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“Why are materialists so threatened by the uniqueness of life?”

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At the ID Facebook page, Jack Hudson asked the title question, in relation to this linked UD post, “Harvard astronomer: But maybe planets and life got started shortly after the Big Bang?”

And it’s a good question too. Briefly, an astronomer posits that exoplanets and life got started about fifteen million years after the Big Bang. The attraction of the idea has nothing to do with plausibility. But if it were plausible, it would show that life on Earth isn’t “special.”

Why the nervous tic on the subject? First, it’s not obvious that, by itself, life (if it is indeed unique) proves that there is a God. A number of further assumptions must be made. One obvious one is that it couldn’t have happened, as some of Darwin’s followers insist, by natural selection acting on random mutation alone. Yes, that sounds implausible, but so does astronomer Loeb’s proposal.

Does the materialist assume, at heart, that his basic assumption (intelligence derives from matter) is implausible? Does he hope that a cloud of competing implausibilities will distract attention from that basic weakness? Thoughts?

5 Replies to ““Why are materialists so threatened by the uniqueness of life?”

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:


    Today on the Medved Show, Special Broadcast from Discovery Institute: Anti-ID Persecution and the Future of Intelligent Design
    Evolution News & Views December 11, 2013
    It’s the profoundest question that science can ask: Does life bear evidence that a designing intelligence guided the evolution of complex organisms? Anyone who follows the debate about Darwinism knows that ID provokes an ironic response from those who instinctively despise the idea of design in nature. Simply for considering the possibility of ID in their research, letting the scientific evidence speak for itself, ID advocates are tarred by Darwinist critics as “anti-science.” Meanwhile, the same critics turn around and persecute pro-ID scientists for asking important scientific questions. Who is really “anti-science”?
    Today on the Michael Medved Show’s Science & Culture Update, Michael will be talking to biologists Doug Axe and Richard Sternberg with Discovery Institute who represent the bright and promising future of the science of ID — but who have also paid heavy professional penalties for squarely confronting the evidence of design in their laboratories. The Medved Show broadcasts today only live from Discovery HQ. Join the conversation at 1 pm Pacific time, 4 pm Eastern. Listen on the radio or online by clicking here.

  2. 2
    selvaRajan says:

    Loeb’s paper is quite good- at least theoretically. There is the question of abiogenesis and of course despite habitable zone existence, no one doubts that radiation was too extreme for life – even bacteria- to evolve. But no one can fault his approach. It is a hypothesis that needs proof before it can be accepted. That’s all there is to it. There is no conspiracy 🙂

  3. 3
    jhudson says:

    It’s interesting to see how this ‘big numbers equals inevitability’ argument pops up every time certain unique complexities are observed. Life appears to have occured uniquely in earth’s past? Well there must have once been an RNA world seething with replicating units of which one inevitably led to the original life form.

    Earth is a uniquely situated for life’s habitation? Well there must be billions of habitable planets out there suitable for life, earth is ordinary.

    The universe has aspects that seem fine-tuned for life? Well then there must be a multi-verse with a nearly infinite number of universe popping into and out of existence.

    And now in an attempt to tackle the anthropic principle we imagine an early universe teeming with life, so that the reality of life here on earth is again an inevitablity due to big numbers.

    Increasingly these seem less like theories than a ploy. If Occam’s Razor is understood to say, “Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily’ then the materialists have dulled that razor to utter uselessness in their pursuit of avoiding the implications of universe which exhibis specialness from its fundamental laws to the organization of the simplest life forms.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    as to: “Why are materialists so threatened by the uniqueness of life?”

    Or to refine the question a bit further:

    “Why are materialists so threatened by the possibility that life may come solely from God?”

    Perhaps this is the real reason:

    John 3:19
    And this is the condemnation: that Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

    Regardless of whether such irrationality is because of men refusing to come to God because they ‘like’ their sins, or whether it is because of men imagining that they can get ‘life’ on the cheap if they can only enlarge their probabilistic resources large enough, (as jhudson alluded to in post 3), the fact of the matter is that our science has now advanced to the point of allowing us to see if God has a direct hand in life or not.
    Here are a few notes on that score:

    Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA – Elisabeth Rieper – short video

    Quantum Entanglement Holds DNA Together, Say Physicists – June 28, 2010 (Cited by News on UD yesterday)

    What is interesting about finding quantum entanglement within the heart of molecular biology, indeed ‘holding DNA together’, is that no story within space-time can describe quantum entanglement:

    Looking Beyond Space and Time to Cope With Quantum Theory – (Oct. 28, 2012)
    Excerpt: “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,” says Nicolas Gisin, Professor at the University of Geneva, Switzerland,,,

    (also see Bell, Aspect, Leggett and Zeilinger)

    Dr. Berlinski, in his gift of poetic clarity, relates how this beyond space and time cause ties into Theism:

    An Interview with David Berlinski – Jonathan Witt
    Berlinski: There is no argument against religion that is not also an argument against mathematics. Mathematicians are capable of grasping a world of objects that lies beyond space and time ….
    Interviewer:… Come again(?) …
    Berlinski: No need to come again: I got to where I was going the first time. The number four, after all, did not come into existence at a particular time, and it is not going to go out of existence at another time. It is neither here nor there. Nonetheless we are in some sense able to grasp the number by a faculty of our minds. Mathematical intuition is utterly mysterious. So for that matter is the fact that mathematical objects such as a Lie Group or a differentiable manifold have the power to interact with elementary particles or accelerating forces. But these are precisely the claims that theologians have always made as well – that human beings are capable by an exercise of their devotional abilities to come to some understanding of the deity; and the deity, although beyond space and time, is capable of interacting with material objects.

    Moreover, as if that was not enough evidence to prove that “biological” life is dependent on God, we have further evidence from photosynthesis for life’s dependency on God:

    First we have evidence of photosynthetic life in the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found on earth:

    The Sudden Appearance Of Photosynthetic Life On Earth – video

    U-rich Archaean sea-floor sediments from Greenland – indications of +3700 Ma oxygenic photosynthesis (2003)

    More amazing still, photosynthesis itself requires a non-local, beyond space and time, cause in order to explain its effect:

    Plants ‘seen doing quantum physics’ – By Jason Palmer – 21 June 2013
    Excerpt: “What you see here is this photon comes in, and it sees many energy pathways,” explained Prof van Hulst. “Where does it go? It goes to the one that’s most efficient, the one where this quantum effect tells you it has the highest probability (of being put to use),” he told BBC News.
    But the soft, flexible, warm conditions at room temperature mean that, as things move and jiggle – as life tends to do – that most efficient path can change. Remarkably, so did the evident path along the rings. ,,,- “this for me is something shocking,” Prof van Hulst continued.

    At the 21:00 minute mark of the following video, Dr Suarez explains why photosynthesis needs a ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, cause to explain its effect:

    Nonlocality of Photosynthesis – Antoine Suarez – video – 2012

    Thus as far as our science is concerned, this is direct evidence that a non-local, beyond space-time mass-energy, cause must be responsible for ‘feeding’ all life on earth, since all higher life on earth is eventually completely dependent on this non-local ‘photosynthetic energy’ in which to live their lives on this earth. So you can rest assured that all the prayers said before mealtime in your life have not been in vain:

    John 6:11
    Jesus then took the loaves, and having given thanks, He distributed to those who were seated; likewise also of the fish as much as they wanted.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Not that any atheist has ever listened to any of my suggestions (at least not that I know of), but if someone wants to ‘personally’ know where life really comes from, then I strongly suggest looking to the One who defeated death on the cross:

    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.”

    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.

    Photocount distribution of photons emitted from three sites of a human body – 2006
    Excerpt: Signals from three representative sites of low, intermediate and high intensities are selected for further analysis. Fluctuations in these signals are measured by the probabilities of detecting different numbers of photons in a bin. The probabilities have non-classical features and are well described by the signal in a quantum squeezed state of photons. Measurements with bins of three sizes yield same values of three parameters of the squeezed state.

    Image – This first image shows one of the test subjects in full light. The middle image shows the body giving off weak emissions of visible light in totally dark conditions. The rightmost image of the subject, captured in infrared wavelengths, shows the heat emissions.;2.jpg

    verse and music:

    Matthew 17:1-2
    After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.

    Natalie Grant – Alive (Resurrection music video)
    Lyric: Death has lost and love has won!

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