Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Here’s What Alex “Philo” Filippenko Really Said Last Weekend at SETICon 2

Last weekend evolutionists fired off another round of metaphysics and as usual there was no counter attack. From their hilltop position evolutionists are free to throw down their religious mandates with impunity while the low-landers do nothing but run for cover. This time it was astrophysicist Alex “Philo” Filippenko lighting off the Infinite Regress howitzer from that bastion of Enlightenment, the SETICon 2 conference in Silicon Valley. Filippenko first fired a shot across the bow with his statement that “The Big Bang could’ve occurred as a result of just the laws of physics being there.” That had the Philistines cheering and the low-landers complaining as the evolutionist had left them with nothing but the laws of physics. That’s when Filippenko brought out the big gun and demolished even that last foothold:

"The question, then, is, 'Why are there laws of physics?'" he said. "And you could say, 'Well, that required a divine creator, who created these laws of physics and the spark that led from the laws of physics to these universes, maybe more than one.'"

But that answer just continues to kick the can down the road, because you still need to explain where the divine creator came from. The process leads to a never-ending chain that always leaves you short of the ultimate answer, Filippenko said.

The origin of the laws of physics remains a mystery for now, he added, one that we may never be able to solve.

"The 'divine spark' was whatever produced the laws of physics," Filippenko said. "And I don't know what produced that divine spark. So let's just leave it at the laws of physics."

In other words, we must avoid the dreaded infinite regress. This of course is straight from the pen of David Hume whose character Philo fired off this weapon centuries ago:

How, therefore, shall we satisfy ourselves concerning the cause of that Being whom you suppose the Author of Nature, … if we stop, and go no further; why go so far? why not stop at the material world? How can we satisfy ourselves without going on in infinitum? And, after all, what satisfaction is there in that infinite progression?

Or as evolutionist Mark Ridley put it:

Positing a God merely invites the question of how such a highly adaptive and well-designed thing could in its turn have come into existence. Theological sophistry about the perfect simplicity of God and the inexplicability of the First Cause can be ignored here: the problem is to explain adaptive complexity. The first alternative to natural selection, therefore, is a viciously circular argument, and unscientific.

For Hume and the evolutionists there are two possibilities: Design and complexity arise on their own via natural law, or there is an infinite regress of “designers.”

Given these two absurdities the evolutionists, of course, choose law. But this is not the key move, for at this point the metaphysical fire fight is long over. The key move—and metaphysical heavy lifting—came at the earlier stage where the alternatives were defined. Remember, he who defines the debate wins the debate.

Science doesn’t tell us that there are two possibilities. It doesn’t tell us that design and complexity either arose on their own or else there is an infinite regress of designers. That is a metaphysical assertion—one of many that underwrite the evolution research program.

Amazingly evolutionists claim they are just “doing science” as they fire off these metaphysical salvos. Religion drives science, and it matters.

117 comments:

  1. So an "astrophysicist" and an "evolutionist" are the same thing, are they Cornelius?

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    1. Liddle, give it a rest. Almost all astrophysicists are evolutionists/atheists/materialists, especially the ones who go out their way to prove that a creator is illogical because of infinite regress. All the while, they conveniently forget to explain how something can create itself out of nothing.

      Not that I am against the notion of an ex-nihilo universe, mind you. An ex nihilo universe is the only ontology of substance that does not lead to an infinite regress. However, nothing creates itself, period, a billion materialists jumping up and down and foaming at the mouth notwithstanding.

      Something is, of course, missing from our understanding of reality. Further research is necessary. For the materialists to claim that they understand how it all began is no different than chicken feather voodoo science. It's not even wrong.

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    2. Almost all astrophysicists are evolutionists/atheists/materialists, especially the ones who go out their way to prove that a creator is illogical because of infinite regress.

      [citation needed]

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    3. No need for citation. This is common knowledge. The few non-materialists don't dare expose their views for fear of being black listed by jackasses.

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  2. And are they synonymous with "atheist" in your mind?

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  3. Cornelius, how in the world did you manage to confuse astrophysics with evolutionary biology?

    Your anti-science propaganda well really is bone dry, isn't it.

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    1. Thorton, every time you use the expression 'anti-science', you immediately reveal your stupidity. How many times have you used it in the last year? It's dumb, man, and it does not work.

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  4. Thank the Atheity, Cornelius found a reason to drag out his favorite tag line!

    Evolutionists = materialists = atheists = physicists = they don't agree with we waah!

    It is published in Science, Nature, etc. - it's "doing science". It is a speculative talk - it ain't doing science. It is expressing an opinion. I got taught to tell the difference between fact and opinion in the third grade.

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    1. It's a dumb opinion and it does not belong in a science publication.

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    2. Lol, a presentation at a SETI conference is not a science publication. Reading comprehension fail.

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    3. Does not matter. It's the opinion of not just one scientist. And it was presented at a scientific conference. Unless, of course, the SETI folks do not think they're doing science. Even a presentation at a conference must go through some sort of peer acknowledgement. At any rate, it's not even wrong.

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    1. It reveals the BS that passes for science in the scientific community.

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    2. It reveals the BS that Cornelius thinks is science.

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    3. So what is it? Voodoo? Are you implying that the folks at SETI are voodoo practitioners?

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. In the same article a Seth Shostak said, "If you would just, in this room, just twist time and space the right way, you might create an entirely new universe."

    Never mind that the "you" refers to intelligent action.

    Just for fun after lunch, maybe Seth would like to create a universe in their living room (next to the beta fish tank). Why stop there, they might as well discover the cure for cancer and then we could all go out for an early dinner.

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    1. funny story, bro...

      What does it have to do with evolution?

      I'll give you "An object outside this universe created this universe." There is logical or evidential trail from there to "An object outside this universe interfered in the normal materialistic processes in this, this, and this way." It doesn't matter if the "this" is the Cambrian Explosion, the appearance of H. sapiens, or the sun standing still for Joshua.

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  8. Would someone who thinks this is a good article like to explain what they think Cornelius is saying?

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  9. There is one word that cosmic evolution, chemical evolution and biological evolution share. If you put all three into a bag and hit the bag with a stick, you'll always hit an evolutionist.

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    1. How about the operator of evolution in quantum mechanics? Does that count, too? :)

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    2. So what do you mean by "evolutionist", Neal?

      And by "cosmic evolution"?

      And by "chemical evolution"?

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    3. Elizabeth, the definitions are easily found and what I "mean" simply follows the standard definitions that anyone can look up.

      Here's a link you may find interesting:

      http://www.physicscentral.com/explore/writers/chaisson.cfm

      "Adapted from Cosmic Evolution: The Rise of Complexity in Nature, published by Harvard University Press, 2001

      It is perhaps a sobering thought that we seem so inconsequential in the Universe. It is even more humbling at first--but then wonderfully enlightening--to recognize that evolutionary changes, operating over almost incomprehensible space and nearly inconceivable time, have given birth to everything seen around us. Scientists are now beginning to decipher how all known objects--from atoms to galaxies, from cells to brains, from people to society--are interrelated. We are attempting to sketch the unifying scenario of cosmic evolution, a powerful new epic for the new millennium.

      Simply defined, cosmic evolution is the study of change--the vast number of developmental and generative changes that have accumulated during all time and across all space, from big bang to humankind. To quote some long-forgotten wit, "Hydrogen is a light, odorless gas which, given enough time, changes into people." More seriously, cosmic evolution comprises the sum total of all the many varied changes in the assembly and composition of radiation, matter, and life throughout the history of the Universe. These are the changes that have produced our Galaxy, our Sun, our Earth, and ourselves.

      As such, the most familiar kind of evolution--biological evolution, or neo-Darwinism--is just one subset of a much broader evolutionary scheme encompassing much more than mere life on Earth. In short, what Darwinism does for plants and animals, cosmic evolution aspires to do for all things."

      I'd take it a step further. For cosmic evolutionists... absolutely nothing changes into people. The true core of the absurdity of evolution.

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    4. So, Neal, I understand that you do not think that biological organisms evolved by the mechanisms proposed in the "Theory of Evolution". But are you saying that you do not think that the cosmos changed over time?

      Or that elements weren't formed in the early universe?

      What connection is there, in your mind, between these very different scientific domains?

      And let me repeat: what do you mean by "evolutionist"?

      In other words, what does this mean:

      If you put all three into a bag and hit the bag with a stick, you'll always hit an evolutionist.

      ?

      I realise it was a crack, or a dig, but I really don't get the point you were trying to make.

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    5. No, Neal, the definitions are not "easily found" - clearly, for example, you are using the words in very different ways from the ways I use them.

      However, you have somewhat clarified what you mean, so thanks.

      I don't think much of your quotation. The theory of evolution was, and is, a very specific theory about a very specific kind of postulated change - the adaptation, over time, down lineages, of biological populations, from simple beginnings from the wide variety we see today and in the fossil record.

      To then apply that use of the word "evolution" to mean any change over time, is to equivocate, or, at best, make a trivial point that the study of the history of the universe is a study of change and causal sequence.

      Sure. But that makes us all "evolutionists" doesn't it? Do you think the universe hasn't changed over time?

      Or are you in fact using the word "evolutionist" to refer to someone who specifically rejects the idea of a divine Prime Mover?

      Because I can think of a great man scientists who certainly do not reject the idea of a God who is the answer to the question "why is there anything rather than nothing?" but who do reject the idea that we can detect God's hand in some physical processes and not others.

      As usual, I see most of the objections to "evolutionism" as arising from fear of the perceived philosophical inferences, not any real, or well-founded objections to the science, of either biology or cosmology.

      Nothing in science does, or even can, rule out the existence of a creator God. I honestly don't know why you all seem so worried.

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    6. Thought I'd lost my first reply to you Neal, so I wrote a rather different one, then found my original had posted after all!

      Well, you get the benefit of both my takes :)

      cheers

      Lizzie

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    7. Elizabeth said, "Nothing in science does, or even can, rule out the existence of a CREATOR God."

      Biological evolution and a creator can not be reconciled. A process (biological evolution) can not be both unguided and guided at the same time. Biological evolution is by definition unguided. Bird beaks and such don't convince me of the fairy tale of evolution. It's not about fear or being worried, it's about an absurd philosophy without a scientific leg to stand on.

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    8. Neal, what if the biological evolution only looks unguided? An omnipotent designer can do anything. He could guide everything and make it look like chance.

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    9. Mathematics of Eternity Prove The Universe Must Have Had A Beginning - April 24, 2012
      Excerpt: They treat the emergent model of the universe differently, showing that although it may seem stable from a classical point of view, it is unstable from a quantum mechanical point of view. "A simple emergent universe model...cannot escape quantum collapse," they say.
      The conclusion is inescapable. "None of these scenarios can actually be past-eternal," say Mithani and Vilenkin.
      Since the observational evidence is that our universe is expanding, then it must also have been born in the past. A profound conclusion (albeit the same one that lead to the idea of the big bang in the first place).
      http://www.technologyreview.com/view/427722/mathematics-of-eternity-prove-the-universe-must/

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    10. oleg said "what if the biological evolution only looks unguided?"

      You're really bucking the data if you think it looks unguided or if you think evolutionary mechanisms are sufficient. Oh, yes, bird beaks.

      Evolutionary mechanisms play bad T-Ball, but in reality life is in the major leagues.

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    11. Elizabeth said, "Nothing in science does, or even can, rule out the existence of a CREATOR God."

      Biological evolution and a creator can not be reconciled. A process (biological evolution) can not be both unguided and guided at the same time. Biological evolution is by definition unguided.


      Depends on your theology. A tossed coin is "unguided" - yet I have read many testimonies by people who read the hand of God in a tossed coin, either metaphorical or literal - the "chance" event that meant they weren't in the Twin Towers on 9/11 or missed that crucial flight; who happened to open a bible at "random" and found their eyes drawn to a specially apt passage; who found "doors closing" and other "doors opening" even though each event, taken individually, was perfectly explicable non-divine mechanisms.

      So why shouldn't an omniscient God design (yes "design") a universe that unfolded according to its own divinely laid-down laws, and set the starting parameters, or steer the quantum events so that of all possible universes, the intended universe was the one that in fact transpired? That would leave us with a universe that was perfectly explicable by science, yet equally the intended creation of an actively involved deity.


      Bird beaks and such don't convince me of the fairy tale of evolution.


      Well, that's another issue. Evolution isn't a "fairy tale" but it is a theory. It's a theory that explains bird beaks extremely well.


      It's not about fear or being worried, it's about an absurd philosophy without a scientific leg to stand on.


      It's not a philosophy - that's your mistake right there. It's simply scientific methodology. And evolutionary theory has a great many scientific - or rather evidential - legs to stand on. You have been misled about this, by people like Cornelius. But it's curable. Eventually you have to take responsibility for your own education.

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    12. If God guided a process then it is not unguided. Something can not be both guided and not guided by definition. To walk into the fog where something by definition is not guided, yet guided is illogical.

      As far as God getting the initial conditions started such as what Ken Miller and Francis Collins say, is that your position?

      I could understand theists trying to reconcile science and theology by doing this IF evolution were actually a viable scientific theory, but... why bother? For me it is akin to trying to reconcile my theology with reading tea leaves and bird droppings to divine the future. Evolution is superstitious rubbish. It's a dud in its own right.

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    13. Neal: If God guided a process then it is not unguided. Something can not be both guided and not guided by definition. To walk into the fog where something by definition is not guided, yet guided is illogical.

      Well, you raise an interesting, but essentially theological, question. However, let's take a toy example. Let's say we make a virtual world, a bit like The Matrix, with its own physics. We select the starting conditions, and indeed, may select any random number seeds, in advance, because we want a particular set of events to unfold, and we know those starting conditions, with that random number seed, will result in the desired events.

      From outside the Matrix, the events are completely determined from the beginning, and guided by the programmer. But from within the Matrix, the inhabitants cannot detect that intention, and can only (but fairly reliably) predict the future by figuring out the physics of their virtual world.

      I'm saying that scientists are like the inhabitants of that world. We can figure out the physics of our world, and we can make fairly good predictions of what events are contingent on what, even though there are apparently intrinsically stochastic events (quantum level events) that are only (from our vantage point) predictable statistically (but from God's point of view, under the control of the chosen random number seed, or, possibly, His whim).

      In other words - science cannot tell us whether we are intended or not. Science can only detect the patterns within the universe, not intentions or guidance from outside. Therefore we cannot use science to detect God (at least not a creator deity). Nor can we use science to reject such a God.

      As far as God getting the initial conditions started such as what Ken Miller and Francis Collins say, is that your position?

      No, it isn't - I'm an atheist, or, rather, a pantheist. And I don't think Ken Miller (I know less of Collins) is a deist - he considers that God acts within this world (through quantum effects) and occasionally directly (as with the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection). IIRC.

      I could understand theists trying to reconcile science and theology by doing this IF evolution were actually a viable scientific theory, but... why bother?

      But it is, Neal. And that's exactly why they do it (as did I). They are good enough scientists to know that the science is good. And faithful enough Christians to know that Christianity must be compatible with it. Todd Wood takes another, but one with equal integrity IMO - he knows the science works, but is a YEC, through faith, and so is determined to figure out an alternative scientific model that works at least as well but is consistent with YEC.

      The idea that the science doesn't work is just incorrect. We certainly don't know all there is to know about the way life came to be the way it is, and won't ever know, nor will we ever know for sure how it got started. But we do have very well-tested mechanism, and no good reasons to suppose that they, or similar, aren't up to the job. That doesn't make God redundant (well, not necessarily), because you (or we) are still left with questions like "why is there anything rather than nothing?" and "did something with a mind intend for the universe to be this way?"

      Those questions aren't addressed, and never will be addressed, definitively, by science. Or not by evolutionary biology anyway.


      For me it is akin to trying to reconcile my theology with reading tea leaves and bird droppings to divine the future. Evolution is superstitious rubbish. It's a dud in its own right.

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    14. Oops, that last paragraph is Neal's last, which I had C&P'd but lost track of:

      For me it is akin to trying to reconcile my theology with reading tea leaves and bird droppings to divine the future. Evolution is superstitious rubbish. It's a dud in its own right.

      Well, with respect, Neal, I think that's because you don't really understand what evolutionary science is, and what it does, and does not, claim. As I keep saying, that's not necessarily your fault (or not entirely!) I do suggest you read some good books about it (Ken Miller's is pretty good, actually). It's certainly not "reading tea lieves and bird droppings to divine the future" - we can make really quite precise predictions from evolutionary theory, although because it posits feedback loops, it is a description of, a non-linear "chaotic" (bad word) system, a bit like weather, in which long-term weather forecasting is not possible, although trends may be.

      It's not "superstitious", nor is it "rubbish". Cornelius is being extremely misleading about this, and it makes me rather cross.

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    15. BTW, Neal, evolution is not "unguided" in the same sense that streams flowing down a mountainside are not "unguided".

      Just because something isn't being guided by an intentional being doesn't mean it isn't heavily constrained.

      This is an important point, if you are going to regard whether something "looks guided" or not as an indicator of whether it "looks intended" or not.

      Evolutionary processes are heavily constrained to produce features that promote viability.

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    16. Elizabeth, I think you are confusing understanding evolution to agreeing with you. I've discussed irreducible complexity and such with Ken Miller around the time of the Dover trial, so I'm quite familar with his views.

      I do agree with you that evolutionary processes are heavily contrained. So constrained that the processes are have been shown to be insufficient to do what you folks say it can.

      You still have not shown me one observed example of biological change that is unbounded and directional.

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    17. I think you are confusing understanding evolution to agreeing with you

      No, I am not. But when someone disagrees with some aspect of evolutionary theory, and the grounds for their disagreement rest on a misunderstanding of what the theory actually says, then obviously that is a problem.

      So constrained that the processes are have been shown to be insufficient to do what you folks say it can.

      Please provide a citation for this demonstration.

      You still have not shown me one observed example of biological change that is unbounded and directional.

      And this seemst to be a very good example of what I meant when I said that your disagreement is based on a misunderstanding of evolutionary theory.

      I am not claiming that evolution is "unbounded" - I am specifically saying that they are highly constrained. I am also saying that they are not "directional", except in the sense that a stream on a hillside is "directed" to lower levels.

      However, the problem might lie in how you are defining those two terms. Can you say exactly what you mean?

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    18. I know what he means by "unbounded". Organisms can change in time, but only within their baramin. That's a very scientific concept that you probably missed in your materialist indoctrination.

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    19. Elizabeth, observed biological change over multiple generations always shows the observed change to be bound and not directional. Variation oscillates, if you will, but that is all it does. For example, over time and generations mice and men may grow larger due to environmental influences, but the growth is bound. Mice will not grow to the size of elephants and men the height of garaffes no matter what. Plug in any change parameter you want and you'll see the same pattern.

      Organisms are equipped to respond in a matter of fact way to envirommental changes which has nothing to do with evolution. If they can't, then the move or go extinct.

      When beneficial mutations and selection does occur they are clunky loss of function jobs that enable an organism to kind of survive in a hostile enviroment, but are not great inovations... sickle cell, for example.

      Let's say your garage door opening is so small that your new Ford 350 truck won't fit. You break the mirrors off both sides and you are able to get it through the door, thereby giving it the advantage of getting into the garage and extending the life of the truck over time. You lost the use of two mirrors, but you gained the protection of the garage from the weather. If you live in a crime area, then you also have some protection from thieves. You've lost something important, however, and the truck is a bit more dangerous to drive. It's a trade off.

      That is about the extent of what mutations + natural selection have been observed to do. If breaking something offers a benefical or neutral position then the mutation may get established in a population. Can you think of any exceptions?

      Evolutionists are way to liberal and dismissive about problems of irreducible complexity and how multiple mutations can be added to inovate a brand new organ. That is what is frustrating in holding a significant conversion about such things. We find plently of examples of sickle cell anemia, blind fish, and E.Coli unable to block citrates and evolutionists use this to claim that mutations are responsible for every single inovation and marvel in all of life. That's a leap of blind faith.

      I am still interested if you had an example of actual animal speciation, and not incipient speciation. The others on this site used to toot their horns about ring species in salamanders and birds but the bottom line is that it was an example incipient speciation. It seems that evolutionists are forever bringing forth examples that can't close the sale. Like a potato chip bag with 90% air. Evolutionists have a big bag, but its mostly hot air on the other side of the clever package.

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    20. Neal: Elizabeth, observed biological change over multiple generations always shows the observed change to be bound and not directional. Variation oscillates, if you will, but that is all it does. For example, over time and generations mice and men may grow larger due to environmental influences, but the growth is bound. Mice will not grow to the size of elephants and men the height of garaffes no matter what. Plug in any change parameter you want and you'll see the same pattern.

      But you are just asserting this, Neal! Tell me what evidence tells you that the change is "bound". Or show me a worked example with a set of "change parameters" plugged in, and show me what happens. I know you are convinced that a mouse cannot evolve into something the size of an elephant - but where is your evidence?


      Neal: Organisms are equipped to respond in a matter of fact way to envirommental changes which has nothing to do with evolution. If they can't, then the move or go extinct.

      Well, organisms are indeed equipped to respond to environmental changes, and this only has "to do with evolution" in the sense that it is probably an evolved capacity (e.g. tanning in the sun; plants growing towards the light). But populations also respond to environmental changes by evolving If they fail to do so, then they do, indeed, go extinct.

      When beneficial mutations and selection does occur they are clunky loss of function jobs that enable an organism to kind of survive in a hostile enviroment, but are not great inovations... sickle cell, for example.

      Well not always. For example, gene duplication can allow a new function to evolve without loss of the old. And, in any case, even were an old function is "lost" - if is no longer of benefit then it isn't a loss. In fact the loss of some old functions can be beneficial, if it is metabolically efficient (cave fish are better off without having to maintain useless eyes).

      That is about the extent of what mutations + natural selection have been observed to do. If breaking something offers a benefical or neutral position then the mutation may get established in a population. Can you think of any exceptions?

      Lots, but you probably wouldn't accept them. But there is certainly plenty of evidence for new, or tuned, functions evolving from older functions, and, indeed, for new functions evolving from gene duplications.

      I'll try to dig some out though.

      I am still interested if you had an example of actual animal speciation, and not incipient speciation.

      Firstly you would need to give me a definition of "actual animal speciation", but secondly, clearly, we won't observe speciation to the point of non-inter-breeding within the lifetime of a scientist (or even within the concatenated lifetimes of evolutionary scientists). So you are asking for what is practically impossible, unless you are happy to accept the fossil and genetic record - but you usually aren't!

      I'm also aware that you seem to conflate speciation (bifurcation of lineages) with adaptation (change over time as a population adapts to new environments, and which may not involve bifurcation).

      So I'd really need a clear definition from you if I'm going to attempt to provide an example. I'm certainly willing to try.

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    21. Elizabeth, evidence? Just everything that we have observed in the history of science. Being an acknowledged pantheist you have great faith in the ability of nature to do things that have never been observed. For you it is not hard to extrapolate from a bird beak size increase of 1mm to evolving efficient flying, swimming, running, or mental abilities. You have great faith in nature. I simply don't buy such an extrapolation.

      Speciation. I have to say "actual" speciation to keep you from adding adjectives to muddle up the meaning of speciation. What I mean by speciation is speciation, not incipient speciation or what new adjectives that evolutionists want to add to evade their weak evidence.

      So, apparently you don't have an example of animal speciation because of timeframe issues. It would be accurate then for me to say, that there does not exist one documented example of animal speciation (resist temptation in insert "incipient") in the history of science. Is that correct?

      The timeframe thing is a defense. You may feel its a legitimate defense, but it is nevertheless, a defense. It's not evidence.

      Fossil record. I do accept the fossil record, which is not one of gradualism, but of abrupt appearances of new life forms followed by stasis. Do you accept the fossil record?

      Where are all the intermediate species? Incomplete fossil data, soft tissues don't fossilize, etc. You have defensive arguments that you feel are legitimate, but its a defense, not evidence. Anyone can cherry pick from a field a mile deep and the size of the earth to force together a scenario that they prefer.

      You said, "But there is certainly plenty of evidence for new, or tuned, functions evolving from older functions, and, indeed, for new functions evolving from gene duplications.

      I'll try to dig some out though."

      I would be interested an example of an observed new function having evolved via mutation and natural selection that isn't the result of something breaking or epigenetics.

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    22. Ignorant Creationist

      The timeframe thing is a defense.


      It's not a "defense", it's an empirically observed fact. Complete speciation takes a lot longer that the "show it to me now!!" timeframe that ignorant Creationists demand.

      Where are all the intermediate species?

      They're in museums, and science journals, and listed all over the web.

      List of transitional fossils

      All the places an ignorant Creationist avoids like the plague.

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    23. Ignorant Creationist

      I would be interested an example of an observed new function having evolved via mutation and natural selection that isn't the result of something breaking or epigenetics


      No you won't. You'll ignore it just like you ignore every other piece of scientific evidence you've been shown.

      Evolution of a new function in an esterase: simple amino acid substitutions enable the activity present in the larger paralog, BioH

      "Abstract: Gene duplication and divergence are essential processes for the evolution of new activities. Divergence may be gradual, involving simple amino acid residue substitutions, or drastic, such that larger structural elements are inserted, deleted or rearranged. Vast protein sequence comparisons, supported by some experimental evidence, argue that large structural modifications have been necessary for certain catalytic activities to evolve. However, it is not clear whether these activities could not have been attained by gradual changes. Interestingly, catalytic promiscuity could play a fundamental evolutionary role: a preexistent secondary activity could be increased by simple amino acid residue substitutions that do not affect the enzyme's primary activity. The promiscuous profile of the enzyme may be modified gradually by genetic drift, making a pool of potentially useful activities that can be selected before duplication. In this work, we used random mutagenesis and in vivo selection to evolve the Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 carboxylesterase PA3859, a small protein, to attain the function of BioH, a much larger paralog involved in biotin biosynthesis. BioH was chosen as a target activity because it provides a highly sensitive selection for evolved enzymatic activities by auxotrophy complementation. After only two cycles of directed evolution, mutants with the ability to efficiently complement biotin auxotrophy were selected. The in vivo and in vitro characterization showed that the activity of one of our mutant proteins was similar to that of the wild-type BioH enzyme. Our results demonstrate that it is possible to evolve enzymatic activities present in larger proteins by discrete amino acid substitutions."

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  10. The key move—and metaphysical heavy lifting—came at the earlier stage where the alternatives were defined. Remember, he who defines the debate wins the debate.

    The tragedy is that we all shall remain ignorant if the really smart people like Cornelius keep complaining about their alternatives not being discussed instead of actually presenting them. Imagine all the wisdom of which humanity is being deprived.

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  11. You guys mean an astrophysicist can't believe in evolution?

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  12. Hmmm, of course Material 'things' cannot be infinite into the past:

    William Lane Craig - Hilbert's Hotel - The Absurdity Of An Infinite Regress Of 'Things' - video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3994011/

    Theists never claimed otherwise for material things:

    What Atheists Just Don't Get (About God) - Video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3192755/

    In fact;

    What Properties Must the Cause of the Universe Have? - William Lane Craig - video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SZWInkDIVI

    Moreover this Theistic presupposition, of the necessity of 'transcendent, eternal' God as 'first cause' of the 'material' universe, has been born out in exhaustive detail:

    "Every solution to the equations of general relativity guarantees the existence of a singular boundary for space and time in the past."
    (Hawking, Penrose, Ellis) - 1970

    “All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.” -
    Cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin of Tufts University in Boston - paper delivered at Stephen Hawking's 70th birthday party

    The best data we have [concerning the Big Bang] are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the bible as a whole.
    Dr. Arno Penzias, Nobel Laureate in Physics - co-discoverer of the Cosmic Background Radiation - as stated to the New York Times on March 12, 1978

    “Certainly there was something that set it all off,,, I can’t think of a better theory of the origin of the universe to match Genesis”
    Robert Wilson – Nobel laureate – co-discover Cosmic Background Radiation

    ,,, 'And if you're curious about how Genesis 1, in particular, fairs. Hey, we look at the Days in Genesis as being long time periods, which is what they must be if you read the Bible consistently, and the Bible scores 4 for 4 in Initial Conditions and 10 for 10 on the Creation Events'
    Hugh Ross - Evidence For Intelligent Design Is Everywhere

    "The Big Bang represents an immensely powerful, yet carefully planned and controlled release of matter, energy, space and time. All this is accomplished within the strict confines of very carefully fine-tuned physical constants and laws. The power and care this explosion reveals exceeds human mental capacity by multiple orders of magnitude."
    Prof. Henry F. Schaefer

    Quantum Evidence for a Theistic Big Bang
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1agaJIWjPWHs5vtMx5SkpaMPbantoP471k0lNBUXg0Xo/edit

    etc.. etc.. etc..

    ===========

    It is the height of irony that when atheists argue against infinite regress that they are in fact arguing against the inability of their very own materialistic philosophy in accounting for the origin of the material universe and are confirming what the Theistic philosophy has maintained all along!

    Also see Aquinas;

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like this following video a little better than Craig's 'Hilbert's hotel' for showing why a infinite regress of 'material things' (more technically; 'temporal things') is impossible:

      Time Cannot Be Infinite Into The Past - video
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xg0pdUvQdi4

      Delete
  13. It is sad, Cornelius, that many wonderful scientist are poor philosophers. How can they fail to notice that in order to recognize an explanation as the best, one needn’t have an explanation of the explanation.

    I think Michael Ruse was right in stating “People forget that it is possible to be intensely religious in the entire absence of theological belief.” (Michael Ruse, Darwin and Design, p. 335)

    Thank you for a wonderful post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who exactly fails to notice this?

      I don't see any scientists failing to notice this.

      Delete
    2. withalliamgod

      I think Michael Ruse was right in stating “People forget that it is possible to be intensely religious in the entire absence of theological belief.” (Michael Ruse, Darwin and Design, p. 335)

      Wherein Ruse, by the way, was quoting Ernst Mayr. But after all of their moralizing, about man and God, atheists think they’re free of metaphysics. In the OP, the dichotomy set forth by the evolutionists is an unabashed, fact-free, religious claim. They do this all the time, right after insisting they’re all about science.

      On a slightly less banal note, it is intriguing to see the propagation of sophistry within evolutionary thought. How many times does one find a contemporary evolutionist issuing metaphysical proclamations which are remarkably similar to those from centuries past? Has Alex “Philo” Filippenko even read Hume? And even if so, did he read the brief passage warning of the infinite regress quoted in the OP? Seems doubtful, and yet compare his sentiment with that of Hume’s character Philo. One way or another, the sophistry persists and propagates down through the centuries.

      Delete
    3. 'an astrophysicist' becomes 'the evolutionists' so easily in the mind of poor persecuted Cornelius.

      Quoth CH:
      Science doesn’t tell us that there are two possibilities. It doesn’t tell us that design and complexity either arose on their own or else there is an infinite regress of designers. That is a metaphysical assertion—one of many that underwrite the evolution research program.

      But if we accept the purely religious First Cause, then suddenly this dichotomy is no longer a metaphysical assertion, it is science. That is the ID position. LOL, facepalm, wash rinse repeat

      Delete
    4. Hunter: But after all of their moralizing, about man and God, atheists think they’re free of metaphysics. In the OP, the dichotomy set forth by the evolutionists is an unabashed, fact-free, religious claim. They do this all the time, right after insisting they’re all about science.


      Leaving God out of the equations is certainly a metaphysical decision, not a scientific one. It wasn't made by atheists, though. It has been a de facto standard in science for centuries.

      Delete
    5. "It has been a de facto standard in science for centuries."

      Really????

      Hmmm,

      Johann Kepler declared, on discovering the laws of planetary motion: ‘O God, I am thinking your thoughts after you!’
      http://www.biblicalcreation.org.uk/introductory_articles/bcs104.html

      “To know the mighty works of God, to comprehend His wisdom and majesty and power; to appreciate, in degree, the wonderful workings of His laws, surely all this must be a pleasing and acceptable mode of worship to the Most High, to whom ignorance cannot be more grateful than knowledge.”
      Nicolaus Copernicus

      "This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent Being. … This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called “Lord God” παντοκρατωρ [pantokratòr], or “Universal Ruler”… The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect."
      Sir Isaac Newton - Quoted from what many consider the greatest science masterpiece of all time, his book "Principia"

      Even Albert Einstein, although he was certainly not thought of as a particularly religious person, reflects how the Judeo-Christian worldview influenced his overall view of reality in this following quote;

      “I want to know God’s thoughts; the rest are details.”
      Albert Einstein

      Christianity Gave Birth To Each Scientific Discipline - Dr. Henry Fritz Schaefer - video
      http://vimeo.com/16523153

      Delete
    6. SHow me how these grand pronouncements figure in the laws of physics, ba77. For example, what is God's role in the Kepler's laws of planetary motion or in Newton's law of gravity? Need one be a Christian to come up with quantum electrodynamics? Etc.

      Delete
    7. "SHow me how these grand pronouncements figure in the laws of physics,"

      Materialism/Naturalism cannot account for 'mathematical' laws of physics in the first place,,,

      THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS - DAVID P. GOLDMAN - August 2010
      Excerpt: we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel's critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes.
      http://www.firstthings.com/article/2010/07/the-god-of-the-mathematicians

      ,,, much less can materialism/naturalism account for the extreme, incomprehensible, fine-tuning that has been discovered for the laws of physics. Only a Theistic worldview can account for the laws of physics and for the extreme fine tuning thereof. In fact it is in materialism/naturalism trying to account for the extreme fine-tuning of the laws of physics with the multiverse, that materialism/naturalism ends up in abject epistemological failure!

      BRUCE GORDON: Hawking's irrational arguments - October 2010
      Excerpt: What is worse, multiplying without limit the opportunities for any event to happen in the context of a multiverse - where it is alleged that anything can spontaneously jump into existence without cause - produces a situation in which no absurdity is beyond the pale. For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the "Boltzmann Brain" problem: In the most "reasonable" models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science.
      http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/oct/1/hawking-irrational-arguments/

      Materialism/Naturalism is simply 'not even wrong' as to accounting for the laws of physics!

      Delete
    8. David:

      CH: Science doesn’t tell us that there are two possibilities. It doesn’t tell us that design and complexity either arose on their own or else there is an infinite regress of designers. That is a metaphysical assertion—one of many that underwrite the evolution research program.

      DVK: But if we accept the purely religious First Cause, then suddenly this dichotomy is no longer a metaphysical assertion, it is science. That is the ID position. LOL, facepalm, wash rinse repeat.


      Which goes to show that when one has no defense, then switch to offense. Here David you defend metaphysics-gone-wild in science and then blame it on me for that which I never said.

      Nothing new I suppose, but going forward please adhere to the guidelines:

      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2012/04/darwins-god-institutes-stricter-comment.html

      Delete
    9. CH, sorry for giving offense against the comment policy and thank you for pointing it out to me.

      I haven't defended metaphysics gone wild. I agree that what this guy was talking about was metaphysical speculation, and his own personal opinion, and that should be easily discernible.

      The ID position is that changes in the world have either a material cause or an immaterial (intentional intelligent agent) cause. Material vs Immaterial. Dichotomy. If you've stopped holding to the Law of the Excluded Middle, don't tell Barry Arrington - he'll ban you from Uncommon Descent.

      So I agree with you. The astrophysicist was making a metaphysical assertion. By the same argument, ID is making a metaphysical assertion.

      I also agree that atheists have metaphysical opinions. All people do. Does their metaphysics drive their work agenda? No. Few people outside of clergymen have such jobs, or hold their metaphysical opinions so fiercely.

      Delete
    10. ba77,

      I am not asking you to account for the laws of physics (and no, a nod to God explains nothing). I am asking why a beliefe in God is necessary for one to discover and apply the laws of physics. That doesn't seem to be necessary at all. Maxwell's equations make no reference to God. Newton's laws of motion themselves have nothing to do with God.

      Delete
    11. oleg, you seem to be rather confident in your preceding metaphysical proclamations of the self-sufficiency of mathematical physical laws to account for themselves. Care to support your metaphysical assumption as true, as I did by reference to Godel and fine-tuning, instead of just proclaiming that your metaphysical presupposition is true? Or am I to take your proclamation of the self-sufficiency of the laws of physics as true just because you say that it is so?

      Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe.
      Galileo Galilei

      The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences - Eugene Wigner
      Excerpt: The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.
      http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc/MathDrama/reading/Wigner.html

      The Underlying Mathematical Foundation Of The Universe -Walter Bradley - video
      http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4491491

      How the Recent Discoveries Support a Designed Universe - Dr. Walter L. Bradley - paper
      http://www.leaderu.com/real/ri9403/evidence.html

      The Five Foundational Equations of the Universe and Brief Descriptions of Each:
      http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AYmaSrBPNEmGZGM4ejY3d3pfNDdnc3E4bmhkZg&hl=en

      Why Mathematics Works, part 1 - James Nickel - video
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1YssV8qi-w

      Delete
    12. ba77,

      You are not answering the question I asked.

      Delete
    13. You refuse to ask the right question!

      Delete
    14. I ask questions relevant to science. You want a question to which you have a prepared answer.

      Delete
    15. Whatever oleg, I'll let stand what I've outlined so far and let it speak for itself.

      Delete
    16. So far? You've been copying and pasting the same stuff for a hundred years! Can we hope to see something new already?

      Delete
    17. David:

      The ID position is that changes in the world have either a material cause or an immaterial (intentional intelligent agent) cause. Material vs Immaterial. Dichotomy.

      I didn't know that. Can you give some examples of IDs saying that?

      Delete
    18. You didn't get the memo, Cornelius? Here are the governing goals from Discovery Institute's Wedge Document:

      * To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies.
      * To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.

      In case you're still confused, read the second bullet point.

      Delete
  14. Which material laws gave rise to everything btw? Please explain which material law evolved mud into humans? Was it gravity, electromagnetism? I am eager for your knowledge great evolutionary scientists.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't quite decide who you are lampooning here....

      Delete
    2. After a while, their self-referential incoherence becomes overwhelming.

      Delete
    3. Unfortunately no overwhelming enough since we still have to tolerate your endless inane comments.

      Delete
    4. It should be obvious who I am lampooning, but I guess you can never be sure what obvious fact an evolution will not understand. It is a mocking of the idiots who claim to have an answer, but have not answer at all.

      Delete
    5. No, it isn't obvious, Peter. Could you perhaps make your point in a straightforward manner?

      Delete
    6. Evolutionist believe all of life can be explained by natural laws. Please tell me which natural laws force life to be created. I know of now such law.

      Delete
  15. In conclusion, there should be two forms of education:

    Evolutionary
    Non-Evolutionary (ie: open source)

    regardless of which field

    ReplyDelete
  16. Which Creator God did it?

    My money is on

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Creator_gods

    ReplyDelete
  17. Replies
    1. The book his followers wrote says so, therefore it must be true!

      Delete
    2. Neal, don't repeat this, please. I am a Christian and I know there are many Gods. Yahweh himself acknowledged the gods of ancient Egypt and Babylon. Besides, both David and Jesus said that we, humans, are gods too.

      Delete
    3. Don't read it if you don't like it. After all, nobody is twisting your arm, right David?

      Delete
    4. Louis, the Bible is clear that there is only one God. The Shema: Deuteronomy 6:4. There is none beside him. The other gods are false gods.

      Here's a good study if you seek truth:

      http://www.newlifeupc.org/wp-content/uploads/online-books/oneness/One-Top.html

      Delete
    5. Neal, I disagree. In fact, the very first commandment is, you shall have no other god before me. The phrase "God is one" is not the same "there is only one God". The Gods of the Egyptians could perform some impressive feats. They could turn water into blood and sticks into serpents. I'd say they were real.

      I don't know what 'false gods' means to you. False or not, they were gods and humans worshiped them. By the way, the use of a capital G in God is a modern practice. It was not something that was used in the Bible. But let's agree to disagree. This is irrelevant within the context of Hunter's post.

      Delete
  18. Louis,

    I love it so! You, Neal and the rest of the gang here (including our gracious blog host) are going to be exhibit A at the next Dover trial. ID is sooo science-y, so ix-nay on the esus-Jay!

    Neal thinks a discussion of astrophysics is the right time to assert the unity of G-d, and you correct him with proven reality of Ba'al and Ishtar. Completely on point, that was.

    Might I suggest going back to the meme about not being able to move in four-dimensional spacetime?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Last weekend evolutionists fired off another round of metaphysics and as usual there was no counter attack.

    What "evolutionists"? Filippenko is an astrophysicist not a biologist and the talk was about cosmology not biological evolution.

    Filippenko first fired a shot across the bow with his statement that “The Big Bang could’ve occurred as a result of just the laws of physics being there.”

    He said "could've" not 'did'. "Could've".

    That had the Philistines cheering and the low-landers complaining as the evolutionist had left them with nothing but the laws of physics.

    "Lowlanders"? Are "lowlanders" unable to think up new ideas themselves?

    [...]

    The origin of the laws of physics remains a mystery for now, he added, one that we may never be able to solve.

    "The 'divine spark' was whatever produced the laws of physics," Filippenko said. "And I don't know what produced that divine spark. So let's just leave it at the laws of physics."


    In science, if you don't know it is okay to admit that you actually don't know

    [...]

    Science doesn’t tell us that there are two possibilities. It doesn’t tell us that design and complexity either arose on their own or else there is an infinite regress of designers. That is a metaphysical assertion—one of many that underwrite the evolution research program.

    Yes, it is. Now how about, instead of implying it, you actually show us where one of these scientists said otherwise.

    Amazingly evolutionists claim they are just “doing science” as they fire off these metaphysical salvos.

    Let's try to keep things straight, evolutionary biologists don't do cosmology and metaphysical speculations are not usually claimed to be hard science. Wherever a scientist does overstep the mark, feel free to call him or her on it.

    Religion drives science, and it matters.

    No, religion drives science out of the classroom and that matters.

    ReplyDelete
  20. "No, religion drives science out of the classroom and that matters."

    What do you mean by "religion"? Are you talking about a dogmatic belief in of the trite neodarwinian explaination for the magnitudes of yet to be {as if it could be} demonstrations of the unknowable formulations required in overcoming the contrary natural relationships of the huge number of particles that comprise even the simplest of a "living organism?"

    You sir, are a representative of a severe degree of trite, irresponsible, representation of the reality of living organisms and systems. You should voluntarily commit yourself to incarceration in the nearest facility that houses perveyors of stupidy on the innocent unsuspecting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. bpragmatic June 26, 2012 9:52 PM

      "No, religion drives science out of the classroom and that matters."

      What do you mean by "religion"? Are you talking about a dogmatic belief in of the trite neodarwinian explaination for the magnitudes of yet to be {as if it could be} demonstrations of the unknowable formulations required in overcoming the contrary natural relationships of the huge number of particles that comprise even the simplest of a "living organism?"


      I mean religion that, at its silliest, teaches hapless students that the existence of the Loch Ness monster is a scientific fact.

      Delete
  21. Positing a God merely invites the question of how such a highly adaptive and well-designed thing could in its turn have come into existence.

    He didn't "come into existence" because He is eternal. Funny how evolutionists will believe and accept ANYTHING is possible, except God.

    I will defer to Professor Schaefer regarding the question "Who made God"?

    Answer: God never needed to be made because He was always there. God exists in a different way from human beings. We exist in a derived, finite, and fragile way, but the Creator exists as eternal, self–sustaining, and necessary, in the sense that there is no possibility of Him ceasing to exist. In philosophy, many errors result from supposing that the conditions and limits of our own finite existence apply to God.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Professor Schaefer is obviously an idiot, trying to raise wishful thinking to the status of fact.

      Delete
    2. "Professor Schaefer is obviously an idiot, trying to raise wishful thinking to the status of fact."

      Well actually, despite the complete hypocrisy of a Darwinist accusing others of trying to raise 'wishful thinking' to the status of fact, the 'fact' is that the Theist can actually empirically verify the fact that God is 'eternal' and has no beginning or end:

      Quantum Evidence for a Theistic Big Bang
      https://docs.google.com/document/d/1agaJIWjPWHs5vtMx5SkpaMPbantoP471k0lNBUXg0Xo/edit

      Excerpt from preceding:

      Reflections on the 'infinite transcendent information' framework, as well as on the 'eternal' and 'temporal' frameworks:

      The weight of mass becomes infinite at the speed of light, thus mass will never go the speed of light. Yet, mass would disappear from our sight if it could go the speed of light, because, from our non-speed of light perspective, distance in direction of travel will shrink to zero for the mass going the speed of light. Whereas conversely, if mass could travel at the speed of light, its size will stay the same while all other frames of reference not traveling the speed of light will disappear from its sight.

      Special Relativity - Time Dilation and Length Contraction - video
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSRIyDfo_mY

      Moreover time, as we understand it, would come to a complete stop at the speed of light. To grasp the whole 'time coming to a complete stop at the speed of light' concept a little more easily, imagine moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light. Would not the hands on the clock stay stationary as you moved away from the face of the clock at the speed of light? Moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light happens to be the same 'thought experiment' that gave Einstein his breakthrough insight into e=mc2.

      Albert Einstein - Special Relativity - Insight Into Eternity - 'thought experiment' video
      http://www.metacafe.com/w/6545941/

      Delete
    3. ,,,Yet, even though light has this 'eternal' attribute in regards to our temporal framework of time, for us to hypothetically travel at the speed of light, in this universe, will still only get us to first base as far as quantum entanglement, or teleportation, is concerned.

      Light and Quantum Entanglement Reflect Some Characteristics Of God - video
      http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4102182

      That is to say, traveling at the speed of light will only get us to the place where time, as we understand it, comes to complete stop for light, i.e. gets us to the eternal, 'past and future folding into now', framework of time. This higher dimension, 'eternal', inference for the time framework of light is warranted because light is not 'frozen within time' yet it is shown that time, as we understand it, does not pass for light.

      "I've just developed a new theory of eternity."
      Albert Einstein - The Einstein Factor - Reader's Digest

      "The laws of relativity have changed timeless existence from a theological claim to a physical reality. Light, you see, is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities. I don’t pretend to know how tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday. But at the speed of light they actually and rigorously do. Time does not pass."
      Richard Swenson - More Than Meets The Eye, Chpt. 12

      Experimental confirmation of Time Dilation
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_dilation#Experimental_confirmation

      Delete
    4. It is very interesting to note that this strange higher dimensional, eternal, framework for time, found in special relativity, and general relativity, finds corroboration in Near Death Experience testimonies:

      'In the 'spirit world,,, instantly, there was no sense of time. See, everything on earth is related to time. You got up this morning, you are going to go to bed tonight. Something is new, it will get old. Something is born, it's going to die. Everything on the physical plane is relative to time, but everything in the spiritual plane is relative to eternity. Instantly I was in total consciousness and awareness of eternity, and you and I as we live in this earth cannot even comprehend it, because everything that we have here is filled within the veil of the temporal life. In the spirit life that is more real than anything else and it is awesome. Eternity as a concept is awesome. There is no such thing as time. I knew that whatever happened was going to go on and on.'
      Mickey Robinson - Near Death Experience testimony

      It is also very interesting to point out that the 'light at the end of the tunnel', reported in many Near Death Experiences(NDEs), is also corroborated by Special Relativity when considering the optical effects for traveling at the speed of light. Please compare the similarity of the optical effect, noted at the 3:22 minute mark of the following video, when the 3-Dimensional world ‘folds and collapses’ into a tunnel shape around the direction of travel as a 'hypothetical' observer moves towards the ‘higher dimension’ of the speed of light, with the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ reported in very many Near Death Experiences: (Of note: This following video was made by two Australian University Physics Professors with a supercomputer.)

      Approaching The Speed Of Light - Optical Effects - video
      http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5733303/

      Here is the interactive website, with link to the relativistic math at the bottom of the page, related to the preceding video;

      Seeing Relativity
      http://www.anu.edu.au/Physics/Searle/

      The NDE and the Tunnel - Kevin Williams' research conclusions
      Excerpt: I started to move toward the light. The way I moved, the physics, was completely different than it is here on Earth. It was something I had never felt before and never felt since. It was a whole different sensation of motion. I obviously wasn't walking or skipping or crawling. I was not floating. I was flowing. I was flowing toward the light. I was accelerating and I knew I was accelerating, but then again, I didn't really feel the acceleration. I just knew I was accelerating toward the light. Again, the physics was different - the physics of motion of time, space, travel. It was completely different in that tunnel, than it is here on Earth. I came out into the light and when I came out into the light, I realized that I was in heaven.(Barbara Springer)

      Delete
    5. Hypothetically traveling at the speed of light in this universe would be instantaneous travel for the person going at the speed of light. This is because time does not pass for them, yet, and this is a very big ‘yet’ to take note of; this ‘timeless’ travel is still not instantaneous and transcendent to our temporal framework of time, i.e. Speed of light travel, to our temporal frame of reference, is still not completely transcendent of our framework since light appears to take time to travel from our perspective. Yet, in quantum teleportation of information, the ‘time not passing’, i.e. ‘eternal’, framework is not only achieved in the speed of light framework/dimension, but is also ‘instantaneously’ achieved in our temporal framework. That is to say, the instantaneous teleportation/travel of information is instantaneous to both the temporal and speed of light frameworks, not just the speed of light framework. Information teleportation/travel is not limited by time, nor space, in any way, shape or form, in any frame of reference, as light is seemingly limited to us. Thus ‘pure transcendent information’ is shown to be timeless (eternal) and completely transcendent of all material frameworks. Moreover, concluding from all lines of evidence we have now examined; transcendent, eternal, infinite information is indeed real and the framework in which ‘It’ resides is the primary reality (highest dimension) that can exist, (in so far as our limited perception of a primary reality, highest dimension, can be discerned).

      "An illusion can never go faster than the speed limit of reality"
      Akiane Kramarik - Child Prodigy
      Music video -
      http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4204586

      Logic also dictates 'a decision' must have been made, by the 'transcendent, eternal, infinite information' from the primary timeless (eternal) reality 'It' inhabits, in order to purposely create a temporal reality with highly specified, irreducible complex, parameters from a infinite set of possibilities in the proper sequential order. Thus this infinite transcendent information, which is the primary reality of our reality, is shown to be alive by yet another line of evidence besides the necessity for a ‘first mover’ to explain quantum wave collapse.

      The First Cause Must Be A Personal Being - William Lane Craig - video
      http://www.metacafe.com/w/4813914

      Verse and Music:

      1 Timothy 1:17
      Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

      Unto The King Eternal – music
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLPYRhOQcCU

      Delete
    6. NV - the issue is that if you get to posit something that is eternal, so do I. You posit God, I posit the laws of physics. Fillipchenko is simply pointing out that we have no reason to talk about anything further in science than the laws of physics. Immaterial beings creating the laws of physics, infinite regress, Occam's Razor - that is all metaphysics. I agree with our blog host that it is so, though I disagree with his bombast about what it means.

      Delete
    7. "You posit God, I posit the laws of physics."

      and yet to repeat:

      Materialism/Naturalism cannot account for 'mathematical' laws of physics in the first place,,,

      THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS - DAVID P. GOLDMAN - August 2010
      Excerpt: we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel's critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes.
      http://www.firstthings.com/article/2010/07/the-god-of-the-mathematicians

      ,,, much less can materialism/naturalism account for the extreme, incomprehensible, fine-tuning that has been discovered for the laws of physics. Only a Theistic worldview can account for the laws of physics and for the extreme fine tuning thereof. In fact it is in materialism/naturalism trying to account for the extreme fine-tuning of the laws of physics with the multiverse, that materialism/naturalism ends up in abject epistemological failure!

      BRUCE GORDON: Hawking's irrational arguments - October 2010
      Excerpt: What is worse, multiplying without limit the opportunities for any event to happen in the context of a multiverse - where it is alleged that anything can spontaneously jump into existence without cause - produces a situation in which no absurdity is beyond the pale. For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the "Boltzmann Brain" problem: In the most "reasonable" models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science.
      http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/oct/1/hawking-irrational-arguments/

      Materialism/Naturalism is simply 'not even wrong' as to accounting for the laws of physics!

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  22. CH,

    You really dropped the ball on this one. For an infinite regress you need time. However, time was created with matter at the big bang. Infinite regression is impossible. This is a well know scientific fact which you failed to mention. Please correct this shortcoming.

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  23. Louis said, "don't repeat this please".

    I had previous said (very simply)... "Pedant, there is only one God"


    "For there is one God" (I Timothy 2:5).


    Louis, your theology is uncomfortable with someone saying there is one God? Seriously? This is a central theme of the Bible. Here's brief sampling from the scripture...


    Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour" (Isaiah 43:10-11).


    I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God (Isaiah 44:6).

    Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any (Isaiah 44:8).

    I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself" (Isaiah 44:24).

    There is none beside me. I am the LORD and there is none else" (Isaiah 45:6).

    There is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else" (Isaiah 45:21-22).

    Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me" (Isaiah 46:9).

    I will not give my glory unto another" (Isaiah 48:11; see also Isaiah 42:8).

    O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth" (Isaiah 37:16).

    There is none other God but one (I Corinthians 8:4).

    But to us there is but one God, the Father (I Corinthians 8:6).

    But God is one (Galatians 3:20).

    One God and Father of all (Ephesians 4:6).

    For there is one God (I Timothy 2:5).

    Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble (James 2:19).


    Here's a link for you about the "ye are gods" quote. It also briefly explains the meaning of elohim.

    http://www.onenesspentecostal.com/yegods.htm

    The word elohim has a varied meaning, but the one true God (hebrew YHWH) is absolutely unique in being an eternal Spirit, omnipresent, omnisicent, and omnipotent. He is self existent and distinct from our material universe. He had no beginning. No being is equal to Him and no being can ever be or become Him. Man and angels were created in God's image, but only as far as sharing some of his attributes in a very limited manner. I hope that you consider the verses I've quoted here and check out the link.

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  24. Pendant said, "Which Creator God did it?"

    That's a reasonable question. It's one that I asked.

    I think we can eliminate most of your list by taking out those "creators" that defined their existence solely within the material universe.

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    Replies
    1. How does a god define its existence?

      That you choose to define the existence of your god as immaterial doesn't make that god real. In fact, if your god is immaterial, it is no thing. Your god is nothing.

      Delete
    2. Pedant, very briefly,

      1. infinite regress is not possible, therefore an infinite regress of creators is not possible. Creation came about from an uncaused source that is eternal. Note: Quantum fields are not "nothing", they too must have been created.

      2. Our universe had a beginning.

      3. Could the ultimate creator be an eternal non-rational force? Is the quantum field eternal? No, because the conditions for creating a universe would have been met from infinity past, which is not possible. Only a rational creator can decide to create a universe.

      4. The most reasonable explanation of creation from one all powerful, immaterial, eternal and self-existent, rational being. This is exactly what the Bible describes as being the nature of God. God is Spirit. The material of our universe did not create itself. The laws of physics, did not create themselves. A source beyond our universe must have created it.

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    3. Thanks, Tedford, for the recital of The Cosmological Argument. Have you read the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on the subject? It discusses the pros and cons in a scholarly, non-sectarian way.

      The fundamental problem is that you can't reason your way to the immaterial.

      I understand that your god is better than all the other gods because it's your god, and you've bet your life on it.

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    4. Are logic, beauty, justice or direction north also no-things i.e. nothings?

      Delete
    5. Eugen, the things you list are the English names of ideas. Ideas are products of human minds, just as gods are. They are not things, just as gods are not things.

      It's easy to be tricked by language into assuming that every noun refers to an object, especially nouns that refer to attributes, such as logic, beauty, justice or direction.

      To avoid that pitfall, stop and think about whether the noun in question is an abstraction from an attribute or emotion.

      "God is love" is a classic example of equating a mentally invented entity, God, with a mentally created abstraction of an emotion.

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    6. Which is not to say that abstractions are meaningless

      Personally, I find "God is Love" to be a profoundly meaningful statement.

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    7. You probably mean "Love is God," judging from your comments elsewhere.

      I also find "meaning"* in abstractions, but I try not to confuse them with physical entities.

      See Reification.
      ----------
      *Scare quotes because "meaning" has so many meanings.

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    8. I regard it as commutative ;)

      And yes, it is important not to confuse different kinds of statements - or different kinds of models.

      Science deals with predictive models. We also have what you might call normative models. "God is Love" is the second kind, I suggest. "Matter is energy" is the first.

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    9. Oh, no. "Matter is energy." Don't get me started on that. That has New Age written all over it.

      Delete
    10. oops sorry. I just meant e=mc^2

      e=mc^2 is a predictive equation.

      God=Love is something different.

      Delete
    11. Pedant
      I agree they are mind constructs but they are not no-things or nothings. Also, they may be more important than pure matter (whatever matter is). Some of those listed like logic or direction can have real effect when implemented within proper context.
      Mind interferes with everything.

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    12. "Mind interferes with everything."

      But "mind" itself is a mind construct. Which is fine. The danger is in thinking of it as some kind of non-stuff stuff.

      It's the word we give to what our brains do, which includes directing our bodies to interfere with everything :)

      BTW I realise I still owe you an answer on your Selfish Gene question - but I've forgotten which thread it was on. Can you remind me? Thanks!

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    13. I agree they are mind constructs but they are not no-things or nothings.

      As long as you keep straight the distinction between a mind-thing and a physical thing, you'll be on the right track.

      Regarding gods, I'm reminded of what what the schizophrenic Jack Gurney said in the play and film The Ruling Class:

      When did I realise I was God? Well, I was praying and I suddenly realised I was talking to myself.

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    14. Pedant, “distinction between a mind-thing and a physical thing”

      This works fine at macroscopic level. At the bottom of reality strange things become evident. Our minds have influence on physical measurements. I have no explanation for it, maybe Oleg does.

      Here is the latest article on that.

      http://arxiv.org/abs/1206.6095

      Hi Elizabeth ,
      oh yes,”selfish” gene, thanks for remembering…it’s easy to get sidetracked. I think it was close to topic being discussed then.

      …..may I ask for your thoughts on the “selfish” gene idea.

      Lets think "chemically" like chemical do.

      1. Gene is a string of nucleotides, which is nothing more than bunch of molecules made of carbon, hydrogen,oxygen and nitrogen. Molecules or atoms don’t care if they are in this or that configuration. It is more likely molecules making gene would exist dissolved, freely floating around instead of chemically formal setup of a gene.

      2. Wouldn’t evolution somehow favor gene’s continuation as a gene itself not as a copy? Nature should evolve mechanisms that eventually manage to lock in one set of genes and keep guarding and perpetuating them forever.

      What I mean is once it gets to me, I wish by then evolution developed mechanisms that can keep me alive and unchanged forever instead of copying me. Copy of me is not me. That would be ultimate, pure, simple unlimited selfishness. Nature should drive for that and for simplicity, elegance and survival only. Why then complications?

      Delete
  25. The Hebrew word "Elohim" is best translated into English as "the Powers." It can even refer to human judges. When referring to G-d, it is more of a title than a name.

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  26. In some languages (including my first language) you can address one person in plural out of respect. I think that is done to show the respected person is worth more than one individual.

    It is hard to illustrate… instead of “How are you Mr. Tedford?” it would be “How are you Mr.Tedfords?” …something like that. I can’t come up with better example now.

    Some languages are better fit for multiverse, right Mr. Scotts?

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  27. Shakespeare Henry IV

    King:
    So shaken as we are, so wan with care,
    Find we a time for frighted peace to pant
    And breathe short-winded accents of new broils
    To be commenced in stronds afar remote.

    So addressing one person in plural is used in English as well.

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