Intelligent Design

Comment of the week

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At Slashdot:

Science is a method, not a result, nor a being. “Science” doesn’t say anything. With highly politicised topics like this, it is not the data that tells the tale, but rather those flawed humans who may or may not appropriately report the data that tells the tale. There has been enough fraud discovered in academia alone, without systemic bias toward a given result, that to fail to question these results is a major failing on the part of anyone who takes them at face value. – tmosley

199 Replies to “Comment of the week

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Can I nominate WJM’s response to wd400 as runner up for comment of the week?

    WD400 said:

    “I want to know why we should care about ID. What scientific finding, methods or predictions has ID made that generated that evolutionary biologists should care about.”

    WJM responded:

    Well, virtually all of science proceeds as if ID is true – it seeks elegant and efficient models; it reverse engineers biological systems; it describes evolution in teleological terms; it refers to natural forces and laws as if there is some kind of prescriptive agency guiding matter and energy; it assumes that the nature of the universe and human comprehensive capacity have some sort of truthful, factual correspondence.

    IOW, no matter how much one insists that science progresses because it only accepts materialist explanations, the fact is that science only came to exist and only advances because it rides on ID assumptions. Take away those assumptions and all science can be is personal feelings and politics.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-567738

  2. 2
    Kaz says:

    I second bornagain77’s nomination!

  3. 3
    Seversky says:

    Was the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs and much other life on Earth intelligently designed? Was someone playing billiards with celestial bodies?

    Is the San Andreas Fault intelligently designed? When The Big One finally hits, will that be just some deity having his little joke – you know, gods will be gods, the little rascals?

    Were the bubonic plague or influenza epidemics that have killed millions intelligently designed? Are all the other the diseases and disorders that afflict humanity intelligently designed?

    Science proceeds as if there is order and regularity in the Universe because that is what we observe and we wouldn’t be here, doing our observing (and designing) if it wasn’t. How and why all that order came about is still an unanswered question. It’s a gap where you can plug in whatever designer you like if that’s you fancy. But we need rather more than just faith to be persuaded that your personal designer exists and is The One.

    And however much WJM and others try to dismiss it, all the benefits of modern science and technology that we all enjoy to some degree are based on materialistic assumptions. They were not prayed into existence, they are the product of a lot of dogged, often plodding, research.

    An aircraft doesn’t fly because the designers and engineers that built it had faith that a god, like some celestial Captain Jean-Luc Picard, would “make it so”. It flies because a lot of intelligent people took a lot of time and trouble to discover the physical properties of gravity, air, metals, plastics, glass, electricity and magnetism that allow it to fly.

    Yes, there is intelligent design in the universe (this one, at least). We do it. So far, we haven’t discovered anyone else that does it but we’ve only been at it a relatively short time. There is still an awful lot we don’t know so, as the saying goes, watch this space.

  4. 4

    Seversky said:

    Science proceeds as if there is order and regularity in the Universe…

    Order and regularity are not explicable under materialism; they are only explicable by reference to abstract forces and laws.

    …because that is what we observe and we wouldn’t be here, doing our observing (and designing) if it wasn’t.

    That makes no case for any materialist assumptions.

    It’s a gap where you can plug in whatever designer you like if that’s you fancy. But we need rather more than just faith to be persuaded that your personal designer exists and is The One.

    All of this is just political rhetoric. ID is not plugged into any gap; it is responsible for any knowledge at all. Materialism is hard-pressed to account for any “knowledge” whatsoever in any significant sense of the terml.

    And however much WJM and others try to dismiss it, all the benefits of modern science and technology that we all enjoy to some degree are based on materialistic assumptions.

    No. Science as we know and practice it was generated from certain specific theistic assumptions. Materialist perspectives have been demonstrated time and again to simply get in the way of translating empirical facts into either practical use or good theory – and, they often stymie new scientific ideas.

    They were not prayed into existence, they are the product of a lot of dogged, often plodding, research.

    Research predicted upon the very ID principles I outlined, and under the theistic, metaphysical assumptions that undergird any meaningful concept of evidence, inference, inference and reaching sound conclusions, essential to scientific progress.

  5. 5
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I agree on WJM’s comment – some deep considerations in a very concise format. Anti-IDists don’t ever deal with these bigger issues. They prefer to argue over minutiae.

  6. 6
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Seversky

    Is the San Andreas Fault intelligently designed? When The Big One finally hits, will that be just some deity having his little joke – you know, gods will be gods, the little rascals?

    There’s some hostility evident here. It reveals the agenda that’s just barely beneath the surface. You’re assuming something about God and when your religious assumptions don’t seem to be reflected in nature, you get angry and disappointed. Why not think about God in a different way? You can see something “bad” in an asteriod (and that assessment conflicts with your professed atheism, since there can be nothing “bad” in materialism”) but you supposedly can’t see the design evident in dinosaurs or life itself?

    Were the bubonic plague or influenza epidemics that have killed millions intelligently designed? Are all the other the diseases and disorders that afflict humanity intelligently designed?

    “Disorders” assumes an “order” which materialism denies. So, your worldview seems conflicted here. Disease is “good” for the viruses that propagate themselves through it. Why do you think human life is something good?
    Ok, I realize anti-IDists don’t want to think about that. You’re angry about God for whatever reason. It’s difficult to argue with someone’s inner turmoil but why not seek some reconciliation with your theistic assumptions and attitude towards God?

    Science proceeds as if there is order and regularity in the Universe because that is what we observe

    You just mentioned asteroids, earthquakes and plagues. Now you’ve explained that these are observations of “order”. So, what’s your complaint against God again?

  7. 7
    Carpathian says:

    bornagain77:

    …quoting WJM: IOW, no matter how much one insists that science progresses because it only accepts materialist explanations, the fact is that science only came to exist and only advances because it rides on ID assumptions.

    That’s not accurate at all.

    Whenever a cause of something was claimed to be an act of the gods, science showed that not to be the case.

    e.g. Crop production did not go up by sacrificing virgins to the sun god.

    Modern farming methods are not based on intelligent designers tweaking laws of physics, they are instead based on material parameters that are separated from the influence of an intelligent designer.

  8. 8
    EugeneS says:

    Carpathian,

    “Modern farming methods are not based on intelligent designers tweaking laws of physics, they are instead based on material parameters that are separated from the influence of an intelligent designer.”

    That is not accurate either. Farming as other kinds of technology or science is based on intelligently using what is called objective reality. That this objective reality is describable by means of the formal language of science (i.e. can be analyzed, reasoned about, systematically predicted and utilized) is a remarkable fact.

    You have the right to interpret this fact as a coincidence, if you like. But you have no intellectual right to belittle its importance by saying no other adequate interpretation is possible.

    I interpret it as no coincidence at all. On the contrary, I believe it is due to formal causally dominating the physical. I maintain this interpretation because I think it is a lot deeper than yours as it attributes a meaning to the existence of the universe itself and to human life.

  9. 9
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: Whenever a cause of something was claimed to be an act of the gods, science showed that not to be the case.

    LoL!

    Not even wrong.

  10. 10
    Querius says:

    Kudos to tmosely!

    And science does indeed use ID principles to investigate the material world.

    For those of you that either judge God or think that your perceptions of injustice obviates the existence of God, consider the following.

    You all know or should know from basic physics that changing a frame of reference can confuse or clarify what we observe. When things seem odd, consider changing your frame of reference.

    So, let’s assume for a moment that

    * God actually exists.

    * That you have an IQ of 100 . . . ok, 180. 😉

    * That God has an IQ of a billion.

    * That through science, we know or think we know 1-5% of what we are capable of knowing (one of the basic assumptions of science is that we are even capable understanding what we observe).

    If you can let go of your anger and bitterness for just a moment, is it conceivable to you that you might be making a mistake in judging God?

    Ok, you can have it back, and now comes the flood of questions that start with “If there was a God and he was good, why . . .”

    Let’s change the frame of reference. Instead, start with

    * If God exists, then God would be be good, very smart, powerful, creative, just, loving, etc.

    * If we have a sense of justice, God created it, and that God’s is more perfect.

    * We know that everyone dies sooner or later. In the course of 13.8 billion years, adding or subtracting a few years from our lifespans seems trivial.

    * We now know that it’s very likely we live in a simulation of some kind for some reason; that existence seems to be determined by observation, measurement, and probabilistic wave functions that collapse into particles.

    * We know that humanity seems to have free will, which is manifested in some wonderfully amazing, creative, and good ways, but also mixed with demonically evil behaviors, and everything in between.

    * Our own sense of justice *demands* that people who exercise their free will in ways that damage or destroy other people and our environment must be stopped and punished commensurate with the severity of their crimes.

    * That this occurs only occasionally and imperfectly in our lifetimes indicates a future judgment that’s conducted by God, and is done in perfect knowledge resulting in open, indisputable justice. There will be people then who will in great sorrow agree that justice demands that they should be destroyed.

    There is a way out, but I’ll release you from our temporary assumptions. Feel free to return to hating God now.

    -Q

  11. 11
    Carpathian says:

    EugeneS:

    That is not accurate either. Farming as other kinds of technology or science is based on intelligently using what is called objective reality. That this objective reality is describable by means of the formal language of science (i.e. can be analyzed, reasoned about, systematically predicted and utilized) is a remarkable fact.

    This is something I agree with but it leads me to a different conclusion than yours.

    Without bringing in an intelligent designer, farming methods have been developed which empirically, work quite well.

    Bringing in an intelligent designer has resulted historically, in methods which were not empirically successful.

    An intelligent designer could safely be left out when using science in agriculture.

  12. 12
    Mapou says:

    Carpy:

    An intelligent designer could safely be left out when using science in agriculture.

    Did you hypnotize yourself into believing your own lies? The very dirt that farmers use to grow crops would not exist without being intelligently designed by superior beings. If the dirt was designed, what can one say about trees, fruits and seeds?

  13. 13
    Carpathian says:

    Mapou:

    The very dirt that farmers use to grow crops would not exist without being intelligently designed by superior beings.

    Where is your evidence for this?

    Farmers were growing crops thousands of years before Monsanto came into being.

  14. 14
    Carpathian says:

    Mapou:

    Did you hypnotize yourself into believing your own lies?

    This is not a good start to any exchange.

    Instead of wasting bandwidth on personal insults, try a scientific comment to prove your case.

  15. 15
    Mapou says:

    Carpy @13,

    All of matter was designed. Did Monsanto design the electrons, neutrons, protons and photons that constitute the dirt, the plants and everything else? I don’t think so. Monsanto is not even a pimple on a chimp’s ass when it comes to design.

  16. 16
    Carpathian says:

    Mapou:

    All of matter was designed.

    Back that up with science.

  17. 17
    reverendspy says:

    “There has been enough fraud discovered in academia alone, without systemic bias toward a given result, that to fail to question these results is a major failing on the part of anyone who takes them at face value. – tmosley”

    Like Piltdown Man for example
    The news of the Piltdown find, first released in late 1912, caused a sensation and was included in school textbooks for 40 years to promote an atheistic worldview and destroy young people’s faith in GOD.

    Scroll down the linked page for examples of this

    http://www.theologyonline.com/.....38;page=18

  18. 18
    Mapou says:

    Carpy:

    Mapou:

    All of matter was designed.

    Back that up with science.

    You mean the way you use science to back up your claim that matter was not designed and that it just created itself into existence out of nothing by its little own self? No thank you.

    All one needs is simple logic to realize that all matter was designed. Nothing can come out of nothing all by itself in the physical realm. If you have a contrary opinion, back it up with real science as opposed to silly materialist superstition that you people pulled out of your assteroid orifices. LOL.

  19. 19
    Carpathian says:

    Mapou:

    …assteroid orifices. LOL.

    Very Intelligent.

  20. 20
    Mung says:

    Science has show that Jesus was not raised from the dead.

    Of course, Carpathian can back that up. Or not.

  21. 21
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    Science has show that Jesus was not raised from the dead.

    Of course, Carpathian can back that up. Or not.

    There is no scientific evidence that shows he was raised from the dead.

    There are Bible quotes, but then the Bible is a matter of interpretation.

    For instance, if Jesus foresaw his own death and resurrection, just what did he sacrifice?

    The Bible is full of contradictions and paradoxes, but then we’re talking science here and not religion, correct?

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian:

    Science cannot decisively judge a question of history, nor is it capable of showing miracles to be impossible; and no one has argued that miracles are the ordinary course of the world. The a priori imposition of anti-supernatural prejudice, even dressed up in a lab coat, is philosophical question-begging not science.

    I suggest that here on may help, on Jesus of Nazareth:

    http://nicenesystheol.blogspot.....l#u1_grnds

    On God as a general issue, this may help:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-designer/

    And here on (notice onward readings) on cosmological design:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....inference/

    KF

  23. 23
    Axel says:

    WJM, Seversky’s post #3 is just another iteration of Nick Madzke’s ‘argument from petulance’. If God did it, he’s horrible, and I’m not going to believe in him. So there!

    Seversky, are you saying that Nature reverse-engineered human scientist’s designs? Because that’s what you seem to be implying.

  24. 24
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    Science cannot decisively judge a question of history, nor is it capable of showing miracles to be impossible; and no one has argued that miracles are the ordinary course of the world.

    True.

    The problem though with accepting miracles in a scientific discussion is that empirical data can no longer be trusted.

    The Bible can be used for matters of faith and science books should be used for matters of fact.

  25. 25
    Mung says:

    IOW, Carpathian, what you said earlier is simply false.

  26. 26
    EugeneS says:

    Carpathian,

    My take on this is, if intelligence is required even to utilize reality, how greater intelligence must have been required to make reality itself! The success of science is a strong indicator of it being true, in my opinion.

    You don’t have to subscribe to the same view, obviously.

  27. 27
    Mapou says:

    Carpy:

    The Bible can be used for matters of faith and science books should be used for matters of fact.

    Soon, this will be proven to be wishful thinking. The exact opposite will be shown to be true. The Bible contains revolutionary scientific knowledge about the brain, intelligence and physics that is about to shake the foundations of the world. Materialists, Darwinists and atheists will all be kicked to the curb like filthy beggars in Beverly Hills. Don’t say I did not warn you.

    As for me, I’ll be watching the whole thing unfold with a beer in one hand, a bag of cheetos in the other and a smirk on my face.

  28. 28
    EugeneS says:

    “The problem though with accepting miracles in a scientific discussion is that empirical data can no longer be trusted.”

    Why not?! Science cannot disprove miracles. The probability of anything is between 0 and 1. The probability of something being exactly 0 is just a consequence of the (sometimes unavoidable) limitations of the model 😉 But it does not mean that the possibility of miracles invalidates science. Simply it does not follow.

  29. 29
    Seversky says:

    William J Murray @ 4

    Order and regularity are not explicable under materialism; they are only explicable by reference to abstract forces and laws.

    Abstract forces and laws are inferred from observation of the behavior of the material world. Whatever they are, they are properties of that world, it’s nature.

    …because that is what we observe and we wouldn’t be here, doing our observing (and designing) if it wasn’t.

    That makes no case for any materialist assumptions.

    Sure it does. It’s the fine-tuning argument and what are allegedly finely-tuned for our existence are fundamental physical – physical – constants, part of the nature of physical reality.

    All of this is just political rhetoric. ID is not plugged into any gap; it is responsible for any knowledge at all. Materialism is hard-pressed to account for any “knowledge” whatsoever in any significant sense of the terml.

    Agreed, Knowledge is that which resides in the conscious mind of a ‘knower’ and there seems to be broad agreement that the nature of consciousness is a hard nut to crack. That’s true whether the knower is a human being like ourselves or a knowledgeable alien designer or a knowledgeable god. Positing such non-human beings doesn’t give us any better purchase the problem of consciousness.

    No. Science as we know and practice it was generated from certain specific theistic assumptions. Materialist perspectives have been demonstrated time and again to simply get in the way of translating empirical facts into either practical use or good theory – and, they often stymie new scientific ideas.

    Science flourished at various times in ancient China, India, Egypt, Greece and Rome, under Islam and probably, in some form, in Africa and South America, all without the benefit of Christianity.

    In Europe it flourished whenever and wherever it enjoyed the benevolent patronage of the Church, a church which often had considerable resources at its disposal and provided the best education around. And it all seemed to work very well until it was noticed that some of the observations and explanations were becoming increasingly difficult to reconcile with Church doctrine.

    I’m not denying that those early natural philosophers were believers or that their thinking was influenced by the great religious scholars of the past but science has has now left the nest and can stand on its own two feet. It no longer has any need of those assumptions

    As for materialistic thinking hindering the progress of science, do you have any specific examples in mind?

    Research predicted upon the very ID principles I outlined, and under the theistic, metaphysical assumptions that undergird any meaningful concept of evidence, inference, inference and reaching sound conclusions, essential to scientific progress.

    Gathering observational data about the natural world, inferring explanations from that data, devising means of testing those explanations, studying the results of those tests and modifying the original explanation in light of the results of those tests do not require metaphysical, theistic assumptions about their origins at all. They work just fine on their own, whatever their origins.

  30. 30
    Seversky says:

    Silver Asiatic @ 6

    There’s some hostility evident here. It reveals the agenda that’s just barely beneath the surface. You’re assuming something about God and when your religious assumptions don’t seem to be reflected in nature, you get angry and disappointed. Why not think about God in a different way? You can see something “bad” in an asteriod (and that assessment conflicts with your professed atheism, since there can be nothing “bad” in materialism”) but you supposedly can’t see the design evident in dinosaurs or life itself?

    As Star Treks Mr Spock might have commented, it would be illogical to be angry with out a being you don’t believe exists. I’m no more angry with the Christian God than I am with the Dark Lord Sauron or the Borg.

    If anything irks me it is the refusal of believers to acknowledge the inherent contradictions in their notion of God and some of their doctrines.

    Materialism is just a position on the way things are. Under materialism, you’re right, a virus is just a virus, of itself neither good nor bad. Some viruses, however, can have a harmful effect on human beings, causing untold suffering and death. So we tend to think of them as bad because of it. Some viruses are beneficial. We would have a hard time surviving without them. Likewise we tend to think of those as good as a result.

    The problem for believers is the old one of evil. If mankind is the pinnacle of God’s creation, if He created us because He loves us and cares for us then why create harmful viruses at all? According to belief, He has the knowledge and power to do otherwise, He has free will, so why did He?

    The problem is not God. It’s some Christians who want to push their version of their faith on the rest of us when they can’t even agree on what the correct version is. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ”

  31. 31
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky claims:

    As Star Treks Mr Spock might have commented, it would be illogical to be angry with out a being you don’t believe exists. I’m no more angry with the Christian God than I am with the Dark Lord Sauron or the Borg.

    and yet contrary to what Seversky, (and the rest of us), would presuppose beforehand, it is found that Atheists do harbor an irrational deep-seeded hatred towards God:

    When Atheists Are Angry at God – 2011
    Excerpt: I’ve never been angry at unicorns. It’s unlikely you’ve ever been angry at unicorns either.,, The one social group that takes exception to this rule is atheists. They claim to believe that God does not exist and yet, according to empirical studies, tend to be the people most angry at him.
    http://www.firstthings.com/ont.....gry-at-god

    Study explores whether atheism is rooted in reason or emotion – Jan. 2015
    Excerpt: “A new set of studies in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology finds that atheists and agnostics report anger toward God either in the past or anger focused on a hypothetical image of what they imagine God must be like. Julie Exline, a psychologist at Case Western Reserve University and the lead author of this recent study, has examined other data on this subject with identical results. Exline explains that her interest was first piqued when an early study of anger toward God revealed a counterintuitive finding: Those who reported no belief in God reported more grudges toward him than believers.”
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....r-emotion/

    Moreover, Atheists sweat when they dare God, but not when they simply wish for something:

    Daring God Makes Atheists Sweat – 11/19/13
    Excerpt: This research conducted by the University of Finland found that having atheists dare God to do terrible things causes them stress to the point of sweating. Conversely, the same individuals did not exhibit those same stress levels when simply wishing for awful things to happen.
    http://fixedpointfix.com/darin.....sts-sweat/

    Appreciate this irony, Joseph Stalin, on his death bed, one of the greatest mass murderers in history, shook his fist at the God he did not believe in.

    “A story I heard personally from Malcolm Muggeridge (that stirred me then and still does even yet) was his account of a conversation he had with Svetlana Stalin, the daughter of Josef Stalin. She spent some time with Muggeridge in his home in England while they were working together on their BBC production on the life of her father. According to Svetlana, as Stalin lay dying, plagued with terrifying hallucinations, he suddenly sat halfway up in bed, clenched his fist toward the heavens once more, fell back upon his pillow, and was dead.”
    Ravi Zacharias, Can Man Live Without God, (Word Publ., Dallas: 1994), p. 26.

    of related note:

    Design Thinking Is Hardwired in the Human Brain. How Come? – October 17, 2012
    Excerpt: “Even Professional Scientists Are Compelled to See Purpose in Nature, Psychologists Find.” The article describes a test by Boston University’s psychology department, in which researchers found that “despite years of scientific training, even professional chemists, geologists, and physicists from major universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Yale cannot escape a deep-seated belief that natural phenomena exist for a purpose” ,,,
    Most interesting, though, are the questions begged by this research. One is whether it is even possible to purge teleology from explanation.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65381.html

    Verse:

    Romans 1:20
    “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”

  32. 32
    Axel says:

    ‘ When Atheists Are Angry at God – 2011
    Excerpt: I’ve never been angry at unicorns. It’s unlikely you’ve ever been angry at unicorns either.,, The one social group that takes exception to this rule is atheists. They claim to believe that God does not exist and yet, according to empirical studies, tend to be the people most angry at him.
    http://www.firstthings.com/ont…..gry-at-god

    Study explores whether atheism is rooted in reason or emotion – Jan. 2015
    Excerpt: “A new set of studies in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology finds that atheists and agnostics report anger toward God either in the past or anger focused on a hypothetical image of what they imagine God must be like. Julie Exline, a psychologist at Case Western Reserve University and the lead author of this recent study, has examined other data on this subject with identical results. Exline explains that her interest was first piqued when an early study of anger toward God revealed a counterintuitive finding: Those who reported no belief in God reported more grudges toward him than believers.”
    http://www.uncommondescent.com…..r-emotion/’

    ————————

    Brilliant find, BA77. Chapter and verse. It’s one of the reasons I feel no embarrassment at all in mentioning God in conversation to anyone, when doing so is germane – and not by way of deliberately evangelising.

    I think it possible there may be a small number of individuals who don’t believe there is a God, but if so, I believe they are very few and far between.

    As for the sweat experiment, for psychology, it sounds a very scientifically reliable finding.

  33. 33
    Querius says:

    Hate to break this to you, Seversky, but Materialism is Dead. We killed it with a multitude of experiments in quantum mechanics.

    Prior to observation or measurement, objects have no defined properties or location! The act of a conscious observer creates the existence of the physical objects. There is no objective reality beyond what we observe.

    “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

    “Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the illusion of material reality (which has in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism.” – Richard Conn Henry & Stephen R. Palmquist

    You might want to review Querius @ 10.

    Or you could simply cling to your non-scientific delusions about materialism.

    -Q

  34. 34
    Mung says:

    Abstract forces and laws are inferred from observation of the behavior of the material world.

    Plus this isn’t even true.

    Newtonian mechanics is a mathematical formalism and he didn’t come up with it by taking measurements of things in nature.

  35. 35
    bornagain77 says:

    to put a little meat on WJM’s concise statement:

    Well, virtually all of science proceeds as if ID is true – it seeks elegant and efficient models; it reverse engineers biological systems; it describes evolution in teleological terms; it refers to natural forces and laws as if there is some kind of prescriptive agency guiding matter and energy; it assumes that the nature of the universe and human comprehensive capacity have some sort of truthful, factual correspondence.

    as to:

    “virtually all of science proceeds as if ID is true”

    It is simply impossible to do science unless purpose (teleology) is presupposed on some level. Atheists live in denial of the purpose they see in nature:

    Design Thinking Is Hardwired in the Human Brain. How Come? – October 17, 2012
    Excerpt: “Even Professional Scientists Are Compelled to See Purpose in Nature, Psychologists Find.” The article describes a test by Boston University’s psychology department, in which researchers found that “despite years of scientific training, even professional chemists, geologists, and physicists from major universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Yale cannot escape a deep-seated belief that natural phenomena exist for a purpose” ,,,
    Most interesting, though, are the questions begged by this research. One is whether it is even possible to purge teleology from explanation.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65381.html

    as to:

    “it seeks elegant and efficient models”

    A big confirmation of this ID fact is the quest to find a ‘theory of everything’:

    “So you think of physics in search of a “Grand Unified Theory of Everything”, Why should we even think there is such a thing? Why should we think there is some ultimate level of resolution? Right? It is part, it is a consequence of believing in some kind of design. Right? And there is some sense in which that however multifarious and diverse the phenomena of nature are, they are ultimately unified by the minimal set of laws and principles possible. In so far as science continues to operate with that assumption, there is a presupposition of design that is motivating the scientific process. Because it would be perfectly easy,, to stop the pursuit of science at much lower levels. You know understand a certain range of phenomena in a way that is appropriate to deal with that phenomena and just stop there and not go any deeper or any farther.”,,, You see, there is a sense in which there is design at the ultimate level, the ultimate teleology you might say, which provides the ultimate closure,,”
    Professor Steve Fuller discusses intelligent design in Cambridge – Video – quoted at the 17:34 minute mark
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....nd-others/

    as to:

    “it reverse engineers biological systems”

    Darwinian evolution has many times, because of its false predictions, (i.e. vestigial organs, junk DNA), been described as a science stopper, and has certainly not been a fruitful heuristic for doing science over its long history of dominating biological scuience

    “In fact, over the last 100 years, almost all of biology has proceeded independent of evolution, except evolutionary biology itself. Molecular biology, biochemistry, and physiology, have not taken evolution into account at all.”
    Marc Kirschner, Boston Globe, Oct. 23, 2005

    “While the great majority of biologists would probably agree with Theodosius Dobzhansky’s dictum that “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”, most can conduct their work quite happily without particular reference to evolutionary ideas. Evolution would appear to be the indispensable unifying idea and, at the same time, a highly superflous one.”
    A.S. Wilkins, editor of the journal BioEssays, Introduction to “Evolutionary Processes” – (2000)

    “Certainly, my own research with antibiotics during World War II received no guidance from insights provided by Darwinian evolution. Nor did Alexander Fleming’s discovery of bacterial inhibition by penicillin. I recently asked more than 70 eminent researchers if they would have done their work differently if they had thought Darwin’s theory was wrong. The responses were all the same: No.,,, In the peer-reviewed literature, the word “evolution” often occurs as a sort of coda to academic papers in experimental biology. Is the term integral or superfluous to the substance of these papers? To find out, I substituted for “evolution” some other word – “Buddhism,” “Aztec cosmology,” or even “creationism.” I found that the substitution never touched the paper’s core. This did not surprise me. From my conversations with leading researchers it had became clear that modern experimental biology gains its strength from the availability of new instruments and methodologies, not from an immersion in historical biology.”
    Philip S. Skell – (the late) Emeritus Evan Pugh Professor at Pennsylvania State University, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
    http://www.discovery.org/a/2816

    Whereas, on the other hand, ID inspired ‘top down’ design thinking is driving systems biology forward

    How the Burgeoning Field of Systems Biology Supports Intelligent Design – July 2014
    Excerpt: Snoke lists various features in biology that have been found to function like goal-directed, top-down engineered systems:
    *”Negative feedback for stable operation.”
    *”Frequency filtering” for extracting a signal from a noisy system.
    *Control and signaling to induce a response.
    *”Information storage” where information is stored for later use. In fact, Snoke observes:
    “This paradigm [of systems biology] is advancing the view that biology is essentially an information science with information operating on multiple hierarchical levels and in complex networks [13]. ”
    *”Timing and synchronization,” where organisms maintain clocks to ensure that different processes and events happen in the right order.
    *”Addressing,” where signaling molecules are tagged with an address to help them arrive at their intended target.
    *”Hierarchies of function,” where organisms maintain clocks to ensure that cellular processes and events happen at the right times and in the right order.
    *”Redundancy,” as organisms contain backup systems or “fail-safes” if primary essential systems fail.
    *”Adaptation,” where organisms are pre-engineered to be able to undergo small-scale adaptations to their environments. As Snoke explains, “These systems use randomization controlled by supersystems, just as the immune system uses randomization in a very controlled way,” and “Only part of the system is allowed to vary randomly, while the rest is highly conserved.”,,,
    Snoke observes that systems biology assumes that biological features are optimized, meaning, in part, that “just about everything in the cell does indeed have a role, i.e., that there is very little ‘junk.'” He explains, “Some systems biologists go further than just assuming that every little thing has a purpose. Some argue that each item is fulfilling its purpose as well as is physically possible,” and quotes additional authorities who assume that biological systems are optimized.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....87871.html

    as to:

    “it describes evolution in teleological terms”

    A major problem with Darwinian explanations is how to describe the complexities of biology without illegitimately using terms that invoke purpose and agent causality

    The ‘Mental Cell’: Let’s Loosen Up Biological Thinking! – Stephen L. Talbott – September 9, 2014
    Excerpt: Many biologists are content to dismiss the problem with hand-waving: “When we wield the language of agency, we are speaking metaphorically, and we could just as well, if less conveniently, abandon the metaphors”.
    Yet no scientist or philosopher has shown how this shift of language could be effected. And the fact of the matter is just obvious: the biologist who is not investigating how the organism achieves something in a well-directed way is not yet doing biology, as opposed to physics or chemistry. Is this in turn just hand-waving? Let the reader inclined to think so take up a challenge: pose a single topic for biological research, doing so in language that avoids all implication of agency, cognition, and purposiveness1.
    One reason this cannot be done is clear enough: molecular biology — the discipline that was finally going to reduce life unreservedly to mindless mechanism — is now posing its own severe challenges. In this era of Big Data, the message from every side concerns previously unimagined complexity, incessant cross-talk and intertwining pathways, wildly unexpected genomic performances, dynamic conformational changes involving proteins and their cooperative or antagonistic binding partners, pervasive multifunctionality, intricately directed behavior somehow arising from the interaction of countless players in interpenetrating networks, and opposite effects by the same molecules in slightly different contexts. The picture at the molecular level begins to look as lively and organic — and thoughtful — as life itself.
    http://natureinstitute.org/txt.....ell_23.htm

    This working biologist agrees completely with Talbott:

    Life, Purpose, Mind: Where the Machine Metaphor Fails – Ann Gauger – June 2011
    Excerpt: I’m a working biologist, on bacterial regulation (transcription and translation and protein stability) through signalling molecules, ,,, I can confirm the following points as realities: we lack adequate conceptual categories for what we are seeing in the biological world; with many additional genomes sequenced annually, we have much more data than we know what to do with (and making sense of it has become the current challenge); cells are staggeringly chock full of sophisticated technologies, which are exquisitely integrated; life is not dominated by a single technology, but rather a composite of many; and yet life is more than the sum of its parts; in our work, we biologists use words that imply intentionality, functionality, strategy, and design in biology–we simply cannot avoid them.
    Furthermore, I suggest that to maintain that all of biology is solely a product of selection and genetic decay and time requires a metaphysical conviction that isn’t troubled by the evidence. Alternatively, it could be the view of someone who is unfamiliar with the evidence, for one reason or another. But for those who will consider the evidence that is so obvious throughout biology, I suggest it’s high time we moved on. – Matthew
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....nt-8858161

    as to:

    “it refers to natural forces and laws as if there is some kind of prescriptive agency guiding matter and energy”

    Materialists also illegitimately invoke agent causality when describing natural laws:

    “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

    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......theist.pdf

    as to:

    “it assumes that the nature of the universe and human comprehensive capacity have some sort of truthful, factual correspondence.”

    Both Eugene Wigner, (the founder of Quantum Symmetries), and Albert Einstein, (the founder of General Relativity), referred to this ability of our mind to understand the mathematical laws of the universe as a ‘miracle’

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: ,,certainly it is hard to believe that our reasoning power was brought, by Darwin’s process of natural selection, to the perfection which it seems to possess.,,,
    It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here, quite comparable in its striking nature to the miracle that the human mind can string a thousand arguments together without getting itself into contradictions, or to the two miracles of the existence of laws of nature and of the human mind’s capacity to divine them.,,,
    The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc.....igner.html

    “You find it strange that I consider the comprehensibility of the world (to the extent that we are authorized to speak of such a comprehensibility) as a miracle or as an eternal mystery. Well, a priori, one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way .. the kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation, for example, is wholly different. Even if a man proposes the axioms of the theory, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the ‘miracle’ which is constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.”
    Albert Einstein – Letters to Solovine – New York, Philosophical Library, 1987

  36. 36
    bornagain77 says:

    Dr. Craig even used this ‘miracle’ as a philosophical proof for God:

    Mathematics and Physics – A Happy Coincidence? – William Lane Craig – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BF25AA4dgGg

    1. If God did not exist the applicability of mathematics would be a happy coincidence.
    2. The applicability of mathematics is not a happy coincidence.
    3. Therefore, God exists.

    Verse, Quote, and Music:

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

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

    “Geometry is unique and eternal, a reflection from the mind of God. That mankind shares in it is because man is an image of God.”
    – Johannes Kepler

    Jewel – Hands (Official Video)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfsS3pIDBfw

  37. 37
    Mapou says:

    Mung:

    Newtonian mechanics is a mathematical formalism and he didn’t come up with it by taking measurements of things in nature.

    Mung, please. Newton stood on the shoulders of giants (Kepler, Copernicus, etc.) who came before him and compiled centuries worth of data about the movements of the planets and the stars in the night sky. Others had already measured things like acceleration of falling objects. Newton took all those observations and came up with unifying principles and the equations to describe them.

    Edit: Maybe you had something else in mind. In which case, my bad.

  38. 38
    harry says:

    Seversky @3

    Was the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs and much other life on Earth intelligently designed? Was someone playing billiards with celestial bodies?

    Is the San Andreas Fault intelligently designed? When The Big One finally hits, will that be just some deity having his little joke – you know, gods will be gods, the little rascals?

    Were the bubonic plague or influenza epidemics that have killed millions intelligently designed? Are all the other the diseases and disorders that afflict humanity intelligently designed?

    The short answer is “Yes.”

    The longer answer is that there are some things we have to keep in mind about God:

    1) He allows things He doesn’t will. He willed that we have a free will. He allows us to misuse it, even when our misuse of it brings much agony and suffering into the world. He allowed our misuse of it knowing His doing so would end in His experiencing a horrific death by crucifixion.

    2) He is way smarter than we are. As for natural disasters, we have to remember He has the big picture, an eternal perspective, that we do not. Survivors or people not affected by it at all ask how a good God could have allowed all of those innocent people to die in this or that natural disaster. Except for those who chose damnation by their choices in this life, those who died are now experiencing the joy of Heaven, or the peace that comes from knowing with certainty they will eventually enter Heaven after a period of purgation to get them ready for it (including purgatory in this for my fellow Catholics ;o). Those in or on their way into eternal joy are thanking and praising God, not asking how He could have allowed that natural disaster to happen.

    3) All God wills and all He decides to allow spring from His love. God might have known many of those who died in a natural disaster would have eventually fallen from grace forever if He hadn’t called them back to Himself when He did.

    4) God owns us. God brings human life into being. God calls it back to Himself when He is ready to do so. We are not our own. God owns us twice: He owns us because He brought us into being and holds us in existence. And He owns us again because He redeemed us. All He does in regard to us springs from His love — whether we realize that or not. God can call us back to Himself any time He wants in any way He wants. We are His, unless we choose not to be. We are free to choose Hell if we want to do that.

    5) We don’t understand why God does what He does in the same way small children don’t understand what their parents do. When we were small children and didn’t understand nutrition, we couldn’t imagine why our parents made us eat and drink all that food we didn’t like. We figured we could get just as full eating cake, ice-cream and candy and drinking Pepsi. So why not do that instead? Our parents made us experience the “agony” of eating vegetables we didn’t like. It made no sense to us at the time. Our parents knew what was good for us in the long run. They probably also made us experience some unpleasantness when they caught us riding our tricycle in the street. They did so because they loved us and knew what was good for us. God’s knowledge is higher above ours than ours is above that of little kids. We must learn to trust Him just like a child must learn to trust his/her parents.

    6) God allows really terrible suffering and agony to go on in this world, but all the suffering in this life will seem insignificant when compared to the joy of Heaven. Yes. I know. That notion is religion being the opiate of the people. And that would be the case if it weren’t true that our destiny is eternal joy. But it is true. Our being made for eternal joy is the simple truth. And God knows all about terrible suffering and agony. He experienced more of it than any of us ever will. He did so because He loves us. We can unite our suffering with His by taking up the cross as He asked us to do.

  39. 39
    Robert Byers says:

    Excellent thread and excellent comment chosen.
    Exactly.
    Science is a verb at best. its a methodology and that done by moral/immoral, intelligent/not people.
    The great errors creationists bump into or climate stuff teaches us this truth more quickly and clearly.
    Science is just people, tailless primates, thinking about things.
    Science is meant to be a more careful accurate method before srawing conclusions.
    It fails because the people fail.

    Evolution, in its great conclusions, has no biological scientific evidence.
    The failure to see this is the failure of people and not the methodology.

  40. 40
    EugeneS says:

    Seversky,

    My modest two pence.

    “Science flourished at various times in ancient China, India, Egypt, Greece and Rome, under Islam and probably, in some form, in Africa and South America, all without the benefit of Christianity.”

    Yes and no at the same time. Science as we know it today, i.e. the scientific method, flourished in Europe at the time of Christianity. It is debatable whether it did at the time when the ideas of humanism were gaining momentum. But historically, the positive influence of Christianity is undeniable.

    But at the same time it is obvious that:

    (i) scientific inquiry itself has religious origin (i.e. the idea that we indeed can learn about objective reality and that this is worth pursuing). To disregard this would be a great mistake.

    (ii) it flourished more in cultures with strong religious backgrounds of a certain type. Arguably, the scientific exploration of the world was not deemed logical and therefore was not pursued in the Jewish or Hindu cultural settings (at least to the extent it did in Europe), for different reasons but to the same effect.

    To a medieval Jew, we as a particle submerged in the universe cannot objectively know the the universe, while the concept itself of the universe was quite different from the Hellenic-European ‘cosmos’. To a Hindu, it is of little worth to study a haphazard configuration of atoms that is here today and gone tomorrow, devoid of any persistent meaning.

    So only religious ideas of a certain type can give motivation to scientific endeavor. One (if not the greatest) such motivation is that the world is viewed as a kind of Revelation about its Creator, a kind of Scripture. This view was promoted by one of the greatest Christian mystics St Gregory Palamas, the Archbishop of Thessaloniki, a great enlightener and defender of Orthodox Christian doctrine who lived in the XIV century.

    We are now seeing that, as religious motivations are getting more and more corroded, there’s less of science proper remains, only politics and money-making. Without religious energy, there is hardly any inward impetus for intellectual pursuit. Pragmatic gain exclusively, “making lives better” are no good impetus in the long run. Religion defines what “to make life better” means in the first place.

    Finally, even though religious assumptions may appear to be unnecessary to a superficial observer, even though they are not explicitly necessary in the naturalistic scientific method, they lie underneath providing energy to the engine of science.

  41. 41
    Robert Byers says:

    EugeneS
    I disagree that religion matters.
    what matters is intelligence. The old civilizations had intelligence to a degree. Since the reformation the intelligence increased greatly.
    i see science as a minor detail in the rise of the moral and intellectual common mean of the protestant nations. therefore I see the most protestant as the most intelligent. Therefore that would be the puritan/Evangelical protestants. that is why the Englishman came to dominace and number one. in britain or America9and canada).
    the rue faith was blessed by god but more it was simnply a motivation to the common man. Unlike other civilizations which now and then saw a intellectual rise in their upper classes. We saw a rise in the common people and so, in a curve the upper class rose all the more.
    Science is itself a paert of a equation of mankinds intelligence based on curves in the graph.
    christianity didn’t create science but instead created a greater intellect curve.
    everyone else today is shaped by this curve. its a Evangelical protestant English world. The English language dominance just a manifestation of it.

  42. 42
    Querius says:

    reverendspy @ 17,

    Thanks for the link to the 1919 Biology textbook, which relies mainly on rhetoric. The arrogant use of “thinking people” was particularly appalling.

    I wonder whether the same author included the Nebraska man in an edition after 1922.

    -Q

  43. 43
    tjguy says:

    Over at crev.info, there is a news entry on this very subject: It begins with this phrase:

    Public trust in scientists exceeds their trustworthiness, experts warn. – See more at: http://crev.info/2015/06/scien.....fI0NZ.dpuf

    Lots of examples are given there, but I want to respond here to one thing in tmosley’s OP .

    “Science” doesn’t say anything. With highly politicised topics like this, it is not the data that tells the tale, but rather those flawed humans who may or may not appropriately report the data that tells the tale.

    This is true. “Science” does NOT say anything. The data gives us clues, but it does not tell the tale all by itself. It is flawed humans who take that data and plug it into a paradigm to make it tell a story – to try and make sense out of it.

    The same data could be plugged in to different paradigms and still make sense. For instance, take the data of abundant ORphan genes or unique genes to each species.

    That is the data. That much can be observed and verified. Both Materialists, IDers, and creationists have the same data. The Materialist will say that this is evidence of HGT – Horizontal Gene Transfer – and interpret it from within their paradigm to make sense out of it.

    The IDer and creationist will not interpret it that way, but will instead see this as evidence against common design. In both cases, the data is the same. The only thing that differs is the interpretation.

    So it is not only the fact that scientists must be trusted to report the facts properly – and we have seen many instances where this has not been done – but they must also INTERPRET the data correctly. And this is difficult to do when we cannot use the scientific method to test our interpretations. It is difficult to do when we might not have all the necessary information.

    Here is a section from the above news entry on crev.info:

    Never forget that science cannot work without (1) a commitment to truth, and (2) honesty.

    Those are not discoveries of science; they are prerequisites for science. Logical reasoning requires both.

    So what are we to expect when evolutionary scientists tell us that crime is a product of evolution? (see PhysOrg). Carried to its logical conclusion, that rationalizes fraud as an evolutionary strategy. Science needs God to say, “Thou shalt not!” (see 5/24/15). The current flood of scientific misconduct is to be expected from a culture that has abandoned Biblical morality for evolving strategies, and truth for pragmatism.

  44. 44
    Carpathian says:

    EugeneS:

    Carpathian: “The problem though with accepting miracles in a scientific discussion is that empirical data can no longer be trusted.”

    EugeneS: Why not?! Science cannot disprove miracles. The probability of anything is between 0 and 1. The probability of something being exactly 0 is just a consequence of the (sometimes unavoidable) limitations of the model ???? But it does not mean that the possibility of miracles invalidates science. Simply it does not follow.

    It is true that science cannot disprove miracles and that’s the problem.

    If I take scientific measurements, they have to be repeatable under the same conditions.

    Miracles however, are exempt from the rules of physics so if I design an instrument, how do I take into account the exceptions due to miracles?

    What will be the deviance in measurement due to a miraculous intervention?

    How do we justify sending someone to another planet when our calculations, which are based on physical constants, instead have to take into account constants that might change arbitrarily?

    Science relies on consistency but miracles don’t.

    While science can’t prove miracles don’t happen, there is no reason they can’t provide proof that one did happen and this is somthing we haven’t seen.

    As an example, in the case of faith healing miracles, I have seen many claims of internal miracles but never one that is external.

    Put a camera on a person with a missing limb and have the faith healer restore it.

  45. 45
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: It is true that science cannot disprove miracles and that’s the problem for me.

    Fixed it fer ya!

  46. 46
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: Science relies on consistency but miracles don’t.

    I’m sorry, but that’s just not true. Miracles rely on consistently too, that’s why they are called miracles.

  47. 47
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    Miracles rely on consistently too, that’s why they are called miracles.

    I don’t understand what you mean by this.

    Why would anyone rely on a miracle?

    If an athlete wants to win, he should work harder, not rely on divine intervention.

  48. 48
    Carpathian says:

    bornagain77:

    Mathematics and Physics – A Happy Coincidence? – William Lane Craig – video

    1. If God did not exist the applicability of mathematics would be a happy coincidence.
    2. The applicability of mathematics is not a happy coincidence.
    3. Therefore, God exists.

    Mathematics are an invention of man.

    We know this to be true since math is fallible just as we are.

    If you don’t believe this, try to determine the circumference of a circle exactly.

    You’ll find you can’t do it because of our failure to properly come up with a way of expressing or using what we call PI.

    We could only approximate it which is evidence to me that it is in no way divine but simply a result of human fallibility.

    PI was not waiting for us since it is does not accurately reflect reality.

  49. 49
    bornagain77 says:

    Carp, that has to be one of the worse arguments against math that I think I have ever heard. There could be worse arguments, but I am not going to read Byers posts to find out.

  50. 50
    Carpathian says:

    bornagain77:

    1. If God did not exist the applicability of mathematics would be a happy coincidence.
    2. The applicability of mathematics is not a happy coincidence.
    3. Therefore, God exists.

    This quote by Craig is one of the worst arguments for God.

    It tries to relate something man created to a cause for the universe.

  51. 51
    Carpathian says:

    bornagain77:

    Carp, that has to be one of the worse arguments against math that I think I have ever heard.

    It is not an argument against math, it’s an argument against bad reasoning.

    Show me where it’s an argument against math.

  52. 52
    bornagain77 says:

    No thanks Carp. Since both Wigner and Einstein are on record agreeing that the applicability of mathematics is a ‘miracle’, and since you are merely a belligerent atheist on a blog who has never accomplished anything of note save for irritating Theists, I’ll let my post stand as is:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-567858
    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: ,,certainly it is hard to believe that our reasoning power was brought, by Darwin’s process of natural selection, to the perfection which it seems to possess.,,,
    It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here, quite comparable in its striking nature to the miracle that the human mind can string a thousand arguments together without getting itself into contradictions, or to the two miracles of the existence of laws of nature and of the human mind’s capacity to divine them.,,,
    The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc.....igner.html

    “You find it strange that I consider the comprehensibility of the world (to the extent that we are authorized to speak of such a comprehensibility) as a miracle or as an eternal mystery. Well, a priori, one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way .. the kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation, for example, is wholly different. Even if a man proposes the axioms of the theory, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the ‘miracle’ which is constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.”
    Albert Einstein – Letters to Solovine – New York, Philosophical Library, 1987

    p.s. if you and Byers ever get in a debate let me know 🙂

  53. 53
    Carpathian says:

    bornagain77:

    No thanks Carp. Since both Wigner and Einstein are on record agreeing that the applicability of mathematics is a ‘miracle’, and since you are merely a belligerent atheist on a blog who has never accomplished anything of note save for irritating Theists, I’ll let my post stand as is:

    In what way am I belligerent?

    By disagreeing with theists?

    Mathematics is not a “miracle” any more than anything else man has invented.

    Again, if math was a “miracle”, it would be infallible, yet it does not accurately reflect reality.

    This is proof that it is “our” invention.

    The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve.

    This is a plea for belief and faith in his statement, nothing more.

    Mathematics is simply a man-made tool to help us “understand” physics, it has nothing to do with reality.

  54. 54
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian,

    what hit me between the eyes was seeing how entire domains of Math that I had every reason to believe were divergent (try IMAGINARY numbers!) suddenly, step by step, thanks to the power series formulations, came together, and Bang:

    0 = 1 + e^ i* pi

    When I saw that, I saw there was a hard core there that does not look invented at all, it is embedded in the roots of reality, waiting for us to discover.

    And, BTW, you do the power series a dis-service. Our decimal place value system is actually a particular case of a compressed way to write out power series.

    Mathematics, in powerful ways, states necessary connexions of reality driven by logic, beyond our intuitions. My fav case was the interference and diffraction Math.

    Attempted absurdity: a shadow of a small ball under relevant circumstances should have a dot of light in the middle.

    Then somebody looked.

    It was there.

    KF

  55. 55
    Carpathian says:

    bornagain77:

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: ,,certainly it is hard to believe that our reasoning power was brought, by Darwin’s process of natural selection, to the perfection which it seems to possess.,,,

    This is simply a plea to the God Of The Gaps.

    Secondly, we’re not very good at reasoning at all.

    If that was the case, we wouldn’t have hundreds of religions.

    Clearly, everyone would adopt the most “reasonable” one, and yet that hasn’t happened.

    Faith is a spiritual concept and should be kept out of the sciences.

  56. 56
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    what hit me between the eyes was seeing how entire domains of Math that I had every reason to believe were divergent (try IMAGINARY numbers!) suddenly, step by step, thanks to the power series formulations, came together, and Bang:

    0 = 1 + e^ i* pi

    I would expect something like this to happen.

    We develop a math statement that declares this: A + B = C.

    You would expect A, B and C to now be related to each other because of this statement and we find proof that they are.

    Why would anyone be surprised?

    All of our math is related in this way and these relationships, both explicit and implicit, have been defined by us.

    We are restricted by the type of math that we have created to not being able to come up with an exact relationship of PI.

    That doesn’t mean there is something wrong with physics, it means there is something wrong with us.

    We created math and that is why it has limitations in expressing reality.

  57. 57
    bornagain77 says:

    “Faith is a spiritual concept and should be kept out of the sciences.”

    Do you really, really, really, believe that? If so then:

    I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist
    http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Hav.....1581345615

    “In light of Doug Axe’s number, and other similar results,, (1 in 10^77), it is overwhelmingly more likely than not that the mutation, random selection, mechanism will fail to produce even one gene or protein given the whole multi-billion year history of life on earth. There is not enough opportunities in the whole history of life on earth to search but a tiny fraction of the space of 10^77 possible combinations that correspond to every functional combination. Why? Well just one little number will help you put this in perspective. There have been only 10^40 organisms living in the entire history of life on earth. So if every organism, when it replicated, produced a new sequence of DNA to search that (1 in 10^77) space of possibilities, you would have only searched 10^40th of them. 10^40 over 10^77 is 1 in 10^37. Which is 10 trillion, trillion, trillion. In other words, If every organism in the history of life would have been searching for one those (functional) gene sequences we need, you would have searched 1 in 10 trillion, trillion, trillionth of the haystack. Which makes it overwhelmingly more likely than not that the (Darwinian) mechanism will fail. And if it is overwhelmingly more likely than not that the (Darwinian) mechanism will fail should we believe that is the way that life arose?”
    Stephen Meyer – 46:19 minute mark – Darwin’s Doubt – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vg8bqXGrRa0&feature=player_detailpage#t=2778

  58. 58
    Carpathian says:

    bornagain77:

    There is not enough opportunities in the whole history of life on earth to search but a tiny fraction of the space of 10^77 possible combinations that correspond to every functional combination.

    Physics is not totally random.

    If I have two bar magnets and keep dropping them on a table, they will never, in the entire history of the universe, fall so that the two north poles are touching each other.

    Physics is restricted, it is not a wide open game of chance as theists keep presenting it.

    Your improbability argument is not scientific since you ignore the forces of physics.

    This is not what happens.

  59. 59
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: We created math and that is why it has limitations in expressing reality.

    Thank God you’re not one of those weirdos who thinks that math created us.

  60. 60
    Carpathian says:

    bornagain77,

    If a sexually reproducing population were randomly “searching a space”, and each parent only contributes a “single bit change”, the search space could be traversed very quickly.

    With each “randomly mutated” generation, the bit changes of all ancestors get incorporated into the population.

    Children would thus have 2 changes from the original, grandchildren 4, great grandchildren 8, then 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, etc.

    Like a chessboard, by generation 64, you can have changed the entire genome.

    Something restricts random change, since if it didn’t, all life could have completely altered from its initial “information”.

  61. 61
    reverendspy says:

    Querius @ 42

    “Thanks for the link to the 1919 Biology textbook, which relies mainly on rhetoric. The arrogant use of “thinking people” was particularly appalling”

    Yes and if you scroll to the bottom of the page you find another appalling page from
    Elements of Biology
    by Ruth A. Dodge
    1952 (revision of Smallwood’s Elements of Biology under copyright heading Biology for High Schools)
    Pub. Allyn and Bacon
    Page 256, 257

    So an outright lie regarding origins was taught to high School kids for 40 years.
    Anyone else consider that be as morally obscene as I do?

    http://www.theologyonline.com/.....38;page=18

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zrdc.....iol256.jpg

  62. 62
    Axel says:

    ‘Something restricts random change,….’

    It always seemed to me that random change had a predisposition towards intelligent design; a proclivity for it, a bias. And I wonder if, in fact, it cribbed from previous human civilisations, before the extinction of the dinosaurs, or from aliens on other plants and reverse-engineered from their designs; in a random sort of way, of course.

    ‘Something’…. There’s a word to conjure with isn’t it? ‘Something happened here.’

  63. 63
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian,

    You have not engaged the issue, just spoken dismissively.

    There are entire diverse domains of math coming together neatly in that expression, in a way that has long earned the respectful admiration of a lot of thinkers.

    From there, linked lines of thought flow out across frequency space and the complex frequency domain, with dynamics in tow.

    Something is there, if you are willing to look.

    KF

  64. 64
    bornagain77 says:

    Carpathian as to: “Mathematics is simply a man-made tool to help us “understand” physics, it has nothing to do with reality.”

    That claim is false

    Actually,,,

    An Interview with David Berlinski – Jonathan Witt
    Berlinski: There is no argument against religion that is not also an argument against mathematics. Mathematicians are capable of grasping a world of objects that lies beyond space and time ….
    Interviewer:… Come again(?) …
    Berlinski: No need to come again: I got to where I was going the first time. The number four, after all, did not come into existence at a particular time, and it is not going to go out of existence at another time. It is neither here nor there. Nonetheless we are in some sense able to grasp the number by a faculty of our minds. Mathematical intuition is utterly mysterious. So for that matter is the fact that mathematical objects such as a Lie Group or a differentiable manifold have the power to interact with elementary particles or accelerating forces. But these are precisely the claims that theologians have always made as well – that human beings are capable by an exercise of their devotional abilities to come to some understanding of the deity; and the deity, although beyond space and time, is capable of interacting with material objects.
    http://tofspot.blogspot.com/20.....-here.html

    Wheeler’s Classic Delayed Choice Experiment:
    Excerpt: Now, for many billions of years the photon is in transit in region 3. Yet we can choose (many billions of years later) which experimental set up to employ – the single wide-focus, or the two narrowly focused instruments. We have chosen whether to know which side of the galaxy the photon passed by (by choosing whether to use the two-telescope set up or not, which are the instruments that would give us the information about which side of the galaxy the photon passed). We have delayed this choice until a time long after the particles “have passed by one side of the galaxy, or the other side of the galaxy, or both sides of the galaxy,” so to speak. Yet, it seems paradoxically that our later choice of whether to obtain this information determines which side of the galaxy the light passed, so to speak, billions of years ago. So it seems that time has nothing to do with effects of quantum mechanics. And, indeed, the original thought experiment was not based on any analysis of how particles evolve and behave over time – it was based on the mathematics. This is what the mathematics predicted for a result, and this is exactly the result obtained in the laboratory.
    http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....choice.htm

    Wheeler’s Delayed Choice Experiment – 2010
    Excerpt: The Delayed Choice experiment changes the boundary conditions of the Schrodinger equation after the particle enters the first beamsplitter.
    http://www.physics.drexel.edu/.....elayed.pdf

    Reality doesn’t exist until we measure it, quantum experiment confirms
    Mind = blown. – FIONA MACDONALD – 1 JUN 2015
    Excerpt: “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” lead researcher and physicist Andrew Truscott said in a press release.
    http://www.sciencealert.com/re.....t-confirms

    Colossians 1:17
    “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”

    It is also interesting to note that ‘higher dimensional’ mathematics had to be developed before Einstein could elucidate General Relativity, or also before Quantum Mechanics could be elucidated;

    The Mathematics Of Higher Dimensionality – Gauss and Riemann – video
    https://vimeo.com/98188985

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: We now have, in physics, two theories of great power and interest: the theory of quantum phenomena and the theory of relativity.,,, The two theories operate with different mathematical concepts: the four dimensional Riemann space and the infinite dimensional Hilbert space,
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc.....igner.html

    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. Neither is it the case that “nothing” is unstable, as Mr. Hawking and others maintain. Absolute nothing cannot have mathematical relationships predicated on it, not even quantum gravitational ones. 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.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

    Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe.
    Galileo Galilei

  65. 65
    daveS says:

    So for that matter is the fact that mathematical objects such as a Lie Group or a differentiable manifold have the power to interact with elementary particles or accelerating forces.

    Can you explain what this means, BA77?

  66. 66

    I totally agree with your idea about science. Because I am working for a biological science company. I love its magic

  67. 67
    Silver Asiatic says:

    daveS

    Mathematical objects (geometric) are “fundamental components of reality”.

    https://www.quantamagazine.org/20130917-a-jewel-at-the-heart-of-quantum-physics/

    The revelation that particle interactions, the most basic events in nature, may be consequences of geometry significantly advances a decades-long effort to reformulate quantum field theory, the body of laws describing elementary particles and their interactions. Interactions that were previously calculated with mathematical formulas thousands of terms long can now be described by computing the volume of the corresponding jewel-like “amplituhedron,” which yields an equivalent one-term expression.

  68. 68
    daveS says:

    Silver Asiatic,

    That’s a very interesting article, but I don’t think it addresses my point. Clearly Lie groups and various manifolds are used in models which describe particle physics, mechanics, and so forth.

    But I don’t think it’s correct to say that Lie groups themselves interact with particles. For example, QCD, as far as I know, describes how gluons and quarks interact, not how SO(3) interacts with any of these particles.

  69. 69
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    Carpathian,

    You have not engaged the issue, just spoken dismissively.

    I have to disagree since I have shown you an example of what I mean.

    How is that not engaging?

    Here is another:

    C – A = B.

    From my supplied statement you can derive other relationships.

    The fact that we can do this is not in any way astounding.

    We make mathematical statements to describe the world in the best way we can.

    Since the mathematical statements we make rarely define reality with exact precision, we can make the assumption that math is not divine in origin.

  70. 70
    Silver Asiatic says:

    daveS – As I see it, it’s not merely that particles correspond to mathematical models or can be described by them, but that the geometry is somehow part of the interaction.

    I don’t know what it would mean to say that a “mathematical object interacts” with something. But I think it’s more than “its movements can be comprehended mathematically”

    I’m far from an expert in this area – I’d love to hear Berlinski’s explanation.

  71. 71
    Carpathian says:

    bornagain77:

    Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe.
    Galileo Galilei

    This a purely religious statement.

    The fact that Galileo said it does not make it any less religious.

    Mathematics is the tool that man created to try and understand the universe.

  72. 72
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: Mathematics is the tool that man created to try and understand the universe.

    Why mathematics?

    Carpathian: Mathematics is the tool that man created to try and understand the universe.

    At least you’re not one of those nutcases who thinks that mathematics was invented so a man could count how many wives he had.

  73. 73
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    Carpathian: Mathematics is the tool that man created to try and understand the universe.

    Why mathematics?

    Because a hammer doesn’t do the job as well.

  74. 74
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: Because a hammer doesn’t do the job as well.

    Neither does math.

  75. 75
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    Carpathian: Because a hammer doesn’t do the job as well.

    Neither does math.

    Are you saying that neither a hammer nor mathematics do a particular job as well as mathematics, i.e., A is not A?

    Are you disputing kairosfocus’s view of the importance of mathematics?

  76. 76
    daveS says:

    Silver Asiatic,

    I’m pretty much in agreement with your #70.

  77. 77
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: Are you disputing kairosfocus’s view of the importance of mathematics?

    I’m asking you why you’re making the claims you’re making. I assume you have reasons for them. Or not.

  78. 78
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    Carpathian: Are you disputing kairosfocus’s view of the importance of mathematics?

    Mung: I’m asking you why you’re making the claims you’re making. I assume you have reasons for them. Or not.

    And I’m asking you about your statements.

    To clarify:

    Do you believe that math does a good job of helping us understand the universe?

    Do you believe math is an invention of God or an invention of man?

  79. 79
    EugeneS says:

    Eugene Wigner, a physicist and a Nobel prize winner:

    The first point is that the enormous usefulness of mathematics in the natural sciences is something bordering on the mysterious and that there is no rational explanation for it [emphasis mine – ES].

    From “The unreasonable effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural sciences”

    A very good read, BTW.

    Sorry, only just noticed there is already a pointer to Wigner up the thread. Another relevant read is Henri Poincare “The Foundations of Science”.

  80. 80
    EugeneS says:

    Mathematics is of course a human invention, an art, a language, a formalism, a study of form (just like any other art). But it’s not all there is to it.

    It is beautiful and the world is beautiful. The Christian perspective is that the world (and mathematics as a reflection of it) is beautiful for a reason, i.e. because it is a form of Revelation of God, a kind of Scripture.

  81. 81
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian,

    Did you notice that I took time to highlight a very particular facet of Mathematics and to point to its connexions onwards, highlighting that certain core aspects show a powerful pattern? I am not speaking to all of math, but to key aspects of it.

    To try to counter an equation that brings together the 5 most important numbers and the three most important operations from domains as separate as geometry of circles (pi), quadratic equations (i), logarithms and their relation to Y = 1/x –> e, power series, triangles and trigonometry [sin, cos in power series form], Taylor series, and then onwards Fourier and Laplace transforms as well as the linked Z transforms, the complex frequency and transient domain, differential equations and more, by putting up a trivial and empty expression that in effect says equals are equals is a red herring and strawman fallacy.

    The attempt tells us quite plainly, that you are resorting to the rhetoric of dismissal because the sheer power and elegant beauty of logical implication applied to structure and quantity in the physical sciences points where you would not go.

    You have implied much that you would not, and also have revealed something of a cramped mindset that should give pause.

    An intelligible, supremely rational world.

    One that is astonishingly pervaded by Mathematical linkages and relationships.

    What best explains that?

    Oh, maybe that is the problem.

    Plato, in The Laws, Bk X . . . his cosmological inference:

    Ath. . . . when one thing changes another, and that another, of such will there be any primary changing element? How can a thing which is moved by another ever be the beginning of change? Impossible. But when the self-moved changes other, and that again other, and thus thousands upon tens of thousands of bodies are set in motion, must not the beginning of all this motion be the change of the self-moving principle? . . . . self-motion being the origin of all motions, and the first which arises among things at rest as well as among things in motion, is the eldest and mightiest principle of change, and that which is changed by another and yet moves other is second.

    [[ . . . .]

    Ath. If we were to see this power existing in any earthy, watery, or fiery substance, simple or compound-how should we describe it?

    Cle. You mean to ask whether we should call such a self-moving power life?

    Ath. I do.

    Cle. Certainly we should.

    Ath. And when we see soul in anything, must we not do the same-must we not admit that this is life?

    [[ . . . . ]

    Cle. You mean to say that the essence which is defined as the self-moved is the same with that which has the name soul?

    Ath. Yes; and if this is true, do we still maintain that there is anything wanting in the proof that the soul is the first origin and moving power of all that is, or has become, or will be, and their contraries, when she has been clearly shown to be the source of change and motion in all things?

    Cle. Certainly not; the soul as being the source of motion, has been most satisfactorily shown to be the oldest of all things.

    Ath. And is not that motion which is produced in another, by reason of another, but never has any self-moving power at all, being in truth the change of an inanimate body, to be reckoned second, or by any lower number which you may prefer?

    Cle. Exactly.

    Ath. Then we are right, and speak the most perfect and absolute truth, when we say that the soul is prior to the body, and that the body is second and comes afterwards, and is born to obey the soul, which is the ruler?

    [[ . . . . ]

    Ath. If, my friend, we say that the whole path and movement of heaven, and of all that is therein, is by nature akin to the movement and revolution and calculation of mind, and proceeds by kindred laws, then, as is plain, we must say that the best soul takes care of the world and guides it along the good path. [[Plato here explicitly sets up an inference to design (by a good soul) from the intelligible order of the cosmos.]

    Pardon, but I must suggest, you lift your head up from looking at your feet and see what is there all around you.

    KF

  82. 82
    Mung says:

    Carpathian, if you don’t actually have any good reasons for what you say just admit it. You won’t be the first to stop by here just to troll. But don’t expect me to feed the trolls.

  83. 83
    Axel says:

    EugeneS, personally, (for what it’s worth), I would be more inclined to describe mathematics as a discovery, and not just like any other art.

    Of course, discovery in a general sense can cover an awful lot of the most banal functions… such as discovering, as tots (however unconsciously,) that we can perform certain actions, such as walking and talking. But in science, imo, it’s raised a notch, and in maths, another notch; the apex, and a unique kind of discovery.

    I suppose languages are akin to it, in that they realise a conceptual potential.

  84. 84
    daveS says:

    KF,

    The attempt tells us quite plainly, that you are resorting to the rhetoric of dismissal because the sheer power and elegant beauty of logical implication applied to structure and quantity in the physical sciences points where you would not go.

    Or, perhaps s/he believes otherwise. Simply disagreeing with you is not necessarily “resorting to the rhetoric of dismissal”.

  85. 85
    EugeneS says:

    Axel,

    An interesting point.

    Anyway, just bumped into another quote about the beauty of mathematics:

    “A theory with mathematical beauty is more likely to be correct than an ugly one that fits some experimental data.” Paul A.M.Dirac.

  86. 86
    Mung says:

    Apparently Carpathian is a dualist and is not an empiricist. One wonders why he acts like an ID critic.

  87. 87
    Axel says:

    Thank you Eugene. What an interesting quote. The old ‘elegance’, aesthetic criterion, Einstein claimed to favour in selecting his hypotheses. That does tell its own story, and I believe may chime with what I was going to write, before I read your post, i.e. that I believe I was right the first time: I do think maths is unique and languages are not akin at the same existential ‘a priori’ level (if that doesn’t sound like double-dutch or tautology).

    Mathematics is an ‘a priori’, divine creation/design. Languages are more evocative of Michelangelo’s remark about seeing the statue in the block of stone, and just chipping off the rest.

    The subject or model of the sculpture is the primordial reality, but if not of a naturalist, representational nature offers, the imagination of the sculptor boundless possibilities, whereas the converse is true of maths. It’s God’s way or the highway!

    It is, itself, the primordial reality upon which material designs and creations may be based, and not an open-ended trove at the whim of the mathematician. It is – ironically – set in stone, so to speak!

    Hence its value, in the eye of the philatelist, even above the rarest British colonial stamp, Lord Kelvin, if you are listening from on high.

    Doesn’t sound as if Dirac would have made much of a ‘naive realist’ partisan of scientism, does it, poor soul? You know who those hypersceptics (usually, I suspect, secondary-school children) remind me of? Old Polonius in Hamlet, with his constant carping adages.

  88. 88
    bornagain77 says:

    To add to what EugeneS and Axel have stated, it is said that the best mathematical theories, that are later confirmed empirically to be true, were born out of the mathematician’s ‘sense of beauty’.
    Paul Dirac is said to have mathematically discovered the ‘anti-electron’, before it was empirically confirmed, solely through his mathematical ‘sense of beauty’:

    Graham Farmelo on Paul Dirac and Mathematical Beauty – video (28:12 minute mark – prediction of the ‘anti-electron’)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfYon2WdR40

    As the preceding video highlighted, Paul Dirac was rather adamant that beauty was integral to finding truth through math:

    ‘it is more important to have beauty in one’s equations than to have them fit experiment’
    Paul Dirac

    Albert Eisteins was also a big fan of beauty in math. Einstein stated:

    Truth not equal to Beauty – Philip Ball – May 2014
    Excerpt: ‘the only physical theories that we are willing to accept are the beautiful ones’
    http://aeon.co/magazine/philos.....-equation/

    As well, In January 1933, the Belgian mathematician and Catholic priest Georges Lemaitre traveled with Albert Einstein to California for a series of seminars. After the Belgian detailed his Big Bang theory, Einstein stood up applauded, and said,

    “This is the most beautiful and satisfactory explanation of creation to which I have ever listened.”

    Alex Vilenkin, who mathematically proved that all inflationary universes must have had a beginning, commenting on Euler’s Identity, stated,,,

    “It appears that the Creator shares the mathematicians sense of beauty”
    Alex Vilenkin – Many Worlds in One: (page 201)
    http://books.google.com/books?.....8;pg=PA201

    As well, Richard Feynman called Euler’s Identity a ‘jewel’:

    “Richard Feynman was a huge fan and called it a “jewel”.”
    http://www.sciencedump.com/con.....-equations

    ‘Mathematical beauty’ even had a guiding hand in the discovery of the Amplituhedron:

    The Amplituhedron (mathematical beauty – 21:12 minute mark) – Nima Arkani-Hamed, Professor of Physics, Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J. – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=By27M9ommJc#t=1272

    Paul Dirac, when pressed for a definition of mathematical beauty, reacted as such:

    Dirac threw up his hands. Mathematical beauty, he said, ‘cannot be defined any more than beauty in art can be defined’ – though he added that it was something ‘people who study mathematics usually have no difficulty in appreciating’.
    http://aeon.co/magazine/philos.....-equation/

    And indeed, just as Dirac held, it is found when mathematicians are shown equations such as Euler’s identity or the Pythagorean identity the same area of the brain used to appreciate fine art or music lights up:

    Mathematics: Why the brain sees maths as beauty – Feb. 12, 2014
    Excerpt: Mathematicians were shown “ugly” and “beautiful” equations while in a brain scanner at University College London.
    The same emotional brain centres used to appreciate art were being activated by “beautiful” maths.,,,
    One of the researchers, Prof Semir Zeki, told the BBC: “A large number of areas of the brain are involved when viewing equations, but when one looks at a formula rated as beautiful it activates the emotional brain – the medial orbito-frontal cortex – like looking at a great painting or listening to a piece of music.”
    http://www.bbc.com/news/scienc.....t-26151062

    For any math geeks who may be reading this, here is some fine art for you guys to appreciate:

    (Eight of) The world’s most beautiful equations
    http://www.sciencedump.com/con.....-equations

  89. 89
    bornagain77 says:

    What is astonishing in this seemingly deep connection between math and beauty is the fact that the ‘argument from beauty’ is a Theistic argument. It is certainly not a atheistic materialist argument:

    Aesthetic Arguments for the Existence of God:
    Excerpt: Beauty,,, can be appreciated only by the mind. This would be impossible, if this `idea’ of beauty were not found in the mind in a more perfect form.
    http://www.quodlibet.net/artic.....etic.shtml

    Of related interest to the theistic ‘argument from beauty’, in the following article, though somewhat technical, it is almost comical to read how every approach, in which the materialists tried to reduce the subjective sense of beauty to a mere material mechanism, was thwarted.

    Beauty Evades the Clutches of Materialism – March 27, 2013
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....70321.html

    But where this ‘sense of beauty’ in mathematics, that apparently has been so fruitful for science, breaks down is with string theory and m-theory:

    The part of the book (‘The Trouble With Physics’) I found most interesting was the part which tells how the string theorists were scammed by Nature (or Mathematics). Of course, Smolin doesn’t put it exactly like this, but imagine the following conversation.———
    String theorists: We’ve got the Standard Model, and it works great, but it doesn’t include gravity, and it doesn’t explain lots of other stuff, like why all the elementary particles have the masses they do. We need a new, broader theory.
    Nature: Here’s a great new theory I can sell you. It combines quantum field theory and gravity, and there’s only one adjustable parameter in it, so all you have to do is find the right value of that parameter, and the Standard Model will pop right out.
    String theorists: We’ll take it.
    String theorists (some time later): Wait a minute, Nature, our new theory won’t fit into our driveway. String theory has ten dimensions, and our driveway only has four.
    Nature: I can sell you a Calabi-Yau manifold. These are really neat gadgets, and they’ll fold up string theory into four dimensions, no problem.
    String theorists: We’ll take one of those as well, please.
    Nature: Happy to help.
    String theorists (some time later): Wait a minute, Nature, there’s too many different ways to fold our Calabi-Yao manifold up. And it keeps trying to come unfolded. And string theory is only compatible with a negative cosmological constant, and we own a positive one.
    Nature: No problem. Just let me tie this Calabi-Yao manifold up with some strings and branes, and maybe a little duct tape, and you’ll be all set.
    String theorists: But our beautiful new theory is so ugly now!
    Nature: Ah! But the Anthropic Principle says that all the best theories are ugly.
    String theorists: It does?
    Nature: It does. And once you make it the fashion to be ugly, you’ll ensure that other theories will never beat you in beauty contests.
    String theorists: Hooray! Hooray! Look at our beautiful new theory.
    ———- Okay, I’ve taken a few liberties here. But according to Smolin’s book, string theory did start out looking like a very promising theory. And, like a scam, as it looks less and less promising, it’s hard to resist the temptation to throw good money (or research) after bad in the hope of getting something back for your effort.
    http://www.amazon.com/review/R2H7GVX4BUQQ68/

    A Capella Science – Bohemian Gravity! – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rjbtsX7twc

    But if we rightly let agent causality, i.e. God, back into our mathematical descriptions of the universe, as the Christian founders of modern science themselves held to be behind the mathematical laws of the universe, then the most beautiful solution imaginable pops out for us as a solution to the ‘theory of everything’. Namely, Christ’s triumph over death, through God’s love for fallen man, provides an empirically backed reconciliation of Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity into the much sought after ‘theory of everything’:

    ,,,the resurrection of Christ from death provides a empirically backed reconciliation of Quantum Mechanics/Special Relativity, (Quantum Electrodynamics), and General Relativity into the much sought after ‘theory of everything’:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-548426

    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.

    Empty (Empty Cross Empty Tomb) with Dan Haseltine Matt Hammitt
    http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=F22MCCNU

  90. 90
    Mung says:

    Don’t mind Carpathian.

    He spouts things like “A + B = C” and “C – A = B” at us expecting us to accept them as objective truth while saying they are the products of his subjective internal brain states [or wherever he thinks he invented them].

  91. 91
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, If there were substantial disagreement, that would be one thing, but what I am seeing is things as insubstantial as “C – A = B” and this used to drive dismissal. The broad context of the Euler Identity is on the table, that needs to be spoken to. KF

  92. 92
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I’m currently reading “The Fabulous Fibonacci Numbers” Posamentier and Lehmann. It’s a very enjoyable insight into the beauty in the world – obviously and strong evidence of design.

  93. 93
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS, If there were substantial disagreement, that would be one thing, but what I am seeing is things as insubstantial as “C – A = B” and this used to drive dismissal. The broad context of the Euler Identity is on the table, that needs to be spoken to. KF

    The problem I see is that there isn’t much substance to these Euler Identity arguments to begin with. At least with “information” based approaches, there is the possibility of setting up a statistical model and performing a hypothesis test.

    In contrast, all we have here is a list of “connections”, with no way of quantifying the likelihood of such. It’s just an extraordinarily weak argument.

  94. 94
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, Have you pondered the significance of such diverse fields of math coming together neatly in one expression that then is a microcosm of entire fields of highest importance? I still remember the shock at a student astronomy club when an upper 6th former scratched out the derivation and its conclusion. It stunned me then, and it strikes me now, especially having gone on to use the onward things that flow from its context – for years, I lived more in the complex frequency domain than in the time domain. KF

    PS: Do us a favour, and discuss a bit on e, i, pi, sin and cos, power series and the expression that ties them all together then the onward links to Laplace, Fourier, Z transforms and differential equations, and explain to us how the unification brought out is trivial and arbitrary, a mere artifact.

    PPS: This is not a design argument, it is saying that there is reason to believe a good slice of mathematics is deeply embedded in the root of reality, as the logic of structure and quantity worked out. And in that context, it is saying that a good slice of core math seems discovered rather than merely arbitrarily invented, even when that may not at first be apparent.

  95. 95
    bornagain77 says:

    God by the Numbers – Connecting the constants
    Excerpt: The final number comes from theoretical mathematics. It is Euler’s (pronounced “Oiler’s”) number: e^pi*i. This number is equal to -1, so when the formula is written e^pi*i+1 = 0, it connects the five most important constants in mathematics (e, pi, i, 0, and 1) along with three of the most important mathematical operations (addition, multiplication, and exponentiation). These five constants symbolize the four major branches of classical mathematics: arithmetic, represented by 1 and 0; algebra, by i; geometry, by pi; and analysis, by e, the base of the natural log. e^pi*i+1 = 0 has been called “the most famous of all formulas,” because, as one textbook says, “It appeals equally to the mystic, the scientist, the philosopher, and the mathematician.”,,,
    The discovery of this number gave mathematicians the same sense of delight and wonder that would come from the discovery that three broken pieces of pottery, each made in different countries, could be fitted together to make a perfect sphere. It seemed to argue that there was a plan where no plan should be.,,,
    Today, numbers from astronomy, biology, and theoretical mathematics point to a rational mind behind the universe.,,, The apostle John prepared the way for this conclusion when he used the word for logic, reason, and rationality—logos—to describe Christ at the beginning of his Gospel: “In the beginning was the logos, and the logos was with God, and the logos was God.” When we think logically, which is the goal of mathematics, we are led to think of God.
    http://www.christianitytoday.c.....ml?start=3
    (of note; Euler’s Number (equation) is more properly called Euler’s Identity in math circles.)

    Euler’s identity – Mathematical beauty
    Excerpt: Euler’s identity is often cited as an example of deep mathematical beauty.[3] Three of the basic arithmetic operations occur exactly once each: addition, multiplication, and exponentiation. The identity also links five fundamental mathematical constants:[4]
    The number 0, the additive identity.
    The number 1, the multiplicative identity.
    The number pi, which is ubiquitous in the geometry of Euclidean space and analytical mathematics (pi = 3.14159265…)
    The number e, the base of natural logarithms, which occurs widely in mathematical analysis (e = 2.718281828…).
    The number i, the imaginary unit of the complex numbers, a field of numbers that contains the roots of all polynomials (that are not constants), and whose study leads to deeper insights into many areas of algebra and calculus.
    (Both pi and e are transcendental numbers.)
    Furthermore, the equation is given in the form of an expression set equal to zero, which is common practice in several areas of mathematics.
    Stanford University mathematics professor Keith Devlin has said, “like a Shakespearean sonnet that captures the very essence of love, or a painting that brings out the beauty of the human form that is far more than just skin deep, Euler’s equation reaches down into the very depths of existence”.[5] And Paul Nahin, a professor emeritus at the University of New Hampshire, who has written a book dedicated to Euler’s formula and its applications in Fourier analysis, describes Euler’s identity as being “of exquisite beauty”.[6]
    The mathematics writer Constance Reid has opined that Euler’s identity is “the most famous formula in all mathematics”.[7] And Benjamin Peirce, a noted American 19th-century philosopher, mathematician, and professor at Harvard University, after proving Euler’s identity during a lecture, stated that the identity “is absolutely paradoxical; we cannot understand it, and we don’t know what it means, but we have proved it, and therefore we know it must be the truth”.[8]
    A poll of readers conducted by The Mathematical Intelligencer in 1990 named Euler’s identity as the “most beautiful theorem in mathematics”.[9] In another poll of readers that was conducted by Physics World in 2004, Euler’s identity tied with Maxwell’s equations (of electromagnetism) as the “greatest equation ever”.[10]
    per wikipedia

    The Most Beautiful Equation of Math: Euler’s Identity
    http://www.science4all.org/le-.....-identity/

    The following is interesting. Euler’s formula (the most famous of all formulas), is graphed out as a right handed spiral

    The Baffling and Beautiful Wormhole Between Branches of Math
    http://www.wired.com/2014/11/eulers-identity/
    picture
    http://www.wired.com/wp-conten.....uler_f.jpg
    gif of Euler’s
    http://www.songho.ca/math/eule.....r_ex01.gif
    The following images show the graph of the complex exponential function, e^{ix}, by plotting the Taylor series of e^{ix} in the 3D complex space (a helix)
    http://www.songho.ca/math/euler/euler.html

    What is interesting to the fact that Euler’s graphs as a right handed spiral is that DNA is also a right handed spiral.

    In the following article, Adam Rutherford takes exception to the many incorrect examples of left handed DNA spirals he finds on the internet and even at many reputable institutions:

    DNA’s twist to the right is not to be meddled with, so let’s lose the lefties – Adam Rutherford – 30 April 2013
    http://www.theguardian.com/sci.....t-to-right
    Correct DNA spiral – image
    http://images.wisegeek.com/dna-close-up.jpg

    Of related interest, here is an interesting quote from Euler himself:

    A DEFENSE OF THE (Divine) REVELATION AGAINST THE OBJECTIONS OF FREETHINKERS, BY MR. EULER
    Excerpt: “The freethinkers (atheists) have yet to produce any objections that have not long been refuted most thoroughly. But since they are not motivated by the love of truth, and since they have an entirely different point of view, we should not be surprised that the best refutations count for nothing and that the weakest and most ridiculous reasoning, which has so often been shown to be baseless, is continuously repeated. If these people maintained the slightest rigor, the slightest taste for the truth, it would be quite easy to steer them away from their errors; but their tendency towards stubbornness makes this completely impossible.”
    http://www.math.dartmouth.edu/.....2trans.pdf

    of note: Leonard Euler is considered one of the greatest mathematicians ever and was also un-apologetically Christian his entire life.

  96. 96
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS, Have you pondered the significance of such diverse fields of math coming together neatly in one expression that then is a microcosm of entire fields of highest importance?

    Of course.

    PS: Do us a favour, and discuss a bit on e, i, pi, sin and cos, power series and the expression that ties them all together then the onward links to Laplace, Fourier, Z transforms and differential equations, and explain to us how the unification brought out is trivial and arbitrary, a mere artifact.

    I don’t believe it’s trivial and arbitrary, in fact. I disagree with Carpathian here. I wouldn’t be surprised if every sufficiently advanced civilization was aware of Euler’s formula.

    PPS: This is not a design argument, it is saying that there is reason to believe a good slice of mathematics is deeply embedded in the root of reality, as the logic of structure and quantity worked out. And in that context, it is saying that a good slice of core math seems discovered rather than merely arbitrarily invented, even when that may not at first be apparent.

    And I would agree with this. As far as I can tell, a lot of mathematics is discovered rather than invented.

    If you are not making a design argument here, then I apologize for going off-topic. In the past, you have asked, relating to this formula, “Do we need more of a signature of a rational mind behind reality?”, and I was referring to that general line of reasoning.

  97. 97
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, I like that wormhole metaphor in the Wired article, though I’d say it is a wormhole junction, which as any sci fi fan will tell you is an econo-strategic pivot. KF

  98. 98
    kairosfocus says:

    DS,

    we have a lot of agreement then.

    I am not making a design inference argument here but I do hold that this sort of astonishing unity in the midst of diversity is a manifestation of one of the foundational problems in philosophy, the problem of the one and the many.

    And a surprisingly coherent and intelligible world that is a coherent unified whole in the midst of vast diversity is calling us to ponder as a root of being, unifying mind.

    Taking Wired’s remark uip a notch: wormhole junction.

    And notice this in the wired article:

    Now, maybe you’ve never thought of math equations as “beautiful,” but look at that result: It combines the five most fundamental numbers in math—0, 1, e, i, and ?—in a relation of irreducible simplicity. (Even more astonishing if you slog through the proof, which involves infinite sums, factorials, and fractions nested within fractions within fractions like matryoshka dolls.) And remember, e and ? are infinitely long decimals with seemingly nothing in common; they’re the ultimate jigsaw puzzle pieces. Yet they fit together perfectly—not to a few places, or a hundred, or a million, but all the way to forever.

    You can take this farther, too. If you write that function above in a more general but still simple form as f(x) = e(zx), where z = (a + bi), what you get is no longer a circle but a logarithmic spiral, combining rotation and growth—now both at the same time! These graceful spirals are also found everywhere in nature, from the whorls in a nautilus shell to the sweep­ing arms of galaxies. And they’re related, in turn, to the golden ratio (yet another infinite deci­mal, 1.61803 …) and the Fibonacci sequence of numbers (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, …), which neatly describes the arrange­ment of leaves and petals in plants.

    But the weirdest thing about Euler’s formula—given that it relies on imaginary numbers—is that it’s so immensely useful in the real world. By translating one type of motion into another, it lets engineers convert messy trig problems (you know, sines, secants, and so on) into more tractable algebra—like a wormhole between separate branches of math. It’s the secret sauce in Fourier transforms used to digi­tize music, and it tames all manner of wavy things in quantum mechanics, electron­ics, and signal processing; without it, computers might not exist.

    BTW, infinity is the sixth wormhole line in the junction.

    Fans of the Honorverse will love that.

    KF

  99. 99
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    Carpathian, if you don’t actually have any good reasons for what you say just admit it. You won’t be the first to stop by here just to troll. But don’t expect me to feed the trolls.

    I find that when I make a serious statement you respond with something that is supposed to be taken as funny.

    See the following:

    Carpathian: Mathematics is the tool that man created to try and understand the universe.

    Mung: At least you’re not one of those nutcases who thinks that mathematics was invented so a man could count how many wives he had.

    Carpathian: We created math and that is why it has limitations in expressing reality.

    Mung: Thank God you’re not one of those weirdos who thinks that math created us.

    If you want to be taken seriously, treat the debate seriously.

  100. 100
    Carpathian says:

    EugeneS:

    Mathematics is of course a human invention, an art, a language, a formalism, a study of form (just like any other art). But it’s not all there is to it.

    It is beautiful and the world is beautiful. The Christian perspective is that the world (and mathematics as a reflection of it) is beautiful for a reason, i.e. because it is a form of Revelation of God, a kind of Scripture.

    A statement like this I have no problems with and can easily agree.

    Math, a tool that we created, can show us things in a way that we may not be able to see without the use of math.

    But math itself is strictly our own invention and has flaws and limitations that are still being worked on by mathematicians.

  101. 101
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS,

    we have a lot of agreement then.

    Yes, definitely.

    And the Wired article that BA77 posted is very nice (although I notice that they took the step of moving the -1 to the left side, therefore artificially introducing 0 into the equation, which is what I initially complained about in the other thread. 🙂

  102. 102
    Mung says:

    Carpathian, I don’t see a debate. What I see is you making claims you’re unwilling to actually defend.

    Like your claim that there is non-physical “stuff” going on in the cell or in computer communication.

    Like your claim that mathematics is a subjective invention, like unicorns and the tooth fairy.

  103. 103
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    The attempt tells us quite plainly, that you are resorting to the rhetoric of dismissal because the sheer power and elegant beauty of logical implication applied to structure and quantity in the physical sciences points where you would not go.

    I am not dismissing any of the math but I am contesting your implication that math is somehow divine.

    None of the things you have pointed out lead to an implication of an “intelligent designer” being involved in the creation of the universe.

    What it shows is that the math “designed” by one mathematician relates to the work of another.

    Why wouldn’t we expect this since we are describing the same world?

    We as humans, are doing our best to understand the universe, each with a different point of view, and it would come as no surprise that the relationships between our different viewpoints wouldn’t somehow show that those mathematical concepts are corroborated by each other.

    That “mathematical” bigger picture does not point to divinity.

  104. 104
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: Why wouldn’t we expect this since we are describing the same world?

    So math is objective, not subjective?

  105. 105
    Silver Asiatic says:

    These graceful spirals are also found everywhere in nature, from the whorls in a nautilus shell to the sweep­ing arms of galaxies. And they’re related, in turn, to the golden ratio (yet another infinite deci­mal, 1.61803 …) and the Fibonacci sequence of numbers (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, …), which neatly describes the arrange­ment of leaves and petals in plants.

    I didn’t know that the quotient of any two consecutive fibonacci numbers approximates the golden ratio – and the bigger the fibonacci numbers, the closer to the golden ratio:

    13/8 = 1.625
    55/34 = 1.617647058…
    144/89 = 1.61797752 ….
    4,181/2,584 = 1.6180340 …

    Humans discovered this, not invented it.

  106. 106
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Carpathian

    Who do you think invented the mathematical concept of >1 ?

    Do you think there was a time in human history when that concept did not exist?

  107. 107
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    So math is objective, not subjective?

    Math is something we invented and for the most part agree upon.

    It is not objective in the sense that it exists independent of us.

    We can use it to understand something “objective” like our Earth or something that doesn’t exist, like probability.

  108. 108
    Carpathian says:

    Silver Asiatic:

    Carpathian

    Who do you think invented the mathematical concept of >1 ?

    Do you think there was a time in human history when that concept did not exist?

    We have invented every single mathematical concept that exists.

    Who do you think invented statistics?

    Do you think it existed before man?

  109. 109
    Carpathian says:

    Silver Asiatic:

    I didn’t know that the quotient of any two consecutive fibonacci numbers approximates the golden ratio – and the bigger the fibonacci numbers, the closer to the golden ratio:

    13/8 = 1.625
    55/34 = 1.617647058…
    144/89 = 1.61797752 ….
    4,181/2,584 = 1.6180340 …

    Humans discovered this, not invented it.

    It was math that was invented by us.

    We use math to understand relationships.

    e.g. I can use a man-made invention to measure time, but that doesn’t mean I invented time, it means that I invented a clock.

  110. 110
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Carpathian

    We have invented every single mathematical concept that exists.

    Evidence please.

    I gave you one example. The concept >1.

    Please explain.

  111. 111
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Carpathian

    I can use a man-made invention to measure time, but that doesn’t mean I invented time, it means that I invented a clock.

    Who invented time?
    Measurements of time are the concepts of past, present and future.
    Which human beings invented the concept of the past?

  112. 112
    bornagain77 says:

    Since math is evidence that man has a mind, then it is also evidence of a divine Mind being behind math:

    Kurt Gödel – Incompleteness Theorem – video
    https://vimeo.com/92387853

    Kurt Gödel and Alan Turing – Incompleteness Theorem and Human Intuition – video
    https://vimeo.com/92387854

    “Either mathematics is too big for the human mind or the human mind is more than a machine”
    Kurt Gödel

    Kurt Gödel published On Formally Undecidable Propositions of Principia Mathematica and Related Systems (1931), showing that in any sufficiently strong axiomatic system there are true statements which cannot be proved in the system. This topic was further developed in the 1930s by Alonzo Church and Alan Turing, who on the one hand gave two independent but equivalent definitions of computability, and on the other gave concrete examples for undecidable questions.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automated_theorem_proving

    The Limits Of Reason – Gregory Chaitin – 2006
    Excerpt: Unlike Gödel’s approach, mine is based on measuring information and showing that some mathematical facts cannot be compressed into a theory because they are too complicated. This new approach suggests that what Gödel discovered was just the tip of the iceberg: an infinite number of true mathematical theorems exist that cannot be proved from any finite system of axioms.
    http://www.umcs.maine.edu/~chaitin/sciamer3.pdf

    The mathematical world – James Franklin – 7 April 2014
    Excerpt: the intellect (is) immaterial and immortal. If today’s naturalists do not wish to agree with that, there is a challenge for them. ‘Don’t tell me, show me’: build an artificial intelligence system that imitates genuine mathematical insight. There seem to be no promising plans on the drawing board.,,,
    James Franklin is professor of mathematics at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.
    http://aeon.co/magazine/world-.....-be-about/

    The danger of artificial stupidity – Saturday, 28 February 2015
    “Computers lack mathematical insight: in his book The Emperor’s New Mind, the Oxford mathematical physicist Sir Roger Penrose deployed Gödel’s first incompleteness theorem to argue that, in general, the way mathematicians provide their “unassailable demonstrations” of the truth of certain mathematical assertions is fundamentally non-algorithmic and non-computational”
    http://machineslikeus.com/news.....-stupidity

    Mathematical Model Of Consciousness Proves Human Experience Cannot Be Modelled On A Computer – May 2014
    Excerpt: The central part of their new work is to describe the mathematical properties of a system that can store integrated information in this way but without it leaking away. And this leads them to their central proof. “The implications of this proof are that we have to abandon either the idea that people enjoy genuinely [integrated] consciousness or that brain processes can be modelled computationally,” say Maguire and co.
    Since Tononi’s main assumption is that consciousness is the experience of integrated information, it is the second idea that must be abandoned: brain processes cannot be modelled computationally.
    https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/mathematical-model-of-consciousness-proves-human-experience-cannot-be-modelled-on-a-computer-898b104158d

    Consciousness Does Not Compute (and Never Will), Says Korean Scientist – May 05, 2015
    Excerpt: “Non-computability of Consciousness” documents Song’s quantum computer research into TS (technological singularity (TS) or strong artificial intelligence). Song was able to show that in certain situations, a conscious state can be precisely and fully represented in mathematical terms, in much the same manner as an atom or electron can be fully described mathematically. That’s important, because the neurobiological and computational approaches to brain research have only ever been able to provide approximations at best. In representing consciousness mathematically, Song shows that consciousness is not compatible with a machine.
    Song’s work also shows consciousness is not like other physical systems like neurons, atoms or galaxies. “If consciousness cannot be represented in the same way all other physical systems are represented, it may not be something that arises out of a physical system like the brain,” said Song. “The brain and consciousness are linked together, but the brain does not produce consciousness. Consciousness is something altogether different and separate. The math doesn’t lie.”
    Of note: Daegene Song obtained his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Oxford
    http://www.prnewswire.com/news.....77306.html

    of related note:

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

  113. 113
    bornagain77 says:

    A few more notes on Godel’s incompleteness:

    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/art.....ematicians

    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
    http://arxiv.org/pdf/physics/0612253.pdf

    A Biblical View of Mathematics – Vern Poythress – doctorate in theology, PhD in Mathematics (Harvard)
    Excerpt: only on a thoroughgoing Biblical basis can one genuinely understand and affirm the real agreement about mathematical truths.
    http://www.theologynetwork.org.....matics.htm

    Taking God Out of the Equation – Biblical Worldview – by Ron Tagliapietra – January 1, 2012
    Excerpt: Kurt Gödel (1906–1978) proved that no logical systems (if they include the counting numbers) can have all three of the following properties.
    1. Validity … all conclusions are reached by valid reasoning.
    2. Consistency … no conclusions contradict any other conclusions.
    3. Completeness … all statements made in the system are either true or false.
    The details filled a book, but the basic concept was simple and elegant. He (Godel) summed it up this way: “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove.” For this reason, his proof is also called the Incompleteness Theorem.
    Kurt Gödel had dropped a bomb on the foundations of mathematics. Math could not play the role of God as infinite and autonomous. It was shocking, though, that logic could prove that mathematics could not be its own ultimate foundation.
    Christians should not have been surprised. The first two conditions are true about math: it is valid and consistent. But only God fulfills the third condition. Only He is complete and therefore self-dependent (autonomous). God alone is “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28), “the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13). God is the ultimate authority (Hebrews 6:13), and in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3).
    http://www.answersingenesis.or...../equation#

    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 – (Gödel is considered one of the greatest logicians who ever existed)
    http://www.firstthings.com/art.....ematicians

  114. 114
    daveS says:

    BA77,

    Since math is evidence that man has a mind, then it is also evidence of a divine Mind being behind math:

    Consider:

    Since X is evidence that man has a mind, then it is also evidence of a divine Mind being behind X.

    Is this statement true for all X? I hope not.

  115. 115
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    Carpathian, I don’t see a debate. What I see is you making claims you’re unwilling to actually defend.

    The debate is about ID and I don’t see you being serious about it.

    Read the following:

    Like your claim that there is non-physical “stuff” going on in the cell or in computer communication.

    Like your claim that mathematics is a subjective invention, like unicorns and the tooth fairy.

    Your statements are meant to ridicule the messenger instead of contesting a statement.

    That means you’ve run out of serious responses.

  116. 116
    Carpathian says:

    bornagain77:

    Since math is evidence that man has a mind, then it is also evidence of a divine Mind being behind math:

    There is no logical connection there.

    Man has a mind because man has a brain.

    There is no need for divinity.

    You are using your conclusion of divinity as evidence of divinity.

    That is circular reasoning.

  117. 117
    velikovskys says:

    Sa:
    Who invented time?

    When did time not exist?

    Measurements of time are the concepts of past, present and future.
    Which human beings invented the concept of the past?

    The first humans with a memory

  118. 118
    Carpathian says:

    Silver Asiatic:

    Who invented time?
    Measurements of time are the concepts of past, present and future.

    Time is not an “invention” but rather a result of the Big Bang.

    “Measuring” time is something that humans and other creatures do.

    Which human beings invented the concept of the past?

    I don’t know what you’re asking here.

    Are you asking for a religious, social or tribal origin of the first recorded use of the term “past”?

    I have no answer to that.

  119. 119
    Carpathian says:

    velikovskys:

    Silver Asiatic: Which human beings invented the concept of the past?

    velikovskys: The first humans with a memory

    Yes!

  120. 120
    Carpathian says:

    daveS:

    I don’t believe it’s trivial and arbitrary, in fact. I disagree with Carpathian here. I wouldn’t be surprised if every sufficiently advanced civilization was aware of Euler’s formula.

    Why would an advanced civilization use math in the same way we do?

    Would they use base 10?

    If our number system was base 13, or 17, or 19, etc., would we see different relationships?

    It makes no sense to project our numbering system onto another society assuming it is the best one.

    The same goes for the use of numbers.

    We use numbers to express magnitudes and then we try and apply that concept of magnitudes to mathematical relationships that would be better implemented with a different tool.

    For instance, if I show you a circle, there is no one on the planet that can give me an exact relationship between the circumference and the diameter.

    Clearly, the circle is not infinite and neither is the diameter.

    Why don’t we have a finite number to express that relationship?

    My answer is that our math lacks that capability.

    If math was divine in origin, we should have “discovered” that by now.

    If however math was our invention, then the fact that it fails in some regard, would be expected.

  121. 121
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, transferring -1 from one side to the next is not an artificial trick, it is drawing out and making explicit a direct implication that is particularly striking. KF

  122. 122
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Silver Asiatic: Which human beings invented the concept of the past?

    velikovskys: The first humans with a memory

    The past came into existence with the first humans?

  123. 123
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Carpathian

    If math was divine in origin, we should have “discovered” that by now.

    Where did you learn about the nature and creative expressions of God? Just curious. I’m not sure what you’re referencing when you expect that things with a divine origin should have certain characteristics.

  124. 124
    velikovskys says:

    SA:
    The past came into existence with the first humans?

    You asked when the concept of the past was invented.

  125. 125
    Carpathian says:

    Silver Asiatic,
    According to kairosfocus and bornagain77, math is elegant and points to a divine mind.

    Silver Asiatic: Where did you learn about the nature and creative expressions of God? Just curious. I’m not sure what you’re referencing when you expect that things with a divine origin should have certain characteristics.

    If God doesn’t make mistakes, why would a divine math have them?

    If math is divine, why would it have errors?

    Here is the background to your question:

    Carpathian: Clearly, the circle is not infinite and neither is the diameter.

    Why don’t we have a finite number to express that relationship?

    If math was of divine origin, the answer to this would exist in “discovered” math.

    It doesn’t and that is strong evidence that math is not “divine” in origin, but instead comes from the minds of fallible humans.

  126. 126
    daveS says:

    Carpathian,

    Why would an advanced civilization use math in the same way we do?

    Would they use base 10?

    Probably not.

    If our number system was base 13, or 17, or 19, etc., would we see different relationships?

    I wouldn’t make any difference to Euler’s formula. It wouldn’t change any of the relationships between real or complex numbers, certainly.

    We use numbers to express magnitudes and then we try and apply that concept of magnitudes to mathematical relationships that would be better implemented with a different tool.

    For instance, if I show you a circle, there is no one on the planet that can give me an exact relationship between the circumference and the diameter.

    Clearly, the circle is not infinite and neither is the diameter.

    Why don’t we have a finite number to express that relationship?

    My answer is that our math lacks that capability.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “finite” here. Are you referring to the fact that it is irrational?

    If math was divine in origin, we should have “discovered” that by now.

    I would dispute that, depending on what you mean by “finite”. I don’t see any reason why a divine mathematics would have to satisfy this condition.

    Note that I don’t believe that mathematics is a divine creation, however.

  127. 127
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS, transferring -1 from one side to the next is not an artificial trick, it is drawing out and making explicit a direct implication that is particularly striking. KF

    Well, you can then do the same thing with any quantity that equals -1, thus introducing 1 and 0 into the equation.

  128. 128
    EugeneS says:

    Gentlemen,

    A very good thread indeed. I like such discussions a lot, it makes us look out of the ordinary.

  129. 129
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, a WP bug, my login expired without notice and a comment vanished. KF

  130. 130
    Carpathian says:

    daveS:

    I’m not sure what you mean by “finite” here. Are you referring to the fact that it is irrational?

    Yes.

    Note that I don’t believe that mathematics is a divine creation, however.

    Agreed.

  131. 131
    Carpathian says:

    daveS:

    I would dispute that, depending on what you mean by “finite”. I don’t see any reason why a divine mathematics would have to satisfy this condition.

    Anything with a divine origin cannot be allowed to mislead anyone.

    A divine relationship expressing what we call PI could not be allowed to be inaccurate otherwise what divine constructions could anyone trust?

    That is the reasoning behind my assertion that math is not divine and is instead the work of fallible beings like ourselves.

  132. 132
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian:

    Strawman, likely driven by hostility to theism.

    First, What I have done is to identify Mathematics as a discipline that studies the logic of structure and quantity.

    Where, structure and quantity are key features of this world and in key cases, any world.

    I doubt you will dispute that.

    For, then you will be in deep trouble with the physical sciences and their mathematical nature.

    In that context, I point out that the features of that logic are often discovered rather than invented.

    And I laid out exhibit A:

    0 = 1 + e^i*pi

    as an exhibit that shows the surprising unity and power of Mathematics in the face of the diversity of the observed cosmos.

    In turn, that points to the real domain of challenge, one of the foundational hard questions of a discipline that can be defined as that field that studies hard, deep questions, philosophy.

    Namely, the literally starting question in phil as a discipline: the problem of the one and the many.

    How do we find unity and diversity that is at least in key part intelligible, in a world of such diversity, which is a cosmos not a chaos?

    One serious answer is, that the world reflects a root mind, a powerfully logical root mind.

    You are free to reject that, but then you need to put up an answer that addresses the comparative difficulties challenge: factual adequacy, coherence and balanced elegant explanatory power that is neither simplistic nor an ad hoc patch-work.

    One thing that is easily shown to be a non starter — never mind the lab coats or the claim to be the epitome of reason — is evolutionary materialist scientism.

    It is self referential, and incoherent so self-falsifying.

    If you disagree, simply answer solidly to the point long since put up by Haldane:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [[“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209. ]

    One last point, it is not about proof and it is not a question in Mathematics that you in the end face.

    For, take P1, P2, . . . Pn => Q

    If you don’t like Q you can always find some story as to why you object to Pi etc, and so you dispute the argument.

    But then, you are sitting at the table of comparative difficulties now.

    The hard question is on the table.

    What is your alternative, and how does it fare in the face of comparative difficulties, why?

    That tends to put a very different colour on the matter.

    So, the ball is now in your court.

    Your answer is: _________ ?

    Why that answer?

    KF

  133. 133
    JimFit says:

    Seversky

    Was the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs and much other life on Earth intelligently designed? Was someone playing billiards with celestial bodies?

    First of all if you say that God exists then He controls everything, even the asteroid impacts, we can say that God purposely created this event because it was the only way to have humans.

    Is the impact theory correct?

    Scientists Challenge the “Chicxulub Crater” Theory – 2014

    Until recently, most scientists agreed that the dinosaurs were wiped off the face of the Earth by a 10km-wide meteorite that smashed into the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, causing worldwide forest fires, tsunamis several kilometres high, and an ‘impact winter’ – in which dust blocked out the sun for months or years. It was thought that the dinosaurs were blasted, roasted and frozen to death, in that order.

    A group of scientists led by Prof Gerta Keller of Princeton and Prof Wolfgang Stinnesbeck of the University of Karlsruhe begged to differ. They uncovered a series of geological clues which suggests the truth may be far more complicated. In short, that the crater in the Yucatan is too old to have killed off the dinosaurs.

    http://www.theyucatantimes.com.....er-theory/

    Yoi also said

    Were the bubonic plague or influenza epidemics that have killed millions intelligently designed? Are all the other the diseases and disorders that afflict humanity intelligently designed?

    But diseases are not causeless, you seem to think that its not our fault when we have examples of plagues that were due to our stupidity such us the killing of the cats in the middle ages that ate the rats that carried diseases.

    Science proceeds as if there is order and regularity in the Universe because that is what we observe and we wouldn’t be here, doing our observing (and designing) if it wasn’t.

    That’s the anthropic principle, it doesn’t give an answer. Why there is order? Is it due to chance, physical necessity or design?

    How and why all that order came about is still an unanswered question. It’s a gap where you can plug in whatever designer you like if that’s you fancy. But we need rather more than just faith to be persuaded that your personal designer exists and is The One.

    Either it is due to chance, physical necessity or design, physical necessity and chance cannot give an answer therefor it is due to design. There is no fourth option.

    Physical Necessity

    Consider the first alternative, physical necessity.

    This alternative seems extraordinarily implausible because the constants and quantities are independent of the laws of nature. The laws of nature are consistent with a wide range of values for these constants and quantities. For example, the most promising candidate for a Theory of Everything (T.O.E.) to date, super-string theory or M-Theory, allows a “cosmic landscape” of around 10500 different universes governed by the present laws of nature, so that it does nothing to render the observed values of the constants and quantities physically necessary.

    Chance

    So what about the second alternative, that the fine-tuning is due to chance? The problem with this alternative is that the odds against the universe’s being life-permitting are so incomprehensibly great that they cannot be reasonably faced. In order to rescue the alternative of chance, its proponents have therefore been forced to adopt the hypothesis that there exists a sort of World Ensemble or multiverse of randomly ordered universes of which our universe is but a part. Now comes the key move: since observers can exist only in finely tuned worlds, of course we observe our universe to be fine-tuned!

    So this explanation of fine-tuning relies on (i) the existence of a specific type of World Ensemble and (ii) an observer self-selection effect. Now this explanation, wholly apart from objections to (i), faces a very formidable objection to (ii), namely, the Boltzmann Brain problem. In order to be observable the entire universe need not be fine-tuned for our existence. Indeed, it is vastly more probable that a random fluctuation of mass-energy would yield a universe dominated by Boltzmann Brain observers than one dominated by ordinary observers like ourselves. In other words, the observer self-selection effect is explanatorily vacuous. As Robin Collins has noted, what needs to be explained is not just intelligent life, but embodied, interactive, intelligent agents like ourselves.[21] Appeal to an observer self-selection effect accomplishes nothing because there’s no reason whatever to think that most observable worlds or the most probable observable worlds are worlds in which that kind of observer exists. Indeed, the opposite appears to be true: most observable worlds will be Boltzmann Brain worlds.

    Since we presumably are not Boltzmann Brains, that fact strongly disconfirms a naturalistic World Ensemble or multiverse hypothesis.

    And however much WJM and others try to dismiss it, all the benefits of modern science and technology that we all enjoy to some degree are based on materialistic assumptions. They were not prayed into existence, they are the product of a lot of dogged, often plodding, research.An aircraft doesn’t fly because the designers and engineers that built it had faith that a god, like some celestial Captain Jean-Luc Picard, would “make it so”. It flies because a lot of intelligent people took a lot of time and trouble to discover the physical properties of gravity, air, metals, plastics, glass, electricity and magnetism that allow it to fly.

    No, they are based in the fact that we have consciousness and consciousness precedes materialism and for that reason we can understand the laws, we look at the Universe from another perspective. If Consciousness didn’t precede material reality we wouldn’t be able to make all these discoveries. You don’t know that you are inside a circle until you stand outside of the circle. The material reality the laws and everything are inside the circle, our consciousness lays outside the circle.

  134. 134
    bornagain77 says:

    for the record, I completely disagree with DS. And since he did not even begin to address the points I outlined on their own merit, but, basically, just stated his opinion as if it carried weight, I hold my personal disagreement with his opinion to be more than enough to refute his opinion. (pretending, of course, he has the free will necessary to form his own opinion)

    Do We Have Free Will? – Prager University – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDkLUBdvOkw

  135. 135
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    Haldane: “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true.”

    Why would this conclusion be reached?

    Whatever determines my mental processes has no determination on whether I believe them.

    This sort of argument is terribly flawed and I see it often on ID.

    The fact that something is not understood does not mean it is not true.

  136. 136
    daveS says:

    BA77,

    for the record, I completely disagree with DS.

    Regarding what, specifically?

  137. 137
    daveS says:

    Carpathian,

    Anything with a divine origin cannot be allowed to mislead anyone.

    A divine relationship expressing what we call PI could not be allowed to be inaccurate otherwise what divine constructions could anyone trust?

    That is the reasoning behind my assertion that math is not divine and is instead the work of fallible beings like ourselves.

    I would suggest that’s an unfair constraint to put on God. Lots of important numbers are irrational, and there’s just no way around it, for us or for God.

  138. 138
    Box says:

    Carpathian: Whatever determines my mental processes has no determination on whether I believe them.

    Is—under materialism—your “I” something distinct from the material processes that constitute it? I would say not: under materialism there are no mental processes—and no “I”—which are anything other than matter.
    So, whether you believe something or not is entirely determined by material processes.

  139. 139
    Carpathian says:

    daveS:

    I would suggest that’s an unfair constraint to put on God. Lots of important numbers are irrational, and there’s just no way around it, for us or for God.

    The numbers are only irrational because we have came up with a math that forces us to use them.

    As far as constraining God, I don’t see a problem with God coming up with a math that’s better suited for many things than ours is.

  140. 140
    Carpathian says:

    Box:

    So, whether you believe something or not is entirely determined by material processes.

    You have just made a very materialistic statement.

    Is that what you meant?

    If that’s what you mean then I agree.

  141. 141
    daveS says:

    Carpathian,

    The numbers are only irrational because we have came up with a math that forces us to use them.

    Is there any way to avoid having to deal with irrational numbers without making things even worse? I don’t know how it can be done.

    As far as constraining God, I don’t see a problem with God coming up with a math that’s better suited for many things than ours is.

    I agree with that. Even humans continue to “improve” mathematics over time.

  142. 142
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian, an irrational number cannot be expressed as the ratio of two integers, a transcendental is not the root of any polynomial equation with rational coefficients. The numbers e and pi are transcendental, and via Euler’s expression are infinitely precisely mutually specified, and yet this is astonishing for they come up in utterly diverse contexts. KF

    PS: It is not merely that we do not understand, but that the evolutionary materialist view is self referentially incoherent. As step two to recognising that, observe here Reppert:

    . . . let us suppose that brain state A, which is token identical to the thought that all men are mortal, and brain state B, which is token identical to the thought that Socrates is a man, together cause the belief that Socrates is mortal. It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . . [[But] if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and [[so] we do not have a case of rational inference. In rational inference, as Lewis puts it, one thought causes another thought not by being, but by being seen to be, the ground for it. But causal transactions in the brain occur in virtue of the brain’s being in a particular type of state that is relevant to physical causal transactions.

  143. 143
    Box says:

    Carpathian #140,

    Box: So, whether you believe something or not is entirely determined by material processes.

    Carpathian: You have just made a very materialistic statement.

    Under materialism whether you believe something or not is entirely determined by material processes.

    Carpathian: Is that what you meant?

    Yes, it’s the ugly logical consequence of materialism. According to materialism our beliefs are produced by irrational dumb blind material forces. IOW materialism is self-referentially incoherent.

    Carpathian: If that’s what you mean then I agree.

    No, you don’t agree. In post #135 you wrote:

    Carpathian #135: Whatever determines my mental processes has no determination on whether I believe them.

  144. 144
    Silver Asiatic says:

    DS

    Even humans continue to “improve” mathematics over time.

    True – and following up on this for Carpathian …

    We also continue to discover new things about math.

    What if God made the universe so that succeeding generations of humans would always have something more and new to learn?

    Certain imperfections we find in math or in nature itself, may only be seen as imperfect because we haven’t discovered the fullest/best understanding of them.

  145. 145
    Mung says:

    Box, Carpathian is a dualist, or, at the very least, refuses to deny that he’s a dualist. He believes in all sorts of immaterial things.

  146. 146
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, dare I say that post Godel we know Mathematics to be irreducibly complex? KF

  147. 147
    Silver Asiatic says:

    velikovskys

    You asked when the concept of the past was invented.

    The past is an immaterial concept.

    Humans merely became aware of the past. No human invented it.

    Mathematics is the same. It’s an immaterial concept that is embedded into reality.

    It starts with a distinction between none, one and more than one.

    No human invented that distinction. Humans merely became aware of something that necessarily existed with the origin of the universe.

    What Carpathian is confusing is various numeric systems and outputs that follow from the essence of what is math.

    There are many aspects of math that have been invented by humans, in the same way as there are different means of telling time or recording time with calendars.

    But time wasn’t invented. It’s a necessary component of the universe. Math is the same. It’s the distinction of one, plus or minus.

  148. 148
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    Yes, math is irreducible. It cannot be created from non-math. There can be no possible universe that lacks mathematics. A human being cannot create math as itself (humans can create numbering languages but not math functions themselves).

    As you explained elsewhere the necessary existence of the number 2 in any possible universe.

  149. 149
    velikovskys says:

    SA:
    What if God made the universe so that succeeding generations of humans would always have something more and new to learn?

    Like creating the diversity of life by naturalistic means?

  150. 150
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Vel

    My point was directed toward Carpathian’s concern that

    If math was divine in origin, we should have “discovered” that by now.

    Perhaps God made the universe so knowledge would be gradually revealed, thus ensuring that every generation of people would always have new discoveries and the truth would become more clear. At the same time, this gives more evidence about God, not less. We discover that mathematics is irreducible and that it is built into the universe with amazing power. The idea that mathematics originated “through natural processes” is not feasible.

    The same is true with the diversity of life. The more we learn, the less likely that blind, unintelligent processes could have produced it. We discover more complexities and greater depth of design-features (functional hierarchies). It’s like drilling down into a fractal pattern, with more beauty and complexity revealed in deeper levels.

    Ok, but at the same time, if you’re saying:

    Like creating the diversity of life by naturalistic means?

    If that was possible, it would be saying quite a lot about the “naturalistic means” – somehow they’d have the power to create the diversity of life.

    I think it’s interesting that it’s not what we find though.

    What if God wanted to reveal himself in nature, but still require succeeding generations to work at finding him through greater understanding of the mysteries of nature?

    In that case, simply having “naturalistic means” that can easily be seen to produce lifeforms, wouldn’t offer anything much to explore and discover. It would be an obstacle to finding God, not (what it seems to me to be) an avenue on the journey of discovery.

  151. 151
    Mung says:

    My dear Carpathian,

    Do you think mathematics is objective or not?

    You act as if you do but argue as if you do not.

  152. 152
    velikovskys says:

    SA:
    The past is an immaterial concept.

    Is the source of a river immaterial because you are standing downstream?

    Humans merely became aware of the past. No human invented it.

    Déjà vu all over again, the concept of the past.There is a line of reasoning that by the time we experience the present it is already the past.

    Mathematics is the same. It’s an immaterial concept that is embedded into reality.

    Or it is tool to understand and manipulate reality we have learned.

    It starts with a distinction between none, one and more than one.

    No Tigers, one Tiger, more than one Tiger , that seems non abstract or immaterial and rather useful.

    No human invented that distinction. Humans merely became aware of something that necessarily existed with the origin of the universe.

    The question then is that arbitrary or merely reflective of the universe.

    But time wasn’t invented

    I didn’t say it was, I did say when did time not exist?

    It’s a necessary component of the universe

    True, math not so much.

  153. 153
    Mung says:

    The elementary physical laws are symmetric with respect to time.

  154. 154
  155. 155
    bornagain77 says:

    as to: “when did time not exist?”

    Time as we understand it, in which events can be ordered from the past through the present into the future, had its origin, (along with space), in the big bang:

    “Every solution to the equations of general relativity guarantees the existence of a singular boundary for space and time in the past.”
    (Hawking, Penrose, Ellis) – 1970
    http://www.leaderu.com/real/ri9404/bigbang.html

    Big Bang Theory – An Overview of the main evidence
    Excerpt: Steven Hawking, George Ellis, and Roger Penrose turned their attention to the Theory of Relativity and its implications regarding our notions of time. In 1968 and 1970, they published papers in which they extended Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity to include measurements of time and space.1, 2 According to their calculations, time and space had a finite beginning that corresponded to the origin of matter and energy.”3
    Steven W. Hawking, George F.R. Ellis, “The Cosmic Black-Body Radiation and the Existence of Singularities in our Universe,” Astrophysical Journal, 152, (1968) pp. 25-36.
    Steven W. Hawking, Roger Penrose, “The Singularities of Gravitational Collapse and Cosmology,” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, series A, 314 (1970) pp. 529-548.
    http://www.big-bang-theory.com/

    A better question to ask than, “when did time not exist?”, would be to ask, “when did now not exist?”.
    Einstein was once asked (by a philosopher):

    “Can physics demonstrate the existence of ‘the now’ in order to make the notion of ‘now’ into a scientifically valid term?”

    Einstein’s answer was categorical, he said:

    “The experience of ‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement, it can never be a part of physics.”

    Quote was taken from the last few minutes of this following video or can be read in full context in the article following the video:

    Stanley L. Jaki: “The Mind and Its Now”
    https://vimeo.com/10588094

    The Mind and Its Now – Stanley L. Jaki, July 2008
    Excerpts: There can be no active mind without its sensing its existence in the moment called now.,,,
    Three quarters of a century ago Charles Sherrington, the greatest modern student of the brain, spoke memorably on the mind’s baffling independence of the brain. The mind lives in a self-continued now or rather in the now continued in the self. This life involves the entire brain, some parts of which overlap, others do not.
    ,,,There is no physical parallel to the mind’s ability to extend from its position in the momentary present to its past moments, or in its ability to imagine its future. The mind remains identical with itself while it lives through its momentary nows.
    ,,, the now is immensely richer an experience than any marvelous set of numbers, even if science could give an account of the set of numbers, in terms of energy levels. The now is not a number. It is rather a word, the most decisive of all words. It is through experiencing that word that the mind comes alive and registers all existence around and well beyond.
    ,,, All our moments, all our nows, flow into a personal continuum, of which the supreme form is the NOW which is uncreated, because it simply IS.
    http://www.saintcd.com/science.....imitstart=

    The statement, ‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement’, was an interesting statement for Einstein to make since ‘the now of the mind’ has, from many recent experiments in quantum mechanics, undermined the space-time of Einstein’s General Relativity as to being the absolute frame of reference for reality.

    Lecture 11: Decoherence and Hidden Variables – Scott Aaronson – MIT associate Professor
    Excerpt: “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists who think the world sprang into existence on October 23, 4004 BC at 9AM (presumably Babylonian time), with the fossils already in the ground, light from distant stars heading toward us, etc. But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”
    http://www.scottaaronson.com/democritus/lec11.html

    Reality doesn’t exist until we measure it, (Delayed Choice) quantum experiment confirms
    Mind = blown. – FIONA MACDONALD – 1 JUN 2015
    Excerpt: “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” lead researcher and physicist Andrew Truscott said in a press release.
    http://www.sciencealert.com/re.....t-confirms

    A Short Survey Of Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness
    Excerpt: Putting all the lines of evidence together the argument for God from consciousness can now be framed like this:
    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.
    Four intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect)
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uLcJUgLm1vwFyjwcbwuYP0bK6k8mXy-of990HudzduI/edit

    i.e. ‘the now of the mind’, contrary to what Einstein thought possible for experimental physics, and according to advances in quantum mechanics, takes precedence over past events in time. Moreover, due to advances in quantum mechanics, it would now be much more appropriate to phrase Einstein’s answer to the philosopher in this way:

    “It is impossible for the experience of ‘the now of the mind’ to ever be divorced from physical measurement, it will always be a part of physics.”

    Of relate interest to ‘the now of the mind’ is special relativity and Near Death Experience testimonies:
    ‘If’ a hypothetical observer were to accelerate to the speed of light, time, as we understand it, would come to a complete stop for the hypothetical observer. To grasp the whole ‘time coming to a complete stop at the speed of light’ concept a little more easily, imagine moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light. Would not the hands on the clock stay stationary as you moved away from the face of the clock at the speed of light? Moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light happens to be the same ‘thought experiment’ that gave Einstein his breakthrough insight into e=mc2.

    Albert Einstein – Special Relativity – Insight Into Eternity – ‘thought experiment’ video
    https://vimeo.com/93101738

    “I’ve just developed a new theory of eternity.”
    Albert Einstein – The Einstein Factor – Reader’s Digest – 2005

    “The laws of relativity have changed timeless existence from a theological claim to a physical reality. Light, you see, is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities. I don’t pretend to know how tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday. But at the speed of light they actually and rigorously do. Time does not pass.”
    Richard Swenson – More Than Meets The Eye, Chpt. 12

    Please note how the dilation of time in special relativity correlates to the testimonies of Near Death Experiences:

    ‘Earthly time has no meaning in the spirit realm. There is no concept of before or after. Everything – past, present, future – exists simultaneously.’
    – Kimberly Clark Sharp – NDE Experiencer

    ‘There is no way to tell whether minutes, hours or years go by. Existence is the only reality and it is inseparable from the eternal now.’
    – John Star – NDE Experiencer

    ‘In the ‘spirit world,,, instantly, there was no sense of time. See, everything on earth is related to time. You got up this morning, you are going to go to bed tonight. Something is new, it will get old. Something is born, it’s going to die. Everything on the physical plane is relative to time, but everything in the spiritual plane is relative to eternity. Instantly I was in total consciousness and awareness of eternity, and you and I as we live in this earth cannot even comprehend it, because everything that we have here is filled within the veil of the temporal life. In the spirit life that is more real than anything else and it is awesome. Eternity as a concept is awesome. There is no such thing as time. I knew that whatever happened was going to go on and on.’
    In The Presence Of Almighty God – The NDE of Mickey Robinson – video
    https://vimeo.com/92172680

    Verse:

    Titus 1:2
    in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,

  156. 156
    Mung says:

    I’m more interested in the land that time forgot.

  157. 157
    velikovskys says:

    SA:
    My point was directed toward Carpathian’s concern that

    If math was divine in origin, we should have “discovered” that by now.

    Perhaps God made the universe so knowledge would be gradually revealed, thus ensuring that every generation of people would always have new discoveries and the truth would become more clear.

    I get that, likewise perhaps not. God is unpredictable.

    At the same time, this gives more evidence about God, not less.

    Not really, He could just reveal the truth ,that would be more convincing

    We discover that mathematics is irreducible and that it is built into the universe with amazing power. The idea that mathematics originated “through natural processes” is not feasible.

    Why must nature be incomprehensible, beyond description? Since not everything can be reduced to mathematics is that evidence that your God does not exist?

    If that was possible, it would be saying quite a lot about the “naturalistic means” – somehow they’d have the power to create the diversity of life.

    I think it’s interesting that it’s not what we find though.

    It is not what you find ,to be more accurate , , As you asked:

    “What if God made the universe so that succeeding generations of humans would always have something more and new to learn?”

    What can we learn from the Unknowable? God has no entailments


    In that case, simply having “naturalistic means” that can easily be seen to produce lifeforms, wouldn’t offer anything much to explore and discover.

    And saying God did it through some unknown way is more satisfying?

    It would be an obstacle to finding God, not (what it seems to me to be) an avenue on the journey of discovery.

    Sorry, not for me. What is there to discover if everything has the same answer, God did it?

  158. 158
    velikovskys says:

    Mung:

    The elementary physical laws are symmetric with respect to time.

    Care to elaborate?

  159. 159
    Mung says:

    Carpathian:

    Math is something we invented and for the most part agree upon.

    You need to provide an explanation for why we all agree upon mathematics. (Setting aside the “for the most part” qualification.)

    Carpathian:

    It [mathematics] is not objective in the sense that it [mathematics] exists independent of us.

    Then why do we all, for the most part, agree on it?

    If people, for the most part, agree on the existence of God, the existence of God becomes an objective fact?

  160. 160
    velikovskys says:

    mung:
    If people, for the most part, agree on the existence of God, the existence of God becomes an objective fact?

    An objective belief not fact

  161. 161
    Silver Asiatic says:

    vel

    Not really, He could just reveal the truth ,that would be more convincing

    You’re not offering a counterpoint. As I explained, the truth is revealed. What you’re saying is “I want all of the truth right now”. But consider again, the truth is gradually revealed — for several reasons. 1. This gives every human generation a chance to learn new things (if it all came “right now” there would be nothing more to explore). 2. The search for the truth is an effort, what comes to us through an effort, work or struggle, is more highly prized than that which is merely a given. 3. In searching for the truth, we are involved and have responsibility. Some don’t want to try — that’s a way to judge their character. It’s an exercise in moral growth to patiently seek for the truth of things. If God reveals truth gradually, it gives us a chance to grow morally.

    Why must nature be incomprehensible, beyond description?

    No, I said irreducible, not incomprehensible.

    Since not everything can be reduced to mathematics is that evidence that your God does not exist?

    No, it’s evidence that God does exist. If everything could be reduced to mathematics, then mathematics would be God. But there is something beyond/deeper than mathematics – a higher order of organization and governance needed.

    It is not what you find

    If you find it, then you can show the evidence any time you’d like. Failing that, you haven’t found it.

    What can we learn from the Unknowable? God has no entailments

    Where and how did you learn that God is Unknowable and that God has no entailments?

    And saying God did it through some unknown way is more satisfying?

    Knowing that God is the author, meaning and purpose of life is the most satisfying truth one can have.

    Sorry, not for me.

    No need to apologize that you don’t want to learn about God. I wish you would take an interest in that, but it’s certainly up to you.

    What is there to discover if everything has the same answer, God did it?

    As noted above, before saying “God” anything, you’d need to explain what you mean. In doing that, there’s quite a lot to discover about God – who, as the source of all existence and life, knows all things and reveals the answers about all things to us, through himself.

    So, in learning about God – we necessarily learn about creation. We see efficient causality and can trace that back to ultimate or final causes in himself.

    There’s quite a lot to learn.

  162. 162
    Silver Asiatic says:

    SA: The past is an immaterial concept.

    velikovskys: Is the source of a river immaterial because you are standing downstream?

    You seem to be disagreeing with me here. Could you explain, please?

  163. 163
    Carpathian says:

    Box:

    No, you don’t agree. In post #135 you wrote:

    Carpathian #135: Whatever determines my mental processes has no determination on whether I believe them.

    That is in response to kairosfocus’s quote from Haldane where Haldane claims that his belief is dependent on what has determined his mental processes.

    Whether a mind is the result of material processes or not, you and I both believe we are right regardless of which one truly is.

    In the event you are right, I would be wrong but am still able to hold the belief that I am correct.

    The same applies if the mind is actually the result of materialistic processes, in that you still hold your belief that it isn’t.

    This is why these arguments are wrong.

    They try to logically tie together two completely separate properties.

  164. 164
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    Carpathian, an irrational number cannot be expressed as the ratio of two integers, a transcendental is not the root of any polynomial equation with rational coefficients. The numbers e and pi are transcendental, and via Euler’s expression are infinitely precisely mutually specified, and yet this is astonishing for they come up in utterly diverse contexts. KF

    The point I’m making is that irrational numbers do not reflect reality.

    It is a kludge that is useful and for all intents and purposes so close to reality that it has allowed us to perform very complex acts of engineering.

    Being useful however does not point to a divine hand in the creation of math.

    If math is indeed an integral part of the universe, why can’t it accurately describe objects that exist in that same universe?

    If I gave you C, the circumference of a circle, you could could not accurately tell me D, the diameter, and yet we can look at that circle and see it has a fixed size.

    Do you think God knows what the diameter actually is?

    If God has a means of knowing the diameter, why wouldn’t we be able to do it if math is built into the universe?

    Saying that PI is irrational really means it is not expressible by us with our present mathematics.

  165. 165
    Box says:

    Carpathian #163,

    My understanding of Haldane’s argument:

    Haldane: “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true.”

    Haldane reflects on a belief that is wholly determined by blind stupid material processes. Haldane’s assessment is that such a belief has no value; he writes “if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true.”
    IOW if dumb blind matter—opposite to rational deliberation—produces my beliefs then my beliefs are worthless.

    However, Haldane doesn’t hold that his beliefs are worthless, therefor he writes: “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter.” [because if it were then my beliefs are worthless]

  166. 166
    Carpathian says:

    Silver Asiatic:

    What Carpathian is confusing is various numeric systems and outputs that follow from the essence of what is math.

    I think I understand what you mean by math now.

    If I’m right, you’re really talking about relationships of properties in the universe that we use numbers to describe.

    If that is the case, it is a completely separate issue from math.

    Math is how we describe those relationships and that is why I say that math, as a descriptive tool, is the invention of man.

    The relationship of forces and their interaction with matter are completely separate and independent of any description of them.

  167. 167
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian:

    The point I’m making is that irrational numbers do not reflect reality.

    It is a kludge that is useful and for all intents and purposes so close to reality that it has allowed us to perform very complex acts of engineering.

    Actually, the irrationals and transcendentals are most of the real numbers.

    They are not kludges.

    We work with nearby approximations in our calculations, but that is just for calculation.

    Now as to what Mathematics is, I have said it several times: the logical study of structure and quantity.

    That logic exists once structures and quantitative aspects exist. And, it constrains what is, based on what is entailed by structures.

    Hence the power of Mathematics in a cosmos — an ordered system of reality. As opposed to a chaos.

    Further to this, it is very reasonable to see that we often recognise and describe structural and quantitative patterns, then discover their logical consequences.

    Hence, a lot of mathematics is embedded in the structural and quantitative patterns of reality, waiting for us to discover and elucidate through suitably logical exploration.

    Mathematics, insofar as this obtains, reflects unifying principles embedded in reality and is not an arbitrary imposition on it.

    And, the Euler expression happens to be a major logical wormhole junction in that process.

    One that was unexpected, was astonishing when discovered, and still drips with a magic wine of insight to this day.

    In case you are inclined to doubt and dismiss, I note Wikipedia speaking against ideological interest:

    Mathematics (from Greek ?????? máth?ma, “knowledge, study, learning”) is the study of topics such as quantity (numbers),[2] structure,[3] space,[2] and change.[4][5][6] There is a range of views among mathematicians and philosophers as to the exact scope and definition of mathematics.[7][8]

    Mathematicians seek out patterns[9][10] and use them to formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proof. When mathematical structures are good models of real phenomena, then mathematical reasoning can provide insight or predictions about nature. Through the use of abstraction and logic, mathematics developed from counting, calculation, measurement, and the systematic study of the shapes and motions of physical objects. Practical mathematics has been a human activity for as far back as written records exist. The research required to solve mathematical problems can take years or even centuries of sustained inquiry.

    Another def’n:

    math•e•mat•ics (?mæ? ??mæt ?ks)

    n.
    1. (used with a sing. v.) the systematic treatment of magnitude, relationships between figures and forms, and relations between quantities expressed symbolically.
    2. (used with a sing. or pl. v.) mathematical procedures, operations, or properties.
    [1350–1400; < Latin < Greek math?matik? (téchn?) scientific (craft) =math?mat- lesson, learning + -ik?, -ic; see -ics]

    Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

    I think you will be able to see that my summary captures the essence: the logical study of structure and quantity.

    Not everything fits in with pomo thought patterns that decry totalising metanarratives and the like . . . only to necessarily fall on the point of the same rhetorical sword.

    KF

  168. 168
    Carpathian says:

    Box:

    Haldane: “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically.

    The section I bolded suggests that his argument is irrational in the sense that if we have a sound “chemical” process, why would it not be logical?

    We rely on electrical processes in a computer and we trust them to be logical enough to use in a flight control system on an aircraft.

    Secondly, it does not address infallibility.

    Whether he is wrong or right about where his mind comes from, the workings of that mind are identical in that he actually holds the beliefs that he does.

  169. 169
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Ponder the sides and diagonal of a square, and the ratio of diagonal to side, or the circumference to the diameter of a circle. Or the plot of y = 1/x, and the area under the curve past x = 1, carried out to the point where that area is exactly 1 unit. Then, tell me that sqrt 2, pi and e are not reasonable, real and very important quantities. Just for one application ponder how one so sizes gear teeth to get an exact number that will mesh exactly with those of the teeth of gears on another shaft. Then, think of a car transmission or just the gear train in a fishing reel.

  170. 170
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian, are you old enough to remember the big Pentium recall? Computational substrates are simply physically interacting components, that are inherently subject to GIGO, garbage in, garbage out. There is no inherent limitation in hardware or software that keeps the bugs out. Someone intelligent and insightful has to go through and establish the soundness. And sometimes, there is a slipup as happened with the floating point processing in the original Pentium. Haldane’s point is cuttingly sharp: the mere chemistry has no inherent connexions to logical validity or soundness. That only becomes a grievous challenge to those locked into the notion that matter interacting by blind chance and mechanical necessity, somehow threw up knowing, reasoning, insightful mind. But in fact to do that is to futilely try to get North by insistently heading West. KF

  171. 171
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: The relationship of forces and their interaction with matter are completely separate and independent of any description of them.

    LoL

  172. 172
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    I think you will be able to see that my summary captures the essence: the logical study of structure and quantity.

    I have no problem with this at all.

    My problem is the conclusion that:

    1) math is in some way divine

    2) math is built into the universe and is waiting to be discovered.

    Math, the tool we use to describe relationships, has limitations in describing the very things we want answers to.

    In the case of curves, we insist on deriving constants and algorithms that we can never resolve.

    How would you fine-tune a universe using a tool that never gives you “finite” results?

    I use finite here, not irrational, to highlight the difference in a described object and its description.

    “PI” is an irrational number but a circle has finite dimensions.

    If you were the intelligent designer of the universe, our limited mathematics would not be good enough since none of your algorithms would ever resolve completely and that would be “playing dice with the universe”.

    Again, it is not math I have an issue with, it is the conclusion by the ID members here that it is in some way divine.

  173. 173
    EugeneS says:

    Velikovskys #157,

    “Not really, He could just reveal the truth ,that would be more convincing”

    He already did ) But one must be ready to listen or, in biblical terms, one must have ears to hear. See Luke 16:31.

  174. 174
    Mung says:

    Carpathian, think continuous and discrete and how one gets from one to the other.

  175. 175
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    Carpathian: The relationship of forces and their interaction with matter are completely separate and independent of any description of them.

    Mung: LoL

    You’re saying they’re not?

    So instead of e = mc^2, I could simply write e = mc and physics would have to adjust?

  176. 176
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpthian, you have (again) set up and knocked over a strawman. There is no direct leap from Mathematics is in material part discovered and manifests unifying patterns in our world — something that naturally comes from what it is about — and a jumped to, claimed deductive conclusion it is therefore divine. This was already discussed but you have obviously fixated on a strawman that is handy to deflect and dismiss. What has been put on the table is the foundational phil problem of the one and the many as a much broader problem [and in a different intellectual discipline with its own methods], so also unity and diversity in a coherent world and the challenge, what best explains it. I suggest to you that you would be well advised to face it, or at least not caricature the reasoning of those who have. KF

    PS: You seem also to struggle with limits and the like. Just how much analysis have you done? Do you appreciate why the definition of a continuum is made in the way it is, for instance?

  177. 177
    Box says:

    Carpathian: (…) if we have a sound “chemical” process, why would it not be logical?

    Your question is answered by Reppert:

    . . . let us suppose that brain state A, which is token identical to the thought that all men are mortal, and brain state B, which is token identical to the thought that Socrates is a man, together cause the belief that Socrates is mortal. It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . . [[But] if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and [[so] we do not have a case of rational inference. In rational inference, as Lewis puts it, one thought causes another thought not by being, but by being seen to be, the ground for it. But causal transactions in the brain occur in virtue of the brain’s being in a particular type of state that is relevant to physical causal transactions.

    IOW there is a disconnect between physical causality and logical causality. It’s possible for a monkey to type “E=MC^2”, but even if he does it has nothing to do with reflections on mass and energy.

  178. 178
    Box says:

    // follow-up #177 //
    Come to think of it Searle’s Chinese Room argument also points out the disconnect between physical causality (computational causality) and mental causality.

  179. 179
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Let me refocus 132 above, to Carpathian:

    __________________

    >>First, What I have done is to identify Mathematics as a discipline that studies the logic of structure and quantity.

    Where, structure and quantity are key features of this world and in key cases, any world.

    I doubt you will dispute that.

    For, then you will be in deep trouble with the physical sciences and their mathematical nature.

    In that context, I point out that the features of that logic are often discovered rather than invented.

    And I laid out exhibit A:

    0 = 1 + e^i*pi

    as an exhibit that shows the surprising unity and power of Mathematics in the face of the diversity of the observed cosmos.

    In turn, that points to the real domain of challenge, one of the foundational hard questions of a discipline that can be defined as that field that studies hard, deep questions, philosophy.

    Namely, the literally starting question in phil as a discipline: the problem of the one and the many.

    How do we find unity and diversity that is at least in key part intelligible, in a world of such diversity, which is a cosmos not a chaos?

    One serious answer is, that the world reflects a root mind, a powerfully logical root mind.

    You are free to reject that, but then you need to put up an answer that addresses the comparative difficulties challenge: factual adequacy, coherence and balanced elegant explanatory power that is neither simplistic nor an ad hoc patch-work.

    One thing that is easily shown to be a non starter — never mind the lab coats or the claim to be the epitome of reason — is evolutionary materialist scientism.

    It is self referential, and incoherent so self-falsifying.

    If you disagree, simply answer solidly to the point long since put up by Haldane:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [[“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209. ]

    One last point, it is not about proof and it is not a question in Mathematics that you in the end face.

    For, take P1, P2, . . . Pn => Q

    If you don’t like Q you can always find some story as to why you object to Pi etc, and so you dispute the argument.

    But then, you are sitting at the table of comparative difficulties now.

    The hard question is on the table.

    What is your alternative, and how does it fare in the face of comparative difficulties, why?

    That tends to put a very different colour on the matter.

    So, the ball is now in your court.

    Your answer is: _________ ?

    Why that answer?>>
    __________________

    The problem of the one and the many is now on the table.

    KF

  180. 180
    Carpathian says:

    Box,

    The problem for me is what the following implies.

    For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true.

    If Haldane is wrong, he nevertheless still believes he is correct.

    He cannot know he is correct and the same goes for me.

    Because he cannot know he is wrong, he also cannot know that he is right.

    Both of us hold our beliefs to be true and that holds regardless of which one of us is correct about where our mental processes actually originate.

    This is not a point with can be objectively proved from a subjective viewpoint.

  181. 181
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    Carpthian, you have (again) set up and knocked over a strawman.

    It is not a strawman as it is bornagain77’s position.

    Both daveS and myself believe that math is a human construction and there are IDists who say otherwise.

    Do you believe math is a human construction or a creation separate from man?

    One serious answer is, that the world reflects a root mind, a powerfully logical root mind.

    You are free to reject that, but then you need to put up an answer that addresses the comparative difficulties challenge: factual adequacy, coherence and balanced elegant explanatory power that is neither simplistic nor an ad hoc patch-work.

    I don’t see elegance at all, I instead see something that humans are quite capable of coming up with, and that is a brute force mathematics that gets bent and shaped to fit new problems.

    Please understand that I am not discussing the failings of math for mathematical reasons, I am instead using it as an example that math is not divine.

    If you see math as a human construction, then we agree.

    If you disagree, show me how you would fine-tune the universe with irrational values for physics.

    This would not be a problem for a designer who uses math that goes beyond ours but then by definition, ours would be inferior and thus not divine in origin but rather created by us.

  182. 182
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian, I rather doubt that BA77 argues something like, 0 = 1 + e^i*pi, so God exists. He may outline that this speaks to the powerful and highly relevant unity of Mathematics, and makes mind a plausible explanation for the cosmos we inhabit. That, is an argument that I have slightly expanded by drawing out the underlying phil issue of the one and the many, and highlighting the intellectual responsibilities taken up at that level when one rejects a core worldview alternative. So, when you try to pounce on an over simplified argument, and act as though that answers to the fuller case . . . and even I have only outlined, that is a strawman. All that does is it inocculates you rhetorically against attending to the full form argument, but that cannot do away with your intellectual responsibilities. KF

  183. 183
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I have also outlined reasons to observe that in core aspects, the logical study of structure and quantity allows us to discover relationships embedded in our world and in some cases in any world, e.g. two-ness cannot not exist. The fixation on Math as a human endeavour is apparently blinding you to that major side, of which the Euler expression is a capital and surprising example that happens to be connected to major domains of mathematics and applications in the real world. KF

  184. 184
    Box says:

    Carpathian #180: This is not a point with can be objectively proved from a subjective viewpoint.

    But we have no choice but to assume that we are rational. Indeed, I agree with you, we may not be rational, but assuming that we are not-rational and declare that all is lost is not an option.
    So the question is: when reflecting on blind forces producing believes—assuming that we are rational and therefor capable of correct assessment—, are we correct to conclude that such believes are not trustworthy? In that case, do we have, as Haldane states, “no reason to suppose that our beliefs are true”?
    IOW is materialism not capable of accommodating beliefs we can trust?

  185. 185
    Mung says:

    Box: IOW is materialism not capable of accommodating beliefs we can trust?

    We have to assume our cognitive functions are reliable, otherwise we’d have no reason to believe materialism is true!

  186. 186
    Box says:

    Mung: We have to assume our cognitive functions are reliable, otherwise we’d have no reason to believe materialism is true!

    Indeed. It is self-referentially incoherent to believe that one’s cognitive functions are unreliable based on one’s belief in materialism. 🙂

  187. 187
    Carpathian says:

    Box:

    Box: Indeed. It is self-referentially incoherent to believe that one’s cognitive functions are unreliable based on one’s belief in materialism. 🙂

    Haldane: For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true.

    Haldane claims that his cognitive functions would be unreliable if materialism were true.

  188. 188
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    We have to assume our cognitive functions are reliable, otherwise we’d have no reason to believe materialism is true!

    We would not have a reason to believe anything if we thought our cognitive functions were not reliable and that includes believing in ID.

  189. 189
    Carpathian says:

    Box:

    But we have no choice but to assume that we are rational. Indeed, I agree with you, we may not be rational, but assuming that we are not-rational and declare that all is lost is not an option.

    I am not saying we are not rational.

    I’m saying the opposite.

    Regardless of whether “materialism” is true or not, we are “rational” by definition since we are reasoning beings.

    My point is that we cannot logically determine whether our beliefs can be trusted by virtue of where we believe we come from.

  190. 190
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    The fixation on Math as a human endeavour is apparently blinding you to that major side, of which the Euler expression is a capital and surprising example that happens to be connected to major domains of mathematics and applications in the real world. KF

    You are not addressing my point which is this:

    Math is something man invented, it is not divine in origin.

    As evidence I presented PI, which due to being a man-made irrational value, does not reflect the reality of the finite dimensions of a circle.

    Math is not discovered, it is created.

    With our man created math, man has determined relationships in the universe we live in.

    Again, the argument is not about math, but rather its origins.

    A math with divine origins would not have us guessing what the diameter of a circle is.

  191. 191
    Box says:

    Carpathian,

    Carpathian: Regardless of whether “materialism” is true or not, we are “rational” by definition since we are reasoning beings.

    I take it then that you hold your belief—that we are reasoning beings—to be true. If materialism is true, according to Haldane, we have no reason to suppose that our beliefs are true.
    IOW your trust in your belief—that we are reasoning beings—is inconsistent with materialism.

  192. 192
    Carpathian says:

    Box:

    If materialism is true, according to Haldane, we have no reason to suppose that our beliefs are true.

    But if my belief in materialism is true, then Haldane is wrong, since my belief would then have proven to be valid and his belief invalid.

    My point is that both of us have a belief we hold to be true regardless of of where that reasoning comes from and regardless of which one of us is right.

    Logical output is determined by logical input, i.e., garbage in, garbage out.

    Haldane’s argument is based on faulty premises.

  193. 193
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: My point is that both of us have a belief we hold to be true

    But you can’t both be right.

    Logical output is determined by logical input, i.e., garbage in, garbage out.

    Indeed. One of you must be wrong.

  194. 194
    Box says:

    Carpathian,

    Carpathian:

    But if my belief in materialism is true, then Haldane is wrong, [(1) wrong about what exactly?] since my belief would then have proven to be valid [(2) proven valid by what experiment?] and his belief [(3) which belief?] invalid.

    [my questions]

    (1) Haldane is still right about blind forces producing unreliable beliefs on principle. Even if materialism is true and it is your belief that materialism is true, this true belief is still produced by blind unthinking irrational forces. IOW a very unlikely event took place: blind stupid irrational stuff produced a true belief.

    Hence Haldane’s statement: “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true.”
    (2) If materialism is true, how can it be proved?
    (3) His belief is IMO that blind forces—opposed to rational deliberation—produce unreliable beliefs.

  195. 195
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    Carpathian: My point is that both of us have a belief we hold to be true

    Mung: But you can’t both be right.

    Exactly.

    While we both hold our beliefs to be true, in this case, one of us is wrong.

    Haldane wants a conclusion that excludes materialism, but the problem is that if he is wrong, he has know way of knowing it.

    He has simply asserted that materialism cannot lead to beliefs that can be trusted as being true.

    I assert the opposite.

  196. 196
    Carpathian says:

    Box:

    (2) If materialism is true, how can it be proved?

    I don’t know if we can ever prove to everyone’s satisfaction that we are not a result of purely materialistic forces, but the other position doesn’t have any evidence at all backing it up.

    Haldane’s mind can be the result of materialistic processes despite the fact that he might be wrong about that mind’s origin.

    I could also be wrong, but the difference is I accept that I might be and Haldane cannot.

  197. 197
    Box says:

    Carpathian: I don’t know if we can ever prove to everyone’s satisfaction that we are not a result of purely materialistic forces, (…)
    [my correction]

    What would be the most compelling evidence in favor of the concept of a purely material human being?

    Carpathian: (…) but the other position doesn’t have any evidence at all backing it up.

    According to you there is not any evidence that a human being is something other than matter. Is that your position?

    Carpathian: Haldane’s mind can be the result of materialistic processes despite the fact that he might be wrong about that mind’s origin.

    “Despite”?

    Carpathian: I could also be wrong, but the difference is I accept that I might be and Haldane cannot.

    According to Haldane it’s “immensely unlikely” that you are right about the mind being the result of materialistic processes. Do you agree with Haldane? If not, why not?

  198. 198
    debbieevans says:

    The real science will always be proved later. At that time, many would have not been the accepted immediately. But after many years, when the argument has been put forward to death, another group of researchers or scientists have given a reasonable explanation. Maybe, this is the place where science really confuse people.

  199. 199
    Poolshark says:

    first time posting, not sure if this will be read by anyone, but I wanted to signup just to post it:

    Has anyone else pointed out (probably) how strange it is that the game of billiards is frequently used as shorthand for some kind of deterministic framework? I mean, it’s a cliché at this point, and maybe a cliché to point out the cliché as well. But it’s a terrible analogy. Not just because the universe doesn’t behave that way, but because anyone who has ever appreciated the game of pool realizes that a great deal of design goes into making each and every shot. The whole beauty of the game comes from this fact. You analyze the board, survey your options, plan out as long a sequence of winning moves as you can manage, aim with intense precision, and then shoot, maybe putting some english on the ball if you’d like. Any failure to execute the shot according to your design, the slightest deviation of an angle or two to the right or left, can result in a bad shot, a scratch, or even losing the entire game by sinking the eightball prematurely. In short, the game of billiards, rather than being used as an illustration of blind determinism, could easily be recast as an argument for design. It is sort of a testament to the times we are living in that no one ever points this out or looks at the analogy of pool from this perspective. Pointing it out is a little like invoking Aristotle’s formal and final causes in a highschool chemistry class. But the perspective shift can easily be made.

    It’s funny. It almost seems like the more forethought – design – is involved in a game, the more people talk about it mechanistically. Whereas games of chance, like poker, are celebrated for the ways in which players skillfully read and outwit their opponents, although this doesn’t seem to me to involve design so much as a kind of moment-by-moment cunning. Unless you are conspiring with fellow players through a self designed system of tells, or something like that.

    Anyway – this may be a rant, but oh well. These thoughts all came to me after watching a documentary about Sir Isaac Newton, and contemplating the perfect orbits of planets around the earth due to the pull of gravity. The force of gravity might seem like a blind force, but the fact that planets orbit so perfectly rather than erratically swinging and crashing into each other is, in my mind, a clear indication of design and an intelligent designer. An intelligent darwinist could obviously mock that statement on a surface level as a naive and stupid remark, pantsing me for the amusement of his friends, but he would be sadly missing the core of my argument. Anyway, it was therapeutic for me to get that all out, if nothing else. Thank you if you read it. And thank you Uncommondescent, for being a venue of discussion about this sort of thing.

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