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At Mind Matters News: 5. Egnor, Dillahunty dispute the basic causes behind the universe

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In a peppery exchange, Egnor argues that proofs of God’s existence follow the same logical structure as proofs in science:

At this point in the “Does God exist?” debate between theist neurosurgeon Michael Egnor and atheist broadcaster Matt Dillahunty (September 17, 2021), readers may recall that the debate opened with Egnor explaining why, as former atheist, he became a theist. Then Dillahunty explained why, as a former theist, he became an atheist. Michael Egnor then made his opening argument, offering ten proofs for the existence of God. Matt Dillahunty responded in his own opening argument that theaw propositions were all unfalsifiable. When, in Section 4, it was Egnor’s turn to rebut Dillahunty, Dillahunty was not easily able to recall Aquinas’s First Way (the first logical argument for the existence of God).

No matter, they agreed to keep talking. The conversation continues to be somewhat rambunctious, thus has been condensed for print:

News, “5. Egnor, Dillahunty dispute the basic causes behind the universe” at Mind Matters News


Michael Egnor: Well, again, singularities are supernatural. They are not natural.

Matt Dillahunty: I would argue that the singularity as described is natural. It is the entirety of the natural universe. [00:57:00]

Michael Egnor: All right, then what is a singularity? If you’re saying it’s natural, what is it?

Matt Dillahunty: So first of all, you’re not talking to a cosmologist, but the-

Michael Egnor: Then why do you say it’s natural? …

[Things became quite heated at this point.]

Matt Dillahunty: [00:58:00] I’ve tried to answer it, every time I open my … Say one more [bleep]…

Next: Is Matt Dillahunty using science as a crutch for his atheism? That’s Egnor’s accusation. Stay tuned.


The debate to date:

  1. Debate: Former atheist neurosurgeon vs. former Christian activist. At Theology Unleashed, each gets a chance to state his case and interrogate the other. In a lively debate at Theology Unleashed, neurosurgeon Michael Egnor and broadcaster Matt Dillahunty clash over the existence of God.
  2. A neurosurgeon’s ten proofs for the existence of God. First, how did a medic, formerly an atheist, who cuts open people’s brains for a living, come to be sure there is irrefutable proof for God? In a lively debate at Theology Unleashed, Michael Egnor and Matt Dillahunty clash over “Does God exist?” Egnor starts off.
  3. Atheist Dillahunty spots fallacies in Christian Egnor’s views. “My position is that it’s unacceptable to believe something if the available evidence does not support it.” Dillahunty: We can’t conclusively disprove an unfalsifiable proposition. And that is what most “God” definitions, at least as far as I can tell, are.

4. Egnor now tries to find out what Dillahunty actually knows… About philosophical arguments for the existence of God, as he begins a rebuttal. Atheist Dillahunty appears unable to recall the philosophical arguments for God’s existence, which poses a challenge for Egnor in rebutting him.

You may also wish to read:

Atheist spokesman Matt Dillahunty refuses to debate me again Although he has said that he finds debates “incredibly valuable,” he is — despite much urging — making an exception in this case. Why? For millennia, theists have thought meticulously about God’s existence. New Atheists merely deny any need to make a case. That’s partly why I dumped atheism. (Michael Egnor)

150 Replies to “At Mind Matters News: 5. Egnor, Dillahunty dispute the basic causes behind the universe

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Matt Dillahunty does not understand Aquinas’s ‘First Way”

    Here is Aquinas’s ‘First Way”

    Aquinas’ First Way
    1) Change in nature is elevation of potency to act.
    2) Potency cannot actualize itself, because it does not exist actually.
    3) Potency must be actualized by another, which is itself in act.
    4) Essentially ordered series of causes (elevations of potency to act) exist in nature.
    5) An essentially ordered series of elevations from potency to act cannot be in infinite regress, because the series must be actualized by something that is itself in act without the need for elevation from potency.
    6) The ground of an essentially ordered series of elevations from potency to act must be pure act with respect to the casual series.
    7) This Pure Act– Prime Mover– is what we call God.
    http://egnorance.blogspot.com/.....t-way.html

    Aquinas’ First Way – (The First Mover – Unmoved Mover) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qmpw0_w27As

    Or to put Aquinas’ argument much more simply “The ‘First Mover’ is necessary for change occurring at each moment.”:

    “The ‘First Mover’ is necessary, (i.e. the necessary cause), for change occurring at each moment.”
    Michael Egnor – Aquinas’ First Way
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....first.html

    The main flaw in Matt Dillahunty’s understanding of Aquinas’s ‘First Way” argument is that Dillahunty believes that causation always requires time and he does not realize that, in Aquinas’s argument, “causation has nothing to do with time.”

    Michael Egnor:,,, causation has nothing to do with time.

    Matt Dillahunty: How can you have causation without time? One thing follows another, that’s a causal chain, there must be some time where one thing precedes another.

    As Dr. Egnor explained elsewhere, for Aquinas, ‘the causal chains are causes in priority, not in time.’,, “An example of a causal chain in priority but not in time is a stable stack of books. Each book in the stack supports the book above, and is in turn supported by the book below it. In this sense, the position of each book in the stack is caused by the one below it, and each book causes the position of the book above. The stack is static — time is irrelevant to it. This kind of time-irrelevant causal chain is called (by Aristotle) an essential chain of causation. It is distinguished by an accidental chain of causation, in which time is relevant,,”

    Introducing Aquinas’ Five Ways – Michael Egnor – October 3, 2019
    Causes in Priority
    1) The causal chains are causes in priority, not in time. That is, it is assumed that the causes can occur simultaneously, and do not necessarily imply temporal sequence. This means that the cosmological argument is valid regardless of whether the universe has a beginning or it is eternal in the past. In fact, Aristotle, who first developed the argument for the existence of God, thought the universe was eternal in the past. Aquinas developed the cosmological arguments on the assumption of an eternal past — not because he believed it eternal, but because it made the argument harder to prove, and he took the challenge. Time and again Thomas chose premises that made his proofs as difficult as possible, and then proved them. Aquinas was his own harshest critic — I love the guy. An example of a causal chain in priority but not in time is a stable stack of books. Each book in the stack supports the book above, and is in turn supported by the book below it. In this sense, the position of each book in the stack is caused by the one below it, and each book causes the position of the book above. The stack is static — time is irrelevant to it. This kind of time-irrelevant causal chain is called (by Aristotle) an essential chain of causation. It is distinguished by an accidental chain of causation, in which time is relevant (and example of an accidental chain is a family tree, with grandfather causing father causing son and so on.) Both kinds of causal chains are common in nature. The cosmological argument only applies to essential causal chains, not to accidental causal chains.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2019/10/introducing-aquinas-five-ways/

    I also find it fascinating, even astonishing, that Aquinas’s ancient ‘First Mover’ argument has now been confirmed in quantum mechanics. i.e. That Aquinas, (and Aristotle), via pure reason alone, would get the basics of Quantum Wave collapse correct hundreds, even thousands, of years before quantum mechanics was even known about is nothing less than astonishing.

    As Dr. Egnor explained elsewhere, “Aristotle 2,300 years ago described the basics of collapse of the quantum waveform (reduction of potency to act),,,”

    Stephen Hawking: “Philosophy Is Dead” – Michael Egnor – August 3, 2015
    Excerpt: The metaphysics of Aristotle and Aquinas is far and away the most successful framework on which to understand modern science, especially quantum mechanics. Heisenberg knew this (Link on site). Aristotle 2,300 years ago described the basics of collapse of the quantum waveform (reduction of potency to act),,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....98261.html

    Heisenberg himself “understood that the Aristotelian concept of potency and act was beautifully confirmed by quantum theory”

    What Is Matter? The Aristotelian Perspective – Michael Egnor – July 21, 2017
    Excerpt: Heisenberg, almost alone among the great physicists of the quantum revolution, understood that the Aristotelian concept of potency and act was beautifully confirmed by quantum theory and evidence.,,,
    Heisenberg wrote:
    “,,,The probability wave of Bohr, Kramers, Slater… was a quantitative version of the old concept of “potentia” in Aristotelian philosophy. It introduced something standing in the middle between the idea of an event and the actual event, a strange kind of physical reality just in the middle between possibility and reality…The probability function combines objective and subjective elements,,,”
    Thus, the existence of potential quantum states described by Schrodinger’s equation (which is a probability function) are the potency (the “matter”) of the system, and the collapse of the quantum waveform is the reduction of potency to act. To an Aristotelian (like Heisenberg), quantum mechanics isn’t strange at all.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2017/07/what-is-matter-the-aristotelian-perspective/

    “In the experiments about atomic events we have to do with things and facts, with phenomena that are just as real as any phenomena in daily life. But atoms and the elementary particles themselves are not as real; they form a world of potentialities or possibilities rather than one of things or facts … The probability wave … mean[s] tendency for something. It’s a quantitative version of the old concept of potentia from Aristotle’s philosophy. It introduces something standing in the middle between the idea of an event and the actual event, a strange kind of physical reality just in the middle between possibility and reality.”
    – Werner Heisenberg, Physics and Philosophy. London: Allen and Unwin. (1958), p. 41

    Again, that Aquinas, (and Aristotle), via pure reason alone, would get the basics of Quantum Wave collapse correct hundreds, even thousands, of years before quantum mechanics was even known about is nothing less than astonishing.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    It is also interesting to note that many Atheists, in trying to deal with quantum mechanics, and with their outlandish ‘many worlds’ interpretation, have simply tried to deny the reality of quantum wave collapse.

    Quantum mechanics
    Excerpt: The Everett many-worlds interpretation, formulated in 1956, holds that all the possibilities described by quantum theory simultaneously occur in a multiverse composed of mostly independent parallel universes.[43] This is not accomplished by introducing some new axiom to quantum mechanics, but on the contrary by removing the axiom of the collapse of the wave packet:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q.....plications

    Too many worlds – Philip Ball – Feb. 17, 2015
    Excerpt:,,, You measure the path of an electron, and in this world it seems to go this way, but in another world it went that way.
    That requires a parallel, identical apparatus for the electron to traverse. More – it requires a parallel you to measure it. Once begun, this process of fabrication has no end: you have to build an entire parallel universe around that one electron, identical in all respects except where the electron went. You avoid the complication of wavefunction collapse, but at the expense of making another universe.,,,
    http://aeon.co/magazine/scienc.....a-fantasy/

    i.e. The atheist, with his Many Worlds interpretation, is basically saying that, instead of God simply collapsing the wave function, the material particle has somehow bestowed within itself the power to create as many universes as it wants or needs to in order to ‘explain away’ wave function collapse!

    Atheist Physicist Sean Carroll: An Infinite Number of Universes Is More Plausible Than God – Michael Egnor – August 2, 2017
    Excerpt: as I noted, the issue here isn’t physics or even logic.
    The issue is psychiatric. We have a highly accomplished physicist, who regards the existence of God as preposterous, asserting that the unceasing creation of infinite numbers of new universes by every atom in the cosmos at every moment is actually happening (as we speak!), and that it is a perfectly rational and sane inference. People have been prescribed anti-psychotic drugs for less.
    Now of course Carroll isn’t crazy, not in any medical way. He’s merely given his assent to a crazy ideology — atheist materialism —,,,
    What can we in the reality-based community do when an ideology — the ideology that is currently dominant in science — is not merely wrong, but delusional? I guess calling it what it is is a place to start.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2017/08/atheist-physicist-sean-carroll-an-infinite-number-of-universes-is-more-plausible-than-god/

    Yet, directly contrary to what Atheists presuppose to be true in their preposterous Many Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, the following experiment shows that the collapse of the wave function is a real effect. Moreover, they show it to be a real ‘non-local’, i.e. beyond space and time, effect!

    Quantum experiment verifies Einstein’s ‘spooky action at a distance’ – March 24, 2015
    Excerpt: An experiment,, has for the first time demonstrated Albert Einstein’s original conception of “spooky action at a distance” using a single particle.
    ,,Professor Howard Wiseman and his experimental collaborators,, report their use of homodyne measurements to show what Einstein did not believe to be real, namely the non-local collapse of a (single) particle’s wave function.,,
    According to quantum mechanics, a single particle can be described by a wave function that spreads over arbitrarily large distances,,,
    ,, by splitting a single photon between two laboratories, scientists have used homodyne detectors—which measure wave-like properties—to show the collapse of the wave function is a real effect,,
    This phenomenon is explained in quantum theory,, the instantaneous non-local, (beyond space and time), collapse of the wave function to wherever the particle is detected.,,,
    “Einstein never accepted orthodox quantum mechanics and the original basis of his contention was this single-particle argument. This is why it is important to demonstrate non-local wave function collapse with a single particle,” says Professor Wiseman.
    “Einstein’s view was that the detection of the particle only ever at one point could be much better explained by the hypothesis that the particle is only ever at one point, without invoking the instantaneous collapse of the wave function to nothing at all other points.
    “However, rather than simply detecting the presence or absence of the particle, we used homodyne measurements enabling one party to make different measurements and the other, using quantum tomography, to test the effect of those choices.”
    “Through these different measurements, you see the wave function collapse in different ways, thus proving its existence and showing that Einstein was wrong.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-03-q.....tance.html

    In short, the atheist’s attempt to ‘explain away’ instantaneous quantum wave collapse with their preposterous Many Worlds interpretation has now been experimentally falsified.

    It is also very interesting to note that the quantum wave, prior to collapse, is mathematically defined as being in an infinite dimensional state,

    Wave function
    Excerpt “wave functions form an abstract vector space”,,, This vector space is infinite-dimensional, because there is no finite set of functions which can be added together in various combinations to create every possible function.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W.....ctor_space

    Why do we need infinite-dimensional Hilbert spaces in physics?
    You need an infinite dimensional Hilbert space to represent a wavefunction of any continuous observable (like position for example).
    https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/149786/why-do-we-need-infinite-dimensional-hilbert-spaces-in-physics

    ,, an infinite dimensional state that also takes an infinite amount of information to describe properly.

    Explaining Information Transfer in Quantum Teleportation: Armond Duwell †‡ University of Pittsburgh
    Excerpt: In contrast to a classical bit, the description of a (quantum) qubit requires an infinite amount of information. The amount of information is infinite because two real numbers are required in the expansion of the state vector of a two state quantum system (Jozsa 1997, 1)
    http://www.cas.umt.edu/phil/fa.....lPSA2K.pdf

    WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT? Infinity – Max Tegmark
    Excerpt: real numbers with their infinitely many decimals have infested almost every nook and cranny of physics, from the strengths of electromagnetic fields to the wave functions of quantum mechanics: we describe even a single bit of quantum information (a qubit) using two real numbers involving infinitely many decimals.
    https://www.edge.org/response-detail/25344

    Now I don’t know about atheists, but saying something is in an infinite dimensional state to me, as a Christian Theist, certainly sounds very much like the theistic attribute of Omnipresence to me, And then saying something takes an infinite amount of information to describe properly certainly sounds to me, as a Christian Theist, very much like the Theistic attribute of Omniscience.

    Jeremiah 23:23-24
    “Am I only a God nearby,” declares the LORD, “and not a God far away?” “Can a man hide in secret places where I cannot see him?” declares the LORD. “Do I not fill the heavens and earth?” declares the LORD.…

    Psalm 147:5
    Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; his understanding is infinite

    Thus in conclusion, the demonstrated reality of quantum wave collapse is a beautiful experimental confirmation of Aquinas’s ancient ‘First Mover’ argument for the existence of God, and disconfirms the atheist’s preposterous Many Worlds model. Moreover, the mathematical definition, (i.e. infinite dimensional, infinite information), of the quantum wave prior to collapse fits perfectly into what Christian Theists would presuppose to be true beforehand about Omniscient and Omnipresent God sustaining this universe in its continual existence.

    Colossians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

  3. 3
    Silver Asiatic says:

    BA77

    The causal chains are causes in priority, not in time.

    Excellent analysis – thank you.
    That point corrects the most common error made by atheists who haven’t understood Aquinas’ argument at all. They always trace a chain back in time.
    But as given – a stack of books shows present-day contingency for the position they are in. Something has to confer actualization on that stack of books so that they are today in that position
    This is not an argument about “what happened before the big bang” but rather the need for a causal power to actualize the potential for things here and now. The books received these causes from elsewhere. Their existence is derivative. So a cause with essential existence and power to confer actuality is required.
    Dillahunty entirely missed this point, at the same time claiming that Aquinas’ arguments had already been refuted so he didn’t need to bother to understand them.
    That’s like people who think Dawkins or David Hume refuted the design argument without seeing the rebuttals to those.

  4. 4
    chuckdarwin says:

    In The Tempest, Antonio says “what’s past is prologue.” After literally millions of pages have been written by Christian theologians and philosophers, it is amazing how little their theology has moved beyond Aristotle. In Metaphysics, God in Aristotle’s thinking is a necessary being–the Prime or Unmoved Mover–who is eternal, transcendent and impersonal. This minimalist deity is really all that is needed for a coherent cosmology which harmonizes with science. Everything else is excess baggage….

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    SA, “the most common error made by atheists who haven’t understood Aquinas’ argument at all. They always trace a chain back in time.”

    Yes SA, Aquinas did not argue that causal chains exist in time, (in fact, he assumed an eternal universe in his argument even though he believed the universe to be created), Moreover, quantum mechanics itself could also care less that atheists misunderstand the fact that in Aquinas’s argument “causal chains are causes in priority, not in time.”

    As the following article states, “Not only can two events be correlated, linking the earlier one to the later one, but two events can become correlated such that it becomes impossible to say which is earlier and which is later.,,,”

    Quantum Weirdness Now a Matter of Time – 2016
    Bizarre quantum bonds connect distinct moments in time, suggesting that quantum links — not space-time — constitute the fundamental structure of the universe.
    Excerpt: Not only can two events be correlated, linking the earlier one to the later one, but two events can become correlated such that it becomes impossible to say which is earlier and which is later.,,,
    “If you have space-time, you have a well-defined causal order,” said Caslav Brukner, a physicist at the University of Vienna who studies quantum information. But “if you don’t have a well-defined causal order,” he said — as is the case in experiments he has proposed — then “you don’t have space-time.”,,,
    Quantum correlations come first, space-time later. Exactly how does space-time emerge out of the quantum world? Bruner said he is still unsure.
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/20160119-time-entanglement/

    And as the following 2017 article states, “a decision made in the present can influence something in the past.”

    Physicists provide support for retrocausal quantum theory, in which the future influences the past
    July 5, 2017 by Lisa Zyga
    Excerpt: retrocausality means that, when an experimenter chooses the measurement setting with which to measure a particle, that decision can influence the properties of that particle (or another particle) in the past, even before the experimenter made their choice. In other words, a decision made in the present can influence something in the past.
    https://phys.org/news/2017-07-physicists-retrocausal-quantum-theory-future.html

    That pretty much blows Matt’s entire argument that causal chains must exist in time out of the water.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    ChuckDarwin claims that “(Aristotle’s) minimalist deity is really all that is needed for a coherent cosmology which harmonizes with science. Everything else is excess baggage….”

    In saying that, Chucky D reveals his ignorance of the fact that the birth of modern science was actually impeded by Aristotelian metaphysics, not enhanced by it.

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

    In fact, directly contrary to what Chuck Darwin is trying to claim, modern science began as a quote-unquote “Anti-Aristotelian movement”.

    As Cornelius Hunter noted in his book “Science’s Blind Spot”, Francis Bacon, the father of empirical science, (and a devout Christian), came to despise Aristotelian philosophy that was Rationalistic, emphasizing how Nature must work based on imagination, not experiments.

    Naturalism: A Review/Essay of “SCIENCE’S BLIND SPOT” by Cornelius G. Hunter (2007)
    H.J.”Spencer – 16 July 2020
    2 ORIGINS”OF”SCIENCE
    2.1 MODERN”SCIENCE
    “Few people realize how shallow is the history of modern science that arose with Galileo, around 1600 who bravely chose to challenge the 2000 year-old ideas of Aristotle that had dominated educated opinion. Only one generation later, two powerful intellects joined in the Anti-Aristotelian movement; they were Francis Bacon (1561-1626) and René Descartes (1596-1650). Both were Christians and lived flamboyant lives but their thinking was very different. Ironically, both have planted successful seeds in the human enterprise that exploded into modern science. These differences reflected their national and religious cultures. Bacon was exposed to the new Protestant thinking that had been welcomed in the pragmatic (empirical) British tradition, so he emphasized the economic value of science. Descartes was trying to survive in the violent world of France that was still trying to decide whether to keep Catholicism or switch. Intellectualism was still very influential in (rationalist) French education under the powerful impact of the Anti-Protestant Jesuit order. Although Descartes saw himself as a scientist, his scientific theories failed to attract long-term attention but his contributions in mathematics and philosophy are still present today. The thinking (and writings) of these two thinkers have both influenced science: Bacon can be credited with the experimental basis of science (emphasizing data), while Descartes encouraged speculative (hypothetical) theoretical ideas.
    2.1.1 FRANCIS BACON
    ,,, Bacon did attend Trinity College, Cambridge (Newton’s alma Mater), where he studied medieval sciences and came to despise Aristotelian philosophy that was Rationalistic, emphasizing how Nature must work based on imagination, not experiments. Bacon believed that general principles (axioms) ought to emerge in the final stages of investigation of Nature, not in the starting position (as in Geometry). Bacon did see his inductive method as generating scientific knowledge arising from sensory (empirical) observations but felt that this was no means sufficient to produce unique interpretations or gain all knowledge: in particular, he argued that scientific considerations should not become the basis for religion (his new Church of England: the English state-promoted religion). Bacon was sensitive to the power that religious ideas have over the minds of many people. For Bacon, science was not religion’s rival but its faithful servant.,,,
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/343022211_Naturalism_ReviewEssay_of_SCIENCE%27S_BLIND_SPOT_by_Cornelius_G_Hunter_2007

    As Henry F. Schaefer succinctly put it, “The emergence of modern science was associated with a disdain for the rationalism of Greek philosophers who pronounced on how the world should behave, with insufficient attention to how the world in fact did behave.”

    “The emergence of modern science was associated with a disdain for the rationalism of Greek philosophers who pronounced on how the world should behave, with insufficient attention to how the world in fact did behave.”
    – Henry F. Schaefer III – Making Sense of Faith and Science – 23:30 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/C7Py_qeFW4s?t=1415

    In fact, it was only when Francis Bacon championed ‘inductive reasoning’, over and above the ‘deductive reasoning’ of the ancient Greeks, a form of reasoning where repeated experimentation played a central role in ones reasoning to a general truth, (instead of ‘deductively’ reasoning down from a presupposed truth), that the scientific method was born.

    And in an article that was, ironically, supplied to me by someone who is very hostile towards Christianity, (and who was therefore trying to distance Christianity from the origin of modern science), we, (never-the-less), find that, “Baconian induction dominated experimental science for the next two hundred years. It was the scientific method that produced countless laws in mechanics, chemistry, electromechanics, even economics,,,,”

    The History of Induction
    Excerpt: The philosopher most responsible for making Socratic mainstream was Francis Bacon. His Novum Organum book II (1626) became what Aristotle’s Topics book V was in antiquity, viz., the main handbook on how to perform a good induction, that is, on how to identify a formal cause (or “Form,” in Bacon’s term).
    Baconian induction dominated experimental science for the next two hundred years. It was the scientific method that produced countless laws in mechanics, chemistry, electromechanics, even economics, from Hooke and Boyle to Darwin, (corrective note, Darwin was castigated for forsaking the inductive method), and Say.
    https://www.johnmccaskey.com/history-of-induction/

    Nothing is quite as pleasurable as having a hostile witness precisely confirm your claim! 🙂

    ,,, Repeated experimentation, ever since it was first set forth by Francis Bacon, has been the cornerstone of the scientific method. And has indeed been very, very, fruitful for man in gaining accurate knowledge of the universe in that repeated experiments lead to more “exacting, and illuminating”, conclusions than is possible with the quote-unquote, “educated guesses” that follow from Aristotle’s deductive form of reasoning.

    Francis Bacon, 1561–1626
    Excerpt: Called the father of empiricism, Sir Francis Bacon is credited with establishing and popularizing the “scientific method” of inquiry into natural phenomena. In stark contrast to deductive reasoning, which had dominated science since the days of Aristotle, Bacon introduced inductive methodology—testing and refining hypotheses by observing, measuring, and experimenting. An Aristotelian might logically deduce that water is necessary for life by arguing that its lack causes death. Aren’t deserts arid and lifeless? But that is really an educated guess, limited to the subjective experience of the observer and not based on any objective facts gathered about the observed. A Baconian would want to test the hypothesis by experimenting with water deprivation under different conditions, using various forms of life. The results of those experiments would lead to more exacting, and illuminating, conclusions about life’s dependency on water.
    https://lib-dbserver.princeton.edu/visual_materials/maps/websites/thematic-maps/bacon/bacon.html

    “Bottom up” inductive reasoning is, practically speaking, a completely different form of reasoning than the ‘top down’ deductive reasoning of the ancient Greeks in which they “pronounced on how the world should behave, with insufficient attention to how the world in fact did behave.”

    Deductive vs. Inductive reasoning – top-down vs. bottom-up – graph
    https://i2.wp.com/images.slideplayer.com/28/9351128/slides/slide_2.jpg

    Inductive reasoning
    Inductive reasoning is a method of reasoning in which the premises are viewed as supplying some evidence, but not full assurance, of the truth of the conclusion.[1] It is also described as a method where one’s experiences and observations, including what are learned from others, are synthesized to come up with a general truth.[2] Many dictionaries define inductive reasoning as the derivation of general principles from specific observations (arguing from specific to general), although there are many inductive arguments that do not have that form.[3]
    Inductive reasoning is distinct from deductive reasoning. While, if the premises are correct, the conclusion of a deductive argument is certain, the truth of the conclusion of an inductive argument is probable, based upon the evidence given.[4]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductive_reasoning

    Thus, directly contrary to what Chuck Darwin was trying to claim, Aristotelian metaphysics, actually impeded the birth of modern science and did not enhance it.

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    of supplemental note, via Stephen Meyer’s new book “Return of the God hypothesis”, here are the three necessary Christian 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
    April 2021: Defense of all 3 presuppositions
    1
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/brian-keating-on-the-problem-with-follow-the-science/#comment-727893
    2
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/brian-keating-on-the-problem-with-follow-the-science/#comment-727959
    3
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/brian-keating-on-the-problem-with-follow-the-science/#comment-727980

  8. 8
    chuckdarwin says:

    BTW, it should be noted that simultaneity of cause and effect is a fundamental concept of Buddhism, pre-dating Aristotle by about 200 to 300 years…

  9. 9
    Silver Asiatic says:

    CD

    After literally millions of pages have been written by Christian theologians and philosophers, it is amazing how little their theology has moved beyond Aristotle.

    There’s a massive and significant difference between Aristotle and Christian theology – and Christianity moved far beyond Aristotle, not merely scienfically, but in philosophical truth. As stated previously, Aristotle needed an eternal universe because a Creation Act is difficult to reconcile with Deism. But as it stands, the material universe shows evidence of a beginning, and that is more compatible with theism. Aristotle is a strong root for Christianity in philosophical terms, just as Judaism is in theology. Christ brought together both the wisdom of Greek philosophy and the spiritual teaching of Judaism into a new synthesis – East and West. Jew and Gentile – the best of both. But Christianity goes beyond a mere combination of those two and adds greater truths that neither of the ancestors had.

    In Metaphysics, God in Aristotle’s thinking is a necessary being–the Prime or Unmoved Mover–who is eternal, transcendent and impersonal.

    Christianity conflicts with the idea of the impersonal deity, as does Jewish thought. The deist god must be impersonal, but that means that intervention on earth and any creation act must be deterministic – and that contradicts the non-composite, non-contingent nature that God must have. That God has freedom to create means also that God loves His creation – He doesn’t create because something else forced Him to do it. That would be a deficient god. Plus, God interacts with creatures – and gives them an eternal destiny, made in His image, they can live with Him. In fact, it is the nature of God – given by Christianity – that He is a relationship of beings, not a solitary force. That’s much different than Aristotle. Christ also radically brought the virtue of humility before God as Father, as the foundation of all virtues and the stoics and deists did not have the same approach.

    This minimalist deity is really all that is needed for a coherent cosmology which harmonizes with science. Everything else is excess baggage…

    Human life, moral growth, character development, fulfillment of one’s purpose in life on earth, understanding one’s destiny at death, worship, love, the nature of God – all of this goes beyond mere cosmology and therefore a true religion needs to incorporate that. It’s not just excess baggage — certainly, if we all stand before God after we die, these things make a big difference.

  10. 10
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/1

    Matt Dillahunty does not understand Aquinas’s ‘First Way”

    2) Potency cannot actualize itself, because it does not exist actually.

    Potency cannot actualize anything if it does not exist actually. If it does not exist actually then it does not exist. If anything exists then there was a either a cause or causes of its existence or it has existed for eternity.

    When it is claimed that energy or information can be neither created nor destroyed the implication must be that they have always existed which means that no Uncaused First Cause such as God is required

  11. 11
    AnimatedDust says:

    ChuckieD spake:

    Everything else is excess baggage….

    Your preference for such a thing means nothing in terms of its accuracy or truth.

    Like Dillahunty, you know not of which you claim to profess.

  12. 12
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Seversky

    Potency cannot actualize anything if it does not exist actually. If it does not exist actually then it does not exist.

    This is a little bit confused in terminology – I might be misreading. Potency is potential. Potency can be actualized into something actual. But potential can only be actualized by something actual. So yes, your first sentence could just be “potency cannot actualize anything” – because only an actual thing can actualize potency. The wood has the potency to burn. Actual fire actualizes the potential of the wood to burn.
    But then to say “if potency does not exist actually, then it does not exist” causes confusion.
    If potency is actualized, then it is an actual thing (as opposed to a conceptual existence).
    But potency exists as a power or capability – wood has the potency to burn or becoming a chair. So, the capability/potency/potential exists. It has to be actualized by an actual thing (fire or a furniture maker).

  13. 13
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/1

    As Dr. Egnor explained elsewhere, for Aquinas, ‘the causal chains are causes in priority, not in time.’,, “An example of a causal chain in priority but not in time is a stable stack of books. Each book in the stack supports the book above, and is in turn supported by the book below it. In this sense, the position of each book in the stack is caused by the one below it, and each book causes the position of the book above. The stack is static — time is irrelevant to it. This kind of time-irrelevant causal chain is called (by Aristotle) an essential chain of causation. It is distinguished by an accidental chain of causation, in which time is relevant,,”

    A static stack of books is the effect of both the causes of the books themselves and the cause of the stack.

    The causes of the books are variously the author(s) of the text, the manufacturer of the paper on which the text is printed, the printing presses which print the text on the pages, the manufacturer of the cloth and cardboard used to make the cover and backing and the binders who assemble the finished product.

    The cause of the stack is the person who piled the books one on top of the other to make the stack.

    All those cause/effect chains are spatio-temporal events. The only way we know those events took place is because we and they exist over time.

  14. 14
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/1

    Again, that Aquinas, (and Aristotle), via pure reason alone, would get the basics of Quantum Wave collapse correct hundreds, even thousands, of years before quantum mechanics was even known about is nothing less than astonishing.

    It would be if they had but there is no evidence to suggest either of them had any inkling about the nature of the quantum world, apophenic analogies notwithstanding.

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky, to borrow AnimatedDust’s very apt quote, “you know not of which you claim to profess”.

    Silver Asiatic at 12, that was an almost poetic response to Seversky, and was a pleasure to read,

  16. 16
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/2

    It is also interesting to note that many Atheists, in trying to deal with quantum mechanics, and with their outlandish ‘many worlds’ interpretation, have simply tried to deny the reality of quantum wave collapse

    So you are saying that God prefers the Copenhagen interpretation?

    i.e. The atheist, with his Many Worlds interpretation, is basically saying that, instead of God simply collapsing the wave function, the material particle has somehow bestowed within itself the power to create as many universes as it wants or needs to in order to ‘explain away’ wave function collapse!

    So it’s God’s observation of the wave function which collapses it? Human or instrumental observers have nothing to do with it? I don’t remember that being part of the Copenhagen interpretation any more than MWI being purely an atheist interpretation.

    In short, the atheist’s attempt to ‘explain away’ instantaneous quantum wave collapse with their preposterous Many Worlds interpretation has now been experimentally falsified.

    Where does the paper say that?

    Now I don’t know about atheists, but saying something is in an infinite dimensional state to me, as a Christian Theist, certainly sounds very much like the theistic attribute of Omnipresence to me,

    Doesn’t to me. Something being in an infinite dimensional state doesn’t entail your God must be in any of them.

    And then saying something takes an infinite amount of information to describe properly certainly sounds to me, as a Christian Theist, very much like the Theistic attribute of Omniscience.

    And saying that there is an infinite amount of information doesn’t mean there must be a God that knows all of it or any of it.

  17. 17
    jerry says:

    This minimalist deity is really all that is needed for a coherent cosmology which harmonizes with science. Everything else is excess baggage

    ChuckDarwin has just endorsed ID. By the way so has Seversky.

    ID says nothing about a particular God or religion. So I’m not sure what the excess baggage is.

    Discussions on religion actually get in the way of accepting ID.

  18. 18
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky, as far as your incoherent responses/denials are concerned, I am quite happy to let you flail about like a chicken with your head cut off and let unbiased readers decide for themselves who has made the better case for their position.

    Although, I will be helpful to the point of giving you one small clue, Quantum Mechanics is NOT your friend Seversky.

    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism (v2)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wM0IKLv7KrE

  19. 19
    Truth Will Set You Free says:

    Jerry@17: “ChuckDarwin has just endorsed ID. By the way so has Seversky.” Yes they did. And they don’t even realize it. SMH.

  20. 20
    Silver Asiatic says:

    ChuckDarwin is a professed deist. So, his God does something and probably can be consistent with ID.
    I don’t see the same for Seversky.

  21. 21

    Again, it is total heresy to pretend that God is objective. There is no doubt about it that the creation is objective. To say God is objective, is to say God is a creation, and not a creator.

    Choice is the mechanism of creation, how a creation originates. It is patently obvious, that anything on the side of what makes a choice is subjective. Emotions, personal character, the soul, the spirit, these are all defined in terms of that they makes choices. Obviously they are all subjective.

    There is no science that describes what love consists of. It is a logically valid personal opinion that nobody every loved anyone. It is a subjective issue. And God is in the same category as emotions, the creator category.

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

  22. 22
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Seversky

    All those cause/effect chains are spatio-temporal events. The only way we know those events took place is because we and they exist over time.

    You described a sequential chain of causes stretching back in time. But that’s not the argument that Aquinas uses. His is an integral chain – meaning, the causes present simultaneously, not going back in time. For the sequential chain, causes which no longer exist are part of the chain – for the integral chain, it’s only causes that exist presently.
    Aquinas’ argument is about the chain of causes that move potency to act – moving potential capabilities to actual.
    A better example than the stack of books (which is static and harder to see what is happening) is a man moving a rock with a stick.
    That event is happening in the present. What is moving the rock? It’s the stick. Now, we need to explain how the stick is moving the rock – looking for causality.
    The stick has the potential to move things. When the stick is in potency, it would lie on the ground not doing anything. Here’s the key: An infinite chain of sticks – no matter what time period, going back to the big bang or whatever – that infinite pile of sticks, will never move any rocks. They just have the potential to move the rock.
    The only way the potency of the stick can be activated is if an actual cause moves the stick, then the stick can move the rock. So, an infinite number of potentials, cannot be the cause of things. This has nothing to do with a chain of events over time. It is looking at the present moment – what is causing things to be just as they are in this moment? Something must be activating the potential. The stick is moving – because a man (an Actualizer) is causing the stick to move from potency to act.
    Every potential needs something actual to move it to action. Potentials on their own cannot do it, even if you have an infinite number of them, or even if the universe itself is eternal and didn’t have a beginning (that idea has other problems, but just for this explanation).
    Another example is a railroad track with some box cars of a train on the track.
    The box cars today, are moving. But we know, box cars do not have the power to move on their own. They have the potency (potential/capability) to move — but they can only actually move if something actual moves them. Something that is just potential power to move them will not do it.
    “What if we had an infinite number of box cars spanning eternal time?”
    Time has nothing to do with it. An infinite number of box cars from all eternity will not be able to move unless an actual power moves them – namely, the train engine.
    If we see the cars moving, we know something (not themselves) that is actual – changed their potential for movement, to actual movement.
    So, why is this a proof for the existence of God?
    Because in order for anything to move from potential to actual, some ultimate actualizer is needed.
    The universe itself is a potential – it can be any number of things. The fact that the universe is what it is, means something actualized those potentials. The universe cannot actualize itself.
    An infinite number of potentials cannot do the trick here – only a first cause, a first Actual – a Being that has no potential but is fully Actual – only that can explain the movement, change, and actualization of all potentials in the universe.
    We don’t need to trace this back in time – time is irrelevant. We need to find the cause that moves potentials to act – in the present moment. We need a cause that is sustaining existence of things in this moment. A cause which brings everything together simultaneously, not over a stretch of time.

  23. 23
    chuckdarwin says:

    SA/Jerry/TWSYF

    Deism acknowledges that there is a maker of the universe. What label you put on this entity is idiosyncratic. I prefer Thomas Jefferson’s reference in the DOI: Nature’s God. This is also consistent with the God of Spinoza and Einstein.
    Whether Deism is consistent with “intelligent design” is, at least to me, neither here nor there. The Intelligent Design movement, as hawked by the Discovery Institute, is a public policy strategy, not a scientific research program. This is clearly borne out in the DI’s infamous Wedge Document introduced at the Kitzmiller trial in 2005. This document was originally developed in 1998 (I believe, primarily by Phillip Johnson and Stephen Meyers) and states, in relevant part:
    “Governing Goals
    -To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies.
    -To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.” https://ncse.ngo/wedge-document
    These goals are explicitly theistic and belie the notion that ID is ideologically neutral. The recent publication of Stephen Meyer’s book confirms this theistic bias in spades.

  24. 24
    jerry says:

    The Intelligent Design movement, as hawked by the Discovery Institute, is a public policy strategy, not a scientific research program.

    ID can be different things to different people.

    As I understand it, it has nothing to do with any specific religion. I put the word “specific” in the previous sentence because it most definitely makes the proposition of a creator highly probable.

    The nature of that creator may or may not be assessed from other information.

    You have endorsed ID.

  25. 25
    chuckdarwin says:

    I have a strictly formatting question. How do you set the indented quotes feature for these comments? Thanks.

  26. 26
    ET says:

    blockquote and /blockquote to close. You need the greater then and less than symbols

    blockquote html code

  27. 27
    Viola Lee says:

    Use {blockquote} and {/blockquote} around the quoted material, but use a less than sign instead of { and a greater than sign instead of }. Back when I used to post here I had keyboard shortcuts for theses two phrases.

  28. 28
    chuckdarwin says:

    Thanks

  29. 29
    chuckdarwin says:

    this is a test

    I have a strictly formatting question. How do you set the indented quotes feature for these comments?

    Thanks.

    Cool, Thanks ET and Viola Lee

  30. 30
    jerry says:

    The recent publication of Stephen Meyer’s book confirms this theistic bias in spades.

    You could not have made this statement and read Meyer’s book.

  31. 31
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I’m about 1/3 into Meyer’s book (reading slowly and taking notes) – there’s no promotion of theism thus far at all – I don’t anticipate anything close until maybe the last chapter.

    CD wrote:

    Deism acknowledges that there is a maker of the universe. What label you put on this entity is idiosyncratic. I prefer Thomas Jefferson’s reference in the DOI: Nature’s God. This is also consistent with the God of Spinoza and Einstein.

    Yes – this is classic Deism where the grand scope of nature is evidence for the existence of Nature’s God. This is exactly what ID proposes – it’s fully compatible with intelligent design theory.

    Whether Deism is consistent with “intelligent design” is, at least to me, neither here nor there. The Intelligent Design movement …

    Intelligent Design is something different than “The Intelligent Design movement”.
    The former is what we discuss here – and it finds support among deists, polytheists, classical theists, immaterialists and even some atheists.
    The latter is irrelevant and I would say does not even exist.
    It’s like saying “The Deist Movement” or “The Atheist Movement”.
    Intelligent Design is a proposal. A “movement” is some kind of organized program.
    Just speaking for myself, I’m not part of an intelligent design movement – but I promote the theory of intelligent design.

  32. 32
    Viola Lee says:

    I recently read “A Critique of Stephen Meyer’s ‘Return of the God Hypothesis’”, by Henry Racette (who I know nothing about), at a website called Richochet, which describes itself as “the leading community on the Internet for civil discussion of the center-right and beyond!”

    Those of you interested in ID might want to read this: A Critique of Stephen Meyer’s ‘Return of the God Hypothesis’

    At one point he clearly describes a critique of one of the fundamental arguments of ID that I have always felt but never articulated so well. I’ll let you guys consider this:

    Claim: The Genetic Code is Evidence of an Intelligent Designer

    Put simply, Meyer’s argument here is based on the observation that the genetic code – the encoding of information in the DNA of living things – represents a particular kind of “functional” information storage mechanism that is unlikely to have arisen through purely natural processes. I find this the most unsatisfying of Meyer’s claims.

    Meyer argues in his book and in his numerous public appearances that, in our consistent and repeated experience, every instance of such functional information storage is the result of a guiding intelligence. It follows, he argues, that the storage of functional information in DNA must also be the product of a guiding intelligence.

    This seems to be such an obviously poor and illogical argument that I find myself wondering if I am missing something profound. But let’s break it down.

    1. We are aware of numerous examples of the encoding of “functional” information in a structured form, from computer programs to grammars to all sorts of artificial symbolic schemes.

    2. Our experience with all of these is that they are the product of intelligence. Specifically, they are the product of human intelligence.

    3. It is, therefore, our uniform and repeated experience that such encoding is the product of intelligence.

    4.But we are also aware of the encoding of “functional” information in a structured form in the DNA that is found in each of our cells. It follows, therefore, that this information too must be the product of intelligence, since it is our universal and repeated experience that all such information is the product of intelligence.

    But wait. That is – at best – a circular argument. If we include DNA in our initial inventory of “functional” information, then it’s no longer our uniform and repeated experience that such information is the product of intelligence. Rather, it’s our uniform and repeated experience that man-made encoding of information is man-made. That says nothing about not-man-made encoding of information.

    (On the other hand, it does seem to me that Meyer would be more consistent if he argued that, since every instance of encoded information of which we’re aware is actually man-made, DNA must also be man-made. But that would be an even more absurd argument.)

    Instances of functional information storage in DNA both predate and outnumber every form which we can trace to an intelligent source – that is, every form which was created by man. Our actual experience is that every cell in every organism contains a vast amount of structured, functional information for which we can identify no creating intelligence. There is no basis, therefore, for his oft-repeated claim that, in our consistent experience, such storage is an artifact of intelligence, and the fact that he continues to repeat the claim strikes me as peculiar.

  33. 33
    jerry says:

    a critique of one of the fundamental arguments of ID that I have always felt but never articulated so well.

    What’s the argument that’s being criticized?

    I don’t see one. Or at least one that is coherent.

  34. 34
    Viola Lee says:

    The argument being criticized is clearly stated in points 1-4.

  35. 35
    ET says:

    Is it a circular argument to say that Stonehenge was intelligently designed because we know that intelligent agencies can build such things?

    The argument the genetic code was intelligently designed follows the same rules of reasoning and logic as does the argument that Stonehenge was intelligently designed. Both are based on our knowledge of cause and effect relationships. And in both cases the inference to intelligent design can be falsified just by stepping up and demonstrating that nature can produce such things.

    1- We observe the genetic code
    2- We have never observed nature producing such systems
    3- We don’t even know how to test the claim that nature can produce such systems
    4- Hitchens said we can dismiss such claims
    5- We have observed intelligent agencies producing such systems
    6- We know that those agencies could not have invented it
    7- So we infer it was some other intelligent agencies who did

  36. 36
    ET says:

    Viola Lee- DNA is basically inert. At best it is just a template for transcribing RNAs and to also make copies of itself. It doesn’t do anything without a suite of existing, specific proteins and a coded information processing system. And you can’t get there from the imaginary RNA world.

  37. 37
    bornagain77 says:

    VL, He is missing a key premise of Meyer’s argument, namely “1. Various kinds of natural processes are not sufficient to produce new functional information, (specifically the digital code that is stored in the DNA molecule).”

    “A God of the gaps argument is an argument that has a formal logical structure that in logic is known as a ‘argument from ignorance’. It is an informal fallacy. Arguments from ignorance have the following form.,,,
    1. Cause A is not sufficient to produce effect X
    2. Therefore cause B must have produced effect X
    ,,, but if I have no independent evidence that cause B can produce effect X, then I have committed a fallacy of arguing from ignorance. Because, just because cause A is not sufficient to produce effect X doesn’t mean that some other cause did it. You have to have independent evidence that that other cause is capable of doing it (i.e. producing the effect in question). That then becomes a God of the gaps argument when you say various natural processes are not sufficient to produce, say, the origin of the first life or the origin of the first animals in the history of life. If I were then to say, “Therefore God did it”, that would be a God of the gaps argument. It would be an argument from ignorance.
    But that is not how we are arguing when we make the case for Intelligent Design because we are adding an additional premise. We are saying that.,,,
    1. Various kinds of natural processes are not sufficient to produce new functional information, (specifically the digital code that is stored in the DNA molecule).
    2. We do know of a cause that does produce (functional digital) information. (We have independent evidence that intelligent agency, that mind,,, can create (functional digital) information.),,,
    ,, so when we infer an Intelligent Agent as having acted in the past based on the digital code stored in the macromolecules of life we are not arguing from our ignorance. We are arguing from our knowledge of cause and effect in the world. (Specifically we are arguing from what we know minds can do, i.e. produce information.)
    – Stephen Meyer Debunks the “God of the Gaps” Objection – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGqzCA1mnyM

    Moreover, Stephen Meyer is using the exact same type of scientific reasoning that Charles Darwin himself used to establish his theory as scientifically plausible. Namely, explaining events in the remote past by referring to presently acting causes known to produce the effect in question.

    “So I began to wonder if this intuition, this intuitive connection between information and intelligence, could be formulated as a rigorous scientific argument. And that was my big animating question as I left for Grad school. And I began to study the scientific method and methods of reasoning that scientists use when they are investigating these questions about what happened in the remote past. In the distant past. These origins questions. So naturally that led me to Darwin. And I learned that Darwin had a particular method of reasoning that is now called ‘the method of multiple competing hypothesis’ or ‘the method of inference to the best explanation’. And he (Darwin) said in justifying his own theory that he inferred his picture of the history of life as the best explanation and that he would hold it until a better explanation came along. But that raised the question, “Well what makes an explanation best?”,, And I came across the answer to that (question), not only in Darwin’s work where he had a very specific criterion of ‘best explanation’, but also in the work of his scientific mentor, Charles Lyell, the great geologist. And I’ll never forget the day that I was reading this boring Victorian sub-title to a dusty old book, and for me the light bulb just went on. Here’s the book, “Principles of Geology: Being an attempt to explain the former changes of the Earth’s surface by reference to causes now in operation.” And this idea just hit me like a thunderbolt. I remember right where I was. What Lyell was saying was that if you are going to explain an event in the remote past you should not invoke a cause the effects of which we do not know. You should invoke a cause the effects of which we do know. You should invoke a cause that is presently acting, or now operating, which has the power to produce the effect in question.,, The best explanation is (found) by reference to a cause that is known to produce what you are trying to explain.,,,”
    So when I began to think of the information question in light of the “Darwinian methodology’, the Lyellian principles of uniformitarian reasoning, I realized that, using Darwin’s own method of reasoning, we should come to a very different conclusion,, Why? Because there is something else we know about information, and this was my second epiphany. Information scientist Henry Quastler, early pioneer in applying information science and theoretical analysis to molecular biology, to the genome. Off hand, not meaning to say anything about this question of design in biology, he said “The creation of information is habitually associated with conscious activity.”
    Now think of that in light of causes now in operation. In other words, what he is saying is the cause now in operation for the production of information is,, intelligence, mind, conscious activity.
    So I realized that applying Darwin’s key standard of ‘best explanation’, Lyell’s principle of reasoning, to the information question, to the DNA enigma, there was a powerful rationale supporting the inference to intelligent design. Why? Because we know of only one cause that produces information.
    I knew from my study of Origin of Life research that chance, necessity, the combination of the two, and all the models that fell under those mutually exhaustive categories, had failed, But there was a cause of which we know is capable of producing information. And that cause is conscious activity, rational deliberation, intelligent design. Is this consistent with our experience? Absolutely.,, (whenever you trace information back to its source),, invariable come to an intelligent cause, not to a mindless, undirected, process. So when we encounter information at the foundation of life, in these information bearing molecules, such as DNA, RNA, and proteins, the most logical thing to conclude, based on our knowledge of cause and effect, based on our knowledge of causes now in operation, is that intelligence also played a role in the origin of the first life because life depends of information.”
    – Stephen Meyer: Charles Darwin’s Methods, Different Conclusion – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqq6JP5gE0E

    So, since Stephen Meyer is using the same exact method of scientific reasoning that Darwin himself did, then, in so far as you want to say that Meyer is being circular and/or unscientific in his arguments, then you must also conclude that Darwin himself was also being circular and/or unscientific in his arguments.

    Also of note, unlike Darwinists who continually ignore any and all falsifying scientific evidence against their theory, ID advocates put their money where their mouth is. Specifically, there is a 10 million dollar prize being offered for anyone who can falsify Intelligent Design and prove that unguided natural processes can produce coded information.

    CHICAGO, Jan. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — An incentive prize ten times the size of the Nobel – believed to be the largest single award ever in basic science – is being offered to the person or team solving the largest mystery in history: how genetic code inside cells got there, and how cells intentionally self-organize, communicate, then purposely adapt.
    https://www.prnewswire.com/in/news-releases/evolution-2-0-prize-unprecedented-10-million-offered-to-replicate-cellular-evolution-875038146.html

    Of supplemental note, The main problem for Darwinists in explaining the Origin of Life, (and the main problem for Darwinian evolution in general), is explaining where the (immaterial) information in life came from.,,,
    Darwinian atheists simply have no clue how inanimate matter can possibly generate (immaterial) information. As Werner Gitt noted, “,,,there is no known law of nature and no known sequence of events which can cause information to originate by itself in matter. ”,,,,
    – August 2021
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/an-utterly-serious-look-at-origin-of-life-claims/#comment-736150

    Also of supplemental note, Christianity just so happened to ‘predict’ that life had an author long before anyone even knew about information in DNA.

    Acts 3:15
    You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.

  38. 38
    Hanks says:

    Mind-blowing . Biologists and mathematicians don’t understand cybernetic systems.
    Computers (0, 1) binary code
    DNA -(A,C,T,G) quaternary code
    Glycome- 60 symbol-system code.
    Do the math.

  39. 39
    Viola Lee says:

    BA writes, “VL, He is missing a key premise of Meyer’s argument, namely “1. Various kinds of natural processes are not sufficient to produce new functional information.”

    How do we know that? Merely arguing points 1-4 above, as Meyer does, and does in the quote you offered, is not a sufficient argument to establish that.

  40. 40
    bornagain77 says:

    VL And exactly how was Charles Darwin arguing from presently acting causes a sufficient argument to establish his theory as plausible? To use your own words against you, “it is not a sufficient argument to establish that.”

    And to repeat, all you have to do to falsify ID and collect yourself a cool 10 million dollars in the process is prove that natural causes are sufficient to explain coded information.

    Whereas, on the other hand, no one can ever seem to find a rigid falsification criteria for Darwinian evolution so as to demarcate Darwinian evolution from pseudoscience.

    As Denis Nobel. President of International Union of Physiological Sciences, stated,

    Central tenets of neo-Darwinism broken. Response to ‘Neo-Darwinism is just fine’ – 2015
    Excerpt: “If, as the commentator seems to imply, we make neo-Darwinism so flexible as an idea that it can accept even those findings that the originators intended to be excluded by the theory it is then incumbent on modern neo-Darwinists to specify what would now falsify the theory. If nothing can do this then it is not a scientific theory.”
    – Denis Noble
    https://jeb.biologists.org/content/218/16/2659

    Here are a few falsifications of Darwinian evolution that Darwinists simply refuse to ever accept as falsifications of their theory:

    Darwin’s theory holds mutations to the genome to be random. The vast majority of mutations to the genome are not random but are found to be ‘directed’.

    Darwin’s theory holds that Natural Selection is the ‘designer substitute’ that produces the ‘appearance’ and/or illusion of design. Natural Selection, especially for multicellular organisms, is found to grossly inadequate as the ‘designer substitute.

    Darwin’s theory holds that mutations to DNA will eventually change the basic biological form of any given species into a new form of a brand new species. Yet, biological form is found to be irreducible to mutations to DNA, nor is biological form reducible to any other material particulars in biology one may wish to invoke.

    Darwin’s theory holds there to be an extremely beneficial and flexible mutation rate for DNA which was ultimately responsible for all the diversity and complexity of life we see 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.

    Charles Darwin himself held that the gradual unfolding of life would (someday) be self-evident in the fossil record. Yet, from the Cambrian Explosion onward, the fossil record is 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. Moreover, Fossils are found in the “wrong place” all the time (either too early, or too late).

    Darwin’s theory, due to the randomness postulate, holds that patterns will not repeat themselves in supposedly widely divergent species. Yet thousands of instances of what is ironically called ‘convergent evolution’, on both the morphological and genetic level, falsifies the Darwinian belief that patterns will not repeat themselves in widely divergent species.

    Charles Darwin himself stated that “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Yet as Doug Axe pointed out, “Basically every gene and every new protein fold, there is nothing of significance that we can show that can be had in that gradualistic way. It’s all a mirage. None of it happens that way.”

    Charles Darwin himself stated that “If it could be proved that any part of the structure of any one species had been formed for the exclusive good of another species, it would annihilate my theory, for such could not have been produced through natural selection.” Yet as Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig pointed out, “in thousands of plant species often entirely new organs have been formed for the exclusive good of more than 132,930 other species, these ‘ugly facts’ have annihilated Darwin’s theory as well as the modern versions of it.”

    Charles Darwin himself stated that, ““The impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God.”. Yet ‘our conscious selves’ are certainly not explainable by ‘chance’ (nor is consciousness explainable by any possible reductive materialistic explanation in general), i.e. ‘the hard problem of consciousness’.

    Besides the mathematics of probability consistently showing that Darwinian evolution is impossible, the mathematics of population genetics itself has now shown Darwinian evolution to be impossible. Moreover, ‘immaterial’ mathematics itself, which undergirds all of science, engineering and technology, is held by most mathematicians to exist in some timeless, unchanging, immaterial, Platonic realm. Yet, the reductive materialism that Darwinian theory is based upon denies the existence of the immaterial realm that mathematics exists in. i.e. Darwinian evolution actually denies the objective reality of the one thing, i.e. mathematics, that it most needs in order to be considered scientific in the first place!

    Donald Hoffman has, via population genetics, shown that if Darwin’s materialistic theory were true then all our observations of reality would be illusory. Yet the scientific method itself is based on reliable observation. Moreover, Quantum Mechanics itself has now shown that conscious observation must come before material reality, i.e. falsification of ‘realism’ proves that our conscious observations are reliable!.

    The reductive materialism that undergirds Darwinian thought holds that immaterial information is merely ’emergent’ from a material basis. Yet immaterial Information, via experimental realization of the “Maxwell’s Demon” thought experiment, is now found to be its own distinctive physical entity that, although it can interact in a ‘top down’ manner with matter and energy, is separate from matter and energy.

    Darwinists hold that Darwin’s theory is true. Yet ‘Truth’ itself is an abstract property of an immaterial mind that is irreducible to the reductive materialistic explanations of Darwinian evolution. i.e. Assuming reductive materialism and/or Naturalism as the starting philosophical position of science actually precludes ‘the truth’ from ever being reached by science!

    Darwinist’s, due to their underlying naturalistic philosophy, insist that teleology (i.e. goal directed purpose) does not exist. Yet it is impossible for Biologists to do biological research without constantly invoking words that directly imply teleology. i.e. The very words that Biologists themselves use when they are doing their research falsifies Darwinian evolution.

    Verse:

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    Test all things; hold fast what is good.

    Darwinists, since they refuse to adhere to the criteria of falsification, are simply not even talking about reality with their ‘theory’

    “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable: and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.”
    – Karl R. Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery

    “If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what his name is … If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.”
    – Richard Feynman

    Darwinian evolution, via its refusal to adhere to the criteria of experimental falsification, is far more realistically classified as a pseudoscience, even as a religion for atheists, rather than being classified as a hard and testable science.

    Shoot, we can’t even realistically model Darwinian evolution!

    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/

  41. 41
    Viola Lee says:

    One of the reasons I quit posting here, and will not continue this discussion much longer, is that most discussions do not stay focused on particular points, but wander all over the place. So far no one has even shown signs of understanding Racette’s critique, much less addressing it. Carry on.

    I take that back a bit: BA’s first sentence of 37 did address Recette’s argument.

  42. 42
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, are you familiar with the logic of abduction? In this form of inductive reasoning, modern sense, one argues per evidentiary support not deductive demonstration. It is and has long been commonly used in science for hypothesis generation and for inference to the best current explanation across competing candidate causes etc. This is not question-begging and it is hyperskeptical to refrain from a best current, known causally adequate explanation through suggesting an utterly unknown X which has no actual empirical support. It smacks of hostility to the best candidate. Here, digital, algorithmic string based codes of high complexity. Manifestations of language. Also of goal directed stepwise process. Where blind chance and/or mechanical necessity and/or intelligently directed configuration are well established candidates for string sequences. Of these, mechanical necessity causes low contingency thus low information carrying capacity. Blind chance can account for short messages but struggles to reach the 500 – 1,000 bit threshold we are looking at, exhausting solar system or observed cosmos scale atomic resources and time. Only intelligently directed configuration is well known from observation to produce long, complex, meaningful, functional strings such as we see. That confers an epistemic right to infer on tested, reliable sign. KF

  43. 43
    jerry says:

    So far no one has even shown signs of understanding Racette’s critique, much less addressing it. Carry on.

    I didn’t see a coherent critique and asked what it was.

    What I got back was read it again. I still don’t see a coherent critique.

    Racette put forward a flawed argument and then claimed Meyer’s argument was circular when it is not. At the moment there is only one intelligence known to exist, namely humans. So if something which is similar appears prior to human’s existence Racette is saying arbitraryly that it cannot be due to an intelligence because there is no other intelligence that has existed.

    Racette is assuming there is no other intelligence but that is begging the question and a logical fallacy. In other words Racette presented a fallacious critique.

    Meyer is hypothesizing that there must have been another intelligence because natural processes do not have the capability to generate this type of product but intelligence does.
    Since it existed it must have been generated by some intelligence.

    To undermine Meyer’s hypothesis all one has to do is show that the product could be done by natural processes. But coherent arguments have been made that this impossible. Thus, giving credence to Meyer’s conclusion.

    It is anything but circular.

  44. 44
    jerry says:

    Of all the known products in the universe, a small subset exhibit certain characteristics, containing functional information. All instances of these products have been constructed by humans except one because it existed prior to humans. None of the products with these characteristics are the result of known natural processes.

    This product that existed before humans existed has these same characteristics but it is not know how this product originated. Because there is no known natural process that is capable of producing this product, it is hypothesized that an unknown process which is not a natural process has caused this product to exist. We call this unknown process intelligence.

    We have no knowledge of any of the specific characteristics of this process, but hypothesize it is similar to humans in its ability to create functional information.

  45. 45
    bornagain77 says:

    Jerry succinctly states, “Racette is assuming there is no other intelligence but that is begging the question and a logical fallacy. In other words Racette presented a fallacious critique.”

    Bingo! Very nicely put and sweetly summarized!

    Moreover, Racette, unwittingly or not, (besides assuming there is no other intelligence), is also assuming that some unknown natural process in the past must have been capable of producing (functional digital) information since no presently acting natural process has ever been shown to be capable of producing (functional digital) information.

    In 41 VL complained that my post at 40 “wander(ed) all over the place”. But looking over my post in 40, I realized that all the falsifications of Darwin’s theory that I listed in post 40 actually in fact do, in one way or the other, (and more or less), have to do directly with the fact that Darwin’s theory is grossly inadequate to explain the origin of information, (as well as being grossly inadequate in explaining the origin of immaterial minds that produce immaterial information).

    In VL falsely claiming that my post at 40 “wander(ed) all over the place”, my guess is that VL would have much preferred Racette’s critique to stay focused solely on ID and did not want Darwin’s theory dragged into the conversation. But alas, if Darwin’s theory is not subject to the same exact critique that Racette, (and VL), are trying to level against ID then that is hardly a fair critique of ID now is it?

    Provers 20:10
    Unequal weights and unequal measures are both alike an abomination to the Lord.

  46. 46
    Hanks says:

    To undermine Meyer’s hypothesis all one has to do is show that the product could be done by natural processes.

    Please don’t wake up the dreamers(darwinists, naturalists &co.) from the only dream are allowed to dream(even nobody saw the magic of life appeared by chance they keep firmly their belief). They have the pretensions to respect their fallacies as truth.
    They are in error and they are the ones that get upset: I’m going to take my ball and go home!

  47. 47
    ET says:

    Viola Lee:

    So far no one has even shown signs of understanding Racette’s critique, much less addressing it.

    That is your opinion and it’s wrong. Racette doesn’t show any signs of understanding science, logic or reasoning.

  48. 48
    Origenes on vacation says:

    Racette’s argument reminds me of Murray’s article (cannot find it) about that space exploration team which discovered an abandoned battleship at some unknown far away planet. Despite the presence of computers and all sorts of intricate machinery on the abandoned ship, the darwinians on the exploration team were incapable of inferring intelligent design as the cause for the battleship.

  49. 49
    AnimatedDust says:

    Viola, I would have to ask you to reflect deeply on why you are withdrawing from the debate. You should examine why you would rather cling to what your preferences dictate as your reality, and leave, over surrendering to the reality that your position is wrong.

    You won’t be able to withdraw after you’ve taken your last breath on earth. And reality will be what it is.

    The loving embrace of the most magnificent, perfect intellect in the universe (and outside of it), who knew you long before you were ever born, for he created you, with a perfect, eternal love, or his granting of your long held earthly wish.

    Choose wisdom over folly.

  50. 50
    Viola Lee says:

    The certainty that so many here have, such as you, that this is a religious issue involving God is one of the reasons why. I have participated in hours and hours of discussion on this subject over the years, and quite a few months ago decided that any further discussion at this site was not worth my time. I posted yesterday for the reason I mentioned in the third paragraph of post #32.

  51. 51
    AnimatedDust says:

    I’m curious. You devoted a ton of study to it, and you participated to a great extent with those like me, here.

    What made you decide it wasn’t worth your time?

    Evidently no one changed your mind.

    Have you ever thought deeply about why that is?

    Two questions for you:

    1. Why am I so unsettled by this?

    2. What would it mean for me if the opposite view is true?

  52. 52
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Racette says:

    Meyer would be more consistent if he argued that, since every instance of encoded information of which we’re aware is actually man-made, DNA must also be man-made.

    Plants produce information – exhibiting intelligence. Insects produce information – exhibiting intelligence. Non-human mammals produce encoded information – exhibiting intelligence. This is a progression of various sources of the same thing – namely intelligence. Even among humans, we notice a difference between the intelligence of children, of teenagers and adults – and among adults, a growth of intelligence from lesser to greater and to a maximal level. Is it difficult to project the existence of an even greater level of intelligence beyond-human?

    Racette is unaware of this, saying that all encoded information is man-made – so supposedly, SETI should think that any complex, non-random signals they may receive in outer space is the product of human beings living out there somewhere. He’s not being reasonable.

    Racette also says this:

    Again, perhaps I am misunderstanding his argument in some way which will be immediately evident when it’s explained to me.

    I hope someone will take the time to explain it to him.

  53. 53
    ram says:

    Viola: “but wander all over the place. ”

    Humans are like that. Welcome to earth. 😉

  54. 54
    ram says:

    Darwin was wrong. Not really a live issue anymore.
    QM and Einstein can’t agree.
    Human reason is obviously limited.
    Fascinating world we live in, eh?
    Nobody knows what’s going on here.
    Relax, enjoy life, and love your neighbor as yourself.
    Hang all the law and the prophets on that.
    Don’t worry. You’ll be okay.

  55. 55
    Viola Lee says:

    re 51, to AD. My post at 32 was not about God. It was about a critique of a particular common argument about the existence of genetics. And the reasons I quit posting here were much more about the nature and quality of the conversation, not about the content. And I’m sure why you think I am “unsettled by this” whatever “this” you are referring to.

    In this case, I was “unsettled” by what I consider a weak, flawed argument, and approved of Racette’s articulation of the issue. However, as is common here, most of the responses have gone far beyond the specific issue that I was interested in. As I alluded to above, one of the hallmarks of constructive discussion is for the participant to stay focused on the issue at hand and on the specific points being made, and that is not usually what happens here.

  56. 56
    Viola Lee says:

    Supposed to have written “And I’m not sure why you think I am “unsettled by this” whatever “this” you are referring to.

  57. 57
    ram says:

    Viola Lee, do you expect your consciousness to survive after death or no?

    It’s an imporant question because it informs readers about what drives your worldview.

    Wouldn’t you agree it’s a fundamental question?

    Thanks

  58. 58
    Viola Lee says:

    Ram, that is a real good example of a question that is totally not focused on the specific point I posted about, and am interested in discussing.

  59. 59
    Origenes on vacation says:

    Viola Lee, at #52 Silver Asiatic is very much on point wrt to your question. Why is it that you ignore this post, and keep your focus on participants who “dare” to go beyond the territory you outlined?

  60. 60
    ram says:

    Viola: Ram, that is a real good example of a question that is totally not focused on the specific point I posted about, and am interested in discussing.

    OK. But, Viola, you’re not the only chicken in the coop here. It’s not all about you. You’re only 1/2 of any given exchange. If you’re not interested in disclosing your worldview or motives or anything else, that’s OK, I understand. But it does sort of limit real communication. Especially if Understanding is part of the communcation. What are you looking for here? You are free to ignore that question, of course. Blessings.

  61. 61
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, 52,

    Racette knows or should know that humans do not exhaust the possibilities for information creation or language, or more broadly, intelligently directed configuration. The attempt to pin inference to design and particularly code to human coders is an example of a strawman fallacy.

    Moreover, our cells exhibit coded DNA, we are within the set, cell based life. Thus, given the fallacy of circular causation, we are not designers of the DNA in cell based life. However, as coding language users we show the feasibility of such intelligences and thus it is reasonable to infer that the living cell was designed by a code-making, language using designer. Further, as the design uses molecular nanotech [which we are just beginning to do] we can also note that the designer was clearly competent in that field.

    That he did this sort of strawman resort, is suggestive of the weakness of his argument and determination to cling to a preferred position despite its clear weaknesses.

    KF

  62. 62
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, kindly note the just above. KF

  63. 63
    Hanks says:

    When someone says: “All religions are the same.” that involves “All opinions are the same” so how come is upset by other’s opinions that are different from his opinions? Maybe he should review his worldview?

  64. 64
    ET says:

    Viola Lee’s post @ 32 just proves that neither she nor Racette understand science.

    The issue here is there is ONE and ONLY one known cause for producing coded information processing systems and that is via intelligent agency volition. That Racette and Viola can ignore that and prattle on is very telling.

  65. 65
    Seversky says:

    Origenes On Vacation/48

    Racette’s argument reminds me of Murray’s article (cannot find it) about that space exploration team which discovered an abandoned battleship at some unknown far away planet. Despite the presence of computers and all sorts of intricate machinery on the abandoned ship, the darwinians on the exploration team were incapable of inferring intelligent design as the cause for the battleship.

    If we found a recognizable battleship on some distant planet, neither Darwinists nor ID proponents would be arguing about whether or not it was designed. The obvious questions would be who designed and built it and how did it get there?

    However, as a counter-example, suppose we landed on another distant planet and found a small ravine or canyon with thousands of shards of flint of different sizes strewn around, apparently haphazardly on the ground. Some of the shards have a triangular shape and sharp edges reminiscent of flint arrowheads found back on Earth. Yet our ship’s sensors found no evidence of intelligent life on a detailed scan of the planet’s surface – no cities, villages, settlements or encampments anywhere. Do we infer that those shards are actually arrowheads or do we infer that they are the result of natural processes?

  66. 66
    Origenes on vacation says:

    Seversky,

    If we found a recognizable battleship on some distant planet, neither Darwinists nor ID proponents would be arguing about whether or not it was designed

    Racette and Viola would disagree. According to them, the only intelligence that exists is human intelligence, and since there are no humans on the distant planet, the battleship could not possibly be intelligently designed.

    ,

  67. 67
    kairosfocus says:

    Re VL at 32, citing:

    But wait. That is – at best – a circular argument. If we include DNA in our initial inventory of “functional” information, then it’s no longer our uniform and repeated experience that such information is the product of intelligence. Rather, it’s our uniform and repeated experience that man-made encoding of information is man-made. That says nothing about not-man-made encoding of information.

    Failure to understand inference on reliable sign.

    Uniform repeated experience of OBSERVED CAUSE of FSCO/I is of intelligently directed configuration. Trillions of cases, no exceptions and other known causal factors are inadequate once there is complexity and non regularity joined to 500 – 1,000 or more bits complexity. Thus we have an inference on reliable sign, even where we have not seen the direct cause.

    Further to which, the attempt to collapse intelligent cause into human cause fails instantly. Fails so badly that this is a strawman fallacy. For that matter as the phrasing was obvious the pretence that DNA is an exception is also a strawman.

    The poor quality of objections is now further evidence on the force of the inference on sign.

    KF

  68. 68
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, if there were sufficient cases of evident arrow heads that would be reason to infer arrows designed by makers. Shards at random do not produce arrow head shapes consistently. KF

  69. 69
    Viola Lee says:

    OoV says, “Racette and Viola would disagree. According to them, the only intelligence that exists is human intelligence”

    That is absolutely not what I’ve said, or intended to imply with my post, and it is not the point of the quote from Racette.

    This is another good example of why I don’t post here anymore: instead of careful discussions about what people think the standard responses just jump to all sorts of conclusions driven by ideological preconceptions. My post at 32 was not about my views, so what I believe or don’t believe has not been part of my participation. My post was about a critique of a common argument.

    I really don’t want to go on, but I couldn’t let OoV’s comment go by. Arrgghhh.

  70. 70
    Hanks says:

    Seversky
    Some of the shards have a triangular shape and sharp edges reminiscent of flint arrowheads found back on Earth. Yet our ship’s sensors found no evidence of intelligent life on a detailed scan of the planet’s surface – no cities, villages, settlements or encampments anywhere. Do we infer that those shards are actually arrowheads or do we infer that they are the result of natural processes?

    🙂 There is a galactic distance between your example and the simplest cell . Maybe you should learn what biologists know about the cell. They know something ,not all but something is more than you know.

  71. 71
    Origenes on vacation says:

    VL

    …. it’s not the point of the quote from Racette.

    Yes it most definitely is. If you didn’t get that then it is indeed better that you don’t post here anymore. It is not worth your and our time.

  72. 72
    Hank Racette says:

    All,

    I just wanted to make a comment or two in response to a few things said here.

    First, thank you Viola for mentioning (#32) my critique of Meyer’s book.

    I am a contributing writer at Ricochet.com, which is a center-right conservative site. One of the founders, Peter Robinson, is a personal friend of Stephen Meyer, and has interviewed him on more than one occasion. My views are almost certainly not representative of the view of most Ricochet members; I am agnostic, and I think most there would describe themselves as believers. I have a great deal of respect for both science and religion, and my response to Meyer’s book has to do with what I think is an unhealthy blending of the two domains that, I believe, does disservice to both.

    Specifically regarding the portion of my critique Viola quoted:

    Bornagain77 suggests (#37) that I am missing a key element of Meyer’s claim regarding DNA. That’s not correct: I am fully aware of Meyer’s claims, but the comment Viola quoted is focused specifically on one particular claim that Meyer repeats in his book and frequently in his guest appearances on various programs. That claim is that it is our universal and repeated experience that all functional encoding of information is the product of intelligence. He states this in various ways, but the point is always the same: that *all* instances of “functional information” of which we’re aware are the product of a designing intelligence. My point in highlighting this is to point out that it’s simply circular reasoning to exclude most of this so-called “functional information” (i.e., that in genetic material) when making that claim, and then to turn around and apply the claim to that previously excluded information.

    There may well be good reasons to be skeptical that genetic encoding could arise through abiogenesis, but this particular very flawed argument of Meyer’s is not one of them. It is, however, a very approachable argument, and one that Meyer uses to good effect when persuading people. Perhaps because much of his book is too technical for his audience, Meyer leans heavily into this argument, and so I singled it out for criticism.

    My interest in disentangling religion and science is two-fold: I think religion is important and valuable, and that dragging belief down into the realm of the falsifiable is bad for believers; and, honestly, I think science is undermined when otherwise rational people attempt to disprove God through scientific argument.

    Respectfully,
    Hank

  73. 73
    Viola Lee says:

    I disagree. The point of Racette’s article was not “the only intelligence that exists is human intelligence”. It was that Meyer’s argument was flawed. You and other don’t agree that the arguments is flawed-I know that-, but you should at least be able to see that saying that the argument is flawed is very different from saying that the only intelligence that exists is human. But I agree that if you and others can’t see that, it is a waste of time to post here about it.

  74. 74
    davidl1 says:

    I’m late to the game, but this seems to be a mistake:

    Instances of functional information storage in DNA both predate and outnumber every form which we can trace to an intelligent source – that is, every form which was created by man. Our actual experience is that every cell in every organism contains a vast amount of structured, functional information for which we can identify no creating intelligence. There is no basis, therefore, for his oft-repeated claim that, in our consistent experience, such storage is an artifact of intelligence, and the fact that he continues to repeat the claim strikes me as peculiar.”

    The “oft-repeated claim” is that in instances where we know the source, it’s always an intelligence.

  75. 75
    Viola Lee says:

    re 73. That I think is the point Racette is making.

  76. 76
    Hank Racette says:

    also re: 73

    David, Meyer sometimes makes that distinction. It doesn’t improve his argument, and it’s even a bit disingenuous in that it skips the “and that intelligence is human” part, which would tend to water down the category generalization he is intending to make.

    That is, it’s harder to generalize from a more specific example. Suppose, for instance, that he pointed out that “every instance of functionally encoded information that we can identify as having been created by Intel was created by an American corporation, ergo….” We’d recognize that as oddly and inappropriately specific, and not something from which we want to make a lot of generalizations about more broadly encoded information.

    He also routinely makes the argument without including the “for which we know the source” qualification. But, again, that qualification adds nothing to the strength of his argument, though it does remove the circularity.

  77. 77
    davidl1 says:

    The way I read it, Racette is claiming that ID proponents claim that functional information is always an artifact of intelligence, and that the claim is question begging.

    The actual claim of ID proponents is that when we know the source it’s always intelligence. Since that’s the case, and since we know of one (and so far only one) source of functional information, intelligent design is more plausible than unguided forces as a source for the information. There’s no question begging involved.

    Unrelated question on comments being posted. I was editing my comment until about 10 seconds before it was uneditable. Is the comment posted immediately, and still available for editing?

  78. 78
    AnimatedDust says:

    DavidL1, exactly. VL, Seems like Racette’s position is a preference for you. Why is that?

  79. 79
    Viola Lee says:

    I don’t believe that Racette says anything about contrasting intelligent design with “unguided forces” as a source for the information. He may very well personally believe that God is the source of the information. (He is a fairly strong conservative political commentor, FWIW.) What he is claiming is that Meyer’s argument is a bad argument. That doesn’t mean he is arguing for “unguided forces.”

  80. 80
    davidl1 says:

    I didn’t mean to imply the Racette was using “unguided forces” in his argument.

    I think his claim is that ID proponents argue that all functional information is from intelligence. He seems to be claiming that as a starting point for ID. It’s definitely not a starting point. At most, it’s a reasonable conclusion based on the the fact that all instances of functional information, where we know the source, have been found to be from intelligence.

    I think he’s arguing against a strawman at best. I don’t doubt that he sincerely believes that ID proponents start with the conclusion, but that isn’t a valid conclusion based on the actual ID argument.

    At least that’s my take on it.

    Not to side-track the discussion, but I think AD hit on an interesting point. It’s interesting that intelligent, informed, sincere people can come to such different conclusions. Kind of unsettling actually. And to be clear, this side-track is not a criticizing or supporting anybody or any position. Just an interesting side point.

  81. 81
    Hank Racette says:

    As regards #78:

    David, you wrote:

    “Not to side-track the discussion, but I think AD hit on an interesting point. It’s interesting that intelligent, informed, sincere people can come to such different conclusions. Kind of unsettling actually. And to be clear, this side-track is not a criticizing or supporting anybody or any position. Just an interesting side point.”

    I agree that it is sometimes unsettling, but I always appreciate it when people of even widely divergent views can discuss their differences in a civil and respectful way.

    To be frank, I’m not up on what ID people in general are saying. I read Meyer’s book and have listened to him quite a lot, and I’m going to confine my comments to his own work. Sometimes he does mention the qualification you noted (in #73; and my earlier comment about that is awaiting moderation), and sometimes he doesn’t.

    But I was thinking about that distinction, and whether it really matters (other than to avoid the accusation, which I leveled, of it being a circular argument).

    Suppose I made this analogous claim:

    “Everything that orbits the Earth and for which we can identify an agent responsible for it being there was placed in orbit by an intelligent actor. We should therefore suspect that our moon was also placed in orbit by an intelligent actor.”

    How would that compare to Meyer’s claim? To the best of my knowledge, we don’t actually *know* how the moon was established in its orbit; we can’t rule out, based on observation or evidence, the hypothesis that it might have been placed there by an intelligent actor, just like everything we have placed in orbit about our planet.

    It seems to me that there are all sorts of things about which analogous claims could be made: lakes, piles of stone, holes in the ground, things in orbit, nuclear reactions… and mechanisms for the storage, processing, and replication of encoded information. These things differ in terms of how confident we are about our understanding of the processes that bring each about *when humans are not the agents involved*. But I would suggest that they don’t differ in kind, and that this fact doesn’t change when we explain that sometime we know, and sometimes we don’t know, that there was an intelligence behind it.

    I hope that was clear. My point is that I don’t think the qualifier “where we know the source” is important — other than, again, to avoid that accusation of circularity. (And I’m willing to forgive Meyer the sloppiness on those occasions when he omits the qualifier, but I’m not willing to credit his claim with logical consistency.)

  82. 82
    Hanks says:

    1. We are aware of numerous examples of the encoding of “functional” information in a structured form, from computer programs to grammars to all sorts of artificial symbolic schemes.

    2. Our experience with all of these is that they are the product of intelligence. Specifically, they are the product of human intelligence.

    3. It is, therefore, our uniform and repeated experience that such encoding is the product of intelligence.

    4.But we are also aware of the encoding of “functional” information in a structured form in the DNA that is found in each of our cells. It follows, therefore, that this information too must be the product of intelligence, since it is our universal and repeated experience that all such information is the product of intelligence.

    1.We produce functional information therefore we know what it looks like .
    2. We studied living cells and suddenly our “functional information” looks like a bad joke compared with functional informations from cells.
    3.Therefore :
    a)our intelligence looks like a bad joke compared to the intelligence that created life.
    b)our intelligence is the 2nd best intelligence in the universe after the blind chance therefore blind chance is another synonym for intelligence. 🙂

  83. 83
    Viola Lee says:

    Hmmm. Someone pointed out to me that The Panda’s Thumb also has a thread about Racette’s article which Racette himself has joined in on a bit. I also see that this thread was mentioned in a comment, and notes that my post has gotten “lots of unhappy responses.” 🙂 I also notice that one of the comments highlights the same point I did. All interesting, and it was nice to see responses more in line with my own thoughts over there.

    Link

  84. 84
    Seekers says:

    Sorry I feel like I’m extremely late to this, but just observing the previous comments (discussion maybe?) I agree partly with viola lee that maybe a more on topic discussion would help all sides get there point across.

    With that said however, I have to ask viola lee if she could state her side of the argument and why she feels that she wasn’t getting a favourable response here on UD , but felt a more agreeable position on pandas thumb?

  85. 85
    Hanks says:

    Viola Lee
    in line with my own thoughts

    :))) Oh, dear! Confirmation bias in the Wonderland of darwinism.

  86. 86
    Viola Lee says:

    Oh my, what do you think you get here? This sometimes seems like confirmation bias Grand Central Station! Everyone gravitates towards viewpoints similar to one’s own, but some people are a lot better about holding their ideas more provisionally, being able to assess new information, and at least comprehending other viewpoints. And some, not so much. And if confirmation bias was what I was looking for, I wouldn’t be here, would I?

  87. 87
    ET says:

    Racette’s argument is flawed:

    But wait. That is – at best – a circular argument. If we include DNA in our initial inventory of “functional” information, then it’s no longer our uniform and repeated experience that such information is the product of intelligence. Rather, it’s our uniform and repeated experience that man-made encoding of information is man-made. That says nothing about not-man-made encoding of information.

    1- It isn’t circular to rely on our knowledge of cause and effect relationships

    2- Instead of 100% uniformity we have 99.9999% uniformity with respect to coded information processing systems

    3- There isn’t any evidence for any not-intelligent-agency-made coded information processing systems

    One issue is Racette seems to not know about the “Signature in the Cell”. The entire book pertained to the argument about DNA and the genetic code being evidence for ID.

    He goes on to wrongly state:

    (On the other hand, it does seem to me that Meyer would be more consistent if he argued that, since every instance of encoded information of which we’re aware is actually man-made, DNA must also be man-made. But that would be an even more absurd argument.)

    That doesn’t follow at all. If we know that it couldn’t be man-made we infer it was some other intelligent agency.

    Instances of functional information storage in DNA both predate and outnumber every form which we can trace to an intelligent source – that is, every form which was created by man. Our actual experience is that every cell in every organism contains a vast amount of structured, functional information for which we can identify no creating intelligence. There is no basis, therefore, for his oft-repeated claim that, in our consistent experience, such storage is an artifact of intelligence, and the fact that he continues to repeat the claim strikes me as peculiar.

    Your understanding is peculiar. That functional information storage only exists in and comes from life. We can identify life. Biology exists because we can study life. There aren’t any instances of functional information storage absent LIFE.

    Therefore there is plenty of basis, reasoning, logic and rational that such storage is an artifact of intelligence. Everywhere we see it we see intelligence in the form of LIFE. The two are inseparable.

    And I gravitate to that which can be supported with evidence.

  88. 88
    ram says:

    General question:

    Whatever you think and believe, and whatever you believe about the powers of your own intelligence…

    How do you know you’re not being misled on purpose?

  89. 89
    jerry says:

    The question is, “Was there an intelligence that created the DNA system?”

    Proposition: only two possibilities could have produced the DNA system, natural processes or an intelligence.

    Proposition: natural process do not have the capability to produce the DNA system.

    Therefore, the DNA system was produced by an intelligence.

    It certainly couldn’t have been humans. Could another intelligence besides humans have existed in the past that created the DNA system? There must have since humans could not have done it

    This is not circular.

    The onus is on Racette to suggest what could have produced life since natural causes are not a possibility.

  90. 90
    Origenes on vacation says:

    #83 ET on Racette

    ET:

    He goes on to wrongly state:

    (On the other hand, it does seem to me that Meyer would be more consistent if he argued that, since every instance of encoded information of which we’re aware is actually man-made, DNA must also be man-made. But that would be an even more absurd argument.)

    That doesn’t follow at all. If we know that it couldn’t be man-made we infer it was some other intelligent agency.

    Exactly. Racette labours under the assumption that human intelligence exhausts intelligence, otherwise his writing doesn’t make any sense.

  91. 91
    Hank Racette says:

    I appreciate people making various arguments in favor of the intelligent design of genetic coding. However, one of the arguments Meyer routinely makes, and the one I cited in my critique, was that it is our uniform and repeated experience that such encoding is the product of intelligence. Sometimes he qualifies that by saying “when we can identify the source,” and sometimes he doesn’t.

    But one can not take the subset of all encoded information that we *know* comes from intelligence and, extrapolating from that experience, conclude that the rest of it must have come from intelligence as well.

    If Meyer wants to argue, as Jerry concluded (erroneously, I suspect) his comment #85, that DNA could not have occurred through naturalistic process, that’s fine — and, indeed, Meyer does argue that. (Again, I disagree with his conclusions.)

    But what Meyer can’t do is what I accuse him of doing, which is selecting a subset of all encoded information, telling people that a quality particular to that subset (i.e., artificial creation) is characteristic of all encoded information, and then saying that, therefore, it follows that all encoded information must be produced as that subset is.

    He is on no firmer ground making that argument than if he pointed out that, since all artificial satellites are the product of intelligence, it follows that the moon must be as well, since we don’t really know how it got there.

    PS I now have three comments “in moderation.” I don’t know how things go here as far as moderation goes, but assume all three will eventually be released. And I can be found on ricochet.com any time, or on gmail as hank.racette. My best to all. — H.

  92. 92
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, the second fallacy in Racette was pointed out in 67 above https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/mind-matters-news-5-egnor-dillahunty-dispute-the-basic-causes-behind-the-universe/#comment-737925 i.e. inference on reliable tested sign is not question begging. Others, since, have noted much the same. The unknown X factor was addressed in 42 https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/mind-matters-news-5-egnor-dillahunty-dispute-the-basic-causes-behind-the-universe/#comment-737846 and the inference on consistent observation of cause was noted too. By 61, I corrected the attempt to confine inference to intelligence to inference to humans comment and in 62 this was brought to your attention. https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/mind-matters-news-5-egnor-dillahunty-dispute-the-basic-causes-behind-the-universe/#comment-737898 These have been reflected in other comments in-thread. Further, you have been here at UD long enough to know the weak argument correctives under the resources tab. The net effect of your highlighting a fallacy-riddled strawman tactic objection as though it were substantial, is to underscore the want of substance in these objections to the design inference. The further effect of your unresponsiveness to warranted correction is to suggest that you have come here to promote a flawed agenda despite the pointing out of its flaws. I suggest, reconsideration on your part. KF

  93. 93
    kairosfocus says:

    Origines, to try to publicly argue or suggest that human intelligence exhausts observed or possible intelligence is desperate question begging. The whole history of our civilisation is riddled with discussions of other possible intelligence and sci fi pivots on it. Not to mention, SETI. Where, as was pointed out years ago, beavers alone are enough to show non human designs. As to confining intelligence to computational, GIGO driven substrates, that cannot account for the required freedom to exhibit true intelligence. We know full well that there is no good reason to confine intelligence to us so we are simply seeing yet another hyperskeptical rhetorical gambit. The resort to such is a reflection of the desperation of an entrenched orthodoxy that has lost the case on the force of evidence. Where, that cell based life turns on coded digital algorithmic, goal-directed linguistic information, demonstrated 1953 on, destroys any such rhetorical gambit. KF

  94. 94
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, correct. KF

  95. 95
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: On the original OP issue, I suggest the pivot is to understand logic of being and contingent vs necessary being. In that context cause emerges as factors that enabe a being C in a world W, but which being absent in neighbour W’ lead to C’s absence. Consider the fire tetrahedron and a fire, without an adequate cluster: fuel, oxidiser, heat, combustion chain rxn, no fire can begin or be sustained. By contrast, there is no distinct possible world without two-ness in it, nor one where 2 began or can cease. 2 is part of the framework for any possible world and is a necessary entity antecedent to causes which are within worlds. Add that were there ever utter non being, such having no causal factors, such true nothingness would forever obtain. That is, as a world is, SOMETHING has always been, the reality root. The real issue is of what nature adequate to account for actual worlds and worlds with morally governed creatures. God is therefore a serious candidate (as opposed to contingent entities such as flying spaghetti monsters etc), and such are either impossible of being (a square circle) or are actual. After Plantinga’s free will defence [as opposed to theodicy] shattered the logical problem of evil 50 years past atheists have struggled with this issue. It is clear there is no good reason to dismiss God as serious candidate and there is no good reason to see God as impossible of being. That leads to the best explanation of our world being credibly, the inherently good, utterly wise creator God, a necessary, maximally great being. Worthy, of loyalty and of the reasonable service of doing the good that accords with our evident nature. This last points to our built in moral government, including of our reasoning. KF

  96. 96
    Origenes on vacation says:

    KF #88

    As to confining intelligence to computational, GIGO driven substrates, that cannot account for the required freedom to exhibit true intelligence.

    Indeed. Such a blind process, which is the very best materialism has to offer wrt intelligence, does not account for personal control and responsibility.
    If materialism is true and our thoughts actions do not originate from us, but instead are the consequence of laws of physics and events long before we were born, then, in fact, we are not thinking. Then what we experience as ‘understanding’ is in fact an untrustworthy sensation forced upon us by laws of physics (which are unconcerned with logic and truth) and events we also do not control.
    If materialism is true, then rationality does not exist.

  97. 97
    bornagain77 says:

    Origenes On Vacation at 86 succinctly states: “Racette labours under the assumption that human intelligence exhausts intelligence, otherwise his writing doesn’t make any sense.”

    Bingo, and he is, apparently, also laboring under the same exact, (and false), theological presupposition that Darwin himself labored under, Namely, Racette is apparently presupposing that we have no right whatsoever to believe that God creates in ways that are analogous to the intellectual powers of the human mind.

    As Darwin himself rhetorically asked in response to ‘Paley’s eye argument’, “Have we any right to assume that the Creator works by intellectual powers like those of man?’

    Charles Darwin’s use of theology in theOrigin of Species – Stephen Dilley – 2011
    Excerpt page 46: “Unsurprisingly, Darwin’s response to Paley’s eye argument became a ‘centrepiece ’ of a chapter dedicated to addressing the strongest objections to evolutionary theory.77 Darwin noted that it seemed prima facie ‘absurd in the highest possible degree’ that an organ as intricate as the eye ‘could have been formed by natural selection’.78 Instead, he wrote,

    “It is scarcely possible to avoid comparing the eye to a telescope. We know that this instrumenthas been perfected by the long-continued efforts of the highest human intellects; and we naturally infer that the eye has been formed by a somewhat analogous process.”79

    Darwin offered two questions as an immediate reply, writing in the very next sentences, ‘But may not this inference be presumptuous? Have we any right to assume that the Creator works by intellectual powers like those of man?’80 Although Darwin’s brevity makes interpretation dif?cult, his questions implied that the analogy between humans and God broke down. Human beings, he proposed, cannot know that their own causal powers are relevantly similar to the Creator’s causal powers. Apparently, such knowledge was beyond human ken.81 Darwin asked rhetorically what ‘right’ humans have for this analogy – that is, what sound basis was there to think that human beings can know such a thing about God’s ‘intellectual powers’? His questions suggested that justi?cation for the vertebrate-eye argument failed because certain features of God’s nature, such as His creative power, were inaccessible to human beings.82 Thus Darwin’s negative rebuttal of the vertebrate-eye argument consisted of unmistakable theological ideas about human epistemology.
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/227159863_Charles_Darwin%27s_use_of_theology_in_the_Origin_of_Species

    And while Darwin’s use of faulty theological presuppositions, (and the continued use of faulty theological presuppositions today), is certainly problematic enough for those who erroneously hold ‘Methodological Naturalism’ as the supposed ‘ground rule’ of science,,,,

    Devil’s Chaplain: Evolution as a “Theological Research Program”
    Michael Flannery – September 10, 2021
    Excerpt: Hunter answers claims of Darwinian orthodoxy. They are as follows: Darwin’s religious views preceded (not followed) his transmutation ideas; Darwin’s theological premises are essential (not peripheral) to his argument; Darwin’s references to theology attach direct significance to the theory itself — he is not practicing reductio theology, employing it merely for its contrastive heuristic effect — the theology and the theory are inextricably intertwined; the epistemic assistance received from theology is central to the theory itself (the “scientific” evidence marshalled on its behalf is pretty thin); and finally, Darwin’s theological claims persisted well into the period of the neo-Darwinian synthesis (1930s and ’40s) and after. Readers should examine the article itself to see how Hunter establishes each point, all supported with extensive references.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2021/09/devils-chaplain-evolution-as-a-theological-research-program/

    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

    ,,,, And while the use of faulty theological presuppositions by Darwin and his followers is certainly problematic enough for Darwinian atheists who falsely hold, via their erroneous assumption of ‘Methodological Naturalism’, that God has no place in our scientific explanations, Darwin’s specific faulty theological presupposition that we have no “right to assume that the Creator works by intellectual powers like those of man” is especially problematic since that specific theological presupposition that we are ‘made in the image of God’ was, in fact, an essential and crucial presupposition that lay at the founding of modern science itself.

    Stephen Meyer, in chapter 1 of his book ‘The Return of the God Hypothesis’, lists the three essential Judeo-Christian presuppositions that lay at the founding of modern science as such,

    “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

    In short, if we did not first assume that the universe is the product of a rational Mind, and that we ourselves, being made ‘in the image of God’, could possibly dare to understand the rationality that was, and is, imparted onto the universe by that rational Mind, then modern science itself would never have gotten off the ground in the first place.

    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

    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, and Christopher Dawson.

    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

    Thus, in so far as we take Darwin’s faulty theological presupposition seriously, i.e. that we have no “right to assume that the Creator works by intellectual powers like those of man”, then we find that that specific faulty theological presupposition of Darwin actually undermines the scientific method itself in that it denies the necessary presupposition that lay at the founding of modern science, and which also continues to be, very much, a necessary presupposition for the continued success of modern science. i.e. We, being made ‘in the image of God’, can dare understand the rationality that is imparted by God onto the universe.

  98. 98
    bornagain77 says:

    But, besides believing we are ‘made in the image of God’ being a necessary presupposition that lay at the founding of modern science, and which also lays at the continued success of modern science, do we have any other scientific evidence that we can appeal to that might support the Christian’s belief that we are made ‘in the image of God’?

    Yes we do!

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

    In 2014, a veritable who’s who list of leading ‘Darwinian’ experts in the area of language research authored a paper in which they honestly admitted that they have, “essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved.,,,”

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

    That explaining the origin of human language would be especially problematic for Darwinists is very interesting to look at since it is precisely our ability to create and communicate information, and more specifically, our ability to infuse immaterial information into material substrates, that has allowed humans to become ‘masters of the planet.’

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

    What is more interesting still about the fact that humans have a unique ability to understand and create information, and have come to ‘master the planet’ through the ‘top-down’ infusion of immaterial information into material substrates, is the fact that, due to advances in science, both the universe and life itself, are now found to be ‘information theoretic’ in their foundational basis.

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

    It is hard to imagine a more convincing scientific proof that we are ‘made in the image of God’ than finding that both the universe and life itself are ‘information theoretic’ in their foundational basis, and that we, of all the creatures on earth, uniquely possess an ability to understand and create information, and, moreover, have come to ‘master the planet’, not via brute force as is presupposed in Darwinian thinking, but precisely because of our ability to infuse immaterial information into material substrates.

    Of course, a more convincing proof that we are made ‘in the image of God’ could be if God Himself became a man, and then preformed miracles such as walking on water, raising the dead, defeating death itself on a cross, to demonstrate His completely mastery over nature..

    And that just so happens to be precisely the proof that we are made ‘in the image of God’ that is claimed within Christianity.

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

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

    Verses

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

    John 1:1-4
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and that life was the Light of men.

    Philippians 2:6-11
    Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
    rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
    And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
    even death on a cross!
    Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
    that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
    and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

  99. 99
    AnimatedDust says:

    VL@80:

    With this, you are clearly expressing your preference for those of like mind who wish to wallow in the forlorn hope that Racette and yourselves have for a cause other than intelligence for the architecture of the universe.

    Again, I ask you why that is.

    The inference is so easy to infer upward to intelligence. Because you know it’s not human intelligence, does that bring you too dangerously close to God?

    If God is the ultimate author of the universe, what power do you perceive that you are wielding in opposition to that by arguing against it? Does that move anything one Planck length closer to the universe you prefer?

    When you die, what is reality will be what it is. Why do you continue to fight?

    You aren’t going to get the answers you want here. I suppose that’s why you bailed last time.

    There’s another term for what you are doing. Ostriches love to do it.

    My suggestion is, pull it out, and stop raging against reality.

  100. 100
    Hank Racette says:

    Animated Dust,

    Regarding your comment #94:

    I can’t and won’t speak for Viola, but I’ll just say that I’m quite at peace with the world as it appears to me. I’m an agnostic, I like religion, I know my Bible and enjoy much of it, and I appreciate the natural world and our struggle to learn about it.

    I never want to dissuade anyone from faith. My objection to scientific apologetics is that I think it undermines faith while often distorting science. I encourage people of faith to focus on the questions for which religion has good answers and science offers little, questions of purpose and meaning, compassion, mercy, love, generosity, charity, forgiveness. When science touches on these things it is sterile and clinical. Religion embraces them and gives them rich meaning.

    Faith deserves better than to be founded on bad science, in my opinion.

  101. 101
    Seekers says:

    Hank Racette,

    I’ve gone over your comments here on UD and PT to get a better understanding of your position on this particular topic. from what I’m understanding, is that the coded information of which we know the source, you would agree that the source of which is intelligence. Correct?

    But your disagreement with Meyer’s argument could be summed up as we simply don’t know the source of the coded information embedded in DNA, and we shouldn’t rule out a possible naturalist explanation yes?

  102. 102
    Viola Lee says:

    Re 100: excellent comment, Hank. I’m sure the details of my beliefs might differ some, but basically I agree with you. I have religious friends who think attempts such as Meyer’s are both bad science and bad theology: a misguided attempt to bolster faith through inappropriate means.

  103. 103
    bornagain77 says:

    Hank Racette at 100 states,

    My objection to scientific apologetics is that I think it undermines faith while often distorting science.,,,
    Faith deserves better than to be founded on bad science, in my opinion.

    Funny that my faith, the more have learned about the actual science, has been greatly strengthened by science.

    As to the claim of ‘distorting science’, I would like to know exactly what instances of ‘distorting science’ that Hank is referring to? Aside from Young Earth Creationists, (which is a relatively new movement within Christianity), I can think of no other instances where some Christians have tried to ‘distort science’ in order to make the scientific evidence fit their beliefs.

    On the other hand, I can think of numerous instances where Atheists have resorted to ‘distorting science’ to try to make the scientific evidence for their beliefs.

    Thus, if anyone’s faith is based upon ‘bad science’, indeed if anyone’s faith is crucially dependent upon bad science, it is certainly the atheist whose faith is crucially dependent upon bad science, not the Christian Theist.

    Perhaps Hank would like to go tit for tat in showing examples of Atheists and Christians ‘distorting science’ in order to try to make the scientific evidence fit their a-priori beliefs? My bet is that that comparison is not going to end like he believes it will.

    Comparison of Theistic Predictions to Materialistic Predictions with the scientific evidence we now have in hand
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/15i87oT7IkCI0W0Hxg5mZ_8FP23MG_GTFrR0zvgKH9zU/edit

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    Test all things; hold fast what is good.

  104. 104
    Origenes on vacation says:

    Racette:

    Faith deserves better than to be founded on bad science, in my opinion.

    You are absolutely right. And as Bornagain77 points out, your statement certainly applies to atheists.

  105. 105
    AnimatedDust says:

    Thanks for your reply, Hank. As with others who’ve commented since yours, I think the bad science is on your side. Although you wouldn’t be surprised by my conclusion, it’s clear that the inference to the best explanation is that the source is intelligence. My side is not the side having to contort away from the obvious. Yours is. Although the intelligent source from the code doesn’t get you to the Christian God, there is much in science that does, as BA77 and many others so often elucidate here. Everything fits together perfectly, and Jesus Christ is right at the center of it all.

    The science isn’t distorted at all, when the distorted lenses of selective hyperskeptical agnosticism/atheism are removed.

    I am glad that you’re at peace. And I appreciate your reply.

  106. 106
    Viola Lee says:

    BA writes, “As to the claim of ‘distorting science’, I would like to know exactly what instances of ‘distorting science’ that Hank is referring to? Aside from Young Earth Creationists, (which is a relatively new movement within Christianity), I can think of no other instances where some Christians have tried to ‘distort science’ in order to make the scientific evidence fit their beliefs.”

    I think some would say that Intelligent Design is exactly such an example. More specifically, I think some who have frequented UD would say that BA himself is a very good example.

  107. 107
    Seekers says:

    Viola Lee,

    Science isn’t a set of rules or beliefs, it’s a method of understanding the world around us. With that said, why should a design inference be ruled out
    a priori? Shouldn’t “science” explore all possible avenue’s to arrive at the best explanation for the world and everything in it?

  108. 108
    Origenes on vacation says:

    A clear example of distorting science is claiming that Intelligent Design is an attempt to distort science and backing your claim up with the unfounded assumption that human intelligence exhausts intelligence.

    A specimen of this phenomenon:

    (On the other hand, it does seem to me that Meyer would be more consistent if he argued that, since every instance of encoded information of which we’re aware is actually man-made, DNA must also be man-made. But that would be an even more absurd argument.)

  109. 109
    Viola Lee says:

    Hi Seekers. I’m not quite sure which of my comments you are referring to. I don’t think I’ve ever said a design inference concerning intelligence should be ruled out a priori, and I don’t think the quote of Racette’s that I posted at 32 implies that. I do think that “intelligence” is not very well defined in this discussion. I think most people (Meyer says so explicitly) consider intelligence the act of a conscious, willful, entity, using ourselves as the model. However, the argument for this is similar to the one about genetics: it has a circular nature. It may be that “intelligence” has a different nature which manifests itself in us in a human way, but manifests itself more broadly in the universe in different ways.

    P.S. I have just now seen a few posts by both Racette and Seekers that seem to have appeared after I had read that part of the thread, probably because they were held in moderation for a bit, notably 72, 76, and 81. I think they are all worth reading.

  110. 110
    bornagain77 says:

    VL slurs ID as a whole and issues an ad hominem against me personally.

    VL at 106: “I think some would say that Intelligent Design is exactly such an example (of distorting science). More specifically, I think some who have frequented UD would say that BA himself is a very good example.”

    And your specific evidence for ID, (and me), distorting science is what exactly??? A general slur against ID generally and a blatant ad hominem against me personally???

    Perhaps you are unaware of the long history that Darwinian atheists have on this site of resorting to ad hominem attacks when they are called on the fact that they have no actual real time empirical evidence to support their grandiose claims? (I might also add that ad hominem is the quickest way to get banned from UD)

    Logical Fallacies
    – ad hominem
    You attacked your opponent’s character or personal traits in an attempt to undermine their argument.
    Ad hominem attacks can take the form of overtly attacking somebody, or more subtly casting doubt on their character or personal attributes as a way to discredit their argument. The result of an ad hom attack can be to undermine someone’s case without actually having to engage with it.
    https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/ad-hominem

  111. 111
    Viola Lee says:

    You’re not understanding “ad hominem” correctly, BA. I’m not attacking your character: I’m just saying that I disagree with you about the extent to which you think science, as you understand it, integrates with your religious beliefs: I think you shoehorn lots of science into your religious beliefs. That’s a critique and a criticism, but that doesn’t make it “ad hominem”.

    Ad hominem means to dismiss an argument by referring to an irrelevant characteristic of the person making the argument. I’m not doing that: I’m just saying you’re wrong about much of what you believe.

    Similarly, I don’t think I’m “slurring” ID. I am criticizing an aspect of ID such as the one being presented by Meyer: that certain scientific issues point to a theistic Christian-like God. I don’t think criticism is a “quick way to get banned”, is it?

  112. 112
    bornagain77 says:

    And yet you still presented no evidence for your false claim of ID, or me, distorting the science.

    i.e. despite your denial, your argument, as it stands right now, boils down to a general ad hominem without you actually ever engaging my argument.

    Which. I remind, my argument is that atheists have had to ‘distort science’ far more than Christians have ever had to in order for them to maintain their atheistic beliefs.

    Again, the comparison between the worldviews, and the scientific evidence we now have in hand, is not even close:

    Comparison of Theistic Predictions to Materialistic Predictions with the scientific evidence we now have in hand
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/15i87oT7IkCI0W0Hxg5mZ_8FP23MG_GTFrR0zvgKH9zU/edit

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    Test all things; hold fast what is good.

  113. 113
    Origenes on vacation says:

    Racette:

    But wait. That is – at best – a circular argument. If we include DNA in our initial inventory of “functional” information, then it’s no longer our uniform and repeated experience that such information is the product of intelligence.

    Given that we do not see an adequate demonstration by a non-intelligent DNA code producer, why would including DNA code in the initial inventory change the fact that it is our uniform and repeated experience that only intelligent agents have demonstrated the power to generate such functional information?
    You are simply not making sense.

    Stephen Meyer:

    Recall that my main argument in Darwin’s Doubt is that the origin of the genetic (and epigenetic) information necessary to produce the novel forms of animal life that arose in the Cambrian period is best explained by intelligent design. To make this case, I showed first that neither the neo-Darwinian mechanism of natural selection acting on random mutations, nor more recently proposed mechanisms of evolutionary change (such as self-organization, neutral evolution, natural genetic engineering, etc. — see Darwin’s Doubt, Chapters 15-16) are sufficient to generate the biological information that arises in the Cambrian explosion. Instead, I show — based upon our uniform and repeated experience — that only intelligent agents have demonstrated the power to generate the functional information of the kind that is present in biological systems (and that arises with the Cambrian animals). Thus, I conclude that the action of a designing intelligence provides the best (“most causally adequate”) explanation for the origin of that information.

  114. 114
    bornagain77 says:

    Origenes On Vacation comment at 108 is well worth repeating,,,

    “A clear example of distorting science is claiming that Intelligent Design is an attempt to distort science and backing your claim up with the unfounded assumption that human intelligence exhausts intelligence.”

    Very well put,,,, and I almost missed that comment. 🙂

  115. 115
    ET says:

    Viola Lee:

    I do think that “intelligence” is not very well defined in this discussion. I think most people (Meyer says so explicitly) consider intelligence the act of a conscious, willful, entity, using ourselves as the model. However, the argument for this is similar to the one about genetics: it has a circular nature. It may be that “intelligence” has a different nature which manifests itself in us in a human way, but manifests itself more broadly in the universe in different ways.

    Intelligence has been very well defined in this discussion. And no, the argument is not circular. Again, the argument is based on our knowledge of cause-and-effect relationships.

    People like Viola Lee and Racette would make terrible investigators. That means they would make terrible scientists.

  116. 116
    ET says:

    1- The genetic code involves a coded information processing system.
    2- There isn’t any evidence that nature can produce coded information processing systems.
    3- There isn’t even a way to test the claim that nature can do so.
    4- That claim can be dismissed. Hitchens 101.
    5- There is ONE and ONLY one known cause for producing coded information processing systems and that is via intelligent agency volition
    6- Therefore using our KNOWLEDGE of cause-and-effect relationships in accordance with Newton’s 4 rules of scientific reasoning, we infer the genetic code was the result of intelligent design. Science 101
    7- That scientific inference can be falsified by someone demonstrating that nature can produce coded information processing systems. Until then those making that claim can be dismissed.

  117. 117
    Origenes on vacation says:

    Viola:

    I think some would say that Intelligent Design is exactly such an example. More specifically, I think some who have frequented UD would say that BA himself is a very good example.

    And I think that some would say that some who have frequented UD are utterly bereft of their wits. 🙂

  118. 118
    ET says:

    Hank Racette:

    But one can not take the subset of all encoded information that we *know* comes from intelligence and, extrapolating from that experience, conclude that the rest of it must have come from intelligence as well.

    1- It is a LARGE subset as the genetic code is the same throughout life (yes there are variations). So its thousands vs 1.
    2- The genetic code and intelligence goes hand-in-hand as it only exists in living organisms.
    3- There aren’t any other known cause for coded information processing systems

    He is on no firmer ground making that argument than if he pointed out that, since all artificial satellites are the product of intelligence, it follows that the moon must be as well, since we don’t really know how it got there.

    That doesn’t follow as the Moon doesn’t have the same qualities as artificial satellites. But if one reads “the Privileged Planet” the Moon and Earth were intelligently designed.

  119. 119
    ET says:

    Viola Lee:

    I think some would say that Intelligent Design is exactly such an example. More specifically, I think some who have frequented UD would say that BA himself is a very good example.

    Hearsay from morons is just entertainment.

  120. 120
    Origenes on vacation says:

    Good stuff ET. IMHO your #116 is a thing of beauty. However I expect Viola & co to completely ignore it as per usual.

  121. 121
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related interest to Racette’s unfounded assumption that human intelligence exhausts intelligence, is Alvin Plantinga’s argument that he first made way back in 1967 in his book ‘God and other minds’.

    In that book, Plantinga asked, ‘what evidence does anyone have for the existence of other people’s minds? He argued cogently that the evidence for God is just as good as the evidence for other (human) minds’,,,.

    Another interesting argument comes from the leading philosopher and Christian, Alvin Plantinga—he asked, what evidence does anyone have for the existence of other people’s minds? He argued cogently that the evidence for God is just as good as the evidence for other minds;,,,
    —see God and Other Minds, Cornell University Press, repr. 1990.
    https://creation.com/atheism-is-more-rational

    You see, we only have access to our own personal conscious minds, and thus we can only be 100% certain of the fact that our own minds exist. We can’t be 100% certain that the people we enacting with also have a mind, i.e. are also having a personal subjective conscious experience.

    As David Chalmers pointed out in ‘the hard problem’, for all we know the persons we are interacting with could be, for all intents and purposes, ‘philosophical zombies’ who have no mind and who are having no subjective conscious experience:

    David Chalmers on Consciousness (Descartes, Philosophical Zombies and the Hard Problem of Consciousness) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK1Yo6VbRoo

    Yet we quite rationally, and sanely, believe that other people have minds and are having subjective conscious experiences simply by the effects that they produce in the world. Likewise, via the effects that God has produced, and produces, in the world, then Plantinga’s conclusion necessarily follows that “the evidence for God is just as good as the evidence for other (human) minds..”

    Romans 1:20
    For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

  122. 122
    Seekers says:

    Viola Lee

    I was referring to your comment about ID distorting science, perhaps I have misunderstood you? I took your response to mean that you were dismissing ID as something getting in the way of “real” science.

  123. 123
    Origenes on vacation says:

    #121 Wow!!

  124. 124
    Viola Lee says:

    re 122: Hi Seekers. I looked back, and I think it was Racette that used the phrase “distorting science”, although I see that at 106 I referred to Racette’s use of that phrase. However, as I said to you at 109, I never said, nor implied, I think, that “a design inference [should] be ruled out a priori”.

    And I’m not “dismissing” ID, if that means just saying the whole movement and everything it says should be thrown out. My presence in this thread, which started at post 32, is much more narrow: that ID’s effort to use certain aspects of the world, such as Meyer’s arguments about the genetic code, as evidence for “the God hypothesis” are flawed, and are, as I quoted some friends earlier, bad science and bad theology both.

    In his intro, Racette says of Meyer’s book, “It’s a well-crafted work of reporting and speculation at the frothy margins of scientific theory that, combined with a few leaps of logic, is harnessed in support of a foreordained conclusion.”

    I think that the “foreordained conclusion” that God exists drives a great deal of the support for ID, and this goes clear back to the start with Philip Johnson and others. In this respect, ID does distort science, I think. That doesn’t mean that everything and everybody who supports ID “distorts science”, but there is a strong element that runs throughout the movement.

  125. 125
    ET says:

    Viola Lee:

    My presence in this thread, which started at post 32, is much more narrow: that ID’s effort to use certain aspects of the world, such as Meyer’s arguments about the genetic code, as evidence for “the God hypothesis” are flawed, and are, as I quoted some friends earlier, bad science and bad theology both.

    They are not flawed with respect to being evidence for Intelligent Design. And Intelligent Design can only enforce your beliefs in some God or gods. It doesn’t have anything to do with religion.

    The science behind the claim the genetic code is evidence is laid out above.

    I think that the “foreordained conclusion” that God exists drives a great deal of the support for ID, and this goes clear back to the start with Philip Johnson and others. In this respect, ID does distort science, I think. That doesn’t mean that everything and everybody who supports ID “distorts science”, but there is a strong element that runs throughout the movement.

    Except is is not a “foreordained conclusion”. It is something that is based on our knowledge of cause-and-effect relationships. Then anyone’s specific Intelligent Designer was added.

    Telic thinking pre-dates Christianity. There is a reason we remember Plato and Aristotle, ie the telic thinkers, they won the argument thousands of years ago.

  126. 126
    Seekers says:

    Viola Lee,

    Thank you for the response and
    My apologies for misunderstanding your position on this particular topic.

    As per the genetic code. In your opinion, how would you describe the origination of the genetic code? Do you think a design inference is warranted or do you believe a naturalistic explanation would explain the code’s origins?

  127. 127
    bornagain77 says:

    As to Racette’s comment on Meyer’s book, “It’s a well-crafted work of reporting and speculation at the frothy margins of scientific theory that, combined with a few leaps of logic, is harnessed in support of a foreordained conclusion.”

    HA, LOL, if anyone has ever been guilty of trying to force fit the scientific evidence into a “foreordained conclusion” it has been atheistic naturalists.

    For instance, Darwinian Atheists are notorious for inventing ad hoc ‘just-so stories’ when their predictions are shown, via the empirical evidence, to be false,

    “Being an evolutionist means there is no bad news. If new species appear abruptly in the fossil record, that just means evolution operates in spurts. If species then persist for eons with little modification, that just means evolution takes long breaks. If clever mechanisms are discovered in biology, that just means evolution is smarter than we imagined. If strikingly similar designs are found in distant species, that just means evolution repeats itself. If significant differences are found in allied species, that just means evolution sometimes introduces new designs rapidly. If no likely mechanism can be found for the large-scale change evolution requires, that just means evolution is mysterious. If adaptation responds to environmental signals, that just means evolution has more foresight than was thought. If major predictions of evolution are found to be false, that just means evolution is more complex than we thought.”
    ~ Cornelius Hunter

    Darwin’s (failed) Predictions – Cornelius G. Hunter – 2015
    This paper evaluates 22 fundamental (false) predictions of evolutionary theory from a wide range of different categories. The paper begins with a brief introduction to the nature of scientific predictions, and typical concerns evolutionists raise against investigating predictions of evolution. The paper next presents the individual predictions in seven categories: early evolution, evolutionary causes, molecular evolution, common descent, evolutionary phylogenies, evolutionary pathways, and behavior. Finally the conclusion summarizes these various predictions, their implications for evolution’s capacity to explain phenomena, and how they bear on evolutionist’s claims about their theory.
    https://sites.google.com/site/darwinspredictions/home

    Why investigate evolution’s false predictions?
    Excerpt: The predictions examined in this paper were selected according to several criteria. They cover a wide spectrum of evolutionary theory and are fundamental to the theory, reflecting major tenets of evolutionary thought. They were widely held by the consensus rather than reflecting one viewpoint of several competing viewpoints. Each prediction was a natural and fundamental expectation of the theory of evolution, and constituted mainstream evolutionary science. Furthermore, the selected predictions are not vague but rather are specific and can be objectively evaluated. They have been tested and evaluated and the outcome is not controversial or in question. And finally the predictions have implications for evolution’s (in)capacity to explain phenomena, as discussed in the conclusions.
    https://sites.google.com/site/darwinspredictions/why-investigate-evolution-s-false-predictions

  128. 128
    Viola Lee says:

    Thanks, Seekers. You ask, “As per the genetic code. In your opinion, how would you describe the origination of the genetic code? Do you think a design inference is warranted or do you believe a naturalistic explanation would explain the code’s origins?”

    First, I don’t know, and I don’t think anyone does to any large extent at all.

    Also, I am reluctant to get involved in taking this discussion way past what I intended for myself, but I’ll say anyway that I think that that question usually implies, at least here at UD, a strict divisive dichotomy between the actions of a conscious, willful, entity of the Western theistic type and a purely materialistic perspective where nothing but blind chance is presumed to be the source of the genetic code. I don’t fall in either of those categories, so I certainly can’t answer your second question.

  129. 129
    Hanks says:

    ID “distorts science”

    ID can’t distort Science because Science is ID ( intelligently designed) .

  130. 130
    Seekers says:

    Viola Lee,

    Thank you for your insightful responses, I can understand not wanting to go further with the conversation that’s absolutely fine.

    Thank you very much for the discussion, have a wonderful evening.

  131. 131
    Viola Lee says:

    Thanks, Seekers. I’m glad to bring this discussion to an end, and move back to my non-participatory status!

  132. 132
    Hank Racette says:

    Animated Dust, at #105 you wrote:
    “As with others who’ve commented since yours, I think the bad science is on your side.”

    I’m not sure what you mean by “my side.” I am as annoyed by scientists who claim that science disproves God — Dawkins and his ilk — as I am by scientists who claim that science proves God. More so, in fact, because the first group doesn’t have the excuse of personal belief to prompt them to compromise scientific standards and methods.

    Again, my objection is with compromising either science or faith in an effort to integrate two fundamentally different domains.

    —–

    All, the issue of Meyer’s peculiar claim about “uniform and repeated experience” regarding functional information (and the reaction to it) continues to interest me.

    To say “in every instance of functional information for which we can identify the source, it is created by intelligence” is the equivalent of saying “in every instance of functional information which was created by man, it is created by man.” It simply excludes all of those instances of functional information which were *not* created by man in order to create an ersatz rule, and the tries to apply that rule to all the excluded instances.

    We might as well say, “since all man-made functional information is man-made, it follows that *all* functional information must be the product of some kind of intelligence.”

    It’s at best a circular argument, but it might not even rise to that.

    As I mentioned elsewhere, it is exactly the same as this argument:

    “In every instance of a satellite orbiting the earth for which we can identify a source, it was placed there by a specific act of an intelligent creator. Therefore, it follows that every satellite orbiting the earth must have been placed there by an intelligent creator.”

    That isn’t a sound logical argument, any more than the similar argument regarding genetic material is sound.

    This isn’t to say that God didn’t create genetic material (or explicitly put the moon in its orbit, for that matter). I don’t know where it originated. And I have not challenged Meyer’s claims regarding the improbability of genetic material. I’ve focused specifically on this one bit of argument which he appears to use both in his book and every time he speaks.

    Lastly, I’m not interested in who is doing the poorer science, whether the scientific atheists or the scientific believers. I would just like people who claim to be representing science to recognize its limits — that it’s a tool for examining the natural world. The claims it makes must be falsifiable, or they aren’t claims of science. And declaring either that God exists or that God doesn’t exist is an inherently unfalsifiable claim, and so not a claim of science.

  133. 133
    Viola Lee says:

    Thanks, Hank. It has been a pleasure to read your posts.

  134. 134
    ET says:

    Hank Racette:

    To say “in every instance of functional information for which we can identify the source, it is created by intelligence” is the equivalent of saying “in every instance of functional information which was created by man, it is created by man.” It simply excludes all of those instances of functional information which were *not* created by man in order to create an ersatz rule, and the tries to apply that rule to all the excluded instances.

    It’s called knowledge of cause-and-effect relationships. There aren’t any known instances of functional information which were not created by intelligent agencies. That is the whole point.

    We might as well say, “since all man-made functional information is man-made, it follows that *all* functional information must be the product of some kind of intelligence.”

    You would if you don’t know what you are talking about. We have experience with other organisms constructing things that nature cannot.

    What we say is:

    1- The genetic code involves a coded information processing system.
    2- There isn’t any evidence that nature can produce coded information processing systems.
    3- There isn’t even a way to test the claim that nature can do so.
    4- That claim can be dismissed. Hitchens 101.
    5- There is ONE and ONLY one known cause for producing coded information processing systems and that is via intelligent agency volition
    6- Therefore using our KNOWLEDGE of cause-and-effect relationships in accordance with Newton’s 4 rules of scientific reasoning, we infer the genetic code was the result of intelligent design. Science 101
    7- That scientific inference can be falsified by someone demonstrating that nature can produce coded information processing systems. Until then those making that claim can be dismissed.

    It’s at best a circular argument, but it might not even rise to that.

    Just how do you think that archaeologists determine if something is an artifact? What about forensic science and the ability to determine a crime has taken place?

    Scientists know that Stonehenge is an artifact exactly because it has signs that nature could not have produced it and only intelligent agencies could have. They determined that based on their knowledge of cause-and-effect relationships. Nature doesn’t do mortise and tenon joints, for example.

    “In every instance of a satellite orbiting the earth for which we can identify a source, it was placed there by a specific act of an intelligent creator. Therefore, it follows that every satellite orbiting the earth must have been placed there by an intelligent creator.”

    The real argument would include the qualities of the known artificial satellites.

    That isn’t a sound logical argument, any more than the similar argument regarding genetic material is sound.

    Yours is an argument that ignores logic and reasoning. Yours is a straw man.

    And one can falsify the claim the genetic code is evidence for Intelligent Design by demonstrating that nature is up to the task. There has been a 10 million dollar challenge going on for years. And no one has been able to show that nature is capable.

  135. 135
    bornagain77 says:

    Hank claims, “my objection is with compromising either science or faith in an effort to integrate two fundamentally different domains.”

    If they are fundamentally different domains, then it is extremely ironic how the Christian worldview, and the Christian worldview alone, gave rise to modern science.

    What’s the Big Deal About Intelligent Design?
    by DAN PETERSON – December 22, 2005
    Excerpt: The attempt to equate science with materialism (methodological naturalism) is a quite recent development, coming chiefly to the fore in the 20th century. Contrary to widespread propaganda, science is not something that arose after the dark, obscurantist forces of religion were defeated by an “enlightened” nontheistic worldview. The facts of history show otherwise.
    IN HIS RECENT BOOK For the Glory of God, Rodney Stark argues “not only that there is no inherent conflict between religion and science, but that Christian theology was essential for the rise of science.”,,,
    Sometimes the most obvious facts are the easiest to overlook. Here is one that ought to be stunningly obvious: science as an organized, sustained enterprise arose only once in the history of Earth. Where was that? Although other civilizations have contributed technical achievements or isolated innovations, the invention of science as a cumulative, rigorous, systematic, and ongoing investigation into the laws of nature occurred only in Europe; that is, in the civilization then known as Christendom. Science arose and flourished in a civilization that, at the time, was profoundly and nearly exclusively Christian in its mental outlook.
    There are deep reasons for that, and they are inherent in the Judeo-Christian view of the world which, principally in its Christian manifestation, formed the European mind. As Stark observes, the Christian view depicted God as “a rational, responsive, dependable, and omnipotent being and the universe as his personal creation, thus having a rational, lawful, stable structure, awaiting human comprehension.” That was not true of belief systems elsewhere. A view that the universe is uncreated, has been around forever, and is just “what happens to be” does not suggest that it has fundamental principles that are rational and discoverable. Other belief systems have considered the natural world to be an insoluble mystery, conceived of it as a realm in which multiple, arbitrary gods are at work, or thought of it in animistic terms. None of these views will, or did, give rise to a deep faith that there is a lawful order imparted by a divine creator that can and should be discovered.
    https://spectator.org/47614_whats-big-deal-about-intelligent-design/

    And to repeat what I pointed out previously, Stephen Meyer’s new book, “Return of the God hypothesis”, lists the three necessary Christian presuppositions that lay at the founding of modern science in Medieval Christian Europe as such.

    “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

    Whether atheists realize it or not, or whether they ever honestly admit it or not, they are reliant on these Theistic presuppositions, (especially the first two presuppositions), for them to even practice science in coherent manner in the first place.

    As Paul Davies explained, “even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith that the universe is not absurd, that there is a rational basis to physical existence manifested as law-like order in nature that is at least partly comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview.”

    Physics and the Mind of God: The Templeton Prize Address – by Paul Davies – August 1995
    Excerpt: “People take it for granted that the physical world is both ordered and intelligible. The underlying order in nature-the laws of physics-are simply accepted as given, as brute facts. Nobody asks where they came from; at least they do not do so in polite company. However, even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith that the universe is not absurd, that there is a rational basis to physical existence manifested as law-like order in nature that is at least partly comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview.”
    https://www.firstthings.com/article/1995/08/003-physics-and-the-mind-of-god-the-templeton-prize-address-24

    Taking Science on Faith – By PAUL DAVIES – NOV. 24, 2007
    Excerpt: All science proceeds on the assumption that nature is ordered in a rational and intelligible way. You couldn’t be a scientist if you thought the universe was a meaningless jumble of odds and ends haphazardly juxtaposed.
    ,,, the very notion of physical law is a theological one in the first place, a fact that makes many scientists squirm. Isaac Newton first got the idea of absolute, universal, perfect, immutable laws from the Christian doctrine that God created the world and ordered it in a rational way. Christians envisage God as upholding the natural order from beyond the universe, while physicists think of their laws as inhabiting an abstract transcendent realm of perfect mathematical relationships.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11.....avies.html

    And no less than Einstein himself backs up Davies’s assertion when he observed that the comprehensibility of the universe is, by all rights, to be considered a ‘miracle’: Specifically he stated, “a priori, one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way .. the kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation, for example, is wholly different. Even if a man proposes the axioms of the theory, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the ‘miracle’ which is constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.”

    On the Rational Order of the World: a Letter to Maurice Solovine – Albert Einstein – March 30, 1952
    Excerpt: “You find it strange that I consider the comprehensibility of the world (to the extent that we are authorized to speak of such a comprehensibility) as a miracle or as an eternal mystery. Well, a priori, one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way .. the kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation, for example, is wholly different. Even if a man proposes the axioms of the theory, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the ‘miracle’ which is constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.
    There lies the weakness of positivists and professional atheists who are elated because they feel that they have not only successfully rid the world of gods but “bared the miracles.”
    -Albert Einstein
    http://inters.org/Einstein-Letter-Solovine

    Eugene Wigner, no slouch in physics himself, makes pretty much the same exact point as Einstein,

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: ,,certainly it is hard to believe that our reasoning power was brought, by Darwin’s process of natural selection, to the perfection which it seems to possess.,,,
    It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here, quite comparable in its striking nature to the miracle that the human mind can string a thousand arguments together without getting itself into contradictions, or to the two miracles of the existence of laws of nature and of the human mind’s capacity to divine them.,,,
    The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc.....igner.html

    So while Christianity certainly pertains to other important areas of life, it is simply naive and confused for Hank to suggest that Christianity and Science ore ‘fundamentally different domains’ and that Christianity has, basically, nothing whatsoever to do with science. Again, modern science owes its very origins and continued existence to basic Christian presuppositions.

    There were a few other things that Hank said in his post that don’t make sense, but suffice it for now to establish the fact that Hank is simply wrong in his claim about Christianity and Science being ‘fundamentally different domains’ that have, basically, nothing whatsoever to do with each other.

    (edit: I see that ET, at post 134, has now addressed some of those other nonsensical claims that were made by Hank),

  136. 136
    Hank Racette says:

    Last comment from me on this thread — and thank you all for your patience with someone whose views don’t necessarily comport with your own. I appreciate your cordiality.

    I’d encourage anyone who is enthusiastic about intertwining science and faith to ask themselves this question:

    “Am I willing to state one or more scientific findings which would cause me to abandon my belief in God?”

    Because that’s the essential principle of the process of enquiry we call “science.” It is faithful to nothing except the process and the rules by which the process is conducted. It isn’t, and can’t be, a matter of faith in any particular outcome; those who truly embrace science have to go where science leads, or they’re not doing it right.

    It seems to me that faith is more than that, and should remain more than that.

    Again, thank you all.

    — Hank

  137. 137
    ET says:

    Wow. Most of the greatest scientists who have ever lived saw science as a way to understand God’s Creation. Faith should never be blind. And if true then science should support it.

  138. 138
    bornagain77 says:

    Hank, I very much believe in following the evidence where it leads, and again, the more I have learned about the scientific evidence, the more my faith in God has been strengthened.

    On the other hand, the same can’t be said for atheists.

    For instance, in regards to the evidence for the Big Bang. First atheists tried to deny it even happened with ‘steady state’ theory,, Then they tried to explain it away with the osculating ‘bouncing’ universe.

    And now that evidence for fine-tuning has come in, now atheists have gone basically completely off the rails and have postulated an infinitude of other universes with varying parameters just so as to ‘explain away’ the fine tuning of this universe.

    As should be needless to say Hank, such repeated ad-hoc excuse making to avoid the clear Theistic implications of the creation of the universe is NOT following the evidence where it leads, (as you yourself said science was about), but is instead atheists refusing to follow the evidence where it leads at all costs no matter what absurdity they have to believe in.

    “My argument,” Dr. Penzias concluded, “is that the best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted, had I had nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the Bible as a whole.”
    – Dr. Arno Penzias, Nobel Laureate in Physics – co-discoverer Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation – as stated to the New York Times on March 12, 1978

    “Certainly there was something that set it all off,,, I can’t think of a better theory of the origin of the universe to match Genesis”
    – Robert Wilson – Nobel laureate – co-discoverer Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation

    “The question of ‘the beginning’ is as inescapable for cosmologists as it is for theologians…there is no doubt that a parallel exists between the big bang as an event and the Christian notion of creation from nothing”
    – George Smoot and Keay Davidson, Wrinkles in Time, 1993, p.189. – George Smoot is a Nobel laureate in 2006 for his work on COBE

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

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

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

    Genesis 1:1
    In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

  139. 139
    Seekers says:

    Bornagain77,

    As to your comment at 138,
    I have to say you rounded up a lot of the rather peculiar views some scientists hold rather nicely.

    I couldn’t help but be baffled at the proclamation’s or views as the case may be,

    Big Bang, no it’s a bouncing universe or cyclical universe.

    Fine tuning, no it’s a multiverse.

    It becomes rather difficult to wade through a lot of the “science” just to figure out what we actually know.

    I apologise I’m off topic, but
    bornagain77’s comment just struck me with a unusual sense of familiarity, here is someone else who has been (baffled we might say) at the rather strange and peculiar announcement’s of bouncing universe’s or multiverse’s.

  140. 140
    Origenes on vacation says:

    Racette:

    To say “in every instance of functional information for which we can identify the source, it is created by intelligence” is the equivalent of saying “in every instance of functional information which was created by man, it is created by man.”

    Racette, did you mean to write: “in every instance of functional information for which we can identify the source, it is created by man.” ?
    I’am asking because your “in every instance of functional information which was created by man, it is created by man.” does not make sense to me.

    And what is your message to SETI? “Stop looking because there can only be human intelligence”?

  141. 141
    davidl1 says:

    I am as annoyed by scientists who claim that science disproves God — Dawkins and his ilk — as I am by scientists who claim that science proves God. More so, in fact, because the first group doesn’t have the excuse of personal belief to prompt them to compromise scientific standards and methods

    I think the assumption that atheistic scientists are less affected by their beliefs than theistic scientists is a hard sell. It’s unlikely that Dawkins, who goes to great lengths to point out problems with religion, is objective when he evaluates scientific claims.

  142. 142
    Origenes on vacation says:

    #141

    Atheist philosopher Thomas Nagel in The Last Word, wrote:

    I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.

  143. 143
    ET says:

    Hank Racette:

    “Am I willing to state one or more scientific findings which would cause me to abandon my belief in God?”

    Absolutely! Demonstrate that blind and mindless processes can produce a living organism and you slice off the intelligent designer requirement with Occam’s Razor. Demonstrate that Hawking was right and the laws just are the way they are, and again, you slice off the intelligent designer requirement with Occam’s Razor. This list goes on and on.

  144. 144
    Hanks says:

    Hank Racette
    I’d encourage anyone who is enthusiastic about intertwining science and faith to ask themselves this question:

    “Am I willing to state one or more scientific findings which would cause me to abandon my belief in God?”

    Because that’s the essential principle of the process of enquiry we call “science.” It is faithful to nothing except the process and the rules by which the process is conducted. It isn’t, and can’t be, a matter of faith in any particular outcome;

    🙂 You forgot to mention that you talk ONLY about operational science that work with lab, and in lab today. We are talking about historic science whose gaps are filled with religion of materialism. Did you see in lab how a bacterium became mouse,whale,cow ? You believe that and that it’s not science in the sense of studying best metals for building satellites ,or best method of water purifying.

  145. 145
    davidl1 says:

    I’d encourage anyone who is enthusiastic about intertwining science and faith to ask themselves this question:

    “Am I willing to state one or more scientific findings which would cause me to abandon my belief in God?”

    I couldn’t agree more with this.

    It’s hard to identify biases in ourselves. I’m repeatedly amazed at how two people can look at the same evidence and come to opposite conclusions. I continue to believe I’m right, and this thread has reinforced my beliefs, but somebody is completely wrong in spite of being completely convinced, and it could be me.

    For me a better question would be asking what would cause me to abandon my believe in ID. (I know this is about the “God” hypotheses, so religious belief is in there, but it should be pointed out that ID doesn’t depend on religious belief.)

    Of course, it’s also good for people who believe that the universe is a result of unguided forces to ask themselves what would change their belief.

  146. 146
    bornagain77 says:

    Davidl1 at 145, the fact that people have inherent biases is one of the main reasons that Francis Bacon, a devout Christian, championed the scientific method in the first place

    per post 135:
    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.” (fancies Bacon)

    In the scientific method, empirical evidence is SUPPOSE to have final say in arbitrating any inherent biases and ‘flights of fancy’ that people have.

    Yet if some people chose to ignore empirical evidence that directly conflicts with their a-priori worldview, i.e. their inherent bias, then that pretty much renders the entire scientific method useless in arbitrating the inherent biases that all people have.

    And Darwinists, in direct conflict with the scientific method itself, continually ignore many lines of empirical evidence that falsify their theory.

    Here are a few instances where Darwinist atheists have simply ignored falsifying scientific evidence against their theory.

    Darwin’s theory holds mutations to the genome to be random. The vast majority of mutations to the genome are not random but are found to be ‘directed’.

    Darwin’s theory holds that Natural Selection is the ‘designer substitute’ that produces the ‘appearance’ and/or illusion of design. Natural Selection, especially for multicellular organisms, is found to grossly inadequate as the ‘designer substitute.

    Darwin’s theory holds that mutations to DNA will eventually change the basic biological form of any given species into a new form of a brand new species. Yet, biological form is found to be irreducible to mutations to DNA, nor is biological form reducible to any other material particulars in biology one may wish to invoke.

    Darwin’s theory holds there to be an extremely beneficial and flexible mutation rate for DNA which was ultimately responsible for all the diversity and complexity of life we see 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.

    Charles Darwin himself held that the gradual unfolding of life would (someday) be self-evident in the fossil record. Yet, from the Cambrian Explosion onward, the fossil record is 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. Moreover, Fossils are found in the “wrong place” all the time (either too early, or too late).

    Darwin’s theory, due to the randomness postulate, holds that patterns will not repeat themselves in supposedly widely divergent species. Yet thousands of instances of what is ironically called ‘convergent evolution’, on both the morphological and genetic level, falsifies the Darwinian belief that patterns will not repeat themselves in widely divergent species.

    Charles Darwin himself stated that “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Yet as Doug Axe pointed out, “Basically every gene and every new protein fold, there is nothing of significance that we can show that can be had in that gradualistic way. It’s all a mirage. None of it happens that way.”

    Charles Darwin himself stated that “If it could be proved that any part of the structure of any one species had been formed for the exclusive good of another species, it would annihilate my theory, for such could not have been produced through natural selection.” Yet as Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig pointed out, “in thousands of plant species often entirely new organs have been formed for the exclusive good of more than 132,930 other species, these ‘ugly facts’ have annihilated Darwin’s theory as well as the modern versions of it.”

    Charles Darwin himself stated that, ““The impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God.”. Yet ‘our conscious selves’ are certainly not explainable by ‘chance’ (nor is consciousness explainable by any possible reductive materialistic explanation in general), i.e. ‘the hard problem of consciousness’.

    Besides the mathematics of probability consistently showing that Darwinian evolution is impossible, the mathematics of population genetics itself has now shown Darwinian evolution to be impossible. Moreover, ‘immaterial’ mathematics itself, which undergirds all of science, engineering and technology, is held by most mathematicians to exist in some timeless, unchanging, immaterial, Platonic realm. Yet, the reductive materialism that Darwinian theory is based upon denies the existence of the immaterial realm that mathematics exists in. i.e. Darwinian evolution actually denies the objective reality of the one thing, i.e. mathematics, that it most needs in order to be considered scientific in the first place!

    Donald Hoffman has, via population genetics, shown that if Darwin’s materialistic theory were true then all our observations of reality would be illusory. Yet the scientific method itself is based on reliable observation. Moreover, Quantum Mechanics itself has now shown that conscious observation must come before material reality, i.e. falsification of ‘realism’ proves that our conscious observations are reliable!.

    The reductive materialism that undergirds Darwinian thought holds that immaterial information is merely ’emergent’ from a material basis. Yet immaterial Information, via experimental realization of the “Maxwell’s Demon” thought experiment, is now found to be its own distinctive physical entity that, although it can interact in a ‘top down’ manner with matter and energy, is separate from matter and energy.

    Darwinists hold that Darwin’s theory is true. Yet ‘Truth’ itself is an abstract property of an immaterial mind that is irreducible to the reductive materialistic explanations of Darwinian evolution. i.e. Assuming reductive materialism and/or Naturalism as the starting philosophical position of science actually precludes ‘the truth’ from ever being reached by science!

    Darwinist’s, due to their underlying naturalistic philosophy, insist that teleology (i.e. goal directed purpose) does not exist. Yet it is impossible for Biologists to do biological research without constantly invoking words that directly imply teleology. i.e. The very words that Biologists themselves use when they are doing their research falsifies Darwinian evolution.

    But what really makes me mad about Darwinists ignoring all this empirical evidence that falsifies their theory is that they are the ones who are adamantly claiming that they are the ones who are being scientific and that we Christians are the ones who are not being scientific.,, The blatant hypocrisy of that false claim from Darwinists is so thick that you can literally cut it with a knife.

    Verse:

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    Test all things; hold fast what is good.

  147. 147
    jerry says:

    they are the ones who are adamantly claiming that they are the ones who are being scientific

    Those who claim Darwin’s ideas have anything to do with Evolution are misinformed

    It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled – Mark Twain

  148. 148
    jerry says:

    Again, my objection is with compromising either science or faith in an effort to integrate two fundamentally different domains.

    There is only one truth.

    So there should be a way to integrate the two. The issue is that there are several sciences and several religions. It is unlikely they will both be integrated.

  149. 149

    @jerry There is objectivity, and there is subjectivity. Categorically different. Learn the basics.

  150. 150
    davidl1 says:

    But what really makes me mad about Darwinists ignoring all this empirical evidence that falsifies their theory is that they are the ones who are adamantly claiming that they are the ones who are being scientific and that we Christians are the ones who are not being scientific.

    I find that very unsettling too. That’s why I like your posts that show that great scientists are not being hindered by having a religious worldview.

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