Intelligent Design

Is Larry Moran a conspiracy theorist?

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That’s the only conclusion I can draw, after reading Professor Larry Moran’s latest reply to my post, No evidence for God’s existence, you say? A response to Larry Moran. More on that anon. I will, however, note for the record that Professor Moran has backed down from his original assertion that there is no evidence whatsoever for God’s existence. He now writes:

When I say there’s no evidence for the existence of god(s) I mean that there is no “evidence” that stands up to close scrutiny… That brings up the question of what defines “valid evidence.” The short answer is “I don’t know” but I know it when I see it.

“I know it when I see it.” Hmm. Where have I heard that one before? Oh yes – Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart used the phrase back in 1964, when attempting to define “hard-core-pornography.” Justice Stewart’s definition made for poor law, because it left the ultimate decision of what constituted “obscenity” up to the whim of the courts. Professor Moran’s definition leaves the decision as to what counts as valid scientific evidence in the hands of one man: himself! A rather subjective criterion, wouldn’t you agree?

Professor Moran’s startling silence on the origin of life

I also note that in his latest reply to my post, Professor Moran, who is a well-respected biochemist, had not a word to say about the origin of life, despite the fact that a leading evolutionary biologist, Dr. Eugene Koonin, has calculated that the odds of even a very basic life-form – a coupled replication-translation system – emerging anywhere in the observable universe are astronomically low: 1 in 1 followed by 1,018 zeroes, on his extremely generous “toy model” of the primordial Earth. (By comparison, the number of atoms in the cosmos is only 1 followed by 82 zeroes, so even if there are lots of Earth-like planets in the universe, it won’t help matters much.) Dr. Koonin’s calculation can be found in his peer-reviewed article, The Cosmological Model of Eternal Inflation and the Transition from Chance to Biological Evolution in the History of Life, Biology Direct 2 (2007): 15, doi:10.1186/1745-6150-2-15. To circumvent the difficulty, Dr. Koonin posits a multiverse, but there are several problems with that hypothesis, as I pointed out in my recent post, Professor Krauss Objects (February 3, 2015):

The multiverse hypothesis faces five formidable problems: first, it merely shifts the fine-tuning problem up one level, as a multiverse capable of generating even one life-supporting universe would still need to be fine-tuned; second, the multiverse hypothesis itself implies that a sizable proportion of universes (including perhaps our own) were intelligently designed; third, the multiverse hypothesis predicts that most of the intelligent life-forms that exist should be “Boltzmann brains” that momentarily fluctuate into and out of existence; fourth, the multiverse hypothesis predicts that a universe containing intelligent life should be much smaller than the one we live in; and fifth, the multiverse hypothesis cannot account for the fact that the laws of physics are not only life-permitting, but also mathematically elegant – a fact acknowledged even by physicists with no religious beliefs.

I was hoping that Professor Moran would provide a detailed critique Dr. Koonin’s calculations in his latest reply, but none was forthcoming. On the basis of these calculations, coupled with the multiple failings of the multiverse hypothesis, I can only conclude that the origin of life points to its having had a Designer of some sort – a point which Professor Moran still refuses to acknowledge. To his credit, however, he has recently conceded that “We don’t know how the first information-containing molecules arose and how they came to be self-replicating,” and has also declared himself to be skeptical of the “primordial soup” and “RNA world” hypotheses.

The fine-tuning of the universe

Sadly, Professor Moran completely fails to come to terms with the fine-tuning argument in his latest reply to my post. He breezily dismisses the fine-tuning argument in three sentences:

If the universe is really “fine tuned” for the existence of life — and that is disputed by many scientists — then why does that constitute evidence of gods? We could not possibly find ourselves in any universe that was not compatible with the existence of life. If this universe arose entirely by accident then we would still be here discussing the meaning of evidence.

Nowhere in his post does Professor Moran name the “many scientists” who dispute the fine-tuning of the universe for life. For those readers who are interested, I would strongly recommend cosmologist Luke Barnes’ online essay, The Fine-Tuning of the Universe for Intelligent Life. I’ve read many rebuttals over the years, but I have to say that Dr. Barnes’ rebuttal of the scientific objections to fine-tuning is absolutely devastating. At the end of his magisterial essay, he writes:

We conclude that the universe is fine-tuned for the existence of life. Of all the ways that the laws of nature, constants of physics and initial conditions of the universe could have been, only a very small subset permits the existence of intelligent life.

After this poor start, Professor Moran’s attack on the fine-tuning argument continues to go downhill. Moran’s comments reveal that he has completely failed to grasp the logic of the fine-tuning argument. He flippantly dismisses the argument on the grounds that “[w]e could not possibly find ourselves in any universe that was not compatible with the existence of life.” But this remark is utterly beside the point. For proponents of the fine-tuning argument do not argue that because we happen to live in a life-friendly universe, therefore it must be designed. Rather, what they argue is that because we live in a universe which would be incapable of supporting life if its fundamental parameters were even slightly different, it is reasonable to infer that our universe is a put-up job. This inference would remain valid, even if it turned out that there were other, unknown values of the constants of Nature which would allow universes very different from our own to support life. The philosopher John Leslie explains why, using his now-famous “fly-on-the-wall” analogy:

If a tiny group of flies is surrounded by a largish fly-free wall area then whether a bullet hits a fly in the group will be very sensitive to the direction in which the firer’s rifle points, even if other very different areas of the wall are thick with flies. So it is sufficient to consider a local area of possible universes, e.g., those produced by slight changes in gravity’s strength, or in the early cosmic expansion speed which reflects that strength. It certainly needn’t be claimed that Life and Intelligence could exist only if certain force strengths, particle masses, etc. fell within certain narrow ranges. For all we know, it might well be that universes could be life-permitting even if none of the forces and particles known to us were present in them. All that need be claimed is that a lifeless universe would have resulted from fairly minor changes in the forces etc. with which we are familiar.
(Universes, Routledge, 1989; paperback, 1996, pp. 138-9)

The fact that Professor Moran displays such a poor understanding of the logic of the fine-tuning argument indicates that he has neither read widely nor pondered deeply on the subject. His dismissal of the argument merely reflects his ignorance of it.

Finally, Professor Moran grumbles that the fact that life arose “on one small insignificant planet near the edge of an otherwise unremarkable galaxy” looks “pretty haphazard” to a non-believer like himself. But surely the most salient fact here is that life arose anywhere in the universe at all. The question of which planet (or planets) it arose on is of secondary importance.

Professor Moran’s “conspiracy theory” regarding a historically well-attested miracles

But the most ridiculous part of professor Moran’s reply relates to the occurrence of miracles. In my post, I focused on one particularly well-attested miracle: the levitations of the St. Joseph of Cupertino, who was seen levitating well above the ground and even flying for some distance through the air, on literally thousands of occasions, by believers and skeptics alike, in the seventeenth century. I referred curious readers to a biography by D. Bernini (Vita Del Giuseppe da Copertino, 1752, Roma: Ludovico Tinassi and Girolamo Mainardi), as well as an online article, The flying saint (The Messenger of Saint Anthony, January 2003), by Renzo Allegri. Here’s a brief excerpt:

Chronicles recount, as we have already said, that he need only hear the name of Jesus, of the Virgin Mary, or of a saint before going into an ecstasy. He used to let out a wail and float in the air, remaining suspended between heaven and earth for hours. An inadmissible phenomenon for our modern mentality.

“To doubt is understandable,” Fr. Giulio Berettoni, rector of the Shrine of St. Joseph of Cupertino in Osimo tells me “but it isn’t justifiable. If we take a serious look at the saint’s life from a historical point of view, then we see that we cannot question his ecstasies. There are numerous witness accounts. They began to be documented in 1628, and this continued until Joseph’s death in 1663, i.e. for 35 years. In certain periods, the phenomenon is recorded to have taken place more than once a day. It has been calculated that Joseph’s ‘ecstatic flights’ took place at least 1,000 to 1,500 times in his lifetime, perhaps even more, and that they were witnessed by thousands of people. They were the phenomenon of the century. They were so sensational and so public that they attracted attention from curious people from all walks of life, Italians and foreigners, believers and unbelievers, simple folk, but also scholars, scientists, priests, bishops and cardinals. They continued to occur in every situation, in whatever church in which the saint prayed or celebrated Mass. It is impossible to doubt such a sensational and public phenomenon which repeated itself over time. (Emphases mine – VJT.)

In my post, I warned against using miracles to support the claims of one religion against another, but I added that miracles like the levitations of St. Joseph of Cupertino – which could be prompted by St. Joseph’s hearing the name of Jesus, of the Virgin Mary, or of a saint – certainly constituted evidence for God’s existence.

And what was Professor Moran’s reply to this mountain of evidence? To deny its very existence! In his own words:

If I were to accept the claim advanced by Vincent Torley then this would, indeed, constitute evidence that something very weird happened back in 1630. But I reject the claim. I simply don’t believe that people actually witnessed Joseph of Cupertino flying through the air. It’s not a fact. It’s not evidence.

This is a case where an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence. You can’t just rely on what people say they saw because if that’s all you need then there must be fairies at the bottom of the garden. And UFO abductions would be real.

The meager evidence for alien abductions

Let me note for the record that alleged “memories” of UFO abductions typically appear only under hypnosis, and that in the vast majority of cases, these abductions involve only one individual. After checking out some of “the best” alleged cases, I was able to find one case, the Allagash Waterway abduction of 1976, which involved four people. Here are the relevant details:

This famous case from 1976 involved four men who claimed to experience the same abduction, a secret they almost took to their graves.
The men were fishing in a canoe in northern Maine when they saw a gleaming UFO with an 80-foot diameter and changing red, yellow and green colors. According to the men, the UFO swooped down and beamed them up with their canoe in a blinding light. They came to several hours later not remembering anything after their abduction, but began to have frightening nightmares. They all underwent hypnosis and revealed their kidnappers were not from Earth. All of the men also took lie detector tests about their claims and passed.

Once again, the memories only surfaced only under hypnosis, and we are not told to what extent the four men’s accounts corroborated one another. A skeptical reviewer pithily summed up the poor state of the “evidence”:

A decade after a weird fishing trip, a severe blow to the head makes one of the fishermen suspect he’d been abducted by space aliens. Not just that something weird had happened; he went in believing UFOs were at the heart of it. “Evidence” was then collected by the least reliable method, hypnosis, and the four received some money and a lot of fame. I don’t know what happened that night, but I do know that a story has got to be a lot stronger than what they’ve got to convince me of the existence of space aliens, flying around and kidnapping people.

The massive documentary evidence for St. Joseph of Cupertino’s levitations

By contrast, the levitations of St. Joseph of Cupertino were witnessed by thousands of people, on thousands of occasions, over a period of 35 years. Allow me to quote from a blog articleWhy Levitation? by Michael Grosso (October 8, 2013), who has done extensive research on the saint:

By chance, on a trip to Italy some years ago I acquired a 1722 biography of St. Joseph of Copertino.

I had read accounts of St. Joseph’s levitations in a scholarly essay by Eric Dingwall and also in Herbert Thurston’s book, The Physical Phenomena of Mysticism. Eventually I began to read Domenico Bernini’s biography of Joseph, which Dingwall had cited as being rich in sworn eyewitness testimonies of the saint’s phenomena, which included more than levitation. I delved into the critical literature and assembled my own thoughts on the subject in a forthcoming book, The Strange Case of St. Joseph of Copertino: Ecstasy and the Mind-Body Problem (Oxford University Press). Joseph’s performances were never dubious sightings; they were show-stoppers, and his reputation as miracle mystic man spread all over Italy and then Europe….

The records show at least 150 sworn depositions of witnesses of high credentials: cardinals, bishops, surgeons, craftsmen, princes and princesses who personally lived by his word, popes, inquisitors, and countless variety of ordinary citizens and pilgrims. There are letters, diaries and biographies written by his superiors while living with him. Arcangelo di Rosmi recorded 70 incidents of levitation; and then decided it was enough. Streams of inexplicable events surrounded the black-bearded friar. Driven by malicious curiosity, even Joseph’s inquisitors observed him in ecstatic levitation during Mass. Their objection to him was not the fact that he levitated; they were concerned with where the power was coming from, God or the Devil?

It is impossible to suppose that all the stories about levitation were part of a Church plot to use miracles to control the mind of the masses. It wasn’t like that at all. The only way to make sense of the Church’s treatment of Joseph is to assume that he possessed these strange abilities in such abundance that there was talk of a new messiah arising. Joseph’s response to his Inquisitor’s was humble and honest. He had to explain that he enjoyed these “consolations” but that he was not proud or pleased with himself for having them. Nevertheless, the Church progressively tried to make him retreat to the most obscure corners of the Adriatic coast, ending finally under virtual house arrest in a small monastic community at Osimo. There was no decline effect in Joseph’s strange aerial behaviors; during his last six years in Osimo he was left alone to plunge into his interior life; the records are unanimous in saying that the ratti (raptures) were in abundance right up until his dying days. The cleric in charge of the community swore that he witnessed Joseph levitate to the ceiling of his cell thousands of times. The surgeon Pierpaolo was cauterizing Joseph’s leg shortly before his death when he realized the friar was insensible and floating in the air. He and his assistant both deposed that they bent down and looked beneath Joseph’s horizontal body, to be sure they weren’t dreaming.

To repudiate the evidence for Joseph’s levitations would be to repudiate thirty-five years of history because the records of his life are quite detailed and entangled with other lives and documented historical events. We would have to assume colossal mendacity and unbelievable stupidity on the part of thousands of people, if we chose to reject this evidence. We would be forced to believe that when the duchess of Parma wrote in a letter that Joseph was the “prodigy of the century”, she was romancing or totally deluded.

Perhaps readers are wondering where one can find the documentation for all of the miracles associated with St. Joseph of Cupertino. I’ve located a short pamphlet entitled, The Life of Saint Joseph of Cupertino by Fr. Christopher Shorrock O.F.M. Conv. (1985) which has this to say on the subject:

A number of biographies of St Joseph of Cupertino have been prepared in the past and give us extensive details of the extraordinary life of the saint. Of paramount importance are the thirteen volumes of the Process of Canonization preserved in the Vatican Archives. In this great literary work we find recounted the numerous testimonies of witnesses (including princes, cardinals, bishops and doctors) who knew St Joseph personally and in many cases were eyewitnesses to the wonderful events of his life. These episodes clearly reveal a man completely open to the transforming grace of God.

And how about this excerpt from an article by Thomas Craughwell in the Catholic Herald (13 September 2007)?

When the Father General of the Franciscans took Joseph to a private audience with Pope Urban VIII, Joseph levitated in the presence of the Holy Father. An astonished Pope Urban said if he outlived Joseph, he would promote Joseph’s cause for canonization and personally attest to this miracle. On another occasion when Joseph was living in Assisi, Spain’s ambassador to the Papal Court brought his wife and a large retinue to see Joseph. As he entered the church to meet his visitors Joseph saw a statue of the Immaculate Conception. He floated off the floor and flew over the heads of the ambassador and his party to the statue where he remained suspended in the air. Then he floated back to the church door, and made a gentle landing. The Inquisition heard about Joseph and commanded him to appear before their tribunal. On Oct. 21, 1638, as the inquisitors questioned him, Joseph levitated.

And here’s an excerpt (courtesy of Eternal Word Television Network) from the entry for St. Joseph of Cupertino (whose feast day is September 18) in The Saints: A Concise Biographical Dictionary (ed. John Coulson, Hawthorn Books, Inc., 1960):

What strikes us immediately is that his miracles kept drawing such crowds that not only was he up before the Inquisition, but his desperate Superiors sent him from convent to convent. Once the Inquisition removed him to a Capuchin friary, where he was kept in strict enclosure and forbidden even to write or receive letters — to his own bewilderment: ‘Must I go to prison, then?’ he said. Yet, at Assisi, the duke of Brunswick and Hanover, after visiting him, abjured Lutheranism and became a Catholic; Urban VIII, having seen him in ecstasy, said that should Joseph die first, he himself would give evidence of what he had seen. Most important, Prosper Lambertini did his best, as Promotor Fidei (‘Devil’s Advocate’), to discredit him, yet afterwards (as Benedict XIV) published the decree of Joseph’s beatification in 1753 and, in his classical work on Beatification, alluded to the ‘eye-witnesses of unchallengeable integrity’ who witnessed to Joseph’s ‘upliftings from the ground and prolonged flights’. It is difficult to see how, if we reject this evidence, we shall ever find any historical evidence acceptable.

Let me repeat that last sentence: “It is difficult to see how, if we reject this evidence, we shall ever find any historical evidence acceptable.” Yet Professor Moran would have us believe that these thousands of people were all part of a massive hoax: the biggest hoax in history. Nobody, he says, saw St. Joseph levitate. If this does not make him a conspiracy theorist, then I can only ask: what does?

The devil, you say?

Now, I am aware that some readers will caution that just because an individual levitated, that does not prove his levitations were divine in origin; they might conceivably be diabolical. But at the very least, they indicate the existence of a supernatural reality, and only a person whose mind was utterly closed would refuse to acknowledge that fact. It is a pity that Professor Moran cannot bring himself to open his mind to the possibility of the miraculous.

Professor Moran cites Sagan’s dictum that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. But he never attempts to give a quantitative answer to the question: “How extraordinary must the evidence be?” The evidence for naturalism is, at best, cumulative. Given that the number of discrete events (or elementary bit-operations) that have occurred during the history of the universe has been estimated at less than 10^150, it follows (using Laplace’s famous sunrise argument) that the probability we should assign to the claim that the next event we witness will not be a natural one can be no lower than 1 in 10^~120. Hence if we can calculate that the combined probability of thousands of eyewitnesses hallucinating and/or perjuring themselves about having witnessed a levitation when they didn’t – and remember, back in those days, everyone in Italy really believed that perjury was a sin you could go to Hell for committing – on thousands of occasions is less than 1 in 10^~120, then the hallucination and fraud hypotheses become even more extraordinary than the hypothesis of a miracle, which then becomes the most rational one to adopt. Since the sightings occurred on multiple occasions and a multiple locations, we can treat them as independent events, and calculate accordingly. Thus it is not difficult to obtain a figure far lower than 1 in 10^~120. Take that, Carl Sagan!

79 Replies to “Is Larry Moran a conspiracy theorist?

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    VJT, more solid thinking as usual. I suggest that LM’s assertion is a declaration of intent to indulge selective hyperskepticism. No amount of evidence and reasoning pointing to the reality of God will ever suffice, not least because if one goes p => q, then rejects q s/he can then validly . . . as opposed to soundly . . . reject p. Just find an excuse that makes it somehow plausible to reject some key face of q. And on matters of empirical evidence, one can always dismiss witnesses. KF

    PS: I especially like the allusions in:

    Moran’s comments reveal that he has completely failed to grasp the logic of the fine-tuning argument. He flippantly dismisses the argument on the grounds that “[w]e could not possibly find ourselves in any universe that was not compatible with the existence of life.” But this remark is utterly beside the point. For proponents of the fine-tuning argument do not argue that because we happen to live in a life-friendly universe, therefore it must be designed. Rather, what they argue is that because we live in a universe which would be incapable of supporting life if its fundamental parameters were even slightly different, it is reasonable to infer that our universe is a put-up job. This inference would remain valid, even if it turned out that there were other, unknown values of the constants of Nature which would allow universes very different from our own to support life. The philosopher John Leslie explains why, using his now-famous “fly-on-the-wall” analogy:

    If a tiny group of flies is surrounded by a largish fly-free wall area then whether a bullet hits a fly in the group will be very sensitive to the direction in which the firer’s rifle points, even if other very different areas of the wall are thick with flies. So it is sufficient to consider a local area of possible universes, e.g., those produced by slight changes in gravity’s strength, or in the early cosmic expansion speed which reflects that strength. It certainly needn’t be claimed that Life and Intelligence could exist only if certain force strengths, particle masses, etc. fell within certain narrow ranges. For all we know, it might well be that universes could be life-permitting even if none of the forces and particles known to us were present in them. All that need be claimed is that a lifeless universe would have resulted from fairly minor changes in the forces etc. with which we are familiar.
    (Universes, Routledge, 1989; paperback, 1996, pp. 138-9)

    The fact that Professor Moran displays such a poor understanding of the logic of the fine-tuning argument indicates that he has neither read widely nor pondered deeply on the subject. His dismissal of the argument merely reflects his ignorance of it.

    (I do prefer his lone fly on the patch of wall version! and of course a tack-driving rifle is astonishingly fine tuned.)

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related note to ‘levitating’: In Eric Metaxas’s book, which I believe had, at one time, made it all the way up to number 12 on the NYTimes bestseller list,,,

    Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life Hardcover – October 28, 2014 – Eric Metaxas
    http://www.amazon.com/Miracles.....0525954422

    ,,,In Eric’s book, although the first part of his book is on fine-tuning of the universe. and is more specifically on the fine tuning of the earth within the universe, and is what generated controversy when the Wall Street Journal piece, (which was printed on Christmas eve and which in now available in an animated video), went viral on the internet:

    Eric Metaxas – Does Science Argue for or against God? – animated video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjGPHF5A6Po

    Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God
    The odds of life existing on another planet grow ever longer. Intelligent design, anyone?
    By Eric Metaxas
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/er.....1419544568

    Although the first part of the book is what generated the controversy , in the second part of the book, which is about, lo and behold, real life miracles, there is an actual story of a little girl who was saved from falling to her death into traffic when she, crying out to Jesus during her fall, was ‘lifted by invisible hands’ from her fall and gently placed on safe ground away from the traffic below.
    Eric discusses that specific miracle beginning at the 19:00 minute mark of the following audio interview

    Author Eric Metaxas Talks About “Miracles” – audio interview
    https://soundcloud.com/billyhallowellfreefall/author-eric-metaxas-talks-about-miracles

    Of final note: as far as science is concerned, there is nothing within quantum mechanics that prevents miracles from happening. Doubt me? Even some atheists believe a virtual infinite number of parallel universes are created every time a observation is made in quantum mechanics! 🙂
    If that is not an appeal to the miraculous, (which was postulated to avoid the ‘miracle’ of quantum wave collapse), then I don’t know what is!

  3. 3
    Neil Rickert says:

    Professor Moran’s definition leaves the decision as to what counts as valid scientific evidence in the hands of one man: himself!

    I seem to recall that Larry commented on “valid evidence” rather than “valid scientific evidence”.

    In all honesty, I disagreed with a lot of what Larry wrote in that post. However, let’s at least stick to what he wrote.

    As for what counts as evidence? Unavoidably, that’s a personal issue. What is evident to one person might not be the same as what is evident to another person.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Neil as to:

    Unavoidably, that’s a personal issue. What is evident to one person might not be the same as what is evident to another person.

    But Neil, there is no subjective first person, i.e. ‘personal’, account in materialism. According to atheistic materialism, ‘Personhood’ is merely an illusion foisted off on you by the ‘impersonal’ molecules of your brain.

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

    Moreover in materialism, your belief that ‘you’, as a subjective person, have the ability to chose the most rational interpretation of the evidence is also an illusion. The randomly colliding molecules in your brain decide for the illusion of ‘you’ what is the correct interpretation of the evidence. “YOU” had no real choice in the matter! The choice was made for ‘you’ by an unintelligent, unguided, material process that could care less for the truth of the matter.

    Sam Harris’s Free Will: The Medial Pre-Frontal Cortex Did It – Martin Cothran – November 9, 2012
    Excerpt: There is something ironic about the position of thinkers like Harris on issues like this: they claim that their position is the result of the irresistible necessity of logic (in fact, they pride themselves on their logic). Their belief is the consequent, in a ground/consequent relation between their evidence and their conclusion. But their very stated position is that any mental state — including their position on this issue — is the effect of a physical, not logical cause.
    By their own logic, it isn’t logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....66221.html

    Physicalism and Reason – May 2013
    Summary: So we find ourselves affirming two contradictory propositions:
    1. Everything is governed by cause-and-effect.
    2. Our brains can process and be changed by ground-consequent logical relationships.
    To achieve consistency, we must either deny that everything is governed by cause-and-effect, and open our worldviews to something beyond physicalism, or we must deny that our brains are influenced by ground-consequence reasoning, and abandon the idea that we are rational creatures.
    Ask yourself: are humans like falling dominoes, entirely subject to natural law, or may we stand up and walk in the direction that reason shows us?
    http://www.reasonsforgod.org/2.....nd-reason/

    “One absolutely central inconsistency ruins [the popular scientific philosophy]. The whole picture professes to depend on inferences from observed facts. Unless inference is valid, the whole picture disappears… unless Reason is an absolute, all is in ruins. Yet those who ask me to believe this world picture also ask me to believe that Reason is simply the unforeseen and unintended by-product of mindless matter at one stage of its endless and aimless becoming. Here is flat contradiction. They ask me at the same moment to accept a conclusion and to discredit the only testimony on which that conclusion can be based.”
    —C.S. Lewis, Is Theology Poetry (aka the Argument from Reason)

    In the following video, Victor Reppert, Jay Richards, and Angus Menuge explain the specifics of C.S. Lewis’s Argument from Reason.

    What is the Argument from Reason? – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-B8n__9CEj4

  5. 5
    Neil Rickert says:

    But Neil, there is no subjective first person, i.e. ‘personal’, account in materialism.

    That doesn’t seem relevant. See Why I am not a materialist.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Neil, at the end of your blog, on why you are not a materialist, you state:

    I’ll say only that there are no known supernatural causes, and if the history of science is any indication then it is unlikely that any supernatural causes will show up.

    Actually, not to squabble too much over details, but denying agent causality and only allowing physical causes as ‘scientific, is what makes you a materialist.

    Moreover, the ‘history of science’, particularly the founding of modern science, was based on the belief of ‘supernatural’ agent causality, not on the belief of ‘blind’ causality:

    In fact, the most profound confusion in modern physics is the fallacious belief that blind, (i.e. it just happened), causality is superior to the agent causality of the Christian founders of modern science in terms of explanatory power.

    A Professor’s Journey out of Nihilism: Why I am not an Atheist – University of Wyoming – J. Budziszewski
    Excerpt page12: “There were two great holes in the argument about the irrelevance of God. The first is that in order to attack free will, I supposed that I understood cause and effect; I supposed causation to be less mysterious than volition.
    If anything, it is the other way around. I can perceive a logical connection between premises and valid conclusions. I can perceive at least a rational connection between my willing to do something and my doing it. But between the apple and the earth, I can perceive no connection at all. Why does the apple fall? We don’t know. “But there is gravity,” you say. No, “gravity” is merely the name of the phenomenon, not its explanation. “But there are laws of gravity,” you say. No, the “laws” are not its explanation either; they are merely a more precise description of the thing to be explained, which remains as mysterious as before. For just this reason, philosophers of science are shy of the term “laws”; they prefer “lawlike regularities.” To call the equations of gravity “laws” and speak of the apple as “obeying” them is to speak as though, like the traffic laws, the “laws” of gravity are addressed to rational agents capable of conforming their wills to the command. This is cheating, because it makes mechanical causality (the more opaque of the two phenomena) seem like volition (the less). In my own way of thinking the cheating was even graver, because I attacked the less opaque in the name of the more.
    The other hole in my reasoning was cruder. If my imprisonment in a blind causality made my reasoning so unreliable that I couldn’t trust my beliefs, then by the same token I shouldn’t have trusted my beliefs about imprisonment in a blind causality. But in that case I had no business denying free will in the first place.”
    http://www.undergroundthomist......theist.pdf

    “to say that a stone falls to earth because it’s obeying a law, makes it a man and even a citizen”
    – CS Lewis

    “In the whole history of the universe the laws of nature have never produced, (i.e. caused), a single event.”
    C.S. Lewis – doodle video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_20yiBQAIlk

    The Christian founders of modern science understood the distinction between a mathematical description of a law and the agent causality of the lawgiver quite well.

    “God is not a “God of the gaps”, he is God of the whole show.,,, C. S. Lewis put it this way: “Men became scientific because they expected law in nature and they expected law in nature because they believed in a lawgiver.”
    John Lennox – Not the God of the Gaps, But the Whole Show – 2012
    http://www.christianpost.com/n.....how-80307/

    Here is Sir Isaac Newton, considered by many the greatest scientist in history, stating he ‘unscientific’ and ‘personal’ view on ‘supernatural’ causality:

    This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. And if the fixed stars are the centres of other like systems, these, being formed by the like wise counsel, must be all subject to the dominion of One; especially since the light of the fixed stars is of the same nature with the light of the sun, and from every system light passes into all the other systems: and lest the systems of the fixed stars should, by their gravity, fall on each other mutually, he hath placed those systems at immense distances one from another. This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord God pantokrator, or Universal Ruler;,,, The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect;,,, from his true dominion it follows that the true God is a living, intelligent, and powerful Being; and, from his other perfections, that he is supreme, or most perfect. He is eternal and infinite, omnipotent and omniscient; that is, his duration reaches from eternity to eternity; his presence from infinity to infinity; he governs all things, and knows all things that are or can be done. He is not eternity or infinity, but eternal and infinite; he is not duration or space, but he endures and is present. He endures for ever, and is every where present:
    Sir Isaac Newton – Quoted from what many consider the greatest science masterpiece of all time, his book “Principia”
    http://gravitee.tripod.com/genschol.htm

    Perhaps the most famous confusion of a mere mathematical description of a law and the causal agency required to be behind the law is Stephen Hawking’s following statement:

    “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.The universe didn’t need a God to begin; it was quite capable of launching its existence on its own,”
    Stephen Hawking
    http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_.....wking.html

    Here is an excerpt of an article, (that is well worth reading in full), in which Dr. Gordon exposes Stephen Hawking’s delusion for thinking that mathematical description and agent causality are the same thing.

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: ,,,The physical universe is causally incomplete and therefore neither self-originating nor self-sustaining. The world of space, time, matter and energy is dependent on a reality that transcends space, time, matter and energy.
    This transcendent reality cannot merely be a Platonic realm of mathematical descriptions, for such things are causally inert abstract entities that do not affect the material world,,,
    Rather, the transcendent reality on which our universe depends must be something that can exhibit agency – a mind that can choose among the infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bring into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them. This is what “breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe.” Anything else invokes random miracles as an explanatory principle and spells the end of scientific rationality.,,,
    Universes do not “spontaneously create” on the basis of abstract mathematical descriptions, nor does the fantasy of a limitless multiverse trump the explanatory power of transcendent intelligent design. What Mr. Hawking’s contrary assertions show is that mathematical savants can sometimes be metaphysical simpletons. Caveat emptor.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

    Thus Neil, if there were actually a ‘person’ named Neil that were capable of choosing which is more rational, Neil should choose agent, ‘supernatural’, causality as, by far, the more rational option rather than blind, ‘it just happens’, causality.

    Supplemental note:

    The War against the War Between Science and Faith Revisited – July 2010
    Excerpt: If science suffered only stillbirths in ancient cultures, how did it come to its unique viable birth? The beginning of science as a fully fledged enterprise took place in relation to two important definitions of the Magisterium of the Church. The first was the definition at the Fourth Lateran Council in the year 1215, that the universe was created out of nothing at the beginning of time. The second magisterial statement was at the local level, enunciated by Bishop Stephen Tempier of Paris who, on March 7, 1277, condemned 219 Aristotelian propositions, so outlawing the deterministic and necessitarian views of creation.
    These statements of the teaching authority of the Church expressed an atmosphere in which faith in God had penetrated the medieval culture and given rise to philosophical consequences. The cosmos was seen as contingent in its existence and thus dependent on a divine choice which called it into being; the universe is also contingent in its nature and so God was free to create this particular form of world among an infinity of other possibilities. Thus the cosmos cannot be a necessary form of existence; and so it has to be approached by a posteriori investigation. The universe is also rational and so a coherent discourse can be made about it. Indeed the contingency and rationality of the cosmos are like two pillars supporting the Christian vision of the cosmos.
    http://www.scifiwright.com/201.....revisited/

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    NR,

    BTW, I looked at your response. I note:

    I am not a materialist, because materialism is a metaphysical position, and I don’t do metaphysics. As best I can tell, metaphysics is impossible. The only method available for doing metaphysics appears to be making stuff up, and one should distrust what is made up.

    Actually, a good definition of metaphysics is critical reflection on worldviews –thus to what is or is not and its roots . . . cf here. And in that context there is an old saying, that one cannot but do metaphysics, the issue is whether one’s view is carefully examined or not.

    If you hold that reality is exhausted by a spatio-temporal, matter-energy plenum that evolved by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity from hydrogen to humans, in the relevant sense you do adhere to evolutionary materialism. Which, was only ever intended as a descriptive short hand for a common view of the world adopted by what others call scientific materialists, or physicalists or naturalism adherents, etc.

    Your view on mathematics brings out another revealing facet of the problem (and debates on what matter in the end will turn out to be are a bit of a side-issue, the relevant thing is it is the stuff of the material bodies in the observed cosmos):

    Take mathematics as an example. The last time that I asked a self-proclaimed materialist for an account of mathematics, his response was “pencil marks on paper.” I find that grossly inadequate. We cannot give a satisfactory account of mathematics in the form of a theory of pencil marks on paper.

    For myself, I am a fictionalist with respect to mathematics. That is, I take mathematical objects (such as numbers) to be useful fictions. Of course, one can say that a fiction is maintained by the human mind, so can be explained in terms of the material that constitutes neurons. However, I am dubious of the adequacy of that approach. We pass those useful fictions around from one mathematician to another, and it is doubtful that there could ever be a wholly material account of that passing around . . .

    I am sure you will agree that many assert that the human mind is explicable on its neurons and associated networks and underlying physics and chemistry. Debates over emergence vs reductionism and the hard problem of consciousness lie down that road.

    Fiction is a very interesting term here, as it speaks to something unreal. But number as a major property of reality is very real, as real as why my fingers of one hand can be put in 1:1 correspondence with those of my other hand or toes on each of my feet. It has something to do with how I could match fingers with a monkey in Belize with one left over. (I definitely did not like the fangs though . . . much bigger than those on a dog!)

    As to the supernatural, I suggest that there are millions of cases in point that should make adequate cause to accept this as a reality; the attempt to don the “scientific” lab coat to dismiss is misdirected:

    I do not make any claim that there is a supernatural realm. Nor to I claim that there isn’t. I’ll say only that there are no known supernatural causes, and if the history of science is any indication then it is unlikely that any supernatural causes will show up.

    Whether or not there actually is a supernatural realm – that seems to be a metaphysical question. And, as already said, I don’t do metaphysics . . .

    I say in reply, you cannot but have a metaphysical view — a worldview; the issue is, how examined and how well it answers to factual adequacy, coherence and balanced explanatory power on comparative difficulties.

    That I am here to talk with you over this keyboard is a result of miraculous answer to prayer. And as for miracles of levitation that LM makes such heavy weather over, I stand as an eyewitness that such is real. Though in context there were definitely two oposed supernatural realms in a clash and it was the inferior and patently destructive that was doing the levitation . . . I understand the Italian inquisition’s concern. And I now of cases of healings and much more. Much, more.

    But most of all, I suggest that the supernatural may be a lot more relevant than you may be wont to acknowledge.

    In which regard, I draw your attention here, with a particular view to the issue of epistemology, warrant for knowledge claims and duties of responding reasonably to evidence.

    KF

  8. 8
    tjguy says:

    That brings up the question of what defines “valid evidence.”

    This is always what happens. When presented with data that supports the God hypothesis, they simply dismiss it and claim it is not really evidence OR that it can be explained some other way. Abiogenesis is one such area. When asked to explain self correcting codes that can be read backwards and forwards, multiple codes at that, thousands of nano molecular machines exquisitely designed with amazingly efficient function that boggles our understanding, volumes and volumes of information along with the information processing, storage and retrieval system(and other systems), they can’t do it. It is just claimed that one day they will have answers so you can’t use it as evidence for intelligence.

    Fortunately they cannot prevent normal people from arriving at common sense positions even if those positions do involve intelligence.

    Their opinion may be that there is no evidence for God, but fortunately, we need not accept their opinions, given they lack evidence for them.

    When they set the standards for what counts as legitimate evidence and what does not, it’s no wonder they just dismiss everything we view as evidence.

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    TJG:

    It will probably help to ponder for a few moments what Simon Greenleaf of Harvard had to say in his famous treatise on evidence, vol 1:

    Evidence, in legal acceptation, includes all the means by which any alleged matter of fact, the truth of which is submitted to investigation, is established or disproved . . . None but mathematical truth is susceptible of that high degree of evidence, called demonstration, which excludes all possibility of error [–> Greenleaf wrote almost 100 years before Godel], and which, therefore, may reasonably be required in support of every mathematical deduction.

    Matters of fact are proved by moral evidence alone; by which is meant, not only that kind of evidence which is employed on subjects connected with moral conduct, but all the evidence which is not obtained either from intuition, or from demonstration. In the ordinary affairs of life, we do not require demonstrative evidence, because it is not consistent with the nature of the subject, and to insist upon it would be unreasonable and absurd.

    The most that can be affirmed of such things, is, that there is no reasonable doubt concerning them.

    The true question, therefore, in trials of fact, is not whether it is possible that the testimony may be false, but, whether there is sufficient probability of its truth; that is, whether the facts are shown by competent and satisfactory evidence. Things established by competent and satisfactory evidence are said to be proved.

    By competent evidence, is meant that which the very-nature of the thing to be proved requires, as the fit and appropriate proof in the particular case, such as the production of a writing, where its contents are the subject of inquiry. By satisfactory evidence, which is sometimes called sufficient evidence, is intended that amount of proof, which ordinarily satisfies an unprejudiced mind, beyond reasonable doubt.

    The circumstances which will amount to this degree of proof can never be previously defined; the only legal test of which they are susceptible, is their sufficiency to satisfy the mind and conscience of a common man; and so to convince him, that he would venture to act upon that conviction, in matters of the highest concern and importance to his own interest. [A Treatise on Evidence, Vol I, 11th edn. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1888) ch 1., sections 1 and 2. Shorter paragraphs added. (NB: Greenleaf was a founder of the modern Harvard Law School and is regarded as a founding father of the modern Anglophone school of thought on evidence, in large part on the strength of this classic work.)]

    KF

    PS: One wonders whether the objectors in question would willingly do away with courts of law.

  10. 10
    bFast says:

    Larry Moran, “The short answer is “I don’t know” but I know it when I see it.”

    Yes! I have seen miracles many times, and I know them for what they are. In addition to the abundant scientific data which is best explained by a single uber-mind, there is an interactive, miraculous experience set that I and many others attest to.

    Larry Moran is suffering from a bad case of blind faith.

  11. 11
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Neil R @ 5

    See Why I am not a materialist.

    That seemed like a well-reasoned summary. Take 3 seemed the best and I think you could go farther with it.

    Take 1 however, I don’t think quite works:

    I am not a materialist, because materialism is a metaphysical position, and I don’t do metaphysics. As best I can tell, metaphysics is impossible. The only method available for doing metaphysics appears to be making stuff up, and one should distrust what is made up.

    Metaphysics provides your foundation in reasoning. Things like the law of identity and the principle of non-contradiction are metaphysical starting points. Actually, logic is a category of metaphysics. We distinguish between true and false.

  12. 12
    Neil Rickert says:

    ba77: Actually, not to squabble too much over details, but denying agent causality and only allowing physical causes as ‘scientific, is what makes you a materialist.

    You seem to be squabbling over details, while denying it.

    Where have I denied agent causality? Where have I asserted that only physical causes are scientific?

  13. 13
    Joe says:

    Then what is your issue with ID, Neil?

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    Neil you ask:

    “Where have I denied agent causality? Where have I asserted that only physical causes are scientific?”

    Yet, as I referenced, you denied agent causality at the end of your ‘Why I am not a materialist’ article:

    “I’ll say only that there are no known supernatural causes, and if the history of science is any indication then it is unlikely that any supernatural causes will show up.”

    In other words, to say that ‘you’, as an agent, are merely physical causes and the ‘you’, as an agent, have no ‘supernatural’ causes is to deny that you have a free will. i.e. Is to deny that ‘you’ are an agent with causal power over the physical realm!

    Do You Like SETI? Fine, Then Let’s Dump Methodological Naturalism – Paul Nelson September 24, 2014
    Excerpt: Epistemology — how we know — and ontology — what exists — are both affected by methodological naturalism. If we say, “We cannot know that a mind caused x,” laying down an epistemological boundary defined by MN, then our ontology comprising real causes for x won’t include minds.

    MN entails an ontology in which minds are the consequence of physics, and thus, can only be placeholders for a more detailed causal account in which physics is the only (ultimate) actor. You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed you of that event after the fact.

    “That’s crazy,” you reply, “I certainly did write my email.” Okay, then — to what does the pronoun “I” in that sentence refer?

    Your personal agency; your mind. Are you supernatural?,,,

    You are certainly an intelligent cause,, and your intelligence does not collapse into physics. (If it does collapse — i.e., can be reduced without explanatory loss — we haven’t the faintest idea how, which amounts to the same thing.) To explain the effects you bring about in the world — such as your email, a real pattern — we must refer to you as a unique agent.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....90071.html

  15. 15
    Neil Rickert says:

    ba77: Yet, as I referenced, you denied agent causality at the end of your ‘Why I am not a materialist’ article

    I don’t see such a denial. What I denied, was that there are known supernatural causes. Whether there are unknown ones, I cannot say since I do not know. As for humans as agents — that is not known or even suspected to involve anything supernatural.

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    Neil Rickert you state,

    “As for humans as agents — that is not known or even suspected to involve anything supernatural.”

    So your mind, free will, and consciousness, are not even suspected as being ‘super, (i.e. beyond), natural’?

    HMMMM, Well, that is quite a statement to make considering that mind, free will, and consciousness are notorious for invoking beyond natural, i.e. supernatural, inferences from people,,

    Algorithmic Information Theory, Free Will and the Turing Test – Douglas S. Robertson
    Excerpt: 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

    What Does Quantum Physics Have to Do with Free Will? – By Antoine Suarez – July 22, 2013
    Excerpt: What is more, recent experiments are bringing to light that the experimenter’s free will and consciousness should be considered axioms (founding principles) of standard quantum physics theory. So for instance, in experiments involving “entanglement” (the phenomenon Einstein called “spooky action at a distance”), to conclude that quantum correlations of two particles are nonlocal (i.e. cannot be explained by signals traveling at velocity less than or equal to the speed of light), it is crucial to assume that the experimenter can make free choices, and is not constrained in what orientation he/she sets the measuring devices.
    To understand these implications it is crucial to be aware that quantum physics is not only a description of the material and visible world around us, but also speaks about non-material influences coming from outside the space-time.,,,
    https://www.bigquestionsonline.com/content/what-does-quantum-physics-have-do-free-will

    Moreover, the evidence that conscious ‘agent causation’ is real is also, in rather dramatic fashion, now established by Schwartz’s work in brain plasticity:

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

    In fact not only is the mind now shown to be able to have a pronounced effect on the physical structure of the brain, but the mind is now also shown to have pronounced effects all the way down to the genetic level of the body:

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

    The preceding finding is simply completely inexplicable, and unexpected, for atheists/materialists! i.e. We are not such helpless victims of our genes that materialists such as Richards Dawkins (selfish gene) would have us believe!

    Thus Neil, for you to say that humans as agents are ‘not known or even suspected to involve anything supernatural’ is either naive or purposely misleading.

  17. 17
    velikovskys says:

    BA:
    HMMMM, Well, that is quite a statement to make considering that mind, free will, and consciousness are notorious for invoking beyond natural, i.e. supernatural, inferences from people,,

    Notorious: widely and unfavorably known:
    a notorious gambler.
    Synonyms: infamous, egregious, outrageous, arrant, flagrant, disreputable.
    2.
    publicly or generally known, as for a particular trait:
    a newspaper that is notorious for its sensationalism.
    Synonyms: notable, renowned, celebrated, prominent, conspicuous,

  18. 18
    ppolish says:

    It IS possible to argue that the universe is guided and purposeful – and Natural. Atheists like Thomas Nagel argue for this Natural Teleogical scenario. No need for Supernatural, the guidance and purpose is Natural.

    Natural Intelligent Design, not Supernatural Intelligent Design.

    Natural Intelligent Design, not Natural Appearance of Design.

    NID, NAD, SID. I believe SID. The NIDs have a better argument than the NADs though IMHO.

  19. 19
    bornagain77 says:

    Notorious B.I.G Remix “The Praises Don’t Stop!”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLbmVBpvfBM

  20. 20
    Neil Rickert says:

    ba77: So your mind, free will, and consciousness, are not even suspected as being ‘super, (i.e. beyond), natural’?

    I used “involve” rather than “being”. I’m inclined to take mind as a metaphor, which perhaps suggests that it is not natural, yet which does not involve anything beyond natural. I take our ability to use metaphor as natural.

    If you look through my blog, you will find several posts where I disagee with arguments against free will. And you will find several posts where I disagree with computationalism (the assumption behind AI). I have been consistent in those positions. So I’m not sure why you bring up “free will” and “computationalism”. I don’t see any reason to suppose that free will is beyond nature, nor do I see any reason to believe that nature is a computation.

    I’ll readily grant, however, that persistent arguments about free will and about computation do give one reason to eschew metaphysics.

    Thus Neil, for you to say that humans as agents are ‘not known or even suspected to involve anything supernatural’ is either naive or purposely misleading.

    How about the third possibility, that I am being honest and forthright.

  21. 21
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    “I disagree with arguments against free will”

    and yet

    “I don’t see any reason to suppose that free will is beyond nature,”

    So did ‘you’ freely choose to come to that conclusion or was that conclusion forced on ‘the illusion of you’ by the prior ‘natural’ state of the particles in your brain?

    You can’t have it both ways. Either ‘you’ are a victim and illusion of the ‘natural’ material processes in your brain or else ‘you’ are a rational agent that is able to transcend the physicality of your brain and freely choose the most rational of options to follow. There is no middle ground in the debate!

    Physicalism and Reason – May 2013
    Summary: So we find ourselves affirming two contradictory propositions:
    1. Everything is governed by cause-and-effect.
    2. Our brains can process and be changed by ground-consequent logical relationships.
    To achieve consistency, we must either deny that everything is governed by cause-and-effect, and open our worldviews to something beyond physicalism, or we must deny that our brains are influenced by ground-consequence reasoning, and abandon the idea that we are rational creatures.
    Ask yourself: are humans like falling dominoes, entirely subject to natural law, or may we stand up and walk in the direction that reason shows us?
    http://www.reasonsforgod.org/2.....nd-reason/

  22. 22
    Neil Rickert says:

    ba77:

    In each of your replies, you have challenged me with respect to views that I do not hold. And now you have done that again. It gets a bit tiresome. Moreover, you have moved far away from discussing Larry Moran’s view. You have taken the discussion way off topic.

    You can’t have it both ways.

    You are demanding that I choose between A or B. But I disagree with both. Dividing the world into those two possibilities is just a bad way of dividing.

    1. Everything is governed by cause-and-effect.
    2. Our brains can process and be changed by ground-consequent logical relationships.

    Again, I disagree with both.

  23. 23
    bornagain77 says:

    So if ‘you’ do not believe your free will is caused by physical causes and ‘you’ do not believe your free will is caused by agent causality, i.e. your volition, what option, pray tell, is left?

    ‘You’ say that

    “I don’t see any reason to suppose that free will is beyond nature,”

    but on the other hand ‘you’ deny that your free will is caused by the ‘natural’ causes in your brain. Do ‘you’ see the discontinuity in your reasoning?

  24. 24
    Neil Rickert says:

    To ask what causes free will would seem to be a grammatical error.

  25. 25
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    “To ask what causes free will would seem to be a grammatical error.”

    So you believe in an effect without a cause?

    i.e. for your information, you just appealed to the ‘blind (i.e. it just happens) causality’ of atheists.

    To repeat:

    A Professor’s Journey out of Nihilism: Why I am not an Atheist – University of Wyoming – J. Budziszewski
    Excerpt page12: “There were two great holes in the argument about the irrelevance of God. The first is that in order to attack free will, I supposed that I understood cause and effect; I supposed causation to be less mysterious than volition.
    If anything, it is the other way around. I can perceive a logical connection between premises and valid conclusions. I can perceive at least a rational connection between my willing to do something and my doing it. But between the apple and the earth, I can perceive no connection at all. Why does the apple fall? We don’t know. “But there is gravity,” you say. No, “gravity” is merely the name of the phenomenon, not its explanation. “But there are laws of gravity,” you say. No, the “laws” are not its explanation either; they are merely a more precise description of the thing to be explained, which remains as mysterious as before. For just this reason, philosophers of science are shy of the term “laws”; they prefer “lawlike regularities.” To call the equations of gravity “laws” and speak of the apple as “obeying” them is to speak as though, like the traffic laws, the “laws” of gravity are addressed to rational agents capable of conforming their wills to the command. This is cheating, because it makes mechanical causality (the more opaque of the two phenomena) seem like volition (the less). In my own way of thinking the cheating was even graver, because I attacked the less opaque in the name of the more.
    The other hole in my reasoning was cruder. If my imprisonment in a blind causality made my reasoning so unreliable that I couldn’t trust my beliefs, then by the same token I shouldn’t have trusted my beliefs about imprisonment in a blind causality. But in that case I had no business denying free will in the first place.”
    http://www.undergroundthomist......theist.pdf

  26. 26
    Neil Rickert says:

    ba77: So you believe in an effect without a cause?

    Free will is not an effect. It is a characterization of behavioral capabilities.

    That said, the simple cause-effect idea is simplistic. Everything is a contributory cause of everything.

  27. 27
    bornagain77 says:

    “Free will is not an effect”.

    So you freely decide to get up to from a chair, do ‘you’ decide to do it and by an act of your own volition ’cause’ it to happen or did ‘it just happen’?

    as to

    “Everything is a contributory cause of everything.’

    That is a completely nonsensical statement, especially for the atheistic worldview that holds that things happen for no reason whatsoever. Only in Theism does everything have a purpose!

    I resign, this is going nowhere, and I am satisfied that I have more than clearly presented my case.

  28. 28
    jw777 says:

    Do these guys who spend ample time shooting off their mouths actually do science?

    Fascinating research coming out of Universit of Portsmouth: http://www.port.ac.uk/uopnews/.....-material/

    Shouldn’t P.Z. Meyers have made this or a similar discovery (he is THE zebra mussel authority, is he not?) and right now be contending for a Nobel Prize? Instead, he, and other self-proclaimed high priests of science are busily mired in philosophical entrenchment. Unreal. There are so many world-changing discoveries which are taking generations longer than they should (or perhaps never will), thanks to pomp and energy devoted toward inner circle line-drawing, rather than fruitful discovery.

  29. 29
    RodW says:

    Why do we need to go back 350 years for miracles witnessed by thousands of people? There are miracles in our own time that have far more witnesses. For example, Peter Popoff was an evangelist who miraculously healed thousands of people over the years. These healings were witnessed by hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions of people and these people testified with their wallets. He received in the 10s of millions each year from these healings.
    Now Popoff was a fraud: his “healings” were exposed as fake by James Randi but lets ignore that for the moment and just consider all the witnesses. Doesn’t this prove that Popoff really was using the power of Jesus to heal?

  30. 30
    bornagain77 says:

    RodW, while there are certainly frauds in Christianity (as there are frauds everywhere), I can tell you with certainty that there are also certainly real life miracles. I’ve seen them myself. For instance, this one:

    Strange But True

    It was in the summer of 1993, I was down and out in Ft. Myers, Florida. This was about the second year that I was homeless. I was staying at the Salvation Army in Ft. Myers working temporary day labor and paying 8 bucks a night to stay at the homeless shelter. Once again I had come up with yet another grand plan to defeat the destructive desires for drinking and using that had kept me broke and bound to the homeless street life. I was going to read the Bible cover to cover. Surely, this would cure me once and for all of my destructive desires. Every night before I would go to sleep I made sure that I would read though at least 30 minutes worth of the Bible. This was done in my bunk in the open dormitory of the salvation army. Well, after about a month or 6 weeks of reading in this fashion, I was getting pretty far into the Bible and had pretty much established myself, among the guys staying in the dorm with me, as some sort of Jesus Freak. One evening a man, who like me wasn’t fairing to well in this world, comes up to my bunk, as I was reading the Bible, and angrily says this to me, “Where Is God? Just Where Is God? If I knew where God was my life would be alright.” Calmly I told him the truth “Well I know that it may sound strange to you, but sometimes when I really need it, God seems to speak directly to me from the Bible, giving me guidance and comfort, and I believe that He may speak directly to you since you seem to be in a pretty bad spot.” Then I closed the Bible and handed it to him. Then he asks me “Do you mean like this?” and he just randomly flips the Bible open, but instead of gently reading the first words his eyes landed on, as I thought he would do, he went and stabbed his finger down onto the page that the Bible had fell open to. Then, he looks over to me and asks me “Like That?” I nervously said, in spite of my reservations of the brazenness of his act, “I guess that will work.”. Well his brazenness paid off for his finger landed right on top of Job 23:3 which says “Oh, that I knew where I might find God, that I might come to His seat!”, (In fact that entire passage in Job 23 was related to his situation), Well, needless to say, we both were in awe about God revealing Himself to him in the ‘Living Word’ that clearly, so we went to the chaplain of the Salvation Army and got him his very own Bible. Let me end this testimony by saying that I believe God speaks to all people in many different ways. Don’t be upset if God doesn’t speak in this certain way to you. He very well could be speaking to you in special ways that He doesn’t speak to other people in. He could speak through your dreams, or visions, or He could speak to you through other people. He could be in that still small, intuitive, voice that speaks warnings to you every so often and could express His feelings and guidance to you, or etc… etc…. Here are some examples of the different ways that God speaks into different people’s lives (usually during times distress such as when a person is coping with the death of a loved one):

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

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

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

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

    Eric Metaxas testimony how he became a Christian
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7juRRJhhIHE

    The point I’m trying to make clear is this. I’m firmly convinced that God does indeed desire to speak to each and every one of us, His children! BUT, we have to open our minds up enough to allow the possibility that God, the Father of all creation, might actually care enough for each of us, His children, to actually want to speak intimately to each of us from time to time. Think about it. What parent doesn’t talk personally to each and every one of their very own children every once in a while? It would be a very uncaring parent who did not ‘get personal’ every once in a while with each and every one of their children. How much more is this to be expected of God who loved us so much that he suffered the penalty of death for us so that we could always be with Him forever?
    Moreover, I truly believe it is a very powerful thing to have the Lord speak into our lives, more powerful than we can possibly understand right now. My reasoning for this belief is this: “He who speaks living words into the voids of our life, Is the very same One who spoke living words into the void of the night”

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

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

    Of related note:

    Dr. Craig Keener, author of “Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts” discusses in this web series some accounts of people being raised from the dead and people being healed of dire sicknesses from around the world. – video playlist
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....fOqOmxOyU=

    Also of note, Quantum Mechanics, which is our best description of the foundation of reality, is about as ‘supernatural’ as can be in its description of the foundation of reality. In other words, there is nothing within quantum mechanics that prevents miracles from being possible in our lives.

  31. 31
    CHartsil says:

    “In other words, there is nothing within quantum mechanics that prevents miracles from being possible in our lives.”

    A miracle is something which is by definition impossible, so that’s meaningless. Also, argument from ignorance.

  32. 32

    CHartsil said:

    A miracle is something which is by definition impossible, so that’s meaningless.

    Link? Reference?

  33. 33
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    “A miracle is something which is by definition impossible, so that’s meaningless.”

    HMMMM, Not by my definition! Perhaps you should change definitions (i.e. change worldviews)?

    “For this reason, the question whether miracles occur can never be answered simply by experience. Every event which might claim to be a miracle is, in the last resort, something presented to our senses, something seen, heard, touched, smelled or tasted. And our senses are not infallible. If anything extraordinary seems to have happened, we can always say that we have been the victims of an illusion. If we hold a philosophy which excludes the supernatural, this is what we always shall say. What we learn from experience depends on the kind of philosophy we bring to experience. It is therefore useless to appeal to experience before we have settled, as well as we can, the philosophical question.”
    C.S. Lewis, Miracles

    Of humorous note to settling ‘the philosophical question’, although atheists deny the reality of miracles, the fact of the matter is that atheists are dependent on ‘random miracles’ as an explanatory principle in both cosmology and biology:

    The Absurdity of Inflation, String Theory and The Multiverse – Dr. Bruce Gordon – video
    http://vimeo.com/34468027

    Here is the last power-point slide of the preceding video:
    The End Of Materialism?
    * In the multiverse, anything can happen for no reason at all.
    * In other words, the materialist is forced to believe in random miracles as a explanatory principle.
    * In a Theistic universe, nothing happens without a reason. Miracles are therefore intelligently directed deviations from divinely maintained regularities, and are thus expressions of rational purpose.
    * Scientific materialism is (therefore) epistemically self defeating: it makes scientific rationality impossible.

    Pauli’s ideas on mind and matter in the context of contemporary science – Harald Atmanspacher
    Excerpt: “In discussions with biologists I met large difficulties when they apply the concept of ‘natural selection’ in a rather wide field, without being able to estimate the probability of the occurrence in a empirically given time of just those events, which have been important for the biological evolution. Treating the empirical time scale of the evolution theoretically as infinity they have then an easy game, apparently to avoid the concept of purposesiveness. While they pretend to stay in this way completely ‘scientific’ and ‘rational,’ they become actually very irrational, particularly because they use the word ‘chance’, not any longer combined with estimations of a mathematically defined probability, in its application to very rare single events more or less synonymous with the old word ‘miracle.’”
    Wolfgang Pauli (pp. 27-28)
    http://www.igpp.de/english/tda/pdf/paulijcs8.pdf

    Evolution and the Illusion of Randomness – Talbott – Fall 2011
    Excerpt: The situation calls to mind a widely circulated cartoon by Sidney Harris, which shows two scientists in front of a blackboard on which a body of theory has been traced out with the usual tangle of symbols, arrows, equations, and so on. But there’s a gap in the reasoning at one point, filled by the words, “Then a miracle occurs.” And the one scientist is saying to the other, “I think you should be more explicit here in step two.”
    In the case of evolution, I picture Dennett and Dawkins filling the blackboard with their vivid descriptions of living, highly regulated, coordinated, integrated, and intensely meaningful biological processes, and then inserting a small, mysterious gap in the middle, along with the words, “Here something random occurs.”
    This “something random” looks every bit as wishful as the appeal to a miracle. It is the central miracle in a gospel of meaninglessness, a “Randomness of the gaps,” demanding an extraordinarily blind faith. At the very least, we have a right to ask, “Can you be a little more explicit here?”
    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/.....randomness

  34. 34
  35. 35
    Piotr says:

    #32 Bornagain77

    There are about thirty thousand verses in the Bible. I suppose a few hundred of them could easily be regarded as strikingly “related to [a given person’s] situation”, depending on how much interpretative leeway people are prepared to give to an oracle (anyone who has used the Bible, the I Ching or any other book for that purpose can testify that “seeing” a pattern relatable to one’s personal problems is easy). So the probability that the verse accidentally matched the man’s situation was of the order of, say, one in a few hundred at the very least. Some miracle. Everyone sees lots of less likely coincidences every day.

  36. 36
    bornagain77 says:

    Piotr, as CS Lewis put it, it depends on your worldview. I take it, from your staunch opposition to ID in general, that you are predisposed to discount any miracle no matter what.
    But, I was there and I testify that it was jaw droppingly real. It profoundly changed that man’s life. Moreover, I’ve seen such a ‘spooky thing’ happen many, many times, over… always in times of need, always with such ‘spooky’ clarity.

    I use to wonder how it was possible. my study of quantum mechanics has given me a small glimpse as to how it is possible.

  37. 37

    CHartsil’s own reference calls a miracle “highly improbable”, not “impossible”, so his statement about what miracles are “by definition” is incorrect.

  38. 38
    Piotr says:

    It profoundly changed that man’s life.

    Good for him, but still no miracle.

  39. 39
    bornagain77 says:

    It was a miracle!,,,

    Note the irony, You believe unguided ‘random’ processes built the unfathomed complexity of your brain with no substantiating evidence whatsoever and yet when someone shows you just a little substantiating evidence for miracles you automatically attack it.

    You have more ‘blind faith’ than I do I assure you!

  40. 40
    bornagain77 says:

    Piotr, Well this is just plain weird. This story, that was written today, just popped up on my facebook feed:

    One of the World’s Most Famous Porn Stars Opened Up a Bible and Started Reading Revelation. What She Saw Made Her Change Her Life Entirely. – Feb. 23, 2015
    Excerpt: But as she prepared to travel to Las Vegas to shoot a sex scene, Ruiz said she felt God speaking to her.
    “I remember hearing the voice of the holy spirit say, ‘Bring your Bible,’” she said, noting that she listened and decided to bring with her the Bible she received while at church with her grandfather back in 2009.
    Ruiz said she had a profound revelation as she read Revelation 2 aboard an airplane on her way to film the scene.
    “It was speaking about this adulteress woman. [It said] God had given her plenty of opportunities to repent … and that God would cast her into hell and I was like, ‘Oh my goodness. I’m the adulteress woman,’” she recalled. “‘He’s given me time to repent. What’s my problem?’”
    At that point, Ruiz said she felt she couldn’t film the scene, but she had just $5 to her name and her rent was due. Conflicted, she proceeded to do the job, but when she returned home, she began truly searching for God and started attending a local church.
    “After I filmed that scene I thought, ‘There’s no looking back,’” she said, turning away from the life she had known for nearly a decade. “I got super involved in the church very quickly. I love Jesus and I’m all for him. I want to do everything according to his word.”
    http://www.theblaze.com/storie.....-entirely/

    Now that certainly is ‘spooky’! 🙂

  41. 41
    JimFit says:

    I’ll say only that there are no known supernatural causes, and if the history of science is any indication then it is unlikely that any supernatural causes will show up.

    What we call a supernatural event its an event that happens due to divine intention and not chance. These events are perfectly explainable by Natural Science but Natural Science cannot explain the Why part. Lets say that you sit in the countryside and you feel really hungry and you wish for a sandwich, suddenly the wind blows off and after a big chain of events it lands you a plate with a sandwich on top of it in front of your feet, this event is explainable, we know the forces that took place, we know what the sandwich consists of, we know everything but it remains in the eye of the observer to think this event as an event that took place due to chance or divine intention, that’s why Jesus speaks about blind people because some people like you even if a supernatural event took place in front of them they would still prefer to be blind and say “Hey, it was a random event perfectly explainable by chance”. If you are wondering when God caused this event, well…the supernatural events weren’t caused instantly but were predesigned together with the Universe since God knows before you ask it, that’s why the prophesies is a big part of Human History because if God created everything before it happens its perfectly reasonable to think that God reveals some Truths to people and they write them down as prophesies that will come true.

  42. 42
    CHartsil says:

    WJM, invoking magic doesn’t make it less impossible.

    Funny how the occurrence of supernatural intervention sharply declined after the advent of recording equipment.

  43. 43
    bornagain77 says:

    3 Real-Life ‘Miracles’ That Took Place on the Set of ‘The Bible’

    1) Jesus Speaking to Nicodemus: As they were filming a scene depicting Jesus Christ (played by actor Diogo Morgado) speaking with Nicodemus, a priest and a central character in the book of John, an intriguing thing happened. Just as Morgado (obviously channeling Jesus) said that the Holy Spirit is like the wind (referencing John 3:8), the wind where the cast and crew were filming literally picked up on its own.

    According to the Daily Mail, Burnett described the event as follows: “At that moment, a wind, like as if a 747 was taking off, blew his hair, almost blew the set over and sustained for 20 seconds across the desert.”

    Obviously, the cast and crew were surprised. But the oddities didn’t end there.
    http://www.theblaze.com/storie.....the-bible/

  44. 44
    CHartsil says:

    And there you go. I’m asking for magic, you give me weather.

  45. 45

    CHartsil said:

    WJM, invoking magic doesn’t make it less impossible.

    Then why do you invoke it? I certainly didn’t. I merely pointed out that your own source contradicts your definition of “miracle”.

    Funny how the occurrence of supernatural intervention sharply declined after the advent of recording equipment.

    You haven’t even defined what you mean by “supernatural” yet, even though I’ve asked you to do so several times in the other thread. First, define “supernatural”, and then please support your assertion that supernatural interventions have declined after the advent of recording equipment.

    But,you won’t do that, because all of this is really nothing but rhetoric and ideological narrative, correct?

  46. 46
    bornagain77 says:

    You said never a miracle on film and I cited one. You don’t accept it yet the crew and producers did. Go figure.

    Moreover, If you want magic go to a magician. If you want to explain the miracle of your brain go to God:

    Human brain has more switches than all computers on Earth – November 2010
    Excerpt: They found that the brain’s complexity is beyond anything they’d imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief, says Stephen Smith, a professor of molecular and cellular physiology and senior author of the paper describing the study: …One synapse, by itself, is more like a microprocessor–with both memory-storage and information-processing elements–than a mere on/off switch. In fact, one synapse may contain on the order of 1,000 molecular-scale switches. A single human brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth.
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-2708.....2-247.html

    “Complexity Brake” Defies Evolution – August 8, 2012
    Excerpt: Consider a neuronal synapse — the presynaptic terminal has an estimated 1000 distinct proteins. Fully analyzing their possible interactions would take about 2000 years. Or consider the task of fully characterizing the visual cortex of the mouse — about 2 million neurons. Under the extreme assumption that the neurons in these systems can all interact with each other, analyzing the various combinations will take about 10 million years…, even though it is assumed that the underlying technology speeds up by an order of magnitude each year.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....62961.html

    Component placement optimization in the brain – 1994
    As he comments [106], “To current limits of accuracy … the actual placement appears to be the best of all possible layouts; this constitutes strong evidence of perfect optimization.,, among about 40,000,000 alternative layout orderings, the actual ganglion placement in fact requires the least total connection length.
    http://www.jneurosci.org/conte.....8.abstract

    The Puzzling Role Of Biophotons In The Brain – Dec. 17, 2010
    Excerpt: In recent years, a growing body of evidence shows that photons play an important role in the basic functioning of cells. Most of this evidence comes from turning the lights off and counting the number of photons that cells produce. It turns out, much to many people’s surprise, that many cells, perhaps even most, emit light as they work.
    In fact, it looks very much as if many cells use light to communicate. There’s certainly evidence that bacteria, plants and even kidney cells communicate in this way. Various groups have even shown that rats brains are literally alight thanks to the photons produced by neurons as they work.,,,
    ,,, earlier this year, one group showed that spinal neurons in rats can actually conduct light.
    ,, Rahnama and co point out that neurons contain many light sensitive molecules, such as porphyrin rings, flavinic, pyridinic rings, lipid chromophores and aromatic amino acids. In particular, mitochondria, the machines inside cells which produce energy, contain several prominent chromophores.
    The presence of light sensitive molecules makes it hard to imagine how they might not be not influenced by biophotons.,,,
    They go on to suggest that the light channelled by microtubules can help to co-ordinate activities in different parts of the brain. It’s certainly true that electrical activity in the brain is synchronised over distances that cannot be easily explained. Electrical signals travel too slowly to do this job, so something else must be at work.,,,
    (So) It’s a big jump to assume that photons do this job.
    http://www.technologyreview.co.....the-brain/

    ,,, zero time lag neuronal synchrony despite long conduction delays – 2008
    Excerpt: Multielectrode recordings have revealed zero time lag synchronization among remote cerebral cortical areas. However, the axonal conduction delays among such distant regions can amount to several tens of milliseconds. It is still unclear which mechanism is giving rise to isochronous discharge of widely distributed neurons, despite such latencies,,,
    Remarkably, synchrony of neuronal activity is not limited to short-range interactions within a cortical patch. Interareal synchronization across cortical regions including interhemispheric areas has been observed in several tasks (7, 9, 11–14).,,,
    Beyond its functional relevance, the zero time lag synchrony among such distant neuronal ensembles must be established by mechanisms that are able to compensate for the delays involved in the neuronal communication. Latencies in conducting nerve impulses down axonal processes can amount to delays of several tens of milliseconds between the generation of a spike in a presynaptic cell and the elicitation of a postsynaptic potential (16). The question is how, despite such temporal delays, the reciprocal interactions between two brain regions can lead to the associated neural populations to fire in unison (i.e. zero time lag).,,,
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....MC2575223/

    The following paper appeals to a ‘non-local’, (i.e. beyond space and time), cause to try to explain the zero lag synchronization in neural circuits,,,

    Nonlocal mechanism for cluster synchronization in neural circuits – 2011
    Excerpt: The findings,,, call for reexamining sources of correlated activity in cortex,,,
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1103.3634

  47. 47
    rvb8 says:

    Isn’t ‘supernatural’ beyond natural. Outside the boundary of natural. And natural would be obeying the laws of nature, gravity, speed of light, etc. Therefore disobeying these laws would be that.

    Jesus walking on water would be acceptable as ‘supernatural’ as would all of his other miracles; or, Mohammed’s miracles would do, or Moses’ or Jeremiah’s or any other religion’s claims, or indeed any of the Hans Christian Anderson narratives. They are all equally well witnessed.

    Now, the evidence! OOoops!

  48. 48
    bornagain77 says:

    Jesus walking on water would be acceptable as ‘supernatural’ as would all of his other miracles

    then why don’t you accept them?

    Shroud Of Turin – 3 Dimensional Hologram Reveals Words ‘The Lamb’
    https://vimeo.com/97156784

    rvb8, you writing a single sentence is ‘beyond natural’ and is therefore evidence of a miracle:

    Book Review – Meyer, Stephen C. Signature in the Cell. New York: HarperCollins, 2009.
    Excerpt: As early as the 1960s, those who approached the problem of the origin of life from the standpoint of information theory and combinatorics observed that something was terribly amiss. Even if you grant the most generous assumptions: that every elementary particle in the observable universe is a chemical laboratory randomly splicing amino acids into proteins every Planck time for the entire history of the universe, there is a vanishingly small probability that even a single functionally folded protein of 150 amino acids would have been created. Now of course, elementary particles aren’t chemical laboratories, nor does peptide synthesis take place where most of the baryonic mass of the universe resides: in stars or interstellar and intergalactic clouds. If you look at the chemistry, it gets even worse—almost indescribably so: the precursor molecules of many of these macromolecular structures cannot form under the same prebiotic conditions—they must be catalysed by enzymes created only by preexisting living cells, and the reactions required to assemble them into the molecules of biology will only go when mediated by other enzymes, assembled in the cell by precisely specified information in the genome.
    So, it comes down to this: Where did that information come from? The simplest known free living organism (although you may quibble about this, given that it’s a parasite) has a genome of 582,970 base pairs, or about one megabit (assuming two bits of information for each nucleotide, of which there are four possibilities). Now, if you go back to the universe of elementary particle Planck time chemical labs and work the numbers, you find that in the finite time our universe has existed, you could have produced about 500 bits of structured, functional information by random search. Yet here we have a minimal information string which is (if you understand combinatorics) so indescribably improbable to have originated by chance that adjectives fail.
    http://www.fourmilab.ch/docume.....k_726.html

    To clarify as to how the 500 bit universal limit is found for ‘structured, functional information’:

    Dembski’s original value for the universal probability bound is 1 in 10^150,

    10^80, the number of elementary particles in the observable universe.
    10^45, the maximum rate per second at which transitions in physical states can occur.
    10^25, a billion times longer than the typical estimated age of the universe in seconds.

    Thus, 10^150 = 10^80 × 10^45 × 10^25. Hence, this value corresponds to an upper limit on the number of physical events that could possibly have occurred since the big bang.

    How many bits would that be:

    Pu = 10-150, so, -log2 Pu = 498.29 bits

    Call it 500 bits (The 500 bits is further specified as a specific type of information. It is specified as Complex Specified Information by Dembski or as Functional Information by Abel to separate it from merely Ordered Sequence Complexity or Random Sequence Complexity; See Three subsets of sequence complexity)
    Three subsets of sequence complexity and their relevance to biopolymeric information – Abel, Trevors
    http://www.tbiomed.com/content/2/1/29

    Design Detection 1-24-2015 by Paul Giem – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZO_Cp00kJU8

    If you disagree that humans writing information is ‘beyond natural’ then feel free to demonstrate that information can be generated by ‘natural’ processes:

    Before They’ve Even Seen Stephen Meyer’s New Book, Darwinists Waste No Time in Criticizing Darwin’s Doubt – William A. Dembski – April 4, 2013
    Excerpt: In the newer approach to conservation of information, the focus is not on drawing design inferences but on understanding search in general and how information facilitates successful search. The focus is therefore not so much on individual probabilities as on probability distributions and how they change as searches incorporate information. My universal probability bound of 1 in 10^150 (a perennial sticking point for Shallit and Felsenstein) therefore becomes irrelevant in the new form of conservation of information whereas in the earlier it was essential because there a certain probability threshold had to be attained before conservation of information could be said to apply. The new form is more powerful and conceptually elegant. Rather than lead to a design inference, it shows that accounting for the information required for successful search leads to a regress that only intensifies as one backtracks. It therefore suggests an ultimate source of information, which it can reasonably be argued is a designer. I explain all this in a nontechnical way in an article I posted at ENV a few months back titled “Conservation of Information Made Simple” (go here). ,,,
    ,,, Here are the two seminal papers on conservation of information that I’ve written with Robert Marks:
    “The Search for a Search: Measuring the Information Cost of Higher-Level Search,” Journal of Advanced Computational Intelligence and Intelligent Informatics 14(5) (2010): 475-486
    “Conservation of Information in Search: Measuring the Cost of Success,” IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics A, Systems & Humans, 5(5) (September 2009): 1051-1061
    For other papers that Marks, his students, and I have done to extend the results in these papers, visit the publications page at http://www.evoinfo.org
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....70821.html

    Verse:

    John 1:1-4
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

  49. 49
    REC says:

    I believe I’ve seen Joseph of Cupertino used as ‘evidence
    here before.

    Does it strike anyone as curious that VJ Torley points us to a website with no scholarly references, and a work written 100 years after the death of the saint?

    A work, written by an author intimately allied with the church, commissioned to write saints lives, dedicating it to Pope Innocent XIII (formerly bishop of the site where pilgrims came to revere Joseph, and advocate of his cult).

    Historians don’t think of Hagiographies as literal truth. They follow a script–a proof of holiness, the establishment of a figure to revere, who might intercede and bring God’s blessing. Historians ask why this story, at this time, and what it means.

    There is ample “evidence”, if Torley calls haigiographies that, that Jews bought, tortured, crucified, and collected the blood of Christian boys to perform magic and cure their male mensuration. Texts and witnesses and confessions and cults and money-bringing pilgrims. Saints and cults persisting even into my lifetime.

  50. 50
    CHartsil says:

    “Jesus walking on water would be acceptable as ‘supernatural’ as would all of his other miracles”

    It’s also part of the claim you’re trying to prove in the first place. Circular logic.

    It’s been shown that Da Vinci could’ve made the Shroud of Turin with knowledge and technology in his day. That along with the three independent 14C datings that put it in the middle ages doesn’t fare well for the shroud

  51. 51
    bornagain77 says:

    as to: “It’s been shown that Da Vinci could’ve made the Shroud of Turin with knowledge and technology in his day. That along with the three independent 14C datings that put it in the middle ages doesn’t fare well for the shroud”

    Shroud Of Turin Is Authentic, Italian Study Suggests – December 2011
    Excerpt: Last year scientists were able to replicate marks on the cloth using highly advanced ultraviolet techniques that weren’t available 2,000 years ago — nor during the medieval times, for that matter.,,, Since the shroud and “all its facets” still cannot be replicated using today’s top-notch technology, researchers suggest it is impossible that the original image could have been created in either period.
    http://www.thegopnet.com/shrou.....ests-87037

    Scientists say Turin Shroud is supernatural – December 2011
    Excerpt: After years of work trying to replicate the colouring on the shroud, a similar image has been created by the scientists.
    However, they only managed the effect by scorching equivalent linen material with high-intensity ultra violet lasers, undermining the arguments of other research, they say, which claims the Turin Shroud is a medieval hoax.
    Such technology, say researchers from the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (Enea), was far beyond the capability of medieval forgers, whom most experts have credited with making the famous relic.
    “The results show that a short and intense burst of UV directional radiation can colour a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin,” they said.
    And in case there was any doubt about the preternatural degree of energy needed to make such distinct marks, the Enea report spells it out: “This degree of power cannot be reproduced by any normal UV source built to date.”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/n.....79512.html

    New Evidence Overturns Shroud Of Turin Carbon Dating – Joseph G. Marino and M. Sue Benford – video
    (with Raymond Rogers, lead chemist from the STURP project)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxDdx6vxthE

    Barrie Schwortz: Remembering Ray Rogers – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kG6H5MklK3s

    Rogers passed away shortly after publishing this paper, but his work was ultimately verified by the Los Alamos National Laboratory:

    Carbon Dating Of The Turin Shroud Completely Overturned by Scientific Peer Review
    Excerpt: Rogers also asked John Brown, a materials forensic expert from Georgia Tech to confirm his finding using different methods. Brown did so. He also concluded that the shroud had been mended with newer material. Since then, a team of nine scientists at Los Alamos has also confirmed Rogers work, also with different methods and procedures. Much of this new information has been recently published in Chemistry Today.
    http://shroudofturin.wordpress.....s-of-time/

    This following is the Los Alamos National Laboratory report and video which confirms the Rogers’ paper:

    “Analytical Results on Thread Samples Taken from the Raes Sampling Area (Corner) of the Shroud Cloth” (Aug 2008)
    Excerpt: The age-dating process failed to recognize one of the first rules of analytical chemistry that any sample taken for characterization of an area or population must necessarily be representative of the whole. The part must be representative of the whole. Our analyses of the three thread samples taken from the Raes and C-14 sampling corner showed that this was not the case……. LANL’s work confirms the research published in Thermochimica Acta (Jan. 2005) by the late Raymond Rogers, a chemist who had studied actual C-14 samples and concluded the sample was not part of the original cloth possibly due to the area having been repaired. – Robert Villarreal – Los Alamos National Laboratory
    http://www.ohioshroudconference.com/

    Shroud Of Turin Carbon Dating Overturned – Robert Villarreal – Press Release video
    http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=DPPWDPNX

  52. 52
    bornagain77 says:

    The Shroud of Turin – Evidence it is authentic
    Excerpt: In June 2002, the Shroud was sent to a team of experts for restoration. One of them was Swiss textile historian Mechthild Flury-Lemberg. She was surprised to find a peculiar stitching pattern in the seam of one long side of the Shroud, where a three-inch wide strip of the same original fabric was sewn onto a larger segment. The stitching pattern, which she says was the work of a professional, is quite similar to the hem of a cloth found in the tombs of the Jewish fortress of Masada. The Masada cloth dates to between 40 BC and 73 AD. This kind of stitch has never been found in Medieval Europe.
    http://www.newgeology.us/presentation24.html

    Shroud Of Turin – Sewn From Two Pieces – 2000 Years Old (Matches Masada Cloth) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uST6qt9pfoo

    Turin Shroud ‘is not a medieval forgery’ – 28 Mar 2013
    Excerpt: Experiments conducted by scientists at the University of Padua in northern Italy have dated the shroud to ancient times, a few centuries before and after the life of Christ.,,,
    The analysis is published in a new book, “Il Mistero della Sindone” or The Mystery of the Shroud, by Giulio Fanti, a professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at Padua University,,,
    Scientists, including Prof Fanti, used infra-red light and spectroscopy – the measurement of radiation intensity through wavelengths – to analyse fibres from the shroud,,,
    The tests dated the age of the shroud to between 300 BC and 400AD.,,,
    Scientists have never been able to explain how the image of a man’s body, complete with nail wounds to his wrists and feet, pinpricks from thorns around his forehead and a spear wound to his chest, could have formed on the cloth. Mr Fanti said the imprint was caused by a blast of “exceptional radiation”, although he stopped short of describing it as a miracle.
    He said his tests backed up earlier results which claimed to have found on the shroud traces of dust and pollen which could only have come from the Holy Land.,,,
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new.....rgery.html

    Giulio Fanti and the Turin Shroud – load bearing test, infared test, Shroud dated to time of Christ – 34:00 minute mark – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4c4812XA9A

    Markwardt: Full Length History of the Shroud – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIEcpDh_Cx0

    Jesus and the Shroud of Turin (1999) – film (with botanical, pollen, evidence and Sudarium face clothe)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....bc5X_m11ri

  53. 53
    JimFit says:

    What Atheists don’t understand is that a supernatural event IS ATTACHED TO THE NATURAL WORLD therefor its perfectly explainable from Science, the only thing that isn’t explainable by science is the intention of the miracle. Lets say that a farmer goes to the field and finds an embellished message that says “Hello”,he calls the Scientists who study this message, they find out that the message was embellished with laser from the sky, they explained it but they didn’t explained who tried to communicate with the farmer.

  54. 54
    Me_Think says:

    CHartsil @ 52,
    There is no doubt that Shroud of Turin shows an imprint of a human. The height-field data would not be possible if the image was a painting or photograph.
    I believe the Maillard reaction (ammonia – not amine) sufficiently explains the TS image. You don’t need exotic Vacuum UVs.

  55. 55
    Joe says:

    Miracles- Blind and undirected processes producing a living organisms from matter and energy

    Blind and undirected processes producing eukaryotes from populations of prokaryotes

    Blind and undirected processes producing the genetic code

    Blind and undirected processes producing meiosis

    That’s just a start

  56. 56
    JimFit says:

    I believe the Maillard reaction (ammonia – not amine) sufficiently explains the TS image. You don’t need exotic Vacuum UVs.

    Emm no it doesn’t explain it.

    1. In the experiment, the Maillar reaction cannot progress forever because due to the massive release of amines, the final image would be blurred beyond 36 hours.

    2. Maillar reaction originates water but if the amount of water produced accumulates and moves beyond certain boundaries, this will inhibit any further progress of the reaction. For this reason, the arrangement of the cloth might be a critical issue because a tightly wrapped linen is far more likely to capture water and inhibit further developments of Maillar. On the contrary, a loose cloth would allow evaporation of important fractions of the water generated by Maillar and subsequent progress of the chemical reaction.

  57. 57
    Evolve says:

    Vincent Torley has this habit of repeating discredited nonsense in lengthy essays. Origin of life, fine tuning, miracles…none of your points count as evidence for God. I have exposed the fallacies in your arguments in your previous thread and in replies to Barry before that. But Vincent refuses to listen (as is typical of most creationists) and keeps on dishing out the same junk.
    Nothing is gonna convince hardcore theists like Vincent, but here’s a new debate between PZ Myers and Fuz Rana. PZ nicely exposes the ludicrous arguments theists usually make:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zhhAiM_iA0

  58. 58
    CHartsil says:

    If the Shroud is authentic and the datings were done on a patch then why won’t the Holy See allow another round of 14C dating to be done on it? And how did they only know it was a patch AFTER the dating results came back? How do you get new information on something you’ve had for over a 1000 years?

    “It’s authentic you guys, and we’ll say anything we have to to convince you. We just won’t do the one thing that really matters.”

  59. 59
    bornagain77 says:

    Funny you have no skepticism whatsoever that a unknown medieval artist could produce a photographic negative 500 years before photography and, moreover, you have no skepticism whatsoever that that same unknown medieval artist could encode that photographic negative image with 3-D holographic information 600 years before holography was discovered, but you have hyper-skepticism towards the fact that the carbon dating was botched.

    Shroud Of Turin – Photographic Negative – 3D Hologram – The Lamb – video
    http://www.tunesbaby.com/watch/?x=5664213

  60. 60
    CHartsil says:

    >Believes a magic Jew ethereally burned his picture into a piece of cloth without question despite multiple datings putting it in the 1300s

    >Accuses someone else of not being skeptical enough.

    Da Vinci was insanely smart and there are numerous things he did just because he could.

  61. 61
    bornagain77 says:

    Actually the ‘multiple datings’ were from the same corner of the Shroud clothe that had been subjected to reweaving:

    Robert Villarreal from Los Alamos notes that they ‘failed to recognize one of the first rules of analytical chemistry that any sample taken for characterization of an area or population must necessarily be representative of the whole’,,,

    “Analytical Results on Thread Samples Taken from the Raes Sampling Area (Corner) of the Shroud Cloth” (Aug 2008)
    Excerpt: The age-dating process failed to recognize one of the first rules of analytical chemistry that any sample taken for characterization of an area or population must necessarily be representative of the whole. The part must be representative of the whole. Our analyses of the three thread samples taken from the Raes and C-14 sampling corner showed that this was not the case……. LANL’s work confirms the research published in Thermochimica Acta (Jan. 2005) by the late Raymond Rogers, a chemist who had studied actual C-14 samples and concluded the sample was not part of the original cloth possibly due to the area having been repaired. – Robert Villarreal – Los Alamos National Laboratory
    http://www.ohioshroudconference.com/

    Shroud Of Turin Carbon Dating Overturned – Robert Villarreal – Press Release video
    http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=DPPWDPNX

    Moreover, in the following video you will notice how the older to younger range of dates match precisely the reweaving pattern percentages for each sample used by each lab,,

    New Evidence Overturns Shroud Of Turin Carbon Dating – Joseph G. Marino and M. Sue Benford – video
    (with Raymond Rogers, lead chemist from the STURP project)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxDdx6vxthE

    Thus your carbon dating evidence is found to be wanting for integrity.

  62. 62
    bornagain77 says:

    Funny that Da Vinci was so insanely smart that we still cannot reproduce the Shroud with all its facets as he did even though we have far greater technology than he did:

    Shroud Of Turin Is Authentic, Italian Study Suggests – December 2011
    Excerpt: Last year scientists were able to replicate marks on the cloth using highly advanced ultraviolet techniques that weren’t available 2,000 years ago — nor during the medieval times, for that matter.,,, Since the shroud and “all its facets” still cannot be replicated using today’s top-notch technology, researchers suggest it is impossible that the original image could have been created in either period.
    http://www.thegopnet.com/shrou.....ests-87037

  63. 63
    Silver Asiatic says:

    DaVinci was born 100 years after the Shroud was displayed in Lirey (where a chapel was built in 1354 to display the Shroud).

  64. 64
    CHartsil says:

    “Actually the ‘multiple datings’ were from the same corner of the Shroud clothe that had been subjected to reweaving”

    There were multiple datings done independently. Again, funny how we only knew it was a reweaving after the dates debunked it and the Holy See refuses to allow it to be tested again.

    “Funny that Da Vinci was so insanely smart that we still cannot reproduce the Shroud with all its facets as he did even though we have far greater technology than he did”

    http://www.reuters.com/article.....HL20091005

    >Garlaschelli reproduced the full-sized shroud using materials and techniques that were available in the middle ages.

  65. 65
    bornagain77 says:

    Not even an acknowledgement that you were wrong on Da Vinci? Perhaps an apology for being wrong? and certainly a Thanks to Silver for correcting you?!? Where is your integrity and manners?

    It is clear that truth matters not for you when you behave as such when you were shown to be wrong!

  66. 66
    CHartsil says:

    “DaVinci was born 100 years after the Shroud was displayed in Lirey (where a chapel was built in 1354 to display the Shroud).”

    A shroud was put on display, which was later altered. The entire point of the dating was that it was from the 1300s

    “Not even an acknowledgement that you were wrong on Da Vinci?”

    >Garlaschelli reproduced the full-sized shroud using materials and techniques that were available in the middle ages.

    Maybe you should make a video about it. You could put it on your SITC channel

  67. 67
    bornagain77 says:

    “There were multiple datings done independently.”

    The datings, as you were clearly shown, are debunked. Only a desperate man would cling to them.

    The Garlaschelli replica is a joke:

    Part 1 of 13 Rebuttal to Luigi Garlischelli Shroud Forgery – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=it7vw7LU13U

  68. 68
    CHartsil says:

    “The datings, as you were clearly shown, are debunked. Only a desperate man would cling to them.”

    Then show us the new datings that put it at 2000 years old

    I post an article that takes 2 minutes to read, you post a 90 minute video series.

    Gish galloping is not limited to text.

  69. 69
    bornagain77 says:

    “A shroud was put on display, which was later altered.”

    and the conspiracy plot thickens 🙂

  70. 70
    CHartsil says:

    “and the conspiracy plot thickens”

    >It’s the tintype of an autopatriarchical space zombie

    >The idea that a human took a hundred year old sheet and painted on it is ludicrous

    You can always make a video about it, JJ. So how’s that SignatureInTheCell channel doing?

  71. 71
    bornagain77 says:

    Experts question scientist’s claim of reproducing Shroud of Turin – Oct. 2009
    Excerpt: Propp explained that while Garlaschelli’s cloth does have some aspects of light and dark to create a three-dimensional perspective, “it’s nowhere near as sophisticated as the shroud” and that “it misses out on the accuracy and subtleties that are in the actual image.”

    Dr. Jackson from the Turin Shroud Center also touched on the same point, saying, “The shroud’s image intensity varies with” the distances in between the cloth and the body. While he admitted that the images of Garlaschelli’s shroud on the internet look authentic, when taken from a 3-D perspective, “it’s really rather grotesque.”

    “The hands are embedded into the body and the legs have unnatural looking lumps and bumps,” he explained.
    http://www.catholicnewsagency......_of_turin/

    5 minutes and I found it. Out of the countless hours you spend trolling, you couldn’t spare 5 minutes?

    Still no apology to silver?

  72. 72
    CHartsil says:

    ““it misses out on the accuracy and subtleties that are in the actual image.””

    The point wasn’t that Garlaschelli was an artist, the point was that the technique could be reproduced

    Still waiting on that new round of 14C dating showing that it’s 2000 years old.

    You remind me of one of those herbal supplement informercials. They guarantee their product by doing everything except submitting it to trials by the FDA

  73. 73
    Silver Asiatic says:

    A shroud was put on display, which was later altered.

    They built a chapel to display an ordinary shroud. Then 100 years later DaVinci came along and made a really good version of it?

    I’ve got a feeling this is the kind of argumentation that is used to defend evolutionary theory. Just throw any conjecture out there and act like it’s absolutely certain. In no case can the materialist fairy-tale be questioned or doubted.

  74. 74
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Garlaschelli applied various substances to the cloth where no traces of such can be found on the Shroud.

  75. 75
    bornagain77 says:

    the ‘technique’ was certainly not ‘reproduced’, the differences between the two images are vast.

    Part 1 of 13 Rebuttal to Luigi Garlischelli Shroud Forgery – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=it7vw7LU13U

  76. 76
    CHartsil says:

    >I’ve got a feeling this is the kind of argumentation that is used to defend evolutionary theory.

    >It’s the tintype of an autopatriarchical space zombie

    >The idea that a human took a hundred year old sheet and painted on it is ludicrous

    “Garlaschelli applied various substances to the cloth where no traces of such can be found on the Shroud.”

    “the ‘technique’ was certainly not ‘reproduced’, the differences between the two images are vast.”

    The point was he replicated it using knowledge available in the 1400s

    Still waiting on that new round of 14C dating showing that it’s 2000 years old. Also still waiting on the explanation of how the Holy See deduced the materials taken for the original dating were from a patch only *after* the dating.

    How do you gain new knowledge of something that’s supposedly been in your possession for 2000 years?

  77. 77
    bornagain77 says:

    “Then show (me) the new datings that put it at 2000 years old”

    Turin Shroud ‘is not a medieval forgery’ – 28 Mar 2013
    Excerpt: Experiments conducted by scientists at the University of Padua in northern Italy have dated the shroud to ancient times, a few centuries before and after the life of Christ.,,,
    The analysis is published in a new book, “Il Mistero della Sindone” or The Mystery of the Shroud, by Giulio Fanti, a professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at Padua University,,,
    Scientists, including Prof Fanti, used infra-red light and spectroscopy – the measurement of radiation intensity through wavelengths – to analyse fibres from the shroud,,,
    The tests dated the age of the shroud to between 300 BC and 400AD.,,,
    Scientists have never been able to explain how the image of a man’s body, complete with nail wounds to his wrists and feet, pinpricks from thorns around his forehead and a spear wound to his chest, could have formed on the cloth. Mr Fanti said the imprint was caused by a blast of “exceptional radiation”, although he stopped short of describing it as a miracle.
    He said his tests backed up earlier results which claimed to have found on the shroud traces of dust and pollen which could only have come from the Holy Land.,,,
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new.....rgery.html

    Giulio Fanti and the Turin Shroud – load bearing test, infared test, Shroud dated to time of Christ – 34:00 minute mark – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4c4812XA9A

    Shroud Of Turin Real? New Research Dates Relic To 1st Century, Time Of Jesus Christ – with video – 28 Mar 2013
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....71850.html

    and:

    Shroud Of Turin – Sewn From Two Pieces – 2000 Years Old (Matches Masada Cloth) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uST6qt9pfoo

    The Shroud of Turin – Evidence it is authentic
    Excerpt: In June 2002, the Shroud was sent to a team of experts for restoration. One of them was Swiss textile historian Mechthild Flury-Lemberg. She was surprised to find a peculiar stitching pattern in the seam of one long side of the Shroud, where a three-inch wide strip of the same original fabric was sewn onto a larger segment. The stitching pattern, which she says was the work of a professional, is quite similar to the hem of a cloth found in the tombs of the Jewish fortress of Masada. The Masada cloth dates to between 40 BC and 73 AD. This kind of stitch has never been found in Medieval Europe.
    http://www.newgeology.us/presentation24.html

  78. 78
    bornagain77 says:

    Still no apology to silver?

    “How do you gain new knowledge of something that’s supposedly been in your possession for 2000 years?”

    So the same Pope has been alive for 2000 years???? 🙂

    i.e. The historical records had to be recovered, and the invisible reweaving ‘re-remembered’, as they, finally, were.

    “The point was he replicated it using knowledge available in the 1400s”

    He certainly did not replicated it ‘in all its facets’ as you originally claimed. The image is a friggin cartoon compared to the shroud!

    Part 1 of 13 Rebuttal to Luigi Garlischelli Shroud Forgery – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=it7vw7LU13U

    as to bias:

    Garlaschelli received funding for his work by an Italian association of atheists and agnostics but said it had no effect on his results.
    “Money has no odor,”
    http://www.reuters.com/article.....HL20091005

    Well it is clear CH could care less for truth,,, I’m out of here.

  79. 79
    CHartsil says:

    “Mr Fanti, a Catholic, said his results were the fruit of 15 years of research.
    He said the carbon-14 dating tests carried out in 1988 were “false” because of laboratory contamination.”

    So he couldn’t even get that story straight but he successfully dated it to exactly where theists wanted it to be? And he’s a catholic? Selling a book?

    Funny that his analysis is in a book and not a peer reviewed article. Because that doesn’t scream agenda or anything.

    “He certainly did not replicated it ‘in all its facets’ as you originally claimed. The image is a friggin cartoon compared to the shroud!”

    Again, the point was not his artistic skills. He made an image with knowledge available in Da Vinci’s time.

    So how about those 14C datings done by independent labs?

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