The Design Argument (Fiction)

The Design Argument (Fiction) February 18, 2015

It’s been a while since I’ve run any excerpts from my 2012 book, Cross Examined: An Unconventional Spiritual Journey. These are a bit longer than the usual post, but I think the fiction format is an interesting way to explore apologetics arguments.

A bit of background: Jim is a wealthy, housebound, and somewhat obnoxious atheist, and Paul is the young acolyte of Rev. Samuel Hargrove, a famous pastor. Paul is doing his best to evangelize Jim, though Paul’s faith is now wavering. It’s 1906 in Los Angeles, shortly after the San Francisco earthquake, and they’re in Jim’s house.

christian apologetics fictionPaul was eager to get to business. “I’d like to talk about evidence of God’s hand in the design of the world.”

“Okay, but I’ve already told you what I think of it.” A tea kettle whistled. Jim walked into the kitchen, and returned with a tea tray and set it on the center table.

“The world has some marvelous things in it,” Paul said. “Rainbows and sunsets, laughing children, spring flowers, warm beaches, love. It’s a beautiful world.”

“True. But the world also has some terrible things in it. Earthquakes, droughts, famines, parasites. Take Guinea worm—it’s a parasite that’s common in Africa. It grows in people up to three feet long, eventually living just under the skin. When the mature worm is ready to lay eggs, it burns its way through the skin. Very painful, I hear. To extract the worm, it’s wound up on a stick, which is also a painful process. It takes days. In fact, you’ve already seen this. You know the doctor symbol, the snake twisted around a pole? That symbol came from this remedy.”

Paul grimaced and pushed himself back into his chair. “How do you get infected?”

“By drinking contaminated water. Nature has many kinds of diseases—some that kill you, and some that just make you wish you were dead. For every laughing child, I could find a child who no longer laughs, dying of dysentery or smallpox or even measles. Or an old man slowly dying of cancer. Or …” Jim inhaled noisily as if he were coming up for air. “Or a young mother dying in childbirth.”

Jim cleared his throat as he stood and walked to the wall opposite the window. At the bureau, he paused before a large framed portrait of a young woman. As Jim leafed through a drawer, Paul thought of the needlepoint pillows and framed samplers. The vacancy left by a woman was now obvious. He was surprised he hadn’t noticed before.

“How old are you?” Jim asked.

“I’m twenty-five.”

Jim returned to the sofa holding a newspaper clipping. “This is a list of major natural disasters from recent history. We can date them by your life. The earthquake in the Himalayas last year was much deadlier than the one we just had in San Francisco—20,000 people died. When you were twenty-one, a volcano in Martinique killed 29,000, and when you were two, Krakatau killed even more. A cyclone in Bengal killed 150,000 people when you were sixteen, and one in Vietnam killed twice that in the year you were born. When you were six, a flood in China killed as many as 2,000,000. And years of drought in India caused a famine that killed 10,000,000 when you were about twenty.”

“Yes, I’ve heard of some of those.”

“There’s a hell of a lot of pain and suffering in the world to go along with the good things.”

“Perhaps God has a reason.”

“To teach us to be humble? To count our blessings? To not get cocky? Those are some heavy-handed lessons. Let me propose this explanation: there is no reason at all. Our earth looks just as it would if there were no purpose, no design, and no wise designer.”

This was another Jim onslaught to which Paul had no rebuttal. “Well, let’s approach this from another angle,” Paul said. “You’re familiar with the Paley pocket watch example?”

Jim dismissed the notion with a wave of his hand. “That argument has been around since Cicero. What’s amusing about Paley’s watch argument is that it defeats itself. Let’s imagine his original situation. He’s walking in a field and discovers the watch. It looks out of place, different from the plants and rocks. But if it looks different from nature because it looks designed, then nature must not look designed. You can’t argue on the one hand that the watch looks remarkable and stands out from the natural background, and on the other that the watch looks similar to nature, so both must be designed.”

“But nature does look designed. I’ve seen close-up photographs of insects like fleas. If God puts this amazing detail into insects, He must care far more for humans.”

“We marvel at God’s handiwork only after we know that he exists.” Jim leaned forward. “The design argument simply takes a childish view of the world. Does the world look designed by an omniscient and benevolent god? Go to the freak show at the circus—it’s a museum of nature’s poor design. Siamese twins, two-headed pigs, bearded ladies, the Lizard Man, hermaphrodites, dwarves, giants. Monsters like the Elephant Man and unfortunates with all manner of birth defects. Deformed babies floating in formaldehyde. Is this the best that God can do?”

“Maybe birth defects are meant to test us, to teach us to be better people.”

“That’s quite a barbaric test. Isn’t it ironic to imagine God teaching us to be kind with the cruelest test imaginable? Think of the parents every day who are told that their newborn has some hideous defect and will live a short, painful life. And why are there birth defects in animals? Do they need testing too? A natural explanation works best. ‘God is testing us’ is not where the evidence points.”

Jim poured tea from the pot into two delicate white china cups on saucers and pushed one toward Paul. “And there are examples of inept designs. One of the best examples is in a whale—I saw a few whale skeletons when I lived in Boston. Many species have small bones as remnants of their nonexistent rear legs, and their flippers have all the joints of a land animal’s hand but no reason for that flexibility—very different from a fish’s fin. If the whale had been designed, it would have been tailored to life in the ocean with no wasted bones.”

Paul set his Bible on his knee and opened it to a bookmark. “When Job questions God, God replies, ‘Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding.’ Maybe it’s presumptuous of us to judge God.”

“Once again, that assumes God, the very thing we’re trying to establish. Maybe I’ll avoid judging God once I know that he exists. Let’s approach it this way: if you were God, would you design the earth with volcanoes and hurricanes, plagues and famines?”

“Maybe those are necessary features of the earth,” Paul said. “Maybe hurricanes distribute rain or heat; maybe volcanoes relieve pressure underground. We just don’t know.”

Jim reached for his tea cup. “You’re God, infinitely smarter than the smartest human, and that’s the best you can do? ‘Sorry about the volcano—I had to relieve some pressure.’ You can’t argue strong evidence for design at one moment, but plead ignorance at another when it suits you. Take your pick: does the earth look designed or not? It could indeed have been designed, but it’s not designed in a way that any human designer would have used. A loving and omniscient human designer wouldn’t have created earthquakes, plagues, legs for whales, and Guinea worm. Therefore, the design metaphor, which says the earth looks as it would if designed by a human with the ability, fails.”

“Well, maybe ‘designer’ isn’t the best metaphor,” Paul said. “Maybe God is best thought of as an artist, and we see his artistic license. This acknowledges that our human knowledge is insufficient to judge God.”

“Call him an artist then, not a designer.”

“Maybe God didn’t want a perfect design,” Paul said. “Genesis says that Creation was perfect, but it is now imperfect because of the Fall—the sin of the apple.”

“If we live in a fallen world, then don’t argue that it looks perfectly designed. You can’t argue for an imperfect fallen world and a perfectly designed world at the same time.”

Paul took stock of his position. His argument was eroding, but this didn’t feel like earlier conversations. It wasn’t really his argument, and he could view its strengths and weaknesses dispassionately. This objectivity was the new piece to the puzzle that he was trying out. “I’m trying to be open minded about this, but I still think that the earth and life on it look designed. Think of the complexity. Don’t you see that, too?”

“Many undesigned things have interesting properties. Snowflakes are complex, crystals have order, rainbows are beautiful. By contrast, many things that we know were designed don’t have these properties.”

“But a snowflake is hardly as complex as, say, a flea. When you get to a human, the complexity is overwhelming.”

“Complexity is weak evidence for design. A clumsy sock puppet or a childish clay sculpture are designed, and an intricate crystal or snowflake with trillions of precisely placed atoms is not. Which one is more complex? Mere complexity is deceiving. Atoms obey simple rules as they lock into place, one by one. From simple natural rules can come complexity.”

Jim drank from his teacup. “But the Design Argument forces you to come at this from the other direction since designers are always more complex than what they design. If a complex world must have been created by an even-more-complex God, then what created God?”

“Yes, I see that, but I think the argument makes an exception for God.”

“So ‘simple things must come from complex things … except for God’ is your argument.”

“Well, it’s not necessarily my argument.”

“Ah—good to see that distinction.”

And that distinction was quite plain to Paul, too. Samuel’s arguments had been a part of him like a suit of clothes, and critiquing them was like judging his appearance without a mirror. For the first time he could see this argument separate from himself, as if displayed on a mannequin. Looking at it objectively, he had lost faith that its strengths outweighed its weaknesses.

“You know of things that might look designed but aren’t,” Jim said. “The English language, for example. It’s very complex, but it wasn’t designed—it just happened. Or Adam Smith’s ‘invisible hand’ that controls the marketplace.”

Jim set his cup on the table with a clack. “Even if I found the Design Argument compelling, this mysterious Designer is unidentified. Is it the God of Christianity? Or is it Allah or Osiris or Zeus or some other god? And it doesn’t explain anything. ‘God did it’ simply replaces a mystery with another mystery. Who is this God? Where did he come from, how did he do his designing, and what natural laws did he break? A true scientific explanation is quite different—it adds to our knowledge. No scientist, deciphering some puzzling aspect of nature, would ever say, ‘God did it, you say? Well then, nothing left for me to do here—I’ll just go home.’ ”

Paul had never been a tea drinker. Without sugar the tea was harsh, but it had a kind of intriguing charm. “I’m beginning to see your point, but science doesn’t answer everything,” he said.

“True. I don’t suppose it ever will. But adding God to the explanation doesn’t help, it just complicates. Believers tie themselves in knots trying to rationalize why God allows bad things to happen and why he doesn’t provide the relief himself. The convoluted rationalization vanishes when you simply realize that you have no need of the God hypothesis.”

“You use the word ‘rationalize’ as if it’s a bad thing.”

“Not all rationalization is bad. If you knew for a fact that God existed, then you would want to rationalize or justify any apparent contradiction with that fact—to reinterpret new clues to fit the known facts. But God’s existence is exactly what we’re trying to establish. Rationalization parries an attack, nothing more. It is very different from giving evidence to support a position.”

That made sense to Paul. “Giving evidence strengthens your position, and rationalizing avoids the weakening of your position,” Paul said. “They’re almost opposites.”

“Exactly. Rationalization starts with God’s existence: given Christianity, how can I square it with the facts? Reason starts with the facts and follows them where they lead.”

Related post: Argument from Design Busted!


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  • Michael C.

    The problem with the Stephen Fry argument from evil that this character is mirrorring is that it makes no logical sense for a non omniscient person to say that an omniscient being could not possibly have any reason for letting a bad things happen. This makes no logical sense. This is an argument from internal inconsistency so we are assuming (for the sake of argument) that god exists, he is omniscient and bad things happen. I get the anger but logically this argument makes no sense.

    • Armanatar

      God is not merely described as omniscient, but as omnipotent and omnibenevolent as well. Because he is omnibenevolent, he does not want there to be evil. Because he is omnipotent, he can accomplish any objective without the need to resort to allowing evil. Because he is omniscient, he knows exactly how to accomplish any objective without allowing evil. Granting God these three qualities makes the existence of evil absurd.

      • Or perhaps: granting evil makes the concept of God absurd.

        • RichardSRussell

          Not really. It’s not that hard to imagine a malevolent or capricious deity. In fact, most cultures have done exactly that. Only the monotheistic ones feel compelled to bundle that kind of deity together with the nicer ones and claim they’re all the same guy.

        • adam

        • Greg G.

          I don’t know. I think I would prefer imaginary enemies to real enemies as long as the imaginary enemies were completely imaginary. I wouldn’t want to be one of those who imagined friends and strangers as potential enemies.

        • adam

          But having both and giving both of them super powers……while you have none…

        • Kodie

          I imagine an incompetent and disorganized deity. Like, he is always late for stuff and maybe kind of clumsy. Things just happen haphazardly, and he’s not there to put out the fires. He’s like the cousin who can’t get a job anywhere, and you just give him one job and he’s like, “be cool, it’s not the end of the world.” And it isn’t, we’re still here, while we have this moron fucking things up and taking credit for our work.

        • Kinda like Mr. Deity. (My favorite episode below.)

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaZDcS-rMf4

        • Kodie

          That’s right.. The point is their evidence for god is so often based on observation – the “creation”, nice things, nature, patterns, his “fingerprints”. But they are served an agenda to match what they see to the personality profile they’ve already been given. Their god is a petty god, they say he is merciful but just, any bad things are intentional punishments for a greater purpose. When you point out such-and-such would not be acceptable from a person, then why is it acceptable from god, well he’s god!, he can do what he wishes for apparently any score he’s keeping that’s unknown to us. He’s given all power, all knowledge, all wisdom, like some dictator superhero, and we are all his subjects.

          We’re subject to what, though, exactly? I think it is more like how parents are subject to their children. You want to get out of the house, the baby pukes on you. You want to get a good night’s rest, but you are up all night waiting for him to come home from a party. You want to go on vacation, but you have to spend that money on clothes and shoes for an ungrateful dependent who occasionally screams that they hate you and then slams their bedroom door, or worse, has a screaming fit in the store.

          Basically, if this is it, some of it is nice, sure, but a lot of it seems like he doesn’t know what he’s doing, irresponsible, self-centered, oblivious, incompetent, sticky and loud, and we’re told that we cannot dictate to the dictator, we’re not the ones in charge, we should humble ourselves to the great and powerful wizard, which is the opposite of their parenting philosophy.

        • MNb

          If I may summarize:

          1. Good, beautiful things in our material reality hence god.
          2. Bad, ugly things in our material reality – blame Homo Sapiens (see Adam and Eve), hence god.

        • Kodie

          They are presupposing a god who is all good and all loving, but the evidence points another way, so that’s where they have to come up with piles of excuses and mysteries why an all good and all loving god does not come off that way. When you say it like it’s our fault, there are all sorts of ways they explain it – the fall, free will, good reasons we won’t know until later, to get us to know him, and just punishment for our sins.

          Now, god pretty much sounds like he has reasons that a fallible human being would have. He doesn’t seem like a perfect god to me, just powerful, or at the very best, phoning it in, terrible at multi-tasking, clumsy, and forgetful. That’s what I see. Sometimes what you see is impressive, and we can give that, but why make so many excuses for the rest of it that is unpleasant or even devastating? It’s for people who can be threatened by other people to act accordingly so as not to draw god’s wrath.

          But you see, I think most people think they are reasonably good people who don’t deserve anything bad happen to them, and always know when someone is bad and deserve to be punished but always seem to skate. Why doesn’t god put a lightning bolt through that guy? Hell is for that guy. Hell is “I hate so many people and hope they eventually get what they should have coming to them.” But not me. This is the superstition of avoiding being mistaken for someone terrible, or feeling like nothing you do is ever good enough, and no matter what you do, for sure, you aren’t safe from god’s petty wrath, or neglect, or whatever. Bad things happen to “good” people too. Prayer doesn’t save you, belief doesn’t save you, and apparently, they hope, god saves some justice for people after they die, because it always seems to be the hurricanes and diseases always affect the “good” people.

          I just think it’s ridiculous how people are constantly guessing about god and still worried and confused. We pretend we can ward off disasters if we all get right with god, or pretend they’re happening only to people who deserve them. It’s really the most judgmental anyone can be is to be religious, judging oneself better than others, and others deserving punishment, judging the person a sinner because the “evidence” is the punishment they’ve received. Judging god “good” because it’s scary to think he’s just horrible if you also believes he notices you and watches everything you do all the time.

        • MNb

          “I imagine an incompetent and disorganized deity.”
          May I proudly present you

          http://flyingspaghettimonster.wikia.com/wiki/Creation_of_the_World

          Ramen!

        • TheNuszAbides

          i agree; we can find the absurdity without ‘granting evil’ in particular doing the work.

      • Michael C.

        There is no reason to believe that a god that is all good could not allow evil for the sake of some greater good. If you accept this, then the argument that he could build a system where evil would not even be necessary misses the point.

        • Pofarmer

          If he could build a heaven without evil, why not just build an Earth without evil?

        • Michael C.

          The correct question is why could he not build an earth with evil. Once again, if this is an internal inconsistency problem, it makes no logical sense to say that an omniscient being could not possibly have a reason for allowing evil. The question becomes, are god´s qualities of omnipotence and omnibenevolence somehow incompatible.

          I think that the biggest problem here is how many people define god´s all-goodness. For most educated theists, this does not mean that god cannot allow bad things to happen. For a Christian there is no way this is what is meant by all-good, after all, at the heart of Christianity is a story of how god sent his son to be mocked, tortured and killed. Given this, it would make absolutely no sense to be a Chrisitian and also believe that god does not allow bad things to happen.

          So I see no internal inconsistency problem here. The only way that this could be a problem is that if you show that those bad things that happen, happened gratuitously for no good reason.

        • Otto

          after all, at the heart of Christianity is a story of how god sent his son to be mocked, tortured and killed.

          Which is itself an absurd proposition. If god gave us reasoning which we then use to conclude god’s actions and behavior lacks consistency, that is not our problem it would be ‘His’ problem.

        • TheNuszAbides

          perversely, that could explain the decision to ‘sacrifice’ a not-really-mortal-but-really-mortal-okay incarnation of ‘Himself’ to ‘fix’ the problem…

        • Greg G.

          So I see no internal inconsistency problem here. The only way that this could be a problem is that if you show that those bad things that happen, happened gratuitously for no good reason.

          No, bad things can happen for good reasons if there is no other way to achieve the good. It is inconsistent when you propose an omnipotence is in charge. The good things could happen without the bad things for omnipotence. It would only be good things happening for good reasons. There is either no omnipotence or the omnipotence is sadistic and not benevolent. Therefore, there is no Christian God.

        • adam

          “after all, at the heart of Christianity is a story of how god sent his son to be mocked, tortured and killed.”

          Almost:

        • MNb

          It makes even less logical sense, without any back up, to say that an omni-everything being has a reason for allowing evil without providing that reason.

          “The only way that this could be a problem is that if you show that those bad things that happen, happened gratuitously for no good reason.”
          Again this works the other way round as well. The only way for a theist to solve this problem is to show that those bad things happen with a good reason – and pointing out what that reason is. The fact that so few theists even try indicates that its likeliness is far below 50%. At the other hand “there is no god” provides a simple answer.
          It’s not about inconsistency – it’s about the likeliness of both possible answers:

          1. the omni-everything god has a good reason, but we cannot know which one;
          2. there is no god.

          As Kodie above made clear this choice should be a no brainer.

        • The correct question is why could he not build an earth with evil.

          No, that’s a biased question. The correct question is, Where does the evidence point? Is there sufficient evidence to argue for a shy supernatural puppet master behind the scenes?

          it makes no logical sense to say that an omniscient being could not possibly have a reason for allowing evil.

          Is anyone saying that? I mean, besides you? You have the burden of proof.

          I think that the biggest problem here is how many people define god´s all-goodness.

          Don’t forget his oh-so-nutty chocolate covering and delicious caramel center.

          after all, at the heart of Christianity is a story of how god sent his son to be mocked, tortured and killed.

          I know, right? As if the all-powerful Creator of the Universe® had to abide by some sort of Bronze Age customs to get things to work. Ridiculous!

        • Pofarmer

          The biggest problem is how you define evil. Animals are eaten alive. Die during birth in large numbers, starve, die of thirst, die of wounds over days or weeks in agony.

        • Dys

          In other words, you’re reversing the burden of proof, essentially insisting that it’s up to everyone else to demonstrate that the relatively baseless a priori judgement that God is good is in error.

          The only way you get to omnibenevolence for the Christian God is via circular reasoning. It’s nothing more than assuming the conclusion you want to be true. Which renders it unverifiable and ultimately useless.

        • Greg G.

          For most educated theists, this does not mean that god cannot allow bad things to happen.

          That means watering down the definition of “omnipotent” to mean “not omnipotent” or the definition of “benevolence” to “not entirely benevolent”. Theists are forced to do this because using the actual meanings of the words makes those adjectives meaningless for their god and they really like to apply them.

        • TheNuszAbides

          i think, technically, they get to call it consistent when everything “of God” gets to fall outside/beyond/incomprehensibly-over-and-away-from anything Mere Mortals will ever be able to Truly Comprehend. so ‘God’s omnibenevolence’ is True and Logically Unassailable benevolence, the problem being it’s just too far over our little heads.

        • Susan

          So I see no internal inconsistency problem here. The only way that this could be a problem is that if you show that those bad things that happen, happened gratuitously for no good reason.

          You seem to need Bob to be making a deductive argument that can justify each and every premise in order to disprove whatever claim you’re making.

          Rather than address his real argument, you’re insisting he provide an argument he does not have to make and which he has made no attempt to make.

          The evidence is inconsistent with triple-omni agent claims. Period.

          No one has to disprove your leprechauns immaterial snowflake fairies malevolent engine demons space ponies yahwehjesus in order to justifiably dismiss them.

          Define “good” or go no farther.

          I know. That’s really hard and seems unfair. But you seem to be happy to allude to a ‘greater good’ to keep your hypothesis alive.

          Then, what is “good”?

        • TheNuszAbides

          it’s no fun making bets with Lucy if the deck is that stacked…

        • Kodie

          You’re basically saying god can’t bake a cake without cracking some eggs, and we don’t know why but there will be cake when it’s done.

          BULLSHIT. If anything you people believe about god, then you should understand he doesn’t need to process anything good via our suffering, unless we’re not the object of his creation, but only a dispensable element.

        • Greg G.

          If God is omnipotent, then God could achieve any aim with or without suffering. If he cannot do something without suffering, then you must give up the adjective “omnipotent”. If he cannot do everything without allowing suffering, then he is not omnipotent. To use Kodie’s metaphor, an omnipotence can bake a cake without breaking eggs.

          If God can do something without the suffering, then the suffering is unnecessary. If an omnipotent god allows unnecessary suffering, then you cannot apply the adjective “benevolent”. “Sadistic” would be the appropriate adjective for an omnipotence who has caused and allows the conditions for unnecessary suffering.

          The world is full of beings who would prevent all suffering if they could, but they lack omnipotence. There may be an omnipotent champion of Hide&Seek who will not give away his or her position by preventing suffering or we may live in an indifferent universe with no omnipotence. But we can be certain that there is no being that is both omnipotent and benevolent. which eliminates the god of most flavors of Christianity.

        • Michael C.

          I agree that if god allows unnecessary suffering, then he cannot be benevolent. How do you know the suffereing is unnecessary? Also, for the reasons I gave below, I dont think that there is a contradiction between allowing suffering for a greater good and being benevolent (I am using the Christian definition of benevolent here, not he one that you are using here).

        • Greg G.

          As I explained in my first two sentences, if suffering is necessary, then you have proved that there is no omnipotence. If God cannot do a billion miracles per nanosecond for every sentient creature in the universe to prevent suffering as easily as not doing them, then he is not omnipotent. If he can do as many miracles as necessary to prevent suffering but doesn’t, he is less benevolent than most humans.

          How can suffering be necessary when an omnipotent being can do without it? Suffering can only be unavoidable if there is no omnipotence.

        • Michael C.

          ¨How can suffering be necessary when an omnipotent being can do without it?¨

          Because an impotent being might want to achieve X and X can only be achieved by having suffering. One thing that might come to mind is for people on earth to have empathy towards one another and help those in need. What you are saying is that surely god can make people have empathy and help their fellow man without having suffering, but that does not seem to be possible. How can you help those in need who have no need for help? I dont think that anyone believes that omnipotence means that god can do ANYTHING. He can´t do things that are logically inconsistent and he might chose to do things (like allowing suffering) in order to achieve a certain goal.

        • Kodie

          You still speak of god as though he has to go through a procedure the way you would go through the procedure. Why would we need to be empathetic? Without suffering, what quality does empathy have that would be good enough to require suffering? We’re empathetic because there is suffering, but you still have this idea that there has to be great reasons. Would you make your kids suffer in order to get them to bond and be empathetic toward one another? No – that’s just a natural result in most families. The other one of god’s goals people usually suggest is that suffering brings us closer to god – he wants us to beg, he loves it when we are lonely, then he has this “god complex” where only he can save you. What happened to the empathy? God is the illusion. We’re all together down here alone, and we don’t need god to explain empathy. We have empathy because there is suffering… it is screwed up to cause suffering to evoke empathy. You would never do that. You would never do it that way because it is fucked up.

        • Greg G.

          Because an impotent being might want to achieve X and X can only be achieved by having suffering.

          Right, if it is an impotent being. But if the suffering is necessary to achieve X, then you must abandon omnipotence. If X requires suffering for something done by omnipotence, then the suffering must be a part of the point, which implies sadism, not benevolence.

        • Sure, empathy is good. If we should have empathy, then God could just, y’know, give us empathy. You’ll say that given empathy isn’t as fabulous as learned empathy, but of course God could give us that as well.

          Is there empathy in heaven? God could give it to us that way instead of with all this collateral damage.

          Looks to me like you’re trying to explain something that has an obvious naturalistic answer by shoehorning your god in here. Doesn’t help.

        • adam

          Heaven?

        • TheNuszAbides

          one also probably needs a useful distinction between ‘learn’ and ‘grasp’ and ‘imagine’, esp. considering how much handwaving goes on over ~revealed~ wisdom and comparisons drawn with Stuff We Actually Had To Figure Out On Our Own…

        • It’s interesting to hear Christians make naturalistic arguments: there are silver linings in adversity, for example.

          What does that tell you, Mr. Christian, that you’re just trying to make the best of an imperfect situation, just like the atheist?

        • Pofarmer

          If people had no need for help, then empathy wouldn’t be necessary.

        • MNb

          “Because an impotent being might want to achieve X and X can only be achieved by having suffering. ”
          As long as believers don’t specify X and don’t back up the “might” the simple explanation is and remains “there is no god”. That’s what BobS is saying all the time (I paraphraze): “sure you can make up all kind of stuff and I’m not sure that there is no god, but there is no evidence for such made up stuff. Hence the evidence points at “there is no god”.

          “He can´t do things that are logically inconsistent”
          Resurrections are logically pretty logically inconsistent. Dead is dead, not alive. A perfect creation (Adam and Eve) doing something imperfect (eating forbidden fruit) is also pretty logically inconsistent. And of course “love thy neighbour” is pretty logically inconsistent with “slay all the Canaanites”. So if this quote were correct the christians who use this argument should deconvert.

        • curtcameron

          “One thing that might come to mind is for people on earth to have empathy towards one another and help those in need.”

          Let children in impoverished parts of the world die slowly from malaria so that I, a rich white guy in a first-world country, can have an opportunity for empathy.

          That’s one nice god you got there.

        • Kodie

          Everyone knows rich white guys have no empathy. So not only is it not nice, it didn’t even work.

        • TheNuszAbides

          He can´t do things that are logically inconsistent

          why can’t he? where is the clarification of his obligation to be properly apprehended by disciplined thinking?

        • MNb

          “How do you know the suffereing is unnecessary?”
          How do you know the probability that the suffering is unnecessary is smaller than the probability that the suffering is necessary? If you don’t the tentative conclusion remains “there is no god”.

        • Kodie

          The suffering may be necessary if the cake is not for us.

        • We don’t know that unnecessary suffering exists, but that’s where the evidence points. If a child dying of leukemia isn’t unnecessary enough for you, then make it Bambi slowly dying of an injury in the forest. Or getting eaten while still alive by some predator.

          Don’t give me the “But who are you to judge God??” when we must establish his existence first. Is there a God? Maybe, but that’s sure as hell not where the evidence points.

        • Kodie

          If you give anyone a job description, you can then determine whether they are good or bad at it. God gets a “pass” on his quality of work because “reasons” – he just has to! You’re already determined to insist that because he is good, he must have reasons for bad. How about because he is bad, he can’t possibly be very good? Is there any “good reason” you’re not allowed to consider that as a possibility?

          “The fall” is the mythical reason early Jews invented because life is obviously full of misery. From the beginning, life was terrible, and the story they came up with was that it used to be so glorious and good, but someone had screwed up and disappointed god, whose omnipotent hands were tied and unable to reverse the sequence of events that had occurred behind his back necessitating his punishment of all mankind for the next few thousand years, until someone invented Jesus, and only then is the omnipotent creator able to offer back paradise, but only after you die, and only if you’re chosen.

          You know, he could have just struck Adam and Eve dead instead of sending them out of the garden to proliferate generations of perpetually fallen filthy foul sinners. He has a good reason why he didn’t do it the obvious way? If I could make humans out of dirt, I wouldn’t punish those humans for fucking up with a mere eviction and let them give us all a hereditary disease, I’d kill them and make another pair, learning something from my mistake, even though I am perfect. If I can think of a handy and efficient solution before things got out of hand as they have, god must have had a good reason not to?

        • Dys

          Michael, if God is omniscient, omnibenevolent, and omnipotent, it makes no sense to say he must allow suffering to achieve his desired result, unless his desired result includes suffering (which cancels out the omnibenevolence).

          Insisting that suffering is necessary for the plans of an omnipotent god is essentially a product of limited imagination. It’s why the flood story in Genesis is laughable in a literalist context – a God that could conceivably just blink everyone he didn’t like out of existence instantly instead comes up with a convoluted and ludicrous plan to save two of every animal (thus dooming most of them to extinction)?

          Arguing from mysterious ways is just a shield against cognitive dissonance. It’s not a good reason or excuse, and it doesn’t hold up. And you can only use it if someone assumes, a priori, that God is good. But since good and evil are moral value assessments, making those assumptions beforehand makes no sense.

          The argument from evil isn’t an argument against any god per se, it’s an argument against omnibenevolent ones.

        • Kodie

          It is interesting that perfection is a fantasy that Christianity is based on, the Garden of Eden was a perfect place for humans to frolic, and yet chaos ensued. If it wasn’t Adam or Eve, it would have been someone eventually. But when they conceive of god in their “limited and human” ways, perfection is really a difficult quality to grasp. A perfect deity would have a perfectly reasonable perfect reason for doing things in a way humans have to put up with. He’s following rules of order, he has to fuck up this in order to end up with that, for us, he can’t break the rules of physics that he created, or some weak shit like that. If he can impregnate a virgin without physical contact, there is not anything or any way toward accomplishing any goal he cannot do. If he can repossess a physical body out of a sealed tomb, there is no reason to make excuses for this incompetence.

          If our puny-minded human grasp of perfection is limited, it’s only limited by supposing perfection in 3 connected areas, and making excuses – human excuses – why god cannot do whatever he wants to to effect his goals. He might be omnibenevolent, but he is weak in ability. I’d love to solve all the world’s problems, wouldn’t you? But you can’t, and I can’t. We’re good but ineffective. Maybe he hasn’t heard about all the problems of the world, maybe he doesn’t know you personally the way you thought he did – if he knew you, he’d help, but he’s got a lot on his plate. Seriously, the idea that god has good plans is pretty fucked up. Let’s look at human or earth history for a second. Also the history of Christianity.

          God, the perfect, allegedly created humans out of dirt, and they were sinless perfect creations. If they were perfect, why did they not follow directions? Why didn’t they trust him, why didn’t he warn them about the snake, why didn’t he just wipe their minds if knowledge was too powerful? God, the perfect, allegedly got fed up with the generations of sinful humans, and instead of kill them all gently, snap his fingers so they disappeared, he is now constrained to a fantastic idea to cause a great flood, warning one man and his family to build a boat and gather some animals, and float around for a year. He can make people out of dirt. This story is to many Christians the story of one man’s chosenness, without belaboring millions of people and animals drowned. God, the perfect, got fed up with his inability to stop people from being assholes to each other, and decided the solution was to appear on earth as a man. But not. First he had to be born. Then he had to grow up. Salvation, being urgent now, had to wait past the lifespan of the average human in the year 0, for god-man to reach the age of about 30. Then, instead of flying over the earth and casting salvation over every human living at the time, he preached orally to a small crew, because he was limited by being a human man. His great disappearance from the tomb couldn’t have come at a less ironic time – if he could have pulled that stunt a few days earlier, maybe things would be different now.

          Humans have roamed the earth between 6000 and 200,000 years, depending on your source. In that time, and either way, that’s a long time, god’s ultimate perfect purpose is still unknown. It’s the one thing about god that is still up for a guess. Billions and billions of people and other living organisms have suffered, all but a few billion still live and suffer in varying degrees. Is this like god is refinishing a piece of furniture? Because that can take a long time with the intricate detail, caustic chemicals, dry times between coats, sanding, buffing, and polishing. Imagine to get some beautiful restoration would take a lot of effort, and a lot of destruction to get where it’s ultimately going. We have to put up with so much over gazillion generations in order to get to sit in that great easy chair in the sky. Maybe God is like Willy Wonka and he’s testing all of us to find the One to replace him. Most of us are oompa-loompahed and only Charlie gets to go to heaven and apprentice for the position. Maybe that’s a perfect purpose, so god can be omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent… he’s never been omnibenevolent, he obviously doesn’t give a shit about everything – if he were omnibenevolent, he would actually be benevolent and not wrathful, to everything, and humans aren’t everything. In order to live, something always has to die. That’s how food works.

          I could go on another million lines about how a perfect god simply isn’t indicated, reasons or no. If there is a perfect reason, it’s not for us, and if it’s not for us, then it fails at being perfect. “Later, when you die, and you meet god, you’ll beg him but it will be too late” is a cop-out. There’s no perfect reason, an existent god would set humans up to fail, if it was for us.

        • MNb

          Hey, you don’t expect christianity to be consistent, do you?

        • Kodie

          Of course not. I am just drawing a very large diagram so maybe they can grasp just what they are proposing. Having “very good reasons” is a human measure, such as a parent would have a “very good reason” for depriving their child of, say, candy, or forbidding them from going out after dark that the child is not given, i.e. “because I said so.” My mom made a lot of mistakes, but I don’t think she ever pulled that. I always got a reason even if it was her selfish reason, but usually it was a sensible reason that she trusted me to understand. If there is a “very good reason” that god does not trust us to know, then I have my doubts. It’s been thousands of years and we still don’t know. Why are Christians satisfied with that, but they are not satisfied, for example, with the extremely urgent earthly consequences of global warming caused by their behaviors. We can tell them the reasons, the very very good reasons to change, but it inconveniences them, so they will cower to the mysterious authority of their biblical mumbo-jumbo, however they’re led to interpret it, but will not accept reasons. If god had good reasons, these people would then say, oh bullshit, I don’t think that’s a good reason to inconvenience myself! Like Michael C. will come up with “god wants suffering so that people will be empathetic” … for fuck’s sake, that rates as a good reason????? A person can’t think of a good reason, and it’s ridiculous if there is a reason that we have to obey without being trusted to know. How dumb does god think we are?

        • Without Malice

          The suffering is unnecessary because your God could easily achieve whatever purpose you think he is achieving (the greater good) without creating a world where great suffering is the norm. And since it cannot be logically shown that great suffering has ever led to a greater good, maybe it would be a good idea to stop using such a stupid argument.

        • adam

          allow evil?

          How about BRAGGING about creating EVIL?

        • MNb

          “There is no reason to believe that a god that is all good could not allow evil for the sake of some greater good.”
          There is if believers fail to bring up such a reason. If you make a claim (“an all good god may allow evil for the sake of some greater good”) it’s “back up or shut up”. And I suggest to point out the greater good of the 2011 Japanese tsunami. I also suggest to point out the greater good of Elisabeth Fritzl being locked up and raped two, three times a week for 24 years by her father. And then for every single evil we can point at in our reality from the last 13,7 billions of years.
          It may be doable, but it’s very unlikely. Hence the simpler explanation is “there is no such god”.

        • Without Malice

          And to say that God allows (bad choice of word since God is master of his creation and not some outside observer that has to put up with it) so that some greater good can come from it implies that God is not all-powerful, since if he was he could easily make a world where the greater good could be realized without “allowing” for evil to exist.

        • Lots of things are possible if a god exists, but is that where the evidence points?

          You only ask this question to protect your god from attack. (We could wonder why he needs you to defend him and he can’t defend himself, but that’s another story.) No one who’s actually interested in the truth starts with the god assumption and then reworks the data to fit. Rather, we start with the data and follow it.

          Is there evidence for a god? Nope.

        • Michael C.

          Bob, I am dissapointed that you can´t read what I have written and instead are inserting canned talking points.

          I am trying to show why an argument against god does not work. NOWHERE have a said that since this argument against god does not work that therefore, you should believe in god. NOWHERE have I stated that I am trying to give a positive argument to justify the belief in god. If I am right that this argument from evil is invalid, then it does not follow that you should believe in god. NOWHERE have I even said that there is evidence for belief in god. All that I have argued is that this argument from internal inconsistency is not valid. Your comment about the lack of evidence completely misses the point.

          I cannot possibly be more clear.

        • Bob, I am dissapointed that you can´t read what I have written and instead are inserting canned talking points.

          Dang—another person strikes me from their Christmas card list.

          I am trying to show why an argument against god does not work.

          And I’m trying to show why an argument against God isn’t the point. I’m pointing out where the burden of proof lies.

          Your argument apparently is this: “There is no reason to believe that a god that is all good could not allow evil for the sake of some greater good.” And it fails because it’s confused about the burden of proof.

          I agree that an omniscient God could run rings around us mentally. Not the point. Our goal is to use the imperfect evidence we have in front of us and see where it points.

        • Michael C.

          No bob, no one is confusing the burden of proof, it is on the believer to prove god’s existence. This does not mean I cant adress why an argument against god does not work.

          Likewise, I could argue that an argument that aliens dont exist is invalid without having to argue why aliens exist.

          Now if you are simply saying that this is your blog and because it is your blog you want to focus on evidence for god’s existence and nothing else, then I’ll pack my bags and go.

        • Kodie

          Never mind perfect, does it even exist? It’s a valid question, and if you don’t know, then probably should leave. But you are arguing for the mere possibility of god’s perfect reasons for fucking us up for 2000 millennia. When is this perfect reason revealed? How are these perfect qualities of god determined when you have no evidence there even is a god? Why are you avoiding answering people’s posts other than Bob S?

        • Sounds like we have at least a bit of common ground, so that’s worth celebrating, but we’re not quite there yet.

          You can’t say that the design argument fails because a god could do whatever. That presumes god, the very thing we’re trying to prove.

          If that doesn’t satisfy you, then go to my previous comment and respond more carefully to the points there.

        • MNb

          As long the believer doesn’t bring up any example of “greater good” the Problem of Evil remains for the time being an argument against god.

        • Kodie

          There’s just been too much hype, the reason would floor us in its lack of necessity. As soon as we heard about this reason, facebook and twitter would be trending with exceedingly better solutions.

        • Kodie

          You didn’t answer any of my posts.

          How can you be disappointed if you haven’t considered what other people are saying? Certainly isn’t an honest tactic.

        • Greg G.

          You have not shown that a god that is both omnipotent and benevolent can exist in a universe with sentient beings who suffer. Your argument for a greater good with suffering implies that the god is either not omnipotent or is not benevolent. If a being is not potent enough to prevent suffering or doesn’t care to, why call it a god?

        • Kodie

          For example, why call anyone in charge by their title. If god is the creator and the decider, no matter how you feel about him, he’s god. Just like dad is dad. If your dad feeds and clothes you and beats you, he’s still your dad until you move out and disown him.

        • Greg G.

          But people who call themselves your friend, are not your friend unless you decide they are your friend. I could say that I am Kate Upton’s boyfriend but she would consider me an intruder if I hung out at her place.

        • Kodie

          Mutual relationships are like that while subordinate relationships are not like that. I am saying for instance if there is a god, you could be mad at god, but he’s still god. I don’t get the “why call it god?” question, because it wouldn’t be up to you.

        • Greg G.

          There is no reason to believe that a god that is all good could not allow evil for the sake of some greater good.

          This is true if said god, or any ordinary human being, is not omnipotent. If it can achieve the exact same greater good without the evil, then that greater good is even greater and the evil is irrelevant and unnecessary. If it cannot achieve the greater good without the evil, it is not omnipotent.

          I certainly would be leery of spending eternity with an omnipotence who allows suffering.

        • Ann Kah

          “I certainly would be leery of spending eternity with an omnipotence who allows suffering.”

          Perfect! Perhaps their “god” is simply the embodiment of “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

    • This was written quite independently of Stephen Fry, but thanks for what was perhaps a compliment.

      I agree: little ol’ me can’t say for certain that God doesn’t exist. But that’s OK because the burden of proof wasn’t mine anyway. The job of fallible people like you and me is to follow the evidence. And the evidence points to no God, both in this case of design and in other areas.

      • Michael C.

        And who here said that you should believe in god because the argument from evil (that the character in your story is endorsing) is invalid?

        • Pofarmer

          Actually, the argument from evil has changed some pretty high profile minds. If God is omniscient and omnibenevolent, then evil is both undesirable and unnecessary. So, either he isn’t those things, or he’s not God.

    • Philmonomer

      his is an argument from internal inconsistency so we are assuming (for
      the sake of argument) that god exists, he is omniscient and bad things
      happen. I get the anger but logically this argument makes no sense.

      I don’t think anyone (or at least Bob) is arguing the logic. Rather, the question is, does the “design” (or lack thereof) we see around us make more sense in a world made by an intelligent designer, or in a world where the “design” (or lack thereof) is the process of natural forces?

      The argument is that the world we see is more consistent with natural forces–then, there is no explanation for “evil”/suffering necessary. In order to explain “evil”/suffering in the intelligent designer world, you have to say “the designer has his/her own reasons we cannot understand.” That is simply an unsatisfying answer (and, frankly, strikes me as wrong).

    • Ann Kah

      You are stringing together far too many negatives. Let’s NOT assume an omniscient god (nor any other kind), for the sake of argument. You then find that everything still works in exactly the same way, but you are able to see more clearly that good things are good and bad things are bad, and you are free to take the most sensible and logical routes to try to alleviate the suffering from the bad. Congratulations, you have just become a more moral person! You see, “we have no need of that (god) hypothesis”.

  • RichardSRussell

    Let’s hear it for Jimmy Carter, our very best ex-president ever, whose foundation has practically wiped out Guinea-worm infections in Africa thru simple, cheap, widely available technology — success where generations of prayers for relief, offered in vain to a “caring, loving God”, were utter failures.

    • Amazing.

      I was thinking about an article I read some years ago about this process. IIRC, they were trying to get the people in infested areas to change their habits–get your water from here and not there, and so on. I don’t think the new requirements were especially burdensome (like a long walk for water instead of a nearby pond), but they still had locals ignoring the advice. I guess it just didn’t make sense, wasn’t how they were raised, and so on.

      The parallels with trying to get Christians to change their worldview seems to be similar.

      • TheNuszAbides

        i can’t remember ever having something in reserve to whimsically place on a custom bumpersticker/plaque/etc., but i just stumbled over Twain’s “easier to fool people than to convince them they’ve been fooled” and that might be The One…

  • Rob

    Yesterday I watched PBS/Nova production Judgment Day: Intelligent Design On Trial (creationism vs evolution) on YT. It’s nearly 2 hours, but it was well made and very interesting. It even has a delicious ‘twist’ near the end! It also has a significant section in the second half describing some evolutionary arguments – you could skip it if nec. due to time constraints. Recommended viewing. It’s Nova, after all.

    • Nice.

    • That’s one of the best documentaries out there on the subject. Come for the excellent debunks of Creationist talking points; stay for the repeated exposures of outrageous examples of willful ignorance, deliberate disingenuousness, vandalism of children’s art, and outright dishonesty from the Creationist school board.

      There is also an absolutely excellent judge’s memorandum from this trial that goes into extensive and exhaustive detail about those debunks (scientific as well as legal, regarding the Separation Clause and why ID is Creationism and why both are illegal to teach as science in American public schools) and is well supported with citations. It should be required reading for anybody who embraces established science, but it’s got its emotionally-satisfying aspects as well. The judge’s shock and anger that these deluded zealots lied to him like they did, as often as they did, just drips through the pages. (The transcript of one of those incidents is pretty funny too. I seriously don’t know how that guy managed to avoid a perjury charge. Judge was feeling generous.)

  • Pofarmer

    Just something I have been thinking about. And people wonder how religions have lasted for so many generations if they aren’t true? Here’s your answer. Add in to the mix that heretics and apostates were often killed, and you pretty quickly get a self reinforcing dynamic going on. There is a book I’m reading called ” the soul fallacy.” At the beginning he talks about an experiment with Gorillas. 4 Gorillas are in a cage. Food is placed in a high platform with a ladder. All four Gorillas are sprayed with Ice water if any one Gorilla gets close to the food on the platform. Pretty quickly, the Gorillas prevent one another from climbing without the ice water, or won’t even try. One Gorilla is replaced with a new Gorilla. The remaining 3 originals keep the newcomer from climbing the ladder, even though there is no spray. This is repeated until all 4 gorillas have been replaced, they will keep one another or a newcomer from climbing the ladder, even though none of them have experienced the spray. So belief and conditioning gets passed on even without the relevant experience. I think this is relevant to religion on several fronts.

    • adam

      They enculturated their delusions long ago and punished those who didnt believe in their delusion with everything from inability to find good work to quartering in the town square

      • Kodie

        So we’ve figured out what “strong and intelligent” beliefs are – nobody forced them with violence if they didn’t believe, not that they are aware of.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          B-b-b-but you’re hurting their little fee-fees by giving them cognitive dissonance!!!!! 😉

  • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

    Mark Twain wrote about something similar in Letters from the Earth…in that time, it was hookworm that humanity had eradicated after no god did anything about it for millenia

    • I hadn’t heard about that–interesting.

      • Pofarmer

        A well read individual like yourself hasn’t partaken of Letters from Earth? The horrors.

  • Wick Samuel

    “Reason starts with the facts and follows them where they lead.”

    Completely agree.

    1) Many Christians make the mistake of looking at macro forms (fish, birds, land creatures) in nature and coming to the conclusion that that particular thing must have “poofed” into existence, materialized out of thin air in their current forms. This is actually supported by the fossil record (punctuated equilibrium), but is seemingly refuted by the evidence of common genetic heritage.

    2) Atheists make the mistake of looking at macro forms (fish, birds, land creatures) and assume that somehow those must have been the result of random mutations surviving in the gene pool due to natural selection from lesser complex life forms. This is supported by evidence of common genetic heritage, but is clearly refuted by the fossil record (stasis and rapid change – punctuated equilibrium)

    There is a third option, the only one that is logically reasonable given the information we have.

    3) The universe was created in an extraordinarily low entropy state (finely tuned). if a video recorder was present when only fish existed on this planet, it would have recorded a combination of “natural” events producing the necessary mutations for amphibians to be fully formed in a single generation. Impossible to have occurred as a result of purely random events, it was designed to produce what it did.

    • Kodie
      • Pofarmer

        I think Wick watched Jupiter Ascending.

        • Kodie

          Why were fish created?

        • Max Doubt

          “Why were fish created?”

          So Catholics would have something to eat on Fridays during Lent?

        • Kodie

          Fish were created because 3/4 of the earth is ocean, what the fuck else lives in the ocean?

    • Evolution is the scientific consensus. I’m a layman; therefore, I’m stuck with the scientific consensus. When it changes, I’m there.

      No, the fossil record doesn’t refute evolution. But when the scientific community decides that it does, I’ll happily go along for the ride.

      We see no evidence of design in life on earth. You might want to read my argument that DNA alone defeats the Design Hypothesis.

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2013/01/argument-from-design-busted/

      • Wick Samuel

        No, the fossil record doesn’t refute evolution.

        The fossil record show stasis, with fully formed species suddenly appearing the in fossil record (see Gould/Eldredge), that’s just a fact.

        ===================

        We see no evidence of design in life on earth. You might want to read my argument that DNA alone defeats the Design Hypothesis.

        Common genetic heritage yes, but see #2 above, you are making that mistake. The fossil record has completely refuted the notion that birds, land dwelling animals, humans could have occurred by gradualism.
        right? Impossible to argue otherwise.

        what you are arguing is that DNA alone defeats the notion that the first flock of birds just poofed into existence, but clearly it does not refute the necessity of a designer (see #3).

        • The fossil record show stasis, with fully formed species suddenly appearing the in fossil record (see Gould/Eldredge), that’s just a fact.

          The fossil record shows rapid change. That’s just a fact.

          Are you saying that Gould rejected evolution? If not, why imagine that he’s a witness for your side?

          see #2 above

          I see that evolution is the scientific consensus.

          The fossil record has completely refuted the notion that birds, land dwelling animals, humans could have occurred by gradualism.

          Says who? No one cares about your analysis. They only care about the scientific consensus.

          clearly it does not refute the necessity of a designer (see #3).

          Respond to the argument. It’s all clearly laid out in the post.

        • Wick Samuel

          “Are you saying that Gould rejected evolution”

          you should do some investigation into punctuated equilbrium. Gould demonstrated that the fossil record doesnt support gradualism. That says nothing one way or the other about common genetic lineage, he proposed allopatric speciation as a model to accomplish that.

          ===================

          Says who? No one cares about your analysis

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

          ===================
          again, you are failing to understand the point. The fossil record shows stasis and rapid change. A common genetic heritage (common descent) was not accomplished by gradualism as Darwin proposed, that theory is now dead.
          The question then is why species show up fully formed in the fossil record.

        • Are you saying that Gould rejected evolution? Cuz I’m pretty sure that he didn’t.

          A common genetic heritage (common descent) was not accomplished by gradualism as Darwin proposed, that theory is now dead.

          Wow. Even Michael Behe, biologist darling of the Creationists, accepts common descent.

          In the first place, no one cares what Darwin said. In the second place, evolution is the consensus view.

          But you amuse us as you try to assure us that evolution is bullshit. Continue.

        • MNb

          No, it’s an argument I’ve met before, one that shows once again what a filthy bunch of liars creationists are. What Wicked Samuel says is that stasis and punctuated equilibrium refute Evolution Theory, hence god, no matter what Gould and Eldredge say themselves.
          From this subthread I conclude that Wicked Samuel is a worse liar than the bigot fundies who have come and are gone. He doesn’t want to understand what Gould and Eldredge actuall said, no matter how often we explain it to them and is completely comfortable with lying about them.
          You apparently already have noticed just above, in your reaction to curtcameron.

        • Perhaps my error was in gently suggesting to Wick the Wise that we should look at what his own experts thought about the issue. But no, he wants to use them as puppets and ignore that they actually reject his position.

          It’s always a puzzle whether someone is a deliberate liar or (what I’d prefer to imagine) is that they’re just suffering from a brain fart and haven’t really thought it through. Of course, the problem with that more generous hypothesis is that the expected, “Whoa–what was I thinking? OK, you’re right” never comes.

        • MNb

          Still I’d like you to maintain that positive attitude. It makes your blog a better one.

        • curtcameron

          Wick, you misunderstand the state of the science. Gould did NOT demonstrate that the fossil record doesn’t support gradualism. He and Eldredge simply proposed that as a rule, evolution happens relatively quickly, and then settles down with little change for a while. That relatively quick change is still gradualism, it’s just not gradualism at a constant, slow rate, it’s gradualism of varying speeds. No one, not even Darwin, has ever claimed that gradualism needs to happen at a constant rate.

          The debate between the Dawkins camp and the Gould camp is only about how bursty evolution typically is. It’s a very minor disagreement from a big-picture POV, and both views are entirely consistent with neo-Darwinian evolution.

        • Wick doesn’t want to confront the fact that Dawkins and Gould both accept evolution and that his argument is therefore bullshit.

        • TheNuszAbides

          because the fossil record is nowhere near complete?

    • Dys

      Impossible to have occurred as a result of purely random events

      Intelligent Design arguments abuse the hell out probability. You’ve no basis for declaring something impossible, only improbable. And since the ID crowd can never come up with their own probabilities, they’ve nothing to compare against. Their arguments rely solely on the religiosity and gullibility of believers.

      • Wick Samuel

        I disagree, there is a point at which the improbable becomes impossible for all intents and purposes, case in point:

        Person A: “Hey look, a watch, someone must have dropped it, lets turn it in to lost and found”

        Person B: “What? Don’t be absurd, that watch is the result of a spontaneous assembly of the necessary particles in the air and land. Give it to me, I need a new watch”

        Person A: “??? How do you figure?”

        Person B: “Idiot! Ok, I’ll explain it to you. You do realize that all of the necessary elements for that watch are present all around us, right?”

        Person A: “um, yes…”

        Person B: “And, you do realize that particles can and do form into different elements all the time, right?

        Person A: “um.. yes…”

        Person B: “So, there you go, it just spontaneously happened. We know it CAN happen, and it’s right there, so we know it DID happen. Voila!”

        Person A: “wow”

        • Dys

          But you’d have to demonstrate it’s impossible. You’d also have to provide some method of creating a probability for any god doing anything, ever. But that can’t happen, which is why ID proponents never provide competing probabilities for their own ideas. Because they’re starting from the a priori assumption that the probability of their God existing is 1. And if they state that honestly, they’ve officially given the game away and can’t pretend their scientific any more.

          And really, the watchmaker analogy has been eviscerated quite adequately numerous times. It does demonstrate the backwards logic of the ID community though. We can conclude the watch was designed because we can contrast it with what we know occurs naturally. The ID proponent turns around and tries to state that everything was designed because he knows the watch was.

          Honestly, for someone that just tried to chastise me for a bad comparison, bringing up the beloved favourite example of creationists seems bizarre.

        • Wick Samuel

          We can conclude the watch was designed because we can contrast it with what we know occurs naturally.

          agreed, if you find evidence of design, a designer is demonstrated to exist.

          Of course one doesn’t then get to say “well, the rock doesn’t adhere to your definition of design, so the designer DOESN’T exist even though I agree the watch was designed”, which is what you are trying to do..

        • Dys

          “well, the rock doesn’t adhere to your definition of design, so the designer DOESN’T exist even though I agree the watch was designed”, which is what you are trying to do..

          Missing the point entirely. We determine that the watch was designed by contrasting it with nature. What the ID proponent does is insist that everything, including nature, was designed, under the false pretense that complexity implies design. This is one of the mistakes the watchmaker analogy sets up – it falsely assumes that complexity requires design.

          If everything is designed, there is no way whatsoever to determine what isn’t designed. None. You’ve set up an unfalsifiable position, which is the modus operandi of religion in general. And we all know who’s behind the pseudo-science of ID, so it’s hardly a surprise.

          The watchmaker analogy, much like Hoyle’s fallacy, are good examples of bad analogies. Now, pointing out that the arguments made for god don’t work and exposing the flaws in them doesn’t establish that there isn’t some god out there. But the onus is on the believer to provide evidence for their claims, not the other way around.

        • Wick Samuel

          in one sense you are claiming that a person can acknowledge evidence of design in our universe, acknowledge a cosmic designer, yet deny that the cosmic designer built the entire universe?
          That makes no sense at all.

          ==============================

          Missing the point entirely. We determine that the watch was designed by contrasting it with nature. What the ID proponent does is insist that everything, including nature, was designed, under the false pretense that complexity implies design. This is one of the mistakes the watchmaker analogy sets up – it falsely assumes that complexity requires design.

          summarized as:
          1. We determine that the watch was designed by contrasting it with nature.
          2. Complexity doesn’t imply design
          3. Therefor the watch wasn’t designed

          your statement is incoherent (lacking internal consistency)

        • Dys

          Are you tired of intentionally misrepresenting my position yet? It’s becoming incredibly tedious correcting your many errors.

          in one sense you are claiming that a person can acknowledge evidence of design in our universe

          In the sense that someone can determine a watch is designed by contrasting it with nature, yes.

          acknowledge a cosmic designer, yet deny that the cosmic designer built the entire universe?

          I’ve no idea whatsoever how you got this. The reason it makes no sense is because I said nothing like it whatsoever. I pointed out that if you start from the assumption that everything is designed, you set up an unfalsifiable position. There’s literally no way for something to not be designed.

          summarized as:…your statement is incoherent (lacking internal consistency)

          Because your summarization is incredibly flawed. Complexity does not imply design. That doesn’t mean complex things aren’t designed, but it also means complex things can not automatically be labelled as designed either.

        • In fact, the Rube Goldberg complexity that we see in a cell is precisely not what Design looks like. Simple and elegant suggest a designer, not complex and chaotic.

        • Kodie

          Guess where watches come from? Guess. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_watches

          Your assumption that we have evidence of design other than any human invention is pulled out of your ass.

        • You spot a watch on the ground and you decide that it’s dramatically different from its surroundings? That it must be designed?

          But if the designed watch looks different from its natural surroundings, then apparently nature is not designed.

      • $38787391

        “Intelligent Design arguments abuse the hell out probability. You’ve no basis for declaring something impossible, only improbable.”

        There is absolutely a basis.

        The basis hinges on the fact that the domain of abiogenesis, for example, is so frail and offers no sound and satisfactory explanation for how such complex systems such as DNA replication and protein synthesis arose.

        There is no concrete evidence, and no ability to explain.

        Complex systems require complex processes to form. And yet, all the naturalist has to explain away how such systems “arose” are a limited set of naturalistic mechanisms that utterly collapse under the weight of what they are attempting to explain. The story of biodiversity is by far the most telling example of this. One does not have to look further than the human brain to understand just how non-existent this evolution narrative of bacteria to man truly is.

        When we successfully explain a phenomenon, “aha! no design” (not that this is true, however). We we cannot explain a phenomenon, we say “oh look a gap in knowledge, you can’t say it is design!”.

        And when something is astronomically improbable, you are not allowed to say it is “impossible”. As if proteins just “decided” to link themselves together in just the right order, and then “decided” to fold themselves with fine-tuned precision into jus the right 3-dimensional shape. And as if a sole protein forming in a natural environment even means anything to begin with.

        • Kodie

          Argument from incredulity.

        • $38787391

          More like argument from reality

          These things do not happen in a natural environment, ever. No evidence supporting such processes exist, whatsoever. And we are barely able replicate things on a minute scale in controlled experiments conducted in labs with the directed manipulations of learned scientists.

          The incredulity argument is both a cop-out and a red herring, the truth of the matter can be easily seen provided you have regard for simple and honest logic, no “religion” required at all

        • Kodie

          No, seriously, your whole long-winded argument is “this never happens, I don’t believe it, I didn’t read it anywhere, so it never happens.” Show your work, dummy.

          If you want to make a credible, logical, informative argument, you have to make an effort. You seem to just want to be taken seriously as if you’ve said anything.

        • $38787391

          In case you missed what I said, I was using protein synthesis as an example.

          Proteins do not spontaneously form and fold in natural environments. And that is not even mentioning all that is required for the formation of a single cell and all the systems that come with it. What work is there to show?

          It doesn’t happen because that’s what is clear from what we know and observe, this has nothing to do with “believing” or “reading it anywhere”. The evidence speaks for itself. A flask full of amino acids and synthetic proteins produced in labs proves diddly squat.

          The naturalist’s version of reality is about as illogical as they come. They cannot concede on this point, and it’s only obvious they are to claim that “design” is fiction, they cannot deal with what the reality of design implies. Sure, things are not really “designed”, they just give the “appearance” of being designed, but they are not really “designed”.

          Come on now

        • Kodie

          I read what you wrote, you wrote that scientists have yet to recreate conditions in which life will occur from non-life, and jumped to a conclusion that it’s impossible. Therefore, impossibly, magic sky genie cast life on non-life.

          Never happened either!

        • $38787391

          Nope.

          This has nothing to do with scientists recreating anything, and everything to do with how this just doesn’t happen in nature, which is my point. Life does not come from non-life, biogenesis is as far as the evidence shows us. Cells do not spontaneously form themselves in nature, DNA does not code itself. This does not happen in nature, we do not observe this happening in nature, so stop pretending as if “science” can somehow make non-reality a reality.

          Magic sky genie? Now whoever said anything about a magic sky genie?

          Let me know if and when you are ready to let go of these misconceptions and misnomers

        • MNb

          “Life does not come from non-life”
          In the right conditions it does. Scientists are looking for those right conditions and then will compare with the conditions on Earth more than 3 billion of years ago. You just reject the scientific method. Well, all IDiots do.

          “Now whoever said anything about a magic sky genie?”
          You, when you postulated an Intelligent Designer without telling which means He/She/It used and which procedures He/She/It followed. Just “goddiddid”, which is totally meaningless.

        • $38787391

          “You just reject the scientific method.”

          Considering how you just want to lie and falsely accuse me of “this” and “that”, I won’t waste a time responding to anything you have to say. I am not interested in wrangling with people committed to being dishonest and rude.

          My apologies

        • Kodie

          When you say such things as “There is no observational or evidentiary support whatsoever demonstrating that such processes exist, more so in a natural environment untouched and uninfluenced by humans. My conclusion is based on reality, not incredulity,” it’s pretty easy to notice that you have rejected the scientific method by ignoring that it exists, and constraining it to your flawed idea of what conditions life could arise in without a creator or designer, much less, you reject the scientific method when we ask for observational or evidentiary support of said creator or designer. You do not make conclusions from reality, so that’s dishonest, and you’re rude, you’ll be treated rudely. When you claim you’ve made your case when you obviously forgot to, we’re going to call you on it. It’s not a cop-out or red herring. You have demonstrated nothing but incredulity, and until you demonstrate something else, that’s all you have.

          Besides, I have a hunch we already know who you are and how little you know.

        • $38787391

          “Where is your evidentiary support for “welp, speciation happened too rapidly for me to believe (incredulity)”

          Again, this is not incredulity. I was not talking about speciation, I was talking about the reality of biogenesis and the non-reality of abiogenesis.

          “and I ignore the evidence because I stopped looking when I found the answer”

          No evidence is being ignored, mainly because the issue in this context is the complete lack of it in regards to the naturalist’s presupposition that miracles “just happen” in nature, we just haven’t figured out why and how yet.

          Hint: Miracles “don’t” happen in nature. Natural processes that violate the known natural order are not natural processes, they are processes that DO NOT EXIST. You are just too scared to follow the trail of logic to where it leads.

          “and constraining it to your flawed idea of what conditions life could arise in without a creator or designer”

          Care to demonstrate where I have “rejected” the scientific method? I have done no such thing. I am simply stating the fact that abiogensis is not a phenomenon
          that exists in the natural world, period. There is no evidence for such processes to be found, because these processes do not exist. How ironic that you are accusing me of having some sort of bias, when this is clearly not the case. There is no need to presuppose anything beforehand, this is the reality of the situation. And in regards to my previous example, proteins do not spontaneously form and fold on their own in a natural and untampered environment. What flipping incredulity is required to state this? NONE. Because it just doesn’t happen

          “I personally and emotionally prefer, so I shall assume it was designed by an immaterial imaginary goblin in space, because I already believe that immaterial imaginary goblin in space is real, and I don’t have to explain how I came to that conclusion.

          I.e.
          you’re too ignorant to make such broad claims of anything.”

          Absolutely rich. Not only are you once again abusing a clear misnomer, but here you are being “incredulous” on something you cannot conceive of in “your” mind, but of course you need to dress it up with as much ignorant language as possible to give off a certain impression of things.

          No offense, but this is a miserable attempt at describing the situation. Just some made up story on how you “perceive” things are.

          “It’s not my responsibility to teach you how to read for comprehension.”

          That was rhetorical. I understood what you were “attempting” to say, was just a pointless remark on your part that had no merit.

          “So wait, I thought you believed a designer made life from non-life, but now you are saying life has always existed, still from incredulity, because you do not know how else?”

          There you go again abusing that word “incredulity”. There is no incredulity, now quit whining about “incredulity”. Scientifically speaking, non-life does not produce
          life. That’s what I said, and that’s what I meant. I am not saying life “always existed”, you are confused.

          As for rudeness, I dare you to point out where I have been rude, when all YOU seem capable of doing is disgracefully misrepresenting my position while tossing
          these little insulting quips here and there. I see this as just a pathetic little attempt at justifying YOUR rudeness, if anything.

          Nice try, really

        • Kodie

          Really, you were not ignoring evidence? You said there was none. At all. Whatsoever. And you don’t have evidence, your evidence is I didn’t see any for yours so I’ll believe this fantastical horseshit! You have problems with your terms of logic – you don’t have any. You have lots of wind, no logic, no arguments.

        • $38787391

          Hot air.

          You accuse me ignoring evidence, what evidence did I ignore?

          When I said there was “no evidence”, I was stating the non-existent status of abiogenesis and how it does not occur in nature. There is no ignoring of any evidence, simply because there is no evidence to begin with in this respect.

          What are you rambling on about, seriously?

        • adam
        • MNb

          “I won’t waste a time responding to anything you have to say”
          That’s why you answered me just above, about an hour later? Funny guy. Not that I will lose even a second of sleep over it.
          You still reject the scientific method of course as Kodie explains just underneath.

        • $38787391

          “In the right conditions it does.”

          Wait. This is good.

          According to you, life comes from non-life. We just need to figure out the right conditions and how it happened.

          But wait, if we do not know what those conditions are, or how it happened, how do we know that life can come from non-life?

          Oops.

          Again, as far as reality is concerned, biogenesis is the natural order of things.

          You do well to accept reality for what it is.

        • Kodie

          So wait, I thought you believed a designer made life from non-life, but now you are saying life has always existed, still from incredulity, because you do not know how else? It’s obvious you’re Wick Samuel, et al. How little you know about anything has been established.

        • MNb

          “According to you, life comes from non-life. We just need to figure out the right conditions and how it happened.”
          Go figure, you’re not an IDiot after all. Spot on. Yup, I must gladly admit that IDiots are not capable of summarizing the naturalistic worldview on the origin of life as well as you did exactly here. Or are you an exception that confirms the rule perhaps?

          “if we do not know what those conditions are, or how it happened, how do we know that life can come from non-life?”
          Ah, I’m reassured – you’re still an IDiot after all.
          We actually know quite a few things about the conditions on Earth a few billions of years ago.

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1664683/

          And we have some clues how it happened as well.

          http://www.livescience.com/1804-greatest-mysteries-life-arise-earth.html

          So what exactly is the problem? Ah, as so often, lack of empirical data.
          Oops indeed – but you’re the one who got oopsed.

        • 90Lew90

          Life does not come from non-life? So what you’re saying is you don’t exist?

        • Kodie

          So your argument is tu quoque? If life already exists, life is going to take the path of least resistance and arise from life. You still have incredulity. You haven’t been studying up on your subject, you’ve just been lifting weights.. like the weight of your thick skull.

          Your impossible designer has yet to be demonstrated in nature, but you believe that bullshit anyway.

        • $38787391

          I see you tried to make some sort of point, no idea what it is or how it applies.

        • Kodie

          It’s not my responsibility to teach you how to read for comprehension.

        • So abiogenesis hasn’t been figured out, so therefore we know that it never will be?

          Your argument is:
          Option 1: abiogenesis
          Option 2: life came from God
          Option 1 is unlikely; therefore option 2!

          Sorry, it doesn’t work that way.

          And why should anyone bother arguing this with you? It’s not like it means anything to you. Your faith doesn’t have the impossibility of abiogenesis as one of its foundation stones.

        • MNb

          Intelligent Designer of the Gaps again. Another five seconds of googling:

          http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2009/07/06/spontaneous-assembly/

          “In case you missed what I said, I was using protein synthesis as an example.”
          Yeah, and 2000 years ago you would have used thunder and lighting to show that Zeus/Thor exists.

        • You’ve really got to make clear whether you’re talking about evolution or abiogenesis. That your argument weaves drunkenly between the two makes us think that you don’t know what you’re talking about. Imagine that.

        • Dys

          The incredulity argument is both a cop-out and a red herring

          Agreed. So stop using it.

          the truth of the matter can be easily seen provided you have regard for simple and honest logic, no “religion” required at all

          Except the entire modern intelligent design movement is most definitely motivated by religion. As for the truth of the matter, I’m sure it’s incredibly easy to see once you just assume there’s a deity out there to design everything…of course, scientifically there’s no reason to suppose one exists, but I’m sure that’s just a minor wrinkle.

          ID is pseudoscience for a reason – it’s a mere genericized version of creationism.

        • “Simple and honest logic” is no reliable guide at the frontier of science. If it were, you could be a scientist.

          Imagine that.

        • 90Lew90

          It seems that what you’re calling “simple and honest logic” would more commonly be called “common sense”, which is one of the first things you’re taught not to rely on in training in any science, ‘hard’ or ‘soft’. As Voltaire said: “Common sense is not so common.”

        • Dys

          There is no concrete evidence, and no ability to explain.

          You’re describing Intelligent Design quite accurately.

          One does not have to look further than the human brain to understand just how non-existent this evolution narrative of bacteria to man truly is.

          So your basis is nothing more than a gap argument based on incredulity.

          Complex systems require complex processes to form

          This is simply not true. It’s just a rephrasing of the false ID notion that complexity itself indicates design. It’s their manufactured self-fulfilling prophecy.

          Intelligent Design has no probability of its own, and no one has ever demonstrated that ID is possible on the scale its proponents are asserting. Rail against it all you like, ID has no legs to stand on. Beyond the religious narrative it’s trying to push, of course.

        • $38787391

          “So your basis is nothing more than a gap argument based on incredulity.”

          Not at all. We know the human-chimpanzee last common ancestor lived around 5 million years ago or so, and in order to have produced the human brain it would have required a mutation rate totaling thousands of mutations across thousands of genes, which is apparently a conservative estimate, equaling a complete brain overhaul. Yet mutations in brain-related genes almost always produce some form of debilitating disease, disorder, or death. Not only does the required mutation rate exceed what can be realistically assigned in this scenario, but “evolution” has zero means to have produce this inexplicable brain overhaul, considering how the human brain is an organ that abhors mutations. If you care for some references, I can surely provide, knowing how that is often an excuse used to dismiss known facts.

          Evolution is a myth built around the supposed idea that mutations were some sort of driving engine that evolved bacteria-sized organisms into present day biodviersity, coupled with the process of natural selection, of course, which is the only “real” part of evolution.

          “This is simply not true.”

          As far as humans are concerned, that is absolutely true, serving as an example as to just how accurate this statement is. Do not tell me that more complex technology “does not” require more complex design and manufacturing processes. Yet for some reason, when it comes to biological systems, which vastly dwarf anything man-made, we are to suspend all logic and reason.

          You want to label it a self-fulfilling prophecy, it is nothing of the sort.

          “Beyond the religious narrative it’s trying to push, of course.”

          Not surprising that you completely skew and misrepresent what ID is, though I won’t hold it against you, no need to. It is common for critics to misunderstand that which they criticize.

          “Agreed. So stop using it.”

          I am not. There is no observational or evidentiary support whatsoever demonstrating that such processes exist, more so in a natural environment untouched and uninfluenced by humans. My conclusion is based on reality, not incredulity.

          As if the purpose of science is to find “evidence” for processes that violate the natural order of things.

          “Except the entire modern intelligent design movement is most definitely motivated by religion.”

          Blatant misrepresentation, though not surprising. Do not pretend as if evolution has some sort advantage over ID, however.

          “…scientifically there’s no reason to suppose one exists”

          Correction. You “presume” there’s no reason, based on your personal disposition on the matter.

          “ID is pseudoscience for a reason”

          Of course ID is not science in the traditional sense, that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful or can describe certain things with a level of accuracy.

          In the same way that evolution is clearly pseudo-science, but has much utility nonetheless.

          It’s all a question of what story the evidence is telling, and whether or not you are being honest with that evidence.

        • Kodie

          I am not. There is no observational or evidentiary support whatsoever demonstrating that such processes exist, more so in a natural environment untouched and uninfluenced by humans. My conclusion is based on reality, not incredulity.

          “There is no….. whatsoever“???? Bury your head in ID apologetics that tell you what’s true is impossible, and you will have the confidence of not just 1 but 10 illiterate dummies. Where is your evidentiary support for “welp, speciation happened too rapidly for me to believe (incredulity), and I ignore the evidence because I stopped looking when I found the answer I personally and emotionally prefer, so I shall assume it was designed by an immaterial imaginary goblin in space, because I already believe that immaterial imaginary goblin in space is real, and I don’t have to explain how I came to that conclusion.”

          I.e. you’re too ignorant to make such broad claims of anything.

        • Dys

          He’s just going through the same tired and refuted creationist playbook they all do. He’s just trying to dress it up a bit more, but it’s the same bunk. All in service of falsely equating his religious superstitions with established science.

        • Do not pretend as if evolution has some sort advantage over ID

          You mean like being the scientific consensus?

          Yeah, I’m afraid evolution has already won.

        • Dys

          And don’t forget ID not actually being science.

        • Dys

          ID isn’t science in any meaningful sense. It doesn’t explain anything – it’s merely an attempt to look at something and say “looks complex, can’t see how it happened naturally, must be God”. It’s a useless religious speculation.

          Blatant misrepresentation, though not surprising. Do not pretend as if evolution has some sort advantage over ID, however.

          It’s not a misrepresentation at all. It’s not a coincidence that the modern ID movement emerged shortly after creationism was properly ejected out of the classroom. Nor is it a coincidence that Of Pandas and People was a creationist text book retooled as an intelligent design one. And there’s the infamous wedge document. To deny that ID is religiously motivated is simple intellectual dishonesty.
          Evolution does have a significant advantage over ID – it can provide meaningful explanations, isn’t religiously motivated…oh, and it’s a scientific theory. ID is none of those things.

          You “presume” there’s no reason, based on your personal disposition on the matter.

          Correction: Science works off methodological naturalism, it doesn’t need or require superstitious or supernatural “explanations” that are, in truth, merely covers for ignorance.

          In the same way that evolution is clearly pseudo-science, but has much utility nonetheless

          Except it’s not. But creationists aren’t exactly known for being intellectually honest when it comes to science they don’t like.

        • Dys
        • MNb

          “We know the human-chimpanzee last common ancestor lived around 5 million years ago.”
          “Evolution is a myth”

          Nice contradiction. That’s exactly what Evolution Theory says – that Homo Sapiens and chimps have a common ancestor.

        • $38787391

          No contradiction.

          Genetic ancestry can actually be observed and studied, i.e. genetic relationship shared by biological organisms. Evolution is a biological “process” purported to have produced modern day biodiversity.

          All you have done is equivocated the two.

          And way to nitpick a minor point, considering how I gave obvious proof on how the human brain is aboslutely no product of evolution, and by extension, neither is anything else.

          “The evolution of the human brain for instance is no problem at all”

          Oh, the human brain is a monumental problem, not that an evolutionist is about to be honest about it, though. So naturally, it “isn’t” a problem.

          “Yup – and as soon as you formulate this in a way that actually can be tested IDiocy fails immediately.”

          Yup, coz DNA just coded itself. You evidently have a warped view on what “idiocy” means.

          “In the right conditions it does. Scientists are looking for those right conditions and then will compare with the conditions on Earth more than 3 billion of years ago. You just reject the scientific method. Well, all IDiots do.”

          I do not reject the scientific method, and you are not positing any sort of science, but a wild and unfounded speculation based on nothing but a bare belief.

          You may have fooled yourself, but not me.

        • adam

          ” considering how I gave obvious proof on how the human brain is aboslutely no product of evolution, and by extension, neither is anything else.”

          No obvious proof was given, the human brain is not that different from other primate brains, in fact it is a primate brain.

        • $38787391

          First of all, that quote from Tim Minchin is blatantly bias and flatly incorrect.

          Secondly, to address your bogus claim that there is “no difference”, I wonder at which point in your world “no difference” becomes “monumental differences”

          http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v422/n6934/fig_tab/nature01495_F2.html

        • adam

          Tim is right on target and there are more to primates than chimpanzees.

          YOUR bias is showing

        • $38787391

          Chimpanzee are up there among the living primates that possess brains comparative to that of the human brain, and as per the link I posted, it is crystal clear the drastic difference between the two. Don’t shove the topic off to some irrelevant claim that “there is more than chimpanzees”.

          Hate to break it to you, but bias is bias, and you fail to adequately demonstrate where my bias is showing, while your bias remains blaring.

          Tim Minchin, with all due respect, has no idea what he is talking about. As far as the natural world is concerned, faith and observation are not in conflict, nor are they required to be in conflict.

          Thirdly, God did not make people so that He can torture and burn them in hell forever. If this is what you believe, then you are in serious need of correcting your understanding of things. It is easy to hate something when you allow yours thinking to be influences by such lies and misconceptions.

        • Kodie

          Chimpanzees and humans are closely related, just look:

          http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal/v3/n10/images/ncomms2146-f3.jpg

          Oh, that explains a lot.

          Why do you spend your arguments denying everything you don’t understand (incredulity) instead of supporting things you do believe in?

        • adam

          “Thirdly, God did not make people so that He can torture and burn them in hell forever. If this is what you believe, then you are in serious need of correcting your understanding of things.”

          Then splain it to us!

        • $38787391

          “Then splain it to us!”

          Fail.

          From line 1, this thing is bogus.

          God did not create mankind with original sin.

          Yes, fantastic. Doesn’t it feel great to go to great lengths to criticize things you know nothing about?

        • Kodie

          Yes, fantastic. Doesn’t it feel great to go to great lengths to criticize things you know nothing about?

          Yeah, how do you feel?

          Instead of answering a question with the horrified reaction of someone who can’t believe anyone would question their authority, why don’t you simply answer the fucking question?

          I will help you with a guide:

          “is bogus”.
          HOW SO?

          “God did not”
          THEN WHAT?

          “great lengths”
          PRETTY SHORT LENGTHS ACTUALLY.

          “you know nothing about”
          WE KNOW A LOT BUT YOU CAN TELL US WHY WE”RE WRONG instead of taking the easy way out. HOW ABOUT THAT?

        • adam

          Of course YOUR god created mankind with original sin, where else could it have come from?

        • adam

          “Tim Minchin, with all due respect, has no idea what he is talking about.
          As far as the natural world is concerned, faith and observation are not
          in conflict, nor are they required to be in conflict.”

          Of course faith and science are in conflict

          Faith is wishful thinking…
          Science is observational

        • $38787391

          Am I surprised you have no idea what faith is and what purpose it serves?

          To be honest, no.

          And contrary to this brazen lie you are pushing, science and faith are not in conflict.

        • adam

          Yes, I know what faith is, wishful thinking

          And I know what purpose if serves, to fool people.

        • adam

          And yet Christianity evolved from Judaism and there are drastic differences…

        • $38787391

          adam,

          For your own good, quit parading your severe lack of understanding with these pathetic internet pictures that have zero accuracy.

          Again, another demonstrating on a critic who has virtually no understanding on that which he is attempting to criticize.

        • Kodie

          Yeah, Adam, stop making anonymous sock puppet troll feel bad with your criticisms of his indefensible beliefs!

        • adam

          Well if he would only stop acting like an IDiot…..

          Easy to notice he doesnt refute anything I’ve posted or clarified why he means…

        • adam

          First demonstrate that they have zero accuracy.

          BUT, you would have already,
          IF ONLY you could….

        • Kodie

          Secondly, to address your bogus claim that there is “no difference”, I wonder at which point in your world “no difference” becomes “monumental differences”

          That IS the argument from incredulity. You don’t understand science, you just point to it and say “crazy talk!” Whatever you’re saying is wrong with it is simply “I don’t believe it, it’s too unbelievable.” That’s your entire problem with evolution. Unless you articulate what you mean, and be specific, you’re just making arrogant denial from a position of incredulity. Your diagram is a diagram, you illustrate your ignorance with thinking a diagram is enough to destroy evolution. Maybe it’s shocking to you, but that’s because you’re not curious enough to read up and understand it.

        • Greg G.

          First of all, that quote from Tim Minchin is blatantly bias and flatly incorrect.

          Oh, has he been misquoted? The quote is correct as is.

          Faithists really want to see faith as something else but no matter how they try to spin it, their reasons never amount to more than what the quote states.

          Faithists believe most of what non-faithists believe for the very same reasons. But faithists have greater certainty of other ideas than the level of support would allow.

          Non-faithists’ acceptance of an idea or concept is proportional to the apparent strength of the evidentiary support.

          Faithists often try to compare a non-faithist’s tentative acceptance of certain ideas with their own religious faith. The difference is that tne non-faithist position can change with contrary evidence while denying contrary evidence is just an exercise for the faithist.

        • adam
        • Dys

          And way to nitpick a minor point, considering how I gave obvious proof
          on how the human brain is aboslutely no product of evolution

          But that’s not what you did. You actually just made assertions that we’re apparently supposed to accept on your say-so, when it’s fairly obvious you don’t have any actual expertise in the area.

          But I’m sure you’re way more informed on the subject than actual evolutionary biologists. /sarcasm

          You’re just another ID nut who really wants to believe god did it, but has to attack evolution because at the end of the day, ID isn’t science, and can’t support its own central idea. It just attacks actual science under the false notion that evidence against evolutionary theory is somehow positive evidence for the speculation of intelligent design.

          Dress up your argument from incredulity all you like, that’s still all you really have. Well that and absolutely no competing probability to offer in place of the highly questionable probabilities the ID crowd uses to attack evolution.

          wild and unfounded speculation based on nothing but a bare belief.

          And apparently you’ve fooled yourself into thinking this isn’t applicable to ID, not evolutionary theory. But I suppose you’re one of the conspiracy theorists when it comes to science you disagree with/don’t understand. Those evil scientists came up with and wrote thousands of research papers on evolutionary theory in order to drive God out of the equation, right?

          You may have fooled yourself, but not me.

          You don’t need anyone to fool you…you’re already doing a spectacular job of it all by yourself.

        • $38787391

          “Dress up your argument from incredulity all you like, that’s still all you really have.”

          Incredulity is all I have?

          Nope.

          I gave clear information debunking the idea of human brain evolution further up. And I stated several times the reality of biogenesis, and how abiogenesis clearly violates the natural order of things. Stop dodging the issue. Non-life does not produce life. This does not happen, period. And it is no coincidence that abiogenesis is in the state it is in, as if science can be used to uncover and define processes that defy nature and how things work in nature. You adamantly refuse to accept this apparently, or else you wouldn’t be whining about “incredulity”.

          This pathetic tactic of crying “incredulity” is illegitimate, as this has nothing to do with incredulity whatsoever.

          “It just attacks actual science under the false notion that evidence against evolutionary theory is somehow positive evidence for the speculation of intelligent design.”

          Yes, to YOU it’s a false notion.

          Once the naturalist’s dream world is put in the coffin, where it belongs, reality becomes that much more apparent and can come to the forefront. Nature does not produce miracles, and if you “assume” it does (while speculating it’s just a matter of finding the “right conditions”), then you no longer have naturalism or science for that matter. You just refuse to follow the trail of evidence to where it leads, naturally. You would rather just call it a “false notion”. Though it is absolutely not a “false notion”.

        • Kodie

          And I stated several times the reality of biogenesis,

          Your baseless assertion? Yes, you keep trotting this “reality” out but you do not back it up. Your arguments against abiogenesis is “it never happens!!!!!” like that demonstrates that you know what you are talking about.

          Why don’t you start supporting your assertions instead of making yourself look like such a dummy denying evolution because you categorically refuse to understand it?

        • Dys

          He can’t do that…ID subsists on attacking evolution, not in supporting its own contentions.

        • Kodie

          But if it’s something, there must be something to it that he knows and can articulate.

        • Dys

          Let me know when you have a probability for “goddidit” that doesn’t rely on your religious presuppositions.

          Non-life does not produce life. This does not happen, period.

          Yeah, but unfortunately for your position there most definitely is evidence supporting abiogenesis. It’s not conclusive, of course, but it’s supported. And abiogenesis is a hypothesis, not a theory. Creationists like confusing it with evolutionary theory because it’s an easier target. But you know what we don’t have a single shred of solitary evidence for? Your position of goddidit.

          You haven’t debunked anything, intelligent design isn’t science, evolution is, and I’m going to go with the scientific consensus, who know multitudes more than you can pretend to on the subject.

          You just refuse to follow the trail of evidence to where it leads, naturally.

          No, I accept evolutionary theory. You prefer the magic explanation.

          ID is just a dressed up way to try and get “goddidit” classified as a scientific explanation. I know creationists have tried to make the issue murky and play the “don’t look over there” game when it comes to the religious dogma underlying ID, but it’s just resorting to magical explanations due to incredulity. That’s not a red herring, nor is it an illegitmate criticism. It’s the truth. You just don’t want to accept it, because it undermines the faux legitimacy ID pretends to have.

        • $38787391

          “Let me know when you have a probability for “goddidit” that doesn’t rely on your religious presuppositions.”

          That just broke the irony meter.

          Seriously, though. The evidence is crystal clear. My goodness, to think that anyone would opt to believe that mythical mutations with no ability to co-conspire went turbo mode and somehow, inexplicably, accomplished a major brain overhaul in the span of what is considered a blink of an eye geologically speaking. On top of that, this isn’t even how mutations work to begin with.

          Oh, but “I” am the one operating out of my presuppositions.

          All you have done is exchanged the phrase “goddidit” with “evolutiondidit”, and in DIRECT contradiction to the evidence.

          Thing is, evolution is bound by the natural order, God isn’t.

          Checkmate

        • adam

          “Thing is, evolution is bound by the natural order, God isn’t.”

          ONLY in the imagination, because that IS the ONLY place you can demonstrate YOUR ‘god’…

        • Kodie

          The evidence is crystal clear. My goodness, to think that anyone would
          opt to believe that
          mythical mutations with no ability to co-conspire
          went turbo mode and somehow, inexplicably, accomplished a major brain
          overhaul in the span of what is considered a blink of an eye
          geologically speaking. On top of that, this isn’t even how mutations
          work to begin with.

          Here is where you reiterate your argument from incredulity, denying things you don’t understand with no demonstration that you know what you’re talking about or how you leapt to your conclusions. Where do you get your information, what are your sources, who told you that mutations are mythical or inexplicable? Is that all you know about evolution? Who sold this to you and how much did it cost?

        • $38787391

          Kodie,

          Quit wasting my time if you are not going to look into the information I cited and isolate parts of my posts to respond to while ignoring the rest.

          When I say the human brain is no product of evolution, it is with good reason, and that comes from what the evidence itself shows.

        • Kodie

          Lol, quit wasting your time? I looked at your picture and did not see how you made your conclusion.

          Instead of being evasive and petulant, how about showing off how much more intelligent than a chimpanzee you are.

        • adam

          “how about showing off how much more intelligent than a chimpanzee you are.”

          He has been…..

        • $38787391

          Yea, as if there is “no difference” between evolution and gravity, not that I’d waste time explaining that to you

          Care to FURTHER demonstrate how desperately you need to educate yourself on things?

        • adam

          Do YOU Care to FURTHER demonstrate how desperately you need to educate yourself on things?

          theory?

        • Kodie

          The evidence is crystal clear. My goodness, to think that anyone would opt to believe that mythical mutations with no ability to co-conspire went turbo mode and somehow, inexplicably, accomplished a major brain
          overhaul in the span of what is considered a blink of an eye geologically speaking. On top of that, this isn’t even how mutations work to begin with.

          This is another restatement of the argument from incredulity. What evidence is there that you don’t distort, misunderstand, or lie about? What qualifies you to claim crystal clarity with no further elaborations? Your basic incredulity that anyone would believe it! Doesn’t make you smarter or more correct. The use of the words “mythical” and “inexplicably” with no further elaboration. Your simple unsupported denial of how mutations work.

          Where is the evidence for what you do believe? Why do you keep making unsupported claims, both against evolution, and for “whatever is left over”, which is obviously your presupposition. Keep claiming something “never happens” in nature but don’t look at god? Where did god come from, how does god arise from nature, how does he act upon species to make it look to scientists much smarter than you that evolution has occurred, mutations, speciation, and some way for life to chemically arise from non-living materials? You conveniently gloss over and stomp your foot that you are making an argument from “reality” but have demonstrated nothing so far but your disbelief in science and the scientific method. You don’t have the intellect or curiosity to confront reality. You deny it, and place your unfounded assertions in front. Why should anyone take you seriously?

        • Dys

          That just broke the irony meter.

          Then you either don’t know what the word irony means, or you mistakenly believe that the scientific theory of evolution is somehow religiously based. Or you’re once again attempting to dishonestly equate a scientific theory with religious speculation.

          The evidence is crystal clear.

          And that’s why the scientific evidence and the scientific consensus doesn’t agree with your position.

          On top of that, this isn’t even how mutations work to begin with.

          This is just a hunch, but I’m willing to bet that on the list of people who properly understand evolution, you’re nowhere on it.

          Thing is, evolution is bound by the natural order, God isn’t.

          And that’s why God is a completely and utterly useless explanatory mechanism. If it explains everything, it doesn’t really explain anything.

          All you’ve managed to do with your constant assertions over the mutations needed for the human brain is to insert god into an area where we simply don’t have a lot of information. In other words, god of the gaps.

          All you have done is exchanged the phrase “goddidit” with “evolutiondidit”, and in DIRECT contradiction to the evidence.

          Except there’s plenty of evidence supporting evolution, and none supporting goddidit.

          Checkmate

          You’re bragging about having a catch all answer to any possible problem. Replace “God” with “magic” and it’s just as meaningful. You’re doing nothing more than pretending to have an answer, when the truth of the matter is that you simply don’t know, and are incredulous that natural processes could accomplish it. So instead of admitting ignorance, you go running to a comforting superstition. The only chess you’re playing is pigeon chess, and you’re the pigeon.

        • $38787391

          “Then you either don’t know what the word irony means, or you mistakenly believe that the scientific theory of evolution is somehow religiously based. Or you’re once again attempting to dishonestly equate a scientific theory with religious speculation.”

          Wrong on all accounts.

          “And that’s why the scientific evidence and the scientific consensus doesn’t agree with your position.”

          Care to not dodge the information I have been making mention of and come to grips with the reality of the evidence?

          The human brain is clearly no product of evolution.

          “This is just a hunch, but I’m willing to bet that on the list of people who properly understand evolution, you’re nowhere on it.”

          Insertions, deletions, substitutions, take your pick.

          Mutations are biological contingencies in the genetic code that alter pre-existing genetic material, in one way or another.

          The mutations required of evolutionary theory do not exist.

          “And that’s why God is a completely and utterly useless explanatory mechanism.”

          Not saying to use God as an explanation. Simply be honest and admit what science can adequately explain within its confinements, and admit what it cannot.

          Imagine me putting you inside a telecommunication company’s server room, then putting a wrench and a hammer in your hand, then asking you to explain how the equipment within that room was built using the wrench and the hammer.

          In this case, scientists have opted to run with this pseudoscientific theory known as “evolution” (which is only partly real science) which calls upon magical (non-existent) mutations having produced the oceans of vast complex and fine tuned genomic material coding for literally every aspect of biological life. Wait, how did a bacteria-sized organism ever evolve into anything else aside from a bacteria-sized organism?

          Mutationsdidit

          Or, we can ask God’s opinnion on the matter.

          “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
          Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
          “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
          So are My ways higher than your ways
          And My thoughts than your thoughts.

          “and are incredulous that natural processes could accomplish it.”

          Apparently, you refuse to apply an iota of understanding in this respect.

          At least in regards to the human brain, we have already defined a set of natural processes, and the evidence is clear that it is impossible that the brain is a product of natural selection + random mutations.

          Care to lie about the situation or suppress the evidence altogether?

          By all means, just don’t confuse this for being “incredulity” on my part.

        • Kodie

          Nobody’s lying about this situation but you. We can’t just say “come to grips with the evidence” you never provided, and the baseless assertions and denials you keep repeating. All you’re doing is breaking wind and acting with a lot of bluster to make it look like you’re making any credible arguments or sharing evidence or information. You’re in denial of science, and you’re lying if you think you’re not.

        • $38787391

          I am not in the denial of any science. Rejecting abiogenesis and the silly myth of evolving mutants does not equate to rejecting science.

          Maybe open your mind and go learn a bit

        • Kodie

          You know, it’s the fact that you think you’ve posted any evidence to the contrary. You just deny it, that’s that, you don’t believe it, you haven’t read anything about it, you don’t understand it, you don’t understand how scientists understand it, you don’t understand how scientists do their work, etc. From the beginning, that’s all you’ve got. Denial, lying, pretending, hand-waving, baseless assertions, arrogance, disbelief, and pretty much shock that anyone would question your authority on the subject.

          CLUE: YOU HAVE NONE!

        • $38787391

          Codie,

          I will reiterate one more time, seeing how you have gone into denial mode and have evidently resorted to stone walling.

          The brain is an organ that abhors mutations, evidenced from the fact that there are no known mutations in brain-related genes that are beneficial, whereas there is an infinitely long laundry list of adverse effects of mutations in brain related genes causing all sorts of diseases and disorders, even death.

          Yet it required thousands of mutations across thousands of brain-related genes (a conservative estimate) in order to bring about the brain “over haul” needed to produce the human brain from that of our last alleged ancestor (human-chimp ancestor)

          Furthermore, the thread I posted demonstrated how given the short time frame involved within this evolutionary trajectory, the required mutation rates greatly exceed that which can be realistically assign.

          Stop running circles

        • adam

          “The brain is an organ that abhors mutations, ”

          No it isnt
          http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-has-human-brain-evolved/

        • $38787391

          adam,

          that article does not mention the word “mutation” once

          sorry, I will be retiring from answering your posts

        • adam

          Uhh that is a quote from YOU….

          You havent answered any of my posts, so no loss…

        • Kodie

          Illiterate or coward? Both?

        • $38787391

          Read the article and tell me if it mentions the word “mutation” anywhere.

          this adam guy is posting random links that do not pertain to what is even being discussed

          And me, a coward?

          Interesting, seeing how your recent posts are reeking of evasion and cowardice, where am I guilty of such, hm?

        • Kodie

          So you’re illiterate then. You didn’t find the vocabulary word you wanted so the article is irrelevant and refuse to address what it does say? You can’t read for comprehension and discern how it’s related to your assertions?

          Or you are just stalling because you couldn’t think of another way out of not addressing that article? SO YOU JUST REFUSE TO READ AND RESPOND TO IT. Coward.

          Where am I a coward? We have nothing to talk about since you’re obviously blind and ignorant to the facts when they’re not fed by your apologists to digest them for you, baby bird.

        • adam

          mutation

          noun mu·ta·tion myü-ˈtā-shən
          : a new form of something that has changed
          Merriam Webster

          That is exactly what the article is about, but then again as a LIAR, you already knew that.

        • adam

          mutation

          noun mu·ta·tion myü-ˈtā-shən
          : a new form of something that has changed
          Merriam Webster

        • Kodie

          You’re still making baseless assertions. You didn’t demonstrate how you got from what you observe to it being too impossible to believe.

          Which IS the argument from incredulity.

        • $38787391

          Kodie,

          Quit being dishonest. I cited the studies I got the information from, and mention things we already know concerning the human brain.

          This pathetic “incredulity” argument of yours went from a baseless accusation to a shameless excuse.

        • Kodie

          You cited studies? I missed them. If I saw them, I must have missed how you leapt to your magical conclusions and the impossibility of the scientific explanations. You blather on endlessly about how things are wrong but you do not demonstrate the intellectual capacity to explain how. You don’t know. If you’re tired of people throwing the argument from incredulity at you, stop making it.

        • adam

          “The brain is an organ that abhors mutations, evidenced from the fact
          that there are no known mutations in brain-related genes that are
          beneficial,”

          You truly are an IDiot

          http://evolution.about.com/od/humans/a/Evolution-Of-The-Human-Brain.htm

        • adam

          in other words:

        • $38787391

          adam,

          these posts of yours are pure stupidity, and indicate that you apparently are content to wallow in your ignorance of things

          As if not being an atheist automatically equates to not being able to think for yourself.

          Get out of here with your ignorant and bias nonsense

        • adam

          “Get out of here with your ignorant and bias nonsense”

          And I welcome you here to expose yours.

          if you really ‘cared’ you would demonstrate what my ignorance is, but you are just trolling……

        • Dys

          I am not in the denial of any science.

          Except the science you special plead out of the definition. Got it.

        • MNb

          “Rejecting abiogenesis and the silly myth of evolving mutants does not equate to rejecting science.”
          It totally does and I have shown in detail how. Maybe you should follow your own advise. But I’m sure you won’t.

        • adam

          “The human brain is clearly no product of evolution.”

          Of course it is.
          http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-has-human-brain-evolved/

        • $38787391

          “Of course it is.”

          Yep, let’s just chuck all the evidence and claim “evolution did it”.

          No, it is not.

          And another ignorant internet picture? I guess it’s too convenient for you to give up your gross misunderstanding of anything Biblical. Amiright?

        • Kodie

          Weren’t you asked to explain it? If we’re so wrong, you ought to be able to articulate something instead of protesting it. What’s wrong with you, fella? You’re in a discussion and you don’t know your subject. You just know everyone is wrong and mean and you don’t like it. Are you on a school break this week or something?

        • adam

          the bible IS gross, what is there to give up?

        • Dys

          Plenty of research papers and peer reviewed articles supporting evolution. No scientific articles providing any evidence that god ever did anything.

          Your position doesn’t hold up. It’s literally nothing more than “Goddidit because I’ve decided evolution can’t”.

        • MNb

          Psssst …. Adam just linked to evidence, just like I did before.

        • adam

          The bible itself is gross, what is to misunderstand?

        • Dys

          Wrong on all accounts.

          Then your irony meter isn’t calibrated properly.

          Or, we can ask God’s opinnion on the matter.

          So your position is basically mysterious ways, you reject the scientific consensus, and you’re not an expert. And the bible isn’t an authority on the matter, so its opinion is meaningless as well.

          I’ve an idea…you can take your pseudo-expertise, and go tell the actual evolutionary biologists that all their ideas are pseudoscientific despite the evidence supporting their position, and you can write a peer-reviewed article on it. And win your Nobel prize disproving evolution.

          evidence is clear that it is impossible that the brain is a product of natural selection + random mutations.

          You don’t know that, nor have you demonstrated it. You’ve simply made assertions. Brain evolution is still one of the unknowns in science, and you’ve inserted god into the equation because it’s the magical catch all answer.

          Apparently, you refuse to apply an iota of understanding in this respect.

          Nope, not at all. You’ve declared something impossible without adequately backing it up, which flies in the face of the overwhelming scientific consensus. You don’t have a leg to stand on, so you’re playing at being an authority.

          Your declaration that evolutionary theory is pseudoscientific is merely a demonstration that you don’t understand it, and don’t have any intention of doing so. You’d rather cling to unevidenced religious superstition to escape uncomfortable ignorance.

          By all means, just don’t confuse this for being “incredulity” on my part.

          But I’m not mistaken, because that’s precisely what it is. And you continue to demonstrate it.

        • MNb

          “the information I have been making mention of”
          The only info you have provided is “it couldn’t have happened, hence goddiddid”. So there is nothing to dodger.

          “Not saying to use God as an explanation.”
          BWAHAHAHAHA! No, your Intelligent Designer might very well be an alien or something. Who’s trying to fool who?

          “Imagine me putting you inside a telecommunication company’s server room, then putting a wrench and a hammer in your hand, then asking you to explain how the equipment within that room was built using the wrench and the hammer.”
          False analogy. Your Intelligent Designer is a supernatural entity. Everything you mention here is natural.

          “suppress the evidence altogether?”
          You haven’t provided any evidence for your Intelligent Designer, hence there is nothing to suppress.

        • adam

          //

        • MNb

          “I’m willing to bet that on the list of people who properly understand evolution, you’re nowhere on it.”
          Meh, that’s a bet you know you will win. He already advocated common descent while rejecting evolution while not recognizing the contradiction.

        • Kodie

          He thinks god meddled, so no evolution as we’d mean it.

        • MNb

          Yeah, the guy is too dumb to understand the difference between IDiocy and theistic evolution.

        • adam

          “I gave clear information debunking the idea of human brain evolution further up.”

          No you did NOT

        • MNb

          So much for your announcement that you wouldn’t answer my comments, IDiot.
          Your word salad does nothing to contradict that

          1) you accepted common ancestry, which is exactly what evolution is about;
          2) your wrote that “evolution is a myth”.

          So you were contradicting yourself.
          You make it even worse – genetics is an integral part of Evolution Theory.

          “And way to nitpick a minor point”
          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          My dear IDiot, this point is so minor that the content of your entire comment falls apart with it. Of course like every single IDiot you’re dishonest and now try to wriggle out of it by ignoring “evolution is a myth” and replacing it with the much weaker “evolution couldn’t have produced the human brain”. That’s still dishonest, because elsewhere on this page I showed you that it was totally possible.

          “Yup – and as soon as you formulate this in a way that actually can be tested IDiocy fails immediately.”
          “Yup, coz DNA just coded itself.”
          This quote of mine did NOT adress the coding of DNA. As every single IDiot and other creacrapper you’re dishonest to the core of your bones.

          “I do not reject the scientific method”
          You did the very moment you claimed that lab research about the origin of life can’t tell anything about the origin of life on Earth.

          “I gave obvious proof”
          BWAHAHAHAHA! Your comment on math already showed that you have no understanding of what the word “proof” means. Man, you IDiots are and remain a funny lot.

          “You may have fooled yourself, but not me.”
          Thus spoke the IDiot.

        • $38787391

          “1) you accepted common ancestry, which is exactly what evolution is about;2) your wrote that “evolution is a myth”.”

          Again, go look up the meaning of the word “equivocation”.

          Genetic ancestry is the observed phenomenon, evolution is the purported biological process that produce biodiversity. You evidently refuse to understand the difference between the two.

          You can’t fool me, I know you are bluffing while attempting to make “me” look like the unintelligent one, nice try.

          A “theory” is not deemed correct solely on the basis of its utility in explaining a phenomenon. This is like saying Newtonian gravity is correct because apples fall to the ground.

          There is no contradiction. Citing the reality of genetic ancestry does not contradict the claim that evolution is a myth, of which it is.

          “That’s still dishonest, because elsewhere on this page I showed you that it was totally possible.”

          Read this information and find out for yourself. Not only does the human brain clearly nullify evolution, but to continue to subscribe to the evolutionary model after having this information on hand relegates your position to that of blatant illogic and intellectual dishonesty.

          The evidence is clear. As mentioned, the human brain is no product of evolution, and by extension, neither is anything else.

          Reference:
          http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-12/hhmi-eth122804.php

          http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-12/uocm-uoc122304.php

          Analysis:
          http://www.christianforums.com/t7807493/#post65101444

          “You did the very moment you claimed that lab research about the origin of life can’t tell anything about the origin of life on Earth.”

          Nonsense. I did not say this, nor have you proven that I rejected the scientific method in any way.

          “I gave obvious proof”

          This statement of mine was in reference to the topic of human brain “evolution”. Care to misquote me any further?

          “Thus spoke the IDiot.”

          Ad hominem is the mark of a coward, typically those who can’t hold their own in a discussion. Just to let you know.

        • MNb

          You don’t get to suck your own definitions out of your thick fat IDiot thumb.

          http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIntro.shtml

          “The central idea of biological evolution is that all life on Earth shares a common ancestor, just as you and your cousins share a common grandmother.”
          So if you accept common ancestry you accept evolution. And you totally did. Plus you wrote that evolution is a myth. That is and remains contradictory, no matter how often you bear false witness.

          Only fools like you rely on a layman analysis on a biased christian forum. That you are a fool indeed is shown by the fact that the Eureka links in fact support the hypothesis of the evolution of the human brain.
          You wrote:

          “the human brain is no product of evolution, and by extension”

          Title of the first link:

          “Evidence that human brain evolution was a special event”
          Yeah, an animal species like Homo Sapiens, capable of self-reflection etc. only occurred once, so it’s a special event by definition. The article confirms that that special event was evolution indeed.
          The other link basically says the same.

          I don’t need to fool you. You fool yourself to such an extent that you provide evidence for exactly the opposite you argue for. But I’m willing to make an exception for you. An IDiot like you might very well be the special creation of an immaterial entity with a weird sense of humour.

          “Ad hominem”
          It’s not an argument, so it’s not an Ad Hominem. An insult it is. As sensible discussions with IDiots and other creacrappers are impossible only two options remain:

          https://sensuouscurmudgeon.wordpress.com/2010/08/21/debating-creationists-is-dumber-than-creationism/

          and merciless mockery, realizing that it’s nearly impossible to change the biased mind of an IDiot. Sensible people choose the first option: “So don’t try. It’s just not worth it.”
          Indeed, you’re not worth it. Except that I happen to enjoy it. I’m always curious how much IDiocy I can get from an IDiot like you. Thus far you don’t disappoint.

        • $38787391

          “So if you accept common ancestry you accept evolution.”

          Absolutely not, now stop lying about things you refuse to understand properly.

          “Only fools like you rely on a layman analysis on a biased christian forum.”

          LOL

          That post clearly indicated the obvious.

          Human brain evolution requires thousands of mutations within thousands of brain-related genes over the course of a few meager million years.

          Not only are there no mutations available for this inexplicable miracle, due to how the brain abhors mutations, but it was clearly demonstrated how the mutations rates exceed that which can be realistically assigned.

          Get your head of the sand, for your own good.

          All this nonsense of yours talking about “bias” this and “IDiot” that.

          Please.

        • adam

          Re: bias this and IDiot that

        • MNb

          “Absolutely not, now stop lying about things you refuse to understand properly.”
          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          You’re the liar, not me, as I already showed in another comment on this very page. And now you lie again. But I’m happy to expose your lies over and over again. Repeating your lies ad nauseam doesn’t work with me.

          http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evo_02

          From a bona fided souce: Berkeley is one of the best universities in the world.

          “The central idea of biological evolution is that all life on Earth shares a common ancestor”

          So if you accept common ancestry you accept evolution.

          “I have sinned dear Father, Father I have sinned
          …..
          Liar liar they never let you win
          Liar liar everything you do is sin
          Liar nobody believes you
          Liar they bring you down before you begin”

          That song is about you.

          “That post clearly indicated the obvious.”
          Yup – that IDiots and other creacrappers are fools and liars.

          “for this inexplicable miracle”

          Thanks for showing again that you reject science. The scientific method doesn’t accept “it’s a miracle” by definition. See – you lied about that one too. Plus disproving evolution is not evidence for IDiocy. That’s just another creacrap lie. Not that I grand you “the human brain disproves Evolution Theory”. I also gave you

          http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-has-human-brain-evolved/

          The choice between sources with an excellent scientific reputation like Scientific American and Berkeley at one hand and a biased creacrap forum recommended by an IDiot at the other hand is a no brainer for every sane mind.

          “Please”
          You’re welcome, prejudiced IDiot.

        • MNb

          And you’re a liar of course – all creacrappers are. Some quotes from you:

          “Non-life does not produce life.”
          Ie you reject science.

          “Once the naturalist’s dream world is put in the coffin”
          As the synonym of the scientific method is methodological naturalism you reject science when you want to put it in the coffin.

          “The evidence speaks for itself. A flask full of amino acids and synthetic proteins produced in labs proves diddly squat.”
          Again you reject science.

          “This has nothing to do with scientists recreating anything, and everything to do with how this just doesn’t happen in nature, which is my point.”
          And that point is rejecting science.

          “I did not say this, nor have you proven that I rejected the scientific method in any way.”
          No, you have proven yourself that you rejected the scientific method. See above. And you totally said

          “that lab research about the origin of life can’t tell anything about the origin of life on Earth.”

          with the quote I just gave:

          “This has nothing to do with scientists recreating anything, and everything to do with how this just doesn’t happen in nature.”

          This is song is written for you:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oU7rqB9E_0M

        • $38787391

          “Ie you reject science.”

          Rejecting abiogenesis is not rejecting science. Nor is rejecting the mutation myth rejecting science. Natural selection happens, sure. Speciation happens, sure. Mutations happened, sure.

          Bacteria evolving body structures, organs, and limbs? Lols good jokes

          You are trying to fit me in your neat little “IDiot” box, unfortunately your effort is in vain.

          “As the synonym of the scientific method is methodological naturalism”

          What kind of asinine nonsense is this? If this is what you believe I won’t waste time correcting you on this.

          “Again you reject science.”

          Interesting you would call me a liar, when since the beginning of this post of yours, you have been doing nothing but lie.

          “And that point is rejecting science.”

          You seemingly have been brainwashed into believing that rejecting abiogenesis means to reject science.

          Nonsense.

          And can’t say I am a fan of queen, though this video most assuredly goes flying back right at your own face with such incredible speed, considering this nonsense you took the time to post.

        • MNb

          “the fact that …..”
          Intelligent Designer of the Gaps argument. You don’t merely have to show that science can’t explain it – you have to show that science never will be able to explain it. Good luck trying; nobody ever succeeded.

          “that utterly collapse under the weight of what they are attempting to explain”
          Meaningless metaphor. Naturalistic mechanisms don’t have weight and don’t collapse. The evolution of the human brain for instance is no problem at all, as 5 seconds of googling would have taught you:

          http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-has-human-brain-evolved/

          “As if proteins just “decided””
          If decided is a metaphor for naturalistic mechanisms, yes, they decided.

          Hey, design!

          http://www.faqt.nl/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/sneeuwvlok4.jpg

          Hey, incredibly low probability, hence design!

          http://energy.i2i.org/files/2012/02/Great-Sand-Dunes1.jpg

          http://www.aetheling.com/essays/Borel.html

          “When we cannot explain a phenomenon”
          Hey, we can’t explain, hence design!

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-temperature_superconductivity

          Well, I guess your intelligent designer gets bored now and then – eternity lasts really long.

        • Are we talking about evolution or abiogenesis?

          One does not have to look further than the human brain to understand just how non-existent this evolution narrative of bacteria to man truly is.

          Argument from Incredulity. Nicely stated. Too bad it fails.

  • TheNuszAbides

    “Call him an artist then, not a designer.”

    the Intelligent Art movement has had a beastly time breaking out of the academic respect ghetto…

  • $38787391

    Mathematics do not lie. Design is design, no matter how you attempt to downplay it or rearrange it. In particular, when it comes to the complexity of biological systems, the probability of undirected, natural processes alone being the sole culprits of how they arose in a natural environement is virtually zero. Take it up with the mathematics, come to grips with your own world view, and quit obsessing over the “creationists” and the perceived evils they commit, as if they alone are the ones who are guilty of all error.

    Design is a reality of biological life and is clearly evident, yet I am perplexed at how there are those who opt to label it “fiction” while claiming the evolution myth is somehow non-fiction?

    Come on, let’s be honest.

    • And yet evolution is the scientific consensus. I think I’ll go with that.

    • MNb

      Yeah, good idea, let’s be honest. You begin. Here:

      “Mathematics do not lie.”
      Mathematics, as we know since Euclides, is always dependent on the axioms. Change one axiom and the conclusions change. As a teacher math and physics I’m totally capable of proving Pythagoras’ Theorem beyond any doubt. The next moment, if I feel like, I can give you an equally convincing example that Pythagoras’ Theorem is wrong.

      Math doesn’t lie. It doesn’t prove anything either – it can only establish coherence.

      “Design is design, no matter how you attempt to downplay it or rearrange it.”
      Yup – and as soon as you formulate this in a way that actually can be tested IDiocy fails immediately. Again:

      http://www.its.caltech.edu/~atomic/snowcrystals/photos/w031230a113.jpg

      An obvious example of “design is design”. Without any designer, because we know from natural sciences very accurately what the means and procedures are to bring up this snowflake. Hence your conclusion “goddiddid” is a combination of special pleading and god of the gaps.

      “the probability of undirected, natural processes alone being the sole culprits of how they arose in a natural environement is virtually zero.”

      The same here.

      http://beautifulplacestovisit.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Great_Sand_Dunes_National_Park_Colorado_03.jpg

      So according to you your god put those sand dunes in Colorado.

      “I am perplexed at how there are those who opt to label it “fiction””

      You’re bearing false witness. We don’t label design fiction. We label “it looks like it’s designed, hence an immaterial designer pulled it off, even if we can’t know how he did it” fiction. According to your own 9th Commandment ignorance is not an excuse.

    • Without Malice

      Hogwash. Given the conditions present at the Big Bang, this universe and everything in it, including life, was a 100% certainty. The argument from probability holds no water and is ridiculous.

    • I argue against the Design Hypothesis using just DNA here.