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BA77 draws out Pearcey on the illusion of self as an implication of Evolutionary Materialism

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Over the past day or so, following a News post, the self referential incoherences of evolutionary materialism have been coming under the microscope here at UD. In the course of such, the indefatigable (but often “misunderestimated”) BA77 has again struck gold.

As in per famed eccentric and insightful mystic, William Blake, Tiger, tiger, burning bright . . .


And, how could we honour BA77 without a vid? So . .

[youtube uuiusIIOqY4]

(While we are at it, Eye of the Tiger, vid + lyrics.)

Well worth headlining:


BA77: >>I like the nuance that Dr. Pearcey draws out. It is not only that, under materialistic premises, our perceptions may be false, it is also that, under materialistic premises, free will, consciouness and even our sense of self, are illusions!

Why Evolutionary Theory Cannot Survive Itself – Nancy Pearcey – March 8, 2015

Excerpt: Steven Pinker writes, “Our brains were shaped for fitness, not for truth. Sometimes the truth is adaptive, but sometimes it is not.” The upshot is that survival is no guarantee of truth. If survival is the only standard, we can never know which ideas are true and which are adaptive but false.

To make the dilemma even more puzzling, evolutionists tell us that natural selection has produced all sorts of false concepts in the human mind. Many evolutionary materialists maintain that free will is an illusion, consciousness is an illusion, even our sense of self is an illusion – and that all these false ideas were selected for their survival value.

So how can we know whether the theory of evolution itself is one of those false ideas? The theory undercuts itself.,,,

Thus, the problem is much worse than the problem that we might believe false things about a sabre tooth tiger and choose to do the right thing for the wrong reasons. The problem is that our material brains falsely believe that they exist as real persons in the first place, and that our brains, as illusory persons, also falsely believe that they somehow have a free choice whether to tell the material body to run away from the tiger or not!

Moreover, as if all of the preceding was not already the very definition of absurdity, under materialistic premises the tiger’s brain is also having an illusion that it really exists as a tiger, and its brain is also under the illusion that it has a choice as whether it wants to eat us or whether it wants to take a nap.

Moreover, while all this is a very compelling philosophical proof that the naturalistic/materialistic position is patently absurd, due to advances in science we don’t have to rely solely on this compelling philosophical proof. In other words, we can underscore our compelling philosophical argument with rigid empirical evidence.

For instance, to underscore the fact that we have free will, we can refer to the quantum experiment of ‘Delayed choice for entanglement swapping’:

“If we attempt to attribute an objective meaning to the quantum state of a single system, curious paradoxes appear: quantum effects mimic not only instantaneous action-at-a-distance but also, as seen here, influence of future actions on past events, even after these events have been irrevocably recorded.”
Asher Peres, Delayed choice for entanglement swapping. J. Mod. Opt. 47, 139-143 (2000).

Quantum physics mimics spooky action into the past – April 23, 2012
Excerpt: The authors experimentally realized a “Gedankenexperiment” called “delayed-choice entanglement swapping”, formulated by Asher Peres in the year 2000.,,,
According to the famous words of Albert Einstein, the effects of quantum entanglement appear as “spooky action at a distance”. The recent experiment has gone one remarkable step further. “Within a naïve classical world view, quantum mechanics can even mimic an influence of future actions on past events”, says Anton Zeilinger.

You can see a more complete explanation of the startling results of the experiment at the 9:11 minute mark of the following video:

Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser Experiment Explained – 2014 video

In other words, if my conscious choices really are just merely the result of whatever state the material particles in my brain happen to be in in the past (deterministic) how in blue blazes are my choices instantaneously effecting the state of material particles into the past? This experiment is simply impossible for any coherent materialistic presupposition!

And to underscore the fact that consciousness is not emergent from a material basis, we can reference this recent experiment from quantum mechanics (among many experiments).,,
Dean Radin, who spent years at Princeton testing different aspects of consciousness, recently performed experiments testing the possible role of consciousness in the double slit. His results were, not so surprisingly, very supportive of consciousness’s central role in the experiment:

Consciousness and the double-slit interference pattern: six experiments – Radin – 2012
Abstract: A double-slit optical system was used to test the possible role of consciousness in the collapse of the quantum wavefunction. The ratio of the interference pattern’s double-slit spectral power to its single-slit spectral power was predicted to decrease when attention was focused toward the double slit as compared to away from it. Each test session consisted of 40 counterbalanced attention-toward and attention-away epochs, where each epoch lasted between 15 and 30 s(seconds). Data contributed by 137 people in six experiments, involving a total of 250 test sessions, indicate that on average the spectral ratio decreased as predicted (z = -4:36, p = 6·10^-6). Another 250 control sessions conducted without observers present tested hardware, software, and analytical procedures for potential artifacts; none were identified (z = 0:43, p = 0:67). Variables including temperature, vibration, and signal drift were also tested, and no spurious influences were identified. By contrast, factors associated with consciousness, such as meditation experience, electrocortical markers of focused attention, and psychological factors including openness and absorption, significantly correlated in predicted ways with perturbations in the double-slit interference pattern. The results appear to be consistent with a consciousness-related interpretation of the quantum measurement problem.

And to experimentally support the Theistic contention that really do exist as real persons, we can reference this:

Dr. Gary Mathern – What Can You Do With Half A Brain? – video

Removing Half of Brain Improves Young Epileptics’ Lives: – 1997
Excerpt: “We are awed by the apparent retention of memory and by the retention of the child’s personality and sense of humor,” Dr. Eileen P. G. Vining,,
Dr. John Freeman, the director of the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Epilepsy Center, said he was dumbfounded at the ability of children to regain speech after losing the half of the brain that is supposedly central to language processing.
”It’s fascinating,” Dr. Freeman said. ”The classic lore is that you can’t change language after the age of 2 or 3.”
But Dr. Freeman’s group has now removed diseased left hemispheres in more than 20 patients, including three 13-year-olds whose ability to speak transferred to the right side of the brain in much the way that Alex’s did.,,,

In further comment from the neuro-surgeons in the John Hopkins study:

“Despite removal of one hemisphere, the intellect of all but one of the children seems either unchanged or improved. Intellect was only affected in the one child who had remained in a coma, vigil-like state, attributable to peri-operative complications.”

Strange but True: When Half a Brain Is Better than a Whole One – May 2007
Excerpt: Most Hopkins hemispherectomy patients are five to 10 years old. Neurosurgeons have performed the operation on children as young as three months old. Astonishingly, memory and personality develop normally. ,,,
Another study found that children that underwent hemispherectomies often improved academically once their seizures stopped. “One was champion bowler of her class, one was chess champion of his state, and others are in college doing very nicely,” Freeman says.
Of course, the operation has its downside: “You can walk, run—some dance or skip—but you lose use of the hand opposite of the hemisphere that was removed. You have little function in that arm and vision on that side is lost,” Freeman says. Remarkably, few other impacts are seen. ,,,

More evidence of brain plasticity is here

The Case for the Soul – InspiringPhilosophy – (4:03 minute mark, Brain Plasticity including Schwartz’s work) – Oct. 2014 – video
The Mind is able to modify the brain (brain plasticity). Moreover, Idealism explains all anomalous evidence of personality changes due to brain injury, whereas physicalism cannot explain mind.

In fact not only is the mind able to modify the structure of the brain, but not the mind has been shown to have the ability to reach all the way down and effect the genetic expression of our bodies:

Scientists Finally Show How Your Thoughts Can Cause Specific Molecular Changes To Your Genes, – December 10, 2013
Excerpt: “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that shows rapid alterations in gene expression within subjects associated with mindfulness meditation practice,” says study author Richard J. Davidson, founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds and the William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“Most interestingly, the changes were observed in genes that are the current targets of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs,” says Perla Kaliman, first author of the article and a researcher at the Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona, Spain (IIBB-CSIC-IDIBAPS), where the molecular analyses were conducted.,,,
the researchers say, there was no difference in the tested genes between the two groups of people at the start of the study. The observed effects were seen only in the meditators following mindfulness practice. In addition, several other DNA-modifying genes showed no differences between groups, suggesting that the mindfulness practice specifically affected certain regulatory pathways.

Thus, not only is atheistic materialism phiosophically absurd in the extreme, but atheistic materialism is also directly undercut by empirical evidence.

If we were dealing with a science instead of a religion, this would be devastating for the hypothesis of materialism!>>


We may want to debate the Quantum views BA77 brings to the table, etc, but the key point drawn out from Pearcey is still there on the middle of the table:

To make the dilemma even more puzzling, evolutionists tell us that natural selection has produced all sorts of false concepts in the human mind. Many evolutionary materialists maintain that free will is an illusion, consciousness is an illusion, even our sense of self is an illusion – and that all these false ideas were selected for their survival value.

Thus also, BA77’s challenge:

Thus, the problem is much worse than the problem that we might believe false things about a sabre tooth tiger and choose to do the right thing for the wrong reasons. The problem is that our material brains falsely believe that they exist as real persons in the first place, and that our brains, as illusory persons, also falsely believe that they somehow have a free choice whether to tell the material body to run away from the tiger or not!

Moreover, as if all of the preceding was not already the very definition of absurdity, under materialistic premises the tiger’s brain is also having an illusion that it really exists as a tiger, and its brain is also under the illusion that it has a choice as whether it wants to eat us or whether it wants to take a nap.

And in reply, what do our Evolutionary Materialism advocates have to say? . . . END

"The order and complexity in which life appears in the fossil record does not prove the theory of evolution. No life...then life. Some simple life then more complex life with nothing to connect the two in between. What every paleontologist knows is that the basic phyla of all known current life forms, though primitive, just does suddenly appear. The term "explosion" for this phenomenon is not without meaning. The same happened in the Ediacaran layers: No life...then, biologically suddenly, organized complex (when compare to single cells) life just seemingly "exploding" into existence! From wikipedia: "Ediacara biota bear little resemblance to modern lifeforms, and their relationship even with the later lifeforms of the Cambrian explosion is rather difficult to interpret" meaning that there is no relationship or evidence of evolutionary progression. There is no empirical evidence showing any less evolved precursors that can prove evolution. Let's take a look at any recognizable multicellular animal or plant in the fossil record from ferns, trilobites, and T.Rex just to name a few. They are just suddenly there, appearing in the fossil record, fully formed, without any precursors.",,, Walter Mendoza - Engineer https://plus.google.com/111538792546901294971/posts/HNs56yw8QCZ bornagain77
of supplemental note Bob, you seem to think that the land of the Precambrian earth was barren of life. If so, you are wrong: Greening of the Earth pushed way back in time - July 22, 2013 Excerpt: Conventional scientific wisdom has it that plants and other creatures have only lived on land for about 500 million years, but a new study is pointing to evidence for life on land that is four times as old -- at 2.2 billion years ago and almost half way back to the inception of the planet.,,, ,,,these new fossils set a new and earlier benchmark for the greening of the land," http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130722141548.htm bornagain77
Moreover, as Dr. Wells points out in the preceding video, Darwin predicted that minor differences (diversity) between species would gradually appear first and then the differences would grow larger (disparity) between species as time went on. i.e. universal common descent as depicted in Darwin's tree of life. What Darwin predicted should be familiar to everyone and is easily represented in the following graph.,,,
The Theory - Diversity precedes Disparity - graph http://www.veritas-ucsb.org/JOURNEY/IMAGES/F.gif
But that 'tree pattern' that Darwin predicted is not what is found in the fossil record. The fossil record reveals that disparity (the greatest differences) precedes diversity (the smaller differences), which is the exact opposite pattern for what Darwin's theory predicted.
The Actual Fossil Evidence- Disparity precedes Diversity - graph http://www.veritas-ucsb.org/JOURNEY/IMAGES/G.gif Investigating Evolution: The Cambrian Explosion Part 1 – (4:45 minute mark - upside-down fossil record) video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DkbmuRhXRY Part 2 – video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZFM48XIXnk Timeline graphic on Cambrian Explosion from 'Darwin's Doubt' (Disparity preceding Diversity) http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/07/its_darwins_dou074341.html “Darwin had a lot of trouble with the fossil record because if you look at the record of phyla in the rocks as fossils why when they first appear we already see them all. The phyla are fully formed. It’s as if the phyla were created first and they were modified into classes and we see that the number of classes peak later than the number of phyla and the number of orders peak later than that. So it’s kind of a top down succession, you start with this basic body plans, the phyla, and you diversify them into classes, the major sub-divisions of the phyla, and these into orders and so on. So the fossil record is kind of backwards from what you would expect from in that sense from what you would expect from Darwin’s ideas." James W. Valentine - as quoted from "On the Origin of Phyla: Interviews with James W. Valentine" - (as stated at 1:16:36 mark of video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtdFJXfvlm8&feature=player_detailpage#t=4595
Moreover, there are 'yawning chasms' in the 'morphological space' between the phyla which suddenly appeared in the Cambrian Explosion,,,
"Over the past 150 years or so, paleontologists have found many representatives of the phyla that were well-known in Darwin’s time (by analogy, the equivalent of the three primary colors) and a few completely new forms altogether (by analogy, some other distinct colors such as green and orange, perhaps). And, of course, within these phyla, there is a great deal of variety. Nevertheless, the analogy holds at least insofar as the differences in form between any member of one phylum and any member of another phylum are vast, and paleontologists have utterly failed to find forms that would fill these yawning chasms in what biotechnologists call “morphological space.” In other words, they have failed to find the paleolontogical equivalent of the numerous finely graded intermediate colors (Oedleton blue, dusty rose, gun barrel gray, magenta, etc.) that interior designers covet. Instead, extensive sampling of the fossil record has confirmed a strikingly discontinuous pattern in which representatives of the major phyla stand in stark isolation from members of other phyla, without intermediate forms filling the intervening morphological space." Stephen Meyer - Darwin’s Doubt (p. 70)
Moreover, this top down pattern in the fossil record, which is the complete opposite pattern as Darwin predicted for the fossil record, is not only found in the Cambrian Explosion, but this 'top down', disparity preceding diversity, pattern is found in the fossil record subsequent to the Cambrian explosion as well.
Scientific study turns understanding about evolution on its head – July 30, 2013 Excerpt: evolutionary biologists,,, looked at nearly one hundred fossil groups to test the notion that it takes groups of animals many millions of years to reach their maximum diversity of form. Contrary to popular belief, not all animal groups continued to evolve fundamentally new morphologies through time. The majority actually achieved their greatest diversity of form (disparity) relatively early in their histories. ,,,Dr Matthew Wills said: “This pattern, known as ‘early high disparity’, turns the traditional V-shaped cone model of evolution on its head. What is equally surprising in our findings is that groups of animals are likely to show early-high disparity regardless of when they originated over the last half a billion years. This isn’t a phenomenon particularly associated with the first radiation of animals (in the Cambrian Explosion), or periods in the immediate wake of mass extinctions.”,,, Author Martin Hughes, continued: “Our work implies that there must be constraints on the range of forms within animal groups, and that these limits are often hit relatively early on. Co-author Dr Sylvain Gerber, added: “A key question now is what prevents groups from generating fundamentally new forms later on in their evolution.,,, http://phys.org/news/2013-07-scientific-evolution.html “In virtually all cases a new taxon appears for the first time in the fossil record with most definitive features already present, and practically no known stem-group forms.” TS Kemp - Fossils and Evolution,– Curator of Zoological Collections, Oxford University, Oxford Uni Press, p246, 1999 “What is missing are the many intermediate forms hypothesized by Darwin, and the continual divergence of major lineages into the morphospace between distinct adaptive types.” Robert L Carroll (born 1938) – vertebrate paleontologist who specialises in Paleozoic and Mesozoic amphibians
Thus Bob, since none of that devastating evidence against neo-Darwinism is allowed to falsify neo-Darwinism, a pre-Cambrian rabbit would be mere child's play for the theory to ignore. Moreover, I note that other theories of cience have a rigid mathematical basis (i.e. falsification criteria) to test against. Neo-Darwinism has nothing of the sort and is thus not even a rigid science in the first place but is instead a pseudo-science!
“On the other hand, I disagree that Darwin’s theory is as `solid as any explanation in science.; Disagree? I regard the claim as preposterous. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to thirteen or so decimal places; so, too, general relativity. A leaf trembling in the wrong way would suffice to shatter either theory. What can Darwinian theory offer in comparison?” - Berlinski, D., “A Scientific Scandal?: David Berlinski & Critics,” Commentary, July 8, 2003
Bob O'H as to your claim:
"but also that it (the pre-Cambrian rabbit) would be much larger and very different from anything else that seems to have lived around then."
Bob, let me introduce you to the Cambrian Explosion which is full of all sorts of creatures that are "much larger and very different from anything else that seems to have lived around then":
Virtual Sea Odyssey; Observe the creatures who lived in the Burgess Shale community from a "virtual submarine". - video http://burgess-shale.rom.on.ca/en/sea-odyssey/ Fossil Gallery - images of species from Cambrian period - Main Gallery The Main Gallery is a comprehensive source of information based on the latest scientific research covering the majority of species so far described from the Burgess Shale. It contains a growing collection of over 500 high resolution images representing 184 species in 135 genera. In addition, dozens of scientifically accurate drawings and breathtaking digital animations will allow you to visualize these organisms in three dimensions and see how they lived. http://burgess-shale.rom.on.ca/en/fossil-gallery/list-species.php Gentle giants of the Cambrian - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aLd8NN0YtY
This particular creature is a favorite of mine:
Anomalocaris - The largest predator of the Cambrian (3D Animation) http://burgess-shale.rom.on.ca/en/fossil-gallery/intro_1.php
Bob, the following researchers state that one creature in the Cambrian "looked like something completely out of this planet," thus directly contradicting you claim that that there were no creatures that were 'very different from anything else that seems to have lived around then."
Gigantic Cambrian Shrimplike Creature Unearthed in Greenland - March 26, 2014 Excerpt: A new filter-feeding giant that trolled the Cambrian seas has been unearthed in Greenland. The species, dubbed Tamisiocaris borealis, used large, bristly appendages on its body to rake in tiny shrimplike creatures from the sea,,, While on an excavation trip in 2009, the team unearthed fragments of strange feeding appendages attached to a head shield from an unknown creature. The appendages, which date to about 520 million years ago,,, These ancient sea monsters grew to about 70 centimeters (2.7 feet) long and "looked like something completely out of this planet," with massive frontal appendages for grasping prey, huge eyes on stalks, and a mouth shaped like a piece of canned pineapple, Vinther told Live Science. But the appendages from T. borealis were different from those of other anomalocarids. Instead of large grasping claws, the front pieces sported fine, delicate bristles, much like the baleen found in the mouths of filter-feeding whales. http://www.livescience.com/44381-filter-feeding-cambrian-creature-unearthed.html
And yes, despite the denial of Darwinists to the contrary, the Cambrian Explosion directly challenges neo-Darwinism in both its claim for common descent and its claim for the mechanism of random mutation and natural selection;
What Types of Evolution Does the Cambrian Explosion Challenge? - Stephen Meyer - video - (challenges Universal Common Descent and the Mechanism of Random Variation/Natural Selection) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaF7t5wRFtA&list=UUUMhP2x7_7psVO-H4MJFpAQ Cambrian Explosion Ruins Darwin's Tree of Life (2 minutes in 24 hour day) - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQKxkUb_AAg
Au contraire, the neo-Darwinian theory would merely ‘evolve’ another ‘just so story’ of convergent evolution in order to fit the evidence:
You've missed the point: it's not just a rabbit that it would look like a rabbit, but also that it would be much larger and very different from anything else that seems to have lived around then. There's no evidence of any pre-cursors (any missing links, if you must). We would expect to see some fossils that suggest a transition to that level of complexity, and ability to live on land, if we found a Cambrian rabbit. Bob O'H
"And the theory isn’t endlessly plastic: pre-Cambrian rabbits (for example) would break it." Au contraire, the neo-Darwinian theory would merely 'evolve' another 'just so story' of convergent evolution in order to fit the evidence:
Five Questions Evolutionists Would Rather Dodge 5. Testability What evidence would convince you that evolution is false? If no such evidence exists, or indeed could exist, how can evolution be a testable scientific theory?,,, The evolutionist J. B. S. Haldane, when asked what would convince him that evolution was false, replied that finding a rabbit fossil in pre-Cambrian rocks would do quite nicely. Such a fossil would, by standard geological dating, be out of sequence by several hundreds of millions of years. Certainly such a finding, if rigorously confirmed, would overturn the current understanding of the history of life. But it would not overturn evolution. Haldane’s rabbit is easily enough explained as an evolutionary convergence, in which essentially the same structure or life form evolves twice. In place of a common underlying intelligent design, evolutionists invoke evolutionary convergence whenever confronted with similar biological structures that cannot reasonably be traced back to a common evolutionary ancestor. So long as some unknown or unexplored evolutionary pathway might have led to the formation of some biological structure or organism, evolutionists prefer it over alternative explanations such as intelligent design. And since the unknown and unexplored allow for an infinity of loopholes, the committed evolutionist regards Darwinian and other materialist explanations of life’s origin and subsequent development as always trumping alternative explanations, regardless of the evidence. - By William A. Dembski http://www.brianauten.com/Apologetics/Five_Questions_Ev.pdf
of supplemental note on how widespread is the use of 'convergence' by Darwinists to 'explain away' discordant data:
"Despite its complexity, C4 photosynthesis is one of the best examples of 'convergent evolution', having evolved more than 50 times in at least 18 plant families (Sage 2004; Conway Morris 2006)." http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/26/8/1909.full.pdf “The reason evolutionary biologists believe in "40 known independent eye evolutions" isn't because they've reconstructed those evolutionary pathways, but because eyes don't assume a treelike pattern on the famous Darwinian "tree of life." Darwinists are accordingly forced, again and again, to invoke convergent "independent" evolution of eyes to explain why eyes are distributed in such a non-tree-like fashion. This is hardly evidence against ID. In fact the appearance of eyes within widely disparate groups speaks eloquently of common design. Eyes are a problem, all right -- for Darwinism.” http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/03/its_a_shame_rea083441.html
Simon Conway Morris has a website documenting hundreds, if not thousands, of examples of 'convergence':
Map Of Life – Simon Conway Morris http://www.mapoflife.org/browse/ Simon Conway Morris: “Fossil evidence demands a radical rewriting of evolution.” – March 2012 Excerpt: “The idea is this: that convergence – the tendency of very different organisms to evolve similar solutions to biological problems – is not just part of evolution, but a driving force. To say this is an unconventional view would be something of an understatement.” https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/evolution/simon-conway-morris-fossil-evidence-demands-a-radical-rewriting-of-evolution/ Convergent evolution seen in hundreds of genes - Erika Check Hayden - 04 September 2013 Excerpt: “These results imply that convergent molecular evolution is much more widespread than previously recognized,” says molecular phylogeneticist Frédéric Delsuc at the The National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) at the University of Montpellier in France, who was not involved in the study. What is more, he adds, the genes involved are not just the few, obvious ones known to be directly involved in a trait but a broader array of genes that are involved in the same regulatory networks. http://www.nature.com/news/convergent-evolution-seen-in-hundreds-of-genes-1.13679 Problem 7: Convergent Evolution Challenges Darwinism and Destroys the Logic Behind Common Ancestry - Casey Luskin February 9, 2015 Excerpt: Whenever evolutionary biologists are forced to appeal to convergent evolution, it reflects a breakdown in the main assumption, and an inability to fit the data to a treelike pattern. Examples of this abound in the literature,,,, Biochemist and Darwin-skeptic Fazale Rana reviewed the technical literature and documented over 100 reported cases of convergent genetic evolution.126 Each case shows an example where biological similarity -- even at the genetic level -- is not the result of inheritance from a common ancestor. So what does this do to the main assumption of tree-building that biological similarity implies inheritance from a common ancestor? With so many exceptions to the rule, one has to wonder if the rule itself holds merit.,,, http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/02/problem_7_conve091161.html
Bob, actually, on the Cambrian revo and the dominant pattern of suddenness stasis and gaps, the theory is explaining away evidence and cherry picking for headlines and has been since Darwin's hope that the fossils would come in to fill the gaps on the Cambrian revo. 150 years, 1/4+ mn fossil species and millions of samples later, nope. KF kairosfocus
And to this day Darwinists continue to endeavor to fashion the theory to fit the data. In fact, the only evidence we have for Darwinian evolution happening is within the theory itself. The theory is endlessly plastic, forever morphing itself into whatever shape it needs to be so as to ‘explain away’ difficult, and even completely contradictory, findings:
It's called "following the evidence where it leads". And the theory isn't endlessly plastic: pre-Cambrian rabbits (for example) would break it. Bob O'H
as to: "He merely endeavored to fashion a theory that fit the data" And to this day Darwinists continue to endeavor to fashion the theory to fit the data. In fact, the only evidence we have for Darwinian evolution happening is within the theory itself. The theory is endlessly plastic, forever morphing itself into whatever shape it needs to be so as to ‘explain away’ difficult, and even completely contradictory, findings:
“Being an evolutionist means there is no bad news. If new species appear abruptly in the fossil record, that just means evolution operates in spurts. If species then persist for eons with little modification, that just means evolution takes long breaks. If clever mechanisms are discovered in biology, that just means evolution is smarter than we imagined. If strikingly similar designs are found in distant species, that just means evolution repeats itself. If significant differences are found in allied species, that just means evolution sometimes introduces new designs rapidly. If no likely mechanism can be found for the large-scale change evolution requires, that just means evolution is mysterious. If adaptation responds to environmental signals, that just means evolution has more foresight than was thought. If major predictions of evolution are found to be false, that just means evolution is more complex than we thought.” ~ Cornelius Hunter
CHartsil: Free will is only an illusion if an omniscient being exists. hilarious thanks for the laughs Mung
Darwin didn’t have a step-by-step account of how variation and inheritance happened. He merely endeavored to fashion a theory that fit the data.
Quite true. goodusername
goodusername, Darwin didn't have a step-by-step account of how variation and inheritance happened. He merely endeavored to fashion a theory that fit the data. Collin
CY, great to hear from you. Looks like a lot of folks have done a spin-off on Blake. KF kairosfocus
GUN, de Nile is a river in Egypt. KF kairosfocus
BA,KF Here's one for ya: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1g8RZw6rpeE CannuckianYankee
But if that is not enough for you goodusername, to believe that God created the universe and that we are made in His image, consider the following. Humans uniquely possess the ability to understand and create information
Leading Evolutionary Scientists Admit We Have No Evolutionary Explanation of Human Language - December 19, 2014 Excerpt: Understanding the evolution of language requires evidence regarding origins and processes that led to change. In the last 40 years, there has been an explosion of research on this problem as well as a sense that considerable progress has been made. We argue instead that the richness of ideas is accompanied by a poverty of evidence, with essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved.,,, (Marc Hauser, Charles Yang, Robert Berwick, Ian Tattersall, Michael J. Ryan, Jeffrey Watumull, Noam Chomsky and Richard C. Lewontin, "The mystery of language evolution," Frontiers in Psychology, Vol 5:401 (May 7, 2014).) It's difficult to imagine much stronger words from a more prestigious collection of experts. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/12/leading_evoluti092141.html
Moreover, the three Rs, reading, writing, and arithmetic, i.e. the unique ability to create and process information inherent to man, are the very first things to be taught to children when they enter elementary school. And yet it is this unique information processing that is inherent to man, i.e. reading, writing, and arithmetic that is found to be foundational to life:
Signature in the Cell by Stephen Meyer - video clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVkdQhNdzHU
As well, as if that was not 'spooky enough' information, not material, is found to be foundational to physical reality:
"it from bit” Every “it”— every particle, every field of force, even the space-time continuum itself derives its function, its meaning, its very existence entirely—even if in some contexts indirectly—from the apparatus-elicited answers to yes-or-no questions, binary choices, bits. “It from bit” symbolizes the idea that every item of the physical world has a bottom—a very deep bottom, in most instances, an immaterial source and explanation, that which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes-no questions and the registering of equipment—evoked responses, in short all matter and all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and this is a participatory universe." – Princeton University physicist John Wheeler (1911–2008) (Wheeler, John A. (1990), “Information, physics, quantum: The search for links”, in W. Zurek, Complexity, Entropy, and the Physics of Information (Redwood City, California: Addison-Wesley)) Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe? Excerpt: In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: "In the beginning was the Word." Anton Zeilinger - a leading expert in quantum teleportation: http://www.metanexus.net/archive/ultimate_reality/zeilinger.pdf Quantum physics just got less complicated - Dec. 19, 2014 Excerpt: Patrick Coles, Jedrzej Kaniewski, and Stephanie Wehner,,, found that 'wave-particle duality' is simply the quantum 'uncertainty principle' in disguise, reducing two mysteries to one.,,, "The connection between uncertainty and wave-particle duality comes out very naturally when you consider them as questions about what information you can gain about a system. Our result highlights the power of thinking about physics from the perspective of information,",,, http://phys.org/news/2014-12-quantum-physics-complicated.html
That life and physical reality itself are both found to be ‘information theoretic’ in their basis, and that man possesses the unique ability to understand and create information, is certainly strong evidence that we indeed possess ‘the image of God’ as the anchor of our soul, just as is postulated in Christian Theism.
Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” John 1:1-4 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. You Won’t Let Go Share – Michael W. Smith https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRb_NIQTzyA
goodusername, so, like Darwin, you do not doubt you have reason and rationality save for when it comes to doubting God?
People are sometimes under the impression that Darwin himself recognized the problem. They typically cite Darwin's famous "horrid doubt" passage where he questions whether the human mind can be trustworthy if it is a product of evolution: "With me, the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy." But, of course, Darwin's theory itself was a "conviction of man's mind." So why should it be "at all trustworthy"? Surprisingly, however, Darwin never confronted this internal contradiction in this theory. Why not? Because he expressed his "horrid doubt" selectively -- only when considering the case for a Creator. From time to time, Darwin admitted that he still found the idea of God persuasive. He once confessed his "inward conviction ... that the Universe is not the result of chance." It was in the next sentence that he expressed his "horrid doubt." So the "conviction" he mistrusted was his lingering conviction that the universe is not the result of chance. In another passage Darwin admitted, "I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man." Again, however, he immediately veered off into skepticism: "But then arises the doubt -- can the mind of man, which has, as I fully believe, been developed from a mind as low as that possessed by the lowest animal, be trusted when it draws such grand conclusions?" That is, can it be trusted when it draws "grand conclusions" about a First Cause? Perhaps the concept of God is merely an instinct programmed into us by natural selection, Darwin added, like a monkey's "instinctive fear and hatred of a snake." In short, it was on occasions when Darwin's mind led him to a theistic conclusion that he dismissed the mind as untrustworthy. He failed to recognize that, to be logically consistent, he needed to apply the same skepticism to his own theory. Modern followers of Darwin still apply the theory selectively. Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould wrote, "Darwin applied a consistent philosophy of materialism to his interpretation of nature," in which "mind, spirit, and God as well, are just words that express the wondrous results of neuronal complexity." In other words, God is an idea that appears in the human mind when the electrical circuitry of the brain has evolved to a certain level of complexity. To be logically consistent, however, Gould should turn the same skepticism back onto Darwin's ideas, which he never did. Gould applied his evolutionary skepticism selectively -- to discredit the idea of God. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/03/why_evolutionar094171.html
Moreover goodusername, the over the top success of the modern science itself is more than enough proof that the Theistic worldview is correct:
Science and Theism: Concord, not Conflict* – Robert C. Koons IV. The Dependency of Science Upon Theism (Page 21) Excerpt: Far from undermining the credibility of theism, the remarkable success of science in modern times is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of theism. It was from the perspective of Judeo-Christian theism—and from the perspective alone—that it was predictable that science would have succeeded as it has. Without the faith in the rational intelligibility of the world and the divine vocation of human beings to master it, modern science would never have been possible, and, even today, the continued rationality of the enterprise of science depends on convictions that can be reasonably grounded only in theistic metaphysics. http://www.robkoons.net/media/69b0dd04a9d2fc6dffff80b3ffffd524.pdf The Threat to the Scientific Method that Explains the Spate of Fraudulent Science Publications - Calvin Beisner | Jul 23, 2014 Excerpt: It is precisely because modern science has abandoned its foundations in the Biblical worldview (which holds, among other things, that a personal, rational God designed a rational universe to be understood and controlled by rational persons made in His image) and the Biblical ethic (which holds, among other things, that we are obligated to tell the truth even when it inconveniences us) that science is collapsing. As such diverse historians and philosophers of science as Alfred North Whitehead, Pierre Duhem, Loren Eiseley, Rodney Stark, and many others have observed, and as I pointed out in two of my talks at the Ninth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC), science—not an occasional flash of insight here and there, but a systematic, programmatic, ongoing way of studying and controlling the world—arose only once in history, and only in one place: medieval Europe, once known as “Christendom,” where that Biblical worldview reigned supreme. That is no accident. Science could not have arisen without that worldview. http://townhall.com/columnists/calvinbeisner/2014/07/23/the-threat-to-the-scientific-method-that-explains-the-spate-of-fraudulent-science-publications-n1865201/page/full Several other resources backing up this claim are available, such as Thomas Woods, Stanley Jaki, David Linberg, Edward Grant, J.L. Heilbron, and Christopher Dawson.
you are forced to act as though the project of meaningful discussion, reasoning, the concept that we are responsible intellectual and moral agents, etc and more were well grounded and common property of humanity — as they actually are.
Yes, as are we all.
But your underlying scheme of thought directly implies that such is not the case, that the life of the mind, conscience and heart is all a grand delusion.
How so?
We have seen Provine and Crick on that with many others out there — which is what Pearcey was pointing to.
I looked at the quotes by Provine and Crick on this thread and their statements don't imply such a thing. The number of materialists that believe that the "self" and "consciousness" are an illusion is pretty small - and I'm not sure what such assertions even mean. goodusername
I beg to differ. It is precisely because atheism fails completely to account for rationality and reason, and that Theism easily does, that the ‘issue’ is persistently brought up to atheists.
So you have a complete detailed step-by-step account of how an intelligent Creator created minds? If so, I'd love to hear it. Of course, "God did it" won't suffice, just as saying "evolution did it" is far from accounting for the mind. And even if you did have a detailed step by step account of how a Creator created the mind you'd have the issue of how you can know that the belief is trustworthy. You may believe that the Creator created our minds with reason and rationality, but you'd have to believe that you have such attributes to trust such a belief in the first place. goodusername
GUN, actually, the issue is the self referential incoherence that is a strong consequence of evolutionary materialism specifically. On the presumption that you are an adherent or a fellow traveller, you are forced to act as though the project of meaningful discussion, reasoning, the concept that we are responsible intellectual and moral agents, etc and more were well grounded and common property of humanity -- as they actually are. But your underlying scheme of thought directly implies that such is not the case, that the life of the mind, conscience and heart is all a grand delusion. We have seen Provine and Crick on that with many others out there -- which is what Pearcey was pointing to. Such a view is so incoherent that one can only live by acting as though it is false. A strong clue, that it is. False. By contrast, there are ever so many worldviews that do not require that sort of contradiction between what its foundations imply and how we have to live. Among these is any species of ethical theism, which starts pulling together a coherent picture with fact no 1, we live in a common world as conscious, rational, knowing but error prone beings. We find that there are self evident first principles of right reason which guide us, and self evident truths that give us confidence in the ability to know some things. E.g. error exists is knowable to undeniable certainty: to try to deny it instantiates its truth. Thus, any scheme that implies that we cannot reason, know and warrant to certainty, is falsified by just one firm counter-example, among many. That falsification plainly includes the sort of views you seem to be trying to support by projecting their failure universally across worldviews. Perhaps, as well you need to know that the ugly gulch between the internal phenomenal world and the external world of things in themselves is based on a self referential incoherence pointed out over 100 years ago by F H Bradley. To claim the external world is unknowable is to claim a pivotal knowledge claim about it. Oops. Bring to bear, that we are morally governed and the best explanation for our world is that we are creatures and stewards of the inherently good Creator God, a necessary and maximally great being. This is then reinforced by the facts of our world, which point to a fine tuned, designed cosmos set up in a narrow operation point that enables C-chemistry aqueous medium cell based life. That observed cell based life manifesting FSCO/I, which is inductively strongly associated with design as cause. Multiply this by the easily documented fact that millions across the ages have met and been transformed in life by God. And, that is before we get to any particular religion, all of this is philosophical, and already we are at a God worthy of worship and loyal service. So, the attempt at projective tu quoque we are all in the same boat -- a last ditch resort -- fails, too. In such a context we can have reasonable confidence that our senses and rational capacities can function correctly though we are prone to error for ever so many reasons. They were created by a good Creator, and are generally fit for purpose, though obviously they have limitations and can fail and we can make them fail. One is therefore not locked up to alternative absurdities in one's worldview. That there may be difficulties and limitations in what we can know and in degree of warrant for things we want to know about does not lock us up to absurdity. John Locke gave some sound counsel in the Intro sec 5 of his essay on human understanding:
Men have reason to be well satisfied with what God hath thought fit for them, since he hath given them (as St. Peter says [NB: i.e. 2 Pet 1:2 - 4]) pana pros zoen kaieusebeian, whatsoever is necessary for the conveniences of life and information of virtue; and has put within the reach of their discovery, the comfortable provision for this life, and the way that leads to a better. How short soever their knowledge may come of an universal or perfect comprehension of whatsoever is, it yet secures their great concernments [Prov 1: 1 - 7], that they have light enough to lead them to the knowledge of their Maker, and the sight of their own duties [cf Rom 1 - 2 & 13, Ac 17, Jn 3:19 - 21, Eph 4:17 - 24, Isaiah 5:18 & 20 - 21, Jer. 2:13, Titus 2:11 - 14 etc, etc]. Men may find matter sufficient to busy their heads, and employ their hands with variety, delight, and satisfaction, if they will not boldly quarrel with their own constitution, and throw away the blessings their hands are filled with, because they are not big enough to grasp everything . . . It will be no excuse to an idle and untoward servant [Matt 24:42 - 51], who would not attend his business by candle light, to plead that he had not broad sunshine. The Candle that is set up in us [Prov 20:27] shines bright enough for all our purposes . . . If we will disbelieve everything, because we cannot certainly know all things, we shall do muchwhat as wisely as he who would not use his legs, but sit still and perish, because he had no wings to fly. [Text references added to document the sources of Locke's allusions and citations. Yes, they lurk just below the surface of what he said, and in one case were directly quoted in Greek.]
KF kairosfocus
NOTICE: Beyond this point, for cause further trollish misbehaviour by CH is subject to removal. KF kairosfocus
Joe, tone. Don't feed the trolls. KF kairosfocus
as to "yeah, that’s equally an issue with all world-views." I beg to differ. It is precisely because atheism fails completely to account for rationality and reason, and that Theism easily does, that the 'issue' is persistently brought up to atheists. As Dr. Pearcey finished her article:
Of course, the atheist pursuing his research has no choice but to rely on rationality, just as everyone else does. The point is that he has no philosophical basis for doing so. Only those who affirm a rational Creator have a basis for trusting human rationality. The reason so few atheists and materialists seem to recognize the problem is that, like Darwin, they apply their skepticism selectively. They apply it to undercut only ideas they reject, especially ideas about God. They make a tacit exception for their own worldview commitments. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/03/why_evolutionar094171.html
Of supplemental note: Modern science was in fact born out of the Christian belief in a rational Creator who created the universe, and who also created us in His image.
The War against the War Between Science and Faith Revisited - July 2010 Excerpt: …as Whitehead pointed out, it is no coincidence that science sprang, not from Ionian metaphysics, not from the Brahmin-Buddhist-Taoist East, not from the Egyptian-Mayan astrological South, but from the heart of the Christian West, that although Galileo fell out with the Church, he would hardly have taken so much trouble studying Jupiter and dropping objects from towers if the reality and value and order of things had not first been conferred by belief in the Incarnation. (Walker Percy, Lost in the Cosmos),,, Jaki notes that before Christ the Jews never formed a very large community (priv. comm.). In later times, the Jews lacked the Christian notion that Jesus was the monogenes or unigenitus, the only-begotten of God. Pantheists like the Greeks tended to identify the monogenes or unigenitus with the universe itself, or with the heavens. Jaki writes: Herein lies the tremendous difference between Christian monotheism on the one hand and Jewish and Muslim monotheism on the other. This explains also the fact that it is almost natural for a Jewish or Muslim intellectual to become a pantheist. About the former Spinoza and Einstein are well-known examples. As to the Muslims, it should be enough to think of the Averroists. With this in mind one can also hope to understand why the Muslims, who for five hundred years had studied Aristotle’s works and produced many commentaries on them failed to make a breakthrough. The latter came in medieval Christian context and just about within a hundred years from the availability of Aristotle’s works in Latin,, If science suffered only stillbirths in ancient cultures, how did it come to its unique viable birth? The beginning of science as a fully fledged enterprise took place in relation to two important definitions of the Magisterium of the Church. The first was the definition at the Fourth Lateran Council in the year 1215, that the universe was created out of nothing at the beginning of time. The second magisterial statement was at the local level, enunciated by Bishop Stephen Tempier of Paris who, on March 7, 1277, condemned 219 Aristotelian propositions, so outlawing the deterministic and necessitarian views of creation. These statements of the teaching authority of the Church expressed an atmosphere in which faith in God had penetrated the medieval culture and given rise to philosophical consequences. The cosmos was seen as contingent in its existence and thus dependent on a divine choice which called it into being; the universe is also contingent in its nature and so God was free to create this particular form of world among an infinity of other possibilities. Thus the cosmos cannot be a necessary form of existence; and so it has to be approached by a posteriori investigation. The universe is also rational and so a coherent discourse can be made about it. Indeed the contingency and rationality of the cosmos are like two pillars supporting the Christian vision of the cosmos. http://www.scifiwright.com/2010/08/the-war-against-the-war-between-science-and-faith-revisited/
"…en-darkenment disguising itself as enlightenment dressed up in the lab coat"
Here is Pioter dressed up in the lab coat: Wait a minute...! Pioter has never been to a lab, so based on what is he judging those that have...? I guess he selectively chooses those he is going to "believe in" that have been to a lab... BTW: Pioter...one of your students may have made a spelling error...You'd better make sure to double-check that...Maybe the "evolution" is happening right now and you are going to miss it all... Quest
And in reply, what do our Evolutionary Materialism advocates have to say?
Have to say to what? It's difficult to make out what question or statement is being made to reply to. Is it that with evo mat that our perceptions may be an illusion and beliefs untrustworthy? Well, yeah, that's equally an issue with all world-views. Is that the only point being made? goodusername
I'm sure you would. This is a creationist board, science isn't exactly welcomed with open arms. CH, here adds a further false accusation the design theory is creationism in a cheap tuxedo canard he has already been corrected on. This is insistence on speaking with disregard to truth in hopes of profiting by what is said or suggested being perceived as true. That is, lying. No further warnings will be given, this is just documenting that we see here trollish conduct; unfortunately all too common among objectors to design theory. KF CHartsil
CHartsil, I would welcome a little less of your own thoughts. Box
So then you trying out your own thoughts is a no go huh? CH, you have been warned, on uncivil and false accusations that were utterly uncalled for. No further warning will be given. KF CHartsil
CHartsil, you have refused to withdraw an unwarranted and false accusation of dishonesty that abuses the memory of a decent man who square and fair won hundreds of debates on the state of the fossil evidence; after you have been warned . . . and after you have similarly acted in a previous thread; please leave this thread forthwith. This is uncivil conduct and will not be tolerated. There will be no further warnings. KF kairosfocus
"You seem to simply regurgitate tired old refuted arguments." >From the side that still thinks IC is a valid argument. "Not unexpected though considering the codswallop you zealots believe in." That projection though CHartsil
"have your own thoughts some time." CHartsil, haven't seen much coming out of your mouth that could be considered "your own thoughts". You seem to simply regurgitate tired old refuted arguments. Not unexpected though considering the codswallop you zealots believe in. humbled
Joe, qu­it being retarded CHartsil
CHartsil, quit being an ignorant coward and pathological liar. Joe
Joe, quit bei­ng retarded. CHartsil
CHartsil doesn't have any thoughts of its own. All it can do is parrot the party propaganda. Joe
So the options are withdrawing having pointed out that you have to try to stifle conversation with a wall of copypasta or what? Again, have your own thoughts some time. It's actually pretty nice. CHartsil
CHartsil, you have made actually a three way false accusation of dishonesty as just warned. Withdraw it or leave this thread, forthwith. GEM of TKI kairosfocus
The problem is it's not evidence so it has to be thrown together in Gish gallop form. WARNING: This is a double personal accusation of dishonesty. It accuses Mr Gish and in this case both BA77 and myself. Withdraw it or leave this thread. KF CHartsil
LoL! @ CHartsil! Evidence is evidence regardless of who produced it. No need to reinvent the wheel. As for forming your own thoughts, well your thoughts have all been shown to be nonsensical. Joe
KF, quit clogging up the discussion with nonsensical copypasta. Form your own thoughts CHartsil
If free will is an illusion then in reality we control nothing, not even our thoughts. The experience of a sense of "certainty" about things is then just something forced upon us, unrelated to objective truth. The notion of "logic" becomes meaningless. No matter how certain we are that the shortest distance between two points really is a straight line, that idea isn't necessarily true, it is just that forces beyond our control reliably force a sense of certainty upon us when it is expressed. Thinking isn't really something we do; it is a process of which we are aware, taking us wherever we are forced to go. How anybody could deny free will is truly mysterious. Such a notion plumbs the depths of asininity, boldly taking it where no man has gone before. And if I think actually believing such a notion is the very essence of an ignorant, darkened mind, those who don't believe in free will have no right to be offended. After all, according to them, my reaching such a conclusion is due to my experience of a sense of certainty that was brought about by forces beyond my control. They can't blame me. They can't blame anybody for anything. (Hmmmm ... Do you suppose that is the whole point of denying free will?) And why should they expect anybody to take them seriously, anyway? According to their own views, those aren't really their own views, but are the views of whatever forces possess them. They do seem to be possessed, and they can't blame me for saying so. harry
BA, useful additional thoughts. The C S Lewis animation is well worth viewing. TJ, Serious points. Indeed, one sign that the evo mat scheme is wrong is that it is unworkable. We cannot collectively live as if it were true. KF kairosfocus
KF, why try to reason with people who believe that truth evolves, that their brain evolved, and that they don't even exist as a person? You don't think they can consciously change their mind or anything do you? They are slaves to the processes going on in their evolved monkey brains. If you don't want to believe something, one fights against strong bias when evaluating the evidence. This truth is true both for Theists and Materialists. Actually, the fact that these guys do enter into debate, trust their own minds for the most part, and expect us to be able to reason, make choices, draw conclusions, and change positions shows that they cannot live by the tenets of their own worldview! Perhaps it shows that they really do not believe the mind is nothing more than a chemically controlled mind that evolved from a monkey brain and ultimately from a soup of chemicals. One important test of the trustworthiness of a worldview in my eyes is this: Does your worldview work? Can you live by it? If materialism is true, there is no ultimate or intrinsic purpose to life, but who can really live that way? If materialism is true, there is no foundation for reason, beauty, truth, morality, consciousness, personhood, etc., and there is no reason we should trust our minds. Who can really life consistently with those beliefs? Maybe inconsistency/incoherency don't matter in a purposeless world that evolved out of chemicals? tjguy
OT: CS Lewis doodle has a new animation up: The Reality of the Moral Law by C.S. Lewis Doodle (BBC Talk 2 / Mere Christianity Chapter 3) - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqsAzlFS91A bornagain77
I would like to point out that this 'you are an illusion' problem goes beyond evolutionary epistemology. In fact, the most profound confusion in modern physics itself is the fallacious belief that the blind (it just happened) causality of atheists is superior to the agent causality of theists in explanatory power.
A Professor’s Journey out of Nihilism: Why I am not an Atheist – University of Wyoming – J. Budziszewski Excerpt page12: “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.” http://www.undergroundthomist.org/sites/default/files/WhyIAmNotAnAtheist.pdf
and Lewis's treatment of the subject is also worth noting
“to say that a stone falls to earth because it’s obeying a law, makes it a man and even a citizen” – CS Lewis “In the whole history of the universe the laws of nature have never produced, (i.e. caused), a single event.” C.S. Lewis – doodle video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_20yiBQAIlk
The Christian founders of modern science understood the distinction between a mathematical description of a law and the agent causality behind the law quite well.
“God is not a “God of the gaps”, he is God of the whole show.,,, C. S. Lewis put it this way: “Men became scientific because they expected law in nature and they expected law in nature because they believed in a lawgiver.” John Lennox – Not the God of the Gaps, But the Whole Show – 2012 http://www.christianpost.com/news/the-god-particle-not-the-god-of-the-gaps-but-the-whole-show-80307/
Perhaps the most famous confusion of a mere mathematical description of a law and the causal agency required to be behind the law is Stephen Hawking’s following statement:
“Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.The universe didn’t need a God to begin; it was quite capable of launching its existence on its own,” Stephen Hawking - The Grand Design
Here is an excerpt of an article, (that is well worth reading in full), in which Dr. Gordon exposes Stephen Hawking’s ignorance for thinking that mathematical description and agent causality are the same thing.
BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010 Excerpt: ,,,The physical universe is causally incomplete and therefore neither self-originating nor self-sustaining. The world of space, time, matter and energy is dependent on a reality that transcends space, time, matter and energy. This transcendent reality cannot merely be a Platonic realm of mathematical descriptions, for such things are causally inert abstract entities that do not affect the material world,,, Rather, the transcendent reality on which our universe depends must be something that can exhibit agency – a mind that can choose among the infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bring into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them. This is what “breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe.” Anything else invokes random miracles as an explanatory principle and spells the end of scientific rationality.,,, Universes do not “spontaneously create” on the basis of abstract mathematical descriptions, nor does the fantasy of a limitless multiverse trump the explanatory power of transcendent intelligent design. What Mr. Hawking’s contrary assertions show is that mathematical savants can sometimes be metaphysical simpletons. Caveat emptor. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/oct/1/hawking-irrational-arguments/
Moreover, Godel’s incompleteness theorem has now proven that there will never be a ‘complete’ mathematical description of everything that is sufficient within itself so as to be a ‘theory of everything’.
Kurt Gödel – Incompleteness Theorem – video https://vimeo.com/92387853 THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS – DAVID P. GOLDMAN – August 2010 Excerpt: we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel’s critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes. http://www.firstthings.com/article/2010/07/the-god-of-the-mathematicians Godel and Physics – John D. Barrow Excerpt (page 5-6): “Clearly then no scientific cosmology, which of necessity must be highly mathematical, can have its proof of consistency within itself as far as mathematics go. In absence of such consistency, all mathematical models, all theories of elementary particles, including the theory of quarks and gluons…fall inherently short of being that theory which shows in virtue of its a priori truth that the world can only be what it is and nothing else. This is true even if the theory happened to account for perfect accuracy for all phenomena of the physical world known at a particular time.” Stanley Jaki – Cosmos and Creator – 1980, pg. 49
Moreover, if we rightly allow agent causality back into math, as was originally presupposed by the Christian founders of modern science, then a resolution between Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity readily pops out for us:
The Center Of The Universe Is Life (Jesus Christ) – General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy and The Shroud Of Turin – video http://vimeo.com/34084462 The God of the Mathematicians – Goldman Excerpt: As Gödel told Hao Wang, “Einstein’s religion [was] more abstract, like Spinoza and Indian philosophy. Spinoza’s god is less than a person; mine is more than a person; because God can play the role of a person.” Kurt Gödel – http://www.firstthings.com/article/2010/07/the-god-of-the-mathematicians
Verse and Music:
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. Evanescence – The Other Side (Music-Lyric Video) http://www.vevo.com/watch/evanescence/the-other-side-lyric-video/USWV41200024?source=instantsearch
MT, You obviously have missed out on the vast body of thought on implications of evolutionary materialism and how it shapes the thought life and memes of jumped-up apes from the East African savannahs. (And dare I mention a little remark by Darwin on how NS shaped even the conflict between the Europeans and the Ottoman Turks?) BTW, you actually were citing Nancy Pearcey as quoted by BA77; I am headlining a comment. Let me remind you, as I drew to CHartsil's attention, from William Provine at the well known U Tenn Darwin Day 1998 event, in his keynote:
Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent . . . . The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them. Human free will, however, is another matter. Even evolutionists have trouble swallowing that implication. I will argue that humans are locally determined systems that make choices. They have, however, no free will . . .
In fact, if we are not responsibly free, we have no freedom to reason correctly including on science and origins. That comes out forcibly if we ponder a moment what say Crick implies in his 1994 The Astonishing Hypothesis:
. . . that "You", your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll's Alice might have phrased: "You're nothing but a pack of neurons." This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people today that it can truly be called astonishing.
As I long since noted, Philip Johnson has replied that Sir Francis should have therefore been willing to preface his works thusly: "I, Francis Crick, my opinions and my science, and even the thoughts expressed in this book, consist of nothing more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules." Johnson then acidly commented: “[[t]he plausibility of materialistic determinism requires that an implicit exception be made for the theorist.” [[Reason in the Balance, 1995.] And, there is ever so much more. Tyger, tyger, burning bright . . . KF Tyger, tyger, burning bright . . . KF kairosfocus
Piotr, If only you would live up to the apostle, who is your namesake! No, Ann Gauger is a decent and solid scientific worker who deserves respect rather than snide rhetorical talking points. Instead, you full well know of the lab coat clad a priori evolutionary materialist scientism inadvertently exposed for what it is, by Richard Lewontin in the now notorious Jan 1997 NYRB review of Carl Sagan's all too revealingly titled book, The Demon-Haunted World:
. . . to put a correct view of the universe into people's heads we must first get an incorrect view out . . . the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations [--> notice the thinly veiled contempt and refusal to address a vast body of experience and insight on its own merits], and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth [[--> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]. . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists, it is self-evident [[--> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . ] that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality, and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [[--> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . . It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [[--> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [[--> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . [“Billions and Billions of Demons,” NYRB, January 9, 1997. If you or others imagine this is "quote-mined," kindly cf the fuller annotared cite here.]
Philip Johnson's reply Nov that year, in First Things, is a classic:
For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [[Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them "materialists employing science." And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence. That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) "give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose." . . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [[Emphasis added.] [[The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]
Tyger, tyger, burning bright . . . KF kairosfocus
CHartsil, Perhaps, there is some ancient wisdom from a source you patently despise that can clear up some misconceptions. Let's clip:
John 3:19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” [ESV]
And again, in the most famous sermon of all times:
Matt 6:22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
Then, again from an apostle:
Eph 4: 17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self,[f] which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
. . . and from another, Peter as he faced judicial murder on the false accusation by the demonically mad and utterly twisted Nero trying to divert suspicion regarding the July 18, 64 AD fire in Rome:
2 Peter 1:16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son,[i] with whom I am well pleased,” 18 we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
Tyger, tyger, burning bright . . . KF kairosfocus
...en-darkenment disguising itself as enlightenment dressed up in the lab coat.
Like this? Piotr
natural selection has produced all sorts of false concepts in the human mind
Natural selection has got nothing to do with selection of concepts and beliefs.
Many evolutionary materialists maintain that free will is an illusion, consciousness is an illusion, even our sense of self is an illusion
All that the scientists are saying is, free will and consciousness are not an external entity like creationists claim. Me_Think
CHartsil, read and weep from Prof William Provine, in the well known U Tenn 1998 Darwin Day keynote you seem to be clueless about in haste to attack the God you do not understand but so patently viscerally fear and resent:
Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent . . . . The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them. Human free will, however, is another matter. Even evolutionists have trouble swallowing that implication. I will argue that humans are locally determined systems that make choices. They have, however, no free will . . .
Blind chance and mechanical necessity reduce mind, purpose, determination, vision, thoughtful rational contemplation and more to molecular noise or worse. Ending in deep self referential incoherence and en-darkenment disguising itself as enlightenment dressed up in the lab coat. The poem and vids above speak straight to you. I suggest you take time to ponder . . . and in so doing learn to wonder about what gifts you have of heart and mind that per your impoverished self refuting worldview you cannot have. Then, have the courage to rise from the floor and leave them behind in the dust. Tyger, tyger, burning bright . . . KF kairosfocus
Free will is only an illusion if an omniscient being exists. CHartsil
Tyger, tyger, burning bright . . . kairosfocus

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