Intelligent Design

Fascism Watch

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One would think that the French, having been overrun by a fascist country in 1940, would be especially careful to reign in the fascist impulses of their progressives.  But one would be wrong:

In 2014, in conjunction with World Down Syndrome Day (March 21), the Global Down Syndrome Foundation prepared a two-minute video titled “Dear Future Mom” to assuage the anxieties of pregnant women who have learned that they are carrying a Down syndrome baby.

More than 7 million people have seen the video online in which one such woman says, “I’m scared: What kind of life will my child have?” Down syndrome children from many nations tell the woman that her child will hug, speak, go to school, tell you he loves you and “can be happy, just like I am – and you’ll be happy, too.”

The French state is not happy about this. The court has ruled that the video is – wait for it – “inappropriate” for French television. The court upheld a ruling in which the French Broadcasting Council had banned the video as a commercial. The court said the video’s depiction of happy Down syndrome children was “likely to disturb the conscience of women who had lawfully made different personal life choices.”

 

97 Replies to “Fascism Watch

  1. 1
    News says:

    Barry, my earliest childhood friend was a boy who had Down syndrome. I (b. 1950) didn’t realize that there was something medically wrong with Johnny (1948-1957) until he died of a congenital heart condition associated with the disorder.

    (He knew how to catch cabbage butterflies way better than me.)

    Progressivism (fascism) is, in my experience, about power, plain and simple.

    Its doctrines are easy to understand:

    Humans are not special and have evolved to need coercion. We did not evolve to understand reality, so people who chose to have their child killed deserve protection for their choices but people who survived are not permitted to celebrate their lives.

    Readers, if you believe in fascism, go to your nearest voting booth and vote for fascists, until you can find a prof somewhere who explains that voting is outdated: We evolved to need fascism.

  2. 2
    MatSpirit says:

    This is interesting. In your “Prof Bob Marks on what computers can’t do” post, Prof. Marks puts up a quote from Titus 1 about Cretans being liars.

    Checking the quote’s context, I was surprised to find Paul saying,

    “10 For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk, especially those of the circumcision group. 11 They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain.”

    It looks like Paul would have sided with the modern French authorities.

    Since abortion halts a pregnancy when the fetus is only flesh, well before a mind has even begun to form, I think it’s certainly bad to make the 90 percent of women who abort a Down syndrome pregnancy in time feel like they’ve done something wrong. They havent. They’re heros in everyday life.

    The real sinners would be the ten percent who carry the pregnancy to birth and then watch a Downs syndrome baby develop an impaired mind locked in an impaired body instead of halting the pregnancy and starting over.

    Has anybody here worked with Downs syndrome babies? I’m talking about the ones who have a bad case of the disease. The ones who never learn to speak, so they can’t tell their mommies how thankful they are. The ones who go through their short lives wearing helmets to protect their heads when they try to stand up and fall because they never learn to walk. The ones who rock back and forth for hours at a time, crying to themselves and drooling.

    The ones that can’t make videotapes shaming the women who did the right thing and urging other women to make a needless and tragic mistake.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Unbelievable? Does God Exist? David Wood vs Michael Shermer debate
    Saturday 3rd December 2016
    http://www.premierchristianrad.....mer-debate

  4. 4
    News says:

    Thank you, MatSpirit at 3, for helping us understand why medical science remained in the dark ages for millennia.

    One could have said this about many diseases a half millennium ago: “The real sinners would be the ten percent who carry the pregnancy to birth and then watch a Downs syndrome baby develop an impaired mind locked in an impaired body instead of halting the pregnancy and starting over.”

    You mean killing the kid. Like Johnny. Like Anna. Like the other people I have known, loved, and respected, who live with Downs.

    By all means, keep braying your message as widely as possible, MatSpirit. The world must know who you are and what you stand for.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Mat plays God and says:

    “The real sinners would be the ten percent who carry the pregnancy to birth and then watch a Downs syndrome baby develop an impaired mind locked in an impaired body instead of halting the pregnancy and starting over.”

    The people in the commercial disagree with you that their lives are worthless:

    DEAR FUTURE MOM | March 21 – World Down Syndrome Day | #DearFutureMom
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ju-q4OnBtNU

    Perhaps Mat wants to go tell them to their face that he personally thinks they would better off dead?

    Actually, I think the world would much better off if dangerous people like Mat, who try to play god over other people’s lives, had never been born.

  6. 6
    News says:

    Further to 3: From film and other media news:

    Like the fictional teen Eugene, Harman has Down syndrome and says he knows what it’s like to be badly treated. Badly treated? At least Harman does’nt know what it is like to be killed in a procedure that is not called either murder or execution- that usually happens to children who have Down syndrome.

    Also: What it is like to live with Down syndrome? (Nine explain. It’s like lots of privileged people thinking you should be dead.)

    Also, This 25-Year-Old With Down Syndrome Just Published His First Book

    But I am not clear we should even tolerate such an openly and lethally bigoted person as MatSpirit on this site. What do readers think? Barry?

  7. 7
    MatSpirit says:

    News: One could have said this about many diseases a half millennium ago: “The real sinners would be the ten percent who carry the pregnancy to birth and then watch a Downs syndrome baby develop an impaired mind locked in an impaired body instead of halting the pregnancy and starting over.”

    Indeed, and it would have been just as true then as it is today. Creating a human-quality mind was just as important a responsibility 500 years ago as it is today. Anyone who attempts to do so is honor bound to do everything in their power to create a healthy mind in a healthy body. If the process of creation is irreversibly disrupted, as it is in a Down syndrome pregnancy, you have no moral choice but to stop it before a sick mind is produced, and start over.

    News: You mean killing the kid. Like Johnny. Like Anna. Like the other people I have known, loved, and respected, who live with Downs.

    No! I mean halting the pregnancy before Johnny or Anna ever exists! They don’t exist in the womb. The woman might as well not even be pregnant, as far as their non-existent minds are concerned. There’s nobody home in the womb. There’s no spirit in the womb, just fetal flesh that can, eventually, form a brain that is capable of supporting a mind IF all goes well and if the fetus has Down syndrome things are going disasterously wrong.

    Johnny and Anna’s minds didn’t even begin to form until after birth. Their brains had to complete a last minute spurt of neuron growth that didn’t end until after birth. Then the gazillions of connections between those neurons had to be pruned and strengthened in a process that could only occur while the (now) baby is interacting with its body and the world around it.

    That’s when a baby starts to figure out the most basic of basic things. Like seeing a big pink thing go flying by and gradually learning that it only flies by when they make certain nerve signals and then learning to make those nerve signals at will and seeing the pink thing fly by every time and that’s how the newborn starts to figure out what their arm is. It’s the very beginning of making a mind and the process doesn’t even begin until after birth.

    That’s why Roe v Wade was decided the way it was. Because it had become obvious by the sixties that there was nobody home in the womb, that there was no human mental activity present, nothing more complex than you would find in a cat fetus. People realized that there was something terribly immoral about carrying a Thalidomide fetus to birth so that it would develop a human mind in a terribly deformed body or a terribly deformed mind in any body.

    Conservative religion mostly realized that too. If you can find sixties issues of religious magazines, you’ll see a cautious, somewhat reluctant, agreement that there were times when abortion was at least the lesser of evils, but then a couple of evangelicals brought “Silent Scream” to church basements around the continent and replaced reason and hard won knowledge with the big lie that a fetus is a human being and all the corollaries you can work out from that lie.

    You mention that humans have evolved to fool themselves when it enhances their survival and your reaction to my post shows how it’s done. Ignore what is actually said. Immediately start name calling and slander. “Pay no attention to that man, he’s evil and depraved!” Above all, don’t consider what is actually said or try to refute it. Because if you bring facts into the discussion, Conservative Christianity will be damaged and Conservative Christianity is your meal ticket. Without it, you are just another Canadian grandmother. You will lose a ton of status.

    If you want to ban me, you would at least be following in the footsteps of St. Paul. “They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach.” Nothing in there about answering them or defending your beliefs, just ban them! The only thing I’d worry about is that although I am circumcised, I’m not Jewish.

  8. 8
    MatSpirit says:

    bornagain77,

    If I was talking to the people in that commerciel, I would tell them that I’m sorry that they were born with Down syndrome. I’d tell them that they did nothing to deserve their affliction, that it was visited upon them before they even existed.

    I’d also tell them that they do exist today and they are therefore under the same responsibility as everybody else to live their lives so as not to harm others and that some people are using them to try to make a woman do something that is very very bad: They are trying to persuade a woman who knows her fetus has Down syndrome to carry it to term so it will eventually produce a human being with Down syndrome instead of starting over and producing a normal baby.

    Many of those kids obviously have some idea of how bad this would be, but I don’t think a couple of them do yet. I doubt if theyve been told about some things, like dying young. (Of course, the kids in crash helmets rocking back and forth crying and drooling haven’t been told either, but they weren’t invited to contribute to this commercial.)

    I guess I’d finish up by warning them that even the most loving and well meaning people can do horribly evil things if they’ve got their facts wrong and to watch out because they will try to use them in their plans.

  9. 9
    News says:

    MatSpirit has some personal ideas, contrary to evidence, about the origin and development of human beings.

    However, it is our OWN fault if we let such people occupy medical and judicial positions.

    We cannot escape the judgment on people who should have worked harder to keep them out and known better what to do when they had developed any authority or sense of entitlement to aggress against the public, starting with its weaker members.

    Or is he just a troll, seeing what kind of prejudice he can get away with expressing here?

  10. 10
    MatSpirit says:

    ‘”Pay no attention to that man, he’s evil and depraved!” Above all, don’t consider what is actually said or try to refute it.’

    I dare you to address my words.

  11. 11
    Barry Arrington says:

    News, MatSprit is a metaphyscial materialist. So to him, killing an unborn baby is morally meaningless. Because his philosophy entails that morality is just an illusion foisted on us by our genes. Of such, monsters are made, as the hundred million dead in the 20th century (not counting those slaughtered in their mother’s wombs) bear witness to.

    In his world there is no ultimate right or wrong. There is only strong and weak. And unborn babies are weakest of all. He is a fascist progressive, and I hear in his posts echos of his fascist predecessors. Downs babies are, to him, lebensunwertes leben (life unworthy of life).

    I leave his fascist spewings up for all to see in its vast terrifying ugliness — as a reminder that he — and the evil spirit of death that animates him — must be resisted. At least until he and his friends warm the ovens back up and toss us in.

  12. 12
    Eugene says:

    +1 to MatSpirit. Very well said, albeit in an echo chamber.
    ID is a very reasonable and attractive hypothesis given our current knowledge about the world, too bad it is also so incredibly appealing to the religious folks.

  13. 13
    kairosfocus says:

    And the ghosts of 800+ million unborn children slain in the womb cry out against the worst holocaust in history; one that currently mounts up at a shocking rate: about 1 million more per week, per Guttmacher and the UN. This is a generation tainted by the most widespread blood guilt in all history, and that blood guilt warps thought, reasoning, conscience and speech alike. Innocent blood cries up from the ground against us, and it will be heard. I shudder to think of the consequences.

  14. 14
    Cabal says:

    Interesting subject. Personally, I have often pondered the question, and I can only say I couldn’t care less if I’d never been born regardless of cause. Spontaneous or provocated. I trust I’d have been unaware of the fact.

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    Mat, your post with corrections:

    MatSpirit,

    If I was talking to the atheistic materialists, I would tell them that I’m sorry that they were born. I’d tell them that they did nothing to deserve their mental affliction of atheism, that it was visited upon them before they even existed.

    I’d also tell them that they do exist today and they are therefore under the same responsibility as everybody else to live their lives so as not to harm others and that some people are using them to try to make a woman do something that is very very bad and murder her unborn child: They are trying to persuade a woman who knows her fetus has the mental affliction of atheism to carry it to term so it will eventually produce a human being with retarded mental development instead of starting over and producing a normal baby who believes in God.

    Some of those kids who are mentally afflicted atheists obviously have some idea of how bad this would be, but I don’t think most of them do yet. I doubt if they’ve even listened about some of the horrendous atrocities committed by other atheists, like the wholesale killing of the young and weak. (Of course, the atheists rocking back and forth crying and drooling on the internet about how bad God is haven’t listened either, but they weren’t ever going to listen anyway.)

    I guess I’d finish up by warning atheists that even the most loving and well meaning atheists can do horribly evil things if they’ve got their facts wrong and to watch out because those atheists will try to use them in their plans to murder everyone whom they deem unworthy of life which, hypocritically, never includes themselves personally.

    Verse:

    Deuteronomy 30:19
    This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    Cabal, ponder this: war on posterity. KF

  17. 17
    Bob O'H says:

    According to the Catholic News Agency, the advert hasn’t been banned from broadcast, only from certain types of broadcast:

    On Nov. 10, the French Council of State, a body of the French government, ruled that the short video was inappropriate for broadcast on French television as a commercial.

    In a decision upholding the French Broadcasting Council’s earlier ban of the video, the Council of State said it failed to meet the criteria for a public service announcement. In its reasoning, it pointed out that the happiness of the children shown in the video was “likely to disturb the conscience of women who had lawfully made different personal life choices.”

    The Council of State only banned the film as a commercial or announcement, and said it would not ban the video from broadcast in other forms.

  18. 18
    bornagain77 says:

    Mat states to News:

    No! I mean halting the pregnancy before Johnny or Anna ever exists! They don’t exist in the womb. The woman might as well not even be pregnant, as far as their non-existent minds are concerned. There’s nobody home in the womb. There’s no spirit in the womb,

    So Mat since, by your very own definition, a ‘person’ who does not have a mind is not worthy of life, and since atheistic materialists deny that they are persons with minds, then does not that make the killing of atheistic materialists morally right? After all ‘there’s nobody home’, ‘there’s no spirit’ in the body, according to the precepts of Atheistic Materialism.

    “There is no self in, around, or as part of anyone’s body. There can’t be. So there really isn’t any enduring self that ever could wake up morning after morning worrying about why it should bother getting out of bed. The self is just another illusion, like the illusion that thought is about stuff or that we carry around plans and purposes that give meaning to what our body does.”
    – A.Rosenberg, The Atheist’s Guide to Reality, ch.10

    “that “You”, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.” This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people today that it can truly be called astonishing.”
    Francis Crick – “The Astonishing Hypothesis” 1994

    What you’re doing is simply instantiating a self: the program run by your neurons which you feel is “you.””
    Jerry Coyne

    The Confidence of Jerry Coyne – Ross Douthat – January 6, 2014
    Excerpt: But then halfway through this peroration, we have as an aside the confession (by Coyne) that yes, okay, it’s quite possible given materialist premises that “our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.” At which point the entire edifice suddenly looks terribly wobbly — because who, exactly, is doing all of this forging and shaping and purpose-creating if Jerry Coyne, as I understand him (and I assume he understands himself) quite possibly does not actually exist at all? The theme of his argument is the crucial importance of human agency under eliminative materialism, but if under materialist premises the actual agent is quite possibly a fiction, then who exactly is this I who “reads” and “learns” and “teaches,” and why in the universe’s name should my illusory self believe Coyne’s bold proclamation that his illusory self’s purposes are somehow “real” and worthy of devotion and pursuit? (Let alone that they’re morally significant: But more on that below.) Prometheus cannot be at once unbound and unreal; the human will cannot be simultaneously triumphant and imaginary.
    http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.c.....oyne/?_r=0

    Of related note to the atheist’s inability to ground ‘personhood’. Both the Jews in Nazi Germany, and humans in their mother’s womb in present day America, are denied the status of ‘personhood’

    The introduction of the Nuremberg Race Laws in 1935 saw Jews declared non-persons, stripped of their rights, robbed of their property and isolated.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new.....-Jews.html

    in no case in its history has the Court declared that a fetus—a developing infant in the womb—is a person. Therefore, the fetus cannot be said to have any legal “right to life.”
    http://www.phschool.com/curric...../scc35.htm

    Unborn children as constitutional persons. – 2010
    Excerpt: In Roe v. Wade, the state of Texas argued that “the fetus is a ‘person’ within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment.” To which Justice Harry Blackmun responded, “If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant’s case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment.” However, Justice Blackmun then came to the conclusion “that the word ‘person,’ as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn.” In this article, it is argued that unborn children are indeed “persons” within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth and Fifth Amendments.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20443281

    The denial of the legal status of personhood has been used numerous times throughout history to deny people their humanity and to justify killing them:

    8 Horrific Times People Groups Were Denied Their Humanity – July 02, 2014
    Excerpt: According to Ernst Fraenkel, a German legal scholar, the Reichsgericht, the highest court in Germany, was instrumental in depriving Jewish people of their legal rights. In a 1936 Supreme Court decision, “the Reichsgericht refused to recognize Jews living in Germany as persons in the legal sense.”
    Nazis described Jews as Untermenschen, or subhumans to justify exterminating them.
    http://www.personhood.com/8_ho.....r_humanity

    Moreover, contrary to the precepts of atheistic materialism, and as was pointed out to Mat yesterday, “The death of man’s soul, much like Twain’s death, is greatly exaggerated by evolutionary materialists.”
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-621708

    Verse and quote:

    Jeremiah 1:5
    “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
    before you were born I set you apart;”,,,

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. —”
    – from The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America

  19. 19
    Silver Asiatic says:

    MatSpirit

    There’s nobody home in the womb. There’s no spirit in the womb …

    Not sure where you’re going with this, but it’s good you believe in the existence of a spiritual nature. As for when the spirit arrives in the baby, I don’t think you’ve got the scientific evidence to say that it’s not there at that point.

    It’s the old rule for deer hunting – “if you’re not sure if its either a man or a deer, then you’re not permitted to shoot”. In this case, you’re not sure – thus, abortion is not justified.

    … it had become obvious by the sixties that there was nobody home in the womb,

    That became obvious before we had ultrasound imaging?

    … nothing more complex than you would find in a cat fetus.

    Complexity is not the issue. As evolutionists say, “there is nothing significantly different between a human and a cat” anyway, so this argument isn’t going to work either.

    Conservative religion mostly realized that too. If you can find sixties issues of religious magazines, you’ll see a cautious, somewhat reluctant, agreement that there were times when abortion was at least the lesser of evils, but then a couple of evangelicals brought “Silent Scream” to church basements around the continent and replaced reason and hard won knowledge with the big lie that a fetus is a human being and all the corollaries you can work out from that lie.

    That’s certainly an interesting historical tale. The title “Silent Scream” actually tells the real story. In the sixties, when you think people were more enlightened, they didn’t have ultrasound images of babies in development in the womb. “Silent Scream” is what we saw the baby doing when attacked by the abortionist. So, it was science that overcame the ignorance of “the sixties”. The same remains true today. Ultrasound images are so powerful, and they show what the baby suffers in the womb, that pro-abortionists don’t want anybody to see them.

    If you want to ban me, you would at least be following in the footsteps of St. Paul. “They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach.” Nothing in there about answering them or defending your beliefs, just ban them! The only thing I’d worry about is that although I am circumcised, I’m not Jewish.

    Do you want to discuss theology?

  20. 20
    Silver Asiatic says:

    BA77

    Actually, I think the world would much better off if dangerous people like Mat, who try to play god over other people’s lives, had never been born.

    I know what you mean, but I disagree here. Only God can know if the world would be better off without a certain person. A great sinner can turn around and do even greater good in the end. Yes, Mat’s views are abhorrent and disgusting, but No – I would not say that he should never have been born. I strongly disagree with that.

  21. 21
    Silver Asiatic says:

    News

    But I am not clear we should even tolerate such an openly and lethally bigoted person as MatSpirit on this site. What do readers think?

    I fully agree that his views are toxic and evil. But I don’t think he should be banned, at least yet. He seems to be responding from profound ignorance and a passionate hatred for life itself (and for God most importantly). That’s usually a sign of self-loathing, for whatever reason. But I think it remains possible that he could learn something and begin to change for the better. Time will tell, however, and if it continues long or gets worse I would vote for a ban.

  22. 22
    asauber says:

    I would just say to MatSpirit that today would be a great day for him to leave his distorted opinions and illusions about the world behind and start over.

    The good news is that he doesn’t have to be captive to nonsense anymore. There is a way out.

    Andrew

  23. 23
    bornagain77 says:

    But alas SA, by Mat equating being without soul and mind as a baby not being worthy of life, then Mat himself, since his own atheistic worldview denies the fact that he himself has a soul and mind, admits he is also not worthy of life.

    Thus, I say let’s harvest Mat’s organs right now, without anaesthesia, since anaesthesia is not necessary for automatons, and give them to someone who can consciously appreciate them. Then at least he would finally contribute something meaningful to the world.

    Philosophical Zombies – cartoon
    http://existentialcomics.com/comic/11

    “(Daniel) Dennett concludes, ‘nobody is conscious … we are all zombies’.”
    J.W. SCHOOLER & C.A. SCHREIBER – Experience, Meta-consciousness, and the Paradox of Introspection – 2004
    https://www.scribd.com/document/183053947/Experience-Meta-consciousness-and-the-Paradox-of-Introspection
    And there you have it folks, absolute proof that when you deny the reality of your own mind you have in fact lost your mind!

    EXPELLED: In Nazi Germany The Handicapped were considered “Useless Eaters” and exterminated – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mo3VRBHAzo

  24. 24

    asauber @ 22: Well said!

  25. 25
    Silver Asiatic says:

    BA,

    Thus, I say let’s harvest Mat’s organs right now, without anaesthesia …

    The important point you’re making is that care and compassion for one another comes from seeing the great value that each human person has. Without that, there would be the brutality that you describe.

    But alas SA, by Mat equating being without soul and mind as a baby not being worthy of life, then Mat himself, since his own atheistic worldview denies the fact that he himself has a soul and mind, admits he is also not worthy of life.

    It’s a frightening worldview, yes, indeed!

  26. 26
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Echoing – TWSYF. Yes, very good asauber! Come on, MatSpirit, why not take a step back and look at what we’re saying?

  27. 27
    john_a_designer says:

    This month Christians celebrate the birth of Christ who we believe is God incarnate. While historically we are not sure when Jesus was born we do know that according to the Luke’s gospel (Luke 1: 26-38) that the incarnation began at the moment of conception. In other words, personhood begins at conception. As a Christian this is something which I believe by faith, therefore, I cannot prove.

    As far as I can see the naturalist/materialist does not– indeed cannot– know when personhood begins. So how can he make the claim that an unborn baby is not a human being without human rights? To believe that he must believe so by “faith”, does he not? Why should we accept his faith over and above the Christian’s faith as morally binding on society as a whole?

  28. 28
    MatSpirit says:

    john_a_designer, that passage reads to me like the announcement of an impending pregnancy, not an announcement of personhood. Of course, Luke wasn’t there anyway. Goodness knows where he got that story from.

    Did you notice verse 36?

    36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath ALSO conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

    Elisabeth was ALSO in her old age and considered barren? So Mary was too? I don’t remember that in Sunday school! Of course, Luke wasn’t there.

  29. 29
    MatSpirit says:

    BA77 @ 23: “But alas SA, by Mat equating being without soul and mind as a baby not being worthy of life, then Mat himself, since his own atheistic worldview denies the fact that he himself has a soul and mind, admits he is also not worthy of life.”

    By definition, something without a mind is not a person. That is, it has no thoughts, sensations, feelings, memories, knowledge or anything else mental that goes into making up a mind. That’s why nobody considers a tree a person. It doesn’t have the physical equipment necessary to have a mind.

    You and I do have the equipment necessary to support a mind, namely a brain.

    The fact that you think atheists don’t believe they have minds is a symptom of the closed, claustrophobic world that conservatives of all religions inhabit, where you talk almost exclusively to each other and reflexively dismiss, villify or outright ban other viewpoints.

  30. 30
    MatSpirit says:

    As asauber @ 22:
    “I would just say to MatSpirit that today would be a great day for him to leave his distorted opinions and illusions about the world behind and start over.”

    I’ve been doing that for the last fifty + years.

    “The good news is that he doesn’t have to be captive to nonsense anymore. There is a way out.”

    I say the same thing to those trapped in the conservative Christian hothouse. You live in the world, like it or not. You are morally obligated to keep your eyes open as you navigate the world so you don’t inadvertently hurt others as you travel.

    Conservative religion is like wearing a pair of distorting goghles. It narrows your field of view, hides many of the things around you and obscures the rest. It makes you do bad things that are entirely unnecessary simply because you have an inaccurate and distorted view of the world around you and the people in it. The first step to clearing your vision is to climb out of the hothouse.

    Instead of reflexively vilifying the world around you, LOOK at it and look at what the hothouse is doing to you..

  31. 31
    MatSpirit says:

    Silver Asiatic @ 19:

    When I use the word “spirit” I mean the mind. Call it the material spirit if you want.

    SA: “Complexity is not the issue.”

    Complexity is important because the human mind is complex. If you don’t have a certain amount of complexity and if it’s not ordered in the right way, a mind is impossible. The realization that such complexity and organization are not present in the womb was the impetus behind Roe v Wade.

    SA: “As evolutionists say, “there is nothing significantly different between a human and a cat” anyway, so this argument isn’t going to work either.”

    Evolutionists say nothing of the sort. That’s the conservative Christion hothouse talking. Cats have some of the mental attributes of a human, especially feeling pain and wanting to stay alive and thus are given many of the rights of a human, but if it ever comes down to a human or a cat dying, the cat gets it. (A cat would feel differently, of course.)

    SA: “The title “Silent Scream” actually tells the real story. In the sixties, when you think people were more enlightened, they didn’t have ultrasound images of babies in development in the womb.”

    “Silent Scream” was made in 1984. In 1979, C. Everett Koop and Francis Schaeffer released, “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” which accelerated the conservative Christian return to anti-abortion politics that was started by the hated and reviled Supreme Court’s Roe v Wade decision.

    SA: “Silent Scream” is what we saw the baby doing when attacked by the abortionist.”

    You’d see the same thing with a cat fetus. Pain avoidance is a very low level function that has nothing to do with minds.

    SA: “So, it was science that overcame the ignorance of “the sixties”.

    That was when the religeous right abandoned science once and for all when it came to abortion and started doing what seemed right in their own (goggled) eyes.

  32. 32
    OldArmy94 says:

    My grandfather spent several of his most precious years fighting the Nazis in order to destroy the poisonous ideas that MatSpirit holds. It is a real shame when such evil pops up again, and we can only hope that courageous people will be willing to fight this generation of Hitlers, Mengeles, and others who treat human flesh as a disposable good.

  33. 33
    bornagain77 says:

    MatSpirit, it is not I who is denying you the fact that you have a real mind. It is your atheistic materialistic worldview itself that denies you have a real mind.

    That you admit for a certain fact that you have a real mind and that you really exist as a real person is quite good since that is the most certain fact you can know about reality, (Decartes, Chalmers). What is not good is that you do not realize, or you will not accept, the fact that your own worldview, i.e. atheistic materialism, denies you that most certain fact that you can possibly know that your mind is real or that you really exist as a real person.

    In short, in what I consider a shining example of poetic justice, in the Atheistic Materialist’s denial of the reality of God, they also end up denying that they really exist as real ‘persons’.

    See post 18 for a few quotes by leading atheists. As well, here are a few more articles to further drive the point home:

    Darwin’s Robots: When Evolutionary Materialists Admit that Their Own Worldview Fails – Nancy Pearcey – April 23, 2015
    Excerpt: Even materialists often admit that, in practice, it is impossible for humans to live any other way.,,
    In What Science Offers the Humanities, Edward Slingerland, identifies himself as an unabashed materialist and reductionist. Slingerland argues that Darwinian materialism leads logically to the conclusion that humans are robots — that our sense of having a will or self or consciousness is an illusion. Yet, he admits, it is an illusion we find impossible to shake. No one “can help acting like and at some level really feeling that he or she is free.” We are “constitutionally incapable of experiencing ourselves and other conspecifics [humans] as robots.”
    One section in his book is even titled “We Are Robots Designed Not to Believe That We Are Robots.”,,,
    When I teach these concepts in the classroom, an example my students find especially poignant is Flesh and Machines by Rodney Brooks, professor emeritus at MIT. Brooks writes that a human being is nothing but a machine — a “big bag of skin full of biomolecules” interacting by the laws of physics and chemistry. In ordinary life, of course, it is difficult to actually see people that way. But, he says, “When I look at my children, I can, when I force myself, … see that they are machines.”
    Is that how he treats them, though? Of course not: “That is not how I treat them…. I interact with them on an entirely different level. They have my unconditional love, the furthest one might be able to get from rational analysis.” Certainly if what counts as “rational” is a materialist worldview in which humans are machines, then loving your children is irrational. It has no basis
    within Brooks’s worldview. It sticks out of his box.
    How does he reconcile such a heart-wrenching cognitive dissonance? He doesn’t. Brooks ends by saying, “I maintain two sets of inconsistent beliefs.” He has given up on any attempt to reconcile his theory with his experience. He has abandoned all hope for a unified, logically consistent worldview.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....95451.html

    In the following article, Dawkins himself admits that it would be ‘intolerable’ for him to live as if his atheistic worldview were actually true:

    Who wrote Richard Dawkins’s new book? – October 28, 2006
    Excerpt: Dawkins: What I do know is that what it feels like to me, and I think to all of us, we don’t feel determined. We feel like blaming people for what they do or giving people the credit for what they do. We feel like admiring people for what they do.,,,
    Manzari: But do you personally see that as an inconsistency in your views?
    Dawkins: I sort of do. Yes. But it is an inconsistency that we sort of have to live with otherwise life would be intolerable.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....02783.html

    In what should be needless to say, if it is impossible for you to live as if your worldview were actually true then your worldview cannot possibly reflect reality as it really is but your worldview must instead be based on a delusion.

    Existential Argument against Atheism – November 1, 2013 by Jason Petersen
    1. If a worldview is true then you should be able to live consistently with that worldview.
    2. Atheists are unable to live consistently with their worldview.
    3. If you can’t live consistently with an atheist worldview then the worldview does not reflect reality.
    4. If a worldview does not reflect reality then that worldview is a delusion.
    5. If atheism is a delusion then atheism cannot be true.
    Conclusion: Atheism is false.
    http://answersforhope.com/exis.....t-atheism/

    Thus it is not I who is denying you that most certain fact that you can know that you have a real mind and that you really exist as a real person. It is your own ‘intolerable’ atheistic worldview that denies you that most certain fact that you can possibly know.

    Of supplemental note:

    If the mind of a person were merely the brain, as materialists hold, then if half of a brain were removed then a ‘person’ should only be ‘half the person’, or at least somewhat less of a ‘person’, as they were before. But that is not the case, the ‘whole person’ stays intact even though the brain suffers severe impairment:

    Removing Half of Brain Improves Young Epileptics’ Lives: – 1997
    Excerpt: “We are awed by the apparent retention of memory and by the retention of the child’s personality and sense of humor,” Dr. Eileen P. G. Vining,,
    Dr. John Freeman, the director of the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Epilepsy Center, said he was dumbfounded at the ability of children to regain speech after losing the half of the brain that is supposedly central to language processing.
    ”It’s fascinating,” Dr. Freeman said. ”The classic lore is that you can’t change language after the age of 2 or 3.”
    But Dr. Freeman’s group has now removed diseased left hemispheres in more than 20 patients, including three 13-year-olds whose ability to speak transferred to the right side of the brain in much the way that Alex’s did.,,,
    http://www.nytimes.com/1997/08.....lives.html

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

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

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

    How Removing Half of Someone’s Brain Can Improve Their Life – Oct. 2015
    Excerpt: Next spring, del Peral (who has only half a brain) will graduate from Curry College, where she has made the dean’s list every semester since freshman year.
    http://www.mentalfloss.com/art.....their-life

  34. 34
    MatSpirit says:

    BA77 in 18:

    That “there is no self in anyone” theme got started by the philosopher Daniel Dennett in “Consciousness Explained”, a book I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone. It will help you escape from the hothouse/echo chamber you’re living in.

    Dennett is arguing against what he calls the “Cartesian Theater” As Wikipedia puts it,

    “Descartes originally claimed that consciousness requires an immaterial soul, which interacts with the body via the pineal glandof the brain. Dennett says that, when the dualism is removed, what remains of Descartes’ original model amounts to imagining a tiny theater in the brain where a homunculus (small person), now physical, performs the task of observing all the sensory data projected on a screen at a particular instant, making the decisions and sending out commands (cf. thehomunculus argument).” (Wikipedia article on Cartesian Theater)

    Dennett argues that the homunculus does not exist and that the self is constructed on the fly as the various modules in the brain interact with each other. Unfortunately, his awkward phraseology, while it might fly in philosophical circles, was an irresistible invitation to error for hothouse dwellers.

    Francis Crick and Jerry Coyne are just telling you how the mind works. Like it or not, those signals in your brain create your mind just like the electrons in a microprocessor create Pac-Man. You are material, you live in the material world and its time to remove your goggles.

    Re. the Nuremberg laws: Yes, in 1935 a group of German Conservative Christians crowned 2000 years of Jew hating (see my quotation from Paul in Titus for a view of earlier Jew hatred) by stripping Jews of all their human rights by ignoring the obvious signs of their intelligence. The Jews had language, feelings, hopes, fears, love, hate (all the things a fetus doesn’t have) but the Christians went with their religion and its anti-semitism instead. They permanently shut up about six million of the “circumcision group”. Of course, they had been living in their Christian hothouse for several centuries and dissenting voices had been very thoroughly banned.

    Justice Blackman came to the conclusion that fetuses were not persons within the meaning of the 14th amendment because no fetus has ever been shown to have any of the attributes of a mind.

  35. 35
    MatSpirit says:

    Cable @14: “Interesting subject. Personally, I have often pondered the question, and I can only say I couldn’t care less if I’d never been born regardless of cause. Spontaneous or provocated. I trust I’d have been unaware of the fact.”

    Exactly! What doesn’t exist is incapable of caring. There’s nothing there to care.

  36. 36
    bornagain77 says:

    MatSpirit, not that you care about empirical evidence when it contradicts your atheistic worldview, but that the immaterial mind is real, not illusory as is held in materialism, can be established by a few different methods:

    For example, In direct contradiction to the atheistic claim that our thoughts are merely the result of whatever state our material brain happens to be in, ‘Brain Plasticity’, the ability to alter the structure of the brain from a person’s focused intention, has now been established by Jeffrey Schwartz, as well as among other researchers.

    The Case for the Soul – InspiringPhilosophy – (4:03 minute mark, Brain Plasticity including Schwartz’s work) – Oct. 2014 – video
    The Mind is able to modify the brain (brain plasticity). Moreover, Idealism explains all anomalous evidence of personality changes due to brain injury, whereas physicalism cannot explain mind.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBsI_ay8K70

    The Case for the Soul: Quantum Biology – (7:25 minute mark – Brain Plasticity and Mindfulness control of DNA expression)
    https://youtu.be/6_xEraQWvgM?t=446

    Moreover, as alluded to in the preceding video, and completely contrary to materialistic thought, mind has been now also been shown to be able to reach all the way down and have pronounced, ‘epigenetic’, effects on the gene expression of our bodies:

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

    Then there is also the well documented placebo effect in which a person’s beliefs have pronounced effects on the physiology of their body

    placebo effect; plural noun: placebo effects
    a beneficial effect, produced by a placebo drug or treatment, that cannot be attributed to the properties of the placebo itself, and must therefore be due to the patient’s belief in that treatment.

    Placebos can produce some objective physiological changes, such as changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and chemical activity in the brain, in cases involving pain, depression, anxiety, fatigue
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placebo

    Human mind: Knowingly taking fake pills actually eases pain – October 17, 2016
    Excerpt: Taking a pill in the context of a patient-clinician relationship — even if you know it’s a placebo — is a ritual that changes symptoms,,,
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ases-pain/

    Of supplemental note:

    Recognising Top-Down Causation – George Ellis
    Excerpt: ,, The mind is not a physical entity, but it certainly is causally effective: proof is the existence of the computer on which you are reading this text. It could not exist if it had not been designed and manufactured according to someone’s plans, thereby proving the causal efficacy of thoughts, which like computer programs and data are not physical entities.
    http://fqxi.org/data/essay-con.....s_2012.pdf

  37. 37
    MatSpirit says:

    Barry @11:
    I don’t know what a metaphysical materialist is, but I don’t believe anything remotely like intelligent gods exist.

    A fetus contains nothing that can care.

    When you say that atheists believe, “Morality is just an illusion foisted on us by our genes”, you are talking straight from the hothouse.

    Morals are the rules that enable us to live and work in groups and enjoy the astounding advantages we get from society.

    Today we sit in rooms surrounded by goods we could never make ourselves and often don’t even understand. They were all made by others. We live in warm houses we didn’t build ourselves and heat them with fuel other people dug up hundreds or thousands of miles away. We use some of those goods to talk to people in different states overy cables installed aND maintained by still others.

    A few thousand years ago, the groups helped us find food, protected us from enemies and helped us out of holes we fell into.

    We can’t successfully live together if we’re constantly killing each other, robbing each other blind or just not doing our share of the work. Group living, and it’s enormous benefits, only became possible as we developed inborn tendencies to respect each other’s persons and cooperate with each other.

    We call developing such proclivities becoming social animals. This has occurred to other species, but we are the only species that labels this socialization “morality” and credits it’s development to gods instead of evolution.

    When we contemplate the things that would really make society impossible if widespread, such as killing a (real) baby, most of us feel a deep revulsion. That’s our evolved social instincts at work.

    People who live in the hothouse call it an example of absolute morality.

    Thanks for leaving my messages up. I hope it’s your first step out of the Christian hothouse/echo chamber.

  38. 38
    Silver Asiatic says:

    MatSpirit

    I say the same thing to those trapped in the conservative Christian hothouse.

    The first step to clearing your vision is to climb out of the hothouse.

    LOOK at it and look at what the hothouse is doing to you..

    That’s the conservative Christion hothouse talking.

    It will help you escape from the hothouse/echo chamber you’re living in.

    was an irresistible invitation to error for hothouse dwellers.

    Of course, they had been living in their Christian hothouse

    you are talking straight from the hothouse.

    People who live in the hothouse call it …

    Just a suggestion here, but I don’t think any of us is going to be concerned that you think we live in hothouse. I mean, nobody is going to be convinced about your point of view by the mere repetition of insulting terminology.

    “I had better agree with MatSpirit because otherwise he is going to think I live in a hothouse”???

    If that’s the kind of response you’re looking for … it’s not going to happen. I suggest you just set that metaphor aside.

  39. 39
    bornagain77 says:

    Mat claims that materialism has consciousness all figured out when he, without evidence, repeatedly claims that the brain generates the mind. Yet, contrary to what Mat may prefer to believe, there is simply no empirical evidence whatsoever that anything material will ever be remotely capable of generating subjective conscious experience.

    As Rutgers University philosopher Jerry Fodor says,

    “Nobody has the slightest idea how anything material could be conscious. Nobody even knows what it would be like to have the slightest idea about how anything material could be conscious. So much for the philosophy of consciousness. Regardless of our knowledge of the structure of the brain, no one has any idea how the brain could possibly generate conscious experience.”

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology neuroscientist Sebastian Seung makes this clear in his book “Connectome,” saying:

    “Every day we recall the past, perceive the present and imagine the future. How do our brains accomplish these feats? It’s safe to say that nobody really knows.”

    Nobel neurophysiologist Roger Sperry wrote,

    “Those centermost processes of the brain with which consciousness is presumably associated are simply not understood. They are so far beyond our comprehension at present that no one I know of has been able even to imagine their nature.”

    Nobel prize-winner Eugene Wigner wrote:

    “We have at present not even the vaguest idea how to connect the physio-chemical processes with the state of mind.”

    Contemporary physicist Nick Herbert states,

    “Science’s biggest mystery is the nature of consciousness. It is not that we possess bad or imperfect theories of human awareness; we simply have no such theories at all. About all we know about consciousness is that it has something to do with the head, rather than the foot.”

    Thomas Nagel, a renowned atheist philosopher, wrote in “Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False” – pg.128

    “I have argued patiently against the prevailing form of naturalism, a reductive materialism that purports to capture life and mind through its neo-Darwinian extension.” “…, I find this view antecedently unbelievable—a heroic triumph of ideological theory over common sense”.

    Physician and author Larry Dossey wrote:

    “No experiment has ever demonstrated the genesis of consciousness from matter. One might as well believe that rabbits emerge from magicians’ hats. Yet this vaporous possibility, this neuro-mythology, has enchanted generations of gullible scientists, in spite of the fact that there is not a shred of direct evidence to support it.”

    – Andrew Smart, a cognitive scientist, wrote:

    “The “certain quite widely accepted position” is known as computationalism—which is the belief that consciousness is isomorphic with or caused by computations. It is nothing short of an article of faith, since we have no empirical evidence that computation, whatever it is, leads to conscious experience.”

    David Chalmers is semi-famous for getting ‘the hard problem’ of consciousness across to lay people in an easy to understand manner:

    David Chalmers on Consciousness (Descartes, Philosophical Zombies and the Hard Problem) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK1Yo6VbRoo

    Simply put, ‘the hard problem’ of consciousness is the experience of being subjectively aware.

    Moreover, whereas the Atheist does not have one shred of empirical evidence that matter can ever become subjectively aware, on the other hand, the Theist has very powerful evidence from quantum mechanics for his belief that the conscious Mind of God precedes material reality.

    First off, it is important to note that quantum mechanics has an irreducible subjective element to it:

    On The Comparison Of Quantum and Relativity Theories – Sachs – 1986
    Excerpt: quantum theory entails an irreducible subjective element in its conceptual basis. In contrast, the theory of relativity when fully exploited, is based on a totally objective view.
    http://books.google.com/books?.....38;f=false

    How (conscious) observation is inextricably bound to measurement in quantum mechanics:
    Quote: “We wish to measure a temperature.,,,
    But in any case, no matter how far we calculate — to the mercury vessel, to the scale of the thermometer, to the retina, or into the brain, at some time we must say: and this is perceived by the observer. That is, we must always divide the world into two parts, the one being the observed system, the other the observer.”
    John von Neumann – 1903-1957 – The Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics, pp.418-21 – 1955
    http://www.informationphilosop.....s/neumann/

    Does Quantum Physics Make it Easier to Believe in God? Stephen M. Barr – July 10, 2012
    Excerpt: Couldn’t an inanimate physical device (say, a Geiger counter) carry out a “measurement” (minus the ‘observer’ in quantum mechanics)? That would run into the very problem pointed out by von Neumann: If the “observer” were just a purely physical entity, such as a Geiger counter, one could in principle write down a bigger wavefunction that described not only the thing being measured but also the observer. And, when calculated with the Schrödinger equation, that bigger wave function would not jump! Again: as long as only purely physical entities are involved, they are governed by an equation that says that the probabilities don’t jump.
    That’s why, when Peierls was asked whether a machine could be an “observer,” he said no, explaining that “the quantum mechanical description is in terms of knowledge, and knowledge requires somebody who knows.” Not a purely physical thing, but a mind.
    https://www.bigquestionsonline.com/content/does-quantum-physics-make-it-easier-believe-god

    “Reality is in the observations, not in the electron.”
    – Paul Davies

    “We have become participators in the existence of the universe. We have no right to say that the past exists independent of the act of observation.”
    – John Wheeler

    Although there are many lines of evidence supporting the Theist’s claim that consciousness precedes material reality, this following recent experiment is my favorite

    New Mind-blowing Experiment Confirms That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It – June 3, 2015
    Excerpt: The results of the Australian scientists’ experiment, which were published in the journal Nature Physics, show that this choice is determined by the way the object is measured, which is in accordance with what quantum theory predicts.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Truscott in a press release.,,,
    “The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence,” he said.
    Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.
    http://themindunleashed.org/20.....at-it.html

    Thus, to reiterate, Mat has no empirical evidence whatsoever for his belief that matter can generate consciousness, whereas the Theist has very strong empirical evidence from quantum mechanics for his belief that the Mind of God sustains this material universe in its continued existence. i.e. that the Mind of God’ precedes material reality.

    Supplemental note:

    Double Slit, Quantum-Electrodynamics, and Christian Theism – video
    https://www.facebook.com/philip.cunningham.73/videos/vb.100000088262100/1127450170601248/?type=2&theater

    Verse and Quote:

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

    “As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.”
    Max Planck – The main originator of Quantum Theory – Das Wesen der Materie [The Nature of Matter], speech at Florence, Italy (1944) (from Archiv zur Geschichte der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Abt. Va, Rep. 11 Planck, Nr. 1797)

  40. 40
    Daniel King says:

    I’m archiving this thread.

    Looks like Barry let a fox into the hothouse.

  41. 41
    Silver Asiatic says:

    MS @ 31

    When I use the word “spirit” I mean the mind. Call it the material spirit if you want.

    Ok. That’s an unusual view: spirit=mind=material. Normally, we are asked for some references in the scientific literature. Do you have any for this?

    Complexity is important because the human mind is complex. If you don’t have a certain amount of complexity and if it’s not ordered in the right way, a mind is impossible.

    As above, some biological references would help here. You’re saying that a “certain amount” of complexity gives us a mind. How much complexity? Where is that quantified? When, precisely, does a baby have a mind? What configuration does it have physically/materially?

    The realization that such complexity and organization are not present in the womb was the impetus behind Roe v Wade.

    If you’re saying that our neurological understanding in 1972 was sufficient to determine when a baby had a mind, or not – and that this determination separated human from non-human, I’d really like to see a reference for that also.

    Cats have some of the mental attributes of a human, especially feeling pain and wanting to stay alive and thus are given many of the rights of a human, but if it ever comes down to a human or a cat dying, the cat gets it.

    Again, we’re all free to offer an opinion, but it seems that’s all you’re giving here. But the question is why anyone should accept what you’re saying.

    “Silent Scream” was made in 1984. In 1979, C. Everett Koop and Francis Schaeffer released, “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” which accelerated the conservative Christian return to anti-abortion politics that was started by the hated and reviled Supreme Court’s Roe v Wade decision.

    If you’re saying that conservative Christians lead the opposition to legalized abortion in the 70s’ and 80s, I fully agree.

    Also, you’ve mentioned conservative Christians several times with some disdain — do you like liberal Christians?

    You’d see the same thing with a cat fetus. Pain avoidance is a very low level function that has nothing to do with minds.

    When a pregnant mother learns that the baby she is carrying is capable of feeling pain, don’t you think that would be an excellent reason why she would want to prevent that? Or if you told her “your baby’s pain has nothing to do with it having a mind”, do you think that would cause her concern for her child to disappear?

    Beyond this, you’re saying that a baby in the womb eventually has does have mind, right? And before that time, it doesn’t – and so therefore it can be killed.

    But what if you’re wrong about that? What if the baby has a mind earlier than you think? Would you be guilty of murder (or at least a serious crime) if you acted on your current (if mistaken) view?

    That was when the religeous right abandoned science once and for all when it came to abortion and started doing what seemed right in their own (goggled) eyes.

    Many on the religious left also oppose abortion. In fact, many non-religious do also. And they do this for scientific, not religious reasons.

  42. 42
    john_a_designer says:

    I think Barry is allowing Mat to be here because he is a good example how neo-fascism operates on the internet. I must confess that I haven’t read everything he has written because I have seen no interest on his part to engage in honest discussion or debate.

    It appears me that he is only here to deflect, derail or disrupt the discussion. That is how the neo-fascists operate.

    Up until recently I thought that maybe by some kind of misfortune only UD had attracted these kind of bad apples. However you don’t have to look very far to see that this trend has become increasingly widespread. Here is an example of how this new fascism is disrupting honest inquiry on the college campuses:

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/523.....show-clips

    Deliberately shutting discussion is the exact antithesis of a free, open and tolerant society.

  43. 43

    #17.

    Thanks for that, I needed a good chuckle. I’m not commenting on the topic of conversation, I just can’t believe an intelligent thinker like yourself could say such a goofy thing — actually type it out and present it in public. I think I’ll print it out and hang it on my office wall. I’ll have to choose which wall, though, and I have three choices. One wall backs up to our studio control room, another backs up to a rack farm of processors and servers. And the third has huge conduits running through it; some going out to our UPS to protect the signal, and others going up to the antenna that transmits to our tower complex. Probably won’t use that wall.

    By the way Bob, dFSCI is a linear sequence of symbol-vehicles that must be physically interpreted while preserving the discontinuity between the symbol-vehicles and their effects in the system – like it is inside the cell. Why the heck would you think there is dFSCI in a mountain?

    Matt,

    The sign on the door says ID. This is primarily an ID blog. Let me remind you of something you’ve probably just forgotten. ID doesn’t have a position on abortion. Or human rights, or homosexual conduct, or thievery. It doesn’t have a position on access to healthcare or man-made global warming. Those are topics that get kicked around here from time to time, but none of them has a damn thing to do with information or IC. If we have to endure your boiling rants over the injustices of men, can you try to learn at least something about the actual blog topic? You say that all we see is the result of evolution. Great, why don’t you try to find out what is required for evolution to even occur. The data is already out there in the scientific record. Is that just too much to ask?

    (…just kidding Matt. What would you possibly do here if you couldn’t rant on dumb people, right?)

  44. 44
    Marfin says:

    Matspirit- Can you please state the differences between a baby at 3 months in the womb, and a baby at 3 weeks old, and why it might be wrong to terminate one and not the other.You also say morals are the rules, please tell me who makes the rules , give me a concise definition of moral that we all can agree on.

  45. 45
    bornagain77 says:

    Mat claimed,

    “Cats have some of the mental attributes of a human, especially feeling pain and wanting to stay alive and thus are given many of the rights of a human, but if it ever comes down to a human or a cat dying, the cat gets it.”

    And that false belief, i.e. that humans are basically no different than animals, and that we are not made in ‘the image of God’, is what lies at the basis of Mat’s, and other Darwinists’s, ‘moral justification’ for abortion, (and for many other atrocities).

    How Darwin’s Theory Changed the World: Rejection of Judeo-Christian values
    Excerpt: Weikart explains how accepting Darwinist dogma shifted society’s thinking on human life: “Before Darwinism burst onto the scene in the mid-nineteenth century, the idea of the sanctity of human life was dominant in European thought and law (though, as with all ethical principles, not always followed in practice). Judeo-Christian ethics proscribed the killing of innocent human life, and the Christian churches explicitly forbade murder, infanticide, abortion, and even suicide.
    “The sanctity of human life became enshrined in classical liberal human rights ideology as ‘the right to life,’ which according to John Locke and the United States Declaration of Independence, was one of the supreme rights of every individual” (p. 75).
    Only in the late nineteenth and especially the early twentieth century did significant debate erupt over issues relating to the sanctity of human life, especially infanticide, euthanasia, abortion, and suicide. It was no mere coincidence that these contentious issues emerged at the same time that Darwinism was gaining in influence. Darwinism played an important role in this debate, for it altered many people’s conceptions of the importance and value of human life, as well as the significance of death” (ibid.).
    http://www.gnmagazine.org/issu.....-world.htm

    Peter Singer, professor of bioethics at Princeton University, is rather blunt in laying out, and advocating for, the ethical implications inherent in the Darwinian worldview

    Australia Awards Infanticide Backer Peter Singer Its Highest Honor – 2012
    Excerpt: Singer is best known for advocating the ethical propriety of infanticide. But that isn’t nearly the limit of his odious advocacy. Here is a partial list of some other notable Singer bon mots:
    – Singer supports using cognitively disabled people in medical experiments instead of animals that have a higher “quality of life.”
    – Singer does not believe humans reach “full moral status” until after the age of two. Singer supports non-voluntary euthanasia of human “non-persons.”
    – Singer has defended bestiality.
    – Singer started the “Great Ape Project” that would establish a “community of equals” among humans, gorillas, bonobos, chimpanzees, and orangutans.
    – Singer supports health-care rationing based on “quality of life.”
    – Singer has questioned whether “the continuance of our species is justifiable,” since it will result in suffering.
    – Singer believes “speciesism” — viewing humans as having greater value than animals — is akin to racism.
    http://www.lifenews.com/2012/0.....est-honor/

    Yet contrary to what Mat, Professor Singer, and other Darwinists believe about humans being basically no different than animals, and using that as a ‘moral justification’ for all sorts of atrocities against humans, the fact of the matter is that science itself, as it has progressed, has restored human exceptionalism. Restored human exceptionalism to the point where Theists can hold their heads up high and confidently claim that science itself testifies to the fact that we are indeed made ‘in the image of God’.

    Although the purported evidence for human evolution is far more illusory than most people realize,,,

    Darwinian evolution, since it has no empirical evidence that it is remotely feasible, (M. Behe, D. Axe, etc.. etc..), is heavily reliant on imaginary just so stories.,,,
    No where is Darwinian evolution more reliant on imaginary just so stories than it is in its myth of how humans supposedly evolved from apes.,,, (November 2016)
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-620536

    Although the purported evidence for human evolution is far more illusory than most people realize, it is interesting to note exactly where leading Darwinists themselves admit that they have no clue how a particular trait in humans could have possibly evolved.

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

    Best Selling author Tom Wolfe was so taken aback by this honest confession by leading Darwinists that he wrote a book on the subject. Wolfe provided a précis of his argument:

    “Speech is not one of man’s several unique attributes — speech is the attribute of all attributes!”
    – Wolfe

    “Speech is 95 percent plus of what lifts man above animal! Physically, man is a sad case. His teeth, including his incisors, which he calls eyeteeth, are baby-size and can barely penetrate the skin of a too-green apple. His claws can’t do anything but scratch him where he itches. His stringy-ligament body makes him a weakling compared to all the animals his size. Animals his size? In hand-to-paw, hand-to-claw, or hand-to-incisor combat, any animal his size would have him for lunch. Yet man owns or controls them all, every animal that exists, thanks to his superpower: speech.”
    —Tom Wolfe, in the introduction to his book, The Kingdom of Speech

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

    And although the ‘top-down’ infusion of information into material substrates, that allowed humans to become ‘masters of the planet’, was rather crude to begin with, (i.e. spears, arrows, and plows etc..), this top down infusion of information into material substrates has become much more impressive over the last half century or so.
    Specifically, the ‘top-down’ infusion of mathematical and/or logical information into material substrates lies at the very basis of many, if not all, of man’s most stunning, almost miraculous, technological advances in recent decades.

    Here are a couple of articles which clearly get this ‘top-down’ infusion of information point across:

    Here is one by Peter Tyson
    Describing Nature With Math By Peter Tyson – Nov. 2011
    Excerpt: Mathematics underlies virtually all of our technology today. James Maxwell’s four equations summarizing electromagnetism led directly to radio and all other forms of telecommunication. E = mc2 led directly to nuclear power and nuclear weapons. The equations of quantum mechanics made possible everything from transistors and semiconductors to electron microscopy and magnetic resonance imaging.
    Indeed, many of the technologies you and I enjoy every day simply would not work without mathematics. When you do a Google search, you’re relying on 19th-century algebra, on which the search engine’s algorithms are based. When you watch a movie, you may well be seeing mountains and other natural features that, while appearing as real as rock, arise entirely from mathematical models. When you play your iPod, you’re hearing a mathematical recreation of music that is stored digitally; your cell phone does the same in real time.
    “When you listen to a mobile phone, you’re not actually hearing the voice of the person speaking,” Devlin told me. “You’re hearing a mathematical recreation of that voice. That voice is reduced to mathematics.”
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/p.....-math.html

    And here is one by George Ellis

    Recognising Top-Down Causation – George Ellis
    Excerpt: page 5: A: Causal Efficacy of Non Physical entities:
    Both the program and the data are non-physical entities, indeed so is all software. A program is not a physical thing you can point to, but by Definition 2 it certainly exists. You can point to a CD or flashdrive where it is stored, but that is not the thing in itself: it is a medium in which it is stored.
    The program itself is an abstract entity, shaped by abstract logic. Is the software “nothing but” its realisation through a specific set of stored electronic states in the computer memory banks? No it is not because it is the precise pattern in those states that matters: a higher level relation that is not apparent at the scale of the electrons themselves. It’s a relational thing (and if you get the relations between the symbols wrong, so you have a syntax error, it will all come to a grinding halt). This abstract nature of software is realised in the concept of virtual machines, which occur at every level in the computer hierarchy except the bottom one [17]. But this tower of virtual machines causes physical effects in the real world, for example when a computer controls a robot in an assembly line to create physical artefacts.
    Excerpt page 7: The assumption that causation is bottom up only is wrong in biology, in computers, and even in many cases in physics, ,,,
    The mind is not a physical entity, but it certainly is causally effective: proof is the existence of the computer on which you are reading this text. It could not exist if it had not been designed and manufactured according to someone’s plans, thereby proving the causal efficacy of thoughts, which like computer programs and data are not physical entities.
    http://fqxi.org/data/essay-con.....s_2012.pdf

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

    Renowned physicist John Wheeler stated “in short all matter and all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and this is a participatory universe”.

    “it from bit” Every “it”— every particle, every field of force, even the space-time continuum itself derives its function, its meaning, its very existence entirely—even if in some contexts indirectly—from the apparatus-elicited answers to yes-or-no questions, binary choices, bits. “It from bit” symbolizes the idea that every item of the physical world has a bottom—a very deep bottom, in most instances, an immaterial source and explanation, that which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes-no questions and the registering of equipment—evoked responses, in short all matter and all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and this is a participatory universe.”
    – Princeton University physicist John Wheeler (1911–2008) (Wheeler, John A. (1990), “Information, physics, quantum: The search for links”, in W. Zurek, Complexity, Entropy, and the Physics of Information (Redwood City, California: Addison-Wesley))

    In the following article, Anton Zeilinger, a leading expert in quantum mechanics, stated that ‘it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows.’

    Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe?
    Excerpt: In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: “In the beginning was the Word.”
    Anton Zeilinger – a leading expert in quantum mechanics:
    http://www.metanexus.net/archi.....linger.pdf

    In the following video at the 48:24 mark, Anton Zeilinger states that “It is operationally impossible to separate Reality and Information” and he goes on to note, at the 49:45 mark, the Theological significance of “In the Beginning was the Word” John 1:1

    48:24 mark: “It is operationally impossible to separate Reality and Information”
    49:45 mark: “In the Beginning was the Word” John 1:1
    Prof Anton Zeilinger speaks on quantum physics. at UCT – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3ZPWW5NOrw

    Vlatko Vedral, who is a Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford, and who is also a recognized leader in the field of quantum mechanics, states,

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

  46. 46
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, besides being foundational to physical reality, information, as Intelligent Design advocates are constantly pointing out to Darwinists, is also found to be ‘infused’ into biological life.

    Information Enigma (Where did the information in life come from?) – – Stephen Meyer – Doug Axe – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aA-FcnLsF1g

    Complex grammar of the genomic language – November 9, 2015
    Excerpt: The ‘grammar’ of the human genetic code is more complex than that of even the most intricately constructed spoken languages in the world. The findings explain why the human genome is so difficult to decipher –,,,
    ,,, in their recent study in Nature, the Taipale team examines the binding preferences of pairs of transcription factors, and systematically maps the compound DNA words they bind to.
    Their analysis reveals that the grammar of the genetic code is much more complex than that of even the most complex human languages. Instead of simply joining two words together by deleting a space, the individual words that are joined together in compound DNA words are altered, leading to a large number of completely new words.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....140252.htm

    Biophysics – Information theory. Relation between information and entropy: – Setlow-Pollard, Ed. Addison Wesley
    Excerpt: Linschitz gave the figure 9.3 x 10^12 cal/deg or 9.3 x 10^12 x 4.2 joules/deg for the entropy of a bacterial cell. Using the relation H = S/(k In 2), we find that the information content is 4 x 10^12 bits. Morowitz’ deduction from the work of Bayne-Jones and Rhees gives the lower value of 5.6 x 10^11 bits, which is still in the neighborhood of 10^12 bits. Thus two quite different approaches give rather concordant figures.
    http://www.astroscu.unam.mx/~a.....ecular.htm

    “a one-celled bacterium, e. coli, is estimated to contain the equivalent of 100 million pages of Encyclopedia Britannica. Expressed in information in science jargon, this would be the same as 10^12 bits of information. In comparison, the total writings from classical Greek Civilization is only 10^9 bits, and the largest libraries in the world – The British Museum, Oxford Bodleian Library, New York Public Library, Harvard Widenier Library, and the Moscow Lenin Library – have about 10 million volumes or 10^12 bits.” – R. C. Wysong

    ‘The information content of a simple cell has been estimated as around 10^12 bits, comparable to about a hundred million pages of the Encyclopedia Britannica.”
    Carl Sagan, “Life” in Encyclopedia Britannica: Macropaedia (1974 ed.), pp. 893-894

    It is hard to imagine a more convincing scientific proof that we are made ‘in the image of God’ than finding both the universe, and life itself, are both ‘information theoretic’ in their foundational basis, and that we, of all the creatures on earth, uniquely possess an ability to understand and create information, and, moreover, have come to ‘master the planet’ precisely because of our unique ability infuse information into material substrates.

    Perhaps a more convincing evidence that we are made in the image of God could be if God Himself became a man, defeated death on a cross, and then rose from the dead to prove that He was indeed God.
    But who has ever heard of such overwhelming evidence as that?

    Resurrection of Jesus Christ as the ‘Theory of Everything’ – Centrality Concerns – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uHST2uFPQY&t=10s&index=4&list=PLtAP1KN7ahia8hmDlCYEKifQ8n65oNpQ5

    Shroud of Turin: From discovery of Photographic Negative, to 3D Information, to Quantum Hologram – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-TL4QOCiis&list=PLtAP1KN7ahia8hmDlCYEKifQ8n65oNpQ5&index=5

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

    Verses and Music:

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

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

    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.

    Newsboys – We Believe (Official Music Video)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjZ01FcK0yk

  47. 47
    Silver Asiatic says:

    SA: “As evolutionists say, “there is nothing significantly different between a human and a cat” anyway, so this argument isn’t going to work either.”

    MS: Evolutionists say nothing of the sort.

    I don’t have direct quotes but I believe Rosenberg’s: “The Atheist’s Guide to Reality” does say something just like that.

    Also, the whole question of “Human Exceptionalism” (you can google lots of links) has strong opposition based entirely on evolutionary thinking.

  48. 48
    asauber says:

    I’ve been doing that for the last fifty + years

    MatSpirit,

    This is another illusion you are clinging to. As a self-declared Atheist, you probably need an outside source to let you know that the universe is a really big place, and your declaration is based on a very small sample size of evidence you could’ve possibly examined.

    If you are truly a scientific thinker, you’ll reconsider your declaration in light of the fact that you’re drawing conclusions about a universe you’ve never explored.

    Andrew

  49. 49
    john_a_designer says:

    Notice how so many of our interlocutors come across as smug and morally superior. So, just giving their opinion, or making a baseless assertions, is equal to giving an argument? But where does that self-righteous conceit come from?

    Here is one explanation:

    [M]ost so-called liberals today aren’t liberals at all. They’re progressives — and progressivism is an ideology that has little if any interest in learning from the greatest books, ideas, and thinkers of the past. And that’s because, as the name implies, progressivism is a theory of historical progress. It doesn’t see itself as an ideological project with premises and goals that had to be established against alternative views. Rather, at any given moment it identifies itself with empiricism, pragmatism, and the supposedly neutral, incontestable examination of facts and data, which it marshals for the sake of building a future that is always self-evidently superior (in a moral sense) to everything that came before.

    http://theweek.com/articles/66.....ogressives

    The problem is that progressivism provides no basis for any kind of moral truth because there is no transcendent– “objective”– foundation for moral truth. There is only mindless herd like group think. Nietzsche understood this; the typical modern progressive, on the other hand, cannot see beyond his own self-centered smugness. Just because someone thinks they are right, doesn’t mean they are right. Obligation is a necessary feature any moral or ethical belief system. However, I have no obligation to accept someone else’s opinion just because it is their strongly held opinion. If morality can break down so easily in this trivial interpersonal sense, how could it ever work for society as a whole?

  50. 50
    Barry Arrington says:

    MatSpirit @ 37

    I don’t know what a metaphysical materialist is . . .

    That makes you astonishingly ignorant of even basic philosophical concepts. Yet, you feel free to pontificate on philosophical matters. There is an obvious disconnect there.

    A fetus contains nothing that can care.

    “Fetus” This is what people like MatSpirit call unborn babies they want to allow people to kill.

    When you say that atheists believe, “Morality is just an illusion foisted on us by our genes”, you are talking straight from the hothouse.

    Really? “morality is a collective illusion foisted upon us by our genes.” Influential atheist Michael Ruse.

    Again, you have shown yourself to ignorant of even basic facts. MatSpirit, you strike me as one of those people who is often wrong but never in doubt.

    Morals are the rules that enable us to live and work in groups and enjoy the astounding advantages we get from society . . . We can’t successfully live together if we’re constantly killing each other . . .

    Except, apparently, the people you want to be free to kill. In this very comment thread you advocate killing disabled unborn babies, because you consider them to be lebensunwertes leben.

    We call developing such proclivities becoming social animals. This has occurred to other species, but we are the only species that labels this socialization “morality” and credits it’s development to gods instead of evolution.

    Yes, yes, we know. Evolutionists are very good at telling just so stories and then stamping their feet and insisting that their just so story is true even though there is not a shred of evidence to support it. It all falls apart upon examination. I will demonstrate:

    Is it wrong at all times for all people in all places to torture an infant for personal pleasure?

    The only possibly correct answer to that question is “yes.” Therefore, absolute morality exists. Or will you next argue that it is possible that it may be good to torture an infant for personal pleasure just has you’ve argued it is good to kill disabled unborn babies? Maybe you will. That says more about you than it does about the nature of morality.

    When we contemplate the things that would really make society impossible if widespread, such as killing a (real) baby, most of us feel a deep revulsion. That’s our evolved social instincts at work.

    You have arrogated unto yourself the God-like power of deciding which are the “real” babies (which cannot be killed) and which are sub-babies (which can be killed by the millions). As I said, your brand of fascism is no different at bottom from that displayed by your fascist predecessors, right down to dividing people into “human” and “sub-human” categories and killing the latter by the millions.

  51. 51
    bornagain77 says:

    As to the attack by materialists against human exceptionalism, Stephen Hawking goes further than saying we are no different than animals, as Darwinists generally say. Hawking bluntly states his very low view of humanity like this:

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

    Yet modern science itself reveals that we are far from just being, as Hawking put it, ‘chemical scum on a moderate-sized planet’.

    Hawking’s own area of expertise, which he cut his teeth on, i.e. General Relativity,,,

    “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

    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/

    Hawking’s own area of expertise, which he cut his teeth on, i.e. General Relativity, gives us powerful evidence that humans are not nearly as inconsequential as Hawking, (and and Atheists in general), would prefer to believe.

    In what I consider an absolutely fascinating discovery, 4-dimensional (4D) space-time was created in the Big Bang and continues to ‘expand equally in all places’:

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

    Thus from a 3-dimensional (3D) perspective, any particular 3D spot in the universe is to be considered just as ‘center of the universe’ as any other particular spot in the universe is to be considered ‘center of the universe’. This centrality found for any 3D place in the universe is because the universe is a 4D expanding hypersphere, analogous in 3D to the surface of an expanding balloon. All points on the surface are moving away from each other, and every point can be considered central to the expansion, if that’s where you live.

    You Technically Are the Center of the Universe – May 2016
    Excerpt: (due to the 1 in 10^120 finely tuned expansion of the 4-D space-time of General Relativity) no matter where you stand, it will appear that everything in the universe is expanding around you. So the center of the universe is technically — everywhere.
    The moment you pick a frame of reference, that point becomes the center of the universe.
    Here’s another way to think about it: The sphere of space we can see around us is the visible universe. We’re looking at the light from stars that’s traveled millions or billions of years to reach us. When we reach the 13.8 billion-light-year point, we’re seeing the universe just moments after the Big Bang happened.
    But someone standing on another planet, a few light-years to the right, would see a different sphere of the universe. It’s sort of like lighting a match in the middle of a dark room: Your observable universe is the sphere of the room that the light illuminates.
    But someone standing in a different spot in the room will be able to see a different sphere. So technically, we are all standing at the center of our own observable universes.
    https://giphy.com/gifs/xT4uQEEBWRiB2gcxbO
    https://mic.com/articles/144214/you-technically-are-the-center-of-the-universe-thanks-to-a-wacky-physics-quirk

    In fact, as far as general relativity itself is concerned, centrality in the universe is left completely open for whomever is making a model of the universe to arbitrarily decide for themselves what is to be considered the center in the universe,

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

    Moreover, in both General and Special Relativity, the observer himself is given a privileged frame of reference in which to make measurements,,,

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

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

    And whereas in General Relativity. (and Special Relativity), the observer himself is given a privileged frame of reference in which to make measurements, in quantum mechanics it is the measurement itself that gives the observer a privileged frame of reference in the universe:

    New Mind-blowing Experiment Confirms That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It – June 3, 2015
    Excerpt: The results of the Australian scientists’ experiment, which were published in the journal Nature Physics, show that this choice is determined by the way the object is measured, which is in accordance with what quantum theory predicts.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Truscott in a press release.,,,
    “The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence,” he said.
    Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.
    http://themindunleashed.org/20.....at-it.html

    Quantum Enigma:Physics Encounters Consciousness – Richard Conn Henry – Professor of Physics – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: It is more than 80 years since the discovery of quantum mechanics gave us the most fundamental insight ever into our nature: the overturning of the Copernican Revolution, and the restoration of us human beings to centrality in the Universe.
    And yet, have you ever before read a sentence having meaning similar to that of my preceding sentence? Likely you have not, and the reason you have not is, in my opinion, that physicists are in a state of denial…
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-designer/

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

  52. 52
    bornagain77 says:

    I find it extremely interesting, and strange, that quantum mechanics tells us that instantaneous quantum wave collapse to its ‘uncertain’ 3-D state is centered on each individual conscious observer in the universe, whereas, 4-D space-time cosmology (General Relativity) tells us each 3-D point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe. These findings of modern science are pretty much exactly what we would expect to see if this universe were indeed created, and sustained, from a higher dimension by an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal Being who knows everything that is happening everywhere in the universe at the same time. These findings certainly seem to go to the very heart of the age old question asked of many parents by their children, “How can God hear everybody’s prayers at the same time?”,,, i.e. Why should the expansion of the universe, or the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe, even care that you or I, or anyone else, should exist? Only Theism offers a rational explanation as to why you or I, or anyone else, should have such undeserved significance in such a vast universe:

    Hebrews 4:13
    “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to Whom we must give account.”

    Psalm 33:13-15
    The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.

    Psalm 139:7-14
    Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

    And although General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics both give the observer an ‘unexpected’ privileged frame of reference in the universe, General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, none-the-less, in the much sought after ‘theory of everything’, simply ‘refuse to talk to each other’.

    i.e. The expansion of every 3-D point in the universe, and the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe to each point of conscious observation in the universe, is obviously a very interesting congruence in experimental science, yet it is a very interesting congruence in experimental science that Physicists, and Mathematicians, seem to be having an extremely difficult time ‘unifying’ into the much sought after ‘theory of everything’. (Einstein, Penrose, and Hawking, among many others, have failed at trying to mathematically unify the two theories).

    Quantum Mechanics & Relativity – Michio Kaku – The Collapse Of Physics As We Know It ? – video
    https://www.facebook.com/philip.cunningham.73/videos/vb.100000088262100/1190432337636364/?type=2&theater

    And yet when the Agent causality, i.e. God, of Theists is rightly let ‘back’ into the picture of physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned, (Newton, Faraday, Maxwell, and Planck among others), then an empirically backed unification between Quantum Theory and General Relativity is readily achieved by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from death:

    Resurrection of Jesus Christ as the Theory of Everything – Centrality Concerns
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uHST2uFPQY&list=PLtAP1KN7ahia8hmDlCYEKifQ8n65oNpQ5&index=4

    Shroud of Turin: From discovery of Photographic Negative, to 3D Information, to Quantum Hologram
    https://youtu.be/F-TL4QOCiis

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

    Thus General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, our two most experimentally verified theories in science, both give the ‘observer’ unexpected importance in the universe, and moreover, the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead gives us an ‘unexpected’ solution to the much sought after ‘theory of everything and also the primary reason why the universe was brought into existence by God in the first place:

    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.

    “Alive” – W,Lyrics, By Natalie Grant
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AFpgzjRD44

    Supplemental note:

    Special Relativity and General Relativity compared to Heavenly and Hellish Near Death Experiences – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbKELVHcvSI&list=PLtAP1KN7ahia8hmDlCYEKifQ8n65oNpQ5&index=1

  53. 53

    JAD @ 49: “Notice how so many of our interlocutors come across as smug and morally superior?”

    Yes. And I think it is because they really believe they are morally superior. They truly believe that natural selection has elevated them to a higher level of understanding. They are our superiors and we are their insubordinate inferiors.

    Sad but true.

  54. 54
    john_a_designer says:

    True. But by what standard are they morally superior? Don’t you need some kind of morally objective standard to think that way? Where would such standards come from? Did somebody just make them up? Who? When? How?

  55. 55

    Ah, yes…therein lies the problem.

    This is one of those non-sequitur traps in which atheists are forever ensnared. They boldly claim that no objective moral standard exists, then claim (with equal boldness) that their morals are superior to others.

    I’m just glad to have escaped that worldview. Good riddance.

  56. 56
    vjtorley says:

    MatSpirit writes, regarding the fetus:

    By definition, something without a mind is not a person. That is, it has no thoughts, sensations, feelings, memories, knowledge or anything else mental that goes into making up a mind. That’s why nobody considers a tree a person. It doesn’t have the physical equipment necessary to have a mind.

    You and I do have the equipment necessary to support a mind, namely a brain.

    A fetus has something a tree does not: a human genetic program which regulates and controls its development into a rational human adult. That program is there from the get-go. It’s meta-information: it processes any incoming information that we receive and it also governs the development of our brains. And before it even has a brain, this genetic program makes sure that it gets one. All it needs is a hospitable environment containing food and oxygen and (after birth) human contact. You don’t need to believe in God or a soul in order to see that.

    You mentioned Dr. Bernard Nathanson’s movie, “The Silent Scream” (1984). Well, I happen to have heard Dr. Nathanson speak in 1979, when I was 18 and Nathanson was an ardent atheist. (He only came to believe in God some years later.) He didn’t talk about fetal pain – that wasn’t what swayed his mind on abortion. (If you want to know what did, it was reading a novel that forced him to think about who qualified as a human being and who didn’t.) I can still remember him saying, “God is not real, but the fetus is.” No religion there. The guy knew something about abortion: he personally performed about 10,000 abortions. He came to regret that.

    Let me tell you another story. I’m well aware that fetologists are divided on when consciousness first appears in a human being, with estimates varying from 18 weeks after conception to a little while after birth. Most plump for 25 to 30 weeks after conception. But no matter. I can remember coming home one night, after a day’s work. Inside the train station at my home town, there was a bird’s nest, and there were several chicks inside. Looking at them crying out to be fed, their movements struck me as rather mechanical, like the cuckoo I’d seen in a cuckoo clock, as a child. “I wonder if they’re really conscious, I thought.” And then it hit me. It didn’t matter. The bird’s parents knew that too: they fed their chicks, not minding whether they were conscious or not. As a parent, I realized that the way in which I loved my child had absolutely nothing to do with whether he was conscious or not. If you’re a parent, you love your child from the get-go. You know that an unborn child has something inside it that’ll eventually make it just like us. That’s enough for it to matter.

  57. 57
    MatSpirit says:

    Oldarmy94, what a coincidence! My father spent some of his most precious years fighting the Nazi Christians too, just like your grand father. He brought back a souvenir, a German belt buckle that has “Got mit uns”, or “God be with us” stamped on it. Don’t worry, he didn’t take it off the body of a dead Christian, he bought it at an English flea market.

    He was always proud of helping to stop the Nazi plans. Being an American, he had no idea of how much anti-semitism was imbedded in the warf and woof of Christian culture. Being born in an American Baptist family, he was shielded from passages like the one in Titus that I quoted from above. The hothouse at work.

    I do remember hearing the pastor in his church (General Association of Regular Baptists) lament, sadly, that “the Jews” had voluntarily taken the responsibility for Jesus’s crucifixion on their heads. I remember him shaking his head sadly, as if he was sorry about that and wished they hadn’t. Then a little later he pulled a trombone out of the pulpit and played along with the choir. Sometimes the most vital parts of a religious education aren’t planned, they just happen.

  58. 58
    Barry Arrington says:

    MatSpirit: “My father spent some of his most precious years fighting the Nazi Christians ”

    How ironic, then, that your father’s son grew up to be a fascist who divides people into “human” and “sub-human” categories just like the Nazis.

  59. 59
    bornagain77 says:

    “The law of selection exists in the world, and the stronger and healthier has received from nature the right to live. Woe to anyone who is weak, who does not stand his ground! He may not expect help from anyone.”
    – Adolf Hitler
    http://www.wnd.com/2014/09/cha.....rld-war-i/

    “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”
    – Jesus Christ –

    How the Nazis mandated and used evolution and Darwin in the textbooks – November 7, 2013
    Excerpt: The authors then asserted that the three main human races – European, Mongolian, and Negro – were subspecies that branched off from a common ancestor about 100,000 years ago. They argued that races evolved through selection and elimination, and the Nordic race became superior because it had to struggle in especially harsh conditions. Throughout this pamphlet the terms “higher evolution,” “struggle for existence,” and selection are core concepts that occur repeatedly.” (p.550) Weikart
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....textbooks/

    The German Fuhrer, as I have consistently maintained, is an evolutionist; he has consciously sought to make the practice of Germany conform to the theory of evolution.
    – Arthur Keith

    National Socialism is nothing but applied biology.
    – Rudolph Hess

    The Role Of Darwinism In Nazi Racial Thought – Richard Weikart – October 2013
    Excerpt: The historical evidence is overwhelming that human evolution was an integral part of Nazi racial ideology.
    http://www.csustan.edu/history.....hought.pdf

    These lower races (such as the Veddahs or Austrailan negroes) are psychologically nearer to the mammals (apes or dogs) than to civilised Europeans; we must, therefore, assign a totally different value to their lives.
    – Ernst Haeckel

    The holocaust before the holocaust – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pa2_1Xb5A7M
    The Nazi Holocaust is seen by many as a gruesome but aberrant event in history. But 60 years earlier the Darwinian idea that some humans are not fully human resulted in horrifying brutality perpetrated upon the Herero people in South-West Africa.

    “It Did Happen Here,” And It’s Still Happening – Michael Egnor – October 23, 2013
    Excerpt: The birth control/abortion movement’s emphasis on preventing the birth of African American children continues apace. Black children are aborted at a rate about three times that of white children. In the United States, since 1973, roughly 13 million black children have been aborted. Seventy-eight percent of Planned Parenthood’s clinics are in minority communities.,,,
    But the eugenicists have won, to an extent even they could not have dreamed. The state no longer needs to use its resources to cull the unfit. We now breed ourselves — “Every Child a Wanted Child”– aborting our handicapped children at genocidal rates and aborting our black and Hispanic children at rates of which Sanger and her fellow eugenicists could only have dreamed.
    The Darwinian view of the human race as domesticated animals in need of breeding is well entrenched in the halls of science and government, and in the hearts and minds of too many ordinary Americans. “Voluntary unconscious selection” has been a brilliant marketing strategy by ideologues enamored of the Darwinian view of man.
    The fight against eugenic abortion and birth control continues, led by those who insist emphatically that these practices are a horrendous affront to human dignity and are attacks on innocent human life.
    Defenders of human exceptionalism and human dignity were right a century ago, and they’re right today.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....78231.html

  60. 60
    Pindi says:

    I see at comment 11, Barry feels he can relate to what it would be like to be a Jew in Europe during the holocaust.

    How about the rest of you. Do you feel that also? Are you worried about us “warming up the ovens” for you?

    Given that you equate abortion as akin to Nazi atrocities, are you going to do anything beyond complaining on a blog? Or just sit around waiting until the fascist takeover is complete and your time comes to be rounded up and taken to the ovens?

  61. 61
    MatSpirit says:

    BA77 @ 33: Thanks for the quotes, but Nancy Pearcy is the wrong “expert” to cite, at least if you want to maintain any credibility. I’ve been reading her since she was just getting started, back in the ’70s. She wrote for a little newspaper called the Bible Science Newsletter, published in Minnesota, back then. I don’t remember how I discovered the B. S. Newsletter, but I read it (and her columns) for a couple of years.

    Eventually, the group publishing the Newsletter broke apart. The Newsletter got sold to somebody relatively sane and the residue of the original editors started a new organization devoted to “Biblical Astronomy”. Biblical Astronomy, as you might guess, is devoted to the idea that the sun goes around the earth.

    I got a new girlfriend about then and let my subscription to B.S.N. lapse, so I don’t know which group Nancy went with. I see from your quote that she hasn’t changed much.

    Somebody really should kick Dan Dennett’s butt though. He should have known that even if your sense of self is the result of multiple mental modules, it still exists. As it is, he’s confused lots of good people and encouraged people like Ms. Pearcy.

    Speaking of confusing people, I lay the blame for the free will confusion squarely on the hordes of theologians and secular philosophers who have pontificated on the non-problem since at least the classical Greeks.

    As Arthur Conan Doyle had Sherlock Holmes say, “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”

    “Free Will” is generally defined as doing what you want to do instead of what something outside of you forces you to do. It was a bit of a mystery until the mid 20th century when data from computer science and neurology finally showed us how it’s done, but several thousand years of philosophical / religious obfuscation has kept it mysterious for most, apparently including Dawkins. (You don’t give enough quotes from him to be sure.)

    One way to get free will is to set up a loop in the mind that constantly observes the world, figures it out as much as possible, identifies as many different paths of actions to take as possible, calculates the consequences of taking each path, chooses the path that will best satisfy your desires and then takes that path.

    Simple, easy to understand, let’s you freely choose your actions, works with any brain at least down to mouse level and below and no outside orders are needed.

    Not only that, but it turns out that consciousness actually works in such a loop! See “Consciousness Explained” by Dennett for details on that loop and the easy way experimenters using nothing more complex than lights, switches and timers can manipulate consciousness, to the extent of making things disappear from your awareness just by flashing a light at precisely the right instant.

    Please tell Jason Peterson that if he doesn’t understand another person’s world view, than any pontificating he does based on that misunderstanding will fail miserably, as his example does.

    Regarding your half brained epileptics, are you really surprised that they improved when their seizures stop, even at the cost of half their brains? They don’t do such surgery for someone who has occasional seizures, they have to be having continuous daily seizures so severe that no normal life is available to them. Stopping that horror makes their lives hugely better!

    Read some of the split brain studies where surgeons cut only the corpus callosum to stop seizures. Start with Wikipedia’s “Split-brain” article. Read the part where they discuss the left brain’s inability to see flashing lights in their right field of view or how the right brain can hold an object in its left hand and not be able to name it, but could pick it out of a bunch of objects they could see. Oh, and the part where the left side of their bodies does one thing and the right side another. There’s a lot more going on than you are aware of.

  62. 62
    MatSpirit says:

    BA77 @ 36: What is with the fascination with brain plasticity? First News co-writes a book about it and now this. The mind changes the brain all the time. We learn things and store that knowledge by changing synapses so they fire differently. We now know that the brain grows new brain cells throughout life. (This is new. We used to think you were born with all the neurons you’d ever have and they only died after that.) It would be no great surprise if the mind affects some of their placements.

    The bit about the mind changing gene regulation is interesting, and I’d like to know more about it, but changing gene regulation is a key part of how we live and I’m not surprised if the central nervous system is involved, since it is, well, central.

    Your George Ellis quote makes him look like a bit of a prat (“The mind is not a physical entity…”) and it’s not news that it’s causally effective. Raise your hand if you doubt this. However, reading the first page of the full paper doesn’t look so bad. I’ll check it out if I ever get caught up answering messages.

  63. 63
    MatSpirit says:

    Silver Asiatic @ 38: “Hothouse” is probably not the best term. “Cocoon” might be more accurate. Something signifying a controlled environment where conservative Christians are protected from ideas that challenge their beliefs and are constantly bombarded by reinforcements to the religious thoughts of the day.

    I’m thinking of religious schools, home schooling, Fox News, this blog, other blogs full of pre-digested tidbits like BA77 includes in his messages – everything that shields you from challenges to and reinforces the religious status quo of the day.

    I’m not particularly trying to convert anybody, but I do feel a moral obligation to tell you what’s happening to you. It’s What Jesus Would Do.

    P.S. I never gave a damn about religion until the religious right started injecting it into politics. Religion and politics makes alcohol and driving look tame in comparisom.

  64. 64
    bornagain77 says:

    Mat, ‘you’ (if there really is a ‘you’ in that body instead of a automaton) have no clue what your materialistic belief system actually entails. Simply put, you want to have your cake and eat it to. That is to say, you want all the advantages of personhood and free will without honestly acknowledging the truth that they both can only be reasonably grounded in Theism.

    You are not smarter than all those experts I cited. Shoot, you are not even smarter than a six year old who knows that rocks can’t possibly be conscious.

    That you elaborately lie to yourself to avoid what is plainly obvious, and think that you are smarter than everybody else because you do so, while everybody else can plainly see how philosophically and empirically naked you really are, is a sad testimony to the willful ignorance you have imposed on yourself just so as to avoid God.

    Mat showing off his new wardrobe
    https://kutluer.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/kingisnodressed.jpg

    John 3:19
    This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

  65. 65
    MatSpirit says:

    BA77 @ 39: Rather than answer each of the quotes in your message in turn, I’ll point out a few facts of life.

    Newton’s theories, along with some information on elasticity, materials science and similar matters will enable you to accurately predict the EXACT path a rubber ball will take when it bounces down a hill … IF you know the exact composition of the ball and the rocks on the hill, the dirt on the hill, any grass or other plants growing on the hill, the exact contours of the hill AND the exact location of every rock, plant and piece of dirt on the hill. Plus the starting location and initial velocity of the ball.

    If you don’t have all that detailed knowledge then you can’t predict the path of the ball from your theories, no matter how good the stories are, even if they’re Newton’s theories.

    You can predict some things from theories alone. The ball will generally travel downhill for instance. You can predict the ball won’t run uphill unless it’s on a bounce, you can predict that it won’t come to a rest two counties away, you can predict that it won’t explode – you can predict lots of things, but you can’t predict it’s exact path.

    Similarly with evolutionary theory. You can’t predict every step of how some organ forms with evolutionary theory alone. You can predict that it will appear in small steps, it won’t poof into existence in one step. You can predict that you’ll get bacteria long before you get rabbits. You can predict that the organ will act according to conventional physics and not magic. You can predict lots of things, but you can’t predict the exact path by which some organ or organism will develop.

    So please stop posting blurbs saying evolution has no idea of how such and such developed. It just screams, “I don’t understand evolution.”

    Similarly, we do not presently know all of the details of how the mind works, although I think we know a lot more than you dream of. But we do have a very very good idea of where its located.

    Nick Herbert at least realizes it’s located in the head. We can further localize it to the brain because just about anything we do to the brain affects the mind. If we kill the brain, consciousness is gone forever. If we give the brain alcohol, the mind gets drunk. Ditto for a whole range of drugs. Get them into the brain and the mind gets high.

    But we can get closer than that. Put a person’s head in an MRI machine and ask them to do math problems in their head. The neurons being used for those thoughts will start working harder, this will cause them to use more blood and you will see those parts of the brain “light up” on the screen.

    Now ask the person to stop doing math and compose a poem instead and you will see the first set of neurons fade on your screen and a new batch, in different places in the brain, will light up!

    That’s not watching thoughts in action. The resolution is much too low. But it does show us exactly where those thoughts are being thought, down to the millimeter! In honor of your punctuation style, I’m going to add some more exclamation points: !!!!!! WE’RE LOOKING AT THE PLACES WHERE THOUGHTS ARE TAKING PLACE AND WE’RE MEASURING THEIR POSITIONS WITH MILLIMETER ACCURACY AND THEY’RE LOCATED IN THE BRAIN.

    Please don’t post blurbs saying we don’t know where consciousness is generated. It just screams, “I’m way out of my depth here!”

    We don’t know HOW the mind works yet, but we’re making progress by leaps and bounds. We know exactly WHERE the mind is produced. In the brain.

  66. 66
    MatSpirit says:

    Four plus hours of message writing is enough for one day. I don’t want to get into the KF or BA77 range of locquacity. I’ll write more tomorrow.

    Vjtorley, nice to see you back.

  67. 67
    john_a_designer says:

    According to Wesley J. Smith, “Animal rights, properly understood, is an ideology that insists the capacity to feel pain is the basis for possessing rights. Hence, several years ago, PETA claimed that eating meat is an evil equivalent to Auschwitz.”

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....02041.html

    Most people probably think this only applies to animals on the higher end of the chain of being– sheep, goats, cows, deer and chickens etc. However, recently this thinking has been extended to fish, because there are studies showing that they too experience pain. Writing in the Huffington Post, Marc Bekoff, a professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, at the University of Colorado argues that…

    we need to do something about this now because billions of fish are killed globally for food as if they don’t care about what happens to them. As Robert Jones of the Department of Philosophy at California State University, Chico, notes in his essay called Fish sentience and the precautionary principle, not only does Dr. Key’s argument contain a logical flaw, but also, “First, according to a study by the U.K. fish welfare organization Fishcount.org, about 970 to 2,700 billion fishes are caught from the wild annually. If fish are sentient (and there is good evidence that they are), then the number of sentient beings in the form of fish that are slaughtered for food annually equals at least twelve times that of the current human population (Mood & Brooke 2010). If the idea of such a moral atrocity weren’t enough, current world fishing trends point to a global eradication of all taxa currently fished, causing a total collapse of the fishing industry by the year 2048 (Worm et al. 2006). Surely, by any moral calculus, applying the precautionary principle regarding fish welfare is reasonable and prudential, if not obligatory.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....81656.html

    MatSpirit writes, “By definition, something without a mind is not a person.” But where does Mat get this definition? Did he make it up himself? And why personhood? The animal rights people think the standard– the right to life– should be based on the ability to experience pain. And since humans are animals it applies to us as well, does it not? Is a human fetus capable of experiencing pain? (It is.) At the point that it is capable of experiencing pain, is it more or less advanced than a fish? Does it have the potential to become more advanced? If the animal rights people are right, don’t we have a moral obligation to not destroy such life?

    My point is pretty basic. Which interpretation or assumption provides the moral grounding for a human right to life, personhood or the capacity to feel pain? And the problem doesn’t end there. Other people think we should use viability, the capability of the fetus to survive outside the womb, as the determining factor.

    With no real self-evident starting point and no certain answers, how can anyone give a morally justifiable criteria? Human kind beginning with itself as the only reference point appears to be totally incapable of creating a truly adequate system of moral standards or basis for human rights. At best, from a non-theistic, view the answers are arbitrary. Any kind of moral obligation is impossible if it is based on arbitrary answers upon which there is no agreement. Not only is there no basis for a right to life for the unborn. There is no real basis for human rights of any kind.

  68. 68
    Eugene says:

    MatSpirit @63: “I’m not particularly trying to convert anybody, but I do feel a moral obligation to tell you…”

    My step-son grew out religious. Yet very smart. Yet religious. I don’t know why. I thought it would be a simple matter of talking to him and showing him all the logical fallacies of it. Took me a few hours to admit that I have failed. There is just something in his brain which is short-circuited if you will, and at certain points my logic simply breaks down for him. Ok, not to offend the apparent vocal majority here, I am sure that from his perspective it is something in my brain which is short-circuited. This is not the point. The point is that it is futile to convert, to prove or to even explain much across this mental boundary.

    At the same time it is kind of a strange idea to come to this place and then use evolution as an argument for anything. My understanding is that at the very least one is expected to be humble here and acknowledge that macro-evolution as described would be a very unlikely phenomenon…
    I am purposefully not addressing any statements from the vocal majority (such as the one about torturing infants for personal pleasure as a proof of morality) exactly because of being well aware that the logic would likely fail to help here anyway.

  69. 69
    Marfin says:

    Matspirit- I asked a couple of simple questions at 44 but you did not answer them so here is another simple question.You say free will is you doing what you want, who is the you, you are talking about , are you saying there is more than just the chemicals and neurons in your brain , is there something outside these which controls them?.

  70. 70
    bornagain77 says:

    At 65 Mat tries to claim that evolution is as well established as Newton’s theory of gravity in terms of ‘predictive power’ because, by golly, bacteria came before fish did. Besides simple life appearing before more complex life not even being a unique prediction of materialism alone, since it is also a prediction in Theism in general, just call me very unimpressed as to how daring that prediction supposedly is for Darwinian evolution!

    Moreover, if we actually try to use ‘predictive power’ to judge the validity of evolution as a scientific theory, (Imre Lakatos), we soon find out that Evolution is, in reality, a pseudo-science instead of a real science.

    The ‘predictive power’ inherent in Newton’s theory of gravity, whilst only an approximation of the more accurate predictive power inherent in General Relativity, was at least good enough to land men on the moon. A remarkable achievement in science that many people considered the pinnacle of man’s achievements in science.

    Newton’s Laws of Motion – NASA
    Excerpt: The motion of a rocket from the surface of the Earth to a landing on the Moon can be explained and described by physical principals discovered over 300 years ago by Sir Isaac Newton.
    https://spaceflightsystems.grc.nasa.gov/education/rocket/newton.html

    For getting to the moon and landing on it, Newton’s theory is sufficient. The precision of e.g. thrust and rocket motor on/off timing is too low for the application of Einstein’s corrections to matter. The Newtonian course is plotted, and aimed at and any errors are measured and remediated via correction thrusts.,,,
    https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/did-space-missions-use-newtons-theory-of-gravity.564933/

    Whereas, on the other hand, Darwinian Evolution has no such impressive breakthrough for man to appeal to show its inherent truthfulness as a scientific theory. In fact, Darwinian evolution can’t claim ANY technological achievement whatsoever for man!

    “Truth be told, evolution hasn’t yielded many practical or commercial benefits. Yes, bacteria evolve drug resistance, and yes, we must take countermeasures, but beyond that there is not much to say. Evolution cannot help us predict what new vaccines to manufacture because microbes evolve unpredictably. But hasn’t evolution helped guide animal and plant breeding? Not very much. Most improvement in crop plants and animals occurred long before we knew anything about evolution, and came about by people following the genetic principle of ‘like begets like’. Even now, as its practitioners admit, the field of quantitative genetics has been of little value in helping improve varieties. Future advances will almost certainly come from transgenics, which is not based on evolution at all.”
    (Jerry Coyne, “Selling Darwin: Does it matter whether evolution has any commercial applications?,” reviewing The Evolving World: Evolution in Everyday Life by David P. Mindell, in Nature, 442:983-984 (August 31, 2006).)

    “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.
    I also examined the outstanding biodiscoveries of the past century: the discovery of the double helix; the characterization of the ribosome; the mapping of genomes; research on medications and drug reactions; improvements in food production and sanitation; the development of new surgeries; and others. I even queried biologists working in areas where one would expect the Darwinian paradigm to have most benefited research, such as the emergence of resistance to antibiotics and pesticides. Here, as elsewhere, I found that Darwin’s theory had provided no discernible guidance, but was brought in, after the breakthroughs, as an interesting narrative gloss.
    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.,,,
    Darwinian evolution – whatever its other virtues – does not provide a fruitful heuristic in experimental biology.”
    Philip S. Skell – (the late) Emeritus Evan Pugh Professor at Pennsylvania State University, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. – Why Do We Invoke Darwin? – 2005

    “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).

    In fact, in so far as scientists have followed the predictions of Darwin’s theory, the predictions of Darwin’s theory have led scientists seriously astray. Two prime examples of this misdirection, given to scientists by the false predictions of Darwin’s theory, are Junk DNA and Vestigial Organs.

    Matheson’s Intron Fairy Tale – Richard Sternberg – June 2010
    Excerpt: The failure to recognize the importance of introns “may well go down as one of the biggest mistakes in the history of molecular biology.” –John Mattick, Molecular biologist, University of Queensland, quoted in Scientific American,,, So let’s do the math. At least ninety percent of gene transcripts undergo alternative splicing, and there are at least 190,000 introns in the human genome. That means we have at least 0.90 x 190,000 = 171,000 introns that participate in the alternative-splicing pathway(s) available to a cell.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....35301.html

    Human Genome “Infinitely More Complex” Than Expected – April 2010
    Excerpt: Hayden acknowledged that the “junk DNA” paradigm has been blown to smithereens. “Just one decade of post-genome biology has exploded that view,” she said,,,, Network theory is now a new paradigm that has replaced the one-way linear diagram of gene to RNA to protein. That used to be called the “Central Dogma” of genetics. Now, everything is seen to be dynamic, with promoters and blockers and interactomes, feedback loops, feed-forward processes, and “bafflingly complex signal-transduction pathways.”
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20100405a

    “There are, according to Wiedersheim, no less than 180 vestigial structures in the human body, sufficient to make of a man a veritable walking museum of antiquities.”
    -evidence submitted to the Scopes trial

    Vestigial Organs: Comparing ID and Darwinian Approaches – July 20, 2012
    Excerpt: A favorite criticisms of ID is that it is a science stopper. The opposite is true. The Live Science article shows that the “vestigial organs” argument has not changed for over a century, since Wiedersheim coined the term and listed over a hundred examples (in 1893). Evolutionary theory, in fact, has been worse than a science stopper: its predictions have been flat out wrong. Only a handful of alleged vestigial organs remains from Wiedersheim’s original list, and each of those is questionable.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....62281.html

    In fact, as to the somewhat minor extent evolutionary predictions have influenced medical diagnostics, it has led to outright medical malpractice:

    Evolution’s “vestigial organ” argument debunked
    Excerpt: “The appendix, like the once ‘vestigial’ tonsils and adenoids, is a lymphoid organ (part of the body’s immune system) which makes antibodies against infections in the digestive system. Believing it to be a useless evolutionary ‘left over,’ many surgeons once removed even the healthy appendix whenever they were in the abdominal cavity. Today, removal of a healthy appendix under most circumstances would be considered medical malpractice” (David Menton, Ph.D., “The Human Tail, and Other Tales of Evolution,” St. Louis MetroVoice , January 1994, Vol. 4, No. 1).
    “Doctors once thought tonsils were simply useless evolutionary leftovers and took them out thinking that it could do no harm. Today there is considerable evidence that there are more troubles in the upper respiratory tract after tonsil removal than before, and doctors generally agree that simple enlargement of tonsils is hardly an indication for surgery” (J.D. Ratcliff, Your Body and How it Works, 1975, p. 137).
    The tailbone, properly known as the coccyx, is another supposed example of a vestigial structure that has been found to have a valuable function—especially regarding the ability to sit comfortably. Many people who have had this bone removed have great difficulty sitting.
    http://www.ucg.org/science/god.....-debunked/

    Cornelius Hunter has a much more comprehensive list of the false predictions generated by Darwin’s theory.

    Dr. Hunter has compiled a list of most of the major false predictions generated by evolutionary theory. False predictions that are fundamental to evolutionary theory, i.e. go to the ‘core’ of the theory, and falsify it from the inside out as it were.

    Darwin’s (failed) Predictions – Cornelius G. Hunter – 2015
    This paper evaluates 23 fundamental (false) predictions of evolutionary theory from a wide range of different categories. The paper begins with a brief introduction to the nature of scientific predictions, and typical concerns evolutionists raise against investigating predictions of evolution. The paper next presents the individual predictions in seven categories: early evolution, evolutionary causes, molecular evolution, common descent, evolutionary phylogenies, evolutionary pathways, and behavior. Finally the conclusion summarizes these various predictions, their implications for evolution’s capacity to explain phenomena, and how they bear on evolutionist’s claims about their theory.

    *Introduction
    Why investigate evolution’s false predictions?
    Responses to common objections

    *Early evolution predictions
    The DNA code is not unique
    The cell’s fundamental molecules are universal

    *Evolutionary causes predictions
    Mutations are not adaptive
    Embryology and common descent
    Competition is greatest between neighbors

    *Molecular evolution predictions
    Protein evolution
    Histone proteins cannot tolerate much change
    The molecular clock keeps evolutionary time

    *Common descent predictions
    The pentadactyl pattern and common descent
    Serological tests reveal evolutionary relationships
    Biology is not lineage specific
    Similar species share similar genes
    MicroRNA

    *Evolutionary phylogenies predictions
    Genomic features are not sporadically distributed
    Gene and host phylogenies are congruent
    Gene phylogenies are congruent
    The species should form an evolutionary tree

    *Evolutionary pathways predictions
    Complex structures evolved from simpler structures
    Structures do not evolve before there is a need for them
    Functionally unconstrained DNA is not conserved
    Nature does not make leaps

    *Behavior
    Altruism
    Cell death

    *Conclusions
    What false predictions tell us about evolution
    https://sites.google.com/site/darwinspredictions/home

    Why investigate evolution’s false predictions?
    Excerpt: The predictions examined in this paper were selected according to several criteria. They cover a wide spectrum of evolutionary theory and are fundamental to the theory, reflecting major tenets of evolutionary thought. They were widely held by the consensus rather than reflecting one viewpoint of several competing viewpoints. Each prediction was a natural and fundamental expectation of the theory of evolution, and constituted mainstream evolutionary science. Furthermore, the selected predictions are not vague but rather are specific and can be objectively evaluated. They have been tested and evaluated and the outcome is not controversial or in question. And finally the predictions have implications for evolution’s (in)capacity to explain phenomena, as discussed in the conclusions.
    https://sites.google.com/site/darwinspredictions/why-investigate-evolution-s-false-predictions

  71. 71
    bornagain77 says:

    But there is a more fundamental reason, besides the many false predictions generated by Darwin’s theory, for believing Darwin’s theory is more properly classified as a pseudo-science rather than as a real science. That reason is that Darwinian evolution is simply unfalsifiable.

    “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.”
    Karl Popper – The Two Fundamental Problems of the Theory of Knowledge (2014 edition), Routledge

    “Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory, but a metaphysical research program.”
    Karl Popper – Unended Quest: An Intellectual Autobiography (1976)

    Dubitable Darwin? Why Some Smart, Nonreligious People Doubt the Theory of Evolution By John Horgan on July 6, 2010
    Excerpt: Early in his career, the philosopher Karl Popper ,, called evolution via natural selection “almost a tautology” and “not a testable scientific theory but a metaphysical research program.” Attacked for these criticisms, Popper took them back (in approx 1978). But when I interviewed him in 1992, he blurted out that he still found Darwin’s theory dissatisfying. “One ought to look for alternatives!” Popper exclaimed, banging his kitchen table.
    http://blogs.scientificamerica.....evolution/

    The primary reason why Darwinian evolution is more properly classified as a pseudo-science rather than as a real science is because Darwinian evolution has no rigid mathematical basis to test against, like other overarching physical theories of science have. A rigid mathematical basis to test against in order to potentially falsify it.

    “On the other hand, I disagree that Darwin’s theory is as `solid as any explanation in science.; Disagree? I regard the claim as preposterous. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to thirteen or so decimal places; so, too, general relativity. A leaf trembling in the wrong way would suffice to shatter either theory. What can Darwinian theory offer in comparison?”
    – Berlinski, D., “A Scientific Scandal?: David Berlinski & Critics,” Commentary, July 8, 2003

    Deeper into the Royal Society Evolution Paradigm Shift Meeting – 02/08/2016
    Suzan Mazur: Peter Saunders in his interview comments to me said that neo-Darwinism is not a theory, it’s a paradigm and the reason it’s not a theory is that it’s not falsifiable.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....84812.html
    Peter Saunders is Co-Director, Institute of Science in Society, London; Emeritus professor of Applied Mathematics, King’s College London.
    Peter Saunders has been applying mathematics in biology for over 40 years, in microbiology and physiology as well as in development and evolution. He has been a critic of neo-Darwinism for almost as long.

    Evolution is Missing a Mathematical Formula
    Excerpt: Virtually all scientists acknowledge that mathematics is the real language of science. Every theory uses words to describe and postulate the theory, but the true test of a theory is numbers and mathematics. It is numbers and mathematical formulae that distinguish true science from hocus-pocus.,,,
    Every scientific theory that has been promoted to the status of being a scientific law has been quantified and/or embodied into one or more mathematical formulae that make accurate predictions.
    But no scientist has been able to derive any working formula from the Theory of Evolution and no one has been able to quantify its dictums. Millions of scientists have tried to quantify the Theory of Evolution and they have all failed to do so.
    http://darwinconspiracy.com/article_1_rev2.php

    In fact, in so far as math can be applied to Darwinian claims, mathematics constantly shows us that Darwinian evolution is astronomically unlikely. That is to say, as far as math is concerned, evolution is ‘statistically impossible’. Here is one example out of many:

    “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

    The primary reason why no scientist has been able ‘quantify its dictums’ is because there are no known laws of nature for Darwinists to appeal to to base their math on. In other words, there is no known ‘law of evolution’, such as there is a ‘law of gravity’, within the physical universe for Darwinists to build a rigid mathematical basis on:

    “It is our contention that if ‘random’ is given a serious and crucial interpretation from a probabilistic point of view, the randomness postulate is highly implausible and that an adequate scientific theory of evolution must await the discovery and elucidation of new natural laws—physical, physico-chemical, and biological.”
    Murray Eden, “Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory,” Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, editors Paul S. Moorhead and Martin M. Kaplan, June 1967, p. 109.

    “While they (Darwinian Biologists) pretend to stay in this way completely ‘scientific’ and ‘rational,’ they become actually very irrational, particularly because they use the word ‘chance’, not any longer combined with estimations of a mathematically defined probability, in its application to very rare single events more or less synonymous with the old word ‘miracle.’”
    Wolfgang Pauli –

    The Evolution of Ernst: Interview with Ernst Mayr – 2004
    Excerpt: biology (Darwinian Evolution) differs from the physical sciences in that in the physical sciences, all theories, I don’t know exceptions so I think it’s probably a safe statement, all theories are based somehow or other on natural laws. In biology, as several other people have shown, and I totally agree with them, there are no natural laws in biology corresponding to the natural laws of the physical sciences.
    http://www.scientificamerican......-ernst-in/

    WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT? Evolution is True – Roger Highfield – January 2014
    Excerpt:,,, Whatever the case, those universal truths—’laws’—that physicists and chemists all rely upon appear relatively absent from biology.
    Little seems to have changed from a decade ago when the late and great John Maynard Smith wrote a chapter on evolutionary game theory for a book on the most powerful equations of science: his contribution did not include a single equation.
    http://www.edge.org/response-detail/25468

    In fact, not only does Evolution not have any known universal law to appeal to, as other overarching theories of science have, the second law of thermodynamics, i.e. Entropy, a law with great mathematical explanatory power in science, almost directly contradicts Darwinian claims that increases in functional complexity/information can be easily had:

    Why Tornados Running Backward do not Violate the Second Law – Granville Sewell – May 2012 – article with video
    Excerpt: So, how does the spontaneous rearrangement of matter on a rocky, barren, planet into human brains and spaceships and jet airplanes and nuclear power plants and libraries full of science texts and novels, and supercomputers running partial differential equation solving software , represent a less obvious or less spectacular violation of the second law—or at least of the fundamental natural principle behind this law—than tornados turning rubble into houses and cars? Can anyone even imagine a more spectacular violation?
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....econd-law/

  72. 72
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, empirical evidence itself tells us that “Genetic Entropy”, the tendency of biological systems to drift towards decreasing complexity and decreasing information content, holds true as an overriding rule for biological adaptations over long periods of time:

    “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain – Michael Behe – December 2010
    Excerpt: In its most recent issue The Quarterly Review of Biology has published a review by myself of laboratory evolution experiments of microbes going back four decades.,,, The gist of the paper is that so far the overwhelming number of adaptive (that is, helpful) mutations seen in laboratory evolution experiments are either loss or modification of function. Of course we had already known that the great majority of mutations that have a visible effect on an organism are deleterious. Now, surprisingly, it seems that even the great majority of helpful mutations degrade the genome to a greater or lesser extent.,,, I dub it “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain.
    http://behe.uncommondescent.co.....evolution/

    Biological Information – Loss-of-Function Mutations (Michael Behe) by Paul Giem 2015 – video
    (Behe – Loss of function mutations that give an adaptive advantage are far more likely to fix in a population than gain of function mutations)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzD3hhvepK8&index=20&list=PLHDSWJBW3DNUUhiC9VwPnhl-ymuObyTWJ

    Can Purifying Natural Selection Preserve Biological Information? – May 2013 –
    Paul Gibson, John R. Baumgardner, Wesley H. Brewer, John C. Sanford
    In conclusion, numerical simulation shows that realistic levels of biological noise result in a high selection threshold. This results in the ongoing accumulation of low-impact deleterious mutations, with deleterious mutation count per individual increasing linearly over time. Even in very long experiments (more than 100,000 generations), slightly deleterious alleles accumulate steadily, causing eventual extinction. These findings provide independent validation of previous analytical and simulation studies [2–13]. Previous concerns about the problem of accumulation of nearly neutral mutations are strongly supported by our analysis. Indeed, when numerical simulations incorporate realistic levels of biological noise, our analyses indicate that the problem is much more severe than has been acknowledged, and that the large majority of deleterious mutations become invisible to the selection process.,,,
    http://www.worldscientific.com.....08728_0010

    Genetic Entropy – references to several peer reviewed numerical simulations analyzing and falsifying all flavors of Darwinian evolution,, (via John Sanford and company)
    http://www.geneticentropy.org/#!properties/ctzx

    And whereas Darwinian evolution has no known law of nature to appeal to so as to establish itself as a proper, testable, science, (in fact it is almost directly contradicted by the second law of thermodynamics, i.e. entropy), Intelligent Design does not suffer from such a disconnect from physical reality. In other words, Intelligent Design can appeal directly to ‘the laws of conservation of information’ (Dembski, Marks, etc..) in order to establish itself as a proper, testable, and rigorous science.

    Evolutionary Computing: The Invisible Hand of Intelligence – June 17, 2015
    Excerpt: William Dembski and Robert Marks have shown that no evolutionary algorithm is superior to blind search — unless information is added from an intelligent cause, which means it is not, in the Darwinian sense, an evolutionary algorithm after all. This mathematically proven law, based on the accepted No Free Lunch Theorems, seems to be lost on the champions of evolutionary computing. Researchers keep confusing an evolutionary algorithm (a form of artificial selection) with “natural evolution.” ,,,
    Marks and Dembski account for the invisible hand required in evolutionary computing. The Lab’s website states, “The principal theme of the lab’s research is teasing apart the respective roles of internally generated and externally applied information in the performance of evolutionary systems.” So yes, systems can evolve, but when they appear to solve a problem (such as generating complex specified information or reaching a sufficiently narrow predefined target), intelligence can be shown to be active. Any internally generated information is conserved or degraded by the law of Conservation of Information.,,,
    What Marks and Dembski (mathematically) prove is as scientifically valid and relevant as Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem in mathematics. You can’t prove a system of mathematics from within the system, and you can’t derive an information-rich pattern from within the pattern.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....96931.html

    And since Intelligent Design is mathematically based on the ‘law of conservation of information’, then that makes Intelligent Design very much testable and potentially falsifiable, and thus makes Intelligent Design, unlike Darwinism, a rigorous science instead of an unfalsifiable pseudo-science.

    The Law of Physicodynamic Incompleteness – David L. Abel
    Excerpt: “If decision-node programming selections are made randomly or by law rather than with purposeful intent, no non-trivial (sophisticated) function will spontaneously arise.”
    If only one exception to this null hypothesis were published, the hypothesis would be falsified. Falsification would require an experiment devoid of behind-the-scenes steering. Any artificial selection hidden in the experimental design would disqualify the experimental falsification. After ten years of continual republication of the null hypothesis with appeals for falsification, no falsification has been provided.
    The time has come to extend this null hypothesis into a formal scientific prediction:
    “No non trivial algorithmic/computational utility will ever arise from chance and/or necessity alone.”
    https://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/The_Law_of_Physicodynamic_Incompleteness

    It’s (Much) Easier to Falsify Intelligent Design than Darwinian Evolution – Michael Behe, PhD
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T1v_VLueGk

    In fact, a person can earn up to 3 million dollars by falsifying ID and showing an example of information that does not come from a mind:

    The Origin of Information: How to Solve It – Perry Marshall
    Where did the information in DNA come from? This is one of the most important and valuable questions in the history of science. Cosmic Fingerprints has issued a challenge to the scientific community:
    “Show an example of Information that doesn’t come from a mind. All you need is one.”
    “Information” is defined as digital communication between an encoder and a decoder, using agreed upon symbols. To date, no one has shown an example of a naturally occurring encoding / decoding system, i.e. one that has demonstrably come into existence without a designer.
    A private equity investment group is offering a technology prize for this discovery (up to 3 million dollars). We will financially reward and publicize the first person who can solve this;,,, To solve this problem is far more than an object of abstract religious or philosophical discussion. It would demonstrate a mechanism for producing coding systems, thus opening up new channels of scientific discovery. Such a find would have sweeping implications for Artificial Intelligence research.
    http://cosmicfingerprints.com/solve/

  73. 73
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related note: In so far as Darwinian evolution is dependent on the premises of reductive materialism, and regardless of whether Darwinists ever personally accept the falsification or not, Darwinian evolution is now empirically falsified by advances in quantum biology. Specifically, reductive materialism cannot explain the ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, effect of quantum entanglement/information in molecular biology:

    Looking beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory – 29 October 2012
    Excerpt: “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,”
    http://www.quantumlah.org/high.....uences.php

    “What happens is this classical information (of DNA) is embedded, sandwiched, into the quantum information (of DNA). And most likely this classical information is never accessed because it is inside all the quantum information. You can only access the quantum information or the electron clouds and the protons. So mathematically you can describe that as a quantum/classical state.”
    Elisabeth Rieper – Classical and Quantum Information in DNA – video (Longitudinal Quantum Information resides along the entire length of DNA discussed at the 19:30 minute mark; at 24:00 minute mark Dr Rieper remarks that practically the whole DNA molecule can be viewed as quantum information with classical information embedded within it)
    https://youtu.be/2nqHOnVTxJE?t=1176

    Molecular Biology – 19th Century Materialism meets 21st Century Quantum Mechanics – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCs3WXHqOv8

    i.e. Quantum information is experimentally shown to be irreducible to reductive materialistic explanations. And as such, since Darwinian evolution has its foundation based on reductive materialistic premises, then Darwinian evolution is experimentally falsified as an scientific explanation for the pervasive quantum information found in molecular biology:

    The Scientific Method – Richard Feynman – video
    Quote: ‘If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what his name is… If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL6-x0modwY

    Verse:

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    but test everything; hold fast what is good.

  74. 74
    Silver Asiatic says:

    MatSpirit

    Four plus hours of message writing is enough for one day. I don’t want to get into the KF or BA77 range of locquacity. I’ll write more tomorrow.

    Thanks for taking that time to reply! I thought you did well in most cases — you offered some detail and engaged in the topic, so that is appreciated. Of course I disagree with most (not all) of it. But it also seems that you’re open to what we’re saying – certainly, by reading and reviewing BA77’s many links that is quite rare to find among our opponents. But next is going through the areas of disagreement … in time.

    Vjtorley, nice to see you back.

    I’ll second that!

  75. 75
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Eugene @ 68

    Interesting post – thanks. You’ve got a unique point of view (we don’t see it often anyway) … anti-religious and yet recognizing the failure of evolutionary explanations, at least for macro-evolution. We had another guy here for a long time, RDFish (AIGuy) who had a similar view. Rejected Darwinism, but was anti-theistic.

    I’m not sure where you stand on the ID inference but it seems you’re open to it with this:

    My understanding is that at the very least one is expected to be humble here and acknowledge that macro-evolution as described would be a very unlikely phenomenon…

    Exactly. To accept macro-evolution as the default origin of all major diversity of biological life on earth is absurd. Evolutionists don’t even try to talk about that part of their claims. Everything is focused at the micro-level, for obvious reasons. It’s embarrassing to look to any higher levels of organization, form and function. Darwinian mechanisms simply don’t get us there.

    As for your religious view, some thoughts which might be helpful, I’d hope?

    My step-son grew out religious. Yet very smart. Yet religious. I don’t know why. I thought it would be a simple matter of talking to him and showing him all the logical fallacies of it. Took me a few hours to admit that I have failed. There is just something in his brain which is short-circuited if you will, and at certain points my logic simply breaks down for him. Ok, not to offend the apparent vocal majority here, I am sure that from his perspective it is something in my brain which is short-circuited.

    Ok, but how about this … you tried to dialogue and show some logical arguments. But it’s important to consider the believer’s viewpoint. Religious belief, in most cases, is not reducible to argument alone. You have to try to see the other person’s point of view, and imagine that it is correct (put yourself in that position).

    If God really exists, as the believer accepts, then the result is not just having a “winning argument” or feeling like there’s a worldview that works. But in very many cases, the believer believes that God not only exists, but God is really involved in life. God is communicating personally with him or her. Your stepson probably accepts, and may even have experienced that. Many believers have that — they experience God, as a Person, communicating with them (via prayer, sacred texts, small moments in life, etc). God is really there, and God has immense power. This lifts the entire topic far above mere arguments. You’re now arguing not just with one person, your stepson in this case, but actually with two people. Your stepson and God (as the believer would see it). For the believer, God is going to win. And winning for God, is Him wanting the best for everyone involved.

    Atheists call this the believer’s “imaginary friend”, but what if that “friend” is not imaginary? That’s what you don’t know, but more importantly, that’s what is difficult to deal with by logical argument alone.

    This is not the point. The point is that it is futile to convert, to prove or to even explain much across this mental boundary.

    It usually seems that way, but I’ll disagree. I have seen many conversions (atheist to theist, at least) that have come through dialogue and discussion. For the believer, there is help with prayer – God will move and change things in life.

    In any case – thanks for an interesting contribution!

  76. 76
    mw says:

    #56 vjt made a good point about whether a newly hatched baby bird is conscious or not, when more importantly for its survival, clearly the parent is conscious of its offspring.

    Several years ago, I had growing, very rapidly, a cancer on my nose. One night I dreamt of an obnoxious looking entity speaking in menacing tones to me. On awaking, I knew that the tumour was speaking. I considered that all our cells are conscious or share a consciousness. Or it was a prophetic warning of danger. Either way, some greater intelligence was at work over consciousness while I was unconscious.

    It would seem to me that God be conscious of even the number of hairs on our head, as God/Jesus said. Therefore, in that context He is supreme consciousness of design and detail, even to every designed part detail in each bodily cell. That is, an unimaginable conscious power exists, which is conscious of everything.

    The spirit gives life, is life, and all living forms share in that consciousness. Some more than others. A protected child in the womb need not be conscious as the parent is, besides, it would seem, the collective cells in the woman including the cells of the unborn, is unconsciously conscious in some way. Moreover, the Spirit is totally conscious of both. For one thing, the Spirit has generated a particle of its Life to give life to the cell in its own image. Only Life begets life. That law is irrefutable.

    However, theoretically a chance particle of a dust bag of chemicals, electrocuted by lightning, stirred in a warm pond, will produce the fittest life form. All of course from theoretical spaceless space were nothing exists. However, it seems, nothing cannot exist unless it’s in something to make nothing useful, in this case Supreme Consciousness of Spirit.

    It seems consciousness may equate to mind, which appears to me as the realm of the spirit, allowing in our case, both negative and positive influences. A soul (body of cells) with the spirit—the immortal aspect of the human, is given to a child in the womb around conception time or just slightly later, it would seem.

    However, while most here believe it unfit to stretch our own life forms into pieces and destroy it basic image and worth, some appear to feel it is fine to basically destroy the Genesis Sabbath Commandment, which, at one time the penalty for worshiping incorrectly and disobeying the order was death (Exod 31:12-18), and which God once personally ordered death by having a man stoned (Num 15:32–36).

    Words contain life, the basis of divine information on a quantum level and our conscious level. You cannot be stoned to death for an inaccurate law, let alone a divine law!

    As the world seems hell-bent on destroying its own life forms and crippling a divine law on how God wills to be worshipped, every seven days; by remembering He created in six, one can expect redress from Supreme Consciousness, Supreme Justice and by the Supreme Lawgiver.

    Jesus mentions the hypocrisy of trying to avoid the clear meaning of divine law, of which God said, such law is easy to understand. Today, we do not remember God as creating in six days, we rather make him a fool for ordering us to believe such! We know better! We have made it dishonourable to believe God created in six days!

    Yahweh said, “Surely, this commandment that I am commanding you today is not too hard for you, nor is it too far away” (Deuteronomy 30:10–11). Heavens above, we think we need a Ph.D. in cosmology, quantum mechanics and Darwinism to answer the meaning of life and everything, yet in general, we are still no wiser to believing we live in a matured cosmos, aged at birth. And who can prove otherwise? Not even the Word of God.

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    “but test everything; hold fast what is good.”

    We have tested divine law and found it lacking! God did not create in six days! It should be literally aborted.

    Jesus said: ‘You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, “You shall not murder”; and “whoever murders shall be liable to judgement.” But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgement; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, “You fool”, you will be liable to the hell of fire.’ (Matt 5:21-22)

    God is a fool for saying he created in six days, and clearly those who believe God created in six days are made a fool by those who do not keep literally to divine law.

    The destruction or disfigurement of a complete divine law appears worse than destroying a single life, because it destroys the very life blood of the word of God, as it intellectually kills or maims by the multitude. A spiritual sin is more dangerous than a physical sin, and Jesus made that clear when he talked about those lusting (Matt 5:28) and hating others.

    Still, I was reading a book by a Catholic visionary on “Our Lady of Guadalupe and her Missionary Image” by D J Lynch, In God’s time abortion will end. Ref. the miraculous image of the Tilma. http://mtncatholic.com/2014/12.....guadalupe/
    http://infallible-catholic.blo.....dy-of.html

    It appears, the Catholic Church has in its possession three cloths with miraculous imprinted images, the Turin Shroud, the Handkerchief of Veronica https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veil_of_Veronica and the Tilma or clock of a peasant.

  77. 77

    SA @ 75: “To accept macro-evolution as the default origin of all major diversity of biological life on earth is absurd.”

    Amen.

  78. 78
    john_a_designer says:

    @ 67 I wrote:

    Which interpretation or assumption provides the moral grounding for a human right to life, personhood or the capacity to feel pain? And the problem doesn’t end there. Other people think we should use viability, the capability of the fetus to survive outside the womb, as the determining factor.

    Here is something else that some people are arguing is determinative.

    Yesterday, the Ohio legislature passed a controversial “heartbeat bill” that would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat could be detected, which usually occurs around six weeks into a pregnancy.

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/.....tbeat-bill

    Again my argument is:

    With no real self-evident starting point and no certain answers, how can anyone give a morally justifiable criteria? Human kind beginning with itself as the only reference point appears to be totally incapable of creating a truly adequate system of moral standards or basis for human rights. At best, from a non-theistic view, the answers are arbitrary. Any kind of moral obligation is impossible if it is based on arbitrary answers upon which there is no agreement. Not only is there no basis for a right to life for the unborn, there is no real basis for human rights of any kind.

    P.S. I do believe there is a self-evident starting point– conception. Empirically there is no doubt that a human life, as well as a unique human destiny, begins at conception.

  79. 79
    Eugen says:

    Matspirit

    In #34 you mention your hero Jerry Coyne who says that brain signals produce mind. Unborn human’s brain produces signals, too. Therefore unborn humans have mind as well.

    If simple “thou shall not kill” doesn’t work for you, at least be consistent with your own logic and don’t kill unborn children whose brains and minds are in early stages of development.

  80. 80
    Eugene says:

    SA @75

    In my humble experience talking to both theists and atheists, the majority is driven not by any logical arguments but by a desire to “be a better person” or to belong to a group which is “better than they”. One can easily guess that theists generally consider themselves morally better, while atheists – intellectually superior. Very few on either side are interested in taking a deep critical look at how the world may actually work, let alone at any inconvenient arguments.

    I grew up a materialistic atheist, majored in Computer Science. Then, out of curiosity, as I started looking into molecular biology and cosmology I one day had my very own WTF moment… As of today my view can be eloquently described by this A. Einstein’s quote:

    “I believe in Spinoza’s God, who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind… “(to Rabbi Herbert Goldstein (1929))

    I can clearly see how the ID explanation for the world around us is not just possible, but likely a lot more probable given what we know. Yet I do not see reasons to believe the designer is concerned with our everyday life. This view appears to be the gloomiest one to have because it implies that we are basically living in somebody’s zoo, and that all our attempts in science are just child play (because this is all already known to the designer anyway). Oh, and any and all life forms are basically disposable chunks of matter, whose only purpose in life is to procreate and to participate in the grand show to amuse and entertain the designer, or, possibly, to facilitate some simulation / research on her behalf.

    At least in the atheist world humans actually matter as observers and researchers for the Universe 🙂

    But at the end of the day it is what it is.

  81. 81
    bornagain77 says:

    Eugene, I would argue that, while Einstein may have personally leaned towards Spinoza’s impersonal God, General Relativity itself instead argues very powerfully for a personal God:

    post 51
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-621807

    Of related interest to the ‘unexpected’ centrality in the universe discussed in post 51, the following site is very interesting;

    The Scale of The Universe – Part 2 – interactive graph (recently updated in 2012 with cool features)
    http://htwins.net/scale2/scale.....olor=white

    The preceding interactive graph, and the following video, point out that the smallest scale visible to the human eye (as well as a human egg) is at 10^-4 meters, which ‘just so happens’ to be directly in the exponential middle, or geometric mean, of all possible sizes of our physical reality. As far as the exponential graph itself is concerned’ 10^-4 is, exponentially, right in the middle of 10^-35 meters, which is the smallest possible unit of length, which is Planck length, and 10^26 – 10^27 meters, which is the largest possible unit of ‘observable’ length since space-time was created in the Big Bang, which is the diameter of the universe. This is very interesting for, as far as I can tell, the limits to human vision (as well as the size of the human egg) could have, theoretically, been at very different positions than directly in the middle;

    Journey To The Center of The Universe – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEwrPXddtPk

    The Astonishing Simplicity of Everything – Neil Turok Public Lecture – video (12:00 minute mark, we live in the geometric mean, i.e. the middle, of the universe)
    https://youtu.be/f1x9lgX8GaE?t=715

    footnote; Kurt Godel of incompleteness fame, who was an extremely close confidant of Einstein at Princeton, had this to say about Einstein’s religion:

    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

    Verse:

    Hebrews 2:14-15
    “Since we, God’s children, are human beings – made of flesh and blood – He became flesh and blood too by being born in human form; for only as a human being could He die and in dying break the power of the devil who had the power of death. Only in that way could He deliver those who through fear of death have been living all their lives as slaves to constant dread.”

    Of supplemental note, years before quantum mechanics was more fully developed and surpassed General Relativity as a superior theory, Godel, besides proving mathematics in general is incomplete, had proved that General Relativity itself was an incomplete description of reality:

    THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS – DAVID P. GOLDMAN – August 2010
    Excerpt: Gödel’s personal God is under no obligation to behave in a predictable orderly fashion, and Gödel produced what may be the most damaging critique of general relativity. In a Festschrift, (a book honoring Einstein), for Einstein’s seventieth birthday in 1949, Gödel demonstrated the possibility of a special case in which, as Palle Yourgrau described the result, “the large-scale geometry of the world is so warped that there exist space-time curves that bend back on themselves so far that they close; that is, they return to their starting point.” This means that “a highly accelerated spaceship journey along such a closed path, or world line, could only be described as time travel.” In fact, “Gödel worked out the length and time for the journey, as well as the exact speed and fuel requirements.” Gödel, of course, did not actually believe in time travel, but he understood his paper to undermine the Einsteinian worldview from within.
    http://www.firstthings.com/art.....ematicians

    Physicists continue work to abolish time as fourth dimension of space – April 2012
    Excerpt: “Our research confirms Gödel’s vision: time is not a physical dimension of space through which one could travel into the past or future.”
    http://phys.org/news/2012-04-p.....space.html

  82. 82
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Eugene 80

    Thanks again for such a great reply. I really enjoyed learning about your personal journey – and thanks for sharing that. You encountered those realities — and you simply embraced the inference that followed. That’s a gift. Some people simply can’t see it. Or perhaps they really don’t want to look.

    In any case, I’d only suggest that the next phase of your journey really isn’t a matter of religion (it could be but not necessary), but rather a search through some of the more classical understandings of who, possibly, the designer is or could be.

    Regarding us all being in a zoo for the amusement of a benign dictator of sorts …

    I’d consider that we can see the subtle, mind-boggling, integrated, harmonious and immense aspects of fine-tuning and symmetry and collaboration in the universe and in microbiology. When we talk about works of art or of human skill in the highest form, we’d have to say about these things in nature also, they’re works of a profound genius.

    But is that same genius, after putting this kind of work on display, going to turn around and act just as stupid as any human dictator with his human creation? All this, just to amuse himself the way a 6-year old kid would play with a little bug?

    It could be, but I think we need to look at the bigger picture. We behold something profound and beautiful. That has to say something about the designer.

    Yes, there’s chaos, noise, and bad stuff. Those things give us contrast so we can appreciate the good.

    In any case, if you keep searching, I think you’re going to have even more interesting adventures ahead.

  83. 83
    john_a_designer says:

    It appears that French society has become even more fascist.

    The French Senate today [12/7/16] adopted a bill criminalizing the posting of pro-life information online, a measure that was passed by the French National Assembly just last week. Violators face a maximum of two years in prison and over $30,000 in fines. The measure makes it a crime for pro-life individuals or activists to obstruct a woman’s lawful decision to have an abortion, or to cause her guilt after the fact…

    The translation of these portions of the bill are somewhat rough, but many analysts agree that the bill will be interpreted to criminalize any person or website that posts information regarding alternatives to abortion, or even that espouses the Christian belief that the church considers abortion to be immoral.

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/.....ion-online

    In other words, French society no longer has freedom of speech or press. This shows the hypocrisy of the disingenuous “pro-choice” euphemism. When it comes to abortion you are “free” to make only one choice. Now in France you can’t even think about an alternative.

    I’ve said before that democracy is only as good as its constituents. This what happens to a society after generations of moral decline. We in the U.S. should see it as a cautionary tale. It could happen here.

  84. 84
    bornagain77 says:

    Eugene at 80 you further stated:

    “I can clearly see how the ID explanation for the world around us is not just possible, but likely a lot more probable given what we know. Yet I do not see reasons to believe the designer is concerned with our everyday life.”

    To believe that the Creator would be concerned with our everyday life is indeed a profound belief. Yet, I hold that you have not arrived at your ‘impersonal God’ conclusion through logic and science. Indeed, as outlined in posts 45 and 51, I find that modern science is very comforting, even compelling, to the belief that God watches over all of us, listens to all of our prayers, and is, thus, VERY personal.

    Apparently you did not read, or you did not agree with, posts 45 and 51 since you said in post 80 that ‘I do not see reasons to believe the designer is concerned with our everyday life.’

    So, to go one step further in why I believe in a personal God, I will give you a bit of my personal testimony.

    I served in the Air Force back in the 1980’s. I worked on jet engines. When I got out of the service, I landed a job working for General Electric (GE) working on some of the most advanced jet aircraft in the world. I loved that job. Besides being well paying, I was very much honored to work on America’s top stealth aircraft. And I was well qualified for that job having spent 4 years in the Air Force.
    Yet, I had a problem with alcohol and drugs that was getting worse and worse as time went along. To the point that that problem ended up negatively effecting my work life. Long story short, I ended up losing my dream job at GE.
    That evening, when I got home after losing my job, I was just numb. Devastated but just numb. To this day, I do not know why I picked my Bible up at that particular time in my life. It was not like I was in a particular habit of reading my Bible. In fact, throughout my entire service in the Air Force I remember picking my Bible up only once. And that was because my roommate had asked me to see what John 3:16 meant during a football game. (They use to hold John 3:16 up in the end zones during professional football games back then).

    At that moment, as I began to read the Bible, and as clear as day, a miracle happened. That inanimate book, i.e. the Holy Bible, became alive and the words I was reading out of the bible at that very moment were speaking directly to me as if a living person were speaking directly to me.

    I was shocked to put it mildly. I ran my finger over the passage that I had just read, the passage that had spoken directly to me, and it felt as if someone had just opened a window on the passage I had read. The rest of the page felt normal, like paper, but that passage felt mysteriously cool and breezy.

    I knew in no uncertain terms, at that very moment, that God was really real and that He was and is very much a personal God who cares very deeply for each of us.

    Fast forward a few years later. I had relapsed into drinking and using. It was in the summer of 1993, I was down and out in Ft. Myers, Florida. This was about the second year that I was homeless. I was staying at the Salvation Army in Ft. Myers working temporary day labor and paying 8 bucks a night to stay at the homeless shelter. Since AA had failed me, I had come up with another idea to help me defeat the destructive desires for drinking and using that had kept me broke and bound to the homeless street life. I was finally going to read the Bible cover to cover. Surely, this would cure me once and for all of my destructive desires.

    Every night before I would go to sleep I made sure that I would read though at least 30 minutes worth of the Bible. This was done in my bunk in the open dormitory of the salvation army. Well, after about a month or 6 weeks of reading in this fashion, I was getting pretty far along into the Bible and had pretty much established myself, among the guys staying in the dorm with me, as some sort of Jesus Freak.

    One evening a man, who like me wasn’t fairing to well in this world, comes up to my bunk as I was reading the Bible. He angrily says something to this effect, “Where Is God? Just where is God? If I knew where God was my life would be alright.” Calmly I told him the truth “Well I know that it may sound strange to you, but sometimes when I really need it, God seems to speak directly to me from the Bible, giving me guidance and comfort, and I believe that He may speak directly to you since you seem to be in a pretty bad spot.” Then I closed my Bible and handed it to him. Then he asks me “Do you mean like this?” and he just randomly flips the Bible open, but instead of gently reading the first words that his eyes landed on, as I thought he would do, he went and stabbed his finger down onto the page that the Bible had fell open to. Then, he looks over to me and asks me “Like this?” I nervously, in spite of my reservations of the brazenness of his act, indicated that “I guess that will work.”.

    Well his boldness paid off for his finger landed right on top of Job 23:3 which says “Oh, that I knew where I might find God, that I might come to His seat!”, (In fact that entire passage in Job 23 was related to his particular situation).

    Needless to say, we both were in awe about God, the creator of the universe, personally revealing Himself to him in the ‘Living Word’ that clearly.

    We even went to the chaplain of the Salvation Army that evening, told the chaplain what just happened and got him his very own Bible from the chaplain.

    Let me end this testimony by saying that I believe God speaks to all people in many different ways. Don’t be upset if God doesn’t speak in this certain way to you through the Holy Bible. He very well could be speaking to you in special ways that He doesn’t speak to other people in. He could speak through your dreams, or visions, or He could speak to you through other people. He could be in that still small, intuitive, voice that speaks warnings to you every so often and could express His feelings and guidance to you, or etc… etc….

    Here are some examples of the different ways God speaks into different people’s lives:

    (GodWinks) SQuire Rushnell & daughter of Emmett Kelly on FOX & FRIENDS 6/16/13
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....9xPfNtbrqw

    One of John Lennox´s Great Personal Stories Told to Harvard Students – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wh0M0EG2jKY

    Dr. Janis Amatuzio author of FOREVER OURS – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtnywJHLrLY

    Eric Metaxas – Miracles
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtsHFc2fHOI

    The point I’m trying to make clear is this. I’m firmly convinced that God is a personal God and that He does indeed desire to speak to each and every one of us personally, to ‘His children’! BUT, we have to be open enough to first allow the possibility that God, the Father of all creation, might actually care enough for each of us, His children, to actually want to speak intimately to each of us from time to time. And to then actually look to Him for guidance. Think about it. What parent doesn’t talk personally to each and every one of their very own children every once in a while? It would be a very uncaring parent who did not ‘get personal’ every once in awhile with each and every one of their children. How much more is this to be expected from the living God who loved us so much that he suffered the ultimate penalty of death for us, and then rose again, so that He could always be reunited with us forever?

    Verse and quote:

    Isaiah 45:18-19
    For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited: “I am the Lord, and there is no other. I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth; I did not say to the seed of Jacob, ‘seek me in vain’; I, the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.”

    “I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by men who were inspired. I study the Bible daily. All my discoveries have been made in answer to prayer”
    – Sir Isaac Newton

  85. 85
    john_a_designer says:

    Here is another article about the new French bill, which effectively suppresses free speech, making it criminal to advocate or even express an opinion anywhere, even on the internet, in opposition of abortion. Why are the French doing this? It may have something to do with the psychology of guilt.

    If you’re in favor of abortion rights, then, you may feel the need to cover up that unpleasant and ultimately horrifying reality. Civilized people do not, as a rule, advocate the killing of innocent human beings. And so we have the curious euphemisms of the pro-choice movement, which function much as perfume did in 18th-century France, by covering up the stink. Thus the label “pro-choice,” the slogan “a woman’s right to choose,” the expression “terminate a pregnancy,” the viciously ignorant and deceptive term “clump of cells”— all of these locutions are meant to conceal what abortion is.

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/.....ree-speech

    Freud argued that guilt comes from society. That is why French secular-progressives, who are tacitly Freudian, believe they can suppress it (even outlaw it) by social engineering their society. However, this is not true and therefore not possible. Guilt comes from God. Repentance is the only solution. Social engineering only makes things worse.

  86. 86
    Silver Asiatic says:

    BA77 @ 84 — what a great story from your life, thanks for posting that! Here on UD we read each other’s comments so often and yet we don’t get to know the person in this way. I really appreciate your openness. You had a difficult journey. I wonder how I would have faced that. But we all face hardships of different kinds. I would find it hard to believe you were in that kind of desperate situation at one time, you certainly show the intelligence and mastery of the topics here to suggest otherwise. I think it’s very hard to argue with the fact that your life turned around radically. I would say, at the very least, people should think about what happened and at least be open to the possibility that there is a ‘power greater than ourselves’ – as the 12-step programs say.

  87. 87
    AnimatedDust says:

    Thank you for your personal testimony BA. You are an invaluable resource and I appreciate you very much. Interesting to think of how that set of circumstances led to your doing what you’re doing now. Arguably much more important work than jet engines.

    Your science based evidentiary Christianity is a tremendous help to many here.

    Rock on!

  88. 88
    Dionisio says:

    john_a_designer @85:

    Here’s a video related to Freud:

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/ub4-3GYlHTw

  89. 89
    Dionisio says:

    BA77 @84:
    Rev. 22:21.

  90. 90
    MatSpirit says:

    Me: When you say that atheists believe, “Morality is just an illusion foisted on us by our genes”, you are talking straight from the hothouse.

    Barry: Really? “morality is a collective illusion foisted upon us by our genes.” Influential atheist Michael Ruse.

    Again, you have shown yourself to ignorant of even basic facts. MatSpirit, you strike me as one of those people who is often wrong but never in doubt.

    —–

    Youre projecting again. Ruse wrote those words in “Taking Darwin Seriously”. If you had read the book instead of copying an out of context line in a list of Christian quote mines, you’d know that he meant that our evolved social instincts present themselves to our consciousness as a feeling that something is right or wrong. We call these feelings our conscience. This gives the illusion that we have some sort of built in moral code when we really have a group of prejudices that evolved to let us live and work together and enjoy the tremendous advantages this brings.

    Unlike a true moral code, our evolved code has a lot of gaps in it. One big one concerns how we treat people who aren’t in our families or villages. Prior to the rise of chiefdoms, which incorporate several villages, the standard thing to do when meeting a stranger was to either kill him or run for your life so he couldn’t kill you. Unless the stranger was a woman, in which case you raped her and then killed her, along with any children she had with her. Read Jared Diamond’s “The World Until Yesterday” for a good introduction to such societies.

    You can see this non – moral system at work all over the Old Testament. The Israelites were always attacking some neighboring tribe, always with God’s encouragement and often on His direct orders. The results were always genocide or slavery for the conquered. An example would be 1 Samuel 15:3: “This is what the Lord Almighty says … ‘Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ Or Numbers 31:17 Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him. 18 But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

    And the Old Testament takes place in the time of chieftans, where strong men like David would conquer nearby villages and meld them together into states that worked together. This brought all the conquered tribes together and extended the “don’t massacre tribe members” protection to them. This extension amounts to the beginning of a true moral code, extending and exceeding our evolved social instincts to encompass larger and larger groups of people. You still see this going on today with the very recent granting of full human status to homosexuals in certain parts of the world. (And of course, you are very well acquainted with some of the people who oppose this.)

    So, in summary, our evolved social instincts let us enjoy the benifis of living together in small groups by masquerading as a moral code, but they’re not really one, they’re just unintelligent evolution’s efforts to protect the carriers of the social genes. Real moral codes are the work of intelligent humans and they extend and improve on our evolved instincts.

    Barry: Is it wrong at all times for all people in all places to torture an infant for personal pleasure?

    The only possibly correct answer to that question is “yes.” Therefore, absolute morality exists.

    —-

    You’ve been getting away with this one for far too long. Of course it’s wrong and for two reasons. First, it violates our evolved social instincts – what you call “absolute morality”. If people went around killing children, it would tear any society asunder. But those evolved instincts don’t go far enough. They don’t stop us from following 1 Samuel 15:3 or Numbers 31:17 and killing (or raping) other people’s children, for instance.

    But a true moral code, intelligently designed, has as its foundation the proposition that minds are the only really important thing in the universe and the protection and well being of those minds is the aim of all true morality. This makes it grossly immoral to torture a child for your personal enjoyment and there are no Biblical loopholes to it.

    Barry: You have arrogated unto yourself the God-like power of deciding which are the “real” babies (which cannot be killed) and which are sub-babies (which can be killed by the millions).

    We’ve accepted the moral responsibility to figure what it is about a human that gives her rights and it turns out to be her mind. The ability to have thoughs, sensations and emotions. We put minds over all else.

    You and your conservative Christian friends have elevated non-thinking fetal flesh above that of a human being. Your beliefs will make you create needlessly deformed minds and bodies and even kill the women bearing the mindless uncaring fetuses and make you proud of your self for doing so.

    The Devil would be anti-abortion if he existed.

  91. 91
    MatSpirit says:

    Vjtorley @ 56

    Again, nice to see you posting here again.

    “… a human genetic program which regulates and controls its development into a rational human adult” is no more a person than the blueprint to a house is a house. The DNA cannot think and you can’t live in the blueprint.

    Do you remember what novel Dr. Nathanson read that turned him against abortion?

    I wish I knew what was going on in a bird’s mind. You’re right that the little birds gaping mouths are a little mechanical, and so are the parent’s response. They’ll stick a bit of food into one of the chick’s mouths and if it isn’t enthusiastically gobbled down, they’ll pull it right out and stick into another chick’s mouth.

    That sounds very efficient, but the parents seem to be motivated more by the shape and color of the mouths than anything else. Baby cuckoos exploit this by having bigger mouths with similar coloration and this induces the parents to give it most of the food, to the severe detriment of the bird’s real chicks. The parent birds never seem to realize that they’re giving most of the food to a chick that towers over all the other chick’s and doesn’t look a bit like any of them or the birds feeding it. Unfortunately, I think the birds real chicks usually die.

    Chickens have another “blindness”. They have a very strong instinct to pull eggs that roll out of the nest back in. This instinct seems to be triggered by seeing anything that is the right color and vaguely egg shaped next to their nest.

    Golf balls and rocks work just fine. Put a golf ball next to a chicken’s nest and it will scoop it right into the nest aND sit on it with her eggs Put another golf ball next to the nest and it will scoop it right in too. And it will do the same thing for another golf ball and another and another… One of the funniest pictures I’ve ever seen is of a chicken sitting on a great pile of golf balls that are raising it at least six inches above the nest. The hen has a mildly quizzical look on her face, as if she thinks there might be something wrong with the situation, but she can’t quite figure out what.

    On the other hand, anybody who has much to do with crows and ravens knows they’re highly intelligent birds, capable of figuring out locks and making simple tools. Other birds show signs of considerable intelligence too, so who knows what’s going on in their brains?

    Vjtorley: If you’re a parent, you love your child from the get-go. You know that an unborn child has something inside it that’ll eventually make it just like us. That’s enough for it to matter.

    Well of course. If you want a child and you have one on the way, you fall in love with it long before birth. Every day brings you one day closer to having a child.

  92. 92
    john_a_designer says:

    Thankyou Dionisio,

    I think I’ve watched that video before. It was worth watching again. I also have read Dr. Nicholi’s book, The Question of God: C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and the Meaning of Life. It was a book that I thought I should purchase but for some reason that intention got set aside and forgotten.

    I found the following quotes from his book. I think they have a lot of relevance to what we are discussing on this thread.

    Freud, however, asserts that ethics and morals come from human need and experience. The idea of a universal moral law as proposed by philosophers is “in conflict with reason.” He writes that “ethics are not based on a moral world order but on the inescapable exigencies of human cohabitation.” In other words, our moral code comes from what humans find to be useful and expedient. It is ironic that Lewis contrasted ethics with traffic laws; Freud wrote that “ethics are a kind of highway code for traffic among mankind.” That is, they change with time and culture…

    Lewis points out that although the moral law does not change over time or from culture to culture, the sensitivity to the law, and how a culture or an individual expresses the law, may vary. For example, the German nation under the Nazi regime obviously ignored the law and practiced a morality the rest of the world considered abominable. Lewis claims that when we assert that the moral ideas of one culture are better than those of another, we are using the moral law to make that judgment. “The moment you say that one set of moral ideas can be better than another,” Lewis writes “you are, in fact, measuring them both by a standard, saying that one of them conforms to that standard more nearly than the other . . . the standard that measures two things is something different from either. You are in fact comparing them both with some Real Morality, admitting there is such a thing as a real Right, independent of what people think, and that some people’s ideas get nearer to that real Right than others.” Lewis concludes that “if your moral ideas can be truer, and those of the Nazis less true, there must be something— some Real Morality— for them to be true about.”

    -Armand Nicholi in The Question of God, p. 60-62

    http://www.reasonsforgod.org/2.....d-nicholi/

  93. 93
    Marfin says:

    Matspirit man you sure like to waffle, once ageing I ask please define MORAL ,how can you speak of having them if you have not defined what they are, so what is moral .Please define YOU when you say you make decisions ,what is this you, you, or should I say the collection of chemicals in your head speak of.
    If you don`t reply I will assume you are just like all the other materialist`s ,whose simplistic views breakdown under the simplest scrutiny , but you cannot face that fact so you refuse to engage.

  94. 94
    Silver Asiatic says:

    MatSpirit

    Unlike a true moral code, our evolved code has a lot of gaps in it. One big one concerns how we treat people who aren’t in our families or villages.

    You didn’t explain why the things you describe are “gaps” or “concerns”.

    Prior to the rise of chiefdoms, which incorporate several villages, the standard thing to do when meeting a stranger was to either kill him or run for your life so he couldn’t kill you. Unless the stranger was a woman, in which case you raped her and then killed her, along with any children she had with her.

    Yes, evolution does things. Survival and reproductive advantage means never having to say you’re sorry.

    You can see this non – moral system at work all over the Old Testament. The Israelites were always attacking some neighboring tribe, always with God’s encouragement and often on His direct orders.

    So with your example here, we can see that God is the author of the moral laws of society and not, as you claimed earlier, evolution.

    The results were always genocide or slavery for the conquered. An example would be 1 Samuel 15:3: “This is what the Lord Almighty says … ‘Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’

    You’re assuming that there is something wrong with this. Evolution is non-directional. It doesn’t care about a future state. Whatever it takes for a species to survive is good enough for evolution.

    This extension amounts to the beginning of a true moral code, extending and exceeding our evolved social instincts to encompass larger and larger groups of people.

    Wait, you just said that God ordered certain actions, now you’re saying that evolution did it.

    You still see this going on today with the very recent granting of full human status to homosexuals in certain parts of the world. (And of course, you are very well acquainted with some of the people who oppose this.)

    Can you specify the mutations that caused this societal change?

    So, in summary, our evolved social instincts let us enjoy the benifis of living together in small groups by masquerading as a moral code, but they’re not really one, they’re just unintelligent evolution’s efforts to protect the carriers of the social genes.

    We enjoyed the benefits of living together when one tribe wiped out or enslaved the other. So I guess evolution changed it’s mind about that. Evolution doesn’t have any other “benefits” than survival and reproduction. So, what we’re looking for is some hard science to explain this – not sociology.

    Real moral codes are the work of intelligent humans and they extend and improve on our evolved instincts.

    This seems like a 19th century view of evolution where evolution aims at “improvement” and “progress”. We’ve learned since then, that evolution doesn’t have categories for good or bad. Genocide, rape, torture – those are not ‘bad’ things. Evolution created them so a species could survive. And evolution doesn’t even care if the species survives, or if any species on earth survives. If they’re all wiped out, it just happens. Evolution does things.

    So, your opinions are obviously a confused mixture of Christian-theism and Darwinian mythology, at least as how I see it.

  95. 95
    Barry Arrington says:

    MatSpirit: When you say that atheists believe, “Morality is just an illusion foisted on us by our genes”, you are talking straight from the hothouse.

    Barry responded: Really? “morality is a collective illusion foisted upon us by our genes.” Influential atheist Michael Ruse. Again, you have shown yourself to ignorant of even basic facts. MatSpirit, you strike me as one of those people who is often wrong but never in doubt.

    MatSpirit: You’re projecting again. Ruse wrote those words in “Taking Darwin Seriously”. If you had read the book instead of copying an out of context line in a list of Christian quote mines. . .

    You are utterly shameless. I said atheist say a particular thing. You said they do not. I quoted a prominent atheist saying that exact thing in the exact words I used. You say he did not mean what he was saying, that I quoted him out of context. You are a liar. I have read the quote in context. It means exactly what it seems to mean. Morality – in the sense of objective right and wrong – does not exist. It is an illusion.

    Of course, the problem with your (and Ruse’s) view is demonstrated by the very thing you just did there. Right and wrong don’t really exist. What we call morality is just a useful illusion. It follows that people like you who have seen through the illusion can feel free to do whatever they want. They can kill disabled babies. They can tell outrageous shameless lies. They can throw Jews in the ovens.

    Well, sir, morality does exist. And it is objectively wrong to lie as you have. It is objectively wrong to kill disabled babies. It is objectively wrong to throw Jews in ovens. Of course, fascists such as yourself will deny this, because it is in your interest to deny it. That does not make it any less true.

    Barry: Is it wrong at all times for all people in all places to torture an infant for personal pleasure? The only possibly correct answer to that question is “yes.” Therefore, absolute morality exists.

    MatSpirit: it’s wrong and for two reasons. First, it violates our evolved social instincts

    What? it is objectively wrong because it violates the illusion that our genes have foisted on us? I would say that is idiotic, but that would be an insult to idiots everywhere.

    the protection and well being of those minds is the aim of all true morality:

    You speak as though this “true morality” is objective and binding on all people and not merely an evolutionary adaptation. Of course you do. No sane person acts as if evolutionary ethics (a contradiction in terms) is true.

    Like so many materialists you try to have it both ways. You and Ruse insist that the feeling that we have that our moral instincts point to some objective truth is an illusion. And then when confronted with how stupid that view is, you retreat back to talk about “true morality.”

    Barry: You have arrogated unto yourself the God-like power of deciding which are the “real” babies (which cannot be killed) and which are sub-babies (which can be killed by the millions).

    MatSpirit: We’ve accepted the moral responsibility to figure what it is about a human that gives her rights and it turns out to be her mind. The ability to have thoughts, sensations and emotions. We put minds over all else.

    Thank you for confirming my point. You play God. You divide living beings with beating hearts into human and sub-human groups, and approve the killing of the latter.

    Let me ask you this Mat. Do you know that the distinction you make is a true distinction with ABSOLUTE certainty? If you do, I am at least glad you recognize the existence of absolute truth, even though your views of what it consists of are monstrous. If you don’t know it with absolute certainty, it follows that there is room for doubt. And it follows that you are willing to condemn millions to death on the basis of a doubtful proposition. Again, monstrous.

  96. 96
    john_a_designer says:

    Thinkers like the ancient Greek sophist Callicles, and 19th century writers Nietzche and the Marquis de Sade argued that if nature teaches us anything about morality it teaches us that “might makes right.” For example, Callicles argued that “nature herself intimates that it is just for the better to have more than the worse, the more powerful than the weaker; and in many ways she shows, among men as well as among animals, and indeed among whole cities and races, that justice consists in the superior ruling over and having more than the inferior.” But what makes such a view right or wrong? That is a question about moral truth that still needs to be answered. The naturalist or materialist boast that their views are superior because they are scientific, yet their beliefs are metaphysical beliefs that cannot be proven scientifically.

  97. 97

    BA @ 95 To MatSpirit: “You are utterly shameless.”

    No surprise there. I don’t think shame exists in the atheistic worldview. As far as I can tell, all atheists are shameless.

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