Joined: April 2006
|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.
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.
|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 ...|
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?
|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).|
Examples? Are you sure these less-than-optimum items could not be explained by mutational loss of function over time as Creationism predicts?
Creationists don't say God makes very small molecular changes in man. We say this ...
|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. |
Of course, we say similar things about other "kinds" of organisms.
|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.|
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.
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.
|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"?
Science should expand its horizons and investigate these types possibilities.
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:
|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.
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.
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.
|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.
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.
|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.
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.
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.
|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?
|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.
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.
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.
|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
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.
|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?
|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.|
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.
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.
|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.|
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.
|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.
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.
I have admitted when I was wrong. Have you not read the "Chimp Chromosome" thread?
|See, Dave? That's how rational people admit they were wrong. |
I have no knowledge if God can do those things. To me they are silly questions.
|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?
|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.
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.
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.
|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
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?
A DILEMMA FOR THE COMMITTED NATURALIST
A Hi-tech alien spaceship lands on earth ... DESIGNED.
A Hi-tech alien rotary motor found in a cell ... NOT DESIGNED.