Intelligent Design

No Free First Principles

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In response to my last post, markf wrote: 

It is a possibility that we are under a total delusion about scientific evidence. But key difference between religious evidence and scientific evidence is that our scientific evidence is grounded in repeatable observations that engage with reality all the time in very concrete way.

To which bornagain77 aptly replied: 

Yet ironically, belief in an orderly universe, where the transcendent laws of physics are non-variant, is a Theistic belief, and in fact atheists fight tooth and nail trying to show that there is no such inherent transcendent order in the universe. Thus you have in fact falsely assumed a primary theistic belief into your atheistic argument for an orderly universe when you stated,,, ‘our scientific evidence is grounded in repeatable observations’,,, and have severely undermined the credibility of the atheistic belief you were trying to support by appealing to a primary Theistic pillar of belief

Markf’s reply is a classic example of a gambit frequently employed by materialists – trying to smuggle in their theistic first principles while no one’s looking.  Theodosius [ironically, literally “giver of God’] Dobzhansky famously said that nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution.  I say, “Nothing about anything can possibly make sense except in light of an orderly universe, which in turn cannot make sense except in light of God and specifically the God of the Bible.”  

This is true for theists and atheists alike.  Theists are obviously up front about positing God-created order as the basis of everything they know.  And just as obviously atheists have to smuggle their God-created order in through the back door.  Both assume the underlying order; only one can account for it. 

Dembski proposed a “No Free Lunch” theorem to demonstrate that specified complexity cannot be purchased without a pre-existing intelligence.  Let me propose a corollary to Dembski’s theorem.  I’ll call it the “No Free First Principles” axiom, and it goes like this:  “The universe we observe is orderly and comprehensible.  The only plausible explanation for this observation is that the universe was specifically designed to be orderly and comprehensible by a designer.  Therefore, those who would deny the existence of a designer are not allowed to posit an orderly and comprehensible universe.” 

It reminds me of the story about God conversing with a Darwinist.  The Darwinist says to God, I can create life just like you did.  God says, “Go ahead; give it a try.”  The Darwinist says, “OK, first you take some dirt and . . .” At which point God interrupts him and says, “Stop right there.  Get your own dirt.”

37 Replies to “No Free First Principles

  1. 1
    john_a_designer says:

    Barry Arrington:

    Markf’s reply is a classic example of a gambit frequently employed by materialists – trying to smuggle in their theistic first principles while no one’s looking.

    I agree. Dastardly, isn’t it?

    Theodosius [ironically, literally “giver of God’] Dobzhansky famously said that nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution. I say, “Nothing about anything can possibly make sense except in light of an orderly universe, which in turn cannot make sense except in light of God and specifically the God of the Bible.”

    I disagree that you necessarily need the “God of the Bible” to explain an orderly rationally understandable universe. What you need is an eternally existing transcendent intelligence (EETI) or mind. While such a being is consistent with the God of the Bible in a basic sense he, or it, is not identical. The God of the Bible is beneficent; he cares not only about his creation but the individual creatures that are part of that creation.

    An EETI need not be beneficent to explain the rational order we see in the universe. The late Anthony Flew came to believe in such a being. He was very insistent that his conversion was not a religious one but a rational one.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    I love how StephenB consistently picks atheists completely apart on this topic by using ‘first principles of right reason’ against the atheists. i.e. It turns out that Atheists have no right to even the transcendent logic they try to use to make their case for atheism. Only Theism guarantees logic to be trustworthy in the first place. 🙂

  3. 3
    Borne says:

    “Anyone who denies the law of non-contradiction should be beaten and burned until he admits that to be beaten is not the same as not to be beaten, and to be burned is not the same as not to be burned”

    Metaphysics I.

    I love when blind atheists attempt to prove that there are no logical absolutes by attempting to prove that the law of non contradiction is not absolute.

    I encountered this effort recently when in debate with web atheist Paul Baird.

    Baird attempted to prove that this law is not absolute and therefore Math itself is not absolute (i.e. not real law!) by the following slight of hand sophism:

    C * C ? C^2

    I couldn’t believe it.
    What a lame and dishonest attempt to squirm out of reality.

    Even after I explained that he was confusing strict math with physical properties he would not accept his error.

    Hey Baird buy a calculator and enter the two equations with the value of C and see what ya get!

    HINT: You have to assume the law of non-contradiction in order to disprove it. Doh!

    Atheists that are wannabe quantum physicists will often try to use some quantum observations to disprove the same law.

    The famous : “it went through the slit; it didn’t go through the slit” thing.

    There are no other persons on earth as adamantly opposed to absolutes as atheists.

    Their whole world view depends on this.

    Thus they will chase their tales through long slits of quantum nonsense all day long trying to save their empty world view from destruction by the simple facts of reality.

    Sad but true

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    john_a_designer you wrote;

    I disagree that you necessarily need the “God of the Bible” to explain an orderly rationally understandable universe. What you need is an eternally existing transcendent intelligence (EETI) or mind. While such a being is consistent with the God of the Bible in a basic sense he, or it, is not identical. The God of the Bible is beneficent; he cares not only about his creation but the individual creatures that are part of that creation.

    John, it turns out that physical reality itself reflects exactly this characteristic you predict for ‘the God of the Bible’ over the eternally existing transcendent intelligence (EETI) or mind.;

    notes;

    ,,,from the space-time cosmology of General Relativity we find that from a 3-dimensional (3D) perspective, any particular 3D spot in the universe is to be considered just as ‘center of the universe’ as any other particular spot in the universe is to be considered ‘center of the universe’. This centrality found for any 3D place in the universe is because the universe is a 4D expanding hypersphere, analogous in 3D to the surface of an expanding balloon. All points on the surface are moving away from each other, and every point is central, if that’s where you live.

    Every 3D Place Is Center In This Universe – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3991873/

    The Known Universe – Dec. 2009 – a very cool video (please note the centrality of the earth in the universe)
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4240304/

    On top of this ‘4D expanding hypersphere geometry’, and other considerations of Einstein’s special theory of relativity that show that the speed of light stays the same, while all other movement in the universe, no matter how fast or slow, is relative to that ‘unchanging’ speed of light, the primary reason the CMBR forms a sphere around the earth is because the quantum wave collapse of photons to their “uncertain” 3D wave/particle state, is dependent on ‘conscious observation’ in quantum mechanics. Moreover, this wave collapse of photons, to their ‘uncertain’ 3D wave/particle state, is shown by experiment to be instantaneous, and is also shown to be without regard to distance. i.e. It is universal for each observer (A. Aspect). CMBR, coupled with quantum mechanics, ultimately indicates that ‘quantum information’ about all points in the universe is actually available to each ‘central observer’, in any part of the 4D expanding universe, simultaneously.

    This following experiment extended the double slit experiment to show that the ‘spooky actions’, for instantaneous quantum wave collapse, happen regardless of any considerations for time or distance i.e. The following experiment shows that quantum actions are ‘universal and instantaneous’ for each unique point of conscious observation:

    Wheeler’s Classic Delayed Choice Experiment:
    Excerpt: Now, for many billions of years the photon is in transit in region 3. Yet we can choose (many billions of years later) which experimental set up to employ – the single wide-focus, or the two narrowly focused instruments. We have chosen whether to know which side of the galaxy the photon passed by (by choosing whether to use the two-telescope set up or not, which are the instruments that would give us the information about which side of the galaxy the photon passed). We have delayed this choice until a time long after the particles “have passed by one side of the galaxy, or the other side of the galaxy, or both sides of the galaxy,” so to speak. Yet, it seems paradoxically that our later choice of whether to obtain this information determines which side of the galaxy the light passed, so to speak, billions of years ago. So it seems that time has nothing to do with effects of quantum mechanics. And, indeed, the original thought experiment was not based on any analysis of how particles evolve and behave over time – it was based on the mathematics. This is what the mathematics predicted for a result, and this is exactly the result obtained in the laboratory.
    http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....choice.htm

    I find it extremely interesting, and strange, that quantum mechanics tells us that instantaneous quantum wave collapse to its ‘uncertain’ 3-D state is centered on each individual observer in the universe, whereas, 4-D space-time cosmology (General Relativity) tells us each 3-D point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe. These findings of modern science are pretty much exactly what we would expect to see if this universe were indeed created from a higher dimension by a omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal Being who knows everything that is happening everywhere in the universe at the same time. These findings certainly seem to go to the very heart of the age old question asked of many parents by their children, “How can God hear everybody’s prayers at the same time?”,,, i.e. Why should the expansion of the universe, or the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe, even care that you or I, or anyone else, should exist? Only Theism offers a rational explanation as to why you or I, or anyone else, should have such undeserved significance in such a vast universe:

    Psalm 33:13-15
    The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.

  5. 5
    Barry Arrington says:

    john.a.designer. I will grant your point. I should have said you need a God “like the one described in the Bible.” Not just any God will do. For example, Shiva won’t do at all for our purposes.

  6. 6
    Neil Rickert says:

    I say, “Nothing about anything can possibly make sense except in light of an orderly universe, which in turn cannot make sense except in light of God and specifically the God of the Bible.”

    I cannot see any basis for the claim that the universe is orderly. And I see no benefit from an a priori assumption that the universe is orderly.

    I will admit that almost nobody agrees with me on this.

  7. 7
    Upright BiPed says:

    Neil, how could you know?

    Perhaps entire swaths of people agree with you, but due to universal chaos, you simply don’t get that message. For instance, if someone speaks the words “I agree with you Neil” and those sound waves must then pass through the unreliable chaos of air pressure on their way to your inner ear. From your perspective, agreement looks like disagreement.

    Take heart, you are probalbly right.

    🙂

  8. 8
    Neil Rickert says:

    Upright BiPed (#7):

    Perhaps entire swaths of people agree with you, but due to universal chaos, you simply don’t get that message.

    That doesn’t actually follow.

    I am making a distinction between “the universe is orderly” and “we perceive the universe as orderly.”

  9. 9
    Joseph says:

    Barry Arrington:

    For example, Shiva won’t do at all for our purposes.

    I don’t know about that. Me and the Shiv used to hang out and he is one powerful dude, man.

    The problem is the Shivster got a bad rep a long, long time ago- and it was just a misunderstanding. But you know how people like gossip.

    The point is don’t sell the Shivster short until you get to know him.

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    Neil Rickert, since you reject the premise that order is found at the base of reality, and though not explicitly stated, you hold that random chaos is at the base of the universe since you have rejected order for a basis,,, I have the perfect experiment to highlight your dilemma;

    Scientific Evidence That Mind Effects Matter – Random Number Generators – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4198007

    Neil, since you believe that ‘mind’ merely ’emerged’ from a ‘random’ material basis, and as such the mind is subservient to that randomness that created it,,, Neil please tell me what in blue blazes is my ‘mind’ doing pushing randomness around. (of note Neil; please do not use transcendent logic to try to answer me, for that would be appealing to the transcendent order you have denied the existence of in the first place!)

  11. 11
    Neil Rickert says:

    bornagain77 (#10):

    Neil Rickert, since you reject the premise that order is found at the base of reality, and though not explicitly stated, you hold that random chaos is at the base of the universe since you have rejected order for a basis

    No, I am not saying that at all. I said nothing about “random chaos.”

    Let me try to be clearer. There is no basis for saying that the universe is orderly. And, equally, there is no basis for saying that it is randomly chaotic. I am saying that there is no meaning to “order” or “chaos” as applied to the universe itself. We can only apply those terms to the universe as we perceive it.

  12. 12
    StephenB says:

    —Neil Rickert: “Let me try to be clearer. There is no basis for saying that the universe is orderly.”

    Let’s just take an small chunk of the universe, which requires much less ordering than the whole. The human body consists of, among other things, a metabolic system, a detoxification system, a regulatory system, a rejuvenation system, a visual system, and an auditory system, all synchronized to work with the liver, gall bladder, pancreas, intestines, stomach, heart, lungs, spleen, and brain? You don’t think that this system can be recognized as being orderly?

    –“I am saying that there is no meaning to “order” or “chaos” as applied to the universe itself.”

    Order: “A condition of logical or comprehensible arrangement among the separate elements of a group.”

    You don’t thing the body is a comprehensible arrangement among separate elements which serve the meaningful purpose of keeping a man alive and able to function? Are you saying that you cannot comprehend the meaning of that arrangement or perceive it as an arrangement?

    —“We can only apply those terms to the universe as we perceive it.”

    We apply terms or language to describe the ordered reality that we perceive. Or, are you saying that you think our perceptions about the bodily systems have mislead us and that the order we perceive exists only in our mind?

    Or, are you saying that the universe, with finely-tuned physical constants that easily surpass in complexity the delicately ordered arrangement of human systems and organs, is not really ordered at all.

    Or, are you saying that those ordered cosmic conditions, without which life could not exist at all, are mere figments of our imagination?

  13. 13
    Joseph says:

    Neil Rickert:

    There is no basis for saying that the universe is orderly.

    Yes there is- for one the laws that govern the universe. They are nice and neat and orderly.

  14. 14
    Neil Rickert says:

    StephenB (#12):

    The human body consists of, …

    There seems to be some miscommunication here. I was talking about the world without human perception, and you are talking about humans.

    Order: “A condition of logical or comprehensible arrangement among the separate elements of a group.”

    I don’t have a problem with that. It defines order in the perceived universe. But what sense can be made of that definition when there is no logician, no comprehender, no arranger, and no perceiver of arrangements?

  15. 15
    goodusername says:

    “Markf’s reply is a classic example of a gambit frequently employed by materialists – trying to smuggle in their theistic first principles while no one’s looking. ”

    –Attempting to take something that is plainly observationally obvious – that the universe works via certain laws – and then claiming that one must deny that the laws exist unless one accepts some proposed theological reasons for why the laws exist, is an interesting classic gambit employed by theists.

    If I drop a pencil – it goes down. That’s what it does every time. I don’t need to believe someone’s theological/metaphysical explanation for why such a law exists in order to believe that the pencil will behave the same way as before next time it is dropped.

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    goodusername, the whole point is that the Theist does take into account the materialists explanation, in this case the multiverse, and finds that it dissolves into absurdity when trying to account for the ‘transcendent order’ we find imposed on material reality, in fact ‘randomness’ is built into the very foundation of the materialists worldview which prevents them from having ‘faith’ that such a basis of transcendent order will be found to be imposed on material reality, whereas not only did Theist presuppose this ‘transcendent order’, this presupposition is what, in fact, led the way for the Christian Theists to have the ‘faith’ to make the breakthrough discoveries they did in the founding of modern science i.e. the atheists would have never grasped for what they did not believe existed as the Christian Theists did! In fact, as I pointed out yesterday, it turns out that materialists still, to this day, fight tooth and nail to try to prove randomness is at the base of reality i.e. to try to prove that the transcendent order is variant;

    notes;

    In this short video, Dr. Stephen Meyer notes that the early scientists were Christians whose faith motivated them to learn more about their Creator…

    Dr. Meyer on the Christian History of Science
    http://www.thetruthproject.org.....000287.cfm

    It was a belief in a transcendent invariant order that God has placed on reality that drove the Christian founders of science to make the breakthrough discoveries they did;

    Christianity Gave Birth To Each Modern Scientific Discipline – Dr. H…enry Fritz Schaefer – video
    http://vimeo.com/16523153

    Christianity and The Birth of Science – Michael Bumbulis, Ph.D
    Excerpt: Furthermore, many of these founders of science lived at a time when others publicly expressed views quite contrary to Christianity – Hume, Hobbes, Darwin, etc. When Boyle argues against Hobbe’s materialism or Kelvin argues against Darwin’s assumptions, you don’t have a case of “closet atheists.”
    http://ldolphin.org/bumbulis/

    Founders of Modern Science Who Believe in GOD – Tihomir Dimitrov
    http://www.scigod.com/index.ph.....File/18/18

    This following site is a easy to use, and understand, interactive website that takes the user through what is termed ‘Presuppositional apologetics’. The website clearly shows that our use of the laws of logic, mathematics, science and morality cannot be accounted for unless we believe in a God who guarantees our perceptions and reasoning are trustworthy in the first place.

    Proof That God Exists – easy to use interactive website
    http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/index.php

    Nuclear Strength Apologetics – Presuppositional Apologetics – video
    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....pologetics

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: The physical universe is causally incomplete and therefore neither self-originating nor self-sustaining. The world of space, time, matter and energy is dependent on a reali…ty that transcends space, time, matter and energy. This transcendent reality cannot merely be a Platonic realm of mathematical descriptions, for such things are causally inert abstract entities that do not affect the material world. Neither is it the case that “nothing” is unstable, as Mr. Hawking and others maintain. Absolute nothing cannot have mathematical relationships predicated on it, not even quantum gravitational ones. Rather, the transcendent reality on which our universe depends must be something that can exhibit agency – a mind that can choose among the infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bring into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them. This is what “breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe.,,, the evidence for string theory and its extension, M-theory, is nonexistent; and the idea that conjoining them demonstrates that we live in a multiverse of bubble universes with different laws and constants is a mathematical fantasy. What is worse, multiplying without limit the opportunities for any event to happen in the context of a multiverse – where it is alleged that anything can spontaneously jump into existence without cause – produces a situation in which no absurdity is beyond the pale.
    For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the “Boltzmann Brain” problem: In the most “reasonable” models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

    The Underlying Mathematical Foundation Of The Universe -Walter Bradley – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4491491

    Latest Test of Physical Constants Affirms Biblical Claim – Hugh Ross – September 2010
    Excerpt: The team’s measurements on two quasars (Q0458- 020 and Q2337-011, at redshifts = 1.561 and 1.361, respectively) indicated that all three fundamental physical constants have varied by no more than two parts per quadrillion per year over the last ten billion years—a measurement fifteen times more precise, and thus more restrictive, than any previous determination. The team’s findings add to the list of fundamental forces in physics demonstrated to be exceptionally constant over the universe’s history. This confirmation testifies of the Bible’s capacity to predict accurately a future scientific discovery far in advance. Among the holy books that undergird the religions of the world, the Bible stands alone in proclaiming that the laws governing the universe are fixed, or constant.
    http://www.reasons.org/files/e.....010-03.pdf

    This following site discusses the many technical problems they had with the paper that recently (2010) tried to postulate variance within the fine structure constant:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-367471

    Psalm 119:89-91
    Your eternal word, O Lord, stands firm in heaven. Your faithfulness extends to every generation, as enduring as the earth you created. Your regulations remain true to this day, for everything serves your plans.

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    goodusername, the whole point is that the Theist does take into account the materialists explanation, in this case the multiverse, and finds that it dissolves into absurdity when trying to account for the ‘transcendent order’ we find imposed on material reality, in fact ‘randomness’ is built into the very foundation of the materialists worldview which prevents them from having ‘faith’ that such a basis of transcendent order will be found to be imposed on material reality, whereas not only did Theist presuppose this ‘transcendent order’, this presupposition is what, in fact, led the way for the Christian Theists to have the ‘faith’ to make the breakthrough discoveries they did in the founding of modern science i.e. the atheists would have never grasped for what they did not believe existed as the Christian Theists did! In fact, as I pointed out yesterday, it turns out that materialists still, to this day, fight tooth and nail to try to prove randomness is at the base of reality i.e. to try to prove that the transcendent order is variant;

    notes;

    In this short video, Dr. Stephen Meyer notes that the early scientists were Christians whose faith motivated them to learn more about their Creator…

    Dr. Meyer on the Christian History of Science
    http://www.thetruthproject.org.....000287.cfm

    It was a belief in a transcendent invariant order that God has placed on reality that drove the Christian founders of science to make the breakthrough discoveries they did;

    Christianity Gave Birth To Each Modern Scientific Discipline – Dr. Henry Fritz Schaefer – video
    http://vimeo.com/16523153

    Christianity and The Birth of Science – Michael Bumbulis, Ph.D
    Excerpt: Furthermore, many of these founders of science lived at a time when others publicly expressed views quite contrary to Christianity – Hume, Hobbes, Darwin, etc. When Boyle argues against Hobbe’s materialism or Kelvin argues against Darwin’s assumptions, you don’t have a case of “closet atheists.”
    http://ldolphin.org/bumbulis/

    Founders of Modern Science Who Believe in GOD – Tihomir Dimitrov
    http://www.scigod.com/index.ph.....File/18/18

    This following site is a easy to use, and understand, interactive website that takes the user through what is termed ‘Presuppositional apologetics’. The website clearly shows that our use of the laws of logic, mathematics, science and morality cannot be accounted for unless we believe in a God who guarantees our perceptions and reasoning are trustworthy in the first place.

    Proof That God Exists – easy to use interactive website
    http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/index.php

    Nuclear Strength Apologetics – Presuppositional Apologetics – video
    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....pologetics

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: The physical universe is causally incomplete and therefore neither self-originating nor self-sustaining. The world of space, time, matter and energy is dependent on a reali…ty that transcends space, time, matter and energy. This transcendent reality cannot merely be a Platonic realm of mathematical descriptions, for such things are causally inert abstract entities that do not affect the material world. Neither is it the case that “nothing” is unstable, as Mr. Hawking and others maintain. Absolute nothing cannot have mathematical relationships predicated on it, not even quantum gravitational ones. Rather, the transcendent reality on which our universe depends must be something that can exhibit agency – a mind that can choose among the infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bring into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them. This is what “breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe.,,, the evidence for string theory and its extension, M-theory, is nonexistent; and the idea that conjoining them demonstrates that we live in a multiverse of bubble universes with different laws and constants is a mathematical fantasy. What is worse, multiplying without limit the opportunities for any event to happen in the context of a multiverse – where it is alleged that anything can spontaneously jump into existence without cause – produces a situation in which no absurdity is beyond the pale.
    For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the “Boltzmann Brain” problem: In the most “reasonable” models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science.

    The Underlying Mathematical Foundation Of The Universe -Walter Bradley – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4491491

    Latest Test of Physical Constants Affirms Biblical Claim – Hugh Ross – September 2010
    Excerpt: The team’s measurements on two quasars (Q0458- 020 and Q2337-011, at redshifts = 1.561 and 1.361, respectively) indicated that all three fundamental physical constants have varied by no more than two parts per quadrillion per year over the last ten billion years—a measurement fifteen times more precise, and thus more restrictive, than any previous determination. The team’s findings add to the list of fundamental forces in physics demonstrated to be exceptionally constant over the universe’s history. This confirmation testifies of the Bible’s capacity to predict accurately a future scientific discovery far in advance. Among the holy books that undergird the religions of the world, the Bible stands alone in proclaiming that the laws governing the universe are fixed, or constant.
    http://www.reasons.org/files/e.....010-03.pdf

    This following site discusses the many technical problems they had with the paper that recently (2010) tried to postulate variance within the fine structure constant:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-367471

    Psalm 119:89-91
    Your eternal word, O Lord, stands firm in heaven. Your faithfulness extends to every generation, as enduring as the earth you created. Your regulations remain true to this day, for everything serves your plans.

  18. 18
    StephenB says:

    —Neil: “There seems to be some miscommunication here. I was talking about the world without human perception, and you are talking about humans.”

    No, I am talking about order, which is what you claim doesn’t exist independent of human perception. I used that example for a reason. The human body is obviously ordered and you can perceive that order. The order cannot be explained by your perceptions nor does it depend on your perceptions in any way. I am asking you if you will acknowledge that point, and so far, you have not responded.

    The universe is ordered independently of human perception. We perceive order that is already there; we do not create order in our minds. Here is the way it works:

    [A] We live in a rational universe [it is ordered] [B] We have rational minds [we can measure the order with mathematics and we cam perceive it through our senses] and [C] There is a correspondence between the two. There is a subject [the comprehender], an object [the thing being comprehended, and a connection between the two. Without all three conditions, there is no rationality.

    [The definition of order as provided by dictionary.com: “A condition of logical or comprehensible arrangement among the separate elements of a group.”]

    —“I don’t have a problem with that. It defines order in the perceived universe.”

    No it doesn’t define order in the “perceived universe.” It defines order. Please reread the definition. There is nothing in there about perception. I provided that definition for a reason.

    –“But what sense can be made of that definition when there is no logician, no comprehender, no arranger, and no perceiver of arrangements.”

    That is a very good question except for the part about the arranger, which, as you appear not to recognize, is different from the perceiver of the arrangments. Hearkening back to my earlier examaple, the perceiver of the body’s order is not the arranger of the body’s order.

    Let’s go back to the basics once again:

    [A] We have rational minds, [B] We live in a rational [ordered] universe, and [C] There is a correspondence between the two.

    Put another way, the universe is comprehensible AND the comprehender must be capable of comprehending it. What you are proposing is a comprehender without a comprehensible universe to be comprehended. It doesn’t work that way.

  19. 19
    goodusername says:

    bornagain77,

    What do you mean by “‘randomness’ is built into the very foundation of the materialists worldview”? It’s certainly not part of the materialist world-view that the pencil will behave randomly when I drop it.

    “Theist presuppose this ‘transcendent order’, this presupposition is what, in fact, led the way for the Christian Theists to have the ‘faith’ to make the breakthrough discoveries they did in the founding of modern science i.e. the atheists would have never grasped for what they did not believe existed as the Christian Theists did!”

    –That the universe behaves in an orderly way is something that I very much doubt was ever “presupposed”. As I mentioned before, it’s plainly obvious that the universe has laws. A thinking being couldn’t exist for very long in the universe without noticing that matter tends to behave in a certain way. One may as well have presupposed a blue sky.

    I believe it’s part of human nature to be interested in how nature works and to experiment and do “science” – in fact, we need it to survive.

    What allows science to “flourish” at certain times and places is relative freedom, such as what has existed in the West the past few centuries, in the Arab world the few centuries before that (but not lately), and among the ancient Greeks. Democritus is often called the “father of modern science” and apparently was an atheist.

  20. 20
    Neil Rickert says:

    StephenB (#17):

    The human body is obviously ordered and you can perceive that order.

    You are still appealing to how we perceive. So you are missing the point. It’s a difficult point, and almost everybody misses it, so I might not be able to explain it for your satisfaction. But I’ll try.

    When we say there is order, we normally mean that we can find an order in our descriptions. But can we find an order that is independent of our descriptions, an order such that it would necessarily show up in every possible way of describing?

    You have possibly heard the mathematician’s joke “A topologist cannot tell the difference between a coffee cup and a donut.” The point of that joke, is that the topologist is studying more intrinsic properties that do not depend on how we normally describe things. And, looked at that way, a coffee cup is indistinguishable from a donut. However, a teacup with two handles is distinguishable.

    I’m raising the issue of whether the order people are talking about is dependent on how we describe things, or is more intrinsic. As best I can tell, it is mostly dependent on how we describe things.

    The issue is important for “fine tuning” kinds of arguments. How we describe things is a product of evolution (partly social and cultural evolution). And if that is a product of evolution, then order seen in our descriptions does not work for support of arguments that oppose evolutionary accounts.

  21. 21
    bornagain77 says:

    goodusername, since you allude to gravity with the pencil dropping example, let’s see what Isaac Newton, who first ‘discovered’ gravity, said;

    Founders of Modern Science Who Believe in GOD – Tihomir Dimitrov
    Excerpt:
    1. At the end of his Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (London, 1687) Newton wrote:
    “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of His dominion He is wont to be called Lord God.” (Newton 1687, Principia).

    2. “From His true dominion it follows that the true God is a living, intelligent and powerful Being; and from His other perfections, that He is supreme, or most perfect. He is eternal and infinite, omnipotent and omniscient; that is, His duration reaches from eternity to eternity; His presence from infinity to infinity; He governs all things, and knows all things that are or can be done.” (Newton 1687, Principia; see also Caputo 2000, 88).
    http://www.scigod.com/index.ph.....File/18/18

    Since you claim that other cultures, rather than a Judeo-Christian culture, could have ‘discovered’ modern science, lets look at what prevented them from doing so,

    Christianity and the Birth of Science
    Excerpt: I do not deny that other cultures contributed important ingredients, for I would never argue that the Christian world view alone was sufficient for the birth of modern science. But the fact remains that advances in mathematics and engineering do not count as modern science (as I am thinking of), for the Muslims and “other infidels” did not discover the laws of motion, the laws of gravity, the laws of thermodynamics, the laws of chemistry, the laws of heredity, the law of biogenesis, etc. If you take any introductory undergraduate textbook in physics, chemistry, biology, genetics, physiology, paleontology, etc., it is not hard to point to the knowledge that is indebted to the work of these Christian scientists from Europe. But you would find very little that is indebted to Greek, Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist philosophers (aside from tools like mathematics and Arabic numerals).

    In fact, if you survey other non-christian cultures, their inability to generate modern science renders this clue all the more powerful. For these cultures not only lacked the Christian world view’s perception of Nature *and* God, they held to a view that prevented the birth of science. In this view, the Universe was eternal, necessary, cyclical, and organismic. One could argue that this view of the Universe followed from reason and observation (like Geocentrism). But Christianity gave men a larger reason to deny this type of cosmology, and in doing so, it paved the way for the birth of science. I don’t think it can be overemphasized as to how detrimental cyclical thinking was to the birth of science. And what made the cyclic views even worse was their close tie to the animistic/organismic view of the Universe. This feature was shared by the Hindus, the Aztecs, the Mayans, the Egyptians, the Babylonians, and the Chinese. A detailed analysis of all these cultures, in this light, would make my case all the more obvious. Consider the Chinese.

    The Chinese make an excellent case study in the stillbirths of science. For the Chinese culture experienced long centuries of relative peace, material prosperity, active social interplay, creativity of mind, and contact with other cultures. etc.. etc.. etc..

    Unfortunately for Christendom, Greek philosophy was merged with Christian theology. And this, more than anything else, is what caused the birth of modern science to be delayed. The break with Aristotle stemmed from Christian theologians who questioned Aristotle’s self- evident truth of the eternal universe. Their theology taught otherwise, that the universe was created ex nihilo. This teaching was formally and solemnly declared in 1214 as the Fourth Lateran Council (although is was debated a long time prior). The declaration essentially stated the truth of our finite creation, but said we could only know this from revelation. This declaration freed Christian thinkers as they began to reinterpret the world simply by assuming as fact the temporality and contingency of the universe.
    http://ldolphin.org/bumbulis/

    Thus goodusername it appears that your claim ‘What allows science to “flourish” at certain times and places is relative freedom,’ is falsified!

  22. 22
    bornagain77 says:

    I should like to add that I firmly believe there to be a ‘spiritual’ dimension to man’s ability to learn new information, since I ultimately believe that God, the possessor of all wisdom and knowledge, is the only true source of new wisdom and knowledge,

    notes;

    Though the authors of the ‘Evolution of the Genus Homo’ paper appear to be thoroughly mystified by the fossil record, they never seem to give up their blind faith in evolution despite the disparity they see first hand in the fossil record. In spite of their philosophical bias, I have to hand it to them for being fairly honest with the evidence though. I especially like how the authors draw out this following ‘what it means to be human’ distinction in their paper:

    “although Homo neanderthalensis had a large brain, it left no unequivocal evidence of the symbolic consciousness that makes our species unique.” — “Unusual though Homo sapiens may be morphologically, it is undoubtedly our remarkable cognitive qualities that most strikingly demarcate us from all other extant species. They are certainly what give us our strong subjective sense of being qualitatively different. And they are all ultimately traceable to our symbolic capacity. Human beings alone, it seems, mentally dissect the world into a multitude of discrete symbols, and combine and recombine those symbols in their minds to produce hypotheses of alternative possibilities. When exactly Homo sapiens acquired this unusual ability is the subject of debate.”

    The authors of the paper try to find some evolutionary/materialistic reason for the extremely unique ‘information capacity’ of humans, but of course they never find a coherent reason. Indeed why should we ever consider a process, which is utterly incapable of ever generating any complex functional information at even the most foundational levels of molecular biology, to suddenly, magically, have the ability to generate our brain which can readily understand and generate functional information? A brain which has been repeatedly referred to as ‘the Most Complex Structure in the Universe’? The authors never seem to consider the ‘spiritual angle’ for why we would have such a unique capacity for such abundant information processing. This following short video, and verses, are very clear as to what the implications of this evidence means to us and for us:

    Modus Tollens – It Is Impossible For Evolution To Be True – T.G. Peeler – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/5047482

    Genesis 3:8
    And they (Adam and Eve) heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day…

    John 1:1-1
    In the beginning, the Word existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    A very strong piece of suggestive evidence, which persuasively hints at a unique relationship that man has with ‘The Word’ of John 1:1, is found in these following articles which point out the fact that ‘coincidental scientific discoveries’ are far more prevalent than what should be expected from a materialistic perspective,:

    In the Air – Who says big ideas are rare? by Malcolm Gladwell
    Excerpt: This phenomenon of simultaneous discovery—what science historians call “multiples”—turns out to be extremely common. One of the first comprehensive lists of multiples was put together by William Ogburn and Dorothy Thomas, in 1922, and they found a hundred and forty-eight major scientific discoveries that fit the multiple pattern. Newton and Leibniz both discovered calculus. Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace both discovered evolution. Three mathematicians “invented” decimal fractions. Oxygen was discovered by Joseph Priestley, in Wiltshire, in 1774, and by Carl Wilhelm Scheele, in Uppsala, a year earlier. Color photography was invented at the same time by Charles Cros and by Louis Ducos du Hauron, in France. Logarithms were invented by John Napier and Henry Briggs in Britain, and by Joost Bürgi in Switzerland. ,,, For Ogburn and Thomas, the sheer number of multiples could mean only one thing: scientific discoveries must, in some sense, be inevitable.
    http://www.newyorker.com/repor.....ntPage=all

    List of multiple discoveries
    Excerpt: Historians and sociologists have remarked on the occurrence, in science, of “multiple independent discovery”. Robert K. Merton defined such “multiples” as instances in which similar discoveries are made by scientists working independently of each other.,,, Multiple independent discovery, however, is not limited to only a few historic instances involving giants of scientific research. Merton believed that it is multiple discoveries, rather than unique ones, that represent the common pattern in science.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.....iscoveries

    The following video is far more direct in establishing the ‘spiritual’ link to man’s ability to learn new information, in that it shows that the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) scores for students showed a steady decline, for seventeen years from the top spot or near the top spot in the world, after the removal of prayer from the public classroom by the Supreme Court in 1963. Whereas the SAT scores for private Christian schools have consistently remained at the top, or near the top, spot in the world:

    The Real Reason American Education Has Slipped – David Barton – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4318930

  23. 23
    goodusername says:

    bornagain77,

    “goodusername, since you allude to gravity with the pencil dropping example, let’s see what Isaac Newton, who first ‘discovered’ gravity, said;”

    –Ok, and? Obviously as someone who believes in God, he’s going to believe that the laws came from God. But it wasn’t his belief in God that led him to believe that the universe has laws. Do you not see the difference?

    “Since you claim that other cultures, rather than a Judeo-Christian culture, could have ‘discovered’ modern science…”

    –Actually, I was saying that others say that other cultures DID discover modern science.
    I’m not sure if I agree with that or not. Science certainly flourished to new heights a few centuries ago in Europe. It seems a bit silly to me to credit Christianity with that when the Scientific Revolution occurred well over a millenia after Christianity became the dominant religion in Europe, and for most of that time Europe was backwards compared to much of the rest of the world – although I can understand that many Christians would try.

    “Thus goodusername it appears that your claim ‘What allows science to “flourish” at certain times and places is relative freedom,’ is falsified!”

    –How so? It didn’t flourish for the first 1500 years of Christianity in Europe until the people in Europe became relatively free (and continued reaching new heights during the Enlightenment – a time many thought Christianity may be coming to and end). It flourished in the Arab world the first few centuries of Islam, until the Arab world became increasingly totalitarian. It’s a pattern seen elsewhere.
    But this is getting off topic, which is the argument that relying on repeatable observations relies on the belief that the universe is orderly (which I agree with) which itself relies on “theistic first principles” (which I disagree with, and the claim seems utterly bizarre), and further – and even more bizarrely – that atheists actually “fight tooth and nail trying to show that there is no such inherent transcendent order in the universe”. Can you cite any such atheist? I have yet to ever see an atheist argue against the idea that the universe has laws that govern the behavior of matter.
    If one wants to argue that theists have a superior explanation for why the universe has laws – that’s fine, although I disagree with it – but to argue that the belief itself that the universe has laws somehow is a “theistic belief” or is “trying to smuggle in their theistic first principles” is beyond strange to me. The universe having laws is simply an obvious, evident, blunt observation.

  24. 24
    Bruce David says:

    Barry,

    I realize I am coming in a little late on this conversation, and I haven’t read the comments yet, so if I am covering ground that has already been covered, just point me to the relevant comments.

    My question is this: You said, “Nothing about anything can possibly make sense except in light of an orderly universe, which in turn cannot make sense except in light of God and specifically the God of the Bible.” I am right with you up until you add, “…and specifically the God of the Bible.” Do you really mean to say that the orderly universe cannot make sense in the light of the God of the Koran, or of Hinduism, or indeed of Conversations with God? On what do you base that claim? (And an argument that the Christian conception of God is the only valid one doesn’t address my question, by the way.)

  25. 25
    bornagain77 says:

    goodusername, do you even read what I cite?

    Unfortunately for Christendom, Greek philosophy was merged with Christian theology. And this, more than anything else, is what caused the birth of modern science to be delayed. The break with Aristotle stemmed from Christian theologians who questioned Aristotle’s self- evident truth of the eternal universe. Their theology taught otherwise, that the universe was created ex nihilo. This teaching was formally and solemnly declared in 1214 as the Fourth Lateran Council (although is was debated a long time prior). The declaration essentially stated the truth of our finite creation, but said we could only know this from revelation. This declaration freed Christian thinkers as they began to reinterpret the world simply by assuming as fact the temporality and contingency of the universe.
    http://ldolphin.org/bumbulis/

    i.e. it was the intermingling of materialistic Greek thought with Christian thought that prevented modern science from ‘flourishing’ to discover the order God had imposed on His creation!!!

    For an example of how ‘tooth and nail’ atheists fight to smuggle their ‘random’ worldview into science, look no further than the current multiverse which was postulated, completely without any evidence, by atheists precisely because of the incomprehensible level of order, in the fine-tuning of the transcendent universal constants, being found in reality.,,, That you would be oblivious to all this is remarkable. ,,, As for atheists still trying to find variance within existing constants,,,

    cite to Dr. Sheldon,

    Okay, what about this result that the fine structure constant might be varying. The article claims that it is under review in the respected journal PRL, but in this field, everyone prepublishes their stuff at arXive, so here’s the link:
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1008.3907

    A quick scan reveals:
    a) noise level at 10^-5
    b) Their best fit to 153 sources is 0.5×10^-5, or a factor of two below the noise level.
    c) their model includes a bunch of assumptions, for example, quasars have:
    i) cosmological red shift
    ii) relativistic beaming “blue” shift
    iii) gravitational lensing red shift
    iv) “saturation” effects broadening the lines that needed to be sharp

    To tame this mess, they assumed an unspecified “tying” of parameters together or else they couldn’t get a solution at all. This “tying” is basically assuming the thing they want to prove.

    d) 60 spectra gave 153 examples, which I think means that roughly 3 samples come from each source. Assuming that sources are independent but not samples, that gives a selection error of sqrt(60)/60 = 13%, which is a lot of wiggle room.

    e) Then they didn’t do a simple fit, but did successively refining fits, which is what you are forced to do when your data is all over the map, and you want to force it to a single solution. It’s a fudge that Baysean sorts decry as using your partial results and priors, and artificially inflates certainty.

    f) But perhaps the biggest problem with this paper, is that they fit their 60 quasars to dipole and monopole models, which is a bias that can’t easily be accounted for. Why not a checkerboard, or a the shape of TIE-fighter? There’s an unknown bias introduced in forward modelling, and this paper had more than the usual amount of forward, backward, filtering and iterative modelling that I will be mildly surprised if PRL publishes it. (This was John Ioannidis’ argument for why medical research is so often overturned.)

    So I wouldn’t lose any sleep over this paper.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-367471

  26. 26
    bornagain77 says:

    goodusername, for more examples of atheists trying to impose their ‘random’ worldview onto the ordered reality we find, Casey Luskin just posted this article, with a video that has a whole slew of atheists testifying to their ‘faith’ that life ‘must’ exist elsewhere in the universe since it obviously ‘spontaneously’ arose here, though not one of those atheists has any inkling how life ‘spontaneously’ arose here.

    Stephen Hawking’s Materialist Logic: “We Don’t Understand How Life Formed,” but It “Must Have Spontaneously Generated Itself”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....44481.html

    In fact, from what we do know from our science, if life ‘spontaneously arose’ it would be a violation of thermodynamics so spectacular as to make a computer ‘spontaneously’ appearing reasonable!;

  27. 27
    goodusername says:

    “goodusername, do you even read what I cite?”

    –Yes

    “Unfortunately for Christendom, Greek philosophy was merged with Christian theology. And this, more than anything else, is what caused the birth of modern science to be delayed.”

    –There was very little Greek learning in Europe until around the 12th century- towards the end of the Dark Ages – and what little there was had nothing to do with the lack of science being done. The influx of Greek learning from such things as the invasion of southern Islamic Spain helped to end the Dark Ages, although it would have to wait a couple centuries for conditions in Europe to change to allow for the Scientific Revolution.

    As Petrach explains here, the ancient Greek writings had largely perished through “insufferable neglect” and during his time were being “recovered”:
    “Each famous author of antiquity whom I recover places a new offence and another cause of dishonor to the charge of earlier generations, who, not satisfied with their own disgraceful barrenness, permitted the fruit of other minds, and the writings that their ancestors had produced by toil and application, to perish through insufferable neglect. Although they had nothing of their own to hand down to those who were to come after, they robbed posterity of its ancestral heritage.”

    Yes, they initially did take the newly discovered Greek writers too dogmatically (e.g. St Thomas Aquinas), but that wasn’t the cause of the problems in Europe but a symptom. The problem the bumbulis site you gave is talking about is something that existed only during the tail end of the dark ages.

    “For an example of how ‘tooth and nail’ atheists fight to smuggle their ‘random’ worldview into science, look no further than the current multiverse which was postulated, completely without any evidence, by atheists precisely because of the incomprehensible level of order, in the fine-tuning of the transcendent universal constants, being found in reality.,,, That you would be oblivious to all this is remarkable. ,,, As for atheists still trying to find variance within existing constants,,,”

    –Umm, there’s nothing in the multiverse theory that says that our universe doesn’t have laws.

    Although the multiverse idea is often used by atheists to explain the apparent coincidence that our universe has laws fine-tuned for life – that’s not why it was proposed. It was proposed because mathematically it seems to work so well (according to the proponents – it’s beyond my math skills to actually test) and (depending on what multiverse idea you’re talking about) to explain observations at the micro-scale (i.e. quantum dynamics). It wasn’t because of the “incomprehensible level of order” (actually, if anything, it has to do with the seemingly LACK of order, i.e. randomness, at the micro-scale).

    Again, I was merely arguing against the strange idea that believing that we live in a universe with laws is somehow borrowing from “theistic first principles” or is a “theistic belief”. The multiverse idea is hardly contrary to the view that we live in an orderly universe and is irrelevant to the discussion (the only thing it could add to the discussion is that there are different universes with different laws).

    The alleged discovery that the constants may have varied over time is hardly welcome news among most scientists, and is highly controversial and believed by a minority of scientists – and, from my experience, the people most excited by the new are Creationists who are using the news to attack atheists who “so dogmatically asserted that the laws don’t vary”.

  28. 28
    bornagain77 says:

    goodusername, I don’t feel like dancing around with your subtle distortions so let’s cut to the chase, do you believe in materialism? If you are atheist you must believe in materialism, so I will take it as Yes you are a materialist. So to stay scientific you must ‘prove’ that materialism is true, but unfortunately for you materialism is now shown to be false;

    Here is the falsification of ‘reductive materialism’ which undergirds neo-Darwinism

    The Failure Of Local Realism – Materialism – Alain Aspect – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/4744145

    The falsification for local realism (materialism) was recently greatly strengthened:

    Physicists close two loopholes while violating local realism – November 2010
    Excerpt: The latest test in quantum mechanics provides even stronger support than before for the view that nature violates local realism and is thus in contradiction with a classical worldview.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....alism.html

    An ion is an atom or molecule in which the total number of electrons is not equal to the total number of protons, giving it a net positive or negative electrical charge.

    Ions have been teleported successfully for the first time by two independent research groups
    Excerpt: In fact, copying isn’t quite the right word for it. In order to reproduce the quantum state of one atom in a second atom, the original has to be destroyed. This is unavoidable – it is enforced by the laws of quantum mechanics, which stipulate that you can’t ‘clone’ a quantum state. In principle, however, the ‘copy’ can be indistinguishable from the original (that was destroyed),,,
    http://www.rsc.org/chemistrywo.....ammeup.asp

    Atom takes a quantum leap – 2009
    Excerpt: Ytterbium ions have been ‘teleported’ over a distance of a metre.,,,
    “What you’re moving is information, not the actual atoms,” says Chris Monroe, from the Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland in College Park and an author of the paper. But as two particles of the same type differ only in their quantum states, the transfer of quantum information is equivalent to moving the first particle to the location of the second.
    http://www.freerepublic.com/fo.....1769/posts

    Information and entropy – top-down or bottom-up development in living systems? A.C. McINTOSH
    Excerpt: It is proposed in conclusion that it is the non-material information (transcendent to the matter and energy) that is actually itself constraining the local thermodynamics to be in ordered disequilibrium and with specified raised free energy levels necessary for the molecular and cellular machinery to operate.
    http://journals.witpress.com/journals.asp?iid=47

    Quantum entanglement holds together life’s blueprint – 2010
    Excerpt: “If you didn’t have entanglement, then DNA would have a simple flat structure, and you would never get the twist that seems to be important to the functioning of DNA,” says team member Vlatko Vedral of the University of Oxford.
    http://neshealthblog.wordpress.....blueprint/

    Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA & Protein Folding – short video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/

    Further evidence that quantum entanglement/information is found throughout entire protein structures:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-373214

    It is very interesting that quantum entanglement should be found in molecular biology, for how can entanglement, in biology, possibly be explained by the materialistic framework of neo-Darwinism when Alain Aspect and company falsified the validity of local realism (reductive materialism) in the first place with quantum entanglement? It is simply ludicrous to appeal to the materialistic framework, which undergirds neo-Darwinism, that has been falsified by the very same quantum entanglement effect that one is seeking to explain! Probability arguments, which have been a staple of the arguments against neo-Darwinism, simply do not apply in trying to explain entanglement in biology, since it is shown to be impossible for quantum entanglement to be explained by the materialistic framework in the first place! i.e. It does not follow for neo-Darwinism to even begin to presume itself to be sufficient to be the rational explanation for the effect in question!

  29. 29
    bornagain77 says:

    But to go further, reductive materialism is at a complete loss to explain ‘4-Dimensional power scaling’

    he predominance of quarter-power (4-D) scaling in biology
    Excerpt: Many fundamental characteristics of organisms scale
    with body size as power laws of the form:

    Y = Yo M^b,

    where Y is some characteristic such as metabolic rate, stride length or life span, Yo is a normalization constant, M is body mass and b is the allometric scaling exponent.
    A longstanding puzzle in biology is why the exponent b is usually some simple multiple of 1/4 (4-Dimensional scaling) rather than a multiple of 1/3, as would be expected from Euclidean (3-Dimensional) scaling.
    http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/~dre.....18_257.pdf

    “Although living things occupy a three-dimensional space, their internal physiology and anatomy operate as if they were four-dimensional. Quarter-power scaling laws are perhaps as universal and as uniquely biological as the biochemical pathways of metabolism, the structure and function of the genetic code and the process of natural selection.,,, The conclusion here is inescapable, that the driving force for these invariant scaling laws cannot have been natural selection.” Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini, What Darwin Got Wrong (London: Profile Books, 2010), p. 78-79
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-369806

    4-Dimensional Quarter Power Scaling In Biology – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/5964041/

    Though Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini rightly find it inexplicable for ‘random’ Natural Selection to be the rational explanation for the scaling of the physiology, and anatomy, of living things to four-dimensional parameters, they do not seem to fully realize the implications this ‘four dimensional scaling’ of living things presents. This 4-D scaling is something we should rightly expect from a Intelligent Design perspective. This is because Intelligent Design holds that ‘higher dimensional transcendent information’ is more foundational to life, and even to the universe itself, than either matter or energy are. This higher dimensional ‘expectation’ for life, from a Intelligent Design perspective, is directly opposed to the expectation of the Darwinian framework, which holds that information, and indeed even the essence of life itself, is merely an ’emergent’ property of the 3-D material realm.

  30. 30
    bornagain77 says:

    here is the falsification of ‘non-reductive materialism’, which undergirds the ‘multiverse’ conjectures of Atheists like Stephen Hawking;

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: The physical universe is causally incomplete and therefore neither self-originating nor self-sustaining. The world of space, time, matter and energy is dependent on a reality that transcends space, time, matter and energy. This transcendent reality cannot merely be a Platonic realm of mathematical descriptions, for such things are causally inert abstract entities that do not affect the material world. Neither is it the case that “nothing” is unstable, as Mr. Hawking and others maintain. Absolute nothing cannot have mathematical relationships predicated on it, not even quantum gravitational ones. Rather, the transcendent reality on which our universe depends must be something that can exhibit agency – a mind that can choose among the infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bring into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them. This is what “breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe.,,, the evidence for string theory and its extension, M-theory, is nonexistent; and the idea that conjoining them demonstrates that we live in a multiverse of bubble universes with different laws and constants is a mathematical fantasy. What is worse, multiplying without limit the opportunities for any event to happen in the context of a multiverse – where it is alleged that anything can spontaneously jump into existence without cause – produces a situation in which no absurdity is beyond the pale.
    For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the “Boltzmann Brain” problem: In the most “reasonable” models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

    further note;

    ‘What is referred to as M-theory isn’t even a theory. It’s a collection of ideas, hopes, aspirations. It’s not even a theory and I think the book is a bit misleading in that respect. It gives you the impression that here is this new theory which is going to explain everything. It is nothing of the sort. It is not even a theory and certainly has no observational (evidence),,, I think the book suffers rather more strongly than many (other books). It’s not a uncommon thing in popular descriptions of science to latch onto some idea, particularly things to do with string theory, which have absolutely no support from observations.,,, They are very far from any kind of observational (testability). Yes, they (the ideas of M-theory) are hardly science.” – Roger Penrose – former close colleague of Stephen Hawking – in critique of Hawking’s new book ‘The Grand Design’

    Roger Penrose of Oxford University has calculated that the odds of our universe’s low entropy condition obtaining by chance alone are on the order of 1 in 10^10(123), an inconceivable number. If our universe were but one member of a multiverse of randomly ordered worlds, then it is vastly more probable that we should be observing a much smaller universe. For example, the odds of our solar system’s being formed instantly by the random collision of particles is about 1 in 10^10(60), a vast number, but inconceivably smaller than 1 in 10^10(123). (Penrose calls it “utter chicken feed” by comparison [The Road to Reality (Knopf, 2005), pp. 762-5]). Or again, if our universe is but one member of a multiverse, then we ought to be observing highly extraordinary events, like horses’ popping into and out of existence by random collisions, or perpetual motion machines, since these are vastly more probable than all of nature’s constants and quantities’ falling by chance into the virtually infinitesimal life-permitting range. Observable universes like those strange worlds are simply much more plenteous in the ensemble of universes than worlds like ours and, therefore, ought to be observed by us if the universe were but a random member of a multiverse of worlds. Since we do not have such observations, that fact strongly disconfirms the multiverse hypothesis. On naturalism, at least, it is therefore highly probable that there is no multiverse. — Penrose puts it bluntly “these world ensemble hypothesis are worse than useless in explaining the anthropic fine-tuning of the universe”.
    http://elshamah.heavenforum.co.....es-t20.htm

    Michael Behe has a profound answer to the infinite multiverse argument in “Edge of Evolution”. If there are infinite universes, then we couldn’t trust our senses, because it would be just as likely that our universe might only consist of a human brain that pops into existence which has the neurons configured just right to only give the appearance of past memories. It would also be just as likely that we are floating brains in a lab, with some scientist feeding us fake experiences. Those scenarios would be just as likely as the one we appear to be in now (one universe with all of our experiences being “real”). Bottom line is, if there really are an infinite number of universes out there, then we can’t trust anything we perceive to be true, which means there is no point in seeking any truth whatsoever.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-362912

    “The multiverse idea rests on assumptions that would be laughed out of town if they came from a religious text.” Gregg Easterbrook

  31. 31
    StephenB says:

    [The human body is obviously ordered and you can perceive that order.]

    –Neil: “You are still appealing to how we perceive.”

    I am appealing to the order that exists independent of perception AND the perception of that order. You appear not to acknowledge that both elements exist.

    —“So you are missing the point. It’s a difficult point, and almost everybody misses it, so I might not be able to explain it for your satisfaction. But I’ll try.”

    I don’t think I am missing the point. But anyway, go ahead.

    —“When we say there is order, we normally mean that we can find an order in our descriptions.”

    One of the reasons I chose the human body as an example is to pull you away from your subjectivism in order to examine what it is that we are discussing. I am not finding order in my “descriptions” when I refer to the various systems of the body that work together. I am finding order in the systems themselves and then describing them with words.

    —“But can we find an order that is independent of our descriptions, an order such that it would necessarily show up in every possible way of describing?”

    Yes, I have been arguing that point and you have been arguing against it, at least until now.

    Earlier, you wrote:

    —“You have possibly heard the mathematician’s joke “A topologist cannot tell the difference between a coffee cup and a donut.” The point of that joke, is that the topologist is studying more intrinsic properties that do not depend on how we normally describe things. And, looked at that way, a coffee cup is indistinguishable from a donut. However, a teacup with two handles is distinguishable.”

    I’m raising the issue of whether the order people are talking about is dependent on how we describe things, or is more intrinsic. As best I can tell, it is mostly dependent on how we describe things.

    The issue is important for “fine tuning” kinds of arguments. How we describe things is a product of evolution (partly social and cultural evolution). And if that is a product of evolution, then order seen in our descriptions does not work for support of arguments that oppose evolutionary accounts

  32. 32
    StephenB says:

    @30 is hopelessly tangled due to a premature post and mixed statements.

    Let’s begin again.

    The human body is obviously ordered and you can perceive that order.

    –Neil: “You are still appealing to how we perceive.”

    I am appealing to the order that exists independent of perception AND the perception of that order. You appear not to acknowledge that both elements exist.

    —”So you are missing the point. It’s a difficult point, and almost everybody misses it, so I might not be able to explain it for your satisfaction. But I’ll try.”

    I wish I could be more gracious about this, but I am not the one who is missing the point.

    —”When we say there is order, we normally mean that we can find an order in our descriptions.”

    One of the reasons I chose the human body as an example is to pull you away from your subjectivism so that you can examine what it is that we are discussing. I am not finding order in my “descriptions” when I refer to the various systems of the body that work together. I am finding order in the systems themselves and then describing them.

    —”But can we find an order that is independent of our descriptions, an order such that it would necessarily show up in every possible way of describing?”

    Yes, I have been arguing that point and you have been arguing against it, at least until now.

    Earlier, you wrote: “There is no basis for saying that the universe is orderly.” Have you forgotten so soon?

    —”You have possibly heard the mathematician’s joke “A topologist cannot tell the difference between a coffee cup and a donut.” The point of that joke, is that the topologist is studying more intrinsic properties that do not depend on how we normally describe things. And, looked at that way, a coffee cup is indistinguishable from a donut. However, a teacup with two handles is distinguishable.”

    Cute, but irrelevant.

    —“I’m raising the issue of whether the order people are talking about is dependent on how we describe things, or is more intrinsic. As best I can tell, it is mostly dependent on how we describe things.”

    And I am trying to tell you that such is not the case, and if you will enter into a discussion with me about my example of the human body, I will try to guide you through it.

  33. 33
    StephenB says:

    –Neil: “How we describe things is a product of evolution (partly social and cultural evolution). And if that is a product of evolution, then order seen in our descriptions does not work for support of arguments that oppose evolutionary accounts.”

    There is some truth in the claim that the way we describe things can change over time. However, the order that we find in nature is not dependent on those changing descriptions. I can describe the earth’s “orbit” around the sun, an example of an ordered motion, as a 365 day journey, or I can describe it as an annual revolution. None of this effects the fact that we have observed a regular and predictable event that points to an ordered system.

  34. 34
    Neil Rickert says:

    StephenB (#32)

    There is some truth in the claim that the way we describe things can change over time. However, the order that we find in nature is not dependent on those changing descriptions.

    If you can find a way of defining order that is not dependent on those changing descriptions, I would like to see it.

    I can describe the earth’s “orbit” around the sun, an example of an ordered motion, as a 365 day journey, or I can describe it as an annual revolution.

    Granted. However, 500 years ago, people described the earth as stationary, and described the sun as going around the earth every 24 hours. And this was seen as so obviously correct, that Galileo got into a lot of hot water for insisting that it was the earth that went around the sun.

    Thanks for providing an excellent example that illustrates my point.

  35. 35
    Sonfaro says:

    Hey Neil,

    You say:

    -“Granted. However, 500 years ago, people described the earth as stationary, and described the sun as going around the earth every 24 hours. And this was seen as so obviously correct, that Galileo got into a lot of hot water for insisting that it was the earth that went around the sun.”

    I’m not sure how this helps you dude. HOW the universe is ordered doesn’t disprove that the universe is orderely. It just means the order was different than previously thought.

    – Sonfaro

  36. 36
    Upright BiPed says:

    Neil,

    Granted. However, 500 years ago, people described the earth as stationary, and described the sun as going around the earth every 24 hours. And this was seen as so obviously correct, that Galileo got into a lot of hot water for insisting that it was the earth that went around the sun.

    Thanks for providing an excellent example that illustrates my point.

    Your point was that the universe wasn’t orderly. Your point wasn’t demonstrated, Stephen’s was.

  37. 37
    StephenB says:

    —Neil: “If you can find a way of defining order that is not dependent on those changing descriptions, I would like to see it.”

    I provided a definition of order earlier in the discussion and it is in no way dependent on changing descriptions. In any case, none of that has anything to do with the fact that the the existence of order and our ability to apprehend it is independent of definitions and descriptions. The body’s metabolic system exists independent of the word “metabolic” just as it is independent of a definition that describes metabolism as a “set of chemical reactions that happen in living organisms to maintain life.” None of that has anything to do with our ability to recognize the fact that the system is ordered. I do wish that you would address that point since I believe it will illumniate the subject matter for you.

    —“Granted. However, 500 years ago, people described the earth as stationary, and described the sun as going around the earth every 24 hours.”

    What does that have to do with the fact that regularity indicates order?

    —“Thanks for providing an excellent example that illustrates my point.”

    No problem. I can provide examples of your point of view as well as mine all day long because I understand both perspectives and the reason why mine is correct and yours is incorrect.

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