Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

“Mirror” Needs to Hold One Up To His Side

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A commenter who goes by “Mirrortothesun” writes:

Here’s the problem with every single post on this site, including this one. They are all examples of motivated reasoning. The authors start with what they wish were the truth– that evolution is false– and then they look desperately for evidence that their wish is true. They construct arguments around that wish. Ultimately it is just intellectual dishonesty and propaganda, alas.

Perhaps Mirror has never read evolutionary biologist Richard Lewontin’s famous “divine foot” screed.  Here it is:

We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.

Mirror accuses ID proponents of being committed to an a priori assumption and interpreting all data in the context of that assumption.  Perhaps that is the case with some ID proponents.  Personally, I am open to Darwinism.  Indeed, I would love to be a Darwinist.  It would make my life so much easier if I could go along with the herd instead of constantly swimming upstream.  Alas, I cannot handle the necessary faith commitments.

Here is the point of my post.  Mirror’s comment is laden with unintended irony; for he seems to be blissfully unaware of the close-minded dogmatism of many Darwinists.  Only those bad ID types have a priori assumptions.  Darwinists bravely follow the evidence wherever it leads.  His naivety would be amusing if it were not so common . . . and so dangerous.

Comments
I also have some questions about what constitutes an "explanation." The design inference is not an explanation. It merely establishes a cause for an observed effect. If indeed the cause is supernatural, we can only speculate how a supernatural agent did manipulate the physical world to effect the complexity we observe in living things. Maybe Craig Venter's manipulations of the genome can give us a clue. The theory of evolution purports to have an explanation for the mechanism that effected the complexity observed in living things. Certainly scientists don't consider the random mutation and natural selection meme to be a complete explanation. It is merely a template and many details need to be filled in before science can truly say they know how evolution works. For example, do scientists know how a body plan is modified? How do we get from a random variation creating a new protein to arranging the proteins into tissues, arranging the tissues into organs, and arranging tissues and organs into a body plan? It should not suprise you that as an engineer (retired) I would view the redesign of an organism as an engineering project. An engineering project requires forsight and planning and many diverse elements have to come together in the right palce and the right time in order to have a successful project. Yet evolution supposedly works without such planning and forsight. Contrary to good engineering practice, evolution works by using "bottom up" design. It begins with the creation of a new part that may or may not fit with the next new part created that may or may not fit with the next new part created...NeilBJ
October 17, 2011
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The specific sequence of nucleotides in DNA is independent of any laws of nature. Of course, the laws of nature are relied upon to hold the DNA together. Forgive me for repeating the simple analogy of the arrangement of magnetic letters on a metal board. The forces of magnetism hold the letters there, but what law of nature is a direct cause of the sequence of those letters such that they would code for a meaniful word or sentence? Are not the sequences of nucleotides that code for functional proteins only an infinitesimally small subset of all possible sequences? What is the direct cause of the specific sequence? Scientists committed to methodological naturalism can only appeal to chance and time to explain any specific sequence. What if it can be shown -- and scientists such as Douglas Axe supposedly have -- that there is not enough time to form meaningful sequences?NeilBJ
October 16, 2011
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ahem... ;)Upright BiPed
October 16, 2011
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StephenB, I trust that the board, in the past, made their decisions based on the best methodologies available at the time. However, the conclusions that these 'cures' represent miracles was a conclusion based on obvious ignorance due to the lack of advanced diagnostic technology. That's the entire point: yesterdays miracles evaporate with better understanding of biochemistry and medicine. There is no reason to beleive that any miracles have occurred given the available data. I'd be interested in hearing what your other explanations but this is likely my last post to this thread. My 26 kbps modem correction will not load UD pages past a certain size. This post alone took me since yesterday to get the thread to load so I could read and respond. Just a FYI headsup before some 'critic' began allegations of 'running away'. If as you state a consensus is "a consensus decision is inconclusive" then those 'cures' that are reached by consensus alone should not be acknowledged as 'cures' and should not be considered by the church as being miracles. That seems simple enough to me which is why I questioned the entire process. Why should a unanimous decision arouse suspicion? If the evidence is robust enough to cause everyone involved to draw the same conclusion what would be the source of the suspicion. If a bunch of scientist sat around watching the temperature drop in a beaker of water until it changed from liquid to solid would their conclusion that this transition occured at 0 C arouse suspicion? I also have read where the church wishes to add a new category, a sort of miracle-lite, where based on the claims of the individual that they experienced a 'cure' would be sufficient evidence of Divine intervention. Perhaps watering down the criteria is a response to the dramatic decline in 'cures' observed at Lourdes. Contrary to your claim, StephenB, I am open to the evidence and it is the evidence that led me to the conclusions I've posted here. The dramatic drop in cures should open anyone's eyes to what is the likely explanation of events. Excuse me, StephenB, the doctors on the board depend on methological naturalism (and materialism) to reach their decision. They have no other means/method for doing their work. Curious that you ignore this when it's inconvienent for your position.Acipenser
October 16, 2011
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The problem, kf, is that what you see as "correction" may be the very issue under dispute. I have frequently been "corrected" by you - but I do not consider your "correction" to be "correct"! Do you see the problem?Elizabeth Liddle
October 16, 2011
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Thanks!Elizabeth Liddle
October 16, 2011
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Neil: what kind of "explanation" would it be that did not "involve...the fundamental forces of nature"? I have yet to see a supernatural "explanation". I have only ever seen a supernatural conclusion, and that is reached on the grounds of the lack of a "natural" explanation. In other words, all a "supernatural" "explanation" is it the admission that we do not know of a natural one. Which is not an "explanation" at all. This is why I take issue with the allegation that scientists are remiss in not seeking "supernatural" explanations. There are none. Supernatural causation is unexplained causation. What kind of "evidence" could be "found" that "would suggest that the laws of nature are not sufficient to explain the complexity observed in life"? What would such evidence look like? I suggest it would look, literally, like nothing. How do you set about finding "nothing"? And when you've found it, how to you figure out what it is?Elizabeth Liddle
October 16, 2011
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F/N 2: On investigating miracles of healing, I have always found Rex Gardner's 1983 BMJ paper a classic that sets out a reasonable framework for the reasonable and open-minded. One that parallels classic cares in historical record with contemporary similar ones. The discussion of the case in Pakistan of post partum bleeding is worth the time to read the whole paper.kairosfocus
October 16, 2011
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--> I am premising willful or negligent [oops on typo] above on the principle of a particular duty of care before making adverse comment. Someone is being negligent or willful if s/he does not take cognizance of key and warranted correction and restrain him or her self before perpetuating a falsely accusatory talking point.kairosfocus
October 16, 2011
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F/n:My response -- as a principal specific target -- above to the "Lewontin cite is quote-mining" false accusation (with links to longstanding corrections that are being willfully or at least negigently being ignored). --> I hope this helps given the presence of sub threads that make it hard to follow comment trends.kairosfocus
October 16, 2011
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heh, UBP, who is doing the lecturing here, do you think? Look, I'm sorry if that came over as a lecture, but what I am doing is what I assume you are also doing, is trying to explain where I am coming from. If you aren't interested, fine. But sometimes, when someone asks a question, the reason the other person can't easily answer is that to them, the question itself is ill-posed. That is what I find with your questions. I think there are unexamined assumptions and unpacked concepts buried in your questions that, if examined and unpacked, would enable you to answer them yourself - or rather, to recognize that they are not, in fact, questions, or at least, not the questions you think they are. Of course I could be wrong - but obviously I don't think I am, or, as my friend says, I wouldn't think it :) You accuse me of "obfuscation". That is exactly what I think you are doing (though I do not accuse you of doing it knowingly, and would appreciate a return of the compliment). I think you are equivocating with terms, applying terms from one level of analysis to another, and then generalising across usages without justification. Now, let me take your post in detail: You say:
The presence of recorded information within a system causes discrete physical objects to acquire observable qualities that go beyond their mere materiality.
I have no idea what this means. Observable by whom? What does "go beyond their mere materiality" mean? What kind of "system" are we talking about here? Who is the receiver of the information and who the sender? The observer? What if there is no observer? Is the information still "recorded"?
The details therein poses a substantial threat to certain theories in terms of origins, as it properly should.
Well, I can tell you think you have posed a problem for "certain theories" by which I assume you mean something like the theory that the OOL was the result of chemical processes. I am not at all clear what the problem is.
We are discussing observable dynamics here, merely redefining words/concepts (and bringing in irrelevant topics) will not change those observations.
Defining (or redefining if you prefer) words and concepts is of course absolutely vital when talking about observable anythings. As we've discussed. If you don't have operationalised criteria for what you are observing, then you can't proceed with any discussion. As for what is "irrelevant" - it may be your view that the things I have brought up are irrelevant. It is not mine. If we are to understand each other, it would be worth your trying to understand why I consider them relevant.
A music box was used as an example of recorded information. The question arose as to what can cause the melody playing from a music box. You stated that it was explicable in terms of natural forces. “Natural forces” is a fairly indiscreet term, which answers nothing, given that we assume that everything operates by natural forces (even the bodies of material agents).
I take it you mean "imprecise" rather than "indiscreet". Yes, the proximal cause of the melody emerging from the box is, as I said, the sequential displacement of the teeth of the comb by the pins on the cylinder. Obviously that does not explain how pins on the cylinder got to be in that sequence. To explain that, we'd need to talk about the intentions of the music-box designer etc. We'd need to take "the intentional stance" to use Dennett's phrase. Right?
So I asked you for a simple clarification as to whether you meant the melody was explicable to the box itself, or required more.
Did you? What does the question mean? What would it mean to say the melody was "explicable to the box"? Do you mean: does the box enjoy the melody? Can the box predict the melody? Obviously not. OK?
Instead of offering a clarification of your meaning, you offered a clarification on the types of questions we could ask ourselves – proximate or distal. Seeing that you still haven’t addressed the original issue, I asked what observation you might make about the box which would lead you to infer the requirement of a distal cause (in order to explain the melody playing).
Ah. So this is a "watch on the heath" question, right? Sorry, I didn't get it. If I found a musical box playing on a heath, what about the box would excite my curiousity about how it came to exist? OK. What would excite my curiosity about how it came to exist would be the fact that it seemed to have an internal source of energy (it's producing sound), that it's producing a something I recognise as a melody in the Western musical scale (probably) which would suggest a human origin, and that it appears to be an artefact rather than a living thing (it's doesn't seem to reproduce).
Instead of explaining any inference to a distal cause, you have now begun discussing that the questions we ask are properties of ourselves, not the objects we ask about. And to top it all off, you ask if I am understanding you – which will become fodder for the next exchange.
Well, I honestly didn't understand your question UBP. I hope I have now addressed it satisfactorily. Please do not assume that if an answer to a question seems not to address the question, that the answerer is "obfuscating". There is an alternative - that the answerer didn't understand the questions. Which could be due to lack of clarity in the question.
Dr Liddle, there is absolutely nothing whatsoever you can attribute to the brass and wood that makes up a music box which can explain a melody coming from it. It doesn’t have the information. It can never have that information by virtue of its material. Not only can it not create the melody, but it also cannot create the representations required to record that melody, nor can it establish the protocols within the system which actualizes those representations into an audible result.
Sure, the music box cannot design itself. No problem.
There are certain limits to explanations when they must include the existence of recorded information. Those explanations must account for the physical requirements of that information.
No. The reason the music box must have had an intelligent designer is not because it contains "recorded information". It must have had an intelligent designer because there is no other candidate process that could have recorded that information. However, had that music box been one of a population of self-replicating entities that replicate with heritable variance in musical output, implemented as random changes to the sequence of pins on the cylinder, and in which the chances of reproducing was dependent on how like a Western musical melody its output was, then, over time, information as to what sequences resulted in Western melodies would gradually be accrued, so that after many generations, the only surviving cylinders would be those that produced acceptable Western melodies. It's a nice example - the cylinder is the genome, the melody is the phenotype. Maybe there is also a second genome, or part of the genome, that undergoes random changes that result in adjusted comb-tooth lengths. At first, the melodies will be cacophonous, but as the least cacophonous are the ones that reproduce best, we should end up with a finely tuned comb, and a finely crafted cadential melody. Of course I know of no natural environment that will select for Western melodies, but then I know of no self-replicating musical boxes that produce them either.Elizabeth Liddle
October 16, 2011
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F/N: Cf also here.kairosfocus
October 16, 2011
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Aci, Anti Evo forum members, and onlookers: As a major specific target of this particular "Lewontin is being quote-mined" misleading talking point at Anti Evo etc, I hereby link a full clip with my own critical comments; with onward links to a source and similar clips and comments on three other eminent sources: Coyne, the US NAS and the US NSTA. (My response to a previous attempt to use this false accusation at UD is here. Note esp CD at no 3 in the comment exchange.) I contend on that cluster of clips and comments in context, that a fair and critical reading will confirm that Mr Arrington is quite correct and demonstrably has not materially misrepresented Lewontin. (Indeed, as the notes in the just linked will amplify, that some seem to believe that an allusion to Beck JUSTIFIES the sort of attitude and behaviour highlighted in the clip Mr Arrington has made, demonstrates either an utter lack of knowledge of the history of the founding of modern science, the worldviews issues connected thereto, and the implications of Judaeo-Christian theism for the existence of an orderly cosmos subject to scientific study, or else something worse, much worse.) Similarly, it is quite evident on the balance of easily accessible evidence that the attempts to dismiss this and other similar citations as misleadingly out of context is at best irresponsible. Sadly, this pattern of irresponsible [or worse] rhetoric by darwinist objectors to design theory, seems to be persisted in in the teeth of any and all correction, over literally months and years, dating to within a year of the original NYRB article by Lewontin. That, sadly does not speak well for such objectors. GEM of TKI PS: Acipenser, I responded here to one of your challenges some months ago [on the design theoretic significance of the Glasgow Coma Scale], but you never seemed to respond. Care to do so now?kairosfocus
October 16, 2011
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Dr Liddle,
Do you see what I am trying to say?
Elizabeth, I am asking you, will you please stop with the lecturing. The more I address the evidence, the more you lecture me on how to address the evidence. We are not having a communication problem. The presence of recorded information within a system causes discrete physical objects to acquire observable qualities that go beyond their mere materiality. The details therein poses a substantial threat to certain theories in terms of origins, as it properly should. We are discussing observable dynamics here, merely redefining words/concepts (and bringing in irrelevant topics) will not change those observations.
Liddle: The melody that emerges can of course be explained simply “in terms of natural forces. BiPed: The melody is explicable by the natural forces at work in the material of the music box, Dr Liddle? Or is that melody only explicable by natural forces working elsewhere on the material that makes up the music box? Liddle: That’s an either/or question? Sheesh. The first question is about proximal causes, the second is about distal causes. BiPed: What is it exactly about the object in question that leads one to infer a requirement for a distal cause? Liddle: There is no “requirement” UBP – whether you are interested in proximal or distal causes depends on what your question is, which is a property of you, not a property of the object in question!
Allow me to show you how obfuscation operates in the defense of weak positions and lost causes. We've been having an ongoing conversation about the physical requirements of recorded information. A music box was used as an example of recorded information. The question arose as to what can cause the melody playing from a music box. You stated that it was explicable in terms of natural forces. “Natural forces” is a fairly indiscreet term, which answers nothing, given that we assume that everything operates by natural forces (even the bodies of material agents). So I asked you for a simple clarification as to whether you meant the melody was explicable to the box itself, or required more. Instead of offering a clarification of your meaning, you offered a clarification on the types of questions we could ask ourselves – proximate or distal. Seeing that you still haven’t addressed the original issue, I asked what observation you might make about the box which would lead you to infer the requirement of a distal cause (in order to explain the melody playing). Instead of explaining any inference to a distal cause, you have now begun discussing that the questions we ask are properties of ourselves, not the objects we ask about. And to top it all off, you ask if I am understanding you - which will become fodder for the next exchange. Here's the deal: Please go back to the point where I first asked for a clarification of your non-discreet answer. You stated that it was not an either/or question. But it is an either/or question – if the question is what can explain the melody coming from a music box. Dr Liddle, there is absolutely nothing whatsoever you can attribute to the brass and wood that makes up a music box which can explain a melody coming from it. It doesn't have the information. It can never have that information by virtue of its material. Not only can it not create the melody, but it also cannot create the representations required to record that melody, nor can it establish the protocols within the system which actualizes those representations into an audible result. There are certain limits to explanations when they must include the existence of recorded information. Those explanations must account for the physical requirements of that information.Upright BiPed
October 15, 2011
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---Acipenser: "While there are gaps in the data set the pattern is clear. As medical diagnostic technology advances the number of alleged cures plummets in a very dramatic fashion. The explanation is very clear. In the past the medical board made a large number of mistakes based on our knowledge of medicine today. Does ignorance in the years past make the numerous cures actual cures or are they still comprised of many mistaken conclusions." I can think of several reasons why fewer miracles are now being confirmed at Lourdes that have nothing to do with technology. It is interesting, though, that you trust the integrity of the board, their application of the scientific method, and their democratic decision-making-process only when their reports indicate fewer miracles. In keeping with that point, the objection against a 2/3 majority decision seems very strange to me. If simply one scientist was involved, there would be no check and balance system against a single bias. In same cases, the decision has been unanimous. Would that matter to a Darwinst? Not in the least. That would be just more evidence that it cannot be true. For a Darwinist, a one man decision proves nothing, a consensus decision is inconclusive, and a unanimous decision arouses suspicion. That about covers all the possibilies, doesn't it? However, we are getting pretty far afield here. I am not trying to convince Darwinists on this site that miracles occur because I know that they are not open to the evidence. My argument is, and has been, that science may legitimately speak on the matter, which would rule out methodological naturalism, the ideological shield that atheists use to protect themselves against reasoned inferences. IStephenB
October 15, 2011
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There is no "requirement" UBP - whether you are interested in proximal or distal causes depends on what your question is, which is a property of you, not a property of the object in question! I think this is a crucial issue, actually, UBP, and may explain why we seem to find it so hard to communicate. I think it also lies at the heart of what I think are unfounded criticisms of the perceived "reductionism" of "materialism". Some questions, and some phenomena, can only be understood at systems level, and there may be systems within systems, and so the explanation for a phenomenon has to be dealt with at the systems level at which the phenomenon you are interested in is manifest. So minds for example,cannot be "reduced" to the firing of neurons, even though, just as in a musical box, the melody is produced by the striking of pins against a tuned comb, the thoughts of a mind are produced by coordinated cascades of neural firing within a brain. But the "melodiness" and "mindness" of these phenomena are simply not captured by a physical-level description of the atomised events that make up the system as a whole. They need to be addressed from different stances - for instance, what Dennett calls the "Design" stance, and the "Intentional" stance. For instance, take the example of the question: why does a bird fly? From the "physical stance" we could answer the questions in terms of aerodynamics, and lift, and propulsion. From an "Design" stance, we could explain it in terms of the evolutionary processes (well, I would anyway) that have optimised the bird's upper limbs for flight. And from the "Intentional stance" we could answer the question in terms of the bird's intentions - it flies because it needs to survey the ground for voles, or to catch flies on the wing, or to roost in a safe tree. All these answers may be correct, but they are answers to questions on quite different levels. Similarly, if you ask me why I am typing this post, I could answer in terms of neural connections between my language centres and output to my finger muscles, or in terms of the evolutionary processes that have endowed me with language, and the cultural processes that have endowed me with a computer and the internet, or in terms of my intentions to try to communicate with Upright BiPed! Again, they are all correct, they perfectly consistent with each other, and one is not less or more "materialist" than any of the others, they are simply addressing different questions. Do you see what I am trying to say?Elizabeth Liddle
October 15, 2011
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Dr Liddle,
The first question is about proximal causes, the second is about distal causes.
What is it exactly about the object in question that leads one to infer a requirement for a distal cause?Upright BiPed
October 15, 2011
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StepheB, here is a challenge for you. Construct a scatter plot of the data from Lourdes. On the x-axis plot the year and on the y-axis plot the number of cures that the board declared. Here is the data in case you don't have it: Prior to 1914 there were 57 'cures' each year. from 1947-1990 there were 56 recognized cures since 1978 there have only been 4 'cures' recognized by the board. While there are gaps in the data set the pattern is clear. As medical diagnostic technology advances the number of alleged cures plummets in a very dramatic fashion. The explanation is very clear. In the past the medical board made a large number of mistakes based on our knowledge of medicine today. Does ignorance in the years past make the numerous cures actual cures or are they still comprised of many mistaken conclusions. Elizabeth, the Board at Lourdes also only requires a 2/3 majority to determine if a cure is a cure. Any dissentors are kicked to the curb and consensus rules. Seems like an arbitrary way to declare miracles but I've given up trying to understand religous motivation. You'd think a unanimous decision would be required as a measure of veracity. It is funny that in the case of the declaration of miracles a consensus of a small panel of doctors is just fine but a consensus of thousands and thousands of scientists is not to be believed. To me it seems hypocritical but that's just my opinion.Acipenser
October 15, 2011
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Natalie Grant – Alive - music http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=F09J9JNU He's Alive - Dolly Parton - 1989 CMA - music video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbRPWUHM80M
bornagain77
October 15, 2011
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Acipenser, it seems you did not bother to look at this video, At the 3:50 marks they speak of the probable crossing points of the Red Sea, The place where they actually found evidence of the Exodus, Chariot wheels, etc.., is certainly not a 'Reed Sea' as you have mistakenly believed;:
Exodus Revealed part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bJ5JdBd4QU
A interview is here:
The Exodus Case - Interviews with Lennart Moller - video http://www.prophecyinthenews.com/the-exodus-case-interviews-with-lennart-moller/
As well as for your denial sufficient evidence for Medical Miracles, a little investigation reveals that you are misleading people here as well;
Medical Miracles Really Do Happen Excerpt: No one knows exactly how often such cases occur. Approximately 3,500 medically documented cases of seeming miracles -- based on reports from doctors in America and around the world dating to 1967 -- have appeared in 800 peer-reviewed medical journals and cover all major illnesses, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis. http://www.bottomlinesecrets.com/article.html?article_id=42254 Scientifically Documented Miracles (10 detailed cases) One Example: "This lady's brain abnormality was well documented by the standard diagnostic techniques and she was seen by man specialists. Electroencephalographic study was performed in each of her hospitalizations.The repeat study dated January 6th reported 'abnormal EEG suggesting left temporary pathology, there is no significant change since 12/27/74.'...the clinical impression was that of brain tumor and her symptoms suddenly and completely disappeared following a visit to the Shrine service." When she went to the service an unknown christian placed his hands on her shoulders and prayed for her. The symptoms immediately disappeared and subsequent tests found that the abnormality had disappeared. This is not normal remission. Remission does not mean that the symptoms immediately vanish. http://christiancadre.blogspot.com/2009/05/scientifically-documented-miracles.html
As well, we have direct physical evidence of the greatest miracle of all; That Jesus Christ defeated death itself and rose from the grave so that we may inherit eternal life:
Turin Shroud Hologram Reveals The Words 'The Lamb' - short video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4041205 THE EVENT HORIZON (Space-Time Singularity) OF THE SHROUD OF TURIN. - Isabel Piczek - Particle Physicist Excerpt: We have stated before that the images on the Shroud firmly indicate the total absence of Gravity. Yet they also firmly indicate the presence of the Event Horizon. These two seemingly contradict each other and they necessitate the past presence of something more powerful than Gravity that had the capacity to solve the above paradox. http://shroud3d.com/findings/isabel-piczek-image-formation "It is not a continuum or spherical-front radiation that made the image, as visible or UV light. It is not the X-ray radiation that obeys the one over R squared law that we are so accustomed to in medicine. It is more unique. It is suggested that the image was formed when a high-energy particle struck the fiber and released radiation within the fiber at a speed greater that the local speed of light. Since the fiber acts as a light pipe, this energy moved out through the fiber until it encountered an optical discontinuity, then it slowed to the local speed of light and dispersed. The fact that the pixels don’t fluoresce suggests that the conversion to their now brittle dehydrated state occurred instantly and completely so no partial products remain to be activated by the ultraviolet light. This suggests a quantum event where a finite amount of energy transferred abruptly. The fact that there are images front and back suggests the radiating particles were released along the gravity vector. The radiation pressure may also help explain why the blood was "lifted cleanly" from the body as it transformed to a resurrected state." http://www.shroudstory.com/natural.htm
If scientists want to find the source for the supernatural light which made the "3D - photographic negative" image I suggest they look to the thousands of documented Near-Death Experiences (NDE's) in Judeo-Christian cultures. It is in their testimonies that you will find mention of an indescribably bright 'Light' or 'Being of Light' who is always described as being of a much brighter intensity of light than the people had ever seen before. All people who have been in the presence of 'The Being of Light' while having a deep NDE have no doubt whatsoever that the 'The Being of Light' they were in the presence of is none other than 'The Lord God Almighty' of heaven and earth.
In The Presence Of Almighty God - The NDE of Mickey Robinson - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4045544
Etc.. Etc.. Etc.. music and verse:
Matthew 17:2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Mandy Moore - Only Hope http://www.youtube.com/v/0ofeDruIwTM&fs=1&source=uds&autoplay=1
bornagain77
October 15, 2011
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Acipenser, on the matter of miracle healings, you need to take up your objections with the Lourdes Medical Bureau who passed judgment on these cases. I didn't make the call, they did. If you believe that you know more about each set of individual circumstances than they did, or if you think you are more qualified to make the judgment, then feel free to challenge their findings on the basis that you don't approve of them. ---"I’m not fearful at all of your question drawn from imagine land." Well, then why will you not answer it? Why do I have to keep providing the answer for you. If a man stands by the Red Sea, lifts his arms, and parts the waters, would a scientist present at the event be required to say that the event was the result of natural causes. Let me provide another answer on your behalf: "I don't believe that any such thing ever happened or could happen, but if it did, the scientist would be obliged to say that it did not occur as a result of natural causes. Why do you seem incapable of acknowledging that which is obvious? ---"The parting of the Reeds Sea would not create any walls of water and like any other myth from antiquity has been much embellised in the telling through the centuries." You seem to have lost track of the scenario. A man who can part the waters (of the Red Sea) can also decide which direction they will go. --"The alleged ‘clogging’ of the chariots wheels were likely a rendition of the pursuit through the marshes of the Reed sea." Let's not talk about the clogging of chariots wheels. I am having a hard enough time getting you to focus on the activity of the water. --"I think we could agree that it’s pretty difficult to drive a chariot through a marsh." If a man stands by the Red Sea and parts the waters, he would certainly want to make sure that he finishes the job and provides for a dry pathway between the two walls of water. Surely, you can see that if a man can part the waters, he can also pull out the residual marshy water in the ground and provide for a pathway.StephenB
October 15, 2011
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I am not privy to the dialogue between the many doctor's that determine whether a given healing qualifies as miraculous healing or a spontaneous remission. However, they ask the same questions that you asked prior to making their judgment. Remember, the bureau is independent of Ecclesiastical authority, and its roster is made up of many skeptics who are inclined to issue a negative judgment. A panel of true believers would violate the whole point of the investigation.StephenB
October 15, 2011
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I also find it striking that "miracles" only seem possible in the case of a limited set of conditions - cancer and MS being two notable ones, both of which are known to go into spontaneous remission. Indeed a relative of mine had a complete spontaneous remission from what was considered terminal Hodgkin's lymphoma, but as far as I know she's an atheist. She's certainly never attributed it to divine intervention (though delighted to be well). If God can cure cancer and MS, sometimes, in some places, and also make the sun stop in the sky and dance, or at least appear to, to some people, and maybe something else to other people, even though we know that it is a star and we orbit it according to extremely reliable natural laws, and that the apparent violent perturbation of our orbit resulted in only local effects, and had no effect on the length of the earth's days, and personally intervene in the more efficient design of a gut microbe that kills small children, yet apparently cannot regrow amputed limbs, or ensure that a slagheap collapses a few minutes too early to bury a school full of Welsh children - what are we to think of that God? My response is to hope that he does not exist. Fortunately I find the evidence too ludicrous to consider it supportive. If there is a good God (the only kind of God I would want to worship) then it isn't the one attested by these "interventions".Elizabeth Liddle
October 15, 2011
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My post at #23 was intended to be a reply to Elizabeth Liddle at #4.1.NeilBJ
October 15, 2011
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The very fact that scientists adhere to the precepts of methodoligcal naturalism suggests that they may not/should not seek explanations other than explanations involving the fundamental forces of nature. If methodological naturalism were treated simply as a working assumption that would be discarded if evidence were found that would suggest that the laws of nature are not sufficient to explain the complexity observed in life, then I would have no argument. ID proponents reason that the complexities observed in life cannot be explained by the laws of nature alone and conclude that intelligent agency is required. Under normal circumstances any new discovery in science would be allowed and maybe even crumble its foundations. Of course any new discovery should be challenged and questioned and scrutinized, but should it be arbitrarily dismissed because it doesn't fit a definition? I submit that the inference to intelligent agency is dismissed out-of-hand by a large number of scientists because it is not considered "science." Even worse is the treatment of those proponents by many in the scientific establishment. Need I mention the treatment of Dr. Richard Sternberg or Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez?NeilBJ
October 15, 2011
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Many of the Lourdes 'miracles' were accepted as such due to a lack of diagnostic technology. Retrospective examinations of these cases reveal many where the symptoms of MS create a very tight fit to the claims. That we know today how to detect and diagnose MS and can apply what we know about that disease and it's progression to case histories of the past msot definitely leads to the conclusion that many of the so called miracles were only the known remission of MS and not any Divine intervention. My sources for this is the Lourdes data base itself. StephenB, it only takes one instance of a mistake to acknowledge that there are likely more especially with the lack of sophisticated diagnostic teshnology that is available today. Cling to them if you wish but any application of critical thinking points to numerous mistakes, due to ignorance, being made in the declaration that a 'miracle' has occurred. Do you deny the possiblity that some of the previously declared miracles may have simply been the remission of the symptoms of MS or cancer...very well documented events in the medical literature. Another well documented event in the medical literature is the spontaneous remission of cancer tumors. Each year up to 1% of cancer cases undergo spontaneous remission. A miracle? Perhaps the the individual but from a science-based assessment the immune system often causes cancer to go into remission. Inexpicable to science?....hardly and there is no need for any Divine foot as an explanation. I'm not fearful at all of your question drawn from imagine land. That imagine land is made up of ridiculous and impossible constructs is nothing to be bothered about. They are laughable in that some people actually think they pass as some form of data that can be analyzed in any meaningful way. The parting of the Reeds Sea would not create any walls of water and like any other myth from antiquity has been much embellised in the telling through the centuries. The alleged 'clogging' of the chariots wheels were likely a rendition of the pursuit through the marshes of the Reed sea. I think we could agree that it's pretty difficult to drive a chariot through a marsh.Acipenser
October 15, 2011
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How does that confirm a miracle? What rules out spontaneous remission? Or misdiagnosis? No diagnosis is ever "beyond doubt". Are spontaneous remissions that occur in atheists, or outside Lourdes not considered miracles? Why not?Elizabeth Liddle
October 15, 2011
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Miracles are not confirmed by the scientists. They simply make an informed judgment that the events in question are are not likely the result of natural causes. The Church does the confirming based on input from scientists who affirm what seems likely from a scientific perspective. The methodology goes something like this: -The original diagnosis must be verified and confirmed beyond doubt -The diagnosis must be regarded as "incurable" with current means (although ongoing treatments do not disqualify the cure) -The cure must happen in association with a visit to Lourdes, typically while in Lourdes or in the vicinity of the shrine itself (although drinking or bathing in the water are not required) -The cure must be immediate (rapid resolution of symptoms and signs of the illness) -The cure must be complete (with no residual impairment or deficit) -The cure must be permanent (with no recurrence)StephenB
October 15, 2011
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Can we not examine this abrogation of the Universal Probability Bound? Can we not measure them?
Not in retrospect. Once an event has happened it has a probability of one. Consider going back 500 years and predicting all the events necessary for all your ancestors to meet, marry and have children leading to you. that would be some prediction. But once it has happened, you can't calculate the probability. Or perhaps you can, but it would be pointless. Behe tries to do this in a response to Thornton, but it doesn't make sense. Thornton resurrected the mutation path leading to a specific new function. He found and tested the necessary series of mutations. Predicting them would take some doing, but Thornton wasn't predicting. He merely figured out what happened. There's no reason to assume the exact series would repeat if you restarted the experiment.Petrushka
October 15, 2011
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Can you tell me how miracles are "confirmed" Stephen? What is the methodology?Elizabeth Liddle
October 15, 2011
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