Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Atheist's Riddle Revisited

My first post on the Atheist's Riddle has been my most popular post, bringing in roughly one-third of the traffic received by the entire site. A search for Atheist's Riddle on Google and Yahoo rank my post highly enough that it is arguably the most popular rebuttal to Perry's ridiculous garbage on the internet. Because of this, I thought it was time to revisit the post, but from a different angle.

A possible rebuttal to my first post, though not a very good one, is "Hey, you can't use DNA and RNA as the examples of codes created by nature! You have to give a DIFFERENT example!"

I'd like to examine this objection, which will demonstrate why the style of proof attempted in the Atheist's Riddle is just pathetic. Keep in mind that I am not going to do what so many others have done and try to argue that DNA is not a code. I'll just grant him that, because it honestly doesn't even matter.

I am not a clock-maker (get the reference?). I don't make clocks for a living or a hobby, and you can look at hundreds of millions of clocks in the world and I haven't made any of them. But if you look in my closet, you will find a single clock that I made as a project in elementary school shop class. It has the San Francisco Giants' logo on it, as I was a huge baseball fan at the time.

Now, one could take that clock and make the following argument, which parallels the Atheist's Riddle quite well:

1. This object is a clock. It has hands and numbers around a dial, it ticks, and it can be used to tell time.

2. The author of the Atheist Propaganda site is not a clock-maker. All clocks are created by somebody other than him. There is no known instance of him creating a clock.

3. Therefore, this clock was not created by the author of the Atheist Propaganda site.

If you can find an example of a clock that was created by the author of the Atheist Propaganda site, you've toppled my proof. All you need is one.

Now the most obvious objection to this absurd argument is that I've only ever made one clock, and you're holding it! But if we allow the counter-objection that I cited above, you could try to make me find a DIFFERENT clock that I made. No such clock exists. Does that prove that I didn't make the San Francisco Giants clock that you're holding?

So the objection to my counter to the Atheist's Riddle really collapses under its own absurdity. What if nature only made one of these codes, or in this case, two? By denying their use as examples to 'topple the proof', you've really just made an ass of yourself. I think you can see why this style of argument is not a good one to use in trying to prove the existence of gods, but I'm not surprised that there would be people dumb enough to try.

Once again Perry, get bent.

(Edit: click here for more on the Atheist's Riddle)


David Board said...

Great post. But isn't it frustrating how no matter how brain-dead obvious your logic is, the creationists still want to argue? Boggles the mind.

Unknown said...

I'm a Christian, and just like to say that I love reading arguments between big-E Evolution and Creationism, and I happen to think that the two can co-exist (although that bullshit about the world being only a few thousand years old is... uh... bullshit).

But anyhoo, great article. My side is terribly misrepresented by these Creationists who just talk out their asses like that.

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...
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Unknown said...


"What if nature only made one of these codes"

What if gravity was not constant once? What if we are all wrong about it? What if it is only constant for 1.9 billion years, then goes crazy for 4.3 billion years? What if the clouds turn into sheep every 2.4 billion years and is just in mid cycle? What if theres a pink elephant flying around pluto? Just what if?

"What ifs" are meaningless. The fact IS we have NO EVIDENCE for these "WHAT IFS," that is why they are "what if's." And that is why we don't even consider these meaningful at all.

You so desperately need a naturally occuring code, you are willing to raise your particular "what if" to the status of being meaningful.

Treat that "what if" in the SAME manner you treat this "what if." What if, DNA is DESIGNED??????" UH OH! But your bias automatically dismisses that what if doesnt it?

See how clear your reasonning all of a sudden becomes????

What if God has sent me here to tell you the truth?



Anonymous said...

John, did you just try to match wits (i.e. reasonnning abilities)with the author of this blog?

Admin said...

That last comment rocks. Awesome! And thanks!

mec said...

The Atheist Riddle is very compelling. I suggest you actually read what the man has to say. Atheists are supposed to be more reasonable than theists so instead of insulting the messenger - concentrate on the message. What reasonable problems do you have with the riddle. All I have seen so far in this thread and the other is dogmatic backslapping.

Muhammed Asif Khan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim said...

I think the most important thing that all the religious people are forgetting, and that the author of the "Atheist Riddle" clearly has no concept of, is that in order for a proof to be called a proof, it must first be proven and backed up by facts and examples.

I find it hard to believe that no religious person who has read, and agreed with, this so-called 'riddle' has never taken a geometry class. So I will assume that some of you have. You will remember that mathematical proofs were (or should have been) very prevalent in said class. Once the teacher introduced the proof, the first thing you had to do before you were able to use the proof to solve any kind of problem was to prove that the proof worked.

It is in this step that the author of the "Atheist Riddle" failed. He created a proof, did not prove that it worked, and presented it. Without a logical and solid backing, the proof fails without any argument to its case. The Administrator was correct in his original argument of the 'riddle'. One has to be able to backup their claims. Circular logic is no basis for an argument.

Just because DNA is a code, doesn't mean it can't occur in nature. While I agree wholeheartedly that the odds of DNA naturally occurring are astronomical, this fact does not mean that it couldn't have happened naturally.

I know this may blow the mind of several less informed people out there, but this is a generally accepted string of thought; life didn't originate on Earth. Now, I know there will be those that say I'm crazy and talking about aliens, but I assure you that I am not, and offer proof.

There are scientific theories aplenty that suggest life began somewhere else in the Universe. This very simple (most likely bacteria) life was deposited on Earth by a comet over 3.5 billion years ago. If this is true, and I admit it may not be, but if it is, this gives us 10 billion more years to allow nature to create DNA. (For the religious ones out there who question where I got my figures, astronomers date the Universe at approx. 13.7 billion years. This data is backed up through observation and study, and is widely accepted to be true. Look it up.)

The point is, when assuming that something could only be created by a God because the chances of it occurring naturally are staggering, the logic behind the argument falls. Just because we can't explain something now, doesn't mean one day we won't be able to explain it. There was a time when we thought the world was flat. There was a time when Galileo was put under house arrest for suggesting the Earth was not the center of the solar system. There was a time when it was a crime to suggest that we were not the center of the universe. But we do know the world is round. We have taken pictures of it. We do know that the Earth is not the center of the solar system. We have observed and proven this, and our long range satellites depend on this for their telemetry. We do know that the Earth is not the center of the universe, because we now no there is no center to the universe that can be defined.

When religion starts to fill in the gaps of human understanding, we find ourselves believing outrageous beliefs because humans are an impatient species. This does not mean that God exists, only that some of us want him to.

Lack of proof is not proof of lack.

Unknown said...

Thing is, gentleman, as Jim stated, the chances of even one example of DNA being created naturally is astronomical. Granted that it is possible, but you're more likely to paint one atom red and put it in the far reaches of the universe, and have someone else find it than you are to have DNA naturally occur. So here's the question. Which one is statistically more likely to happen: DNA being created naturally, or an omnipotent God saying "Let there be light?"

Mathematically, it is much more likely that God created and started the universe, than DNA coming out of the primordial soup.

Unknown said...

PS about this specific post, the author is intelligent, and thus can make a clock, the primordial soup is unintelligent and cannot within any reasonable ability create an intelligent code because of that.

Admin said...

"Which one is statistically more likely to happen: DNA being created naturally, or an omnipotent God saying 'Let there be light?' Mathematically, it is much more likely that God created and started the universe, than DNA coming out of the primordial soup."

HA! Nathan, I call you on your bullshit! You think you can come here and throw around the words, 'mathematical' and 'astronomical', and look like you're smart. But you just came across as a fricking idiot!

I challenge you to back up the statement that you made in your post. Go ahead! Show me this math, since you've declared what is mathematically more likely to occur! Math can be shown, so show me! Show me that nature, which is all around us, creating something is less likely than it being created by a type of being which has never been demonstrated to exist! SHOW ME! You fucking religious idiots think you can just make any statements you like, without ever having to provide any kind of back-up. And your lack of curiosity about the 'statistical likelihood' of your god even existing at all (or how it got there) makes me laugh!

Do you realise that in the last year, there have been some laboratory breakthroughs in coaxing organic molecules to create simple strands of RNA? RNA is a self-replicating molecule, and is believed to have given rise to DNA. Scientists are hard at work on the process of how it all got started, and huge progress has been made. But you demand no evidence or information about the process your god used, other than, "let there be light"?

You're a fucking moron!

Admin said...


You think you can just pull probabilities out of your ass, don't you?

Unknown said...

First off, you need to get out of your emotional state of mind, so that we can have an intellectual conversation as men, which I hope I'm not giving you too much credit.

Here's the math. DNA consists of 4 chemicals, correct? Let's call them letters, since DNA is a form of information. The simplest forms of DNA have over 500,000 letters. so we come up with 5 x 10 ^20 possible combinations. With me so far?

Now because DNA is a set of information, it will only make sense in a certain order. For example, if you type out a sentence that has 20 characters in it, you then rearrange those characters randomly, it won't make any sense, because all the information would be jumbled. Still with me?

So even if you had the right environment, all the right chemicals present, and the electric current was just right, it would still be next to impossible to create a set of DNA that makes any sense or that would become a cell. Make sense?

I've heard of that scientific stuff they have been doing. However, humans (an intelligent being) creating a strand of RNA proves nothing other than RNA has to have been created by an intelligent being. In other words, if evolution is true, then it was started by an Intelligent Being.

If you could show me where RNA has occurred naturally without human intervention, I would be much more obliged to agree with you. As for now, you are too emotional and illogical.

OK, here's statistical likelihood of God existing. If God didn't exist then evolution could not have happened because so far DNA/RNA have only been created by some form of intelligence. And thus we would not be having this conversation.

I'm not one to force anyone to become Christian, I just like people acting logically. Thing about Christianity is that God doesn't force anyone to follow Him. Jesus never forced any of His disciples to come, and they were free to leave whenever they wished. God loves you, but you have to be willing to hear Him, and that seems to be what is blocking you from understanding creationism, and for that matter even logic.

Admin said...

No Nathan, we can't have an intellectual conversation because you're coming here spouting unsubstantiated bullshit.

"OK, here's statistical likelihood of God existing. If God didn't exist then evolution could not have happened because so far DNA/RNA have only been created by some form of intelligence. And thus we would not be having this conversation."

Do you know what 'statistical' means? I don't see any math or statistics in here at all! This is the Atheist's Riddle! For nature, you ATTEMPTED to use actual math, but for your god, you just waved your hands! Can't you see that? What about the Theist's Riddle? And no, no intelligence has EVER been proven to create DNA/RNA, except for us just recently. You can't just assert this shit! You realise that the RNA was created in a lab by simulating natural conditions? Heating, cooling, etc. Do you deny these exist in nature?

I'm not even going to discuss what might be wrong with your math, and your understanding of chemistry, in your highly-sophisticated mathematical calculation of the probability of DNA occurring naturally. WHERE IS THE MATH ABOUT YOUR GOD? You said it was mathematically demonstrable! Where is the math? Show me! NOW!

I'm a very calm person in real life. My emotions do not affect the decisions I make as much as many people's do. That's why I make good decisions over and over again. But there's only so much of this garbage a person can take coming from people like yourself!

Why don't you sit down and figure out the mathematics of rainfall in the supposed flood, or the mathematics related to the positioning of ERVs in human and chimp DNA? You're a cherry-picking idiot!


Admin said...

"but you have to be willing to hear Him, and that seems to be what is blocking you from understanding creationism, and for that matter even logic."

No, EVIDENCE blocks me from believing creationism! Your belief has been ruled out by the fossil record, human chromosome 2, ERVs, phylogeny, geology, astronomy, cosmology, physics, etc. And don't forget just plain common sense.

You have to be a major fucking idiot to believe in creationism. And you are one. Now get bent, or show me that math.

Admin said...

By the way, all you've done with the math you did attempt to show me was give your estimate for forming THAT PARTICULAR strand of DNA (actually, you didn't even give that, you just stated how many possible combinations there are. Dude, you really suck. You also have no idea what you're doing.) You need to show the odds of forming any DNA that could be made into proteins, then consider the number of chemical reactions that occur with the appropriate molecules across the Universe every second.

You have utterly failed to give any mathematical basis for your assertion at all.

Unknown said...

There you go again, you're much to emotional. I'm willing to debate, you're the one who's getting all upset about everything.

I'll try again. DNA is a code, right? It's chemicals form instructions for living creatures, yes? English is also a code, no? As is Arabic, Chinese, etc. No code has ever been created without some form of intelligence being present. Can you show me proof of rocks talking? If codes were able to be created without intelligence being present, then they should be all over the place considering that the universe is made up of more non-living matter than living.

I don't know what the chances of DNA naturally occurring are. But I do know that they are astronomical. So lets call that number 'n.' The chances of naturally occurring DNA is 1/n, yes? From the fact that we are conversing, I should say that life started. Therefore if the chance of DNA randomly occurring is 1/n, then the chance of God existing is 1 - (1/n). Does that make sense?

What's your statistical reason for nature creating DNA? Or for that matter what's your IQ because you've clearly chosen the less logical idea.

It is possible to have evolution caused by God. I have not heard enough evidence either way to really convince me. But what's for sure is God exists.

What's your IQ by the way? If you're going to call me an idiot, you better actually be smarter.

Unknown said...

What's the matter? Cat got your tongue?

Admin said...

You don't like me mocking you? I guess where you live, not many people know any better.

There is NOTHING to debate! Naturalism has evidence for its existence, your Bible story doesn't! I want to ask you about the cosmic background radiation so badly, but I also want to keep this on track.

I have invitations in my mailbox from Mensa (which I've declined to respond to). My IQ has tested in the top 1% of the population. I have a Masters degree in aerospace engineering from one of the top engineering schools on Earth. And yours? You're a creationist! Your whole world outlook is to deny evidence and stare at an ancient book!

"Therefore if the chance of DNA randomly occurring is 1/n, then the chance of God existing is 1 - (1/n). Does that make sense?"

No, it doesn't!

Here's what you need to do:

1. Show me the odds of the Christian god existing, and that it saying, "Let there be light" created everything. You promised me math!

2. Show me the odds of a self-replicating molecule forming. It doesn't have to be DNA. Again, you promised math!

Have you worked on that ERV problem yet? Do you know what an ERV is? No, gotta keep it on track.

"What's your statistical reason for nature creating DNA?"

Ummm. I never claimed to have one. You made the claim. But what I know is that nature exists, it's all around us. And despite your claims, you haven't shown that any gods exist, let alone your Christian one. That's a pretty dishonest tactic, by the way.

If you come back here, you'd better be prepared to show me the math you promised!

Admin said...

"What's the matter? Cat got your tongue?"

I'm typing, you prick! And before that, I was brushing my teeth! You really are a fucking idiot, aren't you? You think I do this full time, and don't have anything else to do? By the way, I guess I have to explicitly tell you, but I have to go now! I'll be back in several hours. But if that math you promised isn't there, I don't know that I'll be responding to your bullshit again!

Admin said...

In fact, I can't even promise I won't delete your next comment if it doesn't contain the math you promised. You're wasting my time. Leaving now! It's so sad that I have to explicitly tell you that, in order to prevent you from declaring victory in my absence.

Unknown said...

I just gave you math. I'll even concede one point. It may not have been the Christian God, but all in all it makes little difference.

I gave you math, the chances of God's being is 1 - (1/n). If you can't accept it, then please stop confusing yourself.

Assuming that you delete my post, you would then be declaring that I won, because you would be denying my argument. Which one of the signs of ignorance. I showed you math. It's by far more likely that a god created DNA than it is for it to have been randomly been created.

Jim, who agrees with you even helped provide the math in his 4th paragraph. If 'n' is astronomical then it is far more likely for a god to have created DNA than for nature to have.

For someone who claims to be so incredibly smart, you have quite an emotional response for something that requires none. I thought that being that smart, you would be able to control yourself. "The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools." Ecc 9:17

Admin said...

OK, I'll tone down the language, as you're using that as an argument against me. Bad straw man, and I'll now make it so you can't do that. I'll explain why I reacted that way in my next comment, in a calm manner.

Don't quote bible verse at me. It has no effect.

"I gave you math, the chances of God's being is 1 - (1/n)."

No, not even close. What this means is that the probability of ALL other options, both those that have been previously imagined, and those as yet unimagined, is equal to that formula. Religious thought has so drilled this dichotomy of god-or-(so-called)randomness into your head that you can no longer conceive of any other options, and want to try to win by default.

"If 'n' is astronomical then it is far more likely for a god to have created DNA than for nature to have."

No. You really think it's that simple? Think you deserve a Nobel prize for that? What are the odds of a god existing, by the way?

You never did tell me exactly what your qualifications or intelligence is, after demanding mine. I'll take that as point conceded to me.

I was considering deleting your post for the sole reason that I want to keep you on topic, and get you to answer my question. If not, then it's a waste. Here's what you need to do now:

1. Leave quietly.

2. Admit that you should not have come here and said that you can mathematically demonstrate these things, when you can't. If you do admit it, then I'd like to know if you were purposely attempting to deceive me and my readers, or if you were simply mistaken. We can then move on in a more civil manner. If you don't admit to it, then I'd like you to consider option #1.

Admin said...

See Nathan, here's the thing. I get a good amount of correspondence form the religious and creationists. not as much as many webmasters, but enough to try my patience. The reason that it does is because they come to my website and attempt to convince people of their agenda, using arguments which are total BS. And they rarely allow themselves to be held accountable for it when it is proven silly.

So when you come to my site, and you make a claim about mathematics that you can't back up, I get annoyed. I get annoyed because you are attempting to pollute the pool of knowledge that we all rely on to survive. You argue against the very people (scientists) who have allowed you to live the lifestyle you live, in a first world country, by providing you with the necessary technology to survive and thrive. The very computer that you use to spread that knowledge is a product of our naturalistic understanding of the Universe, and the hard work of scientists to discover things like semi-conductors, electricity, etc.

And when you call me foolish for not believing your myths, you call all of these people foolish too. You call the most brilliant minds on Earth, with the best equipment and methods, who actually study these problems, and do so in order that you and your family might benefit from them, illogical fools.

If you had come here and not made such a bold claim, you would have found a very different webmaster.

Admin said...

I suppose option 3 is to try to continue to argue the math thing. You said you showed me math, the problem is that you didn't show me the CORRECT math which applies in this situation.

The truth (as I understand it) is that we have absolutely no idea what the probability of self-replication occurring naturally is. But the Universe is an enormous place, which helps a lot no matter how small the number is that we come up with.

As far as the probability of a god doing it, we have no idea even HOW to calculate such a thing, as we can't even demonstrate that there is such a thing as the supernatural. One thing is for sure, you can't take the default position of declaring it equal to 1 minus the probability of anything else. That's incredibly dishonest. Positive proof is required. The religious can't do that, so they attempt default proofs, like you did.

Admin said...

I think I'm going to write a full post about this conversation. It's great!

Check this out, Nathan:

I won the lottery last week (no, not really). The odds of me choosing winning lottery numbers by myself were 1 in n, where n= 14 million. But I did win. Therefore, the chances of a god helping me to choose them were 1-(1/n), making it far more likely that a god guided me to choose the numbers. In fact, it's damn near 100% that a god helped me to choose the numbers.

Admin said...

You know Nathan, that lottery example really helped me to clear my head and think this through. I've had a major mental breakthrough. You came here telling me to accept your math and 'logic', or something's wrong with me. The problem is that you didn't show me the CORRECT math or reasoning, and now I know that you haven't even defined the problem correctly. Allow me to explain.

Let's suppose there is a 1-in-10 chance of life appearing naturally on a planet. We'll keep the number easy to work with at 10%. Now, if we check around some other planets, and we find one with life, what should we conclude about that life? Should we conclude that because life has a 10% chance of appearing naturally on a planet, that there is a 90% chance that it is there because of a non-natural process? Of course not! It's just one of the places where it happened.

What you're doing is confusing 2 questions. The questions you're confusing are, "What are the odds of life appearing naturally on a planet?" and, "What are the odds that any given sample of life occurred by natural processes vs. other processes?" These are completely different questions.

So when you show me (what you say are) the odds of life appearing naturally on Earth, that does not imply anything about how it got there. Even if the odds of life occurring on a planet are astronomical (and I want to stress that we have no idea what that figure really is), the Universe is literally astronomical in size, and we could still expect to find life.

As for the second question about natural processes vs. other processes, the question doesn't even make sense. I mean, you can't demonstrate that these other processes exist, or describe how they would work if they do. How would one possibly go about calculating odds under those circumstances? It can't be done! Until you can bring something to the table that shows these things are even real, such a thing cannot be done, and won't be a reasonable thing to ask somebody to do, or for you to suggest that you know the answer to.

If you don't believe me, then try this: I want you to calculate the probability that life on Earth was seeded by alien Zorkishes from the planet Lepon, orbiting the star Nirwag. They used a teleportation ray to put the DNA molecules into an unknown (to us) state of matter called 'quackle', which allowed it to travel through a phase-11 wormhole and arrive at Earth. Good luck.

Unknown said...

I appreciate the change of language.

I have come to the conclusion that no matter what, I could not convince you to believe that a god exists.

I don't have a mathematical proof that God exists, only what I see. I'm not at all trying to confuse anyone, I am trying to get down to facts. It takes just as much faith to believe that life was created naturally as it does to believe that a god spoke and it was.

I am still in college, went to ERAU for a year to study Aerospace Engineering, got too expensive, and now I'm studying at a (much less expensive) state university. My IQ is likewise in the top 1%, although I try to stay away from mensa because to me they seem to be elitists.

So I am going to bow out. The way I see it, there's no point in bickering. In all honesty you and I are not really going to change our opinions no matter what the facts are.

I am curious, which engineering school did you go to?

Admin said...

"I have come to the conclusion that no matter what, I could not convince you to believe that a god exists."

No, this is not true. Bring me some real evidence, or just pray for your god to visit me tonight and introduce itself. The problem is that the evidence for gods is indistinguishable from the evidence for things that don't exist.

"It takes just as much faith to believe that life was created naturally as it does to believe that a god spoke and it was."

No, because we can see natural processes. Your statement might only be true if somebody could demonstrate that the supernatural exists. Then we might have a problem.

Are you aware of all of the evidence that supports the naturalistic theories of origins? All of the evidence we have supports naturalism and an old Universe, and points away from creationism. Human chromosome #2, ERVs, fossil record, galactic redshift, cosmic background radiation, radioactive decay, observations of stars forming elsewhere in the Universe through telescopes, stellar evolution, plate tectonics, carbon dating, etc, etc, etc. It all points to a Universe billions of years old, and some of it points directly at evolution. NOTHING points at creationism except for creationists.

So no, it doesn't require faith. Faith is belief with no evidence. That's what you have. We have evidence. Which is why you're here debating on a layman's blog, and not in the ring with real scientists in publications. You lose. You lost decades ago. That's all. It's over.

Creationists think that if they rally public support, that there is somehow a debate. This would be the equivalent of a beer league thinking it can have an impact on Major League Baseball. There is no debate among people who actually work on these things and understand them. You have your book to keep you company. We have all of reality to explore.

I don't want to say exactly which school I went to, but I'll say that it was in the US. I try to stay as anonymous as possible. I wrote a post about why.

So tell me, are you familiar with chromosome #2? That's one of the best pieces of evidence that I think a regular person could understand. It could mean that evolution is true, or it could mean that whatever designed us was a deceitful prick that really wanted to make it look like evolution was real.

Unknown said...

Thing is, science cannot explain spiritual happenings, although they clearly exist. There are numerous ghost stories, you can look them up. Science has no way of explaining them, why would you assume that science could explain a god?

Again, I'm not saying that evolution is wrong. I'm saying that God started life whether it was evolution or creationism. For all practical purposes, it doesn't matter which one it is, we still have jobs to do, and life to live. I personally believe in the Big Bang, but I believe that God set it off.

I completely understand your anonymity. And I respect that.

Honestly, no I don't know what most of those things are, but again, I'm not trying to debate evolution, I'm trying to show that a god exists.

Admin said...

"I personally believe in the Big Bang, but I believe that God set it off."

Wait a minute... didn't you say you believe in 'creationism'? It seems you're not a creationist after all. You even said that I was being blocked form understanding creationism. The word 'creationism' (in Christian context) is almost always taken to mean young-Earth creationism, no Big Bang, no evolution. You need to stop using that word, because you confused me and received a couple of attacks that you didn't deserve, if that's the case.

"Thing is, science cannot explain spiritual happenings, although they clearly exist. There are numerous ghost stories, you can look them up."

No, they don't clearly exist. Ghost stories? There are a lot of stories out there about a lot of things. Yeti, Loch Ness monster, alien abductions. I even worked with a girl who claimed she was visited by aliens regularly. The wife of the new Prime Minister of Japan says she goes to Venus on spaceships. You can look it up.

Here's the problem, Nathan. Over human history, billions (yes, billions) of man-hours have been spent studying the supernatural. Astrology, psychics, numerology, alchemy, witchcraft, ghosts, gods, etc. And not a single one of these people has ever been able to substantiate a single one of these stories. If psychics were real, that would be easy to demonstrate. If astrology worked, same. ESP should be easy. And ghosts should be able to be detected too, considering that they are said to interact with their environments.

Why, why, why have none of these things ever been proven, despite all of the claims and all of the billions of man-hours? Have you heard of James Randi? He has made a career debunking these people, and used to have a TV show in the UK where people could come on and try to demonstrate their gifts. Not a single one ever passed. And they all had excuses when they failed about how the studio wasn't set up properly, or some garbage.

I'm sorry, but spirits do not clearly exist. Which is why you won't find them in any science book. If they did exist, many scientists would be extremely eager to study them, and there would be lots of funding for it.

I'm sorry if you want the Universe to be more than it is, or you want to believe some things for some reason, but it just doesn't appear to be reality.

Admin said...

And hey, if you're going to believe stories, why not do some reading about other religions, from the Hindus, Greeks, Egyptians, aboriginal Americans, etc? Then ask yourself why those stories aren't true, but stories of ghosts and your god are true. Where do you draw the line about which stories you believe, and which you don't?

Unknown said...

My bad for not being clearer about my beliefs.

From my personal experience, I've never seen a ghost, but I know several people who have. When I was at Camp Lejeune (which is supposed to be haunted) there was a SSgt, 2 Sgts, and a handful of Pvt/PFCs who claim to have seen ghosts while there. Not to mention all of the weird noises that they and others claim to have heard. I don't think I could convince you unless you heard it from them, but that's the best I can give you.

Science can only measure the physical world, which is not part of the spiritual realm. The only thing that science has is that the human soul has weight.

Admin said...

"I don't think I could convince you unless you heard it from them..."

No, that definitely wouldn't do it either. If it was, I'd believe all kinds of crap from alien abductions to scientology.

Yes, science can test the supernatural, because the supernatural is supposed to interact with this Universe. If gods are making things happen that shouldn't happen normally, we can detect that. It's an extreme cop-out, and downright failure, for anybody to say we couldn't detect it, yet also claim that it interacts.

If the soul were real, why would it have weight? So now the supernatural has weight? Great, because weight can be detected! Get the ghost to step on a scale, please! I've heard of this study, and do you realise it's been thoroughly discredited? That's why you found it on, and not in the journal Nature. You need to choose your sources carefully. Funny how the supernatural can't be detected when experiments give negative results, but when they're positive, suddenly it can be detected. So you think souls have weight, and therefore can be detected, but all other supernatural phenomena can't?

That which cannot be detected is indistinguishable from that which does not exist. If I were to invent a religion or a supernatural phenomenon that I knew was false, but wanted to fool others, that's EXACTLY what I'd say. Interesting, isn't it?

Admin said...

If souls had weight, they would also have mass, meaning they would be composed of matter. Matter can be detected, and even seen. If it's made of matter, it should be able to be found by a surgeon. So where is the soul? I'm sorry, but this doesn't make an sense.

Part of science is repetition of studies and reproduction of results. Do you know of any credible reproduction of this experiment, which first took place over 100 years ago with a sample size of only a few people?

Unknown said...

Fair enough, I don't think there is any point in trying to get you to believe in ghosts any longer. So I won't pester you with that.

Although I haven't seen ghosts, I have seen a miracle. A man at my church was given 3-4 months to live, he had liver cancer which had spread all over his body. Our church heard about it and dedicated a service to him to pray for him. Plus the entire church was praying for him on their own. About a month later he went back to his doctor, and they could not find a trace of the cancer. In fact, he has been cancer free since 2003. If that's not supernatural, please explain what is.

You asked why the Bible and not some other religion. For one, it describes the human condition the best. And two, it's not a works based religion. Christ didn't have to die, but He did so freely in order to save His people. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice, and thus the only suitable sacrifice for a holy and just God. There is no other religion which teaches grace.

Admin said...

Did you read my more recent post about the soul? You were probably typing when I posted it.

Diseases go away. Even cancer. Have you heard of the Godless Bastard? ( He's beaten cancer 3 times. And he was definitely not praying. And no, it's not supernatural. As they say, the plural of 'anecdote' is not 'evidence'. Perhaps you can prove this was supernatural? I'm sorry, but this is an extremely weak argument.

"Christ didn't have to die, but He did so freely in order to save His people. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice, and thus the only suitable sacrifice for a holy and just God."

In order for any of this to be considered true, you'd have to prove that any of it happened or was real. That's the story, ACCORDING TO THE RELIGION!

"There is no other religion which teaches grace."

So what? So it's the one you like the best? And therefore its supernatural claims are true, and the other religions' supernatural claims are not true? Do you know that other religions have supernatural claims?

Come on, this is ridiculous. Face it, you can't support anything you believe, and you only believe it because it makes you feel good.

Unknown said...

No I have not heard of any reproduction of the experiment. But I would be most interested if it were replicated over a few hundred subjects, the obvious problem is lack of time waiting on the people to die. Plus it would be considered inhumane to be excited about someone's death.

Interesting site, although I find most of the arguments are more emotional than factual.

It all has to do with how you see the world. You look at that and say "it's nature," whereas I see a case for God.

All of Christianity rests on the Resurrection of Christ after His death. I am currently looking up historical contexts of it. It may take a minute.

Admin said...

But again, if souls have weight, they have mass and are made of matter. Then no 'death experiment' is necessary. We should be able to find 21 grams of matter hiding inside every person. It should also make an exit wound when it leaves the body to 'go to heaven'. That wound should be detectable in an autopsy. That kind of thing is enough to convince me that this old study is BS.

I want to go back to the "only Christianity teaches grace" thing. Again, that is an attempt to support Christianity by default, rather than by positive evidence. I want to make clear that I don't even know if that claim about it being the only one is true. But it doesn't matter. There are an infinite number of never-conceived religions which could incorporate grace. You must distinguish your religion from those others by providing evidence. And honestly, I doubt your studies of other religions are so thorough that you decided Christianity was the one that best described the human condition. It's funny how so many Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists feel the same way about their religion, if that's the religion they're born into.

I wouldn't bother trying to find historical support for the resurrection of Jesus. You'll find some stuff written by Christian theologians/apologists like Craig and Stroebel (sp?), who are clearly biased. But if there were any real support for it, it would be in regular world history books, not just the Bible. Which is also why creationism is not in science books. (I'm glad you're not a creationist)

Unknown said...

I have come to the conclusion that Christ in fact, did rise from the dead.

From the perspective of the disciples:
All but one of the disciples died horrible martyr deaths. Now they were also all witnesses of Jesus' death, and they saw Him after He rose again. If He didn't rise again, then they would not have gone to their deaths while proclaiming something that they knew was false. Why would someone go to their death in order to spread something that they knew wasn't true?

Gilbert West and Lord Lyttleton wanted to prove that Paul did not actually get converted to Christianity, and that Jesus never rose from the tomb. Neither man reached his goal. West published a book about his findings "Observations on the History and Evidences of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ."

You can read about Justices, Medical professors, and other professionals saying that Jesus' resurrection is undeniable in "Evidence that Demands a Verdict" by Josh McDowell

The guards at the tomb when the resurrection happened fell as if dead. They gave the report to the city elders, and the elders told them to tell everyone that Jesus' disciples took the body while they were asleep. Sounds like a good plan, but if a soldier was caught asleep while on guard he would be killed. Thus we have two witnesses who were probably killed because of the resurrection trying to be kept secret. Matt 28:11-15

Remember, they (the Levites) did everything they could to seal the tomb, and keep the resurrection from happening. But it did happen, because the testimony of the guards, the deaths of the Apostles, the witnesses of His death, the witnesses of Him after His resurrection, etc. Everything that the Bible has to say about Jesus' death and resurrection can be backed up historically (those who wrote the Gospels were everyday people). Paul states in I Corinthians 15:6 that over 500 people had seen the risen Jesus. That would be easily refutable if Jesus' body could be produced. But it wasn't. The tomb that Jesus was in was obviously empty. No one who could have refuted it did. They refused to believe but they never could refute it.

James, the brother of Jesus, before Jesus' death despised what Jesus was doing. He thought it would reflect badly on him, and the family. But after His resurrection he completely changed. He even wrote an epistle which made it into the New Testament.

Thomas thought that Jesus' resurrection was impossible. And it was only after Jesus appeared to him that he changed, he even went willingly to a martyr's death. If Jesus hadn't resurrected Thomas would have no reason to change.

You can read all of that and more in "Evidence that Demands a Verdict" by Josh McDowell. Need I give more examples?

Unknown said...

Light is supposed to be made partially of matter, and yet it has no weight. Why couldn't a spirit be similar?

From what I've seen, without any form of punishment or law (anarchy), people will do the most depraved acts imaginable. That's exactly what the Bible teaches. If you assume that humans are part of the animal kingdom, then we are the only species to kill ourselves intentionally. No other animal will kill a like animal (with the exception of chicken fights or dog fights, but thats with human intervention). Even when a wolf wants to take charge of the pack, when one loses he lies on his back and exposes his throat, the other wolf never takes the chance to kill him.

No other religion has its god die for the people. It's a love story. God sacrifices His only son, in order that we might be able to be with Him. Pretty powerful. I don't have any kids, but I assume that it's about like sacrificing my dog, but multiplied.

The way I see it, is if you want to see God, you will. If not, no amount of evidence would ever convince you. I can quote verses on that, but I assume that you don't want to hear it.

Admin said...

"Light is supposed to be made partially of matter, and yet it has no weight. Why couldn't a spirit be similar?"

No, light is NOT made of matter. Besides, if the spirit had no weight, as you claim, it wouldn't change the scales in the experiment.

"From what I've seen, without any form of punishment or law (anarchy), people will do the most depraved acts imaginable."

What you really mean is that YOU would. Speak for yourself, dude.

"If you assume that humans are part of the animal kingdom, then we are the only species to kill ourselves intentionally. No other animal will kill a like animal..."

BULLSHIT! Do you check anything you write to me? Sorry bud, you just lost all of your credibility! I'm stopping reading your posts right now. I could give more examples but I'll just give one; CHIMPANZEES!

Look Nathan, when you came here, I was intrigued by your claim about the mathematical probabilities of life. But you were wrong, and admitted you had nothing. And now that you're on other topics, you're showing me that you don't check your facts, you spew forward BS assertion after BS assertion that you cannot back up, or that I know for a FACT to be dead wrong!

You are no longer intriguing to me. You're now giving me the same arguments I've heard over and over, and like all others, you're failing to substantiate a thing you say. That seems to be a problem with the religious. Are you hoping that I won't know when you're wrong? Hoping to slip something by me?

This conversation is over, but I might make a post with a collection of all of the 'bullshit facts' you've attempted to pass off as true in our conversation.

Admin said...

I can't resist one more comment:

Nathan, I suggest that you go back to your church, where facts have no place, people are gullible, and nobody will try to verify anything you assert, as long as it's what they want to hear.

Or you can wake up and realise there is nothing to back up your religion except that you find it comforting. "It's a love story." Yeah, so that makes it true.

Unknown said...

Alright, I'll leave you be. I figure if you don't want God then no amount of evidence will prove it to you. I noticed you didn't try to refute that Jesus did rise from the dead.

I'll leave you with one last thing.

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." Matthew 7:7-8

Admin said...

"I noticed you didn't try to refute that Jesus did rise from the dead."

I didn't even read that post, you idiot, because I read the other one first, and I told you that you lost all credibility! Nothing you say can be trusted, and you've proven that! You're either ignorant of everything you talk about, or you're flat-out lying to me, and that makes you a fucking asshole! If I read anything you say, I'd have to fact-check every sentence, and I don't have the time of the desire for that. But I've demonstrated that you are not a reliable source of information. Grow up, little boy!

Don't you realise this? Why no response that you're wrong about light and the animals? What makes you think you have any credibility left, and that I should take anything you say seriously? Anything you wrote in any other post is probably just another load of shit!

And if you knew a damn thing about science, you'd know that is is not usually possible to prove a negative! Nobody can refute that Jesus rose from the dead unless they find his body! It can't be done!

"I figure if you don't want God then no amount of evidence will prove it to you."

Why don't you try providing some evidence, you fucking lying asshole?! All you've given me so far is false claims about math, light, souls, animals, the nature of people, etc. And yet you keep coming back with more 'facts', thinking it might work! Don't you stop and think about what you're doing? You're humiliating yourself! You're also doing an incredible disservice to your religion by making it seem like the members are a bunch of clowns who don't have a single true fact in their heads! Why don't you shut up before you embarrass your faith even more? Anybody who is reading this can see what an ass you're making of yourself, and you still come back for more!

Have you no shame? Honestly, you've been badly beaten, but seem to dumb to realise it.

Admin said...

I love how you think you can be wrong about animals, light, math, etc, and just move on to the next point! This is what I meant posts ago when I said that the religious don't take accountability for their misinformation! How about an explicit admission that you are wrong? No, you just want to move to the next point and hope that I'll forget about it.

And I'll bet any money you'll still repeat the same arguments about math and animals to anybody who will listen, and hope they'll buy it! You don't care that they're false! It's OK to lie for Jesus, right?

You're a fucking twit!

Admin said...

And despite me telling you that damn-near everything you've said is false, you still say that no evidence will convince me!


Admin said...

By the way, the fact that you didn't ask me to back up my assertion about the chimpanzees tells me 1 of 3 things:

1. You don't live in an evidence-based world, perhaps because you don't know what evidence means.

2. You know you don't know what you're talking about, so anything anybody says to the contrary will be seen as true.

3. You know I'm your mental superior on many topics, and will take me at my word when I disagree with you on such things.

Start your learning here:

There is also a video of this somewhere. I've seen it, and it's horrifying. I never want to watch it again.

Admin said...

So Nathan, I just mentioned your claim to co-worker of mine. I said to him, "Humans are the only animals to kill their own species". He immediately responded that chimps have been proven to kill. He even told me that there is a documented case of a chimp serial killer! I believed him, but I'll tell you why later. I looked it up to get more information:

Now, why did I take his word? Because I've worked with him for nearly 3 years, and he has proven to be a reliable source of information. He is not a scientist, but is well-educated. If he tells you something about economics, politics, history, or even nature, it is a good bet that it can be backed up from other sources. He is a good bet. You are not. And I'm not sure after the display you put on here that I'd ever consider you a reliable source of information ever again, no matter what you do.

Jim said...

I'm going to jump in here a bit. I feel that I need to defend my statement from a raving lunatic christian.

First off, don't quote my statement without knowing what it means.

When I say the chances of DNA forming naturally are astronomical, you need to understand the meaning of astronomical. It means something that is large and extraordinary. Nowhere in the definition does it ever mention impossible. Your chances of winning the lottery or getting struck by lightning are astronomical, but this happens all the time.

Second, you are assuming that only one group of 'letters', as you call them ever tried to form. If this were true (which it isn't), then at the rate of trying to combine once a second until they came up in any given order, it would take just over 3 billion years to get through all possible combinations. Since the universe is over 13 billion years old, this could have happened well before the Earth was ever made.

Now, if we are to assume that multiple strands were trying to form at the same time (which is far more likely), then we can reduce that time considerably to something much smaller. Less than a billion years. This would fit in with our time frame of the beginnings of life on Earth.

Second point, you assume DNA is a code. Yes, it contains information on how to create whatever life form it comes from, but you are using a broad definition of the word.

When man discovered DNA he labeled it a code. Not because it was something that was made by an intelligent being, but because he was at a lack of words to describe it. Have you ever been stuck at how to describe something and said "for lack of a better word"? This is something like that. Just because us humans labeled it a code does not mean that it is a code. It is a complex object that stores information, but there is nothing beyond that. A code has to be hidden information that is hidden with a purpose of hiding said information.

DNA is hardly hidden information. We can read it, we can decipher and learn from it, and we can translate and modify it. But it only has one purpose which is ultimately only useful to whatever cells or chromosomes are using it to reproduce. It;s not like you can take DNA and read the words "Made in Heaven" on them. It was just a bad choice of a label.

About ghosts, there is no, nor has there ever been, any proof whatsoever that ghost exist. None. Eyewitness accounts are notoriously unreliable and have never been backed up through video or photographs. And before you say you saw one o TV or something, remember that ghosts are not able to appear on video or photographs due to the nature of their being (supposedly).

Whenever science tries to debunk ghost stories it always ends up the same. No evidence, and usually the person either made it up, or they saw what they were expecting to see. Which happens a lot. Like miracles.

No miracle has ever, EVER, stood up to scientific study. Ever.

Your friend was cured of cancer? So that makes one in several hundred million people who was cured. That falls well within expected parameters of normal function. Cancer is not 100% fatal or 100% enduring. Given enough time, and enough people with cancer, a very small percentage will beat it and survive with 0 cancerous cells remaining without medical treatment. That's just the way it is.

Also note that in a scientific study, it was proven beyond a doubt that prayer does not help. You can look this up yourself.

Admin said...

But Jim, the Bible is a love story! Didn't you know? How can you deny that makes it true? Why aren't you accepting the evidence that he's presented? Evidence doesn't have to be true in order to support a case! False information can work just as well! So it doesn't matter whether or not anything he said is truth or lies.

Jim said...

I was afraid of running out of room, so I started anew.

About prayer.

A study of prayer conducted a test. One group was heart surgery patients who were told only that people might be praying for them. Another group was told that their families and people they knew were praying for them. Both groups were equally split, with no side being given an over- or under-abundance of patients with severe conditions. Everything was equal. When the test concluded the results were clear. Prayer held no sway in the healing of the patients. In fact, the group that knew they were being prayed for suffered a slightly higher rate of complications from their surgeries and recoveries.

What does this mean? To a logical scientific mind, it would show one thing. Prayer does nothing.

Unless you want to argue that God hated more of the people who were being prayed for. Or God doesn't care.

As for all the shit in the Bible, give up with that argument. It was written by the very men who were creating the religion around which the Bible was centered. Of course they made claims about Jesus being awesome and their God kicking ass. That's what I would do if I were writing it. But just because the accounts are written down doesn't make it true.

L. Ron Hubbard made up scientology. Made it up. He even told everyone he made it up. He didn't have the hand of God controlling what he was writing, he just did. But the Scientologists have a book, as does every major religion on Earth. It's a fast, cheap way to spread the knowledge. But by no means whatsoever does having a book written by the people creating the religion make the book true.

What makes your book better than any other book? Nothing. If you want to call your book the word of God then you are denying every other person on this Earth with their own book their right to choose a religion. And that is wrong on every level. You choose to judge others for having their own beliefs.

Right here is about where you would argue that I am doing the same, and I would retort that I am not. I have never, nor will I ever say that another person or group of people can not believe what they want. I will never say that you or anyone else is wrong about their religion. I might argue against it, but I will never deny you your right to believe what you want. I do not believe in God at all. The reason is that there is absolutely zero proof that he exists. Zero. But if I die and he is there, I would be a little happy. I wouldn't mind a God. It would kick ass. I could die and get all the knowledge of the universe I ever wanted.

But I don't think that's how it works, and that actually makes me a little sad. Sure, I look forward to learning while I am alive. But to know that I there is a limit to what I can learn and a time, after which, I will never learn again, is sobering. It takes a large leap of faith to know believe that after you are dead, then there is nothing more. I would argue that it takes more faith to be an atheist pursuing scientific study than it takes to be a believer in any God. Believing in God is easy. I know, I used to do it. All I had to do was say he existed, and I was done. I would die and go to heaven and live eternity at his side. Not to bad.

To not believe takes a little more. You have to accept your mortality and the mortality of everyone around you. You will never ever see these people again. And you only have plus or minus 70 years to learn all you can and pass it on.

So you want to argue there is a God, I will debate and argue with you. But do not ever give me crap about people in a book written 2000 years ago. To believe all of that at face value (without believing that the people who got rich off of it were not in it for any other reason than to spread the good word) is ridiculous. You might call that faith, but there has to be a limit on what even the most devout person can believe.

I pray there is.

Unknown said...

To Jim,

Granted 'code' may not have been the best word, but it is a means of communication. Maybe 'language' would have been better? Either way, it was designed, not randomly coming together. And I don't believe in a young earth. I just believe that God started everything. I'm sure my beliefs about the origins of the universe are similar to yours except the fact that I believe in God.

Ghosts, sure, I have never seen one personally, but when you see the look on someone's face after they've seen one, you'll understand. I spent 4 weeks in the field at Camp Lejeune, parts of which are 'haunted'. When you have SSgts, Sgts, and the Marine next to you looking you in the eye and saying they saw a ghost, you can bet pretty good that they saw something. I'm not here to prove that ghosts exist, but when multiple people who have no reason to lie to you say they saw something, they probably saw something.

Sure, as you and I have both stated, people only see what they want to see. Does that mean that the Bible is any less true? No, of course not. So what does that mean? Well, either prayer doesn't work, or God doesn't want to reveal Himself so blatantly. That gets into some deep theological stuff, which I assume that you won't want to hear, so I won't say anything.

To Admin,

Actually light is made of matter. Photons are part of light. Light is both matter and a wave.

Like I said, you're free to believe what you want, it's a free country. In all honesty, it does not matter to me what you believe.

And people are as depraved as I said they are. It's scientifically proven.

Admin said...

Look, he came back for more!

Nathan, light is NOT matter! It's PARTICLE-wave duality, NOT MATTER-wave duality! 'Particle' doesn't mean what you think it does! You stupid fuck! Stop embarrassing yourself!

It's a free country? Where do you think I live? Your country?

People are depraved? No, SOME people are depraved, and they do it whether they believe in gods or not! THAT has been demonstrated. I'm better than you if you think you'd do that kind of thing absence a belief in your god.

WHY, WHY, WHY do you keep coming back here and embarrassing yourself with bullshit facts? WHY?! You don't have any shame at all, do you?

Admin said...

Nathan, the next time you come back here, I DEMAND an EXPLICIT recognition that you were wrong about the math and the animals. Don't be a fucking coward!

Unknown said...

Yea, I've been in the field since Thursday evening. You interest me, that's why I come back.

Apparently nothing means what it means. Language is subjective anyway.

You're right when you say that I study the origins or anything. It really doesn't apply to everyday life. I do my job you do yours. In no way does the origins of life affect the way I live. Which is why I put very little effort into finding stuff out about it.

OK, so on average 2/3 of people are depraved. That's still a majority. And more than enough for a scientific study. I do hope you clicked on the link.

Unknown said...

Actually, I'm perfectly right on the math, it's just not the math that you wanted.

Thing is, Chimps are supposed to be the closest things to humans, correct? So it could be somewhat expected that some human behaviors are displayed in animals like that.

Admin said...

"In no way does the origins of life affect the way I live. Which is why I put very little effort into finding stuff out about it."

Yet you still argue things you don't know about? THAT is the problem, don't you get it! I'm starting to think you're a Poe. How can anybody be this dense?

You fucking coward! You refuse to acknowledge that you were wrong about the animals? You said NO animal does it! Then you say that you're not wrong because chimps are closely related to us? (By the evolutionary theory which you refuse to admit you believe). I sent you a link that cited the fact that we know MANY species, from all parts of the animal kingdom, which kill each other! You didn't click the links, did you? And you expect me to click yours!

And then you say you didn't show me that math I wanted to see? You know why that is? Because it's the WRONG math! If it's correct, get it published! I fucking dare you to try! How can you expect me to have any respect for you or anything you say?

By the way, I've heard of the experiment you're linking me to. You think I'm as dumb as you are, don't you?

Admit you were wrong about light, animals and math, coward!

Admin said...

Ha! Language is subjective, so you're not wrong about anything, right?

Nathan, are you a Poe?

Unknown said...

Fine, I'm wrong about science. You know the best way to get information? Debate those who are against you. I appreciate your information that you have given me.

Oh, I never said that evolution doesn't exist. I simply said that God started it.

And I don't even know what a Poe is, so I'm not one.

Admin said...

Poe's law: it is impossible, without an explicit display of humour, to create a parody of a religious person that is so absurd that nobody will think it's real.

It basically means that I think you might be a joke, just here to annoy me, who doesn't actually believe what he's saying.

I believe you said that you didn't know if evolution is true. That is a refusal to admit it's true. Do you accept evolution? Because you've invoked it in your own (attempted) argument.

And no Nathan, the best way to get information is to ask questions of those who know better than you, not to engage in a fierce debate with them, and to repeatedly throw out 'facts' which you have not verified. It seems you have no problem arguing on behalf of things you know nothing about.

Admin said...

Notice how much more civil my language becomes when people aren't trying to pass off misinformation as truth on my website?

Jim said...

Ah, Nathan.

First off, don't come in here with that 'I'm in the military and holier than thou' crap. I'm in the military too and I've heard people say they saw ghosts too. You know what? They didn't.

If you tell someone a place is haunted or that people died there, or that it is resting place for the dead, people are going to see ghosts because in their head they want to.

Studies have been performed on this subject too. Scientists would pick a house with absolutely zero relation to deaths or haunting and they would tell their test subjects that someone died there. 9 times out of 10 people would admit to having seen the ghost of the dead person.

This and several other studies in a similar fashion go on to prove that people tend to make up ghosts in their head. They would see a strange shadow or hear an odd noise and their brain would race to the conclusion of a ghost simply because that is what they are thinking of.

Like I said before, eyewitness testimony is famous for being unreliable. Given a list of 15-20 words relating to a subject and then given a minute to recall the words, most people tend to make up one or two words that they swear were on the list, but never were. Because when you start to access deep memory and merge it with your current thought process, they tend to lead you to recall things that never were.

As for light, it is a particle not matter. That could not be more clear. I assume since you claim to be in the top 1% of the smart group in the country you would have taken a physics class. I don't know if you missed that day or what, but read up on it.

Jim said...

Also, your math is wrong.

I will agree that the chance of one thing happening is 1/n. Good job on figuring that out. But what you fail to mention is that this probability ratio only applies to one specific sequence of DNA. There are trillions upon trillions of possible configurations that would work. We know this is true because everything that is alive, will be alive, or was alive has a specific and completely unique (except clones) DNA structure. No two are alike. Anywhere ever.

Now, you also assume that the chances of God existing are 1. This means you are assuming that God exists in your equation. It is not 1/g (for god), just 1. You have given your equation a basis in math that is: 1. unprovable, and 2. highly theoretical.

So far there is zero solid proof that God exists. There have been zero recorded sightings by credible witnesses. Zero traces of God leaving anything behind that we can prove belonged to God. Zero known cases of God being measured in any way shape or form.

So I would revise your number 1 and substitute the number 0.

Because there is 0 proof of God, we can only assume there is no God. So the current likelihood of him existing is 0.

As for your painting one atom red and placing it in the far reaches of the universe, I don't know how you think that is more likely than combining random proteins to make one DNA strand.

Here's the math, so pay attention.

You state clearly that the chances of combining the proteins to make DNA are 1 in 5^20. Good job.

The number of atoms in the universe? Approximately 10^80. That's a lot. Finding one atom in that would seem hard. Very hard. Because of the high number of atoms in the universe is 2^60 times greater than the chances of DNA spontaneously forming, I would say you were way off on how much easier it would be.

So let's give you something easier. The human body.

It is estimated that the human body has 7^27 atoms in it. Even finding one red atom in an average person, it turns out, is 14 million times harder than DNA spontaneously forming. That is impressive.

So let's review.

1. Your assumed math on God was off by 100% because you cannot show me that he exists.
2. Your math on DNA forming vs. finding one red atom in the universe was off by 2^60.
3. Trading out the universe for a human, your math was still off by about 14000000.

Like I've said before, when you are trying to prove something, you have to have solid evidence. Just saying one thing is more likely does not make it so. The chances of you being made of the specific atoms you are made of is awesomely astronomical, but there you are in that exact configuration. It happens. You are assuming that things that are beyond our current comprehension, or large numbers or odds can only be explained by the supernatural.

Remember that at one point in human evolution fire was beyond our understanding, but we've learned. It's what the human race collectively is best at. Learning.

Jim said...

Oh, and the thing about light having no weight. You are partially right about this.

Yes, it has no weight, but it does exert a force. And incredibly small force, but a force nonetheless. If you were to get a scale that was super-sensitive, and shine a light on it, the light would push the scale down ever so lightly, giving you a reading. It might look like weight on the reading, but we know that it is just the pushing of the light on the scale.

This is not because light has matter, it has photons which will hit a surface and react. It's explained in Newton's laws.

"For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."

The problem is, light photons are very small, and while they move (at the speed of light, obviously), their collective force is very very weak. This is why light can barley pass through clouds, or plastics, some light is reflected from clear glass, and why light can't penetrate most solids. It is moving so it does exert a force on the world, but it is so small that we will never notice it.

This post was to clear up the light issue, I am not trying to argue any point other than this one. I think both sides of the argument should appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

All Christians, but mainly creationists, assume the existence of their God as a "given", -it is non -negotiable. So of course if you have an omnimax God who exists, then he can by definition do anything, -including create DNA.
But, to atheists (like me), God is not a "given". In this argument you first have to prove he exists,-this has never been done,-so you are not justified by asserting that he did this, that and the other. Nor can you use circular arguments like, "look at DNA", to prove tht there is a god who made DNA. This is simple logic, and I would refer you to the old "Paley's Watch argument,-which Darwin considerd and discarded on logical grounds.
If you want us all to become Christians, first demonstrate the existence of God; as God is allegedly a Person, this should be easy. Just introduce us to him, invite him home to tea, and ask him whether or not he made DNA?
Then we will all be happy.

Unknown said...

To be perfectly honest, I'm getting rather tired of this, because God cannot be proven to exist, or proven to not exist. If God choses to reveal Himself to you, He will.

Just remember two things: God wants you to be happy in Him, and there are no atheists in foxholes...

If you ever come to the point of believing, I'll be more than happy to share my joy with you.

Until that happens, well, I would say God Bless, but I don't think that would be well received. So I will simply say, good luck.

Admin said...

Holy shit Nathan, you just keep coming back and embarrassing yourself by spewing out bullshit 'facts'! Didn't you learn your lesson?

Yes, your god could be proven to exist. I've outlined several ways this could be done. The fact that you declare that it can't be proven to exist is equivalent to saying that it doesn't exist!

And for fuck sakes, there ARE INDEED atheists in foxholes! You know, just because it's a common saying, doesn't make it true, and you should actually look into this shit before you post it.

I'm going to say this now... FUCK OFF! FUCK OFF until you are ready to bring some facts to the table, or at least look shit up before you post. You and your lies are not welcome here.

Admin said...

Oh Nathan, before you fuck off, you're welcome to check the new post about your ignorant comments.

Now get the fuck out of here! You're an ignorant little boy arguing with a much wiser and smarter person about things which can easily be demonstrated to be bullshit!

Admin said...

Oh, and I totally love how you tried to tell me you're tired of this, and make it look like you're leaving of your own free will or boredom. You came back again and again, and were beaten black and blue again and again! You've been exposed for bringing to the table all sorts of things you put forward as facts, which are easily demonstrated to be false. You've humiliated yourself and your religion. But sure, the fact that you got your ass kicked and had to admit you don't know what you're talking about (remember that?), didn't have anything to do with it!

Stupid fucking moron!

Jim said...

There are atheists in foxholes. I was one of them.

Admin said...

Jim, do you think Nathan gives a rat's ass about a fact like that? Seriously, grow up and get a clue. :-)

Here's the dilemma that Nathan poses to me and my site. He is clearly not going to stop coming to this site and vomiting misinformation all over it. I personally don't want to respond to him forever. Yet I also refuse to allow my forum to become a place people can come to spread misinformation and flat-out lies.

So what do I do? Do I censor him by deleting his posts, effectively banning him from the forum? I don't want to do that, but given my top priority that he not be allowed to get away with attempting to deceive readers of this blog, it might be the best option.

Jim said...

I have to say that I do not agree with censorship of any type. It is a weapon yielded by the ignorant.

Case in point, the Catholic Church.

We both know that The Catholics practically perfect censorship as an art form. They single-handedly caused the Dark Ages (in my opinion).

With that said, I feel it would be wrong to censor anyone. Because then you start snowballing, and before you know it, you are censoring anyone who criticizes your views, and we all know who loves to do that.

I agree that it is ridiculous to constantly be debating 'believers' who use no facts in their arguments. But you would have to admit that to outside observers it does ultimately show us in a better light.

We are better able to support our arguments using fact-based evidence and scientific research. We are able to incorporate the scientific method and experimentation into our arguments. And we are better able to express these arguments regardless of how many holes the other side is trying to pick in our facts.

As for them, they come off strong, which I can respect. But their arguments tend to fail when we start to pluck holes and ask questions.

If you were to censor them, the debate would be gone and the atheists best friend (time) would not be able to help showcase their greatest weakness (lack of evidence).

Now I realize that I could have just said that the Catholics use censorship, and that would have solved that, but I think it's important to let the believers out there know that we are not going to give in, we are not going to surrender, and in time we will show them that scientific fact and evidence will prevail over mindless and thoughtless faith and preaching.

As for Nathan here, I know what you mean. I don't know how I can better argue his claims, and it is getting tedious. I enjoy intelligent debate, but when it turns into the equivalent of just saying "You're wrong, I'm right" over and over, it loses it's charm. Now I hope Nathan reads all this and decides to re-enter the intellectual arena with actual counter-arguments and not just quotes he got off of 'Call of Duty'. Because when he does, I will be here waiting.

Unknown said...

Science cannot prove or disprove God's existence. God is outside the realm of the physical world, and science can only measure the physical world (I believe that spirits have weight, but there's no way to find it). And since God is outside of the physical world, He cannot be measured, but His acts can be.

Many people say stuff like, "If God exists, then when I drop a glass vase, it won't break." However, that's extremely arrogant. Since God is God of the universe, why would He have to do what one of His creations asks? God is only found by those who look for Him (Matt 7:7). What that person is doing is like a dog asking its master for a bone, and if the master gives it the bone, then it will let him be its master. But the master will return with something like, "I am over you whether you like it or not."

The master has the choice to give the bone to the dog or not. God usually refrains, because if someone has an unbelieving heart, they're not going to change because of one incident.

I could get into all the things I love about being a Christian, but you wouldn't understand.

So I will just show that being atheistic is illogical.

The universe started, right? Well, Big Bang scientists keep changing how small the universe started out as. I've heard the size of a basketball, marble, atom, etc. and the latest one I've heard is that the universe came from nothing at all. That last one sounds a little like Genesis 1. The atheists theories of where the universe came from have no evidence behind it. There's no evidence for multiple universes, or any of the other theories. The numbers add up (tilt of the earth, gravity's pull, size of the earth, rotation, seasons, etc) so that the universe would, with near impossibility, have to be created by God. Then you've got the chance of life starting, extremely slim without God's help.

Now here's the illogical part. Since it is more likely that an Almighty God created the universe than random chance. Basically you're taking the one in a kazillion chance that you're right in order to live life as it pleases you. Whereas I take the much more likely chance that I picked the right God, and I'll live my life as God directs. Can we agree that life is short? So let me rephrase that. I'm going to spend a few short years doing what glorifies a God who does what's best for me, and in the end go to heaven for all eternity. Whereas you are living life basically how you want (within the laws I'm assuming, but no one really tells you how to act). However, while I know where I'm going when I die, you're stuck hoping that there's not an afterlife. So you tell me which is more logical. God wants you to believe, but He won't bend over backwards to have that happen.

Admin said...

"And since God is outside of the physical world, He cannot be measured, but His acts can be."

You don't see a problem with this sentence? Nathan, anything which has any interaction with this Universe (ie. makes things happen), can be detected. You assert that it can't be detected, which is not true, so that you can justify the fact that is hasn't been done. The only kind of thing which cannot be detected are those things which do not exist. You even said yourself, the acts can be measured. That's exactly right! If a god was pulling strings, we should see some strange things happening, but we don't.

"I could get into all the things I love about being a Christian, but you wouldn't understand."

I stopped reading your post here. Has it occurred to you that I was a Christian in the past? You think I wouldn't understand? I DO understand, and I understand where I went wrong. What you don't understand is what it means to finally be able to answer some of the questions you claim are mysteries. The answer is extremely simple.

Admin said...

But Nathan, I once again want you to own up to your mistakes, and I'd also like you to explicitly say that you accept evolution, as you invoked it in a previous argument.

So if you're not a coward:

1. Admit that you were wrong once again about the atheists in foxholes.

2. Admit that you have been wrong about almost every 'fact' you have presented here up until now.

3. Admit that you accept evolution. Or deny it. But if you deny it, don't ever try to use it again to support one of your points.

Admin said...

By the way, why is it that even though you admitted you don't know much about science, you keep coming here and telling me what science can and can't do? Isn't it wrong to pretend to know about something that you don't? Isn't that called "lying"? Don't you think that I, actually having a scientific education, might know better than you?

Nathan, you need to start looking at the sources of almost everything you think you know. If what you'd written on this page is representative of the facts that are in your head, you might need to start wondering about the people who gave you this information, and consider the possibility that you hold a large, large number of ideas that are completely baseless.

Unknown said...

Again, you assume that God will act constantly, but why does He need to? Why is He going to be your lab rat? You clearly don't understand the concept of God with that attitude.

I am a 5 point Calvinist, which means that I believe that once you are saved, you will stay saved. You never truly believed.

You need to read the rest of my last post.

Admin said...

Here's the problem.... you invented a being, and invented a place for it. You cannot defend the assertion that there is even such a place as "outside of the physical universe". I'm not sure that even makes any sense. And you certainly cannot defend the claim that anything is able to exist there. That position is unfalsifiable, and therefore, bulletproof. But it is also completely useless to our understanding of anything, indistinguishable from things that don't exist.

Where you begin to have a problem is when you claim that this thing does stuff in THIS universe. Stuff like answering prayer. Well dang, that sure is testable!

"Again, you assume that God will act constantly, but why does He need to? Why is He going to be your lab rat?"

Right.... so if we want to test if prayer is answered, your god doesn't want to be our lab rat. But you'll then cite the soul study and claim it has some value.....

"You need to read the rest of my last post."

I most certainly do not. You've proven to be a liar, who has admitted he has no idea what he was talking about. You are not a reliable source of information, and that is the bed you've made for yourself on this site. Deal with it. Reading your posts is generally not useful in any way. You have no credibility, and I have no respect for you of any kind. So what value do your posts have? Tell you what, why don't you pray that your god sends to me a person who can competently argue the case for it?

"I am a 5 point Calvinist, which means that I believe that once you are saved, you will stay saved. You never truly believed."

Right. This argument is circular, unfalsifiable, and oh-so religious to the core.

Still waiting for you to acknowledge those 3 things above.

Admin said...

Nathan, tell me in one sentence why I should take you seriously after the display you've put on on this site. Why do your opinions deserve my respect, and why do your posts deserve to be read?

Jim said...

Again, the Admin brings up some great points here. You want to prove that the Atheist stance is illogical? Let's go over your logic right now.

Size of the Big Bang:

I am pretty sure, no, 100% sure that scientists have not changed the size of the Big Bang. They agree that it was a point, smaller than an atom with infinite mass. But this is not the point of the Big Bang is it? Who cares if it was the size of a basketball? It doesn't effect the outcome.

No evidence for the Big Bang:

Yeah. Like the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) imagery? The one that perfectly fit the models and theories of the Big Bang well before the picture was ever taken? The "smoking gun" of the Big Bang? The image that could only fit in the universe if the universe originated in a Big Bang? Hmmm...

No evidence for Multiple Universes:

You mean besides String Theory and M-Theory? There are dozens of scientific endeavors set out to study sub-atomic phenomena that can only occur if the muli-verse theory is correct. String Theory requires multiple universes to interact in the 11 and 26 dimension realm. There are mountains of evidence supporting multiple universes. I will not list everything here as I would hope to avoid writing a doctoral thesis. But I will make some suggestions as to where to find the information. Try reading anything by Michio Kaku. He does a great job at breaking down the theory.

More likely to have a God than not:

Well now. You just re-entered the math ring without any math. I have already told you that when assuming the existence of anything, you first have to assume that what you are looking for doesn't exist. Why? Because you can't see it where you are. Example: You tell me there are hippos outside. I would have to assume you are wrong and that there are no hippos outside. I look out my window. In my immediate area there are no hippos, and so far my assumption is right. I travel to the zoo, go to the hippo enclosure and see a hippo. Now my assumption was proven false as there is a hippo outside. This works with God as well. You have to assume there is no God. Why? You can't see him, hear him, interact with him, measure anything he does, verify that he even interacts. Nothing in all the world has ever measured his existence in any way, shape or form.

I have said this before, and I will say it again; Just because you believe your logic doesn't make it logic.

In order for you to call something illogical, you have to first be able to break down the logic using another form of logic.

That is, you can't just say that because there is an astronomical chance of life starting, there has to be a God. You have tried to break down the logic of nature being able to produce life over 13 billion years (which I have shown is not mathematically that astronomical) with an assumption. It's like throwing a water balloon at a castle. Good job, but your not really helping the fight.

Jim said...

Now, you have admitted yourself that the chances of life beginning without God's help is extremely thin. I would assume this to mean that you do think it's possible, otherwise you would not have given it it an 'extremely thin' chance.

Let's do some math. Try to keep up.

There are an estimated 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe. This is an underestimate, as we cannot see past our light horizon.

With all the galaxies combined, we have roughly 10^21 stars in our universe. Astronomers safely estimate the number of planets in the universe as being 3^22.

These are big numbers, so hold on tight.

With all these planets, stars and galaxies, only a small percentage can supposedly harbor life. Of those planets, it is assumed that intelligent life (I say assumed because so far they are assuming all intelligent life must be like us, that is, carbon-based, oxygen breathing, water dependent.) Can only survive on a small fraction of those planets. Assuming how long it takes life to naturally occur, develop, survive extinctions, and evolve into intelligent beings, we can start to estimate the number of intelligent species in the universe.

Now mind you, these number reflect your 'extremely thin' chance.

Our galaxy should be able to support roughly 35,000 intelligent life-forms. And our galaxy is considered around medium size. So I will use this as an average for the universe.

With each galaxy being able to support 35,000 (est) intelligent life forms, the galaxy should support around 3.5^15 intelligent life-forms. This is a low figure considering how many planets there are in the universe. This is chance less than one percent of one percent of one percent per planet.

You will note I only included intelligent life in my estimates. You have to remember other factors, such as life that began and did not make it to intelligent levels, life that exists but is not intelligent, etc. On Earth alone there are millions of life forms that are not intelligent. If you want to predict the possibility of life in general in the universe, we have to increase our 35,000 life forms per galaxy over a million-fold at least. This gives us a new number of 3.5^21 life-forms in our universe. Which is about an eleven percent chance that any planet can support support life.

I would hope you think that an 11% chance is not 'extremely thin'. Because that is the chance that a planet with life-supporting capabilities has to form life. It's not a question of whether or not it can happen at that point, but a question of when.

With all that said, I have shown that in a universe without God, we have at least an 11% chance of having life being created naturally without help from God.

Those are decent odds. Better the 1/10. You have a greater chance of life being created naturally every for a year than winning the lottery once in a lifetime.

Not too thin.

Unknown said...

Hold on, Jim, I do believe that the Big Bang happened, Red shift and all that, proves it.

Can you name a specific book or article by him? I'm interested in learning.

Here's your flaw, since God is not physical, science cannot observe Him. You're quick to say that there are multiple universes, but you don't believe in something just because you cannot see it. How do you know that there isn't a God controlling those multiple universes? If He's God, then surely He will be able to be undetected by His creation.

I got your math, makes sense and all. But if that was the case that you have an 11% chance of life starting, then why don't we have life on other planets too? I would assume that if life was found elsewhere that scientists would tell us about it.

Jim said...

Good line of questioning. I appreciate that.

The 11% chance comes from planets that fall within a certain set of parameters. Several things need to be present to harbor life as we know it. First you need liquid water. Second you need oxygen in some form. And third you need carbon. Since the only life we have ever found (which is life on Earth) requires all three of these things, this is what we look for.

Now, not all planets can contain these things, and some contain one or two. Mars, for example, contains all three things. The problem with finding life on Mars though is that the planet appears to be dead. We are still looking for life to have survived in the polar ice caps, but it is an expensive and very time-consuming process. There is a chance we have missed our opportunity to discover life on Mars. It may have existed millions of years ago when the planet was younger and more hospitable. The fact is, we have yet to find out one way or another.

I use Mars as an example because it is currently the only planet we believe could have supported life at one point or another. Going out past Mars runs you into the problems of gas giants, which don't contain liquid water, and frozen ice-planets like the dwarf planet Pluto. It is argued that some of the moons of Jupiter may hold liquid water under their frozen surface, the problem is finding it.

I don't want to go too long into this, you can certainly find out more on your own with a little research on the internet, or by watching 'The Universe' on TV. Both are excellent sources of information, and can do a much batter job than I can in this little space.

To answer your question more directly before moving on, we haven't found life because our solar system offers little in the way of life-supporting planets or moons. Our reaches into the galaxy are very very small, so it will take a long time before we can study other planets and moons.

As to the existence of God. First, I don't know that there are multiple universes. I do know that the research and experiments allow for them. I also know that for certain theories to work, they must exist. Can we see them? Of course not, but we can measure how they interact with our universe. And this leads me to believe the science on the theory.

This is how my reasoning works. If you can provide clear data suggesting something, and back it up through experiment and observation, I can begin to accept the theory. Might it prove false? Sure. Who knows what we will discover later on down the road. But I am always willing to change my ideas to support the evidence, and this is key. I don't change the evidence to support my ideas. Which is a trap many religious advocates fall into.

Jim said...

As for why I don't believe in God controlling the universe or anything, well, it's because the Christian God falls into a trap of circular logic. I may not be able to experiment on him, or show that he interferes with the universe, but I can logically suggest that his existence would negate the existence of the universe.

Here's how it works. (By the way, I was born into the Christian faith, I was confirmed in the church, and I have read the Bible. I am using what I was taught about God to support my logic.)

1. The Christian God is all-powerful, all-knowing, omnipotent and perfect in every way. I think you and I can agree on this.
2. A being who is perfect and omnipotent will never have any want or need. I can support this through the mere definition of the words. If you are perfect you can require nothing else, and if you are omnipotent, you can grant yourself anything you require to stay alive.
3. A being who is all-knowing would know everything from its beginning to its end. Its entire life would be known to it from its creation. This fits the definition of all-knowing.

Now, using these three facts, which I am sure we can both agree accurately describes the Christian god, we can start to logically define why he shouldn't exist, or why we shouldn't exist.

We shouldn't exist.

Why? Because a god who is perfect and free from want will never need anything from anyone. He will never need praise. He will never need worship. And he will never need to create trivial beings. If the Christian god really does exist, there would be no reason for him to have created us, because he would never need us. There would be no point in his making of us. He would be perfectly content without us.

Along the lines of why we shouldn't exist, if God were all-knowing, and knew his entire life span (which I hope we agreed is something an all-knowing being would know), there would be no reason to create us. He would know that we would all sin, disobey his words, fight wars, murder, steal, rape, praise him, praise evil, etc. All of human history would be pointless, because as soon as he came into being all our lives would be known and so would our deaths. And I doubt a perfect being without want or need would ever create something so imperfect as humans.

Here's some of the circular logic that traps God into the realm of why he shouldn't exist.

We established he is perfect and omnipotent and all-knowing. Well, there's a flaw there. And a perfect being with a flaw is not perfect. What's the flaw? Simple.

If God is all-knowing as we established and defined, then he has no free will. He cannot do anything he wants to do. He would be defined and held to doing only what his knowledge of his actions held him to. It's like knowing the future, anything you do will lead to a specific outcome, and in the end, anything you have done would have already been predetermined.

The flaw is that how can a perfect being who is omnipotent not have control of their own destiny. This would lead to believe that the being is either not perfect or not all-knowing. Or they don't exist.

Logically, we have to assume they don't exist, because any definition we apply to them tends to cancel out their existence.

As for the books, it's always good to start with Stephen Hawking's 'Universe in a Nutshell' and 'A Brief History of Time'. As for Michio Kaku, 'Hyperspace', 'Parallel Worlds' and 'Physics of the Impossible' are must reads.

Unknown said...

I like your thoughts on life on other planets and the multiple universes. Can you point me toward where the other universes interact with our universe?

I like your outlook on evidence. Coming from a Christian background, I've been bombarded with Creationism my whole life, but as time goes on, I've started to see that the Big Bang happened. I'm not yet convinced on Evolution, but I'm not ruling it out.

Thing is, Christians have a tendency to use the Bible as a science book, which in no way was the intended purpose.

I definitely agree with your three facts. The thing is, God exists in order to glorify Himself. True, He doesn't need to have created us in order to be glorified, but He chose to in order to bring Himself more glory. How does He do that? If He had created us to be perfect sinless beings, then that would be the same as creating more angels. It would be more bodies glorifying Him, but it would be from the same perspective as the angels. So He created us knowing that we would fall into sin, so that even from a fallen world, He would be glorified through loving us and sacrificing His Son. It's similar to a politician, when he gets praised from his own party, it means little or nothing, but when he gets praise from an opposing party, then he has legitimacy. Same basic principle.

I like your logic, it is very objective, but the Christian walk is subjective as well. I am not an emotional man at all. I still have problems with God's love. It doesn't make sense to me for Him to sacrifice His Son for our sake. Unless you already know that through Jesus' death God would be glorified, it doesn't make sense.

You said that God has no free will. Well, He does, except that He cannot sin. He is perfect, He wrote the perfect law for us to follow (although no one is perfect, which is why Jesus had to be sacrificed). God's free will is to glorify Himself. God wants us to have joy in Him, the key word is 'in.' Meaning a relationship with Him. Now if He is not satisfied with Himself, then there is no way that we can be either.

When you say that God cannot control His own destiny, I think you miss part of Him. His purpose is to glorify Himself and enjoy Himself. Since God is eternal, having a destiny doesn't really apply. Although it is a good thought, I think you put God into a box.

I will take a look at those books, probably not all of them, but I will look into it. Thank you for your suggestions.

Jim said...

I will say that you present an argument about God that I can't accept. Nothing against you, it's just I can't believe we are intended to worship a god who has created us simply to worship him. Seems like a kind of god who doesn't deserve our time. Like the give respect to earn respect.

As for other universes interacting with our own, I will ask you to pardon any mistakes I make in my following examples. It's been a while since I have read the examples, but I will do my best.

This is a very simple explanation, so pardon me if it seems slightly childish.

At the subatomic level, you have three basic elements of the atom, protons, neutrons and electrons. The classic model we are all taught that electrons orbit the nucleus in a certain pattern of shells. 2 electrons in the first shell, and 8 electrons in each subsequent shell.

New advances in our ability to observe and experiment on the subatomic plane shows that the previous model of the atom with shells is quite wrong.

It appears now that electrons tend to orbit the nucleus in a more random pattern. That is to say, it is impossible to tell where they are at any given time. What makes this impossible is that the electrons tend to orbit the nucleus through interactions with other, unseen, universes. The reason we cannot detect the electrons at any given point on their path, is because the electron is simultaneously at every given point on it's path at any given time. The theory is that the electron can only be at every given point if it were the same electron spread out through the orbit using other universes.

The multi-verse theory states that for every single variable in our universe, there are an infinite number of universes with every possible variant of every possible outcome of an event.

Thus, the only way the electron can be everywhere is if we are seeing every possible place it can be, as defined by the multi-verse theory.

No other theory can explain the pattern we see in the electron orbit of atoms.

I hope that helps explain some. As I said before, it has been a while since I read up on the theory, so pardon me if I didn't explain well.

Unknown said...

I completely understand why you would reject God on that basis. No one likes an arrogant person. It is a very hard concept to get your arms around, that when we worship God, it's not meant to be because He said so, it's supposed to be because we want to. It is hard to worship Him when you think that all He wants is selfish. But the thing is, it's not. If He didn't want to be glorified by us, He wouldn't have sent His son, there would be no need to because the law would condemn us. But in order to further His glory, He sent His son to save us. What makes Him lovable is the fact that He did save us.

I'm going to take a deeper look at love, because this is the root of the matter. God loves us, so He saves us. OK, makes sense. God wants us to be happy in Him (or in the relationship with Him). In order for us to be happy in Him, He has to be happy in Himself. God has to enjoy Himself in order for us to enjoy Him. Similar to a grumpy old man without any friends, he doesn't enjoy himself, and no one enjoys him. So in order for God to merit glory from us, He has to do something for us, which He did by sending His son. Does that make sense?

I think you explained it well enough. Although it does seem a bit thin, since some scientists believe it, I'll take your word for it. I do have one question, I've heard that light comes from when electrons 'jump' valence levels, does that mean that light may come from one of those other universes?

Jim said...

You might say that the evidence is a bit thin, but I would point out two significant facts about the evidence.

1. It is not the only evidence, nor is it the most substantial.
2. It's more evidence than has ever been produced for the existence of God.

I feel I must address something else, and that is the fact that I do not reject God because he might be selfish, I reject all gods because they do not exist, because there is no scientific data to back them up.

You suggest that we can not detect God because he exists outside our realm of detection, and that is fine. But what we should be able to test for is indirect actions performed by said God.

One could test the healing power of prayer. (Which, as I have shown earlier in this thread, has been proven to not work work at all.)

One could test whether or not miracles happen. (To date there is a scientific explanation for every miracle that has occurred.)

You can start to disprove God's actions in the Bible. (There is no way that the Arc could have supported two of every animal. There is no way the entire Earth could have been flooded in just 40 days and nights. The human gene pool varies too much to suggest we descended from Adam and Eve, or even Noah and the only 'survivors' of the flood. Etc.)

Here comes the problem. You suggest that perhaps God just wants us to love him and worship him, and that he loves us and all that, but when it comes down to it, there is no reason he should just make us all accept him on blind faith. If he really were that arrogant, wouldn't there only be one religion? Wouldn't we all know he exists? Why would he create people to worship him, and then wait 13.7 billion years to create mankind, and then wait until Jesus died before saying, "Oh yeah, this is the religion. I know my son was Jewish, but forget all that."

Even bigger flaws start to appear after Christianity was formed. They started to worship, not on the sabbath, but instead on Sunday, the day of Ra, the Egyptian sun god. Why? Because Jews worship on Saturday, the Sabbath, and they can't have that. We start to indoctrinate cannibalism into the religion (taken from pagan rituals). People do this all the time when the 'eat of the flesh' and 'drink of the blood'. Easter falls on a pagan holiday, following the cycles of the moon. The list goes on from there, but I assume you get the point.

Christianity formed from the ashes of the defunct pagan religions because there was seen to be more profit and power in it. The Romans had hundreds of gods, each with their own altars or temples. And because of this, the wealth was spread around. With a single god, a single church, and basically a church government (Pope, Cardinals, etc.), the wealth was focused to one mass collection. And with a living god as their savior, and a Bible that was a sin to refute or question, it became pretty clear that this was the religion to make money off of.

You can see the pattern here. If ever a religion was formed to serve the purpose of man, and not God, Christianity was it. Hell, the richest country in the world per-capita is the Vatican. You see where I'm going?

Jim said...

You are also glossing over the fact that the church states that God is perfect and all-knowing. I have shown you that these to traits, were they to coexist in one being, would logically disprove our existence. A perfect being could not create imperfect beings, because that would suggest he did something wrong. And a perfect being would never need to be worshiped or loved. He would never have want of those things.

If you were perfectly happy, you could, by definition, never want anything more. God is by definition, perfect. So to say he created us to worship him, is to say God is not perfect, which goes against the definition of God.

God is all-knowing, and I already proved that to know all would strip away free will.

If I wrote a book with a main character, and through the book I chronicled everything he did from birth to death, and then somehow created that being, in full accordance to the book I wrote, then had the being read the book, he would be all knowing about his life. The being could never do anything that wasn't known to him. Free will, in this case, would be impossible.

See what I'm saying?

A perfect god would never have created us, and an all-knowing god would have no free will. But how can you be perfect with no free will? Seems like something made up to me.

Jim said...

As for the glory and sending Jesus, I don't buy it. God, as defined by the church, is omnipotent. If he really did create us just to worship him, he would just have instilled us with the desire to do so. I see no valid reason why any god would have to prove himself to the beings he created, which are below him.

Sounds like someone giving a dog a treat just so he can pet it.

And no, I don't believe anything about Jesus being sent from heaven to die for our sins. It's a story created by man to support a made-up religion.

Reg said...

Nathan,--Admin is quite right. What you are doing is to say that your omnimax God of the Bible exists, and therefore he created everything. The biblical God has been defined into existence by the writers of the bible. He is not actually there, and so did not actually do anything.
If you use a presuppositionalist circular argument, and assume the existence of a creator God, then obviously a creator can create things; but you have not demonstrated his existence, so your logical argument is unsound.

Unknown said...

Reg, I can see where you're coming from. However, you do the same thing with circular reasoning by assuming that there is no God.

I assume that there is a God, and argue from that perspective, where you argue from the perspective that there is no God. Thus we have a problem. That problem is that one of us is wrong.

Now there are three theories which may hold truth. There's the atheistic evolution, the theistic evolution, and creationism.

Do you play the lotto? I don't, I like something more solid. With atheistic evolution, you've got a one in a kazillion chance of being right. With theistic evolution or creationism, you've got a ((kazillion-1)/kazillion) chance of being right. I like probabilities like that, they're easy to win.

I personally don't care whether it's theistic evolution or creationism. In the long run it doesn't matter.

I do find it interesting how religions are regarded as superstitious, and 'scientific' evolution isn't. In order for science to be good it must be observable and be able to be performed multiple times. Evolution is neither. Macro-evolution has never been observed, and hasn't been re-performed.

I'm curious why it is you think that there is no God?

Reg said...

Hello Nathan,
You are wrong: I do not assume there is no God; I merely observe that the omnimax God is illogical and impossible, and observe further that there is no direct empirical evidence for one. You observe certain phenomena in the world, eg sun-sets, and by wishful thinking, assume that these phenomena are evidence for your God-they are not.
The burden of proof is on you, the person making the claim; it is not a 50:50 probability argument.
No,--there is just "Evolution". I have written an article on so-called "Theistic evolution", but it is (probably) too long to fit in here. I may try it as a separate post. Your lotto assertion is incoherent.
As you find it interesting, let me tell you that scientific evolution is overwhelmingly supported by logical and empirical evidence; we call such a thing a "fact" (at least provisionally). Evolution is observable, look at the evidence.
Why are you curious that I do not believe in your God? For one thing,-if I asked him to answer that question, he would not; he does not answer any questions because he does not exist. These arguments are stupid and futile and I am not going to be sucked into your fantasy world any further.
But I will try and post "Theistic Evolution", for your amusement.

Reg said...

Theistic Evolution

1. Recent research demonstrates higher semen viscosity in primate species that have a high degree of female promiscuity. In such species there is more intense sperm competition between rival male’s semen for the female’s attention. Natural selection encourages the evolution of increased sperm viscosity as an aid to preventing successful fertilisation of the female by subsequent male lovers. This means that promiscuity is a driving force in primate Evolution. If there is a God in charge of Evolution, then he is therefore condoning immorality by encouraging promiscuity.

2. 99% of all species that have ever lived are now extinct. If God is in charge of Evolution he is therefore either a monumental blunderer, or an evil sadist, or a squanderer of natural resources.

3. All animals, plants, and fungi live by murder and cannibalism,- ie- feeding off each other;- humans are not exempt either. Could God not do better then this?

4. Some animals exhibit deliberate blood-sports lust, by toying with prey, or by unnecessary overkill; eg cats, and foxes. Did God arrange this? New-born pups are carried off by Jackels, Hyenas , birds of prey etc.

5. It is known by animal breeders ,eg of dogs, that specific desirable traits of appearance and behaviour can be produced by Artificial Selection within a few generations. If there is a Creator God whose goal was to produce an intelligent, conscious Human. He would and could have done this likewise, within a few generations of planned Artificial Selection; instead it has taken about 70 million years, (starting from the first Mammals),-of haphazard, multiple- path random production of humanoids to achieve a small proportion of rational beings,-eg (Scientists and Philosophers), amongst an otherwise irrational Human species.

6. Chimps have been discovered to have rudimentary culture and language, and tool use, and not to have any qualitatively different attributes from Humankind, and even better short-term memory than humans. They also commit deliberate murder on their fellows. Capuchin monkeys break open nuts with rocks. Corvids also use tools.


Reg said...

7. The whole concept of the Natural selection of random variations ,ie. Darwinian Evolution is a cruel process, relying on violence, suffering, and enormous waste among living things,-including the obviously sentient and human-like “higher” social animals, eg Whales, Dolphins, cats, dogs, and of course primates. The Ichneumon fly lays its eggs in a live caterpillar, and its grubs devour the caterpillar from the inside out. There is the waste of unused sperms, seeds and fruits and massive infant mortality;--and then God encourages further waste in the case of Onan having to practice Coitus interruptus and “spill his seed on the ground”!

8. Theists try to suggest that there is a purpose, and that God created and guides Evolution. But as Evolution (the Natural Selection of random variations) is therefore a random process (proved by the 99% extinctions as above),-- and the changes in the natural environment which does the selecting are also random, eg solar flares, asteroid and comet strikes, earthquakes and volcanos, hurricanes etc which cause mass extinctions from time to time,- and which all have naturalistic causes,--how then can a God be said to guide such chaotic processes? It is a self-contradiction, and is made with the desperate hope of tacking “God” onto all aspects of Nature, because of the self-interest of the religious establishment. I always thought God was supposed to have created order out of chaos,-not chaos out of order. They ask the question “Why”? There is no “why?”,- no purpose. Blind naturalistic Evolution demonstrates that fully. “Why” questions are semantic trickery that can usually be resolved as part of “How “questions. If turns creation stories upon their heads to say in effect that God created chaos out of Order(his own self) so as to re-create order,- when the Bible states clearly that it was the other way round,--order came out of chaos. Although natural selection overall appears random, nevertheless, at a lower level of explanation, all evolutionary change is finely tuned by selective competition, sexual selection, and a kind of arms war among and between species.

9. If God set up Evolution then he knew what he was doing. If he set it up, and continues to “guide” it,-he has exhibited blood lust and lack of compassion for his creation. If he set it up then walked away and washed his hands of it,- then he just shows cruel indifference and irresponsibility.

10. About a million different species of beetles have been documented, and a
about thirty thousand species of Jellyfish. This is compatible with Evolution, but totally absurd if created by a God. One would have to ask him-Why?. Christians would no doubt assert that it is a demonstration of his power and love. So should I follow his example and tip a skip-full of live Cockroaches onto our living-room floor, and explain to my wife that I did it as an act of love?

11. We know that herbivorous animals like rabbits, sheep, goats etc can feed off vegetation and digest cellulose. So why did God find it necessary to create carnivorous animals who cannot digest grass etc, but instead tear each other to pieces and devour each other,-including we humans, who have to farm animals, fish and poultry and shoot and slaughter them for our food, thereby causing animal suffering and and the spread of parasitic, bacterial and virus diseases among animals and humans,--eg Bird flu?

12.A successful scientific theory is something that explains and predicts by itself,-it is self-sufficient. A theory which needs to be created and sustained and guided is not a theory at all; it is a contradiction.

Christians like to have their cake and eat it . For the reasons given above, Evolution implies Atheism, so Christians have to choose; they can either have Theism or Evolution, but not Theistic Evolution,- it is a nonsense.

Last edited by Reginald Le Sueur Monday 10th March.

Reg said...

In Praise of Eggs

Imagine how it would be if humans laid eggs like birds and reptiles. Think of the implications for the aesthetics and mechanics of reproduction.
Christians have always hated sex and vaginal birth, apart from when they were excusing it as a gift from God. If God really designed human anatomy and physiology, rather than it being a product of evolution, then he was remarkably lacking in foresight. Could he not have foreseen the subjugation of women by men on the grounds of them being “unclean”? Could he not have invented a better system than sex and menstruation and vaginal birth, being as they are, all mixed up with excretory functions? We can understand Nature being economical by doubling up on the combined functions of the urogenital tract,-but is God so limited in resources, materials and imagination?
Sex, though great fun, is also completely ridiculous. It is an obvious means of transmission of infecting organisms, and requires elaborate hygienic precautions if it is not to be distasteful. I once heard a Creationist extolling the size and shape of bananas as an obvious proof of the existence of God, as they are so eminently suitable for the human mouth. Similarly the penis and vagina are designed for each other, but did it not occur to God that having dispensed penises and freewill to men, that they would also use them unproductively in the alternative human orifices?—which would then necessitate Him having to smite them all for committing abominations before the Lord?
Human menstruation could have been minimised just like human oestrus. Likewise sex could have been avoided by mass virgin births. True, we would all be clones, but it would save arguments about which baby belonged to which parent. The advantages of sexual chromosomal mixing of male and female DNA could be retained by a more voluntary process of inoculation of already laid female eggs, with male Y-chromosomes perhaps by merely rubbing them with a special sperm- producing male finger. Think of it-- no more uncontrollable male sexual urges resulting in rape; babies when you want them and not otherwise. No more overpopulation, starving, abused or enslaved children.
If women laid sizeable eggs like hens do, there would be no more obstetrics problems, or subsequent gynaecological ones like incontinence; no stretch marks and lax tummies.

Reg said...

Sagging breasts could be avoided by reducing the urgency of lactation if the mother’s egg was reasonably large, with a built in store of nutrition for the developing embryo. Instead of a large infant having to be damagingly extracted from the mother,-reasonably small- sized babies would hatch out, and as long as you did not lose them in a moment of absent-mindedness (which could have been eliminated anyway by natural selection), they could then be conveniently stored, perhaps on a top shelf out of the way of pets, and early weaning accomplished by feeding them more conveniently by sucking from a specially adapted milk producing maternal finger- tip. The babies could be designed to produce only enough warning noises to remind mother to feed and change them, and play with them,--rather than hours of pointless wailing all day and night. Changing could also be reduced if babies did not wastefully produce liquid urine, and high residue faeces,-but instead produced only dry uric acid like birds, who thus conserve water.
One disadvantage of the above scheme would be that a woman produced a baby every month regularly if all the eggs developed anyway, whether male fertilised or not. However, as in the case of hens eggs, this could easily be circumvented by the mere expedient of re-cycling them by eating them. This might require certain adjustments in one’s aesthetic and moral attitudes,-though of course God could easily have built in the required software when designing humans. After all, some mothers eat their own placentas as a sort of hippie gesture,--fried with onions I believe. One cannot really call it cannibalism,-any more than calling contraception, abortion.
Having one human digit discretely modified as a kind of proto-penis for fertilising the egg by touch, or in the case of the mother, a substitute for a lactating breast, with all its inconvenience and discomfort,-is not without its imitators in the animal kingdom. There is a I believe a species of Octopus in which one of the arms develops into a kind of swimming penis, becomes detached from the body, and swims off on its own in search of female octopuses to impregnate. We don’t have to go quite that far; I am not advocating flying human penises,-that might get a bit out of hand, and also cause anguish to hay-fever sufferers if they happened to be allergic to air-borne sperms, like pollen.

So there we are; just another way God could have done it.

Reg Le Sueur

Unknown said...

For one, you assume your perfect world to look like God's perfect world. Making the classic mistake of putting God in a box. You assume that 'premature' death is worse than some other form of death, but is it really? If one animal dies, but its body feeds 4 or 5 others, something good has happened.

As far as time taken for evolution, if to God a thousand years is as a blink of an eye and vice versa, why would He want to do everything quickly? Wouldn't He much rather enjoy His work? If He is infinite and has no sense of time, why would He want to do everything quickly?

Is it not possible that what looks like chaos to you is the infinitely complex systems that God has designed?

As for the egg thing, if you were a god, I would loathe you for creating your efficient world and forcing people to live in it.

Reg said...

You have missed the point.I have no knowledge of a God, whether "in a box" or out of one. The point is that evolution is naturalistic, and unguided. Moral notions of good or bad do not come into it. What you call good coming out of bad, is just events proceeding over time, with causal links between them. That is evolution,-everything feeding on everything else, and disposing of all the corpses. The theoretical alternative would be piles of rotting corpses everywhere, with other animals being too polite and godly to eat them (seeing as how they God's perfect creations). Therefore none of the living animals would ever eat, and so they would die too, and life would grind to a halt.It may be a mystery as to why anything at all evolves,--but invoking God does nothing to explain it; you then have to explain God as well, -or make an ad hoc assumption that God is eternal and uncreated,--but then,- so is the Universe (which we do actually know to exist). As I said, it is a cruel system but it works,--but not for any particular individual,- man or beast.
The "thousand years is but a blink of an eye in God's sight" is just a cheap excuse to try and tie the evolutionary timescale into the biblical chronology. If you do some arithmetic you will see that there is no way to make it work.
Concerning the "chaos" point,--you are having to perform another cheap theological trick by inventing a dualistic notion of the world; typical examples are "God's chaos is not human chaos" (your own point); God's truth is not human truth, God lives in a different Universe from humans (or outside it); God's ways are not human ways etc. And yet,--after all that you(theologians) have the cheek to say that we are made in God's image, and that our Mind is actually God's Mind working within us. These are two contradictory claims; (see my last sentence about "having your cake and eating it".

My "In Praise of Eggs" essay is in fact a joke, composed while I was drunk!

Unknown said...

Your admittance to your lack of knowledge of God doesn't help you any. Clearly you do not understand anything about God because you can't see how good of a system we have here in this universe. By one animals death, it supplies life to another animal (whether with meat or by decomposing).

Since evolution gives us no moral standards, what makes murder, stealing, etc wrong?

God does not live in our universe and time has no effect on Him, however He has control over it. That's the point of the 'blink of an eye' statement.

The chaos point is saying that what you call chaos is not what God calls chaos.

Yes, we are created in His image, but that doesn't mean that we have His mind in us. People do evil things everyday, that's not part of the mind of God. So no, our minds are not God's mind working in us.

Reg said...

Perhaps I have a modicum of humility? I admit that there are actually things I don't know, -whereas creationists are so arrogant that they think they know the Mind of God. Even before this latest post of yours, I was considering asking you whether there is anything that you could possibly concede that you do not know, but that an atheist might?
Anything about Evolution, biochemistry, logic, statistics. history perhaps? But I know in advance from dealings with other creationists that you are cleverer than all the worlds scientists and philosophers put together.
Actually the main reason I do not know about God is because, as Christians are always pointing out,-God is Unknowable. Yet this does not prevent you from knowing for certain that he lives "outside the Universe", that he has a plan just for you, and a son called Jesus, Iesous, Yeshua etc etc.
To answer your question about moralirt; try reading a book by Matt Ridley called "Origin of Virtue", (or something like that).
But even without reading it, surely it should be obvious that we humans make our own morality so that we can get along for our mutual benefit,--otherwise we would live in a Mad Max world where everyone goes around armed to the teeth and having to watch their back,-or like the wild west, where only the fastest gun survives (for a while). We have to have rules. How do you think people managed before Jesus, and before that,-Abraham, Noah and all the other biblical heros? Before the Jewish god was ever heard of? How did the Egyptians build pyramids unless they had order and structure and rules in their society. But enough;--I told you it was a waste of time taking to you. I don't know why I bother. Bye.

Unknown said...

Yes, there are things that I admit I don't know. Like why it is that atheists are so adamant about a God that they don't believe exists. I don't understand women, I don't fully understand God (which is impossible considering that He is infinite, and we're finite), but I do know a bit about Him.

Evolution is not science because it is not observable. We can see the 'effects' but we can only infer, at best, about the causes of them.

You're knowledge of God could be increased if you would read through the Bible instead of being completely ignorant about it. I would recommend the ESV version if you do.

The 'wild' west you refer to never existed. Gun fights during the frontier days were few and far between, Hollywood is the one who made those famous.

Rules would have had to have evolved too. At some point in our history humans would have had to have been armed to the teeth as you put it. That way, they would have evolved into the 'civilized' world we have today. However the second law of thermodynamics would disprove that.

Reg said...

Nathan. I wasn't going to bother, but my son-in-law, a computer software engineer, has just sent me this; (I am a Doctor by the way)--so neither of us are uneducated:

If you come back for more, I have another one from him.
I suggest you surrender now,--I will be merciful.

Reg said...

Nathan' Here's the other one:

--and as for the "2nd law Of Thermodynamics",--don't be so silly.
It applies only to "closed" thermodynamic systems. The Earth is a "open" system,--receiving a constant input of energy from the Sun.. I suggest you read the literature.

Unknown said...

Well, both of the articles were about micro-evolution, not macro-evolution, which proves nothing. God would be a sick being if He didn't allow His creations to adapt to changes in the environment. However, it would be more effort than it's worth to change species in order to adapt. That would be a waste of energy.

Reg said...

Macroevolution is just a lot of microevolution; there is no qualitative difference.
The articles explain the mechanics of micro,- and therefore by extension, also of macro.

Incidentally, real biological scientists do not use these terms, they are just creationist jargon.
The real world is so much more interesting than religious twaddle,-why do you continue to waste your time as well as ours?
Now I really do not have any more time to waste on this. Goodbye again.

Unknown said...

In Darwinian theory, species transforming into other species would have to come about by many single and mutually exclusive mutations.

For the sake of argument, lets say a lizard was going to evolve into a bird. First you'd need to grow the joints that the wings attach to. Then you'd need the lightweight bone structure that birds have (which lizards have no use for). You'd also need the muscles and the feathers. And because of all that, if you didn't have all of those come up in a single generation then the lizard would be at a serious disadvantage to be eaten by predators.

If you added the parts one each generation you'd have 5 or 6 generations which are weaker before they get stronger, and by then they would be eaten. Not to mention that once they got through w/ the evolution, they would need to adapt to another environment.

So the theory about random mutations doesn't hold up

Reg said...

Nathan, some reading for you.

Random mutations:

Hox genes:

Evo Devo:

Transitional forms:

Marplots said...

I call it the 'argument from awe'. Probability is being misused here, as it is on Marshall's site.

Which do you think is more probable? That your driveway would have every molecule in it in exactly the relationship it is, or that you would exist to stand on your driveway?

The problem comes in because probability requires context. There are laws which affect what happens which are, well, laws and then there is chance. But to even try to put a number on the probability without knowing the underlying laws and context is foolish to the extreme.

But big numbers impress us, don't they?

Magnamune said...

Been a while since the last post... Time to enter the debate!

Let me start by stating my credentials. I am not the most intelligent person, but I always try to think my arguments through. My IQ is roughly 121. I am currently in an Australian University studying Microbiolgy.

Now, as for my argument:

I am going to point out a few things I know about life. Things which are rather obvious.

1. Everything that lives will eventually die. Be it Disease, famine, predator, accident, not knowing water depth and jumping, everything that is alive, or will be, will die.

2. Something that is not suited to it's environment is more likely to die. Examples: A crocodile out of water, Plant in constant shade, slow rabbits etc.

3. While things are alive, most of them will reproduce. These reproductions are not clones. Life reproduces with variation. Easily observable, just notice how you're different from your parents.

Because life reproduces with variation, life is constantly changing. In an unchanging environment, that a species has a high survival rate, few changes will occur over long periods of time. If the environment changes, and the species is no longer adapted to living there, the changes will be more dramatic.

A similar thing happens if a species capable of moving moves to a new environment. The changes that occur are also more dramatic. The speed of evolution depends on the level of change.

Now, by 'more dramatic' I mean somewhere in the order of being a new species after 100-150 generations, if the level of change is high. How long the generation is depends on the species. For humans, I'd say a generation is roughly 30 years. Evidence for this is not difficult to find, just google it. In a closed system human population where the environment drastically changes, it would take approximately 3000-4500 years to become an entirely new species. Physically they'd probably look similar to humans in the way that dogs look similar to jackles.

That is what you'd call macro-evolution. Which explains why it hasn't been observed.

Now as for the lizard becoming a bird, that isn't how it works, but I'll do my best to use that analogy.

For starters, the lizards would have to be living mostly in high places, or to be forced there and must stay there.

They would also need to either jump from place to place in their normal lives, or be forced into such behaviour through an envirnomental factor (predator, area subject to flooding, whatever).

A lizard with a slightly lighter bone structure is going to have an easier time making the necessary jumps. It'll also not hit the ground as hard if it fell from said high place (Or it would float easier).

This lizard is more likely to survive, and will pass on his genes to the next generation, some of which will have heavier bones, some will have lighter. Over many generations (lets assume the generation for this lizard is approx. 1 year), the light-weight bone gene will become more prevelent within the species, until all the lizards have bone-density similar to that of modern birds.

ith the assumed generation, this could be anywhere from 100 years to several thousand, depending on how suited the lizard is to jumping from high place to high place.

And don't say 'having the right bone density doesn't make a bird', because I know that. That also is a flawed argument that suggests that only one aspect of a species can change at a time. It's entirely possible that other lizards get pseudo-wings, during this process of evolving lighter bones, which also increase the chance of successful jumps, and decrease the chance of death in failed jumps. Who says their scales can't become more aerodynamic at the same time?

Please point out flaws in my argument, as I believe that a man can learn from his mistakes. Hell, I don't even mind if you come back with: 'That's wrong cause god exists'. Obviously thats not a real argument, but if you feel you can justify it, by all means try.

PG said...


Admin says:

1. This object is a clock. It has hands and numbers around a dial, it ticks, and it can be used to tell time.

2. The author of the Atheist Propaganda site is not a clock-maker. All clocks are created by somebody other than him. There is no known instance of him creating a clock.

3. Therefore, this clock was not created by the author of the Atheist Propaganda site.

If you can find an example of a clock that was created by the author of the Atheist Propaganda site, you've toppled my proof. All you need is one.

PG Response:

Your syllogism is flawed due to your Premise #2.


Perry's premise#2 is correct as it stands! ALL KNOWWWWWN CODES ARE DESIGNED! It is a true statement.

Again, all you are doing is having shall I say it....Faith!.. that one day your priests in lab coats will find that illusive naturally occurring code!

Interesting point however is the following:

If the syllogysm had the author of this site as a non-intelligent object, it would quickly disintegrate because we all know that random chemicals cannot create a clock.

Infact, to demonstrate the feeblness of Atheist challenging Perry's syllogism, lets rewrite the syllogism to be more inline like Perry's to more impressively illustrate Perry's syllogism. I shall use it for our further debate.

1) Clocks tell time, time is coded information.

2) All known codes are designed.

3) Clocks are proof of design.

All you Atheists need is provide empirical evidence of a naturally occurring code and you have toppled my proof...


Admin said...

I notice you're still too cowardly to address the other points in my first post. You picked the one you wanted. At least it's a start.

I have another question. If you're too small a man (woman?) to admit that you screwed up the meaning, spelling and pronunciation of 'ad hominem', why would I expect you to admit when the focus of your argument has been defeated?

By the way, are you the one who called The Atheist Experience show last Sunday?

I'm a clockmaker? Prove it! That's the whole point, which you repeatedly miss! You have to PROVE that I made a clock, otherwise you have no evidence and no reason to say such a thing! You want special considerations for your argument. Go ahead, PROVE that I made the clock. And what if you do find such evidence, but it takes you 2 years? Then what? Was the 'proof' a proof during those 2 years, and not afterward? You want your 'proof' to stand as a place-filler until the day we get the evidence. That's not a proof. You don't know what a proof is!

And the other ones? Like the diamond?

What about this?

1. DNA is a code.
2. All codes are created by mortal animals. This is empirically observed, over and over.
3. DNA was created by mortal animals.

If you can't see the flaw with your reasoning, then I'm really sorry for you. You're just a fool in that case.

Admin said...

I'm trying to simplify things as much as possible for you. Prove that I made a clock. Do you have such evidence? No? Then the proof stands!

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

You can fuck off until you're ready to answer my questions as outlined in the other post. That's the way it's going to be.