Wednesday, October 14, 2009

WLC on Evolution (this'll be fun)


Does Evolution Disprove God's Existence?

Dr. William Lane Craig|MySpace Videos

53 comments:

ExPatMatt said...

bossmanham,

I don't need to watch the video to know that evolution does not disprove God's existence.

Whoever said that it does? Bit of a false dichotomy, don't you think?

Cheers,

Stan, the Half-Truth Teller said...

First, why the moderation?

As to Craig's statements in this debate, and the notion that certain events are so improbable that the sun would have died out before they arose by chance, I have a series of relatively simple questions regarding probability and randomness:

1. Given a fair coin, how many tosses would we expect to throw before the coin came up 'heads'?

2. Given a fair die, how many tosses would we expect to throw before the die came up '1'?

3. Given a fair deck of cards and a random shuffle, how many cards would we expect to be dealt before we turned up an 'Ace'?

4. Given a fair deck of cards and a random shuffle, how many cards would we expect to be dealt before we turned up the 'two of clubs'?

5. Given a fair, truly random, number generator (constrained to positive integer values less than 10^100, and restricted such that it cannot repeat an already generated number), how many generations would we expect to see before the generator output '1'?


Note that these are not all the same kind of scenario, but each employs probability nonetheless. Given your answers above, I will now ask you this:

6. If the specific 'desired' outcome in the above questions turned up sooner than the odds dictate, would that render the event 'miraculous,' would it be an indication of 'design,' or would it suggest that the probabilities calculated were somehow incorrect (note these are inclusive 'ORs')?

That is, would you be surprised if in (1), the first toss produced 'heads'? Why, or why not?

Would you be surprised if in (2), the first toss produced '1'? Why, or why not?

Would you be surprised if in (3), the first card turned up was an 'Ace'? Why, or why not?

Would you be surprised if in (4), the first card turned up was the 'two of clubs'? Why, or why not?

Would you be surprised if in (5), the first number generated was '1'? Why, or why not?

I suspect that the simple answers to these questions will illustrate quite clearly that just because the odds are apparently stacked against a given outcome, the number of iterations expected based on those odds need not be realized in order to realize that outcome. If you think otherwise, feel free to explain why.

--
Stan

bossmanham said...

I don't need to watch the video to know that evolution does not disprove God's existence.

Did I say you did?

bossmanham said...

First, why the moderation?

Because one of your buddies decided it would be fun to drop a bunch of f-bombs on one of my posts.

more anthropic arguments galore

Barrow and Tipler are non-theists, and they recognized the far reaching odds of this happening.

You can actually go to Craig's website and challenge him on it if you like. He typically answers the questions from his critics.

Furthermore, your questions are flawed again. It is not that one instance, or even two, make life sustainable. It is that every single improbable event happened just the way it should out of the infinite number of ways it could have happened. This applies cosmologically and biologically.

ExPatMatt said...

boss,

The question was;

"Does Evolution Disprove God's Existence?".

I'm saying 'no' and asking who suggests 'yes'. I'm also saying that whatever the video says is completely irrelevant.

Ok?

Stan, the Half-Truth Teller said...

Furthermore, your questions are flawed again. It is not that one instance, or even two, make life sustainable. It is that every single improbable event happened just the way it should out of the infinite number of ways it could have happened.

You continue to assert without argument that the 'improbable events' arose from 'infinite possibilities.' While this is possibly the case, it isn't necessarily the case. That's all I'm trying to argue with respect to so-called "Fine Tuning [of physical constants or fundamental force ratios]."

As to my questions being flawed, that is patently false. Instead, the disconnect between us seems to be that you individually view the myriad of 'improbable events,' whereas I view them as a set. If we view them individually as you do, then your angst at the improbable sequence of events seems reasonable (it isn't, but let me finish). If we instead view them as a set of events, and consider the whole set as a single iteration from among an arbitrarily large number of possible sets (up to and including the asserted "infinite number of ways it could have happened"), then we effectively have the turning of one card, which happens to be an 'Ace,' rather than a succession of 'Ace'-shuffle-'Ace'-shuffle... ad infinitum.

In this respect, then, my questions are very apropos. It will not necessarily take 52 turns of card to uncover the 'two of clubs,' and in fact it will almost certainly take fewer than 52 turns. The odds of the 'two of clubs' turning up before a particular point are n!/52!, where n is the point before which we expect to see the card in question. These odds are far better than the odds for finding the 'two of clubs' at any specific point (and none other).

So if the set of possible values for the physical constants and fundamental force ratios are contained on one specific card (or, more realistically, a set of cards, e.g. any '2' regardless of suit), the odds of seeing that particular set go up as the factorial of the number of iterations wherein that outcome hasn't been realized -- assuming the deck isn't reshuffled between upturns.

If the deck is reshuffled between upturns, then the odds of any specific set are pretty outrageous, granted, but even so, they are not zero. If you would be unsurprised to roll a '1' in any given die roll, then you should likewise be unsurprised to roll a 'life-sustaining universe' with any given 'fundamental parameter' roll.

So why is your angst unreasonable? Because the math works out the same in each case -- it just intuitively looks more unlikely when viewed your way. If you're familiar with the Monty Hall problem (link), Quantum Mechanics, or any number of physical systems, you should realize that our intuition is far from accurate in many situations. I struggle still with the logic of the solution to the Monty Hall problem, even though I understand fully the math behind it -- it's unintuitive, but it's the case.

So again, just as we would be unsurprised to roll a '1' on the first roll of a standard (six-sided) die, or that we would be unsurprised if we failed to roll a '1' on eight successive rolls, we should likewise be unsurprised that the life-sustaining parameters exhibited in our universe arose before the sun burnt out. I sincerely hope you can see this, but if not, please offer an actual argument against it, rather than continuing to assert the unargued.

--
Stan

Stan, the Half-Truth Teller said...

Did I say you did [know/say/think that evolution disproves god]?

Well, you implied that evolution seeks to disprove god, and if memory serves, you've made this statement directly in other threads. EPM's comment is appropriate -- if Craig's erstwhile opponent was advancing the claim that evolution disproves god, then [he] was incorrect, and deserved the response given by Craig.

It's largely a non-issue, but I expect EPM would agree that you'd be better suited to change the subtitle of the post to its converse: Would evolution prove there exists a god?

If nothing else, you'd avoid the implicit straw man, which, while [probably] unintended, nonetheless appears.

--
Stan

bossmanham said...

The question was;

"Does Evolution Disprove God's Existence?".


That's the title of the video and the question Craig is contending with. It's not something I have accused you or anybody of saying.

bossmanham said...

Un-truther,

While this is possibly the case, it isn't necessarily the case

So you're not really arguing anything then. You're simply asserting that you don't know.

Instead, the disconnect between us seems to be that you individually view the myriad of 'improbable events,' whereas I view them as a set

Which is your flaw. Even in sets there are individual members you have to account for. You can take the whole universe as a set, but you still need to account for why all the individual members in the set are the way they are instead of otherwise. For instance, the gravity could be in the life permitting zone, but another value could be off. We hit the jackpot every single time.

If we instead view them as a set of events, and consider the whole set as a single iteration from among an arbitrarily large number of possible sets

Why should we do this? The occurrences are individual events. You're stacking the deck for your own argument with this faulty premise. Dishonest.

Instead, each value (not just the universal constants, but also the position of the earth, biological complexity, etc) in the universe is a single lottery, and there are infinite values that can be attributed to each one. As I said in the analogies prior to this, if someone began winning jackpots over and over and over again, someone is going to rightly infer that someone is planning for that to happen. AKA designing it.

Well, you implied that evolution seeks to disprove god, and if memory serves, you've made this statement directly in other threads

Not true. I will say there are evolutionists who use it in their argumentation against God.

if Craig's erstwhile opponent was advancing the claim that evolution disproves god, then [he] was incorrect,

Great!

If nothing else, you'd avoid the implicit straw man, which, while [probably] unintended, nonetheless appears.

You know what they say the problem with assuming is...

ExPatMatt said...

boss,

"That's the title of the video and the question Craig is contending with. It's not something I have accused you or anybody of saying".

So the whole post is pretty much pointless then?

The answer to the video title is 'no' and if someone (anyone) is trying to say that evolution does, or could, disprove God then they're beating on a strawman and we need pay them no mind.

Was there a point to this post?

bossmanham said...

So the whole post is pretty much pointless then?

Why does that matter to you? You think I'm just posting things for your benefit? You're not the only reader of my blog.

The answer to the video title is 'no' and if someone (anyone) is trying to say that evolution does, or could, disprove God then they're beating on a strawman and we need pay them no mind.

Obviously the guy Craig was debating, whom I am assuming is a little more familiar with the issues than any of us here, thought it was an issue.

Debunkey Monkey said...

Evolutionary theory disproves the Genesis account of creation, but the existence of God is conveniently unfalsifiable and untestable. And that which can be asserted without evidence can be equally ignored.

Not having a belief in God is the only truly justifiable position given the lack of evidence to the contrary. All other beliefs about God rest upon faith.

bossmanham said...

Evolutionary theory disproves the Genesis account of creation

You sure about that?

but the existence of God is conveniently unfalsifiable and untestable

So is Darwinian evolution.

And that which can be asserted without evidence can be equally ignored

If that were true, then it would destroy science. There's lots of things scientists assume without evidence. But there's also quite a bit of evidence for the existence of God.

Furthermore, can I ignore that statement since you haven't provided any evidence for it?

Not having a belief in God is the only truly justifiable position given the lack of evidence to the contrary

You're making an awful lot of assumptions there, and begging the question. If what you're saying is true, then we should equally doubt most of science, since assumptions are made at its fundamental levels.

And I'm assuming I can ignore this since you've provided no evidence.

Debunkey Monkey said...

bossmanham said...

Evolutionary theory disproves the Genesis account of creation

You sure about that?

Yes.

but the existence of God is conveniently unfalsifiable and untestable

So is Darwinian evolution.

Not so. Evolution could be falsified in many different ways. Finding creatures that jump between two different families like a half duck half alligator creature would disprove evolution.

Likewise, humans have less chromosomes than chimpanzees and other apes. If there were no Chromosomal bonding sites, then evolution would be falsified.

If the endogenous retro-virus record didn't show common descent, then evolution would be falsified.

I could go on and on. Evolution has withstood scientific scrutiny for the last 150 years and counting.

And that which can be asserted without evidence can be equally ignored

If that were true, then it would destroy science. There's lots of things scientists assume without evidence. But there's also quite a bit of evidence for the existence of God.


Science is a process of collecting data (evidence), to either test a hypothesis or come to a conclusion. Without evidence science would fall apart, and this has nothing to do with the assumptions science makes such as overlooking the problem of induction.

You're making an awful lot of assumptions there,

If by assumptions, you mean assuming you can't provide satisfactory evidence that God exists, then yes I am making assumptions.

and begging the question.
No evidence therefore no justification is not a form of circular reasoning.

If what you're saying is true, then we should equally doubt most of science,
Evidence is at the heart of science, and if scientific claims were being made without evidence, then yes, I would reject them.

since assumptions are made at its fundamental levels.
You keep using the word "assumptions" despite the fact that I never used the word. I used the word "evidence." You are changing the topic or not understanding what I'm saying.

And I'm assuming I can ignore this since you've provided no evidence.

You are asking me to provide evidence that there is no evidence for the existence of God? Seriously?

John Doyle said...

The answer to the video title is 'no' and if someone (anyone) is trying to say that evolution does, or could, disprove God then they're beating on a strawman and we need pay them no mind.

Obviously the guy Craig was debating, whom I am assuming is a little more familiar with the issues than any of us here, thought it was an issue.

Not necessarily. I have heard Craig use this argument when debating Hitchens and the argument for the debate was "Does God Exist?". In that circumstance, it was Craig who put forward the premise that evolution disproves God's existence in order to knock it down in the manner we see in the video you have posted.

bossmanham said...

Science is a process of collecting data (evidence), to either test a hypothesis or come to a conclusion.

Conclusions based on prior assumptions that cannot be empirically verified. That means the conclusions aren't fool-proof.

You said: "And that which can be asserted without evidence can be equally ignored"

Can I ignore that statement since you've provided no evidence for it?

bossmanham said...

You keep using the word "assumptions" despite the fact that I never used the word. I used the word "evidence."

And I am contending not all of what you believe is based on evidence, but on a priori assumptions you hold to. Have you ever seen all of the evidence first hand? How can you be sure it all exists?

bossmanham said...

Not necessarily. I have heard Craig use this argument when debating Hitchens and the argument for the debate was "Does God Exist?"

You're kidding, right? I just watched that debate two weeks ago. I have the play-by-play transcript in front of me. Hitchen's first argument was that evolution disproves biological design. That is what Craig was replying to.

Debunkey Monkey said...

"Can I ignore that statement since you've provided no evidence for it?"

Actually, you're missing the point of what I was getting at, but I will humor you.

Here's another example. Many people claim UFOs have visited the planet, but they cannot supply any evidence for it. Therefore, very few people take these stories seriously and for good reason. No evidence for their assertion means that no one can verify their claims. If we cannot verify someone's claims, then we cannot possibly know if they are right or wrong. But one would be foolish to accept such claims at face value. Rather, skepticism is warranted in these situations. Therefore, we can see how that which can be asserted without evidence can just as easily be ignored.

ExPatMatt said...

That's a different question though.

Evolution provides a very strong alternative to the idea of a biological 'designer' at the very least making such a designer redundant in as far as evolution can explain biodiversity.

This does nothing to disprove a god that set up the system though.

Understanding how lightening forms does nothing to disprove Zeus. It just renders Zeus-didit useless as an explanatory answer.

bossmanham said...

This does nothing to disprove a god that set up the system though

Well we could discuss that another time I'm sure, but Craig was answering the former charge, that evolution disproves Christianity. He was not knocking down a straw man, he was answering one of Hitchen's points.

Evolution is entirely compatible with the Genesis account. Even Augustine saw the days as possibly being aeons. I reject Darwinism because of the evidence.

bossmanham said...

Actually, you're missing the point of what I was getting at, but I will humor you.

No I'm not. You said, "[T]hat which can be asserted without evidence can be equally ignored."

That in itself is an assertion without evidence. So either we ignore that as well, which would falsify the statement, or accept it, which would also falsify it.

Either way, it's a self defeating philosophy.

ExPatMatt said...

boss,

"Craig was answering the former charge, that evolution disproves Christianity. He was not knocking down a straw man, he was answering one of Hitchen's points".

but before that you said;

"Hitchen's first argument was that evolution disproves biological design. That is what Craig was replying to".

Which is it?!


"I reject Darwinism because of the evidence".

What evidence, specifically, has caused you to reject 'Darwinism'?

I say Darwinism like that, because if you're restricting yourself only to the views and evidences that Darwin had available then that's one thing, if you're rejecting modern evolutionary theory then you have to include all the evidence that has been found over the past 150 years as well.

Still, what is the specific evidence that you base your rejection of evolution on?

Cheers,

Debunkey Monkey said...

That in itself is an assertion without evidence. So either we ignore that as well, which would falsify the statement, or accept it, which would also falsify it.

Or you can ask me to support my claim, which I did.

Either way, it's a self defeating philosophy.

I'm sorry you think that asking for proof is a self-defeating philosophy, although I would call it more like a rule of thumb.

bossmanham said...

Or you can ask me to support my claim, which I did.

No you didn't. You gave support for why we should ask for evidence a UFO. It wasn't evidence for anything.

I'm sorry you think that asking for proof is a self-defeating philosophy

I didn't say that. I said anything which can be asserted without evidence can be equally ignored is a self defeating philosophy. Not only that, it's something that would make life unlivable. No scientists follows this rule. They make assumptions without empirical evidence all the time. You do the same thing. You assume that the scientists actually performed these experiments you trust in. You assume they aren't mentally challenged in some way. Much of life is based on assumptions we formulate.

I formulate the belief based on the evidence I have observed (that being does not come from non-being) that since the universe began to exist, something had to create it. That's a conclusion based on evidence.

bossmanham said...

What evidence, specifically, has caused you to reject 'Darwinism'?

The evidence that the radical speciation you have referred to has never been observed. I don't think the evidence that is used in support of that theses warrants such a leap in logic.

if you're rejecting modern evolutionary theory then you have to include all the evidence that has been found over the past 150 years as well.

We have to delineate the two views somehow. I have already said I believe evolution happens. I believe mutations create different breeds of different animals. You'll need to provide a way we can differentiate between the two.

Debunkey Monkey said...

I didn't say that. I said anything which can be asserted without evidence can be equally ignored is a self defeating philosophy. Not only that, it's something that would make life unlivable. No scientists follows this rule. They make assumptions without empirical evidence all the time.

You still don't understand. I said you can ignore an assertion, not that you should ignore all assertions that cannot be backed up by evidence. Obviously, reasonable assumptions are made all the time.

Likewise, I could take your word that God exists, but I choose to dismiss you out of hand.

Debunkey Monkey said...

The evidence that the radical speciation you have referred to has never been observed. I don't think the evidence that is used in support of that theses warrants such a leap in logic.

A) You never gave any evidence for creation, you just attacked evolution.

B) I have read plenty of examples of new species of bacteria arising through natural selection including a new bacteria that eats nylon.

C) Speciation for larger animals which breed far less frequently than bacteria occurs over the course of hundreds of thousands of years. So of course it hasn't been directly observed. The fossil record shows many transitions over time as speciation occurs though.

Wikipedia has a lot of good examples here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_transitional_fossils

bossmanham said...

You still don't understand. I said you can ignore an assertion, not that you should ignore all assertions that cannot be backed up by evidence

Now you're changing what you said. You said, "that which can be asserted without evidence can be equally ignored." By that logic, we should ignore everything that we don't have first hand evidence of, even that statement. You have given no evidence still to back up that statement.

Likewise, I could take your word that God exists, but I choose to dismiss you out of hand.

And you point to "transitional forms" without any evidence that they actually are ancestors of the animals you tie them to, and I will likewise dismiss that out of hand.

The fossil record lacks any smooth transitions, and it lacks the pure number needed to empirically prove common descent. You have a few fossils that are similar to each other and then assume, without any empirical evidence, that one descends from another.

I have no problem with evolution. There are changes that do happen. People are generally taller, for instance, than they were a few centuries ago. There are many explanations for this, especially diet.

I have read plenty of examples of new species of bacteria arising through natural selection including a new bacteria that eats nylon

This is acceptable in any form of creationism.

Speciation for larger animals which breed far less frequently than bacteria occurs over the course of hundreds of thousands of years

Speciation in large animals is also recognized in creationism. It is the radical speciation that is not observed.

Stan, the Half-Truth Teller said...

I formulate the belief based on the evidence I have observed (that being does not come from non-being)...

So you assert a magical being to solve this problem, and insist that an impersonal process (intelligent or otherwise) is implausible? We have observed processes do amazing things many, many times, so it is no great stretch to say that such a process may have been the basis for the formation of 'being.' Your assertion of some magical 'being' is far less grounded in reality -- it has never been shown in any but the most dubious of circumstances, and everywhere the effects of such a 'being' are claimed, we have found natural explanation (eventually).

...that since the universe began to exist, something had to create it.

This is pure question-begging, and it is pure dishonesty. Something may have created it, true, but it is not necessarily the case that something had to create it. Please be honest, and please stop being a douche.

That's a conclusion based on evidence.

O RLY? You have evidence that "being does not come from non-being," or that "something had to create [the universe]"? It's a conclusion, sure, but instead of being based on evidence, deduction, or even cogent induction, it is instead based on a restatement of one of your premises -- it is question-begging.

Seriously, man, you could at least try to present an honest argument. That would be clean and refreshing, just like... Oh. You must've misunderstood -- I asked you to stop being a douche, not to stop douching.

--
Stan

Debunkey Monkey said...

Speciation in large animals is also recognized in creationism. It is the radical speciation that is not observed.

You creationists can't keep your story straight. Ray Comfort specifically said "kind" is equivalent to "species."

Anyhoo... Mitochondrial DNA, DNA analysis, and ERV location testing shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that all life is related.

Even by your own admission, mammals evolve and speciate over tens of thousands of years. Certainly you can imagine the amount of evolution that can take place over millions and billions of years?

By the way, care to define "radical speciation," and how it differs from "speciation?"

bossmanham said...

So you assert a magical being to solve this problem, and insist that an impersonal process (intelligent or otherwise) is implausible?

There's no magic involved. True magic would be the universe popping into existence uncaused out of nothing.

We have observed processes do amazing things many, many times, so it is no great stretch to say that such a process may have been the basis for the formation of 'being.'

Then there's no reason we shouldn't see being come from non-being all the time. But I caught the logical fallacy there. So amazing things happen naturally, therefore being can come from non-being? How does that work?

Something may have created it, true, but it is not necessarily the case that something had to create it.

If the universe came from nothing, there was literally no time and no matter without the universe, as scientists agree that those came into existence with the universe. Therefore, the cause that obviously (denying this only makes one look silly) had to be there couldn't be material or temporal. The only things that fit that description are abstract objects like numbers which are causally effete, or minds. Therefore, I conclude that it was a personal consciousness that caused the universe, because I don't accept the magical notion that being can come from non being. If something begins to exist in any instance it has a cause.

You have evidence that "being does not come from non-being,"

Yes. It seems pretty self evident. It's never been observed otherwise. It's far more plausible to accept this than its negation.

or that "something had to create [the universe]

The firs premise was, "anything that begins to exist has a cause." It is far more plausible than its negation.

It's a conclusion, sure, but instead of being based on evidence, deduction, or even cogent induction

Actually the argument is completely deductive. The conclusion follows necessarily from the premises. You don't seem to understand what deductive arguments are. It's also based on evidence because all the empirical evidence we have shows being does not come from non-being.

Seriously, man, you could at least try to present an honest argument.

This is called the appeal to ridicule, children. Don't like the argument? Ridicule it. Only people predisposed to your viewpoint will think it's a good debate tactic. Everyone else just facepalms.

Please be honest, and please stop being a douche.

This is the last post I will allow from you, Stan. You obviously lack the social skills, maturity and intelligence to carry on a civilized conversation. You accept silly and implausible propositions, which makes it difficult to take you seriously, and really really stink at forming and interpreting analogies. Therefore you resort to strong rhetoric. It's juvenile. I do hope you come to Christ someday and will pray for you. I know you'll laugh at that, and that's fine. God bless.

bossmanham said...

You creationists can't keep your story straight. Ray Comfort specifically said "kind" is equivalent to "species."

Since when did I say I accept Comfort's premises?

Mitochondrial DNA, DNA analysis, and ERV location testing shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that all life is related.

Do I get to ignore this one?

DNA doesn't survive millions of years. The oldest DNA we have is 70,000 years.

Even by your own admission, mammals evolve and speciate over tens of thousands of years. Certainly you can imagine the amount of evolution that can take place over millions and billions of years?

The fossil record doesn't support it. I told you I reject it because of the lack of empirical evidence.

bossmanham said...

By the way, care to define "radical speciation," and how it differs from "speciation?"

Radical speciation is when a giraffe descends from a unicellular organism over a really long time. I only use the term because Darwinists can't get their definitions straight for what a species is, or anything in taxonomy for that matter.

ExPatMatt said...

bossmanham,

You make me laugh.

John Doyle said...

If the universe came from nothing, there was literally no time and no matter without the universe, as scientists agree that those came into existence with the universe. Therefore, the cause that obviously (denying this only makes one look silly) had to be there couldn't be material or temporal. The only things that fit that description are abstract objects like numbers which are causally effete, or minds.

I can think of no examples of a mind that is neither material nor temporal.

Debunkey Monkey said...

DNA doesn't survive millions of years. The oldest DNA we have is 70,000 years.

It doesn't need to survive millions of years. If we are all related, we should be able to compare genomes to determine relationships similarly to how a paternity test is performed.

photosynthesis said...

Radical speciation is when a giraffe descends from a unicellular organism over a really long time. I only use the term because Darwinists can't get their definitions straight for what a species is, or anything in taxonomy for that matter.

Well, if it happened in the course of millions of years, through many intermediary steps, then it would not be called radical. If you wanted it to be a jump directly from unicellular to giraffe, now THAT would be radical, but THAT would not be evolution.

Now here is something radical: a man coming up into life and everything directly from dust. Right. Like that would happen. Then you have the gall to say it is not magic.

G.E.

bossmanham said...

You make me laugh.

Likewise, my friend.

I can think of no examples of a mind that is neither material nor temporal.

So? You're not out of the woods. Take away the omnipotent mind and you're left with a magical "poofing" into existence. Implausible.

bossmanham said...

Well, if it happened in the course of millions of years, through many intermediary steps, then it would not be called radical.

Yet you don't have evidence for that.

Then you have the gall to say it is not magic.

Your alternative is a puddle of ooze became life all of a sudden. How is that not magic?

bossmanham said...

If we are all related, we should be able to compare genomes to determine relationships similarly to how a paternity test is performed.

That is not a conclusion based on the evidence, but on your philosophical presupposition. If there is a creator, the similarity in genetic patterns would be expected, mostly due to the fact that we all live in the same environment. Similarity is just efficient design. However, in many cases, major phyla may have similar morphologies (the way they look on the outside) but due to different genes - and that simply destroys the homology argument.

Debunkey Monkey said...

It's so incredible that this designer would try to trick us by inserting mutations and non-coding DNA (including endogenous retro viruses) into all life in the planet in correspondence with all taxonomic clades. God's so tricky!

photosynthesis said...

bossmanham,

I said:
Well, if it happened in the course of millions of years, through many intermediary steps, then it would not be called radical.

You answered:
Yet you don't have evidence for that.

Yes, we do. Tons of it. You just do not want to take a look. There are even living things today that show intermediate states between unicellular life and multicellular life (like the guy in my avatar), from multicellular colonies to colonies with specialized members, and so on and so forth. I could continue, but there are tons of books available. Not only that, there is a lot at your fingertips by searching the web.

I continued (with the Adam example):
Then you have the gall to say it is not magic.

And, not surprisingly, you answer:
Your alternative is a puddle of ooze became life all of a sudden. How is that not magic?

1. Not a "puddle of ooze" necessarily.
2. Not "all of a sudden" (why would this bother you if it were? Your alternative is much more "all of a sudden" than anything in biology), but stepwise.
3. The steps require no magic.
4. Your alternative is an invisible, ever-existing, magical being that can do anything.
5. What happened with the one where I told you about that empirical evidence for creation?

G.E.

photosynthesis said...

That is not a conclusion based on the evidence, but on your philosophical presupposition.

SO paternity tests are invalid because they work only because of our presuppositions?

If there is a creator, the similarity in genetic patterns would be expected,

Really? I thought this was supposed to be a omnipotent creator. Now this creator is limited to use the same genes by the environment?

mostly due to the fact that we all live in the same environment.

Then why organisms from different phyla, living in the same environments, do not have much more genetic similarity?

Similarity is just efficient design.

Well, I could buy that, if it weren't because humans are supposed to be the image of that creator, while other animals not.

However, in many cases, major phyla may have similar morphologies (the way they look on the outside) but due to different genes - and that simply destroys the homology argument.

Actually it destroys your genes/environment argument above (look at your foot, it might be bleeding). What are you thinking about here? dolphins and sharks? If so, you have some trouble coming ... let me know.

G.E.

bossmanham said...

Monkey,

It's so incredible that this designer would try to trick us by inserting mutations and non-coding DNA (including endogenous retro viruses) into all life in the planet in correspondence with all taxonomic clades.

Perhaps He isn't trying to trick you. Maybe you've misconstrued the evidence He provided?

Plant dude,

Yes, we do. Tons of it

No you don't. You have evidence that you think points toward that. But the evidence you do have leads to an explanation that is ad hoc to simply explain life without God. The theses of common ancestry and random mutation and natural selection takes limited evidence and formulates colossal conclusions far beyond the evidence. Even though DE has not been displayed, it is the only game in town for the antitheist. This has to be it. The theist is able to follow the evidence where it leads.

There are even living things today that show intermediate states between unicellular life and multicellular life

It doesn't change its fundamental genetic structure. Humans go from a single cell to a multicellular organism. Their DNA doesn't change.

I could continue, but there are tons of books available.

I'm sure you could continue with your circumstantial evidence that can't overcome the problem of induction. I'm aware there are a lot of books whose authors have presuppositions and monetary reasons to promote DE.

Not a "puddle of ooze" necessarily

Then come up with a more plausible explanation.

Not "all of a sudden"

Really. It was not life at one moment and then it was...looks like 'all of a sudden' to me.

The steps require no magic.

It requires nonexistent proteins and amino acids combining to create a living organism capable of reproduction. Yeah, that's plausible.

Your alternative is an invisible, ever-existing, magical being that can do anything.

Whom it is more plausible to believe in given big bang cosmology.

What happened with the one where I told you about that empirical evidence for creation?

See cosmological argument.

SO paternity tests are invalid because they work only because of our presuppositions?

Pretty sure paternity tests examine different parts of the DNA, or else we couldn't tell humans apart with DNA.

Really? I thought this was supposed to be a omnipotent creator. Now this creator is limited to use the same genes by the environment?

Straw-man.

Then why organisms from different phyla, living in the same environments, do not have much more genetic similarity?

Genetic similarities between different animals make life on earth with its environment possible. That is the biggest reason many genetics are similar. Even in the similarities there are vast differences. Humans and chimps differ by 150,000,000 DNA base pairs.

Furthermore, you act like your taxonomy is some settled science, but it's highly subjective. You hear that 1/3 of dinosaur species scientists have touted may not have actually been different species, but young dinosaurs?

Well, I could buy that, if it weren't because humans are supposed to be the image of that creator, while other animals not.

You obviously don't understand Christian theology. Being made in the imago dei does not refer to appearance, but to cognitive rationality, personhood, freedom of thought and expression, etc.

Actually it destroys your genes/environment argument above

You guys are really good at assertions. Hand waving doesn't count as an argument.

photosynthesis said...

Brennon,

No you don't. You have evidence that you think points toward that. But the evidence you do have leads to an explanation that is ad hoc to simply explain life without God.

Not so. That you think a God has to have done things one way does not mean a God could not have done them differently. Evolution would deny one kind of God. One that is invented to fill-in for ignorance. Such as your God. I know many other Christians who do know the evidence, who do understand evolution, and thus have no problem with it. Yet, they still believe in God. One of them is quite famous and he is directing the US NIH (Francis Collins).

The theses of common ancestry and random mutation and natural selection takes limited evidence and formulates colossal conclusions far beyond the evidence.

Well, if it is so little evidence why don't you show me each of them and how they fail? Should take little space being so "scarce."

Even though DE has not been displayed, it is the only game in town for the antitheist. This has to be it. The theist is able to follow the evidence where it leads.

What the heck is DE? How is a theist "able to follow the evidence where it leads" if the theist will deny anything that does not comport to their fixed beliefs?

I said:
There are even living things today that show intermediate states between unicellular life and multicellular life

You answered:
It doesn't change its fundamental genetic structure. Humans go from a single cell to a multicellular organism. Their DNA doesn't change.

Red-herring. I said that we have organisms that live at different levels of organization, from just colonies to slight differentiation to ... humans. That alone proves that it is possible to evolve our kind of complexity step-wise.

I'm sure you could continue with your circumstantial evidence that can't overcome the problem of induction.

This is so funny. Now, since evolution has tons of evidence, not circumstantial at all, let us go for another problem. Induction! Hyper-red-herring.

...

photosynthesis said...

...

I'm aware there are a lot of books whose authors have presuppositions and monetary reasons to promote DE.

Not really, I know this guy who was born a millionaire. His father was angry because instead of making tons of money the guy decided to study evolution. Early life evolution. The guy is quite good at it, has found many hints. What he makes as a professor and researcher is nothing compared to what he has. So, ad hominem and a ridiculous accusation. Just let me know what percentage of biologists are millionaires and we take it from there.

Then come up with a more plausible explanation.

No need, as I told you, others have done so. The "ooze" thing is a creationist straw-man. Not a scientific theory.

Not "all of a sudden"

Really. It was not life at one moment and then it was...looks like 'all of a sudden' to me.


Because you have not read about it. You seem to think that there is something magical about life. We could say that once there were imperfect replicators, we could call that life, "all of a sudden", but it would not be recognizable by someone like yourself who thinks it was a complete cell and all.

The steps require no magic.

It requires nonexistent proteins and amino acids combining to create a living organism capable of reproduction. Yeah, that's plausible.


Wrong, it does not even require proteins and amino acids. It requires some genetic material (meaning anything that can store the information and be copied, not necessarily DNA or RNA), and some material capable of catalyzing replication of the genetic material. Several substances have BOTH properties. You do not even need an envelope. Yet even simple envelopes are quite easy to get.

...

photosynthesis said...

...

Your alternative is an invisible, ever-existing, magical being that can do anything.

Whom it is more plausible to believe in given big bang cosmology.


Then hold those "magic" comments against atheists. Makes you look like a hypocrite. (After all the magic you believe is well beyond the one you accuse atheists of, out of your ignorance.) Also, if you believe this, why did you call the "omnipotent" part a straw-man? (below)

What happened with the one where I told you about that empirical evidence for creation?

See cosmological argument.


Nope, I was talking about my answer to your "conclusion out of empirical evidence" where I said: "yes, since we cannot deny that we see Universes being created all the time".

SO paternity tests are invalid because they work only because of our presuppositions?

Pretty sure paternity tests examine different parts of the DNA, or else we couldn't tell humans apart with DNA.


Exactly the same way relationships between humans and other primates are tested. Exactly the very same.

Really? I thought this was supposed to be a omnipotent creator. Now this creator is limited to use the same genes by the environment?

Straw-man.


So this creator of yours is not omnipotent? Sorry. I thought I was talking to a Christian. Then what is this creator? (If you say omnipotent, then this was not a straw-man).

Then why organisms from different phyla, living in the same environments, do not have much more genetic similarity?

Genetic similarities between different animals make life on earth with its environment possible. That is the biggest reason many genetics are similar. Even in the similarities there are vast differences. Humans and chimps differ by 150,000,000 DNA base pairs.


Yeah, that is why they are chimps and we are not. So?

Furthermore, you act like your taxonomy is some settled science, but it's highly subjective. You hear that 1/3 of dinosaur species scientists have touted may not have actually been different species, but young dinosaurs?

I do not act like taxonomy is an exact science. You do. So, you think humans and chimps are the same species then?

Well, I could buy that, if it weren't because humans are supposed to be the image of that creator, while other animals not.

You obviously don't understand Christian theology. Being made in the imago dei does not refer to appearance, but to cognitive rationality, personhood, freedom of thought and expression, etc.


Then what is the problem with our bodies being related to those of the chimp?

Actually it destroys your genes/environment argument above

You guys are really good at assertions. Hand waving doesn't count as an argument.


What @*&%#$@$* hand waving? You said that genetic similarities were due to same environments. Then you say that similar environments do not get the same genes invalidating homology. Which is it?

G.E.

See ya Brennon. You are quite the red-herringness and I am starting to think that educating you would take an eternity. Thanks for the info on what "Image of God" means though.

John Doyle said...

I can think of no examples of a mind that is neither material nor temporal.

So? You're not out of the woods.

I read your link. I find the arguments weak. He quotes a neurosurgeon and a neurophysiologist in his defence. Penfield (born 1891 died 1976) and Eccles (born 1903 died 1997) are hardly on the cutting edge of cognitive science. I always get suspicious when experts are disinterred in support of an argument.

If the human mind is immaterial, how do you explain dementia?

Take away the omnipotent mind and you're left with a magical "poofing" into existence. Implausible.

Much as I would like to provide you with a plausible explanation for the existence of the reality in which we live, I have no such answer. I do not know. You can say that it could have been caused by God and I could not gainsay that assertion. I find such an explanation as implausible as you find my insistence on a natural, material reason.

Do you not find the idea, that this vast universe with its billions of galaxies was made specifically for us, slightly absurd?

bossmanham said...

If the human mind is immaterial, how do you explain dementia?

I can't explain it entirely. I know the Bible makes it clear that we are soul/body unities. God created the soul and the brain as necessarily interconnected. If it were not so, we couldn't function. If the mind were separated from the body like a captain is from his ship, can you imagine the difficulties we would have determining if we were injured? Our mind would not directly perceive it and we would be injured without knowledge of it until the mind investigated.

I heard the analogy the mind plays the brain like a pianist plays the piano. When both are functioning properly it is like they are apart of one another. However, when the piano is damaged, the pianist cannot perform correctly. Both are impaired.

So, the brain and the mind are necessarily interconnected. The Bible also makes clear sin brought disease and ultimately death (the violent separation of soul from body). Disease affects the brain which is interconnected with the mind at this point. This prevents the mind from operating the brain correctly. You and I cannot know what people suffering with dementia are perceiving. They could be aware, in some semblance, of what is going on and unable to do anything about it because of the damage to the brain. Or the damage could be so confounding to the mind that neither can operate correctly.

Unlike Plato, Christianity teaches that the separation of the soul from the body is entirely unnatural. It is not the state we should be in, and those who are with God now are longing for the time when He will reunite them with their body. The Bible promises a future date when our souls will be reunited with perfected bodies, and there will be no more dementia fouling up the works.

How do you explain a brain dead body continuing to live? The mind is absent, no longer there to operate the brain.

Also, why should I even trust anything my mind, which in your view is just the product of random mutations, perceives? We descend from apes. Apes are hardly intellectual, by our judgement. There is no ape philosophy. But who is to say our judgement is any better than an apes? How do we know what we perceive is any more cogent than what animals perceive? How can we trust the naturalist's conclusion based on animal reasoning? All our rationality could be an illusion.

I can only imagine the abject hopelessness of living life thinking your entire existence boils down to nothing but a bunch of chemical reactions. Funny, only the creatures supposedly created in God's image give it a second thought.

Do you not find the idea, that this vast universe with its billions of galaxies was made specifically for us, slightly absurd?

Not any more absurd than we are the only race on this planet capable of rational thought. Seems to be something special about us.

Onesimus said...

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools…
… They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised.
…Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Romans 1

John Doyle said...

How do you explain a brain dead body continuing to live? The mind is absent, no longer there to operate the brain.

A brain dead body will only continue to function if supported artificially. Brain death is caused by the death of the cerebral neurons.

Also, why should I even trust anything my mind, which in your view is just the product of random mutations, perceives?

You shouldn't. It is easy to demonstrate how our senses may be fooled.

We descend from apes. Apes are hardly intellectual, by our judgement. There is no ape philosophy.

True, but then not all men are philosophers either. Our brains have certainly developed in size and capacity compared to the other apes.

But who is to say our judgement is any better than an apes? How do we know what we perceive is any more cogent than what animals perceive? How can we trust the naturalist's conclusion based on animal reasoning? All our rationality could be an illusion.

It could be, but I doubt it is.

I can only imagine the abject hopelessness of living life thinking your entire existence boils down to nothing but a bunch of chemical reactions.

It really is not that hopeless. Would the joy and pain in your life mean nothing to you if there was no God?

Funny, only the creatures supposedly created in God's image give it a second thought.

Or you could say that it is not so strange that man should make God in his image.

Not any more absurd than we are the only race on this planet capable of rational thought. Seems to be something special about us.

Are we really the only animal on the planet capable of rational thought? Certainly we have developed our capacity for reasoning more than any other animal.

bossmanham said...

A brain dead body will only continue to function if supported artificially. Brain death is caused by the death of the cerebral neurons.

And thus the mind can either not operate the brain or has departed from it.

You shouldn't. It is easy to demonstrate how our senses may be fooled.

Yep.

Our brains have certainly developed in size and capacity compared to the other apes

That's really not relevant. It doesn't prove anything about whether a mind created by accident and is operated by accident can ever be sure of anything it conceives of.

It could be, but I doubt it is.

On what grounds?

Would the joy and pain in your life mean nothing to you if there was no God?

Yes, actually.

Or you could say that it is not so strange that man should make God in his image.

I think it's strange we're the only creature out of the millions that exist that can form rational thought.

Are we really the only animal on the planet capable of rational thought?

We're the only one that asks, "why?"