Atheism Intelligent Design Religion theism

When beliefs don’t depend on reason…

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… we may have no idea why we believe what we do:

Many of the beliefs that play a fundamental role in our worldview are largely the result of the communities in which we’ve been immersed. Religious parents tend to beget religious children, liberal educational institutions tend to produce liberal graduates, blue states stay mostly blue, and red ones stay mostly red. Of course, some people, through their own sheer intelligence, might be able to see through fallacious reasoning, detect biases and, as a result, resist the social influences that lead most of us to belief. But I’m not that special, and so learning how susceptible my beliefs are to these sorts of influences makes me a bit squirmy.

Let’s work with a hypothetical example. Suppose I’m raised among atheists and firmly believe that God doesn’t exist. I realise that, had I grown up in a religious community, I would almost certainly have believed in God. Furthermore, we can imagine that, had I grown up a theist, I would have been exposed to all the considerations that I take to be relevant to the question of whether God exists: I would have learned science and history, I would have heard all the same arguments for and against the existence of God. The difference is that I would interpret this evidence differently.

Miriam Schoenfield, “Why do you believe what you do? Run some diagnostics on it ” at Aeon

An alternative approach is Thomas Aquinas’s Five Ways, as explained by Michael Egnor: Arguments for God’s existence can be demonstrated by the ordinary method of scientific inference.

26 Replies to “When beliefs don’t depend on reason…

  1. 1
    BobRyan says:

    Darwinists do not rely on reason for their beliefs. You cannot get life from no life, since you cannot get something from nothing. Only God can explain how life originated. There are laws of physics that show order to the universe. Only God can explain how the laws were put in place.

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    Self-adjusting and self-calibrating is always difficult, but it’s impossible when you’re connected to the forced injections of poison from the media. First unplug the TV, then the rest is somewhat easier.

  3. 3
    Bob O'H says:

    Arguments for God’s existence can be demonstrated by the ordinary method of scientific inference.

    Difficult to run a double-blind randomised clinical trial on this, though.

  4. 4
    jerry says:

    Difficult to run a double-blind randomised clinical trial on this,

    Is it because these trials are mainly for the blind or those who refuse to see?

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H, I think he means inductive reasoning, or he may be using the older sense of science, an organised body of knowledge with a reasoned framework. KF

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    What a strange article. Miriam Schoenfield, who is a professor of philosophy, rightly holds that we may or may not be wrong about our foundational beliefs, i.e. either Atheism or Theism could be true, but holds that only ‘some’ people, through ‘their own sheer intelligence, might be able to see through fallacious reasoning’

    “some people, through their own sheer intelligence, might be able to see through fallacious reasoning, detect biases and, as a result, resist the social influences that lead most of us to belief. But I’m not that special, and so learning how susceptible my beliefs are to these sorts of influences makes me a bit squirmy.”

    Yet she apparently believes enough in her ability to reason to conclude that “from the perspective of doubt, we don’t have the resources to justify the claim that we’ve been lucky (in holding the particular foundational belief that we hold, whether it be Atheism or Theism).”

    “There’s no general problem with thinking that we’ve been lucky – sometimes we are. The worry is just that, from the perspective of doubt, we don’t have the resources to justify the claim that we’ve been lucky. What’s needed to support such a belief is part of what’s being questioned.”

    This article is simply ludicrous. As far as I can tell, she leaves her readers in complete limbo. i.e. She rightly points out that the foundational beliefs that we grew up with may very well be wrong, but, after dismissing her own reasoning as being reliable, i.e. as being applicable to only ‘some’ people of ‘sheer intelligence’, she then leaves her readers in a state of complete doubt about whether their beliefs may be true or not without giving them any way to resolve the dilemma that she herself created by so nonchalantly dismissing her own, and our, ability to reason in a reliable fashion. (Although, ironically, she herself believes this is a entirely reasonable thing for her to do).

    The first thing that came to mind when I read her article ‘for doubt’, was Francis Bacon’s reason for founding the scientific method itself. The second thing that came to mind was C.S. Lewis’s ‘argument from reason’. The third thing was Rene Descartes’ ‘argument from doubt’,

    Francis Bacon developed the scientific method precisely because he knew that we needed a standard outside ourselves to see if our foundational beliefs about reality were true. I would be so bold as to claim that Francis Bacon saw the scientific method as sort of an apologetic tool for Theism.

    In Emily Morales’s research on Francis Bacon she notes that,,,, “It was the rather low regard for the fallen human mind, besieged as it were by sin, that drove Francis Bacon, the “Father” of the Scientific Method, to formulate a new epistemology”,,,

    Why Francis Bacon instituted the scientific method: (and how the lgbtq movement has steered ideal baconian science off the rails.)
    Bacon’s “Enchanted Glass” – December 2019
    Excerpt: It was the rather low regard for the fallen human mind, besieged as it were by sin, that drove Francis Bacon, the “Father” of the Scientific Method, to formulate a new epistemology in his Great Instauration. In this brilliant man of faith’s view, the Adamic fall left an indelible mark on the human intellect, such that in its total depravity and persistent infirmity it could not be trusted to generate knowledge that was in any way free from bias, wrong presuppositions, or contradictions.,,,
    Recognizing then, the limitations of the human mind for revealing truth by mere logic and deductive reasoning, Bacon posited an altogether different means for knowledge acquisition: experimentation3—repeated experimentation—,,,
    https://salvomag.com/post/bacons-enchanted-glass

    And in her very first article on UD, Emily Morales goes on to note that Darwinists, today and ever since its inception, have blatantly ignored Bacon’s method of “repeated experimentation”

    “Darwin, in his day was excoriated by Adam Sedgewick (his mentor of the past) for abandoning the tram-road of inductive thinking (Baconian methodology) in favor of embracing the methodologies associated with deductive reasoning carried out by the likes of Aristotle.
    Sedgewick was not alone in his criticism of Darwin. Louis Agassiz, at Harvard similarly rebuked Darwin for a thesis having no support in the known fossil record (refer to Stephen Meyer’s book Darwin’s Doubt). Note that neither of these men pushed back against Darwin because they were creationists – it was rather that Darwin drew some conclusions on the diversity of life and origin of species that were presumptuous to say the least. As it turns out, Bacon addressed the dangers of this manner of “logic” and “reasoning,” at length, warning us of its ability to stifle scientific inquiry two hundred and thirty years before Darwin’s published work.
    Bacon today, would not be impressed with where the brave new world of science is heading. Rather than holding on to those facts that are the fruit of repeated experimentation or steadied observation, society is clinging to fallacies that are oftentimes the fruit of a past college professor’s wild imagination.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/welcome-to-the-brave-new-world-of-science/

    In short, Emily Morales is pointing out the fact, (a fact that has become all too obvious for UD regulars), that Darwinian evolution fails to qualify as a rigorous science since Darwinists have basically completely ignored the criteria of repeated experimentation, (and/or falsification) that was championed by Bacon.

    There simply is no substantiating, real-time, scientific evidence that Darwinists can point to so as to establish the validity of their theory

    Scant search for the Maker – 2001
    Excerpt: But where is the experimental evidence? None exists in the literature claiming that one species has been shown to evolve into another. Bacteria, the simplest form of independent life, are ideal for this kind of study, with generation times of 20 to 30 minutes, and populations achieved after 18 hours. But throughout 150 years of the science of bacteriology, there is no evidence that one species of bacteria has changed into another, in spite of the fact that populations have been exposed to potent chemical and physical mutagens and that, uniquely, bacteria possess extrachromosomal, transmissible plasmids. Since there is no evidence for species changes between the simplest forms of unicellular life, it is not surprising that there is no evidence for evolution from prokaryotic to eukaryotic cells, let alone throughout the whole array of higher multicellular organisms.
    – Alan H. Linton – emeritus professor of bacteriology, University of Bristol.
    http://www.timeshighereducatio.....ode=159282

    Darwin vs. Microbes (Where’s the substantiating evidence for Darwinian evolution?) – video
    https://youtu.be/ntxc4X9Zt-I

    In fact, besides Darwinists having no substantiating evidence that they can appeal to, there are also numerous lines of empirical evidence that ID advocates can appeal to that falsify central tenets of Darwinian theory,

    December 2019 – Here are a few falsifications of Darwinian evolution that Darwinists simply refuse to ever accept as falsifications of their theory:
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/question-for-readers-in-a-world-where-horizontal-gene-transfer-is-an-important-force-what-becomes-of-dawkinss-selfish-gene/#comment-689179

    In short, Darwinian evolution does not even qualify as a empirical science in the first place since Darwinists have basically completely ignored the criteria of repeated experimentation and/or falsification.

    Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rzw0JkuKuQ

    And to repeat, the scientific method itself was developed, by Bacon, primarily as a ‘standard outside of ourselves’ to see if whether our foundational beliefs about reality are true or not.

    Moreover, the scientific method, in reality, only cares to relentlessly pursue the truth and could care less if the answer turns out to be a materialistic/naturalistic one or whether it turns out to be a theistic one.

    Moreover, since the materialistic/naturalistic philosophy and Theistic philosophy make, and have made, several contradictory predictions about what type of science evidence we be found by modern science, these contradictory predictions themselves, and the evidence found by modern science, can be tested against one another to see if either materialism or Theism is true.

    Here are a few comparisons:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    , allowing the Agent causality of God (and of humans) ‘back’ into physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned,,,, (Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, and Max Planck, to name a few of the Christian founders),,, and as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands (with the closing of the free will loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company), rightly allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics provides us with a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead provides an empirically backed reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between quantum mechanics and general relativity into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything”.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/once-more-from-the-top-on-mechanism/#comment-684331

    Verse:

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

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    As to my second objection to her article, although Miriam Schoenfield discounted her own, and our, ability to reason in a reliable fashion, (and although she herself, apparently completely without self awareness, reasoned that it was reasonable for her to discount reasoning), the fact the Atheism itself cannot ground reasoning is powerful evidence against Atheism being true. As J.B.S. Haldane stated,

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms.”
    – J.B.S. Haldane, Possible Worlds

    C.S. Lewis developed this argument further in his ‘argument from reason’:

    “Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It’s like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can’t trust my own thinking, of course I can’t trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God.”
    – C.S. Lewis (from, The Case for Christianity)

    “One absolutely central inconsistency ruins [the popular scientific philosophy]. The whole picture professes to depend on inferences from observed facts. Unless inference is valid, the whole picture disappears… unless Reason is an absolute, all is in ruins. Yet those who ask me to believe this world picture also ask me to believe that Reason is simply the unforeseen and unintended by-product of mindless matter at one stage of its endless and aimless becoming. Here is flat contradiction. They ask me at the same moment to accept a conclusion and to discredit the only testimony on which that conclusion can be based.”
    —C.S. Lewis, Is Theology Poetry (aka the Argument from Reason)

    The Argument From Reason – resource page
    http://www.reasonsforgod.org/t.....om-reason/

    You don’t have to take C.S. Lewis’s word for it, Darwinists themselves admit that, if Darwinian evolution were actually true, then their ability to reason would be unreliable and they would not be able to tell what is true from what is false,

    Why Evolutionary Theory Cannot Survive Itself – Nancy Pearcey – March 8, 2015
    Excerpt: An example of self-referential absurdity is a theory called evolutionary epistemology, a naturalistic approach that applies evolution to the process of knowing. The theory proposes that the human mind is a product of natural selection. The implication is that the ideas in our minds were selected for their survival value, not for their truth-value.
    But what if we apply that theory to itself? Then it, too, was selected for survival, not truth — which discredits its own claim to truth. Evolutionary epistemology commits suicide.
    Astonishingly, many prominent thinkers have embraced the theory without detecting the logical contradiction. Philosopher John Gray writes, “If Darwin’s theory of natural selection is true,… the human mind serves evolutionary success, not truth.” What is the contradiction in that statement?
    Gray has essentially said, if Darwin’s theory is true, then it “serves evolutionary success, not truth.” In other words, if Darwin’s theory is true, then it is not true.
    Self-referential absurdity is akin to the well-known liar’s paradox: “This statement is a lie.” If the statement is true, then (as it says) it is not true, but a lie.
    Another example comes from Francis Crick. In The Astonishing Hypothesis, he writes, “Our highly developed brains, after all, were not evolved under the pressure of discovering scientific truths but only to enable us to be clever enough to survive.” But that means Crick’s own theory is not a “scientific truth.” Applied to itself, the theory commits suicide.,,,
    Eric Baum says, “Sometimes you are more likely to survive and propagate if you believe a falsehood than if you believe the truth.” Steven Pinker writes, “Our brains were shaped for fitness, not for truth. Sometimes the truth is adaptive, but sometimes it is not.” The upshot is that survival is no guarantee of truth. If survival is the only standard, we can never know which ideas are true and which are adaptive but false.,,
    Literary critic Leon Wieseltier writes, “If reason is a product of natural selection, then how much confidence can we have in a rational argument for natural selection? … Evolutionary biology cannot invoke the power of reason even as it destroys it.”
    On a similar note, philosopher Thomas Nagel asks, “Is the [evolutionary] hypothesis really compatible with the continued confidence in reason as a source of knowledge?” His answer is no: “I have to be able to believe … that I follow the rules of logic because they are correct — not merely because I am biologically programmed to do so.” Hence, “insofar as the evolutionary hypothesis itself depends on reason, it would be self-undermining.”,,,
    Applied consistently, Darwinism undercuts not only itself but also the entire scientific enterprise. Kenan Malik, a writer trained in neurobiology, writes, “If our cognitive capacities were simply evolved dispositions, there would be no way of knowing which of these capacities lead to true beliefs and which to false ones.” Thus “to view humans as little more than sophisticated animals …undermines confidence in the scientific method.”,,,
    Of course, the atheist pursuing his research has no choice but to rely on rationality, just as everyone else does. The point is that he has no philosophical basis for doing so. Only those who affirm a rational Creator have a basis for trusting human rationality.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/03/why_evolutionar/

    In short, “anyone who believes in reason must also believe in God.”

    “Atheists can give no reason why they should value reason, and Christians can show how anyone who believes in reason must also believe in God.”
    Cogito; Ergo Deus Est by Charles Edward White
    Philosophy Still Lives Because God Isn’t Dead

    John 1:1
    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”

    of note: ‘the Word’ in John1:1 is translated from ‘Logos’ in Greek. Logos also happens to be the root word from which we derive our modern word logic
    http://etymonline.com/?term=logic

    What is the Logos?
    Logos is a Greek word literally translated as “word, speech, or utterance.” However, in Greek philosophy, Logos refers to divine reason or the power that puts sense into the world making order instead of chaos.,,,
    In the Gospel of John, John writes “In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). John appealed to his readers by saying in essence, “You’ve been thinking, talking, and writing about the Word (divine reason) for centuries and now I will tell you who He is.”
    https://www.compellingtruth.org/what-is-the-Logos.html

    As to my third objection to her article, (i.e. specifically my objection that Miriam Schoenfield basically left her readers in a state of perpetual doubt with no way to resolve the dilemma of whether their foundational beliefs were true or not), I appealed to Rene Descartes’ ‘argument from doubt’,

    Method of Doubt
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/descartes-epistemology/#MethDoub

    Following Descates’ ‘method of doubt’ to its logical end, Descartes concluded that he was able to doubt the existence of all things save for the fact that he himself existed to do the doubting. i.e. “I think, therefore I am”

    Cogito, ergo sum is a Latin philosophical proposition by René Descartes usually translated into English as “I think, therefore I am”
    – per wikipedia

    From Descartes’s conclusion that he could only be absolutely certain of the fact that he himself exists, Descartes then went on to use that conclusion as a starting assumption to then argue for the existence of God,

    René Descartes (1596—1650)
    Excerpt:
    5. God
    a. The Causal Arguments
    At the beginning of the Third Meditation only “I exist” and “I am a thinking thing” are beyond doubt and are, therefore, absolutely certain. From these intuitively grasped, absolutely certain truths, Descartes now goes on to deduce the existence of something other than himself, namely God.
    https://www.iep.utm.edu/descarte/#SH4a

    Interestingly, Descartes’ ‘argument from doubt’ plays out in the debate between Intelligent Design and Darwinian evolution.

    Darwinists, because of the reductive materialistic framework that undergirds Darwinian evolution, are forced to claim that our sense of self. (which Descartes’ pointed out is, by far, the most certain thing we can possibly know about reality), is merely a neuronal illusion,

    The Confidence of Jerry Coyne – Ross Douthat – January 6, 2014
    Excerpt: But then halfway through this peroration, we have as an aside the confession (by Coyne) that yes, okay, it’s quite possible given materialist premises that “our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.” At which point the entire edifice suddenly looks terribly wobbly — because who, exactly, is doing all of this forging and shaping and purpose-creating if Jerry Coyne, as I understand him (and I assume he understands himself) quite possibly does not actually exist at all? The theme of his argument is the crucial importance of human agency under eliminative materialism, but if under materialist premises the actual agent is quite possibly a fiction, then who exactly is this I who “reads” and “learns” and “teaches,” and why in the universe’s name should my illusory self believe Coyne’s bold proclamation that his illusory self’s purposes are somehow “real” and worthy of devotion and pursuit? (Let alone that they’re morally significant: But more on that below.) Prometheus cannot be at once unbound and unreal; the human will cannot be simultaneously triumphant and imaginary.
    https://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/06/the-confidence-of-jerry-coyne/?mcubz=3

    In fact, besides being forced to claim that they themselves are merely ‘neuronal illusions’, Darwinists are also, (again because of their reductive materialistic framework), forced to claim that many other things are illusory. Things that everyone, especially including Darwinian atheists themselves, resolutely hold to be undeniably real and not illusory,

    Basically, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris), who has unreliable, (i.e. illusory), beliefs about reality (Plantinga), who has illusory perceptions of reality (Hoffman), who, since he has no real time empirical evidence substantiating his grandiose claims, must make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Behe, Gould, Sternberg), so as to ‘explain away’ the appearance (i.e. illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the reality of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God (Craig, Kreeft). Who, since beauty cannot be grounded within his materialistic worldview, must hold beauty itself to be illusory (Darwin).
    Bottom line, nothing is truly real in the atheist’s worldview, least of all, beauty, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,,
    Darwinian Materialism and/or Methodological Naturalism vs. Reality – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaksmYceRXM

    Thus, although the Darwinian Atheist firmly believes he is on the terra firma of science (in his appeal, even demand, for methodological naturalism), the fact of the matter is that, when examining the details of his materialistic/naturalistic worldview, it is found that Darwinists/Atheists are adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor for reality to grab on to.

    It would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science, indeed more antagonistic to reality itself, than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.

    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

    Thus in conclusion, although Miriam Schoenfield, as far as I can tell, left her readers in a state of ‘perpetual doubt’ about their foundational beliefs with no way to resolve the dilemma, the fact of the matter is that science (Bacon), reason (Lewis), and even doubt itself (Descartes), can all be used as fairly powerful arguments for the existence of God.

    Proverbs 21:30
    There is no wisdom, no understanding, no counsel that can prevail against the LORD.

  8. 8
    Barry Arrington says:

    Bob O’H

    Difficult to run a double-blind randomised clinical trial on this

    You mean like all of the double-blind randomized clinical trials that Darwinians run?

  9. 9
    jerry says:

    Barry,

    I maintain that Bob O’H is a supporter of ID. He has never in all his years here provided a coherent argument against it. Given that he has a PhD in statistics and his wife has a PhD in biology, this says everything. ID uses both statistics or probability and biology as the basis for many of its theses as well as Aristotlean logic. ID also uses physics and chemistry but no PhD in these areas has ever undermined ID either.

    He is here to make sure the t’s are crossed and i’s dotted in the use of Aristotle.

    It may be an error by Egnor to use the phrase “ scientific inference” but instead use the phrase “inference using science” instead.

  10. 10
    Bob O'H says:

    He has never in all his years here provided a coherent argument against it.

    Seeing as there’s no coherent argument for ID, I don’t see that as much of a problem.

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    ^^^^^^^^^^
    Says the man who just wrote a sentence, via his own intelligence, with more information content than has ever been witnessed to be produced by unguided Darwinian processes.

    This short sentence, “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog” is calculated by Winston Ewert, in this following video at the 10 minute mark, to contain 1000 bits of algorithmic specified complexity, (i.e. functional information), and thus to exceed the Universal Probability Bound (UPB) of 500 bits set by Dr. Dembski

    Proposed Information Metric: Conditional Kolmogorov Complexity – Winston Ewert – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fm3mm3ofAYU

    To clarify as to how the 500 bit universal limit is found for ‘structured, functional information’:

    Dembski’s original value for the universal probability bound is 1 in 10^150,

    10^80, the number of elementary particles in the observable universe.
    10^45, the maximum rate per second at which transitions in physical states can occur.
    10^25, a billion times longer than the typical estimated age of the universe in seconds.

    Thus, 10^150 = 10^80 × 10^45 × 10^25. Hence, this value corresponds to an upper limit on the number of physical events that could possibly have occurred since the big bang.

    How many bits would that be:

    Pu = 10-150, so, -log2 Pu = 498.29 bits

    Call it 500 bits (The 500 bits is further specified as a specific type of information. It is specified as Complex Specified Information by Dembski or as Functional Information by Abel to separate it from merely Ordered Sequence Complexity or Random Sequence Complexity; See Three subsets of sequence complexity)

    Three subsets of sequence complexity and their relevance to biopolymeric information – Abel, Trevors
    http://www.tbiomed.com/content/2/1/29

    Or to simplify the argument for ID immensely, (so that even an overly educated Darwinist like Bob can understand it), here is gem of a quote from Paul Davies,

    “How did stupid atoms spontaneously write their own software … ? Nobody knows … … there is no known law of physics able to create information from nothing.”
    – Paul Davies, Life force, New Scientist 163(2204):27–30, 18 September 1999

  12. 12
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    Seeing as there’s no coherent argument for ID,

    Only a willfully ignorant ass would say that, Bob. I would love to compare ID’s argument against the blind watchmaker. Too bad evos won’t ante up.

  13. 13
    Bob O'H says:

    Thank you, ba77 and ET for making my point so well.

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    And thank you, via writing another sentence, for demonstrating once again that only intelligent agency is known to have the capacity to create information.

    Or as you yourself stated, thank you “for making my point so well.”

    It is called shooting yourself in the foot Bob.

    Want to try for the other foot?
    https://newsinteractive.post-gazette.com/steve-kelley-editorial-cartoons/wp-content/uploads/sites/31/2019/08/12AUGUST19COLOR.jpg

  15. 15
    ET says:

    Bob’s point is that he is willfully ignorant and too chicken$h!+ to ante up. Nobody makes that point better than Bob O’H.

  16. 16
    jerry says:

    I am sure some here could do much better. I know Stephen Meyer has done better.

    A coherent argument for ID

    Observation 1 – The biological world contains extremely complex and functional entities based on information processing.
    Observation 2 – No one has ever observed a material process alone create an entity that is complex and functional that uses information processing.
    Observation 3 – there are tens of millions of examples where an intelligence has created complex and functional entities that use information processing.

    Thesis 1 – It is possible that life which is composed of functional and complex entities using information processing could be the result of an intelligence. I believe modern biology believes it will have the capacity some day to create a such an entity in the near future.
    Thesis 2 – Given that. there has never been a material process that solely created complex and functional entities that use information processing, an intelligence is a possible source for these functional and complex entities.
    Thesis 3 – As science accumulates more evidence that there is no known material process that creates complex and functional entities that use information processing, the probability that an intelligence is the source becomes greater.

    Even Richard Dawkins agrees with that as he admitted to Ben Stein that the presence of an ancient intelligence would be a good explanation for modern life.

    Of course one could arbitrarily say that this is not coherent but why is it not coherent? I am sure there are some i’s to be dotted and t’s to be crossed. Maybe Bob O’H could do that.

  17. 17
    jerry says:

    I am currently reading, actually listening to, Scott Adams’ book “Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter” in which he says that facts are not the way to win arguments. Haven’t got to his rationale yet as I am just at the beginning.

    I assume he also includes logical arguments based on fact in that too. We have a tendency to assume all we have to do is present facts. and argue rationally and others will agree. So far from the truth as we witness the modern world.

  18. 18
    Barry Arrington says:

    That people are driven by passion as opposed to reason goes back at least to Hume and likely much further to the Greek distinction between logos and pathos.

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    BA, yup. That’s the problem, indoctrinated, polarised frightened people cannot think straight. On the design inference I start from algorithmic, coded, linguistic info in DNA so cell based life. Decisive. But for comparison, note how people react to thousands of cases showing that HCQ based cocktails are significantly effective in treating CV19. Then go on to the emerging exposure of terrifying deep state corruption in the US Govt, complete with notes in the handwriting of key parties. Don’t even mention ongoing enabling of the worst holocaust in history. KF

  20. 20
    bornagain77 says:

    Since Jerry has brought up the fact that “Stephen Meyer has done better” in regards to formulating the argument for Intelligent Design, (and indeed he has), I would like to bring up this argument that Stephen Meyer made for why it is impossible, in principle, for the unguided material processes of Darwinian evolution to ever produce information.

    “One of the things I do in my classes, to get this idea across to students, is I hold up two computer disks. One is loaded with software, and the other one is blank. And I ask them, ‘what is the difference in mass between these two computer disks, as a result of the difference in the information content that they posses’? And of course the answer is, ‘Zero! None! There is no difference as a result of the information. And that’s because information is a mass-less quantity. Now, if information is not a material entity, then how can any materialistic explanation account for its origin? How can any material cause explain it’s origin?
    And this is the real and fundamental problem that the presence of information in biology has posed. It creates a fundamental challenge to the materialistic, evolutionary scenarios because information is a different kind of entity that matter and energy cannot produce.
    In the nineteenth century we thought that there were two fundamental entities in science; matter, and energy. At the beginning of the twenty first century, we now recognize that there’s a third fundamental entity; and its ‘information’. It’s not reducible to matter. It’s not reducible to energy. But it’s still a very important thing that is real; we buy it, we sell it, we send it down wires.
    Now, what do we make of the fact, that information is present at the very root of all biological function? In biology, we have matter, we have energy, but we also have this third, very important entity; information. I think the biology of the information age, poses a fundamental challenge to any materialistic approach to the origin of life.”
    -Dr. Stephen C. Meyer earned his Ph.D. in the History and Philosophy of science from Cambridge University for a dissertation on the history of origin-of-life biology and the methodology of the historical sciences.
    – Intelligent design: Why can’t biological information originate through a materialistic process? – Stephen Meyer – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqiXNxyoof8

    In short, it is impossible, in principle, for the unguided material processes of Darwinian evolution to ever produce information since information is, by nature, immaterial.

    The fact that information is immaterial is easily demonstrated by the fact that we can inscribe information on an almost endless variety of material substrates, using on almost endless variety of different languages, and yet the meaning of the information never changes between the material substrates as long as the information is faithfully encoded and decoded on the almost endless variety of material substrates. In other words, there is something profoundly immaterial about information that refuses to be reduced to materialistic descriptions..

    As George Williams pointed out, “Information doesn’t have mass or charge or length in millimeters. Likewise, matter doesn’t have bytes…”

    “Evolutionary biologists have failed to realize that they work with two more or less incommensurable domains: that of information and that of matter… These two domains will never be brought together in any kind of the sense usually implied by the term ‘reductionism.’… Information doesn’t have mass or charge or length in millimeters. Likewise, matter doesn’t have bytes… This dearth of shared descriptors makes matter and information two separate domains of existence, which have to be discussed separately, in their own terms.”
    George Williams – Evolutionary Biologist – “A Package of Information”
    https://books.google.com/books?id=V3x1YPgvOJcC&pg=PA43

    And as George Ellis pointed out, information is a ‘top down’ “higher level relation that is not apparent at the scale of the electrons themselves.” and Ellis goes on to note “The mind is not a physical entity, but it certainly is causally effective: proof is the existence of the computer on which you are reading this text. It could not exist if it had not been designed and manufactured according to someone’s plans, thereby proving the causal efficacy of thoughts, which like computer programs and data are not physical entities.”

    Recognising Top-Down Causation – George Ellis
    Excerpt: Causation,,,
    Definition 2: Existence If Y is a physical entity made up of ordinary matter, and X is some kind of entity that has a demonstrable causal effect on Y as per Definition 1, then we must acknowledge that X also exists (even if it is not made up of such matter).,,,
    Causal Efficacy of Non Physical entities:
    Both the program and the data are non-physical entities, indeed so is all software. A program is not a physical thing you can point to, but by Definition 2 it certainly exists. You can point to a CD or flashdrive where it is stored, but that is not the thing in itself: it is a medium in which it is stored.
    The program itself is an abstract entity, shaped by abstract logic. Is the software “nothing but” its realisation through a specific set of stored electronic states in the computer memory banks? No it is not because it is the precise pattern in those states that matters: a higher level relation that is not apparent at the scale of the electrons themselves. It’s a relational thing (and if you get the relations between the symbols wrong, so you have a syntax error, it will all come to a grinding halt). This abstract nature of software is realised in the concept of virtual machines, which occur at every level in the computer hierarchy except the bottom one [17]. But this tower of virtual machines causes physical effects in the real world, for example when a computer controls a robot in an assembly line to create physical artefacts.,,,
    The mind is not a physical entity, but it certainly is causally effective: proof is the existence of the computer on which you are reading this text. It could not exist if it had not been designed and manufactured according to someone’s plans, thereby proving the causal efficacy of thoughts, which like computer programs and data are not physical entities.
    http://fqxi.org/data/essay-con.....s_2012.pdf

    In other words, it is the ability of the immaterial mind to have knowledge of a particle’s position, and to then arrange that particle’s position in relation to other particles, that allows us to impart immaterial information into material substrates in a ‘top-down’ manner. To repeat what George Ellis stated, information is a ‘top down’ “higher level relation that is not apparent at the scale of the electrons themselves.”

    And indeed, it has now been empirically demonstrated that knowledge of a particle’s location and/or position converts information into energy.

    Maxwell’s demon demonstration turns information into energy – November 2010
    Excerpt: Scientists in Japan are the first to have succeeded in converting information into free energy in an experiment that verifies the “Maxwell demon” thought experiment devised in 1867.,,, In Maxwell’s thought experiment the demon creates a temperature difference simply from information about the gas molecule temperatures and without transferring any energy directly to them.,,, Until now, demonstrating the conversion of information to energy has been elusive, but University of Tokyo physicist Masaki Sano and colleagues have succeeded in demonstrating it in a nano-scale experiment. In a paper published in Nature Physics they describe how they coaxed a Brownian particle to travel upwards on a “spiral-staircase-like” potential energy created by an electric field solely on the basis of information on its location. As the particle traveled up the staircase it gained energy from moving to an area of higher potential, and the team was able to measure precisely how much energy had been converted from information.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....nergy.html

    And as the following 2010 article stated about the preceding experiment, “This is a beautiful experimental demonstration that information has a thermodynamic content,”

    Demonic device converts information to energy – 2010
    Excerpt: “This is a beautiful experimental demonstration that information has a thermodynamic content,” says Christopher Jarzynski, a statistical chemist at the University of Maryland in College Park. In 1997, Jarzynski formulated an equation to define the amount of energy that could theoretically be converted from a unit of information2; the work by Sano and his team has now confirmed this equation. “This tells us something new about how the laws of thermodynamics work on the microscopic scale,” says Jarzynski.
    http://www.scientificamerican......rts-inform

    As if that was not bad enough for the materialistic presuppositions of Darwinists, the recent experimental realizations of the ‘Maxwell’s Demon” thought experiment go even further than that. Quote-unquote, “James Clerk Maxwell (said), “The idea of dissipation of energy depends on the extent of our knowledge.”,,,
    quantum information theory,,, describes the spread of information through quantum systems.,,,
    Fifteen years ago, “we thought of entropy as a property of a thermodynamic system,” he said. “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,

    The Quantum Thermodynamics Revolution – May 2017
    Excerpt: the 19th-century physicist James Clerk Maxwell put it, “The idea of dissipation of energy depends on the extent of our knowledge.”
    In recent years, a revolutionary understanding of thermodynamics has emerged that explains this subjectivity using quantum information theory — “a toddler among physical theories,” as del Rio and co-authors put it, that describes the spread of information through quantum systems. Just as thermodynamics initially grew out of trying to improve steam engines, today’s thermodynamicists are mulling over the workings of quantum machines. Shrinking technology — a single-ion engine and three-atom fridge were both experimentally realized for the first time within the past year — is forcing them to extend thermodynamics to the quantum realm, where notions like temperature and work lose their usual meanings, and the classical laws don’t necessarily apply.
    They’ve found new, quantum versions of the laws that scale up to the originals. Rewriting the theory from the bottom up has led experts to recast its basic concepts in terms of its subjective nature, and to unravel the deep and often surprising relationship between energy and information — the abstract 1s and 0s by which physical states are distinguished and knowledge is measured.,,,
    Renato Renner, a professor at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, described this as a radical shift in perspective. Fifteen years ago, “we thought of entropy as a property of a thermodynamic system,” he said. “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/quantum-thermodynamics-revolution/

    To repeat, “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,

    That finding is simply shattering to the materialistic presuppositions of Darwinists!

    And to get a bit more technical, but hopefully not too technical, classical sequential information is now shown to be a subset of ‘positional’ quantum information,,,,

    Image: Classical information is a subset of quantum information
    https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2000/nsf00101/images/figure1.gif

  21. 21
    bornagain77 says:

    ,,, classical sequential information is now shown to be a subset of ‘positional’ quantum information by the following method. Specifically, “when the bits to be deleted are quantum-mechanically entangled with the state of an observer, then the observer could even withdraw heat from the system while deleting the bits. Entanglement links the observer’s state to that of the computer in such a way that they know more about the memory than is possible in classical physics.,,,
    In measuring entropy, one should bear in mind that an object does not have a certain amount of entropy per se, instead an object’s entropy is always dependent on the observer. ”

    Quantum knowledge cools computers: New understanding of entropy – June 1, 2011
    Excerpt: The new study revisits Landauer’s principle for cases when the values of the bits to be deleted may be known. When the memory content is known, it should be possible to delete the bits in such a manner that it is theoretically possible to re-create them. It has previously been shown that such reversible deletion would generate no heat. In the new paper, the researchers go a step further. They show that when the bits to be deleted are quantum-mechanically entangled with the state of an observer, then the observer could even withdraw heat from the system while deleting the bits. Entanglement links the observer’s state to that of the computer in such a way that they know more about the memory than is possible in classical physics.,,,
    In measuring entropy, one should bear in mind that an object does not have a certain amount of entropy per se, instead an object’s entropy is always dependent on the observer. Applied to the example of deleting data, this means that if two individuals delete data in a memory and one has more knowledge of this data, she perceives the memory to have lower entropy and can then delete the memory using less energy.,,,
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....134300.htm

    The fact that classical sequential information is a subset of ‘positional’ quantum information is further driven home by the relation of quantum information to sequential information in DNA. As Dr Reiper remarks in the following video, “practically the whole DNA molecule can be viewed as quantum information with classical information embedded within it.”

    “What happens is this classical information (of DNA) is embedded, sandwiched, into the quantum information (of DNA). And most likely this classical information is never accessed because it is inside all the quantum information. You can only access the quantum information or the electron clouds and the protons. So mathematically you can describe that as a quantum/classical state.”
    Elisabeth Rieper – Classical and Quantum Information in DNA – video (Longitudinal Quantum Information resides along the entire length of DNA discussed at the 19:30 minute mark; at 24:00 minute mark Dr Rieper remarks that practically the whole DNA molecule can be viewed as quantum information with classical information embedded within it)
    https://youtu.be/2nqHOnVTxJE?t=1176

    Thus we now have many lines of empirical evidence, (particularly from quantum information theory and from the recent experimental realization of Maxwell’s demon thought experiment), establishing the fact that information, regardless of the fact that it is immaterial, is, none-the less, physically real and that it has, of all things, a ‘thermodynamic content’ that can be imparted, in a ‘top-down’ manner. onto material substrates by an intelligent, and immaterial, mind..

    As far as empirical science is concerned, these experiments establishing the physical reality of immaterial information are direct empirical falsifications of the reductive materialistic presuppositions of Darwinists, Materialistic presuppositions that hold immaterial information, (and immaterial mind), to be merely ’emergent’ from some material basis.

    Of supplemental note, perhaps the simplest, non-technical, way to demonstrate that immaterial information is a physically real entity that is separate from matter and energy is with quantum teleportation,

    As the following article states, “the photons aren’t disappearing from one place and appearing in another. Instead, it’s the information that’s being teleported through quantum entanglement.,,,”

    Quantum Teleportation Enters the Real World – September 19, 2016
    Excerpt: Two separate teams of scientists have taken quantum teleportation from the lab into the real world.
    Researchers working in Calgary, Canada and Hefei, China, used existing fiber optics networks to transmit small units of information across cities via quantum entanglement — Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance.”,,,
    This isn’t teleportation in the “Star Trek” sense — the photons aren’t disappearing from one place and appearing in another. Instead, it’s the information that’s being teleported through quantum entanglement.,,,
    ,,, it is only the information that gets teleported from one place to another.
    http://blogs.discovermagazine......-HqWNEoDtR

    And as the following article states. “scientists have successfully teleported information between two separate atoms in unconnected enclosures a meter apart,,, information,,, is transferred from one place to another, but without traveling through any physical medium.”

    First Teleportation Between Distant Atoms – 2009
    Excerpt: For the first time, scientists have successfully teleported information between two separate atoms in unconnected enclosures a meter apart – a significant milestone in the global quest for practical quantum information processing.
    Teleportation may be nature’s most mysterious form of transport: Quantum information, such as the spin of a particle or the polarization of a photon, is transferred from one place to another, but without traveling through any physical medium. It has previously been achieved between photons over very large distances, between photons and ensembles of atoms, and between two nearby atoms through the intermediary action of a third. None of those, however, provides a feasible means of holding and managing quantum information over long distances.
    Now a team from the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) at the University of Maryland (UMD) and the University of Michigan has succeeded in teleporting a quantum state directly from one atom to another over a substantial distance
    https://jqi.umd.edu/news/first-teleportation-between-distant-atoms

    Simply put, if the reductive materialism that undergirds Darwinian thought were actually true, then the preceding quantum teleportation experiments that demonstrated the transfer of information without the particles ever physically interacting, should have been impossible.

    Quote and Verse:

    “There is a moral or metaphysical part of nature as well as a physical A man who denies this is deep in the mire of folly”
    Adam Sedgwick – quoted from a letter that he wrote to Charles Darwin – 1859

    Mark 8:37
    Is anything worth more than your soul?

  22. 22
    Blastus says:

    Bornagain77, thank you for the 16 point list in comment 6. I am going to save that to reread and possibly share.

  23. 23
    MatSpirit says:

    BA77 asks in Msg 6, “But where is the experimental evidence? None exists in the literature claiming that one species has been shown to evolve into another.”

    As he shelters in his basement from a brand new species of virus.

    Same with bacteria. You know you’ve discovered a new species of bacteria when it starts killing lots of people.

    What did you expect? That they’d grow legs?

  24. 24
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77 @ 20

    Since Jerry has brought up the fact that “Stephen Meyer has done better” in regards to formulating the argument for Intelligent Design, (and indeed he has), I would like to bring up this argument that Stephen Meyer made for why it is impossible, in principle, for the unguided material processes of Darwinian evolution to ever produce information.

    “One of the things I do in my classes, to get this idea across to students, is I hold up two computer disks. One is loaded with software, and the other one is blank. And I ask them, ‘what is the difference in mass between these two computer disks, as a result of the difference in the information content that they posses’? And of course the answer is, ‘Zero! None! There is no difference as a result of the information. And that’s because information is a mass-less quantity.

    Actually, in the case of, say, a DVD, where the information is stored as a sequence of tiny pits cut into the surface by a laser beam, the disk with the information is very slightly lighter by the amount of material cut away by the laser. So, by Meyer’s kind of arguing, adding information makes the disk lighter, so does it have ‘negative mass’? Of course, like so many who push information as the modern-day equivalent of the “luminiferous aether”, Meyer is conveniently vague about what information is.

  25. 25
    bornagain77 says:

    MatSpirit, so a variety of corona virus is proof for a new species for you?

    Couple of problems, one, it is still a corona virus, and two, even Lenski did not claim that the citrate adaptation was proof for a new species of e-coli bacteria. He only tentatively claimed that it could be on its way to becoming a new species, By the way, Lenski’s work was subsequently shot down by Scott Minnich when Minnich showed that the citrate adaptation was a repeatable adaptation that could be achieved relatively easily under the right conditions.

    Another major problem for Darwinists is that, under their reductive materialistic framework, they have simply lost any ability to define what a species truly is in the first place (which is certainly NOT a minor problem for a supposedly scientific theory that seeks to explain ‘the origin of species’)

    What is a species? The most important concept in all of biology is a complete mystery – July 16, 2019
    Excerpt: What is a species?
    The most famous definition of a species comes from the 20th century German-born biologist Ernst Mayr, who emphasised the importance of interbreeding. The idea (roughly) is that two organisms are of the same species if they can breed with one another to produce fertile offspring. That is why a donkey and a horse aren’t the same species: they can breed and produce offspring, but not fertile offspring.,,,
    But it wasn’t long before the problems with Mayr’s approach became apparent. The definition makes use of the notion of interbreeding. This is all very well with horses and polar bears, but smaller organisms like bacteria do not interbreed at all. They reproduce entirely asexually, by simply splitting in two. So this definition of species can’t really apply to bacteria.,,,
    In the 1960s, another German biologist, Willi Hennig, suggested thinking about species in terms of their ancestry. In simple terms, he suggested that we should find an organism, and then group it together with its children, and its children’s children, and its children’s children’s children. Eventually, you will have the original organism (the ancestor) and all of its descendents. These groups are called clades. Hennig’s insight was to suggest that this is how we should be thinking about species.
    But this approach faces its own problems. How far back should you go before you pick the ancestor in question? If you go back in history far enough, you’ll find that pretty much every animal on the planet shares an ancestor. But surely we don’t want to say that every single animal in the world, from the humble sea slug, to top-of-the-range apes like human beings, are all one big single species?
    Enough of species?
    This is only the tip of a deep and confusing iceberg. There is absolutely no agreement among biologists about how we should understand the species. One 2006 article on the subject listed 26 separate definitions of species, all with their advocates and detractors. Even this list is incomplete.
    The mystery surrounding species is well-known in biology, and commonly referred to as “the species problem”. Frustration with the idea of a species goes back at least as far as Darwin.,,,
    some contemporary biologists and philosophers of biology have,,, suggested that biology would be much better off if it didn’t think about life in terms of species at all.,,,
    One of the great discoveries of evolutionary biology is that the human species is not special or privileged in the grand scheme of things, and that humans have the same origins as all the other animals. This approach just takes the next step. It says that there is no such thing as “the human species” at all.
    https://theconversation.com/what-is-a-species-the-most-important-concept-in-all-of-biology-is-a-complete-mystery-119200

    Darwin, Design & Thomas Aquinas
    The Mythical Conflict Between Thomism & Intelligent Design by Logan Paul Gage
    Excerpt: First, the problem of essences. G. K. Chesterton once quipped that “evolution . . . does not especially deny the existence of God; what it does deny is the existence of man.” It might appear shocking, but in this one remark the ever-perspicacious Chesterton summarized a serious conflict between classical Christian philosophy and Darwinism.
    In Aristotelian and Thomistic thought, each particular organism belongs to a certain universal class of things. Each individual shares a particular nature—or essence—and acts according to its nature. Squirrels act squirrelly and cats catty. We know with certainty that a squirrel is a squirrel because a crucial feature of human reason is its ability to abstract the universal nature from our sense experience of particular organisms.
    Think about it: How is it that we are able to recognize different organisms as belonging to the same group? The Aristotelian provides a good answer: It is because species really exist—not as an abstraction in the sky, but they exist nonetheless. We recognize the squirrel’s form, which it shares with other members of its species, even though the particular matter of each squirrel differs. So each organism, each unified whole, consists of a material and immaterial part (form).,,,
    One way to see this form-matter dichotomy is as Aristotle’s solution to the ancient tension between change and permanence debated so vigorously in the pre-Socratic era. Heraclitus argued that reality is change. Everything constantly changes—like fire, which never stays the same from moment to moment. Philosophers like Parmenides (and Zeno of “Zeno’s paradoxes” fame) argued exactly the opposite; there is no change. Despite appearances, reality is permanent. How else could we have knowledge? If reality constantly changes, how can we know it? What is to be known?
    Aristotle solved this dilemma by postulating that while matter is constantly in flux—even now some somatic cells are leaving my body while others arrive—an organism’s form is stable. It is a fixed reality, and for this reason is a steady object of our knowledge. Organisms have an essence that can be grasped intellectually.
    Denial of True Species
    Enter Darwinism. Recall that Darwin sought to explain the origin of “species.” Yet as he pondered his theory, he realized that it destroyed species as a reality altogether. For Darwinism suggests that any matter can potentially morph into any other arrangement of matter without the aid of an organizing principle. He thought cells were like simple blobs of Jell-O, easily re-arrangeable. For Darwin, there is no immaterial, immutable form. In The Origin of Species he writes:
    “I look at the term species as one arbitrarily given, for the sake of convenience, to a set of individuals closely resembling each other, and that it does not essentially differ from the term variety, which is given to less distinct and more fluctuating forms. The term variety, again, in comparison with mere individual differences, is also applied arbitrarily, for convenience’s sake.”
    Statements like this should make card-carrying Thomists shudder.,,,
    The first conflict between Darwinism and Thomism, then, is the denial of true species or essences. For the Thomist, this denial is a grave error, because the essence of the individual (the species in the Aristotelian sense) is the true object of our knowledge. As philosopher Benjamin Wiker observes in Moral Darwinism, Darwin reduced species to “mere epiphenomena of matter in motion.” What we call a “dog,” in other words, is really just an arbitrary snapshot of the way things look at present. If we take the Darwinian view, Wiker suggests, there is no species “dog” but only a collection of individuals, connected in a long chain of changing shapes, which happen to resemble each other today but will not tomorrow.
    What About Man?
    Now we see Chesterton’s point. Man, the universal, does not really exist. According to the late Stanley Jaki, Chesterton detested Darwinism because “it abolishes forms and all that goes with them, including that deepest kind of ontological form which is the immortal human soul.” And if one does not believe in universals, there can be, by extension, no human nature—only a collection of somewhat similar individuals.,,,
    Implications for Bioethics
    This is not a mere abstract point. This dilemma is playing itself out in contemporary debates in bioethics. With whom are bioethicists like Leon Kass (neo-Aristotelian and former chairman of the President’s Council on Bioethics) sparring today if not with thoroughgoing Darwinians like Princeton’s Peter Singer, who denies that humans, qua humans, have intrinsic dignity? Singer even calls those who prefer humans to other animals “speciesist,” which in his warped vocabulary is akin to racism.,,,
    If one must choose between saving an intelligent, fully developed pig or a Down syndrome baby, Singer thinks we should opt for the pig.,,,
    https://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=23-06-037-f

  26. 26
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky, your objection “information is stored as a sequence of tiny pits cut into the surface by a laser beam, the disk with the information is very slightly lighter by the amount of material cut away by the laser” fails on the account that I could encode the same information by adding bumps instead of cutting tiny pits. Or perhaps even store the information in a variety of positive and negative electric charges thus not changing the mass at all. Again,

    The fact that information is immaterial is easily demonstrated by the fact that we can inscribe information on an almost endless variety of material substrates, using on almost endless variety of different languages, and yet the meaning of the information never changes between the material substrates as long as the information is faithfully encoded and decoded on the almost endless variety of material substrates. In other words, there is something profoundly immaterial about information that refuses to be reduced to materialistic descriptions..

    As George Williams pointed out, “Information doesn’t have mass or charge or length in millimeters. Likewise, matter doesn’t have bytes…”

    “Evolutionary biologists have failed to realize that they work with two more or less incommensurable domains: that of information and that of matter… These two domains will never be brought together in any kind of the sense usually implied by the term ‘reductionism.’… Information doesn’t have mass or charge or length in millimeters. Likewise, matter doesn’t have bytes… This dearth of shared descriptors makes matter and information two separate domains of existence, which have to be discussed separately, in their own terms.”
    George Williams – Evolutionary Biologist – “A Package of Information”
    https://books.google.com/books?id=V3x1YPgvOJcC&pg=PA43

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