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At upcoming CSS conference: “Does anyone come to Christian faith by a rational process?”

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That question forms the theme of this year’s Christian Scientific Society conference in April (Tuesday and Wednesday, April 21-22, 2020) at Biola University

Speakers include Fazale Rana, Günter Bechly, Timothy McGrew, David Snoke, Henry F. Schaefer III, and Hugh Ross.

One speaker you would want to hear is Günter Bechly:

A Journey from Atheism to Christianity and Intelligent Design” I report about my long personal journey from atheism to theism and from Darwinism to intelligent design. The first steps were scientific and philosophical arguments that refute materialism, especially arguments from modern physics (emergent spacetime, non-realism in quantum mechanics) and the philosophy of mind (hard problem, aboutness, personal identity). After considering and evaluating a wide variety of non-materialist metaphysics, I came to embrace theism, mostly because of arguments from the contingency of the world, the fine-tuning of the universe, the origin of the laws of nature and the applicability of mathematics, and the digital physics argument that the universe is emergent from a universal mind. Important was also my realization that the only naturalistic alternative, an infinite multiverse, has absurd and unacceptable implications. Finally, arguments for the historical reliability of the Gospels and the historicity of the resurrection convinced me that Christianity is the one true religion. Independently from these considerations and long before my coming to faith, I had discovered scientific problems with the feasibility of the neo-Darwinian process of evolution and found intelligent design to be the best explanation of the evidence. Altogether, I suggest that the cumulative evidence against materialism and for theism is simply overwhelming. I became a Christian theist not in spite of being a scientist but because of it.

Bio: Dr. Günter Bechly is a German paleontologist (specializing in fossil insects), and a Senior Fellow with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, and a senior research scientist at Biologic Institute in Redmond, Washington. He earned his Ph.D. summa cum laude from the University of Tübingen, Germany. He worked from 1999-2016 as curator for amber and fossil insects at the State Museum of Natural History in Stuttgart. He also held a teaching assignment at the University Hohenheim in Germany on insect systematics and phylogeny. He has authored about 160 scientific publications, in which he described more than 170 new species, and 11 biological groups are named in his honor. He organized five large public exhibitions on earth history and evolution, including the largest event for the Darwin Year 2009 celebrations in Germany. Bechly’s research has received broad international media coverage, and he served as a science advisor for three natural history documentaries by BBC and David Attenborough. David Snoke, “Program for the Annual Meeting in April” at Christian Scientific Society

Note: Bechly was erased from Wikipedia due to his support for ID.

11 Replies to “At upcoming CSS conference: “Does anyone come to Christian faith by a rational process?”

  1. 1
    pw says:

    Interesting.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    As to:

    “I became a Christian theist not in spite of being a scientist but because of it.”
    – Günter Bechly

    Indeed, modern science, besides being born out of Christian metaphysics,

    The Christian Origins of Science – Jack Kerwick – Apr 15, 2017
    Excerpt: Though it will doubtless come as an enormous shock to such Christophobic atheists as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and their ilk, it is nonetheless true that one especially significant contribution that Christianity made to the world is that of science.,,,
    Stark is blunt: “Real science arose only once: in Europe”—in Christian Europe. “China, Islam, India, and ancient Greece and Rome each had a highly developed alchemy. But only in Europe did alchemy develop into chemistry. By the same token, many societies developed elaborate systems of astrology, but only in Europe did astrology develop into astronomy.”,,,
    In summation, Stark writes: “The rise of science was not an extension of classical learning. It was the natural outgrowth of Christian doctrine: nature exists because it was created by God. In order to love and honor God, it is necessary to fully appreciate the wonders of his handiwork. Because God is perfect, his handiwork functions in accord with immutable principles. By the full use of our God-given powers of reason and observation, it ought to be possible to discover these principles.”
    He concludes: “These were the crucial ideas that explain why science arose in Christian Europe and nowhere else.”
    https://townhall.com/columnists/jackkerwick/2017/04/15/the-christian-origins-of-science-n2313593

    ,,, modern science, besides being born out of Christian metaphysics, modern science also finds its ultimate resolution for the quote-unquote ‘theory of everything’ in Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

    But first, before we get into that, it is important to note where modern science has gone off the rails.

    As was pointed out yesterday, David Hume in his argument against miracles, self-servingly presupposed that the laws of nature were completely natural with no need of God to explain the existence of the laws of nature.

    Specifically David Hume stated, “A miracle is a violation of the laws of nature; ”

    “A miracle is a violation of the laws of nature; and because firm and unalterable experience has established these laws, the case against a miracle is—just because it is a miracle—as complete as any argument from experience can possibly be imagined to be.”
    – David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding – 1748

    After self-servingly presupposing that the laws of nature are completely natural with no need of God to explain their existence, David Hume, in the same passage, goes on to argue that, basically, since a man rising from the dead would violate the laws of nature, then Jesus resurrection from the dead is a violation of the laws of nature and is therefore impossible.

    Nothing is counted as a miracle if it ever happens in the common course of nature. When a man who seems to be in good health suddenly dies, this isn’t a miracle; because such a kind of death, though more unusual than any other, has yet often been observed to happen. But a dead man’s coming to life would be a miracle, because that has never been observed in any age or country.
    – David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding – 1748

    Yet again, as was pointed out yesterday, David Hume, as an atheist, had no right to presuppose that the laws of nature are completely natural with no need of God to explain their existence. In fact, I hold that Hume was basically a two-bit ‘philosophical’ thief who stole the ‘miraculous’ laws of nature away from the Christian founders of modern science who first discovered them.

    … the laws of nature are miraculous in their own right. Miracles for which the atheist simply has no rational nor coherent explanation.,,,
    ,,, In short, David Hume was a two-bit thief who stole the ‘miraculous’ laws of nature away from the Christian founders of modern science who first discovered them.
    https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/was-sagan-wrong-about-extraordinary-claims-require-extraordinary-evidence/#comment-692953

    Moreover, Hume, in his simplistic claim that “A miracle is a violation of the laws of nature”, was basically presupposing that methodological naturalism was undeniably true and that methodological naturalism should therefore be the starting philosophical presupposition of science.

    Methodological naturalism
    Methodological naturalism is the label for the required assumption of philosophical naturalism when working with the scientific method. Methodological naturalists limit their scientific research to the study of natural causes, because any attempts to define causal relationships with the supernatural are never fruitful, and result in the creation of scientific “dead ends” and God of the gaps-type hypotheses.
    https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Methodological_naturalism

    As Lewontin stated , “To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that Miracles may happen.”

    ‘Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.
    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.
    The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that Miracles may happen.’
    – Richard Lewontin

    As to just how “counter-intuitive” and “mystifying” presupposing methodological naturalism is, although the Darwinian Atheist firmly believes he is on the terra firma of science, (in his appeal, even demand, for methodological naturalism), the fact of the matter is that Darwinists, in their appeal to methodological naturalism, are found to be adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor for reality to grab on to:

    Basically, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris), who has unreliable, (i.e. illusory), beliefs about reality (Plantinga), who has illusory perceptions of reality (Hoffman), who, since he has no real time empirical evidence substantiating his grandiose claims, must make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Behe, Gould, Sternberg), so as to ‘explain away’ the appearance (i.e. illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the reality of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God (Craig, Kreeft). Who, since beauty cannot be grounded within his materialistic worldview, must hold beauty itself to be illusory.
    Bottom line, nothing is truly real in the atheist’s worldview, least of all, beauty, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,,
    Darwinian Materialism and/or Methodological Naturalism vs. Reality – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaksmYceRXM

    It would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.

    The main flaw in the atheist’s presupposition of methodological naturalism, as Paul Nelson points out in the following article, is that agent causality and/or free will is ruled out of ‘scientific bounds’ before any scientific investigation has even begun.

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

    Moreover, in spite of the fact that atheists have, via their insistence for methodological naturalism, ruled out free will and/or agent causality out of scientific bounds before any scientific investigation has even begun, the fact of the matter is that we have direct first hand experience that our own agent causality and/or free will is real, whereas we have no first hand experience that the laws of nature are completely natural (with no need of God to explain their existence). As J. Budziszewski stated, “I supposed causation to be less mysterious than volition. If anything, it is the other way around. I can perceive a logical connection between premises and valid conclusions. I can perceive at least a rational connection between my willing to do something and my doing it. But between the apple and the earth, I can perceive no connection at all. Why does the apple fall? We don’t know. “But there is gravity,” you say. No, “gravity” is merely the name of the phenomenon, not its explanation. “But there are laws of gravity,” you say. No, the “laws” are not its explanation either; they are merely a more precise description of the thing to be explained, which remains as mysterious as before. ”

    A Professor’s Journey out of Nihilism: Why I am not an Atheist – University of Wyoming – J. Budziszewski
    Excerpt: “There were two great holes in the argument about the irrelevance of God. The first is that in order to attack free will, I supposed that I understood cause and effect; I supposed causation to be less mysterious than volition.
    If anything, it is the other way around. I can perceive a logical connection between premises and valid conclusions. I can perceive at least a rational connection between my willing to do something and my doing it. But between the apple and the earth, I can perceive no connection at all. Why does the apple fall? We don’t know. “But there is gravity,” you say. No, “gravity” is merely the name of the phenomenon, not its explanation. “But there are laws of gravity,” you say. No, the “laws” are not its explanation either; they are merely a more precise description of the thing to be explained, which remains as mysterious as before. For just this reason, philosophers of science are shy of the term “laws”; they prefer “lawlike regularities.” To call the equations of gravity “laws” and speak of the apple as “obeying” them is to speak as though, like the traffic laws, the “laws” of gravity are addressed to rational agents capable of conforming their wills to the command. This is cheating, because it makes mechanical causality (the more opaque of the two phenomena) seem like volition (the less). In my own way of thinking the cheating was even graver, because I attacked the less opaque in the name of the more.
    The other hole in my reasoning was cruder. If my imprisonment in a blind causality made my reasoning so unreliable that I couldn’t trust my beliefs, then by the same token I shouldn’t have trusted my beliefs about imprisonment in a blind causality. But in that case I had no business denying free will in the first place.”
    – J. Budziszewski – A Professor’s Journey out of Nihilism: Why I am not an Atheist – 2012 lecture
    University of Wyoming – above quote taken at the 34:30 minute mark
    http://veritas.org/talks/profe.....er_id=2231

    Moreover, since atheists have ruled agent causality and/or free will out of bounds before any scientific investigation has even begun, then demonstrating a miracle that violates the laws of nature becomes as easy as falling off a log.

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

    The Intersection of Science and Religion – Craig Hazen, PhD – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....qlE#t=746s

    In fact, since free will and/or agent causality figures centrally in the creation of new information,,,,

    Algorithmic Information Theory, Free Will and the Turing Test – Douglas S. Robertson
    Excerpt: Chaitin’s Algorithmic Information Theory shows that information is conserved under formal mathematical operations and, equivalently, under computer operations. This conservation law puts a new perspective on many familiar problems related to artificial intelligence. For example, the famous “Turing test” for artificial intelligence could be defeated by simply asking for a new axiom in mathematics. Human mathematicians are able to create axioms, but a computer program cannot do this without violating information conservation. Creating new axioms and free will are shown to be different aspects of the same phenomena: the creation of new information.
    http://cires.colorado.edu/~dou...../info8.pdf

    ,,, since free will and/or agent causality figures centrally in the creation of new information, then every time anyone creates a new sentence then that literally becomes evidence for a miracle, (on Hume’s definition of a miracle as being a violation of the laws of nature), since the creation of new information is not reducible to the laws of nature.

    This short sentence, “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog” is calculated by Winston Ewert, in this following video at the 10 minute mark, to contain 1000 bits of algorithmic specified complexity, (i.e. functional information), and thus to exceed the Universal Probability Bound (UPB) of 500 bits set by Dr. Dembski, (and to thus be evidence for a miracle on Hume’s definition of a miracle as being a violation of the laws of nature)
    Proposed Information Metric: Conditional Kolmogorov Complexity – Winston Ewert – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fm3mm3ofAYU

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, with the advance of modern science, we can now appeal directly to empirical evidence from neuroscience and from quantum mechanics to support the reality of free will and/or agent causality.

    In neurology we find, from the work of Benjamin Libet and others, that we have the ability to veto a “unconscious decision”, i.e. to veto a predisposition to a certain behavior that we might have. As Dr. Egnor notes, “Libet even observed that his experimental confirmation of free will accorded with the traditional religious understanding of free will”:

    Do Benjamin Libet’s Experiments Show that Free Will Is an Illusion? – Michael Egnor – January 15, 2014
    Excerpt: Materialists often invoke the experiments of Benjamin Libet when they deny free will.,,,
    (Yet) Libet himself was a strong defender of free will, and he interpreted his own experiments as validating free will. He noted that his subjects often vetoed the unconscious “decision” after the readiness potential appeared.
    ,,,”The role of conscious free will would be, then, not to initiate a voluntary act, but rather to control whether the act takes place. We may view the unconscious initiatives for voluntary actions as ‘bubbling up’ in the brain. The conscious-will then selects which of these initiatives may go forward to an action or which ones to veto and abort, with no act appearing.” – Libet
    Libet even observed that his experimental confirmation of free will accorded with the traditional religious understanding of free will:,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....81171.html

    Moreover, recent research has revealed that we are even more free in our decisions than Libet’s research had originally suggested:

    A Famous Argument Against Free Will Has Been Debunked
    For decades, a landmark brain study fed speculation about whether we control our own actions. It seems to have made a classic mistake.
    BAHAR GHOLIPOUR – SEP 10, 2019
    Excerpt: In a new study under review for publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Schurger and two Princeton researchers repeated a version of Libet’s experiment. To avoid unintentionally cherry-picking brain noise, they included a control condition in which people didn’t move at all. An artificial-intelligence classifier allowed them to find at what point brain activity in the two conditions diverged. If Libet was right, that should have happened at 500 milliseconds before the movement. But the algorithm couldn’t tell any difference until about only 150 milliseconds before the movement, the time people reported making decisions in Libet’s original experiment.
    In other words, people’s subjective experience of a decision—what Libet’s study seemed to suggest was just an illusion—appeared to match the actual moment their brains showed them making a decision.
    When Schurger first proposed the neural-noise explanation, in 2012, the paper didn’t get much outside attention, but it did create a buzz in neuroscience. Schurger received awards for overturning a long-standing idea. “It showed the Bereitschaftspotential may not be what we thought it was. That maybe it’s in some sense artifactual, related to how we analyze our data,” says Uri Maoz, a computational neuroscientist at Chapman University.
    For a paradigm shift, the work met minimal resistance. Schurger appeared to have unearthed a classic scientific mistake, so subtle that no one had noticed it and no amount of replication studies could have solved it, unless they started testing for causality.
    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2019/09/free-will-bereitschaftspotential/597736/

    Dr. Jeffery Schwartz has gone even further.

    Dr. Jeffery Schwartz has had much success in treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCDs) by changing the ‘workings of the brain’ through the ‘focused attention’ of the mind of the patient. This ability to modify our brain, i.e. ‘neuroplasticity’, would not be possible if our thoughts were determined solely by our material brains as Darwinists hold.

    Jeffrey Schwartz: You Are More than Your Brain – Science Uprising Extra Content – (2019) video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFIOSQNuXuY&list=PLR8eQzfCOiS1OmYcqv_yQSpje4p7rAE7-&index=9

    Besides this evidence from neurology, and as mentioned previously, there is also evidence from quantum mechanics that now also establishes the reality of free will.

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

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

    In fact Weinberg, again an atheist, rejected the instrumentalist approach precisely because “humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level” and because it undermined the Darwinian worldview from within. Yet, regardless of how he and other atheists may prefer the world to behave, quantum mechanics itself could care less how atheists prefer the world to behave.

    For instance, this recent 2019 experimental confirmation of the “Wigner’s Friend” thought experiment established that “measurement results,, must be understood relative to the observer who performed the measurement”.

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

    Experimental test of local observer-independence – 2019
    Excerpt: The scientific method relies on facts, established through repeated measurements and agreed upon universally, independently of who observed them. In quantum mechanics, the objectivity of observations is not so clear, most dramatically exposed in Eugene Wigner’s eponymous thought experiment where two observers can experience seemingly different realities. The question whether these realities can be reconciled in an observer-independent way has long remained inaccessible to empirical investigation, until recent no-go-theorems constructed an extended Wigner’s friend scenario with four observers that allows us to put it to the test. In a state-of-the-art 6-photon experiment, we realise this extended Wigner’s friend scenario, experimentally violating the associated Bell-type inequality by 5 standard deviations. If one holds fast to the assumptions of locality and free-choice, this result implies that quantum theory should be interpreted in an observer-dependent way.
    https://arxiv.org/pdf/1902.05080.pdf

    Moreover, the Kochen-Speckter Theorem also validates the reality of free will in quantum mechanics.

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

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

    The Kochen-Specker theorem undermines determinism 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.”

    The free will theorem of John H. Conway and Simon B. Kochen,,,
    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

    As well, with contextuality we find that, “In the quantum world, the property that you discover through measurement is not the property that the system actually had prior to the measurement process. What you observe necessarily depends on how you carried out the observation”

    Contextuality is ‘magic ingredient’ for quantum computing – June 11, 2012
    Excerpt: Contextuality was first recognized as a feature of quantum theory almost 50 years ago. The theory showed that it was impossible to explain measurements on quantum systems in the same way as classical systems.
    In the classical world, measurements simply reveal properties that the system had, such as colour, prior to the measurement. In the quantum world, the property that you discover through measurement is not the property that the system actually had prior to the measurement process. What you observe necessarily depends on how you carried out the observation.
    Imagine turning over a playing card. It will be either a red suit or a black suit – a two-outcome measurement. Now imagine nine playing cards laid out in a grid with three rows and three columns. Quantum mechanics predicts something that seems contradictory – there must be an even number of red cards in every row and an odd number of red cards in every column. Try to draw a grid that obeys these rules and you will find it impossible. It’s because quantum measurements cannot be interpreted as merely revealing a pre-existing property in the same way that flipping a card reveals a red or black suit.
    Measurement outcomes depend on all the other measurements that are performed – the full context of the experiment.
    Contextuality means that quantum measurements can not be thought of as simply revealing some pre-existing properties of the system under study. That’s part of the weirdness of quantum mechanics.
    http://phys.org/news/2014-06-w.....antum.html

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

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

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

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

    Cosmic Bell Test Using Random Measurement Settings from High-Redshift Quasars – Anton Zeilinger – 14 June 2018
    Abstract: In this Letter, we present a cosmic Bell experiment with polarization-entangled photons, in which measurement settings were determined based on real-time measurements of the wavelength of photons from high-redshift quasars, whose light was emitted billions of years ago; the experiment simultaneously ensures locality. Assuming fair sampling for all detected photons and that the wavelength of the quasar photons had not been selectively altered or previewed between emission and detection, we observe statistically significant violation of Bell’s inequality by 9.3 standard deviations, corresponding to an estimated p value of ? 7.4 × 10^21. This experiment pushes back to at least ? 7.8 Gyr ago the most recent time by which any local-realist influences could have exploited the “freedom-of-choice” loophole to engineer the observed Bell violation, excluding any such mechanism from 96% of the space-time volume of the past light cone of our experiment, extending from the big bang to today.
    https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.080403

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

    Moreover allowing free will and/or Agent causality into the laws of physics at their most fundamental level has some fairly profound implications for us personally.

    First and foremost, allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned,,,, (Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, and Max Planck, to name a few of the Christian founders),,, and as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands (with the closing of the free will loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company), rightly allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics provides us with a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead provides an empirically backed reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between quantum mechanics and general relativity into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything”. Here are a few posts where I lay out and defend some of the evidence for that claim:

    November 2019 – despite the fact that virtually everyone, including the vast majority of Christians, hold that the Copernican Principle is unquestionably true, the fact of the matter is that the Copernican Principle is now empirically shown, (via quantum mechanics and general relativity, etc..), to be a false assumption.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/so-then-maybe-we-are-privileged-observers/#comment-688855

    (February 19, 2019) To support Isabel Piczek’s claim that the Shroud of Turin does indeed reveal a true ‘event horizon’, the following study states that ‘The bottom part of the cloth (containing the dorsal image) would have born all the weight of the man’s supine body, yet the dorsal image is not encoded with a greater amount of intensity than the frontal image.’,,,
    Moreover, besides gravity being dealt with, the shroud also gives us evidence that Quantum Mechanics was dealt with. In the following paper, it was found that it was not possible to describe the image formation on the Shroud in classical terms but they found it necessary to describe the formation of the image on the Shroud in discrete quantum terms.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/experiment-quantum-particles-can-violate-the-mathematical-pigeonhole-principle/#comment-673178

    The evidence for the Shroud’s authenticity keeps growing. (Timeline of facts) – November 08, 2019
    What Is the Shroud of Turin? Facts & History Everyone Should Know – Myra Adams and Russ Breault
    https://www.christianity.com/wiki/jesus-christ/what-is-the-shroud-of-turin.html

    To give us a small glimpse of the power that was involved in Christ’s resurrection from the dead, the following recent article found that, ”it would take 34 Thousand Billion Watts of VUV radiations to make the image on the shroud. This output of electromagnetic energy remains beyond human technology.”

    Astonishing discovery at Christ’s tomb supports Turin Shroud – NOV 26TH 2016
    Excerpt: The first attempts made to reproduce the face on the Shroud by radiation, used a CO2 laser which produced an image on a linen fabric that is similar at a macroscopic level. However, microscopic analysis showed a coloring that is too deep and many charred linen threads, features that are incompatible with the Shroud image. Instead, the results of ENEA “show that a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation can color a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin, including shades of color, the surface color of the fibrils of the outer linen fabric, and the absence of fluorescence”.
    ‘However, Enea scientists warn, “it should be noted that the total power of VUV radiations required to instantly color the surface of linen that corresponds to a human of average height, body surface area equal to = 2000 MW/cm2 17000 cm2 = 34 thousand billion watts makes it impractical today to reproduce the entire Shroud image using a single laser excimer, since this power cannot be produced by any VUV light source built to date (the most powerful available on the market come to several billion watts )”.
    Comment
    The ENEA study of the Holy Shroud of Turin concluded that it would take 34 Thousand Billion Watts of VUV radiations to make the image on the shroud. This output of electromagnetic energy remains beyond human technology.
    http://westvirginianews.blogsp.....in-is.html

    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.

    Thus in conclusion, modern science was born out of Christian metaphysics, and modern science finds its ultimate resolution for a quote-unquote ‘theory of everything’ in Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Moreover, presupposing methodological naturalism, instead of Christian Theism, as a starting presupposition in science, leads to the catastrophic epistemological failure of science itself in that everything that everyone, including atheists themselves, regards as being real, (sense of self, free will, morality, beauty, etc,,,) turns out to be illusory under methodological naturalism.

    Again, it would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science than methodological naturalism has turned out to be,

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

  5. 5
    polistra says:

    Lots of people come to theism through rationality. I was a hard atheist until I started studying and working with the details of speech and hearing. The cochlea is irrefutable evidence of design. Zero possibility of randomness.

    The next step into specific brands of theism probably happens through culture or environment or status-seeking. I’ve never made the step because I’ve never been rewarded by any aspect of culture or status.

  6. 6
    GCS says:

    The answer to the question is a resounding “YES”.

    It happened to me at age 49 (though looking back I see that I was being prepped for years).

    Christianity explains what we see happening in the world.

    When I became Christian the world did not change one iota. I changed and saw the world in a new light and this new view of life made sense of everything.

    Try it, you’ll like it. If you won’t try it you are not a believer in the scientific method. Honestly taking a chance with Christianity is just a real life experiment.

    God Bless.
    .

  7. 7
    Fasteddious says:

    To my mind, apologetics serves two principal functions: to reassure believers, and to demonstrate to nonbelievers that believers aren’t ignoramuses. 1 Peter 3:15 says it best, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (NIV). On the other hand, clearly some people are swayed by logic, history, science and rational discussion. Here is an item about “empirical faith” – how to examine faith scientifically, or at least from a rational perspective:
    https://thopid.blogspot.com/2014/06/empirical-faith.html

  8. 8
    aarceng says:

    C S Lewis.

  9. 9
    Ed George says:

    Obviously, the way the vast majority of people come to the Christian Faith is to be born into a Christian family.

    For those who come to it later in life, I don’t think you can narrow it down to one thing. In many cases it comes out of personal crises. An alcoholic or drug addict may come to it out of desperation. The few recovering addicts that I know that have come to Christianity have one thing in common. They become obsessed about it to the point that it takes over their lives. Almost as if they are replacing one addiction with another.

    Others may come to it out of a close call with death for them or a close family member. They reach out to the church for help and it is provided. In my mind, this is one of the best thing about organized religion. In most cases it provides support to people in dire need of it.

  10. 10
    martin_r says:

    “Does anyone come to Christian faith by a rational process?”

    if you study 21st century biology / molecular biology, AND IF YOU ARE NOT RETARDED, you know by now that the life was created. So it does not matter whether you are a Christian / Muslim or a Buddhist, in 21st century it is clear, that there is a God / Creator / Designer/ Engineer. IT IS UNDENIABLE (unless you are retarded).

  11. 11
    Truthfreedom says:

    @9 Ed George:

    An alcoholic or drug addict

    Alcohol IS a drug. The rest of your ‘analysis’ is as inane as this comment. j. coyne’s level of inanity.
    Thank God you did not add anything related to your obsession with homosexuality.
    It seems we have been spared this time.

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