Friday, July 27, 2007

Quote of the Day

On creationists:

"The primary contention of the creationists appears to be that rather than apply Ockham’s Razor we should instead be using Uri Geller's Spoon."

- chooseDoubt

If you enjoyed this article please feel free to digg it down below.

42 comments:

Rhology said...

So it is simpler to believe that life evolved thru the confluence of trillions of chance occurrences as opposed to thru the command of one being when He spoke?

Begging the question is a pattern for you.

chooseDoubt said...

Yes, the whole point being that a simple process that gives rise to complexity from simplicity is much more believable than your position.

Let's see, simple process leading to complexity or your hypothesis, which requires an infinitely complex being that just happens to exist (which begs the question why can't the universe itself just happen to exist) using magic to make loads of other complex things pop into existence, which then requires you to explain about god having started the light on it's path from the stars so it's almost to us (to account for a young earth), talking snakes, rampant contradictions both within the bible and with other historical sources, the burying of fossils, the simulation of ancient geology, the forging of radioactive decay signatures, placing hip bones in whales, having to find a way that micro-evolution over time doesn't turn out as macro-evolution, and last but by no means least explaining how you can possibly know any of that is the truth without a single shred of evidence.

There's so much slashing to be done in that pile of wet pulp that we don't need Ockham's Razor here so much as Zorro's sword.

It's good that you can start to recognise patterns, although still misfiring I see. There's some hope yet that you might discover critical thought.

All the best,

CD

Rhology said...

CD,

If you get to transform the idea of one God into an "infinitely complex being" (whatever that means) and the highly complex system of natural selection and random chance over the distance of trillions of star systems out there into a 'simple process', just b/c you say so, then the game is rigged.

an infinitely complex being that just happens to exist

Yeah, b/c otherwise there's no logically possible hypothesis for the origin of time, energy, and matter. At least, none that you've yet proposed.

which begs the question why can't the universe itself just happen to exist)

B/c it's contingent.
B/c the universe is not intelligent.
B/c there was a Big Bang.
B/c the universe had to START sometime since an infinite regress is impossible.
Only things don't start w/o a cause.
And God is Uncaused.

Thus...
We've been over this before. I guess in time I can hope you'll give a meaningful response.

OK, then you go over a long list of things that you think God did or something. But again, you're talking like someone (ie, whose imagination is a bit more fertile than mine) (or they're not as sleepy as I am right now) couldn't type out a list ad infinitum of things that just so happened to have happened in the evolutionary/naturalistic course of things, thus un-simplifying it and making it vulnerable itself to the Razor. The appeal to the Razor is like the atheistic Pascal's Wager.

As for critical thought, maybe not but there's enough here to recognise special pleading when I see it.

Peace,
Rhology

Anonymous said...

otherwise there's no logically possible hypothesis for the origin of time, energy, and matter.

Rhology, many scientists consider it perfectly plausible that SOMETHING has always existed. And indeed, why does one assume that "nothingness" is the default state?

Rhology said...

It's not me, it's CD.
*He* believes that something came from nothing. Ask him. He doesn't believe in an infinite regress, though that answers your question. In an atheist universe, the question of origins is answered by either:
1) something popped into existence out of nothing, or
2) the univ has always existed.

Neither of which are logically possible. It makes me glad it's not a problem I have.

Chris Severn said...

which begs the question why can't the universe itself just happen to exist)

B/c it's contingent.
B/c the universe is not intelligent.
B/c there was a Big Bang.
B/c the universe had to START sometime since an infinite regress is impossible.
Only things don't start w/o a cause.
And God is Uncaused.


Rhology,
You have some logical problems, and unwarrented assumptions in the above. Please explain :
1. Why intelligence is a prerequisite for the cause of the universe.
2. Why everything needs a cause.
3. Why God doesn't need a cause.

These things seems to be obvious to you, but they're not obvious, and not rational to me, and I assume other atheists here.

MothandRust said...

So it is simpler to believe that life evolved thru the confluence of trillions of chance occurrences as opposed to thru the command of one being when He spoke?

Well when you put it like that... Yep, the trillions of chance occurrences does sound much more feesible. A personality comes into existance; thinks out the rest of infinity and then speaks out a magic word that invokes everything? I'm thinking the default state of existance for all matter is more believable. I know I flip-flop, but hey...

Tommy said...

Hi CD, off thread, but I have a new visitor to my blog who wants to know why atheists such as ourselves feel the need to have atheist blogs, and basically why we don't just keep our mouths shut.

I invite you and your regular readers to come over to Exercise in Futility and enlighten him. The post is titled "I'm an Atheist and I'm Proud of It!"

Rhology said...

Hi Chris,

1. Why intelligence is a prerequisite for the cause of the universe.

B/c to **create** something is to make an act of will. A statue doesn't ACT.

2. Why everything needs a cause.

Read Hume. It's pretty obvious that things that begin need a cause.

3. Why God doesn't need a cause.

B/c of the impossibility of the contrary. I'm trying to find an option that is not logically impossible.
Infinite regress or spontaneous generation out of void are not logically possible options. If God were caused, we'd be right back where YOU are - incoherency. God is Uncaused.


MothandRust,

A personality comes into existance

Ah, welcome back to conversation w/ me. It's always a pleasure.
Once again, though, a strawman from an atheist. God doesn't "come into existence." Infinite regress or spontaneous generation out of void are not logically possible options. If God had a beginning, He'd be caused, and we'd be right back where YOU are - incoherency. God has no beginning - He has always been.

All this conversation will go alot better if the other side would deal w/ my actual position rather than strawmen. If it's not intentional, then get your heads on a little straighter, please.

Peace,
Rhology

Chris Severn said...

B/c to **create** something is to make an act of will. A statue doesn't ACT.

I didn't say "create", I said "cause". You're deliberately swapping to using an ambiguous word like "create" because it infers a creator, and hence you claim it must have had a creator, and the Creator is God.

It's very simple. Start from now, and keep going back in time, before the planet formed, before the solar system, before our galaxy, to "the beginning". So far we haven't needed intelligence to explain all the complexity. Why do we need it at the very first step ? No word games please. I think the word "cause" is perfectly usable, you don't need loaded words such as "act" and "create".

You say "Infinite regress or spontaneous generation out of void are not logically possible options." and then go on to say "God has no beginning - He has always been."

If you really think your last option is any more logical than the first two examples, well, I think a quote from the "Princess Bride" is in order with regards to "logic".

"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Cheers,
Chris

Rhology said...

Chris,

I didn't say "create", I said "cause". You're deliberately swapping to using an ambiguous word like "create" because it infers a creator, and hence you claim it must have had a creator, and the Creator is God.

Wow - you're a mindreader. No, it wasn't deliberate.
Same thing, anyway. But fine - to cause something, particularly when it involves creating matter, energy, and time (which is what we're talking about, after all), requires the ability to choose to make it happen.

So far we haven't needed intelligence to explain all the complexity. Why do we need it at the very first step ?

B/c, um, we were going backwards.
Think about it this way. Before time, energy, and matter came into being, there was nothing. Nothing = nothing.
Either there was an eternally-existing being *outside* time, energy, and matter who could then create them, or there was nothing. If there's nothing, nothing happens. If that being exists, then sthg can happen whenever it decides.

You say "Infinite regress or spontaneous generation out of void are not logically possible options." and then go on to say "God has no beginning - He has always been."

Very well - how are either infinite regress or spontaneous generation out of void logically possible? Tell me which one you'll defend and then go.
You might also pass thru how the existence of God is logically impossible, if you believe it is. Please let me know either way.

Munching popcorn and waiting for the show,
Rhology

Anonymous said...

rhology

your gross misunderstanding of biology and evolution is remarkable. Please go to school and get an actual education.

Rhology said...

Funny you should say that since I haven't even been discussing evolution in this thread. Reading comprehension is important too, Anon.

Chris Severn said...

Hi Rhology,

I've heard the use of "a painting must have a painter, so creation must have a creator" before by people who I'm sure are deliberately misleading, such as Ray Comfort, so I assumed it was deliberate on your part. Apologies, you possibly got it from them.

You say "to cause something, particularly when it involves creating matter, energy, and time (which is what we're talking about, after all), requires the ability to choose to make it happen." and "Either there was an eternally-existing being *outside* time, energy, and matter who could then create them, or there was nothing."

No, there is no requirement that the "cause" has the ability to choose. A planet doesn't choose to go around the sun. The rocks didn't choose to combine to create the earth. The choices are not "being" or "nothing". A third choice is "some non intelligent thing".

And, there's only one thing that this "thing" or "being" is required to do to form the universe and eventually us. It is required to spew out a jumbled heap of assorted elementary particles, several dimensions, and a few physical laws. That's it. Once that happened, 16 billion years later you get the billions of galaxies, containing billions of stars, of which at least one of them has a planet that evolved life, religion, computers and bloggers.

There is absolutely nothing about the universe that requires the hypothesis of an intelligence at the beginning (even assuming there was a beginning). I'm not going to support any particular hypothesis for the fundamental cause of the universe. The evidence isn't all in yet. And I don't think the existance of a god is locically impossible. Same as I think it's not logically impossible that there's a pink elephant hiding in your bedroom cupboard as you read this. It's just that it's very improbable, and for every hypothesis involving a God, there's one that's nearly identical that you get by substituting the god for something unintelligent and simple. And the resulting hypothesis always fits the facts better than the one involving a god.

Evolution really is a mind expanding concept. You're doing yourself a disservice if you haven't read one of the fine books on the subject, such as one of Dawkins' early works.

Anonymous said...

Rhology

your first statement on this thread
was about evolving. Seems you have a short memory.

Anonymous said...

rhology

I think your reading comprehension is also very suspect, please go get an education.

Rhology said...

Chris,

"a painting must have a painter, so creation must have a creator" before

I'm not using that argument.
And I heard of it way before I heard of Ray Comfort anyway. I got it from Geisler.
But again, not using it. This is not a design/teleological argument, it's a cosmological argument.
Apology accepted - man, behind the keyboard it is SO easy to get mean and nasty! I feel the temptation every time.

No, there is no requirement that the "cause" has the ability to choose. A planet doesn't choose to go around the sun. The rocks didn't choose to combine to create the earth.

OK, I grant that. However, for this immaterial THING to "cause" the immensity of the universe, containing time, energy, and matter... just by CHANCE? It doesn't fit, it's not analogous to a planet's orbit around the sun "causing" seasons.

It is required to spew out a jumbled heap of assorted elementary particles, several dimensions, and a few physical laws. That's it.

Well, you say, that's "it". Yeah, that's all.
But how and why could there be all this stuff that is the universe now, and not nothing, not only that non-intelligent being?

I don't think the existance of a god is logically impossible.

OK, as opposed to the alternative theories that have been proposed so far.

It's just that it's very improbable,

On what basis?

the resulting hypothesis always fits the facts better than the one involving a god.

That would require an argument.

You're doing yourself a disservice if you haven't read one of the fine books on the subject, such as one of Dawkins' early works.

Oh yes, I'm sure that Dawkins has a great deal to offer intellectually, particularly given his recent vapidity. Why the decline if his earlier stuff is so good? Alzheimer's? Blind fundamentalist rage? One can only guess...


Anonymous,

Yes, I *said* the *word* "evolution" in the 1st comment. I didn't talk about it after that. You're pretty funny, but the unintentional kind. And like I said, I need to pass 10th grade before I can complete my edjamakashun.

Peace,
Rhology

Chris Severn said...

Hi Rhology,

You say:
"However, for this immaterial THING to "cause" the immensity of the universe, containing time, energy, and matter... just by CHANCE?"
Yep.
The theists' alternative being that by chance a god existed with the capability to create it all.

"It doesn't fit, it's not analogous to a planet's orbit around the sun "causing" seasons."
Not exactly, sure. We know a great deal about planet orbits, and much less about the beginning of the universe. But we don't need intelligence to explain either.

"But how and why could there be all this stuff that is the universe now, and not nothing, not only that non-intelligent being?"
That's the big question. Boggles the mind, doesn't it ? I wish I knew.

You ask on what basis I say the existance of a god is very improbable. Here's some reasons why:
1. There's no convincing evidence for one, and scientists have really really looked.
2. Things get "simpler" as we go back in time. Life gets simpler, the earth gets simpler, the universe gets simpler, until the big bang. We know pretty well how that works. The hypothesis that an intelligent being that is necessarily complex existed before that point does not fit the progression. An explanation is required for its improbable existance, and a suitable explanation hasn't been forthcoming.
3. There's no convincing evidence for any particular religion's God. It would be a fair coincidence if the human-made relgions turned out to be right about the big question after being wrong about most other things.

I said "The resulting hypothesis always fits the facts better than the one involving a god", to which you said "That would require an argument".
My point is that when you take the hypothesis that includes a god, and replacing the god with something non-intelligent, you get a better hypothesis. I don't need to have a hypothesis myself for this. It's quite alright for an honest person to admit they don't know something, and wait for the evidence to come in before reaching a conclusion. In the meantime though, everybody can evaluate competing hypotheses.

Oh yes, I'm sure that Dawkins has a great deal to offer intellectually, particularly given his recent vapidity. Why the decline if his earlier stuff is so good? Alzheimer's? Blind fundamentalist rage? One can only guess...
Evolution really is his field, so I agree that his books on evolution are his best. It is hard to be interesting on a topic such as religion that he tackles in his later books. I think he does a good job under the circumstances, and he does have many good points on the subject. I do think you should read "The God Delusion" for those points. But for understanding evolution, and to experience the awe of the amazing ramifications of how simple things can turn into all we see around us, "The Selfish Gene", "The Blind Watchmaker", "River Out Of Eden" are all recommended.

Cheers,
Chris

Rhology said...

hi Chris,

The theists' alternative being that by chance a god existed with the capability to create it all.

Not by chance. B/c God is a necessary being.
But since you're making a bald assertion that God being the cause is improbable, I'll just baldly assert that a non-intelligent cause is improbable.
It just so happens that it's pretty absurd as well. When was the last time the statue of Lincoln in the Memorial caused anything?

But we don't need intelligence to explain either.

You do if you're comparing it to the non-intelligent thing causing the universe.

That's the big question. Boggles the mind, doesn't it ? I wish I knew.

That makes one of us, Chris. I know the answer.

1. There's no convincing evidence for one, and scientists have really really looked.

1) As if science is relevant.
2) As if "scientists" are looking the right way.
3) As if "scientists" have the right motives.
4) You're begging the question again - God can easily be found, but by coming to Him sincerely in faith and submission. He's not analys-able in a lab.
5) I didn't say there was "convincing" evidence for God. I said there's lots of evidence. "Convincing" is in the eye of the beholder; in your case, it's evidence to a hater of God.

The hypothesis that an intelligent being that is necessarily complex existed before that point does not fit the progression.

Since God is not part of the creation, that's not a strong argument.

Evolution really is his field, so I agree that his books on evolution are his best.

OK. Which is his best of the 3 you suggested, in your opinion? Maybe I can read it soon.

It is hard to be interesting on a topic such as religion that he tackles in his later books.

It also seems to be impossible for him to be rational on such a topic.

I do think you should read "The God Delusion" for those points.

Sorry, won't waste my time w/ that one, though I'll humor you on the one(s) dealing w/ evolution. ;-)

Peace,
Rhology

Chris Severn said...

"in your case, it's evidence to a hater of God."

Umm, Rhology, did you really just claim I hate God ?

You know I'm an atheist, right ?

Anonymous said...

rhology,

These are your words:

"or it is simpler to believe that life evolved thru the confluence of trillions of chance occurrences as opposed to thru the command of one being when He spoke?"

You clearly spoke of evolution, which you have denied. You are the funny one. What part of my statement is not true ? It matters not whether it was said just once.
It is always wrong. You have not even thought about your original statement. Your ignorance in other matters is also very sad.

Rhology said...

Chris,

Yes, I know you're an atheist. The Bible says that you actually know God exists, you suppress that truth in wickedness, and you hate God.

Anon,

Yeah, whatever, thanks.

Chris Severn said...

Rhology says "Yes, I know you're an atheist. The Bible says that you actually know God exists, you suppress that truth in wickedness, and you hate God."

Well, that's one more thing the bible's wrong about. Atheists don't believe in any god. I have as much reason to hate God as you or I have to hate Santa, the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny.

As to the claim of wickedness, well, that depends on which morality you use. I don't keep slaves, stone people, commit genocide, hate gays or oppose stem cell research, and I've coveted my neighbours wife and belongings more than once, so that might make me wicked to some bible believers. Not, I would hope, to a reasonable person.

Rhology said...

Well, that's one more thing the bible's wrong about. Atheists don't believe in any god.

That's precisely what one should expect someone who suppresses the truth in wickedness to say. ;-)

G-man said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris Severn said...

That's precisely what one should expect someone who suppresses the truth in wickedness to say. ;-)

You've found me out. I would have gotten away with it if it weren't for you pesky Christians :)

Chris Severn said...

Hmm.

Last night I posted a good size response, and I checked it was here after posting it. Looking now, the post has gone missing, and I see :
This post has been removed by the author.
8/03/2007 08:11:00 AM


I didn't delete it! Choosedoubt, did you delete it ? Or does that refer to someone else's post ?

MothandRust said...

That's precisely what one should expect someone who suppresses the truth in wickedness to say. ;-)

Gosh, how many negatives does it take to cancel out a positive these days? If a tree doesn't fall in the forest, does anybody who didn't hear it ignore it if the forest wasn't there in the first place?

chooseDoubt said...

Hi Chris,

I didn't delete any comments. I don't suppose you have a copy you can repost?

Cheers,

CD

Rhology said...

Chris,

That stinks! Anymore, I keep a Notepad copy of pretty much any comment I make. For me, it started when Troy Waller deleted my comments and I hadn't saved 'em, but a crash will provide plenty of motivation too, I'll bet.
Sorry to hear.

Chris Severn said...

I didn't make a copy. here's the jist of the previous email:

Rhology,
God is a more improbable being because he's complex, and much more improbable to have popped into existance than the initial simplicity of the universe.

When was the last time the statue of Lincoln in the Memorial caused anything? It caused me to laugh when I saw it in "Team America: World Police"....

That makes one of us, Chris. I know the answer.
That's nice for you. There's a woman on the net who knows that the Nazi secret service mindcontrollers are tapping her phones, and she was raised in a secret city under the Great Salt Lake in Utah. I consistently find people who admit their uncertainly are more reliable than those who claim to know something for sure. Often people claiming to know something are really trying to convince themselves. It happens a lot in religions/cults. Or, is just normal denial.

1) As if science is relevant.
It's relevant to pretty much every other part of our lives and has shown itself to be extremely useful. Why not this one ?

3) As if "scientists" have the right motives.
So, the desire to make discoveries and know everything about how the universe really works isn't the right motive? Because those are the motives of a large number of scientists. Some others just want a good job to feed their families....

2) As if "scientists" are looking the right way.
4) You're begging the question again - God can easily be found, but by coming to Him sincerely in faith and submission. He's not analys-able in a lab.

Many people, including myself have done this, and nobody has ever shown an effect that isn't easily explainable by simple phsychological phenomena.
I've had the "God feeling" in church, in meditation, from contemplating the cosmos, from alcohol.
What results do you think you get from coming to Him sincerely in faith and submission ? How are the results different from those billions of people have gotten from other religions ?

OK. Which is his best of the 3 you suggested, in your opinion? Maybe I can read it soon.
I'd suggest "The Selfish Gene", because it is his first, and best demonstrates the important concept of "game theory" as it relations to natural selection. The book just says it how it is, and doesn't attempt to respond to religious critisism of evolution, which I think is a good thing. But, if you do want more of that sort of thing, then "The Blind Watchmaker" would be the one to go for.

It also seems to be impossible for him to be rational on such a topic [as religion]
I think he's very rational on the topic. You haven't read his books, so I assume you get your opinion from seeing him on tv, and maybe the odd web page ? I hope you're getting it from more than seeing him on Bill OReilly.

Sorry, won't waste my time w/ that one [The God Delusion], though I'll humor you on the one(s) dealing w/ evolution. ;-)
Well, hopefully you're not just doing it for little old me, but I'm not ever going to complain about someone reading a good book..

Cheers,
Chris

Rhology said...

chris,

Sorry you had to retype; I know how annoying that is.

God is a more improbable being because he's complex,

This seems to be a fairly significant point for you. Why do you assert that TGOTB is more complex than the universe?

much more improbable to have popped into existance than the initial simplicity of the universe.

Seriously, I don't know how many times I need to say this, but TGOTB didn't **pop** into existence. He always was.
It's barely worth responding to your comments when you constantly misunderstand my position.

1) As if science is relevant.
It's relevant to pretty much every other part of our lives and has shown itself to be extremely useful.


B/c science is incapable of repeatedly testing a hypothesis related to a metaphysical claim.

3) As if "scientists" have the right motives.
So, the desire to make discoveries and know everything about how the universe really works isn't the right motive?


The Bible claims that men actively suppress the knowledge of TGOTB *that they already have* b/c their deeds are evil and they love darkness.
You no doubt claim otherwise, but that's simply begging the question.

Some others just want a good job to feed their families....

And that job would commonly be jeopardised if they were to reveal themselves as doubters of evolution, for example.

I've had the "God feeling" in church, in meditation, from contemplating the cosmos, from alcohol.

Where did I ever say that this finding God is dependent on feelings?

What results do you think you get from coming to Him sincerely in faith and submission ?

Maybe none at all that are discernible in terms of experience.
Since, however, TGOTB lives and indeed is the only explanation for morality, logic, rationality, induction, and the universe, the 'results' are manifold - forgiveness of sin, friendship w/ God, adoption as a son by God, regeneration, a love for truth and light, etc. Note that these are spiritual, not experiential per se. And I'd add that if you truly had done this then you wouldn't be arguing w/ me over this right now.

How are the results different from those billions of people have gotten from other religions ?

They don't get the things I listed.

I'd suggest "The Selfish Gene", because it is his first, and best demonstrates the important concept of "game theory" as it relations to natural selection.

I'm highly skeptical but I'll give it a try.

You haven't read his books, so I assume you get your opinion from seeing him on tv, and maybe the odd web page ? I hope you're getting it from more than seeing him on Bill OReilly.

I am, I promise. And I think Dawkins did a poor job on O'Reilly but O'R did even worse. That was one of the worst O'R interviews I've ever seen (out of 20-30 I've seen).

Peace,
Rhology

PS - saved this one on Notepad too. ;-)

Chris Severn said...

Hi Rhology,

I assert that any type of god is improbable because of the complexity. Life on earth is as complex a phenomenon as we've ever seen. We know that we can exist due to the gradual process of evolution. God would have to be even more complex than us, and you don't even let him evolve to get there...

Seriously, I don't know how many times I need to say this, but TGOTB didn't **pop** into existence. He always was.
Yep, I didn't fully address this, sorry. Let's just say that previously when I said "popped into existance" or similar I actually said "always existed". It doesn't change my argument. And I don't have a particular favourite between the "something always existed" or the "there was a beginning" hypotheses.

B/c science is incapable of repeatedly testing a hypothesis related to a metaphysical claim.
Where that claim has no effects in the real world, you're right. An afterlife (where you can't somehow come back) would be one such claim. However, many metaphysical claims do supposedly have real world effects.
For instance, the claim of a world flood, that two humans started the human race, that prayers will be answered, that sort of thing, those are testable. They have been tested. And they failed the tests.

The Bible claims that men actively suppress the knowledge of TGOTB *that they already have* b/c their deeds are evil and they love darkness.
Well, yet another thing the bible's wrong about. You may or may not personally know non-Christians in your life. But 60% of the planet are non-Christian. Atheists, Hindus, Buddhists etc. Do you really think that more than 60% of the world are evil and love darkness ? Maybe you do. If you look statistically at these things though, you'll find atheists no worse than Christians for most "moral" issues you care to name.

And that job [in science] would commonly be jeopardised if they were to reveal themselves as doubters of evolution, for example.
If they were in the field of biology, and they didn't have any new evidence to bare on the situation, then sure. Wouldn't you expect doubters of gravity to have a hard time holding a job in physics ?

TGOTB lives and indeed is the only explanation for morality, logic, rationality, induction, and the universe
No, it's not the only explanation. You corrected me for this before when I said there's no evidence for God, and you corrected me to say "no convicing evidence". Well, I'm correcting you. There are explanations. You can't deny that. I will additionally say, that they are very good explanations, which fit the evidence much better than the hypothesis of a god.

the 'results' are manifold - forgiveness of sin, friendship w/ God, adoption as a son by God, regeneration, a love for truth and light, etc. Note that these are spiritual, not experiential per se.
You're right, they're not testable. Your explanation for this is "different" to mine.

And I'd add that if you truly had done this then you wouldn't be arguing w/ me over this right now.
Well, I have. So have many other people who have rejected it as nothing special.

You'd be right if there was a god. But, as it is, you're wrong. You say that people from other religions don't get the things you listed. My point is that they do get experiences that they class as similarly valuable, and as impossible to prove. Why are your unprovable "experiences" any more valid than theirs ?

And I think Dawkins did a poor job on O'Reilly but O'R did even worse. That was one of the worst O'R interviews I've ever seen (out of 20-30 I've seen).
I agree completely (except I've only seen about 5 O'R interviews).

Cheers,
Chris

Rhology said...

Chris,

God would have to be even more complex than us, and you don't even let him evolve to get there...

I don't know how good an argument for God's complexity that is, but I'm not equipped to debate at this time, so I'll let it go.

And I don't have a particular favourite between the "something always existed" or the "there was a beginning" hypotheses.

I wouldn't either if I were you, b/c neither option is logically possible.
As opposed to TGOTB's always having existed. You have explicitly stated that His existence is logically possible. The other 2 options are not. This is one example of the "the fool has said in his heart 'there is no God'" of the Bible - you prefer the logically impossible to the logically possible simply b/c you don't like it.

However, many metaphysical claims do supposedly have real world effects.

Agreed, 100%, but the claim itself is not scientifically testable.

the claim of a world flood, that two humans started the human race, that prayers will be answered, that sort of thing, those are testable. They have been tested. And they failed the tests.

Haha, the claim that one could believe that science could "test" whether prayers are answered by an omnipotent God who doesn't take lightly to being mocked and "analysed" by the impious...*that's* supposed to be "scientifically testable"? Get real.

But 60% of the planet are non-Christian.

Way fewer than 40% of the world's population is Christian.

Do you really think that more than 60% of the world are evil and love darkness ?

Yes.
Do tell - how would you go about testing that?

If you look statistically at these things though, you'll find atheists no worse than Christians for most "moral" issues you care to name.

Don't be so clumsy - is that really how you think that a Bible-believer would "test" for that?

Wouldn't you expect doubters of gravity to have a hard time holding a job in physics ?

Many fewer holes in the "theory of gravity" than in evolution. That comparison just begs the question and makes you look uppity.
To quote you: There are holes. You can't deny that.
Again, just b/c you don't like them doesn't mean they aren't there. If you disagree, how about giving a go at my comments at the relevant thread on this same blog? CD hasn't gotten to it yet though he says he will, given time.

There are explanations. You can't deny that.

Fair enough.
I should have said, "is the only explanation for... that is logically tenable."

I will additionally say, that they are very good explanations, which fit the evidence much better than the hypothesis of a god.

You have yet to present any to me. Would you mind doing so?

Well, I have. So have many other people who have rejected it as nothing special.

I have good reason to believe the Bible is true, and I have no evidence one way or the other to believe that you are telling the truth, partly b/c the Bible tells me that you suppress the truth actively (ie, you're lying). So hopefully you won't blame me too much for doubting you.

Why are your unprovable "experiences" any more valid than theirs ?

B/c mine are based on reality.
You'll note that never once have I used my experiences as a proof for God's existence.
Now, if someone asked me: Why do YOU believe? then I'd include experiences I've had, answered prayers, replacement of utter despair and hopelessness w/ purpose and peace in my soul, a life sanctified and absent of many besetting sins, and a complete change of demeanor. All of which happened and are true. But I'd never respond to "Prove to me there's a god" w/ a recounting of my experiences.

Peace,
Rhology

Chris Severn said...

Many fewer holes in the "theory of gravity" than in evolution. That comparison just begs the question and makes you look uppity.

I'm not going to take this one lying down.

You have admitted not knowing much about evolution, and are yet to read your first proper book on the subject (correct me if I'm wrong).

And yet you're telling me about holes in the theory ? Who's uppity here ?

I have actually read books, and investigated the evidence, and considered the ramifications. I've also read the crap put out on the subject by creationists, whose primary goal is to bamboozle the ignorant. They are always immediately torn to shreds by actual biologists who know what they're talking about, but the flock don't read the responses. All a creationist has to do is get some degree (bogus or otherwise), put out something that sounds reasonable to the 99% of people who aren't knowledgeable about biology, and they're done.

There are no holes in the theory like you suggest. There are unanswered questions, which are being answered every day, like which particular protein is coded by which gene. None of them are going to alter the fact that all life on the planet evolved from a common ancestor by means of natural selection.

Did you know that gravity waves haven't been detected yet, and are required to exist if Einstein's theory on gravity is true. If we confirm they don't exist, then the theory of gravity is actually slightly wrong and will need to be adjusted. It might need to be fundamentally adjusted.
Also, we've recently discovered that the universe is expanding at an expanding rate. There are several possibilties for this. One of which is that our theory of gravity isn't quite right.

Evolution is in much better shape than gravity at this point in time.

Rhology said...

Chris,

You've read books on a theory that's full of holes. Do you want a cookie or sthg?
Then you act like I'm a run-of-the-mill creationist. I *am* a Young Earth Creationist, but don't argue like many, so if "other creationists'" arguments have been destroyed, that matters little to me.

There are no holes in the theory like you suggest. There are unanswered questions, which are being answered every day,

The holes I've pointed out have yet to be answered. I invited you to start, and instead you came in here w/ more naked assertions. If you want to impress someone, deal w/ my arguments and we'll see how true your statement is.

One of which is that our theory of gravity isn't quite right.

You're the one who brought up gravity, not me.
I am aware of some of the qualifications to the "theory" of gravity and I know it's not a unifying theory. So what?
You can ASSERT that evolution is "in much better shape than gravity" (whatever that means) but until you make an argument, it's just hot air.

Peace,
Rhology

Chris Severn said...

Rhology,

I'll find the answers to your questions for you and give you the links to them. They're standard creationist questions, answered all over the place.

Meanwhile though, I want to address your ignorance of how science works today. Because you seem to have the idea that "holes" or problems with theories are ignored. I can only assume you think this way because that's exactly how religion gets away with its claims.

Science, on the other hand, is a place where evidence and hypotheses are picked apart bit by bit, by many people across the globe. Research teams compete to be the first to explain things, to prove things, to repeat the experiments of others to see if they can find any flaws in them.

The "holes" that you talk about have been examined ad nauseum. Furthermore, anyone demonstrating holes in the theory of evolution of the magnitude that you describe would gain fame and fortune as a revolutionary in science.

You seem to believe that all scientists are ignoring great big holes in the theory. That would require a global conspiracy of scientists, each one going against their own nature, the reason they became scientists. Or possibly you think that the devil makes them do it......

Rhology said...

Chris,

I'll find the answers to your questions for you and give you the links to them. They're standard creationist questions, answered all over the place.

I'll be waiting w/ bated breath.

Because you seem to have the idea that "holes" or problems with theories are ignored.

I've used my powers of observation to come to that conclusion, just like a good scientist should.

I can only assume you think this way because that's exactly how religion gets away with its claims.

I agree w/ you in a few ways:
1) All non-Christian religions have to pull off intellectual contortions to get away w/ their claims.
2) Secular humanism is also a religion by its own admission and is no different from other non-Christian religions in its intellectual contorting.
3) Many Christians are poorly trained to deal w/ objections and so come up w/ preposterous defenses.
4) Many Christians have poor understanding of the Bible and so borrow lamely from other worldviews to supplement their personal worldviews, which leads to disaster. (A good example is Trinity Broadcasting Network and the Word of Faith movement.)

Science, on the other hand, is a place where evidence and hypotheses are picked apart bit by bit, by many people across the globe.

You mean, that's how it SHOULD be. And alot of the time, it is. But scientists have vested interests in not challenging evolution, which conflicts w/ (and for most, defeats) their interest in critical review of evidences and hypotheses. These vested interests include, but are not limited to:
1) the desire to avoid such ridicule and dismissals, denial of tenure, and personal attacks as other dissenters from fundamentalist evolutionary orthodoxy have earned.
2) the desire to make the big find that will, once and for all, prove evolution to be true beyond a shadow of a doubt.
3) the desire to add to the (in their mind) evidence against a creator God Who might hold them accountable in some judgment some day. But if their god Science, Who is the Arbiter of All Truth, can make them feel better about denying the actual Creator, then they can soothe their consciences so as to continue to ignore Him and His conviction of sin, His wooings, and His warnings.
4) peer pressure.

Furthermore, anyone demonstrating holes in the theory of evolution of the magnitude that you describe would gain fame and fortune as a revolutionary in science.

Actually, Intelligent Design-ers and Creationists who have done just that have earned ridicule and dismissals, denial of tenure, and personal attacks. You're living in a dream world.

Peace,
Rhology

Chris Severn said...

Actually, Intelligent Design-ers and Creationists who have done just that [demonstrated holes in evolution] have earned ridicule and dismissals, denial of tenure, and personal attacks. You're living in a dream world.

There's a big difference between claiming holes in evolution, and demonstrating holes in evolution. Creationists have done the former, but never the latter. Demonstrating holes requires evidence, and understanding of the theory. Creationists are ridiculed because they lack both of those things.

I'm off to see "Transformers". More later.

Rhology said...

Oooh, let me know how it is. "Bourne Ultimatum" was excellent.

Chris Severn said...

"Transformers" was a lot of fun. I saw the add for "Bourne Ultimatum". I'm seeing that next, as I've already seen the Simpsons movie...

Chris Severn said...

I finally saw Bourne Ultimatum last night. Great flick. Especially the action at Waterloo. I use that station frequently. They got it spot on (although I'm going to have to check out the door in the alcohol store).