RSS 2.0 Feed

» Welcome Guest Log In :: Register

Pages: (202) < 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 7 8 ... >   
  Topic: AF Dave's UPDATED Creator God Hypothesis, Creation/Evolution Debate< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 02 2006,06:30   

Quote
I have already hinted about some of my evidence for Point 1 - There is a God ... namely, the Cosmic 'Fine-Tuning', biological 'machines' we observe and so on.
We would also expect to see these things if there weren't a God.

Remember you have to present why the evidence fits your hypothesis better than the competing hypothesis.

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 02 2006,06:49   

Also, I'd like to get some clarification here:

Quote (afdave @ May 02 2006,10:47)
Quote
Dave, before I answer in any more of your arguments, I want to make this perfectly clear: Have we agreed that we are NOT discussing in scientific terms? Yes or no?
Answer is YES.  I do not practice 'religion' (whoa ... there's a shocker that I will have to explain separately no doubt) and I do not engage in wild speculation.  I have the mind of an engineer and a scientist.  I, like you, am a healthy skeptic.


What you've said here is that you agree that we are NOT discussing in scientific terms. Is that what you meant to say? If it is, I'm not sure this is a proper venue for you to be discussing these matters, since your conjectures, hypotheses, proposals, arguments, etc., are going to be dealt with from within the constraints of science. If you're not going to be talking in terms of science, you're going to be going at it at cross-purposes to everyone else here.

Possibly this isn't what you meant to say. But we need to know one way or another.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 02 2006,06:53   

I like how afDave ignores all relevant questions to him and keeps asserting the same idiotic, unscientific ideas as if he is really on to something new.  His ignorance of jr high level science is only matched by his ignorance of how many times we have heard the exact same nonsense he is bringing to the table.

This thread has turned into a real howler.

Too funny.

--------------
Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
improvius



Posts: 807
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 02 2006,06:54   

Quote
DATA: The Surprising Fact A (or Phenomenon A) is observed. (The finely tuned cosmos, biological machines, written 'holy' books, etc.)


Just stop.  None of those things constitue data.  They all represent bias before the fact.  I mean, really, you are just insulting us here.  "Surprising fact" describes an emotional reaction, not emprical data.  There is no way to measure the tuning of a cosmos.  And what scale are you using to determine how holy a given book is?

--------------
Quote (afdave @ Oct. 02 2006,18:37)
Many Jews were in comfortable oblivion about Hitler ... until it was too late.
Many scientists will persist in comfortable oblivion about their Creator ... until it is too late.

  
Occam's Toothbrush



Posts: 554
Joined: April 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 02 2006,07:16   

Quote
I like how afDave ignores all relevant questions to him and keeps asserting the same idiotic, unscientific ideas as if he is really on to something new


I "like" how everyone keeps encouraging him by endlessly responding to him, regardless of his demonstrated inability to offer or even understand anything constituting reasoned arguments or evidence, thereby continually pushing his moronic threads to the top of the board and creating the impression (for anyone who doesn't already know better) that he might actually be sustaining his side of a debate.  Of course, when I say "like," I really mean hate.

Don't feed the moron.

--------------
"Molecular stuff seems to me not to be biology as much as it is a more atomic element of life" --Creo nut Robert Byers
------
"You need your arrogant ass kicked, and I would LOVE to be the guy who does it. Where do you live?" --Anger Management Problem Concern Troll "Kris"

  
afdave



Posts: 1619
Joined: April 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 02 2006,07:21   

Quote
Also, I'd like to get some clarification here:
Dave, before I answer in any more of your arguments, I want to make this perfectly clear: Have we agreed that we are NOT discussing in scientific terms? Yes or no?
Answer is YES.  I do not practice 'religion' (whoa ... there's a shocker that I will have to explain separately no doubt) and I do not engage in wild speculation.  I have the mind of an engineer and a scientist.  I, like you, am a healthy skeptic.

What you've said here is that you agree that we are NOT discussing in scientific terms. Is that what you meant to say?


CORRECTION:  I blew right past that "NOT" didn't I.  Thanks.  

I meant to say "Answer is NO.  I do not practice 'religion' (whoa ... there's a shocker that I will have to explain separately no doubt) and I do not engage in wild speculation.  I have the mind of an engineer and a scientist.  I, like you, am a healthy skeptic."

--------------
A DILEMMA FOR THE COMMITTED NATURALIST
A Hi-tech alien spaceship lands on earth ... DESIGNED.
A Hi-tech alien rotary motor found in a cell ... NOT DESIGNED.
http://afdave.wordpress.com/....ess.com

  
afdave



Posts: 1619
Joined: April 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 02 2006,07:29   

AF DAVE'S CREATOR-GOD HYPOTHESIS

EVIDENCE FROM MY EXPERIENCE SUPPORTING POINT 1 (I will use numbers instead of letters so as not to confuse with the 'A' and 'B' logic tools.)

Again as I said earlier, I think most of you are quite familiar with my supporting evidence for my points, but again, the important thing to me is THE METHOD OF DRAWING CONCLUSIONS FROM THE EVIDENCE.

To recap, Point 1 is as follows:
1. There is a God -- My hypothesis proposes that there is a Super Intelligent, Incredibly Powerful Being -- I choose to call him God -- who has knowledge of scientific laws far more advanced than anything ever discovered by 21st Century humans.  These scientific laws are so powerful that this Being can literally "speak" material things into existence and destroy things with a simple command.  This Being lives "outside of time" and can view what we call "the future" and "the past" with equal ease.

Let us also restate the framework (constantly being refined ... that's what scientists do, right?) and place this Point 1 into it.

ABDUCTIVE REASONING WITH LOGICAL INFERENCE TO BEST EXPLANATION
DATA: Phenomenon A is observed. (The finely tuned cosmos, biological machines, written 'holy' books, relativity, particle physics, etc.)
EXPERIENCE: We propose 'B' (Point 1 above) from our own observation and experience.  We cannot do otherwise and still call it 'science'
LOGIC: If B were true, then A would be a matter of course. (In this exercise, B is the God of the Christian Bible)
CONCLUSION: Since we do observe lots of 'A's there is reason to suspect that B is true.  We will propose that it is true, then modify, refine, etc. as we gather more data.

Now, what do I observe in the natural world?  This is my 'A' above.

A1=WE OBSERVE A FINELY TUNED COSMOS.  
Meyer observes ... "Physicists have discovered some seventy separate
physical or cosmological parameters that require precise calibration in order to
produce a life-sustaining universe (Barrow & Tipler 1986; Gribbin & Rees 1991;
Ross in Dembski 1998)." Say what you want about Michael Denton and his conclusion that 'the laws of Biology reveal Purpose' in the universe, but his book "Nature's Destiny" certainly presents credible evidence to me that at least the universe is in fact 'finely tuned' for life on earth as we observe it today.  He talks about water, light, the elements of the earth, carbon, gases, metals, DNA, 'the nano-manipulators' we call proteins, and cells, and he shows very convincingly that every parameter must be exactly as we find it within incredibly small tolerances, or life on earth would not be possible.  I like Denton's conclusion on page 389, ""All the evidence available in the biological sciences supports the core proposition of traditional natural theology--that the cosmos is a specially designed whole with life and mankind as its fundamental goal and purpose, a whole in which all facets of reality, from the size of galaxies to the thermal capacity of water, have their meaning and explanation in this central fact ... As I hope the evidence presented in this book has shown, science, which has been for centuries the great ally of atheism and skepticism, has become at last, in these final days of the second millenium, what Newton and many of its early advocates had so fervently wished--the "defender of the anthropocentric faith."

B1=A SUPER-INTELLIGENCE SET THE PARAMETERS.  We propose that some Super-Intelligence intentionally set the myriad parameters of the cosmos so that life would be possible.  This is consistent with our experience.  In our experience, intelligent engineers set parameters quite precisely in order to achieve some goal. For example, the viscosity of fuel has to correct for it to be used as a motor fuel in a gasoline engine. Note that we are not saying that 'life WAS the goal'.  We are simply saying that in our experience, intelligent agents set parameters precisely to achieve some goal.  Since we do find lots of precisely set parameters in the cosmos, maybe it's reasonable based on our experience, to propose that SOMEBODY set them in order to achieve some goal.

A2=BIOLOGICAL MACHINES.
Sorry guys, I know you don't like Denton and Behe, but if I could find someone who says it better that you like, I would quote them.  Maybe you can help me with that.  Behe's "Darwin's Black Box" is now well known.  I love Behe's words ... "systems of HORRENDOUS, irreducible complexity inhabit the cell"!!  I just love that word "HORRENDOUS."  Michael Denton in "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis" makes a very powerful and revealing statement ... "We now know not only of the existence of a break between the living and non-living world, but also that it represents the most dramatic and fundamental of all the discontinuities of nature.  Between a living cell and the most highly ordered non-biological system, such as a crystal or a snowflake, there is a chasm as vast and absolute as it is possible to conceive." (p. 249)  Denton says about the cell ... "What we would be witnessing would be an object resembling an immense automated factory, a factory larger than a city and carrying out almost as many unique functions as all the manufacturing activities of man on earth."  (p. 329) and  Bill Gates says of DNA--which is the controlling 'program of life'--that it is "is like a computer program, but far, far more advanced than any software we have ever created (The Road Ahead, 1996, p. 228)  Denton and Behe are absolute MUST READS!

B2=A SUPER-ENGINEER DESIGNED THE MACHINES.  We propose that a Super-Human Software Engineer of surpassing brilliance wrote the DNA code.  We propose that that a Super-Human Nano-technology engineer designed the wonderfully innovative and ubiquitous proteins fro which the DNA codes.  Was it the same 'guy'?  I propose that it was, yes.  Of course there is the possibility that there are several such 'guys' somewhere that worked onthis project together ... a sort of Engineering Department if you will.

OK ... there's 2 A's and B's for you ... again what we are saying is ...

DATA: Phenomenon A1 (FINELY TUNED COSMOS) is observed. EXPERIENCE: B1=A SUPER-INTELLIGENCE SET THE PARAMETERS. We propose 'B' (supporting Point 1 above) from our own observation and experience.  
LOGIC: If B1 were true, then A1 would be a matter of course.
CONCLUSION: Since we do observe A1, there is reason to suspect that B1 is true.  We will propose that it is true, then modify, refine, etc. as we gather more data.

DATA: Phenomenon A2 (BIOLOGICAL MACHINES) is observed. EXPERIENCE: B2=A SUPER-ENGINEER DESIGNED THE MACHINES. We propose 'B' (supporting Point 1 above) from our own observation and experience.  
LOGIC: If B2 were true, then A2 would be a matter of course.
CONCLUSION: Since we do observe A2, there is reason to suspect that B2 is true.  We will propose that it is true, then modify, refine, etc. as we gather more data.

I know I'm not done with Point 1 ... I still have to cover 'speaking things into existence' and 'living outside time' but my eyes hurt and I'm quitting for now ...

See you soon!

--------------
A DILEMMA FOR THE COMMITTED NATURALIST
A Hi-tech alien spaceship lands on earth ... DESIGNED.
A Hi-tech alien rotary motor found in a cell ... NOT DESIGNED.
http://afdave.wordpress.com/....ess.com

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 02 2006,07:44   

Quote (Occam's Toothbrush @ May 02 2006,12:16)
I "like" how everyone keeps encouraging him by endlessly responding to him, regardless of his demonstrated inability to offer or even understand anything constituting reasoned arguments or evidence, thereby continually pushing his moronic threads to the top of the board and creating the impression (for anyone who doesn't already know better) that he might actually be sustaining his side of a debate.  Of course, when I say "like," I really mean hate.

Don't feed the moron.

It's just entertainment, Mr. Toothbrush. None of us is having to do this for a living, we're not getting paid for it, and surely we don't want a site where we're just standing around agreeing with each other, like those other sites.

Dave is charmingly naive, and it's kind of fun watching him get his ass handed to him over and over again. And after all, no one is forcing you to read his threads, right?

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 02 2006,07:50   

Quote (afdave @ May 02 2006,12:29)
A1=WE OBSERVE A FINELY TUNED COSMOS.  
Meyer observes ... "Physicists have discovered some seventy separate
physical or cosmological parameters that require precise calibration in order to
produce a life-sustaining universe (Barrow & Tipler 1986; Gribbin & Rees 1991;
Ross in Dembski 1998)."

Let me ask you something, Dave: would it surprise you to find yourself living in a universe that cannot sustain life? I know it would surprise me.

So let's just say that your fine-tuning argument, aside from being hardly original, is a less than compelling argument for the existence of God. At best, it's an argument for good luck. Assuming you think being blessed with existence is actually good luck.

BTW, I think we all get your "method" for deriving "conclusions" from "evidence." Endless repetition is only going to annoy people.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
normdoering



Posts: 287
Joined: July 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 02 2006,07:51   

Quote (afdave @ May 02 2006,10:47)
Quote
Norm Doering: ... There is an old quote from David Brooks that applies to your method of reasoning: "To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy."
Of course, your problem is that you don't recognise "God" as an unknown, do you?
 
Actually yes.  You'll notice from the discussion above that I am doing EXACTLY what you say I should do, i.e. "To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure;"  Namely, I am trying to explain the origin of natural phenomena (unknown), with propositions from my own experience (known).

Not quite.

You're conflating various origin concepts (origin of the universe, origin of life, origin of species) and applying exactly the same teleological reasoning to each.

Teleological reasoning has the illusionary quality of appearing "knowable" but it's really a mask for a great big unknown.

Wikipedia has an entry on teleology:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teleological_argument

Consider your airplane argument. It's classic teleology. You're stealing the basic concept of William Paley's watchmaker argument which was made prior to Darwin and which Darwin himself shot down after he believed it for awhile.

Wikipedia has an entry on the watchmaker argument:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watchmaker_analogy

Teleology and the watchmaker argument have even deeper flaws than those noted by Wikipedia.

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 02 2006,08:20   

Chris Hyland's Evolution Hypothesis

A1=WE OBSERVE A FINELY TUNED COSMOS.
Stars and that...

B1=A SUPER-INTELLIGENCE DIDN'T SET THE PARAMETERS.
Because evolution is bound by many factors including physical constants ie the properties of water and carbon, and the availability of energy, it will create organisms that depend heavily on these. Therefore because we observe that if any of the physical constants change life would not exist we assume that evolution is true. Under the alternative hypothesis, we could just as easily see organisms survive if the universe was stacked against them.

A2=BIOLOGICAL MACHINES.
"systems of HORRENDOUS, irreducible complexity inhabit the cell"

B2=THE MACHINES EVOLVED.
Based on what we understand of evolution including duplication followed by differential loss of both genes and interactions, we expect these systems to be incredibly complex, and exhibit certain properties, such as being scale-free, modular and heirachical. We increase our knowledge of A, and find that they are, so we increase our confidence in B.

  
normdoering



Posts: 287
Joined: July 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 02 2006,08:23   

Quote (afdave @ May 02 2006,10:47)
Quote
Abductive Reasoning is supposed to lead to a hypothesis where deductive reasoning can apply.

I would submit to you that Deductive Reasoning can apply to NOTHING in all of science or history in an absolute sense.  I am only aware of its application in mathematics.

That demand for "absolutes" in the face of technological proof has got to be one of the classic examples of fundy brain damage.

There is nothing more "absolute" in human knowledge than technological proof, it is more certain than mathematical proof. For as Albert Einstein said, "As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."

It is far more absolute than your vague obfuscations and  teleologies.

Hillis' proof is as absolute as the human mind can get.

If someone says a heavier than air machine cannot fly and then someone builds one that can -- it is as absolutely certain a thing as man can know that a heavier than air machine can fly.

If Hillis builds a computer that demonstrates the ability of evolution then those abilities are absolutely demonstrated.

  
normdoering



Posts: 287
Joined: July 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 02 2006,08:41   

Quote (afdave @ May 02 2006,10:47)
... may be true that Meyer is lying about certain things.  I have not investigated all his claims.  But Meyer has pointed out a logical framework to determining 'truth' (proposed by Peirce in the 30's) that appears to be in use by many scientists and historians today.

You talk of "absolutes" to escape Danny Hillis' demonstration of evolutionary concepts, but then you talk of "truth" when dealing with Meyer's metaphysical conjectures.

You don't see a problem with that?

  
C.J.O'Brien



Posts: 395
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 02 2006,09:10   

These tidbits from your favorite DI fellows aren’t evidence, Dave. And, remember, they’re the same as the justification for the assumptions implicit in your *cough* hypothesis.
You start with the anthropic musings of Meyer:
Quote
Physicists have discovered some seventy separate
physical or cosmological parameters that require precise calibration in order to
produce a life-sustaining universe

First, as you will hear in practically every response to this post, I would be quite surprised to find myself in a universe where my existence was impossible.
Second, what does “life-sustaining universe” mean? Does it mean “universe identical to this one?” If so, that’s a neat tautology. On the other hand, it could mean “a universe with fundamentally different life from this one” in which case no one knows how “precise” this “calibration” would need to be. For all that we know about life on Earth, it’s still a sample size of one. We, all of us, are fundamentally ignorant about the ‘parameter space’ in which something we would be willing to call ‘life’ can occur. Unless, of course, you would only be willing to call DNA-based para-terrestrial organisms ‘life,’ in which case you’re back to the tautology “the universe is fine-tuned to be… just like this universe!”

And then we get a patented Denton howler:
Quote
All the evidence available in the biological sciences supports the core proposition of traditional natural theology--that the cosmos is a specially designed whole with life and mankind as its fundamental goal and purpose, a whole in which all facets of reality, from the size of galaxies to the thermal capacity of water, have their meaning and explanation in this central fact.

All the evidence available in the biological (and geological) sciences in fact supports the proposition that life began ~3.8 billion years ago, and that from that time forward the most numerous, diverse, robust, and tenacious life-forms have been prokaryotes. Multicellular, animal life has been around for maybe a billion years, most of that as relatively undifferentiated worm-like creatures. Mammals have been around for 80 to 100 million years, primates about 40 million, hominids 7 to 8 million, and genus Homo maybe two million. The human conception of a creative “Super-Intelligence” is about the only thing the Bible dates correctly, being about 5 or 6 thousand years old. In other words, roughly .000001 of the history of life, or .0025 of the existence of our genus. Pretty long build-up for the punchline, wouldn’t you say?
Now, I like people too, Dave. I think we’re pretty darn special. But you have to see that, against the backdrop of the actual “evidence available in the biological sciences,” the conceit that the entire universe is just for us can begin to seem like so much wishful thinking. Keep saying it, I guess. But it sounds like whistling past the graveyard to me.

--------------
The is the beauty of being me- anything that any man does I can understand.
--Joe G

  
tacitus



Posts: 118
Joined: May 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 02 2006,14:03   

Dave, I'll bite.  You don't regard yourself as "religious"... maybe I'm being too suspicious, but I've heard this assertion from fundamentalist Christians to take it at face value.  They seem to regard their faith as something more than religion, but by any dictionary definition, Christianity, or faith in Jesus or whatever way you want to term it, is still a religion.  So, Dave, is that the case with you?

I see you are trying to tread carefully, avoiding a minefield of assertions and definitions in an attempt to appear neutral and willing to learn, but you're still letting some YEC howlers slip through.  Your biggest mistake this time is your assertion that *not* believing in God takes more faith than believing in God.  All good fundamentalists and creationists like to trot that one out in such debates and it usually gets a good rise, quite justifiably, out of the opposition.

Regarding your observations:

A1: First, as others have suggested, our very existence requires there to be a Universe fine-tuned for life, that is not a surprise.  Second, we already have people working on theories, backed up by mathematics (far beyond my meagre brain's understand) that points to the possibility that our Universe may only be one of an infinite number of universes, all with different "fine-tunings".  If that turns out to be the case, then our existence may have turned out to have been inevitable.  We may never be able to detect these other universes but the theoretical physicists are hard at work on the issue and may one day find some solid evidence to back up the multiverse conjecture.  

As it stands, we already have an amazing amount of knowledge and understanding of how the Universe evolved (from the moment after the Big Bang) to today, from the orginal expansion, formation of the first gases, the first stars, galaxies, solar systems, life, etc. etc. Probably the biggest gap in our knowledge is abiogenesis, but we're working hard on that too.

99.9% of all surprising facts (lightning, supernovae, "holy" books, visions of God, ghosts, tornados, etc. etc. etc. turn out to have mundane and natural explanations. Why make this exception?

A2: OK, so you simply point us to Behe, Dembski, et al.  Surely you don't expect us to waste our time refuting what has already been refuted.  If you are being sincere in your search for the truth (BTW: only creationists and religious fundies capitalize talk about "Truth") then you need to read  the books and articles that directly refute their claims.  Are you prepared to do that?  It will take some work and the technical aspects are not always easy (at least they aren't for me) but you owe it to yourself to try.

  
Occam's Aftershave



Posts: 1488
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 02 2006,18:14   

AFDave,

So far you haven’t provided any evidence at all to support YEC or God, just your own (and a few other Creationists’) personal incredulity. “WOW! It’s just SOOOOO complex, I’m too stupid or too lazy to investigate how it could have evolved!!”  You sound just like the natives looking at the “flying canoe”.   Do you realize that Behe accepts the Theory of Evolution, an old earth, and common descent?  He just thinks God, er, the Intelligent designer “front loaded” things billions of years ago.

Speaking of Behe and his “molecular machines”, did you happen to follow any of the Kitzmiller vs. Dover PA. school board "ID" trial last year?  Behe was called as a star witness for the defense, and was made to look like an absolute bumbling fool by the questioning attorney.  First, under oath, Behe testified that Astrology would qualify as a legitimate science under Behe’s definition.  If that didn’t make the clown look bad enough, Behe then made his famous “irreducible complexity” argument using the human immune system,  Behe claimed there was no evidence whatsoever that the immune system could have evolved.  The prosecuting attorney then dropped a two foot high stack of over 60 peer-reviewed scientific papers and articles with research detailing the evolution of the human immune system and asked Behe if he was familiar with the work..  Behe replied that he didn’t need to read them as he already knew his claim was correct.  With that foot shoved deep into his mouth, Behe effectively scuttled the rest of his already pitifully weak scientific credibility and his career.

I’ll give you another day to start presenting your evidence, so far you’re 0 for the week.

--------------
JoeG: And by eating the cake you are consuming the information- some stays with you and the rest is waste.

  
Renier



Posts: 276
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 02 2006,21:07   

The "fine-tuning" argument is really an argument "against" a God of miracles. Think about it. If we lived in a universe that would NOT allow life, then THAT would be a miracle, and could be used as an argument for a God of miracles.

As has been pointed out, we know how everything happened in a natural way, from the Big Bang, right upto now. Abio-genesis is still a big gap, and you are welcome to plug that gap with your God. Another place you can plug him in, if you so wish, is before the Big Bang. Any attempt to force him into another area is just dishonest (yes, we do think you are dishonest, even though sincere), since we have natural explanations for it.

I must mention this again, but some Christians believe that their God started everything off at the big bang. In his infinate wisdom, he planned everything so well (even evolution) that it required no constant "tinkering and fixing" from him. This God, is way more powerful and smart than the one you are trying to peddle here. You think you make a good case for your god, but all you are really doing is insulting him, and us.

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 03 2006,04:56   

Quote (afdave @ May 02 2006,12:21)
 I have the mind of an engineer and a scientist.  I, like you, am a healthy skeptic."

No sir, you are no skeptic.  You can pretend otherwise, but you're what is called a "true believer".  

And you do not have the mind of an engineer or a scientist, if you did you would have seen through the nonsense you promote a long time ago.

No need to thank me for pointing this out to you.

Chris

--------------
Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
afdave



Posts: 1619
Joined: April 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 03 2006,05:28   

Quote
From Corkscrew ...
- Hypothesis: humans evolved from the same lineage as modern apes
- Observation: the modern apes that are most physiologically similar to humans have 24 chromosomes per haploid
- Observation: humans have 23 chromosomes per haploid
- Conclusion: either humans have lost a chromosome or the other apes have all gained a chromosome
- By application of parsimony: humans have lost a chromosome
- Observation: chromosomes are generally "lost" by merging with another chromosome, as destruction of a chromosome's worth of genetic information is generally fatal
- Conclusion: at some point in our ancestry, two human chromosomes merged
- Prediction: one human chromosome will closely resemble two ape chromosomes merged together.
This prediction was subsequently confirmed. I can present other instances of confirmed predictions if you like.

Corkscrew continues to be the most logical sounding, non-emotional advocate of the general Theory of Evolution that I have heard over here at PT.  Right behind him is Faid, who is at least polite and does not engage in polemics, and Norm who sounds intelligent.  I keep throwing this bone out to ToE advocates that you will further your cause if you adopt the rational, non-emotional 'Corkscrew' approach.  Adopting the 'Aftershave' approach or the 'Mr_Christopher' approach will only harm your cause.  This hypothesis is very interesting to me and I want to hear more.  I will copy it into my "AF Dave wants you to prove Evolution" thread, then I would like to do some Google searching and get back to you on this as soon as I can.
Quote
Corkscrew said ... In general, the only time we take a statement on trust is when we can reasonably expect that it would have been falsified were it not true. Or when we have absolutely no other option. Abduction is rarely more than half the story, and in science it's generally not even that.

At first glance, I don't agree with this, but I will consider it further to see if my disagreement is warranted or not.  What do you think about Meyer's objection to falsifiability as a criterion for status as a "scientific theory"? [I'm asking Corkscrew ... or anyone else that wants to provide a calm, rational answer other than 'Meyer is a liar', etc.]
Quote
With the death of positivism in the 1950s, demarcationists took a different tack. Other semantic criteria emerged, such as Sir Karl Popper's falsifiability. According to Popper, scientific theories were more meaningful than nonscientific ideas because they referred only to empirically falsifiable entities.21 Yet this, too, proved to be a problematic criterion. First, falsification turns out to be difficult to achieve. Rarely are the core commitments of theories directly tested via prediction. Instead, predictions occur when core theoretical commitments are conjoined with auxiliary hypotheses, thus always leaving open the possibility that auxiliary hypotheses, not core commitments, are responsible for failed predictions.

Newtonian mechanics, for example, assumed as its core three laws of motion and the theory of universal gravitation. On the basis of these, Newton made a number of predictions about the positions of planets in the solar system. When observations failed to corroborate some of his predictions, he did not reject his core assumptions. Instead, he scrutinized some of his auxiliary hypotheses to explain the discrepancies between theory and observation. For example, he examined his working assumption that planets were perfectly spherical and influenced only by gravitational force. As Imre Lakatos has shown, Newton's refusal to repudiate his core in the face of anomalies enabled him to refine his theory and eventually led to its tremendous success.22 Newton's refusal to accept putatively falsifying results certainly did not call into question the scientific status of his gravitational theory or his three laws. Meyer on Scientific Status of Intelligent Design

AFDave said ...
Quote
I have already hinted about some of my evidence for Point 1 - There is a God ... namely, the Cosmic 'Fine-Tuning', biological 'machines' we observe and so on.
Chris Hyland said ...
Quote
We would also expect to see these things if there weren't a God.
On what basis?  Your personal experience?  Is there a scientist somewhere that has observed this that I have not read about? In my personal experience and in all my reading, I have never observed (or read about) a non-intelligent cause producing a functional machine (there are a few equivocal examples I have heard about).  Have you?  My experience has ALWAYS been that functional machines require intelligent agency.  Therefore, I think my hypothesis of a Super-Engineer (I do not insist upon calling him 'God') is a better explanation.

Eric Murphy said ...
Quote
Let me ask you something, Dave: would it surprise you to find yourself living in a universe that cannot sustain life? I know it would surprise me.
If you read what I have written, you will notice that I said I am content to discard the term 'Surprising Fact' and simply use 'Phenomenon.'
Quote
So let's just say that your fine-tuning argument, aside from being hardly original, is a less than compelling argument for the existence of God. At best, it's an argument for good luck. Assuming you think being blessed with existence is actually good luck.
I didn't say it was original ... 'my hypothesis' means to me a conglomerate of existing ones plus some of my own thoughts presented in my own way. Everyone does this.  Why is it less than compelling? Have you ever experienced or read about a system that was 'finely tuned' that was NOT finely tuned by an engineer (or team of them)?
Quote
You're conflating various origin concepts (origin of the universe, origin of life, origin of species) and applying exactly the same teleological reasoning to each. Teleological reasoning has the illusionary quality of appearing "knowable" but it's really a mask for a great big unknown. Wikipedia has an entry on teleology: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teleological_argument
Consider your airplane argument. It's classic teleology. You're stealing the basic concept of William Paley's watchmaker argument which was made prior to Darwin and which Darwin himself shot down after he believed it for awhile. Teleology and the watchmaker argument have even deeper flaws than those noted by Wikipedia.

Yes.  I am conflating them.  If I had a good reason from my experience and observable evidence NOT to conflate them, then I would not conflate them.  But I think it is quite well accepted now that the universe is finite and had a beginning, is it not?  (I think the 'parallel universe' theory is pretty much dead). So this provides support to my 'God' hypothesis.  No one has a clue about the origin of life, so why shouldn't we propose 'God' until we can find something better?  No one has yet shown me an example of a worm-like creature evolving into a squid or a dinosaur-like creature evolving into a bird, etc., etc. (did I get the supposed progression right?), so again, what is so unscientific about proposing a Master Engineer (or a committee of Master Engineers) that MIGHT HAVE created them?  And what is wrong with proposing that they all be conflated into one entity?  There are other lines of evidence that support this.  I think we can AT LEAST propose it, then investigate.  Wikipedia's main gripe of the Watchmaker argument (and I assume teleology as well) seemed to be that you run into the 'brick wall' of 'Who Designed God?'  I admit this readily, but just as the native would be wrong to say 'I cannot explain who designed the engineers at Cessna, so I will not believe that Cessna engineers designed Cessna airplanes', it is just as illogical to toss out the 'God possibility' simply because we cannot explain HIS origin.
Quote
Chris Hyland's Evolution Hypothesis
A1=WE OBSERVE A FINELY TUNED COSMOS.
Stars and that...
B1=A SUPER-INTELLIGENCE DIDN'T SET THE PARAMETERS
Because evolution is bound by many factors including physical constants ie the properties of water and carbon, and the availability of energy, it will create organisms that depend heavily on these. Therefore because we observe that if any of the physical constants change life would not exist we assume that evolution is true. Under the alternative hypothesis, we could just as easily see organisms survive if the universe was stacked against them.
I do not follow your logic.  Can you explain more clearly?  Also, to use my structure, you would need to propose what DID set the parameters.  Are you proposing that the parameters got set by chance?  If so, what basis do you have from your experience to propose this as valid?  How would you deal with the odds against this, etc.?  I think maybe what you are saying is that you don't believe the 'fine tuning' was necessary for life to evolve?   I obviously have already accepted that they are set precisely to sustain life because I think this is well supported.  Are you saying you do not accept this?
Quote
If someone says a heavier than air machine cannot fly and then someone builds one that can -- it is as absolutely certain a thing as man can know that a heavier than air machine can fly.
I see what you are saying, but even in this case, it is only absolute certainty to the person (or people) who built it and flew it. Think about it.  All other people who hear about it will get INDIRECT evidence--they will read about it, see the report on TV, etc. and of course this is quite reliable for the example you raise.  But TV and newspaper reports can get unreliable when reporting less cut and dried events.  The Miller/Urey experiment is an example.  The headlines were something like "Scientists Create Life in a Test Tube!!"  Oh really?  On closer examination, we found that was a big stretch (translated, lie).  Ditto for newspaper reports of many supposed human ancestor fossils.  For our discussion, I am assuming we were talking about things which CANNOT be verified directly, such as forces, fields, atoms, quarks, past events, mental states, subsurface geological features, molecular biological structures, airplane factories that the natives have never seen, George Washington, and 'God' to name a few.
Quote
You talk of "absolutes" to escape Danny Hillis' demonstration of evolutionary concepts, but then you talk of "truth" when dealing with Meyer's metaphysical conjectures. You don't see a problem with that?
My problem with Danny Hillis' has nothing to do with the concepts of 'absolutes'.  It has everything to do with the question of 'What exactly does the Hillis demo tell us? (Really, when we remove the spin)  Notice my reference to the word 'truth' is in quotes because I know there are different definitions of truth.
Quote
These tidbits from your favorite DI fellows aren’t evidence, Dave.
If they are not, then could you propose an example of what IS evidence?  Let me guess ... mountains and mountains of 'scholarship' from the science establishment to support Naturalistic Explanations Only?  This was the kind of odds Galileo was working against too.  Are you telling me that I should believe your evidence and reject mine because yours fits with the majority?
Quote
Second, what does “life-sustaining universe” mean?
Exactly what it says.  And I challenge you to propose some parameter changes and ask a biologist how likely it would be for life to continue.  The problem with naturalistic speculators like yourself is that you guys like to say "Well, we only know about life on earth ... sample size of one.  There could be other planets, other universes, who knows!"  OK, great.  I agree.  And there could be a Fairy Godmother for all I know.  But if we are going to admit wild speculation into the arena, let's admit ALL kinds of wild speculation into the arena.  My favorite is "Parallel Universes".  I don't know how people can tell me with a straight face that there might be an infinite number of parallel universes, then in the next breath tell me I'm a wild speculator for proposing an Infinite God character.

Regarding the Denton "howler" ...  THIS is the howler ...
Quote
All the evidence available in the biological (and geological) sciences in fact supports the proposition that life began ~3.8 billion years ago
*cough* because we arbitrarily made some massive initial conditions assumptions so it would come out that long
Quote
and that from that time forward the most numerous, diverse, robust, and tenacious life-forms have been prokaryotes.
the old 'what do you think makes humans so special, just look at the bacteria' saw ... sometime I'm going to do a thread on the implications of this thinking on law and culture ... talk about a howler ... this one will be way better than Rush Limbaugh and the Tree Huggers!
Quote
Multicellular, animal life has been around for maybe a billion years
based on our flawed assumptions in dating supposed 'index fossils'[/quote], most of that as relatively undifferentiated worm-like creatures. Mammals have been around for 80 to 100 million years, primates about 40 million, hominids 7 to 8 million, and genus Homo maybe two million[/quote]Ditto above ... funny ... every non-YEC history book I can find anywhere says things like "4000 (or so) BC: History Begins" (I never find over 10,000).   Hmmm... what did all those 'Homos' do for 1,996,000 years?  You're telling me they all of a sudden started writing and making artifacts only in the last .000000001% (or whatever) of their existence on the planet ... yeah, pretty plausible
Quote
The human conception of a creative “Super-Intelligence” is about the only thing the Bible dates correctly, being about 5 or 6 thousand years old. In other words, roughly .000001 of the history of life, or .0025 of the existence of our genus. Pretty long build-up for the punchline, wouldn’t you say?
the buildup is in your imagination, Mr. O'Brien, which is great.  I like imagining things too.  Have you seen Narnia?  It's a good one for the imagination, but it's not about science, unless we redefine science ... which I'm not opposed to as long as the rules are fair.
Quote
Tacitus said ... Dave, I'll bite.  You don't regard yourself as "religious"... maybe I'm being too suspicious, but I've heard this assertion from fundamentalist Christians to take it at face value.  They seem to regard their faith as something more than religion, but by any dictionary definition, Christianity, or faith in Jesus or whatever way you want to term it, is still a religion.  So, Dave, is that the case with you?
'God, Jesus, etc,' are religious terms by convention, and I understand that most people consider me religious, and I will call myself religious in certain contexts so as not to confuse people needlessly.  But my real view of myself is that I am scientific, not religious.  But my definition of science is ... drum roll ... more expansive than yours.  I consider ALL possibilites for explaining and describing the universe, not just so called 'naturalistic ones' which we presently understand. I, in contrast to you, make allowance that there just might be some things that we don't understand yet because our science is not advanced enough ... like angels and demons and creation  of matter from nothing and the ability to walk on water, part the Red Sea, etc.  Why do you guys choke so much on these ideas?  I thought you were scientists, forever pushing the boundaries back.  Isn't that what you want?  This is the most illogical thing to me.  That supposedly open-minded scientists would categorically rule out so many possibilities for explaining phenomena. Here ... go read Meyer some more and call me in three days ... http://www.discovery.org/scripts....Science
Quote
If you are being sincere in your search for the truth (BTW: only creationists and religious fundies capitalize talk about "Truth") then you need to read  the books and articles that directly refute their claims.  Are you prepared to do that?
Already did.  Been there. Done that.  Didn't buy it because it was unconvincing.
Quote
So far you haven’t provided any evidence at all to support YEC or God, just your own (and a few other Creationists’) personal incredulity. “WOW! It’s just SOOOOO complex, I’m too stupid or too lazy to investigate how it could have evolved!!”  You sound just like the natives looking at the “flying canoe”.
Uh, oh.  I'm getting 'Aftershaved" again.  Hey try some intelligent sounding arguments instead of insults ... they work better. See Corkscrew, Norm and Chris Hyland and others for some good examples of intelligent sounding stuff.
Quote
First, under oath, Behe testified that Astrology would qualify as a legitimate science under Behe’s definition.
Let's get the quote right at least if you're going to quote him.  Here's what I found ...
Quote
They acknowledged under oath that ID cannot qualify as science unless the definition of science is completely changed to admit the supernatural. Behe acknowledged that under his definition, astrology would equally qualify as science.
OK. So astrology wants to call itself a science?  Let 'em.  They have to prove their ideas just like the YECers and everyone else.  Don't you believe in the free market of ideas?  I think the majority would weed them out just like it does in other arenas.  Do you see an Astrology Chapel at the USAF Academy? (I was just there).  Do you see a Scientology chapel?  Or a Buddhist temple?  No.  You see a BIG Protestant chapel, a smaller Catholic chapel and a smaller still Jewish chapel.  Why?  Democracy.  Freedom.  Reflection of the majority within practical limits.  Should the USAF Academy shut down all religion on campus b/c it's a government entity?  Of course not.  Remember.. here in the USA ... Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion [no state church lke the Church of England] or prohibiting the FREE EXERCISE thereof.  Same for science classes.  We shouldn't be telling kids 'God created the world' in science class and we shouldn't be telling the world that 'Evolution created the world' in science class.  We should be telling them 'Most scientists believe some form of Darwin's Theory of Evolution to explain the appearance of life.  Many non-scientists and a minority of scientists believe in some form of supernatural cause for the appearance of life.  Creationism and Intelligent Design Theory are two of these views.' And if Astrology or Scientism or Christian Science or whatever gets a big enough following, then throw them in there too and let the kids decide for themselves with the help of their parents.  And this is one point I would probably agree with all of you about.  I know there are YECers who share my view of Origins but who use bad tactics--'Let's teach the kids that God said it, I believe it and that settles it!!'  I join you in vigorously opposing these types.  They are not my allies.
Quote
The prosecuting attorney then dropped a two foot high stack of over 60 peer-reviewed scientific papers and articles with research detailing the evolution of the human blood clotting system and asked Behe if he was familiar with the work..  Behe replied that he didn’t need to read them as he already knew his claim was correct.
I didn't check this quote for accuracy, but I imagine he feels as I feel that scientists just keep on writing mountains and mountains of nonsense to support these notions they really, really want to be true ... like the immune system evolved, etc.  I've read a lot myself and it all starts to sound the same ... I'm sure you can relate.  Many people here have said the same about the stuff I write.  I will agree with you that it seems hair-brained to adopt the strategy to go try to defend a local school board's decision to put 'Evolution Warning Labels' on the books.  I mean ... who knows what kind of rednecks you might be defending?  Why fight this in the courts anyway?  I can think of better places to get the word out. So is that 2 things we agree on now?  Oh yeah ... we're both EE's.  OK 3 then.
Quote
The "fine-tuning" argument is really an argument "against" a God of miracles.
Not if you use MY definition of 'miracles'.  Have I given that yet?  A miracle is simply a natural law being employed which our science does not yet understand.  Jesus knew how to walk on water (if the NT record is true), but we don't yet, etc.

--------------
A DILEMMA FOR THE COMMITTED NATURALIST
A Hi-tech alien spaceship lands on earth ... DESIGNED.
A Hi-tech alien rotary motor found in a cell ... NOT DESIGNED.
http://afdave.wordpress.com/....ess.com

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 03 2006,05:39   

Quote (afdave @ May 03 2006,10:28)
Eric Murphy said ...
Quote
Let me ask you something, Dave: would it surprise you to find yourself living in a universe that cannot sustain life? I know it would surprise me.
If you read what I have written, you will notice that I said I am content to discard the term 'Surprising Fact' and simply use 'Phenomenon.'
Quote
So let's just say that your fine-tuning argument, aside from being hardly original, is a less than compelling argument for the existence of God. At best, it's an argument for good luck. Assuming you think being blessed with existence is actually good luck.
I didn't say it was original ... 'my hypothesis' means to me a conglomerate of existing ones plus some of my own thoughts presented in my own way. Everyone does this.  Why is it less than compelling? Have you ever experienced or read about a system that was 'finely tuned' that was NOT finely tuned by an engineer (or team of them)?

You're missing the point, Dave. I'm not talking about whether a given phenomenon is "surprising" or not.

My point is (and this is known as the "weak anthropic principle") we would be surprised to find ourselves living in a universe that was not finely tuned for life. Obviously, Dave, we could not live in a universe that was inimical to life, unless a creator god made it possible for us to live there nevertheless. Since we are, in fact, alive, it should come as no surprise at all to us that we inhabit a universe that can sustain life.

What would be truly surprising, and what would be evidence for the existence of God, would be if we inhabited a universe that could not sustain life.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 03 2006,05:48   

Quote
What would be truly surprising, and what would be evidence for the existence of God, would be if we inhabited a universe that could not sustain life.

And if we should someday visit lots of our universe and find no life anywhere, what should we conclude? That this is evidence for some god, who crafted life on earth despite the fact that this universe is otherwise very uncongenial to life?

But if we find life everywhere we go, should we then conclude that this same god created a universe where life can thrive, and therefore must also exist?

These anthropocentic arguments always come down to  "heads I win, tails you lose" circular conclusions: My god exists, therefore whatever we find proves it.

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 03 2006,05:53   

Quote (afdave @ May 03 2006,10:28)
Quote
From Corkscrew ...
- Hypothesis: humans evolved from the same lineage as modern apes
- Observation: the modern apes that are most physiologically similar to humans have 24 chromosomes per haploid
- Observation: humans have 23 chromosomes per haploid
- Conclusion: either humans have lost a chromosome or the other apes have all gained a chromosome
- By application of parsimony: humans have lost a chromosome
- Observation: chromosomes are generally "lost" by merging with another chromosome, as destruction of a chromosome's worth of genetic information is generally fatal
- Conclusion: at some point in our ancestry, two human chromosomes merged
- Prediction: one human chromosome will closely resemble two ape chromosomes merged together.
This prediction was subsequently confirmed. I can present other instances of confirmed predictions if you like.

Corkscrew continues to be the most logical sounding, non-emotional advocate of the general Theory of Evolution that I have heard over here at PT.  Right behind him is Faid, who is at least polite and does not engage in polemics, and Norm who sounds intelligent.  I keep throwing this bone out to ToE advocates that you will further your cause if you adopt the rational, non-emotional 'Corkscrew' approach.  Adopting the 'Aftershave' approach or the 'Mr_Christopher' approach will only harm your cause.  This hypothesis is very interesting to me and I want to hear more.  I will copy it into my "AF Dave wants you to prove Evolution" thread, then I would like to do some Google searching and get back to you on this as soon as I can.

Dave, this is an extremely well-known and well-publicised example of a prediction made by neodarwinian evolution. Any general text on evolution (and certainly any website like talkorigins) would have mentioned this example. That it is evidently news to you does not bode well for how much research you have done into evolution. If this is indeed the first time you've come across this example, it's pretty strong evidence that you have done very little research into the evidence in support of evolution, but rather have spent most of your time looking for evidence to refute evolution.

If it's true that this is your first exposure to the human-chimp chromosome number prediction, this seriously undercuts your claim that no one has ever shown you, e.g., evidence of evolution from dinosaurs to birds.

I said earlier that I do not believe you are qualified to hold a credible opinion on the subject of evolution. This most recent post only reinforces that notion.

Oh, and by the way—evolution is not a "cause." It's "science."

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Glen Davidson



Posts: 752
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 03 2006,05:55   

Quote
No sir, you are no skeptic.  You can pretend otherwise, but you're what is called a "true believer".  

And you do not have the mind of an engineer or a scientist, if you did you would have seen through the nonsense you promote a long time ago.

No need to thank me for pointing this out to you.


For a thousand years or more people "thought" in order to show that their Xian beliefs were right.  And some of that thinking was good, yet it was unavoidably limited.

What I'm saying is that there is nothing new or surprising that Afdave begins with an inadequate a set of a priori assumptions (people did so prior to Xianity as well, of course).  The trouble is that he has it now, and he is unlikely to upset his world by seriously questioning his beliefs.  He's not young enough, he's not troubled enough by his inconsistencies and the gaps in his "thinking".  In fact he is the sort that I would bet 50 to 1 will never truly question his a priori commitments, indeed, that he cannot do so.  He seems sincere in claiming that he came at his beliefs skeptically, when just his assumption that the Bible accurately relates history to its readers shows that he does not look at "Biblical issues" in any competent manner whatsoever.

He refers back to his college days as what set him on his current path.  Not surprising, since beliefs typically congeal around that time.  But did he know much about the issues?  Certainly not.  Engineers have quite an load of engineering and math courses, and typically do not take many history or literary courses.  Hence he relied upon what he had been force-fed earlier.  One has to reach conclusions without adequate knowledge in many cases, and so Afdave did.  Believing that he was indeed skeptical and knowledgeable, he connected a set of inherited beliefs to his ego, and he has defended that ego ever since.

So of course he is a true believer, but like many true believers he thinks that he reached his conclusions with enough knowledge to come to his conclusions.  On the other hand, he seems not to be totally sure, hence his forays into the "knowledge" imparted by rank apologists at the CRI and AIG.   But their answers fit with his limited knowledge and a priori worldview, so they are satisfying to his mind.

He cannot think skeptically, or to put it another way, he cannot think skeptically about his own beliefs, rather he uses his faulty worldview to "think skeptically" about the claims of those who know vastly more about science and the Bible.  And as I implied previously, he is of no age or shape to jostle up his worldview, thus he cannot learn to think in a truly empirical manner.  As he notes, his mission is to get us to "think in a new way", as if many of us are not altogether too aware of how he does "think" and of the circularity of his "reasoning".  

What might be instructive is if he learned another metaphysical mode of "thinking", like that found in Plotinus, or eastern thought, which possibly could show how it is the way that he even begins his "skeptical thinking" that is at fault.  However, as I said before, he evidently is in no position to learn beyond his working hypotheses, so it is questionable if he even could learn how wonderfully consistent (more so than fundamentalism), yet baseless, a system like Plotinus's neo-Platonic philosophy really is.

Unfortunately, Afdave does indeed have the mind of many engineers, and not a few scientists (think of Behe, etc.).  Engineers receive an education that teaches them vetted knowledge, from which they are to deduce further working systems.  Engineers (and some scientists) do not learn how to substantiate their knowledge empirically from their particular studies--or at best they learn only the barest information about this.  They learn about designed systems, not about evolved systems, like language, texts, history, and biology.  Afdave is one of too many engineers who takes his knowledge to be knowledge of the world, and resorts to deductive schemes "based upon" self-confirming interpretations of the barest of "evidence".  If many engineers do rather better, clearly the inadequacies of many an engineering education to equip persons for scientific thought are evident in Afdave, Sal Cordova, and DaveScot.

I am doing the only thing that I think is sound in the presence of Afdave and others who automatically fit everything into their unwarranted worldviews.  I am explaining him, and not troubling with his wholly unsubstantiated arguments.  The fact is that he is unreachable at present, and there is scant reason to believe that he will ever really question his silly beliefs that the Bible is historically sound, or that flood waters explain evaporite deposites and sand dunes in the geological column.  It all "makes sense" to him because he has never had the knowledge to recognize the senselessness of it all.

And because he only thinks that we do not know how to think in his wonderful way, when some of us have learned nearly every way in which these beliefs we inherited are inadequate, he cannot begin to understand the opposition to his "reasonable position".

To be sure, everyone (except Carol and a few others) knows this, and argues with him anyway.  That's all fine, if that's what they want to do.  I just wanted to lay out how intractable Afdave really is, and basically how it all comes to be.  The crucial point almost certainly came in college, when he defaulted to a worldview that he did not have adequate knowledge to question.  Ever since then, he has defended his ego/beliefs like most of us do, but most of us here did know rather more than Afdave when we formed our basic worldviews (yes, mostly in college for me, too, though I extended the questioning period considerably beyond college).

I just hope that most here recognize that Afdave is almost certainly beyond the stage when he can question his fundamental beliefs--apart from suffering an overwhelming change in his circumstances.

--------------
http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p....p

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of coincidence---ID philosophy

   
Tim



Posts: 40
Joined: Sep. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 03 2006,06:04   

I have read and read this thread, and lurked and read some more ...

... and we finally come to this:

Quote (afdave @ May 03 2006,10:28)
I feel that scientists just keep on writing mountains and mountains of nonsense to support these notions they really, really want to be true ... like the immune system evolved, etc.


Can one really argue against this?
Can one really debate with a man who convinces himself that the hundreds of thousands of published, peer-reviewed, professional scientists who put into workable practice their research every single day, are really part of a big conspiracy to further the evolution cause??

Yes Dave, the next time you pop a pill in your mouth to help soothe your aching head, or get vaccinated when you travel to malaria country, I'd beware because the medicine was indeed developed by a team of scientists who didn't really research their immunology very well, they just wrote some nonsense in the vague hope that they and AAAAAAALLLLLL the other scientists will have their big conspiratorial evilution cause furthered, because yes, they sooooooooo want it to be true.

Sheesh. And you're looking for intelligent answers to this?

  
Glen Davidson



Posts: 752
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 03 2006,06:16   

Quote
What do you think about Meyer's objection to falsifiability as a criterion for status as a "scientific theory"?


Meyer's critique is good, and not at all new or particularly in question.  We often resort to "falsification criteria" as a shorthand test of a scientific claim.  It is hardly sufficient, and indeed science could never begin with falsification criteria, but rather had to begin with positive inferences.

Quote
On what basis?  Your personal experience?  Is there a scientist somewhere that has observed this that I have not read about? In my personal experience and in all my reading, I have never observed (or read about) a non-intelligent cause producing a functional machine (there are a few equivocal examples I have heard about).  Have you?  My experience has ALWAYS been that functional machines require intelligent agency.  Therefore, I think my hypothesis of a Super-Engineer (I do not insist upon calling him 'God';) is a better explanation.


Here is your problem displayed for all to see.  You simply assume that "functional machines" have to be produced by intelligent agency, hence you are blind to the fact that the derived characteristics of organisms are the mark of non-design, not of design.  And you seem incapable of even questioning your presupposition that life (which is in many ways unlike designed machines) has to be designed.

And yes, we know very well of non-intelligent causes that have produced "functioning machines", namely evolutionary causes.  If you had an open mind, you could see it too.  And if you had even a remote concept of what "biological machines" are, you would already know that living organisms are quite unlike automata.

Quote
I didn't say it was original ... 'my hypothesis' means to me a conglomerate of existing ones plus some of my own thoughts presented in my own way. Everyone does this.  Why is it less than compelling? Have you ever experienced or read about a system that was 'finely tuned' that was NOT finely tuned by an engineer (or team of them)?


Once again your narrow a priori beliefs get in the way of even questioning metaphysical assumptions.  Have you ever seen a universe being created by a God?  Have you ever seen anything like an organism made by an intelligent agent?  

Of course you haven't.  You're analogizing across very different phenomena, not even noticing that intelligent religionists have typically considered the gods and/or other "supernatural agents" to be non-analogous with ourselves based upon the fact that we do not make universes, organisms, and what-not.  Only at this late date do we have people supposing that life is just a collection of machines, that the universe is fine-tuned like a computer or some such thing.

And frankly, I have said enough.  If you can ever question your prejudices, then you might learn how we know that reproducing derivative "machines" were not produced by any kind of "intelligent agent" that we have ever seen, and that the universe cannot be compared with anything we have ever produced.  

And no, I did not write this for Afdave, really, but just to show generically what is wrong with Afdave's unquestioned worldview.  Anthropomorphism runs rampant through it, and the poorest analogies are used to show that life is "created like other machines", without Afdave even noticing the vast differences between designed machines and life.  Then again, better educated individuals have failed as completely to make these basic distinctions, so we should not be surprised if Afdave is unable to question his assumptions.

--------------
http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p....p

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of coincidence---ID philosophy

   
Glen Davidson



Posts: 752
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 03 2006,06:42   

Quote
My point is (and this is known as the "weak anthropic principle") we would be surprised to find ourselves living in a universe that was not finely tuned for life. Obviously, Dave, we could not live in a universe that was inimical to life, unless a creator god made it possible for us to live there nevertheless. Since we are, in fact, alive, it should come as no surprise at all to us that we inhabit a universe that can sustain life.


This is all good, of course.  But what might be worth wondering about is why this universe, which is so poorly equipped to produce and to sustain life, is considered to be miraculously created to do just that.

If you (anyone) were God, would you produce a universe that often subjected planets to death-causing radiation, colossal collisions with heavenly bodies, and random changes in earth's climate that alternately freeze and fry life on earth?  Or would you make something far more controlled, like we do on our limited scale?

The fact of the matter is that few enough organisms survived the Permian extinction.  For most of earth's existence, there was inadequate oxygen (rising oxygen levels remain a good candidate for setting off the "Cambrian explosion").  Mars was dessicated by this "universe fine-tuned for life", while Venus was completely fried.  We exist as highly successful mammals largely because an asteroid (or at least some great disaster) killed off the dinosaurs.  We may have narrowly escaped the a caldera explosion, which appears to have produced a genetic bottleneck (with subsequent problems for us) in the human genome (I am not wedded to the caldera (supervolcano) hypothesis for the bottleneck, but it seems reasonable).

We probably exist in a sweet spot in this slated-to-die universe.  Earlier, there was too much chaos, radiation, and too many explosions for much life to arise and then evolve.  Later, the energy output of the universe will be rather poor, with few opportunities for life to arise, and diminishing resources for intelligent life trying to maintain itself.

The fact is that many conditions had to exist (be "fine-tuned") even for our dangerous and dicey existence to happen--hence there is real thought regarding the "fine-tuning" (the multiverse is a good hypothesis, but at best a hypothesis currently).  However, such "fine-tuning" indicates no real concern for producing adequate, let alone truly hospitable, conditions for intelligent life (which most IDists/creationists assume is the "goal").  Particularly in the past, life has been nasty, short, and brutish, for most of the human population, hardly the mark of a benevolent God.

The fine-tuning issue remains a real question in science--the journal Nature recently ran some articles about it.  What fine-tuning does not do, however, is to show that life is in any way favored, supported, or designed for anything except to die out as the universe slowly runs out of energy.  So many theists have claimed otherwise that we too-often argue as if fine-tuning did show a concern for life, when life only has all of the problems that evolution causes to non-designed systems, as well as the problems caused by stellar and cosmological evolution.  

What is more, one would have to show that life is some sort of "goal" or "preferred outcome" even to suggest that a single universe with life is "unusual" in any way.  We do not have access to God's telos to show that life is (supposedly) an unlikely but meaningful outcome to cosmic evolution.  Creationists/IDists only assume that life is a meaningful outcome, while we have no excuse to suppose that it is meaningful in a cosmic sense (as opposed to our own sense), however likely or unlikely it may be.  

For all I know, the universe was designed not to produce life, but the God's calculations were off and he abandoned this universe with its noisome organisms.  I have as much reason to believe this as to believe that the death-dealing universe was made for us.

--------------
http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p....p

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of coincidence---ID philosophy

   
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 03 2006,06:52   

Quote (Glen Davidson @ May 03 2006,11:42)
This is all good, of course.  But what might be worth wondering about is why this universe, which is so poorly equipped to produce and to sustain life, is considered to be miraculously created to do just that.

I should probably strengthen a point I made in my previous post:

If we found ourselves living a universe in which life could not possibly exist, that would be evidence for the existence of god (and it would be pretty surprising, too).

That we live in a universe which seems in some ways to be "finely tuned" to permit life, but in which life seems extremely rare (at least, as far as we can tell so far) strikes me as extremely weak evidence for the existence of god.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Occam's Aftershave



Posts: 1488
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 03 2006,06:57   

AFDave says

Quote
Ditto above ... funny ... every non-YEC history book I can find anywhere says things like "4000 (or so) BC: History Begins" (I never find over 10,000).   Hmmm... what did all those 'Homos' do for 1,996,000 years?  You're telling me they all of a sudden started writing and making artifacts only in the last .000000001% (or whatever) of their existence on the planet ... yeah, pretty plausible


Dave, as a fellow EE it’s embarrassing to see you continue to flaunt your ignorance on such topics.  Art and artifacts have been around for way before 4000 B.C.  Have you never heard of the Lascaux cave paintings in France?  Google is your friend Dave – you could easily find hundreds of examples that contradict your silly words if you were motivated to look.

Your personal incredulity and ignorance will never be acceptable as evidence, Dave.

Quote
Uh, oh.  I'm getting 'Aftershaved" again.  Hey try some intelligent sounding arguments instead of insults ... they work better. See Corkscrew, Norm and Chris Hyland and others for some good examples of intelligent sounding stuff.


Sorry Dave, my intention is not to insult you.  However, when you continue to say really stupid things, and I point out to you that they’re really stupid things, I can understand how you’d feel slighted.

Quote
Let's get the (Behe) quote right at least if you're going to quote him.  Here's what I found ...


I didn’t quote him Dave, I accurately described his testimony.

Quote
OK. So astrology wants to call itself a science?  Let 'em.  They have to prove their ideas just like the YECers and everyone else.  Don't you believe in the free market of ideas?  I think the majority would weed them out just like it does in other arenas.
 

The scientific community HAS weeded them out Dave, over 150 years ago.  That’s why the Creationists and IDers are trying to use the legal system to get their religion forced into science classrooms.

Quote
Do you see an Astrology Chapel at the USAF Academy? (I was just there).  Do you see a Scientology chapel?  Or a Buddhist temple?  No.  You see a BIG Protestant chapel, a smaller Catholic chapel and a smaller still Jewish chapel.  Why?  Democracy.  Freedom.  Reflection of the majority within practical limits.  Should the USAF Academy shut down all religion on campus b/c it's a government entity?  Of course not.  Remember.. here in the USA ... Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion [no state church lke the Church of England] or prohibiting the FREE EXERCISE thereof.  Same for science classes.  


Wrong Dave.  Science is not a democracy, and scientific facts aren’t decided by majority vote.  Do you think we can pass a law that will reduce the force of gravity by 50%?  Or change the properties of chemical bonds?

Quote
We shouldn't be telling kids 'God created the world' in science class and we shouldn't be telling the world that 'Evolution created the world' in science class.  We should be telling them 'Most scientists believe some form of Darwin's Theory of Evolution to explain the appearance of life.  Many non-scientists and a minority of scientists believe in some form of supernatural cause for the appearance of life.  Creationism and Intelligent Design Theory are two of these views.'


That’s great for a philosophy class, but dead wrong for a science class.  Should we teach the Geocentric view of the universe in science class because some non-scientists and a teeny minority of scientists hold that view?

Quote
And if Astrology or Scientism or Christian Science or whatever gets a big enough following, then throw them in there too and let the kids decide for themselves with the help of their parents.


Wrong again Dave.  Kids, even with the help of their lay parents, do not have the technical knowledge to decide for themselves what is scientifically accurate.

Quote
"The prosecuting attorney then dropped a two foot high stack of over 60 peer-reviewed scientific papers and articles with research detailing the evolution of the human blood clotting system and asked Behe if he was familiar with the work..  Behe replied that he didn’t need to read them as he already knew his claim was correct."  

I didn't check this quote for accuracy, but I imagine he feels as I feel that scientists just keep on writing mountains and mountains of nonsense to support these notions they really, really want to be true ... like the immune system evolved, etc.  I've read a lot myself and it all starts to sound the same ... I'm sure you can relate.  


He’s supposed to be a profession scientist and an expert on the subject.  Since he never bothered to read all the scientific evidence, how did he know it was nonsense?  The scientific evidence being presented “all sounds the same” to you only because it all directly contradicts your ignorance based view of scientific reality.

Being ignorant doesn’t mean unintelligent Dave, it just means untrained.  I’m quite ignorant of the flight controls of a Huey, but I’m sure you could teach me.  You don’t see me going on web sites and claiming that I already know better that those “closed minded” Huey drivers about how to pilot their aircraft.

Quote
Many people here have said the same about the stuff I write.  I will agree with you that it seems hair-brained to adopt the strategy to go try to defend a local school board's decision to put 'Evolution Warning Labels' on the books.  I mean ... who knows what kind of rednecks you might be defending?  Why fight this in the courts anyway?  I can think of better places to get the word out. So is that 2 things we agree on now?  Oh yeah ... we're both EE's.  OK 3 then.


Then you need to tell that to the Creationists who avoid the scientific peer review process like the plague, and opt for “end runs” through the legal system instead.

Sorry again if you feel insulted – I’ll buy you a beer or three if we ever meet :)  As you are passionate about your cause, I am just as passionate about scientific literacy.  I see a real threat to the economic future of my country if the pseudoscientific pushers like the Creationists continue to try and lower the U.S. science standards.

--------------
JoeG: And by eating the cake you are consuming the information- some stays with you and the rest is waste.

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 03 2006,06:59   

Quote
Is there a scientist somewhere that has observed this that I have not read about? In my personal experience and in all my reading, I have never observed (or read about) a non-intelligent cause producing a functional machine (there are a few equivocal examples I have heard about).  Have you?  My experience has ALWAYS been that functional machines require intelligent agency.  Therefore, I think my hypothesis of a Super-Engineer (I do not insist upon calling him 'God';) is a better explanation.
The difference is that we know the processes which led to the diversity of life and 'crafted' these systems. They differ from manmade machines in that they have properties we would expect if they had been formed by the processes of evolution. Every engineer who has seriously studied biology has told me this. We cannot assume that just because the only time we have seen machines being created it was by humans, we can infer nature was created by an intelligence. I might just as easily infer it must have been created by some humans.

Quote
Are you proposing that the parameters got set by chance?  If so, what basis do you have from your experience to propose this as valid?  How would you deal with the odds against this, etc.?  I think maybe what you are saying is that you don't believe the 'fine tuning' was necessary for life to evolve?
No Im saying life could ONLY evolve if the constants are perfect. An omnipotent being could create life even if they were not. Therefore If I observe that the constants are right for life I infer that the were not 'fine-tuned'. That being said I have no strong feelings one way or the other as my cosmology is a little lacking, the point is it is not reasonable to infer a creator from fine tuning.

Quote
If they are not, then could you propose an example of what IS evidence?  Let me guess ... mountains and mountains of 'scholarship' from the science establishment to support Naturalistic Explanations Only?
Just give us a way to test the supernatural using science, no one has as far as I am aware.

Quote
'Most scientists believe some form of Darwin's Theory of Evolution to explain the appearance of life.  Many non-scientists and a minority of scientists believe in some form of supernatural cause for the appearance of life.  Creationism and Intelligent Design Theory are two of these views.'
I was told this in high school (well not about ID), but as scientists do not believe it we didn't learn about it.

  
Glen Davidson



Posts: 752
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 03 2006,07:05   

Quote
If we found ourselves living a universe in which life could not possibly exist, that would be evidence for the existence of god (and it would be pretty surprising, too).


Not so surprising to the Semitic (writ large) mind , which typically thought of the universe as being fundamentally chaotic, yet held together by the pharoahs or kings, and the gods.  

And I say this to bolster your point, that the miracles are apparent where they overcome the unknown difficulties that beset us.  This "fine-tuned" claim for God seems to fit well with pagan beliefs about the eternal universe, yet one in which we "miraculously" exist "apart from nature" (that is, in later pagan beliefs).  Even the Xians tended to view this universe, though created by God, as a barely tolerable, inimical-to-humanity realm of the devil.  Xians needed God to survive in this hellhole, and the only thing that made this universe in the least bit "fair" was the fact that the good would go to heaven.

Now the parameters of existence are used as "evidence" for this supposedly benevolent God, when in the past it was salvation from this squalid existence that indicated that the Savior was Good.  And I quite agree with your conclusions.

--------------
http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p....p

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of coincidence---ID philosophy

   
  6047 replies since May 01 2006,03:19 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Pages: (202) < 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 7 8 ... >   


Track this topic Email this topic Print this topic

[ Read the Board Rules ] | [Useful Links] | [Evolving Designs]