51 Replies to “Krauthammer — The Senescent Years

  1. 1
    crandaddy says:

    Yet another ignorant (or dare I say insidious) anti-ID rant. My, how these get old |-O. As for good ol’ Pat, I wish he’d get his facts straight before he starts preaching fire and brimstone. He sure has a way of getting his foot stuck in his mouth; I’m beginning to question his competence.

    David

  2. 2
    jboze3131 says:

    Let’s be clear. Intelligent design may be interesting as theology, but as science it is a fraud. It is a self-enclosed, tautological “theory” whose only holding is that when there are gaps in some area of scientific knowledge — in this case, evolution — they are to be filled by God. It is a “theory” that admits that evolution and natural selection explain such things as the development of drug resistance in bacteria and other such evolutionary changes within species but also says that every once in a while God steps into this world of constant and accumulating change and says, “I think I’ll make me a lemur today.” A “theory” that violates the most basic requirement of anything pretending to be science — that it be empirically disprovable. How does one empirically disprove the proposition that God was behind the lemur, or evolution — or behind the motion of the tides or the “strong force” that holds the atom together?

    Krauthammer, whom I usually enjoy on Special Report on Fox News, is a hack when it comes to reporting on this issue. He’s written about it before, and he refuses to get his facts straight. ID says no such thing as he described above. He has to know this, or he’s pathetic at fact checking, which means all of his work becomes suspect. I also have to wonder how he thinks you could empirically disprove the notion of common descent? How can you possibly falsify events that supposedly took place over billions of years in very very slow and gradual steps (tho the fossil record shows that these steps weren’t in any way gradual.) ??

  3. 3
    jboze3131 says:

    I’d also love to see how he thinks we could ever scientifically show intent:

    The school board thinks it is indicting evolution by branding it an “unguided process” with no “discernible direction or goal.” This is as ridiculous as indicting Newtonian mechanics for positing an “unguided process” by which Earth is pulled around the sun every year without discernible purpose. What is chemistry if not an “unguided process” of molecular interactions without “purpose”? Or are we to teach children that God is behind every hydrogen atom in electrolysis?

  4. 4
    jboze3131 says:

    and finally…

    How ridiculous to make evolution the enemy of God. What could be more elegant, more simple, more brilliant, more economical, more creative, indeed more divine than a planet with millions of life forms, distinct and yet interactive, all ultimately derived from accumulated variations in a single double-stranded molecule, pliable and fecund enough to give us mollusks and mice, Newton and Einstein? Even if it did give us the Kansas State Board of Education, too.

    How is trillions of deaths in some sick twisted game of trial and error over billions of years elegant and brilliant and creative? I’m not sure who in their right mind thinks- ‘hey, I’m an evolved monkey, that’s so elegant and creative and beautiful!’ All my emotions, dreams, goals, and pursuits in life are meaningless piles of garbage that are just add-ons to the main and nearly sole goal of reproducing as much as I can to make as many selfish DNA as I can! Wow, what beauty!’

    I’m still waiting for lab tests where scientists tweak the DNA of mice to turn them into anything but mice…same for fruit flies, e coli, and any other animal on earth. Forget this whole artificial selection idea- let’s put the theory to the test, actually insert and remove parts of an animal’s dna and try to create ANYTHING new. No one can do that and no one thinks we’ll ever be able to do that…once they do accomplish this, I might give the theory of NS working on random pointless mutations a second thought.

  5. 5
    DaveScot says:

    Krauthammer is such a girly man.

  6. 6
    Bombadill says:

    These people need to hear from us. They should not be able to produce this misinformation and not be called on it. I suggest everyone email him.

  7. 7
    Mats says:

    No can do, Bombadill. Harrassing is the Darwinian game 😉

  8. 8
    mmadigan says:

    Krauthammer’s continued misperception of the real issue shows how
    this is a basic belief system rather than evidence based.
    George Will is another who wilfully resists the facts.

  9. 9
    turell says:

    Krauthammer and Will shortcut the research they should do by accepting the standard output( read propaganda) of the print media, spouting the lies of mainstream science. David

  10. 10
    Daniel512 says:

    Did really Pat Robertson do such a ridiculous thing?

  11. 11
    TomG says:

    Part of Krauthammer’s error is that favorite fallacy of so many: “why couldn’t God have . . .?”

    He suggests it would have been wonderful if God had created the world through evolutionary means. That is not the question. It would have been wonderful if God had created the world in one day instead of six or instead of 14 billion years (take your pick). It would have been wonderful if he had populated every planet in the solar system. It would have been wonderful if he had given us the ability to fly.

    We could play that game until Christmas. The question is not what might God have done if he wanted to, but what is the real natural history of the world? It’s still a question of science, and ID has not taken it out of that realm.

  12. 12
    PaV says:

    I offer this as a metaphor for the “intersection” of science and God–and, by extension, to ID as science versus ID as just pure, non-scientific religiosity.

    Jesus tells Peter: Go to the sea, cast a line into the sea. The first fish you catch, open its mouth. You’ll find two gold coins. Pay the temple tax with it, one for you and one for me.

    Now, when Peter did that and found those coins, the question is: was that just luck?

  13. 13
    mmadigan says:

    The darwinites always wanna talk about God. I want ’em to answer the science.

  14. 14
    mentok says:

    There is an organized well funded attack on ID going on at the present time. We know the Templeton Foundation is shelling out bucks for that purpose and there are numerous scientific bodies as well involved who are funded by who knows?

    Clearly there has to be a reason beyond the lame excuse of trying to keep scientific rationality and integrity held aloft for the attack to be taking place. Clearly some people fell threatened by ID and are willing to organize and fund all of these lame attacks. The people who are funding this attack clearly fear ID for some reason. What is that reason?

    The most obvious reason for the people who attack ID (not the funders of the attacks) is that they see ID as part of a Christian fundamentalist plot to theocratize America and the world under the fundamentalist dominionist ideology. That is most likely the motivation of most people who attack ID who utilize demagoguery and various straw man arguments and other logical fallacies. They can’t attack ID in any other way because they either haven’t studied it or if they have they can’t really come up with a scientific reason to attack it.

    If ID was really what the propagandist demagogues say it is e.g “psuedo-science” then there wouldn’t be such a passionate attack on it utlizing demagoguery, straw man arguments and logical fallacies. Religions have long claimed God as being the creator of all life. But what we are seeing right now is a frantic demagogic attempt to demonize ID as “psuedo science”. Because these propagandists know that most people are intellectually lazy and accept scientists as some kind of priestly caste, they then fund these scientists and other writers and professional pundits to attack ID in the mass media knowing that most people will believe what they are told.

    The people who fund these attacks must fear ID but probably not because they see it as part of a fundamentalist plot to theocratize the world. They should know better. So they must fear ID for another reason. The only reason I could come up with is that ID is scary to them because it is so convincing and it directly opposes some kind of agenda which the funders are promoting. The only thing that ID opposes on a philosophical level is a universe without a God who is actively involved in the universe or at least on Earth. So the funders of the attacks on ID must oppose that ideology. They oppose the concept of promoting the scientific proof of a God who is actviely involved with our universe and on Earth. Why? They must have an agenda which promotes an ideology which is based on there being no God who is active on Earth.

    The Templeton Foundation is the perfect example. They have lots of money and are promoting the confluence of religion and science supposedly in some kind of rational openminded all embracing way. Yet they fund demagogic hack attacks on ID. They clearly have a specific ideology which they want to promote, otherwise if they were really about syncretism they would embrace ID due to it’s scientific integrity and theistic connotations. Their so called syncretism is just a false front for an ulterior purpose. They have brothers in arms amongst members of religious organizations, people who control foundations which fund academia, and others with great wealth. These people form some kind of clique whose agenda is threatened by the scientific integrity of ID. If ID was as their mouthpieces claim it to be i.e biblical literalism, psuedo science, etc, then they wouldn’t be so intent on demonizing it. They are afraid of ID because they know it’s good science.

    This sounds conspiratorial, and it is. There is definetly a concerted effort to demonize ID and prevent people from taking the time to actually study it.

  15. 15

    mentok,

    I think two things are going on, both on the subconscious level, at least for most people.

    1) If God exists people intuitively know they are in big trouble. People will go to incredible lengths to deny God exists are to make God a big grandfather in the sky. While ID does not try to identify the Designer, the implications of the theory are too much for them to bear. That’s why they skip the arguments and go directly to “this isn’t science.”

    2) A lot of groups want to be taken seriously. “I can have faith and be a Darwinian.” Bully for them. The question should be “is it true”. I could be content being a theist and a Darwinist. I believe in the sovreignity of God in all things. But I think the evidence is lacking.

    Paul Vitz on his essay about the psychology of atheism mentions that he became an atheist because he wanted to be taken seriously by his colleagues. I think that may go on with many people with the ID movement. At the very least, a theist should say “hey, let’s look into this.”

  16. 16
    crandaddy says:

    “Paul Vitz on his essay about the psychology of atheism mentions that he became an atheist because he wanted to be taken seriously by his colleagues. I think that may go on with many people with the ID movement. At the very least, a theist should say ‘hey, let’s look into this.'”

    Good point. I’ve long suspected peer pressure as an incentive for keeping scientists in the closet, myself.

    David

  17. 17
    mentok says:

    geoff you wrote:

    ” If God exists people intuitively know they are in big trouble. People will go to incredible lengths to deny God exists are (or?) to make God a big grandfather in the sky.”

    Why would people intuitively “know they are in big trouble” if God exists? And why would people go to the lengths you describe prompted by a subconsicous reason?

    You also wrote:

    ” While ID does not try to identify the Designer, the implications of the theory are too much for them to bear. That’s why they skip the arguments and go directly to “this isn’t science.”

    You are right. Scientists who dogmatically preach evolution and denigrate ID are biased against ID because they don’t believe in God. They view the lack of proof for evolution as being due to our own lack of finding it, not to there being no proof. Because they don’t study the arguments made by the detractors of evolution they don’t realize that there will never be any proof. Because they are biased against God they will not take the time to study all of the arguments against evolution. It’s not because they “can’t handle the truth”, it’s because they haven’t actually seen the truth. They do not study the position of ID in depth before attacking it and claiming it to be pseudoscience. They are biased against the theological implications of ID therefore they a priori reject it and don’t study it. Then of course they will lie and say they have studied it and found it to be pseudoscience.

    Then you wrote:

    “A lot of groups want to be taken seriously. “I can have faith and be a Darwinian.” Bully for them. The question should be “is it true”. I could be content being a theist and a Darwinist. I believe in the sovreignity of God in all things. But I think the evidence is lacking.”

    You’re right. People accept evolution because they are brainwashed. There is no evidence for evolution and it’s a really stupid theory on the face of it. So…brainwashed. Being a darwinian means being ignorant. If people believe in evolution it’s only due to propaganda not education. Just like I was just watching a video of a class given by Coyne at a college about the “fertility of the universe”. It was pure propaganda and brainwashing. The class was about how the universe evolved from nothing to the present day. He starts off with the universe after the Big Bang. He shows how at first there were just random atoms floating around space. Once the conditions became right the atoms started to bond to form molecules. He called this increasing complexity a natural part of the universe. He then went onto explain how from those molecules the universe continued to get more complex by natural processes. From molecules to stars to planets. All part of the natural order of increasing naturally occuring complexity. And then he said that since the universe was getting more and more complex he could find no reason to disbelieve that an amoeba could come into existence by that same continuing natural trend towards complexity.

    I awaited for an explanation as to why he should find no reason because I could think of a good many reasons. But he continued on with saying that after the amoeba came into existence the continuing natural complexity built into the universe continued on to create more complex forms of life ending up with humans as the highest manifestation of the trend in the universe towards complexity.

    And that was the sum and substance of an over hour long presentation. At the end he asked how does God fit into the picture? He said God doesn’t. All that goes on in the universe occurs naturally through the inherent built in drive towards complexity. God is some unknowable loving thingamabob outside of all of this. What has happened in the natural world was meant to happen because the universe naturally drives itself in this direction through a natural sequence of events, one on top of the other.

    That is the level of discourse at a university on these topics. They simplify everything to the point of irrelevance. “Amoebas just came into existence because that is the way of the universe” It is meant as propaganda not as education. They have an agenda and it’s not to educate people, it’s to steer people into a specific belief sytem and away from others.

  18. 18
    jesguessin says:

    I like mentok’s (comment 14). Why is there such a backlash against ID at this time? I think he is right, non-ID’ers are scared by something. I think what scares them is that ID seems to be associated with the surreal politics of the last few years. They see it somehow standing next to the intelligence that falsely gave evidence of WMDs and then, so predictably, got us into the war between factions in Iraq. They are now gun shy of anything that smacks of reasoning that the current administration believes in. Now that is not much of an argument against ID, but it is a motivator.

    Motivates me, anyway. I dont mind drifting a bit between belief and non-belief in a higher power, but for the first time I am starting to think that freethinkers are going to have to start dodging bullets between crusaders and jihadists while big brother gets to where we have to have our RFID scanned before being allowed to defecate.

    Off topic? Well I think it’s legitimate to try to figure out if ID is somehow connected to the new insanity of our times. Anyway, so now I am interested.

  19. 19
    DaveScot says:

    “He shows how at first there were just random atoms floating around space.”

    Coyne needs to do a little bit more reading about the evolution of the universe. The universe was 300,000 years old before atoms were able to form. Molecules didn’t form for a billion years until after the first generation of stars had formed and died.

    http://www.kheper.net/cosmos/universe/universe.htm

  20. 20
    Neal says:

    The most obvious reason for the people who attack ID (not the funders of the attacks) is that they see ID as part of a Christian fundamentalist plot to theocratize America and the world under the fundamentalist dominionist ideology. That is most likely the motivation of most people who attack ID who utilize demagoguery and various straw man arguments and other logical fallacies.

    MEMO TO ID PROPONENTS (from One Outside Your Camp):
    I’m sorry, but I see it exactly the other way around — wondering how/why ID is so well-funded, seeing it as much more of an elaborate marketing strategy than intellectual movement. I openly admit that I believe ID is misled, or is at the very least putting conjecture and cant ahead of well-sustained arguments. These *should* do a number of things: First, make clear explanations of ID’s relationship to evolution (are they diametrically opposed?, are they compatible? – the public clearly wonders, as I have been reading, if ID is a replacement of E, or if ID is Evolution++). Second, while continually ranting against the biases of mainstream science, academe, and the press (which are sometimes wellfounded but so often your OWN “straw men” to be knocked down), nothing can beat clear, refined, articulate argumentation along constructive lines. Your cause will be helped if it is seen as standing on its own two feet and not just a line of argument/critique. Thanks to punditry and our fascination with contrived and polarized debate, ID is seen only as a sparring partner -l you must try to step back from that form of engagement alone. Third, and finally, you MUST establish the points of continuity and discontinuity between ID and religion – or else you will forever risk being misunderstood (however you address those points). Does design demand a “designer,” and if so how does contemporary ID differentiate itself from, say, Aristotle, or Aquinas? The cost-benefit of having Frist, Bush, et al, endorse ID has its limits (I’m not sure that “any press is good press”), as it has already tarred and stigmatized you as inherently religious, or bad science, or bad theology. This is only IN PART because of arguments/biases made against you, but, I believe, because the ID camp has never adequately addressed it or the above questions. Thanks for hearing me out.

  21. 21
    mentok says:

    Neal, Neal, Neal. So typical, so presumptuous, so lazy. There is a huge amount of scientific arguments made by scientists within the ID camp from books, dissertations, articles, etc, which do exactly what you claim isn’t being done. This other site of Dembski’s alone contains enough reading to keep you busy for a very long time.

    http://www.designinference.com/

  22. 22
    jay says:

    Krauthammer says: “How ridiculous to make evolution the enemy of God. What could be more elegant, more simple, more brilliant, more economical, more creative, indeed more divine than a planet with millions of life forms, distinct and yet interactive, all ultimately derived from accumulated variations in a single double-stranded molecule, pliable and fecund enough to give us mollusks and mice, Newton and Einstein?”

    To believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution by means of random variation and natural selection is to believe “that man with all his noble qualities, with sympathy which feels for the most debased, with benevolence which extends to the humblest living creature, with his god-like intellect which has penetrated into the movements and constitution of the solar system – with all these exalted powers”, was essentially created by accident, and by the mere instinctual satiation of hunger and lust of his ancestors through the eons. This is “divine,” Mr. Krauthammer?

  23. 23
    jay says:

    …his and other creatures’ ancestors…

  24. 24

    People intuitively know they are in big trouble because a) when they look at nature they intuitively know about design and a powerful designer b) they have done bad things c) they have a conscience that tells them that they’ve done bad things and that they are in trouble because of it.

  25. 25

    I also wouldn’t call it brainwashing. Many want an alternative explanation. It’s like giving food to a thirsty person. And that’s not to say there are no merits to Darwinian thought.

  26. 26
    mentok says:

    I call it brainwashing because they do not tell the truth about evolutionary theory, instead they promote baseless and discredited ideas as absolute infallible dogma for the purpose of convincing people that there is no God. If they presented the whole and true version of evolutionary theory and it’s actual as opposed to fictional scientific credibility then that would be something other then brainwashing. Just because people want to know something about the origin and diversity of life that doesn’t give people the go ahead to present evolution to ignorant people as being an unassailable truth that has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. But we can see the reaction of many people when others want to allow a critical analysis of evolution instead of just preaching about the holy science as infallible dogma. If they were not interested in brainwashing people then they would welcome a critical analysis. Instead they fight tooth and nail to keep their brainwashing system intact.

    It’s no different then what communist and totalitarian regimes do when they want to keep something hidden for fear of losing power. Look at North Korea. It’s a cult masquerading as a country. The authorities do not allow a vision of the outside world to be seen by North Koreans. They are brainwashed into thinking that the world outside of North Korea is much worse off then they are. Recently I watched a documentry about videos being smuggled into North Korea of South Korean soap operas. The people are shocked to find out that not only is the outside world not worse off then they are, but that they are the ones who are worse off then everyone else. So now the authorities are raiding peoples homes and searching for those videos, if found the people are sent to forced labor camps.

    Evolution activists are no different. They have brainwashed a large segment of ignorant people into believing that evolution is the truth, the light, and the way. ID exposes that as false. Therefore the evolution activists have started a campaign to eradicate the perception that ID has scientific credibility. They are mean and women on a mission, a mission to keep people brainwashed.

  27. 27
    mentok says:

    geoff you wrote:

    “People intuitively know they are in big trouble because a) when they look at nature they intuitively know about design and a powerful designer b) they have done bad things c) they have a conscience that tells them that they’ve done bad things and that they are in trouble because of it”

    a) I don’t think so. I was born and raised an atheist and went to public schools. I scoffed at the idea of God and never considered the possibility of God at any time until I directly experienced God.

    b) I never did any things which I considered bad when I was an atheist. I saw myself as a good person, as do most atheists.

    c)see the above

    I don’t believe that atheists try and supress believing in God or a personal God from their minds subconsciously. It is my own experience that they simply don’t believe that God exists. Those that promote an impersonal God or a God who is not involved with their lives do so because that is what they believe. I don’t believe there is any subconscious drive which gives them impetus to believe as they do. Generally people who believe in an impersonal God have a philosophical reason, there are religions and theologies which try and philosophically prove that God is impersonal.

  28. 28
    Neal says:

    … So typical, so presumptuous, so lazy. There is a huge amount of scientific arguments made by scientists within the ID camp from books, dissertations, articles, etc, which do exactly what you claim isn’t being done. This other site of Dembski’s alone contains enough reading to keep you busy for a very long time.

    Mentok, I don’t think my comments were typical, presumptuous, or lazy. They were not written to be dismissive, but to let you know what I see as missing from the popular debate, particularly my third point re: ID’s relationship to religion which seems ambiguous, since I have yet to see/hear descriptions of what lies on the other side of any “design”, were it to be proven. And while I attempt to ask for some of these sorts of things here, you resort to insults and mild contempt. It is true: I am less familiar with Dembski’s theoretical work on ID and more familiar with his theological work from a few years back.

  29. 29
    mentok says:

    Neal I am reading your post and then going back to your original post…hmmm…do my eyes deceive me or is there some discrepancy there? You were being dismissive and what you seem to think is “missing from the popular debate” is only due to your lack of education on what the debate entails which is due to your laziness in not first seeking out the position from ID scientists which are available with ease through a simple use of your keyboard, keywords, and a search engine. Anyone who claims as you claim in your first post is clearly being presumptuous, lazy (for not investigating your claim which would have led you to the opposite conclusion) and typical because your opinion is in fact typical of people who are presumptuous and lazy.

  30. 30
    jmcd says:

    geoff
    If you are implying that people belief in evolution because they are afraid of going to hell,,, well that is pretty silly. People believe in evolution because it is the most cogent explanation for all the facts we have about the spread of life on Earth. ID proponents cannot continue to imply that there is little evidence for common descent if they ever want to be popular among non fundamentalists in any meaningful way.

    Now I have heard many people say that ID does not espouse supernatural interference on Earth. I have heard from the same people that ID does not believe in common descent or a natural creation of life. There is obviously a problem here. Science does not involve the supernatural or appeals to the supernatural. Not because supernatural events are impossible but because science is powerless to investigate or understand them. I have heard the term methodological naturalism used as a slur here, but that is exactly what science is. It is the search for natural explanations. If you do not believe in common descent and do not want that taught in science class then an alternative natural explanation has to be found. ID does not offer this. Right now is about the time that people will often back peddle and say that ID is simply an inference of design in nature. The thing is that such an inference is neither scientific nor a problem for Dawinian evolution. I make such an inference myself.

  31. 31
    DaveScot says:

    mentok

    “The only thing that ID opposes on a philosophical level is a universe without a God who is actively involved in the universe or at least on Earth.”

    I don’t see how it opposes even that. Evidence of design can very well be the result of a universe that was designed to unfold in a certain, inevitable way. That would require no further activity from a designer beyond setting it in motion 14 billion years ago. This is the essence of deism and was an idea held by many American luminaries like Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Ben Franklin, and Albert Einstein to name just a few.

    This is reflected in the preamble of every state constitution which all mention a creator but not a specific creator. The creator is the authority behind inalienable human rights which governments serve not to grant but to protect. Reiterated in the mid-20th century by inserting “one nation under God”, not one nation under the God of Abraham or one nation under Christ, into the pledge of allegiance, and stamped on all U.S. coins “in God we trust”. The United States was founded under the auspices of deism and inalienable human rights… truths which were held to be self-evident. These are the principles which I hold dear and are the line which I will fight to protect from spoilers either foreign or domestic, scientific or religious.

  32. 32
    Neal says:

    Mentok, your bluster surprises me, as do your continually uncareful distinctions in other posts. ABOLUTELY I can do more reading, more exploring, and continue to ask my questions — but rather than help me along in understanding your perspective (I *do* follow the popular debate, and these are the issues that, over and over again, remain unanswered), you block any sort of invitation or entree to a productive conversation.

    I would think that if there are well-established answers to my questions, you might help me understand them (After all, Mentok, YOU have a keyboard too, but I’m *sure* you’re not being lazy – you’re ready to rant but never explain in more careful, deliberate terms). Until that happens, where you actually try to *help* others understand your perspective, things won’t get very far.

    And if you want to be a proponent of a new way of thinking, or a “movement” of sorts, you might want to reign that in a bit.

    Other question: Is not ID ALSO well-funded, as some here have claimed the Anti-ID forces are?

  33. 33
    Neal says:

    DaveScot, those are interesting thoughts:

    I don’t see how it opposes even that. Evidence of design can very well be the result of a universe that was designed to unfold in a certain, inevitable way. That would require no further activity from a designer beyond setting it in motion 14 billion years ago.

    But what are the limits on this design, were there to be one? What about the problem of evil? Is it too designed? What about my freedom as an individual, was that designed or am I an automaton? What about the holocaust or slavery or AIDS or avian flu pandemics – are they also part of this design? I don’t ask this to refute your argument, but just to point out it can be problematic, particularly around the question of determinism.

  34. 34
    paulp says:

    Bombadill wrote: These people need to hear from us. They should not be able to produce this misinformation and not be called on it. I suggest everyone email him.

    I wrote him a note when he first reported on this and (politely) told him he doesn’t know what he’s talking about and he should avoid writing on topics best left to people that understand these disciplines. Apparently it seems to be working . . .

  35. 35
    mentok says:

    Dave you wrote:

    “I don’t see how it opposes even that. Evidence of design can very well be the result of a universe that was designed to unfold in a certain, inevitable way. That would require no further activity from a designer beyond setting it in motion 14 billion years ago.”

    Which was in response to this from moi:

    ““The only thing that ID opposes on a philosophical level is a universe without a God who is actively involved in the universe or at least on Earth.”

    Well Dave I simply disagree. What you propose is the same thing that Coyne proposes more or less. From my lurnin the “natural world” is like a computer that has an operating system loaded. Is that enough to create a program? No. There needs to be a user who utilizes the computer and operating system in order to design a program. Nature is indeed set up with with laws, but those laws alone cannot account for the designs we see manifest in nature. There is no natural process which can account for the design of complex things within nature. Nature can manifest weather, or stars, or planets, based on natural laws set up to an extreme precision by a cosmic intelligence. But a grapefruit will not naturally arise by those same physical laws interacting with matter and energy and time. Nature cannot magically create something which is extremely complex and specified. Natural laws can provide the laboratory or the computer OS, but the scientist or programmer is needed to design and bring into existence the complexity of life manifest in nature. That’s my view and I’m stickin to it.

    Neal:

    You want to come in here and throw down the gauntlet as if your questions and criticisms are something new. I told you you were being presumptuous and lazy, and that you were typical of many people who demand that ID proponents present them the answers right here and now, even though what they and you really want is to try and prove us to be full of it. I don’t believe in your sincerity of purpose, if you were sincere you would have done some research before coming on a blog and posting what you did. I don’t get into debates with people on ID who are not willing to do some reading first. It’s not my bag…baby:)

  36. 36
    jay says:

    Neal: Mentok is right. You really should read up on the subject. If you’re not sincere, then your posts are a waste of everyone’s time. If you are sincere, and really wish to understand ID better, then you’d do best gaining that understanding directly from the primary sources. Dr. Dembski’s The Design Revolution is a good intro. In a previous posting, Dembski himself agreed that it was a good recommendation when someone else suggested it to yet another curious poster. Answering newcomers’ very basic questions, which have very ready answers, gets very tiresome very quickly… “Who designed the designer? What about bad design in nature? Mustn’t the designer be God? It’s just an argument from ignorance, isn’t it? Etc., etc.”

  37. 37
    jboze3131 says:

    “The United States was founded under the auspices of deism and inalienable human rights…”

    i hate to break it to you all, but thats certainly not the case. you can look to the establishment of our law (based clearly on the 10 commandments), you can look to the colonists views (devout christians), you can look to washington, adams, madison, and many others…devout christians. there were a few deists, but not many when compared to all the christians. of course when the founders spoke of the lord, they werent talking about a deistic god. jefferson, maybe…but hes rare among the founders. even he established study of the bible in his role as founder of educational centers and such.

    every single US president has been a christian (jefferson, as mentioned, to a lesser extent, tho he considered himself a christian- the guy wrote his own version of the bible, but he wasnt too keen on the miraculous.)

    etc.

  38. 38
    Neal says:

    Wow … so unhospitable, and such vapid group-think. I think it is interesting that you want to put your own qualifiers on my sincereity (“you must do x or y or z if you’re REALLY sincere…”). So it at least gives the apparance that someone who doesn’t agree with you right off the bat is unsincere. I don’t appreciate being treated that way when I have in fact asked my own questions – never having claimed to be the first to think of them, but not having just pulled them at random from someplace else.

    I guess I don’t find it surprising that this is essentially a forum for IDers to coalesce, support one another, give virtual high-fives (“you *go* so-and-so!”) … as if you’re somehow wanting to stick it to the Man, all of which evidences that this is truly just another point of conflict in the so-called Culture Wars, a phrase I mainly dislike, but which I suppose gets the point across. … The tone, however, is as if you’re all an oppressed minority, having been “pushed around” by Big Science for too long, while still trying to beat Science at its own game. Poor you.

    So, continue to do whatever it is you do here, without me. Please write hostile and venemous posts below. Do that for me, please, Mentok… I know you can’t help yourself:

  39. 39
    mentok says:

    Neal you are not seeing what I see, you are putting qualifiers on what I said. It is easy to simply read your first post and then your second post and see the discrepancy there. If you cannot see that why should I care? Why should I waste my time trying to deflect criticism which is presented in such a way when a sincere person would have first checked to see if his accusations were in fact true? Since you didn’t why should I care about your being upset if I point out your obvious lack of effort?

  40. 40
    DaveScot says:

    mentok

    You are welcome to stick with any story you want but in a deterministic universe (it may not be deterministic) all interactions of matter and energy were writ in granite (so to speak) at the instant of the big bang. Deists in the mold of those I mentioned believed in a deterministic universe and a creator that set it motion like a giant clockwork. The emergence of rational man was thus via predetermined evolution i.e. there was nothing at all random about evolution – its course was determined at the instant the universe was created. This general concept is termed “front loading”. Furthermore rational man, unlike the clockwork components of the universe whose motions are predictable, exhibits free will and thus is not bound in his actions by determinism.

    I’m not saying that’s how things are. I’m an agnostic and by definition that means I don’t purport to have in my possession any absolute truths on these matters. However, I do have my leanings and my leaning is a deterministic universe designed to produce rational man who breaks the bonds of determinism with free will.

  41. 41
    DaveScot says:

    boze

    Where in the founding documents of the United States is Christ mentioned? Where in any of its laws?

    Sorry, my friend, but while I agree that a conglomeration of various Christian sects was and remains the dominant religion in the United States it is not the basis upon which it was founded. The nation was founded on the notion that a monotheistic creator of the universe endowed man with inalienable natural rights and governments of the people, by the people, and for the people are formed not to grant these God-given rights but rather to protect those rights.

    Your claims about the ten commandments is laughably wrong. Where in the law does it say that you may not take the Lord’s name in vain, worship false idols, hold any other God before the God of Abraham, keep the Sabbath holy, honor your father and mother, or covet your neighbor’s things? So much for commandments 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 10. Not to mention that the ten commandments are part of Islam and Judaism as well as Christianity. That leaves us with commandments 6,7,8, and 9; thou shall not murder, steal, lie, or commit adultery. To claim that laws against murder, theft, lying, and adultery are Christian in origin is ludicrous.

  42. 42
    Josh Bozeman says:

    keep the sabath has legal basis- which is why certain things arent permitted on sundays. these laws, with securlarization have been phased out, but theyre rooted in the commandments.

    taking the lords name in vain was law for quite some time. it wasnt written directly into federal law via the constitution, but no one would expect every single commandment to be added. to say that a cpl commandments didnt transfer over into law hardly means it cant be based on these laws. respect your mother and father- well, legally a mother and father control their children. and you can easily call the police if your kids decide they want to act out. not all federal law, and state laws at the time were based solely on the constitution, of course.

    what god do you think they were referring to when they talked about rights from god- that were given from god and the govt had no way to refuse the people…because god is above govt? from the founders religious views, their writings leading up to the constitutions ratification, etc. we know that they were referring to the god of moses and abraham.

    english common law, tho some will claim was based on the code of hammurabi, was, indeed based on the 10 commandments. english common law changed throughout history, and wasnt a written down set of laws as our constitution is. of course, in the 4th or 5th century when europe became christianized, they took on the laws of the bible as their foundation for legal precedent and the like. american law, started mainly by the, mostly, devoutly christian colonists borrowed from english common law, but its also very american and unique from english common law. the moral underpinnings for the founders was christianity. even jefferson, who many claim was a deist, was a christian- he struck from the bible the supernatural…but he lived according to the bible. in one sense, since he didnt accept the resurrection, you could say he wasnt a christian, but in a general sense…

    the founders spoke often of the lord. the delcaration (our founding document) speaks of the year of our lord, and all know they were referring to christ the lord.

  43. 43
    mentok says:

    Dave you wrote:

    “You are welcome to stick with any story you want but in a deterministic universe (it may not be deterministic) all interactions of matter and energy were writ in granite (so to speak) at the instant of the big bang.”

    Not necessarily so. The Big Bang theory is not needed in a deterministic cosmology. Famous deists throughout history did not utilize the BB theory in their cosmology because it’s of a more recent origin. Not that it matters in the present discussion, I just felt like pointing that out since I reject the BB theory.

    Then you wrote:

    “Deists in the mold of those I mentioned believed in a deterministic universe and a creator that set it motion like a giant clockwork. The emergence of rational man was thus via predetermined evolution i.e. there was nothing at all random about evolution – its course was determined at the instant the universe was created.”

    Evolutionary theory is rather new and deism is rather old. But if we take deism to it’s logical endpoint then we arrive at evolution. In fact evolutionary theory comes from deists and was originally promoted by deists and till this day is supported by deists. Although they may not call themselves deists still they believe in a from of deism. The founding fathers of evolutionary theory were the members of the Royal Society which was started by Freemasons who are deists. That aspect of their philosophy comes from their Kabbalistic roots. Although there are various types of Kabbalism one form is where they believe in a type of deism which teaches the evolution of the universe. The Freemasons teach about the “Architect” of the universe which set the laws of nature in motion. They derived there theological viewpoints from various sources but Kabbala was a major inspirtation. The Kabbalistic idea is of a need to help God or the universe evolve, or to fix it, and help it on it’s way to it’s apotheosis. “The Great Work” in Freemasonry is based on that Kabbalistic philosophy as well as gnostic ideas as well. It’s all essentially deism of a type and the people who subscribed to that philosophy created the Royal Society and they were the ones who promoted evolution making it the orthodoxy and they still fight for it today. SEE http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/publication.asp?id=3870

    Darwin’s theory was a deist explanation for the origin and diversification of species as a philosophical counterpoint to Biblical beliefs. In essence it became their creation manifesto as deism logically leads to that conclusion. Although it has also become the science of choice for atheists as well.

    There are different types of deists. There are those who believe in a personal and those who believe in an impersonal God. Of course Deism is awash in self contradiction philosophically speaking.

    If God is not a person but just some kind of “spiritual” source then there is no question of any type of intelligent creative act in order to set the cosmos in order. Without an actual intelligence which can only come from a conscious entity the laws of nature cannot be set in motion by a “God” of some type. If that “God” is not a person but just some kind of impersonal supernatural force then it is not setting in motion anything by choice it is simply a causal natural mechanism. Choice demands there to be a conscious decision which demands a conscious entity which denotes a thinking entity or person.

    The deists who believe in a personal God then have to answer the obvious questions: If God could set up the laws of nature so that it would evolve towards something, why would he stop there? We can create extremely sophisticated machines with our limited skills and education, why would God be unable to be better at creating things then we are? What was God doing for billions of years until we came about and what is God doing now if he has nothing to do with our world? Why would God not have anything to do with our world? Has he got something more interesting to do? Is God so fundamentally different then ourselves that God wouldn’t want or need compansionship? Something to do to keep from being bored? What would you do if you were God? Would you be content with floating around in the middle of nowhere for eternity with no one to talk to and nothing to do? Or would you do your best to get out of that situation by using all of your powers of intellect and ability to create a place to have fun and relate to other conscious people?

    Then you wrote:

    “This general concept is termed “front loading”. Furthermore rational man, unlike the clockwork components of the universe whose motions are predictable, exhibits free will and thus is not bound in his actions by determinism.”

    What is free will? And how much do you think you have? While I agree that we have free will, but I believe it is very limited. We are dependent entities. Therefore any free will we exercise is defined within certain parameters. The reality is that we cannot control our memory and therefore we cannot control our thoughts and therefore we do not have ultimate control over our decisions based on our thoughts which are dependent on our memory, and therefore our free will is more defined by our dependence then on our independence. We have free will only in the sense that we are different conscious entities from God, but our free will is tied up in our essential dependent nature upon God.

    Then you wrote:

    “I’m not saying that’s how things are. I’m an agnostic and by definition that means I don’t purport to have in my possession any absolute truths on these matters. However, I do have my leanings and my leaning is a deterministic universe designed to produce rational man who breaks the bonds of determinism with free will.”

    The problem is that there is no naturally arising mechanism within nature that can account for life. All our experience shows that all life comes from life, and that life comes from within it’s own specified species. There is no mechanism which has been found in nature which can account for any form of living thing. In fact what we have found in natures laws is that living things arising by natural laws and diversifying into various species is actually precluded by natural laws. Natural laws makes evolutuion impossible. Natural laws are anti deistic in nature because they show the mathematical improbability of abiogenesis and of the diversification of species by natural occurences. There must be an intelligence at work here on earth.

    The question arises to deists as to what is their ontological explanantion of God. Is God something “out there” or is God something everywhere? My understanding and experience is that God is everywhere. God defines reality. God is the original substance of the Universe and is a conscious entity. God is not only conscious but consciousness is inherently an attribute of God. Therefore God is consicous at every and any point of his or her existence. Consciousness in humans is dependent and localized and we are limited to the number of things we can be conscious of at the same time. God’s consciousness is unlimited in that it is able to be be fully conscious of everything all of the time, which is within it, or him or her. We look at consicousness from our limited perspective and then try to speculate what God can do based on our own limited experience. God is not like us. God is a person and in that sense we are like God, but everything is different after that.

    All matter exists as a transformation from the sub quantum potential which is God.
    Matter exists with a conscious aspect and intelligence within it’s structure because it is comprised of God. The laws of nature were not “set into motion” and then left to themselves. They are a living dynamic at all times being maintained by the life force which comprises all of nature. We cannot see that lifeforce because it exists in a sub quantum dimension, it is not made up of 3 dimensional elements. Just like we can’t see our own consciousness and mind because they exist in that same sub quantum dimension. That dimension is the substratum and causal principle of the material natural world. That dimension controls this dimension because it is an infinite unified conscious field which has in fact created the 3 dimenstional world of matter.

  44. 44
    DaveScot says:

    “these [sabbath] laws, with securlarization have been phased out”

    None of those are federal laws and the only local ones I know of pertain to sale of alcohol on Sundays. Do you know of any other laws that only apply on Sunday? I never argued that local laws influenced by Christians don’t exist. Not being able to sell booze until noon on Sundays in some places is a pretty tenuous connection between the law and Christianity.

    The United States wasn’t founded as a Christian nation. Get used to it.

  45. 45
    DaveScot says:

    “BB theory in their cosmology because it’s of a more recent origin”

    Wrong again. The bible does a decent job of describing the big bang in Genesis. A universe that sprung into existence from nothing is hardly an idea of recent origin.

    “But if we take deism to it’s logical endpoint then we arrive at evolution.”

    Mabye, but we don’t arrive at *random* evolution which is my whole point. We arrive at a predetermined evolution – an evolution that was determined at the instant the universe was created.

    “Darwin’s theory was a deist explanation”

    Darwin’s theory was largely wrong in the details, it didn’t speak to the origin of life, and it didn’t posit that *random* mutation was the only source of variability upon which natural selection acted. So I’ll agree in principle that Darwin’s theory wasn’t particularly atheistic.

    “There are different types of deists.”

    I specifically restricted those I was discussing to the type of Jefferson, Franklin, Paine, and Einstein.

    “What is free will? And how much do you think you have?”

    I can choose between right and wrong.

  46. 46
    mentok says:

    Dave you wrote:

    “Wrong again. The bible does a decent job of describing the big bang in Genesis. A universe that sprung into existence from nothing is hardly an idea of recent origin”

    The biblical account for creation makes no mention of how God created the world. The Big Bang specifically states that evrything comes from an expansion from an extremely mega dense point. The bible states creation ex nihilo i.e God made the world from nothing. These are contradictory theories.

    In the bible everything came from nothing and it could have come in any manner, e.g God creating all matter everywhere simultaneously.

    BB theory states that everything came from something and that it came about in a very specific manner i.e from a point of super condensed matter and energy. The BB theory states that all matter and energy that exists was present in the original condensed point.

    You can postulate that the BB theory is supporting the bible, but the bible does not support the BB theory.

  47. 47
    DaveScot says:

    “In the bible everything came from nothing and it could have come in any manner, e.g God creating all matter everywhere simultaneously.”

    If you get past the pop science image of a literal “big bang” you’ll discover that the universe came into existence everywhere simultaneously. It was indeed something from nothing. This agrees with statements made in Genesis – in the beginning the universe was void and without form then God said let there be light and there was light. You really need to crack the books more before lecturing about these things. I’d rather not have to keep pointing out all these errors caused by the shallowness of your knowledge.

    Even more remarkable is the part about God “speaking”. If you get yourself boned up on most recent research into cosmic microwave background you learn that the perturbuations in the young plasma which caused matter to clump has been found to match the harmonic signature of “pink noise”. It was literally a sound wave travelling through the very young universe that caused the clumpy distribution of matter we observe today. When I read that (maybe a year or two ago in Scientific American) I thought to myself – there’s the voice of God. Weird stuff. Might be more in the Genesis myth than I thought. Thousands of years ago it sure wasn’t intuitive for something to come from nothing or for the universe to be structured by sound waves.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m no bible literalist by a long shot but on the other hand I don’t hesitate to give credit where credit is due.

  48. 48
    DaveScot says:

    big bang reading for mentok

    I actually wrote in to SciAm to correct the authors in the first article as THEY made a common mistake in describing light as particles where they should have described it as waves. Light propagating through a vacuum acts like a wave. It doesn’t act like a a particle until it interacts with matter. You’ll get all kinds of confused if you try to describe the 3000K radiation in the young universe turning into 3K radiation in the modern universe as particles. Individual photons travelling through a vacuum are immortal and unchanging. They don’t give up energy as they travel. I asked the authors if they thought individual photons in the CMB gave up energy over 14 billion years before hitting the detectors in their instruments then please describe to me where the energy went and what form it took. [crickets chirping]

    —————-

    http://sciam.com/print_version.....414B7F0147

    February 21, 2005

    Misconceptions about the Big Bang

    Baffled by the expansion of the universe? You’re not alone. Even astronomers frequently get it wrong

    ————-

    http://www.google.com/search?b.....harmonics+

    Lots of articles about cosmic microwave background and minute variations in its intensity.

    Here you can listen to the voice of God (as I like to call it just to annoy the athiests):

    http://www.astro.virginia.edu/.....ounds.html

  49. 49
    mentok says:

    Dave you don’t understand the Big Bang theory. I understand it as I have studied the arguments for and against it. To say that the Big Bang theory doesn’t postulate what I said it does is indicative of your propensity to say anything to prove someone wrong. From the article you gave a link to to explain the expansion part of the BIg Bang:

    “The expansion of our universe is much like the inflation of a balloon.”

    And it also states that all matter existed in the the condensed pre Big Bang point and that all matter in existence today existed in that pre Big Bang point. Dave it is weird to debate someone like you because you think you know so much more then you actually do.

    From your article:

    “This ubiquity of the big bang holds no matter how big the universe is or even whether it is finite or infinite in size. Cosmologists sometimes state that the universe used to be the size of a grapefruit, but what they mean is that the part of the universe we can now see–our observable universe–used to be the size of a grapefruit.”

    That was the Big Bang before it expanded. They postulate all matter in the universe today was condensed into the size of a grapefruit. More from your article:

    “Similarly, the big bang happened everywhere–in the room in which you are reading this article, in a spot just to the left of Alpha Centauri, everywhere. It was not a bomb going off at a particular spot that we can identify as the center of the explosion. Likewise, in the balloon analogy, there is no special place on the surface of the balloon that is the center of the expansion.”

    This is the part you messed up on. The idea is that we exist within the expanding universe, we exist within the continuing Big Bang. So in that sense anything that exists is where the Big Bang occured. Their theory is that the universe itself has expanded froma grapefruit sized object. So in that sense all matter expanded simultaneously to the present size and distribution of matter in the universe. But you mistake that to mean that the Big Bang postulates that all matter came into existence everywhere simultaneously, which is not what the theory states at all. All Matter already exists in the pre Big Bang “grapefruit” then the universe expands with the matter.

    That is not what the bible teaches. The bible makes no comment on how God created the universe. But it does state that God created the universe out of nothing.

    Of course that literal statement is not to be taken seriously because it is impossible for something to come from nothing.

    So your belief that the Big Bang theory postulates that the matter in the universe comes from nothing is wrong. And your belief that the Big Bang theory postulates all matter coming into existence from nothing simultaneously everywhere is wrong as well. The Big Bang theory postulates no known origin of matter, they don’t know where it came from, and then they postulate that the universe and everything expanded from a single point, like a balloon.

  50. 50
    DaveScot says:

    I think I’m going to end this conversation. The universe didn’t start out in a point source of energy that was always there. You’re in denial. Hasta la vista.

  51. 51
    mentok says:

    Well dave I agree that the universe didn’t start out that way. But that has been the standard explanation for many years by BIG Bang theorists. More recently there are some scientists who have attempted to explain where that original matter came from and they have invented theories which in effect say that before the Big Bang there was nothing at all and then there was a “quantum fluctuation” which cause space time to pop into existence. Here is a summary of that theory:

    “In the beginning, a tiny bubble of spacetime, a billion-trillion-trillionth of a centimeter across, popped spontaneously into existence out of nothing as the result of a random quantum fluctuation. It was seized by an intense anti-gravitational force which caused it to expand with explosive rapidity. In scarcely more than a billion-trillion-trillionth of a second the universe swelled to about 10 to the negative 33rd cm, the size of a grapefruit. The anti-gravitational force then disappeared, and the inflationary phase of accelerating expansion came to an abrupt halt amid a burst of heat. The heat energy and gravitational energy of expanding space then produced matter and, as the universe cooled, more and more structure began to “freeze out” — first nuclei, then atoms, and finally galaxies, stars, and planets.”

    Now this theory was created to try and explain where matter came from because the standard model of the Big Bang theorized a “singularity” of dense energy as the origin of the Big Bang. That theory was that all of the matter in the universe was condensed into a type of black hole scenario where the laws of physics break down and then from there the universe expanded. All the matter in the universe already existed in that model in the form of the singularity.

    Some scientists didn’t like that theory because the concept of a singularity didn’t mesh well with mathematical models of singularities. So they have tried to come up with a new model, that is the one you have been talking about and the one above. Of course it is not accepted by all scientists and for good reason, it makes no sense. You cannot have a quantum fluctuation where nothing exists. There needs to be something in order for there to be a quantum fluctuation. And matter/energy cannot come into existence from some type of anti gravitational pull on nothing which caused heat, anti gravitational pull cannot exist without something to cause it, and heat cannot exist without some type of matter/energy to cause it.

    This theory is a purely mathematical model and it cannot be taken seriously because it theorizes the absurd i.e something coming from nothing. It’s only accepted on a tentative basis by some cosmologists because cosmologists don’t like to be without an answer to the origin of matter and energy and the universe. Therefore instead of saying they don’t know, they would rather make up anything, regardless of how stupid it is, so that they can at least have some sort of hypothesis.

    From my understanding space time is eternal and infinite, having no origin and no end. That is the nature of reality. It just is. That infinite eternal space time exists in more dimensions then what we can perceive with our 3 dimensional technology. That is a major problem in trying to understand the origin of matter and energy. If you cannot perceive the origin then you can come up with crazy theories like saying matter and energy came from nothing. The fact is that matter and energy come from another dimension. It is that dimension which is the source of our 3 dimensional universe. In that dimension the laws of physics as we know them do not apply. Also the nature of that dimension is that it is a unified infinite eternal energy field. That field became conscious and developed intellect and eventually was able to create our 3 dimensional universe. All matter and energy in our 3 dimensional universe is a transformation from a sub quantum state into a quantum state. It is controlled at the sub quantum level and the quantum level. In a sense matter can self organize because there is more to matter then what we can perceive. Matter has as it’s substratum the extra dimensional conscious field of energy and it is that consciousness which organizes matter into the varieties found in our 3 dimensional universe. That is how God created all living things. All matter is controlled at the sub quantum level by a conscious aspect which is all pervading and aunified field. Matter is essentially part of a living being. That living being transforms sub quantum energy/itself and creates matter. At that stage matter is essentially alive. It has a brain and it has an energetic source which controls it’s every movement at the quantum level and larger. In a very real sense we live in a virtual reality. Our universe is a virtual world existing within an infinite hyper dimensional conscious computer. Just like a computer can control what you see in a virtual reality due to it’s control over the pixels, in a similar way God controls matter in our universe.

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