A Response to Evolution Deniers: How Complex Comes from Simple

evolution creationists simple complexIn a recent post, I responded to the Creationist challenge, “DNA is a program, programs demand a programmer, and that programmer is God” Let’s turn to a related idea, that DNA is too complex to have evolved naturally.

DNA (or RNA) becoming more complex, from the first simple cells four billion years ago to humans and other animals today, is explained by evolution, but conservative Christian groups often dogmatically reject evolution. They say that it is incompatible with God creating life in Genesis (in two incompatible stories, but never mind that). Adam didn’t evolve from earlier apes, they tell us—that would be yucky. No, God created Adam from dirt, which is far more dignified. And we know that Eve was made from Adam’s rib because it’s right there in Genesis (leading to the belief, which survives, that men have one fewer ribs than women).

Curiously, they never seem to be troubled by quantum physics, which is far more counterintuitive.

Let’s explore a few examples besides evolution where complex comes from simple. The well-known Fibonacci sequence is very simple. Each term is the sum of the two previous terms: F(n + 2) = F(n + 1) + F(n). After {1, 1} as the first two terms, we get:

1 + 1 = 2

2 + 1 = 3

3 + 2 = 5

5 + 3 = 8

8 + 5 = 13

And so on. It’s trivially simple, and yet entire books have been written on this simple series and its applications. As one example, the ratio of consecutive terms in the Fibonacci series becomes an increasingly good approximation to phi (φ), the golden ratio. Expressed formally:

Phi 2

And then phi itself is a fascinating number about which entire books have been written. To take just one example of many, phi (φ = 1.618 . . .) is the only number that if you take off the initial one (0.618 . . .) and then invert it (1/0.618 . . .) you get the original back: φ – 1 = 1/φ.

There are many more examples of complex coming from simple, some of which you are already familiar with.

  • Crystals and snowflakes are complex but formed from simple physical principles and laws.
  • Simple equations can form beautiful, complex, fractal artwork as Julia sets.
  • The harmonograph (typically, a pen is controlled by two pendulums as it draws on paper) was invented in the 1800s. A Spirograph creates similar art.
  • John Horton Conway’s Game of Life is a two-dimensional cellular automaton with three simple rules. The general category of cellular automata also create complex patterns with simple rules.
  • The members of social insect colonies—ants, termites, bees—don’t have large brains for complex algorithms, and yet they still create complex hives and nests. “A single ant or bee isn’t smart, but their colonies are,” as National Geographic put it. Starlings are famous for their swarms (“murmurations”) that appear to act as a single organism, and many fish swarm. Simple rules govern both.
  • A piano has 88 keys but can create a vast number of pieces of music.
  • The Periodic Table has 94 naturally occurring elements. From these millions of compounds are possible. Only 19 elements are essential for human life, but these make the thousands of chemicals that are metabolized as food and converted into thousands more to make a healthy human.
  • Mathematics has a small set of axioms (a statement declared true because of evidence, not because it derives from simpler axioms) from which derive its fantastic complexity—algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, topology, group theory, linear algebra, probability and statistics, number theory, and so on.
  • Pulsars emit a beam of radiation at very precise intervals, measured in milliseconds or seconds. From our vantage point, they’re like a lighthouse. The pulses were so curiously regular that an intelligent source was considered, first as interference from the earth and then as a signal from an alien intelligence. We now know that pulsars are rotating neutron stars that emit beams of radiation from their poles.

That the complex can come from the simple is no proof that DNA wasn’t made by God or that there is no God, but it does illustrate that complexity can be nicely explained with natural means.

Creationists are forced to the very brink of accepting evolution when they agree that antibiotic resistance is caused by random mutation and natural selection acting on bacteria. Add more time (not just years but millions of years), and you get the diversity of life that you see on earth. Somehow Creationists imagine an unexplained shield that prevents one species from eventually becoming another.

At best, they propose an argument from ignorance: Wow—look at how DNA works. What could’ve caused that?? This is no evidence for God. And what does it say of their arguments that this argument from incredulity is in their arsenal? A god worth believing in wouldn’t be hidden.

If you pretend that your problems are already solved,
you have no motivation to solve them.
— Scathing Atheist podcast #76

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  • MNb

    “Creationists are forced to the very brink of accepting evolution”
    Not at all.

    https://sensuouscurmudgeon.wordpress.com/2009/01/12/discovery-institute-micro-macro-tutti-frutti/

    They have a Bible quote to back it up.

    “And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind”

    That again is “researched” by

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baraminology

    It’s Darwinistic evolution that they reject.

    Of course they never manage to unite their non-arguments in a coherent, cohesive system, but this is where MNb’s Golden Rule applies. They’ll never admit that their illogic results in

    https://sensuouscurmudgeon.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/the-scientific-case-against-stairs/

    because then they would have to cease to be creationists.
    For your optimism especially point 7 is relevant.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Damn! Foiled by closed-mindedness again.

    • Lark62

      Yeppers. Evolution over Billions of years is impossible, but a few kinds (whose exact number and characteristics are kept fuzzy) on the ark can evolve into every species on earth, scattered in every part of the earth, in 6000 years.

      If ignorance is bliss, there must be a lot of happy people.

      • sandy

        Lark62, you need to watch “Noah” it’s all explained. (sarc)

  • Kevin K

    Well, you can take that all the way back to the beginning of time. Quite literally.

    We know that at 1^-43rd second after the Big Bang the universe was hot, dense, and uniform. That’s 0.0000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 of a second. So, at the onset, we had a system which was completely uniform, with a LOT of energy available to do work — 142 nonillion kelvins. (That’s a LOT of kelvins). It was so uniform that there weren’t even the four forces of nature we know. It’s quite literally as simple as it is possible to get.

    And now we have a system which is pretty cold (2.73 degrees Kelvin — that’s cold), pretty spread out (46 billion light years, as far as we can observe), with some minor anomalies that we call “galaxies”, “stars”, and “planets”. They’re kind of cosmological dust bunnies, really. And one of these planets has something called “people” riding on it, as kind of an annoying infestation of carbon atoms. It won’t last — the 2nd LoT guarantees that.

    I think the big issue is explaining the difference between entropy and complexity. Jeremiah Traeger’s blog post on the subject over at Tippling Philosopher. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tippling/2017/03/20/10168/ does this nicely.

    • Michael Neville

      142 nonillion kelvins. (That’s a LOT of kelvins)

      So now we know what the K in “Kevin K” stands for.

    • epeeist

      It won’t last — the 2nd LoT guarantees that.

      Well that rather depends on whether this particular planet is a closed, equilibrium system doesn’t it.

      • eric

        Well for it to last more than ~9 billion years would require a huge amount of hydrogen infall into the sun. Which, if it was natural and not engineered, would probably play hell with our atmosphere. OTOH if we can engineer that, we probably wouldn’t need to to survive.

      • Kevin K

        The net energy of the universe is zero.

      • Kevin K

        In addition, since you mention the planet specifically, and not the universe in general, we know how it will end. Sometime in the next billion years or so, Earth will become too hot to support life. Eventually, the inner rocky planets will be consumed as the sun goes into its red giant phase. After that the sun will collapse into a white dwarf.

        Eventually, though everything will be swallowed up by supermassive black holes, which we now know shed mass and will themselves deteriorate over the course of a few trillion years. Eventually, there will be nothing left but a very cold, very dark, empty, ever-expanding universe.

        And on that happy note…

        • Kodie

          I find it actually very comforting.

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          How is this prediction of yours† empirically falsifiable, other than living that long to find out?

          [Edit: † Or whichever scientific authorities you trust.]

        • adam
        • MNb

          The same question applies to the hypothesis of me being immortal, so what’s the problem?

        • Susan

          How is this prediction of yours empirically falsifiable, other than living that long to find out?

          It’s not. It can only be tested to a finite extent in provisional ways based on evidence-based models in our little window of timespace.

          So, as an assertion of what’s eventually true, it’s pretty good. That is, it beats the crap out of anything you’ve ever provided.

          Still, it’s an assertion based on a provisional model.

          Or whichever scientific authorities you trust.

          It’s not about trusting scientific authorites. It’s about how science is done vs. say… following a narcissist on the internet down his presuppositionalist-creationist-trained rabbit holes.

          You know all this, don’t you?

          Any progress on doing anything for your Yahwehjesus model which ultimately vindicates and rewards you?

          I don’t have a problem with you questioning Kevin K’s assertion if he phrased it in assertive terms.

          But, you’re never consistent.

          You sneak Yahwehjesus in wherever you can as though it’s as relable an assumption as the model Kevin K. refers to.

          And it’s not. It has nothing at all.

          Why are you so inconsistent?

          I don’t mean why are you inconsistent? I mean why are you SO inconsistent?

          (Insert your standard presuppositionalist rabbit holes at the count of…

          10… 9… 8…7… 6… 5… well.. you know where this is going…)

    • eric

      ‘Cold’ is a definite change, but still pretty uniform (in the same way that the surface of the earth is pretty flat); photons still outnumber mass-containing particles by about a billion to one.

    • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

      So, at the onset, we had a system which was completely uniform …

      Do we in fact know this? The reason I ask is that if it were true, then it would seem to interact with the following in interesting ways:

      In other words, for a finite non-equilibrium system in a finite time, the FT gives a precise mathematical expression for the probability that entropy will flow in a direction opposite to that dictated by the second law of thermodynamics. (WP: Fluctuation theorem)

      Curiously enough, I was recently looking at anisotropy in the CMB: 2.725 48 ± 0.000 57 K. Whence the anisotropy? Yes, I know there are reasons, but if the universe truly did start out completely uniform, then the spontaneous eruption of anisotropy suggests that we should attempt to force other systems to be completely uniform—such as is done with BECs.

      • MNb

        As you systematically refuse to specify what you mean with “know” you asked a totally void question.

  • Rockon

    getting to the more complex from the simple, starting with nothing by nothing through random chance. Yes, you flex that fake bicep Bob!

    • Joe

      getting to the more complex from the simple, starting with nothing by nothing through random chance.

      Why would he take a nonsensical position such as that?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      The bicep is indeed a joke, but, as Joe noted, you imagine a bogus position for me. If instead you have something substantial and based in reality to say, do so.

    • Ficino

      What you wrote pisses me off. Not that that needs to matter to anyone but me. Anyway, I gather you are opposed to the ToE. So if you are an adherent of Christianity, give us your evidence for its truth. Let’s evaluate what you got.

      I hope I’m not messing up the comment section here, Bob. If I am, just delete my post. But I am so sick of snarky gotcha questions from people who sound as though they are apologists for fundamentalist Christianity but pussyfoot over coming clean about it.

      • eric

        Deep breath. Pity the person who uses Rockon’s argument as the best they can do. Be grateful for a better education, and hope that one day they’ll get a good education too. If you can’t manage that, at least smile at the thought that their kids will have access to mainstream science that would bring them nightmares. And remember the power of that education…as the ancient Chinese modern humanist curse goes: I wish your children PhDs. :)

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Or smile at the thought that they almost certainly won’t be able to prevent their kids from accessing mainstream science on the internet. :)

          Though they’d probably wish otherwise.

    • Jim Jones

      Only 30 [species] splitting events would yield [one] billion species. Over 3.5 billion years, that’s one speciation event every 116 million years. As Allen Orr and [Jerry Coyne] calculated in [their] book Speciation, on average a new species forms by splitting of a given lineage at a rate between one every 100,000 years and one every million years. (This is a rough estimate, of course and varies by taxa.)

      Rabbi doubts evolution, “but not because of religion.”

      Human activity has created a new mosquito species.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        Probably not one speciation event, but a speciation for every extant species. That makes a binary tree 30 levels tall with 2^30 = 1 billion species at the bottom.

        • Pofarmer

          And, that’s the thing. Humans simply don’t grasp long scale time frames. Neil Degrasse Tyson likes to say that in the history of the earth, if time were a football field, the time modern humans have been on earth is the thickness of one blade of grass at the end of the endzone.

          And another thing. When these bozos talk about probabilities for life, they forget that the Universe is essentially a giant parallel chemistry computer. And the Oceans on Earth are as well. So even if life is soooooooooooo very improbably, given the number of galaxies and the number of planets and the number of Oceans, apparently it ended at 1. 1 in a trillion may be a fairly common occurrence given the size of the Universe.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          And the trend is to see life as more robust and vibrant all the time (extremophiles and so on).

          We don’t even understand life in the only place we know of it, so it’s presumptuous to say that life is incredibly rare.

          They’ll say that human life was extremely unlikely. And indeed it was, but that’s uninteresting. But how likely was some ape-level or better intelligent life? Perhaps fairly likely.

        • Lark62

          I agree with you. I don’t think life is that rare. Life springs up on earth in every possible condition. I think we will find microbiotic life somewhere else in our solar system within 10 years.

          There is a free Coursera course called Astrobiology that is really fascinating. The scientific search for extraterrestrial life.

        • Pofarmer

          Well, maybe it’s rare, maybe it’s not. I’m not really one to say but I tend to fall more on the “there is probably more life out there” side. But, I still don’t think we can hardly conceive of the vastness that is out there and what’s possible and the time scales involved.

        • RichardSRussell

          There are dueling books on the subject of how common intelligent life is in the Universe. (Both based on our sample space of 1, of course.) They are Rare Earth and What Does a Martian Look Like?. I ginned up an 8-page paper on them for a science-fiction convention a decade ago and will share it with anyone who asks me at RichardSRussell@tds.net.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          And the work on abiogenesis is also interesting. I imagine we’ll see a more definitive hypothesis there in a decade or two as well.

        • MNb

          “Humans simply don’t grasp long scale time frames.”
          Which creacrappers of course abuse.

          http://www.learnthebible.org/cambrian-explosion-disproves-evolution.html

          “then suddenly everything”
          The shortest duration I just found was 20 million years.

        • Paul B. Lot

          As a sidenote, thought this might be interesting re: time scales.

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clock_of_the_Long_Now

      • Lark62

        But, but, but one new species every 116,000,000 years is impossible. But every species on earth sprang from a limited number of “kinds” on the ark in 6,000 years. Because Jesus. And BENGHAZI!

  • Otto

    There is an excellent documentary by the BBC that I watched the other night that explores this concept and why it is becoming more evident that order is produced from chaos naturally.

    https://documentarystorm.com/the-secret-life-of-chaos/

  • Jim Jones

    > The members of social insect colonies—ants, termites, bees—don’t have
    large brains for complex algorithms, and yet they still create complex
    hives and nests.

    Megaphragma mymaripenne is a microscopically sized wasp. At 200 μm in length, it is the third smallest extant insect, comparable in size to single celled organisms. It has a highly reduced nervous system, containing only 7400 neurons, several orders of magnitude fewer than in larger insects. This is the smallest known number of neurons in all insects and in all flying animals. Its average lifespan at adulthood is 5 days.

    Uniquely, by the time M. mymaripenne reaches adulthood 95 per cent of its nervous cells have lost their nuclei. There are only 339–372 nuclei throughout the central nervous system, of which 179–253 are found in the brain.

    Despite their reduced nervous system, adult wasps retain the ability to fly, to feed, and to locate hosts for them to lay their eggs in. The wasp eggs are deposited in the eggs of thrips. To emerge, the wasps cut an 80-90 μm near-circular hole in the eggs.

  • MNb

    In the meantime we have some evolution in full action:

    http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/691155

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Evolution right before our eyes!

      Just don’t think that a Creationist will agree with you.

      • Lark62

        That’s why they created “micro evolution.” They had to explain evolution happening in front of them while denying the possibility of evolution.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          “And on the 2 bazillionth day, God created microevolution to get Himself out of a spot.”

          What they never explain is how you can have some change to a species, change dramatic enough to see in just years, but there’s a force field or something that keeps that change contained to avoid speciation, even if that change keeps happening over millions of years.

        • MNb

          They even never specify the limits of their supposed microevolution.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I think it’s “As much change as you want, up to but not including speciation.”

    • eric

      Hmm that sends me to an article on blenny evolution. Is that correct? There’s also this Harvard time-lapse video of bacterial evolution. Quite effective. I love how its possible to actually see a ‘tree of life’ forming as different descendent branches push up against each other.

  • Lark62

    Ah, the complex from the simple.

    LIke that first century preacher with 12 followers who said ” I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

    So these 12 people, who were told that their unity is how the world will know their messiah is for real, became the Jewish church and the Greek church. Then the Gnostics in Egypt. Then the Greek Orthodox sprouted Russian Orthodox and the protestants sprouted from the Catholic church. Now, in defiance of their god’s command for unity, there are 40,000 versions of christianity each claiming to be the one true version.

    And then they say with a straight face that the complex cannot grow out of the simple.

  • Kompi

    This is why I’ve really come to appreciate the concept of emergence as a way of thinking about things – complex systems emerge out of simple, “dumb” elements following simple rules all the time, pretty much everywhere. The complexity doesn’t have to “reside” within the components of the system because it emerges out of their interactions.

    No one component needs to be aware of the larger, more complex system – they just do what they do, and the sum result becomes more complex through the interactions of multiple elements.

    • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

      Does “emergence” here function as a magical term, or can you demonstrate rigorous mathematics which shows how every step is connected to every previous step? Recall that “God works in mysterious ways” is prohibited. So is the scientific version.

      • Susan

        Does “emegence” here function as a magical term

        No. Nothing magical about it.

        or can you demonstrate rigorous mathematics which shows how every step is connected to every previous step?

        No. Just that steps connect. Water molecules are not wet but wetness is a reasonable reference at a certain level.

        “God works in mysterious ways” is prohibited.

        Not at all. Just define your terms and show that it is the case.

        What is “God” and show that it exists and works in any way.

      • Kompi

        Conflating the descriptive with the prescriptive is a cute rhetorical trick. Transparent, but cute nonetheless.

        Since turnabout is fair play, I’ll casually conflate your “rigorous mathematics” with evidence in general and just point you to Conway’s Game of Life, a cellular automaton that operates on a very simple ruleset yet allows for highly complex structures to emerge and evolve. In fact, Conway himself initially believed the system didn’t allow for indefinitely expanding structures, yet was proven wrong within a single year after someone discovered just such a structure.

        Like a house built out of simple wooden boards, emergence is about as unmagical as it gets.

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          Conflating the descriptive with the prescriptive is a cute rhetorical trick.

          Prescriptive? I was prohibiting explanatory gaps. As you say, “turnabout is fair play”.

          Like a house built out of simple wooden boards, emergence is about as unmagical as it gets.

          That’s because you ignored the interesting kind of emergence in favor of pure nomological determinism. For an example of what you ignored, see Massimo Pigliucci’s Essays on emergence, part I.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Sean Carroll October 11, 2012 11:27 AM
          Massimo, thanks for the plug for the workshop. I haven’t read Batterman’s paper, but from your quotes above I suspect I would be tearing my hair out in frustration if I did. In particular, to claim that a phenomenon is emergent “if its behavior is not predictable given full knowledge of the behaviors of its parts, and if it is somehow new — most typically this is taken to mean that emergent phenomenon displays causal powers not displayed by any of its parts” seems unnecessarily contentious, and exactly why these discussions crash and burn almost immediately.

          If you believe in atoms and the laws of physics, the behavior of a gas of particles certainly *is* predictable given full knowledge of the behaviors of its parts, *in principle.* In practice, of course, it’s hopeless, and it’s much more sensible to use the renormalization group (or its moral equivalent) to talk about effective theories of thermodynamics and phase transitions etc. That setup is more than enough to have extremely interesting and productive conversations about reduction and emergence, without invoking new “causal powers” that seem incompatible with the straightforward mathematics.

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          Sean Carroll October 11, 2012 11:27 AM

          If you believe in atoms and the laws of physics, the behavior of a gas of particles certainly *is* predictable given full knowledge of the behaviors of its parts, *in principle.*

          Really? Let’s ask a Nobel laureate:

              Is this difficulty merely a practical one? Yes, if we consider that trajectories have now become uncomputable. But there is more: Probability distribution permits us to incorporate within the framework of the dynamical description the complex microstructure of the phase space. It therefore contains additional information that is lacking at the level of individual trajectories. As we shall see in Chapter 4, this has fundamental consequences. At the level of distribution functions ρ, we obtain a new dynamical description that permits us to predict the future evolution of the ensemble, including characteristic time scales. (The End of Certainty, 37)

          Hmmm, “additional information that is lacking at the level of individual trajectories”? We can also query someone who probably ought to have been a Nobel laureate:

              Indeed, when this interpretation is extended to field theories,[7] not only the inter-relationships of the parts, but also their very existence is seen to flow out of the law of the whole. There is therefore nothing left of the classical scheme, in which the whole is derived from pre-existent parts related in pre-determined ways. Rather, what we have is reminiscent of the relationship of whole and parts in an organism, in which each organ grows and sustains itself in a way that depends crucially on the whole. (Causality and Chance in Modern Physics, xi)

          Now, perhaps I am incorrectly interpreting Ilya Prigogine and David Bohm or perhaps Sean Carroll thinks they’re wrong. Shall we investigate? I’ll let you suggest the course of action.

        • Kompi

          Prescriptive? I was prohibiting explanatory gaps.

          Well I suppose you’re free to believe the halting problem moves in mysterious ways if you like.

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          Do you mean oracles, from the POV of a TM?

        • Kompi

          Funny thing about that? They stop being oracles once you look inside them.

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          Yeah but you can’t do that if you stay locked in a TM.

        • Kompi

          At which point the oracle becomes incapable of affecting the execution loop in any way 😉

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          Ok, but what’s it like when you’re between the two states? Is there even math for it?

      • MNb

        You don’t understand much about physics either, do you?
        Fluidity is emergent. It doesn’t make any sense to say that a single water molecule is liquid. You need many water molecules to call water a liquid.
        And yes there is rigorous mathematics available to describe this, even though I’m not capable of reproducing it.

      • eric

        There’s an entire subfield of physics/chemistry called statistical mechanics that does that. You study it to learn how to calculate emergent collective properties such as room temperature, pressure, liquid viscosity, etc. from the properties of single molecules such as excitation energy etc.

        The equations aren’t easy, but if you’re implying nobody has or can show how that micro to macro connection, you’re entirely wrong.

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          Yeah … how much time-symmetry has it broken? There are recent time crystals, but what else? I’m a noob on self-organizing phenomena like solitons, so perhaps I just don’t know what’s out there. But I want rigor and so often I get mushiness when it comes to the word “emergence” and atheists online. Perhaps I have not had the right questions.

        • eric

          Stat mech has nothing to do with time crystals, which relates to quantum mechanics. And emergent properties have nothing necessarily to do with breaking time symmetry. So as far as I can tell your response is a complete non-sequitur – you brought up complaints that have nothing whatsoever to do with the subject.

          But I want rigor

          Well then you’ll have to go study it. I won’t and honestly couldn’t summarize statistical mechanics in a blog post. At a minimum, that is what Wikipedia entries are supposed to be for. As the name implies, there is a lot of statistics involved in figuring out what collective properties emerge out of groups of 10E20+ atoms or molecules. interacting with each other.

          Perhaps I have not had the right questions.

          I think you are operating under the false logic of “I don’t know how it happens, therefore nobody has a good explanation for how it happens.” Now I admit, it’s frustrating when someone like me throws a term like “stat mech” at you and then doesn’t substantively tell you how you get from molecule A to emergent property B. But this is not some cutting edge single article idea I found in a wacky science-lite magazine. Statistical mechanics is a sub-field of science that is over 100 years old. There aren’t just hundreds of articles in it, there are many whole journals dedicated to it. So I think the “therefore nobody…” part of the argument is really wrong. I’m very confident in saying many emergent properties have been rigorously derived from the collective behavior of atoms and their individual properties. But if you want a walk-through example going from A to B, you’re going to have to look it up…and expect it to be hard, mathematically rigorous work.

        • Ignorant Amos

          So as far as I can tell your response is a complete non-sequitur – you brought up complaints that have nothing whatsoever to do with the subject.

          WHAT!?!?!…Surely not?…not Luke Breuer…well, ya don’t say…colour me surprised, not, flabbergasted even, nope, not that either.

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          Can you suggest some starting places?

        • adam

          “I think you are operating under the false logic of “I don’t know how it
          happens, therefore nobody has a good explanation for how it happens.” ”

          And therefore Goddidit….

  • Ant

    So evolution is like a math equation. Some equations are really complicated and that means that a microscopic amoeba which randomly self-assembled from lifeless molecules can generate astronomically massive amounts of information in its genome through random mutations in unrealistically short time frames until it eventually gives rise to all life on earth. O… K…. is this what passes for “logical” and “scientific” these days?

    • eric

      Let’s unpack this.

      a microscopic amoeba which randomly self-assembled

      No, not an amoeba, probably something much simpler. Like an autocatalytic polymer.

      No, not randomly. Organic reactions follow rules. And they deterministically happen under the right conditions. We know in many cases what those conditions can be (but not historically what they were). So for instance we know natural conditions under which monomers form from CHON atoms. We know natural conditions under which polymerization of monomers can occur. We know of natural catalytic and auto-catalytic molecules. We know of natural conditions under which fatty units will self-assemble into spherical ‘cells’ and walls. Knowing this stuff, it becomes fairly easy to see how the formation of life would simply be a sequence of such events. Improbable? Yes. As incredulous as random spontaneous assembly of an amoeba? No, that’s a creationist saltational requirement, unrealistic and unnecessary.

      …from lifeless molecules can generate astronomically massive amounts of information in its genome through random mutations…

      Define information. If you’re using -Log(P) then this is trivial to do. In fact, it would be difficult for an imperfect replicator not to create information under that definition. Simply copying a string (AA -> AAAA) creates such information. Random mutation (AAAA->ABAA) creates more. Combining accidental duplications and point mutations creates massive amounts.

      in unrealistically short time frames

      Tell us what your ‘unrealistic’ time frame is. Keep in mind we observe and measure mutation rates, so it’s really hard to see how anyone could call such measured rates ‘unrealistic.’ Also keep in mind that ID proponent scientists such as Michael Behe have themselves goofed on this one, producing research articles in which they claim some mutational sequence could not happen in any reasonable amount of time when their own published theories and data showed the opposite – that, to use a pretty famous example, their ‘impossible’ mutation sequence would be likely to occur in a mere one ton of soil in a mere year.

      is this what passes for “logical” and “scientific” these days?

      Science uses the best available hypotheses and theories. Thus poking holes in a theory, absent any alternative, does nothing. It doesn’t unseat it and won’t cause any scientist to stop using it. In order to unseat a theory in science, you must offer a better alternative scientific theory. So, since you think evolution is so terrible, I invite you to offer your better, alternative, scientific theory here.

      • Kevin K

        I’ve always thought that Behe was an interesting character. His primary example of god-bothering is the bacterial flagellum, which he claimed was too complex to arise naturally. However, the sequence of the evolution of the bacterial flagellum had actually been worked out prior to Behe writing his book about it. So, he was quite literally wrong before he got started.

        It’s also my understanding that Behe doesn’t deny the general arc of the evolutionary process…he is famous for stating that the vitamin C pseudogene found in the great apes is proof positive that humans shared a common ancestor with the rest of our evolutionary cousins. He just wants to insert goddy stuff into the very small places. God of the cracks, as it were, instead of god of the gaps.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Behe messed me up – I was using his stuff to annoy my poor biology teacher in high school, a teacher who didn’t have the knowledge (or patience, perhaps?) to correct the mistakes of his I presented her with.

          Took me years to [find sources which helped me] disabuse myself of his, and others’, bs.

        • Kevin K

          Maybe she was a secret ID-ist?

        • Susan

          Took me years to [find sources which helped me] disabuse myself of his, and others’, bs.

          “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes”.

      • Lark62

        Ant

        And keep in mind that your better, alternative theory must account for every single piece of evidence that supports the current theory:
        – genetic evidence, including the tracking of harmless genetic errors to descendent species
        – paleontological evidence, including the evolution of every living thing whose ancestry is supported by the fossil record – ferns, flowering plants, tiktaalik, whales, hundreds of extinct marine reptiles, beetles, humans, dogs, horses, corals, sharks, lungfish, snakes, frogs, kangaroos, magnolia trees, etc. etc.
        – comparative anatomy – taxonomy, embryology and vestigial structures
        – biodiversity
        – artificial selection

        Let us know when you have something.

        • Kevin K

          – The extremely wide diversity of such essential systems as potassium channels and tyrosine kinases. (Evolution accounts for such diversity nicely; other models, not so much).

        • MNb

          Oh, that’s no problem for any qualified creacrapper.
          “Goddiddid” covers everything and anything.

      • Ant

        “No, not an amoeba, probably something much simpler. Like an autocatalytic polymer.”

        No evidence of this.

        “No, not randomly. Organic reactions follow rules.”

        And after a century or more of mixture together organic chemicals not even a single self-replicating molecule has been formed. If chemicals follow consistent laws then what does this prove as far as we know? That they don’t spontaneously form into organic biomolecules.

        “Tell us what your ‘unrealistic’ time frame is.”

        Longer than the estimated age of the universe (~14 billion years). Not even one protein could have formed by chance even given this time frame on earth.

        “Define information.”

        Functional sequences of DNA.

        “Science uses the best available hypotheses and theories.”

        Ok well the best theories have nothing to say on these matters. The observations aren’t consistent with the theories. Matter doesn’t self-assemble into self-replicating molecules. Genetic information doesn’t accumulate in realistic time frames. So these complex issues are far from solved by naturalistic theories.

        • Max Doubt

          “So these complex issues are far from solved by naturalistic theories.”

          The theory of evolution is an explanation, or probably more accurately a large, interconnected, self-consistent family of explanations, which takes into account all the data we have so far and neglects none of it. So you do agree it’s the best supported, most thoroughly evidenced explanation for the diversity of life on earth, don’t you? Wouldn’t you also say it’s true that you can offer no better supported explanation?

        • eric

          Not even one protein could have formed by chance even given this time frame on earth.

          Again, the TOE doesn’t require large proteins to have formed ‘by chance’. Any self-replicator will do.

          [eric]”Define information.”
          [Ant] Functional sequences of DNA.

          In which case, every point mutation of TTT to TTC produces information. That mutation will produce a functional sequence of DNA and it increases information value using standard measures like -Log(P) and Shannon entropy.

          So, there you go.

          Matter doesn’t self-assemble into self-replicating molecules.

          I suggest you look up autocatalysis; it does, under the right conditions. Organic structures can create the right conditions. Heck, forget that; I can even name an non-living, inorganic natural autocatalytic molecule. I.e. a bit of matter that, under the right conditions, self-assembles into self-replicating molecules that isn’t even alive.

          Genetic information doesn’t accumulate in realistic time frames.

          Point mutations like the one I described above occur at about 0.1 to 1×10−9 per basepair per years, leading to an expectation of several hundred per individual every time we reproduce. Wouldn’t you agree that ‘several hundred per new human” is a bit of a far cry from your claim of “doesn’t happen once in the history of the universe.”

    • Kevin K

      1. Amoeba aren’t even microscopic. You can see them with the naked eye if you look closely. You might want to pick a better example if you don’t want to look like someone who failed 6th grade Earth sciences.

      2. The DNA molecule is made up of 4 “letters”. RNA, which is needed in most biological systems, is ALSO made up of 4 letters, three of which it shares with DNA. So, the entire “build a biological organism” alphabet is only five letters in total. It’s extremely simple. In fact, probably as simple as it is possible to be. Forget “irreducible complexity”. This is irreducible simplicity.

      • Ant

        You think the first amoeba was visible to the naked eye? If so maybe you should brush up on YOUR reasoning ability.

        Ok if we’re using the “alphabet” analogy, then you must realize that simply having letters does not make a book, at least not a book that has any meaning. To make a book that has meaning the letters have to be arranged in a precise way. This is what is called INFORMATION, and the meaningful information has a very specific configuration that cannot be achieved by merely randomly typing letters.

        To bring the analogy back to the original conversation, ok yes you have DNA but the DNA has to be arranged a certain way for it to have any function. According to evolutionists this arrangement was achieved by random genetic mutations, or as we put in our analogy, randomly typing letters and coming up with a coherent, meaningful book. Sorry that is not possible. There is a difference between having LETTERS and INFORMATION. Likewise, there is a difference between having DNA and functional sequences of DNA (which is the same as having biological “information”).

        Oh ya and another problem is that DNA and RNA are not naturally synthesized in nature, they only exist in the cells of living organisms so in the earliest phase of life you wouldn’t even have had the most basic building blocks to work with, so the problems are massive for naturalistic theories of life’s origin and diversification. Hope you enjoyed this science education I gave you for free.

        • Kevin K

          1. You don’t have any idea what “information” is.

          2. DNA and RNA are as naturally occurring as everything else on Earth. Prove otherwise.

          3. The constituent nucleic acids making up DNA and RNA are also naturally occurring. Prove otherwise.

          4. In fact, we find the building blocks for life in outer space.

          In the year 2000 astronomers made the first discovery of a simple sugar molecule, glycolaldehyde, in a massive molecular cloud of gas and dust. It was detected by its faint radio emission using the 12 meter Kitt Peak radio telescope in Arizona. The molecular cloud is located 26,000 light-years away, near the centre of our Galaxy and called Sagittarius B2. The sugar molecule, Glycolaldehyde, is an eight-atom molecule composed of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. It can form the more complex sugars, ribose, the spine of DNA and RNA as well as Glucose which is the sugar molecule found in fruits, when it reacts with other sugars or carbon molecules. Numerous different molecules have been found in Sagittarius B2, including glycine, a simple amino acid.

          — Source http://garvandwane.com/evolution/building_blocks_of_life.html

          You were saying about science education?

        • Ant

          “2. DNA and RNA are as naturally occurring as everything else on Earth. Prove otherwise.”

          Right… INSIDE cells of living things. They do not form naturally outside of living cells. But to form the first cell there would have to have been DNA to encode the reproduction of the cell. No DNA, no reproduction… no life. It’s catch-22 that nature can’t solve on its own.

          “4. In fact, we find the building blocks for life in outer space.

          Wow you believe they found a tiny molecule in a cloud of gas 26,000 light years away? Can’t argue with that, just shows me how gullible you are to think that constitutes a “fact”. How can someone even disprove that? Do you really believe they can say with confidence they found a molecule 26,000 light years from earth? Haha wow it makes me laugh. But also it makes me feel sorry for you because I know the “sciency” language makes it very believable to people like you.

        • Kevin K

          1. “Inside” living things is still part of our all-natural world. Unless you’re declaring the intracellular space to be supernatural, you’ve just defeated your own argument.

          2. Argument from incredulity is a logical fallacy. Just because you find it hard to understand, that doesn’t mean it isn’t factually correct.

        • Ant

          “1. “Inside” living things is still part of our all-natural world. Unless you’re declaring the intracellular space to be supernatural, you’ve just defeated your own argument.”

          Ok smart one, we’re talking about the formation of the first cell. If there’ no DNA IN THE ENVIRONMENT, then there is no means of encoding the genetic information of the first living organism. If DNA does not exist outside of cells now, it means it didn’t billions of years ago either. No DNA, no cells. Cells could not have originated without DNA being present. Because DNA does not exist outside of cells, but cells need DNA to come into being, it means cells could not have come into being given what we understand now. I’m trying to make this as simple as possible for you.

        • Kevin K

          Here you go…

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis

          Hint: When even Wikipedia has an article worth sharing on a subject, it’s not a huge mystery. The fact that the exact steps haven’t been worked out does not bother me in the least. In the end, the model is going to be 100% natural, and consistent with the all-natural laws of chemistry and physics.

          You’re invoking a “god of the gaps” argument in service of an “argument from ignorance” logical fallacy. “Ignorance” being the key word.

        • Kodie

          Why do you think the first cell is much different than the first rock?

        • Ant

          Wow. There are bad questions and then there is the question you just asked, which takes it to a WHOLE NOTHER LEVEL.

        • Kodie

          You really believe stupid shit, and I can tell, so why don’t you just try to answer the question.

        • adam
        • Kodie

          You still never answered my first very civil question to you, which you responded to with evasion and ridicule. YOU don’t know, do you. You are just happy to live in the rumor that I was hostile to you, that I am angry because I”m an atheist and not because you were condescending to me for no reason. You’ve already been schooled and you don’t know shit, but please admit that you had no answer that you ridiculed me for my question.

        • Ant

          What was the question?

        • Kodie

          Are you pretending to be stupid or are you actually that stupid? I responded TO YOUR RUDE FUCKING ANSWER TO MY QUESTION SCROLL UP DUMMY.

        • Ant

          I’m debating like 15 people it’s hard to keep track of who asked what and when they asked it.

        • Kodie

          And you STILL NEVER ANSWERED it. You have accused me of hostility from the beginning, but you ridiculed me on my first honest and polite question, you never answered it even when I pointed out you never answered it. YOU CAN”T ANSWER IT. You are a coward.

        • Ant

          Alright I have totally lost track of the beginning of the thread and I don’t know what it was, so either repeat the question or stop acting like you care to have it answered.

        • Kodie

          I already told you to scroll up. Is it your stubborn stupidity or your incompetence?

        • epeeist

          Do you really believe they can say with confidence they found a molecule 26,000 light years from earth?

          You rang?

          My doctorate involved the analysis of molecular properties using microwave spectroscopy. I worked alongside others who used infrared spectroscopy for similar purposes. Both of these techniques allow one to identify molecules with a high degree of specificity.

          So when one does interstellar and cirucumstellar observations and finds spectra that correspond to known molecules then one can be pretty certain of one’s inference that one has found a particular molecule. Here is a list of molecules found so far.

          Just because your personal incredulity leads you to discount something doesn’t make it so.

        • Kodie

          Of all people, the religious seem to inordinately admire the intelligence of the human species and count themselves in, while without any education, dismiss evidence of humans doing intelligent things.

        • adam
        • adam

          “People have been discovering components of DNA in meteorites since the
          1960’s, but researchers were unsure whether they were really created in
          space or if instead they came from contamination by terrestrial life,”
          said Dr. Michael Callahan of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center,
          Greenbelt, Md. “For the first time, we have three lines of evidence that
          together give us confidence these DNA building blocks actually were
          created in space.” Callahan is lead author of a paper on the discovery
          appearing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the
          United States of America.

          https://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/dna-meteorites.html

        • Ant

          Again, having a few of the building blocks does not mean that the building blocks were able to self-assemble into anything that resembles life.

        • adam

          “Again, having a few of the building blocks does not mean that the
          building blocks were able to self-assemble into anything that resembles
          life.”

          More than a ‘few’, and yes SCIENCE support the chemistry and physics behind that.
          And yes we understand quite a bit how this kind of chemistry and physics work.

          http://www.livescience.com/44430-how-scientists-created-synthetic-chromosome.html

          http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/brewers-yeast-morphine-sugar/

        • MNb

          Correct, but it’s still evidence.

          Also thanks for making clear that you lied when you wrote “I don’t know but IT DEFINITELY WASN’T GOD!!!” What you really meant was “I believe in the God of the Gaps and anyone pointing out the problem with it must provide absolute 100% eternal neverchanging certainty of how it happened”.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Ok if we’re using the “alphabet” analogy, then you must realize that simply having letters does not make a book, at least not a book that has any meaning. To make a book that has meaning the letters have to be arranged in a precise way. This is what is called INFORMATION, and the meaningful information has a very specific configuration that cannot be achieved by merely randomly typing letters.

          https://libraryofbabel.info/About.html

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9f692d6d5db3a4f30f8c73ec66a46db4bce04962128c628a9934e1f6753a61b3.png

    • Max Doubt

      “Some equations are really complicated and that means that a microscopic amoeba which randomly self-assembled from lifeless molecules can generate astronomically massive amounts of information in its genome through random mutations in unrealistically short time frames until it eventually gives rise to all life on earth.”

      If that’s your take on how the process of evolution allegedly occurs, it’s obvious you have a pretty extreme misunderstanding of the whole thing. It seems like you reject the theory of evolution (your misinterpretation of it anyway) as an explanation for the process of evolution, so let’s try this…

      From the time the first thing existed that we could define as life on earth, what was the process that brought about the changes that have resulted in the diversity of life we have today? Also, please back your conjecture with objective evidence. And remember, your misunderstanding, incredulity, and ignorance do not constitute evidence.

      • Ant

        I believing an intelligent being created life on earth by some unknown means. There is no evidence life originated or diversified by natural means.

        • adam

          “I believing an intelligent being created life on earth by some unknown means.”

          So that ‘intelligent being’ is even MORE COMPLEX than life on earth, SO….

          It TOO NEEDS a creator, and THAT creator is even MORE COMPLEX and so, by your ‘logic’ needs a ‘creator creator’

          Unknown means?
          You mean MAGIC?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bf3ab7ed04d447ff091f3cf19fcdefc6aafeccae006445994adc3759435c0aa5.jpg

        • Ant

          “Life is too complex to have developed naturally… so we’re going to invoke an even more complex being to explain it”.

          Right. That makes sense. Sorry but it does.

          Hey do you believe that the universe created itself from nothing by some totally unknown force? In other words, do you believe in magic?

        • Kevin K

          Sorry, no. It doesn’t make sense. We live in an all-natural universe that follows the laws of physics right down to the nubs. There is no “magic”; only chemistry doing what chemistry does.

        • Ant

          Yep, and so far no observation shows the mere chemistry can create even the simplest form of what could be called life. You are learning.

        • Kevin K

          And 115 years ago, it was considered impossible for humans to fly.

          100 years ago, the universe was considered static and the size of the Milky Way galaxy.

          60 years ago, heart surgery was considered impossible.

          50 years ago, it was impossible to cure a viral illness.

          You’re not learning. And that’s sad.

          http://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/issol2017/

        • adam

          “Yep, and so far no observation shows the mere chemistry can create even the simplest form of what could be called life.”

          irst Self-Replicating, Synthetic Bacterial Cell Constructed by J. Craig Venter Institute Researchers

          ROCKVILLE, MD and San Diego, CA (May 20, 2010) —
          Researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), a not-for-profit genomic research organization, published results today describing the successful construction of the first self-replicating, synthetic bacterial cell. The team synthesized the 1.08 million base pair chromosome of a modified Mycoplasma mycoides genome. The synthetic cell is called Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0 and is the proof of principle that genomes can be designed
          in the computer, chemically made in the laboratory and transplanted into a recipient cell to produce a new self-replicating cell controlled only
          by the synthetic genome.

          http://www.jcvi.org/cms/press/press-releases/full-text/article/first-self-replicating-synthetic-bacterial-cell-constructed-by-j-craig-venter-institute-researcher/home/

          PURE chemistry and physics…..

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4f078e39c7bdab50f818933b99b5e11535933fa26a1f0007001fc3c5ae3f09aa.jpg

        • Ant

          “Researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), a not-for-profit genomic research organization, published results today describing the successful construction of the first self-replicating, synthetic bacterial cell.

          So intelligent humans CONSTRUCTED a SYNTHETIC bacterial cell and you think that is “pure chemistry”? How can anyone be so irrational?

          “The synthetic cell is called Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0 and is the proof of principle that genomes can be DESIGNED in the computer, chemically made in the laboratory”

          You see that word DESIGNED there? That is not “pure chemistry”. Learn to think a little bit.

        • adam

          “So intelligent humans CONSTRUCTED a SYNTHETIC bacterial cell and you think that is “pure chemistry”?”

          It certainly aint MAGIC like you want to believe in.

          “You see that word DESIGNED there?”

          Yep, designed to use standard chemistry and physics, NO MAGIC involved at all.

          “Learn to think a little bit.”

          Learn to think at all.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/668e9a8b7350aed3c98ab57d64e8c6f052756e0a0f08fd14e6111b3b73d523d1.jpg

        • Ant

          Ok so to you, when intelligent beings use their intelligence and advanced technology to DESIGN and MODIFY an already existing cell, you think that is pure chemistry. It’s hard to argue with someone who has such poor reasoning.

        • MNb

          “So intelligent humans CONSTRUCTED a SYNTHETIC bacterial cell and you think that is “pure chemistry”? How can anyone be so irrational?”
          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          What else do you think they used? Magic wands? Magic words, like your god in the first few verses of your favourite Holy Book?

          “You see that word DESIGNED there? That is not “pure chemistry”. Learn to think a little bit.”
          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          Go tell the designer of a building that he doesn’t use “pure physics”. Indeed, you should learn to think a little bit.

        • Ant

          Ok so intelligent beings use their intelligence and advanced technology to DESIGN a cell and you think that is pure chemistry. Hard to debate someone with such poor logic.

        • Kodie

          First you want to see scientists just throwing chemicals together if it’s just chemicals, then when they do, you think it’s design. Do you (and every idiot like you) not see the difficulty in starting life in an environment (the entire earth) that already has life all over it? A sterile non-biological environment has to be recreated, and the chemicals that might have attracted to combine as first life would have to be recreated. You are a fucking moron.

        • Ant

          Wow now your anger and hatred is showing through, which happens often with atheists, who really are motivated by hatred more than anything. Hatred for people who disagree with them. Again, this is why atheist is based on emotion rather than reason.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Have you ever heard of the concept of “projection”?

        • Kodie

          And evasion.

        • Paul B. Lot

          😀

        • Kodie

          Why shouldn’t I be angry that you’re too fucking stupid to communicate with? You don’t like my questions so you keep changing the subject instead. That doesn’t make you more smart or less hateful.

        • Ant

          Wow. Very angry. It seems like you prefer to insult people who disagree with you more than actually engage their arguments. That’s ok, it’s typical of atheists, I’ve seen it many times before. Hopefully you will calm down as you get older and wiser.

        • Paul B. Lot

          you prefer to insult people who disagree with you more than actually engage their arguments. That’s ok, it’s typical of atheists, I’ve seen it many times before. Hopefully you will calm down as you get older and wiser.

          IF the premise is true, that @disqus_0FsPDLqpUy:disqus prefers insult to argument (a premise which I do not think you have established, btw), then I would say that her behavior is not only typical of [atheists] but of [all humans, everywhere, at all times].

          Of course, if you were as wise as your comment seems to indicate you think you are….this would be known to you already! :)

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          How do you act when you’re told that you believe something that you don’t believe?

        • Kodie

          You’re so pissed off with atheists because they shut you down, so I just responded to you. You haven’t yet said something non-idiotic, and when you get to me, you get hostile and defensive and refuse to answer me, because you can’t. Let’s try again. What are your answers to my questions?

        • Kevin K
        • Ant

          Nope. Not a good source at all. Totally biased.

        • Susan

          Totally biased.

          On what basis do you say that?

        • Ant

          I’ve investigated that site. Totally one-sided.

        • Susan

          Totally one-sided.

          You’ve only repeated yourself. I asked you on what basis you say that.

          Give me an example of something you’ve read on that site that demonstrates total bias.

        • Greg G.

          That’s because all the evidence is totally one-sided.

        • Kevin K

          Because scientific evidence is totally one-sided. Got it.

        • Ant

          No, because they are presenting their atheistic philosophy disguised as science, and they use only evidence that seems to support their theory and ignore the mountains of evidence that contradict it.

        • Kevin K

          Well, all you’ve done is deflect and deny. What “mountains” of evidence contradict the science in that post. You can start at the beginning and work your way through the entire thing.

          Oh wait, you can’t. Because there isn’t “mountains” of anything except horseshit.

        • Kodie

          There aren’t two sides.

        • adam

          “I’ve investigated that site. Totally one-sided.”

          yep, one side has no magic
          The other side DEPENDS on MAGIC

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/878b8e07d2b942087c85ac234890ad18b3e8f811594bc275918c5d05cbe88467.jpg

        • Kevin K

          Ah, the old “argument from ignorance” again.

          You’re one logical fallacy away from filling my Creationist Bingo Card.

          Please respond next with “Darwin recanted on his death bed”.

        • TheNuszAbides

          or they could try for actually [yet trivially] true statements like “Flew semi-converted as his competence dwindled”. or “Miller had a Trinitarian ~experience~”.

          EDIT: not necessarily relevant to the layout of your bingo card, of course.

        • Ignorant Amos

          “Miller had a Trinitarian ~experience~”.

          So did Francis Collins with his frozen waterfall experience.

        • TheNuszAbides

          oops, i’d meant Collins actually. or did Miller as well?

        • Ignorant Amos

          I doubt it…Stanley Miller was born to Jewish parents. I can’t find anything on his religious affiliation, but I doubt very much it was Trinitarian.

          His side-kick Harold Urey was apparently atheist though.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_atheists_in_science_and_technology

        • TheNuszAbides

          no, i was definitely thinking of a different Miller (but still the wrong person). just didn’t do the not-so-hard work of figuring out which one, out of several Millers i’ve known of for some years. the pitfalls of sleep-posting.

        • Kevin K

          It was Francis Collins who had the frozen waterfall experience. Miller is a plain-old Catholic.

        • MNb

          Aha! The old creacrap gambit of ANYTHING SCIENCE PRODUCED THAT GOES AGAINST MY PREDETERMINED CONCLUSION BASED ON NOTHING IS TOTALLY BIAS.

          Funny guy. That one is even worse than your dishonest “I don’t know but IT DEFINITELY WASN’T GOD!!!”

        • Ant

          “Funny guy. That one is even worse than your dishonest “I don’t know but IT DEFINITELY WASN’T GOD!!!””

          You realize I was rephrasing someone else’s arguments right? That’s not what I believe, it was a rephrasing of someone who said they didn’t know how the universe began but they didn’t believe it was God. My point was that if you don’t know how the universe began, how can you rule out the possibility of God? You can’t. Sorry you misunderstood that.

        • adam

          “You realize I was rephrasing someone else’s arguments right? ”

          No, show us the ORIGINAL phrase you are ‘rephrasing’ from.

        • adam

          “My point was that if you don’t know how the universe began, how can you rule out the possibility of God? ”

          So you cant rule out the possibility of Invisible Pink Unicorns either.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3da7f08a3390ef2111a626073dd7132a22b19bc1ce34ac9d4883c5e2d74a0eb8.jpg

        • adam

          “Totally biased.”

          Against MAGIC, of course.

          Just demonstrate that your MAGIC is anything but IMAGINARY, and you can change the whole WORLD.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/57d8812041d27bff15f48eb5ac5edd1f3cb26a8df7bfd55a8bae3b5a093d53c8.jpg

        • Ant

          Well what magic do you believe in? That the universe created itself from nothing by some totally unknown force, which is what atheists believe? Why is believing the universe came from nothing less magical than to think a transcendental intelligence created it?

        • Paul B. Lot

          That the universe created itself from nothing by some totally unknown force, which is what atheists believe?

          I am an atheist – this is not what I believe.

        • Ant

          What do you believe then?

        • Paul B. Lot

          Well, it’s complicated.

          I do not believe that we have a well-defined and rigorous theory of [how the universe got to now]. So the short answer is: “I don’t know.”

          The longer answer, the one in which I allow myself to step out a bit on a tree branch, is that I believe that, if answers to our questions are going to be found, those answers will be naturalistic.

          I believe that because it seem to me that history has shown us that humans are prone to errors at every level of their thinking, and that the best ways we have to correct for those errors is to collectively use Bayesian probabilities to assign probabilistic truth values to propositions.

          I hope that doesn’t sound too convoluted, it’s basically two things:
          1) we need to try not to fool ourselves, even though we’re quite easy to fool
          2) we need to understand what it means to become less wrong

          ETA:

          I forgot to mention that I disagree with one of the premises of your statement: we are not certain that the universe “was created” at all, asking the further question of “how” or “from what” seems to be putting the cart before the horse.

        • Ant

          So you think it’s less wrong to think the universe created itself from nothing? Is that what you think is more probable?

        • Paul B. Lot

          Sorry, part of your question might have been addressed by the edit I made to my previous reply:

          I forgot to mention that I disagree with one of the premises of your statement: we are not certain that the universe “was created” at all, asking the further question of “how” or “from what” seems to be putting the cart before the horse.


          you think it’s less wrong to think the universe created itself from nothing

          As I say elsewhere, I think that before we deal with this question, we need to tackle the underlying premise –

          P: the universe “was created”

          Until we sort that out, we can’t move on to your question out “how” or “from whence”.

        • Ant

          Ok, let’s use the word “originated” Do you think it originated from nothing or did a transcendental force that exists beyond this universe cause it to come into existence?

        • epeeist

          And yet another false dichotomy.

          As it is we don’t know whether it originated from nothing, or whether it “originated” at all. All we do know is that it was in existence after the Planck time.

        • Ant

          Actually we do know it originated. Otherwise it wouldn’t be here. To simply say that we know it was in existence after Plank time says nothing. What about before Plank time? Where was it then?

        • epeeist

          Actually we do know it originated.

          No, we don’t. To know something we have to have justification and our current theories break down at the Planck time.

          What about before Plank time?

          Is there a “before” when it comes to the Planck time, again because our theories break down we don’t know.

        • Ant

          Isn’t plank time based on the movement of sub-atomic particles? So for there to be plank time there has to be matter. Matter came into existence before plank time, so how did the matter originate? Scientists say this happened 14 billion years ago, are they wrong?

        • epeeist

          Isn’t plank time based

          My bad, I should have said “Planck epoch”.

          So for there to be plank time there has to be matter.

          Does there? Why?

        • Paul B. Lot

          Ok, let’s use the word “originated” Do you think it originated from….

          Hmmm, your use of “from” indicates to me that either you’re not understanding me, I’m not making myself understood, or some combination of the two.

          The underlying premise, and my issues with it, is nearly unchanged –

          P: the universe “originated”

          I think that that premise needs defending; I’m not at all sure that I can take it to be true.

        • MNb

          Yup, you’re a liar. I already told you that nobody here believes what you suggest and offered you a natural option.
          Of course you are the one who believes that our Universe came from nothing, not us. Before the divine act of creation there was just your god plus otherwise nothing. Your god created according to you our Universe not from himself, but from that nothing. That’s what Gen. 1 expresses.

        • Ant

          Ok AGAIN, what do atheists believe? Do all of them just believe nothing? Either some force that transcends the universe created the universe, or the universe created itself from nothing. And you want to act like only one of these options is based on faith. Nope, both are. and since atheists have only one option what they believe is based on faith too.

        • adam

          “Ok AGAIN, what do atheists believe?”

          Well you PRETENDED like you knew already, like you PRETEND to know how the universe came into being.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8c27a280c2a78c4571ee38ccef3c81ffdcd19f09a60f3b5a6c0db7f8238cfee6.jpg

        • Ant

          “Ok AGAIN, what do atheists believe?”

          “Well you PRETENDED like you knew already, like you PRETEND to know how the universe came into being.”

          You didn’t answer the question. And no I never claimed I know how the universe came into being. I admit I have a specific belief of how the universe into being, but I don’t know it’s true.

        • adam

          I have answered you already,

          Atheism is DISBELIEF in deity.

          There is no dogma on anything else.

          “And no I never claimed I know how the universe came into being. ”

          Of course you have:
          “Either some force that transcends the universe created the universe, or the universe created itself from nothing.”

          ‘This force or being that created the universe can be called God, and it
          must precede the existence of the universe, which means it is beyond
          this universe. This only other option is that the universe created
          itself from nothing’

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/15ca0861e39343c39684a19ac9ceddd9534f334c6757b32dc5e2772146b00297.jpg

        • Ant

          “”Either some force that transcends the universe created the universe, or the universe created itself from nothing.””

          There are no other options. Do you disagree? If so, how?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          And a yawning chasm of willful ignorance opens up in front of our hero …

          Why is this hard? A proper dichotomy would be “Either some force that transcends the universe created the universe, or not.

          See how easy that is? If you favor the first option, give reasons.

        • Ant

          Well I’m curious to know why atheists find the second option more reasonable. If it wasn’t a transcendental force, then to me that means the universe was created from nothing by nothing. Am I wrong?

        • Kodie

          You don’t seem to be able to compute the answers you’ve gotten so far, because it doesn’t fit into your presuppositions. Why don’t you just open up to the answer “I don’t know”. “I don’t know” doesn’t mean there isn’t an answer. You are just so dumb about needing to know something and not being comfortable with not knowing now. You are badgering people with the same dumb question with your fill-in, and the supposed opposite, that you just can’t fathom an actual “I don’t know” being the answer. You’re going to have to cut that shit out, and move on.

        • Ant

          Well I’m trying to find out what the options are.

          So far I’ve learned atheists:

          1. Don’t think the universe originated from a transcendental force
          2. Don’t think the universe originated from nothing

          So that leaves no options as far as I see it. In other words, atheism is based on nothing. Literally nothing. It’s a totally baseless philosophy, it’s empty and meaningless. At least other philosophies TRY to present a system. It seems like you all are even denying the accepted science to come to these conclusions, which is that the universe originated with the big bang 14 billion years ago. If I was an atheist I would have a problem thinking my worldview was based on nothing, which cannot possibly be correct.

        • Ignorant Amos

          If I was an atheist I would have a problem thinking my worldview was based on nothing, which cannot possibly be correct.

          You have a problem thinking…period.

          Ya incredulous cretin.

        • Ant

          Again the typical atheist tactic of insulting someone and not saying anything of substance. Many times coupled with irrational anger. How many times have I seen this?

        • Paul B. Lot

          In other words, atheism is based on nothing. Literally nothing. It’s a totally baseless philosophy, it’s empty and meaningless. At least other philosophies TRY to present a system.

          Hmm, this don’t jive with what I said here.


          It seems like you all are even denying the accepted science to come to these conclusions, which is that the universe originated with the big bang 14 billion years ago.

          This is incorrect.

          There are some models which depict [the state of affairs you describe], others which [do not], and no currently “accepted” way to determine which is true.

          http://particle.physics.ucdavis.edu/seminars/data/media/2013/may/carroll.pdf

          EDITS for clarity and word choice.

        • Kodie

          You just don’t see intellectually capable of grasping it, since you keep waving around your precious straw man.

        • Joe

          So that leaves no options as far as I see it.

          Well, that’s a failing of your imagination, and your willingness to read any further into the matter.

          it’s empty and meaningless.

          Probably the closest you’ve been to being correct so far, but for the wrong reasons.

          At least other philosophies TRY to present a system.

          Other philosophies are equally available to atheists. We read books just like theists can.

          If I was an atheist I would have a problem thinking my worldview was based on nothing, which cannot possibly be correct.

          That’s your problem, not mine. Are you saying you’re only a Christian because you don’t like the alternative?

        • Pofarmer

          Atheism isnt a philosophy.

        • Susan

          Atheism isn’t a philsophy.

          Hard to explain that to someone who believes that biology is a conspiracy.

          Also, cosmology.

          Someone who hasn’t lifted a finger to understand a thing about any of those subjects. Nor who seems interested in learning anything about any of those subjects.

          Just standard apologetics crap.

          Just showed up here as a pawn to reiterate it.

          Not to engage.

          I’m seeing a pattern, here.

          As Kodie has said (many times), send us an honest christian.

        • Susan

          So far I’ve learned atheists:,

          So far, you’ve learned nothing.

          1. Don’t think the universe originated from a transcendental force.

          Define transcendental and force and explain what it has to do with at least, one universe.

          2. Don’t think the universe originated from nothing.

          Define nothing.

        • epeeist

          In other words, atheism is based on nothing.

          The sole thing that atheists have in common is a lack of belief in the existence of gods. This does not entail any other positions.

          One can have socialist atheists and libertarian atheists. One can have Buddhist and Wiccan atheists. One can have atheists who accept consequentialist, deontological or contractualist ethics. And so on.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          ?? Atheists find the second option more reasonable because there’s no evidence for the first one!

          You got some?

        • Ant

          But there is evidence that the universe created itself from nothing? Where is it?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Wow–this false dichotomy thing really has you stumped, doesn’t it?

          You sure you want to play in the Majors right now? I think you might want to go to the Minors for a few seasons to learn a little.

        • Ant

          Well please explain to me what are the options according to atheists. If it wasn’t a transcendental force, and it wasn’t nothing, what are the other options??? Because I can’t think of any but maybe you can help me Mr. Major leaguer.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          There is no consensus view within cosmology for the origin of the universe.

          Just because you have an evidence-less answer doesn’t mean that that will satisfy the rest of us.

        • Ant

          Ok well atheists prefer “naturalistic” explanations for things. So far there is no “naturalistic” explanation for the origin of the universe, which means atheism is just as faith-based as theism. They both believe in unsubstantiated explanations for the origin of the universe, thus they are both in that sense “faith-based”.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Ok well atheists prefer “naturalistic” explanations for things.

          Anyone without a bias prefers a naturalistic explanation.

          When someone from another religion (Hinduism, say) comes to you to report a miracle, do you assume that it’s a miracle? Or are you skeptical? Do you try to find a naturalistic explanation for what he claims to have witnessed?

          So far there is no “naturalistic” explanation for the origin of the universe, which means atheism is just as faith-based as theism.

          So wrong that it’s hard to know where to begin.

          Science says, “I don’t know.” No faith required. See how easy that is when you just lay out the facts without making up shit?

          They both believe in unsubstantiated explanations for the origin of the universe, thus they are both in that sense “faith-based”.

          Tell me more! What is the unsubstantiated explanation for the origin of the universe that atheists believe?

        • Ant

          “Science says, “I don’t know.” No faith required. See how easy that is when you just lay out the facts without making up shit?”

          Ok that seems like just another way of saying there’s no naturalistic explanation for the origin of the universe… which is exactly what I said. I wasn’t making anything up, you just said what I said in another way. The only thing I would say is that it equates science with naturalism, which are not the same thing even though they seem to be in the minds of many today because of how science has been co-opted by atheistic philosophy.

          “What is the unsubstantiated explanation for the origin of the universe that atheists believe?”

          That there is a naturalistic explanation for the origin of the universe. Science may not take a position, but atheism does take a position by the nature of its assumptions. Also I’ve spoken to a number of people who call themselves “naturalists” or “materialists” and that is the basis of their atheism, and really from a philosophical standpoint it’s hard to avoid those positions when one claismto be an atheist.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          how science has been co-opted by atheistic philosophy.

          What does that even mean?

          “What is the unsubstantiated explanation for the origin of the universe that atheists believe?”
          That there is a naturalistic explanation for the origin of the universe. Science may not take a position, but atheism does take a position by the nature of its assumptions.

          “Atheism” is a lack of belief in a god. That’s it. Nothing about the universe or science or anything else.

          Science does expect a naturalistic explanation for the origin of the universe. Why do you suppose that is? Maybe because the last bazillion explanations for things have always been scientific, and “God dun it!” has been disproved for so many things that it’s unreasonable to hold out hope that God will actually be behind something after all.

          Follow the trend. No faith required.

        • Kodie

          The basis of my atheism is that I find it really hard to believe that grown-ass adults can’t cope without an imaginary friend.

        • Kuno

          There are also no non-naturalistic explanations for it. Claims aren’t explanations.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I do enjoy discussing these things with someone with an open mind. I’m almost certain that you don’t have one. But for any lurkers: The universe could be a reshaping of pre-existing matter. It could be the result of simply the laws of nature (one of the many possible definitions of “nothing”).

          And there are lots of other options that I’m ignorant of. Sean Carroll says that he knows of 17 (IIRC) theories for the origin of the universe.

        • Ant

          “The universe could be a reshaping of pre-existing matter.”

          Pre-existing matter that came from what?

          “Sean Carroll says that he knows of 17 (IIRC) theories for the origin of the universe.”

          Why so many? Why do you trust him anyways? Was he there when the universe began to observe it?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          “The universe could be a reshaping of pre-existing matter.”
          Pre-existing matter that came from what?

          Dunno. That’s another question.

          If you’re saying that you have an answer (“God dun it!! :-)”) while I don’t, that’s true. But so what? Your answer has no evidence.

          But when you say “God dun it!” I will of course ask you where God came from. Then you say, “Ahh, my atheist friend, that’s my trump card! God had no beginning, by definition!” And then, after I finish puking, I point out that this is, again, an evidence-less claim.

          You really need to see the asymmetry here. Science is built on evidence. Religion? Not so much.

          “Sean Carroll says that he knows of 17 (IIRC) theories for the origin of the universe.”
          Why so many? Why do you trust him anyways? Was he there when the universe began to observe it?

          My, what a precocious boy you are! So many good question!

          So many because we’re in the early days of understanding cosmology. I do indeed trust him with as trivial a task as giving me an accurate statement of the state of his field. No, he wasn’t there when the universe began to observe it, but then you weren’t there when God created Eden. Or the heavens and the earth. Or whatever the heck origin story you have. So apparently being there to observe is meaningless to you. One wonders why you asked it.

        • TheNuszAbides

          So apparently being there to observe is meaningless to you. One wonders why you asked it.

          likely because they’re still stuck in the “everybody gotta ~believe~[= Have Faith(TM)] in SUMPIN” rut.

        • Kodie

          Where did god get the materials to create the universe?

        • adam

          “Well I’m curious to know why atheists find the second option more reasonable.”

          Lack of evidence

          ” If it wasn’t a transcendental force, then to me that means the universe was created from nothing by nothing. Am I wrong?”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/637bfeb32fe76da958e611fbfd841246baeabb7b96c48f9a41144e316ea0e22d.jpg

        • adam

          Well you know, if you were more educated on the subject you would realize that there are other options.

          So of course I CAN’T agree with your ignorance.

        • adam

          “Either some force that transcends the universe created the universe, or the universe created itself from nothing.” https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/23e7092c60a928b6349cc029fd75cb332f18c86daab1c6a4e4f8fe6cef114c6c.jpg

        • epeeist

          Ok AGAIN, what do atheists believe?

          Personally I believe that Eric Srecki was one of the best epeeists ever. I also believe that Machaut was one of the greatest musicians of the ars nova period.

          Oh, and I lack belief in the existence of gods.

        • Kuno

          I believe pineapple on a pizza is an abomination. But I also believe people have the right to any topping they want, as long as I don’t have to eat that disgusting thing.

        • Kodie

          You are misinformed about atheism. Atheists say “I don’t know” when we don’t know. If theists think they know something, show us the evidence and how that leads to your conclusion, don’t just pretend you know something you have no way of knowing.

        • Ant

          Well my question is that if atheists don’t believe God created the universe, how do they think it happened? I’m trying to figure out what you all think but no one seems willing to answer. Care to give it a try?

        • Kodie

          Making up stories is your department.

        • adam

          “Well my question is that if atheists don’t believe God created the universe, how do they think it happened? ”

          Invisible Pink Flying Unicorns

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6597272c55aa1dd14b2602406d98ba576903e53dce5800dd7f26a6fb2ca9728c.jpg

        • Kuno

          We. Don’t. Know.

          The particular brand of scientists who work in this field have some ideas, they are constantly working on getting new data to refine those ideas. But it is entirely possilbe that we will never have a definitive answer. And that’s OK.

        • Ignorant Amos

          We. Don’t. Know.

          He just doesn’t get it.

          My immaterial Space Ponies out side time and space did it, is as unsatisfying an answer as his YahwehJesus or any other unsupported supernatural claim, but that knobhead won’t accept that we just don’t know.

          That’s why those scientists that are working on it are called “theoretical” physicists.

          Theoretical physics is a branch of physics that employs mathematical models and abstractions of physical objects and systems to rationalize, explain and predict natural phenomena.

          They may not know yet,but they are working hard on finding the answer…theists are sitting about twiddling their thumbs because the eejits think they already know the answer.

          Knuckle dragging Ant just won’t accept that it is okay to acknowledge when ya don’t know the answer to a question. He prefers made up answers that make him look like the asinine prick that he is displaying.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          theists are sitting about twiddling their thumbs because the eejits think they already know the answer.

          But that’s OK. When science comes up with it, theists will take the credit.

        • Ant

          Ok well in that case atheism is just a baseless as theism. Just another faith system.

        • Kuno

          Again, why are you so desparate to connect atheim to cosmology?

        • Pofarmer

          Look. The basic thing here, is that we don’t believe you’ve made the case for your particular flavor of God. You don’t seem to be changing that.

        • BlackMamba44

          Holy shit, you’re a moron.

        • Greg G.

          That’s unfair. Some of my co-workers may not qualify as morons and they would be offended by that.

        • Meepestos

          You might want to rethink that statement.

          Atheism has no system i.e., a set of principles or procedures according to which something is done. Also there is no set of connected things that form it hence it is not a system let alone a faith system.

          
No adherents, as there are no set of thoughts or suggestions as to a possible course of action; has no aim or purpose though it could or not give one a purpose. The non-belief in deities or coming to the conclusion deities do not exist has no aim, intention, purpose, or system.

          I can think of atheists that have made claims that there are principles of atheism, but even this is not a system of faith nor doctrine.

          Now in order for atheism to be a doctrine, it would require a recognized authority to lay down the principles and definitely would need a stated principle; atheism has no recognized authority at all e.g., person or divine authority.

 But that would fall under the religion definition of belief or worship in a superhuman controlling power.

          Dogma perhaps, but it would require principles that are laid down as “truth” that is not open to dispute or question without the consideration of evidence or the opinions of others; so far this is not the case as there are many atheists that are open to question and dispute in regards to the conclusion they have made that deities do not exist.

        • epeeist

          You might want to rethink that statement.

          Not going to happen of course. The difficulty is that when you take “belief” and “faith” as the basis of your world view then it becomes difficult to see that others do not.

          He doesn’t see atheism as a “lack of belief in the existence of gods” but only as a “belief in the non-existence of gods”.

        • Meepestos

          It seems so.

          I’ve seen this on the forums quite often where some will go to great lengths debating that the lack of belief or disbelief are statements or that belief/lack of belief are two sides of the same coin in order to equate one’s lack of belief or disbelief as a belief or even faith.

        • MNb

          How the hell am I supposed to know what all atheists believe and not believe? I already have a hard time to keep up what the atheists on this forum believe and not believe.
          As I already told you your dilemma is a false one, so by no means you have shown that what I think is faith based.

        • Susan

          Ok AGAIN, what do atheists believe?

          What do non-astrologists believe?

          What do people who don’t believe in my Immaterial Snowflake Fairies believe?

          What channel do non-TV watchers watch? Does not watching TV mean you watch nothing?

          What medical procedures do non-homeopaths provide?

          I don’t believe YOU and your off-the-rack superstition.

          Give me a good reason to believe you and your off-the-rack superstition.

          If you depend on pointing out problems and gaps in fields like biology and cosmology to support your off-the-rack superstitous beliefs, then I am not interested.

          Learn something about those fields or stop talking about them.

          If you can provide a clear model for your claims and support it with evidence, I’m listening.

          I don’t believe YOU because all you have brought so far is a pile of ignorance about the subjects you bring up, Even if you were right (and you’re not) about your statements on those subjects, that doesn’t mean that you have provided anything that makes any sort of sense.

          All you’ve done is repeat fallacy-ridden crap since you got here.

          (Short version. Atheists don’t believe (god)s exist(s).)

          If you’d like to make a case that one does, you’d better start again.

        • David Cromie

          For a start, I believe that you are wilfully ignorant, and ‘faith’ is completely absent from that conclusion!

        • adam

          “Well what magic do you believe in? ”

          None

          ” That the universe created itself from nothing by some totally unknown force,”

          I have stated very clearly, that I do not know that the universe created itself from nothing.

          And I asked why YOU PRETEND to kown.

          ” which is what atheists believe? ”

          Atheism is simply the disbelief in deity, there is no dogma about creation in atheism, there is no dogma at all.

          “Why is believing the universe came from nothing less magical than to think a transcendental intelligence created it?”

          Where did such intelligence come from?
          Where did such transcendentalism come from.

          You need a LOT of MAGIC for all that.

          It makes more sense that either the universe or what it came from was always here.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fb4704343876725a21851b3d98421cb54aacc77e7dd6dd0e20c6ac3d7b38de3a.jpg

        • Ant

          Ok well many theists take the existence of the universe itself as evidence of God, because the universe MUST necessarily have an origin, so something must have created it. This force or being that created the universe can be called God, and it must precede the existence of the universe, which means it is beyond this universe. This only other option is that the universe created itself from nothing. So if you don’t subscribe to some sort of God-like force creating the universe, then the only other option is still “magical” because a universe creating itself from nothing is just as magical as being created by some transcendental force.

        • adam

          “Ok well many theists take the existence of the universe itself as evidence of God”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b4daa8eb8f6cdde7dc6cef1fd33a8d0acc554ea42510fdbeea6ee4c3b3b5a9c2.jpg

          “because the universe MUST necessarily have an origin,”

          So MUST God.
          So something must have created it.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cec86c13ff651044ebf846246f7b360fb2d8a3eccf42e97c497a2d680eb4b44d.jpg

        • Paul B. Lot

          Ok well many theists take the existence of the universe itself as evidence of God, because the universe MUST necessarily have an origin

          Why?

        • Ant

          Are you asking why the universe must have an origin? Do you think it doesn’t have an origin?

        • Paul B. Lot

          Are you asking why the universe must have an origin?

          Yes.

        • adam

          “This force or being that created the universe can be called God”

          And it can be called Invisible Pink Flying Unicorns.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3da7f08a3390ef2111a626073dd7132a22b19bc1ce34ac9d4883c5e2d74a0eb8.jpg

          “So if you don’t subscribe to some sort of God-like force creating the universe, then the only other option is still “magical” because a universe creating itself from nothing is just as magical as being created by some transcendental force.”

          Nope, because the ‘transcendental’ force need the skill and knowledge to create universes.

          Where does such skilll and knowledge come from?
          MORE Magic?

        • Ant

          So how does the universe create itself from nothing. No magic? The whole universe popping into existence from nothing doesn’t sound magical to you?

        • MNb

          Yes and it’s exactly what you claim with your “God created our Universe from nothing”.

        • Pofarmer

          To put it succinctly “nothing might not even be possible. ” To quote. a philosopher “Why is there a Universe? Why not? “

        • epeeist

          because the universe MUST necessarily have an origin

          You are saying that this is a necessary truth? In which case you need to demonstrate it. You should note that I won’t accept anything that uses S5, I might accept S4 but I would prefer T or B.

        • Ant

          Ok well our scientists say the universe began 14 billion years ago in the big bang. Do you believe the scientists or are you a science-denier?

        • epeeist

          Ok well our scientists say the universe began 14 billion years ago in the big bang.

          The evidence is that there was a singularity some 13.7 billion years ago. But to say that the universe “began” then is more than the theory and data currently support. Hence my more limited claim.

          Do you believe the scientists

          And again, what has “belief” got to do with it? The question is, what does the evidence support.

          are you a science-denier?

          I would suggest that you look at my profile and history of posting on science and philosophy of science issues.

        • Ant

          “The evidence is that there was a singularity some 13.7 billion years ago.”

          Where did the singularity come from? Was all the matter already present in the singularity? If so how did it get there, and why did it wait until 14 billion years ago to explode?

        • epeeist

          Where did the singularity come from? Was all the matter already present
          in the singularity? If so how did it get there, and why did it wait
          until 14 billion years ago to explode?

          I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know and I don’t know.

          Now I could speculate and mutter things about quantum vacuum fluctuations, inflation and zero energy universes and there is evidential support for these but these wouldn’t satisfy you. You want to hold science to stringent requirements, which is fine and how it should be. The question is whether you are prepared to make the same stringent demands on any theory of the universe that involves it being created by a god of some kind.

        • Kevin K
        • Ant

          Good theory, it will be interesting if they find any evidence to support it.

        • Kevin K
        • Ant

          Again it doesn’t provide empirical evidence of a self-replicating cell self-assembling. All theoretical and no empirical observation. Perfect to confuse people like you who mistake it for evidence of something.

        • Kevin K

          So, you’re saying that this isn’t evidence for anything?

          http://hermes.ffn.ub.es/luisnavarro/nuevo_maletin/Einstein_1905_relativity.pdf

        • Ant

          Are you serious? It’s a paper by Einstein written in 1905, nearly 50 years before the structure of DNA was discovered. It has nothing to do with this topic at all.

        • Kodie

          So how does DNA help you deny evolution?

        • Kuno

          You do realize that Darwin and Wallace came up with the Theory of Evolution back in the 19th century, don’t you? That’s even longer before DNA was discovered.

        • Kevin K

          Trying to figure out where your “it’s science” boundaries are. So, apparently Einstein is science, but everything else isn’t? Got it.

        • Kevin K
        • Kevin K
        • Kevin K

          This one should have received more attention than it did

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3486863/

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You are confusing evolution with abiogenesis.

          You are not learning. In fact, I wonder if not-learning is your goal.

        • Ant

          No life, no evolution. The problems are intertwined.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          1. There is no problem with evolution.

          2. They’re very separate issues. That you clumsily equate them doesn’t speak well to your understanding of what we’re talking about.

        • Ant

          1. There are tons of problems with evolution. (See, I can make baseless statements too without any supporting evidence.)

          2. Not really. How can life evolve if it never started? Also the problems face with origin-of-life studies are in some ways the same in general evolution. For instance, the problem of the generation of genetic information from non-information.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          1. Evolution is the scientific consensus. Deal with it, bitch.

          2. Evolution and abiogenesis are separate issues. That you can’t/won’t understand this bodes ill for our conversation. If you change the conversation from evolution to abiogenesis, make that clear so we don’t think you’re an idiot.

        • Ant

          “1. Evolution is the scientific consensus. Deal with it, bitch.”

          Wow, how articulate and refined. Shows how immature you are. Anyways science isn’t up for a vote, all that matters are the facts. And while there are some that seem to support evolutionary theory, there are many others which render it completely untenable and even mathematically impossible.

          2. Abiogenesis is even a bigger question mark than evolution right now. Despite your naive comparisons of the problem to a math equation, our scientists have no empirical observations which even come close to supporting any going theory of abiogenesis. So the problem is apparently not so simple as you claim.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Wow, how articulate and refined. Shows how immature you are.

          With a head 98% bone, sometimes it takes extra force to get through.

          And while there are some that seem to support evolutionary theory, there are many others which render it completely untenable and even mathematically impossible.

          Oh? Tell me more. Is there a consensus view within biology on evolution?

          Abiogenesis is even a bigger question mark than evolution right now.

          Evolution isn’t a question mark. The consensus is overwhelming. Abiogenesis has no consensus.

          our scientists have no empirical observations which even come close to supporting any going theory of abiogenesis. So the problem is apparently not so simple as you claim.

          Oh? And how do I claim?

          There is plenty of evidence and plenty of plausible and intriguing hypotheses. There is yet no consensus view.

          Whaddya think? Think that biology will have one within 50 years? Betting against scientific progress is usually pretty stupid.

        • Ant

          “Oh? Tell me more. Is there a consensus view within biology on evolution?”

          No.

          “Evolution isn’t a question mark. The consensus is overwhelming. Abiogenesis has no consensus.”

          Again you seem to be basing a proposition’s truth on how many people believe it. That is not what constitutes truth. Consensus means nothing to me. 99% of people in history believed in God. Is that proof to you? Apparently not.

          “Oh? And how do I claim?”

          That’s the claim your article was making.

          Whaddya think? Think that biology will have one within 50 years? Betting against scientific progress is usually pretty stupid.

          So far all our sciences have shown us is how inadequate purely natural forces are to produce even the simplest biomolecule. If they’e been trying so hard for this long I doubt there is anything else they can do that will reverse this trend. But then again I guess there is a very small chance.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          “Oh? Tell me more. Is there a consensus view within biology on evolution?”
          No.

          I’m sure someone as determined as you to ignore reality will be unmoved, but for everyone else, I’ve compiled a lo-o-ong list of sources here that make clear that evolution is, indeed, the scientific consensus.

          Again you seem to be basing a proposition’s truth on how many people believe it.

          Wrong. I’m simply saying that we laymen have no option but to accept the scientific consensus, where there is one, as the best statement of the truth that we have at the moment. That doesn’t mean that it’s correct, but it’s the best approximation that we have.

          99% of people in history believed in God. Is that proof to you? Apparently not.

          There’s no difference between the god(s) of Christians, Hindus, and Scientologists? Fascinating.

          That’s the claim your article was making.

          Wrong again.

          So far all our sciences have shown us is how inadequate purely natural forces are to produce even the simplest biomolecule. If they’e been trying so hard for this long I doubt there is anything else they can do that will reverse this trend. But then again I guess there is a very small chance.

          You have no skin in the game, so this topic is meaningless to us. If a consensus view developed over the next decade, you’d just slink off and find another scientific puzzle, hoping that no atheist called you on your hypocrisy. And there will always be unanswered questions within science. Your argument devolves to “Science has unanswered questions; therefore, God.”

          But you can prove me wrong. Take a stand. Man up. Tell me that abiogenesis will never have a scientific explanation, and that your Christian faith is based on it.

        • Ant

          ” I’ve compiled a lo-o-ong list of sources here that make clear that evolution is, indeed, the scientific consensus.”

          Again, consensus means nothing to me.

          “Wrong. I’m simply saying that we laymen have no option but to accept the scientific consensus, where there is one, as the best statement of the truth that we have at the moment.”

          Ah so we dumb, non-free-thinking peasants have “no option” but to accept what your beloved scientist-priest tell you to believe because you and everyone else are too dumb to figure it out for ourselves. Sorry speak for yourself. And I’m sure you think we should ignore all the scientists that disagree with evolutionary theory such as Michael Behe, Michael Denton, Doug Axe, and many many others.

          “You have no skin in the game, so this topic is meaningless to us.”

          What? This statement barely makes sense. To me you’re saying we’re not scientists so we should just not care about the question of the science of the origin-of-life life… UNTIL they tell us they have found something and then we can trust them. And we shouldn’t investigate what they tell us they’ve found, we should just believe what they tell us and not ask questions. Wow sorry I didn’t know you thought that’s what science is and that that’s how an enlightened people behave.

          But you can prove me wrong. Take a stand. Man up. Tell me that abiogenesis will never have a scientific explanation

          You prove me wrong. Be a man and tell me you are desperately hoping they prove these things to affirm your atheistic faith. I won’t claim they will never have an explanation but from what we DO know at THIS MOMENT natural forces cannot create even the simplest biomolecules that would be absolutely necessary for life. Seems like if life was so easy to form naturally that would be easy to create in laboratory conditions. So far… nothing.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          ” I’ve compiled a lo-o-ong list of sources here that make clear that evolution is, indeed, the scientific consensus.”
          Again, consensus means nothing to me.

          Let’s pause and savor this one.

          I asked you, “Is there a consensus view within biology on evolution?” You replied: “No.”

          But that’s changed. Now you say that you don’t care about the consensus.

          If I may, let me translate the subtext. You’re saying, “Whoa—I really got caught with my pants down, didn’t I?! Awkward! I said that there was no consensus, but the wrongness of my position has now hit me like a freight train. There is indeed a very clear, very strong consensus within biology that evolution tells us why life is the way it is. Chastened, I’ll never make that mistake again, thanks!”

          I hope you don’t mind my restatement. Probably unnecessary, but I do like to reach a clear closure. You’re welcome.

          Ah so we dumb, non-free-thinking peasants have “no option” but to accept what your beloved scientist-priest tell you to believe because you and everyone else are too dumb to figure it out for ourselves. Sorry speak for yourself.

          I will: until I have a doctorate in Biology, I will accept the consensus view of the community of biologists.

          But you think differently. That’s fascinating. Tell me what platform you stand on by which you judge science.

          And I’m sure you think we should ignore all the scientists that disagree with evolutionary theory such as Michael Behe, Michael Denton, Doug Axe, and many many others.

          “Scientists”? Uninteresting. Tell me how many biologists.

          To me you’re saying we’re not scientists so we should just not care about the question of the science of the origin-of-life life… UNTIL they tell us they have found something and then we can trust them.

          Care all you want. Just don’t pontificate if you’re going against the opinion of the experts who actually understand the evidence, unlike you. Not hard, right?

          You prove me wrong.

          OK, so my challenge is too hot to handle, and you have to change the subject. Noted.

          Be a man and tell me you are desperately hoping they prove these things to affirm your atheistic faith.

          I follow the evidence. It’s real simple.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Chastened, I’ll never make that mistake again, thanks!

        • Ant

          “I asked you, “Is there a consensus view within biology on evolution?” You replied: “No.” But that’s changed. Now you say that you don’t care about the consensus”

          Well I was originally interpreting it to mean that there is 100% agreement amongst biologists. While it’s not 100%, it is most biologists, so I guess is a consensus. If you had said, a strong majority of biologists accept evolution, I would have agreed initially.

          “But you think differently. That’s fascinating. Tell me what platform you stand on by which you judge science.”

          I judge it based on the facts and the evidence. Genetic mutations could not have produced a single protein in the history of life in all likelihood, and this is based on mathematical probability. It’s hard to get whales and trees and anything else if you can’t even generate a small protein.

          “And I’m sure you think we should ignore all the scientists that disagree with evolutionary theory such as Michael Behe, Michael Denton, Doug Axe, and many many others.

          “Scientists”? Uninteresting. Tell me how many biologists.”

          Micheal Behe has a PdD in biochemistry and is a professor in the subject. Michael Denton has a PhD in the same field and has extensive work in genetics. Doug Axe has a PhD from Caltech in molecular biology and has been published in the Journal of Molecular Biology. So I think these people can be considered biologists.

          “I follow the evidence. It’s real simple.”

          No you don’t Because there’s no evidence to follow and you write a bogus article explaining how easy it is for life to form when after over a century of mixing chemicals together our scientists haven’t even created one single simple biomolecule. So you’re following your wishes I guess, definitely not evidence. Where’ the evidence? Nowhere, but that didn’t stop you from writing that article.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Well I was originally interpreting it to mean that there is 100% agreement amongst biologists. While it’s not 100%, it is most biologists, so I guess is a consensus.

          It’s an overwhelming majority of biologists. Overwhelming. Majority.

          Yeah, I guess that’s a consensus.

          If you had said, a strong majority of biologists accept evolution, I would have agreed initially.

          Uh, yeah. My bad. Or something.

          “But you think differently. That’s fascinating. Tell me what platform you stand on by which you judge science.”
          I judge it based on the facts and the evidence.

          I stand in awe of your cockiness. Some dude gets a PhD in Biology, but what the hell does he know, right? Old Ant trusts his gut, what his Christian friends tell him, and what he’s read online, and he’ll set that ivory tower pencil pusher straight!

          Doesn’t the Bible encourage Christians to be just a little humble?

          Genetic mutations could not have produced a single protein in the history of life in all likelihood, and this is based on mathematical probability.

          I’ve heard this idea stated in a wrong form, but this isn’t even wrong.

          Micheal Behe has a PdD in biochemistry and is a professor in the subject.

          Oh, good. That’s one. And you do know that he accepts common descent, right? Read Darwin’s Black Box, p. 5 of the introduction.

          Michael Denton has a PhD in the same field and has extensive work in genetics. Doug Axe has a PhD from Caltech in molecular biology and has been published in the Journal of Molecular Biology. So I think these people can be considered biologists.

          Wow. 3 biologists. I’ll throw in Jonathan Wells from the Disco Institute.

          So you’ve got 4 guys. Let’s drop their religious motivation. Why even bring them up? These evolution deniers are a paltry fraction of the total population of world biologists.

          No you don’t Because there’s no evidence to follow

          Because Ant, who doesn’t really know much about biology but is an enthusiastic Follower of the Lord® says so.

          Yeah. Compelling. As for me and my house, we follow science.

          and you write a bogus article explaining how easy it is for life to form when after over a century of mixing chemicals together our scientists haven’t even created one single simple biomolecule.

          Wrong again. The Miller-Urey experiment produced 20 amino acids. But I’m sure you’ll have some way to tap dance around this failure to show that you knew that all along.

          You still think that your own musings are a reliable way to evaluate what bits of science are crap and which are sensible? You couldn’t pass a high school biology exam.

        • Ant

          I stand in awe of your cockiness. Some dude gets a PhD in Biology, but what the hell does he know, right? Old Ant trusts his gut, what his Christian friends tell him, and what he’s read online, and he’ll set that ivory tower pencil pusher straight!

          Actually I don’t “trust” anything. I read their works and the information they are presenting and I try to determine if it is correct and reasonable, just like I’m sure atheists try to do. I don’t care if there’s only 1 person saying something and 1 million other people saying something else. If the one person is correct, he is correct. The scientific “consensus” has been wrong countless times in the past.

          It’s not a person’s Phd that impresses me. It’s whether what they are saying is true or not. You seem to care more about how much education people have. In reality that is totally irrelevant. Being highly educated does not equate to being correct. As I’ve said, what matters are the facts, and the facts do not support the idea the life had a natural origin.

          Read Darwin’s Black Box, p. 5 of the introduction.

          I have, and I was aware of that. Still, again, to me it’s not about the education or the beliefs of the writer, which seems to be really important to you. It’s about the facts they are presenting and whether THOSE are true or not. And Behe has provided a devastating argument against evolutionary theory that in my mind has not in any way been refuted by any biologist or scientist.

          So you’ve got 4 guys. Let’s drop their religious motivation. Why even bring them up? These evolution deniers are a paltry fraction of the total population of world biologists. </blockquote?

          Well it's not really about them, but rather what they are saying. They are highly educated people in the field of biology and the facts they present pose a significant challenge to evolutionary theory. And so far I see a lot of people dismissing their works and refusing to address the criticisms but no one really refuting anything they are saying. And of course this is because atheists masquerading as scientists really get bother when people attack a really important article of their faith such as evolutionary theory, so these emotional and unsubstantial reactions are to be expected.

          Because Ant, who doesn’t really know much about biology but is an enthusiastic Follower of the Lord® says so.

          No… because I’ve studied the topic and I’ve found that there is no empirical evidence to suggest anything resembling even the simplest life form has been found being formed by simple chemistry and natural forces. That is a fact. There is no empirical evidence that life can spontaneously emerge from natural mechanisms, it doesn’t matter what else I believe.

          Yeah. Compelling. As for me and my house, we follow science.

          Good to know. So in your house no one believes there is a natural path to the origin of life. At least if you are following the science that is what you believe.

          Wrong again. The Miller-Urey experiment produced 20 amino acids. But I’m sure you’ll have some way to tap dance around this failure to show that you knew that all along.

          Yes but only a few of the amino acids were the ones used in living organisms, I think at most 10 of the amino acids produced were relevant to life. Also they were produced in a toxic sludge that if it wasn’t manually removed would have totally inhibited any life-producing processes or reactions. Also they have found that the experimental atmosphere used by Miller was not relevant to the history of life on earth, so it’s really kind of useless as far as proving anything about how life originated on earth.

          You couldn’t pass a high school biology exam.

          Another immature comment based on ad hominem foolishness. And not true by the way, I was very good in biology. Like a lot of atheists you seem to enjoy insulting your opponent more than actually addressing the issues being discussed. Another reason people hate atheists, because they just insult and mock other people and when a real issue is being addressed they can’t help but express their bigotry against people who disagree with them instead of just sticking to the issues. Just shows me how corrupt and intellectually bankrupt they really are.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Actually I don’t “trust” anything. I read their works and the information they are presenting and I try to determine if it is correct and reasonable, just like I’m sure atheists try to do. I don’t care if there’s only 1 person saying something and 1 million other people saying something else. If the one person is correct, he is correct.

          Why is this hard? You’re not qualified to judge the evidence! Here’s a tip: suppose you evaluate the evidence to the best of your ability in a field of which you’re not an expert, and you conclude that the consensus is wrong. Don’t then conclude that the experts are wrong. The fact that you don’t get it might be an important consideration.

          The scientific “consensus” has been wrong countless times in the past.

          I could quibble, but let’s accept that. So what? The consensus is the best we laymen have. Deal with it.

          And what’s with the quotes around “consensus”? Haven’t I already rubbed your nose in the fact that evolution is the overwhelming consensus? On that topic, BTW, it’d be nice to have you acknowledge when you’ve learned something new before you move on. I’m not looking for personal debasement or an apology or even thanks, simply a note that you get it and won’t make that mistake again. This would put you far ahead of many of your fellow Christian apologists.

          It’s not a person’s Phd that impresses me. It’s whether what they are saying is true or not.

          Right. And how do we laymen know? My suggestion: when a community of educated scientists reach a conclusion, let’s accept it as provisional truth. What would be better?

          what matters are the facts, and the facts do not support the idea the life had a natural origin.

          You seriously need to avoid mixing evolution and abiogenesis because it looks like you’re still confused about their overlap.

          I have, and I was aware of that. Still, again, to me it’s not about the education or the beliefs of the writer, which seems to be really important to you.

          Cool. So then you accept common descent since you claim Behe as an important source on your side of the issue?

          Behe has provided a devastating argument against evolutionary theory that in my mind has not in any way been refuted by any biologist or scientist.

          Again: no one cares about your evaluation of a field you don’t understand. Knowing your own limitations, you should be least impressed.

          Bob: So you’ve got 4 guys. Let’s drop their religious motivation. Why even bring them up? These evolution deniers are a paltry fraction of the total population of world biologists.
          No… because I’ve studied the topic and I’ve found that there is no empirical evidence to suggest anything resembling even the simplest life form has been found being formed by simple chemistry and natural forces.

          Aaargh! Evolution is not abiogenesis!

          If you’re stuck on abiogenesis, say so. Make clear that it’s not evolution that you’re confused about. But when you keep mixing them (as people educated on Ken Ham’s knee often are), you look like a dolt.

          Here again, your evaluation of abiogenesis should be least interesting to you.

          That is a fact. There is no empirical evidence that life can spontaneously emerge from natural mechanisms, it doesn’t matter what else I believe.

          So your argument is, “There is no scientific consensus on abiogenesis, so there never will be”?

          That’s a winner.

          Bob: Wrong again. The Miller-Urey experiment produced 20 amino acids. But I’m sure you’ll have some way to tap dance around this failure to show that you knew that all along.
          Yes but only a few of the amino acids were the ones used in living organisms, I think at most 10 of the amino acids produced were relevant to life.

          You were wrong. Make it clear that you get it and will never make this mistake again.

          That way, you’ll avoid me doing my public humiliation, like I will do now. You said, “you write a bogus article explaining how easy it is for life to form when after over a century of mixing chemicals together our scientists haven’t even created one single simple biomolecule.” In the first place, this article wasn’t about abiogenesis. And in the second, you were wrong.

          If you’re going to come here with you Answers In Genesis education and waste our time, at least learn from our what we tell you.

          Another immature comment based on ad hominem foolishness.

          Evaluate it how you want; the understanding of biology you’ve demonstrated here is very poor.

          Another reason people hate atheists, because they just insult and mock other people and when a real issue is being addressed they can’t help but express their bigotry against people who disagree with them instead of just sticking to the issues. Just shows me how corrupt and intellectually bankrupt they really are.

          Oh? When I leave my usual sweet demeanor when I talk to you, why is that? Is it because my argument has been reduced to tatters? Or . . . could there be another reason?

        • Ant

          Why is this hard? You’re not qualified to judge the evidence! Here’s a tip: suppose you evaluate the evidence to the best of your ability in a field of which you’re not an expert, and you conclude that the consensus is wrong. Don’t then conclude that the experts are wrong. The fact that you don’t get it might be an important consideration.

          Ok I disagree with your assertion that I am not qualified. As long as I can understand their theory and investigate the evidence they provide, I’m qualified. It’s really not that hard with evolutionary theory. Maybe in some fields it is more difficult, but not with evolutionary theory. I’ve read books on both sides of the subject and I find the evidence against evolutionary theory to be much more compelling.

          If we aren’t qualified to understand evolutionary theory, then why are you writing articles about how simple it is for complex things to evolve from simple things? Shouldn’t you leave the writing to the experts? How do you know your article is correct? Are you sure you understand everything properly? Of course these are rhetorical questions, but the point is if you shouldn’t be writing an article about evolutionary theory if you don’t think you’re qualified to understand it.

          I could quibble, but let’s accept that. So what? The consensus is the best we laymen have. Deal with it.

          Because you are basically arguing that the fact that there is a consensus is evidence the theory is true, or should be considered mostly correct at least. But it’s not, so you should stop using it as part of your argument. There are other reasons there could be a consensus. It could be because many modern scientists are committed to atheistic philosophy and they see evolutionary theory as a means of affirming their own beliefs and convincing the general public that atheism is more tenable.

          Right. And how do we laymen know? My suggestion: when a community of educated scientists reach a conclusion, let’s accept it as provisional truth. What would be better?

          As I laymen I am confident in my ability to assess the evidence. If you don’t feel that way, that’s your problem. Plus as I’ve mentioned there are educated scientists who disagree fundamentally with evolutionary theory, and when I listen to them I find their arguments to be much more convincing.

          Aaargh! Evolution is not abiogenesis!

          Well my point was that if you can’t get simple chemicals, then it would certainly be much more difficult to get complex animals, so the fact that even simple “life-like” molecules can’t be formed from chemical processes shows just how great the problem is for explaining all of life, which is much more complex than that. Of course abiogenesis and evolution are different fields, but if you can’t get simple chemicals to create basic or primitive life, then there is no reason to suspect that simple chemicals will form spontaneously into more complex configurations.

          That is a fact. There is no empirical evidence that life can spontaneously emerge from natural mechanisms, it doesn’t matter what else I believe.

          So your argument is, “There is no scientific consensus on abiogenesis, so there never will be”? That’s a winner.

          No… my point is that if you TRULY believe what science tells you, then you don’t believe that life can have a natural origin, because there is no evidence of that. You can’t just really really REALLY hope it will happen at some time in the future because that is what you want so you can have your faith affirmed.

          You sound like a Christian talking about how Jesus will come back some day… Don’t worry little Johnny, some day Jesus will rescue us. Except for you it’s “Don’t worry little Johnny, some day scientists will figure out how life had a natural origin, then our atheism faith will be affirmed”. It shows you’re not interested in the science at all, you just want to have your beliefs affirmed, beliefs to which you are just as emotionally attached as any Christian is to his religion.

          In the first place, this article wasn’t about abiogenesis. And in the second, you were wrong.

          OK I was wrong in that statement, but to be honest I was more referring to proteins, but I guess the basic building blocks of proteins can be considered a biomolecule in their own right. However, we’re still waiting for an experiment where all of the amino acids necessary for life are in the same place at the same time, being formed under natural conditions. So far no experiment has come even close to that, which really makes you wonder how easy it is. If you can’t even get the most basic building blocks to form naturally, how can one expect that the much more complex configurations that would resemble life might arise naturally? Maybe if you were emotionally attached to something like that happening you would hold out hope that one day everything we have seen thus far from science will be overturned.

          Here is a quote from your article:

          DNA (or RNA) becoming more complex, from the first simple cells four billion years ago to humans and other animals today, is explained by evolution

          Ok for a cell to exist at all it needs to have a massive amount of pre-existing DNA. A cell needs hundreds of proteins to exist at even the simplest level. By the time a cell exists on earth, even the simplest imaginable cell, the genome of that cell already contains massive amounts of highly specific functional DNA. So even if you want to believe that evolution can produce more functional sequences of DNA, there is still a massive problem of determining how enough functional DNA became present to allow for the existence of the first cell.

          I know this is not something you were talking about and you want to avoid it and only talk about evolution but it really is a big hole in your notion that getting DNA is very simple. DNA does not form naturally under any known circumstances. So why do you claim it’s so easy? It’s not, but you seem to think it is.

          Also, you are severely underestimating how difficult it is to get new, functional sequences of DNA once life has begun. The search space a random evolutionary process would have to search through is massive compared to the number of trials life would have had since the beginning of life. The probabilities that random search could find functional sequences, or even one functional sequence, is negligibly small. So your article is dead wrong.

          One last thing from you article I noticed.

          Creationists are forced to the very brink of accepting evolution when they agree that antibiotic resistance is caused by random mutation and natural selection acting on bacteria. Add more time (not just years but millions of years), and you get the diversity of life that you see on earth.

          This is a common misconception, and by now this talking point has been so thoroughly debunked I’m surprised you are still peddling it. It is known that anti-biotic resistance is caused by the destruction of functional DNA, not the accumulation. You can’t get new forms from this kind of mutation. The origin of new forms of diverse life cannot be created by the same process that leads to anti-biotic resistance, just thought you might want to learn that.

        • adam

          “Ok I disagree with your assertion that I am not qualified. ”

          Of course YOU do

          But as has already been demonstrated numerous times:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5b40fd99673a42236edaabecdec5324dc9fe839d9aeb7fa8cfe5ebcd91ad56f3.jpg

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Ok I disagree with your assertion that I am not qualified. As long as I can understand their theory and investigate the evidence they provide, I’m qualified.

          And when you’re on a bumpy airplane flight, do you barge into the cockpit to offer advice? When a friend is scheduled for surgery, do you give the surgeon some tips beforehand?

          Your hubris is astounding.

          It’s really not that hard with evolutionary theory.

          I know, right? It’s not that complicated, and it makes a lot of sense.

          If we aren’t qualified to understand evolutionary theory, then why are you writing articles about how simple it is for complex things to evolve from simple things? Shouldn’t you leave the writing to the experts?

          Why? Am I overturning the expert’s opinion? I think that’s your job.

          All I propose to be is a popularizer. Most of my posts don’t hinge on a scientific consensus, but where that’s important, I’m only trying to clarify that consensus, never upset it. Seriously—how stupid would that be? On what platform would I (a non-biologist) stand to reject the consensus?

          There are other reasons there could be a consensus. It could be because many modern scientists are committed to atheistic philosophy and they see evolutionary theory as a means of affirming their own beliefs and convincing the general public that atheism is more tenable.

          And what about the non-atheist scientists (which I believe in this country are a majority)? Are they just sitting there silently, aware that science has been hijacked by a bunch of renegade atheist assholes? Why not set things right and win a Nobel Prize for their trouble?

          You really need to think through your arguments before you click Post.

          As I laymen I am confident in my ability to assess the evidence.

          Regardless of your skill in the subject? You get to the “Pretty good, for an amateur” phase, and you get to judge all of science.

          Thanks for making your position clear. I hope that I’ve made it just as clear that I have a little more humility than to judge things I don’t understand.

          as I’ve mentioned there are educated scientists who disagree fundamentally with evolutionary theory, and when I listen to them I find their arguments to be much more convincing.

          You never stop to think about any agenda they might have?

          All Muslims know about Jesus and the crucifixion, but they, to a man, reject the resurrection. Why is that? You don’t suppose they have an agenda, do you?

          That’s what religion does.

          Of course abiogenesis and evolution are different fields

          Given how badly you’ve intermingled them so far, (1) your understanding of biology seems to be at the elementary school level (plus loads of lies from the Disco Institute) and (2) to redeem your reputation, I encourage you to be very clear to keep them separate in the future. The next time someone says something about evolution and you reply, “Yeah, but you can’t even explain where biomolecules came from! :-)” you will get the thrashing you deserve.

          There is no empirical evidence that life can spontaneously emerge from natural mechanisms, it doesn’t matter what else I believe.

          So what? Is there an argument here?

          No… my point is that if you TRULY believe what science tells you, then you don’t believe that life can have a natural origin, because there is no evidence of that.

          Wrong again. There’s loads of evidence. What’s missing is (1) a complete theory that (2) has become the scientific consensus.

          You can’t just really really REALLY hope it will happen at some time in the future because that is what you want so you can have your faith affirmed.

          Right now, science says, “I don’t know.” Maybe in the future that will be different. Maybe not. I’m sure you don’t care, because you have nothing riding on the outcome. You’ll just flit to another unanswered question in your eternal question to argue, “Science has unanswered questions; therefore, God.”

          Why is this hard? Yes, I realize that only an idiot uses faith to ground any statement, but don’t pretend that that applies to me.

          OK I was wrong in that statement

          Good to hear. Not everyone would say that. (I’ll ignore the handwaving that followed this, which undercut the honesty of your position.) Please avoid making the false statement again (some Christians would go back to square 1 with their bogus arguments once they’re in a new environment; I hope that’s not you), and please be a little more humble and thoughtful when making new statements.

          So far no experiment has come even close to that, which really makes you wonder how easy it is.

          Science is hard. C’est la vie. But again: so what? Are you making a point here or just shooting the breeze?

          Maybe if you were emotionally attached to something like that happening you would hold out hope that one day everything we have seen thus far from science will be overturned.

          Nope. Emotion has nothing to do with that. I think you’re confusing me with a Christian.

          Ok for a cell to exist at all it needs to have a massive amount of pre-existing DNA. A cell needs hundreds of proteins to exist at even the simplest level.

          Oh? Tell me more about this simplest cell. I believe you’re breaking some important new ground. The simplest possible DNA lifeform is unknown, as far as I know—that’s part of the problem of abiogenesis.

          I know this is not something you were talking about and you want to avoid it and only talk about evolution but it really is a big hole in your notion that getting DNA is very simple. DNA does not form naturally under any known circumstances. So why do you claim it’s so easy? It’s not, but you seem to think it is.

          I never said it was easy. Abiogenesis is yet another of those scientific problems that has been 10 years away from a solution for 50 years.

          And again, you’ve made no argument. Do so: abiogenesis is a hard, unsolved problem, so therefore . . . what?

          So your article is dead wrong.

          Why?

          This is a common misconception, and by now this talking point has been so thoroughly debunked I’m surprised you are still peddling it.

          Yeah, that’s largely my fault. I read science journals, not pseudo-scientific ones.

          It is known that anti-biotic resistance is caused by the destruction of functional DNA, not the accumulation. You can’t get new forms from this kind of mutation. The origin of new forms of diverse life cannot be created by the same process that leads to anti-biotic resistance, just thought you might want to learn that.

          I’ve learned nothing. But I’m intrigued now: tell me more. I’d prefer a brief summary by you, but if you must give a link, don’t give me a Creationist/ID one. Show me this conclusion in the mainstream biology community.

        • Ant

          Most of your post is just telling me you think I, and apparently your own self, are not qualified to investigate science on your own, and we should just trust what other people tell us to believe. Ok so what you’re saying is we should have FAITH that other people are correct. Sorry I want to see the evidence and determine what is true for myself.

          If you don’t think you’re qualified to understand science, fine, that’s your problem. I actually take the time to investigate it for myself instead of just blindly believing what other people say and having faith in them, and what I have found is that there are indeed serious problems with the theory of evolution, and there is much evidence against it. I don’t care if you think I’m unqualified, I know from my own research where I stand.

          The origin of DNA is in no way explained, nor it is known if random genetic mutations can produce sufficient amounts of genetic information to create new living forms. In fact, it seems mathematically impossible given what we know from current mutation rations and how many mutations would be needed to create even one protein in the history of life. The only thing that HAS been observed is very minor modifications to existing DNA that rarely lead to anything that could be considered beneficial. It certainly has never led to another near a new species, even with bacteria which reproduce thousands of times faster than humans and other similarly complex organisms.

          So your little article comparing the accumulation of DNA to a math equation or a snowflake is totally bogus. We can observe snowflakes being formed and we have a rigorous, empirical scientific understanding about how they are formed, and it is no way analogous to the creation of new functional sequences of DNA.

          If you want to learn about the minimal gene set required for a cell, I suggest you start with Eugene Koonin’s work about that topic. He puts the minimum number of proteins to produce the simplest cell around 250. The smallest known living example has over 400 proteins, which would require a massive amount of DNA. And remember DNA does not form naturally under any known conditions, so to get this much is a monstrous problem.

          If you want to learn about the mechanisms behind what causes antibiotic resistance, Behe has a peer-reviewed paper in Quarterly Review of Biology that explains what has been found. In almost every case the adaptations were caused by degradation of existing information, which is not the kind of process that can lead to new forms of life.

          Finally, yes, atheists are just as emotionally committed to their belief system as other religious people. For a variety of reasons many atheists simply do not want there to be a God. That is what gives them comfort. Especially the ones like you who promote atheism and try to convince people that God doesn’t exist. It is emotionally appealing to people like you to think that God doesn’t exist, because that might cause serious problems for you. So I know atheism isn’t based on rationality and reason as atheists would like to contend, it’s based on their emotional need for comfort to have their desired beliefs affirmed, just like most religious people.

        • Kodie

          Sorry but your grasp of science is very poor. I’m not talking about your grasp of biology or cosmology, but you have no grasp on the process of science. Furthermore, we’ve repeated some very easy concepts about atheism that you’re determined to ignore, it’s like you can’t even read. So SORRY ANT, you’re not going to be able to convince me or anyone here that you’re capable of understanding the research you wish to investigate all on your own. And still furthermore, you pattern here is someone who is gullible and does believe whatever shit you read without knowing what it was. It poisoned your mind and washed your brain. You find evolution unbelievable? With your shitty grasp of science and reading comprehension? You have no biases but your own lack of intellect and your ego demands you the right to your own opinion. Sorry ANT, science doesn’t work that way. Science is not a conspiracy, and you didn’t think your way to that suspicion without influence.

          Please stop trying to tell us how you’re going to do things in your fantasy world. I don’t care about your shitty opinion. You haven’t tried to convince anyone what you think is true, you likely don’t grasp what you think is true well enough to make a statement about it or support your statements. You sound like a tin-foil helmet lunatic.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Most of your post is just telling me you think I, and apparently your own self, are not qualified to investigate science on your own, and we should just trust what other people tell us to believe.

          For topics where there is a huge body of information to master and thousands of experts have come to a consensus, that’s correct.

          Educate yourself on science, but don’t imagine that you as an amateur are making a significant contribution to the field, and certainly don’t have the arrogance to declare yourself the ultimate judge of all science.

          Ok so what you’re saying is we should have FAITH that other people are correct. Sorry I want to see the evidence and determine what is true for myself.

          Since we rarely agree, let me find one small point of agreement here. What I sense you saying is that anyone would be an idiot to think that faith is a way to understand something. Quite so. It’s good to see that we agree.

          As for my using faith in anything, let alone science, that’s a mistake. I don’t do that. I do trust things, however, and science’s incredibly strong track record is worthy of my trust.

          I actually take the time to investigate it for myself instead of just blindly believing what other people say and having faith in them

          You take time? Enough to go to grad school and do the dissertation? Where’s your doctorate?

          Otherwise, you’re an amateur. And, based on what you’ve told us so far, you’re a poseur.

          what I have found is that there are indeed serious problems with the theory of evolution, and there is much evidence against it.

          Yeah, there’s just that weird thing about the people who actually understand the information having a very clear and very different conclusion. Obviously, there’s absolutely no reason for a layman like me to accept your opinion over the consensus view of all of biology. So I won’t.

          The origin of DNA is in no way explained

          Oh, fuck me—it’s abiogenesis again.

          it seems mathematically impossible given what we know from current mutation rations and how many mutations would be needed to create even one protein in the history of life.

          Actually, the opinion of you and Ken Ham don’t matter to me. Sorry.

          Going forward, you can just stop trying to explain why evolution is bunk. I don’t give a shit about the fruits of your “research.” Evolution is the consensus—deal with it, bitch.

          If you want to learn about the mechanisms behind what causes antibiotic resistance, Behe has a peer-reviewed paper in Quarterly Review of Biology that explains what has been found.

          Behe? Who cares what he thinks? He accepts speciation, for God’s sake! What an idiot.

          Finally, yes, atheists are just as emotionally committed to their belief system as other religious people.

          If atheists don’t accept their dogma, they go to hell? Weird—that’s news to me, and I’m an atheist!

          For a variety of reasons many atheists simply do not want there to be a God.

          I reject the God hypothesis for lack of evidence. I’m happy to follow the evidence. But, now that you mention it, the god of the OT is an asshole. I do indeed not want that guy to be in power.

          Especially the ones like you who promote atheism and try to convince people that God doesn’t exist.

          You’re clearly good at reading people’s souls, so tell me: what is my motivation here?

          It is emotionally appealing to people like you to think that God doesn’t exist, because that might cause serious problems for you.

          The hedonism thing, right? Yeah, if there were a god, I couldn’t murder any more, and that wouldn’t be any fun.

          So I know atheism isn’t based on rationality and reason as atheists would like to contend

          What about the people who reject the god hypothesis for lack of evidence?

        • Ant

          it seems mathematically impossible given what we know from current mutation rations and how many mutations would be needed to create even one protein in the history of life.

          Actually, the opinion of you and Ken Ham don’t matter to me. Sorry.

          Well it’s not anyone’s opinion, it’s based on the search space of the amino acid sequences of a protein and the measured mutation rates. It’s purely rooted in mathematics and probability, so who thinks what about it is irrelevant. And what the probabilities show is that most likely evolutionary mechanisms could not have produced a single protein in the history of life on earth.

          I don’t give a shit about the fruits of your “research.” Evolution is the consensus—deal with it, bitch.”

          It’s comments like this that prove to me I’m not debating a person with the slightest shred of intellectual honesty or maturity. There is no use debating someone with the mindset of a grade-schooler. A primary schooler to be exact. Originally I thought you would have a little more decency then some of the other toddlers I have been ignoring for the most part in your comment section, but maybe I was wrong.

          Any time a dissenting expert’s view is presented you simply say it doesn’t matter and dismiss it, even when it’s published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. When I mentioned Behe’s paper you simply asked “who cares?”. Uh… well maybe the editors of Quarterly Review of Biology, because they found his paper worthy of publishing. Who doesn’t care is you, because you really don’t care about the facts. And you don’t care about the facts because your attachment to atheism is completely emotional, not at all based on reason or evidence or anything like that. You are mostly just upset that an “IDiot’s” work disproved part of your article.

          I reject the God hypothesis for lack of evidence. I’m happy to follow the evidence.

          And yet somehow you claimed you believe there is a natural explanation for the origin of life even though there is no evidence of that. See how biased you are? You’ll reject God on the basis of not seeing anything you consider evidence, but when it comes to areas where you have an emotional commitment, you don’t follow the evidence at all. You believe the opposite of what the evidence says, in fact. So will you admit you believe things for which there is no evidence if they support your emotional wishes?

        • MNb

          “It’s purely rooted in mathematics and probability”
          Nope.

          http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11191-015-9801-7

          So at one hand I have a qualified mathematician.
          At the other hand I have a lying bigot and stupid ignorant.
          Difficult choice.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You are mostly just upset that an “IDiot’s” work disproved part of your article.

          Except that it doesn’t. But because you can’t see further than the end of yer nose, you wouldn’t know that. You are happy enough in your confirmation biased world to accept the one fallacious story that supports your stupid ideas, but will ignore the numerous counter positions.

          https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2010/12/12/behes-new-paper/

          The complete lack of any credible scientific evidence tells you all you really need to know. Is there any scientific foundation for Intelligent Design? The quick one word summary is “No“.

          With no credible evidence on the table, any and all creationist claims need not be addressed, but instead should simply be dismissed. If they wish to ever assert a claim that is not dismissed, then they need to first go do some science that backs it up.

          http://www.skeptical-science.com/science/claims-peer-review-intelligent-design-examined/

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Well it’s not anyone’s opinion, it’s based on the search space of the amino acid sequences of a protein and the measured mutation rates. It’s purely rooted in mathematics and probability, so who thinks what about it is irrelevant.

          Prove it. Take your argument to the people who actually understand the information, have them accept it, and get the consensus changed. And then I’ll change. See how that’s done?

          And what the probabilities show is that most likely evolutionary mechanisms could not have produced a single protein in the history of life on earth.

          You’re not making a lot of sense here, but let me try to piece together what you may be saying. Take any particular protein in a particular cell. The odds of any random string of DNA encoding that protein are infinitesimally small. Therefore, God must’ve intervened.

          But no one says that that particular DNA sequence was made in any way equivalent to flipping a coin thousands of times and getting it to land just the right way to spell out that sequence of bases. This DNA sequence comes from a previous sequence in some ancestor organism that mutated in one or two places to create a sequence that was selected as being a little better. That’s it.

          It’s like saying, “Look at this bridge hand I was just dealt! The odds are 100 billion to 1!” That’s true, no matter you’re your hand is. But so what? It’s only startling if you have a prior expectation and then you are randomly dealt it. And there’s no parallel for that in what we’re talking about.

          It’s comments like this that prove to me I’m not debating a person with the slightest shred of intellectual honesty or maturity.

          No, it proves that I have limited patience with someone who is arrogant, with far too much confidence in pseudoscience, and who refuses to learn.

          There is no use debating someone with the mindset of a grade-schooler.

          Jeez—you’re right. Why am I wasting my time with you?

          Originally I thought you would have a little more decency then some of the other toddlers I have been ignoring for the most part in your comment section, but maybe I was wrong.

          That’s rich, coming from someone who publicly brags about rejecting the conclusion of science and declaring himself Judge of All®.

          Any time a dissenting expert’s view is presented you simply say it doesn’t matter and dismiss it

          Why is this hard? You present an expert’s view, and I trump that with the consensus view of the entire fucking body of Biology? You lose, every time.

          When I mentioned Behe’s paper you simply asked “who cares?”.

          Perhaps you need to go back and reread that. I was pointing out the slight discomfort you’re obliged to feel when you point to Behe as an authority you respect, even though he accepts common descent. I suppose that means that you accept it as well? If not, I’m even more flummoxed trying to figure out your hypocrisy. Now, as Judge of All, you’re not just selecting good and bad scientists, you’re now selecting individual statements of scientists, putting them into Naughty and Nice piles. But if that’s how you do things, why bother with the scientists? It’s simply a formality pointing to what a scientists says; the ultimate authority is you! That Behe agrees with you here and disagrees there has become irrelevant! So don’t whine to me about dismissing the statements of a scientist!

          And yet somehow you claimed you believe there is a natural explanation for the origin of life even though there is no evidence of that.

          Wrong again. There is evidence for abiogenesis; there just isn’t a theory yet. And there may never be one. I’ve made that clear.

          So will you admit you believe things for which there is no evidence if they support your emotional wishes?

          When you give me an example to show that I do this.

        • Ant

          Prove it. Take your argument to the people who actually understand the information, have them accept it, and get the consensus changed. And then I’ll change. See how that’s done?

          Prove it to yourself. Learn to think for yourself for once instead of just believing what other people tell you. It’s really not that hard. Just take the length of a protein in terms of amino acids, calculate the number of possible permutations given that a protein uses 20 amino acids, and then find out how frequently mutation events introduce new gene sequences into the genome that can be used by selection. I know for a fact that the last variable exists in the scientific literature, so all of the information is given and it doesn’t take anything close to a PhD to perform the very basic probability calculations.

          This DNA sequence comes from a previous sequence in some ancestor organism that mutated in one or two places to create a sequence that was selected as being a little better. That’s it.

          This statement actually betrays a poor understanding of the nature of proteins, and a lack of knowledge of the actual data and really even the present theory itself. First of all proteins are extremely sequence specific, so for the gene to be selectable at all it would have to be very close to the final observed sequence or it wouldn’t be functional. Scientists have really kind of abandoned the idea that proteins evolve directly from previous functional proteins in a sort of ever-functional continuum. Pretty much they now argue that proteins evolve from the so-called “junk” regions of DNA that are randomly mutating with more or less neutral effect until something is happened upon by chance and then preserved by natural selection. Or so they argue.

          But even more damning to your claim the proteins evolve from more primitive ancestral forms is what are called orphan genes. Orphan genes are protein-coding regions of DNA that are specific to a single species and have no ancestral ortholog in any other known species, even species that are fairly similar. What this means is that orphan genes are proteins that have no discernible ancestral proteins from which they evolved, and thus they were created more or less “de-novo” as they are in the given species. This wouldn’t be too big a problem for evolution if there were only a couple of these, but scientists estimate that orphan genes make up about 10-15% of the genome of every living organism on the planet, sometimes going as high as 50% of the genome in some bacteria.

          Given how rare one would expect the evolution of completely novel proteins to be in these sort of “de-novo” type events, this is a massive, seemingly impossible observation for evolutionary theory to explain. Indeed, there is no explanation, and once one really understands what orphan genes are, it quickly becomes clear that evolutionary theory is entirely inadequate to explain their existence… even a few of them, much less thousands of them spread throughout all life. In any case it totally puts to bed your claim that proteins always evolve from some similar form with a few minor tweaks.

          So your statement there is completely wrong.

          It’s like saying, “Look at this bridge hand I was just dealt! The odds are 100 billion to 1!” That’s true, no matter you’re your hand is. But so what? It’s only startling if you have a prior expectation and then you are randomly dealt it. And there’s no parallel for that in what we’re talking about.

          Here again you are demonstrating that you really don’t grasp this subject very well. The problem with this statement is that with proteins, they actually do necessarily have to be a very specific way, and evolutionary mechanisms do have to find those exact, specific sequences for life to evolve. The reason for this is that proteins practically always act in large teams or networks of protein pathways, and every protein has to be present in its modern, observed form for any of the other proteins to have any function. So all the proteins in a given network do have to be in place exactly as they are, and all at once, to have any selectable function.

          Since proteins can only interact with one another if each protein is more or less exactly the way it is as currently observed, this means that all of the proteins in the network do have to have the sequence they have, or none of the proteins will have any function.

          So your analogy does not actually apply to the biological facts. To think about it correctly, imagine you have a protein network of 20 proteins, each of which is necessary for the pathway as a whole. This is actually quite common, and some pathways involve hundreds of proteins.

          The analogy for this would be basically needing to have 20 very specific, pre-selected bridge hands dealt to you at once, and having that happen within only a few trials. In other words, it’s like saying you have a prior expectation of 20 bridge hands that you need, and being dealt all of them in only a couple deals. If you think getting one pre-determined bridge hand is startling, how much more so 20? Or a hundred?! Of course the odds of this happening are so small, to say they are astronomically small doesn’t even begin to describe it. For all intents and purposes, it’s impossible. And yet if you properly understand the nature of the biology then this would be the analogy that would properly characterize how difficult it is to evolve new proteins.

          In my opinion if people were reasonable they would conclude that the theory based on this is completely wrong and even impossible, but look how many people accept evolutionary theory in spite of this.

          Why is this hard? You present an expert’s view, and I trump that with the consensus view of the entire fucking body of Biology? You lose, every time.

          Well remember, the reason I brought up Behe was because of a very specific point you made in your article that was incorrect. It was proven wrong by an article written by Behe which was published in a highly respected peer-reviewed science journal, which means other scientists thought it had merit too. When it comes to the matter in question, you were/are definitely wrong. The process that produces antibiotic resistance cannot also create new life forms as you claimed in your article, and this is based on a peer-reviewed scientific article. So in this very specific case the body of biology disagrees with you.

          Whether I agree with Behe about common descent or anything else is irrelevant to the point I was making. I was addressing a specific point you made in your article, and it just so happens that the research which disproves it was done by Behe. If it had been done by someone else I would have still used that research, even if I disagreed with the author on everything else, because that was the research that disproved that specific point you made and which I was specifically addressing. So stop trying to distract from the fact that part of your article was dead wrong.

          And yet somehow you claimed you believe there is a natural explanation for the origin of life even though there is no evidence of that.

          Wrong again. There is evidence for abiogenesis; there just isn’t a theory yet. And there may never be one. I’ve made that clear.

          What evidence could you possibly be thinking of? Seriously what is it? From what I have seen it is not even close to possible for even a simple self-replicating molecule to spontaneously assemble using simple chemicals and the laws of nature. DNA does not form naturally under any known conditions outside of the cell. Same with RNA. There is no known environment where even half of the amino acids used in life would have all been present naturally, and they would have all had to be same-handed, which no known natural process could produce in such a way. There is also no evidence that a functional cell membrane could have naturally arisen that would be necessary to protect these chemicals as they bond with one another.

          Even if all of these things were somehow magically present in the necessary forms (which there is no evidence they would have been), they do not naturally form bonds with one another outside of cells which use modern enzymes to catalyze those reactions, and aquatic environments completely prevent those reactions from occurring so the event could not have taken place in water contrary to what many people think. AND all of these elements, which would have been exceedingly rare on the early earth IF they were present at all (and there is no evidence they would have been), would have to have been present at the exact same time and place for it to matter at all, which greatly increases the unlikelihood of this all.

          So there is no DNA, no RNA, no proteins to perform the replication for the DNA or to perform protein synthesis, barely any amino aids, no cell membrane, and none of the necessary reactions could take place in water. So what theory could there possibly be that explains how life could have arisen without most of the essential building blocks even being present at all AND where the necessary bonds cannot take place between the relevant molecules? The answer is no theory that makes sense, but the facts tell us that these are the circumstances to work with.

          So please tell me what possible evidence you could be talking about? It’s like saying you think there is evidence a person can build a space ship that can fly people to the moon using only twigs and rocks as materials. And the person is blind and deaf and has no idea how to build a space ship or even what a space ship is AND the twigs and rocks are nowhere near one another AND even if they were there is no available means by which to fasten one material to the other. Why would you think such a thing? Only if your thinking was not based on any kind of logic or reasoning about what is realistic or true.

          So if you believe all of this is possible, then no, you don’t believe the evidence. In my opinion you are even worse than the blindly faithful theist, because not only is there simply a lack of evidence as in that case, the evidence we do have is completely against you. So please stop pretending you only believe things for which there is evidence if you are going to maintain that you still believe life had a natural origin. Oh, and by the way, if there is no God life MUST have had a natural origin. Have fun with that.

        • Michael Neville

          I am really impressed. Rarely have I seen so much ignorance displayed in such a erudite fashion. Ant dismisses generations of work by trained and experienced biologists and replaces all that expertise with creationist bullshit.

          Let’s just look at one example of this bullshit:

          calculate the number of possible permutations given that a protein uses 20 amino acids, and then find out how frequently mutation events introduce new gene sequences into the genome that can be used by selection.

          This is one of the creationists’ favorite ploys. “It’s statistically impossible for evolution to have produced proteins and DNA and like that there, so GODDIDIT!” What creationists like Ant fail to understand is that 3.8 (± .3) billion years is a very long time for mutation and natural selection to work.

          The rest of Ant’s rant against evolution (which he still confuses with abiogenesis) is his usual “I don’t think it happened because of my ignorance and incredulity.”

          What creationists like Ant also fail to understand is if evolution is shown to be wrong than whatever replaces it must be able to answer the questions that evolution presently answers and answer other questions that evolution fails to answer. GODDIDIT answers no questions and so is not a viable alternative to evolution. It is not a zero-sum game between creationism and evolution. If evolution fails then creationism doesn’t automatically win. Creationism isn’t even in the game.

        • adam

          “I don’t think it happened because of my ignorance and incredulity.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6865a4cce3282762d39ccbf755e5a9a9ac316fdc6eeed7b3093b367aedf73658.jpg

        • MNb

          “Creationism isn’t even in the game.”
          The funny thing is that he admitted it in his very first comment on this page – that the means used by his supposed creator are unknowable.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Prove it to yourself. Learn to think for yourself for once instead of just believing what other people tell you.

          Yeah, that line does sound pretty good until you stop and think that “think for yourself” actually means, “I set myself up as Judge of All Knowledge and decide what’s true and what’s false.” That’s too arrogant for me, thanks.

          Just take the length of a protein in terms of amino acids, calculate the number of possible permutations given that a protein uses 20 amino acids, and then find out how frequently mutation events introduce new gene sequences into the genome that can be used by selection.

          Look at this bridge hand I was just dealt! What are the chances?!

          This statement actually betrays a poor understanding of the nature of proteins

          And this gets back to my previous point. If you didn’t understand it, let me restate it: my understanding of some bit of minutia doesn’t matter for this conversation. And words cannot express how little I care for your conclusions. But the path for you is clear: convince the scientific establishment, and y’know what? I’ll change. On a dime. When that consensus changes, I’m there.

          Why are you wasting your time with me? If you have found evolution’s Achilles Heel, don’t bother with a knucklehead like me. Go convince someone who can actually evaluate it. (That instead you’re here makes me suspect that you know what’s obvious to me: your argument is bullshit, you know it, and you know that any average biologist would laugh at it.)

          When it comes to the matter in question, you were/are definitely wrong. The process that produces antibiotic resistance cannot also create new life forms as you claimed in your article, and this is based on a peer-reviewed scientific article. So in this very specific case the body of biology disagrees with you.

          Give me the article link.

          Whether I agree with Behe about common descent or anything else is irrelevant to the point I was making.

          Irrelevant? The guy is an idiot. Did you not understand that he accepts common descent? What kind of loon are we talking about here?!

          What evidence could you possibly be thinking of? Seriously what is it?

          Look up “abiogenesis” in Wikipedia. Look it up on YouTube. Spend a few hours and then tell me if you haven’t learned some new ideas about potential ways abiogenesis could work. That is what is called within science “evidence.”

          From what I have seen

          Spend less time with Ken Ham.

        • Ant

          Yeah, that line does sound pretty good until you stop and think that “think for yourself” actually means, “I set myself up as Judge of All Knowledge and decide what’s true and what’s false.” That’s too arrogant for me, thanks.

          Really unbelievable to me. Ok if you want to believe that “thinking for yourself” is arrogant, all I can say is that that is pathetic. And what’s almost funny is I constantly hear atheists calling themselves “freethinkers”. You should tell them how arrogant they are.

          Why are you wasting your time with me? If you have found evolution’s Achilles Heel, don’t bother with a knucklehead like me. Go convince someone who can actually evaluate it.

          Ok well how about you stop writing articles and promoting a topic you yourself don’t claim to understand. Leave it to the experts from now on, because according to your own arguments you aren’t qualified to write anything about it. Or maybe just put a disclaimer at the top of the article that says something along the lines of “I am writing an article about a topic I don’t understand, so there is no reason to take it seriously”. Or something like that. That would work, and I wouldn’t feel it necessary to respond to it or even take it seriously. You write this bogus article on this little blog promoting a certain topic and then when someone criticizes it your response is basically “Why bother me, I don’t even understand this stuff?”. Simply unreal and laughable.

          “Look up “abiogenesis” in Wikipedia. Look it up on YouTube. Spend a few hours and then tell me if you haven’t learned some new ideas about potential ways abiogenesis could work. That is what is called within science “evidence.”

          I just a good portion of the last post explaining the myriad of problems with abiogenesis and you simply tell me to go to wikipedia and youtube to learn more, where you can also find information defending creationism? So you define scientific evidence as reading articles on wikipedia (which is open edit) and youtube? Wow maybe you are the one who doesn’t understand science.

          How about you address what I’ve already said? I would like to hear how you defend the problems I’ve already address, such as how a cell could be formed without barely any of the necessary ingredients being present and when the necessary reactions could not have taken place. To me that is evidence it is impossible, but if you care to try to explain I would be glad to listen.

        • Michael Neville

          Ok if you want to believe that “thinking for yourself” is arrogant, all I can say is that that is pathetic.

          Thinking for yourself is a good idea if you have the knowledge and expertise to reach a reasonable conclusion. If, on the other hand, you’re an ignorant, incredulous know-nothing, then thinking for yourself is a meaningless gesture.

        • Kodie

          You are lying to yourself if you think you are thinking for yourself. You have been lied to and the people who lie to you make up lies about the subject you don’t know shit about so you think there are all these problems with it. I am thinking for myself, you asshole. You think it’s some kind of conspiracy.

          Also, you did not answer questions. How about you answer those questions? You pretended to forget about them, but you just ignored them because you don’t know. How can anyone believe you think for yourself. You can’t even read English.

        • Susan

          I would like to hear how you defend the problems I’ve already address

          I would like you to tell us what evolutionary theory is.

          And then, show us how your problems are relevant.

          I would provide links for beginners (curious laypersons) but countless people already have and you’ve stuck your fingers in your ears.

          If evolution is a problem and you see the problems, what are you doing on an atheist blog that examines the problems with christian claims?

          Many biologists who accept the evidence are christians.

          Why aren’t you arguing with them?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Really unbelievable to me. Ok if you want to believe that “thinking for yourself” is arrogant

          Wrong again. Not what I said. I said that imagining yourself as the judge of a field of which you are an outsider is arrogant.

          I realize that this means nothing to you, but this may clarify for any observers.

          Ok well how about you stop writing articles and promoting a topic you yourself don’t claim to understand. Leave it to the experts from now on, because according to your own arguments you aren’t qualified to write anything about it.

          Are you forgetful? Stupid? I’m a popularizer. Someone who wants to overturn science, who wants to tell a group of scientists that all 100,000 of them have their heads up their collective asses, and yet who doesn’t understand that field, is a little out of line. Not what I’m doing—that’s you.

          I just a good portion of the last post explaining the myriad of problems with abiogenesis and you simply tell me to go to wikipedia and youtube to learn more

          Early onset Alzheimer’s? You said there was zero evidence for abiogenesis. I pointed out where that evidence could be found. You’re welcome.

          And now it’s your turn. Do your Whac-a-Mole imitation and pop up somewhere else with a slightly different argument.

          How about you address what I’ve already said? I would like to hear how you defend the problems I’ve already address

          How about you respond to my challenge? Perhaps it frightens you? Let me tell you again: Your overturning of evolution is lost on me. If you were successful, I don’t have the ability to determine that you were correct. Amateur, remember? You should tell the scientific community. Get some biologists on your side. Write a paper.

          Nah—they’d just destroy you like I’m not able to (and don’t have the interest to). I can see why you’re afraid.

        • Ant

          Are you forgetful? Stupid? I’m a popularizer.

          What you are is a fraud. But I guess if the little lemmings who read your drivel can’t figure that out even when you admit you really don’t understand what you’re talking about, then that’s their problem.

          Early onset Alzheimer’s? You said there was zero evidence for abiogenesis. I pointed out where that evidence could be found. You’re welcome.

          OK well what in your opinion is the evidence? Because I’ve gone to the internet and I don’t see any, I just see the problems I outlined before. So I’m wondering what you think is the evidence. So far you’ve said nothing of substance to me, you’ve just told me to go look elsewhere. If you’re such a big smart, scientifically-minded atheist, then what is so hard about explaining what you know? Come on, use your reason and love of science to shame the dumb creationist. Please explain how life can form spontaneously when the necessary ingredients were not present and where the necessary reactions couldn’t take place?

          Or are you going to prove how much of a fraud you are and just say I should just look somewhere else besides you, a know-nothing who just “popularizes” things you don’t have a clue about. Provide what you think is evidence or admit that you don’t have any.

        • Ignorant Amos

          What you are is a fraud. But I guess if the little lemmings who read your drivel can’t figure that out even when you admit you really don’t understand what you’re talking about, then that’s their problem.

          Ha-ha-haa-ha-ha-ha-haaa!

          My supply of irony meters just can’t keep up with your inane moronic drivel.

        • TheNuszAbides

          curses! i’ll keep an eye out for fresh supply lines while passing through Japan & Oz in a few months.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          What you are is a fraud. But I guess if the little lemmings who read your drivel can’t figure that out even when you admit you really don’t understand what you’re talking about, then that’s their problem.

          I’ll just repeat it because I enjoy pointing it out: you are not a biologist and yet declare yourself so capable that you can reject a theory within that field. A theory you don’t understand.

          No, it’s not really a lemming thing to have a little humility and acknowledge when you’re not an expert. But nice try.

          OK well what in your opinion is the evidence?

          That which is “evidence” in the opinion of scientists.

          Because I’ve gone to the internet and I don’t see any, I just see the problems I outlined before.

          Stop the presses! Ant is concerned about what passes for “evidence” these days!

          Yeah, that’ll keep me up at night.

          So I’m wondering what you think is the evidence.

          Meh. I think you’re just trying to change the subject.

          So far you’ve said nothing of substance to me, you’ve just told me to go look elsewhere.

          You’re determined to not be convinced. So you say you’re not convinced? Golly—what a surprise.

          If you’re such a big smart, scientifically-minded atheist, then what is so hard about explaining what you know?

          (1) Waste of my time. Probably a waste of yours as well, but I don’t give a shit.

          (2) Your reluctance to approach and actual, y’know, scientist with your groundbreaking information speaks volumes. You know you’d get your ass handed to you, if you even got a hearing.

          Tip: begin your request with some reference to Ken Ham or Kent Hovind. That’ll open doors.

          Come on, use your reason and love of science to shame the dumb creationist. Please explain how life can form spontaneously when the necessary ingredients were not present and where the necessary reactions couldn’t take place?

          “You can’t explain abiogenesis!!!”

          Nice one. Yeah, that never stops being funny.

        • Ant

          Absolutely no evidence provided. I’m done with you. Just a fake loser writing about things you don’t even understand. When I try to discuss the science with you, you just tell me you don’t understand and to go look on the internet because you know nothing. And you all have the gall to insult people for being ignorant of science when that is your defense? Wow you are such a fraud.

          Keep on writing your fraudulent science articles, I’m sure the fact that you’ve been exposed as an ignorant wannabe, a pathetic joke who only pretends to have a clue about the topics he’s explaining won’t dissuade your lemmings from absorbing what you write. And the worst part to me is you probably don’t even feel the slightest bit of shame about what a complete phony you are and that you are hypocrite who is NO different from the people you criticize when you say they believe in things for which there is no evidence. I just hope other people wake up and see it someday.

        • Susan

          Just a fake loser writing about things you don’t understand.

          (sigh) I wish Bob S. had a budget to help us replace irony meters. We go through so many.

          When I try to discuss the science with you

          When have you ever discussed the science? I’ve seen many people provide you with links and introductory explanations and many others try to discuss the actual science with you. You ignored it every time.

          Do you have a problem with theories of gravity? No. Germ theory? No. Just evolutionary theory.

          Do you know anything about the theory you attack? No. You are attacking strawmen that creationists have erected.

          IF you knew anything about the subject, you would be on biology forums or better yet providing evidence in the field that undermined/overturned the theory.

          But you’re not. You think it’s a religious discussion. It’s not.

          That you can’t tell the difference says everything.

          your lemmings

          See my above concern about irony meters. Show me an orignal thought. You are repeating crap from creationist web sites and have done nothing to check their work.

          You said talkorigins is biased and when I asked you to support that accusation, you were unable to provide anything.

          Have you ever taken antibiotics?

          you are and that you are hypocrite who is NO different from the people you criticize when you say they believe in things for which there is no evidence.

          There is plenty of evidence for evolutionary theory and you don’t want to consider it.

          There is no evidence for Yahwehjesus.

          You ask for evidence and people provide it and you ignore it. We ask for evidence for Yahwehjesus and and none is ever provided. Just excuses for why there can be no evidence.

          You mix up evolution and atheism. You mix up evolution, abiogenesis, cosmology and atheism.

          You’re not interested in evidence. Not even slightly.

          You are the metaphorical lemming. (By the way, the metaphor about lemmings is based on a myth about lemmings.)

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Do you have a problem with theories of gravity? No. Germ theory? No. Just evolutionary theory.

          If Ant is going to set those pencil-necked scientists straight, I wish he’d do it with something that is actually nonsensical: quantum physics. That shit is truly weird. Evolution just makes sense.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I’m done with you.

          Promise?

          Just a fake loser writing about things you don’t even understand.

          Remind me again of which one of us is rejecting the consensus in a field that he doesn’t understand.

          When I try to discuss the science with you, you just tell me you don’t understand

          This isn’t hard. You’re a fucking waste of time. Yes, looking at the factoids you toss out might be a fun exercise, but I don’t have any interest in that.

          What I do enjoy, however, is pointing out that your not going to someone who actually does understand this to convince them reveals that you aren’t eager to get taken to the woodshed. I understand your reluctance, but then don’t waste my time with ideas that you know won’t pass muster with an actual scientist.

        • MR

          I particularly like this unhinged concluding screed of his. At the end of the day, it’s not about having a calm, level-headed, reasoned, or even common-sensed argument. No sensible explanation of why he believes or why we should believe in God. Just a venomous, ad hominem-laced, hyperbolic, emotional temper tantrum. Such a fine representative for a just and loving God!

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Creationists always seem eager to trot out their latest bit of trivia–some discovery that they can spin to attack evolution. There’s no point in responding (except for the practice [or the sport]) since if you destroy this micro-argument, they’ll just find another.

          He’s furious that I won’t join him in his circle jerk. Ah, well, that’s the heavy price I must pay. No Christmas card from Ant this year, I guess.

        • TheNuszAbides

          I’m done with you.

          at least you admit when you’re giving up — even couched in such absurdly, unjustifiably dismissive puffery. saves further seemingly-wasteful expenditures of attention. it’s just a shame you don’t indicate you’ll proceed to exercise your attention/imagination constructively on any of these topics.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Really unbelievable to me.

          Why does that not surprise me?

          Ok if you want to believe that “thinking for yourself” is arrogant, all I can say is that that is pathetic.

          Ah ha…but that is not is what is being put forward, so you are being dishonest again. Thinking for yourself, and thinking you know better than the consensus of the experts are different things.

          Google scientific consensus…if ya can.

          Nothing wrong with thinking for oneself, in fact if you really did such a thing we’d all applaud you. But you don’t….obviously.

          What you are doing is nothing like thinking for yourself. Cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias is what you are at. I might grant you a bit of compartmentalisation too.

          And what’s almost funny is I constantly hear atheists calling themselves “freethinkers”. You should tell them how arrogant they are.

          What is arrogant, is thinking you know better than the vast body of experts in the various assorted fields involved in the subject to which you’ve demonstrated you know next to fuck all about. But what compounds your arrogance is the fact that while we can see you know fuck all about these subjects, you cherry pick from a minority of kooks who have been shown to be just that by their peers in the academy.

          Let me try and put it into perspective. That’s like me putting a lot of store in the ability of an civil engineer who has demonstrated their incompetence in the field. There are numerous of examples of such engineers.

          A disaster is referred to as an engineering disaster when it’s caused by an engineering failure: design flaws or materials failures, often caused by insufficient knowledge, different underestimations, or even carelessness or negligence.

          Take the example of the Titanic.

          So I’m debating ship construction techniques and I cite the Titanic as a great example of ship building engineering in the 20th century. You come at me and request, on what knowledge do I base my assessment? I say that my knowledge of engineering is based on my reading a few wiki pages and a minority of articles blaming the sinking on a number of issues not pertaining to the construction of the Titanic, and anyway, it looks lovely and it was built in my home town of Belfast and therefore I don’t acknowledge the piles of evidence that point to it as being an engineering failure. I’m deciding on my gut feeling and the couple of articles which I prefer through bias because they fit my narrative better than the consensus of engineers who say that there were a number of engineering failures in the design, construction, materials, and process implementation of the Titanic.

          Would you not consider it arrogant of me to insist that I, who knows fuck all about engineering, in the face of the consensus of expert engineers in the field, knows best?

          Is that sort of “thinking for myself” justified?

          I think not.

        • Kodie

          I have said before and need to say again. The scientific consensus answer just sounds like a conspiracy to them, so it is pointless to try to explain. Bob explains it poorly – we are ignorant, we have no choice but to follow the experts, the leaders, do whatever they say. That’s exactly what creationist morons like ant hear.

        • Ignorant Amos

          At this point I’m wondering what the cretins point is in being here.

          He ignores everything he is being taught, and there is no way that anyone is going to be swayed by any of the bilge he is pumping out. So an impasse has been attained.

          I had him blocked for a day, but trying to read the interesting replies from his interlocutors was difficult without seeing the other side, so I then had to unblock him.

          Ant is starting to viscerally attack Bob in his most recent replies, so I can’t imagine he will be around too much longer.

        • MNb

          “what the cretins point is”
          To confirm their imagined intellectual superiority.

        • Ignorant Amos

          “I am wiser than this man, for neither of us appears to know anything great and good; but he fancies he knows something, although he knows nothing; whereas I, as I do not know anything, so I do not fancy I do. In this trifling particular, then, I appear to be wiser than he, because I do not fancy I know what I do not know.” ~ —attributed to Socrates, from Plato, Apology

          David Dunning and Justin Kruger would have a field day studying Ant.

        • Ignorant Amos

          New Evidence on the Origins of Life on Earth

          Chapel Hill, North Carolina – In the beginning, there were simple chemicals. And they produced amino acids that eventually became the proteins necessary to create single cells. And the single cells became plants and animals. Recent research is revealing how the primordial soup created the amino acid building blocks, and there is widespread scientific consensus on the evolution from the first cell into plants and animals. But it’s still a mystery how the building blocks were first assembled into the proteins that formed the machinery of all cells. Now, two long-time University of North Carolina scientists – Richard Wolfenden, PhD, and Charles Carter, PhD – have shed new light on the transition from building blocks into life some 4 billion years ago.

          https://scitechdaily.com/new-evidence-on-the-origins-of-life-on-earth/

        • MNb

          “It’s really not that hard.”
          For you it obviously is, because you have done nothing but parroting arguments taken over from other creacrappers.

        • Susan

          Prove it to yourself. Learn to think for yourself for once instead of just believing what other people tell you

          How is reiterating creationist propaganda without studying the field they criticize “thinking for yourself”?

          Actually thinking for yourself takes work. They have sold you their ideas (by lying about the field they criiticize) and made it easy for you to believe that they (and you, vicariously) are freethinkers.

          It’s what con artists do. If you want to think for yourself, check the evidence. Check how science is done and what it says in the relevant fields and why.

          The rest of your comment is too long and is just more repetition of creationist creacrap.

          I asked you twice now. What is evolutionary theory?

          You haven’t responded.

          If you were really thinking for yourself, wouldn’t you have answered that question?

          You’re attacking a strawman. Because people have set one up and attacked it.

          And you believe them without investigating the relevant fields of science.

          That is not thinking for yourself. That’s just the label they stick on it so you’ll believe that’s what you’re all doing.

        • Ant

          NOTE: SECOND HALF OF PREVIOUS POST

          And yet somehow you claimed you believe there is a natural explanation for the origin of life even though there is no evidence of that.

          Wrong again. There is evidence for abiogenesis; there just isn’t a theory yet. And there may never be one. I’ve made that clear.

          What evidence could you possibly be thinking of? Seriously what is it? From what I have seen it is not even close to possible for even a simple self-replicating molecule to spontaneously assemble using simple chemicals and the laws of nature. DNA does not form naturally under any known conditions outside of the cell. Same with RNA. There is no known environment where even half of the amino acids used in life would have all been present naturally, and they would have all had to be same-handed, which no known natural process could produce in such a way. There is also no evidence that a functional cell membrane could have naturally arisen that would be necessary to protect these chemicals as they bond with one another.

          Even if all of these things were somehow magically present in the necessary forms (which there is no evidence they would have been), they do not naturally form bonds with one another outside of cells which use modern enzymes to catalyze those reactions, and aquatic environments completely prevent those reactions from occurring so the event could not have taken place in water contrary to what many people think. AND all of these elements, which would have been exceedingly rare on the early earth IF they were present at all (and there is no evidence they would have been), would have to have been present at the exact same time and place for it to matter at all, which greatly increases the unlikelihood of this all.

          So there is no DNA, no RNA, no proteins to perform the replication for the DNA or to perform protein synthesis, barely any amino aids, no cell membrane, and none of the necessary reactions could take place in water. So what theory could there possibly be that explains how life could have arisen without most of the essential building blocks even being present at all AND where the necessary bonds cannot take place between the relevant molecules? The answer is no theory that makes sense, but the facts tell us that these are the circumstances to work with.

          So please tell me what possible evidence you could be talking about? It’s like saying you think there is evidence a person can build a space ship that can fly people to the moon using only twigs and rocks as materials. And the person is blind and deaf and has no idea how to build a space ship or even what a space ship is AND the twigs and rocks are nowhere near one another AND even if they were there is no available means by which to fasten one material to the other. Why would you think such a thing? Only if your thinking was not based on any kind of logic or reasoning about what is realistic or true.

          So if you believe all of this is possible, then no, you don’t believe the evidence. In my opinion you are even worse than the blindly faithful theist, because not only is there simply a lack of evidence as in that case, the evidence we do have is completely against you. So please stop pretending you only believe things for which there is evidence if you are going to maintain that you still believe life had a natural origin. Oh, and by the way, if there is no God life MUST have had a natural origin. Have fun with that.

        • adam

          “From what I have seen it is not even close to possible for even a simple self-replicating molecule to spontaneously assemble using simple chemicals and the laws of nature. ”

          But you’ve already demonstrated how stupid you really are, so no one is surprised what you cant see.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/62da10177de8c12d9feedf1a0ff3d448ed929feef887a1192640edb3a8a15953.jpg

        • adam

          “Oh, and by the way, if there is no God life MUST have had a natural origin.”

          Could have just as easily been Invisible Pink Flying Unicorns instead of God.

          Same evidence for each.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fe4f85db4759e41e6b97a929743f5278be0c5c5b4ac46c7d4849a954219e949c.jpg

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You didn’t respond to the “slight discomfort” paragraph about Michael Behe.

        • MNb

          “From what I have seen …..”
          Given your creationist blinkers that can’t be very much, let alone very far.

        • Kodie

          It’s comments like this that prove to me I’m not debating a person with the slightest shred of intellectual honesty or maturity. There is no use debating someone with the mindset of a grade-schooler. A primary
          schooler to be exact. Originally I thought you would have a little more decency then some of the other toddlers I have been ignoring for the most part in your comment section, but maybe I was wrong.

          Complaining about being treated poorly when you’ve been hostile to everyone here – to me from your first comment to me, a civil question you STILL HAVE NOT ANSWERED DESPITE IT BEING RIGHT THERE WHERE I LET YOU KNOW I WAS WAITING – TWICE. If you can’t find that question with easy instruction, you can’t possibly overturn ToE. You don’t know shit.

          Repeating your filthy lies about what atheism is, despite everyone correcting you? That’s not how to act like a mature adult. Thinking you know better than scientists when you’ve shown zero ability to read for comprehension in a general discussion is just plain immature arrogance on your part, and that’s on top of having an imaginary friend. Listen, fucko, you are obviously stupid as fuck, you ignore everyone and everything that’s been said to you so far, and that is hostile. I treat people how they treat me. You think you are behaving, you think you are smart, you are neither.

          .

        • epeeist

          The origin of DNA is in no way explained, nor it is known if random genetic mutations can produce sufficient amounts of genetic information to create new living forms.

          Let’s forget the fact that there are other ways of introducing variation into genomes for the moment.

          Let’s assume that someone comes up with a critical experiment and shows that the theory of evolution is false. What would this mean?

          It would mean that the theory of evolution is false, nothing more, nothing less.

          It wouldn’t show that evolution does not happen, simply that our current best explanation for the way it happens is deficient in some way.

          It wouldn’t provide support for any other hypotheses because all theories stand on their own evidential basis and critical testing. What one cannot do is claim that because the theory of evolution is false therefore the only other possibility is creationism. I have already mentioned Quine and the fact that scientific theories are under-determined by their data, that we can invent any number of explanations for a particular set of phenomena.

          So what would need to happen at this point? We would have to come up with a new theory. Now what this new theory would look like I wouldn’t care to guess, but I do know that it would have to have at least the same level of explanatory power and empirical fit as the old theory. In other words it would have to explain all the things that the current theory of evolution does and account for the major anomaly or anomalies that the theory could not account for.

          You will note that this has already been done twice, Darwin’s original theory had to incorporate Mendel’s work to account for the preservation of traits over generations and microbiology to provide a mechanism for the preservation of these traits.

          This is all much of a muchness in science, think of the way Newtonian mechanics became a special case of quantum mechanics.

        • MNb

          Ah, Behe …. the guy who in court admitted that astrology is science according to him as well.
          Eugene Koonin does research on Evolution Theory, so how he is supposed to back your creacrap you only understand.

          “atheists are just as emotionally committed to their belief system”
          Sure, nobody denies that. Finally you got something right. A pity that immediately you start lying again (“baldness is a haircut”) and give a totally wrong explanation of that emotional commitment to atheism.
          In the specific case of you it’s very simple. I don’t want to become a lying bigot and stupid ignorant like you. Hence I’m emotionally incapable of accepting creacrap.

        • eric

          In fact, it seems mathematically impossible given what we know from current mutation rations and how many mutations would be needed to create even one protein in the history of life.

          Mutation does not create entirely new proteins de novo, and the TOE does not claim it does.

          The reason evolution seems mathematically impossible to you is that you’re doing (or assuming) the wrong math. With four base pairs, you are – probably unconsciously – estimating that the probability of evolution creating a new functional protein would go roughly as 1/(4^N), where N is the protein length in base pairs – typically a number in the hundreds. That is indeed so highly improbable as to be impossible.

          But that is not how evolution works. It works by taking an existing protein and changing a base pair or a sequence at a time. This new version is then inherited, it may be selected out if it causes a very nonadaptational development, but if and when the daughter organism passes it along, the version of it in the next generation may mutate again by one or a few base pairs. On and on and on this goes, with selection weeding out the variants that lead to nonadaptational development and inheritance passing on the others. After hundreds or thousands of these mutation, selection, inheritance cycles, you have a stretch of DNA that does something remarkably different from the original stretch.
          And when you do the math for such an approach, you will find that it is tens to hundreds of orders of magnitude faster than your 4^N probability approach would estimate at producing new, functioning, stretches of DNA. As one famous toy example showed, for the development of a new string that would de novo take 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 generations to form, the mutation & selection approach takes instead 43 generations to form it.

          Just think about the difference between those two numbers for a moment. If you thought the TOE required the first number of generations to do something that it actually takes the second number of generations to do, of course you’d be skeptical. But that would be because your model of what evolution does is so mathematically wrong, the word ‘wrong’ barely even describes it.

        • adam
        • Kodie

          Ok I disagree with your assertion that I am not qualified. As long as I can understand their theory and investigate the evidence they provide, I’m qualified.

          You can’t even understand simple conversations we’re having.

          You say: There’s either god or nothing!!!!
          We say: Hey, who said there was nothing? We DON”T KNOW!!!!! (many many many dozens of times)
          You say: But atheism is a faith in specifically “nothing!””””

          Not only because you deny evolution, but your stunning lack of reading comprehension skills in general gives me a lot of doubt that you are qualified. Science is a lot harder, and no, you’re not qualified.

        • adam

          “As I laymen I am confident in my ability to assess the evidence.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cb49f25b842aef4e0a6e36dccd4c0d86c43e6e95e934f6a511dc718c5fd1fac3.jpg

        • adam

          “You can’t just really really REALLY hope it will happen at some time in
          the future because that is what you want so you can have your faith
          affirmed.”

          Why have ‘hope’?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cd8ca4651d958209af25cfcb8e197b584fb20d8e2f002068b9eefba40d148c2c.jpg

        • Michael Neville

          Ok I disagree with your assertion that I am not qualified.

          You’re a civil engineer, not a biologist. That tells me that you’re not qualified to make judgements on evolution. You’re a classic example of the Dunning-Kruger Effect:

          Has it ever seemed to you that less competent people rate their competence higher than it actually is, while more competent people humbly rate theirs lower?

          It’s not just your imagination. This is a genuine cognitive bias called the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

          You’re convinced that you know more about evolution (which you continually confuse with abiogenesis) than you have shown you actually do. I’m not a biologist (I’m an accountant) and I know I don’t know much about biology in general or evolution in particular but I do know I know more about those subjects than you.

        • MNb

          You don’t understand the theory or as far as you do you lie about it.
          Plus you don’t investigate the evidence, as your incapability of googling observed speciation has demonstrated.
          So no, even according to your own silly standard you’re not qualified.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You can’t just really really REALLY hope it will happen at some time in the future because that is what you want so you can have your faith affirmed.

          Atheists don’t really do too much of that the way you mean it. That shite is for youse theists.

          Hope is one of the three theological virtues of the Christian religion, alongside faith and love. “Hope” in the Holy Bible means “a strong and confident expectation” of future reward. Titus 1:2 In modern terms, hope is akin to trust and a confident expectation”. Paul the Apostle argued that hope was a source of salvation for Christians: “For in hope we have been saved…if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it”.

          According to the Holman Bible Dictionary, hope is a “[t]rustful expectation…the anticipation of a favorable outcome under God’s guidance.In the Pilgrim’s Progress, it was Hopeful who comforted Christian in Doubting Castle; while conversely at the entrance to Dante’s Hell were the words, “Lay down all hope, you that go in by me”.

        • Michael Neville

          Micheal Behe has a PdD in biochemistry and is a professor in the subject. Michael Denton has a PhD in the same field and has extensive work in genetics. Doug Axe has a PhD from Caltech in molecular biology and has been published in the Journal of Molecular Biology. So I think these people can be considered biologists.

          Ever hear of Project Steve? The National Center for Science Education has a list of scientists with the name of Steve or a cognitive (Steven, Stephanie, Esteban, etc.) who accept evolution. It honors the late Stephen Jay Gould, science writer and evolutionary biologist. As of March 17, 2017, 1412 Steves have signed a statement supporting evolution.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Micheal Behe has a PdD in biochemistry and is a professor in the subject. Michael Denton has a PhD in the same field and has extensive work in genetics. Doug Axe has a PhD from Caltech in molecular biology and has been published in the Journal of Molecular Biology. So I think these people can be considered biologists.

          I don’t think they defend your position the way you think they do though.

          First of all, it should be noted that the Discovery Institute statement above does not question several of the widely accepted high-level tenets of evolutionary theory, such as the fact that the earth is very old, the fact that living organisms have a common ancestry, and that at least some natural evolution has occurred. The only issue mentioned in this statement is the question of whether mutations and natural selection are sufficient to account for the complexity of present-day life. In other words, those looking to this list to support a young-earth creationist worldview will be sorely disappointed — few, if any of the signers of the Dissent statement support young-earth creationism.

          Less crazy Christians are trying to tell you lot to “wise ta fuck up”…or if ya can’t, then “shut ta fuck up” because your bull shit nonsense is an embarrassment untenable position in the face of the evidence and is helping to discredit your belief system.

          Francisco Ayala, a renowned evolutionary biologist and recipient of the National Medal of Science and the 2010 Templeton Prize (and a former Dominican priest), recently stated the consensus of the field in these terms [Ayala2010, pg. 49-50]:

          “The overwhelming majority of biologists accept evolution. Those who know professionally the evidence for evolution cannot deny it. Scientists agree that the evolutionary origin of animals and plants is a scientific conclusion beyond reasonable doubt. The evidence is compelling and all-encompassing because it comes from all biological disciplines including those that did not exist in Darwin’s time. In the second half of the nineteenth century, Darwin and other biologists obtained convincing evidence from a variety of disciplines, which had reached early maturity during the nineteenth century: anatomy, embryology, biogeography, geology, and paleontology. Since Darwin’s time, the evidence for evolution has become much stronger and more comprehensive, coming not only from traditional sources but also from recent disciplines such as genetics, biochemistry, ecology, ethology, neurobiology, and molecular biology.

          … Because the evidence is so overwhelming, … evidence for evolution no longer engages the interest of biologists except when explaining evolution to the public or arguing with those who refuse to accept evolution. Although not sought and no longer needed, the evidence for the fact of evolution continues to accumulate.”

          http://www.sciencemeetsreligion.org/evolution/scientists-evolution.php

        • Herald Newman

          Again, consensus means nothing to me.

          Then science means nothing to you!

          I’m done with you. Dishonest people like you aren’t worth engaging.

        • adam

          “priest tell you to believe because you and everyone else are too dumb to figure it out for ourselves.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e837665e20b0f559722113ef2ddaa0c4b5cb92de117ddba6e3d9af6d7f6c282a.jpg

        • Kodie

          You have made it completely obvious you don’t know anything about science, so you can’t really address the scientific consensus like it’s an idiots-like-Ant consensus. You have to tell us where god got the materials to make the universe and also how he started life and why. If you don’t know any of that, you can complain all you want but you don’t have shit to talk.

        • Kodie

          How did god create life from nothing?

        • Michael Neville

          So far all our sciences have shown us is how inadequate purely natural forces are to produce even the simplest biomolecule.

          Obviously you’ve never heard of the Urey-Miller experment in 1952.

          After allowing the experiment to run for one week, they analyzed the contents of the liquid pool. They found that several organic amino acids had formed spontaneously from inorganic raw materials.

          Amino acids are biomolecules.

        • Ant

          Yes but there were only a few out of the necessary 20 and they didn’t arrange themselves into anything that could be considered life or the beginnings of life. Also they were produced in a toxic sludge that would have stifled any possible life, so the conditions used in the experiment were not representative of how life could have started. Also it has been found that the mini-atmosphere used in the experiment could not have existed on early earth, so it really didn’t show anything useful at all as far as origin-of-life goes.

        • Michael Neville

          That was one experiment run over half a century ago. Do you honestly think people haven’t run similar ones using different criteria and more sophisticated equipment since then? Abiogenesis is an on-going field of investigation. Your “toxic sludge” bullshit is exactly that, utter bullshit spewed out by an ignorant know-nothing.

        • Kuno

          1. Oh, believe me, by now we all know that you can.

          2. When you took your driving test, did you have to built a car from scratch?

        • adam

          “Right. That makes sense. Sorry but it does.”

          So you posit an even MORE complex life to explain it?

          How do you justify that?

          “Hey do you believe that the universe created itself from nothing by some totally unknown force? ”

          No.

          ” In other words, do you believe in magic?”

          Of course not!
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ba84f8055b4d39d6678611c48e8069dd2234f9f79dc706a30b4b5d3546aa5665.jpg

        • Ant

          “”Hey do you believe that the universe created itself from nothing by some totally unknown force? ”

          No.

          So how do you believe the universe came into being?

        • adam
        • Ant

          Ahh the old “I don’t know but IT DEFINITELY WASN’T GOD!!!”. Must be easy to cop out and then make fun of people who make a definite choice in the matter. So all you know is that some mysterious force created the universe by some unknown means but people who think it was God are DUMB and you’re smart for just not taking a side.

          If you’re an atheist then the only option is that the universe created itself. Oh ya and “something mysterious that isn’t God”. Either way it’s magic, sorry to inform you.

        • adam

          ” “I don’t know but IT DEFINITELY WASN’T GOD!!!””

          Demonstrate that your “God” is anything but IMAGINARY, and convince me.

          And your EVIDENCE for your “God”?
          The same for every other “God”, like Shiva, Ganesh, Zeus

          ” Must be easy to cop out and then make fun of people who make a definite choice in the matter.”

          Choosing to believe that mythology is real, doesnt make it’s magic any more believable.

          ” So all you know is that some mysterious force created the universe by some unknown means but people who think it was God are DUMB and you’re smart for just not taking a side.”

          so bearing false witness now?

          I dont PRETEND to know, why do you?

          “If you’re an atheist then the only option is that the universe created itself.”

          No, there are other options besides a slave loving genocidal,torture loving “God”

          “Either way it’s magic, sorry to inform you.”

          All you have informed me of is your ignorance.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6fdb39aadd75100b6a42a22589cc237e66125efb7c16def734b5dcc49a03caaa.jpg

        • MNb

          As long as you insist on “by some unknown means” yes, it’s quite definitely wasn’t any god.

        • Ant

          How do you know? How do you know what the unknown force was? You don’t so you can’t make that statement with any level of certainty.

        • MNb

          Yes, I can. It follows from your “by some unknown means”. They in fact are unknowable by definition. That makes “God created the Universe” incoherent.
          Not that you care of course. No creacrapper does.

        • Ant

          I think your bigotry against people who believe in God is a perfect explanation of your opposition to religion. It’s not about religion, it’s about hatred and anger against people who disagree with you. As such nothing you say can be seen as based in rationality and logic.

        • MNb

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          My opposition to religion stems from bigots like you.
          My loved one is a practicing muslima.
          But even if you were right – hatred and anger totally can be the result of rationality and logic. The two are not mutually exclusive.
          Lying bigot. Because you simply can’t address what I wrote.

        • Ant

          You still haven’t provided evidence that these quantum fluctuations can create new universes.

        • MNb

          Irrelevant for my comment, lying bigot. I addressed your remark elsewhere. Multiple times.

        • Ant

          Please direct me to evidence. I really don’t remember seeing any.

        • MNb

          See my previous comment, lying bigot.
          Keep on asking the same questions and you’ll keep on getting the same answers.
          Are you really stupid enough not to understand that?

          You falsely accused me of hatred and anger towards religious people. You refuse to withdraw your accusation and instead keep on trying to move the goalposts. Even according to the poor standards of your own Holy Book you’re a massive failure.
          Exactly what I’ve learned to expect from creacrappers like you.

        • Max Doubt

          “Ahh the old “I don’t know but IT DEFINITELY WASN’T GOD!!!”.”

          No. There is no objective evidence to support any claims that any gods exist or have ever existed. There is no objective evidence to support any claims that any miracles, acts of magic, or events outside the realm of the natural have ever occurred. That is true as far as we all know. All of us. That includes you.

          “Must be easy to cop out and then make fun of people who make a definite choice in the matter.”

          Those making a definite choice in the matter without so much as a speck of objective evidence to support their choice are not coming to a reasoned conclusion. You may believe it, but since you appear to be unable to distinguish between what is objectively true and what occurs only in your imagination, your choice based on your belief has no foundation in reality. We reject your choice.

          We make fun of you because you apply irrational methods to arrive at irrational conclusions while rejecting reasonable explanations that align with objective reality. And you refuse to accept that even after all these good people have tried to help you understand. You’re either abjectly dishonest or woefully stupid. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and go with dishonest. Your position, either way about it, is ridiculous. We ridicule you for it. Learn to live with it or learn science.

          “So all you know is that some mysterious force created the universe by some unknown means but people who think it was God are DUMB and you’re smart for just not taking a side.”

          People who think there was some god involved in the creation of the universe are pulling one unevidenced explanation out of their asses while rejecting a near infinite quantity of equally unevidenced explanations. The honest answer to how the universe as we know it came into being, since you clearly don’t know, is to admit you don’t know. The honest answer to how life on earth has come to its present state of diversity, since you don’t understand the science of evolution, is to admit you don’t understand it. All the other noise you’re making about these issues is simply dishonest blathering.

        • Kodie

          God is the superstitious placeholder for natural explanations.

        • Philmonomer

          So we have 2 possible answers, so far:

          1) I don’t know, but it probably wasn’t God that did it.

          2) I don’t know, but it probably was God that did it.

          I go with 1) because the track record for “God did it” is very bad.

        • Ant

          So you believe the universe created itself from nothing?

        • epeeist

          So you believe the universe created itself from nothing?

          What’s “belief” got to do with it?

          As it is, the only people who insist that the universe was created from nothing seem to be theists. The rest of us are happy to accept that we don’t know (though we are working on it).

        • Ant

          Well either God created the universe from nothing or nothing created the universe from nothing. Which is more reasonable to you?

        • epeeist

          Well either

          This is of course a false dichotomy. What makes you think these are the only possibilities?

        • Ant

          Can you think of any others?

        • epeeist

          How about it being eternal, or cyclic, or being one universe out of a whole variety of different multiverses, or created by a super-intelligent space aliens, or being a simulation, or created by our descendants in order to ensure their existence…

          A logician called Quine back in the 20th century showed that we can invent any number of hypotheses to explain particular phenomena and further we can rescue these hypotheses by ad hoc auxiliaries. Limiting it to two possibilities in order to favour your own is not only a false dichotomy, it also counts as special pleading.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Whaaa … ? You know that the universe was created? And that it came from nothing?

          You’re a lot smarter than those knuckleheads in the universities–good for you, bro! Now write up your findings and claim your Nobel Prize in Physics.

        • Kodie

          You love your straw man so much, you ought to get a room.

        • Kuno

          Or maybe the universe wasn’t created from nothing at all?

        • Philmonomer

          What do you mean by nothing?

          I think we don’t know what happened “before” an expansion event a long, long time ago. I don’t think anyone has established that there was the philosopher’s “nothing” (as in the complete absence of everything) before the expansion event. Indeed, “before” is probably a meaningless word here.

          The one thing we’ve learned about cosmology over the last 200 years is that cosmology isn’t intuitive. In this regard, I don’t see why our concepts of causality, which exist inside our universe, have to apply outside our Universe, or to the Universe as a whole.

          I think it’s best to simply say “I don’t know” (and note that the track record for “God did it” is so bad that using that explanation here, too, is probably wrong.)

          I’ll stand up and take notice when the cosmologists state “God must have done it.”

        • Ant

          Ok so our scientists say the universe began in the big bang 14 billion years ago. What existed before that moment? Did all the matter in the universe originate at that time or did it exist before that moment?

        • Philmonomer

          Ok so our scientists say the universe began in the big bang 14 billion years ago. What existed before that moment?

          I don’t know how you know this is a meaningful question. Our understanding of how the world works (for example, causality, before, after, etc.) breaks down for the very, very large and the very, very small. The “big bang” is both very, very large and very, very small, at the same time. We don’t understand it.

          Did all the matter in the universe originate at that time or did it exist before that moment?

          I can only suspect that we are like 2 men, 1000 years ago, arguing about how the world works. You say “How do the stars hang in the sky?” and I say “I don’t know.” You say “God must have done it.” and I say “I don’t know.” You then conclude “You don’t have an answer. I do.”

          It then turns out that “How do the stars hang there in the sky” isn’t a meaningful question.

        • Ant

          Well to many people if the universe began at a discrete moment in time, it makes sense to postulate that some force initiated that event. This force would necessarily be transcendental, since to initiate the universe it would have to exist outside the universe. This force can be called God, and since the universe demonstrates order and harmonious forces that have arbitrary constants, it makes sense to think the universe was created THIS way by that force because of a willful act. Thus it makes sense to believe this force, or God as we call it, is the source of all existence. So there is nothing irrational about believing any of this unless you can explain why not. And saying “I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING AND NEITHER DOES ANYONE ELSE!!” doesn’t help.

        • Philmonomer

          Well to many people if the universe began at a discrete moment in time, it makes sense to postulate that some force initiated that event. This force would necessarily be transcendental, since to initiate the universe it would have to exist outside the universe.

          I have no idea if this is what actually happened. Nor do you. And this answer already presumes a bunch of things that we don’t know to be true: that it is meaningful to talk about “before” the event; that there are forces outside the universe acting on the universe; that some outside force “initiated” (whatever that means) the event. We don’t know any of this. Instead, it’s you, using your “middle-sized” understanding of how things work here on Earth, and extrapolating to this situation (a very, very different situation). Again, the “laws” of the way things work aren’t the same at the very, very big and the very, very small. You keep assuming they are.

          There is a reason why Euclidean geometry was the only game in town for 2000 years. Because it describes the world around us. But it turns out, it doesn’t work for the very very large and the very very small.

          This force can be called God, and since the universe demonstrates order and harmonious forces that have arbitrary constants, it makes sense to think the universe was created THIS way by that force because of a willful act.

          I disagree. I could explain, but I suspect this is a waste of time.

          Thus it makes sense to believe this force, or God as we call it, is the source of all existence. So there is nothing irrational about believing any of this unless you can explain why not. And saying “I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING AND NEITHER DOES ANYONE ELSE!!” doesn’t help.

          I’m not one of those people who argue that believing in God is irrational. Indeed, I’m perfectly fine with Deists, who assert that God got the whole thing rolling and walked away. That God is, in fact, perfectly indistinguishable from the world we see around us. And thus I see no reason to believe or not believe in that God. (I just don’t think that God is likely, given that the explanation “God did it” has been wrong so many times before.)

          Now if you want to argue that God takes an interest in us/has an effect on us, that’s a different story.

        • Ant

          Ok well our scientists say the universe has a finite history. That means there must be a moment when it “began”. If you want to believe our scientists, that moment was 14 billion years ago.

          My point is with atheism, there is no force “beyond” the universe. As such, the only possible explanation is that the universe originated naturally at a discrete point in time… from nothing. Please explain to me how this is wrong.

        • Philmonomer

          I’ve explained my thinking already. I believe what I’ve said is reasonable and coherent, and answers your question. I don’t think repeating myself is a good use of my time.

        • Ant

          You’ve said nothing except that you don’t know basically. And the real problem is you’re too much of a coward to even lay out what the options are because you know no matter what atheism will have to fall on one of them, and since none of them has been proven it means all of them are faith-based propositions, which atheists don’t want to admit.

        • Philmonomer

          Good grief. You have no idea what you are talking about.

        • Michael Murray

          And the real problem is you’re too much of a coward

          Ah the rational, logical approach.

        • Kodie

          They are scientific models, hypotheses, ideas, proposals, that are not just out of butt, but after looking at what we do already know. Nothing that would be faith-based like a religion that you choose to believe, even with no evidence, because you (a) need an answer right now, and (2) because you will cling to any answer that’s available right this second, even if unevidenced, and (c) you cannot seem to comprehend people not sharing that desperation for any answer that they can cling to just because it’s there, not because it’s true.

          Do you fucking understand yet? No, of course you don’t.

        • Ant

          “They are scientific models, hypotheses, ideas, proposals, that are not just out of butt, but after looking at what we do already know.”

          Ok but from what everyone has been telling me here there are no scientific models of the origin of the universe, and we don’t know anything about it. My point is that if atheism is true, it limits the options to naturalistic explanations none of which have been proven, which means atheism is just as baseless as theism.

        • MNb

          Your point is wrong. Worse, it’s a lie, because I already told you that a naturalistic explanation of the origin of our Universe is possible (we just don’t know if it’s correct) and that’s one pillar on which atheism rests.

        • Ant

          Your point is wrong. Worse, it’s a lie, because I already told you that a naturalistic explanation of the origin of our Universe is possible (we just don’t know if it’s correct)

          Ok well I disagree with your assertion that a naturalistic explanation of the universe is possible. And since you don’t know there’s really no way to prove me wrong.

        • Kodie

          Everything that has ever been explained has turned out to be natural and not god. You have no way to prove yourself right, but you don’t know. If we don’t know and you don’t know, don’t be prematurely proud of your victory by calling yourself correct. You can believe whatever bullshit you want, but don’t try to “win” anything when you don’t know anything..

        • MNb

          You have already proven yourself wrong.
          You claim that a naturalistic explanation of the origin of our Universe is impossible (something you haven’t even begun to argue for).
          You ask for evidence for quantum fields and hence accept that that explanation of the origin of our Universe is possible.
          As I have pointed this out to you several times now and you keep on repeating it you are lying.

        • Kodie

          I know science is hard for you, but try to keep up. By looking at what we do know and what can be observed, scientists can (and this is basically how all science is done!) imagine a scenario. They are not married to that scenario. They want to and need to test that scenario (a hypothesis), in order to find out if their idea was correct (theory) or not (try something else).

          Your claims that a conscious and intentional deity, through “unknown means” (I quote you) is also a scenario. If you have evidence you can test so thoat those means can be known, then bring it. You don’t. But you believe it whole-heartedly and reject every other idea because you’re all set with untested non-evidence for your not-a-real explanation.

          Now, with that “nothing really” deity claim, you don’t know anything more than anyone knows. I don’t believe your claims, and you haven’t done anything to convince me that your claims are credible, so I remain an atheist. If you can show evidence of your deity creating the universe, which means publishing your testing methods and results, you may convert me. You may convert every atheist. You could be the first honest theist with honest evidence nobody has ever tried before.

          But I forget, you are so far dishonest, and hard of reading comprehension, that you are determined to read things that aren’t there, put words in people’s mouths, and leap to conclusions. It’s really important to you for some reason to remain incompetent at reasonable discussion with people who disagree with you, and lying about what you’ve read is cheating your way to a pretend win.

        • adam
        • adam

          ” which means atheism is just as baseless as theism.”

          But theism HAS a base, remember?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/878b8e07d2b942087c85ac234890ad18b3e8f811594bc275918c5d05cbe88467.jpg

        • eric

          Atheism’s “base” has nothing to do with whether humans have an explanation for the universe or not. It’s “base” is that there is no empirical evidence for a god.

          Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the phrase “I don’t know”? Helpful hint – atheists are allowed to think it and say it. It’s not like the Atheist Police show up and take away their membership card if they admit they don’t know something.

        • Kuno

          Why are you so desparate to link the Big Bang Theory to atheism?

          There is nothing about being an atheist that has to do with cosmology and there is nothing about cosmology that requires you to not believe in any god. There are multitudes of astrophysicists and astronomers who are also religious. And there are atheists who don’t think the BBT is correct, who haven’t ever thought about it or who simply don’t care.

          So where do you see the connection?

        • Ant

          Because if there is no God then the big bang has to be explained naturally. The only possible explanation is that the big bang caused itself from nothing, and the matter and the energy in the universe originated from nothing at that time. This is just as irrational as anything religions have to say, and it’s totally unproven how this could happen, which makes atheism just as much as a faith-based system as any other.

        • Kuno

          The Big Bang may be explained naturally even if a god exitsts. Totally possible.

          It may also have been caused by an external force or being that isn’t a god.

          Maybe the Big Bang Theory is wrong and we really live in a steady state universe.

          Maybe all our senses and measurements deceive us and we really are living on a disc, resting on the shoulders of four elephants which in turn stand on the back of a giant turtle, swimming through the void.

          All these are possibilities, none of them have anything to do with atheism.

        • Pofarmer

          The only possible explanation is that the big bang caused itself from
          nothing, and the matter and the energy in the universe originated from
          nothing at that time.

          For the Nth time. This is simply incorrect. You could educate yourself on this. Read or watch Laurence Krauss, Matt Dillahunty, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Sean Caroll, and many others. Or you could continue to look like a doofus, thinking he’s “won” somehow.

          This is just as irrational as anything religions have to say,

          Good thing it doesn’t say that then. Whew.

          which makes atheism just as much as a faith-based system as any other.

          What, exactly, am I placing faith in?

        • Pofarmer

          and since none of them has been proven it means all of them are faith-based propositions,

          Uhm, no. It means that none of them have been definitively proven. So, I suppose I should turn to Vishnu?

        • Ant

          Well if you think turning to creation from nothing makes more sense, how is that better?

        • Pofarmer

          What?

        • Kodie

          You don’t start off with fiction; it’s better.

        • MNb

          You are the one who has turned to “God created our universe from nothing” so you are the one who has to answer that question.
          But of course you won’t
          Because you can’t.
          And hence your “explanation” explains exactly nothing.

        • Kodie

          God is a fictional character who is described as conscious and intentional. Can you grasp that something not conscious or intentional sparked the beginning of the universe? You are so fucking ignorant and stuck on what you think is the opposite of god. You ignore possible models of the universe. You just keep repeating your mantra like you’re in a loony bin.

        • Ant

          “Can you grasp that something not conscious or intentional sparked the beginning of the universe?”

          What was it? Where is the evidence?

        • Kodie

          Goddammit you stupid motherfucking fuck. We’ve been over this. Can you follow?

        • Ant

          Lol. And i’m the irrational one? Funny.

        • Kodie

          You can’t follow. You would rather cling to your “superior” imaginary friend than follow a logical adult conversation. I said I don’t know, you ask for evidence, where is your evidence of the thing you claim to know? You said there is a “transcendental” being or force or god, and from there you trailed off with “unknown means”. So you don’t know. That’s what unknown means means. You imagine a god must have did it and then you think you have the fucking rationality to condescend to others? You don’t know, we don’t know, nobody knows.

          Let’s interrogate you for a hundred couple posts. Where is your evidence? How does god make universes? Is this his only one? Where does he get the materials?

        • MNb

          I already did, liar. It’s not the only possible explanation. There is at least one naturalistic one.
          Instead you are the one who claims that before the moment when it “began” there was only god (beyond spacetime), ie god plus nothing. After that moment there was god plus a universe. So you claim that your god created our Universe out of nothing.

        • Ant

          You claim that quantum fluctuations created all the matter in the universe de novo and created all the laws of physics at the same time. Still waiting for a shred of evidence it happened this way.

        • MNb

          Lying bigot. I never claimed that.
          You claimed that a naturalistic explanation of our Universe is impossible.
          I showed you that it’s possible by offering you one.
          You just don’t want to admit it.
          By merely asking for evidence you admit that a naturalistic explanation is possible.
          Still you just don’t want to admit it, lying bigot.

        • Ant

          Where is the evidence? Is there a website you can link to? A favorite book?

        • MNb

          1. I already gave you a book and a website.
          2. You totally neglect that by merely asking for evidence you admit that a naturalistic explanation is possible, something you keep on denying.
          And that’s why I call you a lying bigot.

        • Kuno

          No he fucking didn’t. Isn’t bearing false witness a sin?

        • Pofarmer


          Ok well our scientists say the universe has a finite history.

          yeah, except as Philnomer already provided, they actually don’t.

        • Ant

          Ok right there was a singularity that existed for no one knows how long and all the matter was already in it and the physical laws were already there and 14 billion years ago more or less it began to expand for some unknown reason and somehow atheists think this is all established fact and provides a perfect understanding of the origin of the universe. It’s just so senseless, atheism really is a bunch of BS masquerading as scientific enlightenment in order to appease people’s desire that there is no God.

        • Pofarmer

          Ok right there was a singularity that existed for no one knows how long

          Well, speaking of “how long” for a/the/whatever singularity actually doesn’t make sense, since, without space, there is no time.

          and the physical laws were already there

          Uhm, again, no. Our physical laws break down at that point.

          and 14 billion years ago more or less it began to expand for some unknown reason

          This is where you insert your GOD!!!!!!……………………..of the Gaps.

          and somehow atheists think this is all established fact and
          provides a perfect understanding of the origin of the universe.

          Uhm, again no. It’s just the best explanation we currently have.

          It’s just so senseless, atheism really is a bunch of BS masquerading as
          scientific enlightenment in order to appease people’s desire that there
          is no God.

          I don’t have a desire that there is not God. Hell, having a God might be really cool. If you have evidence of said God, you are welcome to present it. Until then???????

        • MNb

          We can be reasonably sure that the Big Bang was not a singularity, Mr. Ignorant Stupid. And no, nobody here has claimed it’s established fact and perfect understanding, Mr. Lying Bigot. An no as well – nobody here has claimed that science somehow disproves god. You are the one who keeps on pushing the God of the Gaps (“science is imperfect hence God”) and keeps on lying about what science can’t explain.
          On the positive side you demonstrate the moral bankruptcy of your belief system. You preach that humans are sinners, yet you never ever admit that you have committed a specific sin.

        • Pofarmer

          As such, the only possible explanation is that the universe originated naturally at a discrete point in time… from nothing.

          Uhm, no. First of all. Give me a Nothing to examine and we’ll talk about it. Second of all, the only point that we can “see” to is the big bang, we simply haven’t been able to detect before that. There are numerous theories about before this “time” although the concept of time before the Big Bang isn’t really coherent either.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDmQINlntJ4

        • Ant

          “Second of all, the only point that we can “see” to is the big bang, we simply haven’t been able to detect before that.”

          Hate to tell you, but we can’t see to the big bang either. We really can’t see back to anything that can tell us about the origin of the universe. It’s all theoretical.

          Here’s the thing. Atheist mock and ridicule people who believe the universe had an origin and that it was created by “something”, call it God. But then when you ask what they believe they just kind of sputter all this nonsense, claim they don’t know, claim they don’t believe nothing created the universe but also they just know it wasn’t any sort of God, and then they start mocking you again.

          I’ve seen this a million times, nothing anyone has said to me today is a shock. Atheists all parrot the same talking points they get from their favorite blogs. Their worldview is completely incoherent and based on nothing, and I don’t mind this except they have the hypocrisy of mocking people who actually think it’s reasonable to think some sort of transcendental force created the universe for a purpose.

          So I’m really having fun watching these snide atheists spin around trying to explain how God didn’t create the universe, but neither did anything else, and neither did nothing. It’s really stupid and to some extent just pure entertainment for me. I guess I just like seeing how atheism is probably more foolish and irrational then every other belief system out there, but atheists have such arrogance they don’t want to admit there are deep flaws in their thinking, so all they do is just keep mocking to make themselves feel better.

        • Pofarmer

          I’ve seen this a million times, nothing anyone has said to me today is a shock

          Seems like maybe the problem is you.

        • Kodie

          You seem to be obsessed with not listening to atheists and then telling us what your preconceived notions of atheists are. Check your bias.

        • Kuno

          Atheists all parrot the same talking points they get from their favorite blogs.

          Unbelievable.

        • TheNuszAbides

          Atheists all parrot the same talking points they get from their favorite blogs.

          then maybe it’s high time you stopped imitating “all” atheists and took a page from lurkers.

        • https://www.jonmorgan.info Jon Morgan

          Atheists all parrot the same talking points they get from their favorite blogs.

          I think you’re forgetting that many atheists (including me) were devout Christians, and came to their conclusions through a realisation that Christianity didn’t explain what they saw in the world, and that no other religion looked likely to take its place.

          BTW, whether or not your comment applies to atheists, it certainly applies to Christian apologists. Some have their own unique arguments, but many are just parrotting talking points from writers like WL Craig, Josh McDowell, or Lee Strobel.

        • Greg G.

          Ant is a parrot.

        • MNb

          “This force can be called God,”
          There it is: what my compatriot the theologian and apostate Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis called the salto mortale from our concrete world to a divine world.

          “and since the universe demonstrates order and harmonious forces”
          And ….. we’re very close to Paley’s False Watchmaker Analogy.

          “that have arbitrary constants,”
          Prove that those constants are arbitrary. “I CALL THEM ARBITRARY BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING AND NEITHER DOES ANYONE ELSE” doesn’t help.
          Also note that you say exactly that when you proclaim that we don’t know the means your supposed god used to create our Universe. So you’re unsurprisingly guilty of a double standard as well.

          “it makes sense to think”
          Nope. Your salto mortale doesn’t make sense at all.

          “The source of all existence”
          Thanks for arguing that your god doesn’t exist – or according to you it should have a source of his existence as well.
          Of course you won’t accept that. You’ll rather fall back on special pleading. “God doesn’t need a source of his existence because yaddah yaddah yaddah so you atheists have a problem and I have not just because I say so.”

        • Ant

          Ahh so all of a sudden you know so much about the origin of the universe that you can ridicule the beliefs of others. One second it’s NOBODY KNOWS. The other second it’s “Your beliefs make no sense at all”. And this coming from someone who has no beliefs at all.

          Oh ya I forgot. Quantum fluctuations. So much evidence for that. That makes so much sense. I see those creating universes all the time.

        • MNb

          Lying bigot.
          I explicitly made clear that I offer quantum fields as an example of a naturalistic explanation, something you claim impossible.
          And of course you don’t address anything I wrote. Because you can’t. Instead you cling to your lies.

        • Kuno

          Well to many people if the universe began at a discrete moment in time,
          it makes sense to postulate that some force initiated that event.

          Well, those many people could be right or they could be wrong or maybe they just misunderstood the question. But as long as they have no evidence I am under no obligation that they are right. (And for the record, this does not mean that I think they are wrong.)

        • MNb

          If you can reject “quantum fields existed before the Big Bang” (whatever “exist” and “before” mean in this context) why can’t I reject “god existed before the Big Bang”?
          The first yields testable predictions. The second yields made up theology. If you’re an engineer indeed (which I somewhat doubt) I hope that at work you prefer the first position.

        • Ant

          “The first yields testable predictions.”

          Like what? Where is the lab where they observe quantum fluctuations creating matter and energy de-novo? When will the next universe be created?

        • MNb

          Every testable prediction engineers like you (if you are one) make.

          https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/quantum-field-theory/

        • Ant

          Where is the part where they prove that quantum fluctuations created the universe or even have that capacity? Why aren’t quantum fluctuations still creating universes? How can I observe these activities?

        • MNb

          Your questions have exactly zilch to do with
          1. my claim that a naturalistic explanation of our Universe is possible and quantum fluctuations are an example;
          2. my claim that quantum field theory yields testable predictions;
          3. your claim that “goddiddid” explains anything.
          So shrug. You display the mindset of a not too bright toddler. No matter how many answers you get, you will always ask more questions. Until you arrive at “Goddiddid” – then you suddenly don’t ask any question anymore.

        • Kuno

          We don’t know.

        • Greg G.

          That’s a perfectly honest answer but Ant can’t comprehend it. He thinks one must have an opinion on something even without any knowledge. He can’t even grok whether Philmonomer has a dog.

        • epeeist

          What existed before that moment?

          Before? What makes you think there was a “before”?

        • Ant

          Think of it this way. Why did the big bang occur ~14 billion years ago. Why not 15 billion years? Why not a trillion? Why not 10,000? If you are going to put an age on the universe as our scientists do, that means there is a discrete moment in time when the universe began, and before that the matter and energy that make up this universe did not exist. It’s really simple logic, I don’t know why I have to explain this. It’s just as bad as the question “Why do you think the universe began?” Lol, because it’s here!

        • Pofarmer

          Why did the big bang occur ~14 billion years ago. Why not 15 billion years? Why not a trillion?

          It’s merely our perception of the event. 14 billion orbits of the Earth around the Sun.

          and before that the matter and energy that make up this universe did not exist.

          Sigh. Actually no, no it doesn’t.

          It’s really simple logic,

          Simple logic breaks down fairly often. Especially when you are talking about quantum events.

          “Why do you think the universe began?”

          Quite often “why” in the sense of a causal “why” is not even the correct question. “Why” did the rock roll down the hill? Well, it could be because someone pushed it, or it could be because that last spec of dirt holding it eroded away and the forces acting on it to roll down the hill became stronger than the forces holding it up.

        • epeeist

          If you are going to put an age on the universe as our scientists do,
          that means there is a discrete moment in time when the universe began

          Nope, the theory is that there was a singularity some 13.7 billion years ago. Whether that was when the universe “began” is something else.

          before that the matter and energy that make up this universe did not exist.

          The question being is whether there is a “before”, whether time (as one dimension of space-time) came into existence when the singularity expanded.

          Or if you want to make your head ache, whether something called “time” really forms part of our ontology. There are those that think it does (Lee Smolin for one), and those the think it doesn’t (Julian Barbour is in this camp).

        • Ant

          Ok again, why did the singularity wait until 14 billion years ago to expand? What was it doing? And realize none of this is proven or even understood at even the slightest level. You are just making all this up. You can’t prove any of this. You can’t prove you know the properties of the singularity or even that there was a singularity. All our scientists know is that the universe appears to have started 14 billion years ago. Even if you assume that, it doesn’t explain in any way how the universe could have started initially from a naturalistic standpoint. And since atheists NEED a naturalistic explanation for the origin of the universe for their philosophy to be consistent, that means atheism is nothing more than another faith-based system.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Why did YahwehJesus wait an eternity to “create” the universe?

          Past eternal implies time by the way, and as YahwehJesus is supposed to be immaterial outside space and time…well ya see the conundrum?

          Also, you do realise by the way, that epeeist is a physicist who has worked at CERN? Just giving you a heads before you say anymore silly pants nonsense.

        • Ant

          Why did YahwehJesus wait an eternity to “create” the universe?

          See how you deflect and criticize other views when people point out that your belief system has the exact same problem. My point all along has been that atheism and religion are really no different. They both have the same problems, you just want to think religions involving God are the only systems that have these ontological problems.

          Also, you do realise by the way, that epeeist is a physicist who has worked at CERN?

          I’m sure you believe him when he tells you that.

        • epeeist

          I’m sure you believe him when he tells you that.

          I’m going to correct that. I haven’t worked at CERN, though I have worked at the Paris Observatory with Audouin Dollfus and at the technical arm of ESA at Noordwijk.

          Why should I lie about this?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Apologies, my bad…I knew it was somewhere like that and in that part of the planet.

        • Pofarmer

          . They both have the same problems, you just want to think religions
          involving God are the only systems that have these ontological problems.

          Atheism isn’t a system, anymore than bald is a hairstyle. What color is 7?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Or off is a TV channel.

        • Ignorant Amos

          My point all along has been that atheism and religion are really no different. They both have the same problems, you just want to think religions involving God are the only systems that have these ontological problems.

          But this is the erroneous premise you are starting from that everyone and his dog here is trying to get into that useless organ between your ears.

        • adam
        • adam

          “My point all along has been that atheism and religion are really no different.”

          Except religion tells it’s followers who to KILL:

          Death to Followers of Other Religions

          Whoever sacrifices to any god, except the Lord alone, shall be doomed. (Exodus 22:19 NAB)

          Kill Nonbelievers

          They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)

          Kill False Prophets

          If a man still prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall say to him, “You shall not live, because you have spoken a lie in the name of the Lord.” When he prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall thrust him through. (Zechariah 13:3 NAB)

          Kill the Entire Town if One Person Worships Another God

          Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove
          that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it
          may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. “The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him.” (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)

        • Paul B. Lot

          atheists NEED a naturalistic explanation for the origin of the universe for their philosophy to be consistent

          Why?

          Two things prompt me to ask:

          1) “Atheism” is not a “philosophy” – it is a single position on a single question. “Atheists”, as a group, operate their lives based on many different philosophies, your statement would need to apply to each of them to be true. I doubt, however, that it does – because…

          2) I am an atheist and I like to believe that I live by a philosophy (which I’ve partially articulated to you before now), and I don’t believe that your assertion about my philosophy is true.

          Can you demonstrate that your assertion about my philosophy is true?

        • Ant

          Why?

          For the position to be philosophically substantial and rigorous. Otherwise it has no real basis in truth.

          1) “Atheism” is not a “philosophy” – it is a single position on a single question.

          Yes but there are unavoidable implications to this one position. For atheism to be true there must be other things that are true, such as the universe and life having natural origins.

        • Paul B. Lot

          For the position to be philosophically substantial and rigorous. Otherwise it has no real basis in truth.

          I’ve roughly sketched the skeleton of my philosophy for you here. It’s basically that + some humanities stuff.

          Which part of the combination of [my atheism plus that philosophy] is subject to your critiques on substance, rigor, or basis in truth, based on there existing “a naturalistic explanation for the origin of the universe”?

        • Ignorant Amos

          For atheism to be true there must be other things that are true, such as the universe and life having natural origins.

          There is a universe and life does have natural origins.

          Atheism is not dependent on those two things having full explanations. Why do you keep insisting that it does? As long as a god is NOT the explanation, atheism is sound. And a god is not a demonstrable explanation…so pah!

        • Pofarmer

          As long as a god is NOT the explanation, atheism is sound.

          Even if a God is the explanation, many/most forms of atheism could still be sound.

        • Ant

          There is a universe and life does have natural origins.

          Well we don’t know that. And that has been the core of my points since the beginning. We don’t know if the universe or life have natural origins.

          Atheism is dependent on the universe and everything having a natural origin. Otherwise the only other possibility is “supernatural”. Whether we know what those explanations are is another matter, but ultimately there must be a natural explanation if atheism is to be true.

        • MNb

          The salto mortale from “we don’t know” to “Goddiddid” is called the God of the Gaps, a logical fallacy pointed out by theologians. Of course an incurable liar like you doesn’t have any problem with that.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Well we don’t know that.

          I know there is a universe, I’m in it. Of course given your performance here perhaps you are not of this universe.

          And that has been the core of my points since the beginning. We don’t know if the universe or life have natural origins.

          We don’t, you are right…BUT, we have reasonable expectations based on prior experience. What that means is that EVERY explanation for any given thing in the total history of human endeavour has been, without exception, been a natural explanation. So I’m justified in my position.

          Atheism is dependent on the universe and everything having a natural origin. Otherwise the only other possibility is “supernatural”.

          Supernatural is not synonymous with gods.

          Whether we know what those explanations are is another matter, but ultimately there must be a natural explanation if atheism is to be true.

          Nope…it could be Space Ponies, or Susan’s immaterial snowflake fairies, …or any amount of solipsism’s. None of which are natural.

          The list of wayward natural explanations is extensive too.

        • adam

          “Well we don’t know that. And that has been the core of my points since
          the beginning. We don’t know if the universe or life have natural
          origins.”

          What we do know, is that everything observable is natural.

          NOTHING has been demonstrated to be Supernatural MAGIC from a Sky Daddy.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a29efcba0ee94d4f84d4a43b6bc78a04d7180523d05f7132222fdad4c7046acd.jpg

        • adam

          “For atheism to be true there must be other things that are true, such as the universe and life having natural origins.”

          So?
          It matters not what that natural origin or mechanism is for atheists.

          For Abrahamists though, it would be life changing if the creator God was actually Brahma or some other God.

          All which have the very same kinds of evidence.

        • epeeist

          Ok again, why did the singularity wait until 14 billion years ago to expand?

          Why does there have to be a “why”?

          As I have said my doctorate looked at some of the properties of molecules including what is known as “quantum tunnelling”. To keep it simple let’s consider a C14 atom which undergoes radioactive decay to N14. Is there any reason why this atom should decay at one time rathter than another?

          You are just making all this up.

          Nope, there is a huge amount of evidence for the singularity and for its expansion. If you want to get your head around some of the problems that exist when we reach the Planck epoch then I would suggest Callendar and Huggett’s Physics meets philosophy at the Planck scale which deals with theories of quantum gravity. Be aware though that it contains some seriously heavy concepts and mathematics.

          And since atheists NEED a naturalistic explanation for the origin of the universe for their philosophy to be consistent

          As you keep being told and and as you keep ignoring, all atheism consists of is the lack of belief in the existence of deities.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And since atheists NEED a naturalistic explanation for the origin of the universe for their philosophy to be consistent, that means atheism is nothing more than another faith-based system.

          Do your self a favour and try actually learning something from your time here and stop being such a huge dick. You claim to be a qualified engineer…that is debatable given what you display in the thinking skills department…but let’s grant that ya are for the sake of it…that means you can read and have basic proficiency using a computer and can follow a link….please read the following link before commenting further, you really are losing whatever credibility you arrived here with by continuing with your retarded nonsense about atheism.

          https://www.atheists.org/activism/resources/what-is-atheism/

        • epeeist

          You claim to be a qualified engineer…that is debatable given what you display in the thinking skills department.

          *cough* Salem hypothesis *cough*

        • BlackMamba44

          So, it is a thing. Wow.

        • MR

          Ah, very interesting! I was rather taken aback when one of our engineers expressed the plausibility that the pyramids could have been built by aliens. I’ll have to look more into this Salem hypothesis. Thanks!

        • Clint W. (Thought2Much)

          My thought is that engineers see the world in terms of systems, and since systems are designed, it logically follows (in their minds) that there must be a designer for natural systems.

        • MNb

          Nope. Atheists need a naturalistic explanation for the origin of our Universe BEING POSSIBLE (as you already admitted yourself when you claimed it isn’t – without backing it up of course). In every single comment when you asked for evidence for the naturalistic explanation I gave you you implicitly admitted that it is.
          You just keep on denying it because your creacrap requires you to be a persistent liar.
          This particular lie of yours is getting boring, because you don’t do anything but repeating it ad nauseam. The two interesting questions that remain are:

          1. is there more manure we can get out of you than you already produced?
          2. has creacrap turned you into a persistent liar or have you fallen fro creacrap because you are a persistent liar?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Ah, epeeist, I think Ant gotcha! What was the singularity doing beforehand? Of course, the same could be said about God–he was just twiddling his thumbs before getting the bright idea to create something? He was just chillin’ with the Trinity for trillions of years? Why would he have created when, by definition, things were perfect beforehand?

          Of course, the cosmologist would say that the question could be mal-formed since there wouldn’t have been time beforehand, but never mind. Ant still trounced you. Or something.

        • MNb

          Not only the cosmologist. A certain Augustinus of Hippo said the same with “for those who dig too deep God prepared Hell”.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Tip: don’t thin that “simple logic” is much help at the frontier of science. If common sense were the most useful tool, you wouldn’t have to get a doctorate to understand it all.

          There are theories of the origin of the universe in which it’s eternal. In which it has no beginning. In which it comes from preexisting material.

        • Michael Neville

          I see cosmology is yet another topic where you don’t know squat but are willing to pontificate on at some length.

          There’s a hypothesis that time began at 1×10^-43 seconds after the Big Bang. There’s a lot about physics that is counter-intuitive.

          “If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don’t understand quantum mechanics.” –Richard Feynman, Nobel laureate in Physics

        • MNb

          And those questions somehow don’t apply to your imaginary sky daddy, who’s supposed to have created the entire shenanigan?
          Great, you have formulated some questions science can’t answer. Your creacrap can’t either, because creacrap never ever answers anything.

        • Kuno

          And round and round we go…

        • adam
        • Kuno

          Oh, it may very well have been god, or even your God. But as long as no one can present any evidence that it was, I will continue to not believe it.

        • Paul B. Lot

          So how do you believe the universe came into being?

          So why do you believe the universe came into being?

          Perhaps worthwhile to back up and ask:
          1) What is “the universe”
          2) What do you mean by “came into being”

        • Michael Murray

          So how do you believe the universe came into being?

          How do you know the universe came into being ? What does that even mean ? We don’t have models that extend beyond the Planck Epoch.

        • Ant

          You’re the second person to say that. I’m just going by what our scientits say, which is that the universe came into being ~14 billion years ago in the big bang. Do you agree with the scientists, or are you a science-denier?

        • Michael Murray

          That’s not my understanding of what they say. I think they say they don’t have a theory of quantum gravity so they can’t model the universe beyond the Planck Epoch.

          The Planck Epoch is the point going backwards in time when the university becomes so compressed that general relativity models (gravity) break down due to quantum effects. At that point you would expect “space” and “time” to no longer make sense.

          Sometimes people talk about a singularity before the Plank Epoch but if you read the wiki article I quoted elsewhere in this discussion that is a breakdown in the model not in the universe. This point is often not carefully made in popular articles about “the big bang”.

          Do you agree with the scientists, or are you a science-denier?

          I think I am explaining the scientific consensus on this point. I couldn’t disagree with it because I don’t have the relevant background in physics. Possibly I have misunderstood it.

        • Ant

          Let me start by saying that wikipedia is a crappy source, so I don’t care what it says. I won’t even waste my time reading the open-edit garbage.

          The matter in the universe had to come from somewhere. You can’t just say it appeared after Plank time started or whatever. The singularity had to have an origin. The laws of physics had to have an origin. There is no evidence of how any of this could have happened naturally.

        • Michael Murray

          Let me start by saying that wikipedia is a crappy source, so I don’t care what it says. I won’t even waste my time reading the open-edit garbage.

          It’s physics stuff is pretty good.

          The matter in the universe had to come from somewhere.

          I didn’t say I didn’t. I was telling you what is currently understood by physics.

          You can’t just say it appeared after Plank time started or whatever.

          I didn’t.

          The singularity had to have an origin.

          You missed my point about the singularity being a problem with the model didn’t you? The map is not the territory.

          The laws of physics had to have an origin.

          Yes we invented them. When we look at the universe we see patterns and regularities. We call them laws.

          There is no evidence of how any of this could have happened naturally.

          There is some evidence. People tried to explain quantum fluctuations to you.

          With a civil engineering degree you have the ability to understand this stuff to a reasonable extent with a bit of effort.

        • TheNuszAbides
          You can’t just say it appeared after Plank time started or whatever.

          I didn’t.

          ah, but you definitely said “or whatever” (i.e. “something I[Ant] don’t even have the motivation to horribly misrepresent”), ergo Ant is totes authorized to hand-wave anything else you might ever say about anything. cuz whatever.

        • Kodie

          Where did god get the material to create the universe?

        • MNb

          “No evidence hence god” is and remains a non-sequitur.

        • Kuno

          What is so hard to understand about “We don’t know what happened before the Planck Epoch, our current theories cannot describe it.”?

        • Kuno

          So you also don’t know what the Planck Epoch is.

          Why do you go around arguing about scientific concepts without checking what they actually mean before you do it?

        • BlackMamba44
        • MNb

          No. Because it didn’t.

          1) Our Universe wasn’t created.
          2) Our Universe didn’t origin from nothing. Try Quantum Fields – when all values are 0 we have physical nothing, not philosophical nothing.
          3) The “force” is not unknown. Try Quantum Fluctuation.
          No magic informed at all.

          Do you realize that attacking a strawman is a form of false testimony and hence that you violate one of your own Ten Commandments?

        • Ant

          “2) Our Universe didn’t origin from nothing. Try Quantum Fields – when all values are 0 we have physical nothing, not philosophical nothing.

          3) The “force” is not unknown. Try Quantum Fluctuation.

          No magic informed at all.”

          Where are these quantum fields? Why aren’t they creating any more universes? If they are where is the evidence of these universes? You throw around this meaningless term “quantum fluctuations” that proves nothing, and act like you have some sort of evidence. It’s really absurd to me.

        • MNb

          Everywhere.
          Who says they aren’t?

          http://www.space.com/18811-multiple-universes-5-theories.html

          But yeah – ultimately we don’t know. But of course dishonest as you are you

          1) refuse to admit that nobody here believes that our Universe originated from nothing;
          2) refuse to admit that you are the one who believes that your god created the Universe from nothing;
          3) you want us to be OK with the means used by your supposed god being unknowable;
          4) and still only want to accept that scientific models are possible if every single silly or not silly issue of yours is answered to the smallest detailed to your impossible satisfaction.

          Yeah, quantum fluctuations are meaningless. Thanks for admitting that you not only reject biology, but also modern physics.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_fluctuation

          Don’t worry, it’s absurd to me as well.
          Even more so an imaginary sky daddy who exists beyond spacetime with a few words speaks an entire natural reality into existence, plus life, plus diversity of species, plus consciousness and intelligence.
          The thing is that quantum fluctuations are testable. The stuff you propose totally isn’t.

        • Ant

          So you don’t believe something that transcends the universe created the universe, and you don’t believe the universe created itself. Alright so basically you believe nothing which is impossible, so what I take from this is you have no logical basis for your beliefs, which is no different from religion.

        • adam
        • adam
        • Ant

          You seem to only post what other people are saying. To me that means you aren’t really capable of thinking for yourself.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Nice! I always find that throwing in insults helps bring the other guy around to my point of view.

        • MNb

          You only seem to parrot creacrap taken from other creacrappers. To me that means you aren’t really capable of thinking for yourself.

        • Ant

          I’m just trying to figure out what atheists think. So far it’s seems like they don’t know what they believe.

        • MNb

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          What you mean is that you a priori categorically refuse to accept anything we bring up to defend our position.
          Liar.

        • Kuno

          Why? You seem to already think you know what atheists think.

        • adam

          “You seem to only post what other people are saying. ”

          Then you aren’t capable of paying attention.

          ” To me that means you aren’t really capable of thinking for yourself.”

          So what, you believe in Magical Sky Daddy.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/62da10177de8c12d9feedf1a0ff3d448ed929feef887a1192640edb3a8a15953.jpg

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ever here the term, “I don’t know”?…it is employed when one doesn’t know the answer to a question they can’t possibly know the answer to…like “how many angels can dance on the point of a pin?”.

          People who make shit up when they have no way of knowing the answer are just stupid and embarrassing themselves.

          Cosmologists are working hard on many different models which may never yield a satisfactory explanation, a god-did-it isn’t a model anyone in the world of cosmology is considering seriously.

        • Ant

          So you prefer the universe-from-nothing model? Or what?

        • Ignorant Amos

          What part of “I don’t know” do you fail to comprehend?

          There has never been a time when there was nothing, so we don’t know what nothing is, there has always been something.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7XDNomPwK0

        • Ant

          “There has never been a time when there was nothing, so we don’t know what nothing is, there has always been something.”

          Even before the big bang? What was it doing? Just sitting there waiting to explode? How do you know? Are you basing this on science or is thus just what you want to believe?

        • MNb

          If you have an engineering grad it’s not from a respectable institute or you wouldn’t have called the Big Bang an explosion.
          Also you are not aware of your own smart apologist predecessors. “Even before the Big Bang” already has been addressed by Augustinus of Hippo.
          Quantum Fields are based on science.

        • Ant

          Where is the evidence of quantum fluctuations creating matter de novo? Where are these quantum fluctuations? Are they still creating matter? Are they still creating universes de-novo? How can our scientists observe these quantum fluctuations creating universes?

        • Kuno

          You just admitted that you don’t know what the Big Bang Theory actually says.

          Nicely done. Did you have to train much to shoot yourself in the foot so accurately?

        • Kodie

          What, besides everything else, do you not understand?

        • MNb

          Lying creacrapper keeps on lying.

        • adam

          “Or what?”

          I dont PRETEND to know, why do YOU?

        • MNb

          Quantum fields are no philosophical nothing, lying creacrapper. That has been explained to me by …. an apologist who unlike you actually understood some Modern Physics.
          And if you want to maintain that quantum fields transcend our Universe be my guest. It’s one way to express it.
          You being a lying creacrapper take of course a lie from what I wrote.
          You haven’t even tried to show what’s illogical about quantum fields. Oh – and no belief is required. Empirical evidence suffices, but I immediately there is not enough for the hypothesis of quantum fields.
          My point is far more modest (of course a lying creacrapper like you is too arrogant to grasp what modesty means): there is a natural explanation possible for something you claim it needs magic.

        • Ant

          Ok what is the evidence of quantum fields? Do they exist beyond the universe? If so how can our scientists study them? How do they create matter from non-matter? How did they create the laws of physics that are governed by arbitrary constants?

        • MNb

          Read some scientific texts if you are genuinely interested, which I doubt. Having years of internet experience with creacrappers like you I bet your questions are meant to arrive at

          https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/56/Argument-from-Ignorance

          ie “MNb cannot answer all my silly and not silly questions to my impossible satisfaction hence he’s wrong and Goddiddid.”

          But just in case:

          http://www.quantum-field-theory.net/

          My point is just that quantum fields are an example of a naturalistic explanation of how our Universe came into being, something you maintain is impossible.

        • eric

          You throw around this meaningless term “quantum fluctuations” that proves nothing, and act like you have some sort of evidence.

          LOL, we do have evidence. Look up the term “anomalous magnetic dipole moment.” Or the Casimir effect. Or Hawking radiation. QM predictions that something can (and constantly does) arise from nothing are born out by experiment. The constant production of particle-antiparticle pairs from nothing is measurable. We measure it.
          It doesn’t matter if the idea is really absurd to you, it actually happens. And your own personal incredulity about that is not an argument.

        • Ant

          So these anomalous magnetic dipole moments created one entire universe 14 billion years ago and then stopped and now they aren’t creating anything. Same with all the other things you mentioned.

          How do we measure production of particle-antiparticle pairs from nothing. Any links please?

        • eric

          Nice goalpost moving. If you want to argue about what specifically created this universe, I’ll go down that path with you…after we finish discussing your point about something coming from nothing.

          Simply acknowledge that yes, something can come from nothing according to QM, and no, no God is needed to make that happen. Thus the ‘can something come from nothing’ question has been answered in the affirmative by science. Then we can move on to the question of how this universe originated.
          [Edit]Here is a link that will get you started on the Casimir effect.

        • Ant

          “Simply acknowledge that yes, something can come from nothing according to QM, and no, no God is needed to make that happen.”

          I’ve never seen any evidence of this. Especially not an entire universe in a single moment.

        • epeeist

          I’ve never seen any evidence of this.

          Well unless you work in quantum field theory then you tend to be unaware of this.

        • Ant

          How many people in the world work in this field? Hundreds maybe? Are they the only ones privy to this information? Who can observe their work? How can we know it’s reliable? Do you simply put your faith in them?

        • Kodie

          Usually scientific stuff isn’t secret because they have to publish it. I can’t believe you don’t know this. What’s harder is understanding what you read, and sometimes these journals are online behind a paywall. Eventually this stuff comes around to public-friendly news sites for maybe a couple levels above your digestible level for science. I also suggest some episodes of Nova.

        • adam

          “How many people in the world work in this field? Hundreds maybe? Are they the only ones privy to this information? Who can observe their work? How can we know it’s reliable?”

          Although any real engineer would know how to find out:
          http://www.bing.com/search?q=quantum%20field%20theory&pc=cosp&ptag=N13G1486ABE91C7D8F5&form=CONBDF&conlogo=CT3210127

          “Do you simply put your faith in them?”

          You mean bible faith?
          Wishful thinking?
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b12fa1635e121ebbb3409640826d721ba93278771f0064bd133804faa3f01397.png

          Why?

          What difference does it make?

        • epeeist

          How many people in the world work in this field? Hundreds maybe?

          How many people work at CERN or Lawrence Livermore? How many in physics departments in all the universities and research institutes and all the world?

          You aren’t trying to make some kind of inverse argument from numbers are you?

          Are they the only ones privy to this information?

          Nope, all you need to do is look at the appropriate papers, for example here is the paper on the observation of the Higgs boson. This should also give you some clue as to the number of people involved.

          Who can observe their work? How can we know it’s reliable?

          And this sounds as though you are trying to poison the well.

          You can certainly work through the publications to check the inferences from the data. Of course you have to have the requisite skills and background.

          Do you simply put your faith in them?

          And there’s that word. Do you mean that I have strong belief based on conviction rather than proof, or do you mean that I have trust or confidence in their findings?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          When the conversation brings in both evolution and QM, things for me get even weirder.

          Ant is going to use his middle school common sense to reject evolution, but he’s just going to ignore the 2-billion-pound elephant in the room? Evolution isn’t at all hard to understand, and Creationists even accept all of it when they admit to “microevolution,” but he’s just going to let QM sit there, unmolested? QM is like Salvadore Dali in Wonderland, and he’s not going to complain?

        • epeeist

          Ant is going to use his middle school common sense to reject evolution

          Well the problem is that common-sense is, well, common i.e. have no refinement at all. At best at is a poor approximation at a restricted set of scales.

        • MNb

          “Ant is going to use his middle school common sense”
          That’s rather insulting for all the middle school kids who are totally OK with evolution.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Good point. Thanks for the correction.

        • Kuno

          Maybe it just me coming in a bit late to the discussion, but doesn’t it seem as if Ant has completely abandoned the whole evolution branch of it?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          If he did, it’d be nice to hear him say that he’s learned something.

        • Kuno

          False alarm. He is still at it.

        • adam

          “Especially not an entire universe in a single moment.”

          Six days is better?
          too tired must rest the seventh?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cd8ca4651d958209af25cfcb8e197b584fb20d8e2f002068b9eefba40d148c2c.jpg

        • Max Doubt

          “Where are these quantum fields? Why aren’t they creating any more universes?”

          We, that’d be all of us, including you, don’t know they’re not.

          “If they are where is the evidence of these universes? You throw around this meaningless term “quantum fluctuations” that proves nothing, and act like you have some sort of evidence. It’s really absurd to me.”

          First, your understanding of the relevant science is clearly not at a level where any more complicated explanations would make sense to you. You already don’t get what you think you get. You’re asking degree level college science questions while demonstrating that you have — at best — the scientific understanding of a fourth grade child. You have years, maybe decades worth of education to get through before you’re ready for this stuff. Oh, and that’s part of why you’re earning the ridicule and mockery. You’re way out of your intellectual league while dishonestly pretending your misunderstanding is somehow relevant to reality.

          To move forward, your incredulity, ignorance, and misunderstanding of cosmology doesn’t constitute support for any alternative explanations. So how about you provide some objective evidence for your explanation of universe creation by an act of magic and for the alleged existence of that magical intelligent agent. And if you don’t have any objective evidence, how about you just be honest for a change and admit you aren’t aware of any.

        • Ant

          “We, that’d be all of us, including you, don’t know they’re not.”

          Ok they may be, but there is just zero evidence that they are.

          “First, your understanding of the relevant science is clearly not at a level where any more complicated explanations would make sense to you.”

          Well how about you explain it to me, smarty pants?

          “So how about you provide some objective evidence for your explanation of universe creation by an act of magic and for the alleged existence of that magical intelligent agent”

          How about you provide evidence that a universe can create itself in a big bang because of quantum fluctuations that exist beyond the observable universe?

        • Max Doubt

          “Ok they may be, but there is just zero evidence that they are.”

          That’d be the same amount of evidence to support your claim that some sort of magical intelligent agent exists that performed some act of magic to create the universe, or life, or the diversity of life on earth, whichever happens to be your claim of the moment.

          “Well how about you explain it to me, smarty pants?”

          I’ve already explained that your understanding of science is so severely sub-par it could take you decades to have the foundational understanding that would make my explanations meaningful to you. But I’m not dropping the ball entirely. If you really want some help and you’re not just being a mouthy asshole daring people to teach you something you refuse to learn, tell us where you live. With that we can probably help you find some remedial science tutoring adequate for a kid with your abysmally low level of scientific understanding.

          “How about you provide evidence that a universe can create itself in a big bang because of quantum fluctuations that exist beyond the observable universe?”

          Why would you ask me to provide evidence for something that I’m not claiming is true?

          You’re claiming a god exists. You’re claiming it created the universe by an act of magic. As far as we know, that includes you, there is no objective evidence to support your claim. So you have a claim you can’t support, and you’re asking for explanations you aren’t intellectually capable of understanding. Other than possibly showing lurkers how irrational your position is, can you think of any way your ongoing contribution might make this a productive conversation?

        • Ant

          I’m a practicing civil engineer with a degree in the field. They don’t let you do that without studying science.

          “You’re claiming a god exists. You’re claiming it created the universe by an act of magic.”

          Atheists claim that God doesn’t exist. To believe this they must also believe that the universe had a completely natural origin. But there is no natural explanation, and thus there is no philosophical basis for atheism. At least there is no more substantial footing than for theism. This has been my point all along. The reason you all are pushing back so hard is because you don’t want to admit this, but for people who aren’t emotionally invested in atheism like you all, it is quite clear.

        • Paul B. Lot

          I’m a practicing civil engineer

          Bingo.

          I wonder if being a field which forces you to deal with others’ deep failings in the Dunning Kruger realm on a daily basis has lead you to, perhaps counter-intuitively, believing that it is only others who could possibly suffer so.

        • Ant

          My guess is you wouldn’t pass the science courses required to get a civil engineering degree. At least in a good school like the one I went to.

        • Paul B. Lot

          My guess is you wouldn’t pass the science courses required to get a civil engineering degree.

          Ah, again the typical atheist human tactic of insulting someone and not saying anything of substance. Many times coupled with irrational anger. How many times have I seen this?

        • Kodie

          Why do you like to tell people who you think they are? You think I need to be older and wiser, and now Paul wouldn’t pass the science requirements at your school?

          What the fuck kind of rational argument is that? You are just attacking people because you know you don’t know shit about what you think you know about. You are intellectually incapable of grasping:

          1. God
          2. Nothing
          3. I DON”T FUCKING KNOW, NOBODY KNOWS.

          Where “nothing” is a definitive answer, it is not the same thing as not knowing. You keep tripping over your own mistakes in public, and you’re so embarrassed by how little you know, how brutally inferior your critical thinking skills are, that you have to attack people. Still doesn’t mean there’s a god!

        • Andre B

          At least in a good school like the one I went to.

          That school might have been fine for you, but for the rest of us, it would have needed to be at least three times bigger.

        • epeeist

          Atheists claim that God doesn’t exist.

          Do they? Just about every atheist I have ever come across does not believe in the existence of gods.

          There is of course a difference between

          ~p:g – a person lacks belief in the existence of gods

          and

          p:~g – a person has belief in the non-existence of gods.

        • Ant

          Ok this makes NO sense. If you lack a belief in Gods, that is the same as not believing in Gods. Which means you think Gods don’t exist. And please don’t pretend atheists don’t claim God doesn’t exist… they do. The internet is full of hateful atheists ridiculing people who believe in God. Why do that if you are open to the possibility?

        • Kodie

          How can I believe there’s a god with no credible evidence?Therefore, I do not believe in god or gods. That’s called atheism.

        • Philmonomer

          a) I believe “Philmonomer own a dog.”
          b) I believe “Philmonomer doesn’t own a dog.”

          Which statement describes you? Neither, right? You have no reason to believe one or the other. You reject both. You can say:

          I don’t believe “Philmonomer owns a dog.”

          But that is NOT the same as saying “I believe ‘Philmonomer doesn’t own a dog.'”

          Similarly, “I don’t believe ‘God exists'” is NOT the same as “I believe ‘God doesn’t exist.'”

        • Ant

          “I don’t believe “Philmonomer owns a dog.” But that is NOT the same as saying “I believe ‘Philmonomer doesn’t own a dog.'”

          Yes it is. Why wouldn’t you say “I don’t know if Philmonomer owns a dog”. That way actually expresses what you are thinking.

          If you say “I don’t believe something”, that is saying that you think the proposition is false. Atheists want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to be atheists and make fun of people who believe in God and ridicule other peoples’ beliefs but they don’t their beliefs to be able to come under any scrutiny due to their emotional attachment to hoping there is no God, so they engage in these mental gymnastics to avoid having to really commit to accepting the implications of there not being a God.

          Implications such as having to accept that if there is no God, the universe basically had to create itself, which is absurd. So I know why you are trying to trick me like this, it’s a psychological defense mechanism atheists employ to avoid criticism of their worldview, to which they are emotionally attached.

        • Philmonomer

          Are you learning anything in these comments? Do you hope to learn something? What is your goal in commenting here?

        • Kuno

          Yes it is. Why wouldn’t you say “I don’t know if Philmonomer owns a dog”. That way actually expresses what you are thinking.

          But the question as asked wasn’t about your knowledge, but your believe.

          Because knowledge is something different than belief. Your answer would imply that you are agnostic.

          I for one don’t see any reason to believe that there is a god or gods, and I freely admit that I don’t know if there are.

          Which makes me an agnostic atheist.

          If you say “I don’t believe something”, that is saying that you think the proposition is false.

          No it fucking doesn’t. How often has that to be repeated before you would even consider the posbibility that you are wong about this!?

          Do I believe that there is a small tea cup orbiting around Saturn? No, I don’t. Do I think it is impossible? No, I don’t either. Do you see how that works?

        • Kuno

          Thank you. I was trying to figure out an example like this but you spared me the bother.

        • adam

          “And please don’t pretend atheists don’t claim God doesn’t exist… they do.”

          And please dont pretend like you know what you are talking about, because you dont

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8a1d48c6ea9ae94abc4986173c1c9496602e6dc86fef2062e9417b9a7f4f213b.jpg

        • epeeist

          If you lack a belief in Gods, that is the same as not believing in Gods.

          In which case you should be able to show that my two statements in doxastic logic above are equivalent. I’ll leave it up to you to provide the proof.

          Let’s take a less contentious example. Consider the proposition “a googly is a delivery which looks like a normal leg spinner but actually turns towards the batsmen, like an off break, rather than away from the bat.”

          Now I would guess that you have no position on this, largely because you probably no little about the game that the definition comes from. In other words you lack belief as to whether it is true or not.

          However using your contention, namely that the lack of belief in something is equivalent to the belief in the negation of something then you would have to say that you believe the proposition that I have given is false.

          Essentially what you are saying is that I can believe X or believe not X but I can’t not believe in something.

          So, if I do not own a dog does that mean I own a non-dog?

        • Kuno

          There are so many things I like about Britain, cricket is not among them…

        • epeeist

          cricket is not among them…

          Ah well, I don’t suppose you can help it.

        • Kuno

          If you lack a belief in Gods, that is the same as not believing in Gods.

          Several people have now told you that this is not true. Instead of just repeating your incredulity, why don’t you give their arguments some thought and try to understand what they mean?

        • Herald Newman

          Just about every atheist I have ever come across does not believe in the existence of gods.

          The first problem is that what constitutes a god is so poorly defined. What is a god to a deists is very different from the personal gods of so many people, or even the pantheist god.

          I actually do believe that no gods exist, as I currently understand the idea. This is, of course, a tentative position, based on the current evidence, and is subject to change should we acquire evidence that any gods do exist. I consider it something like the null hypothesis.

        • epeeist

          Badly phrased by me, what I should have said is “lacks belief in the existence of gods”.

          The first problem is that what constitutes a god is so poorly defined.

          Yep.

          I actually do believe that no gods exist, as I currently understand the idea.

          Slightly different to me, I take the attitude that the whole “god” thing is so ill-defined that the concept is meaningless.

        • Michael Neville

          Atheists claim that God doesn’t exist.

          I don’t claim that gods (there are more than your favorite deity) don’t exist. I say that I don’t believe that gods exist. That’s because of the lack of evidence to support the existence of gods.

          I’m a practicing civil engineer with a degree in the field. They don’t let you do that without studying science.

          So how much biology and astronomy do civil engineers take to earn a BS?

        • Ant

          Ok so you don’t believe gods exist. How did the universe originate then? What natural explanation is there that science has proven to explain how the universe can originate without transcendental creation?

        • Michael Neville

          I don’t know how the universe began. In science, the answer “I don’t know” is acceptable. I do know that there’s zip point shit evidence that any gods or other magical critters were involved in the creation of the universe.

          The moment you or any other creationist can show the slightest hint that some sky pixie created the universe, then I’ll reconsider my stance. Until then, I don’t know.

        • Ant

          “I don’t know how the universe began. In science, the answer “I don’t know” is acceptable.”

          Yes but with atheism you are taking a position. You are saying that you believe natural causes are sufficient to explain the origin of the universe. No such thing has been proven to be true.

          “The moment you or any other creationist can show the slightest hint that some sky pixie created the universe, then I’ll reconsider my stance. Until then, I don’t know.”

          The moment that atheists can show that an entire universe can create itself from nothing with a complete set of harmonious physical laws, then I’ll reconsider my stance. Until then atheism is based on nothing.

        • Michael Neville

          You are saying that you believe natural causes are sufficient to explain the origin of the universe. No such thing has been proven to be true.

          For someone who pretends to be so sciency you fail to know that science doesn’t prove anything.

          Yes, I believe natural causes are sufficient to explain the origin of the universe. It hasn’t been shown to be false and makes a lot more sense to me than “the magic sky pixie did it.”

          As the centuries roll on, more and more things which were thought to have supernatural causes or explanations turn out to have natural causes or explanations. Name one instance where something that was thought to have a natural cause turned out to have a supernatural cause. You can’t because that’s never happened. So I’ll go with naturalism over fantasy for the origin of the universe.

        • Kuno

          Tides come, tides go out. Never a miscommunication. You cannot explain that.

        • Michael Neville

          Actually I can explain that. It has to do with the Sun and moon and their relationships to the Earth.

        • Kuno

          I was only citing the renown scholar Bill O’Reilly.

        • adam
        • Michael Neville
        • adam

          “Until then atheism is based on nothing..”

          No, that would be theism is based on nothing.

          The moment that theists can show that an entire universe can created by God, then I’ll reconsider my stance.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/45dd842d504bf41dc40188a391c8bf8b689376b72eb646fb8e2420b851e668e7.jpg

        • adam

          Yes but with theism you are taking a position. You are saying that you dont believe natural causes are sufficient to explain the origin of the universe. No such thing has been proven to be true.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/47968c2eaefa4f9181b4646021475ab8c462db74ae5a77412b54c606bae95068.jpg

        • Kodie

          All explanations so far have been NOT GOD, so we have less and less reason to think that your imaginary friend is responsible for anything else that we don’t know yet. Atheism is based on experience and evidence. Theism is based on superstition and willful ignorance.

          You are expecting atheists to explain the universe to you when you already have a tidy fiction to which you are clinging, but that’s a diversion. Where is the evidence for all your claims that you keep pretending not to be making? Why are you badgering us when your claim is god created the universe via unknown means. Why don’t you know? Why are you satisfied not knowing how but not having a deity completely destroys you and frustrates you and sends you into crisis?

        • Kuno

          “I don’t know how the universe began. In science, the answer “I don’t know” is acceptable.”

          Yes but with atheism you are taking a position. You are saying that you believe natural causes are sufficient to explain the origin of the universe.

          Wrong. Try again.

        • Joe

          Ok so you don’t believe gods exist. How did the universe originate then?

          You don’t believe Leprechauns exist, so how do rainbows originate then?

        • Meepestos

          Iris is the personification of the rainbow and messenger of the gods. How else would she deliver her messages?

        • Kuno

          Unicorns vomitting. Everybody knows that.

        • TheNuszAbides

          vomiting, farting, whatevs — as long as it somehow involves at least one of a unicorn’s orifices, we know it fits the available evidence.

        • adam

          What explanation is there that science has proven to explain
          how the universe can originate with transcendental creation?

        • Kuno

          Why do you think science not having an explanation for something has to do anything with the existence or non-existence of gods?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          And how much biology has Ant had that justifies his dismissing the consensus view?

          He must have a big swinging dick.

        • MNb

          “But there is no natural explanation”
          There is, you lying creacrapper. I told you which one. You handwaved it with “I think it’s absurd”. Then you started to ask some questions, meant to demonstrate the natural explanation is imperfect. But the lying creacrapper you are you refuse to admit that the simple acknowledgment that the explanation is imperfect implies that there is an explanation.

        • Max Doubt

          “I’m a practicing civil engineer with a degree in the field. They don’t let you do that without studying science.”

          Your abysmal lack of understanding biology and cosmology actually damages your credibility about having any sort of science education. I’d guess, by comparison to the much more intelligent people I’m surrounded by, you’re about a junior in high school and you went to a really shitty, probably parochial, grade/middle school. But if you’re being truthful for once, it would seem a thorough understanding of the scientific method isn’t a prerequisite to getting a civil engineering degree. Mostly just lots of memorizing shit for you guys, eh?

          “Atheists claim that God doesn’t exist.”

          No. Atheists reject claims that gods do exist. If you don’t understand the difference I’ll be glad to help you find that middle school English tutor to help you muddle through.

          “To believe this they must also believe that the universe had a completely natural origin.”

          But they don’t believe this, so you’re fighting a strawman. That is, you guessed it, dishonest.

          “But there is no natural explanation, and thus there is no philosophical basis for atheism.”

          The philosophical basis for atheism is the same as, for example, the philosophical basis for rejecting claims that lizard people from other planets have inserted themselves into influential positions in our society.

          “At least there is no more substantial footing than for theism.”

          Theism, at its foundation, is the claim that a god or gods exist. There is no objective evidence to support that claim. There is no footing for theism other than maybe that happy cozy feeling you might get from believing in invisible magical beings. If, for example, you can describe anything that ever occurred or existed that can be objectively attributed to the action of some magical intelligent agent, you might be on to something. But nothing we’ve ever been curious about, anything we’ve explored with objectivity and rigor, has ever turned out to be caused by magic. Never. Not once. Never has the answer, “It’s magic,” moved us closer to actually understanding things we don’t know. Interestingly, writing something off as magic automatically builds a barrier to our understanding. When we attribute anything to the power of magic, we’re done exploring it. That is the cop-out explanation for those with no courage or honesty, or who aren’t motivated to actually learn more about it. “It’s magic,” has never added to the body of human knowledge or understanding.

          “This has been my point all along. The reason you all are pushing back so hard is because you don’t want to admit this, but for people who aren’t emotionally invested in atheism like you all, it is quite clear.”

          There’s no emotional investment into rejecting claims that lizard people from other planets have inserted themselves into influential positions in our society. The objective evidence is the same for that as it is for the existence of gods. It’s just reasonable to reject claims that things exist out here in reality, things that allegedly affect the workings of the universe, when there isn’t a mote of objective evidence to support the claims.

        • BlackMamba44

          No. Atheists reject claims that gods do exist. If you don’t understand the difference I’ll be glad to help you find that middle school English tutor to help you muddle through.

          She just admitted that she doesn’t understand the difference. It makes NO sense to her.

        • Meepestos

          It seems so. Also her generalizations about atheists reveal this.

        • Ant

          “No. Atheists reject claims that gods do exist.”

          So they reject claims that gods exist, and yet they don’t claim that no God exists. So they reject God’s existence, but they don’t claim no God exists. Wow atheism must not be based on any sort of rationality or logic I’m aware of. Please explain to me how you can reject the claim that God exists, and at the same time not claim that no God exists.

          “—”To believe this they must also believe that the universe had a completely natural origin.”—
          But they don’t believe this, so you’re fighting a strawman. That is, you guessed it, dishonest.”

          So do they believe it had a supernatural origin? If they don’t believe in a natural origin, what other type of origin is there? Do they believe the universe had an origin, which is what our scientists claim?

          “Theism, at its foundation, is the claim that a god or gods exist. There is no objective evidence to support that claim.”

          That is where theists and atheists disagree. Theists see certain aspects of reality as being best explained by higher power, deity, or transcendental agent of creation. Part of this is because naturalistic explanations fail utterly to explain casual observations, such as how life and the universe came into existence. All of this is quite reasonable.

        • Michael Neville

          For someone so highly edjumacted in science you sure are ignorant about logic. “I don’t believe gods exist” is not the same as “gods do not exist.”

          Theists see certain aspects of reality as being best explained by higher power, deity, or transcendental agent of creation.

          Then you should be able to give (here’s the word you creationists hate) evidence to support your claim that “certain aspects of reality…being best explained by…transcendental agent of creation.” On your mark, get set, go…

          Or will that be “abort, retry, fail”?

        • Ant

          “I don’t believe gods exist” is not the same as “gods do not exist.”

          Well if you don’t believe in god(s) then at that moment you believe gods do not exist.

          “Then you should be able to give (here’s the word you creationists hate) evidence to support your claim that “certain aspects of reality…being best explained by…transcendental agent of creation.””

          Well the universe itself is evidence of a creative force that give rise to its origin and its properties. Also I don’t believe there are any natural explanations for the origin and diversification of life, but intelligent design is a sufficient explanation for the information in the genomes of living organisms.

        • Michael Neville

          Well the universe itself is evidence of a creative force that give rise to its origin and its properties.

          That’s an assertion, not evidence. I said that you creationists hated evidence because you know you don’t have any to support your fantasies and illusions.

          Also I don’t believe there are any natural explanations for the origin and diversification of life

          Your ignorance and incredulity are just evidence of your ignorance and incredulity. If you knew something about biology you might have a different idea, but since you’re not only ignorant but willfully ignorant, there’s little hope of you accepting reality.

          intelligent design is a sufficient explanation for the information in the genomes of living organisms.

          You still haven’t defined information.

        • Herald Newman

          Please explain to me how you can reject the claim that God exists, and at the same time not claim that no God exists.

          The stupid. It hurts!!!

          Because rejecting the claim “God exists” does not imply I accept the claim “God does not exist”. Why is this so fucking hard for some people? I guess it’s the same reason why they don’t understand science, and latch onto creationism instead.

          That is where theists and atheists disagree. Theists see certain aspects of reality as being best explained by higher power, deity, or transcendental agent of creation

          I can always explain things in terms of the supernatural, but until we can actually investigate the supernatural, no supernatural explanations are ever justified, no matter what your Sunday school teachers told you.

          Part of this is because naturalistic explanations fail utterly to explain casual observations, such as how life and the universe came into existence.

          Our inability to fully explain these events in no way justifies your belief that a supernatural agent did it! It’s a classical argument from ignorance fallacy.

        • Ant

          Because rejecting the claim “God exists” does not imply I accept the claim “God does not exist”. Why is this so fucking hard for some people? I guess it’s the same reason why they don’t understand science, and latch onto creationism instead.

          No it’s because every other someone says “I don’t believe something”, it means exactly what it says, which is that the person believes the proposition is false. Otherwise you would just say “I don’t know”.

          If you say “I don’t believe something”, that is saying that you think the proposition is false. Here is why atheists try to make this arguments: atheists want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to be atheists and make fun of people who believe in God and ridicule other peoples’ beliefs but they don’t their beliefs to be able to come under any scrutiny due to their emotional attachment to hoping there is no God, so they engage in these mental gymnastics to avoid having to really commit to accepting the implications of there not being a God.

          Implications such as having to accept that if there is no God, the universe basically had to create itself, which is absurd. So I know why you are trying to trick me like this, it’s a psychological defense mechanism atheists employ to avoid criticism of their worldview, to which they are emotionally attached.

        • Kodie

          No theist has yet to convince me there’s any god. You are the ones who are so emotionally over-wrought that you need to post your flaky dumb shit over and over again. You are posting this big long defensive post because you don’t have shit. You are sensitive because you believe it despite its lack of credibility, and defensive because smart people reject it. But you know you don’t have evidence, you don’t have credible evidence. You have a story you have a myth, a fictional story. If you think that the conviction of belief you have is going to win an argument, you really don’t know shit about what you’re blowing out your ass about.

          One honest theist! One who brings some novel arguments, who realizes we’ve heard them all before, who can handle valid criticism without changing the subject, and something you have not done – when we tell you something, don’t just repeat your anti-atheist dogma.

        • Max Doubt

          “So they reject claims that gods exist, and yet they don’t claim that no God exists.”

          Correct. See, that wasn’t so tough, was it?

          “So they reject God’s existence, but they don’t claim no God exists.”

          You’re missing some nuance there, but that’s close. Atheists don’t generally claim that no gods exist, but of course it’s more pragmatic to live as if there are no gods, so we mostly do that. It only takes a few minutes and an average imagination to come up with many things for which there is no objective evidence to support their claimed existence. It would be unreasonable to accept the alleged existence of any of them without accepting them all. And it would be unreasonable to accept them all.

          “Wow atheism must not be based on any sort of rationality or logic I’m aware of.”

          To reject claims for the existence of things which cannot be objectively demonstrated to exist is fundamental to rationality. Now you’re aware.

          “Please explain to me how you can reject the claim that God exists, and at the same time not claim that no God exists.”

          You claim a god exists. I reject that claim. I make no claims about the existence of a god one way or another. There, now it’s been explained… again.

          “So do they believe it had a supernatural origin? If they don’t believe in a natural origin, what other type of origin is there? Do they believe the universe had an origin, which is what our scientists claim?”

          You use the word “believe” to describe your acceptance of claims that gods exist. Atheists don’t necessarily believe anything in that way, not about gods or origins or evolution or anything.

          “That is where theists and atheists disagree. Theists see certain aspects of reality as being best explained by higher power, deity, or transcendental agent of creation.”

          As far as you and I both know, there is no objective evidence to support any claims that any gods exist as something other than figments of individuals’ imaginations. We reject your claim that some things are best explained by the actions of something which you cannot objectively demonstrate exists. We reject it because in the whole of human history there has never been an occurrence that was shown to come about through the magical intervention of, well, of anything. That alleged higher power you speak of can’t do anything outside your imagination. Hell, even I have the power of visibility, the power to change the state of the universe, and the power to objectively demonstrate that I exist. As far as anyone has ever objectively noted, your god can’t do any of that.

          “Part of this is because naturalistic explanations fail utterly to explain casual observations, such as how life and the universe came into existence.”

          Yes, we know you think magic is somehow a reasonable explanation for things you don’t understand. You can just sit there neck deep in willful ignorance, happy that you don’t have the honesty or curiosity to learn more about the universe. With science the answer is never, “Magic. Done. Next question”. Science, after all, can be hard work. It takes objectivity and honesty. Obviously it’s not the kind of thing you’d want to get involved with.

          “All of this is quite reasonable.”

          Apparently you’re unable to apply that filter one might normally use to differentiate between objective reality and figments of their imagination. Out here among those of us who consider what is true to be more important than what we imagine, and being able to clearly distinguish between them, we don’t consider it reasonable to accept claims that things exist when there isn’t the tiniest shred of objective evidence to support those claims.

        • Ant

          —”So they reject claims that gods exist, and yet they don’t claim that no God exists.”—
          Correct. See, that wasn’t so tough, was it?

          Ok the problem is that that doesn’t make sense. In any other scenario a person would simply say “I don’t know if God exists”. If you reject the claim that god exists, the necessarily you are accepting the converse, because there are only two options.

          —”Please explain to me how you can reject the claim that God exists, and at the same time not claim that no God exists.”

          — You claim a god exists. I reject that claim. I make no claims about the existence of a god one way or another. There, now it’s been explained… again.

          You can’t reject the claim that God exists, and then claim you are not taking a position one way or another. I’m sorry that is simply, totally, illogical. You are rejecting the claim that God exists, which is necessarily taking a position one way or the other. I know you want to be able to deny this but logically there is no other way.

          You use the word “believe” to describe your acceptance of claims that gods exist. Atheists don’t necessarily believe anything in that way, not about gods or origins or evolution or anything.

          Ok now you are just lying. Atheists are constantly attacking belief in God, mocking people who believe in God as stupid, claiming that no God exists, claiming that there is no evidence for God, promoting evolutionary theory, saying that evolution is just well-accepted a theory as gravity, and all these other things. And even if they don’t, then the problem is that if there is no God, that has direct implications on all of these topics whether atheists accept that or not.

          For instance, if there is no God, then there must be a “natural” explanation for the origin of the universe. It doesn’t matter if atheists believe in a natural origin. There must be one if there is no God that created the universe. Regardless of how atheists define their belief system or lack thereof, there are unavoidable implications of there not being a God, some of which are just as absurd and unlikely as there being a God. So if someone is going to not believe in God, it inherently means they accept some of these other propositions.

          Going further with the example… If you reject the claim that God exists, the it necessarily means a priori you think there is a natural explanation for the origin of the universe. The reason for this is that the origin was either through transcendental forces such as God, or it was natural. There is no other way. So for someone to reject the transcendental option, means they must think it was the natural option. But since this has not been proven in any way, it means atheists are basing their worldview on faith. And this has been my point all along. Atheists will jump through psychological hoops to avoid admitting this, and deny that they must accept certain implications of there not being God, but ultimately they cannot avoid this logical necessity.

          As far as you and I both know, there is no objective evidence to support any claims that any gods exist as something other than figments of individuals’ imaginations.

          And there is no objective evidence to support a natural origin of the universe, which must necessarily be the case if there was no transcendental, “extra-universal” force of creation. So atheism is no different. We could go on and on like this, but you refuse to acknowledge that without God there can be only nature, and a natural origin to the universe is totally unproven.

          Yes, we know you think magic is somehow a reasonable explanation for things you don’t understand.

          And so do atheists believe in magic when they accept a universe creating itself from nothing, which they must believe if they reject the claim that God exists. So they believe in magic too, just magic without a magician.

        • Kodie

          When you make a claim without evidence, what do you think will happen? All you have done is hostilely ridicule everyone because you don’t have any evidence and make up straw man arguments. If your faith is secure, what’s it to you that other people don’t agree? and by the way, where did god get the material to make the universe or people.

        • Ant

          Just wanted to let you know I’m ignoring your comments. Not even reading them. Keep wasting your time if you want but just wanted to let you know.

        • Kodie

          I know you are too weak in the head to address my comments.

        • Kodie

          If you make up a story, I don’t have to accept that story. You have got to be shitting me that you think belief in the imaginary is the default, and the work has to go to those who don’t buy it. You made up a story – “god exists”, you claim that is solid, you have no evidence. Your incredulity in nature is defied by all the natural explanations that have overthrown the god explanation throughout history. All we have evidence for is nature. If you need god to cope, you have to tell us where he got the materials for creating the universe ad for life on earth, which is your claim. Your claim as I recall it is YOU DON”T KNOW. You said it was “unknowin”. That means you don’t know and nobody knows, but you need a character to have done it consciously and intentionally. You find other scenarios scary and frighteningly empty of whatever you need god to provide, but you can’t say god does exist when I say I’m not convinced. You haven’t argued for god ONE FUCKING TIME. You can’t imagine how to do so.

        • MNb

          “I don’t know if God exists”.
          Depends on what you mean with “know”. Absolute 100% certainty? Not even Richard Dawkins. Not even me.

        • Max Doubt

          “Ok the problem is that that doesn’t make sense.”

          Makes sense to me. I can accept a claim or reject it without making any alternative or opposing claim of my own.

          “In any other scenario a person would simply say “I don’t know if God exists”. If you reject the claim that god exists, the necessarily you are accepting the converse, because there are only two options.”

          No, those aren’t the only two options.

          “You can’t reject the claim that God exists, and then claim you are not taking a position one way or another.”

          Yet here I am, rejecting the claim that a god or gods exist, or that any miracle or act of magic has ever occurred. I reject those claims because, and I’m sure you’ll agree with this, as far as we know there is no objective evidence to support them. I also don’t make a claim one way or another on the existence of a god. So this thing you say I can’t do, I’m doing it.

          “I’m sorry that is simply, totally, illogical.”

          You’re getting hung up on your inability to recognize that the rejection of a claim doesn’t necessarily require taking some other position.

          “You are rejecting the claim that God exists, which is necessarily taking a position one way or the other.”

          No, it’s not. I reject claims that any gods exist because, and here we are about to agree again, neither of us knows of any objective evidence to support those claims. But here’s the clincher. Ask if I believe no gods exist, my answer will be no, I don’t believe that. Ask if I do believe any gods exist, and I’ll reply no, I don’t believe that either.

          “I know you want to be able to deny this but logically there is no other way.”

          Logically? I just described another way. You’re here in a forum full of atheists, most of whom would also probably describe their position very much the same way — and many of them have. Remember, you’re the one who can’t differentiate between objective reality and what exists only in your imagination. Your persistent arguments from incredulity and ignorance won’t make figments of your imagination real. Same as with your gods.

          “For instance, if there is no God, then there must be a “natural” explanation for […] without God there can be only nature, and a natural origin to the universe is totally unproven.”

          And on and on you go with your dishonest excluded middle fallacies and arguments from incredulity and ignorance. Notice how you’re not getting any traction by being dishonest? How’s about you just admit that you don’t know of any objective evidence to support your claim that a god exists, and that you don’t know of any objective evidence to support your claim that some intelligent agent created the universe by some act of magic. Then we can move forward from the same place, honestly, and without your preconceived notion that rejecting a claim necessarily requires holding an opposing position.

          “And so do atheists believe in magic when they accept a universe creating itself from nothing, which they must believe if they reject the claim that God exists. So they believe in magic too, just magic without a magician.”

          Your persistent dishonest effort to attribute a position to atheists they that don’t hold is making you look like a complete asshole. Knock it off.

        • Michael Neville

          Part of this is because naturalistic explanations fail utterly to explain casual observations, such as how life and the universe came into existence.

          “Just because science doesn’t know everything doesn’t mean you can fill in the gaps with whatever fairy tale most appeals to you.” –Dara O’Briain

        • Pofarmer

          Science doesn’t know everything. Religion doesn’t know anything,.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yep…Ant needs to get in the fuckin’ sack.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZI-Uu94vINg

        • Kuno

          How do you get from

          So they reject claims that gods exist,

          to

          So they reject God’s existence,?

          These two are not the same.

        • Dom Saunders

          —”To believe this they must also believe that the universe had a completely natural origin.”—

          But they don’t believe this, so you’re fighting a strawman. That is, you guessed it, dishonest.

          To be honest, I don’t know or have any real beliefs on how the universe came to be. I just don’t know, nor could even begin to guess, and that’s fine with me. Pretty sure most atheists think similarly in that regard. We just don’t know, and unlike Christians, we don’t presume to have all the answers by stating made-up crap that we all know can’t truly be verified.

        • Kodie

          I know there’s a lot I don’t know, and it doesn’t mean that much to me either. I’m not overly consumed that these things mean there’s a god, or burning for some kind of answer regardless. That’s the difference between theists and atheists. When they don’t know, there has to be some kind of story so they can cope. Even if it’s not true, that’s what they need to cope. I don’t need all the answers to cope. Things about evolution or abiogenesis or stuff like that doesn’t give me fits if I don’t know or understand it completely. Not knowing doesn’t make me so insecure that I will fall for a religious trap that provides answers even though they aren’t true.

        • Meepestos

          “Atheists claim that God doesn’t exist.” Why the generalization? A person that has the lack of belief or disbelief in the existence of deities, usually is not making a claim. There is a big difference between making a claim and disbelieving a claim. Though I have met a couple of atheists on forums that claim there are no gods.

          I’ve yet emotionally invested my disbelief in deities nor my disbelieve in the theist’s claim that they exist, as my judgement so to speak has no importance to me.

          Usually the consideration of what is presented in support of an assertion or the opinions of others happens prior to when one comes to the conclusion that deities do not exist, but is not always the case.

          Funny thing is, when I was a child in Greece, the term “atheist” was often used as a term of endearment for those that haven’t found god yet, as if it was a deficiency on the child’s part.

        • Two Americas

          Atheists claim that God doesn’t exist.

          That is quite simply false, and obviously so. Atheism is not a belief system.

        • Joe

          Atheists claim that God doesn’t exist

          More lies.

        • Ant

          So they don’t claim that God doesn’t exist, they just make fun of and ridicule people who do believe in God. Just shows how hypocritical they are in my opinion.

        • Joe

          So they don’t claim that God doesn’t exist, they just make fun of and ridicule people who do believe in God. </blockquote.

          You really are making this up as you go along, aren't you?

        • Meepestos

          Whoa! there. What’s with the the generalizations. Seriously, do you really think they all atheists ridicule and make fun of people who believe in gods? I’ve never made fun of any clergy in my family for believing in god, though I have, and I kind of feel bad about it, for some of the gaudy religious attire they wear sometimes. ; )

        • Ant

          Enough of them do, and especially a lot of the most prominent ones, and there is NO pushback from the general atheistic community so I assume atheists approve of this behavior by and large.

        • Michael Neville

          What’s wrong with ridiculing people for having ridiculous ideas? Be specific. Or admit you don’t like being ridiculed and are just whining about it.

        • Meepestos

          Indeed, you are assuming. What specific behaviour are you referring to? What is the general “atheistic community? Is this a national thing or global. I know of no atheists that subscribe to one particular behaviour or system. Some are humanists, spiritual, mean, kind, silly, wise, secularists, etc. All over the place and from all walks of life so to speak. How the heck do atheists even get to form a community? On the net? An organization?

        • Kodie

          If you demand that we give you attention and accommodation for your superstition, expect to be ridiculed if you have no evidence for your imaginary friend. If you have evidence, you would be the first and we would love to hear all about it.

        • MNb

          The opinion of an established stupid lying bigot.

        • Dom Saunders

          There’s nothing to “push back” against. We just don’t know all there is to know about everything. No one really can. But to go all “I don’t know, therefore God” is a crappy mindset because that only adds another problem to which we don’t have answers on either. But unlike with the matter of the universe’s origin, atheists tend to lean toward rejecting the idea of a god because they’re too perfect and human-like, especially when we know the universe predates us by probably billions of years and that the nature of evolution and change over time is anything but perfect. To assume all of that was made up by someone in our image, let alone any sentient “being” at all is the epitome of ego. So it’s just safer to say “gods likely don’t exist, but as to everything else, we just really don’t know anything.”

        • adam

          ” At least there is no more substantial footing than for theism.”

          Yep, MAGIC
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/04570f3531aa4e675333fdcce29973e95d6ad5b518125333d607badb96b99c03.png

          ” The reason you all are pushing back so hard is because you don’t want to admit this,”

          Admit that MAGIC is real?
          Without anyone EVER demonstrating it?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1857ec854654ff933edab768fb01631702abb139f83db1b2d8e772f7e9929322.jpg

        • Pofarmer

          But there is no natural explanation,

          You may be an engineer, but you’re certainly no astrophysicist

          . https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/writings/dtung/

        • MNb

          That was an excellent brush up for an amateur like me.

        • Pofarmer

          I think it’s a really excellent article.

        • Max Doubt

          “Hey do you believe that the universe created itself from nothing by some totally unknown force?”

          No.

          “In other words, do you believe in magic?”

          Your position…

          “I believing an intelligent being created life on earth by some unknown means.”

          … is the suggestion that the universe was created from nothing by some totally unknown force. Sounds like you do believe in magic. After all, you do agree, don’t you, that there is no objective evidence to support any claims that any such unknown force exists or has ever existed? So if you’re not proposing magic as your explanation, how about you describe any objective evidence you have to show that (1) a being with that ability exists and that (2) it created life on earth.

          Now you can be honest and admit you have no such evidence and that your conjecture is simply belief without objective support. Or you can be the first person ever to provide the objective evidence. Or you can dishonestly and willfully ignore objectively supporting what you believe to be true and demonstrate once again that you have no intent to participate in an honest discussion.

        • Ant

          “After all, you do agree, don’t you, that there is no objective evidence to support any claims that any such unknown force exists or has ever existed?”

          Well my point was that atheists think the universe came from nothing too, they just believe that no intelligence created it. They still believe in magic, just without a magician. A universe coming from nothing is just as absurd and faith-based as believing a higher power created the universe. In my opinion it is even more irrational.

        • BlackMamba44
        • adam
        • Max Doubt

          “Well my point was that atheists think the universe came from nothing too, they just believe that no intelligence created it.”

          That’s not true. First, with exceptions so few as to be insignificant to the conversation, atheists typically don’t believe anything the way god believers seem to mean it when they say they believe gods exist.

          “They still believe in magic, just without a magician.”

          That’s also not even remotely true. If you wonder why you’re the target of ridicule and mockery here, look no further than your persistent dishonesty in misrepresenting the position of those who don’t believe gods exist. You’ve earned the ridicule.

          “A universe coming from nothing is just as absurd and faith-based as believing a higher power created the universe. In my opinion it is even more irrational.”

          At the simplest, your conjecture inserts an additional agent whose existence requires an additional explanation. If you say something can exist in perpetuity while suggesting that thing can’t be the universe but it can be a god, you’re engaging in special pleading, which is dishonest. If you’re suggesting that existence of a thing requires some action on the part of a creator, magical or otherwise, you have to explain the creation of your alleged universe creator. You have willfully ignored that concern, which is also dishonest.

          You do realize you’ve backed yourself into a corner by being dishonest, and you won’t get out of it by continuing to be dishonest. You’ll just keep proving that you’re not honest. Helpful hint: If you don’t like to be ridiculed for being dishonest, stop being dishonest.

        • Ant

          Ok let’s get down to the core of the issue then… do you believe some transcendental force created the universe or do you believe the universe appeared from nothing?

        • adam

          “do you believe some transcendental force created the universe or do you believe the universe appeared from nothing?”

          NEITHER

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/637bfeb32fe76da958e611fbfd841246baeabb7b96c48f9a41144e316ea0e22d.jpg

        • Ant

          So what possible option is there? Do you simply believe the universe has existed eternally?

        • adam

          ” Do you simply believe the universe has existed eternally?”

          That does not appear to jive with current science, but a better stance than a Magical Sky Daddy who has existed eternally and uses MAGIC to create the universe out of nothing?

          Why is YOUR ‘God’ alone?
          Why isnt whatever created your “God” creating other Gods?

        • Max Doubt

          “Ok let’s get down to the core of the issue then… do you believe some transcendental force created the universe or do you believe the universe appeared from nothing?”

          No.

        • Ant

          Ok what do you believe is the most likely explanation of the origin of the universe? If it wasn’t a transcendental force, and it wasn’t originated from nothing, how?

        • Max Doubt

          “Ok what do you believe is the most likely explanation of the origin of the universe? If it wasn’t a transcendental force, and it wasn’t originated from nothing, how?”

          If you misunderstood any of my comments to be a claim about how the universe allegedly came into being, maybe your reading comprehension skills are as shitty as your science skills. Again, as a matter of being helpful, let us know where you live, and we can probably help you get hooked up with an English language tutor appropriate for your level. I’d suggest you seek out someone who specializes in teaching English to about middle-school aged children. It might just do you a world of good.

        • Ant

          Typical atheist. Full of insults and question-dodging, but light on the substance. Totally irrational.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And you have the bare faced cheek to be calling others here a bigot…spoiiiing-tiddly-oing-poing-poing.

        • adam
        • Ant

          You think a universe magically creating itself from nothing is rational?

        • adam

          “You think a universe magically creating itself from nothing is rational?”

          No
          But who believes that?
          I dont

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/38a372d179f379b51cdb5f1c227e4a5bd6dd543347d09566c2aedd943b72e754.jpg

        • MNb

          Liar keeps on lying. I already told you a couple of times that nobody here believes that.
          Creationists like you believe that their god magically created our Universe from nothing and maintain that’s rational.

        • Ant

          Well you haven’t explained to me what other possibility there is if some transcendental force didn’t create the universe. It was either some transcendental force or the origin was natural and thus from nothing. If you’re so smart explain how that assertion is wrong.

        • MNb

          I have, liar. You just handwaved it with “I think it’s absurd”.
          There is no need to be smart to see right through your lies.

        • Ant

          Quantum fluctuations? How did they exist before the universe? If they exist beyond the universe how can they be observed? If so do you admit there are aspects of reality that are totally beyond the capability of science to study?

        • MNb

          Who says quantum fields only exist beyond the Universe? heck, it’s not even clear what “quantum fields exist” even means. I only claim that quantum fields offer a naturalistic explanation of our Universe coming into being. Your questions do not change that a bit.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You keep repeating this lie and I’ve a prophecy for ya….I prophecise Bob S banhammering your knuckle dragging imbecilic arse right outta here soon.

        • MNb

          Typical creacrap. Asks a question that another atheist already has been answered, handwaves the answer with nothing but “I think it’s absurd” and accuses others of being irrational.

        • Max Doubt

          “Typical atheist. Full of insults and question-dodging, but light on the substance. Totally irrational.”

          When someone gives you advice that might help you with your severe misunderstanding of science, communication, and reality in general, the appropriate response is to thank them, not to call them irrational. Try to keep up…

          It’s not an insult to make note of your sub-par language skills and nearly non-existent grasp of science, especially since those are observable facts and appear to be among your greatest impediments — aside from your dishonesty, of course — to learning what you don’t know.

          It’s not dodging questions to refuse to honor your dishonest demands to support claims I haven’t made.

          As far as substance, you’re not ready. You’ve made it abundantly clear that you’re not only incapable of understanding middle school science, you are unwilling to understand it. If you were just incapable, too stupid to understand, fine, you’d have my sympathy. But when you’re unwilling? That’s you being dishonest, and I have little patience for people who try to participate in adult conversations while being as dishonest as you’ve been here.

          As for your accusation of being irrational? You claim that some intelligent agent exists, and that it allegedly brought the universe into existence through some act of magic. You won’t, and presumably can’t provide any objective evidence to support those claims. Your rejection of the well evidenced theories of cosmology and evolution are based on your incredulity and ignorance, and not on any rational, objectively evidenced alternative explanations. You’re making claims to truth with no objective support. None. If you were honest, and pretty clearly you’re not, you’d be admitting you unable to to distinguish what you imagine from what is true.

          Again, for the sake of being helpful, what you believe exists has no effect on the universe outside your very own head, yet you continue to claim it does as if other people should also accept your imaginings as part of reality. That is dishonest. If you come away from this discussion learning nothing else, learn that. Your position is, by definition, irrational. You’re welcome.

        • MNb

          False dilemma. I already gave you a third option.
          So your false dilemma is a lie.

        • Ant

          What was the third option again?

        • MNb

          So your claim that you “want to know what atheists believe” is also false.

        • Joe

          Neither. Try again.

        • Lark62

          Ok let’s get down to the core of the issue then … Do you believe you are as dumb as a post or as dumb as a rock?

        • Kodie

          I vote bag of hammers.

        • Pofarmer

          The curious thing, is the one who believes the universe came from noting is-him.

        • Susan

          Do you believe you are as dumb as a post or as dumb as a rock?

          False dichotomy. He could be as dumb as a bag of hockey pucks.

          Or as dumb as a box of dead frogs.

          Or as dumb as a broken cuckoo clock… .

          I could go on.

          Ignorant is fine. I’m ignorant about lots and lots of things.

          It’s when people show up with no knowledge and think their answers are so right that they don’t even have to test them that drives me batty.

          I remember a lacrosse coach (high school teacher) who often said,

          “Stupid is a choice.”

          He was a good coach and a good teacher.

        • Kuno

          Have you stopped beating you wife yet?

        • adam

          “Well my point was that atheists think the universe came from nothing too,”

          But they dont

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/15ca0861e39343c39684a19ac9ceddd9534f334c6757b32dc5e2772146b00297.jpg

        • Ignorant Amos

          What is “nothing” and when was there a time when this “nothing” obtained?

        • MNb

          Well your point was a lie – it’s creationists like you who think their preferred god created our Universe from nothing.

        • Joe

          Well my point was that atheists think the universe came from nothing too

          You don’t understand our position. Come back when you actually know what ‘atheists’ think.

        • Meepestos

          “Well my point was that atheists think the universe came from nothing too, they just believe that no intelligence created it.”

          Holy mackerel! How many atheists do you know? There is a few atheists on the disqus forums that vehemently disagree that the universe came from nothing. Some even find interesting the postulation of the universe creating itself via a time loop. If interested in hypotheses, theories, and postulations about what may have been before the Big Bang, check out College De France’s website and look up Gabriele Veneziano; and his articles in The Scientific American Magazine. Good explanations about Conflagration Scenario and Pre-Big Bang Scenario. I find the postulation that our observable universe was created when a star in a four dimensional universe collapsed into a black hole quite intriguing.

        • Kuno

          I always find it fascinating how non-atheists know so much better what atheists believe than the actual atheists themselves!

          How do you do that? Are you psychic?

        • epeeist

          Personally I love the concealed quantification, i.e. the use of “atheists” to mean “all atheists”.

        • Kuno

          One wonders what Ant thinks atheists believed before the Big Bang Theory was first formulated…

        • Pofarmer

          Whoa, whoa, whoa. You mean atheists aren’t some new, hip thing?

        • epeeist

          You mean atheists aren’t some new, hip thing?

          Atheism has been hip since the 5th century BCE.

        • BlackMamba44

          It seems to think that atheism has some kind of connection with the creation of the universe.

          Paraphrase: Atheism is just as baseless as theism because we atheists don’t know the origin of the universe.

        • Pofarmer

          It’s a mystery, wrapped in a riddle, full of stupid.

        • epeeist

          before the Big Bang Theory was first formulated…

          Now you’ve done it, you’ll have him referencing Lemaitre as the “father of the Big Bang” and ignoring the work of Friedmann and Gamow.

        • adam
        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          He can see into your very soul.

        • adam

          “Right. That makes sense. Sorry but it does.”

          So your “God” is even more complex than life, so by your “logic” your “God” needs something more complex to create it.

          What created YOUR “God”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cec86c13ff651044ebf846246f7b360fb2d8a3eccf42e97c497a2d680eb4b44d.jpg

        • Ant

          Why did evolution create gay people? Seems like an evolutionary dead end to me… am I wrong?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Are you saying YahwehJesus created gay people?

        • Ant

          Ever heard of sin?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah…see nobody around here believes in that sin shite.

          Who created this sin thingy?

          And you have the bare faced cheek to be calling others here a bigot…spoiiiing-tiddly-oing-poing-poing.

        • adam
        • Meepestos

          Who hasn’t heard of that superfluous concept that originated in Eurasia called sin? Well, there was a time when many didn’t, and even would not recognize it, but as history shows, it usually took indoctrination or coercion to make this concept eventually conceivable and acceptable usually by going straight for the children; even instances without the consent of their parents and community as late as the 20th century. Nowadays even many theists find it superfluous and even obsolete, as they know that wrong doings, personal errors, and injustices are the reality, not punishments or rewards in an imaginary afterlife for thoughts or actions deemed immoral by humans or the god character in the bible, which many theists and atheists argue, is just another concept of human construct. They like others in the past and present, have found it essential to be accountable for their wrongdoings, personal errors, and injustices in the now and deal with them by means of forgiveness, compensation, making amends, and punishment, etc, which in many instances, fortunately and unfortunately doesn’t differ than that of Christendom’s.

        • eric

          If it was a real thing important for our salvation, we shouldn’t need to hear of it.

          After all, that would be a pretty horrific act, to throw – or allow people to be thrown – into the eternal suffering of hell for something they needed to hear about but didn’t.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Could be an evolutionary dead end…there has been plenty in the past.

        • adam

          “Why did evolution create gay people?”

          Why do heterosexual people produce homosexual people?
          Does it provide an evolutionary advantage to overpopulation?

          Homosexuals can still reproduce.
          And as in octopuses/octopi feminized males have an advantage as to not being seen as a threat to alpha male reproduction. thus allowing them easy access to females to spread their feminizing male genetic material.

          Seems like an evolutionary dead end to me… am I wrong?”

          Of course you are.
          but you want to pretend than Faith, described in the bible as wishful thinking, in mythological stories is superior to actual knowledge.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b12fa1635e121ebbb3409640826d721ba93278771f0064bd133804faa3f01397.png

        • adam

          “Why did evolution create gay people?”

          Why would God create gay people?
          Seems like a theological dead end to me.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dc77d289542e435e84917faaf85065d8d4d845cf4f585206ba0309468bf8fc27.jpg

        • Ant

          Maybe God didn’t create them that way, just like he didn’t create people to be sinners but people still sin bc of free will.

        • adam

          Who created them then?

          Who created people with the capacity to be gay?

          Free will?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8f82147c8efa48709931146100a7df8d385664f36cdcdc777d2f5005d4938345.jpg

        • Ignorant Amos

          God created all things….it says so in the buybull.

        • adam

          ” just like he didn’t create people to be sinners but people still sin bc of free will.”

          Free will? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/66f99a24f11ff6634c1a735c6aed6dba2376e2b8df3a74c0b1d19a1c9bc737fd.jpg

        • Ignorant Amos

          Who created the sin thingy…and free will thingy?

        • Kuno

          If God didn’t create humans as sinners, why was sinning one the first thing Adam and Eve did?

        • Michael Neville

          am I wrong?

          Yes you are. But since you won’t read any evidence that doesn’t support GODDIDIT I won’t bother to give a link.

        • eric

          LOL you’re citing (what you consider to be) an evolutionary dead end as evidence against evolution?
          What’s next? Are you going to claim stegosaurus didn’t make it into the cretaceous therefore no cretaceous?

        • Lark62

          Sure, in a clan society centered around one strong male with multiple mates – kinda like the ones in the Old Testament – the presence of younger sons who contribute to hunting and defense without competing for mates would provide no survival benefit. Riiggghhhhttttt.

          And evidence that the chance a man is gay is directly proportional to the number of sons his mother gave birth to before he was conceived is just a coincidence.

        • Ant

          Ya but the problem is that gay people don’t reproduce. And if behaviors are encoded, that means the “gay” gene doesn’t get passed on, which means it is a terrible trait as far as evolutionary theory is concerned.

        • Pofarmer

          You sir, are an idiot.

        • MNb

          Of course. A creationist who doesn’t use scripture as evidence by definition is an IDiot.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That’s slanderous on idiots.

        • Lark62

          You really don’t know anything at all about the theory of evolution, do you?

        • Pofarmer

          Or much of anything else, it would seem at this point.

        • Michael Neville

          There is no “gay gene”. Genes are chemical factories, producing primarily proteins but other biochemicals as well. Learn some genetics before you start commenting on it.

        • Susan

          it is a terrible trait as far as evolutionary theory is concerned.

          No. It’s not.

          In your own words, what is evolutionary theory?

        • Kuno

          The simple fact that straight parents have gay children shows that homosexuality cannot be a simple hereditary trait, as eye or hair colour.

        • Meepestos

          Have you considered brushing up on your understanding of ToE? If a theist’s perspective would be more to your liking, perhaps the work of Francisco Ayala may be of interest to you. After reading his books, one could also contact him at his faculty by email on the Columbia’s University website. Berkeley also has a good site on ToE. I find it helpful for brushing up on the subject and also Google: “Evaluating Sources and Arguments Credibility and Bias” I’ve found this very helpful in choosing books on the subject and also in regards to avoiding getting hoodwinked, which I have in the past.

        • Kuno

          Even if there would be not a single possible advantage from having gay children, that wouldn’t mean that evolution would never produce gay children.

          The trait “one or two of your offspring will be gay” is not one that keeps the parents from having straight children who will keep the parent’s genetic line going. So it wouldn’t be selected against and wouldn’t die out.

        • Kuno

          Even if you would consider gay people a “dead end”, which part of the ToE do you think says that evolution couldn’t produce dead ends?

          In fact evolution produces dead ends all the time, they are called “extinct species”. That’s the whole point, you know? To produce a wide variation of beings and only those fittest (i.e. which fit their environement) to produce viable offspring will pass on their DNA.

          The fact that you consider the existence of “evolutionary dead ends” to be evidence against evolution just adds to the appearance that you don’t understand evolution.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Tip: in this conversation, you’re usually wrong.

          Look it up. Homosexuality has been observed in 1500 animal species. Homophobia exists in only 1, so you can decide which one is the anomaly.

          But amuse us: why did God create gay people? And please, no idle speculation. Show the evidence.

        • Ant

          But amuse us: why did God create gay people?

          Ok I’ve already addressed this.. the assumption is that God created them that way. That is not necessarily the case.

          What makes no sense is how homosexuality is consistent with evolutionary theory. Something biologists claim is that behaviors are also encoded in DNA, and if someone is homosexual it means they don’t reproduce, and thus the trait can’t be passed on. So it really seems to make no sense from an evolutionary standpoint.

          From a theistic standpoint one can attribute it to free will.

        • Paul B. Lot

          What makes no sense is how homosexuality is consistent with evolutionary theory. Something biologists claim is that behaviors are also encoded in DNA, and if someone is homosexual it means they don’t reproduce, and thus the trait can’t be passed on. So it really seems to make no sense from an evolutionary standpoint.

          Well, to begin with there is no fully articulated and fully subscribed (to my knowledge) scientific understanding of the human phenomena of homosexual behaviors.

          WIth that said, may scientists believe that human sexuality exists on a spectrum – if that were true someone who exhibited 80% gayitude and 20% god-fearing-straightness could still reproduce, but if they had the misfortune to do so with another gay-carrier, they could accidentally create a gay – rather like sickle-cell anemia or blue eyes. (Do you remember Mendel from your high school days?)

          So on that understanding of human sexuality, you’re wrong: perfectly consistent with evolutionary theory.

          PS.

          Penguins (and many other animals) can be gay.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_and_Silo

          That doesn’t seem to work with your “from a theistic standpoint one can attribute it to free will” narrative at all.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Suppose evolution made all gay people for a species. That species would die out.

          Suppose evolution made all females for a species. That species would also die out.

          Neither is the case, so now you can sleep peacefully. Your “but evolution couldn’t have done that!” fails, since homosexuality exists within species that are doing just fine.

          What makes no sense is how homosexuality is consistent with evolutionary theory.

          What makes no sense is your not bothering to find out the theories biology has produced that explain homosexuality. Do a little research next time.

          From a theistic standpoint one can attribute it to free will.

          We have free will; therefore, God created the gays? Nope, even squinting my eyes, that makes no sense.

        • adam

          “What makes no sense is how homosexuality is consistent with evolutionary theory.”

          so you LIE again, we’ve already covered this:

          adam Ant 21 hours ago

          “Why did evolution create gay people?”

          Why do heterosexual people produce homosexual people?
          Does it provide an evolutionary advantage to overpopulation?

          Homosexuals can still reproduce.
          And as in octopuses/octopi feminized males have an advantage as to not being seen as a threat to alpha male reproduction. thus allowing them easy access to females to spread their feminizing male genetic material.

          Seems like an evolutionary dead end to me… am I wrong?”

          Of course you are.
          but you want to pretend than Faith, described in the bible as wishful thinking, in mythological stories, is superior to actual knowledge.

        • Paul B. Lot

          There is no evidence life originated or diversified by natural means.

          You’re asking that one word “no” to do a lot of rhetorical work.

          I’m not sure it’s up to the task.

        • Ant

          Sorry, you’re right. I should have said no EMPIRICAL evidence. Good point.

        • Paul B. Lot

          I should have said no EMPIRICAL evidence.

          Oh, okay. Well, if we’re going to restrict ourselves to “empirical” evidence (and by that I imagine you mean directly observed) then there’s no empirical evidence that life ever originated at all – much less supernaturally.

        • MNb

          Diversification of life forms has been directly observed, the first time more than 100 years ago.
          MNb’s Golden Rule still applies.

        • adam
        • Max Doubt

          “I believing an intelligent being created life on earth by some unknown means.”

          I’m sure you’ll agree that what you believe has no bearing on what is objectively true. I’m sure you’ll also agree there is no objective evidence that any such being exists or has ever existed, correct? Or are you prepared to be the first person since the beginning of time to provide some objective evidence?

          “There is no evidence life originated or diversified by natural means.”

          There is no evidence life originated by an act of magic performed by some intelligent agent as you seem to believe. There is, on the other hand, a near endless supply of objective evidence to support the notion that life on earth has come to its present state of diversity through natural means.

        • MNb

          There is.
          Just google evidence abiogenesis and observed speciation.
          Yup, MNb’s Golden Rule works as well as always.

        • adam

          “I believing an intelligent being created life on earth by some unknown means”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b4daa8eb8f6cdde7dc6cef1fd33a8d0acc554ea42510fdbeea6ee4c3b3b5a9c2.jpg

        • Ant

          Nice quote from a guy who went insane at the end of his life.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah, but he did all his writing before collapsing with mental illness, so pah!

        • adam

          So he would know….

        • eric

          There is no evidence life originated or diversified by natural means.

          Are your kids carbon copies of you? Or did they descend with modification from you? If you don’t have kids, then just rephrase the question as: are you a genetic duplicate of one of your parents? Or did you descend with modification from them?

        • Ant

          No one questions that there is geneological and phenotypical diversity within species. What is doubted is whether variations within species can lead to the emergence of entirely new species.

        • Kodie

          Why is it doubted?

        • MR

          Certainly not by scientists.

        • adam
        • Ant

          A paper on plant hybridization and a paper about dogs. No new species observed.

        • adam

          Yes, speciation was observed.

          Sorry, if my links are way over your head.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6fdb39aadd75100b6a42a22589cc237e66125efb7c16def734b5dcc49a03caaa.jpg

        • MNb

          The dog literally is a transitional species, Mr. Creacrapper.

        • Ant

          Transitional to what? And how can it be a transitional species if it is still the same species it always ways?

        • MNb

          It isn’t the same species it always was, Mr. Stupid.
          Transitional to a non-wolf.

        • Ant

          Yes it is. Wolves and all known species of domesticated dogs can still interbreed. Science lesson for you.

        • MNb

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          You’re getting incoherent. There are no species of domesticated dogs. Dogs and grey wolves still belong to the same species.
          Man, are you stupid and ignorant.
          Unfortunately for you not all dogs are capable of producing fertile offspring with grey wolves anymore. Try a chihuahua.
          It’s you who needs some science lessons.

        • Kodie

          But you know they are different, and missed it, failed to acknowledge it. You’re an ape, do you acknowledge that?

        • MNb

          Google observed speciation.
          But of course a liar like you won’t.

        • Ant

          I have. Nothing there.

        • Susan

          I have. Nothing there.

          Liar.

        • MNb

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          Our engineer claimant apparently is not even capable of googling “observed speciation.”
          Man, are you a spectacular failure.

        • Kodie

          Right. Like everything else, impossible for you to understand.

        • eric

          What prevents it?

          A cosmic ray hits a strand of DNA, mutating a TGC into a TGA. This produces a ‘stop transcription’ command where there wasn’t one before.

          How is the cosmic ray to know that it can’t cause that change in some place where it would reduce breeding capability with those that don’t have the same mutation, but it can cause it in an inactive region?

          Is your God like Maxwell’s demon, constantly selecting the mutations that can’t change breeding preferences/capabilities while rejecting the mutations that can?

        • Ant

          Studies have shown that excessive mutation creates more problems then benefits, leading to limits to the range of diversity that can exist within a species.

        • Michael Neville

          Got any evidence to support your bullshit? I mean real evidence. Links to AIG and other non-scientific sites are not acceptable.

        • MNb

          Yes. And studies have shown that the individuals suffering from those problems have a considerable lower chance of getting fertile offspring than the few who benefit, which means that those problems die out while the benefits are passed on. That’s called natural selection.
          Are all the engineers coming from your institute that stupid and willfully ignorant?

        • Ant

          Right… so if mutations are bad, how can they lead to new life forms?

        • MNb

          So you lack reading comprehensive skills as well. I didn’t write that all mutations are bad, Mr. Stupid. A few are good enough to get passed on. Just like I wrote in my previous comment, Mr. Stupid.
          Lying about physics, stupid about elementary evolution theory, a failure regarding your own christian morals.
          Is there anything you’re good at?

        • Ant

          “A few are good enough to get passed on.”

          I’ve never seen evidence of this. Even if it were true it isn’t enough to produce new life forms in any reasonable time frames.

        • MNb

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          You’ve never seen evidence of mutations being passed on to offspring?!
          Sorry, I’m laughing too hard to look for a relevant link for you – and you’re not going to accept it anyway given your “even if it were true”.
          What you wrote here is “I’m right and even if I’m wrong I’m still right.”
          Priceless.
          Got to go now.

        • Michael Neville

          I’ve never seen evidence of this.

          Ever hear of nylon eating bacteria?

          Flavobacterium Sp. K172 is a unique bacterium that has not yet received an official name, though it is often called the “nylon eating bacteria”. Sp. K172 was found in 1975 in Japan by a team of scientists who were researching the drainage ponds of a nylon production facility. This bacterium was found to have the ability to digest byproducts of the nylon 6 production process. Lab tests showed that the bacterium made use of three enzymes to break down and digest nylon byproducts such as 6-aminohexanoate. Though Sp. K172 was identified as a Flavobacterium, the three enzymes it employed were very different from enzymes used in any of the other Flavobacterium species. In fact, that this bacterium could produce these enzymes at all was astounding, since these nylon byproducts had not been known to exist before the invention of the nylon 6 production method in 1935.

        • adam

          What about termites?

        • Ant

          Yes that has been explained. The ability to digest nylon iswas due to a pre-existing enzyme which underwent a slight genetic modification which made it much stronger, but ultimately the information for the ability was already there.

        • Michael Neville

          underwent a slight genetic modification

          Actually three enzymes underwent MUTATION to produce bacteria which could digest something that didn’t exist until three generations ago. And you still haven’t defined information. I guess for this lack of definition is that you actually don’t know what information is. It’s a concept spoonfed you by your religious masters.

        • Ant

          AGAIN FOR THE THIRD TIME… I DEFINE INFORMATION AS FUNCTIONAL GENETIC SEQUENCES. Slight modification to pre-existing genetic information does not constitute generation of new functional information.

        • eric

          An earlier generation of Lenski’s e coli would have died in a bath of critrate, because the functional ability to eat citrate was not strong enough. The later generation survived and reproduced. I would say, then, that the new code meets your criteria as a functional genetic sequence, wouldn’t you?

          Right now, you will die if put in an atmosphere with an oxygen content of less than about 3%. If your kid had a mutation that allowed them to survive and prosper at oxygen concentrations of 1%, would you consider that a functional genetic sequence?

        • Ant

          Yes but there is no real creation of new information here. All the information already exists. What I’m talking about is the creation of new protein-coding regions of DNA, which have never been observed to be created by any evolutionary process.

        • eric

          An e coli protein-coding region that created the amount or concentration of enzyme necessary for the organism to survive off of citrate has never been observed, and was created by an evolutionary process.

          Changing genomic instructions about the amount, the concentration, or the timing of a protein to be produced is new information. It didn’t exist in the old genome, and it may cause some new development. Its an informational change to the recipe just as assuredly as adding a new ingredient would be.

        • Ant

          Ok well that change is so minor that it barely reinforces the idea that all genetic information observed in modern life could be accounted for by random genetic mutations. It’s something, but barely anything in relation to what needs to be explained.

        • eric

          that change is so minor…

          So-minor changes between generations is evolution. That’s how it proceeds. Its typically only when you have a population over hundreds of generations that you start to see noticeable developmental and behavioral changes.

          Creationists who think evolution requires saltational events are arguing against their own misconceived straw man version of it, not the actual theory of evolution.

          [Edit] I should also add that the production of ‘so minor’ new information via mutation would still completely refute your notion that mutation can’t produce new information. Acknowledging that a mutated genetic instruction that changes the concentration/amount of enzyme produced, and that this increases function in some way, is to acknowledge that mutation can produce new information the way you’ve defined it. The fact that the production occurs one so-minor bit at a time doesn’t change the fact that one of your core arguments has been refuted.

        • MNb

          Yes and you can’t get to the top of a building step by step either. Steps are so minor that it barely reinforces the idea that getting to the top of a building could be accounted for by humans lifting their feet one by one. It’s something, but barely anything in relation to what needs to be explained.
          (Thanks to the Sensuous Curdmudgeon who has disproven Stair Theory)

        • Ignorant Amos

          But, but, but, Ant has the alternative “Wing Theory” for getting to the top of buildings.

          Ant the civil engineer has already claimed he has the intellectual tools to assess the evidence far better than the experts, and you just can’t get to the top of a building without the use of wings…yes, you can maybe get to the next landing by using stairs, but not to the top, and anyone who thinks they can, is using the same faith as his faith in sprouting wings and flying there, which while not a reality yet, will be the way we all get to the top of buildings sometime in the future…so pah!

        • Ignorant Amos

          Try the photograph analogy. It is in a book directed at your mental age level of competency.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4ClZROoyNM

        • Michael Neville

          I DEFINE INFORMATION AS FUNCTIONAL GENETIC INFORMATION.

          That’s like saying “I define thinking as thinking with my brain.” What is “functional genetic information”? Don’t define a word as itself, tell me what you, a rather ignorant engineer who pretends to know more about evolution than PhD biologists do, think information is.

          I’ve said before that never have creationists ever given me a coherent definition of information. You have continued in this tradition.

        • Ant

          I edited it so say: I define information to be functional sequences of DNA.

        • Kuno

          Dear, no one cares how you define information.

        • eric

          Slight genetic modification is evolution.
          And the information about how strong the enzyme should be or function was not there in the original genome, was it?

          Look, when you bake a cake, you recognize that “add two cups of sugar” is different information than “add one cup of sugar”, right? Even though both are talking about cups of sugar? So when a mutation alters the concentration or amount of an enzyme produced, that’s different information in the exact same way, right? The add-two-cups-of-enzyme instruction did not exist in the original genome, did it?

        • Kodie

          What do you know about reasonable time frames?

        • MNb

          Your question is too long. The first four words suffice.

        • Kodie

          Well I don’t want him to ramble.

        • Lark62

          The ignorance is strong with this one.

          Do you have any concept of the time frames involved in evolution?

          And you cannot think of any possible beneficial mutation? Really? None at all?

          If you close your eyes and stick your fingers in your ears, you can continue in your blissful ignorance.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It isn’t ignorance that is strong, the fuckwit keeps repeating things he has been informed is totally wrong, it’s rank imbecility at this point.

        • Kuno

          Some of my ancestors had a mutation that led to a lighter skin.

          On the one hand it makes me more vulnerable to the UV rays of the sun, so if I lived in a tropical region that would be bad for me.

          On the other hand it makes me more efficient in turning using the sun’s rays to produce vitamin D. As I live in a region that get less sunshine than tropical regions this is an advantage.

          So for the part of the human race that migrated north from Africa, this mutation was good and was passed on to their off-spring. Result: The further north you go, the lighter the skin of the people.

          For the part of humanity darker skin was more advantagous, so the mutation didn’t take hold and the people remained dark-skinned.

        • Joe

          Who said mutations are bad? Oh right, you did!

        • eric

          So, you have no answer to my actual question. You have no mechanism that can specifically prevent mutations that would cause or contribute to speciation events, while allowing other mutations to occur.

          Note there is no way for your idea to work without such a mechanism.

          Well I expected as much, but since I’m a charitable guy, I’ll go ahead and respond to your claims even though you really didn’t answer mine. Most of the time, yes, mutations cause more harm than benefits. But mutation doesn’t have to work ‘most of the time’ to cause speciation. It only has to work rarely, and speciation can occur. Surely even you understand this, right? Studies will show that I never win the lottery. That doesn’t mean nobody wins it. Right?

        • Ant

          “You have no mechanism that can specifically prevent mutations that would cause or contribute to speciation events, while allowing other mutations to occur.”

          Uh ya, it’s called “death”. Too many mutations = less fit form = less chance of reproduction = eliminated from gene pool. If mutations are the only mechanism that can create new species, but too many mutations create les fit forms than can’t survive, that is a big problem for evolutionary theory.

        • MNb

          Not at all, exactly because those less fit forms produce considerably less offspring, Mr. Stupid.

        • eric

          Death does not affect all mutants (and a good thing too, since we are all mutants).

        • Kuno

          As someone with blue eyes and blond hair, not to mention skin severely lacking in melanin, I am quite happy that mutations aren’t an instant death sentence.

        • Lark62

          I had an ice cold glass of chocolate milk for breakfast, which I can only enjoy because of a mutation that lets me digest lactose.

        • Kuno

          I never much liked the taste of milk, but you have to wrangle my cheese from my dead cold hands.

        • Meepestos

          My wife envies you and my brother in regards to the sodium-rich content ; )

        • Lark62

          Really? Mutation doesn’t mean 3 heads. Mutations are genetic variations. Some are bad, some are neutral, and some aid survival.

          The value or harm of a mutation depends on the environment.

          A mutation that causes a film to form over the eyes would be really bad, right? Sure, the eye could no longer be painfully injured, but the animal would be blind.

          Yep, that’s a really bad mutation – except for small rodents that find themselves living in dark caves. For them, the eyes are useless anyway so a mutation that prevents painful injury to the eye is a good mutation.

          Sickle Cell anemia is really bad, right? Except it provides protection against malaria and in some parts of the world, that’s good.

          Where is your evidence that too many mutations are fatal? Every single thing alive on earth is here because of mutations.

        • Ant

          Well again you have to explain the origin of new information via genetic mutations. Information can degrade, such as they case with organisms losing eyes, but this is because information is being lost. For evolution to happen, information needs to be created, which has never been observed.

          “Sickle Cell anemia is really bad, right? Except it provides protection against malaria and in some parts of the world, that’s good”

          Ahh the old sickle cell anemia adaptation. Sorry this shows me how desperate evolutionists are to find beneficial mutations. Sickle-cell anemia is a very debilitating and painful ailment and is even worse than having malaria. I know because I have worked with people who have had sickle-cell anemia and also with malaria and sickle-cell anemia is not worth the small benefit.

          Plus malaria existed all around the world until a few decades ago, but sickle cell anemia is much more prevalent in one demographic.

          “Every single thing alive on earth is here because of mutations.”

          Unproven claim. You are assuming what you want to prove.

        • MNb

          “For evolution to happen, information needs to be created, which has never been observed.”
          Shrug. You are not even capable of googling observed speciation.

        • Ant

          Shrug. You are not even capable of realizing that speciation and accumulation of information are two different things. And yes I have googled observed speciation and there is nothing there that is significant, because there is no evidence of this in the history of science.

        • MNb

          Mr. Stupid strikes again. I never talked about accumulation of information, because information is a mathematical topic I know little about. Others have taken it up and do a better job than me. So that statement of yours comes straight out of your silly creationist ass.
          You just confirmed that you haven’t googled speciation with “there is no evidence of this in the history of science”. Given that you’re also a lying bigot there is no use in providing links.

        • epeeist

          You just confirmed that you haven’t googled speciation

          How do you tell the difference between people with no clue on this kind of subject and those that do? The former using Google, the latter use something like Google Scholar.

        • eric

          The really stupid thing is that he just argued 1. speciation is impossible because of the new information required, then 2. speciation and accumulation of information are two different things. If the latter is true, speciation would be possible under his own claims.
          We have entered “I’m responding to the post in front of me with no care about whether my latest response is consistent with my last response” territory.

        • MNb

          Which is to be expected, “Evolution Theory is wrong” being one of the three our four pillars of creacrap.

        • epeeist

          And yes I have googled observed speciation

          And you didn’t find anything on, for example, Spartina Anglica, the red viscacha rat or African clawed frog. Nothing at all about ring species?

          Nothing about polyploidy?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Nothing about nylonase? Nothing about Lenski’s 20-year experiment?

        • eric

          Sickle-cell anemia is a very debilitating and painful ailment and is even worse than having malaria.

          It’s also a single nucleotide change, which makes it easy to see how a random mutation could eliminate it. A point mutation from GUG to GAG in the appropriate spot in one of the sequences that builds hemoglobin would cause cells to produce non-sickle hemoglobin. That would be increasing functionality according to you, right?

          There’s pretty much no way around it; if SCA is an increase in function, then we can see how mutation can cause an increase in function: by causing an A->U replacement. OTOH if SCA is a decrease in function, then we can see how mutation can cause an increase in function: by causing a U->A replacement.

          This is why creationism’s ‘evolution can’t increase function/information’ claim is so incredibly stupid: because in some sequence A->U may help. But in other sequences it may hurt. And in still yet other sequences, it may do nothing at all. For the ‘no increase’ hypothesis to work, there has to be some little Maxwell’s demon with prescient knowledge of the future overseeing the genome, permitting those A->U mutations in cases where the demon knows future development using that sequence will have a neutral or negative fitness impact, and denying that same
          biochemical A->U mutation when the demon forsees that future development of the new sequence will have a positive fitness outcome.

          Well there is no demon. And chemical reactions can’t foresee the future. If an A->U mutation is possible, it’s possible regardless of what impact it has on future
          development
          . Positive, negative, or neutral – the physics governing biochemical reactions can’t know and doesn’t care.

        • Kuno

          Information can degrade, such as they case with organisms losing eyes, but this is because information is being lost.

          Wait a minute, how do you know that? Who observed those organisms losing their eyes? And what is the proof that them losing information was the reason for it?

        • Only Some Stardust

          What about the bacteria that evolved to eat plastic? What about mutations that cause an entire new chromosome, or extra genes? If my DNA sequence is longer than yours doesn’t that count as extra information, if we count 1 allele as equaling 1 bit of information?

          What about dog breeds that came into existence because of extra genes that gave them different physical forms?

        • epeeist

          What about the bacteria that evolved to eat plastic?

          Ah, but these are only micro-evolution doncha know. Where are the bacteria that become crocoducks, nobody has ever seen that have they. Checkmate atheists!

          http://www.jesusandmo.net/wp-content/uploads/2006-09-25.jpg

        • RichardSRussell

          OK, let’s grant your basic premise here, because it’s absolutely true. Too many mutations mean that, statistically, most of them will be bad, since they are all deviations from a form that has, so far, proven successful. And their combined weight is practically a certain prescription for non-survivability.

          That’s why no actual evolutionary biologists believe that natural selection works that way. Instead, nature throws a bunch of tiny incremental changes into the mix, and most of them don’t work, either, but they don’t necessarily kill off the organisms (at least not right away). And some (few) of the tiny incremental changes are actually improvements, so they get saved and passed on and eventually grow and flourish and become a whole new standard. Over sufficiently long periods of time, these preserved changes are so significant that they produce organisms that can no longer interbreed with the ones that descended from the original, pre-mutation line. This is called a “speciation event”, altho “event” is a misnomer, because it implies a short time frame, and speciation is gradual and long-term.

          Why is this process so hard to understand? I think it’s because you’re hung up on the idea of “too many” mutations and haven’t considered what happens when the number of mutations is “just right”.

        • Ant

          Over sufficiently long periods of time, these preserved changes are so significant that they produce organisms that can no longer interbreed with the ones that descended from the original, pre-mutation line.

          Interesting unproven story.

        • Kuno

          Look up ring species.

        • Kodie

          If all you have is complaint and denial, what else can you do that’s interesting? Can you juggle? Balance a spoon on your nose? Moonwalk? Your contribution to this discussion is worthless now, all we’ve learned is that some people are intent on remaining ignorant.

        • RichardSRussell

          It’s called “patriation” (from the Latin word “patria”, or homeland), and there are huge numbers of examples of it, including the ring species mentioned by an earlier poster.

          But, since you raise the issue of proof, where’s yours?

        • Ant

          I’m not trying to prove the theory, I’m saying there is no evidence. Ring species are not good evidence. Again it’s just more assumptions about how things might have happened but ultimately they are just guessing and making assumptions about what happened regarding events they never actually observed.

        • RichardSRussell

          There’s plenty of evidence. You just choose to ignore it. Actual biologists, who are honest and not pre-committed to a particular conclusion, do not. That’s why they uniformly support the conclusions of evolutionary theory.

          And that part about “never actually observed” it is just fatuous. If we had to rely on actual observation in murder trials, every killer in history would’ve gone free. That’s why we have forensic evidence, so we can figure out after the fact what happened.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Then I guess this is our opportunity to learn from you. You tell us: take the evidence that makes scientists conclude that a ring (mountain, lake) can cause the isolation from which species evolve, and tell us the correct way to interpret it.

          I keep seeing more and more papers that you’ve got to write. You’re hiding your light under a bushel basket, my friend!

        • adam
        • Pofarmer

          Nah. He’s hung up on Goddidit.

        • MNb

          “Why is this process so hard to understand?”
          Because he’s a creacrapper of course. One of the three or four pillars of creacrap is “Evolution Theory is wrong”.

        • Kevin K

          You don’t understand the difference between mutations in somatic cells and mutations in germ cells. So, I’d say that whatever credibility you might have had (which was pretty much nil) is completely shot.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          That distinction is important when it comes to viral infections. 8% of human DNA is broken endogenous retrovirus, and they only get carried into the next generation if they’ve infected a germ cell.

          Isn’t the Lord’s handiwork amazing?

        • Kevin K

          The distinction is important in that it’s only mutations in germ cells that count as far as evolution is concerned. The species quite literally does not care about the mutations in your somatic cells (with some small epigenetic quibbles).

        • epeeist

          8% of human DNA is broken endogenous retrovirus

          And what proportion of these ERV are common to some of our nearest relations, for example chimpanzees?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You don’t think … no! Could the similarity between ERV sequences in various animals be compared against other indications of relatedness? Could this actually be a test for evolution?

          I’m sure Ant will be all over this.

        • epeeist

          Could this actually be a test for evolution?

          Have you seen this video?

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUxLR9hdorI

        • Ignorant Amos

          Great video…I noticed it cited Titus 1:2…I cited same earlier…the Devil’s hand must be at work….

          https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crossexamined/a_response_to_evolution_deniers_how_complex_comes_from_simple/#comment-3218927376

        • Kuno

          Even if you were right, no one says mutations are the only mechanism that can do that.

        • adam

          ” If mutations are the only mechanism that can create new species,”

          Ok so far

          “but too many mutations create les fit forms than can’t survive,”

          But not too many mutations create more fit forms that DO survive and sometimes THRIVE.

          “that is a big problem for evolutionary theory.”

          Why?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f8fcad4b48de0e0458e6bb599c151827121f24dd676dd0b3317646ffd7e9b3b1.jpg

        • Kuno

          Minor nitpick: I would argue that most mutations are just doing nothing, evolution-wise. Either they don’t have any effect at all, have effects that don’t affect your ability to pass on your genes or only affect you negatively after you passed on your genes.

        • Joe

          Studies have shown

          Name one study.

        • adam

          “Studies have shown that excessive mutation creates more problems then benefits,”

          What about non-excessive mutation?

        • Michael Neville

          When does mutation become excessive? When it overwhelms creationists’ ignorance?

        • adam

          “When it overwhelms creationists’ ignorance?”

          LOL

        • Kevin K

          I’ll take non-excessive over excessive mutations every day.

          Of course, excessive mutations might lead to X-men properties. Maybe. It’s “possible”. I’d love to have metal claws. I could type at a distance.

          Bring on those excessive mutations!!

        • BlackMamba44

          Haha! The mutations discussion got me thinking about X-men. I’d love some wings.

        • Pofarmer

          Lazer eyes.

        • BlackMamba44

          Well, shoot. Now I want all the X-men mutations. :)

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I’d like to be able to cause damage with my mind.

          That God prevented that defeats the Christians’ free will argument. God has limited my free will by preventing me from using my mental damaging powers.

        • Kuno

          Controlling the weather like Storm could be nice.

        • BlackMamba44

          Now, that would be cool.

        • Kuno

          I seriously considered writing that, but I got cold feet.

        • Greg G.

          Actually the metal claws were a new and improved version when his while skeleton was replaced.

        • Pofarmer

          Not maybe replaced. Augmented.

        • Kevin K

          I actually don’t follow the X-men canon, so I was just pulling out the only example I knew from watching movie trailers on TV.

        • Kuno

          Are we talking about Wolverine? Because his skeleton hasn’t been replaced, it has been covered with adamantium. The bones are still under there, including the claws.

          This was clearly shown for the first time in the 90s when Magneto stripped the metal from Wolverine’s bones and he only had bone claws (which could break, ouch) for a while.

          (Except if this all has been ret-conned, I haven’t read most of the Marvel and DC stuff from the last 10 years or so.)

        • Greg G.

          I never read the comic books. I was only introduced to them by the movies, not that I have followed the movies that much either. I don’t think I have seen one twice, unlike Caddyshack, Airplane, The Princess Bride, or O Brother! Where Art Thou?

        • Kuno

          As a comic book/supoerhero and movie nerd, I can’t say the same.

          But nice selection of titles, those are all classics.

        • adam

          I’m in!

        • Kevin K

          “Excessive mutation”?

          That’s not a phrase that any credible scientist would use … ever. You’re just making stuff up now.

        • Michael Neville

          Your ignorance and incredulity are not evidence against evolution.

        • Pofarmer

          This is like radioactive levels of stupid.

          It does certainly demonstrate that Engineers can be creationists, though.

        • Joe

          What is the biological mechanism that prevents changes accumulating over time?

        • RichardSRussell

          Yes, you are onto something here. State the hypothesis in such a way that it is falsifiable, then seek out evidence for its falsity. It will apparently surprise you to learn that that’s exactly what biologists did to arrive at their overwhelming support for natural selection as the best explanation for the fact of evolution.

        • Ant

          Natural selection cannot create new information or forms. It can only select from pre-existing forms. Only genetic mutations can create new genetic information. So far there is no evidence random genetic mutations can generate sufficient amounts of new genetic information to produce new forms in the time frames provided to it. As such the only real driving force behind evolution is insufficient to explain what is observed. Given all this, the theory is dead.

        • Kuno

          Let’s make a thought experiment.

          Let’s imagine a planet, very much like our Earth. Let’s call it Soil. Soil has the same multitudes of different environments and like on Earth these environments keep on changing, mostly slowly but sometimes fast and catastrophic.

          Now let’s introduce lifeforms to the planet. For our thought experiment it doesn’t matter where exactly it comes from nor how diverse it is at the beginning.

          Those lifeforms procreate sexually, using something like our DNA. So every offspring has a combination of the DNA from its parents. For every single being how the parents’ DNA is newly combined is different. Think of it like how a pack of cards always contains the same cards but every time it gets shuffled their sequence is different.

          Sometimes this new combination isn’t perfect. There will be copying errors, there will be mutations. Think of it like introducing wildcards into a pack of cards. Some times these wildcards will have effects, most of the time they will do nothing and just sit somewhere at the bottom of the deck.

          So with these attributes set for Soil: diverse and changing environments and lifeforms that constantly re-combine genetic traits, here is my question:

          How would you stop life on Soil from evolving?

        • Ant

          Oh is that how evolutionary theory works? Assume that life already exists and that it already has a large pool of genetic diversity AND that it has the ability to sexually reproduce, and then go from there? So we’re talking about magically populating the planet somehow with life and only then the theory can work.

          Sounds a lot like creationism to me. Creationists will admit that species can undergo microevolution and in some rare cases may even become reproductively isolated, they just contend that there can’t be transitions between kinds. Your scenario does exactly what creationism does. It assumes by magic that a planet already has a genetically diverse population of various kinds and that these kinds can undergo minor variations within species. So you are a creationist, interesting.

        • Kuno

          Yes. Evolution is about how life diversified. It isn’t about how life started. If this is news for you maybe you should finally accept what everyone else in this thread has already said: You don’t know much about evolution.

          And nowhere in my scenario does it say that specification is not possible. My point is that in such a system specification would be unavoidable.

          Nor did I say that life needs to already have a pool of genetic diversity*. Instead my argument is that genetic diversity would be another unavoidable consequence of such a system.

          Lastly, why didn’t you answer my question?

          ——-

          * In fact I clearly stated that diversity is not necessary for the experiment. Are you lying deliberately or do you just no longer notice that you do?

        • Ant

          Yes. Evolution is about how life diversified. It isn’t about how life started.

          Well in your scenario life has already diversified to the point that it can sexually reproduce. What is there to explain at that point? Nothing. You assume that life is already so diversified that it has developed the ability to sexually reproduce, which could not have been the case in the beginning of life, and then you just state that the population will demonstrate variation within species due to recombinations of pre-existing genes. That doesn’t explain the origin of anything.

          Darwin’s book was called “The Origin of Species” in short, because the question was about how new forms could be created. In your scenario the species are already present because you magically assumed they are already there. If you assume that life has started AND that is diverse in your scenario, what is the point of having a theory to explain how it diversified? Nothing. It explains nothing. It shows you don’t even understand how flawed your own thinking is, it shows your thinking is really no different from a creationist.

        • Kuno

          You got the words “thought experiment”, did you?

          I wanted to simplify it to make a point by using the evolution of sexually procreating beings as it is relatively simple to understand. So again, I am not saying this is how it really happened, I just want you to imagine a scenario like that.

          Now, again, how do you think that in such a totally imaginary system you could stop those beings from evolving from that point onward?

        • Ant

          I don’t care about thinking about your imaginary system that is not in any way realistic and doesn’t help at all solve the problems we’re discussing. The reason is because it assumes the problem has already been solved in the beginning of the scenario, thus eliminating the problem. It’s a horrible thought experiment.

        • Kuno

          That makes no sense. Thought experiments don’t have to be realistic or come with extensive origin stories. If an astrophysicist says “Imagine a star with 1.5 solar masses orbited by a planet with twice the Earth’s mass at an average distance of .9 AU”, would you only do so after they explained to you in detail how and when that star was formed and what the exact composition of that planet is?

          What problem has been solved? I am not asking about how sexual procreation would develop. I am asking how you would stop evolution from happening in such a scenario. What mechanism would be necessary on this planet so that these beings would not evolve.

          It is yours, you can invent any rule or physical law you want. How would you stop evolution?

        • Pofarmer

          Crimestop.

        • Kodie

          All I know is you gave a hostile reaction to me from the beginning, and didn’t answer any of my valid questions. I think you’re just a plain ignorant douche and I sure hope you’re not building any bridges near me, they’ll probably fall down.

        • Max Doubt

          “I don’t care about thinking […]”

          Well, no fuckin’ shit, eh?

        • MNb

          “Well in your scenario life has already diversified to the point that it can sexually reproduce.”
          Your stupidity doesn’t know any limits, doesn’t it?
          The first forms of life where unicellulars. They don’t reproduce sexually.

        • MNb

          Yes, Mr. Stupid Ignorant. Just like Newton’s Theory of Gravity tells us preciously little about the way a mirror works Evolution Theory says preciously little about how life originates. It describes how species originate – the thing you are notoriously incapable of googling.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Now Mark, yer starting to do us Ignorant’s a disservice by way of association.

        • RichardSRussell

          Fundamentalists agree with you.
          Biologists do not.
          On matters of science, I’m going with the scientists.

        • Ant

          Biologists do not.

          Why? What is their evidence?

        • adam
        • Kevin K

          An oldie but a goodie.

        • RichardSRussell

          Not the Bible.

        • Kevin K

          Here, you can start with this. It’s old and some it isn’t quite right, and there are some gaps that have been filled…but it will get you started.

          https://www.gutenberg.org/files/1228/1228-h/1228-h.htm

        • Ignorant Amos

          Try Evolution 101, at least you won’t be arguing from a position of total ignorance.

          http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evo_toc_01

        • adam
        • Only Some Stardust

          Billions of years isn’t enough time? How odd. I wonder where you got that idea.

        • epeeist

          Natural selection cannot create new information or forms.

          Unsubstantiated assertion.

          It can only select from pre-existing forms

          Unsubstantiated assertion.

          Only genetic mutations can create new genetic information.

          Unsubstantiated assertion.

          So far there is no evidence random genetic mutations can generate
          sufficient amounts of new genetic information to produce new forms in
          the time frames provided to it.

          Unsubstantiated assertion based upon another unsubstantiated assertion.

          As such the only real driving force behind evolution is insufficient to explain what is observed.

          Unsubstantiated assertion based upon another unsubstantiated assertion, which in turn is based upon another unsubstantiated assertion.

        • Kevin K

          Worse than that. Most of it is outright lying.

        • Kevin K

          BZZZT.

          Darwin’s fucking finches. Separate species.

        • Ant

          Actually I think it was discovered they can interbreed with one another, which according to one of the most rigorous definitions of species, would mean they are one species. Either way the speciation event was not observed.

        • Pofarmer

          Ah, the good ole Ken Ham “Were you there?” canard.

          Brilliant.

        • Ant

          Sorry I just thought science was based on observation and empiricism. I didn’t realize you could just assume that something was true that conforms with what you want your theory to prove.

        • Pofarmer

          You do realize that the whole idea of evolution was brought about by Darwin’s(and others) observations, right?

        • epeeist

          I didn’t realize you could just assume that something was true that conforms with what you want your theory to prove.

          Proof is for logic, mathematics and whisky. We don’t prove things in science.

        • adam

          “Sorry I just thought science was based on observation and empiricism. I
          didn’t realize you could just assume that something was true that
          conforms with what you want your theory to prove.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/637bfeb32fe76da958e611fbfd841246baeabb7b96c48f9a41144e316ea0e22d.jpg

        • MNb

          Ah. So quarks don’t exist either according to this fake engineer.

        • Kevin K

          Yes, science is based on observation and empiricism.

          If you do a DNA test to determine paternity, that test will hold up in court. It is not a test of “present conditions” though. It is a look backward in time. It quite literally says “this man fucked this woman and caused this baby to be born.”

          All scientific observation is a look backward in time. We look at the stars and look backwards in times — billions and billions of years back in time. We know that a supernova occurred at a specific moment in time because we observe that it happened and we can calculate the distance of that supernova to us — giving us not the “distance” but the TIME that it happened.

          Your “were you there” excuse is pathetically inept, and explicitly rejects the methods by which you operate everything in your daily life. Up to and including your belief in a magic wizard in the sky and his little baby Jesus.

          Edited for typo.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You’re “were you there” excuse is pathetically inept, and explicitly rejects the methods by which you operate everything in your daily life.

          One would think that someone educated to degree level in engineering would understand this basic concept. The rhubarb uses just such stuff everyday in his engineering calculations all the time, but I’m sure he wasn’t present at any of the experiments his calculations rely on. Ant has a reasonable expectation based on prior evidence, which he accepts unconditionally when it suits him.

        • Kevin K

          Exactly so. Every time he crosses a bridge, he’s relying on science that was not developed by people “who were there”. It’s a wonder he doesn’t limit his travels to places he can go fording streams by foot.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Indeed…the thought of getting on an aircraft must be stiflingly terrifying for him…relying on all that science used by folk “who weren’t there”…ya couldn’t make this shit up.

        • Kevin K

          1. Only two of the species interbreed. Frankly, it would be something of a mark AGAINST evolution if none of them could.
          2. THEY WERE OBSERVED ON THE FUCKING GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, you git.

        • Ant

          2. THEY WERE OBSERVED ON THE FUCKING GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, you git.

          Yes but THE SPECIATION EVENT WAS NOT OBSERVED you git.

        • Kevin K

          So, you’re saying that unless a “scientist” was actually on the island and saw the speciation event happen…that it didn’t happen? That only direct observations can be counted?

          Wouldn’t want you to be a defense lawyer. That kind of specious reasoning would get your clients a shit-ton of jail time.

          We have the evidence in the DNA. We have the evidence in the phenotype. We have the evidence in the lack of interbreeding — the very DEFINITION of “species” — in the majority of the species on the islands. We have the observational data of the use of different ecological niches. What more do you want? Oh, you want a “scientist” to be watching the birds to see the exact moment when one species stopped interbreeding with another. Right. That’s logical.

          https://academic.oup.com/mbe/article/18/3/299/1073209/On-the-Origin-of-Darwin-s-Finches

        • Ant

          We have the evidence in the DNA. We have the evidence in the phenotype. We have the evidence in the lack of interbreeding — the very DEFINITION of “species” — in the majority of the species on the islands. We have the observational data of the use of different ecological niches.

          How can you simply assume evolution is the reason for all these things? How can you know they weren’t created this way? There is no way, you simply prefer one explanation to the other. Nothing you mentioned is proof of anything besides that you prefer one explanation to the other.

        • adam

          “How can you simply assume creation is the reason for all these things?”

          How can you know they weren’t evolved this way?

          There is no way, you simply prefer one explanation to the other. Nothing
          you mentioned is proof of anything besides that you prefer one
          explanation to the other.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/94459fc4d808de5c6c4a74ee5de142211377c9e5993a7e78b9511066e8341944.jpg

        • Ant

          How can you know they weren’t evolved this way?

          I can’t, and I have never claimed as such. The problem is atheists think they can know, or at least have good reason to think the way they do. But in reality they are making baseless assumptions too.

        • adam

          ” The problem is atheists think they can know, or at least have good reason to think the way they do. ”

          Of course, it is called EVIDENCE.

          Show some for your MAGICAL Sky Daddy and ELIMINATE atheism from the face of the earth.

          “But in reality they are making baseless assumptions too.”

          Your ‘mistake’ is assuming MAGIC is on equal footing with EVIDENCE and it is not.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c6338d1c2d9058da691571a6688df25eccabd8e89b7749c14069533aa53e08b8.jpg

        • MNb

          The assumptions used by Evolution Theory are based on evidence, Mr. Stupid Liar.
          What’s more, Evolution Theory is not atheistic. That false equivocation of yours is just another filthy lie of yours. Francis Collins and Kenneth Miller, to name just two, are practising christians who have made important contributions to Evolution Theory.

          As for atheism one reason to accept it is that evidence for a supernatural entity by definition is not even possible, because all evidence always is taken from our natural/ material reality. Of course you being a stupid liar won’t accept that either.

        • Kodie

          The problem is how many times did someone say “I don’t know” and you still think we’re making assumptions.

        • Odd Jørgensen

          Ant-an apt description of your scientific knowledge. “Clever like an ant that one”

        • MNb

          Tsssk. A million ants are smarter (ie make smarter decisions) than a million creacrappers ever will.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The problem is atheists think they can know, or at least have good reason to think the way they do.

          Your problem is that we really have good reason and it has been demonstrated repeatedly. Only an unscientifically minded dumbfuck would take the adversarial position you do and ignore the reasons. You are in denial.

          But in reality they are making baseless too.

          Nope. We are really not. That’s the one thing we are not doing. You might want to pretend that’s the case, or ignore the evidence, but the claims we make are far from baseless. Stop telling lies…baby YahwehJesus doesn’t like it and it makes him cry.

        • Kevin K

          BECAUSE WE HAVE THE DNA EVIDENCE THAT SAYS DIFFERENTLY.

        • MNb

          “How can you know they weren’t created this way?”
          Because “Goddiddid” without pointing out which means he used and which procedures he followed (and you already admitted in one of your first posts that these questions are unanswerable) is totally meaningless. It shows that a supernatural/ immaterial/ transcendental god interacting with our natural/ material reality is an incoherent concept. All means and procedures to have such interactions are natural/ material themselves.

          “proof of anything”
          Shrug. You being a lying bigot never ever admits to be wrong except on the most trivial of all trivial points, as you already demonstrated when you refused to withdraw your false accusation regards me.
          You have set your standards in such a way that anything can be proof for your position and nothing can be proof against it.

        • epeeist

          There is no way, you simply prefer one explanation to the other.

          Apart from the evidence you mean. Oh, apart from the evidence and the critical testing. Hmm, make that the evidence, the critical testing and the consonance. And don’t forget the consilience, the consonance, the evidence and the critical testing.

          Did I mention the internal and external consistency as well as the consilience, the consonance, the evidence and the critical testing?

          And another thing, the parsimony, the consilience, the consonance, the evidence and the critical testing.

          And one mustn’t forget the explanatory power as well as the parsimony, the consilience, the consonance, the evidence and the critical testing.

        • MNb

          After explanatory power, parsimony, consilience, consonance, evidence and critical testing we should also look at coherence.
          So what’s the score? Evolution Theory vs. creacrap 7 – 0?

        • epeeist

          So what’s the score?

          Embarrassingly I missed out empirical fit, so that would make it 8-0.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Noooobody expects the Spanish Evolution.

        • eric

          Omphalism is certainly a philosophical possibility, but few people care to defend it as rational. Maybe angels could be pushing the planets and it’s just coincidence that physics does a good job of explaining their motion. That’s the same logic you’re using here; does that sound reasonable to you?

          Second, we don’t assume scientific theories are true, we provisionally accept them (or not) after testing to see if their predictions are right and their explanatory abilities are useful. Can we find a species with both fish-like and amphibian-like features? If so, where? Creationism is silent on that – it is useless and untestable on that question. Evolution told us yes we could. It told us exactly what age of rock to look in. And it was right. Thus its acceptance is not mere personal preference, it’s inductive reasoning. And while induction has its problems (made famous by Hume), most people would reject the notion that inductive reasoning = mere personal preference.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          We assume evolution is true because of the evidence supporting it and because supernatural explanation have never explained anything using evidence.

          We don’t know that they weren’t created this way, but why would we think that? I mean, besides it making you cry if we don’t?

        • Only Some Stardust

          We don’t have to assume. We use evidence and prediction to gauge the Bayesian probability is high, and use that to say it is the most likely explanation. We can conduct experiments to see if, like natural selection says, beneficial traits spread through a population, and we can change any gene in the genome that is unique to our species. There is no special genome checker to prevent any species-specific genes from mutating into a new gene yet also allowing arbitrarily ‘other’ genes to mutate traits. Think about it, it doesn’t make logical sense to try and limit mutation to one or two traits or however many you are trying to limit to. If I can mutate any single gene, why not, given a very large time, all of them? And if there is some limit on how many genes we can mutate, would you care to claim which genes specifically cannot be mutated, that are unique and unchangeable for a species, and back that up with research and evidence?

          Part of the scientific method is choosing explanations that allow us to make predictions.

          If I assume it was simply created, what predictions does that make about future genetic sequences or species that I will encounter? Natural selection and mutation can make many predictions, such as the prediction we will find transitional fossils (we have, very many), predictions on what kind of sequences we will find in DNA, or even in one case the existence of a moth species with a long tongue no one had seen before but knew should exist due to a species of flower with a very long stem that should have a pollinator adapted to it. Or the event where moths spontaneously mutated black and black coloration swept the population in a polluted area. Or the fact that certain breeds of dogs (very tiny dogs and very big ones) are now having difficulty naturally interbreeding.

          Supposing that we did not care about what actually caused anything, evolution would still be useful because of its ability to predict things. That begs a question: why would a God create a world where you can make useful predictions based on something that isn’t true?

          If one has to have God(s), why not have those God(s) let things evolve?

        • Susan

          How can you smply assume evoluton is the reason for all these thngs?

          Kevin K. made it very clear that he didn’t assume anything. The evidence is overwhelming. If you were interested in the evidence, you would take a course in biology or at least go to a biology forum and ask these questions on appropriate forums.

          You wouldn’t mix it up with cosmology and abiogenesis and atheism.

          Instead, you think that your ignorance about evolutionary theory can be some kind of gotcha on a forum that evaluates christian/theistic claims.

          There is no way

          Yes. There is. Overwhelming amounts of evidence that so far support the model. If you have evidence that overturns the model, hand in your paper.

          you simply prefer one explanation to the other.

          No. Truth be told, I don’t PREFER evolution to notevolution. If I were a moral agent with limitless power and iI nvented reality out of metaphysical nothingness, evolution would be the last thing I’d choose.

          However, we look around and we see mountains of evidence that support evolutionary theory.

          So…

          Nothing you mentioned is proof of anything

          As has been pointed out to you at least once, the term “proof” is not appropriate.

          But you’ve failed to engage with things that have been pointed out to you.

          You have no model. Just an assertion. An assertion based on fallacious reasoning and ignorance that somebody else repeats because they know know they can bank on the fact that people like you will listen because people like you will feel good if you 1) Do zero work on the subject and 2) Will feel like their work is as legitimate as everything because “Science is fixed against Our Lord Jesus Christ.”

          And you close your eyes and plug your ears when people show you massive amounts of evidence.

          And when asked what evolutionary theory is, you don’t seem to have any idea. Nor even curiosity about it.

          Same goes for cosmology.

          It’s very simple, Ant.

          What are you claiming and how do you support it?

          Throwing pebbles of ignorance at mountains of evidence is not support for your Yahwehjesus hypothesis. If it were, you’d be at biology conferences with numerous papers in hand, making progress on your model.

          Instead, you’re here accusing us of bias because we accept science that you don’t even understand.

          If biology is wrong, write the papers using good science.

          If science is wrong, stop typing on a computer that’s liniked up to the internet.

        • MNb

          You’re not even capable of formulating your questions correctly.
          Evolution is not the reason.
          Evolution is an abstract concept used to describe all those things correctly and does very successfully so.

          “How can you know they weren’t created this way?”
          We can’t, Mr. Stupid. We cannot know that they were created this way either. We can’t know anything about anything supernatural, because there is no reliable method to investigate the supernatural.
          Indeed I simply prefer explanations based on the scientific method, aka methodological naturalism. to explanations based on farts, stupidity, ignorance and lies. You prefer the latter.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          But you were there to observe God creating the heavens and the earth?

        • Ant

          Ok Bob, my point ALL ALONG is that yes theism is faith based, BUT SO IS ATHEISM.

          I have never claimed that theists know with any level of certainty how or even IF God created the universe and life. But that has not been my point at all. My point has been that atheists have the same ontological problems that relegate their philosophy to a faith-based system as well.

          In essence, I’m arguing that atheism is not based on evidence or proof as many atheists would like to think, but rather unproven philosophical assumptions, which really makes it no more substantial than other religions.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Must be my problem then. If you’ve explained why atheism is faith based, I missed it. Where do atheists make a claim that isn’t grounded on evidence?

          As an aside, your denigration of faith surprises me. Why aren’t you saying, “But I am delighted to see my atheist brothers embracing faith as a route to truth, just like I do!”?

        • Paul B. Lot

          My point has been that atheists have the same ontological problems that relegate their philosophy to a faith-based system as well.

          “I don’t know” is not a “faith”.

        • MNb

          “yes theism is faith based, BUT SO IS ATHEISM.”
          Your point is only possible thanks to you using an ambiguous definition of faith, something a creacrapper like you gets a hard on from.

          Which atheists think that atheism is based on evidence or proof? Not me.
          All philosophical assumptions (just like mathematical axiomata) are unproven by definition. You can’t set up any argument without assumptions.
          Only a stupid ignorant like you is capable of building and attacking strawmen like that.
          What makes atheism more substantial than many religious views is that it doesn’t use lies like “other religions” to bring their point home. You do in about every single comment of yours.

        • epeeist

          Your point is only possible thanks to you using an ambiguous definition of faith

          Ah, where would people be without equivocation?

        • Meepestos

          faith

          fāTH/

          noun

          noun: faith

          complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

          The disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods is not based on faith, as it can be without confidence and trust. Note lack and disbelief does not require faith.

          There are atheists that do not hold their conclusions that deities do not exist as” truth” nor hold it with ardor and faith, but more so a judgment with no core of central importance in regards to truth or proposition that serves as an underlying basis for a system of belief, behavior or for something that logically lead them from a premise or assumption to a conclusion, i.e., no principles nor system of faith. Some argue this type of atheist is an agnostic.

          Not all atheists have complete or total trust or confidence in their disbelief nor have a firm belief i.e., trust in their conclusion or judgment about the non existence of gods, as they would change their mind if there was evidence for them. And no confidence is required for their conclusion, which could be based merely on their common sense or even ignorance.

        • adam

          If you are going to talk about BIBLICAL ‘faith’, it behooves you to use the bible definition

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b12fa1635e121ebbb3409640826d721ba93278771f0064bd133804faa3f01397.png

        • Meepestos

          Where do you get these cool little posters?

        • adam
        • Meepestos

          Well, that has made my day.

        • Michael Neville

          No faith is involved in saying “I don’t believe gods exist.” It’s a statement which is self-proving. As for “did a god or gods create the universe”, I’m pretty sure that didn’t happen for the simple reason there’s no evidence to support that claim. Again, no faith is needed to observe the complete and total lack of evidence for a god or gods creating jack shit, let alone an entire universe.

          EDIT to add:

          I’m arguing that atheism is not based on evidence or proof as many atheists would like to think, but rather unproven philosophical assumptions, which really makes it no more substantial than other religions.

          So atheism is another subject you’re pig ignorant about. Why am I not surprised?

        • adam
        • MR

          I wonder if he believes that:

          Not believing in unicorns is faith-based with philosophical assumptions.
          Not believing in fairies is faith-based with philosophical assumptions.
          Not believing in the Loch Ness Monster is faith-based with philosophical assumptions.
          Not believing in….

          Yawn.

        • https://www.jonmorgan.info Jon Morgan

          On the Loch Ness monster, http://www.lochness.com/exhibition.aspx is really good. It goes through a lot of the ways people can deceive themselves and be deceived, and it talks about evidence you would expect to see if there was really a Loch Ness Monster that isn’t there (though I say that as someone who didn’t believe in the Loch Ness monster before I visited – maybe true believers have their faith strengthened).

        • Ignorant Amos

          The Loch Ness monster is an excellent example which I’ve used myself on a number of occasions.

          It’s great because of the number of so-called witness statements and the quality of the witnesses, i.e. doctors, religious clerics, military officers, various gentry, professionals generally.

          Also the letter from the chief constable for the area to the member of parliament for the area outlining safety concerns for the monster is further evidence of how seriously the issue was being taken at the time.

          That there is some strange fish creature in Loch Ness seems now beyond doubt, …

          http://www.scottisharchivesforschools.org/naturalScotland/Images/680Images/HH000100588-00031–680p.gif

          Beyond doubt? From the top police officer in the constabulary in charge of the area? Really? That type of evidence would be pure gold, the likes of the NT scholars could only dream about. And that’s just one item of “evidence” from the heaps at hand.

          If the only “evidence” some 2,000 years in future people had about the monster in the Ness was this letter, folk would have no problem believing there had been a beast living in the Loch during the first half of the 20th century.

        • epeeist

          The Loch Ness monster is an excellent example which I’ve used myself on a number of occasions.

          As have I, but in a slightly different way. Taking my cue from a poster called BristolBoy on the Guardian I use it to compare theology with a discussion as to what colour are the flippers on said animal.

        • Greg G.

          We know the Invisible Pink Unicorn is invisible because we cannot see him. We know he is pink by faith.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ha!…well there’s were yer wrong right there…everyone “knows” the IPU is a “she” and not a “he”…ya Philistine.

        • Greg G.

          Sorry. Sometimes I mix up the IPU with the Invisible Blue Unicorn.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That’s fair enough mate…understandable and an easy enough mistake to make.

        • adam

          Heretic

        • Kuno

          Those two are a cute couple.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          We know he is covered in glitter because logic dictates it–how could he be otherwise?

        • https://www.jonmorgan.info Jon Morgan

          Reminds me of Bob’s excellent comparison of Christianity with belief in aliens. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2013/02/dont-believe-christianity-until-you-believe-in-aliens/

          Once I actually started looking, I came to the conclusion that comparing with other religions and other events makes it much harder to allow Christianity’s supernatural / unexplained claims while rejecting all other clais. Whereas if you just know Christianity it’s much easier to assume it’s right because everyone you know says so, and it wouldn’t be written if it wasn’t true.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          (You beat me to that comparison!)

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Great comparison. Similarly, there’s better evidence for people abducted by frikkin’ aliens than for Miracle Jesus.

        • epeeist

          In essence, I’m arguing that atheism is not based on evidence or proof

          No, what you are doing is attempting to look at everything through belief-tinted goggles. What faith is required to say “I lack belief in the existence of gods”?

          My point has been that atheists have the same ontological problems

          What ontological problems are specific to atheists, whose only claim is that they do not believe in the existence of gods.

          but rather unproven philosophical assumptions

          Which unproven philosophical assumptions are specific to atheists, whose only claim is that they do not believe in the existence of gods.

        • adam
        • Kodie

          If you don’t know if it’s true, why do you believe it anyway? Here’s where atheism comes in. When you don’t believe the claims that god exists, you call yourself an atheist. Being an atheist doesn’t mean stating, claiming or believing anything. I and others have repeatedly said “I don’t know” is the correct answer when you don’t know. You are stuck in your misinformation that atheism is a claim to any kind of knowledge. It just means your story has holes in it, and not worth committing to. God is not a valid explanation for anything, and science has always come through in the past, and is likely to in the future.

          But go ahead and keep ignoring that and push your dishonest agenda.

        • adam

          ” I’m arguing that atheism is not based on evidence ”

          It’s based on LACK of evidence
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d0d0298251c444a7ed04da50dce984d9062e4ab3cd35d48cb69c11eabfe078e2.jpg

          ” but rather unproven philosophical assumptions, ”

          Nope
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7123c548a1342e2d1779d51809c0ce85d82e0551dcde5fa0f6496d68284963dd.jpg

        • BlackMamba44

          I love the first one. This meme was shared on Facebook by my sister-in-law. She actually thought it was Jesus. I almost let her know but it was Facebook.

          EDIT: just the picture was shared

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c54b943c485325f86c48adc4e937b6660698a40f9efe302bb42eade9ab4f0d21.png

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Well, he’s cute, like Jesus. He’s white, like Jesus. His hair is gorgeous. I dunno–he sure as hell looks like Jesus to me.

        • Kuno

          But Jesus was No True Scotsman like the individual in the picture!

        • David Cromie

          “But Jesus was No True Scotsman like the individual in the picture!”

          Do you not mean ‘unlike’?

        • Kuno

          If I were on facebook I wouldn’t share this. But that’s because I expunged the prequel trilogy from my head-canon.

        • Michael Neville
        • Kuno

          You are a cruel, cruel man!

          But seriously, living in denial about the prequels has done wonders for my blood pressure and general mood.

        • Max Doubt

          “Ok Bob, my point ALL ALONG is that yes theism is faith based, BUT SO IS ATHEISM.”

          No. Atheism is the rejection of claims that gods exist.

          “I have never claimed that theists know with any level of certainty how or even IF God created the universe and life.”

          You have claimed that you believe some supernatural intelligent being created life

          I believing an intelligent being created life on earth by some unknown means. There is no evidence life originated or diversified by natural means.

          “But that has not been my point at all. My point has been that atheists have the same ontological problems that relegate their philosophy to a faith-based system as well.”

          No. Atheism is the rejection of claims that gods exist. It’s not a claim, a belief, or position of faith.

          “In essence, I’m arguing that atheism is not based on evidence or proof as many atheists would like to think, but rather unproven philosophical assumptions, which really makes it no more substantial than other religions.”

          You’ve had every opportunity to understand the atheist position. Many people here have explained it to you, often in language that any average fourth grade child should understand. And here you are, still desperately — and dishonestly — attributing to atheists a position we don’t hold. Do you actually not get this, or are you really just the lying asshole you appear to be?

        • MNb

          Both.

        • https://www.jonmorgan.info Jon Morgan

          One word: probability. Even if there are two statements that cannot be absolutely, completely proven true or false, that doesn’t mean we are entitled to pick the one we want on faith.

          Personally, given the lack of evidence I consider the existence of an all-powerful god much less probable than the absence of such a god.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Time to break out Issac Asimov’s, “The Relativity of Wrong” yet again…

          http://chem.tufts.edu/answersinscience/relativityofwrong.htm

        • Greg G.

          In essence, I’m arguing that atheism is not based on evidence or proof as many atheists would like to think, but rather unproven philosophical assumptions, which really makes it no more substantial than other religions.

          Atheism is based on the lack of evidence for gods and the refusal to substitute faith for the lack of evidence. That makes atheism the opposite of religion.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ant is too dumb a fuckwit to understand what that means…he is far too invested at this stage to not carry on in banging his moron’s drum.

        • MR

          Atheism is not being convinced by theism’s unproven philosophical assumptions. I don’t need to establish my own philosophical assumptions in order to smell out someone else’s bullshit.

        • Kodie

          I don’t know why that is so hard to understand. I am merely unconvinced by any of theistic so-called evidence. What should I call myself in the hypothetical meantime? Why is the evidence for theism so shitty?

        • adam

          Yes but THE SPECIATION EVENT WAS OBSERVED you git.

          What wasnt observed

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ad9800ce923b31295afed0a2d2a97d756340d851163d91fe88dc7cbe5bcb82af.jpg

        • Ignorant Amos

          Actually I think it was discovered they can interbreed with one another, which according to one of the most rigorous definitions of species, would mean they are one species.

          That’s because you are a moron and don’t know enough about the subject you are blabbing about..

          Do ya know what a hybrid is soft boy?

          You’ve heard of a mule?

          In biology, a hybrid, also known as a cross breed, is the result of combining, through sexual reproduction, the qualities of two animals or plants of different breeds, varieties, species or genera.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_(biology)#In_different_taxa

        • Ignorant Amos

          I was watching a re-run of David Attenborough’s “Darwin and the Tree of Life” on BBC 4 again last night. It is an excellent entry level introduction to the ToE for the layperson…or ignoramus. Ant would do well to watch it.

          http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xsxubk_charles-darwin-and-the-tree-of-life-david-attenborough_shortfilms

    • MNb

      “astronomically massive amounts of information ”
      How did you measure those amounts? What standard did you use to call them massive?

      “unrealistically short time frames”
      How did you measure those time frames? What standard did you use to call them unrealistically short?
      Until you quantify your statements you’re like an empty barrel – lots of noise, no content.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      There are many ways to respond to this brain fart, but, for the sake of time, I’ll just say: you aren’t a biologist, one assumes. So who died and left you the Judge of All Science? You’ve not-understood enough of biology to declare evolution crap? Is this what passes for logical or scientific within the Christian mind these days?

    • Michael Neville

      Define “information”.

      I’ve asked several creationists to do this and have yet to receive a coherent reply.

      • Ant

        I’ve already done this. Functional sequences of DNA.

        • Michael Neville

          That’s a non sequitur, not a definition. Now define what you mean by evidence in such a way that your statement

          a microscopic amoeba which randomly self-assembled from lifeless molecules can generate astronomically massive amounts of information in its genome through random mutations

          become coherent.

        • Joe

          So, the chemicals in my cabinets at work are “information”. Salt (NaCl) is information?

          Cooking a steak changes the “information” of the steak?

          That’s a weird definition of information.

        • Herald Newman

          Cooking books changes information. Why not cooking steaks? :)

        • Kodie

          The information transmitted to your taste buds would definitely be changed by cooking the steak, depending on if I cooked it or someone that knew how to cook steak cooked it, and also for how long. I don’t think the information of nutrients would change… not sure.

        • Kevin K

          Actually, that’s exactly correct.

          “Information” is carried in NaCl. That information is “used” by NaCl to organize itself into cube-shaped crystals, among many other things.

          Information is inherent in everything. Trying to come up with some definition of information that doesn’t account for this inherent nature of information is what causes people to believe that information is provided by an external source (an “information giver”, as it were). That’s just as wrong as wrong can be.

        • Kuno

          The sequence for producing vitamin C is the same in chimpanzees and in humans. Only in humans, due to something that has happened after the two species split up from their last common ancestor, it has been turned “off”. The sequence is still there, just no longer functional.

          So, according to your definition the very same sequence in chimpanzees is information and in humans it is not.

          Your definition doesn’t work.

        • Kevin K

          BZZT. Wrong answer.

          EVERYTHING within a system — ANY system — contains information. Information is locked into every aspect of everything.

          All matter is made of three particles — protons, neutrons, and electrons. A proton carries INFORMATION about mass, charge, and spin. A neutron carries information about mass, charge (lack), and spin. An electron carries information about mass, charge, spin, and energy state.

          The number of protons and neutrons in an element carries INFORMATION, telling us what element it is. It’s inherent in the system. You can’t separate the element from the knowing the number of neutrons and protons anymore than you can separate knowing the number of neutrons and protons from the element. It’s INFORMATION.

    • Joe

      So evolution is like a math equation

      No.

      Some equations are really complicated and that means that a microscopic amoeba which randomly self-assembled from lifeless molecules can generate astronomically massive amounts of information in its genome through random mutations in unrealistically short time frames until it eventually gives rise to all life on earth. O… K…. is this what passes for “logical” and “scientific” these days?

      No, that’s what passes for a poor understanding of the subject.

    • Nathaniel7477

      Hello Ant, I want to talk privately. Would you please send me an e-mail at nathaniel74774@gmail.com please?

      • Ant

        Um sorry but before I do that I would like to know what you want to discuss, and why you want for it to be private.

        • Nathaniel7477

          Sorry for taking so long. I wanted to discuss your views, and I want it to be private considering the hostile atmosphere.

        • Ant

          Sorry I would prefer not to divulge my personal email account to someone I don’t know on a public forum. If you have a reddit account message me there, my handle is ant021.

  • RichardSRussell

    One of the favorite creationist analogies for evolution is the tornado passing thru a junkyard and completely assembling a 747 thru sheer chance.

    The thing they don’t realize is that they’ve understated their case. A 747 is nowhere nearly as complicated as a human being. The human brain is by far the most complex thing in the known Universe — by several orders of magnitude.

    No, of course there’s no way something of such staggering complexity could possibly have been assembled by sheer randomness — even if they were willing to grant the availability of 13.82 billion years to do the job (which they won’t).

    So there should be a clue in there for them: It isn’t sheer randomness that’s at work. There’s a ratchet effect by which favorable mutations get preserved and replicated, but unfavorable ones kill off their carriers and die out. And, even so, it still takes billions of years to reach (more or less) fruition.

    Sadly, following this chain of reasoning requires (A) facts and (B) logic.

    You can cure ignorance, but stupidity is forever.

    • Kevin K

      That analogy was created by astronomer Fred Hoyle, who was objecting to the concept of the Big Bang. He stuck to his “static universe” guns, even after he was definitively proven wrong.

      • RichardSRussell

        Well, the thing that Fred was hung up on was his “continuous creation” hypothesis, which said an expanding Universe creates a kind of vacuum in the vacated space that somehow or other “invites” matter to spontaneously generate in that space to fill in the gaps. In a way, it was kind of a forerunner to the whole “dark energy” thing, albeit in much the same way that “let there be light” was a primitive version of stellar fusion. And it also resonates a bit with pair production at the quantum level. So Fred wasn’t quite the crank he’s often made out to be at this remove from his era.

        • Kevin K

          When Hoyle first made his critique of the Big Bang, I daresay he was in the majority among cosmologists. The static universe model was the model until LeMaitre and Hubble. It’s why Einstein developed the “cosmological constant”, to fit his relativity calculations into the static universe model.

          So, no. I don’t think Hoyle was a crank. He did hang on far too long to his model, though. Which makes him something far worse — a bad scientist.

    • Lark62

      Yes. The fact is that every offspring differs genetically from its parents. And every living thing* is subject bo environmental pressures to find food, reproduce and not get eaten by some other creature.

      Given this Evolution has to happen. Evolution cannot not happen.

      Survival is not random. In any herd of antelope, exactly half are darker than average and half are lighter than average. If lighter colored vegetation dies out, making lighter colored antelope easier to see (thus easier to catch and eat), the average antelope in generation 2 will be darker than the average antelope in generation 1. Evolution is happening all the time.

      [*Yeah, I know that some organisms are clones and mayflies don’t eat. Whatevs. ;)]

      • RichardSRussell

        Technically, it should be “every offspring of a sexually reproducing species differs genetically from its parents.”

        Creationists will seize on this and ask how single-celled organisms that reproduce via mitosis ever led to sexual differentiation in the first place. There’s an answer, of course, but it presumes their willingness to listen and ability to understand.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      You can cure ignorance, but stupidity is forever.

      What about willful ignorance? That may no be curable.

  • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

    So, intelligent design suggests that mind can do things which mere matter cannot. Is this true, or false? I’ll ignore Cartesian dualism and note that we have two possibilities:

         (I) mind supervenes on matter
        (II) mind adds something to matter

    It seems to me that ID asserts (II). One way to rigorously support (II) is via rigorous mathematical instances of emergence, e.g. as one can see discussed in Massimo Pigliucci’s Essays on emergence, part I. But taking that and other work (I suggest Robert B. Laughlin’s A Different Universe: Reinventing Physics from the Bottom Down), we’re still a far way from establishing (II) with any confidence. But there is another way.

    Noam Chomsky read folks like Descartes and Locke and Hume and realized that they’re a lot smarter than we like to think. For example:

    Specifically, Descartes speculated that the workings of res cogitans—second substance—may be beyond human understanding. So he thought, quoting him again, “We may not have intelligence enough to understanding the workings of mind.” In particular, the normal use of language, one of his main concepts. He recognized that the normal use of language has what has come to be called a creative aspect; every human being but no beast or machine has this capacity to use language in ways that are appropriate to situations but not caused by them—this is a crucial difference. And to formulate and express thoughts that may be entirely new and do so without bound, may be incited or inclined to speak in certain ways by internal and external circumstances, but not compelled to do so. That’s the way his followers put the matter—which was a mystery to Descartes and remains a mystery to us. That quite clearly is a fact. (Noam Chomsky – “The machine, the ghost, and the limits of understanding”, 9:58)

    So, we have this bifurcation:

         (1) I can say either A or B.
         (2) But the laws of nature do not determine which.

    I have to be careful; (2) is predicated upon something like the mechanical philosophy, which Descartes helped launch with his excitement about what geometrical mathematics could do. But it doesn’t seem to me that very many people are moving beyond the mechanical philosophy, and neither did it to mathematical biologist Robert Rosen when he wrote Life Itself in 1991. Now, why do I focus on (1)? Because I think that is a necessary starting point for non-compatibilist, non-determinist (⇏ libertarian) free will:

        Finally, consider the libertarian notion of dual rationality, a requirement whose importance to the libertarian I did not appreciate until I read Robert Kane’s Free Will and Values. As with dual control, the libertarian needs to claim that when agents make free choices, it would have been rational (reasonable, sensible) for them to have made a contradictory choice (e.g. chosen not A rather than A) under precisely the conditions that actually obtain. Otherwise, categorical freedom simply gives us the freedom to choose irrationally had we chosen otherwise, a less-than-entirely desirable state. Kane (1985) spends a great deal of effort in trying to show how libertarian choices can be dually rational, and I examine his efforts in Chapter 8. (The Non-Reality of Free Will, 16)

    My claim is that when systems can spontaneously go to state A or state B, that an infinitesimal force can “choose” which way it evolves, just like a particle traveling through an unstable Lagrangian point. (To see why that is interesting, look up the Interplanetary Transport Network.)

    Anyhow, I’m not an ID advocate and I’m clearly very far from establishing (II). But I think that (1) + (2) ought not be ignored, and that they demonstrate a real conundrum. Asserting that “randomness” is the explanation is not an explanation, and it’s not known to be true, as David Bohm pointed out:

        The assumption that any particular kind of fluctuations are arbitrary and lawless relative to all possible contexts, like the similar assumption that there exists an absolute and final determinate law, is therefore evidently not capable of being based on any experimental or theoretical developments arising out of specific scientific problems, but it is instead a purely philosophical assumption. (Causality and Chance in Modern Physics, 44)

    There is more to investigate and learn!

    • Giauz Ragnarock

      “In particular, the normal use of language, one of his main concepts. He recognized that the normal use of language has what has come to be called a creative aspect; every human being but no beast… has this capacity to use language in ways that are appropriate to situations but not caused by them—this is a crucial difference.”

      http://www.cracked.com/article_19388_6-things-you-wont-believe-animals-do-just-like-us.html

      http://www.cracked.com/article_19042_6-terrifying-ways-crows-are-way-smarter-than-you-think.html

      Albeit those articles are presented as humor but are well-cited. There is also the documentary series ‘Animals Like Us: Remarkably Human’ that make statements like this very questionable.

      Also, we are beginning to theorize how consciousness (https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/485558/) came to be.

      EDIT: Disqus kept messing up.

      • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

        Cracked: 6 Things You Won’t Believe Animals Do Just Like Us
        Cracked: 6 Terrifying Ways Crows Are Way Smarter Than You Think

        Neat stuff, but you’ll still have the problem Mortimer Adler identified—which is a big one:

            And by far the greater part of animal communication—outside of laboratories and apart from human tutelage—is instinctive rather than learned. Konrad Lorenz stresses this point.

            Animals do not possess a language in the true sense of the word. In the higher vertebrates, as also in the insects, particularly in the socially living species of both great groups, every individual has a certain number of innate movements and sounds for expressing feelings. It has also innate ways of reacting to these signals whenever it sees or hears them in a fellow-member of the species. The highly social species of birds such as the jackdaw or the greylag goose, have a complicated code of such signals which are uttered and understood by every bird without any previous experience. The perfect coordination of social behavior which is brought about by these actions conveys to the human observer the impression that the birds are talking and understanding a language of their own. Of course, this purely innate signal code of an animal species differs fundamentally from human language, every word of which must be learned laboriously by the human child. Moreover, being a genetically fixed character of the species—just as much as any bodily character—this so-called language is, for every individual animal species, ubiquitous in its distribution.[5]

            Lest there be any quibbling about the words “innate” and “instinct,” concerning the meaning of which American behavioristic psychologists do not see eye to eye with such European ethologists such as Tinbergen, Thorpe, or Lorenz, let us adopt as the minimum meaning that can be agreed to by all parties, the formula proposed by Donald Hebb: namely, that a pattern of behavior can be called innate or instinctive insofar and only insofar as it is “species-predictable,” which is to say, in Lorenz’ words, “ubiquitous in its distribution” among all members of the species without exception.[6] (The Difference of Man and the Difference It Makes, 115–16)

        Now, this is a 1967 book, but from what I’ve read in David Braine’s 2014 magnum opus—Language and Human Understanding: The Roots of Creativity in Speech and Thought—the general difference Adler picked out still exists. I can provide some excerpts if you’d like. Another work on this topic is Charles Taylor’s The Language Animal: The Full Shape of the Human Linguistic Capacity. Roughly speaking: we humans are [in a critical way] constructed of language, while animals merely use language. But this doesn’t mean we couldn’t be a monolith to animals. The critical question is whether mindless evolution can get you this kind of language.

        Also, we are beginning to theorize how consciousness (Atlantic: A New Theory Explains How Consciousness Evolved) came to be.

        Consciousness is neat, but don’t humans have self-consciousness? That seems to be more; the recursive aspect seems very important. As P. W. Anderson wrote, More is Different.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          “Also, we are beginning to theorize how consciousness (Atlantic: A New Theory Explains How Consciousness Evolved) came to be.
          Consciousness is neat, but don’t humans have self-consciousness?”

          I couldn’t get the link to work for that article. Just Google ‘The Atlantic: how consciousness came to be theory’ or similar, and you should come to it. I think you mean self-awareness, which is covered under consciousness as used in one of the first lines of the article.

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          I couldn’t get the link to work for that article.

          That’s because Disqus is stupid and included your trailing close parenthesis in the URL. They need to use a regular expression like mine for recognizing only matched parentheses. My link works.

          I think you mean self-awareness, which is covered under consciousness as used in one of the first lines of the article.

          Most strictly, I think I mean making a distinction between self and world and realizing that that there are other selves who are like me in some ways and different from me in other ways. I’m aware that there are animals who can recognize that the thing in the mirror is actually themselves, but I’m not aware of how much further that ability goes. Then again, many atheists seem rather unwilling to acknowledge that I might be different from your average “Christian apologist”, so perhaps even some humans lack this ability.

          It was a pretty interesting article; I know the author of The Verb and the Paragraph in Biblical Hebrew: A Cognitive-Linguistic Approach; she might be interested in it, or she may have already integrated all of the relevant, properly scientific aspects already. For example, from the table of contents:

          1.2.2 The Location of Prominence: Consciousness
              1.2.2.1 Active Consciousness
              1.2.2.2 Semi-Active Consciousness
              1.2.2.3 Inactive Consciousness
              1.2.2.4 Memory
          1.2.3 Determining Prominence: Attention
              1.2.3.1 Alertness
              1.2.3.2 Orientation
              1.2.3.3 Detection
              1.2.3.4 Attention and Consciousness

          What’s missing from that article and present in Elizabeth Robar’s work is “the innate human search for coherence”. What’s also missing is

          If linguistics has shown anything, it is that

          visible language is only the tip of the iceberg of invisible meaning construction that goes on as we think and talk. This hidden, backstage cognition defines our mental and social life. Language is one of its prominent external manifestations. (Fauconnier, 1997, 1–2)

          As Langacker puts it, language constructions evoke, rather than contain, meaning (Langacker, 1998a). Those mappings between the ‘backstage cognition’ and language, that we seem to somewhat understand now, are organized here along the same lines as the cognitive organization above: consciousness (clause), attention (topic and focus), and consolidated thought (paragraph). (18)

          Then again, it’s just an Atlantic article. I just want Adaptive Content to exist already, damnit.

          P.S. I think I’m going to dismiss anything on HADD until robust, ingenious attempts have been made to empirically falsify it.

    • adam
    • adam
    • MNb

      “Is this true, or false?”
      Neither, because you totally ignore a third possibility:
      (III) mind consists of matter/energy, like everything else in our Universe.

    • adam

      “So, intelligent design suggests that mind can do things which mere matter cannot. ”

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bf3ab7ed04d447ff091f3cf19fcdefc6aafeccae006445994adc3759435c0aa5.jpg

    • adam
  • Sophia Sadek

    I am reminded of the observation that the heavens are far too manifold to be governed by a single agency. Hell, on the other hand, is simple enough to be managed by a single parent.

    I know of no entity more simple than the Christian deity.

  • https://thebookofamos.wordpress.com/ Harry Amos

    Great post! Spotted a typo – duplication of “number theory”. :)

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Fixed. Thanks!

  • Ignorant Amos

    At what point does enough Ant become too much Ant?

    • adam

      I am VERY generous.

      i say when they repeat a lie 3 times after being corrected.

      So some time ago, in my book.

      • Ignorant Amos

        Whaaaaa? Ant is way, way past repeating the same nonsense 3 times.

        • adam

          Yes, of course.

          So now it’s ridicule time.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Am fairly sure you let the ridicule memes begin prior to the 3 lie rule more often than not.

        • adam

          I certainly will use a meme, even from the get go, but I usually save the ridicule until after they lie to me or about me.

          At least, that’s my plan.

        • adam

          Do you think I treat them unfairly?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nope… I certainly don’t…..Not me.

          I was just thinking out loud, that’s all, you keep calm and carry on. You are doing a grand job of keeping the spotlight on the nutter’s.

        • MNb

          Yes. Too much generosity is also unfair.

        • MNb

          You’re very generous indeed.
          For me ridicule time starts the moment it becomes clear someone is a creacrapper.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You’re even more generous than I.

          For me, ridicule time starts the moment it becomes clear someone is talking a loada bubbles…which is very often their first comment.

    • Herald Newman

      I’m amazed at how much people will put up with. I’ve grown to have little patience for ID proponents, simply because trying to point them in the right direction seems completely futile. Maybe it’s not futile, but it sure is fucking painful!

      • MNb

        I think it funny.
        Not always, but as soon as I don’t think it funny anymore I start to neglect them.

        • Herald Newman

          I think it funny.

          Well, at least one of us can laugh at stupidity…

        • epeeist

          *Sniff* neither ant or Ameribear seem to be responding to my posts any more. What am I doing wrong?

        • Ignorant Amos

          What am I doing wrong?

          Wrong? Nowt as far as a can see.

          Unless you call nailing both their arses to the wall as doing something wrong.

        • Michael Neville

          You’re using logic and evidence in your arguments. Don’t you know that sort of thing is upsetting to people like Ant and Ameribear, who can’t counter those arguments with facts and logic of their own?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I dunno, but when you figure it out, let me know so I can do that, too.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Can you ever get too much Ant? He’s just so adorable when he flounders around with facts.

  • martin_exp(pi*sqrt(163))

    phi is not the only number x such that x-1 = 1/x, the other solution of this quadratic equation is -(phi-1).

  • Ignorant Amos

    So anyway, am just sitting here in the
    Waterfront auditorium waiting on Ricky Gervais to come on stage for his Humanity Tour date in Belfast…just saying. }8O)~

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Give him a kiss for us.