Intelligent Design

God of the gaps. Really ?

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The arguments for God’s existence are based on positive evidence and logical inferences. Not gaps of knowledge.

God of the gaps and incredulity, a justified refutation of ID arguments? https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t1983-gaps-god-of-the-gaps-and-incredulitya-justified-refutation-of-id-arguments

125 reasons to believe in God

https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t1276-125-reasons-to-believe-in-god

There is no evidence of Gods existence. Really?

1. The universe and biological systems appear designed. Therefore, most likely, they were designed.

2. The universe is like a wind-up clock, winding down as if at one point it was fully wound up and has been winding down ever since. That means, it had a beginning, therefore a cause.

3. Laws and rules of mathematics and physics are imprinted in the universe, which obeys them. The fundamental physical constants, the universe, and the earth are finely tuned to permit life. Hundreds, if not thousands of constants must be just right. Who/what finely adjusted these parameters to permit life?

4. Cells ARE literally factories. Biological cells ARE an industrial park of millions of interconnected complex factories, full of machines, production lines, computers, energy turbines, etc.

5. Cell factories have a codified description of themselves in digital form stored in genes and have the machinery to process that information through transcription and translation into an identical representation in analog 3D form, the physical ‘reality’ of that description.

6. DNA has the highest storage density known, stores the blueprint of life, has information encoding, transmission, and decoding, and translation machinery.

7. Humans are moral beings, and have conscious intelligent minds, able to communicate, use language, and objective logic. Morals, the mind, information, and logic, are non-material, non-physical entities.

159 Replies to “God of the gaps. Really ?

  1. 1
    jerry says:

    Logic and evidence drive ID.

    Since the beginning no one who disputes ID has ever presented either for any other explanation.

  2. 2
    asauber says:

    “1. The universe and biological systems appear designed. Therefore, most likely, they were designed.”

    Not only do they appear designed, but upon closer scrutiny, there’s design layer upon design layer upon design layer…

    Andrew

  3. 3
    chuckdarwin says:

    What have we learned today? From the author’s blog:

    THEREFORE … WE CAN INFER THAT THE GOD OF THE BIBLE IS THAT INTELLIGENT DESIGNER BECAUSE THE DESCRIPTION OF HIM FROM THE BIBLE MATCHES THAT WHICH IS NEEDED TO INFER A GOD EXISTS.

    We’ve learned two things. First—and it’s about time—that the God of the Bible (I assume the Christian God) is the elusive “intelligent designer” and two, the immense power of circular reasoning…….

  4. 4
    relatd says:

    CD at 3,

    Still at it? Yes, after the science is done with Intelligent Design, average people will see the intelligent designer as the Christian God.

  5. 5
    chuckdarwin says:

    Every time a prominent IDer identifies the “intelligent designer” as the “God of the Bible,” the less likely we will see ID taught in public schools. Have to keep you eye on the ball……

  6. 6
    Seversky says:

    “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake”

    — attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte

  7. 7
    Otangelo says:

    #3 Chuck…

    did you read the title of my virtual library? Defending the Christian Worldview, Creationism, and Intelligent Design
    Otangelo Grasso: This is my personal virtual library, where i collect information, which leads in my view to the Christian faith, creationism, and Intelligent Design as the best explanation of the origin of the physical Universe, life, and biodiversity.

    Confessing Christ for me is the first goal. And ID is just the first step in a cumulative argument, that leads to Christ. Nature points to a designer. The Bible clarifies its identity. One is based on scientific evidence, and the second is on direct revelation. They go both, hand in hand, and speak the same language.

  8. 8
    Querius says:

    Let me submit that in history, it’s been repeatedly demonstrated that people who don’t WANT to see the obvious will absolute not see the obvious. A great example is called the Semmelweis Reflex.

    Here’s a paper on the subject:
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31837492/

    Let me also point out that Darwinists resort to two (2) gods of the gaps that they frequently invoke to bridge massive gaps in theory! The names of these two gods are MIGHTA and MUSTA.

    Don’t believe me? You’ll find them named in many if not most new announcements concerning the Origin of Life and Darwinism.

    -Q

  9. 9
    martin_r says:

    The arguments for God’s existence are based on positive evidence and logical inferences. Not gaps of knowledge.

    Period.

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    Darwinian atheists, Instead of ever producing any real-time empirical evidence to substantiate their grandiose claims, i.e their ‘just-so stories’, for Darwinian evolution, (namely that unguided, mindless, processes can spontaneously create life and all the diversity therein), Darwinian atheists rely mainly on two philosophical arguments to try to make their case for Darwinian evolution.,,, Which are the ‘argument from evil’ and the “God of the gaps’ argument.

    Elite Scientists Don’t Have Elite Reasons for Being Atheists – November 8, 2016
    Excerpt: Dr. Jonathan Pararejasingham has compiled video of elite scientists and scholars to make the connection between atheism and science. Unfortunately for Pararejasingham, once you get past the self-identification of these scholars as non-believers, there is simply very little there to justify the belief in atheism.,,,
    What I found was 50 elite scientists expressing their personal opinions, but none had some powerful argument or evidence to justify their opinions. In fact, most did not even cite a reason for thinking atheism was true.,,,
    The few that did try to justify their atheism commonly appealed to God of the Gaps arguments (there is no need for God, therefore God does not exist) and the Argument from Evil (our bad world could not have come from an All Loving, All Powerful God). In other words, it is just as I thought it would be. Yes, most elite scientists and scholars are atheists. But their reasons for being atheists and agnostics are varied and often personal. And their typical arguments are rather common and shallow – god of the gaps and the existence of evil. It would seem clear that their expertise and elite status is simply not a causal factor behind their atheism.
    Finally, it is also clear the militant atheism of Dawkins is a distinct minority view among these scholars.
    https://shadowtolight.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/elite-scientists-dont-have-elite-reasons-for-being-atheists/

    Yet both of these philosophical arguments fail for the atheist. The ‘argument from evil’ fails in that to even presuppose the existence of evil you must first presuppose an objective standard of good that has been departed from. In other words, the existence of God must be presupposed as being true for the ‘argument from evil’ to even have a chance at success. As C.S. Lewis succinctly noted, “A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”

    “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such a violent reaction against it?… Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if i did that, then my argument against God collapsed too–for the argument depended on saying the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my fancies. Thus, in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist – in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless – I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality – namely my idea of justice – was full of sense. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never have known it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.”
    – C.S. Lewis

    Likewise the ‘God of the gaps’ argument also collapses in on itself. Namely, the Darwinian atheist presupposes that everything, (for instance, the universe, the laws of nature, life, and consciousness), can all be explained completely ‘naturalistically’ without ever invoking God for their explanation. Yet, as Dr. Michael Egnor pointed out in his debate with the popular internet atheist Matt Dillahunty, nothing can be explained without invoking God, i.e. “Every change in nature proves His existence. Every cause in nature proves His existence. Everything that exists in nature proves His existence. Every degree of perfection in nature proves His existence. Every manifestation of natural design proves His existence. Every realization of possibility in nature proves His existence. Every manifestation of organization in nature proves His existence. Every abstract concept proves His existence. Every reason for anything in nature proves His existence. And every twinge of human conscience proves His existence.”,,,,

    The Divine Hiddenness Argument Against God’s Existence = Nonsense – Michael Egnor -Oct. 4, 2021
    Excerpt: We will set aside Scriptural revelation and personal experience (given that atheists like Dillahunty discount these anyway) and consider the ways in which God shows Himself in nature (i.e., the ten ways that God’s existence can be known that I listed during my debate with Dillahunty. Here are three excellent references for the details of these various arguments: Aquinas: A Beginner’s Guide, (Edward Feser), Five Proofs of the Existence of God (Edward Feser), and Letters to an Atheist (Peter Kreeft).
    These and other works cover evidence such as Aquinas’ First Way (by change in nature), Aquinas’ Second Way (by cause in nature), Aquinas’ Third Way (by contingent existence), Aquinas’ Fourth Way (by degrees of perfection), and Aquinas’ Fifth Way (by design in nature) as well as the Thomistic argument from existence, the Neoplatonic argument (from the order of things), the Augustinian argument (from abstract objects), the rationalist argument (from the principal of sufficient reason), and the argument for Moral Law (from the reality of objective moral obligation).
    Each of these proofs of God’s existence is revealed to us through our intellect.
    Is the information that God provides in these ways sufficient to convince a reasonable person of His existence? Consider the ten ways that simple everyday experience provides inexhaustible evidence for His existence:
    Every change in nature proves His existence. Every cause in nature proves His existence. Everything that exists in nature proves His existence. Every degree of perfection in nature proves His existence. Every manifestation of natural design proves His existence. Every realization of possibility in nature proves His existence. Every manifestation of organization in nature proves His existence. Every abstract concept proves His existence. Every reason for anything in nature proves His existence. And every twinge of human conscience proves His existence.
    Natural science provides massive evidence for His existence as well. The Big Bang — i.e., the creation of the universe from nothing in an immense primordial flash of light — is a remarkable confirmation of the beginning of the book of Genesis. Astrophysicists have discovered dozens of physical forces and properties in the universe that must have very specific values to permit human life — and of course these forces and properties do have exactly the values necessary for our existence (as if Someone rigged physics just for us). The DNA in living things is an actual code — in every meaningful sense like a computer code with letters and words, grammar and phrases, sentences and punctuation. And life forms’ intracellular metabolism is run by an astonishingly intricate and elegant system of biological nanotechnology.
    So my question to Dillahunty and to other atheists who endorse the Divine Hiddenness argument against God’s existence is this: What is it about God’s existence that you still consider hidden?
    https://mindmatters.ai/2021/10/the-divine-hiddenness-argument-against-gods-existence-nonsense/

    As John Lennox quipped, “God is not a “God of the gaps”, he is God of the whole show.”

    Not the God of the Gaps, But the Whole Show By John C. Lennox
    Excerpt: Krauss does not seem to realize that his concept of God is one that no intelligent monotheist would accept. His “God” is the soft-target “God of the gaps” of the “I can’t understand it, therefore God did it” variety. As a result, Krauss, like Dawkins and Hawking, regards God as an explanation in competition with scientific explanation. That is as wrong-headed as thinking that an explanation of a Ford car in terms of Henry Ford as inventor and designer competes with an explanation in terms of mechanism and law. God is not a “God of the gaps”, he is God of the whole show.
    https://www.christianpost.com/news/the-god-particle-not-the-god-of-the-gaps-but-the-whole-show.html

    Contrary to what atheists believe, there is simply nothing within reality that can be explained completely ‘naturalistically’.

    In fact, it is the atheist himself who is guilty of making ‘naturalism of the gaps’ arguments. i.e. How did the universe originate? Atheist: “We don’t know but someday we will find a completely naturalistic explanation for the creation of the universe.” How did the finely tuned laws of nature originate? Atheist: “We don’t know but someday we will find a completely naturalistic explanation for the laws of nature.” How did life originate? Atheist: “We don’t know but someday we will find a completely naturalistic explanation for how life originated.” How did consciousness originate? Atheist: We don’t know but someday we will find a completely naturalistic explanation for how consciousness originated”.

    In short, the atheist is guilty of the very thing he accuses the Christian of being guilty of. Namely, the atheist accuses the Christian of illegitimately inserting God into scientific explanations to cover up his ignorance, yet it is the atheist himself who is illegitimately inserting his atheistic naturalism into scientific explanations in order to cover up his ignorance. To paraphrase Nietzsche, “into every gap they put their delusion, their stopgap, which they call methodological naturalism’,,,

    God of the gaps – Origins of the term
    From the 1880s, Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Part Two, “On Priests”, said “… into every gap they put their delusion, their stopgap, which they called God.”.[3],,,
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_of_the_gaps#Origins_of_the_term

    In fact, contrary to what atheists believe, no scientific explanation has ever been explained completely naturalistically without recourse to God. As a prime example, atheists often speak of the law of gravity as if it has been explained completely naturalistically. Yet the law of gravity has certainly not been explained naturalistically. In fact, it is impossible for the ‘bottom up’ explanations of Atheistic materialists to account for any ‘top-down’ universal law, such as gravity, that dictates how the material particles will behave in this universe,

    “There cannot be, in principle, a naturalistic bottom-up explanation for immutable physical laws — which are themselves an ‘expression’ of top-down causation. A bottom-up explanation, from the level of e.g. bosons, should be expected to give rise to innumerable different ever-changing laws. By analogy, particles give rise to innumerable different conglomerations.
    Moreover a bottom-up process from bosons to physical laws is in need of constraints (laws) in order to produce a limited set of universal laws.
    Paul Davies: “Physical processes, however violent or complex, are thought to have absolutely no effect on the laws. There is thus a curious asymmetry: physical processes depend on laws but the laws do not depend on physical processes. Although this statement cannot be proved, it is widely accepted.”
    Saying that laws do not depend on physical processes, is another way of saying that laws cannot be explained by physical processes.”
    – Origenes – UD blogger

    And this is not just some common sense observation that ‘bottom up’ materialistic explanations are at a complete loss to explain ‘top down’ universal laws. The fact that ‘bottom up’ materialistic explanations can never account for ‘top down’ universal laws has now been proven via extension of Gödel’s incompleteness theorem into quantum physics.

    As the following article notes, “even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,,” and these findings “challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”

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

    Moreover, although atheists insist that in order to stay ‘scientific’ you must invoke only naturalistic explanations, i.e. methodological naturalism, the fact of the matter is that, number 1, atheistic naturalism had nothing whatsoever to do with the founding of modern science,

    New Book: For Kepler, Science Did Not Point to Atheism – Stephen C. Meyer – January 17, 2023
    The Conflict Myth Unmade,,,
    As historian Ian Barbour says, “science in its modern form” arose “in Western civilization alone, among all the cultures of the world,” because only the Christian West had the necessary “intellectual presuppositions underlying the rise of science.”2
    So, what were those presuppositions? We can identify three. As Melissa Cain Travis shows, (in her book: “Thinking God’s Thoughts: Johannes Kepler and the Miracle of Cosmic Comprehensibility”), all have their place in Kepler’s seminal works. More generally, all find their origin in the Judeo-Christian idea of a Creator God who fashioned human beings and an orderly universe.
    (1) Intelligibility
    First, the (Christian) founders of modern science assumed the intelligibility of nature. They believed that nature had been designed by the mind of a rational God, the same God who made the rational minds of human beings. These thinkers assumed that if they used their minds to carefully study nature, they could understand the order and design that God had placed in the world.,,,
    (2) The Contingency of Nature
    Second, early pioneers of science presupposed the contingency of nature. They believed that God had many choices about how to make an orderly world. Just as there are many ways to design a watch, there were many ways that God could have designed the universe. To discover how He did, scientists could not merely deduce the order of nature by assuming what seemed most logical to them; they couldn’t simply use reason alone to draw conclusions, as some of the Greek philosophers had done.,,,
    (3) The Fallibility of Human Reasoning
    Third, early scientists accepted a biblical understanding of the power and limits of the human mind. Even as these scientists saw human reason as the gift of a rational God, they also recognized the fallibility of humans and, therefore, the fallibility of human ideas about nature.,,,
    Such a nuanced view of human nature implied, on the one hand, that human beings could attain insight into the workings of the natural world, but that, on the other, they were vulnerable to self-deception, flights of fancy, and prematurely jumping to conclusions. This composite view of reason — one that affirmed both its capability and fallibility — inspired confidence that the design and order of nature could be understood if scientists carefully studied the natural world, but also engendered caution about trusting human intuition, conjectures, and hypotheses unless they were carefully tested by experiment and observation.11,,,
    https://evolutionnews.org/2023/01/new-book-for-kepler-science-did-not-point-to-atheism/

    ,,, and, number 2, directly contrary to what atheists have falsely presupposed with their presupposition of ‘methodological naturalism’, all of science, every nook and cranny, is based on the presupposition of Intelligent Design and is certainly not based on their presupposition of methodological naturalism.

    From the essential Christian presuppositions that undergird the founding of modern science itself, (namely that the universe is contingent and rational in its foundational nature and that the minds of men, being made in the ‘image of God’, can, therefore, dare understand the rationality that God has imparted onto the universe), to the intelligent design of the scientific instruments and experiments themselves, to the logical and mathematical analysis of experimental results themselves, from top to bottom, science itself is certainly not to be considered a ‘natural’ endeavor of man.
    Not one scientific instrument would ever exist if men did not first intelligently design that scientific instrument. Not one test tube, microscope, telescope, spectroscope, or etc.. etc.., was ever found just laying around on a beach somewhere which was ‘naturally’ constructed by nature. Not one experimental result would ever be rationally analyzed since there would be no immaterial minds to rationally analyze the immaterial logic and immaterial mathematics that lay behind the intelligently designed experiments in the first place.
    Again, all of science, every nook and cranny of it, is based on the presupposition of intelligent design and is certainly not based on the presupposition of methodological naturalism.

    Moreover, insisting on naturalistic explanations, i.e. methodological naturalism, no matter what the evidence says to the contrary, ends up driving science itself into catastrophic epistemological failure.

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

    Thus, although the Darwinian Atheist and/or Methodological Naturalist may firmly believe that he is on the terra firma of science (in his appeal, even demand, for naturalistic explanations over and above God as a viable explanation), the fact of the matter is that, when examining the details of his materialistic/naturalistic worldview, it is found that Darwinists/Atheists themselves are adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor for reality to grab on to.

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

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

    So thus, although the atheist will often falsely accuse the Christian of illegitimately making ‘God of the gaps’ style arguments, the fact of the matter is that it is atheist himself who is
    illegitimately trying to make ‘Naturalism of the gaps’ style arguments in order to cover up for his ignorance. Moreover, presupposing naturalism, instead of theism, as being true beforehand drives science itself into catastrophic epistemological failure.

    In short, from the founding of modern science itself in medieval Christian Europe, to today, atheistic naturalism never has had, and never will have, a legitimate place in scientific explanation.

    And, to be even more blunt, atheistic naturalism is a completely useless, garbage, philosophy that atheists have illegitimately tried to impose onto the science method in order to try to justify their personal rejection of God. To paraphrase Nagel, atheists simply “don’t want there to be a God; (they) don’t want the universe to be like that.”

    “I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.”
    – Thomas Nagel – (”The Last Word” by Thomas Nagel, Oxford University Press: 1997)

    In conclusion, the atheist’s rejection of God as a viable scientific explanation turns out NOT to be a scientific issue rooted in scientific evidence. But instead the atheist’s rejection of God as a viable scientific explanation turns out to be a psychiatric issue which is rooted simply in his personal rejection of, and/or rebellion against, God.

    John 15:24-25
    If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have seen and hated both Me and My Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated Me without reason.’

  11. 11
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    None of these “arguments” (referring to (1) through (7) in the OP) warrant the conclusion that God exists.

    (4), (5), and (6) at most show that there must exist an intelligent designer that is not itself alive in a biological sense. (Even if the designer of life on this planet were a technologically advanced being that was alive in a biological sense that came from a different planet, since that designer probably didn’t arise without intelligent intervention, either, then on pain of regress, there must be a non-biological intelligent being somewhere in the process.)

    (2) only shows that the universe had a cause and says nothing about what the cause was.

    (1) and (3) trade on the ambiguity between cosmic ID (solving the fine-tuning problem) and biological ID (solving the problem of biological information).

    It seems curious to me that ID often insists on both cosmic ID and biological ID: one designer to select the values of parameters of fundamental physics and another designer to cross the explanatory gulf from chemistry to biology.

    In any event, there’s no argument here that these designers are the same being or that either of them is the God of the philosophers or of Scripture. One could be a Gnostic and believe that both designers are Satan.

    (7) assumes that “Morals, the mind, information, and logic, are non-material, non-physical entities”. That’s hugely question-begging, but even if this assumption were granted, it wouldn’t entail that God exists. It shows that some version of Platonism is true, and Platonism is perfectly compatible with atheism (see here).

    While it’s probably true that most people will associate the Designer with God, a mere association is just a psychological disposition — it is not the conclusion of a logical argument, hence it is not rationally warranted.

  12. 12
    jerry says:

    None of these “arguments” (referring to (1) through (7) in the OP) warrant the conclusion that God exists

    Of course they do.

    The fine tuning points to a creator. Whether it’s the Christian God is another matter. For that one has to go to other forms of argument.

    Biology points to an intelligence. Not necessarily the creator of the universe. Each, the universe and biology, points to a purpose that can be inferred by the nature of the design.

    ID does not point to the Christian God per se but is 100% consistent with it.

    To get to Christianity there is a three step process:

    1) there is a creator – 100% consistent with ID.

    2) Christ is the creator or sent by the creator – nothing to do with ID.

    3) Christ started a religion or essentially the creator started a religion – nothing to do with ID.

    Those who support or oppose Christianity have to deal with this line of reasoning which in mostly beyond ID.

  13. 13
    chuckdarwin says:

    Seversky/6
    Upon reflection, of course, you are right. My bad…..

  14. 14
    jerry says:

    My bad

    an oxymoron because it’s always true.

    Has Seversky ever gotten anything right in 16 years here?

  15. 15
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @12

    ID does not point to the Christian God per se but is 100% consistent with it.

    Sure, but so what? Consistency is logic on Easy Mode. After all, evolutionary theory is fully consistent with both ID and theism.

    My point is that a designer is not identical with a creator. The designer could be a creator, but doesn’t have to be.

    As Kant put the point way back in 1781, the argument from design teaches only that there must be a being of immense power and knowledge, not that there must be a being of absolutely unlimited power and knowledge.

    One would need to go beyond the logical resources of ID in order to show that the designer (even the designer of the whole universe) is a creator God.

    As far as ID is concerned, it’s perfectly compatible with both Abrahamic theisms (the designer of the universe is an infinitely powerful, wise, and good transcendent Being) and with Gnosticism (the designer of the universe is an immensely powerful, clever, and evil transcendent being).

    In other words, none of the arguments (1)-(6) actually demonstrate that God exists, because they are all compatible with Gnosticism. And (7) at most establishes some form of Platonism, which does not entail theism because Platonic atheism is perfectly intelligible and coherent.

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related note, here are some philosophical arguments for the existence of God:

    Table Of Contents for TWO DOZEN (OR SO) ARGUMENTS FOR GOD: THE PLANTINGA PROJECT
    I. Half a Dozen (or so) ontological (or metaphysical) arguments
    (A) The Argument from Intentionality (or Aboutness)
    • Lorraine Keller, Niagara University
    • “Propositions Supernaturalized”
    (B) The Argument from Collections
    • Chris Menzel, Texas A&M
    • “The Argument from Collections”
    (C) The Argument from (Natural) Numbers
    • Tyron Goldshmidt, Wake Forest
    • “The Argument from (Natural) Numbers”
    (D) The Argument From Counterfactuals
    • Alex Pruss, Baylor University
    • “Counterfactuals, Vagueness and God”
    (E) The Argument from Physical Constants
    • Robin Collins, Messiah College
    • “The Fine-Tuning for Discoverability”
    (F) The Naive Teleological Argument
    • C. Stephen Evans, Baylor University
    • “An Argument from Design for Ordinary People”
    (H) The Ontological Argument
    • Elizabeth Burns, Heythrop College
    • “Patching Planting’s Ontological Argument by Making the Murdoch Move”
    (I) Why is there anything at all?
    • Josh Rasmussen, Azusa Pacific; and Christopher Gregory Weaver, Rutgers University
    • “Why is There Anything?”

    II. Half a dozen Epistemological Arguments
    (J) The argument from positive epistemic status
    • Justin Barrett, Fuller Seminary
    • “Evolutionary Psychology and the Argument from Positive Epistemic Status”
    (K) The Argument from the confluence of proper function and reliability
    • Alex Arnold, The John Templeton Foundation
    • “Is God the Designer of our Cognitive Faculties? Evaluating Plantinga’s Argument”
    (L) The Argument from Simplicity and (M) The Argument from Induction
    • Bradly Monton, Independent Scholar
    • “Atheistic Induction by Boltzmann Brains”

    (N) The Putnamian Argument (the Argument from the Rejection of Global Skepticism)[also, (O) The Argument from Reference and (K) The Argument from the Confluence of Proper Function and Reliability]
    • Even Fales, University of Iowa
    • “Putnam’s Semantic Skepticism and the Epistemic Melt-Down of Naturalism: How Defeat of Putnam’s Puzzle Provides a Defeater for Plantinga’s Self-Defeat Argument Against Naturalism”

    (N) The Putnamian Argument, (O) The Argument from Reference, and (P) The Kripke-Wittgenstein Argument from Plus and Quus
    • Dan Bonevac, University of Texas
    • “Arguments from Knowledge, Reference, and Content”

    (Q) The General Argument from Intuition.
    • Rob Koons, University of Texas at Austin
    • “The General Argument from Intuition”

    III. Moral arguments
    (R) Moral Arguments (actually R1 to Rn)
    • David Baggett, Liberty University
    • “An Abductive Moral Argument for God”

    (R*) The argument from evil.
    • Hud Hudson, Western Washington University
    • “Felix Culpa!”

    IV. Other Arguments
    (S) The Argument from Colors and Flavors
    • Richard Swinburne, Oxford University
    • “The Argument from Consciousness”
    (T) The Argument from Love and (Y) The Argument from the Meaning of Life
    • Jerry Walls, Houston Baptist University
    • “The God of Love and the Meaning of Life”
    (U) The Mozart Argument and (V) The Argument from Play and Enjoyment
    • Philip Tallon, Houston Baptist University
    • “The Theistic Argument from Beauty and Play”
    (W) Arguments from providence and from miracles
    • Tim McGrew, Western Michigan University
    • “Of Miracles: The State of the Art and the Uses of History”
    (X) C.S. Lewis’s Argument from Nostalgia
    • Todd Buras, Baylor University and Mike Cantrell
    • “A New Argument from Desire”
    (Z) The Argument from (A) to (Y)
    • Ted Poston, University of South Alabama
    • “The Argument from So Many Arguments”

    V. “Or so”: Three More Arguments
    The Kalam Cosmological Argument
    • William Lane Craig, Houston Baptist University
    • “The Kalam Cosmological Argument”
    The Argument from Possibility
    • Brian Leftow, Oxford University
    • “The Argument from Possibility”
    The Argument from the Incompleteness of Nature
    • Bruce Gordon, Houston Baptist University
    • “The Necessity of Sufficiency: The Argument from the Incompleteness of Nature”

    Two Dozen (or so) Arguments for God: The Plantinga Project – Paperback
    https://www.amazon.com/Two-Dozen-Arguments-God-Plantinga/dp/0190842229

    20 Arguments For God’s Existence – Dr. Peter Kreeft
    1. The Argument from Change
    2. The Argument from Efficient Causality
    3. The Argument from Time and Contingency
    4. The Argument from Degrees of Perfection
    5. The Design Argument
    6. The Kalam Argument
    7. The Argument from Contingency
    8. The Argument from the World as an Interacting Whole
    9. The Argument from Miracles
    10. The Argument from Consciousness
    11. The Argument from Truth
    12. The Argument from the Origin of the Idea of God
    13. The Ontological Argument
    14. The Moral Argument
    15. The Argument from Conscience
    16. The Argument from Desire
    17. The Argument from Aesthetic Experience
    18. The Argument from Religious Experience
    19. The Common Consent Argument
    20. Pascal’s Wager
    http://www.strangenotions.com/god-exists/

    Over 100 Arguments for the Existence of God – (Lecture starts around the 12 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/Qi7ANgO2ZBU?t=723
    In this video, Dr. Chad McIntosh presents over 100 arguments for the existence of God. Each argument is presented in visual form followed by recommended sources for further research. At the end, we discuss what a similar list of arguments for atheism would look like (and what it would imply for the theistic list of arguments).
    1 0:19:23 Aquinas’ First Way — Unmoved Mover
    2 0:23:46 Aquinas’ Second Way — Uncaused Cause
    3 0:24:20 Aquinas Third Way
    4 0:26:26 Samuel Clarke-ish
    5 0:30:48 Leibniz’s CA
    6 0:35:22 Leibnizian CA: Davis-Craig
    7 0:36:17 Leibnizian CA: Pruss
    8 0:37:52 The Gale-Pruss CA
    9 0:43:07 CA without the Principle of Sufficient Reason
    10 0:45:39 Koon’s CA
    10b 0:48:34 Koon’s Argument Simplified
    11 0:51:48 Pruss and Rasmussen’s Contingency CA
    12 0:53:04 Emanuel Rutten’s Atomistic CA
    13 0:54:10 The Kalaam CA
    14 0:55:08 Alexander Pruss’ Kalaam CA
    15 0:55:48 Swinburne’s Inductive CA
    16 0:58:20 Scotus’ Modal CA
    17 1:00:50 James Ross’ Modal CA
    18b 1:02:18 Christopher Weaver’s Modal CA
    18 1:02:37 Rasmussen and Weaver CA
    19 1:04:35 Pruss and Rasmussen’s Modal CA
    20 1:05:35 Descarte’s CA
    XX 1:08:27 THE Cosmological Argument

    Ontological Arguments (1:10:10)

    21 1:10:13 Anselm’s First OA (Proslogion II)
    22 1:11:45 Descarte’s OA
    23 1:13:00 Anselm’s 2nd OA (Proslogion III)
    23b 1:14:35 Hartshorne on Anselm’s Proslogion III
    23c 1:15:26 Maydole’s Reconstruction
    24 1:15:59 Anselm’s Other Other OA
    25 1:17:15 Plantinga’s OA
    25b 1:18:01 The Modal OA Simplified
    25c 1:19:45 Key Modal Inference
    – – 1:20:52 Defenses of the Possibility Premise
    26 1:21:42 The Phenomenal Defense of Plantinga’s Possibility Premise
    27 1:23:52 Godel’s Demonstration of the Possibility Premise
    28 1:25:06 Pruss’s Improvement on Godel’s Demonstration
    29 1:25:49 Maydole’s Modal Perfection Argument
    30 1:28:13 Bernstein’s Demonstration of the Possibility Premise
    31 1:29:45 Nagasawa’s Maximal God Approach to the Possibility Premise

    Design Arguments (1:34:51)

    XX 1:34:51 The Argument from Bananas
    32 1:35:08 Aquinas’ Fifth Way
    32b 1:36:30 Étienne Gilson’s Justification
    32c 1:36:41 Aquinas’ Fifth Way: Simplified
    33 1:38:09 Design in Biology: Origin of Organic Life
    34 1:38:53 Chandler’s Divine Intervention Argument
    35 1:40:15 Design in Biology: Organic Structures Paley
    36 1:41:48 More faithful version of Paley
    37 1:42:35 Pruss’ Analogical DA
    38 1:43:07 Design in Biology: Information
    39 1:44:43 Tennant’s Argument from Cosmic Teleology

    Fine-Tuning Arguments (1:46:24)

    – – 1:46:25 Fundamental Constants and Laws
    – – 1:47:03 Examples of Fine-Tuning Arguments
    40 1:47:11 FTA by Elimination
    41 1:49:34 FTA by Bayes
    41b 1:50:40 Collins on the FTA
    42 1:52:45 Collins’ Fine-Tuning for Discoverability
    43 1:55:30 Perceiving Design

    Moral Arguments (1:57:07)

    44 1:57:07 Generic Argument from the Objectivity of Morality
    45 1:57:30 Abductive Argument from the Objectivity of Morality
    46 1:58:10 The Normative Implications of Evil
    47 1:59:03 Evil as Privation of Good
    48 2:00:10 Horrendous Evils
    49 2:01:45 Universal Moral Beliefs
    50 2:02:43 Sidgwick and Kant
    51 2:03:40 A Kantian Argument from Adams
    52 2:06:00 Oderberg on Cosmic Justice
    53 2:07:18 Layman’s Moral Argument
    54 2:09:04 The Need for Divine Aid in Being Moral
    55 2:11:15 The Moral Gap
    56 2:12:44 Duty to Promote the Highest Good
    57 2:13:36 Objective Obligations and Duties
    58 2:15:32 Argument from Conscience
    59 2:17:21 The Intrinsic Harmfulness of Wrongdoing
    60 2:18:43 Moral Knowledge
    61 2:20:08 Apprehension of Objective Norms
    62 2:21:02 Altruism: Schloss
    63 2:21:54 Altruism: Pruss

    Experiential Arguments (2:23:56)

    – – 2:24:04 Examples of Religious Experience
    64 2:26:32 Analogy with Aesthetic Experience
    65 2:28:04 Hick on Religious Experience
    66 2:28:52 Swinburne on Religious Experience
    67 2:29:11 Plantinga on Proper Basicality
    68 2:29:24 Alston on Perceiving God 1
    69 2:29:59 Alston on Perceiving God 2
    70 2:31:13 Yandell on Religious Experience
    71 2:32:17 Ontomystical Argument
    72 2:32:52 Personal Transformation
    73 2:34:40 NDEs and Religious Experience
    73b 2:35:04 NDEs and Life After Death

    Arguments from Miracles (2:35:28)

    – – 2:35:28 Preliminaries: Hume
    – – 2:36:50 Generic Argument from Miracles
    74 2:37:21 Historical Candidates for E: Exodus (Kuzari Principle)
    75 2:38:34 Historical Candidates for E: Spectacular Events of Jesus’ Ministry
    76 2:38:53 Historical Candidate for E: Resurrection
    77 2:40:34 Contemporary Candidates for E
    – – 2:41:08 Craig Keener
    78 2:44:12 Fulfilled Prophecy as Miracle

    Metaphysical Arguments (2:47:25)

    79 2:47:30 Lowe’s Argument from Abstract Objects
    80 2:47:42 Feser’s Augstuinian Proof
    81 2:47:56 Lowe on Objects of Reason
    82 2:48:12 Arguments from Propositions
    83 2:50:19 Argument from Sets
    84 2:51:47 Argument from Unities
    85 2:52:20 Unities: Contingents
    86 2:52:51 Unities: Wholes
    87 2:54:08 Unities: The Cosmos
    88 2:54:39 Rasmussen’s Argument from Limits
    89 2:55:15 Applicability of Mathematics
    90 2:55:31 Global Economy Argument (Leftow’s Reductions)
    91 2:56:56 Argument from Possibility (Modality)

    Nomological Arguments (2:57:08)

    – – 2:57:08 Prolegomena
    92 2:58:11 Laws as Counterfactuals of Divine Freedom
    93 2:58:35 A Scholastic Argument
    94 2:58:57 From Induction to Laws to God
    95 3:00:00 From Induction to God
    96 3:01:27 Simplicity of Divine Laws (Swinburne’s Argument from Induction)
    97 3:01:42 From the Incompleteness of Nature (from Quantum Mechanics)

    Axiological Arguments (3:02:28)

    – – 3:02:28 Axiology Definition
    98 3:03:16 Aquinas’ Fourth Way
    99 3:03:39 The Deontic Argument
    100 3:04:07 The Modal Deontic Argument
    101 3:04:43 Objective Beauty
    102 3:06:18 Aesthetic Sensibilities
    103 3:06:37 Natural Beauty as Product of Aesthetic Intent
    104 3:07:04 Natural Beauty as a Gift
    105 3:08:47 Natural Beauty as a Natural Sign
    106 3:09:13 Beauty in Mathematics
    107 3:09:29 Inherent Human Value/Worth
    108 3:10:11 Equal Worth
    109 3:10:58 Natural Rights

    Noological Arguments (3:11:31)

    110 3:12:34 Thinking Things (Locke)
    111 3:13:02 Psychophysical Laws (Swinburne’s Argument from Conciousness)
    112 3:13:20 Nonphysical Concious States (Moreland’s Argument from Conciousness)
    113 3:13:35 Conciousness Per Se
    114 3:14:06 Paley’s Arguments from Flavors and Colors (Gratuitous Pleasures)
    115 3:15:04 Intelligibility of the World
    116 3:17:02 Argument from Reason
    117 3:18:20 Naturalness of Theistic Belief
    118 3:18:58 Argument from Certainty
    119 3:19:27 Knowledge as Proper Function
    120 3:19:48 Epistemic Probability
    121 3:20:09 Reliability of our Cognitive Faculties
    122 3:20:24 Anti-Realism
    123 3:21:15 Idealism
    124 3:22:02 Knowability: A Fitch-style Proof
    125 3:22:54 Modal Epistemic Argument

    Linguistic Arguments (3:24:20)

    126 3:24:25 Concept Acquistion
    127 3:25:52 Linguistic Ability
    128 3:26:03 Semantic Content
    129 3:26:38 Falsity of Semantic Indeterminism

    Anthropological Arguments (3:29:23)

    130 3:29:29 Argument from Desire
    131 3:29:50 Modal Argument from Desire
    132 3:30:11 God as Motivational Center
    133 3:30:28 Love
    134 3:30:57 Objective Meaning
    135 3:31:06 Meaning as Endowed
    136 3:32:21 Meaning as Narrative
    137 3:32:38 From the Naturalness of Belief in Objective Meaning
    138 3:33:03 Happiness and the Afterlife
    139 3:33:33 Political Authority
    140 3:34:13 Free Will
    141 3:34:52 Pascal’s Anthropological Argument
    142 3:36:04 Consensus Gentium
    143 3:36:36 Rehult’s Consensus Gentium Argument
    144 3:37:10 A More Modest Consensus Gentium

    Pragmatic Arguments (3:37:57)

    145 3:38:34 Pascal’s Wager (from Infinite Expected Value)
    146 3:39:08 Pascal’s Wager (from Greater Expected Value)
    147 3:39:18 Pascal’s Wager (Jackson and Rogers)
    148 3:39:55 Pascal’s Wager (Rota)
    149 3:41:10 The Jamesian Wager
    150 3:42:15 Rationality of Devotion to God
    151 3:43:50 From Personal to World Benefits

    Meta-Arguments (3:44:36)

    152 3:44:53 Transcendental Arguments
    – – 3:45:35 Cumulative Case Arguments
    153 3:45:42 Arbor’s Cumulative Credence Raiser
    154 3:46:19 The Possibility of a Sound Theistic Argument

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    (I see PMI has deleted his comment saying that I didn’t need to list all those arguments since only one logically valid philosophical argument was needed to prove the existence of God)

    Oh well, anyways, here is my response to his deleted comment.

    Well PM1, I personally find those philosophical arguments, at least the ones I have familiarity with, to be very persuasive. But since you pride yourself in tying yourself into philosophically incoherent knots trying to avoid God, (instead of ‘naturally’ following the scientific evidence where it leads), I’ll leave it to you to invalidate each and every one of those philosophical arguments from distinguished, college level, philosophers. I look forward to your published book.

    Myself, I’ll stick to the empirical evidence from science since it most directly points to the existence of God.

    1. Naturalism/Materialism predicted space-time energy-matter always existed. Theism predicted space-time energy-matter were created. Big Bang cosmology now strongly indicates that time-space energy-matter had a sudden creation event approximately 14 billion years ago.

    2. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that the universe is a self sustaining system that is not dependent on anything else for its continued existence. Theism predicted that God upholds this universe in its continued existence. Breakthroughs in quantum mechanics reveal that this universe is dependent on a ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, cause for its continued existence.

    3. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that consciousness is an ‘emergent property’ of material reality and thus should have no particularly special position within material reality. Theism predicts consciousness precedes material reality and therefore, on that presupposition, consciousness should have a ‘special’ position within material reality. Quantum Mechanics reveals that consciousness has a special, even a central, position within material reality. –

    4. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the rate at which time passed was constant everywhere in the universe. Theism predicted God is eternal and is outside of time. – Special Relativity has shown that time, as we understand it, is relative and comes to a complete stop at the speed of light. (Psalm 90:4 – 2 Timothy 1:9) –

    5. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the universe did not have life in mind and that life was ultimately an accident of time and chance. Theism predicted this universe was purposely created by God with man in mind. Scientists find the universe is exquisitely fine-tuned for carbon-based life to exist in this universe. Moreover it is found, when scrutinizing the details of physics and chemistry, that not only is the universe fine-tuned for carbon based life, but is specifically fine-tuned for intelligent life like human life (R. Collins, M. Denton).-

    6. Naturalism/Materialism predicted complex life in this universe should be fairly common. Theism predicted the earth is extremely unique in this universe. Statistical analysis of the hundreds of required parameters which enable complex organic life to be possible on earth gives strong indication the earth is extremely unique in this universe (G. Gonzalez; Hugh Ross). –

    7. Naturalism/Materialism predicted it took a very long time for life to develop on earth. Theism predicted life to appear abruptly on earth after water appeared on earth (Genesis 1:10-11). Geochemical evidence from the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found on earth indicates that complex photosynthetic life has existed on earth as long as water has been on the face of earth. –

    8. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the first life to be relatively simple. Theism predicted that God is the source for all life on earth. The simplest life ever found on Earth is far more complex than any machine man has made through concerted effort. (Michael Denton PhD) –

    9. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the gradual unfolding of life would (someday) be self-evident in the fossil record. Theism predicted complex and diverse animal life to appear abruptly in the seas in God’s fifth day of creation. The Cambrian Explosion shows a sudden appearance of many different and completely unique fossils within a very short “geologic resolution time” in the Cambrian seas. –

    10. Naturalism/Materialism predicted there should be numerous transitional fossils found in the fossil record, Theism predicted sudden appearance and rapid diversity within different kinds found in the fossil record. Fossils are consistently characterized by sudden appearance of a group/kind in the fossil record(disparity), then rapid diversity within that group/kind, and then long term stability and even deterioration of variety within the overall group/kind, and within the specific species of the kind, over long periods of time. Of the few dozen or so fossils claimed as transitional, not one is uncontested as a true example of transition between major animal forms out of millions of collected fossils. –

    11. Naturalism/Materialism predicted animal speciation should happen on a somewhat constant basis on earth. Theism predicted man was the last species created on earth – Man (our genus ‘modern homo’ as distinct from the highly controversial ‘early homo’) is the last generally accepted major fossil form to have suddenly appeared in the fossil record. (Tattersall; Luskin)–

    12. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that the separation of human intelligence from animal intelligence ‘is one of degree and not of kind’ (C. Darwin). Theism predicted that we are made in the ‘image of God’- Despite an ‘explosion of research’ in this area over the last four decades, human beings alone are found to ‘mentally dissect the world into a multitude of discrete symbols, and combine and recombine those symbols in their minds to produce hypotheses of alternative possibilities.’ (Tattersall; Schwartz). Moreover, both biological life and the universe itself are found to be ‘information theoretic’ in their foundational basis.

    13. Naturalism/Materialism predicted much of the DNA code was junk. Theism predicted we are fearfully and wonderfully made – ENCODE research into the DNA has revealed a “biological jungle deeper, denser, and more difficult to penetrate than anyone imagined.”. –

    14. Naturalism/Materialism predicted a extremely beneficial and flexible mutation rate for DNA which was ultimately responsible for all the diversity and complexity of life we see on earth. Theism predicted only God created life on earth – The mutation rate to DNA is overwhelmingly detrimental. Detrimental to such a point that it is seriously questioned whether there are any truly beneficial, information building, mutations whatsoever. (M. Behe; JC Sanford) –

    15. Naturalism/Materialism predicted morality is subjective and illusory. Theism predicted morality is objective and real. Morality is found to be deeply embedded in the genetic responses of humans. As well, morality is found to be deeply embedded in the structure of the universe. Embedded to the point of eliciting physiological responses in humans before humans become aware of the morally troubling situation and even prior to the event even happening.

    16. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that we are merely our material bodies with no transcendent component to our being, and that we die when our material bodies die. Theism predicted that we have minds/souls that are transcendent of our bodies that live past the death of our material bodies. Transcendent, and ‘conserved’, (cannot be created or destroyed), ‘non-local’, (beyond space-time matter-energy), quantum entanglement/information, which is not reducible to matter-energy space-time, is now found in our material bodies on a massive scale (in every DNA and protein molecule).

    Short defense of each claim
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vHkCYvFiWiZfMlXHKJwwMJ7SJ0tlqWfH83dJ2OgfP78/edit

    As you can see when we remove the artificial imposition of the materialistic philosophy (methodological naturalism), from the scientific method, and look carefully at the predictions of both the materialistic philosophy and the Theistic philosophy, side by side, we find the scientific method is very good at pointing us in the direction of Theism as the true explanation. – In fact modern science is even very good at pointing us to Christianity as the solution to the much sought after ‘theory of everything’

    Specifically, allowing the Agent causality of God (and of humans) ‘back’ into physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned, (via their belief in ‘contingency’),,, and as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands (with the closing of the free will loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company), rightly allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics provides us with a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead provides an empirically backed reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between quantum mechanics and general relativity into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything”.

    Oct. 2022 – although there will never be, (via Godel), a purely mathematical ‘theory of everything’ that bridges the infinite mathematical divide that exists between quantum mechanics and general relativity, all hope is not lost in finding the correct ‘theory of everything’.
    https://uncommondescent.com/cosmology/from-iai-news-how-infinity-threatens-cosmology/#comment-766384

  18. 18
    asauber says:

    “But since you pride yourself in tying yourself into philosophically incoherent knots trying to avoid God”

    BA77,

    This is exactly what PM1 does. He could be honest and just acknowledge it, but he insists on tedious circumlocution, so as to give himself the pretense of sophistication. It’s really boring.

    Andrew

  19. 19
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @17

    Well PM1, I personally find those philosophical arguments, at least the ones I have familiarity with, to be very persuasive. But since you pride yourself in tying yourself into philosophically incoherent knots trying to avoid God, (instead of ‘naturally’ following the scientific evidence where it leads)

    I don’t know why you think I’m trying to avoid God. I’ve said several times that I’m not an atheist, and yet this information never seems to enter into your brain.

    I’ll leave it to you to invalidate each and every one of those philosophical arguments from distinguished, college level, philosophers. I look forward to your published book.

    Well, since I’m a mildly distinguished college level philosopher and so are most of my friends, I’m not terribly impressed by the fact that these arguments are made by people with the same job description that I have.

    But no, I’m not going to listen to all these arguments and refute them one by one, for two reasons: (1) my time and energy are limited and I don’t give away my intellectual labor for free and (2) I really don’t care all that much.

    Or, better put: I’ve quite persuaded by Spinoza’s argument that God is the only substance, hence the distinction between “God” and “the universe” is that the universe refers to the totality of all infinite and finite modes (natura naturata, “nature natured”), and God refers to the fundamental unifying interconnectedness of all things (natura naturans, “nature naturing”).

    Anyway, I don’t consider myself an atheist because I’m a Spinozist. I am hopeful that this information may finally get firmly lodged within your mind.

  20. 20
    chuckdarwin says:

    PM1/19

    I don’t know why you think I’m trying to avoid God. I’ve said several times that I’m not an atheist, and yet this information never seems to enter into your brain…Anyway, I don’t consider myself an atheist because I’m a Spinozist. I am hopeful that this information may finally get firmly lodged within your mind.

    Don’t hold your breath. A word of caution: don’t use “brain” and “mind” interchangeably because we will then have to endure yet one more tome from BA77

  21. 21
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @20

    . A word of caution: don’t use “brain” and “mind” interchangeably because we will then have to endure yet one more tome from BA77

    Fair enough. And for whatever it may be worth, when I’m being precise, I don’t use “mind” and “brain” interchangeably, either. I was just being sloppy when I used them in 19 as if they meant the same thing. I don’t actually believe that.

  22. 22
    bornagain77 says:

    Well PM1, since I am primarily concerned with the absurd philosophy of atheistic materialism, and its bastard child Darwinism, that has infected our school systems, I could care less what your personal ‘abstract’ version of Spinoza’s god is. Indeed, since you are, presumably, not an atheist, I’ve often wondered why you don’t just go over to Jerry Coyne’s and PZ Myer’s blogs and correct them on their philosophical ineptitude with atheistic materialism instead of hanging around here on UD, not really discussing the science mind you, but instead constantly perpetuating your philosophical mumbo jumbo. I agree with Andrew, your philosophical preening really is quite boring.

    The God of the Mathematicians – Goldman – 2010
    The religious beliefs that guided Kurt Gödel’s revolutionary ideas
    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.”
    http://www.firstthings.com/art.....ematicians

    Einstein and Gödel – By David Berlinski – March 01, 2002
    Oh, to be a fly on a textbook when the century’s greatest physicist walked home from work with its most influential mathematician
    Excerpt: Einstein once remarked to Oskar Morgenstern, one of the cofounders of game theory, that he went to the Institute chiefly to walk home with Gödel.
    http://discovermagazine.com/2002/mar/featgodel

    Kurt Gödel
    Excerpt: Kurt Friedrich Gödel (April 28, 1906– January 14, 1978) was an Austrian, and later American, logician,mathematician, and philosopher. Considered along with Aristotle, Alfred Tarski and Gottlob Frege to be one of the most significant logicians in history,
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_G%C3%B6del

    Kurt Gödel
    Religious views
    Gödel was a convinced theist, in the Christian tradition.[28] He held the notion that God was personal.
    He believed firmly in an afterlife, stating: “Of course this supposes that there are many relationships which today’s science and received wisdom haven’t any inkling of. But I am convinced of this [the afterlife], independently of any theology.” It is “possible today to perceive, by pure reasoning” that it “is entirely consistent with known facts.” “If the world is rationally constructed and has meaning, then there must be such a thing [as an afterlife].”[29]
    In an unmailed answer to a questionnaire, Gödel described his religion as “baptized Lutheran (but not member of any religious congregation). My belief is theistic, not pantheistic, following Leibniz rather than Spinoza.”[30],,,
    According to his wife Adele, “Gödel, although he did not go to church, was religious and read the Bible in bed every Sunday morning”,[32]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_G%C3%B6del#Religious_views

  23. 23
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @22

    Well PM1, since I am primarily concerned with the absurd philosophy of atheistic materialism, and its bastard child Darwinism, that has infected our school systems, I could care less what your personal ‘abstract’ version of Spinoza’s god is.

    It’s funny to me how people who defend ID insist that it’s slander to say that intelligent design is creationism in a cheap tuxedo, while repeating the same lies that creationism always tells — in this case, the lie that evolutionary theory has any connection with what you call “atheistic materialism”.

    I don’t know why it’s so important to you to believe that there’s some deep connection between evolutionary theory and “atheistic materialism”. But it’s simply not true. What looks like a rational connection to you is just irrational fantasizing to the rest of us. While the ID community is unified by this shared delusion, that doesn’t make it any less delusional.

    Indeed, since you are, presumably, not an atheist, I’ve often wondered why you don’t just go over to Jerry Coyne’s and PZ Myer’s blogs and correct them on their philosophical ineptitude with atheistic materialism instead of hanging around here on UD, not really discussing the science mind you, but instead constantly perpetuating your philosophical mumbo jumbo. I agree with Andrew, your philosophical preening really is quite boring.

    Oh, Coyne and Myers are boring. They don’t care about philosophy at all. At least some people here do care about philosophy — just not you and Andrew. Yet for some reason I don’t see you and Andrew mocking Querius, Kairosfocus, Origenes, or StephenB for their “philosophical preening”. I wonder why that is.

    Anyway, I’ve discussed the science of ID many times and explained why I think that the use of engineering concepts in molecular biology is fundamentally misguided. Perhaps you hadn’t noticed.

  24. 24
    relatd says:

    PM1 at 15,

    Pffft! A Creator creates. He designs living things.

  25. 25
    jerry says:

    we will then have to endure yet one more tome from BA77

    No one has to endure anything.

    It is completely voluntary. I rarely read anything that BA77 writes. When I do it’s nearly always factually correct.

    The difference is that you never provide anything factually correct. Just attempted put downs.

    Why would adults do this? It says you are childish as well as ignorant.

  26. 26
    relatd says:

    PM1 at 23,

    Do you know anything about Industrial Design? The design of electronic devices? Why is there a heat sink around a MOSFET?

    Engineering applies 100% to living things.

    https://intelligentdesign.org/articles/molecular-machines-in-the-cell/

    Please stop trying to mislead people. Living things are designed – this involves a level of engineering. Engineering that is far beyond anything humans can do.

  27. 27
    asauber says:

    “A Creator creates. He designs living things.”

    Relatd,

    This is true. A creator has to be a designer. It’s implied. The creator has to know the form of the creation and how to generate and relate the parts.

    A Conceiver is not a designer. That might be the issue. Definitions.

    Andrew

  28. 28
    relatd says:

    Andrew at 27,

    The mission of some here is to make the obvious obscure. To confuse readers.

  29. 29
    Jblais says:

    @PM1 @19
    ” I’ve quite persuaded by Spinoza’s argument that God is the only substance, hence the distinction between “God” and “the universe” is that the universe refers to the totality of all infinite and finite modes (natura naturata, “nature natured”), and God refers to the fundamental unifying interconnectedness of all things (natura naturans, “nature naturing”).”

    May I ask why, if God is the only substance, does this distinction between “the universe” and “God” exist in the first place ? Why is there any distinction at all ?

    The fundamental existential question that faces humanity is: why does the contingent physical reality we inhabit exists at all and why is it the way it is rather than some other way ?

    How does Spinoza’s pantheism answer it ?
    As Schopenhauer said: “To call the world ‘God’ is not to explain it; it is only to enrich our language with a superfluous synonym”

    If there is a reason why the world exists, it can only be an intentional creative act from a transcendant God. Otherwise, there is no reason for anything, and thus everything is fundamentaly an accidental brute fact, with all the absurdity it implies…

  30. 30
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    A Creator might be a designer — or perhaps not — I don’t think it’s obvious. But my point was rather that the inference can’t go the other way around: a Designer does not need to be a Creator, even if the Designer is (in some sense) supernatural.

    Consider it this way: even if ID shows that the universe was fine-tuned for life, and that intelligent intervention was necessary for generating biological information, what does that really entail?

    That is at least consistent with the teachings of ancient Gnosticism: that the physical universe was created by a lesser spiritual being, the Demiurge, in order to imprison immaterial souls within flesh.

    Needless to say I am not advocating Gnosticism, only pointing that if ID is as compatible with Gnosticism as it is with Christianity, then ID does not have the resources for identifying the designer with God. Hence ID cannot work as an argument for the existence of God. It doesn’t not even make the existence of God any more plausible or likely.

    But, since evolutionary theory is also perfectly compatible with the existence of God and belief in His creative will, love, and goodness, it is difficult for me to see what’s really at stake.

    With regard to engineering concepts in biology: what seems obvious to people who don’t care to think about these issues is not obvious to people who actually do take the time to think about these issues. For more, see “On Being the Right Size, Revisited: The Problem with Engineering Metaphors in Molecular Biology” and “Is the Cell Really a Machine?” — also I just found out about this exciting volume, Philosophical Perspectives on the Engineering Approach in Biology: Living Machines?.

  31. 31
    relatd says:

    PM1 at 30,

    What’s at stake? Having the correct worldview.

    Atheism: Nothing is designed. No one made human beings. You are an accident of evolution. When you die – nothing.

    ID: As science, it does not identify the designer. But, average people, and the Catholic Church, are connecting ID directly to God.

    Question: You are about to create something. Do you design it before making it?

  32. 32
    martin_r says:

    Relatd

    Do you seriously think, that PM knows what a MOSFET is ? And that it gets hot?
    :

  33. 33
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @29

    May I ask why, if God is the only substance, does this distinction between “the universe” and “God” exist in the first place ? Why is there any distinction at all ?

    Because we can approach the universe from more than one point of view. If we think like scientists, we collect particular facts and slowly fit them into a more comprehensive theory. If we feel like artists (or mystics?), we begin with an act of intuitively feeling the underlying pervasive unity of all things.

    The fundamental existential question that faces humanity is: why does the contingent physical reality we inhabit exists at all and why is it the way it is rather than some other way ?

    I would think the fundamental existential question that faces humanity is something a bit more tangible, such as “why gives my life purpose?” or “does humanity deserve to have a future?” or “why should care whether or not humanity becomes extinct?”

    But, regardless, I agree that the question, “why is our (apparently) contingent universe the way that it is?” is a question worth asking.

    How does Spinoza’s pantheism answer it ?
    As Schopenhauer said: “To call the world ‘God’ is not to explain it; it is only to enrich our language with a superfluous synonym”

    If there is a reason why the world exists, it can only be an intentional creative act from a transcendant God. Otherwise, there is no reason for anything, and thus everything is fundamentaly an accidental brute fact, with all the absurdity it implies…

    Spinoza’s response would be to say that a being of absolutely unlimited power (as we define God) would do everything that it could possibly do. For it to conceive of a possibility, yet not actualize that possibility, would mean that it refrains from acting on something that it could do. But then its power would not be absolutely unlimited.

    So the question “why does our apparently contingent universe have the laws that it manifestly does?” would be answered as “because God necessarily does everything that He can conceive of, including bringing into existence this universe”.

    Another way of putting the point is that traditional classical theism envisions the act of Creation as a choice: something that He did for some purpose. Spinoza thinks that’s nonsense, for two main reasons.

    Firstly, he reasons that animals (including humans) only act purposively in order to satisfy a need, but God cannot have any needs, since there is nothing that He lacks, hence God cannot act purposively.

    Secondly, he reasons that we make choices only because we can’t do everything that we want to do. But God can do everything that He can conceive of. Hence God cannot make choices.

    In other words, Spinoza thinks that classical theism is just too anthropomorphic: we tend to imagine God as being a person, like us in lots of ways, just way more powerful. Spinoza thinks that if we begin with the definition of God as a being of absolutely unlimited power, it becomes clear that God cannot be anything like a person — nothing at all like us.

    As for why I like this view: well, firstly, the idea of God as being anything like a lord, sovereign, or king has always rankled my anarchist intuitions. I cannot remember a time in my life when I didn’t hate authority figures, and that includes all anthropomorphic conceptions of God. But, also, Spinoza’s philosophical system requires being able to both think like a scientist and feel like an artist. As someone who attempted both science and art before becoming a philosopher, that speaks to me in a rather deep way.

  34. 34
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @32

    Do you seriously think, that PM knows what a MOSFET is ? And that it gets hot?

    I can use Google as well as the next person, and if the Wikipedia doesn’t make sense to me, I can ask my wife for a more basic explanation (she’s an engineer).

    So here’s a question: the kinds of machines that we build — let’s call them artifactual machines — tend to be in thermodynamic equilibrium with their environment unless energy is being dumped into them. When that happens, entropy increases unless there’s some way to couple the system with a cooling agent or mechanism.

    Why aren’t living things like that? Why is that living things tend to act in ways that allow them to maintain themselves far from thermodynamic equilibrium?

  35. 35
    relatd says:

    Martin_r at 32,

    Someone could show him a drawing.

    https://www.engineersedge.com/wwwboard/posts/12610.html

  36. 36
    Querius says:

    PyrrhoManiac1 @23,
    Previously posted:

    – ID is not synonymous with Creationism.
    – ID Takes no position on the source of the intelligent design.
    – ID recognizes that biological research based on the appearance of design advances scientific progress faster than the presumption of undirected random chance.

    Examples:

    – The presumption of over 100 supposedly useless “vestigial” organs such as the thyroid (an other ductless glands): useless vestiges of random, undirected evolution.

    – The presumption that 98.8% of our genome is “junk DNA,” now called “non-coding DNA,” as additional examples of vestiges of random, undirected evolution by Susumu Ohno, the originator of the term.

    NEW: Discovered in 2019, “Small proteins also promise to revise the current understanding of the genome. Many appear to be encoded in stretches of DNA—and RNA—that were not thought to help build proteins of any sort.
    https://www.science.org/content/article/new-universe-miniproteins-upending-cell-biology-and-genetics

    – The skeletal remains of extinct animals called dinosaurs supposedly lived roughly 65-250 million years ago were ALL supposedly petrified artifacts without any possibility for organic matter to survive. This was PREDICTED by Darwinism. It’s also failed, but Darwinists are grimly hanging on to the unscientific possibility that 100+ million years of background radiation miraculously allowed organic bone, stretchy connective tissue, and even red blood cells to survive (in Chile, a recent find of Ichthyosaurus remains included preserved soft tissue in strata dated to 130-140 million years ago).

    See also: Weak Anti_ID Arguments: https://uncommondescent.com/faq/

    Creationism assumes that a deity is the answer to the question:

    “Why is there something rather than nothing?”

    Christian beliefs include creationism, but creationism is NOT exclusive to Christianity.

    Yet for some reason I don’t see you and Andrew mocking Querius, Kairosfocus, Origenes, or StephenB for their “philosophical preening”.

    I will absolutely welcome any mockery, deserved or not, against my person for any observed or presumed “philosophical preening.” Philosophy was a general education requirement in college, and I found it almost intolerably boring and generally impractical. For example, I’m blissfully unaware of any instances where Philosophy has made anyone healthy, joyful, wealthy, or sexually attractive at a party.

    In the meantime, let me remind Darwinists of their twin gods-of-the-gaps, MUSTA and MIGHTA, who are frequently invoked by name in many breathless media announcements, scientific papers, and textbooks. They routinely fill in MASSIVE gaps in both origin-of-life research and the evolutionary development of massive complexity in living things and their ecosystems.

    -Q

  37. 37
    Jblais says:

    “Because we can approach the universe from more than one point of view. If we think like scientists, we collect particular facts and slowly fit them into a more comprehensive theory. If we feel like artists (or mystics?), we begin with an act of intuitively feeling the underlying pervasive unity of all things.”

    That doesn’t answer my question. The question was not “why do WE see a distinction” but “why IS there a distinction”. Is there a distinction or is there not ?

    “I would think the fundamental existential question that faces humanity is something a bit more tangible, such as “why gives my life purpose?” or “does humanity deserve to have a future?” or “why should care whether or not humanity becomes extinct?””

    None of these questions are fundamental and any answer given to them becomes absurd if there is no reason why our contingent world exist.

    ” For it to conceive of a possibility, yet not actualize that possibility, would mean that it refrains from acting on something that it could do. But then its power would not be absolutely unlimited.”

    That doesn’t follow. First, choosing not to do something does not entail that one’s power is not unlimited. Second, why would God care about “physicality” per se ? If a possible world exists in God’s mind, why suppose that God would care one bit about adding physicality to it ? From God’s point of view, that wouldn’t change or add anything.

    “So the question “why does our apparently contingent universe have the laws that it manifestly does?” would be answered as “because God necessarily does everything that He can conceive of, including bringing into existence this universe”.”

    Again, why think that God cares about giving physicality to possible worlds that exists in his mind ? Why would He care about things being “physical” at all ?

    “Firstly, he reasons that animals (including humans) only act purposively in order to satisfy a need, but God cannot have any needs, since there is nothing that He lacks, hence God cannot act purposively.”

    Again, that simply doesn’t follow. One can act with a purpose that has nothing to do with the satisfaction of a need.

    “Secondly, he reasons that we make choices only because we can’t do everything that we want to do. But God can do everything that He can conceive of. Hence God cannot make choices.”

    The idea that God’s creation is equivalent to humans making choices because of some tradeoffs is rather silly. If these are the reasons why Spinoza rejects theism, these are rather unsophisticated, I would even say childish…

    “In other words, Spinoza thinks that classical theism is just too anthropomorphic: we tend to imagine God as being a person, like us in lots of ways, just way more powerful. ”

    If that’s indeed what Spinoza’s idea of God was, then I’m afraid he didn’t understand anything about classical theism.

    “As for why I like this view: well, firstly, the idea of God as being anything like a lord, sovereign, or king has always rankled my anarchist intuitions. I cannot remember a time in my life when I didn’t hate authority figures, and that includes all anthropomorphic conceptions of God. ”

    We’ve all been teenagers at some point…

    Unfortunately, pantheism (Spinoza’s version or others) just cannot answer the only fundamental question of why the contingent physical reality exists and why it’s the way it is rather than some other way. Again, if there is a reason why the contingent physical reality exists, it can only be an intentional creative act from a transcendant God.

  38. 38
    Jblais says:

    “I cannot remember a time in my life when I didn’t hate authority figures”

    BTW, do you really think that all authority figures deserve hatred ?

  39. 39
    Jblais says:

    @PM1 @34
    “Why aren’t living things like that? Why is that living things tend to act in ways that allow them to maintain themselves far from thermodynamic equilibrium?”

    Probably because living things are “Maxwell’s demons”.

  40. 40
    martin_r says:

    PM

    your wife is an engineer ? What kind of engineer ?

  41. 41
    relatd says:

    “As for why I like this view: well, firstly, the idea of God as being anything like a lord, sovereign, or king has always rankled my anarchist intuitions. I cannot remember a time in my life when I didn’t hate authority figures, and that includes all anthropomorphic conceptions of God. ”

    ‘We’ve all been teenagers at some point…’

    Not a very good response. It’s not a logical view. ALL teenagers do not hate authority figures. I respected my parents, my teachers and other authority figures growing up.

  42. 42
    Jblais says:

    @Relatd
    Of course you’re right. Not all teenagers hate authority figures. But this rebellious attitude is more prevalent among teenagers than adults in my experience.

    One thing is for sure though, this is certainly not a good reason to reject theism…

  43. 43
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    That doesn’t answer my question. The question was not “why do WE see a distinction” but “why IS there a distinction”. Is there a distinction or is there not ?

    The highest form of knowledge (he would say) is to reject the distinction between God and the universe. It involves understanding that God is the only substance. By “substance” he means “something that be understood through itself alone”.

    Contra Aristotle, Spinoza thinks that a finite object — say, a glass of water — could only be understood in terms of the vastly complex processes that the glass is bound up with (where the raw materials came from, the factory where it was made, who made it, who designed it, how the glass was packaged, distributed, sold; where the water came from, how this particular water came to be flowing in the pipes that run into my house, etc.).

    But, Spinoza reasons, if there are any substances, there can be only one of them, and that substance cannot have any limitations or restrictions. If there were any restrictions on the substance, then one would need to go outside of the substance in order to understand it. So a substance could only count as a substance if it were absolutely unlimited in every possible sense, and that is how we define God.

    None of these questions are fundamental and any answer given to them becomes absurd if there is no reason why our contingent world exist.

    But there is, for Spinoza, a reason why our contingent universe exists: because God necessarily does everything that He can do, and creating the contingent universe in which we exist is one of those things.

    (It also follows, of course, that God also necessarily creates every physically possible universe.)

  44. 44
    Jblais says:

    “The highest form of knowledge (he would say) is to reject the distinction between God and the universe…. God is the only substance”. “But there is, for Spinoza, a reason why our contingent universe exists: because God necessarily does everything that He can do, and creating the contingent universe in which we exist is one of those things.”

    And that’s why pantheism is incoherent. Either God is the only thing that exists and then Schopenhauer’s critique applies ( “To call the world ‘God’ is not to explain it; it is only to enrich our language with a superfluous synonym”), or God create the contingent world and therefore is not identical to it. Which is it ?

  45. 45
    relatd says:

    PM1 at 43,

    Wha… what?

    “(It also follows, of course, that God also necessarily creates every physically possible universe.)”

    How do YOU know this? God creates and He called it good.

  46. 46
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @38

    BTW, do you really think that all authority figures deserve hatred ?

    The only form of authority that is worthy of respect is the teacher, and that is because the goal of teaching is for the student to cease to be a student. The teacher’s authority is ultimately self-negating, because if he’s done his job correctly, then the student will become the teacher’s equal.

    All other forms of authority can be tolerated, but not really respected.

  47. 47
    relatd says:

    PM1 at 46,

    Oh please. The student learns but never becomes the teacher’s equal. Unless he becomes a teacher. Depending on the subject: math, writing and history, for example, the best the teacher can do is impart useful knowledge. The student needs to pass the class, and depending on what job he wants, will apply this knowledge as best he can.

    The teacher’s authority is not derived from his title of “teacher.” It comes from the fact that all people deserve respect. Even criminals who do harm are treated as human beings after their arrest. Their humanity, even after doing a criminal act, is respected. Why? They broke the law and if found guilty, will be punished. However, if we are to call ourselves civilized, we need to be civil to all.

    The anarchist position has no appropriate place.

  48. 48
    Jblais says:

    Moreover, saying that God “necessarily does everything that He can do, and creating the contingent universe in which we exist is one of those things.”” does not provide a reason for why our contingent reality exists. Creation provides such reason only if God has a reason to create the contingent reality (e.g. to bring about free moral agents capable of relating to God). “Creating necessarily” is not creating at all, because then the contingent reality ultimately exists as a brute fact. Remember: “To call the world ‘God’ is not to explain it; it is only to enrich our language with a superfluous synonym”.

  49. 49
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @44

    And that’s why pantheism is incoherent. Either God is the only thing that exists and then Schopenhauer’s critique applies ( “To call the world ‘God’ is not to explain it; it is only to enrich our language with a superfluous synonym”), or God create the contingent world and therefore is not identical to it. Which is it ?

    Well, part of the issue here is that Spinoza, like Aristotle, assumed that the physical world was eternal. The idea that the physical universe could itself be a contingent thing was unimaginable to him. As I see it, a 21st century Spinozist who wants to update Spinoza in light of contemporary cosmology should say that God is not the Universe, but rather that God is the Multiverse.

    As for Schopenhauer: he was very clever, and a good writer, but quite weak at logical reasoning. He didn’t appreciate the power of pure a priori reason to disclose what must necessarily be true of everything that exists.

    To call the universe (or multiverse) God is not to explain it, nor to baptize it with a different name, but to call our attention to essential features of the universe (or multiverse) that we would fail to notice if we were only thinking empirically and not also metaphysically.

    @45

    How do YOU know this?

    Because I am able to follow a path of logical reasoning.

    God creates and He called it good.

    According to what reason tell us, or according to the soothing stories of Bronze Age shepherds?

  50. 50
    relatd says:

    PM1 at 49,

    You take a long-standing and uninformed position.

    “…according to the soothing stories of Bronze Age shepherds?”

    The Bible has God as its author. Human beings were used but God is the author.

    Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Edition.

    “136 God is the author of Sacred Scripture because he inspired its human authors; he acts in them and by means of them. He thus gives assurance that their writings teach without error his saving truth (cf. DV 11).”

    You may think otherwise but you then have to ignore this. Not a good idea.

  51. 51
    Jblais says:

    “The idea that the physical universe could itself be a contingent thing was unimaginable to him. As I see it, a 21st century Spinozist who wants to update Spinoza in light of contemporary cosmology should say that God is not the Universe, but rather that God is the Multiverse.”

    But that doesn’t work. The multiverse idea is completely irrelevant. Your position still boils down to answering the question of why our contingent physical reality exists and why it’s the way it is rather than some other way by saying that it exists necessarily. But the point, which you recognize yourself, is precisely that it is NOT necessary, it is contingent ! Saying that our contingent reality exists necessarily is not answering the question at all but denying what you were suppose to explain ! In fact, your view implies that there is no reason for why the contingent world exists and is the way it is.

    “To call the universe (or multiverse) God is not to explain it…”
    Indeed ! Pantheism does not provide any reason for why the contingent physical reality exists. It simply says that it is necessary, which is simply not true. Therefore it fails.

  52. 52
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @50

    I have no respect for the “teachings” of the Catholic Church. (Though I do like liberation theology and find much value in it.)

    @51

    It’s an interesting question, actually, whether we should believe that the universe is metaphysically contingent. The more I learn about philosophy of physics, the less clear it is me whether that’s even the right way of understanding modern cosmology. The idea of a “Big Bang” is based on general relativity: the model tells us that the universe has a boundary in the past, and that as we approach that boundary, the values of the curvature go to infinity — the so-called “singularity”.

    But, here’s the thing: general relativity is probably not the whole truth, because it’s not compatible with quantum mechanics. And we just don’t know right now which theory of quantum gravity will turn out to be the right one. But there are models of quantum gravity according to which the entirety of space-time is eternal, just as Aristotle and Spinoza thought the world is.

    In other words, it’s actually an open question in contemporary philosophy of physics whether the universe is contingent or not. It might not be! Or at least it might not be contingent in the sense of having had a beginning or cause.

    It could be contingent in some other sense, in the sense of needing a reason as to why the entirety of space-time is the way that is. But perhaps there too Spinoza is right: because it could not have been otherwise.

  53. 53
    Jblais says:

    @52
    It’s very surprising that you say you’re a philosopher and yet think that the contingency of physical reality depends on whether the universe is eternal or not. That’s got nothing to do with it.

    There’s simply nothing about physical objects (quantum fields, subatomic particles, atoms, molecules, macroscopic objects) that can justify thinking that there’s anything necessary about them. And that includes this bizarre reification of GR “spacetime” coordinate system that so many people make (space and time are of course our way of talking about rate of change and extension/distance of these physical objects). Whether these objects existed eternally or not they remain contingent. To think that if the universe existed eternally is the same as to say that it exists necessarily is a non sequitur. Thomas Aquinas e.g. thought that the universe had always existed but of course needed God to explain why there was this eternally existing (contingent) universe rather than nothing at all.

    “It could be contingent in some other sense, in the sense of needing a reason as to why the entirety of space-time is the way that is.”

    Precisely.

    “But perhaps there too Spinoza is right: because it could not have been otherwise.”

    Unfortunately Spinoza’s answer is not an answer because it does not provide any reason !

  54. 54
    Jblais says:

    @38
    “The only form of authority that is worthy of respect is the teacher”
    Are/were you a philosophy teacher ?

  55. 55
    bornagain77 says:

    “All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.”
    – Cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin of Tufts University in Boston – as stated in a presentation he delivered at Stephen Hawking’s 70th birthday party (Characterized as the ‘Worst Birthday Present Ever’) – January 2012
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....beginning/

    “There is another development in theoretical physics called the Borde, Guth, Vilenkin theorem. And its not based on General Relativity but its based on Special Relativity. And for that reason it is not effected by postulations about what gravity might or might not have been like in the first tiny smidgen of time after the beginning of the universe. And it is those speculations that prevented the Hawking, Penrose, Ellis, singularity theorem from absolutely proving a beginning point.
    Instead the Borde, Guth, Vilenkin, theorem proves a beginning to the universe on the basis of considerations from special relativity that have nothing to do with whether or not there were quantum fluctuations within the first tiny smidgen of time after the beginning of the universe, and whether gravity might have worked differently or not. Instead it is independent of all those kind of considerations and caveats that prevent us from saying that the Hawking, Penrose, Ellis, results are absolute proofs (for a beginning of the universe). Instead you have a very strong proof of a beginning from theoretical physics that is not dependent on these conditions.”,,,
    – Stephen Meyer Discusses the Big Bang, Einstein, Hawking, and More – video – 36:42 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/m_AeA4fMHhI?t=2202

    Inflationary spacetimes are not past-complete – 2003
    Arvind Borde,1, 2 Alan H. Guth,1, 3 and Alexander Vilenkin1
    Excerpt: we will construct a definition for H that depends only on the relative motion of the observer and test particles.
    In order to motivate what we do, we first consider the case of nonrelativistic velocities in Minkowski space. Suppose that the observer measures the velocities of the test particles as a function of the time t on his own clock.,,,
    IV. Discussion. Our argument shows that null and time- like geodesics are, in general, past-incomplete in inflationary models, whether or not energy conditions hold, provided only that the averaged expansion condition Hav > 0 holds along these past-directed geodesics. This is a stronger conclusion than the one arrived at in previous work [8] in that we have shown under reasonable assumptions that almost all causal geodesics, when extended to the past of an arbitrary point, reach the boundary of the inflating region of spacetime in a finite proper time (finite affine length, in the null case).
    https://www.brainmaster.com/software/pubs/physics/Inflation%20past0110012v2.pdf

    Science Journal Reaffirms Universe Had a Beginning, – Brian Miller – August 9, 2022
    Excerpt: Cyclical Cosmologies and the BGV Theorem
    Kinney and Stein applied the BGV theorem to the IS model, which I have previously critiqued. Anna Ijjas and Paul Steinhardt propose that the universe expanded, then contracted, and then bounced back into an expansion stage in a never-ending cycle. Each iteration grows vastly larger than the previous one, so the universe is on average always expanding. Kinney and Stein rigorously demonstrate that the BGV theorem mandates the IS model being “geodesically past-incomplete,” meaning that spacetime had an absolute beginning:
    “In this paper, we use the BGV theorem to demonstrate that growth in the scale factor inevitably means that the spacetime is geodesically past-incomplete. … This result is completely general: any bouncing spacetime which obeys the condition for entropy dissipation and the Null Energy Condition outside the bounce must be geodesically incomplete. This is consistent with the BGV theorem, which shows that any spacetime for which the average Hubble parameter is positive must be similarly geodesically incomplete. The IS cosmology satisfies this condition and therefore cannot be past eternal, independent of the details of the dynamics.”
    https://evolutionnews.org/2022/08/science-journal-reaffirms-universe-had-a-beginning-a-key-argument-in-meyers-god-hypothesis/

    Sabine Hossenfelder Asks: Will The Big Bang Repeat? – February 28, 2022
    Excerpt: Eternal inflation is eternal really only into the future. It has a finite past. You can calculate this just from the geometry. In a recent paper Kinney and Stein showed that this is also the case for a model of cyclic cosmology put forward by Ijjas and Steinhard has the same problem.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/sabine-hossenfelder-asks-will-the-big-bang-repeat/

  56. 56
    Querius says:

    Hmmm.

    It’s boiling down to Bornagain77 ‘s science links versus PhyrrhoManiac1’s philosophy and logic . . .

    So can you do science using only philosophy and logic without any experimental data? Didn’t the Greeks once try that?

    If so, it’s unlikely that quantum mechanics would ever have been considered. And even with quantum mechanics such as it is, Sabine Hossenfelder, a theoretical physicist, frequently complains about The Surfeit of Speculation and a Dearth of Data!

    In cosmology, the data are also problematic, especially for those who are ideologically committed to a naturalistic explanation. As a result, there’s a lot of interpretive squirming with the new data as it emerges. For example

    New Cosmology Anomaly Confirmed
    https://youtu.be/zVD99JF-dfE?t=161
    and
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/sabine-hossenfelder-on-an-anomaly-that-no-one-seems-to-be-investigating/

    So, regardless of the philosophical consequences, I’d rather see more data and try to find the most useful model rather than invoking the twin gods-of-the-gaps, MUSTA and MIGHTA, as do the Darwinists, or the triune cosmological gods-of-the-gaps, MULTIVERSE, DARK ENERGY, and DARK MATTER.

    -Q

  57. 57
    chuckdarwin says:

    Otangelo/7
    “Confessing Christ for me is the first goals (sic).”

    If indeed this true, we have nothing to discuss. By abandoning neutral principles ab initio, you make clear that you have an explicit non-scientific agenda, i.e. religious ideology, driving your project…….

  58. 58
    Jblais says:

    @BA
    Just to be clear, I fully agree that our best science shows that the universe had a begining at the big bang singularity and that the Borde Guth Vilenkin theorem is inescapable. Those that speculate that it may not have a begining are speculating without any empirical scientific basis. The only motivation of such speculations seem to be anti-theistic prejudices (which have been there in the physics establishement since the big bang theory was first proposed, see e.g. Fred Hoyle).

    And I think that the fact that the universe had a begining makes the contingency of our physical reality all the more striking and obvious. It allows for instance to argue for the Kalam cosmological argument version of the more general cosmological argument.

    My point was that even if we had found that the universe was eternal, it would still be contingent. This eternally existing universe still could have not existed or could have been different and so as much in need of an explanation. So atheists, naturalists, pantheists etc., would not be relieved of the need to say whether they think there is a reason for the existence of this eternally existing physical contingent reality, or whether it exists for no reason. Claiming (as they often do) that it is necessary doesn’t work because there simply is nothing necessary about it, otherwise we wouldn’t ask the question. The simple fact that we’re asking the question is proof that there’s nothing necessary about it otherwise we couldn’t conceive of its none existence or of its being different.

  59. 59
    vividbleau says:

    PMI
    Related “How do YOU know this?”

    PMI “Because I am able to follow a path of logical reasoning.”

    Actually you don’t know. Spinoza’s rationalism and I guess we can throw Descarte in there as well has numerous problems. I am indebted to Norman Geisler for some of the following.

    1) It is based on an invalid move from thought to reality, just because something is thinkable does not make it actual.

    2)The rationalists confuses undeniability with rational inescapability. One’s own non existence is logically possible, one’s affirmation of existence is undeniable. But in no case is it
    logically necessary that one exist.

    3) it fails to demonstrate that it’s first principles are rationally necessary.

    4) Finally logic is only a negative test for truth. It can tell us what is false but cannot in and of itself what must be true.

    Vivid

  60. 60
    tjguy says:

    We humans will never have 100% proof concerning the existence of a Creator so we all have to look at the data ourselves and decide what we think makes the most sense. For me it is clear that the data points unequivocally to a Creator. If others choose to believe something else or feel something else makes more sense, that’s their choice. We all must take responsibility for our choices – for what we choose to believe. We all believe in things that cannot be proven – ie worldview for one – so in that sense, we all have faith. We all choose what we will and will not believe.
    [Just an aside, but, “choosing what you will believe” doesn’t really make much sense from a Materialistic standpoint because in that worldview, it must be assumed that logic evolves, truth evolves, and even our brains evolved out of random dead chemicals. And we all know that they don’t evolve to necessarily be true. Materialists have to BELIEVE that their brain is able to and does accurately interpret the data. ID provides good rationalization for that assumption, but Materialism cannot account for logic, truth, or the trustworthiness of our brains. We are all stuck with the brains that evolution gives us and our thoughts are simply products of that system. We may think that WE actually are thinking these thoughts, but in reality, there is no “I”, “WE”, or even “ME”. It’s all just chemical reactions that fool us into thinking that we exist and have actually come to believe what we think we believe.]

    PyrrhoManiac1 says about Spinoza’s ideas:
    “As for why I like this view: well, firstly, the idea of God as being anything like a lord, sovereign, or king has always rankled my anarchist intuitions. I cannot remember a time in my life when I didn’t hate authority figures, and that includes all anthropomorphic conceptions of God.”

    Well, at least you are up front with your bias against God. We all have our biases. Huxley liked evolution/atheism because it meant that he was free to live his sex life however he wanted. But the Bible says that we have a sin nature and are naturally biased against God in that sense. It’s natural to want to live life our own way – this is the essence of what the Bible calls sin – but I seriously doubt that our wishes about who God is or is not has no relation whatsoever to reality. We can’t change who God is by hoping He is one way and not the other.

    Querius hit the nail on the head when he said: “Let me submit that in history, it’s been repeatedly demonstrated that people who don’t WANT to see the obvious will absolute not see the obvious.”

    “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” John 3:19

    Of course if you reject the Bible, then no one has any idea whatsoever of who God is or what He is like. But, IF God does exist and IF He did create us like the Bible says, then He must have had a reason for doing so, apart from fulfilling a personal need. (Spinoza arrogantly assumes this is impossible, but….) It’s not hard to imagine that God would communicate with us because apart from any revelation from Him, we humans would never know why we exist, who God is, or what, if any, expectations He has of us. We could not know anything about Him except that a very wise and powerful God exists.

    “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. SO THEY ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE.”

    I personally cannot argue with that! Imagine standing in front of God and trying to justify your rejection of Him by claiming that you thought it all happened by chance!

  61. 61
    bornagain77 says:

    As to PM1’s claim, “But perhaps there too Spinoza is right: because it could not have been otherwise.”

    If Spinoza did indeed argue that the universe “could not have been otherwise” then Spinoza was arguing directly against an essential philosophical presupposition that was necessary for rise of modern science in medieval Christian Europe.

    First a little background,,,, at the founding of the University system, which was an outgrowth of Christianity,

    Another development in the history of Christian education was the founding of universities. The origins of the university can be traced to the 12th century, and by the 13th century the medieval university had reached its mature form. Universities were founded during the rest of the Middle Ages throughout Europe and spread from there to other continents after the 16th century.,,
    Universities provided instruction in the liberal arts and advanced study in the disciplines of law, medicine, and, most importantly, theology. Many of the great theologians of the era, notably St. Thomas Aquinas, were associated with the universities.
    https://www.britannica.com/topic/Christianity/Forms-of-Christian-education

    At the founding of Universities in Medieval Christian Europe, ancient Greek philosophy was vigorously discussed and debated. As the following article notes, during the 12th to 16th Century, “Scholasticism is best known for its application in medieval Christian theology, especially in attempts to reconcile the philosophy of the ancient classical philosophers (particularly Aristotle) with Christian theology.

    Scholasticism
    Scholasticism is a Medieval school of philosophy (or, perhaps more accurately, a method of learning) taught by the academics of medieval universities and cathedrals in the period from the 12th to 16th Century. It combined Logic, Metaphysics and semantics into one discipline, and is generally recognized to have developed our understanding of Logic significantly.,,,
    Scholasticism is best known for its application in medieval Christian theology, especially in attempts to reconcile the philosophy of the ancient classical philosophers (particularly Aristotle) with Christian theology. However, in the High Scholastic period of the 14th Century, it moved beyond theology, and had applications in many other fields of study including Epistemology, Philosophy of Science, philosophy of nature, psychology and even economic theory.
    https://www.philosophybasics.com/movements_scholasticism.html

    During the period of intense discussion and debate in the Medieval Christian universities about the similarities and differences between Greek philosophy and Christian theology, one of the main conflicts that was found to exist between ancient Greek philosophy and Christian theology was the realization that Greek philosophy held to, basically, a deterministic and necessitarian view of creation, wherein the universe itself was considered to be eternal in its existence, whereas in Christian theology it was/is held that the universe was created by God and that the universe is, therefore, ‘contingent’, and/or dependent, upon the will of God for its existence.

    As the following article notes, “Aristotle,,, believed in the eternity of the world,,,, This view conflicted with the view of the Catholic Church that the world had a beginning in time. The Aristotelian view was prohibited in the Condemnations of 1210–1277”

    Eternity of the world
    Excerpt: The question of the eternity of the world was a concern for both ancient philosophers and the medieval theologians and philosophers of the 13th century. The question is whether the world has a beginning in time, or whether it has existed from eternity. The problem became a focus of a dispute in the 13th century, when some of the works of Aristotle, who believed in the eternity of the world, were rediscovered in the Latin West. This view conflicted with the view of the Catholic Church that the world had a beginning in time. The Aristotelian view was prohibited in the Condemnations of 1210–1277.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternity_of_the_world

    And in fact, it was this necessitarian and/or deterministic view of the universe in which the universe was held be eternally existent that prevented the ancient Greek philosophers from ever making the crucial breakthrough into experimental science.

    As the following article makes clear, “Both Greek and biblical thought asserted that the world is orderly and intelligible. But the Greeks held that this order is necessary and that one can therefore deduce its structure from first principles. Only biblical thought held that God created both form and matter, meaning that the world did not have to be as it is and that the details of its order can be discovered only by observation.”

    Is Christianity Unscientific? – Peter S. Williams
    “Both Greek and biblical thought asserted that the world is orderly and intelligible. But the Greeks held that this order is necessary and that one can therefore deduce its structure from first principles. Only biblical thought held that God created both form and matter, meaning that the world did not have to be as it is and that the details of its order can be discovered only by observation.”
    http://www.bethinking.org/does.....scientific

    In fact, it was only with the Church’s quote unquote, ‘outlawing’ of Aristotle’s deterministic and necessitarian view of creation, in which the universe itself was held to be eternally existent, that experimental science was finally able to find fertile ground, take root, and eventually flourish in Medieval Christian Europe,

    The War against the War Between Science and Faith Revisited – July 2010
    Excerpt: …With this in mind one can also hope to understand why the Muslims, who for five hundred years had studied Aristotle’s works and produced many commentaries on them failed to make a breakthrough. The latter came in medieval Christian context and just about within a hundred years from the availability of Aristotle’s works in Latin,,
    If science suffered only stillbirths in ancient cultures, how did it come to its unique viable birth? The beginning of science as a fully fledged enterprise took place in relation to two important definitions of the Magisterium of the Church. The first was the definition at the Fourth Lateran Council in the year 1215, that the universe was created out of nothing at the beginning of time. The second magisterial statement was at the local level, enunciated by Bishop Stephen Tempier of Paris who, on March 7, 1277, condemned 219 Aristotelian propositions, so outlawing the deterministic and necessitarian views of creation.
    These statements of the teaching authority of the Church expressed an atmosphere in which faith in God had penetrated the medieval culture and given rise to philosophical consequences.,,,
    http://www.scifiwright.com/201.....revisited/

    As the preceding article goes on to explain, in the Christian’s view of creation, “The cosmos was seen as contingent in its existence and thus dependent on a divine choice which called it into being; the universe is also contingent in its nature and so God was free to create this particular form of world among an infinity of other possibilities. Thus the cosmos cannot be a necessary form of existence; and so it has to be approached by a posteriori investigation. The universe is also rational and so a coherent discourse can be made about it. Indeed the contingency and rationality of the cosmos are like two pillars supporting the Christian vision of the cosmos.”

    The War against the War Between Science and Faith Revisited – July 2010
    Excerpt: The cosmos was seen as contingent in its existence and thus dependent on a divine choice which called it into being; the universe is also contingent in its nature and so God was free to create this particular form of world among an infinity of other possibilities. Thus the cosmos cannot be a necessary form of existence; and so it has to be approached by a posteriori investigation. The universe is also rational and so a coherent discourse can be made about it. Indeed the contingency and rationality of the cosmos are like two pillars supporting the Christian vision of the cosmos.
    – ibid

    Stephen Meyer put it like this, “The order in nature could have been otherwise (therefore) the job of the natural philosopher, (i.e. scientist), was not to ask what God must have done but (to ask) what God actually did.”

    Presupposition 1: The contingency of nature
    “In 1277, the Etienne Tempier, the bishop of Paris, writing with support of Pope John XXI, condemned “necessarian theology” and 219 separate theses influenced by Greek philosophy about what God could and couldn’t do.”,,
    “The order in nature could have been otherwise (therefore) the job of the natural philosopher, (i.e. the scientist), was not to ask what God must have done but (to ask) what God actually did.”
    – Stephen Meyer on Intelligent Design and The Return of the God Hypothesis – Hoover Institution
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_8PPO-cAlA

    The exact ‘logical details’ behind this ‘radical’ shift in reasoning from the Ancient Greek’s ‘necessitarian’ view of the universe, in which Greek philosophers “pronounced on how the world should behave, with insufficient attention to how the world in fact did behave.”,,,,

    “The emergence of modern science was associated with a disdain for the rationalism of Greek philosophers who pronounced on how the world should behave, with insufficient attention to how the world in fact did behave.”
    – Henry F. Schaefer III – Making Sense of Faith and Science – 23:30 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/C7Py_qeFW4s?t=1415

    ,,, (this ‘radical’ shift) to the Christian’s ‘contingent’ view of creation, (in which it was held that the universe ‘could have been otherwise’),,, the ‘logical details of this ‘radical’ shift apparently took a few centuries to work out. But this ‘radical’ new form of reasoning was eventually, and famously, elucidated by Francis Bacon in 1620 in his book “Novum Organum”. Which is translated as ‘New Method’.

    In the title of that book, Bacon is specifically referencing Aristotle’s work ‘Organon’, which was Aristotle’s treatise on logic and syllogism.

    The Organon and the logic perspective of computation – 2016
    Excerpt: The works of Aristotle on logic are collectively known as the Organon, that is, the ” instrument ” or ” tool ” of thought. In the ” Prior Analytics “, Aristotle introduced a list of inference rules that concern with the relation of premises to conclusion in arguments (syllogisms). His aim was to determine which kinds of arguments are valid. The validity of an argument is characterized and inferred based on its logical form (deduction) and for this reason Aristotle is considered as the father of formal logic.
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303407444_The_Organon_and_the_logic_perspective_of_computation

  62. 62
    bornagain77 says:

    Specifically, this ‘radical’ shift from a necessitarian view of the universe, to a contingent view of creation, represented a radical shift from the ‘top-down’ deductive form of reasoning of the Ancient Greeks, (which was the predominant form of reasoning for a few thousand years up until that time), to a ‘bottom-up’ inductive form of reasoning.

    Deductive and Inductive Reasoning (Bacon vs Aristotle – Scientific Revolution) – video
    Excerpt: Deductive reasoning, which uses general premises to arrive at a certain conclusion, has been around since Aristotle. In his book Novum Organum (1620, translated ‘new method’), Sir Francis Bacon advanced a new way of philosophical inquiry known as inductive reasoning, in which the inquirer comes to a probable conclusion based on several specific observations.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAdpPABoTzE

    Deductive vs. Inductive reasoning – top-down vs. bottom-up – graph
    https://i2.wp.com/images.slideplayer.com/28/9351128/slides/slide_2.jpg

    And indeed, ‘bottom-up’ inductive reasoning to a general truth, via repeated experimentation, ever since it was championed by Francis Bacon, has been the cornerstone of the scientific method. And has indeed been very, very, fruitful for man in gaining more accurate knowledge of the universe in that repeated experiments lead to more exacting, and illuminating, conclusions than is possible with the quote-unquote, “educated guesses” that follow from Aristotle’s deductive form of reasoning.

    Francis Bacon, 1561–1626
    Excerpt: Called the father of empiricism, Sir Francis Bacon is credited with establishing and popularizing the “scientific method” of inquiry into natural phenomena. In stark contrast to deductive reasoning, which had dominated science since the days of Aristotle, Bacon introduced inductive methodology—testing and refining hypotheses by observing, measuring, and experimenting. An Aristotelian might logically deduce that water is necessary for life by arguing that its lack causes death. Aren’t deserts arid and lifeless? But that is really an educated guess, limited to the subjective experience of the observer and not based on any objective facts gathered about the observed. A Baconian would want to test the hypothesis by experimenting with water deprivation under different conditions, using various forms of life. The results of those experiments would lead to more exacting, and illuminating, conclusions about life’s dependency on water.
    https://lib-dbserver.princeton.edu/visual_materials/maps/websites/thematic-maps/bacon/bacon.html

    Thus, the ancient Greek’s necessitarian belief that “The Universe (is) The Way It Is Because It’s The Only Way It Could Be” actually prevented them from from ever making the crucial breakthrough into modern science, whereas, on the other hand, it was only when the Christian’s belief that the universe is ‘contingent’ upon the will of God, and that the universe “could have been otherwise”, that experimental science finally found fertile ground, took root, and flourished.

    As Stephen Meyer noted, contingency “was a huge concept” that was important for the founding of modern science. “It could have been otherwise.”

    “That (contingency) was a huge concept (that was important for the founding of modern science). The historians of science call that ‘contingency’. The idea that nature has an order that is built into it. But it is an order that is contingent upon the will of the Creator. It could have been otherwise. Just as there are many ways to make a timepiece, or a clock,,, there are many different ways God could have ordered the universe. And it is up to us not to deduce that order from first principles, or from some intuitions that we have about how nature ought to be, but rather it is important to go out and see how nature actually is.”
    – Stephen Meyer – 5:00 minute mark – Andrew Klavan and Stephen Meyer Talk God and Science
    https://idthefuture.com/1530/

    And indeed, the Christian belief that the universe is ‘contingent’ upon the will of God played an integral role in Sir Isaac Newton’s founding of modern physics. As Newton himself stated, “The world might have been otherwise,,”

    Newton — Rationalizing Christianity, or Not? – Rosalind W. Picard – 1998
    Excerpt: The belief that it was by divine will and not by some shadow of necessity that matter existed and possessed its properties, had a direct impact on Newton’s science. It was necessary to discover laws and properties by experimental means, and not by rational deduction. As Newton wrote in another unpublished manuscript, “The world might have been otherwise,,” (see Davis, 1991)
    https://web.media.mit.edu/~picard/personal/Newton.php

    “Newton’s Rejection of the “Newtonian World View”: The Role of Divine Will in Newton’s Natural Philosophy – (Davis, 1991)
    Abstract Excerpt: Finally, Newton held that, since the world is a product of divine freedom rather than necessity, the laws of nature must be inferred from the phenomena of nature, not deduced from metaphysical axioms — as both Descartes and Leibniz were wont to do.
    http://home.messiah.edu/~tdavis/newton.htm

    ‘Without all doubt this world…could arise from nothing but the perfectly free will of God… From this fountain (what) we call the laws of nature have flowed, in which there appear many traces indeed of the most wise contrivance, but not the least shadow of necessity. These therefore we must not seek from uncertain conjectures, but learn them from observations and experiments.”,,,
    – Sir Isaac Newton – (Cited from Religion and the Rise of Modern Science by Hooykaas page 49).

    Thus, if Spinoza did indeed argue that the universe “could not have been otherwise” then Spinoza was arguing directly against an essential philosophical presupposition that was necessary for rise of modern science in medieval Christian Europe. To put it mildly, this does not reflect kindly of Spinoza’s philosophy.

    And although the belief in the contingency of the universe, (i.e. ‘Without all doubt this world…could arise from nothing but the perfectly free will of God”), was necessary for the founding of modern science in medieval Christian Europe, the futile belief that the universe has a ‘necessary’ existence, i.e. the universe “could not have been otherwise”, has, (and apparently via enlightenment thinking), crept back into science.

    This futile belief that the universe has a necessary existence, (i.e. the universe “could not have been otherwise”), plays out in modern physics in the atheist’s belief that there will be a single overarching mathematical ‘theory of everything” that will eventually be found that will, in principle, be capable of describing all phenomena in the universe.

    Theory of everything
    A theory of everything (TOE[1] or ToE), final theory, ultimate theory, or master theory is a hypothetical single, all-encompassing, coherent theoretical framework of physics that fully explains and links together all physical aspects of the universe.[2]:6 Finding a TOE is one of the major unsolved problems in physics.[3] String theory and M-theory have been proposed as theories of everything. Over the past few centuries, two theoretical frameworks have been developed that, together, most closely resemble a TOE. These two theories upon which all modern physics rests are general relativity and quantum mechanics. General relativity is a theoretical framework that only focuses on gravity for understanding the universe in regions of both large scale and high mass: stars, galaxies, clusters of galaxies, etc. On the other hand, quantum mechanics is a theoretical framework that only focuses on three non-gravitational forces for understanding the universe in regions of both small scale and low mass: sub-atomic particles, atoms, molecules, etc. Quantum mechanics successfully implemented the Standard Model that describes the three non-gravitational forces – strong nuclear, weak nuclear, and electromagnetic force – as well as all observed elementary particles.[4]:122
    General relativity and quantum mechanics have been thoroughly proven in their separate fields of relevance. Since the usual domains of applicability of general relativity and quantum mechanics are so different, most situations require that only one of the two theories be used.[5][6]:842–844 However, the two theories are considered incompatible in regions of extremely small scale – the Planck scale – such as those that exist within a black hole or during the beginning stages of the universe (i.e., the moment immediately following the Big Bang). To resolve the incompatibility, a theoretical framework revealing a deeper underlying reality, unifying gravity with the other three interactions, must be discovered to harmoniously integrate the realms of general relativity and quantum mechanics into a seamless whole: the TOE is a single theory that, in principle, is capable of describing all phenomena in the universe.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_everything

  63. 63
    bornagain77 says:

    To put it mildly, describing all phenomena in the universe is a rather ambitious goal for any single mathematical theory of science to ever hope to achieve.

    But be that as it may, Kurt Gödel, via his incompleteness theorems, “halted the achievement of a unifying all-encompassing theory of everything in his theorem that: “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove”

    “Gödel’s incompleteness theorem (1931), proves that there are limits to what can be ascertained by mathematics. Kurt Gödel halted the achievement of a unifying all-encompassing theory of everything in his theorem that: “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove”,,,
    – Stephen Hawking & Leonard Miodinow, The Grand Design (2010)

    And as Stanley Jaki explained,

    Gödel and Physics – John D. Barrow
    Excerpt (page 5-6): “Clearly then no scientific cosmology, which of necessity must be highly mathematical, can have its proof of consistency within itself as far as mathematics go. In absence of such consistency, all mathematical models, all theories of elementary particles, including the theory of quarks and gluons…fall inherently short of being that theory which shows in virtue of its a priori truth that the world can only be what it is and nothing else. This is true even if the theory happened to account for perfect accuracy for all phenomena of the physical world known at a particular time.”
    – Stanley Jaki – Cosmos and Creator – 1980, pg. 49
    http://arxiv.org/pdf/physics/0612253.pdf

    And as David Goldman explained, “we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable.”

    The God of the Mathematicians – David P. Goldman – August 2010
    Excerpt: we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel’s critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes.
    http://www.firstthings.com/art.....ematicians

    In short, “Kurt Gödel had dropped a bomb on the foundations of mathematics. Math could not play the role of God as infinite and autonomous.”

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

    Moreover, as if Godel’s incompleteness was not already devastating enough to Atheistic physicists who hope to find a single ‘mathematical ‘theory of everything’, Gregory Chaitin has now shown that “what Gödel discovered was just the tip of the iceberg: an infinite number of true mathematical theorems exist that cannot be proved from any finite system of axioms.”

    The Limits Of Reason – Gregory Chaitin – 2006
    Excerpt: Unlike Gödel’s approach, mine is based on measuring information and showing that some mathematical facts cannot be compressed into a theory because they are too complicated. This new approach suggests that what Gödel discovered was just the tip of the iceberg: an infinite number of true mathematical theorems exist that cannot be proved from any finite system of axioms.
    https://www.cs.virginia.edu/~robins/The_Limits_of_Reason_Chaitin_2006.pdf

    This presents an irremediably difficult situation for those atheists who hope to find a purely mathematical theory of everything that makes no reference to God. As the late Steven Weinberg, an atheist, confessed to Richard Dawkins, “I don’t think one should underestimate the fix we are in. That in the end we will not be able to explain the world. That we will have some set of laws of nature (that) we will not be able to derive them on the grounds simply of mathematical consistency. Because we can already think of mathematically consistent laws that don’t describe the world as we know it. And we will always be left with a question ‘why are the laws nature what they are rather than some other laws?’. And I don’t see any way out of that.”

    “I don’t think one should underestimate the fix we are in. That in the end we will not be able to explain the world. That we will have some set of laws of nature (that) we will not be able to derive them on the grounds simply of mathematical consistency. Because we can already think of mathematically consistent laws that don’t describe the world as we know it. And we will always be left with a question ‘why are the laws nature what they are rather than some other laws?’. And I don’t see any way out of that.
    The fact that the constants of nature are suitable for life, which is clearly true, we observe,,,”
    (Weinberg then comments on the multiverse conjecture of atheists)
    “No one has constructed a theory in which that is true. I mean,, the (multiverse) theory would be speculative, but we don’t even have a theory in which that speculation is mathematically realized. But it is a possibility.”
    Steven Weinberg – as stated to Richard Dawkins at the 8:15 minute mark of the following video
    Leonard Susskind – Richard Dawkins and Steven Weinberg – 1 in 10^120 Cosmological Constant points to intelligent design – video
    https://youtu.be/z4E_bT4ecgk?t=495

    And although atheists, via the late Weinberg, are, self-admittedly, are in a pretty bad ‘fix’, the Christian Theist has a ready explanation. As Bruce Gordon explains, “the transcendent reality on which our universe depends must be something that can exhibit agency – a mind that can choose among the infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bring into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them.”

    Bruce Gordon: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: ,,,The physical universe is causally incomplete and therefore neither self-originating nor self-sustaining. The world of space, time, matter and energy is dependent on a reality that transcends space, time, matter and energy.
    This transcendent reality cannot merely be a Platonic realm of mathematical descriptions, for such things are causally inert abstract entities that do not affect the material world,,,
    Rather, the transcendent reality on which our universe depends must be something that can exhibit agency – a mind that can choose among the infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bring into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them. This is what “breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe.” Anything else invokes random miracles as an explanatory principle and spells the end of scientific rationality.,,,
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

  64. 64
    bornagain77 says:

    And it is not as if ID proponents do not already have sufficient reason to believe that free will must be involved in choosing among an “infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bring(ing) into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them.”

    As Douglas S. Robertson explains, “Human mathematicians are able to create axioms, but a computer program cannot do this without violating information conservation. Creating new axioms and free will are shown to be different aspects of the same phenomena: the creation of new information.”

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

    In fact, modern science was born out of the Judeo-Christian belief that any mathematics that might describe this universe are to be considered ‘God’s thoughts’.

    As Johannes Kepler stated shortly after discovering the third law of planetary motion, “O, Almighty God, I am thinking Thy thoughts after Thee!”

    “O, Almighty God, I am thinking Thy thoughts after Thee!”
    – Johannes Kepler – book five of The Harmonies of the World (1619)

    God In Mathematics – 2016
    Jerry Bowyer – Interview with Vern Poythress
    Excerpt: The standard modern culture-war revolves around God vs. the mathematical sciences. Take your choice: Faith or physics. Then there are the voices of mutual toleration, which attempt to leave room for science among the faithful and for faith among the scientific. Poythress, though, taps into a different tradition entirely, one which is seldom heard in modern debate: That God and science are neither enemies, nor partners, but rather that God is the necessary foundation for mathematics and therefore of every science which uses it.
    The argument is that mathematical laws, in order to be properly relied upon, must have attributes which indicate an origin in God. They are true everywhere (omnipresent), true always (eternal), cannot be defied or defeated (omnipotent), and are rational and have language characteristics (which makes them personal). Omnipresent, omnipotent, eternal, personal… Sounds like God. Math is an expression of the mind of God. Sound strange? It isn’t. Modern natural science was created by people who said that they were trying to “think God’s thoughts after Him.”
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jerrybowyer/2016/04/19/where-does-math-come-from-a-mathematiciantheologian-talks-about-the-limits-of-numbers/

    And as Edward Feser explains, “Mathematical truths exhibit infinity, necessity, eternity, immutability, perfection, and immateriality because they are God’s thoughts, and they have such explanatory power in scientific theorizing because they are part of the blueprint implemented by God in creating the world.”

    Keep It Simple – Edward Feser – 2020
    Excerpt: Mathematics appears to describe a realm of entities with quasi-­divine attributes. The series of natural numbers is infinite. That one and one equal two and two and two equal four could not have been otherwise. Such mathematical truths never begin being true or cease being true; they hold eternally and immutably. The lines, planes, and figures studied by the geometer have a kind of perfection that the objects of our ­experience lack. Mathematical objects seem immaterial and known by pure reason rather than through the senses. Given the centrality of mathematics to scientific explanation, it seems in some way to be a cause of the natural world and its order.
    How can the mathematical realm be so apparently godlike? The traditional answer, originating in Neoplatonic philosophy and Augustinian theology, is that our knowledge of the mathematical realm is precisely knowledge, albeit inchoate, of the divine mind. Mathematical truths exhibit infinity, necessity, eternity, immutability, perfection, and immateriality because they are God’s thoughts, and they have such explanatory power in scientific theorizing because they are part of the blueprint implemented by God in creating the world. For some thinkers in this tradition, mathematics thus provides the starting point for an argument for the existence of God qua supreme intellect.
    https://www.firstthings.com/article/2020/04/keep-it-simple

    Also see Wigner and Einstein on the ‘miracle’ of the applicability of mathematics to the universe

    Moreover, free will even plays out in quantum mechanics itself. As Anton Zeilinger noted, “what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”

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

    Cosmic Bell Test Using Random Measurement Settings from High-Redshift Quasars – Anton Zeilinger – 14 June 2018
    Excerpt: This experiment pushes back to at least approx. 7.8 Gyr ago the most recent time by which any local-realist influences could have exploited the “freedom-of-choice” loophole to engineer the observed Bell violation, excluding any such mechanism from 96% of the space-time volume of the past light cone of our experiment, extending from the big bang to today.
    https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.080403

    Moreover, when we rightly allow the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics, (as the Christian founders of modern science originally held with the presupposition of ‘contingency’), and as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands with the closing of the “freedom-of-choice” loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company), then rightly allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics provides us with a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead bridges the infinite mathematical divide that exists between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics and provides us with an empirically backed reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything”

    Oct. 2022 – although there will never be, (via Godel), a purely mathematical ‘theory of everything’ that bridges the infinite mathematical divide that exists between quantum mechanics and general relativity, all hope is not lost in finding the correct ‘theory of everything’.
    https://uncommondescent.com/cosmology/from-iai-news-how-infinity-threatens-cosmology/#comment-766384

    Verse:

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

  65. 65
    Origenes says:

    Jblais@ PM1@

    PM1: For it to conceive of a possibility, yet not actualize that possibility, would mean that it refrains from acting on something that it could do. But then its power would not be absolutely unlimited.

    Jblais: That doesn’t follow. First, choosing not to do something does not entail that one’s power is not unlimited.

    Jblais is right. I have no doubt that I have the power to pour my coffee on my keyboard. The fact that I choose not to do it, does not in any way disprove that power. There is absolutely no rational connection between a lack of power and choosing not to do something. What utter nonsense!

  66. 66
    Jblais says:

    @Tjguy/60
    Very well said.

  67. 67
    Origenes says:

    I reject Spinoza’s concept that everything exists that can exist. It is simply absurd. Are there infinite versions of Auschwitz in Spinoza’s multiverse God? Is there a version of Auschwitz in universe X where two microbes are sitting on the northern fence and in universe Y an identical version of Auschwitz only with the three microbes on the northern fence?
    And BTW why not make an infinite amount of the exact same universes? He can do it, His powers are unlimited and allegedly He cannot stop Himself ….
    Why do people come up with these ideas? Utter madness.

  68. 68
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @53

    I think it should be underscored that you and I agree in our commitment to the principle of sufficient reason: for any fact, there is a reason why that fact obtains. The disagreement is whether Spinoza violates the PSR.

    As I see it, Spinoza’s necessitarianism comes directly out of his commitment to the PSR: the reason why things are as they are is that they could not have been otherwise. By contrast, if the universe were created by a transcendent God, then it’s hard to see how that would not violate the PSR.

    Here’s why: if the universe were created by mere fiat by a transcendent being, one who is wholly other to us and ultimately unknowable, then we cannot know why He chose to create it at all, or why He chose to create it as He did. We might be assured that “the Lord works in mysterious ways” or “He has a plan”, but His ways and plans are unknowable to us. We must accept on faith that His ways and plans are ultimately to our benefit, regardless of how they seem. And anything that we can know of Him involves His revelation, but we cannot know why He chooses where, when, and how He reveals himself.

    As I see it, the only way Spinoza could be refuted is if we abandon the commitment to the principle of sufficient reason. What makes Spinoza such an interesting and compelling figure in the history of philosophy is he made a fully systematic, comprehensive project out of eliminating faith, in order to articulate a purely rational worldview.

    This illuminates for me why Kant’s project can be understood as a systematic refutation of Spinozism, attacking at the foundation the pretension of pure reason to know the Absolute, and which Kant describes as “I had to deny knowledge in order to make room for faith”.

    @65

    But your power is limited by something — your will. You have the power to do something, but your will restricts that power from acting.

    Spinoza’s point is that if we are to understand God as a being of absolutely unlimited power and think carefully about what that really commits us, we must conclude that nothing can restrict God’s power from acting — certainly not His will, since Spinoza argues that for God, will and intellect are one and the same thing; He necessarily does everything that He can conceive of, and He can conceive of everything that is logically possible.

    The interesting question is whether it’s really acceptable to collapse possibility into necessity as Spinoza does, and if that’s unacceptable (but why?) then how can the distinction between possibility, actuality, and necessity be upheld?

  69. 69
    Jblais says:

    “Spinoza’s necessitarianism comes directly out of his commitment to the PSR: the reason why things are as they are is that they could not have been otherwise.”

    That doesn’t make sense. Spinoza’s view collapses to saying that the obviously contingent world in which we live is necessary, which is simply false. Simply asserting that a contingent reality (in need of explanation), is in fact necessary, cannot be an explanation and thus cannot provide a reason because it is simply refusing to acknowledge the thing to be explained.

    As I said, there simply is nothing necessary about physical reality, otherwise the question wouldn’t arise. The simple fact that we’re asking the question is proof that there’s nothing necessary about it otherwise we couldn’t conceive of its none existence or of its being different.

    “…we cannot know why He chose to create it at all, or why He chose to create it as He did.”

    The fact that we cannot know for sure why God created the world doesn’t change anything to the fact that creation entails a purposeful intention i.e. a reason. Therefore, if the world was created, we can know that there’s a reason for its existence, from the mere fact that it was (intentionaly) created.

    “…the only way Spinoza could be refuted is if we abandon the commitment to the principle of sufficient reason.”

    That’s completely backward. It is Spinoza who has abandon the PSR by thinking that sticking the label “necessary” onto an obviously contingent reality could count as providing a reason for its existence. It obviously cannot.

    “What makes Spinoza such an interesting and compelling figure in the history of philosophy is he made a fully systematic, comprehensive project out of eliminating faith, in order to articulate a purely rational worldview.”

    That project failed completely in my opinion. Faith is unavoidable. You have to commit one way or another without ever having an absolute proof. Either the contingent world has a reason for its existence and that reason can only come from a transcendant intentional creative act, or there’s no reason for its existence (violating the PSR). Trying to deny the contingency of the world by fiat (as Spinoza tried to do) is just denial. The world is contingent.

  70. 70
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @69

    I definitely don’t think it is obvious that the world is contingent. The sheer fact that we can imagine the world as being other than it is, doesn’t show that it really could have been other than it is.

    After all, we can imagine a winged horse named Pegasus. That’s easy enough! But is Pegasus really possible? Spinoza would certainly say that to really conceive of Pegasus, one would need to know how the bones and muscles of the wings attach to the body, how the brain is organized for controlling the three-dimensional movement of flying as well as ordinary horse movements, and how Pegasus is either able to conform to the laws of aerodynamics or else what it is about Pegasus that allows him to violate the laws of aerodynamics.

    Without all that (and much more) we’re not really conceiving of Pegasus, we’re just imagining him.

    The lesson from this is, not everything that we think that we’re conceiving of, we are really conceiving of. It might seem as if Pegasus is possible, if we’re merely imagining him, but when we really focus our minds on everything that it required for Pegasus, we realize that Pegasus is not really possible.

    Likewise, I think it would be a mistake to assume that the world really is metaphysically contingent just because we can imagine things having been otherwise.

    That project failed completely in my opinion. Faith is unavoidable. You have to commit one way or another without ever having an absolute proof. Either the contingent world has a reason for its existence and that reason can only come from a transcendant intentional creative act, or there’s no reason for its existence (violating the PSR).

    But if I’m right about what the doctrine of Creation entails, then that too violates the PSR. So the PSR would end up being violated regardless of whether or not the world was created by a transcendent personal God.

  71. 71
    Jblais says:

    “But your power is limited by something — your will. You have the power to do something, but your will restricts that power from acting.”

    I’m sorry but this doesn’t make any sense. You can’t claim that the will and the person are two different things and that one can somehow “block” the other. That’s incoherent.
    The “you” and the “your will” in your second sentence “YOU have the power to do something, but YOUR WILL restricts that power from acting.” refer to the same subject.

    If I choose not to exercise one of my power, that of course doesn’t deprive me from that power. It just shows that I’m in control of my powers ! It’s actually the opposite that would show a limitation. If I can’t control my powers, I’m obviously not all powerful because that would mean that something beyond myself (beyond my will), decides whether my powers are used or not…

  72. 72
    Jblais says:

    “After all, we can imagine a winged horse named Pegasus. That’s easy enough! But is Pegasus really possible? Spinoza would certainly say that to really conceive of Pegasus, one would need to know how the bones and muscles of the wings attach to the body, how the brain is organized for controlling the three-dimensional movement of flying as well as ordinary horse movements, and how Pegasus is either able to conform to the laws of aerodynamics or else what it is about Pegasus that allows him to violate the laws of aerodynamics.”

    That example is irrelevant because that would refer to an example of nomological (physical) necessity at best while the issue at stake is one of logical necessity. A necessity of that kind is a truth that obviously hold in all possible world. We can’t conceive of a world in which 2+2=4 isn’t true. That’s why no one asks for an explanation for why 2+2=4 (once they know what “2”, “+”, “=”, and “4” mean). Because it is obviously necessary, therefore no further question arises.

  73. 73
    bornagain77 says:

    Is it just me, or is Jblais really taking PM1 ‘sophisticated’ philosophical ramblings completely apart as if it is child’s play for him?

    If only PM1 would honestly listen to him.

  74. 74
    Jblais says:

    “…if I’m right about what the doctrine of Creation entails, then that too violates the PSR. ”
    That’s a huge IF. Creation entails a purposeful intention i.e. a reason, by definition.

  75. 75
    Origenes says:

    Bornagain77 @73

    Is it certainly not just you. Jblais makes the whole PM1/Spinoza/multiverse collapse like a house of cards.

  76. 76
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @75

    That’s a huge IF. Creation entails a purposeful intention i.e. a reason, by definition.

    But not one that is knowable by us. That’s why the whole doctrine of Creation must take refuge in “faith”, which amounts to giving up on the PSR.

  77. 77
    Jblais says:

    “That’s why the whole doctrine of Creation must take refuge in “faith”, which amounts to giving up on the PSR.”

    On the contrary ! Having faith in creation is having faith in the PSR ! Again, the fact that we may not know for sure the exact reason doesn’t change the fact that creation entails that there exists such a reason by definition.

    Moreover, monotheistic traditions hold that God is truth, goodness and beauty, and so the reason seems to be very plausibly to bring about free moral creatures capable of appreciating and striving for these transcendentals and thus come into contact with God. Which seems perfectly reasonable.

  78. 78
    Origenes says:

    PM1@ 76
    Can you elaborate? Faith provides us with a reason and a cause for creation. The PSR informs us that everything must have a reason or a cause. How exactly does faith amount to “giving up on PSR”?

  79. 79
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @77

    On the contrary ! Having faith in creation is having faith in the PSR ! Again, the fact that we may not know for sure the exact reason doesn’t change the fact that creation entails that there exists such a reason by definition.

    A reason that we cannot know might as well not be a reason at all.

  80. 80
    Jblais says:

    “A reason that we cannot know might as well not be a reason at all.”

    I don’t understand why you think that. A reason is a reason and creation, by virtue of being an intentional purposeful act, provides a reason by definition. Our knowledge, or lack thereof, is irrevelant. The creative intention is itself a sufficient reason.

  81. 81
    Jblais says:

    If you see a painting, you may not know the detailed motivations of the painter, but you would certainly not claim that because of this lack of knowledge, therefore the painting may exists for no reason at all!

  82. 82
    Origenes says:

    Providing a possible cause for something, cannot be interpreted as giving up on the idea that things have causes.

  83. 83
    bornagain77 says:

    A little trip down memory lane,

    Origenes: “Does rationality require a person who is in control of his thoughts?”

    PyrrhoManiac1: “No, I don’t think so.”
    https://uncommondescent.com/mind/the-thought-that-stops-thought/#comment-771052

    Game over.

    (1) rationality implies a thinker in control of thoughts.
    (2) under materialism a thinker is an effect caused by processes in the brain (determinism).
    (3) in order for materialism to ground rationality a thinker (an effect) must control processes in the brain (a cause). (1)&(2)
    (4) no effect can control its cause.
    Therefore materialism cannot ground rationality.
    per Box UD

    Moreover, besides PM1’s claim being logically self refuting, it is also contradicted by empirical science. Specifically, it is now found that, for decisions that matter, there is no ‘readiness potential’ in the brain. In short, we are in control of decisions that matter. i.e. We are in ‘control of our thoughts’,

    New Brain Research Supports Free Will – Denyse O’Leary – January 19, 2023
    Excerpt: Decisions that matter are a small but important subset of the ones we make every day. But they are also precisely the ones where we consider free will to be important. In 2019, a research team studying brain patterns found a way to test a distinction between important and unimportant outcomes:
    “They presented participants with a choice of two nonprofit organizations to which they could donate $1,000. People could indicate their preferred organization by pressing the left or right button. In some cases, participants knew that their choice mattered because the button would determine which organization would receive the full $1,000. In other cases, people knowingly made meaningless choices because they were told that both organizations would receive $500 regardless of their selection.”
    ( – Alessandra Buccella, Tomáš Dominik, “free Will Is Only An Illusion If You Are, Too” At Scientific American. (January 16, 2023);)
    And then the researchers discovered a surprising thing: “Meaningless choices were preceded by a readiness potential, just as in previous experiments. Meaningful choices were not, however. When we care about a decision and its outcome, our brain appears to behave differently than when a decision is arbitrary.”,,,
    Abstract: The readiness potential (RP) — a key ERP correlate of upcoming action — is known to precede subjects’ reports of their decision to move. Some view this as evidence against a causal role for consciousness in human decision-making and thus against free-will. But previous work focused on arbitrary decisions — purposeless, unreasoned, and without consequences. It remains unknown to what degree the RP generalizes to deliberate, more ecological decisions. We directly compared deliberate and arbitrary decision-making during a $1000-donation task to non-profit organizations. While we found the expected RPs for arbitrary decisions, they were strikingly absent for deliberate ones. Our results and drift-diffusion model are congruent with the RP representing accumulation of noisy, random fluctuations that drive arbitrary — but not deliberate — decisions. They further point to different neural mechanisms underlying deliberate and arbitrary decisions, challenging the generalizability of studies that argue for no causal role for consciousness in decision-making to real-life decisions.
    – Uri Maoz, Gideon Yaffe, Christof Koch, Liad Mudrik (2019) Neural Precursors Of Decisions That Matter — An Erp Study Of Deliberate And Arbitrary Choice Elife 8:e39787
    https://evolutionnews.org/2023/01/new-brain-research-supports-free-will/

  84. 84
    Origenes says:

    Not all realities that are possible can be brought into existence at the same time.
    For instance, Spinoza’s God can easily conceive of a multiverse that contains 40.000 chairs in total. However, He can also conceive of a multiverse with 40.001 chairs.
    What is Spinozas’ God to do here? He is all-powerful and brings compulsively into reality what is possible. However, both multiverses cannot be actual at the same time.
    It seems that He has to make a choice …

    PM1@ But God can do everything that He can conceive of. Hence God cannot make choices.

    Well, He can conceive of both multiverses, what is He going to do?

  85. 85
    relatd says:

    Let’s bow down and worship men since worshiping God is out of the question. That’s all that’s going on here.

  86. 86
    relatd says:

    Origenes at 84,

    Not to be overly critical of PM1 but the Bible is foolishness to him. Some uneducated shepherds wrote it. God’s will is also a mystery but God can and does exercise His will.

    Isaiah 55:11

    “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

    It is difficult for some, like Seversky, to see God as anything other than a man. Yet both he and PM1 will make comments about God while lacking any comprehensive knowledge about Him.

  87. 87
    AnimatedDust says:

    PM1 re: Spinoza, have you ever considered the possibility that your alignment with Spinoza is nothing more substantial than that you are Spinozan because of your personal preference of what you want the universe/God to be?

    That’s what it seems. He articulated something, and your preference is the singular criterion of its objective truth.

    Building castles in mid-air, are we?

  88. 88
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @80

    I don’t understand why you think that. A reason is a reason and creation, by virtue of being an intentional purposeful act, provides a reason by definition. Our knowledge, or lack thereof, is irrevelant. The creative intention is itself a sufficient reason.

    A reason that cannot be known, cannot make a difference to how we live. It is epistemically and motivationally idle: it cannot function as a reason for why we should do one thing rather than another, or believe one thing rather than another.

    We might have faith that there is a reason, but if we cannot know it, then it is our faith that is guiding us, not our reasoning. And when it comes to one’s personal choices, then sure, faith is fine. But it becomes a problem when one’s choices affect other people who don’t share one’s faith: if one is unable to give reasons for one’s choices, then others cannot consent to actions that affect them.

    @81

    If you see a painting, you may not know the detailed motivations of the painter, but you would certainly not claim that because of this lack of knowledge, therefore the painting may exists for no reason at all!

    Indeed I wouldn’t. But that’s because I can draw upon general knowledge about human nature, based on millennia of observation and inference as well as my own personal life-experience. I can know that the artist was a human being much like myself, whose senses and body were similar to mine in many ways. And in many cases, even knowing fairly general truths about history and culture allow us to make educated guesses about why an artist chose what to create and how to create it.

    A few weeks ago, I saw an amazing exhibit about a Renaissance Venetian painter named Vittore Carpacchio. I had never heard of him and knew nothing about his life. But knowing that he lived in Venice during the Renaissance, and knowing something about that time and place, allowed me to appreciate his art. (I was particularly struck by his 1502 “Saint Augustine in His Study“.)

    But we cannot do any of that with regard to a transcendent Being — we cannot observe Him, study Him, compare Him with others His Kind (since He has no kind), etc. We have at most only that which He reveals of Himself, and we cannot know why He reveals Himself where, when, and how He does.

  89. 89
    relatd says:

    PM1 at 88,

    Only the observable matters. This is a dangerous position to hold and contradictory to right reason. Since God cannot be studied by science then He is mostly fictional or does not exist. Again, you reject the words of the prophets and the reality of Jesus Christ as described in the Bible.

  90. 90
    Jblais says:

    @88
    OK let me try to summarize what seems to be your position:

    1) Because the transcendant God cannot be directly observed, studied, or compared, our knowledge of Him is limited to revelation
    2) Because our knowledge is thus limited, we cannot be sure of what His reasons for creating the world are
    3) Therefore, faith in God “cannot make a difference to how we live. It is epistemically and motivationally idle: it cannot function as a reason for why we should do one thing rather than another, or believe one thing rather than another.”

    This view seems to be completely dependant on rejecting any revelation. After all, the point of e.g. the Christian incarnation, is to give us knowledge of who God is and what the ideal way of being a human is (Jesus’ way) and the point of all this (love). If one accepts it, it certainly does make “a difference to how we live” and is certainly “epistemically and motivationally” transformative and “it can function as a reason for why we should do one thing rather than another, or believe one thing rather than another.”

    So your view seems to dismiss that kind of revelation a priori and prefer a worldview that ultimately offers no reason at all for why we exist. I think this is getting everything backward. Indeed, before dismissing all/any revelations, you should first decide whether theism or atheism/pantheism/naturalism is the most coherent worldview, and then look at what the different religious traditions have to say about God and the way He reveals Himself to humanity. Not start by dismissing revelation and then say that because our knowledge of God is limited (because revelation is deemed useless), therefore He doesn’t exist, which seems to me like a strange way to reason.

  91. 91
    AnimatedDust says:

    PM1 @ 88. You’re a victim of your flawed reasoning. You state as fact that those reasons cannot be known. An open minded reading of Scripture provides those answers. And when you reason about that, all the blanks get filled in. (notice I said reason, not accept as blind faith, which is what you will accuse me of having, while you’re the one commiting the contradictory to right reason as Relatd just said above.)

    You’re dismissing the Bible because you demand the how questions answered. The Bible isn’t big on how. It is very big on why. And it had to be understandable to every human, of all ages of human existence. That’s why you need to drop your current cultural lenses, and open your mind. That would come with true humility. You’re on a very flimsy skeptical scaffold, preventing your questions from being answered, because you’re asking them wrongly.

    The Bible isn’t written TO you. It’s written FOR you. Humble yourself, and become wise.

  92. 92
    relatd says:

    AD at 91,

    Oh the Bible is big on “how.” God creates from nothing. As God, He needs no pre-existing material to work with. Jesus, as God, multiplied a small number of loaves and fishes to feed a large group of people. He raised Lazarus from the dead. God, as God, can do this.

  93. 93
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @89

    Only the observable matters.

    Up to a point: yes, accounts ought to be constrained by models, and models ought to be constrained by data.

    That’s not to say that everything of significance is measurable and that if it’s not measurable, it’s not important.

    This is a dangerous position to hold and contradictory to right reason.

    I’m not a strict empiricist or positivist. I’m fine with logic and mathematics precisely because they do not concern what exists.

    Since God cannot be studied by science then He is mostly fictional or does not exist.

    I am fine with whatever it is that reason can establish about God.

    Again, you reject the words of the prophets and the reality of Jesus Christ as described in the Bible.

    Oh, absolutely, 100%.

  94. 94
    Jblais says:

    I should add that even if one doesn’t find any revelation presented in religious traditions convincing, that would still not be in itself a reason to reject monotheism. There have been plenty of theist philosophers troughout the ages that affirmed monotheism without adhering to any particular religion.

  95. 95
    relatd says:

    PM1 at 93,

    Since the Bible is rejected then only men – certain men – can be consulted. And that’s it.

    Man has two choices:

    He chooses himself.
    He chooses God and learns who he really is.

    God is infallible, human beings are not.

  96. 96
    Origenes says:

    PM1@

    A reason that cannot be known, cannot make a difference to how we live. It is epistemically and motivationally idle: it cannot function as a reason for why we should do one thing rather than another, or believe one thing rather than another. We might have faith that there is a reason, but if we cannot know it, then it is our faith that is guiding us, not our reasoning.

    And your assumption that there is no reason for the universe is also an act of faith. And I would argue that this assumption is actually a case of blind faith, given that its validity hinges on the reality of some multiverse fantasy.

    And when it comes to one’s personal choices, then sure, faith is fine.

    Yeah, go right ahead multiverse boy. Have faith that this universe exists because everything that is possible exists. That’s just fine, you irrational one.

    But it becomes a problem when one’s choices affect other people who don’t share one’s faith: if one is unable to give reasons for one’s choices, then others cannot consent to actions that affect them.

    You have a lot of explaining to do. Unfortunately for you not everybody buys into the multiverse nonsense.

  97. 97
    Jblais says:

    One last point.
    When PM1 says that faith in God “cannot make a difference to how we live…”, besides being false if one accepts revelation, is of course not an argument against the existence of a transcendant God. Lamenting our limited knowledge of God says nothing about whether God exists or not.

    And this was supposed to be a response to me saying that creation, by virtue of being an intentional purposeful act, provides a reason by definition. Our knowledge, or lack thereof, is irrevelant. The creative intention is itself a sufficient reason.

    I think it’s quite clear that it doesn’t refute what I say. Faith in the transcendant God does offer the only possible reason for existence, otherwise, anything and everything exist for no reason at all. Either option is ultimately a matter of faith. PM1 happens to have chosen the latter option, which is fine. But one must realize that it’s a faith that brings with it absurdity. An absurdity that Nietzche, Sartre, Camus and many others had realized. No appeal to ad hoc pantheistic neccessity can change that.

  98. 98
    AnimatedDust says:

    Relatd at 92, you kind of made my point. He did all those things for specific reasons. How is not explained, just that he can. But the why reasons are the powerful lessons.

  99. 99
    Querius says:

    Vividbleu @59,

    Finally logic is only a negative test for truth. It can tell us what is false but cannot in and of itself what must be true.

    Great point! Logic can only bring us to the point of a reasonable hypothesis that we can test. For example . . .

    I established myself in a fairly remote country house and entertained my imagination with various means of transport. Here is how I betook myself to heaven.
    I attached to myself a number of bottles of dew, and the heat of the sun, which attracted it, drew me so high that I finally emerged above the highest clouds. But the sun’s attraction of the dew drew me upwards so rapidly that instead of approaching the Moon, as I intended, I seemed to be farther from it than when I started. I broke open some of the bottles and felt my weight overcome the attraction and bring me back towards the earth.
    – Cyrano de Bergerac

    Finally, I climbed aboard and, when I was securely settled on the seat, I tossed the magnetic ball high into the air. The chariot I had built was more massive in the middle than at the ends; it was perfectly balanced because the middle rose faster than the extremities. When I had risen to the point that the magnet was drawing me to, I seized the magnetic ball and tossed it into the air again.
    – Cyrano de Bergerac

    -Q

  100. 100
    Querius says:

    Tjguy @60,

    Good points all!

    We humans will never have 100% proof concerning the existence of a Creator so we all have to look at the data ourselves and decide what we think makes the most sense.

    Let me add that it’s interesting to consider how Jesus addressed someone who decided that God was “a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’” (Matthew 24:14-28)

    Incidentally, one Talent is equivalent to a lifetime of wages for a working man at that time.

    According to Jesus’ parable, God, for sake of argument, accepts this man’s contention that God was fundamentally hard-nosed and unfair, but God then proceeded to show that the man’s actions in life were not consistent with his derogatory accusations about God, and that the man simply used these accusations as an excuse.

    My dad always used to caution me to unmask convenient rationalizations and to be honest with myself. A person can rationalize ANY and ALL their choices and behaviors. This is poison to one’s soul.

    Imagine standing in front of God and trying to justify your rejection of Him by claiming that you thought it all happened by chance!

    From even our limited knowledge, the engineering brilliance, beauty, and deadliness dazzles and humbles me. Unlike Spinoza, I trust the writings of so-called “bronze age goat herders” inspired by the Holy Spirit rather than my own reasoning powers, which cannot possibly encompass the thoughts of a being with an IQ of a billion.

    From what I was forced to read of Spinoza, I thought he had a great intellect, but preferred to reason in polarizing binary statements that would almost certainly prove to be false in the details.

    -Q

  101. 101
    Querius says:

    P.S. Ever notice that all non-trivial True-False questions on tests are arguably false?

    1. T-F Alexander the Great conquered the Persian empire.

    2. T-F The sun rises in the East and sets in the West.

    -Q

  102. 102
    Origenes says:

    Jblais @ Pm1@

    Faith in the transcendant God does offer the only possible reason for existence, otherwise, anything and everything exists for no reason at all. Either option is ultimately a matter of faith. PM1 happens to have chosen the latter option, which is fine.

    An important point. PM1 tried to have it so that those who choose to believe that there is a reason for the existence of the universe are led by faith, and that his choice for the multiverse is led by reason.
    Nice try PM1, but no cigar.

  103. 103
    Querius says:

    AnimatedDust @91,
    Loved it!

    The Bible isn’t written TO you. It’s written FOR you. Humble yourself, and become wise.

    Sometimes I study the Bible, but often the Bible studies me!

    But the original post is about “the God of the gaps” accusation against Christianity. I still haven’t heard back from Darwinists about their frequently invoking their twin gods-of-the-gaps, MIGHTA and MUSTA, in their papers, media announcements, and textbooks!

    NOTE: Instead of the word “faith,” which evokes imagery of stained glass windows, candles, and Gregorian chants echoing off the huge stone walls inside a cathedral, I prefer the far more humble and far more accessible word, “trust.”

    What do you choose to put your trust in?

    Philosophers? Money? Government agencies? Religious academics and scholars? Microsoft? The ever-changing “truths” of science?

    -Q

  104. 104
    Querius says:

    Jblais @97,

    Well said!

    When PM1 says that faith in God “cannot make a difference to how we live…”, besides being false if one accepts revelation, is of course not an argument against the existence of a transcendant God.

    Sadly, for many people, faith in God indeed doesn’t make any difference in their lives. Yaakov, the brother of Yeshua wrote specifically that such a person’s faith is dead.

    PM1 happens to have chosen the latter option, which is fine. But one must realize that it’s a faith that brings with it absurdity. An absurdity that Nietzche, Sartre, Camus and many others had realized. No appeal to ad hoc pantheistic neccessity can change that.

    Yes, exactly. There’s nowhere forward in a pointless existence, except for . . .

    • Getting more people to accept a miserable, pointless existence.

    • Getting a dead-end street or college building named after you. Also pointless.

    -Q

  105. 105
    vividbleau says:

    Q
    “From what I was forced to read of Spinoza, I thought he had a great intellect, but preferred to reason in polarizing binary statements that would almost certainly prove to be false in the details.”

    Spinoza was a rationalist in his epistemology but a pantheist in his metaphysical position. I assume that is PMI’s position with the added sprinkling of Heidegger and Sartre ( autonomy)

    Vivid

  106. 106
    vividbleau says:

    O
    “Nice try PM1, but no cigar.”

    Touché!! “ No soup for you (PMI)” said the soup Nazi. LOL

    Vivid

  107. 107
    chuckdarwin says:

    Querius/104
    What about a mountain or a sea? Or a star or a galaxy? Or an atomic element?

  108. 108
    drc466 says:

    Random thoughts!
    1) “God of the Gaps” fallacy only refers to the logical conclusion. Saying someone is guilty of a God of the Gaps argument doesn’t discredit the premise(s). (E.g. “I can ignore IDs arguments regarding the impossibility of random mutation producing novel protein sequences because they are just making a GotG argument!” is invalid reasoning.)
    2) For anyone interested in the whole “Universe therefore Christianity!” philosophy, may I recommend Norman Geisler? Regardless of your beliefs, I found his book Christian Apologetics very entertaining and thought provoking.

  109. 109
    bornagain77 says:

    Jblais at 97,

    PM1 happens to have chosen the latter option, which is fine. But one must realize that it’s a faith that brings with it absurdity. An absurdity that Nietzche, Sartre, Camus and many others had realized. No appeal to ad hoc pantheistic neccessity can change that.

    Querius at 104,

    Yes, exactly. There’s nowhere forward in a pointless existence, except for . . .

    • Getting more people to accept a miserable, pointless existence.

    • Getting a dead-end street or college building named after you. Also pointless.

    Chuckdarwin at 107

    What about a mountain or a sea? Or a star or a galaxy? Or an atomic element?

    And please pray tell ChuckyD, exactly what is the point, and/or purpose, of having “a mountain or a sea? Or a star or a galaxy? Or an atomic element?” named after you if, in the end, there is no eternal life for anyone, but instead there is nothing but the pitiless indifference of the entropic heat death of the entire universe waiting for everyone and everything?

    “In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
    – Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

    Heat death of the universe
    Excerpt: The heat death of the universe (also known as the Big Chill or Big Freeze)[1] is a hypothesis on the ultimate fate of the universe, which suggests the universe will evolve to a state of no thermodynamic free energy, and will therefore be unable to sustain processes that increase entropy. Heat death does not imply any particular absolute temperature; it only requires that temperature differences or other processes may no longer be exploited to perform work. In the language of physics, this is when the universe reaches thermodynamic equilibrium. The Heat Death theory has become the leading theory in the modern age with the fewest unpredictable factors.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_death_of_the_universe

    The Future of the Universe ?Excerpt: After about 10^(100) years, all the black holes are gone.
    Excerpt: The Dark Age
    After all the black holes have evaporated, (and after all the ordinary matter made of protons has disintegrated, if protons are unstable), the universe will be nearly empty. Photons, neutrinos, electrons and positrons will fly from place to place, hardly ever encountering each other. It will be cold, and dark, and there is no known process which will ever change things. — Not a happy ending.
    ?http://spiff.rit.edu/classes/p.....uture.html?

    As Lord Kelvin stated, “We have the sober scientific certainty that the heavens and earth shall ‘wax old as doth a garment’….?Dark indeed would be the prospects of the human race if unilluminated by that light which reveals ‘new heavens and a new earth.’”

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

    And as William Lane Craig pointed out, “If there is no God, then man and the universe are doomed.,,, life itself is absurd. It means that the life we have is without ultimate significance, value, or purpose.”

    The Absurdity of Life without God – William Lane Craig
    Excerpt: And the universe, too, faces death. Scientists tell us that the universe is expanding, and everything in it is growing farther and farther apart. As it does so, it grows colder and colder, and its energy is used up. Eventually all the stars will burn out and all matter will collapse into dead stars and black holes. There will be no light at all; there will be no heat; there will be no life; only the corpses of dead stars and galaxies, ever expanding into the endless darkness and the cold recesses of space—a universe in ruins. So not only is the life of each individual person doomed; the entire human race is doomed. There is no escape. There is no hope.
    The Absurdity of Life without God and Immortality
    If there is no God, then man and the universe are doomed. Like prisoners condemned to death, we await our unavoidable execution. There is no God, and there is no immortality. And what is the consequence of this? It means that life itself is absurd. It means that the life we have is without ultimate significance, value, or purpose.
    https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/popular-writings/existence-nature-of-god/the-absurdity-of-life-without-god

    Thus ChuckyD, in the nihilism of atheistic materialism it simply doesn’t matter if you have “a mountain or a sea, or a star or a galaxy, or an atomic element” named after you. In the end, there will be no one around to remember the names of mountains, seas, stars, galaxies, and atomic elements. Everyone, and everything, in the universe faces death and nonexistence in the entropic heat death of the universe.

    Only with eternal life, and God, can anyone find any real purpose, meaning, and significance for one’s life.

    Moreover, no one, not even atheists, live their lives as if their life did not have any meaning and purpose, and significance

    The Absurdity of Life without God – William Lane Craig
    Excerpt: Meaning of Life
    First, the area of meaning. We saw that without God, life has no meaning. Yet (atheistic) philosophers continue to live as though life does have meaning. For example, Sartre argued that one may create meaning for his life by freely choosing to follow a certain course of action. Sartre himself chose Marxism.
    Now this is utterly inconsistent. It is inconsistent to say life is objectively absurd and then to say one may create meaning for his life. If life is really absurd, then man is trapped in the lower story. To try to create meaning in life represents a leap to the upper story. But Sartre has no basis for this leap. Without God, there can be no objective meaning in life. Sartre’s program is actually an exercise in self-delusion. Sartre is really saying, “Let’s pretend the universe has meaning.” And this is just fooling ourselves.
    The point is this: if God does not exist, then life is objectively meaningless; but man cannot live consistently and happily knowing that life is meaningless; so in order to be happy he pretends life has meaning. But this is, of course, entirely inconsistent—for without God, man and the universe are without any real significance.
    https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/popular-writings/existence-nature-of-god/the-absurdity-of-life-without-god/

    Study: Atheists Find Meaning In Life By Inventing Fairy Tales – Richard Weikart
    MARCH 29, 2018
    Excerpt: However, there is a problem with this finding. The survey admitted the meaning that atheists and non-religious people found in their lives is entirely self-invented. According to the survey, they embraced the position: “Life is only meaningful if you provide the meaning yourself.”
    Thus, when religious people say non-religious people have no basis for finding meaning in life, and when non-religious people object, saying they do indeed find meaning in life, they are not talking about the same thing. If one can find meaning in life by creating one’s own meaning, then one is only “finding” the product of one’s own imagination. One has complete freedom to invent whatever meaning one wants.
    This makes “meaning” on par with myths and fairy tales. It may make the non-religious person feel good, but it has no objective existence.
    http://thefederalist.com/2018/.....iry-tales/

    And although Atheists may try to pretend that, “Hey, I can get along just fine without these illusory meanings and purposes that I have created for myself”, the fact of the matter is that life would simply be unbearable without true meaning and purpose, i.e. non one can consistently live their life as if meaning and purpose for their life did not actually exist,

    “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”
    – Viktor Frankl – Man’s Search for Meaning – 1946 – Austrian psychiatrist, Auschwitz survivor

    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.
    – per answers for hope

    Moreover, besides the atheist not being able to live his life consistently as if his life really did not have any real meaning and purpose, this act of self-delusion on the part of atheists, of making up illusory meaning and purposes for their lives, apparently has an extremely limited beneficial effect for the atheist.

    As Professor Andrew Sims, former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, states, “The advantageous effect of religious belief and spirituality on mental and physical health is one of the best-kept secrets in psychiatry and medicine generally.”,,, “In the majority of studies, religious involvement is correlated with well-being, happiness and life satisfaction; hope and optimism; purpose and meaning in life;,,”

    “I maintain that whatever else faith may be, it cannot be a delusion.
    The advantageous effect of religious belief and spirituality on mental and physical health is one of the best-kept secrets in psychiatry and medicine generally. If the findings of the huge volume of research on this topic had gone in the opposite direction and it had been found that religion damages your mental health, it would have been front-page news in every newspaper in the land.”
    – Professor Andrew Sims former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – Is Faith Delusion?: Why religion is good for your health – preface
    “In the majority of studies, religious involvement is correlated with well-being, happiness and life satisfaction; hope and optimism; purpose and meaning in life; higher self-esteem; better adaptation to bereavement; greater social support and less loneliness; lower rates of depression and faster recovery from depression; lower rates of suicide and fewer positive attitudes towards suicide; less anxiety; less psychosis and fewer psychotic tendencies; lower rates of alcohol and drug use and abuse; less delinquency and criminal activity; greater marital stability and satisfaction… We concluded that for the vast majority of people the apparent benefits of devout belief and practice probably outweigh the risks.”
    – Professor Andrew Sims former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – Is Faith Delusion?: Why religion is good for your health – page 100

    Fortunately for all of us, including atheists, their nihilistic worldview is found to be utterly false. As far as our best science can tell us, life simply does not end at the grave as atheists have falsely presupposed within their nihilistic worldview.

    Moreover, we have far more scientific evidence for life after death than atheists have evidence for Darwinian evolution.

    Near-Death Experiences: Putting a Darwinist’s Evidentiary Standards to the Test – Dr. Michael Egnor – October 15, 2012
    Excerpt: Indeed, about 20 percent of NDE’s are corroborated, which means that there are independent ways of checking about the veracity of the experience. The patients knew of things that they could not have known except by extraordinary perception — such as describing details of surgery that they watched while their heart was stopped, etc. Additionally, many NDE’s have a vividness and a sense of intense reality that one does not generally encounter in dreams or hallucinations.,,,
    The most “parsimonious” explanation — the simplest scientific explanation — is that the (Near Death) experience was real. Tens of millions of people have had such experiences. That is tens of millions of more times than we have observed the origin of species , (or the origin of life, or the origin of a protein/gene, or of a molecular machine), which is never.,,,
    The materialist reaction, in short, is unscientific and close-minded. NDE’s show fellows like Coyne at their sneering unscientific irrational worst. Somebody finds a crushed fragment of a fossil and it’s earth-shaking evidence. Tens of million of people have life-changing spiritual experiences and it’s all a big yawn.
    Note: Dr. Egnor is professor and vice-chairman of neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65301.html

    In fact, on top of that plethora of testimonial evidence, we have far more observational evidence for the reality of souls than we do for the Darwinian claim that unguided material processes can generate functional information. Moreover, the transcendent nature of ‘immaterial’ information, which is the one thing that, (as every ID advocate intimately knows), unguided material processes cannot possibly explain the origin of, directly supports the transcendent nature, as well as the physical reality, of the soul:

    Oct. 2022 – ,,, since Darwinian Atheists, as a foundational presupposition of their materialistic philosophy, (and not from any compelling scientific evidence mind you), deny the existence of souls, (and since the materialist’s denial of souls, (and God), has led (via atheistic tyrants) to so much catastrophic disaster on human societies in the 20th century), then it is VERY important to ‘scientifically’ establish the existence of these ‘souls’ that are of incalculable worth, and that are equal, before God.
    https://uncommondescent.com/off-topic/what-must-we-do-when-the-foundations-are-being-destroyed/#comment-768496

    Moreover, special relativity itself, one of the most precisely tested theories ever in the history of science, confirms the physical reality of higher ‘heavenly’ dimension that exists above this temporal dimension,’

    Dec. 2022 – That what we now know to be physically true from special relativity, (namely that it outlines a ‘timeless’, i.e. eternal, ‘dimension of light’ that exists above this temporal dimension), would fit hand and glove with the personal testimonies of people who have had a deep heavenly NDEs is, needless to say, powerful evidence that their testimonies are, in fact, true, and that they are accurately describing the physical ‘reality’ of a higher heavenly dimension, that they experienced first hand, that really does physically exist above this temporal dimension.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/at-mind-matters-news-are-extra-dimensions-of-the-universe-real-or-imaginary/#comment-772620

    Thus in conclusion, as far as our best science can tell us, we can rest assured that life does not end at the grave, but that our lives really do have meaning and purpose. i.e. We are not destined for, or beholden to, the nihilistic doom, and death, of atheists. Indeed, personally I can’t even fathom why atheists would even begin to prefer such a depressing nihilistic worldview over and above preferring God and eternal life in the kingdom of heaven. Especially given the fact that, scientifically speaking, we now know that their ‘pitilessly indifferent’ worldview is a demonstrably false worldview,

    Luke 12:31-32
    But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.
    “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

  110. 110
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @102

    PM1 tried to have it so that those who choose to believe that there is a reason for the existence of the universe are led by faith, and that his choice for the multiverse is led by reason.

    To be clear, I had suggested something like a multiverse because I was under the impression that modern cosmology supported it. I’ve since been told that this not quite true!

    There’s a nice question as to how “why is there something rather than nothing?” might be approached via contemporary cosmology. I started reading “Why Is there Something, Rather Than Nothing?” by Sean Carroll.

    If Carroll is right in saying that cosmology shows that the universe as a whole has no explanation, that would not settle the issue, since it would not settle the question as to whether we have non-scientific forms of knowledge. But if Carroll is right, then at least one of the scientific arguments for the existence of God should be rejected.

    @97

    Faith in the transcendant God does offer the only possible reason for existence, otherwise, anything and everything exist for no reason at all. Either option is ultimately a matter of faith. PM1 happens to have chosen the latter option, which is fine. But one must realize that it’s a faith that brings with it absurdity. An absurdity that Nietzche, Sartre, Camus and many others had realized. No appeal to ad hoc pantheistic neccessity can change that.

    First, I think it’s just basically mistaken to think that absurdity follows if the existence of the universe is a brute fact. One would need a precise articulation of what we mean by “absurdity,” whether in Camus’s terms or someone else’s.

    Second, much as I respect and have learned a lot from Nietzsche, Sartre, and Camus, they certainly don’t speak for me. They had reasons (and motivations) of their own for drawing the conclusions that they did, and those reasons (and motivations) deserve their own scrutiny.

    @105

    Spinoza was a rationalist in his epistemology but a pantheist in his metaphysical position. I assume that is PMI’s position with the added sprinkling of Heidegger and Sartre ( autonomy).

    To some degree, maybe. I think Spinoza’s epistemology (and metaphysics) follow from his commitment to the principle of sufficient reason. And I think that Kant was right to urge that refuting Spinoza requires weakening the force of the principle of sufficient reason: transforming it from a claim about how the world really is to a claim about how we ought to think about the world.

    Heidegger and Sartre are interesting, and I don’t regret having read a little bit of them — I read Being and Time, but only once (and in translation), and not very carefully, and for Sartre, only a few of his essays. They aren’t among my philosophical heroes.

  111. 111
    vividbleau says:

    Drc

    “Christian Apologetics “

    Absolutely outstanding book, a great resource, have it by my bed, highly recommend.

    Vivid

  112. 112
    vividbleau says:

    PMI
    “and for Sartre, only a few of his essays. They aren’t among my philosophical heroes”

    Notice I did say “added with a little sprinkling “ Your comment regarding your anti authoritarianism and hatred of bowing to a sovereign lord way upstream, to lazy to find it, mirrors Sartre’s view of total autonomy, if I am reading him right. If God is omniscient he is like a voyeur and thus we become objects like a painting on the wall is an object and under the gaze of the observer.

    Anyway I think I made a hash of it.

    Vivid

  113. 113
    AnimatedDust says:

    Q @103: Thank you, and I agree. Most of the harshest critics of the Bible have never really given it more than a glance. It becomes evident that the Bronze Age sheepherders couldn’t have said what they say without divine inspiration. To have so accurate a read on the human condition, to know that humility is a universally desired attribute in people. (No one likes cocky braggarts) Nor the extent the Bible tells the truth about us and what ails us. I could go on and on, but you get it.

  114. 114
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @112

    Notice I did say “added with a little sprinkling “ Your comment regarding your anti authoritarianism and hatred of bowing to a sovereign lord way upstream, to lazy to find it, mirrors Sartre’s view of total autonomy, if I am reading him right. If God is omniscient he is like a voyeur and thus we become objects like a painting on the wall is an object and under the gaze of the observer.

    You’re right that my anti-authoritarianism is similar to Sartre’s, but that’s the extent of it. The early Sartre is committed to a very strong version of the Cartesian distinction between “matter” and “mind”, except it becomes even stronger for Sartre — a radical dichotomy between existence and consciousness. I reject that entirely, and his version of ‘total autonomy’ along with it.

  115. 115
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @113

    Most of the harshest critics of the Bible have never really given it more than a glance.

    For what little it may be worth, I’ve read most of it — I’ve read the Hebrew Bible with the exception of Psalms and Proverbs, and in the New Testament, I’ve read the Gospels and a few of Paul’s letters (Romans, Galatians, and I think First Corinthians). I’ve taught both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament in a Bible as Literature class for a Great Books-style curriculum.

    I don’t dispute the literary quality or psychological insight to be found in the Bible. I think it rates as highly as Homer, Plato, or Shakespeare in terms of what it tells us about being human — but no more highly than that.

    It becomes evident that the Bronze Age sheepherders couldn’t have said what they say without divine inspiration.

    Why not? Homer is roughly contemporary with the dates assigned by Biblical scholars to much of the Hebrew Bible, and his insights into human nature still resonate with readers of the Iliad even today. Or would you want to say that Homer was also divinely inspired? Granted, he thought he was (and says as much), but how much credit should we place in that?

  116. 116
    AnimatedDust says:

    PM1, fascinating. You’ve only read some of the NT, but you’ve taught on it. As Shania Twain might say, that don’t impress me much.

    It might be helpful for you to consider the Bible as a book of claims, and then judge what it has to say regarding the accuracy of those claims against what we scientifically know about our world. We spend a great deal of time here on DNA, and ID and IC, and FCSO/I. It won’t give you the how, but it will give you the why.

    This dovetails beautifully with the science, even though the majority of scientists are atheists first, and are a priori committed to scientific explanations that are only materialistic in nature. To stray from the fold means ostracism, and loss of funding, for a divine foot is not allowed in the door. Therefore, the “following the evidence” is done insofar as it leads to atheistically acceptable materialistic conclusions.

    If that mindset could be changed, the designer would immediately emerge, a superintellect with undeniably sophisticated engineering and design capabilities. That doesn’t get you to the Christian God, but other things do, provided you are willing to humble yourself and become wise. Your last comment oozes pride and mildly haughty certainty. Until you work on that, you won’t see any of the evidence. The Bible has a lot to say about pride, as well.

    Your lack of humility is powerless to change reality to your liking, as effective as Hamlet screaming at Shakespeare for not liking the ending of his namesake play. It is also why us Christians are so annoyingly persistent with you. It’s not just our desire to be right, but far more than that, an honest attempt to keep people like you from being actualized in your choice to be separated from God forever. All kinds of evidence, some of it peer reviewed, that indicates life persists beyond the grave.

    You certainly love sunsets, mountains, the beach, have been/are in love with someone, perhaps have children, enjoy the world around you. That’s all gone if you make that choice when you breathe your last on this Earth. Eternal separation from God means that you are separated from everything you know, and love and enjoy, and relegated to the only place where he and his creation dwell not.

    That’s why those of us like O, BA, Q, KF, and many others are such a pain in the a**.

  117. 117
    Querius says:

    Drc466 @108,

    E.g. “I can ignore IDs arguments regarding the impossibility of random mutation producing novel protein sequences because they are just making a GotG argument!” is invalid reasoning.

    Agreed.

    So, let’s consider a two of examples of actual “God-of-the-Gaps” arguments:

    1. The orbit of Mercury includes an additional 7% precession unaccounted for by the orbit of the other planets, most notably Jupiter. Thus, *God* is responsible for shifting its perihelion by that amount, which conveniently bridges the gap in scientific knowledge for now.

    2. DNA and RNA evolved with the first life on earth with no known evolutionary path. But we know that the god, Musta, made it appear ex nihilo using random chemical interactions. A second god, Mighta, delivered it to the early earth by means of comets or asteroids. Thus, the two *gods*, Musta and Mighta, conveniently bridge the gap in scientific knowledge for now.

    A similar method of evading the logical arguments against a current narrative is to employ the Genetic Fallacy. For example . . .

    “Your argument regarding the impossibility of random mutation producing novel protein sequences is exactly what I’d expect from a white supremacist Albanian nationalist (or whatever).”

    -Q

  118. 118
    vividbleau says:

    Q
    “Musta and Mighta”

    Love it.

    Vivid,

  119. 119
    relatd says:

    Atheists can certainly live life as they see fit. They can get married, have children and so on. But what do they say to their kids about God? Or death when a relative passes on? Or the beauty around them? ‘Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you die.”? That’s it?

    It’s quite clear that for some, the words of men console them, and the words of certain philosophers and other writers. There seems to be a conscious desire to treat the Bible as nothing more than the writings of men, and to dismiss religion entirely. Or to point out that ‘religion’ is a problem.

    Man is not perfect. But man has access to someone who is perfect.

    Proverbs 14:12

    “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”

  120. 120
    Querius says:

    AnimatedDust @116,

    You’ve only read some of the NT, but you’ve taught on it.

    Reminds me of an exchange in a college English class:

    Professor: “The Bible is inconsistent. For example, only the Gospel of James claims that “Faith without works is dead.”

    Querius: “There are other scriptures that convey the same concept using different words.”

    Professor: “Yes, but James is the only gospel that makes that claim.”

    Querius: “James is not a gospel.”

    Professor: (turns red)

    Voice from someone behind me: “Two to zero.” (laughter)

    Later, someone told me that the professor also taught a course in the Bible as literature.

    Ouch.

    -Q

  121. 121
    Querius says:

    Regarding the “bronze-age shepherds,” isn’t it amazing that, while major civilizations identified the sun and moon as gods and goddesses, these country bumpkins came up with the idea that the sun and moon weren’t gods or goddesses, but simply lamps?

    These amazingly lucky lumpkins also correctly guessed that light came into existence before the sun, moon, and stars, which was only recognized in the mid-twentieth century!

    And who would believe their writing that the first animals were reptiles and “flying winged creatures” that emerged from the water. According to the Greek Septuagint, the sentence reads:

    “And God said, ‘Let the waters bring forth reptiles of living souls, and flying winged creatures upon the earth.'”

    Please tell me, what does Saurischia mean? What does Ornithischia mean?

    And why would “bronze-age shepherds” imagine that God “. . . stretches out the north over empty space and hangs the earth on nothing.”? – Job 26:7 NASB

    No, I’m not suggesting that the Bible is a science book. That’s absolutely not its purpose!
    Certainly, the “bronze-age shepherds” had no idea about lasers, computers, quantum mechanics, integral calculus, or even critical race theory. 😉

    But the truths that were revealed to them about life far outshines anything else we have.

    -Q

  122. 122
    Querius says:

    A couple of minutes ago, I coincidentally stumbled across this article published today:

    https://scitechdaily.com/evolving-backward-discovery-overturns-more-than-a-century-of-knowledge-about-the-origin-of-modern-birds/

    -Q

  123. 123
    AnimatedDust says:

    Q @121. Masterful commentary.

  124. 124
    Querius says:

    AnimatedDust @123,

    Thanks, very kind of you!

    -Q

  125. 125
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks Q, ,,, “We’ve been completely backward in our assumptions of how the modern bird skull evolved for well over a century.”,,,

    Evolving “Backward” – Discovery Overturns More Than a Century of Knowledge About the Origin of Modern Birds – Jan. 20, 2023
    Excerpt: Fossilized remains of a skeleton found within a small rock have challenged a long-held belief about the evolution of modern birds.
    A team of researchers from the University of Cambridge and the Natuurhistorisch Museum Maastricht discovered that a crucial skull feature of modern birds, the mobile beak, had developed prior to the mass extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.
    This finding also suggests that the skulls of ostriches, emus and their relatives evolved ‘backward’, reverting to a more primitive condition after modern birds arose.
    Using CT scanning techniques, the Cambridge team identified bones from the palate, or the roof of the mouth, of a new species of large ancient bird, which they named Janavis finalidens. It lived at the very end of the Age of Dinosaurs and was one of the last-toothed birds to ever live. The arrangement of its palate bones shows that this ‘dino-bird’ had a mobile, dexterous beak, almost indistinguishable from that of most modern birds.
    For more than a century, it had been assumed that the mechanism enabling a mobile beak evolved after the extinction of the dinosaurs. However, the new discovery, reported in the journal Nature, suggests that our understanding of how the modern bird skull came to be needs to be re-evaluated.
    Each of the roughly 11,000 species of birds on Earth today is classified into one of two over-arching groups, based on the arrangement of their palate bones. Ostriches, emus, and their relatives are classified into the palaeognath, or ‘ancient jaw’ group, meaning that, like humans, their palate bones are fused together into a solid mass.
    All other groups of birds are classified into the neognath, or ‘modern jaw’ group, meaning that their palate bones are connected by a mobile joint. This makes their beaks much more dexterous, and helpful for nest-building, grooming, food-gathering, and defense.
    The two groups were originally classified by Thomas Huxley, the British biologist known as ‘Darwin’s Bulldog’ for his vocal support of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. In 1867, he divided all living birds into either the ‘ancient’ or ‘modern’ jaw groups. Huxley’s assumption was that the ‘ancient’ jaw configuration was the original condition for modern birds, with the ‘modern’ jaw arising later.
    “This assumption has been taken as a given ever since,” said Dr. Daniel Field from Cambridge’s Department of Earth Sciences, the paper’s senior author. “The main reason this assumption has lasted is that we haven’t had any well-preserved fossil bird palates from the period when modern birds originated.”,,,
    ,,, We’ve been completely backward in our assumptions of how the modern bird skull evolved for well over a century.”,,,
    https://scitechdaily.com/evolving-backward-discovery-overturns-more-than-a-century-of-knowledge-about-the-origin-of-modern-birds/

  126. 126
    bornagain77 says:

    Of note: This ‘completely backward’ finding on bird evolution was reported back in December by Caspian,

    Fossil Overturns More Than A Century Of Knowledge About The Origin Of Modern Birds – December 2, 2022
    Excerpt: Fossilised fragments of a skeleton, hidden within a rock the size of a grapefruit, have helped upend one of the longest-standing assumptions about the origins of modern birds.
    Researchers from the University of Cambridge and the Natuurhistorisch Museum Maastricht found that one of the key skull features that characterises 99% of modern birds — a mobile beak — evolved before the mass extinction event that killed all large dinosaurs, 66 million years ago.
    This finding also suggests that the skulls of ostriches, emus and their relatives evolved ‘backwards’, reverting to a more primitive condition after modern birds arose.,,,
    For more than a century, it had been assumed that the mechanism enabling a mobile beak evolved after the extinction of the dinosaurs. However, the new discovery, reported in the journal Nature, suggests that our understanding of how the modern bird skull came to be needs to be re-evaluated.
    Each of the roughly 11,000 species of birds on Earth today is classified into one of two over-arching groups, based on the arrangement of their palate bones. Ostriches, emus and their relatives are classified into the palaeognath, or ‘ancient jaw’ group, meaning that, like humans, their palate bones are fused together into a solid mass.
    All other groups of birds are classified into the neognath, or ‘modern jaw’ group, meaning that their palate bones are connected by a mobile joint. This makes their beaks much more dexterous, helpful for nest-building, grooming, food-gathering, and defence.,,,
    We’ve been completely backwards in our assumptions of how the modern bird skull evolved for well over a century.”
    https://uncommondescent.com/evolutionary-biology/at-science-daily-fossil-overturns-more-than-a-century-of-knowledge-about-the-origin-of-modern-birds/

    A few related notes:

    More Vindication for Jonathan Wells – October 8, 2012
    Excerpt: Feduccia calls Berkeley dino-bird advocate Kevin Padian “the Elmer Gantry of the theropod crusade,” criticizing Padian both for his public advocacy of the dino-bird hypothesis (that’s the Elmer Gantry aspect) and for his scientific work. In that respect, Feduccia fully supports Jonathan Wells’s critique of the dino-bird theory. He concludes with this:
    “Small wonder the Creationists are thriving and thoroughly enjoying much of the junk science introduced into the current dino-bird debate. [p. 10]”
    per ENV

    Are Birds Living Dinosaurs? – Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig – 16 February 2021
    A review of Alan Feduccia’s most recent book (2020): Romancing the Birds and Dinosaurs1
    Excerpt: Feduccia: “Most disturbingly, Smith et al. are quick to pull out the “creationist card,” comparing our arguments to methods of creationists. Yet, it is the current dinosaur-bird nexus of paleontology that has resulted in the creationists calling the field “The Disneyfication of Dinosaurs.” And, one well-known creationist following a meeting on birds origins in 1999, stated, “This is not science . . . this is comic relief [83, 8].”23
    So, since the birds-from-dinosaurs dogmatists “are quick to pull out the “creationist card”” to conceal their almost total absence of scientific facts and arguments, let’s say beforehand and to avoid any misunderstandings: Alan Feduccia is neither a creationist nor an intelligent design theorist but a stout evolutionary biologist interpreting the fossil material as well as the entire world of living organisms exclusively/entirely/completely in ideas and terms of his materialistic world view,,,
    http://www.weloennig.de/Feduccia2020.pdf

    Ten Reasons Why Birds Are Not Living Dinosaurs
    Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig – April 14, 2021
    https://evolutionnews.org/2021/04/ten-reasons-why-birds-are-not-living-dinosaurs/

    Fossilized bird lung tissue controversial; Big if true – December 26, 2018
    The new Archaeorhynchus fossil surprisingly contains many of the same structures, the team announced. That suggests that these important respiratory adaptations were present very early in the modern bird lineage.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/fossilized-bird-lung-tissue-controversial-big-if-true/

    From a Frog to a Prince: Biological Evidence of Creation – video – (avian lung) 2:16 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/TMoWfPn2pCI?t=136

    Blown away by design:
    Michael Denton and birds’ lungs
    Excerpt: A classic example, he says, is the lung of the bird, which is ‘unique in being a circulatory lung rather than a bellows lung [see box]. I think it doesn’t require a great deal of profound knowledge of biology to see that for an organ which is so central to the physiology of any higher organism, its drastic modification in that way by a series of small events is almost inconceivable. This is something we can’t throw under the carpet again because, basically, as Darwin said, if any organ can be shown to be incapable of being achieved gradually in little steps, his theory would be totally overthrown.,,,
    The amazing bird lung
    As a bird breathes, air moves into its rear air sacs (1). These then expel the air into the lung (2) and the air flows through the lung into the front air sacs (3). The air is expelled by the front air sacs as the bird breathes out. The lung does not expand and contract as does a reptile’s or mammal’s. The blood which picks up oxygen from the lung flows in the opposite direction to the air so that blood with the lowest oxygen (blue in the diagram always means lower oxygen, red means high oxygen) is exposed to air with the lowest oxygen. The blood with the highest oxygen is exposed to air with an even higher oxygen concentration. This ensures that, in every region of the circulation, the concentration of oxygen in the air is more than that of the blood with which it is in contact. This maximizes the efficiency of oxygen transfer from the air to the blood. This is known as counter-current exchange. Such very efficient lungs help birds to handle the energy demands of flight, especially at high altitudes.1
    https://creation.com/blown-away-by-design-michael-denton-and-birds-lungs

    Bird Evolution vs. The Actual (fossil) Evidence – video (11:42 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/OZhtj06kmXY?t=704

    “Feathers give no indication that they ever needed improvement. In fact, the “earliest known fossil feather is so modern-looking as to be indistinguishable from the feathers of birds flying today.”
    Yale University’s Manual of Ornithology—Avian Structure and Function

    “What we have shown is that there’s absolutely no evidence whatsoever that protofeathers existed in dinosaurs, period.”10,,,
    – Storrs Olson, – curator of birds at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History

    “The whole notion of feathered dinosaurs is a myth that has been created by ideologues bent on perpetuating the birds-are-dinosaurs theory in the face of all contrary evidence”
    Storrs Olson – curator of birds at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History

    “The hype about feathered dinosaurs in the exhibit currently on display at the National Geographic Society is even worse, and makes the spurious claim that there is strong evidence that a wide variety of carnivorous dinosaurs had feathers. A model of the undisputed dinosaur Deinonychus and illustrations of baby tyrannosaurs are shown clad in feathers, all of which is simply imaginary and has no place outside of science fiction.”
    – Storrs Olson

    Scientists caught faking Dinosaur – bird fossil Archeopteryx (Stors Olson)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Iz7GResDtQ

    Verse:

    Genesis 1:20
    And God said,,, “and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens

  127. 127
    chuckdarwin says:

    Querius/121
    “No, I’m not suggesting that the Bible is a science book. That’s absolutely not its purpose.”

    And yet, that’s exactly what you are suggesting…….

  128. 128
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    In the Atheists vs Christians thread, Origenes asked:

    Is truth among them? Do you hold that the Truth exists PM1? Do you hold that there is only one Truth and one Truth only?

    Since this seems to belong with the discussion I’m having with Jblais, I’m responding here.

    I really don’t know what people mean when they write “Truth”, with a capital T, as if it’s a proper noun. (“The name’s Truth . . . James Truth”). I feel as if there’s some special code I’m being asked to know, and I don’t have my secret decoder ring with me.

    I certainly think truth is valuable: we ought to tell the truth, we shouldn’t be self-deceived, it’s important to have true beliefs, and so on. And I accept the correspondence theory of truth (“veritas est adaequatio rei et intellectus”): truth is a relation between reality and the intellect. Our ideas are true if the world really is as we take it to be, and our ideas are false if the world is not as we take it to be.

    I honestly don’t know if this answers your question, Origenes.

  129. 129
    chuckdarwin says:

    PM1/110
    Of all the current cosmologists out there, Sean Carroll, in my mind, is at the top of the list in terms of top-drawer scientists seriously addressing issues of philosophy and theology. If you haven’t , you should listen to his debate with Christian apologist William Lane Craig (Google their names and it will pop right up). Carroll also has an incredible podcast called “Mindscape.” Again, simply Google it.

    I do count Sartre as one of my philosophical “heroes” despite many disagreements I have with him, particularly his alignment with Marxism. It may be generational. When I was in grad school at CU/Boulder, I had the privilege of attending some talks given by Hazel Barnes, the Classics prof who did the English translation of “Being and Nothingness.” She emphasized that Sartre and Camus’ literature must be viewed in the larger context of their involvement in the French resistance during WWII. Their “anti-authoritarianism” was not that of a disaffected and privileged college sophomore, it was a matter of France’s battle for survival. Both Sartre and Camus considered themselves first as authors and not philosophers. It’s no coincidence that they both received the Nobel in literature. What they, along with Nietzsche did do, is make philosophy accessible to non-experts through their novels, plays and essays. As far as I’m concerned, “Nausea” is arguably the greatest philosophical novel written.

  130. 130
    vividbleau says:

    CD
    Not looking for a fight here just wondering what your thoughts are on Sartre’s death bed conversion?

    “Turning to Sartre, Metaxas tells us that the French atheist came into the Church on his deathbed after confessing his sins to a priest. Now let’s be perfectly candid about something. Atheists hate these conversion stories. They really hate the deathbed variety. According to Metaxas, Simone de Beauvoir called her famous lover’s conversion “an act of senility.” Others see “last-breath” conversions as an act of cowardice.”

    Vivid

  131. 131
    bornagain77 says:

    ChuckyD, you puffed up Sean Carroll as being “at the top of the list in terms of top-drawer scientists seriously addressing issues of philosophy and theology.” And also recommended that “you should listen to his debate with Christian apologist William Lane Craig”.

    Yet, Sean Carrol was found to be, to put it mildly, less than forthright in his debate with Dr. Craig.

    Sean Carroll’s Dishonesty: The Debate of 2014 – By Ronald Cram – April 15, 2020
    Excerpt: (In his debate with William Lane Craig), Carroll was dishonest on two important points.
    Carroll claimed BGV theorem does not imply the universe had a beginning.
    Carroll claimed that quantum eternity theorem (QET) was better than BGV theorem.,,,
    Carroll,, knows that QET is not really a theorem at all and so cannot honestly be described as better than BGV theorem.
    Conclusion
    Uninformed viewers of the 2014 Carroll-Craig debate may think that Carroll won the debate. After all, Carroll is a cosmologist, he’s brilliant, confident and likable. He attacked and undermined BGV theorem, the science upon which Craig often bases his arguments. Carroll even enlisted the help of Alan Guth to undermine his own theorem. Then Carroll sprung the quantum eternity theorem on Craig, who was caught off-guard by the term since it had never appeared in the scientific literature.
    Informed viewers of the debate came away with a different view. Carroll’s denial that BGV theorem implies the universe/multiverse had an ultimate beginning was shocking and dishonest. Also, informed viewers saw it as rather underhanded for Carroll to claim “quantum eternity theorem” was a recognized theorem that implies the universe is eternal into the past (since the term had not even appeared in the scientific literature at that point).
    On the basis of the science, Craig was truthful with the audience and Carroll was not.
    Truth will win out as they say.
    Carroll’s (dishonest) behavior can only be seen as harmful to science.
    https://freethinkingministries.com/sean-carrolls-dishonesty-the-debate-of-2014/

    Of further note, the Wall Theorem shows that even a quantum regime would have a beginning, and is therefore essentially to Quantum Physics what the BGV is to Classical Physics. You can read a post by Wall here where he explains why Carroll’s appeals to an eternal quantum regime are really unfounded and continue into the comments to see where he mentions his Theorem.

    Did the Universe Begin? IV: Quantum Eternity Theorem – by Aron Wall – May 31, 2014
    Excerpt: Of course, there is nothing wrong with Carroll putting forward his personal opinion in the debate—I can hardly complain about that after Craig put forward my opinions! But I think he could have been more clear that it was his personal opinion, and that, given more “conventional” beliefs about quantum gravity, the QET probably can’t be applied in cosmological settings.
    http://www.wall.org/~aron/blog.....y-theorem/
    You can find the article online at the journal webpage or on the arxiv.
    My article extends the Penrose singularity theorem to situations involving quantum fields, which can have negative energy densities. The main assumption is that the Generalized Second Law of thermodynamics holds for all causal horizons, for which there is significant theoretical evidence. There’s also some other technical assumptions discussed in the article. I also have a section speculating that these assumptions might be applicable to full quantum gravity, but this can’t be proven since nobody understands quantum gravity.
    I’ve also described aspects of the article in parts II and VI of this series, and also in a Scientific American blog post.
    – Aron Wall
    http://www.wall.org/~aron/blog.....nt-2637787

    The Generalized Second Law implies a Quantum Singularity Theorem – 2016
    Aron C. Wall
    The generalized second law can be used to prove a singularity theorem, by generalizing the notion of a trapped surface to quantum situations. Like Penrose’s original singularity theorem, it implies that spacetime is null geodesically incomplete inside black holes, and to the past of spatially infinite Friedmann–Robertson–Walker cosmologies. If space is finite instead, the generalized second law requires that there only be a finite amount of entropy producing processes in the past, unless there is a reversal of the arrow of time. In asymptotically flat spacetime, the generalized second law also rules out traversable wormholes, negative masses, and other forms of faster-than-light travel between asymptotic regions, as well as closed timelike curves. Furthermore it is impossible to form baby universes which eventually become independent of the mother universe, or to restart inflation. Since the semiclassical approximation is used only in regions with low curvature, it is argued that the results may hold in full quantum gravity. An introductory section describes the second law and its time-reverse, in ordinary and generalized thermodynamics, using either the fine-grained or the coarse-grained entropy. (The fine-grained version is used in all results except those relating to the arrow of time.) A proof of the coarse-grained ordinary second law is given.
    https://arxiv.org/abs/1010.5513
    About Aron Wall
    I am a Lecturer in Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge. Before that, I read Great Books at St. John’s College (Santa Fe), got my physics Ph.D. from U Maryland, and did my postdocs at UC Santa Barbara, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and Stanford.

    Also of note:

    The Universe Is Not Eternal – Johanan Raatz – March 1, 2014
    Excerpt: we are not completely in the dark. One thing known for certain about quantum gravity is something called the holographic principle. Precisely put, the holographic principle tells us that the entropy of a region of space (measured in terms of information) is directly proportional to a quarter of its surface area. The volume of this region is then actually a hologram of this information on its surface.
    Except this tells us something interesting about the universe as well. Entropy, or the amount of disorder present, always increases with time. In fact not only is this law inviolate, it is also how the flow of time is defined. Without entropy, there is no way to discern forwards and backwards in time.
    But if the holographic principle links the universe’s entropy and its horizon area then going back in time, all of space-time eventually vanishes to nothing at zero entropy. Thus Carroll’s argument is unsound. We already have enough knowledge about what happens beyond the BVG theorem that Craig cites. The universe is not eternal but created.
    It is interesting to note that this also undermines claims made by atheists like Hawking and Krauss that the universe could have fluctuated into existence from nothing. Their argument rests on the assumption that there was a pre-existent zero-point field or ZPF. The only trouble is that the physics of a ZPF requires a space-time to exist in. No space-time means no zero-point field, and without a zero-point field, the universe can not spontaneously fluctuate into existence.
    http://blog.proof.directory/20.....t-eternal/

  132. 132
    chuckdarwin says:

    Vividbleau/130
    Of course you are trying to start a fight.
    I don’t think we will ever really know what happened on Sartre’s deathbed……

  133. 133
    chuckdarwin says:

    BA77/131
    We’ve been down this road regarding Sean Carroll before. Your claims that Carroll was “dishonest” in the Craig debate are nonsense. Craig simply got schooled on cosmology, an area where he had no business venturing in the first place……

  134. 134
    Origenes says:

    Chuckdarwin @

    Both Sartre and Camus considered themselves first as authors and not philosophers.

    I agree with both of them.
    A philosopher must be concerned about having a coherent worldview/metaphysics. For instance, Sarte has written a lot about being absolutely free, but as far as I can tell he shows no concern as to how this is possible in a physically determined world.
    In my view, such tendencies are perfectly acceptable for a writer, but not for a philosopher.

  135. 135
    vividbleau says:

    CD
    No I wasn’t trying to start a fight I genuinely was curious what your thoughts were . If I was interested in starting a fight I would not have asked your thoughts, on it. More importantly was the story true., do you think he was senile., etc. I never heard that this happened.Have a great day.

    PS Just because I read something on the internet does not mean it’s accurate. You mentioned Sartre is your hero so I wanted to confirm it’s veracity. Won’t make that mistake again with you.

    Vivid

  136. 136
    bornagain77 says:

    ChuckyD, because Carroll, like yourself, is an atheist (or at least an ‘anti-Christian’), you are apparently more than willing to overlook his ‘less than forthright’ debating tactics with Craig. Others, not so enamored with your and Carroll’s nihilistic atheism, (and/or anti-Christianity), and who are concerned with the actual truth of the matter, consider such ‘less than forthright’ debating tactics on Carroll’s part to be ‘troubling’ to say the least.

    Moreover, I referenced Wall’s paper, “The Generalized Second Law implies a Quantum Singularity Theorem”, to refute Carroll’s claim that the “Quantum Eternity Theorem” disproves the BGV theorem.

    You characteristically ignored that paper and simply puffed Carroll up once again as if that ‘re-puffing up’ of Carroll addressed the issue. FYI, It doesn’t address the issue. Not even close!

    Moreover, since Wall’s paper incorporates the second law, i.e. entropy, I consider Wall’s theorem to be a more robust proof than the BGV theorem that the universe must have had a beginning in time. As Johanan Raatz noted in the reference I provided, “In fact not only is this law (entropy) inviolate, it is also how the flow of time is defined. Without entropy, there is no way to discern forwards and backwards in time.”

    Moreover, entropy is also, by a very wide margin, the most finely tuned of the initial conditions of the Big Bang. Finely tuned to an almost incomprehensible degree of precision, 1 part in 10 to the 10 to the 123rd power. As Roger Penrose himself stated, “This now tells us how precise the Creator’s aim must have been: namely to an accuracy of one part in 10^10^123.”

    “This now tells us how precise the Creator’s aim must have been: namely to an accuracy of one part in 10^10^123.”
    Roger Penrose – How special was the big bang? – (from the Emperor’s New Mind, Penrose, pp 339-345 – 1989)

    “The time-asymmetry is fundamentally connected to with the Second Law of Thermodynamics: indeed, the extraordinarily special nature (to a greater precision than about 1 in 10^10^123, in terms of phase-space volume) can be identified as the “source” of the Second Law (Entropy).”
    – Roger Penrose – The Physics of the Small and Large: What is the Bridge Between Them?

    Seeing that Penrose is a staunch agnostic, it is very telling that even he himself would feel compelled to use the word ‘creator’ when describing the initial 1 in 10^10^123 entropy of the universe.

    In the following video, Dr, Bruce Gordon touches upon just how enormous that number truly is. Dr. Gordon states, “you would need a hundred million, trillion, trillion, trillion, universes our size, with a zero on every proton and neutron in all of those universes just to write out this number. That is how fine tuned the initial entropy of our universe is.”

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

    Moreover, I can even reference the quantum Zeno effect to more clearly demonstrate that the Mind of God must be behind the staggering initial 1 in 10^10^123 entropy of the universe.

    An old entry in wikipedia described the Quantum Zeno effect as such “an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay.”

    Perspectives on the quantum Zeno paradox – 2018
    The quantum Zeno effect is,, an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay.
    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1742-6596/196/1/012018/pdf

    Likewise, the present day entry on wikipedia about the Quantum Zeno effect also provocatively states that “a system can’t change while you are watching it”

    Quantum Zeno effect
    Excerpt: Sometimes this effect is interpreted as “a system can’t change while you are watching it”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_Zeno_effect

    Atheistic materialists have tried to get around the Quantum Zeno effect by postulating that interactions with the environment (i.e. decoherence) are sufficient to explain the Quantum Zeno effect.

    Yet, the following interaction-free measurement of the Quantum Zeno effect demonstrated that the presence of the Quantum Zeno effect can be detected without interacting with a single atom.

    Interaction-free measurements by quantum Zeno stabilization of ultracold atoms – 14 April 2015
    Excerpt: In our experiments, we employ an ultracold gas in an unstable spin configuration, which can undergo a rapid decay. The object—realized by a laser beam—prevents this decay because of the indirect quantum Zeno effect and thus, its presence can be detected without interacting with a single atom.
    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2.....S-20150415

    In short, the quantum zeno effect, regardless of how atheistic materialists may feel about it, is experimentally shown to be a real effect that is not reducible to any materialistic explanation. And thus the original wikipedia statement of, “an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay”, stands as being a true statement.

    Moreover, advances in quantum information theory have now shown that “entropy is (not) a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”

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

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

    To repeat the last sentence from the quantum information paper, “we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”

    That statement is just fascinating! Why in blue blazes should the finely tuned entropic actions of the universe, entropic actions which also happen to explain time itself, even care if I am consciously observing them, and/or describing them, unless ‘the experience of ‘the now’ (Henri Bergson) really is more foundational to reality than the finely tuned 1 in 10^10^123 entropy of the universe is? To state the obvious, this finding of entropy being “a property of an observer who describes a system.” is very friendly to a Mind First, and/or to a Theistic view of reality.
    For instance Romans chapter 8: verses 20 and 21 itself states, “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.”

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

    Thus in conclusion ChuckyD, you eagerly overlooked Carroll’s ‘less that forthright’ debating tactics with Craig simply because he is an atheist, (and/or anti-Christian), such as yourself, but the Christian Theist is certainly under no obligation to overlook such a biased presentation of facts by Carroll. In fact, in the pursuit of truth, one is obligated to call such dishonesty on Carrol’s part out and to instead follow the evidence where it leads, no matter where it leads. And when one follows the evidence where it leads, (and as entropy, the initial entropy of the universe, the quantum Zeno effect, and quantum information theory, all testify), one is led to the fairly strong inference that the Mind of God must be behind the initial entropy of the universe, and thus that the Mind of God must be behind the beginning of time.

    2 Timothy 1:9
    He has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.

  137. 137
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @129

    Of all the current cosmologists out there, Sean Carroll, in my mind, is at the top of the list in terms of top-drawer scientists seriously addressing issues of philosophy and theology. If you haven’t , you should listen to his debate with Christian apologist William Lane Craig (Google their names and it will pop right up). Carroll also has an incredible podcast called “Mindscape.” Again, simply Google it.

    Thanks! I haven’t looked for the debate yet, though I did find Carroll’s after-action report, and through that, his paper “Why Is There Something, Rather Than Nothing?“, which I just finished reading.

    I do count Sartre as one of my philosophical “heroes” despite many disagreements I have with him, particularly his alignment with Marxism. It may be generational. When I was in grad school at CU/Boulder, I had the privilege of attending some talks given by Hazel Barnes, the Classics prof who did the English translation of “Being and Nothingness.” She emphasized that Sartre and Camus’ literature must be viewed in the larger context of their involvement in the French resistance during WWII. Their “anti-authoritarianism” was not that of a disaffected and privileged college sophomore, it was a matter of France’s battle for survival. Both Sartre and Camus considered themselves first as authors and not philosophers. It’s no coincidence that they both received the Nobel in literature. What they, along with Nietzsche did do, is make philosophy accessible to non-experts through their novels, plays and essays. As far as I’m concerned, “Nausea” is arguably the greatest philosophical novel written.

    I’m envious that you go to hear Barnes in person! She was a legend!

    I agree that they helped make philosophy accessible, and it was an important rejection of how philosophy had become “professionalized”. At the same time, there’s no getting around the fact that Nietzsche despised liberal democracy, even though he was not quite a fascist, either. The early Sartre is certainly fascinating, though I suspect he soon realized that a metaphysics (“phenomenological ontology”, in his terms) in which each consciousness must regard itself as existing in a solipsistic universe cannot ground any ethics worth having.

    @134

    A philosopher must be concerned about having a coherent worldview/metaphysics. For instance, Sarte has written a lot about being absolutely free, but as far as I can tell he shows no concern as to how this is possible in a physically determined world.

    Sartre was never a naturalist or physicalist: it was never his view that we need to find room for consciousness in a physically determined world. Rather, he took an almost diametrically opposite view (in his earlier works): consciousness is not a thing of any kind whatsoever, it is not a kind of being. Consciousness is “nihilation”, negation of being. That’s why his first masterpiece is called Being and Nothingness: there is that which exists or is (being), and then there is that which nihilates (consciousness).

    I won’t go into the whole argument as to how Sartre identifies consciousness with nihilation or non-being: it’s really complicated, I don’t fully understand it myself, and from what little of it I do understand, I don’t think the argument is logically valid.

  138. 138
    vividbleau says:

    PMI

    Two things come to mind when I think of Sartre.
    The eye on the billboard in the Great Gatsby and Ernest Hemingway.

    Vivid

  139. 139
    Querius says:

    Chuckdarwin @127,

    And yet, that’s exactly what you are suggesting…….

    Let me show you how that’s exactly NOT what I’m suggesting.

    The science referenced in my previous comments will certainly change over time. What I’m saying is that the Bible’s narratives are completely and perhaps surprisingly compatible with scientific inquiry.

    The Genesis account doesn’t demand a dismissive “God did it,” but it invites the provocative inference of design—there are things that God created to be discovered, and they will be amazing!

    • Certainly not as Carl Sagan objects, “God for you is where you sweep away all the mysteries of the world, all the challenges to our intelligence. You simply turn your mind off and say God did it.” – Dr. Arroway in Contact.

    • Certainly not as Richard Dawkins objects, “I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.”

    Genesis 1:1-5
    Let’s consider one interpretation of the first sentences in Genesis:

    • First something called the abyss came into existence.
    • The abyss started out in complete darkness and had fluid properties.
    • Then the abyss became filled with light.
    • There was a separation between light and dark, where dark could be something that absorbs light rather than being the absence of light.
    • A periodicity between light and dark established the initial, fundamental unit of time.

    When we clear our minds of preconceptions, it’s not far-fetched that pulsed light-and-dark transitions enable a basic measurement of time. This is compatible with science.

    Note: Just as object of comparison such as a meter stick is needed to measure distance, periodicity is needed to define elapsed time. A light-dark cycle in Genesis defines a day and 1/24th of a day defines an hour. Currently, a solar day is defined as the period of time it takes for the Earth to rotate about its axis so that the Sun appears in the same position in the sky. Astronomers use the sidereal day, which is defined as the period of time it takes for the Earth to rotate about its axis so that the distant stars appear in the same position in the sky. A sidereal day on earth is about 4 minutes shorter than a solar day.

    What the Biblical narrative doesn’t address is HOW God accomplished these things. Genesis has a pattern of things being created from out of other things (Adam out of dirt, Eve cloned from Adam) and a series of binary separations (which some software engineers recognize as information being is encoded).

    There are many additional clues and hints to the compatibility of the Biblical narrative to scientific inquiry. Here’s another one:

    The First Recorded Scientific Experiment in History
    Jews and Christians have a rich legacy in scientific endeavors and discoveries. The first rigorous scientific experiment recorded in history is found in the writings of Daniel, a young Jewish captive of the Babylonian empire. Daniel and his friends did not want to eat the choice Babylonian food ordered for them by the king.

    As described in Daniel 1:11-16, Daniel’s experiment in nutrition included the essential components of the scientific method:

    • A hypothesis
    • A set period of time
    • More than one experimental subject
    • Both an experimental group and a control group
    • Well-defined parameters
    • A change in a single variable
    • An independent evaluator
    • Observation and analysis—subjective in the absence of blood tests
    • A written record
    • A grant

    This text is astonishing considering that Daniel’s experiment was conducted about 2,600 years ago! As a result, Daniel and his friends received a grant—they were allowed to maintain their vegetarian diet.

    Again, the Bible isn’t a science textbook on HOW God accomplished anything, but it encourages structured investigation. It’s not at all like the twin Darwinian gods-of-the-gaps, MUSTA and MIGHTA!

    The primary focus of the Bible, is as a user manual for living life by means of ordinary stories, poetry, and principles, rather than complicated, mind-numbing theology or philosophy. Along the way, it’s also compatible with and welcomes scientific inquiry.

    -Q

  140. 140
    chuckdarwin says:

    PM1
    I agree that Being and Nothingness can be tough-going and impossible to understand in parts. There’s a rumor that floats around the edge of existentialism circles that Sartre actually wrote Being and Nothingness partly to parody Heidegger’s Being and Time. Both had attended lectures by Husserl and I don’t think there was any love lost between them, particularly given Heidegger’s political sympathies. Apparently Heidegger had a Bergson-esque personality, arrogant, intolerant, self-important, impenetrable, that Sartre, who was very gregarious, down to earth and popular, found insufferable. I read that when Sartre died, it is estimated that 50 to 60,000 people followed his hearse to Montparnasse cemetery in Paris.

  141. 141
    relatd says:

    Vb at 130,

    You, and others, may be interested in the following:

    https://www.amazon.com/Deathbed-Conversions-Finding-Faith-Finish/dp/161278612X

  142. 142
    chuckdarwin says:

    Vivid
    I apologize for jumping to the conclusion that your interest was feigned. I’ve read the various accounts of Sartre’s “death bed conversion “ and can only conclude that we will never know. The sources are simply too unreliable. Let me put it this way, folks are still fighting over Darwin’s supposed death bed conversion. I think these type of provocative stories are designed to support biased agendas rather than report the truth….

  143. 143
    relatd says:

    Querius at 139,

    I don’t understand your problem with how God did anything. If modern scientists were there and observed Lazarus being placed in a tomb, starting to decay and then Jesus raising him from the dead, they would have zero idea of how it was done regardless of the equipment they brought with them. We can know what God actually did but the how will remain beyond our grasp. God can do things only God can do.

  144. 144
    Origenes says:

    PM1@

    Sartre was never a naturalist or physicality …

    What was he then? I am asking while I hold that a real philosopher should be perfectly clear about his position.

    … it was never his view that we need to find room for consciousness in a physically determined world. Rather, he took an almost diametrically opposite view (in his earlier works): consciousness is not a thing of any kind whatsoever, it is not a kind of being. Consciousness is “nihilation”, negation of being.

    Completely unhindered by the fundamental notion that from nothing nothing comes. Perfectly suitable for a poet or a novelist.

    it’s really complicated

    That’s one way of putting it.

  145. 145
    Querius says:

    Relatd @143,

    I don’t understand your problem with how God did anything. If modern scientists were there and observed Lazarus being placed in a tomb, starting to decay and then Jesus raising him from the dead, they would have zero idea of how it was done regardless of the equipment they brought with them. We can know what God actually did but the how will remain beyond our grasp. God can do things only God can do.

    Nicely stated and I don’t disagree at all. There are three categories to consider:

    • There are things that we as humans both cannot understand, nor can we do.
    • There are other things that we CAN understand but cannot do.
    • And some things, we can both understand and do.

    These last two categories can be subjected to scientific inquiry. Our investigation reveals the brilliance of God’s genius to His glory and our admiration.

    As Dr. Tour stated, while we are currently clueless about how life originated (if we’re honest about it), he doesn’t at all preclude the possibility that in the future, we might find a way to create living things in a laboratory. However, HOW God originally accomplished such things is beyond our reach.

    -Q

  146. 146
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @144

    What was he then? I am asking while I hold that a real philosopher should be perfectly clear about his position.

    I agree that good philosophers should be as clear as possible about their positions. From what little of Sartre that I’ve read, I think he had a very distinct position that is not easily classified by any “-ism”.

    As Chuckdarwin mentioned above, Sartre (like Heidegger) was much influenced by Edmund Husserl. Husserl is the founder of phenomenology. Phenomenology, as Husserl intended it, is a distinct method of philosophizing: instead of speculating about what really exists or whatever, phenomenologists describe how things appear to consciousness. Anything that can appear to consciousness — physical things, dreams, memories, values, numbers, other people, even God (?) — can be given a phenomenological description.

    My favorite work of phenomenology is a book written by another French philosopher, Maurice Merleau-Ponty. It’s called Phenomenology of Perception, and it’s about what is to perceive the world. Merleau-Ponty thinks that it’s actually very difficult to really pay attention to how it is that we see and sense the world, because we’re so caught up in expectations and assumptions about we think we see.

    Sartre’s distinction between being and consciousness inspired Thomas Nagel’s famous “What is like to be a bat?” In that essay, Nagel argues that physicalism is necessarily incomplete as a description of the world because there are phenomenological facts — facts about subjective experience — that aren’t entailed by any set of physical facts, no matter how precise.

  147. 147
    relatd says:

    Querius at 145,

    As soon as the appropriate equipment becomes available, it will be possible to create some sort of duplicate of a primitive – meaning, the fewest parts possible – cell. This will be 100% intelligent design. Of course, this sort of ability will automatically be turned into a money-making enterprise. Scientists will be instructed to build “designer cells” but this will not be possible unless cell duplication/reconstruction is fully understood. Then, we will see cells designed to carry out certain functions that are profitable. The more complex cells cannot be duplicated unless a full understanding of all the working parts occurs first.

    Beyond creating a simple cell duplicate, multicellular life will remain impossible to duplicate.

    I think some regard creating a simple working cell as ‘job over.’ Not so. Like all living cells, it needs to eat, metabolize the food and discard waste products. If the simple cell duplicate cannot do this then it will stop functioning.

  148. 148
    vividbleau says:

    CD 142

    Your apology speaks well for yourself. Apology accepted of course and much appreciated! Thank you for your response.

    “ I think these type of provocative stories are designed to support biased agendas rather than report the truth…”

    Agreed.

    Vivid

  149. 149
    vividbleau says:

    Related re 141

    Thanks!!

    Vivid

  150. 150
    vividbleau says:

    CD

    I forgot to add that Lord knows I have had to do my share of apologizing on this forum in the past and no doubt I will have to do so in the future LOL

    Vivid

  151. 151
    bornagain77 says:

    A Review of Craig vs Carroll (debate) – 2020
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gye1XE0kVJY
    I’m joined by Ronald Cram, Dr. Luke Barnes, and Dr. Aron Wall to review the William Lane Craig/Sean Carroll debate on God and cosmology that took place in 2014. We play and comment on select clips from the debate.

  152. 152
    Querius says:

    Bornagain77 @131,

    Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, Aron Wall’s paper is paywalled, but I get the gist in the abstract. Some of Aron Wall’s other links and posts led me to this excellent video.

    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism (v2)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wM0IKLv7KrE

    I liked the conclusion . . .

    The very fundamental nature of matter implies consciousness is not a product of it but that the opposite is true. Physical matter is a product of consciousness, thus leading to an idealistic or dualistic approach to reality. The physical universe is a product of mind, and the very fundamental pieces of reality require an observer.

    The old view of materialism is inadequate in fitting the data. There are simply no hidden variables and no interpretation of quantum mechanics that cannot account for the data without being ad hoc. Reality is dependent on conscious observers, as Nobel Prize winner, Eugene Wigner, said well.
    A number of philosophical ideas may be logically consistent with present quantum mechanics. Materialism is not.

    However, what occurs to me is that, while unobserved reality consists of mathematical probabilities (wavefunctions), what determines whether wavefunctions collapse as electrons vs. photons or any other particle since there are no hidden variables? It seems like there need to be as many overlapping mathematical probability fields as different particles, one for each type. Maybe you have a link or reference.

    Thus, of necessity, there is a source for our existence.

    This reminds me of a hypothetical conversation between two quantum physicists. One of them tells the other, “There’s some good news and some bad news. The good news is that we now know that God really exists. The bad news is that it appears that God is a mathematician.”

    Incidentally, your last link in your comment is broken.

    P.S. I’m now reading this paper by Dr. Wall:
    http://www.wall.org/~aron/blog.....y-theorem/

    -Q

  153. 153
    Origenes says:

    PM1@ 146

    Thx.
    Thomas Nagel tends to panpsychism, he assumes that “conscious experience is a widespread phenomenon.” In that context his question “What is it like to be a bat?” is rather unsurprising.
    What is it like to be a microbe? What is it like to be an electron?
    My answer: there is no one home, wrong question.
    Eliminative materialism claims that consciousness does not exist, and panpsychism claims that consciousness is everywhere. Both attempts stem from desperation.

  154. 154
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks Querius, I can’t do anything about Wall’s article being paywalled, but as you alluded to, Wall does discuss his paper in more detail on his blog and in a Scientific American article,

    Did the Universe Begin? II: Singularity Theorems
    http://www.wall.org/~aron/blog.....-theorems/

    Did the Universe Begin? IV: Quantum Eternity Theorem
    http://www.wall.org/~aron/blog.....y-theorem/

    Did the Universe Begin? VI: The Generalized Second Law
    http://www.wall.org/~aron/blog.....econd-law/

    Time Machines Would Run Afoul of the Second Law of Thermodynamics
    Last year I got talking to theoretical physicist Aron Wall about the thermodynamics of quantum gravity. Now that’s a deceptively beautiful phrase: in four words, you get three of the deepest areas in modern science.
    By George Musser on May 23, 2014
    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/critical-opalescence/time-machines-would-run-afoul-of-the-second-law-of-thermodynamics/

    Also see the following discussion where, at one point, Wall refers to Carroll’s QET model as “idiosyncratic” to Carroll, which is to say that Carroll’s model is not to be considered a generally accepted model.

    A Review of Craig vs Carroll (debate) – 2020
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gye1XE0kVJY
    I’m joined by Ronald Cram, Dr. Luke Barnes, and Dr. Aron Wall to review the William Lane Craig/Sean Carroll debate on God and cosmology that took place in 2014. We play and comment on select clips from the debate.

    I tried to find a live link for the Johanan Raatz article. And from my limited search, I could not find a live link to it. Sorry.

  155. 155
    bornagain77 says:

    Querius, as you touched upon with the link to the “Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism (v2)” video, quantum mechanics falsifies materialism.

    In fact, I personally think that atheists, if they want to remain self-respecting atheists, should stay as far away from quantum mechanics as possible. That Carroll would even try to invoke Quantum Mechanics to support his atheistic worldview is, in my view, laughable.

    One of the main problems for atheists in quantum mechanics is the ‘measurement problem’. Which is to say that atheists have no causal ‘mechanism’ in order to explain the collapse of the wave-function.

    The Measurement Problem
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB7d5V71vUE

    In fact, in the atheistic Many Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, (MWI), (which is the ‘delusional’ interpretation of quantum mechanics which Sean Carroll himself champions),,,,

    Sean Carroll Thinks We All Exist on Multiple Worlds – Sept. 10, 2019
    https://www.wired.com/story/sean-carroll-thinks-we-all-exist-on-multiple-worlds/

    Atheist Physicist Sean Carroll: An Infinite Number of Universes Is More Plausible Than God – Michael Egnor – August 2, 2017
    Excerpt: as I noted, the issue here isn’t physics or even logic.
    The issue is psychiatric. We have a highly accomplished physicist, who regards the existence of God as preposterous, asserting that the unceasing creation of infinite numbers of new universes by every atom in the cosmos at every moment is actually happening (as we speak!), and that it is a perfectly rational and sane inference. People have been prescribed anti-psychotic drugs for less.
    Now of course Carroll isn’t crazy, not in any medical way. He’s merely given his assent to a crazy ideology — atheist materialism —,,,
    What can we in the reality-based community do when an ideology — the ideology that is currently dominant in science — is not merely wrong, but delusional? I guess calling it what it is is a place to start.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2017/08/atheist-physicist-sean-carroll-an-infinite-number-of-universes-is-more-plausible-than-god/

    ,,, In fact, in the atheistic Many Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, (MWI), the reality of wave-function collapse is simply denied.

    Many-worlds interpretation
    Excerpt: The many-worlds interpretation (MWI) is an interpretation of quantum mechanics that asserts that the universal wavefunction is objectively real, and that there is no wave function collapse.[2]
    – per wikipedia

    Quantum mechanics – Philosophical implications
    Excerpt: Everett’s many-worlds interpretation, formulated in 1956, holds that all the possibilities described by quantum theory simultaneously occur in a multiverse composed of mostly independent parallel universes.[52] This is a consequence of removing the axiom of the collapse of the wave packet.
    – per wikipedia

    And in the atheist’s denial of the reality of wave function collapse, and as Philip Ball notes, MWI “destroys any credible account of what an observer can possibly be.”

    Why the Many-Worlds Interpretation Has Many Problems – Philip Ball – October 18, 2018
    Excerpt: It, (The Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics), says that our unique experience as individuals is not simply a bit imperfect, a bit unreliable and fuzzy, but is a complete illusion. If we really pursue that idea, rather than pretending that it gives us quantum siblings, we find ourselves unable to say anything about anything that can be considered a meaningful truth. We are not just suspended in language; we have denied language any agency. The MWI — if taken seriously — is unthinkable.
    Its implications undermine a scientific description of the world far more seriously than do those of any of its rivals. The MWI tells you not to trust empiricism at all: Rather than imposing the observer on the scene, it destroys any credible account of what an observer can possibly be. Some Everettians insist that this is not a problem and that you should not be troubled by it. Perhaps you are not, but I am.
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/why-the-many-worlds-interpretation-of-quantum-mechanics-has-many-problems-20181018/

    Luckily for our existence as observers, (and for sanity itself I might add), wave function collapse, (and directly contrary to what atheists hold in their MWI), is now experimentally shown to be a real effect.

    As the following article states, experiments have now demonstrated “the non-local, (i.e. beyond space and time), collapse of a (single) particle’s wave function”,, “the collapse of the wave function is a real effect”,, “the instantaneous non-local, (beyond space and time), collapse of the wave function to wherever the particle is detected”,, and “Through these different measurements, you see the wave function collapse in different ways, thus proving its existence and showing that Einstein was wrong.”,,

    Quantum experiment verifies Einstein’s ‘spooky action at a distance’ – March 24, 2015
    Excerpt: An experiment,, has for the first time demonstrated Albert Einstein’s original conception of “spooky action at a distance” using a single particle.
    ,, Professor Howard Wiseman and his experimental collaborators,, report their use of homodyne measurements to show what Einstein did not believe to be real, namely the non-local collapse of a (single) particle’s wave function.,,
    According to quantum mechanics, a single particle can be described by a wave function that spreads over arbitrarily large distances,,,
    ,, by splitting a single photon between two laboratories, scientists have used homodyne detectors—which measure wave-like properties—to show the collapse of the wave function is a real effect,,
    This phenomenon is explained in quantum theory,, the instantaneous non-local, (beyond space and time), collapse of the wave function to wherever the particle is detected.,,,
    “Einstein never accepted orthodox quantum mechanics and the original basis of his contention was this single-particle argument. This is why it is important to demonstrate non-local wave function collapse with a single particle,” says Professor Wiseman.
    “Einstein’s view was that the detection of the particle only ever at one point could be much better explained by the hypothesis that the particle is only ever at one point, without invoking the instantaneous collapse of the wave function to nothing at all other points.
    “However, rather than simply detecting the presence or absence of the particle, we used homodyne measurements enabling one party to make different measurements and the other, using quantum tomography, to test the effect of those choices.”
    “Through these different measurements, you see the wave function collapse in different ways, thus proving its existence and showing that Einstein was wrong.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-03-q.....tance.html

    So, regardless of how atheistic materialists may feel about it, wave function collapse is now shown to be a real effect and, as such, the MWI is now experimentally shown to a false interpretation of quantum mechanics.

    It is also interesting to note that the wave function, prior to collapse, is mathematically defined as being in an infinite dimension state that requires an infinite amount of information to describe properly.

    Wave function
    Excerpt: As has been demonstrated, the set of all possible wave functions in some representation for a system constitute an in general infinite-dimensional Hilbert space.
    – per wikipedia
    “wave functions form an abstract vector space”,,, This vector space is infinite-dimensional, because there is no finite set of functions which can be added together in various combinations to create every possible function.

    Why do we need infinite-dimensional Hilbert spaces in physics?
    You need an infinite dimensional Hilbert space to represent a wavefunction of any continuous observable (like position for example).
    https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/149786/why-do-we-need-infinite-dimensional-hilbert-spaces-in-physics

    Quantum Computing – Stanford Encyclopedia
    Excerpt: Theoretically, a single qubit can store an infinite amount of information, yet when measured (and thus collapsing the superposition of the Quantum Wave state) it yields only the classical result (0 or 1),,,
    – per Stanford Encyclopedia

    As is fairly obvious, the ‘infinite dimensional’ Hilbert space corresponds to the Theistic attribute of omnipresence. Whilst the infinite information required to describe the ‘infinite dimensional’ wave function prior to collapse corresponds to the Theistic attribute of omniscience.

    Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent God: Definition
    Excerpt: Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence
    Omnipotence means all-powerful. Monotheistic theologians regard God as having supreme power. This means God can do what he wants. It means he is not subject to physical limitations like man is. Being omnipotent, God has power over wind, water, gravity, physics, etc. God’s power is infinite, or limitless.

    Omniscience means all-knowing. God is all all-knowing in the sense that he is aware of the past, present, and future. Nothing takes him by surprise. His knowledge is total. He knows all that there is to know and all that can be known.

    Omnipresence means all-present. This term means that God is capable of being everywhere at the same time. It means his divine presence encompasses the whole of the universe. There is no location where he does not inhabit. This should not be confused with pantheism, which suggests that God is synonymous with the universe itself; instead, omnipresence indicates that God is distinct from the universe, but inhabits the entirety of it. He is everywhere at once.
    https://study.com/academy/lesson/omnipotent-omniscient-and-omnipresent-god-definition-lesson-quiz.html

    In essence, the wave function is, basically, mathematically described as being one of “God’s thoughts’ prior to its collapse to its finite ‘material’ state.

    Which is rather stunning confirmation of the Christian’s contention, (via ‘Neoplatonic philosophy and Augustinian theology’), that the (infinite-dimensional and infinite information) mathematics that are found to describe this universe at its most basic level really are “God’s thoughts”.

    Keep It Simple – Edward Feser – 2020
    Excerpt: Mathematics appears to describe a realm of entities with quasi-­divine attributes. The series of natural numbers is infinite. That one and one equal two and two and two equal four could not have been otherwise. Such mathematical truths never begin being true or cease being true; they hold eternally and immutably. The lines, planes, and figures studied by the geometer have a kind of perfection that the objects of our ­experience lack. Mathematical objects seem immaterial and known by pure reason rather than through the senses. Given the centrality of mathematics to scientific explanation, it seems in some way to be a cause of the natural world and its order.
    How can the mathematical realm be so apparently godlike? The traditional answer, originating in Neoplatonic philosophy and Augustinian theology, is that our knowledge of the mathematical realm is precisely knowledge, albeit inchoate, of the divine mind. Mathematical truths exhibit infinity, necessity, eternity, immutability, perfection, and immateriality because they are God’s thoughts, and they have such explanatory power in scientific theorizing because they are part of the blueprint implemented by God in creating the world. For some thinkers in this tradition, mathematics thus provides the starting point for an argument for the existence of God qua supreme intellect.
    https://www.firstthings.com/article/2020/04/keep-it-simple

    So thus in conclusion, the atheist, (as is apparent in his appeal to MWI) is at a complete loss to coherently explain the collapse of the infinite dimensional-infinite information quantum wave, whereas the Christian Theist readily does have a ‘causally sufficient’ explanation for the ‘non-local’, (i.e. beyond space and time), collapse of the infinite dimensional-infinite information quantum wave.

    There is much more that could be said about quantum mechanics that is antithetical to atheistic metaphysics, but seeing as Carroll’s ‘delusional’ MWI of quantum mechanics is now shown to be experimentally falsified, let’s just leave it here for now since that falsification, all by itself, pretty much renders anything else Carroll might have to say about quantum mechanics, via his QET model, null and void.

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    but test all things. Hold fast to what is good.

  156. 156
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @153

    Eliminative materialism claims that consciousness does not exist, and panpsychism claims that consciousness is everywhere. Both attempts stem from desperation.

    Just to note, eliminative materialists do not claim that consciousness doesn’t exist. Paul Churchland, who picked up the ball of eliminative materialism and ran with it, wasn’t even talking about consciousness at all: he was arguing that we should eliminate propositions in light of what neuroscience tells us about how the brain actually represents its environment. Even illusionists like Keith Frankish don’t deny that consciousness is real — they deny that introspection is a reliable guide to what consciousness is.

    That said, I find eliminative materialism a bit too eager to throw out the baby (phenomenology) with the bathwater (introspection), and panpsychism strikes me as a desperate attempt to avoid emergentism.

  157. 157
    Origenes says:

    PM1@

    …. panpsychism strikes me as a desperate attempt to avoid emergentism.

    WRT consciousness, eliminative materialism, panpsychism, and emergentism form an amusing trio: “Doesn’t exist”, “Exists everywhere”, “**Poofs** into existence.”

  158. 158
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    @157

    WRT consciousness, eliminative materialism, panpsychism, and emergentism form an amusing trio: “Doesn’t exist”, “Exists everywhere”, “**Poofs** into existence.”

    I’ve given up trying to convince people for whom it’s a simple article of faith that emergentism is magic, and who refuse to consider arguments otherwise.

  159. 159
    Querius says:

    Bornagain77 @155,

    Thanks for once again posting the link to the excellent video

    The Measurement Problem
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB7d5V71vUE

    When you think about it, the Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI) is absolutely the most egregious violation of parsimony imaginable!

    What Henry Stapp calls “metaphysical prejudice,” I’d call ideological poisoning, since it prevents theoretical physicists in this case from even considering the obvious conclusion—that consciousness, choice, observation and information are not emergent from nature, but rather they instantiate nature from mathematical probabilities!

    This conclusion, rather than rationalizing why deterministic materialism isn’t busted, actually follows the science rather than tirelessly invoking the twin gods of the gaps, MIGHTA and MUSTA.

    How refreshing!

    -Q

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