Darwinism Intelligent Design

The latest Darwinian obfuscation: “Unnecessary complexity”

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Spotted in the title of a recent paper:

Abstract: The sequencing of the human genome heralded the new age of ‘genetic medicine’ and raised the hope of precision medicine facilitating prolonged and healthy lives. Recent studies have dampened this expectation, as the relationships among mutations (termed ‘risk factors’), biological processes, and diseases have emerged to be more complex than initially anticipated. In this review, we elaborate upon the nature of the relationship between genotype and phenotype, between chance-laden molecular complexity and the evolution of complex traits, and the relevance of this relationship to precision medicine. Molecular contingency, i.e., chance-driven molecular changes, in conjunction with the blind nature of evolutionary processes, creates genetic redundancy or multiple molecular pathways to the same phenotype; as time goes on, these pathways become more complex, interconnected, and hierarchically integrated. Based on the proposition that gene-gene interactions provide the major source of variation for evolutionary change, we present a theory of molecular complexity and posit that it consists of two parts, necessary and unnecessary complexity, both of which are inseparable and increase over time. We argue that, unlike necessary complexity, comprising all aspects of the organism’s genetic program, unnecessary complexity is evolutionary baggage: the result of molecular constraints, historical circumstances, and the blind nature of evolutionary forces. In the short term, unnecessary complexity can give rise to similar risk factors with different genetic backgrounds; in the long term, genes become functionally interconnected and integrated, directly or indirectly, affecting multiple traits simultaneously. We reason that in addition to personal genomics and precision medicine, unnecessary complexity has consequences in evolutionary biology.

Singh, Rama & Gupta, Bhagwati. (2020). Genes and genomes and unnecessary complexity in precision medicine. npj Genomic Medicine. 5. 21. 10.1038/s41525-020-0128-1.

The paper is open access.

Our physics color commentator Rob Sheldon responds,

With the demise of “junk DNA”, we now have the assertion of “junk function” or “unnecessary complexity”.

They are saying in effect “We weren’t wrong about junk DNA, we just thought it had no function, but now we realize it was junk function, unnecessary complexity. It has to be junk because it was created by chance. And we must defend chance, because if we allow it to be designed, you-know-who will win this debate.”

As I recall, the last time we had a debate on “unnecessary complexity” it was pseudogenes. And before that the inverted retina. And before that it was the clotting cascade. You would think they might learn that lesson by now.

Other tablemates in the Uncommon Descent News virtual coffee room threw in suggestions about similar Darwinian phrases we’ve encountered over the years:

We’re told “irremediable complexity” made an appearance in 2011. Of that, Michael Behe said at the time, “Besides the lack of support from calculations or experiments, the authors discuss no possible obstacles to the scheme. I certainly understand that workers want to accentuate the positive when putting a new model forward, but potential pitfalls should be pointed out, so that other researchers have a clearer idea of the promise of the model before they invest time in researching it.” It amounts, it would seem, to a Darwinian notion, which we could politely call hypothesis.

Then there was “gratuitous complexity” in 2012: “He opens his paper by marveling at the ‘baroque and apparently gratuitous complexity’ we see in biology. In particular, he thinks that natural selection is incapable of producing some of this complexity, such as a process called ‘gene scrambling.’ He describes it this way, using an example from the lifecycle of a group of protozoans.”

Both papers reach for a concept called “constructive neutral evolution” — something no one would have thought of if they did not have a good deal of design to explain away.

Possibly, the most productive aspect of Darwinism in these times is the minting of new terminology to tyr to paper over the plausibility gap.

Note: Rob Sheldon is the author of Genesis: The Long Ascent and The Long Ascent, Volume II.

Hat tip: Pos-darwinista

25 Replies to “The latest Darwinian obfuscation: “Unnecessary complexity”

  1. 1
    tjguy says:

    No matter how they try to spin it, this was NEVER predicted by evolution! But doesn’t matter. It’s there so obviously evolution did it, right? (wink!) Evolution is unfalsifiable. Whatever needs to be explained is explained simply by saying “It evolved.” whether or not it can be shown to be true or not. They always have enough faith in the powers of blind chance directionless meaningless natural processes to meet whatever unexpected challenge or amazing phenomenon that they are confronted with. Long Live King Charles! Seems like he has eternal staying power. Maybe HE is god!

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    “Unnecessary Complexity”?

    Orwell’s 1984 meets biology:

    “Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”
    – George Orwell
    https://www.abhafoundation.org/assets/books/html/1984/140.html

    As to the author’s reliance upon the casual power of “chance” to produce all this “Unnecessary Complexity”, it might interest the author(s) to know that “chance” is not the cause of anything but is only a placeholder for ignorance.

    Even Darwin himself admitted as much,

    “I have hitherto sometimes spoken as if the variations—so common and multiform in organic beings under domestication, and in a lesser degree in those in a state of nature—had been due to chance. This, of course, is a wholly incorrect expression, but it serves to acknowledge plainly our ignorance of the cause of each particular variation.”
    Charles Darwin – Origin – Chapter V
    http://darwin-online.org.uk/Va.....-1859.html

    As Wolfgang Pauli explained, “While they (evolutionary biologists) pretend to stay in this way completely ‘scientific’ and ‘rational,’ they become actually very irrational, particularly because they use the word ‘chance’, not any longer combined with estimations of a mathematically defined probability, in its application to very rare single events more or less synonymous with the old word ‘miracle.’”

    Pauli’s ideas on mind and matter in the context of contemporary science – Harald Atmanspacher
    Excerpt: “In discussions with biologists I met large difficulties when they apply the concept of ‘natural selection’ in a rather wide field, without being able to estimate the probability of the occurrence in a empirically given time of just those events, which have been important for the biological evolution. Treating the empirical time scale of the evolution theoretically as infinity they have then an easy game, apparently to avoid the concept of purposesiveness. While they pretend to stay in this way completely ‘scientific’ and ‘rational,’ they become actually very irrational, particularly because they use the word ‘chance’, not any longer combined with estimations of a mathematically defined probability, in its application to very rare single events more or less synonymous with the old word ‘miracle.’”
    Wolfgang Pauli (pp. 27-28)
    https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/234f/4989e039089fed5ac47c7d1a19b656c602e2.pdf

    In other words, the word ‘chance’, as it is used by Darwinists, is not an appeal to any known mathematical probability but is, in reality, a placeholder for ignorance. As Robert C. Sproul points out: “By calling the unknown cause ‘chance’ for so long, people begin to forget that a substitution was made. . . . The assumption that ‘chance equals an unknown cause’ has come to mean for many that ‘chance equals cause.’”

    What Is Chance? – Nicholas Nurston
    Excerpt: “The vague word ‘chance’ is used as a substitute for a more precise word such as ’cause’. “To personify ‘chance’ as if we were talking about a causal agent,” notes biophysicist Donald M. MacKay, “is to make an illegitimate switch from a scientific to a quasi-religious mythological concept.”
    Similarly, Robert C. Sproul points out: “By calling the unknown cause ‘chance’ for so long, people begin to forget that a substitution was made. . . . The assumption that ‘chance equals an unknown cause’ has come to mean for many that ‘chance equals cause.’” Others who reasoned in this fashion, Nobel laureate Jacques Monod, for one, used this chance equals cause line of reasoning. “Pure chance, absolutely free but blind, (is) at the root of the stupendous edifice of evolution,”…
    https://books.google.com/books?id=bQ5OAAAAQBAJ&pg=PT25&lpg=PT25

  3. 3
    EvilSnack says:

    It all boils down to the highly unscientific argument, “God wouldn’t have done that.”
    Aside from the obvious question (“How do you know that?”), if you drill down into the claim it develops that they really mean, “If I had commanded the genie, I would have commanded something different.” They appear to think that the Christian concept of God entails creating the world and everything in it in an arbitrary, capricious way, instead of creation being the product of the careful consideration of how everything works together and will continue to work, with the very clear notion of the ultimate purpose and fate of everything created.
    Pointing to alleged “flaws” in nature as proof that there is no God is a highly disguised straw-man attack.

  4. 4
    Concealed Citizen says:

    If humans would stick to what is objectively and empirically demonstrable, the world would be a better place. Can I get an amen?

  5. 5
    JVL says:

    EvilSnack: instead of creation being the product of the careful consideration of how everything works together and will continue to work, with the very clear notion of the ultimate purpose and fate of everything created.

    Sure but if even dopey, limited human beings can think of better ways of implementing the apparent goal of life on Earth then isn’t it fair to at least ask the question: is this really the result of some omnipresent and loving creator?

    Can we at least ask the question?

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL, in regards to “is this really the result of some omnipresent and loving creator?” and “Can we at least ask the question?”

    Well actually, as Michael Egnor noted, “Atheists lack the standing even to ask the question.,,,”

    The Universe Reflects a Mind – Michael Egnor – February 28, 2018
    Excerpt: Goff argues that a Mind is manifest in the natural world, but he discounts the existence of God because of the problem of evil. Goff seriously misunderstands the problem of evil. Evil is an insoluble problem for atheists, because if there is no God, there is no objective standard by which evil and good can exist or can even be defined. If God does not exist, “good” and “evil” are merely human opinions. Yet we all know, as Kant observed, that some things are evil in themselves, and not merely as a matter of opinion. Even to raise the problem of evil is to tacitly acknowledge transcendent standards, and thus to acknowledge God’s existence. From that starting point, theodicy begins. Theists have explored it profoundly. Atheists lack the standing even to ask the question.,,,
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/02/the-universe-reflects-a-mind/

    And as C.S. Lewis noted, “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line.”

    “If a good God made the world why has it gone wrong? And for many years I simply refused to listen to the Christian answers to this question, because I kept on feeling “whatever you say, and however clever your arguments are, isn’t it much simpler and easier to say that the world was not made by any intelligent power? Aren’t all your arguments simply a complicated attempt to avoid the obvious?” But then that threw me back into another difficulty.
    My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? . . . Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too — for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my private fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist — in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless — I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality — namely my idea of justice — was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning. ”
    – C. S. Lewis
    https://www.americamagazine.org/content/ignatian-educator/cs-lewis-atheist-simplicity

    One question for you JVL, “Do you consider yourself morally perfect?” If you truthfully and honestly admit that you, like every other human being on the face of the earth, are no where near being morally perfect, then you got a huge problem on your hands.

    Namely, there is an inherent infinite moral gap between God’s moral perfection and humanity’s moral imperfection.

    Yet how does one possibly bridge that infinite moral gap between an infinitely holy and just God and morally imperfect man?

    Other religions stress man’s ‘works’, not God’s grace, in order to somehow bridge that infinite moral gap.

    Yet, finite man, all by his lonesome, bridging an infinite moral gap is an exercise in futility.

    Out of all the mono-Theistic religions in the world, only the grace inherent within Christianity, where God Himself, through Christ’s atoning sacrifice, payed the price for our sins, realistically, and sufficiently, bridges the infinite moral gap between God’s moral perfection and humanity’s moral imperfection.

    The unmerited grace of Christ bridging that infinite moral gap on the behalf of humans is technically called “propitiation”:

    G.O.S.P.E.L. – (the grace of propitiation) poetry slam – video
    https://vimeo.com/20960385

    Top Ten Reasons We Know the New Testament is True – Frank Turek – video – November 2011
    (41:00 minute mark – Despite what is commonly believed, of someone being ‘good enough’ to go to heaven, in reality both Mother Teresa and Hitler fall short of the moral perfection required to meet the perfection of God’s objective moral code)
    https://mediacenter.saddleback.com/mc/m/5e22f

    Verse, and video

    1 Peter 3:18
    For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,

    Turin Shroud Hologram Reveals The Words “The Lamb”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Tmka1l8GAQ

    Supplemental quote, “given the drastic nature of this solution, we begin to recognize that God takes the problem of evil more seriously than we could ever have taken it”

    The Problem of Evil by Benjamin D. Wiker – April 200
    ?Excerpt: We still want to cry, Job-like, to those inscrutable depths, “Who are you to orchestrate everything around us puny and pitiable creatures, leaving us shuddering in the darkness, ignorant, blasted, and buffeted? It‘s all well and good to say, ‘Trust me! It‘ll all be made right in the end,‘ while you float unscathed above it all. Grinding poverty, hunger, thirst, frustration, rejection, toil, death of our loved ones, blood-sweating anxiety, excruciating pain, humiliation, torture, and finally a twisted and miserable annihilation — that‘s the meal we‘re served! You‘d sing a different tune if you were one of us and got a taste of your own medicine.”
    What could we say against these depths if the answer we received was not an argument but an incarnation, a full and free submission by God to the very evils about which we complain? This submission would be a kind of token, a sign that evil is very real indeed, bringing the incarnate God blood-sweating anxiety, excruciating pain, humiliation, torture, and finally a twisted and miserable annihilation on the cross. As real as such evil is, however, the resurrection reveals that it is somehow mysteriously comprehended within the divine plan.
    With the Incarnation, the reality of evil is absorbed into the deity, not dissolved into thin air, because God freely tastes the bitterness of the medicine as wounded healer, not distant doctor. Further, given the drastic nature of this solution, we begin to recognize that God takes the problem of evil more seriously than we could ever have taken it ourselves. ,,,
    http://www.crisismagazine.com/.....em-of-evil

  7. 7
    Belfast says:

    There appears no end to the variations of the “problem of pain.”
    At one limit is the dogmatic pronouncement that a loving God would not do that; at the other is JVL’s ingenuous and innocent-sounding, “Can we at least ask the question?”

  8. 8
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: Well actually, as Michael Egnor noted, “Atheists lack the standing even to ask the question.,,,”

    Well, if you can disregard some people even questioning your view I guess that’s good for you.

    One question for you JVL, “Do you consider yourself morally perfect?” If you truthfully and honestly admit that you, like every other human being on the face of the earth, are no where near being morally perfect, then you got a huge problem on your hands.

    Absolute rubbish. No one is morally perfect. That’s obvious. But we all have the right to question and examine. Who is shutting down certain topics from certain people? For what reason?

    I won’t go into all your theistic reasoning. There’s a possibility that it’s all fiction, fiction you find comforting and sustaining I acknowledge. But fiction nonetheless. You should at least acknowledge you might be wrong. Otherwise, why should anyone bother to talk to you?

  9. 9
    Concealed Citizen says:

    BA77 And as C.S. Lewis noted, “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line.”

    Lions eat gazelles. Is this good or evil? Israelites (allegedly) killed innocent Canaanite babies (because “God” allegedly told them to do it. (I believe that’s fiction, but I’m using it to make a point to you, who apparently believes it did happen.) Good or evil?

    Lewis’s argument (as much as I personally like the guy for various reasons- I would have liked to have sat down and drank a few pints with him) came down to a personal repugnance. There is no doubt that a gazelle would feel repugnance of a lion violently killing and eating him and his brethren. It is understandable that victims feel negative emotions about being victimized. But it has nothing to say about “God” or the goals of “God”, who presumably created this mess state of affairs in all its messiness. Human feelings on the matter of “good and evil” are simply not relevant for the question of “good and evil.” Lions eat gazells. Israelites kill innocent Canaanite babies (allegedly at “God’s” command.) Your emotions and opinions don’t matter in the question.

    Whatever “God” is, if it exists, and whatever it’s motives are, your feelings don’t count when it comes to ascertaining “good and evil.” Reality yells this loudly and clearly everywhere you can look.

    Either “good and evil” in any absolute sense aren’t real, and/or else human assessment of what “good and evil” is, is not reliable or relevant.

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL states, “Well, if you can disregard some people even questioning your view I guess that’s good for you.”

    Please note the exact wording of Dr. Egnor’s comment JVL, “Atheists lack the standing even to ask the question.,,,”

    Egnor is not saying atheists can’t ask the question, (they ask the question all the time), he is stating that Atheists lack a standing to ask the question.

    Big difference!

    And indeed, without God, morality simply does not exist for the atheist. As Richard Dawkins stated, atheists live in a world of “no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”

    “The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
    – Dawkins

    And yet atheists, in their ‘argument from evil’, act as if objective morality really exists.

    Specifically, in their argument from evil, atheists hold that “There exist a large number of horrible forms of evil and suffering for which we can see no greater purpose or compensating good.”

    The Problem of Evil: Still A Strong Argument for Atheism – 2015
    Excerpt:,,, the problem of evil, one of the main arguments against the existence of an all-good and all-knowing God.,,,
    P1. There exist a large number of horrible forms of evil and suffering for which we can see no greater purpose or compensating good.
    P2. If an all-powerful, all-good God existed, then such horrific, apparently purposeless evils would not exist.
    C. Therefore, an all-powerful, all-good God does not exist.
    https://thegodlesstheist.com/2015/10/13/the-problem-of-evil-still-a-strong-argument-for-atheism/

    And yet this is, once again, a self defeating position for the atheist to be in.

    Specifically on the one hand, Atheistic materialists hold that morality is subjective and illusory.

    Atheism’s Odd Relationship with Morality By Rabbi Adam Jacobs – 2011
    Excerpt: As Dr. Will Provine has said, “[as an atheist] you give up hope that there is an imminent morality … you can’t hope for there being any free will [and there is] … no ultimate foundation for ethics.”
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-adam-jacobs/atheisms-odd-relationship_b_839352.html

    And yet on the other hand, as David Wood puts it, “By declaring that suffering is evil, atheists have admitted that there is an objective moral standard by which we distinguish good and evil.”

    Responding to the Argument From Evil: Three Approaches for the Theist – By David Wood
    Excerpt: Interestingly enough, proponents of AE grant this premise in the course of their argument. By declaring that suffering is evil, atheists have admitted that there is an objective moral standard by which we distinguish good and evil. Amazingly, then, even as atheists make their case against the existence of God, they actually help us prove that God exists!,,,
    https://www.namb.net/apologetics/responding-to-the-argument-from-evil-three-approaches-for-the-theist

    Thus, in their “Argument from Evil”, atheists have conceded the existence of an objective moral standard to judge by and have, once again, refuted their own worldview of Atheistic Materialism in the process.

    Simply put, if good and evil really do exist, as the atheist must necessarily hold to be true in his argument from evil, then God necessarily exists!

    If Good and Evil Exist, God Exists: – Peter Kreeft – Prager University – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xliyujhwhNM

    Premise 1: If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist.
    Premise 2: Objective moral values and duties do exist.
    Conclusion: Therefore, God exists.
    The Moral Argument – drcraigvideos – video
    https://youtu.be/OxiAikEk2vU?t=276

    It is also interesting to note that no atheist can consistently live his life as if morality did not really exist.

    As the following article states: Nobody thinks his daughter is just molecules in motion and nothing but; nobody thinks the Holocaust was evil, but only in a relative, provisional sense. A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath.

    The Heretic – Who is Thomas Nagel and why are so many of his fellow academics condemning him? – March 25, 2013
    Excerpt:,,,Fortunately, materialism is never translated into life as it’s lived. As colleagues and friends, husbands and mothers, wives and fathers, sons and daughters, materialists never put their money where their mouth is. Nobody thinks his daughter is just molecules in motion and nothing but; nobody thinks the Holocaust was evil, but only in a relative, provisional sense. A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath.
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/.....tml?page=3

    This impossibility for Atheists to live their lives consistently as if his atheism were actually true directly undermines their claim that Atheism is true.

    Specifically, as the following article points out, if it is impossible for you to live your life consistently as if atheism were actually true, then atheism cannot possibly reflect reality as it really is but atheism must instead be based on a delusion.

    Existential Argument against Atheism – November 1, 2013 by Jason Petersen
    1. If a worldview is true then you should be able to live consistently with that worldview.
    2. Atheists are unable to live consistently with their worldview.
    3. If you can’t live consistently with an atheist worldview then the worldview does not reflect reality.
    4. If a worldview does not reflect reality then that worldview is a delusion.
    5. If atheism is a delusion then atheism cannot be true.
    Conclusion: Atheism is false.
    http://answersforhope.com/exis.....t-atheism/

  11. 11
    Concealed Citizen says:

    BA77,

    Premise 1: If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist.
    Premise 2: Objective moral values and duties do exist.
    Conclusion: Therefore, God exists.

    Um, no, it’s like this:

    Premise 1: God exists.

    a) Bad things happen and I conclude God doesn’t exist.

    False.

    b) Bad things happen yet I conclude that God exists.

    True. By accident since the God hypothesis is un-verifiable.

    c) Bad things happen and I conclude I don’t know what the hell is going on here.

    True.

    Premise 2: God doesn’t exist

    a) Bad things happen and I conclude God doesn’t exist.

    True. By accident since the God hypothesis is unfalsifiable.

    b) Bad things happen and still conclude God exists.

    False. The God hypothesis is un-verifiable.

    c) Bad things happen and I conclude I don’t know what the hell is going on here.

    True.

    All of the above are useless in determining if God (i.e, some absolutely morality of “good and evil”) exists or not. Arguments can’t decide the question. It comes down to gnosis. Like vision or any other conscious experience: either you have it or you don’t. Mere words and pretentiousness aren’t going to get you there. It’s a waste of time.

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    Concealed Citizen asks,

    Lions eat gazelles. Is this good or evil? Israelites (allegedly) killed innocent Canaanite babies (because “God” allegedly told them to do it. (I believe that’s fiction, but I’m using it to make a point to you, who apparently believes it did happen.) Good or evil?

    Concealed Citizen, to repeat what I stated above, in the atheist’s world of “no good, no evil, nothing but pitiless indifference”, you lack a standing to even ask the question.

    The Universe Reflects a Mind – Michael Egnor – February 28, 2018
    Excerpt: Goff argues that a Mind is manifest in the natural world, but he discounts the existence of God because of the problem of evil. Goff seriously misunderstands the problem of evil. Evil is an insoluble problem for atheists, because if there is no God, there is no objective standard by which evil and good can exist or can even be defined. If God does not exist, “good” and “evil” are merely human opinions. Yet we all know, as Kant observed, that some things are evil in themselves, and not merely as a matter of opinion. Even to raise the problem of evil is to tacitly acknowledge transcendent standards, and thus to acknowledge God’s existence. From that starting point, theodicy begins. Theists have explored it profoundly. Atheists lack the standing even to ask the question.,,,
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/02/the-universe-reflects-a-mind/

    the·od·i·cy
    noun
    noun: theodicy; plural noun: theodicies
    the vindication of divine goodness and providence in view of the existence of evil.

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    Whatever CC at 11, it is kind of humorous for you to continue to presuppose the existence of an objective moral standard to judge by, all while holding on to an atheistic worldview that denies the very existence of objective morality.

    I have better things to do than watch you chase your tail in a circle. 🙂

  14. 14
    Concealed Citizen says:

    BA77: Concealed Citizen, to repeat what I stated above, in the atheist’s world of “no good, no evil, nothing but pitiless indifference”, you lack a standing to even ask the question.

    Um, well, people are entirely free to ask the question: why thus? about any damn thing they want.

    But my last post didn’t do that. I laid out six scenarios to make a point. Your response doesn’t deal with either the scenarios or the point.

    Try again.

  15. 15
    Concealed Citizen says:

    BA77: Whatever CC at 11, it is kind of humorous for you to continue to presuppose the existence of an objective moral standard

    Um, my previous post considers two premises, a theistic premise and an atheist premise, and three scenarios under each premise, to show that neither premise is pragmatically useful, leading to a point about gnosis.

    Try responding to what I actually write.

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    Whatever JVL. I’ll let unbiased readers judge for themselves who is being straightforward and who is spouting nonsense.

    Of supplemental note,

    Morality for the atheist is not just the absence of morality, i.e. ‘pitiless indifference’, but morality for the atheist turns out to be, (when you throw in the ‘survival of the fittest’ precept of Darwinian evolution), a worldview that turns out to be downright ‘ANTI-Morality’.
    Alturistic behavior of any sort is simply completely antithetical to the entire framework of Darwinian evolution.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/the-rawlsian-myth-of-the-morally-neutral-perspective/#comment-715215

  17. 17
    EDTA says:

    CC @ 4,
    >If humans would stick to what is objectively and empirically demonstrable, the world would be a better place. Can I get an amen?

    Sorry, no amen from me. If we stuck only to what we objectively and empirically know, we would never make inferences, and would never get very far at all. We have to be able to make inferences, which includes making them in philosophical/epistemological areas.

  18. 18
    EDTA says:

    JVL @ 5,
    >Sure but if even dopey, limited human beings can think of better ways of implementing the apparent goal of life on Earth…

    Of what use would this be if we were not 100% certain we knew all of the goals (possibly plural) of putting life on earth? I don’t even pretend to know all the possible reasons. So claiming that I had thought of a much better way doesn’t mean anything. I know, this comes up in guises such as “well, I would have designed the human body differently, so it couldn’t possibly have such-and-such a problem”. But that assumes that we know several things that we can’t possibly claim to know.

  19. 19
    EDTA says:

    CC @ 11,
    > Arguments can’t decide the question. It comes down to gnosis. Like vision or any other conscious experience: either you have it or you don’t. Mere words and pretentiousness aren’t going to get you there. It’s a waste of time.

    I am curious why you think that inferences and logic applied to ideas (carefully of course) cannot lead to correct conclusions about things.

  20. 20
    bornagain77 says:

    EDTA, inferences and logic only leads to correct conclusions about things , IF and ONLY IF, CC is the one who is making the argument. Otherwise “It’s a waste of time.”. 🙂 LOL

    AKA, its the cutting off your nose to spite your face syndrome,, and is a particularly acute disease among atheists 🙂

    https://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=23646057

  21. 21
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/16

    Morality for the atheist is not just the absence of morality, i.e. ‘pitiless indifference’, but morality for the atheist turns out to be, (when you throw in the ‘survival of the fittest’ precept of Darwinian evolution), a worldview that turns out to be downright ‘ANTI-Morality’.

    Atheism does not necessarily entail a lack of morality, it just cannot appeal to the authority of a deity to justify it.

    Theists, on the other hand, are in a worse position than atheists. They do not know what is good or evil until their god tells them. They concede that they are unable to work it out for themselves.

  22. 22
    bornagain77 says:

    Sev, “Atheism does not necessarily entail a lack of morality”

    Yes it certainly does.

    And therefore everything you said after that is completely pointless and moot since your primary point is false.

    “Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear — and these are basically Darwin’s views. There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either. What an unintelligible idea.”
    – William Provine – the late Charles A. Alexander Professor of Biological Sciences at Cornell University,
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/09/william_provine/

    In fact, when you throw Darwinism into the mix, atheism not only entails amorality but entails ANTI-morality!

    to repeat, Alturistic behavior of any sort is simply completely antithetical to the entire framework of Darwinian evolution.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/the-rawlsian-myth-of-the-morally-neutral-perspective/#comment-715215

    “for, as we have just seen, the ways of national evolution, both in the past and in the present, are cruel, brutal, ruthless, and without mercy.,,, Meantime let me say that the conclusion I have come to is this: the law of Christ is incompatible with the law of evolution as far as the law of evolution has worked hitherto. Nay, the two laws are at war with each other; the law of Christ can never prevail until the law of evolution is destroyed.”
    Sir Arthur Keith, (1866 — 1955) Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons – Evolution and Ethics (1947) p.15
    written shortly after WWII and the NAZI genocide against ‘inferior’ races.

  23. 23
    EDTA says:

    Sev,
    >They concede that they are unable to work it out for themselves.

    In watching people who eschew all external guidance on morality, it does appear they make quite a mess of it. (Even with it, we make a mess of it.) So I’m not sure what the bragging rights are worth, in claiming one can figure it out for themself…

  24. 24
    Concealed Citizen says:

    EDTA: I am curious why you think that inferences and logic applied to ideas (carefully of course) cannot lead to correct conclusions about things.

    Comment on each of my six scenarios, under the two premises, @11, then I’ll reply. Otherwise I’ll be repeating myself. Thanks.

  25. 25
    EDTA says:

    CC,
    [Hopefully I’m reading them correctly…and reformatting each into a separate argument for clarity.]

    Premise: God exists.
    Premise: Bad things happen.
    Therefore (“I conclude”) God doesn’t exist.

    Non-sequitur; we cannot draw a conclusion about God’s existence from the fact that bad things happen. There may be other ways to approach the question of his existence, but not this way.

    Premise: God exists.
    Premise: Bad things happen.
    Therefore, God exists.

    Not a useful argument, as the conclusion is the first premise repeated.

    Premise: God exists.
    Premise: Bad things happen.
    Therefore, I conclude I don’t know what the hell is going on here.

    If by that you mean that we cannot conclude anything from the two premises, then I’d say that’s correct. But it’s not really a philosophical argument, in that the conclusion isn’t even related to the premises.

    Premise: God doesn’t exist
    Premise: Bad things happen
    Therefore, God doesn’t exist.

    Not a useful argument, as the conclusion is the first premise repeated.

    Premise: God doesn’t exist
    Premise: Bad things happen
    Therefore, God exists.

    Not a valid argument, since the conclusion directly contradicts one of the premises.

    Premise: God doesn’t exist
    Premise: Bad things happen
    Therefore, I conclude I don’t know what the hell is going on here.

    If by that you mean that we cannot conclude anything from the two premises, then that’s correct. But it’s not really a philosophical argument, in that the conclusion isn’t even related to the premises.

    None of the arguments say anything about God’s existence. And they do not rule out the possibility of valid arguments for his existence.

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