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Neil Thomas on “Evolutionary Theory as Magical Thinking”

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Neil Thomas, author of Taking Leave of Darwin (2021), talks about the need to invoke a sort of magic to account for the changes that Darwinism requires, without any intelligence in the process whatsoever:

The shaky logical basis of Darwin’s thinking has not gone entirely unremarked. The notion of a supposedly unintelligent yet remarkably independent “self-evolving” biosphere (like the postulation of a self-creating cosmos) presents, when dispassionately considered, an offense to logic great enough to invite attempts to square the circle.  A fairly recent publication which accepts this challenge came in the form of Simon Powell’s Darwin’s Unfinished Business: The Self-Organizing Intelligence of Nature (Rochester: Park Street Press, 2012). Powell willingly concedes that “to state nonchalantly that evolution just happens and that it involves no more than changes in a gene pool over time, or that it is simply descent with modification, is really not good enough. Nature is crying out for a more decent appraisal.” (p. 18)

Indeed so, yet Powell’s ambition to attribute what he terms “bio-logic” to nature, now declared by him to be intelligent, can hardly be said to advance a fresh naturalistic explanation or make convincing his claim that “this new paradigm can be delivered without recourse to supernatural forces.” (p. 26) 

For the contention begs the question of the origin of such intelligence. 

Neil Thomas, “[article title]” at Evolution News and Science Today

This is the sixth article in Thomas’s Victorian Crisis of Faith series. Read all the articles to date here.

You may also wish to read:

\At Evolution News: Darwin and the ghost of Epicurus. 3 March 2022One way of looking at it: Darwinism enabled thinkers to retain the thought of Epicurus and Lucretius when, in general, the thinkers themselves were forgotten.

and

Neil Thomas on Darwinism’s place in the Victorian culture wars. Anyone familiar with popular science writing on evolution will see what Thomas means here. Darwinism is introduced as a hypothesis/theory but then treated as a dogma/article of faith — and (this is emotionally very important) a way of segregating the Smart People from the Yobs and Yayhoos. Appeals to science-based analysis fall on deaf ears because the dogma has become what “science” now means.

33 Replies to “Neil Thomas on “Evolutionary Theory as Magical Thinking”

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related interest to the ‘magical’ thinking of Darwinists,

    March 2022 – ,,, even though Darwinists often like to claim that ‘miracles’ are strictly forbidden in scientific explanations, it turns out that miracles, (i.e. magic), are central in the supposedly ‘scientific’ explanations of Darwinists.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/animal-dna-modifier-captured-from-bacteria-60-million-years-ago/#comment-748314

  2. 2
    Seversky says:

    Miracles are not forbidden. They ae simply useless as a scientific explanation. They are functionally equivalent to saying “We don’t know”.

    There is much we don’t yet know about evolution. But what we do know is a lot more than ID proponents know about their designer or how it does its thing.

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, miracles are not scientific, that does not mean they are not real. KF

  4. 4
    asauber says:

    “There is much we don’t yet know about evolution. But what we do know is a lot more than ID proponents know about their designer or how it does its thing.”

    Sev,

    The point of the OP is that evidence indicates Evolution requires a designer or magic.

    Evolutionists have chosen belief in magic. How scientific is that?

    Andrew

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, signs of intelligently directed configuration are empirically observable, testable and highly reliable. One may make a perfectly valid scientific inference to design as key causal factor where such are present. In the case of cell based life, the cell uses complex alphanumeric code [ language] to state algorithms [goals] exploiting subtleties of AA sequence chemistry [deep knowledge], which features are only empirically warranted on intelligently directed configuration. KF

  6. 6
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, inference on reliable sign is inference to design as process, not to particular candidate designer or to characteristics beyond intelligence. This you know so you deliberately set up and knocked over a strawman to distract attention from the point that there is just one reliably observed cause for FSCO/I, design. Or, are you willing to put in a very late entry for the challenge that sat unanswered for a full year, to provide an empirically grounded explanation of ool and of body plans on observed powers of blind chance and mechanical necessity? KF

  7. 7
    jerry says:

    We repeat over and over the same conclusions. Some very tired with no basis.

    Because we don’t have any idea how it happened, one side continually begs the question while the other side admits there is likely an unknown entity responsible.

    What happened? – good idea.

    Where and When? – some idea.

    Who and Why? – speculation.

    How? Unknown.

    Because all six questions are not completely answered, one side prefers begging the question. The other side tries to use evidence and logic to answer all the questions even though it will be far from perfect.

    Imperfect answers? By design?

    Aside: when will both sides admit that Darwinian processes are established science but only part of genetics and genetics cannot possibly answer the Evolution debate.

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    Sev at 2:

    Miracles are not forbidden. They ae simply useless as a scientific explanation. They are functionally equivalent to saying “We don’t know”.

    LOL, perhaps you should have read my link before you ‘knee jerked’ your comment,

    March 2022 – ,,, even though Darwinists often like to claim that ‘miracles’ are strictly forbidden in scientific explanations, it turns out that miracles, (i.e. magic), are central in the supposedly ‘scientific’ explanations of Darwinists.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/animal-dna-modifier-captured-from-bacteria-60-million-years-ago/#comment-748314

    i.e. So according to your own words Seversky, “We don’t know” is apparently to be considered central to Darwinian explanations. 🙂

    As to your claim that, “There is much we don’t yet know about evolution. But what we do know is a lot more than ID proponents know about their designer or how it does its thing”,

    Well actually, directly contrary to what you believe, there is much that we do know, (being intelligent causal agents ourselves), about how the Intelligent Agent Causation of God might work.

    Whereas, on the other hand, denying the reality of Intelligent Agent Causation, as atheists such as yourself do with their reductive materialistic framework, (i.e. methodological naturalism), results in the absurd notion that we ourselves never cause anything in the world, such as writing an e-mail, but the laws of physics cause everything, including writing all our e-mails for us.

    Do You Like SETI? Fine, Then Let’s Dump Methodological Naturalism
    Paul Nelson – September 24, 2014
    Epistemology — how we know — and ontology — what exists — are both affected by methodological naturalism. If we say, “We cannot know that a mind caused x,” laying down an epistemological boundary defined by MN, then our ontology comprising real causes for x won’t include minds.
    MN entails an ontology in which minds are the consequence of physics, and thus, can only be placeholders for a more detailed causal account in which physics is the only (ultimate) actor. You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed you of that event after the fact.
    “That’s crazy,” you reply, “I certainly did write my email.” Okay, then — to what does the pronoun “I” in that sentence refer?
    Your personal agency; your mind. Are you supernatural?,,,
    You are certainly an intelligent cause, however, and your intelligence does not collapse into physics. (If it does collapse — i.e., can be reduced without explanatory loss — we haven’t the faintest idea how, which amounts to the same thing.) To explain the effects you bring about in the world — such as your email, a real pattern — we must refer to you as a unique agent.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2014/09/do_you_like_set/

    So Seversky, are you, as a intelligent causal agent, responsible for what you are writing in your posts? Or are the laws of physics writing your own posts for you and informing “you of that event after the fact”?

    And Sev, if you say the laws of physics are writing your own posts for you and informing ‘you of the event after the fact’, why should I even care what you claim to write? You are, (by your own admission and as George Ellis pointed out), not responsible for what you are writing. i.e. “why waste time talking to them? They are then not responsible for what they say.”

    Physicist George Ellis on the importance of philosophy and free will – July 27, 2014
    Excerpt: And free will?:
    Horgan: Einstein, in the following quote, seemed to doubt free will: “If the moon, in the act of completing its eternal way around the Earth, were gifted with self-consciousness, it would feel thoroughly convinced that it was traveling its way of its own accord…. So would a Being, endowed with higher insight and more perfect intelligence, watching man and his doings, smile about man’s illusion that he was acting according to his own free will.” Do you believe in free will?
    Ellis: Yes. Einstein is perpetuating the belief that all causation is bottom up. This simply is not the case, as I can demonstrate with many examples from sociology, neuroscience, physiology, epigenetics, engineering, and physics. Furthermore if Einstein did not have free will in some meaningful sense, then he could not have been responsible for the theory of relativity – it would have been a product of lower level processes but not of an intelligent mind choosing between possible options.
    I find it very hard to believe this to be the case – indeed it does not seem to make any sense. Physicists should pay attention to Aristotle’s four forms of causation – if they have the free will to decide what they are doing. If they don’t, then why waste time talking to them? They are then not responsible for what they say.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....free-will/

    It is also very interesting to note that with denial of the reality of Agent Causation, (which is something that we all have immediate, and intimate, experience of), then something as simple as raising your hand becomes a ‘miracle’ under the reductive materialistic framework of Darwinists.

    Dr. Craig Hazen, in the following video at the 12:26 minute mark, humorously relates how he performed, for an audience full of academics, (i.e. reductive materialists), at a college, a ‘miracle’ simply by raising his arm,,

    The Intersection of Science and Religion – Craig Hazen, PhD – video
    https://youtu.be/xVByFjV0qlE?t=745

    So there you have it, even something as simple as raising your arm forces Darwinian materialists, since they deny the reality of agent causation, into ‘magical’ thinking.

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

    Supplemental note:

    A Professor’s Journey out of Nihilism: Why I am not an Atheist – University of Wyoming – J. Budziszewski
    Excerpted quote “There were two great holes in the argument about the irrelevance of God. The first is that in order to attack free will, I supposed that I understood cause and effect; I supposed causation to be less mysterious than volition.
    If anything, it is the other way around. I can perceive a logical connection between premises and valid conclusions. I can perceive at least a rational connection between my willing to do something and my doing it. But between the apple and the earth, I can perceive no connection at all. Why does the apple fall? We don’t know. “But there is gravity,” you say. No, “gravity” is merely the name of the phenomenon, not its explanation. “But there are laws of gravity,” you say. No, the “laws” are not its explanation either; they are merely a more precise description of the thing to be explained, which remains as mysterious as before. For just this reason, philosophers of science are shy of the term “laws”; they prefer “lawlike regularities.” To call the equations of gravity “laws” and speak of the apple as “obeying” them is to speak as though, like the traffic laws, the “laws” of gravity are addressed to rational agents capable of conforming their wills to the command. This is cheating, because it makes mechanical causality (the more opaque of the two phenomena) seem like volition (the less). In my own way of thinking the cheating was even graver, because I attacked the less opaque in the name of the more.
    The other hole in my reasoning was cruder. If my imprisonment in a blind causality made my reasoning so unreliable that I couldn’t trust my beliefs, then by the same token I shouldn’t have trusted my beliefs about imprisonment in a blind causality. But in that case I had no business denying free will in the first place.”
    https://soundcloud.com/thomisticinstitute/atheism-to-catholicism-a-professors-journey-out-of-nihilism-prof-j-budziszewski

  9. 9
    chuckdarwin says:

    Sev @ 2
    I have to disagree. IDers know everything they want and need to know about their designer. It’s never even been an open question. What I find perplexing is what do “longtime agnostics” like Neil Thomas know? After exhaustively “deconstructing” Darwin and evolution, what are they left with?

  10. 10
    Silver Asiatic says:

    CD @9

    After exhaustively “deconstructing” Darwin and evolution, what are they left with?

    It’s a good question. What I’ve seen is that they just avoid philosophical questions. They’ve really got nothing, and that means: no defense against classic theistic arguments. They just reject both sides and then stay quiet.
    A pro-ID guy like Berlinski does that. He affirms that we have evidence of a designer, but he’s agnostic also. I would think Neil Thomas does it. He destroys Darwinism, affirms evidence for Design, but won’t take the next step (if I’m reading him correctly as an agnostic, he may have changed).
    I’ve mentioned this to you I think 4 times now, so I hope it’s sinking in, even if you don’t respond – but as a deist, you are positing a designer. That’s a very big problem for the anti-ID position you take (with such vehemence).
    I mean – you’re contradicting yourself. You’re proclaiming that a designer exists. Then you laugh at the idea that there’s any evidence of design in the universe.
    That’s a major problem with your worldview and you need to come to grips with that.
    But basically, you’re doing exactly what the anti-Darwin agnostics do. You’re just avoiding the problem and you won’t talk about it.
    That’s what they do – they just say they “don’t know” – but when given strong theistic arguments, they just run away.

  11. 11
    chuckdarwin says:

    SA @ 10
    My “deism” is relatively simple. There is a creative entity or power that has all the necessary attributes–but no more– to make a universe, including life. Every law of nature is accounted forab initio, including those necessary for the emergence and evolution of life. This entity is impersonal and unknowable to us; it requires neither worship nor adoration. The world is ours without conditions.

    This is not the personal, paternal, designer God of theism or of the ID movement. There are no miracles. There is no revealed truth. There is no absolute morality. We can only know the world through reason and experience. What happens after death is unknown.

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    ChuckyD at 9 asserts that “IDers know everything they want and need to know about their designer. It’s never even been an open question”..

    Then after asserting that very debatable claim against IDers, at post 11, in his very next breath, ChuckyD confidently claims to know many attributes about God. One of his main claims is that he claims that God is impersonal.

    Yet, my question for ChuckyD is, “How do you yourself personally know that God is impersonal?” It is certainly not from the scientific evidence that you know this.

    In fact, the scientific evidence itself has now overturned the Copernican Principle and/or the Principle of Mediocrity, and thus the scientific evidence itself has now shown that the earth and humanity are not nearly as insignificant as atheists, (and/or Deists), had falsely presupposed with their erroneous presupposition of the Copernican Principle and/or the Principle of Mediocrity

    ,, the Copernican Principle and/or the Principle of Mediocrity has now been overturned by both General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, our two most powerful theories in science: (as well as by several other lines of scientific evidence)
    August 2021
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/privileged-address-an-excerpt-from-neil-thomass-taking-leave-of-darwin/#comment-736493

    ,, and thus ChuckyD, as far as the scientific evidence itself can now tell us, God is personal and cares about the earth and humanity.

    Shoot, I would even go so far as to argue that quantum mechanics itself, (via the closing of the freedom of choice loophole in quantum mechanics in 2018), shows us that God must care about each of us personally.

    Cosmic Bell Test Using Random Measurement Settings from High-Redshift Quasars – Anton Zeilinger – 14 June 2018
    Abstract: ,,, This experiment pushes back to at least approx. 7.8 Gyr ago the most recent time by which any local-realist influences could have exploited the “freedom-of-choice” loophole to engineer the observed Bell violation, excluding any such mechanism from 96% of the space-time volume of the past light cone of our experiment, extending from the big bang to today.
    https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.080403

    Thus ChuckyD, your Deistic claim that God is impersonal simply does not stand up to scientific scrutiny. As far as our best scientific evidence can now tell us, God is indeed ‘personal’ and cares, (apparently very deeply), about each of us personally.

    Verse:

    Colossians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

  13. 13
    Seversky says:

    Kairosfocus/3

    Sev, miracles are not scientific, that does not mean they are not real. KF

    If by “miracle” you mean that we are referring to observed phenomena for which we currently have no scientific explanation then I would agree that they are real.

    If by “miracle” you are claiming there is a class of phenomena or events which could only be explained as breaches of well-established physical laws then I would not agree.

  14. 14
    Seversky says:

    Asauber/4

    Sev,

    The point of the OP is that evidence indicates Evolution requires a designer or magic.

    The OP fails to make that case, in my view. It is the old argument claiming that because evolution cannot provide explicit, detailed descriptions of the evolutionary pathways leading to certain observed phenomena then the whole theory fails and only an Intelligent Designer or God can explain them.

    Evolutionists have chosen belief in magic. How scientific is that?

    ID proponents/creationists have no credible evidence for the existence of such a being and none at all for how this being did what is claimed. How is this any less “magical”?

  15. 15
    Seversky says:

    Kairosfocus/5

    Sev, signs of intelligently directed configuration are empirically observable, testable and highly reliable.

    We can infer design as a possible explanation where known natural processes do not appear to be capable of causing observed phenomena and the observed phenomena have properties which are similar to artefacts we design. But without the detailed causal history required of any compelling scientific explanation it remains an inference.

  16. 16
    Seversky says:

    Kairosfocus/6

    Sev, inference on reliable sign is inference to design as process, not to particular candidate designer or to characteristics beyond intelligence.

    As previously observed, it is highly improbable that the observed phenomena were designed by a Stone Age artisan who produced flint arrowheads nor a medieval or Renaissance scholar nor a Victorian natural philosopher or engineer nor even current science or technology, therefore, by implication, you are claiming an intelligent designer with knowledge and powers beyond what we currently possess, a being not of this Earth and, hence, a highly-advanced alien.

    Or, are you willing to put in a very late entry for the challenge that sat unanswered for a full year, to provide an empirically grounded explanation of ool and of body plans on observed powers of blind chance and mechanical necessity?

    No, my position is that the origins of body-plans and life itself are still unknown which is not the same as asserting that it is impossible for naturalistic causes to explain them.

  17. 17
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/8

    i.e. So according to your own words Seversky, “We don’t know” is apparently to be considered central to Darwinian explanations.

    No, “we don’t know” means we don’t know, nothing more, difficult as this may be for you to grasp.

    Well actually, directly contrary to what you believe, there is much that we do know, (being intelligent causal agents ourselves), about how the Intelligent Agent Causation of God might work.

    What reason do you have for thinking that an unimaginably advanced being such as your God would design in the same way as relatively puny, ignorant beings like ourselves?

    Whereas, on the other hand, denying the reality of Intelligent Agent Causation, as atheists such as yourself do with their reductive materialistic framework, (i.e. methodological naturalism), results in the absurd notion that we ourselves never cause anything in the world, such as writing an e-mail, but the laws of physics cause everything, including writing all our e-mails for us.

    We don’t deny the existence of intelligent agent causation, we know as well as you that we do it. Unlike you, however, we have no problem accepting that there may well be other – possibly more advanced – intelligent alien species elsewhere in space who do something similar. We have no “pinnacle of creation” status to defend.

    As for your contempt for the “reductive materialistic framework” has it occurred to you that your beloved quantum theory is reductive materialism taken to the n-th degree in physics? Everything is to be reduced to quantum effects?

  18. 18
    Seversky says:

    Chuckdarwin/9

    Sev @ 2
    I have to disagree. IDers know everything they want and need to know about their designer. It’s never even been an open question

    Good point.

    What I find perplexing is what do “longtime agnostics” like Neil Thomas know? After exhaustively “deconstructing” Darwin and evolution, what are they left with?

    I suspect that, unlike ID proponents, he got fed up with not knowing so grasped at the straw of theism.

  19. 19
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/12

    In fact, the scientific evidence itself has now overturned the Copernican Principle and/or the Principle of Mediocrity, and thus the scientific evidence itself has now shown that the earth and humanity are not nearly as insignificant as atheists, (and/or Deists), had falsely presupposed with their erroneous presupposition of the Copernican Principle and/or the Principle of Mediocrity

    No, as usual, you go way beyond what the science warrants in claiming that it overturns the Copernican Principle.

    ,, and thus ChuckyD, as far as the scientific evidence itself can now tell us, God is personal and cares about the earth and humanity.

    Which is contradicted by those accounts from the Old Testament of where your God has some very strange ways of showing how much He cares for us.

  20. 20
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, kindly explain the responsible, rational freedom you have by appealing to the power of blind mechanical necessity and/or chance. You will immediately learn that computation on a substrate — implicit in your implied evolutionary materialistic scientism as just stated — cannot account for the rational freedom you rely on. Appeal to physicalism as a claimed rational position that rules out possibility of miracles fails, by self referential incoherence as Haldane pointed out long ago. Rational responsible freedom, the first datum of our cognitive experience, escapes physicalism. Then, the physical laws are not logically necessary they are established by empirical observation and so are subject to the limitation that they can only describe the generally observed run so far. Empirical generalisation is compatible with rare exceptions, Hume’s argument on uniformity of nature begs the question. And so both mind and miracles in the sense of action by a being capable of transcending the ordinary course of nature, are reasonable. KF

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I see much objection on lines of ID is stealth creationism, that needs to consult the weak argument correctives that have been there for over a decade, currently under resources. The reality is, we here see that objections are too often in willful ignorance at best. The reason the design inference on reliable sign does not infer to a specific creator or designer is simple, duly scientific, and manifest to any fair minded person. Namely, observable signs of intelligently directed configuration as key causal factor are inferences to that ’tweredun, not to whodunit, or why and specifically how. As SB often put it, we establish arson or burglary (or even murder) before we go about suspects. Onward evidence may lead to a particular designer but the establishment of the credibility of design as cause comes first and is sufficient to be revolutionary. Objectors, who have repeatedly seen this correction and refuse to surrender the creationism in a cheap tuxedo narrative show that their real motive is anti-theism, and anti-christian bias, given the cultural struggle in process. KF

    PS, ironically, from the outset of modern ID work, in Thaxton et al, it was openly accepted that a design inference on the world of life is not capable of discerning by itself, whether the relevant designer is within or beyond the cosmos. There is however another province, one pioneered by the agnostic Sir Fred Hoyle, on fine tuning of the cosmos. Said fine tuning makes it plausible that our cosmos with its laws etc was designed as a home for c-chem aqueous medium cell based life. In his phrasing, someone has monkeyed with physics itself and there are no truly blind processes of note in our world. But, I suppose that does not fit the antichristian narrative.

    PPS, we see more anti Bible insinuations. Such objectors in recent months have been repeatedly referred to fora with panels of experts who are able and willing to answer them but persist in trying to toxically distract here, which speaks volumes given what else we can see.

  22. 22
    martin_r says:

    Asauber

    The point of the OP is that evidence indicates Evolution requires a designer or magic.
    Evolutionists have chosen belief in magic. How scientific is that?

    Well said.

    I would like to add, it is not just some occasional case of magic/miracle.
    It is a miracle after a miracle after a miracle and so on … Sometimes miracles happen simultaneously, at the same time, in various unrelated species.
    The whole history of life, is a miracle after a miracle after a miracle… starting with the origin of life itself – lots of miracles happened there …

    Obviously, Darwinists have a very high level of faith, really, they seem to be very very religious people …

    PS: and also notice, all these miracles happened in deep past, e.g. the origin of the irreducibly complex photosynthesis (according to Darwinists)

  23. 23
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky (who is himself very much guilty of blatantly going way beyond what the scientific evidence itself warrants), states “No, as usual, you go way beyond what the science warrants in claiming that it overturns the Copernican Principle.”

    Well actually, NO I do not go “way beyond what the science warrants”. But I am, instead, faithfully following the scientific evidence where it leads. You ought to try it sometime rather than dogmatically clinging to your emotionally held atheistic beliefs no matter what the scientific evidence says to the contrary.

    Stephen Hawking, via the Copernican Principle, erroneously held that humanity was just ‘chemical scum’

    “The human race is just a chemical scum on a moderate-sized planet, orbiting around a very average star in the outer suburb of one among a hundred billion galaxies. We are so insignificant that I can’t believe the whole universe exists for our benefit.,,,”
    – Stephen Hawking – 1995 TV show, Reality on the Rocks: Beyond Our Ken,

    Yet Stephen Hawking is now shown to have been wrong in his belief that humanity is just ‘chemical scum’.

    Primarily, the Copernican principle (and/or the Principle of Mediocrity), erroneously holds that “humans (the Earth, or the Solar system) are not privileged observers of the universe.”

    Copernican principle
    Excerpt: In physical cosmology, the Copernican principle, is an alternative name of the mediocrity principle,,, stating that humans (the Earth, or the Solar system) are not privileged observers of the universe.[1]
    Named for Copernican heliocentrism, it is a working assumption that arises from a modified cosmological extension of Copernicus’s argument of a moving Earth.[2] In some sense, it is equivalent to the mediocrity principle.
    – per wikipedia

    Carl Sagan coined the term ‘principle of mediocrity’ to refer to the idea that scientists should assume that nothing is special about humanity’s situation
    https://books.google.com/books?id=rR5BCwAAQBAJ&pg=PA187#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Mediocrity principle
    Excerpt: The (Mediocrity) principle has been taken to suggest that there is nothing very unusual about the evolution of the Solar System, Earth’s history, the evolution of biological complexity, human evolution, or any one nation. It is a heuristic in the vein of the Copernican principle, and is sometimes used as a philosophical statement about the place of humanity. The idea is to assume mediocrity, rather than starting with the assumption that a phenomenon is special, privileged, exceptional, or even superior.[2][3]
    – per wikipedia

    And yet, despite the fact that virtually everyone, including the vast majority of Christians today, presently hold that the Copernican Principle is unquestionably true, (and therefore concede the necessary premise of the Principle of Mediocrity to atheists), the fact of the matter is that the Copernican Principal is now shown, via our most powerful theories in science, to be a false assumption.

    In establishing this fact, first it is important to realize that Copernicus never actually did experimentally prove that the geocentric model was an incorrect description of the universe, and that his heliocentric model of the universe was a ‘more accurate’ description of the universe.

    The Tyranny of Simple Explanations – Philip Ball – AUG 11, 2016
    Excerpt: Take the debate between the ancient geocentric view of the universe—in which the sun and planets move around a central Earth—and Nicolaus Copernicus’s heliocentric theory, with the Sun at the center and the Earth and other planets moving around it.,,,
    It is often claimed that, by the 16th century, this Ptolemaic model of the universe had become so laden with these epicycles that it was on the point of falling apart. Then along came the Polish astronomer with his heliocentric universe, and no more epicycles were needed. The two theories explained the same astronomical observations, but Copernicus’s was simpler, and so Occam’s razor tells us to prefer it.
    This is wrong for many reasons. First, Copernicus didn’t do away with epicycles.,,,
    In an introductory tract called the Commentariolus, published around 1514, he said he could explain the motions of the heavens with “just” 34 epicycles. Many later commentators took this to mean that the geocentric model must have needed many more than 34, but there’s no actual evidence for that. And the historian of astronomy Owen Gingerich has dismissed the common assumption that the Ptolemaic model was so epicycle-heavy that it was close to collapse. He argues that a relatively simple design was probably still in use in Copernicus’s time.,,,
    http://www.theatlantic.com/sci.....or/495332/

    Simply put, just because the earth is not to be considered to be the center of the solar system itself, it does not automatically follow that the Earth cannot be considered physically central in the universe as a whole.

    The sun itself, contrary to what Nicolaus Copernicus held to be true in his heliocentric model, is certainly not to be considered central in the universe.

    Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543) was a mathematician and astronomer who proposed that the sun was stationary in the center of the universe and the earth revolved around it.
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/copernicus/

    Shoot, the sun itself is not even to be considered the ‘true center’ of the solar system, (much less is it to be considered the ‘true center’ of our galaxy, and even much less than that is it to be considered the ‘true center’ of the universe as a whole).

    Scientists Have Pinpointed the True Center of the Solar System –
    It’s not where you think. – BY Caroline Delbert – JUL 2, 2020
    *Researchers are using a new software model to pinpoint the true center of the solar system.
    * Massive, bossy Jupiter pulls the center slightly out of true with its gravity field.
    * The true center is just outside of the sun’s surface, depending on where Jupiter is.
    Excerpt: Even without third-generation GPS technology, scientists have pinpointed the center of our solar system. Yes, we revolve around the sun, but it’s not as simple as the center of the sun. Instead, the shape and interacting gravities in the solar system place the center just outside the sun’s surface.
    https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/a33073525/where-is-center-solar-system/

    General Relativity itself, one of the powerful theories ever in the history of science, makes this point clear.

    As the late Stephen “chemical scum’ Hawking himself explained, ‘our observations of the heavens can be explained by assuming either the earth or the sun to be at rest.,,, the real advantage of the Copernican system is simply that the equations of motion are much simpler in the frame of reference in which the sun is at rest.’

    “So which is real, the Ptolemaic or Copernican system? Although it is not uncommon for people to say that Copernicus proved Ptolemy wrong, that is not true. As in the case of our normal view versus that of the goldfish, one can use either picture as a model of the universe, for our observations of the heavens can be explained by assuming either the earth or the sun to be at rest.
    Despite its role in philosophical debates over the nature of our universe, the real advantage of the Copernican system is simply that the equations of motion are much simpler in the frame of reference in which the sun is at rest.”
    Stephen Hawking – The Grand Design – pages 39 – 2010

    And as George Ellis, (a former close colleague of Hawking), stated, “I can construct you a spherically symmetrical universe with Earth at its center, and you cannot disprove it based on observations… You can only exclude it on philosophical grounds…”

    “People need to be aware that there is a range of models that could explain the observations… For instance, I can construct you a spherically symmetrical universe with Earth at its center, and you cannot disprove it based on observations… You can only exclude it on philosophical grounds… What I want to bring into the open is the fact that we are using philosophical criteria in choosing our models. A lot of cosmology tries to hide that.”
    – George Ellis – W. Wayt Gibbs, “Profile: George F. R. Ellis,” Scientific American, October 1995, Vol. 273, No.4, p. 55

    And as Fred Hoyle, who discovered stellar nucleosynthesis, himself stated, “Today we cannot say that the Copernican theory is ‘right’ and the Ptolemaic theory ‘wrong’ in any meaningful physical sense.”

    “The relation of the two pictures [geocentrism and geokineticism] is reduced to a mere coordinate transformation and it is the main tenet of the Einstein theory that any two ways of looking at the world which are related to each other by a coordinate transformation are entirely equivalent from a physical point of view…. Today we cannot say that the Copernican theory is ‘right’ and the Ptolemaic theory ‘wrong’ in any meaningful physical sense.”
    – Hoyle, Fred. Nicolaus Copernicus. London: Heinemann Educational Books Ltd., 1973.

    And even as ‘Mr. Relativity’ himself, Albert Einstein, stated, The two sentences: “the sun is at rest and the earth moves” or “the sun moves and the earth is at rest” would simply mean two different conventions concerning two different CS [coordinate systems].”

    “Can we formulate physical laws so that they are valid for all CS [coordinate systems], not only those moving uniformly, but also those moving quite arbitrarily, relative to each other? […] The struggle, so violent in the early days of science, between the views of Ptolemy and Copernicus would then be quite meaningless. Either CS could be used with equal justification. The two sentences: “the sun is at rest and the earth moves” or “the sun moves and the earth is at rest” would simply mean two different conventions concerning two different CS.”
    – Einstein, A. and Infeld, L. (1938) The Evolution of Physics, p.212 (p.248 in original 1938 ed.);

    There simply is no empirical reason to prefer the sun, nor any other place in the universe, as being central in the universe over and above the earth being considered central in the universe, in any model that we may choose to make for the universe.

    As Einstein himself noted,

    “One need not view the existence of such centrifugal forces as originating from the motion of K’ [the Earth]; one could just as well account for them as resulting from the average rotational effect of distant, detectable masses as evidenced in the vicinity of K’ [the Earth], whereby K’ [the Earth] is treated as being at rest.”
    –Albert Einstein, quoted in Hans Thirring, “On the Effect of Distant Rotating Masses in Einstein’s Theory of Gravitation”, Physikalische Zeitschrift 22, 29, 1921

    “If one rotates the shell *relative to the fixed stars* about an axis going through its center, a Coriolis force arises in the interior of the shell, *that is, the plane of a Foucault pendulum is dragged around*”
    –Albert Einstein, cited in “Gravitation”, Misner Thorne and Wheeler pp. 544-545.

    “We can’t feel our motion through space, nor has any physical experiment ever proved that the Earth actually is in motion.,,,
    If all the objects in space were removed save one, then no one could say whether that one remaining object was at rest or hurtling through the void at 100,000 miles per second”
    Historian Lincoln Barnett – “The Universe and Dr. Einstein” – pg 73 (contains a foreword by Albert Einstein)

    In fact, as far as empirical science itself is concerned, in the 4 dimensional spacetime of Einstein’s General Relativity, we find that each 3-Dimensional point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe,,,

    Where is the centre of the universe?:
    Excerpt: There is no centre of the universe! According to the standard theories of cosmology, the universe started with a “Big Bang” about 14 thousand million years ago and has been expanding ever since. Yet there is no centre to the expansion; it is the same everywhere. The Big Bang should not be visualized as an ordinary explosion. The universe is not expanding out from a centre into space; rather, the whole universe is expanding and it is doing so equally at all places, as far as we can tell.
    http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/.....entre.html

    ,,, and since any 3-Dimensional point can be considered central in the expanding 4-Dimensional space time of General Relativity, then, as the following articles make clear, it is now left completely open to whomever is making a model of the universe to decide for themselves what is to be considered central in the universe,,,

    How Einstein Revealed the Universe’s Strange “Nonlocality” – George Musser | Oct 20, 2015
    Excerpt: Under most circumstances, we can ignore this nonlocality. You can designate some available chunk of matter as a reference point and use it to anchor a coordinate grid. You can, to the chagrin of Santa Barbarans, take Los Angeles as the center of the universe and define every other place with respect to it. In this framework, you can go about your business in blissful ignorance of space’s fundamental inability to demarcate locations.,,
    In short, Einstein’s theory is nonlocal in a more subtle and insidious way than Newton’s theory of gravity was. Newtonian gravity acted at a distance, but at least it operated within a framework of absolute space. Einsteinian gravity has no such element of wizardry; its effects ripple through the universe at the speed of light. Yet it demolishes the framework, violating locality in what was, for Einstein, its most basic sense: the stipulation that all things have a location. General relativity confounds our intuitive picture of space as a kind of container in which material objects reside and forces us to search for an entirely new conception of place.
    http://www.scientificamerican......locality//

    How Einstein Lost His Bearings, and With Them, General Relativity – March 2018
    Excerpt: Einstein’s field equations — the equations of general relativity — describe how the shape of space-time evolves in response to the presence of matter and energy. To describe that evolution, you need to impose on space-time a coordinate system — like lines of latitude and longitude — that tells you which points are where.
    The most important thing to recognize about coordinate systems is that they’re human contrivances. Maybe in one coordinate system we label a point (0, 0, 0), and in another we label that same point (1, 1, 1). The physical properties haven’t changed — we’ve just tagged the point differently. “Those labels are something about us, not something about the world,” said James Weatherall, a philosopher of science at the University of California, Irvine.,,,
    The Einstein field equations we have today are generally covariant. They express the same physical truths about the universe — how space-time curves in the presence of energy and matter — regardless of what coordinates you use to label things.,,,
    as Einstein discovered,,, the universe doesn’t admit any one privileged choice of coordinates.
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/how-einstein-lost-his-bearings-and-with-them-general-relativity-20180314/

  24. 24
    bornagain77 says:

    In fact, according to the four-dimensional space-time of General Relativity, even individual people are allowed to be considered central in the universe,,,

    You Technically Are the Center of the Universe – May 2016
    Excerpt: (due to the 1 in 10^120 finely tuned expansion of the 4-D space-time of General Relativity) no matter where you stand, it will appear that everything in the universe is expanding around you. So the center of the universe is technically — everywhere.
    The moment you pick a frame of reference, that point becomes the center of the universe.
    Here’s another way to think about it: The sphere of space we can see around us is the visible universe. We’re looking at the light from stars that’s traveled millions or billions of years to reach us. When we reach the 13.8 billion-light-year point, we’re seeing the universe just moments after the Big Bang happened.
    But someone standing on another planet, a few light-years to the right, would see a different sphere of the universe. It’s sort of like lighting a match in the middle of a dark room: Your observable universe is the sphere of the room that the light illuminates.
    But someone standing in a different spot in the room will be able to see a different sphere. So technically, we are all standing at the center of our own observable universes.
    https://mic.com/articles/144214/you-technically-are-the-center-of-the-universe-thanks-to-a-wacky-physics-quirk

    And to support the claim that even individual people can be considered central in the four-dimensional space-time of General Relativity, I note the often overlooked fact that when Einstein first formulated both Special and General relativity, he gave a ‘hypothetical’ observer a privileged frame of reference in which to make measurements in the universe.

    Introduction to special relativity
    Excerpt: Einstein’s approach was based on thought experiments, calculations, and the principle of relativity, which is the notion that all physical laws should appear the same (that is, take the same basic form) to all inertial observers.,,,
    Each observer has a distinct “frame of reference” in which velocities are measured,,,,
    per wikipedia

    The happiest thought of my life.
    Excerpt: In 1920 Einstein commented that a thought came into his mind when writing the above-mentioned paper he called it “the happiest thought of my life”:
    “The gravitational field has only a relative existence… Because for an observer freely falling from the roof of a house – at least in his immediate surroundings – there exists no gravitational field.”
    http://physics.ucr.edu/~wudka/.....ode85.html

    We will get back to observers being central in the universe in a little bit, but before we do that, and to more firmly establish that the earth, (and solar system itself) should be given a ‘privileged’ position in the universe, it is first necessary to point out that anomalies in the Cosmic Background Radiation (CBR), (anomalies that were recently discovered by the WMAP and Planck telescopes), ‘strangely’ line up with the earth and solar system,

    Here is an excellent clip from “The Principle” that explains these ‘anomalies’ in the CMBR, that ‘unexpectedly’ line up with the earth and solar system, in an easy to understand manner.

    Cosmic Microwave Background Proves Intelligent Design (disproves Copernican principle) (clip of “The Principle”) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htV8WTyo4rw

    Moreover, as the following paper highlights, we find that Radio Astronomy now reveals a surprising rotational coincidence for Earth in relation to the quasar and radio galaxy distributions in the universe, “implying an apparent breakdown of the Copernican principle or its more generalization, cosmological principle, upon which the standard cosmological model is based upon”,,,

    A large anisotropy in the sky distribution of 3CRR quasars and other radio galaxies
    – Ashok K. Singal
    Astrophysics and Space Science volume 357, Article number: 152 (2015)
    Abstract
    We report the presence of large anisotropies in the sky distributions of powerful extended quasars as well as some other sub-classes of radio galaxies in the 3CRR survey, the most reliable and most intensively studied complete sample of strong steep-spectrum radio sources. The anisotropies lie about a plane passing through the equinoxes and the north celestial pole. Out of a total of 48 quasars in the sample, 33 of them lie in one half of the observed sky and the remaining 15 in the other half. The probability that in a random distribution of 3CRR quasars in the sky, statistical fluctuations could give rise to an asymmetry in observed numbers up to this level is only ?1 %. Also only about 1/4th of Fanaroff-Riley 1 (FR1) type of radio galaxies lie in the first half of the observed sky and the remainder in the second half. If we include all the observed asymmetries in the sky distributions of quasars and radio galaxies in the 3CRR sample, the probability of their occurrence by a chance combination reduces to ?2×10?5. Two pertinent but disturbing questions that could be raised here are—firstly why should there be such large anisotropies present in the sky distribution of some of the strongest and most distant discrete sources, implying inhomogeneities in the universe at very large scales (covering a fraction of the universe)? Secondly why should such anisotropies lie about a great circle decided purely by the orientation of earth’s rotation axis and/or the axis of its revolution around the sun? It seems yet more curious when we consider the other anisotropies, e.g., an alignment of the four normals to the quadrupole and octopole planes in the CMBR with the cosmological dipole and the equinoxes. Then there is the other recently reported large dipole anisotropy in the NVSS radio source distribution differing in magnitude from the CMBR dipole by a factor of four, and therefore not explained as due to the peculiar motion of the Solar system, yet aligned with the CMBR dipole which itself lies close to the line joining the equinoxes. Are these alignments a mere coincidence or do they imply that these axes have a preferential placement in the larger scheme of things, implying an apparent breakdown of the Copernican principle or its more generalization, cosmological principle, upon which the standard cosmological model is based upon?
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10509-015-2388-2

    And it is these large scale structures of the universe, combined on top of the CMBR anomalies, which, amazingly, overturn the Copernican principle and strongly support the ‘medieval’ belief that the earth should be considered to have a ‘central’ position in the universe.

    As the following article, (with a illustration) explains,

    “Of course to have an exact position, (or what we would call an ‘exact center’ in the universe), we would need an X axis, a Y axis, and a Z axis, since that will give us three dimensions in Euclidean space. The CMB dipole and quadrupole gives us the X axis and Y axis but not a Z axis. Hence, the X and Y axis of the CMB provide a direction, but only an approximate position. That is why we have continually said that the CMB puts Earth “at or near the center of the universe.”
    For the Z-axis we depend on other information, such as quasars and galaxy alignment that the CMB cannot provide. For example, it has been discovered that the anisotropies of extended quasars and radio galaxies are aligned with the Earth’s equator and the North celestial pole (NCP)4.,,, Ashok K. Singal describes his shocking discovery in those terms:
    “What is intriguing even further is why such anisotropies should lie about a great circle decided purely by the orientation of earth’s rotation axis and/or the axis of its revolution around the sun? It looks as if these axes have a preferential placement in the larger scheme of things, implying an apparent breakdown of the Copernican principle or its more generalization, cosmological principle, upon which all modern cosmological theories are based upon.”
    – Ashok K. Singal4 “Is there a violation of the Copernican principle in radio sky,” Ashok K. Singal, Astronomy and Astrophysics Division, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad, India, May 17, 2103,..
    Signal states: “We can rule out at a 99.995% confidence level the hypothesis that these asymmetries are merely due to statistical fluctuations.”
    – illustration
    https://i.postimg.cc/L8G3CbXN/DOUBLE-AXIS.png
    – article
    http://www.robertsungenis.com/.....20Wars.pdf

    Thus, contrary to the presumption of atheists, (i.e. reductive materialists), far from the small temperature variations in the CMBR being a product of random quantum fluctuations, (as they presuppose in their inflation model), the small temperature variations in the CMBR combine with the ‘largest scale structures of the observable universe’ to reveal teleology, (i.e. a goal directed purpose, a plan, a reason), that specifically included the earth and solar system from the creation of the universe itself.,,, The earth and solar system, (from what our best science can now tell us), is not just the result of some random quantum fluctuation as atheists had erroneously presupposed in their inflation model.

    Genesis 1: 1-3
    In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
    And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
    And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

  25. 25
    bornagain77 says:

    On top of all that, and the further support the claim that ‘the universe had humans in mind all along’, in the following paper, Robin Collins found that photons coming from the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) are ‘such as to maximize the intensity of the CMB as observed by typical observers.’

    The Fine-Tuning for Discoverability – Robin Collins – March 22, 2014
    Excerpt: Predictive and Explanatory Power of Discoverability – Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation
    ,,, The most dramatic confirmation of the discoverability/livability optimality thesis (DLO) is the dependence of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMB) on the baryon to photon ratio.,,,
    ,,, The only livability effect this ratio has is on whether or not galaxies can form that have near – optimally livability zones. As long as this condition is met, the value of this ratio has no further effects on livability. Hence, the DLO predicts that within this range, the value of this ratio will be such as to maximize the intensity of the CMB as observed by typical observers.
    According to my calculations – which have been verified by three other physicists — to within the margin of error of the experimentally determined parameters (~20%), the value of the photon to baryon ratio is such that it maximizes the CMB. This is shown in Figure 1 below. (pg. 13)
    This is a case of a teleological thesis serving both a predictive and an ultimate explanatory role.,,,
    http://home.messiah.edu/~rcoll.....osting.pdf

    Of related interest to that fact, we also find that we just so happen to also, “Live At The Right Time In Cosmic History to be able to observe the Cosmic Background Radiation”

    We Live At The Right Time In Cosmic History to be able to observe the Cosmic Background Radiation – Hugh Ross – video (7:12 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/MxOGeqVOsvc?t=431

    And to further solidify the fact that humans have far more significance in this universe than atheists have falsely presupposed, (with their erroneous presumption of the Copernican principle), in the following video physicist Neil Turok states that “So we can go from 10 to the plus 25 to 10 to the minus 35. Now where are we? Well the size of a living cell is about 10 to the minus 5. Which is halfway between the two. In mathematical terms, we say it is the geometric mean. We live in the middle between the largest scale in physics,,, and the tiniest scale [in physics].”

    “So we can go from 10 to the plus 25 to 10 to the minus 35. Now where are we? Well the size of a living cell is about 10 to the minus 5. Which is halfway between the two. In mathematical terms, we say it is the geometric mean. We live in the middle between the largest scale in physics,,, and the tiniest scale [in physics].”
    – Neil Turok as quoted at the 14:40 minute mark
    The Astonishing Simplicity of Everything – Neil Turok Public Lecture – video (12:00 minute mark, we live in the geometric mean, i.e. the middle, of the universe)
    https://youtu.be/f1x9lgX8GaE?t=715

    The following interactive graph, gives very similar ‘rough ballpark’ figures, of 10 ^27 and 10-35, to Dr. Turok’s figures.

    The Scale of the Universe
    https://htwins.net/scale2/

    And while that finding by Dr. Neil Turok is certainly very interesting, that finding is a bit disappointing in that is just gives life in general a ‘middle’ position in the universe, and still does not give humanity in particular, a ‘middle’ position in the universe.

    Yet, Dr. William Demski, (and company), in the following graph, have refined that estimate of a ‘geometric mean’ with better data, and have given us a more precise figure of 8.8 x 10^26 M for the observable universe’s diameter, and 1.6 x 10^-35 for the Planck length which is the smallest length possible.

    Magnifying the Universe
    https://academicinfluence.com/ie/mtu/

    And that more precise figure for a ‘geometric mean’ does indeed give humanity in particular a ‘central’ position in the universe.

    Specifically, Dr. Dembski’s more precise interactive graph points out that the smallest scale visible to the human eye (as well as the size of a human egg) is at 10^-4 meters, which ‘just so happens’ to be directly in the exponential center, and/or geometric mean, of all possible sizes of our physical reality. This is very interesting for the limits to human vision (as well as the size of the human egg) could have, theoretically, been at very different positions rather than directly in the exponential middle and/or the geometric mean. Needless to say, this empirical finding directly challenges, if not directly refutes, the assumption behind the Copernican Principle and/or the Principle of Mediocrity.

    And to further solidify the fact that humanity is not nearly as insignificant in this universe as atheists have presupposed, it is found that humans alone, out of all the creatures on earth, process the capacity for complex language.

    Leading Evolutionary Scientists Admit We Have No Evolutionary Explanation of Human Language – December 19, 2014
    Excerpt: Understanding the evolution of language requires evidence regarding origins and processes that led to change. In the last 40 years, there has been an explosion of research on this problem as well as a sense that considerable progress has been made. We argue instead that the richness of ideas is accompanied by a poverty of evidence, with essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved.,,,
    (Marc Hauser, Charles Yang, Robert Berwick, Ian Tattersall, Michael J. Ryan, Jeffrey Watumull, Noam Chomsky and Richard C. Lewontin, “The mystery of language evolution,” Frontiers in Psychology, Vol 5:401 (May 7, 2014).)
    Casey Luskin added: “It’s difficult to imagine much stronger words from a more prestigious collection of experts.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....92141.html

    Moreover, that humans should ‘master the planet’ due to his unique ability to communicate information is completely contrary to the ‘survival of the fittest’ thinking that undergirds Darwinian thought.

    Specifically, although humans are fairly defenseless creatures in the wild compared to other creatures, such as lions, bears, sharks, etc.., nonetheless, humans have, completely contrary to Darwinian ‘survival of the fittest’ thinking, managed to become masters of the planet, not by brute force, but simply by our unique ability to create and communicate information and also to, more specifically, infuse immaterial information into material substrates in order to create, i.e. intelligently design, objects that are extremely useful for our defense, basic survival in procuring food, furtherance of our knowledge, and also merely for our pleasure.

    What is more interesting still about the fact that humans have a unique ability to understand and create information, and have come to ‘master the planet’ through the ‘top-down’ infusion of immaterial information into material substrates, is the fact that, due to advances in science, both the universe and life itself, are now found to be ‘information theoretic’ in their foundational basis.

    “The most fundamental definition of reality is not matter or energy, but information–and it is the processing of information that lies at the root of all physical, biological, economic, and social phenomena.”
    Vlatko Vedral – Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford, and CQT (Centre for Quantum Technologies) at the National University of Singapore, and a Fellow of Wolfson College –

    It is hard to imagine a more convincing scientific proof that we are ‘made in the image of God’, than finding that both the universe and life itself are ‘information theoretic’ in their foundational basis, and that we, of all the creatures on earth, uniquely possess an ability to understand and create information, and have come to ‘master the planet’, not via brute force as is presupposed in Darwinian thought, but precisely because of our ability to infuse immaterial information into material substrate

    Genesis 1:26
    And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

    John 1:1-4
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and that life was the Light of men.

    Of course, a more convincing proof that we are made in the image of God could be if God Himself became a man, walked on water, healed the sick, raised the dead, and then defeated death itself on a cross.

    And that just so happens to be precisely the proof that is claimed within Christianity.

    Shroud of Turin: From discovery of Photographic Negative, to 3D Information, to Quantum Hologram – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-TL4QOCiis

  26. 26
    bornagain77 says:

    ,,, Now let’s get back to observers themselves being considered central in the universe.

    Whereas Einstein, when he first formulated both Special and General Relativity, gave a ‘hypothetical’ observer a privileged frame of reference in which to make measurements in the universe, In Quantum Mechanics we find that it is the measurement itself that gives each observer a privileged frame of reference in the universe.

    As the following article states, “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,”,,,

    Experiment confirms quantum theory weirdness – May 27, 2015
    Excerpt: Common sense says the object is either wave-like or particle-like, independent of how we measure it. But quantum physics predicts that whether you observe wave like behavior (interference) or particle behavior (no interference) depends only on how it is actually measured at the end of its journey. This is exactly what the ANU team found.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said Associate Professor Andrew Truscott from the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering.
    http://phys.org/news/2015-05-q.....dness.html

    Likewise, the following violation of Leggett’s inequality stressed ‘the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it.’

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it. “Our study shows that ‘just’ giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics,” Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. “You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism.”
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/27640

    Moreover, this recent experimental confirmation of the “Wigner’s Friend” thought experiment, (although they controversially held photons to be ‘proxies’ for human observers), found that “measurement results,, must be understood relative to the observer who performed the measurement”.

    More Than One Reality Exists (in Quantum Physics) By Mindy Weisberger – March 20, 2019
    Excerpt: “measurement results,, must be understood relative to the observer who performed the measurement”.
    https://www.livescience.com/65029-dueling-reality-photons.html

    Experimental test of local observer-independence – 2019
    Excerpt: ,,, If one holds fast to the assumptions of locality and free-choice, this result implies that quantum theory should be interpreted in an observer-dependent way.
    https://arxiv.org/pdf/1902.05080.pdf

    Quantum paradox points to shaky foundations of reality – George Musser – Aug. 17, 2020
    Excerpt: Now, researchers in Australia and Taiwan offer perhaps the sharpest demonstration that Wigner’s paradox is real. In a study published this week in Nature Physics, they transform the thought experiment into a mathematical theorem that confirms the irreconcilable contradiction at the heart of the scenario. The team also tests the theorem with an experiment, using photons as proxies for the humans. Whereas Wigner believed resolving the paradox requires quantum mechanics to break down for large systems such as human observers, some of the new study’s authors believe something just as fundamental is on thin ice: objectivity. It could mean there is no such thing as an absolute fact, one that is as true for me as it is for you.
    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/08/quantum-paradox-points-shaky-foundations-reality

    Because of such consistent and repeatable experiments like the preceding from quantum mechanics, Richard Conn Henry, who is Professor of Physics at John Hopkins University, stated “It is more than 80 years since the discovery of quantum mechanics gave us the most fundamental insight ever into our nature: the overturning of the Copernican Revolution, and the restoration of us human beings to centrality in the Universe.”

    “It is more than 80 years since the discovery of quantum mechanics gave us the most fundamental insight ever into our nature: the overturning of the Copernican Revolution, and the restoration of us human beings to centrality in the Universe.
    And yet, have you ever before read a sentence having meaning similar to that of my preceding sentence? Likely you have not, and the reason you have not is, in my opinion, that physicists are in a state of denial, and have fears and agonies that are very similar to the fears and agonies that Copernicus and Galileo went through with their perturbations of society.”
    – Richard Conn Henry – Professor of Physics – John Hopkins University
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/quantum.enigma.html

  27. 27
    bornagain77 says:

    On top of all that, and completely contrary to the Copernican Principle and/or the Principle of Mediocrity, in quantum mechanics we also find that humans, (via their free will), are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level.

    As the late Steven Weinberg, who was an atheist himself, stated in the following article, “In the instrumentalist approach (in quantum mechanics) humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level.,,, the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else.,,, In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure,,, Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,”

    The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics – Steven Weinberg – January 19, 2017
    Excerpt: The instrumentalist approach,, (the) wave function,, is merely an instrument that provides predictions of the probabilities of various outcomes when measurements are made.,,
    In the instrumentalist approach,,, humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level. According to Eugene Wigner, a pioneer of quantum mechanics, “it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness.”11
    Thus the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else. It is not that we object to thinking about humans. Rather, we want to understand the relation of humans to nature, not just assuming the character of this relation by incorporating it in what we suppose are nature’s fundamental laws, but rather by deduction from laws that make no explicit reference to humans. We may in the end have to give up this goal,,,
    Some physicists who adopt an instrumentalist approach argue that the probabilities we infer from the wave function are objective probabilities, independent of whether humans are making a measurement. I don’t find this tenable. In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure, such as the spin in one or another direction. Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,
    http://quantum.phys.unm.edu/46.....inberg.pdf

    In fact Weinberg, again an atheist, rejected the instrumentalist approach precisely because “humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level” and because it undermined the Darwinian worldview from within.

    Yet, regardless of how Weinberg and other atheists may prefer the world to behave, quantum mechanics itself could care less how atheists prefer the world to behave.

    As leading experimentalist Anton Zeilinger states in the following video, “what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”

    “The Kochen-Speckter Theorem talks about properties of one system only. So we know that we cannot assume – to put it precisely, we know that it is wrong to assume that the features of a system, which we observe in a measurement exist prior to measurement. Not always. I mean in a certain cases. So in a sense, what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”
    Anton Zeilinger –
    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism – video (7:17 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=4C5pq7W5yRM#t=437

    As well, although there have been several major loopholes in quantum mechanics over the past several decades that atheists have tried to appeal to in order to try to avoid the ‘spooky’ Theistic implications of quantum mechanics, over the past several years each of those major loopholes have each been closed one by one. The last major loophole that was left to be closed was the “setting independence” and/or the ‘free-will’ loophole:

    Closing the ‘free will’ loophole: Using distant quasars to test Bell’s theorem – February 20, 2014
    Excerpt: Though two major loopholes have since been closed, a third remains; physicists refer to it as “setting independence,” or more provocatively, “free will.” This loophole proposes that a particle detector’s settings may “conspire” with events in the shared causal past of the detectors themselves to determine which properties of the particle to measure — a scenario that, however far-fetched, implies that a physicist running the experiment does not have complete free will in choosing each detector’s setting. Such a scenario would result in biased measurements, suggesting that two particles are correlated more than they actually are, and giving more weight to quantum mechanics than classical physics.
    “It sounds creepy, but people realized that’s a logical possibility that hasn’t been closed yet,” says MIT’s David Kaiser, the Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science and senior lecturer in the Department of Physics. “Before we make the leap to say the equations of quantum theory tell us the world is inescapably crazy and bizarre, have we closed every conceivable logical loophole, even if they may not seem plausible in the world we know today”
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140220112515.htm

    And now Anton Zeilinger and company have recently, as of 2018, pushed the ‘freedom of choice loophole’ back to 7.8 billion years ago, thereby firmly establishing the ‘common sense’ fact that the free will choices of the experimenter in the quantum experiments are truly free and are not determined by any possible causal influences from the past for at least the last 7.8 billion years, and that experimenters themselves are therefore shown to be truly free, (as common sense dictates), to choose whatever measurement settings in the experiments that he or she may so desire to choose so as to ‘logically’ probe whatever aspect of reality that he or she may be interested in probing.

    Cosmic Bell Test Using Random Measurement Settings from High-Redshift Quasars – Anton Zeilinger – 14 June 2018
    Abstract: This experiment pushes back to at least 7.8 Gyr ago the most recent time by which any local-realist influences could have exploited the “freedom-of-choice” loophole to engineer the observed Bell violation, excluding any such mechanism from 96% of the space-time volume of the past light cone of our experiment, extending from the big bang to today.
    https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.080403

    Thus regardless of how the late Steven Weinberg, and other atheists, may have preferred the universe to behave, with the closing of the last remaining ‘freedom of choice’ loophole in quantum mechanics, it is now empirically demonstrated that “humans are indeed brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level”, and thus these recent findings from quantum mechanics directly undermine, as Weinberg himself stated, the “vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else.”

    As well, to state the glaringly obvious, this is yet another VERY powerful line of empirical evidence that directly falsifies the Copernican Principle and/or the Principle of Mediocrity.

    In other words, since humans themselves are brought into the laws of physics at their most fundamental level, then humans are therefore, obviously, empirically shown to have far, far, more significance, value, and dignity in this universe than atheists have presumed.

    As much as it may hurt an atheists’s feelings to know this, and as far as our best science can now tell us, we are not merely “chemical scum” as Hawking, via the Copernican Principle, tried to imply that we were.

    “The human race is just a chemical scum on a moderate-sized planet, orbiting around a very average star in the outer suburb of one among a hundred billion galaxies. We are so insignificant that I can’t believe the whole universe exists for our benefit.,,,”
    – Stephen Hawking – 1995 TV show, Reality on the Rocks: Beyond Our Ken,

    Hopefully atheists will soon get over the ‘sad’ fact that they are not to be considered merely ‘chemical scum’ in short order. 🙂

    Jeremiah 29:11
    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

  28. 28
    Silver Asiatic says:

    CD @ 11

    That was a helpful response – thanks.

    My “deism” is relatively simple. There is a creative entity or power that has all the necessary attributes–but no more– to make a universe, including life.

    Well, it may be simple in concept, but your statement carries a lot of logical and philosophical consequences. First of all, I appreciate the term “creative entity” – that’s right. At the risk of sounding rude (because I’ll echo what I hear thrown at me and other IDists) – you’re a “creationist”. You believe that God created out of nothing, by a supernatural, miraculous power.
    Fortunately, that removes you from the irrational materialist camp – you’ve got an immaterial entity that created, not only the universe, but life itself.
    We could say that’s a small step from ID – but actually, not a small step at all. You’re an IDist.
    You’ve got an Intelligent Designer that created something. When we observe that the universe must have had a cause, and you say “yes, a creative entity caused it” – that’s the teleological argument.

    Every law of nature is accounted for ab initio, including those necessary for the emergence and evolution of life.

    So, when I say “Life looks like it was designed by an intelligent, creative entity” – then you’d agree. When I say that evolution looks like it was created originally by an intelligence, then you’d agree also.

    This entity is impersonal and unknowable to us;

    Well, you know it well-enough to describe it that far. If I said the entity was personal and communicates with creation – you’d disagree. So, not unknowable to that extent.

    it requires neither worship nor adoration. The world is ours without conditions.

    The world came from the creative entity – not from ourselves. If the world is “ours” then it’s a gift. It’s not something we created.

    This is not the personal, paternal, designer God of theism or of the ID movement.

    You’re incorrect here to think that ID requires a theistic creator.
    ID is a scientific project that states only that there is evidence of intelligent design in some aspects of nature. ID does not require monotheism, polytheism, deism or any other kind of theism. It’s just “Intelligence” – whatever source for that intelligence is outside of what ID-science can determine.
    If you do one thing in this discussion and refine and correct your view on this one point – that would be very good.

    Again, your Deism is all that is required to support ID.
    The fact is, not only is there evidence that an intelligent designer exists – you are stating definitively that an intelligent designer created the universe.
    Whatever you do to defend that is defending ID.
    The order, symmetry, laws of the universe – appear to have been sourced by an intelligent agent. That’s ID. You’ll say “yes, they do have their origin in an intelligent agent.”

    There are no miracles.

    Well, not really. You posited a “creative entity”. The creative act – where the universe comes from an intelligent designer (that’s creationism) puts a supernatural miracle right at the beginning.

    We can only know the world through reason and experience.

    I’d wonder why the creative entity cannot or does not communicate with what has been created? How do you know that?

    What happens after death is unknown.

    Well, if you’re a classical Deist, you’d know that the creative entity will not die – so it will continue to be present after your death. But why you would have no relationship with that deity is something you decided based on evidence, so it’s interesting to consider.

  29. 29
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Sev

    What reason do you have for thinking that an unimaginably advanced being such as your God would design in the same way as relatively puny, ignorant beings like ourselves?

    Because as CD says in post #11 here, the creative entity created life – that is, human life.
    So, the capabilities we have, no matter how puny in comparison, mirror those of the creator.

  30. 30
    chuckdarwin says:

    SA @ 29
    You write:

    Because as CD says in post #11 here, the creative entity created life – that is, human life.
    So, the capabilities we have, no matter how puny in comparison, mirror those of the creator.

    I don’t want to be misconstrued. You are suggesting two things that I did not say. First, I didn’t say the deistic creator directly created life. That is a theistic, interventionist view which is explicitly rejected by deism. Rather, it created the requisite pre-conditions for life when it created the universe. Strictly speaking, life, under this view, was neither a forgone conclusion nor confined to the type of life that ultimately evolved. My view is that we do not know currently how life originated, but we have made considerable progress understanding how it evolved via natural selection as understood by contemporary (not 150-year-old) biology. But that’s a discussion for another day.

    Second, you implicitly suggest that my position leads to a form of imago dei which it most definitely does not. Imago dei is a hubristic form of anthropomorphism and wish fulfillment.

    Third, you waste a lot of ink trying to shoehorn deism into ID. You clearly take a very expansive view of ID. However, most prominent IDers, for example Stephen Meyers, reject deism. Obviously, deism posits a creator as I’ve described above, but it is not necessary that this creator had in mind a specific design or plan. Things could have gone other directions. Ultimately, it really doesn’t matter, if you want to believe in your “big tent” version of ID, knock yourself out….

  31. 31
    Silver Asiatic says:

    CD

    I don’t want to be misconstrued. You are suggesting two things that I did not say. First, I didn’t say the deistic creator directly created life.

    Ok, you’re proposing a creative entity. I chose “life” as one of the things that entity created. But that doesn’t matter since I could pick anything that your creator created – such as you assert here:

    Rather, it created the requisite pre-conditions for life when it created the universe.

    Creating the requisite pre-conditions for life is a creation act. Even if life didn’t emerge, it created the universe itself. That’s an act of Intelligent Design. The universe came from an intelligent source – that’s your God.
    Seversky asked why we would think that God created things – that’s for you to answer. You’re asserting that God created some things, but not others.
    Your God has the power to create an entire universe which includes the pre-conditions for life. But your God doesn’t or can’t do other things.
    So, the need for explanation falls to you – I’m just filling in the logic based on the information you gave us. You believe in Creation.

    Obviously, deism posits a creator as I’ve described above, but it is not necessary that this creator had in mind a specific design or plan. Things could have gone other directions.

    This is a big problem philosophically, as I see it. God is usually understood as the source of all being and thus lacking nothing. There is no knowledge God can gain, because where could it come from? So, that’s the classic understanding of God – and therefore that God would be surprised by what His laws, matter and forces created means that God was ignorant of the future in a universe He created, in the time and space that He created. It just causes big logical problems, as I see it.

    But no matter – ID is what it is, even if every proponent was a Jew or Muslim or Freemasonic deist.
    Berlinski is an atheist. I already mentioned the former moderator of this blog believed that alien life is the intelligent designer of life. None of that touches the science. ID is not a religious project – it’s just empirical science.

    So, it really falls back to you and I think you’re understanding it.
    You’re positing an intelligent designer of the universe.
    That’s ID.
    You don’t need to defend your theological views on this blog – all that is required is an understanding of ID, and you’re are supporter of ID.

    Ultimately, it really doesn’t matter, if you want to believe in your “big tent” version of ID, knock yourself out….

    I think it does matter quite a lot. As I said, you’re are believer in ID theory – you believe there is an intelligent designer and you’ve asserted that designer created the universe and the elements of life.
    At the same time, you’re here ridiculing ID – the very theory that you profess.
    So, you’re contradicting yourself.

  32. 32
    chuckdarwin says:

    SA @ 31
    First, I appreciate you discussing this in a serious manner.

    This is where the big distinction lies:

    This is a big problem philosophically, as I see it. God is usually understood as the source of all being and thus lacking nothing. There is no knowledge God can gain, because where could it come from? So, that’s the classic understanding of God – and therefore that God would be surprised by what His laws, matter and forces created means that God was ignorant of the future in a universe He created, in the time and space that He created. It just causes big logical problems, as I see it.

    You said it yourself, “that’s the classic understanding of God.” I agree that this is the classic Abrahamic (i.e., Christianity, Judaism and Islam) version of God.

    It has never been the deistic version of God. For example, with regard to the notion of a personal God, deism is many times sourced with Aristotle and the Unmoved Mover:

    Whatever the truth about the object of thought of the unmoved mover, it seems clear that it does not include the contingent affairs of individual human beings. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Aristotle/The-unmoved-mover (emphasis added)

    The point is that to hold a deistic view, you must completely re-think the concept of “God” and not lapse back into Abrahamic, anthropomorphic versions of God. It can be hard to do this since most of us were drilled into accepting the Christian definition of God by rote as children.

    I completely understand your point regarding deism and intelligent design, however, it is not a scientific theory. It is untestable. Perhaps I have not been clear–it is the ID Movement that draws my ire, not the idea that a deistic creator can be viewed as an “intelligent designer.” In fact, designer (or creator or maker) should imply intelligence, so that part of the term is redundant, at least as I can see.

  33. 33
    Silver Asiatic says:

    CD @32

    You said it yourself, “that’s the classic understanding of God.” I agree that this is the classic Abrahamic (i.e., Christianity, Judaism and Islam) version of God.

    Ok, I learned a lot right there. Yes, you’re right – thanks. I checked your link, and then thought that couldn’t be right, but yes – that’s Aristotle’s view. I did more research. Ok, I was reading Aristotle from an Aquinas perspective, and St. Thomas made a very big change to the ideas of divine knowledge. I was thinking classical theism, not deism – as you pointed out.
    I’m still surprised that there is such a big problem right in the middle of Aristotle’s excellent ideas. But he got caught in a paradox and had to make a stand, even though he’s left with an illogical result.
    He rightly sees that God is the most perfect being possible – perfect in all ways. Therefore, what God thinks about must be only Himself – since he is the most perfect being. So, God cannot think at all about the universe He created, since the universe and all the people in it are imperfect.

    That’s the paradox. The logical problem there is that Aristotle’s God does not know what his creation is doing. In fact, I know, for example, that we’re having this discussion. But Aristotle’s God doesn’t know that – so I know more than God does.
    Plus, the more obvious thing is that since God is perfect, He cannot lack anything. But if God was ignorant of what people or his own universe was doing, then God would be lacking quite a lot of knowledge. Then, could God gain any knowledge at all about the universe? If so, that means God would have potential, and that’s a defect in being (God must be totally actualized with no potential – so fullness of being and not partial being).
    So, there’s a lot like that — and I see now that’s why Christian philosophers “fixed up” Aristotle’s ideas, but tried to keep it all consistent. St. Thomas Aquinas said that since God is perfect and He contemplates Himself, He would have perfect knowledge of His design for the universe – and thus perfect knowledge of everything that happens and what everybody does, etc.

    In any case, this blog is not for trying to argue for theism against deism – but it’s only really against materialist atheism (of the Darwin variety). But it definitely helps to understand your worldview.

    ID Movement that draws my ire, not the idea that a deistic creator can be viewed as an “intelligent designer.”

    Yes, I notice that you have an extreme dislike for some of the leaders or of the Discovery Institute for whatever reasons, but as you say, that’s not ID theory – and I’d even challenge you a bit to say that you’re supporting the ID movement as a believer that an Intelligent Designer does exist.

    In fact, designer (or creator or maker) should imply intelligence, so that part of the term is redundant, at least as I can see.

    That’s a good point – agreed. But the term Intelligent Design I think is necessary for the sake of materialists who claim that we can have “Unintelligent Design” – as absurd as that may be. So, it has to be pointed out to them that if there’s just blind, unintelligent forces, there can’t be any design at all. Everything is just accidental artifacts.

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