Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Atheist's Riddle... Oh no, I'm so scared!

I came across this Atheist's Riddle thing. Has anybody else seen this? The website can be found here, but I'll summarise the argument below.

The guy posted this on an internet chat board:

Gentlemen:

The starting point of this discussion is my central thesis, which is:

1) DNA is not merely a molecule with a pattern; it is a code, a language, and an information storage mechanism.
2) All codes are created by a conscious mind; there is no natural process known to science that creates coded information.
3) Therefore DNA was designed by a mind.

If you can provide an empirical example of a code or language that occurs naturally, you've toppled my proof. All you need is one.

Perry Marshall


So what's the deal with this thing? Well, first I'd like to point out that this is yet another religious hand-waving argument, with no physical evidence to support it. It is philosophical, an argument vastly limited by the imagination of the arguer. He also attempts to put the burden of proof on us to prove him wrong, by demanding that WE provide something to discredit him, as opposed to him producing some evidence to back-up his hand-waving.

The next thing that strikes me is that this guy really likes his semantics (which is funny, because he doesn't seem to realise or care that this thing he calls a riddle, is in fact, not a riddle). He seems determined to define DNA as a 'code'. That's fine, he can call it whatever he wants. It doesn't make a difference. The reason that it doesn't make a difference is because in the next point of his proof, he asserts that no natural process can make a code. So whatever he wants to call DNA, it doesn't matter. He can call DNA a 'fhjggjksdvbdf' if he wants, because the next step is to assert that all fhjggjksdvbdfs are made by minds.

So what has he done in the first two steps? Define DNA in any way that he likes, then assert that all of those are created by minds. He has constructed his proof by assuming it to be true, by immediately dismissing the possibility that this code, or whatever he wants to call DNA, could have been created naturally. Therefore, we are not allowed to merely say, "DNA is an example of a code created by nature, you fucktard!" He hasn't allowed it, expecting us to disprove his claims (even though it isn't up to us to disprove it) without allowing us to use DNA itself as an example. It doesn't matter if there aren't other examples of codes created by nature. We only need one.

I guess one way to handle it is to just say, "DNA and RNA", and move along.

Another way is to not allow the second step to go unproven and unchallenged. Tell him that you want to use DNA as your example. Ask the believer to prove that nature can't create a code; that nature couldn't have created DNA. After all, it's an axiom of the believer's proof, so it should be able to be backed up. Because the whole proof relies on this step, the proof will collapse if the step itself has to be proven. He will not be able to do it, try as he might with more hand-waving and some fast-talking/typing. Don't back down! Make him PROVE that nature can't (not that it DIDN'T, but that it CAN'T) create a code. He will no doubt reply that YOU can't prove that nature CAN create a code, but you don't have to. You were not the one trying to advance a proof that nature created DNA, the sheep was trying to advance a proof that a god created it. Neither one of you can do it, therefore he has failed in his task. You're at a stalemate, where neither one can prove his belief about the origin of DNA. The existence of a god requires an extraordinary explanation, so the natural origin will be more likely by Occam's Razor, but you don't even need to go that far. Just be happy that this fool can't prove his case.

Wow, what a great proof! Perry, are you at all surprised that this grand proof has not been accepted by the scientific community or the world's great thinkers? You do nothing but define things in terms you want, then assert that your proof is true! Then you challenge us to disprove it! You're just another in a long, long line of arrogant, fast-talking hand-wavers without a single shred of evidence. You'd think evidence would be pretty easy to come by if this god thing existed, like you claim. Get bent!

No, wait! Before you get bent, answer this. I call it the Theist's Riddle.

1. Your god is a supernatural being; it is a spirit, with absolutely no evidence to support its existence, and a bigger problem of how it itself got created if it does indeed exist.

2. All supernatural beings are created by, and exist only in, human imaginations; there is no natural or supernatural process known to science which can create them or a place for them to exist.

3. Therefore your god was created by, and exists only in, human imaginations.

If you can provide an empirical example of a supernatural being which exists outside of the human imagination (and can prove it), you've toppled my proof. All you need is one.

This is so much fun! Here's another one:

1. Humans are a form of life.

2. All life evolved naturally; there is no process known to science by which a god could create life.

3. Therefore, humans evolved naturally.

If you can provide an empirical example of a form of life that was created by a process of a god (and can prove it), you've toppled my proof. All you need is one. (It would also be nice if you'd describe the process used. We're curious.)

Now, prove me wrong! Loser.

(Edit: for a little bit more on this topic, check out my post about scientific proof vs. "religious proof")

(Another edit: for a follow-up on the Atheist's Riddle, please check this post.)

139 comments:

Emperial said...

Brilliant. I had just heard about this riddle and wanted to see what it was, but he wants you to sign up for a five-day course of e-mails. No, thank you. Anyway, what a pointless "riddle," thanks for an insightful rebuttal so simple a child could understand, so complex no theist can solve!

Bunc said...

His riddle is of course utterly ridiculous, not least because there are other codes in nature that clearly arose naturally.

Human language is one of them. There is little doubt also for example that birdsong encodes meaning even if only in mate selection. It codes for fitness in the mate selction game.

He even acknowledges that a language can be a code in his own framing of the so called riddle!

The first part of his "argument" - that DNA is a code is certainly correct. In a sense it is the coded fitness function for that organism. It is indeed a storage mechanism - of information about the organisms evolutionary inheritance.

But as he apparently recognises himself there are other codes in nature and these therefore must by definition occur naturally.

The man is an idiot.

Jeffrey Mark said...

Excellent!!!

I just came across this stupid "riddle" today after finally clicking on one of the annoying ads I've been seeing for it.

And the first thing that popped into my head was that he seems to be making up a definition for "code" and conveniently attaching both language and DNA to this definition. He's playing with words, and that has no bearing in useful, applied science.

I then googled and found your posting and was pleased to see you made a similar argument, plus several other excellent ones that I hadn't thought of.

Also, here's another thought: Instead of "mind" we could just as easily say "human". So I'd like to see him agree to this:

1) DNA is not merely a molecule with a pattern; it is a code, a language, and an information storage mechanism.
2) All codes are created by HUMANS; there is no natural process known to science that creates coded information.
3) Therefore DNA was designed by a HUMAN.

I'd like to see him disprove this.

Jeff Mark
Author, "Christian No More"

Gary said...

Yes, yes, yes ... I'm too old and tired to pay these guys much heed - but I did give in to my curiosity and clicked his ad/link. Anyway, thanks for the logic and the rebuttals/comments - esp my new favorite word: fucktard :)

Anonymous said...

His argument is completely invalid.
And so is yours in the exact same way...

Grow up and live your life. Nobody cares if you believe in God or not so stop making such a big deal about it. If you spend your whole life trying to disprove God then you have wasted it. If you are right, and there is no God, then good job... you can say i told you so. If you are wrong, you get to meet the man you spent your life denying.

Im not saying there is a God or isn't. Im saying arguing it is a waste of everyones fucking time.

elkoctopus@hotmail.com

Admin said...

http://www.atheistpropaganda.com/2009/01/does-anybody-care-whether-or-not-i.html

Anonymous said...

I don't know why, but I have been heavily debating internally for the past few years about the existance of God. I look at religion and all of the pain and destruction that it has caused throughout the history of mankind, and science has come so far in recent times and solved so many of the great mysteries of the universe. Yet for some reason I've always had this lingering feeling of the presence of a higher power. Now I have figured one thing out for damn sure, and that is that no form of organized religion (at least any of the ones that I know about) can possibly be right. Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddism, they all are built upon stories and myths that cannot possibly be completely true. Personally I think these religions are merely stories that got blown out of proportion via a giant longterm game of "telephone" throughout hundreds of generations. But I always thought that there could be something more than meets the eye.

Due to a couple of extreme coincidental occurences in the past days and the fact that I read this artical when I did I feel I have no choice but to believe in a higher power watching over me.

You see, yesterday a friend of mine who's roommate is moving out in a couple of weeks asked me if I wanted to move in and take their place because I had recently been staying with my folks due to an unexpected financial crisis.
I was eager to take him up on the offer as some tension had been building between my parents and I due to the fact that they had been asking me to pay an amount of rent considerably more than the cost of my staying with them. I kind of took it as a slap in the face considering that I had fallen under some financial strife and was trying to get resituated.
Later on last night (the same night) I picked up a couple of random movies from "Family Video" (blatant corporation namedrop, sorry) and went over to my girlfriend's place and watched them. I got two movies, "No Good Deed" (two stars) and "Slingshot" (three stars). I noticed an astounding coincidence that in both movies there was a part where the main characters had to take a vehicle and switch over the license plate and it showed a close up of them screwing on the new plates with a screwdriver. Seriously rent these movies and watch them, it is a WEIRD coincidence because I had never heard of either of them before and I randomly picked them out of hundreds, possibly THOUSANDS of movies. I would seriously like to get the odds on that.

And now today I come home from work and find out that my Dad could possbly be getting laid off of his job, the VERY DAY after my friend had asked me to move in and AND the movie coincidence.

Then, not five minutes later I stumble upon this atheist's riddle/theist's riddle argument.

What does it mean?

Well all I can say is that it's just too many longshot occurrences in too short a span of time for me to just pass off as "a funny coincidence"

I really don't know what to say. I believe in science, I believe in evolution, I believe in progress. But after this I must say that I also believe in something unseen as well.

I'm sorry I wrote so much and take from it what you will. It is what it is. I'm out.

And no, I didn't make up a word of this. I'm not that lame.

Anonymous said...

@ elkoctopus:
- "Nobody cares if you believe in God or not" - Obviously you have not faced a sword-swinging crusader or a bomb-packing jihadist. People do care, fact.
- "arguing is a waste of time" - no, arguing can have fruitful outcomes such as correcting mistakes that we make; or at the least it's practice exercising your mind, that you can then apply to making better decisions.
- "if you are wrong you get to meet the man you spent your life denying" - possibly, but I doubt any religion's "man" would torture you for eternity for holding a reasonable, well-intended belief.

@the last anonymous - it's comon to be impressed by coincidences, but think of all the combination of things that go one every minute of every day that you do NOT notice simply cause they don't coincide. If you count all of those, you'll realise that getting two movies with the same scene and observing a string of two, three, ten events of similar nature is not all that weeeeeeeird.

@this blogger, thank you - I need the relief that countering every ridiculous well-publicized but ill-thought position is some lurking wisdom of sensible, peacefully minded beings.

Regards,
Raph

Admin said...

Raph,

Check out these links, which are to posts dedicated to two of the comments you replied to:

http://www.atheistpropaganda.com/2009/01/does-anybody-care-whether-or-not-i.html

http://www.atheistpropaganda.com/2009/03/god-at-video-store.html

And finally, thanks for your compliment.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you guys figured out the riddle... Why don't you put those purses down, go on to that form, and show that God loving idiot a thing or two. http://www.freeratio.org//showthread.php?t=135497&page=1
God sucks because he wants us to be good to each other. What a jerk! Without God in our lives we can all lie, steal and rape guilt free. See you in hell, losers.

Admin said...

To the last poster, here is my response:

http://www.atheistpropaganda.com/2009/05/how-many-of-my-atheist-readers-are.html

The Sulcus of Succulents said...

Here's another "Theist's Riddle":

1) Physical matter is not created by conscious minds; there is no conscious process known to science that creates physical matter.
2) Therefore the physical universe was not created by a conscious mind.

If you can provide an empirical example of physical matter being created by a conscious mind, you've toppled my proof. All you need is one.

Todd said...

Here's another one for the theists: Naturally occuring nuclear reactors! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_nuclear_fission_reactor

chunkylimey said...

Talking of riddles I had some Jehovah's Witness' come visit me the other day.

Firstly I had offered them a copy of Christopher Hitchens "God Is Not Great" in exchange for me reading their literature. They declined (politely I might add) so then I asked them if I could ask them 4 yes/ no questions:

1. Is God all-powerful? [Yes]
2. Is God all-knowing? [Yes]
3. Would an all-powerful all-knowing being be capable of seeing the future and knowing the consequences of their actions? [Yes]
4. So in giving Free-will God created evil? [um......].

Thanks but I don't want to worship a God that creates evil and then punishes it.

Smokey Potatoe Joe said...

I kept seeing this "atheist's riddle" advertised on Youtube and eventually curiosity got the better of me. I really can't believe that THIS was it though. This "riddle" isn't even a riddle and isn't deserving of any attention whatsoever (let alone hype). You've successfully rebutted the whole thing and made him look foolish to boot, so that's that I guess. Next?

Joey said...

The big bang = Jesus Christ. One Word. HILaRIOUSSSS. Christian infinite silliness. You are awesome bro, I love your theist riddle. Im a post it on my channel along with the link to this site. can't get enough of believers. I wonder what hawkins has to say
about this.the dishonesty to portray hawkins as demonstrating the existance of god is a SHAME. especially after his videos on how he explains the universe being self contained without the sky daddy being necessary to explain it. link
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFjwXe-pXvM . his sarcasm on religion is great. watch it.
Great job, brother in science.

Anonymous said...

Dude, your rebuttal is indeeed ingenious and hilarious.

However, there might be at least one Divine Entity around the internet that has some substance, so here is a riddle for you:

1) When a person thinks of lunch/dinner, it is usually in the form of pasta, meatballs and tomato sauce.

2) Based on an axiom derived from your undisputed Theist's Riddle, "supernatural beings created by human imagination can be considered gods". This, of course, applies to images in your head when you are hungry.

3) Therefore, a hearty bowl of spaguetti&meatballs is essencially Divine - and delicious too -, as proposed by Pastafarians.

(To their credit, I must acknowledge that a god that's both noodly and meaty is less dangerous than all the ridiculous crap that's been going on for some 2000 years)

If you can provide an empirical example that nature can create pasta and meatballs, please contact me for I am getting tired of cooking.

ps - Great blog by the way! plesae keep up the good work, sometimes I fear there's only knee-praying annoytards left in this world.

ps2 - Viva El Monstruo Volador de Spaguetti!

Anonymous said...

your explanation is nothing more than a giant strawman. Your entire rebuttal is based on the premise that the term "code" is a semantic with the equivalent of asfjasflak....this is nonsense.

Code is semantical yes....we can call it anything we want.... the nominal data (i.e. the "name" we use) is irrelevant to the CONCEPT of the code. Code describes a CONCEPT. And that concept is not found anywhere in nature. fdhdkdsks doesn't describe much of a concept does it? If we redeinfe fdhkdksks to mean the same concept as "coded information"...then suddenly fdhkdksks refutes atheism.

Your rebuttal is pure poppycock, a giant strawman. You reduce a concept to nominal data, then refute the argument, and thus "YOU WIN" ...haha. good try my cute little atheist, but your gigantic rambling of fallacies has been decimated.

Admin said...

'Anonymous', your post is a colossal fail. You try to use terms like, 'straw-man argument' to make yourself seem smart, but it's clear that I'm in the company of an intellectual inferior. Please let me explain why. (Hint: it involves you making a straw-man argument yourself, likely because you didn't finish reading the post and missed the point, the substance of the argument, entirely.)

You called my argument about what to call DNA a 'giant strawman' (twice, no less), yet you have failed to realise that the reason it appears that way is that IT WAS NOT MY ARGUMENT! My argument is not that he screws with the labels of what to call DNA. In fact, I wrote that it doesn't matter what he calls them! Not even one little bit! I don't fucking care if you want to call it a code, or anything else! Fine, it's a code! Are you happy? Completely irrelevant to my post! You can delete that part entirely, and it does not change the substance of my objection in any way. Yet you claim it refutes my objection! Gee, are you sure there aren't any spelling or grammar mistakes in my post that would negate it further? Try choosing something relevant!

Did you even make it below that paragraph when you read it? Because the meat of the argument, the true substance, is below that introduction. In order to defeat my argument, you have to show why my "Theist's Riddle" is not valid, without at the same time demonstrating that the Atheist's Riddle is not valid! You could also take a look at the 2 follow-up posts I linked to at the bottom of this post, which expand my argument. But the links are at the bottom, and you didn't make it that far, did you?

I think there are only 2 options here. Either you completely missed the point of my argument because you didn't finish the post, or you did read it, but know that you'd rather attack an irrelevant part of the post to try to discredit the rest.

I wrote this post because all of the arguments I'd seen against the Atheist's Riddle in forums, including those participated in by Perry himself, were on the wrong track. They attempted to attack a distraction, whether or not DNA is a code. It's highly mushy intellectual ground, which is exactly where Perry, and all theists, would like us to be. The problem is not that he called DNA a code, it is that the proof he's attempting is pathetic. So I wrote my post and kept it on solid intellectual ground.

But then dimwits like yourself come around, and try to drag my post into the same mushy territory. Not once did you address the meat of my argument. I will NOT let somebody like yourself pull me off of the intellectual high-ground to wallow with you in a mud pit.

If you're going to respond, address the substance of my argument, you intellectual coward!

Anonymous said...

That's it? That's the "riddle" someone was so proud of that he rented adspace for it? I've been giving these people too much credit by expecting something that would at least be difficult to explain.

caleca said...

Atheists and theists are all the same thing in different packages. The former are obsessed with the proof of non-existence of God, and the latter with "Its" existence. For me, it's like the war between official and alternative medicine. If we don't join forces, wars and misery of egoistic stubbornness will continue forever. I respect both as human beings, and you know what - I feel fine, and don't care about something that's bigger than me (Universe is majestic with or without God). Love you all - Allen!

El Libro de Lucien said...

Fantastic. Thank you for calling out this tool. But on the other hand, the sheep minded masses need to give money to someone other than L. Ron Hubbard.

Anonymous said...

Well done.

Hankit Mok said...

Dear sir,

I have to disagree with your argument. Not least because of the way you worded your own arguments. At the very least, Mr. Marshall argued his points without resorting to a vulgar tone or calling us Atheists idiots for not believing in his God (Or any other divine being, for that matter). And yes, I signed up for his email series, not that it cost me any more than the 5s it took for me to fill in my email address.

But, lets get over the sour impression that your tone has given, shall we?

You say that it is his burden to give empirical evidence that codes do not happen naturally. However, what you neglected to even refer is his other page that gives a somewhat acceptable rationale (I would say astronomical odds is acceptable) for the extreme improbability for a code to happen naturally.

Taking into mind of Dr. Dawkins' argument in his book the God Delusion that our rather (And this is an understatement) complex anatomy is the result of what came before (Hence we cannot just say that our DNA is a good point of reference), I do see the flaw of Mr. Marshall's riddle.

Again, however, Mr. Marshall did provide an example (in his astronomical odds page) that the simplest known organism has a DNA sequence that far exceeds the realms of reasonable probability. Which again is defeated by the fact that it is not the first living organism, hence this is not something that can be conclusively proven right or wrong.



My point here is that even while his arguments are flawed and (if you think about it long and hard) inconclusive, they are far from being ridiculous.

The thing that disgusts me however, is how much you sound like a typical firebrand preacher even if your cause is for reason and not blind faith as you so claim.

Admin said...

Hankit Mok, first I'd like to say that I'll use whatever tone I fricking want to use when arguing with people who make such BS arguments for their imaginary friend. In order to win, you have to do one of 2 things:

1. Prove that nature cannot create codes.

2. Show why my Theist's Riddle fails, while not destroying the Atheist's Riddle at the same time.

I don't really give a flying fuck what you choose to believe, but don't come to me arguing that you have proof, if you're just gonna wave your hands.

If the Atheist's Riddle was any proof at all, it would have been accepted by people who really understand what proof is.

Hankit Mok said...

Dear Admin,

1. Well, first of all, your argument here is fridge logic. The very fact that you cannot provide a satisfactory example of a code (aside from DNA) that is created by a completely unintelligent source is the most convincing argument FOR Mr. Marshall's riddle.

What he has proposed is merely a statement based on currently accepted definitions of what a code is and isn't.

And to reiterate my statement that you so artfully ignored, there is no remotely probable way random occurrences can generate a code.

2. Since DNA is the only (And I don't say this idly. Give me one other example before you go into polemics again) code we know so far to be naturally occurring, we can therefore conclude that:
a) Someone created DNA (heh) or;
b) Accept the believe that DNA as we know it somehow spontaneously generated itself from nothing.

Admin said...

What's wrong with using DNA (and RNA) as examples? Seriously, what's wrong with YOU? You think that's an argument for the riddle, and that's exactly why I'm so condescending towards you. Did you see my follow-up post about why it's absurd to reject these examples? Did I not make the clock because I can't point to another example?

Artfully ignored WHAT? Oh, so YOU can't think of one, and science might not know right now, so you use your ignorance to insert a god? Tell me, by what process did this god create DNA? Tell me how it happened. How did it use magic to make DNA from nothing? Didn't I already prove, using Perry's own logic, that gods don't exist? Why are you so dense?

How did DNA form? I'm no biologist, but I understand it was from RNA. The mystery of how RNA catalyses itself has already been tackled, and no gods were required.

You useless morons come time and time again, waving your hands, postulating god, but you've failed, absolutely and miserably FAILED to back it up, or to detect anything at all supernatural. I feel sad for you in your mindless ignorance, I really do.

The Atheist's Riddle is absolute trash, and if it proved anything at all, it would have been published and widely accepted in scientific circles. It simply doesn't cut it.

Admin said...

It's absolutely hilarious that you close your comment mocking me for believing DNA spontaneously generated from nothing, when that's not what I believe, but IS WHAT YOU BELIEVE!

I think DNA resulted from a long process of natural, chemical reactions, with the previous step being RNA. And you think it came from magic! Can you see why I'm being condescending? It's like the Kent Hovind thing, when he argues that atheists think humans came from dirt, when that is EXACTLY what his Bible suggests.

I'm going for dinner now. Come back when you have tangible proof of the existence of gods, or when you have proof that nature can't create codes, other than to insert your own ignorance. Don't just say it, PROVE IT!

Admin said...

Or you can tell me why exactly is the Atheist's Riddle valid, but the Theist's Riddle is not? Because as far as I'm concerned, I've proven that gods don't exist, a-la-Perry.

Hankit Mok said...

Dear Admin,

If you don't mind, I would like to read up on RNA. I have already read through wikipedia's entry and found it utterly unhelpful.

It would be most awesome if you can provide some sites or pages where RNA was synthesized/catalyzed without transcription(Which, by the way uses DNA as an originating template).

If you think that what I have just said is an argument for the existence of God, you are sorely mistaken. I was merely pointing out the flaws in your own argument.

Admin said...

The self-catalysing properties of RNA were the basis of the 1989 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, won by Sidney Altman and Thomas Cech.

My understanding is that RNA has been shown to self-replicate in a lab.

Another useful search term could be 'RNA World'.

Admin said...

If you have any further questions on this RNA thing, you're going to have to consult a biology professor, or even post your question on YouTube for some of the biology buffs there. I am not the right person, and we've pretty much reached the edge of my knowledge.

Hankit Mok said...

Dear Admin,

Just because it's self replicating doesn't mean it can stand on its own as something that came from nothing. Hence this example is flawed as well.

However, from RNA World's entry in wikipedia, it is hypothesized that RNA probably came from simpler compounds, hence Mr. Marshall's argument cannot be 100% true as well since we currently do not conclusively know if RNA is the basis of life.

Also, Human speech and bird calls, while 'natural' is not something that were created without the guiding hand of intelligence, no matter how bird-brained the bird is. Language is a code created by intelligent need to convey messages. To call the beginnings of language random happening is by and large, flawed.

Once again, I am not here to argue the existence of God. I am merely looking for arguments for both sides.

Admin said...

Nobody is arguing that life came from nothing. The point is the pattern that is emerging. Don't you see how it works? The religious argue that science doesn't know how something could happen, in this case, the replication of RNA without DNA. They use the ignorance to insert gods. Then science comes along and proves that it can work. So then they say, well, science doesn't know how RNA came about. Seriously! Science knocks down more and more of these arguments every single year, then the religous make the same argument with something else, not realising that it will fall next. It's absolutely absurd! All of these questions will fall, it's only a matter of time. Until then, ignorance is not an argument for gods, and that's the only 'side' religion has in this argument. Ignorance. Ignorance is not evidence of anything. Science has the only evidence.

Hankit Mok said...

Dear Admin,

Even so, I do believe that there are better ways to put forward our views. Using polemics merely brings us down to the level of those who would use this ignorance for their own benefit.

Admin said...

Sorry, I like ridiculing things like the Atheist's Riddle. By the way, did you see how I 'proved' that I didn't make my own clock?

Hankit Mok said...

Dear Admin,

You need more references man. Not everyone knows what you are talking about.

Hell, I didn't know what you were talking about until you gave the links.

Using less offensive language prevents people from skipping important points in your arguments.

I know you may feel very strongly about this, but hey, think of all the good it may do to people.

Admin said...

"Hell, I didn't know what you were talking about until you gave the links."

What do you mean by this? Did I give you links?

As for the offensive language, this site was started as a place for me to vent. If people want to find it and read it, that's their choice. But I'm just here to record my thoughts. I don't advertise my site for the public to read, like Perry does.

Hankit Mok said...

Dear Admin,

Actually, to your credit, your blog is the first link (After Mr. Marshall's site) when you search for "Atheists Riddle" in Google. Yours is the first post I have read that is the counterpoint to Mr. Marshall's rather compelling argument (And I say this because I took some time considering his side. I felt something was wrong, but didn't know what).

And no, you did not give links, but you did point me in the right direction. That, in my book, is good enough.

Admin said...

If you think Perry's argument is "compelling", I'd like for you to check out my post on 'Scientific proof vs. religious proof'. The link is at the bottom of the Atheist's Riddle post. Read it, and have a good think about what people like Perry are actually offering you. I hope you'll see it my way, and realise that there's nothing at all compelling about the Atheist's Riddle, or any attempted proof of its kind.

Then I hope you'll also understand why I get angry every time somebody approaches with one of these hand-waving proofs. I've seen plenty of them.

Hankit Mok said...

Dear Admin,

At least he was willing to be reasonable about it...

Rejecting someone's opinion does not necessarily require fiery language like "ridiculous" or "idiot" especially when all he did was state something that is not even obviously flawed.

For example, would anyone who is not a biologist have known straight off the bat that DNA probably evolved from RNA? Is there any reason to think so? Why would there? DNA and RNA, while being the code of life, isn't 'living' in the strictest sense, even if we factor in viruses.

You claim he is hand waving, yet all you did was claim that he should provide proof for his own claims when even current science has yet to provide real irrefutable evidence that DNA came from RNA and RNA came from TNA and such simpler compounds. They are merely hypothesized to be so.

Given the fact that science is pushing the boundaries and are giving us more answers when none existed previously, I feel that it is also unreasonable to say stuff like "Ahha! So we know that DNA could have come from RNA, hence, the Atheists' Riddle is rubbish, hence Perry Marshall is stupid!"

Religion may be used by people to explain things that they feel is unexplained. But that doesn't mean that they are fundamentally idiots. Well, people who follow blindly are, but if you cannot even present a well worded, coherent argument that does not resort to name calling, then what makes your argument better than theirs?

So what if your argument has the backing of facts as defined by science now? Remember that it was once scientifically accepted that the world was flat and that the Sun orbits the Earth.

To paraphrase Dr. Dawkins, he personally thinks that God has a very, very slim chance of existing. But, as slim as that chance is, he is still not able to proove 100% conclusively that God just doesn't exist.

In any case, I thank you for pointing me to the RNA World article. It has certainly helped me think more about his riddle and yours.

Although at this point, it is inconclusive which one is true. We just don't know.

Admin said...

I hope you read this, it's good stuff. :-)

No, he was not being reasonable. He was claiming he has proof of the supernatural, and he doesn't. I call that dumb.

It is obviously flawed to anybody who understands what proof is. I am therefore going to call him whatever I feel like calling him, because he hasn't earned respect, and is making an ass of himself. It's also my blog, and I can do what I want. This is not for formal publication.

I love your comment about would anyone who is not a biologist know that DNA came from RNA! That is exactly the whole point! Don't you see it? There are millions and millions of people who do not study in an area, yet think they are entitled to open their mouths and make assertions about the subject! They think they understand everything, and if they don't know the answer, that they should insert gods, then they call it proof! You should read my posts entitled, "Science is not a democracy, so shut up!" or "How to destroy science for dummies". but you probably wouldn't like them, as the first one is the worst name-calling I've ever done on here. :-)

"You claim he is hand waving, yet all you did was claim that he should provide proof for his own claims when even current science has yet to provide real irrefutable evidence that DNA came from RNA and RNA came from TNA and such simpler compounds. They are merely hypothesized to be so."

Yes, but in science, we say, "I don't know". The religious insert gods when they don't know. Scientists know they'll answer the questions someday, and people like Perry seize the current ignorance and argue that it is proof of gods. It is hand-waving. A non-hand-waving proof of gods would be detection, as I outlined in my post about scientific proof and religious proof, which I hope you've read.

"Religion may be used by people to explain things that they feel is unexplained. But that doesn't mean that they are fundamentally idiots."

We disagree. People can't see that lighting was once unexplained, and so was caused by gods. They still try to use arguments from ignorance to justify their gods, not realising that in a century, we'll have real answers to these questions. They fail to recognise the historical pattern of the march of science. They don't realise that their arguments are the same as the people's who thought Zeus made lightning.

What makes my argument better than theirs? Seriously?! Because I'm not trying to prove anything! I'm demanding that people who claim to prove things, actually DO IT! And will you leave the language thing alone?! Is this insane? 2 people claim that they have an imaginary friend who talks to them and tells them what to do. The first man is labeled as insane, and is put in an institution. The second man then claims that his imaginary friend created the universe. He is left free, because it is now a religion.

"So what if your argument has the backing of facts as defined by science now? Remember that it was once scientifically accepted that the world was flat and that the Sun orbits the Earth."

So what if my argument has the backing of scientific facts?! Holy crap! That means EVERYTHING! So what? So EVERYTHING! And no, it was never scientifically accepted that Earth was flat. Science was not born at that time. The scientific method was born sometime around the 1600's. Are you telling me that people had done scientific experiments proving that Earth was flat? No. What you really mean is that it was commonly accepted by the public that Earth was flat. Except for the ancient Greeks, who had used observations of lunar eclipses to determine that Earth was spherical.

As for the Dawkins quote, you can't prove the non-existence of something. That's kind of an axiom of science.

If we just don't know, why insert gods?

Admin said...

Look, if you want to believe that a non-detection proof of existence is acceptable, then I can't stop you. If you also want to believe that ignorance is any reason to insert gods, I can't stop you.

All I can do is urge you to think and to demand real evidence. Would you accept a physicist's assertion that some sub-atomic particle exists, merely because he can't think of any other way that it could work? Or would you demand that this physicist detect the particle? Would you give a Nobel Prize for his hypothesis? Or only for a successful detection?

Perry's argument is empty, yet he claims it is proof, and advertises it all over the internet. I'll call him out on it, and call him some names at the same time.

Admin said...

Oh, and don't be afraid to say, "I don't know the answer to that question. Perhaps you should ask a scientist. And if they don't know, perhaps you should wait."

john said...

>>>He also attempts to put the burden of proof on us to prove him wrong, by demanding that WE provide something to discredit him, as opposed to him producing some evidence to back-up his hand-waving.<<<

Hello,

It seems you have not understood his argument. The argument is based on 100% of our observations, that all codes that we KNOW the origin of, ALWAYS, without exception, come from a mind. That is what we KNOW. It is you who claims otherwise. That it is not the case. That is why the onus is on YOU to provide a counter example.

>>>The reason that it doesn't make a difference is because in the next point of his proof, he asserts that no natural process can make a code.<<<


Not that they CAN'T, but that there is NO KNOWN example of one. See the difference?

It's like someone accusing you of saying "gravity can't behave anyother way than what we have observed." We can't prove gravity cannot be behave different, we just simply have no counter example of it. See the difference? See where he is comming from? All KNOWN codes, that we KNOW the origin of, came from mental processes, all of them.

>>>He has constructed his proof by assuming it to be true, by immediately dismissing the possibility that this code, or whatever he wants to call DNA, could have been created naturally.<<<

Again, you miss the point. This is like saying "it's possible gravity could have at one time behaved in someother manner." Sure, it might have. The problem is, NO ONE has ever observed it. NO ONE knows the origin of the coded information in DNA. NO ONE has ever observed CODES arise naturally. NO ONE was around to observe the origin of DNA. See the difference? We are going by 100% inference. Both with gravity, AND codes! It is you who says otherwise, now please demonstrate it.

>>Therefore, we are not allowed to merely say, "DNA is an example of a code created by nature, you fucktard!"<<<

That assumes in advance that DNA is naturally occurring, and since the question is whether DNA occurs naturally, you cannot derive the premise from the desired conclusion. That would be circular reasoning.


>>>Ask the believer to prove that nature can't create a code; that nature couldn't have created DNA.<<<

I say gravity, entropy, and the speed of light were not ALWAYS constant! Prove they could not have! See the problem? I don't have to prove a negative.


>>>Don't back down! Make him PROVE that nature can't (not that it DIDN'T, but that it CAN'T) create a code.<<<

Prove gravity, entropy and the speed of light can't be inconsistent!! See the problem?


>>Neither one of you can do it, therefore he has failed in his task. You're at a stalemate, where neither one can prove his belief about the origin of DNA.<<<


Precisley! But with the one EXCEPTION. We KNOW, and have 100% of human observation that mental processes CAN and DO create codes everyday! So, as of now, there is ONLY one current acting cause for codes that we KNOW of, intelligence. See the difference? It is you who has faith that un-intelligent processes CAN. Support that claim or retract it and acknowledge naturalism,at the moment, cannot account for coded information.


>>The existence of a god requires an extraordinary explanation, so the natural origin will be more likely by Occam's Razor,<<

False. We have empirical PROOF intelligent processes CAN produce codes, and 0% empirical evidence un-intelligent processes can. DNA or derivitaves of it, do not count, remember, they are the very things in question.

Sincerely and with all due respect,

John

john said...

>>1. Your god is a supernatural being; it is a spirit, with absolutely no evidence to support its existence,<<

You will have to speak for yourself on that one. There is plenty of evidence, it's just evidence you won't accept.


>>> and a bigger problem of how it itself got created if it does indeed exist<<<

You just said God is a supernatural being, a spirit. Prove to me supernatural spititual beings need a cause in the first place.

>>2. All supernatural beings are created by, and exist only in, human imaginations;<<<

You have already assumed supernatural beings DON'T exist in saying they ONLY exist in human imaginations. See the problem?

>>>3. Therefore your god was created by, and exists only in, human imaginations.<<<


Premise 2 is already falsified being circular assuming supernatural beings ONLY exist in minds. Prove that please. Absence of (physical, measurable) evidence is not evidence of absence (of the immaterial, supernatural).

>>>If you can provide an empirical example of a supernatural being which exists outside of the human imagination (and can prove it), you've toppled my proof. All you need is one.<<<

First prove that a immaterial supernatural being must have empirical physical measurable evidence in order to exist.



>>>2. All life evolved naturally; there is no process known to science by which a god could create life.<<<

Already assuming your conclusion again. You do that alot it seems. Of course if we KNEW all life evolved naturally then there would be no discussion about it today right?


With all due respect,

John

john said...

Hey Admin, btw, you know you are more than welcome to step on the ring with Perry.

Give it a go.

Regards,

John

Admin said...

You know the problem with this post? It's becoming popular enough that people are starting to come after me, and then I have to waste my time debating them. I just did this yesterday. I feel like I don't have the energy to do it again today, but if I don't, I leave myself open to accusations that I'm avoiding or ignoring points, or some other garbage. So I'll give you a go. Argh, this is going to be long. I think for the sake of my time, I'm going to address only your second and third posts.

1. "...btw, you know you are more than welcome to step on the ring with Perry. "

Why? What could I possibly have to gain, other than wasting more of my time? The intellectual world already doesn't accept Perry's wonderful proof, so what's in it for me? I also don't really believe it's possible to win arguments against creationists (see my post, 'My embarrassing fantasies'). I'm just a guy who posts here on my blog, and I don't typically go looking for debate outside of my blog, unlike many atheist bloggers, who like to stir up shit in religious forums.

2. "You will have to speak for yourself on that one. There is plenty of evidence (of existence of gods), it's just evidence you won't accept."

OK, I'm learning about you. You're not a scientific man. You're also not familiar with what constitutes evidence in a court of law. From the Ray Comfort School of Evidence, are we?

3. "You just said God is a supernatural being, a spirit. Prove to me supernatural spititual beings need a cause in the first place."

You make up beings, assign qualities to them, then ask me to prove that those qualities aren't true? OK, I didn't realise you were THAT ignorant of what science does. American, are we? (see my post, 'Science is not a democracy, so shut up!') How about you prove to me that sasquatch don't drink Gatorade. I'll wait. Also, do you know what, 'special pleading' means?

Admin said...

4. "You have already assumed supernatural beings DON'T exist in saying they ONLY exist in human imaginations. See the problem?"

I think I do see the problem. Is it that you're not smart? Do you understand the difference between existence in reality, and existence in imaginations? Would you argue that Harry Potter exists?

5. "Premise 2 is already falsified being circular assuming supernatural beings ONLY exist in minds. Prove that please. Absence of (physical, measurable) evidence is not evidence of absence (of the immaterial, supernatural)."

You don't see that it's exactly what Perry did? I'm not trying to prove that gods don't exist, I'm trying to mock Perry! Why do you keep asking me to prove things? Do you understand what burden of proof is, and who it falls on? Perry is advancing a proof. I am not. Do you also understand that a basic axiom of science is that you can't prove the non-existence of something? Honestly, you're making an absolute ass of yourself here, and revealing to me that you have no understanding of what proof is, or of what science is all about. Your double-standards are absolutely shocking.

And one more thing. You objected to my use of DNA and RNA, calling them circular, as they are the subjects in question. It is not circular, but it's all you leave us with by using a dishonest technique! Nobody is proposing that nature created information storage mechanisms besides RNA and DNA. See my post, "The Atheist's Riddle Revisited". By not allowing me to use DNA or RNA (which is strange, considering that RNA is not included in the Atheist's Riddle) as examples, you are also allowing me to prove that I did not make the clock that I know I made. I can also now use that same technique to prove that Ford doesn't make cars.

Your scientific ignorance is glaring!

6. "Already assuming your conclusion again. You do that alot it seems. Of course if we KNEW all life evolved naturally then there would be no discussion about it today right?"

Again, Perry assumed his conclusion, as a technique of the proof. you special-pleaded that away. We do know that life evolved naturally. You don't. Do you know what a scientific journal is? Find one, and read it. Find the anti-evolution section, then report back to me. Good luck with that.

With absolutely no respect,

Admin
www.AtheistPropaganda.com

Admin said...

Honestly John, don't post in this thread again until you are ready to treat my Theist's Riddle' on equal ground with the Atheist's Riddle. No special pleading, no saying things like, "But we already know that, so it's OK", nothing! The Theist's Riddle is a very good analogy to the Atheist's Riddle, but your double-standards won't allow you to see that. I, on the other hand, recognise that the Theist's Riddle proves nothing. It's merely there to mock the Atheist's Riddle. So I am clear of double-standards.

Or, you can come back when you've enrolled in a science program at a recognised and accredited university.

john said...

Well as I figured, no actual refutaion, just one ad hominem attack after the other. But no big deal, what else can you do when you can't refute something right?

Let me try to make the argument as concise as possible for you since it is obvious you haven't even spent 15 minutes examining it.

First off, the argument uses the scientific method of induction. I am assuming you are familiar with inductive and deductive proofs.

The "LAW" of gravity is a "LAW" proved inductively. Based on 100% of our observations it is constant. With not one single counter example to the contrary. Can we prove it deductively? No. Is it unreasonable to call it a fact, even a LAW? No. Why? Because based on 100% of our observation of it, it is ALWAYS constant. Thus for now we can infer it is proven to be a fact, even a LAW.

Likewise, the same goes for the speed of light, entropy, the law of conservation of matter and energy etc, etc. None of these "LAWS" can be proven deductively. Yet we can safely deem them proven, to the point of even calling them LAWS.

Now, this brings us to codes and comunication systems. DNA is a cuminication system that uses codes.

100% of our real world observations tells us that ALL codes ALWAYS originate via mental processes. Without exception. We have not one single counter example. While at the same time we have 0% observation of codes comming from unintelligent processes. Zero. Notta. El'zillcho. So EVERYTHING we KNOW empirically is that codes ALWAYS come via mental processes.

So far,(like gravity so far is constant) codes ALWAYS come from minds. Like gravity, entropy, and the speed of light, are ALWAYS constant....SO FAR. Until we have ONE COUNTER EXAMPLE TO THE CONTRARY.

So that is it in a nut shell. Until we have a known example of a unintelligent process that produces codes and communication systems, we have 100% inference, as of now, that DNA is designed. It is the only sane, logical, rational inference we can make for now.

It's that simple. We have 100% inference that gravity is constant. 100% inference the speed of light is constant. 100% inference entropy is constant. we have NOT ONE SINGLE counter example of these facts. Not one.

Is it possible they are NOT constant? Sure. But the onus will ALWAYS be on the "nut job" who claims there could be an exception to the rule.

Not the one who has 100% empirical backing in his favor that they ARE constant.

1)DNA is a code.

2)ALL codes come from intelligent processes.

3)DNA came from an intelligent process.

If you disagree, show me an example of gravity being inconsistent. Or the speed of light being inconsistent. Or entropy being inconsistent. Or a code comming from an unintelligent process.


Regards,

John

Admin said...

I'm going to be honest John. I only read the first line of your most recent comment. You wouldn't know a refutation if it bit you in the ass. You have no business discussing this 'proof'. I've already explained why the Theist's Riddle is an analog of the Atheist's Riddle, and why the techniques used would allow me to prove I didn't make my clock. I've explained why the things you demand me to prove cannot be proven at all, and why it isn't even my responsibility to prove them. My 2 original blog posts ARE refutations of your argument, you just don't realise it.

And if you think personal attacks mean I have no leg to stand on, you're wrong. I just enjoy it.

Enough wasting my time.

john said...

Admin,


You know what Admin, Im gonna let you off the hook here. It's obvious you have nothing else to put on the table. Why should I expect you to argue something you obviously don't even begin to understand. The information theory argument.

All I can tell you is, go with the facts. Not what you WANT to be true (that codes, programs, can come from something we have NEVER seen, mindless matter and energy).

Heres the facts. The law of biogenesis. Life ALWAYS comes from life through a plan through a code. Always. Thats what we KNOW.

Here is an ideology, that codes MUST have SOMEHOW, by some UNKNOWN process, arisen SOMEOTHER way besides what all of human observation empirically tells us. By intelligence. Thats your choice. Keep believing gravity will someday behave inconsistent.

You know and I know, programming CAN ONLY come from intelligence. Naturalism has run it's course. How fitting for God to bring materialism to the end of the road via a little immaterial code!

Sincerely,

John

Yeranuhi said...

I am so glad people like you exist! I was so outraged when I read the 'riddle' that I sputtered some angry unintelligible response about how this idiot knew nothing about the way proofs worked.
But I sure am glad I didn't waste time on that, for you summarized everything perfectly.

JayMac said...

So, after getting tired of reading comments from people trying to vouch for Perry's "riddle", or getting offended for having their religious beliefs questioned, I had to join the argument simply to get back to the original point of this blog:

THE FRAMING OF PERRY'S ARGUMENT IS FAULTY!!!!

There are 3 point to the argument:

[1. DNA is a code.]

Arguably, yes. I won't argue semantics, because that is besides the point. Assuming it is true does not affect the argument's fallacy. I will agree with Perry's definition of a code, and agree that DNA meets that definition.

[2. Nature does not produce codes.]

Here is where the argument breaks down. There is no proof given to back up this assertion. Possibly due to the inability to prove a negative. However Perry's only requirement for refutation is to provide an example of nature producing a code. I, and the original poster, submit DNA as proof that nature can produce a code. The fact that there are no other examples does not negate this as one.

Weather systems are naturally occurring; there is nothing similar created naturally, however this does not prove weather systems are not naturally occurring. I'm not saying weather systems are a code, or that they contain information, simply that they occur naturally without any similar systems also occurring naturally. Likewise, DNA can be a code that occurs naturally without any other codes occurring naturally.

[3. Therefore, DNA is not naturally occurring.]
This conclusion cannot be reached due to the circular reasoning of point 2 (codes cannot be created by nature because nature cannot create codes).

I have made this argument without any reference to god, a higher intelligence, a designer, etc., because it is irrelevant to the flaw in the argument. "The Atheist's Riddle" does not prove the existence of god or a designer, and "The Theist's Riddle" does not disprove them. Both "riddles", are flawed arguments, and the debate proves nothing other than the complexity of the natural world and the complex, incomplete language we have to describe it.

Mec said...

@Jaymac

Once again there is a problem with the argument. You submit DNA as an example of a naturally occurring code. That does not work because there is no scientific basis to that statement. The facts are on Perrys' side. We have empirical proof that code only results from intelligence. To believe otherwise goes against logic leaving you in the realm of faith. As Perry has all the proof, but you still believe otherwise, the burden of proof is your. Can you provide an example of code that is not the result of intelligence. It is very easy to understand.

JayMac said...

If you are arguing that a code, BY DEFINITION, has an intelligent source, then I would argue DNA is not a code.

If you are arguing that all codes come from an intelligent source because all known codes come from an intelligent source, then I would argue that you're excluding DNA as proof of a naturally occurring code.

I would like your definition of a code, in particular, does a code by definition have an intelligent sender, or is that inferred?

mec said...

But if you are saying that DNA is a code that occurs naturally you are basing your assumption on faith since we don't have any proof where DNA came from. As things stand it is more likely that it was designed as all codes that we know are designed. This is a fair and accurate statement which is why the challenge has been made to show a code that is not the result of design - if you can do that you can prove that there is indeed an exception to the rule and the argument falls apart.

Until such time as that exception is found the rule must be assumed to be correct as there is nothing contradicting it. That is science.

Mec said...

What is a code:

1. Code is defined as communication between an encoder (a “writer” or “speaker”) and a decoder (a “reader” or “listener”) using agreed upon symbols.

2. DNA's definition as a literal code (and not a figurative one) is nearly universal in the entire body of biological literature since the 1960's.

3. DNA code has much in common with human language and computer languages

4. DNA transcription is an encoding / decoding mechanism isomorphic with Claude Shannon's 1948 model: The sequence of base pairs is encoded into messenger RNA which is decoded into proteins.

5. Information theory terms and ideas applied to DNA are not metaphorical, but in fact quite literal in every way. In other words, the information theory argument for design is not based on analogy at all. It is direct application of mathematics to DNA, which by definition is a code.

If you do not find this convincing visit Perrys' site where DNA is exhaustively proven to be a code.

The direct URL is: http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/dnanotcode.htm

JayMac said...

First, you're asking for an exception to the rule, but denying DNA as the exception.

Second, you're claiming that DNA fits the definition of a code, while claiming that a code must have a writer. You can INFER a writer to DNA, however it is just as likely that it either

a) has no writer, and therefore is not a code
b) has no writer, because codes do not necessarily need a writer
c) has god as a writer

What you can't say is DNA is definitely a code, and definitely need a writer, without proving the existence of the writer.

You are inferring that DNA has an intelligent writer from the fact that in every other respect it is a code. Either a code does not need a writer, or you cannot prove DNA is a code. It may be identical to a code in every other way, but you can't infer a writer from it's being a code and then use that inference as proof it IS a code.

mec said...

DNA has a writer in much the same way as computer code has a writer therefore it is a code according to Shannons' communication model.

If you are honest in your inquiry and really want to learn something I strongly suggest you visit http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/dnanotcode.htm. You will have all your questions answered better than I could answer them.

JayMac said...

From Perry's site that you directed me to:

2. DNA's definition as a literal code (and not a figurative one) is nearly universal in the entire body of biological literature since the 1960's.

I haven't read all of the biological literature since the 60's, however I'm pretty sure none of them refer to a writer. I'm also pretty sure that most biological and genetic researchers are not also communication and information theory specialists.

Code is a good word to describe DNA, because it is possible to be interpreted, with different genes having specific effects. However, just because code is used to describe DNA in the genetic field does not mean it has to meet the definition of a code in a different field, like communications or information theory.

Most people use the words weight and mass interchangably, while the physicist knows they are completely different. Most people refer to glass as a solid, but by definition it is actually a liquid.

I can say I weigh 185 kilograms, but that is not, strictly speaking, true. I consist of 185 kilograms of mass. Likewise, glass may feel solid, however it is actually fluid. Old windows in Europe have been examined, and shown to have thicker bottoms than tops, where the glass has, slowly, flowed downwards. This has been backed up and proven in laboratories as well.

My point is that it is fine to say something weighs an amount in kilograms, or that glass is solid, because in our everyday experience a kilogram has a specific weight (dependent on gravity) and glass feels hard. In like manner, it is perfectly reasonable to refer to DNA as a code, without having to have it strictly meet the definition of specialties unrelated to genetics, such as, oh, I don't know, information theory.

Now, back to the flaw in logic. You say that DNA is a code because it meets Shannon's model by having an encoder (writer/speaker)and decoder (reader/listener). But you are inferring the writer!!!! It is possible that DNA does not meet Shannon's model requirements for a code by not having a writer, but is similar enough to be referred to as a code in everyday language.

By the way, I love the irony of your post. This whole blog posting is devoted to debating Perry's claims. You back up his claims by directing me...back to his claims!!!! Do you guys do everything in circles, or simply argue that way?

Admin said...

OK, I'm on vacation, but I have to comment on this insult to science which is occurring here.

Mec, this is black and white. I'm right and you're wrong. I'll try to keep the tone as civil as I can in explaining why. I need you to read my comments and consider the points carefully. I can tell that you're not a scientist, so please give it a chance.

1. A proof is supposed to be rock-solid. It eliminates any possibility of the proof being disproven by any means later on. This is merely by definition. You're throwing around the word 'proof' a lot, and I can tell that you don't really understand what it means. Are you saying that the reasoning in the Atheist's Riddle EXCLUDES FOREVER the possibility of DNA being demonstrated to be naturally occurring? What if such a thing were to happen? Then the proof was never a proof, was it? Are you guaranteeing us 100% that this is not possible? You are bastardising the word 'proof'. Please see my post, Scientific Proof vs. Religious Proof.

2. You say that we have observed that all codes come from minds, and so those are the facts, and "that is science". If that's true, then you need to ask yourself some questions:

a) Why do the vast, vast majority of scientists, especially biological scientists, accept DNA as naturally occurring?

b) Why do YOU know more about what science is, and how it is done, than those people?

The problem here is that your understanding of science is incorrect.

(continued in next comment)

Admin said...

(continued from last comment)

3. DNA and RNA are fundamentally different from other 'codes' mentioned, and to include it in a category with things such as languages, is really grasping at straws, bordering on dishonest. DNA and RNA are physical, unlike a language, which is abstract. They are governed by the laws of chemistry, and have the ability to replicate without the intervention of minds. If you were to find some pictograms from an unknown language on an ancient rock, you would be understood for grouping it into the 'created by minds' category. But DNA and RNA are FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT, which is why they're accepted to be naturally occurring, and will be, until you, who has the burden of proof, demonstrates otherwise. You could even start by demonstrating that there is such a thing as ANYTHING SUPERNATURAL. If we knew that supernatural things CAN BE real, we might take another look at the origin of life.

4. You can't see the obvious equivalence of the Atheist's Riddle and Theist's Riddle, because you have a bias to religion. That's fine, it's your RIGHT to find one compelling while the other not. My only bias is to truth, so I find them equally compelling, which is, not at all.

The objection to the equivalence of the two riddles seems to be the second step. Your argument is that we see codes being created by minds, so there is a context to work with.

The reason I know I'm right is that I detect your double-standard. Allow me to explain. I estimate there have been tens of thousands of gods created by humanity over its history, a number which may be naively low, but almost definitely is not too high. No matter which religion you believe in, you don't believe in the vast majority of those gods. So you acknowledge that they were imagined by humans. Would you deny that? If you're a Christian, you believe they were all imagined except for one. I believe that all 'codes' were created by minds except for two.

Do you see the equivalence of the two riddles yet? They are undeniably equivalent, to anybody who has bias only to the truth.

Admin said...

(continued from last comment)

5. Proofs are funny things, in that they are rarely even possible. Assuming that the conditions on Earth are no longer the same as that which allowed the first RNA and DNA to form, how can we ever 'prove' that they are naturally occurring?

Proofs such as this don't really happen in science. You might think that gravity has been proven to always attract objects to the ground, but it hasn't been. If I drop a fork a billion times, and it falls every time, how do I know that it wouldn't float if I dropped it just one more time? Gravity is accepted, but certainly not 'proven' in the strictest sense.

Similarly, I don't have to believe that the world existed before I was born. I could claim that it originated with me, that all photos and video from the past are fake, that your memories of the world before me were implanted into your brain when you were created at the same time I was, etc. If I want to be nuts enough, I can plausibly deny anything, and claim that you havenh't proven it. The Flat Earth Society still exists, by using such lunatic objections as, "The windows on planes show video to the passengers to make them think they're going in a round-Earth flight-path, when they're really following a flat-Earth flight-path."

So DNA and RNA are assumed to be naturally occurring, just as the fossil record is assumed to be real. But anybody can deny these things if they want to. Your job is to prove that external minds exist. If you can do that, then we can begin to study whether or not an external mind created DNA and RNA.

Until then, you need to ask yourself why scientists (people who understand science) accept DNA and RNA as naturally occurring, but some people such as politicians, lawyers, hardware store workers and strippers (people who don't understand science), often do not.

Mec said...

@ JayMac

There is no irony in pointing you to Perry's site as his conclusions are not opinion but fact. He backs these facts up by some rather specific references to prove that DNA is in fact a code.

I will quote one of them:
“Information, transcription, translation, code, redundancy, synonymous, messenger, editing, and proofreading are all appropriate terms in biology. They take their meaning from information theory (Shannon, 1948) and are not synonyms, metaphors, or analogies.” (Hubert P. Yockey, Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life, Cambridge University Press, 2005)

There is a whole lot more where that comes from. Please notice how he says "code...are all appropriate terms in biology...are not synonyms, metaphors, or analogies."

Now you can of course still argue that DNA is not in fact a code, but you will find yourself at odds with the entire scientific community. DNA is a code, and wishing that it is not a code is not going to change anything.

Do you have any other objections?

Anonymous said...

To Perry's fanatics - You are being pedants and using semantical word games to try and prove your point. You dogmatical hold on to the definiton of "code" and then use the parameters of that definition to undermine the very premise that supports the definition. See the problem? It's a common fallacy in religious arguments. They take a small section of a larger problem completely out of context and attack it. They claim to use so-"reason" and "logic" to draw conclusions that undermine reason and logic! It is non-sensical. The writer of this blog brilliantly exposed the flaw in Perry's argument by flipping it on it's head and using the same distorted reasoning to "prove" the opposite. It is the same as the so-called ontological proof of God. They are word games that can be cleverly turned around to "prove" the opposite if you can see them for what they are. By-the-way to John, you should look up the definition of non-sequitur. All your conclusions are non-sequiturs. You ask us to disprove random statements pulled out of thing air. You postulate fidiculous things about the unknown and then demand we disprove them. I could make any sort of ludicrous claim I wanted to about the nature of the divine or any subject for that matter. And then, as you do, I could make equally incoherent claims about humans being unable to disprove my ramblings. See the problem? Look up August Comte and positivity. It is the only sane way to approach science and the universe. We need to stop personifying things and just accept evidence as neutral, without some kind of hidden agenda. The universe is totally indifferent to us because it isn't a conscious entity.
All these fanatics can't see the forest for the trees. Instead of addressing the brilliant decimation of Perry's logic, they keep harping on the idea that DNA or RNA is a "code" and therefore must have a designer. Tautological trash. The "designer" made a lot of flaws then. Would you design a car that had so many faults? So many genetic defects? So many obsolete parts? It is laughable.

London infidel said...

Hi guys, enjoying the banter here, and itching to add.

You're right to say that the Atheist's Riddle is a smoke-screen. It's not just about the contentions within the debate he presents, but the fact that he confines that debate to the one thing he can talk about more than most: cosmology. To the impressionable mind, he sounds like he knows what he's talking about. And that's the point. He's targeting those who seek confirmation or are vulnerable.

So how do you break him down? Well, you could be drawn directly into his challenge, and try to unprove his 'proof'. Personally, I see that all his defences are stacked up against one wall, so I'd go round the sides.

1 - He interprets the cosmological 'evidence' by using the Bible as a reference point. He also implies that the Bible is validated by that interpretation. Whoa! As with all religious self-defence, the validity of the rule book is not challenged. So challenge that.
Would a real scientist base a scientific theory on 3,000-year-old heresay?

2 - Let's pretend (PRETEND!) for a moment that his 'evidence' does prove the existence of a higher power. There is no evidence that this is the Christian god, only his belief that it is so. Why can it not be the god of Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism? Why can it not be Zeus, or Odin?

3 - Let's pretend (PRETEND!) even further. Let's pretend he's right about the Christian god. Now, the Bible makes it clear that there is a Devil. And the Devil has abundant powers too. So, even if god created the universe, how do we know that the Devil didn't create Man? After all, we are all born into 'Original Sin'. And life can be utterly brutal even to the most fervent of believers. And we are capable of evils that the other animal species are not. Just because a god may have created the universe, does not mean he created us, or even loves us.

Everything he contends is based on the assumption that the Bible is unchallengeable. What atheists must all do is raise that challenge at its points of greatest weakness.

Jim said...

My argument to the "Atheist Riddle".

Lack of proof is not proof of lack.

That is to say, an argument from personal incredulity is the same as an argument from ignorance only if the person making the argument has solely their particular personal belief in the impossibility of the one scenario as "evidence" that the alternative scenario is true.

I include a link which better defines it, and shows you how circular logic, or false logic can seem like real logic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance

If you read and understand the above link's page, you will no doubt agree that the Administrator was trying to express his argument as such. Just because you believe your logic, doesn't mean it is logic. Just because you can not believe that nature could not create a code as advanced as DNA does not mean that it didn't. It only means that you can not believe it

Anonymous said...

BOOOOOORRRRRRIIIIIIIING!

Admin said...

Uh-huh. Thanks for visiting!

Pickle Pumpers said...

Here's your proof that God exists...

1) I love peanut butter sandwiches but not jelly.

2) Other people like jelly like that bitch Shelly.

3) When I screamed, "Look Shelly! It's sandwich of peanut butter & jelly! Over there, at the New York deli!" She ran after it like Liza Minnelli. That's when a bus hit Shelly in the belly.

4) Therefore God exists and hates Shelly as much as I hate peanut butter & jelly.

[/parody off]

Anonymous said...

When all of you die . . . .then you will know if God exists or not.

Admin said...

Is that really what you think? You think that if your god doesn't exist, that we'll be able to figure it out after we're dead? What's wrong with you people?

Anonymous said...

Hey,

very interesting posts. I don't feel bad for reading this instead of doing homework ;-)

Anonymous said...

Excellent job, I just wanted to come on here and give a simple answer... he says just provide one more code... Okay the molecular code, a daimond is a diamond because of the "code" in the way its molecules line up. The states of matter are a code, changing from gas to solid requires a systematic lining up. I could go on but he only asked for one example, I have given two. Have a great one and keep learning.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to add myself to the list of folks thanking you for this. The "atheist's riddle" ad bugs me on many of the atheism blogs I visited, and I wanted to know what manner of bullshit it was without having to give the page a hit.

Michael said...

"1) DNA is not merely a molecule with a pattern; it is a code, a language, and an information storage mechanism.
2) All codes are created by HUMANS; there is no natural process known to science that creates coded information.
3) Therefore DNA was designed by a HUMAN."

OK so DNA is a code, a language, and all codes are created by humans (who are made of DNA essentially). So we designed our DNA before we existed? Was there a "master human" who created all the rest of our DNA? I think you have just set the new level for "fucktard".

Rev. Leon Nickens said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Admin said...

That comment made no sense. Are you spamming my blog, 'Reverend'?

Egghead said...

Perhaps it is a discussion in which none of us will ever have absolute provable facts.
Creation of the entire universe by a superbeing, including all forms of life is difficult to accept. Most religions admit that their belief is based on faith not fact.
Many evolutionists however try to portray it as fact rather than a mere theory.
It is just as difficult to believe that a sigularity exploded and the universe came into existence. As for complex life forms arising from energy and mud, is as clear as mud.
I just looked up the riddle of which came first, the chicken or the egg and here is an extract from Wikipedia.

[Evolution states that species change over time via mutation and selection. Since DNA can be modified only before birth, a mutation must have taken place at conception or within an egg such that an animal similar to a chicken, but not a chicken, laid the first chicken egg. In this light, both the egg and the chicken evolved simultaneously from birds that were not chickens and did not lay chicken eggs but gradually became more and more like chickens over time.]

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN ???
That a creature which was not an egg laying creature (else we have the same problem) through some instant mutation (could not be gradual - you either have a complete egg or you dont) lays an egg with a chicken in it which is now an egg laying creature. AND would this not need to happen twice at the same place and time in evolution so that we could have a cock and a hen? Evolution to me appears to be just another religion.
Evolutionists and religious leaders both have a theory or a standpoint. Neither appear to do much thinking. They simply pursue evidence in favour of their theory and discard that which does not.
Such biased professions are unlikely to provide us with something they are not looking for, i.e. the truth.

Admin said...

I've gotta say, Egghead, your comment is most unimpressive. Perhaps you've been listening too much to preachers, but your understanding of evolution is poor at best.

"Many evolutionists however try to portray it as fact rather than a mere theory."

Not this 'theory' crap, AGAIN! Do you know what theory means in a scientific sense? Evolution is a fact! Deal with it!

"It is just as difficult to believe that a sigularity exploded and the universe came into existence."

Even if that's where the evidence points? You don't believe things that evidence points to? How's your understanding of modern cosmology?

"As for complex life forms arising from energy and mud, is as clear as mud."

Really? Do you keep up with modern research on the origin of life? There have been some very interesting developments in just the last couple of years. and complex life did not arise from 'energy and mud'. You're embarrassing yourself.

continued next post

Admin said...

"That a creature which was not an egg laying creature (else we have the same problem) through some instant mutation (could not be gradual - you either have a complete egg or you dont) lays an egg with a chicken in it which is now an egg laying creature. AND would this not need to happen twice at the same place and time in evolution so that we could have a cock and a hen? Evolution to me appears to be just another religion."

Your understanding of evolution is shit.

"Evolutionists and religious leaders both have a theory or a standpoint. Neither appear to do much thinking. They simply pursue evidence in favour of their theory and discard that which does not."

Your understanding of modern science is also shit. And you neglect to mention that religious leaders have no evidence. Not a single, tiny shred.

It's clear you're not a scientist. You have no understanding of it, so it's best if you just keep your mouth and keyboard shut.

Admin said...

Hey Egghead! Did you know that scuba diving is just a theory? Also, music and economics are theories!

http://www.atheistpropaganda.com/2010/04/its-just-theory.html

Egghead said...

To Admin. Here is some well meant advice.
When addressing an argument try focus on the subject matter. Being insulting is a defense mechanism you use when you find yourself in a tight corner. The response "Shit" is hardly a good argument, actually it is an Absolute Irrefutable Fact that:
[Shit comes from an asshole]
So if you want to take part in debates focus on improving your character and vocabulary first. Nobody takes someone serious if they are ill mannered, self centered, lack character and full of that four letter word you use.
I shall terminate my participation with a quote from Emerson. Read it several times, really THINK about the message being conveyed. This could greatly speed up your personal evolution without having to wait all those millions of years.
Emerson - "What you are, shouts so loudly, I cannot hear what you say."
I hope you will see these comments in the good vein that they were intended and remember “Where you came from is less important than where you going.”

Admin said...

Egghead, you failed to notice/admit that within the profanity, there was a real point. When people swear without having a point, they might be in a tight corner. However, in this case the points are that you do not understand evolution, you don't understand the scientific meaning of the word 'theory', etc. I choose to deliver my points to somebody like yourself wrapped in rough language. You failed to acknowledge any of those points, because they're true.

Admin said...

"When addressing an argument try focus on the subject matter."

So for the profanity, you actually missed where I did address the subject matter? Like that complex life did not arise from energy and mud? Or that you don't understand 'theory'? Or that you have no understanding of the mechanisms of evolution? That you're not a scientist, but choose to comment and critique it anyway?

I'm glad you're quitting.

PG said...

Wow Perry's right! There are lots of ad hominine attacks, deflection from topic, attempts to create funny little Theist syllogisms, etc,. its an interesting strategy but then to the casual observer, it becomes painfully obvious that there is no real challenges to Perry's syllogism...

I was hoping maybe the Atheist finally found empirical evidence for that elusive naturally occurring code.

Nope. just more of the Atheists basically resorting to ignoring the current scientific convention that DNA is in fact a literal code and claiming its just semantics...

The only problem with that is that you need to completely discard the entire scientific field of "Bioinformatics" which is based on Perry's very premise that DNA IS A LITERAL CODE!

Regarding your Theist riddle,

Perry's syllogism premise #1
"DNA is a code" is based on empirical evidence.

Your premise #1 is not...

If you state that matter didnt come from a conscious mind then you must have empirical evidence that it came from nothing.

Since you dont have the empirical evidence to support your syllogism then it therefore is open to reinterpretation...

Admin's "Atheist's Riddle":

1) Physical matter is not created from nothing; there is no process known to science that creates physical matter from nothing.

2) Therefore the physical universe was not created from nothing, but from a conscious mind.

If you can provide an empirical example of physical matter being created by nothing,and not a conscious mind, you've toppled my proof. All you need is one.


Hmmm, Perhaps it is best if Atheists simply provide follow the example of science and all those bioinformatics experts as they too are desperately trying to find empirical evidence of that elusive naturally occurring code...

Admin said...

PG, you're the star of my new post:

http://www.atheistpropaganda.com/2010/05/readers-opinion-of-atheists-riddle.html

PG said...

Perry's Syllogism:

Premise #1-DNA is a literal code!
A scientific fact accepted within scientific convention!

Admins response from another post...
"fine by me, because it's completely irrelevant to my argument! I'm not exactly "ignoring the current scientific convention", am I? Did I discard "the very premise that DNA IS A LITERAL CODE?" No! I don't give a flying fuck if it's a code or not! It does not matter! Can I be any clearer?"

Fine Admin, since you stated your agreement with Perry regarding the fact that DNA is a literal code.

Lets then proceed to Perry's next premise.

Premise #2- All codes are designed!
A repeatable and testable observation.

Before you slather your keyboard with a clever retort, you need to first understand the following:

a) Perry defines the "code" according to Shannons communication model which eliminates your examples of chemical reactions et. al. To oversimplify, the code must have an encoder and decoder process.

b) DNA has not been empirically evidenced as coming from natural origin and is therefore not proof of a naturally occuring code. Atheists dont get a free pass to just assume their philosophy that everything occured naturally.

Lets summerize:

1) DNA is a literal code!
- Admin agree's

2) All known codes are designed!
- A repeatable observation.

Therefore;
3) DNA is proof of design!

So admin, unless you can provide empirical evidence of a naturally occuring code...

....DNA is proof of design!


.

Admin said...

"a) Perry defines the "code" according to Shannons communication model which eliminates your examples of chemical reactions et. al. To oversimplify, the code must have an encoder and decoder process."

I DON'T CARE! STOP IT!

The point, which you are badly missing, is that this kind of inductive-reasoning proof DOESN'T WORK and is NOT SOUND!

Think about it, please! If there was only one example (in this case 2) of something in the world, inductive reasoning FAILS!

Did you look at my clock argument from the other (newer) post?

You're failing so badly here!

"Lets summerize:

1) DNA is a literal code!
- Admin agree's

2) All known codes are designed!
- A repeatable observation.

Therefore;
3) DNA is proof of design!

So admin, unless you can provide empirical evidence of a naturally occuring code...

....DNA is proof of design!"

NO!!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Let's argue for example that there is a naturally occurring code that we'd BOTH agree on. And let's say that humans do not know of the existence of this code. Does that mean your proof is sound? Does that mean you've proven your case? No! Because such a thing exists, but we don't know of it. That's why it isn't a proof! It would then be an argument from ignorance, a third logical fallacy that you've made. I'm really sorry you don't understand this. Perry has hoodwinked you good!

JayMac said...

Just because an example of a naturally occuring code cannot be found does not prove that it does not exist. There may may well hundreds, thousands or millions of naturally occuring codes found at subatomic levels or in some other form that we cannot properly observe or measure.

You can hypothesize that DNA must have had a designer; the fact that I can't prove you wrong doesn't prove you right. It simply means that your theory has yet to be disproven.

You cannot claim that a lack of naturally occuring codes proves the existence of god. At most, you can reasonably claim that atheists cannot prove there is no god. Neither side has definitive proof, merely theories.

Admin said...

Jay, the problem is that as soon as we find the evidence he'd accept that nature created DNA, he'd then shift the goal line to, "(My) god directed the process, therefore it is the product of intelligence." It's exactly what Ray Comfort did in the banana fiasco. When it was demonstrated to him that people created modern bananas, he posted a new video saying that (his) god gave people the ability to create bananas. These putzes have made a game that cannot possibly be won, the reason being that they're rigged.

PG said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
PG said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Admin said...

Please don't double-post comments in 2 places, forcing me to reply to both. I'm deleting them and letting them stand in the other thread.

http://www.atheistpropaganda.com/2010/05/readers-opinion-of-atheists-riddle.html

PG said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Admin said...

PG's response:

"I'm a fucking coward and a twit who has been defeated, but chooses not to address the real issue, which is that my proof is not a proof at all (mostly argued on the other thread)."

Fuck off, troll.

PG said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Admin said...

I'm moving the last comment to the new thread. PG, please post in that thread and that thread only.

Anonymous said...

I think I've found the main issue/s here. He's begging the question, among others.

1) Assume that DNA was written by a conscious being.

2) We have no proof on our hands that a code was ever made by anything other than a conscious being, so assume it's only possible for a conscious being (in retrospect, this could be the biggest fallacy).

3. Therefore, there is a conscious being, thus "justifying" claim 1 (it would be correct, were it not begging the question, that is).

For those of you who don't know, "begging the question" is when you assume the point that you're trying to prove, and is a fallacy. Here's proof:

Proof that I always tell the truth (using begging the question).
1. Assume I always tell the truth.
2. I claim I always tell the truth.
3. Because we've assumed I always tell the truth, my statement must be the truth.
4. Therefore, I always telling the truth, thus justifying point 1.

Now, argumentum ad absurdum shows that the concept that I always tell the truth is ridiculous, considering that you could adapt it for ANYONE, and we know for a fact that people lie.

Patrick said...

if codes are indeed the creation of an intellect and can be decoded by intellect, shouldn't it stand that they can be created at will by an intellect?

Jawad Ahmed said...

Hello everyone.

I have a question for people like most of you, who like to look at things through a scientific perspective.
There are 2 theories which baffle me, on why there should or should not be a god.
I want you to please look at it rationally.
According to the law of conservation of energy, energy/matter cannot be created or destroyed, however it can be changed from one form into another.
What we are being taught about the big bang theory, is that a singularity which is "infinitely" small, exploded to create, what we know as space and time, and hence matter and energy. Thus everything in this "universe" comes from the singularity.
Being rational, i don't see how something which might be smaller than an atom, can create even a stone, let alone the entire universe + space + time. If you explode anything, nothing gets "created", instead its constituents scatter. Then their is the question where did the "singularity" come from? As energy, nor matter can be created or destroyed.
Supposing, i believe that this singularity pops in out of nowhere, and no-when (not very scientific now is it?).
This brings me to the 2nd scientific law, which would be one of newton's law, which is: any stationary object remains stationary, or a moving object remains moving, until an external force acts on it. THUS for the singularity to explode, there need to be something happening to that singularity, in order to make it explode.

This is my querry.

I hope you understand my argument.

This is the reason why i believe in god. The reason why there are fights going on in the world are on who's god is the "real" god.

Jim said...

I had a long response, but due to internet error, it got deleted before it could post. I would be happy to explain that all your arguments hold no water, but I realize I should just ask a couple questions first.

1. If you don't believe that the universe came from "nowhere, and no-when", where do you think your god(s) came from? Surely they must have come from somewhere and sometime?

2. If energy and matter can neither be created nor destroyed (which didn't happen under the Big Bang Theory), how did your god(s) create the universe without violating this rule?

Please. I love a good debate. But you must hold the same standards for your claims as you do for ours. If you want to argue that my claims must follow a strict set of rules, then you must apply them to your claims as well.

Feki said...

Ahmed,

I think I understand your question. However, I do not share the opinion that "magic-man" caused a singularity to explode, expand and purposely create a planet with a suitable habitat so that humans could safely evolve and organize themselves around different cultural, political and religious beliefs. I mean, why would "magicman" wait 13.75 ±0.17 billion years in order to watch human dramedy?

Of course there are more serious arguments against magicman and his alleged influence in the Big Bang, for example this recent book by Stephen Hawking:

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/09/02/hawking.god.universe/?hpt=T2#fbid=Zjv5EXmu3_C&wom=false

Deluded magicman followers are responsible for inequality, injustice and widespread ignorance... only because each claim to personally know magicman's secret identity and to me that's just gone on long enough. People really need to stop searching for magicman's hideaway or they'll never get rid of their blatant delusions of resurrection, reincarnation, paradise, hell, sin, miracles etc etc...

Jawad Ahmed said...

@ Jim,
Sir when i say god, i do not mean something which has a beginning or an end or even a physical form. Hence god is some form of energy, and as religion teaches it, god used some of his energy to create everything as we know it today. My point being that god does not exist, because all that exists has to end. God simply IS!

@ Feki,
man you are right. people think that they have power to assert their religious beliefs onto others. They feel that they are the chosen ones, and they have been given "right" to convert others, or at least that they are a degree above others.

@ atheists (with all due respect),
please look at yourself and think that you, as a being, with all your functionality, and the complicated things, are you a product of coincidence? I refuse to believe that i am a product of coincidence.
Most of the atheists think that following a religion is dumb and that these people cannot think think out side the box. But we should face it, religion has given us answers to things 100s of years ago, of things which science still struggles to answer. Hence a lot of people embrace religion.



Also, obviously, none of us can prove each other wrong, so the reason i am on this forum is to understand your part of the story, and try and explain my part.

Jim said...

So you're saying that god(s) cannot exist because all things have to end. And then you say that god(s) do exist? Where are you going?

You say energy cannot be created or destroyed, but you define your god as energy. And that it uses energy to create the universe.

You do see the error in your argument, yes? If energy cannot be created, then the god you defined cannot exist, because it is energy. How would it have come to be? If your god was first, what created it?

It's a cheap cop-out to claim that "God simply IS!" You have no proof for this. And you never will.

Also, I would love to see one thing that religion has given us that science has not. What answers was religion providing "100s of years ago"? I seem to recall that "100s of years ago" religious institutions were murdering people or arresting people for claiming that the sun was the center of the solar system. Please, I would love to know what concrete scientific deductions religion has provided "100s of years ago".

Atheists do not believe in religion, not because they think it's dumb. We do not believe in religions because they worship things that are not real. There is no supernatural. Whether that supernatural being is a god, a vampire, Satan, werewolves, swamp monsters, etc.

We believe in facts. We believe in the truth. We believe in setting your stock in learning and knowledge and discovery. You believe in magic and ghosts and prayer.

Who sounds like they know what they're doing?

Admin said...

"I have a question for people like most of you, who like to look at things through a scientific perspective."

Meaning, people who believe in reality.

"Being rational, i don't see how something which might be smaller than an atom, can create even a stone, let alone the entire universe + space + time. If you explode anything, nothing gets created, instead its constituents scatter."

I'd suggest that you have a poor understanding of the Big Bang. It's tough to understand, and you think that you have some kind of right to be able to understand it, without doing all of the work normally involved. It's easier for you to just say "goddidit", without any evidence at all. And you have no curiosity about answering any of the same questions about that god or providing evidence for it, because that would just mean more work for you.

"Then their is the question where did the "singularity" come from?"

We don't know yet, but there are some ideas. Does that bother you? You're attempting to use god-of-the-gaps here, aren't you?

"As energy, nor matter can be created or destroyed."

Laws of physics are different near t=0 and on quantum scales.

"Supposing, i believe that this singularity pops in out of nowhere, and no-when (not very scientific now is it?)."

Except that particles do in fact pop out of nowhere. What exactly are your qualifications in physics? And I'm sure your god hypothesis is oh-so scientific.

"This brings me to the 2nd scientific law, which would be one of newton's law, which is: any stationary object remains stationary, or a moving object remains moving, until an external force acts on it. THUS for the singularity to explode, there need to be something happening to that singularity, in order to make it explode."

What is your understanding of quantum physics?

Admin said...

"Sir when i say god, i do not mean something which has a beginning or an end or even a physical form. Hence god is some form of energy, and as religion teaches it, god used some of his energy to create everything as we know it today."

Right, and that's a scientific hypothesis now, isn't it?

"My point being that god does not exist, because all that exists has to end. God simply IS!"

Right..... and it came to be, how exactly? How about this? The singularity simply WAS!

"please look at yourself and think that you, as a being, with all your functionality, and the complicated things, are you a product of coincidence? I refuse to believe that i am a product of coincidence."

There's not only coincidence involved, but go ahead and refuse to believe it. We all know that's a solid argument. I don't like it and I refuse to believe it! Well, good for you. Now get out of the way of the people who are dealing in reality and want truth more than beliefs which make them feel good.

"Most of the atheists think that following a religion is dumb..."

Despite what Jim wrote, yes, I do think believing religion is dumb. There's no fundamental difference between yourself and a guy in a mental institution who has an imaginary friend.

"But we should face it, religion has given us answers to things 100s of years ago, of things which science still struggles to answer."

I think Jim handled this quite well. It's absurd and you're behaving like an idiot now. What science does is find the 'correct answers', and what religion does is merely provide 'answers'. It's easy to give 'answers'. And again, you're using god-of-the-gaps. You think that if religion gives an answer to a question that science is not ready to answer, that you don't have to prove your case anymore?

"Also, obviously, none of us can prove each other wrong...."

Yet another believer who does not understand the burden of proof. You claim that gods are real? Prove it! I am under no obligation to prove you wrong, nor would such a thing even be possible.

Jim said...

I have had education in, and have studied in my own time, quantum physics and the Big Bang Theory. I would argue that I have a great understanding of quantum theory as well as String Theory. I was going to go ahead and explain how your arguments were absurd to begin with, but I think Admin has done a good job without delving into the actual science.

But, if you would like me to point out exactly where and how your theories are wrong, I would be more than happy to oblige.

That said, you have to admit that your argument is pretty weak when we don't even have to debunk your science to prove your theories wrong.

Admin said...

Jim, I have to admit that after thinking about it, religion really does have the answers for questions science doesn't/didn't know.

1. Earth turned out to be 6,000 years old

2. Disease turned out to be caused by demons

3. Left-handedness turned out to be caused by demonic possession

4. The Sun turned out to be a god with a chariot

5. The trees, water, etc. all turned out to be governed by different gods.

Do you honestly need more examples? This is pretty conclusive.

Jim said...

Let's not forget some other favorites:

-Witches need to be burned at the stake.

-Claiming that the theory of evolution is based on life being created from rocks.

-Forgetting that (in the Christian religion) their god created man from dirt.

-God (Cristian) created the universe IN THE DARK! Light was an afterthought.

-All gods are real. Until a new one comes along that promises more for less. Then the old gods are fake.

It's amazing how many people think that their religion is the right one, when looking at the track record of religions, none of them have shown any proof whatsoever that they are even kind of right. Just pure ignorance. Nothing more, nothing less.

Admin said...

Now that's just not fair. Burning the witches purifies them. Don't believe me? It has been scientifically proven that nobody has ever practiced witchcraft after being burned at the stake. Purification proven.

The Craftivist said...

The problem is you now have to prove your argument. You have to prove that DNA and RNA were created through natural processes. You have to show how nature created DNA. Even the greatest scientific minds haven't been able to do that yet, so it looks like your argument is up shit creek without a paddle.

Admin said...

Didn't I write in the post that neither side can prove its case? All I know is that this argument is no proof for the existence of gods or any other strange intelligence. That was my goal.

But because all we have are natural processes, I think we're pretty safe to assume for the moment that it was natural. Do you have any evidence that there is such a thing as a supernatural force, or a supernatural process? Anything? I can show that chemistry exists, and chemistry would be the natural forces we're talking about. That puts me far ahead of people like Perry. Can anybody demonstrate this supposed supernatural force?

Jeff said...

Oh my. Just had to say, this has been so much fun to read so far! The incredible lack of self awareness of their own stupidity (the religious posters here) is always freshly amazing.

I am constantly frightened and yet highly entertained by the idiocy of these people.

Anonymous said...

dude, you're just bitter...

Brett said...

Great page! I love all this stuff. I guess if we can't knock down the whole DNA coding thing we just have to accept that we were put here by intelligent aliens. I mean people even give testimonies about their experiences/probing with/by aliens so that constitutes further proof. Oh boy, intelligent design is great!

GM said...

I just arrived here, and I remember seeing this riddle. I think you do give it too little credit and I was kind of put off by the language, but then I slogged through the various comments and apparently you like to vent here. OK.

I just want to point out what I think is a bit of a misunderstanding here. Not that Perry is right or wrong, but that you maybe ignored/missed some related undertones of the debate.

First of all, atheism is a "belief system". By that I mean, that is a system. Of beliefs. Yes, I know atheists say that atheism is simply the non-belief in gods. And I get that all atheists can be different. What I am saying is, you are then faced with trying to find alternative answers to questions such as the following:

Q: How did complex life arise?
A: Evolution can pretty much explain it.

Q: Okay, and what is evolution?
A: More or less it consists of replication with random mutation, followed by natural selection.

Q: So evolution is a process that requires replication?
A: Yes. It is a step in the evolutionary process.

Q: Okay, so how did the first replicating thing arise? It couldn't have arisen through evolution.
A: Yes, it arose through abiogenesis.

Q: And what is that?
A: We don't really know at this point but we were able to get some non replicating things to come out of non replicating things, such as Miller-Urey experiment. Also we were able to make some buckeyballs of PAH, which we think may have come from space somewhere. Or it may not.

Q: Okay so you haven't actually been able to figure out how replicating things as complex as RNA (and not, say, crystals) can come from non replicating things in the absence of forces that are the result of evolution (minds, knowledge, blabla)

A: Not yet.

So, when a theist uses a "DNA is a code" argument or a "how did the universe begin to exist" argument or something along these lines, they are trying to say that YOU, the atheist, still have holes in your system of beliefs.

GM said...

Let me take a step back. What do I mean when I say you have beliefs? I mean that you can profess to lack beliefs all you want, but when you ACT, you do so on the basis of "thinking reality is a certain way" which is a BELIEF. So, when you act, such as transgressing some major commandment, then you are actually doing so on the basis of a BELIEF that nothing bad is likely to happen, or whatever.

So you BELIEVE that it is NOT LIKELY that Christianity is true.

But you also BELIEVE that we are here somehow, and that the universe is incredibly finely tuned for us, etc.

So YOU have to fill in the holes in your belief to your satisfaction. I understand that we can simply say "I don't know whether there is life elsewhere in the universe" or "I don't know how come Susan Lucci didn't win an emmy for many years." But can you appreciate how this one's different? You are so confident science will crack it. Let's say it NEVER DOES. This is the stuff that will bother you. That's how it's different. Looking backward, of course it happened. Conditional probability: 100%. But HOW? What did it look like when it was happening? We just don't know right now and it's unnerving because we'd like to say it happened NATURALLY, and HERE'S HOW, but we can't.

Of course, that doesn't automatically mean a particular religion is true. What it does mean is that you and other intelligent atheists would really like to fill in the gaps with something other than "we don't know BUT I AM SURE IT WASNT SUPERNATURAL". You would like to do this because you DO continue to take actions in the real world every day and they DO rest on a belief that it's UNLIKELY that so and so religion is right. But however little you want to admit it, that is a CLAIM that you make in YOUR MIND. And you have to back it up. And you would be able to do it much better if you didn't have the gaps in such crucial things as "how did life begin" or "how did the universe begin", or maybe cute side questions like "how did sexual reproduction come from asexual?" The best you can do is DISPROVE religious claims and show that, even if there was something supernatural that caused this, the religion is not true.

Admin said...

GM, as soon as you open with "atheism is a belief system", I stop reading. Is not believing in Bigfoot a "belief system"? This issue has been covered an excruciating number of times. But I did skim and found this:

"But you also BELIEVE that we are here somehow, and that the universe is incredibly finely tuned for us, etc."

Thanks for telling atheists what our beliefs are. These are absolutely not a requirement of atheism. No beliefs are. Some atheists believe we are not here at all, and the "fine-tuning" is such a loaded term, especially when you add "for us" to the end. I really don't think you have the first clue about atheism. I have no interest in pursuing this topic any further with you at this time, but somebody else might.

GM said...

Too bad you didn't read the rest of it, because I expected more from you. After all I read all the way past your insults and down to the "theist's riddle", the least you can do is see how I define my terms and back them up with actual explanations as to why I am saying what I am saying.

You may not like me saying that atheism is a "belief system" because you were conditioned that way. I know, I've talked to atheists and theists a lot. But think about what the words "belief" and "system" mean. Everything you do in your life is based on your personal belief system, which may or may not be consistent or stable moment to moment.

If it makes you feel better, change it to "atheists, even though they lack certain beliefs, must still have a belief system in order to act, and unfortunately that belief system necessarily has some serious holes". Happy? Now read the rest and address it -- or ignore it.

Admin said...

You expected more? After you come here and arrogantly tell me what my beliefs are? Tough! Try asking me what I think instead of telling me and you might have more success.

Why don't you call The Atheist Experience TV show on Sunday? They've addressed this enough times they can deal with it quickly and they'd love to talk to you.

GM said...

or leave yourself open to accusations that you're avoiding or ignoring points, or some other garbage :P

anyway the main takeaway I want to tell you is this: I haven't read your whole blog, but you have to be more charitable to the other side and make the points they SHOULD have made, not attack the ones they HAVE made on a technicality. The sooner you realize the main point all theists are trying to make to you, the less you will have to vent. Although I'm sure you are venting less after several years ..... and now probably moved on?

Admin said...

I think there's enough evidence on this site that I address points.

"... you have to be more charitable to the other side and make the points they SHOULD have made ..."

Now I have to do the work for them?

GM said...

Hey man you don't have to actually address what I said, but it would be a bit sad since you wrote above (apparently a while ago) that you respond because you don't want to open yourself up to criticism that you're ignoring / avoiding, and I brought up something different, not trying to show you that Perry actually proved anything ... but showing you why your insisting that he proves something is missing the point.

Yes, Perry said his thing is a "proof" and you caught him, it's not a proof! Then again, a real mathematical proof can't be "toppled", so I can argue that he didn't really mean to say "proof" but merely argument. So perry claimed to have an argument, and made it. But it's not a proof. Whoop de doo, neither is yours. But you already said that.

But you are missing the crucial part, which is that you are focusing on the wrong thing. And telling me to go call an atheist radio station or whatever isn't going to change that. I have talked with atheists online quite a bit to know that they cringe when they hear "atheism is a belief system". They want to be able to dictate what "atheist" means and "belief system" means with an iron grip. Well, I use the terms in their plain meaning:

"belief" - the attitude that reality is a certain way

"belief system" - see "system of beliefs" - a system of interconnected beliefs, such as "Christianity is most likely false", "there is nothing supernatural", "life arose from non life in a natural way". For someone else it might be "Christianity is most likely false." "We are all brains in a vat." "This simulation was turned on 5 minutes ago." "Pickles can dance when you are out of the room"

Let me ask you one thing:

WHy do you debate?

Is it to hear yourself win arguments? To me, it is to get closer to the truth. And that means if my opponent is making an argument I can easily disprove on a technicality, I will do it and then say, "maybe you meant THIS?" and address something with more substance, if indeed I think it's obvious an improvement can be made to their position.

The truth is, we don't know what happened billions of years ago. We have absolutely no clue what happened in the first few seconds of the universe. We think we do. People abuse the Big Bang Theory so much but in fact it's just the body of theory that follows from the observation that the visible universe is expanding and accelerating (although the observable mass is actually escaping into invisibility). It does NOT mean we are freaking prophets who know what happened billions of years ago in the early stages of the universe or if the physical laws were even the same.

What we CAN do is DISPROVE religious claims such as the tower of babel etc. Atheists are debating the wrong things. Skepticism never convinced anyone. Simply DISPROVE claims and show why you DON'T BELIEVE something. Or to be more precise, show why you BELIEVE SOMETHING DID NOT HAPPEN.

Isn't that much better than empty rhetoric?

Admin said...

First, we need to get some things clear. The fact that I have this blog does not mean I have to respond to or challenge every point that comes in. I have a job, I travel A LOT and sometimes I just don't find the comment interesting. I can't have people coming here and claiming victory because I failed to respond or to care. This blog is not an open invitation to take as much time from my life as one pleases.

But as you are clearly insistent, we can do this one step at a time. First, the Perry thing. I'm not clear on what you think is the "crucial" point of Perry's argument which is good yet I have ignored. Please explain why you think it is a good argument (and notice how I asked you rather than told you what you think it is).

Admin said...

And there are 2 reasons why I suggested you call the TV show. First is that they will be more than willing to spend the time with you. Second is that watching them deal with you will be entertaining for the viewers.

Jim said...

"But you also BELIEVE that we are here somehow, and that the universe is incredibly finely tuned for us, etc."

Really? The universe is "incredibly finely tuned for us"? Really? If this were even remotely true (which it isn't), then why is the Earth the only planet capable of supporting life?

I, like the Admin, pretty much gave up on you after you tried to tell me what I believe in. You confuse a belief system with knowing facts. Theists tend to think in terms of either you believe in this or you believe in that. In fact, the world is much simpler. I don't believe in evolution. I accept it as fact. I don't believe in the expansion of the universe. I accept it as fat. I don't believe my keyboard is black. I accept it as fact.

Theists like to get hung up trying to catch atheists believing in something because they think this will magically get them to realize that maybe, just maybe, invisible people exists and tell us what to do and they control everything and create everything.

Something that is a fact is just that. A fact. 2+2=4 whether you want to believe in it or not. Why? Because it is a fact. It has been true since the beginning of the universe, and it will continue to be true past the end. But you would say that I only believe in math. But that would imply somehow that if I wanted to, I could also believe that 2+2=5 and this would be acceptable.

Admin said...

Jim, the bottom line is that it's a word game GM is playing. That's why I really don't wish to discuss it with him/her. But I'm interested in what this "crucial" point is that I SHOULD HAVE MADE FOR PERRY, according to GM.

GM said...

I guess atheists have their own biases and blind spots. It's to be expected.

The point you could have made for Perry is the larger point I have made in my original post and the subsequent one.

Call it a word game or change the words around to be whatever you want. It's the concept behind it that matters, and that's what you don't understand. "Facts" are just another word play by you. So now you know 100% truth by knowing Facts? What does that even mean? What is the Fact about how life began?

I tell you an incredibly straightforward thing like "evolution REQUIRES replication, but how did the first replicator arise?" That is a point that Perry could have made. The truth is, we don't know. We don't know how the universe started or what it looked like in the beginning. And no it's nowhere near being a FACT but is simply a lot of conjecture. To pretend otherwise is to worship at the altar of "science knows everything".

I would be much more reasonable if you were prepared to be rational, but I can see that you equate atheism with rationality. No one has ever been convinced by a skeptical position "I don't think there are good enough reasons that I would accept for you to believe in that, therefore you shouldn't." They have been convinced by a rational argument such as a PROOF or DISPROOF. And unless we're talking mathematics, there is no 100% proof or disproof, so talking about beliefs and degrees of belief is appropriate.

Sometimes I think I'm going to say to atheists, "look guys! you are debating the wrong thing! you don't know what happened back then either! just worry about the actual testable claims religions make, and focus on disproving those! our science is advanced enough for you to get to the bottom of it" but then I realize, so many of them are just as irrational in this as the theists. It's about winning for you - so you win.

Admin said...

"I guess atheists have their own biases and blind spots. It's to be expected."

Nice. What an ass.

"The point you could have made for Perry..."

Ha! No, thanks. Why should I?

"... is the larger point I have made in my original post and the subsequent one."

Which you have failed to make clear and understood. It's a common trait among the philosophers that come here. A side effect seems to be the loss of any ability to communicate with people. You appear to be using an argument from ignorance, but I'm not even sure what your point is.

The rest was pure babble. The conversation can only continue if you clearly lay out why Perry's Atheist's Riddle is to be at all persuasive that DNA was made by an intelligence. Otherwise, you will not hold my interest any longer.

Admin said...

"To pretend otherwise is to worship at the altar of science knows everything."

Who was it who said, "If science knew everything, it would stop"? Seriously dude, I don't know anybody who thinks science knows everything.

GM said...

Exactly. Science doesn't know everything, and there is a chance it may never know how life began or how the universe got here. These may be reasons why really intelligent people like Einstein may think that there is some intelligence behind the formation of the universe. Anthony Flew thought so as well. Stephen Hawking lately does not.

now before this triggers another predictable tirade along the lines of "Einstein wasn't a theist!" Yes. I know. Stop dividing the world into atheists and theists. Here are some quotes:

"My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God."

(The following is from Einstein and Religion by Max Jammer, Princeton University Press)
"I'm not an atheist, and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws. Our limited minds grasp the mysterious force that moves the constellations."

Einstein wasn't an atheist either.

What is my point?

My point is stop talking about "I BELIEVE ONLY IN FACTS" -- this is a comment more for Jim -- as if science is already 100% sure on on some points. That is my point I've been trying to make. No, you DON'T just believe in facts. In fact, you probably believe a bunch of false things in some areas simply because you aren't educated well enough in it.

"We are all idiots, just on different subjects" - Mark Twain

Admin you may not be "worshipping at the altar of science" but here is a quote from you:

One of your posters wrote:

"So what if your argument has the backing of facts as defined by science now? Remember that it was once scientifically accepted that the world was flat and that the Sun orbits the Earth. "

You misunderstand him by going off:

"So what if my argument has the backing of scientific facts?! Holy crap! That means EVERYTHING! So what? So EVERYTHING! And no, it was never scientifically accepted that Earth was flat. Science was not born at that time. The scientific method was born sometime around the 1600's. Are you telling me that people had done scientific experiments proving that Earth was flat? No. What you really mean is that it was commonly accepted by the public that Earth was flat. Except for the ancient Greeks, who had used observations of lunar eclipses to determine that Earth was spherical."

The guy means SCIENTIFIC THEORIES TODAY CAN BE CHANGED OR REVISED TOMORROW.

Newtonian mechanics anyone?

How about this: how much do you trust the FACTS of double blind drug studies?

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/12/the-truth-wears-off/

Seems as though in some areas they are not as FACT as we had previously thought.

In the 19th century, Lord Kelvin was one of the greatest physicists of his time, and by a scientific cooling model decided that the earth was 100 million years old. One of his contemporaries John Joly carried out Halley's calculations based on the saltiness of the oceans and got 95M years. Both men were close to each other yet both were WRONG. Science later changed.

GM said...

My point is, these are theories, sometimes with a lot of evidence and argument behind them, but don't confuse "the universe is expanding" with "science will one day figure out what happened in the first seconds of the universe or where it came from." We may THINK we know, but we don't.


That's what I am trying to tell you. I find it funny how you immediately try to pin viewpoints on me, such as "theists always try to ..." HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT I BELIEVE? You would attack anyone who hints at offending the atheist orthodoxy (yes I've debated enough with atheists online to know). Get out of your own way and realize that although the theists you are debating may be wrong about their particular religion, you both share the fact that YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED OR HOW WE GOT HERE. And you both share the fact that the universe appears fine-tuned for us, intelligent observers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine-tuned_Universe#Possible_naturalistic_explanations

There ARE naturalistic explanations, but they are not FACT. They are theories. Just like string theory is a theory.


It's not as simple as saying:
Atheists believe in Facts.
They don't believe in anything else.
Theists are dumb, they try to make u believe in imaginary things.
One of their tricks is claiming u believe things, so what they believe is the same.

I didn't tell you that I was going to make Perry's Riddle to be persuasive to you that DNA was made by intelligence. You just made that up yourself. I said, that Perry's Riddle is an example of the larger point, that we simply don't know how life arose, we have theories about abiogenesis, about how this world came about but they are just THEORIES. So call them what they ARE. Stop laughing at theists as if you are sure there was nothing "super natural" that caused it. You can't be sure and it doesn't even make any sense. How can you possibly know that the laws and processes we discovered now were the ONLY ONES in operation back then? Nothing else could have happened eh?

I will leave you with this: if you want to laugh at someone, disprove them first. Seriously all this time you spend, you could have spent on disproving actual falsifiable claims made by all religions, sit back and be done and live your life.

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/popper_falsification.html

It's not that laborious too. I'll start you off. Disprove the WORLD WIDE GIANT FLOOD THAT DESTROYED ALL HUMANITY SOMETIME IN THE LAST 10,000 YEARS and you will not have to debate theists about finer points like beginnings of life that neither one of you knows anything about. Just say, "well, something must have happened, but it couldn't have been your religion because I have just disproven it."

GM said...

sorry I left out your quote

"Science knocks down more and more of these arguments every single year, then the religous make the same argument with something else, not realising that it will fall next. It's absolutely absurd! All of these questions will fall, it's only a matter of time. "

this is what I mean about worshipping at the altar of science. You can't possibly know whether science will make all these questions 'fall' or not.

Admin said...

"I didn't tell you that I was going to make Perry's Riddle to be persuasive to you that DNA was made by intelligence."

Then we have nothing to discuss. Perry offered something he called a "proof" it isn't even a convincing argument, let alone a proof. Conversation with me is finished. Thanks for reading.

GM said...

whatever dude. You missed my point completely. It's about the larger picture and being able to tell theists why you actually believe their religion is WRONG. Neither of you knows regarding the origin of life or the universe so it may make for some entertainment for the rest of us, but you're just wasting your time.

ShadeyBladey said...

This nonsense is so full of fallacies I don't know where to start. Equivocation, false equivalence, ambiguity of meaning, question begging... And a complete and utter failing grade in basic molecular biology. "Information storage system", my big, hairy butt!

In a code, as Marshall is insulting the term, meaning is represented by symbols. It is irrelevant what the symbols are. The symbols could be 123 or pqr, or binary digits or dots and dashes. We can change the symbols but the meaning is the same because we, as the code creators, decide what the meaning is when we make the code; just as the number "728" can be understood by numerate people speaking different languages. Even if they cannot speak each other's language, they understand what the written number 728 means and what it represents.

In the same way, a Mandarin speaker can write something in Mandarin Chinese and it can read by someone who speaks only Cantonese but not Mandarin. They can communicate with each other in writing even though they cannot speak to each other because they use the same written "code" to represent the meaning of two different spoken languages.

But with DNA, the bases are not symbols. They cannot be changed for other molecules and still convey genetic meaning and genetic "information". They will do nothing at all, as they are no longer the chemical bases of DNA, they are something else. Therefore, they are not a code as they do not symbolise or convey information and meaning in the way a code does. They are chemicals that undergo chemical reactions. But they cannot perform these reactions if the bases are changed any more than MgSO4 in HCl will produce CuCO3 and NaFl. Gene expression and protein synthesis is a natural biological process. It is not a language in any kind of normal sense and it is not a code in the way Marshall is abusing the term at all. It's just very complex chemistry.

>:8o