Frank Turek’s Criminally Bad C.R.I.M.E.S. Argument: Morality

Frank Turek’s Criminally Bad C.R.I.M.E.S. Argument: Morality November 26, 2016

turekThis is a continuation of a critique of Frank Turek’s arguments in favor of Christianity made in his latest book. See the beginning of the discussion here.

The M in CRIMES is Morality

On the topic of morality, Turek couldn’t resist a Holocaust reference. He showed a photo of the Buchenwald concentration camp with stacks of dead bodies. He said,

If there is no god, this is just a matter of opinion.

The statement “I like chocolate” is just an opinion. By contrast, I wouldn’t call “I recommend we declare war” in a cabinet meeting just an opinion, but that’s a quibble. If Turek wants to say that both are conclusions grounded in the person making the statement and nothing else, I agree. The same is true for “the Holocaust was wrong.”

What alternative does Turek propose?

Turek imagines a morality grounded outside of humanity. He would probably agree with William Lane Craig’s definition of objective morality, “moral values that are valid and binding whether anybody believes in them or not.”

The other explanation for morality

But there’s no need to imagine Turek’s universal moral truth when we have a better alternate explanation: universally held moral programming. We’re all the same species, so we have similar responses to moral questions. That explains things nicely without the unsupported assumption of a supernatural being.

Turek confuses the degree of outrage (which, for the Holocaust, is quite high) with the degree of absoluteness. He seems to imagine that the more emphatically we think that the Holocaust was wrong, the more objective that moral opinion must be, but why imagine this? He provides no evidence to support universal moral truth or to reject the obvious alternative, universally held moral programming.

Let’s take a step back and consider his example. God allows 11 million innocent people to die in the Holocaust, and Turek thinks that this is an example supporting his side of the ledger?

Morality also changes with time. In the West, we’re pleased with our abolition of slavery and the civil rights we’ve established, but these aren’t universals. The modern views on these issues contradict the Old Testament’s, but none of us cling to the Old Testament view. Turek’s objective morality doesn’t allow change with time.

Morality vs. absolute morality

Turek listed things that must be true if God doesn’t exist. First, “The Nazis were not wrong.” If morality is an opinion, the Nazis had an opinion and the Allies had an opinion. We said they were wrong; they said we were wrong. Stalemate.

Nope—dude needs a dictionary. He’s confusing morality with absolute morality. I agree that the Nazis were not wrong in an absolute sense. But they were still wrong (from my standpoint) using the definition of morality in the dictionary, which makes no reference to an absolute grounding.

He continues his list with more examples of the same error: love is no better than rape, killing people is no different than feeding the poor, and so on. In an absolute sense, he’s right; he just hasn’t given any reason to imagine that morality is based in absolutes. Drop the assumption of absoluteness, and nothing is left unexplained.

Why the insistence on objective or universal or absolute morality? We don’t have any problem with shared (rather than absolute) ideas of other concepts like courage, justice, charity, hope, patience, humility, greed, or pride. Again, the dictionary agrees. None of these have an objective grounding, and the earth keeps turning just fine.

Turek bragged about the time he kicked Christopher Hitchens’ butt when Hitchens raised the issue of wrongs done in the name of God during the Crusades. Turek agreed but said that there’s nothing wrong with that if there is no god; without a standard of righteousness there is no righteousness.

Add the qualifier that we’re talking about absolute morality, and I agree. As he stated it, it’s nonsense.

Turek wrestles with science and science loses

Turek continues to praise science when he approves of it and lampoon it when he doesn’t.

If we’re just overgrown germs that got here by some evolutionary process then we’re no different than any other animal.

Yep, science makes clear that we’re just one more species of animal. Is this a problem?

This must’ve been a bone thrown to those in the audience who imagine that the universe was built for them. As Neil DeGrasse Tyson observed, “If you are depressed after being exposed to the cosmic perspective, you started your day with an unjustifiably large ego.”

Turek again:

Atheists can’t justify morality.

Again, I’m missing the problem. What, specifically, are atheists unable to do? A natural evolution of morality seems pretty defensible.

But the bigger question is, And you think you can justify morality?? Sure, you can point to this doctrine or that verse, but that explains nothing. You say your theology has it all figured out? Great—show that your theology is accurate and you’ve got an argument. Until then, nothing.

Here’s a thought experiment, Frank. Imagine that two Christians are arguing about a moral issue. They finally agree that Christian #1 was correct. Question: did they reach the right conclusion?

You’ll say that you need to know what the options were. But how is that relevant? You inject yourself into the conversation, and now it’s three Christians. How does that help? Or maybe you’ll say that you need to know what procedure they used. Again: how does that help? Prayer is no source of moral truth, and interpreting the Bible is ambiguous. Morality comes from people. That explains how Western societies could think that slavery was okay but now think it’s not. Explain that with unchanging objective morality.

In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy’s ruby slippers could always have taken her home. Like Dorothy, we have always been the source of our morality and some of us simply need to realize that. Society’s morality ain’t perfect, but it’s the best we have, and improving it as we mature is a heckuva lot better than being held back by a barbarous book that preserves the morality from a primitive society thousands of years ago.

Continue to E = Evil and S = Science.

One of the great tragedies of mankind
is that morality has been hijacked by religion.
— Arthur C. Clarke

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 8/12/13.)

Image credit: James Cridland, flickr, CC

 

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  • Had3

    Apparently the Jewish holocaust was unacceptable to his moral standards (or his god’s), but the OT holocausts were acceptable? Where’s the absolute morality even internally? Eh, I know, it was acceptable because god ordered it, Yada yada …

    • Apparently the Jewish holocaust was unacceptable to his moral standards

      But was it? God let it happen, so apparently he was cool with it.

      At least in the OT you have justifications for this sort of thing. “Well, you see, God was using the Babylonians when they defeated Israel. Yeah, that’s it!”

      • Had3

        He was cool with the first 6 million, but the 1st one after whatever number He picked as satisfactory; that’s a holocaust too far.

      • Jonathan Morgan

        Well, the same thing is sometimes claimed with respect to the Holocaust: that God was using it in order to bring them back to their land. Jeremiah 16:14 – 16 is commonly quoted to that effect, with Hitler being one of the “hunters” forcing them back to their land. So it was really the Jews’ fault for being too comfortable assimilating into Europe rather than joining the Zionists returning to the land (I don’t know what that says about those terrible Jews today who are quite comfortable living in the US rather than the Promised Land).

      • Herald Newman

        But God couldn’t interfere with the Jewish holocaust because of some free will thingy. God would rather remain hidden that protect his chosen people now that Jesus has come, or whatever nonsense is usually spouted…

        • MNb

          Of course – free will of murderers is way more important than free will of victims.

        • Michael Neville

          There’s nothing that God likes more than a good smiting. It doesn’t matter if God does the killing or if it’s done for him. As long as there’s lots of victims then God’s happy.

        • TheNuszAbides

          “pass the lord and praise the ammunition …”

  • Michael Neville

    Even the Holocaust cannot be shown to be absolutely immoral. The Nazis thought they were cleansing the world of Jews, Slavs, homosexuals, Roma and other untermenschen, which was a good, moral thing.

  • Greg G.

    Off topic for the article:

    QUIZ: Can You Pass World Religion 101?

    Your Score: 97%
    Quiz Nirvana
    You are particularly enlightened about world religions.

    http://offbeat.topix.com/quiz/17073/qidx1

    I missed one.

    • Michael Neville

      I also missed one. I didn’t know most Muslims were Sunni rather than Shia.

      • Jonathan Morgan

        My general knowledge on the subject was better than I realised.
        Though some of the questions could be easily solved by elimination, or picking the option that hadn’t been a right answer so far. Some questions I’m sure they could have made harder by having more credible alternatives…

        • Greg G.

          The question about the Trinity seemed to imply that the concept was universal in X [redacted to not give it away].

        • Jonathan Morgan

          Some of them I made educated guesses on that proved correct. But the only one I got wrong was one of the ones trying to distinguish between Hinduism and Buddhism (not my area of expertise).

        • TheNuszAbides

          yeah, i likely would have missed more if they had put them together more frequently. it was far too obvious when only one or the other was an available answer.

      • Greg G.

        I knew the Sunni vastly outnumber the Shia but I would not be able to fill in the blank for the percentage.

      • TheNuszAbides

        i remember getting that out of the World Almanac about 35 years ago, but i could just as easily have second-guessed whether there had been a sea change in the meantime.

    • MNb

      Also missed one, though I got several answer correct thanks to the pictures.

      • Greg G.

        I knew the answer for some before I read the question because of the picture.

    • Kodie

      I didn’t know there were so many questions, and I missed a couple, mostly from not reading carefully, thinking who doesn’t know most of this shit anyway, and I notice below the screen “16 questions left! Quitting is not in your nature!” and I closed the tab.

    • Herald Newman

      Certainly nothing too hard there. Being multiple choice, where the rest of the answers almost never made sense, made it too easy. I tried to make sure I page-down’ed before I looked at the questions so that the picture didn’t give me any extra hints.

      Then again, I can see some low scores for those who have only read one book, and believe that all other religions are of the devil.

      • TheNuszAbides

        especially one of the Wicca pictures, with a topless blade-bearer standing over a pentagram …

    • TheNuszAbides

      they weren’t nearly cagey enough. would’ve had me flipping a few coins if Buddhism and Hinduism had shown up together as choices more frequently (for one, i could’ve sworn i first heard of nirvana in reference to Hinduism), but it was usually only one or the other, making the process of elimination all too clear. definitely didn’t realize how few Indians are Buddhist, though.

      and i guessed Islam instead of Judaism for the rock badger one. apparently that one’s worth less than whatever you missed, because i got 98% …

  • gusbovona

    The evolutionary model, which I think is correct, allows for discrepancies, great or small, between individuals’ and societies’ moralities. Evolution does not make perfect copies, and the brain is complex enough to be able to subvert common evolutionary tendencies anyway, which is why some people think awful stuff and do awful stuff, and some societies do things which other societies think are awful.

    Turek’s point rests partially on an external standard. When two people have a dispute, society sets up an external standard (the law) that will settle conflicts one way or the other. When two societies have a conflict, there’s no meta-society that is external to both societies that will settle that conflict, the United Nations not withstanding. So it’s every society for itself, and when conflict arises, the strong will be able to defeat the weak and impose their morality on the other (as happened at Nuremberg).

    Objective morality solves this problem, I suppose in a similar way that any god solves a problem too, regardless of the existence or non-existence of that objective morality or a god.

    So Turek is nominally right to say that, without an objective morality, there’s no way to justify that we were right about the Holocaust in a way that transcends the Axis side and the Allies side, so it’s just a matter of might makes the winner’s morality right. One way out of this is to adopt Sam Harris approach and define morality to be the well-being of conscious creatures, and then you’ve got a standard, by defining morality as such, to judge individuals and socieities.

    • Turek feels obliged to reject the “might makes right” idea, and if objective morality existed and was reliably accessible, then he’d be right. He’s not.

      And yet, as you note, the reason why the Allies judged Germany’s leaders (instead of the other way around) was, obviously, because the Allies won and for no other reason.

      • MNb

        Something the nazis themselves realized long before they realized they might lose. The theist might respond that a god may judge them, but then the moral argument becomes circular.

        • al kimeea

          iirc, some allied generals knew they’d be in deep doodoo if they lost

  • Rt1583

    Though I can’t speak for all cultures I want to believe that the father who beats or belittles his child simply to prove how much bigger, stronger or better he is above his child is universally held to be morally reprehensible. This should be even more true for Christians if their foundation of morality were true.

    Ironically one doesn’t have to read too far into their “truth” to find exactly that which I mentioned above.

    Exodus 7:3 – But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart that I may multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt.”

    Of course most everyone knows how the rest of the story goes.

    Christians are, at best, being disingenuous when they claim their god and their truth to be the bedrock foundation of morality. They know they’ve got to skip over large portions of their truth in order to show their god to be moral and they’ve got no problem with this but they take offense when we point these things out to them and accuse us of not giving the bible an honest reading.

  • davidt

    Interesting comments. Shallow dressed up as science arguing with shallow dressed up as religion does not make it deep.

    • Otto

      Shallow dressed up as erudite isn’t either…

      • Dys

        That would require too much reflection by davidt

    • Dys

      And davidt knows shallow. Just look at his comments. And personality.

      • Otto

        Wow…that explains a lot.

        • Dys

          The sad thing is that he does appear to have something intelligent to say upon occasion, but is unwilling or unable to shelve his own pomposity and arrogance long enough to bother. The end result being that his comments here are the mindless dribble of a condescending jackass.

        • davidt

          All I said is it’s possible, no absolutely for certain, that Frank Turek, neither understands the topic, God, nor even his own text. Which by definition is shallow. So if you create a structured argumentation in disagreement you have already assumed he knows what he is talking about and thus you understand exactly like him, except you disagree is all. It simply becomes a “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin”? the two parties can “Believe” the are carrying on a valid disagreement. Are they? Based on what the two parties? in ancient philosophy they called it sophism. In Tureks case it’s not malicious, it’s simply lacking self awareness and the world around him. I call that NORMAL very NORMAL. I don’t do normal well, tried but was really bad at it.

    • Joe

      Implying that there is inherently something ‘deep’ about religion, when it’s repeatedly been demonstrated that there is nothing below the surface.

      • It’s all bathwater. There’s no baby.

        • TheNuszAbides

          probably why they make such a fuss about babies (or especially “babies” [fetuses]), to bait/switch an emotional connection.
          as David Cross said, “nobody’s born saying ‘the Jews got all the money!'”

  • Doubting Thomas

    “If there is no god, this (the holocaust) is just a matter of opinion.”

    I find this ironic coming from a god that was of the opinion that the genocide of the Midianites, Amalekites, Canaanites, etc., was morally correct.

    So Holocaust = bad. Genocide = good. Gotcha.

    “Objective morality” is only a good thing when the objective thing isn’t itself a psychopath.

    • Especially when the Israelites were supposed to be 2M people when they entered Canaan, and God promised to deliver to them 7 tribes that were each bigger than that.

      Kinda puts the Holocaust into perspective.

    • Paul

      “I find this ironic coming from a god that was of the opinion…”

      If morality is just an opinion, why do you even care?

      ” ‘Objective morality’ is only a good thing when the objective thing isn’t itself a psychopath. ”

      Is that statement just your opinion or is it an absolute? Do you have an objective standard as a basis to say that someone is a psychopath? If not, it’s just your opinion.

      • Doubting Thomas

        I don’t think morality is just an opinion. My basis is the suffering or good that actions cause and by such a basis, Yahweh is a moral monster.

        Do you think the Jewish genocide was morally bad but think the Biblical genocides were morally good due to the “objective standard” of the god of the Bible?

        • Paul

          “My basis is the suffering or good that actions cause and by such a basis, Yahweh is a moral monster.”

          So your moral basis just amounts to personal opinion. It’s your personal opinion on the consequences of actions. So why would you even bother getting into a moral argument?

        • Myna

          So why would you even bother getting into a moral argument?

          Because homo sapiens have a sense of “being.” Not every individual’s observation/experience, internal or external, is exactly the same, hence, debate. Consensus, if there is to be one, comes from that debate.

        • Doubting Thomas

          It’s not my opinion that setting someone on fire causes suffering, It’s a fact. So, no, my moral basis isn’t just opinion.

          Also note that, as is par for the course, you didn’t actually answer my question. I find that theist look at questions from atheists like a shamed puppy looks at the turd it left on the carpet. It can see the inevitable outcome and tries every way it knows to keep from having its nose rubbed in it.

      • MNb

        “If morality is just an opinion, why do you care?”
        Because I think my opinions relevant.

        • Paul

          What standard are you using to determine that your opinions are relevant? Objective standards or standards based on personal opinion?

        • Myna

          Humans communicate the language of their experience. There is relevancy in that.

        • Paul

          So you would say that morality is just personal option?

        • Myna

          Morality exists as a consensus of any given collective. Some take the option of conformity, others, like artists or revolutionaries, rebel against it. Some, like the sociopath, have no internal regard toward the collective.

        • MNb

          Standards based on personal opinion.
          Morality matters to me.

        • Paul

          What if your opinions of morality are different from other opinions? If there’s no objective standard, then one isn’t really better than the other. So then why even bothering discussing it?

        • TheMarsCydonia

          Have you ever asked this question of christians?

          A lot of christians bother discussing morality despite having no objective standard for it.

        • adam

          “What if your opinions of morality are different from other opinions?”

          You mean like YOURS are compared to YOUR “God”?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dc554b74af68425056b8a4228b7f09490a1e80f6c6bf14f85bbce2e8015a0bfb.jpg

          ” So then why even bothering discussing it?”

        • Paul

          ” So then why even bothering discussing it?”

          Why am I discussing it? I’m an advocate of objective morality. If there’s an objective standard, then there’s a basis for determining wright and wrong. It makes no sense for you to discuss it If your morals are just opinions. You really can’t really say my morals are any better than yours if there’s no objective standard. You have no basis for saying my morals are wrong.

        • I’ve heard many claims for the existence of objective morality but they’re never accompanied by evidence. I can see a moral stand being strongly felt or universally felt. That doesn’t give us objective morality. Your thoughts?

          You really can’t really say my morals are any better than yours if there’s no objective standard.

          You know how arguments or debates work. Two people discuss an issue. Maybe one changes their mind; maybe they don’t. That’s how discussions of morality work. Where’s the need for objective morality? It seems to work just find without that unsupported claim of objectivity.

          Look up “morality” in the dictionary. There’s nothing about objectivity there, either.

        • MNb

          Without an objective standard there is also a basis for determining right and wrong.
          Plus your god only provides a subjective standard – what you say about right and wrong depends on the subject called god.

          “You have no basis for saying my morals are wrong”
          doesn’t follow from

          “You really can’t really say my morals are any better than yours if there’s no objective standard.”
          What I can’t say is that my basis for ethics is any better than yours – something I’ve never said indeed. But I still have a basis for my ethics. It’s different than yours.
          Plus of course your views on ethics (hence not necessarily your ethics yourself) is wrong in a few respects. Like your self-delusion that your ethics have an objective standard called god.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          Do you realize that most of us have seen this dance? And that we’re not falling for such obvious twists and turns?

          I’m an advocate of objective morality.

          So you assert but just because you assert it does not make it true, don’t you agree?

          If there’s an objective standard, then there’s a basis for determining wright and wrong. It makes no sense for you to discuss it if your morals are just opinions.

          So you should demonstrate that your morality is not just your opinions. Do you have an objective basis? Can you explain it?

          Or will you simply assert it?

          You really can’t really say my morals are any better than yours if there’s no objective standard. You have no basis for saying my morals are wrong.

          But so far as we’ve seen, you have no basis to say your morals are right or how right or how wrong anyone else’s is.

          The standard of the internet christian is to throw assertions of “you can’t say something is wrong” but they demonstrate that they can say something is right or wrong.

          I doubt you will be any different.

        • What always surprises me in these discussions of objective morality is when the Christian says, “Yeah, but if objective morality doesn’t exist, look at the consequences!” And I look around and see those consequences, and yet we’re stumbling forward, just like always. Where’s the problem?

        • TheMarsCydonia

          What suprises me is that in fact, many christians, Paul included, confuse “objective morality” with “objective standard for morality” which are two different things.

          I have an objective standard for my morality.

          Not only have I yet to meet a christian that can demonstrate the existence of objective morality, I have yet to meet one who has an objective standard for morality that is not meaningless (because it is circular, contradictory, etc.)

        • I have an objective standard for my morality.

          Tell me more. Are you saying that your moral principles are based on external evidence/facts?

        • TheMarsCydonia

          I subscribe to it subjectively, because it makes sense to me, but what it is based is objectively verifiable in the sense that it isn’t true only for me but for everyone else.

          Take this statement an exemple:
          “life is generally preferable to death”.

          This isn’t true only for me, it isn’t just my opinion. It is hardwired into humanity. When someone chooses death, it is because it became preferable to life but that it is not the case generally:
          T as there is no culture that outright prefers death to life because of course, any such culture wouldn’t exist as they would have killed themselves.

          And what actions are more beneficial for life and waht actions are detrimental to it can be objectively verified. That “drowning children leads to their death” isn’t my opinion that is only true for me, it is objective.

          Well, at least, it makes sense to me that its a standard and that it’s objective. I might be wrong.

        • Take this statement an exemple:
          “life is generally preferable to death”.
          This isn’t true only for me, it isn’t just my opinion. It is hardwired into humanity.

          OK, but take this one: “abortion is always wrong.” The U.S. is divided.

          And what actions are more beneficial for life and waht actions are detrimental to it can be objectively verified.

          Sam Harris has said something similar. I don’t think this resolves the vexing moral issues, though.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Sam Harris has said something similar. I don’t think this resolves the vexing moral issues, though.

          You’re right – it doesn’t.

          Yet.

          Before we can see where [an agreed upon “objective” study of morality] will take us, we have to [agree upon an “objective” study of morality].

          He hasn’t done the work [to see where OM leads], but rather to revive the conversation about [whether OM is tenable].

          It’s no serious criticism of the atomic theory of matter to note that Democritus didn’t produce the periodic table of elements.

        • Greg G.

          There may be a way that is best to achieve a value, but that does not mean that the value is moral.

        • Paul B. Lot

          “Morality” as a universal, absolute, immaterial thing doesn’t seem to exist, as far as I can tell.

          Given that fact, what have we humans been talking to each other about for the last 200,000 years, when we talk about “morality”?

          Is it nonsense? Was it always a delusion?

          I don’t think so – I think it was an illusion. A cognitive mistake.

          “Morality” isn’t an absolute standard. If someone is born without any sense of empathy, I do not think that they have behaved “immorally” if/when they do terrible things.

          But IF a conscious creature DOES develop with a mirror-neuron-like functionality, and set of traits we call “empathy”, THEN there are objectively discernible shared values; values which we call moral.

        • Greg G.

          Given that fact, what have we humans been talking to each other about for the last 200,000 years, when we talk about “morality”?

          Is it nonsense? Was it always a delusion?

          I don’t think so – I think it was an illusion. A cognitive mistake.

          A newborn knows how to nurse. There are some behaviours that we do instinctually. We may not recognize the instincts behind our desires and motives. But some of our instincts conflict because we are a social species that evolved from asocial ancestors. Sometimes being greedy is imperative and sometimes cooperating for the benefit of the group is good.

          Morality is just working out when a behavior is appropriate. Stealing is wrong because it disrupts cohesion of the group, unless you are trying to feed a starving infant, for example. It is easier to be less greedy in times of plenty, but, in lean times, cheating may be the difference between survival and starvation.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Will you forgive me for pointing out that I don’t see the conflict between what you just wrote, and “objective morality” as I’m describing it?

        • Greg G.

          I am saying that sometimes it is better to be generous with the group and sometimes it is better to be stingy. When I think it is better to be stingy, my neighbor might disagree. Where the line is drawn is subjective. If a moral standard of behavior is subject to conditions, it is subjective, not objective.

        • Paul B. Lot

          If a moral standard of behavior is subject to conditions, it is subjective, not objective.

          I disagree.

          A) What you’re talking about sounds (definition-ally) like absolute morality to me, not objective morality. This might seem like a pedantic distinction to many (most? (all-but-me?)), but I think it’s worth exploring.

          “Objective” is the opposite to “subjective”
          “not influenced by personal feelings” vs “based on or influenced by personal feelings”

          “Absolute” is the opposite to “relative”
          “a value or principle that is regarded as universally valid” vs. “considered in relation or in proportion to something else”

          B) I’m not sure that the scenario you picked to paint a picture of shifting morality actually does what you intended. [Taking is wrong. But it is less wrong if you are in extreme need and the person taken from is in extreme plenty.] This underlying precept doesn’t change based on [who the needy person is] or [who the plentiful person is] or [what time of year it is].

          It’s a moral equation which has place-holder variables, but which maintains a strict relationship between all the persons involved.

          C) I doubt very much that there is actual disagreement between you and your neighbor on those points. I honestly believe that precepts like that are baked into the neurological wiring of your average human brain to a large extent.

        • Greg G.

          OK, I prefer those definitions but have grown tired of having to make those distinctions with everybody who comes in claiming objective morality.

          But it still comes down to values. While one course of action could be objectively the best course to achieve the values, the values are subjective.

        • Paul B. Lot

          But it still comes down to values. While one course of action could be objectively the best course to achieve the values, the values are subjective.

          Hmmm. Well look, I fully see your point – and I’m not unsympathetic to it. One of my favorite concise and elegant examinations of these topics is McKenna’s here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YK3BahMxH4M

          If you were to substitute the word “subjectivism” for “relativism”, I would be 100% on-board with him.

          Were I not in a querulous mood, I’d just leave it at that.

          😀

          The words “subjective” and “relative” often get conflated, to the confusion of our conversation and the hampering of precision.

          What it comes down to, in my mind, is that philosophy and ethics have some catching up to do with the hard sciences.

          For the later has already gone through, decades ago, the existential crisis and foundational restructuring which was inherent in giving up physical absolutes.

          Einstein’s relativity was deeply unsettling to almost all of the old guard at the time (and quantum mechanics did something like it again to the community a generation later).

          Giving up “absolute” frames of reference was difficult, but in its place we’ve learned how to deal with relativistic, yet still objective, mindsets.

          There are parts of our universe which relativistic speed limits will preclude our ever knowing about or interacting with, but that anti-universal information firewall doesn’t prevent us from making “objective” observations about our own reference frame.

          In a somewhat analogous way, I am happy to concede that it *might be possible* that conscious minds should be arranged in such a way that those minds never felt or guessed at a thing such as “empathy”. That our “moral” spheres would be so far apart that they never touched.

          Yet for those entities *which do have a thing like empathy*, I think that the mathematics of their morality will be objectively discernible to include patterns like [petty, inconsequential, theft-in-order-to-avoid-self-destruction should invite no moral admonitions].

          The phrase “morally subjective”, which I will define as “based on or influenced by personal feelings”, comes with a connotation of simple preference or whim. Do I want the chocolate icecream cone, or the vanilla? It’s morally repugnant to eat mint-chocolate-chip, but given the choice between cookie dough and butter pecan, I’ll flip a coin and be happy either way.

          That’s what “subjective” smacks of to me. (Or “relativism” as McKenna is using the term) My opinion is just as good as your facts, eh?

          So when you say “values are subjective” – I disagree with you.

          They are not a matter of “choice”. I had no hand in choosing my empathy. I can not help the fact that I feel bad for people in distress. I very often wish I were less affected by my mirror neurons, given how crucial it seems that an almost-psychopathic-disregard-for-others is to succeeding in this world.

          Of course, the character of my experience when I am under the influence of these empathetic circuits is, itself, subjective: I cannot (yet?) push a button and have anyone else feel what I do.

          And yet, as best I can tell, much of my morality lines up with other humans in space and time. Indeed, the fundamentals seem almost-universal (to empathy-beings, conscious creatures, humans in other words), it seems to me that there’s something about the structure and function of our meat-computers which objectively necessitates empathy responses in “healthy” brains.

          I wouldn’t call that “subjective” in the sense of “choice of vanilla or chocolate”.

          Is it “relative” to [the ~neurotypical/median adult human brain under Maslowian-conditions xyz]? Yes. Will it vary substantially from person-to-healthy-adult-person under conditions xyz? No.

          Edits for clarity, and to remove a lying lie of a “TLDR”

        • Greg G.

          That’s what “subjective” smacks of to me. (Or “relativism” as McKenna is using the term) My opinion is just as good as your facts, eh?

          So when you say “values are subjective” – I disagree with you.

          There are people who think their opinions are as good as facts. I also disagree with that.

          A soldier can be trained to be willing to sacrifice his life for the life of one of his comrades. But if the soldiers were parents, I think it would be far more difficult to train them to be able to sacrifice their child for their comrade’s child.

          In such a case, the values are exactly equivalent but subjectively different.

          I’m not thinking so much about chocolate or vanilla, or even, chocolate or death. Think of Black Friday sales where people are willing to fight for scarce items or a slightly better price for their Christmas gifts. Or for a territory with a small grove of nut trees for our more primitive ancestors, which is a necessity for survival.

          The same instinct allows different religions to fight over a piece of rock with religious connotations, though.

          It’s relative in importance and subjective in the particulars.

        • Paul B. Lot

          In such a case, the values are exactly equivalent but subjectively different.

          I disagree. I think there are many salient disjunctions between [choosing to give up one’s own life] and [choosing to give up someone else’s].

          Think of Black Friday sales where people are willing to fight for scarce items or a slightly better price for their Christmas gifts. Or for a territory with a small grove of nut trees for our more primitive ancestors, which is a necessity for survival.

          The same instinct allows different religions to fight over a piece of rock with religious connotations, though.

          It’s relative in importance and subjective in the particulars.

          I’m not sure I follow your examples, but to the extent that I do I’m not sure they’re counter-examples. :-/

          In particular, the view that [morality can be discovered objectively] does not conflict with [large groups of people acting immorally]. I mean, it’s my impression that Black-Friday-Horde-Shoppers, willing to crush each other to death over slightly cheaper trinkets, do not claim that what they are engaged in is [the height of morality]. Rather, it seems to me, they are simply people doing something which they know to be wrong or distasteful on some level.

          [Competing for a small amount of resources which are actually necessary for an individuals/the group’s survival], however, has a different moral equation attached to it than [shopping on the day after Thanksgiving]. I would not point to a life-and-death-struggle over dangerously scarce resources as the result of immorality, nor would I point to it as proof of subjectivism.

          Relative != subjective in my book, though it adds complexity, and perhaps tedium, to a moral conversation to point it out.

        • Kodie

          I’m inclined to agree with Greg G. and maybe you a little bit here. People get real possessive over resources, and, in the moment justify what they might not ordinarily justify. Even religious people do it! I mean, they think, if there were ever proof that god doesn’t exist, they might just go wild and savage. People who do kill for the most part probably don’t think beforehand that they’re going to, but their emotional impulses may be there.

          There’s this thing where people think if you don’t use your real name on the internet, you’re a lot nastier anonymous than you might be if people could stalk your house and punch you in the face for saying stuff. Yeah, I don’t use my real name, it’s mostly because real people on the internet do know me, but they don’t need to know all about everything, just like they don’t follow me to my house, just like my boss doesn’t know everything I think or who I know or associate with. Just imagine what people actually do when they are upset. I think honesty is a great thing except when it’s dangerous.

          I think I told this before, but I’ve been warned by more than one person about honking my horn at assholes in traffic. I mean, honking a little stupid car horn. If you think about the triggers that make people give you a dirty look, raise their voice, get defensive (even especially when they’re wrong), shove or hit you, shoot you if they had a gun handy, build up enough anger about something to threaten/harm/kill schoolchildren/movie patrons/marathon spectators/nightclub patrons, etc. I am also thinking of gang violence – I don’t know whatever happened to this story in my area, a toddler was shot (in the hand) and her father who was in a gang refused to be a witness to who shot his daughter who really meant to shoot him. I am thinking of relationship drama, I mean, if you are in a relationship and you cheated (or they thought you did), how confident are you that that wouldn’t snap their fucking world. Plenty of people handle these situations peacefully enough, by which I mean, we’re glad the levels of anger a person can have with you start around yelling, which feels bad but is physically harmless compared to a bullet to the head.

          I guess, in summary, people can be really hot-headed, and it can feel or actually be dangerous. People are also fake when they don’t want to tell the truth. I mean, if you gave someone in traffic the finger for driving recklessly, and it turned out to be your child’s teacher, you likely would not confront the teacher later and tell them they drive like a fucking moron and you saw them texting in traffic and running a red light that almost got you and the child in their class in an accident. I mean, there are some people who have no problem being a superior jerkface to teachers and might belittle them just ’cause, but most sociable humans would approach a dangerous criminal and selfish infraction by someone in their tribe as not a big deal, and apologize for the vulgarity. I’m not saying teachers can or should get away with a lot, but social relationships with a person makes blaming them for wrongdoing is difficult and easily forgiven, even if dangerous. It’s why people don’t want to make a big fuss about molestation, it’s why people don’t want to convict rapists and threaten rape victims for accusing their rapists. There’s this thing where keeping the tribe together, or not being the whistleblower who ruins it for everyone else in the tribe, is more important than children, more important than their own child, more important than that child’s future.

          I think I mentioned one time, some child was running in a bookstore and cut me off at the up escalator, and I didn’t make a fucking scene, I rolled my eyes. His mother saw me roll my eyes. His mother started a fucking scene in the store to defend her son (about 10) against any stranger “judging” his behavior, I mean “minding” his behavior. This is not the only instance of parental shit I’ve started in public space by doing practically nothing. I’m saying there’s a lot of sensitivity for people protecting their children from eye rolls from a total stranger, but eager trust in members of their established tribe, i.e., molesters. It’s hard to believe someone you already know molested your child, but very easy to believe a stranger thinks your child is disruptive, and instead of taking responsibility for the latter, take offense; and rather than take action at the former, trust the adult.

          What the fuck is logical about that. Adults are, let’s say, naturally smarter and more experienced than children. Parents know children can lie, and they feel like it’s easier for a child to lie, or get away with a lie than the more experienced adult, who, in all likelihood, no matter who they are, has tried lying throughout their life to a point where they can succeed at it. Why do we trust adults? This might be a bigger issue with cognitive dissonance than we find with religion, but why do we trust adults with our children once an issue has been raised? Why do parents take their past good feelings with a person, give their position any authority, give them the benefit of the doubt, and let these adults talk us out of worrying? I am not talking about falsely accused people, which is tragic, or gay boy scouts, which is a particular fear against boys being mentored in homosexuality than boys being molested, in my opinion. I am talking about people who loved Joe Paterno so much, that they can’t empathize with victims of sexual abuse that he knew about but didn’t report. If your child was at a school with a sexually abusive teacher, and the principal swept it under the rug, but the principal also ran a really successful sport team, what should be the priority, and what would actually be the priority?

        • Paul B. Lot

          Kodie, thanks for the long and thoughtful response.

          I guess I’ll have to re-iterate the confusion I voiced to @disqus_a9H6kflDom:disqus above. :-/

          I am not claiming that: all people act morally at all times; or that immorality does not exist; or that all people have well-developed moral compasses; or that all people well-prioritize their competing desires.

          You’ve done an admirable job of laying out a long list, though by no means exhaustive, of cases of moral failings.

          But those don’t seem to address my claim.

          When people act “morally”, they do so for discernible reasons – reasons which are based on similar neurological/computational patterns. Those patterns objectively exist.

        • adam

          “When people act “morally”, they do so for discernible reasons – reasons
          which are based on similar neurological/computational patterns. Those
          patterns objectively exist.”

          BUT

          Those patterns do not exist in clinical psychopaths, and as with practically everything, there is also a spectrum, so its really not objective?

        • Paul B. Lot

          Those patterns do not exist in clinical psychopaths

          I give my caveated assent to this statement, subject to the grains of salt regarding current neurological research on the subject/my understanding of same.

          With that said, the patterns also do no exist in Tsunamis – I consider the actions of both to be a-, vs. im-, moral.

          there is also a spectrum, so its really not objective?

          Are spectrographs spectrograms not “objective” readings?

          Keep in mind that for the purposes of my (Harris’) discussion here, the “objective/relative” characteristic is distinct from/orthogonal to “absolute/subjective”.

        • adam

          “Keep in mind that for the purposes of my (Harris’) discussion here, the
          “objective/relative” characteristic is distinct from/orthogonal to
          “absolute/subjective”.”

          b : of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers Merriam Webster

          What is your definition of objective?

          “With that said, the patterns also do no exist in Tsunamis – I consider the actions of both to be a-, vs. im-, moral.”

          And I consider that psychopaths have morality, but certainly not all the same as mine.

          Are clinical psychopaths really amoral?
          Can they be?

          “Are spectrograms not “objective” readings?”
          Is red light the same as blue light?
          Heck is red light the same as microwaves?
          Yet they are all on the spectrum of EM wavelenths.

          Morality appears as spectrum through history and culture, based on its wants and needs as opposed to anything objective.

          Care to elaborate more?

        • Paul B. Lot

          What is your definition of objective?

          Haven’t I been explicit about this throughout this thread? 🙂

          Objective = not subjective, of or about the nature of reality, irrespective of personal opinion or feeling.

          Subjective = not objective, of or about one’s personal experience or feeling.

          Absolute = not relative, of or about something universal, “platonic” or “ideal”, unchanging, fixed.

          Relative = not absolute, of or about something local, movable or proportional, subject to change, measured with respect to other data points.

          And I consider that psychopaths have morality, but certainly not all the same as mine.

          If, as I take you to be saying, “psychopathic” is to be defined as “utterly devoid of, or unmoved by, empathy” – then I disagree that psychopaths could have an internal sense of morality. They might very well be able to mimic or guess at the [external actions] of those-who-do have that [internal sense], but that’s not quite the same thing.

          Is red light the same as blue light?
          Heck is red light the same as microwaves?
          Yet they are all on the spectrum of EM wavelenths.

          Leaving to one side the ambiguity involved in using the phrase “is ____ the same as ____”, you seem to be missing my point. Whether or not the qualia of “redness” is “the same” to two different observers (colorblindness comes to mind), if those same two observers both watch the read out of the same machine, they will not disagree with the reading.

          There exists an objective fact of the matter with regards to the actual wavelength(s) being emitted
          by whatever EM radiation source, regardless of subjective experience.

          No matter how relative a given color is, to both one’s internal perception of it or other “shades” or bands on the EM spectrum, there exists an objectively true statement about how far apart the peaks and troughs of that wave are.

        • adam

          “Haven’t I been explicit about this throughout this thread? :)”

          I thought so, but become confused with some of the conversation, thank you.

          ” there exists an objectively true statement about how far apart the peaks and troughs of that wave are.”

          Make sense when looking a EM spectra where you have science defining all the points measured and the EM itself.

          But how does this work with morals.
          I.e. slavery

          It seems that morality is less like the wavelengths that scientifically define ‘red’ and more like human beings with vastly different rods and cones defining ‘red’ based on their experiences.

        • TheNuszAbides

          thanks for that! i’ve had their book on the shelf for years but still haven’t opened it up. always so edifying to hear McKenna’s tightly-crafted zingers.

        • Kodie

          The way I think of it is that, being a social creature, we may be born with the sense of morality toward a goal of survival. We feel justified in behaving differently toward a human in our group as opposed to out of our group. Of course, there are actual threats, exaggerated threats, and rumored threats. We go along with the group, mostly. Whatever the group does, we do. If the group is a group of thieves, well, I guess the morality of not stealing must still apply to the group, but justified to steal from anyone else.

          I mean, I don’t really think humans are all that good at being good. We like our tribes small enough to handle, and still have a problem trusting people we don’t know, and we tend to know we don’t know them by perhaps the color of their skin or the bumper stickers on their cars. So I don’t think there is really anything that can be claimed to be objective morality. It’s wrong to kill because:

          – this was some important guy in our tribe, and now we’ll starve
          – this was a very young woman who had many childbearing years to help us build our tribe’s numbers.
          – this was a very important person in our tribe, and everyone will be mad and torture you to death.

          Maybe there are more reasons why you don’t want to damage your tribe’s resources and/or endanger your own life by killing someone you’re supposed to be living in commune with, but those are a few situations where killing someone would obviously, and perhaps objectively be bad; however, I think good or bad is relative to the goal you have individually, which tends ultimately to be survival.

          There are, historically, fewer prohibitions on other kinds of killing.

          – If the person doesn’t belong to your tribe, who cares?
          – Especially if you come up with some reason, real or imagined, to be at war with that tribe. Being able to think of a member of a group of other humans, rather than thinking they are similar to you, as so grossly abominable…. I mean, think of ISIS as an extreme example. Even the most liberal among us (at least I perceive) have no problem thinking of the individual terrorists engaged in or appealed by ISIS as killable without remorse.

          When I read your post, I thought about the kinds of people who might have voted for Trump, how they are being generalized, and to some extent can be, when I hear, say, approval of white supremacists, but they all say they’re not white supremacists. Some people must be. From their propagandized perspective, Hillary posed a threat and Trump was survival. They did it for jobs I guess they imagined, and immigration and terrorism were his two big issues that threaten the US. If there is an objective morality, it absolutely manifests itself in an absurd range of ways. Those people didn’t do anything wrong, I mean, they don’t think they did. They were motivated to protect something that is important to their survival and the survival of people in their tribe. I would say they are adhering to the same morality as the rest of us, which might mean there is objective morality????

          So, for another example, marriage equality or evolution or birth control or climate change or gun control. When you ask someone how it threatens their religious beliefs or their marriage when gay couples can marry legally (which is the government, not their church), they get freaked out. I mean, we know there’s nothing wrong with it, but within their own framework, opposing it has to be the moral choice, right? Yes, I know their framework is distorted, but it’s hard to convince them that there’s no threat to them. They are reacting to a perceived (rumored) threat as though it were real in a predictable way to preserve their tribal and personal survival, and yet, because people are harmed, we perceive them as a threat to our survival, per se. We can’t agree as a tribe because we’re actually not the same tribe. They’re not inclusive of liberal, progressive thinking, and we’re not inclusive of repressive, conservative thinking.

          If we go to the issue of slavery, let’s just suppose slavery is abolished. We can say slaveholders were immoral because they bought and sold humans as though they were livestock, and if you think about it, they were treated as a lot more clever and therefore, punishable than livestock, so recognized as human and not mistaken for a different species. I was born over a hundred years after slavery in the US was officially abolished, and still heard many messages about the threat of black people taking over. If freed slaves were instantly recognized everywhere as equal humans who could obtain jobs like all the white people who had always been free, racism today would hardly be an issue. Reparations might not even be an issue. A black president in 2008 would have never been an issue.

          A lot of what I heard growing up was the moral reaction of protecting what we perceived was our tribe from people of another race getting in the game and taking what was ours, but we don’t resent another white guy going after our job, or stealing our ideas. It’s like a population of white people would be “ok” not working as long as other white people had the jobs they thought they should have had, but not black or brown people. We don’t like them when they’re poor enough to literally steal, we don’t like them when they defend their American rights, and we don’t like them to be successful.

          Why is there still racism, it’s fucking stupid, but to say it’s not following what I think is the only thing that can be called “objective morality” is only seeing your side when it’s absofuckinglutely as immoral as it gets. Depriving a human of livelihood, generalizing a whole race of people as inferior to millions of white people you’ve never met, not trying to understand where it is they may be coming from, seems the height of immorality, yet, the social instinct to protect what your tribe values has to be the essence of morality, and the only way that I can see morality is objective.

          There is a local standard which is in essence, the same as the universal standard. The reaction may not be (like Adam’s meme about murdering gay people like the bible instructs) defensive or preventative murder, but microaggression, systemic bigotry, cycles of poverty. I know this is a long post, but I feel like, if the North were abolitionists and haven to freed or escaped slaves, why is there still racism? You have this impression of progressive thought in the 1800s, it’s 200 fucking years later, and outside of metropolises, people are xenophobic toward descendants of people who were brought to the US in chains. Around only 100 years ago, to be relative, especially the Irish and Italian immigrants were oppressed and then assimilated (and I would say hardly) because they were white. Yes, there are still people (old people) who will size you up by your last name to check for Jewishness, Italianness, and I would say those Irish blended in most successfully. Germans and Scandinavians barely had to try. If Mexicans are willing to work for less money than you are, what right do you have to that job… I mean, we’re assuming slavery is abolished, but if you can lowball your employer, you can make your job unattractive to an illegal Mexican but ask what your great-grandparents were willing to do for less than that, and their children. We forget it’s not so long ago, we were willing to pay children to work in factories and mines for super cheap. Less-than-Mexican cheap, and it was still worth keeping them out of school. I can’t remember the last time I ever heard, “children are taking all our jobs!” We have troubles with people thinking “working at McDonald’s is something only teens saving up for a car do, and therefore shouldn’t be paid a month’s rent + utilities + groceries in a month’s time”. We don’t have “children” taking our jobs, we have been forced to take children’s jobs, apparently.

          I am sorry for going all over the place, but I don’t really think there is an objective morality, I do think there may be a universal moral impulse which is to preserve. You just have to look at history and cultures to say it’s not prohibitions against stealing or killing, it’s whatever justifies survival of tribe and self.

        • Susan

          social relationships with a person makes blaming them for wrongdoing is difficult and easily forgiven, even if dangerous

          Yep.

          It’s why people don’t want to make a big fuss about molestation, it’s why people don’t want to convict rapists and threaten rape victims for accusing their rapists. There’s this thing where keeping the tribe together, or not being the whistleblower who ruins it for everyone else in the tribe, is more important than children, more important than their own child, more important than that child’s future.

          Yep.

        • Paul B. Lot

          I am sorry for going all over the place, but I don’t really think there is an objective morality

          A) I don’t accept your apology – you’ve done a great job of talking about some of the complexities and history of this topic.
          B) I’m still not grasping the disconnect we’re having, despite A). :-/

          My contention is not that humans *are now* the most “moral” beings we could be.

          My contention is that what the best of our philosophy and law and literature and art has striven towards when it attempts to deal with morality exists objectively – in the same way that, say, royal flushes exist objectively.

          The universe doesn’t require royal flushes, or poker, to exist – there is no “absolute” royal flush or “Platonic” royal flush. Rather, if the substrate is there, royal flushes emerge from the pattern in the substrate.

          Is morality is dependent on our biological substrate*? Sure, but that substrate exists objectively. We do not choose what our morality is from one moment to the next, it is a function of the objective state of the universe at any given time.

          That makes morality relative, yes. Relative to the state of reality at t=x. Relative, but not subjective.

          * I would actually argue that there are abstraction layers on-top-of the biological, but this will suffice for brevity’s sake.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          Such an absolute statement would not be in my objective standards. I wouldn’t subsribe to it like would those I do.

          I don’t deny that what standards I subscribe are subscribed to subjectively. Simply that they can be objectively verified.

        • TheNuszAbides

          I don’t think this resolves the vexing moral issues, though.

          only perfect objectivity would, but nobody was claiming perfect objectivity.

          (except the tools unfalsifiably attributing it to Deity, of course)

        • TheNuszAbides

          And I look around and see those consequences, and yet we’re stumbling forward, just like always. Where’s the problem?

          at that point the problem is _____ taking credit for the ‘forward’ part (and/or attributing it to Deity’s guidance).

        • If our moral progress is due to a deity, he’s a nincompoop. This is not the work of an omniscient being.

        • adam

          ” If there’s an objective standard, then there’s a basis for determining wright and wrong.”

          “IF” you cant demonstrate such, then it is ONLY YOUR opinion.
          Demonstrate such FIRST, then we can discuss.

          “You really can’t really say my morals are any better than yours if there’s no objective standard.”

          Well NEITHER you or I set morals for society, society sets them.

          “You have no basis for saying my morals are wrong.”

          Society sets morals, not me.

          ” You really can’t really say my morals are any better than yours if there’s no objective standard.”

          No, but I can REALLY say your morals are hypocritical if you claim objective standards come from a book that says you must stone to DEATH homosexuals and yet you do not follow those objective standards.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2ace8e66c11070f7bb1a667c1ff4f5e4dd4140269bdb88e038ae9c34cfe8e906.jpg

        • MNb

          Because
          1. your view on ethics (ie not the ethics themselves) contains a few mistakes;
          2. you don’t practice what you claim to be objective morality as Adam has shown just underneath;
          3. you god-bots falsely bring up morality as an argument for god.

        • Pofarmer

          And yet that’s exactly what we see. All sorts of different societies having all sorts of moral ideas on all sorts of different issues. Theists like to claim that there is some access to some idea of universal morality, but reality puts the lie to that if you’re willing to look beyond your own navel.

      • adam

        “Do you have an objective standard as a basis to say that someone is a psychopath? ”

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/034947f80482493d2646517257816e678e2500965a15e6d5832c0a23295bc07d.jpg

  • Paul

    “…we have a better alternate explanation: universally held moral programming. We’re all the same species, so we have similar responses to moral questions. That explains things nicely without the unsupported assumption of a supernatural being.”

    No, it doesn’t. Where did the universally held moral programming come from? Who’s the programmer?

    • Pofarmer

      Is this a serious question or a POE?

      • Paul

        Serious.

        • MNb

          See above.
          Frans de Waal.
          It evolved gradually.

        • Paul

          Where’s the video of animals attacking and killing each other? If we’re all products of natural processes, you can’t really argue that killing is wrong. Just like you can’t say that the monkey in the video is being treated unfairly.

        • you can’t really argue that killing is wrong

          Is the word “really” important or just a throwaway word? I’ve seen that used as a stand-in for objective morality.

          I’ve seen zero evidence of objective morality. If you’re saying, “You can’t argue something is objective good/bad,” then I agree with you. And say, “So what?” The dictionary definition of “morality” has nothing about objectivity in it.

        • Paul

          The word “really” is important. While the dictionary definition of morality doesn’t say anything about objectivity, it does say “the extent to which an action is right or wrong.” So it raises the question: What is your basis for determining what is right or wrong, especially since you see no evidence of objective morality? Where did the “universally held moral programming” programming ultimately come from?

        • Myna

          There is no universally held moral programing of what is right and what is wrong. The reason human beings do not kill each other, in general, is due to an internal empathy, which is a survival mechanism. Animals have been observed to show sympathy within collective groups.

          The concept of theft, for example, which is implied ownership, does not exist in many indigenous cultures, because what belongs to one, belongs to all in the material sense, or there is trade within the collective.

          Morality can also be argued as an institutional power play. In a predominately patriarchal society, women are held as being morally inferior, weak before temptation, intellectually lacking, emotional. The virgin v. whore mentality. The uppity woman. Women in the Western world had to fight for equality and against stereotypes, and still the fight continues.

          And so on and so forth.

        • Paul

          “There is no universally held moral programing of what is right and what is wrong.”

          The author is claiming the contrary. Read the article.

        • Myna

          Quote from article conclusion: “Society’s morality ain’t perfect, but it’s the best we have, and improving it as we mature is a heckuva lot better than being held back by a barbarous book that preserves the morality from a primitive society thousands of years ago.”

          Morality is mutable, like “laws” of logic, therefore there is no universally held moral programming because morality is diverse within cultures and like all else, progresses over time and with increased information. Turek argues morality is “fixed” in favor of a Christian bias. The author argues it is not.

        • The word “really” is important.

          It’d be clearer to say “objective morality” (or whatever it is) up front.

          What is your basis for determining what is right or wrong, especially since you see no evidence of objective morality?

          Our moral programming.

          Where did the “universally held moral programming” programming ultimately come from?

          Evolution. We’re a social species. The morality that we have was apparently evolutionarily beneficial.

        • MNb

          That you’re guilty of the is-ought fallacy doesn’t mean we are. We are now discussing where moral behaviour comes from, not which moral behaviour is good or evil.
          This type of dishonesty is typical for fans of AIG like you.

        • Myna

          Who’s the programmer?

          “Who” implies personality. Man is not separate from nature, and would you argue that nature has a personality? If mankind were suddenly felled by plague or by some global catastrophe, nature would survive in some form and begin to evolve once more.

        • Pofarmer
        • Myna

          Thanks for that link!

        • Pofarmer

          It’s a pretty deep read for a layman like me.

        • Paul

          Did you read the summary? She didn’t prove anything, she merely argues for a particular point of view. All scientific evidence is viewed from one’s worldview. If you have a naturalistic, evolutionary worldview, that colors how you see the evidence.

        • Pofarmer

          She didn’t prove anything, she merely argues for a particular point of view.

          That’s what science does. And I own the book and have read a good chunk of it.

          If you have a naturalistic, evolutionary worldview, that colors how you see the evidence.

          So, what’s the alternative?

        • Myna

          …she merely argues for a particular point of view

          So, what particular point of view do you argue from?

    • MNb

      Moral programming is not universal. See sociopaths and psychopaths. If some immaterial supernatural transcendental intelligent agent programmed humans to be moral he did not do a perfect job.

      • Paul

        Did you mention that to the author of this article?

        • Myna

          The article was not about the DSM.

        • MNb

          Can’t remember. I have been around here for a couple of years. Why is that relevant? I’m not his footman.

        • Paul

          Because he states otherwise in his blog post.

        • MNb

          And why is that relevant? My comment was directed to you, not to BobS.
          If your point is that I sometimes disagree with BobS, congratulations for successfully kicking in an open door. I’m still not his footman.

    • Why assume there’s a programmer? Our moral programming comes from evolution.

      • Paul

        “Our moral programming comes from evolution.”

        Please explain. How could natural processes create something immaterial.

        • Natural processes gave us chimpanzees. Chimpanzees show compassion. Compassion is immaterial.

          Or do you reject evolution?

        • Paul

          “Natural processes gave us chimpanzees.”

          Where did the natural processes come from? Is nature self existing?

          Do I reject evolution? Depends on what you mean by “evolution.” I think chimpanzees produced chimpanzees. That can be verified by the scientific method. Were chimpanzees ultimately produced by natural processes? I think you could only conclude that if you had a naturalistic worldview. By definition, naturalism/material excludes anything non-material. Since emotions such as compassion is immaterial, that disproves naturalism/materialism.

        • Pofarmer

          Since emotions such as compassion is immaterial, that disproves naturalism/materialism.

          There is nothing “immaterial” about compassion, whatever that is supposed to even mean.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compassion
          Compassion is the response to the suffering of others that motivates a desire to help.[1][2]

          Compassion motivates people to go out of their way to help physical,
          spiritual, or emotional hurts or pains of another. Compassion is often
          regarded as having an emotional aspect to it, though when based on
          cerebral notions such as fairness, justice and interdependence, it may
          be considered rational in nature and its application understood as an
          activity based on sound judgment. There is also an aspect of compassion
          which regards a quantitative dimension, such that individual’s
          compassion is often given a property of “depth,” “vigour,” or “passion.” The etymology of “compassion” is Latin, meaning “co-suffering.” More involved than simple empathy, compassion commonly gives rise to an active desire to alleviate another’s suffering.[2]
          Compassion is often, though not inevitably, the key component in what manifests in the social context as altruism.[citation needed] In ethical terms, the expressions down the ages of the so-called Golden Rule often embodies by implication the principle of compassion: Do to others what you would have them do to you.

          This derives from empathy, which other species on Earth exhibit. It’s not exclusively a human trait.

        • Paul

          “There is nothing “immaterial” about compassion”

          Can I touch it, hear it, smell it? You might argue that I could see it, but what I’m really seeing is the effects of compassion and not compassion itself. Again, the fact that something immaterial like compassion exists disproves naturalism/materialism.

        • Pofarmer
        • Paul

          Please provide evidence.

        • Pofarmer

          I just did?

        • Herald Newman

          What, in your view, constitutes “evidence”? Do models, with testable empirical predictions, constitute evidence to you, or will you only accept being able to directly touch, see, smell, hear, and taste, as evidence?

          Pofarmer provided evidence, and I’m trying to understand why you ignore it.

        • Dys

          Everything that occurs in the brain is the result of electrochemical signals. All grounded in the material world. Appealing to emotions and other phenomena that occurs in the brain doesn’t get you away from materialism.

        • MNb

          “Can I touch it, hear it, smell it?”
          Irrelevant.
          You can’t touch, hear or smell electrical power either. You might argue that you could see it, but what you’re really seeing is the effects of electrical power and not electrical power. Still you won’t write “that something immaterial like electrical power exists disproves naturalism/materialsm” because it’s utter nonsense.

        • Paul B. Lot

          What is “compassion”?

        • Pofarmer

          Is nature self existing?

          As far as we can test and tell-why yes, yes it is.

        • Paul

          How do you go about testing that? As far as current scientific evidence goes, it shows that the universe had a beginning. Therefore it can’t be self-existing.

        • MNb

          Non-sequitur. Very possibly our Universe resulted from quantum field fluctuations and they are equally possibly self-existing.

        • Pofarmer

          Current scientific evidence shows that the Universe as we know it expanded from another state.

        • MNb

          Emotions are material. No brains no emotion.

        • Where did the natural processes come from? Is nature self existing?

          Not really sure what that means.

          Do I reject evolution? Depends on what you mean by “evolution.”

          Who could not know what “evolution” means? Y’know—what the biologists mean by it.

          Evolution is the consensus view. Laypeople can have no scientific reasons by which to reject it.

          By definition, naturalism/material excludes anything non-material.

          So anyone who accepts evolution thinks that immaterial things like courage or lust or compassion don’t exist? Or the number 4? Better rethink that.

        • Paul

          “Laypeople can have no scientific reasons by which to reject it.”

          If they can’t demonstrate it, it can be rejected.

          “So anyone who accepts evolution thinks that immaterial things like courage or lust or compassion don’t exist?”

          No, I’m saying that if immaterial things exist, then naturalism/materialism is false.

        • MNb

          “if immaterial things exist”
          Which you have failed to demonstrate, like all others before, so it can be rejected and naturalism/materialism is correct.
          Thanks.

          And of course evolutionary biologists are totally capable of demonstrating evolution, namely with

          – the fossil record;
          – mutations;
          – observed speciation.

          That’s why creacrappers like your great hero Ol’ Hambo spend so much time trying to argue that this large body of empirical data doesn’t demonstrate evolution by using logical fallacies, rejecting the scientific method and straightforwardly lying. Oh – and of course the silly “the interpretation depends on the worldview” argument, which I have demonstrated to be false.

        • “Laypeople can have no scientific reasons by which to reject [the scientific consensus].”
          If they can’t demonstrate it, it can be rejected.

          Who is “they”? Scientists?

          Evolution is the scientific consensus. Fill in the blank: “I reject evolution as a reasonable explanation of why life is the way it is, even though I am an outsider to the field of biology, because ___.”

          No, I’m saying that if immaterial things exist, then naturalism/materialism is false.

          Courage, lust, compassion, and the number 4 exist, and because they’re immaterial then naturalism/materialism is false? Is that your argument?

        • TheMarsCydonia

          You’ve been repeatedly corrected on this. Naturalsim does not exclude concepts from existing.

          Why do you insist on repeating the same lie over and over again?

        • MNb

          Silly question.
          Because if he didn’t he would have to give up his beloved creacrap.

        • MNb

          It’s not immaterial (on this I disagree with BobS – I think his definition of immaterial confusing).

  • Paul

    ” ‘If we’re just overgrown germs that got here by some evolutionary process then we’re no different than any other animal.’
    “Yep, science makes clear that we’re just one more species of animal. Is this a problem?”

    Science doesn’t make that clear. Science is an abstract concept. It’s just a tool we use to examine the world around us. But there are some scientists (not science) who think that we are just animals. Other scientists think that we are not animals. It’s their worldview that effects their interpretation of the evidence. If naturalism is true and nature is all that there is, where did the immaterial come from? Where did the laws of logic come from? How would you know that you are even reasoning correctly? Laws of logic don’t make sense in a naturalistic, molecules-to-man evolutionary worldview. Neither would there be any need more for morals. Where did the moral programming come from? Where did something immaterial come from the material in a naturalistic world?

    • Greg G.

      Where did the laws of logic come from?

      The brain cannot process all the inputs correctly so it uses some heuristics to come to conclusions. Many are usually right, so going with it is more efficient than trying to get everything exactly correct, and some are usually wrong but prudent, such as not taking dangerous risks that occasionally end in disaster. Logic is just picking out a few of the heuristics that happen to be right all the time and identifying those that are usually right as fallacies. It doesn’t take magic to get logic.

      • Paul

        That didn’t answer the question. Did humans create the laws of logic? Did God? Did natural processes? Where did they ultimately come from?

        • MNb

          “Did humans create the laws of logic?”
          Depends on what you mean with “create”. Logic, including its laws, is just a tool to enable us to get a grip on our natural reality.

        • Paul

          OK, but where did the laws of logic come from?

        • Myna

          From observation, language and the evolution of experience.

        • Paul

          Is that your personal opinion or can you substantiate that claim?

        • Myna

          You have to look at all forms of logic. Western logic is different from Eastern logic and so forth. Human beings observe, they communicate through symbols and language, they experience patterns and they draw ideas, sometimes conclusions, sometimes erroneous, from those patterns.

        • Paul

          Are you saying logic is just a matter of personal opinion then?

        • MNb

          What in Myna’s comments suggests it’s personal? If you can’t answer this it’s the second time you’re dishonest.

        • Paul

          “If you can’t answer this it’s the second time you’re dishonest.”

          First of all, that’s a non-sequitur. Second, all I did was ask a question. But to answer your question: “You have to look at all forms of logic. Western logic is different from Eastern logic. ” Do people pick and choose which laws of logic they want to follow?

        • Myna

          Depends on the logic. Skill overrides incompetence.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          Ok, let’s say that Myna cannot account for the origin of the laws of logic.

          Can you? Isn’t attributing them simply to god, without substantiation, simply a god of the gaps fallacy? Or an argument from personal incredulity?

          “I don’t see how naturalism can account for the laws of logic therefore god exists!”

        • Paul

          Something can’t some into existence by observing it. It has to exist first in order for you to observe it.

        • Dys

          The laws of logic are descriptive, not prescriptive. They are man-made statements describing physical reality.

          The man-made statements are conceptual, but the physical underpinnings that the laws describe are not.

        • Myna

          Not if one is schizophrenic. Not if what is observed is a mirage. Not if it is a story manufactured on what is observed. Etc.

        • Pofarmer

          Not if it is a story manufactured on what is observed.

          This.

        • MNb

          I already answered that one above.
          Now I have a question for you. You assume that tool is given to you by some immaterial entity. How exactly did he/she/it communicate it with humans? Which means of communication did he use?

        • Pofarmer

          “Where did they ultimately come from?”

          Observation.

        • Paul

          Something can’t some into existence by observing it. It has to exist first in order for you to observe it.

        • Pofarmer

          Was the chair in existence before the carpenter built it? We’re the rules for building a Queen Annes Chair always there?

        • Paul

          Was nature in existence before nature was created? Were the rules for nature’s processes always there? Were the rules for nature’s processes created by nature only after nature came into existence?

        • Herald Newman

          > Was nature in existence before nature was created?

          Your question assumes that nature was created. This hasn’t been established.

        • Pofarmer

          Was nature in existence before nature was created?

          Begging the question. Try again.

          I’ll repeat my question.

          Were the rules for building a Queen Annes Chair always there?

          And the sea lioning is getting old.

        • Paul

          Paul: Was nature in existence before nature was created?

          Pofarmer: Begging the question.

          Exactly! Yet another reason why materialism/naturalism is false. Scientist conclude that nature had a beginning. And since it would be logically impossible for nature to have to created itself, naturalism/materialism fails.

          I’m glad to see there’s atheists out there that understand the folly of naturalism.

        • Pofarmer

          More exactly, nature as we know it had a beginning. Since we have only ever found natural causes for natural events it is actually quite logical to assume that what we call nature arose naturally from some other state.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Scientist conclude that nature had a beginning.

          Got evidence?

        • TheMarsCydonia

          It would help if you understood naturalism.

          And if you understood science or what scientists know about the universe.

          Or you could continue to lie out of willful ignorance or deception.

          Whatever you need to convince yourself of your worldview.

          However, lies will not convince us of yours.

        • MNb

          “Scientist conclude that nature had a beginning.”
          This nonsense only demonstrates how little you understand of science.
          Scientists – notably atheists like Friedmann and Gamov – have concluded that our Universe had a beginning. However nature does not converge with our Universe. Nature may very well be more than our Universe, eg in the form of quantum fields. If you equate those with ‘God’ I won’t contradict you. However I will point you out that such a god isn’t compatible with any version of the Biblical god.

    • MNb

      “It’s their worldview that effects their interpretation of the evidence.”
      Nonsense. The scientists who matter – evolutionary biologists – are unanimous that humans are apes, apes are monkey, monkeys are mammals, mammals are animals, animals are eukaryots.

      “If naturalism is true and nature is all that there is, where did the immaterial come from?”
      If naturalism is correct that there is nothing immaterial.
      “Where did the laws of logic come from?”
      Humans formulated them.
      “How would you know that you are even reasoning correctly?”
      We don’t.
      “Laws of logic don’t make sense in a naturalistic, molecules-to-man evolutionary worldview.”
      Of course they do. They increase the chance to get offspring.
      “Neither would there be any need more for morals.”
      Of course there is. Morals decrease the chance of getting extinct.
      “Where did the moral programming come from?”
      It gradually evolved. See Frans de Waal.
      “Where did something immaterial come from the material in a naturalistic world?”
      There is nothing immaterial in a naturalistic world.

      • Paul

        “The scientists who matter …”

        That’s just a form of the No True Scotsman fallacy.

        “If naturalism is correct that there is nothing immaterial.”
        Exactly. And since there are things immaterial, like numbers, naturalism can’t be true.

        “Humans formulated [laws of logic]”
        So would you say that your worldview is ultimately based on faulty human reasoning?

        “There is nothing immaterial in a naturalistic world.”
        Exactly. Which is why naturalism/materialism is false.

        • MNb

          “That’s just a form of the No True Scotsman fallacy.”
          Not at all. Anyone who subscribes to

          https://answersingenesis.org/about/faith/

          doesn’t matter. Moreover you’re dishonest by leaving out a relevant part of the quote. It is

          [The scientists who matter – evolutionary biologists ….]
          Astrophysicists don’t matter regarding the question if humans are animals, whether they are religious or not.
          Of course with years of internet experience with AIG fans like you I have learned to expect this kind of dishonesty.

          “And since there are things immaterial, like numbers”
          Numbers are material. They come from human brains, which are material. You can write them down and need material stuff to do so.

          “So would you say that your worldview is ultimately based on faulty human reasoning?”
          No. Human reasoning is sometimes, maybe even often faulty, not ultimately.

          “Which is why naturalism/materialism is false.”
          Non-sequitur.

        • Paul

          “Moreover you’re dishonest by leaving out a relevant part of the quote. It is
          [The scientists who matter – evolutionary biologists ….]”

          I wasn’t being dishonest at all, whether you include the “evolutionary biologists” part or not, you still committing a form of the No True Scotsman fallacy. Either way you’re still dismissing the scientists who believe different than you.

          “Numbers are material.”

          No they’re not. If the number 3 physically existed, I could destroy it and no one would ever be able to use it again.

          “You can write them down and need material stuff to do so.”

          That would just be a physical representation of a number and not the number itself. Let’s just suppose numbers are material. f I write down the number 3 and then erase it, I would have destroyed the number 3. But I didn’t destroy the number 3. All I did was destroy the physical representation of it. Numbers are just a concept. They are not material. And since they are not material, naturalism/materialism fails.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Numbers are just a concept. They are not material. And since they are not material, naturalism/materialism fails.

          What is “a concept”?

        • Paul

          Something abstract.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Something abstract.

          I didn’t ask you to describe “a concept” to me. I asked you to explain what it is, what it consists of.

          “A concept” consists of “something abstract?” Well, what is “something abstract”?

          When we talk about “having” a “concept” – what is it that we mean?

          If you asked me what “a chair” was, would my answering you with “something material” be sufficient to adequately explain to you the nature of “a chair”?

        • Paul

          I didn’t know what you were asking. A concept or abstract idea doesn’t really consist of anything, not anything material anyway. It only exists in thought or as an idea but it doesn’t have a physical or concrete existence. Examples: numbers, laws of logic.

        • Paul B. Lot

          A concept or abstract idea doesn’t really consist of anything, not anything material anyway. It only exists in thought or as an idea but it doesn’t have a physical or concrete existence.

          I disagree. Thoughts/concepts/ideas are, it seems to me, electro-chemical patterns in the brain. They are the geometry of information in certain kinds of motion.

          If there were no conscious entities extant, 3 pebbles on the shore would BE three in number, but there would be no “concept” of “three” in the universe.

          “Numbers” and “laws of logic”, as “concepts”, are patterns which exist only in conscious minds – and conscious minds exist only as material things.

        • Paul

          “Thoughts/concepts/ideas are, it seems to me, electro-chemical patterns in the brain. ”

          Key words: “it seems to me”
          Are thoughts/concepts/ideas CONTAINED WITHIN the electrochemical signals or are they the electrochemical signals themselves?

          “If there were no conscious entities extant, 3 pebbles on the shore would BE three in number, but there would be no “concept” of “three” in the universe.”

          Can you test that statement with the scientific method? How could they be 3 in number if there was no concept of the number 3? If there was no conscience entity, how could there be the concept of numbers.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Key words: “it seems to me”
          Are thoughts/concepts/ideas CONTAINED WITHIN the electrochemical signals or are they the electrochemical signals themselves?

          Of course “seems to me” is key. As soon as you can show me evidence that there’s any reason to add a [platonic reification] layer on top of the [electro-chemical pattern] layer, the way it seems to me will change.

          Until then, I’ll just have to reject your assertions as unnecessary and unevidenced – because that’s what they are.

          How could they be 3 in number if there was no concept of the number 3? If there was no conscience entity, how could there be the concept of numbers.

          [The concept] of [three], let’s call it “threeness”, is a separate noun from “three pebbles”.

          Absent conscious entities, there would be no “threeness”, but that wouldn’t preclude the existence of the pebbles.

          If a conscious entity were to pop into existence, ex nihilo, in this hypothetical world; the entity would be able to cause the first instance of [“threeness” being thought] by looking at those pebbles.

        • Paul

          So it would take a conscious being for a concept to occur, right? I that I would agree. Of course I’m sure you can guess what my conclusion about that would be.

          The planets are governed by mathematical laws. And planets existed before humans. So numbers and mathematical laws can’t be HUMAN concepts. But, as you pointed out, they have to be the product of a conscious being. So that raises the question: What conscious being existed before humans?

        • TheMarsCydonia

          So just to make sure:
          – Nmbers are not physical
          – Since they are not physical they require to be conceptual
          – Concepts require a mind
          – Since numbers exist independently from human minds, they require another mind: god

          Have I got this right?
          Because I have a question for you: since god is not physical, does he require to be be conceptual? What exception will you make to the above that cannot be applied to numbers?

        • Paul B. Lot

          So it would take a conscious being for a concept to occur, right? I that I would agree.

          Glad to hear it!

          Of course I’m sure you can guess what my conclusion about that would be.

          I prefer to let my interlocutors formulate their own points of view.

          The planets are governed by mathematical laws.

          No they are not. The planets don’t give a hoot about Kepler or my TI-83 calculator.

          The planets move because of the properties of their substance and of the space time which surrounds them.

          And planets existed before humans.

          Yes!

          So numbers and mathematical laws can’t be HUMAN concepts.

          What? No.

          Humans created the concepts of “numbers” and “mathematical laws” as labels and categories in order to better understand the underlying physical universe – in order to better understand the macroscopic (to us) effects of quantum field perturbations. So those are, in fact, HUMAN concepts.

          If you had experience with computer science/programming (not that CS is the only discipline where this is an important factor – indeed perhaps all of learning turns on this), you’d be familiar with the mechanics of variables or pointers.

          You have a [reference] and a [referent] – a [pointer] and a [thing being pointed to], a [sign] and a [place], a [map] and a [territory].

          References and referents are, of course, intimately related to one another, but they are not the same thing.

          If I were to go to the GPS coordinates

          37.727145, -119.574516 (37° 43′ 37.72″N 119° 34′ 28.25″W)

          and then travel back in time 5000 years, I would not be in “Yosemite National Park”, as “Yosemite National Park” would not then exist.

          But I would be at the same location as would 5000 years later come to be known as “Glacier Point”. The location wouldn’t have changed, even if the name for it had.

          The label would be different, even though the underlying reality was unchanged.

          So, yes: the planets moved according their own natures before we were here to analyse and label that nature. But you’re confusing [the label we give to the underlying reality] for [the underlying reality itself] – this is a huge mistake.

          So that raises the question: What conscious being existed before humans?

          No, it doesn’t raise this question since you got confused along the way here. This question is a non-sequitur here.

          Despite that, though, it’s a good question. I have no doubt that various hominids were at least somewhat “conscious” before h. sapiens sapiens.

          Some other animals display hints of low-level consciousness as well:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBoORco1qKU

        • MNb

          Dunno. My respect for crows has increased enormously last few years. The won a war against Homo Sapiens and I’d say they need to be quite conscious to pull that off.

          http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/07/world/asia/07crows.html

          http://www.cracked.com/article_19042_6-terrifying-ways-crows-are-way-smarter-than-you-think.html

        • Paul B. Lot

          Aye, many corvids are spooky smart.

        • MR
        • Paul

          “Humans created the concepts of “numbers” and “mathematical laws” as labels and categories in order to better understand the underlying physical universe”

          No, they created the mathematical/scientific notation for describing those laws, they did not create the laws themselves.

          “The planets don’t give a hoot about Kepler…”

          Of course they don’t. They’re not called Kepler’s laws because he created (he didn’t), Kepler merely discovered them.

          “The planets move because of the properties of their substance and of the space time which surrounds them.”

          Yes, the mathematical laws which I’m talking about. And since they existed before human (or other the other humanoids in your worldview that you mentioned) beings existed, they are not human concepts (or humanoid concepts).

        • Paul B. Lot

          No, they created the mathematical/scientific notation for describing those laws, they did not create the laws themselves.

          Nope. We did create both “the notation” AND “the laws themselves” – what you might have meant to write was that humans “did not create the underlying reality which the laws attempt to capture”.

          “The planets move because of the properties of their substance and of the space time which surrounds them.”

          Yes, the mathematical laws which I’m talking about.

          No, not the “laws” you’re talking about.

          The “laws” you’re talking about, the human concepts, are a [reference] to the underlying physical reality [referent].

          They are not one and the same.

          Our “laws” do not match the underlying reality perfectly; our “laws” have often been proven incorrect or ammended. http://undsci.berkeley.edu/teaching/misconceptions.php#a2

          If you want to switch topics away from our “laws” which imperfectly approximate [the underlying nature of the universe], and simply talk directly about [the underlying nature of the universe] – I am happy to do so!

          However, if we make that shift, then I’ll be forced to point out that in that case we are no longer talking about “human concepts”, because we are not talking about “concepts” at all.

          We are now talking about [observed regularities in the operation of the physical universe] – and as such we are discussing nothing conceptual, and therefore nothing “immaterial”.

        • MNb

          There are no laws without that mathematical/scientific notation. You don’t make sense.

          “the mathematical laws which I’m talking about. And since they existed before human (or other the other humanoids in your worldview that you mentioned) beings existed.”
          You make even less sense – you refute yourself. You can’t know (ie have evidence) that those mathematical laws existed before human beings existed simply because nobody had formulated them yet.

        • Hans-Richard Grümm

          As has been pointed out, you confuse the mathematical model (Kepler’s laws, Newtonian gravity, general relativity …) with the actual reality. Strictly speaking, planets do not move according to Kepler’s law, because they are only an approximate model.

        • Dys

          They exist in the minds of humans, which use electrochemical signals to operate. It’s still material.

        • Paul

          “It’s still material.”

          If you mean the electrochemical signals, yes, those are material. But not the numbers and laws of logic themselves. I’m sure you can make the distinction.

        • Dys

          Since you have yet to demonstrate that they exist separate from the brains that hold them, I daresay it’s you that has problems making distinctions. You’re falsely equivocating the conceptual statements with what they’re describing.

        • Paul

          Did planets exist before humans? Yes, Did planets rotate just fine on their own before humans existed? Of course they did. And they are governed by immaterial, mathematical laws. Since they existed before humans, numbers and mathematical laws are not human concepts. So you have the existence of something immaterial. Therefore naturalism/materialism is false.

        • Dys

          Since they existed before humans, numbers and mathematical laws are not human concepts. So you have the existence of something immaterial.

          You’re making a false equivocation, as I’ve already pointed out. You’re confusing the concept for the physical reality they describe.

          The conceptual framework that makes sense of how the planets revolve is a human creation. If I ask you to demonstrate how numbers and mathematical laws existed before humans, you’re stuck describing physical reality, not the concepts. Because the concepts didn’t exist before humans came up with them.

        • Paul B. Lot

          You made a similar comment elsewhere, I’ll just leave the link to my response here.

          I think I do a pretty good job, there, of explaining why this “numbers and mathematical laws are not human concepts” is false.

        • MNb

          Merely repeating your falsehoods without addressing the objections brought up exposes you as a liar.

        • Paul

          First of all, you haven’t demonstrated that they are falsehoods. Second, I guess I shouldn’t assume that you think that planets existed before humans. I just assumed you believe what other evolutionists believe. If you don’t think that planets existed before humans, then the onus is on you to provide evidence for that.

        • MNb

          Your guess not only confirms that you’re dishonest but also indicates that you’re stupid.
          Falsehood referred to

          “Since they existed before humans, numbers and mathematical laws are not human concepts”
          which are falsehoods you have repeated over and over again.

        • Paul B. Lot

          If you mean the electrochemical signals, yes, those are material. But not the numbers and laws of logic themselves. I’m sure you can make the distinction.

          Please to provide evidence that “numbers” and “laws of logic”, as “ideas” or “concepts”, exist anywhere outside of electrochemical signals.

        • Michael Neville

          Please give me an example of the “laws of logic” so I can determine what you’re talking about when you mention them.

        • adam

          “I wasn’t being dishonest at all, whether you include the “evolutionary
          biologists” part or not, you still committing a form of the No True
          Scotsman fallacy.”

          Nope,

          They are not evolutionary biologists they are religious whack jobs..

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

        • Paul

          I agree that they are not “evolutionary” biologists. But some are biologist, some are astronomers, some are geologists, etc…

        • adam
        • Michael Neville

          “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution” –evolutionary biologist and Eastern Orthodox Christian Theodosius Dobzhansky

        • Paul

          How does he define evolution? What is basis for making such a claim – i.e. his worldview?

        • Michael Neville

          That’s the title of an essay that Dobzhansky wrote. The basis for his claim is that as a practicing PhD biologist that’s what he knew was correct.

          You say that you’re not a post-modernist but you cling to the post-modern idea that all “worldviews” are equal. This is both wrong and silly. A worldview based on the musings of Hebrew priests some 2500 years ago is not relevant when discussing the 21st Century world. The sooner you creationists realize this the better the world will become.

        • Paul

          “…but you cling to the post-modern idea that all “worldviews” are equal…

          I’ve made no such claim. That claim would be false. All worldviews are not equal. Naturalism/materialism has no solid foundation. It doesn’t even compare to Christianity which does have a solid foundation.

        • Michael Neville

          Naturalism and materialism (they are not the same thing) are based on reality. Christianity is based on lies, wishful thinking, distortions, fables, untruths, myths, fabrications, and more lies. How solid is that?

        • MNb

          You’re dishonest by omitting [- evolutionary biologists] because it was crucial to the claim I made.

          Plumbers matter for plumbing.
          Creationists matter for creationism.
          Evolutionary biologists matter for Evolution Theory.

          It’s not a No True Scotsman because that’s an objective criterion, like I elsewhere made clear. Ken Ham doesn’t matter, not because he’s a creationist, but because he is not an Evolutionary Biologist.

          “Either way you’re still dismissing the scientists who believe different than you.”
          Like I’m dismissing lumberjacks who believe different things about plumbing than you. They are not plumbers.
          It’s simply not a No True Scotsman.

          “If the number 3 physically existed, I could destroy it”
          Total nonsense. You can’t destroy elementary particles. Still you will agree that they exist.

          “If I write down the number 3 and then erase it, I would have destroyed the number 3.”
          Strawman. That’s not what I argue.
          Your error is that you narrow the meaning of “materially exist” – you even admit it by replacing it with “physically exist” and (again dishonestly) give physically a meaning that’s not the same as my “materially”.
          The number 3 only can exist exactly because it can be written down or communicated with other material means. If you cannot communicate with someone about the number 3 saying that it exists is meaningless. Communication uses material means. Hence the number 3 is material.

        • Herald Newman

          Platonic realists, just like moral realists, assert their position as true, but never provide a sufficient justification for it. Trying to get anything from them is an exercise in frustration.

        • Paul

          I’m not the one being dishonest. You’re changing my meaning. Did planets exist before humans? Yes, Did planets rotate just fine on
          their own before humans existed? Of course they did. And they are
          governed by immaterial, mathematical laws. Since they existed before
          humans, numbers and mathematical laws are not human concepts. So you
          have the existence of something immaterial. Therefore
          naturalism/materialism is false.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          We have a very different definition of dishonesty if you think you are not dishonest.

        • Paul

          “Anyone who subscribes to
          https://answersingenesis.org/a
          doesn’t matter. ”

          In your worldview, I would suppose that’s true. But in your worldview, that would just be one personal opinion in a world full of personal opinions. In your worldview, why would your opinions matter more than anyone else’s?

        • adam

          “In your worldview, I would suppose that’s true. ”

          No by the definition of Science, they dont practice science, they practice religion.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cd8ca4651d958209af25cfcb8e197b584fb20d8e2f002068b9eefba40d148c2c.jpg

        • Paul

          Strawman argument. Your definitions are wrong.

        • adam

          Argument from IDiocy.
          No my definitions are right, yours is wrong.

        • Paul

          But here’s the definition of faith that I use:
          “complete trust or confidence in someone or something:”

          So, you are clearly using the wrong definition.

        • adam

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b12fa1635e121ebbb3409640826d721ba93278771f0064bd133804faa3f01397.png

          Nope, I use the one the character “God” put in the bible when people speak of that “God”::

          And its definition is very clear – wishful thinking.

          ‘confidence is what CONfidence men use to CON people.

          Like AIG.

        • Paul

          Faith in the context of that verse means trust.

        • adam
        • Paul

          Read it again. What does the word “certain” mean?
          Here’s the exact same verse in the King James:
          “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

          Faith is evidenced. Can we see the wind? No, but we have evidence of it’s existence, moving trees, etc. Does that sound like wishful thinking to you?
          Faith is the EVIDENCE of things unseen. Faith in the Biblical context is not fideism.

        • adam

          “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for”

          Wishful thinking

          The only ‘evidence’ of wishful thinking is the IMAGINATION.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/776ee9cb44b1845e5a62ce2f892baf0c5ddae40995c8cc0fc5fbc5a113ae2682.jpg

        • adam

          “Can we see the wind? No, but we have evidence of it’s existence, moving
          trees, etc. Does that sound like wishful thinking to you? ”

          No of course not, ANYONE can easily demonstrate wind.

          Demonstrate your ‘God’ in a similar fashion.

        • Paul

          “Demonstrate your ‘God’ in a similar fashion.”

          So you’re willing to accept that the definition of the word “faith” that I use means “trust”? If we can’t agree on that, there’ no point in discussing that with you.

        • Michael Neville

          You don’t seem to understand adam’s request. He isn’t accepting any definitions, he’s asking you to demonstrate that your god exists. Why don’t you start by describing what attributes this supposed god has?

        • MNb

          So you also have problems with comprehensive reading.
          As soon as you demonstrate your ‘God’ in a similar fashion as the wind Adam is willing to accept that ‘the definition of the word “faith” that I use means “trust”?’, not before.

        • adam

          So the only REAL evidence you have is your trust?

          Ok, I will give you this one

          trust Merriam Webster
          5 a (1) : a charge or duty imposed in faith or confidence or as a condition of some relationship

          Ok, now demonstrate your “God” in a similar fashion as wind.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          So you don’t think there’s a point in demonstrating the existence of god unless we agree with your definition of faith?

          That speaks volumes.

        • MNb

          False analogy.

          “No, but we have evidence of it’s existence, moving trees, etc.”
          We have more. We have a consistent, testable theory that accurately describes all the relevant data involved – you mentioned just a few. That theory is molecule theory, which describes a lot more than just wind.
          You don’t have that regarding anything with your god involved. Your “theory” is neither consistent nor testable; the few times creationists tried to make testable claims they were quickly and thoroughly debunked, to which creationists reacted by making their “theory” untestable again. Hence faith in the Biblical context totally is fideism.
          The big fun here is that your favourite source AIG makes a huge point of this with its distinction between historical and observational science. You suddenly reject the importance of observational science now it suits you. “Goddiddid” is anything but observational science, not even according to your own definition. That again confirms that even on your own terms your analogy is false and faith in the Biblical context totally is fideism.
          But of course you being an established liar we cannot expect you to admit this. We certainly cannot expect you to get the relevant differences between historical and observational science if your great hero Ol’ Hambo himself refuses to get it.

        • MNb

          It’s not my worldview and not my personal opinion either.
          It’s what philosophers (notably David Hume) and scientists have meant with science and practices science for over 200 years.
          But granted – in my worldview the consensus of scientists and philosopher’s of science gets to decide what is science and what not, not a bunch of dishonest creationists like the ones from AIG.

        • Paul

          So ultimately, you base your worldview on the fallible opinions of human beings?

        • Myna

          So ultimately, you base your worldview on the fallible opinions of human beings?

          What are you talking about? The entire concept of religion, of worshiping heavenly deities is structured by fallible human beings and the deities always mirror that imperfection. The gods dislike what we dislike. The gods like what we like. The gods promise what we desire. The list is as long as the human ego will stretch.

          Science, in all of its manifestations, seeks to understand what was previously not understood. It’s mission is to discover, to enhance, to serve. It is not, it cannot be, subject to the cosmology of antiquity. Human nature may not change, but knowledge expands and expands, and so, too, the understanding of ourselves and our relationship to the world we inhabit. Are you arguing for that expansion to cease? Is this what you argue for?

        • Michael Neville

          Because there’s evidence for the evolutionary worldview and zip point shit evidence for creationism. The collection of myths, fables and lies called the Bible is not evidence of anything.

        • Paul

          “Because there’s evidence for the evolutionary worldview and zip point shit evidence for creationism.”

          We all have the SAME evidence. How one interprets the evidence depends on one’s worldview.

        • Paul B. Lot

          We all have the SAME evidence. How one interprets the evidence depends on one’s worldview.

          Your word-parsing subroutines seem to be on the fritz again.

          “Evidence” != “Evidence FOR _____”

          Nature is equally available to creationists and scientists alike, that much is true. There is, however, no evidence for creationism, ie. evidence which supports it over and above/to the exclusion of other theories.

        • MNb

          Thus far I forgot, but not even this applies to creationism.
          Your favourite source AIG explicitely rejects the evidence provided by radiometry, because that evidence unambiguously says that the Earth is much older than 10 000 years.
          In other words: you lie.
          And if you repeat it you deliberately do so instead of on behalf of AIG, so you will confirm that you are a liar. You would do me a favour.

          “How one interprets the evidence depends on one’s worldview.”
          This one is falsified by Alexander Friedmann, an atheist commie, and George Lemaitre, a catholic priest, who independently derived the same conclusion from General Relativity regarding the expanding universe. They had diametrically opposed worldviews.

        • Paul

          “…because that evidence unambiguously says…

          The evidence says nothing. Evidence is always interpreted and it’s done through someone’s worldview. That is not a lie. If it is, show me some evidence for Darwinian evolution that physically spoke to with a physical voice.

        • Hans-Richard Grümm

          You confuse evidence with facts. We all have the same facts (electrons exist, quantum phenomena happen, the universe is old, and all primates descend from a common ancestor). How you interpret them for philosophical, theological, political etc. purposes – that depends on your worldview.
          “Fact” = a statement so well established as correct that it would be irrational to refuse provisional assent (after Gould).

      • Herald Newman

        > The scientists who matter – evolutionary biologists – are
        > unanimous that humans are apes, apes are monkey,
        > monkeys are mammals, mammals are animals, animals
        > are eukaryots.

        Minor nit pick here, but apes are not monkeys. Monkeys and apes have a common ancestor, which makes them cousins.

        • TheNuszAbides
        • Herald Newman

          But we’re not descendant from monkeys, so how can we be monkeys? Apes and monkeys share a common primate ancestor.

        • TheNuszAbides

          and one of those, applied categorically prior to where/when ‘ape’ is applied categorically, is the Old World monkey. i certainly don’t know how to make the explanation by clade any clearer than the previous link, particularly the graphic it contains.
          however, i’m also fine with setting the pedantry aside and using “primates” as a catch-all.

        • TheNuszAbides

          also, from the comments, a clarification by Paolo that resonates with my perspective:

          I totally agree with respect to how terminology should
          probably be used, but the fact is that it isn’t necessarily used in that
          way and it’s somewhat unfair to censure someone for using a term that
          you disagree with, but for which there is plenty of reasonable
          justification for using.

          With respect to Graham Smith’s article I think that the use of the
          term ‘monkey’ was a bit inappropriate given that the more informative
          term ‘ape’ was available, but that does not mean that he was actually
          wrong in his use of words. Your article (although very enjoyable) is
          actually more incorrect because you make an explicit statement of fact
          that apes are not monkeys, when it is not actually a fact at all – it’s
          an equivocal opinion. That for me is the actual issue here.

      • Paul

        “There is nothing immaterial in a naturalistic world.”

        I agree with that statement. And since there are immaterial things, the world isn’t entirely naturalistic.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          It was explained to you that your understanding of naturalism is flawed. Naturalism does not imply that “material” is all there is: it certainly allows for concepts.

          You were corrected on your use of false information. You’ve ignored the correction and repeated the false information again.
          In light of the above, how can you claim you are not dishonest?

        • Paul

          “Naturalism does not imply that “material” is all there is: it certainly allows for concepts.”

          Then it’s you that doesn’t understand naturalism.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          Or perhaps that you understand naturalism as much as you understand evolution.

    • Pofarmer

      Where did something immaterial come from the material in a naturalistic world?

      Say what?

    • Pofarmer

      Laws of logic don’t make sense in a naturalistic, molecules-to-man evolutionary worldview

      Why not?

    • Pofarmer

      Where did the moral programming come from?

      Morals and moral intuition isn’t exclusive to humans. Evolution can account for it perfectly well, as folks like Frans De wall, and Patricia Churchland have shown.

    • Michael Neville

      Where did the laws of logic come from?

      They were formulated independently by the Chinese, the Sanskriti Indians and the Greeks. As Westerners we’re most familiar with the Greeks’ system of logic but the others are equally valid. The Basics of Philosophy website defines logic:

      Logic investigates and classifies the structure of statements and arguments, both through the study of formal systems of inference and through the study of arguments in natural language. It deals only with propositions (declarative sentences, used to make an assertion, as opposed to questions, commands or sentences expressing wishes) that are capable of being true and false. It is not concerned with the psychological processes connected with thought, or with emotions, images and the like. It covers core topics such as the study of fallacies and paradoxes, as well as specialized analysis of reasoning using probability and arguments involving causality and argumentation theory.

      Logical systems should have three things: consistency (which means that none of the theorems of the system contradict one another); soundness (which means that the system’s rules of proof will never allow a false inference from a true premise); and completeness (which means that there are no true sentences in the system that cannot, at least in principle, be proved in the system).

      Nothing supernatural needed for logic to function.

      • Paul

        It’s not a question of what’s needed for them to function. It’s a question of where they came from. Hence my question “Where did the laws of logic come from?” According to you, they are just a product of human beings. You don’t think they existed before humans?

        • Michael Neville

          The so-called laws of logic are a human invention. For instance Aristotle invented syllogistic logic. This is a kind of logical argument that applies deductive reasoning to arrive at a conclusion based on two or more propositions that are asserted or assumed to be true. In its earliest form, defined by Aristotle, from the combination of a general statement (the major premise) and a specific statement (the minor premise), a conclusion is deduced. For example, knowing that all men are mortal (major premise) and that Socrates is a man (minor premise), we may validly conclude that Socrates is mortal.

          I strongly suggest that you do some reading on logic before you make pronouncements about it. Because you don’t appear to understand how logic works, what its purpose is, and how logical constructions are arrived at. Incidentally mathematical logic was literally invented in the 19th Century by people like George Boole and Gottlob Frege.

        • Paul

          “The so-called laws of logic are a human invention.” Invented by or discovered by humans?

          ” Incidentally mathematical logic was literally invented in the 19th Century by people like George Boole and Gottlob Frege.”

          Human beings might have created mathematical notation, but mathematical laws existed before humans. Did planets exist before humans? Yes, Did planets rotate just fine on
          their own before humans existed? Of course they did. And they are
          governed by immaterial, mathematical laws. Since they existed before
          humans, numbers and mathematical laws are not human concepts. So you
          have the existence of something immaterial. Therefore
          naturalism/materialism is false.

        • Michael Neville

          What is a “mathematical law”? For that matter, what is a “law”? Please be specific.

          I think you have the weird idea that a law is prescriptive. “Thou shalt have 2 + 2 = 4, I the Lord have spoken!” is not a law, it’s nonsense that certain Christians believe.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          I’ve stated before that your understanding of naturalism is flawed. Naturalism does not imply that “material” is all there is: it certainly allows for concepts.

          You were corrected on your use of false information. You’ve ignored the correction and repeated the false information again.

          In light of the above, how can you claim you are not dishonest?

        • Pofarmer

          Defnately mistaking the map for the territory.

        • Paul B. Lot

          You made a similar comment elsewhere.
          I’ll just leave the link to my response here.

          I think I do a pretty good job, there, of explaining why this

          “Since they existed before humans, numbers and mathematical laws are not human concepts”

          is false.

        • Hans-Richard Grümm

          Planets are not “governed” by any laws. Their motion is described by scientific models aka “laws of nature” (don’t confuse them with mathematical laws). These models/laws are only accurate and have been refined (not invalidated!) several times.
          Humans have invented p-adic numbers, thus the mathematical laws which state their topological properties are human inventions, too.

        • Myna

          According to you, they are just a product of human beings. You don’t think they existed before humans?

          Logic isn’t mutable? There’s simple logic, like don’t put a hand into fire, but there’s also the logic of Vodun followers who apparently defy logic when possessed. Fox news is logic to some, NPR to others. Krishna is logic to Hindus and Jesus to Christians.

        • Paul

          “Logic isn’t mutable?”

          If they were mutable, they wouldn’t be laws.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          How does this make sense? Laws are created, changed or abolished all the time.

        • Paul

          Laws in the scientific sense, not laws in the laws of our country sense.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Laws in the scientific sense

          “In the scientific sense”, laws are merely observed regularities.

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

        • Paul

          Yes, they are observed. So where did they come from?

        • TheMarsCydonia

          Why do they need to come from anywhere? Do these laws require a lawmaker for their origin?

          If you think they do, then please provide evidence.

        • Paul B. Lot

          You said, elsewhere, with respect to “scientific laws”:

          I’m treating them as universal, immaterial, immutable laws.

          You’re doing it wrong. “Scientific laws” are NOT “universal”, “immaterial”, or “immutable” – they are statements describing our best understanding of the interactions of the material world. They have often been modified, they are always location-dependent.

          Your description of them is exactly and precisely incorrect.

          So where did they come from?

          Where did which come from? Obviously the text of the “laws” came from us – we put words together to describe reality.

          The regularities themselves? They arise out of the interaction of matter and energy evolving through time – the fluctuations of quantum fields, in other words.

        • Paul

          “They arise out of the interaction of matter and energy evolving through time”

          Really? Numbers evolved? Did the number 7 evolve from the number 3?

        • Paul B. Lot

          Really? Numbers evolved?

          Your reading comprehension failed you here, the antecedent was not “numbers” but “regularities”.

          The regularities which we observe, and which observations we call “laws”, evolve through time.

          As it happens, though, your non-sequitur question “Numbers evolved?” does have an answer: yes, numbers evolved. That is, [numbers as concepts in human brains] have evolved.

        • Paul

          “yes, numbers evolved. That is, [numbers as concepts in human brains] have evolved.”

          Please provide evidence.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Please provide evidence.

          I would love to, but in all honesty I’m getting a bit tired of doing all this work to explain things to you, while you seem to be putting in very little effort indeed.

          Yesterday you said that you would answer a question of mine, if I would elaborate on something for you.

          I did, but you haven’t – as far as I can tell.

          So, I’ll tell you what: I will do my best to explain my understanding of the evolution of the human concepts of numbers IF….

          …you stick to your word and explain this assertion: “If everything is just a product of natural process, there would be no reason expect uniformity in nature.”

        • Pofarmer

          Where did the rules on making a Queen Annes Chair come from?

        • Herald Newman

          What color is sleep?

        • Paul B. Lot

          Orange.

        • Herald Newman

          Cool. I like orange…

          My question of “what color is sleep” is an absurd question, meant to show that “where [outside of human minds] did logic come from” is also an absurd question. It makes assumptions (Platonic realism) that aren’t justified.

        • Paul B. Lot

          It was a question admirably well-suited to the task.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          But laws in the scientific sense are not actual laws and require no lawmakers.

        • Paul

          Can you prove that using the scientific method?

        • TheMarsCydonia

          Why would that need to proved with the scientic method? That makes no sense.

        • Dys

          Then you’ve got nothing, because you’re trying to treat the laws of logic as legislative style laws, when they’re not.

          Laws in the scientific sense are descriptive, not prescriptive.

        • Paul

          I’m not the one treating the Laws of logic as legislative laws. I’m treating them as universal, immaterial, immutable laws. If you think otherwise, please provide evidence.

        • Dys

          You’re treating them as prescriptive laws instead of descriptive, but you’ve provided no rationale for doing so, other than that TAG requires you to.

          So you’re not treating them as scientific laws at all.

        • MNb

          I provided evidence elsewhere on this page. Both s = v.t and P.V = c have been muted.
          And those laws are material exactly like numbers are material.

        • TheNuszAbides

          have been muted

          or have mutated.

        • Hans-Richard Grümm

          Easy. There is classical logic, in which the “tertium non datur” (every statement is either true or false) is valid, and quantum logic in which is it invalid. The latter is useful for describing typical quantum phenomena, starting with the two-slits experiment.

        • MNb

          Laws in the scientific sense are totally mutable. Einstein for instance muted the simple s = v.t by adding the Lorentz Factor. It’s a bit more complicated, but that’s it basically.

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

          Another, older example is Boyle’s Law P.V = c. It has been muted to get P.V = n.R.T and some more complicated versions.

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

        • Myna

          Logic, as a “law”, is not static. It is diverse and transforms with information.

        • Pofarmer

          Humans are tool making apes. The laws of logic are a tool.

        • Susan

          It’s a question of where they came from.

          Michael just told you. He was nice enough not to ask you what you mean when you say ” laws of logic”.

          He took it at face value and pointed you in the direction of where what we refer to as “logic” can be traced.

          According to you, they are just a product of human beings.

          Yep. See Michael’s comment. If you’d like to be clearer about what you mean and can demonstrate that they spring from something other than humans, help yourself.

          You don’t think they existed before humans?

          I dunno. What do you mean? Where do you think they began? With Neanderhals? :With mammoths? With single cell bacteria?

          Tell us what they are and where they came from.

        • Hans-Richard Grümm

          The “laws of logic” are exactly those statements which are true in every model, according to the semantics of a language (classical, intuitionist, quantum, fuzzy) which has been adopted.
          Thus they didn’t exist before those languages existed, just like a knight’s fork as a concept did not exist before the rules of chess were defined.

    • What scientists say humans are not animals? What else would we be?

      • Paul

        Religious scientists. What else would we be? Human.

        • What’s a religious scientist? Give me some examples. Are you thinking of biologists who work for the Discovery Institute, for example?

          I’m confused.

        • Paul

          A scientist who is religious. I’m not sure how that could have been confusing. Not all scientists are secular.

        • And I’ve never heard of a scientist, religious or not, who say that humans aren’t animals (and primates and great apes)–hence the confusion.

          Give me examples.

        • Paul
        • MNb

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          The folks from AIG are not scientists. They can’t be because of

          https://answersingenesis.org/about/faith/

          “The scientific aspects of creation are important but are secondary in importance to the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ as Sovereign, Creator, Redeemer, and Judge.”
          They are apologists, ie argue for predetermined conclusions. That’s the exact opposite of science.
          Oh, and of course exactly none of them are evolutionary biologists.

          Are you a Young Earth Creationist! Swell.

        • Paul

          “The folks from AIG are not scientists.”

          No True Scotsman fallacy.

        • Paul B. Lot

          No True Scotsman fallacy.

          I doubt it. We do, in fact, have evidence of ID/Creationist scientists – you’re absolutely right in that sense.

          It is not the case that [someone holding a belief in ID/Creationism] is at all times categorically disjunctive with [being a proper biological scientist].

          Unfortunately for your argument, every member of the category [legitimate biological scientist who did not believe in evolution] is now dead.

          It is no longer possible to hold both beliefs simultaneously. The circles of that Venn diagram have shifted apart so much that they no longer touch.

          In exactly the same way, it was once possible to [be a proper physical scientist] and at the same time [attempt alchemical experiments]….but is no longer.

          *Edits for clarity and word choice*

        • TheMarsCydonia

          But wouldn’t their “Humans are not animals” be a No True Scotsman fallacy?

        • adam

          The Oxford Dictionaries Online define the scientific method as “a method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses”.[4]
          It is important to design a experiment so that a hypothesis can be tested. The most important part of the scientific method is the experiment. [5]

        • MNb

          Repeating your error does nothing to remedy it. Anyone who subscribes to

          “The scientific aspects of creation are important but are secondary in importance to the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ as Sovereign, Creator, Redeemer, and Judge.”

          is not a scientist.
          The same applies to lots of “Soviet-science”, like the crap produced by Lysenko. You can only be a scientist when “scientific aspects are not merely important, but secondary to nothing”. Not me, but the folks from AIG, just like Lysenko, have declared themselves non-scientists with their “secondary to the Gospel” stance.

        • Paul

          “Anyone who subscribes to

          “The scientific aspects of creation
          are important but are secondary in importance to the proclamation of the
          gospel of Jesus Christ as Sovereign, Creator, Redeemer, and Judge.”is not a scientist.

          I suppose that would be true from someone with your worldview.

        • Paul

          “That’s the exact opposite of science.”

          No, it isn’t. What is science? At the basic level, it means knowledge. A more expanded definition would be knowledge gained by the scientific method. There’s no contraction between science and their theological position. The scientific facts are all the same no matter what one believes. But how those facts get interpreted depends on one’s worldview. What is contradictory is their worldview and yours.

        • Dys

          If you allow your religious beliefs to overrule science, then no, you’re not doing science.

          There’s no such thing as creation science either.

          If you have a desired conclusion that you will not waver from, no matter how much the evidence weighs against it, you are not doing science. AiG places religious dogma over science.

        • Paul

          “If you have a desired conclusion that you will not waver from, no matter
          how much the evidence weighs against it, you are not doing science.”

          Then that means that evolutionary scientists are not doing science. They are present with evidence that doesn’t support their hypotheses. But they are unwilling to change.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          Can you support this assertion?

          What evidence is there that contradicts evolution?

          Are you opposed to evolutionary scientists not changing their mind in the face of contradictory evidence?

        • Dys

          That’s simply untrue. Evolutionary theory has changed multiple times since Darwin. The problem you’re having (and that most anti-science creationists have) is that you expect an entire scientific theory with mountains of evidence to be tossed aside when a single piece of evidence doesn’t match up with it. That’s not how science works – the theory is adapted to accommodate the new evidence, unless it can’t be.

          Science changes, religion insists on unchanging dogmas. They are necessarily in conflict.

        • Paul

          “That’s simply untrue. Evolutionary theory has changed multiple times since Darwin.”

          You missed the point. They still believe in evolution even though they’ve been presented with evidence that doesn’t fit their worldview. They still not willing to change their viewpoint.

          “(and that most anti-science creationists have)”

          I don’t know of any anti-science creationist. They are all pro-science and even have advanced science degrees – even from secular universities.

        • Herald Newman

          > You missed the point. They still believe in evolution
          > even though they’ve been presented with evidence
          > that doesn’t fit their worldview.

          Like what? What do you think falsifies evolution?

        • TheMarsCydonia

          All I know of are anti-science creationists. They deny science despite some of them having science degrees, even from secular universities.

          But I asked and did not obtain an answer to, do you oppose scientists not changing their mind upon being presented contradictory evidence?

        • MNb

          “I don’t know of any anti-science creationist.”
          All creationists are anti-science, because all creationists at best give science second place to religion. I gave you evidence from the very website you yourself referred to.
          Most of them explicitely reject the scientific method.
          You’re a liar.
          You confirmed my theory that all creationists must be liars or must give up creationism.

        • Dys

          You missed the point. They still believe in evolution even though
          they’ve been presented with evidence that doesn’t fit their worldview.
          They still not willing to change their viewpoint.

          No, you missed the point. Completely. The theory adapts to the new evidence. The theory doesn’t get discarded merely because one piece doesn’t seem to fit – the theory is adapted. The theory of evolution has changed significantly since it was first introduced because of this. And the fact remains that there is no competing scientific theory.

          There is no controversy in the scientific community over evolution. The dissenters almost universally disagree for religious, not scientific reasons.

          I don’t know of any anti-science creationist. They are all pro-science
          and even have advanced science degrees – even from secular universities.

          Young earth creationists engage in quite a number of pseudo-sciences under the umbrella of creation “science”. AiG engages in it quite often.

        • MNb

          That’s simply another lie. Any evolutionary scientist – just ask them – would love to find a Cambrian rabbit or observe a dog giving birth to a cat without human intervention.
          Unlike creationists, dishonest as they are, want us to believe both would totally refute Evolution Theory in every single version.

        • MNb

          Good job missing the point; you missed it above when you reacted to Dys as well.

          “are secondary in importance to the proclamation of the gospel of ….”
          Science is a jealous bitch. It doesn’t allow to be secondary to anything. As soon as you try to force it to be secondary it ceases to be science.

          “What is science?”
          Rather: what is science not? Rejecting results (you call them interpretations) as soon they conflict with any proclamation is not science.

          “There’s no contraction between science and their theological position.”
          Not necessarily, no. That’s why many christians can accept scientific conclusions that are rejected by AIG. The question though is what happens when a scientific conclusion (like the Universe is 13,7 billion years old) conflicts with some theological position (like “according to my interpretation of the Bible the Universe is 6 000 years old”). According to that quote AIG commands to reject the first and hence not only becomes unscientific, but even antiscientific.

          “What is contradictory is their worldview and yours.”
          That’s correct but also irrelevant. Science is not a worldview. It’s a method. The method used by AIG, as expressed in that quote, is unscientific.

        • TheNuszAbides

          Science is a jealous bitch.

          i’m somewhat surprised i haven’t seen this before, but it’s quite elegant.

        • Somewhat related: “Reality is a cold and heartless bitch and I love her for it.”

        • Michael Neville

          My favorite statement about reality is Philip K. Dick’s: “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”

        • adam

          ” There’s no contraction between science and their theological position. ”

          Yes, there is.

          Science relies on reality.

          Theology relies on MAGIC.. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/878b8e07d2b942087c85ac234890ad18b3e8f811594bc275918c5d05cbe88467.jpg

        • So there’s a teeny niche of scientists who say that humans aren’t animals. OK, I see that. And you follow them and reject the scientific consensus? Kinda hard to justify, IMO, unless you’ve got a doctorate in biology.

        • Paul

          Does a consensus make something true? Clearly not.

        • Dys

          No, but a group like Answers in Genesis, that clearly and unequivocally states that they place their religious beliefs above science makes their bias against science completely obvious.

          Their stance that humans aren’t animals is not a scientific position, it’s a religious one.

        • Paul

          “Their stance that humans aren’t animals is not a scientific position, it’s a religious one.”

          Is that a scientific statement?

        • Dys

          It’s based on their own statement. They admit that they will allow their religious beliefs to overrule science.

          If you have a dogma that is not open to change, you’re not doing science.

        • Paul

          Then your statement is just a strawman. You don’t understand what their beliefs are.

          “If you have a dogma that is not open to change, you’re not doing science.”

          Are you open to the possibility that your worldview is wrong?

        • Dys

          Then your statement is just a strawman. You don’t understand what their beliefs are.

          No, it’s not. Sorry. They clearly state that their religious dogma takes precedence over science.

          Are you open to the possibility that your worldview is wrong?

          Yes.

        • Paul

          “..makes their bias against science completely obvious.”

          They’re not biased against science. They biased against naturalism/materialism which is clearly false. There’s no conflict between science and religion.

        • Dys

          There’s no conflict between science and religion.

          That’s simply false.

          Young earth creationists are wrong about the age of the earth, for instance. Their belief to the contrary is not a scientific belief, it is a religious one.

          Also, science uses methological naturalism. If you’re going outside of that, you’re not doing science.

        • Paul

          No, it’s a conflict between your molecules-to-man evolution worldview and their Biblical worldview. All of us have the exact same evidence. People interpret the evidence based on their worldview.

        • Dys

          And it is post-modernist tripe to pretend those worldviews are all on equal footing. All you’re arguing for is an insulated little echo chamber where the young earth creationists can pretend to be right by ignoring or dismissing all the evidence that contradicts their religious beliefs. They don’t have a scientific worldview, they have a religious one.

          Someone can believe that the earth is flat if they want, and ignore any and all evidence to the contrary, or try to explain it away with bizarre excuses. That doesn’t mean their belief is scientific.

        • Paul

          I’m not a post-modernist. It’s a failed philosophy.

          “…where the young earth creationists can pretend to be right by ignoring or dismissing all the evidence that contradicts their religious beliefs.”

          If you look at their worldview using your worldview, of course you’d come to that conclusion. The 2 worldviews are in conflict. Doing science only makes sense from a Biblical worldview which can make sense of the uniformity in nature. If everything is just a product of natural process, there would be no reason expect uniformity in nature.

        • Herald Newman

          > If everything is just a product of natural process, there
          > would be no reason expect uniformity in nature.

          Please explain why this is true? I simply cannot understand how this follows.

        • Dys

          If you look at their worldview using your worldview, of course you’d come to that conclusion.

          I’ve seen them literally dismiss evidence out of hand because it contradicts their worldview.

          Doing science only makes sense from a Biblical worldview which can make sense of the uniformity in nature.

          That’s completely untrue. If you have an all-powerful god, there is no reason to suspect it. In fact, young earth creationism relies on there not being uniformity in nature in order to try and explain away some of the pesky facts against their position.

          If everything is just a product of natural process, there would be no reason expect uniformity in nature.

          You haven’t justified this in the slightest.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Doing science only makes sense from a Biblical worldview which can make sense of the uniformity in nature.

          False.

          If everything is just a product of natural process, there would be no reason expect uniformity in nature.

          Why on earth not?

        • Paul

          Please elaborate on why you think the first statement is false. Then I’ll answer your question.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Please elaborate on why you think the first statement is false.

          Because I come from a non-Biblical worldview and I am able to do science.

        • Paul

          Anyone with any particular worldview can do science. That was not the what I said and was not my point. Here’s what I said: “Doing science only makes sense from a Biblical worldview which can make sense of the uniformity in nature.”

          You can do science because there is uniformity in nature. But uniformity in nature doesn’t make sense in a naturalistic/materialistic universe.

        • Otto

          At no point have you justified your comment. You seem to think it is self evident. It isn’t, and it is in fact self contradictory.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Anyone with any particular worldview can do science. That was not the what I said and was not my point. Here’s what I said: “Doing science only makes sense from a Biblical worldview which can make sense of the uniformity in nature.”

          Ah, okay – you’re not saying that people who lack a Biblical world view [cannot do science], simply that [it doesn’t make sense for them to do science].

          You can do science because there is uniformity in nature.

          To some extent, sure. On the other hand, much of what being a scientist is about is being open to/okay with doubt/uncertainty/error.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRmbwczTC6E

          But uniformity in nature doesn’t make sense in a naturalistic/materialistic universe.

          Why on earth not?

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

        • MNb

          Indeed we do science on the assumption that there is uniformity in nature. Your Biblical worldview however maintains that there is no uniformity in nature; whenever your god intervenes that uniformity is violated. So according to your own argument doing science cannot make sense from a Biblical worldview.
          Twice I already pointed this out to you; this is the third time. It’s typical for the dishonesty of those christians who claim to do “science” based on a Biblical worldview to neglect this point. That dishonest already disqualifies you as far as science goes.
          Like I already told you I appreciate it.

        • Herald Newman

          He’s not hear to learn, he’s here to shit all over the place!

        • MNb

          That’s an open door. Any creationist who enters such discussions with the purpose the learn will cease to be a creationist.

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

          “In 2005 Dekker got involved in discussions around Intelligent Design in the Netherlands, a movement that he has since clearly distanced himself from.”

        • adam
        • Otto

          Paul was not the first to ask this question of you. You have yet to answer it from anyone that I have seen. My only conclusion is you do not have an answer and you just want to assert your position without backing it up. You can prove me (and the rest of us) wrong by answering it. I am not holding my breath though.

        • Otto

          And you still haven’t answered the direct question. It is easy to spout assertions without supporting them isn’t it..? The hard part is actually having to give a rational foundation for them.

          You are not helping your side. It is this type of disingenuous and dishonest dialog that had many of us questioning the doublespeak of the Christian worldview. I was fully a Christian but listening to answers and non-answers of the type you are displaying helped change that. Keep it up.

        • MNb

          “there would be no reason expect uniformity in nature.”
          That’s correct. It’s an assumption – one that never has been disproved thus far.
          The big fun is that your belief system claims that nature is not uniform at all. Whenever your god intervenes that uniformity can be violated – like Jesus raising Lazarus from death. So you’re contradicting yourself. As long as you believe that Jesus raised Lazarus from death you argue that from a Biblical worldview there is no uniformity in nature ahd hence you cannot make sense from it.
          You’re not exactly a consistent thinker, aren’t you? Nice how you demonstrate your own views to be false.

        • Otto

          “Doing science only makes sense from a Biblical worldview which can make sense of the uniformity in nature.”

          Complete poppycock….you have no basis for that bald assertion. If that was actually true all science would have to be Biblical.

          Name one discovery that a Biblical scientific worldview found that would not have happened otherwise. Just one.

        • Paul

          Name one technological advancement that could not have been achieved unless someone believed in Darwinian, universal common descent evolution. Just one.

        • MNb

          Define technological.
          If it’s a narrow definition: name one technological advancement that could not have been achieved unless someone believed in the Law of Supply and Demand. Then make clear how the fact that you can’t casts doubt on that law.
          If it’s a broad definition: evolutionary computation.

          http://www.mitpressjournals.org/loi/evco

          Took me 30 seconds to find.

          Plus your counterquestion means that you admit there is no single “discovery that a Biblical scientific worldview found that would not have happened otherwise” (totally comparable with Evolution Theory resulted in the application of evolutionary computation). That again means this

          “Doing science only makes sense from a Biblical worldview which can make sense of the uniformity in nature.”
          is totally failse.
          Finally thanks for neglecting my remark that the Biblical worldview actually denies the uniformity of nature and hence can’t make sense of it. I appreciate that; it suggests you know you’re wrong but are too dishonest to admit it.

        • Bruce Gorton

          Insulin, pesticides, modern anti-biotics, GMOs, just about any product dependant on animal testing…

        • Paul

          That all stems from on observational evidence. No belief in numerous, successive, slight modification, universal common descent evolution is required.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          Your choice of words still betray your ignorance of evolution.

        • Bruce Gorton

          Yeah, you just demonstrated that you really know less than nothing.

          Insulin, required us to realise we were related to other animals in order for us to figure out how to get those animals to produce it for us.

          Pesticides have to take into account successive, slight modification in order to account for pests developing resistances and immunities to them, ditto modern anti-biotics. You know why you get told by your doctor to “finish the course”? Because the disease they’re treating is evolving to deal with the treatment, if you leave any of it alive you end up producing anti-biotic resistant strains.

          Sure penicillin you could say “direct observation” but once that stops working, without evolution you don’t know why and thus you can’t develop the next generation of anti-biotics.

          AIDS treatments are another example. The major reason we haven’t cured AIDS is because some of the virons tend to hide out in people’s bones, which puts them beyond the reach of those ARVs.

          The net result is that the virus mutates over time to overcome one treatment, then another, then another. The upshot of all of this being that the battle against the disease requires understanding exactly how it is evolving in order to keep people alive, because we haven’t found a way to kill all the virons in its sufferers.

          Meanwhile your religion promotes “faith healing” that results in the spouses of HIV sufferers getting infected. Oh and you get to feel good about it because look at how your church is “ministering to the sick”. You offer them false hope, and ensure the disease continues its spread and where is your God to say no to that fat bank account earned from lying my people to death?

          But I digress.

          GMOs stem from the study of genetics which is pretty central to modern evolutionary theory and animal testing is largely guided by how we relate to other species in evolutionary terms, because otherwise we’d waste a whole load of time on species that are so fundamentally different to us that the research done would be worthless.

          And there are a whole load of other examples we could raise. Evolution has produced results. Your question was a stupid one.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          Ribotyping is a technique for identifying an organism or at least finding its closest known relative by mapping its ribosomal RNA onto the tree of life. It can be used even when the organisms cannot be cultured or recognized by other methods. Ribotyping and other genotyping methods have been used to find previously unknown infectious agents of human disease.

          The above cannot be achieved without an understanding of the evidence supporting and the predictions made by the theory of evolution.

          Can you do the same with creationism?

          And by the way, you expose your poor and certainly willful misunderstanding of evolution with your choice of words.

        • Paul

          That doesn’t require belief in evolution. That just requires the knowledge, observed in nature, that SOME animals are related.

          The Bible says that God told animals to reproduce after their KIND. There’s one canine kind with many different varieties. They observable evidence that animals reproduce after their own kind confirms exactly what the Bible says. Creationists can even use the Ribotyping in this case. No Darwinian evolutionary worldview is required.

          I understand evolution quite well:

          “If it could be demonstrated that any complex
          organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find no such case.”
          — Charles Darwin

          Like Darwin, I see no evidence of these at all.

        • Paul B. Lot

          I understand evolution quite well:

          Ahem…*cough*…..er….I don’t think….

          Well, lets just see what you offer to back up this claim that “understand quite well.”

          “If it could be demonstrated that any complex
          organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find no such case.”
          — Charles Darwin

          Like Darwin, I see no evidence of these at all.

          Ah. I see. As [evidence that @disqus_D04ZxtE1b3:disqus understands evolution] you offered [a misunderstanding of a quote of Darwin].

          :-/

          Darwin is saying that he can find no case of a complex organ existing which could NOT possibly have arisen through evolution.

          You accidentally claimed that YOU ALSO cannot find evidence which would contradict evolution.

          PS. Come on, Paul, you’re giving us a bad wrap.

        • Paul

          You missed the point. Here is the relevant portion that you missed:

          “f it could be demonstrated that any complex
          organ existed, which
          could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight
          modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.”

          It has never been demonstrated. Therefore, his theory has broken down.

        • Paul B. Lot

          It has never been demonstrated.

          WHAT has never been demonstrated? Please try to be precise.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          You misunderstand Darwin. I’ll reword it so you can understand it despite your worldview.
          What Darwin is saying here is:
          “If a creationist could show any organ that cannot have evolved through numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would be proven false”

          Has any creationist ever demonstrated such an organ? You unententionally got it right:
          “It has never been demonstrated”.

        • MNb

          It has.
          Darwin did.
          With the human eye.
          Thanks for confirming you don’t understand evolution indeed.

          http://talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB301.html

          Confirmed here.

          https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041030215105.htm

          Not that you will admit it. You’re a creationist hence dishonest. The list of your exposed lies only will get longer.

        • Paul

          “Thanks for confirming you don’t understand evolution indeed.”

          Don’t thank me. Thank secular educational institutions.

        • MNb

          And of course a liar like you won’t educate himself by reading some relevant stuff, like I did a couple of years ago. It took me four evenings.

        • Michael Neville

          Just because you had a lousy education doesn’t mean that evolution is untrue, it just means you had a lousy education.

        • Kodie

          I’m assuming you mean to say that public school didn’t teach you to read, and let you graduate illiterate, in which case, I’m so sorry the system failed you. I’m linking a literacy directory for you, as I think not being able to read is serious, and explains why you believe so many backwards and insane things. Nobody should have to suffer like that.

          https://www.literacydirectory.org/

        • TheMarsCydonia

          I think we can thank AiG.

          Secular educational institutions are not to blame for willful ignorance.

        • MNb

          You’re probably right, but as a non-American who never has visited the USA I can’t really say that.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          Thanks to its website, AiG is one of the most known anti-science website for creationist “science”

        • Paul

          You have yet to demonstrate that they are anti-science. So far it’s just your opinion.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          By that same token, you have yet to demonstrate that they are “pro-science”.

          Which of course they are not. Any organisation whose objective is to overturn scientific consensus not out of evidence gathered by the scientific method but by ignoring evidence it in favor of a preferred interpretation of a religious book qualifies as anti-science.

          Again, I’ll have to ask and hope you will not run away: what is your objective here?

        • Paul B. Lot

          So far it’s just your opinion.

          Nah, not really. If we agree to define “being scientific” or “being pro-science” as [being willing to subject all your beliefs to verification/falsification], then anyone who refuses to do so is “anti-science”.

          The AIG folks refuse to subject their religious beliefs to verification/falsification, and so they are anti-science.

        • Paul

          I see the problem. You have the wrong definition of science.

        • Paul B. Lot

          I see the problem. You have the wrong definition of science.

          Ah hah! So in your worldview, [the proper mindset of the scientist] DOES NOT include the axiom that [each belief should be subject to verification/falsification]?

          Indeed, I see the problem too: this is why you fail.

          Allow me to quote you an excerpt from an expert in the field on this very topic (although reading the whole thing would be worth your while):

          The first principle [of thinking scientifically] is that you must not fool yourself–and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that.

        • Paul

          All I said was “You have the wrong definition of science” and that was what you thought?

          One one hand I’m glad you mentioned axioms since they are a part of everyone’s worldview. But please tell me about what you think the “proper mindset” of a scientist should be? Why use such a narrow definition?

          Let’s start with the basic definition of science: knowledge.
          Can we at least agree on that?
          Another definition would be: knowledge gained by the scientific method, i.e. experiments and observation.
          Can we agree on that definition?

        • Paul B. Lot

          One one hand I’m glad you mentioned axioms since they are a part of everyone’s worldview.

          I’m happy to please.

          But please tell me about what you think the “proper mindset” of a scientist should be?

          I think…I think I just did, didn’t I?

          I believe I gave you a link to a philosophy-of-science essay by R. Feynman, no? Was my link broken?

          I find that essay convincing, I find the statement “The first principle [of thinking scientifically] is that you must not fool yourself” persuasive.

          THAT is the “proper mindset” of which I speak.

          Why use such a narrow definition?

          Why does that seem “narrow” to you? I find it’s quite open-ended and broad: know that you’re easy to fool (even by yourself), and try your best to avoid fooling yourself. We’re not talking a Decalogue, here.

          Let’s start with the basic definition of science

          That might be A basic definition, it might not be “the” basic definition.

          Can we at least agree on that?

          What do we mean by “knowledge”?

        • adam

          “But please tell me about what you think the “proper mindset” of a scientist should be? ”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1c0946481dbaec101b662154d85894beedec65a274d3c97b8b701ce558e973fb.jpg

          “Why use such a narrow definition?”

          Honesty

        • adam
        • adam

          And you’ve failed to demonstrate your “God”.

          So far, it is just your unscientific opinion.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4e5bf0bb965dfea057390a60ed5831b4a71e150c0766d79eca7bf17a4b30f682.jpg

          And YES, it has been demonstrated from their own words that they choose faith over scientific evidence

        • MNb

          I won’t deny that, but that doesn’t exclude the possibility that in the USA secular educational institutions are to blame for Paul’s ignorance. Godless in Dixie contains some reports that demonstrate the situation in the USA might be worse in several Third World countries.

        • Paul

          “Darwin did.
          With the human eye.”

          No, He didn’t. He merely assumed it did. Sure, he shuddered at the idea of the eye evolving and he said it left him cold, but he believed it evolved anyway. It was never demonstrated HOW the eye could have evolved through numerous, successive, slight variations.

        • Paul B. Lot

          It was never demonstrated HOW the eye could have evolved through numerous, successive, slight variations.

          You have once again done an admirable job of explaining to us exactly how, and to what extent, you have misunderstood about that quote of Darwin’s.

          “If it could be demonstrated that any complex
          organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find no such case.”

          Darwin IS NOT saying that his theory would break down [if it were difficult to explain any given organ at any give time].

          Darwin IS saying his theory would break down [if one could prove that the evolution of a given organ were impossible].

          Do you understand the mistake you’ve made?

          You’ve shifted the burden [which Darwin placed on his theory’s critics to prove the impossibility of xyz organ having evolved] off of those critics, and onto the shoulders of [the supporters of Darwin’s theory to prove the possibility of xyz organ having evolved.]

          Do you know what “shifting the burden” means?

          It’s like in current US criminal law where [the state has the burden to prove a defendant’s guilt] versus other systems where [the defendant has the burden to prove his/her innocence].

          Does that make sense to you?

        • Paul

          Yes, I’m familiar with shifting the burden of proof. I didn’t shift it, you did. The onus is not on Darwin’s critics to prove him wrong. He has to demonstrate that he is right. The onus is on the one that makes the claim. Darwin was the one claiming that organs could evolve from numerous, successive, slight modifications. He needs to back it up.

        • Paul B. Lot

          I didn’t shift it, you did.

          Not quite. We are not discussing [The Theory of Evolution] right now, we’re discussing the [Meaning and Implication of a single quotation from Darwin’s correspondence].

          That single quotation is this:

          If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find no such case.

          YOU brought that quote up, and you had the following to say about it:

          Like Darwin, I see no evidence of these at all.

          The point of our current discussion, then, is to get you to understand the mistake you made in declaring that your position was in any way “like Darwin[‘s]”.

          Your position is not like his.

          He was stating that IF someone could prove that any given organ xyz were impossible to arrive-at-via-evolution, then his theory would break down.

          You are not claiming that, so you were either mistaken or lying when you said that your view was “like Darwin[‘s]”.

          We could possibly talk further about what you’ve just shifted our discussion to, [The Theory of Evolution], but first I want us to nail down the mistake you made in characterizing the [Meaning and Implication of a single quotation from Darwin’s correspondence].

        • TheMarsCydonia

          Really, he does not understand what he quotes but he insists he understands evolution?

          Worse, it’s been repeatedly pointed out to him but everytime he is shown to be wrong, he ignores it.

          Just like creation “scientists”.

        • Herald Newman

          He’s a troll. What are you expecting?

        • TheMarsCydonia

          Not only expecting but demanding from the christians that they act as honest and moral as they claim to be.

          And I’m let down everytime but that means I won’t let them go unchallenged

        • Herald Newman

          Honest apologist has been an oxymoron to me for a long time. Claiming to have high standards, and believing that Jesus was raised from the dead, based only on the written words of anonymous authors, is nothing short of dishonest in my mind. That dishonesty seems to extend to everything they try to defend about their “faith.”

        • adam

          ” That dishonesty seems to extend to everything they try to defend about their “faith.””

          It has to.

          When the religion is BASED on DISHONESTY, it cant help but permeate into their ‘defense’ of said DISHONESTY.

        • adam

          “Not only expecting but demanding from the christians that they act as honest and moral as they claim to be.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/681785c573e0e941d7e81f66dd2e305bc7671f7e9b41f0b84b263f098be05d79.jpg

          People like him are on the side of atheism

        • Paul B. Lot

          It’s a shame, really.

          On the one hand, the probability that he is simply a troll grows in my mind – albeit slowly.

          On the other hand, if he’s not he’s clearly got a willingness/ability to question the status quo: if that skepticism were better-informed/a bit more self-aware, it would be a powerful tool for clarification.

          Ah well. :-/

        • TheMarsCydonia

          You have seen something I haven’t : a willingness to question the status quo.

          In fact, it’s actually the complete opposite of what I have seen: a complete unwillingness to change his position once the correct information was provided or a complete unwillingness to question and thus answer for his position when questionned.

        • Paul B. Lot

          You have seen something I haven’t : a willingness to question the status quo.
          In fact, it’s actually the complete opposite of what I have seen

          Ah, forgive me: I wrote poorly.

          I meant to say something like “he’s clearly got a willingness/ability to question a popular status quo” – ie. ours.

          Here at EN specifically, and in academia/science/intellectual circles more generally.

          His unwillingness to challenge/examine the status-quo of the intellectual tradition from which he hails is what you justly critique, and what I also lamented a moment ago.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          Except that “kind” is not a scientific term with no pratical application in any scientific field. The relationship observed in nature is concordant solely with evolutionary relationships.

          Because “reproduce after their own kind” contradicts the observations we can make in nature about these relationships.

          And “I understand evolution quite well” would be believable if you’d demonstrate an understanding of evolution for which I see, wait for it, no evidence of at all.

          But I agree with your final statetment:
          There is not any demonstrated case of any complex organ that could not have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications. We see no evidence at all for these cases, we can find no such case.

          We all agree with Darwin on this.

        • Otto

          I asked a question that related directly to a claim you made. You make all kinds of statements that you never support. It is almost like you are just repeating things you have heard other people say that you think sound good, but you have no real understanding of the issue you are pretending to address.

        • adam
        • adam

          “If everything is just a product of natural process, there would be no reason expect uniformity in nature.”

          No, that’s EXACTLY what one would expect.

          If reality was like the bible you would see non-uniformity from a ‘God’ who keeps changing his mind:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/86effa5e2bc761ae95f687bf44f1632c13ebd40a54b07502d779f242a887cc3e.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dc554b74af68425056b8a4228b7f09490a1e80f6c6bf14f85bbce2e8015a0bfb.jpg

        • Michael Neville

          Doing science only makes sense from a Biblical worldview which can make sense of the uniformity in nature.

          Are you talking about the Bible which says that insects have four legs and pi equals three? Sorry, I prefer a worldview more in line with reality than with what some Iron Age Hebrew priests thought.

          If everything is just a product of natural process, there would be no reason expect uniformity in nature.

          For today’s fallacy you’ve chosen non sequitur.

        • Paul

          Why
          does nature obey certain laws? Why doesn’t it just create new laws for
          it to obey?

        • Kodie

          Did you mean to demonstrate how religious gullibility leads one to be confidently incoherent?

        • Paul B. Lot

          Why does nature obey certain laws? Why doesn’t it just create new laws for it to obey?

          1) Nature “obeys” no “laws” – the universe just does what it do, and we label that action as a “law”.
          2) Why should it not it act as we see it?
          3) In contrast to #2, it has often been the case that the “laws” we came up with to describe nature have been incorrect – and new/revised “laws” were necessary. Therefore nature DOES “create new laws”, in your nomenclature.

        • MNb

          Once again you contradict yourself – or you simply lie. You subscribed to “scientific laws describe, they don’t prescribe”. Now you say that nature obeys laws, hence that those laws prescribe.
          You ask incorrect answers and hence won’t get correct answers.

        • Michael Neville

          I’ve asked you several times to define “laws”. As Inigo Montoya put it so well: “You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.”

        • Otto

          Do you understand the difference between a ‘Descriptive Law’ and a ‘Prescriptive Law’?

          Your question leads me to think you don’t.

        • Michael Neville

          I’ve asked Paul to define “laws” several times. He’s been ignoring those requests. I suspect he can’t give a definition.

        • Pofarmer

          I’m not a post-modernist. It’s a failed philosophy.

          All philosophies fail at some point. Don’t mistake the map for the territory.

        • Without Malice

          Since in the natural world everything from the current state of the universe to the evolution of life on earth comes about by one thing leading to another, uniformity in nature is exactly what one would expect.

        • Bruce Gorton

          Doing science only makes sense from a Biblical worldview which can make sense of the uniformity in nature.

          Colonialist much? I mean you are basing this on the assumption that the only people who are making any scientific progress in the sciences are those who have a “biblical worldview” – in other words westerners.

          It seems an awful lot of science is being done by those darn Hindus in India, Buddhists in Japan, and the odd animist.

          You know, people who do not actually have a biblical worldview.

          Science relies on simple observation. Uniformity in nature is simply something that has simply proven to be a consistent observation. It doesn’t require making sense of, because reality doesn’t have to make sense. It just has to be real..

          That said, uniformity doesn’t make sense in a created universe, as a created universe has room for creativity. Consider “supernatural elements” that abound in fiction – in comic books we can have Superman, and he can do whatever the writers want him to do.

          Within fiction you can have the “rule of cool” wherein the likelyhood of something working is directly proportional to how entertaining it would be. In fiction, you can have fire breathing dragons kidnapping royalty, to be rescued by somebody with a destiny.

          In reality, not so much.

          In a created universe the time used on any boring activity is minimised because it wrecks the pacing. Grind is considered a flaw in a videogame, and most training in movies can be done with a montage. Even “engineering porn” like The Martian glosses over a lot of downtime.

          We may not have much time in our universe, but a lot of that time is spent on the dull details of learning how to do something. You didn’t learn to walk in a synth rock backed montage. We spent about a third of our lives asleep, not doing much of anything. Our greatest achievements are largely born of incremental painstaking work that failed in very uninteresting ways.

          Our universe just does not have the inconsistency to be designed, it just doesn’t have the short-cuts involved in an actual designed reality.

        • Paul

          As I said before in other posts, anyone with any worldview can do science. But they interpret the evidence through their worldview. Yes, nature is uniform, which would not be expected in an naturalistic/materialistic evolutionary worldview.

          Why doesn’t the uniformity in nature point to a evolutionary world? Why
          does nature obey certain laws? Why doesn’t it just create new laws for
          it to obey?

        • Herald Newman

          > Why does nature obey certain laws? Why doesn’t it
          > just create new laws for it to obey?

          Here’s your problem. You’re treating natural law like laws that make rules that must be obeyed. You’ve also assumed that nature has the power to make new rules. Neither of these are justified.

          Natural laws are descriptive, not prescriptive.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Why
          does nature obey certain laws? Why doesn’t it just create new laws for
          it to obey?

          1) Nature “obeys” no “laws” – the universe just does what it do, and we label that action as a “law”.
          2) Why shouldn’t it act as we see it?
          3) In contrast to #2, it has often been the case that the “laws” we came up with to describe nature have been incorrect – and new/revised laws were necessary. Therefore nature DOES “create new laws”, in your nomenclature.

        • Paul

          “In contrast to #2, it has often been the case that the “laws” we
          came up with to describe nature have been incorrect – and new/revised
          laws were necessary. Therefore nature DOES “create new laws”, in your
          nomenclature.”

          The laws didn’t change. Human being’s understanding of the law changed.

        • MNb

          Repeating your falsehoods without addressing the objections ad nauseam only exposes you as the liar you are.
          Yes, those objections demonstrate this is another falsehood of yours.
          Plus I demonstrated it elsewhere. I repeat:
          You claimed that natural laws existed before sentient beings wrote them down.
          Natural laws do nothing but describing the available empirical evidence.
          Your claim can’t be compared with empirical evidence. Hence it’s incoherent. It’s a faith statement that can’t be demonstrated to be correct and hence can be rejected.

        • Paul B. Lot

          So, you ignored #1; which contradicts you.

          You ignored #2; which contradicts you.

          You decided to focus on #3. Okay, let’s take a look at it together.

          The laws didn’t change. Human being’s understanding of the law changed.

          You keep saying “the laws” when you mean “the regularities in nature”.

          Please stop doing that. It’s intellectually lazy, and you’re confusing [the reference] for [the referent].

          [The sign] pointing the way to Hell, MI is not the same thing as [Hell, MI itself].

          Do you understand that distinction?

          [The laws] are our human attempts to approximate [the regularities in nature].

          Capiche?

          So you want to claim that [the regularities in nature] did not change? Which ones have never changed? How do you know that they’ve never changed?

          You know what….never mind.

          Let’s ignore the fact that you haven’t the slightest shred of evidence, nor could you have, to preclude the possibility that they had ever changed (can’t prove a negative, eh?).

          Let’s just grant your unevidenced assumption, for the sake of argument.

          [The regularities in nature] have never changed.

          So what?

          [The regularities] are not “immaterial”, [the regularities] are simply [the interaction of physical things].

          EVEN IF we agreed that [the concepts] we use to try to capture [the regularities] were “immaterial” (and we don’t agree), [the regularities themselves] are material.

          Therefore your whole line of argument these last few days is a non sequitur – it is invalid – it is destroyed.

        • MNb

          Yes, nature is uniform, which is denied by the Biblical worldview that postulates that a god violates that uniformity when intervening.
          You’re a liar.

        • Bruce Gorton

          As I said before in other posts, anyone with any worldview can do science. But they interpret the evidence through their worldview.

          Weren’t you just telling somebody else that you don’t subscribe to postmodernism? Their work is usable by any scientists in their given fields anywhere, and comprehensible to any scientists in their given fields anywhere.

          Science is not a matter of “worldview” it is at its heart a matter of observation. It is an objective not subjective field, and has its roots in a far wider array of philosophies than you realize.

          Why doesn’t the uniformity in nature point to a evolutionary world?

          Are you asking the direct opposite question to the one you mean?

          Why does nature obey certain laws?

          It doesn’t actually obey anything. It just behaves in a consistent manner which we as a species have observed. That consistency is itself consistent with nature not being sentient or the product of a sentient being, as otherwise it or its creator would be able to change those laws at a whim.

          Why doesn’t it just create new laws for it to obey?

          Because there is no sentience to create those new laws. If there was a central being in control of the whole show, it could change the way the universe behaved at any point. As there is no god, there is nothing to change those laws.

          Change is symptomatic of a driver of that change, if there is no change, then there is no evidence of a driver. Inconsistency would be better evidence for your God, than consistency because then we would have to figure out what was causing the inconsistency.

          Consistency is precisely what we would expect from a universe that is godless.

        • Paul

          “Science relies on simple observation.”

          Exactly. No one has ever observed organisms evolving from a single common ancestors by numerous, successive, slight modifications over millions of years.

        • Paul B. Lot

          1) He did not say that science relies on “simple observation” alone. Without conjecture and hypothesis, we would never be able to form experiments to test, and advance, our understanding. The scientific endeavor would only consist of record-keeping.

          2) “Simple” does not imply or dictate “direct”. We have never observed electrons, either – does that mean that QED is false, too? Does that mean that we’re all imagining our computers functioning?

          Am I not typing this out right now?

        • TheMarsCydonia

          In the scientific context, we have.

          You know what we have never observed? A few thousand “kinds” evolving to millions of different species within the spawn of 4000 years.

          So you do not actually object to believing things not observed, do you?

        • Bruce Gorton

          Not over millions of years – but we have observed organisms split into different species, most famously with the Lenski experiments. With bacteria, it is generally easier because bacteria reproduces fast enough that we can actually see it happen.

          Moving from single to multicellular life has also been observed under lab conditions.

          https://www.wired.com/2012/01/evolution-of-multicellularity/

          The thing with creationism is this – we can see evolution happening right now. We’ve kind of screwed the world in a lot of ways, and a lot of animals are evolving to cope with it, fish are becoming immune to common pollutants and birds around chernobyl are adapting to radiation for example.

          (Actually a very cool study so I’m linking to it)

          http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2435.12283/abstract

          All evolution is – is the same thing taken over a long time. The main crux of it is not set in the past, though its predictions in that direction with regards to the fossils we find hold remarkably true, it is what it tells us about the future.

          We’re not worried about fighting sabre-tooth tigers, we’re worried about how we’re impacting fish stocks or whether we’re making it so that there will one day be a super-locust that we just can’t kill eating all of our crops. That is evolution.

        • Hans-Richard Grümm

          Quite the contrary. The regular behavior of nature can be expected in the absence of a supernatural entity (like a god) who could disturb it. OTOH, the theist has no foundation for believing that his god will not cancel gravity tomorrow, for a reason that our finite mind would not understand.

        • Yes, but you’re undercutting the apologists’ claim that only a Christian would imagine a reasonable universe that had laws (since only they can imagine a guiding force making sense out of things).

          I don’t think you’re allowed to do that.

        • Paul

          I certainly agree that not all worldviews are on equal footing. Naturlism/Materlism has no solid foundation at all.

          “Someone can believe that the earth is flat if they want…That doesn’t mean their belief is scientific.”

          FYI: The president of the Flat Earth Society is a proponent of Darwinian evolution.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          How do you know this?

          From my experience, naturlism has a solid foundation that is totally absent from christianity which has none at all.

          How would you convince me otherwise since unsupported assertions are not convincing?

        • Dys

          Hate to break it to you, but Christianity doesn’t have one at all. You’ve got a book and an unverifiable belief in a magical spirit. There’s no foundation there.

          FYI: The president of the Flat Earth Society is a proponent of Darwinian evolution.

          Which is irrelevant to the point. Then again, Darwinian evolution is the outdated model of evolution anyway. The theory of evolution has been significantly updated since Darwin.

        • Paul

          “The theory of evolution has been significantly updated since Darwin.”

          So everything did not come from a single common ancestor? That’s not what’s being taught in colleges.

        • Pofarmer

          Tell ya what Paul. I’ll go through my week using only the products of Naturalism/materialism, you go through the week using only the products of religion.

          First thing you’ll need to do is shut down the computer. Oh, and no polyester or nylon.

        • Paul

          Your proposals are misguided. You don’t seem to understand what science is and can/can’t do, what religion is and what it can/can’t do. The 2 things are completely compatible. Computers are a product of applied observational evidence. No belief in Darwinian evolution was required to build a computer.

        • Pofarmer

          Nobody was talking about Darwinian evolution, ya moron.

        • adam

          “. You don’t seem to understand what science is and can/can’t do,”

          No, that would be YOU

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ef407d23e2be8fcdc9acf3948763219ef19d1e53c08d25a1c440a62047a02d28.jpg

          “what religion is and what it can/can’t do.”

          We do understand what religion IS and what it can do, that is why we oppose it.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/86effa5e2bc761ae95f687bf44f1632c13ebd40a54b07502d779f242a887cc3e.jpg

        • Hans-Richard Grümm

          No, but beings which were the result of Darwinian et al. evolution were required to build a computer. In that, they used results of the same methods which have demonstrated evolution beyond a reasonable doubt.

        • Herald Newman

          > Naturlism/Materlism has no solid foundation at all.

          You keep asserting this, but you do not justify it.. Please enlighten us as to why you believe this is true?

          > FYI: The president of the Flat Earth Society is a proponent
          > of Darwinian evolution.

          So what? That a particular individual holds a belief is not an indication of whether the belief is true, or not. There is no logic set of steps that you can go through to get from “A is false, P believe A, P believes B, therefore B is false.”

        • Paul

          ” Please enlighten us as to why you believe this is true?”

          I’ve done so in plenty of other places. Search for “numbers” “mathematical laws” and/or “laws of logic” All things which are immaterial. Since they are immaterial, naturalism/materialism fails.

        • Herald Newman

          Your statement essentially depends on Platonic realism, often called Platonism. I think the idea is complete bunk, and has no support in reality.

          Numbers, mathematical laws, and the laws of logic, are things we invented. They’re all tools that help us to better understand, and express, how reality behaves.

        • Hans-Richard Grümm

          But they do not exist as things, only as abstract concepts, modelled in material (human) brains. Materialism only says that things (atoms, planets, neurons, synapses …) are material.

        • adam

          “Naturlism/Materlism has no solid foundation at all.”

          Well except for nature and material.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/49a0c32d34d03acc446ec009ee1ac4cb1eab59d923ac380ea760fa51a583f64f.png

        • Herald Newman

          > They biased against naturalism/materialism which is
          > clearly false.

          I don’t think you understand what the word “clearly” means, or that naturalism is materialism.

        • Dys

          A consensus of experts makes something more likely to be true, especially when compared to a small group of scientists often speaking outside their field and allowing their religious beliefs to overrule the science.

        • Paul

          “..to a small group of scientists often speaking outside their field..”

          They’re not outside of their fields. They have biologist discussing biology, geologist discussing geology, etc..

          “…allowing their religious beliefs to overrule the science.”

          Read their statement again. Their religious beliefs are not overruling science. Their beliefs go hand in hand with science. They’re saying that ultimately preaching the gospel of Jesus is the most important.

        • Dys

          Read it again yourself. The second section of their statement of faith makes it clear that they are allowing their religious beliefs to rule out science that disagrees with their dogma.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          Isn’t that saying that the bible should overrule the science if the evidence contradicts it? Should someone find the exact statement?

          What is your objective here?

        • MNb

          I already linked to that statement twice for Paul.

          https://answersingenesis.org/about/faith/

          “The scientific aspects of creation are important but are secondary in importance to the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ as Sovereign, Creator, Redeemer, and Judge.”
          Paul is lying.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          I first thought that he might have been misguided but sincere when I read his first comments.

          I know better now.

        • MNb

          “They have geologist discussing geoology”
          Nope.
          There is exactly one creationist who has studied Geology and none who have studied Evolutionary Biology.

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

          He has admitted himself that even before he entered University that he would let his religious worldview trump conflicting scientific conclusions. That’s very honest, but still unscientific.

          “Their religious beliefs are not overruling science.”
          And like all creationists I’ve ever met you start lying. Saying that “scientific aspects … are important but are secondary in importance to [a] proclamation” means that that proclamation (in the case of AIG religious beliefs) overrules science. Kurt Wise admits it:

          “if all the evidence in the universe turns against creationism, I would be the first to admit it, but I would still be a creationist because that is what the Word of God seems to indicate.”
          It’s telling that the only creationist who has actually studied what he rejects is more honest than you.

        • adam

          “Kurt Wise doesn’t need the challenge; he volunteers that, even if all
          the evidence in the universe flatly contradicted Scripture, and even if
          he had reached the point of admitting this to himself, he would still
          take his stand on Scripture and deny the evidence. This leaves me, as a
          scientist, speechless… We have it on the authority of a man who may
          well be creationism’s most highly qualified and most intelligent
          scientist that no evidence, no matter how overwhelming, no matter how
          all-embracing, no matter how devastatingly convincing, can ever make any
          difference.[8]”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Wise

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/75f6018d11b7534565e1a271187120582baef1ebe1da0dc5c353b6e7ba36dab5.jpg

        • TheNuszAbides

          ” … because that is what the Word of God seems to indicate.” … It’s telling that the only creationist who has actually studied what he rejects is more honest than you.

          he even appears to have his own [highly selective] brand of reasonable doubt–open to new exegesis! lol.

        • adam

          ” Their religious beliefs are not overruling science.”

          Of course not, they use faith in the bible over science.

          “Their beliefs go hand in hand with science.”

          Nope, their beliefs have NOTHING to do with science… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c6338d1c2d9058da691571a6688df25eccabd8e89b7749c14069533aa53e08b8.jpg

        • Rudy R

          No, a consensus position does not necessarily make it true. It does, however, make it more probable to be true than the non-consensus position, if the consensus view is based on empiricsm and rationalism and not through revelation, mysticism and faith.

        • Joe

          A consensus of evidence does make something more likely true than not.

        • adam

          “Does a consensus make something true? ”

          Certainly ‘revelation’ doesnt https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/14d63811af68b78a718f7dfbfcae6ee3153109e2df2f1a0c57e38d5a3ee89627.jpg

        • Clearly not. And clearly not what we’re talking about.

          The consensus may not be true, but that’s the way to bet. It’s our best guess. And a non-scientist is in no position to reject the consensus of those people who are able to evaluate the evidence.

        • Otto

          When dogma directs the outcome of the evidence there is no reason to trust the conclusion.

        • Otto

          Human is a category of a type of animal. What trait do humans have that other animals don’t have? (one that can be demonstrated)

          Or what traits do animals have that humans don’t share?

        • MNb

          Then wolves aren’t animals either. What else would they be? Wolves.
          One makes as much or as little sense as the other.

    • I’ve written about the transcendental argument, the argument from mathematics, the argument from “the universe is understandable,” and so on. You might want to search for some of those.

    • Otto

      The Laws of Logic by all indications are an emergent property of the fact that the universe is consistent with itself. Why would a universe that is consistent with itself need to be explained by inserting a god?

      • Paul

        Because a universe that is consistent with itself wouldn’t make sense in a world that is just a product of naturalism.

        • MNb

          What’s your evidence?
          See, nobody’s going to believe you because of your pretty blue eyes.

        • Otto

          Why not? Are you saying you would expect an inconsistent universe if it was a all natural? What makes you think that? What exactly would a supernatural element bring to make the universe consistent with itself and how would you show it to be the reason for the consistency?

        • Joe

          Yet you never explain why you think that way, or give an example.

        • TheNuszAbides

          his lone citation was AiG. just one more disappointing Dunning-Kruger-fest for the trash heap.

        • Without Malice

          That’s a ridiculous statement with no basis in fact or logic. Maybe you can give us a reason why a naturalistic world could not be consistent instead of just stating it as a fact when it clearly is not.

    • TheMarsCydonia

      I know that a lot of other people have responded to you but I also have my take:

      You certainly need to understand why your “arguments” fail at convincing those who are not already convincing themselves, despite the complete lack of evidence, that your deity is true.

      “Science doesn’t make that clear. Science is an abstract concept. It’s just a tool we use to examine the world around us”.

      Science, as a tool, did make that clear for scientists and for anyone else who bothers looking honestly at the evidence. I think this was pointed out to you often but humans are animals. That is, if you look at what animals are, human fit the criterias. In the same similar way that humans are also vertebrates, chordates, mammals, primates, etc.

      “But there are some scientists (not science) who think that we are just animals. Other scientists think that we are not animals. It’s their worldview that effects their interpretation of the evidence”.

      Any “scientists” who think we are not animals need to explain why, it is not enough to assert it. It is not a matter of “worldview”.

      “If naturalism is true and nature is all that there is, where did the immaterial come from?”

      You are working from a flawed understanding of what naturalism is. Natural does not equal material and as such, the “if naturalism is true why are there “immaterial” is a false dichotomy. It would make as much sense to ask, “if the supernaturalism is true, where does the immaterial come from”?

      “Where did the laws of logic come from?”

      Why do they need to come from anywhere?

      “How would you know that you are even reasoning correctly?”

      Are you saying that reasoning correctly is only possible if there is a god? How do you know this?

      “Laws of logic don’t make sense in a naturalistic, molecules-to-man evolutionary worldview”

      Why? Can you explain this rather than simply assert it?

      “Neither would there be any need more for morals. Where did the moral programming come from?”

      Why would not there be any moral? What do you understand morality to be? What is moral programming and why would couldn’t it come naturally?

      On a personal note, I’ve yet to meet a single christian who could coherently defend objective morality.

      “Where did something immaterial come from the material in a naturalistic world?”

      You’re repeating yourself so see above.

    • Dys
      • Myna

        Thank you for uploading! Really, really enjoyed watching.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          You might be interested in the discussion between Matt Slick and Matt Dillahunty. If you can manage to withstand Slick’s smugness.

        • Pofarmer

          Interestingly enough, Slick is the one who started me on the road to atheism, and has a daughter who is now an atheist, for basically the same reasons that I am.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          A creationist colleague of mine inadvertently started me on mine. Raised catholic, I believed in theistic evolution and set out to demonstrate to him that there was no conflict between christianity and science and that religion did not mean you needed to reject evolution in favor of creationistm.

          It back-fired: not only did I realize I could not justify my belief in theistic evolution, I realized I could not justify my belief in god any more than someone who had a belief in god completely different from mine.

        • Pofarmer

          It’s funny what happens when you set out on a truth search with an open mind. I initially started looking to see if Catholicism were “true”. If it was, I was going to convert. Didn’t exactly work out.

        • Otto

          I had rejected Catholicism and was trying to figure out which one was true to teach my kids. The answer ended up…

          D) None of the above

        • Pofarmer

          It really is freeing, isn’t it?

        • Otto

          You have no idea (actually you do…lol)

          I felt like a huge weight was off of me. All of the incredible, needless guilt, the fear of hell, the fear of loved ones like my father (who died when I was 11 and by everything I was taught he was roasting), etc., etc…

          And despite what Christians will say it was never my intention to end up rejecting Christianity, I was honestly trying to figure it out.

        • Pofarmer

          And despite what Christians will say it was never my intention to end up rejecting Christianity

          That’s the hardest thing for them to understand.

        • Otto

          I wanna hear what Slick did to bring you to the dark side…lol

        • Pofarmer

          Well, let’s just say that my wife was in her holier than thou Catholic stage(which she’s still pretty much in, along with the rest of her nutbag family, which is the real problem, but I digress.) and I decided hell, if Catholicism is true I’ll convert and won’t life be grand. So, I went searching to see about the Catholic views on things like communion and transubstantiation and Marian devotion and all that jazz and wound up at CARM. Slick was using the technique of going through the scriptures and analyzing them to see if this or that interpretation were true according to the Bible, etc. I was pretty well enough convinced that there was certainly ample evidence that Catholicism wasn’t “True” in the sense of being any truer than Protestantism. Then I took it a step further, and decided to analyze the Bible to see if it’s claims were true, if the NT were True, since that’s where all the claims originate from, etc. That led me to Bart Ehrman, and Robert M. Price, and Robert G. Price and Richard Carrier and Andrew Dickson White and Robert Ingersol, and Randal Helms, and Aaron Adair, and Oh SHIT!!!! Oh, and Patheos, where I came to the Christian and Atheist boards as a nominal believer and quickly noticed who had the better arguments. It was absolutely revolutionary to see confident atheists calling bullshit, bullshit. And here I am.

        • Otto

          In a very general way that could describe my experience.

          I remember when I first heard Dillahunty describe general Christian dogma in a very blunt and straightforward way. I immediately said to myself ‘yep…I am not a Christian anymore’. I had had problems with the Christian worldview of my upbringing for a long time and had been wrestling with it for years, but it was the first time I heard anyone address it so honestly and without all the excuses.

        • Herald Newman

          And we’re glad to have you!

    • Joe

      immaterial come from?

      What is the ‘immaterial’?

      Where did the laws of logic come from?

      Are you implying logic is supernatural?

      How would you know that you are even reasoning correctly

      Depends on what you mean by that vague, question-begging statement.

    • Without Malice

      “Laws of logic don’t make sense in a naturalistic, molecules-to-man evolutionary worldview.” Nonsense. The evolutionary emergence of mankind is one of the most logical concepts in science and the theory of evolution itself stands alone as the only logical process by which the diversity of life on earth could have come to pass. God done it is meaningless and explains nothing.

    • Kevin K

      “Other scientists think that we are not animals.”

      Citation needed. So I can contact that “scientist’s” university and have their degree revoked.

      • MNb

        He referred to Answers in Genesis.
        Oops – you have blocked me, haven’t you?

    • Dys

      What you really mean is that some scientists have a religious opinion that humans are not animals.

    • Bruce Gorton

      Other scientists think that we are not animals.

      So what do they think we are, plants?

      • Paul

        No. Humans are neither plants nor animals.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          Justification needed.

          It has been demanded before and the request was ignored.

        • Bruce Gorton

          Okay, maybe we’re fungi then, or how about bacteria. Don’t tell me were virons!

        • Paul B. Lot

          Prions.

        • Otto

          You have been asked directly what differentiates a human from an animal and vice versa. You haven’t answered so your baseless assertion can be rejected out of hand.

    • adam
      • Paul

        You missed the point. Do you understand that science is a concept and not an actual physical entity? Science can’t make things clear. Science is just a tool we use. Scientific evidence is interpreted through one’s worldview.

        FYI, that picture just creates a strawman argument. I don’t know of anyone, especially Christians, that explain things by magic.

        • Herald Newman

          > I don’t know of anyone, especially Christians, that explain
          > things by magic.

          Explain how Jesus rose from the dead without invoking magic? Explain how Jesus turned water into wine without magic.

          Your statement is an obvious distortion of reality

        • Paul

          How are you defining “magic”?

        • Herald Newman

          The ability to influence reality through supernatural means.

        • Paul B. Lot

          I don’t know of anyone, especially Christians, that explain things by magic.

          Of course Christians explain things by magic: miracles.

        • MNb

          “Science is just a tool we use”
          to formulate scientific laws.
          Thanks for confirming what we have trying to make clear to you all the time.

          In addition to HN underneath: explain how the claim from the Biblical worldview that Jesus turned water into wine (both belonging to our natural reality) is compatible with your claim that nature is uniform?
          I predict you won’t react because you can’t explain this and are too dishonest to admit that you’re wrong. It’s the Biblical worldview that can’t make sense of nature being uniform.

        • adam

          sci·ence

          [ˈsīəns]

          NOUN
          the
          intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study
          of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through
          observation and experiment:

          a particular area of this:
          “veterinary science” ·
          a systematically organized body of knowledge on a particular subject:
          “the science of criminology”
          Powered by Oxford Dictionaries · © Oxford University Press · Translation by Bing Translator

          “Scientific evidence is interpreted through one’s worldview.”

          REALLY?

          So your claim is that physics work differently for you and me?
          Because our worldviews are different?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7123c548a1342e2d1779d51809c0ce85d82e0551dcde5fa0f6496d68284963dd.jpg

        • Paul

          “So your claim is that physics work differently for you and me?”

          No. As I’ve said several times, we all have the exact same evidence. Physics works the same for everyone. How one interprets the evidence depends on ones worldview.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          And it’s been pointed out several times that this is a lie.

        • Kodie

          You keep saying that but I don’t think you thought it through. It’s like you’re a bot or something.

        • adam

          “Physics works the same for everyone.”

          So it, (physics and science) does NOT depend on world view.

          SCIENCE provides the means for TESTING physics and science.

          So why is the interpretation of those IGNORANT of physics (science) , whose world view is based on MAGIC, warrant ANY consideration at all?

          “Physics works the same for everyone.”

          but you understand that “God” works differently for everyone https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d8dc416612bbbd6243c461cfe2a6d4ee55f709d3183f0ea3f8770d4d4a294121.jpg

          Science brings consensus, religion brings division.

        • adam

          “I don’t know of anyone, especially Christians, that explain things by magic.”

          REALLY?

          Explain a miracle without MAGIC?
          Explain resurrection without MAGIC?
          Explain a being who is eternal and has all knowledge without MAGIC?
          Explain magical fruit that gives one knowledge of good and evil?
          Talking serpent?
          Talking donkey?

          Magic is ALL that christians have….

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8696506fc0ad6d3a83d218c7c9da763aee4a1c25af0211fc8b0550948323a473.jpg

  • Without Malice

    One would think that by any definition of objective morality the murder of children would be immoral, yet the God of the bible orders it time after time.

    • TheMarsCydonia

      I have reflected on morality especially since a lot of christian apologists use the moral argument.

      Without going into details (because they would be lenghty), I’ve found that morality, in the way these apologists use it, is totally without meaning.

      One of the more prominent apologists, explained it thus: “it is right because it is right”.

    • Maybe you’re forgetting rule 22b: “Whatever God does is right by definition.”

      Of course, you’ll not find a dictionary with that definition, but never mind. Rule 22b still applies.

      • Without Malice

        Damn! Foiled again.

  • Kevin K

    FYI: I can’t seem to access the last installment of the series…keep getting a “503” error.

    • I just tried it. It looks good to me. See if things have improved.

    • Greg G.

      I get that often, too. Sometimes it will be for one comment but not for another in the same article. A few minutes later, the article is available.

  • TheNuszAbides

    we could forego a great deal of gratuitous facepalms if these clowns would just replace “atheists can’t _____” with the infinitely more accurate, far less insulting and still just as pearl-clutch-prompting “atheists don’t _____ the same way that The Almighty told us to.”