Monday, July 16, 2012

Evolutionists Unconscious of Their Consciousness

Research into consciousness reminds us that evolutionists not only believe that consciousness originated from random mutations and the like, but that this speculative claim is, in their minds, a fact. It is a severe indictment of evolutionary thought which, as always, evolutionists have brought upon themselves. It is not hyperbole nor exaggeration to say that evolutionists literally make false claims. For while the spontaneous origin of consciousness is obviously a bizarre and non scientific thought, it is not even debatable that the claim this is a fact is simply false.

132 comments:

  1. Excellent topic. Evolution cannot account for consciousness nor can it account for human infatuation with the arts. Evolution sucks as a theory. Chicken feather voodoo science is all it is.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, goody, my specialist subject....

    CH:
    Research into consciousness reminds us that evolutionists


    "Evolutionists"? Um, Cornelius, this article isn't about evolution, it's about neuroscience. Sure, evolution is relevant, but the article doesn't even mention it.

    not only believe that consciousness originated from random mutations and the like,

    And today it's the turn of natural selection to be left out. Why can't you ever put them both in the same sentence, Cornelius? You know that natural selection was Darwin's contribution to evolution, not "random mutations". And what do you even mean by "random" mutations? You equivocate with the word "random" like billy-o. Perhaps you think it means "unintentional?"

    but that this speculative claim is, in their minds, a fact.

    In whose minds? Who claims that "consciousness originated from random mutations and the like" is a fact? A single citation please, will suffice. Actually two, I guess, as you use the plural.

    Now I myself certainly think that it is highly likely that consciousness evolved, but as the neural substrate of consciousness is still very controversial, I don't even know of many neuroscientists who would state that they even have an explanation for consciousness, let alone an evolutionary model that comes anywhere near the status of "fact".

    Which is not to say we do not have a material, evolutionary model. We do.

    It is a severe indictment of evolutionary thought which, as always, evolutionists have brought upon themselves.

    And, as usual, you invent stuff, attribute it to these phantom, unspecified, "evolutionists", then indict them for it. Not fair, Cornelius. Not fair at all.

    It is not hyperbole nor exaggeration to say that evolutionists literally make false claims.

    It's worse than hyperbole or exaggeration. It is simply untrue. And you have provided no citation that even suggests such a thing.

    For while the spontaneous origin of consciousness is obviously a bizarre and non scientific thought,

    It may be bizarre to you, but it is certainly not "non-scientific". What do you think we neuroscientists do all day, if not science?

    it is not even debatable that the claim this is a fact is simply false.

    Well, as nobody is claiming it, then there's no point in debating whether the claim is false. Clearly it is not a "fact".

    Equally, it is a perfectly reasonable hypothesis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The lady does protest too much, Methinks. Evolutionists do claim that all characteristics of living organisms evolved all by themselves. This includes human consciousness which evolutionists claim is an emergent property of a copmplex brain. Is not the brain the product of evolution? Hunter is absolutely correct to say that it is unscientific. He's being polite, in my opinion. It's not just unscientific, it is pure unmitigated hogwash.

      Every time an evolutionist opens his or her mouth, a foul stench of mendacity fills the air.

      Delete
    2. Louis: The lady does protest too much, Methinks. Evolutionists do claim that all characteristics of living organisms evolved all by themselves.

      I am still waiting for evidence that they claim this as a fact.

      Which is what Cornelius keeps accusing us of.

      It is not "a fact" that "all characteristics of living organisms evolved all by themselves". It is a fact that we have a vast amount of evidence for common ancestry, including a vast amount of evidence that populations adapt and evolve over time, and a vast amount of evidence that Darwinian mechanisms result in adaptation.

      But nothing in science can ever tell us that it is a fact that what we know is all there is.

      And scientists do not make such claims. All scientific claims are provisional.

      This includes human consciousness which evolutionists claim is an emergent property of a copmplex brain.

      Yes indeed. But we do not claim this as a fact.

      Is not the brain the product of evolution?

      Yes. But that does not make it a fact that there was no supernatural intentional guidance behind it. There is no way science can test whether there was or not.

      Hunter is absolutely correct to say that it is unscientific.

      He would be, if anyone where saying what he claims they are. But they don't. He just makes stuff up, or concatenates quotations from different people in different contexts. He seems to think (or wants to portray the impression anyway) that "evolutionists" are saying that there was no Intelligent Designer.

      We aren't. We are saying that we have no grounds for inferring that there must be. This is completely different.

      He's being polite, in my opinion. It's not just unscientific, it is pure unmitigated hogwash.

      Yes, it is unmitigated hogwash. That's why it's not what anyone is saying.

      Every time an evolutionist opens his or her mouth, a foul stench of mendacity fills the air.

      Clearly you, and Cornelius, believe this. Unfortunately it is based on absolutely no evidence whatsoever.

      You have both raised an entirely straw man, and proceed to accuse it of emitting a mendacious stench. Well, it does, but the mendacity (or at least the error) lies on the straw-man fabricator, not the scientists who are alleged to be represented by it.

      Delete
    3. Liddle, you are bringing up your own strawman. I did not say anything about the need for the supernatural. Neither does ID. ID only claims the need for intelligence. Besides, nothing is supernatural in my view because, if something exists, it is natural by definition.

      Evolutionists do claim that Darwinian mechanisms result in not just adaptation (a false claim since observed adaptation does not require or use Darwinian mechanisms) but also in the origin of all species. They claim that it is a fact that science cannot decide that intelligent designers were involved in the evolution of the species and that, therefore, only random processes are allowed. This is just as you did above except that you hide behind the term supernatural to make a false point. Another lie.

      He seems to think (or wants to portray the impression anyway) that "evolutionists" are saying that there was no Intelligent Designer.

      We aren't. We are saying that we have no grounds for inferring that there must be. This is completely different.


      But this is a lie. The existence for a hierarchical tree of life is indeed powerful evidence for intelligent design. As a software engineer, I can tell you that object-oriented design does evolve to form a tree-like classification. There is no escaping this if there is inheritance involved in the process.

      The lie of evolutionists is that the mechanism of inheritance must not and cannot evolve intelligent design (and, BTW, why limit oneself to one designer?). They claim that science cannot provide evidence that intelligent design was involved and that is a lie. I just showed that the tree of life is indeed powerful evidence for design.

      They claim that ID cannot be falsified because no test provided. That, too, is a lie. It is well known that multiple inheritance is a requirement of intelligent design. The prediction is that an examination of the genomic data of the extant species will reveal lateral sharing of complex genetic information at high levels of the TOL, information which could not have been inherited via either procreation, the use of simple vectors such as viruses or convergence.

      Now that the genomes of many species are being compiled and the emergence of powerful computational search tools, it will soon be possible to test this prediction in a manner that was previously impossible.

      Put that in your pipe and smoke it. Hopefully you'll get a high from it that leads to an epiphany.

      Delete
    4. I wrote:

      The lie of evolutionists is that the mechanism of inheritance must not and cannot evolve intelligent design

      Correction: Change 'evolve' above to 'involve'.

      Delete
    5. Let me add that, as a Christian, I deny that the tree of life concept is a Darwinian idea. It is an extremely old concept. In fact, it is as old as the book of Genesis.

      And for those who are interested in AI and the organization of knowledge in the brain, look no further than the tree of knowledge, which is also an old Biblical idea. Moreover, the old testament prophet Zechariah wrote that memory is organized as two complementary hierarchical systems (the two olive trees), one for the left hemisphere of the brain and one for the right. Christians need to become more bold and less timid in scientific matters. Just saying.

      Delete
  3. CH -

    ...it is not even debatable that the claim this is a fact is simply false.

    Everything in science is debatable, Cornelius. Everything.

    Hypotheses, theories, facts... every single teeny-tiny, hokey-kokey pig-in-a-pokey thing. Everything. Every. Single. Thing.

    All you need to do is gather some data and construct a sound scientific argument. Like no-one in the ID movement I have ever heard of has managed.

    Let us know how you get on with that...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ritchie said

      "Everything in science is debatable, Cornelius. Everything."

      No. It would be perverse to withhold provisional assent to the ToE.

      Delete
    2. Not if you had anything at all in the way of evidence it wouldn't.

      Withholding it just because you don't like it would.

      Delete
    3. Ritchie said

      "Not if you had anything at all in the way of evidence it wouldn't."

      Exists negative evidence? Shouldn`t be evidence of it was? There is only one way to explain the evidence?

      Delete
    4. Monica -

      Pardon? I'm not trying to be rude, but I can't make sense of your comment.

      Delete
  4. Consciousness is a fascinating topic. How deep the mystery is of consciousness is nicely summed up in these quotes by Max Planck and Erwin Schroedinger:

    “No, I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
    (Max Planck, as cited in de Purucker, Gottfried. 1940. The Esoteric Tradition. California: Theosophical University Press, ch. 13).

    “Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.”
    (Schroedinger, Erwin. 1984. “General Scientific and Popular Papers,” in Collected Papers, Vol. 4. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences. Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden. p. 334.)

    But if Consciousness is fundamental and matter is derivative from Consciousness, and not the other way around as materialists/evolutionists hold, then we can make this following argument for God from consciousness:

    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    Three intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1G_Fi50ljF5w_XyJHfmSIZsOcPFhgoAZ3PRc_ktY8cFo/edit

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To build on the argument from consciousness:

      Materialism had postulated for centuries that everything reduced to, or emerged from material atoms, yet the correct structure of reality is now found, by science, to be as follows:

      1. material particles (mass) reduces to energy (e=mc^2)
      2. energy and mass both reduce to information (quantum teleportation)
      3. information reduces to consciousness (geometric centrality to each unique point of conscious observation in universe dictates that consciousness must precede quantum wave collapse)

      Moreover it takes a infinite amount of information to create a single ‘material’ photon while it is in its quantum wave state:

      Wave function
      Excerpt “wave functions form an abstract vector space”,,, This vector space is infinite-dimensional, because there is no finite set of functions which can be added together in various combinations to create every possible function.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wave_function#Wave_functions_as_an_abstract_vector_space

      Explaining Information Transfer in Quantum Teleportation: Armond Duwell †‡ University of Pittsburgh
      Excerpt: In contrast to a classical bit, the description of a (photon) qubit requires an infinite amount of information. The amount of information is infinite because two real numbers are required in the expansion of the state vector of a two state quantum system (Jozsa 1997, 1)
      http://www.cas.umt.edu/phil/faculty/duwell/DuwellPSA2K.pdf

      Yet when a 'conscious observation' of a photon is made the photon collapses instantaneously to a single bit of information from its infinite dimensional/infinite information state:

      Quantum Computing – Stanford Encyclopedia
      Excerpt: Theoretically, a single qubit can store an infinite amount of information, yet when measured (and thus collapsing the Quantum Wave state) it yields only the classical result (0 or 1),,,
      http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-quantcomp/#2.1

      Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe?
      Excerpt: In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: “In the beginning was the Word.” Anton Zeilinger – a leading expert in quantum teleportation:
      http://www.metanexus.net/archive/ultimate_reality/zeilinger.pdf

      Delete
    2. Thus every time we see a single photon of ‘material’ reality we are actually seeing a single bit of information that was originally created from a very specific set of infinite information that was known by the consciousness that preceded material reality. i.e. information known only by infinite omniscient God!

      Job 38:19-20
      “What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside? Can you take them to their places? Do you know the paths to their dwellings?”

      As to the fact that this consciousness that precedes material reality, (i.e. God) directly created life (instead of space aliens as Dawkins infamously tried to hold) we can now point to non-local, beyond space and time, quantum information in life;

      Falsification Of Neo-Darwinism by Quantum Entanglement/Information
      https://docs.google.com/document/d/1p8AQgqFqiRQwyaF8t1_CKTPQ9duN8FHU9-pV4oBDOVs/edit?hl=en_US

      Quantum information Of which classical information is now found to be a subset of:

      ,,,This following research provides solid falsification for the late Rolf Landauer’s decades old contention that the information encoded in a computer is merely physical (merely ‘emergent’ from a material basis) since he believed it always required energy to erase it;

      Quantum knowledge cools computers: New understanding of entropy – June 2011
      Excerpt: No heat, even a cooling effect;
      In the case of perfect classical knowledge of a computer memory (zero entropy), deletion of the data requires in theory no energy at all. The researchers prove that “more than complete knowledge” from quantum entanglement with the memory (negative entropy) leads to deletion of the data being accompanied by removal of heat from the computer and its release as usable energy. This is the physical meaning of negative entropy. Renner emphasizes, however, “This doesn’t mean that we can develop a perpetual motion machine.” The data can only be deleted once, so there is no possibility to continue to generate energy. The process also destroys the entanglement, and it would take an input of energy to reset the system to its starting state. The equations are consistent with what’s known as the second law of thermodynamics: the idea that the entropy of the universe can never decrease. Vedral says “We’re working on the edge of the second law. If you go any further, you will break it.”
      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110601134300.htm

      Delete
    3. Moreover, finding non-local quantum information/entanglement in life, indeed finding it to be ‘holding life together’ so as to be so far out of thermodynamic equilibrium, has very deep theological implications:

      Does Quantum Biology Support A Quantum Soul? – Stuart Hameroff – video (notes in description)
      http://vimeo.com/29895068

      Quantum Entangled Consciousness (Permanence of Quantum Information)- Life After Death – Stuart Hameroff – video
      https://vimeo.com/39982578

      etc.. etc..

      Music:

      ROYAL TAILOR – HOLD ME TOGETHER – music video
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbpJ2FeeJgw



      Related note as to the ‘information basis’ of reality:

      Zeilinger’s principle
      Zeilinger’s principle states that any elementary system carries just one bit of information. This principle was put forward by Austrian physicist Anton Zeilinger in 1999 and subsequently developed by him to derive several aspects of quantum mechanics. Some have reasoned that this principle, in certain ways, links thermodynamics with information theory. [1]
      http://www.eoht.info/page/Zeilinger%27s+principle

      Delete
    4. a few more notes of interest:

      Twenty-one more famous Nobel Prize winners who rejected Darwinism as an account of consciousness – Dr. VJ Torley – April 2012
      http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/twenty-one-more-famous-nobel-prize-winners-who-rejected-darwinism-as-an-account-of-consciousness/

      Mind and Cosmos – Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False – Thomas Nagel – November 2012 (projected publication date)
      Excerpt: If materialism cannot accommodate consciousness and other mind-related aspects of reality, then we must abandon a purely materialist understanding of nature in general, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology. Since minds are features of biological systems that have developed through evolution, the standard materialist version of evolutionary biology is fundamentally incomplete. And the cosmological history that led to the origin of life and the coming into existence of the conditions for evolution cannot be a merely materialist history.
      http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199919758.do#.UAPu8vXvyWU

      Darwinian Psychologist David Barash Admits the Seeming Insolubility of Science’s “Hardest Problem”
      Excerpt: ‘But the hard problem of consciousness is so hard that I can’t even imagine what kind of empirical findings would satisfactorily solve it. In fact, I don’t even know what kind of discovery would get us to first base, not to mention a home run.’
      David Barash – Materialist/Atheist Darwinian Psychologist
      http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/11/post_33052491.html

      Neuroscientist: “The Most Seamless Illusions Ever Created” – April 2012
      Excerpt: We have so much confidence in our materialist assumptions (which are assumptions, not facts) that something like free will is denied in principle. Maybe it doesn’t exist, but I don’t really know that. Either way, it doesn’t matter because if free will and consciousness are just an illusion, they are the most seamless illusions ever created. Film maker James Cameron wishes he had special effects that good.
      Matthew D. Lieberman – neuroscientist – materialist – UCLA professor
      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2012/04/neuroscientist-most-seamless-illusions.html

      “It will remain remarkable, in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the scientific conclusion that the content of the consciousness is the ultimate universal reality” -
      Eugene Wigner – (Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, Eugene Wigner, in Wheeler and Zurek, p.169) – received Nobel Prize in 1963 for ‘Quantum Symmetries’)
      http://www.informationphilosopher.com/solutions/scientists/wigner/

      Delete
  5. Ah, there you are, ba77:

    Question still waiting for you here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry but I am not interested in your question.

      Delete
    2. But I am interested in your answer, ba77. You called me a liar. I am interested in your retraction of that allegation.

      If your answer to my question is yes, then your allegation is disproven.

      If your answer to my question is no, then show your math.

      Delete
    3. I don't care if you are interested in what my answer is just as you have repeatedly shown that you don't care what the evidence actually says. I shall respond no more to you.

      Delete
    4. Don't worry, Liz. ba77 slams the door pretty often and then returns as if nothing happened.

      As to acknowledging that he was wrong, don't hold your breath.

      Delete
    5. I'm not worried, Oleg. I think it has been clearly demonstrated that his allegation that I lied was completely unsupported, and that when challenged, he will not even attempt to defend his allegation.

      His refusal to answer my question is more eloquent than any answer he could give me.

      But I look forward to seeing no more false accusations of me from him in future.

      Delete
  6. But as you've brought up consciousness and evolution (even though the article wasn't about that), let's think about this:

    Clearly, consciousness is not essential to reproductive success, because plants don't seem to be conscious of stuff, and yet they do fine. On the other hand, wings aren't essential either, yet they clearly contribute to the reproductive success of winged creatures.

    So what could consciousness offer in terms of reproductive advantage?

    Well, awareness of where you are in space, where potential prey and predators are, being able to learn contextually, being able to predict the behaviour of other sentient agents, being able to oneself as a member of the class "sentient agent") is going to be a very useful attribute.

    And those are all attributes of consciousness.

    So why wouldn't it evolve? Well, I guess if it isn't a phenotypic property it won't. But why should we think it isn't a phenotypic property?

    It certainly behaves like one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Clearly, consciousness is not essential to reproductive success, because plants don't seem to be conscious of stuff, and yet they do fine.

      Actually, plants are more reactive to their environments than is generally appreciated:

      In the study of plant physiology plant perception is a term used to describe mechanisms by which plants recognize changes in the environment. Examples of stimuli which plants perceive and can react to include chemicals, gravity, light, moisture, infections, temperature, oxygen and carbon dioxide concentrations, parasite infestation, physical disruption, and touch. Plants have a variety of means to detect such stimuli and a variety of reaction responses or behaviors.

      From Wikipedia entry on Plant perception.

      See also:

      Volatile Signaling in Plant-Plant Interactions: "Talking Trees" in the Genomics Era

      DOI: 10.1126/science.1118446

      Delete
    2. Yes indeed. So first we need a good operational definition of "consciousness".

      I'd say that it begins with forward-modelling.

      Delete
  7. Elizabeth:

    Is it a fact that bacteria evolved into blue whales?

    "The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved out of literally nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice."

    Richard Dawkins

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, it isn't. Bacteria are on a different branch to blue whales.

      But while "fact" is a word I avoid (I tend to prefer the words "data" and "models"), yes, I'd say that it pretty well is a "fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing".

      It's certainly supported by a vast amount of evidence.

      Delete
    2. When I said bacteria, I meant simple single celled organisms that lack organelles.

      Delete
    3. Well, in that case, yes, in the sense that the data strongly supports a universal common ancestral population for all known living things.

      However, the further we go back in time, the less detail we have, inevitably, about how any one branching occurred ("speciation", for instance, only applies to sexually reproducing populations), and, as you are probably aware, the most promising candidate for the origin of organelle containing single-cell organisms is Margulis's theory of symbiosis.

      Delete
  8. What exactly is the significance of these quotes regarding the facts of evolution.

    You cannot be both sane and well educated and disbelieve in evolution. The evidence is so strong that any sane, educated person has got to believe in evolution.
    -- Richard Dawkins, in Lanny Swerdlow, "My Sort Interview with Richard Dawkins" (Portland, Oregon, 1996)

    It is absolutely safe to say that, if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I'd rather not consider that).
    -- Richard Dawkins, quoted from Josh Gilder, a creationist, in his critical review, "PBS's 'Evolution' series is propaganda, not science" (September, 2001)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hard to tell, out of context, and Dawkins isn't a very precise writer, but he's probably talking about the whole body of evolutionary facts, including universal common ancestry, speciation, adaptation by natural selection, and evolution as in change-in-populations-over-time, all of which are phenomena are supported overwhelmingly by data, including, in some cases, observations in real time.

      But please note: "believing in evolution" is NOT, and does not entail, believing that there is no creator God who intended all that has occurred, anymore than believing in the theory of relativity, or quantum physics.

      As Cornelius himself has pointed out.

      Delete
  9. The point Cornelius is repeatedly making is that evolutionists, e.g. Dawkins, insist that blue whales evolving from simple, single celled organisms is a fact. Futhermore, it so obviously a fact that it anyone who questions it is somehow defective. Then the evolutionists bludgeon him by saying that he evolutionists never said that blue whales evolving from bacteria, (I'm using bacteria in my example because I like the alliteration, even if it isn't entirely accurate.) is a fact.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, it is, pretty well, if a "fact" is something that is so widely supported by the evidence that we treat it as a "known known".

      But all scientific conclusions are provisional. Even so, once something is sufficiently well-established that we can regard it as true, especially if it keeps on generating successful hypotheses, then it enters the text book as a "fact".

      But all scientific "facts" are provisional. In fact (heh) I'd say all facts are provisional, period.

      Delete
    2. But in truth, natschuster, you don't care about blue whales evolving from "bacteria." It's the upper branches of the tree of life that bother you. Amiright?

      Delete
    3. natschuster: Then the evolutionists bludgeon him by saying that he evolutionists never said that blue whales evolving from bacteria, (I'm using bacteria in my example because I like the alliteration, even if it isn't entirely accurate.) is a fact.

      There's a confusion here. It is pretty well a fact that blue whales evolved from monocellular organisms, as did all multicellular organisms, by which I mean all those organisms form a tree of branching lineages from a simple trunk, where evolution (in the sense of phenotypic changes in the populations over time) took place along each branch i.e. down each lineage.

      What Darwin did was posit a theory as to what caused that evolution.

      His mechanism has been observed, and is also a fact. However, it is not a fact that that mechanism is responsible for all evolutionary change. Indeed we know it is not - we now know that unbiased drift also plays a role, as well as adaptation by natural selection. Moreoever, Darwin not only did not know how variance was generated, he didn't even know how heritability worked.

      We know a lot more about that now, but we still don't know where all the variance comes from, and why. So the specifics of how evolution occurred along each branch, and even the exact positioning of each node, are not facts, and are the subject of a great deal of research.

      And of course we still do not have a consensus on a good OOL theory, though there are some promising leads.

      Delete
    4. Oleg:

      Nothing really "bothers" me about evolution. I have less of a problem with the diversity of the genus "homo" than I do with "bacteria evolving into blue whales.

      Delete
    5. That's an interesting reply, natschuster. Let me make sure I understand what you are saying.

      The link in my comment goes to Hominidae, a taxon that includes not just the genus Homo, but also the great apes such as gorilla and chimpanzee. Are you OK with our shared ancestry with them?

      Delete
    6. Natschuster: Nothing really "bothers" me about evolution. I have less of a problem with the diversity of the genus "homo" than I do with "bacteria evolving into blue whales.

      Yes, I agree with Oleg, it is an interesting response. I'm always interested in what exactly is the "boggle point".

      So which bit of the monocellular to mammal (see I can do alliteration too :)) do you balk at, Nat?

      Delete
  10. Spot on! Few of them seem to realize just how special consciousness really is:

    http://physicalismisdead.blogspot.com/2012/02/placebo-effect.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why should the placebo effect be evidence for the specialness of consciousness?

      Not that consciousness isn't pretty awesome.

      Delete
  11. CH: Research into consciousness reminds us that evolutionists not only believe that consciousness originated from random mutations and the like, but that this speculative claim is, in their minds, a fact.

    First, what does the referenced article have to do with your continued misrepresentation of evolutionary theory?

    Second, I'd suggest that consciousness represents a jump to universality, just as Turning completeness occurred in computation. Specifically, we did not create Turning completeness. Rather, it emerges in the presence of a specific repertoire of computations. We can say the same regarding number systems that can represent any number, etc.

    So I, for one, do not think that consciousness is the result of random mutations, as you suggest. Instead, I think consciousness emerged when our brains evolved beyond a particular level of computation.

    As for an explanation as to why brains evolved, see Danile Wolpert's TED talk .

    To summarize, Wolpert suggests brains initially evolved primarily to produce adaptable, complex movements. And Wolpert presents a strong argument that collaborates his explanation in his talk, even though it's only 20 minutes long.

    So, the knowledge of how to perform adaptable, complex movements was created via a process of conjecture and refutation. Specifically, conjecture, in the form of genetic variation, and refutation, in the form of natural selection.

    CH: It is a severe indictment of evolutionary thought which, as always, evolutionists have brought upon themselves.

    "brought upon themselves"? So, in our hearts, we know some abstract designer did it, but we're in denial?

    CH: It is not hyperbole nor exaggeration to say that evolutionists literally make false claims. For while the spontaneous origin of consciousness is obviously a bizarre and non scientific thought, it is not even debatable that the claim this is a fact is simply false.

    Like you're bizarre, false claim that Jesus was a superstar DJ in Palestine is a scientific fact? Surely, this is not debatable and non scientific. When will you stop making this claim?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Related note:

    What Jesus Said About Life After Death - video (30 minute run time)
    http://www.dod.org/Products/What-Jesus-Said-About-Life-After-Death__DOD2298.aspx

    video description
    How do you know if Jesus’ claim about eternal life is true or if it’s simply wishful thinking? In this DVD presentation you’ll travel to Jerusalem with host Mart DeHaan and hear from a variety of authorities. Join the discussion as they explore questions about life beyond the grave and examine the words of Jesus. Discover answers to your deepest questions about eternity and find reasons why you can believe what Jesus said.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. But wait. There's more! Order now and you'll receive a complete steak knife set free!

      Delete
    3. Scott, the video is free to watch. Gary Habermas and Nancy Pearcey make a couple of interesting comments in it.

      Delete
    4. Lord help me, I actually watched it. I must be bored.

      Just a load of people making heavily fallacious and wistful musings, waxing lyrical on the gospel which they unquestioningly take to be true. Nothing at all here for anyone looking for a compelling reason to accept God, let alone Jesus.

      I'm curious, ba77, what particular 'interesting comments' were you thinking of?

      Delete
    5. Pearcey commenting on the nihilism of materialism and Habermas on the weight of Near Death Experiences.

      You state something very peculiar

      'unquestioningly take to be true'

      Can you please tell me exactly how you establish any thing to be 100% true in atheism?

      And how could I make you scientifically “certain” of Theism? Speaking of unquestionable ‘certainty’,,, I was thinking of this earlier,,,

      Dawkins in this following video at the 1:50 minute mark, puts a ‘probability’ of God not existing at 99% to which Stein asks, How do you know its 99% and not 97%? To which Dawkins said, I just think it is very unlikely. Stein replies ‘but you couldn’t put a number on it’? Dawkins: “No”, Stein: ‘could it be 49%’?. Dawkins: “No’, I think it is unlikely but it is quite far from 50%: Stein, How do you know?, Dawkins: “I don’t know.”

      Ben Stein vs. Richard Dawkins Interview
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlZtEjtlirc

      But this ‘questionable’ doubt is all very humorous for Dawkins to do since epistemology shows us that it is impossible for us to have ’100% certainty’, to know for a fact that something, anything, is absolutely true, in the first place, unless God we hold God as 100% true. Thus Dawkins will forever be muddled in a probability of questionable uncertainty!

      Epistemology – Why Should The Human Mind Even Be Able To Comprehend Reality? – Stephen Meyer – video – (Notes in description)
      http://vimeo.com/32145998

      The Great Debate: Does God Exist? – Justin Holcomb – audio of the 1985 debate available on the site
      Excerpt: The transcendental proof for God’s existence is that without Him it is impossible to prove anything. The atheist worldview is irrational and cannot consistently provide the preconditions of intelligible experience, science, logic, or morality. The atheist worldview cannot allow for laws of logic, the uniformity of nature, the ability for the mind to understand the world, and moral absolutes. In that sense the atheist worldview cannot account for our debate tonight.,,,
      http://theresurgence.com/2012/.....-god-exist

      This following site is a easy to use, and understand, interactive website that takes the user through what is termed ‘Presuppositional apologetics’. The website clearly shows that our use of the laws of logic, mathematics, science and morality cannot be accounted for unless we believe in God who guarantees our perceptions and reasoning are trustworthy in the first place.

      Presuppositional Apologetics – easy to use interactive website
      http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/index.php

      Random Chaos vs. Uniformity Of Nature – Presuppositional Apologetics – video
      http://www.metacafe.com/w/6853139

      Delete
    6. “Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning…”
      CS Lewis – Mere Christianity

      Related note even the rigid certainty of mathematics is shown to be 'incomplete':

      Taking God Out of the Equation – Biblical Worldview – by Ron Tagliapietra – January 1, 2012
      Excerpt: Kurt Gödel (1906–1978) proved that no logical systems (if they include the counting numbers) can have all three of the following properties.
      1. Validity . . . all conclusions are reached by valid reasoning.
      2. Consistency . . . no conclusions contradict any other conclusions.
      3. Completeness . . . all statements made in the system are either true or false.
      The details filled a book, but the basic concept was simple and elegant. He summed it up this way: “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove.” For this reason, his proof is also called the Incompleteness Theorem.
      Kurt Gödel had dropped a bomb on the foundations of mathematics. Math could not play the role of God as infinite and autonomous. It was shocking, though, that logic could prove that mathematics could not be its own ultimate foundation.
      Christians should not have been surprised. The first two conditions are true about math: it is valid and consistent. But only God fulfills the third condition. Only He is complete and therefore self-dependent (autonomous). God alone is “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28), “the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13). God is the ultimate authority (Hebrews 6:13), and in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3).

      This following video is very interesting for showing that we cannot even hold 1+1=2 as ‘certainly’ true unless we assume God to be true:

      Kurt Gödel – Incompleteness Theorem – video
      http://www.metacafe.com/w/8462821

      Interesting outcome of the incompleteness theorem is noted here:

      Alan Turing & Kurt Godel – Incompleteness Theorem and Human Intuition – video (notes in video description)
      http://www.metacafe.com/watch/8516356/

      Delete
    7. Materialism’s complete epistemological failure is noted here:

      Materialism simply dissolves into absurdity when pushed to extremes and certainly offers no guarantee to us for believing our perceptions and reasoning within science are trustworthy in the first place:

      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.

      The Absurdity of Inflation, String Theory & The Multiverse – Dr. Bruce Gordon – video
      http://vimeo.com/34468027

      This ‘lack of a guarantee’, for trusting our perceptions and reasoning in science to be trustworthy in the first place, even extends into evolutionary naturalism itself;

      Should You Trust the Monkey Mind? – Joe Carter
      Excerpt: Evolutionary naturalism assumes that our noetic equipment developed as it did because it had some survival value or reproductive advantage. Unguided evolution does not select for belief except insofar as the belief improves the chances of survival. The truth of a belief is irrelevant, as long as it produces an evolutionary advantage. This equipment could have developed at least four different kinds of belief that are compatible with evolutionary naturalism, none of which necessarily produce true and trustworthy cognitive faculties.

      What is the Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism? (‘inconsistent identity’ of cause leads to failure of absolute truth claims for materialists) (Alvin Plantinga) – video
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yNg4MJgTFw

      Even Darwin smelled a whiff of the epistemological failure that his theory entailed;

      “But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?” – Charles Darwin – Letter To William Graham – July 3, 1881

      Delete
    8. Moreover, if epistemological failure was not bad enough, you ‘certainly’ cannot establish ‘scientific certainty’ for Darwinism

      “nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin(ism) can be described as scientific” – Imre Lakatos (November 9, 1922 – February 2, 1974) a philosopher of mathematics and science, quote was as stated in 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture

      Science and Pseudoscience – Imre Lakatos – exposing Darwinism as a ‘degenerating science program’, as a pseudoscience, using Lakatos’s method
      https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LpGd3smTV1RwmEXC25IAEKMjiypBl5VJq9ssfv4JgeM/edit

      ,,,Thus please tell me exactly how you know for certain anything to be true without God??

      Delete
    9. bornagain77 July 16, 2012 4:13 PM

      [...]

      ,,,Thus please tell me exactly how you know for certain anything to be true without God??


      Given that He told what may well be the first recorded lie, how can we know for certain anything is true with God?

      Delete
    10. ba77 -

      Pearcey commenting on the nihilism of materialism and Habermas on the weight of Near Death Experiences.

      Considering that amounts to the knackered old "What's the point of life without a God?" cliche and "Most people believe NDE's are proof of life beyond death", I'd say that amounts to extremely little.

      The first is simply an appeal to emotion - the universe does not arrange itself to how we personally would prefer it to be. If life is pointless without God (I certainly don't think so, but if you do...) then tough. The universe doesn't OWE you a purpose. You can stamp your feet about how you WANT the universe to be all day long, that won't affect how is actually IS.

      And the second is a blind appeal to mass belief. Belief in something doesn't make it so.

      In short, neither of these should give any rational sceptic a moment's pause.

      Can you please tell me exactly how you establish any thing to be 100% true in atheism?

      100%? I guess you don't. Anything is possible. Though I don't see how this is altered by there being a god or not.

      But this ‘questionable’ doubt is all very humorous for Dawkins to do since epistemology shows us that it is impossible for us to have ’100% certainty’, to know for a fact that something, anything, is absolutely true, in the first place, unless God we hold God as 100% true.

      No, that doesn't follow. Strictly speaking, nothing is certain. We cannot hold anything as 100% absolutely true. And assuming a God doesn't help us. Even if we did assume there was a God (which, in the first place, we don't KNOW), then we still don't know any of his characteristics or deeds for 100% certain, do we? Unless you want to ASSUME them as well...?

      In which case you have ended up with a being whose existence you assume, and whose characteristics you assume, and whose deeds you assume, and even then that doesn't help us be any more certain about anything else in the universe, does it?

      Ian is absolutely right to ask how do you know anything is true WITH God?

      This following site is a easy to use, and understand, interactive website that takes the user through what is termed ‘Presuppositional apologetics’. The website clearly shows that our use of the laws of logic, mathematics, science and morality cannot be accounted for unless we believe in God who guarantees our perceptions and reasoning are trustworthy in the first place.

      No it does not. It tries to, but there are flaws all overs it arguments.

      Assuming that the laws of logic, mathematics and science (morality is something different) simply exist is no less rational than believing in a being who MAKES them exist. I seriously cannot grasp why you think the first proposition is illogical, but the second is not.

      Delete
    11. ba77 -

      Perhaps it would help to put it like this:

      Nothing is certain. We cannot be sure of anything, even our own existence. We need to make certain assumptions merely to function day-to-day.

      Given that...

      I assume the world is constant and things like logic and mathematics operate regularly.

      You assume a being who MAKES the world constant and things like logic and mathematics operate regularly.

      Which is the more rational assumption? Well when looked at like this, they are functionally identical - that is, they result in the same observations. Yours merely includes an extra element - one that is totally untesable, unverifiable, and adds nothing in terms of explanatory value. In short, it is EXACTLY the kind of extraneous clause that Occam's Razor was designed to cut away.

      Delete
    12. "the universe does not arrange itself to how we personally would prefer it to be."

      The universe does not arrange itself at all. Only intelligence can 'arrange things'! (See fine tuning)

      "The universe doesn't OWE you a purpose."

      The universe can never have purpose on its own. Only a mind with intent can impose purpose on the universe! (See fine-tuning)

      "You can stamp your feet about how you WANT the universe to be all day long, that won't affect how is actually IS."

      The universe is exactly how it should be if the universe is designed for life! (See Fine-tuning)

      "And the second is a blind appeal to mass belief. Belief in something doesn't make it so."

      Could you please repeat that to yourself about Darwinism! (as well See the 'hard problem' of consciousness)

      "In short, neither of these should give any rational sceptic a moment's pause."

      Please tell me how a materialists can be rational if he has no free will but is only a automaton of whatever brain state he happens to be in? (See 'hard problem' of consciousness)

      "100%? I guess you don't. Anything is possible."

      Is Even God possible? (See ontological argument)

      "We cannot hold anything as 100% absolutely true."

      Are you 100% certain about that?

      "Even if we did assume there was a God (which, in the first place, we don't KNOW), then we still don't know any of his characteristics or deeds for 100% certain, do we?"

      Yes we do (See omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, and eternal)

      "that doesn't help us be any more certain about anything else in the universe, does it?"

      Yes it does! (See Christianity and the birth of modern science)

      "Ian is absolutely right to ask how do you know anything is true WITH God?"

      Because without God, and with only materialism or even with pantheism to work with, it is absolutely impossible to scientifically prove anything as 100% certain! But since I am 100% certain that reality exists, then I am also 100% certain God exists and is the foundational source of reality and science!

      "No it does not. It tries to, but there are flaws all overs it arguments.'

      And the logic you are going to use to try to prove that there are flaws in the logic comes from where? (see presuppostitional apologetics)

      "Assuming that the laws of logic, mathematics and science (morality is something different) simply exist is no less rational than believing in a being who MAKES them exist."

      Assuming a effect with no final cause is unscientific, on par with the absurdity of assuming the universe came into being from nothing (See uproar on Krauss's latest book, 'a universe from nothing')

      Delete
    13. Richie: "We cannot hold anything as 100% absolutely true."

      BA: Are you 100% certain about that?

      No one has formulated a "principle of induction" that works in practice. So, attempts to use induction as a means of obtaining 100% certainty has been refuted. Of course, if you'd like to enlighten us with a "principle of induction" that does work, which would allow 100% certainty in practice, I'm all ears.

      So, since I'm open to you, or someone else, presenting a solution to the problem of induction in the future, then I'm not 100% certain that we cannot hold anything as 100% true. However, current attempts have been refuted.

      BA: Because without God, and with only materialism or even with pantheism to work with, it is absolutely impossible to scientifically prove anything as 100% certain! But since I am 100% certain that reality exists, then I am also 100% certain God exists and is the foundational source of reality and science!

      I'm not following you.

      First, we cannot prove a universal is true since it's always possible some future observation could falsify it. No number of singular observations can prove a universal. As such, all we can do is devise experiments in which a singular observation indicates a universal is false. However, observations can be mistaken as they are based on explanations, which themselves can be wrong.

      So, we do not positively prove anything is true. See Popper's The Logic of Scientific Discovery.

      Second, it's unclear how you're supposed 100% knowledge that an external reality exists somehow indicates you're 100% sure that God exist. You haven't connected the dots.

      BA: And the logic you are going to use to try to prove that there are flaws in the logic comes from where? (see presuppostitional apologetics)

      Which is a parochial argument. Specifically, I'm not a justificationist. As such, you're projecting your problem of justification on me. Apparently you cannot recognize your assumption that knowledge needs to be justified by an authoritative source is an idea that would be subject to criticism.

      Delete
    14. BA: "Assuming that the laws of logic, mathematics and science (morality is something different) simply exist is no less rational than believing in a being who MAKES them exist."

      Again, this is parochial as there are other forms of epistemology that are not authoritative. See Critical Rationalism. Nor have you explained how it's possible to justify logic using some ultimate authoritative source. So, on one hand, you embrace justificationism, in that you acknowelge that we cannot justify anything is true due to infinite regress, yet appeal to justification from an authoritative source, which you cannot justify using some other authoritative source. It's illogical.

      From the following paper

      Responses to the dilemma of the infinite regress versus dogmatism

      In the light of the dilemma of the infinite regress versus dogmatism, we can discern three attitudes towards positions: relativism, “true belief” and critical rationalism [Note 3]

      Relativists tend to be disappointed justificationists who realise that positive justification cannot be achieved. From this premise they proceed to the conclusion that all positions are pretty much the same and none can really claim to be better than any other. There is no such thing as the truth, no way to get nearer to the truth and there is no such thing as a rational position.

      True believers embrace justificationism. They insist that some positions are better than others though they accept that there is no logical way to establish a positive justification for an belief. They accept that we make our choice regardless of reason: "Here I stand!". Most forms of rationalism up to date have, at rock bottom, shared this attitude with the irrationalists and other dogmatists because they share the theory of justificationism.

      According to the critical rationalists, the exponents of critical preference, no position can be positively justified but it is quite likely that one (or more) will turn out to be better than others in the light of critical discussion and tests. This type of rationality holds all its positions and propositions open to criticism and a standard objection to this stance is that it is empty; just holding our positions open to criticism provides no guidance as to what position we should adopt in any particular situation. This criticism misses its mark for two reasons. First, critical rationalism is not a position. It is not directed at solving the kind of problems that are solved by fixing on a position. It is concerned with the way that such positions are adopted, criticised, defended and relinquished. Second, Bartley did provide guidance on adopting positions; we may adopt the position that to this moment has stood up to criticism most effectively. Of course this is no help for people who seek stronger reasons for belief, but that is a problem for them, and it does not undermine the logic of critical preference.


      In case it's not clear, your position fits the definition of a "true believer" in the above. Or do you deny

      BA: Assuming a effect with no final cause is unscientific, on par with the absurdity of assuming the universe came into being from nothing (See uproar on Krauss's latest book, 'a universe from nothing')

      Which is an argument from ignorance. Again, see Popper's The Logic of Scientific Discovery.

      Delete
    15. 'I tentatively accept the consequences of such a theory, including that I would also be a multiversal object, which includes at least 10^500 versions of myself' - Scott - Many Worlds proponent
      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2012/04/neuroscientist-most-seamless-illusions.html?showComment=1334583967799#c7217305678409346277

      God Versus Science: A Futile Struggle By J Roy Singham - May 2012
      Excerpt: Materialists believe that matter is unconscious, a tenable opinion. But they also believe that consciousness is an illusion. That belief is absurd, almost madness.
      http://ezinearticles.com/?God-Versus-Science:-A-Futile-Struggle&id=6940055

      Delete
    16. ba77 -

      The universe does not arrange itself at all. Only intelligence can 'arrange things'! (See fine tuning)

      That wasn't what I meant. I meant just WANTING something to be true bares no affect on whether it actually is.

      The universe is exactly how it should be if the universe is designed for life! (See Fine-tuning)

      The universe is exactly how it should be if it was not designed at all.

      Could you please repeat that to yourself about Darwinism!

      Academic biologists accept ToE because they have a vast deal of empirical evidence to support it. It is not blind faith; they have REASONS to believe - which is exactly what your NDE assertion is missing.

      Please tell me how a materialists can be rational if he has no free will...

      Whoever said materialists do not believe in free will? That's another strawman of yours.

      Is Even God possible? (See ontological argument)

      Yes, God is possible. And Santa is possible. And the Tooth Fairy is possible. And unicorns are possible. And the Flying Spaghetti Monster is possible. The number of things which are, in fact, possible is probably infinite (or near enough as makes no). We do not have any reason to believe something DOES exist just because it is possible. And the Ontological Argument no more demonstrates God exists than it demonstrates Santa, or unicorns, or the FSM exists. Exactly the same logic applies to all of them.

      ME: "We cannot hold anything as 100% absolutely true."

      YOU: Are you 100% certain about that?


      No, obviously I'm not. That's a deeply silly tactic that was no more sensible when your questionnaire did it.

      Yes we do (See omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, and eternal)

      No we don't. Those are just characteristics you CLAIM for Him. It is possible that a god exists who does not have these features. So you are assuming not only that He exists, but also that he has these features. You are piling assumption onto assumption.

      Because without God, and with only materialism or even with pantheism to work with, it is absolutely impossible to scientifically prove anything as 100% certain!

      Assuming a God does not alter this case.

      But since I am 100% certain that reality exists, then I am also 100% certain God exists and is the foundational source of reality and science!

      You cannot be 100% certain either that reality exists or that God exists. You are taking both on faith alone. Your position is no more certain than mine - less in fact, since you are making more assumptions about reality that I am, not fewer.

      And the logic you are going to use to try to prove that there are flaws in the logic comes from where?

      The idea of logic 'coming from' somewhere seems deeply silly to me. Logic does not come from anywhere. An argument is logical or it is not. It is like asking where a ball's 'roundness' comes from. A ball is round or it is not. Simple as that.

      Assuming a effect with no final cause is unscientific, on par with the absurdity of assuming the universe came into being from nothing

      But there is no reason to assert this 'first cause' is any kind of sentient being. The first cause that we can actually trace is the Big Bang. What caused that? We don't know, and that is all we can say on the matter, scientifically and honestly. Making up a supernatural cause to explain the Big Bang is futile - it only adds one more link (and an entirely suppositional one at that) to the chain of causes.

      Delete
    17. "I meant just WANTING something to be true bares no affect on whether it actually is."

      Exactly! (see neo-Darwinism and materialism)

      "The universe is exactly how it should be if it was not designed at all."

      Is that what you WANT to be true? (See fine-tuning as well as Hoyle's remark 'universe is the result of a 'superintellect, no blind forces worth speaking of')

      "Academic biologists accept ToE because they have a vast deal of empirical evidence to support it. It is not blind faith; they have REASONS to believe - which is exactly what your NDE assertion is missing."

      No they don't! They have ZERO real-time substantiating evidence from the laboratory (See Behe, Sanford, Gauger, and Axe), whereas millions of corroborating NDE testimonies are precisely 'real-time' substantiating evidence, which is exactly the type of evidence that Darwinism is missing! (See Long, von Lommel, Grey, Moody)

      "Whoever said materialists do not believe in free will? That's another strawman of yours."

      Really??? Did YOU decide that it was a strawman or did the material particles of your brain decide that for you?

      "And the Ontological Argument no more demonstrates God exists than it demonstrates Santa, or unicorns, or the FSM exists. Exactly the same logic applies to all of them."

      No it doesn't! (See contingent being versus necessary being, Aristotle, Aquinas, Leibniz)

      "No, obviously I'm not (100% certain)."

      Are you 100% certain that you are not 100% certain?

      "No we don't. Those are just characteristics you CLAIM for Him. It is possible that a god exists who does not have these features."

      No those are characteristics that are 'required', and deduced, for Him, anything less would not truly be God (see ontological argument, maximally Great Being)

      Assuming a God does not alter this case.

      Yes it does. Assuming God gives 100% certainty whereas denying God makes 100% certainty impossible (see epistemological failure of materialism, incompleteness theorem, first cause, first mover etc...)

      "You cannot be 100% certain either that reality exists or that God exists. You are taking both on faith alone. Your position is no more certain than mine - less in fact, since you are making more assumptions about reality that I am, not fewer."

      Hmm, you assume reality is not real whereas I assume reality is real. Exactly 1 assumption each and your assumption is deeply irrational.

      "The idea of logic 'coming from' somewhere seems deeply silly to me. Logic does not come from anywhere. An argument is logical or it is not. It is like asking where a ball's 'roundness' comes from. A ball is round or it is not. Simple as that."

      Assuming a effect without a final cause is a 'science stopper'. i.e. 'a ball is round just because it is round' answers nothing in so far as science's relentless pursuit of ultimate truth and final cause!

      "Making up a supernatural cause to explain the Big Bang is futile - it only adds one more link (and an entirely suppositional one at that) to the chain of cause"

      No it doesn't (see uproar of Krauss's latest book 'a universe from nothing')

      Delete
    18. What do we have here? Rather than responding to my comment, BA quote mined me regarding a theory he is clueless about.

      Then he posts a link to an article, despite the fact that I've already clarified on previous threads that I do not think consciousness is an illusion in the sense he's referring to.

      So, not only did BA not address my response to his comment, his response doesn't even accurately represent my position on anything.

      Delete
    19. "I do not think consciousness is an illusion in the sense he's referring to"

      Welcome to Theism!

      Delete
    20. ba77 -

      Exactly! (see neo-Darwinism and materialism)

      ToE is a scientific theory. As such it is based on empirical evidence. Not wishful thinking. Nothing less would have secured it's position as a scientific theory.

      Is that what you WANT to be true? (See fine-tuning

      Fine-tuning merely states the necessary conditions for our sort of life are extremely narrow. That alone is not evidence of design.

      No they don't! They have ZERO real-time substantiating evidence from the laboratory

      Absolutely wrong. See Lenski, Digby (1912), Dobzhansky and Pavlovsky (1971, Weinberg, et al. (1992) and many more. I could go on but I don't want to daunt you.

      whereas millions of corroborating NDE testimonies are precisely 'real-time' substantiating evidence,

      1)"Millions"? 2) Testimonies vary wildly. 3) See Lansberry 1994.

      Really??? Did YOU decide that it was a strawman or did the material particles of your brain decide that for you?

      Your argument being a strawman is nothing to do with my free will.

      As for whether we truly have free will, who knows? Maybe we do and maybe we do not. But insisting that materialists MUST believe we do not is absolutely incorrect. And a strawman. You fight them almost exclusively.

      No it doesn't!

      Yes it does. We can use EXACTLY THE SAME argument to 'prove' the existence of a 'maximally evil' being, or of a being who destroys worlds. The core of the Ontological Argument is that it is trying to define something into existence. Which is just nonsense. Definitions (accurate ones, at least) describe reality, they do not create reality.

      Are you 100% certain that you are not 100% certain?

      Nope, not even that. Now give up this ridiculous, childish game. It is not doing you any favours.

      No those are characteristics that are 'required', and deduced, for Him, anything less would not truly be God

      No, they are not deduced - they are ASSUMED. And then attributed to a being whose existence you are ASSUMING. Assumption upon assumption.

      Assuming God gives 100% certainty...

      Of course it doesn't. Because you have to make that initial assumption about God. So anything you then extrapolate based on that is ultimately based on an assumption.

      Hmm, you assume reality is not real whereas I assume reality is real. Exactly 1 assumption each and your assumption is deeply irrational.

      That is not the assumption I make. You're really not understanding this at all, are you?

      I assume the world is real.

      You assume the world around you is real too. But you ALSO assume the existence of a God. That is an extra assumption that I don't make.

      Assuming a effect without a final cause is a 'science stopper'.

      Logic is not an effect. It is a quality.

      No it doesn't

      Again, yes it does. It is exactly what you are doing. "Goddidit" does not solve the infinite regress problem, it merely pushes it one step back, and in doing so, shoehorns in an entirely hypothetical being. It is no answer, it is a continuation of the problem.

      Delete
    21. BA: Assuming a effect without a final cause is a 'science stopper'. i.e. 'a ball is round just because it is round' answers nothing in so far as science's relentless pursuit of ultimate truth and final cause!

      Actually, assuming there is some final, inexplicable cause is a science stopper. Science make no assumption.

      In fact, assuming there is some boundary only leads to bad explanation.

      Specifically, since a inexplicable cause could have some inexplicable effect on anything for by some inexplicable reason using some inexplicable means. So, no better explanation could be had for anything other than "Zeus rules" in both this inexplicable realm and for everything else.

      To prevent everything from becoming inexplicable, you've have to avoid asking specific questions. Questions like, "What if this supposedly inexplicable designer chose to create the world we observe last thursday, using some inexplicable means for some inexplicable reason we cannot comprehend?"

      For example, rather than you being the author of your previous comment, what if it was a being in this supposed inexplicable realm, created using some inexplicable means for some inexplicable reason we cannot comprehend?

      Again, creationism is misleading named as it it a generic means to deny that knowledge is created - including that Cornelius actually authored the OP.

      Delete
    22. Scott: "I do not think consciousness is an illusion in the sense he's referring to"

      BA: Welcome to Theism!

      Which is yet another false dilemma, of the likes you assume regarding local realism in QM.

      Again, you keep illustrating that you do not understand the references you appeal to on a regular basis.

      Delete
    23. "ToE is a scientific theory. As such it is based on empirical evidence. Not wishful thinking. Nothing less would have secured it's position as a scientific theory."

      ToE is Pseudo-science and is certainly not science in any meaningful sense. It has no rigorous mathematical foundation nor any rigid demarcation criteria. It is based exactly on the wishful thinking of any and all just so stories that can fill the bill so as to 'explain away' any dis-confirming evidence.

      "Fine-tuning merely states the necessary conditions for our sort of life are extremely narrow. That alone is not evidence of design."

      No there are many other evidences of design as well (See Plantinga and Craig)

      "Absolutely wrong. See Lenski, Digby (1912), Dobzhansky and Pavlovsky (1971, Weinberg, et al. (1992) and many more. I could go on but I don't want to daunt you."

      Oh but please do 'daunt' me with the exact lab work showing JUST ONE molecular machine arising by neo-Darwinian processes.

      "1)"Millions"?"

      See Gallop poll IANS website

      "2) Testimonies vary wildly."

      Details yes, core elements remarkable consistent!

      "3) See Lansberry 1994."

      See Beuregard 2012

      "But insisting that materialists MUST believe we do not (have free will) is absolutely incorrect. And a strawman."

      Once again, is it you that is saying that it is incorrect or is it the material particles of your brain stating that? Yes or no answer will suffice!

      "Yes it does. We can use EXACTLY THE SAME argument to 'prove' the existence of a 'maximally evil' being,"

      But being maximally good is a better 'great making' property than being maximally evil is, thus you don't even get to first base on the ontological argument!

      'Nope, not even that. Now give up this ridiculous, childish game. It is not doing you any favours.'

      But alas you are the one who is 100% certain that you can't be 100% certain. It is not a game at all but a basic fact you refuse to accept!.

      "No, they are not deduced - they are ASSUMED."

      You wanting them to be assumed does not make them assumed. Moreover to deny that maximally great characteristics exist in a maximally great 'necessary being' is to put artificial constraints, limits, on reality that are absurd!

      'So anything you then extrapolate based on that is ultimately based on an assumption.'

      And without God you forever have uncertainty. i.e. square 1 again is reality real or not and are you 100% certain it is real? if so how so?

      You assume the world around you is real too. But you ALSO assume the existence of a God. That is an extra assumption that I don't make.

      Ahh contraire, you assume God is not real, thus two assumptions for each of us, and you end up with insurmountable uncertainty as to final cause and epistemological failure with evolutionary naturalism! i.e. thus it follows, I am 100% certain you are wrong!

      "Logic is not an effect. It is a quality."

      Depends on what type of logic you are talking about. (See Godel's incompleteness theorem)

      Again, yes it does. It is exactly what you are doing. "Goddidit" does not solve the infinite regress problem, it merely pushes it one step back, and in doing so, shoehorns in an entirely hypothetical being. It is no answer, it is a continuation of the problem.

      "No it doesn't,"

      Yes it does. Infinite regress is NOT a problem for Theism, yet it is a crushing problem for atheistic materialism. (See Craig)

      Delete
    24. BA: ToE is Pseudo-science and is certainly not science in any meaningful sense. It has no rigorous mathematical foundation nor any rigid demarcation criteria. It is based exactly on the wishful thinking of any and all just so stories that can fill the bill so as to 'explain away' any dis-confirming evidence.

      Which is an argument from ignorance.

      Again, evolutionary theory meets Karl Popper's criteria for demarcation as outlined in The Logic of Scientific Discovery.

      See here for details.

      BA: Yes it does. Infinite regress is NOT a problem for Theism, yet it is a crushing problem for atheistic materialism. (See Craig)

      No, it's not, as I've already pointed you to a reference to a non-justiifcationist form of epistemology, which would not be "crushed" by the lack of an ultimate cause.

      Again, some designer that "just was", compete with the knowledge of how to build biological adaptations, already present, serves no explanatory purpose. This is because one could more economically state that organisms "just appeared" complete with the knowledge of how to build biological adaptations, already present.

      All you've done is push the problem into some inexplicable realm.

      What will you change the subject to now?

      Delete
    25. Please cite the exact demarcation criteria that would falsify evolution as say in this one for General Relativity:

      Then the Principle of Equivalence states that
      'the inertial and gravitational masses are identical.'
      The whole of the General Theory of Relativity rests on this postulate, and will fail if one can find a material for which the inertial and gravitational masses have different values.

      You may gripe evolution is not an exact science such as gravity is, well if you do loosely define evolution as such,,, by the criteria laid out by Lakatos in the following audio lecture, Darwinism is found, in reality, to be a ‘degenerating science program’, i.e. a ‘pseudoscience’;

      Science and Pseudoscience – Lakatos – audio lecture
      http://richmedia.lse.ac.uk/philosophy/2002_LakatosScienceAndPseudoscience128.mp3

      Science and Pseudoscience (transcript) -
      "In degenerating programmes, however, theories are fabricated only in order to accommodate known facts" - Lakatos
      http://www2.lse.ac.uk/philosophy/about/lakatos/scienceandpseudosciencetranscript.aspx

      Delete
    26. Here is how neo-Darwinian evolution avoids falsification from ‘anomalous’ genetic evidence:

      A Primer on the Tree of Life – Casey Luskin – 2009
      Excerpt: The truth is that common ancestry is merely an assumption that governs interpretation of the data, not an undeniable conclusion, and whenever data contradicts expectations of common descent, evolutionists resort to a variety of different ad hoc rationalizations to save common descent from being falsified.
      http://www.discovery.org/a/10651

      How to Play the Gene Evolution Game – Casey Luskin – Feb. 2010
      http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/02/how_to_play_the_gene_evolution032141.html

      Evolution Falsified Yet Again: They Are So Complicated “That it’s Stunning” - Cornelius Hunter - April 2012
      Excerpt: These similarities between the Euglenids and Dinoflagellates, of very odd and peculiar traits, disproves evolution yet again. It’s just another example of how the evidence explains evolution rather than evolution explaining the evidence. Evolution is a tautology. It is contorted to fit whatever we find in nature, no matter how absurd the theory must become.
      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2012/04/evolution-falsified-yet-again-they-are.html

      The following article goes through a bit of the history of how neo-Darwinists have come to use horizontal gene transfer to explain (away) contradictory patterns in the genetic evidence;

      Evolutionists Celebrated This Prediction But When it Later Failed They Didn’t Care - Cornelius Hunter - April 2012
      Excerpt: Sometimes their use of this lateral or horizontal gene transfer mechanism is a real stretch. And in any case, their story calls for evolution to have created this incredible mechanism which then was so important for adaptation and the supposed subsequent evolution. In other words, evolution created evolution.,,, In some cases evolutionists have no idea, beyond pure speculation, about how it could have happened. As they admit in one paper: "An alternative and more plausible possibility is that the STC gene has been laterally transferred among phylogenetically diverged eukaryotes through an unknown mechanism."
      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2012/04/evolutionists-celebrated-this.html

      Delete
    27. Here’s the Latest Just-So Story: Recurrent Evolution - Cornelius Hunter - April 2012
      Excerpt: The first step to explaining something away is to give it a name. And so evolutionists have labeled this awkward evidence as recurrent evolution.,,, If the pattern fits the evolutionary tree, then it is explained as common evolutionary history. If not, then it is explained as common evolutionary forces. Heads I win, tails you lose.,, Common descent has always been an auxiliary hypothesis for the simple reason that evolution’s theoretical core does not mandate common descent, or anything else for that matter, aside from its insistence that the species arose naturally. Beyond that, anything goes.,, Evolutionists insist the species arose naturally, their religion requires it.
      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2012/04/heres-latest-just-so-story-recurrent.html

      Pattern pluralism and the Tree of Life hypothesis – 2006
      Excerpt: Hierarchical structure can always be imposed on or extracted from such data sets by algorithms designed to do so, but at its base the universal TOL rests on an unproven assumption about pattern that, given what we know about process, is unlikely to be broadly true.
      http://www.pnas.org/content/104/7/2043.abstract

      Another Evolutionary Just-So Story Was Just Refuted (But Another One Replaced it) - Cornelius Hunter - March 2012
      Excerpt: as one evolutionist explained:
      "Our most significant findings reveal not only differences between the species reflecting millions of years of evolutionary divergence, but also similarities in parallel changes over time since their common ancestor."
      You remember learning that with evolution species split and move apart. Now, amazingly, we know they also evolve together. Differences, similarities, whatever. In any case, it’s Evidence 1, Evolution 0:
      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2012/03/another-evolutionary-just-so-story-was.html

      Here are articles that clearly illustrate that the protein evidence, no matter how crushing to Darwinism, is always crammed into the Darwinian framework by Evolutionists:

      The Hierarchy of Evolutionary Apologetics: Protein Evolution Case Study - Cornelius Hunter - January 2011
      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2011/01/hierarchy-of-evolutionary-apologetics.html

      Delete
    28. Here is how neo-Darwinian evolution avoids falsification from the fossil record;

      "What Would Disprove Evolution?" - July 10, 2012
      Excerpt: Fossils are found in the "wrong place" all the time (either too early, or too late). Paleontological theory, however, allows for such devices as "ghost lineages" to repair the damage; see ENV's coverage here and here. (links on the site)
      Again, discordance between molecular and anatomical phylogenies is commonplace in systematics; see here.(link on the site)
      But we expect Coyne is able to handle these anomalies via his shock-absorbing adjective "complete," which allows an indefinitely large range of possibilities, short of "complete" discordance (whatever that means).
      http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/07/what_would_disp061891.html

      Seeing Ghosts in the Bushes (Part 2): How Is Common Descent Tested? – Paul Nelson – Feb. 2010
      Excerpt: Fig. 6. Multiple possible ad hoc or auxiliary hypotheses are available to explain lack of congruence between the fossil record and cladistic predictions. These may be employed singly or in combination. Common descent (CD) is thus protected from observational challenge.
      http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/02/seeing_ghosts_in_the_bushes_pa031061.html

      The Fossil Record and Falsifiable Predictions For ID – Casey Luskin – Audio
      http://intelligentdesign.podomatic.com/player/web/2010-03-26T14_56_42-07_00

      You Won’t Believe How Evolutionists Say These Two Major Contradictions Cancel Each Other Out - March 2012
      Excerpt: Evolutionists say without evolution nothing makes sense in biology, but it seems that with evolution nothing makes sense in biology.
      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2012/03/you-wont-believe-how-evolutionists-say.html

      Delete
    29. Here is how evolutionists avoid falsification from the biogeographical data of finding numerous and highly similar species in widely separated locations:

      More Biogeographical Conundrums for Neo-Darwinism – March 2010
      http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/03/sea_monkeys_are_the_tip_of_the032471.html

      The Case of the Mysterious Hoatzin: Biogeography Fails Neo-Darwinism Again – Casey Luskin – November 5, 2011
      Excerpt: If two similar species separated by thousands of kilometers across oceans cannot challenge common descent, what biogeographical data can? The way evolutionists treat it, there is virtually no biogeographical data that can challenge common descent even in principle. If that’s the case, then how can biogeography be said to support common descent in the first place?
      http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/11/the_case_of_the_mysterious_hoa052571.html

      Let's not forget another prevalent means in which neo-Darwinism avoids falsification; the fraudulent practice of literature bluffing;

      In this following podcast, Casey Luskin interviews microbiologist and immunologist Donald Ewert about his previous work as associate editor for the journal Development and Comparitive Immunology, where he realized that the papers published were comparative studies that had nothing to do with evolution at all.

      What Does Evolution Have to Do With Immunology? Not Much - April 2011
      http://intelligentdesign.podomatic.com/entry/2011-04-06T11_39_03-07_00

      The deception (literature bluffing), from neo-Darwinists at Dover, did not stop with immunology;

      The NCSE, Judge Jones, and Bluffs About the Origin of New Functional Genetic Information – Casey Luskin – March 2010
      http://www.discovery.org/a/14251

      Many more instances of Darwinism avoiding falsification from the empirical data, by ad hoc models (rationalizations), are found in this following site:

      Darwin’s Predictions – Cornelius Hunter PhD.
      http://www.darwinspredictions.com/

      A rough outline of the top problems of neo-Darwinism are found here:

      What Are the Top Ten Problems with Darwinian Evolution? Casey Luskin (References Provided)
      http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/07/what_are_the_to_1062011.html

      Delete
    30. As to the fatal infinite regress problem for atheistic materialism:

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

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

      If there's a beginning, must there be a cause for that beginning? - Stephen Meyer - video
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7z6l8AUet4

      Does God Exist? - Argument From The Origin Of Nature - Kirk Durston - video
      http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4171846/

      The First Cause Must Be Different From All Other Causes - T.G. Peeler
      http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/genomic-junk-and-evolution/#comment-358648

      Einstein's general relativity equation has now been extended to confirm not only did matter and energy have a beginning in the Big Bang, but space-time also had a beginning. i.e. The Big Bang was an absolute origin of space-time, matter-energy, and as such demands a cause which transcends space-time, matter-energy.

      "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
      http://www.leaderu.com/real/ri9404/bigbang.html

      In conjunction with the mathematical, and logical, necessity of an 'Uncaused Cause' to explain the beginning of the universe, in philosophy it has been shown that,,,

      Not Understanding Nothing – A review of A Universe from Nothing – Edward Feser - June 2012
      Excerpt: A critic might reasonably question the arguments for a divine first cause of the cosmos. But to ask “What caused God?” misses the whole reason classical philosophers thought his existence necessary in the first place. So when physicist Lawrence Krauss begins his new book by suggesting that to ask “Who created the creator?” suffices to dispatch traditional philosophical theology, we know it isn’t going to end well. ,,,
      ,,, But Krauss simply can’t see the “difference between arguing in favor of an eternally existing creator versus an eternally existing universe without one.” The difference, as the reader of Aristotle or Aquinas knows, is that the universe changes while the unmoved mover does not, or, as the Neoplatonist can tell you, that the universe is made up of parts while its source is absolutely one; or, as Leibniz could tell you, that the universe is contingent and God absolutely necessary. There is thus a principled reason for regarding God rather than the universe as the terminus of explanation.
      http://www.firstthings.com/article/2012/05/not-understanding-nothing

      "The 'First Mover' is necessary for change occurring at each moment."
      Michael Egnor - Aquinas’ First Way
      http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/09/jerry_coyne_and_aquinas_first.html

      I find this centuries old philosophical argument, for the necessity of a 'First Mover' accounting for change occurring at each moment, to be validated by quantum mechanics. One line of evidence arises from the smallest indivisible unit of time; Planck time:

      Planck time
      Excerpt: One Planck time is the time it would take a photon travelling at the speed of light to cross a distance equal to one Planck length. Theoretically, this is the smallest time measurement that will ever be possible,[3] roughly 10^−43 seconds. Within the framework of the laws of physics as we understand them today, for times less than one Planck time apart, we can neither measure nor detect any change. As of May 2010, the smallest time interval that was directly measured was on the order of 12 attoseconds (12 × 10^−18 seconds),[4] about 10^24 times larger than the Planck time.

      Delete
    31. Of note: Science and Pseudoscience – Imre Lakatos
      “nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific” – Imre Lakatos (November 9, 1922 – February 2, 1974) a philosopher of mathematics and science, , quote as stated in 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture

      Delete
    32. ba77 -

      ToE is Pseudo-science and is certainly not science in any meaningful sense.

      Flat wrong. See Scott's link above. ToE meets every criteria for a scientific theory. It is accepted and taught by the staggering majority of biologists. You are only calling it pseudo-science because you do not want to accept that it is true. You are in total denial of reality.

      No there are many other evidences of design as well

      You do not prop up one argument by calling on another. Every argument must be valid on its own, otherwise you could end up with a totally circular argument. Either the Fine-Tuning argument is evidence for a designer or it is not. And it is not.

      As for other evidences, first tell me how exactly we are to detect design.

      Oh but please do 'daunt' me with the exact lab work showing JUST ONE molecular machine arising by neo-Darwinian processes.

      Then first explain what you mean by 'molecular machine'.

      See Gallop poll IANS website

      Can't find it.

      Details yes, core elements remarkable consistent!

      But they are sharing a common experience - dying. How exactly are we to know that such 'core elements' (I presume you are talking about the famous tunnel of light?) are not a product of the brain simply switching off?

      See Beuregard 2012

      You first.

      Once again, is it you that is saying that it is incorrect or is it the material particles of your brain stating that? Yes or no answer will suffice!

      That is not a yes or no question.

      Look at it this way - materialists have no problem with the concept of consciousness, do they - it is simply a product of the brain. So why should free will not be a product of the brain too?

      You are very confused here. The opposite concept of free will is determinism; the idea that the future is inevitable - a sort of 'destiny', if you like. Both of these concepts can incorporate the existence or non-existence of a God.

      But being maximally good is a better 'great making' property than being maximally evil is

      That doesn't even make sense. You'll have to explain this one.

      We have no reason to suppose a 'maximally good' being should actually exist, even if such a thing was hypothetically possible.

      The Ontological Argument is basically just a long-winded way of saying "If God existed, then He really would exist".

      But alas you are the one who is 100% certain that you can't be 100% certain.

      How can you possibly have misunderstood me? I stated EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE. If you want to play on a philosophical level where we cannot be sure of anything, then that includes the world around us, our own thoughts, our own opinions and our own existence.

      You wanting them to be assumed does not make them assumed.

      How can you determine the qualities or characteristics of a being you cannot even show exists?

      Moreover to deny that maximally great characteristics exist in a maximally great 'necessary being' is to put artificial constraints, limits, on reality that are absurd!

      That is not what I am doing. I am saying it is hypothetical that a 'maximally great' being exists at all. IF it did exist, then I imagine it WOULD have maximally great characteristics, but this does not say anything about whether such a being DOES exist, now does it? Please, please try to stick to answering arguments I ACTUALLY make, not ones you want me to make.

      Delete
    33. ba77 -

      And without God you forever have uncertainty.

      Again, assuming God does not solve that problem. Because wherever you go from there, you arrive there via this initial assumption. Which means you can never be 100% sure of your conclusion.

      you end up with insurmountable uncertainty as to final cause and epistemological failure with evolutionary naturalism! i.e. thus it follows, I am 100% certain you are wrong!

      No, you do not have certainty, you have belief. Typical of a fundamentalist to confuse their convictions for knowledge. The two are not the same.

      Let me list a few assumptions you are making. You assume 1) that you know the meaning of the words on your computer screen in my posts 2) that the words and the computer screen actually exist 3) that you actually exist.

      None of these things you truly know with 100% certainty. Whether or not a God exists. And thus you cannot be 100% certain of any conclusion reached making these assumptions.

      Isn't philosophy fun?

      Depends on what type of logic you are talking about.

      What? How can logic possibly be an effect? It is not an action, it is not an object, it is not an event...

      Yes it does. Infinite regress is NOT a problem for Theism

      Only because you assume God as a First Cause. The problem is you have no evidence for God. Your explanation is entirely hypothetical, whether you acknowledge this or not.

      yet it is a crushing problem for atheistic materialism.

      No it isn't. We can just say "We don't know (yet)" and leave it there. This is a perfectly legitimate and acceptable answer. And it is infinitely better than simply making up a magic being to account for the problem, which is what the theist does.

      Delete
    34. Philosophically, the notion of a beginning of the present order of Nature is repugnant to me. I am simply stating the dilemma to which our present fundamental conception of physical law leads us. I see no way round it; but whether future developments of science will find an escape I cannot predict. The dilemma is this: Surveying our surroundings, we find them to be far from a “fortuitous concourse of atoms”. The picture of the world, as drawn in existing physical theories shows arrangements of the individual elements for which the odds are multillions to 1 against an origin by chance. Some people would like to call this non-random feature of the world purpose or design; but I will call it non-committally anti-chance. We are unwilling in physics that anti-chance plays any part in the reactions between the systems of billions of atoms and quanta that we study; and indeed all our experimental evidence goes to show that these are governed by the laws of chance. Accordingly, we sweep anti-chance out of the laws of physics–out of the differential equations. Naturally, therefore, it reappears in the boundary conditions, for it must be got into the scheme somewhere. By sweeping it far enough away from the sphere of our current physical problems, we fancy we have got rid of it. It is only when some of us are so misguided as to try to get back billions of years into the past that we find the sweepings all piled up like a high wall and forming a boundary–a beginning of time–which we cannot climb over.
      Eddington AS. 1931. The end of the world: from the standpoint of mathematical physics. Nature 127:447-453.

      Delete
    35. Oh God, Please, no, not the links!!!

      Look at them - 6 pages of them!! Boy you were really holding back the floodgates there ba, weren't you?

      Come on, you were doing so well!! We were having a proper discussion and everything. Please don't spoil it all and just fall back on drowning your opponents in links. Please try to hold together your own actual arguments.

      Delete
    36. You are 'not even wrong' on everything once again. neo-Darwinism is certainly pseudo-science. Materialism is certainly bankrupt, and you are certainly a pauper begging for an once of scientific respect! You have my pity but not my respect! I'm done for the day.

      Delete
    37. ba77 -

      I am not interested in your respect or your pity.

      Again, you are merely spewing other peoples words and ideas that you barely understand, hoping that they will all stand up to scrutiny on their own, or by sheer weight of volume.

      I look forward to talking to you when you have actually attempted to think these matters through for yourself.

      Delete
    38. BA: Please cite the exact demarcation criteria that would falsify evolution as say in this one for General Relativity:

      First, evolution isn't gravity. It's unclear why you'd think they are the same.

      Second, a link was to an entire article on the subject was provided. Did you actually read it?

      You can also find a reading guide for Popper's The Logic of Scientific Discovery here.

      Again, the underlying explanation behind the predictions of evolutionary theory is that the knowledge of how to build biological adaptations was created using conjecture and refutation. Specifically, conjecture, in the form of genetic variation, and refutation, in the form of natural selection.

      As such, observations that the majority of genetic variation are beneficial, in that they do not represent conjecture, would falsify evolutionary theory. Another observation would be the most complex organisms appearing at the same time as the least complex. Or that organisms appeared in an order of most complex to least complex. Either could not be explained by the error correcting process of conjecture and refutation.

      Again see the provided link in my earlier commend regarding historical sciences for more details.

      Delete
  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Can someone who thinks "Intelligence" can do things explain even in broad terms how it does things?

    All by itself, that is, without hands, arms, neurons or input of energy?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been asking for Cornelius to confirm, deny or clarify his conception of human knowledge, in detail, for months now. He simply refuses to even acknowledge the question.

      BA just made an argument that illustrates he holds an authoritative, conception of human knowledge but refuses to acknowledge that other conceptions of human knowledge actually exist.

      As such, it seems that most of the theists here cannot recognize their conception of human knowledge as an idea that would be subject to criticism. Apparently, they think it's just "obviously" correct, so responding to criticism is meaningless.

      Delete
    2. Specifically, most pre-enlightemnet, authoritative conceptions of human knowledge are either supernatural, illogical or simply nonexistent.

      So, we've seen arguments which assume an authoritative conception of human knowledge, but we have yet to see anyone explicitly acknowledge this is the case.

      For example...

      BA: And without God you forever have uncertainty. i.e. square 1 again is reality real or not and are you 100% certain it is real? if so how so?

      How God provides 100% certainty is unclear. Apparently, BA thinks it's "obvious" that God is a source of 100% certainty, thus supposedly solving the problem.

      But this is an idea, which is part of his conception of human knowledge, which would be subject to criticism.

      Delete
  15. Elizabeth Liddle said

    "Can someone who thinks "Intelligence" can do things explain even in broad terms how it does things?"

    Can you explain what things are?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm using the word in the ordinary sense.

      So let me rephrase:

      Can someone who thinks "Intelligence" makes designed machines explain how a disembodied, non-energy consumptive Intelligence could accomplish this?

      Delete
    2. How could the entire universe appear from the no-space no-time?

      Delete
    3. Bals - Are you seriously trying to suggest 'Goddidit' is some sort of default answer? Because that is just the God of the Gaps fallacy.

      Delete
    4. I've asked the same question dozens of times of IDCers and have yet to get an answer.

      They go on and on about Intelligent Design, but not one peep about Intelligent Manufacture.

      How do the designs physically get built? How are the raw materials gathered and manipulated? Are there tools involved, or jigs of some sort? What physical forces are involved, and how are the forces controlled?

      IDCers never consider the question because to them, their GAWD just went "POOF!" and out popped the finished product.

      Delete
    5. According with science the universe started with a Poof. Why not life?

      Delete
    6. Firstly because we have perfectly good organic chemistry.

      Secondly, because ID proponents specifically make the ID argument from the complexity of life, implying that some intelligently guided force physically moved molecules into position.

      I'd like to know what that force is supposed to be, and why we cannot detect it.

      Delete
    7. Elizabeth Liddle said
      First:
      You asked:"I'd like to know what that force is supposed to be, and why we cannot detect it."

      My answer:"According with science the universe started with a Poof. Why not life?

      Why this: "Firstly because we have perfectly good organic chemistry." invalidate my answer?

      Second: perfectly good chemistry for the origin of life? Do not make me laugh. Try to explin how the nucleic acids appeared on earth and how 64 codons became related with 21 aminoacids.

      "Secondly, because ID proponents specifically make the ID argument from the complexity of life, implying that some intelligently guided force physically moved molecules into position."

      I´m not going to write on gehalf of ID people, but I thnk this is wrong.

      "I'd like to know what that force is supposed to be, and why we cannot detect it."

      You are making that question from a metaphisical naturalism or from a matodological naturalism position?

      Delete
    8. Hi Elizabeth,

      Can someone who thinks "Intelligence" makes designed machines explain how a disembodied, non-energy consumptive Intelligence could accomplish this?

      Intelligence guides the manufacture of intelligent artifacts, and is necessary to their production. In our physical universe, of course, while intelligence is necessary for the manufacture of intelligent artifacts, it is not sufficient. "Unnatural" order must be imposed upon matter, with a concomitant energy cost. We humans cannot "poof" things into existence by a raw act of intellect and will. Which is not to say that no being can...

      Delete
    9. Blas -

      perfectly good chemistry for the origin of life? Do not make me laugh. Try to explin how the nucleic acids appeared on earth and how 64 codons became related with 21 aminoacids.

      But that is exactly what people are working on as we speak. Abiogenesis is a productive and rapidly advancing area of study. We don't have the answers yet, but people are piecing together the puzzle.

      Meanwhile, who is figuring out exactly the mechanisms an Intelligent Designer used to 'poof' things into existence. Anyone? Or are all ID-ers just throwing up their hands and crying 'Miracle?'

      Liz asked a perfectly valid question. Do not try to just deflect it back. This is a wonderful demonstration of why ID is not a scientific theory at all: it describes no mechanisms. It is based in its entirety on criticizing ToE and the Big Bang, as though it were the default answer. Whenever ID-ers are asked to elaborate to any degree, the only answer you will hear is "Well, what's YOUR explanation?" Which totally misses the point. If it describes no mechanisms then it is evidently not even a scientific hypothesis.

      Delete
    10. Kent -

      Intelligence guides the manufacture of intelligent artifacts, and is necessary to their production. In our physical universe, of course, while intelligence is necessary for the manufacture of intelligent artifacts, it is not sufficient. "Unnatural" order must be imposed upon matter, with a concomitant energy cost. We humans cannot "poof" things into existence by a raw act of intellect and will. Which is not to say that no being can...

      You're not really answering. You're just restating the question. HOW did this Intelligent Designer "impose unnatural order upon matter"? Where did the molecules He/She/It used to create life/the universe come from? Does ID really provide any explanation more substancial than "It was magic"?

      Delete
    11. A number of these arguments are sounding like Darwin of the gaps. Just saying....

      Delete
    12. @Ritchie:

      HOW did this Intelligent Designer "impose unnatural order upon matter"?

      I don't know. But, on the assumption that the universe was created by an intelligent agent, it does not seem unreasonable to suppose that imposing "unnatural" order on material systems would be a superable difficulty for the creator.

      Where did the molecules He/She/It used to create life/the universe come from?

      Perhaps my use of the verb "poof" was unfortunate. I wasn't thinking of creation ex nihilo. I meant "poof" in the sense of instantaneous or near-instantaneous arrangement of preexisting matter into configurations into which it would not, and could not, have ever have achieved apart from intelligent intervention.

      Does ID really provide any explanation more substancial than "It was magic"?

      Inference to an intelligent designer is not an inference to magic. On the other hand, those who attribute intelligence to METC (matter + energy + time + chance, independent of intelligent intervention) seem to be the magic wand-wavers to me.

      Delete
    13. Ritchie said

      "But that is exactly what people are working on as we speak. Abiogenesis is a productive and rapidly advancing area of study. We don't have the answers yet, but people are piecing together the puzzle."

      Well then we do not have a "perfect good chemistry" scientist are only guessing.
      And they are guessing only because they want to explain the facts by natural laws. Because they do not apply methodological naturalism, that not allow you to make inferences of the past, but because they are mataphisical naturalist that mandate everything should have a naturalistic explanation.

      Delete
  16. Nice challenge Elizabeth. Design always starts with an idea.

    i•de•a/īˈdēə/Noun:
    1.A thought or suggestion as to a possible course of action
    2.A concept or mental impression.

    Like a light bulb on top of somebody’s head. These days they are phasing out incandescence light bulbs so maybe we’ll run out of ideas.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Could Blas or anyone else give a workable definition of intelligence?

    Is intelligence a useful concept? Is it a material thing or an attribute of something else? Is intelligence measurable?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The meaning of the word is ability to understand.

      Is a concept we use not for fun so I think it is usefull.
      It is a property of an agent, I do not know a compelling materialistic explanation of that property.
      Yes it is measurable, sure you know IQ tests.

      Delete
    2. We measure it by observing the physical behaviour of intelligent organisms.

      And we certainly have good materialistic accounts of intelligence - which is why we can also design intelligent systems.

      Delete
    3. Elizabeth Liddle said

      "And we certainly have good materialistic accounts of intelligence"

      I would like to read your best try.

      "which is why we can also design intelligent systems."

      Can you give an example of intelligent system?

      Delete
    4. @Alan:

      Could...anyone else give a workable definition of intelligence?

      To ask the question, with awareness of its semantic significance, is to answer it. I'm not sure if that qualifies as a "workable" definition, but it's certainly a reasonable starting point.

      Is intelligence a useful concept?

      Does your question have any pragmatic value? If so, intelligence must be useful, since to understand the question, and to attempt to answer it meaningfully, one must exercise intelligence.

      Your use of the word "concept" is interesting, since one of the hallmarks of "higher" intelligence is the ability to conceptualize.

      Is it a material thing or an attribute of something else?

      It is immaterial. Its manifestation within the physical universe may require matter, but intelligence is not an inherent property of matter, or of physical systems.

      Is intelligence measurable?

      Intelligence may be difficult to absolutely quantify, but different intelligences certainly seem commensurable. The average dog is more intelligent than a stick, and the average human is more intelligent than a dog.

      Delete
  19. Blas

    The meaning of the word is ability to understand.

    OK, so how does that help? Ability to understand is a property of sentient living organisms? Separates sentient beings from inert objects? I can't help think that we can say no more that the ability to understand is zero in inert objects and sentient organisms show a greater or lesser ability to understand.

    Is it meaningful to compare the intelligence of a crow (puzzle solving crows abound on U tube) with a dolphin.

    BTW, I have no problem with "intelligent" as a synonym to smart or bright and an an antonym to stupid or dumb.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alan Fox said

      "OK, so how does that help?"

      It depends of what you are searching for.

      "Ability to understand is a property of sentient living organisms?"

      Yes


      "Separates sentient beings from inert objects?"

      As far as I know there is no way to see if a rock can understand.

      "I can't help think that we can say no more that the ability to understand is zero in inert objects and sentient organisms show a greater or lesser ability to understand."

      I think that we can say more about the human intelligence.

      "Is it meaningful to compare the intelligence of a crow (puzzle solving crows abound on U tube) with a dolphin."

      I do not think ability to solving puzzles means intelligence.

      Delete
  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Lizzie!

    We measure it by observing the physical behaviour of intelligent organisms.

    But what are we observing that "intelligence" delineates? Would this be synonymous with cognitive ability or the ability of sentient organisms to sample and pattern match their environment and react more or less predictably depending on their set of available tools, sensory organs, neural networks, brain?

    ReplyDelete
  22. Kent:

    The average dog is more intelligent than a stick, and the average human is more intelligent than a dog.

    But is this any more than qualitative description? Pinching an example from aiguy, would you be saying anything informative if you said a stick was not athletic and a dog is more athletic than a human when chasing a ball for fun?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alan,

      But is this any more than qualitative description?

      Perhaps not. But the description is informative. Observing what intelligence enables an intelligent agent to do, and contrasting that with what non-intelligent entities have never been observed to do, tells the (intelligent!) observer something about the nature of intelligence. As I wrote, it is a reasonable starting point, not a formal definition.

      Delete
  23. Yes it is measurable, sure you know IQ tests.

    But what would an IQ test measure other than comparative ability in performing that particular IQ test? How does that help explain what intelligence is? You see where I am going with this? If we can't even describe what the attribute of intelligence is applied to sentient organisms with which we are familiar, how can we extrapolate to a general property that we can also assign to unknown, undetectable entities such as "intelligent designers"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alan FoxJuly 17, 2012 11:35 PM

      "If we can't even describe what the attribute of intelligence is applied to sentient organisms with which we are familiar, how can we extrapolate to a general property that we can also assign to unknown, undetectable entities such as "intelligent designers"?"


      Well, this should be answered by an ID suppporter. But as far I understand "intelligent designers" refers not only to his ability to understand what he is doing, but also that he is doing it on purpose.
      And no matter humans abilities cannot be phisically measurable you can extrapolate them to other beings. You cannot quantify the ability to make music, paint, help your neighborhood but you can immagine that there are other beeings with that abilities in greater proportions than us.

      Delete
    2. Blas,

      I disagree,the ability to solve puzzles is very much one measure of the quality of intelligence.

      Delete
    3. I see the ability of solve puzzles more related with memory. Ability to remember wich is the correct answer after found it by try-error process. May be you can call this intelligence, but it is different to the abilitie to understand as we humans know.

      Delete
    4. Alan,

      Are you asking, Is it intelligent to extrapolate an undefined quality to an unknown entity? Even more an infinite amount of this quality ?

      Delete
    5. Blas,

      Memory is a tool to problem solving, do you know the story of Archimedes?

      Delete
    6. velikovskys, yes off course, but having memory not necessary leds to having intelligence.

      Delete
    7. I agree, memory alone isn't the whole story, just like owning a hammer doesn't make you a carpenter, it just makes it easier to drive nails.

      Intelligence has to do with the manner in which you use the tools and the ability to connect the seemingly unconnected. Newton and orbital mechanics.

      Delete
  24. Are you asking, Is it intelligent to extrapolate an undefined quality to an unknown entity? Even more an infinite amount of this quality?No, I think such a mind experiment is pretty unproductive. I see the word "intelligence" bandied about quite a bit and I just wonder if those using the word all have their own or indeed any specific quality (or indeed quantity but I think this is way more problematic) in mind. There doesn't seem to be any consensus.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would be unproductive for ID proponents to get bogged down in what exactly constitutes design or intelligence. What is the quote? There is no need for ID to provide a pathetic level of detail

      Delete
  25. And no matter humans abilities cannot be phisically measurable you can extrapolate them to other beings. You cannot quantify the ability to make music, paint, help your neighborhood but you can immagine that there are other beeings with that abilities in greater proportions than us.

    Imagination is a wonderful thing and useful. I can imagine that the ability to imagine what might be hiding round the next corner could have a real survival advantage. But our ability to imagine stuff does not make it real.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alan Fox said

      "Imagination is a wonderful thing and useful. I can imagine that the ability to imagine what might be hiding round the next corner could have a real survival advantage. But our ability to imagine stuff does not make it real."

      And your point is ...

      Delete
    2. Alan Fox

      I don't get you, either? You don't understand what intelligence is?

      Here is definition:

      intelligence

      noun
      1.
      capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding, and similar forms of mental activity; aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts, meanings, etc.
      2.
      manifestation of a high mental capacity3.
      the faculty of understanding.
      4.
      knowledge of an event, circumstance, etc., received or imparted; news; information.
      5.
      the gathering or distribution of information, especially secret information.


      Would you agree with that definition?

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    4. Does intelligence have a cause? If it is immaterial what accounts for varying levels of intelligence?

      Delete
    5. It's beyond my scope probably. It's something you'd like to think about while camping near lake and enjoying your evening drink under the starry sky. Hopefully you didn't forget mosquito repellant.

      Delete
    6. You forgot the Aspens turning gold by the lake, and the crackling fire. The ideal research location.

      Delete
    7. Fire crackle
      ripples calm mind,
      fragrance of a red pine.

      Delete
    8. I have eaten
      the plums
      that were in
      the icebox

      and which
      you were probably
      saving
      for breakfast

      forgive me
      they were delicious
      so sweet
      and so cold

      WCWilliams

      Delete
  26. @ Blas

    My point is a simple one. There is no general property of sentient living organisms that can be described as intelligence that has any useful application in science, in my