait 100 million times 10 million years’ (1 quadrillion years)(Behe 2007) (because that is the extrapolated time that it would take to produce 10^20 humans).,,,
    http://www.discovery.org/a/9461

    Moreover, as hard as it is for Darwinian processes to account for chloroquine resistance in the malaria parasite, the adaptation still came at a loss of fitness for the parasite, not a gain.

    Metabolic QTL Analysis Links Chloroquine Resistance in Plasmodium falciparum to Impaired Hemoglobin Catabolism – January, 2014
    Summary: Chloroquine was formerly a front line drug in the treatment of malaria. However, drug resistant strains of the malaria parasite have made this drug ineffective in many malaria endemic regions. Surprisingly, the discontinuation of chloroquine therapy has led to the reappearance of drug-sensitive parasites. In this study, we use metabolite quantitative trait locus analysis, parasite genetics, and peptidomics to demonstrate that chloroquine resistance is inherently linked to a defect in the parasite’s ability to digest hemoglobin, which is an essential metabolic activity for malaria parasites. This metabolic impairment makes it harder for the drug-resistant parasites to reproduce than genetically-equivalent drug-sensitive parasites, and thus favors selection for drug-sensitive lines when parasites are in direct competition. Given these results, we attribute the re-emergence of chloroquine sensitive parasites in the wild to more efficient hemoglobin digestion.
    http://www.plosgenetics.org/ar.....en.1004085

    Whereas, on the other hand, the Bacterial Flagellum is an engineering marvel:

    Amazing Flagellum – Scott Minnich & Stephen Meyer – 2016 video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNR48hUd-Hw

    The Bacterial Flagellum: A Paradigm for Design – Jonathan M. – Sept. 2012
    Excerpt: Indeed, so striking is the appearance of intelligent design that researchers have modeled the assembly process (of the bacterial flagellum) in view of finding inspiration for enhancing industrial operations (McAuley et al.). Not only does the flagellum manifestly exhibit engineering principles, but the engineering involved is far superior to humanity’s best achievements. The flagellum exhibits irreducible complexity in spades. In all of our experience of cause-and-effect, we know that phenomena of this kind are uniformly associated with only one type of cause – one category of explanation – and that is intelligent mind. Intelligent design succeeds at precisely the point at which evolutionary explanations break down.
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/1067.....-Flagellum

    Michael Behe’s Challenge — Past, Present, and Future – September 22, 2016
    Excerpt: Did the Western nations solve Michael Behe’s challenge? If so, they have a strange way of claiming success:
    “The proteins that form the bacterial flagellar system have no known homologs in eukaryotic cells. The eukaryotic flagellar [sic], based on a microtubule-containing axoneme, is vastly more complicated. In fact, the current estimate for the number of different proteins in the axoneme is ?425. In contrast, the archaeal flagellar system appears simpler than the bacterial one and can contain as few as 13 different proteins. As with the eukaryotic flagellar system, the archaeal one does not have homology with the bacterial one and must have arisen by means of convergent evolution.”
    Ah yes, convergent evolution again. But think about what they say here. The “vastly more complicated” eukaryotic flagellum has no known commonalities with the bacterial flagellum, and the bacterial flagellum has no homolog in the archaeal flagellum: “In archaeal flagellins, however, no homology has yet been found outside of the N-terminal domain with any bacterial or eukaryotic proteins.” Do they show any common ancestry between these motors? None. Are we to believe, then, that blind processes happened upon three naturalistic miracles independently?
    – per ENV

    Structural diversity of bacterial flagellar motors – 2011
    Excerpt: Figure 3 – Manual segmentation of conserved (solid colours) and unconserved (dotted lines) motor components based on visual inspection.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....figure/f3/
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....MC3160247/

    Flagellar Diversity Challenges Darwinian Evolution, Not Intelligent Design – Casey Luskin – July 22, 2015
    Excerpt: flagella are distributed in a polyphyletic manner that doesn’t fit what we’d expect from common ancestry,,,
    – per ENV

    Souped-Up Hyper-Drive Flagellum Discovered – December 3, 2012
    Excerpt: Get a load of this — a bacterium that packs a gear-driven, seven-engine, magnetic-guided flagellar bundle that gets 0 to 300 micrometers in one second, ten times faster than E. coli.
    If you thought the standard bacterial flagellum made the case for intelligent design, wait till you hear the specs on MO-1,,,
    Harvard’s mastermind of flagellum reverse engineering, this paper describes the Ferrari of flagella.
    “Instead of being a simple helically wound propeller driven by a rotary motor, it is a complex organelle consisting of 7 flagella and 24 fibrils that form a tight bundle enveloped by a glycoprotein sheath…. the flagella of MO-1 must rotate individually, and yet the entire bundle functions as a unit to comprise a motility organelle.”
    To feel the Wow! factor, jump ahead to Figure 6 in the paper. It shows seven engines in one, arranged in a hexagonal array, stylized by the authors in a cross-sectional model that shows them all as gears interacting with 24 smaller gears between them. The flagella rotate one way, and the smaller gears rotate the opposite way to maximize torque while minimizing friction. Download the movie from the Supplemental Information page to see the gears in action.
    – per ENV

    Comparing Malaria to the Flagellum, I certainly have no problem seeing which one is the result of natural processes and which one is the result of elegant Design.

    It is also easy to see why Bob (and weave) is a Darwinist. He falsely imagines, without one shred of evidence, that natural processes can create elegant machines, whereas he also falsely imagines that God purposely created the malaria parasite to kill humans. (rather than God simply “allowing”, via his permissive will, natural processes to run their course, i.e. Genetic Entropy,).

    I don’t think I would be a terribly enthusiastic Christian either if I also falsely imagined, as Bob apparently does, that God was out to get me.

    As to this ‘argument from evil’ that Atheists, such as Bob, constantly try to use

    This Theologian Has An Answer To Atheists’ Claims That Evil Disproves God – Jan, 2018
    Excerpt: In “The Last Superstition: A Refutation Of The New Atheism,” Feser, echoing Thomas Aquinas, notes that the first premise of the problem of evil is “simply false, or at least unjustifiable.” According to Feser, there is no reason to believe that the Christian God, being all-good and all-powerful, would prevent suffering on this earth if out of suffering he could bring about a good that is far greater than any that would have existed otherwise. If God is infinite in power, knowledge, goodness, etc., then of course he could bring about such a good.
    Feser demonstrates his reasoning with an analogy. A parent may allow his child a small amount of suffering in frustration, sacrifice of time, and minor pain when learning to play the violin, in order to bring about the good of establishing proficiency. This is not to say that such minimal suffering is in any way comparable to the horrors that have gone on in this world. But the joy of establishing proficiency with a violin is not in any way comparable to the good that God promises to bring to the world.
    In Christian theology, this good is referred to as the Beatific Vision: the ultimate, direct self-communication of God to the individual. In other words, perfect salvation or Heaven. Feser describes the Beatific Vision as a joy so great that even the most terrible horror imaginable “pales in insignificance before the beatific vision.” As Saint Paul once said, “the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
    Your Argument Assumes Its Conclusion
    I can already see the disciples of the Four Horsemen readying their keyboards, opening a copy of Dawkins’ “The God Delusion,” and preparing their response. An atheist may claim that he cannot possibly imagine anything in the next life that could possibly outweigh the Holocaust, children’s suffering, or any other instance of significant suffering in this world. According to Feser, this response is precisely the reason he states that the problem of evil is “worthless” as an objection to arguments in favor of the existence of the Christian God.
    The problem is that the only way the atheist can claim that nothing could outweigh the most significant suffering on earth is if he supposes that God does not exist and therefore there is no Beatific Vision. But he cannot presume that God does not exist in the premise of an argument that aims to prove the conclusion that God does not exist. By doing so, he is begging the question, or arguing in a circle, and therefore does not prove anything at all.
    As Feser goes on to demonstrate, the atheist is essentially stating: “There is no God, because look at all this suffering that no good could possibly outweigh. How do I know there’s no good that could outweigh it? Oh, because there is no God.”
    http://thefederalist.com/2018/.....oves-gods/

  210. 210
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    I can assure you that I don’t believe I am on the wrong side of truth,

    Well you are

    and that I very much care about truth.

    All evidence to the contrary, of course

  211. 211
    bornagain77 says:

    as to: “and that I very much care about truth.”

    Really?

    And since you hold the reductive materialism of Darwinian evolution to be true, then can you tell us exactly how much does truth weigh? No? Well perhaps you can tell us the length of truth? No again? Is it closer to your left ear or to your right ear? Oh well, since truth is obviously an immaterial entity then you cannot possibly really care about truth, or else you would have abandoned the insanity that is inherent in your Darwinian materialism long ago since it denies the reality of all immaterial entities (like for instance the materialistic conclusion that you exist as a neuronal illusion instead of as a real person).

    Naturalism and Self-Refutation – Michael Egnor – January 31, 2018
    Excerpt: Furthermore, the very framework of Clark’s argument — logic — is neither material nor natural. Logic, after all, doesn’t exist “in the space-time continuum” and isn’t described by physics. What is the location of modus ponens? How much does Gödel’s incompleteness theorem weigh? What is the physics of non-contradiction? How many millimeters long is Clark’s argument for naturalism? Ironically the very logic that Clark employs to argue for naturalism is outside of any naturalistic frame.

    The strength of Clark’s defense of naturalism is that it is an attempt to present naturalism’s tenets clearly and logically. That is its weakness as well, because it exposes naturalism to scrutiny, and naturalism cannot withstand even minimal scrutiny. Even to define naturalism is to refute it.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/01/naturalism-and-self-refutation/

    John 14:6
    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

  212. 212
    Origenes says:

    Bob O’H: I can assure you that I don’t believe I am on the wrong side of truth, and that I very much care about truth.

    I really want to believe you Bob, but how anyone can seriously hold that materialism is true is beyond my understanding. It is painfully wrong, at all levels, for so many reasons. And, at this forum, those reasons have been presented to you in abundance.

    One reason, at the basic level, as to why materialism is wrong, is that, if materialism is true, our rational discussion could not even take place, since logic informs us that there is no place for rationality in a purely physical world. How you, or anyone else, can even seriously consider the possibility that matter is behind the steering wheel of reason, so to speak, is far beyond my grasp, since …

    (1) By its very nature matter is not about rationality, so, why?

    (2) There is no concept of a physical thing with the overview, intent and/or power to coordinate events in the brain, which consists of quadrillions of particles separated by relatively vast amounts of space, into coherent reason.

    (3) No one knows how laws of reason reduce to physical laws.

    (4) All material events, including our thoughts, trace back to past events long before we were born. We have no control over these events, so, we have no control over our thoughts — or anything else for that matter. So, we are not rational.

    (5) Reason is the collective result of quadrillions of particles not of one rational person. So, we, as persons, are not rational.

    (6) There is no person in the material brain — quadrillions of tiny particles separated by relatively vast amounts of space. So, we are not rational.

    (7) Matter acts according to the laws of nature and no one controls the laws of nature. So, we are not the authors of ‘our’ thoughts, and, therefore, we are not rational.

    (8) Physical events, of the determined and undetermined kind, are not rationally motivated events. So, we are not rational.

    (9) Reason is an unintended by-product of physical events which are intrinsically not about reason. So, we cannot trust our reason.

    Bob O’H: … I very much care about truth.

    (10) We cannot judge between truth and falsity, because any such judgment would be just as suspect as what we seek to adjudicate. At no point can we step out of the circle of uncontrollable physical processes to a transcendent standpoint that would allow us to reject some beliefs as tainted while remaining untainted ourselves. So, we cannot trust reason.

  213. 213
    Bob O'H says:

    Origenes –

    I really want to believe you Bob, but how anyone can seriously hold that materialism is true is beyond my understanding.

    May I suggest, then, that you should acknowledge that you don’t understand my point of view, rather than impugning my motives.

    One reason, at the basic level, as to why materialism is wrong, is that, if materialism is true, our rational discussion could not even take place, since logic informs us that there is no place for rationality in a purely physical world.

    Really? Why?

  214. 214
    Origenes says:

    Bob O’H @213

    Origenes: … logic informs us that there is no place for rationality in a purely physical world.

    Bob: Really? Why?

    In #207 GPuccio offers you good advice. He said:

    … try to understand the things that are said to you, and not to evade the arguments that are clear and undeniable.

    It seems that, WRT #212, you have ignored his advice. In this post I have listed 10 reasons why there is no place for rationality in a purely physical world. Somehow you have managed to overlook all of them.

  215. 215
    bornagain77 says:

    “rather than impugning my motives.”

    mo·tive
    ?m?div/Submit
    noun
    plural noun: motives
    1.
    a reason for doing something,

    Under materialism, like everything else, motives are illusory.

  216. 216
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    May I suggest, then, that you should acknowledge that you don’t understand my point of view, rather than impugning my motives.

    OK Bob, you’re up-> tell us your point of view so we don’t have to guess.

    I know that you once said that you disagree with the claim that evolution proceeds via blind and mindless processes- is that still true and if so do you realize that blind and mindless processes is what Darwin and the modern synthesis posits and you are then going against evolutionary biology?

  217. 217
    bornagain77 says:

    Bob (and weave) is (morally) offended that his ‘motives’ would be questioned.

    But the neuronal illusion of Bob has no free will. Under materialism, Bob is a deterministic automaton. Moreover, under materialism, objective morality itself is an illusion. With no persons with free will and objective morality, under materialism the entire concept a person having a motive, (i.e. moral culpability), for anything is pure nonsense.

    Moral culpability is loosely tied to mens rea, meaning that there is an explanation for the intent of the actor.,,,
    https://opentextbc.ca/ethicsinlawenforcement/chapter/8-4-moral-culpability-verses-legal-culpability/

    For example, under materialism, Jeffrey Dahmer had no real motive, (i.e. moral culpability,) for all the murders he committed since he had no free will. Dahmer was merely a helpless deterministic automaton. Moreover, even if he could have somehow prevented himself from committing all those murders, there is nothing inherent within materialism that would deem those murders as being objectively morally evil. Materialism is completely amoral. Dahmer was no more guilty of murder than a boulder falling on someone would be guilty of murder.

    Free WIll, Determinism, and the Criminal Justice System – JANUARY 17, 2016
    Excerpt: To understand how determinism eliminates free will, and sets my prisoners free, let’s take a look at Professor Patrick Grim’s explanation:

    “ 1. Everything in the universe happens because of earlier events in accordance with causal law.

    My choices and decisions are events in the universe.
    They therefore happen as they do because of earlier events—events even before my birth—in accordance with causal law.
    I therefore have no free choice. I cannot act freely and cannot be held ethically responsible for my actions.” — Patrick Grim, Philosophy of Mind (The Great Courses)
    https://www.orlandocriminaldefenseattorneyblog.com/2016/01/free-will-determinism-criminal-justice-system.html

    i.e. No Free will plus No Morality equals No possible Murders. i.e. No real motives with real moral culpability

    As Richard Dawkins stated: “The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”

    “In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
    – Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

    In other words Bob, according to his materialism, has no motives for anything he does nor is there any real justice to be had for Bob’s sense of being morally offended!

    Yet, unfortunately for materialists who want to forsake God, and fortunately for the rest of us who want to live in a sane world, the materialist’s belief that he has no free will nor moral culpability is undermined by science itself:

    Albert Einstein vs. Quantum Mechanics and His Own Mind – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxFFtZ301j4

    Determinism vs Free Will – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwPER4m2axI

    Morality: Objective and Real or Subjective and Illusory? – video
    https://youtu.be/BnrrIvz8mSE

    Verse:

    Romans 4:25
    He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

  218. 218
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H: In another territory, access not the easiest, little time, will briefly comment on one issue. I have not equated ID to FSCO/I or even the design inference to FSCO/I. What I have said is that ID is the science that studies signs of intelligence, and as GP points out — also echoing WmAD — the design inference on signs is the key to ID as a scietnific enterprise. What I argued is that FSCO/I as already explained, is a good generic sign, tested on a trillion examples, which indicates design in several cases relevant to the world of life. Were it to be credibly shown per observation that FSCO/I comes about by blind chance and mechanical necessity, it would shatter ID as this is directly connected to CSI (it is the functional subset) and IC is a subset. Find a case like that, and ID would be falsified. Of course, that has not been done and is not in prospect. An example of such an actual test is random document generation, which has maxed out at about 20 or so ASCII characters, a factor of 10^100 short of the complexity of the threshold given already. KF

    PS: Dembski in an article for an encyclopedia: >>intelligent design begins with a seemingly innocuous question: Can objects, even if nothing is known about how they arose, exhibit features that reliably signal the action of an intelligent cause? . . . Proponents of intelligent design, known as design theorists, purport to study such signs formally, rigorously, and scientifically. Intelligent design may therefore be defined as the science that studies signs of intelligence.>>

  219. 219
    Origenes says:

    Bornagain77 @

    Thank you for the following quote:

    1. Everything in the universe happens because of earlier events in accordance with causal law.

    My choices and decisions are events in the universe.
    They therefore happen as they do because of earlier events—events even before my birth—in accordance with causal law.
    I therefore have no free choice. I cannot act freely and cannot be held ethically responsible for my actions.”
    — Patrick Grim, Philosophy of Mind (The Great Courses)

    This argument, on its own, is a refutation of materialism.

    Let‘s consider the materialistic scenario where Bob’s thoughts and actions are consequences of physical events and laws of nature in the remote past before Bob was born.

    IF, indeed, the course of Bob’s thoughts and actions are produced by entities beyond his causal reach — physical events and laws of nature in the remote past before he was born —, then Bob is not the author of ‘his’ thoughts. Even ‘his’ understanding would not be ‘his’. Even his will to understanding would not be his.

    If Bob must hold belief ‘X’ due to entities beyond his causal control, whether he wants it or not, then it cannot be said that Bob believes ‘X’ on a rational basis. And, also, if Bob does not belief ‘X’, he would do so because it was settled by entities beyond his causal reach.

    Neither would Bob be involved in the coming into existence of his posts on this forum nor would he be able to make sense of them.

    I stick to my claim that Bob cannot seriously hold that materialism is true.

  220. 220
    bornagain77 says:

    Origenes as to the determistic/materialistic claim that “My choices,,, happen as they do because of earlier events—events even before my birth”

    1. Everything in the universe happens because of earlier events in accordance with causal law.

    My choices and decisions are events in the universe.
    They therefore happen as they do because of earlier events—events even before my birth—in accordance with causal law.
    I therefore have no free choice. I cannot act freely and cannot be held ethically responsible for my actions.”
    — Patrick Grim, Philosophy of Mind (The Great Courses)

    That claim has now been experimentally falsified: The “setting independence” or “free will” loophole in quantum mechanics has now been closed to 600 years before the present.

    Closing the ‘free will’ loophole: Using distant quasars to test Bell’s theorem – February 20, 2014
    Excerpt: Though two major loopholes have since been closed, a third remains; physicists refer to it as “setting independence,” or more provocatively, “free will.” This loophole proposes that a particle detector’s settings may “conspire” with events in the shared causal past of the detectors themselves to determine which properties of the particle to measure — a scenario that, however far-fetched, implies that a physicist running the experiment does not have complete free will in choosing each detector’s setting. Such a scenario would result in biased measurements, suggesting that two particles are correlated more than they actually are, and giving more weight to quantum mechanics than classical physics.
    “It sounds creepy, but people realized that’s a logical possibility that hasn’t been closed yet,” says MIT’s David Kaiser, the Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science and senior lecturer in the Department of Physics. “Before we make the leap to say the equations of quantum theory tell us the world is inescapably crazy and bizarre, have we closed every conceivable logical loophole, even if they may not seem plausible in the world we know today?”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....112515.htm

    Experiment Reaffirms Quantum Weirdness – 2017
    Excerpt: In the first of a planned series of “cosmic Bell test” experiments, the team sent pairs of photons from the roof of Zeilinger’s lab in Vienna through the open windows of two other buildings and into optical modulators, tallying coincident detections as usual. But this time, they attempted to lower the chance that the modulator settings might somehow become correlated with the states of the photons in the moments before each measurement. They pointed a telescope out of each window, trained each telescope on a bright and conveniently located (but otherwise random) star, and, before each measurement, used the color of an incoming photon from each star to set the angle of the associated modulator. The colors of these photons were decided hundreds of years ago, when they left their stars, increasing the chance that they (and therefore the measurement settings) were independent of the states of the photons being measured.
    And yet, the scientists found that the measurement outcomes still violated Bell’s upper limit, boosting their confidence that the polarized photons in the experiment exhibit spooky action at a distance after all.
    Nature could still exploit the freedom-of-choice loophole, but the universe would have had to delete items from the menu of possible measurement settings at least 600 years before the measurements occurred (when the closer of the two stars sent its light toward Earth). “Now one needs the correlations to have been established even before Shakespeare wrote, ‘Until I know this sure uncertainty, I’ll entertain the offered fallacy,’” Hall said.
    Next, the team plans to use light from increasingly distant quasars to control their measurement settings, probing further back in time and giving the universe an even smaller window to cook up correlations between future device settings and restrict freedoms.
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/20170207-bell-test-quantum-loophole/

    Cosmic Bell Test: Measurement Settings from Milky Way Stars – 2017
    Abstract:
    Bell’s theorem states that some predictions of quantum mechanics cannot be reproduced by a local-realist theory. That conflict is expressed by Bell’s inequality, which is usually derived under the assumption that there are no statistical correlations between the choices of measurement settings and anything else that can causally affect the measurement outcomes. In previous experiments, this “freedom of choice” was addressed by ensuring that selection of measurement settings via conventional “quantum random number generators” was spacelike separated from the entangled particle creation. This, however, left open the possibility that an unknown cause affected both the setting choices and measurement outcomes as recently as mere microseconds before each experimental trial. Here we report on a new experimental test of Bell’s inequality that, for the first time, uses distant astronomical sources as “cosmic setting generators.” In our tests with polarization-entangled photons, measurement settings were chosen using real-time observations of Milky Way stars while simultaneously ensuring locality. Assuming fair sampling for all detected photons, and that each stellar photon’s color was set at emission, we observe statistically significant ?7.31? and ?11.93? violations of Bell’s inequality with estimated p values of ?1.8×10?13 and ?4.0×10?33, respectively, thereby pushing back by ?600 years the most recent time by which any local-realist influences could have engineered the observed Bell violation.
    http://vcq.quantum.at/publicat...../2036.html

    Quantum Entanglement & the Cosmic Bell Test – video (February 2017)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGPJKJWY-7o

    Of related note to the preceding articles:

    But why is the quantum world thought spooky anyway? – September 1, 2015
    Excerpt: Zeilinger also notes that there remains one last, somewhat philosophical loophole, first identified by Bell himself: the possibility that hidden variables could somehow manipulate the experimenters’ choices of what properties to measure, tricking them into thinking quantum theory is correct.,,,
    Leifer is less troubled by this ‘freedom-of-choice loophole’, however. “It could be that there is some kind of superdeterminism, so that the choice of measurement settings was determined at the Big Bang,” he says. “We can never prove that is not the case, so I think it’s fair to say that most physicists don’t worry too much about this.”
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ky-anyway/

    ,,, if you truly believe that your free will choices were ‘superdetermined’ all the way back at the big bang, then I say welcome to Christianity since ultra-strict Calvinists have, for centuries, held to a ‘superdeterminism’ view of reality.

    Does God Control Everything? – Tim Keller – (God’s sovereignty, evil, and our free will, how do they mesh? Short answer? God’s Omniscience!) – video (12:00 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/MDbKCZodtZI?t=727

    Quote, video and verse:

    “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.”
    – C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

    Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity, General Relativity and Christianity
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4QDy1Soolo

    Matthew 10:28
    “Do not fear those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

  221. 221
    Seversky says:

    bornagain77 @ 217

    But the neuronal illusion of Bob has no free will. Under materialism, Bob is a deterministic automaton. Moreover, under materialism, objective morality itself is an illusion. With no persons with free will and objective morality, under materialism the entire concept a person having a motive, (i.e. moral culpability), for anything is pure nonsense.

    Depending on how you define it, objective morality is absurd on its face. Why should the universe care one jot how we behave towards one another? The only beings it does concern are ourselves because we are the ones affected.

    As far as free will is concerned, again depending on how you define it, there is nothing in materialism that excludes the possibility since it does not necessarily entail strict determinism.

    Of course, an omniscient God would preclude the possibility of free will and, indeed, the Bible provides evidence for that in the account of Peter denying three times any acquaintanceship with Jesus. And that was after being warned by Jesus that he was going to do just that. Which strongly suggests Peter had no choice in the matter and, by implication, neither do we.

    For example, under materialism, Jeffrey Dahmer had no real motive, (i.e. moral culpability,) for all the murders he committed since he had no free will. Dahmer was merely a helpless deterministic automaton. Moreover, even if he could have somehow prevented himself from committing all those murders, there is nothing inherent within materialism that would deem those murders as being objectively morally evil. Materialism is completely amoral. Dahmer was no more guilty of murder than a boulder falling on someone would be guilty of murder.

    Yes, materialism is amoral in the sense that you cannot derive any notion of how we ought to behave from any description of what is, not without committing the naturalistic fallacy. That does not prevent us from agreeing amongst ourselves on a moral code, in fact it almost mandates it if there is no one else to do it for us.

    In other words Bob, according to his materialism, has no motives for anything he does nor is there any real justice to be had for Bob’s sense of being morally offended

    Is Bob a materialist in your sense of the word? Only he can say. But even if he is that does not prevent him arriving at views on how people should behave towards one another in society or on reaching an agreement with others on what these moral guidelines should be. For example, I suspect the overwhelming majority of people would prefer that they and their loved ones and friends did not become victims of a Bundy or a Dahmer so such behavior would be prohibited. They don’t need someone else to tell them such behavior is bad. Unlike some Christians who, apparently, would stand around scratching their heads when faced with the acts of a Dahmer until their God told them that they were bad.

  222. 222
    bornagain77 says:

    And Seversky, you were trying to make a coherent argument how exactly?

    Your supposed rebuttal is a, citation free, rambling on of your own personal opinions in no particular order. Try again, with specific references in a specific order.

    Moreover, If you are just going to cite your own personal opinion, instead of scientific evidence, that you have no free will, then the claim itself pretty much refutes your personal opinion! 🙂

    Sam Harris’s Free Will: The Medial Pre-Frontal Cortex Did It – Martin Cothran – November 9, 2012
    Excerpt: There is something ironic about the position of thinkers like Harris on issues like this: they claim that their position is the result of the irresistible necessity of logic (in fact, they pride themselves on their logic). Their belief is the consequent, in a ground/consequent relation between their evidence and their conclusion. But their very stated position is that any mental state — including their position on this issue — is the effect of a physical, not logical cause.
    By their own logic, it isn’t logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....66221.html

  223. 223
    Origenes says:

    Bornagain77: ,,, if you truly believe that your free will choices were ‘superdetermined’ all the way back at the big bang, then I say welcome to Christianity since ultra-strict Calvinists have, for centuries, held to a ‘superdeterminism’ view of reality.

    Isn’t it ironic? If Bob holds that his thoughts are produced by an entity (or entities) beyond his control and are rational, then the only explanation for both these facts is that this ‘entity’, at the beginning of the chain of physical events which constitute the universe, is rational.
    Welcome to theism Bob!

  224. 224
    Bob O'H says:

    Origenes @ 214 – I asked about your statement “logic informs us that there is no place for rationality in a purely physical world.”. I guess it’s appropriate in a thread on this post that your 10 reasons constitute a Gish gallop. But it seems I can’t avoid it, so here goes…

    (1) By its very nature matter is not about rationality, so, why?

    I’m not sure matter is “about” anything, but so what? We’re not discussing semiotics.

    (2) There is no concept of a physical thing with the overview, intent and/or power to coordinate events in the brain, which consists of quadrillions of particles separated by relatively vast amounts of space, into coherent reason.

    Yes there is: it’s called the brain.

    (3) No one knows how laws of reason reduce to physical laws.

    Is there any reason why they should? Aren’t they about different things? Laws of reason are epistemic rules that we use to (for example) deduce physical laws.

    (4) All material events, including our thoughts, trace back to past events long before we were born. We have no control over these events, so, we have no control over our thoughts — or anything else for that matter. So, we are not rational.

    This is a non sequitur (and also denies free will, of course). If we are control over our thoughts, then we would still be able to trace events back to long before we were born.

    (5) Reason is the collective result of quadrillions of particles not of one rational person. So, we, as persons, are not rational.

    That person is made up of the collection of “quadrillions of particles”. As reason is the “collective result”, the collective (i.e. the person) is rational.

    (6) There is no person in the material brain — quadrillions of tiny particles separated by relatively vast amounts of space. So, we are not rational.

    This is also a non sequitur. Fortunately, I don’t think anyone is as arch-reductionist as this.

    (7) Matter acts according to the laws of nature and no one controls the laws of nature. So, we are not the authors of ‘our’ thoughts, and, therefore, we are not rational.

    But ‘our’ thoughts could be rational, even if the laws of nature are not under personal control.

    (8) Physical events, of the determined and undetermined kind, are not rationally motivated events. So, we are not rational.

    Another non sequitur. Event happen. But people do things, and what people chose to do can be rationally motivated.

    (9) Reason is an unintended by-product of physical events which are intrinsically not about reason. So, we cannot trust our reason.

    Another non sequitur (I’m spotting a pattern…). Just because something is unintended, that doesn’t mean it can’t be trusted. I never intend to get a puncture on my bike, but when I do, it can be trusted to be a pretty crappy ride.

    (10) We cannot judge between truth and falsity, because any such judgment would be just as suspect as what we seek to adjudicate. At no point can we step out of the circle of uncontrollable physical processes to a transcendent standpoint that would allow us to reject some beliefs as tainted while remaining untainted ourselves. So, we cannot trust reason.

    This is just wrong: mathematics does precisely this in a formal setting . And anyway, if I drop a large brick on my foot, it’s not suspect that I’ve dropped a large brick on my foot. And it will certainly be true that my foot will hurt. That is not suspect either. I don’t need to step outside the universe to know that my foot hurts.

  225. 225
    Bob O'H says:

    Origenes @ 223 –

    If Bob holds that his thoughts are produced by an entity (or entities) beyond his control and are rational, then the only explanation for both these facts is that this ‘entity’, at the beginning of the chain of physical events which constitute the universe, is rational.

    Err, no. The universe is ordered, but I wouldn’t say that it is intelligent. Rationality came about later, just as planets weren’t present at the beginning of the universe.

  226. 226
    bornagain77 says:

    as to: ‘Err, no. The universe is ordered, but I wouldn’t say that it is intelligent. Rationality came about later, just as planets weren’t present at the beginning of the universe.’

    The applicability of mathematics to the universe, Godel, fine-tuning, and quantum mechanics all disagree with you. Conscious Intelligence, i.e. rationality, precedes the existence of the universe.

    I can cite evidence for each claim. Whereas you, like Seversky, can only cite your own self-refuting opinion which was arrived at by no “free will’ power of your own. i.e. By your own logic, you are merely a automaton randomly spewing out whatever the laws of physics have predetermined you to spew out. 🙂

    Not an enviable position to be in in the least since it is, besides contradicted by multiple lines of evidence, insane.

    Copernican Principle, Agent Causality, and Jesus Christ as the “Theory of Everything”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NziDraiPiOw

  227. 227
    Allan Keith says:

    The arguments against subjective morality and materialism in this thread have devolved into a Gish gallop.

  228. 228
    bornagain77 says:

    And AK’s stellar ability at refuting scientific evidence and logic is revealed by his juvenile ad hominem of “Gish gallop.”

    How many times have you’ve been banned from UD previously AK?

  229. 229
    Bob O'H says:

    ba77 @ 226 – I don’t see any point is responding to you: you continually mis-represent my views, even though I have tried to correct you several times.

  230. 230
    ET says:

    There cannot be a Gish gallop on a blog or discussion forum.

  231. 231
    ET says:

    Bob- You seem to afraid to tell us what your views are. So it is your fault if they are misrepresented

  232. 232
    bornagain77 says:

    Bob: “The universe is ordered, but I wouldn’t say that it is intelligent. Rationality came about later, just as planets weren’t present at the beginning of the universe.”

    BA77: “The applicability of mathematics to the universe, Godel, fine-tuning, and quantum mechanics all disagree with you. Conscious Intelligence, i.e. rationality, precedes the existence of the universe.”

    Bob: “I don’t see any point is responding to you: you continually mis-represent my views, even though I have tried to correct you several times.”

    So does Bob now claim that rationality precedes the universe? 🙂

    Of related note: The very success of modern science is stunning confirmation of the Christian presuppositions that underlay the founding of modern science. Namely Christianity holds, “among other things, that a personal, rational God designed a rational universe to be understood and controlled by rational persons made in His image”

    Science and Theism: Concord, not Conflict* – Robert C. Koons
    IV. The Dependency of Science Upon Theism (Page 21)
    Excerpt: Far from undermining the credibility of theism, the remarkable success of science in modern times is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of theism. It was from the perspective of Judeo-Christian theism—and from the perspective alone—that it was predictable that science would have succeeded as it has. Without the faith in the rational intelligibility of the world and the divine vocation of human beings to master it, modern science would never have been possible, and, even today, the continued rationality of the enterprise of science depends on convictions that can be reasonably grounded only in theistic metaphysics.
    http://www.robkoons.net/media/.....ffd524.pdf

    The Threat to the Scientific Method that Explains the Spate of Fraudulent Science Publications – Calvin Beisner | Jul 23, 2014
    Excerpt: It is precisely because modern science has abandoned its foundations in the Biblical worldview (which holds, among other things, that a personal, rational God designed a rational universe to be understood and controlled by rational persons made in His image) and the Biblical ethic (which holds, among other things, that we are obligated to tell the truth even when it inconveniences us) that science is collapsing.
    As such diverse historians and philosophers of science as Alfred North Whitehead, Pierre Duhem, Loren Eiseley, Rodney Stark, and many others have observed,, science—not an occasional flash of insight here and there, but a systematic, programmatic, ongoing way of studying and controlling the world—arose only once in history, and only in one place: medieval Europe, once known as “Christendom,” where that Biblical worldview reigned supreme. That is no accident. Science could not have arisen without that worldview.
    http://townhall.com/columnists...../page/full
    Several other resources backing up this claim are available, such as Thomas Woods, Stanley Jaki, David Linberg, Edward Grant, J.L. Heilbron, and Christopher Dawson.

    The truth about science and religion By Terry Scambray – August 14, 2014
    Excerpt: In 1925 the renowned philosopher and mathematician, Alfred North Whitehead speaking to scholars at Harvard said that science originated in Christian Europe in the 13th century. Whitehead pointed out that science arose from “the medieval insistence on the rationality of God, conceived as with the personal energy of Jehovah and with the rationality of a Greek philosopher”, from which it follows that human minds created in that image are capable of understanding nature.
    The audience, assuming that science and Christianity are enemies, was astonished.
    http://www.americanthinker.com.....igion.html

    The War against the War Between Science and Faith Revisited – July 2010
    Excerpt: …as Whitehead pointed out, it is no coincidence that science sprang, not from Ionian metaphysics, not from the Brahmin-Buddhist-Taoist East, not from the Egyptian-Mayan astrological South, but from the heart of the Christian West, that although Galileo fell out with the Church, he would hardly have taken so much trouble studying Jupiter and dropping objects from towers if the reality and value and order of things had not first been conferred by belief in the Incarnation. (Walker Percy, Lost in the Cosmos),,,
    If science suffered only stillbirths in ancient cultures, how did it come to its unique viable birth? The beginning of science as a fully fledged enterprise took place in relation to two important definitions of the Magisterium of the Church. The first was the definition at the Fourth Lateran Council in the year 1215, that the universe was created out of nothing at the beginning of time. The second magisterial statement was at the local level, enunciated by Bishop Stephen Tempier of Paris who, on March 7, 1277, condemned 219 Aristotelian propositions, so outlawing the deterministic and necessitarian views of creation.
    These statements of the teaching authority of the Church expressed an atmosphere in which faith in God had penetrated the medieval culture and given rise to philosophical consequences. The cosmos was seen as contingent in its existence and thus dependent on a divine choice which called it into being; the universe is also contingent in its nature and so God was free to create this particular form of world among an infinity of other possibilities. Thus the cosmos cannot be a necessary form of existence; and so it has to be approached by a posteriori investigation. The universe is also rational and so a coherent discourse can be made about it. Indeed the contingency and rationality of the cosmos are like two pillars supporting the Christian vision of the cosmos.
    http://www.scifiwright.com/201.....revisited/

  233. 233
    Allan Keith says:

    ET,

    There cannot be a Gish gallop on a blog or discussion forum.

    Wiki begs to differ:

    ”In written form, a Gish Gallop is most commonly observed as a long list of supposed facts or reasons, as a pamphlet or green ink web page, with a title that proudly boasts the number of reasons involved.”

  234. 234
    bornagain77 says:

    Wikipedia is credible on anything to do with ID?

    Wikipedia Earns Censor of the Year Tag for Botching Evolution, Intelligent Design
    David Klinghoffer By David Klinghoffer | February 12, 2018
    https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/david-klinghoffer/wikipedia-earns-censor-year-tag-botching-evolution-intelligent-design

  235. 235
    ET says:

    Wikipedia can say just about anything. It doesn’t make it true

  236. 236
    bornagain77 says:

    Besides the denial of free will undermining any claim the Atheist’s makes that he is being, or can be, rational, Darwin’s theory itself undermines the Atheist’s claim that he is being, or can be, rational.

    Scientific Peer Review is in Trouble: From Medical Science to Darwinism – Mike Keas – October 10, 2012
    Excerpt: Survival is all that matters on evolutionary naturalism. Our evolving brains are more likely to give us useful fictions that promote survival rather than the truth about reality. Thus evolutionary naturalism undermines all rationality (including confidence in science itself). Renown philosopher Alvin Plantinga has argued against naturalism in this way (summary of that argument is linked on the site:).
    Or, if your short on time and patience to grasp Plantinga’s nuanced argument, see if you can digest this thought from evolutionary cognitive psychologist Steve Pinker, who baldly states:
    “Our brains are shaped for fitness, not for truth; sometimes the truth is adaptive, sometimes it is not.”
    Steven Pinker, evolutionary cognitive psychologist, How the Mind Works (W.W. Norton, 1997), p. 305.
    http://blogs.christianpost.com.....ism-12421/

    Why Evolutionary Theory Cannot Survive Itself – Nancy Pearcey – March 8, 2015
    Excerpt: Steven Pinker writes, “Our brains were shaped for fitness, not for truth. Sometimes the truth is adaptive, but sometimes it is not.” The upshot is that survival is no guarantee of truth. If survival is the only standard, we can never know which ideas are true and which are adaptive but false.
    To make the dilemma even more puzzling, evolutionists tell us that natural selection has produced all sorts of false concepts in the human mind. Many evolutionary materialists maintain that free will is an illusion, consciousness is an illusion, even our sense of self is an illusion — and that all these false ideas were selected for their survival value.
    So how can we know whether the theory of evolution itself is one of those false ideas? The theory undercuts itself.,,,
    Of course, the atheist pursuing his research has no choice but to rely on rationality, just as everyone else does. The point is that he has no philosophical basis for doing so. Only those who affirm a rational Creator have a basis for trusting human rationality.
    The reason so few atheists and materialists seem to recognize the problem is that, like Darwin, they apply their skepticism selectively. They apply it to undercut only ideas they reject, especially ideas about God. They make a tacit exception for their own worldview commitments.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....94171.html

    Why Atheism is Nonsense Pt.5 – “Naturalism is a Self-defeating Idea”video
    Excerpt: “Since we are creatures of natural selection, we cannot totally trust our senses. Evolution only passes on traits that help a species survive, and not concerned with preserving traits that tell a species what is actually true about life.”
    Richard Dawkins – quoted from “The God Delusion”

    Quote: “In evolutionary games we put truth on the stage and it dies. And in genetic algorithms it (truth) never gets on the stage”
    Donald Hoffman PhD. – Consciousness and The Interface Theory of Perception – 7:19 to 9:20 minute mark – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=dqDP34a-epI#t=439

    Moreover, as if that was not bad enough, if Darwin’s theory were actually true, then ALL of our perceptions of reality would also be illusory:

    Donald Hoffman: Do we see reality as it is? – Video – 9:59 minute mark
    Quote: “fitness does depend on reality as it is, yes.,,, Fitness is not the same thing as reality as it is, and it is fitness, and not reality as it is, that figures centrally in the equations of evolution. So, in my lab, we have run hundreds of thousands of evolutionary game simulations with lots of different randomly chosen worlds and organisms that compete for resources in those worlds. Some of the organisms see all of the reality. Others see just part of the reality. And some see none of the reality. Only fitness. Who wins? Well I hate to break it to you but perception of reality goes extinct. In almost every simulation, organisms that see none of reality, but are just tuned to fitness, drive to extinction that perceive reality as it is. So the bottom line is, evolution does not favor veridical, or accurate perceptions. Those (accurate) perceptions of reality go extinct. Now this is a bit stunning. How can it be that not seeing the world accurately gives us a survival advantage?”
    https://youtu.be/oYp5XuGYqqY?t=601

    The Evolutionary Argument Against Reality – April 2016
    The cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman uses evolutionary game theory to show that our perceptions of an independent reality must be illusions.
    Excerpt: “The classic argument is that those of our ancestors who saw more accurately had a competitive advantage over those who saw less accurately and thus were more likely to pass on their genes that coded for those more accurate perceptions, so after thousands of generations we can be quite confident that we’re the offspring of those who saw accurately, and so we see accurately. That sounds very plausible. But I think it is utterly false. It misunderstands the fundamental fact about evolution, which is that it’s about fitness functions — mathematical functions that describe how well a given strategy achieves the goals of survival and reproduction. The mathematical physicist Chetan Prakash proved a theorem that I devised that says: According to evolution by natural selection, an organism that sees reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees none of reality but is just tuned to fitness. Never.”
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/20160421-the-evolutionary-argument-against-reality/

    The Interface Theory of Perception – 2015
    Donald D. Hoffman & Manish Singh & Chetan Prakash
    http://people.psych.cornell.ed.....erface.pdf
    http://ruccs.rutgers.edu/image.....15_PBR.pdf (follow-up discussion)

    The Case Against Reality – May 13, 2016
    Excerpt: Hoffman seems to come to a conclusion similar to the one Alvin Plantinga argues in ch. 10 of Where the Conflict Really Lies: we should not expect — in the absence of further argument — that creatures formed by a naturalistic evolutionary process would have veridical perceptions.,,,
    First, even if Hoffman’s argument were restricted to visual perception, and not to our cognitive faculties more generally (e.g., memory, introspection, a priori rational insight, testimonial belief, inferential reasoning, etc.), the conclusion that our visual perceptions would be wholly unreliable given natural selection would be sufficient for Plantinga’s conclusion of self-defeat. After all, reliance upon the veridicality of our visual perceptions was and always will be crucial for any scientific argument for the truth of evolution. So if these perceptions cannot be trusted, we have little reason to think evolutionary theory is true.
    Second, it’s not clear that Hoffman’s application of evolutionary game theory is only specially applicable to visual perception, rather than being relevant for our cognitive faculties generally. If “we find that veridical perceptions can be driven to extinction by non-veridical strategies that are tuned to utility rather than objective reality” (2010, p. 504, my emphasis), then why wouldn’t veridical cognitive faculties (more generally) be driven to extinction by non-veridical strategies that are tuned to utility rather than objective reality? After all, evolutionary theory purports to be the true account of the formation of all of our cognitive faculties, not just our faculty of visual perception. If evolutionary game theory proves that “true perception generally goes extinct” when “animals that perceive the truth compete with others that sacrifice truth for speed and energy-efficiency” (2008), why wouldn’t there be a similar sacrifice with respect to other cognitive faculties? In fact, Hoffman regards the following theorem as now proven: “According to evolution by natural selection, an organism that sees reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees none of reality but is just tuned to fitness” (Atlantic interview). But then wouldn’t it also be the case that an organism that cognizes reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that cognizes none of reality but is just tuned to fitness? On the evolutionary story, every cognitive faculty we have was produced by a process that was tuned to fitness (rather than tuned to some other value, such as truth).
    http://www.gregwelty.com/2016/.....t-reality/

  237. 237
    bornagain77 says:

    Although the population genetics of Darwin’s theory denies the reliability of our observations of reality, reliable observation is a necessary cornerstone of the scientific method.

    Steps of the Scientific Method
    Observation/Research
    Hypothesis
    Prediction
    Experimentation
    Conclusion
    http://www.sciencemadesimple.c.....ethod.html

    Thus, since Darwinian evolution denies ‘reliable observation’, which is a necessary cornerstone of the scientific method itself, then Darwinian evolution can never be based upon the scientific method and is therefore falsified once again in its claim to be a scientific theory.

    Moreover, completely contrary to what Hoffman found for Darwinian theory, it turns out that accurate perception, i.e. conscious observation, far from being unreliable and illusory, is experimentally found to be far more integral to reality, i.e. far more reliable of reality, than the mathematics of population genetics predicted. In the following experiment, it was found that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.

    New Mind-blowing Experiment Confirms That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It – June 3, 2015
    Excerpt: The results of the Australian scientists’ experiment, which were published in the journal Nature Physics, show that this choice is determined by the way the object is measured, which is in accordance with what quantum theory predicts.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Truscott in a press release.,,,
    “The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence,” he said.
    Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.
    http://themindunleashed.org/20.....at-it.html

    Apparently science itself could care less if atheists are forced to believe, because of the mathematics of population genetics, that their observations of reality are illusory!

    As Richard Feynman stated:

    The Scientific Method – Richard Feynman – video
    Quote: “If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what his name is… If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL6-x0modwY

    Thus, although the Darwinist firmly believes he is on the terra firma of science, the fact of the matter is that, in their denial of their own immaterial mind, it is found that Darwinists are adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor for reality to grab on to:

    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

    supplemental note:

    Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – 39:45 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/8rzw0JkuKuQ?t=2387
    Excerpt: Basically, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris), who has unreliable beliefs about reality (Plantinga), who has illusory perceptions of reality (Hoffman), who, since he has no real time empirical evidence substantiating his grandiose claims, must make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Behe, Gould, Sternberg), so as to ‘explain away’ the appearance (i.e. illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the reality of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God.
    Bottom line, nothing is real in the atheist’s worldview, least of all, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,,
    Paper with references for each claim page; Page 34:
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pAYmZpUWFEi3hu45FbQZEvGKsZ9GULzh8KM0CpqdePk/edit

  238. 238
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, above AK proves himself the troll, in this case a willful slanderer. Going forward, treat him as of that ilk. KF

  239. 239
    blip says:

    Troll or not (I’m persuaded to think troll by Allan’s repeated choices) the proper response is always to speak truth for the benefit of the other, while understanding the risk of further hardening the heart of the unwilling. It’s what happens when doubt crosses from honest questioning to outright rebellion and selfishness.

    In a previous response Allan mused about enjoying having a beer with Jesus and watching the camel races.

    I asked where he got the idea Jesus was a nice guy and he said from the Scriptures, same place as me.

    There are three misconceptions here. The first is that because Jesus is kind he is nice or cool to hang out with. Each has little to do with the other. Nice, cool, they are milk toast. Kind is sacrificial.

    The second is that, rather than seeing Jesus in Scripture, Allan is seeing himself in a mirror, and liking what he sees. Allan has met his twin brother, not Jesus. This is related to the self-referential problem that plagues materialist ideology.

    The third is that Allan encounters Jesus in the Scriptures only as a protagonist in a story and assumes that’s all I have access to as well. Not so. Jesus did not just live and die. He also rose again. That, too, is in Scripture for those humble enough not to sit in judgment over it, picking and choosing what they wish to accept. Not that there isn’t good evidence for the resurrection. On the contrary, it is excellent, but a topic for another day.

    But there’s more. Also found in Scripture is the experience every true believer, eyes wide open, comes to experience and understand: Jesus is alive and relates to him throughout his life as the living Man-God, both brother and Deity simultaneously. And this the believer comes to understand not just from reading a book or from accepting what someone else says. It comes from encountering the living God face to face. And that doesn’t happen by staring into a mirror, for the first thing noticed is how utterly different Jesus is from the broken believer.

    But if this is so, why is it not also the experience of the non-believer? Think of two reasons. First, God is not just interested in intellectual ascent (Yeah, he exists, so what’s for dinner?), but in trust (I can place my life completely in his care). This is true of every deep human relationship, isn’t it?

    Second, for the protection of those who don’t believe. Although it happens in rare moments, God desires for people to invite him into their lives, not to barge in and impose himself on others. This also is true of every deep human relationship, isn’t it? And who has a deep relationship with Jesus, atheists?

    There is a pattern here.

    So the fact is, if Jesus were to appear to Allan in Allan’s current state of being, no number of diapers would manage to contain Allan’s self expression. But I assure you, he would come clean. Problem is, there wouldn’t be much Allan left.

    So the good Lord prefers to wait for Allan’s sake, giving him more time. The Lord need not wait to learn, for he knows all things, but he waits so Allan may learn and experience in time. Because time is all that keeps Allan’s candle of hope flickering, the candle Allan cannot keep lit himself, nor did he make it, though he posseses it. It was a gift.

    But there is only so much wax. Allan’s remedy is to imagine annihilation, never understanding that he was not made for termination, never coming to the realization that no length of time suffices to pay for sins against the Eternal One. So rejection becomes the remedy. But this is the problem, not the solution.

    Rejection does not change reality. It only cements Allan’s trail in the Garden of Forking Paths. In short time, the cement hardens. Backtracking to the point where the error was chosen and taking another path becomes impossible. Call it death.

    In an act of poetic justice, the One who makes the immaterial possible would use the end of material life as the only conveyor to the materialist of his sealed fate.

    Unless Allan calls on the name of the Lord to end his charade, Allan will remember this kind warning at a most inopportune moment.

    The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

    Love does not want the Fool to perish. But Love grants the Fool the choice.

  240. 240
    kairosfocus says:

    Blip, a good note and the right perspective. We do need to speak truth for corrective record, but we must also not feed the trollish slanders and accusations further. In this case, we see a term of slander and dismissal being promoted by besmirching a name and using the smear to spread to others; with intent to lock out serious discussion by jumping on any reasonable alternative. If you use your words and argue in summary on the merits, who are you to say, quote professional or serious literature. If you cite, you are quote mining — allegedly distorting and misrepresenting. If you cite in sufficient extent to be clear on context (or argue out in steps), it is a “word salad” or TL/DR. If you cite admissions against interest, you are “quote-mining” again. If you cite extensively, you are piling up lies, half truths and weak arguments. If you point out that in a modern sense inductive context a cumulative case gains cogency from mutual support, you are doing the same. If you point out that if someone were to pile up lies, half truths and poorly supported claims, that would be readily exposed by targetting several key points and correcting, that is studiously ignored in a rush to double down. If you win 300+:0 public debates, publishing your basic evidence in several books (not to mention that tapes are there) your name is twisted into a slanderous accusation. If you highlight the core ID inference and challenge, inviting counter-example [as the empirical test], there is no counter example to a trillion cases in point on origin of FSCO/I, but somehow the design inference is not central to ID and ID is unfalsifiable. And, all along, there is an ad hominem insinuation that lies in the close sub-text: ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked. These are not the tactics of someone confidently standing on command of the merits. They are the vile techniques of trollishness, a back-handed admission of having lost the case on its merits. The key issue going forward is not the case on the merits (that seems to be over and ID has won by default of ceding the field) but ideologically motivated, irresponsible, entrenched agendas that are institutionally and culturally dominant and domineering. In the end, you are right, that is a manifestation of a serious spiritual problem. KF

  241. 241
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, either prove that BA77, the undersigned etc are piling up lies, half truths and weak arguments or stand exposed as utterly irresponsible and willfully slanderous. And if you think that you can use “weak arguments” as a dog whistle term for what is utterly clear from the principle that a half-truth is a whole lie, think again. Likewise, you went way beyond the pale when you asserted “evil is a concept fabricated by religion.” When corrected on this, you tried to slide away as though that were not grossly irresponsible and foolish. All of the above fits a pattern of gross irresponsibility, and it is again quite plain that you need to think again and change your ways. KF

  242. 242
    Origenes says:

    Bob O’H @224

    (1) By its very nature matter is not about rationality, so, why?

    Bob: I’m not sure matter is “about” anything, but so what? We’re not discussing semiotics.

    The proposition ‘A is the cause of B’, is unlikely to be true when A is not in any way inclined to produce B. For instance, the proposition ‘a group of toddlers produced the general theory of relativity’ is unlikely to be true because toddlers are not interested in that topic. Similarly matter is not ‘interested’ in producing reason.
    This fact constitutes an obvious problem for the proposition ‘matter produces reason.’ Your response “so what?” does not solve that problem.

    (2) There is no concept of a physical thing with the overview, intent and/or power to coordinate events in the brain, which consists of quadrillions of particles separated by relatively vast amounts of space, into coherent reason.

    Bob: Yes there is: it’s called the brain.

    So, according to you, ‘the brain’ has overview of itself, the intent to produce reason, and the power to coordinate quadrillions of particles into coherent reason. Given materialism, how does that work? One question would be: how does the brain steer quadrillions of particles towards a coordinated rational activity when those particles are not inclined to do so on their own?

    (3) No one knows how laws of reason reduce to physical laws.

    Bob: Is there any reason why they should?

    Yes, since materialism proposes that physical laws produce the laws of reason.

    (4) All material events, including our thoughts, trace back to past events long before we were born. We have no control over these events, so, we have no control over our thoughts — or anything else for that matter. So, we are not rational.

    Bob: This is a non sequitur (and also denies free will, of course). If we are control over our thoughts, then we would still be able to trace events back to long before we were born.

    ? I suggest that you consider my argument again:
    If materialism is true, then our thoughts are the consequence of physical events long before we were born and physical laws. We do not control physical events long before we were born, nor do we control the physical laws. It follows that we have no control over our thoughts. Assuming that rationality presupposes control over one’s thoughts, we are not rational.

    (5) Reason is the collective result of quadrillions of particles not of one rational person. So, we, as persons, are not rational.

    Bob: That person is made up of the collection of “quadrillions of particles”. As reason is the “collective result”, the collective (i.e. the person) is rational.

    So, you say that “one person” can be “quadrillions of particles”. You are a materialist, so you have to say that.
    Okay, but here is one problem with that statement: under materialism, our thoughts, are the consequence of countless particles that precede the existence of the brain in time; see also (4). So, unless you claim that e.g. the Big Bang is part of you as a person, your position is problematic.

    (6) There is no person in the material brain — quadrillions of tiny particles separated by relatively vast amounts of space. So, we are not rational.

    Bob: This is also a non sequitur. Fortunately, I don’t think anyone is as arch-reductionist as this.

    Then tell me where the person is in the brain.

    (7) Matter acts according to the laws of nature and no one controls the laws of nature. So, we are not the authors of ‘our’ thoughts, and, therefore, we are not rational.

    Bob: But ‘our’ thoughts could be rational, even if the laws of nature are not under personal control.

    Unresponsive. My argument is that, since we are not the authors of ‘our’ thoughts, we are not rational.

    (8) Physical events, of the determined and undetermined kind, are not rationally motivated events. So, we are not rational.

    Bob: Another non sequitur. Event happen. But people do things, and what people chose to do can be rationally motivated.

    Unresponsive. Under materialism there are but two kinds of events (determined and undetermined). That’s all there is, according to materialism. Both types of events are not rationally motivated. So, if materialism is true, rationally motivated events do not exist. It follows that nothing is rational. If nothing is rational … we are not rational.

    (9) Reason is an unintended by-product of physical events which are intrinsically not about reason. So, we cannot trust our reason.

    Bob: Another non sequitur (I’m spotting a pattern…). Just because something is unintended, that doesn’t mean it can’t be trusted.

    If one randomly throws scrap metal together and the unintended result looks like a plane, it is unlikely that it is a well-built plane.

    (10) We cannot judge between truth and falsity, because any such judgment would be just as suspect as what we seek to adjudicate. At no point can we step out of the circle of uncontrollable physical processes to a transcendent standpoint that would allow us to reject some beliefs as tainted while remaining untainted ourselves. So, we cannot trust reason.

    Bob: This is just wrong: mathematics does precisely this in a formal setting.

    Godel’s incompleteness theorem? But that proves my point.

    Bob: And anyway, if I drop a large brick on my foot, it’s not suspect that I’ve dropped a large brick on my foot. And it will certainly be true that my foot will hurt. That is not suspect either. I don’t need to step outside the universe to know that my foot hurts.

    Okay, this is not about my argument at all. In short, my point is that uncontrollable physical processes cannot judge themselves. Maybe I will elucidate the point at a later time.

  243. 243
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I have added a third PS to the OP, clipping another thread on how the slanderous taint in the term in accusation a in the OP was there from the beginning. Ms Scott is subtler than the original form of Rational Wiki, but a half truth is a whole lie. And, using the dog whistle term “weak arguments” only serves to camouflage the underlying double slander, of the late Dr Duane Gish and of those accused unjustly and irresponsibly today. The term “Gish Gallop” is a term of dirty rhetorical stereotyping, scapegoating, abuse and bigotry, laced with the insinuation that those who dare to question the domineering evolutionary materialist agenda are ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked. Such a term is a case of verbal bullying and slander, not responsible discussion. Anyone who insists on it shows himself to be playing the troll by doubling down on slander in order to sow discord, alienate, polarise and frustrate serious discussion. Correct and expose the trolls [and draw lessons for the honest onlooker], do not entertain them. KF

  244. 244
    Bob O'H says:

    Origenes @ 242 –
    (I’ve added the numbers of the points, in case anyone wants to follow back)

    (2) So, according to you, ‘the brain’ has overview of itself, the intent to produce reason, and the power to coordinate quadrillions of particles into coherent reason. Given materialism, how does that work?

    Well, that’s the hard problem of consciousness. 🙂 But certainly I intend to “produce reason” and evidently my brain does coordinate itself (i.e. I can decide to think about things).

    (3) No one knows how laws of reason reduce to physical laws.

    Bob: Is there any reason why they should?

    (3) Yes, since materialism proposes that physical laws produce the laws of reason.

    That’s not a good reason: it is a reason why the process of elucidation of the laws of reason should reduce to physical laws, and the laws of reason should (at some level) be consonant with physical laws, but I don’t see why they have to reduce to physical laws. The laws of cricket, for example, don’t reduce to physical laws.

    On point 4, a re-statement doesn’t get us very far.

    (5) So, you say that “one person” can be “quadrillions of particles”. You are a materialist, so you have to say that.

    Well, yes. Just like your car is “quadrillions of particles”, but is still a car.

    (5a) Okay, but here is one problem with that statement: under materialism, our thoughts, are the consequence of countless particles that precede the existence of the brain in time; see also (4). So, unless you claim that e.g. the Big Bang is part of you as a person, your position is problematic.

    Err, no. I don’t accept your point 4 and you haven’t done anything to defend it from my argument.

    (6) Then tell me where the person is in the brain.

    The person isn’t “in” the brain: the person (i.e. the consciousness/personality) is a product of the brain’s activity. So your question makes no sense. It’s like asking where “is” the car in all those atoms of metal, carbon etc. in your Prius.

    (7) Unresponsive. My argument is that, since we are not the authors of ‘our’ thoughts, we are not rational.

    My apologies – I was answering what you wrote. But if, for the sake of argument, I accept your suggestion that we are not the authors of ‘our’ thoughts, that still doesn’t stop us being rational, as long as our thoughts are rational.

    (8) Unresponsive. Under materialism there are but two kinds of events (determined and undetermined). That’s all there is, according to materialism. Both types of events are not rationally motivated. So, if materialism is true, rationally motivated events do not exist.

    Another non sequitur, at best. First, I don’t know what you mean by “determined and undetermined”. But if I (rationally) decide to do something, that event has a rational motivation. At this point you’re totally ignoring the issue that we, as humans, can be rational.

    (9) If one randomly throws scrap metal together and the unintended result looks like a plane, it is unlikely that it is a well-built plane.

    If this is the best counter-argument you have, you’re not doing well. Here’s a counter-counter-example: even if there is no intention that the fjord down the hill from my house should be there, I can still trust it to be wet (and cold at this time of year!).

    (10) Godel’s incompleteness theorem? But that proves my point.

    Ah, no surprise that came up! But what Gödel showed was that some formal statements can’t be proved within a formal system. Not all statements, just some. He accepted that a lot of statements can be proved. Including his famous incompleteness theorem.

  245. 245
    Origenes says:

    Bob O’H @225

    O: If Bob holds that his thoughts are produced by an entity (or entities) beyond his control and are rational, then the only explanation for both these facts is that this ‘entity’, at the beginning of the chain of physical events which constitute the universe, is rational.

    Bob: Err, no. The universe is ordered, but I wouldn’t say that it is intelligent.

    I wouldn’t either.

    Bob: Rationality came about later, just as planets weren’t present at the beginning of the universe.

    According to materialism, whatever “came about later” — such as rationality or planets —, is the consequence of physical events and laws which precede it in time. If a chain of events leads to Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, then the only explanation for that fact is that at the beginning of the chain is a composer.
    Similarly, if a chain of physical events (including the Big Bang) leads up to libraries full of encyclopedias or science books or novels or nuclear power plants or things like that — in short: rationality —, then the only explanation for this fact is that, at the beginning of the chain, is a rational being.
    Again, welcome to theism.

  246. 246
    bornagain77 says:

    as to this claim from Bob:

    “what Gödel showed was that some formal statements can’t be proved within a formal system. Not all statements,”

    And which statements might those be?

    First incompleteness theorem
    Excerpt: Any consistent formal system F within which a certain amount of elementary arithmetic can be carried out is incomplete; i.e., there are statements of the language of F which can neither be proved nor disproved in F.
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entr.....pleteness/

    Gödel’s incompleteness theorem (1931), proves that there are limits to what can be ascertained by mathematics. Kurt Gödel halted the achievement of a unifying all-encompassing theory of everything in his theorem that: “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove”.”
    Cf., Stephen Hawking & Leonard Miodinow, The Grand Design (2010) @ 15-6

    The Theistic implications are obvious:

    THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS – DAVID P. GOLDMAN – August 2010
    Excerpt: we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel’s critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes.
    http://www.firstthings.com/art.....ematicians

    “Clearly then no scientific cosmology, which of necessity must be highly mathematical, can have its proof of consistency within itself as far as mathematics go. In absence of such consistency, all mathematical models, all theories of elementary particles, including the theory of quarks and gluons…fall inherently short of being that theory which shows in virtue of its a priori truth that the world can only be what it is and nothing else. This is true even if the theory happened to account for perfect accuracy for all phenomena of the physical world known at a particular time.”
    Stanley Jaki – Cosmos and Creator – 1980, pg. 49

    Godel also stated:

    “Either mathematics is too big for the human mind, or the human mind is more than a machine.”
    – Kurt Gödel As quoted in Topoi : The Categorial Analysis of Logic (1979) by Robert Goldblatt, p. 13

    “In materialism all elements behave the same. It is mysterious to think of them as spread out and automatically united. For something to be a whole, it has to have an additional object, say, a soul or a mind.”
    Kurt Gödel – Hao Wang’s supplemental biography of Gödel, A Logical Journey, MIT Press, 1996. [9.4.12]

    Also of note:

    The danger of artificial stupidity – Saturday, 28 February 2015
    “Computers lack mathematical insight: in his book The Emperor’s New Mind, the Oxford mathematical physicist Sir Roger Penrose deployed Gödel’s first incompleteness theorem to argue that, in general, the way mathematicians provide their “unassailable demonstrations” of the truth of certain mathematical assertions is fundamentally non-algorithmic and non-computational”
    http://machineslikeus.com/news.....-stupidity

    The mathematical world – James Franklin – 7 April 2014
    Excerpt: the intellect (is) immaterial and immortal. If today’s naturalists do not wish to agree with that, there is a challenge for them. ‘Don’t tell me, show me’: build an artificial intelligence system that imitates genuine mathematical insight. There seem to be no promising plans on the drawing board.,,,
    – James Franklin is professor of mathematics at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.
    http://aeon.co/magazine/world-.....-be-about/

    Moreover, as if that was not bad enough for the materialist, Godel’s incompleteness theorem has now been extended to physics and now undermines the entire reductive materialistic framework that undergirds Darwinian evolution:

    In the following article entitled ‘Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable’, which studied the derivation of macroscopic properties from a complete microscopic description, the researchers remark that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,, The researchers further commented that their findings challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”

    Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Gödel and Turing enter quantum physics – December 9, 2015
    Excerpt: A mathematical problem underlying fundamental questions in particle and quantum physics is provably unsolvable,,,
    It is the first major problem in physics for which such a fundamental limitation could be proven. The findings are important because they show that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,,
    “We knew about the possibility of problems that are undecidable in principle since the works of Turing and Gödel in the 1930s,” added Co-author Professor Michael Wolf from Technical University of Munich. “So far, however, this only concerned the very abstract corners of theoretical computer science and mathematical logic. No one had seriously contemplated this as a possibility right in the heart of theoretical physics before. But our results change this picture. From a more philosophical perspective, they also challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-12-q.....godel.html

    Of supplemental note:

    The Limits Of Reason – Gregory Chaitin – 2006
    Excerpt:,, what Gödel discovered was just the tip of the iceberg: an infinite number of true mathematical theorems exist that cannot be proved from any finite system of axioms.
    http://www.umcs.maine.edu/~chaitin/sciamer3.pdf

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: ,,,The physical universe is causally incomplete and therefore neither self-originating nor self-sustaining. The world of space, time, matter and energy is dependent on a reality that transcends space, time, matter and energy.
    This transcendent reality cannot merely be a Platonic realm of mathematical descriptions, for such things are causally inert abstract entities that do not affect the material world,,,
    Rather, the transcendent reality on which our universe depends must be something that can exhibit agency – a mind that can choose among the infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bring into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them. This is what “breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe.” Anything else invokes random miracles as an explanatory principle and spells the end of scientific rationality.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

    And let’s not forget that mathematics is immaterial in and of itself, which is more than a slight problem for the reductive materialist:

    What Does It Mean to Say That Science & Religion Conflict? – M. Anthony Mills – April 16, 2018
    Excerpt:In fact, more problematic for the materialist than the non-existence of persons is the existence of mathematics. Why? Although a committed materialist might be perfectly willing to accept that you do not really exist, he will have a harder time accepting that numbers do not exist. The trouble is that numbers — along with other mathematical entities such as classes, sets, and functions — are indispensable for modern science. And yet — here’s the rub — these “abstract objects” are not material. Thus, one cannot take science as the only sure guide to reality and at the same time discount disbelief in all immaterial realities.
    https://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2018/04/16/what_does_it_mean_to_say_that_science_and_religion_conflict.html

    An Interview with David Berlinski – Jonathan Witt
    Berlinski: There is no argument against religion that is not also an argument against mathematics. Mathematicians are capable of grasping a world of objects that lies beyond space and time….
    Interviewer:… Come again(?) …
    Berlinski: No need to come again: I got to where I was going the first time. The number four, after all, did not come into existence at a particular time, and it is not going to go out of existence at another time. It is neither here nor there. Nonetheless we are in some sense able to grasp the number by a faculty of our minds. Mathematical intuition is utterly mysterious. So for that matter is the fact that mathematical objects such as a Lie Group or a differentiable manifold have the power to interact with elementary particles or accelerating forces. But these are precisely the claims that theologians have always made as well – that human beings are capable by an exercise of their devotional abilities to come to some understanding of the deity; and the deity, although beyond space and time, is capable of interacting with material objects.
    http://tofspot.blogspot.com/20.....-here.html

  247. 247
    Allan Keith says:

    KairosFocus,

    AK, either prove that BA77, the undersigned etc are piling up lies, half truths and weak arguments or stand exposed as utterly irresponsible and willfully slanderous.

    I have used the definition of Gish gallop that I have been using to describe the debating style of some here. And it does not mention half truths or lies. The fact that you continue to harp on half truths and lies, even after my corrective, is very telling.

    By the definition that I am using, it can easily be argued that you, on occasion, are also guilty of the “proof by verbosity” fallacy (AKA the Gish gallop). The reader does not have to go any further than this OP to see this.

  248. 248
    Origenes says:

    Bob O’H @244

    // The numbers below refer to arguments listed in post#212//

    (2)

    Bob: Well, that’s the hard problem of consciousness.

    No, it is not.

    Bob: But certainly I intend to “produce reason” and evidently my brain does coordinate itself (i.e. I can decide to think about things).

    Those facts pose a problem for materialism, since it cannot explain them.

    (3)

    Bob: … it is a reason why the process of elucidation of the laws of reason should reduce to physical laws, and the laws of reason should (at some level) be consonant with physical laws, but I don’t see why they have to reduce to physical laws. The laws of cricket, for example, don’t reduce to physical laws.

    Well, materialism claims that physical laws are the only laws there are. This means that the laws of cricket, the laws of logic and laws of morality must all be explainable by physical laws and physical events.

    (4)

    Bob: I don’t accept your point 4 and you haven’t done anything to defend it from my argument.

    Here is my point (4) again:

    O: If materialism is true, then our thoughts are the consequence of physical events long before we were born and physical laws. We do not control physical events long before we were born, nor do we control the physical laws. It follows that we have no control over our thoughts. Assuming that rationality presupposes control over one’s thoughts, we are not rational.

    I do not see how your response begins to address this argument.

    (5)

    Bob: The person isn’t “in” the brain: the person (i.e. the consciousness/personality) is a product of the brain’s activity. So your question makes no sense. It’s like asking where “is” the car in all those atoms of metal, carbon etc. in your Prius.

    So, there is no location of the person in the brain? Is the person the brain as a whole, as is the case in your car example? If so, how about e.g. hemisphere removal as it sometimes occurs to epilepsy patients?

    (7)

    Bob: But if, for the sake of argument, I accept your suggestion that we are not the authors of ‘our’ thoughts, that still doesn’t stop us being rational, as long as our thoughts are rational.

    My point is that only the author of thoughts can be termed ‘rational’. For instance, if I reproduce a Chinese sentence without being the author and without any understanding of what I am saying, then I am not rationally involved WRT that Chinese sentence, irrespective of whether that Chinese sentence is rational or not — coherent or not (or true or not).

    (8)

    Bob: First, I don’t know what you mean by “determined and undetermined”.

    Okay. There are two types of physical processes: Those that act in accord with physical laws (determined events) and those that do not, such as quantum indeterminacy (undetermined events). Like I said, according to materialism, that’s all there is. I point out that both types of events are not rationally motivated. IOWs according to materialism, rationally motivated events do not exist.

    Bob: But if I (rationally) decide to do something, that event has a rational motivation.

    Yes. Indeed. And that fact constitutes a problem for materialism, since according to materialism there are no rationally motivated events — such as you rationally deciding to do something.

    Bob: At this point you’re totally ignoring the issue that we, as humans, can be rational.

    Not at all. I’m pointing out that, according to materialism, it cannot be the case that humans are rational.

    (9)

    O: If one randomly throws scrap metal together and the unintended result looks like a plane, it is unlikely that it is a well-built plane.

    Bob: If this is the best counter-argument you have, you’re not doing well. Here’s a counter-counter-example: even if there is no intention that the fjord down the hill from my house should be there, I can still trust it to be wet (and cold at this time of year!).

    Being trustworthy in being wet is not analogous to being trustworthy in producing truth. Being wet is a direct property of certain matter, producing the general theory of relativity is not.

    (10) Maybe I will elucidate the point at a later time.

  249. 249
    ET says:

    Allan:

    I have used the definition of Gish gallop that I have been using to describe the debating style of some here.

    You have used a bastardized version of the definition. And your “debating style” leaves much to be desired. You run away from science and all you do is bluff, equivocate and lie your way through a discussion

  250. 250
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, you have simply doubled down. I have added a PPPS to the OP (to make sure it is also accessible here) that shows that from the outset, the term is inherently an accusation of lying, and is slander from the root. Your persistence in using this term has now earned you poster child status on trollishness. I take due note that you have tried to embroil me under your accusations, yet again; noting, too, that where I and others are short, it’s not enough. Where we take time and lrngth to substantiate, its just empty verbosity. Meanwhile, you pose on barbed quips and slanders without providing significant evidence that you have seriously grappled with the merits of the matter. That is the way of the troll, not that of a responsible critic. KF

  251. 251
    Bob O'H says:

    Origenes @ 248 –

    (2)

    Bob: Well, that’s the hard problem of consciousness.

    No, it is not.

    Oh yes it is

    Bob: But certainly I intend to “produce reason” and evidently my brain does coordinate itself (i.e. I can decide to think about things).

    Those facts pose a problem for materialism, since it cannot explain them.

    Indeed: it’s part of the hard problem of consciousness.

    (3)

    Bob: … it is a reason why the process of elucidation of the laws of reason should reduce to physical laws, and the laws of reason should (at some level) be consonant with physical laws, but I don’t see why they have to reduce to physical laws. The laws of cricket, for example, don’t reduce to physical laws.

    Well, materialism claims that physical laws are the only laws there are. This means that the laws of cricket, the laws of logic and laws of morality must all be explainable by physical laws and physical events.

    No, that would mean that there are no laws of cricket.

    More seriously, the laws of cricket, logic and morality are all human creations. There’s no reason why they can’t live alongside the laws of physics.

    (4)

    Bob: I don’t accept your point 4 and you haven’t done anything to defend it from my argument.

    Here is my point (4) again:

    O: If materialism is true, then our thoughts are the consequence of physical events long before we were born and physical laws. We do not control physical events long before we were born, nor do we control the physical laws. It follows that we have no control over our thoughts. Assuming that rationality presupposes control over one’s thoughts, we are not rational.

    Why should rationality presupposes control over one’s thoughts? Are you saying that computers aren’t rational?

    (5)

    Bob: The person isn’t “in” the brain: the person (i.e. the consciousness/personality) is a product of the brain’s activity. So your question makes no sense. It’s like asking where “is” the car in all those atoms of metal, carbon etc. in your Prius.

    So, there is no location of the person in the brain? Is the person the brain as a whole, as is the case in your car example? If so, how about e.g. hemisphere removal as it sometimes occurs to epilepsy patients?

    That would be like removing a door on your car. It would still be your car.

    Yes, at some point one can remove enough of the brain that we would say a person’s personality has been removed, but I don’t know if there would be a sharp distinction between the personality being there and not.

    (7)

    Bob: But if, for the sake of argument, I accept your suggestion that we are not the authors of ‘our’ thoughts, that still doesn’t stop us being rational, as long as our thoughts are rational.

    My point is that only the author of thoughts can be termed ‘rational’.

    Why not?

    For instance, if I reproduce a Chinese sentence without being the author and without any understanding of what I am saying, then I am not rationally involved WRT that Chinese sentence, irrespective of whether that Chinese sentence is rational or not — coherent or not (or true or not).

    OK, so that’s just a silly example. How about reproduce a Chinese sentence whilst being the author and understanding what you’re saying?

    (8)

    Bob: First, I don’t know what you mean by “determined and undetermined”.

    Okay. There are two types of physical processes: Those that act in accord with physical laws (determined events) and those that do not, such as quantum indeterminacy (undetermined events).

    OK, now I admit it: you’re not rational. This is just nonsense.

    Bob: But if I (rationally) decide to do something, that event has a rational motivation.

    Yes. Indeed. And that fact constitutes a problem for materialism, since according to materialism there are no rationally motivated events — such as you rationally deciding to do something.

    No, according to your mis-understanding of materialism. I don’t think materialists have a problem with being rational.

    Bob: At this point you’re totally ignoring the issue that we, as humans, can be rational.

    Not at all. I’m pointing out that, according to materialism, it cannot be the case that humans are rational.

    No, you’re totally mis-understanding materialism.

    (9)

    O: If one randomly throws scrap metal together and the unintended result looks like a plane, it is unlikely that it is a well-built plane.

    Bob: If this is the best counter-argument you have, you’re not doing well. Here’s a counter-counter-example: even if there is no intention that the fjord down the hill from my house should be there, I can still trust it to be wet (and cold at this time of year!).

    Being trustworthy in being wet is not analogous to being trustworthy in producing truth. Being wet is a direct property of certain matter, producing the general theory of relativity is not.

    Were we discussing being trustworthy in producing truth? You hadn’t mentioned that before.

  252. 252
    Origenes says:

    Bob O’H @ 251

    // The numbers below refer to arguments listed in post#212 /

    (2)

    Bob: Oh yes it is

    No it really is not. We are discussing the materialistic explanation, or lack thereof, of rationality. The so-called hard problem is specifically focused on explaining conscious experience. Wiki: “The hard problem of consciousness is the problem of explaining how and why we have qualia or phenomenal experiences—how sensations acquire characteristics, such as colors and tastes.”

    Bob: But certainly I intend to “produce reason” and evidently my brain does coordinate itself (i.e. I can decide to think about things).

    O: Those facts pose a problem for materialism, since it cannot explain them.

    Bob: Indeed: it’s part of the hard problem of consciousness.

    No, it is not.

    (3)

    Bob: More seriously, the laws of cricket, logic and morality are all human creations. There’s no reason why they can’t live alongside the laws of physics.

    “Alongside”, as in ‘not explainable by laws of physics’? If materialism is true, physical events and physical laws can, in principle, explain everything.

    (4)

    Bob: Why should rationality presupposes control over one’s thoughts? Are you saying that computers aren’t rational?

    Yes, that follows from what I am saying. Of course computers are a consequence of rational activity (intelligent design), but are not rational themselves. See also Searle’s ‘Chinese Room.’

    (5)
    A person is ‘simple’, one thing — not quadrillions of things.

    I argue that, unlike your brain, you are not composed of other things: you are simple. My argument centers on what I take to be an uncontroversial datum: for any pair of conscious beings, it is impossible for the pair itself to be conscious.
    Consider, for instance, the pair comprising you and me. You might pinch your arm and feel a pain. I might simultaneously pinch my arm and feel a qualitatively identical pain. But the pair we form would not feel a thing.¹ Pairs of people themselves are incapable of experience.
    [David Barnett]

    (7)

    O: For instance, if I reproduce a Chinese sentence without being the author and without any understanding of what I am saying, then I am not rationally involved WRT that Chinese sentence, irrespective of whether that Chinese sentence is rational or not — coherent or not (or true or not).

    Bob: OK, so that’s just a silly example. How about reproduce a Chinese sentence whilst being the author and understanding what you’re saying?

    In that case, being the author, one can very well be rational. But, that scenario is not under discussion; instead, we are discussing the situation where one is not the author.

    (8)

    O: Okay. There are two types of physical processes: Those that act in accord with physical laws (determined events) and those that do not, such as quantum indeterminacy (undetermined events).

    Bob: OK, now I admit it: you’re not rational. This is just nonsense.

    Why do you think so?

    Bob: But if I (rationally) decide to do something, that event has a rational motivation.

    O: Yes. Indeed. And that fact constitutes a problem for materialism, since according to materialism there are no rationally motivated events — such as you rationally deciding to do something.

    Bob: No, according to your mis-understanding of materialism. I don’t think materialists have a problem with being rational.

    They do not have a problem as long as they do not consider the consequences of their worldview WRT rationality.

    Bob: No, you’re totally mis-understanding materialism.

    Materialism entails that mental states are entirely material or physical in nature, and correlatively that a complete account of the world, one that is all inclusive, can be given in purely materialist terms.
    Where do I go wrong?

    (9)

    Bob:
    Were we discussing being trustworthy in producing truth? You hadn’t mentioned that before.

    Yes, when I talk about ‘trusting reason’, I mean trusting that it produces true ideas.

  253. 253
    mike1962 says:

    Bob: But if I (rationally) decide to do something, that event has a rational motivation.

    Origenes: Yes. Indeed. And that fact constitutes a problem for materialism, since according to materialism there are no rationally motivated events — such as you rationally deciding to do something.

    Interesting that Bob thinks his statement is part of the answer when it is part of the problem.

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