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Why science cannot be the only way of knowing: A reply to Jason Rosenhouse


People who hold the view that “there is a non-scientific source of knowledge about the natural world, such as divine revelation or the historical teachings of a church, that trumps all other claims to knowledge,” are a menace to science. That’s the claim made by mathematician Jason Rosenhouse, in his latest post over at his Evolution Blog. Science, avers Rosenhouse, is not just a collection of facts; it’s “an attitude, one that says that all theories must be tested against facts and that evidence must be followed wherever it leads.” In an earlier 2009 post, Rosenhouse criticizes the claim that “science is not the only way of knowing,” and forthrightly declares: “The ways of knowing that are unique to religion, namely revelation and the words of holy texts, have today been utterly discredited.” Is he right?

Dr. Rosenhouse is an American author and associate professor of mathematics at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia. He has been writing about creationists for some years now, and is the author of the book, Among the Creationists: Dispatches from the Anti-Evolutionist Front Line (Oxford University Press, 2012).

In this post, which I shall try to keep this post as short as possible, I’d like to explain what I think is wrong with Dr. Rosenhouse’s whole approach to epistemology.

1. Let me begin by saying that I intend to play fair. For example, it would be very easy for me to make fun of Dr. Rosenhouse’s claim that science is the only way of knowing with the standard retort: “How do you know that?” But Rosenhouse could counter this cheap jibe by rephrasing his epistemological claim as an imperative: “Don’t trust claims that there are other, non-scientific ways of knowing!” There’s nothing self-refuting about telling people that.

2. The first thing I want to say in response to Dr. Rosenhouse is that science is not a self-supporting enterprise: there are certain background assumptions that it presupposes. (I’ll list them below.) The next thing I’d like to do is spell out what that entails:

(a) if science is not a self-supporting enterprise, then science can never hope to explain everything, since science is necessarily incapable of explaining what science itself presupposes;

(b) if science is not a self-supporting enterprise, then science cannot possibly be the only way of knowing, since the way in which we know the background assumptions upon which science rests is necessarily different from the way in which we know facts which we discover by applying the scientific method itself: the former mode of knowledge is better described as meta-scientific.

3. The following is a short (but not exhaustive) list of background assumptions about the world, which the scientific method presupposes. Science would be impossible as an enterprise, if the vast majority of scientists did not hold these assumptions:

(a) There exists an external world, which is independent of our human minds: it’s real, regardless of whether we believe in it or not;

(b) Objects in the external world have certain identifying characteristics called dispositions, which scientists are able to investigate;

(c) Objects in the external world behave in accordance with certain mathematical regularities, which we call the laws of Nature, and which tell us how those objects ought to behave;

(d) Scientific induction is reliable: scientists can safely assume that the laws of Nature hold true at all times and places;

(e) Solipsism is false: there exist other embodied agents, with minds of their own;

(f) Communication is possible: scientists are capable of talking to one another, and sharing their observations, as well as their thoughts (or interpretations) relating to those observations;

(g) The senses are reliable, under normal conditions, within their proper domain, which means that scientists are capable of making measurements on an everyday basis;

(h) There exist standard conditions, under which ordinary people (including scientists) are routinely capable of thinking logically, making rational discourse possible;

(i) Scientists are morally responsible for their own actions – in particular, they are responsible for their decision to tell the truth about what they have observed, or to lie about it; and

(j) Scientists should not lie under any circumstances, when doing science.

Science would also collapse as an enterprise, if these background assumptions were not objectively true.

The inclusion of an ethical norm (statement (j)) in my list of background assumptions might raise eyebrows in some quarters. Physicist Frank Tipler argues for its necessity to the scientific endeavor, as follows:

…[A] moment’s reflection will show that the value/fact distinction is difficult to maintain. Consider the hardest of the hard sciences, physics. The real reason that we consider physics to be a hard science and the profession of politics to be a soft science (if we consider it to be a science at all) is that we trust the experimental data produced by the physicists. That is, we assume that physicists have adopted the moral precept Thou shalt not fake data. If this moral precept were not adopted in the sciences, if physicists, for example, were known to fake their results whenever their politics required it, there would be no hard sciences. So clearly, all positive science necessarily is based on normative principles.
(“The Value/Fact Distinction: Coase’s Theorem Unifies Normative and Positive Economics”, January 15, 2007, p. 4.)

Note: Although I referred to agents and their thoughts and obligations, objects and their dispositions, and the laws that objects conform to in their behavior, I took great care not to include any purely metaphysical statements in my list of background assumptions above. All entities referred to in the above list are publicly observable.

4. In addition to the above, there exists a class of statements known as synthetic a priori truths, whose truth we can know without doing any science at all. Some examples:

(a) while causes which generate effects may precede those effects, or be simultaneous with those effects (e.g. a head lying on a pillow, in which it produces an indentation), it is impossible for such causes to come after their effects;

(b) space can have a positive integral number of dimensions (e.g. 1, 2, 3, …), but it cannot have a negative number of dimensions, a fractional number of dimensions, or an imaginary number of dimensions;

(c) the flow of time is objectively real, which means that scientists’ decisions, which are made in time, really do matter in the scheme of things; and

(d) the same object cannot be red all over and green all over, at the same time.

I’m not going to offer a general account of how we know these things without doing any experiments. All I will say is that if you claim to have knowledge of any of these truths, then you have committed yourself to an extra-scientific mode of knowledge.

5. In addition, the scientific enterprise is governed by certain rationality norms, which tell scientists what they should be investigating. Failure to follow these norms is tantamount to committing the sin of intellectual laziness, and is therefore poor science. Some examples of these norms are as follows:

(a) Contingency warrants a scientific explanation: whenever a scientist identifies a non-essential property of some object in the natural world (e.g. an arbitrary numerical value of a constant of Nature), he/she should look for an external explanation of why the object has that property;

(b) Complexity of function warrants a scientific explanation: whenever a scientist identifies a natural object performing a function involving two or more steps, he/she should look for an external explanation of how the object is capable of performing that function;

(c) Complexity of parts warrants a scientific explanation: whenever a scientist identifies a natural object composed of two or more parts, he/she should look for an external explanation of what holds the object together;

(d) Coming-to-be and ceasing-to-be warrant a scientific explanation: whenever a scientist identifies a natural object coming into being, he/she should look for an external cause of the object’s coming-to-be; and the same holds true for a natural object which a scientist observes when it is ceasing to be;

(e) More generally, any question about the natural world which is not obviously nonsensical should be regarded as falling under the purview of science, and the systematic attempt to answer this question, however bizarre it may sound, should be regarded as a legitimate part of the scientific endeavor.

6. In addition to the above, testimonial knowledge (or knowledge based on a reliable source) is a legitimate (non-scientific) way of knowing something. If your geology professor tells you that the age of the Earth is 4.54 billion years, give or take 1%, then you are perfectly entitled to take your professor’s word for it, and to claim that you know that the Earth is that old, because your professor told you so. If your friend, who is widely traveled, tells you that the roads in the center of Sofia, Bulgaria, are covered in yellow brick (as indeed they are), then you are entitled to claim that you know this for a fact, based on what your friend told you. And if a child’s parents, who are a lot older and wiser than she is, tell her to stay away from a particular person because he is a bad character, then the child is epistemically warranted in assuming the same.

7. Testability is a vital ingredient of scientific knowledge, but it is not sufficient to render a claim to knowledge scientific. A person might check the reliability of one of her sources by testing that source; but that does not make her knowledge scientific. St. John tells us to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (1 John 4:1), but this does not refer to scientific knowledge.

8. At the same time, not all knowledge needs to be testable, in order to count as genuine knowledge. For instance, sometimes you can just see, from the expression on someone’s face, that they are telling you the truth; their sincerity is impossible to doubt. If such a person swears to you that they have never harmed or betrayed you, then you have every right to say that you know they are telling the truth.

9. The above-listed sources of knowledge, coupled with the rationality norms listed for science, are all that is needed to provide a warrant for religious claims:

(a) One powerful argument for God’s existence is based on the existence of laws of Nature (written in the language of mathematics) which not only describe how objects actually behave, but also prescribe how those objects ought to behave, pointing to the existence of a Divine Prescriber, Who made those laws. This kind of transcendental argument takes as its starting point a pre-existing epistemic commitment on the part of a scientist, who is committed to the possibility of our being able to know about the external world. The argument then proceeds to show that in order to justify that commitment, one has to invoke a Creative Mind, Who is incapable by nature of deceiving us (i.e. God);

(b) Another type of argument, known as an abductive argument, takes as its starting point some observable state of affairs in the world (e.g. the existence of astronomically improbable configurations of parts performing some complex task, or executing some program), and then argues for an Intelligent Designer as the best explanation of those facts. If it can also be shown that the cosmos itself exhibits fundamental features pointing to its having been designed, then we may infer the existence of a Designer Who is Transcendent as well. In order to justify its conclusion, however, this type of argument appeals to premises based on our past and present observations of intelligent agents, and of unguided natural processes. Probabilistic calculations are then invoked, in order to show that the probability of these state of affairs occurring, given the existence of an intelligent Cause of Nature, is much, much higher than the probability of their occurrence in the absence of such a Cause;

(c) Yet another type of argument appeals to various rationality norms, relating to the kinds of questions scientists should ask. Since (as I argued above) there’s nothing obviously wrong with the question, “Why does the cosmos obtain?”, we should treat it as a legitimate question and look for an answer in a Necessary Cause Who cannot cease to obtain. More recently, Professor Paul Herrick, in his 2009 essay, Job Opening: Creator of the Universe — A Reply to Keith Parsons, has propounded what he calls his Daring Inquiry Principle: when confronted with the existence of some unexplained phenomenon X, it is reasonable to seek an explanation for X, if we can coherently conceive of a state of affairs in which it would not be the case that X exists. Herrick uses his Principle to argue for the legitimacy of inferring the existence of a Necessary Being Who created the cosmos through an act of free choice.

In a similar vein, the other rationality norms I listed above can all be used to construct powerful arguments for the existence of God. The fact that everything we see around us is composed of two or more parts prompts us to look for a Simple Cause of their existence. The fact that observable things possess arbitrary physical properties (as shown by the constants of Nature) points to the existence of a non-arbitrary Cause. The fact that the multiverse itself (according to cosmologist Alex Vilenkin) had a beginning, points to its having had a Cause – and replacing the statement, “The multiverse had a beginning” with the more innocuous statement, “Time has a finite duration” does nothing to obviate the problem either, for we can still legitimately ask why the universe has precisely that duration (since it’s an apparently arbitrary property of the cosmos-as-a-whole).

I have only sketched the arguments for God’s existence here. I explore these arguments in far greater depth in the following posts:

Does scientific knowledge presuppose God? A reply to Carroll, Coyne, Dawkins and Loftus

Is God a good theory? A response to Sean Carroll (Part One)

Is God a good theory? A response to Sean Carroll (Part Two)

Is God a good theory? A response to Sean Carroll (Part Three)

(The last post addresses the problem of evil, and why it isn’t a good argument against the existence of God.)

The conclusion that the God of classical theism exists is not a scientific one, strictly speaking, as such a God is not only physically simple, but also metaphysically simple. In addition, the God of classical theism is not merely free from arbitrary limitations, but also metaphysically infinite: such a God is often described as Being Itself, or Truth Itself, or Love Itself. Science cannot take us that far. Nevertheless, science can take us to a Being beyond this cosmos, as the cosmos (taken as a whole, which is how the science of cosmology takes it) exhibits features which are not self-explanatory, and which therefore require an explanation.

Religious arguments for the truth of this or that religion are not merely based on private revelation and holy texts, as Dr. Rosenhouse maintains. Rather, they are typically based on a very public revelation that is vouchsafed by large numbers of eyewitnesses who attest to having seen it. In that case, the credibility of the religious claim can be assessed by performing Bayesian logic on the testimony itself, as well as any supporting documents (manuscripts containing records of that testimony). In addition, a prior probability needs to be assigned for the supernatural claim in question e.g. a resurrection form the dead). The prior probability should not be assigned a zero value; nor should it be assigned an infinitesimal value (as that would violate Cromwell’s rule, which states that only statements that are logically true – e.g. No bachelor is married – or logically false – e.g. Tom is married and single – should be assigned a prior probability of 0 or 1).

A more sensible value for the prior probability of a miracle can be computed by following Laplace’s famous analysis of the Sunrise Problem, which would mean, for instance, that the prior probability of a resurrection from the dead is around 1 in 100 billion (the total number of individuals who have ever lived). In Chapter X of his Ninth Bridgewater Treatise (2nd ed., London, 1838; digitized for the Victorian Web by Dr. John van Wyhe and proof-read by George P. Landow), which is titled, On Hume’s Argument against Miracles, the nineteenth century mathematician Charles Babbage demonstrates that the testimony of even a small number of independent eyewitnesses is sufficient to overcome Hume’s daunting odds against the occurrence of a miracle. In Chapter XIII, he calculates the number of individuals who have ever lived to be 200 billion (which is about double the modern estimate), and goes on to discuss Hume’s example of a man being raised to life. Babbage concludes that we can indeed know that such events took place in the past.

In recent years, the philosophers Tim and Lydia McGrew have written an excellent article on the evidence for the Resurrection. The best critique of their article is an online essay by Jesse Parrish, who has a great deal of respect for the McGrews, but doesn’t think that their argument quite works. (I’ll be writing a post of my own on miracles in the near future.)

Arguments for the truth of a holy text are another matter. Such arguments can only rely on the strength of testimonial knowledge. If, for instance, the subject of a miraculous claim were to testify that some book was inspired, and if this testimony were followed by a miracle, then one could reasonably take that sign as constituting powerful evidence that the statements made in the book in question were actually true. And if the statements made in that text were quite clearly at odds with the best science of the day, then it would still be rationally prudent to believe the text over the scientific claims, as the Source validating the claims in the text is a Transcendent Being, Who presumably has access to far more reliable information about the cosmos than that currently possessed by our best scientists.

In other words, belief in a young Earth is not necessarily irrational. Nevertheless, it requires a lot of conditions to be satisfied, to make it epistemically warranted. The reason why I’m personally not a young Earth creationist is that I don’t think it’s at all clear that those conditions have been met. Nevertheless, I can understand why someone might be.

10. Dr. Rosenhouse is very alarmed at the damage done to science by the stranglehold of religious claims, which can choke its progress. He is especially critical of the attitude to science shown by the Church in the Middle Ages, where natural science was treated as the handmaid of theology, the queen of the sciences:

…[T]hat attitude is practically the definition of anti-science, at least as we understand that term today. They did not believe that nature should be studied solely by natural means, or that we should follow evidence wherever it leads, or that we should test our beliefs against evidence. Rather, they believed that science was valuable only insofar as it served religious ends, and if it strayed into areas on which the Church had taken a stand that it had to be stopped. Ruthlessly, if need be…

Galileo was a threat to the Church because he suggested that science, and not scripture, should be how we learn about nature. The Church saw this as a threat to its power by challenging its claims to religious authority, so they came down on him. Hard. If you don’t see that as a conflict between science and religion, then you need to rethink your definitions.

St. Thomas Aquinas did indeed speak of sacred doctrine (or theology) as a science, and as being nobler than the other sciences. But this tells only half the story. The term “science” at that time referred to any branch of knowledge, and it did not acquire its modern meaning until the early nineteenth century, under the influence of William Whewell, John Herschel, Charles Babbage and Richard Jones.

Regarding the interpretation of Scripture, what both St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas maintained was that one should hold the truth of Scripture without wavering, but that since Scripture can be explained in multiple senses, one should be ready to abandon a particular interpretation of Scripture, if it be proved with certainty to be false, lest Scripture be exposed to the ridicule of unbelievers. Augustine laid down these exegetical principles in his De Genesi ad Litteram, Book I, chapter 19, paragraphs 38-39, a commentary on the opening chapters of Genesis. Aquinas cited these principles in his Simma Theologica, I, q. 68, art. 1.

Where Galileo did part company with Augustine and Aquinas was in maintaining that the authority of the Bible is effectively limited to matters with which the natural sciences cannot deal, making science and religion two independent domains of knowledge. Dr. Gregory Dawes has described Galileo’s exegetical position in an illuminating article entitled, Could there be another Galileo case? Galileo, Augustine and Vatican II. What Galileo upheld was an early version of Stephen Jay Gould’s NOMA – and it was unworkable for exactly the same reason. Whether we like it or not, religion does have things to say about the “Big Questions” (Whence came we? What are we? Whither go we?) which have empirical implications. For instance, when the Nicene Creed describes God as “maker of Heaven and earth,” then it obviously places itself in a position of potential conflict with science: if science were to show that the universe had no beginning, then God could still be its Sustainer, but not its Maker. To require religion to forego making such empirical claims is to effectively emasculate it, and confine it to the domain of purely spiritual (other-worldly) affairs. Religion confined in this way is but a shadow of its former self. It is incapable of transforming the way in which we live: it no longer provides an all-embracing worldview, as it leaves out the material universe.

Galileo’s problem was that by the standards of Augustine and Aquinas, the evidence marshaled he had for his heliocentric theory fell a long way short of “proof.” Physics was still in a very primitive state – Newton was born in 1642, the year Galileo died, and his Principia wasn’t published until 1687 – and it would take another two centuries before stellar parallax was observed by Bessel in 1838. Had Galileo been able to provide these proofs, the Inquisition would have been forced to back down; instead, they made a very bad decision based on their faulty, very rigid interpretation of some poetical passages in Scripture, such as Psalm 104:5, which (properly translated) does not speak of the Earth as never being moved, but as never faltering.

But if Dr. Rosenhouse can’t get the bad taste of the Galileo episode out of his head, then I would urge him to have a look at the progress of science in England, from the year 1660 (when the Royal Society of London was founded under King Charles II, with the motto, “Nullius in verba,” or “Take nobody’s word for it”) to the year 1865, when Maxwell’s equations were published. During that time, science flourished as never before in human history, and the spirit of intellectual inquiry was free and untrammeled. And yet the vast majority of scientists during this period were devout Christians. Does Dr. Rosenhouse seriously want to argue that these scientists’ Christianity impeded their scientific discovery-making? Did Victorian England hamper even the work of scientists such as Charles Darwin, whose Origin of Species ushered in a period of tension between science and religion on human origins? No; he was always at full liberty to pursue his research. When I look back at the intellectual freedom of the nineteenth century, I cannot help but contrast this liberty with the stifling political correctness of the modern era, when it is impossible to publicly doubt Darwin’s theory, or the latest IPCC climate projections, without being assailed as a “denier.”

And that brings me to my final point, which is that secular humanism keeps science in a straitjacket, by failing to ask the really hard questions that scientists ought to be asking. Instead of asking, “What is a law of Nature? Why do we have the laws of Nature that we do?”, secular scientists are likely to stop their train of intellectual inquiry at a nice, neat-looking “brute fact”: maybe an equation that fits on the back of a T-shirt. “This is as far as science can go,” they’ll say. And in the process, science will be horribly stunted.

Ask yourself which attitude is really more harmful to science: the view that the whole of Creation is a manifestation of the Mind of God, Who wants His intelligent creatures (human beings) to understand as much as possible about His plan for creation, or the view that we are the product of four billion years of evolution from slime, that our brains are kluges that can’t be trusted to think straight, and that scientists’ inadequate theories will always have to be revised, but should nonetheless be accepted with Gospel fervor whenever the politics of the day demands it?

Dr. Rosenhouse should be careful what he wishes for: he just might get what he wants.

Barb: Spot on, cf. here on in context. Pistis -- the term translated as Faith in the NT -- is in fact the classic term for proof in rhetoric. A definite facet of its sense in the NT is soundly arrived at conviction and trust, in a context of a tradition of testimony by reliable witnesses, as can be seen here:
2 Tim 3:14 But as for you, continue to hold to the things that you have learned and of which you are convinced [--> epistothes, rooted in the word for "faith"], knowing from whom you learned [them], 15 And how from your childhood you have had a knowledge of and been acquainted with the sacred Writings, which are able to instruct you and give you the understanding for salvation which comes through faith [--> pisteos, same basic term] in Christ Jesus [through the [b]leaning of the entire human personality on God in Christ Jesus in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness --> AMP's explicatory parenthesis, summed up as: confident, well founded trust in and surrender to God]. 16 Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action), 17 So that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work. [AMP]
In fact, we all must, as finite, fallible, intellectually and morally struggling, too often ill-willed creatures, repose trust somewhere; especially in the foundations of our worldviews. The question is, in what, why, how soundly? Where is is easy to see that evolutionary materialism -- never mind the lab coat -- is self-referentially incoherent, lacking capacity to ground the credible, knowing, reasoning mind. In a nutshell, blind forces tracing to chance and necessity simply do not have the requisite capability. KF kairosfocus
Graham posits a question: "Can I help what I believe?" The answer, from me, would be: "I would certainly hope so." Philosophy professor John Chaffee's book Thinking Critically illustrates differing levels of belief, from questioning everything (hyperskepticism) to guillibly accepting everything. I'd like to think that Graham can use basic critical thinking skills to evaluate what he believes and why he believes it. Are his beliefs based on factual or anecdotal evidence? Are his beliefs falsifiable? Do his beliefs conform to reality? Are they supported by sound reasons? I have stated this before,and I'll repeat it here: faith is not the same as credulity. It simply is not, no matter how many atheists believe that it is. Faith in God comes from an examination of the evidence, as Paul mentions in his letters, and not in spite of the lack of evidence, as some may think. Barb
G2 "So, after long consideration, I have decided that I dont believe in gods." Have you tried praying to Jesus and asking Him for the revelation you seek? There are many people who have had a direct revelation and have come to a personal knowledge in Christ by seeking Him. Chalciss
I'd like to propose a new thread title. Not Even Wrong: Why Science Doesn't Even Pretend to Be Truth (Much Less, A Way of Knowing) Mung
Yes Axel, if reasoning were the result of tantrums and pouting we would be in big trouble! :) bornagain77
So, after long consideration, I have decided that I dont believe in gods.
Here are some questions to ask yourself in private: - If God interacted with me in some personal way, would I be willing to trust God's plan for me and would I be willing to obey God's teachings, whatever it might entail? - In what ways would I expect that my life might change if that happened? Would such changes be a good thing in my life? - How could God interact with me that would be non-coercive, so I'd still have my free will? From my personal experience, I believe that God can and will initiate a relationship with you, but only if you'd like to have God in your life, and you make a sincere request.
Now, do you think Im off to hell ?
I suspect that some people actually prefer hell so they don't have to live in God's presence. It's up to you, but why go there if you don't have to? -Q Querius
'“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)' bornagain77, when I read your above quote of C S Lewis, up-thread, (although not for the first time), and others both by him and by G K Chesterton, and I compare them with the fatuous, infantile jibes of truculent atheists on these boards, I find it difficult to comprehend how such an intellectual gulf could exist between them. It doesn't seem like eminent Christian academics arguing with their atheist-academic peers, but, rather, the former, arguing with primary-school children. When they are not reducing the Christian faith to belief in an old man in the sky with a long beard, unicorns, pink pixies, etc, the more putatively intellectual, atheist apologists contend that God must be nasty to allow suffering in the world, so they won't believe in him - implicitly, therefore, on principle!!! You couldn't make it up. More examples? Think of Dawkins' non-plussed expression, as he wondered why an audience laughed, when he spoke about describing nothing. And then GK Chesterton's dictum: "It is absurd for the Evolutionist to complain that it is unthinkable for an admittedly unthinkable God to make everything out of nothing, and then pretend that it is more thinkable that nothing should turn itself into anything." Bear in mind that both those withering quotes from Lewis and Chesterton, respectively, are matters of the simplest, most incontestable logic. But for atheists, logic is supererogatory. The use of such simple logic against atheists to such crushing effect is akin to jiu-jitsu, the damage being done by manipulating the opponent's force against himself rather than confronting it with one's own force. They say the craziest things. But such madness is so prevalent in our secular post-Christian society, it sometimes takes a Lewis or a Chesterton to spot it among all the other madness, as a wonderful standard bearer for atheism. Axel
In spite of the fact that you refuse to be honest to the fact that reason itself demands a transcendent component to our make-up, I already answered your question: 58 https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/why-science-cannot-be-the-only-way-of-knowing-a-reply-to-jason-rosenhouse/#comment-493871 61 https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/why-science-cannot-be-the-only-way-of-knowing-a-reply-to-jason-rosenhouse/#comment-493875 But if you refuse to be honest at the most basic level of admitting you possess free will then what does it really matter what I believe Graham2? (assuming that there really is such a person as Graama2 to talk to of course! :) ) bornagain77
BA77: I will have one more go, then give up. I am asking you a simple question that should have a YES/NO answer. I may be completely deluded, I will even accept that for the sake of argument, but at the end I have to go one way (up or down). I am asking you which way you think Im headed. I realise you dont know all my circumstances (I may eat babies on my days off), but based on what you know, do you think Im headed for hell ? Graham2
:) And exactly who is this 'I' who may or may not go to hell since Graham2 does not believe in the 'I', i.e. personhood, of Graham2? 7.) The argument from enduring 1. If naturalism is true, I do not endure for two moments of time. 2. I have been sitting here for more than a minute. 3. Therefore naturalism is not true. bornagain77
BA77: OK, I sound incoherent to you, lets take that as given, my question remains: do you think Im off to hell ? Graham2
Graham2 you claim: "I have decided that I dont believe in gods." But exactly who is this is this 'I' that freely decided not to believe in gods? Did not you just say that there is no transcendent component to your being so as to go against whatever your brain may dictate to you to believe? You can't have your cake and eat it too! bornagain77
BA77: Whatever the mechanism behind it, the fact remains that I believe some things, and not others. If the foundation of these is material or not is not my point, the fact remains that I dont seem to be able to change my beliefs. Sure, on deeper reflection, study, etc I may (and have) changed some beliefs, but at the end of the process if I believe something, how can I make myself 'not believe' ? I dont understand that concept. So, after long consideration, I have decided that I dont believe in gods. Now, do you think Im off to hell ? Graham2
Can I help what I believe ?
Exactly, that is the question. What say ye? As a materialist you must hold that you have no choice to believe anything save for what your brain dictates to you to believe. You are merely a helpless victim of your 'random' thoughts. Is your belief true though? I hold not only is your belief completely absurd and irrational but that your belief is also demonstrably false by our latest science:
Can quantum theory be improved? - July 23, 2012 Excerpt: Being correct 50% of the time when calling heads or tails on a coin toss won’t impress anyone. So when quantum theory predicts that an entangled particle will reach one of two detectors with just a 50% probability, many physicists have naturally sought better predictions. The predictive power of quantum theory is, in this case, equal to a random guess. Building on nearly a century of investigative work on this topic, a team of physicists has recently performed an experiment whose results show that, despite its imperfections, quantum theory still seems to be the optimal way to predict measurement outcomes., However, in the new paper, the physicists have experimentally demonstrated that there cannot exist any alternative theory that increases the predictive probability of quantum theory by more than 0.165, with the only assumption being that measurement (*conscious observation) parameters can be chosen independently (free choice/free will assumption) of the other parameters of the theory.,,, ,, the experimental results provide the tightest constraints yet on alternatives to quantum theory. The findings imply that quantum theory is close to optimal in terms of its predictive power, even when the predictions are completely random. http://phys.org/news/2012-07-quantum-theory.html *What does the term "measurement" mean in quantum mechanics? "Measurement" or "observation" in a quantum mechanics context are really just other ways of saying that the observer is interacting with the quantum system and measuring the result in toto.
It was shown in the paper that one cannot ever improve the predictive power of quantum mechanics, our best theory in science, by ever removing free will as a starting assumption (Axiom) in Quantum Mechanics!
What Does Quantum Physics Have to Do with Free Will? - By Antoine Suarez - July 22, 2013 Excerpt: What is more, recent experiments are bringing to light that the experimenter’s free will and consciousness should be considered axioms (founding principles) of standard quantum physics theory. So for instance, in experiments involving “entanglement” (the phenomenon Einstein called “spooky action at a distance”), to conclude that quantum correlations of two particles are nonlocal (i.e. cannot be explained by signals traveling at velocity less than or equal to the speed of light), it is crucial to assume that the experimenter can make free choices, and is not constrained in what orientation he/she sets the measuring devices. To understand these implications it is crucial to be aware that quantum physics is not only a description of the material and visible world around us, but also speaks about non-material influences coming from outside the space-time.,,, https://www.bigquestionsonline.com/content/what-does-quantum-physics-have-do-free-will Free will and nonlocality at detection: Basic principles of quantum physics – Antoine Suarez – video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhMrrmlTXl4 How Free Will Works (In Quantum Mechanics) – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMp30Q8OGOE
In the following experiment, the claim that past material states determine future conscious choices (determinism) is directly falsified by the fact that present conscious choices are, in fact, effecting past material states:
Quantum physics mimics spooky action into the past – April 23, 2012 Excerpt: The authors experimentally realized a "Gedankenexperiment" called "delayed-choice entanglement swapping", formulated by Asher Peres in the year 2000. Two pairs of entangled photons are produced, and one photon from each pair is sent to a party called Victor. Of the two remaining photons, one photon is sent to the party Alice and one is sent to the party Bob. Victor can now choose between two kinds of measurements. If he decides to measure his two photons in a way such that they are forced to be in an entangled state, then also Alice's and Bob's photon pair becomes entangled. If Victor chooses to measure his particles individually, Alice's and Bob's photon pair ends up in a separable state. Modern quantum optics technology allowed the team to delay Victor's choice and measurement with respect to the measurements which Alice and Bob perform on their photons. "We found that whether Alice's and Bob's photons are entangled and show quantum correlations or are separable and show classical correlations can be decided after they have been measured", explains Xiao-song Ma, lead author of the study. According to the famous words of Albert Einstein, the effects of quantum entanglement appear as "spooky action at a distance". The recent experiment has gone one remarkable step further. "Within a naïve classical world view, quantum mechanics can even mimic an influence of future actions on past events", says Anton Zeilinger. http://phys.org/news/2012-04-quantum-physics-mimics-spooky-action.html
You can see a more complete explanation of the startling results of the experiment at the 9:11 minute mark of the following video
Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser Experiment Explained - 2014 video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6HLjpj4Nt4 "If we attempt to attribute an objective meaning to the quantum state of a single system, curious paradoxes appear: quantum effects mimic not only instantaneous action-at-a-distance but also, as seen here, influence of future actions on past events, even after these events have been irrevocably recorded." Asher Peres, Delayed choice for entanglement swapping. J. Mod. Opt. 47, 139-143 (2000).
In other words, if my conscious choices really are just merely the result of whatever state the material particles in my brain happen to be in in the past (deterministic) how in blue blazes are my free will choices instantaneously effecting the state of material particles into the past? This experiment is simply impossible for materialism to explain! Here is another experiment along the same line that shows an observer can choose to 'steer' a particle into a desired state:
Steering by peeking: Physicists control quantum particles by looking at them - Feb 17, 2014 Excerpt: By varying the strength of the coupling between the nucleus and the electron, the scientists could carefully tune the measurement strength. A weaker measurement reveals less information, but also has less back-action. An analysis of the nuclear spin after such a weak measurement showed that the nuclear spin remained in a (slightly altered) superposition of two states. In this way, the scientists verified that the change of the state (induced by the back-action) precisely matched the amount of information that was gained by the measurement. Steering by peeking The scientists realised that it is possible to steer the nuclear spin by applying sequential measurements with varying measurement strength. Since the outcome of a measurement is not known in advance, the researchers implemented a feedback loop in the experiment. They chose the strength of the second measurement depending on the outcome of the first measurement. In this way the scientists could steer the nucleus towards a desired superposition state,,,, http://phys.org/news/2014-02-peeking-physicists-quantum-particles.html
In other words, if you don't like that the cat might be dead (nucleus pointing down), you back off the strength of your measurement until you get a reading telling you that the cat might be more alive than dead (nucleus pointing up) and then once you get that reading you increase the strength of the measurement, as long as the measurement continues to give you your desired more alive than dead state, until you finally have complete knowledge that the cat is fully alive (nucleus pointing up). The preceding experiment is obviously another strong confirmation of free will's axiomatic position within quantum mechanics, and is inexplicable for materialism: Verse and Music:
Deuteronomy 30:19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live Michael W. Smith - You Won't Let Go LIVE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNZusL1OHG4
Graham continues,
So, in summary, modern science doesnt respect god as the creator. If it did, it would then acknowledge that mathematical formulae and the priodic table (at least) are created by god. Have I got it ?
No, as evidenced by your straw man argument above. From the article "Can A Realist Believe in God?" [Awake!, September 8, 1982]: The apostle Paul developed a powerful argument that has led many realists to believe in God. He said: “[God’s] invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship.” (Romans 1:20) Paul could see the beauties of creation, the wondrous variety of life and the awesome starry heavens, and in them discern some of the qualities of the one who created them. Modern science helps us to see how intricately designed natural things are, what power and wisdom were necessary to bring them into existence. Hence, in some ways the natural world today gives an even more powerful witness to the existence of God. True, there are some who reject this reasoning. But what alternative explanation do they have for the order that exists in the natural world? Regarding just one small aspect of that order, the protein molecules, science author Rutherford Platt wrote: “The chance of carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen atoms, as well as phosphorus and a constellation of metallic elements, coming together in the right proportions, under the right conditions, can be likened to the chance that a pack of cards, flung in the air, will fall to the table with all the suits in sequence—virtually impossible, even though the cards were tossed in the air every second without pause through history.” The author goes on to say that he, nevertheless, believes that proteins came about like that—by chance. But, surely, a realistic person, on finding a deck of cards all harmoniously laid out on a table in their proper suits, would realize that someone had carefully put them there. Is it unrealistic to come to the same conclusion when observing the beautiful harmony in nature? Intellectuals, such as Rutherford Platt, doubtless feel compelled to accept a naturalistic, or non-divine, explanation for things—in spite of the evidence—because that is the kind of reasoning that is acceptable today. Even scientists who believe in God would find it difficult to credit him as the direct cause of things in their scientific writings. This is the intellectual fashion. But is it realistic to allow our view of matters to be dictated by the intellectual fashion? Fashions change. The existence of God is too serious a matter to be dependent on things like fashions. Barb
Science cannot be the only way of knowing all there is to "know". Science is one field of study and there are various other fields of study and knowledge. Science can never answer the deeper "life" questions such as the meaning, purpose, ethics and the like. Great posts by BA77. Why are people consumed by the question 'am I going to hell?' it is almost as if they know the answer to the question and would like their answer to be validated. Wouldn't it be better to ask oneself 'am I going to heaven?' :) Chalciss
BA77: Can I help what I believe ? I just believe it. So, given that, am I off to hell ? Graham2
G2 "I dont believe I have a ‘transcendent’ anything" Really??? Why, pray tell, do you try to convince others, using the transcendent entity of information, that your arguments are valid if you hold that consequent reasoning is merely illusory? It is a bit like me trying to tell the wind to do other than what it does is it not?
Algorithmic Information Theory, Free Will and the Turing Test - Douglas S. Robertson Excerpt: For example, the famous “Turing test” for artificial intelligence could be defeated by simply asking for a new axiom in mathematics. Human mathematicians are able to create axioms, but a computer program cannot do this without violating information conservation. Creating new axioms and free will are shown to be different aspects of the same phenomena: the creation of new information. http://cires.colorado.edu/~doug/philosophy/info8.pdf Physicalism and Reason - May 2013 Summary: So we find ourselves affirming two contradictory propositions: 1. Everything is governed by cause-and-effect. 2. Our brains can process and be changed by ground-consequent logical relationships. To achieve consistency, we must either deny that everything is governed by cause-and-effect, and open our worldviews to something beyond physicalism, or we must deny that our brains are influenced by ground-consequence reasoning, and abandon the idea that we are rational creatures. Ask yourself: are humans like falling dominoes, entirely subject to natural law, or may we stand up and walk in the direction that reason shows us? http://www.reasonsforgod.org/2012/09/physicalism-and-reason/ Sam Harris's Free Will: The Medial Pre-Frontal Cortex Did It - Martin Cothran - November 9, 2012 Excerpt: There is something ironic about the position of thinkers like Harris on issues like this: they claim that their position is the result of the irresistible necessity of logic (in fact, they pride themselves on their logic). Their belief is the consequent, in a ground/consequent relation between their evidence and their conclusion. But their very stated position is that any mental state -- including their position on this issue -- is the effect of a physical, not logical cause. By their own logic, it isn't logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/11/sam_harriss_fre066221.html
And that is but a mere foretaste of the insanity that the atheistic worldview entails:
Is Metaphysical Naturalism Viable? - William Lane Craig - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzS_CQnmoLQ 1.) Argument from intentionality 1. If naturalism is true, I cannot think about anything. 2. I am thinking about naturalism. 3. Therefore naturalism is not true. 2.) The argument from meaning 1. If naturalism is true, no sentence has any meaning. 2. Premise (1) has meaning. 3. Therefore naturalism is not true. 3.) The argument from truth 1. If naturalism is true, there are no true sentences. 2. Premise (1) is true. 3. Therefore naturalism is not true. 4.) The argument from moral blame and praise 1. If naturalism is true, I am not morally praiseworthy or blameworthy for any of my actions. 2. I am morally praiseworthy or blameworthy for some of my actions. 3. Therefore naturalism is not true. 5.) Argument from freedom 1. If naturalism is true, I do not do anything freely. 2. I am free to agree or disagree with premise (1). 3. Therefore naturalism is not true. 6.) The argument from purpose 1. If naturalism is true, I do not plan to do anything. 2. I (Dr. Craig) planned to come to tonight's debate. 3. Therefore naturalism is not true. 7.) The argument from enduring 1. If naturalism is true, I do not endure for two moments of time. 2. I have been sitting here for more than a minute. 3. Therefore naturalism is not true. 8.) The argument from personal existence 1. If naturalism is true, I do not exist. 2. I do exist! 3. Therefore naturalism is not true. 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/existential-argument-atheism/
BA77: supposing that you do believe that you have a transcendent component to your being ... No, I dont believe I have a 'transcendent' anything. Does this mean Im destined for hell ? Am I to be consumed forever by fire ? Graham2
Using the New World Translation Against Jehovah's Witness Theology http://www.jashow.org/wiki/index.php?title=Using_the_New_World_Translation_Against_Jehovah%27s_Witness_Theology bornagain77
As to the veracity of NDE's being 'real' instead of, ahem, 'postmortem confabulations', why don't we look at what the empirical evidence itself says instead of relying on someone's opinion of NDE's???:
The Day I Died - Part 4 of 6 - The Extremely 'Monitored' Near Death Experience of Pam Reynolds - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4045560
The following is on par with Pam Reynolds Near Death Experience. In the following video, Dr. Lloyd Rudy, a pioneer of cardiac surgery, tells stories of two patients who came back to life after being declared dead, and what they told him about what they saw while they were out of their temporal bodies.
Famous Cardiac Surgeon’s Stories of Near Death Experiences in Surgery http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JL1oDuvQR08
Here are the opinions of two Doctors who have extensively studied NDE's
The Scientific Evidence for Near Death Experiences - Dr Jeffrey Long - Melvin Morse M.D. - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4454627 Dr. Jeffrey Long: Just how strong is the evidence for a afterlife? - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mptGAc3XWPs
Moreover, it is interesting to note how the empirical evidence for NDE's compares to the evidence for Darwinian evolution:
Near-Death Experiences: Putting a Darwinist's Evidentiary Standards to the Test - Dr. Michael Egnor - October 15, 2012 Excerpt: Indeed, about 20 percent of NDE's are corroborated, which means that there are independent ways of checking about the veracity of the experience. The patients knew of things that they could not have known except by extraordinary perception -- such as describing details of surgery that they watched while their heart was stopped, etc. Additionally, many NDE's have a vividness and a sense of intense reality that one does not generally encounter in dreams or hallucinations.,,, The most "parsimonious" explanation -- the simplest scientific explanation -- is that the (Near Death) experience was real. Tens of millions of people have had such experiences. That is tens of millions of more times than we have observed the origin of species (or origin of life), which is never.,,, The materialist reaction, in short, is unscientific and close-minded. NDE's show fellows like Coyne at their sneering unscientific irrational worst. Somebody finds a crushed fragment of a fossil and it's earth-shaking evidence. Tens of million of people have life-changing spiritual experiences and it's all a big yawn. Note: Dr. Egnor is professor and vice-chairman of neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/10/near_death_expe_1065301.html "A recent analysis of several hundred cases showed that 48% of near-death experiencers reported seeing their physical bodies from a different visual perspective. Many of them also reported witnessing events going on in the vicinity of their body, such as the attempts of medical personnel to resuscitate them (Kelly et al., 2007)." Kelly, E. W., Greyson, B., & Kelly, E. F. (2007). Unusual experiences near death and related phenomena. In E. F. Kelly, E. W. Kelly, A. Crabtree, A. Gauld, M. Grosso, & B. Greyson, Irreducible mind (pp. 367-421). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. Facts about NDEs - video clip on the site Excerpt: In 1982 a Gallup poll estimated that 8 million Americans have had a near-death experience and a more resent study, a US News & World Report in March of 1997, found that 15 million have had the experience. -per NDE Light
Another piece of evidence that argues very strongly against any type of materialistic explanation for Near death Experiences is what are termed 'Shared Death Experience'. A 'Shared Death Experience' is an experience in which a loved one, though not terminally ill, is caught up into part of the Near Death Experience as a loved one passes on:
Dr. Raymond Moody on Shared Death Experiences - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-ihzzYjqeE
It is very interesting to note that even though the researcher(s) in this following study found evidence directly contradicting what he (they) had expected to find, that he was/is so wedded to the materialistic/naturalistic view of reality, the view of “I’ am my body”, that it seemed sadly impossible for him (one of the primary researchers) to even conceive of the fact that he may be wrong in his naturalistic presupposition, and to even admit to the possibility that NDE's are real, i.e. to the “I’ am a soul distinct from my body” view of reality.
'Afterlife' feels 'even more real than real,' researcher says - Wed April 10, 2013 Excerpt: "If you use this questionnaire ... if the memory is real, it's richer, and if the memory is recent, it's richer," he said. The coma scientists weren't expecting what the tests revealed. "To our surprise, NDEs were much richer than any imagined event or any real event of these coma survivors," Laureys reported. The memories of these experiences beat all other memories, hands down, for their vivid sense of reality. "The difference was so vast," he said with a sense of astonishment. Even if the patient had the experience a long time ago, its memory was as rich "as though it was yesterday," Laureys said. http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/09/health/belgium-near-death-experiences/
Throw on top of that the finding of 'non-local', beyond space and time, quantum entanglement in the body (Stuart Hameroff), then a solid case appears that NDE's are indeed trustworthy as to their overall veracity (and are definitely far more trustworthy than Darwinian explanations are). Of related interest, in this following video, although the girl in the video was written off as hopelessly retarded by almost everyone who saw her outside appearance, except by her loving father, reveals that there was/is indeed a gentle intelligence, a “me”, a “soul", within the girl that was/is trapped within her body. A “me” that was/is unable to express herself properly to others because of her neurological disorder effecting her body.
Severely Handicapped Girl Suddenly Expresses Intelligence At Age 11 – very moving video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNZVV4Ciccg Carly’s Café – Experience Autism Through Carly’s Eyes – video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmDGvquzn2k
Luke 23:43 Jesus answered him, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise."
@ba77: The article you quote concludes:
The Thai cases support the idea that NDEs are postmortem confabulations occurring within specific cultural contexts.
@Graham2: Hell is just a state of being perished. There's no fire and no torture. You're just dead, you don't feel anything. It's like not being born. Further readings: - What Did Jesus Teach About Hell? - Hell - What Really Is Hell JWTruthInLove
My apologies, Graham. That was not the time (when you'd asked BA a serious question) for a put-down against your trash-talking about the immaterial - the substrate beneath all of God's Creation. You did get a superlative answer to your question. Axel
I think it's QM that gives Graham and his dirt-worshipping confreres the screaming horrors. There not being a sky for the "unicorns 'n' stuff" in QM to link to. However infantile, "in the sky" was such an evocative slur. "Pie in the sky".... 'cep the "pie" could not be more fundamentally earthy; and worse..., simultaneously ethereal. Axel
Graham2, I noticed you did not answer my question to you about whether or not you believe you have a transcendent mind that is able to reason in the first place. It is hard to reason with someone who denies he has the ability to reason in the first place! Thus why should I answer your question when you refuse to honestly address my question? But anyways, overlooking all that and supposing that you do believe that you have a transcendent component to your being that lives past the death of your temporal body, i.e. that you have a eternal mind/soul, it is not about your mind/soul personally being good enough to go to heaven. It is about imperfect humans beings being able to dwell in the perfect presence of a infinitely just and holy God.
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) http://saddleback.com/mc/m/5e22f/
i.e. To those without the 'propitiation' of Christ to enable them to dwell in the presence of God's infinite perfection, holiness, and goodness, God will be as a 'consuming fire', utterly destroying that which is 'unholy', i.e. forever destroying that which is 'imperfect', instead of God being a source of infinite goodness and joy to that person.
Consuming Fire? http://www.gotquestions.org/consuming-fire.html G.O.S.P.E.L. – (the grace of propitiation) poetry slam – video https://vimeo.com/20960385 Falling Plates (the grace of propitiation) - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGlx11BxF24
Of related note to trying to be 'good enough' to go to heaven, all mortal humans have sinned and fall short of the glory of God:
Benjamin Franklin’s Pursuit of the Virtuous Life - 2008 Excerpt: ,,at the age of 20, Ben Franklin set his loftiest goal: the attainment of moral perfection. "I conceiv’d the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection. I wish’d to live without committing any fault at any time; I would conquer all that either natural inclination, custom, or company might lead me into." In order to accomplish his goal, Franklin developed and committed himself to a personal improvement program that consisted of living 13 virtues. (He failed to arrive at moral perfection):,,, "Tho’ I never arrived at the perfection I had been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet I was, by the endeavour, a better and a happier man than I otherwise should have been if I had not attempted it." http://www.artofmanliness.com/2008/02/24/lessons-in-manliness-benjamin-franklins-pursuit-of-the-virtuous-life/
Verse, quote, and music:
John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. The Easter Question - Eben Alexander, M.D. - March 2013 Excerpt: More than ever since my near death experience, I consider myself a Christian -,,, Now, I can tell you that if someone had asked me, in the days before my NDE, what I thought of this (Easter) story, I would have said that it was lovely. But it remained just that -- a story. To say that the physical body of a man who had been brutally tortured and killed could simply get up and return to the world a few days later is to contradict every fact we know about the universe. It wasn't simply an unscientific idea. It was a downright anti-scientific one. But it is an idea that I now believe. Not in a lip-service way. Not in a dress-up-it's-Easter kind of way. I believe it with all my heart, and all my soul.,, We are, really and truly, made in God's image. But most of the time we are sadly unaware of this fact. We are unconscious both of our intimate kinship with God, and of His constant presence with us. On the level of our everyday consciousness, this is a world of separation -- one where people and objects move about, occasionally interacting with each other, but where essentially we are always alone. But this cold dead world of separate objects is an illusion. It's not the world we actually live in.,,, ,,He (God) is right here with each of us right now, seeing what we see, suffering what we suffer... and hoping desperately that we will keep our hope and faith in Him. Because that hope and faith will be triumphant. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eben-alexander-md/the-easter-question_b_2979741.html Kutless - Take Me In (Holy Of Holies) – music http://www.metacafe.com/w/4716801
Supplemental note: All foreign, non-Judeo-Christian culture, NDE studies I have looked at have a extreme rarity of encounters with 'The Being Of Light' and tend to be very unpleasant NDE's save for the few pleasant children's NDEs of those cultures that I've seen (It seems there is indeed an 'age of accountability'). The following study was shocking for what was found in some non-Judeo-Christian NDE's:
Near-Death Experiences in Thailand - Todd Murphy: Excerpt:The Light seems to be absent in Thai NDEs. So is the profound positive affect found in so many Western NDEs. The most common affect in our collection is negative. Unlike the negative affect in so many Western NDEs (cf. Greyson & Bush, 1992), that found in Thai NDEs (in all but case #11) has two recognizable causes. The first is fear of 'going'. The second is horror and fear of hell. It is worth noting that although half of our collection include seeing hell (cases 2,6,7,9,10) and being forced to witness horrific tortures, not one includes the NDEer having been subjected to these torments themselves. http://www.shaktitechnology.com/thaindes.htm Near Death Experience Thailand Asia - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8M5J3zWG5g
BAQ77: What, exactly, have I done wrong ? Im not a bad person, I dont harm others. I think the god stuff is nonsense, but surely non-believers can get to heaven ? cant they ? Graham2
In light of this dilemma that the two very different eternities present to us spiritually minded people, and the fact that Gravity is, in so far as we can tell, completely incompatible with Quantum Mechanics, it is interesting to point out a subtle nuance on the Shroud of Turin. Namely that Gravity was overcome in the resurrection event of Christ:
Particle Radiation from the Body – July 2012 – M. Antonacci, A. C. Lind Excerpt: The Shroud’s frontal and dorsal body images are encoded with the same amount of intensity, independent of any pressure or weight from the body. The bottom part of the cloth (containing the dorsal image) would have born all the weight of the man’s supine body, yet the dorsal image is not encoded with a greater amount of intensity than the frontal image. Radiation coming from the body would not only explain this feature, but also the left/right and light/dark reversals found on the cloth’s frontal and dorsal body images. http://www.academicjournals.org/sre/PDF/pdf2012/30JulSpeIss/Antonacci.pdf A Quantum Hologram of Christ’s Resurrection? by Chuck Missler Excerpt: “You can read the science of the Shroud, such as total lack of gravity, lack of entropy (without gravitational collapse), no time, no space—it conforms to no known law of physics.” The phenomenon of the image brings us to a true event horizon, a moment when all of the laws of physics change drastically. Dame Piczek created a one-fourth size sculpture of the man in the Shroud. When viewed from the side, it appears as if the man is suspended in mid air (see graphic, below), indicating that the image defies previously accepted science. The phenomenon of the image brings us to a true event horizon, a moment when all of the laws of physics change drastically. http://www.khouse.org/articles/2008/847 THE EVENT HORIZON (Space-Time Singularity) OF THE SHROUD OF TURIN. – Isabel Piczek – Particle Physicist Excerpt: We have stated before that the images on the Shroud firmly indicate the total absence of Gravity. Yet they also firmly indicate the presence of the Event Horizon. These two seemingly contradict each other and they necessitate the past presence of something more powerful than Gravity that had the capacity to solve the above paradox. http://shroud3d.com/findings/isabel-piczek-image-formation
Personally, considering the extreme difficulty that many brilliant minds have had in trying to reconcile Quantum Mechanics/Special relativity, (i.e. Quantum Electodynamics), with Gravity, I consider the preceding nuance on the Shroud of Turin to be a subtle, but powerful, evidence substantiating Christ’s primary claim as to being our Savior from sin, death, and hell:
John 8:23-24 But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.” G.O.S.P.E.L. – (the grace of propitiation) – poetry slam – video https://vimeo.com/20960385
Supplemental note: The process in which the image was formed on the Shroud was a quantum process, not a classical process:
The absorbed energy in the Shroud body image formation appears as contributed by discrete values – Giovanni Fazio, Giuseppe Mandaglio – 2008 Excerpt: This result means that the optical density distribution,, can not be attributed at the absorbed energy described in the framework of the classical physics model. It is, in fact, necessary to hypothesize a absorption by discrete values of the energy where the ‘quantum’ is equal to the one necessary to yellow one fibril. http://cab.unime.it/journals/index.php/AAPP/article/view/C1A0802004/271 Scientists say Turin Shroud is supernatural – December 2011 Excerpt: After years of work trying to replicate the colouring on the shroud, a similar image has been created by the scientists. However, they only managed the effect by scorching equivalent linen material with high-intensity ultra violet lasers, undermining the arguments of other research, they say, which claims the Turin Shroud is a medieval hoax. Such technology, say researchers from the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (Enea), was far beyond the capability of medieval forgers, whom most experts have credited with making the famous relic. “The results show that a short and intense burst of UV directional radiation can colour a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin,” they said. And in case there was any doubt about the preternatural degree of energy needed to make such distinct marks, the Enea report spells it out: “This degree of power cannot be reproduced by any normal UV source built to date.” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/scientists-say-turin-shroud-is-supernatural-6279512.html
Verse and Music:
Colossians 1:15-20 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Natalie Grant – Alive (Resurrection music video) Lyric “Death has lost and Love has won!” http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=KPYWPGNX
Graham2, do you believe you have a mind that is transcendent of your brain that is able to make free will choices based on logic and reason?
“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)
To the primary question you asked Graham2, currently, in your present state of setting yourself resolutely against God, and wanting nothing whatsoever to do with Him, yes I do believe that you will be granted your 'free will' wish and separated from Him.
“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, in the end, "Thy will be done." All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell." - C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce Is God Good? (Free will and the problem of evil) - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rfd_1UAjeIA
But hope springs eternal Graham2, so I also believe that God will bring you to a place in your future that you might call upon Him and be saved. But ultimately your own free will choice and words will decide your ultimate fate:
Joel 2:32 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.,,, Matthew 12:37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."
Graham2, as to what the empirical evidence itself states, in physics we find two very different ‘eternities’ just as Theism has held for millenia. One eternity in physics is found ‘if’ a hypothetical observer were to accelerate to the speed of light. In this scenario time, as we understand it, would come to a complete stop for the hypothetical observer. To grasp the whole ‘time coming to a complete stop at the speed of light’ concept a little more easily, imagine moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light. Would not the hands on the clock stay stationary as you moved away from the face of the clock at the speed of light? Moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light happens to be the same ‘thought experiment’ that gave Einstein his breakthrough insight into e=mc2.
Albert Einstein – Special Relativity – Insight Into Eternity – ‘thought experiment’ video http://www.metacafe.com/w/6545941/ “I’ve just developed a new theory of eternity.” Albert Einstein – The Einstein Factor – Reader’s Digest – 2005
Some may think that time, as we understand it, coming to a complete stop at the speed of light is pure science fiction, but, as incredible as it sounds, Einstein’s infamous thought experiment has many lines of evidence now supporting it.
Velocity time dilation tests http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_dilation#Velocity_time_dilation_tests “The laws of relativity have changed timeless existence from a theological claim to a physical reality. Light, you see, is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities. I don’t pretend to know how tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday. But at the speed of light they actually and rigorously do. Time does not pass.” Richard Swenson – More Than Meets The Eye, Chpt. 12
This following confirmation of time dilation is my favorite since they have actually caught time dilation on film (of note: light travels approximately 1 foot in a nanosecond (billionth of a second) whilst the camera used in the experiment takes a trillion pictures a second):
Amazing — light filmed at 1,000,000,000,000 Frames/Second! – video (so fast that at 9:00 Minute mark of video you can briefly see the time dilation effect of relativity caught on film!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_9vd4HWlVA
This higher dimension, ‘eternal’, inference for the time framework of light is also warranted, by logic, because light is not ‘frozen within time’, i.e. light appears to move to us in our temporal framework of time, yet it is shown that time, as we understand it, does not pass for light. The only way this is possible is if light is indeed of a higher dimensional value of time than our temporal time is otherwise it would simply be ‘frozen in time’. Another line of evidence that supports the inference that ‘tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday’, at the ‘eternal’ speed of light, is visualizing what would happen if a hypothetical observer were to approach the speed of light. Please note, at the 3:22 minute mark of the following video, when the 3-Dimensional world ‘folds and collapses’ into a tunnel shape as a ‘hypothetical’ observer moves towards the ‘higher dimension’ of the speed of light, (Of note: This following video was made by two Australian University Physics Professors with a supercomputer.).
Approaching The Speed Of Light – Optical Effects – video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5733303/
Moreover, we have ‘observational’ evidence that corroborates what our physics is telling us in that people who have had deep Judeo-Christian Near Death Experiences (NDEs) report both ‘eternity’ and traveling through the tunnel to a higher dimension:
‘Earthly time has no meaning in the spirit realm. There is no concept of before or after. Everything – past, present, future – exists simultaneously.’ - Kimberly Clark Sharp – NDE Experiencer “I started to move toward the light. The way I moved, the physics, was completely different than it is here on Earth. It was something I had never felt before and never felt since. It was a whole different sensation of motion. I obviously wasn’t walking or skipping or crawling. I was not floating. I was flowing. I was flowing toward the light. I was accelerating and I knew I was accelerating, but then again, I didn’t really feel the acceleration. I just knew I was accelerating toward the light. Again, the physics was different – the physics of motion of time, space, travel. It was completely different in that tunnel, than it is here on Earth. I came out into the light and when I came out into the light, I realized that I was in heaven.” Barbara Springer – Near Death Experience – The Tunnel – video https://vimeo.com/79072924
Moreover, as with special relativity, in General Relativity we find that temporal time slows down the further down in a gravitational well a person is:
Gravitational time dilation tests http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_dilation#Gravitational_time_dilation_tests
As well, as with any observer accelerating to the speed of light, it is found that for any ‘hypothetical’ observer falling to the event horizon of a black hole, that time, as we understand it, will come to a complete stop for them. This is because the accelerative force of gravity at black holes is so intense that not even light can escape its grip:
Space-Time of a Black hole – video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0VOn9r4dq8
But of particular interest to the ‘eternal framework’ found for General Relativity at black holes;… It is interesting to note that entropic decay (Randomness/Chaos), which is the primary reason why things grow old and eventually die in this universe, is found to be greatest at black holes. Thus the ‘eternity of time’ at black holes can rightly be described as ‘eternities of decay and/or eternities of destruction’.
"Einstein's equation predicts that, as the astronaut reaches the singularity (of the black-hole), the tidal forces grow infinitely strong, and their chaotic oscillations become infinitely rapid. The astronaut dies and the atoms which his body is made become infinitely and chaotically distorted and mixed-and then, at the moment when everything becomes infinite (the tidal strengths, the oscillation frequencies, the distortions, and the mixing), spacetime ceases to exist." Kip S. Thorne - "Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy" pg. 476
i.e. Black Holes are found to be ‘timeless’ singularities of destruction and disorder rather than singularities of creation and order such as the extreme order we see at the creation event of the Big Bang. Needless to say, the implications of this ‘eternity of destruction’ should be fairly disturbing for those of us who are of a ‘spiritually minded’ persuasion! It is also interesting to note that Gravity, despite intense effort, refuses to be unified with Quantum Mechanics into a 'Theory of Everything':
Theories of the Universe: Quantum Mechanics vs. General Relativity Excerpt: The first attempt at unifying relativity and quantum mechanics took place when special relativity was merged with electromagnetism. This created the theory of quantum electrodynamics, or QED. It is an example of what has come to be known as relativistic quantum field theory, or just quantum field theory. QED is considered by most physicists to be the most precise theory of natural phenomena ever developed. In the 1960s and ’70s, the success of QED prompted other physicists to try an analogous approach to unifying the weak, the strong, and the gravitational forces. Out of these discoveries came another set of theories that merged the strong and weak forces called quantum chromodynamics, or QCD, and quantum electroweak theory, or simply the electroweak theory, which you’ve already been introduced to. If you examine the forces and particles that have been combined in the theories we just covered, you’ll notice that the obvious force missing is that of gravity. http://www.infoplease.com/cig/theories-universe/quantum-mechanics-vs-general-relativity.html Bohemian Gravity - Rob Sheldon - September 19, 2013 Excerpt: there's a large contingent of physicists who believe that string theory is the heroin of theoretical physics. It has absorbed not just millions of dollars, but hundreds if not thousands of grad student lifetimes without delivering what it promised--a unified theory of the universe and life. It is hard, in fact, to find a single contribution from string theory despite 25 years of intense effort by thousands of the very brightest and best minds our society can find.,, This negative result is remarkable, and says something that no one wants to hear--that materialism as a philosophy of science, is spent, is toast, is worthless. - per Procrustes
Where do you think the arrangement of elements comes from?
All the elements were designed. Joe
BA77: Do you think Im destined for hell ? Graham2
Graham2, you complain that nobody in science gives God credit for math (or for whatever), and I showed you a University Chair, who is certainly no slouch in his position, that does give credit to God for math. You, instead of admitting that, 'Hey, this guy, who knows far more than I in science gives God glory for science', instead yawn as if his opinion means nothing to you. But let me ask you Graham2, 'Exactly why should I respect the opinion of a troll like you anymore than I respect his?' You certainly have an inflated sense of yourself if you think I care what you think. That will be between you and the God you don't believe in when you die and he holds the fate of your soul in his hands (whether you believe it or not). Why Hell is so Horrible - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hd_so3wPw8 bornagain77
BA77: I actually looked quickly at the video. It was about 26 mins of interesting maths, followed by about 66 mins of god stuff. As a Youtube comment said: The student questions asked for meat but were given milk. Graham2
Graham2, In the following video, at the 22:27 to the 29:50 minute mark, is a pretty neat little presentation of the Schrodinger Equation in answer to the question, 'Why does mathematics describe the universe?' Short answer? God! The Professors: An after-hours conversation on Georgia Tech's hardest questions - Veritas video http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=vBQ9uFOFLWM&t=1349 bornagain77
So, in summary, modern science doesnt respect god as the creator. If it did, it would then acknowledge that mathematical formulae and the priodic table (at least) are created by god. Have I got it ? Graham2
Graham continues,
Barb: Im also not surprised that the ancients got some basic science right: they lived off the land, its only to be expected that they would have a pretty good knowledge of weather patterns, soils, crops etc etc.
They did, but my post didn't have anything to do with that.
You are missing the point.
I could respond in kind. What the Bible recorded regarding hygiene, the water cycle, and physics was millenia ahead of human scientific endeavors.
Im asking does modern science show any instances where there is no explanation except: ‘goddidit’ ? Does it ever directly acknowledge a great spirit in the sky ?
Does modern science respect God as the creator? Or does modern science "not allow a divine foot in the door" as Lewontin put it? Let's face it: some of the greatest scientists the world has ever seen had no problem acknowledging God's existence. Why do scientists today have that problem?
According to BA77 maths texts should be full of praise for Zeus or something, medical texts should recommend the letting of blood, legal texts should describe what animals to sacrifice at the alter to atone for our sins, etc etc, you get the idea. But we see none of this. Why not ?
Your strawman argument is noted and ignored. To answer your questions: 1. Because Zeus did not create what we know as mathematics, and even the Greeks acknowledged this. 2. Medical texts no longer recommend bloodletting because there are newer, more effective treatments available. What does bloodletting have to do with God, anyway? 3. Legal texts do not describe human sacrifices because they are not part of any modern legal system. The only religious group I can think of that still uses this in worship is Santeria. Christians do not, because they are not under the Mosaic Law. Anybody who has read the book of Hebrews in the Bible understands this point. You also asked Joe a good question: "Where do you think the arrangement of elements comes from?" A partial answer comes from the article, "Peering into the Unseen: What is Revealed"? (Awake!, August 22, 2000, p. 8-9): Let’s consider briefly that “marvelous mathematical scheme of nature.” Among the elements known to the ancients were gold, silver, copper, tin, and iron. Arsenic, bismuth, and antimony were identified by alchemists during the Middle Ages, and later during the 1700’s, many more elements were found. In 1863 the spectroscope, which can separate the unique band of colors that each element gives off, was used to identify indium, which was the 63rd element discovered. At that time the Russian chemist Dmitry Ivanovich Mendeleyev concluded that the elements were not created haphazardly. Finally, on March 18, 1869, his treatise “An Outline of the System of the Elements” was read to the Russian Chemical Society. In it he declared: ‘I wish to establish some sort of system not guided by chance but by some sort of definite and exact principle.’ In this famous paper, Mendeleyev predicted: “We should still expect to discover many unknown simple bodies; for example, those similar to aluminum and silicon, elements with atomic weights of 65 to 75.” Mendeleyev left blank spaces for 16 new elements. When asked for proof for his predictions, he replied: “I have no need of proof. The laws of nature, unlike the laws of grammar, admit of no exception.” He added: “I suppose when my unknown elements are found, more people will pay us attention.” That is exactly what occurred! “During the next 15 years,” explains Encyclopedia Americana, “the discovery of gallium, scandium and germanium, whose properties closely matched those predicted by Mendeleyev, established the validity of the periodic table and the fame of its author.” By the early part of the 20th century, all existing elements had been discovered. Clearly, as research chemist Elmer W. Maurer noted, “this beautiful arrangement is hardly a matter of chance.” Of the possibility that the harmonious order of the elements is a matter of chance, professor of chemistry John Cleveland Cothran observed: “The post-prediction discovery of all of the elements whose existence [Mendeleyev] predicted, and their possession of almost exactly the properties he predicted for them, effectively removed any such possibility. His great generalization is never called ‘The Periodic Chance.’ Instead, it is ‘The Periodic Law.’” Barb
Good to see WJM back again. Hilariously incisive comments, as usual; but Gray and his fellow-Covenanters of the Double Helix are unfortunately not sharp enough to be terrified. Axel
Graham2, what is with your 'gotcha' attitude? Despite your irrational hostility towards God, either the periodic table was an accident or God designed it. Those are really the only two options that there are. And frankly, I don't have enough blind faith to believe it to be an accident like you do!
The Place of Life and Man in Nature: Defending the Anthropocentric Thesis - Michael J. Denton - February 25, 2013 Summary (page 11) Many of the properties of the key members of Henderson’s vital ensemble —water, oxygen, CO2, HCO3 —are in several instances fit specifically for warm-blooded, air-breathing organisms such as ourselves. These include the thermal properties of water, its low viscosity, the gaseous nature of oxygen and CO2 at ambient temperatures, the inertness of oxygen at ambient temperatures, and the bicarbonate buffer, with its anomalous pKa value and the elegant means of acid-base regulation it provides for air-breathing organisms. Some of their properties are irrelevant to other classes of organisms or even maladaptive. It is very hard to believe there could be a similar suite of fitness for advanced carbon-based life forms. If carbon-based life is all there is, as seems likely, then the design of any active complex terrestrial being would have to closely resemble our own. Indeed the suite of properties of water, oxygen, and CO2 together impose such severe constraints on the design and functioning of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems that their design, even down to the details of capillary and alveolar structure can be inferred from first principles. For complex beings of high metabolic rate, the designs actualized in complex Terran forms are all that can be. There are no alternative physiological designs in the domain of carbon-based life that can achieve the high metabolic activity manifest in man and other higher organisms. http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/view/BIO-C.2013.1/BIO-C.2013.1 Dr. Michael Denton Interview Excerpt Question 14: 14. Q: ,,,you also detail that nature isn’t fine-tuned for just any kind of life, but life specifically like human life. Would you expound on this for our readers? A: there are certain elements of the fine-tuning which are clearly for advanced being like ourselves. We are warm-blooded, terrestrial aerobes; we use oxidation to get energy, we’re warm-blooded and we breathe air. We get our oxygen from the air. First of all, a warm-blooded organism needs to maintain a constant temperature. To do that we are massively assisted by the high specific heat of water, which buffers our body against rapid changes in temperature. In getting rid of excess heat, we utilize the evaporative cooling of water. That’s why dog’s pant, we sweat, etc. Warm-blooded organisms have to get rid of excess heat, and the evaporative cooling of water is the only way you’ve really got to get rid of heat when the temperature reaches close to body temperature. When it’s hot you can’t radiate off body heat to the environment. These critical thermal properties are obviously of great utility to air breathing, warm-blooded organisms like our self. But what relevance do they have to an extremophile living in the deep ocean, or a cold-blooded fish living in the sea? It’s obvious that these are elements of fitness in nature which seem to be of great and specific utility to beings like us, and very little utility to a lot of other organisms. Of course it is the case that they are playing a role in maintaining the constancy of global climate, the physical and chemical constancy of the hydrosphere and so forth. No doubt the evaporative cooling of water plays a big role in climatic amelioration; it transfers heat from the tropics to the higher latitudes and this is of utility for all life on earth. But definitely water’s thermal properties seem particularly fit for advanced organisms of biology close to our own. And even the freezing of water from the top down rather than the bottom up, which conserves large bodies of fresh water on the earth, is again relevant to large organisms. Bacterial cells can withstand quite well periodically freezing. And for unicellular organisms living in the hot sub surface rocks its pretty well irrelevant. In other words the top down freezing and the consequent preservation of liquid water is of much more utility for a large organism, but of far less relevance for microbial life. Or consider the generation and utilization of oxygen. We use oxygen, but many organisms don’t use oxygen; for a lot of organisms it’s a poison. So how do we get our oxygen? When we look at the conditions in the universe for photosynthesis, we find a magical collusion between of all sorts of different elements of fitness. First of all the atmospheric gases let through visual light which has got the right energy for biochemistry, for photosynthesis. And what are the gases in the atmosphere that let through the light? Well, carbon dioxide, water vapor, oxygen, and nitrogen. And what are the basic reactants which are involved in photosynthesis? Well, oxygen, water, and CO2. The same compounds that let through the light are also the main ‘players’ in photosynthesis. And then you might wonder what about the harmful radiations? UV, Gamma rays, microwaves? Well to begin with the sun only puts out most of its electromagnetic radian energy in the visual region (light) and near infrared (heat) and puts out very little in the dangerous regions (UV’s, gamma rays, X-rays etc.). And wonder on wonder, the atmospheric gases absorb all these harmful radiations. And so on and on and on, one anthropocentric biofriendly coincidence after another. And what provides the necessary warmth for photosynthesis, indeed for all life on earth. What keeps the average temperature of the earth above freezing? Well water vapor and carbon dioxide. If it wasn’t for water vapor and CO2 in the atmosphere the temperature of the earth would be -33 centigrade. Now when you consider all these factors necessary for the generation of oxygen via photosynthesis knowing that not all organisms use oxygen implying that all these coincidences are irrelevant to the vast majority of all species (most of the biomass on the planet may well be anaerobic unicellular life occupying the hot deep biosphere in the sub surface rocks) never use oxygen, its clear that the special fitness of nature for oxygen utilization is for us. http://successfulstudent.org/dr-michael-denton-interview/
Joe: I cant resist: Where do you think the arrangement of elements comes from? Graham2
Evolutionism is a way of "knowing" that doesn't include science. Evolutionists "know" that humans and chimps share a common ancestor yet that is beyond what science can demonstrate. Joe
Graham2- materialism cannot explain the periodic table. Joe
@Barb: You're obviously not the author of the texts. Show some respect for the hardworking authors: don't forget to cite the sources! JWTruthInLove
F/N: Newton, on God in and around Science (and by implication, Mathematics), in the General Scholium to Principia:
. . . This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel [--> which was duly expressed in mathematical forms] and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. And if the fixed stars are the centres of other like systems, these, being formed by the like wise counsel, must be all subject to the dominion of One; especially since the light of the fixed stars is of the same nature with the light of the sun, and from every system light passes into all the other systems: and lest the systems of the fixed stars should, by their gravity, fall on each other mutually, he hath placed those systems at immense distances one from another. This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord God pantokrator , or Universal Ruler; for God is a relative word, and has a respect to servants; and Deity is the dominion of God not over his own body, as those imagine who fancy God to be the soul of the world, but over servants. The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect; but a being, however perfect, without dominion, cannot be said to be Lord God; for we say, my God, your God, the God of Israel, the God of Gods, and Lord of Lords; but we do not say, my Eternal, your Eternal, the Eternal of Israel, the Eternal of Gods; we do not say, my Infinite, or my Perfect: these are titles which have no respect to servants. The word God usually signifies Lord; but every lord is not a God. It is the dominion of a spiritual being which constitutes a God: a true, supreme, or imaginary dominion makes a true, supreme, or imaginary God. And from his true dominion it follows that the true God is a living, intelligent, and powerful Being; and, from his other perfections, that he is supreme, or most perfect. He is eternal and infinite, omnipotent and omniscient; that is, his duration reaches from eternity to eternity; his presence from infinity to infinity; he governs all things, and knows all things that are or can be done. He is not eternity or infinity, but eternal and infinite; he is not duration or space, but he endures and is present. He endures for ever, and is every where present; and by existing always and every where, he constitutes duration and space. Since every particle of space is always, and every indivisible moment of duration is every where, certainly the Maker and Lord of all things cannot be never and no where. Every soul that has perception is, though in different times and in different organs of sense and motion, still the same indivisible person. There are given successive parts in duration, co-existent puts in space, but neither the one nor the other in the person of a man, or his thinking principle; and much less can they be found in the thinking substance of God. Every man, so far as he is a thing that has perception, is one and the same man during his whole life, in all and each of his organs of sense. God is the same God, always and every where. He is omnipresent not virtually only, but also substantially; for virtue cannot subsist without substance. In him are all things contained and moved [i.e. cites Ac 17, where Paul evidently cites Cleanthes]; yet neither affects the other: God suffers nothing from the motion of bodies; bodies find no resistance from the omnipresence of God. It is allowed by all that the Supreme God exists necessarily; and by the same necessity he exists always, and every where. [i.e accepts the cosmological argument to God.] Whence also he is all similar, all eye, all ear, all brain, all arm, all power to perceive, to understand, and to act; but in a manner not at all human, in a manner not at all corporeal, in a manner utterly unknown to us. As a blind man has no idea of colours, so have we no idea of the manner by which the all-wise God perceives and understands all things. He is utterly void of all body and bodily figure, and can therefore neither be seen, nor heard, or touched; nor ought he to be worshipped under the representation of any corporeal thing. [Cites Exod 20.] We have ideas of his attributes, but what the real substance of any thing is we know not. In bodies, we see only their figures and colours, we hear only the sounds, we touch only their outward surfaces, we smell only the smells, and taste the savours; but their inward substances are not to be known either by our senses, or by any reflex act of our minds: much less, then, have we any idea of the substance of God. We know him only by his most wise and excellent contrivances of things, and final cause [i.e from his designs]: we admire him for his perfections; but we reverence and adore him on account of his dominion: for we adore him as his servants; and a god without dominion, providence, and final causes, is nothing else but Fate and Nature. Blind metaphysical necessity, which is certainly the same always and every where, could produce no variety of things. [i.e necessity does not produce contingency] All that diversity of natural things which we find suited to different times and places could arise from nothing but the ideas and will of a Being necessarily existing. [That is, implicitly rejects chance, Plato's third alternative and explicitly infers to the Designer of the Cosmos.] But, by way of allegory, God is said to see, to speak, to laugh, to love, to hate, to desire, to give, to receive, to rejoice, to be angry, to fight, to frame, to work, to build; for all our notions of God are taken from. the ways of mankind by a certain similitude, which, though not perfect, has some likeness, however. And thus much concerning God; to discourse of whom from the appearances of things, does certainly belong to Natural Philosophy.
KF PS: It also strikes me that G2 is refusing to reflect on the implications of the fine tuning of the physics of the observed cosmos, which points strongly to design for C-Chemistry, Aqueous medium cell based life, and with facilities on galactic and circumstellar habitable zone terrestrial planets, that invite discovery pointing to those features. He may be well advised to start here on [note the further readings], though on track record of pushing agenda driven talking points rather than dialogue, such is unlikely. kairosfocus
And so the blinding effect of scientism is duly, sadly, manifested by concrete example. kairosfocus
Barb: Im also not surprised that the ancients got some basic science right: they lived off the land, its only to be expected that they would have a pretty good knowledge of weather patterns, soils, crops etc etc. You are missing the point. Im asking does modern science show any instances where there is no explanation except: 'goddidit' ? Does it ever directly acknowledge a great spirit in the sky ? According to BA77 maths texts should be full of praise for Zeus or something, medical texts should recommend the letting of blood, legal texts should describe what animals to sacrifice at the alter to atone for our sins, etc etc, you get the idea. But we see none of this. Why not ? Graham2
Graham responds,
Barb: Im not surprised that elements of the bible should be historically accurate, but when it comes to anything even vaguely related to modern science, it doesnt do so well. Can you cite any current science text that quotes god ?
Really? Seems to me you haven't read it lately. When the Bible touches on scientific matters, it is accurate. Here are a few more examples: 1. Hygiene. The Mosaic Law commanded the Israelites to dispose of sewage in a covered hole “outside the camp.” (Deuteronomy 23:12, 13) If they touched a dead animal or human, the Israelites had to wash with water. (Leviticus 11:27, 28; Numbers 19:14-16) Lepers back then were quarantined until a physical examination confirmed that they were no longer contagious.—Leviticus 13:1-8. Proper sewage disposal, hand washing, and quarantine remain effective ways to fight disease. If there are no latrines or other sanitation systems nearby, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends: “Defecate at least 30 meters [100 feet] away from any body of water and then bury your feces.” When communities dispose of excrement safely, they reduce diarrheal disease by 36 percent, according to the World Health Organization. Less than 200 years ago, physicians discovered that they infected many patients when they did not wash their hands after handling corpses. The CDC still calls hand washing “the single most effective way to prevent the transmission of disease.” What about the quarantine of lepers or those with other diseases? Recently, the Saudi Medical Journal said: “In the early stages of an epidemic, isolation and quarantine may be the only and last resort to effectively control infectious diseases.” 2. Physical lawsM/b>. When the Bible was being written, many people believed that various gods inhabited the world and that those gods, not natural laws, controlled the sun, the moon, the weather, fertility, and so on. But that was not the case with the ancient Hebrew prophets of God. Of course, they knew that God could directly control the natural world and that he did so on specific occasions. (Joshua 10:12-14; 2 Kings 20:9-11) Nevertheless, John Lennox, professor of mathematics at the University of Oxford, England, observed that those prophets “did not have to have their universe de-deified [of mythical gods]. . . , for the simple reason that they had never believed in the gods in the first place. What had saved them from that superstition was their belief in One True God, Creator of heaven and earth.” How did that belief protect them from superstition? For one thing, the true God revealed to them that he governs the universe by precise laws, or statutes. For example, more than 3,500 years ago, God asked his servant Job: “Have you come to know the statutes of the heavens?” (Job 38:33) In the seventh century B.C.E., the prophet Jeremiah wrote about “the statutes of heaven and earth.”—Jeremiah 33:25. 3. Water cycle. The earth’s waters undergo a cyclic motion called the water cycle, or the hydrologic cycle. Put simply, water evaporates from the sea, forms clouds, precipitates onto the land, and eventually returns to the sea. The oldest surviving non-Biblical references to this cycle are from the fourth century B.C.E. However, Biblical statements predate that by hundreds of years. For example, in the 11th century B.C.E., King Solomon of Israel wrote: “All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full. To the place from which the rivers come, to there and from there they return again.”—Ecclesiastes 1:7, The Amplified Bible. Likewise, about 800 B.C.E. the prophet Amos, a humble shepherd and farmworker, wrote that Jehovah is “the One calling for the waters of the sea, that he may pour them out upon the surface of the earth.” (Amos 5:8) Without using complex, technical language, both Solomon and Amos accurately described the water cycle, each from a slightly different perspective. The Bible contains scientifically accurate information clearly ahead of its time, though it never gets bogged down in scientific explanations that would have been meaningless or confusing to ancient people. The Bible contains nothing that contradicts known scientific facts. Interestingly, there's also a book that contains well-known papers on physics and mathematics entitled "God Created the Integers." Barb
“Geometry is unique and eternal, a reflection from the mind of God. That mankind shares in it is because man is an image of God.” – Johannes Kepler Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe. Galileo Galilei An Interview with David Berlinski - Jonathan Witt Berlinski: There is no argument against religion that is not also an argument against mathematics. Mathematicians are capable of grasping a world of objects that lies beyond space and time …. Interviewer:… Come again(?) … Berlinski: No need to come again: I got to where I was going the first time. The number four, after all, did not come into existence at a particular time, and it is not going to go out of existence at another time. It is neither here nor there. Nonetheless we are in some sense able to grasp the number by a faculty of our minds. Mathematical intuition is utterly mysterious. So for that matter is the fact that mathematical objects such as a Lie Group or a differentiable manifold have the power to interact with elementary particles or accelerating forces. But these are precisely the claims that theologians have always made as well – that human beings are capable by an exercise of their devotional abilities to come to some understanding of the deity; and the deity, although beyond space and time, is capable of interacting with material objects. http://tofspot.blogspot.com/2013/10/found-upon-web-and-reprinted-here.html Alan Turing and Kurt Godel - Incompleteness Theorem and Human Intuition - video (notes in video description) http://www.metacafe.com/watch/8516356/ "Either mathematics is too big for the human mind or the human mind is more than a machine." - Kurt Gödel The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences - Eugene Wigner - 1960 Excerpt: ,,certainly it is hard to believe that our reasoning power was brought, by Darwin's process of natural selection, to the perfection which it seems to possess.,,, It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here, quite comparable in its striking nature to the miracle that the human mind can string a thousand arguments together without getting itself into contradictions, or to the two miracles of the existence of laws of nature and of the human mind's capacity to divine them.,,, The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning. http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc/MathDrama/reading/Wigner.html The Underlying Mathematical Foundation Of The Universe - Walter Bradley - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4491491 Quote from preceding video: “Occasionally I’ll have a bright engineering student who says, “Well you should see the equations we work with in my engineering class. They’re a big mess.”, The problem is not the fundamental laws of nature, the problem is the boundary conditions. If you choose complicated boundary conditions then the solutions to these equations will in fact, in some cases, be quite complicated in form,,, But again the point is still the same, the universe assumes a remarkably simple and elegant mathematical form.” – Dr. Walter Bradley How the Recent Discoveries Support a Designed Universe - Dr. Walter L. Bradley - paper Excerpt: Only in the 20th century have we come to fully understand that the incredibly diverse phenomena that we observe in nature are the outworking of a very small number of physical laws, each of which may be described by a simple mathematical relationship. Indeed, so simple in mathematical form and small in number are these physical laws that they can all be written on one side of one sheet of paper, as seen in Table 1. http://www.leaderu.com/real/ri9403/evidence.html "Nothing in evolution can account for the soul of man. The difference between man and the other animals is unbridgeable. Mathematics is alone sufficient to prove in man the possession of a faculty unexistent in other creatures. Then you have music and the artistic faculty. No, the soul was a separate creation." Alfred Russell Wallace, New Thoughts on Evolution, 1910 How can it be that mathematics, being after all a product of human thought which is independent of experience, is so admirably appropriate to the objects of reality? Is human reason, then, without experience, merely by taking thought, able to fathom the properties of real things? — Albert Einstein “It appears that the Creator shares the mathematicians’ sense of beauty.” - Alexander Vilenkin Kurt Gödel - Incompleteness Theorem - video http://www.metacafe.com/w/8462821 Taking God Out of the Equation - Biblical Worldview - by Ron Tagliapietra - January 1, 2012 Excerpt: Kurt Gödel (1906–1978) proved that no logical systems (if they include the counting numbers) can have all three of the following properties. 1. Validity ... all conclusions are reached by valid reasoning. 2. Consistency ... no conclusions contradict any other conclusions. 3. Completeness ... all statements made in the system are either true or false. The details filled a book, but the basic concept was simple and elegant. He summed it up this way: “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove.” For this reason, his proof is also called the Incompleteness Theorem. Kurt Gödel had dropped a bomb on the foundations of mathematics. Math could not play the role of God as infinite and autonomous. It was shocking, though, that logic could prove that mathematics could not be its own ultimate foundation. Christians should not have been surprised. The first two conditions are true about math: it is valid and consistent. But only God fulfills the third condition. Only He is complete and therefore self-dependent (autonomous). God alone is “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28), “the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13). God is the ultimate authority (Hebrews 6:13), and in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3). http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v7/n1/equation# bornagain77
BA77: Were you the one that said mathematical equations came from god ? I cant remember. Graham2
Graham2 at 32 you pretend that science is all grown up now and no longer needs God, yet, despite the fact that you completely ignored post 19 where it was made clear to you that every major scientific discovery of modern science has confirmed Theism as true, we go even go into details of modern discoveries. For instance, It is interesting to note that Dr. Craig used the example of Peter Higg’s mathematical prediction of the Higg’s boson itself, which Peter Higg’s had made 3 decades ago before it was discovered by the LHC, as a philosophical proof for Theism: Mathematics and Physics – A Happy Coincidence? – William Lane Craig – video http://www.metacafe.com/w/9826382 1. If God did not exist the applicability of mathematics would be a happy coincidence. 2. The applicability of mathematics is not a happy coincidence. 3. Therefore, God exists. i.e. The ability to 'do science' is dependent on Theistic metaphysics. Science and Theism: Concord, not Conflict* – Robert C. Koons IV. The Dependency of Science Upon Theism (Page 21) Excerpt: Far from undermining the credibility of theism, the remarkable success of science in modern times is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of theism. It was from the perspective of Judeo-Christian theism—and from the perspective alone—that it was predictable that science would have succeeded as it has. Without the faith in the rational intelligibility of the world and the divine vocation of human beings to master it, modern science would never have been possible, and, even today, the continued rationality of the enterprise of science depends on convictions that can be reasonably grounded only in theistic metaphysics. http://www.robkoons.net/media/69b0dd04a9d2fc6dffff80b3ffffd524.pdf bornagain77
Axel, Wigner with his Quantum Symmetries and Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics pretty much delivered a one two knock out blow to materialistic thinking. bornagain77
By the way, BA, that Wigner is pretty special isn't he? A paragon in your arsenal of mathematically-proven and hence, unanswerable theistic and, ultimately, Christian truths. Axel
corrected link V J Torley on Scientism Mung
What, pray tell, is the thrust of the periodic table in this discussion? I thought we were exploring what the different ways of knowing are or the different bases for decisions. You could dramatically change most of the periodic table, especially the neutron count, reverse the properties of all the heaviest elements, and it wouldn't in the least affect my ability or decision about when to cross the street, how to treat my fellow man, what college to attend or what woman to make my spouse. Again, grandiose superlative qualitative proclamations become circular. What are we trying to discuss? Perhaps we should begin with a specific definition of "science," then evaluate that versus other "ways of knowing." As I already pointed out, I believe you are going to find that knowing comes down to empiricism, pragmatism, appeal to authority, consensus, deduction, induction, abduction and evaluation. Slapping the label "science" or "revelation" on something doesn't change those fundamentals. And often each method excludes the others. Saying "science" is better than all other ways of knowing is literal non-sense or circular incoherence. This is a non-debate. The debate is about whether a specific theory stands up to scrutiny or whether a specific methodology stands. Creating an overlord heading of "science" to include all best ways of knowing doesn't say anything at all. It's just circular. jw777
How can one know that science is the only way of knowing? Does that knowledge come from science itself?
A good friend asks: On what ground is anyone justified in asserting or believing that 'science' even is a way of knowing anything at all? And answers: On no ground at all!
The problem is, the claim to know something is the claim that some certain proposition one believes (or at least avers) to be true is, in fact, true. BUT, modern science doesn't start with truth, doesn't deal in truth, is uninterested in truth, doesn't uncover truth (except accidentally), and has no means to distinguish a scientific statement or claim that happens to be true from one that happens to be untrue. People, for the most part, refuse to understand this.
V J Torley on Scientism Mung
Barb: Im not surprised that elements of the bible should be historically accurate, but when it comes to anything even vaguely related to modern science, it doesnt do so well. Can you cite any current science text that quotes god ? Graham2
Graham @ 22:
...Its because the periodic table has been tested agains reality, and shown to work. The same cannot be said of religions. Islam rejects the trinity, yet RC embarces it. How can this go on ? It goes on because neither has the faintest attachment to reality.
Here is where you are wrong. Religion (to be specific, biblical Christianity) makes claims that involve real people, places, and events that are records in the Bible. It most certainly does intersect with--and has a strong attachment to--reality. Here are only two examples, but there are far more: 1. An issue concerning Luke’s accuracy remained unsettled. It had to do with the closely related cities Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. Luke implied that Iconium was distinct from Lystra and Derbe, describing the latter as “cities of Lycaonia.” (Acts 14:6) Yet, as the accompanying map shows, Lystra was closer to Iconium than to Derbe. Some ancient historians described Iconium as a part of Lycaonia; hence, critics challenged Luke for not doing so also. Then, in 1910, British archaeologist Sir William Mitchell Ramsay discovered a monument in the ruins of Iconium showing that the language of that city was Phrygian and not Lycaonian. “Numbers of other inscriptions from Iconium and its environs substantiate the fact that racially the city could be described as Phrygian,” says Dr. Merrill Unger in his book Archaeology and the New Testament. Indeed, the Iconium of Paul’s day was Phrygian in culture and distinct from “the cities of Lycaonia,” where people spoke “in the Lycaonian tongue.”—Acts 14:6, 11. 2. Bible critics also questioned Luke’s use of the word “politarchs” for rulers of the city of Thessalonica. (Acts 17:6, footnote) This expression was unknown in Greek literature. Then an arch was found in the ancient city containing the names of city rulers described as “politarchs”—exactly the word used by Luke. “The accuracy of Luke has been vindicated by the use of the term,” explains W. E. Vine in his Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. Ignoring documented and verified human history simply because you don't like the Bible or God is not the mark of an intelligent person. Barb
“And by all means, feel free to mock”. Tempting, but somehow it doesn’t seem worth the effort any more.
I really don't care what it's worth to you. I do welcome any kind of mockery you can muster, though. My triumph will be all the more satisfying. Mapou
Really, Stephen? Thank you. I hope you're not just an outlier! I don't think anyone else has paid me such a compliment before. I wouldn't be a match for you with your more erudite subject-matter, though. It's easier, I think, if your writing does not involve close-coupled reasoning in a technical vein. Fortunately, some fundamental truths can be broached by a layman because of their very simplicity, notwithstanding the scale of their implications. Sometimes, I think inattention to the implications of such truths are conventional, to a world in which even tertiary education can be a slave to fashions, even in the field of science, to my great surprise. No prizes are given for conceptual leaps, unless you first gain a foothold through the toil involved in the university graduate and, perhaps, post-graduate courses. Even then, today, would not be a 'golden age' for research, not sanctioned by a bizarre totalitarian authority, would it? Thank you, too, bornagain77. I just reached your post 'the noo'. @ Graham2 (You do realise, I take it, that the numeral, '2' is, among other things, no doubt, symbolic of the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity?) Anyway, just as you would accept materialism, I would accept a great spirit in the sky, if only it worked. If I go to a doctor and he asks me to kneel down and pray, I find another doctor, as you would (sickness concentrates the mind). Wotdyou fink of quantum mechanics, Gray? Unicorns 'n' stuff? I'm told it's met a fair measure of success, one way or another. Like... er.. 70% of world manufacturing output depends on it. Axel
"And by all means, feel free to mock". Tempting, but somehow it doesn't seem worth the effort any more. Henry Crun
In an earlier 2009 post, Rosenhouse criticizes the claim that “science is not the only way of knowing,” and forthrightly declares: “The ways of knowing that are unique to religion, namely revelation and the words of holy texts, have today been utterly discredited.” Is he right?
Rosenhouse is 100% wrong. In fact, he and those like him who have turned science into a religion, are about to be whacked between the eyes with a two-by-four the existence of which they could never imagine possible. Some ancient Biblical metaphorical texts contain astonishing revelations about hard science that will knock everyone's socks off, theists and atheists alike. Knowing what I know from my research over the years, I predict that the most earth-shaking and world-changing scientific advances in this century will come straight from the Bible. Wait for it. It will happen sooner than you think. In fact, I have excellent reasons to believe that we will begin to see some of it come out into the world before the end of this year. And by all means, feel free to mock. Mapou
'Thus, as is extremely fitting from the basic Christian view of reality, the centrality of the world in the universe, comparatively speaking, is found to be rather negligible, save for ‘the privileged planet’ principle (and perhaps some yet to discovered geometric considerations) which reflects God’s craftsmanship, whereas the centrality found for each individual ‘conscious soul/observer’ in the universe is found to be of primary significance,,, In other words: ,,,"Is anything worth more than your soul?" Matthew 16:26 Perfect, bornagain77! Spot on. Even to the final quote,: 'What does it profit a man...?' Axel
Graham2, I don't care if you don't read my posts. I post it for others to see how incoherent your position actually is! You seem to think that atheistic materialism is true because the periodic table is invariant? And you seem to think that materialism is true because you think medical miracles are impossible? You do realize that on atheistic materialism we have no reason to presuppose the finely tuned universal constants, that cause the periodic table to be invariant as it is, to be as they are don't you? In fact the existence of the periodic table itself is another argument for God. Every class of elements that exists on the periodic table of elements is necessary for complex carbon-based life to exist on earth. The three most abundant elements in the human body, Oxygen, Carbon, Hydrogen, 'just so happen' to be the most abundant elements in the universe, save for helium which is inert. A truly amazing coincidence that strongly implies 'the universe had us in mind all along'. Even uranium the last naturally occurring 'stable' element on the period table of elements is necessary for life. The heat generated by the decay of uranium is necessary to keep a molten core in the earth for an extended period of time, which is necessary for the magnetic field surrounding the earth, which in turn protects organic life from the harmful charged particles of the sun. As well, uranium decay provides the heat for tectonic activity and the turnover of the earth's crustal rocks, which is necessary to keep a proper mixture of minerals and nutrients available on the surface of the earth, which is necessary for long term life on earth. (Denton; Nature's Destiny). These following articles and videos give a bit deeper insight into the crucial role that individual elements play in allowing life:
The Role of Elements in Life Processes http://www.mii.org/periodic/LifeElement.php Periodic Table - Interactive web page for each element http://www.mii.org/periodic/MiiPeriodicChart.htm Michael Denton - We Are Stardust - Uncanny Balance Of The Elements for life - Fred Hoyle Atheist to Deist/Theist - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4003877
In fact the father of modern chemistry stated this:
The vastness, beauty, orderliness, of the heavenly bodies, the excellent structure of animals and plants; and the other phenomena of nature justly induce an intelligent and unprejudiced observer to conclude a supremely powerful, just, and good author. — Robert Boyle (1627 - 1691), father of experimental chemistry
In fact, the way in which the elements were formed is fascinating to learn about:
The Elements: Forged in Stars - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4003861
The delicate balance at which carbon is synthesized in stars is truly a work of art. Fred Hoyle (1915-2001), a famed astrophysicist, is the scientist who established the nucleo-synthesis of heavier elements within stars as mathematically valid in 1946. Years after Sir Fred discovered the stunning precision with which carbon is synthesized in stars he stated:
From 1953 onward, Willy Fowler and I have always been intrigued by the remarkable relation of the 7.65 MeV energy level in the nucleus of 12 C to the 7.12 MeV level in 16 O. If you wanted to produce carbon and oxygen in roughly equal quantities by stellar nucleosynthesis, these are the two levels you would have to fix, and your fixing would have to be just where these levels are actually found to be. Another put-up job? ... I am inclined to think so. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has “monkeyed” with the physics as well as the chemistry and biology, and there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. - Sir Fred Hoyle, Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 20 (1982): 16. I do not believe that any physicist who examined the evidence could fail to draw the inference that the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the consequences they produce within stars. Sir Fred Hoyle - "The Universe: Past and Present Reflections." Engineering and Science, November, 1981. pp. 8–12
So much for the periodic table for you Graham2. How about miracles? Is there proof that they happen? Yes there is!
Dr. Craig Keener, author of "Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts" - video playlist http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lE6sDPPQ7WA&list=PLC900F8EEB62AE426&index=1
The following video, at the 9:45 minute mark, relates a ‘small’ miracle that was answered for Mother Teresa:
(Mother Teresa Miracle) Ignorance Isn't Bliss: What Every College Student Should Know About Religion - Mary Poplin at Reed - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=5gUogbTKbVg#t=585s
PPPS: And, lest the power brokers imagine themselves omnipotent to manipulate images, let us remind of what happened that night when people went home to turn on what the Plato's Cave shadow show boxes called news:
Another crucial thing happened, after the mass was over. Everyone who was there went home and turned on the news that night to see the pictures of the incredible crowd and the incredible pope. But state-controlled TV did not show the crowds. They did a brief report that showed a shot of the pope standing and speaking for a second or two. State television did not acknowledge or admit what a phenomenon John Paul's visit was, or what it had unleashed. The people who had been at the mass could compare the reality they had witnessed with their own eyes with the propaganda their media reported. They could see the discrepancy. This left the people of Poland able to say at once and together, definitively, with no room for argument: It's all lies. Everything this government says is a lie. Everything it is is a lie. Whatever legitimacy the government could pretend to, it began to lose. One by one the people of Poland said to themselves, or for themselves within themselves: It is over. And when 10 million Poles said that to themselves, it was over in Poland. And when it was over in Poland, it was over in Eastern Europe. And when it was over in Eastern Europe, it was over in the Soviet Union. And when it was over in the Soviet Union, well, it was over.
PPS: Nor should the ever scandal-hungry media wolves be allowed to bury this, the Blonie Field moment, the when history turned on the spiritual hinges of fate:
But it was in the Blonie Field, in Krakow--the Blonia Krakowskie, the fields just beyond the city--that the great transcendent moment of the pope's trip took place. It was the moment when, for those looking back, the new world opened. It was the moment, some said later, that Soviet communism's fall became inevitable. It was a week into the trip, June 10, 1979. It was a sunny day. The pope was to hold a public mass. The communist government had not allowed it to be publicized, but Poles had spread the word. Government officials braced themselves, because now they knew a lot of people might come, as they had to John Paul's first mass. But that was a week before. Since then, maybe people had seen enough of him. Maybe they were tiring of his message. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad. But something happened in the Blonie field. They started coming early, and by the time the mass began it was the biggest gathering of humanity in the entire history of Poland. Two million or three million people came, no one is sure, maybe more. For a mass. And it was there, at the end of his trip, in the Blonie field, that John Paul took on communism directly, by focusing on communism's attempt to kill the religious heritage of a country that had for a thousand years believed in Christ. This is what he said: Is it possible to dismiss Christ and everything which he brought into the annals of the human being? Of course it is possible. The human being is free. The human being can say to God, "No." The human being can say to Christ, "No." But the critical question is: Should he? And in the name of what "should" he? With what argument, what reasoning, what value held by the will or the heart does one bring oneself, one's loved ones, one's countrymen and nation to reject, to say "no" to Him with whom we have all lived for one thousand years? He who formed the basis of our identity and has Himself remained its basis ever since. . . . As a bishop does in the sacrament of Confirmation so do I today extend my hands in that apostolic gesture over all who are gathered here today, my compatriots. And so I speak for Christ himself: "Receive the Holy Spirit!" I speak too for St. Paul: "Do not quench the Spirit!" I speak again for St. Paul: "Do not grieve the Spirit of God!" You must be strong, my brothers and sisters! You must be strong with the strength that faith gives! You must be strong with the strength of faith! You must be faithful! You need this strength today more than any other period of our history. . . . You must be strong with love, which is stronger than death. . . . When we are strong with the Spirit of God, we are also strong with the faith of man. . . . There is therefore no need to fear. . . . So . . . I beg you: Never lose your trust, do not be defeated, do not be discouraged. . . . Always seek spiritual power from Him from whom countless generations of our fathers and mothers have found it. Never detach yourselves from Him. Never lose your spiritual freedom. They went home from that field a changed country. After that mass they would never be the same . . .
BA77: Please be aware that I never get past about the 1st paragraph of your posts. Verbosity seems to be a creationist thing. Anyway, just as you would accept materialism, I would accept a great spirit in the sky, if only it worked. If I go to a doctor and he asks me to kneel down and pray, I find another doctor, as you would (sickness concentrates the mind). I seem to repeat myself, but why are there thousands of religions, but only 1 periodic table ? Its because the periodic table has been tested agains reality, and shown to work. The same cannot be said of religions. Islam rejects the trinity, yet RC embarces it. How can this go on ? It goes on because neither has the faintest attachment to reality. OTOH, if you attempted to change 1 line of the periodic table, you would see the error of your ways very quickly, and recant. Graham2
PPS: Let's clip Peggy Noonan, on the reluctant invitation to the then new Pope John Paul, to visit his homeland:
On June 2, 1979, the pope arrived in Poland. What followed will never be forgotten by those who witnessed it. He knelt and kissed the ground, the dull gray tarmac of the airport outside Warsaw. The silent churches of Poland at that moment began to ring their bells. The pope traveled by motorcade from the airport to the Old City of Warsaw. The government had feared hundreds or thousands or even tens of thousands would line the streets and highways. By the end of the day, with the people lining the streets and highways plus the people massed outside Warsaw and then inside it--all of them cheering and throwing flowers and applauding and singing--more than a million had come. In Victory Square in the Old City the pope gave a mass. Communist officials watched from the windows of nearby hotels. The pope gave what papal biographer George Weigel called the greatest sermon of John Paul's life. Why, the pope asked, had God lifted a Pole to the papacy? Perhaps it was because of how Poland had suffered for centuries, and through the 20th century had become "the land of a particularly responsible witness" to God. The people of Poland, he suggested, had been chosen for a great role, to understand, humbly but surely, that they were the repository of a special "witness of His cross and His resurrection." He asked then if the people of Poland accepted the obligations of such a role in history. The crowd responded with thunder. "We want God!" they shouted, together. "We want God!" What a moment in modern history: We want God. From the mouths of modern men and women living in a modern atheistic dictatorship. The pope was speaking on the Vigil of Pentecost, that moment in the New Testament when the Holy Spirit came down to Christ's apostles, who had been hiding in fear after his crucifixion, filling them with courage and joy. John Paul picked up this theme. What was the greatest of the works of God? Man. Who redeemed man? Christ. Therefore, he declared, "Christ cannot be kept out of the history of man in any part of the globe, at any longitude or latitude. . . . The exclusion of Christ from the history of man is an act against man! Without Christ it is impossible to understand the history of Poland." Those who oppose Christ, he said, still live within the Christian context of history. Christ, the pope declared, was not only the past of Poland--he was "the future . . . our Polish future." The massed crowd thundered its response. "We want God!" it roared. That is what the communist apparatchiks watching the mass from the hotels that rimmed Victory Square heard. Perhaps at this point they understood that they had made a strategic mistake. Perhaps as John Paul spoke they heard the sound careen off the hard buildings that ringed the square; perhaps the echo sounded like a wall falling. The pope had not directly challenged the government. He had not called for an uprising. He had not told the people of Catholic Poland to push back against their atheist masters. He simply stated the obvious. In Mr. Weigel's words: "Poland was not a communist country; Poland was a Catholic nation saddled with a communist state." . . .
G2: Hear the people of Poland at Blonie Fields, after decades of suffering under the Nazis and the Communists: "We want God . . . " KF PS: Snipping and dismissively sniping as you just did is a case of a strawman-ad hominem tactic. In fact, it is obvios that scientism -- which is self refuting -- was being confused for science, and an ill informed claim was being made about knowledge. VJT, a PhD Philosopher, was doing a phil 101 in correction. kairosfocus
Graham2 you state (and I imagine you with spittle coming out of your mouth as you say it)
A rare flash of honesty. You like god, thats it, isnt it ? You dont like evolution. You want god.
And why your irrational hostility towards God Graham2? Besides your 'not liking' God, exactly what is your exact scientific evidence against Him? I have nothing against atheistic materialism if it is true. I might not 'like it' but that would have no bearing on whether or not it was true. But that is the whole point, I can find no evidence whatsoever that atheistic materialism is coherent much less true, but I find overwhelming evidence that Theism is true: Is Metaphysical Naturalism Viable? - William Lane Craig - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzS_CQnmoLQ 1. Naturalism/Materialism predicted time-space energy-matter always existed. Whereas Theism predicted time-space 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 a ‘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. - 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. - 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). Geo-chemical evidence from the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found on earth indicates that complex photo-synthetic 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 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.”. - 13. 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) - 14. 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. 15. 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. bornagain77
Science is the only way of knowing if one defines science as "all ways of accumulating knowldge". BTW of materialism is true then in reality we can't know anything- see CS Lewis(accidents cannot give proper accounts of other accidents) Joe
All those words, then you give the game away in the last sentence: Ask yourself which attitude is really more harmful to science: the view that the whole of Creation is a manifestation of the Mind of God, ... or the view that we are the product of four billion years of evolution from slime, ... A rare flash of honesty. You like god, thats it, isnt it ? You dont like evolution. You want god. Graham2
"It will remain remarkable, in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the scientific conclusion that the content of the consciousness is the ultimate universal reality" - Eugene Wigner - (Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, Eugene Wigner, in Wheeler and Zurek, p.169) 1961 - received Nobel Prize in 1963 for 'Quantum Symmetries' Von Neumann–Wigner - interpretation Excerpt: The von Neumann–Wigner interpretation, also described as "consciousness causes collapse [of the wave function]", is an interpretation of quantum mechanics in which consciousness is postulated to be necessary for the completion of the process of quantum measurement. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Von_Neumann%E2%80%93Wigner_interpretation#The_interpretation “No, I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.” Max Planck (1858–1947), the originator of quantum theory, The Observer, London, January 25, 1931 “Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.” (Schroedinger, Erwin. 1984. “General Scientific and Popular Papers,” in Collected Papers, Vol. 4. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences. Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden. p. 334.) "As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter." Max Planck - The Father Of Quantum Mechanics - Das Wesen der Materie [The Nature of Matter], speech at Florence, Italy (1944) (from Archiv zur Geschichte der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Abt. Va, Rep. 11 Planck, Nr. 1797)(Of Note: Max Planck Planck was a devoted Christian from early life to death, was a churchwarden from 1920 until his death, and believed in an almighty, all-knowing, beneficent God. Mind and Cosmos - Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False - Thomas Nagel Excerpt: If materialism cannot accommodate consciousness and other mind-related aspects of reality, then we must abandon a purely materialist understanding of nature in general, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology. Since minds are features of biological systems that have developed through evolution, the standard materialist version of evolutionary biology is fundamentally incomplete. And the cosmological history that led to the origin of life and the coming into existence of the conditions for evolution cannot be a merely materialist history. http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199919758.do The Mental Universe - Richard Conn Henry - Professor of Physics John Hopkins University Excerpt: The only reality is mind and observations, but observations are not of things. To see the Universe as it really is, we must abandon our tendency to conceptualize observations as things.,,, Physicists shy away from the truth because the truth is so alien to everyday physics. A common way to evade the mental universe is to invoke "decoherence" - the notion that "the physical environment" is sufficient to create reality, independent of the human mind. Yet the idea that any irreversible act of amplification is necessary to collapse the wave function is known to be wrong: in "Renninger-type" experiments, the wave function is collapsed simply by your human mind seeing nothing. The universe is entirely mental,,,, The Universe is immaterial — mental and spiritual. Live, and enjoy. http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/The.mental.universe.pdf bornagain77
VJT: Great job as usual. I do confess that I view this blunder as a mark of our want of phil 101, as what knowledge is and how we acquire it with what confidence are issues in phil, not sci in any reasonable sense. BTW, Newton talked of doing natural philosophy, and confirmed findings were knowledge. Write this last in Latin and voila. The problem here is this is confusion of science with scientism, which runs into all sorts of troubles. As to the dismissiveness to Scripture, let's just say this weekend I have been busy dealing with phenomena that are full well outright physically impossible under relevant circumstances [the nature of which -- sorry skeptics, this is far too serious for debate games -- I am unwilling to publicly discuss . . . ], that are eyeball mark one real attested by multiple reliable witnesses, the undersigned included; and which depend for effective resolution on taking those same much derided scriptures at face value. I suggest skeptics have a look here in context for starters. (I'll PM, later, buzee now, G'bless.) KF kairosfocus
I would argue that the lion's share genuine human progress engendered by modern science has been in the realms of medicine and technology. Compared with the simple public health measures based on Pasteur, and the increase in life expectancy derived therefrom, what have, oh say, the theoretical physics hyenas actually contributed to the commonweal? Outside The Bomb, I'm talking about... jstanley01
As quantum mechanics gets thrown into the mix here, I can't help but point out that the "Copenhagen Interpretation" of QM, which puts the "observer" in the center of things, is disputed by many scientists. But they can't speak up or they will be shown to the door in the intellectual world of academia. Some of them are familiar to you: Einstein, Schrodinger, de Broglie, David Bohm, etc. At heart, the Copenhagen Intepretation stems from a "positivist" view of reality, and declares that we can only talk about what we can see and measure and observe. You learn a lot about "observable" in QM. They're central. But I think that this "interpretation" has really stunted the development of QM. Solid state physics is exploring the quantum world with an openness and curiosity that you just don't see in particle physics, which is the realm of QM. So, "positivism", a philosophical position and posture, is having a much greater harmful affect on QM than anything religion could ever do, but Rosenhouse isn't writing any articles about that, is he? BTW, vjtorley, let's add this insistence upon the Copenhagen Interpretation of QM as another way of stifling other people's views to the two you mention, of Darwinism and Climate Change (It's global warming. How do they get away with simply changing the name when the original name was causing them problems? How does that happen?). PaV
Most people really admire science, in view of its many accomplishments in medicine, engineering, communication, and other disciplines. Honest scientific endeavors aimed at improving quality of life should be applauded. Author Tony Morton goes so far as to say that “science is undoubtedly one of the mainstays of modern civilisation.” As in all areas of life, though, there's need for balance in assessing the true worth of something, and the field of science is no exception. Lewis Wolpert, in his book The Unnatural Nature of Science, writes: “Surveys confirm that there is much interest in, and admiration for, science, coupled with an unrealistic belief that it can cure all problems; but there is also, for some, a deep-seated fear and hostility . . . The practitioners of science are seen as cold, anonymous and uncaring technicians.” Science is not the panacea for all the world's ills, no matter how scientists like Jason Rosenhouse present it to be. "Science" and "scientific" are not synonymous with absolute truth. Down through history scientific discoveries have had their vigorous opponents. Some of the objections raised were unfounded; others seemed to have a good basis. Galileo’s discoveries, for example, raised the ire of the Catholic Church. And scientific theories on the origins of man drew hostile reactions on both scientific and Biblical grounds. So it comes as no surprise that each new scientific discovery attracts adherents and opponents. An old Latin proverb says: “Science [or, knowledge] has no enemy but the ignorant.” This is no longer true, however, for science is under siege today as never before—and not by the ignorant. Much of science is dollar-driven and supported by powerful lobbies, as noted earlier. Therefore, before drawing conclusions or getting excited about some new scientific discovery, ask yourself, ‘Who is really speaking?’ Learn to recognize the hidden agendas. It is no secret that the news media thrive on sensationalism. Some of the press will stop short of nothing to sell their newspapers. And even some more respectable journals allow a degree of sensationalism at times. The journal Speculations in Science and Technology observes: “The history of science shows that however majestic the leaders of science . . . appear, they are still fallible.” Barb
Axel ditto to what StephenB said: --- Sorry, forgot to link the References: The Galileo Affair and “Life/Consciousness” as the true "Center of the Universe" https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BHAcvrc913SgnPcDohwkPnN4kMJ9EDX-JJSkjc4AXmA/edit bornagain77
Given that Christians founded the modern version, revealed religion could hardly be a menace to science. That's just the cover story that guys like Rosenhouse like to have handy, to pull out of their ... uh ... "hip pocket," to use on the sophomoronic. I'd say that what revealed religion -- and specifically Christianity -- is actually a menace to are the megalomaniacs, who thanks to Charles Darwin, have become so common among today's scientists. Any trade that can gin up "a consensus" for a con game like global warming is capable of anything, and I do mean anything. jstanley01
Axel, you are a splendid writer. Your posts are a joy to read. StephenB
Not 'men', either, but 'man' as an individual; as the absolute speed of light to the observer clearly indicates - the non-local, omniscient and omnipotent action of a uniquely theistic, personal god. Beyond our universe and way beyond our ken. Axel
Fascinating and of prime significance, as it is, that cosmology confirms the anthropocentrism of the universe in so many ways, bornagain77, I think, what gives materialists the vapours more than anything, is the fact that quantum physics, that paragon of scientific paradigms, gives its key role to the observer - with all the paradoxes that leads to. In the last post, by annix, on the page of the Physics Stack Exchange site, linked below: http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/10660/wigners-friend-and-intersubjectivity-in-quantum-mechanics .... the poster refers to a need to invent parallel universes, 'to save the equality of all people', seemingly meaning, as observers. The language seems a little strange, as elsewhere, but one has the impression the poster is not a native English-speaker. The point being made seems consonant with my postulation in an earlier post on UD, to the effect that QM would seem to indicate that each of us is born into a world of our own, but seamlessly integrated with everyone else's, at all but the quantum level, where the seam unambiguously manifests. Of course, the primordial truth is that everything in nature is anthropocentric, points to man, hence the limited and, indeed, ephemeral value of physics and science, generally. Accordingly, Mr Rosenhouse is positing the precise antithesis of the truth, which is that the application to physics of the Christian paradigm /world-view, alone, can aid us in any approach to the interface between physics and metaphysics. Axel
The Galileo Affair and “Life/Consciousness” as the true "Center of the Universe" The Galileo affair has certainly turned out to be far different, and far more nuanced, than the simplistic 'science vs. religion' narrative that is told in popular culture today. Often times an atheist will try to deride a person’s Christian belief by saying something along the lines of, ‘Well, we also don’t believe that the sun orbits the earth any longer do we?’, trying to mock the person’s Christian belief as some type of superstitious belief that is left over from the Dark Ages that had blocked the progress of science. Yet, those atheists who say such things fail to realize that, number one, atheism cannot rationally ground science in the first place (A. Plantinga: Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism)[a], and that, number two, the primary opponents to Galileo’s heliocentrism, who caused much of the problems for Galileo, were Galileo's academic colleagues not the Catholic Church[b], and that, number three, the geocentric (Earth centered) model of the solar system was overturned by three devout Christians, Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo who were definitely not ‘closet atheists’. Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo, the three primary scientists involved in overturning the geocentric model, were all devout Christians and it certainly was not an atheist, nor some group of atheists, nor even some other religious group, that was involved in overturning the geocentric model. Johann Kepler (1571-1630), a devout Lutheran, was the mathematician who mathematically verified Copernicus’s, a loyal Catholic, heliocentric model for the solar system. Diana Severance (PhD, Rice University), a historian with broad experience teaching in universities and seminaries, stated this about Kepler
"About the time that the Reformation was proclaiming Christ rather than the pope as the head of the Church, science was announcing that the sun rather than the earth was the center of our planetary system. A leader in this changing scientific perspective was the German scientist Johann Kepler.,,, Throughout his scientific work, Kepler never sought any glory for himself, but always sought to bring glory to God. At the end of his life his prayer was: I give you thanks, Creator and God, that you have given me this joy in thy creation, and I rejoice in the works of your hands. See I have now completed the work to which I was called. In it I have used all the talents you have lent to my spirit."[1]
In fact, on discovering the laws of planetary motion, Johann Kepler declared these very 'unscientific' thoughts:
‘O God, I am thinking your thoughts after you!’ “Geometry is unique and eternal, a reflection from the mind of God. That mankind shares in it is because man is an image of God.” [2,2a&2b] – Johannes Kepler
Copernicus’s following quote is almost as ‘unscientific’ as Kepler’s was:
"To know the mighty works of God, to comprehend His wisdom and majesty and power; to appreciate, in degree, the wonderful workings of His laws, surely all this must be a pleasing and acceptable mode of worship to the Most High, to whom ignorance cannot be more grateful than knowledge."[2c]
In 1610, it was the Italian scientist Galileo Galilee (1564-1642), who was also a dedicated Christian to his dying day despite his infamous, and widely misunderstood, conflict with the hierarchy of the Catholic Church [3,4, 4a,4b,4c,4d, 4e], who empirically verified the Catholic Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus’s (1473-1543) heliocentric theory. Thus it is a undeniable fact of history that it was men of the Christian faith, and no other faith (especially the atheistic faith), who overturned the geocentric model. In fact, it can also be forcefully argued that modern science had its foundation laid during the protestant reformation of the 16th century, and also when the Catholic church had its own private ‘mini-reformation’ from pagan Greek influences over its central teachings during this era. The main point being that it can be forcefully argued that modern scientific thought itself, of a rational, approachable, intelligible, universe, a universe that could, and can, dare be comprehended by the mind of man, was brought to a sustained maturity when a more pure Christian influence was brought to maturity in the Christian church(es) of western culture, and when the stifling pagan influences were purged from it.[5,6,7,8,9] The heliocentric theory was hotly debated in Galileo’s time, for it proposed a revolutionary idea for the 1600?s stating all the planets revolved around the sun. Many people of the era had simply, and wrongly, presumed everything in the universe revolved around the earth (geocentric theory), since from their limited perspective on earth everything did seem to be revolving around the earth. As well, the geocentric model seems, at first glance, to agree with the religious sensibilities of being made in God’s image, although the Bible never actually directly states the earth is the ‘center of the universe’.[9a]
Job 26:7 “He stretches the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing”
Galileo had improved upon the recently invented telescope. With this improved telescope he observed many strange things about the solar system. This included the phases of Venus as she revolved around the sun and the fact Jupiter had her own satellites (moons) which revolved around her. Thus, Galileo wrote and spoke about what had become obvious to him; Copernicus was right, the planets do indeed revolve around the sun and geocentrism was effectively overturned.[9b] It is now commonly believed that man was cast down from his special place in the grand scheme of things, for the Earth beneath his feet no longer appeared to be the ‘center of the universe’, and indeed the Earth is now commonly believed by many people to be reduced to nothing but an insignificant speck of dust in the vast ocean of space (mediocrity principle). Yet actually the earth became exalted in the eyes of many people of that era, with its supposed removal from the center of the universe, since centrality in the universe had a very different meaning in those days.[10a] A meaning that equated being at the center of the universe with being at the ‘bottom’ of the universe, or being in the ‘cesspool’ of the universe, as this following quote makes clear.
In addition, contrary to what is commonly believed, we now know that in the eyes of its contemporaries, the Copernican Revolution glorified the Earth, making it an object worthy of study, in contrast to the preceding view, which demeaned the Earth. Ironically, the Copernican Revolution is almost invariably portrayed today as having demoted the Earth from a position at the center of the universe, the main concern of God, to being merely one of the planets. Danielson(2001) made a compelling case that this portrayal is the opposite of what really happened, i.e., that before the Copernican Revolution, Earth was seen not as being at the center, but rather at the bottom, the cesspool where all filth and corruption fell and accumulated. [10]
Yet contrary to what is commonly believed by many people today of the earth being nothing but an insignificant speck of dust lost in a vast ocean of space, there is actually a strong case that can now be made from science for the earth being central in the universe once again. In what I consider an absolutely fascinating discovery, Einstein’s General Relativity has shown that 4-dimensional (4D) space-time, along with all energy and matter, was created in the ‘Big Bang’ and continues to ‘expand equally in all places’:
There is no centre of the universe! According to the standard theories of cosmology, the universe started with a "Big Bang" about 14 thousand million years ago and has been expanding ever since. Yet there is no centre to the expansion; it is the same everywhere. The Big Bang should not be visualized as an ordinary explosion. The universe is not expanding out from a centre into space; rather, the whole universe is expanding and it is doing so equally at all places, as far as we can tell. [11]
Thus from a 3-dimensional (3D) perspective, any particular 3D spot in the universe is to be considered just as ‘center of the universe’ as any other particular spot in the universe is to be considered ‘center of the universe’. This centrality found for any 3D place in the universe is because the universe is a 4D expanding hypersphere, analogous in 3D to the surface of an expanding balloon. All points on the surface are moving away from each other, and every point is central, if that’s where you live. And as such, it may now be possible for the Earth to be, once again, considered ‘central in the universe’.
“People need to be aware that there is a range of models that could explain the observations… For instance, I can construct you a spherically symmetrical universe with Earth at its center, and you cannot disprove it based on observations… You can only exclude it on philosophical grounds… What I want to bring into the open is the fact that we are using philosophical criteria in choosing our models. A lot of cosmology tries to hide that.” [11a] - George Ellis
So in a holistic sense, when taking into consideration the ‘Privileged Planet principle’ of Gonzalez[12, 12a] which overturned the mediocrity principle, and which gives strong indication that the Earth is uniquely suited to host complex life in this universe, it may now be possible for the Earth to be, once again, considered ‘central in the universe’. This intriguing possibility, for the Earth to once again be considered central, is clearly illustrated by the fact the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR), remaining from the creation of the universe, due to the 4-Dimensional space-time of General Relativity, forms a sphere around the earth. I find the best way to get this ‘centrality of the Earth in the universe” point across is to visualize it first hand. Thus I reference the first few minutes of this following video to clearly get this ‘centrality in the universe’ point across:
Centrality of The Earth Within The 4-Dimensional Space-Time of General Relativity - video http://www.metacafe.com/w/8421879
Moreover, this 'circle' of the CMBR that is found by modern science to encompass the Earth, from the remnant of the creation event that brought the entire universe instantaneously into being, was actually predicted in the Bible centuries earlier:
Proverbs 8:27 (King James Version) "When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he drew a circle upon the face of the depth:" Proverbs 8:27 (New International Version) "I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep," Job 26:10 He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness.
But as tempting as it is to use the privileged planet principle, in conjunction with the centrality of the Earth in the 4-Dimensional (4D) space-time of General Relativity, to try establish the centrality of the Earth in the universe, this method of establishing centrality for the earth falls short of explaining ‘true centrality’ in the universe and still does not fully explain exactly why the CMBR forms an ‘almost’ perfect sphere around the Earth. The primary reason why the higher dimensional 4D space-time, governing the expansion of this 3-Dimensional universe, is insufficient within itself to maintain 3D symmetry becomes clear if one tries to imagine radically different points of observation in the universe. Since the universe is shown to have only (approximately) 10^79 atoms to work with, once a person tries to imagine keeping perfect 3D symmetry, from radically different points of observation within the CMBR sphere, a person quickly finds that it is geometrically impossible to maintain such 3D symmetry of centrality within the CMBR sphere with finite 3D material particles to work with for radically different 3D points of ‘imagined observation’ in the universe. As well, fairly exhaustive examination of the General Relativity equations themselves, seem to, at least from as far as I can follow the math, mathematically prove the insufficiency of General Relativity to account for the ‘completeness’ of 4D space-time within the sphere of the CMBR from differing points of observation in the universe. [13] But if the 4D space-time of General Relativity is insufficient to explain ‘true 3D centrality’ in the universe, what else is since we certainly observe centrality for ourselves within the sphere of the CMBR? Quantum Mechanics gives us the reason why. ‘True centrality’ in the universe is achieved by ‘universal quantum wave collapse of photons’, to each point of ‘conscious observation’ in the universe, and is the only answer that has adequate sufficiency to explain ‘true 3D centrality’ that we witness for ourselves within the CMBR of the universe. As well, whereas higher math refuses to give General Relativity clearance as a complete description of reality, higher math has recently (June 2013) confirmed the confidence we can have in Quantum Mechanics as an accurate description of reality. [13a & 13b] Moreover, an experiment has been proposed that would, if successful, would establish the primacy of Quantum Mechanics over General Relativity in dramatic fashion. [13c] As well, because of advances in Quantum Mechanics, the argument for God from consciousness can now be framed like this:
1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a 'epi-phenomena' of material reality. 2. If consciousness is a 'epi-phenomena' of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality. 3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even a central, position within material reality. [14] 4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.
I find it extremely interesting, and strange, that quantum mechanics tells us that instantaneous quantum wave collapse to its 'uncertain' 3D state is centered on each individual conscious observer in the universe, whereas, 4D space-time cosmology (General Relativity) tells us each 3D point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe. These findings of modern science are pretty much exactly what we would expect to see if this universe were indeed created, and sustained, from a higher dimension by a omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal Being who knows everything that is happening everywhere in the universe at the same time. These findings certainly seem to go to the very heart of the age old question asked of many parents by their children, “How can God hear everybody’s prayers at the same time?”,,, i.e. Why should the expansion of the universe, or the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe, even care that you or I, or anyone else, should exist? Only Theism, Christian Theism in particular, offers a rational explanation as to why you or I, or anyone else, should have such undeserved significance in such a vast universe. [15]
Psalm 33:13-15 The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works. Moreover, from a slightly different angle, ‘Life’ is also found to be central to the universe in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead provides a very credible reconciliation to the most profound enigma in modern science. Namely the unification of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics into a ‘Theory of Everything’: Two very different eternities revealed by physics https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/nyt-columnist-asks-is-intelligent-design-theory-a-form-of-parallel-universes-theory/#comment-490689
As to the fact that, as far as the solar system itself is concerned, the earth is not ‘central’, I find the fact that this seemingly insignificant earth is found to revolve around the much more massive sun to be a very fitting ‘poetic reflection’ of our true spiritual condition. Please reflect on this for a moment, in regards to God’s ‘kingdom of light’, are we not to keep in mind that our lives are to be centered on the much higher purpose which is tied to our future in God’s kingdom of light? Are we not to avoid placing too much emphasis on the temporal pleasure this world has to offer, since it is so much more insignificant than the lasting pleasure of what heaven has to offer?
Matthew 16:26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?
Here is a quote from evangelist Louie Giglio which I think captures this 'poetic reflection' of our true spiritual condition
You could fit 262 trillion earths inside (the star of) Betelgeuse. If the Earth were a golfball that would be enough to fill up the Superdome (football stadium) with golfballs,,, 3000 times!!! When I heard that as a teenager that stumped me right there because most of my praying had been advising God, correcting God, suggesting things to God, drawing diagrams for God, reviewing things with God, counseling God. - Louie Giglio [16, 16a]
Thus, as is extremely fitting from the basic Christian view of reality, the centrality of the world in the universe, comparatively speaking, is found to be rather negligible, save for ‘the privileged planet’ principle (and perhaps some yet to discovered geometric considerations [17, 17a]) which reflects God’s craftsmanship, whereas the centrality found for each individual ‘conscious soul/observer’ in the universe is found to be of primary significance,,, In other words:
,,,"Is anything worth more than your soul?" Matthew 16:26
supplemental note:
The Center Of The Universe Is Life – General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy and The Shroud Of Turin – video http://vimeo.com/34084462
Verse and music:
1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. MercyMe – I Can Only Imagine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_lrrq_opng
Love the post, Dr. Torley. Science isn't a way of knowing - at least, not knowing anything significant; science is a way of collecting data. For that data to be useful in any meaningful way, it must be interpreted through a model of one sort or another. You have described some of the fundamental structure of one conceptual model used to interpret data into facts, evidence and theories. The problem with many atheists/materialists/physicalists is that they have lost sight that they are interpreting data through a conceptual worldview which while perhaps useful, may or may not be true. The method of science is only about collecting data, while it is philosophy that interprets that data into meaningful (and useful) categories and relationships. A/M/Ps are mistaking their philosophy of data interpretation for reality. William J Murray
Something else that we can know without doing any experiments, but which can never be proven by experiments: there is an infinite number of prime numbers. Euclid is reputedly the author of the first proof. RalphDavidWestfall
How can one know that science is the only way of knowing? Does that knowledge come from science itself? Mung
Terrific, thank you. I have an acquaintance here in Houston, a materialist cardiovascular surgeon who was DeBakey's last resident in training. I need to be careful because I have ID'ed him to some people if they happen to read that last sentence. Sometime after I disclosed to him that science can be useless when exploring the limits to science he burst out with the claim that "there are no limits to science". And I gave some examples of where science has no business, such as the exploration of beauty, or good and evil. Of course he tried to refute. I pointed out to him the existence of a 'psychedelic community' many of whom I have encountered, and that virtually none that I have met or know of are materialists, based on what they have learned from non-rational and non-ordinary states of experience. He queried me on the use of the term "materialist" in that way but had immediately surmised the meaning, not ever heard it applied to himself as I subsequently did. When I use the term 'psychedelic community' the term can be loosely framed as including those people who have mindfully or ritualistically self-medicated, also therapists who have been licensed by the US government over the last 10~15 years to use these substances in therapy, mostly psilocybin. The community also includes mycologists (probably most of them), self-styled mystics, philosophers, mind explorers and the patients who have greatly benefited from the therapeutic use of the substances. I certainly do not include casual users, users in groups, or partiers. I propose that the most glaring limit to science in light of the previous seems to me to be its total uselessness when it comes to the alleviation of human suffering due to personality disorders, including some of the most evil of human behavior and experience. Conversely, non-rational experiential states engendered by the aforementioned substances have proven over and over great utility in overcoming the worst ills of human souls. Anyway I later on caught my M.D. friend possibly off guard when I asked him how he might apply science to discover why a Beethoven symphony would be explained in the typical Darwinist way. And he deprecated the idea. One small little battle leading to that answer was worth a toast. groovamos
You've debilitated the House of Roses. Nonetheless, I sympathize with his sentiment, namely, that scientia must rank high in the hierarchy of knowing. As you noted in the beginning of the post, his whole position is fixed on an article of faith; but it is one most of us respect at least in part. That being said, the House of Roses' representation of science is a confused and woefully presumptuous one. If we take his "science" to mean that empiricism reigns supreme, then key doctrines within historical sciences are reduced to rubbish. If we take it to mean pragmatism, then empiricism takes a back seat. If we take it to mean consensus, this obviously begs the question. And, if we take it to mean appeal to authority, then the former three are relegated to subservience, and we find little divergence between his definition of science and his definition of revealed religious knowledge. The circularity, which is no small thing, should be abundantly apparent now: "the best way of knowing is better than all other ways of knowing." What is the case that science equals the best way? Well, clearly that the best way is science, silly. Perhaps instead of fighting to see who can be the most dismissive of the other, we should start with an agreed upon definition: it is a fair characterization to say that science should be repeatedly verifiable, observable, measurable and falsifiable. Of course, this bar, when strictly enforced, is one which nothing but "Cogito ergo sum" can clear. And, strangely, that is a claim of fundamental metaphysics not physics. Ironic. jw777

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