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Jerry Coyne and the contradictions of Darwinian morality

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Among the topics historian Richard Weikart addresses in a recent article is Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne’s contradictory morality:

When it comes to solving the dilemma of morality, Jerry Coyne faces many of the same problems as Russell. Coyne is an emeritus professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Chicago and a prominent atheist. In his 2015 book, Faith Versus Fact, Coyne argues that morality is the product of both evolutionary and cultural processes. He vigorously denies that there is anything fixed or objective about morality. However, despite his moral relativism, later in his book Coyne inexplicably states, “Indeed, secular morality, which is not twisted by adherence to the supposed commands of a god, is superior to most ‘religious’ morality.”Apparently it escapes Coyne’s grasp that for one kind of morality to be superior to another, there has to be some yardstick outside both moral systems…

Coyne embraces the same contradiction when he discusses whether human life has value or purpose. In a YouTube video he states that evolution “says that there is no special purpose for your life, because it is a naturalistic philosophy. We have no more extrinsic purpose than a squirrel or an armadillo.” However, Coyne’s own progressive political and moral views seem to presuppose that human life does have value and purpose.

Richard Weikart, “Whatever Happened to Human Rights?: Morality and C. S. Lewis’s Abolition of Man” at CRI

Being a Darwinist means never having to address inner contradictions. No one who matters asks.

77 Replies to “Jerry Coyne and the contradictions of Darwinian morality

  1. 1
    BobRyan says:

    Darwinists cannot argue in favor of morality of any kind. It does not exist in nature. A fox is not acting on morality when it kills a chicken. A lion who eats his or her own cub is acting on nothing more than nature. There are no courts in nature and no morality at all.

    It is only humans who believe in morality, which should not exist if we are nothing more than animals. There is no evolutionary benefit to court systems, since courts stand in the way of the strong dominating the weak, which is found throughout nature.

    Darwinists, atheists, evolutionists, whatever they wish to call themselves, do not value truth. The ends will always justify the means, which is why they can appear hypocritical to those who do value truth, but they will never view themselves in the same light.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    As to:

    (Coyne) states that evolution “says that there is no special purpose for your life, because it is a naturalistic philosophy. We have no more extrinsic purpose than a squirrel or an armadillo.”

    And yet science itself states that our lives have far more purpose, meaning, and value in this universe than is presupposed in naturalism.

    For instance, the assumption of the Copernican principle and/or the Principle of Mediocrity., which holds that ” humans (the Earth, or the Solar system) are not privileged observers of the universe.”,,,,

    Copernican principle
    Excerpt: In physical cosmology, the Copernican principle, is an alternative name of the mediocrity principle,,, stating that humans (the Earth, or the Solar system) are not privileged observers of the universe.[1]
    Named for Copernican heliocentrism, it is a working assumption that arises from a modified cosmological extension of Copernicus’s argument of a moving Earth.[2] In some sense, it is equivalent to the mediocrity principle.
    – per wikipedia

    Mediocrity principle
    Excerpt: The (Mediocrity) principle has been taken to suggest that there is nothing very unusual about the evolution of the Solar System, Earth’s history, the evolution of biological complexity, human evolution, or any one nation. It is a heuristic in the vein of the Copernican principle, and is sometimes used as a philosophical statement about the place of humanity. The idea is to assume mediocrity, rather than starting with the assumption that a phenomenon is special, privileged, exceptional, or even superior.[2][3]
    – per wikipedia

    ,,, for instance, the assumption of the Copernican principle and/or the Principle of Mediocrity., has now been overturned by General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, anomalies in the CMBR that ‘strangely’ line up with the earth and solar system, and also by the fact that life is found to exists at the ‘geometric mean’, or the middle, of all possible sizes in the universe:

    November 2019 – despite the fact that virtually everyone, including the vast majority of Christians, hold that the Copernican Principle is unquestionably true, the fact of the matter is that the Copernican Principle is now empirically shown, (via quantum mechanics and general relativity, etc..), to be a false assumption.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/so-then-maybe-we-are-privileged-observers/#comment-688855

    For instance in regards to the ‘geometric mean’ in particular, in the following video physicist Neil Turok states that ““So we can go from 10 to the plus 25 to 10 to the minus 35. Now where are we? Well the size of a living cell is about 10 to the minus 5. Which is halfway between the two. In mathematical terms, we say it is the geometric mean. We live in the middle between the largest scale in physics,,, and the tiniest scale [in physics].”

    “So we can go from 10 to the plus 25 to 10 to the minus 35. Now where are we? Well the size of a living cell is about 10 to the minus 5. Which is halfway between the two. In mathematical terms, we say it is the geometric mean. We live in the middle between the largest scale in physics,,, and the tiniest scale [in physics].”
    – Neil Turok as quoted at the 14:40 minute mark
    The Astonishing Simplicity of Everything – Neil Turok Public Lecture – video (12:00 minute mark, we live in the geometric mean, i.e. the middle, of the universe)
    https://youtu.be/f1x9lgX8GaE?t=715

    The following interactive graph, gives very similar ‘rough ballpark’ figures, of 10 ^27 and 10-35, to Dr. Turok’s figures.

    The Scale of the Universe
    https://htwins.net/scale2/

    Whereas Dr. William Demski, in the following graph, gives a more precise figure of 8.8 x 10^26 M for the observable universe’s diameter, and 1.6 x 10^-35 for the Planck length which is the smallest length possible.

    Magnifying the Universe
    https://academicinfluence.com/ie/mtu/

    Dr. Dembski’s more precise interactive graph points out that the smallest scale visible to the human eye (as well as the size of a human egg) is at 10^-4 meters, which ‘just so happens’ to be directly in the exponential center, and/or geometric mean, of all possible sizes of our physical reality. This is very interesting for the limits to human vision (as well as the size of the human egg) could have, theoretically, been at very different positions rather than directly in the exponential middle and/or the geometric mean. Needless to say, this empirical finding directly challenges, if not directly refutes, the assumption of the Copernican Principle.

    Besides the atheist using the false assumption of the Copernican principle and/or the Principle of Mediocrity to try to argue that humans have no extrinsic dignity or purpose,, the atheist also tries to use the false assumption of Darwinian evolution to try to argue, as Coyne himself argued, that “We have no more extrinsic purpose than a squirrel or an armadillo.”

    Charles Darwin himself argued that,

    “Nevertheless the difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is, certainly is one of degree and not of kind”
    – Charles Darwin – Descent of Man

    And yet, although the supposed genetic and fossil evidence for human evolution is far more illusory and misleading than many people have falsely been led to believe,

    Refutation of human-chimp genetic similarity, i.e. alternative splicing, dGRNs- October 2019
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/nathan-lents-plugs-joshua-swamidasss-book-on-adam-and-eve-at-usa-today/#comment-685918
    The Missing Link is still missing – October 2019
    https://uncommondescent.com/human-evolution/but-if-homo-erectus-was-just-an-ordinary-dude/#comment-686077

    Although the supposed genetic and fossil evidence for human evolution is far more illusory and misleading than many people have falsely been led to believe, the one place that even leading evolutionists admit that they have no realistic clue how a particular trait in humans could have possibly evolved is with human language.

    In 2014, a group of leading ‘evolutionary’ experts in this area of language research, authored a paper in which they honestly confessed that they have “essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved.,,,”

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

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

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

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

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

    As Vlatko Vedral, Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford, states,

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

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

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

    And that is precisely the claim that is made within Christianity!

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

    The evidence for the Shroud’s authenticity keeps growing. (Timeline of facts) – November 08, 2019
    What Is the Shroud of Turin? Facts & History Everyone Should Know – Myra Adams and Russ Breault
    https://www.christianity.com/wiki/jesus-christ/what-is-the-shroud-of-turin.html

    Verse

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

    Psalm 8:4-8
    4 What is man that You are mindful of him,
    And the son of man that You visit him?
    5 For You have made him a little lower than the angels,
    And You have crowned him with glory and honor.
    6 You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands;
    You have put all things under his feet,
    7 All sheep and oxen—
    Even the beasts of the field,
    8 The birds of the air,
    And the fish of the sea
    That pass through the paths of the seas.

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

  3. 3
    Truthfreedom says:

    BobRyan

    There is no evolutionary benefit to court systems, since courts stand in the way of the strong dominating the weak, which is found throughout nature.

    Well, according to the darwinian cult (and do not be mistaken, it is a cult), there are no “benefits” to anything. “Stuff just happens”.

    Things “happen” and that is all. They are clearly mentally challenged people.

    https://strangenotions.com/naturalisms-epistemological-nightmare/

  4. 4
    Truthfreedom says:

    Indeed, secular morality, which is not twisted by adherence to the supposed commands of a god, is superior to most ‘religious’ morality.”

    Well, this fool coyne guy is mistaken (again), because ‘religious morality’ is the result of evolution (according to him), therefore ‘religious morality’ AND ‘secular morality’ are both the result of evolution.
    He is saying evolution creates contradictory moral values. Evolution is not reliable.

    Apparently, it escapes Coyne’s grasp that for one kind of morality to be superior to another, there has to be sone yardstick outside moral systems…

    Most evos do not understand the concept of comparison.

    It is so sad. These people have not grown up.

  5. 5
    Ed George says:

    “Indeed, secular morality, which is not twisted by adherence to the supposed commands of a god, is superior to most ‘religious’ morality.”Apparently it escapes Coyne’s grasp that for one kind of morality to be superior to another, there has to be some yardstick outside both moral systems…

    The yardstick is the success and stability of the society and the people within it.

    I don’t know whether Coyne’s claim is true or not but for homosexuals, transgendered, women and several other other sectors of society, I think it is fair to say that they are better off now that society is questioning some of the religiously dictated values.

  6. 6
    Truthfreedom says:

    I don’t know whether …

    You know NOTHING and yet, you are always expressing your opinions.
    Your brain is an evolutionary mess, do not expect rational people to take you seriously.

    Evos saw off the branch they are sitting on.
    They undermine their own rationality.

    This madness has to stop.

    “And this is your brain on atheism…”
    https://borne.wordpress.com/2017/11/12/abiogenesis-is-impossible/

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    despite his moral relativism, later in his book Coyne inexplicably states, “Indeed, secular morality, which is not twisted by adherence to the supposed commands of a god, is superior to most ‘religious’ morality.”Apparently it escapes Coyne’s grasp that for one kind of morality to be superior to another, there has to be some yardstick outside both moral systems…
    – Weikart

    cue the atheist Ed George

    I think it is fair to say that they are better off now that society is questioning some of the religiously dictated values.

    Just don’t ask the atheist E.G. to justify by which transcendent moral standards, (which are based in Theism), he is making this claim.

    Then his whole, oft-repeated, anti-Christian rant against ‘religiously dictated values’ comes crashing down.

    If Good and Evil Exist, God Exists: – Peter Kreeft – Prager University – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xliyujhwhNM

    The Moral Argument (for God) – Dr. Craig – animated video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxiAikEk2vU

    E.G. apparently desperately wants to break away from God grace, yet he is trapped in an irresolvable dilemma in that, no matter what type of argument that he may try to use against God, E.G. needs God just so as to be able to even make a rationally coherent argument against Him in the first place.

    The Brat Who Slapped Her Father’s Face
    Once while Van Til was a youth traveling on a train in Holland, he noticed a father with his young daughter sitting in his lap. Apparently, the father urged his daughter to do something when she suddenly slapped her father in the face. Van Til’s application? The girl’s behavior illustrates rebels who live in God’s world and who are supported by God’s common grace (Ps. 24:1). They sit, as it were, on the lap of God, and it is precisely because they sit on God’s lap that they are able to deliver the slap of ingratitude. Thus unbelievers who toot their own independence and autonomy are only able to do so as they are supported by God Himself (Jn. 19:10 -11). Their denial of God is His affirmation. Atheism does not invalidate theism, but proves it because atheism is only possible given the premise of theism. As the atheist Nikita Khrushchev once described the Soviet Union, In Russia, thank God, there is no God.
    https://chalcedon.edu/magazine/van-tils-illustrations

  8. 8
    Ed George says:

    BA77

    Just don’t ask the atheist E.G. to justify by which transcendent moral standards, (which are based in Theism), he is making this claim.

    I don’t need any transcendent moral standard to know that I am better off if I am not jailed for who I have consensual sex with, or to no longer be hit by my spouse, or to have access too careers previously denied me because of my gender or what gender I am attracted to. Do you?

  9. 9
    Ed George says:

    EF

    You know NOTHING and yet, you are always expressing your opinions.
    Your brain is an evolutionary mess, do not expect rational people to take you seriously.

    You must be a wonderful role model for your students.

  10. 10
    Truthfreedom says:

    EG

    You must be a wonderful role model for your students.

    The ones that according to the evolutionist cult prophets (see coyne above, but it includes all atheist materialists): “have no more extrinsic purpose than a squirrel or an armadillo?”.

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    Ed George at 8, and exactly where did Jesus say to jail those who have unmarried sex or for one spouse to beat another or to deny careers based on gender or homosexuality?

    Can you quote any of the exact scriptures? I am having a very hard time remembering exactly where Jesus commanded any of those things.

    On the other hand, I can remember several occasions where Jesus had grace when the religious leaders had hatred. For instance,,,

    John 8
    But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
    2 Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. 3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” 6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.
    7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
    11 She said, “No one, Lord.”
    And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

    Of related interest:

    “What was Jesus writing in the dust?” Caleb Kaltenbach (Parkview Church)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxt2QWszWz0

  12. 12
    Truthfreedom says:

    Do armadillos “hallucinate themselves?”

    …under atheist “logic” you’re “nothing but a pack of neurons” (Crick), with no free will (Harris), no foundations for ethics (Provine), no guilt nor merit (Darwin, Blackburn) and even rape is just an “evolutionary adaptation” (Thornhill & Palmer) … “Morality is an illusion” (Ruse & Wilson) … Insert another long list of more atheist claims here … in the strange worldview of constant self-contradiction that is atheism, rationality itself does not exist as more than an illusion. You can’t have the self being an illusion (Harris, Hood) without rationality also being an illusion. Strange that these people can’t even figure that out. But not surprising.

    https://borne.wordpress.com/2015/05/01/atheists-do-they-exist-are-they-rational-humans/

  13. 13
    Ed George says:

    EF

    The ones that according to the evolutionist cult prophets (see coyne above, but it includes all atheist materialists): “have no more extrinsic purpose than a squirrel or an armadillo?”.

    I’m sure to a big brained philosopher like yourself, this makes sense. But to us run-of-the-mill scientists that actually do something productive for society, I hate to say that it comes across as pompous nonsense.

  14. 14
    Truthfreedom says:

    “Scientist” Ed George, learn to READ, please.
    Copied from the OP:

    In a YouTube video he (coyne) states that evolution “says that there is no special purpose for your life, because it is a naturalistic philosophy. We have no more extrinsic purpose than a squirrel or an armadillo.”

    Saving young minds from these evil, sick, ignorant and twisted people is productive for society.

    Yes, I agree, coyne and atheism are non-sensical. The philosophy of despair, with nothing to offer.

  15. 15
    john_a_designer says:

    What’s the point of getting involved in discussions or debates with interlocutors who defend moral subjectivism when we have no reason for believing they are being intellectually or ethically honest? The logic here is really very basic and straightforward: If there are no true interpersonal moral standards or obligations how can we trust anything anyone says or asserts? I don’t think that we can. To have an honest discussion or debate you need some kind of interpersonal, or “transcendent,” standard of truth and honesty– even if it’s a traditional or some kind of “conventional” standard. Why would I trust somebody else’s subjective standard for honesty and truth when he is in fact arguing there is no standard of truth or honesty? It would be rather foolish to get involved in that kind of dialogue.

    Please notice that those who believe morality is subjective are making a self-refuting argument. They are arguing that there are no true and “objective” moral values and obligations. But the premise there are no true and “objective moral values and obligations is a universal truth claim about morality. But how can anyone’s subjective opinions and beliefs be universal?

  16. 16
    Truthfreedom says:

    John_a_designer:

    Please notice that those who believe morality is subjective are making a self-refuting argument. They are arguing that there are no true and “objective” moral values and obligations. But the premise there are no true and “objective moral values and obligations is a universal truth claim about morality. But how can anyone’s subjective opinions and beliefs be universal?

    Evolutionism is “self-defeating”.
    It nullifies itself.
    What a disgrace for humanity.

  17. 17
    john_a_designer says:

    Here is an argument that is not rooted in just subjective belief or opinion.

    Let’s begin with a proposition that appears to be self-evidently true from both the theist and non-theist perspective:

    If the universe is all that exists there is no ultimate purpose and meaning to human existence.

    However, while that premise is self-evidently true it doesn’t logically follow that the universe is all that exists.

    But just for the heck of it, let’s try it out anyway by plugging it into a simple argument.

    Premise #1: If the universe is all that exists there is no ultimate purpose and meaning to human existence.

    Premise #2: The universe is all that exists.

    Conclusion: There is no ultimate purpose and meaning to human existence.

    The argument of course fails because we have no way to prove premise #2 is true and if premise #2 is not true, the conclusion does not follow.

    Nevertheless, there are at least a couple of implications that we can derive from this so-called argument.

    First, even though there is no way to prove that Premise #2, “The universe is all that exists,” is true, it’s still possibly true, the same way that the claim that “pink unicorns exist” could be true, though it’s not self-evidently true. So those who claim that it is true have the burden of proof to prove it’s true. In other words, it cannot be claimed as some kind of “default position.”

    Second, if there is no way to prove Premise #2 then the materialist has no solid basis for knowledge or any claim of truth. The materialist is left with only his opinions and beliefs. This leaves him with an untenable and self-refuting truth claim that must be accepted by faith. That, however, undermines the whole atheistic-materialist project which claims to be based on reason, facts and logic.

    Furthermore, it doesn’t explain why humans appear to be hardwired to seek higher purpose and meaning that goes beyond the immediate survival needs of an accidently evolved species of hunter-gatherer apes. Why, for example, did the Egyptians build the pyramids? In other words, there is no explanation (other than empty hand waving) for why this should be true from a purely naturalistic evolutionary perspective. So the atheist-materialist is confronted with a second unresolvable metaphysical dilemma: it’s self-evident that humans seek higher meaning and purpose.

    Why would anyone want to become an atheistic-materialist if it’s a world view which one must accept blindly by faith? Ironically that puts materialism in a category that is worse than the very worst of pseudo- religions. It’s nothing but deluded pretension to argue otherwise.

  18. 18
    Truthfreedom says:

    @17 John_a_designer:

    Furthermore, it doesn’t explain why humans appear to be hardwired to seek higher purpose and meaning that goes beyond the immediate survival needs of an accidently evolved species of hunter-gatherer apes.

    Oh, they have an “explanation”: “it happened”.

    Part I: The Universe has always existed/ it apperaed for “no reason”. Elemental particles attracted each other for “no reason” and received different forms (stars, planets, galaxies) “for no reason” (or because they follow the laws of Nature, laws that also have “no reason”).

    Part II: Some of those groups of particles (on Earth), for “no reason”, became “alive” and, for “no reason”, started to “evolve” (change form). For “no reason”, some of those particles developed the capacity to be ‘self’-aware (when they received the form ” human brain”), although that ‘self’-awareness is in fact an “illusion”. Then those particles started to “seek purpose” (for “no reason”), but not all particles, some “understood” there is “no reason” to anything (let’s call them “atheist particles”).

    Conclusion: things “happen”.

    I am not trolling-kidding. It is a summary of their “chain of reasoning”.
    Please someone correct me if I am wrong.

  19. 19
    bornagain77 says:

    E.G. at 13:

    I’m sure to a big brained philosopher like yourself, this makes sense. But to us run-of-the-mill scientists that actually do something productive for society, I hate to say that it comes across as pompous nonsense.

    Funny, a “run-of-the-mill scientist” who spends an inordinate amount of time on a blog bashing Christian Theism, and practically zero amount of time talking about any actual scientific evidence,,, most people would call that being a run-of-the-mill atheistic troll rather than a scientist.

    But anyways. as to E.G. bashing philosophy, a major problem in science today is that many scientists spend far too little time thinking about their own faulty philosophical presupposition(s) of naturalism, methodological naturalism, and/or atheistic materialism, and how those particular faulty philosophical presupposition(s) undermine science altogether.

    Krauss ignored philosophy and it came back to bite him big time,

    Scientists Can’t Avoid Philosophy – Here’s why… – Michael Liccione – January 22, 2016
    Excerpt: “Horgan: Lawrence Krauss, in A Universe from Nothing, claims that physics has basically solved the mystery of why there is something rather than nothing. Do you agree?
    Ellis: Certainly not. He is presenting untested speculative theories of how things came into existence out of a pre-existing complex of entities…He does not explain in what way these entities could have pre-existed the coming into being of the universe, why they should have existed at all, or why they should have had the form they did. And he gives no experimental or observational process whereby we could test these vivid speculations of the supposed universe-generation mechanism. How indeed can you test what existed before the universe existed? You can’t.
    Thus what he is presenting is not tested science. It’s a philosophical speculation, which he apparently believes is so compelling he does not have to give any specification of evidence that would confirm it is true. Well, you can’t get any evidence about what existed before space and time came into being. Above all he believes that these mathematically based speculations solve thousand year old philosophical conundrums, without seriously engaging those philosophical issues. The belief that all of reality can be fully comprehended in terms of physics and the equations of physics is a fantasy. As pointed out so well by Eddington in his Gifford lectures, they are partial and incomplete representations of physical, biological, psychological, and social reality.
    http://www.intellectualtakeout.....philosophy

    Not Understanding Nothing – A review of A Universe from Nothing – Edward Feser – June 2012
    Excerpt: A critic might reasonably question the arguments for a divine first cause of the cosmos. But to ask “What caused God?” misses the whole reason classical philosophers thought his existence necessary in the first place. So when physicist Lawrence Krauss begins his new book by suggesting that to ask “Who created the creator?” suffices to dispatch traditional philosophical theology, we know it isn’t going to end well. ,,,
    ,,, But Krauss simply can’t see the “difference between arguing in favor of an eternally existing creator versus an eternally existing universe without one.” The difference, as the reader of Aristotle or Aquinas knows, is that the universe changes while the unmoved mover does not, or, as the Neoplatonist can tell you, that the universe is made up of parts while its source is absolutely one; or, as Leibniz could tell you, that the universe is contingent and God absolutely necessary. There is thus a principled reason for regarding God rather than the universe as the terminus of explanation.
    https://www.firstthings.com/article/2012/06/not-understanding-nothing

    On the Origin of Everything – ‘A Universe From Nothing,’ by Lawrence M. Krauss
    By DAVID ALBERT – MARCH 23, 2012
    Excerpt: “Krauss seems to be thinking that these vacuum states amount to the relativistic-­quantum-field-theoretical version of there not being any physical stuff at all. And he has an argument — or thinks he does — that the laws of relativistic quantum field theories entail that vacuum states are unstable. And that, in a nutshell, is the account he proposes of why there should be something rather than nothing.
    “But that’s just not right. Relativistic-quantum-field-theoretical vacuum states — no less than giraffes or refrigerators or solar systems — are particular arrangements of elementary physical stuff. The true relativistic-quantum-field-­theoretical equivalent to there not being any physical stuff at all isn’t this or that particular arrangement of the fields — what it is (obviously, and ineluctably, and on the contrary) is the simple absence of the fields! The fact that some arrangements of fields happen to correspond to the existence of particles and some don’t is not a whit more mysterious than the fact that some of the possible arrangements of my fingers happen to correspond to the existence of a fist and some don’t. And the fact that particles can pop in and out of existence, over time, as those fields rearrange themselves, is not a whit more mysterious than the fact that fists can pop in and out of existence, over time, as my fingers rearrange themselves. And none of these poppings — if you look at them aright — amount to anything even remotely in the neighborhood of a creation from nothing.”
    He goes on to sum up the situation with the following sentence:
    “But all there is to say about this, as far as I can see, is that Krauss is dead wrong and his religious and philosophical critics are absolutely right”
    David Albert has a doctorate in Quantum Physics and he teaches at Columbia
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03......html?_r=1

    Moreover, insisting that the universe exists for no reason whatsoever, as atheists ‘philosophically’ do, defeats all of science.

    Jerry Coyne Challenges Francis Collins on Metaphysics – Michael Egnor – April 5, 2015
    Excerpt: This (atheistic/materialisrtic) answer — that the universe is the fundamental existent and needs no cause — has been around for a long time. It dates to antiquity, and Hume is its most prominent modern exponent. It was also decisively refuted in antiquity.
    Aristotle demonstrated that an essential series of causes in a causal chain have need of an unmoved mover (pure Act) in order to exist. It is a detailed metaphysical argument (restated in “Aquinas’ First Way”), not a scientific argument. It has never been successfully refuted.
    One gambit that has been used by those who doubt Aristotle’s and Aquinas’ unmoved mover argument is the argument (popularized by Kant) that reasoning in the natural world of human perception cannot be applied across the divide that separates nature from transcendence. We can’t, in other words, reason our way to God, because if God exists, He is beyond reason.
    The fatal flaw of the Kantian argument is the Principle of Sufficient Reason. The PSR (expressed in its modern form by Leibniz) states that everything in nature has a sufficient reason for its existence and for its properties. Nothing in the universe has no reason for being what it is. Of course, we may not know the reason, and we may never know the reason, but things don’t happen for no reason, or exist for no reason.
    It would seem, of course, that atheists who wish to refute the PSR could simply assert “Everything has a reason — says who?” Atheists could simply deny the PSR. They could insist that perhaps some things don’t have sufficient reasons for their existence. Perhaps the whole universe doesn’t have a sufficient reason for its existence. It just exists without a reason. No need for God.
    The difficulty with this argument against PSR is obvious: science depends critically on the truth of the PSR. If anything, let alone the whole universe, can exist without reason, then why invoke scientific explanations for anything? For example, if polar bears can exist without reason, why invoke evolution from whales? Polar bears just exist, like the whole universe just exists. No reason, evolutionary or otherwise. If the whole panoply of nature exists without reason, why invoke a scientific explanation for any part of it? Surely Occam’s Razor favors “just happened” over “happened because random heritable mutation and natural selection…”
    Atheists who deny the PSR deny science. And atheists who embrace PSR embrace transcendent causation of the universe via Aquinas’ First Way.
    Atheists like Coyne, of course, take recourse in the excluded middle. The most common gambit to get around this problem — Jerry Coyne’s gambit here — is to ignore the contradiction, and hope no one notices.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....94991.html

    Of supplemental note: John Lennox ate Stephen Hawking’s lunch for claiming that philosophy was dead and yet making self-defeating philosophical presuppositions in his book ‘The Grand Design’:

    ‘What all this goes to show is that nonsense remains nonsense, even when talked by world-famous scientists.’ (p. 32)
    – Lennox

    Chapter 1: ‘The big questions’

    Tackles Hawking’s philosophical superficiality, and flags up some of his self-contradictory statements about philosophy and his inadequate view of God.

    etc.. etc..
    http://www.focus.org.uk/god_an.....awking.php

  20. 20
    Truthfreedom says:

    @17 John_a_designer:

    Why, for example, did the Egyptians build the pyramids?

    According to Pigliucci (who says *cough cough* he has “rebutted” Plantinga’s EEAN), it is “by-products”: some brain structures that were not selected, produced (accidentally?) “abstract intelligence”. That is why the Egyptians built the pyramids, they found themselves having “extra” intelligence and started to do stupid things not related to survival, for example: building pyramids to bury their dead. Because they had the “illusion” of purpose/transcendence.

  21. 21
    Truthfreedom says:

    @17 John_a_designer:

    Second, if there is no way to prove Premise #2 (“The universe is all that exists”), then the materialist has no solid basis for knowledge or any claim of truth.

    Well, they say they do not accurately know the “external world”, they only have a “good enough map” to navigate it.
    But of course, although they say they are not sure about the “external world”, it is “sure” “only matter” (the Universe) exists out there.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/neurosurgeon-michael-egnor-takes-on-a-materialist-neurologist/#comment-680179

  22. 22
    john_a_designer says:

    TF,

    Are you an atheist? I would rather hear a refutation of my argument from an actual atheist. Predictably, it’s crickets… But that’s the way it’s always been because, despite all the smug condescension, they don’t really have an argument.

  23. 23
    Bob O'H says:

    JAD @ 17 –

    First, even though there is no way to prove that Premise #2, “The universe is all that exists,” is true, it’s still possibly true, the same way that the claim that “pink unicorns exist” could be true, though it’s not self-evidently true. So those who claim that it is true have the burden of proof to prove it’s true. In other words, it cannot be claimed as some kind of “default position.”

    We know the universe exists, we don’t know (or, at the very most, have only contestable evidence) that anything else exists. So there is a logic for making it a default position (although that doesn’t mean that it it the correct position, of course). The alternative would be to argue that we should take the position that pink unicorns exist. As well as blue unicorns, green unicorns, and politicians with integrity. The principle here is simply Occam’s razor.

    Second, if there is no way to prove Premise #2 then the materialist has no solid basis for knowledge or any claim of truth.

    That doesn’t follow from there being “no ultimate purpose and meaning to human existence.” You have to make the logical leap from this to the validity of truth claims.

  24. 24
    Truthfreedom says:

    @23 Bob O’H

    We know the universe exists, we don’t know (or, at the very most, have only contestable evidence) that anything else exists.

    And you know, again, that you are running into a contradiction:

    “…in knowing, ultimately, only changes inside himself (“neural patterns”), the materialist is logically forced into an epistemological idealism that contradicts his assumed starting point, the observation of external things.”
    Dr. Dennis Bonnette

    https://strangenotions.com/naturalisms-epistemological-nightmare/

  25. 25
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    The principle here is simply Occam’s razor.

    Occam’s razor should favor ONE design over countless just-so atomic accidents and cosmic collisions.

  26. 26
  27. 27
    john_a_designer says:

    We’ve seen this act before. Invoking Occam’s razor and declaring your own position the default position doesn’t settle anything. It’s just an assertion of one’s subjective personal preference. It doesn’t prove that the other side is wrong. Which means that whatever atheists like Bob believe it’s based on nothing more than faith– a kind of faith that’s, on one hand, strikingly close to biblical faith. On the other hand, it’s also quite different because it’s totally self-centered and ego-centric.

  28. 28
    Truthfreedom says:

    Materialists are obsessed with unicorns.

  29. 29
    john_a_designer says:

    Is there such a thing as an intellectually and ethically honest atheist? If there is they haven’t shown up here at UD.

    Historically, there have been a few atheists who have made some honest comments. For example, Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), said at the conclusion of his book, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, “What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.”

    Specifically Wittgenstein was referring to what philosophers, or really anyone else, can say about metaphysics, morality and ethics– not just very little but virtually nothing.

    Later he took back what he had said in Tractatus because he recognized that most of his logical claims were logically self-refuting. However, from what I have seen from our regular interlocutors he was basically right. World views like atheistic materialism can inform us very little about purpose and meaning, morality and ethics or epistemology. It would be better for them (indeed, they would make more sense logically) if they stayed silent. Obviously then, no honest atheists show up here because they’ve got nothing to say.

  30. 30
    Bob O'H says:

    JAD @ 27 – I didn’t say that Occam’s razor did settle anything, indeed I even explicitly stated that it doesn’t mean it’s right. So the fact that you’re agreeing with me suggests you don’t have any better counter-argument.

    Without evidence to support the existence of a non-material world, there seems little reason to invoke it. Thus it is a reasonable default position, but no it doesn’t settle the issue. If you want to argue that materialists have subjective opinions, then my only response is “well, duh”. Materialists are human too.

  31. 31
  32. 32
    Truthfreedom says:

    @Bob O’H:
    Wow…Materalists always keep on dodging the important questions.
    They are inherently dishonest.

    “… in knowing, ultimately, only changes inside himself (“neural patterns”), the materialist is logically forced into an epistemological idealism that contradicts his assumed starting point, the observation of external things.”
    Dr. Dennis Bonnette

    https://strangenotions.com/naturalisms-epistemological-nightmare/

    Seversky, Ed George, Bob O’H? Maybe this deluded j. coyne guy?

  33. 33
    Truthfreedom says:

    You evos that love ‘Nature’ so much:
    It is said that the ostrich will bury its head under the sand when it feels any threat, and the assumption is that it thinks denial is safety.

    Evolutionism/atheism/materialism is the doctrine of those who have not grown-up.

  34. 34
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    Without evidence to support the existence of a non-material world, …

    Information is neither matter nor energy, Bob. So information is evidence that supports the existence of a non-material world:

    “Information is information, neither matter nor energy. Any materialism which disregards this, will not survive one day.”– Norbert Weiner

  35. 35
    Bob O'H says:

    ET – information is a human-created construct. So if humans (and their minds) are material, then so is information.

  36. 36
    Truthfreedom says:

    I am glad to have discovered j. coyne’s blog Why Evolution is Fake. When I am in at a blogging low point, I can always visit Coyne’s site and enjoy a good laugh. Not with Coyne but at him. When it comes to philosophy and theology, he really doesn’t know as much as he thinks he knows.

    Coyne is an evolutionary biologist with a Ph.D. Within his scientific domain, I’m sure he is capable and competent, perhaps even respected. But Coyne is also a zealot with a mission—to persuade the world that all belief in God is superstitious and irrational.
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/afkimel.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/the-ever-amusing-jerry-coyne/amp/

  37. 37
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    information is a human-created construct.

    No, it isn’t. We couldn’t exist without it. Information is as fundamental as gravity, EM, strong and weak nuclear forces.

  38. 38
    Truthfreedom says:

    @35 Bob O’H:
    /Random/ *Crickets chirping*.
    Bob O’H the typical materialist coward 🙂

  39. 39
    Bob O'H says:

    ET – if information isn’t a human construct, then show me an example of it that doesn’t involve humans interpreting something as information.

    Truthfreedom @ 38 – do you have a point, or are you just trying to be generally unpleasant?

  40. 40
    Truthfreedom says:

    Bob O’H:

    information is a human-created construct. So if humans (and their minds) are material, then so is information.

    Big “if”. You materialists do not have a clue and rely on magic/emergence. You are really desperate dudes.
    Your beloved and childish unicorns are material then too.
    How much does a unicorn weight, Bob O’H? 🙂

    Maybe you think 3rd part readers are stupid and no one is noticing that you are constantly dodging the questions aimed at you. Think again:)

  41. 41
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    if information isn’t a human construct, then show me an example of it that doesn’t involve humans interpreting something as information.

    So what if humans interpret something as information, Bob? That doesn’t make it a human construct. We interpret swimming organisms with gills and fins as being fish. Did humans invent those organisms?

    Information is not a human-created construct and you could never make the case that it is. The information in our DNA existed before we knew it was there.

  42. 42
    Truthfreedom says:

    We interpret swimming organisms with gills and fins as being fish. Did humans invent those organisms?

    We interpret bipedal organisms capable of speech and abstract thought as “humans”.
    According to materialists, we humans have invented ourselves.

  43. 43
    Bob O'H says:

    So what if humans interpret something as information, Bob? That doesn’t make it a human construct.

    it makes information a human construct.

    Information is not a human-created construct

    In that case, show me an example of information that doesn’t involve humans interpreting something as information.

  44. 44
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    it makes information a human construct.

    ?
    No, it doesn’t.

    In that case, show me an example of information that doesn’t involve humans interpreting something as information.

    I can provide examples of information that humans didn’t create.

    Information is not a human-created construct and you could never make the case that it is. The information in our DNA existed before we knew it was there.

    That you ignore that just exposes YOUR willful ignorance, Bob.

  45. 45
    ET says:

    AGAIN, for the reading impaired:

    We couldn’t exist without it (information). Information is as fundamental as gravity, EM, strong and weak nuclear forces.

    Bob ignores that and prattles on like a clueless evoTARD.

  46. 46
    bornagain77 says:

    Bob O’Hara claims,

    information is a human-created construct. So if humans (and their minds) are material, then so is information.

    One of the primary (false) presuppositions of Darwinists is that they hold that information is merely emergent from a material basis. Yet, contrary to that primary (false) presupposition of Darwinists, immaterial information is now empirically shown to be its own distinct physical entity that is separate from matter and energy,

    A fairly clear cut way for demonstrating that immaterial information is its own distinct physical entity, separate from matter and energy, is Quantum Teleportation:

    Quantum Teleportation Enters the Real World – September 19, 2016
    Excerpt: Two separate teams of scientists have taken quantum teleportation from the lab into the real world.
    Researchers working in Calgary, Canada and Hefei, China, used existing fiber optics networks to transmit small units of information across cities via quantum entanglement — Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance.”,,,
    This isn’t teleportation in the “Star Trek” sense — the photons aren’t disappearing from one place and appearing in another. Instead, it’s the information that’s being teleported through quantum entanglement.,,,
    ,,, it is only the information that gets teleported from one place to another.
    http://blogs.discovermagazine......-HqWNEoDtR

    Besides that, in the following 2010 experimental realization of Maxwell’s demon thought experiment, it was demonstrated that knowledge of a particle’s location and/or position converts information into energy.

    Maxwell’s demon demonstration turns information into energy – November 2010
    Excerpt: Scientists in Japan are the first to have succeeded in converting information into free energy in an experiment that verifies the “Maxwell demon” thought experiment devised in 1867.,,, In Maxwell’s thought experiment the demon creates a temperature difference simply from information about the gas molecule temperatures and without transferring any energy directly to them.,,, Until now, demonstrating the conversion of information to energy has been elusive, but University of Tokyo physicist Masaki Sano and colleagues have succeeded in demonstrating it in a nano-scale experiment. In a paper published in Nature Physics they describe how they coaxed a Brownian particle to travel upwards on a “spiral-staircase-like” potential energy created by an electric field solely on the basis of information on its location. As the particle traveled up the staircase it gained energy from moving to an area of higher potential, and the team was able to measure precisely how much energy had been converted from information.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....nergy.html

    And as the following 2010 article stated about the preceding experiment, “This is a beautiful experimental demonstration that information has a thermodynamic content,”

    Demonic device converts information to energy – 2010
    Excerpt: “This is a beautiful experimental demonstration that information has a thermodynamic content,” says Christopher Jarzynski, a statistical chemist at the University of Maryland in College Park. In 1997, Jarzynski formulated an equation to define the amount of energy that could theoretically be converted from a unit of information2; the work by Sano and his team has now confirmed this equation. “This tells us something new about how the laws of thermodynamics work on the microscopic scale,” says Jarzynski.
    http://www.scientificamerican......rts-inform

    In fact, in a very exciting breakthrough that holds much promise, researchers have now built “ an information engine—a device that converts information into work—with an efficiency that exceeds the conventional second law of thermodynamics.”

    Information engine operates with nearly perfect efficiency – Lisa Zyga – January 19, 2018
    Excerpt: Physicists have experimentally demonstrated an information engine—a device that converts information into work—with an efficiency that exceeds the conventional second law of thermodynamics. Instead, the engine’s efficiency is bounded by a recently proposed generalized second law of thermodynamics, and it is the first information engine to approach this new bound.,,,
    https://phys.org/news/2018-01-efficiency.html

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

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

    Again to repeat that last sentence, “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,”
    Think about that statement for a second.
    These experiments completely blow the reductive materialistic presuppositions of Darwinian evolution, (presuppositions about information being merely ’emergent’ from some material basis), out of the water, and tie the creation of immaterial information directly to the knowledge of the ‘observer’ in quantum theory.
    In other words, contrary to the reductive materialistic presuppositions of Darwinists, immaterial information, particularly this ‘thermodynamic positional information’, is now experimentally shown, via quantum information theory, to be its own distinct physical entity that, although it is immaterial, it can, none-the-less, interact with matter and energy,,, and is even shown to be its own independent, ‘non-local’ beyond space and time, entity that is separate from matter and energy.

    Moreover, unlike classical physics, in quantum information theory it is the information that is primarily conserved, not necessarily matter and energy that is primarily conserved.

    Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time
    Excerpt: In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed. This concept stems from two fundamental theorems of quantum mechanics: the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem. A third and related theorem, called the no-hiding theorem, addresses information loss in the quantum world. According to the no-hiding theorem, if information is missing from one system (which may happen when the system interacts with the environment), then the information is simply residing somewhere else in the Universe; in other words, the missing information cannot be hidden in the correlations between a system and its environment.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....tally.html

    Moreover, this ‘quantum information’ is now found to be ubiquitous within molecular biology:

    Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – Part II – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSig2CsjKbg

    The implication of finding ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, and even ‘conserved’, quantum information in molecular biology on such a massive scale, in every important biomolecule in our bodies, is fairly, and pleasantly, obvious.
    That pleasant implication, of course, being the fact that we now have very strong empirical evidence suggesting that we do indeed have an eternal soul that is capable of living beyond the death of our material bodies. As Stuart Hameroff states in the following video, the quantum information,,, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed.,,, it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”

    Leading Scientists Say Consciousness Cannot Die It Goes Back To The Universe – Oct. 19, 2017 – Spiritual
    Excerpt: “Let’s say the heart stops beating. The blood stops flowing. The microtubules lose their quantum state. But the quantum information, which is in the microtubules, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed. It just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large. If a patient is resuscitated, revived, this quantum information can go back into the microtubules and the patient says, “I had a near death experience. I saw a white light. I saw a tunnel. I saw my dead relatives.,,” Now if they’re not revived and the patient dies, then it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”
    – Stuart Hameroff – Quantum Entangled Consciousness – Life After Death – video (5:00 minute mark)
    https://www.disclose.tv/leading-scientists-say-consciousness-cannot-die-it-goes-back-to-the-universe-315604

    Verse:

    Mark 8:37
    Is anything worth more than your soul?

  47. 47
    EugeneS says:

    Materialist denial of empirical facts is astonishing. And this denial comes as a package deal with extremely selective criticisms. Whatever does not fit that simplistic picture is just ignored.

  48. 48
    Bob O'H says:

    ET @ 45 –

    The information in our DNA existed before we knew it was there.

    The sequence of bases were there, but in what sense is that information, other than in the sense that we interpret it as such?

  49. 49
    Truthfreedom says:

    @47 EugeneS:

    Materialist denial of empirical facts is astonishing.

    They display the typical tics of cultist mentality:
    “The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.”
    I have seen atheist evos preaching the gospel of this deluded coyne guy on several blogs and treating him like the source of all wisdom!
    Rather pathetic, what crappy gods do these atheists have.

  50. 50
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    The sequence of bases were there, but in what sense is that information, other than in the sense that we interpret it as such?

    The genetic code is a real code, Bob. DNA codes for mRNA’s which in turn represent specific amino acids.

    The ribosome is a genetic compiler, Bob. It takes the source code of mRNA codons and produces the object code in the form of a functional protein. It is all information regardless of what we do or interpret. Cells are information processors.

  51. 51
    john_a_designer says:

    Bob @ #30,

    JAD @ 27 – I didn’t say that Occam’s razor did settle anything, indeed I even explicitly stated that it doesn’t mean it’s right. So the fact that you’re agreeing with me suggests you don’t have any better counter-argument.

    Without evidence to support the existence of a non-material world, there seems little reason to invoke it. Thus it is a reasonable default position, but no it doesn’t settle the issue. If you want to argue that materialists have subjective opinions, then my only response is “well, duh”. Materialists are human too.

    And what exactly do your personal beliefs and opinions prove, Bob? As a scientist are you are more qualified speak about philosophical issues than anyone else?

    Clearly you do not understand the argument I was making @ #17 where I wrote:

    Let’s begin with a proposition that appears to be self-evidently true from both the theist and non-theist perspective:

    If the universe is all that exists there is no ultimate purpose and meaning to human existence.

    That proposition or postulate is basically what the OP quoted Jerry Coyne saying.

    That is “human life has value or purpose. In a YouTube video he states that evolution “says that there is no special purpose for your life, because it is a naturalistic philosophy. We have no more extrinsic purpose than a squirrel or an armadillo.”

    Coyne is not alone in his position.

    The late great Cambridge University physicist Stephen Hawking once observed,

    “The human race is just a chemical scum on a moderate-sized planet, orbiting around a very average star in the outer suburb of one among a hundred billion galaxies.”

    (STEPHEN HAWKING, Reality on the Rocks: Beyond Our Ken, 1995)

    It appears to me that a lot of atheists agree that when you honestly look at man’s place in the universe, at least from their perspective, it’s really rather pointless. For example, in his book, The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe, Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg writes:

    “It is almost irresistible for humans to believe that we have some special relation to the universe, that human life is not just a more-or-less farcical outcome of a chain of accidents reaching back to the first three minutes, but that we are somehow built in from the beginning… It is very hard to realize that this is all just a tiny part of an overwhelmingly hostile universe. It is even harder to realize that this present universe has evolved from an unspeakably unfamiliar early condition, and faces a future extinction of endless cold or intolerable heat. The more the universe seems comprehensible the more it seems pointless.” (p.144)

    I would suggest that Weinberg was trying to play, perhaps unwittingly, a subtle bait and switch game here. This paragraph appears at the end of a book which is purportedly a book about following the chain of scientific evidence back to the very first few minutes of the universe. I have no problem with that. Weinberg is a Nobel Prize winning physicist. By vocation he has the credentials, the knowledge and expertise to explain how the universe evolved. He is not, however, any more qualified than anybody else to tell us what it all means. And, at least in academia, such questions are the province of philosophers and theologians not physicists…

    https://uncommondescent.com/atheism/monods-objectivity-naturalistic-scientism-and-begging-big-questions/#comment-691945

    (Also see #24 and #31 on the same thread,)

    We could go on to list dozens of other scientists and philosophers who share virtually the same view: Monod, Lewontin, Sagan, Dawkins, Ruse, Nietzsche, Camus, Sartre etc. Again my point is that atheists and theists basically agree with the first premise. However, it is not self-evidently true “that the universe is all that exists” therefore atheists have no way to prove their argument. So it must be accepted on faith. Claiming that your position is the default position is logically fallacious because that’s something else that hasn’t been proven. Just believing that the universe is all that exists or simply claiming the evidence favors your position or that there is no evidence supporting the logical alternative doesn’t prove anything. It’s just your opinion.

  52. 52
    mike1962 says:

    BA77 @46,

    Wild wild stuff.

  53. 53
    mike1962 says:

    Bob O’h: The sequence of bases were there, but in what sense is that information, other than in the sense that we interpret it as such?

    In a literal sense. As the others have said, codons tell ribosomes how to build functional proteins. The poor ribosomes would be wandering around sucking their metaphorical thumbs without the codons. There is no interpretation needed. The word “information” is exactly the right word to apply to what we’re seeing. There’s no logical difference in concept between what is going on in this situation, and what is going on with one of these:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CNC_router

    Or one of these:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_printing

  54. 54
    PeterA says:

    Darwinian morality?
    Materialistic moral code?
    Huh?
    https://youtu.be/OcEQCJmQzwM

  55. 55
    PeterA says:

    Perhaps I skipped the explanation, but I don’t quite understand what how the Darwinian morality in the OP title relates to the GCAT-based 3-letter codons being associated with aminoacids by the translational machinery in biological systems. BTW, if the codon-aminoacid association is not information, then what else is it? And that association, which doesn’t seem explained by chemical or physical properties, existed long before humans knew about it.
    Can someone explain this?
    Thanks

  56. 56
    EugeneS says:

    Bob O’H:

    In what sense?

    In the sense of symbolic boundary conditions on the motion of the particles of matter in the system.

    Do you suggest nature can build symbol translation systems via an unguided sequence of events? Do you suggest nature can build symbolic boundary conditions for itself? Are there any empirical indications of these alleged capabilities? Do you have any empirical basis to believe that nature can steer events towards maximizing pragmatic non-physical utility or achieving computational halting as opposed to just minimizing total potential energy?

    Apart from living systems, all other observations of this kind, in the whole observable universe, are correlates of (human) intelligence. Do you really have any empirical basis to argue against the abductive reasoning classifying living systems as intelligently created based on observations of human intelligence? I mean, anything of substance instead of just flat denial or rhetorical questioning.

    Given your selective hyper-scepticism in relation to ID reasoning with respect to the objective and undisputed phenomenon of information translation in all living organisms without exception, how can you explain the fact that the criteria for signal origin classification adopted in SETI are what they are?

    Your position here appears to be heavily biased on prejudice.

  57. 57
    Truthfreedom says:

    @Bob O’H

    But in what sense is that information,

    “Genetic information is stored in the cell nucleus in the form of DNA. Genes hold the information to produce proteins, which are the molecules that carry out most functions in a cell and therefore in an organism. But proteins are produced outside the nucleus, in the cytoplasm”.

    “Furthermore, genes and proteins use
    different languages. That used by the former is based on the letters of DNA—the 4 base types known as Adenine (A), Thymine (T), Cytosine (C) and Guanine (G). In contrast, the latter use amino acids—20 distinct molecules, which, when combined, comprise a wide variety of proteins”.

    “The genetic code is the dictionary that nature “invented” to be able to translate from one language to another.”

    https://www.irbbarcelona.org/en/news/discovery-of-a-fundamental-limit-to-the-evolution-of-the-genetic-code

    No intelligence involved. Pure serendipity. Some dirt coded itself. Sure.

  58. 58

    .
    Good grief Bob. Humans only invented the word “information”, but we surely did not invent the reality nor the necessity of information. When you touch something hot, Bob, is it heat that travels from your fingertips to your brain?

  59. 59
    PeterA says:

    Truthfreedom @57:

    “The genetic code is the dictionary that nature “invented” to be able to translate from one language to another.
    No intelligence involved. Pure serendipity.
    Some dirt coded itself. Sure.”

    Yeah, right. 🙂

  60. 60
    Truthfreedom says:

    @PeterA:

    Perhaps I skipped the explanation, but I don’t quite understand what how the Darwinian morality in the OP title relates to the GCAT-based 3-letter codons being associated with aminoacids by the translational machinery in biological systems.

    Are morals real and objective and we “interpret”/”understand” them?
    Or are they simply a “human construct”?
    ET told Bob O’H that some things are real and had existed before we humans arrived on Earth. Examples: information (stored in the DNA) and the lawgiver = source of moral behavior.

  61. 61
    PeterA says:

    EugeneS @56:

    Excellent explanation. Thanks.

  62. 62
    PeterA says:

    Truthfreedom @60,

    Ok, maybe now I see how it got there.
    Thanks.

  63. 63
    Bob O'H says:

    ET @ 50 –

    The genetic code is a real code, Bob. DNA codes for mRNA’s which in turn represent specific amino acids./blockquote>
    Yes, I know this. And it’s wholly material – we can replicate the process without having to resort to adding anything immaterial. “Information” is the concept we use to describe the order of the bases: we ascribe meaning to that order, because the order has an effect (and different orders have different effects).

    Mike1962 –

    As the others have said, codons tell ribosomes how to build functional proteins. The poor ribosomes would be wandering around sucking their metaphorical thumbs without the codons. There is no interpretation needed.

    .
    Right. They need the very physical presence of the RNA to work. We describe the RNA sequence as information because that’s how we (as humans) understand it. But for the ribosome, it’s just an RNA strand with 3 bases to attach to. It’s a purely physical process.

  64. 64
    Bob O'H says:

    JAD @ 51 –

    Claiming that your position is the default position is logically fallacious because that’s something else that hasn’t been proven.

    But a default position doesn’t need to be proven – the very description of it as a default implies that it might be wrong, but that in the absence of reasons for it to be wrong, it’s a reasonable position to take. using Occam’s razor to decide on what default positions to take makes pragmatic sense, because you eliminate factors that aren’t necessary to the position.

  65. 65
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    Yes, I know this. And it’s wholly material – we can replicate the process without having to resort to adding anything immaterial.

    Nonsense. No one has been able to replicate it. No one can synthesize a living organism.

    But we do have knowledge of humans producing a synthetic genome. No one has ever observed nature doing so.

    “Information” is the concept we use to describe the order of the bases: we ascribe meaning to that order, because the order has an effect (and different orders have different effects).

    That is false. We OBSERVE the meaning, Bob.

  66. 66
    Truthfreedom says:

    @64 Bob O’H:

    …but that in the absence of reasons for it to be wrong…

    You mean blind adherence to materialist dogma / lack of critical thinking. Or lack of b***s.

    “That is the fatal flaw of the materialistic causal sequence of vision described …
    While the external object and its effect on the end organ of sight are both locatable external to the knower, the change in the brain, the image, the representation, is not external, but locatable internal to the knower. Thus, in knowing, ultimately, only changes inside himself, the materialist is logically forced into an epistemological idealism that contradicts his assumed starting point, the observation of external things. All of this flows from his a priori philosophical commitment to materialism.
    The scientific method does not demand materialism. But, the naturalist’s philosophical bias does”.
    Dr. Dennis Bonnette

    https://strangenotions.com/naturalisms-epistemological-nightmare/

  67. 67
    EugeneS says:

    Bob

    (and different orders have different effects)

    Correct.

    We describe the RNA sequence as information because that’s how we (as humans) understand it.

    It does not matter what word to use to describe it, be it ‘information’ or not. What counts is that it is a phenomenon, part of objective reality independent of the observer.

    That is not the whole picture though. What is missing from your description, is that an amino acid ordering is prescribed where the prescription is rate independent, i.e. it is NOT part of the system dynamics. That is why I mentioned boundary conditions. The prescription is physically enabled by the fact that there is no chemical bias towards particular orderings of bases in messenger RNA (sic!). This term, messenger RNA, is not a metaphor. It does carry a geniune message consisting of bona fide instructions how to build an organism.

  68. 68
  69. 69
    Truthfreedom says:

    @ PeterA:
    “Randomness, dude!” Blindprocessesdidit! aminoacyl what?
    “Illusion of complexity!” “Blind watchmaker!”
    “You want to be comforted”. “Deluded and weak theist”. “Yuuuu do not understand “Evolution”!

  70. 70
    Truthfreedom says:

    @51 John_a_designer:

    It appears to me that a lot of atheists agree that when you honestly look at man’s place in the universe, at least from their perspective, it’s really rather pointless.

    They know that nihilism is pointless. That is why they put all their hopes on science.
    They are terrified children.
    “Maybe some day we will be immortal, forever young and happy”.

  71. 71

    .
    Bob @ 63,

    we can replicate the process without having to resort to adding anything immaterial”

    Is that right Bob?

    Okay, let us make you the Director of a research team with unlimited personnel, unlimited time, and unlimited funding. And let us say that with this extraordinary intellectual and research power, it is not long before you can control, manipulate, and bind together whatever molecules you wish, and not only can you do that, but you can also successfully predict the results of that manipulation. So, if you need a replacement for the extant ribosome, you got it. If you need a de novo tRNA, you got it. If you need an aaRS to fulfill the box on a diagram of chemical pathways, you got it. Now comes the time to “replicate the process”, so you set your team out to organize a dissipative system where your de novo DNA/RNA is manipulated by your de novo ribosome and whatever array of other helper molecules you need, to the extent that the sequence of your de novo DNA/RNA is used to successfully establish the functional re-construction of the system.

    Let me ask you Bob: Will you have to coordinate the descriptions of each the de novo aaRS, with the descriptions of the other molecules in the system? That is to say – will the individual sequences within the portion of your de novo DNA/RNA that describe your de novo aaRS’s have to be simultaneously coordinated so that the remainder of the descriptions result in a successful replication? And would you also say, and agree, that without that simultaneous coordination, your system will not result in a successful replication?

    If this is so, Bob, can you then stand before your intricate diagram of the system’s pathways and properties (with the great formulas of physical law at hand, and with your team’s documented intimate knowledge of every facet and dynamic interaction within the system) and point out where exactly you find the source of that coordination?

  72. 72
    ET says:

    LoL! @ Upright Biped! Beautiful. Just beautiful.

  73. 73
    EugeneS says:

    BTW, If Bob was right, actual human-made codes like Morse code would just be non-existent.

  74. 74
    PeterA says:

    Maybe Bob O’H is right after all?
    For example, the Nazi Enigma code had no information whatsoever, but just a bunch of naturally piled up numbers or letters that meant simply nothing. The Polish and British people who intensively worked on deciphering it were just pretending in order to become famous. There was not such information as they made everybody believe.
    Right?
    🙂

  75. 75
  76. 76
    mike1962 says:

    Bob O’H: Yes, I know this. And it’s wholly material – we can replicate the process without having to resort to adding anything immaterial. “Information” is the concept we use to describe the order of the bases: we ascribe meaning to that order, because the order has an effect (and different orders have different effects).

    Information” is a term we use to describe a relationship. Information describes the particular sequence of codons that inform the ribosome level processes in a particular way. The same kind of relationship that exists between words and ideas, and codes and effects. computer input and computer output.

    Mike1962: As the others have said, codons tell ribosomes how to build functional proteins. The poor ribosomes would be wandering around sucking their metaphorical thumbs without the codons. There is no interpretation needed.
    .
    Bob O’H: Right. They need the very physical presence of the RNA to work. We describe the RNA sequence as information because that’s how we (as humans) understand it.

    We apply the term “information” to this case because that’s what we see actually happening in a systemic process relation. “No interpretation necessary” in my comment referred to us interpreting what we’re seeing in this process. There is no reason for us to interpret anything. We can immediately and directly see the function of DNA (the molecule) as a carrier of information (the particular sequence of codons) to the ribosome level process.

    But for the ribosome, it’s just an RNA strand with 3 bases to attach to. It’s a purely physical process.

    Nobody said it isn’t. But the outcome (a particular proteins) are determined by the varying sequences of codons (the information.) Change the sequence of codes and you change the outcome of the ribosome level process. Computer processors acting on computer software is a purely physical process as well. The software, that is, the particular values upon which the processor acts, changes the outcome of the processor level process, and is information, by definition. There is no conceptual difference between the computer process and the ribosome/DNA process. They are both processing systems that take variable input and produce output by the conceptual processor.

  77. 77
    mike1962 says:

    To continue, one might object to the characterization that the ribosome/DNA processing is analogous to a computer, because, after all, trees are systems too, they take in water and minerals, and output sap. Are they “computers” too? No. There are no specific codes involved. (And that’s the point.) Sap production does not rely on any highly specified sequence of input for the sap generating process to work. Computer systems and the ribosome/DNA system both rely on highly specific and varying streams of digital codes to produce anything functional and useful.

    Bob O’H is just kicking at the cactus here, because we can clearly see that the ribsome/DNA is clearly a coded system wherein the varying sequences of DNA have the role of informing the ribosome layer and thus determining the output. The physics involved speak to implementation not conceptualization.

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