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From The Best Schools: All Dawkins’s Straw Men

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From James Barham:

The air was thick with flying chaff yesterday at the Reason Rally in Washington, DC, as one speaker after another thrashed and stomped every straw man in sight.

The star turn was provided by Richard Dawkins. After an initial paean to the evolutionary process—understood, needless to say, along strictly orthodox neo-Darwinian lines—Dawkins went on the attack.

Who was the object of his attack? The scientists who are currently threatening to upend his comfortable, if incredible, worldview which holds that organisms are nothing but the mechanical byproducts of the struggle for survival among the selfish genes?

Uh, no. He has nothing to say to his growing numbers of competent professional critics. And we will not spoil any more for you. Read the rest here.

It is a pity that this NASA-related incident was not followed through more purposefully: http://www.frtommylane.com/homilies/year_a/18.htm Axel
It seems to have been a close thing, Barb, as Newton is said to have scorned mathematics and physics later in life. Richie and the evolution boys would have a fit with their leg up - even though they're duffers as "philatelists". Axel
I'm not sure we can say anything about the reference- frame of light, bornagain77. I don't believe we have the categories to even miscategorize it, in terms of time or timelessness. "Eye hath not seen...." True, space-time cannot be the reference frame of light, but, rather, the reverse: light must be the reference-frame of space-time. But I don't believe in a kind of frozen timelessness, but that it will be different in a way we couldn't envisage, still less, measure in terms with which we are familiar. Axel
I find it ironic that Dawkins waxes eloquently about the the electromagnetic spectrum and particularly visible light, and somehow forgets that it was Sir Isaac Newton who wrote a book about it called Opticks. Oh, and Newton also believed in God and wrote a great deal about theology. Good thing his religion didn't snuff anything out. Barb
No Dawkins, despite what he said in his speech at the atheist rally, would do very well to stay away altogether from light and from claiming that our increased knowledge of light is proof of his atheism. He really would do much better to continue proselytizing his nihilistic atheism to gullible teenagers in the darkness of ignorance. NASA has a short video series on the eletromagnetic spectrum here:
Tour Of The Electromagnetic Spectrum - NASA - Introduction - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwfJPc-rSXw&list=PL09E558656CA5DF76&feature=plcp&context=C48ab99fFDvjVQa1PpcFPYS9IXJGVvhviL9eT-IXJf_o9XHwhx3vs%3D
Further notes: Moreover the eye, which sees light, far from being the 'bad design' as Darwinists have insisted for years, is actually found to be exquisite design
Retinal Glial Cells Enhance Human Vision Acuity A. M. Labin and E. N. Ribak Physical Review Letters, 104, 158102 (April 2010) Excerpt: The retina is revealed as an optimal structure designed for improving the sharpness of images. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20482021 Optimized hardware compression, The eyes have it. - February 2011 Excerpt: the human visual processing system is “the best compression algorithm around”. https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/optimised-hardware-compression-the-eyes-have-it/ The eye is so sensitive it can detect a candle one mile away. One type of light sensitive cell, the rod, can detect a single photon. For visible light the energy carried by a single photon would be around a tiny 4 x 10-19 Joules; this energy is just sufficient to excite a single molecule in a photoreceptor cell of an eye.
Verse and Music:
Genesis 1:3 And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. Jeremy Fisher - Let It Shine - music video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSJb0Enqtk8
Further note: As well, man's position in the universe is far, far, more privileged than what atheists, and even many theists, had expected:
Let There Be Light; Excerpt: "I find it extremely interesting, and strange, that quantum mechanics tells us that instantaneous quantum wave collapse of photons to their 'uncertain' 3-D state is centered on each individual observer in the universe, whereas, 4-D space-time cosmology (General Relativity) tells us each 3-D point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe. These findings of modern science are pretty much exactly what we would expect to see if this universe were indeed created, and sustained, from a higher dimension by a omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal Being who knows everything that is happening everywhere in the universe at the same time. These findings certainly seem to go to the very heart of the age old question asked of many parents by their children, “How can God hear everybody’s prayers at the same time?”,,, i.e. Why should the expansion of the universe, or the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe, even care that you or I, or anyone else, should exist? Only Theism offers a rational explanation as to why you or I, or anyone else, should have such undeserved significance in such a vast universe": Psalm 33:13-15 The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works. http://lettherebelight-77.blogspot.com/2012/02/let-there-be-light.html
I wrote a bit more on this from the earlier entry: Leading new atheist Richard Dawkins made this statement, in his 15 minute speech, at this past weekend's 'Reason Rally';
"The electromagnetic spectrum runs all the way from the extremely long-wave radio-wave end of the spectrum to gamma rays at the very short-wave end of the spectrum, and visible light—that which we can see—is a tiny little sliver in the middle of that electromagnetic spectrum. Science has broadened out our perception of that spectrum, to long-wave radio waves on the one hand, and gamma rays on the other. I take that to be symbolic of what science does generally. It takes our little vision—our little, parochial, small vision—and broadens it out. And that is a magnificent vision for what science can do. Science makes us see what we couldn’t see before. Religion does its best to snuff out even that light which we can see." - Dawkins
Yet Dawkins' analogy of mans increase of knowledge to the electromagnetic spectrum, to the supposed failure of religion and supposed success for atheism, fails him for our increase in knowledge, about the electromagnetic spectrum, has revealed that visible light is also extremely fine tuned for life. Thus our increased knowlege of the electromagnetic spectrum has actually given us evidence of Intelligent Design not for atheism!
Extreme Fine Tuning of Light for Life and Scientific Discovery - video http://www.metacafe.com/w/7715887 Fine Tuning Of Universal Constants, Particularly Light - Walter Bradley - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4491552 Fine Tuning Of Light to the Atmosphere, to Biological Life, and to Water - graphs http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AYmaSrBPNEmGZGM4ejY3d3pfMTljaGh4MmdnOQ Visible light is incredibly fine-tuned for life to exist. Though visible light is only a tiny fraction of the total electromagnetic spectrum coming from the sun, it happens to be the "most permitted" portion of the sun's spectrum allowed to filter through the our atmosphere. All the other bands of electromagnetic radiation, directly surrounding visible light, happen to be harmful to organic molecules, and are almost completely absorbed by the atmosphere. The tiny amount of harmful UV radiation, which is not visible light, allowed to filter through the atmosphere is needed to keep various populations of single cell bacteria from over-populating the world (Ross; reasons.org). The size of light's wavelengths and the constraints on the size allowable for the protein molecules of organic life, also seem to be tailor-made for each other. This "tailor-made fit" allows photosynthesis, the miracle of sight, and many other things that are necessary for human life. These specific frequencies of light (that enable plants to manufacture food and astronomers to observe the cosmos) represent less than 1 trillionth of a trillionth (10^-24) of the universe's entire range of electromagnetic emissions. Visible light appears to be of optimal biological utility (Denton - Nature's Destiny; Privileged Planet - Gonzalez)).
In fact, Dawkins would be well advised to stay far away from light altogether as a proof against a transcendent designer and as a proof for atheism:
Albert Einstein - Special Relativity - Insight Into Eternity - 'thought experiment' video http://www.metacafe.com/w/6545941/ "The laws of relativity have changed timeless existence from a theological claim to a physical reality. Light, you see, is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities. I don’t pretend to know how tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday. But at the speed of light they actually and rigorously do. Time does not pass." Richard Swenson - More Than Meets The Eye, Chpt. 12 Virtual Particles & Special Relativity - Michael Strauss PhD. Particle Physics - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4554674 Quantum Computing – Stanford Encyclopedia Excerpt: Theoretically, a single (photon) qubit can store an infinite amount of information, yet when measured (and thus collapsing the Quantum Wave state) it yields only the classical result (0 or 1),,, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-quantcomp/#2.1
In fact the very first step of photosynthesis (which all higher life on earth is dependent on) is borderline 'miraculous' in its own right;
Quantum Coherence In Photosynthesis - video with notes in description http://vimeo.com/30235178 Life Masters Physics - Feb. 2010 Excerpt: Collini et al.2 report evidence suggesting that a process known as quantum coherence ‘wires’ together distant molecules in the light-harvesting apparatus of marine cryptophyte algae.,,,“Intriguingly, recent work has documented that light-absorbing molecules in some photosynthetic proteins capture and transfer energy according to quantum-mechanical probability laws instead of classical laws at temperatures up to 180 K,”. ,,, “This contrasts with the long-held view that long-range quantum coherence between molecules cannot be sustained in complex biological systems, even at low temperatures.” http://www.creationsafaris.com/crev201002.htm#20100210a Quantum Entanglement and Teleportation (Implications discussed in description) - video Excerpt: Now, I find the preceding to be absolutely fascinating! A photon, in its quantum wave state, is found to be mathematically defined as a ‘infinite-dimensional’ state, which ‘requires an infinite amount of information’ to describe it properly , can be encoded with information in its 'infinite dimensional' state, and this ‘infinite dimensional’ photon is found to collapse, instantaneously, and thus ‘non-locally’, to just a ’1 or 0? state, out of a infinite number of possibilities that the photon could have collapsed to instead! Moreover, consciousness is found to precede the collapse of the wavefunction to its particle state. Now my question to materialistic atheists is this, "Exactly what ’cause’ has been postulated throughout history to be completely independent of any space-time constraints, as well as possessing infinite knowledge, so as to be the ‘sufficient cause’ to explain what we see in the quantum wave collapse of a photon??? John 1:1-5 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. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. http://vimeo.com/38463906

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