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Michael Egnor: Here’s why an argument for God’s existence is a scientific argument

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The form of reasoning and the type of evidence accepted is the same as with Newton’s theories or Darwin’s, he says.

Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne took after someone writing at the Deseret News who argues that faith and science both play a role in fighting COVID-19. Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor is (we could have called this one) not impressed:

An objection commonly raised is that “scientific theories can only involve the natural world and cannot demonstrate the existence of supernatural entities.” But that’s incorrect. The Big Bang, to take an example, was not an event in the natural world. It was a singularity, which means that it is undefined and undefinable both mathematically and in conventional physics. Similarly, a cosmological singularity — for example, a black hole — is also a supernatural entity. That just means it is outside of nature. We never observe black holes just as we never can observe the Big Bang. We can only infer — by inductive reasoning — the existence of supernatural entities such as black holes by their effects in the natural world.

This inductive reasoning is precisely what proofs of God’s existence do. We cannot observe God in this life because he is not part of this world. He is supernatural. But we can observe his effects in the natural world just as we inferred the existence of the Big Bang and black holes by observing their effects. It is the same sort of reasoning.

There is one difference though: the evidence and the logic pointing to God’s existence is overwhelmingly stronger than the evidence and logic supporting any other scientific theory in nature. Aquinas’s First Way proof of God’s existence, for example, has exactly the same structure as any other scientific theory. The empirical evidence is the presence of change in nature. Because infinite regress is logically impossible in an essentially ordered chain of changes, there must be a Prime Mover to begin the process and that is what we call God.

Michael Egnor, “Here’s why an argument for God’s existence is scientific” at Mind Matters News

Takehome: We can observe God’s effects in the natural world just as we inferred the existence of the Big Bang and black holes by observing their effects.

See also: Jerry Coyne just can’t give up denying free will. Coyne’s denial of free will, based on determinism, is science denial and junk metaphysics. (Michael Egnor)

38 Replies to “Michael Egnor: Here’s why an argument for God’s existence is a scientific argument

  1. 1
    Bob O'H says:

    We never observe black holes just as we never can observe the Big Bang. We can only infer — by inductive reasoning — the existence of supernatural entities such as black holes by their effects in the natural world.

    The same goes for, well, all of biochemistry and most of cell biology. We never actually observe, say, nerve cells firing, only their effects on needles on our monitors. Therefore brains must be supernatural too!

    This inductive reasoning is precisely what proofs of God’s existence do. We cannot observe God in this life because he is not part of this world. He is supernatural. But we can observe his effects in the natural world just as we inferred the existence of the Big Bang and black holes by observing their effects.

    OK, but black holes were predicted from theory. The theory said they should exist, and gave novel predictions that told us how we would see the effects of black holes. So what is the theory that gives us novel predictions that would show us the effects of God?

  2. 2
    BobRyan says:

    Bob O’H:

    To say something should exist is very different from having witnessed something. If something is not witnessed and not replicated, it remains hypothesis. A theory is something that has been witnessed and replicated.

    In regards to God, there are the known laws of physics. Not a single law could have come about by some random chance, since order does not come from chaos. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, yet we also know it could not always have existed. It is human arrogance to assume there is nothing smarter than man. God is the created of the laws of physics, which makes God far intellectually superior to man.

  3. 3
    ET says:

    Science only cares about reality. So it has to be able to handle the God hypothesis if that is how it really happened.

  4. 4

    The reason God is outside of science, is because the name God is defined in terms of that He makes choices. God is said to create the universe, by choice. God is arbiter at the final judgement. etc. God makes choices.

    Anything that is on the side of what makes a choice, can only be identified with a chosen opinion, not with a fact forced by evidence.

    This is why emotions, personal character, feelings, the spirit, the soul, God, are all outside of science, because they are all on the side of what makes a choice.

  5. 5

    Bob 0,
    Your comments about not being able to directly observe the actions of machines in the cell were where I was for quite some time until I was able to talk directly with two working scientists.
    It turns out that they do indeed observe actions within the cell such as the kinesin Motor.
    See my report on these direct observations at:
    https://ayearningforpublius.wordpress.com/2014/11/21/interesting-people-i-have-met-e-michael-ostap-ph-d/

    A number of months after talking with Dr. Ostap, I was walking through the airport at Philadelphia, and saw some large photos on the wall depicting things happening in the scientific/medical community in Philly. One that caught my attention was a photo that looked somewhat like the animations I had seen of the Kinesin Motor. I looked down at the credits, and there was Dr. Ostap’s name.
    The other scientist was from MIT. I attended his lecture at Yale and he also confirmed the capability to observe cell activity.
    _____

    Take a look at my article to see the questions i had for both scientists.

    So yes, we are able to look into the actual machinery of life, and from there infer what those machines infer, include the existence of a creator God.

  6. 6
    Bob O'H says:

    Ayearningforpublius –

    So yes, we are able to look into the actual machinery of life

    Well, no. Our eyesight isn’t good enough, so we have to use machines to do this: we observe them indirectly, just as we indirectly observe black holes using machines.

  7. 7
    ET says:

    What? So looking through a microscope and directly observing something is actually indirect? All of the pictures of biological structures are indirect viewing?

    Black holes/ gravity wells make sense form an intelligent design PoV. Let the forces of nature keep galaxies together.

  8. 8
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I wear glasses so I guess I never see anything directly unless I take them off (then I only see them fuzzily).

  9. 9

    I guess I wrote my comment for those who, like me, just didn’t know the story behind those amazing animations such as the Kinesin Motor.

    I didn’t know that Bob O’H had already debunked the recorded videos and the animations. He’s so much “scientifically” smarter than me.

    Good job Bob, we can now disregard the research that Dr. Ostap does in trying to help those with hearing problems.

    Oh yea, I do wear hearing aids, but the music and conversations I now hear are just illusions, as are the people I see behind my eyeglasses talking to me.

    Thanks so much Bob for the education, but since I can’t directly hear or see you, I have to rely on the illusion of your typed reply.

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    All of science proceeds, and is dependent, on presuppositions that were born out of the Judeo-Christian worldview. Thus, as the following article by Robert Koons, professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas, states, “Far from undermining the credibility of theism, the remarkable success of science in modern times is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of theism.”

    Science and Theism: Concord, not Conflict* – Robert C. Koons
    IV. The Dependency of Science Upon Theism (Page 21)
    Excerpt: Far from undermining the credibility of theism, the remarkable success of science in modern times is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of theism. It was from the perspective of Judeo-Christian theism—and from the perspective alone—that it was predictable that science would have succeeded as it has. Without the faith in the rational intelligibility of the world and the divine vocation of human beings to master it, modern science would never have been possible, and, even today, the continued rationality of the enterprise of science depends on convictions that can be reasonably grounded only in theistic metaphysics.
    http://www.theistic.net/papers.....cience.pdf

    It is simply impossible to ‘do science’ without Judeo-Christian presuppositions.

    And what are those main Judeo-Christian presuppositions that lay behind the founding, and behind the continued success, of modern science?

    Well as the preceding article stated, those main presuppositions are the “rational intelligibility of the world and the divine vocation of human beings to master it,,”

    And as the following article also states, “a personal, rational God designed a rational universe to be understood and controlled by rational persons made in His image”

    The Threat to the Scientific Method that Explains the Spate of Fraudulent Science Publications – Calvin Beisner | Jul 23, 2014
    Excerpt: It is precisely because modern science has abandoned its foundations in the Biblical worldview (which holds, among other things, that a personal, rational God designed a rational universe to be understood and controlled by rational persons made in His image) and the Biblical ethic (which holds, among other things, that we are obligated to tell the truth even when it inconveniences us) that science is collapsing.
    As such diverse historians and philosophers of science as Alfred North Whitehead, Pierre Duhem, Loren Eiseley, Rodney Stark, and many others have observed,, science—not an occasional flash of insight here and there, but a systematic, programmatic, ongoing way of studying and controlling the world—arose only once in history, and only in one place: medieval Europe, once known as “Christendom,” where that Biblical worldview reigned supreme. That is no accident. Science could not have arisen without that worldview.
    http://townhall.com/columnists...../page/full
    Several other resources backing up this claim are available, such as Thomas Woods, Stanley Jaki, David Linberg, Edward Grant, J.L. Heilbron, Robert Koons, and Christopher Dawson.

    And as the following article also states, “science arose from “the medieval insistence on the rationality of God, conceived as with the personal energy of Jehovah and with the rationality of a Greek philosopher”, from which it follows that human minds created in that image are capable of understanding nature.”

    The truth about science and religion By Terry Scambray – August 14, 2014
    Excerpt: In 1925 the renowned philosopher and mathematician, Alfred North Whitehead speaking to scholars at Harvard said that science originated in Christian Europe in the 13th century. Whitehead pointed out that science arose from “the medieval insistence on the rationality of God, conceived as with the personal energy of Jehovah and with the rationality of a Greek philosopher”, from which it follows that human minds created in that image are capable of understanding nature.
    The audience, assuming that science and Christianity are enemies, was astonished.
    http://www.americanthinker.com.....igion.html

    And as Stephen Meyer also explained in his new book, ‘The Return of the God Hypothesis”, “Modern science was inspired by the conviction that the universe is the product of a rational mind who designed it to be understood and who (also) designed the human mind to understand it.” (i.e. human exceptionalism),

    Via Stephen Meyer’s book, here are the three necessary presuppositions that lay at the founding of modern science in Medieval Christian Europe.
    “Science in its modern form arose in the Western civilization alone, among all the cultures of the world”, because only the Christian West possessed the necessary “intellectual presuppositions”.
    – Ian Barbour
    Presupposition 1: The contingency of nature
    “In 1277, the Etienne Tempier, the bishop of Paris, writing with support of Pope John XXI, condemned “necessarian theology” and 219 separate theses influenced by Greek philosophy about what God could and couldn’t do.”,,
    “The order in nature could have been otherwise (therefore) the job of the natural philosopher, (i.e. scientist), was not to ask what God must have done but (to ask) what God actually did.”
    Presupposition 2: The intelligibility of nature
    “Modern science was inspired by the conviction that the universe is the product of a rational mind who designed it to be understood and who (also) designed the human mind to understand it.” (i.e. human exceptionalism),
    “God created us in his own image so that we could share in his own thoughts”
    – Johannes Kepler
    Presupposition 3: Human Fallibility
    “Humans are vulnerable to self-deception, flights of fancy, and jumping to conclusions.”, (i.e. original sin), Scientists must therefore employ “systematic experimental methods.”
    – Stephen Meyer on Intelligent Design and The Return of the God Hypothesis – Hoover Institution
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_8PPO-cAlA

    The main point I’m trying to make clear is that ALL of science, especially including Darwinian evolution itself, is dependent on those basic Theistic presuppositions about the rational intelligibility of the universe and our ability to comprehend that rational intelligibility. Science is simply impossible without those basic Theistic presuppositions.

    Yet, Methodological Naturalism in general, and Darwinian Evolution in particular, undermine both the presupposition that the universe should be rational and also undermines the presupposition that the human mind should be rational.

    A shining example of how Methodological Naturalism undermines our confidence that the universe is rational is the Boltzmann brain paradox that arises via the multiverse. As Dr. Bruce Gordon explains, “embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science.”

    GORDON: Hawking irrational arguments
    Theoretical physicist takes leave of his senses
    By Bruce L. Gordon – October 1, 2010
    Excerpt: For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the “Boltzmann Brain” problem: In the most “reasonable” models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science.
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/oct/1/hawking-irrational-arguments/

    Also see:

    Does a Multiverse Explain the Fine Tuning of the Universe? – Dr. Craig (observer selection effect vs. Boltzmann Brains) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pb9aXduPfuA

    And as bad as that is for atheists, the failure of atheists to be able to explain exactly why the human mind is rational, makes their failure to explain why the universe is rational look mild by comparison.

    Simply put, everything dissolves into a world of illusion and fantasy for the Darwinian atheist

    Basically, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist (who believes Darwinian evolution to be true) is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris), who has unreliable, (i.e. illusory), beliefs about reality (Plantinga), who has illusory perceptions of reality (Hoffman), who, since he has no real time empirical evidence substantiating his grandiose claims, must make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Behe, Gould, Sternberg), so as to ‘explain away’ the appearance (i.e. the illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who also must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the hopelessness of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is simply too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God (Craig, Kreeft). Who, since beauty cannot be grounded within his materialistic worldview, must also hold beauty itself to be illusory (Darwin).
    Bottom line, nothing is truly real in the atheist’s worldview, least of all, beauty, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,,
    April 2021 – Detailed Defence of each claim
    https://uncommondescent.com/evolution/from-philip-cunningham-the-human-eye-like-the-human-brain-is-a-wonder/#comment-727327

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    For instance of the catastrophic epistemological failure that is inherent in the Atheist’s Darwinian worldview, a shining example of this is the failure of Atheistic naturalists, (i.e. Darwinists) to be able to give an adequate explanation for why any beliefs that we may have about reality might be true.

    In fact, the Darwinian naturalist, because of his presuppositions, is forced to believe that any beliefs that he may have about reality are unreliable, That is to say he is forced to believe that any beliefs that he may have about reality may very well be illusory and not true, and that he has no way to differentiate which ones are which.

    Don’t take my word for it.,,, From the horses’s mouths,,,

    “Since we are creatures of natural selection, we cannot totally trust our senses. Evolution only passes on traits that help a species survive, and not concerned with preserving traits that tell a species what is actually true about life.”?Richard Dawkins – quoted from “The God Delusion”

    “the illusion that our brains evolved to have, a very compelling and persistent illusion – namely that the reality we perceive is real, rather than a constructed representation.”
    – Steven Novella – academic clinical neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine

    “Our brains were shaped for fitness, not for truth. Sometimes the truth is adaptive, but sometimes it is not.”
    – Steven Pinker

    “If Darwin’s theory of natural selection is true,… the human mind serves evolutionary success, not truth.”
    – John Gray

    “Our highly developed brains, after all, were not evolved under the pressure of discovering scientific truths but only to enable us to be clever enough to survive.”
    – Francis Crick

    “Sometimes you are more likely to survive and propagate if you believe a falsehood than if you believe the truth.”
    – Eric Baum

    The belief that any beliefs we may have about reality may be illusory, and that we have no way to differentiate between the two beliefs, simply undercuts the entire scientific enterprise itself.

    As Nancy Pearcey explains, “Applied consistently, Darwinism undercuts not only itself but also the entire scientific enterprise. Kenan Malik, a writer trained in neurobiology, writes, “If our cognitive capacities were simply evolved dispositions, there would be no way of knowing which of these capacities lead to true beliefs and which to false ones.” Thus “to view humans as little more than sophisticated animals …undermines confidence in the scientific method.”,,, Of course, the atheist pursuing his research has no choice but to rely on rationality, just as everyone else does. The point is that he has no philosophical basis for doing so. Only those who affirm a rational Creator have a basis for trusting human rationality.”

    Why Evolutionary Theory Cannot Survive Itself
    Nancy Pearcey – March 8, 2015
    Excerpt: An example of self-referential absurdity is a theory called evolutionary epistemology, a naturalistic approach that applies evolution to the process of knowing. The theory proposes that the human mind is a product of natural selection. The implication is that the ideas in our minds were selected for their survival value, not for their truth-value.
    But what if we apply that theory to itself? Then it, too, was selected for survival, not truth — which discredits its own claim to truth. Evolutionary epistemology commits suicide.,,,
    Applied consistently, Darwinism undercuts not only itself but also the entire scientific enterprise. Kenan Malik, a writer trained in neurobiology, writes, “If our cognitive capacities were simply evolved dispositions, there would be no way of knowing which of these capacities lead to true beliefs and which to false ones.” Thus “to view humans as little more than sophisticated animals …undermines confidence in the scientific method.”,,,
    Of course, the atheist pursuing his research has no choice but to rely on rationality, just as everyone else does. The point is that he has no philosophical basis for doing so. Only those who affirm a rational Creator have a basis for trusting human rationality.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/03/why_evolutionar/

    Atheism, (directly contrary to what is taught in American Universities today, and since it undermines both the rationality of the universe and the rationality of our own minds), simply cannot provide a coherent foundation for science. And that failure, by default, proves the existence of God.

    As Greg Bahnsen explained in his 1985 debate with Gordon Stein, “When we go to look at the different world views that atheists and theists have, I suggest we can prove the existence of God from the impossibility of the contrary. The transcendental proof for God’s existence is that without Him it is impossible to prove anything. The atheist worldview is irrational and cannot consistently provide the preconditions of intelligible experience, science, logic, or morality. The atheist worldview cannot allow for laws of logic, the uniformity of nature, the ability for the mind to understand the world, and moral absolutes. In that sense the atheist worldview cannot account for our debate tonight.,,”

    The Great Debate: Does God Exist? – Justin Holcomb –
    Excerpt: Justin Holcomb of the Resurgence summarizes the great apologetics debate between Greg Bahnsen and Gordon Stein.
    t became known as the Great Debate.
    In 1985 the University of California at Irvine hosted a public debate between philosopher Greg Bahnsen and atheist Gordon Stein on the topic “Does God Exist?”
    What Ensued
    Stein came prepared to cut down traditional apologetic arguments for the existence of God, but the philosopher’s approach was unexpected. Bahnsen went on the offensive and presented the Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God: the God of the Bible must exist because no other worldview makes rational sense of the universe and logic, science, and morals ultimately presuppose a theistic worldview.
    He explained: “When we go to look at the different world views that atheists and theists have, I suggest we can prove the existence of God from the impossibility of the contrary. The transcendental proof for God’s existence is that without Him it is impossible to prove anything. The atheist worldview is irrational and cannot consistently provide the preconditions of intelligible experience, science, logic, or morality. The atheist worldview cannot allow for laws of logic, the uniformity of nature, the ability for the mind to understand the world, and moral absolutes. In that sense the atheist worldview cannot account for our debate tonight.,,”
    Remembering the debate, philosopher and theologian John Frame writes,
    I was there, having driven up with several students from Westminster in Escondido. It was in a large lecture hall at U. C. Irvine, and the place was packed. The atmosphere was electric. I don’t know how many were Christians, but it was evident as the debate progressed that the audience became convinced that Bahnsen won the debate.
    http://chrisbrauns.com/2012/01.....god-exist/

    Where Darwinian evolution, (and/or methodological naturalism), goes off the rails, theologically speaking, (besides undermining our belief that the universe and our minds are rational), is that it uses bad liberal theology to try to establish the legitimacy of its atheistic claims, all the while forgetting that it itself, in order to stay scientific, is absolutely dependent on basic Theistic presuppositions about the rational intelligibility of the universe and the ability of our minds to comprehend it.

    In establishing the fact that Darwinists use bad liberal theology to try to establish their science, it is interesting to point out that Charles Darwin’s degree was in liberal theology and was not in mathematics. nor any other field that would be considered essential for founding of a brand new branch of science. (In fact, Darwin said that he found mathematics to be quote-unquote ‘repugnant’)

    Charles Darwin – The Rest of the Story
    Excerpt: Charles Darwin received a general degree in Theology from Cambridge, graduating in 1831.,,,
    he almost became an Anglican Minister and his degree was in Theology.
    http://creationanswers.net/biographies/CDarwin.htm

    In fact, Charles Darwin’s book itself, the Origin of Species, instead of being filled with experimentation and mathematics, is replete with bad liberal theology.

    Charles Darwin, Theologian: Major New Article on Darwin’s Use of Theology in the Origin of Species – May 2011
    Excerpt: The Origin supplies abundant evidence of theology in action; as Dilley observes:
    I have argued that, in the first edition of the Origin, Darwin drew upon at least the following positiva theological claims in his case for descent with modification (and against special creation):
    1. Human beings are not justified in believing that God creates in ways analogous to the intellectual powers of the human mind.
    2. A God who is free to create as He wishes would create new biological limbs de novo rather than from a common pattern.
    3. A respectable deity would create biological structures in accord with a human conception of the ‘simplest mode’ to accomplish the functions of these structures.
    4. God would only create the minimum structure required for a given part’s function.
    5. God does not provide false empirical information about the origins of organisms.
    6. God impressed the laws of nature on matter.
    7. God directly created the first ‘primordial’ life.
    8. God did not perform miracles within organic history subsequent to the creation of the first life.
    9. A ‘distant’ God is not morally culpable for natural pain and suffering.
    10. The God of special creation, who allegedly performed miracles in organic history, is not plausible given the presence of natural pain and suffering.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....46391.html

    Moreover, much like the liberal clergy of today support Darwin’s unscientific theory, the liberal ‘unscientific’ Anglican clergy of Darwin’s day were also very eager to jump on the Darwinian bandwagon from the beginning, whilst the conservative ‘scientific’ clergy reacted against Darwin’s theory:

    Reactions to Origin of Species
    “Religious views were mixed, with the Church of England scientific establishment reacting against the book, while liberal Anglicans strongly supported Darwin’s natural selection as an instrument of God’s design.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R.....of_Species

    To this day, Darwinists are still very much dependent of bad liberal theology, instead of any compelling scientific evidence, in order to try to make their case for Darwinian evolution.

    Methodological Naturalism: A Rule That No One Needs or Obeys – Paul Nelson – September 22, 2014
    Excerpt: It is a little-remarked but nonetheless deeply significant irony that evolutionary biology is the most theologically entangled science going. Open a book like Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution is True (2009) or John Avise’s Inside the Human Genome (2010), and the theology leaps off the page. A wise creator, say Coyne, Avise, and many other evolutionary biologists, would not have made this or that structure; therefore, the structure evolved by undirected processes. Coyne and Avise, like many other evolutionary theorists going back to Darwin himself, make numerous “God-wouldn’t-have-done-it-that-way” arguments, thus predicating their arguments for the creative power of natural selection and random mutation on implicit theological assumptions about the character of God and what such an agent (if He existed) would or would not be likely to do.,,,
    ,,,with respect to one of the most famous texts in 20th-century biology, Theodosius Dobzhansky’s essay “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” (1973).
    Although its title is widely cited as an aphorism, the text of Dobzhansky’s essay is rarely read. It is, in fact, a theological treatise. As Dilley (2013, p. 774) observes:
    “Strikingly, all seven of Dobzhansky’s arguments hinge upon claims about God’s nature, actions, purposes, or duties. In fact, without God-talk, the geneticist’s arguments for evolution are logically invalid. In short, theology is essential to Dobzhansky’s arguments.”,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....89971.html

    Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of theology? – Dilley S. – 2013
    Abstract
    This essay analyzes Theodosius Dobzhansky’s famous article, “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution,” in which he presents some of his best arguments for evolution. I contend that all of Dobzhansky’s arguments hinge upon sectarian claims about God’s nature, actions, purposes, or duties. Moreover, Dobzhansky’s theology manifests several tensions, both in the epistemic justification of his theological claims and in their collective coherence. I note that other prominent biologists–such as Mayr, Dawkins, Eldredge, Ayala, de Beer, Futuyma, and Gould–also use theology-laden arguments. I recommend increased analysis of the justification, complexity, and coherence of this theology.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23890740

    Damned if You Do and Damned if You Don’t – Steve Dilley- 2019-06-02
    The Problem of God-talk in Biology Textbooks
    Abstract: We argue that a number of biology (and evolution) textbooks face a crippling dilemma.
    On the one hand, significant difficulties arise if textbooks include theological claims in their case for evolution.
    (Such claims include, for example, ‘God would never design a suboptimal panda’s thumb, but an imperfect structure is just what we’d expect on natural selection.’) On the other hand, significant difficulties arise if textbooks exclude theological claims in their case for evolution. So, whether textbooks include or exclude theological claims, they face debilitating problems. We attempt to establish this thesis by examining 32 biology (and evolution) textbooks, including the Big 12—that is, the top four in each of the key undergraduate categories (biology majors, non-majors, and evolution courses). In Section 2 of our article, we analyze three specific types of theology these texts use to justify evolutionary theory. We argue that all face significant difficulties. In Section 3, we step back from concrete cases and, instead, explore broader problems created by having theology in general in biology textbooks. We argue that the presence of theology—of whatever kind—comes at a significant cost, one that some textbook authors are likely unwilling to pay. In Section 4, we consider the alternative: Why not simply get rid of theology? Why not just ignore it? In reply, we marshal a range of arguments why avoiding God-talk raises troubles of its own. Finally, in Section 5, we bring together the collective arguments in Sections 2-4 to argue that biology textbooks face an intractable dilemma. We underscore this difficulty by examining a common approach that some textbooks use to solve this predicament. We argue that this approach turns out to be incoherent and self-serving. The poor performance of textbooks on this point highlights just how deep the difficulty is. In the end, the overall dilemma remains.
    https://journals.blythinstitute.org/ojs/index.php/cbi/article/view/44

    That Darwinists would still today be vitally dependent on a faulty theological foundation based in bad liberal theology, in order to try to give force to their arguments, is, contrary to what Darwinists may believe, actually another compelling argument that drives my point home that basic Theistic presuppositions are necessary for us to even be able to coherently practice science in the first place.

    Darwinists, with their vital dependence on bad liberal theology in order to try to make their case for Darwinian evolution, (instead of any compelling evidence), are, as Cornelius Van Til put it, like the child who must climb up onto his father’s lap into order to slap his face.

    “In other words, the non-Christian needs the truth of the Christian religion in order to attack it. As a child needs to sit on the lap of its father in order to slap the father’s face, so the unbeliever, as a creature, needs God the Creator and providential controller of the universe in order to oppose this God. Without this God, the place on which he stands does not exist. He cannot stand in a vacuum.”
    – Cornelius Van Til, Essays on Christian Education (The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company: Phillipsburg, NJ, 1979).

    Verse:

    Acts 17:27-28
    God intended that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.‘For in Him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘ We are His offspring.’

  12. 12

    To say you have proof of God, that just means you are fact obsessed, and incapable to deal with subjective opinions, same as atheists.

    Subjective opinion is the weak point of atheists. Only creationism validates subjective opinion like about beauty.

    Atheists are totally clueless about subjective opinions, which is why in politics, as in their personal life, they systematically produce terrible personal opinions.

    Atheists pay no dedicated attention to subjective issues.

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    Here is a better link to the Greg Bahnsen debate of 1985

    The Great Debate: Does God Exist? – Justin Holcomb –
    http://www.justinholcomb.com/w.....script.pdf

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    Although I agree with Dr. Egnor’s overall point about the arguments for God being scientific in that they are inductive arguments that begin with evidence and then proceeds by a logical chain to the most reasonable conclusion, I have a minor quibble with Dr. Egnor’s claim that Charles Darwin himself used inductive reasoning.

    Egnor: “All of science depends on inductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning begins with evidence and then proceeds by a logical chain to the most reasonable conclusion. Newton used inductive reasoning when he began by studying the motion of objects in gravitational fields and applying logical and mathematical rules to arrive at his law of gravitation. Darwin used inductive reasoning by studying the diversity and distribution of species and animal breeding. Then, by using logical rules, he drew analogies to speciation in nature. All scientific theories, whatever their merit, depend on inductive reasoning.”

    Contrary to Dr. Egnor’s claim that Charles Darwin himself used inductive reasoning, the fact of the matter is that Charles Darwin himself was called out, by his peers, for failing to use the inductive methodology.

    Richard Owen, in a review of Charles Darwin’s book shortly after it was published, had found that Charles Darwin, as far as inductive methodology itself was concerned, had failed to produce any “inductive original research which might issue in throwing light on ‘that mystery of mysteries.’.

    Darwin on the Origin of Species (1860)
    Reviewed by Richard Owen for Edinburg Review
    Excerpt: The scientific world has looked forward with great interest to the facts which Mr. Darwin might finally deem adequate to the support of his theory on this supreme question in biology, and to the course of inductive original research which might issue in throwing light on ‘that mystery of mysteries.’ But having now cited the chief, if not the whole, of the original observations adduced by its author in the volume now before us, our disappointment may be conceived.
    http://www.victorianweb.org/sc.....rigin.html

    In other words, Darwin had failed to produce any original experimental research that might support his theory for the “Origin of Species”.

    And on top of Richard Owen’s rather mild rebuke of Darwin for failing to use inductive methodology, Adam Sedgwick was nothing less than scathing of Darwin for deserting, “after a start in that tram-road of all solid physical truth – the true method of induction, and started us in machinery as wild, I think, as Bishop Wilkins’s locomotive that was to sail with us to the moon.”

    Moreover, Adam Sedgwick also called Darwin out for being deceptive in exactly what form of reasoning he was using in his book. Specifically Sedgwick scolded Darwin that “Many of your wide conclusions are based upon assumptions which can neither be proved nor disproved, why then express them in the language and arrangement of philosophical induction?”

    From Adam Sedgwick – 24 November 1859
    Cambridge
    My dear Darwin,
    Excerpt: I have read your book with more pain than pleasure. Parts of it I admired greatly, parts I laughed at till my sides were almost sore; other parts I read with absolute sorrow, because I think them utterly false and grievously mischievous. You have deserted – after a start in that tram-road of all solid physical truth – the true method of induction, and started us in machinery as wild, I think, as Bishop Wilkins’s locomotive that was to sail with us to the moon. Many of your wide conclusions are based upon assumptions which can neither be proved nor disproved, why then express them in the language and arrangement of philosophical induction?-
    As to your grand principle – natural selection – what is it but a secondary consequence of supposed, or known, primary facts. Development is a better word because more close to the cause of the fact.”,,,
    ,,, (your conclusions are not) “ever likely to be found any where but in the fertile womb of man’s imagination.”
    Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873) – one of the founders of modern geology. – The Spectator, 1860
    https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-2548.xml

    And it was not as if Darwin was ignorant of the fact that he had failed to follow Bacon’s inductive methodology when he wrote his book.

    Charles Darwin himself, two years prior to the publication of his book, confessed to a friend that “What you hint at generally is very very true, that my work will be grievously hypothetical & large parts by no means worthy of being called inductive; my commonest error being probably induction from too few facts.”

    Charles Darwin to Asa Gray – 29 November 1857
    My dear Gray,
    ,,, What you hint at generally is very very true, that my work will be grievously hypothetical & large parts by no means worthy of being called inductive; my commonest error being probably induction from too few facts.
    https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-2176.xml

    In fact, just two weeks before Darwin’s book was to be published, Darwin’s brother, Erasmus, told Darwin, “In fact, the a priori reasoning is so entirely satisfactory to me that if the facts [evidence] won’t fit, why so much the worse for the facts, in my feeling.”

    Scientific Method
    Excerpt: Darwin was concerned about the effect of abandoning the scientific method. To console Darwin, just two weeks before the publication of The Origin of Species in 1859, Erasmus Darwin, his brother wrote:
    “In fact, the a priori reasoning is so entirely satisfactory to me that if the facts [evidence] won’t fit, why so much the worse for the facts, in my feeling.”
    https://www.darwinthenandnow.com/darwin-dilemma/scientific-method/

    In short, when Darwin published his book, and in regards to inductive reasoning itself, Darwin did not do, or have, any original experimental research that would actually establish his theory as being scientifically true. i.e. Darwin had failed to use the scientific method!

    And now, over a century and a half later, the situation still has not changed for Darwinists. To this day, Darwinists still have no compelling experimental research that would establish Darwin’s theory as being scientifically true, (or even feasible for that matter),

    As Dr Richard Nelson noted in his book’ Darwin, Then and Now’, “After 150 years of research,,, the scientific evidence is clear: there are no “successive, slight” changes in the fossil record, embryology, molecular biology, or genetics to support Darwinism or neo-Darwinism.”

    Darwin, Then and Now – by Dr. Richard William Nelson – Book Preview
    Excerpt: After 150 years of research with more than 700 references from scientists, DARWIN, THEN AND NOW chronicles how the scientific evidence is clear: there are no “successive, slight” changes in the fossil record, embryology, molecular biology, or genetics to support Darwinism or neo-Darwinism. Even the popular twentieth-century Central Dogma theoretical mechanism of evolution has been abandoned. Today, a cohesive mechanism of evolution and evidence of a Tree of Life continues to remain as elusive as Darwin infamous drawing – “I Think.”
    https://www.darwinthenandnow.com/book-preview/

    Thus in conclusion, and in regards to what type of reasoning lies behind Darwin’s theory, and contrary to what Dr. Egnor claimed, the type of reasoning that Darwin used, (and Darwinists continue to use to this day), is far more in line with the ‘unscientific’ deductive reasoning of the ancient Greeks than it is line with the inductive reasoning as it was first set forth by Francis Bacon (i.e. the father of the scientific method).

    Darwin Dilemma
    Excerpt: For investigating the laws of nature, Charles Darwin selected the deductive method of reasoning – and abandoned the inductive method of reasoning. The method of reasoning is critical when investigating the secrets of nature.
    Unlike deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning minimizes the dogma and bias of the investigator. Inductive reasoning is the defining element of what has become known as the scientific method. Details of Darwin’s reasoning method are discussed in (the book) ‘Darwin, Then and Now.’
    https://www.darwinthenandnow.com/darwin-dilemma/

    That is to say that Darwinists, (and Naturalists in general), dogmatically reason in a top down fashion from their unquestioned primary premise of naturalism, (i.e. methodological naturalism), and the scientific evidence itself is simply never allowed to honestly question whether their primary premise of naturalism is true or not.

    Anyone who has debated Atheistic Naturalists for any length of time knows that this dogmatic commitment to naturalism by Atheists is true.

    Scientific evidence is simply never given a fair hearing by Naturalists no matter how damning it may be to their primary premise of naturalism.

    But hey, don’t take my word for it. Lewontin himself honestly admitted as much.

    “Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.
    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated.
    Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen. ”
    – Richard Lewontin

    Supplemental note:

    April 2021 – Presupposition 3 (that lay behind the founding of modern science in Medieval Christian Europe): Human Fallibility
    “Humans are vulnerable to self-deception, flights of fancy, and jumping to conclusions.”, (i.e. original sin), Scientists must therefore employ “systematic experimental methods.”
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/brian-keating-on-the-problem-with-follow-the-science/#comment-727980

    Verse:

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    but test everything; hold fast what is good.

  15. 15
    Seversky says:

    As Bob O’H pointed out, the existence of black holes, like the existence of neutrinos was not even suspected until science had developed theories which led to the novel predictions that such phenomena existed. Without an observed discrepancy between the prediction of theory and experimental results we would not know that around 65 billion neutrinos are passing through every square centimeter of our bodies every second. That is one of the great achievements of human science and why well-established theories are so highly-prized by scientists.

    Many scientists were and are Christians. Many were and are of other faiths or no faith at all. You can argue that Christian beliefs contributed to the development of science but for Christians to deny that those of other cultures also contributed is a breach of their own Ninth Commandment.

  16. 16
    Seversky says:

    Just to emphasize again, as Bob O’H pointed out, the best theories in science lead to novel predictions of things that not only had we not observed before but that whose existence we would not even have suspected before. Egnor notwithstanding, thousands of years of Christian apologetics have not led to a single new way of observing phenomena that could only be attributed to the Christian God.

  17. 17
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Egnor notwithstanding, thousands of years of Christian apologetics have not led to a single new way of observing phenomena that could only be attributed to the Christian God.

    Christians observe the phenomenon of materialist-atheists using theistic terminology to attempt to describe their own atheistic worldview. A Christian prediction is that atheists will never be able to describe their own belief without using terms denoting intentionality (and therefore contradict themselves).
    So far, that’s been an accurate prediction.

  18. 18

    Thank you, BornAgain!!! Excellent comments.

  19. 19
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky states,

    the best theories in science lead to novel predictions of things that not only had we not observed before but that whose existence we would not even have suspected before. Egnor notwithstanding, thousands of years of Christian apologetics have not led to a single new way of observing phenomena that could only be attributed to the Christian God.

    Interesting claim which, as usual, does not hold up for the atheist.

    Imposing materialistic answers onto the scientific method beforehand, i.e. methodological naturalism, is especially problematic in these questions of origins, since we are indeed questioning the materialistic/naturalistic philosophy itself. i.e. We are asking the scientific method to answer this very specific question, “Did God create the universe and us or did blind material/natural processes create the universe and us?” When we realize that this is the actual question we are seeking an answer to within the scientific method, then of course it is readily apparent we cannot impose strict materialistic answers onto the scientific method prior to investigation.

    When looking at the evidence from modern science in this light we find out many interesting things which scientists, who have been blinded by the philosophy of materialism/naturalism, miss.
    This is because the materialistic and Theistic philosophy make, and have made, several contradictory predictions about what type of science evidence we will find.
    These contradictory predictions, and the evidence found by modern science, can be tested against one another to see if either materialism or Theism is true.

    Here are a few comparisons:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Detailed defense of all 16 predictions:
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/15i87oT7IkCI0W0Hxg5mZ_8FP23MG_GTFrR0zvgKH9zU/edit

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

    Jesus Christ as the correct “Theory of Everything” – video
    https://youtu.be/Vpn2Vu8–eE

  20. 20
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/19

    This is because the materialistic and Theistic philosophy make, and have made, several contradictory predictions about what type of science evidence we will find.
    These contradictory predictions, and the evidence found by modern science, can be tested against one another to see if either materialism or Theism is true.

    Here are a few comparisons:

    Seriously, this again? Okay, I can cut and paste too:

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

    If something< exists then, since you cannot get something from nothing, something must always have existed.

    The current age of the universe is estimated to be around 13.8 bn years. The Big Bang theory is the most widely-accepted theory of the origins of our Universe although there appears to be data which are calling it into question.

    Neither theism nor deism alone predict only the Christian creator God. There are many theistic and deistic faiths that incorporate creation/origins stories.

    Some Christian scholars have estimated the Universe to be just a few thousand years old based on passages from the Bible. That differs hugely from the current scientific estimate.

    2. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that the universe is a self sustaining system that is not dependent on anything else for its continued existence. Theism predicted that God upholds this universe in its continued existence.

    Breakthroughs in quantum mechanics reveal that this universe is dependent on a ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, cause for its continued existence.

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

    Non-locality in quantum mechanics (a nat/mat theory) does not necessarily imply that the universe is dependent on something outside itself for continued existence. It is one possible interpretation but it may also be that they are evidence of an additional dimension to physical reality, something we do not observe in our everyday experience yet still part of the natural order.

    It also implies that our everyday perceptions are but a partial representation of what is actually out there.

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

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

    Researchers are still arguing over how to understand the “observer effect” in quantum physics. It certainly doesn’t support the simplistic notion that consciousness is what holds reality together.

    It doesn’t answer the obvious question which is that, if nothing exists until it is being observed, what is being observed in the first place?

    It also doesn’t answer the next question which is why we all apparently observe the same thing when we look. If there are an infinite number of possible observations then when one person sees a red car why doesn’t another person see a brown cow?

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

    Both Newtonian mechanics and relativity are nat/mat theories.

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

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

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

    And neither make any prediction concerning the speed of light.

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

    Observations and calculations have shown that, if certain fundamental physical (nat/mat) constants varied from their observed values by even a small amount, the universe in which we live could not exist. That does not necessarily mean this Universe was designed specifically for us.

    We live in a thin film of atmosphere on the surface of a planet that is only partially shielded against threats from outside. Even within that shielding there are many things that are dangerous or lethal for human life. Outside that protection the vast majority of this universe is unremittingly hostile to organic life such as ourselves. It is a huge and unwarranted leap of faith from those observations to the absurd conclusion that this entire universe was created just for us.

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

    Nat/mat estimates concerning the prevalence of life in the universe vary considerably. Our planet could be unique, not just “extremely unique” (is that like being ‘a bit pregnant’) in the sense that there is no other exactly like it that we know of.

    On the other hand, astronomers are finding plentiful evidence of planets around nearby stars so it’s certainly possible that there are other planets similar to Earth which bear life.

    Any theistic prediction that the Earth is unique as a home for life is in serious danger of being proved wrong.

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

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

    One creation story – that of Christianity – refers to life appearing after water. Unfortunately, it also refers to day and night existing before light was created – just one of a number of inconsistencies in the faith.

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

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

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

    The nat/mat theory of evolution predicted that the “unfolding” of life would proceed in small, incremental steps but allowed that the rate at which it could happen could vary considerably. The 13-25 mn year Cambrian Explosion (a rather slow “explosion”) was a period when it happened a lot more rapidly but there is evidence of life preceding it. It was not the original creation event described in Genesis.

    10. Naturalism/Materialism predicted there should be numerous transitional fossils found in the fossil record, Theism predicted sudden appearance and rapid diversity within different kinds found in the fossil record. […]

    Nat/mat theory holds that fossilization is a very rare event but even so transitional fossils have already been found.

    Theism makes no predictions whatsoever about the existence let alone the frequency of fossils, transitional or otherwise, in the geological record.

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

    It is estimated that new species are being discovered by science at the rate of 15000 – 20000 per year. The rate of speciation can vary hugely, new species of large animals taking hundreds of thousands of years to appear while new bacteria or viruses can emerge in just a few years. One study cataloged some 1400 human pathogens of which 87 were characterized as “novel” (now including COVID-19). If evolution occurs, there is no reason to think it has stopped now.

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

    Imago dei is a Christian not just a theistic concept and its meaning is conveniently vague. Does it mean that God is a bipedal humanoid with a head, two arms, two legs, genitals, etc? Does it mean we resemble Him psychologically so He is also capable of rage, jealousy, vindictiveness? That, at least, would be consistent with some of His behavior as described in the Bible.

    “Information” appears to have become the modern-day equivalent of the “luminiferous aether”. Treating it as some fundamental ‘stuff’ of which everything else is made is a misconception which commits the fallacy of reification or misplaced concreteness.

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

    Nat/mat still predicts that much of our DNA is ‘junk’. How else do you explain that the humble onion has a much larger genome than that of human beings? The ENCODE researchers were heavily criticized for overstating their case and using a far too elastic understanding of “function”.

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

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

    More mutations are going to be detrimental rather than beneficial if for no other reason than that there are many more ways for something to go wrong than to go right.

    With the advent of neutral theory, the majority of mutations are held to be neutral or nearly so, a much smaller number are detrimental and a much smaller number still are positively beneficial. But whether a mutation is detrimental or beneficial depends on the environmental circumstances in which it occurs. Furthermore, detrimental mutations will tend to be the ones filtered out by evolution leaving the beneficial to proliferate.

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

    15. Naturalism/Materialism predicted morality is subjective and illusory. Theism predicted morality is objective and real. Morality is found to be deeply embedded in the genetic responses of humans. As well, morality is found to be deeply embedded in the structure of the universe.

    Nat/mat argues that there is no way to get from ‘is’ to ‘ought’, no way to derive moral prescriptions from our observations of material reality. So they can only be subjective, and that includes any that come from a deity.

    Theistic faiths simply argue that the morality dispensed by their chosen deity overrides all others. That doesn’t make it objective, just an illegitimate attempt to stake out a claim to the moral high ground.

    The claim that morality is somehow embedded in our genes or in the fabric of the universe is an entirely unsubstantiated claim.

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

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

    Furthermore, in his The Life of Samuel Johnson James Boswell recounts the following episode:

    After we came out of the church, we stood talking for some time together of Bishop Berkeley’s ingenious sophistry to prove the nonexistence of matter, and that every thing in the universe is merely ideal. I observed, that though we are satisfied his doctrine is not true, it is impossible to refute it. I never shall forget the alacrity with which Johnson answered, striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone, till he rebounded from it — “I refute it thus.”

    The reality is that, if you kick a stone hard now, it will hurt your foot just as much as it did in Johnson’s day. Quantum theory has not changed that one jot. What has changed profoundly is our understanding of the nature of matter right down to the quantum scale. And quantum theory and the phenomena it describes do not appear in any theology. It is entirely a product of naturalistic science. If we had relied on religion to guide us in these matters we would still be entirely ignorant about the quantum domain.

  21. 21
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky, LOL, you do realize that I made a detailed defense of all your supposed refutations do you not?

    Detailed defense of all 16 predictions:
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/15i87oT7IkCI0W0Hxg5mZ_8FP23MG_GTFrR0zvgKH9zU/edit

    You had squat when you first wrote your refutations, and you got less than squat now that I have made a detailed defense.! 🙂

  22. 22
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Many scientists were and are Christians. Many were and are of other faiths or no faith at all. You can argue that Christian beliefs contributed to the development of science but for Christians to deny that those of other cultures also contributed is a breach of their own Ninth Commandment.

    I agree and that is a helpful corrective to Christians (like myself). The 9th commandment enjoins us to be respectful towards our neighbor and this is not limited to fellow Christians, but to all people. We have to avoid the sin of envy – seeing all people as children of God (in the natural sense) and we shouldn’t scorn their achievements, but instead, appreciate them. I see all the good works of humanity as part of the glory of God, manifested on earth. It’s more difficult to see it that way at times, because of the corruption of people or their errors, but it’s my Christian belief that God is the “light which enlightens every person who comes into the world”.

  23. 23
    Bob O'H says:

    ET @ 7 –

    What? So looking through a microscope and directly observing something is actually indirect?

    But we don’t just look through a microscope to see what’s going on at the molecular level. From Ayearningforpublius’ link: “The walking molecules (Dynein and Kinesin) were modelled on multiple forms of data. The structures are an assembly of multiple PDB models and the way they move has been a very active area of research for a couple of decades.”
    So, no, we don’t just look down a microscope.

    Ayearningforpublius –

    Good job Bob, we can now disregard the research that Dr. Ostap does in trying to help those with hearing problems.

    No, you don’t have to, and I don’t either. But if Dr. Egnor is going to dismiss black holes because we don’t observe them, then he’ll have to dismiss most molecular and cell biology for the same reason.

  24. 24
    bornagain77 says:

    Further to Seversky’s claim that “the best theories in science lead to novel predictions of things that not only had we not observed before but that whose existence we would not even have suspected before.”

    But to scientifically ‘predict’ anything about the future takes an immaterial mind that can anticipate what will happen in the future given the present set of conditions and given what has happened previously in the past.

    Yet Material particles do anticipate the future, nor are they aware of their present condition, nor are they aware of what their state was in the past.

    The Mind and Its Now – Stanley L. Jaki, May 2008
    Excerpts: ,,,There is no physical parallel to the mind’s ability to extend from its position in the momentary present to its past moments, or in its ability to imagine its future. The mind remains identical with itself while it lives through its momentary nows.
    ,,, the now is immensely richer an experience than any marvelous set of numbers, even if science could give an account of the set of numbers, in terms of energy levels. The now is not a number. It is rather a word, the most decisive of all words. It is through experiencing that word that the mind comes alive and registers all existence around and well beyond.
    ,,, All our moments, all our nows, flow into a personal continuum, of which the supreme form is the NOW which is uncreated, because it simply IS.
    http://metanexus.net/essay/mind-and-its-now

    In short, making accurate prediction about the future presupposes an immaterial mind and, more specifically, requires teleology, (i.e. goal directed purpose). Yet, besides denying the existence of the immaterial mind, teleology of any sort is simply denied by Darwinists

    “Teleology is like a mistress to the biologist; he dare not be seen with her in public but cannot live without her.”
    J. B. S. Haldane

    In fact teleology, i.e. goal directed purpose, of any kind is antithetical to the randomness postulate that is central to Darwin’s theory. And Randomness itself inherently denies that it is possible to accurately predict the future given an initial set of conditions.

    As Stephen Jay Gould once noted, evolution is inherently unpredictable. In fact, in his tape of life metaphor, Gould stated,

    “Replay the tape (of life) a million times … and I doubt that anything like Homo sapiens would ever evolve again,”

    Which is to say, Darwin’s theory, because of its randomness postulate, explicitly denies that it is possible to accurately predict the future.

    Hence, according to Seversky’s definition of what constitutes a good scientific theory, (i.e. “the best theories in science lead to novel predictions”), Darwin’s theory, due to its randomness postulate, inherently lacks predictive power about the future and is therefore, on Seversky’s definition of a good scientific theory, not to be considered a good scientific theory.

    Of related note:

    April 2019 – Teleological, (i.e. goal directed and purposeful), explanations of any sort are simply self defeating to any Darwinian explanation that seeks to explain biological life as being the result of completely blind, random, and purposeless processes (as Darwinists are supposedly ‘intent’ on doing). Yet teleological language is rampant within Darwinian explanations.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/103951/#comment-676140

    Evolution and the Purposes of Life – Stephen L. Talbott – May 2017
    Excerpt: The idea of teleological (end-directed) behavior within a world of meaning is rather uncomfortable for scientists committed — as contemporary biologists overwhelmingly are — to what they call “materialism” or “naturalism.” The discomfort has to do with the apparent inward aspect of the goal-directed behavior described above — behavior that depends upon the apprehension of a meaningful world and that is easily associated with our own conscious and apparently immaterial perceptions, reasonings, and motivations to act.
    But,,, the issues extend beyond our own sort of conscious, intentional behavior. All biological activity, even at the molecular level, can be characterized as purposive and goal-directed. As a cell grows and divides, it marshals its molecular and structural resources with a remarkably skillful “wisdom.” It also demonstrates a well-directed, “willful” persistence in adjusting to disturbances. Everything leads toward fulfillment of the organism’s evident “purposes.”,,,
    The second source of confusion about teleology and inwardness lies in the failure to realize how weak and lamed our conscious human purposiveness and intelligence are in relation to biological activity. We struggle even to follow with our abstract understanding the unsurveyably complex goings-on in our own organs and cells,,,
    We need to reject conscious human performance as a model for organic activity in general, not because it reads too much wisdom and effective striving into the organism, but rather because it reads far too little.,,,
    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/.....es-of-life

    Also of related interest:

    Teleology and the Mind – Michael Egnor – August 16, 2016
    Excerpt: From the hylemorphic perspective, there is an intimate link between the mind and teleology. The 19th-century philosopher Franz Brentano pointed out that the hallmark of the mind is that it is directed to something other than itself. That is, the mind has intentionality, which is the ability of a mental process to be about something, rather than to just be itself. Physical processes alone (understood without teleology) are not inherently about things. The mind is always about things. Stated another way, physical processes (understood without teleology) have no purpose. Mental processes always have purpose. In fact, purpose (aboutness-intentionality-teleology) is what defines the mind. And we see the same purpose (aboutness-intentionality-teleology) in nature.
    Intentionality is a form of teleology. Both intentionality and teleology are goal-directedness — intentionality is directedness in thought, and teleology is directedness in nature. Mind and teleology are both manifestations of purpose in nature. The mind is, within nature, the same kind of process that directs nature.
    In this sense, eliminative materialism is necessary if a materialist is to maintain a non-teleological Darwinian metaphysical perspective. It is purpose that must be denied in order to deny design in nature. So the mind, as well as teleology, must be denied. Eliminative materialism is just Darwinian metaphysics carried to its logical end and applied to man. If there is no teleology, there is no intentionality, and there is no purpose in nature nor in man’s thoughts.
    The link between intentionality and teleology, and the undeniability of teleology, is even more clear if we consider our inescapable belief that other people have minds. The inference that other people have minds based on their purposeful (intentional-teleological) behavior, which is obviously correct and is essential to living a sane life, can be applied to our understanding of nature as well. Just as we know that other people have purposes (intentionality), we know just as certainly that nature has purposes (teleology). In a sense, intelligent design is the recognition of the same purpose-teleology-intentionality in nature that we recognize in ourselves and others.
    Teleology and intentionality are certainly the inferences to be drawn from the obvious purposeful arrangement of parts in nature, but I (as a loyal Thomist!) believe that teleology and intentionality are manifest in an even more fundamental way in nature. Any goal-directed natural change is teleological, even if purpose and arrangement of parts is not clearly manifest. The behavior of a single electron orbiting a proton is teleological, because the motion of the electron hews to specific ends (according to quantum mechanics). A pencil falling to the floor behaves teleologically (it does not fall up, or burst into flame, etc.). Purposeful arrangement of parts is teleology on an even more sophisticated scale, but teleology exists in even the most basic processes in nature. Physics is no less teleological than biology.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2016/08/teleology_and_t/

  25. 25
    bornagain77 says:

    also of note:

    Imre Lakatos – Pseudoscience – Darwin’s Theory
    Excerpt: Almost 20 years after Lakatos’s 1973 challenge to the scientificity of Darwin, in her 1991 The Ant and the Peacock, LSE lecturer and ex-colleague of Lakatos, Helena Cronin, attempted to establish that Darwinian theory was empirically scientific in respect of at least being supported by evidence of likeness in the diversity of life forms in the world, explained by descent with modification. She wrote that
    “our usual idea of corroboration as requiring the successful prediction of novel facts…Darwinian theory was not strong on temporally novel predictions..”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imre_Lakatos#Pseudoscience

    So much for Seversky’s belief that Darwin’s theory is a good scientific theory,

    ““the best theories in science lead to novel predictions of things that not only had we not observed before but that whose existence we would not even have suspected before.”
    – Seversky

  26. 26

    From an information perspective an object does have some mathematical past, present, and future belonging to it, the future which it anticipates.

  27. 27
    bornagain77 says:

    Mathematical equations, (which are inherently immaterial in their foundational nature), do not invent nor interpret themselves. It takes an immaterial mind, via their free will, to construct immaterial mathematical equations, and to subsequently interpret them. (Free will and the immaterial mind are both verboten under Darwinian presuppositions).

    Moreover, the amazing predictive power of the mathematical equations in physics reveals teleology which is, again, due to the randomness postulate, verboten under Darwinian presuppositions. (and which also explains why no one has ever been able to construct or realistic mathematical model of Darwinian evolution, see Robert Marks’s link at bottom of post).

    Both Einstein and Wigner regarded the applicability of mathematics to the natural world to be a quote-unquote ‘miracle’. And Einstein even went so far as to chastise ‘professional atheists’ in his process of calling it a miracle.

    Top Ten Questions and Objections to ‘Introduction to Evolutionary Informatics’ – Robert J. Marks II – June 12, 2017
    Excerpt: “There exists no model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution. Hard sciences are built on foundations of mathematics or definitive simulations. Examples include electromagnetics, Newtonian mechanics, geophysics, relativity, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, optics, and many areas in biology. Those hoping to establish Darwinian evolution as a hard science with a model have either failed or inadvertently cheated. These models contain guidance mechanisms to land the airplane squarely on the target runway despite stochastic wind gusts. Not only can the guiding assistance be specifically identified in each proposed evolution model, its contribution to the success can be measured, in bits, as active information.,,,”,,, “there exists no model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution. According to our current understanding, there never will be.,,,”
    https://evolutionnews.org/2017/06/top-ten-questions-and-objections-to-introduction-to-evolutionary-informatics/

  28. 28

    Mathematics is not properly categorized as immaterial. The fundamental distinction is between what is subjective and what is objective. Mathematics falls into the objective category, and therefore material category. We can see the math 1+1=2.

    And then according to a rigorous information perspective, objects consist of the laws of nature, and compute their own next state. As laws unto themselves the objects then exhibit freedom.

    And the subjective spirit decides in this freedom.

    See, that is efficient definition of terms. The spiritual and subjective that makes the choice, and the material and objective that is chosen.

  29. 29
    bornagain77 says:

    Mohammadnursyamsu claims,

    “Mathematics is not properly categorized as immaterial.”

    Move over Plato and Augustine, you have been usurped by Mohammadnursyamsu.

    Platonic mathematical world – image
    http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/i.....ysical.gif

    KEEP IT SIMPLE by Edward Feser April 2020
    Excerpt: Mathematics appears to describe a realm of entities with quasi-­divine attributes. The series of natural numbers is infinite. That one and one equal two and two and two equal four could not have been otherwise. Such mathematical truths never begin being true or cease being true; they hold eternally and immutably. The lines, planes, and figures studied by the geometer have a kind of perfection that the objects of our ­experience lack. Mathematical objects seem immaterial and known by pure reason rather than through the senses. Given the centrality of mathematics to scientific explanation, it seems in some way to be a cause of the natural world and its order.
    How can the mathematical realm be so apparently godlike? The traditional answer, originating in Neoplatonic philosophy and Augustinian theology, is that our knowledge of the mathematical realm is precisely knowledge, albeit inchoate, of the divine mind. Mathematical truths exhibit infinity, necessity, eternity, immutability, perfection, and immateriality because they are God’s thoughts, and they have such explanatory power in scientific theorizing because they are part of the blueprint implemented by God in creating the world. For some thinkers in this tradition, mathematics thus provides the starting point for an argument for the existence of God qua supreme intellect.
    There is also a very different answer, in which the mathematical realm is a rival to God rather than a path to him. According to this view, mathematical objects such as numbers and geometrical figures exist not only independently of the ­material world, but also independently of any mind, including the divine mind. They occupy a “third realm” of their own, the realm famously described in Plato’s Theory of Forms. God used this third realm as a blueprint when creating the physical world, but he did not create the realm itself and it exists outside of him. This position is usually called Platonism since it is commonly thought to have been ­Plato’s own view, as distinct from that of his Neoplatonic followers who relocated mathematical objects and other Forms into the divine mind. (I put to one side for present purposes the question of how historically accurate this standard narrative is.)
    – read more here
    https://www.firstthings.com/article/2020/04/keep-it-simple

    Naturalism and Self-Refutation – Michael Egnor – January 31, 2018
    Excerpt: Mathematics is certainly something we do. Is mathematics “included in the space-time continuum [with] basic elements … described by physics”?,,,
    What is the physics behind the Pythagorean theorem? After all, no actual triangle is perfect, and thus no actual triangle in nature has sides such that the Pythagorean theorem holds. There is no real triangle in which the sum of the squares of the sides exactly equals the square of the hypotenuse. That holds true for all of geometry. Geometry is about concepts, not about anything in the natural world or about anything that can be described by physics. What is the “physics” of the fact that the area of a circle is pi multiplied by the square of the radius? And of course what is natural and physical about imaginary numbers, infinite series, irrational numbers, and the mathematics of more than three spatial dimensions? Mathematics is entirely about concepts, which have no precise instantiation in nature,,,
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/01/naturalism-and-self-refutation/

    What Does It Mean to Say That Science & Religion Conflict? – M. Anthony Mills – April 16, 2018
    Excerpt: In fact, more problematic for the materialist than the non-existence of persons is the existence of mathematics. Why? Although a committed materialist might be perfectly willing to accept that you do not really exist, he will have a harder time accepting that numbers do not exist. The trouble is that numbers — along with other mathematical entities such as classes, sets, and functions — are indispensable for modern science. And yet — here’s the rub — these “abstract objects” are not material. Thus, one cannot take science as the only sure guide to reality and at the same time discount disbelief in all immaterial realities.
    https://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2018/04/16/what_does_it_mean_to_say_that_science_and_religion_conflict.html

    Also of note:

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

    The danger of artificial stupidity – Saturday, 28 February 2015
    Excerpt: “Computers lack mathematical insight: in his book The Emperor’s New Mind, the Oxford mathematical physicist Sir Roger Penrose deployed Gödel’s first incompleteness theorem to argue that, in general, the way mathematicians provide their “unassailable demonstrations” of the truth of certain mathematical assertions is fundamentally non-algorithmic and non-computational”
    http://machineslikeus.com/news.....-stupidity

    The mathematical world – James Franklin – 7 April 2014
    Excerpt: the intellect (is) immaterial and immortal. If today’s naturalists do not wish to agree with that, there is a challenge for them. ‘Don’t tell me, show me’: build an artificial intelligence system that imitates genuine mathematical insight. There seem to be no promising plans on the drawing board.,,,
    – James Franklin is professor of mathematics at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.
    http://aeon.co/magazine/world-.....-be-about/

  30. 30
    ET says:

    There are actual photos of a bacterial flagellum, Bob. Mark Perkah uses those as alleged evidence against ID. But his explanation is muddled and misguided.

  31. 31
    Bob O'H says:

    ET – the bacterial flagellum is a lot bigger than a single molecule like dynein and kinesin. But nice try.

  32. 32
    bornagain77 says:

    Bob, Please do explain the flagellum via unguided Darwinian processes.

    Electron Microscope Photograph of Flagellum Hook-Basal Body
    http://www.skeptic.com/eskepti.....gure03.jpg

    Structural diversity of bacterial flagellar motors – 2011
    Excerpt: – Manual segmentation of conserved (solid colours) and unconserved (dotted lines) motor components based on visual inspection.
    image:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....figure/f3/

    Diverse high-torque bacterial flagellar motors assemble wider stator rings using a conserved protein scaffold – March 2016
    https://www.pnas.org/content/113/13/E1917
    Image
    https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/113/13/E1917/F1.large.jpg?width=800&height=600&carousel=1

    The Flagellar Filament Cap: Up close micro-photograph and animations of cap – Jonathan M. – August 2013
    Excerpt: We are so used to thinking about biological machines at a macroscopic level that it is all too easy to overlook the molecular structure of their individual components. The closer we inspect biochemical systems, such as flagella, the more the elegant design — as well as the magnitude of the challenge to Darwinism — becomes apparent.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....75101.html

    Bacterial Flagellum – A Sheer Wonder Of Intelligent Design – video
    https://youtu.be/fFq_MGf3sbk

    “I remember the first time I looked in a biochemistry textbook and I saw a drawing of something called a bacterial flagellum, with all of its parts in all of its glory. It had a propeller. It had a hook region and the drive shaft and the motor. So I looked at that and said, “That’s an outboard motor. That’s designed. That’s no chance assemblage of parts.”
    Michael Behe – Irreducible Complexity – video – 15:43 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/VekUf325SHM?t=943

    Amazing Flagellum – Scott Minnich & Stephen Meyer – 2016 video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNR48hUd-Hw

  33. 33
    JVL says:

    ET: So it has to be able to handle the God hypothesis if that is how it really happened.

    How do you test that hypothesis in the lab?

  34. 34
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL asks: “How do you test that (God) hypothesis in the lab?”

    Hmmm, interesting question, tell you what, you show me a laboratory, and/or a scientific instrument, that was not itself intelligently designed and then I will tell you. 🙂

    it is not as if the presuppositions of Intelligent Design, that are necessary for even ‘doing science’ in the first place, are off somewhere hiding in a corner.

    Every nook and cranny of science is literally crammed to the gills with the presuppositions of Intelligent Design.,,, Science is certainly NOT based on the presuppositions of methodological naturalism and/or atheism.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/michael-egnor-heres-why-an-argument-for-gods-existence-is-a-scientific-argument/#comment-728164

    From the essential Christian presuppositions that undergird the founding of modern science itself, (namely that the universe is contingent and rational in its foundational nature and that the minds of men, being made in the ‘image of God’, can, therefore, dare understand the rationality that God has imparted onto the universe), to the intelligent design of the scientific instruments and experiments themselves, to the logical and mathematical analysis of experimental results themselves, from top to bottom, science itself is certainly not to be considered a ‘natural’ endeavor of man.

    Not one scientific instrument would ever exist if men did not first intelligently design that scientific instrument. Not one test tube, microscope, telescope, spectroscope, or etc.. etc.., was ever found just laying around on a beach somewhere which was ‘naturally’ constructed by nature.

    Not one experimental result would ever be rationally analyzed since there would be no immaterial minds to rationally analyze the immaterial logic and immaterial mathematics that lay behind the intelligently designed experiments in the first place.

    Again, all of science, every nook and cranny of it, is based on the presupposition of intelligent design and is certainly not based on the presupposition of methodological naturalism.

    Examples of scientific instruments
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_instrument#Examples_of_scientific_instruments

    Verses and Music:

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    But test everything. Keep what is good,

    Colossians 2:3
    in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

    We Are Messengers – Image Of God (Official Music Video)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAbgiNpxgWw&feature=emb_logo

  35. 35
    bornagain77 says:

    Bob O’H, since you guys are talking about accurately seeing stuff, and seeing that you believe that your visual perception is the result of unguided Darwinian processes, can you please tell me exactly how you know for certain that all your perceptions of reality are not illusory?

    Donald Hoffman, a cognitive scientist, via extensive analysis of the mathematics of population genetics, has proven that, if Darwinian evolution is assumed as being true, then ALL of our perceptions of reality would be illusory

    Donald Hoffman: Do we see reality as it is? – Video – 9:59 minute mark
    Quote: “fitness does depend on reality as it is, yes.,,, Fitness is not the same thing as reality as it is, and it is fitness, and not reality as it is, that figures centrally in the equations of evolution. So, in my lab, we have run hundreds of thousands of evolutionary game simulations with lots of different randomly chosen worlds and organisms that compete for resources in those worlds. Some of the organisms see all of the reality. Others see just part of the reality. And some see none of the reality. Only fitness. Who wins? Well I hate to break it to you but perception of reality goes extinct. In almost every simulation, organisms that see none of reality, but are just tuned to fitness, drive to extinction (those organisms) that perceive reality as it is. So the bottom line is, evolution does not favor veridical, or accurate perceptions. Those (accurate) perceptions of reality go extinct. Now this is a bit stunning. How can it be that not seeing the world accurately gives us a survival advantage?”
    https://youtu.be/oYp5XuGYqqY?t=601

    The Evolutionary Argument Against Reality – April 2016
    The cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman uses evolutionary game theory to show that our perceptions of an independent reality must be illusions.
    Excerpt: “The classic argument is that those of our ancestors who saw more accurately had a competitive advantage over those who saw less accurately and thus were more likely to pass on their genes that coded for those more accurate perceptions, so after thousands of generations we can be quite confident that we’re the offspring of those who saw accurately, and so we see accurately. That sounds very plausible. But I think it is utterly false. It misunderstands the fundamental fact about evolution, which is that it’s about fitness functions — mathematical functions that describe how well a given strategy achieves the goals of survival and reproduction. The mathematical physicist Chetan Prakash proved a theorem that I devised that says: According to evolution by natural selection, an organism that sees reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees none of reality but is just tuned to fitness. Never.”
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/20160421-the-evolutionary-argument-against-reality/

    Since reliable observation is an indispensable part of the scientific method itself, in fact it is the first step in the scientific method,

    The scientific method
    At the core of biology and other sciences lies a problem-solving approach called the scientific method. The scientific method has five basic steps, plus one feedback step:
    1. Make an observation.
    2. Ask a question.
    3, Form a hypothesis, or testable explanation.
    4. Make a prediction based on the hypothesis.
    5. Test the prediction.
    6. Iterate: use the results to make new hypotheses or predictions.
    The scientific method is used in all sciences—including chemistry, physics, geology, and psychology. The scientists in these fields ask different questions and perform different tests. However, they use the same core approach to find answers that are logical and supported by evidence.
    https://www.khanacademy.org/science/high-school-biology/hs-biology-foundations/hs-biology-and-the-scientific-method/a/the-science-of-biology

    Since reliable observation is an indispensable part of the scientific method itself, then the fact that if Darwinian evolution were actually true then ALL our perceptions of reality would be illusory ends up undermining the scientific method itself.

    Which is just one more proof, out of many, that Darwinian evolution is certainly NOT a science. In fact, as the above example proves, It is downright anti-science!

  36. 36

    Yes I am the best. Because the creationist conceptual scheme is the best.

    Your references are just babbling, meaning they don’t define terms. I present efficiently defined terms in a coherent conceptual scheme.

    It is very obviously efficient, to have one word to denote the substance of all what is objective, the word is material. And one word to denote the substance of all what is a subjective, the words is spiritual.

    And that you talk about mathematics as immaterial, and kind of godlike, it is simply that you want to make what is subjective, into something objective. Because 99 percent of philosophy is about improperly making what is subjective, into something objective. The reason those philosophies are popular, is because the faults in it are psychologically appealing. They are popular because of their faults.

    Mathematics is simply a factual issue. There are 3 cows in the meadow, it is just factual.

    1. Creator / chooses / spiritual / subjective
    2. Creation / chosen / material / objective

    Mathematics, and also fantasy, they are both creations, and therefore objective, and material.

  37. 37
    bornagain77 says:

    Whatever Mohammadnursyamsu,

    If your ‘efficiently defined terms’ make you define that which is clearly immaterial, i.e. mathematics, as being material, then you clearly should have taken a left turn at Albuquerque.

    Bugs Bunny – “Should Have Turned Left At Albuquerque”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSMZnWIJRCg

    Of note: This is not to say that mathematics, which is immaterial, cannot have ‘top down’ causal effects on that which is material, (indeed modern technology depends on that ‘top down’ causal effect), It is just to say that mathematics is immaterial in its foundational essence.

  38. 38
    Silver Asiatic says:

    “What is mathematics about”

    http://edwardfeser.blogspot.co.....about.html

    “Scholastic realism” is a middle ground between Plato and Aristotle which holds that the origin and existence of mathematics is found “in the mind of God”. It’s not a physical entity.

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