Off Topic

BA77’s Off Topic Thread, Volume 5 — Aerobatic Ballet, what ID has done for me, Cyd Charisse, Tango jealousy, Butterfly

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This is a thread for UD commenters to speak their mind. Please keep it civil.

Off topic #1
If I could be a ballet dancer, I’d be this man:

[youtube VQKfvwoKc6w]

Off topic #2
It’s no secret I’m rather chummy with agnostics, atheists, free-thinkers and academics, and even some of the less reputable elements of society (professional gamblers). My love of the arts and drama often touches on realms the church sometimes frowns on. The irony is I’m a right wing conservative young earth creationist. Why is this so?

First I wasn’t always a YEC. I was raised in a Roman Catholic home, my lifestyle was worldly and I found church often boring and suffocating, and this persisted to some extent even after I became a Protestant.

I found more solace in music, the performing arts, drama and science than I did from the majority of sermons (often more like nagging and bullying sessions). There are very few pastors I can say that I look forward to listening to on Sunday morning…

Many of my mentors were Darwinists (the physicists, engineers, mathematicians, chemists) in academia and to this day I look at their intellectual accomplishments with awe.

For a season in my life, the home TV would be tuned into a mix of NFL Football, figure skating and classical music concerts. More recently, I’ve watched the history channel and all the retelling of great battles of the past.

I used to enjoy the thrill of flying airplanes. Flying upside down and going weightless and then getting squashed into my seat in a high G maneuver. I loved hang gliding until I broke my arm in a crash in Carolina and was hauled off in an ambulance. But even then, to me, that was living life….and I often confess these things were often more enjoyable than much of the church service experience.

Added to that, I’ve often been utterly disappointed in behavior of the clergy and laity. I’ve endured seeing pastor after pastor fall from grace — adulterous affairs, theft and abuse of donations, lies, family abuse, outright charlatanry, etc.

Some years ago Bill Gothard used to be widely praised in evangelical circles. I always suspected he was a rat. Now it turns out, he used to send his young staff to his brother Steve at an expensive resort built on charitable donations. The resort had an airport and was used for a Leer jet paid by for by charitable donations as well. Steve Gothard basically made sex slaves of the girls that his brother Bill sent his way. Bill didn’t stop the abuse of women despite knowing about it, and by all measures looked like a willing accomplice. Bill was noted for promoting the notion of obedience to leaders. He and brother Steve obviously used their teachings for their own ends. See what has been swept under the carpet by the Evangelical Community:
Gotherd 1980’s Scandal

I’ve hung around atheist circles because vicariously they express my frustrations with my own church family — the bad behavior, lack of critical thinking, often blind uninformed obedience…

What has kept me believing, and why have I stayed in the church? 2 reasons. Number 1: atheism and agnosticism offers no genuine hope of eternal life or an eternally better world. My favorite Agnostic/Atheist Bertrand Russell ironically gave me reason to search for answers outside of agnosticism and atheism:

Such, in outline, but even more purposeless, more void of meaning, is the world which Science presents for our belief. Amid such a world, if anywhere, our ideals henceforward must find a home. That man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins — all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand.

No matter how much science and technology there is, it will be destroyed as the universe dies out….

Sometimes in the midst of anxiety over the world’s troubles, I find it natural to call out for God’s help in prayer, and when there are moments that I feel I’ve caught a break in life I didn’t deserve, I can’t help but offer thanks. I think I have indeed seen miracles.

Number 2, the circumstantial evidence points to the historical claims of the Bible as more authentic than it is given credit for — the major points: creation of life, Noah’s flood, resurrection of Jesus. And if these things are historically true, it is reasonable they are also theologically true.

For sure, there are formal uncertainties in the proof of beliefs we hold dear. Could there be no God and is the multiverse the answer to problem of OOL? My reply — is it rational to wager one’s soul on the idea of multiverse? In light of what little evidences we have in hand for certain beliefs but in view of the potential payoffs, Pascal was most certainly right in his wager.

Despite my frustration with the church and despite my obviously being enamored with the compelling beauty and drama in a world that is passing away, it seems obvious there is design in the universe by some Intelligence far beyond human comprehension, and Intelligence capable of observing and knowing details of every molecule in the universe….

I’ve embraced Christianity reluctantly after nearly leaving it many years ago. Darwinists have actually strengthened my convictions after many years of debating them. In a strange sort of way, I thank God for them because they have helped me critically examine the case for ID and creation, and as a result, I’m more convinced now of God’s design and miraculous work than ever.

I still have attachment to the material world and all its passing beauty and drama and the illusion that all is well and will evolve to a better state. I’ve always been tempted to leave the church and just try to live it up, but I know utopia cannot be found in this life, and the longing to return to the Garden of Eden through human means cannot be met…

The evil in the world is sobering, but ID has been a source of hope that the can be ultimate meaning after all.

What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”

Apostle Paul

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Off Topic #3

Cyd Charisse is a miracle. She was crippled by polio when young, but you can see for yourself how she turned out. As far as I can tell, relative to Hollywood culture, she lived a clean life and was a life-long practicing Methodist (she probably couldn’t have been a Baptist given the prohibitions against dancing). She is a work of art!

[youtube wDHwJrbrp0Y]

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Off topic #4

I normally don’t like Tango music, but here is the best Tango, “Tango Tzigane” aka “Tango Jealousy”. It is an incredible mix of Argentine Tango form composed by Danish violinist Jacob Gade during the roaring 1920’s for virtuoso classical violin. The composition conveys so well the mood of the roaring 20’s almost utopian view of the world. He became rich on that one composition and retired.

[youtube KXObdWBr7os]
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Off Topic #5 rated PG-13, maybe R.

The winner of supposedly family friendly “Ukraine’s got talent” was pole dancer Anastasia Sokolova. 😯 You can google here “Ukraine’s got talent” performance. I found Sokolova’s performance while googling “acrobatic dance”.

Pole dancing is generally lewd, Jenyne Butterfly (who performed on the Ellen DeGeneres show) and Anastasia Sokolova (performed on “Ukraine’s got talent”) added some class to this dance form (still a tad lewd, but wow,the athletic ability of Sokolova and Butterfly is incredible). Most of the screaming cheers for Jenyne Buttefly were coming from women! Jenyne almost defies gravity!

I won’t link to their performances (it’s probably PG-13 or R rated), but I will link to this acrobatic dance routine from “Ukraine’s got Talent”:
[youtube l9ihPrEbI8Y]

Off Topic #6
And not to be out done, the 5 most shocking from Britain’s Got Talent:
[youtube iNGS9lF1a54]

122 Replies to “BA77’s Off Topic Thread, Volume 5 — Aerobatic Ballet, what ID has done for me, Cyd Charisse, Tango jealousy, Butterfly

  1. 1
    OldArmy94 says:

    I’ve embraced Christianity reluctantly after nearly leaving it many years ago. Darwinists have actually strengthened my convictions after many years of debating them. In a strange sort of way, I thank God for them because they have helped me critically examine the case for ID and creation, and as a result, I’m more convinced now of God’s design and miraculous work than ever.

    Ditto. Too many Christians run away from atheists and non-believers instead of facing the challenges head-on. I hate to say this, but I honestly think that a lot of Jesus’ followers will are afraid that an ‘infidel’ will say something that totally shatters their faith. Truth be known, I have heard no argument that has any appeal other than to emotion that extinguishes the logic of Christianity. There are genuine theological issues to wrestle with, but none of them defeat the arguments for a Creator.

  2. 2
    ronvanwegen says:

    Hi BA77,
    I am Catholic myself (if you must know, ardent!) and very interested in your reasons for leaving the Catholic Church. Perhaps you have written about it in the past elsewhere. You are obviously a very intelligent man and I’m up to the task of allowing you to attempt to convince me that Protestantism is “truer” so-to-speak than the Catholic Church. Irrespective, thanks for all your sterling work in the ID area!
    ronvanwegen(@)gmail.com

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    ronvanwegen, mmmm, that would be Sal who is very intelligent and a former Catholic. Myself, I’m just a not so intelligent protestant who never was a Catholic in the first place. 🙂

  4. 4
    Robert Byers says:

    Being opposed to dancing is stupid. That was my heritage. Those days are over i think.
    I don’t agree there is such a thing as beauty. in fact beauty , I think, is just evidence of gods original perfect symmetry in all things slipping though a fallen world.
    Its so rare humans invented a status called beauty but in fact its just accuracy and the rest is in stages of inaccuracy.
    The world only gets better as it copy’s north american society. This society was created by puritan/evangelical protestant christians as the greatest and enduring influence.
    so its christs impact on the world that gives a illusion things are getting better.
    they ain’t.

  5. 5
    scordova says:

    I am Catholic myself (if you must know, ardent!) and very interested in your reasons for leaving the Catholic Church.

    I estimate half of the authors at Uncommon Descent are Catholics, so my discussion wasn’t meant to criticize the Catholic church, only to give my personal history.

    I’m not hostile to Catholics. My parents are Catholics.

    When my mother prays for me, I ask her to pray only in the name of Jesus, not Mary. She prays the rosary every day. When I pray with her, she’s never objected to me praying only the name of Jesus or The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I still to this day make the sign of the cross on occasion and don’t eat meat on Good Friday.

    The last time I took part in a Catholic mass was at my Father’s funeral service. The part of the mass I did not recite was the Hail Mary. I think I accepted Catholic communion at the mass (but that was before I became officially part of my present denomination).

    My denomination (PCA) recognized my infant baptism in the Catholic Church in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I’ve refused to get rebaptized because I view my Catholic baptism as sacred and final.

    When I recite the Nicene Creed in church, we use the word “holy Catholic and Apostolic Church”. Many Protestants still view themselves as part of the Catholic church, but not necessarily recognizing the Pope as having the final say. I liked Pope Benedict.

    But since you ask, my main issue is veneration and prayer to dead saints, prayer to statues and crucifixes. When I saw people kneeling before statues, I got this feeling that it wasn’t something I wanted to be a part of. That’s the moment I decided to leave.

    So, that’s the best answer I can give. I didn’t write what I did to criticize Catholics. I’ve occasionally defended the Roman Catholic church, and my catechism and hearing the gospels read every Sunday led to me accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in my teens.

    God bless you.

    PS
    A curious fact many don’t realize. Bruce Chapman the president of the Discovery Institute is a Catholic. One of the major influences on the Discovery Institute is Howard Ahmanson, a Presbyterian.

  6. 6
    awstar says:

    Number 2, the circumstantial evidence points to the historical claims of the Bible as more authentic than it is given credit for — the major points: creation of life, Noah’s flood, resurrection of Jesus. And if these things are historically true, it is reasonable they are also theologically true.

    I have a similar Catholic upbringing as you, but by the age of 50 after wandering in the wilderness for most of my life, believing only one thing for sure about all my religeious training, namely; that Jesus rose from the dead and is alive in heaven, I made the conscious decision to believe the Bible as the inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of God. It was only then that I truly started to understand the Bible.

    One of the first oppositions to this strange axiom I settled on were people I encountered within the churches I had been attending including pastors. It’s amazing how many people can read the Bible without even seeing what it says, much less understanding it. The reason they can not see what it says, much less understand it, is because they do not believe it by default. They are waiting for it to be proven true before they will trust it. But the Bible clearly says faith is believing God and is required first. And if the Bible really is the Word of God, then that means believing the Bible before understanding it. Only then can the Holy Spirit act to give understanding, for only the spirit of God can understand the mind of God. It’s the whole encode/decode phenomena that we see everywhere, especially within living cells. Only the one who encodes the information can give the key to accurately decode that same information.

    Over and over in Genesis is says “God said …. and it was so.” It only stands to reason that the more we dig into understanding this material world, the more we’re going to find God’s Word is the most fundamental property that defines matter, energy, space and time. And the four forces that science tells us exist will boil down to just one: The will of God. And then it will be easy to see that brokeness and evil result from the will of the one who opposes God, some of it through fallen angels, but especially through humans who have been deceived into thinking they can rely on their own understanding.

  7. 7
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I find that the ID movement has done a lot to foster friendship and collaboration among Catholics and Protestants – as well as with non-Christian believers and even friendly agnostics and atheists. I’m a Catholic but I admire the many Evangelical or Protestant leaders in ID – and have learned a lot from them (even while disagreeing theologically in many cases).

    All that said, I can’t resist a little irritation …

    When I saw people kneeling before statues, I got this feeling that it wasn’t something I wanted to be a part of. That’s the moment I decided to leave.

    Altar calls are interesting also:
    http://www.twoagespilgrims.com.....r_call.jpg

    Those people are obviously worshiping the pulpit. 🙂

    Evangelicals worshiping some kind of stone idol here, beware …
    http://www.twoagespilgrims.com.....r_call.jpg

    I believe this group is giving homage to a loudspeaker or some other inanimate object.

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/̵.....r_call.jpg

    Don’t let them tell you otherwise. I can see idolatry with my own two eyes. 🙂

  8. 8
  9. 9
    scordova says:

    All that said, I can’t resist a little irritation …

    I was not intending to offend the Catholics here. The reason I sometimes mention my upbringing, is a lot of my detractors think I was somehow raised in an Evangelical or Fundamentalist household, and that the reason I defend ID was that I was brought up in a Fundamentalist home. I’m constantly accused of blind fideism.

    I was not raised that way.

    There are plenty of bad things happening in Protestant churches, and I mentioned quite a few above!

    I’ve often been utterly disappointed in behavior of the clergy and laity. I’ve endured seeing pastor after pastor fall from grace — adulterous affairs, theft and abuse of donations, lies, family abuse, outright charlatanry, etc.

    Some years ago Bill Gothard used to be widely praised in evangelical circles. I always suspected he was a rat. Now it turns out, he used to send his young staff to his brother Steve at an expensive resort built on charitable donations. The resort had an airport and was used for a Leer jet paid by for by charitable donations as well. Steve Gothard basically made sex slaves of the girls that his brother Bill sent his way

    A far as sacred relics and objects having miraculous power, in the New Testament, we do read that certain sacred “relics” brought healing:

    When handkerchiefs or aprons that had merely touched his skin were placed on sick people, they were healed of their diseases, and evil spirits were expelled.

    Act 19:12

    Do I believe then than these handkerchiefs remain powerful for all time? No. It was symbol and sign, not that the object in and of itself is perpetually powerful.

    Naaman the Assyrian dipped in the river Jordan 7 times at the command of God. Does that mean the river Jordan is somehow perpetually blessed to bring healing? No.

    Furthermore, the children of Israel burned incense to Nehushtan which had at one time been the object God used to heal people:

    And he [King Hezekiah] did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that David his father did.

    He removed the high places and broke the pillars and cut down the Asherah. And he broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had made offerings to it (it was called Nehushtan).

    2 Kings 18

    This was the story of the origin of Nehushtan:

    And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.” 6 Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. 7 And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. 8 And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze[c] serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.

    Numbers 21

    My interpretation is that even a sacred object ordained by God, one that had healing power, does not always have healing power, and that even God himself approved of the destruction of the object and definitely did not want people worshipping it.

    This was the parish I attended as a boy. I nice memories of my time there:

    http://www.stanthonyparish.org/

    But they had many alters with statues and people kneeling and praying to the dead saints associated with the statues. I’m not so sure even the saints would be approving of such veneration:

    Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

    Revelation 19:10

    That was the point I left, not because at the time I had much theological objection, but something in my heart said I won’t be necessarily closer to God by following such practices, and had this horrid frightened feeling I would actually be farther from Jesus by doing this. It was a feeling that I had so strongly then, and still do now. The theology came later (which I laid out with the scriptures listed in this comment).

  10. 10
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Thanks for your thoughtful explanation. I hope I didn’t sound argumentative. I was attempting to show that just because it looks like people are worshiping an inanimate object it doesn’t mean that’s what they’re actually doing. Regarding statues and icons – I’ve never met a Catholic that worships the thing as itself (a painted piece of wood or carved stone).

    But they had many alters with statues and people kneeling and praying to the dead saints associated with the statues. I’m not so sure even the saints would be approving of such veneration

    Ok, but you did rightly mention people touching Paul with their aprons and handkerchiefs — clearly they were showing him a lot of veneration and God rewarded it with healings.

    Again, just another thought, you’ve used the phrase “dead saints” with ‘dead’ being the key word there. I can understand a fear that some have of necromancy, but at the same time there is scriptural evidence (Elijah and Moses appearing at the Transfiguration) that the saints are not really “dead” in one sense. They’re in a resurrected state and spiritually alive. “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven” Matt 22:30.
    Some argue that this doesn’t happen until the Second Coming but as above, Matt 17:3 shows the prophets visible and talking so the apostles could hear them.
    If the issue was that “some Catholics give too much veneration to the saints”, I can understand that, but again, it’s the behavior of some, not all, and not something sanctioned by the church anyway.
    If, however, it’s a fear of idolatry and necromancy, then I think that’s a misinterpretation of what Catholics are doing.
    Whether sacred items that carry God’s power, must eventually, lose that power – I’m not sure if that’s always the case. For example, I think the ark of the covenant always retained a sacred power, but in any case, the ark itself was venerated as a sacred object which could not even be touched: “And when they came to Chidon’s threshing floor, Uzza put out his hand to hold the ark, for the oxen stumbled. Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzza, and He struck him because he put his hand to the ark; and he died there before God.” 1 Chron 13:9:10
    Side note – the ark carried the tablets, manna and the rod of Aaron. In the new covenant, Mary carried the divine Lord. Thus Marian veneration follows logically.

    I enjoyed learning about your background – thanks for sharing that. I was surprised that while you have an interest in drama and art, you moved away from Catholicism to the Presbyterian faith — so, towards iconoclasm. It might be an inner conflict, where art, sound, dance are thought of as sensual or worldly — so one is attracted but as a guilty pleasure.
    Personally, I think aesthetics are an essential part of a spiritual life – understanding that it can be taken too far or be used as a substitute for a real connection with God.

    I think that’s what the Reformers were concerned about — and some went on to basically wipe out all forms of Christian art in fear of paganism or idolatry. I understand the motive but find the results in barren churches and a neglect of artistic excellence to be very hard to take (a lot of contemporary Catholic churches imitate the Protestant style in that regard also).

  11. 11
    tribune7 says:

    Hi all. Long time no see.

    –When my mother prays for me, I ask her to pray only in the name of Jesus, not Mary.–

    When you pray the Rosary you are not praying to Mary but with Mary. Same applies in asking the intercession of any saint.

    This sums it up pretty well: http://www.catholic.com/tracts.....the-saints

  12. 12
    StephenB says:

    I will make just a few very brief comments about Catholicism and the “communion of saints. When I say brief, I really mean brief.

    First, there is a great deal of Biblical support for it, and I will be happy to provide references for anyone who is interested. Second, the practice did not begin with modern day Catholics: it goes all the way back to the church fathers. Third, it is perfectly consistent with reason: If we can ask our friends, who are living, to pray for us, why cannot we ask our deceased relatives and saints to do the same? If we are all members of the body of Christ, death does not separate us.

    In keeping with those points, the statues alluded to serve much the same purpose as the statues of past military heroes or other heroic souls who have won our admiration. The fact is that concrete images and pictures make it easier for us to identify with the person they represent. Emotional attachment to saints and the angels (not to the statues and pictures themselves) is a good thing because it puts us in an other-worldly frame of mind.

    That is the point of prayer–to temporarily get out of this world and into the Kingdom of God. Most Christian talk about prayer, but few actually practice it in a disciplined way. The reason for that is that prayer, if not done superficially or carelessly, is hard. Among other things, it requires a measure mental preparation and spiritual collection. A statue, picture, or concrete image can make it easier for us to calm our mind, leave this noisy world world, and enter into our own private chamber.

  13. 13
    vjtorley says:

    Hi Sal,

    Thank you very much for the videos – they were fantastic. I also greatly enjoyed reading your post.

    Regarding veneration of the saints and of statues, I can understand your discomfort, as my own mother was raised by a Presbyterian father (who was a minister for several years) and a Catholic mother. Although my mother was brought up as a Catholic, she imbibed both theological perspectives, and I have vivid memories of our family’s Scofield Reference Bible, which I used to love reading as a child. We also had a Jerusalem Bible, a New English Bible, a Living Bible, a Good News New Testament and several Gideon’s New Testaments floating about in our house. In addition, we had occasional visits from JWs and Mormons, who provided some very different perspectives, and we received copies of Plain Truth magazine for a few years, as well. I realized early on that there were many ways of interpreting the Bible, and that I would have to learn how to defend mine. So although I was raised Catholic, I grew up knowing my Bible verses.

    Re statues, I think StephenB’s last comment says it all: “A statue, picture, or concrete image can make it easier for us to calm our mind, leave this noisy world world, and enter into our own private chamber.” I don’t like most statues very much, but I do find that praying before a crucifix helps me to focus on Jesus. I do think, however, that artistic depictions of God the Father as an old man are blasphemous, as God very clearly forbids any attempt to depict Him visually, and I can’t stand Andrey Rublev’s icon of the Trinity, which I think is tritheistic as well as blasphemous.

    Incidentally, I have a question about your remarks on the Flood. I haven’t really followed Flood geology during the past few years. What, in your opinion, is the best evidence for a global Flood? (By the way, do you consider the Flood to have been global or merely anthropogenically universal, as the Catholic Encyclopedia does in its article on the Deluge?)

  14. 14
    scordova says:

    I’m glad the Discovery Institute, the ID movement, and Uncommon Descent has participation from a diversity of philosophical and religious persuasions. It is not my intent we have too much discussion at UD about the differences between the Catholics and Protestants and other faiths at UD. I hope this thread is about the extent we air such disagreements at UD, and infrequently at that.

    For me, one sister is a devout Catholic, the other is an Evangelical Presbyterian, and I’m a PCA Presbyterian, and our parents are catholic. The only time denomination was a big issue was when my older sister married a Baptist, but after that, it’s never been an issue in the family and there has never been one quarrel over what church someone attends. My Catholic mother is happy to see two of her protestant kids attend church every Sunday.

    VJ Torley wrote:

    I also greatly enjoyed reading your post.

    Thank you for the kind words

    Incidentally, I have a question about your remarks on the Flood. I haven’t really followed Flood geology during the past few years. What, in your opinion, is the best evidence for a global Flood? (By the way, do you consider the Flood to have been global or merely anthropogenically universal, as the Catholic Encyclopedia does in its article on the Deluge?)

    I believe the flood was global. The most important evidence is so many classes of species died suddenly and globally and the forensic evidence suggests a flood was the cause of death.

    I’ve asked geologists how well-preserved fossils got fossilized without decaying or getting consumed as food by animals or bacteria. The main answer is rapid burial involving water and minerals. If the burial was rapid, that means it could not take millions of years to bury them as a matter of principle. It was rapid catastrophic flood that had enough turbulence and minerals to cause the special conditions to fossilize soft tissue.

    If you’re really curious you could raise the question with scientists. You might be shocked how uncomfortable they might be telling you the truth about the process of fossilization. Combined with the fact we have lots of marine fossils on TOP of mountains, the inference of a global flood is hard to escape.

    When I teach creation science to college science students, I encourage them to ask these sorts of questions (politely and discreetly) of their professors or peers.

    Formally speaking the Universe and Earth could be old, in fact the flood could be old. The mainstream is backed into a corner of maintaining a certain narrative, alternative physical explanations are not permitted even without any mention of Noah.

    Let me point you to this compelling forensic examination of the death of Wooly Mamouth’s by Walter Brown:

    http://www.creationscience.com.....moths.html

    I invite you to read the whole analysis by Dr. Brown. What I found alarming is that basic considerations like Dr. Brown’s analysis are glossed over in favor of the mainstream narrative — and the mainstream narrative that cannot possibly be right as a matter of basic forensic principles (like a detective trying to establish circumstances and time of death).

    Finally, as Michael Behe has been part of the catholic laity that are advancing ID, there are a small minority of Catholics who are scientists that are questioning other mainstream theories. Those involved in the C-14 controversy over C-14 are part of a Catholic group of creationists.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....are-false/

    Here is a list of catholic creationists:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.....anisations

    Now, a little indirect evidence to consider. If one accepts the account of Jacob before Pharoah as historical:

    “I’m 130 years old,” Jacob replied. “My years have turned out to be few and unpleasant, but I haven’t yet reached the age my ancestors did during their travels on earth.”

    It tells me that the long lives of patriarchs were believed by Israel and the children of Israel. If supposing the ancestors of Jacob lived long lives, then this means the human race has evolved a lot (for the worse) in the relatively recent past. This goes against the mainstream views of human biology and human evolution.

    The question of human genetic deterioration (an active topic related to neutral theory) isn’t even under much consideration by the mainstream — but this simple question is loaded theologically. Many biologist know that cells have the capacity to live indefinitely, so why do we age?

    We have cells from a now deceased woman that will live probably for a thousand years or more! See:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HeLa

    Why is long life so hard to believe? If parents can bring a baby into the world with nice new working cells, then it stands to reason, a parent’s bodies could in principle self-heal to be youthful, but our bodies don’t do this. Why? There is not really a mechanical barrier unless of course death and aging are pre-programmed by the Designer.

    But if the account of Jacob and pharaoh is historically true and literal, what else about genesis might be true and literal. I’m not the sort that likes to rely solely on textual interpretation. Forensic evidence weighs heavily with me, and I think the forensic evidence points to a catastrophic global flood. The explanation by geologists about how marine fossils are on top of mountains seems pretty forced and not believable.

  15. 15
    Dionisio says:

    Are all comments welcome in an OT thread like this?

    Can a comment be OT in this thread?

    What would be considered OT in this thread?

    Just curious. Thanks.

  16. 16
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  18. 18
    Dionisio says:

    OT

    BTW, does OT stand for ‘off topic’ or ‘on topic’? 😉

    Junk DNA not as worthless as once thought

  19. 19
    Mung says:

    Are all comments welcome in an OT thread like this?

    Absolutely not!

  20. 20
    bornagain77 says:

    Dionisio, this is an excellent find:

    Junk DNA not as worthless as once thought – 07/24/2014
    Excerpt: As early as 2007,, Hackermüller, together with a number of colleagues, was able to demonstrate,, practically the entire genome (is transcribed into RNA—a template which normally serves the production of proteins), even those areas which are completely neglected when looking at blueprints for proteins. Hackermüller: “This finding gave rise to a lively discussion as to whether this could be caused by chance events or mistakes in the regulation of cellular processes. However, I doubt that nature is so wasteful with resources that it would produce such masses of RNA for no specific reason.”
    In their latest study,, Hackermüller and his team,, were able to bridge yet another knowledge gap. The transcription of non-coding regions in the genome is precisely regulated by cellular signaling pathways—and on a grand scale: up to 80% of the RNA copies were non-coding. “We did not expect such a magnitude,” says Hackermüller. “This is not indicative of a chance product—it is highly likely that the non-coding RNAs perform a similarly important functions to that of protein-coding RNA.”
    http://www.rdmag.com/news/2014.....cation=top

  21. 21
    bornagain77 says:

    Cell budding – animation from Vuk Nikolic
    https://vimeo.com/64407648

    Podcast – “The Universe Next Door with Tom Woodward: Responding to Criticisms of Darwin’s Doubt”
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....2_00-07_00

  22. 22
    Dionisio says:

    Mung @ 19

    Are all comments welcome in an OT thread like this?

    Absolutely not!

    What about this?


    Biologist warns of early stages of Earth’s sixth mass extinction event

  23. 23
  24. 24
  25. 25
    Mr. Cheese says:

    Hello bornagain77,

    I am new to this site and have been going over some of the older threads. I came across the thread titled “Does consciousness not involve quantum principles?”, in which you posted about the delayed choice experiment.

    I was wondering if you know of any articles/discussions/debates that deal with the results of this experiment and predestination. I am not sure if I am reaching too far with this. But it seems that the Armenian position, that foreknowledge does not necessarily eliminate free will, is strengthened by results of this experiment.

    To go a step further it is possible that God knowing our choice in the past may actually take place after we make a choice in the present!

    Of course i could be completely misapplying the results of the experiment.

    Your thoughts would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Mr. Cheese

  26. 26
    JGuy says:

    Mr. Cheese,

    Just as a long time reader of UD myself… Welcome to UD.
    🙂

    I’d like to comment or inquire on your sentence reading:
    ” But it seems that the Armenian position, that foreknowledge does not necessarily eliminate free will, is strengthened by results of this experiment.”

    For myself, I’m not strong on any position, but I’m curious where foreknowledge is used as an argument against free will in the first place. It doesn’t seem like a good basis for an argument that b/c God would have foreknowledge of what will happen that this somehow neccessarily eliminates free-will. Why can’t it be as simple as the eternal God knows the free-will choice one will make before he/she makes it? That seems to obvious to me… thus my question on where this argument is ever made… and how it is actually formed/made. I’m not even sure if saying God knows the chocie we will make BEFORE it is made makes sense other than from our temporal perspective.

    Anyway. Again..welcome to UD!

  27. 27
    bornagain77 says:

    Mr. Cheese, I agree with JGuy that God’s foreknowledge of our choices does not negate our free will. ,,, and I don’t know of any articles that deal specifically with those delayed choice experiments and predestination. BUT, Anton Zeilinger, who probably had/has a confused view of predestination, once made a rather curious statement, (which I disagreed with), in a lecture I watched:

    In the following video, at the 37:00 minute mark, Anton Zeilinger, a leading researcher in quantum teleportation with many breakthroughs under his belt, humorously reflects on just how deeply determinism has been undermined by quantum mechanics by saying such a deep lack of determinism may provide some of us a loop hole when they meet God on judgment day.

    Prof Anton Zeilinger speaks on quantum physics. at UCT – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3ZPWW5NOrw

    here are some background notes to give us an idea of how Zeilinger was thinking:

    In the beginning was the bit – New Scientist
    Excerpt: Zeilinger’s principle leads to the intrinsic randomness found in the quantum world. Consider the spin of an electron. Say it is measured along a vertical axis (call it the z axis) and found to be pointing up. Because one bit of information has been used to make that statement, no more information can be carried by the electron’s spin. Consequently, no information is available to predict the amounts of spin in the two horizontal directions (x and y axes), so they are of necessity entirely random. If you then measure the spin in one of these directions, there is an equal chance of its pointing right or left, forward or back. This fundamental randomness is what we call Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle.
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_.....302101.php

    People Keep Making Einstein’s (Real) Greatest Blunder – July 2011
    Excerpt: It was in these debates (with Bohr) that Einstein declared his real greatest blunder:
    “God does not play dice with the Universe.”
    As much as we all admire Einstein,,
    ,, don’t keep making his (real) greatest blunder. I’ll leave the last word to Bohr, who allegedly said,
    “Don’t tell God what to do with his dice.”
    ,,, To clarify, it isn’t simply that there’s randomness; that at some level, “God plays dice.” Even local, real interpretations of quantum mechanics with hidden variables can do that. It’s that we know something about the type of dice that the Universe plays. And the dice cannot be both local and real; people claiming otherwise have experimental data to answer to.
    http://scienceblogs.com/starts.....nsteins-g/

    Personally, I feel that such a deep undermining of determinism by quantum mechanics, far from providing a ‘loop hole’ on judgment day as Dr. Zeilinger stated, actually restores free will to its rightful place in the grand scheme of things, thus making God’s final judgments on men’s souls all the more fully binding since man truly is a ‘free moral agent’ as Theism has always maintained.

    To solidify this theistic claim for the importance of free will and how reality is actually constructed, the following study came along a few months after I had seen Dr. Zeilinger’s ‘loop hole’ video:

    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.
    http://boards.straightdope.com.....p?t=597846

    So just as I had suspected after watching Dr. Zeilinger’s video, it is found that a required (axiomatic) assumption of ‘free will’ in quantum mechanics is what necessarily drives the completely random (non-deterministic) aspect of quantum mechanics. Moreover, it was shown in the paper that one cannot ever improve the predictive power of quantum mechanics by ever removing free will as a starting assumption in Quantum Mechanics!

    Here is another recent experiment that highlights free will’s axiomatic role in quantum mechanics:

    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-p.....icles.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 the 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.

    That ‘infinite non-local randomness’ is (by necessity) associated with quantum mechanics prior to measurement does not negate the fact that free will can override that ‘infinite randomness’, if you will, and choose the most desirable of only two options.

  28. 28
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, it is important to point out that although free will is often thought of as allowing someone to choose between a veritable infinity of options, in a theistic view of reality that veritable infinity of options all boils down to just two options. Eternal life, (infinity if you will), with God, or Eternal life, (infinity again if you will), without God.

    “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

    And exactly as would be expected on a Theistic view of reality, we find two very different eternities associated with General Relativity and Special Relativity:

    Special Relativity, General Relativity, Heaven and Hell
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_4cQ7MXq8bLkoFLYW0kq3Xq-Hkc3c7r-gTk0DYJQFSg/edit

    Special Relativity and General Relativity reveal two very different ‘qualities of eternity’ (as predicted in Christian Theism). In particular, Black Holes are found to be ‘timeless’ singularities of destruction and disorder rather than singularities of creation and order, such as the extreme (1 in 10^10^123) order we see at the creation event of the Big Bang.

    Of particular note:

    “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

    Needless to say, the implications of this ‘eternity of destruction’ should be fairly disturbing for those of us who are of the ‘spiritually minded’ persuasion!

    In light of this dilemma that these 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 and Special Relativity (i.e. Quantum Electro-Dynamics),,,

    A Capella Science – Bohemian Gravity! – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rjbtsX7twc

    ,,in light of this dilemma, 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:

    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

    Moreover, as would be expected if General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics/Special Relativity (QED) were truly unified in the resurrection of Christ from death, the image on the shroud is found to be formed by a quantum process. The image was not formed by 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/i.....802004/271

    “It is not a continuum or spherical-front radiation that made the image, as visible or UV light. It is not the X-ray radiation that obeys the one over R squared law that we are so accustomed to in medicine. It is more unique. It is suggested that the image was formed when a high-energy particle struck the fiber and released radiation within the fiber at a speed greater that the local speed of light. Since the fiber acts as a light pipe, this energy moved out through the fiber until it encountered an optical discontinuity, then it slowed to the local speed of light and dispersed. The fact that the pixels don’t fluoresce suggests that the conversion to their now brittle dehydrated state occurred instantly and completely so no partial products remain to be activated by the ultraviolet light. This suggests a quantum event where a finite amount of energy transferred abruptly. The fact that there are images front and back suggests the radiating particles were released along the gravity vector. The radiation pressure may also help explain why the blood was “lifted cleanly” from the body as it transformed to a resurrected state.”
    Kevin Moran – optical engineer

    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/n.....79512.html

    Personally, considering the extreme difficulty that many brilliant minds have had in trying to reconcile Quantum Mechanics/Special relativity(QED), with Gravity, I consider the preceding ‘quantum’ 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:

    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.

    Evanescence – The Other Side (Lyric Video)
    http://www.vevo.com/watch/evan.....tantsearch

  29. 29
    Mr. Cheese says:

    Gentlemen, thank you for replying to my question.

    Jguy: For myself, I’m not strong on any position, but I’m curious where foreknowledge is used as an argument against free will in the first place.

    Calvinism.

    If I have foreknowledge that at 8:30am one week from today you will be sitting at your kitchen table drinking tea, you will have no choice but to do this.

    Not only have I eliminated your choice for that moment but I have severely limited the choices you can make up to that point. You can’t choose any action that will prevent you from getting to that moment. For example, you cannot choose to take a 3 week vacation in China.

    I have also limited the free will choices of others who would choose to interact with you during this week. For example, the coworker who is planning your demise, will be unable to do so this week.

    Natural forces/consequences are also inhibited. For example, the heart attack you would have had, due to a week heart and clogged arteries, can’t happen. You are immortal for the week.

    The moment arrives. You wife asks you, coffee or tea….

    Most Christians believe that God has perfect foreknowledge, therefore it follows that free will is an illusion.

    I do not subscribe to this position, but the conclusion is inescapable.

    I instinctively agree that foreknowledge can be independent of free will, but I have no argument or evidence for it and just saying it doesn’t make it so.

    Ba77, thank you for your response. I agree that it would be insane to argue against free will based on your posts.

    However the Calvinist may argue that this is all good and well as long as the future is unknown. But once foreknowledge comes into play that future free will moment becomes fixed and available free will choices leading to that moment become curtailed.

    This is why I found the delayed choice experiment so fascinating. It provides evidence that the past is not necessarily fixed until a present choice is made.

    Of course this is assuming that my interpretation of the experiment is correct. Which brings me back to my original question.

    Is it reasonable to use the results of the experiment as evidence that foreknowledge can be independent of free will?

    Thanks for the kind welcome.

    Mr. Cheese

  30. 30
    bornagain77 says:

    Mr. Cheese,

    I have never been impressed with the Calvinist argument. Knowing what someone will do is not the same thing as forcing someone to do something. God, being omniscient, besides knowing what someone will freely choose to do, also knows that they, and everyone else, had the freedom to do otherwise. Calvinists, if I read you right, are confusing omniscience with coercion/determinism. That are certainly not the same thing!

    you then ask:

    Is it reasonable to use the results of the experiment as evidence that foreknowledge can be independent of free will?

    I certainly think so. Indeed, I have used those experiments from quantum mechanics, experiments in which our present choices effect past material states, as proof that Dr. Dembski’s old earth Theodicy is plausible. An old earth theodicy in which our present choices and actions can act retroactively:

    Old Earth Creationism and the Fall, William Dembski – Christian Research Journal, volume 34, number 4(2011).
    Excerpt: My solution (to Theodicy) in my book “The End of Christianity is to argue that, just as the effects of salvation at the cross reach both forward in time (saving present day Christians) and backward in time (saving Old Testament saints), so the effects of the fall reach forward in time as well as backward.,,,
    http://www.equip.org/PDF/JAF4344.pdf

  31. 31
    Mr. Cheese says:

    Ba77,

    Thanks for your response. I am a layman when it comes to these issues. I am asking these questions to better understand the subject matter and to be able to defend my views.

    Allow me to refine my story posted above. Suppose I told you that I have foreknowledge that you will be having tea 1 week from now. Would you be able to change the outcome of that moment?

  32. 32
    bornagain77 says:

    Mr. Cheese,

    Suppose I told you that I have foreknowledge that you will be having tea 1 week from now. Would you be able to change the outcome of that moment?

    But, you are not God Mr. Cleese. But I suppose, in charity, that is what you meant to say, i.e. suppose God, not Mr. Cleese, let me know beforehand that I would do such and such. And in response to that I would say no, I could not change it. ,,, That reminds me of this Near Death Experience (NDE) video,,,

    In The Presence Of Almighty God – The NDE of Mickey Robinson – video
    https://vimeo.com/92172680

    ,, Where Mickey, at the 7:28 minute mark of the video, relates that God showed him future ‘scenes’ of his life. Scenes of him doing ‘rotten, sinful, stupid things’ and how he was unable to stop himself from doing those sinful action.

    I know the feeling of helplessness against sin well. That is why I ‘freely’ asked Christ into my life.

    John 8:36
    So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

    And indeed many people think they are freely sinning and have no clue that they are slaves to their sin. i.e. no free will!

    but regardless of all that, The downfall for Calvinists is that foreknowledge and coercion/determinism are not identical things. Thus free will, in a strict sense, cannot logically be ruled out by foreknowledge. It’s that simple.

  33. 33
    Mr. Cheese says:

    Ba77: But, you are not God Mr. Cleese.

    You’ll get no argument from me. So what is it about God sharing his foreknowledge with you that fixes the event but not sharing it does not?

    Him sharing his foreknowledge removes the veil and shows you reality as he sees it, that your free will is non-existent. But when he does not show you, can we not conclude your free will is an illusion? See through a glass dimly?

    Once again, I believe this position has been crushed by the experiment. I only persure this line of questioning because I do not believe that the Calvinist’s position is as weak as you stated above.

    According to the Internet encyclopedia of philosophy. This falls under epistemic determinism:

    “If a proposition about some future action you undertake is known (in advance), then (when the time comes) you must undertake that action, that action must occur, you are powerless to prevent yourself from undertaking that action.”

    God knows all future actions.

    If you grow weary of my questions, I understand. But I am grateful for you taking the time to answer them.

  34. 34
    bornagain77 says:

    Mr. Cheese, to say free will is ‘non-existent’, as you have done, because of God’s foreknowledge, is far too strong of a claim to make. Off the top of my head, there are at least two instances that I know of in the bible that God gave man a free choice. One was In the Garden, of course, and the other was here:

    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.

    Now did God allow them an entirely free choice in that instance or not? Since God is omniscient, and we are not, only He is qualified to know if the decision was entirely unforced. We are not in a position to make the judgment. As I said earlier:

    “The downfall for Calvinists is that foreknowledge and coercion/determinism are not identical things. Thus free will, in a strict sense, cannot logically be ruled out by (God’s) foreknowledge. It’s that simple.”

    Moreover, with absolutely no free will, (determinism in the strict sense), you have the little problem of God consigning people to hell for no reason at all since they had never had any choice in the matter. Not an easy dilemma for Calvinists to escape from to put it mildly (although I’m sure, from the few I have met, some have tried).

    Of related note, this might interest you:

    Here is a first person account of the split-brain experiment in which the person in the experiment testifies to being ‘one’ person even though he had lost control of his body:

    Excerpt: BTW, with regards to your citation of the split-brain experiments (and people who suffer from that due to injury, etc). I was involved in one of those split-brain experiments myself. (Which is possible by temporarily numbing the corpus callosum.) And believe me, it was the damnedest thing. The thing is, even though different parts of my brain were acting as if they had no knowledge of “each other”, behind it all was still “me”, consciously experiencing the strange disconnection.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-460565

    and

    In the following videos, although the girl in the videos was written off as hopelessly retarded by everyone who saw her, reveal that there was/is indeed a gentle intelligence, a “me”, a “soul’, within the girl that was/is trapped within her body. And that that “me” was/is unable to express herself properly to others because of her neurological disorder.

    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

    Thus in split brain experiments and autism, we have evidence that a soul exist apart from the body and that the person’s free will can be disobeyed.

    Some of those split brain cases were really weird to learn about.

  35. 35
    Mr. Cheese says:

    yes, that scripture and Joshua 24:15 and others paint a clear picture that man has the ability to choose. I am not sure if we have libertarian free will, but where it counts, the ability to choose life over death seems quite clear to me.

    There are some Calvinists who hold tight to double predestination. But some are squeamish and have fallen back to single predestination. However, it is not that easy to escape the logical conclusions of Calvinism.

    But that delayed choice experiment is so profound and quite the nail in the coffin of Calvinism (at least to me)that i cant stop thinking about it.

    On a side note, I have learned more about evolution from reading your posts then i have in the last couple decades of my life. Sometimes the b*tch slapping of your opponents was so hard that i would have expected them to be knocked back a few rungs on the evolutionarily ladder had evolution by natural selection been true.

    Thanks for indulging me. I am not sure if I will post again since most of the stuff on this site is over my head, but i do look forward to reading your posts.

    Take care,

    Mr. Cheese

  36. 36
    Mung says:

    hi BA77, I have some new quotes for you:

    Similarly, when matter advanced to animation it had to start with a convergence of entropy to specify information that carries meaning. Energy and information are the two irreducible prerequisites of our existence.

    – Manfred Eigen

    Mass-energy is “everything” that constitutes the physical structure of our universe. However, when asked what “that stuff”, which manifests itself in such diverse and mutually intertransformable appearances, really is, science replies with an embarrassed silence. We know how to measure it, but we simply do not know what it is. To quote Richard Feynman, from his legendary The Feynman Lectures on Physics: “It is important to realize that in physics, today, we have no knowledge of what energy is.”

    – Manfred Eigen

    Hence, what we can say so far is: we do not know what energy is. It must be “something” of a universal nature that appears in material and non-material forms and has the propensity to distribute itself among all states that are accessible without losing or gaining one iota; the amount of energy is perfectly accountable for.

    – Manfred Eigen

  37. 37
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks Mung, those quotes remind me to pre-order my copy of:

    Being as Communion – Dembski
    http://www.beingascommunion.com/purchase/

    Conversations with William Dembski–The Thesis of Being as Communion – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYAsaU9IvnI&list=PLR8eQzfCOiS3WgNO1msnYMpK-3cezgIzz

  38. 38
    Dionisio says:

    OT

    The Higgs Paradox: A Phenomenal Finding Leads To Many More Questions

    http://txchnologist.com/post/8.....ds-to-many

  39. 39
    bornagain77 says:

    Nice find Dionisio:

    The Higgs Paradox: A Phenomenal Finding Leads To Many More Questions – June 23rd, 2014 | by Michael Keller
    Excerpt: Discovering the Higgs boson plugs a large hole in the standard model, the highly tested theory that shows all matter is made of a number of elementary particles that interact through four fundamental forces—strong, weak, electromagnetic and gravitational forces. Together, these comprise everything we currently understand about matter.
    “The standard model provides a consistent explanation of the subatomic world,” said Jonathan Bagger,,, “The Higgs boson is at the center of the model. It’s the linchpin. But there’s plenty of the universe that the standard model doesn’t address.”
    In fact, all of the stuff that the standard model explains represents only 4.9 percent of the universe. Dark matter, which physicists and astronomers can’t actually detect with their instruments, makes up 26.8 percent of the universe, and a whopping 68.3 percent is composed of dark energy, a hypothesized form of energy that is also currently undetectable.,,,
    (Moreover),The Higgs particle itself is outside the (standard) model. When its mass is plugged in, Bagger says, the picture goes wonky and the math says that quantum fluctuations over time should destroy the universe. “There are several options to fix the math, but none of them are within the standard model,” he says.
    http://txchnologist.com/post/8.....ds-to-many

  40. 40
    Dionisio says:

    in storm over stupid tweets: blame it on the selfish gene?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new.....weets.html

  41. 41
    Dionisio says:

    Hi BA77,
    Glad you liked that link.

  42. 42
    Axel says:

    Wonderful to see this discussion you’ve generated, Salvatore. I’m not sure any of you really get it.

    It’s all about family. Above all, the frail, passible, human family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, and those dreadful adopted kids, mankind.

    Think of the suffering Mary must have undergone, above all, during Jesus’ Passion and at the foot of the cross. The human bond with one’s mother is very strong and important, and I suspect that the telepathic bond between Jesus and Mary all their lives would have been particularly strong, because they were so spiritual. So, the idea that God would want us to rather discount her importance in his providential dispensation, as if she were little more than a ‘broodmare’, is unthinkable. ‘All generations will call me blessed.’ When was the last time you all called her blessed?

    On the contrary, I absolutely believe the little rosary meditation concerning her coronation in heaven, evoking the absolute joy and jubilation of the very angels in heaven when she was crowned there. All her internalised glory, externalised and transfigured to reflect the reality of her stature. She must be a sight of stunning beauty.

    ‘Who is she that cometh forth, as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army in battle array.’

    Having grown up a Protestant/agnostic, until regaining the fulness of my faith the age of 20, to this day, the Salve Regina strikes me as making the most outrageous claims about Our Lady, that really are surely proper to God alone (not that it bugged me greatly) – in spite of the fact I loved the prayer and its beauty, and even having had it ‘from her lips my ears’ (if that’s not an idolatrous adaptation!) that she wants me to pray it.

    And its only recently I’ve realised that God did appoint her to mediate all his graces, not as a tribute to her, not even as a tribute to Himself… but as a tribute to US, to man. He wants us to understand that the titles, ‘other Christs’, ‘first-born sons’, were not bestowed on us, in a fit of absent-mindedness. This true vine, with Christ as our head is God, and we’re part of it. We’re really heading for life within the family life of the Most Holy Trinity, itself.

    I can’t help chuckling to myself every now and again, when I read the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, because I noticed that, as in other Catholic liturgical texts, we don’t only ask Mary to pray for us, the prayers further, invariably conclude, one version or other of the words: ‘Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.’ So we really go round the houses. Likewise, to the saints, sometimes Mary and the saints, but always concluding with the petitioning of God, in person(s).

    And I absolutely love praying to the Holy Souls, people I’ve loved and lost, family members and friends, who maybe have got their wedding garments a little grubby at some time or other. People like me, and perhaps you.

    To tell the truth, it all reminds me a bit of the song, ‘If you’re Irish, come into the parlour..’ I love it. Barmy. Quite barmy, particularly, to English sensibilities, but not so much to Jewish, Latin and Celtic sensiblites, I suspect. But I love it, and I don’t know if it’s because I’m three parts Celt, or because I think like a Londoner, and opposites attract. And I’ve always loved the Irish.

    And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Italians and the Jews are known for being great family types. Of course, it would be a generalisation, but I think there’s noticeable truth in it just the same.

  43. 43
    Axel says:

    Of course, if you prefer to view your God as a stern, autocratic monolith… well, ain’t nobody kin stop yer. But I prefer a rough-house! A party kind of God.

  44. 44
  45. 45
    Axel says:

    Salvatore, don’t take it personally. You’ve probably been to more parties in a month than Ive ever been to, but in any case, it was intended as a metaphor.

    StephenB, your #12

    ‘If we are all members of the body of Christ, death does not separate us.’

    ‘I am the resurrection and the life; He who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.’

    Here, I believe Jesus first referred to our physical death, and then pointed out, that our spirit is unaffected by it – just as attested by people who have suffered an NDE. You know.. It was a while before they realised they had ‘died’, and weren’t too unhappy about it, since they usually felt no pain, but, rather, a great feeling of love and happiness.

    It baffled me for a long time. It seems that Jesus didn’t always want to make it easy for us to understand his words.
    In his Gospel teachings, he was not presenting us with a kind of washing-machine manual, but, rather wanted us to understand that there was worldly wisdom that was ‘easy meat’ for the analytical intelligence to understand, and could be expressed with crystal clarity*; and then there was the spiritual wisdom he was intent on imparting, which was another kettle of fish, since it CHALLENGES us.

    We must WANT to understand it with all our heart. It’s not of ordinary importance. When he spoke about eating his body and blood, and some of his followers left him from then on, he had challenged the strength and commitment, of their faith in him. Those followers of his who remained, one would imagine, must have been just as baffled as to what he was talking about, but they had the faith to ‘stick around’ and try to find out what he did mean.

  46. 46
    Axel says:

    How about that, esteemed Mung!

  47. 47
    Dionisio says:

    70th anniversary: WWII – 1st Aug. 1944 : Following the sustained attack by the Red Army on German Nazi troops the Polish Home army begin the battle to liberate Warsaw from German control. The home army had been fighting the German invasion as an underground movement up to this day, but with the German troops already reeling from Russian attacks the Poles came out into the open to regain control for their beloved country.

  48. 48
    Axel says:

    Dionisio, I believe you are based in the US, but there was a wonderful TV documentary, here, in the UK, on the subject of the Polish pilots based here, during WWII.

    Apparently their record of ‘kills’ was absolutely phenomenal. Very courageous and, of course, highly motivated. They just flew straight at the German planes. Straight at them. Nor did they wait for orders, when when they heard the sound of enemy planes, but raced of to their planes to see them off.

    That motivation also made them the perfect match for the task of finishing off the capture of Monte Cassino, defeating and capturing the remaining German paras. It was a very dangerous job.

    I once got into conversation with an elderly Polish cafe-proprietor in Reading, and he told me he used to listen to what the returning pilots were saying in the canteen about the quirks of the particular aircraft they’d been flying, and he said it saved his life on more than one occasion, as they could be called upon to fly different types of planes that they’d never flown before.

    I expect your familiar with Private Voytek, the Polish bear extraordinaire?

    https://www.google.co.uk/?gfe_rd=cr&ei=WxzcU-qACMLH8gf_74KgCA&gws_rd=ssl#q=polish+army+bear+ww2

  49. 49
    Dionisio says:

    OT
    Matthew 16:13-20

    Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
    And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
    He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?
    Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
    And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
    And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
    I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
    Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

    [Reformation Study Bible by Ligonier Ministries]

    Caesarea Philippi. A small town at the foot of Mount Hermon, about twenty-five miles north of Galilee.

    who do you say that I am. The “you” is plural; Peter answers on behalf of the Twelve.

    Christ. Peter declares that Jesus is the Messiah and King prophesied in the Old Testament

    Christ. This title comes from the Greek word Christos, meaning “anointed.” “Messiah” represents the Hebrew word for “anointed”;

    1 Samuel 2:10 (ESV)

    The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces;
    against them He will thunder in heaven.
    The Lord will judge the ends of the earth;
    He will give strength to His king
    and exalt the horn of His anointed.”

    In the Old Testament, anointing with oil could be performed for the office of prophet, priest, or king (Ex. 29:7; 1 Sam. 16:13; 1 Kin. 19:16). The Old Testament promises the coming of the righteous Servant of the Lord (Is. 42:1–9), who will be a prophet like Moses (Deut. 18:18, 19), a priest like Melchizedek (Ps. 110:4), and a king like David, the Lord’s anointed (Is. 55:3–5; Jer. 30:9; Ezek. 34:24; Hos. 3:5; Zech. 12:8). Matthew reveals that Jesus is the Christ, the promised King and Deliverer.

  50. 50
    Dionisio says:

    Axel,
    Thank you for sharing that interesting information.

  51. 51
    Dionisio says:

    Follow-up to #49

    anointed. Numerous objects and persons were subject to religious anointing in ancient Israel (Ex. 30:22–33), but it was the king ultimately who had the title of the “Lord’s anointed” or simply “the anointed.” Persons chosen for divine service were anointed to signify that this was their calling, that they were authorized to perform it, and that God would give them the help they needed. References to the king as the Lord’s anointed are prevalent in the books of Samuel (v. 35; 12:3, 5; 16:6; 24:6) and Psalms (Ps. 2:2; 18:50). The present passage is the first reference to a king of Israel as God’s “anointed,” though the idea of anointing a king is found already in Jotham’s fable (Judg. 9:8, 15). The English word “messiah” represents the Hebrew word meaning “anointed.” In the New Testament, “Christ” represents the Greek word Christos, also meaning “anointed.”

  52. 52
    Dionisio says:

    Follow-up to #49

    [Reformation Study Bible by Ligonier Ministries]

    the Son of the living God.

    The meaning of the title “Son of God” is different from that of pagan literature. In the Old Testament, the anointed king was called a “son” of God (2 Sam. 7:14; Ps. 2:7). Israel as a whole is also God’s “son” (Ex. 4:22), and Jesus fulfills this status of Israel (2:15). As applied to Jesus, the title reflects Jesus’ unique relation to the Father (11:27; 21:38). He is acknowledged by the Father as “my beloved Son” (3:17; 17:5). Peter’s understanding was given to him from above, going beyond what he could have discerned on his own.

  53. 53
    Dionisio says:

    Follow-up to #49

    flesh . . . has not revealed this.

    Recognition of who Jesus is must come from God.

  54. 54
    Dionisio says:

    Peter . . . rock.

    The name “Peter” is a play on the Greek word for “rock” (petra). There are four leading interpretations of this play on words:
    (a) Peter’s confession that Jesus is “the Christ” (v. 16) is the rock upon which the church is built;

    (b) Jesus Himself is the rock, as Peter later testifies (1 Pet. 2:5–8);

    (c) Peter, as the representative apostle, is a foundation in the church (Eph. 2:20);

    (d) Peter represents by his confession the type of person on which the true church will be built.

    The first and second possibilities are often defended by pointing out that Peter’s name is petros and the rock is petra. But this linguistic difference is not significant for this context. The second possibility is unlikely because Jesus describes Himself in this passage as not the foundation but the builder of the church.

    If it had not been for the abuse of this passage by the Roman Catholic Church, it is unlikely that any doubt would have arisen that the reference is to Peter.
    But the foundational rock is Peter as a representative apostle (v. 15) whose confession of Christ has been revealed to him by the Father. As Peter himself later declares (1 Pet. 2:4–8), all believers have become “living stones” by virtue of their association with Christ, with the apostles as the foundation (Eph. 2:20, 21; Rev. 21:14). When Peter says that Jesus must not go to the cross, he is not called a foundation rock, but a stumbling block (v. 23).

    gates of hell.

    In the Old Testament and other literature the “gates of Sheol” or the “gates of death” are equivalent to “death.” “The gates of hell” may also be a reference to “death.”

    [Reformation Study Bible by Ligonier Ministries]

  55. 55
    Mung says:

    Speaking of the Higgs boson:

    Excitingly, the Higgs boson was observed experimentally just as this book was in press. Even though it may not tell us what mass “is”, it may tell us in more detail “how” mass is related to energy.

    – Manfred Eigen

    What’s a materialist to think?

  56. 56
    Dionisio says:

    Long Noncoding RNA Regulating Apoptosis Discovered

    This RNA molecule known as INXS, doesn’t seem to contain instructions for the production of a protein, but modulates the action of an important gene that impacts apoptosis. IOW, it plays a regulatory role.

    See more on this here:
    http://www.genengnews.com/keyw.....t/4/35591/

  57. 57
    Dionisio says:

    lncRNAs Demonstrate Protein Coding Functions

    Researchers from the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine say they have not only identified thousands of novel long noncoding ribonucleic acid (lncRNA) transcripts but also discovered that, contrary to popular belief, some of them actually do direct the synthesis of proteins in cells. They published their study (“Translation of Small Open Reading Frames within Unannotated RNA Transcripts in Saccharomyces cerevisiae”) in Cell Reports.

    Previously, lncRNAs were thought to lack the information and capacity to encode for proteins, distinguishing them from the messenger RNAs that are expressed from known genes and act primarily as templates for the synthesis of proteins. Yet this team demonstrated that a subset of these lncRNAs is engaged by the translation machinery and can function to produce protein products.

    Read more on this here:

    http://www.genengnews.com/keyw.....t/4/35277/

    BTW, should we alert News about the above highlighted expressions that could be considered for trademarking too ? 😉

    contrary to popular belief, […]

    Previously, […] were thought to […]

  58. 58
    Mung says:

    In response to the question, “What is energy?” Manfred Eigen answers that we don’t know. (See my post @ 36.)

    In the next section he takes up the question, What is Mass?

    And guess what? (see also my post @ 55.

    Because this correspondence between mass and energy is reciprocal, i.e., each bit of energy is equivalent to a certain amount of mass, the conservation law applies to mass-energy, rather than to energy or mass alone.

    – p. 8

    then:

    What about the question in the title of this section? Is mass just some condensed form of energy? This certainly is an important insight, but not an answer to the question which would become identical with that asked in the first section. Obviously, the phrase “what is” makes little sense as long as we are dealing with first principles or elementary, i.e. non-derivable, properties. On the other hand, the question “What is entropy?” has a clear answer, since entropy is a quantity that is based on a definition, both in phenomenological and in statistical terms (see Chapter 2). Nevertheless, most people feel far more comfortable dealing with energy than with entropy.

    – p. 20

    I get the sense we no more know what mass is than we know what energy is. This sense is only strengthened upon reading how Eigen closes out this section:

    Our mind does not inherit any a priori knowledge. It has to adapt to experience and observation, which are consciously reflected and embodied into a consistent scheme. Talking about what we observe and experience is helpful in creating “understanding”. It reminds me of a critical remark made by Bertrand Russell in his foreward to Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, which concludes with the categorical statement: “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.” Russell’s plain reaction to this conclusion was: “What causes hesitation is the fact that, after all, Mr Wittgenstein manages to say a good deal about what cannot be said.”

    As a final remark, one can only hope that his belief that “Our mind does not inherit any a priori knowledge,” was not known to him a priori.

  59. 59
    Dionisio says:

    What is so special about the human brain?
    I may not agree with all that was said in this presentation, but thought it was kind of interesting anyway.
    http://www.ted.com/talks/suzan.....transcript

  60. 60
    Dionisio says:

    OT

    A Long Noncoding RNA Transcriptional Regulatory Circuit Drives Thermogenic Adipocyte Differentiation

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2014.06.004

    Brown and beige/brite fats generate heat via uncoupled respiration to defend against cold. The total mass and activity of thermogenic adipose tissues are also tightly linked to systemic energy and nutrient homeostasis. Despite originating from distinct progenitors, brown and beige adipocytes acquire remarkably similar molecular and metabolic characteristics during differentiation through the action of a network of transcription factors and cofactors. How this regulatory network interfaces with long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), an emerging class of developmental regulators, remains largely unexplored. Here, we globally profiled lncRNA gene expression during thermogenic adipocyte formation and identified Brown fat lncRNA 1 (Blnc1) as a nuclear lncRNA that promotes brown and beige adipocyte differentiation and function. Blnc1 forms a ribonucleoprotein complex with transcription factor EBF2 to stimulate the thermogenic gene program. Further, Blnc1 itself is a target of EBF2, thereby forming a feedforward regulatory loop to drive adipogenesis toward thermogenic phenotype.

    http://www.cell.com/molecular-.....ll%20Press

  61. 61
    Dionisio says:

    OT

    Noncoding Transcription by Alternative RNA Polymerases Dynamically Regulates an Auxin-Driven Chromatin Loop

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2014.06.011

    The eukaryotic epigenome is shaped by the genome topology in three-dimensional space. Dynamic reversible variations in this epigenome structure directly influence the transcriptional responses to developmental cues. Here, we show that the Arabidopsis long intergenic noncoding RNA (lincRNA) APOLO is transcribed by RNA polymerases II and V in response to auxin, a phytohormone controlling numerous facets of plant development. This dual APOLO transcription regulates the formation of a chromatin loop encompassing the promoter of its neighboring gene PID, a key regulator of polar auxin transport. Altering APOLO expression affects chromatin loop formation, whereas RNA-dependent DNA methylation, active DNA demethylation, and Polycomb complexes control loop dynamics. This dynamic chromatin topology determines PID expression patterns. Hence, the dual transcription of a lincRNA influences local chromatin topology and directs dynamic auxin-controlled developmental outputs on neighboring genes. This mechanism likely underscores the adaptive success of plants in diverse environments and may be widespread in eukaryotes.

    http://www.cell.com/molecular-.....ll%20Press

  62. 62
    Dionisio says:

    OT

    Molecular Basis for Coordinating Transcription Termination with Noncoding RNA Degradation

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2014.05.031

    The Nrd1-Nab3-Sen1 (NNS) complex is essential for controlling pervasive transcription and generating sn/snoRNAs in S. cerevisiae. The NNS complex terminates transcription of noncoding RNA genes and promotes exosome-dependent processing/degradation of the released transcripts. The Trf4-Air2-Mtr4 (TRAMP) complex polyadenylates NNS target RNAs and favors their degradation. NNS-dependent termination and degradation are coupled, but the mechanism underlying this coupling remains enigmatic. Here we provide structural and functional evidence demonstrating that the same domain of Nrd1p interacts with RNA polymerase II and Trf4p in a mutually exclusive manner, thus defining two alternative forms of the NNS complex, one involved in termination and the other in degradation. We show that the Nrd1-Trf4 interaction is required for optimal exosome activity in vivo and for the stimulation of polyadenylation of NNS targets by TRAMP in vitro. We propose that transcription termination and RNA degradation are coordinated by switching between two alternative partners of the NNS complex.

    http://www.cell.com/molecular-.....ll%20Press

  63. 63
    Dionisio says:

    OT

    Brain power and cognitive computing systems
    http://research.ibm.com/cognit.....H2MFRLd-q3

  64. 64
    Dionisio says:

    William A. Dembski, Discovery Institute

    Conservation of Information in Evolutionary Search

    Conservation of Information (CoI) asserts that the amount of information a search outputs can equal but never exceed the amount of information it inputs. Mathematically, CoI sets limits on the information cost incurred when the probability of success of a targeted search gets raised from p to q (p < q), that cost being calculated in terms of the probability p/q. CoI builds on the No Free Lunch (NFL) theorems, which showed that average performance of any search is no better than blind search. CoI shows that when, for a given problem, a search outperforms blind search, it does so by incorporating an amount of information determined by the increase in probability with which the search outperforms blind search. CoI applies to evolutionary search, showing that natural selection cannot create the information that enables evolution to be successful, but at best redistributes already existing information. CoI has implications for teleology in nature, consistent with natural teleological laws mooted in Thomas Nagel's Mind & Cosmos.

    http://mrsec.uchicago.edu/Comp_in_Sci/

  65. 65
    Silver Asiatic says:

    If it had not been for the abuse of this passage by the Roman Catholic Church, it is unlikely that any doubt would have arisen that the reference is to Peter.

    I had not encountered that idea before. It would be interesting to trace the history of it. (Teachers doubted the obvious meaning of the text in response to interpretations they didn’t agree with. Who first did this? How did the idea spread? What are the implications today?)

    Reformation Study Bible by Ligonier Ministries

    Just curious … why did you choose that particular interpretation versus many others that conflict with it?

  66. 66
    Dionisio says:

    I had not encountered that idea before. It would be interesting to trace the history of it. (Teachers doubted the obvious meaning of the text in response to interpretations they didn’t agree with. Who first did this? How did the idea spread? What are the implications today?)

    I don’t recall seeing that interpretation before either. Agree it would be interesting to trace the history of it.

    Just curious … why did you choose that particular interpretation versus many others that conflict with it?

    good question, thank you for asking it.
    Have been using their commentaries along with others, but this time I was in a rush, writing from a tablet, hence I chose the shortest commentaries that cover more possible options.

    At the end of the day, the best interpretation of any paper is the author’s. My strong desire is to find the very author’s interpretation, but many times that doesn’t come easily.

    There’s always the danger of trying to read less than the paper says or to make it say more than it really does.

  67. 67
    Silver Asiatic says:

    At the end of the day, the best interpretation of any paper is the author’s. My strong desire is to find the very author’s interpretation, but many times that doesn’t come easily.

    Yes, but I meant the interpretation of Matt 16:18 and the meaning of ‘upon this rock’. In this case, it seemed the author chose interpretation ‘c’, (Peter, as the representative apostle, is a foundation in the church (Eph. 2:20);). I wondered if you agreed with that and if so why.

    But it may be that you were just offering it as one view, not your own necessarily.

    I found it interesting that incorrect (according to the author) interpretations of that passage were motivated by reactions against the traditional view.

  68. 68
    Dionisio says:

    Silver Asiatic,
    I think I see your point. I was offering their commentary, which listed 4 possible situations. I can’t tell which option is right, but I thought option (a) seems more reasonable. I don’t know Greek language, but it would be interesting to see what linguistic experts would say in this case.

  69. 69
    Dionisio says:

    Silver Asiatic,

    I was in Rome last March, visited the basilica, climbed up the stairs all the way to the balcony around the cupola, and thought whether Peter the apostle would have liked to see that majestic construction associated with him?

    The main Gospel message is centered in Christ alone. Peter himself wrote about that too. Other interpretations seem like deviations from the central doctrine, which remains unchanged, unlike the central dogma of biology, which got weakened by recent evidences coming out of the latest research.

  70. 70
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Dionisio,

    Interesting thoughts.

    … whether Peter the apostle would have liked to see that majestic construction associated with him?

    The basilica is not for Peter alone but it honors his faith in God and his leadership of the church (its built over his gravesite).

    I think Peter would appreciate the building itself – as Jesus would …

    As He was going out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings?

    As for interpretation ‘a’, I think it conflicts with the name change “you are Petros (rock)” but in any case, I wondered why you posted that particular interpretation and what you actually believed about it.

    Thanks for your explanation. I agree on the central teaching as you explain it but I would add agreement on the quote you offered that “the foundational rock is Peter as a representative apostle” and that the “apostles as the foundation” of the church.

    I thought that was a very interesting conclusion from that particular perspective.

  71. 71
    Dionisio says:

    Silver Asiatic,

    I would add agreement on the quote you offered that “the foundational rock is Peter as a representative apostle” and that the “apostles as the foundation” of the church.

    I thought that was a very interesting conclusion from that particular perspective.

    Yes, perhaps that’s the valid interpretation. However, I really don’t know 100% – maybe that’s a question that could be discussed further. Interestingly, that commentary comes from a source associated with a reformed denomination.
    Certain things, like for example, the fact that Peter was married, don’t leave room to discussion. But there are some issues where apparently the jury is out.

  72. 72
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Dionisuo,

    Interestingly, that commentary comes from a source associated with a reformed denomination.

    Yes, that’s why I was so surprised.

    True, we can’t know with 100% certainty but like the ID proposal we find the most reasonable conclusion.

    The early church fathers are a good source, to see if there was a consensus view.

    Plus, when you look at the opposing arguments, they don’t hold up. For example, the Petros/Petra thing that is dismissed by your source has no support at all (Jesus spoke Aramaic, not Greek). But it is still used widely as an argument.

    I think it was quite a bold statement from a reformed view — although I don’t agree that the Catholic Church ‘abused’ the passage. But there’s still an admission that the incorrect (according to your source) interpretation was based on a reaction against that and not on an honest reading of the text.

  73. 73
    Dionisio says:

    Silver Asiatic,

    Regarding the biblical passage you quoted:

    [The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times]

    As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!”
    “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
    Mark 13:1-2(NIV)

    [Jesus Foretells Destruction of the Temple]

    And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”
    Mark 13:1-2(ESV)

    what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings.
    Herod the Great began rebuilding the temple in 19 b.c., using marble and gold as decorative materials. The outer court measured five hundred by three hundred yards. It was bordered by walls of massive white stones, some of which were sixteen feet long and three to four feet high. On top of these were magnificent, covered cloisters or walkways with richly carved wooden ceilings.

    one stone.
    Jerusalem was sacked and the temple burned and destroyed in a.d. 70 by Titus, the Roman general (later emperor). The Arch of Titus commemorating his victory still stands in Rome.

    Reformation Study Bible by Ligonier Ministries

  74. 74
    Dionisio says:

    Silver Asiatic

    Had you heard of Ligonier Ministries before our discussion here?

    Do you think they are serious about the accuracy of their commentaries?

    Thank you.

  75. 75
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Dionisio,

    No, I had not heard of Ligonier Ministries before you posted that.

    Do you think they are serious about the accuracy of their commentaries?

    Tough question. I think that particular commentary opens up some issues that they didn’t deal with.

    What did you think about it? Again, it didn’t seem like you agreed with their view.

  76. 76
    Dionisio says:

    Silver Asiatic,

    Tough question. I think that particular commentary opens up some issues that they didn’t deal with.
    What did you think about it? Again, it didn’t seem like you agreed with their view.

    Apparently they are trying to post accurate information. One can notice it by the option they chose among the 4 they listed, as you well pointed out earlier in our discussion.
    This was the first time I understood that interpretation: that the Apostles, in that case represented by Peter, were the foundation on which Jesus built His church. They present persuasive argument. I always thought it was Peter’s declaration that Jesus is the Christ, the messiah, the anointed one and only, as it had been revealed by God.
    Now, all this shows is that the given passage is a little controversial and has provoked extensive debate. Hence, it doesn’t seem like a strong candidate for the core of a doctrine.
    The scriptures are clear about the salvation message. No room for doubts. Therefore the Gospel message is a solid doctrine.
    Thus we have some areas of scriptures that can be referred to as doctrinal, while other parts can’t be easily associated with any serious doctrine.
    Perhaps that’s what’s happening with the church foundation issue. It’s debatable, hence it can’t serve as doctrine.

  77. 77
    Dionisio says:

    Silver Asiatic,

    The basilica is not for Peter alone but it honors his faith in God and his leadership of the church (its built over his gravesite).

    I think Peter would appreciate the building itself – as Jesus would …

    Isn’t the basilica named after Peter?
    Would he have liked that such a monumental construction is named after him?
    Is there any biblical (NT) passage that could provide a hint?

  78. 78
    Dionisio says:

    BA77,
    Check this out:
    newly discovered non-coding RNA
    The newly discovered molecule is known as a long non-coding RNA. RNA’s usual role is to carry instructions — the code — from the DNA in a cell’s nucleus to the machinery in the cell that produces proteins necessary for cell activities. In recent years, scientists have discovered several types of RNA that are not involved in protein coding but act on their own. The role in the heart of long non-coding RNA has been unknown.
    http://www.dddmag.com/news/201.....8;type=cta

  79. 79
    Dionisio says:

    Oops! sorry, I posted something OT in the thread

  80. 80
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks Dionisio,,,,

    I believe ENCODE team, due to the unexpected activity of RNA molecules, went so far as to argue that an RNA transcript, not a gene, should be considered the fundamental unit of inheritance.

    Landscape of transcription in human cells – Sept. 6, 2012
    Excerpt: Here we report evidence that three-quarters of the human genome is capable of being transcribed, as well as observations about the range and levels of expression, localization, processing fates, regulatory regions and modifications of almost all currently annotated and thousands of previously unannotated RNAs. These observations, taken together, prompt a redefinition of the concept of a gene.,,,
    Isoform expression by a gene does not follow a minimalistic expression strategy, resulting in a tendency for genes to express many isoforms simultaneously, with a plateau at about 10–12 expressed isoforms per gene per cell line.
    http://www.nature.com/nature/j.....11233.html

    Time to Redefine the Concept of a Gene? – Sept. 10, 2012
    Excerpt: As detailed in my second post on alternative splicing, there is one human gene that codes for 576 different proteins, and there is one fruit fly gene that codes for 38,016 different proteins!
    While the fact that a single gene can code for so many proteins is truly astounding, we didn’t really know how prevalent alternative splicing is. Are there only a few genes that participate in it, or do most genes engage in it? The ENCODE data presented in reference 2 indicates that at least 75% of all genes participate in alternative splicing. They also indicate that the number of different proteins each gene makes varies significantly, with most genes producing somewhere between 2 and 25.
    Based on these results, it seems clear that the RNA transcripts are the real carriers of genetic information. This is why some members of the ENCODE team are arguing that an RNA transcript, not a gene, should be considered the fundamental unit of inheritance.
    http://networkedblogs.com/BYdo8

  81. 81
    Dionisio says:

    COT [Complete OT]

    Venom Gets Good Buzz as Potential Cancer Drug

    http://www.dddmag.com/news/201.....8;type=cta

  82. 82
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Dionisio,

    The early Christian community were very careful about preserving the relics of martyrs. There are Christian graves that honor the dead – naming each Christian that died (as in the catacombs). This also follows the Jewish practice that Jesus mentioned (Luke 11:47): “…you build tombs for the prophets…”

    So the Jewish practice was to build memorials to the prophets – obviously with the name of the prophet there.
    The Christians in Rome preserved the grave-site of Peter.
    It was the practice to offer Christian worship at the gravesites of the martyrs — so the basilica was built up over time there.

    The fact that the early Christians honored the saints can be seen in Acts 19:12
    “…so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.”

    People took their handkerchiefs and touched them to Paul’s skin and it had healing power. They kept the same reverence for his body after he was killed in Rome. So, at his grave is the basilica of St. Paul also.

    That’s how the earliest Christian community responded. These are the people who saw Jesus, in many cases.

    As soon as the persecutions ended, they built bigger churches and made them quite ornate. Even during the persecutions they decorated the tombs of the martyrs – as can be seen in the catacombs. Bigger churches were constructed through large geographic region ar about the same time so we know it was common throughout Christianity in the early church. The practice was not condemned (that I know of) – if you have information to the contrary on that I would like to see it.

    So, I think Peter would be very happy with the basilica which is a memorial to what God did through him.

  83. 83
    Dionisio says:

    Silver Asiatic,
    Thank you for the comments.
    Rev. 22:21

  84. 84
    Dionisio says:

    EGFR Modulates DNA Synthesis and Repair through Tyr Phosphorylation of Histone H4

    Posttranslational modifications of histones play fundamental roles in many biological functions.
    Specifically, histone H4-K20 methylation is critical for DNA synthesis and repair.
    However, little is known about how these functions are regulated by the upstream stimuli.

    Recent findings uncover a mechanism by which EGFR transduces signal to chromatin to regulate DNA synthesis and repair.
    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.devcel.2014.06.008

  85. 85
    Dionisio says:

    BA77 and Silver Asiatic

    I would like to know your opinion on this.

    By now there are over 200 links to research examples posted as comments in the below link. But apparently the subject is boring. How else can we explain the lack of discussions in that thread? Any comments, suggestions, ideas?
    Thank you.
    Here’s the referred link:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-510305

  86. 86
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Dionisio,

    Thanks for asking. I actually felt a little bad about that neglect of all your postings – I did notice it.

    My guess? I think nobody read your many links so they didn’t discuss them. To get a discussion going, I think you should start with your very best research example, then offer your own summary commment. Why is that research important? Is it a devastating argument against Darwinism? If so, why? Does it give powerful evidence for Intelligent Design? Also, why?

    The danger of posting all of your good material at once is that the thread will get old and lose attention over time. Then you’ll have to repeat the posts later. Then people get bored.

    So, in my opinion, it’s best to hold your very best research for the right time — when it answers a challenge.

    Another very good discussion promoter is to make a statement first, without the research. Then provide research if someone wants detail.

    Most scientific papers are not that interesting to read.

  87. 87
    bornagain77 says:

    Dionisio, if any naturalist decides to give up Neo-Darwinism and ever tries to defend the third way instead, I have your thread ready for use. 🙂

    Its not that there is no interest in the topic (I’m interested for one), its that materialists, at least the ones here on UD, have not even reached the point of realizing that Neo-Darwinism is falsified yet. Thus they are not even to the point of trying to defend the ‘third way’ yet as a naturalistic alternative to Neo-Darwinism.

    i.e. You are ahead of the curve. 🙂

  88. 88
    Dionisio says:

    Silver Asiatic,
    Thank you so much for the suggestions. I’ll definitely consider them very seriously.

  89. 89
    bornagain77 says:

    podcast: “David Snoke: Systems Biology and Intelligent Design, pt. 1”
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....9_09-07_00
    How the Burgeoning Field of Systems Biology Supports Intelligent Design – July 2014
    Excerpt: Snoke lists various features in biology that have been found to function like goal-directed, top-down engineered systems:
    *”Negative feedback for stable operation.”
    *”Frequency filtering” for extracting a signal from a noisy system.
    *Control and signaling to induce a response.
    *”Information storage” where information is stored for later use. In fact, Snoke observes:
    “This paradigm [of systems biology] is advancing the view that biology is essentially an information science with information operating on multiple hierarchical levels and in complex networks [13]. ”
    *”Timing and synchronization,” where organisms maintain clocks to ensure that different processes and events happen in the right order.
    *”Addressing,” where signaling molecules are tagged with an address to help them arrive at their intended target.
    *”Hierarchies of function,” where organisms maintain clocks to ensure that cellular processes and events happen at the right times and in the right order.
    *”Redundancy,” as organisms contain backup systems or “fail-safes” if primary essential systems fail.
    *”Adaptation,” where organisms are pre-engineered to be able to undergo small-scale adaptations to their environments. As Snoke explains, “These systems use randomization controlled by supersystems, just as the immune system uses randomization in a very controlled way,” and “Only part of the system is allowed to vary randomly, while the rest is highly conserved.”,,,
    Snoke observes that systems biology assumes that biological features are optimized, meaning, in part, that “just about everything in the cell does indeed have a role, i.e., that there is very little ‘junk.'” He explains, “Some systems biologists go further than just assuming that every little thing has a purpose. Some argue that each item is fulfilling its purpose as well as is physically possible,” and quotes additional authorities who assume that biological systems are optimized.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....87871.html

  90. 90
    Dionisio says:

    BA77
    I see your point. Thank you for the comments. You made me laugh out loud 🙂

  91. 91
    Upright BiPed says:

    Dio…

    Your list has been ann interest to me, and I am sure to many others as well.

  92. 92
    Dionisio says:

    UB,
    Glad to see your comments here! Thank you for the encouraging words.
    I also read your, SA’s and BA77’s comments in other threads.
    Now, keep in mind I’m studying (autodidact) the information processing mechanisms present in biological systems, but have focused in on the detailed informational processes associated with cell fate determination, specially during development. The articles I posted are part of the material I’m reviewing. Still more studying ahead.

    P.S. SA provided very helpful suggestions I will consider seriously.

  93. 93
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Thanks, Dionisio.
    If you’d like – maybe after you read a paper, post your comments about what it means for ID here on this thread. Just a thought.

  94. 94
    Dionisio says:

    Silver Asiatic
    I like that idea. Thanks.

  95. 95
    Dionisio says:

    Silver Asiatic
    Some of the materials I’ve read are PDF documents, but many are online, though some of them are behind paywalls.
    I plan to formalize my studies at a university, so I have access to the information behind paywalls and also can talk to biology scientists involved in academics and discuss the tough questions, while avoiding the potential philosophical implications, unless they want to discuss it too. At this stage my goal is to gather as many pieces of this puzzle as I can get. Last week I talked to scientists working on proteomics research, and when I tried to explain my interest in the mechanisms behind the precise timing of the centrosome segregation and the cell fate determinants segregation during the asymmetric mitosis and all what goes with that, they looked at me and confessed they didn’t understand that stuff. I was shocked. That reaction was unexpected to me. A friend who is a biology scientist explained that the level of specialization in this growing biology science is so high that scientists can’t barely communicate unless they are in the same exact area. This is challenging but fascinating.
    🙂

  96. 96
    Silver Asiatic says:

    That is challenging and fascinating, Dionisio. I wish you a lot of success in your university studies also — it sounds like you’ve got a great start already.

    It’s interesting that biologists are so specialized that they can’t understand each other, but we’re still supposed to believe that Darwin binds all of this together somehow. LOL

  97. 97
    Box says:

    Dionisio,
    would you care to comment on S.Talbott’s holistic views?
    Excerpt from article:

    “I can hardly begin to describe the stunning complexity surrounding and supporting the strikingly diverse performances of the p53 protein. But by now every biologist knows how such “regulatory” processes extend outward without limit, connecting in one way or another with virtually every aspect of the cell. The article on p53 makes an admirable effort to acknowledge and summarize the almost endless intricacy and contextuality of p53 functioning and, with its language of mechanism and control, it does not differ from thousands of other papers. But that only underscores the undisciplined terminological confusion continuing to corrupt molecular biological description today. When regulators are in turn regulated, what do we mean by “regulate” — and where within the web of regulation can we single out a master controller capable of dictating cellular fates? And if we can’t, what are reputable scientists doing when they claim to have identified such a controller, or, rather, various such controllers?

    If they really mean something like “influencers,” then that’s fine. But influence is not about mechanism and control; the things at issue just don’t have controlling powers. What we see, rather, is a continual mutual adaptation, interaction, and coordination that occurs from above. What we see, that is — once we start following out all the interactions at a molecular level — is not some mechanism dictating the fate or controlling an activity of the organism, but simply an organism-wide coherence — a living, metamorphosing form of activity — within which the more or less distinct partial activities find their proper place. The misrepresentation of this organic coherence in favor of supposed controlling mechanisms is not an innocent inattention to language; it’s a fundamental misrepresentation of reality at the central point where we are challenged to understand the character of living things.”

  98. 98
    Phinehas says:

    Mr. Cheese:

    Allow me to refine my story posted above. Suppose I told you that I have foreknowledge that you will be having tea 1 week from now. Would you be able to change the outcome of that moment?

    Suppose I told you that I had past-knowledge that you had tea 1 week ago. Would you be able to change the outcome of that moment?

    Thus, free will is disproved? We think that knowledge of the future is completely different, but must it be?

    We think we can change the future, but we really cannot. We can really only change the present. We think that we cannot change the past because it is the past, but perhaps we cannot change the past only because it is not the present.

    We live in the present. Therefore, we can only change the outcome of this moment. We only make a choice in this moment. We do not make choices in either the past or the future. Free will does not exist either in the past or the future, only in the now.

    Imagine that you have knowledge of the future, but that it works exactly like your knowledge of the past. Your knowledge of the past doesn’t preclude choice in the past, it only means that if different choices were made, your knowledge of those choices would be different. In the same way, your knowledge of the future doesn’t preclude choice in the future, it only means that if different choices are to be made, your knowledge of those choices would be different. The fact that a particular choice will be made is no more a restriction on free will than the fact that a particular choice was made. Again, choice can only happen in the present. What was was, and what will be will be, but when the past was present, there was choice, and when the future becomes present, there will be choice. What was is immutable and what will be is immutable, but the mutability of the present is grand indeed!

    At least that’s how I look at it.

  99. 99
    Dionisio says:

    Silver Asiatic

    Thank you for the supportive words. God is good. Encouraging messages from friends are always welcome 🙂

    It’s interesting that biologists are so specialized that they can’t understand each other, but we’re still supposed to believe that Darwin binds all of this together somehow.

    That incident I mentioned, which occurred at my recent visit to a research center in a university, might confirm that biology is so large and growing in its information content, that one hardly can keep track of a small part of it. The Big Data is not an imaginary bluff, but a real issue to deal with. Science research requires large amounts of computing resources.
    One difficulty I’ve encountered during this radical career switch I’ve made, is that I can’t find anyone to discuss the questions I have, even though I have several good friends who are biology science researchers. First, they don’t have time for my questions, second, they don’t know some of the specific stuff I’ve been studying lately, even though they know the terminology better than I do, because they have the background of many years of biology studies and research. My professional background is software development (information technology). In a way I’m an ignorant trying to learn. It’s not easy at all. I’m struggling at every step. But I like it. 🙂
    BTW, the new Third Way shows that some atheist or agnostic scientists out there aren’t willing to swallow the Darwinian pill.
    In any case, we should approach things with the humility of a child who ask all kinds of questions that pop up to their minds.

  100. 100
    Dionisio says:

    Box,

    would you care to comment on S.Talbott’s holistic views?

    Sure, I will. My pleasure.
    I don’t recall seeing that name or reading about those views before. Will read the text to comment on it as per your request.
    I have a meeting in a couple of hours and should get ready for it. Will try to respond after I’m back from the meeting.
    However, keep in mind that my credentials are poor and my knowledge is very limited, hence my opinion is irrelevant.

  101. 101
    Box says:

    Dionisio #100,

    Thank you very much.
    On occasion I draw attention to S.L.Talbott, who is IMHO onto a fundamental truth about life.

  102. 102
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Anyone whose pet dog has died knows the difference between a living animal and a dead one. Biologists surely know this, too, although (strangely enough!) the difference between life and death does not often figure explicitly in the technical literature presuming to characterize living creatures.

    I was hoping that there would be some attempt to describe the difference between living and dead. At one moment, a body shows all the processes, responses, behavior, stimuli all functioning. Then in another moment, they all stop.

    But science, so far, has not been able to identify or observe the missing element between the two.

  103. 103
    Dionisio says:

    Box,
    I didn’t find enough spare time to look carefully into this today.
    In my recent studies I’ve noticed that the deeper I dig into the cell fate determination mechanisms, the more complicated and interconnected things appear to be. That seems to match some of the conclusions derived from the holistic views. However, I don’t think I share all the views written in the document you provided.
    I could explain more later if you want to.

  104. 104
    Box says:

    Dionisio #103,

    Thank you for your reply. Further explanation is most welcome. However, only if you feel like it and find the article of interest.

  105. 105
    Dionisio says:

    Box,
    I find the article very interesting and worth careful reading. Actually, it added support to the conclusions derived from my current studies. The only thing I don’t understand in that approach is the OOL part of it. I can’t find it. Anyway, at this stage of my studies, I’m most concerned about the way things work in the biological systems, specially focused in on the information processing aspects. Hence, the holistic view you pointed to seems to match some of the conclusions I’m getting at while reading the reports coming out of research associated with the elaborate choreographic cell fate determination mechanisms.
    Therefore, yes, I want to understand the article you provided and comment more on it, and perhaps even get some feedback from you and others on the same subject?
    Thank you.

  106. 106
    Dionisio says:

    Coffee or tea?

    Check the mind-boggling effect the caffeine contained in coffee or tea can have on our cells:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-510654

  107. 107
    Dionisio says:

    OT

    Genomic-scale exchange of mRNA between a parasitic plant and its hosts

    Science 15 August 2014:
    Vol. 345 no. 6198 pp. 808-811
    DOI: 10.1126/science.1253122

    Movement of RNAs between cells of a single plant is well documented, but cross-species RNA transfer is largely unexplored. Cuscuta pentagona (dodder) is a parasitic plant that forms symplastic connections with its hosts and takes up host messenger RNAs (mRNAs). We sequenced transcriptomes of Cuscuta growing on Arabidopsis and tomato hosts to characterize mRNA transfer between species and found that mRNAs move in high numbers and in a bidirectional manner. The mobile transcripts represented thousands of different genes, and nearly half the expressed transcriptome of Arabidopsis was identified in Cuscuta. These findings demonstrate that parasitic plants can exchange large proportions of their transcriptomes with hosts, providing potential mechanisms for RNA-based interactions between species and horizontal gene transfer.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cont.....8.abstract

  108. 108
    Dionisio says:

    Box,
    I may partially agree with the article you asked me to comment on. For example, I see the author’s raised issues about the mechanistic approach to biology and in a way understand his arguments. However, since I don’t have a laboratory to run experiments in, I depend on the information coming from other researchers. Hence it’s easier for me stick to their mechanistic explanations, and try to understand the biological systems using the available information. By trying to get the full picture of the given biological story I’m studying, considering different scenarios and their associated choreographies, I have to explore all the interacting mechanisms that operate in the particular area that I’m trying to understand. This is bringing me close to a holistic understanding of the subject being studied. Many factors have to be in the right place at the right time, for these systems to work well. Yes, many cases of regulated regulators and so on. Answer some outstanding questions, but new questions arise. Unending revelation of the ultimate reality.
    By looking at mechanisms, I’m using their own medicine, which is gradually leading me to a point where biological semiotics (described in some papers I’ve read out there) as well as gpuccio’s procedures concept make more sense. However, what exactly are they, and where are they hidden?
    What do you think about this?
    Why do you like the holistic concept?

  109. 109
  110. 110
    Dionisio says:

    Oh, really? how?
    Where’s the beef? show me the money!

    “…novel phenotypes can arise by reorganizing an existing gene-expression pattern. The reshuffling of functional behaviors to create new ones has now been well established through molecular biology studies and comparative research on behavior,…”

    http://www.the-scientist.com//.....-the-Dots/

  111. 111
    Dionisio says:

    After posting #110 I feel like a zookeeper feeding the voracious lions who quickly jump on the food and devour it in seconds 😉

  112. 112
    Dionisio says:

    Querius

    As a follow-up to your good post here:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-514318

    I wanted to add this, but thought better in this repository for OT posts, though references to the Scripture shouldn’t be considered OT anywhere:

    For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified He also glorified. [Romans 8:29-30 (ESV)]

    foreknew . . . predestined.
    It is a plan of sovereign saving grace, entitling all who now believe to trace their faith and salvation back to an eternal decision by God to bring them to glory, and to look forward to that glory as a guaranteed certainty.
    The destiny appointed for believers (conformity to Christ and glorification with Him) flows from divine foreknowledge.
    Here it is persons, not facts or events, that God is said to foreknow.
    God does foresee events, but Paul’s point is that God has of His own initiative chosen the objects of His active, saving love.
    “Know” implies intimate personal relationship, not merely awareness of facts and circumstances (Gen. 4:1; Amos 3:2; Matt. 1:25); it is virtually the equivalent of “elect.”

    Those predestined are, in due time, “called,” or effectively summoned through the gospel into saving fellowship with Christ (1:6; cf. 1 Cor. 1:9).
    We note that all of those “called” are also “justified.” The call cannot refer to the outward call of the gospel that many reject.
    It is an inward call of God that performs what He intends. All who are predestined are called in this way.
    Predestination includes God’s determination that a person will receive such an effective call (that is, the “effectual call”).
    Predestination is not based on God’s knowing beforehand how people will respond to the gospel.
    Just as the predestined are called, so the called are both justified and certain to be finally glorified.
    The past tense of “glorified” indicates that from God’s standpoint the work is as good as done.
    He will complete it as planned.

    [Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries]

  113. 113
    Dionisio says:

    сказки

  114. 114
    Dionisio says:

    This is ‘bajki’ in Russian Cyrillic alphabet сказки

  115. 115
    Axel says:

    A little dog, stolen and dumped 100 miles from home, very purposefully flagged down an RSPCA van as it approached, jumped onto the passenger seat, and looked up at the RSPCA woman when she opened the door for him, as if, for all the world, he knew finally things were all right, and he’d be taken home.

    To my naive and primitive way of thinking, only God, the Holy Spirit, could have prompted our pretty unreflective little friend to hail his cab cum ‘private detective’, with such impressive confidence, indeed, authority. Definitely a ‘ya ya’ Sandhurst type.

    Then it occurred to me: What would our materialist friends make of the little dog’s apparent savvy? Does every Yorkie have a field marshal’s baton in his sack? Or was it just dumb luck, like the universe and everything, that it was an RSPCA vehicle. Where does survival of the fittest come into all this?

    http://www.care2.com/causes/st.....-home.html

  116. 116
    Axel says:

    Since you seem to be a typical Catholic tear-away – at least of an academic persuasion – Salvatore, your preferred interpretation of a less obsessively family-oriented God than the Catholic one (who with all due respect, seems more like Old Mother Hubbard than say, Virginia Woolfe – mutatis mutandis genderwise, puzzles me somewhat), though in truth God doesn’t have a gender.

    Here is an interesting article on the wilder side of Christianity that might make you chuckle :

    http://www.aleteia.org/en/reli.....088?page=2

  117. 117
  118. 118
    Axel says:

    ‘But they had many alters with statues and people kneeling and praying to the dead saints associated with the statues. I’m not so sure even the saints would be approving of such veneration:

    Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

    Revelation 19:10

    That was the point I left, not because at the time I had much theological objection, but something in my heart said I won’t be necessarily closer to God by following such practices, and had this horrid frightened feeling I would actually be farther from Jesus by doing this. It was a feeling that I had so strongly then, and still do now. The theology came later (which I laid out with the scriptures listed in this comment).’

    Strange you should say that, Salvatore, as I have a quite different ‘take’ on those statues. As a revert fifty- four, arguably 59 years, ago, (though under the latter calculation, only in intention), I just feel kneeling in the pew is fine, but I do tend to envy cradle Catholics, who manage to feel comfortable making the effort to kneel in front of the statues, in the full knowledge that they are made of plaster.

    It probably helps them personalize their communications with their saints, and since the persons of the Most Holy Trinity are the ultimate reality in God, maybe their theology is the tops. Just my £ 00.2

  119. 119
    Axel says:

    ‘But they had many alters with statues and people kneeling and praying to the dead saints associated with the statues. I’m not so sure even the saints would be approving of such veneration:

    Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

    Revelation 19:10

    That was the point I left, not because at the time I had much theological objection, but something in my heart said I won’t be necessarily closer to God by following such practices, and had this horrid frightened feeling I would actually be farther from Jesus by doing this. It was a feeling that I had so strongly then, and still do now. The theology came later (which I laid out with the scriptures listed in this comment).’

    Strange you should say that, Salvatore, as I have a quite different ‘take’ on those statues. As a revert fifty- four, arguably 59 years, ago, (though under the latter calculation, only in intention), I just feel kneeling in the pew is fine, but I do tend to envy cradle Catholics, who manage to feel comfortable making the effort to kneel in front of the statues, in the full knowledge that they are made of plaster.

    It probably helps them personalize their communications with their saints, and since the persons of the Most Holy Trinity are the ultimate reality in God, maybe their theology is the tops. Just my £ 00.2

    On the other hand, I do believe that reference you cited concerning the angel (Rev 19:10) has immense implications for the clericalism, papal ring-kissing, bowing, the whole imperial court schtick, the angel having displayed the same attitude as Peter had, when a man fell on his knees before him, and Peter hauled him to his feet, assuring him that he was just a man like him. He evidently forgot nothing of the lessons on humility given them all by the Master.

  120. 120
    Axel says:

    BA77, old chap, would think you could dig up for me that article on the luminescence of the human body, caught on a kind of camera/imaging apparatus ?

    I mentioned it on Christian Forums, in the context of the recent findings of the zinc flashes of light when a human sperm enters an ovum, and the usual arrogant young atheist deadheads are blethering their usual agenda-driven scoffing. If you could find the time – though a tall order, I expect – perhaps you might like to shoot them down in flames.

    One chap is equation gamma rays with photons, Aah hae ma doots aboot that, but you’d ken ! If not convenient, I’ll copy the link to the article for them, if you can find it.

  121. 121
    Axel says:

    Sal @ #5
    Strange that, Sal : your feelings about praying to the Virgin Mary, as I once read on another blog that Mary was the main thing former Catholics missed about their former faith. There seem to me to be excellent reasons for honouring her as ALMOST more divinely divine than humanly divine.

    Think of the billions of trillions of planets in just our known universe, which beside God would still be infinitely small, and that this mortal woman, albeit spared the effects of the Fall, gave birth to God as a fully human and fully divine person. But most significantly of all, think since like most mothers only more so, she would have felt so much of the extreme pain, agony and anguish Jesus had undergone simply during his passion and crucifixion – which must have seemed like an eternity : three times the maximum whip-lashes, always in the knowledge that it was but the beginning, and it could only get worse and worse – which it must have with each new torment and agony. And all the while the extreme hatred his love inpsired in his evil tormentors would have added that personal extra-painful dimension. Satre had it right : ‘Hell is other people’ (which, of course, includes ourselves to the infernally-tormented!).

    Of course, ‘a miss is as good as a mile’, and Mary herself was reported by a visionary to have told her that (in herself) she was nothing, a mere creature, a creation of God, (like all of us). And failure to understand that was one of the things that disappointed her the most.

  122. 122
    Brother Brian says:

    Axel@121, am I the only one who thinks that it is strange to respond to a four + year old comment, by someone who has been long banned from UD? Or is this a blog bug?

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