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Larry Krauss on why it is silly to teach both sides of evolution

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Lawrence KraussFrom Jerry Coyne at Why Evolution Is True:

From Big Think we have physicist Lawrence Krauss showing why the “teach both sides” argument for evolution—and science in general—is fallacious. This argument is now being inserted into school standards by religionists who have lost repeated court battles trying to get creationism and intelligent design taught explicitly in public schools. Their new tactic is to pass school standards allowing or urging teachers to present evidence for alternative views and “critical evidence for and against” theories like evolution and anthropogenic global warming.More.

Larry Krauss, though a cosmologist, is mooted as a possible successor to zoologist Dawkins in the defence of Darwin. Thus he may not know that there is a lot of rethinking going on around evolution these days. But what’s Jerry Coyne’s excuse? A reader writes to point out that ambitious faculty who are not much interested in either scholarship or teaching tend to become administrators or controversialists. See below:

Larry Krauss goes after new US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos


Cosmologist Larry Krauss explains a universe from nothing to an astrophysicist

Also: Gravy train wreck: No Free Lunch for Darwinism in Texas?

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27 Replies to “Larry Krauss on why it is silly to teach both sides of evolution

  1. 1
    Origenes says:

    The neuronal illusion, that we call ‘Larry Krauss’, argues, by no free will of its own, against some strawman version of religion. It does not argue against the possibility that a balanced presentation of evolutionary theory might be a good idea.

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    Origines, can a neuronal illusion argue, or even imagine that it is arguing? How can such ever be actually aware? All of this looks like a snake trying to catch and eat its tail. KF

  3. 3
    Mung says:

    Chemical changes in the brain can cause people to do no end of weird stuff. Jerry Coyne and Lawrence Krauss are no exception.

  4. 4
    bill cole says:

    Larry is right. Teaching both sides flies in the face of our atheist indoctrination program 🙂

  5. 5

    So glad my own neuronal illusion is vastly different than Larry’s. I’m a lucky guy.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Lest some new reader wonder what is being talked about, ‘neuronal illusion’ refers to this claim by Coyne:

    “What you’re doing is simply instantiating a self: the program run by your neurons which you feel is “you.””
    Jerry Coyne – 2015

    Ross Douthat Is On Another Erroneous Rampage Against Secularism – Jerry Coyne – December 26, 2013
    Excerpt: “many (but not all) of us accept the notion that our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.”
    Jerry Coyne – Professor of Evolutionary Biology – Atheist

    A claim to which Ross Douthat replied as such,,

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

    In fact, besides the denial that ‘you’ exist as real person, atheists also, in their denial of free will, have forsaken rationality:

    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.

    Cogito; Ergo Deus Est
    Philosophy Still Lives Because God Isn’t Dead
    by Charles Edward White – Winter 2017
    Excerpt: Atheists, having strapped on the skis of physically caused thought, cannot stop anywhere on the mountain of rationality, but must descend into the valley of non-rationalism. But here they encounter a problem. If there is no criterion of rationality, how does one evaluate his thoughts? When John Nash, whose story is told in A Beautiful Mind, was overcome by phobias and obsessions, he thought his way back to health by rational therapy. He tested each thought by the outside standard of reason and thereby decided which thoughts to trust and which to dismiss.4 Atheists, however, have no outside standard.,,

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

    Thus, under atheistic naturalism/materialism there is not really a real person with the free will to choose to believe in, or to not believe in anything, be it believing in God or be it believing in atheistic naturalism. There are only illusions of persons who are fed illusions of free will. Moreover these illusions of free will somehow miraculously coincide with the illusory intentions of the illusory self. How the supposed random jostling of atoms in our brain pulls off all this amazing synchronization between the illusory intentions of our illusory self, throughout our entire life, is something that fully ought to be considered miraculous in its own right!

    Human consciousness is much more than mere brain activity, – Mark Vernon – 18 June 2011
    However, “If you think the brain is a machine then you are committed to saying that composing a sublime poem is as involuntary an activity as having an epileptic fit. …the nature of consciousness being a tremendous mystery.”

    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 (MN). 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 (the illusion of) 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, however, 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.,,,
    some feature of “intelligence” must be irreducible to physics, because otherwise we’re back to physics versus physics, and there’s nothing for SETI to look for.”,,,

    And although Dr. Nelson alluded to writing an e-mail, (i.e. creating information), to tie his ‘personal agent’ argument into intelligent design, Dr. Nelson’s ‘personal agent’ argument can easily be amended to any action that ‘you’, as a personal agent, choose to take:

    “You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”
    “You didn’t open the door. Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”
    “You didn’t raise your hand. Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”
    “You didn’t etc.. etc.. etc… Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”

    Simply put, since our own personhood and agency is something that we experience first hand every waking moment of our lives, and is therefore the most sure thing that we can know about reality, the denial of the reality of our own agent causality by atheists is insane:

    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.”


    “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”
    George MacDonald – Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood – 1892

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    slight correction:

    ,,,,How the supposed random jostling of atoms in our brain pulls off all this amazing synchronization between our illusory intentions and our illusory self, throughout our entire life, is something that fully ought to be considered miraculous in its own right!,,,

  8. 8

    BA77: You set a high standard, my friend!

  9. 9
    J-Mac says:

    What is Coyne and Krauss worried about? Isn’t “evolution true” according to Coyne’s last book?

    Didn’t the universe come from nothing according to Larry’s last book?

    Why would they worry about something that they are so sure about?
    What could this be? Where is this anxiety coming from? I don’t get it…

    I was once told that if I didn’t know what the reason was for bizarre moves in politics, science, religion… etc…to always follow the money… But how could this principle apply to these circumstances?

  10. 10
    Dionisio says:

    […] the “teach both sides” argument for evolution—and science in general—is fallacious.

    “both sides”? Huh?

    do they mean the second and third ways according to this?:

    Should they teach the second way, the third way, both or none?


  11. 11
    rvb8 says:

    I don’t mind being a ‘neuronal illusion’, and you say I possess no free will, alright I accept that; so what?

    I think I have free will, and I think I am real, that’s enough for me. I know that IDers require confirmation in their unsure worlds that they are special, and God or the Designer, really, really, cares for them, that’s nice. No doubt it keeps you warm and fuzzy to believe in your truly illusional, singular significance, and your importance to the Almighty.

    I prefer the ‘neural illusion’ of family and friends, which I suppose are real neurons. As upposed to the cosmic illusion of unreal, supernaturalism.

    You choose: or, perhaps you don’t choose:)Heh!

    Play your silly, and utterly indecipherable word games, and let the scientists uncover what is likely to be the first ancient lipid encased cells; amazing, truly worthy of awe.

    As to the post; we don’t teach both sides of Gravitation Theory, or Germ Theory, or Relativity, and there is no alternative to the history of the Holocaust. I know this is difficult in your ‘relative’ world, but some things are just true, that is why all good Universities teach Evolutionary Theory, and no alternatives.

  12. 12
    Mung says:

    As to the post; we don’t teach both sides of Gravitation Theory, or Germ Theory, or Relativity, and there is no alternative to the history of the Holocaust.

    Tired. Old. Trope. rvb8

    What are the two sides of Gravitation Theory? If there’s another side to it I’d sure like to hear about it.

    What are the two sides to Germ Theory? If there’s another side to it I’d sure like to hear about it.

    What are the two sides of Relativity Theory? Because if there’s another side to it I’d sure like to hear about it.

    Science is all about competing hypotheses, but let’s pretend like it’s not. Not neuronal illusion, but neuronal delusion.

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    rvb8 ‘you’ state:

    “I” don’t mind being a ‘neuronal illusion’,

    But alas rvb8, according to atheistic materialism, there is no “I” that could possibly mind if ‘you’ were a neuronal illusion or not:

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

    “There is no self in, around, or as part of anyone’s body. There can’t be. So there really isn’t any enduring self that ever could wake up morning after morning worrying about why it should bother getting out of bed. The self is just another illusion, like the illusion that thought is about stuff or that we carry around plans and purposes that give meaning to what our body does. Every morning’s introspectively fantasized self is a new one, remarkably similar to the one that consciousness ceased fantasizing when we fell sleep sometime the night before. Whatever purpose yesterday’s self thought it contrived to set the alarm last night, today’s newly fictionalized self is not identical to yesterday’s. It’s on its own, having to deal with the whole problem of why to bother getting out of bed all over again.”
    – A.Rosenberg, The Atheist’s Guide to Reality, ch.10

    “(Daniel) Dennett concludes, ‘nobody is conscious … we are all zombies’.”
    J.W. SCHOOLER & C.A. SCHREIBER – Experience, Meta-consciousness, and the Paradox of Introspection – 2004

    8.) The argument from personal existence
    1. If naturalism is true, I do not exist.
    2. I do exist!
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.
    – William Lane Craig – Is Metaphysical Naturalism Viable? – video

    According to the precepts of atheistic materialism subjective conscious experience is an illusion:

    “We have so much confidence in our materialist assumptions (which are assumptions, not facts) that something like free will is denied in principle. Maybe it doesn’t exist, but I don’t really know that. Either way, it doesn’t matter because if free will and consciousness are just an illusion, they are the most seamless illusions ever created. Film maker James Cameron wishes he had special effects that good.”
    Matthew D. Lieberman – neuroscientist – materialist – UCLA professor

    At the 23:33 minute mark of the following video, Richard Dawkins agrees with materialistic philosophers who say that:
    “consciousness is an illusion”
    A few minutes later Rowan Williams asks Dawkins
    ”If consciousness is an illusion… what isn’t?”.

    “I think the idea of (materialists) saying that consciousness is an illusion doesn’t really work because the very notion of an illusion presupposes consciousness. There are no illusions unless there is a conscious experience or (a conscious person) for whom there is an illusion.”
    Evan Thompson, Philosopher – author of Waking, Dreaming, Being

    As Professor Lieberman stated in his quote, the belief that consciousness is an illusion is an materialistic assumption not a fact. An unfounded materialistic assumption for which atheists have no empirical evidence whatsoever:

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

    “Every day we recall the past, perceive the present and imagine the future. How do our brains accomplish these feats? It’s safe to say that nobody really knows.”
    Sebastian Seung – Massachusetts Institute of Technology neuroscientist – “Connectome”:

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

    “We have at present not even the vaguest idea how to connect the physio-chemical processes with the state of mind.”
    – Eugene Wigner – Nobel prize-winner – Quantum Symmetries

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

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

    In fact, there is evidence that demonstrates it is impossible for materialism to EVER give an adequate explanation for subjective conscious experience

    Consciousness Does Not Compute (and Never Will), Says Korean Scientist – May 05, 2015
    Excerpt: “Non-computability of Consciousness” documents Song’s quantum computer research into TS (technological singularity (TS) or strong artificial intelligence). Song was able to show that in certain situations, a conscious state can be precisely and fully represented in mathematical terms, in much the same manner as an atom or electron can be fully described mathematically. That’s important, because the neurobiological and computational approaches to brain research have only ever been able to provide approximations at best. In representing consciousness mathematically, Song shows that consciousness is not compatible with a machine.
    Song’s work also shows consciousness is not like other physical systems like neurons, atoms or galaxies. “If consciousness cannot be represented in the same way all other physical systems are represented, it may not be something that arises out of a physical system like the brain,” said Song. “The brain and consciousness are linked together, but the brain does not produce consciousness. Consciousness is something altogether different and separate. The math doesn’t lie.”
    Of note: Daegene Song obtained his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Oxford

    Reply to Mathematical Error in “Incompatibility Between Quantum Theory and Consciousness” – Daegene Song – 2008

    Sentient robots? Not possible if you do the maths – 13 May 2014
    Over the past decade, Giulio Tononi at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his colleagues have developed a mathematical framework for consciousness that has become one of the most influential theories in the field. According to their model, the ability to integrate information is a key property of consciousness. ,,,
    But there is a catch, argues Phil Maguire at the National University of Ireland in Maynooth. He points to a computational device called the XOR logic gate, which involves two inputs, A and B. The output of the gate is “1” if A and B are the same and “0” if A and B are different. In this scenario, it is impossible to predict the output based on A or B alone – you need both.
    Crucially, this type of integration requires loss of information, says Maguire: “You have put in two bits, and you get one out. If the brain integrated information in this fashion, it would have to be continuously haemorrhaging information.”,,,
    Based on this definition, Maguire and his team have shown mathematically that computers can’t handle any process that integrates information completely. If you accept that consciousness is based on total integration, then computers can’t be conscious.

    Thus rvb8, whilst the ‘illusion of you’ may claim that you are being ‘scientific’ in your belief that consciousness is an just an illusion generated by the material brain, the fact of the matter is that your atheistic belief is completely unfounded in that it has no scientific support whatsoever. In fact, your atheistic belief contradicts the scientific evidence!
    On the other hand, the Christian Theist, in his belief that Mind precedes material reality, does have substantial scientific evidence backing up his claim. This substantial scientific evidence comes from quantum mechanics itself which is currently regarded as our best mathematical description of reality, surpassing even general relativity in explanatory power.

    First in establishing this fact, it is important to note that materialism is falsified by quantum mechanics

    “If you go back and look at the premises which underlie materialism, They are all presumptions that were made back in the 17th and 18th century. Those (presumptions) are: reality, locality, causality, continuity, and determinism. All of those concepts were assumed to be self evident. And all of them have been disproved by quantum theory. The last one to fall was locality. (John Bell’s theory of non-locality disproved locality, which has now been proven I think 11 times in 11 different experiments throughout the world.),,, Anyone who says, “Well, I want to believe materialism and I don’t want to believe quantum physics.” Okay then, get rid of your cell phone, along with anything you have with a transistor in it. Get rid of your MRIs, get rid of all those things. Because quantum electro-dynamics is the theory which allows those things. It is the most proven theory in all of science.”
    Dr. Alan Hugenot – Hugenot holds a doctorate of science in mechanical engineering, and has had a successful career in marine engineering, serving on committees that write the ship-building standards for the United States. He studied physics and mechanical engineering at the Oregon Institute of Technology.
    quote taken from 16:35 minute mark of interview

    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism – video playlist

    Why Quantum Theory Does Not Support Materialism – By Bruce L Gordon:
    Excerpt: Because quantum theory is thought to provide the bedrock for our scientific understanding of physical reality, it is to this theory that the materialist inevitably appeals in support of his worldview. But having fled to science in search of a safe haven for his doctrines, the materialist instead finds that quantum theory in fact dissolves and defeats his materialist understanding of the world.,,
    The underlying problem is this: there are correlations in nature that require a causal explanation but for which no physical explanation is in principle possible. Furthermore, the nonlocalizability of field quanta entails that these entities, whatever they are, fail the criterion of material individuality. So, paradoxically and ironically, the most fundamental constituents and relations of the material world cannot, in principle, be understood in terms of material substances. Since there must be some explanation for these things, the correct explanation will have to be one which is non-physical – and this is plainly incompatible with any and all varieties of materialism.

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    Second, there is an ‘irreducible subjective element’ to quantum theory that refuses to be reduced to any coherent materialistic explanation:

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

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

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

    In fact, quantum mechanics directly undermines the Darwinian goal of trying to explain humans, and their behavior, as being the result of impersonal physical laws.

    Charles Darwin stated his goal for explaining all life via the laws of nature as such

    The Lord’s Day, Meet Darwin Day… and Shudder – February 10, 2017
    Excerpt: In The Origin of Species, Darwin suggested the idea of a God who created a few original forms and then let the “laws” of nature govern the outcome. “It is just as noble a conception of the Deity to believe that He created a few original forms capable of self-development into other and needful forms,” he wrote, “as to believe that he required a fresh act of creation to supply the voids caused by the action of his laws.”,,,
    As he told geologist Charles Lyell, “I would give absolutely nothing for the theory of Natural Selection, if it require miraculous additions at any one stage of descent.”

    Yet in the following article, Steven Weinberg, an atheist, relates how quantum mechanics undermines that Darwinian goal of trying to explain the origination of humans and their behaviors as the result of natural laws,,

    The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics – Steven Weinberg
    – January 19, 2017
    Excerpt: “(the Schrödinger equation) is just as deterministic as Newton’s equations of motion and gravitation.,,
    There is not even the possibility of chaos, the extreme sensitivity to initial conditions that is possible in Newtonian mechanics.”,,,
    “So if we regard the whole process of measurement as being governed by the equations of quantum mechanics, and these equations are perfectly deterministic, how do probabilities get into quantum mechanics?”,,,
    The instrumentalist approach,, (the) wave function,, is merely an instrument that provides predictions of the probabilities of various outcomes when measurements are made.,,
    In the instrumentalist approach,,, humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level. According to Eugene Wigner, a pioneer of quantum mechanics, “it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness.”11
    Thus the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else. It is not that we object to thinking about humans. Rather, we want to understand the relation of humans to nature, not just assuming the character of this relation by incorporating it in what we suppose are nature’s fundamental laws, but rather by deduction from laws that make no explicit reference to humans. We may in the end have to give up this goal,,,
    Some physicists who adopt an instrumentalist approach argue that the probabilities we infer from the wave function are objective probabilities, independent of whether humans are making a measurement. I don’t find this tenable. In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure, such as the spin in one or another direction. Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,

    Thus, according the Weinberg, random chance does not even exist until a choice (by a ‘person’) is made, and yet Darwinists insist that humans and all their behaviors are all ultimately the result of random chance.

    In fact, besides ‘random chance’ not existing until a choice is made, in the following experiment it was shown that reality itself “does not exist if you are not looking at it,”

    Experiment confirms quantum theory weirdness – May 27, 2015
    Excerpt: The bizarre nature of reality as laid out by quantum theory has survived another test, with scientists performing a famous experiment and proving that reality does not exist until it is measured.
    Physicists at The Australian National University (ANU) have conducted John Wheeler’s delayed-choice thought experiment, which involves a moving object that is given the choice to act like a particle or a wave. Wheeler’s experiment then asks – at which point does the object decide?
    Common sense says the object is either wave-like or particle-like, independent of how we measure it. But quantum physics predicts that whether you observe wave like behavior (interference) or particle behavior (no interference) depends only on how it is actually measured at the end of its journey. This is exactly what the ANU team found.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said Associate Professor Andrew Truscott from the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering.
    Despite the apparent weirdness, the results confirm the validity of quantum theory, which,, has enabled the development of many technologies such as LEDs, lasers and computer chips.
    The ANU team not only succeeded in building the experiment, which seemed nearly impossible when it was proposed in 1978, but reversed Wheeler’s original concept of light beams being bounced by mirrors, and instead used atoms scattered by laser light.
    “Quantum physics’ predictions about interference seem odd enough when applied to light, which seems more like a wave, but to have done the experiment with atoms, which are complicated things that have mass and interact with electric fields and so on, adds to the weirdness,” said Roman Khakimov, PhD student at the Research School of Physics and Engineering.

    ‘all real things are contents of consciousness’
    – John von Neumann

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

    To say the preceding experiment by Truscott is incompatible with atheistic materialism is to make a dramatic understatement.

    Moreover, In the following experiment, the claim that past material states determine future conscious choices (determinism) is directly falsified by the fact that present conscious choices are, in fact, effecting past material states:

    Quantum physics mimics spooky action into the past – April 23, 2012
    Excerpt: The authors experimentally realized a “Gedankenexperiment” called “delayed-choice entanglement swapping”, formulated by Asher Peres in the year 2000. Two pairs of entangled photons are produced, and one photon from each pair is sent to a party called Victor. Of the two remaining photons, one photon is sent to the party Alice and one is sent to the party Bob. Victor can now choose between two kinds of measurements. If he decides to measure his two photons in a way such that they are forced to be in an entangled state, then also Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair becomes entangled. If Victor chooses to measure his particles individually, Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair ends up in a separable state. Modern quantum optics technology allowed the team to delay Victor’s choice and measurement with respect to the measurements which Alice and Bob perform on their photons. “We found that whether Alice’s and Bob’s photons are entangled and show quantum correlations or are separable and show classical correlations can be decided after they have been measured”, explains Xiao-song Ma, lead author of the study.
    According to the famous words of Albert Einstein, the effects of quantum entanglement appear as “spooky action at a distance”. The recent experiment has gone one remarkable step further. “Within a naïve classical world view, quantum mechanics can even mimic an influence of future actions on past events”, says Anton Zeilinger.

    In other words, if my conscious choices really are just merely the result of whatever state the material particles in my brain happen to be in in the past (deterministic) how in blue blazes are my choices in how to set up an experiment instantaneously effecting the state of material particles into the past? This experiment is simply impossible for any coherent materialistic presupposition!

    Zeilinger further comments:

    “The Kochen-Speckter Theorem talks about properties of one system only. So we know that we cannot assume – to put it precisely, we know that it is wrong to assume that the features of a system, which we observe in a measurement exist prior to measurement.,,, So in a sense, what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”
    Anton Zeilinger –
    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism – video (7:17 minute mark)

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

    Moreover, in regards to free will, it is important to point out that although free will is often thought of as allowing someone to choose between a veritable infinity of options, in a theistic view of reality that veritable infinity of options all boils down to just two options. Those two ultimate options are, eternal life with God, or Eternal life without God. C.S. states that ultimate choice we all must make as such:

    “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.”
    – C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

    And exactly as would be expected on Christian Theism, we find two very different eternities in reality. An ‘infinitely destructive, hellish, eternity associated with General Relativity and a extremely orderly eternity associated with Special Relativity:

    Special and General Relativity compared to Heavenly and Hellish Near Death Experiences

    Thus, whilst atheistic materialism is falsified by quantum mechanics, the Christian view of reality, i.e. that Mind precedes material reality and that there are two very different ‘higher dimensional’ eternities above this material reality, is born out by our very best science. i.e. born out by Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity, and General Relativity respectively.


    Colossians 1:17
    And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

  15. 15

    Interesting that the neuronal illusion known as rvb8 chooses to regularly interact with other neuronal illusions on this website, the vast majority of which have very different views and preferences.

    Why is that, rvb8? What brings you here on such a regular basis? Are you hoping to convert others into accepting and embracing your views? Serious question.

  16. 16
    john_a_designer says:

    I use to think there were some honest atheists out there; now I think the vast majority of atheists are egocentric, delusional and irrational– especially on the internet. None of them seem to know how to make logical, factually based arguments. It appears they have no knowledge what logic is or how to use it. What we get instead our baseless and groundless opinions based on conceit, disdain or raw anger.

    Exhibit A is Lawrence Krauss, but he is not the only example. (Feel free to add to the list.)

    Atheists like Krauss, along with the thousands of atheist trolls who infest the internet, suffer from what I call the Mighty Mouse syndrome. Mighty Mouse was a cartoon I watched growing up. In every episode MM would sing, before swooping in for the rescue, “Here I come to save the day.”

    Atheists are under the delusion that somehow they are going to save civilization. Never mind that whenever in history, atheism has been imposed by the state, it has been an unmitigated disaster.

    The absurdity of any arguments they give is this: for me to abandon my faith in God I would have to accept atheism by faith. Most atheists believe that what is true is true because they believe it. So in other words, to become an atheist I would have to put my faith in someone else’s subjective opinion– some else who is self-centered, irrational and angry. And that is no cartoon; that is the truth.

    All most atheists have to offer is mindless posturing and pretension.

  17. 17
    Darwins_downfall says:

    I don’t understand this push to force schools to teach both sides of a subject (theory). I thought about this and can’t think of a single instance where schools teach both sides of anything. Does anyone have an example?

    They don’t teach both sides of math, physics, computer science, grammar, chemistry, astronomy, fluid dynamics, geology, nutrition, etc. The closest I could come is the teaching of things like political “science”, economics and social studies.

  18. 18
    rvb8 says:


    I visit many sites, and don’t spend an inordinate amount of time here.

    I have been visiting UD since Dover, I have been banned by Dembski, and other moderators, I am simply waiting for something, anything, in all those years that even remotely resembles research, or a new idea beyond, ‘it looks designed therfore..’

    I will keep popping by, reading the posts of Denyse (cut and paste) O’Reily, Barry (they’re all Darwinbots) Arrington, and guests, until? Well until this purported science site produces something even vaguely approaching science, or, I’m banned again.

  19. 19

    Do you enjoy coming to this site?

  20. 20
    rvb8 says:

    It amazes me that in a war that has been lost, basically since 1859, that there are still cohorts who think that, ‘the public’, or ‘popular opinion’, is in any way going to influence how science is done.

    Science is not a democracy, thank God. New ideas prevail, not emotions, and what I read here are raw emotions, it fascinates me.

    That is, I come here just to see how long it will take for the penny to drop.

    Larry Kraus is right and Denyse is beyond wrong. It is silly to teach both sides of evolution for the simple reason that Evolution is ONE idea.

  21. 21
    Marfin says:

    rvb8 are you the most naive man who ever lived or what , you don`t grasp the difference between science as a methodology and science as it is controlled and run by humans.Do you seriously think or believe that those working in the various fields of education , science , etc are more moral and honest in those working in sport, politics or business.
    Every in the upper levels of cycling knew Lance was a drug cheat, every one knew the Russians were doping,now these have been discovered do you seriously believe there is no more doping in cycling or athletics.
    Humans lie, steal, cheat, follow the money protect their ego`s are vain greedy, selfish and above all centred on protecting self.You naively believe fields of scientific endeavour do not suffer from the same human weakness`s and you foolishly believe the truth is at the top of the scientists goals.
    rvb8 you need to get yourself a healthy dose of scepticism and soon

  22. 22
    bornagain77 says:

    rvb8, since you believe the war between atheistic materialism and Theism ‘has been lost, basically since 1859’, perhaps ‘you’ can tell us how the laws of physics wrote your post?

    Written by Chance?
    Excerpt: “You might think that someone wrote this article. But of course, you would be mistaken. Articles are not written by people. They are the result of chance. Every intelligent person knows it. There might be some people who want you to think that articles are written by people. But this view is totally unscientific. After all, we cannot see the person who allegedly wrote the article. We cannot detect him or her in any way. The claim that this article has an author cannot be empirically verified, and therefore it must be rejected. All we have is the article itself, and we must find a scientific explanation for its origin. ,,,”

    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 (MN). 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 (the illusion of) 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, however, 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.,,,
    some feature of “intelligence” must be irreducible to physics, because otherwise we’re back to physics versus physics, and there’s nothing for SETI to look for.”,,,

    And although Dr. Nelson alluded to writing an e-mail, (i.e. creating information), to tie his ‘personal agent’ argument into intelligent design, Dr. Nelson’s ‘personal agent’ argument can easily be amended to any action that ‘you’, as a personal agent, choose to take:

    “You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”
    “You didn’t open the door. Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”
    “You didn’t raise your hand. Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”
    “You didn’t etc.. etc.. etc… Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”

    Further notes:

    Infinite monkey theorem
    Excerpt: “One computer program run by Dan Oliver of Scottsdale, Arizona, according to an article in The New Yorker, came up with a result on August 4, 2004: After the group had worked for 42,162,500,000 billion billion monkey-years, one of the “monkeys” typed, “VALENTINE. Cease toIdor:eFLP0FRjWK78aXzVOwm)-‘;8.t” The first 19 letters of this sequence can be found in “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”. Other teams have reproduced 18 characters from “Timon of Athens”, 17 from “Troilus and Cressida”, and 16 from “Richard II”.[24]
    A website entitled The Monkey Shakespeare Simulator, launched on July 1, 2003, contained a Java applet that simulates a large population of monkeys typing randomly, with the stated intention of seeing how long it takes the virtual monkeys to produce a complete Shakespearean play from beginning to end. For example, it produced this partial line from Henry IV, Part 2, reporting that it took “2,737,850 million billion billion billion monkey-years” to reach 24 matching characters:

    RUMOUR. Open your ears; 9r”5j5&?OWTY Z0d…”

    The story of the Monkey Shakespeare Simulator Project
    Excerpt: Starting with 100 virtual monkeys typing, and doubling the population every few days, it put together random strings of characters. It then checked them against the archived works of Shakespeare. Before it was scrapped, the site came up with 10^35 number of pages, all typed up. Any matches?
    Not many. It matched two words, “now faire,” and a partial name from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and three words and a comma, “Let fame, that,” from Love’s Labour’s Lost. The record, achieved suitably randomly at the beginning of the site’s run in 2004, was 23 characters long, including breaks and spaces.

    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.

    What Does “Life’s Conservation Law” Actually Say? – Winston Ewert – December 3, 2015
    Excerpt: All information must eventually derive from a source external to the universe,

    Conservation of information, evolution, etc – Sept. 30, 2014
    Excerpt: Kurt Gödel’s logical objection to Darwinian evolution:
    “The formation in geological time of the human body by the laws of physics (or any other laws of similar nature), starting from a random distribution of elementary particles and the field is as unlikely as the separation of the atmosphere into its components. The complexity of the living things has to be present within the material [from which they are derived] or in the laws [governing their formation].”
    Gödel – As quoted in H. Wang. “On `computabilism’ and physicalism: Some Problems.” in Nature’s Imagination, J. Cornwall, Ed, pp.161-189, Oxford University Press (1995).
    Gödel’s argument is that if evolution is unfolding from an initial state by mathematical laws of physics, it cannot generate any information not inherent from the start – and in his view, neither the primaeval environment nor the laws are information-rich enough.,,,
    More recently this led him (Dembski) to postulate a Law of Conservation of Information, or actually to consolidate the idea, first put forward by Nobel-prizewinner Peter Medawar in the 1980s. Medawar had shown, as others before him, that in mathematical and computational operations, no new information can be created, but new findings are always implicit in the original starting points – laws and axioms.,,,

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


    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.

  23. 23

    RVB8 @ 20: How exactly does coming here help you “…to see how long it will take for the penny to drop.”?

    You say (in an earlier comment) that you started visiting this site after the Dover decision. Dover was decided 11 years ago (December, 2005).

    Any evidence yet of the penny dropping?

  24. 24
    rvb8 says:


    yes! Lots of evidence.

    1.) The ‘big guns’ of the DI no longer post anything here. Gone are Dembski, West,Chapman, Klinghoffer,Meyer, Johnson, and others. They post elsewhere, not here, hmmm.
    2.) There is only rehashing of arguments rebutted in court, and online so many times before.
    3.) In areas the DI doesn’t even atempt to seriously address, (because Irreducable Complexity puts up a scientific barrier), such as, origins of the first cells, and finding purpose in the mass of junk DNA, great strides have been made.
    4.) I am considered a serious interlocutor. Great for my ego, but unfortunately I believe most posters here are my intellectual superiors; again, not good if the caliber of your debaters, is me!?
    5.) That so many threads descend into debates about abortion, free will, morality, Hitler/Darwin, and other ‘culture war’ topics is very, very, telling.
    6.) And that the standard of referancing is so poor, very often referances are older than ten years, science moves faster than ID apparently. The referances are also often from the Bible, or Creationist web sites, or UD, or EvoNewsViews, and often, as Kairos does, quoting themselves.

    This is some of the evidence that the penny, although not quite on solid ground, is certainly hurtling earthward. Perhaps when the five or six long term posters tire, the penny will quietly come to rest.

    Or retire to the Church, where it belongs.

  25. 25
    Darwins_downfall says:

    Rvb8, we retired the penny in Canada a few years ago. I guess we forgot to tell the DI and UD.

  26. 26

    RVB8 @ 24: So you have been regularly coming to this site for 11 years waiting to see the “penny drop,” and now you can list six reasons to show how/why the penny has dropped.

    Assuming your list of six reasons is accurate, how is any of that evidence of the penny dropping?

    I am relatively new to this site, stumbling upon it within the past year or so. It is now one of my favorites and a daily source of joy and inspiration for me. What you see as a penny dropping, I see as a penny rising to new heights daily.

    Also, I do not personally know BA77, WJM, KF, JAD, or any of the regular posters here, but I feel close camaraderie with them. I also learn a great deal from their posts/comments. Again, what you see as a penny dropping, I see as a penny rising.

    In short, I like this site, which is why I regularly visit and contribute. You dislike this site, which is why you regularly visit and contribute. Which one of these statements makes the most sense?

  27. 27
    john_a_designer says:

    I think the newbies to a site like UD innocently, if not naively, enable the trolls who over estimate their importance here– thus taunts like “UD is becoming an echo chamber” etc. So what if it is? I’d rather circle the wagons and have a meaningful conversation with people who share my world view rather than engage in mindless debates with hostile interlocutors who always take a contrarian view, even about subjects which are not ID related. Such “people” (or are they bots?) are not here to have engage in constructive debate or dialogue, but to obfuscate. Why? Because they cannot tolerate any world view that challenges their own? I have said this before, “for me truth trumps faith.” I’ll abandon my beliefs if someone can prove they are false. But that has to be done with real logic, real evidence and real arguments. Mindless posturing and pretension, taunting or baseless/groundless personal opinions are NOT arguments. They are shallow, hollows uninformed opinions which prove nothing except maybe that the person making such arguments is shallow, hollow and uninformed.

    If atheistic naturalism/materialism is based on reason and science, why are our regular interlocutors so afraid in engage us with real evidence based arguments? We know and they know the truth: they don’t have any honest arguments.

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