Intelligent Design Mathematics

Appreciating Design and Designer – Vern Poythress

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Philip Cunningham draws our attention to this:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReATRww8jVc

Rev. Dr. Vern Poythress (PhD, Harvard; DTh, Stellenbosch) is distinguished professor of New Testament, biblical interpretation, and systematic theology at Westminster Theological Seminary. His books include Redeeming Science, Redeeming Mathematics, and Redeeming Philosophy, or Chance and the Sovereignty of God.

Of related note, he adds:

A Biblical View of Mathematics – Vern Poythress – Doctorate in theology, PhD in Mathematics (Harvard) Excerpt: 15. Implications of Gödel’s proofB. Metaphysical problems of anti-theistic mathematics: unity and plurality

Excerpt: Because of the above difficulties, anti-theistic philosophy of mathematics is condemned to oscillate, much as we have done in our argument, between the poles of a priori knowledge and a posteriori knowledge. Why? It will not acknowledge the true God, wise Creator of both the human mind with its mathematical intuition and the external world with its mathematical properties. In sections 22-23 we shall see how the Biblical view furnishes us with a real solution to the problem of “knowing” that 2 + 2 = 4 and knowing that S is true.

85 Replies to “Appreciating Design and Designer – Vern Poythress

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related note to ‘anti-theistic’ philosophies having no real clue exactly why 2 + 2 = 4, Godel’s incompleteness theorems were, in large measure, born out of the fact that mathematicians could not mathematically prove that 1+1=2. You can pick up some of the details of that fact at 10:00 minute mark of the following video,

    BBC-Dangerous Knowledge – Part 3 of 5
    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xdoj7y

    A humorous example of ‘anti-theistic’ philosophies having no real clue exactly why 2 + 2 = 4 is provided in the following debate between Lawrence Krauss and William Lane Craig. In the debate Lawrence Krauss wears a T-shirt underneath his dress shirt. On that T-Shirt it says that 2 + 2 = 5 for extremely large values of 2.

    2+2=5? (Lawrence Krauss vs William Lane Craig)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOrlIOm6eGM

    Lawrence Krauss Contradicts HImself by Denying Logic (2+2=5?)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=so0TOp1GMQE

    And in the debate Krauss even went on to state that ‘for extremely large values of numbers we have to change the rules”. Which is just plain nonsense. The ‘rules’ of mathematics state that 2+2 always equals 4, and that 2.5+2.5 always equals 5. There is never any need ‘change the rules’ of mathematics in order to make extremely large values of 2 equal 5.

    In fact, the ‘rules’ of math are considered so unbendable, so unbreakable, that if physical observation disagrees with what the mathematics of a particular scientific theory predicts then the ‘rules’ of mathematics certainly do not change to accord with that scientific theory, but instead the entire scientific theory is called into question and a ‘new’ mathematical scientific theory must be formulated in order to take into consideration that disagreement between mathematics and physical observation.

    For instance, Einstein’s entirely new mathematical theory of general relativity was, in large measure, confirmed by the fact that Newton’s mathematical theory of gravity could not ‘mathematically’ account for Mercury’s orbit whereas Einstein’s new mathematical theory could,

    Einstein’s general relativity reveals new quirk of Mercury’s orbit – 2018
    Warped spacetime affects the planet’s motion in several ways
    Excerpt: Before the famous physicist came up with his theory of gravity, known as the general theory of relativity, scientists’ predictions for Mercury’s motions were slightly off: The planet’s orbit disagreed with expectations. When Einstein realized that general relativity accounted for the mismatch, it was the first sign his theory was right
    https://www.sciencenews.org/article/einstein-general-relativity-mercury-orbit

    Einstein (and Wigner) even went on to call the applicability of mathematics to the universe a ‘miracle’, and even chastised ‘professional atheists’ in the process of calling it a miracle.

    On the Rational Order of the World: a Letter to Maurice Solovine – Albert Einstein – March 30, 1952
    Excerpt: “You find it strange that I consider the comprehensibility of the world (to the extent that we are authorized to speak of such a comprehensibility) as a miracle or as an eternal mystery. Well, a priori, one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way .. the kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation, for example, is wholly different. Even if a man proposes the axioms of the theory, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the ‘miracle’ which is constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.
    There lies the weakness of positivists and professional atheists who are elated because they feel that they have not only successfully rid the world of gods but “bared the miracles.”
    -Albert Einstein
    http://inters.org/Einstein-Letter-Solovine

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: ,, The great mathematician fully, almost ruthlessly, exploits the domain of permissible reasoning and skirts the impermissible. That his recklessness does not lead him into a morass of contradictions is a miracle in itself: certainly it is hard to believe that our reasoning power was brought, by Darwin’s process of natural selection, to the perfection which it seems to possess.,,,
    It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here, quite comparable in its striking nature to the miracle that the human mind can string a thousand arguments together without getting itself into contradictions, or to the two miracles of the existence of laws of nature and of the human mind’s capacity to divine them.,,,
    The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.
    https://www.maths.ed.ac.uk/~v1ranick/papers/wigner.pdf

    And the last time I checked, miracles are considered to be the sole province of God:

    definition – Miracle
    – a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.
    “the miracle of rising from the grave”

    And to state the obvious, if your ‘anti-theistic’ worldview can’t make sense of the ‘simple’ fact that 2+2=4, and why mathematics should be applicable to the universe in the first place, then your ‘anti-theistic’ worldview can’t possibly be true.

    Verse and quote:

    John 1:1
    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”

    ‘the Word’ in John1:1 is translated from ‘Logos’ in Greek. Logos is also the root word from which we derive our modern word logic?
    http://etymonline.com/?term=logic

    What is the Logos?
    Logos is a Greek word literally translated as “word, speech, or utterance.” However, in Greek philosophy, Logos refers to divine reason or the power that puts sense into the world making order instead of chaos.,,,
    In the Gospel of John, John writes “In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). John appealed to his readers by saying in essence, “You’ve been thinking, talking, and writing about the Word (divine reason) for centuries and now I will tell you who He is.”
    https://www.compellingtruth.org/what-is-the-Logos.html

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, to make matters much worse for ‘anti-theistic’ philosophies, Gödel’s incompleteness theorem has now been extended into quantum physics.

    In the following article entitled ‘Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Gödel and Turing enter quantum physics’, which studied the derivation of macroscopic properties from a complete microscopic description, the researchers remark that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,, The researchers further commented that their findings challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”

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

    This finding that you can’t mathematically derive macroscopic properties from a complete microscopic description is utterly devastating to the reductive materialistic theory of Darwinian evolution, and also to the reductive materialistic theory of inflationary cosmology.

    Simply put, the reductive materialistic theories of Darwinian evolution and Inflationary cosmology will never have a ‘complete’ mathematical, and therefore scientific, theory that explains the macroscopic properties of biology and cosmology.

    On the problem of biological form – Marta Linde-Medina (2020)
    Excerpt: Embryonic development, which inspired the first theories of biological form, was eventually excluded from the conceptual framework of the Modern Synthesis, (neo-Darwinism) as irrelevant.,,,
    At present, the problem of biological form remains unsolved.
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12064-020-00317-3

    Top Ten Questions and Objections to ‘Introduction to Evolutionary Informatics’ – Robert J. Marks II – June 12, 2017
    Excerpt: “There exists no model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution. Hard sciences are built on foundations of mathematics or definitive simulations. Examples include electromagnetics, Newtonian mechanics, geophysics, relativity, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, optics, and many areas in biology. Those hoping to establish Darwinian evolution as a hard science with a model have either failed or inadvertently cheated. These models contain guidance mechanisms to land the airplane squarely on the target runway despite stochastic wind gusts. Not only can the guiding assistance be specifically identified in each proposed evolution model, its contribution to the success can be measured, in bits, as active information.,,,”,,, “there exists no model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution. According to our current understanding, there never will be.,,,”
    https://evolutionnews.org/2017/06/top-ten-questions-and-objections-to-introduction-to-evolutionary-informatics/
    Robert Jackson Marks II is an American electrical engineer. His contributions include the Zhao-Atlas-Marks (ZAM) time-frequency distribution in the field of signal processing,[1] the Cheung–Marks theorem[2] in Shannon sampling theory and the Papoulis-Marks-Cheung (PMC) approach in multidimensional sampling.[3] He was instrumental in the defining of the field of computational intelligence and co-edited the first book using computational intelligence in the title.[4][5]
    – per wikipedia

    Pop Goes The Universe – Scientific American – January 2017 – Anna Ijjas, Paul J. Steinhardt and Abraham Loeb
    Excerpt: “If anything, the Planck data disfavored the simplest inflation models and exacerbated long-standing foundational problems with the theory, providing new reasons to consider competing ideas about the origin and evolution of the universe… (i)n the years since, more precise data gathered by the Planck satellite and other instruments have made the case only stronger……The Planck satellite results—a combination of an unexpectedly small (few percent) deviation from perfect scale invariance in the pattern of hot and colds spots in the CMB and the failure to detect cosmic gravitational waves—are stunning. For the first time in more than 30 years, the simplest inflationary models, including those described in standard textbooks, are strongly disfavored by observations.”
    “Two improbable criteria have to be satisfied for inflation to start. First, shortly after the big bang, there has to be a patch of space where the quantum fluctuations of spacetime have died down and the space is well described by Einstein’s classical equations of general relativity; second, the patch of space must be flat enough and have a smooth enough distribution of energy that the inflation energy can grow to dominate all other forms of energy. Several theoretical estimates of the probability of finding a patch with these characteristics just after the big bang suggest that it is more difficult than finding a snowy mountain equipped with a ski lift and well-maintained ski slopes in the middle of a desert.”
    “More important, if it were easy to find a patch emerging from the big bang that is flat and smooth enough to start inflation, then inflation would not be needed in the first place. Recall that the entire motivation for introducing it was to explain how the visible universe came to have these properties; if starting inflation requires those same properties, with the only difference being that a smaller patch of space is needed, that is hardly progress.”
    “…inflation continues eternally, generating an infinite number of patches where inflation has ended, each creating a universe unto itself…(t)he worrisome implication is that the cosmological properties of each patch differ because of the inherent randomizing effect of quantum fluctuations…The result is what cosmologists call the multiverse. Because every patch can have any physically conceivable properties, the multiverse does not explain why our universe has the very special conditions that we observe—they are purely accidental features of our particular patch.”
    “We would like to suggest “multimess” as a more apt term to describe the unresolved outcome of eternal inflation, whether it consists of an infinite multitude of patches with randomly distributed properties or a quantum mess. From our perspective, it makes no difference which description is correct. Either way, the multimess does not predict the properties of our observable universe to be the likely outcome. A good scientific theory is supposed to explain why what we observe happens instead of something else. The multimess fails this fundamental test.”
    https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~loeb/sciam3.pdf

    In the following video Stephen Meyer speaks on multiverse models and found the Theistic model to be ‘favored’ over the anti-theistic multiverse, and/or ‘multimess’, models

    Stephen Meyer Discusses the Big Bang, Einstein, Hawking, & More – Science Uprising Expert Interviews
    https://youtu.be/m_AeA4fMHhI?t=1252

  3. 3
    relatd says:

    “multimess”? Seriously? Who writes this stuff? Teenagers? Instead of behaving like scientists they sound like kids. A “We don’t know” would have been more scholarly. That article resorts to irrational thinking as opposed to coming up with other ideas that can be compared to the observed data. I picture a room full of teenagers with degrees just throwing up their hands in surrender to a profound lack of imagination.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Rel: Paul Steinhardt, Albert Einstein Professor in Science and Director of the Center for Theoretical Science at Princeton University, is hardly a wise-cracking teenager and he is in fact one of the originators of the inflation model. Moreover, his critique of the inflation model, in academic circles, and since he is one of the originators of the theory, is taken fairly seriously.

    Physicist Slams Cosmic Theory He Helped Conceive
    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/physicist-slams-cosmic-theory-he-helped-conceive/

    You also said something about a ‘profound lack of imagination’ on Steinhardt and companies part. Well I would beg to differ and say that the inflation model itself suffers from an over-abundance of imagination that is untethered to any sort of empirical reality.

    Why Most Atheists (must) Believe in Pink Unicorns – May 2014
    Excerpt: Given an infinite amount of time, anything that is logically possible(11) will eventually happen. So, given an infinite number of universes being created in (presumably) an infinite amount of time, you are not only guaranteed to get your universe but every other possible universe. This means that every conceivable universe exists, from ones that consist of nothing but a giant black hole, to ones that are just like ours and where someone just like you is reading a blog post just like this, except it’s titled: “Why most atheists believe in blue unicorns.”
    By now I’m sure you know where I’m going with this, but I’ll say it anyway. Since we know that horses are possible, and that pink animals are possible, and that horned animals are possible, then there is no logical reason why pink unicorns are not possible entities. Ergo, if infinite universes exist, then pink unicorns must necessarily exist. For an atheist to appeal to multiverse theory to deny the need of a designer infers that he believes in that theory more than a theistically suggestive single universe. And to believe in the multiverse means that one is saddled with everything that goes with it, like pink unicorns. In fact, they not only believe in pink unicorns, but that someone just like them is riding on one at this very moment, and who believes that elephants, giraffes, and zebra are merely childish fairytales.
    Postscript
    While it may be amusing to imagine atheists riding pink unicorns, it should be noted that the belief in them does not logically invalidate atheism. There theoretically could be multiple universes and there theoretically could be pink unicorns. However, there is a more substantial problem for the atheist if he wants to believe in them and he wants to remain an atheist. Since, as I said, anything can happen in the realm of infinities, one of those possibilities is the production of a being of vast intelligence and power. Such a being would be as a god to those like us, and could perhaps breach the boundaries of the multiverse to, in fact, be a “god” to this universe. This being might even have the means to create its own universe and embody the very description of the God of Christianity (or any other religion that the atheist otherwise rejects). It seems the atheist, in affirming the multiverse in order to avoid the problem of fine-tuning, finds himself on the horns of a dilemma. The further irony is that somewhere, in the great wide world of infinities, the atheist’s doppelganger is going to war against an army of theists riding on the horns of a great pink beast known to his tribesman as “The Saddlehorn Dilemma.”
    https://pspruett.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/why-most-atheists-believe-in-pink-unicorns/

    Of related note:

    How the Multiverse Points to God: A Conversation with Stephen Meyer (May 2022)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaJZMc-e1aI

  5. 5
    relatd says:

    Einstein famously said: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Rel. well if you prefer imagination over reality so be it. Just don’t claim you are doing empirical science when you simply imagine something to be true with no empirical evidence that it is indeed true…

    Even Einstein’s infamous ‘thought experiments’ with hypothetical observers were not considered empirical science until he finally had empirical evidence that his ‘thought experiments’ actually matched physical reality.

    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

  7. 7
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/1

    And to state the obvious, if your ‘anti-theistic’ worldview can’t make sense of the ‘simple’ fact that 2+2=4, and why mathematics should be applicable to the universe in the first place, then your ‘anti-theistic’ worldview can’t possibly be true.

    How does your theistic “worldview” make sense of the simple fact that 2+2=4? I don’t remember God handing down lessons in basic arithmetic in the Bible.

  8. 8
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/6

    Even Einstein’s ‘thought experiments’ were not considered empirical science until he had empirical evidence that his ‘thought experiments’ actually matched physical reality.

    Doesn’t that rather suggest that imagination comes first and empirical testing comes after, that without imagination you have no ideas to test but without a method of testing you have no way of knowing if your ideas are true? In other words, both imagination and empiricism are necessary to do science?

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    Sev, did you not read the paper in the OP?

    A Biblical View of Mathematics – Vern Poythress – Doctorate in theology, PhD in Mathematics (Harvard)
    Excerpt: 15. Implications of Gödel’s proof
    B. Metaphysical problems of anti-theistic mathematics: unity and plurality
    Excerpt: Because of the above difficulties, anti-theistic philosophy of mathematics is condemned to oscillate, much as we have done in our argument, between the poles of a priori knowledge and a posteriori knowledge. Why? It will not acknowledge the true God, wise Creator of both the human mind with its mathematical intuition and the external world with its mathematical properties. In sections 22-23 we shall see how the Biblical view furnishes us with a real solution to the problem of “knowing” that 2 + 2 = 4 and knowing that S is true.,,,

    B. A Christian epistemology of mathematics, founded in the knowledge of God

    22. The image of God is a foundation for mathematical a priori

    How do we come to know and discuss mathematics (b), that is, the thoughts and knowledge of human mathematicians? Here, for the first time, we must focus on the Christian view of man. How does man fit into the picture of mathematics? We can have no other starting point than the “definition” of man provided by Scripture: man is the image of God (Gen.1:26-30; cf. Gen. 2:7; I Cor. 11:7). As such, his talk is to imitate receptively, on a finite level, the works (naming, Gen. 2:19; 1:4; governing, Gen. 1:28; Ps. 22:28; improving, Gen. 2:15; 1:31), and rest (Gen. 2:2; Ex. 20:11) of God. Man’s mind is created with the potential, then, of understanding God (though not exhaustively). He has the capability of,understanding the aggregative, quantitative, spatial, and kinematic aspects of God’s rule, since he himself is a ruler like God. Thus he can generalize with confidence from 2 + 2 = 4, etc., to 2,123,955 + 644,101 = 2,768,056.

    Here we have the first step in a Christian answer to the epistemological problem of a priori/a posteriori (§§12-15). The a priori capability of man’s created nature really corresponds to the a posteriori of what is “out there,” because man is in the image of the One who ordained what is “out there.” At the same time, man’s mathematical reasoning is not always right, his intuitive expectations are not always fulfilled (cf. examples in §12), because man is the image of God the infinite One. Since God is incomprehensible, His mathematics sometimes baffles us, and it is to be expected that it should. Gödel’s proof (§15) perhaps articulates one specific instance of a principial limitation on man’s knowledge in comparison to God’s.

    23. Revelation is a foundation for mathematical a posteriori

    Next, we should ask how a man comes to know mathematical truths that he hasn’t known before. This, one might say, is the a posteriori side of mathematics. The Bible answers that God reveals to men whatever they know: “He who teaches men knowledge, the Lord, knows the thoughts
    of man, that they are but a breath. Blessed is the man whom thou dost chasten, 0 Lord, and whom thou dost teach out of thy law” (Ps. 94:l0b-12). “But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that[makes him understand. It is not the old that are wise, nor the aged that understand what is right” (Job 32:8-9; cf. Prov. 8). The Lord’s instruction sometimes comes, of course, by way of “natural” revelation (Ps.19; Isa. 40:26; 51:6; Prov. 30:24-28). Thus we can do justice to the real novelty that is sometimes found in a new mathematical theorem.

    Note that, in the Christian framework, the a priori of man’s nature and the a posteriori of God’s universe and His revelation complement rather than compete with one another.
    http://frame-poythress.org/a-b.....thematics/

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    Sev, I don’t disagree that both imagination and empiricism are necessary to do science. Yet, I disagree very strongly that imagination should be untethered from empirical testing as it is with these multiverse theories. (and, I might add, as it is untethered from empirical testing with Darwinian ‘just-so story’ telling)

    Physics on Edge – George Ellis – August 2017
    Excerpt: Theoretical physics and cosmology find themselves in a strange place. Scientific theories have since the seventeenth century been held tight by an experimental leash. In the last twenty years or so, both string theory and theories of the multiverse have slipped the leash. Their owners argue that this is no time to bring these subjects to heel.
    It is this that is strange.,,,
    Carlo Rovelli has responded to Dawid:
    “… The very existence of reliable theories is what makes science valuable to society… Dawid’s merit is to have emphasized and analyzed some of the non-empirical argument that scientists use in the “preliminary appraisal” of theories. His weakness is to have obfuscated the crucial distinction between this and validation: the process where a theory becomes reliable, gets accepted by the entire scientific community, and potentially useful to society. The problem with Dawid is that he fails to say that, for this, only empirical evidence is convincing.36”
    Hear, hear.
    http://inference-review.com/ar.....cs-on-edge
    – George Ellis is Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Complex Systems in the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics at the University of Cape Town in South Africa.

    Sociobiology: The Art of Story Telling – Stephen Jay Gould – 1978 – New Scientist
    Excerpt: Rudyard Kipling asked how the leopard got its spots, the rhino its wrinkled skin. He called his answers “Just So stories”. When evolutionists study individual adaptations, when they try to explain form and behaviour by reconstructing history and assessing current utility, they also tell just so stories – and the agent is natural selection.
    Virtuosity in invention replaces testability as the criterion for acceptance.
    https://books.google.com/books?id=tRj7EyRFVqYC&pg=PA530

    “… another common misuse of evolutionary ideas: namely, the idea that some trait must have evolved merely because we can imagine a scenario under which possession of that trait would have been advantageous to fitness… Such forays into evolutionary explanation amount ultimately to storytelling… it is not enough to construct a story about how the trait might have evolved in response to a given selection pressure; rather, one must provide some sort of evidence that it really did so evolve. This is a very tall order.…”
    — Austin L. Hughes, The Folly of Scientism – The New Atlantis, Fall 2012

  11. 11
    relatd says:

    Ba77 at 6,

    I expect more from you than “Rel. well if you prefer imagination over reality so be it.”

    That was not my point. When data comes in that does not fit known models, then what? No need to discard those models. They may still contain some useful ideas. But more ideas are needed to explain any new data that does not fit. So, I would use my imagination in that case. I would talk it over with others who are capable of providing relevant input. In fact, I would get one or more people to brainstorm with. We would all throw out ideas. The moment we hit on something that seems plausible, we extrapolate our new idea onto the data. It may fit only part of the data but it’s a start. A part of the puzzle has just been filled in and then we go on to the rest. That’s what I’m talking about.

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    Relatd, you do realize that the inflation model is an atheistic model that is based on reductive materialism do you not? And that It was postulated to try to ‘explain away’ the fine-tuning of the “flatness” of space and the near perfect uniformity of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR)? In other words, the theory is a futile attempt to get around the implication of Intelligent Design!

    Critics Respond to Stephen Meyer’s New Book (Without Mentioning Him by Name)
    Brian Miller – October 16, 2021
    Excerpt: Siegel’s Argument
    Siegel attempts to find a loophole for the conclusion of a cosmic beginning by appealing to the theory known as eternal chaotic inflation. Inflationary theory was initially developed to explain the fine-tuning implied by the “flatness” of space and the near perfect uniformity of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR). The flatness represents the lack in curvature of space that the theory of general relativity would normally predict. According to the standard Big Bang model, the lack of curvature required the mass density of the early universe to have been fine-tuned to greater than 1 part in 1060 (a 1 with 60 zeros behind it).
    Inflationary theory attempts to explain the flatness of space and the uniformity of the CMBR without the need for such extreme fine-tuning.,,,
    https://evolutionnews.org/2021/10/critics-respond-to-stephen-meyers-new-book-without-mentioning-him-by-name/

    Nov. 2021 – The interesting thing about theoretical physicists trying to ‘explain away’ the fine-tuning implied by the “flatness” of space and the near perfect uniformity of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR) with their multiverse-inflationary model is that the Bible, (long before the “flatness” of space and the near perfect uniformity of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR) were even discovered), is on record at to ‘predicting’ the “flatness” of space and the near perfect uniformity of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR).,,, etc.. etc..
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/at-cnn-the-problem-with-the-big-bang-theory/#comment-739874

    Verses:

    Job 38:4-5
    “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
    Tell me, if you understand.
    Who marked off its dimensions?
    Surely you know!
    Who stretched a measuring line across it?

    Proverbs 8:26-27
    While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, or the primeval dust of the world. When He prepared the heavens, I was there, when He drew a circle on the face of the deep,

    Job 26:10
    He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness.

  13. 13
    relatd says:

    Ba77 at 12,

    I must say that this “flatness” idea is not understood by me. Hubble deep space images show galaxies going way, way back, with some just faintly visible. The universe is set in three dimensions. It is not flat. The CMBR is a big deal. But how did the expansion unfold right after the Big Bang? I do picture a typical explosion. If you could visualize a stick of dynamite exploding in the air, it would detonate as a ball-shaped area of fire. I picture the expanding universe as a ball, but things don’t just happen on the surface of the ball but inside it as well. And after it began to cool, the various elements began to form on their own? Free hydrogen to lead?

  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    Relatd, flatness is a topological property of the cosmos not something like the earth is flat. KF

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    Relatd, “It (the universe) is not flat.”

    Hmm,,, OH well,

    How do we know the universe is flat? Discovering the topology of the universe – by Fraser Cain – June 7, 2017
    Excerpt: We say that the universe is flat, and this means that parallel lines will always remain parallel. 90-degree turns behave as true 90-degree turns, and everything makes sense.,,,
    Since the universe is flat now, it must have been flat in the past, when the universe was an incredibly dense singularity. And for it to maintain this level of flatness over 13.8 billion years of expansion, in kind of amazing.
    In fact, astronomers estimate that the universe must have been flat to 1 part within 1×10^57 parts.
    Which seems like an insane coincidence.
    https://phys.org/news/2017-06-universe-flat-topology.html

    Also of note, your picturing/imagining of the Big Bang as an explosion is incorrect as well,

    “An explosion you think of as kind of a messy event. And this is the point about entropy. The explosion in which our universe began was not a messy event. And if you talk about how messy it could have been, this is what the Penrose calculation is all about essentially. It looks at the observed statistical entropy in our universe. The entropy per baryon. And he calculates that out and he arrives at a certain figure. And then he calculates using the Bekenstein-Hawking formula for Black-Hole entropy what the,,, (what sort of entropy could have been associated with,,, the singularity that would have constituted the beginning of the universe). So you’ve got the numerator, the observed entropy, and the denominator, how big it (the entropy) could have been. And that fraction turns out to be,, 1 over 10 to the 10 to the 123rd power. Let me just emphasize how big that denominator is so you can gain a real appreciation for how small that probability is. So there are 10^80th baryons in the universe. Protons and neutrons. No suppose we put a zero on every one of those. OK, how many zeros is that? That is 10^80th zeros. This number has 10^123rd zeros. OK, so you would need a hundred million, trillion, trillion, trillion, universes our size, with zero on every proton and neutron in all of those universes just to write out this number. That is how fine tuned the initial entropy of our universe is. And if there were a pre-Big Bang state and you had some bounces, then that fine tuning (for entropy) gets even finer as you go backwards if you can even imagine such a thing. ”
    Dr Bruce Gordon – Contemporary Physics and God Part 2 – video – 1:50 minute mark – video
    https://youtu.be/ff_sNyGNSko?t=110

    WHY THE BIG BANG IS NOT AN EXPLOSION – By Sten Odenwald – May 14, 1997
    Excerpt: the event that created the universe and everything in it was a very different kind of phenomenon than most people — or, at least, most nonphysicists — imagine. Even the name “Big Bang” originally was a putdown cooked up by a scientist who didn’t like the concept when it was first put forth. He favored the idea that the universe had always existed in a much more dignified and fundamentally unchanging, steady state. But the name stuck, and with it has come the completely wrong impression that the event was like an explosion. That image leads many of us to imagine that the universe is expanding because the objects in it are being flung apart like fragments of a detonated bomb. That isn’t true.,,,
    So, how should we think about the Big Bang? Our “fireworks” image of the phenomenon depends on five basic requirements: 1) A preexisting sky or space into which the fragments from the explosion are injected; 2) A preexisting time we can use to mark when the explosion happened; 3) Individual projectiles moving through space from a common center; 4) A definite moment when the explosion occurred; and 5) Something that started the Big Bang. All of these requirements in our visualization of the Big Bang are false or unnecessary, according to GR. Preexisting Space? There was no preexisting space. The mathematics of GR state unambiguously that three-dimensional space was created at the Big Bang itself, at “Time Zero,” along with everything else. At that beginning, there were no separations between particles anywhere. This is another way of saying there was no three-dimensional space,,,
    space is not a passive stage across which objects dance but a full-fledged member of the cast. GR treats galaxies and “space-time” together, giving a very different picture of what happens than if they were treated separately, as most of us tend to do.,,,
    Perhaps the strangest truth to emerge from general relativity is the expansion of space. Like spots glued to the surface of a swelling balloon at eternally fixed latitude and longitude points, the galaxies remain where they are while space dilates between them as time passes.,,,
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/1997/05/14/why-the-big-bang-is-not-an-explosion/7164578f-5b06-407b-b69a-e97377145ac5/

    “The Big Bang represents an immensely powerful, yet carefully planned and controlled release of matter, energy, space and time. All this is accomplished within the strict confines of very carefully fine-tuned physical constants and laws. The power and care this explosion reveals exceeds human mental capacity by multiple orders of magnitude.”
    Prof. Henry F. Schaefer – closing statement of the following video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....age#t=360s

  16. 16
    relatd says:

    Ba77 at 15,

    So much for the Bang in Big Bang.

    “The Big Bang represents an immensely powerful, yet carefully planned and controlled release of matter, energy, space and time. All this is accomplished within the strict confines of very carefully fine-tuned physical constants and laws. The power and care this explosion reveals exceeds human mental capacity by multiple orders of magnitude.”

    This certainly does not point to chaos but a controlled release of matter and energy. However, the public, including me, has been picturing a classic explosion and TV programs continue to portray the Big Bang as an explosion, complete with blast sound effects.

    See how it “violently exploded” around the one minute point.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdPzOWlLrbE

  17. 17
    chuckdarwin says:

    In the following video Stephen Meyer speaks on multiverse models and found the Theistic model to be ‘favored’ over the anti-theistic multiverse, and/or ‘multimess’, models.

    Meyer talks about this “Theistic model” incessantly. So, what exactly is it and where can one find a definitive description of it?

  18. 18
    bornagain77 says:

    CD: “Meyer talks about this “Theistic model” incessantly. So, what exactly is it and where can one find a definitive description of it?”

    You might want to look at pages 219-221 of Stephen Meyer’s book, “Return of the God Hypothesis”, to see a description of the four worldviews that are competing against one another to answer the “prime reality’ question.

    Return of the God Hypothesis: Three Scientific Discoveries That Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe
    Excerpt: Meyer argues that theism—with its affirmation of a transcendent, intelligent and active creator—best explains the evidence we have concerning biological and cosmological origins. Previously Meyer refrained from attempting to answer questions about “who” might have designed life. Now he provides an evidence-based answer to perhaps the ultimate mystery of the universe. In so doing, he reveals a stunning conclusion: the data support not just the existence of an intelligent designer of some kind—but the existence of a personal God.
    https://www.amazon.com/Return-God-Hypothesis-Compelling-Scientific/dp/0062071505

  19. 19
    chuckdarwin says:

    BA77/18
    There is no reason for Meyer to prefer theism over deism other than personal preference. His entrenchment in Christianity drives his “stunning conclusion.”
    But you haven’t addressed my questions…….

  20. 20
    bornagain77 says:

    CD, you accused me of not addressing your question. But I did address your question and even gave you the page numbers in Meyer’s book where he defines the four worldviews, and/or models, seeking to explain the ‘prime reality’ question. Moreover, you yourself revealed that you have some knowledge of what the “Theistic model” actually entails when you, (falsely I might add), claimed that Meyer had no reason to prefer theism over deism. You simply have no way of making that claim unless you have or, at least, think you have enough knowledge of what the Theistic model actually entails so as to conclude that your deistic model is a better fit to the scientific evidence. In short, you have, apparently unwittingly, revealed yourself to be disingenuous and insincere.

    Moreover, I seem to remember someone, Querius I believe it was, asking you some very penetrating questions about your deistic model that revealed some of the gross inadequacies of your preferred model, and you not addressing those questions put to you. And him calling you out on your evasiveness in answering those questions. Thus again, you reveal yourself as being intellectually insincere.

    An intellectual insincerity which is not surprising for someone who takes his blogging handle after that scientific charlatan named Charles Darwin. A scientific charlatan who argued for his theory, not by any compelling empirical, and/or mathematical, evidence mind you, but by inept, ‘schoolboy’, Theological argumentation in which he pronounced on what God would and would not do. (Much like CD is trying to do right now when he says we should prefer his deistic model over Theism)

    Charles Darwin, Theologian: Major New Article on Darwin’s Use of Theology in the Origin of Species – May 2011
    Excerpt: The Origin supplies abundant evidence of theology in action; as Dilley observes:
    I have argued that, in the first edition of the Origin, Darwin drew upon at least the following positiva theological claims in his case for descent with modification (and against special creation):?1. Human beings are not justified in believing that God creates in ways analogous to the intellectual powers of the human mind.
    2. A God who is free to create as He wishes would create new biological limbs de novo rather than from a common pattern.
    3. A respectable deity would create biological structures in accord with a human conception of the ‘simplest mode’ to accomplish the functions of these structures.
    4. God would only create the minimum structure required for a given part’s function.
    5. God does not provide false empirical information about the origins of organisms.
    6. God impressed the laws of nature on matter.
    7. God directly created the first ‘primordial’ life.
    8. God did not perform miracles within organic history subsequent to the creation of the first life.
    9. A ‘distant’ God is not morally culpable for natural pain and suffering.
    10. The God of special creation, who allegedly performed miracles in organic history, is not plausible given the presence of natural pain and suffering.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2011/05/charles_darwin_theologian_majo/

    Charles Darwin’s use of theology in the Origin of Species – STEPHEN DILLEY
    Abstract
    This essay examines Darwin’s positiva (or positive) use of theology in the first edition of the Origin of Species in three steps. First, the essay analyses the Origin’s theological language about God’s accessibility, honesty, methods of creating, relationship to natural laws and lack of responsibility for natural suffering; the essay contends that Darwin utilized positiva theology in order to help justify (and inform) descent with modification and to attack special creation. Second, the essay offers critical analysis of this theology, drawing in part on Darwin’s mature ruminations to suggest that, from an epistemic point of view, the Origin’s positiva theology manifests several internal tensions. Finally, the essay reflects on the relative epistemic importance of positiva theology in the Origin’s overall case for evolution. The essay concludes that this theology served as a handmaiden and accomplice to Darwin’s science.
    http://journals.cambridge.org/.....741100032X

    An example of Darwin pronouncing on what God would or would not do is where he asked, in response to ‘Paley’s eye argument’, “Have we any right to assume that the Creator works by intellectual powers like those of man?’

    Charles Darwin’s use of theology in the Origin of Species – Stephen Dilley – 2011
    Excerpt page 46: “Unsurprisingly, Darwin’s response to Paley’s eye argument became a ‘centrepiece ’ of a chapter dedicated to addressing the strongest objections to evolutionary theory.77 Darwin noted that it seemed prima facie ‘absurd in the highest possible degree’ that an organ as intricate as the eye ‘could have been formed by natural selection’.78 Instead, he wrote,
    “It is scarcely possible to avoid comparing the eye to a telescope. We know that this instrument has been perfected by the long-continued efforts of the highest human intellects; and we naturally infer that the eye has been formed by a somewhat analogous process.”79
    Darwin offered two questions as an immediate reply, writing in the very next sentences, ‘But may not this inference be presumptuous? Have we any right to assume that the Creator works by intellectual powers like those of man?’80
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/227159863_Charles_Darwin%27s_use_of_theology_in_the_Origin_of_Species

    Please note that Darwin is not arguing that the eye is not designed, or providing any evidence that the eye came about ‘naturally, but Darwin is instead arguing a purely theological argumentation. Again, Darwin was a scientific charlatan, (and an inept theologian I might add)!

  21. 21
    chuckdarwin says:

    BA77/20
    Again, you haven’t addressed my question and Meyer’s three-page discussion of “competing worldviews” as your point of reference is sophomoric and superficial. Meyer’s discussion in no way approaches a fleshed out scientific model. Moreover, he data-fits to confirm his theistic bias. His “explanation” as to why deism cannot explain the origins of life, but theism can, is complete rubbish. His explanation that deism is inadequate to deal with “later” infusions of information and thus periodic tinkering is necessary, again, is motivated reasoning at its worst. Any “god” capable of creating a universe is clearly powerful and clever enough to front-load his/her/its creation to account for every contingencyab initio. In fact, such a God would be infinitely more powerful and creative than a theistic God. I believe I made all these points to Querius months back.

    And again, instead of describing the “theistic model” Meyer alludes to, you deflect by hurling insults at me and Darwin because of my blog name. That is the type of insult you’d expect from a gaggle of junior high school girls, not someone that fancies himself as some type of erudite polymath………

  22. 22
    bornagain77 says:

    CD asks for the Theistic model, pretending to have no knowledge of it. And yet he apparently knows enough about the Theistic model to definitively say that his deistic model is to be favored over it.

    This is rhetorical trollish behavior.

    I have much better things to do today than chase a Darwinian troll’s tail around in a circle.

  23. 23
    chuckdarwin says:

    BA77
    Since, I assume we can agree that I am a member of Hominidae, I don’t have a tail to chase………:-)

  24. 24
    jerry says:

    we can agree that I am a member of Hominidae

    Are you sure?

    You are certainly a troll. Are they hominidae?

    I don’t have a tail to chase

    Yes you do

    Trolls have tails.

    https://media-01.imu.nl/wp-content/uploads?url=jennyluco.com/2018/01/troll-bridge-kidlit-illustration-929×838.png?v=1516648240682

  25. 25
    zweston says:

    Chucky, do you ever deal with cognitive dissonance or have episodes of existential crisis?

    What confidence do you have that Jesus isn’t the son of God?

    What will you tell God when you meet him face to face? What thoughts allow you to sleep at night while you deny the sovereign Lord of Glory?

  26. 26
    bornagain77 says:

    CD claims that

    “His (Meyer’s) explanation that deism is inadequate to deal with “later” infusions of information and thus periodic tinkering is necessary, again, is motivated reasoning at its worst. Any “god” capable of creating a universe is clearly powerful and clever enough to front-load his/her/its creation to account for every contingency ab initio.”

    Yet far from ‘motivated reasoning at its worse’, Meyer lists several scientific reasons why the Deist’s front loaded scenario is an inadequate scientific explanation. And why Theism is to be preferred over Deism as an adequate scientific explanation.

    In the following review of Meyer’s book, ‘Return of the God Hypothesis’, several scientific reasons are given as to why the Deist’s front loaded scenario is an inadequate scientific explanation.

    Book Review – Return of the God Hypothesis by Stephen Meyer
    Excerpt: Indeed, given the facts of molecular biology, the axioms of information theory, the laws of thermodynamics, the high-energy state of the early universe, the reality of unpredictable quantum fluctuations, and what we know about the time that elapsed between the origin of the universe and the first life on earth, explanations of the origin of life that deny the need for new information after the beginning of the universe clearly lack scientific plausibility.
    And since deism denies that God could have or would have acted to add any such necessary information after an original act of creation, deistic and other truly front-loaded design hypotheses cannot account for the origin of the first life. Since, on the other hand, theism does posit an intelligent agent who acts in a creative way (in addition to sustaining the laws of nature) after the beginning of the universe, theism provides a better explanation for the origin of the information necessary to produce the first cell as well as subsequent innovations in the history of life.
    Thus, of these two worldview hypotheses, theism provides a better overall explanation than deism of the three key facts about biological and cosmological origins under examination: (1) the material universe had a beginning; (2) the material universe has been finely tuned for life from the beginning; and (3) large discontinuous increases in functionally specified information have entered the biosphere since the beginning. Deism can explain the first two of those facts; theism can explain all three.,,,
    https://returnofthegodhypothesis.com/book/preview/

    As to Quantum Mechanics, (and as I pointed out to CD previously, and as he characteristically ignored), the Kochen-Specker theorem, (as well as the falsification of ‘realism’ by Leggett’s inequality), undermines his ‘front-loading’ scenario in the most fundamental way possible in that “it would not even be possible to place the information into the universe’s past in an ad hoc way”,
    – November 2021
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/christian-darwinists-must-now-backtrack-re-adam-and-eve/#comment-741479

    The free will theorem of John H. Conway and Simon B. Kochen,,,
    Excerpt: Since the free will theorem applies to any arbitrary physical theory consistent with the axioms, it would not even be possible to place the information into the universe’s past in an ad hoc way. The argument proceeds from the Kochen-Specker theorem, which shows that the result of any individual measurement of spin was not fixed (pre-determined) independently of the choice of measurements.
    http://www.informationphilosop.....eorem.html

    In fact, as far as Quantum Mechanics is concerned, “the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”

    “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists who think the world sprang into existence on October 23, 4004 BC at 9AM (presumably Babylonian time), with the fossils already in the ground, light from distant stars heading toward us, etc. But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”’
    – Scott Aaronson – MIT – ‘Lecture 11: Decoherence and Hidden Variables

    (also see falsification of ‘realism’ via the violation of Leggett’s inequality by Zeilinger and company)

    As should be needless to say, if, as quantum mechanics holds, “the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”, then that obviously presents a fairly substantial difficulty for CD’s deistic belief that all the information necessary for life was ‘front-loaded’ into the universe at its initial creation of the universe approx. 13.7 billion years ago.

    Besides quantum mechanics, thermodynamics also presents a fairly substantial difficulty for CD’s ‘front-loading’ belief.

    As to thermodynamics in particular. The second law is, by far, the most finely tuned of the initial conditions of the universe.

    As was noted in post 15:

    “An explosion you think of as kind of a messy event. And this is the point about entropy. The explosion in which our universe began was not a messy event. And if you talk about how messy it could have been, this is what the Penrose calculation is all about essentially. It looks at the observed statistical entropy in our universe. The entropy per baryon. And he calculates that out and he arrives at a certain figure. And then he calculates using the Bekenstein-Hawking formula for Black-Hole entropy what the,,, (what sort of entropy could have been associated with,,, the singularity that would have constituted the beginning of the universe). So you’ve got the numerator, the observed entropy, and the denominator, how big it (the entropy) could have been. And that fraction turns out to be,, 1 over 10 to the 10 to the 123rd power. Let me just emphasize how big that denominator is so you can gain a real appreciation for how small that probability is. So there are 10^80th baryons in the universe. Protons and neutrons. No suppose we put a zero on every one of those. OK, how many zeros is that? That is 10^80th zeros. This number has 10^123rd zeros. OK, so you would need a hundred million, trillion, trillion, trillion, universes our size, with zero on every proton and neutron in all of those universes just to write out this number. That is how fine tuned the initial entropy of our universe is. And if there were a pre-Big Bang state and you had some bounces, then that fine tuning (for entropy) gets even finer as you go backwards if you can even imagine such a thing. ”
    Dr Bruce Gordon – Contemporary Physics and God Part 2 – video – 1:50 minute mark – video
    https://youtu.be/ff_sNyGNSko?t=110

    Unsurprisingly, the second law of thermodynamics is also considered one of the, if not THE, most fundamental law of physics,

    Shining Light on Dark Energy – October 21, 2012
    Excerpt: It (Entropy) explains time; it explains every possible action in the universe;,,
    Even gravity, Vedral argued, can be expressed as a consequence of the law of entropy. ,,,
    The principles of thermodynamics are at their roots all to do with information theory. Information theory is simply an embodiment of how we interact with the universe —,,,
    http://crev.info/2012/10/shini.....rk-energy/

    In fact Arthur Eddington himself stated that, “The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature.,,, if your theory is found to be against the Second Law of Thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it to collapse in deepest humiliation.”

    “The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell’s equations – then so much the worse for Maxwell’s equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation – well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the Second Law of Thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it to collapse in deepest humiliation.”
    – Arthur Eddington, New Pathways in Science – 1935

    And indeed, Darwinian evolution is ‘against’ the second law. Dr. Brain Miller has done an excellent job of explaining exactly why entropy presents an ‘impossible’ barrier for Darwinian processes to overcome.

    Physicist Brian Miller: Two Conundrums for Strictly Materialist Views of Biology – January 2020
    Excerpt: Nothing in nature will ever simultaneously go to both low entropy and high energy at the same time. It’s a physical impossibility. Yet life had to do that. Life had to take simple chemicals and go to a state of high energy and of low entropy. That’s a physical impossibility.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2020/01/physicist-brian-miller-two-conundrums-for-strictly-materialist-views-of-biology/

    “‘Professor Dave’ argues that the origin of life does not face thermodynamic hurdles. He states that natural systems often spontaneously increase in order, such as water freezing or soap molecules forming micelles (e.g., spheres or bilayers), He is making the very common mistake that he fails to recognize that the formation of the cell represents both a dramatic decrease in entropy and an equally dramatic increase in energy. In contrast, water freezing represents both a decrease in entropy but also a decrease in energy.
    More specifically, the process of freezing releases heat that increases the entropy of the surrounding environment by an amount greater than the entropy decrease of the water molecule forming the rigid structure.
    Likewise, soap molecules coalescing into micelles represents a net increase of entropy since the surrounding water molecules significantly increase in their number of degrees of freedom.
    No system without assistance ever moves both toward lower entropy and higher energy which is required for the formation of a cell.”
    – Brian Miller, Ph. D. – MIT
    – Episode 0/13: Reasons // A Course on Abiogenesis by Dr. James Tour
    https://youtu.be/71dqAFUb-v0?t=1434

    Brian Miller – Thermodynamics, the Origin of Life, and Intelligent Design
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAXiHRPZz0s

  27. 27
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, as Gilbert Newton Lewis, (1875-1946, a preeminent chemist who discovered the covalent bond in 1916, and who had the distinction of re-naming light quanta “photons” by analogy with electrons), stated, “Gain in entropy always means loss of information, and nothing more.”

    “Gain in entropy always means loss of information, and nothing more.”
    Gilbert Newton Lewis – (“The Symmetry of Time in Physics.”, Science, Vol. 71, No. 1849 (Jun. 6, 1930), p.570)
    https://www.informationphilosopher.com/solutions/scientists/lewis/

    As should be needless to say, the fact that, “Gain in entropy always means loss of information, and nothing more”, is in direct contradiction to CD’s claim that God ‘front-loaded’ all the information necessary for life at the creation of the universe.

    In fact, it was long suspected that there was a connection between entropy in physics and the entropy of information since, “The equations of information theory and the second law are the same”,,

    “Is there a real connection between entropy in physics and the entropy of information? ….The equations of information theory and the second law are the same, suggesting that the idea of entropy is something fundamental…”
    – Tom Siegfried, Dallas Morning News, 5/14/90, [Quotes Robert W. Lucky, Ex. Director of Research, AT&T, Bell Laboratories & John A. Wheeler, of Princeton & Univ. of TX, Austin]

    And now this connection between entropy and information has been established. Specifically, it has now been empirically shown, via experimental realization of the Maxwell demon thought experiment, that a bit of information, (i.e. “a record of a choice” Perry Marshall per Erwin Schrodinger), has a quote-unquote ‘thermodynamic content’,

    Maxwell’s demon demonstration turns information into energy – 2010
    Excerpt: Scientists in Japan are the first to have succeeded in converting information into free energy in an experiment that verifies the “Maxwell demon” thought experiment devised in 1867.,,
    In Maxwell’s thought experiment a partition with a small trapdoor is placed in the box, and the trapdoor is guarded by the imaginary being who, without expending energy, selects which molecules go through to the other side.,,,
    Until now, demonstrating the conversion of information to energy has been elusive, but University of Tokyo physicist Masaki Sano and colleagues have succeeded in demonstrating it in a nano-scale experiment. In a paper published in Nature Physics they describe how they coaxed a Brownian particle to travel upwards on a “spiral-staircase-like” potential energy created by an electric field solely on the basis of information on its location.,,
    The results also verified the generalized Jarzynski equation, which was formulated in 1997 by statistical chemist Christopher Jarzynski of the University of Maryland. The equation defines the amount of energy that could theoretically be converted from a unit, (i.e. a bit), of information.
    https://phys.org/news/2010-11-maxwell-demon-energy.html

    As Christopher Jarzynski, who was instrumental in formulating the ‘equation to define the amount of energy that could theoretically be converted from a unit, (i.e. a bit), of information’, stated, “This is a beautiful experimental demonstration that information has a thermodynamic content,”

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

    Moreover, the following 2017 article states, “James Clerk Maxwell (said), “The idea of dissipation of energy depends on the extent of our knowledge.”,,,
    quantum information theory,,, describes the spread of information through quantum systems.,,,
    Fifteen years ago, “we thought of entropy as a property of a thermodynamic system,” he said. “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,

    The Quantum Thermodynamics Revolution – May 2017
    Excerpt: the 19th-century physicist James Clerk Maxwell put it, “The idea of dissipation of energy depends on the extent of our knowledge.”
    In recent years, a revolutionary understanding of thermodynamics has emerged that explains this subjectivity using quantum information theory — “a toddler among physical theories,” as del Rio and co-authors put it, that describes the spread of information through quantum systems. Just as thermodynamics initially grew out of trying to improve steam engines, today’s thermodynamicists are mulling over the workings of quantum machines. Shrinking technology — a single-ion engine and three-atom fridge were both experimentally realized for the first time within the past year — is forcing them to extend thermodynamics to the quantum realm, where notions like temperature and work lose their usual meanings, and the classical laws don’t necessarily apply.
    They’ve found new, quantum versions of the laws that scale up to the originals. Rewriting the theory from the bottom up has led experts to recast its basic concepts in terms of its subjective nature, and to unravel the deep and often surprising relationship between energy and information — the abstract 1s and 0s by which physical states are distinguished and knowledge is measured.,,,
    Renato Renner, a professor at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, described this as a radical shift in perspective. Fifteen years ago, “we thought of entropy as a property of a thermodynamic system,” he said. “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/quantum-thermodynamics-revolution/

    In fact, the Maxwell demon thought experiment has also now been extended to build, i.e. ‘intelligently design’, a refrigerator that is powered, not by energy, but by, of all things, information.

    New Scientist astounds: Information is physical – May 13, 2016
    Excerpt: Recently came the most startling demonstration yet: a tiny machine powered purely by information, which chilled metal through the power of its knowledge. This seemingly magical device could put us on the road to new, more efficient nanoscale machines, a better understanding of the workings of life, and a more complete picture of perhaps our most fundamental theory of the physical world.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-physical/

    On top of that, and via ‘using only information about the particle’s position’, researchers have now built, i.e. intelligently designed, a quote unquote ‘information engine’, and have achieved “power comparable to molecular machinery in living cells, and speeds comparable to fast-swimming bacteria,”

    World’s fastest information-fuelled engine designed by SFU researchers – May 11, 2021
    Excerpt: The information engine designed by SFU researchers consists of a microscopic particle immersed in water and attached to a spring which, itself, is fixed to a movable stage. Researchers then observe the particle bouncing up and down due to thermal motion.
    “When we see an upward bounce, we move the stage up in response,” explains lead author and PhD student Tushar Saha. “When we see a downward bounce, we wait. This ends up lifting the entire system using only information about the particle’s position.”
    “Guided by this insight, we picked the particle mass and other engine properties to maximize how fast the engine extracts energy, outperforming previous designs and achieving power comparable to molecular machinery in living cells, and speeds comparable to fast-swimming bacteria,” says postdoctoral fellow Jannik Ehrich.
    https://www.sfu.ca/university-communications/issues-experts/2021/05/world-s-fastest-information-fuelled-engine-designed-by-sfu-resea.html

    In short, in order to ‘locally’ violate the second law, it is necessary for an ‘outside intelligence’ to add information to a ‘local’ system. Gain in Entropy, by itself, and as Gilbert Newton Lewis noted, “means loss of information, and nothing more”.

    In conclusion, CD’s claim that God front loaded all the information necessary to “account for every contingency”, (i.e. to account for the subsequent creation of life, and etc..), at the creation of the universe, is for him to directly contradict the second law of thermodynamics, which is widely regarded as the most fundamental law of physics, and which “explains every possible action in the universe” and which “means loss of information, and nothing more”.

    And thus CD is guilty of exactly what he accused Dr. Meyer of being guilty of, i.e. “motivated reasoning at its worse”. A “motivated reasoning” on his part which has no discernible empirical connection to physical reality, and which is, in fact, directly contradicted from what we now know to be true from the second law of thermodynamics. Simply put, CD is putting his a-priori philosophical commitment to Deism above any scientific considerations that are strongly pointing to Theism.

    Verses

    Romans 8:20-21
    For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

    “We have the sober scientific certainty that the heavens and earth shall ‘wax old as doth a garment’….
    Dark indeed would be the prospects of the human race if unilluminated by that light which reveals ‘new heavens and a new earth.’”
    Sir William Thomson, Lord Kelvin (1824 – 1907) – pioneer in many different fields, particularly electromagnetism and thermodynamics.
    https://darwinthenandnow.com/scientific-revolution/william-thompson-kevin/

    Psalm 102:25-27
    Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will have no end.

    Supplemental note:

    March 2021 – The ‘infinite’ entropic divide between special relativity and general relativity (and Christ’s resurrection from the dead as the correct ‘theory of everything)
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/fine-tuning-of-the-universe-the-strong-force-and-the-fine-structure-constant/#comment-726659

    Verse:

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

  28. 28
    bornagain77 says:

    A few more notes that ‘scientifically’ challenge CD’s philosophical belief in Deism

    The Front-loading Fiction – Dr. Robert Sheldon – 2009
    Excerpt: Historically, the argument for front-loading came from Laplacian determinism based on a Newtonian or mechanical universe–if one could control all the initial conditions, then the outcome was predetermined. First quantum mechanics, and then chaos-theory has basically destroyed it, since no amount of precision can control the outcome far in the future. (The exponential nature of the precision required to predetermine the outcome exceeds the information storage of the medium.),,, Even should God have infinite knowledge of the outcome of such a biological algorithm, the information regarding its outcome cannot be contained within the system itself.
    http://procrustes.blogtownhall.....tion.thtml

    How well can information be stored from the beginning to the end of time? – Jan. 13, 2015
    Excerpt: Information can never be stored perfectly. Whether on a CD, a hard disk drive, or a piece of papyrus, technological imperfections create noise that limits the preservation of information over time. But even if you had a perfect storage medium with zero imperfections, there would still be fundamental limits placed on information storage due to the laws of physics that govern the evolution of the universe ever since the Big Bang.,,,
    To do this, they modelled information transmission over a “channel” that is essentially spacetime itself, described by the Robertson-Walker metric. Their model combines the theories of general relativity and quantum information by considering the quantum state of matter (specifically, spin-1/2 particles) as the universe expands. In this model, the evolution of the universe creates noise which, in the context of quantum communication, acts like an amplitude damping channel.
    The physicists’ main result is that, the faster the universe expands, the less well the information can be preserved.,,,
    So to answer the original question of how much information can be stored from the beginning to the end of time, the results suggest “not very much.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-01-h.....on-be.html

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

    Evolutionary Computing: The Invisible Hand of Intelligence – June 17, 2015
    Excerpt: William Dembski and Robert Marks have shown that no evolutionary algorithm is superior to blind search — unless information is added from an intelligent cause,,,
    Any internally generated information is conserved or degraded by the law of Conservation of Information.,,,
    What Marks and Dembski (mathematically) prove is as scientifically valid and relevant as Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem in mathematics. You can’t prove a system of mathematics from within the system, and you can’t derive an information-rich pattern from within the pattern.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....96931.html

  29. 29
    relatd says:

    Ba77,

    Interesting. I am glad to see the “front loading” argument laid to rest, and Deism laid to rest along with it.

  30. 30
    Viola Lee says:

    Deism is based on old clock-work Newtonian physics. However, quantum mechanics now shows us that each moment is not completely determined by the previous moment, so Deism of the traditional Newtonian sort isn’t defensible.

    The TE idea that I offered in another post (and Relatd offered a supporting quote from Catholic doctrine) is that a Providential God is present in every moment, upholding with his will both the necessary structures and laws of the world and the contingent events within it, which would include quantum probabilities. Thus, God is present in every moment of causality, rather than the Deistic idea of being present in only the one moment of setting forth the initial conditions. See here.

  31. 31
    chuckdarwin says:

    If God is present in “every moment of causality” there are no contingent events….

  32. 32
    Viola Lee says:

    In the Providential God version of TE that I am trying to describe (and contrast with both deism and ID), from God’s point of view what you say is true: what is chance and contingency to us is not so to God. All that happens is as God wills through his omnipresence in all moments. As quoted by Relatd:

    But it is important to note that, according to the Catholic understanding of divine causality, true contingency in the created order is not incompatible with a purposeful divine providence. Divine causality and created causality radically differ in kind and not only in degree. Thus, even the outcome of a truly contingent natural process can nonetheless fall within God’s providential plan for creation.

    That is, contingency in the created order, experienced by us, “radically differ[s] in kind” from divine causality, and thus what looks like chance to us still manifests God’s providential plan.

  33. 33
    chuckdarwin says:

    VL/32
    The various paradoxes that Catholic scholasticism claims to resolve, including the one that you present, always hinge on a concocted dichotomy between the “created order” and the “divine order”:

    [C]ontingency in the created order, experienced by us, “radically differ[s] in kind” from divine causality, and thus what looks like chance to us still manifests God’s providential plan.

    Paradox solved!
    Never mind that we are never provided actual proof of this “divine order” beyond clever and complicated abstractions that distill down to “God’s providential plan.” And, because of our fallen nature, we lack the capacity to discern and understand that plan. Like the ant trying to look up at the ant-keeper. It is a perpetual mystery.
    How conveniently circular when all is said and done……….

  34. 34
    jerry says:

    If God is present in “every moment of causality” there are no contingent events…

    Not true.

    There are other wills besides God. So while every event in our universe has a cause, other wills make some events contingent even though God is present in some way.

  35. 35
    Viola Lee says:

    Yes. I’ve been discussing the theology of the natural, physical world. Catholic and other Christian theologies also assert that God gave humans a soul, a special relationship with God, and free will, and thus people do in fact introduce an indeterminacy into the world. That is, free will agency essentially produces innumerable instances of uncaused causation.

    This, of course, introduces a whole other set of paradoxes..

  36. 36
    relatd says:

    CD at 33,

    If you first disregard this, it would follow that you would disregard anything said in the Bible, by the Catholic Church and Thomas Aquinas. God is God. He’s not a man. He created and His creation activity works infallibly. But again, if God is right out then so is the rest.

    Romans 9:20

    “But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?”’

  37. 37
    Viola Lee says:

    to CD at 33: Although I will describe the situation differently than you do, I basically agree with you. Let me explain.

    Any attempt to try to discuss the relationship between an omni-everything theistic deity will run into irreconcilable paradoxes/contradictions. A common religious solution to this is to assert that the ways of God surpass our understanding, and the proper response is a humble submission to the mysteries, and a faith in this God that is beyond analytic understanding.

    A non-religious response is to say, somewhat as you do, that the religious description is an invented abstract system, with various embellishments added to try to resolve the paradoxes, including the ultimate resolution that it is all just beyond the ability for our reason to understand. In this case, the proper response, in my opinion, is also a humble acceptance that the ultimate nature of the world is unknown, without needing to wrap that lack of knowledge in an invented metaphysic.

    But, to return to my main subject, the TE perspective described in the Catholic quote is a common, orthodox Christian view on God’s providence which states, and this is the key point, that what we see as contingency (or luck or chance) is still within the provenance of God’s providence, so things that happen by contingency are still as God wills, even though we do not and can not understand that mechanism by which divine causality impinges on the “creation causality” that we experience.

  38. 38
    jerry says:

    A great example of a contingent event is Queen Elizabeth.

    Her ascension to the throne depended on her uncle’s abdication. Without Wallis Simpson, would we have Elizabeth? We have been lucky to have such a magnificent queen.

  39. 39
    relatd says:

    VL at 37,

    Do you believe the Bible is the Word of God? If not, then a discussion is not possible. The Catholic Church has given a detailed account of Creation. The work of God. And Thomas Aquinas has given an explanation that God works infallibly in Creation. There is no mystery or paradox if these words are accepted. As stated by the Church:

    God creates from nothing.

    Jesus rose from the dead and was seen by many witnesses.

    I’m sure that modern scientists standing next to Him would not see the mechanism He used to change water to wine.

    Or understand how He could multiply a few loaves and fishes to feed a large number of people.

    Or raise Lazarus from the dead.

    As God, Jesus required no technology to do this.

  40. 40
    Viola Lee says:

    Every day in every life is full of such things. Most don’t stand out as leading in a clearcut direction that might have gone otherwise. Also, we are never aware of things that almost happened, but didn’t, and therefore don’t know what life paths we barely missed. I might have had a life-changing interaction at the grocery store today if I had just gone five minutes earlier – how can we tell? 🙂

  41. 41
    Viola Lee says:

    re 39, to Relatd: I haven’t been discussing my personal beliefs. I have been discussing the theology and philosophy of how things happen in the world as understood by a Christian (in this case, Catholic) theistic evolutionist, as brought up by Jerry in a remark on another thread in a discussion between a TE and theistic IDist.

    You write, “The Catholic Church has given a detailed account of Creation. The work of God. And Thomas Aquinas has given an explanation that God works infallibly in Creation. There is no mystery or paradox if these words are accepted.”

    Yes, there are mysteries and paradoxes. The Catholic position, I think, is to humbly accept that human understanding cannot understand them, but they are mysteries and paradoxes none the less. Believing that what the Bible, the Church, and Aquinas say is true is different than analytically, at the human level, explaining how those truths are manifested or instantiated. To us, they are paradoxes that no words can explain.

  42. 42
    chuckdarwin says:

    VL/37
    This is very well put:

    In this case, the proper response, in my opinion, is also a humble acceptance that the ultimate nature of the world is unknown, without needing to wrap that lack of knowledge in an invented metaphysic.

  43. 43
    relatd says:

    Viola Lee at 41,

    You ask for an explanation of the supernatural God. But you insist that this explanation be given at a human – scientific – level. This cannot be done.

    John 19:10 and 11

    10 ‘So Pilate said to Him, “Do You refuse to speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You and authority to crucify You?” 11Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed Me over to you is guilty of greater sin.” 12

    Jesus tells Pilate that his authority was given to him by God.

    God knows the past, present and future. But He does not communicate the entire plan. From time to time, Jesus has sent His mother Mary to appear to people with messages from God.

    The plan of God in the present is for the world and individuals. Each of us is given a role. Each of us is given a chance to accept or reject Jesus. Jesus spoke of the future and about wars, but specific dates were not provided. In the end, it must be realized that an ancient evil is at work and we should understand it has been at work now and will continue into the future. At a certain time, when Bible prophecy is fulfilled, Jesus will come again. We are not yet in that time.

    Ephesians 6:12

    “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

    Working at “the human level” will not reveal the mysteries any further,

  44. 44
    Viola Lee says:

    Relatd, you write, “You ask for an explanation of the supernatural God. But you insist that this explanation be given at a human – scientific – level. This cannot be done.”

    I don’t think I’ve been asking for, or insisting that, an “explanation be given at a human – scientific – level”. I’ve been agreeing with you: the ways in with God’s providence is manifested in the world can’t be explained at a human level. There are unexplainable paradoxes that can only be accepted by faith, but not explained analytically.

    The primary one I am focussing on is that what might appear to be contingent (or by chance) to us is not contingent to God. So our describing something as happening in part by chance does not mean that God wasn’t involved, even though it is our faith in God’s involvement that leads us to that conclusion, not an analytic understanding of how God does that.

    This is a TE perspective presented by the Catholic doctrine of Providence.

  45. 45
    relatd says:

    Viola Lee at 44,

    You also insist on TE. Intelligent Design/Intervention is at work. And God works infallibly. If God is not real to you and others, His work is still apparent.

    The Church “proclaims that by the light of reason the human intellect can readily and clearly discern purpose and design in the natural world, including the world of living things.”

    “Christoph Cardinal Schönborn is archbishop of Vienna and general editor of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.”

    Romans 1:20

    “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”

  46. 46
    Viola Lee says:

    Related, let me try to understand what you are saying, and to clarify some things.

    First, you write, “You also insist on TE.” No, I am not arguing that TE is true, much less insisting on it. I am just trying to describe it, and show that it is consistent with the Catholic theology you posted about.

    Second, you write, “Intelligent Design/Intervention is at work.”

    Are you saying that ID involves the intervention of God? Is that consistent with the TE perspective?

    This is actually the point Jerry bought up in the other thread, when he wrote,

    Ramage [a TE] …feels uncomfortable with the implications of ID. Namely, God had to intervene thousands maybe millions of time in life. He seems to not want a God who has done this. This is the basis for a lot of theistic evolutionists objections to ID. They don’t want a tinkering God.

    When you say ID/Intervention, are you implying a “tinkering” as opposed to a providential God who is present in all causality without specific interventions?

    Third, you write, “And God works infallibly.” I’m not sure what this means. It seems to say God doesn’t make mistakes, but I don’t think that is what you mean. What do you mean when you say “God works infallibly”?

    Fourth you write, “The Church “proclaims that by the light of reason the human intellect can readily and clearly discern purpose and design in the natural world, including the world of living things.”

    Yes, this is a broad belief that design pervades the universe, from its most fundamental properties to all of its specific manifestations. A TE would agree whole-heartedly with this statement. However, what it doesn’t say is that some things seem to be specifically designed by interventionist divine acts. So, back to my second question: do you see ID as involving divine intervention above and beyond the providential presence of God in all moments?

  47. 47
    relatd says:

    VL at 46,

    I don’t know how else to explain this to you. The previous Church statement, which includes the words of Thomas Aquinas, sums it all up. “Fourth you write”? I didn’t write that. A Catholic Cardinal did. I also quoted the Bible.

    I don’t think I can help you in particular any further.

  48. 48
    jerry says:

    do you see ID as involving divine intervention above and beyond the providential presence of God in all moments?

    Ask ChuckDarwin about this.

    He has !6 years of Catholic education. However, he has already indicated he knows very little about anything.

    My guess if you asked 10 different church going Catholics, you would get 10 different answers. Most TEs are not Catholics but it’s unlikely they will be here. Somehow I got the impression that Catholics are not different from other Christians on this topic. They all accept natural Evolution because of the hype and peer pressure including the hierarchies.

  49. 49
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 48,

    Fer cryin’ out loud. Where the heck did you get this?

    “They all accept natural Evolution because of the hype and peer pressure including the hierarchies.”

    I don’t and the Church doesn’t. I recommend that you back up your statements as opposed to starting with “My guess…” Not helpful. Not helpful at all.

  50. 50
    Viola Lee says:

    Relatd, I understand the Catholic doctrines you have described, I think. I’m not asking you to help me understand them. I am describing a position that supports those positions.

    The issue that I would like you to address is the one mentioned by Jerry:

    ”Ramage [a TE] …feels uncomfortable with the implications of ID. Namely, God had to intervene thousands maybe millions of time in life. He seems to not want a God who has done this. This is the basis for a lot of theistic evolutionists objections to ID. They don’t want a tinkering God.”

    You wrote, “Intelligent Design/Intervention is at work.”

    Do you believe ID involves divine intervention?

    Do you believe a position of divine intervention is consistent with a Catholic doctrine of Providence as expressed in your quote?

    Or do you share Ramage’s concern that ID, implying a tinkering God, is not consistent with a Catholic understanding of God’s Providence.

  51. 51
    relatd says:

    VL at 50,

    I don’t understand you. Others read our posts and I don’t want to confuse anyone. I will no longer reply to you in this thread.

  52. 52
    Viola Lee says:

    Fine. I can see that you don’t understand the points I’m making.

  53. 53
    jerry says:

    the points I’m making

    Here is something from a Catholic priest on TE or as he puts it, evolutionary creationism.

    My eyes glazed over after a short while. But he thinks ID is present in the universe but naturalized evolution is the way God chose to implement it.

    There’s only one problem – God also chose to hide how He did it. Apparently God is allowed to tinker but only in certain ways. Unless all was in the original creation?

    http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/s.....PEndoyE%3D

    A couple points First, the evolution of humans is the important thing with Catholics, less so the evolution of other species.

    Second, Catholic beliefs are all over the lot and a fair amount depends on the level of Catholic education. For example,

    A majority of Catholics who went to a Catholic high school attends Mass at least once a month (53% compared to 40% of Catholics who did not attend a Catholic high school).

    Sixty-five percent of Catholics who went to a Catholic high school pray at least weekly compared to 58% of those who did not attend.

    Forty-eight percent of Catholic high school alumni believe in the Big Bang theory compared to 39% of those who did not attend.

    Sixty-three percent of Catholic high school alumni believe current science is compatible with the belief the God created the universe compared to 48% who did not attend.

    Sixty-five percent of Catholics who went to a Catholic high school believe in evolution compared to 53% who did not attend.

    Forty-two percent of Catholic high school alumni believe it is acceptable in the Catholic Church to believe humans evolved over time from other lifeforms compared to 24% who did not attend

    Much more about Catholic school teacher beliefs at this site.

    https://cara.georgetown.edu/Publications/ScienceCatholicHS2018.pdf

  54. 54
    Viola Lee says:

    Link doesn’t work for me, but it did if I took off the last part. I know that document, although it is too long to read for me right now, but Lamoureux is one of the TE’s I’ve read before, and even talked to a bit about this.

    It’s probably an inaccurate interpretation to say “God also chose to hide how He did it.”

    But I do note that he wrote, “Evolutionary creation best describes the official position of the Roman Catholic Church, though it is often referred to in this tradition as ‘theistic evolution.'”, which is the point I’ve been making o relatd.

  55. 55
    jerry says:

    It’s probably an inaccurate interpretation to say “God also chose to hide how He did it.”

    Why?

    We know that the proposed mechanisms for Evolution don’t explain how it happened. So if all the king’s horses and all the king’s men can’t find out how God did it, then is the statement “God hid how He did it” not accurate. At least for today.

    At the very least, He made it extremely difficult. Maybe when they find out how gestation works, there might be an inkling.

    Maybe this will be helpful for answering the Catholic question? Lamoureux Has a new book on it.

    https://christianscholars.com/evolutionary-creation-a-christian-approach-to-evolution/

    And

    Evolutionary Creation: A Christian Approach to Evolution

    Whether one prefers the term “theistic evolution” or “evolutionary creation,” the central claim of this position is that

    as the Ordainer and Sustainer of the cosmos, the Creator did not intervene in origins nor does He act dramatically in [its] operations. Rather, “as a loving Father,” He reserves direct and dramatic interventions for personal relationships in order to admonish, call, and encourage us.

    Lamoureux argues that evolutionary creationism, so defined, is consistent with a hermeneutically responsible interpretation of Christian Scripture. He employs what he terms the “Message-Incident Principle.” Put simply, this principle instructs us “to separate the Message of Faith from the incidental ancient science [in which it is transported], and not to conflate these together

    https://christianscholars.com/evolutionary-creation-a-christian-approach-to-evolution/

  56. 56
    Sandy says:

    Catholic Church is wrong because there is no such thing like Theistic Evolution.

    No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else. he will hold to the one, and despise the other, Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

  57. 57
    jerry says:

    This book came up as part of the material on Larmer’s website and posted here just for reference. (Larmer and Lamoureux are different. It seems relevant but prohibitively expensive.

    https://www.amazon.com/Compatibility-Evolution-Palgrave-Frontiers-Philosophy-ebook/dp/B09CD2D46B/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1662734997&sr=1-1

    At over $100 and no reviews, it is not in wide circulation.

    Apparently Lamoureux, who is just one Catholic, does not like the idea of a tinkering creator and UD avoids discussing a tinkering creator like the plague.

  58. 58
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 53,

    You are just mucking things up. Your “research” is deficient. I suggest you stop now or I will taunt you a second time. Nothing as in nothing depends on the level of Catholic education. Your ability to make assumptions is at 100%, everything else is in the 10% range. Your statistics don’t matter. Any Catholic, or anyone else, can go to Church documents – available online – and educate themselves.

  59. 59
    relatd says:

    Sandy at 56,

    Allow me to correct you. The Catholic Church is not wrong, only Jerry is wrong. Just Jerry. Got that?

    I suggest you find out what the Church actually teaches before you make anymore God and mammon comments.

  60. 60
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 57,

    I work in the media. I have been in it for over 40 years. Your assumptions are appalling. Amazon, I have noticed, has done two things. It no longer allows comments on reviews. Old comments have been scrubbed. It delays reviews so it can review them prior to publication. I know this from personal experience. So, Amazon will censor reviews. Usually, books like this get long criticisms. Very long in some cases.

    This book has the Look Inside feature and I was able to read a portion. The author is not a very good writer and appears to take the long way in outlining his thoughts and observations. Without a certain level of knowledge regarding the subject matter, I think the average person would have a great deal of difficulty with it, or a desire to buy it.

  61. 61
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    If The Catholic Church teach that then is wrong:

    The Catholic Church teaches “theistic evolution,” a stand that accepts evolution as a scientific theory and sees no reason why God could not have used a natural evolutionary process in the forming of the human species

  62. 62
    relatd says:

    LCD at 61,

    What does “natural” mean? I want to know. Did God take a wind-up toy, set it on the ground and let it go wherever it wanted?

  63. 63
    Viola Lee says:

    Some good research, Jerry, but Lameroux’s book is not “new”: it was published in 2008.

    Realtd writes, “Any Catholic, or anyone else, can go to Church documents – available online – and educate themselves.”

    Such as this. (Some already quoted by Realtd):

    From the INTERNATIONAL THEOLOGICAL COMMISSION COMMUNION AND STEWARDSHIP: Human Persons Created in the Image of God*

    68. With respect to the evolution of conditions favorable to the emergence of life, Catholic tradition affirms that, as universal transcendent cause, God is the cause not only of existence but also the cause of causes. God’s action does not displace or supplant the activity of creaturely causes, but enables them to act according to their natures and, nonetheless, to bring about the ends he intends. In freely willing to create and conserve the universe, God wills to activate and to sustain in act all those secondary causes whose activity contributes to the unfolding of the natural order which he intends to produce. Through the activity of natural causes, God causes to arise those conditions required for the emergence and support of living organisms, and, furthermore, for their reproduction and differentiation. …

    69. But it is important to note that, according to the Catholic understanding of divine causality, true contingency in the created order is not incompatible with a purposeful divine providence. Divine causality and created causality radically differ in kind and not only in degree. Thus, even the outcome of a truly contingent natural process can nonetheless fall within God’s providential plan for creation. According to St. Thomas Aquinas: “The effect of divine providence is not only that things should happen somehow, but that they should happen either by necessity or by contingency. Therefore, whatsoever divine providence ordains to happen infallibly and of necessity happens infallibly and of necessity; and that happens from contingency, which the divine providence conceives to happen from contingency” (Summa theologiae, I, 22,4 ad 1). In the Catholic perspective, neo-Darwinians who adduce random genetic variation and natural selection as evidence that the process of evolution is absolutely unguided are straying beyond what can be demonstrated by science. Divine causality can be active in a process that is both contingent and guided. Any evolutionary mechanism that is contingent can only be contingent because God made it so. An unguided evolutionary process – one that falls outside the bounds of divine providence – simply cannot exist because “the causality of God, Who is the first agent, extends to all being, not only as to constituent principles of species, but also as to the individualizing principles….It necessarily follows that all things, inasmuch as they participate in existence, must likewise be subject to divine providence” (Summa theologiae I, 22, 2).

    This does not differ from what Lameroux is saying.

  64. 64
    Viola Lee says:

    Paragraph 68 above, which had not been previously quoted, is very good. It says that God is the cause of all natural causes and actions, and in respect to life: “Through the activity of natural causes, God causes to arise those conditions required for the emergence and support of living organisms, and, furthermore, for their reproduction and differentiation.”

    That is, Catholic doctrine and evolution are not incompatible as long as one understands that the contingent events revealed to and investigated by human beings are part of God’s divine providence.

  65. 65
    jerry says:

    but Lameroux’s book is not “new”: it was published in 2008.

    Republished in 2021.

    If I could send screen shots I could show you things from 2009 about book and current Amazon page which list it as 2021. So I assume Lamoureux did some editing and reissued.

    I don’t intend on reading either of Lamoureux’s editions. Looks like my eyes would glaze over in the first chapter. All this has been covered on UD in the past.

    It’s really quite simple. TEs/ECs say God did it by tweaking natural evolution (whatever that means) which implies it is not really natural evolution. Or He could have front loaded it somehow to play out till humans arrived. Either way there is no science of naturalized evolution that is relevant.

    IDS say there is no naturalized way Evolution could have happened based on current science. So what are the differences?

    That’s it. Now there are some implications of this but that is it at current time.

    From current Amazon page – may just reflect there is now a Kindle edition

    Product details
    ASIN ? : ? B08SR1DVHB
    Publisher ? : ? Wipf & Stock (January 11, 2021)
    Publication date ? : ? January 11, 2021
    Language ? : ? English
    File size ? : ? 29405 KB
    Text-to-Speech ? : ? Not enabled
    Enhanced typesetting ? : ? Not Enabled
    X-Ray ? : ? Not Enabled
    Word Wise ? : ? Not Enabled
    Print length ? : ? 514 pages
    Lending ? : ? Enabled

    Last review of book is 2016 so my guess Kindle version is just 2008 version republished.

  66. 66
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 65,

    Again with the word “natural.” All I can gather from the usage here is that God was absolutely NOT involved in anything called “natural.”

  67. 67
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    🙂 Whole idea of evolution was to explain away God .

  68. 68
    Viola Lee says:

    Jerry writes, “TEs/ECs say God did it by tweaking natural evolution (whatever that means) which implies it is not really natural evolution.”

    No, TE’s don’t say anything about “tweaking”. Re-read paragraph 68 in post 63. Let me bold a few phrases

    God’s action does not displace or supplant the activity of creaturely [natural] causes, but enables them to act according to their natures and, nonetheless, to bring about the ends he intends. In freely willing to create and conserve the universe, God wills to activate and to sustain in act all those secondary causes whose activity contributes to the unfolding of the natural order which he intends to produce. Through the activity of natural causes, God causes to arise those conditions required for the emergence and support of living organisms, and, furthermore, for their reproduction and differentiation.

    And I also don’t know what you mean by “natural evolution”. I think you mean evolution from materialistic viewpoint. If so, of course TE’s don’t mean that.

  69. 69
    jerry says:

    And I also don’t know what you mean by “natural evolution”. I think you mean evolution from materialistic viewpoint. If so, of course TE’s don’t mean that

    Not true as far as I know.

    By natural, I mean due to the four known forces of nature, maybe some unknown ones we don’t know about. This process has been shown deficient to produce any significant change in life forms.

    But most of the world does not know this. So there are scientists/politicians/theologians etc. of all types that make policy based on this misconception. What you then get is a theology that assumes this true.

    Now for Christians and maybe for some other religions based on a God creating the universe and life, there has to be some accommodations. So you get God directs this Evolution. How He did it, they could care less.

    But How? Through some type of front loading? Or some type of tweaking along the way. I believe some have proposed that God does this through quantum interventions. Why that? I have no idea.

    The front loading could have been built into the Big Bang or it could have been built into the OOL.

    If it is tweaking along the way say through quantum processes, how is that different from ID? I don’t see any difference nor do I see initial conditions in the Big Bang as any different. What I do see is there aren’t any current mechanism due solely to the forces of nature as sufficient.

    But some TEs assume it exists and all that’s needed.

  70. 70
    Viola Lee says:

    Because tweaking implies occasional intervention, (which ID seems to imply), but the TE view is that God is continually present, not just occasionally.

  71. 71
    jerry says:

    that God is continually present, not just occasionally

    What does this mean?

    I always thought it meant God continually sustains our universe and keeps it in existence not that He continually modifies the forces of physics which He could. Now as a Christian, I believe God does modify nature on occasion, miracles are a specific instance. Ongoing creation could be another.

    Christians believe modifications have happened more than just rarely. The study I pointed to above indicates Catholics often pray. They might not be asking for an intervention/modification on all praying occasions since prayer can have many forms.

  72. 72
    hnorman42 says:

    Viola @ 70
    I don’t think that ID implies occasional intervention but rather that in some things design is empirically detectable but not in others. All things may be by God’s design. But that is a faith-based claim.

  73. 73
    relatd says:

    Hnorman42 at 72,

    All living things are designed. They all contain codes to carry out life functions.

    This in opposition to Richard Dawkins who stated that living things only appear to designed, but are not actually designed.

  74. 74
    hnorman42 says:

    Relatd –
    Agreed. Living things clearly give evidence of design.

  75. 75
    Viola Lee says:

    Jerry writes, “… not that He continually modifies the forces of physics which He could.”

    No. being continually present is not the same as continually modifying.

    I think part of the problem here is an excessively anthropomorphic view of how God acts, as if he is looking down and watching and when he becomes aware of something he wants to be different, he acts. But God is an omni-everything divine being whose omni-presence is coincident with his omnipotence: awareness and action are a simultaneous, undifferentiated whole. As the natural process unfold, his will is manifested: from above: “God wills to activate and to sustain in act all those secondary causes whose activity contributes to the unfolding of the natural order which he intends to produce.”

    Every moment of the unfolding of the natural order is as he intends to produce.

    I’ll point out that how this happens is beyond our understanding. Trying to analytically understand how this could be from our point of view leads to misleading anthropomorphisms.

  76. 76
    Viola Lee says:

    to hnorman at 72.

    You write, “I don’t think that ID implies occasional intervention but rather that in some things design is empirically detectable but not in others. All things may be by God’s design. But that is a faith-based claim.”

    I agree with what you write starting with “but rather. But I think the argument is that some things are empirically detectable is based on the premise that natural processes alone could not produce them, and therefore there is a distinction between the “unfolding” posited by TE and some additional type of divine action, which would be an intervention above and beyond the unfolding of natural processes.

  77. 77
    hnorman42 says:

    What you ‘re talking about harmonizes with the Hindu concepts of Purusha and Prakriti. Then again, all forms of theism acknowledge that the supreme being can act in ways beyond our comprehension.

    But these issues do not concern science. All of these concepts – and here I correct myself – something has to be comprehendable to be called a concept – all of these are said to involve intelligence. Intelligence is the connecting thread.

    And if God’s “allowing” accomplishes something that being absent would not, it would have to be called design.

  78. 78
    Viola Lee says:

    Hnorman 42, you write, “And if God’s “allowing” accomplishes something that being absent would not, it would have to be called design.”

    It seems that “God’s “allowing” accomplishes something that being absent would not” is what ID posits: that natural causes left on their own (without God’ presence??) X would not happen, so the fact that X exists points to design. But again, that seems to imply that God is not present in the ordinary unfolding of natural processes, which is not what the Catholic TE position I am describing says.

  79. 79
    hnorman42 says:

    Viola Lee

    No, it does not imply that God is not present in the ordinary unfolding of natural processes. It only states that design is not always detectable in the ordinary unfolding of natural processes.

  80. 80
    Viola Lee says:

    Then the sentence “And if God’s “allowing” accomplishes something that being absent would not, it would have to be called design” is an accurate description of the situation, is it?

    If God is present in the ordinary unfolding of natural processes, then what makes it that “in some things design is empirically detectable but not in others.” My understanding of the argument is that the design of X is empirically detectable if it can be shown that natural processes could not produce X,” but that seems to say that God presence in natural processes is sometime insufficient and that a different level/kind of his involvement is necessary which results in empirically detectable design. But that gets us back to occasional interventions.

    But perhaps there is a different argument as to why, theologically, some things X have empirically detectable design.

    Perhaps you can explain the argument as to what constitutes empirical detectable design?

  81. 81
    Seversky says:

    Viola Lee/63

    68. With respect to the evolution of conditions favorable to the emergence of life, Catholic tradition affirms that, as universal transcendent cause, God is the cause not only of existence but also the cause of causes. God’s action does not displace or supplant the activity of creaturely causes, but enables them to act according to their natures and, nonetheless, to bring about the ends he intends. In freely willing to create and conserve the universe, God wills to activate and to sustain in act all those secondary causes whose activity contributes to the unfolding of the natural order which he intends to produce. Through the activity of natural causes, God causes to arise those conditions required for the emergence and support of living organisms, and, furthermore, for their reproduction and differentiation. …

    Doesn’t the assertion that God is the cause of causes and the cause of existence imply that, prior to the First Cause there was nothing, no existence whatsoever, including God? And if God can create everything that exists can we assume that He can destroy everything that exists – again, including Himself – thereby returning to nothing, absolute non-existence?

    In the Catholic perspective, neo-Darwinians who adduce random genetic variation and natural selection as evidence that the process of evolution is absolutely unguided are straying beyond what can be demonstrated by science.

    Are there “neo-Darwinians who adduce random genetic variation and natural selection as evidence that the process of evolution is absolutely unguided”? If there are then they are indeed going beyond what can be demonstrated by science.

    All we can say is that the only intelligent agents of which we are aware that are capable of exercising any kind of guidance in the natural world are human beings – ourselves. Except that human beings are nowhere near capable of the degree of guidance being alleged by the ID/creationist community so what is being proposed is an extraterrestrial intelligent agent – for which the burden of proof rests with those arguing for it, not with those proposing contingent, naturalistic causation.

  82. 82
    jerry says:

    Perhaps you can explain the argument as to what constitutes empirical detectable design?

    CSI that has function.

    Here is a video that was presented on UD explaining the calculation of CSI. Some is simple while other parts will require more concentration. It was by Jonathan Bartlett.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CWu_8CTdDY&t=217s

    Behe has a definition

    the same principles to be confident of the design of anything: the ordering of separate components to achieve an identifiable function that depends sharply on the components

    This ought to get some of the commenters here ready to contribute hundreds of repetitive comments. There was just one just a month ago that lasted over 500 comments. Nobody pays attention. It would destroy their reason for commenting.

  83. 83
    jerry says:

    what is being proposed is an extraterrestrial intelligent agent – for which the burden of proof rests with those arguing for it, not with those proposing contingent, naturalistic causation.

    From the horse’s mouth.

    The crux of the argument is who/what caused the design.

    Side 1 -ID. An unknown intelligence existed that created the design (FSCI) we see in the universe, Earth, life and then complex life. ID cannot identify the intelligence but there could be more than one.

    Rationale – nothing except intelligence has ever produced FCSI.

    Therefore a designer must have existed.

    Side 2 – Atheists. Natural laws produced everything we see including FSCI.

    Rationale – no intelligence other than humans has ever been known to exists. Therefore the only cause for FSCI has to be the laws of nature.

    This is an attempt to boil down the opposing arguments to as few words as possible. There are some missing parts – for example – Is fine tuning (universe and Earth) different from FSCI that exists in life. How is this best fitted in?

  84. 84
    hnorman42 says:

    Viola and Jerry
    I think Jerry’s answer is correct. [Note: I was referring Jerry at 82 but his latest seems to be on point as well.] I think it’s also highly relevant to an earlier part of Viola’s question.

    Consider the following scenarios:
    (1) God creates the flagellum through an instantaneous act of materialization. This would be undetectable to us because we didn’t see it.
    (2) God directs quick evolution to produce the flagellum by producing rapid infusions of information. If we had been there and we were able to observe it, design would seem very plausible because of the rapid changes in disregard of the laws of probability. Given the fact that we were not there though, for us it is not detectable.
    (3) God produces the flagellum through a long process of meta-guided evolution. He does this by choosing a moment when deterministic forces are in perfect alignment to produce the desired outcome and only needs to supply a few tweaks at the quantum level to set the process in motion. This would be absolutely undetectable to us because even if we were there and could see all relevant factors we would not be able to interpret such a thing.

    For us, design could only be detectable in the final product. It is in complex specified structures with function that we can detect design.

    ID does not deny or require any particular mechanism.

  85. 85
    relatd says:

    Seversky at 81,

    The same old same old. “… proposing contingent, naturalistic causation.”

    We’ll make a Christian out of you yet. The God you describe is nothing like the actual God Catholics
    know.

    Psalm 90:2

    “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”

    ————————————————————————————–

    “Our profession of faith begins with God, for God is the First and the Last, the beginning and the end of everything. The Credo begins with God the Father, for the Father is the first divine person of the Most Holy Trinity; our Creed begins with the creation of heaven and earth, for creation is the beginning and the foundation of all God’s works.”

    —the Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 198

    “Catholic belief is succinctly expressed in the profession of faith or credo called the Nicene Creed:

    “I believe in one God,
    the Father almighty,
    maker of heaven and earth,
    of all things visible and invisible.

    “I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
    the Only Begotten Son of God,
    born of the Father before all ages.
    God from God, Light from Light,
    true God from true God,
    begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
    through him all things were made.
    For us men and for our salvation
    he came down from heaven,
    and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
    and became man.
    For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
    he suffered death and was buried,
    and rose again on the third day
    in accordance with the Scriptures.
    He ascended into heaven
    and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
    He will come again in glory
    to judge the living and the dead
    and his kingdom will have no end.

    “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
    who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
    who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
    who has spoken through the prophets.

    “I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
    I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
    and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
    and the life of the world to come. Amen.”

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