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A thought on soul-body-spirit (and on the meaning of “death” in the Judaeo-Christian frame of thought)

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While scientific topics tied to AI are a main current focus — I will shortly add another headlined comment on why — there are several philosophical and theological topics that keep on coming up in and around UD. So, pardon a quick note on those wider themes. Here, on the soul and linked ideas from the thoughts on justice thread:

JM, 155 to BA77: >>If you think I have not provided any evidence against the immortality of the soul, why don’t you answer my questions regarding the Adam and Eve scriptures?>>

I picked this point up and responded:

KF, 161: >>J-Mac, consider the scriptural definition of physical death: “as the body without the spirit is dead . . . ” and likewise spiritual death is about alienated separation of the creature’s spirit from God: “Your sins have separated . . .” Thus, we need to appreciate that death has a sense of violation of wholeness akin to severing a branch from a vine leading to decay or manifested in decay and of course fruitlessness. By contrast, redemption, regeneration and spiritual rebirth have to do with restoration of relationship with God, and eschatological resurrection of not mere restoration of mortal life but transformation of body to a spiritualised immortal form: “as in Adam all die so also in Christ shall all be made alive . . . ” From this, we see that there is an implied understanding that humans are trans-dimensional amphibians, embodied living souls. I suggest that the human soul is best understood as a bridging interface between spirit [the transdimensional inner self and core of identity] and body [the readily observable outer man].

A typical, tripartite man Christian viewpoint. Note, heart and mind sometimes stand in for the inner man. The body is the outer man, on this frame. Hindus and those influenced by hindu thought will have a rather different view. The classic Greek view talks about body and soul. There are many, diverse perspectives.
Clarence Larkin’s tripartite man illustration, amplifying on key texts (again, as documenting a typical Christian tripartite view)

In this context, the spiritual aspect [often called soul by the Greeks] is not subject to disintegration and loss of existence once created. However, it can be alienated from its true source and object and fulfillment through alienation from our Creator, both in time and in eternity, the latter being spoken of as the second death. Perhaps, these thoughts may help?>>

All of this is connected to the emerging theme on embodied, self-aware, enconscienced, morally governed rational, responsible freedom and linked contemplation vs computation on material substrates including neural networks. Memristors etc being a current rising star of the latter.

So, perhaps, we can reflect? END

PS: Let me add today (Feb. 15th) a simplified picture of the Smith two-tier controller cybernetic Model:

The Derek Smith two-tier controller cybernetic model

66 Replies to “A thought on soul-body-spirit (and on the meaning of “death” in the Judaeo-Christian frame of thought)

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    A thought on soul-body-spirit (and on the meaning of “death” in the Judaeo-Christian frame of thought)

  2. 2
    Molson Bleu says:

    This is all well and good from a Christian theological perspective, but let’s get back to the ID perspective.

    Nothing in ID suggests that we need a soul. The fact that humans have souls implies that they must have been part of the design. This being said, there is nothing other than various theistic teachings that tells us that the soul is immortal. We take this on faith. There is certainly nothing in ID that requires an immortal soul, or even a soul that is not 100% dependent on the material brain.

    Talking about the soul and the immortal soul is certainly relevant to discussion on a theology web site. It adds nothing to serving the ID community unless we are conceding that ID is really about God.

  3. 3
    ET says:

    Nothing in ID suggests that we need a soul.

    Everything in ID says that living organisms are more than just matter, energy and what emerges from their interactions.

    If there is a soul, immortal or not, then ID is true.

  4. 4
    J-Mac says:

    The Forbidden Fruit

    Gen 2:16-17

    “16 God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

    Adam: “…surly die…?” What’s your definition of death, God?
    God: “It’s a mystery… You will find out when you sin…
    Since I’m all-knowing, I already know you are going to sin…This is just a game to keep me busy…I already know that some morons are going to be questioning what death is, but that’s their problem… I’m going to continue to pretend that I know nothing about that and see what happens…

    A story like that has gotta be true…;-)

  5. 5
    Molson Bleu says:

    “Everything in ID says that living organisms are more than just matter, energy and what emerges from their interactions.”

    Other than a designer, ID does not require that organisms are more than just matter, energy and what emerges from their interactions. A car is nothing more than the interactions of energy and matter. What distinguishes it from random matter is the design.

    “If there is a soul, immortal or not, then ID is true.”

    Then all we have to do is prove the existence of the soul. I believe in it, but I am a theist. And, I freely admit, that I rely on faith, not evidence, for this belief.

  6. 6
    ET says:

    Other than a designer, ID does not require that organisms are more than just matter, energy and what emerges from their interactions.

    That is false as if living organisms are just matter, energy and what emerges from their interactions then why is a designer required? Information is not just matter, energy and what emerges from their interactions.

    A car is nothing more than the interactions of energy and matter.

    Is it? Information is required. Can the interactions of matter and energy produce a car?

  7. 7
    ET says:

    J Mac:

    A story like that has gotta be true

    A story like that is a straw man.

  8. 8
    Molson Bleu says:

    “That is false as if living organisms are just matter, energy and what emerges from their interactions then why is a designer required?”

    Because it is not possible for energy and matter to randomly arrange themselves into what we see as living organisms without a designer. I didn’t say that there could not be more, I just said that ID, as a theory, doesn’t require it.

    “Is it? Information is required. Can the interactions of matter and energy produce a car?”

    With the proper designs, yes. The human designer produces the information (design) necessary to manufacture a car. The designers design the tools necessary to build the car. The manufacturers build the tools and the car. All through interactions of matter and energy.

    Again, the question is, does ID require that the finished product of design (car, flagellum, life form) be anything more than the interactions of its specifically arranged matter and energy? If so, please provide a link to the part of ID theory that states do.

  9. 9
    J-Mac says:

    ET,

    “That is false as if living organisms are just matter, energy and what emerges from their interactions then why is a designer required?”

    Speaking of straw man or the blind support for preconceived ideas rather than truth… 😉

  10. 10
    ET says:

    I didn’t say that there could not be more, I just said that ID, as a theory, doesn’t require it.

    ID, as a theory, requires information and said information is not reducible to matter, energy and what emerges from their interactions.

    “Information is information, neither matter nor energy. Any materialism which disregards this, will not survive one day.” Norbert Weiner

  11. 11
    Molson Bleu says:

    “ID, as a theory, requires information and said information is not reducible to matter, energy and what emerges from their interactions.

    As I have already mentioned, the information is provided by the designer. You should try reading my entire comment before you respond. It makes for a more intelligable conversation.

    I was just saying that the theory of ID does not require the living organism that is the result of the design to be anything more than the interaction of its designed arrangement of matter and energy. If I am wrong, please link to the part of the theory which requires this. If you can’t, I will take my claim as being correct and that what you are saying is just your opinion.

  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    MB, just to have a real discussion, we need to be responsibly and rationally free, thus also self-moved initiating causal agents who are morally governed by duties to truth, sound logic, fairness (and even charity or forbearance) etc. This is already to be enconscienced and ensouled. This is an implicit premise of any serious discussion. Including science, philosophy of science, epistemology, philosophy. So, no, this is a key and relevant background question — see Sir Francis Crick’s blunder as was noted in the OP. This answers to why such a subject is legitimate, even Nobel Prize winners get this badly wrong. The real question is the nature of the soul, and that is the context of J-Mac’s issue on immortality, thus also what death is. He asked this in a specifically Christian context and I took advantage of the possibilities of an OP to give a more rounded answer. And, I am a little surprised to see how much commentary has developed on this as opposed to the other OP that went up today on why, having dealt with background issues, I have put such an emphasis on AI-linked themes. Strangely, the two are related. KF

  13. 13
    ET says:

    As I have already mentioned, the information is provided by the designer.

    So you agree with me, then. Good.

    I was just saying that the theory of ID does not require the living organism that is the result of the design to be anything more than the interaction of its designed arrangement of matter and energy.

    So living organisms don’t require any codes? Why is it that we cannot produce living organisms then? We know the matter and energy involved.

  14. 14
    ET says:

    Again, the question is, does ID require that the finished product of design (car, flagellum, life form) be anything more than the interactions of its specifically arranged matter and energy?

    Yes, because living organisms are more than just matter, energy and what emerges from their interactions. You cannot produce a living organism from just matter, energy and what emerges from their interactions. Living organisms are not reducible to matter, energy and what emerges from their interactions.

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    J-Mac: kindly look at the OP above, where you will see an in-brief discussion of the senses of the term death as used in foundational Christian documents. Death of the body, a physical, composite entity that uses C-Chem, aqueous medium chemicals and requires minute-by-minute oxygen, daily water and food, and more, leads to its degradation per the decay processes. Death in the spiritual sense [death of the soul] is not about material disintegration, but moral breakdown due to alienation from the fount of good. The comparison made is to cutting or breaking off a branch, leading to withering and failure to be fruitful. On other points, I would suggest to you that physical computational substrates, if properly arranged to process signals or codes, can do just that, mechanically compute. There is no evidence that they can rise above that to self-aware contemplation, insight and judgement. If you know otherwise, kindly inform us as to what: _____, when shown, by whom: ______, and when they won Nobel or equivalent prizes: _______ . KF

  16. 16
    Molson Bleu says:

    ET at 13 and 14, so you can’t provide a link to the portion of the ID theory that requires the designed organism to be more than the interaction of the designed arrangement of matter and energy. Thank you for confirming what I already thought was the case.

  17. 17
    Molson Bleu says:

    “This is already to be enconscienced and ensouled. This is an implicit premise of any serious discussion.“

    Yes, we are clearly conscious. This cannot be disputed. But whether or not we have a soul, immortal or not, is a theological discussion, not an ID one. As I have mentioned, I believe that we have immortal souls, but this is something I base on faith, not on empirical evidence, because there is none. There are plenty of anecdotal accounts such as seances, ghost sightings, and more. But most of these crumble under the light of scrutiny.

    But the question I am looking for an answer to, and I apologize for it being a little off topic, is whether ID requires that designed organism be more than the interactions of the designed arrangement of matter and energy. I accept that our faiths conclude this, but does ID theory? It certainly does not hold true for any artifact that we can irrefutably confirm design (eg. Man made designs), so I would conclude that we cannot establish this as a requirement for design in biology. Your thoughts?

  18. 18
    kairosfocus says:

    MB, no. You are conflating the fact that soul is commonly used in a theological context with it being a theological construct to be walled off from general discussion given the prejudices of our time. I pointed out instead the actual history of ideas context, i.e. that soul speaks to the inner, self-aware, rationally contemplative, deciding, conscience guided morally governed individual. One with duties to truth, responsible logic, warrant, fairness and more, just to have a serious discussion. Including regarding ID. Where, the evolutionary materialistic ideology which is often imposed is self-referentially incoherent, self-falsifying and necessarily false. As we can see from the sad case of Sir Francis Crick. We need to recognise what we are, before we can have a fruitful discussion . . . as has been demonstrated again and again for years here at UD. Repeatedly, the root problems lie in evolutionary materialistic scientism and its fellow travellers, not the strength of ID-supportive arguments. As I have long pointed out, the simple fact of alphanumeric code and algorithm implementing nanotech in the cell should be decisive. That it has not long since won the day speaks volumes on how we have bent science away from seeking the empirical evidence based truth about our world to redefining it as in effect applied atheism dressed up in a lab coat. KF

    PS: What are your thoughts on the AI focus and where I think it points?

    PPS: Plato, speaking in the voice of the Athenian Stranger, in The Laws, Bk X:

    Ath. . . . when one thing changes another, and that another, of such will there be any primary changing element? How can a thing which is moved by another ever be the beginning of change? Impossible. But when the self-moved changes other, and that again other, and thus thousands upon tens of thousands of bodies are set in motion, must not the beginning of all this motion be the change of the self-moving principle? . . . . self-motion being the origin of all motions, and the first which arises among things at rest as well as among things in motion, is the eldest and mightiest principle of change, and that which is changed by another and yet moves other is second.

    [[ . . . .]

    Ath. If we were to see this power existing in any earthy, watery, or fiery substance, simple or compound-how should we describe it?

    Cle. You mean to ask whether we should call such a self-moving power life?

    Ath. I do.

    Cle. Certainly we should.

    Ath. And when we see soul in anything, must we not do the same-must we not admit that this is life?

    [[ . . . . ]

    Cle. You mean to say that the essence which is defined as the self-moved is the same with that which has the name soul?

    Ath. Yes; and if this is true, do we still maintain that there is anything wanting in the proof that the soul is the first origin and moving power of all that is, or has become, or will be, and their contraries, when she has been clearly shown to be the source of change and motion in all things?

    Cle. Certainly not; the soul as being the source of motion, has been most satisfactorily shown to be the oldest of all things.

    Ath. And is not that motion which is produced in another, by reason of another, but never has any self-moving power at all, being in truth the change of an inanimate body, to be reckoned second, or by any lower number which you may prefer?

    Cle. Exactly.

    Ath. Then we are right, and speak the most perfect and absolute truth, when we say that the soul is prior to the body, and that the body is second and comes afterwards, and is born to obey the soul, which is the ruler?

    [[ . . . . ]

    Ath. If, my friend, we say that the whole path and movement of heaven, and of all that is therein, is by nature akin to the movement and revolution and calculation of mind, and proceeds by kindred laws, then, as is plain, we must say that the best soul takes care of the world and guides it along the good path. [[Plato here explicitly sets up an inference to design (by a good soul) from the intelligible order of the cosmos.]

  19. 19
    Molson Bleu says:

    “We need to recognise what we are, before we can have a fruitful discussion . . . as has been demonstrated again and again for years here at UD.”

    No, we have to convince those opposed to ID what we are before we can have a fruitful discussion. Otherwise we are just preaching to the choir. And we don’t get there by repeatedly talking about immortal souls, objective morality and the like. We get there by sticking to ID concepts that can be demonstrated empirically. That is why I asked the question about whether ID theory requires organisms to be more than the interaction of their designed arrangement of matter and energy.

    “Repeatedly, the root problems lie in evolutionary materialistic scientism and its fellow travellers, not the strength of ID-supportive arguments.”

    No, the root problems lie in the arguments we are presenting, and the way we present them. We keep telling everyone that ID is not about religion, and then keep talking about religion and other theological subjects on what is supposed to be an ID web site. To be completely honest, if I believed in evolution and came to this web site, or the other web sites that support ID, I would not take the arguments very seriously. ‘You are judged by the company you keep.’

    “PS: What are your thoughts on the AI focus and where I think it points?”

    I have not read them in any detail. AI is well beyond my area of competence.

  20. 20
    ET says:

    ET at 13 and 14, so you can’t provide a link to the portion of the ID theory that requires the designed organism to be more than the interaction of the designed arrangement of matter and energy.

    Reality requires that living organisms to be more than matter, energy and what emerges from their interactions. And only ID explains that reality.

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    MB, pardon but you have overlooked the fallacy of the closed, ideologised mind. We cannot allow the selectively hyperskeptical, who have made a crooked yardstick their standard, to control the issue: especially ideological imposition of naturalism, so called, and of scientism. What is straight will never pass the test of conformity to crookedness so the only sensible path is to expose the problem by bringing to bear a plumbline. Then, we get on with the main job. And BTW, you are still missing on the AI thread — which is about why the focus not deep technical details. Which tells us something. KF

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, ID is a field of intelligent, rational investigation and discussion. Such can only be carried out by those who are responsibly, rationally free and self-moved. That is required to reason as opposed to spew forth whatever chain of dynamic-stochastic consequences happen to have been triggered. No computational substrate rises above dynamic-stochastic behaviour. For instance, a memristor is a variable resistor with a memory of past currents which adjusts and can program its value. Then lower level signal currents can be shaped by that stored prior signal etched into the resistance state. This can be used in a classic analogue circuit, or to store digitised information, or as part of a neural network. But in each and every case it is volts and currents, not truth or actual values of a meaningful variable. Self aware insight and understanding are simply not in view. The summed up result may be remarkable as was the old Ford Analogue Computer in the USS Iowas. But that is simply not crossing the gap to self aware agency. KF

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Let us get specific, kindly, let us know what is readily dismissible as utterly illogical superstition [–> “theology”] in:

    when one thing changes [= causally drives] another, and that another, of such will there be any primary changing element? How can a thing which is moved by another ever be the beginning of change? Impossible. But when the self-moved changes other, and that again other, and thus thousands upon tens of thousands of bodies are set in motion, must not the beginning of all this motion be the change of the self-moving principle? . . . . self-motion being the origin of all motions, and the first which arises among things at rest as well as among things in motion, is the eldest and mightiest principle of change, and that which is changed by another and yet moves other is second.

    When we can deal with the difference between the self-moved and the dynamic-stochastic mechanically causal chain, we can get somewhere. Like, to begin understanding what computing does and does not do. And maybe even why computation — a signal-processing cause effect process that nowhere depends on meanings to produce outputs — is utterly distinct from ground and consequent, meaning based logical inference.

    Perhaps, Reppert may help us:

    . . . let us suppose that brain state A, which is token identical to the thought that all men are mortal, and brain state B, which is token identical to the thought that Socrates is a man, together cause the belief that Socrates is mortal. It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . . [But] if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and [so] we do not have a case of rational inference. In rational inference, as Lewis puts it, one thought causes another thought not by being, but by being seen to be, the ground for it. But causal transactions in the brain occur in virtue of the brain’s being in a particular type of state that is relevant to physical causal transactions.

    And, more. KF

  24. 24
    Molson Bleu says:

    “And BTW, you are still missing on the AI thread — which is about why the focus not deep technical details. Which tells us something.”

    Yes. It tells us that I don’t waste my time participating in discussions on subjects that I have no competence in. I have found that to be a wise strategy.

  25. 25
    kairosfocus says:

    MB, your onward response leads me to note a pattern. I have long since pointed out the declared purpose of UD and why it is fully within that purpose to address the range of worldview, sci-tech and similar issues, not just the narrowly scientific focussed on the design inference on the world of life or the cosmos. I and others have also pointed out on long experience and observation that the roots of many objections do not pivot on issues of empirical evidence and scientific analysis but on ideological matters tied to the wider issues. Also, in certain cases, on breakdowns on logic and first principles of reasoning, warrant and knowing. Where, those set aside, simply the importance of alphanumeric code and algorithmic machinery in the cell would already have been utterly decisive. Despite that, you have continued the pattern. I therefore now conclude for cause that you have little to contribute to serious and relevant discussion, save to provide distractive objections on what are important factors in the situation we face. KF

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Refocussing, let us note that “soul” often stands in for the whole inner man or self that we are directly aware of by way of being self-aware . . . our first fact, and that “mind” often stands in for “soul.” The issues implied in the OP and in the clip from Plato in The Laws Bk X are tied closely to the mind-brain and problem of consciousness as well as intentionality debates out there. Just, the usual games of labelling and dismissing “religion” [actually, philosophy] have been applied. KF

  27. 27
    Molson Bleu says:

    “Despite that, you have continued the pattern. I therefore now conclude for cause that you have little to contribute to serious and relevant discussion, save to provide distractive objections on what are important factors in the situation we face.”

    Simply because I disagree with you, I have little to contribute? I have asked a very specific question with regard to ID theory which you have not answered. If you think that it is off topic, just say so and I won’t ask it again on this thread. But given that the OP is about the soul, something that is more than the designed arrangement of matter and energy, I don’t see how it is off topic. I will try to get an answer one more time and then leave it alone.

    Does ID require that designed organisms be more than the interactions of their designed arrangement of matter and energy? I am not asking whether you think human life is more than this, I am asking if ID theory requires this? Arguing that humans have to be more than this just to be able to have this discussion, which I agree with, does not answer the question. Does ID theory require a bacteria, or starfish, or a sponge, to be more than their designed arrangement of matter and energy?

  28. 28
    ET says:

    Does ID require that designed organisms be more than the interactions of their designed arrangement of matter and energy?

    Reality does. And only ID can explain that reality. There isn’t anything about any living organism that says they are no more than matter, energy and what emerges from their interactions.

  29. 29
    J-Mac says:

    “…the body without the spirit is dead…”

    My phone without the battery is dead…too, but it doesn’t mean it has an immortal soul… does it? 😉

  30. 30
    LocalMinimum says:

    Information can be held separate from matter and energy, but its interactions with matter and energy may be modulated through matter and energy.

    ID deals with the origin of information, but I don’t see how it can be used to demand that the information inherent in life processes can not be entirely modulated through matter and energy.

    Declaring the insufficiency of material life to explain observed function is something like the evolutionists’ arguments of “suboptimality”; making arguments on the basis of an ignorance of function; and is subject to pretty much the same general refutation.

    The evolutionists have been drawing lines on the street against an oncoming truck. Why mirror them in the other lane?

  31. 31
    Molson Bleu says:

    “Information can be held separate from matter and energy, but its interactions with matter and energy may be modulated through matter and energy.”

    I’m not sure that this is correct. I am not aware of any way to hold information that is not based on matter and energy. Do you have any examples?

    “ID deals with the origin of information, but I don’t see how it can be used to demand that the information inherent in life processes can not be entirely modulated through matter and energy.”

    This is what I have been trying to convince KF of. The fact that consciousness may be something above and beyond the interaction of the designed arrangement of matter and energy is not evidence of ID. ID theory does not require that any life form be anything more than the interaction between the designed arrangement of matter and energy. It doesn’t preclude it, but it does not require it. It is not a testable prediction of the ID theory.

  32. 32
    kurx78 says:

    “The idea of a real—and yet illusory self—is easily understood if we think of this metaphor: there is a river, broad and flowing. Near the edges of the river, nearer to the shore where the flow of the water is slower, eddies sometimes form. These little whirlpools gather into themselves the flotsam and jetsam of the river’s life: bits of twig and leaf, a whirl of foam, all slowed down enough to form by a bend in the river. The addition of this material to the small whirlpool actually helps the whirlpool maintain is twirling organization better. It becomes ballast and the energy of the river, still feeding into this small portion near the shore, helps the eddy—which, as we know is doomed to disappear—maintain its individuality a little while longer. ”

    🙂

  33. 33
    ET says:

    ID theory does not require that any life form be anything more than the interaction between the designed arrangement of matter and energy

    Evidence, please.

  34. 34
    Molson Bleu says:

    “Evidence, please.”

    I have been asking for links to the part of ID theory that states that something other than the interaction of a designed arrangement of matter and energy is a requirement of the theory. In the absence of such a link, the only conclusion that can be drawn is that this is not a requirement of ID theory. But if I am mistaken, please point me to where this is stated in the theory.

  35. 35
    ET says:

    OK so you don’t have anything. That is what I thought.

    Thank you but you should have said so before.

    ID theory is about explaining what we observe. And what we observe demonstrates that living organisms are more than matter, energy and what emerges from their interactions. And only ID can explain that.

    Theories in general are about explaining observations.

  36. 36
    Molson Bleu says:

    Further to 34. The Discovery Institute describes ID as:

    “The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection. Through the study and analysis of a system’s components, a design theorist is able to determine whether various natural structures are the product of chance, natural law, intelligent design, or some combination thereof. Such research is conducted by observing the types of information produced when intelligent agents act. Scientists then seek to find objects which have those same types of informational properties which we commonly know come from intelligence. Intelligent design has applied these scientific methods to detect design in irreducibly complex biological structures, the complex and specified information content in DNA, the life-sustaining physical architecture of the universe, and the geologically rapid origin of biological diversity in the fossil record during the Cambrian explosion approximately 530 million years ago.”

    By my reading of this, there is no requirement in the theory for organisms to be anything more that the interaction of a designed arrangement of matter and energy. I realize that this is just a high level description of the theory, but I have not been able to find anything on-line that contradicts this. Maybe I have just missed it. Any assistance would be appreciated.

  37. 37
    ET says:

    OK MB, you choose willful ignorance. Good luck with that.

  38. 38
    jdk says:

    I support Molson Bleu in this line of questioning. There is nothing in ID theory that says that something beyond matter and energy is a part of life: the theory says that something beyond matter and energy caused life to to be organized as it is, but those are different things.

    By analogy, a material thing, such as a fishing reel, is composed of merely matter and energy, even though the designer (and implementer) of the reel may have other properties.

    ET may think it is obvious that life is more than matter and energy, and he may even be right, but that fact is not a fundamental requirement or conclusion of the ID hypothesis.

  39. 39

    MB @ 34: “In the absence of such a link, the only conclusion that can be drawn is that this is not a requirement of ID theory.”

    Have you sent the question to Discovery Institute?

  40. 40
    kairosfocus says:

    J-Mac,

    Passed by, saw:

    My phone without the battery is dead…too

    Fallacy of equivocation, drawn from taking utterly out of context. A “dead” phone, or say a “dead centre” [vs a live one] in machining or a dead/live power line have nothing whatsoever to do with the context that was requested.

    All I did was to report what the definition offered in the relevant tradition is.

    if you want to understand what is offered to anchor that, I suggest you may wish to start here. When you can make a similar achievement and report with the same level of witnesses, you will have something to say.

    Meanwhile, I will take seriously what happened before my eyes a few months ago.

    KF

  41. 41
    kairosfocus says:

    MB,

    The definition of ID as a scientific endeavour implicitly but undeniably assumes that there are responsibly and rationally free, morally governed reasoning and observing conscious agents to carry out the required investigation.

    This is in fact a premise, typically unstated, of essentially all serious discussion.

    The matters at stake pivot on a wider, deeper question: in what sort of world must we be, to be this sort of creature. That is not a scientific question, it is a worldviews one, and it is addressed on comparative difficulties across live option alternatives.

    Over the years at UD, we have observed that many seemingly scientific disputes over ID in fact turn on much deeper issues. If those issues were not there, something as undeniable as the presence of functionally specific, complex alphanumeric codes and linked nanotech molecular execution machinery in the heart of the living cell would have long since been utterly decisive.

    That is the context in which you will find this also under UD’s tab bar, under About:

    Uncommon Descent holds that…

    Materialistic ideology has subverted the study of biological and cosmological origins so that the actual content of these sciences has become corrupted. The problem, therefore, is not merely that science is being used illegitimately to promote a materialistic worldview, but that this worldview is actively undermining scientific inquiry, leading to incorrect and unsupported conclusions about biological and cosmological origins. At the same time, intelligent design (ID) offers a promising scientific alternative to materialistic theories of biological and cosmological evolution — an alternative that is finding increasing theoretical and empirical support. Hence, ID needs to be vigorously developed as a scientific, intellectual, and cultural project.

    Sobering and sadly well-warranted words.

    But then, you have already been adequately informed on this; I speak for record for those standing by now and in time to come.

    KF

    PS: It seems that I need to again point out the cat-out-of-the-bag remark by Lewontin:

    . . . to put a correct [–> Just who here presume to cornering the market on truth and so demand authority to impose?] view of the universe into people’s heads

    [==> as in, “we” the radically secularist elites have cornered the market on truth, warrant and knowledge, making “our” “consensus” the yardstick of truth . . . where of course “view” is patently short for WORLDVIEW . . . and linked cultural agenda . . . ]

    we must first get an incorrect view out [–> as in, if you disagree with “us” of the secularist elite you are wrong, irrational and so dangerous you must be stopped, even at the price of manipulative indoctrination of hoi polloi] . . . the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world [–> “explanations of the world” is yet another synonym for WORLDVIEWS; the despised “demon[ic]” “supernatural” being of course an index of animus towards ethical theism and particularly the Judaeo-Christian faith tradition], the demons that exist only in their imaginations,

    [ –> as in, to think in terms of ethical theism is to be delusional, justifying “our” elitist and establishment-controlling interventions of power to “fix” the widespread mental disease]

    and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth

    [–> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]

    . . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists [–> “we” are the dominant elites], it is self-evident

    [–> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . . and in fact it is evolutionary materialism that is readily shown to be self-refuting]

    that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality [–> = all of reality to the evolutionary materialist], and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [–> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us [= the evo-mat establishment] to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [–> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [–> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . [–> irreconcilable hostility to ethical theism, already caricatured as believing delusionally in imaginary demons]. [Lewontin, Billions and billions of Demons, NYRB Jan 1997,cf. here. And, if you imagine this is “quote-mined” I invite you to read the fuller annotated citation here.]

  42. 42
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, kindly see the just above. KF

  43. 43
    jdk says:

    From above,

    “conclusions about biological and cosmological origins. At the same time, intelligent design (ID) offers a promising scientific alternative to materialistic theories of biological and cosmological evolution…”

    ID is about how things came to be what they are: notice the words “origins” and “evolution.”

    The hypothesis that a non-material intelligence is responsible for the origin and evolution of life is a different statement than saying that living things are composed of more than matter and energy.

    Do you see the difference in those two statements?

  44. 44
    ET says:

    Everything about ID says that information is beyond matter and energy. And yes information is a huge part of the evidence for ID in biology. That isn’t just about the information it took to design and produce living organisms.

  45. 45
    Molson Bleu says:

    “The definition of ID as a scientific endeavour implicitly but undeniably assumes that there are responsibly and rationally free, morally governed reasoning and observing conscious agents to carry out the required investigation.”

    With respect, you are not answering the question. The fact that in order to investigate ID we must be more than the interaction of design, matter and energy is irrelevant to the question of whether this is a specific requirement of ID. It is certainly an outcome of the design in the case of humans, but that does not mean that it is inherent in ID theory.

    We both agree that life requires an intelligent agent. The sheer complexity of biological structures in even the simplest cells makes this conclusion impossible to dismiss. Just like it would be absurd to look at the car in my garage and conclude that it wasn’t the result of an intelligent agent. But a car is quite obviously not more than the interaction of its designed arrangement of matter and energy. But it is not a valid extrapolation to say that all life must be more than the interactions of the designed arrangement of matter and energy just because humans are. That would be like arguing that all cars must be electric because the Tesla is.

  46. 46
    ET says:

    But a car is quite obviously not more than the interaction of its designed arrangement of matter and energy.

    And a living organism is clearly not a car nor anything similar. Living organisms are more than matter, energy and what emerges from their interactions because observations demand it. The genetic code doesn’t run itself.

  47. 47
    Molson Bleu says:

    “The genetic code doesn’t run itself.”

    Just so that I don’t misunderstand what you are saying, are you suggesting that cell reproduction and protein production needs continuous intervention of an intelligent agent? Or are you saying that protein production and cell devision are more than an the interaction of designed matter and energy? If the latter, I am afraid that I would need more support than your say so.

  48. 48
    jdk says:

    Good questions. Is a bacteria more than matter and energy; or if it is just matter and energy, does it require, as MB asks, the continual or occasional input of something that is not matter and energy in order to keep living and produce other bacteria?

    And, more on the limited topic of ID theory, does the hypothesis that a bacteria is just matter and energy, albeit designed and created in the beginning by a non-material intelligence, contradict anything in ID theory?

  49. 49
    ET says:

    Just so that I don’t misunderstand what you are saying, are you suggesting that cell reproduction and protein production needs continuous intervention of an intelligent agent?

    Did your computer come with programmers that have to continuously intervene so you can use it?

    If the latter, I am afraid that I would need more support than your say so.

    It isn’t my say so. Why is it that we cannot design living organisms? We know the chemistry. And yet even given the correct chemistry we don’t get transcription and translation.

    If it was a mere matter of getting the right matter and energy together to bring forth life then we would have done so by now.

  50. 50
    kairosfocus says:

    Note: a car is a very carefully organised, functionally coherent, information-rich whole. No it is not merely matter and energy. It is organised and chock full of FSCO/I, this points, of course, to the significance of intelligently directed configuration for such an entity. The living cell is all of that and more: it is a metabolic automaton with an included integral von Neumann self-replication facility. In that context, it uses alphanumeric code with associated molecular nanotech execution machinery. And all of this has to be explained as foundational to reproduction, antecedent therefore to Darwin-style mechanisms. KF

  51. 51
    kairosfocus says:

    MB, do you not see the self-referential issue connected to the premise of rational discussion? We may not choose to highlight it at a given time but it is absolutely critical — BTW, as is discussed in the parallel Op here: https://uncommondescent.com/design-inference/why-look-at-ai-linked-themes-what-is-the-relevance-to-id-as-a-scientific-enterprise/ . KF

  52. 52
    ET says:

    Editing, splicing, and error correction all require knowledge, ie information on what and how to edit, splice and correct. That information is beyond matter, energy and what emerges from their interactions

  53. 53
    Molson Bleu says:

    “Note: a car is a very carefully organised, functionally coherent, information-rich whole. No it is not merely matter and energy. It is organised and chock full of FSCO/I, this points, of course, to the significance of intelligently directed configuration for such an entity.
    The living cell is all of that and more: it is a metabolic automaton with an included integral von Neumann self-replication facility. In that context, it uses alphanumeric code with associated molecular nanotech execution machinery. And all of this has to be explained as foundational to reproduction, antecedent therefore to Darwin-style mechanisms”

    I think that you are completely misinterpreting what I have been saying. I am not arguing that both a car and a cell are not information rich designed artifacts. They obviously are. But ID theory does not require that their day-to-day functioning be anything more than the interaction of this highly complex and designed arrangement of matter and energy. Yes, DNA is a highly complex alphanumeric code, but it is my understanding that it functions (protein production, etc.) following the interaction of matter and energy (chemical processes). It is a highly complex and flexible process, but it is still a chemical process.

  54. 54
    StephenB says:

    Molson Bleu

    By my reading of this, there is no requirement in the theory for organisms to be anything more that the interaction of a designed arrangement of matter and energy. I realize that this is just a high level description of the theory, but I have not been able to find anything on-line that contradicts this. Maybe I have just missed it. Any assistance would be appreciated.

    Among other things, the organism (or artifact) must also be the effect of an antecedent cause. Science is a search for causes.

    It must also contain design indicators, such as Irreducible complexity and specified complexity. If the indicators don’t exist, the inference cannot be made.

  55. 55
    ET says:

    Yes, DNA is a highly complex alphanumeric code, but it is my understanding that it functions (protein production, etc.) following the interaction of matter and energy (chemical processes).

    Your understanding is without evidentiary support. If it functioned as you say then we should be able to produce at least a simple living organism. Or do we need a special Jedi hand-wave to get it all going and only then it becomes self-sustaining?

    There isn’t anything about transcription, editing, processing, splicing, error correction and translation that says it is just a chemical process. All of that requires knowledge, ie information of what to do and when to do it, at a minimum. How it splices and edits are well known chemical processes. That is does requires something more.

  56. 56
    jdk says:

    I’ve thrown in my 2 cents, but that’s enough. Good luck, MB.

  57. 57
    ET says:

    In the next re-write of ID theory I will see if I can get that thrown in:

    ID predicts that there is more to living organisms than matter, energy and what emerges from their interactions can account for. This something more is, at a minimum is the information required for transcription, translation, proof-reading, error-correction, editing, processing and splicing, along with the translation of a source code (nucleotides) into an object code (functioning protein).

    😎

  58. 58
    LocalMinimum says:

    MB @ 31:

    What I meant by held in that case was conceptually, by an observer, theoretically.

    That was my shot at settling the dispute.

    ET:

    I’m thinking MB isn’t disputing informational content so much as disputing that biology can be shown to be a “trans-dimensional hybrid” system.

  59. 59
    Molson Bleu says:

    “I’m thinking MB isn’t disputing informational content so much as disputing that biology can be shown to be a “trans-dimensional hybrid” system.”

    I was never disputing informational content. I have been very clear on this. But, after the initial design, this informational content and its functioning can proceed as nothing more than the interaction of this designed matter and energy. Just as a car, after it is designed and built, functions according to the interaction of its component parts (matter) and energy.

    ID would still be the best explanation for life on earth even if there were no humans with consciousness and souls, or even any animals with brains. ID does not require these and it does not predict them.

  60. 60
    ET says:

    I have been very clear on this. But, after the initial design, this informational content and its functioning can proceed as nothing more than the interaction of this designed matter and energy.

    There isn’t any evidence to support that position.

    Again, what we observe going on in living organisms transcends matter, energy and what emerges from their interactions. At a minimum a BIOS is needed. Mindless matter and energy do not just transcribe, edit, splice, process and translate. Chaperones that ferry other proteins to the right spot. The ribosome is a genetic compiler that can detect errors and stop the translation process.

    Just as a car, after it is designed and built, functions according to the interaction of its component parts (matter) and energy.

    And the interactions of intelligent driver.

    ID would still be the best explanation for life on earth even if there were no humans with consciousness and souls, or even any animals with brains.

    Best explanation for who by who?

    We can design the chemistry of living organisms. We can put all of those parts together. Yet we cannot create a living organism. That is about as much “proof” as you are going to get that Molson Bleu is wrong- the functioning cannot proceed as nothing more than the interaction of this designed matter and energy.

  61. 61
    StephenB says:

    MB

    Just as a car, after it is designed and built, functions according to the interaction of its component parts (matter) and energy.

    ID doesn’t explain the operation of the car’s function. It explains the existence of the car’s function.

    ID would still be the best explanation for life on earth even if there were no humans with consciousness and souls, or even any animals with brains. ID does not require these and it does not predict them.

    ID requires a conscious agent to explain the existence of organisms on earth and it requires a conscious agent to explain the existence of artifacts on earth.

  62. 62
    kairosfocus says:

    LocMin (& MB):

    I suggest, I was not describing biology in general but our experience of ourselves as embodied, self-aware, morally governed reasoning, responsibly deciding creatures.

    This is the first fact, through which we access other facts, including scientific observations.

    So, it would be useful to introspect on such an extraordinary thing.

    In the context in which I suggested such, the issue is that computation on a substrate is a cause-effect blind chain, not an insightful, ground and consequent logical, meaning-based inference. Further to this, if we are strongly aware of being under moral government, but regard such as delusional, it is inextricably entangled with logic: duties to truth, sound reasoning, fair-mindedness and more. Such a premise of delusion would let loose delusion across the domain of mindedness, leading to degradation of rationality into little more than clever, amoral manipulation.

    Nihilistic absurdity in short.

    Therefore, we need to consider carefully the alternative that we transcend blind computation and actually experience rational, responsible, morally governed freedom. Such points to reality being far more than evolutionary materialistic scientism dreams of.

    In that world, it makes sense to conceive of ourselves as trans-dimensional hybrids, embodied spiritual beings where the soul can be viewed as the interface between the two.

    The brain, in particular, serving as an i/o interface machine with storage and ability to use neural network programming. I have often pointed to Eng. Derek Smith’s model with a cybernetic entity that has a two-tier controller.

    Others have put quantum influence on the table to address interfaces.

    When a paradigm has collapsed — and evolutionary materialism’s self-referential incoherence marks such a collapse, it may be time to think again on alternatives.

    KF

    PS: Recall, too, the OP was answering questions on specifically Christian views.

  63. 63
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: I have added just now, on the Smith model.

    PPPS: Kindly note, Scott Calef in IEP:

    Keith Campbell writes, “The indeterminacy of quantum laws means that any one of a range of outcomes of atomic events in the brain is equally compatible with known physical laws. And differences on the quantum scale can accumulate into very great differences in overall brain condition. So there is some room for spiritual activity even within the limits set by physical law. There could be, without violation of physical law, a general spiritual constraint upon what occurs inside the head.” (p.54). Mind could act upon physical processes by “affecting their course but not breaking in upon them.” (p.54). If this is true, the dualist could maintain the conservation principle but deny a fluctuation in energy because the mind serves to “guide” or control neural events by choosing one set of quantum outcomes rather than another. Further, it should be remembered that the conservation of energy is designed around material interaction; it is mute on how mind might interact with matter. After all, a Cartesian rationalist might insist, if God exists we surely wouldn’t say that He couldn’t do miracles just because that would violate the first law of thermodynamics, would we? [Article, “Dualism and Mind,” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.]

  64. 64
    J-Mac says:

    Gen 2:16-17

    “16 God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

    Gen 3:4

    The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5″For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

    So, if humans were given the immortal soul and God failed to tell them about it, then serpent/satan must have been right by saying:

    “You surely will not die! “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

    This obviously makes things looking even more complicated than just the issue of the immortality of the soul one would think…

  65. 65
    kairosfocus says:

    J-Mac,

    what does “death” mean, in the biblical context?

    Not, cessation of life or disintegration of existence or annihilation, but loss of a sustaining relationship due to severing or alienation.

    Sin leads to radical alienation from God and the bondage of corruption. It also leads to physical degradation and physical death, understood as separation of spirit and body. One who has been reconciled with God during his bodily life is given spiritual rebirth thus eternal life here and now; and, s/he will enjoy the resurrection of eternal felicity.

    However, if one has sustained an alienation, that continues eternally.

    A specific relevant text is Daniel 12: “2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above;[a] and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” [ESV]

    Likewise, Heb 9: “27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”

    Similarly, 1 Cor 15: “20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”

    Just to excerpt and outline.

    The warrant regarding truth is the resurrection of Jesus as prophesied Messiah, with 500 eyewitnesses.

    KF

  66. 66
    ET says:

    J Mac loves his strawmen…

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