Intelligent Design

I Finally Figured Out TSZ’s Motto

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For years I have been bemused by the website called The Skeptical Zone.  Every few months I go over there and peruse the posts.  And I think to myself, if they are so skeptical, why does practically everything they say line up with the received dogmas and conventional wisdom of the early 21st century Western intelligentsia?

Do they not know what the word “skeptical” means?  Are they going for ironical?

But in a flash of insight today, I finally figured it out.  The key is in the quote from Cromwell at the top of their homepage that serves as the motto for the site:

I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken.

All of this time I mistakenly thought that they were using the aphorism the way Cromwell intended as in “We should bear in mind that each of us is fallible; it follows that each of us should always allow for the possibility that even his most intensely-held beliefs might possibly be mistaken.”

No, that is not it.  It all becomes clear when you realize that they mean their motto quite literally and when they think of it they think of it this way:

I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that YOU may be mistaken.

There you have it.  They are skeptical all right.  They are skeptical of everyone’s views but their own, which they hold with a breathtakingly dogmatic tenacity.  It all makes sense to me now

31 Replies to “I Finally Figured Out TSZ’s Motto

  1. 1
    Andre says:

    Imagine that and all the while I thought it’s just a bunch of leftest hippies angry at God for giving them free will.

  2. 2
    bFast says:

    It took you til now to figure out that the skeptics are skeptical of skepticism?

  3. 3
    Orloog says:

    All of this time I mistakenly thought that they were using the aphorism the way Cromwell intended as in “We should bear in mind that each of us is fallible; it follows that each of us should always allow for the possibility that even his most intensely-held beliefs might possibly be mistaken.”

    Do you really think that Cromwell allowed for the possibility that he was wrong?

  4. 4
    RexTugwell says:

    The motto is certainly consistent with their zero-concession policy.

  5. 5
    Seversky says:

    All of this time I mistakenly thought that they were using the aphorism the way Cromwell intended as in “We should bear in mind that each of us is fallible; it follows that each of us should always allow for the possibility that even his most intensely-held beliefs might possibly be mistaken.”

    I cannot speak for the others at TSZ but that is certainly how I read Cromwell’s aphorism.

    I am an a/mat 2.0. – an atheist/agnostic/materialist (physicalist). I believe the observable universe is a material phenomenon – whatever they may be. We know things by their individual natures and it is by studying those natures in a methodical and rational way that we learn about the nature of the universe as a whole. I believe that any phenomena that we currently label ‘supernatural’ – if they are found to exist other than in our consciousness – will be found to be of a material nature.

    I also admit quite freely that I could be wrong. In fact, being human and fallible, I am almost certainly wrong in some respects. I admit that there could be an intelligent agent of some sort behind life and/or the universe. We could be living in something like the simulation in The Matrix. There could be a god, even the Christian God. I cannot rule any of that out and if I were persuaded that any of it were true I don’t think I would have too much trouble adapting to it.

    The questions I would put to the contributors here who hold different beliefs is could you also concede that you could be wrong? Could Christians concede that there might be no God, that we are accidental products of a material universe, that we were not created according to a purpose in the mind of some supreme being? Could you abandon those beliefs and live with the alternative or would that be both utterly inconceivable and intolerable?

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky,,,

    “Could Christians concede that there might be no God, that we are accidental products of a material universe, that we were not created according to a purpose in the mind of some supreme being?”

    Where is your evidence? And, (pretending that you have a free will), can you accept that there is a God if shown otherwise? Or is that utterly inconceivable and intolerable (‘repugnant’) for you?

    1. Naturalism/Materialism predicted time-space energy-matter always existed. Theism predicted time-space 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 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 (Gonzalez). –

    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).

    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 it is even very good at pointing us to Christianity:

    General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy & The Shroud Of Turin – (video)
    http://vimeo.com/34084462

  7. 7
    JimFit says:

    As a Greek i know the root of the word skeptical, it comes from the Greek word ????? which means thought. When someone in ancient Greece was skeptical he was even for his own beliefs, that’s why Socrates said “I know that i know nothing”.
    Materialists – Atheists on TSZ are not skeptics since they have their own unshakable dogma of materialism and they won’t let it go because it has replaced their need for a religion, no matter what the 21th century science says, for them there is only one explanation for their existence “They are random cosmic accidents that nothingness spewed without free will or purpose”. They can’t let it go since that would make them a psychological wreck. They are not skeptics they are hardcore believers.

  8. 8
    JimFit says:

    Seversky you said

    The questions I would put to the contributors here who hold different beliefs is could you also concede that you could be wrong? Could Christians concede that there might be no God, that we are accidental products of a material universe, that we were not created according to a purpose in the mind of some supreme being? Could you abandon those beliefs and live with the alternative or would that be both utterly inconceivable and intolerable?

    If God doesn’t exist then the Universe came out of absolute Nothingness, assembled itself through Randomness and we are here due to Luck, can you prove me that Nothingness, Randomness and Luck exist when everything follows Determinism? How do you expect me to believe what you said when these 3 lack any evidence?

  9. 9
    Axel says:

    Andre #1

    You have a very droll wit, Andre!

  10. 10
    Axel says:

    Your #6 BA – magisterial apologetics !

  11. 11
    Andre says:

    Axel

    look at the awesome material we have to work with. Thank you for the compliment.

  12. 12
    Seversky says:

    bornagain77 @ 6

    1. Naturalism/Materialism predicted time-space energy-matter always existed. Theism predicted time-space 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.

    Both contenders for the crown in cosmology – Big Bang and Steady State – were naturalistic/materialistic (nat/mat) theories

    The current age of the universe is estimated to be around 13.82 bn years, somewhat older than the 6000 years predicted by one theistic faith.

    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.

    Theism covers a number of faiths. Not all of them hold that God is sustaining the entire universe from second-to-second.

    Non-locality in quantum mechanics (a nat/mat theory) does not necessarily imply that the universe is dependent on something outside itself for 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

    Consciousness is not observed to exist apart from a physical substrate. A living brain exhibits consciousness, a dead brain does not. The signs of consciousness that were once exhibited by a dead brain have so far proven to be unrecoverable in all cases.

    The “observer effect” in quantum physics is produced by measuring instruments as much as by any human observer. It doesn’t support the claim that consciousness is what holds reality together.

    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) –

    Both Newtonian mechanics and relativity are nat/mat theories.

    None of the theistic faiths that I’m aware of make specific predictions about the rate at which time passes.

    Psalm 90:4 – “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.” refers to God’s perception of time.

    2 Timothy 1:9 – “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,” concerns salvation.

    Neither make any prediction concerning the speed of light.

    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 life like human life (R. Collins, M. Denton).-

    Observations and calculations have shown that, if certain fundamental physical (nat/mat) constants varied from their observed values by even a small amount, the universe in which we live could not exist. The vast majority of this universe is unremittingly hostile to organic life such as ourselves. It is a huge leap of faith from those observations to the conclusion that this entire universe was created just for us.

    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 (Gonzalez).

    Nat/mat estimates concerning the prevalence of life in the universe vary considerably. Our planet could certainly be unique, not just “extremely unique” (is that like being ‘a bit pregnant’) in the sense that there is no other exactly like it that we know of. On the other hand, astronomers are finding plentiful evidence of planets around nearby stars so it’s certainly possible that there are other planets similar to Earth which bear life. Any theistic prediction that the Earth is unique as a home for life is in serious danger of being proved wrong.

    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.

    Nat/mat observations find evidence of life stretching far into deep time, tailing off billions of years ago and completely at odds with a special creation event 6000 years back.

    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) –

    The simplest life found on earth so far is not necessarily the earliest life ever to appear on Earth. Its relative complexity does not contradict the hypothesis that much simpler forms existed earlier or support a claim that they were created by a god.

    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.

    The nat/mat theory of evolution predicted that the “unfolding” of life would proceed in small, incremental steps but allowed that the rate at which it could happen could vary considerably. The 20-25 mn year Cambrian Explosion was a period when it happened a
    lot more rapidly but there is evidence of life preceding it. It was not the original creation event described in Genesis.

    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. […]

    Nat/mat theory holds that fossilization is a very rare event but even so there many transitional fossils have already been found. Theism makes no predictions about the frequency of fossils, transitional or otherwise, in the geological record.

    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)–

    It is estimated that new species are being discovered by science at the rate of 15000 – 20000 per year. The rate of speciation can vary hugely, new species of large animals taking hundreds of thousands of years to appear while new bacteria or viruses can emerge in just a few years. One study cataloged some 1400 human pathogens of which 87 were characterized as “novel”. If evolution occurs, there is no reason to think it has stopped now.

    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.

    Nothing in that research contradicts Darwin’s original claim that it was a question of degree not of kind.

    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.”.

    Nat/mat still predicts that much of our DNA is ‘junk’. The ENCODE researchers were heavily criticized for overstating their case. Thesim said nothing about the existence of DNA, let alone how much of it night be ‘junk’

    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) –

    Nat/mat theory always held that more mutations were detrimental than beneficial if for no other reason than that there are many more ways for something to go wrong than to go right. With the advent of neutral theory, the majority of mutations are held to be neutral or nearly so, a much smaller number are detrimental and a much smaller number still are positively beneficial, all of that being dependent on circumstances.

    As noted before, theism made no predictions concerning the existence of DNA, let alone the relative frequencies of neutral, detrimental or beneficial mutations.

    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. […]

    Nat/mat argues that morality is subjective. Theistic faiths simply argue that the morality dispensed by their chosen deity overrides all others. That doesn’t make it objective. The claim that morality is somehow embedded in our genes or in the fabric of the universe is nonsense.

    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).

    As noted above, quantum theory is a nat/mat theory. It just deals with nat/mat reality on the very smallest scales. It lends no support to the concept of a transcendent soul which at best is poorly-defined and at worst is incoherent.

  13. 13
    Seversky says:

    JimFit @ 8

    If God doesn’t exist then the Universe came out of absolute Nothingness, assembled itself through Randomness and we are here due to Luck, can you prove me that Nothingness, Randomness and Luck exist when everything follows Determinism? How do you expect me to believe what you said when these 3 lack any evidence?

    I don’t know how the universe originated but I don’t see that invoking a God helps. If we cannot get Something out of Nothing that also applies to God so our universe must always have been around, in some form or other, for as long as God has existed. But if the Universe can be eternal, in some form, with God then why not without God?

  14. 14
    Mapou says:

    It’s more than that, Barry. TSZ’s mission is not really to defend science against what they consider pseudoscience but specifically against their number 1 enemy: Christianity. They like the expression, “the bowels of Christ” for a reason. It’s a putdown of Christianity.

    TSZ is a typical reactionary, anti-Christian, atheist bozo site. Why atheist bozos? Because they weren’t taught that science is not advanced by criticizing others but by criticising science. Science should embrace criticism and welcome it. Instead, they erect a fortress around it: it’s us versus them. The whole thing becomes an exercise in intellectual incest, thus giving birth to all sorts of monstrosities. It’s pathetic and it stinks.

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky at 12

    as to:

    1. Naturalism/Materialism predicted time-space energy-matter always existed. Theism predicted time-space 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.

    you state

    Both contenders for the crown in cosmology – Big Bang and Steady State – were naturalistic/materialistic (nat/mat) theories
    The current age of the universe is estimated to be around 13.82 bn years, somewhat older than the 6000 years predicted by one theistic faith.

    Contrary to what you believe, Fred Hoyle’s Steady State Theory was developed directly in backlash to the growing evidence for a Big Bang, (in fact Hoyle first used the term ‘Big Bang’ as a derogatory term to express his disdain for a creation event. Hardly a philosophically neutral position) (of note Hoyle later became a Deist or maybe even a Theist).
    Moreover, Einstein’s greatest blunder is where he, philosophically not scientifically, added a constant to his General Relativity equation to reflect his naturalistic belief that the universe has always existed.
    Eddington philosophically wished that he ‘should like to find a genuine loophole’ to the ‘repugnant notion’ of a creation of the universe.
    All these philosophical reactions to the evidence for the Big Bang were derived solely from the naturalistic/materialistic philosophy of believing the universe has always existed.
    Even the atheist Carl Sagan reflected this naturalistic belief that the universe has always existed, years after the Big Bang was accepted science:

    ‘The Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be.’
    Carl Sagan

    To this day atheists fight tooth and nail against a beginning for the universe. This is reflected in Dr. Craig’s repeated defense of the Kalam cosmological argument against atheists who refuse to accept that the universe has/had a transcendent origin!

    Moreover, contrary to what you believe, only the Bible was correct in its prediction for a absolute beginning to the universe.

    “among all the ‘holy’ books, of all the major religions in the world, only the Holy Bible was correct in its claim for a transcendent origin of the universe. Some later ‘holy’ books, such as the Mormon text “Pearl of Great Price” and the Qur’an, copy the concept of a transcendent origin from the Bible but also include teachings that are inconsistent with that now established fact.” (Hugh Ross; Why The Universe Is The Way It Is; Pg. 228; Chpt.9; note 5)

    The Uniqueness Of The Bible Among ‘holy books’ and Evidence of God in Creation (Hugh Ross) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjYSz1OYG8Y

    The Most Important Verse in the Bible – Prager University – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BqWdu1BnBQ

    The Uniqueness of Genesis 1:1 – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBXdQCkISo0

    For you to try to co-opt the creation of the universe as a Naturalistic ‘prediction’ is nothing less than sheer intellectual dishonesty of the highest degree!

    as to:

    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.

    you state:

    Theism covers a number of faiths. Not all of them hold that God is sustaining the entire universe from second-to-second.

    No Theistic worldview except the Judeo-Christian worldview hold that God created and sustains this universe. Muslims ‘borrowed’ the concept but also teach things that are inconsistent with that belief (Hugh Ross)

    you then state:

    Non-locality in quantum mechanics (a nat/mat theory) does not necessarily imply that the universe is dependent on something outside itself for continued existence.

    That is sheer intellectual dishonesty on your part. Quantum non-locality demands an explanation that is not reducible to space-time matter-energy.

    as to

    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

    you state:

    Consciousness is not observed to exist apart from a physical substrate. A living brain exhibits consciousness, a dead brain does not. The signs of consciousness that were once exhibited by a dead brain have so far proven to be unrecoverable in all cases.

    You are willifully ignoring millions of testimonies from Near Death Experiences which directly contradict you claim that consciousness has never been observed apart from the temporal body.

    you then state:

    The “observer effect” in quantum physics is produced by measuring instruments as much as by any human observer. It doesn’t support the claim that consciousness is what holds reality together.

    Decoherence is falsified by interaction free measurement experiments.

    as to:

    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) –

    you state

    Both Newtonian mechanics and relativity are nat/mat theories.

    I did not mention Newton, but he would strongly disagree with you that his work supported a non-Theistic worldview.
    If you think of the eternity of Special Relativity as ‘natural’ I’m certainly not going to argue with you:

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

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

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

    you go on to state:

    None of the theistic faiths that I’m aware of make specific predictions about the rate at which time passes.
    Psalm 90:4 – “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.” refers to God’s perception of time.

    So God has a view of time that is certainly compatible with special relativity and it is not a prediction how?
    you go on:

    2 Timothy 1:9 – “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,” concerns salvation.

    Neither make any prediction concerning the speed of light.

    Actually, before time existed God’s first act of creation was ‘Let there be light’, so how about Genesis 1:1-3 and 1 John 1:5 to boot?

    as to

    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 life like human life (R. Collins, M. Denton).-

    you state:

    Observations and calculations have shown that, if certain fundamental physical (nat/mat) constants varied from their observed values by even a small amount, the universe in which we live could not exist. The vast majority of this universe is unremittingly hostile to organic life such as ourselves. It is a huge leap of faith from those observations to the conclusion that this entire universe was created just for us.

    actually, no it is not:

    “Intelligent design, as one sees it from a scientific point of view, seems to be quite real. This is a very special universe: it’s remarkable that it came out just this way. If the laws of physics weren’t just the way they are, we couldn’t be here at all. The sun couldn’t be there, the laws of gravity and nuclear laws and magnetic theory, quantum mechanics, and so on have to be just the way they are for us to be here. Some scientists argue that “well, there’s an enormous number of universes and each one is a little different. This one just happened to turn out right.” Well, that’s a postulate, and it’s a pretty fantastic postulate — it assumes there really are an enormous number of universes and that the laws could be different for each of them. The other possibility is that ours was planned, and that’s why it has come out so specially.”
    Nobel Prize winning Physicist Charles Townes

    “Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe that was created out of nothing and delicately balanced to provide exactly the conditions required to support life. In the absence of an absurdly improbable accident, the observations of modern science seem to suggest an underlying, one might say, supernatural plan.”
    Physicist and Nobel laureate Arno Penzias

    “If the Universe had not been made with the most exacting precision we could never have come into existence. It is my view that these circumstances indicate the universe was created for man to live in.”
    John O’Keefe (astronomer at NASA)

    “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”
    (NASA Astronomer Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers, p. 116.)

    as to

    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 (Gonzalez).

    you state:

    Nat/mat estimates concerning the prevalence of life in the universe vary considerably. Our planet could certainly be unique, not just “extremely unique” (is that like being ‘a bit pregnant’) in the sense that there is no other exactly like it that we know of. On the other hand, astronomers are finding plentiful evidence of planets around nearby stars so it’s certainly possible that there are other planets similar to Earth which bear life. Any theistic prediction that the Earth is unique as a home for life is in serious danger of being proved wrong.

    get back to me when you have some real evidence and not promissory materialism. The odds of life on another planet, even excluding the 10^40,000 chance of a simple self replicator ’emerging’, are fantastically prohibitive:

    Hugh Ross – Evidence For Intelligent Design Is Everywhere (10^-1054) – video
    https://vimeo.com/118304005

    Linked from Appendix C from Dr. Ross’s book, ‘Why the Universe Is the Way It Is’;
    Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters approx. equals 10^-1333
    dependency factors estimate approx. equals 10^324
    longevity requirements estimate approx. equals 10^45
    Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters approx. equals 10^-1054
    Maximum possible number of life support bodies in observable universe approx. equals 10^22

    Thus, less than 1 chance in 10^1032 exists that even one such life-support body would occur anywhere in the universe without invoking divine miracles.
    http://www.reasons.org/files/c....._part3.pdf

    as to:

    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.

    You state:

    Nat/mat observations find evidence of life stretching far into deep time, tailing off billions of years ago and completely at odds with a special creation event 6000 years back.

    Actually, finding life on earth as soon as it was possible, is VERY antagonistic to materialistic claims that life ‘randomly emerged’ from a prebiotic soup:

    Dr. Hugh Ross – Origin Of Life Paradox (No prebiotic chemical signatures)- video (40:10 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=UPvO2EkiLls#t=2410

    “We get that evidence from looking at carbon 12 to carbon 13 analysis. And it tells us that in Earth’s oldest (sedimentary) rock, which dates at 3.80 billion years ago, we find an abundance for the carbon signature of living systems. Namely, that life prefers carbon 12. And so if you see a higher ratio of carbon 12 to carbon 13 that means that carbon has been processed by life. And it is that kind of evidence that tells us that life has been abundant on earth as far back as 3.80 billion years ago (when water was first present on earth).,,, And that same carbon 12 to carbon 13 analysis tells us that planet earth, over it entire 4.5662 billion year history has never had prebiotics. Prebiotics would have a higher ratio of carbon 13 to carbon 12. All the carbonaceous material, we see in the entire geological record of the earth, has the signature of being post-biotic not pre-biotic. Which means planet earth never had a primordial soup. And the origin of life on earth took place in a geological instant” (as soon as it was possible for life to exist on earth).
    – Hugh Ross – quote as stated in preceding video

    Isotopic Evidence For Life Immediately Following Late Bombardment – Graph
    http://cdn.physorg.com/newman/.....bitofc.jpg

    When did oxygenic photosynthesis evolve? – Roger Buick – 2008
    Excerpt:,, U–Pb data from ca 3.8?Ga metasediments suggest that this metabolism could have arisen by the start of the geological record. Hence, the hypothesis that oxygenic photosynthesis evolved well before the atmosphere became permanently oxygenated seems well supported.
    http://rstb.royalsocietypublis...../2731.long

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    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) –

    you state:

    The simplest life found on earth so far is not necessarily the earliest life ever to appear on Earth. Its relative complexity does not contradict the hypothesis that much simpler forms existed earlier or support a claim that they were created by a god.

    It certainly does not confirm your hypothesis either. i.e. the score is Evidence 1, your hypothesis 0
    as to:

    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.

    you state:

    The nat/mat theory of evolution predicted that the “unfolding” of life would proceed in small, incremental steps but allowed that the rate at which it could happen could vary considerably. The 20-25 mn year Cambrian Explosion was a period when it happened a lot more rapidly but there is evidence of life preceding it. It was not the original creation event described in Genesis.

    That is simply false. Darwin himself argued that the Cambrian Explosion was problematic for his theory. And the ‘problem’ of the Cambrian Explosion has only gotten worse, not better, since Darwin’s time. The hypothetical transitionals that Darwin hoped would some day be discovered simply have not shown up and more new phyla have been discovered alongside what was already known for the period, thus exasperating what was already conceded as problematic by Darwin.

    I did not deny life preceded the Cambrian, in fact I just used the extremely early emergence of photosynthetic life as evidence against you
    as to:

    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. […]

    you state:

    Nat/mat theory holds that fossilization is a very rare event but even so there many transitional fossils have already been found. Theism makes no predictions about the frequency of fossils, transitional or otherwise, in the geological record.

    Actually, both the fossil record and the Bible are clear on ‘reproducing after their kind’

    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)–

    you state:

    It is estimated that new species are being discovered by science at the rate of 15000 – 20000 per year. The rate of speciation can vary hugely, new species of large animals taking hundreds of thousands of years to appear while new bacteria or viruses can emerge in just a few years. One study cataloged some 1400 human pathogens of which 87 were characterized as “novel”. If evolution occurs, there is no reason to think it has stopped now.

    Cataloging new species (mainly insects), that were not cataloged before is certainly not evidence for speciation.

    Your claim that new species of bacteria or viruses can emerge in a few years is just plain bogus. In fact, Lenski’s 25 plus year experiment with e-coli is exhibit A in Behe’s paper ‘The First Rule’:

    Scant search for the Maker
    Excerpt: But where is the experimental evidence? None exists in the literature claiming that one species has been shown to evolve into another. Bacteria, the simplest form of independent life, are ideal for this kind of study, with generation times of 20 to 30 minutes, and populations achieved after 18 hours. But throughout 150 years of the science of bacteriology, there is no evidence that one species of bacteria has changed into another, in spite of the fact that populations have been exposed to potent chemical and physical mutagens and that, uniquely, bacteria possess extrachromosomal, transmissible plasmids. Since there is no evidence for species changes between the simplest forms of unicellular life, it is not surprising that there is no evidence for evolution from prokaryotic to eukaryotic cells, let alone throughout the whole array of higher multicellular organisms. – Alan H. Linton – emeritus professor of bacteriology, University of Bristol.
    http://www.timeshighereducatio.....ode=159282

    Selection and Speciation: Why Darwinism Is False – Jonathan Wells:
    Excerpt: there are observed instances of secondary speciation — which is not what Darwinism needs — but no observed instances of primary speciation, not even in bacteria. British bacteriologist Alan H. Linton looked for confirmed reports of primary speciation and concluded in 2001: “None exists in the literature claiming that one species has been shown to evolve into another.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....why_d.html

    as to:

    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.

    you state:

    Nothing in that research contradicts Darwin’s original claim that it was a question of degree not of kind.

    That answer is simply a flat out lie of the first order. Such stark relief in metal capabilities directly contradicts Darwin’s prediction.:

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

    as to:

    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.”.

    you state:

    Nat/mat still predicts that much of our DNA is ‘junk’.

    And you are still completely wrong:

    What Is The Genome? It’s Certainly Not Junk! – Dr. Robert Carter – video – (Notes in video description)
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/8905583

    you go on:

    The ENCODE researchers were heavily criticized for overstating their case.

    They overstated nothing. If anything they understated it. The genome is fantastically complex and we have just barely scratched the surface of it yet:

    you go on:

    Thesim said nothing about the existence of DNA, let alone how much of it night be ‘junk’

    actually:

    Acts 3:15
    and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.

    as to:

    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) –

    you state:

    Nat/mat theory always held that more mutations were detrimental than beneficial if for no other reason than that there are many more ways for something to go wrong than to go right. With the advent of neutral theory, the majority of mutations are held to be neutral or nearly so, a much smaller number are detrimental and a much smaller number still are positively beneficial, all of that being dependent on circumstances.

    Neutral theory is a joke, and reiterating the fact that random mutations are almost always detrimental does nothing to alleviate the fact that it is crushing to neo-Darwinism:

    Multiple Overlapping Genetic Codes Profoundly Reduce the Probability of Beneficial Mutation George Montañez 1, Robert J. Marks II 2, Jorge Fernandez 3 and John C. Sanford 4 – May 2013
    Excerpt: It is almost universally acknowledged that beneficial mutations are rare compared to deleterious mutations [1–10].,, It appears that beneficial mutations may be too rare to actually allow the accurate measurement of how rare they are [11].
    1. Kibota T, Lynch M (1996) Estimate of the genomic mutation rate deleterious to overall fitness in E. coli . Nature 381:694–696.
    2. Charlesworth B, Charlesworth D (1998) Some evolutionary consequences of deleterious mutations. Genetica 103: 3–19.
    3. Elena S, et al (1998) Distribution of fitness effects caused by random insertion mutations in Escherichia coli. Genetica 102/103: 349–358.
    4. Gerrish P, Lenski R N (1998) The fate of competing beneficial mutations in an asexual population. Genetica 102/103:127–144.
    5. Crow J (2000) The origins, patterns, and implications of human spontaneous mutation. Nature Reviews 1:40–47.
    6. Bataillon T (2000) Estimation of spontaneous genome-wide mutation rate parameters: whither beneficial mutations? Heredity 84:497–501.
    7. Imhof M, Schlotterer C (2001) Fitness effects of advantageous mutations in evolving Escherichia coli populations. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 98:1113–1117.
    8. Orr H (2003) The distribution of fitness effects among beneficial mutations. Genetics 163: 1519–1526.
    9. Keightley P, Lynch M (2003) Toward a realistic model of mutations affecting fitness. Evolution 57:683–685.
    10. Barrett R, et al (2006) The distribution of beneficial mutation effects under strong selection. Genetics 174:2071–2079.
    11. Bataillon T (2000) Estimation of spontaneous genome-wide mutation rate parameters: whither beneficial mutations? Heredity 84:497–501.
    http://www.worldscientific.com.....08728_0006

    as to:

    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. […]

    you state:

    Nat/mat argues that morality is subjective. Theistic faiths simply argue that the morality dispensed by their chosen deity overrides all others. That doesn’t make it objective. The claim that morality is somehow embedded in our genes or in the fabric of the universe is nonsense.

    Yet:

    Moral evaluations of harm are instant and emotional, brain study shows – November 29, 2012
    Excerpt: People are able to detect, within a split second, if a hurtful action they are witnessing is intentional or accidental, new research on the brain at the University of Chicago shows.
    http://medicalxpress.com/news/.....brain.html

    This following study shows that objective morality is even built/designed into the way our bodies differentiate between hedonic and ‘noble’ moral happiness:

    Human Cells Respond in Healthy, Unhealthy Ways to Different Kinds of Happiness – July 29, 2013
    Excerpt: Human bodies recognize at the molecular level that not all happiness is created equal, responding in ways that can help or hinder physical health,,,
    The sense of well-being derived from “a noble purpose” may provide cellular health benefits, whereas “simple self-gratification” may have negative effects, despite an overall perceived sense of happiness, researchers found.,,,
    But if all happiness is created equal, and equally opposite to ill-being, then patterns of gene expression should be the same regardless of hedonic or eudaimonic well-being. Not so, found the researchers.
    Eudaimonic well-being was, indeed, associated with a significant decrease in the stress-related CTRA gene expression profile. In contrast, hedonic well-being was associated with a significant increase in the CTRA profile. Their genomics-based analyses, the authors reported, reveal the hidden costs of purely hedonic well-being.,,
    “We can make ourselves happy through simple pleasures, but those ‘empty calories’ don’t help us broaden our awareness or build our capacity in ways that benefit us physically,” she said. “At the cellular level, our bodies appear to respond better to a different kind of well-being, one based on a sense of connectedness and purpose.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....161952.htm

    And although a ‘instantaneous moral compass’, and the nuanced genetic response between noble vs. hedonic happiness, is pretty good for establishing that “there are moral laws of the universe just as abiding as the physical laws”, the following studies go one step further and shows that our moral intuition transcends space and time:

    Quantum Consciousness – Time Flies Backwards? – Stuart Hameroff MD
    Excerpt: Dean Radin and Dick Bierman have performed a number of experiments of emotional response in human subjects. The subjects view a computer screen on which appear (at randomly varying intervals) a series of images, some of which are emotionally neutral, and some of which are highly emotional (violent, sexual….). In Radin and Bierman’s early studies, skin conductance of a finger was used to measure physiological response They found that subjects responded strongly to emotional images compared to neutral images, and that the emotional response occurred between a fraction of a second to several seconds BEFORE the image appeared! Recently Professor Bierman (University of Amsterdam) repeated these experiments with subjects in an fMRI brain imager and found emotional responses in brain activity up to 4 seconds before the stimuli. Moreover he looked at raw data from other laboratories and found similar emotional responses before stimuli appeared.
    http://www.quantumconsciousnes.....Flies.html

    There is simply no coherent explanation that a materialist/atheist can give as to why morally troubling situations are detected prior to our becoming fully aware of them.
    as to:

    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).

    you state:

    As noted above, quantum theory is a nat/mat theory. It just deals with nat/mat reality on the very smallest scales. It lends no support to the concept of a transcendent soul which at best is poorly-defined and at worst is incoherent.

    Hand waving the problem away does not make the elephant disappear:

    Does Quantum Biology Support A Quantum Soul? – Stuart Hameroff – video (notes in description)
    http://vimeo.com/29895068

  17. 17
    Barry Arrington says:

    S @ 13:

    If we cannot get Something out of Nothing that also applies to God so our universe must always have been around . . .

    That would be true if God were part of the universe. Now, i am not going to spoon feed you this. You need to exert some effort. Now that I’ve given you that clue, tell me why your observation is a non sequitur.

  18. 18
    bFast says:

    Seversky, “The questions I would put to the contributors here who hold different beliefs is could you also concede that you could be wrong? … Could you abandon those beliefs and live with the alternative or would that be both utterly inconceivable and intolerable?”

    This certainly was my question when I was in my teens. I was raised in a Christian home. But I had to wonder if I was merely Christian because that is what I had been taught. I considered Darwinism very seriously. As such I do see your question as fair.

    I have amassed a great deal of evidence that has rooted me thoroughly in the belief both in the existence of a God that cares about me, and in that God being the Christian God. If you could truly usurp my mass of evidence, well, I would be prepared to abandon my faith position. I ask you this, however — must I limit myself to the findings published in recognized scientific journals in my analysis, or do the events that surround my own walk through the world count? If the latter counts, and it certainly does for me, then you have a huge challenge if you seek to get me to change my position.

  19. 19
    JimFit says:

    Seversky

    I don’t know how the universe originated but I don’t see that invoking a God helps. If we cannot get Something out of Nothing that also applies to God so our universe must always have been around, in some form or other, for as long as God has existed. But if the Universe can be eternal, in some form, with God then why not without God?

    Your argument can be rephraced like this

    “If God is Eternal and doesn’t need a cause why then the Universe can’t be eternal?”

    Simple, because it has been proven that the Physical Universe cannot be past eternal.

    The Borde-Vilenkin-Guth Theorem states that any universe, which has, on average, a rate of expansion greater 1 that system had to have a finite beginning. This would apply in any multiverse scenario as well.

    http://arxiv.org/pdf/gr-qc/0110012v2.pdf

    Why God? Because God is a Consciousness and Consciousness is the only thing that we know it precedes Materialism

    Four intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect):

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1G_Fi50ljF5w_XyJHfmSIZsOcPFhgoAZ3PRc_ktY8cFo/edit

    This video summarizes the arguments against Materialism

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C5pq7W5yRM

    So how? How did an immaterial Mind created matter, time and space? What if i tell you that not only we have the answer but a human being already did what God did?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVl1Hmth3HE

  20. 20
    Mung says:

    bFast, well said.

  21. 21
    Mung says:

    I Finally Figured Out TSZ’s Motto

    Meanwhile, over at TSZ, they are still struggling to figure it out.

  22. 22
    Cross says:

    Seversky @ 12

    “The current age of the universe is estimated to be around 13.82 bn years, somewhat older than the 6000 years predicted by one theistic faith.”

    The bible does not predict this, if you beleive it does, please quote the verse.

    bFast and ba77, well put as usual.

    Cheers

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, it seems my recent response to another dismissive materialist applies to you:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....of-theism/

    I suggest you respond to the multiple converging lines of evidence as presented at first level.

    KF

    PS: BA77, JF et al, some good stuff.

  24. 24
    groovamos says:

    Seversky : We know things by their individual natures and it is by studying those natures in a methodical and rational way that we learn about the nature of the universe as a whole. I believe that any phenomena that we currently label ‘supernatural’ … will be found to be of a material nature.

    Well I’m no philosopher but — is it not true that to know a thing by “its nature” is to know how it fits into nature and how it itself is an expression of nature, or at least the picture of nature held by the would-be knower?

    And is it not true that nature had a beginning?

    Nature having a beginning at the big bang logically points to a nature generator. The nature generator cannot be described or conceptualized in terms of “its nature” (as in the above referenced “thing”) unless you invent some logical tour de force that would make you famous for logically proving that nature created itself. (as the multiverse would-be inventors are trying for, now and forevermore)

    So if my modest delving into logic has any relevance, then the nature generator would obviously not be nature but superior to nature. The etymology of the word ‘supernatural’ is just that – an adjective for something superior to nature, as would be any theoretical, logically conceived nature generator.

    And so to categorize the supernatural as somehow fitting into one’s materialist picture of nature is wishful thinking, based on no evidence or consistent logical overturning of thousands of years of thinking by humans of all cultures.

    I realize this is scary stuff for materialists. But that is why materialists are what they are, they are scared of their origin. It’s as much a psychospiritual issue as one of philosophy.

  25. 25
    jw777 says:

    I once heard a Jewish thinker, who for many years had been an ardent anti-Palestinian, defending his newfound thinking wherein he seemed to have some “pro Palestine” rhetoric. He said something along the lines of this: in the morning, when I wake up, I think of my people I’ve lost… and I HATE the Palestinians; then as I begin to go on about my day, I don’t hate them anymore and I begin to think ‘maybe, even with all the hurt, we can really live in harmony and coexist in love’; and then later in the day I begin to think things will never change and I might hate them again.

    This is the most honest internal dialogue. This is the human experience. People who say that they live in constant absolute doubt of God are disingenuous, sad, or not experiencing the breadth of what it is to be human, where we many times experience the presence of something almighty which many would call The Almighty. And people who preach that they never experience bouts of serious doubt aren’t being honest or aren’t experiencing the breadth of human experience either.

    At this point, anyone who takes the label of skeptic probably isn’t, because they would by necessity not commit to a label with a groupthink set of connotations. Shermer has tried to wiggle around it by calling them “provisional” truths. That is, they stand until something better comes along. But sadly, “skeptic” nowadays does tend to boil down toward this: I made up my mind; I will not change my mind; I’m right; there’s nothing more true or interesting to know; now YOU ought to know I’m right, but worst case scenario at least be open to all of my rightness or you’re a closed-minded, inbred, bigoted, unscientific, backwoods, uneducated, evildoer ignoramus who deserves to have his rights and children taken away.

  26. 26
    Seversky says:

    Cross @ 22

    Seversky @ 12

    “The current age of the universe is estimated to be around 13.82 bn years, somewhat older than the 6000 years predicted by one theistic faith.”

    The bible does not predict this, if you beleive it does, please quote the verse.

    No, the Bible does not predict that specific age but a number of prominent Biblical scholars, among them Archbishop James Ussher, have calculated various ages around that value which Young Earth Creationists accept as authoritative. If you disagree, you should take it up with them.

  27. 27
    Seversky says:

    kairosfocus @ 23

    Sev, it seems my recent response to another dismissive materialist applies to you:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com…..of-theism/

    I suggest you respond to the multiple converging lines of evidence as presented at first level.

    Your arguments were discussed in the commentary to that OP. We can go over it point by point again if you wish

  28. 28
    Seversky says:

    groovamos @ 24

    And so to categorize the supernatural as somehow fitting into one’s materialist picture of nature is wishful thinking, based on no evidence or consistent logical overturning of thousands of years of thinking by humans of all cultures.

    As I said, my version of naturalism holds that, in simple terms, we learn about the world by studying the various natures of things. We learn about a dog by discovering the properties and attributes that makes it a dog and not a volcano. By the same argument, a ghost, if such exists, will have properties and attributes which make it a ghost and not a container ship. That is its nature and as such, if it exists, it will fall in the realm of natural things. The same would apply to a god.

    And I need hardly point out that thousands of years of thinking has led to beliefs in thousands of different gods or spirits over the millenia, not just one. They can’t all be right but I’m still waiting to be persuaded what makes yours or indeed any of the them the true one.

    I realize this is scary stuff for materialists. But that is why materialists are what they are, they are scared of their origin. It’s as much a psychospiritual issue as one of philosophy.

    It’s no more scary than Lord Sauron or The Borg or any other fictional entity.

    What I see believers fearing is the possibility that there is no God and, hence, no hope of life everlasting after the death of the body with all that entails. It is a bleak and, for many, an intolerable prospect.

  29. 29
    arkady967 says:

    Being skeptical means never having to admit you’re wrong.

    I remember the mindset.

  30. 30
    Seversky says:

    jw777 @ 25

    I once heard a Jewish thinker, who for many years had been an ardent anti-Palestinian, defending his newfound thinking wherein he seemed to have some “pro Palestine” rhetoric. He said something along the lines of this: in the morning, when I wake up, I think of my people I’ve lost… and I HATE the Palestinians; then as I begin to go on about my day, I don’t hate them anymore and I begin to think ‘maybe, even with all the hurt, we can really live in harmony and coexist in love’; and then later in the day I begin to think things will never change and I might hate them again

    It is easy to be bigoted about a group. It’s when we start putting a face on them, seeing them as individual human beings just like the rest of us with all our strengths and weaknesses. That’s as true of skeptics and believers as it is of different races or cultures.

    People who say that they live in constant absolute doubt of God are disingenuous, sad, or not experiencing the breadth of what it is to be human, where we many times experience the presence of something almighty which many would call The Almighty. And people who preach that they never experience bouts of serious doubt aren’t being honest or aren’t experiencing the breadth of human experience either.

    Actually, I think it’s the other way around. I yield to no one in my sense of awe and wonder when I use my imagination to try and envisage the sheer size and age of this universe. I don’t need belief in the Christian God to aid me. In fact, if anything religions are constrictive because everything must be forced to conform to their dogma. I see believers on this blog resisting the possibility that there might be intelligent life elsewhere in the Universe because it undermines one of the tenets of their faith which is that man is uniquely the pinnacle of God’s creation.

    At this point, anyone who takes the label of skeptic probably isn’t, because they would by necessity not commit to a label with a groupthink set of connotations. Shermer has tried to wiggle around it by calling them “provisional” truths. That is, they stand until something better comes along. But sadly, “skeptic” nowadays does tend to boil down toward this: I made up my mind; I will not change my mind; I’m right; there’s nothing more true or interesting to know; now YOU ought to know I’m right, but worst case scenario at least be open to all of my rightness or you’re a closed-minded, inbred, bigoted, unscientific, backwoods, uneducated, evildoer ignoramus who deserves to have his rights and children taken away.

    I’m not denying that there are so-called skeptics who think like that and come across as just as bigoted in their way as the fundamentalist believers they oppose. I’ve also known plenty of Christians who are nothing like the stereotypical fundie or the narrow-minded talking-heads who are all too often the unacceptable face of modern American Christianity on TV and radio.

    It’s also true that, over the millennia, skeptics and atheists have been reviled, oppressed and murdered on various pretexts by “closed-minded, inbred, bigoted, unscientific, backwoods, uneducated, evil… ignoramus[es]” In some places, they still are, judging by the three secular bloggers in Bangladesh who’ve been hacked to death recently by gangs with machetes. It seems that religion can often act like a sort of amplifier, it can magnify the good of which people are capable but it can also magnify the evil.

  31. 31
    Cross says:

    Seversky @ 26

    “somewhat older than the 6000 years predicted by one theistic faith.””

    “No, the Bible does not predict that specific age but a number of prominent Biblical scholars, among them Archbishop James Ussher, have calculated various ages around that value which Young Earth Creationists accept as authoritative. If you disagree, you should take it up with them.”

    Archbishop James Ussher does not represent the only view of “one theistic faith” you are arguing against a strawman.

    The source document “the bible” does not predict an age for the earth, genealogies, even incomplete ones can only guess at an age for “man” not the earth.

    It is fully consistent to believe in Creation and not a young earth (as I do) so this is not a good basis for your skepticism.

    Cheers

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