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+---Topic: AF Dave's UPDATED Creator God Hypothesis started by afdave


Posted by: afdave on May 01 2006,03:19

AF DAVE'S UPDATED CREATOR GOD HYPOTHESIS

When I first proposed my hypothesis a few days ago, I asked for comments and critique.  I have now received this and have updated my hypothesis to reflect this.  You can see this discussion under "AFDave's God Hypothesis."  Thanks to all of you for your feedback!

I will now restate my updated Hypothesis (added a few points) and set forth the updated rules and framework which I wish to use for my reasoning.

MY BACKGROUND
I was first an Electrical Engineer, then an Air Force pilot (T-38 and Huey, believe it or not), then a businessman. Having sold my second business, I am now what you might say "between businesses" and am spending a lot of time on non-profit endeavors. I do have an aircraft charter business (a single King Air to fuel my flying "habit") and I am into alternative motor vehicle fuels with the possibility of a future business venture, but I'm not currently doing anything big in business.  I was never a logician, by trade, but that does not mean I can't become one very quickly, especially when I see gross incompetence in the field.  I also do not pretend to be a professional geologist, cosmologist, physicist, biologist, or Hebrew or Greek scholar.  But I do know some good ones and I read voraciously. What I really am is an ordinary guy with a pretty good brain for learning most anything who is sick and tired of what appears to me to be absolute nonsense being fed to us from the Evolution Dogmatists.  It appears to me that while there are many good scientists doing a truckload of good work for the benefit of humanity, there seems to be a big disconnect with reality when "science" begins speculating about how life began and developed.  I was pleased to see the article mentioned below by Meyer because it is now obvious to me that I am not the only one floating the "God Hypothesis" again. I am apparently in very good company and the pace of new research in this area is accelerating.

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE)
I need to say right up front that my reasoning with respect to this "Creator God Hypothesis" DOES NOT follow the Deductive Framework.  I have stated prior to giving my hypothesis, that I cannot provide a watertight proof for God and I don't believe anyone can, so people are correct in saying that my hypothesis would fail using the deductive schema.  However, we CAN use Abductive Reasoning then draw an Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE), and as Meyer points out below, this gives us powerful support for believing that the "Creator God Hypothesis" may in fact be true.  So there is good news, O Seeker of Truth!  There is massive support for the existence of God and for the literal truth revealed in the Bible.  Stay with me through all of my points and I will show it to you in terms you can understand!  

Here's a little blurb on Abductive reasoning from Stephen C. Meyer.  I would HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend reading his entire paper (only 23 pages) called "The Return of the God Hypothesis" which can be found here ...

< http://www.arn.org/docs/meyer/sm_returnofgod.pdf >

Abductive Reasoning
DATA: The surprising fact A is observed. (The finely tuned cosmos, biological machines, written 'holy' books, etc.)
LOGIC: But if B were true, then A would be a matter of course. (B is the God of the Christian Bible)
CONCLUSION: Hence, there is reason to suspect that B is true.  

Stephen C. Meyer notes that "The natural and historical sciences employ such logic [abductive] routinely.  For instance, Peirce argued that skepticism about Napoleon's existence was unjustified although his existence could be known only by abduction: Numberless documents refer to a conqueror called Napoleon Bonaparte. Though we have not seen the man, yet we cannot explain what we have seen, namely, all these documents and monuments, without supposing that he really existed" (Peirce, C. S. 1931. Collected Papers. Eds. Charles Hartshorne & Paul Weiss. Vol. 2. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press).

UPDATED HYPOTHESIS
A. 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.

B. This God created the Cosmos as a specially designed whole, with life and mankind as its fundamental goal and purpose.  This God created mankind with a choice of either doing his will or not doing his will, in a similar way as parents "create" babies knowing full well that their child will either do their will or not do their will.  Christian Theologians commonly call the choice of NOT doing God's will "sin."

C. All of human kind descended from two genetically rich parents, Adam and Eve, but did not diversify significantly due to minimal geographic isolation.  My hypothesis proposes that there was only one large "super-continent" prior to the Great Flood of Noah, thus minimizing geographic isolation and resultant natural selection and specialization/diversification.  The same applies to animals except that I make no proposal as to HOW MANY animals there were initially.  Obviously, there would have to be at least one pair of each 'kind' (a term to be defined later)

D. Early man was created perfectly, i.e. no deleterious genetic mutations.  It is proposed that early man was vigorous, healthy and possibly taller than modern humans.  Early families were very large--on the order of 30 to 50 kids per couple and lives were long, many over 900 years.  Sons routinely married their sisters in the ante-diluvian world with no worries of genetic defects.  The first laws prohibiting close marriages did not occur until the time of Moses by which time we assume that accumulated harmful genetic mutations would have been a significant consideration.

E. Mankind chose NOT to do God's will very early on (just as all young children choose not to do parents' will), thus prompting God to institute a system for persuading humans to admit their folly and begin doing His will, for "redeeming" humans who choose this path, and for reminding humans that the present physical world is only a "proving ground" or "training camp" for the next world which will be created at a definite point in the future.  These events are commonly called the Fall and the Curse by Christian Theologians.

F. God allowed the choices of mankind to take their natural course for the most part, intervening in the affairs of men sporadically and briefly.  Most of the "day-to-day management" of Planet Earth was delegated to mankind himself, similar to how modern parents delegate the day-to-day management of their children to a school or a day care center.

G. The natural result of collective disobedience to the revealed will of God was an extremely corrupt society--i.e. rampant dishonesty, injustice, murder, theft, etc.--which was terminated by God through the agency of a global, life-destroying flood--the Flood of Noah described in Genesis.  

H. The Global Flood of Noah was an immense cataclysm of enormous tectonic, volcanic and hydraulic upheaval.  It completely reshaped the ante-diluvian world and resulted in massive, worldwide sedimentation and fossilization, mountain range uplift, sea basin lowering, continent separation, and climate change.  The Flood was survived in a floating ark by 8 humans (four couples) and one or more pairs of terrestrial, air-breathing, genetically rich animals and birds. The diversity we see in the living world today is the result of subsequent geographic separation and isolation of species and natural selection.

I. Following the Global Flood, we hypothesize an Ice Age of undetermined duration brought on by the massive climate changes induced by the Flood.  It was during this time that the dinosaurs and many other species died out. Since the time of the Ice Age, the structure of the earth's crust and the climate which followed, has not changed appreciably, and uniformitarian principles may now be applied to geological studies.

J. We hypothesize a supernatural intervention by God at the Tower of Babel which instantly and miraculously created several new languages (we think on the order of 12 or so), whereas prior to this event, there was only one language.

K. The record of these events (except the Ice Age) was dictated to selected individuals such as Adam and Seth and their descendants and carefully recorded on stone tablets, then passed down to successive generations.  Moses eventually received these stone tablets (or copies of them) and composed the book we now call Genesis by compiling these records into one written document.  He then composed his own written record of the events of his own lifetime, resulting in the complete Pentateuch.

L. God personally dictated the events of the Creation week to the first man, Adam, but then assumed a less active role in the composition of the balance of Genesis and the balance of what is now commonly called the Christian Scriptures.  This role varied from active dictation in an audible voice to less obvious methods--we might call it "planting of thoughts" in the minds of the writers.  This collective process is commonly called the "Inspiration of Scripture" by Christian Theologians.

M. Many cultures in geographically diverse locations around the world have legends which follow the general outline above.  The reason for the variance we find in the legends is that many of them are simply oral traditions passed down through the generations without the benefit of scrupulous copying of written records that the Christian Scriptures have enjoyed.  Since the Documentary Hypothesis (Graf-Wellhausen Theory) has now been thoroughly discredited, we have good reason to revert to the previously well established hypothesis that Genesis is NOT oral tradition, but rather it is a carefully copied written record of eye-witness accounts.

N. The Christian Scriptures, i.e. the 66 books of what is commonly called the Holy Bible, are essentially the WRITTEN record of what this Super-Intelligent, Super-Powerful Creator God wanted mankind to know about Himself, His Creation, and His Plans for the Future.

O. Jesus of Nazareth is the single most influential human being to ever walk Planet Earth.  Also, there are over 300 specific prophecies concerning a supposed "Messiah" figure throughout the Jewish Scriptures -- what Christians call the Old Testament.  These prophecies "just happen" to all converge in the life of one man of history--Jesus of Nazareth. We hypothesize that this Jesus of Nazareth was (and is) the Creator God in human form, just as he claimed to be.

P. The Christian Scriptures consisting of the Jewish Scriptures plus what is commonly called the New Testament are the most basic and foundational collection of documents for all of mankind's activities on Planet Earth--from scientific endeavor to family activities to government structure.  They also are the only reliable source documents for knowing the future of Planet Earth and Mankind in relation to it.  As such, these Scriptures should be the basis and starting point for all human activities from individual behaviour to family operation to nation building and governance of human affairs to scientific endeavors and the arts.

So now you have the "AF Dave Creator God Updated Hypothesis" ... this is my second draft and almost completely my own words.  While it is true that I have done extensive study, the only sentence to my knowledge "lifted" from an outside source is the first sentence of para (b).  This hypothesis covers many of the main points that I believe should be included, but I would welcome any constructive comments suggesting additions, modifications, or clarifications.

As soon as I am satisfied from my feedback from you that my framework of reasoning is sound, I will proceed to provide evidence which I believe supports each point in my Hypothesis.

This should be fun ... I welcome your comments!
Posted by: Chris Hyland on May 01 2006,03:36

A few pointers:

To save you some time, we don't need evidence that there was an ice age.

If you could give us something that we haven't heard a hundred times before I'm sure we'd all be very grateful.

If you're going to present this theory as an alternative to current science theories using abductive reasoning you need to show why it explains the data better than current theories. Just because your hypothesis also talks about the origin of the universe it does not mean it is automatically a better theory of the origin of species than evolution.
Posted by: Occam's Toothbrush on May 01 2006,03:38

[cue smart people who should know better taking afdave's moronic bait]
Posted by: Chris Hyland on May 01 2006,03:46

I know but I have a day off and im bored.
Posted by: afdave on May 01 2006,04:01



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
If you're going to present this theory as an alternative to current science theories using abductive reasoning you need to show why it explains the data better than current theories.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


I agree completely ... I plan on going to great lengths to show exactly that.  My Ice Age info will show that it was not a million (did I get that about right from ToE?) year Ice Age, but that it was relatively short, occurred right after the Great Flood, and helps to explain dinosaur extinction.
Posted by: Laser on May 01 2006,04:04

You seem to be honest in your desire for feedback, so I will give you honest critiques.  Gee, where to start?  The beginning, I guess.

Science doesn't really say anything for or against points A and B.  They aren't questions that science can address. (At least not at this point in time.  It might be possible in the future, but it might not be possible either.)

In point C, you immediately start to limit yourself in a way that science does not.  "I make no proposal as to HOW MANY animals there were initially.  Obviously, there would have to be at least one pair of each 'kind' (a term to be defined later) "  Why won't you make a claim?  Is it because the claim could be tested and found to be wrong?  Science makes hypotheses that are tested all the time.  You're already starting on a nonexistent foundation.

In point D, you finally make a claim: "It is proposed that early man was vigorous, healthy and possibly taller than modern humans.  Early families were very large--on the order of 30 to 50 kids per couple and lives were long, many over 900 years."  What evidence do you have for this claim?  Any fossils of humans taller than today's humans?  Any archaelogical digs that show structures designed for tall humans or very large families? (No, the Bible doesn't count as evidence.  There are places in the Bible that say bats are birds, so I'm not confident in the Bible as a source of scientific evidence and knowledge.)

Later in point D: "The first laws prohibiting close marriages did not occur until the time of Moses by which time we assume that accumulated harmful genetic mutations would have been a significant consideration."  Again, why "assume"?  Why not look for evidence?

Your chain of "abductive logic"  has glaring flaws and weaknesses from the get go.
Posted by: Wesley R. Elsberry on May 01 2006,04:08

Don't multiply topics needlessly. There was no need to open a new topic for this modification of what is already being discussed in the original topic.
Posted by: Chris Hyland on May 01 2006,04:12

Is there any way to copy this stuff over to the other topic?



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
My Ice Age info will show that it was not a million (did I get that about right from ToE?) year Ice Age
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

The theory of evolution doesn't say anything about the ice age, saying thins like this makes people not take you seriously. The theory of evolution says nothing about the origin of the universe, the origin of matter, or the origin of life. Some of the requirements include things like an old earth, but an ice age is not one of them.
Posted by: afdave on May 01 2006,04:32



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
There was no need to open a new topic for this modification of what is already being discussed in the original topic.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

I hear you.  I assumed people would quit posting to the old one and it would fade away ... If you need to merge them, though, no problem ... maybe use the TITLE for this one so people know it's updated and tack this discussion on the end of the other one?
Posted by: normdoering on May 01 2006,05:01

Quote (afdave @ May 01 2006,08:19)
this "Creator God Hypothesis" DOES NOT follow the Deductive Framework.  I have stated prior to giving my hypothesis, that I cannot provide a watertight proof for God and I don't believe anyone can, so people are correct in saying that my hypothesis would fail using the deductive schema.  However, we CAN use Abductive Reasoning then draw an Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE), ...
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Some people can use Abductive Reasoning and then draw an Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE), but not you, Dave.

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?

Your "abductive inference" (that there is a least one god) is over 3,000 years old and so are the so-called "surprising facts" you are using as support. In all that time, going through several religions, it never made it past first base into the realm of deductive science.

Also, I would not recommend reading Stephen C. Meyer to learn about logic -- he'll probably forever cripple your ability to understand modern scientific reasoning.
Posted by: afdave on May 01 2006,05:23

Good question from the old thread from improvius ...


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Or you can just change the meaning of "logic" to help you rationalize this junk.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Here's my logic ...
1) We hypothesize a Super-Intelligent Creator ... we can only imagine Him somewhat like a human mind because that is what we are familiar with, but much more intelligent ... this is my "B"
2) We observe a Surprising Fact that all over the world, people claim to have received messages--written and oral from some 'god' character.  It's a surprising fact because quite frankly it's WEIRD ... this is my "A"
3) LOGIC:  If B were true, then A would follow naturally based on our own experience with Intelligent Agents (i.e. they communicate verbally and in writing)
4)  CONCLUSION:  There is reason to suspect that B is true (not proof, obviously, but reason)

Now how is this "junk" logic?


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
In all that time, going through several religions, it never made it past first base into the realm of deductive science.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Again, I am saying that I am not using Deductive Reasoning ... I am using Abductive Reasoning and drawing an Inference to the Best Explanation.  This is used regularly by both scientists and historians, Meyer's Napoleon scenario being an excellent example.  Again, for other readers, see < http://www.arn.org/docs/meyer/sm_returnofgod.pdf >
Posted by: Flint on May 01 2006,05:36

1) Let's hypothesize that humans are imaginative, and similar to one another in this way everywhere. Part of what makes them human.

2) We observe that humans imagine vaguely-human super powerful or influential beings fairly commonly. In fact, even small children do this.

3) LOGIC: We reason that people are very similar to people. They might even BE people.

4) We observe that apart from human imagination, no trace of objective evidence has EVER been discovered (despite searches so dedicated they approach desperate) of any such entities.

5) LOGIC: We reason that imagination might be producing something imaginary. Being the product of imagination, it might even BE imaginary.

Next step: testing. Fairly exhaustive tests for the actual existence of imaginary entities have so far failed to produce anything of the sort. Another test: do those humans raised to believe in evidence and observation and NOT raised to believe in the imaginary, ALSO experience the same entities? Well, no, they don't.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 01 2006,05:40

Quote (afdave @ May 01 2006,09<!--emo&:0)
I agree completely ... I plan on going to great lengths to show exactly that.  My Ice Age info will show that it was not a million (did I get that about right from ToE?) year Ice Age, but that it was relatively short, occurred right after the Great Flood, and helps to explain dinosaur extinction.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Dave, where did you get the idea that there was just one long ice age? The history of the earth is peppered with ice ages, including one, about 600 million years ago, where the entire surface of the earth froze solid.

You're going to need to come up with more than one ice age in your chronology, and that's just one of your easier assignments.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 01 2006,05:44

Quote (afdave @ May 01 2006,10:23)
Again, I am saying that I am not using Deductive Reasoning ... I am using Abductive Reasoning and drawing an Inference to the Best Explanation.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


In other words, you're not using science.

How far do you think you're going to get with the people on this website, many of whom are professional scientists?
Posted by: Mr_Christopher on May 01 2006,05:52



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
MY BACKGROUND
I was first an Electrical Engineer, then an Air Force pilot (T-38 and Huey, believe it or not), then a businessman.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



I am curious why you seem to think there is a need for you to advertise this in every thread.

These facts do not lend any credibility to your arguements.  

Two words come to mind - who cares?
Posted by: Faid on May 01 2006,06:01

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?
Posted by: afdave on May 01 2006,06:02



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
How far do you think you're going to get with the people on this website, many of whom are professional scientists?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


I may not get very far with closed minded professional scientisits, which I hope you are not, but I hope to put some truth out there in an area where I currently see a lot of error.

This is from the Meyer article quoted previously ...


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Scientists rarely prove their theories deductively from empirical evidence. Indeed, no field of inquiry short of mathematics could progress if itlimited itself to the logic of entailment. Rather, most fields of inquiry employ
alternate forms of inference known variously as the method of hypothesis,abduction, hypothetico-deductive method, or inference to the best explanation. (p.21)
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


and ...


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
The natural and historical sciences employ such logic routinely. In the natural sciences, if we have reason to expect that some state of affairs will ensue given some hypothesis, and we find that such a state of affairs has ensued, then we say that our hypothesis has been confirmed. This method of confirmation of hypothesis functions to provide evidential support for many scientific hypotheses. Given Copernicus heliocentric theory of the solar system, astronomers in the seventeenth century had reason to expect that the planet Venus should exhibit phases. Galileo's discovery that it does exhibit phases, therefore, supported (though it did not prove) the heliocentric view. The discovery did not prove the heliocentric theory, since other theories might and in fact could explain the same fact (Gingerich 1982: 133-43) (p. 22 of Meyer's article).
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


and ...
Posted by: MidnightVoice on May 01 2006,06:04

Quote (Faid @ May 01 2006,11:01)
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?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Well, he is an engineer, not a sciemtist  :D
Posted by: normdoering on May 01 2006,06:08

Quote (afdave @ May 01 2006,10:23)


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
In all that time, going through several religions, it never made it past first base into the realm of deductive science.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Again, I am saying that I am not using Deductive Reasoning ... I am using Abductive Reasoning ...
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


You think you are using Abductive Reasoning but you're not really doing that. What you are doing is called "rationalization."

Abductive Reasoning is supposed to lead to a hypothesis where deductive reasoning can apply. Thus your failure to supply a testably hypothesis after doing your Abductive Reasoning means you've failed to do it correctly.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 01 2006,06:08

Dave, your "abductive reasoning" is a science-killer.

A quick example:

A volcano is a "strange, weird thing."

But if God exists, volcanoes would exist as a matter of course.

Using that kind of reasoning, how far do you think we would have gotten using our belief in God to explain natural phenomena? What would we know about volcanism?

BTW, when you say things like, "I see a lot of error in scientists' work, which I mean to correct for the honest folk on this discussion board," you do realize you obliterate any credibility you might have had, right?
Posted by: afdave on May 01 2006,06:10



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
These facts do not lend any credibility to your arguements.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

I don't expect them to lend to or detract from credibility.  I want new people who have never met me to have some idea of where I'm coming from.

Faid--  The more I study this issue, the more I agree with Meyer that the Abductive approach with a Logical Inference to the Best Explanation is in fact used extensively by both scientists and historians to "establish" many theories (not prove, I understand) which are of great use to humanity.  This is not to say that my conclusions are then automatically true.  I expect to be required to do a great deal more work ... and I may fail.  I admit that.  If you used the same approach and your explanation was better, then it would be reasonable to adopt yours, to be sure.
Posted by: afdave on May 01 2006,06:15

I said ...

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I want new people who have never met me to have some idea of where I'm coming from.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Yeah, like Mars, Pluto or some Fundy Planet in another galaxy ... yeah, yeah ... I know the jokes are coming ... :-)
Posted by: Occam's Aftershave on May 01 2006,06:25

AFDave says


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I may not get very far with closed minded professional scientisits, which I hope you are not, but I hope to put some truth out there in an area where I currently see a lot of error.

---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Dave, you're really starting to disappoint me.  You continue to criticize technical areas in which you admittedly have no expertise, yet accuse those who do have detailed knowledge in those areas of being "closed minded".

What you are doing is the equivalent of going to a convention of aerospace engineers and pilots, held at an airport with hundreds of aircraft on the tarmac and flying overhead, and lecturing that heavier-than-air flight is impossible.  Then, after you have embarrassed yourself with that, dozens of those technical people offer to help you and teach you the basics you obviously lack, but you refuse to listen and instead tell them they're closed minded.

Is it any surprise you are turning off most everyone here?

Being smug and self-assured may be a good thing for a combat pilot, but if not backed up with technical knowledge and understanding those traits will just make you a smoking hole in the ground.

Many people have already pointed out the unwarranted assumptions and battleship-sized flaws in your logic. If you want to impress us, start listening and addressing the criticisms.  Show more critical thinking skills and less single-minded bluster.
Posted by: afdave on May 01 2006,06:29

Here's something else I have never understood ... maybe one of you can explain ...

Why does it always seem that every time the word 'God' is even mentioned, everybody runs for cover and says it's not science?  Personally, I'm content to not use the word God if it makes everyone feel better.  How about  Super-Computer-Alien-Thingy?  (SCAT for short) How about Cosmo-Brain?  Or you think of a name ... it doesn't matter to me.  What matters to me is IF ..... IF,IF,IF,IF,IF ..... there is such a thing, what do you call Him (or it) to even begin an honest search to find evidence for Him (or it) or show that there is none?
Posted by: Chris Hyland on May 01 2006,06:41

Because you can't start from the conclusion and then look for the evidence to fit your conclusion, that is not science.
Posted by: tacitus on May 01 2006,06:48

:02-->
Quote (afdave @ May 01 2006,11:02)


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
How far do you think you're going to get with the people on this website, many of whom are professional scientists?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


I may not get very far with closed minded professional scientists, which I hope you are not, but I hope to put some truth out there in an area where I currently see a lot of error.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Close-minded?  Are you serious?  This from someone who, in a single post, has proved that he has closed his mind to virtually every single bit of scientific evidence concerning the age of the Earth and its long and convoluted history?

Do you even realize how close-minded you are?  Do you understand the sheer tsunami of evidence scientists (many of them Christians) have  built up over the past 200 years compared to the muddy sidewalk puddle you young-earthers have been wallowing in?

I'm sorry to be so blunt, but you are really preaching to the wrong crowd here.

Your hypothesis--statement of faith--reads like something from a bad pseudoscience web site "proving" that aliens abducted his grandmother.  Doesn't Ken Ham have a message board you can hone your rhetoric on, or are you, like others suspect, posting here in the vain hope you will manage to "convert" some of us to your faith?  And if you are, I hope you understand how insulting that is to those of us who are already Christians.
Posted by: tacitus on May 01 2006,06:59



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
E. Mankind chose NOT to do God's will very early on (just as all young children choose not to do parents' will), thus prompting God to institute a system for persuading humans to admit their folly and begin doing His will, for "redeeming" humans who choose this path, and for reminding humans that the present physical world is only a "proving ground" or "training camp" for the next world which will be created at a definite point in the future.  These events are commonly called the Fall and the Curse by Christian Theologians.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Kind of odd behaviour for an entity who is supposed to be omipotent.  Are we expected to believe that God (as defined by most Christians anyway) needed a "Plan B"?  (Actually, if you assume the flood actually happened, he had to use a Plan C as well).
Posted by: Faid on May 01 2006,07:06

Quote (afdave @ May 01 2006,10:23)
Here's my logic ...
1) We hypothesize a Super-Intelligent Creator ... we can only imagine Him somewhat like a human mind because that is what we are familiar with, but much more intelligent ... this is my "B"
2) We observe a Surprising Fact that all over the world, people claim to have received messages--written and oral from some 'god' character.  It's a surprising fact because quite frankly it's WEIRD ... this is my "A"
3) LOGIC:  If B were true, then A would follow naturally based on our own experience with Intelligent Agents (i.e. they communicate verbally and in writing)
4)  CONCLUSION:  There is reason to suspect that B is true (not proof, obviously, but reason)

Now how is this "junk" logic?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


(Copy/pasting my answer from the other thread)

Dave, let me rephrase that the way it actually is:

1) I observe people say that they have been contacted by an entity

2) I propose there is an entity that wishes to contact people

3) I conclude that there is good reason that my theory is true.

Maybe this might help you finally understand.


Oh, about the previous post, my bad: I was referring to the "testable predictions" part of your hypothesis, of course.
Posted by: afdave on May 01 2006,07:06



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
If you want to impress us, start listening and addressing the criticisms.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Where have you been?  I have been doing just that. How about you?  Do you ever do that? What more do you want me to do?  (Agree that you are right ... I know, I know ... but you'll have to earn that if that's what you want.) What we have here, Aftershave, is a big problem in science today and many scientists are either too proud, or too blind, or too afraid to lose their jobs or their friends, or whatever to do anything about it themselves.  Denton and Behe are quite clear on this issue and I think this explains why they have taken the unusual step of presenting their information to the non-professionals like me.

You know, in families sometimes the dad shirks his responsibilities as a dad and so the mom takes over.  She's not as good at being a dad as he is (just like I'm not as well trained in logic, geology, etc., etc.).  But she has to jump in there and take over or the family would be in trouble.

This is exactly what I see in this one critical area of science today, i.e. the area of Origins and the Nature of Mankind and the issue of God.  Science should not be claiming that they have disproved the existence of God because they have not.  Science should not be implying to our children that they are glorified animals, because there is no proof.  Science should not be telling the theologians that God is dead or irrelevant, because they have no basis for claiming that and they arrogantly claim that they do.  And so on ... you get the idea.  So if science is going to behave irresponsibly, then who else but non-scientists are going to have to jump in and "blow the whistle" ??

This is exactly what you see going on right now on multiple fronts and it is exactly the reason we hear so much about "concerned scientists."

Now we laymen are reasonable people and we will forgive scientists if they admit their errors and fix them, but if all we ever get is stonewalling and "you're not even fit to make an argument" and "you're just a religious nut", you can be sure that the people will do everything in their power to rise up and fix it themselves.

And believe me, we laymen can do a lot.  I may not get professional scientists to listen to me, but as you and I both know, all we need is a political majority and we win.  Not to say that I'm just about politics.  I am about Truth and Fairness, but I am also about winning and using every political tool in my toolbox to make sure we have Truth and Fairness in the science establishment in this country.

A lot hinges on this, too.  What people think about origins and the nature of mankind is VITALLY important to law and society.  This is why you see me being so passionate about this issue.
Posted by: tacitus on May 01 2006,07:27

Quote (afdave @ May 01 2006,10:23)
Here's my logic ...
1) We hypothesize a Super-Intelligent Creator ... we can only imagine Him somewhat like a human mind because that is what we are familiar with, but much more intelligent ... this is my "B"
2) We observe a Surprising Fact that all over the world, people claim to have received messages--written and oral from some 'god' character.  It's a surprising fact because quite frankly it's WEIRD ... this is my "A"
3) LOGIC:  If B were true, then A would follow naturally based on our own experience with Intelligent Agents (i.e. they communicate verbally and in writing)
4)  CONCLUSION:  There is reason to suspect that B is true (not proof, obviously, but reason)

Now how is this "junk" logic?
Again, I am saying that I am not using Deductive Reasoning ... I am using Abductive Reasoning and drawing an Inference to the Best Explanation.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Your problem is that we have plenty of evidence from extant primitive cultures that your "A" is simply an attempt by those societies to explain what they can't understand.  

Why do you insist on a double standard?  One for the ancient Jews, and another for the rest of humanity?  After all, you surely don't infer (abduce or whatever) that the Norse God Thor exists since the Vikings found him to best way to explain the phenomenon of lightning?

It's also a fact that the human brain works overtime to make sense of out of the confusing and incomprehensible, including dreams.  We know that people with temporal lobe epilepsy have utterly convincing visions that lead them to believe they have a direct line to God (or even that they are God themselves).  Why do you ignore this good, basic, scientific evidence that could help explain these "contacts with God" and simply argue that it's "WEIRD".

Of course it's weird, but that's no excuse to make the unsupported leap and decide that there must be a creator God.

It's funny, 100 years ago, people used to believe in fairies,  elves, and succubi since they "explained" many the weird things that happened to them.  Today... not so much.  What happened?  UFOs happened. Now it's all ETs and little green men.  Does the fact that thousands of people all around the world claim similar experiences mean that alien abductions are really happening? And why is your case for a creator God any more compelling than that nonsense?
Posted by: Chris Hyland on May 01 2006,07:32



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Science should not be claiming that they have disproved the existence of God because they have not.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Sience is NOT claiming it has disproved God, no scientist is saying that.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
What we have here, Aftershave, is a big problem in science today and many scientists are either too proud, or too blind, or too afraid to lose their jobs or their friends, or whatever to do anything about it themselves.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Is this the old 'most scientists don't really believe in evolution but they just can't say it'. As I scientists I can tell you this is not true.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Science should not be implying to our children that they are glorified animals, because there is no proof.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

What is your definition of an animal that does not include humans?



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Science should not be telling the theologians that God is dead or irrelevant, because they have no basis for claiming that and they arrogantly claim that they do.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

They don't say that either, what they do say is that there is no empirical evidence that conclusively points to a God, maybe you can prove them wrong.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
So if science is going to behave irresponsibly, then who else but non-scientists are going to have to jump in and "blow the whistle" ??
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Please quote me the science textbook passage of paper that says God does not exist. It is statements like this that make people call you a religious nut. If you think that there is an atheist conspiracy of scientists then please present your evidence.
Posted by: tacitus on May 01 2006,07:48

:06-->
Quote (afdave @ May 01 2006,12:06)
This is exactly what I see in this one critical area of science today, i.e. the area of Origins and the Nature of Mankind and the issue of God.  Science should not be claiming that they have disproved the existence of God because they have not. Science should not be implying to our children that they are glorified animals, because there is no proof.  Science should not be telling the theologians that God is dead or irrelevant, because they have no basis for claiming that and they arrogantly claim that they do.  And so on ... you get the idea.  So if science is going to behave irresponsibly, then who else but non-scientists are going to have to jump in and "blow the whistle" ??

This is exactly what you see going on right now on multiple fronts and it is exactly the reason we hear so much about "concerned scientists."

Now we laymen are reasonable people and we will forgive scientists if they admit their errors and fix them, but if all we ever get is stonewalling and "you're not even fit to make an argument" and "you're just a religious nut", you can be sure that the people will do everything in their power to rise up and fix it themselves.

And believe me, we laymen can do a lot.  I may not get professional scientists to listen to me, but as you and I both know, all we need is a political majority and we win.  Not to say that I'm just about politics.  I am about Truth and Fairness, but I am also about winning and using every political tool in my toolbox to make sure we have Truth and Fairness in the science establishment in this country.

A lot hinges on this, too.  What people think about origins and the nature of mankind is VITALLY important to law and society.  This is why you see me being so passionate about this issue.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Now the mask is coming off:

Science should not be claiming that they have disproved the existence of God because they have not.

I will be charitable and assume you really believe this.  If that's the case, you are sadly, sadly mistaken and have been taken in by the lies of your fellow creationists.

"Science" doesn't and cannot claim to have disproved the existence of God.  That would be impossible. Once again, many good, honest and hard working scientists are committed Christians and would be insulted to hear such nonsense.

Science should not be implying to our children that they are glorified animals, because there is no proof.

What the heck is a "glorified animal"? Either way, this is nonsense.  Forget evolution.  Try basic anatomy.  What, apart from a bigger brain, do we have that separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom?  Nothing.  Even if you believe in some sort of supernatual soul, we are still mammals and primates.  Like it or lump it.

Science should not be telling the theologians that God is dead or irrelevant, because they have no basis for claiming that and they arrogantly claim that they do.  And so on ...

Again, this is an utter lie.  You should know better.  There are a few scientists, like Richard Dawkins (no doubt your favourite devil), who are outspoken on this issue, but even he would not claim what you say he does.  Again, science cannot do this.  Some scientists do, but that is not the same thing. Any reasonable person should understand this. There are thousands of Christian biologists and geologists who accept evolution.  Are you trying to insult each and every one of them?

With posts like this I suspect you are beginning to wear out your welcome here.  Why should we even bother to listen to you when even your motivations are based on such an obvious falsehood?
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 01 2006,07:50

Quote (afdave @ May 01 2006,12<!--emo&:0)
Now we laymen are reasonable people and we will forgive scientists if they admit their errors and fix them, but if all we ever get is stonewalling and "you're not even fit to make an argument" and "you're just a religious nut", you can be sure that the people will do everything in their power to rise up and fix it themselves.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Dave, this is exactly the kind of arrogant crap that gets you into trouble with scientists. You think you're being magnanimous by being willing to forgive scientists their errors if they admit them and fix them? You think you're qualified to even find errors in scientists' work? Who do you think you are?

Some guy goes through 12 years of public school, four years of undergraduate training, another six years of postgraduate studies, a few more years of fellowships, spends the next twenty years of his life doing research into invertebrate physiology, and then you think you're entitled to read a few articles on AiG and then tell him he's wrong? What kind of a blockhead are you?

I'd say no offense, but given the offensiveness of your position, I'd be lying if I said so.

If you think the last 150 years of evolutionary biology is wrong, then I suggest you go out there, get your postgraduate degree in the relevant fields, and then go out and do some research. If you think you're remotely qualified to critique these guys' work, you're delusional.

Oh, and by the way: how are you doing with your detailed, comprehensive rebuttal of all the evidence demonstrating that the earth is billions of years old? You might want to stop criticizing scientists' research and start doing some research of your own.
Posted by: Occam's Aftershave on May 01 2006,08:05

AFDave says



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Where have you been?  I have been doing just that. How about you?  Do you ever do that? What more do you want me to do?  (Agree that you are right ... I know, I know ... but you'll have to earn that if that's what you want.)
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Actually Dave, you haven’t.  All you’ve been doing is continuing to present your uninformed opinions on technical topic that you don’t understand.  I, personally, don’t care what you choose to believe, as long as it makes you happy.  However, when you present your ignorance as an alternative to actual scientific results, I will continue to point out your errors.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
What we have here, Aftershave, is a big problem in science today and many scientists are either too proud, or too blind, or too afraid to lose their jobs or their friends, or whatever to do anything about it themselves.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



That’s total bullshit Dave.  You’re off on an exercise of self-justification for your religious beliefs, nothing more.  Do you think you’re the first to come here and do this?



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Denton and Behe are quite clear on this issue and I think this explains why they have taken the unusual step of presenting their information to the non-professionals like me.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Denton and Behe and the other Creationist pseudo-scientists specifically target untrained laymen like you because you don’t have the skill set to know you’re being lied to.  You’re a “soft target” Dave, whether you care to admit it or not.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
You know, in families sometimes the dad shirks his responsibilities as a dad and so the mom takes over.  She's not as good at being a dad as he is (just like I'm not as well trained in logic, geology, etc., etc.).  But she has to jump in there and take over or the family would be in trouble.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



And sometimes there is no problem, but the Mom becomes a controlling, domineering battle-ax over her children anyway just because she needs to feel important.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
This is exactly what I see in this one critical area of science today, i.e. the area of Origins and the Nature of Mankind and the issue of God.  Science should not be claiming that they have disproved the existence of God because they have not.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Science HAS NOT EVER claimed to have disproved the existence of God.  Whoever told you that if full of shit too. There are certainly a few atheistic scientists (i.e. Dawkins) who hold that personal opinion, but the science itself says NOTHING one way or the other on the existence of God.  You want to claim different?  Then find me a textbook or a scientific research paper ANYWHERE that says “here is scientific evidence there is no God”.  



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Science should not be implying to our children that they are glorified animals, because there is no proof.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Er Dave, there is ample evidence humans ARE just another species of animal.  Your total ignorance of, or personal dislike for of the evidence does not mean the evidence doesn’t exist.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Science should not be telling the theologians that God is dead or irrelevant, because they have no basis for claiming that and they arrogantly claim that they do.  And so on ... you get the idea.  So if science is going to behave irresponsibly, then who else but non-scientists are going to have to jump in and "blow the whistle" ??
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Again, science DOES NOT DO what you claim.  Just what do you think “science” is, anyway?  Science is just the collected technical knowledge of the natural world. It has been compiled by millions of people of all religions over hundreds of years and is available to be examined or questioned by anybody. It is not some unified organization like the Catholic church with a “head scientist” as Pope handing out scientific “proclamations” that must be followed by the lesser scientists.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
This is exactly what you see going on right now on multiple fronts and it is exactly the reason we hear so much about "concerned scientists." Now we laymen are reasonable people and we will forgive scientists if they admit their errors and fix them, but if all we ever get is stonewalling and "you're not even fit to make an argument" and "you're just a religious nut", you can be sure that the people will do everything in their power to rise up and fix it themselves.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Again, nothing personal Dave, but you’re way too ignorant on the topic to be telling professionals that they are in error.  If you wish, you can study the sciences, do your own research, and present peer reviewed results to overturn current scientific thinking.  However, just repeating your uninformed bogus claims will only get you laughed at.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
And believe me, we laymen can do a lot.  I may not get professional scientists to listen to me, but as you and I both know, all we need is a political majority and we win.  Not to say that I'm just about politics.  I am about Truth and Fairness, but I am also about winning and using every political tool in my toolbox to make sure we have Truth and Fairness in the science establishment in this country.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



I agree 100% that this is a political battle, because the scientific battle was decided over 150 years ago.  The YECs lost.  Like so many other Fundamentalists, all you want is your particular religion’s brand of “Truth and Fairness”, regardless that all the scientific evidence available directly contradicts you.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
A lot hinges on this, too.  What people think about origins and the nature of mankind is VITALLY important to law and society.  This is why you see me being so passionate about this issue.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



I respect your passion, but your critical thinking skills still haven’t gotten off the ground.

Take care.
Posted by: tacitus on May 01 2006,08:09

Nicely put Eric.  Dave is no different from people like Richard Hoagland who condemns that whole of NASA and the rest of the space industry simply because they won't admit the Face on Mars is an artificial construct.  It's funny how he expects us to listen to him while he ignores every inconvenient little fact we bring up.

He has the nerve to bring up "Truth and Fairness" when even the premise of his argument (science is anti-religious) is a blatent lie?  I constantly find it astouding how people who are obviously quite intelligent, smart, and capable people (if we are to assume his background information is true) can be so wildly off base and so wilfully ignore the truth even when it's staring them in the face.  Whether or not God exists is not the issue here.  No one can prove that either way.  It's the dishonesty with which they even approach the subject of origins that frustrates and infuriates me.  I mean, it's one thing to believe what you are being told by your fundamentalist preacher and favourite creationist web site, it's another to continue believing it unquestioningly when you are presented with solid evidence that you are wrong.

Is faith in God so precarious that the odd bit of scientific evidence brings is all tumbling down?  Why do they want to prove God exists anyway?  With proof, faith is nothing if not diminished, and Christianity has a long history of priding faith over all other things.

Dave appears to be a prime example of what Steven Colbert would deem to be "truthiness".  The facts don't matter, it's what you feel in your gut that really counts!
Posted by: normdoering on May 01 2006,08:58

Quote (afdave @ May 01 2006,11:10)
... more I study this issue, the more I agree with Meyer that the Abductive approach with a Logical Inference to the Best Explanation is in fact used extensively by both scientists and historians to "establish" many theories (not prove, I understand) which are of great use to humanity.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


The problem with your above statement is you've misread Meyer who is already lying to you.

When Meyer says "developments in modern science provide support for Christian theism" it is a lie. He has offered a very skewed argument in which many lines of evidence are omitted and the evidence he does provide will not take you as far as he claims, to confirmation of Christianity. Even if it were valid, which it is not, it could only take you a vague idea of a god.

You then misread him when you say "a Logical Inference to the Best Explanation is in fact used extensively by both scientists and historians to establish many theories." Meyer's never explores anything but the metaphysical conclusions one might draw from what science we know. I never saw him claim any where that scientific theories were established by abductive reasoning alone.

It is a lie to say abductive reasoning alone establishes a scientific theory because deductive reasoning must be involved in establishing those theories. It is paramount, the fact that an apparent use of abductive inference can also seem to "establish" them is a slight of hand distraction away from what is actually critical to those theories.

For example, the theory you so dislike, Darwinian evolution, has many lines of deductive proof and prediction from them to go on. I can lay out a few if you're interested.
Posted by: afdave on May 01 2006,09:13



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Science HAS NOT EVER claimed to have disproved the existence of God.  Whoever told you that if full of shit too. There are certainly a few atheistic scientists (i.e. Dawkins) who hold that personal opinion, but the science itself says NOTHING one way or the other on the existence of God.  You want to claim different?  Then find me a textbook or a scientific research paper ANYWHERE that says “here is scientific evidence there is no God”.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

I just have to laugh ... "only a few  ... mmm ... like Dawkins, for example ... he's not very influential... not many others ..." OK.  Whatever.

I'll tell you what ... I won't sell you any bridges and you don't sell me any and we'll be friends, OK!

As for me, I'm going to get back on topic ...

Thankyou, Norm at least for that!  I'll consider your words.

Would anyone else like to comment on the real issue on this thread ... ?

We (at least I and Norm and a few others) are debating the validity of my structure for debating Origins, the Nature of Life and related topics, collectively referred to as my Creator God Hypothesis.

I have given you my preferred approach ... are there any more substantive objections?
Posted by: tacitus on May 01 2006,09:36

Quote (afdave @ May 01 2006,14:13)
I just have to laugh ... "only a few  ... mmm ... like Dawkins, for example ... he's not very influential... not many others ..." OK.  Whatever.

I'll tell you what ... I won't sell you any bridges and you don't sell me any and we'll be friends, OK!

As for me, I'm going to get back on topic ...

Thankyou, Norm at least for that!  I'll consider your words.

Would anyone else like to comment on the real issue on this thread ... ?

We (at least I and Norm and a few others) are debating the validity of my structure for debating Origins, the Nature of Life and related topics, collectively referred to as my Creator God Hypothesis.

I have given you my preferred approach ... are there any more substantive objections?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Why should we bother commenting on anything else you say when you can't even be bothered to back up your own comments with, like, you know, evidence.

First tell us exactly where Dawkins says that science disproves God instead of just laughing it off.  If it's so obvious to you, then educate us.  We're listening.

Second, does the fact that one, admittedly strongly atheistic and outspoken scientist might believe it mean it is safe to assume all, or even a more that a small minority of scientists believe it too.  Gee, I guess that must mean I must be right in thinking that all Christians believe the same as that paragon of Christian thought, Pastor Fred Phelps (look him up if you haven't heard of him).

Finally, perhaps if you started addressing our existing comments (you haven't answered any of mine yet) then maybe we will start to entertain the idea that you are actually interested in anything we have to say.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 01 2006,09:36

Quote (afdave @ May 01 2006,14:13)
I just have to laugh ... "only a few  ... mmm ... like Dawkins, for example ... he's not very influential... not many others ..." OK.  Whatever.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


More misdirection, Dave. Dawkins has often said that he personally does not believe in God, and points out that there is no solid evidence that God exists. He has never claimed that science can, or has, proved that God does not exist.

These claims may work with your not-well-informed layman friends, but they will not work with people who actually read about science.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
As for me, I'm going to get back on topic ...
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Dave, you're avoiding "the topic" like the plague. The "topic" is, what evidence does Dave have for his claim that the Bible is inerrant and is the best available explanation for experience. So far, you're batting zero on that topic.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
We (at least I and Norm and a few others) are debating the validity of my structure for debating Origins, the Nature of Life and related topics, collectively referred to as my Creator God Hypothesis.

I have given you my preferred approach ... are there any more substantive objections?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



I'm pretty sure the objections you've already heard have not only demolished your hypothesis; they've demolished your method for even arriving at a hypothesis. Your proposed method takes you way outside the bounds of science. You're not talking science; you're talking theology. I don't think I can get any clearer than that.
Posted by: Occam's Aftershave on May 01 2006,10:20



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I just have to laugh ... "only a few  ... mmm ... like Dawkins, for example ... he's not very influential... not many others ..." OK.  Whatever.

I'll tell you what ... I won't sell you any bridges and you don't sell me any and we'll be friends, OK!

As for me, I'm going to get back on topic ...
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Well Dave, if you didn't want to discuss your claim of "science says it disproves the existence of God", then why in the world did you bring it up in the first place?

Speaking of on topic, you are still avoiding answering this objection to your hypothesis



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I can spin that kind of argument any way I want too.  I can hypothesize "A Super Intelligent, Incredibly Powerful Being could create all necessary physical laws in the first femtosecond of existence, then just sit back and observe the results.  Therefore when I observe scientific data that says the universe is 14 Billion years old, and the Earth is 4.5 Billion years old, and that life has existed on Earth for over 3 billion years, and that life has evolved over that time by observed processes such as random mutations plus natural selection, I have just verified my hypothesis.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Why is that reasoning any less valid than yours?

or

Abductive Reasoning
DATA: The surprising fact A is observed. (The Indian tsunami killed hundreds of thousands of people
LOGIC: But if B were true, then A would be a matter of course. (B is the hypothesis that AFDave caused the tsunami :(  )
CONCLUSION: Hence, there is reason to suspect that B is true.

Tell us AFDave, should we suspect you of killing all those innocent people?

Don't feel alone.  Most of the YECs who come through here experience similar bouts of cognitive dissonance when presented with factual evidence that blows away their arguments.  That makes them get angry and confused, just like you.
Posted by: afdave on May 01 2006,10:47



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Abductive Reasoning
DATA: The surprising fact A is observed. (The Indian tsunami killed hundreds of thousands of people
LOGIC: But if B were true, then A would be a matter of course. (B is the hypothesis that AFDave caused the tsunami   )
CONCLUSION: Hence, there is reason to suspect that B is true.
Tell us AFDave, should we suspect you of killing all those innocent people?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Thankyou, Aftershave, for getting back on topic ... you know very well what the topic is and I'm glad you are man enough to finally get back to it. It's right up there at the top of this Internet Explorer frame.  I'm glad you noticed we are debating the UPDATED version, thankyou.

Now ... to fillet your statement in front of God and everybody ... my surprising answer to your question is ... DRUM ROLL ... YES ...

YES, YES!! Thankyou!  A Thousand time YES!  This is precisely what you should do!  And while you are at it, put your Origins and Macro-Evolution Hypothesis in exactly the same format and go look for that evidence on the same trek!

Guess what!  You won't find a SHRED of evidence for either one and you will display to all who come here that it is the Evolution Dogmatists who are doing Voodoo Science!  That's the difference between my Hypothesis and the two of yours.  

Yours have no evidence.  Mine does.  

And tomorrow morning you will be getting more or it than you care to hear.  But not for your benefit, unless you open your mind.  If you haven't noticed, I'm really writing for the benefit of people with open minds.  I know I won't convince hardened skeptics.

So bring it on and let's see how yours stands up.  (Either one you like--Tsunami or Evolution).  You tell me you guys are the professionals.  Let's see how professional your arguments are.  Or are you just going say I'm incompetent and I have no idea what I'm in for and Meyer is a liar, blah, blah, blah?
Posted by: Chris Hyland on May 01 2006,10:55

Just post your evidence already.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 01 2006,11:09

Quote (afdave @ May 01 2006,15:47)
[Guess what!  You won't find a SHRED of evidence for either one and you will display to all who come here that it is the Evolution Dogmatists who are doing Voodoo Science!  That's the difference between my Hypothesis and the two of yours.  

Yours have no evidence.  Mine does.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


No, Dave, you don't. You haven't presented anything remotely resembling "evidence" for any of your claims. To say that something "could have happened this way," or "probably happened this way," simply doesn't amount to evidence.

Face it, Dave. "Hardened skeptics" are the people you have to reach. All practicing scientists are "hardened skeptics," and they won't be persuaded by half-assed guesses unsupported by any reference to actual evidence.

Now—where's your evidence that the earth is only 6,000 years old?
Posted by: Renier on May 01 2006,11:18



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Yours have no evidence.  Mine does.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Dave, get on with it. We are all waiting for this "evidence" to appear. Are you now saying that you have already presented it? You are joking, right? Either that, or you are insulting us.

...and in this mood of anticipation that you have created, take the hat and pluck out the evidence... come on! Oh, btw, your "suspicion" does not count as evidence, but I think you know that.

Well laddy, you promised evidence, so, do honour to your word!
Posted by: thurdl01 on May 01 2006,11:22

Ad hominem attacks combined with a strong martyrdom complex.  Interesting strategy.  Do you expect it to win converts when you are lobbing general insults, though often veiled, at people?

Or is it your strategy, as you've demonstrated several times in this thread, that you will simply ignore any evidence that doesn't mesh with your predecided upon conclusion?  Or, worse yet, deciding to declare arguments that are damaging to your point of view as "off topic" even if they are in direct responce to comments that you, yourself, have made in the self same thread?  How can it be that we should be expected to stay "on topic," as decided upon by yourself apparently, when you are not bound by those same rules?  The issues that have been discussed above in this thread that you deemed "off topic" stemmed from comments that you yourself have made.  Thus, you are delivering the message that (A) you are allowed to be off topic but (B) no one is "allowed" to respond to your off topic statements.

I mean, I'm just trying to look at the rules that you're apparently setting up for us to "follow" should we hope to have our eyes opened by yourself.  Assuming that we are "men enough" to do so.  Because it seems to me that the pattern is going to be you ignoring, or simply labelling as "off topic," any evidence that is contrary to your position, while delivering veiled insults to anyone who dares to be on the side of reason in this whole debate.

To use your own terms, are you man enough to debate this honestly?  More simply: why should we bother reading and replying to you?
Posted by: Renier on May 01 2006,11:27

Afdave wrote:



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
This is extremely important and will come after I present credible evidence that we should expect some Super-Intelligence to exist and that it is highly likely that He (or it) commmunicates like we do.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------





---------------------QUOTE-------------------
And this is where I think my evidence ... "cosmic fine tuning, the anthropic principle, etc." as I will elaborate on soon lead to a Super-Intelligent 'god-like' character as a better explanation than other alternatives.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Oh cra_p. Is this going to be a Deja Vu feeling, like talking to Heddle?
Posted by: tacitus on May 01 2006,12:01

Quote (Renier @ May 01 2006,16:27)
Oh cra_p. Is this going to be a Deja Vu feeling, like talking to Heddle?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


I think you're being unfair to Heddle -- this guy makes David Heddle look like a genius.

If anything this thread reminds me of any number of threads on boards like Bad Astronomy where a rank amateur posts a series of half-assed assertions and claims he's just about to overturn everything we thought we knew about the laws of physics.

When challenged to produce evidence to back up his assertions all he can do is: ignore, dismiss, change the subject, mock, etc. etc.  Classic pseudoscientist reactions.

As for the forthcoming "bombshell". I'm not holding my breath.
Posted by: improvius on May 01 2006,12:07

Ok, since anecdotal evidence counts in Dave's book, I will provide some:

I heard a couple of people saying Dave caused the tsunami.

At this point, I think that puts it on equal footing with your God hypothesis.
Posted by: Renier on May 01 2006,12:10



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
As for the forthcoming "bombshell". I'm not holding my breath.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Well, I hope Afdave gets on with it, before the sun burns out.

Oh.. wait a minute, I get it. "A 1000 years is like a day". Think afdave is taking the bible definition for time, like "behold, I come quickly"?
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 01 2006,12:23

Quote (tacitus @ May 01 2006,17<!--emo&:0)
If anything this thread reminds me of any number of threads on boards like Bad Astronomy where a rank amateur posts a series of half-assed assertions and claims he's just about to overturn everything we thought we knew about the laws of physics.

When challenged to produce evidence to back up his assertions all he can do is: ignore, dismiss, change the subject, mock, etc. etc.  Classic pseudoscientist reactions.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


For arguments like this, you don't even have to go that far to find one. Find the "LUCA Thread" on this very site. See how far the Ghost of Paley has progressed in his battle to overturn the last 500 years of astronomy and astrophysics.

Last I saw, he was still struggling with a geocentric explanation of non-cosmological redshift.
Posted by: Occam's Aftershave on May 01 2006,12:37

AFDave, you keep ignoring this important discussion point.  You've ignored it three times now, so I'll ask it a fourth time

OA: "I can spin that kind of argument any way I want too.  I can hypothesize "A Super Intelligent, Incredibly Powerful Being could create all necessary physical laws in the first femtosecond of existence, then just sit back and observe the results.  Therefore when I observe scientific data that says the universe is 14 Billion years old, and the Earth is 4.5 Billion years old, and that life has existed on Earth for over 3 billion years, and that life has evolved over that time by observed processes such as random mutations plus natural selection, I have just verified my hypothesis."

Why is that reasoning any less valid than yours?

AFDave says


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
And tomorrow morning you will be getting more or it than you care to hear.  But not for your benefit, unless you open your mind.  If you haven't noticed, I'm really writing for the benefit of people with open minds.  I know I won't convince hardened skeptics.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Sure, if you realize as we do that your definition of "open minded person" is someone as totally ignorant of the sciences involved as yourself who can be gulled by pseudoscientific charlatans.  You probably won't find many here who fit your definition, though.




---------------------QUOTE-------------------
So bring it on and let's see how yours stands up.  (Either one you like--Tsunami or Evolution).  You tell me you guys are the professionals.  Let's see how professional your arguments are.  
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Sigh...Sorry Dave, you started this thread to provide the evidence for your YEC position, remember? So post your evidence based on the pseudoscientific garbage that you picked up from AIG.  We've seen it all before.  (In fact, we 've heard it so many times it has a special name. PRATT, or "Points Refuted A Thousand Times".)  Post your technical "evidence", and we'll hand you your ass on a platter, just like every other cock-sure but clueless YEC we meet.  And you'll sputter and fume, and tell us we'll all burn in he11...oh well.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Or are you just going say I'm incompetent and I have no idea what I'm in for and Meyer is a liar, blah, blah, blah?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



No need for me to belabor the obvious.  I'll let the scientific quality of your YEC arguments speak for themselves.
Posted by: stevestory on May 01 2006,12:50



---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Last I saw, he was still struggling with a geocentric explanation of non-cosmological redshift.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

At least he gave you a model, however ridiculous. He won't even give me a model he promised.
Posted by: normdoering on May 01 2006,12:52

Quote (afdave @ May 01 2006,15:47)


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Tell us AFDave, should we suspect you of killing all those innocent people?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



YES, YES!! Thankyou!  A Thousand time YES!  This is precisely what you should do!
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Previously I said: "...the theory you so dislike, Darwinian evolution, has many lines of deductive proof and prediction from them to go on. I can lay out a few if you're interested."

Here is just one line of proof:

At this website you'll find a chapter from a book by Kevin Kelly called "Out of Control":

< http://www.kk.org/outofcontrol/ch15-d.html >

I will use this chapter to illustrate how science uses abductive reasoning to move into deductive reasoning and show how its the deductive reasoning that is the key to science, not the abductive.

It's about Danny Hillis who built the first massively parallel processing computer, the Connection Machine, and used it as a "proof" for a concept in Darwinian evolution.

Hillis saw a problem: The more knowledge you gave a computer, the slower it got. Yet with a person, the more knowledge you give him, the faster he gets. This paradox, that if you tried to make computers smart, they got stupider led to some pre-scientific abductive reasoning.
(Well, not really, because John Holland already did both the abductive and deductive core but Hillis' contribution is easier for me to explain because of this book - so let's look at Hillis alone.)

Hillis' abductive reasoning went: "There are only two ways we know of to make extremely complicated things. One is by engineering, and the other is evolution. And of the two, evolution will make the more complex. If we can't engineer a computer that will be proud of us, we may have to evolve it."

Hillis looks at the world and see a variety of complex things, human machines, living things and the rest of nature. He knows that people make complex and functional machine things -- he is such a person after all -- he is also told the the process of Darwinian evolution can make complex and functional machine-like things too and, unlike
you, he believes this and understands it.

From Hillis' abductive reasoning about evolution he moves then, naturally, to a deductive scientific mode of reasoning by turning his assumption about evolution into a hypothesis: He should be able, like John Holland suggests, to make a computer that can evolve computer programs and thus test this assumption about evolution. (This didn't really test evolution for anything we didn't  know by the 1950s using pure math, but Hillis was first to make the argument into a machine). This hypothesis was then tested by building a machine that could evolve computer programs. If that had not been done -- it's the experiment in the experimental method, the scientific method -- then Hillis would not have been a scientist but merely a philosopher, like Hume or Kant or Meyer.

"If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning, concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion."
-- David Hume

And note what happens when its done, we have to start talking about something you'll see a lot of in science: numbers! Measurable reality quantified. You don't see much of that in philosophy.

The Connection Machine had 64,000 processors with a population of 64,000 very simple software programs that could be altered by mutation. Each program had an entire computer processor dedicated to running it. initially the seed programs are just random sequences of computer instructions, but over tens of thousands of generations they became a program that sorted a long string of numbers into numerical order. It was a specific and real machine testing a significant assumption about evolution.

The computer used selection, akin to natural selection, tested the programs and terminated the less fit so that only the shortest (the best) sorting programs would be given a chance to reproduce. Over ten thousand generations of this cycle, Hillis' system bred a software program that was nearly as short as the best sorting programs written by human programmers.

That is a form of proof -- call it proof of concept. It's not proof that Darwinian evolution is what wrote our genomes, but it is proof that evolution could, in principle, do so. That's what I  mean  when I  talk about science and deductive proof.

All that was in the '80s and you'll hardly ever hear any  creationist ever talk about Hillis or Holland. Did you know those men existed before I told you?
Posted by: Henry J on May 01 2006,17:22

normdoering,

Re "It's about Danny Hillis who built the first massively parallel processing computer, the Connection Machine, and used it as a "proof" for a concept in Darwinian evolution. [...]"

I dunno whether afdave appreciates that story or not, but I found it fascinating.

Henry
Posted by: BWE on May 01 2006,18:11



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Why oh why does anything about god matter in even the slightest bit to humans? Heaven and #### are meaningless words in the context of eternity. They are quite meaningful when applied to how we feel while living but not once we're dead. So why is gOd important?  ???
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Posted by: Corkscrew on May 02 2006,05:34

AFDave: again, I think we have a slight confusion of terminology. What you're describing as an hypothesis would, if I understand correctly, be more accurately considered a conjecture.

My understanding is that statements about the universe subdivide into the following categories:

Conjectures - statements that fit all the known data (these are produced by the largely-intuitive process of abduction)

Hypotheses - conjectures that are falsifiable

Data - conjectures that have been verified (there's no term for conjectures that are merely verifiable)

Predictions - conjectures that are both verifiable and falsifiable, and that haven't yet been verified or falsified

Science is concerned primarily with deciding which of the infinite number of possible hypotheses for any given situation is best. It does this by applying three principles: predictivity, parsimony and credibility. Predictivity means that an hypothesis must give us some idea of what we'll find next (otherwise it's scientifically useless), parsimony means that an hypothesis must be efficient in its use of "magic numbers" (so, for example, five dots in a row would be best described by a linear equation not a quintic equation), and credibility means that an hypothesis must have survived attempted falsification. Of these, credibility is the most important, followed by predictivity and then parsimony (this is partly because predictivity is a necessary condition for credibility).

Your conjecture does not, as it stands, make any predictions, so can't be considered an hypothesis. To rectify this, you'll need to:
1) increase its specificity until you can use it to make a prediction of the form described above
2) confirm that the current best-of-breed scientific hypotheses would not also make that prediction (ideally, they shouldn't even leave open the possibility of that prediction being true, but you can't have everything)
3) go out and test the prediction

I repeat: for your conjectures to be scientifically valid, it is not sufficient to present existing evidence in support of each of them. To match the level of current origins science, you must also be able to derive and confirm predictions from them. Otherwise, it really is just a "just so story". Predictivity is what makes the difference.

As an aside:


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Why does it always seem that every time the word 'God' is even mentioned, everybody runs for cover and says it's not science?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Because over the centuries scientists have shown an alarming tendency to get sucked into ultimately-unsuccessful research of the paranormal and cease to ever again produce useful scientific results. That's not a tendency that anyone particularly wants to encourage, so it's considered valid to basically tell students: "It's a dead end. Live with it." Plus, of course, a wide array of folks claim erroneously to have scientific support for their religious beliefs, which effectively dilutes science's trademark.

Another aside:


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I just have to laugh ... "only a few  ... mmm ... like Dawkins, for example ... he's not very influential... not many others ..." OK.  Whatever.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



As I understand it, Dawkins merely says that modern science proves that God doesn't necessarily exist, not that He doesn't exist. It's a necessary condition for atheism, not a sufficient condition.
Posted by: afdave on May 02 2006,05:47

Good morning everyone ...

I'll probably start off every day with a retraction or two because I am passionate about this stuff and I believe there is a lot in our country at stake, and sometimes I say unnecessary things to try and make my point ... I think we all do ...

I said ...

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Science should not be claiming that they have disproved the existence of God because they have not.  Science should not be implying to our children that they are glorified animals, because there is no proof.  Science should not be telling the theologians that God is dead or irrelevant, because they have no basis for claiming that and they arrogantly claim that they do.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



I am happy to retract these statements.  They are unnecessary and do not contribute to the points I am trying to make.  They represent an impression I have about some of our leading scientists, but they do open a can of worms that I don't want to focus on right now.  Also, I do not mean to insult anyone here who may be a professional scientist.  I have no doubt--honest--that you all do excellent work in your specialty.  But I feel that many good scientists have "stepped over" OUT OF their specialty (as I also am doing) to address the question of origins.  I don't know what your reasons are, but I'm sure you have good ones, and I have my own reasons as well.  I agree that name-calling, motive-questioning and other such tactics get us nowhere, and I for one will apologize when I commit these 'sins'.

So ... back to what I DO want to focus on ...

MY GOALS
My goal, first of all, is NOT to win an argument, or to make someone feel stupid.  My real goal is two-fold:  (1) to really get to the bottom of why Creationism is so objectionable to a lot of good scientists.  This is why I am HERE, not over at AIG or DI, (2) I have personally seen a lot of excellent support for being a Creationist, but I could be wrong.  If so, who better to tell me I'm wrong that professional scientists over here? (3) If I am right, the implications are enormous and all of humanity should know about this.  Believe it or not, I care about all of you on this blog as human beings.  I feel that I am a 'beggar who has found bread' and I want to share this information with others.  My motives are altruistic even though I may not act like it sometimes.  I am human and someone has rightly said 'To err is human.'  I will continue to 'err', but I will try not to and when I do, I will confess and try to fix it.  What else can I do? (4) I came here already armed with a significant amount of study, but I knew that I was missing one key ingredient ... actual dialog with a diverse group of Naturalistic Philosophers.  So what is really happening here is that you all are making some very good points to improve the presentation of my logic, help me select proper terminology so as not to make people mad, and understand the naturalistic perspective.  This is an incredibly valuable learning experience for me, which will help me immensely if I ever do get around to presenting information on a Grand Scale.  And of course there is the off chance that you guys' position may be correct, in which case I would be a fool NOT to adopt it.


So let's dive in ... it appears that I need to spend a little more time explaining my structure for testing ANY hypothesis ... I think that a lot of the evidence I will present, you will have probably heard before, but you may reject it as support for my particular hypothesis on logical or other grounds.  So I think I need to first argue the validity of using my approach ...

I have proposed Abductive Logic Confirmed by Inference to the Best Explanation, and have inserted an extra step (this was an assumption to me, but I see it is not for you, so we will insert it)

Abductive Reasoning
DATA: The Surprising Fact A (or Phenomenon A) is observed. (The finely tuned cosmos, biological machines, written 'holy' books, etc.)
EXPERIENCE: (Let us insert this to explain where 'B' comes from)  We propose 'B' based upon our own observation and experience.  We cannot do otherwise and still call it 'science'
LOGIC: But if B were true, then A would be a matter of course. (B is the God of the Christian Bible)
CONCLUSION: Hence, there is reason to suspect that B is true.

Let's illustrate this process from an example from my own experience.  I lived for a while as a child in a foreign country with a tribe of jungle natives (my Dad is a Bible translator).  These natives had never seen an airplane when my dad arrived.  We will call this Surprising Fact (or Phenomenon) A.  Some on this thread have argued that it should not be called a Surprising Fact, but I believe it should because the 'surprise' part means that you have never seen the thing before, i.e. you are surprised.  Some also say that EVERYTHING you see in the world could be called a Surprising Fact if you propose a 'God', but this is not true.  The definition of a surprising fact in this context is simply 'new', i.e. not previously studied.  Of course 'new' facts soon become old, but this does not take away anything.  Many new things in the physical world are still fascinating to study even though they are not 'new' to science.  So I would also be content to call my 'Surprising Fact" a 'Noteworthy Fact' or simply 'Phenomenon.'  Someone else may say, "Why do you think that fact is noteworthy? I don't think it is."  Well, you may not and that's OK.  This whole exercise is written for those who ARE interested in the phenomena of the physical world and who seek to explain how they got here.  I am one of them and I assume there are others.

So the natives observe this airplane and they observe people getting out of it and walking toward them and they say "Wow ... a sky canoe!"  (They really did this ... and that is what they call an airplane to this day ... the word is 'kanawa' in their language).  Notice that they immediately explained Phenomenon 'A' in terms they already understood well.  They understand canoes ... they get into their canoes, go various places, then get out again.  They saw this airplane arrive from someplace, they saw people get out, and so they assume that it is a very fancy 'canoe', and in a sense they are correct.

Now some of the more thoughtful natives (not many mind you ... most of them said 'Wow! Sky Canoe' and moved on) ... but some of them said to themselves, 'I wonder who made this sky canoe?' ... and they began asking questions.  They asked my dad and he told them something like 'Cessna Aircraft Corporation' in a country far from here called 'America.'  (Which to the natives was so foreign sounding that my dad might just as well have said 'The Tooth Fairy made it and she lives in Timbuktu.';) Now there are some interesting things we can observe here.  First, we could ask why my dad told them Cessna made the airplane. And the answer would be that he had previously used the Abductive Reasoning method and had made an Inference to the Best Explanation.  Let's walk through this.  

MY DAD IS THE OBSERVER
DATA:  Phenomenon A is the airplane.
EXPERIENCE:  My dad proposes 'B' because of his own experience
LOGIC:  If B were true, then A would be a matter of course.
CONCLUSION:  There is reason to suspect that 'B' is true.  In fact, 'B' is so well supported that my dad feels it warrants the strong statement 'Cessna made this airplane.'

Now my dad only has his own experience to draw upon to propose 'B' and to do anything else would be unscientific.  What is his experience?  He has seen many airplanes, he has read about Cessna, Piper and Beechcraft, and he even read a book on aerodynamics once.   All this leads him to propose 'B' that 'Cessna made the airplane.'  Could he propose other 'B's'?  Sure, he could propose that a farmer planted aiplane seeds and this airplane grew from one of the seeds.  He could propose that the Fairy Godmother waved a magic wand and the airplane magically appeared.  But these proposals would not be based in his experience and they would not constitute good science.  So he does the most logical thing and proposes that 'Cessna made the airplane.'  Now some will ask, "This is great, Dave, but can he PROVE that Cessna made the airplane?  Well, no.  Has he ever OBSERVED any aircraft factory building airplanes?  No again.  How does he know that someone didn't just FABRICATE THE EVIDENCE ... maybe a trickster printed 'Cessna' on the side of the airplane and on the instrument panel an on the pilot's operating handbook!   Right again ... coulda happened.  Maybe that book on aerodynamics had errors.  Maybe the whole book was a fraud.  And on and on we could go.  Well ... granted ... my dad could propose many alternatives for explaining the origin of the airplane, but the problem is that these alternatives would not be supported from his own experience, thus rendering them UNSCIENTIFIC.  The Best Explanation then, from his own experience is 'Cessna made the airplane.'  He cannot prove this in the sense that it is not a Deductive Proof using Logical Entailment.  In other words, he cannot 'prove' the logical premise that airplanes come from aircraft factories because there is the logical chance that this might not be true.

Another thing to point out in this example is that we have two 'classes' if you will, of people here.  This is important because some people on this thread said that my Proposals  -- 'B' -- are invalid because I was informed about them already, i.e. someone has already proposed that there is a God.  But this does not matter.  Let us see why.  My dad is in the supposedly 'informed class' of people who DO know about airplanes (or at least claim they do), and the natives are in a different 'class' of people who are NOT informed about airplanes.  We explored the proposal that my dad made from his experience - "Cessna made the airplane."  Now consider the Proposal -- 'B' -- that the natives might have proposed had they not been told anything by my dad.  

THE NATIVES ARE THE OBSERVERS
DATA:  Phenomenon A is the airplane.
EXPERIENCE:  The native proposes 'B' -- 'A super-expert canoe-maker made this sky canoe.  His canoe-making ability far exceeds our own because this canoe is not restricted to the river.  It obviously can fly over the treetops and can go anywhere the guy steering it wants it to go.  It is also much faster--look how fast it whizzed by as it was taking off.  And no one has to paddle!  It has a strange 'paddle' on the front that spins!' ... and so on ... They make this proposal -- 'B' -- because of their own experience -- which is an Inference to the Best Explanation that they can think of that compares to this new phenomenon.
LOGIC:  Now if B were true, then A would be a matter of course.
CONCLUSION:  There is reason to suspect that 'B' is true.  Are there other conclusions one could draw?  Yes, but they would not be better explanations based upon the evidence of their own experience and thus would not be scientific.  The Best Explanation for the natives is that stated above and so they make the Inference and are scientifically justified in making it.

Now here's the fun part ... notice that the two Proposals made by the two Classes of people are QUITE SIMILAR.  My dad's 'B' was 'Cessna did it'.  The natives 'B' was 'A super-expert canoe-maker did it.'  Both drew from their experience.  And both made logically sound proposals to explain the phenomenon.  My dad's is more refined because he has had the privelege of more data.  But the native could also gain access to this same data if he put forth some effort, i.e. learn English, read some books on airplanes, travel to America and observe more airplanes, etc.  My point is that the objection of 'You are just making proposals from you own experience so this invalidates your proposal' is not a valid objection.  In fact, we are REQUIRED to ONLY make proposals based upon our own experience because this is the THE ESSENCE OF SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY.  At least, that's what I think I am hearing from all of you ... correct me if I am wrong.

Now someone will say, 'Come on, Dave.  Where all your evidence for this supposed 'Creator God. We are waiting!'  And some have also said, 'We've seen all the supposed YEC evidence and we don't buy it.'  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.  I will elaborate on these and many other evidences of my other points going forward.  But I think many of you do in fact already have part of your answer to the question "Where is the evidence?"  You have read Denton, Behe, Dembski and YEC writers.

I think the REALLY NEW THING that I am presenting to you is not necessarily new evidence, but a NEW WAY OF DRAWING CONCLUSIONS FROM THE EVIDENCE, which I actually believe you put into practice every day in your scientific and other endeavors, but which you may not have thought to put into practice into the Origins question. And I admit, that my framework may need some tweaking ... maybe you can help me with that.  But I think I am at least on the right track.  So these are my really BIG questions for you:  Is it possible that this is the case with you?  Is my approach outlined above unreasonable?  If so, why specifically?  Do you admit that you use this process regularly to support many 'hypotheses' about a plethora of 'phenomena'?  I welcome your comments on this.

SOME MORE OBJECTIONS


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Chris Hyland: ... The theory of evolution doesn't say anything about the ice age, saying thins like this makes people not take you seriously. The theory of evolution says nothing about the origin of the universe, the origin of matter, or the origin of life.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

I think this is a terminology thing.  I will revise my terminology.  I will stop saying 'Evolutionists' and start saying 'Naturalistic Philosophers'.  Is that better?


---------------------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?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

 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).


---------------------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?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

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.


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Abductive Reasoning is supposed to lead to a hypothesis where deductive reasoning can apply.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

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.  I believe the structure that I have proposed is used constantly in every day scientific practice. Can you demonstrate why I am wrong here?


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
BTW, when you say things like, "I see a lot of error in scientists' work, which I mean to correct for the honest folk on this discussion board," you do realize you obliterate any credibility you might have had, right?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Yes, I can see that.  Good call, referee!  I'll take the 'foul'!


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
The problem with your above statement is you've misread Meyer who is already lying to you.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

It 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.  I have thought through this framework myself and am adopting my own version of it, and I think it is solid.  I honestly value your feedback on this, though.


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Dave, why would you get on this site without knowing about logic and how to make a hypothesis and so on?  Shouldn't you study up a little before presenting your hypothesis?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Good question.  I came here already armed with a significant amount of study, but I knew that I was missing one key ingredient ... actual dialog with a diverse group of Naturalistic Philosophers.  So what is really happening here (and this was one of my goals) is that you all are making some very good points to improve the presentation of my logic, help me select proper terminology so as not to make people mad, and understand the naturalistic perspective.  This is an incredibly valuable learning experience for me, which will help me immensely if I ever do get around to presenting information on a Grand Scale.  And of course there is the off chance that you guys' position may be correct, in which case I would be a fool NOT to adopt it.


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
To use your own terms, are you man enough to debate this honestly?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Yes.


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Ockham's Aftershave: "I can spin that kind of argument any way I want too.  I can hypothesize "A Super Intelligent, Incredibly Powerful Being could create all necessary physical laws in the first femtosecond of existence, then just sit back and observe the results.  Therefore when I observe scientific data that says the universe is 14 Billion years old, and the Earth is 4.5 Billion years old, and that life has existed on Earth for over 3 billion years, and that life has evolved over that time by observed processes such as random mutations plus natural selection, I have just verified my hypothesis."
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Yes, you could propose this, but the proposal would not be based upon your experience because we have never observed such a process, so it would not be the BEST explanation. Admittedly it's an explanation, just not the best one.  A BETTER explanation is something based in our own experience, such as a Super Intelligent Being DESIGNED this flagellum (or whatever), because this would be based upon our experience.  See discussion above.


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Norm Doering:  It's about Danny Hillis who built the first massively parallel processing computer, the Connection Machine, and used it as a "proof" for a concept in Darwinian evolution.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

I will copy this to my thread "AF Dave wants you to prove evolution to him" and I will try to find time to show you over there why this DOES NOT provide proof of concept for Darwinian Evolution.  But you need to know that this will be lower priority to me because I really want to get away from "Evolution Bashing".


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Why oh why does anything about god matter in even the slightest bit to humans? Heaven and #### are meaningless words in the context of eternity. They are quite meaningful when applied to how we feel while living but not once we're dead. So why is gOd important?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

He's only important IF HE (or it) is there.  If He is not, I agree ... who cares.  But I have strong suspicion that He is there and so I propose that see is, then make scientific observations to see if the proposal is supported.  If it is, then I make only a small step of 'Faith' by saying that I believe in God.  A step which I think takes LESS FAITH than the alternatives. Note that many people just basically pull this 'I believe in God' stuff out of thin air and I think they are rightly accused of practicing 'Blind Religious Faith.'  

Now I will go ahead and stop here and post this, then begin presenting my EVIDENCE FOR POINT 1.

See you in about an hour ...
Posted by: Corkscrew on May 02 2006,06:04



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
YES, YES!! Thankyou!  A Thousand time YES!  This is precisely what you should do!  And while you are at it, put your Origins and Macro-Evolution Hypothesis in exactly the same format and go look for that evidence on the same trek!
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



- 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.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 02 2006,06:12

Dave, if you're going to present evidence for the existence of God, you're kind of wasting your time. Many of the people here already believe that God exists, and most others, like me, who don't believe God exists, concede that the question is essentially unprovable either way. Most theologians seem to be of the opinion that trying to use physical evidence to prove the existence of God is at best futile and at worst blasphemous.

Your really contentious claim is that the Bible is inerrant. Given the difficulty of that task, I really think you should concentrate your efforts there.
Posted by: Corkscrew on May 02 2006,06:14



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Now some will ask, "This is great, Dave, but can he PROVE that Cessna made the airplane?  Well, no.  Has he ever OBSERVED any aircraft factory building airplanes?  No again.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



However, it was still a valid hypothesis because it makes the falsifiable, verifiable prediction that, if he chose to go to the factory, he would see planes being made that were identical in style to his. Likewise, the conjecture that the aerodynamics book was accurate is falsifiable - he could go away and build a bunch of toy aircraft and compare their flight with the book's claims, for example.

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.
Posted by: Chris Hyland on 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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

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.
Posted by: ericmurphy on 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?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



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.
Posted by: Mr_Christopher on 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.
Posted by: improvius on 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.)
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



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?
Posted by: Occam's Toothbrush on 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
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



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.
Posted by: afdave on 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?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



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."
Posted by: afdave on 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!
Posted by: ericmurphy on 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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


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?
Posted by: ericmurphy on 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)."
---------------------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.

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.
Posted by: normdoering on 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?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

 
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).
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


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.
Posted by: Chris Hyland on 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.
Posted by: normdoering on 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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


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.
Posted by: normdoering on 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.
---------------------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?
Posted by: C.J.O'Brien on 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
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


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.
Posted by: tacitus on 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.
Posted by: Occam's Aftershave on 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.
Posted by: Renier on 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.
Posted by: Mr_Christopher on 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."
---------------------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.

Chris
Posted by: afdave on 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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


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 >
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Chris Hyland said ...

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
We would also expect to see these things if there weren't a God.
---------------------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.

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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

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.
---------------------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)?


---------------------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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

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?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

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.
---------------------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?  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?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

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
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

*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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

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
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

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?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

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?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

'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?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

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”.
---------------------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.


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
First, under oath, Behe testified that Astrology would qualify as a legitimate science under Behe’s definition.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

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.
---------------------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.  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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

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.
Posted by: ericmurphy on 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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

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.
---------------------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)?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


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.
Posted by: Flint on 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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


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.
Posted by: ericmurphy on 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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


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-------------------


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."
Posted by: Glen Davidson on 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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



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.
Posted by: Tim on 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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



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?
Posted by: Glen Davidson on 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"?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



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)?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



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.
Posted by: Glen Davidson on 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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



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.
Posted by: ericmurphy on 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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


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.
Posted by: Occam's Aftershave on 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
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



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 ...
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

 

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.  
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



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.'
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



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.  
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



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.
Posted by: Chris Hyland on 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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

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?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

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?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

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.'
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

I was told this in high school (well not about ID), but as scientists do not believe it we didn't learn about it.
Posted by: Glen Davidson on 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).
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



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.
Posted by: C.J.O'Brien on May 03 2006,07:56



---------------------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-------------------



One of the things about science that YEC's just can't get their heads around is that there just isn't any "my evidence" and "your evidence." Science demands transparency and replicability. So all of the evidence we have comes from that dreaded "establishment." Unless there's a YEC research program I'm not aware of, all you have to go on is the evidence uncovered by the hard work of scientists, spit on by the cretins at AiG et al.


---------------------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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


It's a simple question (with complicated implications), and you didn't answer it, Dave. And there are demonstrably "other planets," so the 'parameter space' that would allow for life is a completely open question, just in the universe we are sure exists. You'll notice that I didn't say anything about multiverses, not because I agree with you that the concept is on an epistemological level with your "Super-Intelligence," but because, in a simplistic debate like this, it's open to your facile dismissal. Why don't you respond to the arguments I did make, rather than the ones you wish I'd made?



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Regarding the Denton "howler" ...  THIS is the howler ...
 
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-------------------



We did? This is interesting. Can you lay out for me a few of these "massive assumptions"?


---------------------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-------------------


Again, you're responding to something I plainly did not say. Microbial life has dominated this planet from the dawn of life to now, and will continue to do so, right up until the sun, a bloated red giant, swells up to devour the earth. From a prokaryotes 'point of view,' the universe is made for it. And I can't imagine anything being worse than "Rush Limbaugh and the Pill Poppers," so have fun with that.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Multicellular, animal life has been around for maybe a billion years,
based on our flawed assumptions in dating supposed 'index fossils'
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Again with the mystery assumptions. And I think you're confused. Index fossils are mostly used to date rocks, not necessarily other fossils, and certainly not the earliest. The date is derived from the earliest trace fossils, and the radiometric dates of the rocks themselves. Why don't you finish toppling the facade of evolution before you start in on digging out the rotten foundations of nuclear physics, there, tiger.



---------------------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 millionDitto 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-------------------


"Writing" and "making artifacts" are separated by millions of years. Is it too much to ask that you try to perceive that technology developed through time? I mean, why cave painting, when they could've invented TV and been done with it?  


---------------------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-------------------


If it's in my imagination, then evidently it is also in the imagination of the entire scientific community. Conspiracy theories? The rules are unfair? How dreadful.
Posted by: tacitus on May 03 2006,08:27

I give up.  With every response Dave makes he confirms he's simply the same old run-of-the-mill young-earth creationist fundamentalist Christian who just happens to believe he has some novel approach to the tried old arguments.  Well, I;ve got news for him.  Expanding the definition of science to encompass supernatural phenomena is not a novel approach.   It is at the very heart of what both the creationist and ID movements have been trying to do since the beginning.  It's never worked before, and will never work in the future.

The only ground he's given in this debate is on terminology alone.  He hasn't really been listening to anything we're saying--at least, if he has, it hasn't moved him one jot.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 03 2006,08:59



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
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.'
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



This is incorrect. The Theory of Evolution says nothing about the appearance of life. Origins of Life ("abiogenisis") theories are entirely separate from the Theory of Evolution. Nor does the Theory of Evolution have anything to say about the origin of the earth or the origin of the universe. Entirely separate theories deal with those issues. It's common among creationists to assume that the Theory of Evolution is an all-embracing origins theory.

Again, Dave, this reinforces my impression that you've done next to no reading about what evolution actually says, as opposed to what creationists think it says.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 03 2006,09:08

Dave, I asked you very early on in this thread to explain why you think the earth is only thousands of years old, not billions of years old. So far, the only thing you've come up with, after several very long posts, is that the evidence for an earth billions of years old is based on "flawed assumptions." The evidence isn't based on "flawed assumptions"; it's based on a detailed understanding of nuclear decay and geophysical processes, among other things. No one "assumed" the earth was billions of years old; the evidence showed that it was.

You're going to have to explain what those "flawed assumptions" are pretty quickly if you're going to maintain whatever shreds of credibility you have left. And believe me, this isn't a side issue: it's critical to your claim that the Bible is inerrant. If the Bible is off by six orders of magnitude on an fact as basic as the age of the earth, that doesn't leave it much credibility on other matters.
Posted by: normdoering on May 03 2006,09:13

Quote (afdave @ May 03 2006,10:28)
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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


What  about you, Dave? Didn't you say you were a pilot?

You don't design airplanes -- but you, and most people, do have direct evidence of a heavier than air machine flying. You've got a non-argument there. Is there anyway you could ever deny to yourself that it is possible for heavier than air machines to fly?

Evolutionary programming and genetic algorithms are that kind of evidence. It may be indirect to you now -- but you've got to be stubornly denying the obvious for you to deny such things exist.

It is still as absolute a proof as  the human animal can get.
Posted by: Rilke's Granddaughter on May 03 2006,09:15

Quote (tacitus @ May 03 2006,13:27)
I give up.  With every response Dave makes he confirms he's simply the same old run-of-the-mill young-earth creationist fundamentalist Christian who just happens to believe he has some novel approach to the tried old arguments.  Well, I;ve got news for him.  Expanding the definition of science to encompass supernatural phenomena is not a novel approach.   It is at the very heart of what both the creationist and ID movements have been trying to do since the beginning.  It's never worked before, and will never work in the future.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Have you ever met theist who actually had a novel take on these arguments?  I haven't.  The boilerplate is the same no matter what they claim or think.

But you are right about afDave: he hasn't actually responded to a single logic point raised.

He's boring.  ???
Posted by: normdoering on May 03 2006,09:30

Quote (afdave @ May 03 2006,10:28)
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?'
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Read the book I linked and you'll find out.

< http://www.kk.org/outofcontrol/ >

You'll learn some basic ideas about things like "search space," co-evolution, evolutionary computer algorithms and get a very brief note on the mathematics involved.
Posted by: normdoering on May 03 2006,09:43

Quote (afdave @ May 03 2006,10:28)
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, ....
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Evolution in animals takes a long time so you can't see it directly, (though you can get direct results with bacteria and fruit flies). We can, however, show you tons of evidence that it happened. You want a worm-like creature evolving into something? How about this bit of sample evidence:
< http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/po/news/2005-06/jan/09.shtml >
< http://www.physorg.com/news9717.html >

The genes of animals have extra bits of DNA sequence, called introns, that don't code for proteins. Humans have many and flies have fewer. Some assumed that a simple fly genome might be more ancient, but flies go through far more generations in the same period of time than humans or other animals. Genes don't always get more complex during evolution. So, animals have a lot of introns, and quickly-evolving species like flies have lost most of them.

We share introns with a worm-like creature that lived more than 550 million years ago, a last common ancestor of almost all living animals, including worms, flies and humans.

Evidence of a dinosaur-like creature evolving into a bird goes like this:
< http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/dinosaurs/Dinobirds.html >
< http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news....yx.html >

What you're talking about is phylum level evolution. Here is something you should read about creationist arguments:
< http://home.entouch.net/dmd/cambevol.htm >

How about an ape-like homid into a man?
< http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/ >
< http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/refpages/RefArticle.aspx?refid=761566394 >

Creationists have nothing like that kind of evidence not because they're not trying -- that had more than a thousand years head start on looking for evidence -- but because their evidence isn't there.
Posted by: improvius on May 03 2006,11:20

Quote (Rilke's Granddaughter @ May 03 2006,14:15)
He's boring.  ???
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Yep.  Once they make it clear that they reject methodological naturalism, there's really no point in continuing the discussion.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 03 2006,12:32

Here's something else to think about, Dave.

You're really in the position of someone claiming heavier-than-air flight is impossible. The evidence for an ancient earth, and for the fact of evolution (as opposed to the Theory of Evolution), is absolutely overwhelming and ironclad. Those of us who are familiar with this evidence know this (you have demonstrated conclusively that you are not aware of this evidence).

Therefore, the only things you can say that will be of interest to the rest of us is why you think the earth is less than 10,000 years old and macroevolution doesn't happen. In other words, you need to show in detail why the vast body of evidence supporting these two contentions is incorrect. N.B.: you can't just show that a few pieces of evidence here and there are incorrect, because the evidence is cumulative. You'd have to refute virtually all of it.

But nothing else you can say on the subject is really of interest. Your methods, sources, life history, etc. aren't really advancing your argument. Nor are analogies to watches, airplanes, or other machines. Either presenting evidence that the earth is young, or demonstrating that the evidence of its antiquity is incorrect; or evidence not only that evolution is impossible, but that the Bible's account of the origin of species is correct, are really the only things that are going to get you anywhere here.
Posted by: Joe the Ordinary Guy on May 03 2006,14:58

Well, I just want to jump in and once again thank everyone for modeling the appropriate responses to Creationist blather. Afdave is certainly charming and affable, and he periodically throws in a little self-deprecating humor, but I, too, finally decided that he is unreachable. For me, it was these comments:



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I was never a logician, by trade, but that does not mean I can't become one very quickly, especially when I see gross incompetence in the field.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Really? Without actually BEING one, Dave can see “gross incompetence”? Huh, that, to me, suggests that Dave can NOT “become one very quickly”.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I may not get very far with closed minded professional scientists, which I hope you are not, but I hope to put some truth out there in an area where I currently see a lot of error.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Dave hopes to put some “truth” out there. Not “corrections of data”, or “new and compelling data”, but “truth”. And of course, he “sees a lot of error” in spite of having no training other than reading some articles.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Why does it always seem that every time the word 'God' is even mentioned, everybody runs for cover and says it's not science?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


No one “runs for cover”. Everyone “says it’s not science” for the simple reason that… wait for it… it’s not science! This is one of the things that truly puzzles me about fundies and biblical literalists. Why the obsession with being scientific? You’re talking about GOD. That is, if I recall, a RELIGIOUS topic. Not all things in the world are the same in all respects. Some things are different from other things in significant ways. Religion and Science would be two things that are not the same, but different. Why the insistence that the auto mechanic could really, really use flour, eggs and milk as part of his toolkit?



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
A lot hinges on this, too.  What people think about origins and the nature of mankind is VITALLY important to law and society.  This is why you see me being so passionate about this issue.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


I think this is the real reason for Dave’s enthusiasm. Obviously, the world is going to h3ll in a handbasket, and someone has to do something, quick! Nevermind that old people have said this about young people since there have been old people and young people, THIS time, it’s SERIOUS! The other observation I would make is that there have been more than a few “societies” since the time of Christ. Of those with some form of Christianity as their religious foundation, there is significant difference in their laws and social structures. This suggests that there is not as direct a correlation as Dave may be hoping for.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
My real goal is two-fold:  (1) to really get to the bottom of why Creationism is so objectionable to a lot of good scientists.  This is why I am HERE, not over at AIG or DI, (2) I have personally seen a lot of excellent support for being a Creationist, but I could be wrong.  If so, who better to tell me I'm wrong that professional scientists over here? (3) If I am right, the implications are enormous and all of humanity should know about this.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


1) Creationism is objectionable because is CLAIMING to be science, but it is NOT science. If it WAS science, scientists would treat it as such. If it DID NOT CLAIM to be science, scientists would have no problem with it. 2) Oddly, in spite of ALL of the professional scientists here telling Dave he is wrong, he’s not getting it. Perhaps the answer to the “who better” would be… Dave’s minister. 3) Enormous implications for all of humanity? Wow! Ya think? Dave better hope there’s, like, no one else working on this question, or else they may tell all of humanity before he does and steal his thunder.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I think the REALLY NEW THING that I am presenting to you is not necessarily new evidence, but a NEW WAY OF DRAWING CONCLUSIONS FROM THE EVIDENCE, which I actually believe you put into practice every day in your scientific and other endeavors, but which you may not have thought to put into practice into the Origins question.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------





---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I consider ALL possibilities for explaining and describing the universe, not just so called 'naturalistic ones' which we presently understand.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


This betrays such a misunderstanding of the scientific process that it is hard to know how to respond. After several promises of “evidence coming soon”, Dave changes tracks and offers a New Way of Drawing Conclusions; if you want Conclusion A, use Method A, and if you want Conclusion B, use Method B; what could be more useful than that?

My understanding is that the success of science is largely BECAUSE OF its strictly self-imposed limitations; ONLY natural phenomena, ONLY repeatable experiments, ONLY provisional acceptance of explanations. Once you admit supernatural explanations, you’ve diluted the usefulness of your explanations.

Dave was intriguing to me because he came on initially like someone who really did want to learn. It was kind of sad to see him reveal his inability to get it.

But thanks again to those who patiently respond; we lurkers find it valuable.
Posted by: afdave on May 04 2006,06:58

Hello Everyone!

I begin this morning with a quote from Corkscrew because I can still see that we are not in agreement on HOW to present my case and WHAT constitutes 'science' ...



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
AFDave: again, I think we have a slight confusion of terminology. What you're describing as an hypothesis would, if I understand correctly, be more accurately considered a conjecture.  My understanding is that statements about the universe subdivide into the following categories:

Conjectures - statements that fit all the known data (these are produced by the largely-intuitive process of abduction)

Hypotheses - conjectures that are falsifiable

Data - conjectures that have been verified (there's no term for conjectures that are merely verifiable)

Predictions - conjectures that are both verifiable and falsifiable, and that haven't yet been verified or falsified

Science is concerned primarily with deciding which of the infinite number of possible hypotheses for any given situation is best. It does this by applying three principles: predictivity, parsimony and credibility. Predictivity means that an hypothesis must give us some idea of what we'll find next (otherwise it's scientifically useless), parsimony means that an hypothesis must be efficient in its use of "magic numbers" (so, for example, five dots in a row would be best described by a linear equation not a quintic equation), and credibility means that an hypothesis must have survived attempted falsification. Of these, credibility is the most important, followed by predictivity and then parsimony (this is partly because predictivity is a necessary condition for credibility).

Your conjecture does not, as it stands, make any predictions, so can't be considered an hypothesis. To rectify this, you'll need to:
1) increase its specificity until you can use it to make a prediction of the form described above
2) confirm that the current best-of-breed scientific hypotheses would not also make that prediction (ideally, they shouldn't even leave open the possibility of that prediction being true, but you can't have everything)
3) go out and test the prediction

I repeat: for your conjectures to be scientifically valid, it is not sufficient to present existing evidence in support of each of them. To match the level of current origins science, you must also be able to derive and confirm predictions from them. Otherwise, it really is just a "just so story". Predictivity is what makes the difference.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



This objection is commonly called a "Demarcation Argument" ... possibly you all are very familiar with this in which certain "Demarcation Criteria" such as verifiability, falsifiability, predictivity, etc. are used to say "This is not science" or "that is not science."

While I would agree that Corkscrew's arguments are true for some endeavors within some branches of science, I do not think they are true for all of them.  Historical geology is one field that I would assume everyone here considers to be a scientific endeavor, yet I am not aware that the rules above apply.  My understanding of the data which we have in historical geology is that it is fixed.  We go out and observe the rock formations and begin making theories about WHY they are the way they are.  Of course, we can also test some samples in the lab to determine isotope content subject to certain initial conditions.  But I am not aware of anyone being able to make predictions of "how the next mountain range will be built" or "where the next oil fields will be laid" or "when, where or how a new gold mine will be formed." (If some of you know this last one, please tell me)  Rather, what we are concerned with is HOW the geologic formations got there  and WHAT EVENTS might have caused them, and this is a different business than predicting orbits of satellites, yet we rightly call it science.

Corkscrew uses the term 'origins science' and I agree that the study of the ORIGIN of all things IS INDEED SCIENCE.  However, some distinctions must be made.  A Neo-Darwinist's attempt to explain the origin of species (or we might say phyla here) by mutation and natural selection is in my opinion a scientific endeavor, but not because of the rules above.  Some of the rules certainly apply  when predicting relatively minor changes such the size of finch beaks, moth colorations, fruit fly anomalies, and my kid's disposition, etc.  But when ND's begin talking about how a worm developed into a squid, or how a land-mammal developed into a whale, they have crossed a big line.  Now they cannot make "predictions" in the same sense, i.e. "Put that worm in a bucket in your backyard, add X, Y, Z and wait one year and you will have a proto-squid."  They can do this with minor variations in finches and fruitflies, however.  They can say "Take some finches from South America with long beaks, put them on the Galapagos Islands and wait 10 years.  Then come back after 10 years and you will see only finches with short, strong beaks." (or whatever ... you get my point).  Do you see the difference?  One field of study, which I call "Designed Adaptation" (I think ND's call it confusingly to me -- Evolution) allows one to apply the demarcation tests of Credibility, Predictivity, Parsimony, mentioned by Corkscrew, and even Experimental Validation.  But with the former enterprise, which I have trouble labeling--shall we call it Macro-evolution? (worms to squids, eyes from eyespots, flippers from feet, etc)--we are not able to do any such thing to my knowledge.

I submit to you that in light of these considerations, my attempt to propose a Hypothesis for an Intelligent Designer as the Cause of all life on earth IS AT LEAST IN THE SAME CATEGORY OF DEMARCATION as current Neo-Darwinist attempts to explain life on earth (I call this Macro-Evolution, but I am open to a different term).

1)  BOTH have access to data which is FIXED.  We cannot observe flippers to feet happening today, and we cannot observe my postulated creation of dolphins.
2)  BOTH assume that AN EVENT in the past or a SERIES OF EVENTS in the past caused the phenomena being studied.
3)  BOTH are seeking to come up with a true description of the event or events that took place in the past.
4)  NEITHER can test the process that formed the phenomena today by experimental methods.
5)  BOTH require the use of analogy to things which ARE known to us
6)  BOTH require the scientist to DRAW INFERENCES TO THE BEST EXPLANATION

OK?  There you have my argument for why I think my structure is valid.  Before moving ahead with more evidence supporting Point 1 of my hypothesis, I would like to have your feedback.  For those who don't think I am being responsive with your questions, keep in mind that I am trying hard, but I also need to stay focused on the topic of this thread.

I did study the Human-Chimp chromosome fusion prediction and I found what appears to be some serious flaws in reasoning.  This is posted as a separate topic. I will be interested in your replies.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Evolution in animals takes a long time so you can't see it directly, (though you can get direct results with bacteria and fruit flies).
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


I am glad to see an acknowledgment that you cannot see evolution in animals.  I had never heard of that.  I am aware of the fruit fly and bacteria thing.  What kind of changes do we see?  I am only aware of relatively minor changes, which I would call 'Designed Adaptation.'  Are you saying that someone has observed, for instance, a fruit fly evolving into a house-fly like insect?



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
This is incorrect. The Theory of Evolution says nothing about the appearance of life. Origins of Life ("abiogenisis") theories are entirely separate from the Theory of Evolution. Nor does the Theory of Evolution have anything to say about the origin of the earth or the origin of the universe. Entirely separate theories deal with those issues. It's common among creationists to assume that the Theory of Evolution is an all-embracing origins theory.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

OK.  Maybe someone should come up with one.  Isn't there something called a GUT? (Grand Unifying Theory).  That's sort of what mine attempts to be.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Dave, I asked you very early on in this thread to explain why you think the earth is only thousands of years old, not billions of years old.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

I have to get past Demarcation Arguments and Point 1, then we will look at it.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Evolutionary programming and genetic algorithms are that kind of evidence. It may be indirect to you now -- but you've got to be stubornly denying the obvious for you to deny such things exist.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

They are excellent evidence for what I call "Designed Adaptation" (moths, fruiflies, etc.) and are certainly quite useful, but they are not convincing to me regarding Flippers from Feet, etc.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
One of the things about science that YEC's just can't get their heads around is that there just isn't any "my evidence" and "your evidence."
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Agreed.  I did not mean to imply there is separate evidence.  I only meant evidence that I have seen.
Posted by: C.J.O'Brien on May 04 2006,07:18

Re: micro/macro

1+1=2  BUT

1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1 =/= 10?

In other words, what is the barrier to cumulative microevolution events resulting in macroevolutionary change in a lineage?
Posted by: k.e on May 04 2006,07:31

hey half a dave

Forget about the.. ah theory (snigger)BS I've got a much better idea for you. Take a tip from someone who really knows how to sell a great idea(giggle). Merda d'artista available for a small price < http://www.heyokamagazine.com/heyoka-3-manzoni.htm >
much more valuable than ID its a collectable....a bit like ID.
You should go out and get all those books while they last
half a dave before they become as rare as rocking horse s**t.
Posted by: Chris Hyland on May 04 2006,07:32



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
4)  NEITHER can test the process that formed the phenomena today by experimental methods.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

What we can do is test the mechanisms that we hypothesize caused macroevolution. We can also make predictions based on what we understand from these processes, of what we expect to find in other organisms.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
5)  BOTH require the use of analogy to things which ARE known to us
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

How so? If you like we can stop using analogies for the purpose of this debate.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
6)  BOTH require the scientist to DRAW INFERENCES TO THE BEST EXPLANATION
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

No one has said otherwise. This in no way means of course that both inferences are equally valid.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I did study the Human-Chimp chromosome fusion prediction and I found what appears to be some serious flaws in reasoning.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

No it doesn't. I don't mean to be rude but you don't seem to have much of a concept of how biology works at all. If this was a mistake like you claim someone would have already noticed it.

It would be better for all concerned if you just present your evidence. We will judge it in the same way that we judge the evidence for evolution.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 04 2006,08:09

Dave, you've posted another great big long post on defintions, methods, etc., when what everyone here really wants to see is evidence. I cannot fail to point out that you have not yet presented any evidence for the following claims:

1. The Bible is inerrant;
2. The earth (and presumably the rest of the universe) is less than 10,000 years old; and
3. Evolution cannot account for the origin of species (and higher-level taxa).

You've been admonished several times that you'll wear out everyone's patience if you don't get down to supporting these three assertions.

Quote (afdave @ May 04 2006,11:58)


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
This is incorrect. The Theory of Evolution says nothing about the appearance of life. Origins of Life ("abiogenisis") theories are entirely separate from the Theory of Evolution. Nor does the Theory of Evolution have anything to say about the origin of the earth or the origin of the universe. Entirely separate theories deal with those issues. It's common among creationists to assume that the Theory of Evolution is an all-embracing origins theory.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

OK.  Maybe someone should come up with one.  Isn't there something called a GUT? (Grand Unifying Theory).  That's sort of what mine attempts to be.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



In some sense, Dave, all of experience comes down to quantum mechanics. But if you think you're going to come up with a theory that explains the hierarchy problem in particle physics and how birds evolved from dinosaurs, you'd better get cracking. The "GUTs" (Grand Unified Theories) of particle physics attempt, with indifferent success, to unify three of the four known forces of nature (gravity excluded). They don't even begin to be as ambitious as to attempt to explain the origin of the universe, the origin of the earth, and the origin of life, and have nothing whatsoever to say about the evolution of life.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I have to get past Demarcation Arguments and Point 1, then we will look at it.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



No you don't. Demarkation arguments aren't going to help you. We want to see evidence to support your assertions, and you're not going to get any peace until you present such assertions. Quibbling about "demarkation arguments" is a waste of time.
Posted by: improvius on May 04 2006,08:23

Not to belabor the point, but it seems Davey is very confused about the term "testable predictions".  He's expecting Nostradamus-type predictions, like how many fingers humans will have one million years from now.  He doesn't seem to appreciate actual scientific predictions, like human/chimp DNA similarity, chromosome fusion, finding specific fossils, etc.

Of course, this is certainly a minor complaint compared to his dismissal of methodological naturalism.
Posted by: afdave on May 04 2006,11:33



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
You've been admonished several times that you'll wear out everyone's patience if you don't get down to supporting these three assertions.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Relax.  Relax.  We'll get there ... besides, aren't you having fun beating up on a YECer?  Just think ... you might even make a convert!
Posted by: Seven Popes on May 04 2006,11:43

Quote (afdave @ May 04 2006,16:33)


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
You've been admonished several times that you'll wear out everyone's patience if you don't get down to supporting these three assertions.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Relax.  Relax.  We'll get there ... besides, aren't you having fun beating up on a YECer?  Just think ... you might even make a convert!
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Beating up a YECer? Fun? Not much sport really.
Make a convert?  Why would we care to make one of you?  You won't even Google that rubbish from AIG for truthiness before cutting and pasting it here.  Can't see how much use you'd be to science.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 04 2006,11:44

Actually, not really. Since you haven't actually presented any "evidence" yet, all we've really been able to do is ask you to present it.

Granted, it was slightly fun to watch you pull up 30-year-old research to attempt to refute one piece of evidence in support of evolution, only to have it get torn to shreds, but we see this kind of thing all the time from creationists.

What we really want to see is your evidence supporting your assertions. We haven't seen that yet.

Creationists spend about 95% of their time trying to critique scientific research they don't have the competence to critique, and another 5% in lobbying efforts aimed at the non-scientific community. That leaves what percent for actual research?
Posted by: afdave on May 04 2006,15:26



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Beating up a YECer? Fun? Not much sport really.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Mmmm ... proud words!  Hope you can keep it up for the long haul :-)
Posted by: normdoering on May 04 2006,15:44

Quote (afdave @ May 04 2006,20:26)
Hope you can keep it up for the long haul :-)
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Not likely.

If you can't figure out that microevolution in your lifetime + millions of years = macroevolution then people will eventually see that trying to teach your religion darkened brain anything is about is profitable as Brian Greene trying to teach his dog string theory.
Posted by: improvius on May 04 2006,16:06

Quote (afdave @ May 04 2006,16:33)
Relax.  Relax.  We'll get there ... besides, aren't you having fun beating up on a YECer?  Just think ... you might even make a convert!
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


It's actually depressing to see another human being so gleefully embracing ignorance and lies.  The worst part is that many of us feel helpless to do anything about it.  We can argue until we're blue in the face, but nothing ever seems to snap you true believers out of that trance.  Any anger you sense is just coming out of our frustration.
Posted by: Joe the Ordinary Guy on May 04 2006,17:11

Dave, let me try this approach:

I’m not a scientist. I’m just a regular guy. I am considered knowledgeable and talented in my chosen field, (business video communications) and the people who consider me so are my peers. I have interests and activities outside of my chosen field; these are hobbies (collecting PEZ dispensers, writing original music).  In my hobbies, I am NOT an expert, and I sometimes seek information from people who I determine may know more than I.

From what you’ve told us, you were an Electrical Engineer, an Air Force Pilot, and a successful businessman. Cool. I bet you’re smart and know a lot of stuff.

Now, I don’t know about you, but in MY life, I have found that there are many things I DON’T know. Plumbing. Car repair. Tax return preparation. Ballroom dancing. Gourmet cooking. Quantum mechanics. Evolutionary biology. And many more.

For these things, I rely on Experts. I mean, I suppose I COULD study the tax code and prepare my own returns, but you know what? I don’t wanna. It doesn’t interest me. So I hire an accountant to do that for me. I trust him to do so professionally, and so far, so good. And I suppose I COULD learn to cook better, but I usually get a better meal when I go to a restaurant, so when I want a really good meal, I go to a restaurant. I trust the chef not to poison me, and so far, so good. And there are some things that I simply, physically, cannot do. My knees are way too shot to ever let me learn ballroom dancing. And my brain is way too small to ever let me learn quantum mechanics. So I trust the professionals in those fields as well.

Science (like Religion) is a human endeavor conducted by human beings. It is, therefore, imperfect. (Like Religion.) I believe that the class of professionals called “scientists” has no inherent reason to lie to the rest of us. I notice that when they catch one of their own in a lie, they essentially destroy the liar’s career. I’m confident that they sometimes make mistakes, but the nature of their endeavor is to continually refine their knowledge and correct mistakes as they are found.  I understand and appreciate that the nature and amount of their training is far more than I could handle, and I respect them for their knowledge and ability. I trust them.

You, apparently, do not.

Could you tell me why?

Thanks.
Posted by: afdave on May 04 2006,17:30

I trust them with many, many things as well.  I am not a hermit who rejects science.  I love all the research that our enormous scientific community is doing and most of what they do is not affected by my debate here.  

There is really one really big thing I resent.  And that is the idea that humans are nothing more than highly evolved animals.  This to me first of all has never been proven but many scientists speak as if it has, and secondly, history has shown what this type of belief can do in a society if it is believed by the leadership. I not only believe it is unproven, I believe it is patently false, and I believe that I can show that my assertion that mankind is no animal (in spite of our little chimp discussion today), but that he is in a different category--made in the image of the Creator God with the ability to commune with this God, is very well supported by the evidence.  

The rest of the stuff I don't care nearly so much about.

See you tomorrow!
Posted by: jupiter on May 04 2006,17:38

afdave, you've asserted that your view of the world and its origins is true because a) most people believe it and b) you and others are marshaling political support for it.

Yet you agree with Behe that a two-foot stack of research, produced and challenged and confirmed over many decades, is meaningless.

Are scientific research and its results determined by democratic vote, or not? If not, you have no support at all. If so, who's franchised? How often would the votes take place? Who sets the ballot? Are the votes national, or statewide, or county-by-county? How would the voting affect, e.g., pharmaceutical research? If scientific research isn't voted on but scientific pedagogy is -- how would that work?

You reject so-called "macroevolution" because you've never witnessed it. In theological terms, aren't you being a bit presumptuous, assuming that the Lord's works are limited by what you can perceive? In practical terms, if you flew a plane relying on nothing but your own senses, how would that work out?

Your thinking is pretty flabby, for a skeptic. Or anyone else.
Posted by: Ved on May 04 2006,17:48

Hi afdave ;)

Well, God made us right after all the other animals, and we share a lot of the same characteristics with them... Do you think the people who wrote Genesis knew exactly how God made all the animals, or us, out of dirt? They only write a sentence or two. How did God do it?
Posted by: improvius on May 04 2006,18:33



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I love all the research that our enormous scientific community is doing and most of what they do is not affected by my debate here.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Well, actually, none of the research is affected by your debate.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 04 2006,19:29

Quote (afdave @ May 04 2006,22:30)
There is really one really big thing I resent.  And that is the idea that humans are nothing more than highly evolved animals.  This to me first of all has never been proven but many scientists speak as if it has, and secondly, history has shown what this type of belief can do in a society if it is believed by the leadership.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Why do you resent the idea that you're an animal, Dave? (Would you prefer to be a plant?)

The evidence that human beings are animals (as opposed to, say, amniosperms, fungi, viruses, or archaebacteria) is so utterly overwhelming as to leave the suspicion that doubters aren't fully in possession of their senses. Not only can we tell that humans are animals, but we can tell how closely or how distantly they are related to other primates, other mammals, other amniotes, other vertebrates, other animals, other eukaryotes, etc. I'm sorry this makes you feel resentful, but I suppose that can't be helped.

I guess if it makes you feel better to believe that humans were specially created by God and bear no closer relationship to other animals than they do to, say, the color blue or the number 3.4747907, I don't really have a problem with that. But if you think you're going to persuade the rest of us that none of us are actually animals, I suggest you try a less challenging hobby. Like, for example, building suspension bridges using the two smallest toes on your left foot and items found around the office.

Oh, and if you're worried about the political ramifications of a belief that humans are animals—look around you and observe the political ramifications of a belief that they are not.
Posted by: Renier on May 04 2006,21:26

< True Believer >

So, Dave, your only gripe is really with common descent, from ape to man? That's it? That's all? Then why all this other useless noise and antics? Lets focus on the chimp/human thing then and ignore the rest of the BS.

Tip: Vitamin C. I used to be a YEC fundie, Vitamin C did it for me. Why do you need Vitamin C? What other animals... come on Dave, show us you can do some googling....
Posted by: Chris Hyland on May 04 2006,23:29



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
There is really one really big thing I resent.  And that is the idea that humans are nothing more than highly evolved animals.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

If you think this somehow diminishes us that is your problem and nothing to do with science.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
history has shown what this type of belief can do in a society if it is believed by the leadership.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

That has nothing to do with whether or not it is true.
Posted by: afdave on May 05 2006,00:47



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
afdave, you've asserted that your view of the world and its origins is true because a) most people believe it and b) you and others are marshaling political support for it.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

What I think I said was that to me it warrants investigation when half the country believes AIG and some smaller % believe in evolution.  In response to this, the consensus here was that this "half the country" aren't scientists, which I grant is a good answer.  However, the question still remains to me ...  "Are ND's really such poor marketers of their ideas that only 20% of the public is buying their story?"   I mean, they've got all the museums showing evolution, all the textbooks, all the encyclos, most of the media, etc, etc.  I draw one of two conclusions from this ... (1) either the ND's are just REALLY bad at marketing their origins ideas or, (2) their origins ideas don't make any sense and the public rejects them


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Yet you agree with Behe that a two-foot stack of research, produced and challenged and confirmed over many decades, is meaningless.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

It's meaningless for explaining the ORIGIN of immune system.  I'm sure its quite meaningful at explaining HOW THE IMMUNE SYSTEM WORKS.


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Are scientific research and its results determined by democratic vote, or not? If not, you have no support at all. If so, who's franchised? How often would the votes take place? Who sets the ballot? Are the votes national, or statewide, or county-by-county? How would the voting affect, e.g., pharmaceutical research? If scientific research isn't voted on but scientific pedagogy is -- how would that work?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

You might want to try quoting me next time so I can see how you think I am saying this.  I don't think any of this stuff.
Posted by: afdave on May 05 2006,00:53



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
How did God do it?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

I haven't a clue.  The writers of Genesis didn't either.  ND's THINK they know how it happened, but they really only have some guesses.
Posted by: Renier on May 05 2006,01:07

Dave, are you going to read up on the Vitamin C thing or not? If so, check some other sources too, not just AiG BS.
Posted by: afdave on May 05 2006,01:19



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Why do you resent the idea that you're an animal, Dave? (Would you prefer to be a plant?)  The evidence that human beings are animals (as opposed to, say, amniosperms, fungi, viruses, or archaebacteria) is so utterly overwhelming as to leave the suspicion that doubters aren't fully in possession of their senses. Not only can we tell that humans are animals, but we can tell how closely or how distantly they are related to other primates, other mammals, other amniotes, other vertebrates, other animals, other eukaryotes, etc. I'm sorry this makes you feel resentful, but I suppose that can't be helped.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Yes, I understand all this ... no ... don't care to be a plant.  I understand that our BODIES are very much like other animals ... VERY, VERY much like chimps as we are seeing on the other thread (I've got a lot more for that thread by the way), but I will be showing you that there are many fundamental differences between a chimp and a human--differences so great that when you see them, you realize it is not sensible to call a human an animal any more.  He should be called a human.  These are not physical differences.  It's matters of the mind and spirit and morality that we will be exploring.  You may not think these issues are not 'science' but they are whether you recognize it or not.


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Oh, and if you're worried about the political ramifications of a belief that humans are animals—look around you and observe the political ramifications of a belief that they are not.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

It is true that many awful things have been done in the name of God, Jesus Christ, Mohammed, Atheism, etc., but I believe (don't know if I will get to show this here--we're trying to focus on the God/human thing) that all the wonderful blessings of Western Civilization all ultimately boil down to one man of history--Jesus of Nazareth.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
So, Dave, your only gripe is really with common descent, from ape to man? That's it? That's all? Then why all this other useless noise and antics? Lets focus on the chimp/human thing then and ignore the rest of the BS.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

You'll notice my first hypothesis points focus on God and mankind.  If you want to tune me out after the first two points are done, OK by me.
Posted by: afdave on May 05 2006,01:23



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Dave, are you going to read up on the Vitamin C thing or not? If so, check some other sources too, not just AiG BS.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Sure.  What is it exactly that I am looking for?
Posted by: Faid on May 05 2006,02:13



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
"Are ND's really such poor marketers of their ideas that only 20% of the public is buying their story?"
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


As surprising as it may seem to you, Dave, the answer is yes. And there's nothing wrong with that.
You see, "ND's" Do not try to market their ideas. Maybe that hurts their image, but they cannot do otherwise: Their cause is to discover truth, not sell their "truth" to the public (which is exactly what the other side -ID/Creos- does). That's why all their funding goes to research, not PR departments.
But maybe this "marketing" of ideas seems normal to you... In which case, tell me: If you learned that a car company puts all their money in advertising and publicity, to show how cool their cars are, and NOTHING in research to make them better and safer -in fact, they don't have an R&D department at all- would you buy a car from them? Or would you ignore them, regardless of what other people think?

(Oh I understand the alalogy is a bit flawed- ID does not even have a car to sell  :) )



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
It's meaningless for explaining the ORIGIN of immune system.  I'm sure its quite meaningful at explaining HOW THE IMMUNE SYSTEM WORKS.

---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Um Dave, I dunno what AIG says, but the research presented in the trial was about the < evolution of the immune system. >
If they were to present all the research done over the whole field of immunology over the last years, they'd probably need one of these:


...Now, what would ID?Creos need to present their research in the field?
Well, probably come up with some first, I guess.  :)




PS. the question mark in "ID?Creos" was supposed to be a slash, but I like it better that way. "ID? Nah, Creos".  :D
Posted by: Renier on May 05 2006,02:14

Oh what the ####, I’ll help you out Dave.

Imagine you write a book. It is a book about sound and how it behaves. You publish the book and have copyright on it. A couple of months later, you pick up another book, about sound. You are furious when you notice that someone else has copied your work, and you promptly take them to court.

Now, how will you prove that the other person copied your book, since all the facts about sound, and how it behaves, are stated in the same way in both books? The other person could of course get the facts right too! In fact, the 2 books appear about 97 percent the same (factually)! You cannot tell the judge: “Well, your honour, I wrote the speed of sound is 330 m/s, and the other person wrote the same!”. The judge will laugh at you, since you claim that because the other person got his facts right, that he must have got it from you. Still with me Dave?

But, if there are errors in your book, factual errors, and they appear in the other book too, then you have a strong case for copyright infringement. If you made a mistake in your book, and wrote that the speed of sound is 632 m/s, and the other person repeats that EXACT SAME mistake, then you can prove that he copied your book. Your case would be even better if you could come up with 37+ errors that you made that were repeated in the impostor’s book!

Humans must eat Vitamin-C. They cannot fabricate their own Vitamin-C. Why is that? It is because our gene for Vitamin C fabrication is broken. It was a mutation that destroyed the function of the Vitamin-C gene, therefore we have to eat stuff with Vitamin-C in it, or else we would die. You know who sits with the same problem? Chimps! They also have the broken Vitamin-C gene, and it is broken in the SAME way that ours is. Why is that?

We know our DNA and Chimp DNA are VERY close to each other. But apart from the entire DNA that works, that are the same, in both our species, we ALSO share ERRORS, like the Vitamin-C gene (and many others), with Chimps. To me, this is good proof that we and Chips evolved from the same type of ape thing. We share common ancestry (Thus, we did not evolve FROM Chimps; we simply share a common ancestor). We BOTH inherited the DNA that works, AND the various ERRORS from the common ancestor.

Relate this back to my copyright story at the start of this post, and you will understand. But take it further. The 2 books are WORD FOR WORD, FACT AND ERROR, the same and ordered the same, except for about 5% max (it’s less), that differs.

So, tell me with a straight face that you think common ancestry is not true. But hey, I know you would rather believe preachers (AiG) than biologists (and other scientist) about biology. Even Behe admits common ancestry is true….
???
Posted by: Chris Hyland on May 05 2006,02:58



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
These are not physical differences.  It's matters of the mind and spirit and morality that we will be exploring.  You may not think these issues are not 'science' but they are whether you recognize it or not.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Interesting, all we need to see is your evidence. I would point out first that many people believe the fact God imbued man with a spirit does not mean we didn't evolve from apes.
Posted by: Renier on May 05 2006,03:29

I supose Afdave wants us to assume that there is something like a spirit/soul, and that these are not just words used for the mind and its various functions/output.

Apologetics...
Posted by: improvius on May 05 2006,03:29

Quote (afdave @ May 04 2006,22:30)
history has shown what this type of belief can do in a society if it is believed by the leadership.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


This is utter bs, Dave.  But I'd love to see you Godwin this thread, so I'll ask you what evidence you think you have to back this up.

Someday you'll regret having lied to your children about all of this.
Posted by: Rilke's Granddaughter on May 05 2006,03:40

[quote=dave] However, the question still remains to me ...  "Are ND's really such poor marketers of their ideas that only 20% of the public is buying their story?"   I mean, they've got all the museums showing evolution, all the textbooks, all the encyclos, most of the media, etc, etc.  I draw one of two conclusions from this ... (1) either the ND's are just REALLY bad at marketing their origins ideas or, (2) their origins ideas don't make any sense and the public rejects them[/quote] There is another reason, which Faid was, I suspect, too polite to touch on.

The reason, Dave is that most people are stupid.  Yes, that's right.  Stupid.  Civilization advances and is sustained on the minds of a vanishingly small percentage of the race.  The rest are drones - useful for evolutionary purposes, no doubt, but contributing nothing, unable to reason, unable to do much of anything except eat, sleep, and procreate.

AIG is a case in point: an entire organization of such drones.

Quite frankly, I'm astonished that the percentage of cretins is as low as it is.

"Most people can't think, most of the remainder, won't think, and those that do mostly don't do it very well."

Robert Heinlein.
Posted by: afdave on May 05 2006,03:59

OK, back to my evidence ...

Here's Point 1 again.

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.

I have already given evidence for the existence of an Intelligent Entity of some sort.  The two lines of evidence given so far are (1) Cosmic Fine Tuning and (2) Biological Machines.  To me this says loud and clear ... "Someone purposely set the 'dials' in the 'universe control room'" and "Someone is a fantastically brilliant Engineer."  Obviously, that's ALL these two lines of evidence suggest.  They say nothing about the Bible or genetics or morality or any of the other myriad issues that I am interested in.  But to me they do speak very loudly to the two statements above.  Some here say that this is not evidence and I would have to ask specifically WHY is this not evidence?  

Some ask "What do you mean by Cosmic Fine Tuning?" Well to quote one of your favorite resources over at TalkOrigins ...


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
In recent years, creationist theologians, and even a few physicists, have heavily promoted what they claim is a remarkable fine-tuning of the basic laws and constants of physics, without which life as we know it would never have developed (Barrow, 1986; Rolston III). If the universe had appeared with slight variations in the strengths of the fundamental forces or the masses of elementary particles, that universe would be pure hydrogen at one extreme, or pure helium at the other. Neither would have allowed for the eventual production of heavy elements, such as carbon, necessary for life. Similarly, if gravity had not been many orders of magnitude weaker than electromagnetism, stars would not have lived long enough to produce the elements of life. Long before they could fabricate heavy chemical elements, stars would have collapsed. Only the fact that the gravitational force was forty orders of magnitude weaker prevented this from happening. In a calculation similar to Hoyle's, mathematician Roger Penrose has estimated that the probability of a universe with our particular set of physical properties is one part in 1010123 (Penrose 1989: 343). However, neither Penrose nor anyone else can say how many of the other possible universes formed with different properties could still have lead to some form of life. If it is half, then the probability for life is fifty percent. [url="http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/cosmo.html"]
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Notice here that this TalkOrigins writer does not refute any claims of these physicists regarding THIS universe.  All he is able to do is point out that there MAY BE other universes.  And this nicely illustrates my point about the inconsistency of scientists such as some of you ... namely that you engage in 'wild speculation' about multiple universes with no evidence that there may be other universes.  Then you accuse theists of engaging in 'wild speculation' about our proposed 'God' character.  We are BOTH talking about things that we cannot observe and that are even difficult to imagine, yet the theistic scientists are pushed away with the lame argument that they are somehow less scientific that the Multiple Universe Speculators (MUS's).  Now of course we theists would not push away the MUS's as we ouselves are pushed away.  It is quite permissible for them to propose anything they want ... the real question is "How reasonable is their hypothesis?" to which Richard Swinburne, John Leslie, William Lane Craig and Robin Collins have given a formidable answer.  In my opinion, they have shown the superiority of the Theistic Design Hypothesis.  More about that here [url="http://www.arn.org/docs/meyer/sm_returnofgod.pdf"].  If anyone would like to argue this, I am happy to dive into it in more detail. (looked hard on TO for a refutation ... couldn't find one)

Some also ask "How do biological machines point to a 'God'?" ...  Well again, I have not yet given enough evidence to say that it is 'God' as described in the Bible, but it certainly does seem to indicate that there at least was a Designer of some sort.  Richard Dawkins spends an entire chapter on bat echolation in The Blind Watchmaker and then says

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I hope the reader is as awestruck as I am, and as William Paley would have been, by these bat stories.  My aim has been in one respect identical to Paley's aim.  I do not want the reader to underestimate the prodigious works of nature and the problems we face explaining them. (p. 37)
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

then he says

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
We have seen that living things are too improbable and too beautifully 'designed' to have come into existence by chance. (p. 43)
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Thank you Richard Dawkins.  Case closed.  It's been great debating all of you.  Now can we move on to the IMPLICATIONS of the existence of a Designer?  Just kidding ... I know you are not yet convinced, but I hope this is at least a good start for you.  I'm pretty sure you don't want me to repeat the Denton and Behe stuff which is why I quoted one of your own.  Here's one more nice tidbit on Molecular Machines from a non-YEC source ... Bruce Alberts, President of the National Academy of Sciences, introduced this issue with an article entitled, The Cell as a Collection of Protein Machines (pointed out by Meyer ... see link above).  In his article, Alberts admits that

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
We have always underestimated cells . . . . The entire cell can be viewed as afactory that contains an elaborate network of interlocking assembly lines, each of which is composed of a set of large protein machines . . . Why do we call the large protein assemblies that underlie cell function protein machines? Precisely because, like machines invented by humans to deal efficiently with the macroscopic world these protein assemblies contain highly coordinated moving parts (Alberts, Bruce. 1998. The Cell as a Collection of Protein Machines: Preparing the NextGeneration of Molecular Biologists. Cell 92 (8 February): 291-94).
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Alberts notes that molecular machines strongly resemble machines designed by human engineers, although as an orthodox neo-Darwinist he denies any role for actual, as opposed to apparent, design in the origin of these systems.

Say what you want about Behe and his wisdom in court (and I probably agree), but in my opinion, Behe has done an excellent job of pointing out the complete absence of any gradualistic explanations for the origin of the systems and motors he discusses.

Before we field questions, let's touch on the last two issues in Point 1.  I said

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
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.  
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

What in the world could I possibly have as evidence for this?  Well, this is obviously a bold statement, but consider Meyer's study of "The Big Bang and General Relativity."  I searched TalkOrigins for a refutation of Meyer's "God Hypothesis" article as well as the "Index to Creationist Claims" for a refutation of the particular section I am about to quote and found none.    I Googled "meyer god hypothesis refutation" which yielded a seemingly unrelated Panda's Thumb article. So maybe you all can point me to some of those if they exist somewhere.  Here's the Meyer quote in full.  I give it IN FULL because I want all here to READ IT IN FULL.  I have, probably 3 times now and it makes a lot of sense to me ...

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
THE BIG BANG AND GENERAL RELATIVITY
During the twentieth century, a quiet but remarkable shift has occurred in
science. Evidence from cosmology, physics, and biology now tells a very
different story than did the science of the late nineteenth century. Evidence from
cosmology now supports a finite, not an infinite universe, while evidence from
physics and biology has reopened the question of design.
In 1915-16, Albert Einstein shocked the scientific world with his theory of
general relativity (Chaisson & McMillan 1993: 604-5). Though Einstein s theory
challenged Newton s theory of gravity in many important respects, it also implied
(as did Newton s) that the universe could not be static, but instead was
simultaneously expanding and decelerating. According to relativity theory,
massive bodies alter the curvature of space so as to draw nearby objects to them.
Einstein s conception of gravity implied that all material bodies would congeal
unless the effects of gravitation were continually counteracted by the expansion of
space itself (Eddington 1930). Einstein s theory thus implied an expanding, not a
static, universe.
Einstein disliked this idea, in part for philosophical reasons. An actively
expanding universe implied a beginning to the expansion, and thus, to the
universe. As the Russian physicist Alexander Friedmann (1922: 377-86) showed,
general relativity implied that, in the words of Stephen Hawking, at some time in
the past (between ten and twenty thousand million years ago) the distance
between neighboring galaxies must have been zero (1988: 46). Relativity theory
suggested a universe of finite duration racing outward from an initial beginning in
the distant past. For Einstein, however, a definite beginning to the universe
seemed so counterintuitive that he introduced an arbitrary factor in his theory to
eliminate the implication. In 1917, he postulated a repulsive force, expressed by
his cosmological constant, of precisely the magnitude necessary to counteract
the expansion that his theory implied.1 Like Newton, Einstein inadvertenly
concealed an important cosmological reality implicit in his theory.
Yet the heavens would soon talk back. In the 1920s-30s, Edwin Hubble, a
young lawyer-turned-astronomer, made a series of observations that shocked even
Einstein. While working at the Mt. Wilson Observatory in Southern California,
Hubble discovered for the first time that our Milky Way galaxy is but one of
many galaxies spread throughout the universe. More important, he discovered that
the galaxies beyond the Milky Way are rapidly receding from ours. Hubble
noticed that the light from these distant galaxies was shifted toward the red-end of
the electromagnetic spectrum. This red-shift suggested recessional movement,
for the same reason the so-called Doppler Effect that a train whistle drops in
pitch as a train moves away from a stationary observer. Hubble also discovered
that the rate at which these other galaxies retreat from ours is directly related to
their distance from us just as if the universe were undergoing a spherical
expansion in all directions from a singular explosive beginning the big bang
(1929: 168-73).
During the remainder of the twentieth century, physicists and cosmologists
formulated several alternatives to the Big Bang theory that preserved an infinite
universe. Some of these cosmological models were formulated for explicitly
philosophical reasons. For example, in the late 1940s, Fred Hoyle, Thomas Gold,
and Hermann Bondi proposed the steady state model to explain galactic
recession without invoking the objectionable notion of a beginning. According to
their theory, as the universe expands new matter is generated spontaneously in the
space between expanding galaxies. On this view, our galaxy is composed of
matter that spontaneously popped into existence between other galaxies, which in
turn came out of the empty space between other galaxies, and so on (Bondi &
Gold 1948; Hoyle 1948). Thus, the steady state theory denied the need to
postulate a singular beginning, and reaffirmed an infinite universe without
beginning or end.
By the mid-1960s, however, Hoyle s theory had run aground as the result of
a discovery made by two employees of Bell Telephone Laboratories in New
Jersey. According to the steady state model, the density of the universe must
always remain constant, hence the creation of new matter as the universe expands.
Yet in 1965, the Bell Lab researchers, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, found
what physicists believed to be the radiation left over from the universe s initial
hot, high-density state (1965: 419-21). The discovery of this cosmic background
radiation, at roughly 2.7 degrees Kelvin equivalent, proved decisive. Physicist
George Gamow had predicted its existence as a consequence of the Big Bang
(1946: 572-73). Yet advocates of the steady state acknowledged that, given their
model, such radiation should not exist. The steady state theory also implied that
galaxies should have radically different ages, but advances in observational
astronomy have revealed that galactic ages cluster narrowly in the middle-age
range. By the 1970s, even Bondi, Gold, and Hoyle had abandoned their theory
(Kragh 1993: 403).
Following the demise of the steady state model, the oscillating universe
model arose as an alternative to a finite universe. Advocates of this model
envisioned a universe that would expand, gradually decelerate, shrink back under
the force of its own gravitation, and then, by some unknown mechanism, reinitiate
its expansion, on and on, ad infinitum. But, as physicist Alan Guth
showed, our knowledge of entropy suggests that the energy available to do the
work would decrease with each successive cycle (Guth & Sher 1983: 505-7).
Thus, presumably the universe would have reached a nullifying equilibrium long
ago if it had indeed existed for an infinite amount of time. Further, recent
measurements suggest that the universe has only a fraction about one-fifth of
the mass required to create a gravitational contraction in the first place (Peebles
1993: 475-83; Coles & Ellis 1994: 609-13; Sawyer 1992: A5; Ross 1993: 58).
Prior to the formulation of the oscillating universe theory, three
astrophysicists, Hawking, George Ellis, and Roger Penrose, published a series of
papers that explicated the implications of Einstein s theory of general relativity
for space and time as well as matter and energy (Hawking & Penrose 1970).
Previously, physicists like Friedmann showed that the density of the universe
would approach an infinite value as one extrapolated the state of the universe
back in time. In a series of papers written between 1966-70, Hawking and his
colleagues showed that as one extrapolated back in time the curvature of space
also approached infinity. But an infinitely curved space corresponds to a radius
(within a sphere, for example) of zero and thus to no spatial volume. Further,
since in general relativity space and time are inextricably linked, the absence of
space implies the absence of time. Moreover, neither matter nor energy can exist
in the absence of space. Thus, Hawking s result suggested that general relativity
implies that the universe sprang into existence a finite time ago from literally
nothing, at least nothing physical. In brief, general relativity implies an absolute
beginning of time, before which neither time and space, nor matter and energy,
would have existed.

The space-time theorem of general relativity was, of course, conditional. It
stated that, if general relativity obtains for the universe, then space and time
themselves must have originated in the same initial explosion that created matter
and energy. In a series of experiments, beginning just two years after Einstein
published his results and continuing on to the present, the probable error of
general relativity (estimated quantitatively) has shrunk from 10 to 1 to .05
percent, to a confirmation out to the fifth decimal place. Increasingly accurate
tests conducted by NASA, such as the hydrogen maser detector carried by a
NASA rocket in 1980 and 1994, have continued to shrink the probable error
associated with the theory (Ross 1993: 66-67; Vessor 1980: 2081-84). Thus,
general relativity now stands as one of the best confirmed theories of modern
science. Yet its philosophical implications, and those of the Big Bang theory, are
staggering. Taken jointly, general relativity and the Big Bang theory provide a
scientific description of what Christian theologians have long described in
doctrinal terms as creatio ex nihilo Creation out of nothing (again, nothing
physical). These theories place a heavy demand on any proposed causal
explanation of the universe, since the cause of the beginning of the universe must
transcend time, space, matter, and energy.
[url="http://www.arn.org/docs/meyer/sm_returnofgod.pdf"]
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Now admittedly, this study does not yet fully support my hypothesis points of "God  speaking things into existence" and "God living outside of time, seeing the past and future with equal ease."  But you have to admit it is intriguing and warrants further study.  Meyer's last paragraph (bold) is stunning to me and argues strongly for AT LEAST THE POSSIBILITY of a 'God' who can 'speak' things into existence and who JUST MIGHT in fact 'live outside of time' as the Bible asserts.  

OK.  That's enough for now.  I have now given you much of what I consider to be excellent evidence for a "Designer of the Universe" and a "Designer of Living Systems" and at least preliminary evidence for believing the long standing assertion of theists that "God Transcends Space and Time."  As we move ahead, I will show why I believe there is much evidence that this "Universe Designer" and "Living Systems Designer" are in fact One Person and that there is good reason to believe that this One Person does in fact 'dwell outside of space and time.'

I welcome your intelligent comments.  I qualify comments with the modifier 'intelligent' because I have now pretty much heard everything un-intelligent that there is to hear including but not limited to Glen Davidson's detailed and authoritative "Psychoanalysis of AF Dave" (thankyou, Glen ... I have to pay $300/hr for those here in Kansas City), Aftershave's continual attempts to supposedly "Look out for a poor-deluded fellow EE and help him avoid 'getting his ass handed to him'".  Some people's criticisms have in fact been well founded and I have acknowledged them.  The latest, of course is AIG's reference to the Chimp-Human Chromosome issue and my acceptance of it.  Again, a good criticism and I plan on confronting AIG about it (I have a contact who claims they know Ken Ham personally ... we will see what happens).  Of course, if you WANT to keep making un-intelligent criticisms, that's OK,  but you could always start another thread for that, and I question what such inane comments profit you.  But again, who am I to stop you?

Note that I have left of the A1, B1 stuff.  I assume by now that everyone at least UNDERSTANDS my argumentation framework--whether they agree with it or not, so it is not necessary to keep repeating it.
Posted by: improvius on May 05 2006,04:21

FYI, quote mining is probably the single best way to demonstrate your own dishonesty.


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
We have seen that living things are too improbable and too beautifully 'designed' to have come into existence by chance. How, then, did they come into existence? The answer, Darwin's answer, is by gradual, step- by-step transformations from simple beginnings, from primordial entities sufficiently simple to have come into existence by chance. Each successive change in the gradual evolutionary process was simple enough, relative to its predecessor, to have arisen by chance. But the whole sequence of cumulative steps constitutes anything but a chance process, when you consider the complexity of the final end-product relative to the original starting point. The cumulative process is directed by nonrandom survival. The purpose of this chapter is to demonstrate the power of this cumulative selection as a fundamentally nonrandom process.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Someday you'll regret having lied to your children about all of this.
Posted by: Faid on May 05 2006,04:31

Quote (afdave @ May 05 2006,08:59)


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
We have seen that living things are too improbable and too beautifully 'designed' to have come into existence by chance. (p. 43)
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Thank you Richard Dawkins.  Case closed.  It's been great debating all of you.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Dave,
Before we discuss this, it's important (I think) to clear out something:

Quote-mining is frowned upon in this forum. It's a clear indicator of the deceiving tecniques the people you believe in use.
Now, I think you probably quoted that straight from the AIG site, so I don't blame you. You can retract it, of course, or, better yet: Look what Dawkins actually wrote, and see for yourself who has been LYING to you.

< Check it out- Chapter three. >


<edit: Whoops- sorry, improvius.>
Posted by: improvius on May 05 2006,04:39

Quote (Faid @ May 05 2006,09:31)
<edit: Whoops- sorry, improvius.>
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Not at all.  The more the merrier.  I'd be happy to see EVERYONE here give Dave a smack for that one.  I mean seriously, quote mining Dawkins?  Dave is getting worse and worse with each new post.  I'm just waiting for him to trot out the alleged connection between evolution and you-know-who.
Posted by: Faid on May 05 2006,05:00

Hmm. I think thordaddy did, at some point... But then, thor is so absurd, even Godwin can't touch him.


Dave, About your talkorigins link: Did you stop reading after the part you quoted? Because if you kept on, you'd see how he goes on to explain how his arguments are not based in the "multiple universe" theory.

Uniess you quoted that from AIG too, I guess.
Posted by: Flint on May 05 2006,05:00

I must say the Dawkins quote surprises me. For anyone who has never heard of Dawkins, there won't be any leverage from name recognition anyway. For anyone who HAS heard of Dawkins, this quote is such a flagrantly dishonest misrepresentation of what Dawkins says that such people better not be trying to eat when they read it. Even the most brain-dead creationist can't help but recognize that this can't be even remotely accurate.

Discussing this stuff with someone who genuinely doesn't know any better might have some value. But why discuss with someone who knows better and lies anyway? This is the canonical argument with pigs.
Posted by: afdave on May 05 2006,05:03



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
FYI, quote mining is probably the single best way to demonstrate your own dishonesty.
[quote]
We have seen that living things are too improbable and too beautifully 'designed' to have come into existence by chance. How, then, did they come into existence? The answer, Darwin's answer, is by gradual, step- by-step transformations from simple beginnings, from primordial entities sufficiently simple to have come into existence by chance. Each successive change in the gradual evolutionary process was simple enough, relative to its predecessor, to have arisen by chance. But the whole sequence of cumulative steps constitutes anything but a chance process, when you consider the complexity of the final end-product relative to the original starting point. The cumulative process is directed by nonrandom survival. The purpose of this chapter is to demonstrate the power of this cumulative selection as a fundamentally nonrandom process.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Someday you'll regret having lied to your children about all of this. [/quote]

I own the book ... I have heard you that you don't accept 'lifts' from AIG, so you didn't get any this time.  I typed the quotes from Dawkins myself.

It's not dishonest to quote the pieces I did because the part I was wanting to point was that Richard Dawkins himself at least ADMITS that it all looks designed, which my quotes illustrate nicely.  Of course it is common knowledge that Dawkins rejects ACTUAL design ... I think that's pretty obvious from the title of his book, don't you?

As for my kids, they have free access to this book and they understand both Dawkins and MY position well. Come on, guys, there's no deception going on here.

Now if we are going to get preachy about quote mining, let's talk about some other quote mining criminals ... let's look at Faid's ... he lifted this from me

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
(afdave @ May 05 2006,08:59)
[Quote ]
We have seen that living things are too improbable and too beautifully 'designed' to have come into existence by chance. (p. 43)
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Thank you Richard Dawkins.  Case closed.  It's been great debating all of you. [/quote]

but forgot to include the last part ...

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Thank you Richard Dawkins.  Case closed.  It's been great debating all of you.  Now can we move on to the IMPLICATIONS of the existence of a Designer?  Just kidding ...
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



I was joking because I KNEW that Dawkins (and you) don't accept this as ACTUAL design ... i.e. "It LOOKS like a duck, WALKS like a duck, QUACKS like a duck, but let me spend the next EIGHT CHAPTERS trying to convince you that it's NOT a duck **cough** (isn't that what this debate is about in the first place?)

OK.  So now that we have another ROE question settled, are there any substantive arguments against my case?
Posted by: Faid on May 05 2006,05:13

Dave, you settled nothing.

After you say "just kidding", you admit this is an attempt to convince us:


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I know you are not yet convinced, but I hope this is at least a good start for you.  I'm pretty sure you don't want me to repeat the Denton and Behe stuff which is why I quoted one of your own
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


When you knew, in fact, that this misquote does not support "design" in any way, and in fact simply argues against random assembly of life in its present complexity, ie: the "tornado in a junkyard" example(which is something none of us believes, anyway).

I mean seriously, Dave.  :angry:
Posted by: thurdl01 on May 05 2006,05:30

Quote (afdave @ May 02 2006,11:47)


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
To use your own terms, are you man enough to debate this honestly?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Yes.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Just to remind you of your promise.  Cause quote mining?  Doesn't count as honest debate.  Even if you mined your own quote from the book rather than relying on a pre-mined quote, it's still quote mining.
Posted by: Chris Hyland on May 05 2006,05:33



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Some also ask "How do biological machines point to a 'God'?" ...  Well again, I have not yet given enough evidence to say that it is 'God' as described in the Bible, but it certainly does seem to indicate that there at least was a Designer of some sort.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

As I said before, you need to provide evidence that biological systems are more likely to be the work of a designer than biological evolution without using and argument from ignorace or analogy. No-one will accept your point if you just assume this to be the case.
Posted by: afdave on May 05 2006,05:39



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
When you knew, in fact, that this misquote does not support "design" in any way, and in fact simply argues against random assembly of life in its present complexity, ie: the "tornado in a junkyard" example(which is something none of us believes, anyway).

I mean seriously, Dave.  
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Again, let me say VERY CLEARLY.  I quoted Richard Dawkins to illustrate to me a FASCINATING phenomenon with this man ...

Here is a man who everyone know DOES NOT accept design, yet he in effect says, "It LOOKS like a duck, WALKS like a duck, QUACKS like a duck, but let me spend the next EIGHT CHAPTERS trying to convince you that it's NOT a duck **cough** (isn't that what this debate is about in the first place?)

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to once again highlight this embarassing paradox of one of science's most brilliant minds.

I'll do my darndest not to quotemine and I trust you will do the same.  Now, to quote someone on this thread, "Can we quit arguing about rules and get on with it?"  

Do you have any substantive refutation of my logic?
Posted by: Glen Davidson on May 05 2006,05:53



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
The reason, Dave is that most people are stupid.  Yes, that's right.  Stupid.  Civilization advances and is sustained on the minds of a vanishingly small percentage of the race.  The rest are drones - useful for evolutionary purposes, no doubt, but contributing nothing, unable to reason, unable to do much of anything except eat, sleep, and procreate.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Well, true enough, I suppose, but we didn't evolve intelligence in order to theorize and to do mathematics.  We evolved intelligence in order to do well in our little primate groups, and that is entirely possible to do without knowing science or accepting evolution.  We're herd animals, and we are intelligent herd animals for the most part.

Afdave illustrates this fact over and over again.  It's all argumentum ad populum, which is why he fails to distinguish between good science and bad (whatever), and fails entirely to even recognize the evidence when it's in plain view.  Which is why he looks at the obviously derived chromosome 2, and says that what obviously did happen "could not happen".  His "standards" come from his herd.  He doesn't think so very stupidly, considering where he's coming from, so much as that he argues from his herd position, and with a near-total lack of science knowledge--let alone its philosophy.  

There are no rewards for him even to begin to understand the world in an unbiased manner, rather he probably gets credit in his circles for "tackling the atheists", even though he never actually manages a hit on anybody (his herd would know the difference?).  Within his herd, his reward system, it all works out, and he obviously cares not a fig about science (though he probably has a high opinion of an ideal of science), only about defending his ego and his herd.  This is why "discussing these things with him" is futile through and through.

You can't make a cat look in the mirror, and you can't get most people to look past their social-reward systems.  This is actually true for scientists in many cases, as anyone who has come up with actually new ideas knows.  Nearly all challengers of the accepted ideas have considerable trouble getting even scientists to look at the evidence uncolored by past beliefs.  How much worse it must be when one has virtually no background in science, an "education in evolution" from the CRI and AIG, and a considerable amount of ego invested into "knowing evolution to be wrong".  

Intelligence serves the primate's psyche, not the "truth of the world" (it's complicated to explain how this differs in science to a meaningful extent, but it has mostly to do with societies of people who have recognized and experienced the rewards of empiricism).  Intelligence could not evolve differently, as far as we know, so we're stuck with people whose intelligence works for themselves and their group, quite contrarily to small-t "truth" as it is commonly understood.

And yes, I still think that saying "people are stupid" fits the contextual meaning of that phrase.  Of course, but most people who are too stupid or lazy to understand the scientific method still don't oppose the vast majority of science--partly this is because their religious prejudices actually tend to suggest that one may well learn from the "created world".  The trouble is when one disagrees that life itself was "created" (or disagrees that a flood was created by an angry God who regretted what he had made--a clear strike against the "design hypothesis"), since that goes against the worldview that in many cases has facilitated science.

Stupidity no doubt has much to do with it, however the social "herd instinct" of humanity seems to explain more.  While social pressures and curiosity helps to place more of the intelligent people into a mode of the acceptance of science, clearly some quite intelligent people also expend quite a lot of intellectual skill (debating skill) into disagreeing with the science that they have learned where they "already know it to be wrong".  

Look at Afdave's argument.  Clearly it is fallacious by any standard, but it is also carefully drawn (though it was hardly invented by Afdave) to avoid the fact that the only explanation for current and fossil forms of life that has managed to cross borders, religions, ethnic groups, politics, and intellectual inheritances, is evolutionary theory.  Russian atheists, American Catholics and mainline Protestants, scientists, intellectuals, Japanese Shintoists (initially, anyhow, though I don't know if Shinto holds up well alongside modern science), Muslim thinkers, Hindus, Jainists, and traditional religionists like native Americans, have all been able to comprehend and accept the evidence for evolution.

Herd thought?  No, except to the degree that empiricism is a kind of herd thought, which it is (but with standards that reach beyond the herd).  Tradition?  Only the tradition of "objectivity", rather than forcing the interpretation.

Evolutionary theory is extraordinarily successful by the standards of any startup of a new religion.  This is because evolutionary thought only depends upon the evidence, and it is not designed to challenge or to disagree with any religion.  Cultural baggage and biases (such as Darwin's) need not follow evolutionary theory, and indeed tend not to.  Most of all, evolutionary theory does not depend upon herd thought, except to the extent that empiricism should be considered "herd thought".  Promulgating a new religion, by contrast, requires herd sanctions and herd thinking to slowly infiltrate (or to be violently imposed) upon society, and the creation myths of that religion remain peculiar to that religion.

The only universally-acceptable origins-of-life idea is evolutionary theory, while one may easily enough explain why opposition by particular religions persist.  But one may as "easily" explain to a herd-thinker like Afdave why he and so many other ignorant types cling to exploded notions, as one may explain to them how to recognize the evidence of derivation of chromosome 2 when they are explaining how something like chromosomal fusion cannot occur.  They are operating on the basis that evolution is impossible, which is why they cannot even begin to deal with the evidence in favor of evolution.
Posted by: Chris Hyland on May 05 2006,05:54

Biological systems only trivially appear to be designed. You can't just say 'they look designed' and assume they are. People who actually study these systems don't think they look designed at all.
Posted by: Glen Davidson on May 05 2006,06:02



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I welcome your intelligent comments.  I qualify comments with the modifier 'intelligent' because I have now pretty much heard everything un-intelligent that there is to hear including but not limited to Glen Davidson's detailed and authoritative "Psychoanalysis of AF Dave" (thankyou, Glen ... I have to pay $300/hr for those here in Kansas City),
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Well, you're too stupid and ignorant even to respond to my authoritative analysis, moron.  All you can do is to compound your ignorance by denying everything intelligent ever written with regard to your mindless tripe, and of course your ignorance of yourself is probably the most profound ignorance that you possess.

If you ever can make an intelligent remark, please do so, cretin.  I see that you not only cannot respond to my analysis of your mindlessness, but you have also failed to explain how such a dangerous place as this universe is "designed for life", why it is that the "designer" only uses evolutionary algorithms, or evinced the least bit of knowledge of how science works.  Thank you for showing how close to correct my analysis of your ignorance is.

There is virtually no chance that you will ever be anything except a stupid and ignorant little ape, Dave.  The biggest reason of all is that you only sneer at expertise of all kinds, while clinging to your tiny collection of knowledge as if it were Eternal Truth, as do all bigots.
Posted by: Glen Davidson on May 05 2006,06:10



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Here is a man who everyone know DOES NOT accept design, yet he in effect says, "It LOOKS like a duck, WALKS like a duck, QUACKS like a duck, but let me spend the next EIGHT CHAPTERS trying to convince you that it's NOT a duck **cough** (isn't that what this debate is about in the first place?)

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to once again highlight this embarassing paradox of one of science's most brilliant minds.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



It should be embarrassing for Dawkins.  However, real scientists do not care a fig about Dawkins' incorrect notions about life "appearing designed", for on the face of it, life does not appear designed.  I will grant that it may appear "miraculous" or "spiritual", depending on definitions and contexts, but it does not appear designed.  

The most truly embarrassing thing is that religious apologists like Afdave think that life looks designed like machines.  

I brought this up previously, Dave, and you failed as utterly to respond intelligently as you did to my analysis of your ignorance.  Why don't you for once face the facts, that you know virtually nothing except engineering and business, and that you need to learn something other than your determined prejudices?  Or at least that you shouldn't reveal to intelligent people that you couldn't think yourself out of a hole in a tree.
Posted by: stevestory on May 05 2006,06:11



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
The reason, Dave is that most people are stupid.  Yes, that's right.  Stupid.  Civilization advances and is sustained on the minds of a vanishingly small percentage of the race.  The rest are drones - useful for evolutionary purposes, no doubt, but contributing nothing, unable to reason, unable to do much of anything except eat, sleep, and procreate.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Count me out on that. It reminds me of a Randroid math professor I once knew. He was puzzled that America was so successful. He said in European countries--he was Swedish--only the very few top people were selected to become professors and corporate executives and researchers and the like. America, he said, allowed anyone to try to do anything. Allowing all those unthinking idiots he and Rilke's Grandaughter believes in to try all those things, would waste so many resources America should be inefficient and poor.

Now, I would agree that most people don't think in a very logical and trained way. But they do think.
Posted by: Glen Davidson on May 05 2006,06:20



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
And that is the idea that humans are nothing more than highly evolved animals.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Now see, Dave, if you were intelligent and educated you'd know that the idea that humans are animals (generally thought to be "at the peak") is hardly new with Darwin.  Aristotle generally referred to us as animals, for the obvious reason, that we act and exist very much like animals.

Do you want medical testing to be done on our relatives, the apes, or would you prefer that it be done on birds?  And can you think through the implications of why medical testing is done on monkeys and apes just prior to humans, or are you going to just drivel on in your ignorance and prejudice?

And if for once you were able to argue something based on the evidence, instead of your prejudices, you might get some respect.  That is to say, if you were curious and willing to learn, even though you know so little about science, psychology, philosophy, sociology, and religion, you would receive some helpful replies.  

We do care that your prejudices against humans as "evolved animals" prevent you from discussing the evidence that we are.  We just don't care about all of the blather that you gather up to defend your prejudices, trying to pass them off as science.
Posted by: afdave on May 05 2006,06:24



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
As I said before, you need to provide evidence that biological systems are more likely to be the work of a designer than biological evolution without using and argument from ignorace or analogy. No-one will accept your point if you just assume this to be the case.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

True.  But this is my point exactly.  Science attempts to explain things in terms of current understanding.  Then as new understanding comes, science modifies its descriptions.  This is what I do.  I see bio machines.  I know how non-bio machines come into existence, so I have nothing better from my experience to explain the bio-machines than "Bio-Machine Design."  I would be happy to adopt "Evo Did It" if I had ever seen an instance of this happening, but so far I have not.  When I ask for examples of, for instance, a fruit-fly "evolving" into a house fly type insect, I am told that this type of change would take many millions of years, so "we cannot possibly observe the process."  This would leave me in the uncomfortable position of trying to explain a process that I can only wildly speculate about, but have never even seen, even by analogy.  So to me, my ANALOGY, while it may be weak, appears to be far stronger than your COMPLETE LACK OF AN ANALOGY.  In other words ... at least I have SOMETHING ... I have my analogy.  You have NOTHING that I can see.  Oh, yes ... I know ... moths changing color and finch beaks, etc.  But this is well understood already WITHIN the Creationist model and has NOTHING AT ALL to say about "Feet to Flippers" type Evolution.  Oh and I know .. the fossil record.  But again, we have a handful of equivocal examples of "transitional forms."

I'm happy to try to see things your way, but so far, no one has walked me through it well enough to be convincing.

Does this make sense?
Posted by: normdoering on May 05 2006,06:25

Quote (afdave @ May 05 2006,08:59)
I searched TalkOrigins for a refutation of Meyer's "God Hypothesis"
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Meyer doesn't warrant special attention in a search term because his arguments are stolen from old and moldy arguments that were refuted before he made them.

Try searching for "Big Bang Argument for the Existence of God," "Teleology," "Prime Mover."

You think the Big Bang theory provides a scientific description of creatio ex nihilo, Creation out of nothing but that's not quite true -- define "nothing."

Spacetime, the fabric of the universe isn't really nothing. Look up the term "Casimir effect."

< http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casimir_effect >
< http://focus.aps.org/story/v2/st28 >

There is no such thing as "nothing."

The metaphysical question is really "what is the primordial stuff of the universe?" What had to exist for that big bang to happen.

You propose "an intelligent being" but there is no evidence that an intelligent being could do such a  thing (you have to make up your major claim out of whole cloth -- "God could speak things into existance") And besides, an intelligent being that can speak things into existance isn't nothing.

Nothing is explained by proposing an unknown entity with unknown powers. You're explaining the known in terms  of the unknown.

What killed those old arguments was the death of dualism. Back in history people used to think that intelligence itself was a primordial thing, souls existing forever and all.

Religions, at least those of Judeo-Christian family, must start with a core metaphysical assumption about mind (of an entity with will, planning, intention, foresight and understanding) being the primordial stuff and cause of the universe. This is implied in Judeo-Christian creation myths when God makes a universe out of nothing, a void: Mind was first — a mind and soul as primordial stuff.

Creation myths are teleological and naturalism undermines teleology by finding non-mind, (rules of material interaction without any mind stuff like choice, will or intention coming into play), as an explanation. But when naturalism begins to explain the only organ of teleological action we know, the brain, in naturalistic terms then teleological explanations are undermined more completely.

The core assumptions of our religions were made in ignorance of such science and now neuroscience has begun to undermine this core teleological and metaphysical assumption that Christianity is rooted in.
Posted by: Faid on May 05 2006,06:25

It's only you who sees the paradox here, Dave. If, in your mind, "not made by pure chance" = "designed by god" that is only your inability to understand that evolution is NOT a purely random process- far from it. THAT is what Dawkins says, and you should KNOW that before you served his butchered words to us as admittance of design. And you should know that this would NOT "convince" us, even in the slightest.

As for your other arguments: The anthropic principle is examined thoroughly in the very talkorigins page you quoted; again, did you read past the quote? Because if you did, you'd see that the author does not use multiple universes as the sole support for his arguments.
As for your "biological machines" argument, this has been demonstrated repeatedly to be based on loaded terms: Labelling living things "machines" to argue that they are designed, presupposes that they are designed.
It's a "dog=table" argument, basically, interwined with speculations of a cause: With the same logic, we should argue that those round volcanic rocks were the marbles of giants, because they look like big stone marbles. Now, the reasons those rocks are round are pretty much the same (as far as the fundamental laws of physics are concerned) with the reasons marbles are made round- but that is no proof that they are, in fact, marbles -as I'm sure you agree.
Posted by: afdave on May 05 2006,06:32



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
We just don't care about all of the blather that you gather up to defend your prejudices, trying to pass them off as science.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Would you care to show me specifically WHY it's blather, since you obviously are smarter than me?  Or will you keep filling my thread with psycho-analysis?
Posted by: afdave on May 05 2006,06:37

AF Dave said ...


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Would you care to show me specifically WHY it's blather, since you obviously are smarter than me?  Or will you keep filling my thread with psycho-analysis?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



One more thing, Glen.  Talk really slow and refute my points one by one in simple layman's terms so that my "religion darkened brain" can understand.

Thanks!
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 05 2006,06:54

Quote (afdave @ May 05 2006,06:19)
I understand that our BODIES are very much like other animals ... VERY, VERY much like chimps as we are seeing on the other thread (I've got a lot more for that thread by the way), but I will be showing you that there are many fundamental differences between a chimp and a human--differences so great that when you see them, you realize it is not sensible to call a human an animal any more.  He should be called a human.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Actually, Dave, the differences between humans and chimps, compared to e.g. the differences between humans and bacteria, are practically invisible. Humans are basically taller, balder, weaker, and smarter chimps. I fail to understand why this presents a problem for you.

If you want to say there are spiritual differences between a human and chimp that amount to some sort of unbridgeable gulf, that's fine, but you're not talking about science anymore (to the extent you ever were).
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 05 2006,06:58

Quote (afdave @ May 05 2006,06:23)


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Dave, are you going to read up on the Vitamin C thing or not? If so, check some other sources too, not just AiG BS.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Sure.  What is it exactly that I am looking for?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Vitamin C is a useful therapy in the treatment of Creationism, Dave. Strange but true.
Posted by: Glen Davidson on May 05 2006,07:03



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
 
True.  But this is my point exactly.  Science attempts to explain things in terms of current understanding.  Then as new understanding comes, science modifies its descriptions.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Metaphors do not fundamentally change the practice of science.  Of course the descriptions change, but they are also understood as relatively fluid descriptions, not as statements about reality.  Unfortunately you do not know this, either, about science, or you'd know that "biological machines" is a convenient tag used for what used not to be called "machines".  IDists have made a great deal out of the metaphor of "machine" to indicate biological "objects", but they fundamentally misunderstand what science has identific, vs. the words it uses to understand what has been identified.  

Naturally, you are too ignorant and unintelligent to understand this, Dave, but just because you don't understand anything doesn't mean that it isn't true.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
This is what I do.  I see bio machines.  I know how non-bio machines come into existence, so I have nothing better from my experience to explain the bio-machines than "Bio-Machine Design."
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



"Machine" is just a name.  Learn some philosophy, if you ever learn any science.  

And of course you have nothing better to "explain it", because you know nothing about biology.  Before "biological machines" were even called that, biologists already had a better explanation.  Your ignorance is no excuse to say Goddidit.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I would be happy to adopt "Evo Did It" if I had ever seen an instance of this happening, but so far I have not.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



We have lizards losing their legs right now, Dave.  The only reason you haven't seen evolution happening is that you haven't looked, and apparently are unwilling to use the vast evidence for past evolution to question your ignorance.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
When I ask for examples of, for instance, a fruit-fly "evolving" into a house fly type insect, I am told that this type of change would take many millions of years, so "we cannot possibly observe the process."
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Yet you believe the Bible as a credible source for history throughout, when you have never seen any of the miracles mentioned.  

You do not have the same standard for evolution that you have for other historical and supposedly historical occurrences, but make an exception here.  You aren't even intellectually honest, among your other tremendous intellectual faults.




---------------------QUOTE-------------------
This would leave me in the uncomfortable position of trying to explain a process that I can only wildly speculate about, but have never even seen, even by analogy.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



You haven't, but you could, using evolutionary programs.  You only close your eyes to the evidence.

By the way, did languages evolve?  No one has seen the evolution of English out of Indo-European, or its equivalent, but we have clear evidence that it did.  Cretinists and IDiots don't generally fault that evidence, only the evidence that they find inconvenient.

Many creationists, and most IDists, accept that Darwin's finches evolved, substantially through natural selection.  Yet we have never "observed" that sort of speciation (other than what is happening at present, but its a tiny sliver of the whole).  So of course there is no real problem with past evidence in their philosophy, only with past evidence which points to considerable evolutionary changes.

Crack a book for once, Dave, and quit relying upon what you don't know to "analyze evolution".



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
So to me, my ANALOGY, while it may be weak, appears to be far stronger than your COMPLETE LACK OF AN ANALOGY.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Of course we have a number of analogies, you just ignore them when they are presented.  We have evolved stories, evolved languages, computer simulations, and observed smaller scale evolutions that we have observed.  

We use phylogenetic evidence to identify strains of HIV, even though we don't "directly observe" HIV evolution.  Sometimes this phylogenetic evidence is used in court in relation to deliberate AIDS infection.  There is actually little "categorical" difference in the sorts of information being used to track HIV evolution and the use of information to track primate evolution.  Crack a book, open your mind, and you might learn this, too.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
In other words ... at least I have SOMETHING ... I have my analogy.  You have NOTHING that I can see.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



No, you have precisely nothing, because there has never been an observed designer who has designed to produce the "nested hierarchies" that we see in life.  We have several analogous derivative evolutions to compare and contrast with biological evolution, though we have to recognize that language and narrative evolution occur significantly differently than does RM + NS (which doesn't change the fact that similar (but not identical) patterns are seen).  

What is more, we back up our mechanism with evidence.  You only argue words like "machine", without even understanding how paltry your knowledge of the relationship of science to words is.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Oh, yes ... I know ... moths changing color and finch beaks, etc.  But this is well understood already WITHIN the Creationist model and has NOTHING AT ALL to say about "Feet to Flippers" type Evolution.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Tell me why creationists didn't come up with "microevolution".  Also, tell us how it is that microevolution cannot add up to macroevolution (I know that some differences can be defined as "macroevolutionary", but even using this definition would not prevent microevolutionary changes alone from adding up to "macroevolution").  Bring up some evidence that "microevolution" is separate from "macroevolution" to show for once that you have even a slight regard for evidence.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Oh and I know .. the fossil record.  But again, we have a handful of equivocal examples of "transitional forms."
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



They aren't equivocal, and your lies do not make them so.  See, this is the actual evidence you've been given, the sort of thing that you lack in all of your posts.  It is more than a handful of intermediates that we have as well, though I recognize that you wouldn't know that or any other intellectually sound fact.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 05 2006,07:17

Quote (afdave @ May 05 2006,08:59)
OK, back to my evidence ...

I have already given evidence for the existence of an Intelligent Entity of some sort.  The two lines of evidence given so far are (1) Cosmic Fine Tuning and (2) Biological Machines.  To me this says loud and clear ... "Someone purposely set the 'dials' in the 'universe control room'" and "Someone is a fantastically brilliant Engineer."  Obviously, that's ALL these two lines of evidence suggest.  They say nothing about the Bible or genetics or morality or any of the other myriad issues that I am interested in.  But to me they do speak very loudly to the two statements above.  Some here say that this is not evidence and I would have to ask specifically WHY is this not evidence?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Dave, you have not given evidence for a cosmic "Intelligent Entity" through the "cosmic fine tuning" and "biological machines argument." You're still unclear on the meaning of the term "evidence." At best, "cosmic fine tuning" and "biological machines" are conjectures, or arguments. They're certainly not "evidence," and both conjectures have been reviewed here and you've been shown why they're not persuasive.

I don't want to leave you with the impression that you've "established" anything by presenting "cosmic fine tuning" or "biological machines" "evidence."

If you'd shown some physical parameters that are indeed finely tuned (the cosmological constant, to pick an obvious example), that would be one thing, but you haven't done that, and even if you had, we've already shown you why that argument is unpersuasive.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Thank you Richard Dawkins.  Case closed.  It's been great debating all of you.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Dave, this same quote-mining was used over a century ago with Charles Darwin. Darwin made the same point (that biological organisms are awe-inspiring in their complexity), and then went on to explain exactly how that complexity could have come about through unguided processes. Dawkins is saying exactly the same thing here, and you're making the same mistake of misinterpreting where Dawkins is going with this.




---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Alberts notes that molecular machines strongly resemble machines designed by human engineers, although as an orthodox neo-Darwinist he denies any role for actual, as opposed to apparent, design in the origin of these systems.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Dave, this is argument by analogy. It's not evidence of anything. Behe made the statement at Dover and in "Darwin's Black Box" that life looks designed, therefore it was designed. I'm sure you can see how weak this argument really is.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Say what you want about Behe and his wisdom in court (and I probably agree), but in my opinion, Behe has done an excellent job of pointing out the complete absence of any gradualistic explanations for the origin of the systems and motors he discusses.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



No he hasn't. Every single example Behe used (the flagellum, the clotting sequence, the complementary immune system) has been shown over and over again to be evolvable. This area of biological research is extremely fertile, Dave, and if you don't read the current research, you're always going to be way behind. "Darwin's Black Box" was written ten years ago.
Posted by: normdoering on May 05 2006,07:19

Quote (afdave @ May 05 2006,11:37)
Talk really slow and refute my points one by one in simple layman's terms so that my "religion darkened brain" can understand.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Compare Meyer's argument to this argument:
< http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/quentin_smith/bigbang.html >

It is from 1992, by Quentin Smith, and it was written before Meyer wrote his argument and yet it refutes Meyer's claims.

How do you explain that?
Posted by: edmund on May 05 2006,07:31

From afdave:


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
in my opinion, Behe has done an excellent job of pointing out the complete absence of any gradualistic explanations for the origin of the systems and motors he discusses.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



In his book "Darwin's Black Box", Behe claimed that there was a certain kind of biological system that was "irreducibly complex". He claimed that a gradual, stepwise path leading to an IC system could not exist. He emphasized the complexity of biological systems by describing six especially complicated systems in detail.

Since then, biologists have proposed gradual, stepwise pathways for all six of those systems. Remember that Behe's claim was not just that we don't know exactly how these systems evolved. Behe's claim was that no possible pathway existed for these IC systems.

That claim was dead wrong. IC systems can evolve. Anyone who tells you differently is selling something.

If you believe that there is a "complete absence of any gradualistic explanations" for these complex systems, somebody really hasn't been honest with you. I can definitely sympathize. As a Christian, I naively assumed that anti-evolutionists would be very honest with their audience. Once I started digging in to the claims of creationists and intelligent-design proponents, I was horrified by how many falsehoods that I encountered.

After about ten years of studying all sides of the debate over evolution, I've found that the scientists defending evolution are more honest than the Christians who are attacking it. Not just a little bit more honest-- a lot more honest. Even the agnostics and atheists defending evolution are behaving far more honestly than most of the Christians who lead the "creation science" and ID movements. It's scandalous.
Posted by: Chris Hyland on May 05 2006,07:35



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I would be happy to adopt "Evo Did It" if I had ever seen an instance of this happening, but so far I have not.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Just so I understand, this is an important point. You will think that design is a better scientific explanation until you actually see some kind of large scale change take place naturally, with your own eyes?
Posted by: Glen Davidson on May 05 2006,07:40



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Would you care to show me specifically WHY it's blather, since you obviously are smarter than me?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



I already did.  You lacked the courtesy and knowledge to respond to what I had written, preferring to tell lies instead.

What is it about so many of the religious?  Why do lies about others come out so readily into their posts?  



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Or will you keep filling my thread with psycho-analysis?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



It's not "your thread", greedy businessman, rather it is a thread in which all may discuss.  And it's hardly psychoanalysis, though you wouldn't know that either.  It's more of an analysis based on social psychology, if more on the lines of Nietzsche than on Pareto, Weber, or Durkheim.

And since you have no evidence, or convincing arguments, there is little really to do except to point out the failings of you and many of your fellow believers.  I do so in part because "our side" tends to argue with you guys as if you might soon begin to understand things sensibly, when it is clear that you will not.  

While many are not really going to understand just why  it is that you "think" your herd thoughts and how thoroughly entrenched your very patterns of cognition actually are, at least one might drive home the fact that worldviews are not easily changed.  Particularly not in the self-satisfied bourgeoisie.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
One more thing, Glen.  Talk really slow and refute my points one by one in simple layman's terms so that my "religion darkened brain" can understand.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Don't imply that I consider religious brains to necessarily be "darkened".  Norm Doering strikes at religion, I do not, except when religion has decided to make exceptions in accepted thought to accommodate their dogmas.  Not even then, if they don't spread their nonsense onto the web and attempt to force it into schools.

And if you understood what I have written, you would recognize that I know that I can hardly get through to you.  I have refuted any number of your points, and what I got in return were sneering lies from you.  

What is more, I do not believe in trying to dumb things down enough for those who refuse to study.  I might try to get through to someone who was curious and teachable, but not someone who really only wants to defend the nonsense that he got from pseudoscientific sites.

If you don't know that all of your points have either been refuted or explained to be without merit (but not "refutable" exactly), you're clearly not listening or unable to comprehend.  That is why I think it more profitable to discuss the why of your failings, rather than try again and again to get you to see what you not only have not learned to see, but rather have learned to avoid seeing.

Quite honestly, and without malice, I can only recommend that you do some serious study into biology, and into the history of evolutionary thought.  If you were to simply read, not react, and follow the thought processes of biological/evolutionary thinkers, you might begin to understand how the evidence is used scientifically to indicate that life was derived from other life.  

And if you still did not accept evolution, at least you would not be using such faulty lines of "reasoning" and denial of evidence to "make your points".  Then we might still disagree, but we could discuss things on an equal footing.  It will not do to demand that we see things your way, when we have learned how and why the kinds of thinking that we were taught early on are not adequate.

I do know how to see the evidence like you do, I merely have to think back to when I was 14 and earlier.  You need to learn, and it is not simple or easy, how scientists and/or philosophers think, if you want to have some traction on science forums.
Posted by: afdave on May 05 2006,07:42



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Since then, biologists have proposed gradual, stepwise pathways for all six of those systems.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Is there an online source you could point me to so that I can see this?
Posted by: normdoering on May 05 2006,07:50

Quote (afdave @ May 05 2006,12:42)


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Since then, biologists have proposed gradual, stepwise pathways for all six of those systems.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Is there an online source you could point me to so that I can see this?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Yes, try here:
< http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/behe.html >

The links should lead to refutations of most of Behe's claims.

Panda's did one on the Evolution of Hormone-Receptor Complexity:
< http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/04/evolution_of_ic_1.html >
Posted by: improvius on May 05 2006,08:15

[quote=afdave,May 05 2006,11:24][/quote]
Dave, try to stop lying.  You are trying to come across as being impartial when it is clear that you are not.  You cannot reconcile statements like this:


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I would be happy to adopt "Evo Did It" if I had ever seen an instance of this happening, but so far I have not.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


With statements like this:


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
There is really one really big thing I resent.  And that is the idea that humans are nothing more than highly evolved animals.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Your objections stem from an emotional reaction, not from rational thought.  There is NO WAY we can reasonably convince you because your objections are not based in reason to begin with.
Posted by: Glen Davidson on May 05 2006,08:56

What Afdave fails to recognize in the area of origins is the importance of establishing proximate causes, of showing how one event causes another one.  

In this matter he thinks like the ancients did, by using sweeping analogies which led to anthropomorphic "hypotheses".  While few of the ancients made the mistake of thinking that animals and humans were designed machines (they don't act like machines, they aren't "designed" like machines, and they are produced in a wholly different way.  The evidence for derivation came later, of course), they did view "creation" as occurring via reproductive means, spirit transfers, and speech.

But what we need for any ID hypothesis is a designer who has been shown to design items similar to organisms.  We don't mind inferring design of simple and complex objects so long as they conform to human capabilities, because we have this known "proximate cause" for pots and spacecraft.  Undoubtedly we would also infer intelligent humanoid designers if we found early alien spacecraft, again because we know how some evolved "intelligences" act.  Yet we totally lack any credible designer who has made organisms like those we see.

Thus a designer is not a reasonable explanation.  As IDists have noted, we do indeed think that we could detect the results of "intelligent beings" in radio signals and in machines.  Yet virtually no one has seriously proposed that aliens made the animals (aliens are brought up to confuse the issue, but only for that reason).  This is because animals are very different from machines, even at a cursory glance.  And more so when we study organisms thoroughly.

What is more, we aren't even satisfied with "intelligence" as a "reason" for human-made machines and art, rather we typically appeal to psychology, evolution, and social causation to explain why and how art is made (as in all historical sciences, we can't fully explain Sumerian art, but we can explain important aspects of it).  Ideally we will at some point have good neurological explanations for artistic creation, which will rely on evolution for part of the complete explanation.

This brings up an important fact:  triumphant IDists would likely impede investigation into what intelligence is and why it is the way that we find it to be--even if only by suggesting that intelligence is some kind of "universal constant" or "law".  We don't even explain design, today, without resort to causal factors beyond the former black box of the brain.  IDists analogize wildly to God, but then they fail utterly to be able to identify factors, like evolution, that would constrain God's designs.  So while we are unwilling to stop with "design" as an explanation anywhere, IDists insist that this is the end of the matter, that God designs in a certain way because of his will, or some such thing.

Anyway, I became sidetracked in these issues, but the important point is that Afdave thinks of "Cause" in the pre-scientific analogical sense, while we insist on at least tentative causes throughout.  We are not going to know every cause, of course, but if we could not find causes of evolution in the genome/environment, we would have to abandon evolution as an explanation.

We know how many mutations are caused, and we know a good deal about natural selection.  We have dealt with the causes, we have connected them, and we have shown how evolution proceeds, at least in considerable part.  It would not do to just invoke "RM + NS" as some grand "Cause", rather science has worked out how it happens, if questions remain.  Science extends these conclusions to fossils and "genomic fossils", but only because both fossils and genomes fit the pattern expected from RM + NS, the patterns observed in HIV evolution.  Thus it is a very reasonable extrapolation.

Dave doesn't like macroevolution, claiming that it has not "been seen".  Since, however, macroevolution is predicted to be produced by largely known mechanisms, therefore to produce the sorts of fossils, nested hierarchies, and genomes that we see, it is fair to say that we have observed it, since we are surrounded by it and are a part of it.

What he wants is some sort of "evidence" for macroevolution beyond the proximate causes that we know.  But science wants proximal causes for evolution, including "macroevolution", and this is what it finds.  This is all that it can be expected to find, since it insists on using proximally linked causes in its evidence, as opposed to the philosophizing about the "Grand Cause".  We have found the mechanisms of evolution, and the patterns to be expected from "RM + NS" (plus other mechanisms of "selection" and bottlenecking).

The genetic material we found is what was needed for evolution, and what would seem unlikely for a perfect creation to have in it.  That is to say, we have found the proximate causes of "macroevolution" operating.  This was needful, but evolution passed this test.  

Dave wants something like God to explain "macroevolution", otoh, because he equates evolution with his origins myth.  No, we do not accept Causes that are not seen to be acting, we accept the mutations and selections of those mutations as the sort of mechanism that evolution demands and requires, both as a science of proximal causes, and as a theory peculiar to biology.

Could something be intervening in the course of evolution?  See, here is where it is appropriate to demand evidence for "macroevolution".  We don't know what might have intervened in the past, but we know that something could have.  Hence, evidence is required for past "macroevolution" if it is going to be properly accepted.  Since we've found such evidence in abundance, some through predictive (and other) paleontology, and much more in the genomes of organisms, we have high confidence that the proximal causes necessary for evolution that we have identified happening, also happened in the past (or at least any other mechanisms left essentially the same pattern of derivation).

We have our proximate causes, then.  The IDists/creationists have no cause at all, but only an analogy that on the face of it appears flawed, and which more tellingly cannot be backed up through evidence for active proximal causes.  Evolution is active today, while any number of IDists and creationists claim that the proximal causes of "type creation" are lost to the past.  We can and do demonstrate how changes occur, but the IDist cannot demonstrate how anything was "caused by the designer".
Posted by: normdoering on May 05 2006,10:02

Quote (normdoering @ May 05 2006,11:25)
Try searching for "Big Bang Argument for the Existence of God," "Teleology," "Prime Mover."
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


If this news turns out to be true, even the shaky foundation Meyer built his argument on is shot down:

'Cyclic universe' can explain cosmological constant
< http://www.newscientistspace.com/article.ns?id=dn9114&print=true >
Posted by: afdave on May 06 2006,04:55



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
If you learned that a car company puts all their money in advertising and publicity, to show how cool their cars are, and NOTHING in research to make them better and safer -in fact, they don't have an R&D department at all- would you buy a car from them?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

No, I would not buy the car.  And I do realize that ICR has a limited research department and I think AIG and DI probably have none at all ... doesn't matter because the fact is that THE DATA IS THE DATA, regardless of the source.  Creationists really don't care a hoot about the beliefs of the guy digging up the fossil or mapping the genome or what have you.  What we are interested in is the INTERPRETATION of the data.  And we do realize that you need qualified experts in many fields to be able to INTELLIGENTLY analyze the data.  At this point in my study of the whole origins debate, it is too early for me to be able to say with strong assurance that ICR and AIG and DI have well qualified experts in many fields.  I have assumed they did in past years without drilling into them in great detail.  Now that I have begun this very detailed investigation, I have found one major goof (or lie, not sure which yet) by Carl Wieland (the chimp chromosome thing).  If I find a lot of these types of wrong information, obviously I will begin to question the reliability of the whole organization, question their motives, etc.  This has not yet occurred, but I'm sure you will help me on this quest.  That is one reason I am here and not debating over at DI (as someone has suggested).

AF Dave said ...


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
It's meaningless for explaining the ORIGIN of immune system.  I'm sure its quite meaningful at explaining HOW THE IMMUNE SYSTEM WORKS.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Faid responded ...


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Um Dave, I dunno what AIG says, but the research presented in the trial was about the evolution of the immune system. <
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


So let us look at the relevant testimony because this is very important that there be no misunderstanding ...


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Q. We'll get back to that. Now, these articles rebut your assertion that scientific literature has no answers on the origin of the vertebrate immune system?
A. No, they certainly do not. My answer, or my argument is that the literature has no detailed rigorous explanations for how complex biochemical systems could arise by a random mutation and natural selection and these articles do not address that.
Q. So these are not good enough?
A. They're wonderful articles. They're very interesting. They simply just don't address the question that I pose.
Q. And these are not the only articles on the evolution of vertebrate immune system?
A. There are many articles.
Q. Okay. So there's at least fifty more articles discussing the evolution of the immune system?
A. And midpoint I am, I certainly haven't had time to look through these fifty articles, but I still am unaware of any that address my point that the immune system could arise or that present in a detailed rigorous fashion a scenario for the evolution by random mutation and natural selection of the immune system.
Q. Is that your position today that these articles aren't good enough, you need to see a step-by-step description?
A. These articles are excellent articles I assume. However, they do not address the question that I am posing. So it's not that they aren't good enough. It's simply that they are addressed to a different subject.
Q. And I'm correct when I asked you, you would need to see a step-by-step description of how the immune system, vertebrate immune system developed?
A. Not only would I need a step-by-step, mutation by mutation analysis, I would also want to see relevant information such as what is the population size of the organism in which these mutations are occurring, what is the selective value for the mutation, are there any detrimental effects of the mutation, and many other such questions.
Q. And you haven't undertaken to try and figure out those?
A. I am not confident that the immune system arose through Darwinian processes, and so I do not think that such a study would be fruitful.
Q. Origin and Evolution of the Vertebrate Immune System, by Pasquier. Evolution and Vertebrate Immunity, by Kelso. The Primordial Vrm System and the Evolution of Vertebrate Immunity, by Stewart. The Phylogenesis of Immune Functions, by Warr. The Evolutionary Mechanisms of Defense Reactions, by Vetvicka. Immunity and Evolution, Marchalonias. Immunology of Animals, by Vetvicka. You need some room here. Can you confirm these are books about the evolution of the immune system?
A. Most of them have evolution or related words in the title, so I can confirm that, but what I strongly doubt is that any of these address the question in a rigorous detailed fashion of how the immune system or irreducibly complex components of it could have arisen by random mutation and natural selection.
Q. And the fifty-eight articles, some yes, some no?
A. Well, the nice thing about science is that often times when you read the latest articles, or a sampling of the latest articles, they certainly include earlier results. So you get up to speed pretty quickly. You don't have to go back and read every article on a particular topic for the last fifty years or so.
Q. And you conclude from them that certain structures are irreducibly complex that could not have evolved through natural selection, and therefore are intelligently designed?
A. I conclude from them that we see very detailed molecular machinery in the cell, that it strongly looks like a purposeful arrangement of parts, that in fact a purposeful arrangement of parts is a hallmark of intelligent design. I surveyed the literature and I see no Darwinian explanations for such things. And when one applies one's own reasoning to see how such things would be addressed within a Darwinian framework it's very difficult to see how they would, and so one concludes that one explanation, Darwinian processes, doesn't seem to have a good answer, but that another explanation, intelligent design, does seem to fit better.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


After reading through this, I think my statement above is valid, but could be stronger and more clear, so let me add to it.

The stack of 50+ books are meaningless for explaining the ORIGIN of immune system.  I'm sure they quite meaningful at explaining how the immune system works and I'm sure they are quite full of SINCERE ATTEMPTS to explain the origin of the immune system.

There ... is that better?  If you read the testimony above, this is what Behe is saying and I strongly agree with him.  Again, let's reiterate what Behe (and I) (and all Creationists) are looking for ...

A. Not only would I need a step-by-step, mutation by mutation analysis, I would also want to see relevant information such as what is the population size of the organism in which these mutations are occurring, what is the selective value for the mutation, are there any detrimental effects of the mutation, and many other such questions.

Notice also that Behe (and I) think that spending one's time to search for this is, to put it politely as Behe did, UNFRUITFUL.  I can think of many other, less polite adjectives to describe the wisdom of attempting such a search, but I'm trying to practice what I preach and be nice, so I will refrain, but you get the idea.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
PS. the question mark in "ID?Creos" was supposed to be a slash, but I like it better that way. "ID? Nah, Creos".
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Cute.  And I happen to agree with you on this point.  And I do have my own version:  Evos? Nah, Flat-earthers. :-) Just kidding here.  I know everyone here is very intelligent even though I disagree with some of your interpretations.

Renier--  Thanks for the analysis of the Vitamin C issue.  You are correct that this requires careful analysis.  I will be taking some time to do just that starting with what you have written.


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
The reason, Dave is that most people are stupid.  Yes, that's right.  Stupid.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

I would agree that the advent of government involvement in education in Western society has, in fact been a colossal failure.    I might take this opportunity to point out, though, that even with private schools, self study, excellent colleges and the like, it appears that much learning does not always yield smarts, unfortunately.  Or maybe the better term would be wisdom instead of smarts. There have been many people down through history who had much learning, but did incredibly unwise things or made incredibly unwise statements--  Galileo's opponents being a case in point. I believe--but have not proven yet to my satisfaction (it's still a hypothesis)--that this exact situation exists today with Neo-Darwinists.  They have much learning and know many facts and possess much knowledge, but in my opinion are making incredibly unwise statements when they assert that "flippers came from feet" and "we see life because of abiogenesis millions of years ago", etc.  This by itself is very unwise, but then to go further and not only assert things which don't make sense to a lot of people, but also vilify others who try to propose alternatives that they honestly feel DO make sense, is INCREDIBLY UNWISE to me. In my opinion, there are hordes of Neo-Darwinists sitting on a very thin branch, with the "saw" of scientific evidence slowly cutting through it, the ID/Creo people are offering an escape ladder, and the ND's are spitting on them.  


RICHARD DAWKINS MISIDENTIFIES "DUCKS"

I will repeat my quote of Richard Dawkins because (a) I am NOT "quote mining" (maybe I should just quote the whole chapter?) and (b) it is worth repeating because it drives home my point so well.  Dawkins spends an entire chapter on bat echolation in The Blind Watchmaker and then says

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
 
I hope the reader is as awestruck as I am, and as William Paley would have been, by these bat stories.  My aim has been in one respect identical to Paley's aim.  I do not want the reader to underestimate the prodigious works of nature and the problems we face explaining them. (p. 37)
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


then he says

---------------------QUOTE-------------------

We have seen that living things are too improbable and too beautifully 'designed' to have come into existence by chance. (p. 43)
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


This is HUGE and I do not want my readers to miss this. Here is one of "world's most brilliant minds) (according to some vote) spending AN ENTIRE CHAPTER  ON A SINGLE WONDER OF NATURE -- Bat Echolocation and admitting that he is "awestruck" and does not underestimate the "prodigious work of nature" and "the problems we face explaining them."  After standing in awe of this stuff, he then spends the next 9 chapters telling us why this is not ACTUAL design, but APPARENT DESIGN ... i.e. "It LOOKS like a duck, WALKS like a duck, QUACKS like a duck, but let me spend the next NINE CHAPTERS trying to convince you that it's NOT a duck **cough**   **retch**   **die**

This is HUGE, folks, and we are just getting started.  I will make this prediciton ... there will come a day soon when the name of Darwin and all his disciples, like Richard Dawkins will be relegated to the ashheap of scientists whose theories were wrong and whose name people remember, not for the good they did, but for the prodigious blunder they made.

Glen Davidson ...

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
We're herd animals, and we are intelligent herd animals for the most part.
Afdave **cough** (I meant to say the Neo-Darwinist) illustrates this fact over and over again.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------





---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Look at Afdave's argument.  Clearly it is fallacious by any standard, but it is also carefully drawn (though it was hardly invented by Afdave) to avoid the fact that the only explanation for current and fossil forms of life that has managed to cross borders, religions, ethnic groups, politics, and intellectual inheritances, is evolutionary theory.  Russian atheists, American Catholics and mainline Protestants, scientists, intellectuals, Japanese Shintoists (initially, anyhow, though I don't know if Shinto holds up well alongside modern science), Muslim thinkers, Hindus, Jainists, and traditional religionists like native Americans, have all been able to comprehend and accept the evidence for evolution.
Herd thought?[YES]
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

You guessed it, Glen.  My thought exactly. (Attention Quote Mine Police:  Glen really said "No" -- I'm putting words in his mouth)


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Evolutionary theory is extraordinarily successful by the standards of any startup of a new religion.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Yes.  And so was Islam.  And your point is?  Possibly that this means AF Dave should accept it as true?  I see.


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
The only universally-acceptable origins-of-life idea is evolutionary theory
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

never mind the small detail that no one has the slightest idea how it arose.  Francis Crick was so perplexed that he proposed "Panspermia".  

Chris Hyland ...

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Biological systems only trivially appear to be designed.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Trivial?  How does this mesh with the fact that Richard Dawkins wrote an ENTIRE BOOK trying to tell people that this stuff IS NOT designed.  Answer: A LOT of people think this stuff at least APPEARS designed.  To me, this is in no way trivial.

Glen Davidson ...

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Well, you're too stupid and ignorant even to respond to my authoritative analysis, moron ... If you ever can make an intelligent remark, please do so, cretin ... There is virtually no chance that you will ever be anything except a stupid and ignorant little ape, Dave.  The biggest reason of all is that you only sneer at expertise of all kinds, while clinging to your tiny collection of knowledge as if it were Eternal Truth, as do all bigots.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Wow Glen, if words could kill! Have you found this debating technique to be effective for you?


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
However, real scientists do not care a fig about Dawkins' incorrect notions about life "appearing designed", for on the face of it, life does not appear designed.  I will grant that it may appear "miraculous" or "spiritual", depending on definitions and contexts, but it does not appear designed.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Are you telling me that Richard Dawkins is not a real scientist?


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
The most truly embarrassing thing is that religious apologists like Afdave think that life looks designed like machines.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Why don't you call Bruce Alberts, President of the National Academy of Sciences and tell him he is an embarrasment to you.  Here is his quote again ...

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
We have always underestimated cells . . . . The entire cell can be viewed as a factory that contains an elaborate network of interlocking assembly lines, each of which is composed of a set of large protein machines . . . Why do we call the large protein assemblies that underlie cell function protein [ba]machines?[/b] Precisely because, like machines invented by humans to deal efficiently with the macroscopic world these protein assemblies contain highly coordinated moving parts (Alberts, Bruce. 1998. The Cell as a Collection of Protein Machines: Preparing the NextGeneration of Molecular Biologists. Cell 92 (8 February): 291-94).
---------------------QUOTE-------------------




---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Do you want medical testing to be done on our relatives, the apes, or would you prefer that it be done on birds?  And can you think through the implications of why medical testing is done on monkeys and apes just prior to humans, or are you going to just drivel on in your ignorance and prejudice?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

If you read what I wrote, you will see that I acknowledge that human BODIES are very similar to the apes.  I even acknowledge that Chromosome 2 in humans does in fact appear to be fused from 2 chromosomes in chimps.  But to me it is a different matter  then to say definitively that they did in fact fuse.  Also, let me reiterate what I have said before that my hypothesis regarding humans and apes is that humans have something additional, something invisible, that is very different from the apes, and that this difference is quite crucial. I will be presenting evidence for this soon.

Norm Doering ...

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Meyer doesn't warrant special attention in a search term because his arguments are stolen from old and moldy arguments that were refuted before he made them. Try searching for "Big Bang Argument for the Existence of God," "Teleology," "Prime Mover."
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Or maybe the reason is because no one HAS BEEN ABLE to refute him?  I searched the archive below and found nothing that refutes Meyer's "Cosmic Fine Tuning" argument.  In fact, the article from Talk Origins that I posted does not in any way attempt to refute it.  Don't you think this would be the FIRST thing they do if it could be refuted?

Talk Origins Index to Creationist Claims
CE400: Cosmology
(see also CI300: Anthropic principle)
CE401. There are too few supernova remnants for an old universe.
CE410. Physical constants are only assumed constant.
CE411. The speed of light has changed.
CE411.1. Physicists found that the speed of light was once faster.
CE412. Gravitational time dilation made distant clocks run faster.
(see also CF210: Radiometric dating assumes constant rates.)
CE420. The big bang theory is wrong.
CE421. The cosmos has an axis, contrary to big bang models.
CE425. Red shift comes from light aging, not expansion of the universe.
CE440. Where did space, time, energy, and laws of physics come from?
CE441. Explosions such as the big bang do not produce order or information.

You are going to have to better than send me off on a Google hunt if you want me to believe that "Cosmic Fine Tuning" has been refuted.  Try refuting me point by point with linked support.


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Spacetime, the fabric of the universe isn't really nothing. Look up the term "Casimir effect."
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

I agree.  The term is used by Creationists out of convenience and the need to use SOME word.  Maybe we should say "apparent nothing."


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Nothing is explained by proposing an unknown entity with unknown powers. You're explaining the known in terms  of the unknown.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Yes, actually it is ... quite well.  Remember my example of the native who has never seen an airplane  before?  He proposes an unknown (the Cessna factory) to explain the new phenomenon (the airplane) in terms THAT HE ALREADY KNOWS (canoes), hence his fairly accurate statement considering his limited observation and experience, "A brilliant sky-canoe maker must have built this!"  Would you like more examples?


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Religions, at least those of Judeo-Christian family, must start with a core metaphysical assumption about mind (of an entity with will, planning, intention, foresight and understanding) being the primordial stuff and cause of the universe.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

My discussion has nothing to do with religion and I do not consider myself to be religious.  I am trying to explain the phenomena in the universe by the most sensible explanations.  Religion to me is man made stuffy ritual ... robes, candles, homina-hominas and the like.  Would it surprise you to know that I don't think God is religious?  Or Jesus either?  Well ... that's my opinion.


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Creation myths are teleological and naturalism undermines teleology by finding non-mind, (rules of material interaction without any mind stuff like choice, will or intention coming into play), as an explanation.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

There are in fact many creation myths.  But my opinion is that there is only one true, earliest, eyewitness account from which all the myths were then derived with various levels of deletions, modifications and embellishments.  

Secondly, naturalism only undermines teleology if it explains the evidence BETTER.  It is my goal of this exercise to show you that Teleology is in fact the better, more sensible explanation.

Faid said ...

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
The anthropic principle is examined thoroughly in the very talkorigins page you quoted
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Really?  Where?  Could you cut and paste the section?  I looked and did not find it.  Also, why would not the author have refuted the section I quoted if he thought he could have?


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
As for your "biological machines" argument, this has been demonstrated repeatedly to be based on loaded terms: Labelling living things "machines" to argue that they are designed, presupposes that they are designed.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

I propose that the labeling is complained about only by those who have no other way to complain that their view might be questioned, i.e. they don't have anything sensible to counter with, so they have to say crazy things like "your terms are loaded."  As for my calling them machines, talk to Bruce Alberts, President of the National Academy of Sciences.  He is more of an authority than I.  Also, let me correct you ... I do not PRE-suppose design.  I PROPOSE design, then test the validity to see if it is the best among competing hypotheses.  There is a BIG difference.


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
With the same logic, we should argue that those round volcanic rocks were the marbles of giants, because they look like big stone marbles. Now, the reasons those rocks are round are pretty much the same (as far as the fundamental laws of physics are concerned) with the reasons marbles are made round- but that is no proof that they are, in fact, marbles -as I'm sure you agree.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

I do agree.  But have ever studied the differences between marble/round rocks and biological machines?  I don't think you need to study this b/c this is obvious.  This is not a valid refutation of my argument.

Eric Murphy ...

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Actually, Dave, the differences between humans and chimps, compared to e.g. the differences between humans and bacteria, are practically invisible. Humans are basically taller, balder, weaker, and smarter chimps. I fail to understand why this presents a problem for you.If you want to say there are spiritual differences between a human and chimp that amount to some sort of unbridgeable gulf, that's fine, but you're not talking about science anymore (to the extent you ever were).
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

The proper definition of science should include trying to explain the phenomena in the universe, where ever that may lead.  If it leads us to invisible entities, why is that a problem?  Are not quarks invisible and rather abstract and hard to define?  Ditto for multiple universes, the Casimir Effect and a host of other things?

Norm quoted someone who said ...

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Since then, biologists have proposed gradual, stepwise pathways for all six of those systems. (Behe's supposedly irreducibly complex systems)
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Yes. After Behe's book they tried.  But even if there were a few before, they were unconvincing attempts.  See discussion above RE: Dover testimony.  Here's an example of a failed (in my opinion) attempt.  You see if YOU think the attempt was successful.


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
One plausible path for the evolution of flagella goes through the following basic stages (keep in mind that this is a summary, and that each major co-option event would be followed by long periods of gradual optimization of function):

a. A passive, nonspecific pore evolves into a more specific passive pore by addition of gating protein(s). [How?  In detail please.  By magic?  By what selective pressure?  What mutation or transposition of what gene(s)?] Passive transport converts to active transport by addition of an ATPase [Ditto above questions]that couples ATP hydrolysis to improved export capability. This complex forms a primitive type-III export system.

b. The type-III export system is converted to a type-III secretion system (T3SS) by addition of outer membrane pore proteins (secretin and secretin chaperone) from the type-II secretion system. These eventually form the P- and L-rings, respectively, of modern flagella. The modern type-III secretory system forms a structure strikingly similar to the rod and ring structure of the flagellum (Hueck 1998; Blocker et al. 2003).

[How?  In detail please.  By magic?  By what selective pressure?  What mutation or transposition of what gene(s)?]

c. The T3SS secretes several proteins, one of which is an adhesin (a protein that sticks the cell to other cells or to a substrate). Polymerization of this adhesin forms a primitive pilus, an extension that gives the cell improved adhesive capability. After the evolution of the T3SS pilus, the pilus diversifies for various more specialized tasks by duplication and subfunctionalization of the pilus proteins (pilins).

[How?  In detail please.  By magic?  By what selective pressure?  What mutation or transposition of what gene(s)?]

d. An ion pump complex with another function in the cell fortuitously becomes associated with the base of the secretion system structure, converting the pilus into a primitive protoflagellum. The initial function of the protoflagellum is improved dispersal. Homologs of the motor proteins MotA and MotB are known to function in diverse prokaryotes independent of the flagellum.

[How?  In detail please.  By magic?  By what selective pressure?  What mutation or transposition of what gene(s)?]

e. The binding of a signal transduction protein to the base of the secretion system regulates the speed of rotation depending on the metabolic health of the cell. This imposes a drift toward favorable regions and away from nutrient-poor regions, such as those found in overcrowded habitats. This is the beginning of chemotactic motility.

[How?  In detail please.  By magic?  By what selective pressure?  What mutation or transposition of what gene(s)?]

f. Numerous improvements follow the origin of the crudely functioning flagellum. Notably, many of the different axial proteins (rod, hook, linkers, filament, caps) originate by duplication and subfunctionalization of pilins or the primitive flagellar axial structure. These proteins end up forming the axial protein family.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Do I make my point clear?  This is the point Behe was trying to make in the trial.   Let me repeat his statement from above ...

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
A. Not only would I need a step-by-step, mutation by mutation analysis, I would also want to see relevant information such as what is the population size of the organism in which these mutations are occurring, what is the selective value for the mutation, are there any detrimental effects of the mutation, and many other such questions...Q. And you haven't undertaken to try and figure out those?
A. I am not confident that the immune system arose through Darwinian processes, and so I do not think that such a study would be fruitful.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



improvius quote mined me ...

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
There is really one really big thing I resent.  And that is the idea that humans are nothing more than highly evolved animals.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

and left out the last part that said I also believe this to be a factual error.  It is true that I get somewhat emotional, but the emotion is generated BECAUSE I believe there is some great error in ND thinking.  I've notice some of this emotion going the other direction on this thread as well, have you not?  It is understandable on both sides of the debate ... we are human, not rocks, thus we have emotions.

Glen said ...

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
What Afdave fails to recognize in the area of origins is the importance of establishing proximate causes, of showing how one event causes another one.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

What I am doing, Glen, is showing everyone why MY proposed proximate cause makes more sense than YOUR proposed proximate cause for explaining the phenomena in the universe.


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
But what we need for any ID hypothesis is a designer who has been shown to design items similar to organisms.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Well, I cannot show Him to you any more than you can show me a fruitfly evolving into a "housefly type insect" or a "foot becoming a flipper."


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
This is because animals are very different from machines, even at a cursory glance.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Yes, but the key difference is that they are SO SO SO SO much more sophisticated.  Ask Bill Gates ...

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
DNA is like a computer program, but far, far more advanced than any software we ve ever created (The Road Ahead,1996: 228).
---------------------QUOTE-------------------




---------------------QUOTE-------------------
What is more, we aren't even satisfied with "intelligence" as a "reason" for human-made machines and art, rather we typically appeal to psychology, evolution, and social causation to explain why and how art is made (as in all historical sciences, we can't fully explain Sumerian art, but we can explain important aspects of it).
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

You're kidding, right?  I will let you take this one back if you want to and I won't even bring it up again.


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
This brings up an important fact:  triumphant IDists would likely impede investigation into what intelligence is and why it is the way that we find it to be--even if only by suggesting that intelligence is some kind of "universal constant" or "law".  
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Your implication that IDists are not progressive in science?  What about Galileo, Newton, Hooke, Brahe, Copernicus and Huygens?  They all believed in Design.  Were they anti-progressive?


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
IDists analogize wildly to God, but then they fail utterly to be able to identify factors, like evolution, that would constrain God's designs.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

 What?  Constrain God's design?  Creationists accept Designed Adaptation that you call evolution.  Maybe I'm not following you.


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
but if we could not find causes of evolution in the genome/environment, we would have to abandon evolution as an explanation.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Yes. I predict this will happen soon.  


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Dave doesn't like macroevolution, claiming that it has not "been seen".  Since, however, macroevolution is predicted to be produced by largely known mechanisms, therefore to produce the sorts of fossils, nested hierarchies, and genomes that we see, it is fair to say that we have observed it, since we are surrounded by it and are a part of it.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

No.  You have NOT observed it. You have observed what you THINK is evidence for it, but I will show you in time why this fails.


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
No, we do not accept Causes that are not seen to be acting, we accept the mutations and selections of those mutations as the sort of mechanism that evolution demands and requires, both as a science of proximal causes, and as a theory peculiar to biology.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Yes.  You DO accept Causes that are not seen to be acting.  Again, no one has seen feet evolve into flippers, etc.


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
We have our proximate causes, then.  The IDists/creationists have no cause at all, but only an analogy that on the face of it appears flawed, and which more tellingly cannot be backed up through evidence for active proximal causes.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

No.  You don't have your proximate causes, then.  You don't even have an analogy.  We at least have an analogy from our experience.  To me, this is far more scientific.


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
If this news turns out to be true, even the shaky foundation Meyer built his argument on is shot down:

'Cyclic universe' can explain cosmological constant
[URL=http://www.newscientistspace.com/article....ue]http >
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Thanks.  I'll check it out.

And with that, I'll leave you with this parting nugget from Talk Origins ...



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Furthermore, we are beginning to understand the possible physical mechanisms for the appearance of matter from nothing [hmmm... seems like Creationists have said something about this before], and for organization without design.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


[url="http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/cosmo.html"]

May God bless all of you (including Glen)!  And have a great weekend!
Posted by: Occam's Aftershave on May 06 2006,05:32

AFDave says



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I welcome your intelligent comments.  I qualify comments with the modifier 'intelligent' because I have now pretty much heard everything un-intelligent that there is to hear including but not limited to Glen Davidson's detailed and authoritative "Psychoanalysis of AF Dave" (thankyou, Glen ... I have to pay $300/hr for those here in Kansas City),
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



What you really mean is "I welcome all those comments that I can spin and/or tap dance around.  The other 95% are tough questions that show me to be mind-numbingly naive and ignorant.  Those I'll just ignore".



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Aftershave's continual attempts to supposedly "Look out for a poor-deluded fellow EE and help him avoid 'getting his ass handed to him'".  
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Hasn't worked though, has it.  Every day we see another steaming plate of deef fried AFDave cheeks being delivered. :)

Oh well, don't take it personally Dave.  You're not the first arrogant but hopelessly ignorant YEC to come through here, and you won't be the last.  Isn't this a great country where even an ex AF pilot can make himself look like a total idiot on a public forum!

Strike three Dave, you're out.
Posted by: normdoering on May 06 2006,06:23

Quote (afdave @ May 06 2006,09:55)
If I find a lot of these types of wrong information, obviously I will begin to question the reliability of the whole organization, question their motives, etc.  This has not yet occurred, but I'm sure you will help me on this quest.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Go ahead and dig up more.

Find some more articles on those sites that you find convincing and we'll dig out the lies and show them to you.

That appears to be the only thing you understand in your current state of ignorance.
Posted by: normdoering on May 06 2006,06:44

Quote (afdave @ May 06 2006,09:55)
The stack of 50+ books are meaningless for explaining the ORIGIN of immune system.  I'm sure they quite meaningful at explaining how the immune system works and I'm sure they are quite full of SINCERE ATTEMPTS to explain the origin of the immune system.

There ... is that better?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Nope. It's worse than before and shows you haven't comprehended the first thing about how science actually works.

Check out this article, it gives a summary of the immune system evolution articles Behe dismissed:
< http://www2.ncseweb.org/kvd....ib.html >

Behe is dependent on a scientifically unreasonable burden of proof for the theory of evolution. A step-by-step, mutation by mutation, analysis is hardly necessary to establish the evolution of the system when you have comparative immunology, some observed point mutations, known mechanisms for immunological diseases and more.
Posted by: normdoering on May 06 2006,07:59

Quote (afdave @ May 06 2006,09:55)
Or maybe the reason is because no one HAS BEEN ABLE to refute him?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


You seem to have missed the link where I showed Quentin Smith refuting Meyer in 1992, before Meyer wrote his article.

Smith credits the old argument to Richard Swinburne, John Leslie and William Lane Craig -- not Meyers.

Here it is again:
< http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/quentin_smith/bigbang.html >
Posted by: normdoering on May 06 2006,08:12

Quote (afdave @ May 06 2006,09:55)
My discussion has nothing to do with religion and I do not consider myself to be religious.  I am trying to explain the phenomena in the universe by the most sensible explanations.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Riiighhht, that's why you include Noah's flood in your origins hypothesis.

That's why you go to Answers in Genesis for your arguments.

That's why you call the "Intelligent Designer" God.

Have you ever though about what intelligence is? Have you ever thought about what your intelligence is? Do you know what "design" is?

Maybe evolution is intelligent. How do you define intelligence? How can you say evolution isn't intelligent? What is  it lacking?

Did you know there are mathematical relationships  between neural net models and evolutionary programming?

Do you even know what a neural net is?

Do you know what you're talking about when you talk about "intelligence" or "design"? If you don't, then you are using the unknown (to you) to explain the known.
Posted by: Glen Davidson on May 06 2006,09:10



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
We're herd animals, and we are intelligent herd animals for the most part.

AF
Afdave **cough** (I meant to say the Neo-Darwinist) illustrates this fact over and over again.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



You think that's witty, or an intelligent response?



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Look at Afdave's argument.  Clearly it is fallacious by any standard, but it is also carefully drawn (though it was hardly invented by Afdave) to avoid the fact that the only explanation for current and fossil forms of life that has managed to cross borders, religions, ethnic groups, politics, and intellectual inheritances, is evolutionary theory.  Russian atheists, American Catholics and mainline Protestants, scientists, intellectuals, Japanese Shintoists (initially, anyhow, though I don't know if Shinto holds up well alongside modern science), Muslim thinkers, Hindus, Jainists, and traditional religionists like native Americans, have all been able to comprehend and accept the evidence for evolution.
Herd thought?

AF
[YES]

AF
You guessed it, Glen.  My thought exactly. (Attention Quote Mine Police:  Glen really said "No" -- I'm putting words in his mouth)
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Wow, you can take a statement and turn the accusation around.  All the while not supporting your dishonest claims.  Of course you have supported virtually no non-trivial claim heretofore.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Evolutionary theory is extraordinarily successful by the standards of any startup of a new religion.  

AF
Yes.  And so was Islam.  And your point is?  


---------------------QUOTE-------------------



I made my point, which is that evolutionary theory is successful in a universal sense.  Too bad you can't read anything above high school level, and have to conflate the biased myths that I clearly differentiated, remaining in your ignorance and bigotry.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
AF
Possibly that this means AF Dave should accept it as true?  I see.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



You are just about that stupid, aren't you?  I, of course, would never argue so stupidly, but then you can hardly understand a discussion about ideas and how and why some are successful, and how and why other ideas are successful.  I laid it all out, and you completely missed the point.  It's the difference between understanding and not understanding, and you have an immensely long way to go to begin to understand the dynamics of evidence-based systems of thought vs. the dynamics of the mythic beliefs of a religion.

I'll try once more (really more for the benefit of other readers, though):  Why do you suppose that a number of Muslims accept evolution, while they do not accept your beliefs?  And for once think, don't just react.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
The only universally-acceptable origins-of-life idea is evolutionary theory

AF
never mind the small detail that no one has the slightest idea how it arose.  Francis Crick was so perplexed that he proposed "Panspermia".  
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Take a remedial reading course, Dave.  In that context I was obviously referring to evolution as the "origins-of-life idea", not to abiogenesis.  There is not enough to abiogenesis to claim that there is a theory that is "universally-acceptable".

The reason "origins-of-life" can refer to evolution is that a term like "life's origins" is ambiguous.  "Origins-of-life" may refer to either the origins of life in the beginning, or to the origins of the various forms of life.

I never know whether it is your incompetence or your intellectual dishonesty that leads you to such distortions of what another has written.  I'm guessing that the two failings sort of merge within your incomprehension.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
[Chris]Biological systems only trivially appear to be designed.

AF
Trivial?  How does this mesh with the fact that Richard Dawkins wrote an ENTIRE BOOK trying to tell people that this stuff IS NOT designed.  Answer: A LOT of people think this stuff at least APPEARS designed.  To me, this is in no way trivial.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Dawkins makes the mistake of writing that life appears designed, but he competently and extensively shows how it is not, based upon evidence.  You know, Dave, evidence, that concept which remains foreign to you after all of the times that it has been requested and discussed.

So you utilize the fallacies that you know to use, argumentum ad populum and argumentum ad verecundiam.  Thus revealing your inability to discuss anything non-trivial yet again.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Well, you're too stupid and ignorant even to respond to my authoritative analysis, moron ... If you ever can make an intelligent remark, please do so, cretin ... There is virtually no chance that you will ever be anything except a stupid and ignorant little ape, Dave.  The biggest reason of all is that you only sneer at expertise of all kinds, while clinging to your tiny collection of knowledge as if it were Eternal Truth, as do all bigots.

AF
Wow Glen, if words could kill! Have you found this debating technique to be effective for you?

---------------------QUOTE-------------------



It is the only thing that does work with bigots who pretend to discuss matters that they don't begin to understand.  Unfortunately, it only jolts a few mules into giving up their obstinate prejudices long enough to consider the evidence.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
However, real scientists do not care a fig about Dawkins' incorrect notions about life "appearing designed", for on the face of it, life does not appear designed.  I will grant that it may appear "miraculous" or "spiritual", depending on definitions and contexts, but it does not appear designed.  

AF
Are you telling me that Richard Dawkins is not a real scientist?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Was Physics Today telling us that Einstein was not a real scientist when it discussed several of Einstein's errors?  And, can you even understand an intelligent string of material without coming to some unwarranted conclusion, or unwarranted tentative conclusion?

One thing that you so desperately lack is any comprehension that arguments from authority are essentially meaningless.  This is not always the case, because of course we rely on competent "authorities" even to relate empirical evidence to us.  However, in the matter of Dawkins discussing "appearance of design", he is no expert on this matter, for he knows science, not the history of ideas, nor the phenomenological viewpoint (for instance).



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Why don't you call Bruce Alberts, President of the National Academy of Sciences and tell him he is an embarrasment to you.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

 

Why don't you learn to read Bruce Alberts properly, instead of getting this tidbit, coupled with ID prejudices, from the tendentious and dishonest creationist/ID sources?  You have, quite evidently incorrectly, claimed to be skeptical, while you swallow false implications and misrepresentations of people like Alberts, then repeat the pseudoscientists' dishonesty.  Many Xians believe these false claims to be against the 9th commandment.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Here is his quote again ... Quote  
We have always underestimated cells . . . . The entire cell can be viewed as a factory that contains an elaborate network of interlocking assembly lines, each of which is composed of a set of large protein machines . . . Why do we call the large protein assemblies that underlie cell function protein [ba]machines?[/b] Precisely because, like machines invented by humans to deal efficiently with the macroscopic world these protein assemblies contain highly coordinated moving parts (Alberts, Bruce. 1998. The Cell as a Collection of Protein Machines: Preparing the NextGeneration of Molecular Biologists. Cell 92 (8 February): 291-94).

---------------------QUOTE-------------------



How can I even discuss things with you, when you don't even know how Alberts is using those words?  You simply repeat the mistake you've made all along, confusing biological machines with human-made machines.  That the word is the same is the only thing you have going for you, and it doesn't even occur to you that the differences in the "machines" are considerable--not even when you are told this (you're too intellectually dishonest to give proper weight to an intelligent response).

I have not denied that biological machines are "machines" under reasonable definitions.  Your ignorance and intellectual dishonesty are not shared by more educated and understanding people, and it behooves you to become curious as to why this is the case.

Can't you even notice that his argument for calling them "machines" is a functional and coordination argument, and not one that mistakes biological machines as being designed?  Are you completely without the capacity to comprehend a new thought, or in any case, one not fed to you by liars?

I was recently reading in Science or Nature about teasing information out of cells.  One of the important issues brought up is that cells are not designed, meaning that it is not wise to presuppose that cellular automata will be like the machines we design.  

And indeed they are not.  Cellular parts are not compartmentalized or specialized to the degree that our designed machines are.  And crucially, cellular machines are derived (ultimately through genes), utilizing non-obvious solutions for the problems and opportunities that have arisen throughout evolution.  Cellular functions are also often redundant.  Guess, what, these things that I have mentioned in this paragraph are predicted (in context) by evolutionary theory, and they significantly deviate from designed structures.

Now explain that, for once.  I have mentioned this in various ways and places, but you stupidly use same semantic arguments again and again, as if we are as ignorant as you.  We, many of us, know the differences between biological machines and designed machines, and all of your incomprehension of how language is used, let alone your ignorance of science, only reinforces our sense of your profound ignorance.  

I read stuff somewhat like Alberts' bit all of the time.  There is nothing surprising in it, nor in your distortion of what Alberts was actually discussing.  It comes from your ignorant herd, and it repels us from your herd again and again.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Do you want medical testing to be done on our relatives, the apes, or would you prefer that it be done on birds?  And can you think through the implications of why medical testing is done on monkeys and apes just prior to humans, or are you going to just drivel on in your ignorance and prejudice?

AF
If you read what I wrote, you will see that I acknowledge that human BODIES are very similar to the apes.  
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



I read what you wrote.  Ninth commandment again.  Do you have any conscience at all?

If you comprehended what I wrote, you would deal with the implications of the similarity of ape and human bodies, rather than drivelling along ignorantly.  I asked a largely rhetorical question to set up the next one, then challenged you to think about the evidence intelligently, essentially predicting that you wouldn't.  And you didn't.




---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I even acknowledge that Chromosome 2 in humans does in fact appear to be fused from 2 chromosomes in chimps.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Yet you think that the claim that organisms "appear designed" has traction, when you admit that chromosome 2 appears to be fused.  IOW, life does not appear to be designed, certainly not in some of its parts, but you don't care about that, you simply repeat the claim.  

And even though chromosome 2 appears to have undergone an evolutionary change, you don't care about that side of the coin either.  "Appearances" matter in one case, even when appearances go against your claim about "design appearances", yet appearances are "meaningless" when they go against your prejudices.  You probably have sufficient native intelligence to do better than that, but your cognitive framework and unwillingness to question your a priori beliefs prevent you from using the standards that you (however poorly) tell us that we should use.

It may very well be that chromosome 2's fusion led to a speciation event.  That is to say, it is evidence consistent with theoretical macroevolutionary causation.  Which means that not only is it derived, it is one of those proximate causes that is necessary to effect RM + NS that we find in the genome(s).  Unlike your inability to show evidence of causal processes, we present causal processes to you.  You only deny them.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
But to me it is a different matter  then to say definitively that they did in fact fuse.  Also, let me reiterate what I have said before that my hypothesis regarding humans and apes is that humans have something additional, something invisible, that is very different from the apes, and that this difference is quite crucial. I will be presenting evidence for this soon.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



If you do present actual evidence, I'll be shocked.

And of course you're uninterested in what the evidence shows.  You have some great "hypothesis" (no doubt borrowed creationist/IDist tripe) that humans have something additional and invisible over the apes.  With the promised evidence that has proven so disappointing in the past.

You needn't bother to present your "evidence".  Like all of your "evidence", it is no doubt an unoriginal PRATT, one that we have seen too many times, and which is unconvincing even in more competent hands than your own.

Naturally, it'll be some magic that is "evidenced" by arguments that haven't been sound for over two centuries.  A soul, or some such claptrap.  Something that can be claimed without any real evidence, and thus is not exactly refutable in the way that empirical claims are.  At least you seem to be drifting away from scientific claims, as they have never proven to be your friends.

Do you think that we have gone to grad school for nothing, that an engineer is going to use assumptions from useless old philosophies and these tired old arguments are going to trump Nietzsche and other profound thinkers?  Or even if we did not know philosophy at all, that we would abandon the use of evidence to follow unevidenced claims and meaningless analogies to proclaim the old prejudices to be correct?

Btw, I see that you did not counter my post on the observed mechanisms of "macroevolution" with a post on the observed mechanisms of design.  I don't wonder why.
Posted by: normdoering on May 06 2006,09:59

Quote (Glen Davidson @ May 06 2006,14:10)


---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Trivial?  How does this mesh with the fact that Richard Dawkins wrote an ENTIRE BOOK trying to tell people that this stuff IS NOT designed.  Answer: A LOT of people think this stuff at least APPEARS designed.  To me, this is in no way trivial.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Dawkins makes the mistake of writing that life appears designed,...
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Is that a mistake?

What makes something appear designed or not appear designed?

What is design? What does it mean to design something?

If I use a genetic algorithm to "design" a radar system am I designing a radar system?

I would suggest the problem here is the vagueness of our language. I don't think Dawkins made a mistake.

It's not Dawkins' fault that afdave is a moron who just doesn't get it.
Posted by: Glen Davidson on May 06 2006,10:24

Well it does appear that you responded to my post on proximate causes.  I thought you might have, but without any fear of being wrong I could post that you didn't counter with a post on the observed mechanisms of design.  Instead, the same tedious BS is put out, with you never comprehending how you appear more and more inept and prejudiced with every incompetent statement.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
What Afdave fails to recognize in the area of origins is the importance of establishing proximate causes, of showing how one event causes another one.

AF
What I am doing, Glen, is showing everyone why MY proposed proximate cause makes more sense than YOUR proposed proximate cause for explaining the phenomena in the universe.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



What proximate cause?  You simply tell your little lie.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
But what we need for any ID hypothesis is a designer who has been shown to design items similar to organisms.

AF
Well, I cannot show Him to you any more than you can show me a fruitfly evolving into a "housefly type insect" or a "foot becoming a flipper."
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



I can show you a dinosaur becoming a bird.  That you won't recognize the evidence as evidence is part of your ineptitude.  Also, that it is evidence from the past is hardly important--all evidence inevitably comes from the past.  Your problem with past evidence is another thing that sets you apart from science.

I don't know whether we can precisely show a foot turning into a flipper.  Smaller bones don't fossilize well. Hardly matters, though.  Tiktaalik was found in a targeted search, not to find intermediates between fish and amphibians (we already had some of those) .per se, but to find an intermediate showing the evolution of legs from fins.  Deal with the evidence.

Again you show your ignorance in supposing that a fruitfly is supposed to be able to evolve into a housefly.  Perhaps it could (though not identical in genetic material), but it would probably be very difficult for any number of reasons.  

And it has been established that you don't care about the evidence that evolution has occurred, so you don't care that fruitflies and houseflies share many genes, and that they fit nicely into cladistic schemes.

Most importantly, yes, you cannot show "Him" to me, but you aren't interested in proximate causes.  That was my point.  And that you admit that you can't show "Him" to me belies your prior false claim of a proposed proximate cause.  Perhaps you are so dull or ignorant as to believe that an invisible and unobserved "entity" counts as a proximate cause in science, but that's your problem.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
This is because animals are very different from machines, even at a cursory glance.

AF
Yes, but the key difference is that they are SO SO SO SO much more sophisticated.  Ask Bill Gates ...
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



See, this is one of the problems with creationism/ID.  Never an original thought, an old PRATT from Bill Gates who is not well educated in biology.  I don't disagree with him as he meant it, true, but "sophisticated" has an anthropomorphic ring to it, and the term also belies the fact that much of adaptation isn't sophisticated in the design sense at all.

And of course you only consider your PRATT to be key, when biologists pay a good deal of attention to other aspects of the differences between life and designed objects.  Mere prejudice again, based in your incomprehension and gee whiz "facts" approach to "science".  That marks you as a functional dullard.

What is more, go ahead and consider the fact that life is so much more complicated, and realize that never ever have we observed a designer create anything like this.  So you have no observed designer, as I pointed out previously.  And you have the facts, though not the intelligence (at least not the educated intelligence) to deal with them sensibly, in order to conclude that no proximate "design" cause for life is known.

I have in many cases pointed out that, among other life aspects, the complexity of life is something that we have never observed intelligent agents to make.  It sort of knocks out your analogy, although we have yet to see you abandon an argument just because you have been shown to be wrong.

I suppose I should note that aliens may in fact make machines as complex as life, for all I know.  Even then we would likely be able to distinguish between those machines and life, for we have no expectation of aliens producing in ways that mimic the predictions of evolution (unless, of course, they mean to re-create life to see if they can, in which case we'd still probably do best calling it life (since it wasn't designed originally, but was only "designed" to mimic an evolved organism)).



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
What is more, we aren't even satisfied with "intelligence" as a "reason" for human-made machines and art, rather we typically appeal to psychology, evolution, and social causation to explain why and how art is made (as in all historical sciences, we can't fully explain Sumerian art, but we can explain important aspects of it).  

AF
You're kidding, right?  I will let you take this one back if you want to and I won't even bring it up again.

---------------------QUOTE-------------------



It's interesting that you are so ignorant that sophisticated argumentation seems ridiculous to you.  Again you sneer at expertise, in order to support your ignorant prejudices, your fragile, pathetic ego.  

Crack a book, go back to school, or at least learn how not to act like a fool among the knowledgeable.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
This brings up an important fact:  triumphant IDists would likely impede investigation into what intelligence is and why it is the way that we find it to be--even if only by suggesting that intelligence is some kind of "universal constant" or "law".  


AF
Your implication that IDists are not progressive in science?  What about Galileo, Newton, Hooke, Brahe, Copernicus and Huygens?  They all believed in Design.  Were they anti-progressive?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Another PRATT.  I'm sure you've heard the appropriate arguments, and are just trolling here.  What is more, I seriously doubt that all of them believed in "design" in the ID sense, though I'll leave it at that since it would be hard to demonstrate (Galileo isn't likely to refute mechanistic notions of creation which weren't current then).

Again the argumentum ad verecundiam, and your total incapacity to counter my own argument.  You are one superficial "thinker".



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
IDists analogize wildly to God, but then they fail utterly to be able to identify factors, like evolution, that would constrain God's designs.

AF
What?  Constrain God's design?  Creationists accept Designed Adaptation that you call evolution.  Maybe I'm not following you.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Of course you're not following me, because you have no concept of the necessity of identifying proximate constrained causation via science.  You took this out of a context, which no doubt you did not understand, a context which explained how humans can be considered "proximate causes", namely, because they are constrained (by evolution, physics, etc.).

And no, I can't discuss science on your level, because you know virtually nothing about science.  I made a good series of arguments regarding the identification of "design", and you uncomprehendingly settle back into your fog of incomprehension.  For those with a modicum of comprehension, I repeat, we cannot identify design because we do not know of any proximate cause which would actually "design" the derivative structures we see in organisms.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
but if we could not find causes of evolution in the genome/environment, we would have to abandon evolution as an explanation.

AF
Yes. I predict this will happen soon.  
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Of course you predict what you cannot demonstrate.  It's an old dodge, kind of the old tribal/herd belief that future battles will vindicate the claims of the "authorities".  Once again, you fail even to comprehend what is needed to make a compelling argument.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Dave doesn't like macroevolution, claiming that it has not "been seen".  Since, however, macroevolution is predicted to be produced by largely known mechanisms, therefore to produce the sorts of fossils, nested hierarchies, and genomes that we see, it is fair to say that we have observed it, since we are surrounded by it and are a part of it.

AF
No.  You have NOT observed it. You have observed what you THINK is evidence for it, but I will show you in time why this fails.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



You couldn't show anyone the way out a tepee.

You also miss the fact that we are observing macroevolution all around us, and of course you simply deny excellent evidence any time it is brought up.

You're becoming so redundant, boring, and useless even as a foil to demonstrate the IDiocy of ID and creationism.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
No, we do not accept Causes that are not seen to be acting, we accept the mutations and selections of those mutations as the sort of mechanism that evolution demands and requires, both as a science of proximal causes, and as a theory peculiar to biology.

Yes.  You DO accept Causes that are not seen to be acting.  Again, no one has seen feet evolve into flippers, etc.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



You're too lame even to know the difference between cause and accumulated effects (we may not have seen all of the mechanisms of macroevolution acting "in nature", but we've seen virtually all in the lab, at least).  Perhaps some day you will know the difference between cause and effect, but today I simply shake my head at how low your intellectual capacity is.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
We have our proximate causes, then.  The IDists/creationists have no cause at all, but only an analogy that on the face of it appears flawed, and which more tellingly cannot be backed up through evidence for active proximal causes.  

AF
No.  You don't have your proximate causes, then.  You don't even have an analogy.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



So you can only deny the proximate causes, and cannot show that your denial has any basis in fact.  I also mentioned several analogies, from languages to "microevolution", but you're too incapable of intellectual discussion even to throw out some tendentious lies about the specific analogies.  Just blank denial, which in fact is your modus operandi.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
We at least have an analogy from our experience.  To me, this is far more scientific.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Why yes, you have no notion of the necessity or means of backing up analogy.  You don't begin to comprehend scientific justification.  You have your stupidity, and want to keep it.  Then keep it, just don't go lying and showing your ignorance for the rest of your life.

I knew from your first post on PT that you were too intellectually dishonest for me to have a meaningful discussion with you.  I have argued this here and at PT, giving probable explanations for it.  

But I have still responded to you as if you could read properly, and as if there were an inkling of curiosity, objectivity, and honesty in there somewhere.  Primarily as a foil, yes, yet I often enough gave you the benefit of the doubt.  

All that you have done is to disgust me.  Whether they be the PRATTs, the fallacies, the outright lies, or the inability to comprehend even reasonably intellectual discussion, you are unworthy to engage in further discussion.  

I made a number of good arguments, mainly for the sake of lurkers who might be suckered into the blatant nonsense that you spout.  They're done, and remain available even to Dave if there is yet a speck of intellectual honesty in him.  I can't step into the intellectual sewer he lives in any more, and am done with responding to him for a while (the only likely exception would be if he responded quickly to my previous post), perhaps forever.  It's an intention, not a promise, but it is probable.  There hasn't been much science here, other than that aimed at the uncomprehending cretinist in our midst, so I may not bother with the rest of "After the Bar Closes" for a while either
Posted by: cak on May 06 2006,10:27

<THE DATA IS THE DATA, regardless of the source.  Creationists really don't care a hoot about the beliefs of the guy digging up the fossil or mapping the genome or what have you.  What we are interested in is the INTERPRETATION of the data. >

Dave,

I had to comment on this - New interpretations of existing data are generated every day in labs around the world (like mine).  Such ideas are a dime-a-dozen.  But these ideas only gain scientific significance after they are used to generate testable hypotheses and those hypotheses are evaluated and confirmed by the scientific method.  ID/creationists DO NOT DO THIS.  Until they do their "interpretations" will not be taken seriously by real scientists.

And as others have pointed out, it is clear that your knowledge of basic biology is very limited.  So your criticisms are way off the mark.
Posted by: Glen Davidson on May 06 2006,10:35



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Is that a mistake?

What makes something appear designed or not appear designed?

What is design? What does it mean to design something?

If I use a genetic algorithm to "design" a radar system am I designing a radar system?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Oh c'mon, I've argued several times that the IDist God is "obviously only able to design using evolutionary algorithms" (genetic algorithms, whatever).  Of course "what design is" is in question, which is what I was discussing in one post with respect to the fact that we don't actually stop with "design" as an explanation even when humans do it.  Dave wrote, "duh, I don't get it," or its equivalent, but that's Dave for you.

I was, certainly, saying that "organisms don't appear designed" in the sense that the Nature article I mentioned noted that cell parts are "not designed".  That is to say, in the sense that we should not be looking for what we might expect from an engineer, but rather we should be looking for co-option and derivation.

It is not beyond the range of possible meanings of the word "design" to say that "evolution designed the flagellum".  Occasionally journals will discuss such "designs of evolution", though most of us don't prefer that language--especially not us Americans who are beset by morons.

Still, your points are reasonable in the broader sense, and not a bad addition to the total context.
Posted by: Faid on May 06 2006,12:03

Oh boy where to begin?
Oh well, most of what you said has been covered by others... Just a few pointers:

First of all, please drop the Dawkins issue. If you are actually trying to make a point, it does not help you, and only makes us irritated. Like I said in my previous post (and you obviously missed it), there is no "paradox" here. Dawkins does not admit the plausibility of design; he refers to the improbability of emergence of life in it's present complexity. Those two things are connected only in your mind, that disregards evolution and thinks they were created in the first place. However, everyone agrees with what Dawkins says (well, except those medieval physiologists that believed in spontaneous generation of flies and worms and rats- and those were also good christians, you know), and that is because evolution is not a purely random process. Maybe I should say that again: Evolution is not a purely random process.
I can't say whether you understand it or not, but, to use your old catchy example: Dawkins does not try to show that, although it walks and quacks like a duck, it's not- he shows that it neither walks nor quacks like a duck. Because it's not one.  :) I dunno if you laughed and theatrically tossed his book away after reading the part you quoted, but I think maybe you should have spent some more time on it... Maybe then you'd know what I mean.

About Behe: Do you even begin to understand that, what you quoted is the very testimony that made him look like a fool in court? Probably not... OK, from the beginning:
All that literature was about the evolution of the immune system. Period. Now, what Behe says in his IC theory is this: That a system is irreducibly complex when there is no possible evolutionary pathway to produce it. Not that there is "not enough evidence", or that "nothing's proved". That any attempt to come up with a scnario of origin fails a priori, because it is a scientific and logical impossibility.
Well, that is what all the literature presented was about.  :p  Research that shouldn't exist. When faced with it, Behe said he didn't believe in it (although he never read it- after all, it wasn't supposed to exist)- and, when pressed, he completely forgot the "principle" of his theory and started to demand ridiculous amounts of evidence that, if they were to be demanded all the time, all of genetics and biology would be rendered useless- "unfruitful", if you like.
It's like my favorite Pyramids example:

-The pyramids had to be made by aliens- saying that the egyptians made them, with the means of the time, is just impossible. I mean, look at them! Can YOU think of a way to make them?

-Well, they could have used this and this and that method, in fact the findings show...

-Look, don't bother me with all that. If you wanna prove it, you'll have to show beyond doubt exactly how many the workers were, how many hours they worked a day, how much they ate and drank each day, and also how tall they were and how much they weighed... Oh, and their names. All of them.

-...

-Hah! So, you see, My "Alien" theory remains the only possible scenario!


Dave, what Behe involuntarily demonstrated in court is that his "theory" actually says: "A system is irreducibly complex when you cannot convince me that it's not, and you can't convince me because, well, because".
Dishonesty at its best- and IDers still wonder why they lost...

About the "biological machines" thing: Actually, It is your answer, the one I was expecting, that refutes your claims. You say that there are many differences between my rocks example and biological systems. That is true, of course, but there are also major, fundamental differences between living organisms and actual machines: Differences your logic dismisses, to focus on the apparent simillarities- simillarities you try to distinguish and interpret that way in the first place. That is why your logic is loaded, and that is why it is essentialy as flawed as my "volcanic rocks=marbles" example. You want your rocks to be marbles; everything will be examined under that perception.

As for quoting the part I mentioned, about the talkorigins article, I'm once again wondering: Did you actually read this past the part you quoted? Or did you quote it from somewhere else? Anyway, < here you go: >


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Note that my thesis does not require more than one universe to exist, although some cosmological theories propose this. Even if ours is the only universe, and that universe happened by chance, we have no basis to conclude that a universe without some form of life was so unlikely as to have required a miracle.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


It's the argument from probability, Dave. One paragraph down.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 06 2006,14:18

I'd also like to add, Dave (not to make you feel persecuted or anything) that you started this thread with the claim that you would provide evidence for (at minimum) three contentions:

1. The Bible is literally inerrant;
2. The earth is not billions of years old, but only thousands of years old; and
3. Evolution cannot explain the origin of species.

So far, I can only point out the obvious: you have presented no, as in none, as in nada, as in the big goose egg, evidence to support any of these contentions. You've presented several thousand words arguing that the evidence showing that none of your contentions is true is not credible, but your arguments haven't held water. So it looks to me like you've set out trying to run a marathon with your shoes tied together. You haven't presented any evidence supporting even one of your contentions, let alone proving any one of them.

So. With all that in mind, would you like to start out with an easy one? Can you present evidence that the earth is only thousands of years old?
Posted by: afdave on May 06 2006,16:27



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I'd also like to add, Dave (not to make you feel persecuted or anything) that you started this thread with the claim that you would provide evidence for (at minimum) three contentions:

1. The Bible is literally inerrant;
2. The earth is not billions of years old, but only thousands of years old; and
3. Evolution cannot explain the origin of species.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Eric--  Have you even read this thread at all?  Here's the first thing I said I would discuss ...

A. 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.

I don't think I even touch on the things you mention anywhere in my Hypothesis, correct me please if I am wrong.

I do believe those things, but they are not covered in what I said I was going to address.  Maybe I will cover them after this project.

Do you have any refutation of my evidence for Point 1?
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 06 2006,17:06

Quote (afdave @ May 06 2006,21:27)
Eric--  Have you even read this thread at all?  Here's the first thing I said I would discuss ...

A. 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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Dave, I said a long time ago that if you are trying to convince people that there is a god, you're wasting your time. Half the people here (or more) probably already believe that there is a god. Everyone here probably thinks that it is outside the realm of science to either prove or disprove there is a god.

If you're planning on proving that God exists before you move onto any of the other assertions in your hypothesis, I suggest you've got it exactly backwards, and element "A" of your hypothesis should be the last thing you attempt to prove. Otherwise, you're assuming what you're attempting to prove.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I don't think I even touch on the things you mention anywhere in my Hypothesis, correct me please if I am wrong.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


You're wrong. Your hypothesis has 16 elements, labeled "A" through "P." The inerrancy of the Bible is implied or assumed by elements C, D, E, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, O, and P. The young age of the earth is implied or assumed by elements C, D, H, I, K, M, and P. While none of the elements of your hypothesis directly touch on attempting to disprove the reality of evolution, most of your posts so far have, which leads me to wonder what you mean when you say you're not planning on addressing the issue.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I do believe those things, but they are not covered in what I said I was going to address.  Maybe I will cover them after this project.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


This statement leads me to wonder if you've read this thread.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Do you have any refutation of my evidence for Point 1? [sic]
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Positing an all-powerful creator god ab initio is not a "hypothesis." It's an assumption. If you think anyone here is going to try to "prove" there is no god, you're mistaken. I doubt it's possible even in principle to "prove" there is no god.

If you're not going to try to prove (or at least provide evidence for) the three propositions I've listed, everyone is going to lose interest in this thread very quickly.

Also, I pointed out many posts ago that you claimed you had evidence to support these three assertions, and you did not object. Have you since changed your mind?
Posted by: Occam's Aftershave on May 06 2006,17:50

ericmurphy observes



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Also, I pointed out many posts ago that you claimed you had evidence to support these three assertions, and you did not object. Have you since changed your mind?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Of course AFDave has evidence.  He just has to do a Google search, then throw out all the hits that don't come from AIG or any of the other loony tunes Creationist sites.  Just like Behe, AFDave doesn't need to read the primary scientific literature because he already knows what lies those evil atheist scientists concoct.

Science understanding the AFDave way - it's quick, it's easy, and even an arrogant, deceitful, scientifically illiterate evangelist can do it.
Posted by: improvius on May 06 2006,19:12

Quote (afdave @ May 06 2006,09:55)
improvius quote mined me ...

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
There is really one really big thing I resent.  And that is the idea that humans are nothing more than highly evolved animals.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

and left out the last part that said I also believe this to be a factual error.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


BS.  You said that you resented the idea itself.  Is this true or not?  Do you or do you not find the very idea that humans are evolved apes offensive?
Posted by: Chris Hyland on May 07 2006,04:39



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Biological systems only trivially appear to be designed.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------




---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Trivial?  How does this mesh with the fact that Richard Dawkins wrote an ENTIRE BOOK trying to tell people that this stuff IS NOT designed.  Answer: A LOT of people think this stuff at least APPEARS designed.  To me, this is in no way trivial.

---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Richard Dawkins writes popular science books. To a scientist who stuides these systems they don't look designed at all.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I do agree.  But have ever studied the differences between marble/round rocks and biological machines?  I don't think you need to study this b/c this is obvious.  This is not a valid refutation of my argument.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Is the fact that they don't look designed to the hundreds of physicists, computer scientists and engineers who study these systems not a refutation of your argument? The biologists tell these people how they expect the systems to have evolved, and the engineers tell us based on their knowledge of designed systems, what different properties these evolved systems should have, and indeed they do. Biological systems only appear to be designed at a glance.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Not only would I need a step-by-step, mutation by mutation analysis, I would also want to see relevant information such as what is the population size of the organism in which these mutations are occurring, what is the selective value for the mutation, are there any detrimental effects of the mutation, and many other such questions.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

If this is what you need to agree that a system is not designed then frankly that's just tough.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Quote  
This is because animals are very different from machines, even at a cursory glance.

Yes, but the key difference is that they are SO SO SO SO much more sophisticated.  Ask Bill Gates ...

Quote  
DNA is like a computer program, but far, far more advanced than any software we ve ever created (The Road Ahead,1996: 228).
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

You can use arguments from ignorance all you like it won't get you anywhere.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Quote  
but if we could not find causes of evolution in the genome/environment, we would have to abandon evolution as an explanation.
Yes. I predict this will happen soon.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Based on what evidence, every year we understand more and more about how evolution works, no evidence has been found that contradicts it. You can hope if you want but it is dishonest to say that there is any evidence evolution id on the verge of being disproved.


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Again, no one has seen feet evolve into flippers, etc.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

But you seem to be under the impression we have no idea how it happened. Shaping limb morphology is fairly simple for evolution to do. For a start animals with toes develop a webbed foot, and then cells die off to form the toes. It would be a simple matter of altering certain gene expressions to cause a flipper like foot. Then perhaps an increase in size and fusing the toe bones, also not a problem. Thats a start.
Posted by: UnMark on May 07 2006,07:11



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
A. Not only would I need a step-by-step, mutation by mutation analysis, I would also want to see relevant information such as what is the population size of the organism in which these mutations are occurring, what is the selective value for the mutation, are there any detrimental effects of the mutation, and many other such questions.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



And I would need a step-by step, point-by point analysis, backed up by independent, third-party witnesses to subscribe to ANY of the mythological creation stories that float around in varying orders of popularity.

I thought, Dave, that you would be offering some.  So far I've wasted copious amounts of my time reading your inane rants, waiting on your evidences.  The old saying goes "put up or shut up."  You aren't "putting up," Dave...  shall I finish the thought, or can you connect the dots on your own?
Posted by: normdoering on May 07 2006,07:24

Quote (Chris Hyland @ May 07 2006,09:39)
To a scientist who stuides these systems they don't look designed at all.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


I think that needs to be explained in more detail. I don't think afdave knows why that is. There are ways to tell an evolved system from a "designed" system and we should clue afdave into them.

One clue is suboptimal design where we can imagine making a more efficient system. Within that category are vestigial features, another clue to evolution over design.

With evolution new traits must be modifications of previously existing traits. This is called "historical constraint" and it shows up in even good "designs."

This article touches on that subject:
< http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/jury-rigged.html >

There are more clues I can list later.

From this we can get predictions that confirm evolutionary causes. For example, "junk DNA" is expected to have lots of vestigial DNA and that is a prediction from evolution that is yet to be fully demonstrated.

But we also have to look at human designed systems and ask if we see vestigial features there. Is DOS on PCs a vestigial program?
Posted by: afdave on May 11 2006,07:18

It is obvious to me that many of you do not accept "Cosmic Fine Tuning" and "Biological Machines" as evidence that supports the idea of an Intelligent Creator (or at least Designer), in spite of the fact that Talk Origins does not refute Cosmic Fine Tuning when we all know they would if they could, and many scientists (non-YEC/ID) have written about the wonders of biological "machines" and "factories".  Soooo ....

Let me backtrack and re-establish those points first.

**********************COSMIC FINE TUNING*******************************

Again, Meyer summarizes evidence for Cosmic Fine Tuning quite well ...

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
THE BIG BANG AND GENERAL RELATIVITY
During the twentieth century, a quiet but remarkable shift has occurred in
science. Evidence from cosmology, physics, and biology now tells a very
different story than did the science of the late nineteenth century. Evidence from
cosmology now supports a finite, not an infinite universe, while evidence from
physics and biology has reopened the question of design.
In 1915-16, Albert Einstein shocked the scientific world with his theory of
general relativity (Chaisson & McMillan 1993: 604-5). Though Einstein s theory
challenged Newton s theory of gravity in many important respects, it also implied
(as did Newton s) that the universe could not be static, but instead was
simultaneously expanding and decelerating. According to relativity theory,
massive bodies alter the curvature of space so as to draw nearby objects to them.
Einstein s conception of gravity implied that all material bodies would congeal
unless the effects of gravitation were continually counteracted by the expansion of
space itself (Eddington 1930). Einstein s theory thus implied an expanding, not a
static, universe.
Einstein disliked this idea, in part for philosophical reasons. An actively
expanding universe implied a beginning to the expansion, and thus, to the
universe. As the Russian physicist Alexander Friedmann (1922: 377-86) showed,
general relativity implied that, in the words of Stephen Hawking, at some time in
the past (between ten and twenty thousand million years ago) the distance
between neighboring galaxies must have been zero (1988: 46). Relativity theory
suggested a universe of finite duration racing outward from an initial beginning in
the distant past. For Einstein, however, a definite beginning to the universe
seemed so counterintuitive that he introduced an arbitrary factor in his theory to
eliminate the implication. In 1917, he postulated a repulsive force, expressed by
his cosmological constant, of precisely the magnitude necessary to counteract
the expansion that his theory implied.1 Like Newton, Einstein inadvertenly
concealed an important cosmological reality implicit in his theory.
Yet the heavens would soon talk back. In the 1920s-30s, Edwin Hubble, a
young lawyer-turned-astronomer, made a series of observations that shocked even
Einstein. While working at the Mt. Wilson Observatory in Southern California,
Hubble discovered for the first time that our Milky Way galaxy is but one of
many galaxies spread throughout the universe. More important, he discovered that
the galaxies beyond the Milky Way are rapidly receding from ours. Hubble
noticed that the light from these distant galaxies was shifted toward the red-end of
the electromagnetic spectrum. This red-shift suggested recessional movement,
for the same reason the so-called Doppler Effect that a train whistle drops in
pitch as a train moves away from a stationary observer. Hubble also discovered
that the rate at which these other galaxies retreat from ours is directly related to
their distance from us just as if the universe were undergoing a spherical
expansion in all directions from a singular explosive beginning the big bang
(1929: 168-73).
During the remainder of the twentieth century, physicists and cosmologists
formulated several alternatives to the Big Bang theory that preserved an infinite
universe. Some of these cosmological models were formulated for explicitly
philosophical reasons. For example, in the late 1940s, Fred Hoyle, Thomas Gold,
and Hermann Bondi proposed the steady state model to explain galactic
recession without invoking the objectionable notion of a beginning. According to
their theory, as the universe expands new matter is generated spontaneously in the
space between expanding galaxies. On this view, our galaxy is composed of
matter that spontaneously popped into existence between other galaxies, which in
turn came out of the empty space between other galaxies, and so on (Bondi &
Gold 1948; Hoyle 1948). Thus, the steady state theory denied the need to
postulate a singular beginning, and reaffirmed an infinite universe without
beginning or end.
By the mid-1960s, however, Hoyle s theory had run aground as the result of
a discovery made by two employees of Bell Telephone Laboratories in New
Jersey. According to the steady state model, the density of the universe must
always remain constant, hence the creation of new matter as the universe expands.
Yet in 1965, the Bell Lab researchers, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, found
what physicists believed to be the radiation left over from the universe s initial
hot, high-density state (1965: 419-21). The discovery of this cosmic background
radiation, at roughly 2.7 degrees Kelvin equivalent, proved decisive. Physicist
George Gamow had predicted its existence as a consequence of the Big Bang
(1946: 572-73). Yet advocates of the steady state acknowledged that, given their
model, such radiation should not exist. The steady state theory also implied that
galaxies should have radically different ages, but advances in observational
astronomy have revealed that galactic ages cluster narrowly in the middle-age
range. By the 1970s, even Bondi, Gold, and Hoyle had abandoned their theory
(Kragh 1993: 403).
Following the demise of the steady state model, the oscillating universe
model arose as an alternative to a finite universe. Advocates of this model
envisioned a universe that would expand, gradually decelerate, shrink back under
the force of its own gravitation, and then, by some unknown mechanism, reinitiate
its expansion, on and on, ad infinitum. But, as physicist Alan Guth
showed, our knowledge of entropy suggests that the energy available to do the
work would decrease with each successive cycle (Guth & Sher 1983: 505-7).
Thus, presumably the universe would have reached a nullifying equilibrium long
ago if it had indeed existed for an infinite amount of time. Further, recent
measurements suggest that the universe has only a fraction about one-fifth of
the mass required to create a gravitational contraction in the first place (Peebles
1993: 475-83; Coles & Ellis 1994: 609-13; Sawyer 1992: A5; Ross 1993: 58).
Prior to the formulation of the oscillating universe theory, three
astrophysicists, Hawking, George Ellis, and Roger Penrose, published a series of
papers that explicated the implications of Einstein s theory of general relativity
for space and time as well as matter and energy (Hawking & Penrose 1970).
Previously, physicists like Friedmann showed that the density of the universe
would approach an infinite value as one extrapolated the state of the universe
back in time. In a series of papers written between 1966-70, Hawking and his
colleagues showed that as one extrapolated back in time the curvature of space
also approached infinity. But an infinitely curved space corresponds to a radius
(within a sphere, for example) of zero and thus to no spatial volume. Further,
since in general relativity space and time are inextricably linked, the absence of
space implies the absence of time. Moreover, neither matter nor energy can exist
in the absence of space. Thus, Hawking s result suggested that general relativity
implies that the universe sprang into existence a finite time ago from literally
nothing, at least nothing physical. In brief, general relativity implies an absolute
beginning of time, before which neither time and space, nor matter and energy,
would have existed.

The space-time theorem of general relativity was, of course, conditional. It
stated that, if general relativity obtains for the universe, then space and time
themselves must have originated in the same initial explosion that created matter
and energy. In a series of experiments, beginning just two years after Einstein
published his results and continuing on to the present, the probable error of
general relativity (estimated quantitatively) has shrunk from 10 to 1 to .05
percent, to a confirmation out to the fifth decimal place. Increasingly accurate
tests conducted by NASA, such as the hydrogen maser detector carried by a
NASA rocket in 1980 and 1994, have continued to shrink the probable error
associated with the theory (Ross 1993: 66-67; Vessor 1980: 2081-84). Thus,
general relativity now stands as one of the best confirmed theories of modern
science. Yet its philosophical implications, and those of the Big Bang theory, are
staggering. Taken jointly, general relativity and the Big Bang theory provide a
scientific description of what Christian theologians have long described in
doctrinal terms as creatio ex nihilo Creation out of nothing (again, nothing
physical). These theories place a heavy demand on any proposed causal
explanation of the universe, since the cause of the beginning of the universe must
transcend time, space, matter, and energy.
< Link to article >
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Is this refuted at Talk Origins?  No ... all he does at the end of the paragraph is point out in effect "well, maybe that's true in OUR universe, but what about other universes?"  Now I don't want to get into other funky ideas like parallel universes as Faid tried to get me to do.  My point is made by noting simply that T.O. agrees that Yes, in fact, OUR universe is fine tuned for life.  Here's the T.O piece again.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
In recent years, creationist theologians, and even a few physicists, have heavily promoted what they claim is a remarkable fine-tuning of the basic laws and constants of physics, without which life as we know it would never have developed (Barrow, 1986; Rolston III). If the universe had appeared with slight variations in the strengths of the fundamental forces or the masses of elementary particles, that universe would be pure hydrogen at one extreme, or pure helium at the other. Neither would have allowed for the eventual production of heavy elements, such as carbon, necessary for life. Similarly, if gravity had not been many orders of magnitude weaker than electromagnetism, stars would not have lived long enough to produce the elements of life. Long before they could fabricate heavy chemical elements, stars would have collapsed. Only the fact that the gravitational force was forty orders of magnitude weaker prevented this from happening. In a calculation similar to Hoyle's, mathematician Roger Penrose has estimated that the probability of a universe with our particular set of physical properties is one part in 1010123 (Penrose 1989: 343). However, neither Penrose nor anyone else can say how many of the other possible universes formed with different properties could still have lead to some form of life. If it is half, then the probability for life is fifty percent. < Link to article >
---------------------QUOTE-------------------





**********************BIOLOGICAL MACHINES********************************

Again we have numerous non-YEC/non-ID authors talking about all the wonderful "adaptations" and "molecular machines" and "molecular factories" and many of them trying very hard to say "these LOOK designed, but trust us ... they are not (wink wink)."  I won't bore you with Denton and Behe's examples again, but I will repeat this one.  Bruce Alberts, President of the National Academy of Sciences, introduced this issue with an article entitled, The Cell as a Collection of Protein Machines.  In his article, Alberts admits that

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
We have always underestimated cells . . . . The entire cell can be viewed as afactory that contains an elaborate network of interlocking assembly lines, each of which is composed of a set of large protein machines . . . Why do we call the large protein assemblies that underlie cell function protein machines? Precisely because, like machines invented by humans to deal efficiently with the macroscopic world these protein assemblies contain highly coordinated moving parts (Alberts, Bruce. 1998. The Cell as a Collection of Protein Machines: Preparing the NextGeneration of Molecular Biologists. Cell 92 (8 February): 291-94).
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



And again, we have Richard Dawkins standing with Paley in amazement at nature's innovations, spending an entire chapter on the intricacies of bat echolocation, then basically saying "We know this LOOKS like a duck, WALKS like a duck, and QUACKS like a duck, but let me spend the next 8 chapters convincing you it IS NOT a duck."

Come guys, this seems like snake oil at its best.


***********************OUR EVIDENCE SO FAR****************************

We observe Cosmic Fine Tuning and we say "Hmmmm ... what a conicidence that all these parameters are just right for life to exist.  If any of them were off, we would all die.  How can this just be coincidence?  Maybe its not!"

We observe Biological Machines and we say "Hmmm ... these are pretty sophisticated and capable little jiggers.  They exhibit many technologies FAR beyond some of our own 21st century technology. How do they do that?  Could these have self-assembled from the 100 or so elements on the periodic table by themselves.  Hmmm ... pretty unlikely.  I wonder if they could be designed?  Wow!  What a thought!"

Now I realize we still have a LONG way to go to prove the God of the Bible, but let's not even go there now ... we'll get there at the right time.  The only thing I'm trying to do now is show you ...

HOW UNREASONABLE SOUNDING IT IS TO NOT CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITY OF AN INTELLIGENT DESIGNER

Forget "God" for now ... forget the Bible for now ... forget inerrancy, and the Flood and all the rest ... let's just deal with this one basic issue.  Yes, Eric, we're going to get to age of the earth and all those other things, but let's just get this one out of the way first ... otherwise, the rest doesn't matter.

The two pieces of evidence -- Cosmic Fine Tuning and Bilogical Machines seem HUGE to me.

Can you really with a straight face rule out the possiblity of an Intelligent Designer (even a super alien or a super computer in space) ??

This seems like a massive logical mistake to me.
Posted by: Chris Hyland on May 11 2006,07:39

Although I have not read much about cosmic fine tuning, my concern is this: If there is no divine creator, life can only exist in a universe that has the correct constants. If there is a divine creator, life could be created in a very unhospitable universe. Does this disprove God? No, but the point is there is no proof that these constants were set by a creator. For the purposes of the argument on evolution I am prepared to accept that they are however.

BIOLOGICAL "MACHINES" DO NOT LOOK DESIGNED

I can only say this so many times, if you study biological systems they look like they have evolved. We call them "machines" because they have some trivial similarities to man made machines, that does not mean they are designed. They are complex, this does not mean they are designed. They perform functions, this does not mean they are designed. Dawkins writes popular science books, I will agree that they look designed to a layman who does not have a good grasp of the relevant topics in evolution and biochemistry. I have never used the word machine, and in all my conversations with scientists who study these systems I have never heard the word machine used to describe them. These words are used becuase anthropomorphisms make it easier to teach complex subjects. You can understand what a flagellum is if you think of it as an outboard motor, or a ribosome as a factory that makes proteins, but biologists who study them do not use these words except to teach. Saying that because biologists say the word machine means that they are designed systems is perhaps the worst and least scientific creationist argument I have ever heard.
Posted by: thurdl01 on May 11 2006,07:50

Have you, and I'm just asking out of the sake of curiosity, ever heard of the concept of a metaphor or similie?  I'm just trying to establish a baseline to work from, and want to know if I have to first explain those concept before I then point out the use of such devices by Alberts and others?
Posted by: afdave on May 11 2006,07:59



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
We call them "machines" because they have some trivial similarities to man made machines, that does not mean they are designed. They are complex, this does not mean they are designed. They perform functions, this does not mean they are designed. Dawkins writes popular science books, I will agree that they look designed to a layman who does not have a good grasp of the relevant topics in evolution and biochemistry.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Trivial!  Trivial!  I just choke on that!  To me, biological systems are the most profound antithesis of "triviality" that one can possibly imagine!

Have you waded through the supposed scenario for how a flagellum supposedly could have evolved on Talk Origins?

I have and it seems to me to be First Rate Alice in Wonderland!  The author proposes this and that and this and that and goes on and on proposing a myriad of things for which I can see absolutely no basis for believing it could possibly happen except for wishful, hopeful thinking.

How is this scientific to discard our intuition about things with "complex specificity" and build grand imaginary castles of how it "might have happened" when we really have never had any experience at all with it ACTUALLY happening that way?  Wishful thinking par excellence if you ask me.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Although I have not read much about cosmic fine tuning, my concern is this: If there is no divine creator, life can only exist in a universe that has the correct constants. If there is a divine creator, life could be created in a very unhospitable universe. Does this disprove God? No, but the point is there is no proof that these constants were set by a creator. For the purposes of the argument on evolution I am prepared to accept that they are however.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Well, yes life could exist in an unhospitable universe, but why in the world would the Creator do that?  Then he'd have to basically be performing miracles every nano-second to sustain life.  I would not postulate that.  This to me has nothing to do with it.  I am simply saying this -- nothing else -- that "Doggone it ... this universe sure is suited nicely for life ... how did that happen?  Is there maybe, maybe, maybe a possibility that maybe, maybe, maybe "someone" could have set the parameters that way?  It seems silly to not even consider this possibility.
Posted by: thurdl01 on May 11 2006,08:05

Quote (afdave @ May 11 2006,13:59)
Trivial!  Trivial!  I just choke on that!  To me, biological systems are the most profound antithesis of "triviality" that one can possibly imagine!
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Want to know what the two most important words in that statement are?  "To me."  To you, someone who is untrained in biology and has more of a background in engineering, they are the antithesis of triviality.  However, to trained and career biologists, it is trivial, and the word "machine" is entirely a metaphor.  Do you see what I'm getting at here?  Very often in your posts you're using statements showing that you are arguing from personal incredulity, however that's not a position that has any grounding in this kind of debate.  That you don't understand something doesn't serve as an arguement against it.

I, for example, can't get through even two paragraphs of quantum theory before my brain starts doing backflips and the words just become meaningless bunches of letters.  I do not understand how quantum physics works.  However the difference is that I do not then say "well, they must all be WRONG then.  There's no way that dern cat can be alive and dead!"

This all gets back to a question I've asked before, and gotten no answer on: Why should your amateur and uneducated opinions be worth more than the expert opinions of entire fields of science?
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 11 2006,08:20

Quote (afdave @ May 11 2006,12:59)
Have you waded through the supposed scenario for how a flagellum supposedly could have evolved on Talk Origins?

I have and it seems to me to be First Rate Alice in Wonderland!  The author proposes this and that and this and that and goes on and on proposing a myriad of things for which I can see absolutely no basis for believing it could possibly happen except for wishful, hopeful thinking.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Dave, these arguments boil down to what Dawkins calls "arguments from psersonal incredulity." You, Dave, simply cannot believe that something like a bacterial flagellum could have evolved.

Do you think that amounts to "evidence" of anything?

Also, you stated a few posts ago that your hypothesis had nothing to do with the impossibility of evolution. Nevertheless, the bulk of your posts on this and other threads discuss that very topic.

You also claimed that your hypothesis does not argue for biblical inerrancy or a young earth. Given that your actions contradict your statements, when can we expect to see actual evidence for biblical inerrancy or a young earth? Or, for that matter, evidence that evolution is impossible? Because so far, you haven't presented any "evidence" of anything.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 11 2006,08:29

Quote (afdave @ May 11 2006,12:18)
Can you really with a straight face rule out the possiblity of an Intelligent Designer (even a super alien or a super computer in space) ??

This seems like a massive logical mistake to me.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Dave, it's not our job to prove that God doesn't exist. I've already stated that it is in all likelihood impossible to prove any such thing.

Your job is to prove to us that God does exist. After all, isn't that what your hypothesis claims?

This is exactly how basically all creationists work. They'll make some outlandish claim (e.g., it's impossible for evolution to work), without any evidence whatsoever, and then challenge the scientific community to prove them wrong.

How about you try to persuade us that your hypothesis is correct by providing evidence persuading us that it is correct, rather than just stating it and challenging us to prove that it's wrong? That's not really how science works.
Posted by: Joe the Ordinary Guy on May 11 2006,08:32

Dave,

How can we tell the difference the following two possibilities:

1) The universe was intentionally designed “just so” for our benefit.
2) The universe “just happened” this way, and here we are.

Your observation that the second possibility is really, really improbable is correct. But “improbable” is not the same as “impossible”.  And no matter HOW improbable something is, if it is not impossible, then it is possible.

The assumption that a deity created all this is AT LEAST as cockamamie as the assumption that it just happened.


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I am simply saying this -- nothing else -- that "Doggone it ... this universe sure is suited nicely for life ... how did that happen?  Is there maybe, maybe, maybe a possibility that maybe, maybe, maybe "someone" could have set the parameters that way?  It seems silly to not even consider this possibility.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


You are more than welcome to consider the possibility. You will not be the first person to ever do so. LOTS of people consider the possibility EVERY DAY. No one is stopping you from considering the possibility. Heck, you are even welcome to formulate a scientific hypothesis and test it. Do THIS, however, and you WILL be the first to ever do so.
Posted by: Chris Hyland on May 11 2006,08:39



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
To me, biological systems are the most profound antithesis of "triviality" that one can possibly imagine!
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

I didnt say the systems themselves were trivial, I said the resemblance to manmade machines is trivial.
Posted by: Flint on May 11 2006,08:41

In its general form, this discussion goes as follows:

afdave: The sky is blue, therefore goddidit.

everyone else: Yes, the sky is blue. How can you conclude from that that goddidit?

afdave: See, you are *admitting* the validity of the evidence. Now you seem to be saying the sky is NOT blue. So is it blue or not?

After a while, this is pretty thin entertainment.
Posted by: C.J.O'Brien on May 11 2006,08:49



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Trivial!  Trivial!  I just choke on that!  To me, biological systems are the most profound antithesis of "triviality" that one can possibly imagine!
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Reading comprehension, Dave.
He didn't say "biological systems are trivial." He said, the resemblance of biological systems to human-designed machines is trivial.

Not only is it trivial, it's an oversimplification that ceationists use to push how "obvious" design is. I suggested awhile back that the way we recognize elegant human design is by its simplicity, not by the seemingly needless, often redundant, complexity we see in biological systems. You did not respond.

Everyone appreciates the complexity. The difference between creationists and scientists, is that scientists don't gloss it over for the sake of a cheap analogy and then throw up their hands and say "beats me!" They investigate the complexity that exists, and try to understand its origins. "Look at this fantastic machine" is just a restatement of the problem, and thus is useless as an explanation.
Posted by: Occam's Aftershave on May 11 2006,09:55



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
It is obvious to me that many of you do not accept "Cosmic Fine Tuning" and "Biological Machines" as evidence that supports the idea of an Intelligent Creator (or at least Designer), in spite of the fact that Talk Origins does not refute Cosmic Fine Tuning when we all know they would if they could, and many scientists (non-YEC/ID) have written about the wonders of biological "machines" and "factories".
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



"Cosmic Fine Tuning" :The fact of the matter is, we have a sample set of *ONE* universe that happens to contain life.  We have NO IDEA how many other possible universes there are, or whether a different sort of life is possible in those universes.  It has also been demonstrated repeatedly that life in our universe tends to evolve to fit the environment available.  It has never been demonstrated that the parameters for the environment were put in place first with the preconceived idea that life would exist there later.  Do you really think that liquid water was "designed" just so that fish can live in it?  Ever heard of Dr. Pangloss?

"Biological Machines":  The fact that certain biological structures superficially resemble human built machines in no way implies that the biological structures were purposely built also.   Some people see the face of the Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich – does that mean there’s an Intelligent Grilled Cheese Sandwich Designer who oversees the cooking of each?  

A real flagellum looks nothing like the pretty IDiot Powerpoint drawing with its cute little gears and motors.  Real flagellum parts under high magnification are squishy globs of interconnected organic molecules that react and move in response to well understood chemical reactions.  The gears and motors description is an analogy only to help visualize the motions taking place.

Dave, do you think you’ll ever come up with some positive evidence for YEC that’s not based on your own personal incredulity and ignorance?  I sure don’t, but please feel free to try.
Posted by: normdoering on May 11 2006,10:39

Quote (Occam's Aftershave @ May 11 2006,14:55)
Some people see the face of the Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich ...
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


How does anyone know what the virgin Mary looked like?

I thought that was Betty Davis or Marlaina Detrich on the sandwich.
Posted by: Occam's Aftershave on May 11 2006,11:26



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
How does anyone know what the virgin Mary looked like?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Absolutely right.  It could be Susie Q. Pimplekowski from Hoboken, N.J. for all we know.

Still, that didn't stop some goober from paying $28,000 for the stupid thing!

< Virgin Mary grilled cheese sold! >

Wonder how much I could get for the dump I took last night that looked exactly like Dembski? ;)
Posted by: Faid on May 11 2006,11:35

Dave, I'm sorry to say that, with every new post you make, you move away from the "sincerely ignorant" group that I had originally placed you, and closer to the "liars for jesus" one. It's sad- but not entirely unexpected.
I will forget the fact that you essentially wrote the very same "arguments" you made in the beginning, only sticking a "well I don't buy it" below... After all, that only demonstrates your known eagerness to close your eyes to reality, in order to defend your views.
I have little time right now, however, so I'm just gonna stick to the part where you're referring to me:


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Now I don't want to get into other funky ideas like parallel universes as Faid tried to get me to do.  My point is made by noting simply that T.O. agrees that Yes, in fact, OUR universe is fine tuned for life.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Just what are you babbling about? I didn't try to get you to do anything: I just pointed you to the article you quote, three paragraphs down after your quote, the point you systematically ignore: The argument from probability.
Now, that says nothing about parallel universes, as I'm sure you know- if you even bothered to check, that is. In fact that's exactly what it does not say:
For the third time,


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Note that my thesis does not require more than one universe to exist, although some cosmological theories propose this. Even if ours is the only universe, and that universe happened by chance, we have no basis to conclude that a universe without some form of life was so unlikely as to have required a miracle.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Where are the "parallel universes", Dave? Do you think that you can keep people's attention away from what I said and mislead them by hand-waving? You can't. You're not preaching to the choir in these forums; you need new tricks.
Try to get rid of the little thordaddy inside you, and maybe these discussions will help you learn something.
Posted by: jstockwell on May 11 2006,12:18

afdave, cosmic fine tuning does not support creation over a natural origin of life.  

In order for an observation to support one hypothesis over another, its predicted outcomes must differ under each hypothesis.

So, here's what we have.

Hypothesis:  A creator god made life.
Prediction:  The universe should have parameters capable of supporting life.  (Although, as others have pointed out, if the creator god is so omnipotent, he could have made life in an unhospitable universe also)

Hypothesis:  Life arose naturally.
Prediction:  The universe should have parameters capable of supporting life.

Observation:  The universe has parameters capable of supporting life.
Conclusion:  The evidence is consistent with both hypotheses.

Since the evidence is consistent with both hypotheses, this observation doesn't have any bearing on which is more likely to be correct.

And lastly, as I mentioned in parentheses above, an undefined god fails at being the object of a scientific hypothesis, simply because any prediction could be consistent with his unspecified abilities.  So you should either define his abilities precisely, with precise limitations on what is possible, or admit that this is outside the realm of science.
Posted by: afdave on May 11 2006,13:49

WORDS TO LIVE BY
Francis Crick in What Mad Pursuit (New York; Basic Books, 1988) p. 138

"Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved."

OK, Francis ...

THIS IS NOT DESIGNED
(but it looks designed)
BUT IT'S NOT DESIGNED
(but it looks designed)
BUT IT'S NOT DESIGNED
(but it looks designed)
BUT IT'S NOT DESIGNED
(but it looks designed)
BUT IT'S NOT DESIGNED
(but it looks designed)
BUT IT'S NOT DESIGNED
(but it looks designed)
BUT IT'S NOT DESIGNED

HOMINA, HOMINA, HOMINA

AMEN and AMEN
Posted by: Occam's Aftershave on May 11 2006,13:58

Here ya go Dave:

A map, in case you ever lose your way when presenting your "evidence" for YEC.

< AFDave's Argument Map >

You seem to be at the second green diamond
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 11 2006,14:06

Quote (afdave @ May 11 2006,18:49)
OK, Francis ...

THIS IS NOT DESIGNED
(but it looks designed)etc. etc. etc.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


So Dave, is this the sum and substance of your argument?

"It looks designed, therefore it was designed."

Aside from being unoriginal (Behe said the same thing at Dover), it barely qualifies as an "argument."

And while we're at it: if we accept your argument, and we want to know how, say, whales appeared on earth, should we bother trying to find out? Is there any point to researching the question?

Or what about anything else about existence? Is there any point in asking how, or why, questions? Isn't the answer always the same?
Posted by: C.J.O'Brien on May 11 2006,14:21

More words to live by:

"But still, it moves"
    --Galileo Galilei

THE EARTH SPINS AROUND
(but it seems to stand still)

THE EARTH SPINS AROUND
(but it seems to stand still)

THE EARTH SPINS AROUND
(but it seems to stand still)

THE EARTH SPINS AROUND
(but it seems to stand still)

THE EARTH SPINS AROUND
(but it seems to stand still)

THE EARTH SPINS AROUND
(but it seems to stand still)

THE EARTH SPINS AROUND
(but it seems to stand still)

THE EARTH SPINS AROUND
(but it seems to stand still)
Posted by: normdoering on May 11 2006,14:32

Quote (afdave @ May 11 2006,18:49)
THIS IS NOT DESIGNED
(but it looks designed)
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Yes, Dave, it is counter intuitive (given religious intuitions at least). That's why it took so long for someone to see the theory of evolution.

Heliocentrism, earth going 'round the sun, is counter intuitive too -- but some clever guys figured that out hundreds of years before they figured out evolution.

Galileo and Newton never saw a spacecraft in orbit and Darwin never saw a genetic algorithm working on a computer -- they saw the consequence in their minds though.

It seems, however, you're just not equipped with the right kind of mind for that kind of vision.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 11 2006,15:08

Something to think about, Dave.

Let's suppose, for the moment, that life (and, presumably, the rest of the universe) is the way it is because "God Did It." Well, presumably God (or whatever else you wish to call an "intelligent designer") used some sort of methodology, or technique, or praxis, for everything he did. The only other way He could have accomplished the creation of the universe, even in principle, is by basically "willing it into existence" (maybe just by thinking about it really hard?).

If we assume, for the sake of argument, that science isn't a complete waste of time (and, based on its explicative power over the past 500 years, I think you'd be hard-pressed to argue otherwise), then we can exclude "willing it into existence" as a possibility worth studying (at least, for the foreseeable future). Otherwise, there is no explanation, even in principle, for how the universe got to be the way it is, science is a complete waste of time, and scientists should take up needlepoint.

So, even if you assume that God (or, okay, if you want to be pedantic about it, an "intelligent designer"), created life, the universe, and everything through some sort of methodology, a scientist's task (whether that scientist believes in Darwinian Evolution or Intelligent Design) becomes trying to discover a working model of that methodology.  The task remains exactly the same whether the science in question is Darwinian Evolution, or Intelligent Design. And since Darwinian Evolution already has a working theory as to how that methodology works, and Intelligent Design doesn't, the best you can say about Intelligent Design is that it's at least 140 years behind Darwinian Evolution.

If you assume, a priori, that life was not designed—that it evolved as a result of unguided and unpredictable events—then you can inquire into the natural processes by which life originated and subsequently evolved. If, on the other hand, you assume that a) life was "designed," and also b) that the putative designer's methods are at least in principle amenable to scientific inquiry, your job is no easier than the job of an evolutionary biologist who discounts the possibility of design. You've still got to determine the methods by which life's designer managed to implement its designs, which is no different from determining the methods unguided happenstance would use to accomplish the same thing. In essence, you're doing exactly the same thing that scientists who discount the possibility of design are doing, except you don't have even the skeleton of a working hypothesis as to how your putative "designer" implements his (or its) designs. An appeal to intelligent design has accomplished nothing, explained nothing, and not gotten us any closer to figuring out how life evolved on earth. Therefore, Intelligent Design is not a useful avenue for scientific inquiry, or certainly is no more useful than Darwinian Evolution that relies on unguided happenstance for evolution.

And, if you assume a priori an intelligent designer whose methods are in principle unknowable, the inquiry ends. If God designed it, and God's methods are unknowable, then what else is there to say about it? Again, this assumption is not a useful avenue for scientific inquiry. If you maintain that an intelligent designer's methods are not the proper subject of scientific inquiry, then you're not really talking about science, are you? What you're talking about is sounding increasingly less like science and more like religion.
Posted by: thurdl01 on May 11 2006,16:05

Quote (thurdl01 @ May 11 2006,14:05)
Why should your amateur and uneducated opinions be worth more than the expert opinions of entire fields of science?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Just in case you missed this question.
Posted by: stevestory on May 11 2006,16:08



that's my impression of eric murphy.
Posted by: Seven Popes on May 11 2006,16:31

Quote (afdave @ May 11 2006,18:49)
WORDS TO LIVE BY
Francis Crick in What Mad Pursuit (New York; Basic Books, 1988) p. 138

"Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved."

OK, Francis ...

THIS IS NOT DESIGNED
(but it looks designed)
BUT IT'S NOT DESIGNED
(but it looks designed)
BUT IT'S NOT DESIGNED
(but it looks designed)
BUT IT'S NOT DESIGNED
(but it looks designed)
BUT IT'S NOT DESIGNED
(but it looks designed)
BUT IT'S NOT DESIGNED
(but it looks designed)
BUT IT'S NOT DESIGNED

HOMINA, HOMINA, HOMINA

AMEN and AMEN
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


(Seven popes holding stop watch)
Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd NOW YOU'RE TROLLING!
:angry:  :angry:  :angry:  :angry:  :angry:  :angry:  :angry:  :angry:  :angry:  :angry:  :angry:  :angry:  :angry:  :angry:  :angry:  :angry:
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 11 2006,17:10

Quote (stevestory @ May 11 2006,21<!--emo&:0)


that's my impression of eric murphy.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Fortunately, I was able to copy and paste that big long post from a letter I'd written to a different creationist.

It's not like their arguments ever change.
Posted by: afdave on May 13 2006,16:37

Well, let's see ... what can I leave you with for the weekend?

Hmmmm........

I think I got a little bit of agreement on the cosmic fine tuning thing ... at least for THIS universe ...

But it seems that people don't want to say biological machines are designed ...

So ... here's your thought question for the weekend ...

You all know the SETI project, right ... I don't know the current status of it ... you could probably tell me, but here's some interesting info from your favorite website, Talk Origins ...


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Claim CI190:
SETI researchers expect that they can recognize artificial signals, proving that there is an objective criterion for recognizing intelligent design.
Source:
Dembski, William A., 1998. Science and Design. First Things 86 (Oct.): 21-27. < http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft9810/dembski.html >
Talk Origins Response:
SETI researchers do not expect to find recognizably designed messages in the signals they are looking for; in fact, they expect that the signal modulation would be smeared out and lost. They are looking for narrow-band signals, which are what people build and are not found in known natural radio signals (SETI Instutute n.d., Shostak 2005). The objective criterion for recognizing intelligent design is to look for things that look like what people build.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Whoa!  Did you see that?  Did I hear that right?!!  Wait a minute, let me clean out my ears and play the tape again slowly ...

Talk Origins said ...

T h e    o b j e c t i v e    c r i t e r i o n    f o r    r e c o g n i z i n g    i n t e l l i g e n t    d e s i g n    i s    t o    l o o k    f o r     t h i n g s    t h a t    l o o k    l i k e    w h a t    p e o p l e     b u i l d.

I can think of about a hundred different things inside a cell that look like what people build ... just read either Denton book you like ...

So if this is objective criteria for the SETI folks, it's good enough for us, right?  They are REAL scientists, right?

Have a good weekend!

(I'm really not trying to harrass you guys ... just trying to get you to see the truth about some things)

(I won't trot out my "Seven Steps" anymore ... I got to thinking that's probably mean :-)   and I'm really not trying to be mean)

(I'll be at church tomorrow so I guess I can 'confess';)
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 13 2006,17:03

Quote (afdave @ May 13 2006,21:37)
Well, let's see ... what can I leave you with for the weekend?

You all know the SETI project, right ... I don't know the current status of it ... you could probably tell me, but here's some interesting info from your favorite website, Talk Origins ...
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Dave, given William Dembski's absolute lack of credibility when it comes to critiques of evolution, why do you even bother quoting him? Have you spent any time at talkorigins or pandasthumb or talkreason to find out what actual scientists who actually have the training to have actual opinions on evolutionary biology have to say about Dembski?

In the meantime, you might want to read < this. >.

If this is what passes for "evidence" of design, I'm afraid we've all been waiting for you to come up with something interesting about the subject in vain.
Posted by: Faid on May 13 2006,17:16

Ooh ooh it's the infamous SETI argument, oh noes we nevers expected it...

Well what can you do, I guess we should all confess with Dave now...

Or, maybe, you know, explain to him that the people at the SETI project are not making metaphors on purpose when they talk about products of intelligence: They mean the real thing. They are looking for actual intelligent design, not "Intelligent Design". The reason they are looking for things that people build is, well, that they are looking for "people" who build things.
Somewhat like the genetic research company discussed at UD, they're for the real deal, not for loaded metaphors to apply to natural phenomena.

Dave, during tomorrow's confession, remember to also mention this little (and extremely old and worn-out) bit of trickery you tried to pull here.
Posted by: Occam's Aftershave on May 13 2006,17:18

I've never seen anyone take such absolute delight in being such a willfully ignorant dumbass.

Missionary AFDave, are you ever going to bother reading the links given at the very web resources you cite?

From the < SETI Institute > itself, as linked to by T.O.

   

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Simple Signals

In fact, the signals actually sought by today’s SETI searches are not complex, as the ID advocates assume. We’re not looking for intricately coded messages, mathematical series, or even the aliens’ version of "I Love Lucy." Our instruments are largely insensitive to the modulation—or message—that might be conveyed by an extraterrestrial broadcast. A SETI radio signal of the type we could actually find would be a persistent, narrow-band whistle. Such a simple phenomenon appears to lack just about any degree of structure, although if it originates on a planet, we should see periodic Doppler effects as the world bearing the transmitter rotates and orbits.

And yet we still advertise that, were we to find such a signal, we could reasonably conclude that there was intelligence behind it. It sounds as if this strengthens the argument made by the ID proponents. Our sought-after signal is hardly complex, and yet we’re still going to say that we’ve found extraterrestrials. If we can get away with that, why can’t they?

Well, it’s because the credibility of the evidence is not predicated on its complexity. If SETI were to announce that we’re not alone because it had detected a signal, it would be on the basis of artificiality. An endless, sinusoidal signal – a dead simple tone – is not complex; it’s artificial. Such a tone just doesn’t seem to be generated by natural astrophysical processes. In addition, and unlike other radio emissions produced by the cosmos, such a signal is devoid of the appendages and inefficiencies nature always seems to add – for example, DNA’s junk and redundancy.

Consider pulsars – stellar objects that flash light and radio waves into space with impressive regularity. Pulsars were briefly tagged with the moniker LGM (Little Green Men) upon their discovery in 1967. Of course, these little men didn’t have much to say. Regular pulses don’t convey any information—no more than the ticking of a clock. But the real kicker is something else: inefficiency. Pulsars flash over the entire spectrum. No matter where you tune your radio telescope, the pulsar can be heard. That’s bad design, because if the pulses were intended to convey some sort of message, it would be enormously more efficient (in terms of energy costs) to confine the signal to a very narrow band. Even the most efficient natural radio emitters, interstellar clouds of gas known as masers, are profligate. Their steady signals splash over hundreds of times more radio band than the type of transmissions sought by SETI.

Imagine bright reflections of the Sun flashing off Lake Victoria, and seen from great distance. These would be similar to pulsar signals: highly regular (once ever 24 hours), and visible in preferred directions, but occupying a wide chunk of the optical spectrum. It’s not a very good hailing-signal or communications device. Lightning bolts are another example. They produce pulses of both light and radio, but the broadcast extends over just about the whole electromagnetic spectrum. That sort of bad engineering is easily recognized and laid at nature’s door. Nature, for its part, seems unoffended.

Junk, redundancy, and inefficiency characterize astrophysical signals. It seems they characterize cells and sea lions, too. These biological constructions have lots of superfluous and redundant parts, and are a long way from being optimally built or operated. They also resemble lots of other things that may be either contemporaries or historical precedents.

So that’s one point: the signals SETI seeks are really not like other examples drawn from the bestiary of complex astrophysical phenomena. That speaks to their artificiality.

The Importance of Setting

There’s another hallmark of artificiality we consider in SETI, and it’s context. Where is the signal found? Our searches often concentrate on nearby Sun-like star systems – the very type of astronomical locale we believe most likely to harbor Earth-size planets awash in liquid water. That’s where we hope to find a signal. The physics of solar systems is that of hot plasmas (stars), cool hydrocarbon gasses (big planets), and cold rock (small planets). These do not produce, so far as we can either theorize or observe, monochromatic radio signals belched into space with powers of ten billion watts or more—the type of signal we look for in SETI experiments. It’s hard to imagine how they would do this, and observations confirm that it just doesn’t seem to be their thing.

Context is important, crucially important. Imagine that we should espy a giant, green square in one of these neighboring solar systems. That would surely meet our criteria for artificiality. But a square is not overly complex. Only in the context of finding it in someone’s solar system does its minimum complexity become indicative of intelligence.

In archaeology, context is the basis of many discoveries that are imputed to the deliberate workings of intelligence. If I find a rock chipped in such a way as to give it a sharp edge, and the discovery is made in a cave, I am seduced into ascribing this to tool use by distant, fetid and furry ancestors. It is the context of the cave that makes this assumption far more likely then an alternative scenario in which I assume that the random grinding and splitting of rock has resulted in this useful geometry.

In short, the champions of Intelligent Design make two mistakes when they claim that the SETI enterprise is logically similar to their own: First, they assume that we are looking for messages, and judging our discovery on the basis of message content, whether understood or not. In fact, we’re on the lookout for very simple signals. That’s mostly a technical misunderstanding. But their second assumption, derived from the first, that complexity would imply intelligence, is also wrong. We seek artificiality, which is an organized and optimized signal coming from an astronomical environment from which neither it nor anything like it is either expected or observed: Very modest complexity, found out of context. This is clearly nothing like looking at DNA’s chemical makeup and deducing the work of a supernatural biochemist.

---------------------QUOTE-------------------



So the SETI people aren't just looking for "things that look like what people build.".  They're looking for artificiality and context.

RTFL for once in your dishonest life, you anti-science ignorant twit.

Edited to add:  looks like ericmurphy beat me to it.
Posted by: Chris Hyland on May 14 2006,00:39



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
The objective criterion for recognizing intelligent design is to look for things that look like what people build
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Cells don't look like what people build, we call them factories, motors etc because it helps us understand and teach about their function. I don't know how many times I can repeat this.
Posted by: afdave on May 14 2006,01:14



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Dave, given William Dembski's absolute lack of credibility when it comes to critiques of evolution, why do you even bother quoting him? Have you spent any time at talkorigins or pandasthumb or talkreason to find out what actual scientists who actually have the training to have actual opinions on evolutionary biology have to say about Dembski?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Eric ...  I'm very aware of PT and TO opinions of Dembski ... how could anyone NOT BE?

I'm not quoting Dembski, I'm quoting TALK ORIGINS !!  Isn't that what you guys have been instructing me to do?  I understand the claims Dembski makes about SETI and I have no knowledge about them ... that is not my point.

Did you not notice the bold print?  Here it is again ...

Talk Origins (not Dembski, not AIG, not ICR) Talk Origins said ...

T h e    o b j e c t i v e    c r i t e r i o n    f o r    r e c o g n i z i n g    i n t e l l i g e n t    d e s i g n    i s    t o    l o o k    f o r     t h i n g s    t h a t    l o o k    l i k e    w h a t    p e o p l e     b u i l d.

Now it does not get much plainer than that.  The logical conclusion of this is if SETI looks for things that look like people build to indicate intelligent life out there somewhere, why shouldn't we also?  There are oodles of things that resemble things that people build all through nature:  bat "radar", bird wings, eyes like cameras, ad infinitum ... maybe there is Someone out there who designed this!

I read all you guys' links ... I know what they say ... I always do read your links if they are on topic

You cannot dodge this one ...

There is no escaping the fact that YOUR FAVORITE SITE (not Dembski) made a statement that agrees with AF Dave on one of my MAJOR POINTS--THERE IS OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE THAT BIOLOGICAL "MACHINES" LOOK DESIGNED BECAUSE THEY PROBABLY ARE DESIGNED.

I understand that this may bring frustration, but I cannot help what Talk Origins writes -- go get mad at them, not me.
Posted by: afdave on May 14 2006,01:29



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Or, maybe, you know, explain to him that the people at the SETI project are not making metaphors on purpose when they talk about products of intelligence: They mean the real thing. They are looking for actual intelligent design, not "Intelligent Design". The reason they are looking for things that people build is, well, that they are looking for "people" who build things.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

You don't have to explain this to me ... I already understand and agree with you ...

I ALSO am looking for ACTUAL intelligent design, not "Intelligent Design."

I ALSO am looking for "people" who build things.  I just have a theory that these "people" are ONE person and he just might be known in some circles as "God."
Posted by: Faid on May 14 2006,02:33



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
You cannot dodge this one ...
---------------------QUOTE-------------------




oooh boy, we're reeally scared now... The zombie SETI argument has come back to haunt us- to the hills, people!

...Not really.

Dave, I hope you remembered to add your stubborness and arrogance in your confession today, because seriously, I dunno which is worse- and more responsible for your total lack of understanding.

Once again: SETI does not look for "Intelligent Design" in the universe. They look for designs of intelligence. They explain that clearly in their link; too bad you didn't bother to check.
You might say that they don't look for "bat ear radars" and "eye cameras": they look for radars and cameras. Their products, at least. They are not searching for complexity (which is your "argument" for ID), they're searching for simplicity out of place -like a trail of smoke over the ocean. They're looking for things that stand out of their enviroment, not fit perfectly in it.
When they say "things people build" they mean j u s t   t h a t (there, was that right?  :p ). What do you think is artificial, dave? A cactus in the desert, or a steel upright pipe? And which is more complex? Hmm.
And it's us that are flustrated, right? :D

I know of course all this is pointless by now... I have figured out there's no way to penetrate your wall of stubborness; I just want to point out that, mixing that with arrogant remarks and lame attempts at mockery, does not help your "cause" here- and only makes you look silly (yes, silly even for a young-earther).

Just FYI.
Posted by: afdave on May 14 2006,03:40

Face it, Faid.  You lost one point.

Talk Origins supported my position on this one.

Shake it off! ... it's only ONE point you lost.  It's a new day tomorrow.

I also have lost one point here at PT ... and I admitted it ... you can too.  It's not that bad.  It's not like this disproves your whole theory or anything.
Posted by: Chris Hyland on May 14 2006,04:13



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
You cannot dodge this one
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



What do you want us to admit? That biological machines are a good argument for design, no chance at the moment I'm afraid. Look how I can write stuff in bold too:

Biological systems ony have a superficial resemblance to man-made machines. Biological systems do not look designed. SETI has absolutely nothing to do with it, it isnt a comparable situation

Plus of course SETI says ID is a load of crap and has nothing to do with what they do.
Posted by: normdoering on May 14 2006,04:13

Quote (afdave @ May 14 2006,08:40)
Talk Origins supported my position on this one.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Not really.

But what is intelligence? Does an intelligent thing necessarily have to have any or all of these qualities:

1) Desire, wants, will
2) Foresight
3) Memory
4) Awareness of itself
5) Creativity and originality
6) Sensory organs
7) Perceptions
8) Communications

Evolution has some of those qualities, memory, creativity and a form of communication.

But evolution lacks others, like foresight, self awareness and desire. The animals it creates has some of them, but not the system that is evolution.

Does your God have all those qualities?

What does a system have to have to be called intelligent?

What SETI is looking for is something close enough to us we might talk to it. Do you talk to God?
Posted by: k.e on May 14 2006,04:27

Ok half a dave no problem.
You will have us all 100% convinced if you produce your god and say a phone number we can speak to him, he does speak English doesn't he?  Old English or New English BTW? Should be no problem for you since you have 100% certainty. how much time do you need?
A gap or your saying so is not a god or a proof, just thought I would let you know that.
..
..
..
sounds of grasshoppers humping
just as I thought
God is not provable because there is no objective proof for its existance and by definition does not exist, other than by human subjective thought, end that and even the subjective existance disapears as have thousands of dreamt up thunder,sea,sky,snake,female,male gods since man climed down from the trees.
In fact half a dave you could say that gods  ARE the result of human evolution as you rightly suspect and IF CD is true, destroys your T-Model God.
Head back in the sand half a dave.
snicker giggle
Posted by: Faid on May 14 2006,05:43

Quote (afdave @ May 14 2006,08:40)
Face it, Faid.  You lost one point.

Talk Origins supported my position on this one.

Shake it off! ... it's only ONE point you lost.  It's a new day tomorrow.

I also have lost one point here at PT ... and I admitted it ... you can too.  It's not that bad.  It's not like this disproves your whole theory or anything.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Face it, Dave. You have no arguments and no logic behind your assumptions, and you try to make up for that with word-playing, hand-waving, and lame mockery. Oh, and spades of denial.

It's ok to admit that you haven't the slightest clue of what I just explained, and you were unable to answer me; We already realize that's due to the fact that you don't want to, not because you can't. But if you're desperately trying to get a "point" for yourself, try to win it like we did: With arguments and evidence.

Instead, saying "H e y   w h a t   d o e s   i t   s a y   h e r e   y e a h   t h a t s   r i g h t   " i n t e l l i g e n t   d e s i g n "   W o o   h o o   T. O.   s u p p o r t s   I D   I   w i n   w h a t s   t h a t   I   c a n t   h e a r   y o u   l a   l a   l a" Only makes you look ridiculous and childish.

Seriously, can't you do better than that?  :(  *disappointment*
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 14 2006,05:56

Quote (afdave @ May 14 2006,06:14)
Eric ...  I'm very aware of PT and TO opinions of Dembski ... how could anyone NOT BE?

I'm not quoting Dembski, I'm quoting TALK ORIGINS !!  Isn't that what you guys have been instructing me to do?  I understand the claims Dembski makes about SETI and I have no knowledge about them ... that is not my point.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Dave, did you read the SETI article? Because it completely contradicts your point! What SETI is looking for is something that resembles what people would design, not what some purported "creator god" would design.

We have a very good idea of what something created by a civilization would look like, because we know firsthand what civilizations build. We have no idea what an "intelligent designer" (in the sense that the creationists mean it) would build, because we have no idea what the "intelligent designer" is like.

 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
T h e    o b j e c t i v e    c r i t e r i o n    f o r    r e c o g n i z i n g    i n t e l l i g e n t    d e s i g n    i s    t o    l o o k    f o r     t h i n g s    t h a t    l o o k    l i k e    w h a t    p e o p l e     b u i l d.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Yes, Dave. What people build. Not what supernatural intelligences build. Do you see the distinction?

 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Now it does not get much plainer than that.  The logical conclusion of this is if SETI looks for things that look like people build to indicate intelligent life out there somewhere, why shouldn't we also?  There are oodles of things that resemble things that people build all through nature:  bat "radar", bird wings, eyes like cameras, ad infinitum ... maybe there is Someone out there who designed this!
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


And more to the point, Dave, you have to admit that basically nothing biological really looks like anything humans would build. Does a bat's ear look anything—anything at all—like a human-designed radar receiver? Does a bird's wing bear anything but the most superficial resemblance to a plane's wing? Does a mitochondrion look like anything humans have ever built?

You've been stating as if it's a fact that biological structures look like something humans would build, but it's far from true. Look around, Dave. Take off your creationist spectacles and really look at things.
Posted by: Chris Hyland on May 14 2006,06:10



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
There are oodles of things that resemble things that people build all through nature:  bat "radar", bird wings, eyes like cameras
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

This is similar to the 'if people copy nature nature must be designed' thread they had at UD a couple of weeks ago. Can you come up with a good reason why this makes any sense? Because I certainly can't think of one.
Posted by: qetzal on May 14 2006,06:41

Quote (afdave @ May 14 2006,06:14)
There are oodles of things that resemble things that people build all through nature:  bat "radar", bird wings, eyes like cameras, ad infinitum ... maybe there is Someone out there who designed this!

I read all you guys' links ... I know what they say ... I always do read your links if they are on topic

You cannot dodge this one ...

There is no escaping the fact that YOUR FAVORITE SITE (not Dembski) made a statement that agrees with AF Dave on one of my MAJOR POINTS--THERE IS OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE THAT BIOLOGICAL "MACHINES" LOOK DESIGNED BECAUSE THEY PROBABLY ARE DESIGNED.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


The problem with your 'fact' is that's it's untrue. There is no 'overwhelming evidence' that biological 'machines' even look designed. Not unless you're willing to provide an objective definition of looks designed.

What we have is overwhelming evidence that some people think things look designed. And in any case, a subjective judgement that something looks designed is not EVIDENCE that it is.

Which leads back to your earlier point. Yes, maybe there is Someone out there who designed this. I personally don't believe that, but I don't claim it's impossible. But "looks designed" is not really evidence for this Someone. "Looks designed, therefore maybe is designed" is just a hypothesis.

Now what you need to do is make and test some predictions. Let me get you started:

IF Someone designed all this, THEN I predict I should see X. HOWEVER, if I see Y, that would be evidence that Someone did NOT design all this.

Can you supply objective specifics for X and Y? If so, your concept of Someone may be testable. Otherwise, not.
Posted by: PuckSR on May 14 2006,12:02

AFDave....a question....
Do you want people to admit that the teleological argument is a strong indication of a designer?
or
Do you want us to admit that the teleological argument is a proof of God?

Everyone else?
Are you trying to completely debunk the teleological argument?
or
Are you trying to argue that the teleological argument is insufficient for scientific purposes?

BTW...the teleological argument is the classical "fine-tuned" universe argument...or simply ID(philosophy)
Posted by: Chris Hyland on May 14 2006,12:27

As a proud member of everyone else I heartily endorse the fourth statement.
Posted by: normdoering on May 14 2006,12:36

Quote (PuckSR @ May 14 2006,17:02)
Are you trying to completely debunk the teleological argument?
or
Are you trying to argue that the teleological argument is insufficient for scientific purposes?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Mostly it's that the teleological argument is insufficient for scientific purposes. However, I think the fact that neuroscience has found many natural explainations for the only organ of teleology we know - the brain - undermines teleology's use for metaphysical views.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 14 2006,12:37

Quote (PuckSR @ May 14 2006,17:02)
Everyone else?
Are you trying to completely debunk the teleological argument?
or
Are you trying to argue that the teleological argument is insufficient for scientific purposes?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


How many times do we need to tell Dave that it's not possible to prove there is no god? And as far as I know, no one on this site is of the opinion that they have "proved" god doesn't exist (I happen to believe that god doesn't exist, but I don't think for a minute that I can prove it).

We've told Dave this several times already, but it doesn't seem to have sunk in. We've also informed Dave several times that we've been waiting for some sort of solid evidence in support of any of the 15 assertions he made at the beginning of this thread. So far, it appears that the only person who thinks he's provided any evidence whatsoever in support of any of those assertions is Dave himself.
Posted by: Occam's Aftershave on May 14 2006,13:49



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
How many times do we need to tell Dave that it's not possible to prove there is no god? And as far as I know, no one on this site is of the opinion that they have "proved" god doesn't exist (I happen to believe that god doesn't exist, but I don't think for a minute that I can prove it).

We've told Dave this several times already, but it doesn't seem to have sunk in. We've also informed Dave several times that we've been waiting for some sort of solid evidence in support of any of the 15 assertions he made at the beginning of this thread. So far, it appears that the only person who thinks he's provided any evidence whatsoever in support of any of those assertions is Dave himself.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Haven't you guys caught on yet that AFDave is not here to learn, or to discuss, but to PREACH.

He sees himself as an evangelical missionary, just like his father, out to save the ignorant savages.

Personally, I find his dishonest attempts at feigning interest in order to proselytize and push his anti-science agenda to be quite insulting.

I'll support anyone's right to believe their own religion, but I really don't appreciate getting lied to about it.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 14 2006,14:47

Quote (Occam's Aftershave @ May 14 2006,18:49)
Haven't you guys caught on yet that AFDave is not here to learn, or to discuss, but to PREACH.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Yeah, we know. And most of us probably realize we don't have a snowball's chance of convincing Dave that he's wrong. But that's okay. It's not like any of us is being forced to respond to his flaccid attempts to prove the existence of his god.

It's just kind of fun. Sort of.
Posted by: UnMark on May 14 2006,16:36

[quote=ericmurphy,May 14 2006,17:37]
Quote (PuckSR @ May 14 2006,17:02)

How many times do we need to tell Dave that it's not possible to prove there is no god? And as far as I know, no one on this site is of the opinion that they have "proved" god doesn't exist (I happen to believe that god doesn't exist, but I don't think for a minute that I can prove it).
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


It certainly IS possible to disprove the qualities normally associated with God.  For instance, omnipotence is self-contradictory and, therefore, cannot exist (que "the rock" question).  Similarly, omniscience and free will are mutually exclusive: if we humans have free will, then God cannot know what we're going to do before we do it.  Furthermore, ignoring those two contradictions, God cannot know that a disaster is going to happen and have the power to stop it and still be benevolent/morally perfect for allowing it to happen.

What says you about this, Dave?
Posted by: PuckSR on May 14 2006,17:38

Oh come on UnMark....
all AFDave needs to refute your arguments is a basic understanding of philosophy...and perhaps some light googling.

Heck...i will do it for him
1.  Omnipotence-all powerful...can god create a rock so heavy even he cannot lift it?  This is simply a contradictory statement.  This would be like asking...can God run faster than God?  Also given the fact that God is all-powerful he would be able to create a rock so heavy he couldnt lift it and at the same time be able to lift it.
2.  Free-will....this is more than just an issue of an omniscient God...basically just mention anything that has to do with free-will and determinism.  There are several good arguments arguing for free will and determinism...the most common is that just because i can predict your action doesnt mean that your action was without choice.  It was just predictable...
Besides....God could be all-knowing simply because He exists outside of time.  So the argument against omniscience is even less applicable to God
3.  Necessary evil...perhaps the most discussed theological debate.  The arguments range from "all pain is either necessary or an illusion" to the argument that death, pain, and suffering are not inherently evil.

Ok...that will save us some time.....
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 14 2006,19:29



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
that's my impression of eric murphy...
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



...and here's MY impression of AFDavey:


Posted by: afdave on May 15 2006,03:01



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
When they say "things people build" they mean j u s t   t h a t (there, was that right?).
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



No, Faid that is close, but not exactly what they said ... they did not say "things people build."  Talk Origins said "things that look like what people build."  

 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
But what is intelligence? Does an intelligent thing necessarily have to have any or all of these qualities:

1) Desire, wants, will
2) Foresight
3) Memory
4) Awareness of itself
5) Creativity and originality
6) Sensory organs
7) Perceptions
8) Communications

Evolution has some of those qualities, memory, creativity and a form of communication.

But evolution lacks others, like foresight, self awareness and desire. The animals it creates has some of them, but not the system that is evolution.

Does your God have all those qualities?

What does a system have to have to be called intelligent?

What SETI is looking for is something close enough to us we might talk to it. Do you talk to God?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Sure I do.  You all could probably guess that I at least imagine that I communicate with God -- it's a well known claim by Christians and others -- of course I'm talking about prayer.  But I have no proof to offer you of the sort you would be looking for to prove that He hears me.  All I can do is offer evidence that "ET" is out there somewhere because in biological machines, we have exactly the kinds of things SETI is looking for (and apparently T.O. acknowledges this).  I can point to the finely tuned universe and show you that Someone probably set all those parameters.  I can look at the phenomenon of a universal "moral code" and conclude that "Someone probably created this moral code" (C.S. Lewis -- I will get into this shortly), and I can show how the Laws of Relativity make it conceivable that someone could "live outside of space and time" (even though I don't understand how this works).  And this is about as far as I can go with just observations of nature.  After that, I will get into "religious books", then my reasons for commencing an investigation into one particular "religious book" -- the Christian Bible.  Then we will begin getting into some of the stuff you all keep asking about -- age of the earth/universe, evidence for the Flood of Noah, the changing of languages, the historicity of the Bible, the Messianic prophecies and the prophecies of Daniel regarding the nations of the world, and the amazing accuracy of human nature description of the Bible.  We will deal with philosophical questions about God -- the problem of evil in the world, and we will look at some perceived Bible difficulties, among other things.  Here is an overview of my approach:

(1) Observe nature and draw inferences:  this only gets us so far, i.e. we conclude that there is an "ET" (or ET's) out there who is a Super-Intelligent Engineer, this ET might possibly live outside of space and time, and this "ET" might be the originator of this stange, universal "moral code" which we observe.  So we hold these thoughts and move through the rest of the process.

(2) If we accept (1), then we can make some predictions, one of which would be: "This 'ET' probably can communicate to humans."  How?  Dunno, but there certainly are a lot of competing claims out there -- many "prophets" and "holy books" claiming to be speaking for God or Allah or whoever. Could any one of them stand up to scrutiny?  So we compare some "holy books" and investigate the claims.  We focus in particular on the Christian Bible.  Why would we waste our time on this?  Well ... several good reasons.  We have reason to believe that the Christian Bible is unique among "religious books" for some pretty big reasons.  Former agnostic Josh McDowell gets into this in "Evidence that Demands a Verdict." I will explain some of these later, but it's enough to say for now that I have a convincing case for at least taking the time to honestly investigate the claims of the Bible.

(3) I begin investigating the Bible and I find many weird things.  But I know from experience that often times truth is stranger than fiction, so I keep investigating.  One by one, the supposed "difficulties" in the Bible keep falling as I learn more.  By the time I am done investigating the historicity of the Bible, its amazing predictions and fulfillments, the evidence in favor of Genesis 1-11 as actual history, its accurate description of the human condition, and other factors, there is not anything sensible to me to conclude except that some Unseen, Incredible Mind somewhere caused this book--the Bible--to be written.

(4) This is the end of the evidence that I can detect with my senses.  From this point forward, I have no choice but to make a "leap of faith" in some direction.  My choices are to A--do nothing B--reject the evidence I have just discovered or C--put 2 and 2 together and make what appears to me to be only a small "leap of faith" and conclude that the "Mind" that superintended the writing of the Bible is the same "Mind" that created the wonders of Nature.  Is this so unreasonable?

(5) Risk analysis.  Having walked through this entire process, I now am faced squarely with the claim from the Bible:  "Believe me and spend eternity with me when you die." (God supposedly speaking) or "Don't believe me and spend eternity separated from me.  It's your choice, Dave.  I won't force you.  I have given you abundant evidence for My existence.  If this evidence is not enough, what evidence WOULD be enough?"  I have to choose, and it basically boils down to risk analysis.  Which of the two possible choices seems less risky?

(6) And so I did choose.  I chose to believe the Bible based on what I considered to be overwhelming evidence in favor of believing it.  To me, it appears to be sheer folly to go against such evidence as I have seen.

(7) Now that I have made that choice, all I can tell you is that I am a changed man.  Ask my wife.  I know this is not scientific evidence.  That stopped after Point 3.  I can only tell you that I used to be interested in myself only.  I have not become perfect (I'm too cocky and too smart-alecky among other things), but there is now a new force for good within me which many times overcomes my selfish desires--the Bible tells me that this is the Spirit of God which apparently comes and somehow "dwells within" believers.  Now I genuinely care for others as well as myself and it really doesn't bother me much if people make fun of me.  I have a very single minded goal in life -- to be used by my Creator for His purposes during my brief stay here on this earth.  I don't know what those purposes will be during the next 40 or so years that I may have left.  But right now I have a (God given?) desire to share with others the truth that I have found.  They may reject it and I understand that.  It's OK.  Everyone has to make their own choice.  But I would be remiss if I held this information to myself.  Not only am I a changed man, but I can also tell you that the native people my dad worked with in Brazil are changed people.  When he went there in 1950, they numbered less than 400.  They were killing each other and their own babies and openly spoke about the time when they would all be gone.  They asked my dad who he would preach to when they were all gone.  But my dad persisted in showing them the truths in the Bible in spite of unspeakable personal difficulties.  After 5 years, the chief made THE CHOICE that I speak of and the whole group turned around.  Today they are a happy, productive people.  Their population has blown through 3000 and is growing rapidly.  They now know how to read and write, give medical care, speak Portuguese and many other productive things.  They are even traveling to other villages who used to be in the same predicament as them and helping them.  It is truly amazing!  You can get the two books which tell the story of my dad on Amazon.com:  Christ's Witchdoctor and Christ's Jungle both by Homer Dowdy.

 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Ok half a dave no problem.
You will have us all 100% convinced if you produce your god and say a phone number we can speak to him, he does speak English doesn't he?  Old English or New English BTW? Should be no problem for you since you have 100% certainty. how much time do you need?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

I would turn this around and ask, "What would it take to convince you that the God of the Christian Bible exists and is really as He is described there?"  I'm serious.  What would it take?

 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Dave, did you read the SETI article? Because it completely contradicts your point! What SETI is looking for is something that resembles what people would design, not what some purported "creator god" would design.

We have a very good idea of what something created by a civilization would look like, because we know firsthand what civilizations build. We have no idea what an "intelligent designer" (in the sense that the creationists mean it) would build, because we have no idea what the "intelligent designer" is like.

 Quote  
T h e    o b j e c t i v e    c r i t e r i o n    f o r    r e c o g n i z i n g    i n t e l l i g e n t    d e s i g n    i s    t o    l o o k    f o r     t h i n g s    t h a t    l o o k    l i k e    w h a t    p e o p l e     b u i l d.

Yes, Dave. What people build. Not what supernatural intelligences build. Do you see the distinction?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Yes.  I see the distinction, but why limit ourselves to searching for ET's that are like human "people"?  Why would we not entertain the possibility of a Super-human of some sort.  Are we really so narrow minded that we rule out the possibility of some advanced life form out there somewhere?  And maybe this life-form has no physical body.  Why do we think that having a physical body is some sort of advantage?  I would actually think NOT having a physical body would be much better--my idea of what a spirit might be (if there is such a thing) is quite fun indeed.  Imagine being able to walk through walls and not having to go to the doctor (sorry Faid), or be able to "beam" ourselves instantly to other parts of the universe and actually survive because we need no oxygen!  I think this would be fantastic!  And I think it is entirely possible and actually quite probable that there really is an "ET" out there who may in fact be more like a "Mind" with no body--a spirit, if you will, who made all these "artifacts" we find here on earth.  And this has nothing to do with "religion" for me, which is why I place this in the category of science.  I consider myself to basically be a sort of private SETI researcher.  And my idea of how this "Mind" did it was basically that he created a perfect environment for life--the Cosmos and Earth--then placed a relatively small number of "biological machines" on Earth, which in turn diversified into the many species which existed before the Flood.  A similar thing happened after the Flood -- i.e. a relatively small number of "kinds" diversified into the present diversity that we see today.  I think some people think that I think God created each individual species.  I do not think this.  I think God basically created the original "kinds" each with their own unique DNA software, then He basically "let the software run" and let the free spirits attached to the minds of the "human biological machines" have free choices to do as they would do.
 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
And more to the point, Dave, you have to admit that basically nothing biological really looks like anything humans would build. Does a bat's ear look anything—anything at all—like a human-designed radar receiver? Does a bird's wing bear anything but the most superficial resemblance to a plane's wing? Does a mitochondrion look like anything humans have ever built?

You've been stating as if it's a fact that biological structures look like something humans would build, but it's far from true. Look around, Dave. Take off your creationist spectacles and really look at things.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Actually, I think that many, many things we find in Nature strongly resemble things humans would build.  The difference that I observe is that they have a much higher degree of sophistication than our technology.  They do appear to me to be, in fact, the "products of an advanced civilization."  We all know the Bill Gates quote about DNA being software which is far advanced beyond our own software.  I think he should know.  And if you think about it, much of our technology already existed in Nature before we invented it.  Airplanes are a perfect example.  Nature had airfoils  and propulsion systems before we did.  Nature had vision devices before we did.  Nature had "radar" before we did.  Nature had submarines before we did.  Nature had "robot arms and legs" before we did.  Nature had food production factories before we did (plants). Nature had chemical factories before we did.  Nature had assembly lines before we did.  Nature had under-water breathing apparatus before we did.  Nature had chemical "light sticks" before we did (fireflies). Nature had computing systems before we did (brains).  

And Nature still has many things which we do not have.  Dupont has studied gecko feet to understand how the adhesive works.  Scientists are studying molecular machines and now are making nano-machines themselves.  I constantly read about scientists observing Nature and trying to mimic it.  This is great stuff!  I love it!  But it highlites the fact that Nature has technology far, far, far advanced beyond our own in every direction we look. If this is not evidence for and "advanced civilization" somewhere that produced this, then I don't know what is.

Many people have this strange (to me) idea that natural "technology" is somehow fundamentally different that man-made technology.  Maybe it has some "vital force" or something that makes it different.  Someone mentioned that it is "blobby" or something and this means it is in a different category.

I would submit to you that it is only different in degree of high-techy-ness. Other than this there is no difference at all in the physical bodies of plants and animals that we see to man-made technology.  They all use the same atoms from the same periodic table as human engineers have access to.  What we really observe is a brilliant software system residing in an ingenious arrangement of molecules which in turn are nothing more that atoms arranged just so, and we call this a cell.  Because of the sophistication of the DNA software, cells have the ability to assemble raw materials and thus grow into organisms as diverse as giant redwoods and horse-flies.

Do you deny this?

 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
This is similar to the 'if people copy nature nature must be designed' thread they had at UD a couple of weeks ago. Can you come up with a good reason why this makes any sense? Because I certainly can't think of one.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Yes.  It makes total sense and is very intuitively obvious to me.  And people like Bill Dembski are trying to reduce it to mathematics so not only will it be intuitively obvious, but it will also be rigorously provable. (I'm not saying Bill's there yet ... I don't know much about his stuff)

 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Which leads back to your earlier point. Yes, maybe there is Someone out there who designed this. I personally don't believe that, but I don't claim it's impossible. But "looks designed" is not really evidence for this Someone. "Looks designed, therefore maybe is designed" is just a hypothesis.

Now what you need to do is make and test some predictions. Let me get you started:

IF Someone designed all this, THEN I predict I should see X. HOWEVER, if I see Y, that would be evidence that Someone did NOT design all this.

Can you supply objective specifics for X and Y? If so, your concept of Someone may be testable. Otherwise, not.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

I agree that it is only a hypothesis and never will be provable.  Put I do make predictions. See my steps above. (and there are more besides this)

 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Do you want people to admit that the teleological argument is a strong indication of a designer?
or
Do you want us to admit that the teleological argument is a proof of God?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

The former.

 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
It certainly IS possible to disprove the qualities normally associated with God.  For instance, omnipotence is self-contradictory and, therefore, cannot exist (que "the rock" question).  Similarly, omniscience and free will are mutually exclusive: if we humans have free will, then God cannot know what we're going to do before we do it.  Furthermore, ignoring those two contradictions, God cannot know that a disaster is going to happen and have the power to stop it and still be benevolent/morally perfect for allowing it to happen.

What says you about this, Dave?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

PuckSR answered for me very well.

OK?  There you have it.  If no one has any more questions about these items, we will move along.
Posted by: Chris Hyland on May 15 2006,03:19



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I would submit to you that it is only different in degree of high-techy-ness.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

This is simply wrong, and I have pointed this out many times. You might look at a birds wing or whatever and see that it looks at first glance to be an efficient airfoil. However when you look at how the molecular networks are put together, and how the thing develops you see it doesn't look designed at all. These systems have the properties that we would expect if they had evolved by natural selection, not created by someone who planned ahead. There are many things in nature that seem very efficient to us, but there are also a great number of things that are horribly inneficient and badly 'designed', which is what we would expect if evolution were true. I think Francis Jacob put it best when he said evolution is a tinkerer and not an engineer, and that is exactly what we see.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Yes.  It makes total sense and is very intuitively obvious to me.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Unfortunately it seems that 'if we copy nature nature must be designed', is only intuitively obvious to people who already think nature is designed.
Posted by: Faid on May 15 2006,03:53



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
No, Faid that is close, but not exactly what they said ... they did not say "things people build."  Talk Origins said "things that look like what people build."  
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



(Here we go again...)

...Yes, Dave, because that's what they're looking for.
A cactus in the desert does not look artificial. A steel upright pipe, however, does. No matter how less "complex" it is. Look, I don't think I can find a plainer example. Either you get it, or you don't.
We both know that you're trying to create a confusion in terms, by preassuming that the way you use the term "intelligent design" is the right one, and the only possible. And we both know this isn't true.
Dave, if you like to think a cactus is also artificial, then it's your right; but don't try to enforce your way on thinking on everybody else, and say that' since they're looking for steel pipes, they should also look for cactuses.  :p
SETI is not looking for loaded naive metaphors; they're looking for the real thing. Period.

Keep looking for that "point" you so desperately want, Dave: You're a long way from earning it, but who knows? You may have a good chance to get it, if you start to use real arguments.

(And this is no irony: I actually mean it. Starting to actually use argumentative logic and reasonable points to defend your position, instead of jumping from issue to issue in 4 threads, picking phrases and quotemining and hand-waving or ignoring counter-arguments, is the only way you'll keep yourself from becoming a bore for all, eventually. IMO, of course.)
Posted by: afdave on May 15 2006,03:53



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
There are many things in nature that seem very efficient to us, but there are also a great number of things that are horribly inneficient and badly 'designed', which is what we would expect if evolution were true.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

But it is also exactly what we would expect if the Bible were true, because it speaks of a "Curse" as well as an originally perfect "Design."  I know the "Curse" idea seems strange--I have not yet explained my understanding of it--but it all makes sense if you accept the whole package.  It makes perfect sense to me that a Creator designed everything perfectly, but then "cursed it" as a result of man's choice to not obey God.  One of the biggest reasons I see for the Curse is to show man very clearly that "this world is not our true home."  There is something better coming which our Creator will someday give us if we choose it, and we should not place too much value on our material possessions here on earth.
Posted by: thurdl01 on May 15 2006,04:01

So, in short, you've given yourself the Perfect and Ultimate Out.  If common descent is obvious, well, that's just common design.  If a structure works, well, that's obviously the will of the Intelligent Designer.  If a structure doesn't work, well, that's just original sin.

And at that point you wouldn't need to care about any evidence that's provide to you, as you could just pigeon hole it, and be all happy that you're "winning".

Do I have it right.
Posted by: Flint on May 15 2006,04:06

Maybe dave can provide a single example of anything anywhere such that "that's the way god chose to do it" is NOT a sufficient explanation. At least, that way we'll have some purchase, some distinction to examine in more detail. But I doubt there is any such example.
Posted by: Faid on May 15 2006,04:12



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
It makes perfect sense to me that a Creator designed everything perfectly, but then "cursed it" as a result of man's choice to not obey God.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


You are aware, of course, that God, being all-knowing and "out of time", already knew all that when he was making the world and man in all their perfection, right? And yet he went on to impose that pointless command (not to eat a fruit, a fruit that suppoesdly did something they already could do, A fruit that had no reason to be there in the first place than to "test" them for something God knew they'd do all along when he made them), And then "cursed" them, and all their unborn children who did not even exist yet, for eternirty? And all this because he loves us?
Doesn't this look like some kind of twisted game?

That was the first question I asked you, and you never answered...


Anyway, all this is NOT science, and we both know it, so nevermind.
Posted by: Chris Hyland on May 15 2006,04:15



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
But it is also exactly what we would expect if the Bible were true, because it speaks of a "Curse" as well as an originally perfect "Design."
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

I don't mean things that are 'wrong' nesseceraly, I just mean the odd enzyme that isn't as efficient as it could be, or a pathway that has more components than it could have because it evolved that way (and no I am not talking about redundancy).


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
It makes perfect sense to me that a Creator designed everything perfectly, but then "cursed it" as a result of man's choice to not obey God.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Ok so if we say God make very small molecular changes in man fair enough, even though it doesn't appear that way. Why would he then make the same changes in all other organisms, which don't have any phenotypic effect on man at all in his interaction with them You can shrug off 'bad design' but you can't escape the fact that these sytems look like they have evolved as opposed to been engineered.
Posted by: Ved on May 15 2006,04:16



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
But it is also exactly what we would expect if the Bible were true, because it speaks of a "Curse"
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


That's some omnibenevolent god you've got there. It's no wonder I only really ever use his "name" as profanity myself. Your God can smeg off.
Posted by: normdoering on May 15 2006,04:25

Quote (afdave @ May 15 2006,08:01)


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
But what is intelligence? Does an intelligent thing necessarily have to have any or all of these qualities:

1) Desire, wants, will
2) Foresight
3) Memory
4) Awareness of itself
5) Creativity and originality
6) Sensory organs
7) Perceptions
8) Communications

Evolution has some of those qualities, memory, creativity and a form of communication.

But evolution lacks others, like foresight, self awareness and desire. The animals it creates has some of them, but not the system that is evolution.

Does your God have all those qualities?

What does a system have to have to be called intelligent?

What SETI is looking for is something close enough to us we might talk to it. Do you talk to God?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Sure I do.  You all could probably guess that I at least imagine that I communicate with God -- it's a well known claim by Christians and others -- of course I'm talking about prayer.  But I have no proof to offer you of the sort you would be looking for to prove that He hears me.  All I can do is offer evidence that "ET" is out there somewhere because in biological machines, we have exactly the kinds of things SETI is looking for (and apparently T.O. acknowledges this).
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Dave, you're missing it. You quoted my questions, but only answered the last one; do you think that you talk to God? (You  pray. But does God answer?)

I first listed 8 qualities associated with intelligence and pointed out how evolution doesn't need all of them, then I asked which of those qualities you assumed your God had. Just how mentally anthropomorphic is your vision of God?

What qualities are necessary to call something "intelligent"?

For example, how intelligent is a computer and computer program system like "Deep Blue"? That's the chess playing computer -- it has a kind of foresight, it plays chess and looks ahead, it has memory, but does it have "desire," "awareness of self," "Perceptions"?

See how different systems have different mixtures of those qualities?

Instead of exploring my questions you went off into your preaching and acting completely unaware of your audience. I bet you even frustrate other Christians with babbling preachiness, don't you?
Posted by: qetzal on May 15 2006,05:09

Quote (afdave @ May 15 2006,08:01)
I agree that it is only a hypothesis and never will be provable.  Put I do make predictions. See my steps above. (and there are more besides this)
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


I hope there will be more besides this. You only listed one: "This 'ET' probably can communicate to humans."  And your only cited evidence for this prediction is the Bible.

The problem there is that the Bible is more readily explained as a product of purely human activity. We know humans exist. We know they write books. We know different human groups have claimed the existence of different (and often mutually incompatible) Gods throughout history. We know humans sometimes believe things that are objectively false. We know that groups of humans sometimes share common beliefs that are objectively false.

Thus, we can explain the Bible using entirely known phenomenon, without recourse to an undemonstrated God.

Which does NOT, of course, disprove God. Nor does it disprove the Bible as His word. It just means that the Bible is not useful evidence of God communicating with us.

   

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
We all know the Bill Gates quote about DNA being software which is far advanced beyond our own software.  I think he should know.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Why? Because he's such an accomplished molecular biologist and geneticist? I submit that the real reason you 'think he should know' is that you've already reached your conclusions (God exists, He made us, etc.), and you accept or reject others' opinions based on whether they agree with those predetermined conclusions.

And that's fine with me. You should just recognize that it's faith, not evidence.

 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I would turn this around and ask, "What would it take to convince you that the God of the Christian Bible exists and is really as He is described there?"  I'm serious.  What would it take?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Any of the following would certainly make me give it stronger consideration:
*  An objectively verifiable burning bush talks to me and/or to others.
*  A sea gets parted, preferably accompanied by a booming voice.
*  The earth stops rotating for a while, then starts up again, all without killing us.
*  A new species of dats appears suddenly, preferably in a place where there were definitely no previous dats. Molecular analysis shows that half the dats' genes came from dogs, and half from cats.

If the Bible is true, God did all those sorts of things before, so he can presumably do them again, right?

You may say that the Bible shows he already did them, and i should accept that. Unfortunately, we have no corroborating evidence that those things happened. In fact, objective evidence frequently contradicts modern translations of the Bible, e.g. regarding the age of the earth, claims for a global flood, etc.

On the other hand, we do have evidence that people sometimes make up stories like those, or misinterpret 'natural' phenomena as being the work of God.

So, if God exists, and He wants to do some of those things again now, when we're better equipped to observe and record them objectively, I'll reassess my non-belief. Or, maybe you can present actual evidence that is not more readily explained by known phenomena. You haven't done so yet, and I strongly doubt you can, but maybe I'm wrong.
Posted by: afdave on May 15 2006,07:00



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
But what is intelligence? Does an intelligent thing necessarily have to have any or all of these qualities:

1) Desire, wants, will
2) Foresight
3) Memory
4) Awareness of itself
5) Creativity and originality
6) Sensory organs
7) Perceptions
8) Communications

Evolution has some of those qualities, memory, creativity and a form of communication.

But evolution lacks others, like foresight, self awareness and desire. The animals it creates has some of them, but not the system that is evolution.

Does your God have all those qualities?

What does a system have to have to be called intelligent?

What SETI is looking for is something close enough to us we might talk to it. Do you talk to God?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Norm--  Didn't mean to dodge you.  Here's your answers.

All I can tellyou for sure is that the Intelligent Agents that I know about do have all those items in (1) through (8), and of course the Bible claims these same attributes for God.  It is my opinion that these claims are true ... however, I am not asking anyone to join me in that belief until I show my evidence supporting these claims.  This is why I did not answer these in detail yet.  My understanding of an intelligent agent is something similar to animal and human intelligence.  I do not have rigorous criteria yet.  Does God talk to me?  Not in an audible voice, no.  I will explain this more fully in the proper sequence.

More answers later.  I'm breaking for lunch :-)
Posted by: PuckSR on May 15 2006,07:21

Dave, if your arguing for the "philosophical validity" of the teleological argument....then you may need to stop.  I, as well as most others, will admit that it is a valid argument.  I will even go as far as to say that the "fine-tuned" universe argument is my rational reason for believing in God.

You need to realize however that everyone you are talking with is arguing against the scientific validity of the argument.
In that case the teleological argument falls short of any sort of validity.  It makes a great deal of assumption, and while those assumptions may turn out to be true....they arent scientifically valid.

Do you understand the difference between validity and factual?  They are mutually exclusive concepts.  

BTW....you never did explain your belief in the divinity of Jesus.  Im still a little curious about that.
Posted by: normdoering on May 15 2006,08:54

Quote (afdave @ May 15 2006,12:00)
All I can tellyou for sure is that the Intelligent Agents that I know about do have all those items in (1) through (8), and of course the Bible claims these same attributes for God.  It is my opinion that these claims are true ...

My understanding of an intelligent agent is something similar to animal and human intelligence.  I do not have rigorous criteria yet.
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You are using the term "Intelligent Agent" in the Dembski sense and not the Minsky sense, (as detailed in Marvin Minsky's book,  "The Society of Mind").


< http://www.amazon.com/gp....=283155 >

A review:
< http://www.emcp.com/intro_pc/reading12.htm >

Dembski assumes against the evidence of neuroscience and  computational explorations of A.I. that intelligence is something supernatural. Minsky tried to build naturalistic intelligent machines and programs.

So, when you say that the Intelligent Agents that you know about do have all those items -- is that because you don't know about robots like Cog? Or chess playing computers like Deep Blue? -- or is it because you don't consider those things composed of intelligent agents?

And where do roaches, ants and other insects fall in  your estimation of intelligence? Ants and  termites do build things like people do -- homes and cities of a sort -- does that similarity imply that ants and termites are intelligent in your view?
Posted by: Faid on May 15 2006,09:00

Puck... Don't make things for dave more < complicated > than they already are.
Posted by: Rilke's Granddaughter on May 15 2006,09:04

I note that Dave has still failed to provide any of the actual evidence he claimed for his 'Big Brother Designer' type.

Did I miss something?  Or does he simply assume that if he blathers on long enough, we'll forget that his unsupported assertions are, well, unsupported?
Posted by: cogzoid on May 15 2006,09:20



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Do you understand the difference between validity and factual?  They are mutually exclusive concepts.  
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Puck, I don't think you meant to say "mutually exclusive."  I think you just meant to say independant.  It's quite true that many factual concepts are even valid concepts!
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 15 2006,09:49

Quote (afdave @ May 15 2006,08:01)
Yes.  I see the distinction, but why limit ourselves to searching for ET's that are like human "people"?  Why would we not entertain the possibility of a Super-human of some sort.  Are we really so narrow minded that we rule out the possibility of some advanced life form out there somewhere?
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Because, Dave, we wouldn't know what to search for. We know of exactly one "intelligent designer": ourselves. If we have no idea what a "designer" is capable of, how would we know what to look for in its designs?

Every time we've been able to determine "design" (the pyramids, Stonehenge, etc.) it's been by direct reference to what we know humans are capable of. How would we determine, even in principle, whether a mitochondrion was "designed" if we can't even make any guesses as to the capability of the "designer"? As I pointed out in a post a few pages ago, that becomes the task of scientists whether they believe in natural or supernatural causes. And the difference is, scientists who believe in natural causes already have an idea of how something like a mitochondrion could have come about; creationists have no idea at all how a "designer" could have come up with a mitochondrion.

And if a "designer" is capable of anything, then how would go about ruling out "design"? It couldn't be done, which means the "creator god hypothesis" is unfalsifiable, if you're using "biological machines" as evidence in favor of the hypothesis.

   

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And I think it is entirely possible and actually quite probable that there really is an "ET" out there who may in fact be more like a "Mind" with no body--a spirit, if you will, who made all these "artifacts" we find here on earth.  And this has nothing to do with "religion" for me, which is why I place this in the category of science.  I consider myself to basically be a sort of private SETI researcher.
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Good for you, Dave. Now, would you care to favor us with your hypothesis as to how this "ET" out there actually "made" these "artifacts"? Because evolutionary biologists already have a good idea of how these artifacts are created. What's your guess?

And, how would you go about falsifying your "ET" hypothesis? What evidence would lead you to believe that life wasn't "ET"ed into existence?

   

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And my idea of how this "Mind" did it was basically that he created a perfect environment for life--the Cosmos and Earth--then placed a relatively small number of "biological machines" on Earth, which in turn diversified into the many species which existed before the Flood.  A similar thing happened after the Flood -- i.e. a relatively small number of "kinds" diversified into the present diversity that we see today.  I think some people think that I think God created each individual species.  I do not think this.  I think God basically created the original "kinds" each with their own unique DNA software, then He basically "let the software run" and let the free spirits attached to the minds of the "human biological machines" have free choices to do as they would do.
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Okay, Dave. How did he do it? You don't know? He just "willed them into existence"? What's the method? Because without that, you're not talking science. You're talking wild-assed speculation

   

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Actually, I think that many, many things we find in Nature strongly resemble things humans would build. ...  Airplanes are a perfect example.  Nature had airfoils  and propulsion systems before we did.  Nature had vision devices before we did.  Nature had "radar" before we did. ...
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See, here's the problem with argument by analogy. You think these natural structures resemble man-made structures; I submit that they do not. Bird wings bear only the remotest resemblance to aircraft wings. About the only thing they have in common is cross-section. Bird wings are much more similar to tetrapod limbs than they are to aircraft wings. The internal structure isn't remotely similar to aircraft wings, but there is an almost perfect one-to-one correspondence between the bones in a bird's wing and the bones in your arm.

And what human-designed thing does a mitochondrion resemble? Don't say "a factory," because no human factory looks even slightly like a mitochondrion.

The fact that two structures that have similar function have similar form isn't really evidence for anything other than the engineering constraints imposed by natural law. How many different forms of a wing are theoretically possible, Dave?

   

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And Nature still has many things which we do not have.  Dupont has studied gecko feet to understand how the adhesive works.  Scientists are studying molecular machines and now are making nano-machines themselves.  I constantly read about scientists observing Nature and trying to mimic it.  
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And besides, you're putting the cart before the horse. The notion that human-designed structures bear resemblance to natural ones is better evidence that humans know how to copy than it is that natural structures were designed.

   

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This is great stuff!  I love it!  But it highlites the fact that Nature has technology far, far, far advanced beyond our own in every direction we look. If this is not evidence for and "advanced civilization" somewhere that produced this, then I don't know what is.
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This argument would be more compelling if the earth were six thousand years old, but it isn't. Humans have had about 30,000 years to develop any sort of technology, maybe 90,000 at the outside. Meanwhile, natural processes have had almost five billion years to develop solutions to varying problems. Is it any surprise that natural solutions are often more "advanced" than human ones? Well, I guess it would be to you, but that's only because you think the earth's age is .0001% as old as it really is.

In other words, Dave, your evidence of "biological machines" is not very compelling at all. Combined with your not-very-compelling "fine-tuning" argument, I'd say you're zero-for-one so far.
Posted by: PuckSR on May 15 2006,12:30

No...I meant to say mutually exclusive.....
The concepts of validity and factual are mutually exclusive concepts.  
A thing may be both valid and factual....

but validity is simply being logically valid
while factual is a comment on the actual truth of an idea.

They are independent criteria of a statement...but mutally exclusive concepts
Posted by: cogzoid on May 15 2006,12:51

Not to be nitpicky, but you might want to look up what < mutually exclusive > means.

 

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A thing may be both valid and factual....

but validity is simply being logically valid
while factual is a comment on the actual truth of an idea.
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If something can be both "valid" and "factual", then the concepts of "validity" and "factual" can not be mutually exclusive.  As an example, mutual exclusivity belongs to concepts such as "semantics" and "interesting discussions".

Cheers.
Posted by: normdoering on May 15 2006,13:13

Quote (PuckSR @ May 15 2006,17:30)
No...I meant to say mutually exclusive.....
The concepts of validity and factual are mutually exclusive concepts.  
A thing may be both valid and factual....

but validity is simply being logically valid
while factual is a comment on the actual truth of an idea.

They are independent criteria of a statement...but mutally exclusive concepts
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The term "independent criteria" is good, but you're misusing the term "mutually exclusive." If the Venn diagram can have overlapping areas, then they can't be mutually exclusive.
Posted by: stephenWells on May 15 2006,13:32

Quote (afdave @ May 15 2006,08:53)


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There are many things in nature that seem very efficient to us, but there are also a great number of things that are horribly inneficient and badly 'designed', which is what we would expect if evolution were true.
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But it is also exactly what we would expect if the Bible were true, because it speaks of a "Curse" as well as an originally perfect "Design."
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Which makes the whole thing meaningless: ANYTHING you think is positive you explain as good design; ANYTHING you think is negative you explain as curse; since you can account for anything, post hoc, you can predict nothing and explain nothing.

Also this reflects your anthropocentric world view: the whole universe is supposed to be about US. Your only evidence for this point of view is the myths of ancient tribesmen who thought that the sun went round the earth. Some of those myths are very poetic, others are horrible, but all of them stem from ignorance rather than knowledge.
Posted by: PuckSR on May 15 2006,13:45

yeah...my attempt to save face was flawed.
Your right....i did use the wrong term...and independent is a more accurate term.
Posted by: stephenWells on May 15 2006,14:43

Quote (PuckSR @ May 15 2006,18:45)
yeah...my attempt to save face was flawed.
Your right....i did use the wrong term...and independent is a more accurate term.
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See, Dave? That's how rational people admit they were wrong.
Posted by: Henry J on May 15 2006,15:57

Re "Also given the fact that God is all-powerful he would be able to create a rock so heavy he couldnt lift it and at the same time be able to lift it."

Relative though to what source of gravity? ;)

After all, presumably said rock would exceed the size of stars and such. Then again, wouldn't said rock just collapse immediately into a black hole? Oh well.

Henry
Posted by: UnMark on May 15 2006,16:11

Quote (PuckSR @ May 14 2006,22:38)
Oh come on UnMark....
all AFDave needs to refute your arguments is a basic understanding of philosophy...and perhaps some light googling.

Heck...i will do it for him....
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I really do hope you were joking, Puck.  Dave, I already knew was a mental midget who'd gladly claim that God can create square circles, married bachelors, and five-legged tetrapods.

Dave, I've asked before, but haven't gotten an answer: can God create another God?  Can God create a better God?
Posted by: BWE on May 15 2006,16:11

That's the problem with god, every time we try to pin something on him we realize it's just projection. :(

Nothing in his world seems to relate much to ours.
Posted by: normdoering on May 15 2006,16:37

Quote (UnMark @ May 15 2006,21:11)
Can God create a better God?
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That's what I am.
Posted by: Occam's Aftershave on May 15 2006,17:06

Missionary AFDave says:
   

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(5) Risk analysis.  Having walked through this entire process, I now am faced squarely with the claim from the Bible:  "Believe me and spend eternity with me when you die." (God supposedly speaking) or "Don't believe me and spend eternity separated from me.  It's your choice, Dave.  I won't force you.  I have given you abundant evidence for My existence.  If this evidence is not enough, what evidence WOULD be enough?"  I have to choose, and it basically boils down to risk analysis.  Which of the two possible choices seems less risky?
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Ahhhh...it just wouldn't be the same, having a scientifically illiterate fundy proselytizer prattle on without bringing up < Pascal's wager >.

Gee Dave, shouldn't you subscribe to the practices of Buddhism, and Hinduism, and Islam at the same time too just to further reduce your risk?  Think of it as buying extra insurance to hedge your bets. One can't be too careful about the afterlife, you know.
Posted by: PuckSR on May 15 2006,18:06

No....Davey should obviously either become a Muslim or a Mormon.  They were both religions dictated directly by God himself.  They obviously have more validity than the New Testament of the bible which was thrown together by men.

Either that or maybe Buddhism/Hinduism, since almost everyone agrees that it is more spiritually fulfilling than Christianity...and it actually has an answer to the question of necessary evil
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 15 2006,18:32



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Can God create a better God?
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well, that WOULD explain where he's been all this time.

working on making ever better clones.

can you imagine?

"Well, this God's OK, I guess, but I'm sure I'll get it even better with the next one!"

etc., etc.

How could he stop once he started?

We'll never see him again.

God, we hardly knew ye.
Posted by: afdave on May 16 2006,07:56



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You are aware, of course, that God, being all-knowing and "out of time", already knew all that when he was making the world and man in all their perfection, right? And yet he went on to impose that pointless command (not to eat a fruit, a fruit that suppoesdly did something they already could do, A fruit that had no reason to be there in the first place than to "test" them for something God knew they'd do all along when he made them), And then "cursed" them, and all their unborn children who did not even exist yet, for eternirty? And all this because he loves us? Doesn't this look like some kind of twisted game?

That was the first question I asked you, and you never answered...

Anyway, all this is NOT science, and we both know it, so nevermind.
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It should be science.  Theology was once known as the Queen of Sciences, and it should be reinstated as such.  Here's just a snippet from my argument for that from the "Ape Questions" thread.

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And I admit that I am not going to be able to "prove" to you that He did with the "Scientific Method" as you understand it. This is an extremely important point.  Scientists today do not admit certain kinds of evidence into the arena and I (and Meyer, et al) believe this is an enormous mistake ... and I wrote lots more which I won't repeat here ... go read it on the other thread ...
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The Genesis story makes perfect sense if you really examine it.  The creation of mankind with a choice necessarily requires the possibility of evil, which by definition is "opposition to the will of the Creator."  What other definition makes sense?  What fun would it be for parents to have "robot children"?  It's a lot more fulfilling for parents to have kids that have a free will.  There is risk, to be sure.  Think about Jeffrey Dahmer's mom, but every day parents all over the world deem it worth the risk.  Why?  Because of the greater good which may result.  Their child may grow up to be the next Louis Pasteur or Mother Teresa.  And even if they don't achieve to this level, there is the wonderful blessings of home and family ... riding bikes, reading stories to them, watching them take their first steps, watching them play little league ball, answering their funny questions, and on and on.  Why is this any different to visualize with God?  To me, it makes perfect sense that God would feel exactly the same way.  Does he want an earth full of zombie robots?  Of course not.  He wants people that have the ability to hate His guts, but make the conscious decision to love Him ... just like human parents do also.  And you can't escape this argument by saying "Well, it's different with God because supposedly He's all-powerful and all-knowing.  Why doesn't He intervene and just stop all this rot?"  Well, He does sometimes--like with the Flood--and He will again at the End of Time.  This also is just like human parents.  They intervene sometimes in the lives of their children and they choose NOT to intervene sometimes because they want the child to learn some lesson.  What is so strange about this when it comes to thinking about God?



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I don't mean things that are 'wrong' nesseceraly, I just mean the odd enzyme that isn't as efficient as it could be, or a pathway that has more components than it could have because it evolved that way (and no I am not talking about redundancy).
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Examples?  Are you sure these less-than-optimum items could not be explained by mutational loss of function over time as Creationism predicts?



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Ok so if we say God make very small molecular changes in man fair enough, even though it doesn't appear that way. Why would he then make the same changes in all other organisms, which don't have any phenotypic effect on man at all in his interaction with them You can shrug off 'bad design' but you can't escape the fact that these sytems look like they have evolved as opposed to been engineered.
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Creationists don't say God makes very small molecular changes in man.  We say this ...  

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Again, my Creationist Theory regarding apes and humans is that there was one pair of human "kind" ancestors and one pair of ape "kind" ancestors.  Now I do not have a formal definition of "kind" yet and I admit there may have been a "monkey kind" pair as well, but this is not important for the present discussion.  The general idea of Creationist Theory is that there were a relatively limited number of "kinds" created by God, and that God "programmed" enough genetic information into each separate genome so that each "kind" would be able to adapt to the various environments in which they found themselves as they spread out all over the earth.  Today, of course, we find that monkeys and apes have diversified into many different species and that humans also have diversified greatly.
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Of course, we say similar things about other "kinds" of organisms.

They do not at all look evolved to me.  There are some things which could be construed that way.  But when everything is considered including stuff like Michael Denton's sequence analysis (Talk Origin's rebuttal is lame), then the evidence is much more convincing in favor of design.



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What qualities are necessary to call something "intelligent"?

For example, how intelligent is a computer and computer program system like "Deep Blue"? That's the chess playing computer -- it has a kind of foresight, it plays chess and looks ahead, it has memory, but does it have "desire," "awareness of self," "Perceptions"?
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My only experience with "intelligence" is human, animal and as you point out machine "intelligence" and they are all different.  I think when more research is completed, intelligence will be more rigorously defined.  Dembski obviously is all over this one and he says that it really boils down to the ability to make choices.  Maybe he's right.  I don't know what definitions will ultimately hold up to scrutiny.  One possibility for intelligence that naturalistic scientists rule out, however, is what might be called "spirit intelligence."  My theory is that what really makes me ME is some sort of immaterial "spirit" that somehow interacts with the neurons of my brain.  The real "me" is the spirit and it controls and directs the conscious choices my brain makes all day long.  Of course, I also theorize that there are other spirits which to a greater or lesser degree can compete with my own spirit for control of my mind.  My theory includes both "evil" spirits and "good" spirits, and of course the ultimate spirit--God Himself.  

Science should expand its horizons and investigate these types possibilities.



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I hope there will be more besides this. You only listed one: "This 'ET' probably can communicate to humans."  And your only cited evidence for this prediction is the Bible.

The problem there is that the Bible is more readily explained as a product of purely human activity. We know humans exist. We know they write books. We know different human groups have claimed the existence of different (and often mutually incompatible) Gods throughout history. We know humans sometimes believe things that are objectively false. We know that groups of humans sometimes share common beliefs that are objectively false.

Thus, we can explain the Bible using entirely known phenomenon, without recourse to an undemonstrated God.

Which does NOT, of course, disprove God. Nor does it disprove the Bible as His word. It just means that the Bible is not useful evidence of God communicating with us.
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I would challenge your next to last statement.  I agree that the Book of Mormon can be easily explained as a forgery of Joseph Smith.  I have my opinions about other "sacred" texts. But the Bible is so unique when compared to these other texts, that it is really in a class all by itself as Josh McDowell makes such a clear case for in "Evidence That Demands a Verdict, vol.1".  My whole belief system hangs on two major premises for which I have found overwhelming supporting evidence:

A--The Wonders of Nature can best be explained by a Supernatural Agent
B--The Bible can best be explained by a Supernatural Agent


Everything else I say flows naturally out of these two premises.  And it is these two major premises which I am seeking to show my evidence for on this thread.



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Any of the following would certainly make me give it stronger consideration:
*  An objectively verifiable burning bush talks to me and/or to others.
*  A sea gets parted, preferably accompanied by a booming voice.
*  The earth stops rotating for a while, then starts up again, all without killing us.
*  A new species of dats appears suddenly, preferably in a place where there were definitely no previous dats. Molecular analysis shows that half the dats' genes came from dogs, and half from cats.

If the Bible is true, God did all those sorts of things before, so he can presumably do them again, right?

You may say that the Bible shows he already did them, and i should accept that. Unfortunately, we have no corroborating evidence that those things happened. In fact, objective evidence frequently contradicts modern translations of the Bible, e.g. regarding the age of the earth, claims for a global flood, etc.

On the other hand, we do have evidence that people sometimes make up stories like those, or misinterpret 'natural' phenomena as being the work of God.

So, if God exists, and He wants to do some of those things again now, when we're better equipped to observe and record them objectively, I'll reassess my non-belief. Or, maybe you can present actual evidence that is not more readily explained by known phenomena. You haven't done so yet, and I strongly doubt you can, but maybe I'm wrong.
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May I submit to you the idea that God does not need to make burning bushes and part oceans anymore to show his power and brilliant intelligence?  We now see different "miracles" down the tubes of our microscopes and telescopes and we don't need the other miracles anymore.



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Dave, if your arguing for the "philosophical validity" of the teleological argument....then you may need to stop.  I, as well as most others, will admit that it is a valid argument.  I will even go as far as to say that the "fine-tuned" universe argument is my rational reason for believing in God.

You need to realize however that everyone you are talking with is arguing against the scientific validity of the argument.
In that case the teleological argument falls short of any sort of validity.  It makes a great deal of assumption, and while those assumptions may turn out to be true....they arent scientifically valid.

Do you understand the difference between validity and factual?  They are mutually exclusive concepts.  

BTW....you never did explain your belief in the divinity of Jesus.  Im still a little curious about that.
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Please refer to my discussion above about my view that the definitions of science need to be expanded to what they once were in the past.

I do believe that Jesus was in fact, the Creator in a human body.  Weird I know, but well supported I believe.  More on that as we progresss.



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Dembski assumes against the evidence of neuroscience and  computational explorations of A.I. that intelligence is something supernatural. Minsky tried to build naturalistic intelligent machines and programs.

So, when you say that the Intelligent Agents that you know about do have all those items -- is that because you don't know about robots like Cog? Or chess playing computers like Deep Blue? -- or is it because you don't consider those things composed of intelligent agents?

And where do roaches, ants and other insects fall in  your estimation of intelligence? Ants and  termites do build things like people do -- homes and cities of a sort -- does that similarity imply that ants and termites are intelligent in your view?
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 I'm not sure what I think about machine intelligence.  Of course, the ultimate machine intelligence would be to take the human genome, synthesize it artificially, modify it to our liking--blond hair, blue eyes, good looking, smart, etc. and place it into an egg and let it grow.  Would it be alive?  I'm not talking about cloning.  I'm talking about true "organism production."  Weird to think about, no doubt.



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Because, Dave, we wouldn't know what to search for. We know of exactly one "intelligent designer": ourselves. If we have no idea what a "designer" is capable of, how would we know what to look for in its designs?

Every time we've been able to determine "design" (the pyramids, Stonehenge, etc.) it's been by direct reference to what we know humans are capable of. How would we determine, even in principle, whether a mitochondrion was "designed" if we can't even make any guesses as to the capability of the "designer"? As I pointed out in a post a few pages ago, that becomes the task of scientists whether they believe in natural or supernatural causes. And the difference is, scientists who believe in natural causes already have an idea of how something like a mitochondrion could have come about; creationists have no idea at all how a "designer" could have come up with a mitochondrion.

And if a "designer" is capable of anything, then how would go about ruling out "design"? It couldn't be done, which means the "creator god hypothesis" is unfalsifiable, if you're using "biological machines" as evidence in favor of the hypothesis.
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Of course we do not have any idea how the Designer might have come up with a mitochondrion design.  That is precisely why humans study nature to get inspiration for their own designs.  But if we can figure out how He did it, maybe we can duplicate it ... this is what happens all the time and it is really cool!  But just because we don't know how He did it does not make it sensible to a priori rule out the possibility that He might have and don't even allow the discussion.  It also doesn't make the assertion that it happened by chance any more plausible to sensible people.



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Good for you, Dave. Now, would you care to favor us with your hypothesis as to how this "ET" out there actually "made" these "artifacts"? Because evolutionary biologists already have a good idea of how these artifacts are created. What's your guess?

And, how would you go about falsifying your "ET" hypothesis? What evidence would lead you to believe that life wasn't "ET"ed into existence?

Okay, Dave. How did he do it? You don't know? He just "willed them into existence"? What's the method? Because without that, you're not talking science. You're talking wild-assed speculation
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No.  I have no idea how He did it.  But it's fun studying it and trying to figure it out.  This is a productive form of inquiry which yields many fruitful new technologies.  Your definition of science is too limited if you cannot be expansive enough to consider the possibility of Someone somewhere out there who just might have higher tech than you.  My wild-assed speculation is less "wild-assed" than your wild-assed speculation.  Falsification is a bogus demarcation criterion if we are talking about expanded science definitions.  See Meyer's discussion.



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See, here's the problem with argument by analogy. You think these natural structures resemble man-made structures; I submit that they do not. Bird wings bear only the remotest resemblance to aircraft wings. About the only thing they have in common is cross-section. Bird wings are much more similar to tetrapod limbs than they are to aircraft wings. The internal structure isn't remotely similar to aircraft wings, but there is an almost perfect one-to-one correspondence between the bones in a bird's wing and the bones in your arm.

And what human-designed thing does a mitochondrion resemble? Don't say "a factory," because no human factory looks even slightly like a mitochondrion.

The fact that two structures that have similar function have similar form isn't really evidence for anything other than the engineering constraints imposed by natural law. How many different forms of a wing are theoretically possible, Dave?
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Agreed that the internals are vastly different.  And better, I might add from several perspectives.  What airplane have you seen that can reproduce itself?  Or feed itself?  Or maintain itself?  Wouldn't that be great if Boeing came up with that?  American Airlines could lay off their whole maintenance division!  And they wouldn't have to acquire new aircraft unless they wanted new capabilities.  They could just have two existing, old aircraft "mate" and presto ... baby airliners!  And for fuel, just put those airliners out to pasture ... no more fuel trucks!  The possibilities are endless!  Now before you say I'm crazy, just think about what we are doing with nano-technology.  The airliners are a silly example, but the fact is that we are mimicking nature at an ever accelerating pace precisely because we find such brilliant designs there.



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And besides, you're putting the cart before the horse. The notion that human-designed structures bear resemblance to natural ones is better evidence that humans know how to copy than it is that natural structures were designed.
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I disagree.  To me it is so obvious that living systems were designed because of the higher-than-our-technology involved (by several orders of magnitude) that it stands as the 8th Wonder of the World to me that so many scientists don't see it.



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This argument would be more compelling if the earth were six thousand years old, but it isn't. Humans have had about 30,000 years to develop any sort of technology, maybe 90,000 at the outside. Meanwhile, natural processes have had almost five billion years to develop solutions to varying problems. Is it any surprise that natural solutions are often more "advanced" than human ones? Well, I guess it would be to you, but that's only because you think the earth's age is .0001% as old as it really is.
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If you had 5 billion TIMES 5 billion years, it would still not be a plausible story to me, the odds are so staggeringly small for life as we see it to come into existence and develop the way evolutionists say it developed.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Which makes the whole thing meaningless: ANYTHING you think is positive you explain as good design; ANYTHING you think is negative you explain as curse; since you can account for anything, post hoc, you can predict nothing and explain nothing.

Also this reflects your anthropocentric world view: the whole universe is supposed to be about US. Your only evidence for this point of view is the myths of ancient tribesmen who thought that the sun went round the earth. Some of those myths are very poetic, others are horrible, but all of them stem from ignorance rather than knowledge.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Creationism explains everything MUCH better than Evolution does.  It explains designs in nature, it explains the human condition, it explains the fossil record, it explains coal beds and oil wells, it explains the races of mankind.  It explains dinosaurs and the ice age.  It has predicted many things including the ubiquitous gaps in the fossil record and support for the typological view of nature when the molecular data was examined.  It has predicted "downward" evolution of increasing harmful mutations and continued loss of function over time.  It predicted that the universe had a beginning and predicts that it will have an end, and many, many more things.  

My evidence for the anthropocentric world view is NOT what you say.  It was originally from the Bible which has been proven to be real history.  This view has been recently been confirmed by science by Michael Denton and others.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
See, Dave? That's how rational people admit they were wrong.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

I have admitted when I was wrong.  Have you not read the "Chimp Chromosome" thread?



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I really do hope you were joking, Puck.  Dave, I already knew was a mental midget who'd gladly claim that God can create square circles, married bachelors, and five-legged tetrapods.

Dave, I've asked before, but haven't gotten an answer: can God create another God?  Can God create a better God?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

I have no knowledge if God can do those things.  To me they are silly questions.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Ahhhh...it just wouldn't be the same, having a scientifically illiterate fundy proselytizer prattle on without bringing up Pascal's wager.

Gee Dave, shouldn't you subscribe to the practices of Buddhism, and Hinduism, and Islam at the same time too just to further reduce your risk?  Think of it as buying extra insurance to hedge your bets. One can't be too careful about the afterlife, you know.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Christianity is an all-or-nothing proposition.  Jesus made it quite clear that He is the only Way.   If you study the Christian scriptures, you would see that the above suggestion is not an option.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
No....Davey should obviously either become a Muslim or a Mormon.  They were both religions dictated directly by God himself.  They obviously have more validity than the New Testament of the bible which was thrown together by men.

Either that or maybe Buddhism/Hinduism, since almost everyone agrees that it is more spiritually fulfilling than Christianity...and it actually has an answer to the question of necessary evil
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

No.  As you will see if you stay with me, the Bible is in a class all by itself and is best explained as the sole, authoritative message of the Creator to mankind.

I know there are a lot of unfulfilled "Christians" in the world.  I don't know their story.  Maybe they don't really understand Christianity.  I can tell you that I am fulfilled.  And I know tons of spiritually fulfilled Christians who are an absolute gas to be around.

I don't know many Buddhists and even fewer Hindus.  My sister tried Buddhism and later committed suicide.  I've read stories about Hudson Taylor in China and his encounters with Bhuddhism and they were not pretty.  Ditto for William Carey with Hinduism in India.  But that's about the extent of my experience with these religions.

************************************************************************

I am about ready to move on to my next piece of evidence for a Creator God.  Does anyone have any more questions?
Posted by: Shirley Knott on May 16 2006,08:04

Yes.
How is a 'supernatural agent' explanatory?
it appears to be words strung together and declared an explanation rather than being an explanation.
You do know what an explanation is, don't you?

Second question:
given the examples you've provided, we must assume that God is physical and is, in fact, embodied as a matter of essential nature.
Otherwise, you undercut your recourse to "it's like human intelligence but more so" -- the only examples of intelligence we have or can legitmately conceive are embodied.
Intelligence is always action in the world.

Finally, please deal with the apparent fact that the world is causally closed.

hugs,
Shirley Knott
Posted by: Chris Hyland on May 16 2006,08:42



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
They do not at all look evolved to me.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

They certainly don't upon cursory examination, as Dawkins has said. But taking all the evidence into account they really do.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Of course we do not have any idea how the Designer might have come up with a mitochondrion design.  That is precisely why humans study nature to get inspiration for their own designs.  But if we can figure out how He did it, maybe we can duplicate it ... this is what happens all the time and it is really cool!
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Im not sure this applies to nature. What does happen all the time is people use the principles of evolution.
Posted by: normdoering on May 16 2006,09:06

Quote (afdave @ May 16 2006,12:56)


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
...this is NOT science, and we both know it, so nevermind.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



It should be science.  Theology was once known as the Queen of Sciences, and it should be reinstated as such.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


You're dangerously misinformed and a perfect example of everything that is poisonous about Christianism, fundamentalism and the intelligent design movement.

You don't know logic.
You don't know what a scientific explanation is.

And when things are explained to you they don't penetrate your mental barriers.

And yet, you would have the arrogance to replace this mightly success that modern science is with your vague and backward notions of theology.

I hope one day you'll become a witness in another Dover type trial.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 16 2006,09:41

Quote (afdave @ May 16 2006,12:56)
My whole belief system hangs on two major premises for which I have found overwhelming supporting evidence:

A--The Wonders of Nature can best be explained by a Supernatural Agent
B--The Bible can best be explained by a Supernatural Agent

---------------------QUOTE-------------------


No, Dave. Wrong, Dave. Saying a "Supernatural agent did it" explains exactly nothing. In fact, it's the ultimate admission of intellectual defeat. When you ask, "What caused this particular natural phenomenon?" and answer, "A supernatural agent did it," that's exactly equivalent to saying "I have no idea whatsofuckingever what caused it."

You keep saying your "hypothesis" is "science," but in fact it's a "science killer." It annihilates any inquiry into how something actually happened, or what its cause was. If the answer to every question really was, "God Did It," we'd all still be living in caves.
   

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I am about ready to move on to my next piece of evidence for a Creator God.  Does anyone have any more questions?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


What do you mean, you're going to move on to your next piece of evidence? Are you under the misapprehension that you've presented any evidence of anything so far?
Posted by: cogzoid on May 16 2006,09:48



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
My whole belief system hangs on two major premises for which I have found overwhelming supporting evidence:

A--The Wonders of Nature can best be explained by a Supernatural Agent
B--The Bible can best be explained by a Supernatural Agent


Everything else I say flows naturally out of these two premises.  And it is these two major premises which I am seeking to show my evidence for on this thread.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Here is a quick but important question:  What possible evidence would not support such premises?
Posted by: Occam's Aftershave on May 16 2006,10:03

OK, let's review all Missionary AFDave's "evidence" to date:

1. Personal incredulity based on ignorance.
2. More personal incredulity based on ignorance.
3. Lie-filled article from AIG that got totally trashed.
4. Personal incredulity based on anecdotal occurrence.
5. Pascal's wager.
6. Repeated personal incredulity based on ignorance.
7. Second lie-filled article from AIG that got trashed worse than the first.
8. More repeated personal incredulity based on ignorance.

Anyone see a trend here?

I wonder what part of "personal incredulity based on ignorance DOES NOT QUALIFY as evidence" Missionary Dave just can't get through his head?

     

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
AFDave: I am about ready to move on to my next piece of evidence for a Creator God.  Does anyone have any more questions?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Yes Dave, the same questions you have consistently avoided.

1. Should all scientific findings be required to undergo a critical peer-review process before being deemed acceptable for teaching in schools?

2. Who are the best qualified people to do rigorous critical scientific peer-reviews?

3. Why should the opinion of an ignorant layman about scientific findings carry more weight than the opinions of well trained professional scientists in the relevant fields of study?

Surprise us all and provide some honest answers for once.
Posted by: argystokes on May 16 2006,11:32



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
If you had 5 billion TIMES 5 billion years, it would still not be a plausible story to me, the odds are so staggeringly small for life as we see it to come into existence and develop the way evolutionists say it developed.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



What the phalloidin are you yammering on about now?  Didn't you use the cosmic fine-tuning argument as your primary proof for God just a few days ago?  Are you seriously saying that the universe is perfectly fine-tuned for life, but not fine-tuned enough for life to exist without divine intervention?



Posted by: Ved on May 16 2006,11:49



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
If you had 5 billion TIMES 5 billion years, it would still not be a plausible story to me, the odds are so staggeringly small for life as we see it to come into existence and develop the way evolutionists say it developed.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


That's a shame Dave. Considering that the earliest life forms on earth probably reproduced "5 billion" times faster than us and outnumbered our current population by "5 billion" times, a whole heck of a lot of evolution could occur in just 5 billion years.
Posted by: deadman_932 on May 16 2006,12:48

I have a question for you, AFDave: When did the Global Flood  occur, as referred to in Genesis ? What date was that, BCE? (Before Common Era?). Please respond.
Posted by: Mr_Christopher on May 16 2006,13:05

I don't have the stomach for these afdave threads, but if he finds any legitimate evidence for a god (or time traveler or space alien) would someone make a big fuss of it for those who are not following this thread?  Since no one in the history of mankind has ever provided any scientific and afdave says he has it I'm banking on one of you to share this discovery with us once afdave shows his cards.

I've always wanted to meet a god (or time traveler or space alien).

Cheers!
Posted by: stevestory on May 16 2006,13:10



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I don't have the stomach for these afdave threads
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Yeah, me either. I check them occasionally for funny lines, but 98% of it is



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
AFDave: (some comment which makes basic errors)
---------------------QUOTE-------------------




---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Argystokes, Ved, Occam, Chris Hyland, normdoering, etc: (whole bunch of data, links to papers, analysis explaining basic science)
---------------------QUOTE-------------------




---------------------QUOTE-------------------
AFDave: nuh uh!
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Posted by: normdoering on May 16 2006,13:11

Quote (Mr_Christopher @ May 16 2006,18:05)
I've always wanted to meet a god (or time traveler or space alien).
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


As a time travelling extraterrestrial from Mexico who plans to recreate your universe, let me just say: Hi!

Are you happy now?
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 16 2006,13:15

yeah, but can you prove you are who you say you are?

c'mon! let's see the evidence!

If two free plane tickets and reservations for a 2 week dive trip to the northern great barrier reef appear in my mail within the next week, I'll consider your claims truthy.
Posted by: normdoering on May 16 2006,13:18

Quote (sir_toejam @ May 16 2006,18:15)
If two free plane tickets and reservations for a 2 week dive trip to the northern great barrier reef appear in my mail within the next week, I'll consider your claims truthy.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


How  about a  monkey flying out your butt -- wouldn't that  be more miraculous?

Okay,  sit tight -- here it comes!
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 16 2006,13:25

YEEEEOOOUUUUCHHHHH!

Ok, so there's some truthiness to what you claim...

I'd still prefer the dive trip to australia if you don't mind.
Posted by: Faid on May 16 2006,13:26

Well Dave, this "free will" conversation can, like Cain's wife, go on indefinitely: About what exactly free will is, if it includes or needs "knowledge of good and evil", if this last thing is good or bad, how god's omniscience plays into his commpassionate father games, etc.
However, it does not have to: It's theology, not science. But wait, I see you disagree:


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
It should be science.  Theology was once known as the Queen of Sciences, and it should be reinstated as such.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Well, that's just great. After 4 threads and countless posts, the person who came here boasting that he could provide us with a "scientific theory of divine creation", using scientifisc terms and methods, now says he can do it, but first we must accept Theology as the most basic science.

Dave, call me back when you have something of interest to add in these forums. Until then, thanks for playing.
Posted by: deadman_932 on May 16 2006,13:29

I want a flying monkey, too! Even if it comes out of my butt, it would be worth it--I could show it on Oprah and get really famous and rich.  :O *Prays fervently*
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 16 2006,13:35

meh, you can have my flying monkey.

10 minutes and I'm already bored of it.

besides, it makes a terrible mess.

ever try to clean monkey crap off of the top of a ceiling fan?

too much work.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 16 2006,14:04

Quote (deadman_932 @ May 16 2006,18:29)
I want a flying monkey, too! Even if it comes out of my butt, it would be worth it--I could show it on Oprah and get really famous and rich.  :O *Prays fervently*
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Here you go:


Posted by: deadman_932 on May 16 2006,14:28

I am just as adept at retrofitting current data to my preconceptions as AFDave, hence I will boldly assert that this Dilbert cartoon is merely evidence that a time-travelling alien DEVIL took my idea and went BACK in time to Scott Adams, thereby depriving me of my rightful renown as founder of the Monkey-Buttology Research Institute. I protest this injustice.
Posted by: normdoering on May 16 2006,14:32

Quote (deadman_932 @ May 16 2006,19:28)
... depriving me of my rightful renown as founder of the Monkey-Buttology Research Institute. I protest this injustice.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Here, have some real photographic evidence of a flying butt monkey:


Posted by: deadman_932 on May 16 2006,15:00

HA! This photographic  http://www.retrocrush.com/100monsters/monkey3.jpg  proof, (courtesy normdoering) as well as the living specimen provided by my associate, Professor Toejam, demonstrates the incontrovertible scientificalicious validity of our work here at the Monkey Buttology Research Institute. The existence of flying butt-monkeys is prima facie evidence of the woeful inadequacy of Darwinian Evolutions Theory.
Posted by: Glen Davidson on May 16 2006,15:17



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Quote  
I don't have the stomach for these afdave threads


Yeah, me either. I check them occasionally for funny lines, but 98% of it is

Quote  
AFDave: (some comment which makes basic errors)

Quote  
Argystokes, Ved, Occam, Chris Hyland, normdoering, etc: (whole bunch of data, links to papers, analysis explaining basic science)

Quote  
AFDave: nuh uh!
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Good summary.  But after having not commented for quite some time on Dave threads, mainly I'm using your post as a jump-off to discuss what is going on with Dave, .

We like to point to multiple lines of evidence for the age of the earth, and for the several lines of evidence that converge to support evolution--you know, fossils, the overall hierarchical schemata of cladistics, and the direct comparison of genomes on the smaller scale.  Obviously if independent lines of evidence give the same result(s), we have attained a high confidence level.

The thing with Dave is that he has the same thing going.  Now I don't agree that any of his lines are in fact sound, but the important thing is that he seems to believe them, as do many.  Early on he mentioned at least some, the historicity of the Bible (which he believes is great, even though Genesis 1-11 is quite obviously incorrect, even about human length of life), the "evidence for the flood", the supposed gulf between human and animal minds, and the appearance of design.

And the fact is that this is his worldview, that is, it is how he evaluates the various lines of evidence.  He evaluates evolution based upon the notion that Genesis is history, and that the flood happened.  Most of us know of huge amounts of evidence against these, but he didn't achieve his worldview by evaluating evidence as scientists and judges do, he achieved them through comparing his several lines of belief, to make them all compatible.

People who argue evolution with Dave cannot penetrate the interlinked lines of belief that Dave has.  Nearly all of the beliefs he espouses have been, and/or are being, attacked, yet never once is any line of attack able to overthrow the entire set of interlinked beliefs.  Hit him on evolution, and he's arguing "free will" and Pascal's wager.  Hit him on the Bible, and he'll point out that life "looks designed" (yes, from the standpoint of those who think all correlated complexity has to be the result of design), that humans are different from animals, and the "fact" that the geological column shows evidence of flood activity.  Not that all of the examples I've brought up are what I've seen him use, but I have read enough to know that whenever he's stumped on anything he's off to some other bolster of his worldview.

People can hit him from every angle, but it's not going to make any difference, because he's evaluating everything written through a fundamentalist worldview that connects salvation, the religious view of humanity, flood, creation, redemption, and anthropocentrism into one belief system that has no room for alternative viewpoints.  No fundamentalist can integrate all of the criticisms into one synthetic alternative viewpoint on a contingent basis (in fact a well-based non-religious conception of the world is achieved by few enough, other than by trusting the expertise of specialists), thus they must resort to evaluating evolution by the Bible, the Bible by "apparent design", Bible history through the "truth" about creation and the flood, humanity by fundamentalist interpretation, and the impossibility of a thoroughgoing "naturalism" by these several lines that "require a designer", or more straightforwardly, "require God".

"Paradigm shift" is one hideous cliche by now.  However, I think it's the appropriate word to use for fundamentalists in the area of origins.  They need to effect a colossal paradigm shift involving just about everything they believe is important before they can even begin to evaluate evolution in a manner that is open to new ideas.  It is really far too much for most people by the time that they have completed their worldview, say, by their 30s (supposing that they didn't remain skeptical about fundamentalism by that time).

All criticisms of their inadequate conceptions appear insufficient to overthrow the several "lines of evidence" that they have been convinced exist for their beliefs.  If we write from an integrated "scientific" perspective, this nonetheless does not cohere within their own minds, which in fact have only one set of beliefs that seem to be consistent.  The huge issues, that of human superiority to other organisms, the need for the spirit to survive death, accuracy of the Bible that promised human superiority and death survival, and the impossibility of "naturalism" to explain all life, loom much larger in their minds than do inconvenient facts that they do not understand, let alone understand in a consistent manner.

Of course my point is not Dave per se, rather it is the problem of teaching science throughout a nation as religious as ours.  The evidence for evolution seems paltry compared with the concepts in their minds that demand a Creator, life after death, humans as the pinnacle of creation, etc., etc.  The coherence that we have achieved through much study and, roughly, science, is neither appealing as a concept to them, nor is it coherent to them.  

And if people here argue evidence, Dave, the current proxy for the rest, can always shift to some other issue that, if he is not completely sure of it, at least has meaning and coherence to his mind.  So he does this.  Of course he doesn't follow through with "evidence" for creation, design, the flood, or whatever else he has promised, since he does what people instinctively do when they lose in one area, he shifts to an area that he thinks bolsters his first claim by extension.  We may argue evolution with him, but he's arguing a whole non-scientific viewpoint against us.  And no scientific argumentation is going to budge most fundamentalists from their non-scientific viewpoints.

We have our legitimate converging lines of evidence.  The problem is that the fundamentalists have psychologically powerful "converging lines of evidence", that make up in cognitive coherence what they lack in evidentiary coherence.  Not to us, of course, but they're not thinking like us.  And if this is hardly new, I thought it might be worthwhile to note once again, perhaps even in order to keep AF Dave himself from being misunderstood, since it's all too easy to think that fundamentalists are being deliberate where they are in fact incapable of deliberately overcoming their conceptual limitations (unless they somehow get a good education more or less accidentally).
Posted by: Ved on May 16 2006,15:33

Interestingly enough, the existence of creatures such as that flying monkey would seriously undermine the credibility of the Theory of Evolution- it would be the creationist talking point from the moment it was discovered. It's just too bad that afdave doesn't recognize the fact that since God should in theory be able to create any configuration of creature that pops into his oh so grand and imaginative intelligent  human-like mind, the fact that we can't find any creatures that don't fit on the tree of life, that don't have any evidence of more primitive ancestors, speaks volumes about the reality of common descent.
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 16 2006,15:40



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
The coherence that we have achieved through much study and, roughly, science, is neither appealing as a concept to them, nor is it coherent to them.  

---------------------QUOTE-------------------



so...
the reason that Dave is here is because...

he doesn't really have faith in his own worldview?

he wants another line of reasoning to bolster his shaken worldview?

or is it that he feels in his mind that he is doing the same thing many here think they are doing:

"sharpening knives on a dull stone"

does Dave, based on what you just said, view us all as dim-witted?

seems probable.

interesting perspective.  Never really seen the particulars worked out before, but it makes sense.
Posted by: deadman_932 on May 16 2006,15:55

Glen: agreed. Beyond the psychological comfort of their worldview, there's the additional commonality that I see in people like Dembski, AFDave, etc.: the desire for power. If power is the ability to get others to think and do what you want them to (and I think it is), what these people want is to be seen as an authority figure speaking from on high, and anything counter to their assertions *must* be wrong. Science , paraphrasing Sagan, produces unlike any other mode of "knowing," but it's *hard*...it requires actual time and effort. Ex Cathedra proclamations of authority are so much easier.
Posted by: stevestory on May 16 2006,16:09

He views us as so deluded by our philosophy that we can't properly understand basic scientific data.

Which should just about make your Ironymeters asplode.
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 16 2006,16:12

hey, i went to irony divining rods the moment i saw my first troll on PT, and read Dembski's first post.

kinda misses the more subtle irony, but the lack of moving parts makes them far more durable.
Posted by: afdave on May 17 2006,05:10



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
How is a 'supernatural agent' explanatory?
it appears to be words strung together and declared an explanation rather than being an explanation.
You do know what an explanation is, don't you?

Second question:
given the examples you've provided, we must assume that God is physical and is, in fact, embodied as a matter of essential nature.
Otherwise, you undercut your recourse to "it's like human intelligence but more so" -- the only examples of intelligence we have or can legitmately conceive are embodied.
Intelligence is always action in the world.

Finally, please deal with the apparent fact that the world is causally closed.

---------------------QUOTE-------------------

You are correct that it is not explanatory in the sense that we know how the SA did it.  But please note that the 'Gods of Evolution' -- i.e. Millions of Years and RM/NS also do not have any explanatory power in the sense that you use.  I know you all try very hard to make it look like you have explanations, such as the stack of books displayed at the Dover trial, but these are nothing more than fancy "Alice-in-Wonderland" just so stories of how you wish it happened, or how you think it might have happened, or whatever.  None of this stuff can be demonstrated experimentally and when you have tried to demonstrate evolution experimentally, we have just the opposite of what you predict, i.e. dead and damaged fruit flies, etc.

Take my Creator God Hypothesis, on the other hand.  While admittedly we have no idea HOW the Creator did the things He did, at least we are honest about this and don't make up fairy tales about how we think He might have done it, unless we come across some experimental evidence that gives us a good reason to believe He did some piece of it in a certain way.  My Hypothesis fits well with observed phenomena in the universe which we live in and predicts many things which actually have turned out to be true as more knowledge has been gained.  My Hypothesis (the YEC has position) also has not changed over the last 140 years as yours has, and I doubt it will change.  As more information turns up, the YEC position will continue to be explained more and more fully and will itself explain more and more phenomena.

I don't follow why we must assume that God is physical.  I don't think I said "it's like human intelligence but more so."  I think I said that my hypothesis proposes that the Mind of God is like human intelligence in some respects, but far, far more advanced and powerful in its computing ability (or something like that).

Causally closed?  Please explain.

Return hugs,  AFD.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Im not sure this applies to nature. What does happen all the time is people use the principles of evolution.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

For what?  I hear Evos claiming that to reject ToE is to reject progress and scientific productivity.  The only thing productive that I know of that comes out of ToE is Designed Adaptability and Natural Selection (which you call ambiguously ... 'evolution';), i.e. we now understand that bacteria adapt to anti-biotics and develop resistance and this helps us by prompting us to develop new anti-biotics, etc.  Here's a suggestion from a progressive minded YEC:  instead of trying to 'stay one step ahead' of the bacteria, how about we all recognize they were designed and then chase after a smarter way to defeat them more permanently than just developing a new anti-biotic every year.  That's just one suggestion.  There are many more.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
You're dangerously misinformed and a perfect example of everything that is poisonous about Christianism, fundamentalism and the intelligent design movement.
You don't know logic.
You don't know what a scientific explanation is.
And when things are explained to you they don't penetrate your mental barriers.
And yet, you would have the arrogance to replace this mightly success that modern science is with your vague and backward notions of theology.
I hope one day you'll become a witness in another Dover type trial.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Yes. I'm dangerous and so was Newton and Maxwell.  Look out world!



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
No, Dave. Wrong, Dave. Saying a "Supernatural agent did it" explains exactly nothing. In fact, it's the ultimate admission of intellectual defeat. When you ask, "What caused this particular natural phenomenon?" and answer, "A supernatural agent did it," that's exactly equivalent to saying "I have no idea whatsofuckingever what caused it."
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

See response to Shirley's question on this thread.  I have also answered this criticism on the "Ape" thread.  Please re-read it.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
You keep saying your "hypothesis" is "science," but in fact it's a "science killer." It annihilates any inquiry into how something actually happened, or what its cause was. If the answer to every question really was, "God Did It," we'd all still be living in caves.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


I always think it's funny when Evos try to imply that "Their Blessed Theory" ToE is somehow responsible for all that is good in science, when in fact, the opposite is true.  The General ToE is in reality a "black eye" on the otherwise beautiful face of science. Have you never read the actual writings of the founders of modern science?  Do you really have no idea that most of them were theists?  Many of them YECs?  Living in caves!  What a hoot!  This is like Clinton bragging about the economy being so good when he had nothing to do with it.

Outta time.  Gotta run.  Tomorrow ... drum roll ...

Morality.  Why do we all have a sense of it?  Why do none of us live up to it perfectly?  Where did it come from?  How does this phenomenon give support to the Creator God Hypothesis?

Psychology ... that's science, right?

Reading assignment for tonight:  Mere Chrisitanity, Part 1 - Right and Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe, by C. S. Lewis.

See you tomorrow!
Posted by: stevestory on May 17 2006,05:26



---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Yes. I'm dangerous and so was Newton and Maxwell.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Don't forget Galileo.
Posted by: Moorit on May 17 2006,05:33

Quote (afdave @ May 17 2006,10:10)
Yes. I'm dangerous and so was Newton and Maxwell.  Look out world!
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Just having a flashback moment to Carl Sagan talking about crackpots defending themselves with "They laughed at Galileo....." and then says, "Yes, they laughed at Gallileo, they laughed at Pasteur, but they also laughed at Bozo the Clown."

And, Dave, put down the apologetics.  I know it's nice to read things that reinforce your beliefs and all, but try picking up an actual science book (or two.  Or three.  Dozen.)

Moorit
Posted by: Chris Hyland on May 17 2006,05:39



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Here's a suggestion from a progressive minded YEC:  instead of trying to 'stay one step ahead' of the bacteria, how about we all recognize they were designed and then chase after a smarter way to defeat them more permanently than just developing a new anti-biotic every year.  That's just one suggestion.  There are many more.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

People are trying to find ways to defeat bacteria once and for all, can you please explain to me how the assumption that it is a designed entity will help?



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
The General ToE is in reality a "black eye" on the otherwise beautiful face of science.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

What do you mean by a black eye? If you mean it is something that you find disagreable then that's just tough. If you mean because it is wrong it's holding back science then thats just wrong. Please tell me how you would do things differently? Or how the creationist scientists say they would do it differently.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
you never read the actual writings of the founders of modern science?  Do you really have no idea that most of them were theists?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Again evolution has nothing to do with God. And no you can't quote Richard Dawkins at me.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Morality.  Why do we all have a sense of it?  Why do none of us live up to it perfectly?  Where did it come from?  How does this phenomenon give support to the Creator God Hypothesis?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Just so you know in advance, the bible predicting that people should have morals is not a valid argument. You wouldn't want to sound like Kent Hovind would you?
Posted by: BWE on May 17 2006,05:45

Davey dog,
What up bone? (head)

Oops, better go look in the mirror, you put your Christianity on backwards. Does it hurt to be as ridiculous and stupid as you are?

You got rhythm but you got no soul.
Your head is planted in your ass hole.
You think you're smart and that's ok
Because it's more fun for me that way.

Just a little ditty I wrote. Maybe you could put it to a tune? Anyone?
Posted by: normdoering on May 17 2006,06:21

Quote (afdave @ May 17 2006,10:10)
Reading assignment for tonight:  Mere Chrisitanity, Part 1 - Right and Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe, by C. S. Lewis.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Hmmm C. S. Lewis in Mere Christianity might explain why Dave laid such an egg here:



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
. . . If they do not understand books written for grown-ups, they should not talk about them. All the scriptural imagery . . . is, of course, a merely symbolical attempt to express the inexpressible. . . . People who take these symbols literally might as well think that when Christ told us to be like doves, He meat that we were to lay eggs.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Could  it be, Dave, that you are taking Genesis and Noah too literally and laying an egg?
Posted by: thurdl01 on May 17 2006,06:23

Quote (Chris Hyland @ May 17 2006,11:39)
People are trying to find ways to defeat bacteria once and for all, can you please explain to me how the assumption that it is a designed entity will help?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Step one: Identify that they're designed.
Step two: Identify the designer.
Step three: Beat the designer up until he calls them back.
Step four: Profit!
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 17 2006,07:49

So, Dave—given your assertion on your other thread that you don't see the need to present positive evidence in favor of your "Creator God Hypothesis," should we stop waiting for it? Should we just shut this thread down since it's clear you have no intention of backing up your assertions?
Posted by: jeannot on May 17 2006,09:50

The problem with Dave, is that he has to answer lots of objections and questions from several posters. Since he obviously can't answer all, and I won't blame him for that, he can freely choose which point he wants to address (sic), leaving the remaining, most relevant points unanswered.
So there can't be any real debate.
Posted by: MidnightVoice on May 17 2006,10:10

Quote (thurdl01 @ May 17 2006,11:23)
Step one: Identify that they're designed.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Step two:Come to understand the designer is a moron for making pathogenic bacteria
Step three:Abandon all faith in the "intelligent" designer
Step four: go back to where we started.

:D
Posted by: incorygible on May 17 2006,10:29

Quote (jeannot @ May 17 2006,14:50)
The problem with Dave, is that he has to answer lots of objections and questions from several posters. Since he obviously can't answer all, and I won't blame him for that, he can freely choose which point he wants to address (sic), leaving the remaining, most relevant points unanswered.
So there can't be any real debate.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


True.  When it comes to his responses, we can't blame him for a small sample size relative to the population.  We CAN however blame him for poor sampling method, poor data collection from that sample, poor analysis of that data, poor inferrences from those analyses, and poor publication of the results...

And that's to say nothing of his rather flawed "experimental design", poor initial hypotheses, poor bakground research...
Posted by: BWE on May 17 2006,10:35

Or we can just make fun of him for his utter stupidity.

How does plate techtonics work Davey-dog?

What does the speed of light tell us?

Does it hurt to be so stupid?

I don't know about the rest of these folks but I for one gave you a chance. You blew it. But, in retrospect I suppose I'm not surprised. You have proven yourself to be an idiot, just like evey other YEC who comes to argue.
Posted by: stevestory on May 17 2006,11:08

I've seen plenty of people on PT and AtBC who come here completely ignorant, and I applaud the endless patience afforded to them by commenters here, as the commenters try to work them through the basics. It's a very stark contrast to what the discussion with AFDave is becoming, where experts, tired of being insulted by an arrogant dimbulb, are just losing their temper and telling him what an idiot he is. I include myself in that, I lost my temper a bit. There are limits to human patience.
Posted by: normdoering on May 17 2006,11:52

Quote (BWE @ May 17 2006,15:35)
Does it hurt to be so stupid?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


That's not fair to Dave. Remember, almost everyone before  Darwin (and most people in America still) believed in some kind of special creation. Dave grew up the soon of a missionary -- the son of a believer who had practiced the art of convincing others. He's no doubt led a very sheltered life in which a lot of science was hidden from him.

He may be ignorant and brainwashed, but he's not necessarily stupid.
Posted by: BWE on May 17 2006,11:54

Let me amend that statement to say that the things he says are stupid. Davey-dog himself is a joke.
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 17 2006,12:09

Davey spoke up for CS Lewis...

Dave, stories of talking lions are about as impressive in a scientific discussion as watery tarts tossing swords about is in a political one (MP fans I'm sure recognize the reference).

CS Lewis is recommended reading for children.  Haven't you moved past elementary school yet?

don't answer, that was rhetorical.  all of us here already know the answer.

@BWE:



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Your head is planted in your ass hole.

---------------------QUOTE-------------------



hey, you saw the photo of Dave i posted?
Posted by: stevestory on May 17 2006,12:23

From the last day or so of comments, it looks like AFDave has lost his previous enthusiasm for arguing about the details. I think he got completely lost trying to follow you guys and had no choice but to pull back to Salvadoresque statements like "We're winning! You're on the Darwintanic!"
Posted by: BWE on May 17 2006,12:28

That picture was what I was referencing. It clearly shows his head up his ass. It's surprising that this typing isn't more muffled.

By the way, I am still reading that paper you wrote and I am curious whether you tried to measure any of the wild responses as a control group. i.e. did you watch an event in the wild and then try to recreate it with your fishy in a baggie? And if so, did you set up a categorization system for natural responses that was separate from your experimental response? -(what did you do to control for the effect of the baggie and the observer)

-I appologize if you cover that toward the end, I haven't quite finished yet.
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 17 2006,12:42

@bwe

hate it I do to say this, but you should move that question to the thread on my paper, where'd I'd be more than happy to discuss it at length.

I hate discussing real science in a thread started by the singularity in mind that is Dave.

more on topic, I wonder if the Air Force is proud of Dave's reasoning abilities?  I have friends in the AF, and I can't recall any of them who actually fly with such backwards logic and reasoning capabilities, even the religious ones.  

funny enough, one of my oldest friends who went into the airforce (now flies bombers at a base in Oregon) was also named Dave.  I should ask him what he thinks about AFDave's arguments...
Posted by: BWE on May 17 2006,12:46

My aquaintances who opted for military service are either out because they finished their time or are heavily into the officer thing. None were even, as far as I know, Christian.

Sorry on the other, I got confused which thread I was in.
Posted by: stevestory on May 17 2006,12:53

Intelligence can be heterogeneously distributed across a person's beliefs. A person can be quite bright in certain areas, yet insane in others. Look at Jon Wells. PhD in biochemistry or something, and simultaneously a Moonie.
Posted by: PuckSR on May 17 2006,12:56



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I do believe that Jesus was in fact, the Creator in a human body.  Weird I know, but well supported I believe.  More on that as we progresss.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Well supported by what?
Jesus begging "his father" for an alternative to cruxifiction?
Jesus's constant reference to his "father"?
Jesus claiming he acted on behalf of his father?
Where do you find support for the insane position that Jesus was God in corporeal form?



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Creationism explains everything MUCH better than Evolution does.  It explains designs in nature, it explains the human condition, it explains the fossil record, it explains coal beds and oil wells, it explains the races of mankind.  It explains dinosaurs and the ice age.  It has predicted many things including the ubiquitous gaps in the fossil record and support for the typological view of nature when the molecular data was examined.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



What....sorry Im new.....
How does it explain a segmented fossil record?
How does it explain the ice age?
How does it explain dinosaurs?
I can see where your coming from on some of the other ones...but your really stretching the "book" to explain the former claims.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
No.  As you will see if you stay with me, the Bible is in a class all by itself and is best explained as the sole, authoritative message of the Creator to mankind.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Really?  Then why does the New Testament have so many different authors?
If God really wanted to speak to mankind...wouldnt he have choosen just one man....perhaps "the mouthpiece of Allah"



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I don't know many Buddhists and even fewer Hindus.  My sister tried Buddhism and later committed suicide.  I've read stories about Hudson Taylor in China and his encounters with Bhuddhism and they were not pretty.  Ditto for William Carey with Hinduism in India.  But that's about the extent of my experience with these religions.

---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Wow....3 people....
You may want to start telling the +1 billion people of the world who practice these 2 similiar religions that they are living a lie.....
And that they are miserable.....
They wont listen...because they are too happy....but you can try to tell them....

[QUOTE][/QUOTE]
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 17 2006,13:41

Dave keeps saying that "the Bible explains this better than evolution," or "Creationism explains that better than evolution," but so far he hasn't given a single example of how either the Bible or Creationism explains anything. Well, okay, he once said the Bible "explained" where Cain's and Abel's wives came from by asserting that Cain and Abel married their sisters, but he never said where, exactly, it says that either in the Bible or any other Christian text, nor did he give any evidence that it ever actually happened that way.

Likewise, he's now claiming that Creationism "explains" where dinosaurs came from, and that it "explains" how coal formed.

Well, Dave, it's easy enough for me to say that the FSM theory "explains" the existence of the Higgs field, but I don't think that assertion would get me any closer to that Nobel Prize I've been pining for over the last two decades.
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 17 2006,14:02



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Intelligence can be heterogeneously distributed across a person's beliefs
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



indeed, but what we see with AFDave is different than holes in knowledge, it's a basic difference in the way his brain processes and rationalizes logic.

to whit:

we've fed him copious amounts of information to balance his lack of intellectual knowledge on the subjects at hand, to no avail as far as i can see.

his brain is wired differently.  has nothing to do with general or specific intelligence, AFAICT.

here's another example:

someone mistranslates a phrase in german and so misconstrues its meaning.

typically, if it was a matter of intelligence a quick refresher course in german would repair the matter, but if it was AFDave, my prediction would be that he would still prefer the mistranslated, misconstrued version, and state that all those who actually know how to speak german are simply wrong.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
yet insane in others
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



yes, that's been my leaning for a long time now.  hence my broken record "projection" statements.

learning to recognize when we are utilizing pyschological defense mechanisms instead of rational thought processes is beneficial to all of us.

I'm reasonably (?) sure that in some other area which he has yet to demonstrate, AFDave can exhibit rational thought.

but not here.

perhaps "insanely stupid" would be a more comprehensive description?
Posted by: stevestory on May 17 2006,14:09



---------------------QUOTE-------------------

I don't know many Buddhists and even fewer Hindus.  My sister tried Buddhism and later committed suicide.  I've read stories about Hudson Taylor in China and his encounters with Bhuddhism and they were not pretty.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

According to Adherents.com, the country with the highest percentage of Buddhists is Thailand, at 95%. According to PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=16179332&dopt=Abstract) Thailand's suicide rate is 7.8 per 100,000. According to religioustolerance.org, the US suicide rate is 12 per 100,000 (http://www.religioustolerance.org/sui_fact.htm I couldn't find the US suicide rate at PubMed). NIMH says in 2000, "10.6 out of every 100,000 persons died by suicide" in the US. So a brief glance at the data does not support the idea that suicide and unhappiness is high for buddhists and low for christians. In general, suicide rate tends to correlate with drastic social changes. For instance, the highest suicide levels are found in former Soviet-bloc countries.
Posted by: Occam's Aftershave on May 17 2006,15:28

Looks like AFDave the missionary is having quite a bad day. :D

Well Dave, we all know what happens to arrogant pushy missionaries, now don't we?


Posted by: afdave on May 17 2006,16:49

Excellent cartoon ... Here's one of my favorites ...


Posted by: deadman_932 on May 17 2006,16:50

AFDave: I asked a very simple question yesterday. I will ask it again. When did this global flood described in genesis happen? What date BCE? Don't avoid this simple question, dave, just deal with it.
Posted by: afdave on May 17 2006,16:57

You mean BC?  As in Before Christ?
Posted by: stevestory on May 17 2006,17:05

He said BCE, not BC.

< http://www.religioustolerance.org/ce.htm >
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 17 2006,17:19

hmm, I'm curious;

what does that cartoon you posted say to you dave?

ignore the talking beetles (and the talking lions, for that matter), and just tell me what you see there.
Posted by: deadman_932 on May 17 2006,17:20

Heh, I had to add this, given that AFDave thinks he's as "dangerous" as Newton and Maxwell.

You're not, Dave. You're a mediocre mind given to delusions of grandeur.

Newton spent the last two decades of his life working on the occult, numerology and the alchemical pursuit of the "philosopher's stone" that would convert "base metals" into gold, Dave. In the words of John Maynard Keynes -- who purchased Newton's notebooks and journals in 1936 -- in a lecture to the Royal Society Club in 1942. "Newton was not the first of the age of reason, He was the last of the magicians." Newton also followed the Arian heresy, Dave. He denied the divinity of Christ.

This is not to say that Newton did not accomplish great things, Dave, it's just that you're delusional enough to consider yourself of that rank. The only way you could be compared to Newton would be in the last decades of his life.

As for your comparing yourself to Maxwell..uh, no. When you publish a peer-reviewed work in physics, you let me know, Dave.
Posted by: afdave on May 17 2006,17:21

A good guess for the Flood of Noah is probably somewhere between 2000 and 3000 BC.

I don't do BCE.  Jesus the Christ earned the right to get the dates named after Him.

If some other religous leader wants to have a crack at it, they are welcome.

Just be as influential as Jesus was and you too can have dates referenced to your birth!
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 17 2006,17:28



---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Just be as influential as Jesus was and you too can have dates referenced to your birth!
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



so influential that 2/3 of the world think otherwise, eh?

hmm.

I take it back.  there is absolutely no hope for you.

you drowned in the sea of your own ignorance too long ago to be served by a hand up from anybody here.

you're just a rotting corpse and don't know it yet.

but hey, I like zombie movies....
Posted by: deadman_932 on May 17 2006,17:33

I'm glad you said that, Dave,because that agrees with what the Bible says, when one works backwards ( or forwards) using the dates and lifespans given. But there's a problem, Dave: Your whole edifice of cards balances on this one point: that the Bible is absolutely true. Yet you admit that the Global flood, wiping out all things on the face of the Earth...happened at between 2000-3000 BCE. Let's look at why you are wrong:

During this period that the BIBLE says the "global flood " happened, the records of various groups continue uninterrupted: By 2375 BC, most of Sumer was united under one king, Lugalzaggisi of Umma, Sumerian records continue on.Uninterrupted by any mention of global flooding . The earliest surviving inscriptions in Akkadian go back to 2500 B.C. and are the oldest known written records in a Semitic tongue. They continue in an unbroken record.

Egyptian history during the Old Kingdom (2700-2200 BC) continues unbroken by global flooding . 2200 bc is the date of oldest existing document written on papyrus, prior to that, we have inscriptions and incised clay tablets as well.  The Chinese had settled in the Huang He (or "Ho" in some translations) , or Yellow River, valley of northern China by 3000 BC. In the Indus Vallley, we have  the  Early Harappa Phase C, 2550 BC  which continues unbroken to c.1900 BC . We also have the early minoan and mycenean groups in the mediterranean, and as for the new world, Researchers publishing in the Dec. 23 edition of the scientific journal Nature date the  first complex society of the Americas, from roughly 3000 to 1800 B.C. NONE of these groups were destroyed by any "global flood" NONE.

But you'll say it's all a lie, Dave, because the "dates" must be wrong, or some other similarly dishonest shit. But there's a problem with that, too, Dave.

 We have to either :
(1) reject the factual historicity of the Flood account;  
(2)accept the historicity of the Flood account, but explain away the clear Biblical dating of the event, showing the Bible is in error; or
(3) accept the Biblical account and chronology, and reject the massive amount of written and archaological evidence establishing the chronology of history in the near East. This chronolgy is not just supported by radiometric dating methods (C-14, etc.), but other absolute NON-radiometric methods as well: dendrochronology, corals, varves, ice cores, stalagmite/stalactites and more. Now, how could it be that ALL of those dating methods agree that no global flood happened and that the archaeology and other sources are correct?

You are the son of a missionary and a YEC (Young-Earth Creationist) , Dave, and I sincerely doubt that there was any time in which you critically, skeptically reviewed the claims of the Bible. Similarly, you know diddly-squat about science and yet embark on this idiotic campaign to use patently fallacious and erroneous claims against people that DO know science-- I myself spent 8 years at UCLA in Archaeology and Paleoanthro, Dave-- but you choose not to actually learn, you have your predetermined answers...and have had them since your daddy first indoctrinated you.
Instead what you have done and shown here time and time again, is to RETROFIT all available data to meet your initial claim of Biblical Literalism and Infallibility. Any data that does NOT fit ? Well, You claim it must be wrong, since the Bible is always right. This is not skepticism, Dave. This is manic, mindless fundamentalism.
Posted by: BWE on May 17 2006,17:34



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Heh, I had to add this, given that AFDave thinks he's as "dangerous" as Newton and Maxwell.

You're not, Dave. You're a mediocre mind given to delusions of grandeur.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



That is waaaaay to kind. I would compare his intellectual ability to another life form but none process less info than moronic sam freedom flying greased pig chasing head faaar up his ass moron idiot dave.

Idiot. Tell me how scientists figure out how old a fossil is. Oh yeah, your too stupid. Sorry. Hahahahahahah!

Idiot.
Posted by: argystokes on May 17 2006,17:36

I suppose that we're living in the year 36 ABB*, then.

[strike]And answer the question, superdeaddude's just looking for a number, it shouldn't take that long to type.[/strike]  Aaaaaaaaand, now I'm the one lacking reading comprehension

*After Beatles Breakup
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 17 2006,17:39

has it been that long?

*sigh*

I guess that makes me officially middle-aged.

I better start doing something more productive than arguing with zombies.

bye Dave.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 17 2006,17:39

Quote (afdave @ May 17 2006,22:21)
A good guess for the Flood of Noah is probably somewhere between 2000 and 3000 BC.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Would you care to give us any evidence for this flood, Dave? I mean, other than reference to the Bible?

BTW, there is evidence for a flood at about that time (you can't get it closer than within a thousand years?), but it sure isn't evidence for a worldwide inundation. I'm wondering if you'll be able to produce it. N.B., though; the evidence doesn't really support your assertion.
 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I don't do BCE.  Jesus the Christ earned the right to get the dates named after Him.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


For most geological events (the most recent ice age, the end of the Cretaceous, the end of the Hadean), the difference between citing dates B.C.E. and B.C. is utterly trivial. It's the difference between me saying I was born 44 years ago and saying I was born 44 years and 3 X 10^-6 seconds ago.
Posted by: Occam's Aftershave on May 17 2006,17:46

Missionary AFDave says
     

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
A good guess for the Flood of Noah is probably somewhere between 2000 and 3000 BC.

---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Of course you're working hard to provide the actual scientific evidence of this, right Dave?  Your mouth has been writing this check for almost a month now, but your pea brain hasn't been able to back the cash.  You, me, the whole board knows you're lying about your non-existant "evidence" again, but that's just part of the con, isn't it?

Gotta hand it to ya Dave- when it comes to making a fool out of yourself in public, you're no. 1 with a bullet.  Seems like you're use to being laughed at though - wonder why that is?   Looks like your continued "lying for Jesus" has ticked off alot of people too.  Can't say as I blame them.  Having an arrogant little prick like you lie about your motives and spit on the kind offers to educate you does rub one the wrong way.

Do you really think you're doing the Lord's Work ™ with your attitude and your dishonesty?

Pathetic Dave, you're just pathetic.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 17 2006,17:53

Just for clarification, Dave:

Remember those three assertions you made? Biblical inerrancy, an age of the earth measured in thousands of years, and the impossibility of evolution? Just so we're clear, am I to understand that you are not planning to support any of them with actual evidence?

I just want to know whether I should continue waiting.
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 17 2006,18:09

oooh!  Princess Bride is on AMC right now (no joke)!

that's better than a zombie flick any day.
Posted by: Arden Chatfield on May 17 2006,18:24

Quote (afdave @ May 17 2006,22:21)
A good guess for the Flood of Noah is probably somewhere between 2000 and 3000 BC.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Except that Noah's flood didn't happen, Dave. That means these dates are meaningless.

People who tell you otherwise are lying to you.

Whoops.
Posted by: deadman_932 on May 17 2006,18:28

In logic, there is a standard example given that if one asserts that all geese are white, the existence of one black goose negates the claim, Dave. The gaggle of black geese saying that the world did not experience the global deluge referred to in Genesis is more than enough.

Oh, and I noticed I didn't give the year on the Nature article--it's 2004. The online summary is at : < http://www.niu.edu/PubAffairs/RELEASES/2004/dec/peru.shtml >

Here's some other references for your perusal, dave, slight emphasis on dendro:

< http://web.utk.edu/~grissino/references.htm >
Stuiver, Minze, et al, 1986. Radiocarbon age calibration back to 13,300 years BP and the 14 C age matching of the German Oak and US bristlecone pine chronologies. IN: Calibration issue / Stuiver, Minze, et al., Radiocarbon 28(2B): 969-979
Becker, B. & Kromer, B., 1993. The continental tree-ring record - absolute chronology, C-14 calibration and climatic-change at 11 KA. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology, 103 (1-2): 67-71.
Becker, B., Kromer, B. & Trimborn, P., 1991. A stable-isotope tree-ring timescale of the late glacial Holocene boundary. Nature 353 (6345): 647-649
Iversen, J. Jouzel, B. Stauffer, & J. P. Steffensen, 1992. Irregular glacial interstadials recorded in a new Greenland ice core. Nature 359: 311-313
Chang, Kwang-chih, The Archaeology of Ancient China, Yale University Press, fourth ed., 1986
Posted by: Fractatious on May 17 2006,21:14

Quote (afdave @ May 17 2006,22:21)
A good guess for the Flood of Noah is probably somewhere between 2000 and 3000 BC.

I don't do BCE.  Jesus the Christ earned the right to get the dates named after Him.

If some other religous leader wants to have a crack at it, they are welcome.

Just be as influential as Jesus was and you too can have dates referenced to your birth!
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Many here have already addressed the issue of the Global Flood but I wish to address the issue of acronyms.

Cited from Wikipedia:



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
According to Peter Daniels (a Cornell University and University of Chicago trained linguist):

CE and BCE came into use in the last few decades, perhaps originally in Ancient Near Eastern studies, where (a) there are many Jewish scholars and (b) dating according to a Christian era is irrelevant. It is indeed a question of sensitivity.

However, the term "common era" has earlier antecedents. A 1716 book by English Bishop John Prideaux says, "The vulgar era, by which we now compute the years from his incarnation." In 1835, in his book Living Oracles, Alexander Campbell, wrote "The vulgar Era, or Anno Domini; the fourth year of Jesus Christ, the first of which was but eight days." In its article on Chronology, the 1908 Catholic Encyclopedia uses the sentence: "Foremost among these (dating eras) is that which is now adopted by all civilized peoples and known as the Christian, Vulgar or Common Era, in the twentieth century of which we are now living."


---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Up until 1532, Europe used the Julian Calendar which consisted of 365 days in the year. Prior to 1 BCE, priests had been adding leap years, and that ceased until 9 CE. The inconsistancies this made in error of "time" in relation to a year has a deficit on either side of a given year by 5 years. The Gregorian Calendar was supposed to fix this, but still there is a deficit of around 5 years on either side.

So succinctly speaking there is NO accurate calendar date for Jesus especially using our current calendar system and our old one. Closest one may probably get is using the Jewish Calendar. So the argument of BC as opposed to BCE is a ludicrous one because 1BC could actually be either 6 BCE or 6 CE. Something to think about, huh? Common Era dispells that inaccuracy.
Posted by: Nebogipfel on May 17 2006,23:50



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Yes. I'm dangerous and so was Newton and Maxwell.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



While I can't claim to have actually known either of those eminent scientists, I think I'm safe in saying: dave, you are no Jim Maxwell  :D

It's interesting you bring up Newton, though. In addition to being a deist and a mathematician, he was also an astrologer and an alchemist.  However, he's only famous for being a mathematician. I wonder why that is...
Posted by: afdave on May 18 2006,01:14



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Yes. I'm dangerous and so was Newton and Maxwell.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

It's pretty funny that some people think I was claiming equal status with N and M in this quote!  You might go read the context if you are as intellectually honest as you say you are.  On the other hand, if you are as intellectually honest as I think you are, don't bother, and I'll just continue in my perception of you.

Sounds to me like everyone is very interested in hearing about my evidence for the Flood, young age of the earth, etc., so we will move quickly through the CS Lewis morality thing.  It's an important foundational one, though, because it is just one more evidence for a Creator.
Posted by: Renier on May 18 2006,01:31



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
because it is just one more evidence for a Creator.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


It implies there has been "other" evidence. That's why people here calls you a liar. We are still waiting on the FIRST bit of evidence, liar.

And now you are going to flog the morality horse... Deja Vu yet again... is there nothing new???
Posted by: Nebogipfel on May 18 2006,01:42

Quote (afdave @ May 18 2006,06:14)
 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Yes. I'm dangerous and so was Newton and Maxwell.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

It's pretty funny that some people think I was claiming equal status with N and M in this quote!
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



You weren't? What were you doing then? To whom are you dangerous? To whom were Maxwell and Newton dangerous?



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
You might go read the context if you are as intellectually honest as you say you are.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



I think you must be confusing me with someone else.
You claimed the realization that disease bacteria are "designed" to injure and kill people might lead to a revoultionary breakthrough in treating infectious diseases.  Have you told any actual microbiologists about how they're getting it all wrong?



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
 On the other hand, if you are as intellectually honest as I think you are, don't bother, and I'll just continue in my perception of you.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Be my guest.
Posted by: deadman_932 on May 18 2006,02:15

No, Dave, I don't want to hear a bunch of YEC drivel. What I want is for you, as a person,  to explain why your flood date range is occupied by people who wrote nothing of it and never vanished at that time. IF there was a global flood, all those people would have died. The general date given for the flood is 2250-2300 BCE, Dave. and even if you extend that back further, the Egyptians were still building early step pyramids, like that of Zoser.  

The Egyptians didn't get wiped out, Dave. Nor the Chinese. Nor the Sumerians. Nor the Harappans. Nor the Early Amerinds. WHY? Because the Bible was wrong on this matter, Dave. If you can't address that directly, then you are more mental than I thought.
Posted by: normdoering on May 18 2006,03:05

Quote (afdave @ May 17 2006,22:21)
A good guess for the Flood of Noah is probably somewhere between 2000 and 3000 BC.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


I said it before, Dave has led a life sheltered from any real science and history. He's been lied too since he was a child.

He's not the only one; Colonel James Irwin, the late moon-walking Apollo astronaut, looked for Noah's Ark:
< http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Irwin >

It's so surprising to us because one has to be so ignorant of history and science to believe such a thing, and yet here is an Apollo astronaut looking for Noah's Ark.

But it turns out our military is a hotbed of fundamentalism. These are the guys fighting Muslims in Iraq.
Posted by: qetzal on May 18 2006,03:45

Quote (ericmurphy @ May 17 2006,22:53)
Just for clarification, Dave:

Remember those three assertions you made? Biblical inerrancy, an age of the earth measured in thousands of years, and the impossibility of evolution? Just so we're clear, am I to understand that you are not planning to support any of them with actual evidence?

I just want to know whether I should continue waiting.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Looks like you have your answer:

Quote (afdave @ May 18 2006,06:14)
Sounds to me like everyone is very interested in hearing about my evidence for the Flood, young age of the earth, etc., so we will move quickly through the CS Lewis morality thing.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Translation: "Since everyone is asking for evidence, it's time for afdave to change the subject again."
Posted by: afdave on May 18 2006,04:43



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Translation: "Since everyone is asking for evidence, it's time for afdave to change the subject again."
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Qetzal-- I have not changed the subject on this thread or any other thread.  I have stayed right on topic on other threads, and will continue on topic on this thread also. I have given you three good evidences for the veracity of the Bible's claims about God, namely that Someone  Somewhere is a Brilliant Designer and Engineer, that Someone Somewhere probably set the parameters in the cosmos just right for life to exist, and that Someone Somewhere likely caused the universe to have a beginning because it looks like it did indeed have a beginning.  And I have shown you the plausibility of the concept of some Being "living outside of time and space."  Now if that is not evidence to you, then I cannot help that.  It is what it is and it's excellent evidence to me.  To all the lurkers out there, I trust you will have sense enough to read all my posts on this thread and make your own judgment.

And now we will look at the "Phenomenon of Morality in the Universe."  Why does this provide evidence of a Creator?
Posted by: deadman_932 on May 18 2006,04:56

I thought you'd ignore what I posted, Dave, and plow ahead without addressing it. See, this is the thing about debate, Dave -- you're supposed to address counterarguments *before* plowing ahead. You're supposed to follow a basic protocol of give-and-take.

You can't, because you can't deal with reality, you can only hope that you're "winning" with some imaginary audience of lurkers.  

Before you move on in what you want to be your little monologue, Dave..address directly what I posted. THEN move on. Don't avoid my direct disagreements with your claims. If you wanted to DEBATE these issues, debate them. If you cannot, then why bother saying that you are trying to convince others of the errors in their thinking?

Have some morals and ethics before you go off stealing C.S. Lewis' inane gibberish about morality.
Posted by: Faid on May 18 2006,05:08

Dave, let me save you another 12 pages of pointless arguing by presenting you with a 4-sentence display of your morality hypothesis:

Everything we consider moral is because God set it so in our souls.

Everything we consider immoral is because God set it so in our souls.

Everything we consider immoral  that was once moral is because those people in the past were sinners.

Everything we consider moral that was once immoral is because people today are sinners.

Fair enough?
And guess what? We agree. Everyone will tell you that this is as good as evidence for the existence of God as those previous three assump... evidence you gave. Now, can you move along? Not that I care, I'm just trying to save the forum some bandwidth.

BTW, I have a small request at the Ape thread. Can you do it please?
Posted by: afdave on May 18 2006,05:19



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I thought you'd ignore what I posted, Dave, and plow ahead without addressing it. See, this is the thing about debate, Dave -- you're supposed to address counterarguments *before* plowing ahead. You're supposed to follow a basic protocol of give-and-take.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Your counter arguments have nothing to do with the evidence for a Creator God presented by me so far.  They are all about the Flood which comes later in my sequence.  If I run off down every rabbit trail out of sequence, it will do no one any good.  Your question will be answered in detail in the proper sequence.
Posted by: BWE on May 18 2006,05:24

Hahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

I forgot, Davey-dog, where are we in the sequence? Are we at the part where GodDidIt yet?

Hahahahahahahahaha!!!! Jesus you are stupid. Does it hurt?

I'll make you a challenge Davey-dog:

I'll debate you in a post for post debate and if you can prove me wrong in my hypothesis that you are an utter moron, then I'll let you write a post on my blog. If I win, you let me write a post on your blog.

The question will be the age of the earth. I argue for over 4 billion years, you argue for something less than that.

Idiot.
Posted by: deadman_932 on May 18 2006,05:26

Dave, you BEGAN this thread with the premise of an inerrant Bible and God. Don't LIE. I am questioning your basic PREMISES for a reason -- because as I said, your entire house of cards rests on it. There is no "proper sequence" that can avoid this fundamental issue, since you MADE it a FUNDAMENTAL issue of your argument. Deal with what I asked, Dave. Be a man. Have some ethics.
Posted by: afdave on May 18 2006,05:55



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Dave, you BEGAN this thread with the premise of an inerrant Bible and God. Don't LIE. I am questioning your basic PREMISES for a reason -- because as I said, your entire house of cards rests on it. There is no "proper sequence" that can avoid this fundamental issue, since you MADE it a FUNDAMENTAL issue of your argument. Deal with what I asked, Dave. Be a man. Have some ethics.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



AF Dave said ...  

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
UPDATED HYPOTHESIS
A. 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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



This is my first proposal on this thread.  Do you seeing anything about an "inerrant Bible"?  I don't.

As for my sequence, you can also find it on this thread on May 15, but I'll repeat it for you ...  

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
(1) Observe nature and draw inferences:  this only gets us so far, i.e. we conclude that there is an "ET" (or ET's) out there who is a Super-Intelligent Engineer, this ET might possibly live outside of space and time, and this "ET" might be the originator of this stange, universal "moral code" which we observe.  So we hold these thoughts and move through the rest of the process.

(2) If we accept (1), then we can make some predictions, one of which would be: "This 'ET' probably can communicate to humans."  How?  Dunno, but there certainly are a lot of competing claims out there -- many "prophets" and "holy books" claiming to be speaking for God or Allah or whoever. Could any one of them stand up to scrutiny?  So we compare some "holy books" and investigate the claims.  We focus in particular on the Christian Bible.  Why would we waste our time on this?  Well ... several good reasons.  We have reason to believe that the Christian Bible is unique among "religious books" for some pretty big reasons.  Former agnostic Josh McDowell gets into this in "Evidence that Demands a Verdict." I will explain some of these later, but it's enough to say for now that I have a convincing case for at least taking the time to honestly investigate the claims of the Bible.

(3) I begin investigating the Bible and I find many weird things.  But I know from experience that often times truth is stranger than fiction, so I keep investigating.  One by one, the supposed "difficulties" in the Bible keep falling as I learn more.  By the time I am done investigating the historicity of the Bible, its amazing predictions and fulfillments, the evidence in favor of Genesis 1-11 as actual history, its accurate description of the human condition, and other factors, there is not anything sensible to me to conclude except that some Unseen, Incredible Mind somewhere caused this book--the Bible--to be written.

(4) This is the end of the evidence that I can detect with my senses.  From this point forward, I have no choice but to make a "leap of faith" in some direction.  My choices are to A--do nothing B--reject the evidence I have just discovered or C--put 2 and 2 together and make what appears to me to be only a small "leap of faith" and conclude that the "Mind" that superintended the writing of the Bible is the same "Mind" that created the wonders of Nature.  Is this so unreasonable?

(5) Risk analysis.  Having walked through this entire process, I now am faced squarely with the claim from the Bible:  "Believe me and spend eternity with me when you die." (God supposedly speaking) or "Don't believe me and spend eternity separated from me.  It's your choice, Dave.  I won't force you.  I have given you abundant evidence for My existence.  If this evidence is not enough, what evidence WOULD be enough?"  I have to choose, and it basically boils down to risk analysis.  Which of the two possible choices seems less risky?

(6) And so I did choose.  I chose to believe the Bible based on what I considered to be overwhelming evidence in favor of believing it.  To me, it appears to be sheer folly to go against such evidence as I have seen.

(7) Now that I have made that choice, all I can tell you is that I am a changed man.  Ask my wife.  I know this is not scientific evidence.  That stopped after Point 3.  I can only tell you that I used to be interested in myself only.  I have not become perfect (I'm too cocky and too smart-alecky among other things), but there is now a new force for good within me which many times overcomes my selfish desires--the Bible tells me that this is the Spirit of God which apparently comes and somehow "dwells within" believers.  Now I genuinely care for others as well as myself and it really doesn't bother me much if people make fun of me.  I have a very single minded goal in life -- to be used by my Creator for His purposes during my brief stay here on this earth.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Notice that I do not claim Biblical innerrancy until after the hard work of slogging through the first 3 points in this sequence.

And I am out of time for today ... The C.S. Lewis Morality argument will have to wait until tomorrow!
Posted by: PuckSR on May 18 2006,06:01



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I have given you three good evidences for the veracity of the Bible's claims about God, namely that Someone  Somewhere is a Brilliant Designer and Engineer, that Someone Somewhere probably set the parameters in the cosmos just right for life to exist, and that Someone Somewhere likely caused the universe to have a beginning because it looks like it did indeed have a beginning.  And I have shown you the plausibility of the concept of some Being "living outside of time and space."  Now if that is not evidence to you, then I cannot help that.  It is what it is and it's excellent evidence to me.  To all the lurkers out there, I trust you will have sense enough to read all my posts on this thread and make your own judgment.

And now we will look at the "Phenomenon of Morality in the Universe."  Why does this provide evidence of a Creator?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



STOP...right there...and wait a moment....

You have not shown us evidence...
You have shown us reasoning....

Let me see if I can explain the difference to you...
You find a human body laying on the banks of a river...it is beaten, bloody, and bruised.  You are a forensic investigator.

Evidence would be hair fibers from another person, skin cells under the fingernails.  It would be any "thing" that every single person presented with the same "thing" would come to the same conclusion if given the appropriate scientific knowledge to understand the "thing".

Assuming is quite different. Assuming would be the conclusion that the person was attacked and beaten.  Reasoning would be that since the body was found beaten in such an obscure location the person was most likely murdered.  Reasoning is a conclusion that might be shared by most people...but is not guaranteed to be shared by most people.

So before we go any further....you have not provided us with evidence of anything.  The flagellum, for example, is not evidence of an Intelligent Designer.  The flagellum is an indicator of an Intelligent Designer.  Assumptions might lead one to believe that a flagellum is a reason for believing in an intelligent designer...but it isnt evidence of one.

An example of "evidence" would be dinosaur bones.  Without any difficulty almost anyone in the world would recognize that dinosaur bones are remains from a living animal.  The way the dinosaur lived, and the time at which the dinosaur lived might be considered assumptions...but fossils are evidence of dinosaurs.

Notice in your "evidence" that you use the words "likely", "probably", "looks like", and "plausibility".  These are not words used in evidence.  The are words used when making assumptions.  Quit lying and claiming that you have presented evidence....you havent.
At best you have presented arguments...and weak ones at that.

Also...do not mention "morality in the universe".  Morality does not exist on some universal scale.  When one planet destroys another planet...that is not immoral.  Morality is not even universal for animals.  Some animals kill their own young.  Some animals will readily commit cannabilism.  Morality is somewhat constant for 'social animals'....but this would tend to lend evidence towards evolution rather than creation.  An argument is that morality is the product of evolution...in order for societal animals to survive they developed morality.  This natural morality would have evolved in different species at different times if it truly was beneficial.  If morality is the divine instruction of God...then either all animals would be moral or only humans.  He wouldnt have haphazardly handed out morality.

This is really about to become a painful event...your probably pulling your "universal morality" off of some website...which is even worse because it indicates that AFDave lacks original thinking skills....

Oh well....at least this should be entertaining :(
Posted by: BWE on May 18 2006,06:06

Jesus Davey,

WHy C.S. Lewis? WHy not Dostoyevsky? Any good philosopher knows that C&P is where it's at baby.  Oh yeah, you're not a good philosopher. You're an idiot.

Please, figure out how to lessen the pressure that your head is creating in your rectum. It might be easier to read the questions you have been asked.

Tell me about the himalayas Davey-dog. Why are they so high? Why are the Appalachians so low? Why are there fossils of the same creatures on both sides of the Atlantic when the modern creatures are so dissimilar? Does your god prefer pepsi or coke?

Idiot. Answer a question. Oh yeah, I keep forgetting, you are too stupid.
Posted by: Rilke's Granddaughter on May 18 2006,06:09

Dave said

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Qetzal-- I have not changed the subject on this thread or any other thread.  I have stayed right on topic on other threads, and will continue on topic on this thread also.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Now, we note that the OP is about evidence for God.  Unfortunately, Dave has yet to present any evidence for God.


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I have given you three good evidences for the veracity of the Bible's claims about God, namely that Someone  Somewhere is a Brilliant Designer and Engineer, that Someone Somewhere probably set the parameters in the cosmos just right for life to exist, and that Someone Somewhere likely caused the universe to have a beginning because it looks like it did indeed have a beginning.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Dave, it's a darn good thing you're a businessman, because you know nothing about logic or argument.  Consider those three claims:  


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Someone  Somewhere is a Brilliant Designer and Engineer
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

You have not provided evidence of this - you have made this assertion but failed to support it.


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
that Someone Somewhere probably set the parameters in the cosmos just right for life to exist,
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Again, this is not evidence.  This is assertion. There is no way to distinguish a case of the universe existing by chance with these characteristics and a God having set them.

In fact, the existence of humanity in a universe where the constants were not favorable to the existence of humanity would actually be something approaching evidence.

Making things up is dishonest, Dave.  And dishonesty is one of those no-nos for Christians, right?  So why do it?



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
and that Someone Somewhere likely caused the universe to have a beginning because it looks like it did indeed have a beginning.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Hilarious.  Now you're indulging in logical fallacies to support your unsupported assertions.

This is an actual logical fallacy called "affirming the consequent"  For example: "If it is raining, the ground is wet. The ground is wet. Therefore it is raining." Since there exist things other than rain that cause the ground to be wet, you cannot logically conclude that it rained from a wet sidewalk.

Provide some evidence Dave; some real data.  Your Bible-based presuppositions don't count as actual data.




---------------------QUOTE-------------------
And I have shown you the plausibility of the concept of some Being "living outside of time and space."
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

No, actually you haven't.  You have claimed that such a thing can exist, despite the failure of logic involved in the claim.

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
 Now if that is not evidence to you, then I cannot help that.  It is what it is and it's excellent evidence to me.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

But Dave, at the risk of offending you, you're not very bright: it's not evidence.  To claim it is is akin to claiming that fewmets are evidence that Bill Clinton is eight feet tall.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
To all the lurkers out there, I trust you will have sense enough to read all my posts on this thread and make your own judgment.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

They have.  They think you're an idiot.  Should we start a thread on that topic?  We could let the lurkers vote.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
And now we will look at the "Phenomenon of Morality in the Universe."  Why does this provide evidence of a Creator?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

It doesn't, because it doesn't exist.

Do try to stop making things up and uttering falsehoods long enough to hold an actual discussion, won't you Dave?  Thanks.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 18 2006,06:23

Quote (afdave @ May 18 2006,10:55)
 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Dave, you BEGAN this thread with the premise of an inerrant Bible and God. Don't LIE. I am questioning your basic PREMISES for a reason -- because as I said, your entire house of cards rests on it. There is no "proper sequence" that can avoid this fundamental issue, since you MADE it a FUNDAMENTAL issue of your argument. Deal with what I asked, Dave. Be a man. Have some ethics.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



AF Dave said ...      

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
UPDATED HYPOTHESIS
A. 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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



This is my first proposal on this thread.  Do you seeing anything about an "inerrant Bible"?  I don't.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Dave, your memory is failing you (although you did snip this quote from your first post, so maybe it's not your memory, maybe it's your honesty). Your original "hypothesis" has 16 elements. I'll lay them out for you again:

 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
A. 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.

B. This God created the Cosmos as a specially designed whole, with life and mankind as its fundamental goal and purpose.  This God created mankind with a choice of either doing his will or not doing his will, in a similar way as parents "create" babies knowing full well that their child will either do their will or not do their will.  Christian Theologians commonly call the choice of NOT doing God's will "sin."

C. All of human kind descended from two genetically rich parents, Adam and Eve, but did not diversify significantly due to minimal geographic isolation.  My hypothesis proposes that there was only one large "super-continent" prior to the Great Flood of Noah, thus minimizing geographic isolation and resultant natural selection and specialization/diversification.  The same applies to animals except that I make no proposal as to HOW MANY animals there were initially.  Obviously, there would have to be at least one pair of each 'kind' (a term to be defined later)

D. Early man was created perfectly, i.e. no deleterious genetic mutations.  It is proposed that early man was vigorous, healthy and possibly taller than modern humans.  Early families were very large--on the order of 30 to 50 kids per couple and lives were long, many over 900 years.  Sons routinely married their sisters in the ante-diluvian world with no worries of genetic defects.  The first laws prohibiting close marriages did not occur until the time of Moses by which time we assume that accumulated harmful genetic mutations would have been a significant consideration.

E. Mankind chose NOT to do God's will very early on (just as all young children choose not to do parents' will), thus prompting God to institute a system for persuading humans to admit their folly and begin doing His will, for "redeeming" humans who choose this path, and for reminding humans that the present physical world is only a "proving ground" or "training camp" for the next world which will be created at a definite point in the future.  These events are commonly called the Fall and the Curse by Christian Theologians.

F. God allowed the choices of mankind to take their natural course for the most part, intervening in the affairs of men sporadically and briefly.  Most of the "day-to-day management" of Planet Earth was delegated to mankind himself, similar to how modern parents delegate the day-to-day management of their children to a school or a day care center.

G. The natural result of collective disobedience to the revealed will of God was an extremely corrupt society--i.e. rampant dishonesty, injustice, murder, theft, etc.--which was terminated by God through the agency of a global, life-destroying flood--the Flood of Noah described in Genesis.  

H. The Global Flood of Noah was an immense cataclysm of enormous tectonic, volcanic and hydraulic upheaval.  It completely reshaped the ante-diluvian world and resulted in massive, worldwide sedimentation and fossilization, mountain range uplift, sea basin lowering, continent separation, and climate change.  The Flood was survived in a floating ark by 8 humans (four couples) and one or more pairs of terrestrial, air-breathing, genetically rich animals and birds. The diversity we see in the living world today is the result of subsequent geographic separation and isolation of species and natural selection.

I. Following the Global Flood, we hypothesize an Ice Age of undetermined duration brought on by the massive climate changes induced by the Flood.  It was during this time that the dinosaurs and many other species died out. Since the time of the Ice Age, the structure of the earth's crust and the climate which followed, has not changed appreciably, and uniformitarian principles may now be applied to geological studies.

J. We hypothesize a supernatural intervention by God at the Tower of Babel which instantly and miraculously created several new languages (we think on the order of 12 or so), whereas prior to this event, there was only one language.

K. The record of these events (except the Ice Age) was dictated to selected individuals such as Adam and Seth and their descendants and carefully recorded on stone tablets, then passed down to successive generations.  Moses eventually received these stone tablets (or copies of them) and composed the book we now call Genesis by compiling these records into one written document.  He then composed his own written record of the events of his own lifetime, resulting in the complete Pentateuch.

L. God personally dictated the events of the Creation week to the first man, Adam, but then assumed a less active role in the composition of the balance of Genesis and the balance of what is now commonly called the Christian Scriptures.  This role varied from active dictation in an audible voice to less obvious methods--we might call it "planting of thoughts" in the minds of the writers.  This collective process is commonly called the "Inspiration of Scripture" by Christian Theologians.

M. Many cultures in geographically diverse locations around the world have legends which follow the general outline above.  The reason for the variance we find in the legends is that many of them are simply oral traditions passed down through the generations without the benefit of scrupulous copying of written records that the Christian Scriptures have enjoyed.  Since the Documentary Hypothesis (Graf-Wellhausen Theory) has now been thoroughly discredited, we have good reason to revert to the previously well established hypothesis that Genesis is NOT oral tradition, but rather it is a carefully copied written record of eye-witness accounts.

N. The Christian Scriptures, i.e. the 66 books of what is commonly called the Holy Bible, are essentially the WRITTEN record of what this Super-Intelligent, Super-Powerful Creator God wanted mankind to know about Himself, His Creation, and His Plans for the Future.

O. Jesus of Nazareth is the single most influential human being to ever walk Planet Earth.  Also, there are over 300 specific prophecies concerning a supposed "Messiah" figure throughout the Jewish Scriptures -- what Christians call the Old Testament.  These prophecies "just happen" to all converge in the life of one man of history--Jesus of Nazareth. We hypothesize that this Jesus of Nazareth was (and is) the Creator God in human form, just as he claimed to be.

P. The Christian Scriptures consisting of the Jewish Scriptures plus what is commonly called the New Testament are the most basic and foundational collection of documents for all of mankind's activities on Planet Earth--from scientific endeavor to family activities to government structure.  They also are the only reliable source documents for knowing the future of Planet Earth and Mankind in relation to it.  As such, these Scriptures should be the basis and starting point for all human activities from individual behaviour to family operation to nation building and governance of human affairs to scientific endeavors and the arts.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



(sorry about the length, but I wanted to get this cleared up)

Here's what I said several pages ago about your "hypothesis":



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Your hypothesis has 16 elements, labeled "A" through "P." The inerrancy of the Bible is implied or assumed by elements C, D, E, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, O, and P. The young age of the earth is implied or assumed by elements C, D, H, I, K, M, and P. While none of the elements of your hypothesis directly touch on attempting to disprove the reality of evolution, most of your posts so far have, which leads me to wonder what you mean when you say you're not planning on addressing the issue.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Since you never responded to that post, I assumed you did not disagree then. Do you disagree now?
Posted by: argystokes on May 18 2006,06:31



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
This is my first proposal on this thread.  Do you seeing anything about an "inerrant Bible"?  I don't.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



From the preamble in the first post of the thread:



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
There is massive support for the existence of God and for the literal truth revealed in the Bible.  Stay with me through all of my points and I will show it to you in terms you can understand!
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



So you claimed that you would show that the Bible is literally true (ie, inerrant).  Go jump in a lake, Dave.  Your pants are on fire.
Posted by: deadman_932 on May 18 2006,06:43

Dave, that's hilarious. You say that you don't want to answer any objections "out of sequence," then post a sequence in which point 2 says : "So we compare some "holy books" and investigate the claims".

That is precisely what I asked about, Dave. I am investigating the claim that the Bible is any kind of inerrant work. It is YOUR premise, Dave. It is found in your "rules of engagement " to this debate/discussion, DAVE  

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE)
There is massive support for the existence of God and for the literal truth revealed in the Bible.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



You then set out your "UPDATED HYPOTHESIS" with EACH AND EVERY POINT A-P REFERRING TO THE GOD OF THE BIBLE AND EVENTS IN THE BIBLE.

But you say...you don't deal with the inerrancy OF the Bible...despite using figures IN the Bible for each point? You conclude point "P" by saying  


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
these Scriptures should be the basis and starting point for all human activities from individual behaviour to family operation to nation building and governance of human affairs to scientific endeavors and the arts
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

but points A onwards have nothing to do with that?

Look through this thread, Dave, you deal with issues "out of sequence" constantly, referring to the Bible constantly, but ....I can't ask you to support the veracity of that bible NOW? You're a hoot, Dave. You have no ethical spine.
Posted by: stevestory on May 18 2006,06:44



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Being "living outside of time and space."
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Arguments about whether or not free will exist depend on causality. Causality is cause and effect, which depends on time. Causes must chronologically precede effects or you're talking gibberish. If you want to talk about beings outside of time and space you lose the ability to reliably talk about cause and effect.

Here's a thought experiment which should show you how contradictions are generated, not reduced, by this glib assertion of 'outside of time'ness.

The 'outside of time' god, knowing everything you're going to do in the future, writes it all down minute by minute and gives it to you in a book. It's now 1 pm. You read, "Bob gets his car keys at 1:01 and drives to K-mart." Do you have any ability to do otherwise? Can you choose, at 1:01, to not drive to K-mart?
Posted by: deadman_932 on May 18 2006,06:53

Eric and Argy, thank you. Eric's listing of "elements" in which Dave implies an inerrant Bible is what led me to simply saying Biblical events and/or the Biblical God are mentioned in A-P. Because the Bible is the source of his claims about God, I merely sought to question him on the truthitudosity of said mish-mosh before he launches into the rest of his monomaniacal diatribe
Posted by: Carol Clouser on May 18 2006,07:52

The Biblical flood occured during the year 2110 BCE. This is firmly established by the entire narrative and the Jewish calendar based as it is on 5776 years since Adam,

Also, the Biblical flood was NOT global in scope but a local one as the original Authentic Hebrew Bible makes quite clear. The operative Hebrew term is ARETZ which means "the land", NOT "the earth (planet)", the overwhelming majority of the time.

The area effected most likely included ancient Sumeria and the Masapotamian plains.
Posted by: deadman_932 on May 18 2006,08:17

That's nice, Carol, Except the bible  Genesis 7:19-20 says that all the (hills, mountains) which were under ALL the heavens were covered by the waters of the flood. Another point is that "local" floods don't last ...what, 371 days? As for it being local to only mesopotamia and sumer...well,sumer is in mesopotamia...and the Jews certainly knew of the lands called Egypt. And the bible says "under all the heavens." And if the flood was merely "local" ...well, then Noah could have gone to the Zagros mountains directly north of the mesopotamian plains. And the apostle Peter says that the "world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water." not "part of the world." I don't accept a global flood either, Carol...but AFDave does, and uses the Bible to say it was "real" and not merely a borrowing from the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, which it was. As for your use of ha-aretz, sure, great. except it can mean the whole earth, too, not just " the lands" or "the land"
Posted by: Carol Clouser on May 18 2006,08:57

Deadman,

The expression "all the heaven" (singular) is used in the Hebrew in context of "over all the land" spoken of previously, and that land is the one referred to previously in Genesis, the area where the story of Adam and Eve takes place. This is a rather common literary device in the Hebrew Bible to emphasize the completeness of the destruction in the effected area. Those of us who know the Hebrew Bible well recognize this device.  It is not any different than "and all the ARETZ came to Egypt" (for food) which clearly refers to the land described earlier as being effected by the famine, not the whole earth.

As to why Noah couldn't escape to a nearby mountain, first, that is none of your business, second, if you really need to know, God wanted to make a show of his extensive and lengthy building the ark in order that folks mend their ways. That is what Noah was told to do and he obeyed.
Posted by: Carol Clouser on May 18 2006,09:03

And I could not care less about what Peter says. He wasn't there. He could be referring to that ancient cradle of civilazation there that was utterly destroyed.

And an area can certainly remain flooded for years after an inundation. New Orleans would probably still be uninhabitable had we not pumped out the water.
Posted by: Faid on May 18 2006,09:32

Quote (Carol Clouser @ May 18 2006,14:03)
And I could not care less about what Peter says. He wasn't there.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


:O



Calm down, Carol. Don't lose your head.
Remember:
[squeaky voice]
There can be only one.
[/squeaky voice]
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 18 2006,09:59

Just in case there was somebody here who didn't already know.

Carol is a fundie just like the other creos that come here.

the only difference is that she is a zionist fundie instead of a christian one.

otherwise, treat as having same logic, and essentially the same base arguments.

she IS more well read than the average IDiot that comes here, but that's about it, really.
Posted by: normdoering on May 18 2006,10:12

Quote (sir_toejam @ May 18 2006,14:59)
...she is a zionist fundie instead of a christian one.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Where is our Muslim fundie who believes Allah created the djinn out of smokeless fire before he created man out of clay?
Posted by: Rilke's Granddaughter on May 18 2006,10:22

Carol said:

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
As to why Noah couldn't escape to a nearby mountain, first, that is none of your business
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


My vote for funniest stupid remark by a fundie this week.  What's even more hilarious is that she goes on to answer for God, even though it's none of our business.

Carol, do you even read what you write?  Or is this some peculiar form of aphasia?
Posted by: deadman_932 on May 18 2006,10:23



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
As to why Noah couldn't escape to a nearby mountain, first, that is none of your business, second, if you really need to know
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

. I don't recall being rude to you, Carol. But your story of a local flood, from a biblical standpoint, makes no sense. What was the point of the flood? To wipe out...Who? And would that be ...only PART of mankind, Carol? A local flood wouldn't wipe out all of mankind, nor would Noah need so large a "ship" for "local" animals. The context of the flood story is UNIVERSAL sinfulness, not just local Jewish sinfulness. As for your claim that the reason why Noah couldn't go to the mountains was because God wanted to show the ark being built so locals would mend their ways...uh...no. If you can show evidence of that Biblically, do so.

As to the use of ha-aretz...uh, well, what does the genitive case indicate in Hebrew, Carol? and was it used in genesis in conjunction with ha-aretz? I won't bother with "tebel" since it never appears in the pentateuch so far as I know, but ...when the earth is created, what term is used, Carol?  And consider the use of "kol" in regards to mountains and "heaven." and animals, too. Note that even the biblical apologists have spotted the use of a DOUBLE "kol" ( hence a superlative) in 7:19 Genesis..."all, ALL the mountains". I find this largely uninteresting, since I don't subscribe to this Mythology, Carol, really...I wasn't even posting to you initially.
Posted by: deadman_932 on May 18 2006,10:42

Oh, and thanks for the heads-up, Toejam. I didn't see that before I posted   :( Otherwise, I probably wouldn't have
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 18 2006,11:09

oh, it's just a friendly warning.  feel free to start a dialogue if you wish, just don't expect to get very far.
Posted by: stevestory on May 18 2006,11:43

If you want to take up a dialogue with her, you might want to start a thread. This thread is dedicated to people showing AFDave basic evidence he's never seen before, and Dave replying that it's exactly what the bible told him would be there.
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 18 2006,12:03

I think Steve's post is actually a pretty cogent summary of just about every thread AFdunderhead has posted in.

so with a proper summary in hand...

is there anything left but humor?  any knives that are left to be sharpened?

I think we should just send Dave to UD so we can lump all the humor at watching someone continually spin irrational defenses in one place.

There's nothing left to learn here, is there?
Posted by: UnMark on May 18 2006,12:16

Quote (afdave @ May 16 2006,12:56)


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Dave, I've asked before, but haven't gotten an answer: can God create another God?  Can God create a better God?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

I have no knowledge if God can do those things.  To me they are silly questions.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


It may seem silly to you, but let me explain a bit, as it's related to this inerrancy discussion.  You believe that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and perfect (among other things).  Okay.  If God is omnipotent, he should be able to create a better God.  If God can create a better God, then he isn't as perfect as the "new" God.  So, either God isn't able to create a better God, and is therefore not omnipotent, or God can create a better God, and is therefore not perfect.  

Can't be both, so which attribute does He have: omnipotence or perfection?
Posted by: Carol Clouser on May 18 2006,12:29

TJM,

Thank you for the backhanded compliment but believe me when I tell you that you know me not at all.


Deadman,

I was not intending to be rude to you and if my remarks sounded that way I apologize. What I was hinting at with the "none of your business" remark was that Noah was following God's orders and you were questioning God's motives. You are entitled (and in Judaism even encouraged) to do so but you cannot ordain to be able to read God's mind and therefore cannot turn that into an argument for or against any particular proposition.

As to the "point" of the flood, I suggest it was to punish a local outbreak of terrible evil doing. It is far more likely that a particular and limited area went berserk than to postulate that the whole planet did so rather suddenly.

Noah needed a significantly sized ship because he was going to spend a year within it with some rather unpredictable (but indigenous) creatures.

You say the context of the flood is UNIVERSAL sinfulness, but that is nothing more than ignorant Christian apologetics based on the erroneously translated KJV. By the way, there were no Jews at the time in existence, so there could not have been Jewish sinfulness.

The notion that building the ark was a show for the local population is derived by the sages from verses in the Bible and from the fact that Noah took 120 years to build the ark. If you wish more information about this I will need to come back later, right now I am posting from memory. Since Noah did not go traveling around the planet with the ark, this further supports the idea that the flood was less than global. Otherwise the balance of humanity was not forwarned.

As for ARETZ, it is hardly ever used to refer to the planet. It sometimes refers to "what is below" and SHOMOYIM (heaven) to "what is above". When the Hebrew Bible wishes to refer to the whole planet it uses ADAMAH.
Posted by: Sylph on May 18 2006,12:31



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
It may seem silly to you, but let me explain a bit, as it's related to this inerrancy discussion.  You believe that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and perfect (among other things).  Okay.  If God is omnipotent, he should be able to create a better God.  If God can create a better God, then he isn't as perfect as the "new" God.  So, either God isn't able to create a better God, and is therefore not omnipotent, or God can create a better God, and is therefore not perfect.  

Can't be both, so which attribute does He have: omnipotence or perfection?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



That is not necessarily true.  A being that does not have to obey any laws of the universe does not necessarily have to obey the laws of logic.
Posted by: deadman_932 on May 18 2006,12:37

Steve: Nooooooo. I have no desire to take up her apologetics. I was just responding, and I really only wanted to deal with antievolution goobers like AFDave. I'll take Toejam's hint and just tell her to errm..something.

Her claim about "why Noah couldn't escape to a nearby mountain, first, that is none of your business, second, if you really need to know.." was kind of eerie
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 18 2006,12:39

@sylph:
I assume your only point in saying such is to address the pointlessness of discussing the nature of god in a thread devoted to "evidence", yes?

to which i respond:

that wasn't the intent of the question AFAICT.  It's more a probe of Dave's personal thought processes, in case those weren't abundantly clear by now.

as such, it's still a legit question.
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 18 2006,12:42



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I'll take Toejam's hint and just tell her to errm..something.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



easy.  don't respond.  she'll get bored and go away.
Posted by: Sylph on May 18 2006,13:06



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I assume your only point in saying such is to address the pointlessness of discussing the nature of god in a thread devoted to "evidence", yes?

---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Correct.  The Bible could be literally true in all respects and there still would never be any evidence as to the nature of god.  His/her/it/whatever's purpose could have been to convert people away from the one true faith: Zoroastrianism, thereby damning all Christians to Zoroastrian ####.
Posted by: Arden Chatfield on May 18 2006,15:07

Quote (Rilke's Granddaughter @ May 18 2006,15:22)
Carol said:    

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
As to why Noah couldn't escape to a nearby mountain, first, that is none of your business
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


My vote for funniest stupid remark by a fundie this week.  What's even more hilarious is that she goes on to answer for God, even though it's none of our business.

---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Hmm. Maybe it's Carol's business, but just not ours?

I must remember that. If I ever say anything senseless that I can't back up, and someone calls me on it, I'll just say that is none of your business. Woo hoo!
Posted by: Arden Chatfield on May 18 2006,15:11

Quote (UnMark @ May 18 2006,17:16)
Quote (afdave @ May 16 2006,12:56)
 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Dave, I've asked before, but haven't gotten an answer: can God create another God?  Can God create a better God?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

I have no knowledge if God can do those things.  To me they are silly questions.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


It may seem silly to you, but let me explain a bit, as it's related to this inerrancy discussion.  You believe that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and perfect (among other things).  Okay.  If God is omnipotent, he should be able to create a better God.  If God can create a better God, then he isn't as perfect as the "new" God.  So, either God isn't able to create a better God, and is therefore not omnipotent, or God can create a better God, and is therefore not perfect.  

Can't be both, so which attribute does He have: omnipotence or perfection?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Never mind all that: could God microwave a burrito so hot that He Himself could not eat it?
Posted by: stevestory on May 18 2006,15:13

that really did come off as Pythonesque.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
ARTHUR:
   It is King Arthur, and these are my Knights of the Round Table. Whose castle is this?
FRENCH GUARD:
   This is the castle of my master, Guy de Loimbard.
ARTHUR:
   Go and tell your master that we have been charged by God with a sacred quest. If he will give us food and shelter for the night, he can join us in our quest for the Holy Grail.
FRENCH GUARD:
   Well, I'll ask him, but I don't think he'll be very keen. Uh, he's already got one, you see.
ARTHUR:
   What?
GALAHAD:
   He says they've already got one!
ARTHUR:
   Are you sure he's got one?
FRENCH GUARD:
   Oh, yes. It's very nice-a. (I told him we already got one.)
FRENCH GUARDS:
   MMMMppphphhhh!!!
ARTHUR:
   Well, u-- um, can we come up and have a look?
FRENCH GUARD:
   Of course not! You are English types-a!
ARTHUR:
   Well, what are you, then?
FRENCH GUARD:
   I'm French! Why do think I have this outrrrrrrageous accent, you silly king-a?!
GALAHAD:
   What are you doing in England?
FRENCH GUARD:
   Mind your own business!
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Posted by: sir_toejam on May 18 2006,15:15

let me try this out:

A handful of raisins can solve any problem.

how?

NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!

you might be onto something there...
Posted by: Henry J on May 18 2006,16:02

Maybe "omnipotence" doesn't include actions that are self-referential? (I.e., actions described in terms of the entity being described.)

(Just my two cents worth on that.)

Henry
Posted by: stevestory on May 18 2006,16:16

It's all a bunch of navel gazing.
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 18 2006,16:25

navel gazing?  i thought we were talking air force here?
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 18 2006,18:48

Quote (sir_toejam @ May 18 2006,21:25)
navel gazing?  i thought we were talking air force here?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Navel gazing. Not naval gazing.
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 18 2006,18:56

ok....

then what's the point of staring at an orange?
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 18 2006,19:49

Quote (sir_toejam @ May 18 2006,23:56)
ok....

then what's the point of staring at an orange?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


…or at your own belly button, for that matter?
Posted by: Renier on May 18 2006,22:36

Carol does not believe in a young earth, or a global flood. Afdave does. You think we can pit them in a discussion to see who wins?

My bets are that Carol wil whip Afdave's A-ss. Anyone want to bet on Afdave? We could even throw GoP in, just to spice things up... come on guys, I know you want to see this!!!

This could work. Afdave is keen on talking about the topic, as is Carol...
Posted by: qetzal on May 19 2006,01:43

Quote (sir_toejam @ May 18 2006,20:15)
let me try this out:

A handful of raisins can solve any problem.

how?

NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!

you might be onto something there...
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


I am entranced by your knowledge of the real meaning of raisins. If only was a book I could buy.... ;)
Posted by: Faid on May 19 2006,02:11

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ May 18 2006,20:07)
Hmm. Maybe it's Carol's business, but just not ours?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Well, she did imply that she was there at the time, so some sort of involvement might be assumed...
Posted by: afdave on May 19 2006,03:28

MORALITY AS A CLUE TO THE MEANING OF THE UNIVERSE

Before we dive in, I'll answer one criticism and reproduce one quote that I especially enjoyed yesterday.

A common criticism around here ...    

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Notice in your "evidence" that you use the words "likely", "probably", "looks like", and "plausibility".  These are not words used in evidence.  The are words used when making assumptions.  Quit lying and claiming that you have presented evidence....you havent.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

This person claims that my 'evidence' is not evidence at all ... he says evidence would be something like bits of hair or blood from a murder scene.  Where you go wrong is this.  The bits of hair and blood from the murder scene do the very same thing for the truth search that my evidence does.  They make it "look like" so-and-so committed the murder and the judge really can only say that "probably" this man is guilty--he really cannot say for sure and there have been plenty of people that were erroneously prosecuted, or the reverse--they were guilty, but got let off.  Sorry ... your objection doesn't fly, but I'm sure people will keep raising it around here because you all apparently have been programmed to reject certain classes of legitimate evidence.  Hopefully you will see in time that this is a mistake.

   

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Because the Bible is the source of his claims about God, I merely sought to question him on the truthitudosity of said mish-mosh before he launches into the rest of his monomaniacal diatribe.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Masterpiece of a sentence and a really cool new word!  Thanks!

For those of you in the running for most innovative insult, BWE is still in the lead by a long shot in my opinion, although I did get a good laugh at the submission by Seven Popes and at the 'none of your business' dialog between Carol and Rilke.  I'm still waiting on Aftershave to 'one-up' all of these.  I think he is hoping to claim the title.

******************************************

Well, now that I have regained my composure from laughing ...

Some people here sound frustrated because they want me to answer specific questions that they have such as when did the Flood occur, how do you know the earth is less than 10,000 years old, etc.  Another point of confusion is that some people think that Biblical inerrancy is somehow foundational to everything I believe.  So let me again clear some of this up for you.

First, my goal is to make a clear, logical defense of the theistic worldview.  This involves observation of the physical universe and the phenomena we find in it, observation of human behaviour and some common problems people have with the concept of an all-powerful, omniscient, loving God.

Second, once we establish evidence for the truth of the theistic worldview, we are then ready to make some predictions that we can investigate.  One of these key predictions is that this 'God' has probably communicated to humans in some way.  Makes sense, right?  If we have shown that there is a Super Intelligent Mind out there somewhere, it would be a safe bet that He knows how to communicate.  We find many claims of this prediction in the world in the many religious writings, claims of various 'prophets', etc.

So no one gets lost ... notice that we have only used the Bible in Step One as a source of one piece of our hypothesis.  We are not saying it is inerrant yet.  Are you with me?

Third, we survey the various 'holy books' and realize pretty quickly that there is one that stands head and shoulders above the rest in its unique characteristics.  That book is the Christian Bible.  We will present reasons why it is so unique, and we will commence a detailed investigation of some of its key claims.

Fourth, we will investigate the major claims of the Bible in detail but focus primarily on the major events in Genesis 1-11.  We will also touch on some points of Biblical history and see how these have been confirmed by archaeology, investigate some of the 'Messianic' prophecies, and discuss the failure of the Documentary Hypothesis.

Fifth, we will argue that because of the detailed investigation that has been made in this study and by many others throughout history, it is safe to conclude that the Bible is (1) accurate in its history, (2) uncanny in its predictions, and (3) dead on in its observation of human nature.  This will give us good reason to believe in its Supernatural origin and inerrancy in its original form.

So you see that I will cover all points in my Hypothesis, but not necessarily in the order the you would have chosen.  But after all, this is my hypothesis, so I guess its fair for me to arrange the flow, right?


*************************************************************


C.S. Lewis is known for his children's books, but he was also a very clear thinking apologist for the Christian faith.  He was agnostic for many years, but eventually became a Christian and was very prolific in his writings which were tailored specifically for non-believers.  One of his greatest non-fiction titles is Mere Christianity which not only is easy, entertaining reading, but also a clear picture of the essentials of the Christian faith stripped of all the often confusing man-made religious trappings that so often encumbers it.  I highly recommend this book to everyone ... it's easy reading guys and less than 200 pages.

Section One of Mere Christianity is called "Right and Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe" ... an intriguing title to be sure.  Here's how he begins in Chapter 1: The Law of Human Nature ...
   

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Every one has heard people quarrelling.  Sometimes it sounds funny and sometimes it sounds merely unpleasant; but however it sounds, I believe we can learn something very important from listening to the kind of things they say.  They say things like this: "How'd you like it if anyone did the same to you?" -- "That's my seat, I was there first" -- "Leave him alone, he isn't doing you any harm"-- [and so on.]  People say things like that every day, educated people as well as uneducated, and children as well as grownups.

Now what interests me about all these remarks is that the man who makes them is not merely saying that the other man's behaviour does not happen to please him.  He is appealing to some kind of standard of behaviour which he expects the other man to know about.  And the other man very seldom replies: "To he11 with your standard."  Nearly always he tries to make out that what he has been doing does not really go against the standard, or that if it does, there is some special excuse ... It looks, in fact, very much as if both parties had in mind some kind of Law or Rule of fair play or decent behaviour or morality or whatever you like to call it, about which they really agreed.  And they have.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Lewis goes on to call this the Law of Human Nature and he argues that this Law has been in operation throughout all of human history in every culture whether or not that culture had some sort of 'holy book' or not.  I will not give all his arguments ... you can read the book.  But suffice it to say that he ends the first chapter with two important points ...
   

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
These, then, are the two points I wanted to make.  First, that human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it.  Secondly, that they do not in fact behave in that way.  They know the Law of [Human] Nature; [and] they break it.  These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


The second chapter is titled Some Objections and deals with things like "Isn't what you call the Moral Law simply our herd instinct and hasn't it been developed just like all our other instincts?"  Lewis dismantles this objection by noting that many times humans behave in a way contrary to our instincts, such as the man who dives into floodwaters to save a drowning man, or leaves a girl alone who he would like to have.  Another objection Lewis deals with is "Isn't what you call the Moral Law just a social convention, something that is put into us by education?"  Lewis counters that many things are mere conventions, such as driving on the right or the lefthand side of the road, but other things are real truths, such as the rules of mathematics.  He shows that the Law of Human Nature belongs to the 'mathematics class' of absolute truths because it is universal throughout all ages and applies to all people with only minor variation.

In the third chapter, The Reality of the Law, Lewis re-establishes his two main points ...

(1) Human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it.  
(2) Human beings do not in fact behave in that way.  

They know the Law of [Human] Nature; [and] they break it.

After some discussion of people's failed attempts to get rid of this Law, and some more discussion of how this Law differs from the Law of Gravity or other scientific laws, Lewis concludes ...
   

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Consequently, this Rule of Right and Wrong, or Law of Human Nature, or whatever you call it, must somehow or other be a real thing--a thing that is really there, not made up by ourselves.  And yet it is not a fact in the ordinary sense, in the same way as our actual behaviour is a fact.  It begins to look as if we shall have to admit that there is more than one kind of reality; that, in this particular case, there is something above and beyond the ordinary facts of men's behaviour, and yet quite definitely real--a real law, which none of us made, but which we find pressing on us.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



In Chapter 4, What Lies Behind the Law, Lewis points out that throughout history with all men everywhere, there have been basically two views of the universe--the Materialistic View which includes most of you, and what he calls the Religious view, which proposes some type of Intelligence which caused the phenomena in the universe.  Lewis says that ordinary science cannot tell us anything about a supposed 'Mind' outside the universe [you would agree with him and I would agree if we are talking about your definition of limited science ... I would say that the 'non-science' that Lewis is discussing here should be included in a broader definition of Science].  Lewis continues ...
   

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Supposing science ever became so complete so that it knew every single thing in the whole universe.  Is it not plain that the questions, "Why is there a universe?"  "Why does it go on as it does?" "Has it any meaning?" would remain just as they were?

Now the position would be quite hopeless but for this.  There is one thing, and only one, in the whole universe which we know more about than we could learn from external observation.  That one thing is Man.  We do not merely observe men, we are men.  In this case we have, so to speak, inside information; we are in the know.  And because of that, we know that men find themselves under a moral law, which they did not make, and cannot quite forget even when they try, and which they know they ought to obey ... We want to know whether the universe simply happens to be what it is for no reason or whether there is a power behind it that makes it what it is.  Since that power, if it exists, would be not one of the observed facts but a reality which makes them, no mere observation of the facts can find it.  There is only one case in which we can know whether there is anything more, namely our own case.  And in that one case we find there is.  Or put it the other way around.  If there was a controlling power outside the universe, it could not show itself to us as one of the facts inside the universe--no more than the architect of a house could actually be a wall or a staircase or a fireplace in that house.  The only way in which we could expect it to show itself would be inside ourselves as an influence or a command trying to get us to behave in a certain way.  And that is just what we do find inside ourselves.  Surely this ought to arouse our suspicions?  In the only case where you can expect to find an answer, the answer turns out to be Yes; and in the other cases, where you do not get an answer, you see why you do not.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



In Chapter 5: We Have Cause to Be Uneasy, Lewis points out that he has not got as far as the Christian God, or the God of any particular religion, and he says ...
   

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
We have only got as far as a Somebody or Something behind the Moral Law.  We are not taking anything from the Bible or from the Churches, we are trying to see what we can find out about this Somebody on our own steam ... and what we find out ... is something that gives us a shock.  We have two bits of evidence about the Somebody.  One is the universe He has made ... the other bit of evidence is that Moral Law which He has put into our minds.  And this is a better bit of evidence than the other, because it is inside information.  You find out more about God from the Moral Law than from the universe in general just as you find out more about a man by listening to his conversation than by looking at a house he has built.  Now from this second bit of evidence we conclude that the Being behind the universe is intensely interested in right conduct--in fair play, unselfishness, courage, good faith, honesty and truthfulness ... [but the Moral Law is not] indulgent, or soft, or sympatheitc ... It is hard as nails.  It tells you to do the straight thing and it does not seem to care how painful, or dangerous, or difficult it is to do.  If God is like the Moral Law, then He is not soft.  It is no use, at this stage, saying that what you mean by a "good" God is a God who can forgive.  You are going too quickly.  Only a person can forgive.  And we have not yet got as far as a personal God--only as far as a power, behind the Moral Law, and more like a mind than it is like anything else.  But it may still be very unlike a Person.  If it is a pure impersonal mind, there may be no sense in asking it to make allowances for you or let you off, just as there is no sense in asking the multiplication table to let you off when you do your sums wrong.  You are bound to get the wrong answer.  And it is no use either saying that if there is a God of that sort--an impersonal absolute goodnes--then you do not like Him and are not going to bother about Him.  For the trouble is that one part of you is on His side and really agrees with His disapproval of human greed and trickery and exploitation.  You may want Him to make an exception in your own case, to let you off this one time;  but you know at bottom that unless the power behind the world really and unalterably detests that sort of behaviour, then He cannot be good.  On the other hand, we know that if there does exist an absolute goodness it must hate most of what we do.  That is the terrible fix we are in.  If the universe is not governed by an absolute goodness, then all our efforts are in the long run hopeless.  But if it is, then we are making ourselves enemies to that goodness every day, and are not in the least likely to do any better tomorrow, and so our case is hopeless again.  We cannot do without it, and we cannot do with it.  God is the only comfort, He is also the supreme terror: the thing we most need and the thing we most want to hide from.  He is our only possible ally, and we have made ourselves His enemies.  Some people talk as if meeting the gaze of absolute goodness would be fun.  They need to think again.  They are still only playing with religion.  Goodness is either the great safety or the great danger--according to the way you react to it.  And we have reacted the wrong way.

Now my third point ... Christianity simply does not make sense until you have faced the sort of facts I have been describing.  Christianity tells people to repent and promises them forgiveness.  It therefore has nothing (as far as I know) to say to people who do not know they have anything to repent of and who do not feel that they need forgiveness.  It is after you have realised that there is a real Moral Law, and a Power behind the law, and that you have broken that law and put yourself wrong with that Power--it is after all this, and not a moment sooner, that Christianity begins to talk.  When you know you are sick, you will listen to the doctor.  When you have realized that our position is nearly desperate you will begin to understand what the Christians are talking about.  They offer an explanation of how we got into our present state of both hating goodness and loving it.  They offer an explanation of how God can be this impersonal mind at the back of the Moral Law and yet also a Person.  They tell you how the demands of this law, which you and I cannot meet, have been met on your behalf, how God Himself becomes a man to save man from the disapproval of God ... All I am doing is to ask people to face the facts--to understand the questions which Christianity claims to answer.  And they are very terrifying facts.  I wish it was possible to say something more agreeable.  But I must say what I think true.  Of course, I quite agree that the Christian religion is, in the long run, a thing of unspeakable comfort.  But it does not begin with comfort; it begins in the dismay I have been describing, and it is no use at all trying to go on to that comfort without first going throught the dismay.  In religion, as in war and everything else, comfort is the one thing you cannot get by looking for it.  If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end: if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth--only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end, despair.  Most of us have got over the pre-war wishful thinking about international politics.  It is time we did the same about religion.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Lewis obviously goes farther than is necessary to establish another piece of evidence for the existence of God, and I do to.  The last portion of this is for those who accept the existence of God, but have not yet considered the claims of Christianity.

For those of you that have joined us late, we are about 2/3 done with the "First" goal listed at the beginning of this point.  We have previously shown that Biological Machines and Cosmic Fine Tunig speak powerfully about some Super Intelligent Designer outside the universe.  Now, C.S. Lewis' Morality argument give us more clues as to the nature of this Designer.  Next we will deal with the Problem of Evil in the World and touch on Miracles.  This will complete the "First Goal" listed above and we will move to the Second.

I welcome your comments.

AF Dave
Posted by: Rilke's Granddaughter on May 19 2006,03:54

Dave made a remarkably uninformed and idiotic remark,

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
This person claims that my 'evidence' is not evidence at all ... he says evidence would be something like bits of hair or blood from a murder scene.  Where you go wrong is this.  The bits of hair and blood from the murder scene do the very same thing for the truth search that my evidence does.  They make it "look like" so-and-so committed the murder and the judge really can only say that "probably" this man is guilty--he really cannot say for sure and there have been plenty of people that were erroneously prosecuted, or the reverse--they were guilty, but got let off.  Sorry ... your objection doesn't fly, but I'm sure people will keep raising it around here because you all apparently have been programmed to reject certain classes of legitimate evidence.  Hopefully you will see in time that this is a mistake.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Dave, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and presume you're simply unused to discussion, logic, and argument rather than just presume you're dumb.  The point being made by the poster is that you are claiming that your suppositions are evidence.  This is, of course, utter nonsense, and the reason people keep asking you for evidence.

Let's take your 'murder' scene.  What you are doing is the following:

you claim that the "hair and blood allow us to suppose that a murder has occured" IS THE EVIDENCE.

It's not.  The hair and blood are the evidence.

You have presented nothing but suppositions based on your (apparently total) ignorance of science and logic.

But claiming that your 'suppositions' are themselves evidence is simply wrong.

Feel free to try again when you understand what evidence and supposition are; 'cause quite frankly, you don't have a clue.  :p
Posted by: Renier on May 19 2006,04:00



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
(1) Human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it.  
(2) Human beings do not in fact behave in that way.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Spot the falacy/ies

First. "moral" codes differ from culture to culture. Simple example, canabilism. No "moral" problem for them cooking you in your own juice.

Secondly, you state human beings do not behave ins "that" way, ie, the universal super duper moral code. Well, give me any example of people breaking this "super duper moral code" and I will give you an example of someone "adhering" to it. Conclusion, some people act in this way, and some not. Example. Atheists are not more moral or immoral that Christians. Christians are not more moral or immoral than atheists, or Hindus etc.
Posted by: afdave on May 19 2006,04:49



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
you claim that the "hair and blood allow us to suppose that a murder has occured" IS THE EVIDENCE.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Rilke, Rilke ... you put that in quotes as if that's what I said.  Go read it again.  You are confused and yet you say I'm confused.

Combine this blunder with your nonsense about me not knowing the origin of the Portuguese language on the Evolution thread and I'm going to rank you right up there with Aftershave and BWE.

You don't want that do you?  Retract it all and I will still respect you.
Posted by: normdoering on May 19 2006,05:14

Quote (Rilke's Granddaughter @ May 19 2006,08:54)
you claim that the "hair and blood allow us to suppose that a murder has occured" IS THE EVIDENCE.

It's not.  The hair and blood are the evidence.

You have presented nothing but suppositions based on your (apparently total) ignorance of science and logic.

But claiming that your 'suppositions' are themselves evidence is simply wrong.
frankly, you don't have a clue.  :p
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Good start -- but you haven't finished the argument.

David writing about it "looking like" is of course the logic of delusion. But why is the physical stuff the evidence and not the supposition Dave makes? I think that needs to be explained to him before you can get honestly frustrated with  his ignorance.

I would say it's because evidence is all about physical causual connections. A bit of hair or blood establishes a causual connection to a person, "how did that bit of hair and blood get there?" The person to whom it belonged was either at the scene where it was found out it got carried there some other way.

You can pick it up from there I assume.
Posted by: deadman_932 on May 19 2006,05:30

Dave: As I posted earlier, you have no ethical spine, considering your unwillingness to actually address the disagreements people have with your claims. You, like C.S. Lewis, gloss over substantial counterarguments in pursuit of your own ego-driven goals. When I point out that your "rules for engagement " contain claims of biblical inerrancy, you avoid it and can't seem to manage the character needed to examine objections as they appear. You just plow on , stealing C.S. Lewi's tripe from "Mere Christianity" as though it were ...gosh, holy writ. Oh, and by the way-- obviously-- by using the term "truthidosity" I was merely having fun with language.

Let's see...I have read Lewis. Disagree with it thoroughly, for a number of reasons. Lewis' argument, despite your regurgitation of lengthy passages, is reducible to a simple set of claims:

1) there is a universal moral law
2) this "universal" morality must stem from a "lawgiver"
3) This lawgiver must be "god"

Now, notice that in Lewis' writing, he never really gives specific examples of univerally held moral values. He merely refers to it a sense of doing the right thing. But what is the "right thing" varies from culture to culture, from context to context. Diving into a river to save a child may or may not be "moral" depending on ...that's right...context. Using your own Bible as evidence, there are numerous examples of god ordering the deaths of innocent children. Was this bad? if so, why? god ordered it, you know. has to be "good, " right? Consider that children such as babes in arms cannot wield swords and god, being all-powerful, COULD have done otherwise than order them to die. Also note that in at least three places, the bible says children shall not bear the sins of the fathers, so you can't say they were ALREADY guilty or that they WOULD be guilty in the future -- that would be predestination-- which is antithetical to Christian tenets, isn't it?

Sociologists and Anthropologists (of which I am one, archaeo and phys anth) would and do laugh at Lewis' claims of "universal morality" because of this. Here's the challenge for you, AFDave: name a univerally held moral value. Don't say something as vapid as "cherishing life" because that is not true. Example: Human sacrifices, well, like your own Jesus, give up their lives willingly (and joyfully) at times, as did SOME amerind "sacrifices." both the sacrifice and the onlookers saw the sacrifice of life as "good" not "bad." More importantly, in this example, Lewis has not shown that ordinary instinctual behavior CANNOT account for a drive for survival, he merely glosses over the weakest possible counterarguments acting as if the theories countering his claims didn’t even exist at the time, which they did. Certainly Lewis was well aware of such simple examples as James Frazer's work. This alone shows the amazing willingness to simply force-fit available data as ...well, as you do, AFDave.

I find Lewis' claim that this "universal" moral code being "consistent" as amusing, given that Lewis, as Tolkien pointed out, was knowledgeable about Greek and Roman and other cultures that negated his claims.

Biology, Zoology, Ecology, Ethology, Anthro, Sociology, Sociobiological and Evolutionary Psych studies have shown that the basis of what WE term "moral" behavior is easily observable and explicable in non-human primates and other species. This alone shoots his claim to "no other explanation being possible"--to he11. Group dynamics--"getting along" in animal groups..lies at the heart of human "rules" and "morality,"  not some mystical appeal to "god." No god is needed to show that survival and reproduction of the individual is enhanced by the emergence of feedback systems to both encourage and control behaviors.

Your refusal to take up your claims of biblical inerrancy as laid out in both your rules of engagement and in your "order" of evidence reveals you to be quite the hypocrite, so I think I'll let you plow on, pointing out your inadequacies as you go.
Posted by: PuckSR on May 19 2006,05:33



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
This person claims that my 'evidence' is not evidence at all ... he says evidence would be something like bits of hair or blood from a murder scene.  Where you go wrong is this.  The bits of hair and blood from the murder scene do the very same thing for the truth search that my evidence does.  They make it "look like" so-and-so committed the murder and the judge really can only say that "probably" this man is guilty--he really cannot say for sure and there have been plenty of people that were erroneously prosecuted, or the reverse--they were guilty, but got let off.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Hmm...but here is the problem AFDave.....
No one can dispute the fact that the hair and blood are from someone else.  If they DNA test the blood...and it matches or does not match a suspect....that still argue that the evidence was "faked".  The problem is that you never gave us "blood and  hair".  

Your not analyzing facts and coming to logical conclusions.  You havent even presented any facts.  You have wildly and irresponsibly made conclusions without even first presenting your "facts".

Your "proof" of God is a sad excuse even within the Theological realm.  Your arguments are neither original or creative.  The problem is that your also trying to pass off your philosophical proofs as "evidence".  Evidence would be if we found a section of DNA that was base-4 code for the ASCII characters that made up "Hello, my name is God and I am your Creator".  You can make perfectly sound arguments without evidence Dave.....but they are not arguments based on evidence.  Evidence is indisputable.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Isn't what you call the Moral Law simply our herd instinct and hasn't it been developed just like all our other instincts?"  Lewis dismantles this objection by noting that many times humans behave in a way contrary to our instincts, such as the man who dives into floodwaters to save a drowning man, or leaves a girl alone who he would like to have.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


You really do not understand the concept of "evolved morality".  Diving into floodwaters to save a drowning man is our instinct.  People put themselves in harm's way all of the time to try to save someone.  It only runs counter to a "survival instinct"....and not to our general instincts.

All of the "morality" that all humans shared is also shared with dolphins, dogs, crows, and apes.  In some cases humans actually violate the "universal morality" more often than other animals.

It is our herd instinct though....it evolved as a means of survival.  Good deeds and altruism helps the group survive....and that is why you feel good when you are charitable.  If you could step outside of your "little world" for a moment you would see that an old argument from C.S. Lewis is hardly persuasive in the face of new scientific studies.
Posted by: Rilke's Granddaughter on May 19 2006,06:16

Quote (afdave @ May 19 2006,09:49)


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
you claim that the "hair and blood allow us to suppose that a murder has occured" IS THE EVIDENCE.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Rilke, Rilke ... you put that in quotes as if that's what I said.  Go read it again.  You are confused and yet you say I'm confused.

Combine this blunder with your nonsense about me not knowing the origin of the Portuguese language on the Evolution thread and I'm going to rank you right up there with Aftershave and BWE.

You don't want that do you?  Retract it all and I will still respect you.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Apparently Dave doesn't understand metaphor and analogy either.  A pity.

Dave, my child, you are offering unsupported assertions as evidence.

This is, of course, the sign of a fairly confused (or blatantly ignorant mind).

The funny thing is that you DON'T know the origin of the Portuguese language.  You can't even get the history of Portugal correct.

Your ignorance is hilarious; almost as funny as Larry's.  And I'm sure that if you just push it a little more, you could be even funnier.  Yes, you too could be dumber than Larry Fafarman!

I know you can do it, Dave!  Go for it!  Push on!

STAND UP FOR YOUR GOD-GIVEN RIGHT TO BE STUPID!
Posted by: normdoering on May 19 2006,06:30

Quote (afdave @ May 19 2006,08:28)
MORALITY AS A CLUE TO THE MEANING OF THE UNIVERSE

...<snip>
Second, once we establish evidence for the truth of the theistic worldview, we are then ready to make some predictions that we can investigate.  One of these key predictions is that this 'God' has probably communicated to humans in some way.  Makes sense, right?
<snip>...
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


That's not really a well reasoned prediction. Why assume the God who created this universe cares  to talk to you? Why don't you go out and communicate with chimps? You have arrogantly assumed you're worth communicating with.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
If we have shown that there is a Super Intelligent Mind out there somewhere, it would be a safe bet that He knows how to communicate.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



That's not necessarily true. And if it were true why would God desire to communicate with you? You have a "Super Intelligent Mind" compared to a mouse. Are you going out to find mice to communicate with? If you tried, you'd  only scare the poor creature and then, if you finally got it comfortable with you -- could it really have a conversation with you? At best you've got a pet.

So, here you are -- one man amoung billions, sitting on a planet that is less than a spec of dust in a cathedral, and the whole of humanity just an invisible scum on the surface of that dust spec -- and you think the God that created the cathedral wants to communicate something to you?

You seem pretty #### stupid to be so arrogant.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Third, we survey the various 'holy books' and realize pretty quickly that there is one that stands head and shoulders above the rest in its unique characteristics.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Ah, so you're a Hindu. You must obviously think the vedas is that book.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
That book is the Christian Bible.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Is it? Are you sure? Have you ever bothered to read the Koran? Or, are you just repeating the bullshit you've been told?

Now, be honest, what other holy books have you actually read?
Posted by: deadman_932 on May 19 2006,06:43

For anyone interested, a useful critique of "Mere Christianity" and Lewis' largely childlike apologetics can be found < here >.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 19 2006,06:49

I'm still waiting, Dave. Actually, let's forget about the Bible and evolution right now. I want to see actual, affirmative evidence that the earth is less than (I'll make it easy on you) a million years old.

I know you'll probably spend most of your time fruitlessly trying to refute the evidence that the earth is at least three orders of magnitude older than that, but I'm hoping that somewhere in there, you'll actually produce affirmative evidence for a young earth.

Are you up to the challenge, Dave?
Posted by: normdoering on May 19 2006,07:20

Quote (afdave @ May 19 2006,08:28)
MORALITY AS A CLUE TO THE MEANING OF THE UNIVERSE

They say things like this: "How'd you like it if anyone did the same to you?"
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Before the discovery of mirror neurons I would have simply said "empathy is what is being evoked by that question." But now that we know about mirror neurons we can explain that empathy in more detail:

< http://www.boston.com/news....ess_too >

< http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/ramachandran/ramachandran_p1.html >

In the end, after the empathy is invoked, the question contains an element of unspoken threat: "If you behave that way towards us, we will  behave that way toward you." That I would maintain is the key principle of that bit of  moral reasoning. It  has two forms: "Do unto others as they do unto you"  and "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
"That's my seat, I was there first"
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Possesion is nine tenths of the law. Such a claim for ownership of a seat only makes sense in certain  circumstances. You can't go into a diner and demand to sit where you sat last month if someone else is there.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
"Leave him alone, he isn't doing you any harm"
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



But he took my seat!



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
He is appealing to some kind of standard of behaviour which he expects the other man to know about.  And the other man very seldom replies: "To he11 with your standard."
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Well, monkeys have certain standards of behavior too, they need them because they are social creatures -- thus, part of our morality is a survival instinct we aquired before we were human. The cause -- evolution, my boy, evolution. Social creatures work together to survive and breed and raise young.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Lewis goes on to call this the Law of Human Nature and he argues that this Law has been in operation throughout all of human history in every culture whether or not that culture had some sort of 'holy book' or not.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



As I already said, it goes back to long before we were human. Our ancestors were also social creatures. We can see it in lion packs, ants, termites, elephant herds...



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
They know the Law of [Human] Nature; [and] they break it.  These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Do they break it? Or do we have a deeper nature that  merely uses the laws as a way to avoid conflict?



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Lewis dismantles this objection by noting that many times humans behave in a way contrary to our instincts, such as the man who dives into floodwaters to save a drowning man, or leaves a girl alone who he would like to have.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Lewis apparently never studied animals closely. Dogs have died to save their masters, lions die to save their cubs.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Another objection Lewis deals with is "Isn't what you call the Moral Law just a social convention, something that is put into us by education?"  Lewis counters that many things are mere conventions, such as driving on the right or the lefthand side of the road, but other things are real truths, such as the rules of mathematics.  He shows that the Law of Human Nature belongs to the 'mathematics class' of absolute truths because it is universal throughout all ages and applies to all people with only minor variation.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Show me the actual argument and I'll take it apart. Morality is not math in any way except the fuzziest kind.

Enough for now -- I might pick up the rest later.
Posted by: Ved on May 19 2006,07:42



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Lewis goes on to call this the Law of Human Nature and he argues that this Law has been in operation throughout all of human history in every culture whether or not that culture had some sort of 'holy book' or not.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Ding ding ding ding ding!
Posted by: Carol Clouser on May 19 2006,08:19

Reneir,

I am game for your challenge to debate AfDave or anyone else about the Biblical flood. And thank you for your vote of confidence.

I consider the flood issue to be one of the greatest difficulties faced by Bible admirers. The scientific evidence against a global flood a mere four thousand years ago (in 2110 BCE as I stated above) is overwhelming. If I am not mistaken, it is firmly established that a global flood reaching the altitude described in the Bible is impossible at any time, period, because there is not nearly enough water on earth for that to occur. (Perhaps some geologist wish to comment on this.) Since human beings are meant to use their God given intelligence (there is no clearer "message" from God that He wants us to reason than the fact that He provided, via the evolutionary process, for our soaring intelligence) we must either reject the Bible as divinely inspired or we close our minds to reason.

But this choice is not necessary. The Bible does NOT speak of a global flood.
Posted by: afdave on May 19 2006,08:59

Rilke-- You are foaming at the mouth because you are afraid of my wager which you know you will lose on the "Evolution" thread ... go check an encyclopedia that you have to pay for (instead of Wikipedia).

Rilke went into a tirade and called me an idiot on the "Evolution" thread because I said Portuguese was a mixture of Spanish and French.  I challenged her to a wager that I'm right and now she realizes she's in a hole.

Maybe someone would loan her the money?
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 19 2006,09:31

I don't know, Dave. As I said, I don't know anything about Portuguese history, and not much more about linguistics, but so far it looks like you're getting your ass handed to you on that thread. Once again.

Now, about that Theobald...
Posted by: BWE on May 19 2006,09:33

I'll do better. I took your bet with modifications to make it make sense to me. Go look. Idiot. :)

You know Davey-dog, I would stop insulting you if you could demonstrate a little honesty or intelligence. Either one. Read Dante's Inferno for more details on this.

But you are a wanker pure and simple. Nothing upstairs and afraid of what's going on downstairs. And, you are demonstrating behavior and thought processes that earn you the distinction of noted stupidity.

My wiener is smarter than you.

Have a nice day :)
Posted by: Ved on May 19 2006,09:41

So, God doesn't mind if you engage in a little wicked gambling as long as you believe that He made us the way those ancient priests say He did?
Posted by: deadman_932 on May 19 2006,10:42

Ha. You said you wanted rebuttal, and you fail to address it. You slimy invertebrate. Why not address what I wrote? Well, maybe because you are delusional enough to believe that:

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
We have previously shown that Biological Machines and Cosmic Fine Tunig speak powerfully about some Super Intelligent Designer outside the universe.  Now, C.S. Lewis' Morality argument give us more clues as to the nature of this Designer.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

you've done no such thing, you lying sack of excrement. You've avoided all counterarguments each #### time, using the entire plethora of fallacies. You sicken me, baboo, but I'm quite willing to point out your lies each time.
Posted by: stephenWells on May 19 2006,10:57

Quote (afdave @ May 19 2006,13:59)
Rilke went into a tirade and called me an idiot on the "Evolution" thread because I said Portuguese was a mixture of Spanish and French.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Your claim is simply wrong and if you had an ounce of honesty you'd admit it and move on, instead of trying to achieve by obstinacy what you can't by knowledge.

Note that I speak French and Spanish and read Latin and Portuguese (among others) and I can tell you that you are wrong.

For comparison, popping onto the very useful Euronews and grabbing an article in several languages:

 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
A Turquia sai em defesa da sua laicidade. Hoje, em Ancara, mais de 25 mil pessoas juntaram-se no mausoléu de Ataturk, o pai da Turquia moderna e laica. Um gesto simbólico de juízes, advogados e outros cidadãos para dizer que "a Turquia é um Estado laico e vai continuar".
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------

25 000 personnes criaient ce slogan ce matin devant le mausolée d'Atatürk, le fondateur de la Turquie laïque. Une manifestation spontanée, avec à sa tête des juges, procureurs et avocats, en robes. Derrière eux, une foule compacte, d'hommes, de femmes et d'enfants, tous rassemblés pour défendre la laïcité.

---------------------QUOTE-------------------



 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Turquía amaneció conmocionada tras el ataque, ayer, contra el Consejo de Estado, bastión de la laicidad, que ha costado la vida a un juez y herido a otros cuatro. Unas 25.000 personas han desfilado ante el mausoleo de Mustafá Kemal Ataturk, fundador de la República turca, musulmana pero estrictamente laica.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Nobody in their right mind would think that Portuguese is a mixture of the other two, now would they?

[Bonus amusement points if it turns out Dave can't read any of the above]
Posted by: deadman_932 on May 19 2006,11:22

As to the stupid-ass claim that Portuguese is a "mixture of Spanish and French, I recommend Mario Pei's "History of Latin and the Romance Languages."  

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Galician-Portuguese references first appear in the 12th century, in the earliest examples of lyric poetry ...Galicia was a backwater of Spain ...The range of varieties of Brazilian Portuguese may well be greater than that of American English...For a long period, the lingua franca of Brazil was Lingua Geral (Tupi) from Indian and Southeast Asian languages: this gave way to pidgin and creole varieties of Portuguese (such as Tabanreho, Matutenho, Caipria, and Fazendeiro as well as the standard language.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Posted by: Rilke's Granddaughter on May 19 2006,12:16

Quote (afdave @ May 19 2006,13:59)
Rilke-- You are foaming at the mouth because you are afraid of my wager which you know you will lose on the "Evolution" thread ... go check an encyclopedia that you have to pay for (instead of Wikipedia).

Rilke went into a tirade and called me an idiot on the "Evolution" thread because I said Portuguese was a mixture of Spanish and French.  I challenged her to a wager that I'm right and now she realizes she's in a hole.

Maybe someone would loan her the money?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


But Dave, you've already lost - how could we wager on that?  Do you really want to wager on something that you've been shown to be wrong about?

That's not logical.

And I don't do tirades.  I do laugh at stupid people (a truly bad habit, I know, and I keep meaning to do something about it).

I've check several other references: you're simply wrong, Dave.  More amusing still, when you changed your claim, YOU WERE STILL WRONG.

Amazing.

But by all means bluster some more.  It's interesting to watch you bluster when you're in error.
Posted by: Rilke's Granddaughter on May 19 2006,12:22

Dave, BWE makes a sound point.  Your ignorance per se is not a problem.  Your over-inflated ego is not a problem.

What is disturbing is your complete and total lack of intellectual integrity and your highly unChristian behavior.

A person with intelligence would have recognized that he had made a stupid statement.

A person with intellectual integrity would have admitted it and moved on.

A moron would have done neither.

Guess which of these courses of action you took.

Need a hint?  :)
Posted by: Rilke's Granddaughter on May 19 2006,12:59

Quote (afdave @ May 19 2006,13:59)
Rilke-- You are foaming at the mouth because you are afraid of my wager which you know you will lose on the "Evolution" thread ... go check an encyclopedia that you have to pay for (instead of Wikipedia).

Rilke went into a tirade and called me an idiot on the "Evolution" thread because I said Portuguese was a mixture of Spanish and French.  I challenged her to a wager that I'm right and now she realizes she's in a hole.

Maybe someone would loan her the money?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Oh, by the way Dave, you said I should check a 'real' encyclopedia.  So I did.

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Portuguese  Português,   Romance language spoken in Portugal, Brazil, and Portuguese colonial and formerly colonial territories. Galician, spoken in northwestern Spain, is a dialect of Portuguese. Written materials in Portuguese date from a property agreement of the late 12th century, and literary works appeared in the 13th and 14th centuries.

Standard Portuguese is based on the dialect of Lisbon. Dialectal variation within the country is not great, but Brazilian Portuguese varies from European Portuguese in several respects, including several sound changes and some differences in verb conjugation and syntax; for example, object pronouns occur before the verb in Brazilian Portuguese, as in Spanish, but after the verb in standard Portuguese. The four major dialect groups of Portuguese are Northern Portuguese, or Galician, Central Portuguese, Southern Portuguese (including the dialect of Lisbon), and Insular Portuguese (including Brazilian and Madeiran). Portuguese is often mutually intelligible with Spanish despite differences in phonology, grammar, and vocabulary.

Typical of the Portuguese sound system is the use of nasal vowels, indicated in the orthography by m or n following the vowel (e.g., sim “yes,” bem “well”) or by the use of a tilde (~) over the vowel (mão “hand,” nação “nation”). In grammar its verb system is quite different from that of Spanish. Portuguese has a conjugated or personal infinitive and a future subjunctive and uses the verb ter (Latin tenere, Spanish tener “to have, to hold”) as an auxiliary verb instead of haver (Latin habere, Spanish haber “to have”; in Spanish used only as an auxiliary verb).
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



It's from the Encyclopedia Brittanica.  I don't see much in there about a 'mixture' of French and Spanish.

Would you like me to loan you the money?  :)
Posted by: normdoering on May 19 2006,21:16

Quote (afdave @ May 19 2006,08:28)
MORALITY AS A CLUE TO THE MEANING OF THE UNIVERSE

...

It is after you have realised that there is a real Moral Law, and a Power behind the law, and that you have broken that law and put yourself wrong with that Power--it is after all this, and not a moment sooner, that Christianity begins to talk.

When you know you are sick, you will listen to the doctor.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


C.S. Lewis writes the same old Christian sermon: You're a sinner, you know it and don't you feel bad? When you're properly guilty and ashamed you'll magically realize the "Truth"™ of Dave's silly religion.

Any morality that's based on a non-human, unyielding structure, set above and beyond human values is dangerous to human beings.

History gives us tons of evidence of what is wrong with using Dave's moral arguments as a starting point. From the Spanish Inquisition and witch burning to Muslims flying planes into American skyscrapers. People die and suffer because they don't believe in someone else's version of god. It goes on in the Bible's Old Testament itself and cannot be separated from that religion.

Instead of our laws and morals serving us, they serve a fantasy god, and through the fantasy god they actually serve the power of those who claim to speak for that god.

Look at the kind of people that religion empowers in our world. From Osama bin Laden to Jerry Falwell  and Pat Robertson.
Posted by: afdave on May 20 2006,13:02

Rilke ---

(and everyone else who followed her)

You might want to go check the "AF Dave Wants You to Prove Evolution" thread ...

You just crashed and burned about your Portuguese thing.

It was nice knowing you :-)
Posted by: normdoering on May 20 2006,13:07

Quote (afdave @ May 20 2006,18:02)
You just crashed and burned about your Portuguese thing.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


What color is the sky on your planet?
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 20 2006,13:23

no, ask him how many moons!  sky colors are too variable.
Posted by: afdave on May 20 2006,16:19



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
What color is the sky on your planet?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Norm, my friend ... it's no use ... don't make it worse for your team than it already is ...

Just go call 911 and get an ambulance and they'll come and fix you and Rilke and everybody else ...

Then you will be all nice and recovered for battle on Monday morning.
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 20 2006,16:39

what you just did there is called "projection", Dave.

Do you know what that means?

Well, it really doesn't matter, but trust me when I say that you saying WE need to call for treatment is pretty funny, and #### near exactly what I would expect you to say.

did you know that schizophrenics often think that it's the rest of the world that's gone crazy, not themselves?

How would you solve that dilemma, Dave?

I'm of the strong opinion that the reason you have stuck it out here so long is because you are really crying out for help.

Sorry, I don't think anybody here has the background to properly help you with your particular affliction, but I hope that putting pressure on you here will perhaps get you to consider seeking treatment yourself.

there's nothing bad about mental illness; it's just like any other illness, and can be treated as such.

However, just like any other illness, if left untreated it can get worse.  Moreover, since you have family, it can be contagious, in several senses.  there might be a genetic component to it, in which case you need to be VERY careful about how you expose your kids to how you think, as they might as easily as an addict become just like you.

really Dave, there's nothing more clear to any of us here than the fact that you have been posting here for over a month, and have presented nothing but speculation, denial, and projection in your posts.

No hard evidence, nothing to indicate you can mentally process the arguments or information presented by any of us here WRT the ToE.

there's only one conclusion to make.

You need help.

seek it and you'll be happier.  Your wife will be happier.  Your kids will go farther in life.

good things all around.
Posted by: normdoering on May 20 2006,16:45

Quote (afdave @ May 20 2006,21:19)


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
What color is the sky on your planet?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Norm, my friend ... it's no use ... don't make it worse for your team than it already is ...
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


We saw you moving the goal post, Dave. The language argument is down to pointless hair splitting about what you meant. Call it a pointless mess that can never be settled.
Posted by: stevestory on May 20 2006,16:52

Now get back to the fun stuff. explain to us, AFDave, why the earth is a few thousand years old.
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 20 2006,17:12

*sigh*

oh yes, by all means...

On with the show.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends
Were so glad you could attend
Come inside! come inside!
There behind a glass is a real blade of grass
Be careful as you pass.
Move along! move along!

Come inside, the shows about to start
Guaranteed to blow your head apart
Rest assured youll get your moneys worth
The greatest show in heaven, he11 or earth.
Youve got to see the show, its a dynamo.
Youve got to see the show, its rock and roll ....

Soon the gypsy queen in a glaze of vaseline
Will perform on guillotine
What a scene! what a scene!
Next upon the stand will you please extend a hand
To alexanders ragtime band
Roll up! roll up! roll up!
See the show!

Performing on a stool weve a sight to make you drool
Seven virgins and a mule
Keep it cool. keep it cool.
We would like it to be known the exhibits that were shown
Were exclusively our own,
All our own. all our own.
Come and see the show! come and see the show! come and see the show!
See the show!


---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Posted by: Arden Chatfield on May 20 2006,17:17

Quote (afdave @ May 20 2006,18:02)
You just crashed and burned about your Portuguese thing.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Um, Dave?

I have a PhD in linguistics, and I can tell you: if you say Portuguese is a mixture of Spanish and French, you have NO IDEA AT ALL what you're talking about.

Portuguese is most closely related to Spanish, by a long shot. It is most similar to Spanish in lexicon, grammar, and morphology. I have known speakers of one who claim they can understand the other. If you can read one, reading the other is not too difficult. Neither statement is true of French. The massive sound changes Portuguese underwent differentiating it from Spanish have NOTHING to do with French.

Besides, Dave, how can Portuguese be a 'mixture' of Spanish and French when Portugal is several hundred miles from France?

I'm afraid your approach to linguistics is just about as rigorous as your approach to biology and geology.

I assure you, Rilke's GD does not owe you any money.
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 20 2006,17:27

it never ceases to amaze me what a diverse group we have hanging about.

now we know where to go with linguistics questions.

thanks Arden.

I'm sure Dave will be correcting you any moment

*snicker*
Posted by: BWE on May 20 2006,18:15

I'm quite sure Davey-dog will be offering a correction. I understand where he is coming from. Judging from the dates, I assume he is referring to the Auto de Partilhas being the first document written in what we can call portuguese. I think I can make an argument that he is wrong. It will in fact, prove Davey-dog's intelligence (or lack thereof) because I think either side could be debated well. I'm truly not sure if he knows something I don't. But like I promised him in that thread, I just think he is an idiot so I will do no research until he accepts or rejects my wager. Arden, I may need some help with verbs.

Davey-dog, you are an idiot.
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 20 2006,18:18

I'm taking odds on this wager, if accepted.

don't ask me to cover any bets.  ;)
Posted by: Arden Chatfield on May 20 2006,18:40

The problem is I haven't been following the two AFDave threads for a while, so I'm having to play catch up here.

Okay, this seems to be the 'meat' of AFD's argument:

   

---------------------QUOTE-------------------

1)  AF Dave says that Spanish and Portuguese were essentially the same language until 1143 AD when Portugal broke away from Spanish control under a French nobleman by the name of Henry of Burgundy.  From this point on, the languages diverged into the modern situation.  The primary influence on the linguistic divergence was the French language.

---------------------QUOTE-------------------



And, by the same logic, because some Hessian and Polish generals helped out Washington in the Revolutionary War, American English is actually a mixture of English, German and Polish. [SARCASM]

I think Dave here is trying to say that because the French had an influence on Portuguese history, that means that 'Portuguese is a mixture of French and Spanish'.

So we can add linguistics to the list of disciplines that AFDave knows nothing about but thinks he knows about.

I repeat: the language that Portuguese is closest to is Spanish. By a big margin. This is exactly what we'd expect, since Portuguese borders on no language OTHER than Spanish.

Spanish and Portuguese are quite close. They share a huge amount of morphology and vocab. They even share the dozens of Arabic loans that entered Iberian Romance during the Moorish occupation of Iberia. (Words that are absent from French.)

Spanish and Portuguese are also reputed to sort-of be mutually intelligible. That is, fluent speakers of one can understand much of the other. I've never heard ANYONE claim that Portuguese and French are that way.

I think what AFDave is trying to say is "I don't understand Portuguese or Spanish, but Portuguese kinda sounds like French, and I heard the French played a role in Portuguese history. Therefore, Portuguese must be a combination of Spanish and French!"

You can see the similarities to how he argues about evolution. This is definitely a man capable of thinking the Earth is 6,000 years old.

Another point: the only way Portuguese could be a mixture of Spanish and French would be if French had the opportunity to influence Portuguese in a big way. This would involve massive bilingualism between Portuguese and French, for example with a huge influx of French speakers inhabiting Portugal, or if the Portuguese speech community bordered on the French speech community. Neither of these things happened.

It is not nearly enough for the French to have influenced the course of Portuguese history to claim this indicates Portuguese is a 'mix' of Spanish and French. And saying things like "But Portuguese and French both have nasals and that 'zh' sound!" isn't enough, either. You'd have to find ways in which Portuguese became grammatically more like French, or a large body of French loanwords in Portuguese. I challenge Dave to show us such things.

I also invite AFDave to find an article by an authority on Romance linguistics (a real linguist) who claims there is a French influence on Portuguese. Vague similarities and political connections don't prove it.

The burden of proof is on Dave here, since no linguist I can find anywhere backs him up.
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 20 2006,18:50

It' s like i said earlier, Arden.

Dave sees phonetic similarity and assumes it had something to do with the actual history and genesis of the language to begin with.

kind of like thinking an orange is a lemon because they're both round.

so... you too see the similarity in argument between the two topics Dave knows nothing about.

Now we need to see Dave argue something he actually DOES know something about.

so far he has refused to do so.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 20 2006,18:55

Quote (afdave @ May 20 2006,21:19)
Just go call 911 and get an ambulance and they'll come and fix you and Rilke and everybody else ...

Then you will be all nice and recovered for battle on Monday morning.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Wow. Dave, I had no idea you were this delusional.

If you think you've even begun to win an argument over linguistics here, you're hallucinating. You've been beaten, stabbed, shotgunned, hanged, burned, and had your ashes blown out of a cannon, and you think you've won something?

I'd hate to see what it would take to make you think you'd actually lost.
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 20 2006,19:06



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I'd hate to see what it would take to make you think you'd actually lost.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



now were back to the "he11 freezing over" thing again.
Posted by: BWE on May 20 2006,20:11

Darn you guys. Hasn't anyone ever taught you how to bait a trap? You don't just stand around drinking beer and smoking cigarettes after you set the spring.  :)
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 20 2006,20:27

don't get all hissy.

Dave will have forgotten everything said today by tommorrow anyway.

You need to wait for him to come back, and then try again.
Posted by: afdave on May 21 2006,01:59

Arden said ...

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Another point: the only way Portuguese could be a mixture of Spanish and French would be if French had the opportunity to influence Portuguese in a big way.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Uh ... er ... a big influence, huh ... like maybe thousands of French knights coming over to help Alfonso VI, maybe?  Did you even read my post?  Here's the part you might have missed ...


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Of course if you get a good Medieval History Encyclopedia, you can get all kinds of details about this period in history when Portuguese and Spanish diverged.  What you will see is massive Burgundian influence beginning with the influx of thousands of Burgundian knights in response to Alfonso VI who had a Burgundian wife, then the Burgundian Henry, grandson of Robert I of Burgundy then to Afonso Henriques, son of Henry.  [Oh ... by the way ... I guess I'd better fill you in that Burgundy is in France ... small detail].  Anyway, Afonso Henriques captures Lisbon and sets up his capital.  Then if you do some further reading, you find out that standard Portuguese is based on the dialect of Lisbon, according to Rilke's other favorite source, Encyclopedia Brittanica.  Can you guess that Lisbon probably had greater French influence than anywhere else in Portugal?  I hope I'm not moving too fast for anyone.

Hmmm ... let's think now ... a whole bunch of French knights come into western Spain to help out the king who has a French wife.  Another French guy comes into Spain and marries a Spanish wife.  They take over Lisbon and set up the Kingdom of Portugal.  Do you see what's happening?  This is not rocket science folks.   This is kind of like 1+2=3.  See?  Spanish + French = Portuguese.

Now if you have all three of these languages in your own family (my mother speaks fluent Portuguese and Spanish and my cousin speaks fluent French), you tend to have a little better overview of these languages than the average Joe (or Rilke).  I can tell you that if you have heard all three languages like I have, the mix is quite obvious.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



It doesn't take a PhD in linguistics to see this, Arden.  

If you want to argue something new, go start a new thread on Martin Luther, or the Catholic church, or Hitler or something else fun.
Posted by: afdave on May 21 2006,02:09

Well, I see that not everyone agrees with C.S. Lewis ... what a surprise!  I'm not going to spend any time trying to defend Lewis.  He goes into a lot of the objections raised here in the book, so go buy it and read it if you are interested.  I found his argument to be a compelling piece of evidence supporting the Creator God idea.

I see that many people still don't get it that the evidence I have presented so far is, in fact good evidence.  I would simply note that if a person does not want to believe something, the best thing to do is to call your ideological opponent an idiot, say his evidence is NOT evidence, etc.  Oh well ... it's not like I expected anyone to agree with me anyway.

*****************************************

New question (we'll be brief on this one):  Does everyone remember my argument which explains Evil in the World?  You know the analogy between parents and kids.  I would be interested in your comments on that ... do you think my argument is sound?  If not, why not ...

If necessary, I'll restate the argument when I have more time ...
Posted by: Faid on May 21 2006,02:34



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Hmmm ... let's think now ... a whole bunch of French knights come into western Spain to help out the king who has a French wife.  Another French guy comes into Spain and marries a Spanish wife.  They take over Lisbon and set up the Kingdom of Portugal.  Do you see what's happening?  This is not rocket science folks.   This is kind of like 1+2=3.  See?  Spanish <wife> + French <knights> = Portuguese <language.>
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


(edits mine)

:O

Yeah, 1+2=3 alright... More like "Dog = 4 legs = table".
Dave, please.

OK, I'm having kind of a deja vu by doing this but, since I don't have time to play "Make fun of Dave" today, it will have to do for now:

Dave, check my links.

:p
Posted by: afdave on May 21 2006,03:35

I'll go ahead and post this small piece again to remind everyone of the "Evil in the World" argument ...

The creation of mankind with a choice necessarily requires the possibility to evil, which by definition is "opposition to the will of the Creator."  What other definition makes sense?  What fun would it be for parents to have "robot children"?  It's a lot more fulfilling for parents to have kids that have a free will.  There is risk, to be sure.  Think about Jeffrey Dahmer's mom, but every day parents all over the world deem it worth the risk.  Why?  Because of the greater good which may result.  Their child maygrow up to be the next Louis Pasteur or Mother Teresa.  Why is this any different to visualize with God?  To me, it makes perfect sense that God would feel exactly the same way.  Does he want an earth full of zombie robots?  Of course not.  He wants people that have the ability to hate His guts, but make the conscious decision to love Him ... just like human parents do also.  And you can't escape this argument by saying "Well, it's different with God because supposedly He's all-powerful and all-knowing.  Why doesn't He intervene and just stop all this rot?  Well, He does sometimes--like with the Flood--and He will again at the End of Time.  This also is just like human parents.  They intervene sometimes in the lives of their children and they choose NOT to intervene sometimes because they want the child to learn some lesson.  What is so strange about this when it comes to thinking about God?

Everyone agree with this logic?  

Can we move on to Eric's age of the earth and Flood questions now?

(What links, Faid?)
Posted by: Shirley Knott on May 21 2006,04:34

What logic?  A string of ruminations does not constitute logic, nor a logical argument.
Evil is not generally defined as "opposition to the will of the Creator".
Amongst other problems, and they are legion, you are assuming your conclusion.  Were this logic that would disqualify your 'argument' right there.
You have yet to show that the notion of 'Creator' as you use it is meaningful and possible.
You have yet to reconcile omniscience and omnipotence.
Similarly you have yet to reconcile omnipotence and omnibenevolence in the face of evil [in the normal sense of the term] which has nothing to do with human action or will.
You misreprsent the standard objection to your claims -- it is not the case that the argument from evil is "why doens't an all powerful and all knowing beingf stop this?", it is "how can a being described as all-knowing and all-powerful permit this in the first place".
I doubt you can see the distinction, although it is more obvious than the differences between French, Spanish, and Portuguese...

But by all means, please proceed with discussino of Eric's age of the earth and flood questions.  Just don't pretend that by 'moving on' anyone believes that you have settled anything you have moved past.
We really would like  to see you provide positive evidence for something, anything, at least once in this thread.
Should you do so, we might almost conclude that miracles can occur.
Since they cannot, we know a prior that you will not.

hugs,
Shirley Knott
Posted by: Arden Chatfield on May 21 2006,05:51

Quote (afdave @ May 21 2006,06:59)
Arden said ...    

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Another point: the only way Portuguese could be a mixture of Spanish and French would be if French had the opportunity to influence Portuguese in a big way.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Uh ... er ... a big influence, huh ... like maybe thousands of French knights coming over to help Alfonso VI, maybe?  Did you even read my post?  Here's the part you might have missed ...
   

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Of course if you get a good Medieval History Encyclopedia, you can get all kinds of details about this period in history when Portuguese and Spanish diverged.  What you will see is massive Burgundian influence beginning with the influx of thousands of Burgundian knights in response to Alfonso VI who had a Burgundian wife, then the Burgundian Henry, grandson of Robert I of Burgundy then to Afonso Henriques, son of Henry.  [Oh ... by the way ... I guess I'd better fill you in that Burgundy is in France ... small detail].  Anyway, Afonso Henriques captures Lisbon and sets up his capital.  Then if you do some further reading, you find out that standard Portuguese is based on the dialect of Lisbon, according to Rilke's other favorite source, Encyclopedia Brittanica.  Can you guess that Lisbon probably had greater French influence than anywhere else in Portugal?  I hope I'm not moving too fast for anyone.

Hmmm ... let's think now ... a whole bunch of French knights come into western Spain to help out the king who has a French wife.  Another French guy comes into Spain and marries a Spanish wife.  They take over Lisbon and set up the Kingdom of Portugal.  Do you see what's happening?  This is not rocket science folks.   This is kind of like 1+2=3.  See?  Spanish + French = Portuguese.

Now if you have all three of these languages in your own family (my mother speaks fluent Portuguese and Spanish and my cousin speaks fluent French), you tend to have a little better overview of these languages than the average Joe (or Rilke).  I can tell you that if you have heard all three languages like I have, the mix is quite obvious.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



It doesn't take a PhD in linguistics to see this, Arden.  

If you want to argue something new, go start a new thread on Martin Luther, or the Catholic church, or Hitler or something else fun.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


'The mix is quite obvious'. The same way as a 6,000-year-old earth is 'obvious', eh, Dave?

Perhaps it takes the LACK of a PhD to see it.

Okay, Dave, it's like this. No linguistics article I've read by anyone who actually knows anything about linguistics says ANYTHING about Portuguese being a 'mix' of French and Spanish. No one.

But to you, with your lack of training think it's 'obvious'.

Okay, Dave. Prove it. So far all the evidence you've offered is 'if you've heard all three languages it's obvious'. That might be exactly what one needs to argue for Creationism, but linguistics holds itself to a higher standard than that, fortunately. Give us the evidence. You can do one of two things: you can either refer us to published linguistic articles by specialists in Romance languages where they explain how Portuguese is a mix of French and Spanish, or two, you can give us your own evidence. What would that be? Give us characteristics that Portuguese has it shares with French and not Spanish. And your impressionistic hunches about phonetics don't count. You have to produce lexicon and grammar -- a lot of it -- to prove this. Words and grammatical features French and Portuguese have but not Spanish. Cuz if your, uh, 'theory' is true, there should be plenty such examples.

Can you do that? Either references or raw data?

The burden of proof is on you, Dave. Cuz here's how it stacks up:

ONE SIDE: Dave

OTHER SIDE: Everyone else, including all linguists.

This isn't religious apologetics, Dave. You can't just make shit up and have it become true.
Posted by: normdoering on May 21 2006,05:58

Quote (afdave @ May 21 2006,08:35)
...evil, which by definition is "opposition to the will of the Creator."
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


So, if God's will is that the worshippers of the golden calf must be killed by melting down their calf and making them drink it, that's not evil because it's God's will?

If God's will is that Muslim hijackers crash planes into our skyscrapers, that's not evil because it's God's will?

So, if you get  ebola and die a  horrible death, that's obviously God's will since no man decided you should get that disease?

The problem with assuming you have to do God's will is figuring out what God's will is.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
What other definition makes sense?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



How about a more humanist definition of "good" and "evil"? What is good is what promotes human happiness and co-operation. What is evil is that which disrupts human happiness and co-operation.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
To me, it makes perfect sense that God would feel exactly the same way.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



So, God must feel the same way about things that you do? Could it  be that you have made God in your own image?  



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Everyone agree with this logic?  
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Absolutely NOT!

That was the logic of delusion, Dave.
Posted by: Fractatious on May 21 2006,06:23

Quote (afdave @ May 19 2006,08:28)
Lewis obviously goes farther than is necessary to establish another piece of evidence for the existence of God, and I do to.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


That was a very interesting read and brought home the fact that human psyche in relation to cognition and behaviour was not Lewis' forte. The apologetic argument and appeals. I think when it comes to understanding what propels and/or compels a human, then Lawrence Kohlberg (Professor of Psychology) book "The Meaning and Measurement of Moral Development" as well as Jean Piaget (Professor of Psychology) book "Insights and Illusions of Epistemology" as well as "The Moral Judgement of the Child". Lewis was an obvious reductionist (from reading his model of Laws pertaining to mankind) and wrongly classified humans (which you'll understand reading Kohlberg and Piaget). In a nutshell, Lewis should of stayed with Children Books and kept out of the realm of philosophy and psychology.
Posted by: Fractatious on May 21 2006,06:28

Quote (afdave @ May 21 2006,08:35)
Why doesn't He intervene and just stop all this rot?  Well, He does sometimes--like with the Flood--and He will again at the End of Time.  This also is just like human parents.  They intervene sometimes in the lives of their children and they choose NOT to intervene sometimes because they want the child to learn some lesson.  What is so strange about this when it comes to thinking about God?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Well that was a great refutation to an omnipotent/omnipresent/omniscience God. The other alternative to that, which can be logically asserted it - there is no God.
Posted by: Arden Chatfield on May 21 2006,06:35

Just had to comment on this:

   

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Why doesn't He intervene and just stop all this rot?  Well, He does sometimes--like with the Flood--and He will again at the End of Time.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



So, AFDave's 'evidence' that god intervenes on earth is (a) an event that didn't happen and (b) a mythical event that he thinks will happen in the future.

Only in religious apologetics do things that DIDN'T happen qualify as 'evidence'.

And only in religious apologetics does this DISPROVE the ideas that (a) God simply doesn't exist or (b) if God exists, he simply has no effect on earthly events.

It's no wonder that he thinks Young Earth Creationism is 'obvious'.
Posted by: stevestory on May 21 2006,06:38

he's very close. YEC is oblivious.
Posted by: Rod on May 21 2006,06:47

AFDave said

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
the possibility to evil, which by definition is "opposition to the will of the Creator."
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



He then drew parallels between parenting, and god's handling of mankind. Does it follow, by extention, that parents should then subject those children who defy their will to unending, inescapable pain and torment? Where is the line drawn in this "in his image" concept? I found his explanation of "Evil in the World" to be kind of creepy.
Posted by: Faid on May 21 2006,07:25

Quote (afdave @ May 21 2006,08:35)
(What links, Faid?)
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Here we go again Dave.

< http://www.instituto-camoes.pt/cvc/literatura/eng/LINGUA.HTM >

< http://www.orbilat.com/Languages/Portuguese/Portuguese.html >

< http://www.linguaportuguesa.ufrn.br/en_2.php >

< http://www.krysstal.com/langfams_indoeuro.html >

< http://www.alsintl.com/languages/portuguese.htm >

Also posted in the "prove evolution" thread, in case you miss them here.
And I, um, removed the accursed wiki link...
Posted by: k.e on May 21 2006,07:47

Yikes C.S.Lewis ??
What are you trying to do half a Dave give the guy a bad name? He wrote children's stories and was not much of an expert at anything else including morality and the universe, as if there were such a thing. Next 1/2 a D will be saying eating vegitables and invading 3rd world countries to steal their oil is immoral and against God's will because the universe sets the rules...sheesh
Yeah 1/2 a D manifest destiny is written in the stars....... in Portuguese French perhaps?
By the way there are more French words in the English language than in the Portuguese language and the 'official' French Language of today  originally came from the Germanic Frankish court/legal system and it was only widely spoken all over France displacing regional dialects around a 100 years ago so are you going to say that Portuguese is a Germanic language perhaps half a Dave?
Oh thats right you don't even understand English.
Have you even studied another language?Oh yeah
< Special English >

its for special people half a Dave.

All this stuff just re-enforces half a Dave's martyr complex.
"See how badly they treat me God and I still believe in you , you can count on me. When I'm done here I just know you are going to send all these bad , nasty, horrible devils disciples down, down ,down into a Nietzchian 
abyss ** and raise good old me up to be your right hand man dishing out morality to all the angels"



**(The  underworld described in Greek and Egyptian mythology was Nietzsche's  and Dante's (oh and half a Dave's) abyss. Those stories described with easily decoded metaphors commonly understood in their day, something largely lost today unless through scholarship, recognizable milestones for ones progress through and hopefully out of the abyss. Fairy tales for adults . A sort of journey through the psyche, the inner journey as Campbell and Jung described, not unlike tempory schizophrenia i.e. rearranging the brain to function in the real world. The journey through the underworld AS STORY was the treatment in those ancient times. Campbell's take on the  The Egyptian book of the dead (and schizophrenia) is a very interesting read if anyone is game)
Posted by: k.e on May 21 2006,07:55

I think it would be true to say in 1/2 a D's case that his brain is frozen in a state not unlike schizophrenia i.e. unable to determine what is real and what is not.
The horse in his case  bolted years ago.
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 21 2006,10:22

Just for KE:

< http://www.mwscomp.com/sounds/mp3/halfabee.mp3 >

I don't think half-Dave would even be equivalent to eric, as i believe half-Dave is only the ass-end.
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 21 2006,10:26



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Well, I see that not everyone agrees with C.S. Lewis ... what a surprise!
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



LOL.

yes, what a surprise that everyone here doesn't see the author of fictional children's novels as authoritative in the world of science.

complete shocker!
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 21 2006,10:30



---------------------QUOTE-------------------


It doesn't take a PhD in linguistics to see this, Arden.  

---------------------QUOTE-------------------



*sigh*  Why doesn't it surprise me that right after i said Dave would be popping in soon to "correct" Arden, he does attempt to do just that?

see, BWE, i told you Dave was completely oblivious.

feel free to set your trap.  he won't see it, even if we discuss the details.
Posted by: stevestory on May 21 2006,10:32

I once had a creationist (a creationist with an engineering degree--big surprise) tell me, in a little coffeeshop across from NCSU, that I should read Mere Christianity and that if I could refute Lewis's arguments I'd be world famous. I had a good laugh at that.
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 21 2006,10:33

@fractatious:

Do you have a background in clinical psych?

if so, could you comment on the theory that Dave is suffering from a form of cognitive dissonance, as evidenced by the rampant denial and projections he spins daily?

@steve:



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
that I should read Mere Christianity and that if I could refute Lewis's arguments I'd be world famous. I had a good laugh at that.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



did you point him to the already world famous folks that stood in line to do just that, years ago?
Posted by: BWE on May 21 2006,12:47



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
see, BWE, i told you Dave was completely oblivious.

feel free to set your trap.  he won't see it, even if we discuss the details.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



He is too stupid to take the bait anyway. He hasn't answered a single question from anyone because he can't.

Psychosis, severe head trauma and low self esteem from his poor performance in evangelizing are my diagnosis.

My prescription: Taking up the cloth and living on a mountain. Preferrably one 6000 years old.
Posted by: deadman_932 on May 21 2006,13:15

Let's recap.
1) AFDave says that Lewis' argument where people "feel" a sense of what is right and wrong is proof of god.
2) Others object, pointing out that Lewis deliberately overlooked the most basic counterarguments to his assertion

3) AFDave overlooks those objections and concentrates maniacally on the origins of Portuguese
4) AFDave is shown wrong in his claim that Portuguese is a mixture of Spanish and French

5) The original objections to Lewis' assertions remain unrefuted by AFDave
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 21 2006,14:26

Dave, why is it that whenever I ask you when you're going to provide affirmative evidence for an earth less than a million years old or evidence that the Bible is correct in its description of the history of the world, you just ignore me? After all, this is the "AF Dave's UPDATED Creator God Hypothesis" thread, isn't it? Amusing as it was seeing your French + Spanish = Portuguese theory getting beaten to death with a shovel, I think it's probably time to get back to the matter at hand.

So: why do you think the earth is less than a million years old, Dave? And please, for the love of god, make your answer more interesting than, "Why, it says right here in the Bible…"

I was over my brother's place a couple of years ago—I think it was about the time the Residents' "Wormwood" CD came out—and we were talking about how arbitrary and irrational the Bible was. My brother had a copy of Marquis de Sade's autobiography on his couch at the time, and he laid a hand on top of it and said, "You might as well have based a religion on this book."
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 21 2006,15:24



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
My prescription: Taking up the cloth and living on a mountain. Preferrably one 6000 years old.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



er, i don't know of any EXACTLY 6000 years old, but would it be ok if it were younger than that?

If so, I have a suggestion for Dave:

go study on top of Space Mountain at Disneyland.

-It's intelligently designed
-Is less than 6000 years old
-the creator of the Eden it's in shared a lot of your senses of morality
-It has fun things to do when you get bored of being a hermit

sounds perfect!
Posted by: Carol Clouser on May 21 2006,15:56

Folks,

At the risk of sounding as if I am defending Afdave, which is NOT my purpose at all, I am animated to make (yet again) the following point:

The impression that the God of the Old testament (OT) is a mean, vengeful and vicious God could not be further from the truth. It is based on the grotesuely distorted Christian interpretation and translation of the original Hebrew, the real and authentic Bible.

I have already debated this matter with many posters here (such as Jonboy and BWE and others) and yet the same canard keeps surfacing again and again. The reality is that the God of the OT is a merciful, forgiving, indulgent and loving God.

All you need do is read what Afdave writes and you can readily see the massive nature of Christian distortions of the Hebrew text. For example, he says that many prophesies in the OT all lead to and were fulfilled by ("converge" in his terminology) none other than Jesus. Well, if there were a iota of truth to that would you not suppose that the Jews would gladly have accepted Jesus? After all, he was one of their own! The fact is that there is not a shred of support for that statement.

The drinking of the molten golden calf (mentioned above) was a God sanctioned technique to allow Moses to ascertain who was guilty and who was innocent of the murders, rapes and robberies that occured in the chaos of his disappearance. Those who were guilty were punished, those who were innocent were not only unharmed by the potion but came out ahead. Now you may not believe this Biblical story but then you don't know that any of it occured at all. Either way, God comes out just right.
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 21 2006,16:09



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
which is NOT my purpose at all,
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



yes, yes, Carol.  We all know what your purpose here is.

I think now would be a good time to espouse your new "why Landa's book sits so low in the Amazon book rankings" theory.

well, maybe when your done preaching, eh?
Posted by: Carol Clouser on May 21 2006,16:40

STJM,

Surely you don't mean to suggest that the value or merit or correctness of a book (or paper) is to be judged by its popularity in the mass market?

By that standard, are we to put evolution to a vote and decide its merit by whether it is popularly supported? The polls have already spoken then and evolution has lost (unfortunately).

By the way, the fortunes of Landa's IN THE BEGINNING OF on Amazon rise and fall with ads that periodically appear, as to most products. Jay El's main sales are to schools and institutions, however, and the book is doing quite well. But thank you for your concern.
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 21 2006,17:00

LOL.

yes, thanks Carol.

You define the word "predictable" almost as well as AFDave.

Done yet, or do you want to taunt us a second time?
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 21 2006,17:14

Quote (Carol Clouser @ May 21 2006,20:56)
Folks,

At the risk of sounding as if I am defending Afdave, which is NOT my purpose at all, I am animated to make (yet again) the following point:

The impression that the God of the Old testament (OT) is a mean, vengeful and vicious God could not be further from the truth. It is based on the grotesuely distorted Christian interpretation and translation of the original Hebrew, the real and authentic Bible.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Hmm…a (fictional) distorted interpretation of a (fictional) account. Is this something we should care about?
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 21 2006,17:29



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Is this something we should care about?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



surely you mean that rhetorically.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 21 2006,18:52

Quote (sir_toejam @ May 21 2006,22:29)
surely you mean that rhetorically.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


God, I should hope so. The last thing I need is a lecture on how my godless ways will lead to an eternity of punishment.

But at least Carol, evidently being Jewish, seems not to believe in a vengeful god.
Posted by: Fractatious on May 21 2006,19:28

Sir Toejam.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Do you have a background in clinical psych?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Yes. I have worked in that department. I have 4 straight consecutive years in Human Development/Developmental Psychology (Social Science).



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
if so, could you comment on the theory that Dave is suffering from a form of cognitive dissonance, as evidenced by the rampant denial and projections he spins daily?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Technically I would not answer something like this publically. However, I'll just sketch over it. Socially we try and maintain a form of consonance, or cognitive consonance. Even if they are opposed in paradigm or some ideology, there can still be achieved, consonance. Dissonant cognition of course is the opposite of this and Festinger (father of cognitive dissonance) ascribed this to drive like abilities, a thirst to or drive to create an atmosphere of dissonance. An example I'll use is Kent Hovind, regardless of his credibility under fire as an authority in the field of evolutionary biology, and the many refutations to his outlandish claims, he is driven to go further, with such comments as "if a car is going at the speed of light and turns on its headlights, then the headlights are going twice the speed of light". That is an outlandish claim, and totally incorrect, but he will support it heaping more outlandish claims ontop. It also is not hard for anyone (whether they have a background in psychology or not) to see via interaction with another individual, how far their dissonance goes.

I hope that helped.
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 21 2006,19:31



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
But at least Carol, evidently being Jewish, seems not to believe in a vengeful god.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



best to again specify that you mean that rhetorically, as I'm sure none of us here care to hear Carol expound upon whether Landa's translation of the OT defines whether the refered to deity is in fact vengeful or not.
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 21 2006,19:44



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I hope that helped.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



yup; it's a start.

The reason i ask is that we've been dealing with Hovind types here for years (again, reference AFDave for a perfect example), and they seem unable to utilize evidentiary argument (just as you note with reference to Hovind).  the commonalities are pervasive and consistent.

I was hoping that if we start approaching the issue as if these posters might be suffering from some form of cognitive dissonance, a more productive approach might be discovered.

There has to be a more productive way to engage folks whose minds function like Hovind's does than by arguing the evidence, which seems to lead nowhere fast, or by simple ridicule which ends up being just negative reinforcement; which also doesn't appear to be very productive (well, except for the humor value).

so, not intending to put somebody on the couch, so to speak, could you point to ways you've been taught to more pragmatically converse with those apparently suffering Hovind's form of dissonance?

cheers
Posted by: Paul Flocken on May 21 2006,22:15

Air Farce Dave,
When you were in the Air Force did anyone ever send you on the typical newby search for slip stream, pneumatic fluid, flight line, or prop wash?  More to the point how long did you spend looking for said items.  Honestly, you must have been a gold mine for old salts, not that Air Force personnel could ever get salty. :p
Posted by: Fractatious on May 21 2006,23:47



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
so, not intending to put somebody on the couch, so to speak, could you point to ways you've been taught to more pragmatically converse with those apparently suffering Hovind's form of dissonance?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Usually one tries to remove the subject matter that causes such dissonance (which can be more trouble than its worth). In this type of forum, thats hard to do. It actually culminates it. Usually, when working with the individual directly, you'd have to take away the dissonance stimulus, ideally to eliminate it. Or present it to them in a manner that they have to be accountable. You can also show alternatives, to achieve a balance. Since this is behavioural, behaviours can indeed change. Even whilst dealing with belief systems, these can be changed also. Concepts of self motivation, reward, and punishment have been known methods to work. While reward and punishment are actual extremeties, self motivation is what is usually applied.

A subject has a belief that unicorns exist. While evidence is presented that unicorns dont exist, they will hold stringently to this. So you give them tasks. Such as "draw me a unicorn". The are visualising to you their belief. "Define the attributes of a Unicorn" they will then describe what they believe Unicorns do/are. (This is leading, yet it is addressing the belief directly). "Show me evidence of the Unicorn" this area is very sticky but vital none the less - this is where they are placed in a position to convince YOU its so. What happens if they don't? You tell them why and you let the subject drop. Don't be baited into an argument, let it drop. Change the subject. Disallow their ability to force it. Do this a series of times and its not so much "is it worth it" but they are self evaluating their own data.

Quick version I know. Personally, I disallow them the ability to play games with me. I disallow them emotive attacks. I refuse to focus on anything but the point at hand. Disagreeing basically nurtures their misheld beliefs. Structuring out what YOU see, removing as much means for a rebuttal as possible only allows them to assess.
Posted by: Renier on May 22 2006,00:15

Fascinating. Only thing is, since you have now voiced this, Afdave would think it is the devil tempting him (to doubt) and would resist it with all his might. It is what he has been doing ever since he came here. For him, it is an issue of heaven or ####. He will not risk going to #### by accepting anything that the "godless" people here comes up with.

The Bible tells him that in his own belief, he should be as a child. Afdave takes this to the extreme. He also believes that by the power of God's word he will sow the seeds, here, in this blog, that is needed to save some "godless" souls. The Bible promises him that God's work will not return to God without having acomplished what it was sent out to do. He is here for one reason, and one reason only. He truly believes that God has told him to "do the Lord's work" here in this blog. He also believes that the Holy Spirit will empower him to overcome the tainted way of thinking that Satan has been fermenting in this blog and it's people. He is here as God's warrior, and he won't give up. (He prays every night that God wil help him say the right things, that it will be God's words and not his own) He truly believes we will all (or some, even at least one) see the light and praise Jesus for it. If he fails, it will not be his or God's fault that we did not see the light, but we would be to blame since we rejected the truth when it was presented to us.

In all of this, Afdave has one great enemy, DOUBT. He cannot dare to doubt, for if he doubts his own faith will falter and he would have failed in his mission here. To have faith, for Afdave, is to have NO DOUBT (and keep it that way).

Also, imagine a world where Afdave will admit that he is wrong. What has he got to loose? Family, friends, maybe even spouse and kids, his whole society. If you think you will convince him, think again. He has too much to loose. He is not here to hear "our" side of the story, he is here to convince us of "God's" side of the story. To accept our views would be to "back-slide" and give in to evil. He also truly believes we are deluded and that Satan has clouded our minds. Need I go on?
Posted by: afdave on May 22 2006,03:32

Shirley Knott said ...  

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
What logic?  A string of ruminations does not constitute logic, nor a logical argument.
Evil is not generally defined as "opposition to the will of the Creator".
Amongst other problems, and they are legion, you are assuming your conclusion.  Were this logic that would disqualify your 'argument' right there.
You have yet to show that the notion of 'Creator' as you use it is meaningful and possible.
You have yet to reconcile omniscience and omnipotence.
Similarly you have yet to reconcile omnipotence and omnibenevolence in the face of evil [in the normal sense of the term] which has nothing to do with human action or will.
You misreprsent the standard objection to your claims -- it is not the case that the argument from evil is "why doens't an all powerful and all knowing beingf stop this?", it is "how can a being described as all-knowing and all-powerful permit this in the first place".
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


I do understand the claim ... I know it is that "how can a being described as all-knowing and all-powerful permit this in the first place"?  And the answer is "the same way parents can permit their children to experience evil."  Obviously parents are not all-powerful, but the analogy works because parents do indeed have the power to keep their children from evil.  How?  By not having them, or by going to Radio Shack and buying robot "children" instead of having natural children with CHOICE.  God also had the power to keep us from experiencing evil, but chose not to because of the greater good that would result in the big scheme of things.  He could have either not created us, or created us like little robots.  That would be no fun though, just as it would be no fun for human parents.  Omniscience and omnipotence are separate issues.  We obviously cannot comprehend this type of thing because we have never experienced it.  Why is this a proof that it is a wrong idea?  To say it is wrong as you do would be equivalent to a jungle native who had never seen an airplane fly saying that "airplanes are impossible."  Both are denials based upon ignorance.  Truly open minded people say, "there are things I do not understand, but let me try to understand as much as I can, and I will not rule out any possibilities until I have solid evidence to do so."  The notion of an Intelligent Designer is the only plausible explanation for the phenomena we find in the universe.  I (with Paley) have given intuitive arguments.  Bill Dembski is all about giving those intuitive arguments rigorous mathematical proofs, based on our recently acquired knowledge that life is essentially INFORMATION which assembles raw materials.  While neo-Darwinism has been excellent in explaining the variation we see within specified boundaries, it is bankrupt in explaining where the information came from in the first place, and how the information was added to organisms  to add new gross morphological features.  The answer is Intelligent Design and this in turn supports Theism quite nicely.  And Theism has no difficulties explaining the 'omnipotence and omnibenevolence problem' as I have shown.


Norm said ...  

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
So, if God's will is that the worshippers of the golden calf must be killed by melting down their calf and making them drink it, that's not evil because it's God's will?  If God's will is that Muslim hijackers crash planes into our skyscrapers, that's not evil because it's God's will?  So, if you get  ebola and die a  horrible death, that's obviously God's will since no man decided you should get that disease? The problem with assuming you have to do God's will is figuring out what God's will is.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

You are correct that figuring out God's will is a very big deal and should not be taken lightly.  We also have the question of "Why is it OK for states to execute a convicted murderer?" and the like.  And the answer to all these questions really boils down to an authority question.  And this in turn boils down to the question of "Is there a Creator?  Or is there not?"  Which is precisely why I am so interested in these questions.  Here's the deal.  IF there is a Creator, then it follows that HE gets to make the rules, not us.  IF He says "Go destroy all the Amalekites" and He was the one that created the Amalekites, then how can we say, "No, that's wrong?"  Now of course, you do have the problem of determining if it was really the Creator who created the Amalekites who is now saying go destroy them.  Maybe the Jewish prophet is just a religious scheister and he's just pretending to speak for the Creator.  And this should not be determined lightly.  And it was not.  God went to great lengths to make checks and balances with the Jewish people to make certain that the prophets were validated before they were trusted to give guidance on weighty matters such as destroying entire people groups.  Contrast this with the modern claims of Jihadists.  They have no authority from anywhere that has been rigorously validated by anyone.  

Now regarding the obvious question of "How can God ordering the killing of people groups be considered good" the fact is that IF there is a Creator God, then there are things that we do not know or understand, and how can we say that God is not good if he orders the killing of certain people groups.  In the big scheme of things, maybe He knows that He is doing the world a favor by killing them off.  Killing people is a good thing under certain conditions and if done with the proper authority -- i.e. with government sanction in today's world (God has given life and death authority to governments--see Romans 13).  Did it not do the Americans good to kill off those British soldiers?  Look at all the good that has come to America as a result of killing those Brits and founding an independent nation.  Ditto for Hitler and the Nazis (yes, I know ... Godwin ... OK fine).  As for getting ebola and dying a horrible death, this too can be good if you are looking at it from God's perspective.  Remember, this life is only a small portion of our total life.  Humans will live forever somewhere and this short life within a physical body is nothing in the big scheme of things.

 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
How about a more humanist definition of "good" and "evil"? What is good is what promotes human happiness and co-operation. What is evil is that which disrupts human happiness and co-operation.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

What do you mean by that?  How would you apply that if you were Roosevelt and Churchill in WW2?  I would really be interested to hear how your definition would play out in the hard decisions.

 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
So, God must feel the same way about things that you do? Could it  be that you have made God in your own image?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

It's logically possible, yes, but you cannot escape the empirical evidence for a real Creator God, so no, when all things are considered it makes more sense to believe that WE were created in His image, rather than vice versa.

 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
So, AFDave's 'evidence' that god intervenes on earth is (a) an event that didn't happen and (b) a mythical event that he thinks will happen in the future.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

There is more evidence for the Global Flood of Noah than there is that George Washington lived.  As for the future event which I cannot verify, I believe in this after I have established the authority of the Bible as a whole from a rigorous examination of the claims I can verify.

 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
He then drew parallels between parenting, and god's handling of mankind. Does it follow, by extention, that parents should then subject those children who defy their will to unending, inescapable pain and torment? Where is the line drawn in this "in his image" concept? I found his explanation of "Evil in the World" to be kind of creepy.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

 Actually parents in a way do subject their kids to inescapable pain and torment by not always intervening.  Parents all the time choose not to intervene in the lives of kids who make bad life decisions.  These kids end up in pain and torment all their lives because of their own decisions, not because the parents consigned them to this pain.  Why should God be any different?  He offers eternal life to anyone, but He does not force himself on anyone.  If people want to choose to reject Him, it is they who are choosing their destiny, not Him.

 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
yes, what a surprise that everyone here doesn't see the author of fictional children's novels as authoritative in the world of science.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Do you all not realize that the children's novels are allegories of Lewis' Christian faith?  He is primarily a Christian philosopher.  His brilliance is shown in his children's novels because he not only writes exciting kid stuff, but also weaves in essentials of the Christian faith in a hidden sort of way.
Posted by: Rilke's Granddaughter on May 22 2006,03:52

I'm cross-posting this for Dave's benefit: he has a bad habit of ignoring any argument that he is unable to deal with.

Been studying.  Let's see if Dave came up with anything.

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Let me deal with Steve's little deal first.  I won't bet you on that because you are correct that Henry was dead long before 1143.  I composed my sentence ambiguously ... it should have read "Spanish and Portuguese were essentially the same language until 1143 AD when Portugal broke away from Spanish control.  The break away was begun by a French nobleman by the name of Henry of Burgundy" --  little more specific.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Sorry, Dave, you lied, pure and simple.  This isn't ambiguous:

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Spanish and Portuguese were essentially the same language until 1143 AD when Portugal broke away from Spanish control under a French nobleman by the name of Henry of Burgundy.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

This is factually wrong.  It is incorrect.  It is a statement written by a moron so that morons will have something to read in the morning.

In fact, you just admitted that you were wrong!  But your ego (typical fundie) won't let you admit that, so you attempt to claim 'ambiguity'.

Since I predicted that you would be unable to acknowledge that you made a stupid statement, I win.

Dave, we realize that you're a fool; we realize that you're ignorant of history, linguistics, philosophy, theology, science, etc.  We understand that, and we pity you - really we do.  It must be #### to be so illiterate that you can't even write a simple statement about history without botching it completely.

But don't you think you could show a little Christian integrity?  By not lying?  By admitting error?  By not making yourself look any stupider than you already have?



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Again, what we are doing here, though is answering a claim by Rilke that I am an idiot for thinking Portuguese is a mix of Spanish and French.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

And indeed, you are an idiot for claiming that 'Portuguese (which of course is Spanish and French mixed)'  There are no other possibilities here: you are wrong.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
There will be several lessons learned here.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Are you planning to learn from any of them?  I doubt it, since that would require you to actually both and understand one of our posts.  Your track record isn't very good so far, I'm afraid.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
One will be that I have met many people like Rilke on these threads who are very arrogant about their supposed intellectual superiority and at the same time are quite vehement about attacking the supposed lack of intelligence they see in YECs like me.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Aha!  Once again we see that the problem here is poor Dave's ego.  Wound his vanity by pointing out that he's an idiot and he reacts like a cat that's had it's tail stepped on.

Dave, such vanity is blatantly unChristian.  You should not let your ego get in the way of actual knowledge.  That would be stupid.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
This from Rilke's source of choice (Wikipedia): Although the vocabularies of Spanish and Portuguese are quite similar, phonetically Portuguese is somewhat closer to Catalan or to French. It is often claimed that the complex phonology of Portuguese compared to Spanish explains why it is generally not intelligible to Spanish speakers despite the strong lexical similarity between the two languages.Portuguese and French
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Interesting.  Nothing in there about Portuguese being a 'mixture of French and Spanish.'

Dave, when you cite something in your support, you really should cite that something that actually supports you.  Otherwise you simply come across as illiterate and illogical.  Do try harder next time, won't you?  I forgive you this time, since you're clearly young and inexperienced with discussion and argument, but if you want to debate with adults you're going to need to practice.




---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Of course if you get a good Medieval History Encyclopedia, you can get all kinds of details about this period in history when Portuguese and Spanish diverged.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Of course.  That's what history books are for, Dave.  Perhaps you should try reading one?

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
What you will see is massive Burgundian influence beginning with the influx of thousands of Burgundian knights in response to Alfonso VI who had a Burgundian wife, then the Burgundian Henry, grandson of Robert I of Burgundy then to Afonso Henriques, son of Henry.  [Oh ... by the way ... I guess I'd better fill you in that Burgundy is in France ... small detail].
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Ok, so far we've established that Burgundians helped dear old Alfonso VI.  What, precisely, does this have to do with 'Portuguese (which of course is Spanish and French mixed)'?



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Anyway, Afonso Henriques captures Lisbon and sets up his capital.  Then if you do some further reading, you find out that standard Portuguese is based on the dialect of Lisbon, according to Rilke's other favorite source, Encyclopedia Brittanica.  Can you guess that Lisbon probably had greater French influence than anywhere else in Portugal?  I hope I'm not moving too fast for anyone.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Well, for snails, perhaps.  The rest of us have gotten bored waiting for you to make a point.  Unfortunately, nothing you have regurgitated so far establishes 'Portuguese (which of course is Spanish and French mixed)'.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Hmmm ... let's think now ... a whole bunch of French knights come into western Spain to help out the king who has a French wife.  Another French guy comes into Spain and marries a Spanish wife.  They take over Lisbon and set up the Kingdom of Portugal.  Do you see what's happening?  This is not rocket science folks.   This is kind of like 1+2=3.  See?  Spanish + French = Portuguese.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Dave, I wouldn't suggest math as a career choice.  I'll hope you're not an engineer, because only a moron would make such a claim.

You have stated that 'Burgundians were involved during a formative period of Portuguese politics.'  This does NOT establish that 'Portuguese (which of course is Spanish and French mixed)'.

In order to establish that fact, you'd have to deal with linguistic history.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Now if you have all three of these languages in your own family (my mother speaks fluent Portuguese and Spanish and my cousin speaks fluent French), you tend to have a little better overview of these languages than the average Joe (or Rilke).
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Which does not give you any understanding of the linguistics or linguistic history of these tongues.  After all, any moron can be taught language.  But it takes some actual intelligence to understand it.

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I can tell you that if you have heard all three languages like I have, the mix is quite obvious.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Ah, so you have now tried two different arguments:

1) there were Burgundians in Portugal during a formative period.

2) I, Dave, personally think these languages sound mixed.  That, of course, is based on the fact that you're not the one who speaks all three - you just listen to them.

Neither of these arguments establishes that 'Portuguese (which of course is Spanish and French mixed)'?



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
And if you think and are honest (I'm finding this to be a slightly scarce combo here),
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

You do have a problem with lying and blatant dishonesty of the intellectual kind, it's true.

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
instead of just shoot your mouth off about how all YECs are stupid idiots,
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

I haven't.  I have pointed out that you, Dave, are

1) ignorant of history
2) ignorant of science
3) ignorant of theology
4) ignorant of logic
5) ignorant of debate
6) ignorant of manners

and

7) not terribly bright.

That hardly applies to all YECs.  Just you.  Otherwise I'd be generalizeing.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
you can see how Wikipedia would make a statement like ...
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



phonetically Portuguese is somewhat closer to Catalan or to French. (by the way, Catalan the language of Andorra -- just below France on the map)[/quote] So?  In what fashion does that establish that 'Portuguese (which of course is Spanish and French mixed)'?

Answer: it doesn't, of course.  Can you demonstrate that Portuguese possesses a mixture of French and Spanish grammar?  A mixture of French and Spanish vocabulary?  A mixture of French and Spanish pronunciation?

Apparently not.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Either choice you make, I'm going to take this thread back to it's intended content and expand it a bit.  I will pretty much abandon the Ape Thread now as it has served its purpose.  I have successfully shown that there is nothing more than flimsy evidence which could be construed as positive support for Common Descent of Apes and Humans, although there is excellent evidence for common ancestry within the Apes as well as within all the other originally created kinds.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

I see.  Choosing to run away?  How Christian.  How brave.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
(Rilke--you probably knew about this little detail in Wikipedia, but just withheld it, right?  Very honest of you)
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Not at all.  I presumed you might have the intelligence to read it yourself... and understand it.  Apparently, I was wrong.

Let's sum up, shall we?

Dave claimed, 'Portuguese (which of course is Spanish and French mixed)'?

Dave has tried to support this by stating that:

1) Burgundians were involved in early Portugese history.

2) Portuguese has phonetic similarities to Catalan and French.

3) Dave thinks that Portuguese sounds like Spanish and French mixed.

What are we to make of this?  

1) Having Burgundians present doesn't mean that 'Portuguese (which of course is Spanish and French mixed)' - especially since neither of these two languages existed in anything like their present form at the time.  More importantly, the historical fact of the presence of Burgundians doesn't demonstrate anything about the linguistic history of the language.

2) Catalan.  Well, the amusing part here is that Catalan is not French.  From our ever reliable source, Wikipedia (I use it primarily because Dave seems to trust it):

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Ethnologue, its specific classification is a member of the East Iberian branch of the Ibero-Romance branch of the Gallo-Iberian branch of the Western sub complex of the Italo-Western complex of the Romance group of the Italic branch of the Indo-European language family. It shares many features with both Spanish and French, and is the language nearest to Occitan, and is often thought of as a sort of "transitory" language between the Iberian and Gallic languages when comparing the modern descendants of Latin.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



So claiming, as Dave did, that the Wikipedia quote concerning the Catalan pronunciation was meaningless.

More importantly, the statement that Portuguese is phoenetically similar to French does nothing to establish the truth of 'Portuguese (which of course is Spanish and French mixed)' unless Dave also demonstrates that Portuguese is ALSO PHOENETICALLY SIMILAR TO SPANISH.'

Which he has, of course, not done.

Finally, (3) - Dave's personal opinion that the language sounds that way.  Not actual evidence, Dave - just your personal opinion.

And your personal opinion, as established by your unfortunate ignorance noted above, has been determined to be worthless.


Finally summary:

1) Dave made a blatantly incorrect statement.

2) When called on it, rather than demonstrate any intellectual integrity by admitting his mistake, he stated something quite different (ignoring his original error).

3) When called on the fact that his [i]different
statement was also wrong, he denied it and offered money to salve his ego.

4) Finally brought to bay, he offered various clippings and his personal opinion to try to establish that his second statement was still correct.

5) But his clippings do not establish the truth of his original statement; and his personal opinion is valueless.

Dave, it is unChristian to lie; and disappointing to see you show so little intellectual integrity.

You are, I'm sorry to say, a moron.

But I appreciate that you're not very good at this 'debate' thing, and we'd like to help you learn more.

The first thing to learn is to admit your mistakes and errors, and not commit sins in covering them up.

Christ would like that.  I understand he's your hero; you could do worse than try to emulate him.

If there is anything else we can do to help, you just let us know.
Posted by: Chris Hyland on May 22 2006,04:01



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
While neo-Darwinism has been excellent in explaining the variation we see within specified boundaries, it is bankrupt in explaining where the information came from in the first place
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

If you are referring to the origin of life this is a seperate issue form evolution. Also do you know what you mean by Darwinism?



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
and how the information was added to organisms  to add new gross morphological features.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Which particular gross morphological features require all this new information as opposed to rearragement or duplication and divergence of old information?



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
IF He says "Go destroy all the Amalekites" and He was the one that created the Amalekites, then how can we say, "No, that's wrong?"
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Well it depends on what the Amalekites did.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
There is more evidence for the Global Flood of Noah than there is that George Washington lived.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Which is?
Posted by: Bing on May 22 2006,04:22

Quote (Paul Flocken @ May 22 2006,03:15)
Air Farce Dave,
When you were in the Air Force did anyone ever send you on the typical newby search for slip stream, pneumatic fluid, flight line, or prop wash?  More to the point how long did you spend looking for said items.  
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


He couldn't have found a wing-nut even if you loaned him the mirror.
Posted by: Arden Chatfield on May 22 2006,04:25



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Ethnologue, its specific classification is a member of the East Iberian branch of the Ibero-Romance branch of the Gallo-Iberian branch of the Western sub complex of the Italo-Western complex of the Romance group of the Italic branch of the Indo-European language family. It shares many features with both Spanish and French, and is the language nearest to Occitan, and is often thought of as a sort of "transitory" language between the Iberian and Gallic languages when comparing the modern descendants of Latin.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



'Transitory'? I think this person meant to say 'transitional'.

Anyway, this is the ironic thing, in that one could kinda sorta maybe make a case that CATALAN is "Spanish + French". But it's still closer to Spanish.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
There is more evidence for the Global Flood of Noah than there is that George Washington lived.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Dave, the vast majority of geologists -- people FAR better informed than you, including many Christians -- agree that the Global Flood NEVER HAPPENED. Why do they disagree with you? They know more than you, and yet they do not share your opinion. Why is this? Because they're all wicked?

Do you think geologists who don't believe in the Flood are all going to he11?
Posted by: Rilke's Granddaughter on May 22 2006,04:25

Ah.  And once again, Dave demonstrates ignorance of another topic.  In this case, one that he should understand: theology.  Apparently, he doesn't.

[quote]I do understand the claim ... I know it is that "how can a being described as all-knowing and all-powerful permit this in the first place"?  And the answer is "the same way parents can permit their children to experience evil."[/quote] Unfortunately for Dave's case, this analogy is invalid, parents are not God. (Much as I'm sure Dave would like his children to THINK that they are.)  [quote]Obviously parents are not all-powerful, but the analogy works because parents do indeed have the power to keep their children from evil.[/quote] No, actually they don't.  Otherwise the instances of child murder would not occur.

But having an invalid analogy hasn't ever stopped Dave before.
[quote]How?  By not having them, or by going to Radio Shack and buying robot "children" instead of having natural children with CHOICE.[/quote] Oh, Dave, Dave, Dave.  You really need to learn some logic, my child:

A person X cannot prevent person Y from doing Z by preventing the existence of person Y.  If person Y doesn't exist then they cannot be prevented.

[quote]God also had the power to keep us from experiencing evil, but chose not to because of the greater good that would result in the big scheme of things.[/quote] Unsupported assertion and fatuous nonsense.  Prove it.

[quote]He could have either not created us, or created us like little robots.  That would be no fun though, just as it would be no fun for human parents.[/quote] And this demonstrates how little Dave understands theology.

God could have created beings who freely and of their own volition choose the right.  In other words, God (being God) could create beings who freely chose not to sin.  We know that such a condition can exist (based on Christian scripture) since heaven exists.

In other words, Dave is reduced to denying the truth of his own sacred scriptures in order to avoid the embarrassment of demonstrating his ignorance of those self-same scriptures.  Like Uncommon Descent, you simply can't buy this kind of entertainment value.

[quote]Omniscience and omnipotence are separate issues.[/quote] Wow!  What a dazzling observation!  What a pity that folks have been making it for a couple of thousand years or more.

[quote]We obviously cannot comprehend this type of thing because we have never experienced it.[/quote] Certainly Dave hasn't.
[quote]Why is this a proof that it is a wrong idea?[/quote] It's not.  But we've demonstrated that Dave doesn't understand 'proof'.
[quote]To say it is wrong as you do would be equivalent to a jungle native who had never seen an airplane fly saying that "airplanes are impossible."  Both are denials based upon ignorance.  Truly open minded people say, "there are things I do not understand, but let me try to understand as much as I can, and I will not rule out any possibilities until I have solid evidence to do so."[/quote] And only a moron would make such an argument.  Therefore Dave is a moron.  QED.


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
The notion of an Intelligent Designer is the only plausible explanation for the phenomena we find in the universe.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Factually incorrect statement, based on your personal ignorance.


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I (with Paley) have given intuitive arguments.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Actually, you have given no arguments at all.  To give an argument would imply that you have given evidence.  To give evidence would imply that you have pointed out facts about the universe.

You have not done so.

You have offered your personal opinions as unsupported assertions and stated that they are facts.

Poor Dave.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Bill Dembski is all about giving those intuitive arguments rigorous mathematical proofs, based on our recently acquired knowledge that life is essentially INFORMATION which assembles raw materials.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

 ANd has conspicuously failed to do so.  Dembski's 'filter' is a joke that has never been applied.  Never.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
While neo-Darwinism has been excellent in explaining the variation we see within specified boundaries, it is bankrupt in explaining where the information came from in the first place, and how the information was added to organisms  to add new gross morphological features.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

So speaks the man ignorant of such simple counter-arguments as Avida.


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
The answer is Intelligent Design and this in turn supports Theism quite nicely.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Oddly enough, it doesn't.  ID is worse theology than it is science.

But since Dave, like every other scientifically illiterate fundie we deal with can't even define his terms (such as 'information';), it's unlikely that he can actually try to argue his point.


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
And Theism has no difficulties explaining the 'omnipotence and omnibenevolence problem' as I have shown.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Gosh - and when are you going to 'show' that?  So far, you haven't.  The POE remains insoluable.

Norm:

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
So, if God's will is that the worshippers of the golden calf must be killed by melting down their calf and making them drink it, that's not evil because it's God's will?  If God's will is that Muslim hijackers crash planes into our skyscrapers, that's not evil because it's God's will?  So, if you get  ebola and die a  horrible death, that's obviously God's will since no man decided you should get that disease? The problem with assuming you have to do God's will is figuring out what God's will is.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Dave pontificated thusly:

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
You are correct that figuring out God's will is a very big deal and should not be taken lightly.  We also have the question of "Why is it OK for states to execute a convicted murderer?" and the like.  And the answer to all these questions really boils down to an authority question.  And this in turn boils down to the question of "Is there a Creator?  Or is there not?"  Which is precisely why I am so interested in these questions.  Here's the deal.  IF there is a Creator, then it follows that HE gets to make the rules, not us.  IF He says "Go destroy all the Amalekites" and He was the one that created the Amalekites, then how can we say, "No, that's wrong?"  Now of course, you do have the problem of determining if it was really the Creator who created the Amalekites who is now saying go destroy them.  Maybe the Jewish prophet is just a religious scheister and he's just pretending to speak for the Creator.  And this should not be determined lightly.  And it was not.  God went to great lengths to make checks and balances with the Jewish people to make certain that the prophets were validated before they were trusted to give guidance on weighty matters such as destroying entire people groups.  Contrast this with the modern claims of Jihadists.  They have no authority from anywhere that has been rigorously validated by anyone.  
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Excellent!  So whatever God says, goes.  And if tomorrow God ordered you to murder your children, sell your wife into slavery, and castrate yourself, you'd do it, because that's what God wants.  And when God orders Muslims to burn every copy of the Bible as pure blasphemy, that's what God wants too.

Sadistic little bastard you worship, Dave.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Now regarding the obvious question of "How can God ordering the killing of people groups be considered good" the fact is that IF there is a Creator God, then there are things that we do not know or understand, and how can we say that God is not good if he orders the killing of certain people groups.  In the big scheme of things, maybe He knows that He is doing the world a favor by killing them off.  Killing people is a good thing under certain conditions and if done with the proper authority -- i.e. with government sanction in today's world (God has given life and death authority to governments--see Romans 13).  Did it not do the Americans good to kill off those British soldiers?  Look at all the good that has come to America as a result of killing those Brits and founding an independent nation.  Ditto for Hitler and the Nazis (yes, I know ... Godwin ... OK fine).  As for getting ebola and dying a horrible death, this too can be good if you are looking at it from God's perspective.  Remember, this life is only a small portion of our total life.  Humans will live forever somewhere and this short life within a physical body is nothing in the big scheme of things.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Ah!  And another piece of creationist boilerplate gets trotted out:

If something good happens, that's what God wants.

If something awful happens, that's what God wants.

I'm too stupid to understand that God is violating the moral rules She laid down for humans to follow; I'm too stupid to see the logical contradictions in the concept of God; so I'm just going to worship God no matter what horrible things (tsunami, anyone) God does.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
So, God must feel the same way about things that you do? Could it  be that you have made God in your own image?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Dave opined:

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
It's logically possible, yes, but you cannot escape the empirical evidence for a real Creator God, so no, when all things are considered it makes more sense to believe that WE were created in His image, rather than vice versa.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Since Dave has not offered any empirical evidence for God, his argument is moot.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
So, AFDave's 'evidence' that god intervenes on earth is (a) an event that didn't happen and (b) a mythical event that he thinks will happen in the future.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Dave sputtered:

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
There is more evidence for the Global Flood of Noah than there is that George Washington lived.  As for the future event which I cannot verify, I believe in this after I have established the authority of the Bible as a whole from a rigorous examination of the claims I can verify.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

There is no good evidence for the flood, Dave.  None whatsoever.  And all of the other evidence from geology and paleontology and history and a few other fields contradict it.

The Bible is a tissue of lies, distortions, and dull stories.  And some really good smut.  Come to think of it, maybe there is some reason to read it!




---------------------QUOTE-------------------
He then drew parallels between parenting, and god's handling of mankind. Does it follow, by extention, that parents should then subject those children who defy their will to unending, inescapable pain and torment? Where is the line drawn in this "in his image" concept? I found his explanation of "Evil in the World" to be kind of creepy.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Dave made another meaningless rejoinder:

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Actually parents in a way do subject their kids to inescapable pain and torment by not always intervening.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

I see.  Parents subject their children to eternal torment for finite transgressions?  Parents murder their children for no known reason?

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Parents all the time choose not to intervene in the lives of kids who make bad life decisions.  These kids end up in pain and torment all their lives because of their own decisions, not because the parents consigned them to this pain.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

So, Dave: if your child decided to drink acid and bleach mixed together, you would let him?  If your child chose to take a blowtorch to your wife, you'd let him?  If your child chose to cut his hands off with an axe, you'd let him?

You're one nasty dude, my child.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Why should God be any different?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Why, indeed.  We see from the Bible that God does things like that all the time.  He kills innocents; he murders just and good men; he lies; he punishes unjustly.

Everything you'd want an omnipotent being to do.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
He offers eternal life to anyone, but He does not force himself on anyone.  If people want to choose to reject Him, it is they who are choosing their destiny, not Him.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Proof?




---------------------QUOTE-------------------
yes, what a surprise that everyone here doesn't see the author of fictional children's novels as authoritative in the world of science.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Dave again:

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Do you all not realize that the children's novels are allegories of Lewis' Christian faith?  He is primarily a Christian philosopher.  His brilliance is shown in his children's novels because he not only writes exciting kid stuff, but also weaves in essentials of the Christian faith in a hidden sort of way.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Hidden?  How oblivious are you?  Lewis is blatant in his Christian symbolism.

Are you really that dense?

I repeat: you can't buy entertainment like this.  It's a pity though that Dave can't come up with an original attempted argument.  I'd pay good money to see one.
Posted by: Faid on May 22 2006,04:49

So, in a nutshell, Dave tells us that:

a) All humans know what's moral and what's not, because of a Universal Moral Law, derived from an Eternal Source of Pure Good, and

b) When this Eternal Source of Pure Good tells us we should do something blatantly against the Universal Moral Law, well, it's OK, because we humans can't really know what's moral and what's not... Only the Source can.


...Did you hear that muffled cry? It was poor Mr. C.S.Lewis going down the pipes, as Davey flushed the toilet.
Posted by: Ved on May 22 2006,04:52

This quote is just brilliantly funny. Look at these two sentences together. Thanks for making my morning, Dave!
 
Quote (afdave @ , )
Truly open minded people say, "there are things I do not understand, but let me try to understand as much as I can, and I will not rule out any possibilities until I have solid evidence to do so."  The notion of an Intelligent Designer is the only plausible explanation for the phenomena we find in the universe.[emphasis Dave's]
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Posted by: argystokes on May 22 2006,05:09



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Here's the deal.  IF there is a Creator, then it follows that HE gets to make the rules, not us.  IF He says "Go destroy all the Amalekites" and He was the one that created the Amalekites, then how can we say, "No, that's wrong?"
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Yeah!  And if I want to kill my children, and I was the one who created my children, then how can you say, "No, that's wrong?"
Posted by: BWE on May 22 2006,05:25

And if I want to marry a goat because god tells me to, then who am I to criticize?

Are you taking my bet 1/2 a Dave? I just looked and saw that you are logged in so I know you are reading.
Posted by: deadman_932 on May 22 2006,05:58

I just saw AFDave's cognitive dissonance brought to a boil. It burst under his insanity.

If the bible were true, then God ordered the deaths of innocents and Dave says:

 "In the big scheme of things, maybe He knows that He is doing the world a favor by killing them off. "  This is predestination. You lose.
Posted by: stevestory on May 22 2006,06:20

And Dave, we're not mean to you because you're ignorant. We help ignorant people, and we like to do so, and we like when people help us when we're ignorant about something. We're mean to you because you're extremely ignorant and yet you think you know better than us. Just FYI.
Posted by: deadman_932 on May 22 2006,07:46

I don't like hurting people, Dave. I don't need a god to tell me about ethics or morals. I feel bad that you are wrong. I feel bad that you think the way you do.

(Deuteronomy 24:16) The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.

(II Chronicles 25:4) But he slew not their children, but did as it is written in the law in the book of Moses, where the LORD commanded, saying, The fathers shall not die for the children, neither shall the children die for the fathers, but every man shall die for his own sin.

(Ezek. 18:19) The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.

I am sorry you feel otherwise.
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 22 2006,09:17



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
And if I want to marry a goat because god tells me to, then who am I to criticize?

---------------------QUOTE-------------------



I thought you said god was into sheep?  something about him going off with a sheep for 30 years or sumat?
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 22 2006,09:27

@fractatious:

thanks.  that was exactly what i was looking for.  Much to think about.
Posted by: Rilke's Granddaughter on May 22 2006,09:32

Quote (deadman_932 @ May 22 2006,12:46)
I don't like hurting people, Dave. I don't need a god to tell me about ethics or morals. I feel bad that you are wrong. I feel bad that you think the way you do.

(Deuteronomy 24:16) The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.

(II Chronicles 25:4) But he slew not their children, but did as it is written in the law in the book of Moses, where the LORD commanded, saying, The fathers shall not die for the children, neither shall the children die for the fathers, but every man shall die for his own sin.

(Ezek. 18:19) The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.

I am sorry you feel otherwise.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


More importantly, those verses demolish the entire 'Curse' thing that Dave was blaming all that nasty evolution on.  After all, God isn't going to punish Adam's children for their father's sin?

Or is God simply an immoral agent?

Something to think about.
Posted by: Arden Chatfield on May 22 2006,09:35

Quote (sir_toejam @ May 22 2006,14:17)


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
And if I want to marry a goat because god tells me to, then who am I to criticize?

---------------------QUOTE-------------------



I thought you said god was into sheep?  something about him going off with a sheep for 30 years or sumat?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


'Sumat'? Are you from northern England originally? 'Cause the only other person I've known who used that term was from West Yorkshire...

(Tho I think he usually spells it 'summat'.)
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 22 2006,09:39



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
If you are referring to the origin of life this is a seperate issue form evolution. Also do you know what you mean by Darwinism?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



you're kidding, right?  Dave doesn't even know what he means by 'information'.

I thought we conclusively established his overwhelming ignorance weeks ago.
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 22 2006,09:43



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
'Sumat'? Are you from northern England originally? 'Cause the only other person I've known who used that term was from West Yorkshire...

(Tho I think he usually spells it 'summat'.)
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



must be 'genetic memory' :)

Truly, I haven't a clue why i used that word.

Maybe it has to do with the references to sheep sparking something in my subconscious from my Irish/English ancestors?

I wonder if further discussions of relationships with sheep will spawn more instances of northern UK dialect...

somewhere, deep in the recesses of my subconscious, I feel a joke coming on...
Posted by: BWE on May 22 2006,10:28



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I thought you said god was into sheep?  something about him going off with a sheep for 30 years or sumat?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

And I get left with the darn goat. Rrrgh.
Posted by: afdave on May 22 2006,10:29



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
... and we like when people help us when we're ignorant about something.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Yes. So you should be very happy right now since I've helped you so much :-)
Posted by: Rilke's Granddaughter on May 22 2006,10:48

Quote (afdave @ May 22 2006,15:29)


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
... and we like when people help us when we're ignorant about something.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Yes. So you should be very happy right now since I've helped you so much :-)
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Oh, Dave?  You might try addressing the Portuguese issue.  I'm afraid you continue to be mistaken.

Just for you, my child, since I know you wouldn't want to fail to address something:

Dave, I realize you have reading comprehension problems and you are a chronic liar.  (Naughty, that: Jesus is weeping for you right now).  So I'll repeat this for your benefit.

What's most amusing about Dave at the moment is the fact that he's struggling so badly making an argument: the accuracy of his original statement having been swiftly and thoroughly shown to be non-existent.

Let's consider: what would it take to show that Portuguese is a mixture of French and Spanish?

Option 1) A linguistic history of the language showing that it had developed from these two other tongues.

Unfortunately option 1 is eliminated because these languages did not exist when Portuguese developed.

Option 2) Show, by linguistic analysis, that Portuguese is comprised of an admixture of French and Spanish vocabulary; French and Spanish grammar; and French and Spanish pronunciation.

Unfortunately, option 2 is eliminated because Dave can't actually show those things.

Now Dave, we realize that you can continue to make yourself look like a fool by persisting in your inability to admit that your first statement was idiotically wrong; your second statement a cover-up AND idiotically wrong; and your continuing statements a cover-up, irrelevant, AND idiotically wrong.

Or you can demonstrate some intellectual credibility and Christian ethics by admitting that you were mistaken, that you lied, and that you're ignorant.

Feel free to start any time.  

Remember - we are trying to help you.  I know that arguments and discussion with adults can be trying and hard, but if you just persevere and do your homework, you'll be ready for it!

Dave, doesn't it bother you to be wrong all the time?  Wouldn't you like to be right occasionally?  Do you really like looking like a fool?

I mean, if you honestly enjoy looking stupid, we're more than happy to oblige: you're fun to laugh at, I'll grant you that.
Posted by: stevestory on May 22 2006,10:52

This is a guy who holds simultaneously that Wikipedia's not a good enough source to refute him, and that Wikipedia proves him right.

So Rilke, it's not that he likes looking dumb, it's that he doesn't have the brains to see that he looks dumb.
Posted by: Rilke's Granddaughter on May 22 2006,10:55

Quote (sir_toejam @ May 22 2006,14:39)


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
If you are referring to the origin of life this is a seperate issue form evolution. Also do you know what you mean by Darwinism?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



you're kidding, right?  Dave doesn't even know what he means by 'information'.

I thought we conclusively established his overwhelming ignorance weeks ago.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


True.  I'm divided in my mind, though.  Who is funnier: Dave Scot?  Or  2nd Lt. Dave?

Right now, my money is on Dave Scot (he's smarter, which means his jokes are more... oblivious).
Posted by: The Ghost of Paley on May 22 2006,11:47

AFDave writes:

 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
It should be science.  Theology was once known as the Queen of Sciences, and it should be reinstated as such.  
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Amen and amen. Stupid and immoral evolutionists think they can ignore theology, but evolutionism is nothing but theology. It is the religion of self-worship where any man can crown himself a diety. True, the average evolutionist, having a God-given void in his head, fails to live out the implications of his amoral ontology, and often will act as moral as any Christian. However, I think we can both agree about the abominable consequences that the self-deifying leaders of the evolutionist movement have wrought upon humanity, such as  < this guy, > < this guy, > or < this guy. >

However, although I hate to agree with the evolutionists; I have to admit C. S. Lewis is pretty pathetic as a theologian and apologist. Lewis, not unlike McDowell, and other popular Jesus feaks, mistakenly assume the Socratic position and try to argue Christian truth on the basis of "evidence" as defined by the enemies of the gospel using their own autonomous reasoning.

Autonomous human reasoning is worthless as a tool to come to any conclusions about anything. Mankind, being affected by sin, can only reason from the implications of his presuppositions; he can only reason in a circle. Hence, the truth of the Bible must be pre-supposed, and not argued for in order to ground any knowledge claims at all. You might want to study the theology of < Cornelius Van Til > for more enlightenment.
Posted by: Chris Hyland on May 22 2006,11:50



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I think we can both agree about the abominable consequences that the self-deifying leaders of the evolutionist movement have wrought upon humanity
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

And they are the leaders of the evolutionist movement how?
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 22 2006,11:52

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ May 22 2006,16:47)
Autonomous human reasoning is worthless as a tool to come to any conclusions about mankin[d]. Mankind, being affected by sin, can only reason from the implications of his presuppositions; he can only reason in a circle.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


I don't know, Bill. It seems to me that an inevitable consequence of this belief is a belief that science is a waste of time, and scientists should take up needlepoint.

So, Bill—is science a waste of time?
Posted by: Arden Chatfield on May 22 2006,12:03



---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Amen and amen. Stupid and immoral evolutionists think they can ignore theology, but evolutionism is nothing but theology. It is the religion of self-worship where any man can crown himself a diety. True, the average evolutionist, having a God-given void in his head, fails to live out the implications of his amoral ontology, and often will act as moral as any Christian. However, I think we can both agree about the abominable consequences that the self-deifying leaders of the evolutionist movement have wrought upon humanity, such as  this guy, this guy, or this guy.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



GOP, this is gross self-parody even for you. Are you hung over today, or something? Or just given up on the whole 'objective scientist' thing? You're talking like some idiot at Uncommon Descent, and I thought you were a tad smarter than that.

Oh, BTW, as an 'average evolutionist', I'm sorry I disappoint you by "failing to live out the implications of my amoral ontology". Would it make you happier if I went out and committed some crimes, to vindicate your cartoonish preconceptions? You know, to prove that your preconceptions aren't, you know, full of shit?

PS: Castro, Chomsky and Kim Jong Il have all "wrought abominable consequences upon humanity"? Dare I ask who Chomsky has killed? And why Castro and Kim Jong-Il are representatives of evolution?

Really, whatever you're on, cut the dose, Paley.
Posted by: improvius on May 22 2006,12:37

Quote (Chris Hyland @ May 22 2006,16:50)


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I think we can both agree about the abominable consequences that the self-deifying leaders of the evolutionist movement have wrought upon humanity
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

And they are the leaders of the evolutionist movement how?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Are you kidding?  Kim Jong-il gets published in Science practically every other month.
Posted by: stevestory on May 22 2006,12:47

Oh yeah, who do you think figured out DNA methylation? Dear Leader, that's who.
Posted by: Ved on May 22 2006,13:36

Quote (paley @ ,)
Autonomous human reasoning is worthless as a tool to come to any conclusions about anything.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Ehhhhhhhhh, whatta you know?  :p  :p  :p
Posted by: stevestory on May 22 2006,13:50



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Autonomous human reasoning is worthless as a tool to come to any conclusions about anything.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



dang.
Posted by: normdoering on May 22 2006,13:51

Quote (Ved @ May 22 2006,18:36)
Quote (paley @ ,)
Autonomous human reasoning is worthless as a tool to come to any conclusions about anything.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Ehhhhhhhhh, whatta you know?  :p  :p  :p
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Of course human reasoning is worthless, I mean just look where it has got us, typing on keyboards to send  messages instantly across the globe to put down human reasoning and threaten people with our atomic bombs. Flying planes into skyscrapers and creating global warming and melting our ice caps. He's got a point, something about the human mind is pretty futile and pointless.
Posted by: Arden Chatfield on May 22 2006,14:11

Quote (stevestory @ May 22 2006,18:50)


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Autonomous human reasoning is worthless as a tool to come to any conclusions about anything.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



dang.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Yeah, I guess this means Paley consults his Bible first before he figures out whether his car needs an oil change.

Let's hope his faith healer keeps him healthy.
Posted by: afdave on May 23 2006,05:55

Hello Everyone--

Today we will begin focusing exclusively on this thread.  This has been my intent all along, but there were some interesting side issues that needed separate treatment.

I would like to say thanks to all of you for your input on my "Creator God Hypothesis" so far.  I have updated it and re-posted it on my own personal blog site.  It may undergo some more revisions as we move along here, so check over there periodically for the latest version.  My blog is <a href="airdave.blogspot.com" target="_blank">here</a>.

Many of you have given me some interesting dialog.  What has been the most interesting experience to me so far is the solidity of the case for a theistic worldview.  I truly expected to hear some rock solid arguments against theism, but what I found were mostly vacuous arguments, such as "your evidence is not evidence" and "it looks designed but it isn't" and "well, we may have cosmic fine tuning for this universe, but what about other possible ones?" etc. etc.  Also, I have found that many evolutionary biologists really don't have much to say about theism at all--I guess they have never given it much thought--and so they often just resort to name calling and goofy remarks.

I did get some pretty good dialog on the Ape/Human questions and we did turn up an error that AIG had made.  This dialog was also valuable to me because it confirmed for me the huge differences that exist between apes and humans and showed me that while there are some obvious similarities, there is no solid case for common ancestry.

We will now continue presenting the points of the Creator God Hypothesis and  showing the fallacies of macroevolutionary theory along the way.  Referring to my outline on my blog site, we are beginning Step 2 and Point B.  

Again, Step 1 and 2 are as follows ...


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
(1) Observe nature and draw inferences: In particular, we observe Biological Machines, Cosmic Fine Tuning, the Laws of Relativity and the Universal Moral Code. This only gets us so far, i.e. we conclude that there is a Super-Intelligent Engineer, who possibly lives outside of space and time, and who might be the originator of this stange, universal "moral code" which we observe. So we hold these thoughts and move through the rest of the process.

(2) If we accept (1), then we can make some predictions, one of which would be: "This Intelligent Designer probably can communicate to humans." How? We don't know, but there certainly are a lot of competing claims out there -- many "prophets" and "holy books" claiming to be speaking for God or Allah or whoever. Could any one of them stand up to scrutiny? So we compare some "holy books" and investigate the claims. We focus in particular on the Christian Bible. Why would we waste our time on this? Well ... several good reasons. We have reason to believe that the Christian Bible is unique among "religious books" for some pretty big reasons. Former agnostic Josh McDowell gets into this in "Evidence that Demands a Verdict."
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



And Points A and B of my Hypothesis are ...

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
A. 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.

B. This God created the Cosmos as a specially designed whole, with life and mankind as its fundamental goal and purpose. This God created mankind with a choice of either doing his will or not doing his will, in a similar way as parents "create" babies knowing full well that their child will either do their will or not do their will. Christian Theologians commonly call the choice of NOT doing God's will "sin."
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



We will not get into the details of the comparison of 'religious books' discussed in Step 2 above in this particular study.  There are numerous books on this topic and I trust that you all can get those and read them for yourselves.  It should be obvious that the Christian Bible is unique among books--I have found that most of you are quite familiar with it--and we are justified in spending the time to consider some of its claims, which I think you all are wanting me to do anyway, judging from the numerous questions about the Flood, the Age of the Earth, Cain's wife, etc.

We do need to cover off Point B of my Hypothesis so our next topic will be "The Anthropic Principle" in which we will look at some objections to Michael Denton's claims in his book, "Nature's Destiny."   We have already covered the issue of Choice and how this necessitates the concept of 'Evil.'  This will complete our discussion of Point B in my Hypothesis.

Following this, we will begin looking at specific claims of the Bible, with the first being the Age of the Earth.  We will follow this with a lengthy discussion of evidence for the Global Flood of Noah, followed by other Biblical claims such as the Changing of the Languages, and a discussion of Biblical 'kinds.'  We will also examine the Documentary Hypothesis and discuss the 'Tablet Theory' of Genesis authorship and discuss the origin of the 7 day week (Yes, Faid, I know you think you answered this already, but you don't know my arguments yet).  Our goal is to provide solid evidence for the truth of Genesis 1-11.  

I may have more time to dive into this later today, but if not, see you in the morning!  Again ... hop on over to my blog site and review my outline so you are well prepared to refute me!

(If anyone wants to try to 'prove' Evolution to me or talk more about Apes and Humans, please do so here as I will be focusing on this thread only now)
Posted by: BWE on May 23 2006,06:02



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Following this, we will begin looking at specific claims of the Bible, with the first being the Age of the Earth.  We will follow this with a lengthy discussion of evidence for the Global Flood of Noah, followed by other Biblical claims such as the Changing of the Languages, and a discussion of Biblical 'kinds.'  We will also examine the Documentary Hypothesis and discuss the 'Tablet Theory' of Genesis authorship and discuss the origin of the 7 day week (Yes, Faid, I know you think you answered this already, but you don't know my arguments yet).  Our goal is to provide solid evidence for the truth of Genesis 1-11.  
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

god it hurts to laugh so hard.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

whew

HAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!

Ohh man,

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Davey, I'm glad we're going to start with the age of the earth. I predict that we will end with it too.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

Why don't we skip gradeschool and go straight to grad school again: Explain radioactive halflife davey. How is it consistent with a young earth?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! :D  :D  :D  :D  :D
Posted by: Arden Chatfield on May 23 2006,06:11

AFDave tries valiantly to steer discussion away from the reality-based realm about which he knows nothing, and to steer it toward YEC talking points and low-rent Fundamentalist Protestant apologetics. He still wants to bring us all to Jesus. He wants to brag to his pastor that he single-handedly 'converted' a bunch of wicked secular humanist evolutionists with his knowledge and devastating rhetorical skills. Noah's Flood and the Tower of Babel make total scientific sense, and he wants to share this knowledge with us, of course in a very objective way. He knows that if he has to tell a few lies to do this, Jesus will of course understand.

He also wants to start with a clean slate. He hopes we'll all forget all the questions he's ignored and all the times we've pointed out how nonsensical his statements are. This is fine. Jesus is more important than all those things. In the bigger sense, anything a Christian says is 'more right' than anything a nonchristian says.

I think it's time to start ignoring this guy, personally. This shit is getting old.
Posted by: stevestory on May 23 2006,06:30

Laugh all you will. One day, you're going to log in, and what are you going to see? Ghost will have posted a geocentric model of the heavens which explains everything, including Foucault's Pendulum...AFDave will have a thorough analysis of the GULO sequences for all major phyla which makes any similarities indeed appear coincidental...Paley will bring forth a model of nodes and connections and graph theory analysis which shows, to the trained eye, that heterosexual marriages are not only hubs on a scale free network, but that introducing homosexual hubs induces mathematical instability...and thordaddy will present the legal arguments why, it turns out after all, allowing homosexual marriage actually illegalizes heterosexual marriage.

Then won't you have egg on your face.
Posted by: Rilke's Granddaughter on May 23 2006,06:35

There was a lieutenant named Dave,
Whose faith made him foolishly brave.
Though he thought he was bright,
His brains were a fright.
His ignorance made him a knave.
Posted by: BWE on May 23 2006,06:35

AFDave will also have a thorough treatment of the linguistic similarities of Portuguese and French. -it's like they even look like they came from the same language, see? I was right.

And he will show why plate tectonics didn't happen. It just looks that way.

and, owww! jesus, you'll never guess where that flying monkey came from!
Posted by: PuckSR on May 23 2006,06:38

Ok I missed the discussion over the weekend....
but i dont feel like I missed much....

AFDave is still trying to lecture...and not engaging in any form of intercourse....

He does hint at a truth, but completely missed the boat


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Also, I have found that many evolutionary biologists really don't have much to say about theism at all--I guess they have never given it much thought
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Now Dave is trying to make some implication that Evolutionary Biologists cannot be theists....but he does highlight an interesting point.
Many times these "discussions" turn into a Science vs. Theology debate.  Im not talking about Dave's Theology vs Science....many people on this forum are well-versed in the scientific realm.  Very few people on this forum are well-versed in the theological realm.  It makes for some of the most pointless discussions ever.

Now, Dave honestly doesnt care either way.
I could post a theological rebuttal of his position or a scientific rebuttal.  Dave is going to plow ahead.  I doubt he even cares if anyone listens to him.
Dave, your dishonest approach to intellectual discourse is embarassing.  I feel sorry for the religious denomination that claims you as a member.
Posted by: Rilke's Granddaughter on May 23 2006,06:41

Dave, I thought I had better cross post this, in case you forgot that you embarrassed yourself over your loss on the whole Portuguese thing.  After all, we know you've got some memory and honesty problems.

Oh, goodie!  2nd Lt. Dave is back to provide amusement, entertainment, and a source of fun.

2nd Lt. Dave, shall we look at your statements again?  Sure we should.

2nd Lt. Dave said  


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Portuguese (which of course is Spanish and French mixed).
---------------------QUOTE-------------------




This is, of course, utter nonsense.  By citing various sources (available on the internet so that 2nd Lt. Dave and the lurkers could check them for accuracy) we demonstrated this.

2nd Lt. Dave, embarrassed by his stupid remark, tried to change it to  


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Spanish and Portuguese were essentially the same language until 1143 AD when Portugal broke away from Spanish control under a French nobleman by the name of Henry of Burgundy.  From this point on, the languages diverged into the modern situation.  The primary influence on the linguistic divergence was the French language.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Now this is even funnier, since it's easy to demonstrate (and we did, using easily available sources that 2nd Lt. Dave should have had easy access to) that this entire statement is a lie.  Henry was already dead; French was not the primary linguistic influence on the divergence, etc.

2nd Lt. Dave - continuing his usual unChristian behavior, then started bloviating, ranting, raving, and behaving like the four-year old that we have seen him to be.

He then tried to demonstrate that he was right (even though he was completely wrong) by offering the following wacko piece of nonsense:

1) Lots of French guys were present in Portugal around 1143.

2) French and Catalan had some influence on the phonetics of Portuguese.

3) 2nd Lt. Dave thinks the languages sound alike.

We pointed out (swiftly and accurately) that this did nothing to prove 2nd Lt. Dave's claim about the admixture of French and Spanish: the presence of a group of noblemen in a given area does not correlate to a linguistic change (and since French as we know it didn't exist then, 2nd Lt. Dave's original statement is still fewmets); in order for Portuguese to be French and Spanish mixed, 2nd Lt. Dave would have had to show that Spanish and French elements were both present (which his claim above does NOT show); and that 2nd Lt. Dave's personal opinion is worth as much as water-logged TP).

We also predicted that 2nd Lt. Dave's ego would be unable to bear the fact that he had shown himself to be

* ignorant
* stupid
* unChristian

I am happy to state that we have been proved correct on every point.  I am particularly interested in 2nd. Lt. Dave's extremely unChristian, immoral, dishonest, and deceitful behavior.  Puzzling, but explainable when we realize that YECs are not, after all Christians.

It has been a pleasure making you look like an idiot, 2nd. Lt. Dave, but I admit it was all too easy.  Is this the reason you never got to be even a full lieutenant?  General idiocy?

But I salute you sir, for your determination to be a public moron!  Power to you!

Stick up for your God-given right to be a moron!  You earned it, 2nd Lt. Dave!
Posted by: Rilke's Granddaughter on May 23 2006,07:04

Young Dave was a second lieutenant,
With "ignorance" stitched on his pennant.
He made people laugh,
'For his posts were all daft;
his embarassment always immanent.
Posted by: afdave on May 23 2006,07:08

Rilke-- I'm past Portuguese now ... got anything to defend Evolution?  Maybe some new great discovery that will finally make the lightbulb come on for me?
Posted by: BWE on May 23 2006,07:15

First you need to get through tectonics. Then we can start with evolution.
Posted by: Arden Chatfield on May 23 2006,07:20

Quote (BWE @ May 23 2006,12:15)
First you need to get through tectonics. Then we can start with evolution.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


I haven't been paying attention, has AFD explicitly rejected plate tectonics?
Posted by: BWE on May 23 2006,07:30

Well, 6000 years. He is certainly rejecting it at some level.
Posted by: k.e on May 23 2006,07:31

oh goody so you concede on the portuguese = french + Spanish

Thankyou half a Dave

Glad you saw the light

It must be a great relief to you to admit your were wrong

Now why did you delete one of your threads?

What comment caused a tear in your little cosmic bubble D/2?

You can tell me .....no ones listening...I promise I won't tell a soul.
Posted by: Arden Chatfield on May 23 2006,07:44

He assuredly did not concede on the Portuguese issue. He said he's "past that" now. Like he won the argument and he's moving on to new conquests.
Posted by: k.e on May 23 2006,07:50

Plate techtonics huh?

ha slam dunk

Pangea D/2 look it up

< From Pangea to the Present >

You do drive car don't you d/2 ?

How were fossil fuels made D/2

< Fossil Fuels - Coal, Oil and Natural Gas >

Do you even know what a fossil is D/2

twit.
Posted by: k.e on May 23 2006,07:52

Well Arden I think he conceded he has said it is past because he lost big time.

Isn't that right D/2 ?
Posted by: k.e on May 23 2006,07:57

Thinking of cuising on the Panama Canal in 50Million years D/2 ?
Better be quick it won't be there then.
< The Atlantic Ocean will be much larger 50 million years from now >
Posted by: Ved on May 23 2006,08:06

Don't ask Dave about fossil fuels. He knows that because coal can be made in a relatively short amount of time, that all of it had to have been formed that way.

Hey, we make diamonds in factories all the time. All the ones we dig out of the ground must have been formed in a short amount of time too.

:(
Posted by: Arden Chatfield on May 23 2006,08:10

Quote (k.e @ May 23 2006,12:57)
Thinking of cuising on the Panama Canal in 50Million years D/2 ?
Better be quick it won't be there then.
< The Atlantic Ocean will be much larger 50 million years from now >
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


India will probably also be much smaller since it will have had another 50 million years to keep crashing into Asia.

The idea of 'New Himalayas' in southern Europe is pretty cool.
Posted by: k.e on May 23 2006,08:17

Not so quick Ved. Oil is trapped in faults under the earths crust and the process happens over millions of years nothing D/2 can say can change that fact. Besides practically all of the fossil fuels source material was on the surface of the earth or the surface of the sea floor long before the dinosaurs arrived. Explain that in what ? The time in between the man made cave paintings around the world between 50 and 20 thousand years ago and now?

nah D/2 is p1ss!ng in the wind.
Posted by: Arden Chatfield on May 23 2006,08:19

Quote (Ved @ May 23 2006,13:06)
Don't ask Dave about fossil fuels. He knows that because coal can be made in a relatively short amount of time, that all of it had to have been formed that way.

Hey, we make diamonds in factories all the time. All the ones we dig out of the ground must have been formed in a short amount of time too.

:(
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Very good, Grasshopper. Truly you have mastered thinking like a IDC expert.

Now for your next lesson, go off into the wilderness and concentrate until you have fully assimilated the following logic:

1) there are things science cannot explain.

2) therefore science cannot explain anything.

3) therefore, Creationism must be true.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 23 2006,08:33

Quote (afdave @ May 23 2006,10:55)
Many of you have given me some interesting dialog.  What has been the most interesting experience to me so far is the solidity of the case for a theistic worldview. I truly expected to hear some rock solid arguments against theism, but what I found were mostly vacuous arguments, such as "your evidence is not evidence" and "it looks designed but it isn't" and "well, we may have cosmic fine tuning for this universe, but what about other possible ones?" etc. etc.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Dave, Dave, Dave.

If you came here for "rock solid arguments against theism," you totally came to the wrong place. You should go to an atheist website. There's nothing about the theory of evolution that excludes the existence of God. For all anyone knows, God laid down the laws of physics, and sat back to watch what happened. What happened was the slow evolution of life from its earliest beginnings in non-living matter (covered by theories of abiogenesis) through the incredible diversity of life we currently see (the Theory of Evolution).

The evidence we have provided you, through argument and reference to primary and secondary sources, is conclusive. Only a deluded fool (and I hate to sound condescending, Dave, but that really does describe you) could possible think otherwise. Shit (I was going to say "he11," but it didn't get past the DMV), half the ID community accepts common descent with modification. Guys like Behe accept 99% of the Theory of Evolution but their religious beliefs won't let them take that last teeny tiny baby step.

But at least guys like Behe accept the notion that the earth isn't a few hundred years older than the pyramids.

 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
what I found were mostly vacuous arguments, such as "your evidence is not evidence"
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Well, Dave, you haven't actually supplied any evidence. I know you're puzzled when we say that, but it's nevertheless true. You have not cited a single piece of evidence. Oh, you've made arguments ("It looks designed because it was designed," "The universe is fine-tuned for life"), but arguments aren't evidence. They just aren't. You've had this explained to you over and over, and by this point it's clear you're incapable (or unwilling) to make the distinction.

   

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Also, I have found that many evolutionary biologists really don't have much to say about theism at all--I guess they have never given it much thought--and so they often just resort to name calling and goofy remarks.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Think about what you just said, Dave, and then re-read what I said in my first paragraph here. Theism is a religious concept, which is outside science's purview. Biologists don't think much about theism for the same reason they don't think much about aesthetics or music theory or stamp collecting. Do engineers think much about the implications wine tasting has for circuit design?

   

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
I did get some pretty good dialog on the Ape/Human questions and we did turn up an error that AIG had made.  This dialog was also valuable to me because it confirmed for me the huge differences that exist between apes and humans and showed me that while there are some obvious similarities, there is no solid case for common ancestry.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


This is where it's clear how delusional you really are, Dave. The case for chromosomal fusion is iron-clad, and it's conclusive evidence for a common ancestry for humans and chimps. It's only one piece of evidence, and yet it's probably enough for any open-minded person. The case for the broken GULO gene indicating common ancestry is just as strong. You don't see it that way because you either refuse to understand or are incapable of understanding what the evidence even is.

That you still persist in your beliefs that humans have always been humans and chimps have always been chimps is evidence of nothing so much as your own blockheadedness.

So, given your abject failure even to understand the biochemical evidence for a common ancestry of humans and chimps, let alone actually attempt to refute it, I guess we should turn to what should be a somewhat simpler topic for you. First you need to a) understand the evidence for an earth billions of years old, and then b) try to explain why that evidence does not mean what the entire scientific community thinks it means. Given your hapless flailing about in the fields of genetics and biochemistry, I don't have high hopes for your understanding of nuclear and quantum physics, but as always I'll be willing to listen.

But if there's one thing you've accomplished here, Dave, it's giving us some insight into the mind of a young-earth creationist. It's been fascinating to see how someone can be at the same time seemingly intelligent and well-spoken, and yet be able to maintain a simply astonishing opacity of mind. A "deliberate opacity of mind," I believe it's called.

So while you may not be learning much about science here, Dave, we're learning quite a bit about human nature. Anyone who thinks that all humans are naturally rational beings need merely spend some time here to be persuaded otherwise.
Posted by: improvius on May 23 2006,08:35

Quote (afdave @ May 23 2006,12:08)
Maybe some new great discovery that will finally make the lightbulb come on for me?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


I...

You know, this one's just too easy.  Even I have standards.
Posted by: afdave on May 23 2006,08:40

THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE
I predict that Michael Denton will probably go down in history as one of the most influential scientists of the 20th Century.  Henry Morris may actually claim the leading title for his leadership of the modern Creationist revival, but there is no doubt that men like Michael Denton, Michael Behe and William Dembski will be names long remembered once the rotting corpse of Darwin's General Theory of Evolution is buried and forgotten.

And so we take one more look at one of my favorite books, "Nature's Destiny" by Michael Denton and discuss briefly, the Anthropic Principle.  From the fly-leaf of the book ...



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
In Nature's Destiny, Michael Denton marshals a stunning range of biological, chemical, and physical evidence to answer systematically a simple question:  Could life elsewhere in the universe be significantly different from life on earth?  Must it rely on carbon, water, DNA, amino acids, and proteins?  COuld there be an alternative to DNA, or could DNA be constructed out of different components?  Could cells be designed differently?  From these building blocks he dares to ask the boldest questions:  Is it possible there are life forms radically different from those realized during the course of evolution on Earth?  And even:  Is a Homo sapiens--like creature the only possible highly intelligent species, given the laws of biology that exist throughout the universe?

The stunning answer to this last question is yes.  Life is highly constrained by the laws of nature.  If, for example, the ratio between strong and weak chemical bonds had not been what it is, if the thermal properties of water were not precisely what they are, if the atmosphere of the Earth had not had just the right properties to filter out harmful radiation, then a flourishing biosphere such as exists on Earth would be impossible.  For like to develop beyond the most primitive stage hinted at by the famous Mars fossils requires an earthlike planet, with earthlike atmosphere and oceans.

Over the past twenty years, such physicists as Freeman Dyson, Fred Hoyle, Martin Rees and Paul Davies have argued that the universe is fine-tuned for carbon-based life.  Now, Michael Denton extends their argument all the way from the carbon atom to advanced and complex life forms closely resembling ourselves, showing that our biosphere is central to nature's destiny.  Though we may have six-fingered cousins elsewhere, the laws of nature are tuned to reach an endpoint in mankind.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Denton goes on to make an excellent case for his claims and concludes with this ...



---------------------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 ... 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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Now for some objections from our good friends at Talk Origins ...



---------------------QUOTE-------------------

The claim assumes life in its present form is a given; it applies not to life but to life only as we know it. The same outcome results if life is fine-tuned to the cosmos.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Yes.  Life in its present form IS a given.  (This author is bright!;)  No.  You cannot fine tune life, then build a cosmos.  Sorry, doesn't work that way.  You know ... gotta do site prep then build the foundation before you build the house.  See? (Wow, these are convincing rebuttals, guys.  I can see why you got taken in!;)



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
We do not know what fundamental conditions would rule out any possibility of any life. For all we know, there might be intelligent beings in another universe arguing that if fundamental constants were only slightly different, then the absence of free quarks and the extreme weakness of gravity would make life impossible.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Oh yeah, sure.  The old "alternate universe" theory.  I know of an alternate universe in Alice and Wonderland.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Indeed, many examples of fine-tuning are evidence that life is fine-tuned to the cosmos, not vice versa. This is exactly what evolution proposes.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

This author couldn't think of a new rebuttal, so he re-used the second half of the first one.




---------------------QUOTE-------------------
If the universe is fine-tuned for life, why is life such an extremely rare part of it?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

 Good question.  Worth investigating.  But that doesn't argue against the fact that it is indeed fine tuned for life.  Try reading the Bible for clues to WHY it is here and no place else.




---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Many fine-tuning claims are based on numbers being the "same order of magnitude," but this phrase gets stretched beyond its original meaning to buttress design arguments; sometimes numbers more than one-thousandfold different are called the same order of magnitude (Klee 2002).
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Gimme a break.  Elsewhere on the Talk Origins site, the authors had ample opportunity to refute Cosmic Fine Tuning and they did not.  Why not?  Because they could not.  You can see this < Here >.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
How fine is "fine" anyway? That question can only be answered by a human judgment call, which reduces or removes objective value from the anthropic principle argument.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

 No, it is very objective.  Sorry.  It's very well defined.  Read Dyson, Hoyle, Rees, Davies and Denton.




---------------------QUOTE-------------------
The fine-tuning claim is weakened by the fact that some physical constants are dependent on others, so the anthropic principle may rest on only a very few initial conditions that are really fundamental (Kane et al. 2000). It is further weakened by the fact that different initial conditions sometimes lead to essentially the same outcomes, as with the initial mass of stars and their formation of heavy metals (Nakamura et al. 1997), or that the tuning may not be very fine, as with the resonance window for helium fusion within the sun (Livio et al. 1989). For all we know, a universe substantially different from ours may be improbable or even impossible.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

 Maybe so, but are you telling me that this weakening is a big deal when you are talking about some 70 different parameters that have to be right for life to exist?  Come on.




---------------------QUOTE-------------------
If part of the universe were not suitable for life, we would not be here to think about it. There is nothing to rule out the possibility of multiple universes, most of which would be unsuitable for life. We happen to find ourselves in one where life is conveniently possible because we cannot very well be anywhere else.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Oh boy.  The brain damage is bad.  Call the neuro-surgeon!  Wow.  That is a brilliant statement: "If part of the universe were not suitable for life, we would not be here to think about it."  I think there's an echo.  Isn't that what we've been saying?  I thought I just got through saying  this very thing ... "If part of the universe were not suitable for life, we would not be here to think about it."  How exactly is this a rebuttal of my argument?  Oh, and of course the multiple universe thing again, which Faid told me had been dropped, but here it is again.



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Intelligent design is not a logical conclusion of fine tuning. Fine tuning says nothing about motives or methods, which is how design is defined. (The scarcity of life and multi-billion-year delay in it appearing argue against life being a motive.) Fine-tuning, if it exists, may result from other causes, as yet unknown, or for no reason at all (Drange 2000).
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Well, it is a logical conclusion in OUR universe.  But I understand ... you guys are in a different one.  Sure, there could be other causes. Like chance for example, with a probability of 1 in 50 gazillion googolplex.




---------------------QUOTE-------------------
In fact, the anthropic principle is an argument against an omnipotent creator. If God can do anything, he could create life in a universe whose conditions do not allow for it.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

OK. So the anthropic principle might argue against an omnipotent creator if you are in one of those alternate universes, but again, in this universe, it argues FOR one.  Fine.  Postulate a God anyway you like.  But the fact is humans are here and the universe is fine tuned for them.  The fun question is WHY?  Again, enter the Bible.

OK.  Fire away if you can!  I'll cut and paste some of your "Ape Objections" onto this thread so you don't think I abandoned you.  As for Portuguese ... you guys can go argue that one among yourselves.  You don't like what I have to say anyway, so why would you want me involved?  To me it sounds like "The sky is blue. No it's not ... you're an idiot.  Yes it is, see, look at it.  It's not EXACTLY blue, see, it's really Royal Blue. And here we have all these sources that don't say anything about it being blue to prove that it's Royal Blue.  Come argue with us, please, Davy.  We really want to show you how smart we are and how dumb you are.  OK?  Please?"


Until manana! Or manhao! (for you Portuguese fans) (I don't know how to do the tildes)
Posted by: JMX on May 23 2006,08:56

** yawn **

If the universe were different, we would be different or not here (to notice). The A P proves zilch.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 23 2006,08:59

Quote (afdave @ May 23 2006,13:40)
 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
If the universe is fine-tuned for life, why is life such an extremely rare part of it?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

 Good question.  Worth investigating.  But that doesn't argue against the fact that it is indeed fine tuned for life.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Of course it does, Dave. The universe is so poorly tuned for life that as far as we can tell it's extremely, unbelievably, astonishingly rare. As far as anyone knows, Dave, the only place life exists is right here on earth.

We've got a universe ~46 bilion light years wide, and life exists on one planet about 7,200 miles wide. Does that really give you a warm fuzzy feeling about how congenial this universe is for life? The universe can just, barely, under incredibly unlikely circumstances, sustain the barest little crumb of life.

Unless I'm mistaken, Dave, an omnipotent "Creator God" had infinite freedom in how He designed the universe. (Do you disagree? If so, please explain). Is there some reason why God did not design the universe so that life could exist virtually anywhere? Maybe God just doesn't really like life very much, so he tucked it away in an inconspicuous spot (like that unsightly stain on the carpet you cover up by parking a sofa over it) where he'd never have to look at it again?
Posted by: Rilke's Granddaughter on May 23 2006,09:00

Quote (afdave @ May 23 2006,12:08)
Rilke-- I'm past Portuguese now ... got anything to defend Evolution?  Maybe some new great discovery that will finally make the lightbulb come on for me?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Thanks Dave, for admitting you were wrong. Brave of you to risk the embarassment.
Posted by: MidnightVoice on May 23 2006,09:02

Actually sonny, we were looking for your opinions and knowledge.  Do you have any?  :D
Posted by: Rilke's Granddaughter on May 23 2006,09:11

Quote (afdave @ May 23 2006,13:40)
THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE
I predict that Michael Denton will probably go down in history as one of the most influential scientists of the 20th Century.  Henry Morris may actually claim the leading title for his leadership of the modern Creationist revival, but there is no doubt that men like Michael Denton, Michael Behe and William Dembski will be names long remembered once the rotting corpse of Darwin's General Theory of Evolution is buried and forgotten.

And so we take one more look at one of my favorite books, "Nature's Destiny" by Michael Denton and discuss briefly, the Anthropic Principle.  From the fly-leaf of the book ...

 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
In Nature's Destiny, Michael Denton marshals a stunning range of biological, chemical, and physical evidence to answer systematically a simple question:  Could life elsewhere in the universe be significantly different from life on earth?  Must it rely on carbon, water, DNA, amino acids, and proteins?  COuld there be an alternative to DNA, or could DNA be constructed out of different components?  Could cells be designed differently?  From these building blocks he dares to ask the boldest questions:  Is it possible there are life forms radically different from those realized during the course of evolution on Earth?  And even:  Is a Homo sapiens--like creature the only possible highly intelligent species, given the laws of biology that exist throughout the universe?

The stunning answer to this last question is yes.  Life is highly constrained by the laws of nature.  If, for example, the ratio between strong and weak chemical bonds had not been what it is, if the thermal properties of water were not precisely what they are, if the atmosphere of the Earth had not had just the right properties to filter out harmful radiation, then a flourishing biosphere such as exists on Earth would be impossible.  For like to develop beyond the most primitive stage hinted at by the famous Mars fossils requires an earthlike planet, with earthlike atmosphere and oceans.

Over the past twenty years, such physicists as Freeman Dyson, Fred Hoyle, Martin Rees and Paul Davies have argued that the universe is fine-tuned for carbon-based life.  Now, Michael Denton extends their argument all the way from the carbon atom to advanced and complex life forms closely resembling ourselves, showing that our biosphere is central to nature's destiny.  Though we may have six-fingered cousins elsewhere, the laws of nature are tuned to reach an endpoint in mankind.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Denton goes on to make an excellent case for his claims and concludes with this ...

 

---------------------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 ... 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.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Now for some objections from our good friends at Talk Origins ...

 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------

The claim assumes life in its present form is a given; it applies not to life but to life only as we know it. The same outcome results if life is fine-tuned to the cosmos.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Yes.  Life in its present form IS a given.  (This author is bright!;)  No.  You cannot fine tune life, then build a cosmos.  Sorry, doesn't work that way.  You know ... gotta do site prep then build the foundation before you build the house.  See? (Wow, these are convincing rebuttals, guys.  I can see why you got taken in!;)

 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
We do not know what fundamental conditions would rule out any possibility of any life. For all we know, there might be intelligent beings in another universe arguing that if fundamental constants were only slightly different, then the absence of free quarks and the extreme weakness of gravity would make life impossible.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Oh yeah, sure.  The old "alternate universe" theory.  I know of an alternate universe in Alice and Wonderland.

 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Indeed, many examples of fine-tuning are evidence that life is fine-tuned to the cosmos, not vice versa. This is exactly what evolution proposes.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

This author couldn't think of a new rebuttal, so he re-used the second half of the first one.


 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
If the universe is fine-tuned for life, why is life such an extremely rare part of it?
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

 Good question.  Worth investigating.  But that doesn't argue against the fact that it is indeed fine tuned for life.  Try reading the Bible for clues to WHY it is here and no place else.


 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Many fine-tuning claims are based on numbers being the "same order of magnitude," but this phrase gets stretched beyond its original meaning to buttress design arguments; sometimes numbers more than one-thousandfold different are called the same order of magnitude (Klee 2002).
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Gimme a break.  Elsewhere on the Talk Origins site, the authors had ample opportunity to refute Cosmic Fine Tuning and they did not.  Why not?  Because they could not.  You can see this < Here >.

 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
How fine is "fine" anyway? That question can only be answered by a human judgment call, which reduces or removes objective value from the anthropic principle argument.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

 No, it is very objective.  Sorry.  It's very well defined.  Read Dyson, Hoyle, Rees, Davies and Denton.


 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
The fine-tuning claim is weakened by the fact that some physical constants are dependent on others, so the anthropic principle may rest on only a very few initial conditions that are really fundamental (Kane et al. 2000). It is further weakened by the fact that different initial conditions sometimes lead to essentially the same outcomes, as with the initial mass of stars and their formation of heavy metals (Nakamura et al. 1997), or that the tuning may not be very fine, as with the resonance window for helium fusion within the sun (Livio et al. 1989). For all we know, a universe substantially different from ours may be improbable or even impossible.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

 Maybe so, but are you telling me that this weakening is a big deal when you are talking about some 70 different parameters that have to be right for life to exist?  Come on.


 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
If part of the universe were not suitable for life, we would not be here to think about it. There is nothing to rule out the possibility of multiple universes, most of which would be unsuitable for life. We happen to find ourselves in one where life is conveniently possible because we cannot very well be anywhere else.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Oh boy.  The brain damage is bad.  Call the neuro-surgeon!  Wow.  That is a brilliant statement: "If part of the universe were not suitable for life, we would not be here to think about it."  I think there's an echo.  Isn't that what we've been saying?  I thought I just got through saying  this very thing ... "If part of the universe were not suitable for life, we would not be here to think about it."  How exactly is this a rebuttal of my argument?  Oh, and of course the multiple universe thing again, which Faid told me had been dropped, but here it is again.

 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Intelligent design is not a logical conclusion of fine tuning. Fine tuning says nothing about motives or methods, which is how design is defined. (The scarcity of life and multi-billion-year delay in it appearing argue against life being a motive.) Fine-tuning, if it exists, may result from other causes, as yet unknown, or for no reason at all (Drange 2000).
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

Well, it is a logical conclusion in OUR universe.  But I understand ... you guys are in a different one.  Sure, there could be other causes. Like chance for example, with a probability of 1 in 50 gazillion googolplex.


 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
In fact, the anthropic principle is an argument against an omnipotent creator. If God can do anything, he could create life in a universe whose conditions do not allow for it.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------

OK. So the anthropic principle might argue against an omnipotent creator if you are in one of those alternate universes, but again, in this universe, it argues FOR one.  Fine.  Postulate a God anyway you like.  But the fact is humans are here and the universe is fine tuned for them.  The fun question is WHY?  Again, enter the Bible.

OK.  Fire away if you can!  I'll cut and paste some of your "Ape Objections" onto this thread so you don't think I abandoned you.  As for Portuguese ... you guys can go argue that one among yourselves.  You don't like what I have to say anyway, so why would you want me involved?  To me it sounds like "The sky is blue. No it's not ... you're an idiot.  Yes it is, see, look at it.  It's not EXACTLY blue, see, it's really Royal Blue. And here we have all these sources that don't say anything about it being blue to prove that it's Royal Blue.  Come argue with us, please, Davy.  We really want to show you how smart we are and how dumb you are.  OK?  Please?"


Until manana! Or manhao! (for you Portuguese fans) (I don't know how to do the tildes)
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Dave posted some words in a thread,
That showed that his knowledge was read
From pages of men
Who were smarter than him
Since nothing is found in his head.



:D
Posted by: stevestory on May 23 2006,09:15

:-)
Posted by: Arden Chatfield on May 23 2006,09:15

Quote (afdave @ May 23 2006,13:40)
THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE
I predict that Michael Denton will probably go down in history as one of the most influential scientists of the 20th Century.  Henry Morris may actually claim the leading title for his leadership of the modern Creationist revival, but there is no doubt that men like Michael Denton, Michael Behe and William Dembski will be names long remembered once the rotting corpse of Darwin's General Theory of Evolution is buried and forgotten.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Don't forget Jack Chick.
Posted by: Arden Chatfield on May 23 2006,09:18



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
As for Portuguese ... you guys can go argue that one among yourselves.  You don't like what I have to say anyway, so why would you want me involved?  To me it sounds like "The sky is blue. No it's not ... you're an idiot.  Yes it is, see, look at it.  It's not EXACTLY blue, see, it's really Royal Blue. And here we have all these sources that don't say anything about it being blue to prove that it's Royal Blue.  Come argue with us, please, Davy.  We really want to show you how smart we are and how dumb you are.  OK?  Please?"
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



All well and good Dave, but can you please explain to me why all the linguists disagree with you?

Is it because they're all liberals? All atheists?
Posted by: Rilke's Granddaughter on May 23 2006,09:19



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
As for Portuguese ... you guys can go argue that one among yourselves.  You don't like what I have to say anyway, so why would you want me involved?  To me it sounds like "The sky is blue. No it's not ... you're an idiot.  Yes it is, see, look at it.  It's not EXACTLY blue, see, it's really Royal Blue. And here we have all these sources that don't say anything about it being blue to prove that it's Royal Blue.  Come argue with us, please, Davy.  We really want to show you how smart we are and how dumb you are.  OK?  Please?"
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Small Davey admitted his error,
With weasel words showing his terror
Of knowing that we
Are much smarter than he,
And can trim all his crap with a parer.

:D
Posted by: Chris Hyland on May 23 2006,09:21

You seem to be using arguments about the probabilities of universal constants taking certain values, how do you calculate these? Thanks.
Posted by: Occam's Aftershave on May 23 2006,09:25



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Small Davey admitted his error,
With weasel words showing his terror
Of knowing that we
Are much smarter than he,
And can trim all his crap with a parer.

---------------------QUOTE-------------------



:p  :p  :p  :p  :p

What's the difference between AFDave and a non-cowardly pilot?

A non-cowardly pilot breaks ground and flies into the wind... ;)
Posted by: Drew Headley on May 23 2006,09:43

AFDave's anthropic argument is like saying if somebody wins the lottery it must have been rigged because the chances are so slim.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 23 2006,09:45

Dave, I'm going to give you a little advice on this "cosmic fine-tuning" argument of yours. It will save you a lot of typing, and it will save us a lot of wading through pointless repetition of arguments we've all heard a million times before.

I've said before that you have yet to present any actual "evidence" to support your "creator god hypothesis." This is as true now as it was when you started out, but with regard to your "cosmological fine tuning" argument, lack of evidence isn't the problem. There's plenty of evidence (none of which, I should point out, you have actually bothered to present) that if various physical parameters were even slightly different (the cosmological constant would be a big one), not only could life not exist in the universe; the universe itself could not exist.

You don't need to show us evidence of this, Dave, because we've all seen the evidence before. The problem in this case isn't with your evidence. It's with your argument.

The "fine tuning" argument simply isn't that compelling, Dave. As half a dozen people have pointed out, what would truly be persuasive is if we found life in a universe that wasn't tuned for it. That's the weak anthropic principle. After all, an omnipotent god certainly could sustain life in a universe manifestly unsuited for it.

But given that God presumably had infinite freedom in how he designed the universe, and assuming that he actually likes life (an assumption that may not be warranted), he could have done a lot better job of it and made the universe vastly, astronomically more congenial to life if that had been his aim. So your argument as to why the universe is not infinitely better suited to life comes down to the usual "God works in mysterious ways" apologetic.

So my advice, Dave, is to admit defeat on this issue and move on to the next. I know it's hard to continue an argument when you keep losing the points you make to support it, but it's really the only way I see to move forward here. The argument simply isn't persuasive.

Now, I know you weren't persuaded by the arguments for common descent, but that isn't surprising given your manifest inability to even understand the arguments or the evidence supporting them. We all understand the "fine tuning" argument; we just think it's a crappy argument.

Next on the agenda: why the earth isn't as old as every scientist on the planet thinks it is. Take it away, Dave!
Posted by: Drew Headley on May 23 2006,09:52

Hey guys, I just poured a glass of water and the water took the exact shape of the glass. I am not kidding, there is an amazingly small probability that the water will arrange itself into the exact shape of the glass, but it does. Must be divine intervention!
Posted by: Faid on May 23 2006,10:28



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
which Faid told me had been dropped, but here it is again.

---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Hey Dave, since you posted the link to TalkOrigins again, how about taking the big step this time and actually looking three paragraphs down, like I've told you to a dozen times, instead of putting words into my mouth? You think I forgot your little gognitive dissonance on this issue, or do you think that bailing out of a debate where things are not looking favorably, and bringing it up again when noone remembers it, claiming you have won, helps your case?
Anyway, for the nth time, this is what you would see, if you had the guts to look:
 

---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Note that my thesis does not require more than one universe to exist, although some cosmological theories propose this. Even if ours is the only universe, and that universe happened by chance, we have no basis to conclude that a universe without some form of life was so unlikely as to have required a miracle.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



As for the Portuguese language issue... Your stubborness is only matched by your cowardice. Did you read the links you yourself asked me to provide? Maybe then you'll understand why you're actually claiming that the sky actually is yellow with green dots...

Dave, I was actually hoping for more from you at first. You seemed like a straightforward, honest guy, however deluded.
Unfortunately, your overall performance on this forum so far has made me change my mind. I now think you might be the most dishonest (with yourself first , but also with others) young-earther to ever come here (with the possible exception of Cordova).
And with the Portuguese thing, where I'm sure you have realized by now how devastatingly WRONG you were, you demonstrated that it's not, in fact, the belief in your God you're trying to protect with your tricks and denial and pretense: It's your own inflated ego.

So, I'll let others who are more qualified and more patient to utterly lay your ludicrous YEC "arguments" to waste.

I'm actually really sorry for you. You probably don't believe it, but I am. Maybe you should pray for enlightment and deliverance from arrogance to your version of a deity: I'm just sad I can't help you.
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 23 2006,11:40



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Hey guys, I just poured a glass of water and the water took the exact shape of the glass. I am not kidding, there is an amazingly small probability that the water will arrange itself into the exact shape of the glass, but it does. Must be divine intervention!
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



not so fast, Drew!

have you seen this:

< http://www.physorg.com/news66924222.html >



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
“It is seldom that you see a new stable structure appearing spontaneously in a completely symmetric environment,” explains Tomas Bohr, a physicist at the Technical University of Denmark. “Usually you have to do something to break the symmetry. But we’re not doing anything to break the symmetry. The system does it all by itself.”
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Posted by: afdave on May 23 2006,11:43

Faid--  The sky is Royal Blue.  

There.  Is that better?  You won!

I'm glad you are leaving my thread.  I would rather have people respond to me who care about representing ToE well (that is honestly).  I've had several.  I'll probably have a few more.
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 23 2006,11:49

well, after a month of seeing everybody literally tossing pearls before a pig, I'm following the sensible crowd and leaving you to your dementia.

bye Dave.

I do feel sorry for your kids.  But, there's always hope they don't share your mental disorder at the genetic level.

Isn't sex great?

btw, i prefered Norm's theory of there being a difference in the number of moons in your reality.

It's more quantifiable than sky color, and even you could use your fingers to count.
Posted by: Drew Headley on May 23 2006,11:51

Quote (sir_toejam @ May 23 2006,16:40)
not so fast, Drew!

have you seen this:

< http://www.physorg.com/news66924222.html >
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


I think I saw the virgin Mary in one of those swirls!
Posted by: BWE on May 23 2006,11:53

OK, 1/2 a Dave,

You are frustrating to be sure. Your Bible theories are old hat and you are not the first to raise them. ToE is important for science. Christistianity is not. But if you are really serious about learning, you need to start with the age of the Earth. The genome doesn't make sense except in light of goelogic time. If you can prove that the Earth is less than, say, a few billion years old, then you will have disproved evolution and all its trappings anyway.

Before you do that though, you should explain plate tectonics (continental drift) so that we can assess your current understanding and start from wherever you really are.

I would ask that you begin by accepting that you are generally delusional but I suppose that is too much to ask.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 23 2006,11:55

Quote (afdave @ May 23 2006,16:43)
I'm glad you are leaving my thread.  I would rather have people respond to me who care about representing ToE well (that is honestly).  I've had several.  I'll probably have a few more.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Actually, Dave, we really haven't been responding to you, since you've given us so little to respond to. Mostly it's been you haplessly trying to respond to us.

You've said as much yourself. This thread is ostensibly not about the Theory of Evolution. It's supposedly about AF Dave's UPDATED Creator God Hypothesis. But most of the discussion so far has been about what you perceive to be weaknesses in the ToE.

This is just like all the other creationist/IDist cant we've been reading. There's never any positive evidence for either position. It's always been sniping at evolution.

So…how are we doing on that refutation of radiometric dating and plate tectonics?
Posted by: Faid on May 23 2006,12:17

Quote (afdave @ May 23 2006,16:43)
Faid--  The sky is Royal Blue.  

There.  Is that better?  You won!

I'm glad you are leaving my thread.  I would rather have people respond to me who care about representing ToE well (that is honestly).  I've had several.  I'll probably have a few more.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


You had me too, Dave, but you lost me.
And you calling me dishonest is the clearest case of projection you have demonstrated so far. I have never ignored your arguments, refuse to address them, repeat questions you have already answered, deliberately distort your answer's meaning, or bail out from one thread to claim victory in our confortation in another. Let alone put words in your mouth.
YOU have done all this, Dave.

But don't worry, I'll stick around; I'll just enjoy the show, without taking you seriously anymore.

PS. And it's blue, dave. The sky is blue.
Posted by: Mr_Christopher on May 23 2006,12:40

This totally cracked me up:



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
but there is no doubt that men like Michael Denton, Michael Behe and William Dembski will be names long remembered once the rotting corpse of Darwin's General Theory of Evolution is buried and forgotten
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



aftard needs a reality check.  And perhaps he could provide us some evidence of his latest little theory?

Behe's own univeristy has a public disclaimer on their web site distancing themselves from Behe's nonsense.  Behe will be remembered from his mindless testimony ala Kitzmiller as the guy who said astrology was scientific and the guy who ignores evidence that conflicts with his "theories".  

Dembski has more degrees than I have ex-wives and so far he has amounted to nothing.  He teaches at a marginal theology school that is probably not even accredited.  No one in the math or science community thinks much of him at all.  Without the cultute war and his specific IDC role, he is nothing, a garden variety loser.  His theology is just as lame as his math.  He is a good propagandist without a moral compass, I'll give you that.

Yeah these guys will be remembered alright, but not the reasons they'd prefer.

For a corpse to rot it must first die yet ToE rages on in modern science and education.    No sign of ToE even catching a cold.  Looks healthier than ever.  A bunch of ignorant creationists yapping at the heels of ToE does not constitute its death or demise, silly.  That has been going on for 150 years and ToE just gets stronger with every bit of new and confirming evidence while the loons (creationists) look more foolish.

aftard, you can click your heels together all day long and pray or chant for things to be different, but the reality is you have chosen the side of the ignorant and uneducated.  

I'd hold off on sending out the invites to celebrate the death of ToE.  
Posted by: Rilke's Granddaughter on May 23 2006,12:55

Quote (afdave @ May 23 2006,16:43)
Faid--  The sky is Royal Blue.  

There.  Is that better?  You won!

I'm glad you are leaving my thread.  I would rather have people respond to me who care about representing ToE well (that is honestly).  I've had several.  I'll probably have a few more.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Dave's hopes have gone down the drain,
Of proving that France and that Spain,
Had given their speech
To enlighten and teach
The poor Portuguese how to say "plain".
Posted by: sir_toejam on May 23 2006,12:55



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
aftard needs a reality check.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------



Mad TV style?

"Good evening, y'all. I'm Tovah McQueen. (And I'm Belma Buttons.) And this is, reality check. The show where you leave your delusions at the door, sit yo' ass down, open up wide for a big ole' slice of truth, with a side of wisdom.
"

Yes indeed, it's overdue time for an aftard reality check...

1...
Posted by: jstockwell on May 23 2006,13:30

afdave,

Did you even read my post on why fine tuning does not distinguish between a designer and natural origins of the universe?

Put simply, given that life exists in this universe, both hypotheses predict the same thing: the universe will be able to support life.   How do you not see this?

Now, you could say: 'ah, but fine tuning seems so unlikely, it points to a designer!'  However, in order to make this claim, which is a probabilistic one, you MUST have data on other universes, and have a detailed model on how the parameters of universes are generated.  Do you have these?  If you do, you really should publish them.
Posted by: stevestory on May 23 2006,13:46

exactly, you must have some idea about the probability distributions in order to make statements about probability.
Posted by: ericmurphy on May 23 2006,13:48

To elaborate, Dave, we don't really know enough about the physical laws of the universe to say how improbable the values of these various constants are. For all we know, there is an underlying logic to physical law that strongly constrains those constants to their measured values. In other words, it's possible that the only universe that makes logical sense is one in which those constants take on the values they have. That is most certainly the hope of the theoretical physics community.

Now it may happe