How Much Faith to Be an Atheist? A Response to Geisler and Turek (Part 4).

How Much Faith to Be an Atheist? A Response to Geisler and Turek (Part 4). September 20, 2019

This is a continuation of my response to the Christian apologetics book I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist by Norm Geisler and Frank Turek. Read part 1 here.

Design Argument

Geisler and Turek (“GT”) tell us that DNA is complex, and complexity points to a designer.

You don’t need anyone to tell you that something beautifully designed requires a designer. (page 111)

Beautifully designed? Like what? Like parasites, bacteria, and viruses? Like birth defects, cancer, and Alzheimer’s? Most of earth and pretty much all of the universe are inhospitable for humans without technology. I don’t see the hand of a particularly benevolent designer. The Design Argument fails.

And if something is beautiful, why must it be designed? Simple laws of physics give us beautiful crystals, delicate snowflakes, and stunning sunsets, for example.

A world designed by an all-wise god would be elegant—simple, efficient, and effective. All the Creationists can propose is that our world is complicated—awkward, coarse, and good enough.

Francis Collins, evangelical Christian, biologist, and current head of the National Institutes of Health, says that DNA evidence for evolution is stronger even than that from fossils. Nevertheless, many apologists push DNA as exhibit A. They’ll say that DNA is information, and information means intelligence. They’ll demand that we show them a single example of information not coming from intelligence. In response, I ask for a single example of intelligence not coming from a physical brain.

My argument reaches the opposite conclusion from theirs: I say that DNA alone makes a clear rebuttal against the Design Argument. My full argument is here, but let me summarize. First, think of the attributes that all designers use. They might want to make something durable or economical or strong or beautiful or lightweight, for example, but no designer will add junk. And yet when we examine DNA, we find:

  • pseudogenes (broken genes, like the broken gene for making vitamin C in every cell of your body),
  • fragments of endogenous retroviruses (8% of human DNA are these bits of virus),
  • vestigial structures such as nonfunctioning eyes in cave fish and a pelvis in whales, and
  • atavisms (archaic DNA that occasionally gets switched back on, such as legs on snakes and teeth in chickens).

DNA length is also not proportional to the complexity of the animal, and lots of species have far more DNA than humans, including salamanders, fish, amoebas, and even the onion. Can GT be saying that the onion really needs five times more DNA than humans? Or that some amoebas need 200 times as much?

This kind of sloppy DNA is not something a designer would create. That doesn’t prove that God didn’t create DNA, just that the Design Argument fails. And don’t tell me that God’s ways are greater than ours, and we aren’t in a position to judge him. We don’t start with the God hypothesis; rather, we follow the evidence, and this DNA mess doesn’t point to God.

The Christian response is often to handwave that the DNA got corrupted over time. Yes, it’s adulterated today, they’ll admit, but that’s just a product of living in a corrupt world.

Let’s think about this remarkable, evidence-less claim. Presumably this means that, going back in time, we would find progressively cleaner DNA until, at some time, the DNA was perfect and flawless. Was human DNA perfect 3000 years ago when the stories that became our Bible began to be collected? Was it perfect six million years ago when we had our last common ancestor with chimpanzees? Was it perfect four billion years ago in the first life form? And whatever your answer, where’s the evidence? Evolution is the scientific consensus, and it doesn’t support this claim.

(My response to “information requires a Programmer” is here.)

Thermodynamics revisited

GT put on a lab coat again to give us a lecture about thermodynamics.

How did life arise from nonliving chemicals, without intelligent intervention, when nonliving chemicals are susceptible to the Second Law [of Thermodynamics]? Darwinists have no answer, only faith. (p. 125)

Here again is that denigration of faith that seems ill-advised in a Christian apologetics book.

High school students who’ve been paying attention in class know how this complaint fails: the Second Law of Thermodynamics says that entropy (“winding down” or disorder) in any system is increasing overall, but that doesn’t mean that it’s increasing everywhere. When a seed turns into a plant, that’s an decrease in entropy (because it’s an increase in order), but overall entropy in the earth/sun system is still increasing.

What makes this more entertaining is that other Creationists make clear that this appeal to thermodynamics is embarrassing. Answers in Genesis (“an apologetics ministry dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith”) says that the argument should be avoided. Creation Ministries International (“Proclaiming the truth and authority of the Bible”) says the same.

I do enjoy watching Creationists bash each other.

Abiogenesis

Abiogenesis is the process that turned nonliving material into primitive life. Evolution only works on living things, and it needed abiogenesis to create the first life. Plenty of hypotheses and scientific puzzle pieces exist, but there is no theory of abiogenesis yet.

Science has lots of unanswered questions. GT’s only argument here could be, “Science doesn’t know; therefore, God,” which is no argument.

GT use science when it suits them (thermodynamics, Big Bang cosmology) and reject it when it doesn’t (evolution, abiogenesis). One wonders who died to leave them the Judges of All Science. One also wonders what they think of their readership that none will care enough about science to be offended at their arrogance.

In several places (pages 115 and 120), the book uses the term “spontaneous generation,” an idea discredited almost two centuries ago. That they use it as a synonym for abiogenesis shows again their disdain for science. For them, it’s a tool to be used or discarded as suits their agenda.

Evolution

Hatred of evolution colors much of Frank Turek’s work in particular (I’ve responded to his musings on evolution before). In this book, chapter 6 is titled, “New Life Forms: From the Goo to You via the Zoo?” This presumably means that evolution can’t be true because it’s yucky (“People came from pond scum? Eww!”), as if yucky has any bearing on truth. These are often the same people who believe God made Adam from dirt.

It’s telling that they must stoop to schoolyard taunts to make their case.

For more on Creationism vs. evolution, see my recent post responding to a Yale professor’s dismissal of evolution.

Continued in part 5.

Creationists are like the undead.
They can’t see themselves in mirrors.
— commenter Greg G.

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(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 9/2/15.)

Image from Wikimedia, CC license

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  • Lex Lata

    So basically all God-of-the-Gaps, all the time.

    No, we don’t know with confidence by what messy process the first life emerged from non-life. Nor do we know for certain what caused or came before the theorized Big Bang (nor even whether mere human words like “caused” or “before” compute in that context). But there’s certainly no reason to believe that Iron Age priest-scribes who were unaware of things like E. coli, the speed of light, hydrogen, and Antarctica had more of a clue than we do.

    Even if we accept GT’s reasoning on these points, they work precisely as well (or poorly, rather) for every non-biblical creator deity in humanity’s shared pantheon. The pagan Stoics, for example, pointed to the perceived order and beauty of the world as evidence of Jupiter/Zeus and the other gods. Imagining transcendent designers is just a function of our chronic human penchant for pareidolia, not sound scientific investigation and inference.

    When all is said and done, we have as much scientific evidence for designer Yahweh as we have for designers Brahma, Enki, Jupiter, Prometheus, etc. etc. etc. Heck, there’s as much scientific evidence for my just-made-up theory that the mad ungod Azathoth dreamed itself and the cosmos into existence via the Big Bang from its tormented slumber trillions of years in the future.

    • there’s as much scientific evidence for my just-made-up theory that the mad ungod Azathoth dreamed itself and the cosmos into existence via the Big Bang from its fitful slumber trillions of years in the future.

      Ooh, that’s good. Hold on–let me get some paper …

      • MR

        Does that make you a scribe of Azathoth and Lex his prophet?

  • ephemerol

    …this DNA mess doesn’t point to God.

    One of the things I learned in statistics is that it doesn’t take a vast random sample of the data for the big picture to begin to emerge. For example, it only takes a random sample of n=30 for the histogram to begin to emerge. After that, enlarging the sample size adds resolution, but it won’t change the overall big picture. This is a lesson that the devout need to take to heart.

    So what would happen if we were to take all of science as one big experiment testing whether or not everything we know so far tends to point toward naturalism, supernaturalism, or even better, toward the god of one religion over the rest?

    As a formerly religious person myself, I understand why the more devoutly religious you are, the more likely you would be to want to claim either that, ironically, it’s science that’s the big hoax (rather than religion), that science is just the product of an anti-supernatural bias, or else it’s still too soon for any big picture to begin to emerge from the data, and that we need to keep waiting—forever if necessary—for the big picture to begin pointing, first to supernaturalism, then to their god. But this reluctance to plant a mile marker and take stock of their situation is just because they know that if they were to call the jury in, the verdict would be swift and brutal. However, any time a solitary data point that at its furthest limit could improbably be stretched into pointing to supernaturalism ever gets reported out in the press, the devout are suddenly not at all reluctant to latch onto that one, to the exclusion of millions of others, hooting, howling, and declaring vindication for the god of small victories. And speaking of bias, their claims of anti-supernatural bias ring hollow too. You can’t claim investigators are biased for not investigating that which, by the devout’s own account, resists direct investigation. Instead, that very resistance is another damɴing data point because that’s usually the token of things that don’t exist. Besides, at least in the case of christians, their own bible instead claims that nature itself reveals the glory of their god! Christians who cry “bias” are actually conceding that science has succeeded in showing that nature not only does not reveal the glory of their god, it reveals not a trace of the existence of the supernatural whatsoever.

    Science has been observing the natural world for several hundred years now, and the pace of that observation has been ramping up exponentially, really taking off during the 20th century. It is not at all too early for the “big picture of science” to begin to emerge. But no matter where we look, we see impersonal mechanistic processes instead of agencies. As the resolution of this big picture increases, one thing that won’t happen as it comes ever more sharply into focus is the one thing christian are put in the awkward position of having to count on: that the big picture is somehow going to change into a completely different picture altogether. That’s just not how pictures ever work.

    Nevertheless, devout religious people, all around the world, will have to stand by uncomfortably, claiming that no matter how vast the repository of scientific data becomes, and no matter how crisp and sharp the big picture of a universe entirely devoid of the supernatural becomes, that the sample of data we have is still nowhere near vast enough for any kind of picture to emerge from it yet. But just wait, when it does, you’ll see! Nope—again, that’s not how pictures work.

    We’ve already had plenty of data for at least a century to be able to call in the jury of nature itself and ask it to announce it’s verdict. “How do you find the gods? Existent or Nonexistent?” And I would claim that this verdict, visible already to all who have eyes to see, is the reason, more than any other, why “nones” are on the rise as dramatically as they are.

    • al kimeea

      You can’t claim investigators are biased for not investigating that which, by the devout’s own account, resists direct investigation.

      Sanal Edamaruku was charged with blasphemy in India for exposing a weeping Jebus to be faulty plumbing & capillary action after being invited to do so on a TV show, iirc.

    • Michael Neville

      Over the centuries supernatural explanations for phenomena have be discarded for natural explanations. Never, not even once, has the flow been the other way.

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        Never, not even once, has the flow been the other way.

        Absent fire, torture, or sword, that is… 🙁

        • NS Alito

          The argument ad baculum fallacy (appeal to the cudgel) is probably the only fallacy that works with me. 😉

  • Jesse H

    I think Collins, the Christian scientist you mentioned, would disagree with you about pseudogenes, vestigial structures and atavisms. The more we explore the DNA the less “junk DNA” is really a viable hypothesis.

    • Greg G.

      Most of what is called “junk DNA” is known to be junk.

      https://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2008/02/theme-genomes-junk-dna.html

      Total Essential/Functional (as of 2011) = 8.7%
      Total Junk (as of 2011) = 65%
      Unknown (probably mostly junk, as of 2011) = 26.3%

    • Collins is squarely in the science camp. The “hold on, now–we’re finding more and more uses for that ‘junk’ DNA” people tend to be in the Creationist camp.

      The 8% of human DNA that’s inactivated virus (for starters) defeats the Design Hypothesis. That doesn’t mean that DNA isn’t useful, of course, but now you’re put on the evolutionist’s hat.

      It’s like observing that the human tailbone or appendix have uses. Yes, they do, but they’re still vestigial. They’re still not what an omniscient designer would put in if it were creating each species from scratch, without evolution.

      • Jesse H

        Would you agree that we are finding more and more usefulness in the DNA? Significantly what was thought to be junk is now thought to be like a framework for a software system, not junk.
        I would suggest that the theories proposed saying that 8% is inactivated virus is based on assumptions. It’s the assumptions that drive the theory, not necessarily the evidence.
        It’s not putting on the Evolutionist’s hat to see common design rather than common descent. For a more detailed analysis see here: https://creation.com/erv-and-line-functions

        • Would you agree that we are finding more and more usefulness in the DNA?

          Sure. But how does that address the c-value enigma? You can’t be saying that some protozoa actually need 200 times the DNA that humans have, right?

          “Uses are being found for supposed junk DNA” is very different from “All DNA is useful.”

          I would suggest that the theories proposed saying that 8% is inactivated virus is based on assumptions.

          Show me (in a scientific journal, not one with a faith statement) that this is the scientific consensus.

          It’s the assumptions that drive the theory, not necessarily the evidence.

          Evolution is the consensus view. With what logic could I argue that me, an outsider to biology, can reject that field’s consensus?

          I’ve responded more thoroughly to the Design Argument here:
          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2015/11/argument-from-design-busted-2/
          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2015/11/the-design-hypothesis-dna-and-dysteleology/

        • NS Alito

          Significantly what was thought to be junk is now thought to be like a framework for a software system, not junk.

          As a former practicing Software Engineer, my analogy is that DNA is like old legacy software. Each generation of bug-fixers and feature-adders were focused on their immediate task, often with little thought to the entirety of the system.

          I’ve put on a mental hazmat suit and dived into generations-old code to find lots of abandoned function calls, sloppy re-purposing of once-good subsystems, code that no longer matched descriptions or comments, code that was obviously copied and modified to perform new functionality without removing extraneous and distracting unused features, and occasionally patches of code surrounded by all sorts of dire warnings that anyone changing it would be subjected to evil curses or summary execution. All that mattered with these code-slingers or overworked pros was that the targeted bug seemed to be fixed or the targeted new feature seemed to work, and that was “good enough”.

        • As perhaps an extreme version of that, one project of mine decades ago was to add new features to old 8-bit microcontroller code. Problem was, all they had was the compiled code, so the best I could start with was a tool that created assembler instructions from the machine language. Then I had to piece together what the hell it was doing, giving unlabeled variables useful names, seeing where it talked to the hardware, and so on.

          It was satisfying to reverse entropy and create a readable program, but not something I’d like to do all the time.

        • NS Alito

          It was satisfying to reverse entropy and create a readable program, but not something I’d like to do all the time.

          Sounds like a fun project to do once, and not under team or time pressure.

        • Phil

          Ah, you are describing my day job! Although I don’t use assembler and machine code anymore, the principle is the same. Fix a bug in a 4,000 line class that is pure gibberish written by some very clever, certifiable genius leaving not a hint as to what it was meant to be doing. Nothing changes but the complexity increases. I shall have to remember “Reverse Entropy”, I like it!

        • Back in the dark ages, writing clear, well-commented code was coming to be seen as important. But I guess it’s still not a universal thing, especially when the genius can say, “I know what it does; it doesn’t need to be any clearer.”

        • Greg G.

          About two thirds of the genome is known to be junk DNA. About a quarter of it is unknown whether it is junk or functional, but it is probably junk DNA. Scientists are discovering some functions in the unknown.

        • Carol Lynn

          I would not trust any site called ‘creation.com’ to have anything resembling an unbiased look at the science. Nice try but no cigar.

        • Jesse H

          Everyone smokes cigars. All evidence should be examined. The only way to tell if you aren’t holding a bias is to look at how others look at the evidence. And in reality no one is completely unbiased.

        • Greg G.

          All evidence should be examined.

          I examined the evidence the creationists had when I was a creationist. I read a few books on evolution to see if I could find quotes like the creationists presented as being from evolutionists. I learned that what creationists said scientist said was not accurate and when they quotemined the scientists, the context changed everything.

          The so-called evidence of creationists didn’t hold water. Consequently, I stopped being a creationist because I preferred an actual quest for truth.

        • Jesse H

          I’m against quote-mining. I can agree with you on that. For me when I read all the science articles and abstracts the real case for molecules to man evolution doesn’t hold water. We have adaption, but that requires the ability of the gene to carry the information for adaption. The actual science is far from proving common descent. At best it proves evolution within species.

        • How much have you read? Have you read, say, a college biology textbook?

          Many Creationists have indeed read much, but it’s mostly “science” from their preferred source, science filtered through a Christian agenda. That doesn’t count.

          And even if you say that you’ve read much from objective biology and you’re still convinced that evolution is crap, how is that relevant? “It makes no sense to me so therefore it’s wrong”? It’s the consensus of a field to which you’re an outsider–have some humility.

        • MR

          A co-worker of mine said it best, “I refuse to believe we came from monkeys.” At least she was honest.

        • Jesse H

          Except I’m not an outsider. I’ve taught science and biology. And from a scientific standpoint adaptation is incontestable, but molecules to man Evolution is not.

        • Not an outsider? So you’ve got a doctorate in biology? If not, then I marvel that you can declare yourself educated enough in such a field that you declare the consensus view wrong.

          Is that insanely arrogant, or am I missing something?

        • Jesse H

          There are very few people with a strong enough grasp across many areas of science who can truly be general experts. In fact there’s probably no one who is an expert in biology, astronomy, geology, evolutionary science and philosophy of science who could really tie all those fields together. Instead we have specialists who disagree about many things. They also generally agree about adaptation, piecemeal evolutionary theory, and the general principles of scientific observation, though there is much lost between the scientific abstract, the popular article, the journalistic interpretation and public opinion.

          As such, specialized scientists can all point to piecemeal evolutionary theory, but no general expert would say that molecules to man has been proven as fact. And that’s not even accounting for the failure of abiogenesis, which under specialized conditions can posit some amino acids, but can’t even get to one protein, let alone the hundreds necessary for even a single cell.

          So yes, humility is in order.

        • epeeist

          As such, specialized scientists can all point to piecemeal evolutionary theory, but no general expert would say that molecules to man has been proven as fact.

          You have supposedly taught science and yet you think that science actually proves things…

        • Jesse H

          I agree science is a moving target. But that’s the point. When intelligent design theory points out that Evolution is unproven scientists should agree. Let’s really look at the evidence.

        • epeeist

          When intelligent design theory points out that Evolution is unproven scientists should agree.

          All scientific theories are both contingent and corrigible. As Thomas Huxley said, “The great tragedy of science – the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.”

          To rephrase this in words you might understand, no scientific theories are proven. Proof is for deductive logic and mathematics.

          Let’s really look at the evidence.

          Yes, let’s. Where does the evidence point? To common descent with modification, to replication, variation and selection. In other words to the theory of evolution in its current form as the modern synthesis.

        • Jesse H

          There are many within the academic fields who recognize that modification, replication and variation don’t necessarily get us all the way to molecules to man evolution. The evidence is piecemeal.

          https://thefederalist.com/2019/04/16/one-third-biologists-now-question-darwinism/

        • Give us something from an unbiased source.

        • epeeist

          There are many within the academic fields who recognize that modification, replication and variation don’t necessarily get us all the way to molecules to man evolution.

          Ah the unspecified and unnamed “many”. It really is a good thing therefore that the theory of evolution doesn’t pretend to be a “molecules to man” theory then isn’t it.

          https://thefederalist.com/2

          An article written by that well-known biologist Benjamin R. Dierker. Oh, wait:

          Benjamin thinks, writes, and talks about economics, law, and public policy.

          One only has to read to his first link, about Ben Stein’s farago Expelled (and the Scientific American takedown to realise how clueless Dierker is. However I will tackle his second link, that to the Nature article. I’ll switch subject temporarily since I am more au fait with physics.

          You will find robust debate about quantum mechanics with people working at its foundations. What is the correct interpretation (Copenhagen, Many Worlds, Bohmian, transactional, QBist…), is the wave function real (Ψ-ontic) or a summary of what we can know (Ψ-epistemic), is the theory local realist, or does it demand non-local realism?

          But whatever the differences everyone agrees that QM is the most successful theory of physics there currently is.

          Similarly with the letter in Nature, there are two groups of people working at the foundations of evolutionary biology who are in robust debate as to whether the theory needs modification to cope with some particular cases. However both sets of people agree that the theory of evolution is the best description of the way the biosphere develops.

          Your guy is simply unaware that this kind of debate goes on all the time within science, and the fact that it does go on is not evidence for “intelligent design”.

          Oh, and as for his “Several hundred Ph.D.s” have signed the “Dissent from Darwin” web site. Let me introduce you to Project Steve, a rather larger list of people who do accept the theory of evolution. Given that only 1% or so of scientists have “Steve” or a variant of it in their name then the creationist list looks somewhat feeble.

        • Jesse H

          I’m familiar with Steve. And I agree, healthy debate goes on all the time. And since that is true what we actually tell people science evidences shouldn’t be the speculative theories. But you have to admit that it’s the speculative theories (like a multiverse or punctuated equilibrium or other Neo-Darwinian models) that get the popular press. So scientists don’t say that molecules to man Evolution has been proven or even that science can “prove’ anything. Yet the popular opinion is that science has proved Evolution.
          I would say there is robust discussion on incorporating intelligent design theory and seeing the evidence for a fine-tuned universe. Yet by many scientists own admission, if they advocated for an ID theory they could lose their jobs or grants or acclaim. That’s not good science.

        • healthy debate goes on all the time.

          Creationist arguments are “healthy debate” in the same way that flat earth arguments are.

          it’s the speculative theories (like a multiverse or punctuated equilibrium or other Neo-Darwinian models) that get the popular press

          There’s evidence behind these. Contrast that with Creationism.

          Tip: stop trying to attack evolution. (1) You suck at it, and (2) your goal should be to show that Creationism is a strong theory. If evolution were dead as a viable theory, that would do nothing to say that Creationism is one.

          So scientists don’t say that molecules to man Evolution has been proven or even that science can “prove’ anything. Yet the popular opinion is that science has proved Evolution.

          ?????????

          We’ve been over this: science never proves anything. Nothing—not the germ theory of disease, not that the earth is a sphere, nothing.

          Yet by many scientists own admission, if they advocated for an ID theory they could lose their jobs or grants or acclaim. That’s not good science.

          “Many”? Give me names. Any list of biologists (with a doctorate) that is shorter than 1000 names is uninteresting.

        • Jesse H

          We have evidence of adaptation and natural selection within a very narrow schema. We do not have evidence that fully supports all the incredible processes necessary for molecules to man.

          And we can’t prove that the earth is a sphere? You’re really doubling down on that science proves nothing idea, huh?

        • You claimed that you’re a science insider, and yet this is what you say? Proofs are in logic and math. Science deals with evidence.

          Maybe come back after you gained either scientific knowledge or humility?

        • epeeist

          But you have to admit that it’s the speculative theories (like a multiverse or punctuated equilibrium or other Neo-Darwinian models) that get the popular press.

          So the popular press decides what is and what is not good science? (Oh, and you will note that I mentioned the “Many Worlds” interpretation of QM, nothing to do with something like Guth’s eternal inflation).

          I would say there is robust discussion on incorporating intelligent design theory and seeing the evidence for a fine-tuned universe.

          I would say you are kidding yourself. Intelligent design isn’t even a theory, it has no evidential support, no explanatory power and is incapable of critical testing. In essence it is creationism in clown shoes.

          As for “fine tuning”, I am presuming you mean “fine tuned for life”. Here is a small calculation I have given before:

          Life on earth has been discovered in some fairly unlikely places, but let’s assume it occurs between 25Km above the earth’s surface to 25Kmbelow. This gives a volume of some 7.65*10^19 cubic metres.

          The radius of the solar system is approximately 100 AU, from the sun to the heliopause. This gives a volume of 1.4*10^40 cubic metres.

          So the percentage of the solar system in which life is known to occur is 5.47*10^-19%. So in other words we cannot survive in
          99.999999999999999999453% of the volume of the solar system. Do you want to call that fine tuned?

          Why do you disregard things like black holes, stars and, given recent discoveries of exoplanets, planets? There are many more of them than us, they have been around a lot longer than us and will be here long after we are gone. If the universe is fine tuned, then why is it not fine-tuned for them rather than us?

          Yet by many scientists own admission, if they advocated for an ID theory they could lose their jobs or grants or acclaim.

          Names, or it isn’t true. Or at least it is equivalent to this:

          https://i2.cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/160809103644-many-people-are-saying-trump-twitter-illustration-mullery-super-tease.jpg

        • Jesse H

          ID theorists have shown that they do have predictive power. I could link you to an article explaining some of this but I’m not sure you’re really being open-minded about it. But in the past 20 years ID has already shown predictive power in junk DNA. What started out as scientists pointing out a lot of junk DNA has changed. ID said that junk DNA had use (a prediction) and more and more that has proven to be true.

          And yes, fine-tuned for life. What we see on earth is unique, we ought to understand that. So the more we discover the differences in the universe the more evidence it is that life on earth is unique, special, and quite evidently designedly so.

        • epeeist

          I could link you to an article explaining some of this

          This one from the other day you mean? It’s a joke. Lets take the prediction on junk DNA, “(4) Much so-called “junk DNA” will turn out to perform valuable functions.”. So tell us, if some junk DNA turns out to have valuable functions (whatever that means) how does this count as win for ID?What makes the prediction specific to ID?

          And yes, fine-tuned for life.

          So you are going to simply ignore my calculation (which doesn’t include factors such as the distance between stars or galaxies, these would make the percentage even smaller), you are also going to ignore my possible alternatives for which the universe might be defined. And you then have the cheek to say that I am not being open minded.

          In our conversations over the past few days you have ignored or avoided questions that I (and others) have put to you, this would include critical testing of these so-called predictions from ID, Darwin saying that we would see all the fossils for the evolution of dogs, evidence for the existence and properties of your so-called designer, actual evidence for design (and not just in the pre-Cambrian), where “chemical laws” come from, a list of people who have been sacked from their jobs for promoting ID, evidence for teleology in nature. It is also blatantly obvious that you haven’t read any of the papers on the biological flagellum that I have you a Google Scholar search for.

          Given all this why should we accept that you have any intellectual integrity while I do not?

        • How does ID explain the recurrent laryngial nerve? It’s pretty trivial for evolution.

          What started out as scientists pointing out a lot of junk DNA has changed.

          Hmm–good point. There was junk DNA before and now, there’s still junk DNA. The DNA from endogenous retroviruses and atavisms is still there and still junk.

        • Susan

          How does ID explain the recurrent laryngial nerve?

          It’s been two months and Jesse hasn’t come up with anything.

          Even worse, it doesn’t seem to bother him a bit that he hasn’t.

        • epeeist

          It’s been two months and Jesse hasn’t come up with anything.

          Hey, get in the queue.

          I gave Jesse a list of things that he had raised and dropped but I can’t be bothered trawling through Disqus to find the post. In that I am in a different time zone and sometimes miss things raised by other posters the list included only posts and responses between me and him, but it was still a long one.

          Even worse, it doesn’t seem to bother him a bit that he hasn’t.

          Ah, but that’s in your world view, in his world view he has answered all the points people have raised and refuted them.

        • Susan

          I gave Jesse a list of things that he had raised and dropped but I can’t be bothered trawling through Disqus to find the post.

          I know. I’ve been watching in horror.

          I was pointing out that he’s been doing this for at least two months.

          Without shame.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It’s been two months and Jesse hasn’t come up with anything.

          Which is surprising since there are IDiots who’ve written articles that they think has explained it convincingly.

          Even worse, it doesn’t seem to bother him a bit that he hasn’t.

          Perhaps the IDiot excuses for the recurrent laryngeal nerve is even too much for his incredulity and Jesse has got jut enough wit to steer clear of the topic.

        • Good catch.

        • epeeist

          Since your reply to my post below has disappeared then I will respond here:

          The prediction about junk DNA is specific to ID in part because ID expected a certain outcome.

          Specific means, “If and only if ID is correct would we expect so-called junk DNA to have valuable functions”, the problem for you is that some junk DNA being shown to be functional is not specific to ID is it?

          I agree we need more critical testing of ID predictions, but ID is often mischaracterized.

          The idea of critical testing is to find singular existential statements that can falsify predictions if the hypothesis under test is incorrect. The four “predictions” in the article you referenced as so vague as to be worthless. Let’s stick with prediction 4 about junk DNA. In that it says “much” then it obviously isn’t make a universal claim. It isn’t making a statistical claim either, “much” could mean almost anything, it doesn’t even specify a majority. Further it isn’t making a specific claim, i.e. this particular part of the genome currently thought to be non-functional will turn out to be functional. So, easy to verify, but there again as Popper noted verification is cheap. It is especially cheap in that the reclassification of junk DNA was already underway when Luskin wrote his article (you might want to look up the Encode project). So what we have here is not even prediction, but retrodiction.

          Behe has answered Miller

          Citation required

          Darwin did say we’d see transitional fossils all along the spectrum

          Citation required, especially as Darwin followed Lyell when it comes to fossils and Lyell noted that his geology would lead to an incomplete fossil record.

          As to the properties of a Designer, this gets more into philosophy, but we can deduce an immaterial, personal, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent Designer because the universe is material, time-space, complex, and we have conscious beings in it.

          Nothing to do with philosophy and everything to do with theology. To attempt to put some structure on it you seem to be saying: the universe is designed; if it is designed then it needs a designer; therefore the universe needs a designer that has these properties.

          Now, you have signally failed to show that the universe and the beings within it are designed, so I reject the first premiss.

          As for the conclusion, it simply does not follow from the premisses. Even if the first premiss was true then the only logical conclusion that follows deductively from the premisses is that the universe has a designer. You have a lot more work to do to show that the designer has the properties you claim. Oh, and the properties you claim do not follow from the properties of the universe, this is a non-sequitur writ large.

          However, thank for reaffirming that the conclusions of the Kitzmiller-Dover trial were correct, “Intelligent Design” is simply creationism in clown shoes. But those who know anything about cdesign proponentsists already knew that.

        • I’m sure that finding new uses for DNA that was previously thought junk would surprise absolutely no one. As you say, Jesse must show that discovering new uses are predicted by ID and only by ID.

        • Oh, and the properties you claim do not follow from the properties of the universe, this is a non-sequitur writ large.

          My car is blue; therefore, the designer of my car was blue. QED

          Checkmate, atheists!

        • epeeist

          My car is blue; therefore, the designer of my car was blue. QED

          I usually use red Lego bricks when I am trying to something that distributes from the whole to parts,

          It’s just Kalam all over again isn’t it, the universe was designed and therefore it had a designer. Oh, and we’ll call this designer “God” and it just so happens it is the god that I worship and it has exactly the properties I say it has.

        • It’s just an intellectual veneer over an emotional argument.

        • Jesse H

          I wouldn’t mind continuing to have a conversation with you, but we must first get a few misnomers out of the way. I agree that saying that junk DNA will show purpose is a generalized prediction, however the fact that ID was saying this and has been shown to be correct is at least a point for ID.
          I agree with the Kitzmiller decision in the sense that ID should be about the science. But it’s a misunderstanding of the decision to say that ID is theology. I agree Creationism has a theological perspective, but ID theorists like Demski, Behe and Meyer continue to respond scientifically. Demski is at best an agnostic.
          And I’m not sure what you mean that the universe and beings aren’t designed. It’s accepted that the universe was shaped by certain physical laws and that natural selection and evolution guided the beings on earth. Design is part of the system, the difference is on what caused this apparent design.
          And ID technically as a science doesn’t purport to define the properties of a Designer, again that’s more philosophy. But we do have a rich history of philosophy on theism and properties of divinity, but again that’s not in the field of scientific inquiry.
          I can easily post links for 15+ years of response to Dover, Behe’s responses to Miller, as well as the fact that continued discussion on ID is about the science. There’s no doubt there’s bias on both sides. rationalwiki and talkorigins is biased, discovery institute has bias as well, wikipedia itself is biased. So everyone must examine their worldview, evaluate their presuppositions, try to have a justified philosophy, and use that to do the best science we can.

        • saying that junk DNA will show purpose is a generalized prediction, however the fact that ID was saying this and has been shown to be correct is at least a point for ID.

          Nope. Finding some surprises—DNA that seemed inert but is actually used—surprises no one. Science is humble, and any statement (“this big pile of DNA has no purpose”) is provisional.

          I agree with the Kitzmiller decision in the sense that ID should be about the science. But it’s a misunderstanding of the decision to say that ID is theology. I agree Creationism has a theological perspective, but ID theorists like Demski, Behe and Meyer continue to respond scientifically. Demski is at best an agnostic.

          “We have a couple of people who aren’t evangelical Christians!!” isn’t much of a statement. ID/Creationism is motivated by religious beliefs. It ain’t science.

          You’re forcing it. If there is a designer, let that emerge from the science. If you’re right, biologists and cosmologists will find an ever-increasing pile of unanswerable questions that are neatly answered by a designer.

          Look at the mission statements of the Disco Institute, ICR, or whatever. They’re starting with their conclusion. That’s not science.

          Design is part of the system, the difference is on what caused this apparent design.

          Huh? You mean “Apparent design is part of the system”?

          I can easily post links for 15+ years of response to Dover, Behe’s responses to Miller, as well as the fact that continued discussion on ID is about the science.

          And I can post links to 30 years of research on cold fusion, which no one doubts is a scientific inquiry with no religious agenda. Nevertheless, it’s not the scientific consensus. I don’t need to tell you what our response to that should be.

          There’s no doubt there’s bias on both sides.

          I have quite a bit of doubt. Seems to me that one side is following the evidence, and the other is cherry-picking the evidence.

        • Jesse H

          That’s exactly what’s happening. An ever increasing number of biologists, cosmologists, astrophysicists, geologists, microbiologists, mathematicians, philosophers of science are coming out in favor of ID theory.
          And not like cold fusion.

        • epeeist

          An ever increasing number of biologists, cosmologists, astrophysicists, geologists, microbiologists, mathematicians, philosophers of science are coming out in favor of ID theory.

          And because they espouse ID they are being sacked from their institutions as shown in the list you posted the other day.

          Oh, wait. You didn’t post a list. Further you haven’t given us any of the names of the “increasing number” who are supporting ID.

          And not like cold fusion.

          No, it is more like those who claim that vaccines cause autism.

        • You ignore the majority of my argument because you have no response?

          An ever increasing number of biologists, cosmologists, astrophysicists, geologists, microbiologists, mathematicians, philosophers of science are coming out in favor of ID theory.

          No one cares. Seriously, no one cares. When the scientific consensus changes, then everyone should care. Until that point, your argument is of the “Look–something shiny!” type.

          There’s your challenge. Go.

        • epeeist

          I agree that saying that junk DNA will show purpose is a generalized prediction, however the fact that ID was saying this and has been shown to be correct is at least a point for ID.

          One of the things that Karl Popper discussed was the idea of “boldness” when it comes to scientific theories, a bold claim that is fulfilled provides much more in terms of verisimilitude than a weak claim. It’s all very well to say that the mass of the sun would bend star light, but a much bolder claim would be that it would be bent by precisely 1.75 arc seconds is much bolder. Not only does this substantially add to the verisimilitude if the prediction is correct, it also makes it easer to falsify.

          Your “prediction” is so vague and further seems to have been produced when the status of “junk DNA” was already been revised makes it, shall we say, somewhat underwhelming.

          I agree with the Kitzmiller decision in the sense that ID should be about the science.

          Let’s park this for the moment.

          And I’m not sure what you mean that the universe and beings aren’t designed.

          Not what I said, what I said was that I reject the premiss that the universe and the things in it are designed because you haven’t fulfilled your burden to show that this is true.

          Design is part of the system

          See, this is just a bare and unjustified assertion. There is no reason for me to accept it.

          And ID technically as a science

          Let’s go back to Kitzmiller-Dover, where Behe was forced to accept that a definition of science that was broad enough to include ID would also be sufficiently broad to include astrology.

          the properties of a Designer, again that’s more philosophy

          Nice try, but no coconut. You are claiming a causal relationship, but you want to hide the nature of the cause. It rather reminds of the South Sea Bubble, “For carrying-on an undertaking of great advantage but no-one to know what it is!!”.

          There’s no doubt there’s bias on both sides. rationalwiki and talkorigins is biased, discovery institute has bias as well, wikipedia itself is biased.

          Those proposing anthropogenic global warming are biased, those denying AGW are biased. Your statement is just as much false equivalence as this one.

        • Jesse H

          Would you care for a correction? Behe is misunderstood about astrology. https://evolutionnews.org/2015/12/ten-dover-myths-8/

          And we can talk philosophy, as well as worldview bias. It’s not that certain facts are disputed, it’s that facts are interpreted within a worldview. For instance, scientists often speak of evolution as guiding or designing life forms and bringing about their adaptation. Natural selection is a form of design in the sense that the organism adapts to the environmental forces. Indeed, design is part of the system.

          And is there a reason you keep misspelling the word premise?

        • epeeist

          Behe is misunderstood about astrology.

          Perhaps you ought to read the transcript from day 11 of the Kitzmiller-Dover trial rather than an after-the-fact interpretation.

          It’s not that certain facts are disputed, it’s that facts are interpreted within a worldview.

          Facts are truth-makers for propositions. If all facts are interpreted through a world view then what you are effectively saying is that truth is relative to a world view. Do you really want to go down that path?

          Natural selection is a form of design

          And this is just Humpty-Dumptying

        • Jesse H

          The article quotes Behe. Do I really have to now quote from the article when you don’t want to read it? The point is that there are many things that can fall under the auspices of science, and by a definition of a scientific theory as a proposed explanation which focuses or points to physical, observable data and logical inferences

          Astrology could fit as a scientific theory, or try to be. But the point is that there is no evidence for Astrology. Science welcomes everyone to the table to do science and propose an hypothesis, but if you don’t get evidence you don’t have a workable theory.

          Truth in part is relative to a world view. I agree that facts can be truth-makers, but the framework of a worldview then assimilates these facts into truth. So yes, it’s not just about the facts. This is the very point we’re arguing. The facts that we have from science about life forms points to certain truths. I believe we have specified complexity in DNA and irreducible complexity seen in many parts of the cell and life which neo-Darwinianism cannot solve with random mutations and natural selection.

          I’ll tell you what. I’ll read a good article which you think proves your points if you read one which supports ID: https://www.lehigh.edu/~inbios/Faculty/Behe/PDF/Behe_chapter.pdf

        • epeeist

          The article quotes Behe.

          The question is, does it quote Behe accurately? Or is it better to go back to the primary source?

          The point is that there are many things that can fall under the auspices of science

          Indeed there are and I would accept, contra Popper, that there is not a single demarcation criterion to separate science from non-science. But this still does not mean that astrology or ID are sciences.

          Astrology could fit as a scientific theory

          No, astrology is a pseudo-science

          Truth in part is relative to a world view.

          So how does one tell what is relative to a world view and what is not? What is the demarcation criterion?

          This really is a desperate stuff, effectively invoking truth-relativism because you are unable to justify your claims.

          I believe we have specified complexity

          I really don’t care what you believe, what I am looking for is what you can justify.

          if you read one which supports ID

          You think I haven’t? What is plain here is that you have read little, if anything, about evolution in the modern synthesis. When you actually reference anything it is either to the DiscoTut house magazine or secondary, popular articles.

          The other day I listed the questions that I had put to you that you had failed to answer. We still seem to be in the same state, one has to wonder whether you are capable of providing answers at all.

        • Jesse H

          I can’t tell if you’re really not getting it because you don’t want to concede any points or if you’re really not getting it. But either way you are actually providing evidence for what I’m saying about worldviews. It’s not that truth is relative, but it is that we have worldviews which distort truth to our preferences, and this is psychologically as well as scientifically true. We all need to examine the frameworks from which we view truth.
          I agree with you that astrology is a pseudo-science, so does Behe. But the point is that all theories can come to the table and do science, but only those theories with evidence will prevail.
          I did already answer some of your questions in what looks like a disappeared post (which you responded to).
          I won’t say I’m an expert on evolutionary theory, but I do read the articles and the abstracts that I can and so far ID has responded to its objectors. The actual evidence we have for adaptation and natural selection has not evidenced molecules to man evolution, not in DNA, not in speciation or genus change, not in paleontology, not in microbiology or a million other links to the chain that would be necessary.

        • epeeist

          I can’t tell if you’re really not getting it

          Having seen this line of argument many times before I rather think I do get it.

          It’s not that truth is relative

          And yet you say, “Truth in part is relative to a world view”, so which is it?

          We all need to examine the frameworks from which we view truth.

          Fine, then perhaps you ought to examine the Wedge Strategy document and see what world view it espouses and whether its authors are actually searching for truth.

          only those theories with evidence will prevail.

          It isn’t just that though, there are a whole stack of other virtues that a good theory will possess, I can’t find an online version of it Fr. Ernan McMullan’s article The Virtues of a Good Theory provides a list. So called “intelligent design” fulfils few, if any of them.

          I won’t say I’m an expert on evolutionary theory, but I do read the articles and the abstracts that I can and so far ID has responded to its objectors.

          My inference from this sentence is that you read few articles outside of those favourable to ID. This is corroborated by the references you provide and your continuing use of the phrase “molecules to man”, which of course is not what the theory of evolution is about. As for speciation, there are lots of examples, actually seeing a genus change would probably falsify the theory of evolution.

          Instead of reading lawyers on biology why don’t you try reading some actual biologists. They can’t all involved in a conspiracy to push a theory that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, surely?

        • Jesse H

          My friend, you seriously have to be joking. The Wedge strategy document pales in comparison to the Evolutionary anti-religion agenda which we can clearly see many espouse today. I can cite Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, PZ Meyers, Richard Carrier and many others just in the last 20 years, not to mention seeing this strategy play out for over 100 years in academia. Discovery Institute clearly aims to present a scientific thesis having scientific merit. Yes, truth plays out in part to a worldview, that’s a simple statement of fact born out in numerous psychological and philosophical studies about conservatives vs. progressives, hierarchy vs. anarchy, establishment vs. progress, democrat vs. republican, national vs. global, individual vs. corporate, atheism vs. theism, and various scientific theories against each other.
          And don’t give me the evolutionary dodge that Evolution isn’t really molecules to man but allele change in populations. The broader theory is clearly molecules to man.
          My point is that I do read biologists, I read all the so-called examples of speciation and they do not prove molecules to man Evolution. They hardly prove speciation. I’ve read about goldfish as broken carp, the stickle-back fish, the viruses and bacteria that change, the black moth, the fruit fly, the gene duplication speculative theories, plant speciation, the computer simulation of coding (just off the top of my head). In every example we hardly get to true examples of complex information being created, new species evolving to new species, or actual proof of anything beyond basic adaptation.
          And to say that if we saw genus change this would disprove Evolution is laughable. If we ever saw anything close to genus change I guarantee it would be front page news and everyone would consider it a slam dunk for neo-Darwinian theory. But we see nothing of the sort.
          And the fact is that no scientific theory holds up to scrutiny if it can’t be understood and reasoned on the basic level. So it doesn’t matter if you are a lawyer, a biologist, a philosopher or an engineer the basic theory should be explainable. The fact that neo-Darwinian theory isn’t convincing across the board from scientist, mathematician, philosopher to layman isn’t proof that only the so-called experts are right. There are experts who disagree from every scientific field. And again, the actual evidence which science agrees on is not evidence which ID theorists disagree with.

          The fact is this whole argument plays out more on the fringes of science, not in the actual science. Because it involves an entire worldview and theory which is still speculative. Everyone is playing with pieces of the jigsaw puzzle and no one can say exactly what the big picture is or what is the unifying theory of everything or even how many jigsaw puzzle pieces we have left to find. That’s science.

        • The Wedge strategy document pales in comparison to the Evolutionary anti-religion agenda which we can clearly see many espouse today.

          I hear you, bro! Science in the science classroom, following the evidence where it goes even if it makes fundamentalists sad—my god, where will it end??

          Discovery Institute clearly aims to present a scientific thesis having scientific merit.

          Clearly? If anything is clear, it’s their agenda and close allegiance with Christianity. They’re a PR machine, not a science lab.

          Yes, truth plays out in part to a worldview

          Drop the “we all have our worldviews” stuff, OK? Science is open and transparent and worldview independent. Yes, the individual participants can have biases, but, sometimes slowly and clumsily, science as an institution aims toward the truth.

          And don’t give me the evolutionary dodge that Evolution isn’t really molecules to man but allele change in populations. The broader theory is clearly molecules to man.

          WTF?? Epeeist is trying to help you out. Are you this dismissive of all your teachers? No, evolution fucking isn’t molecules to man. You’re combining abiogenesis and evolution here.

          Maybe a little less arrogance and you can actually learn something. You do realize that most of us here have heard all that you’ve said about ID/Creationism many, many, many times already?

          My point is that I do read biologists, I read all the so-called examples of speciation and they do not prove molecules to man Evolution.

          Make your argument and support it only from conventional biology textbooks.

          it doesn’t matter if you are a lawyer, a biologist, a philosopher or an engineer the basic theory should be explainable.

          Whew! I’ve been waiting for you. I’m a pretty smart guy but certainly no scientist. Explain quantum theory to me.

        • Jesse H

          Science is only worldview independent to a point. A worldview still categorizes the way experiments are done and then also aligns all the facts into a coherency. Which is again the discrepancy here. There is no scientific fact which refutes ID theory. And with the ideas of specified complexity, codification of DNA and irreducible complexity we have evidence for ID theory scientifically. But it takes a worldview to put all the facts together. So those with a materialistic naturalism worldview have framed the facts in a certain way.
          Would you prefer me to say Evolution is cellular life to man rather than molecules to man? Of course abiogenesis is another ballgame which gives more grounding to ID theory given the inexplicability of life.
          As to quantum physics, Richard Feynman, one of the founders of quantum field theory remarked, “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum theory”. So even the experts are baffled. But fundamentally we simply have the idea that the quantum level exhibits the characteristics of both particles and waves, so determining the location and the vector at the quantum level is uncertain. This means that we can only measure one of those realities at a time. And we can only do this in probabilities. And we have entanglement theory where it appears we have particles acting like superfluids with frictionless viscosity. There appears to be no drag or energy loss. And of course this is only the beginning. But even a layman like myself can understand and explain these basic ideas.
          But this is much beyond neo-Darwinianism where we can’t explain how a cell first begins, how proteins are formed, multicellular life, how this evolves into animals without backbones, then backbones, complex internal organs, sentience, consciousness, the list is miles long.

        • epeeist

          Your previous post is stuck as spam, I’ll get around to it when it appears.

          There is no scientific fact which refutes ID theory.

          Let’s ignore the fact that ID is not a scientific theory for the moment. You are correct, there is no fact that will falsify ID, which is one of the reasons it isn’t a theory.

          Let’s take a couple of scenarios. First one, an ID proponent says that X cannot be explained by the theory of evolution. Data is then brought forward showing that X can indeed be explained by the TofE. ID proponent says, “Ah, but that wasn’t ‘irreducibly complex’, but Y is”. This isn’t science, it is whack-a-mole.

          Second scenario, again the ID proponent says X is irreducibly complex, but this time biologists cannot find an evolutionary pathway. Does this show that it is irreducibly complex? No, it simply shows that currently no evolutionary path can be found.

          As ever we get the false dichotomy, namely a “problem” with one hypothesis is not evidence for another.

          Of course abiogenesis is another ballgame which gives more grounding to ID theory given the inexplicability of life.

          This is just an argument from ignorance.

          As to quantum physics, Richard Feynman, one of the founders of quantum field theory remarked, “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum theory”. So even the experts are baffled.

          So what are they baffled about precisely?

          This means that we can only measure one of those realities at a time.

          This is wrong.

          And we have entanglement theory where it appears we have particles acting like superfluids with frictionless viscosity.

          This is also wrong

          But even a layman like myself can understand and explain these basic ideas.

          Except where you get things completely wrong.

          But this is much beyond neo-Darwinianism where we can’t explain how a cell first begins, how proteins are formed, multicellular life, how this evolves into animals without backbones, then backbones, complex internal organs, sentience, consciousness, the list is miles long.

          And this is a mixture of argument from incredulity and from ignorance. But go on, tell us how ID explains, say, the design and construction of the recurrent laryngeal nerve cell in Amphicoelias fragillimus.

          What creationists misunderstand is that all scientific theories are works in progress, they all have things that they cannot currently explain (try this list for some of the things that are currently open in cosmology). Now they may eventually be explained by the current theory, or the current theory may be replaced by a new theory. The latter only happens if it has a stronger explanatory power and empirical fit and hence is able to account for the anomalies that the current theory cannot.

        • Jesse H

          Once again you are missing the point of ID theory. When we see specified complexity and irreducible complexity the only examples we have of this is from intelligence. Forensic science does this all the time with crime scenes where a human agent is involved. It’s not an argument from incredulity, it’s an argument from specific cases where we know intelligence is involved. And what examples of irreducible complexity have been refuted? I surely hope you’re not talking about the flagellum because it notably has not, as I’ve already demonstrated. We have amazing speculation, we have hypothesized gene duplication (which is actually speculation in itself), but we do not have the mechanics that posits the formulation of the entire chain of flagellation. Not even close. And Miller’s mousetrap theory just proves the point. Behe has refuted him.

          Now I agree that an evolutionary pathway could be found, and we certainly don’t stop doing science just because evidence points to ID, but the gecko showing different body size and toe size in terrestrial and scansorial is not an example of the kind of Evolution needed for all the diversification of life we see. It’s another example similar to canines, lots of different body shapes and sizes. It shows diversity within kinds, it doesn’t show movement from one kind of creature to another.

          As to quantum physics, I’d love if you have better explanations, I wasn’t claiming expert knowledge, and I know I was simplifying things. Because of the nature of measuring in probabilities we don’t/can’t specify a particular particle’s location and speed at the same time. And the analogy to superfluids is just an analogy.

        • epeeist

          Once again you are missing the point of ID theory. When we see specified complexity and irreducible complexity the only examples we have of this is from intelligence.

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

          Let’s try a simple example, from the link I gave on open problems in cosmology. Only a few percentage of the universe’s mass has been identified, the missing mass is obviously evidence for the existence of (nods to @Ignorant_Amos) space ponies.

          As Quine noted, as a consequence of the under-determination of scientific theories there are many alternative explanations for any particular phenomenon. As a result the false dichotomy that is at the heart of ID, i.e. if the TofE cannot (currently) explain something then the only alternative must be ID is simply fallacious.

          Oh, and here is another one for you, given the “problems” in the bible in terms of contradictions, falsehoods etc. then it must be false, the true god is that of the sentient, floating gas-bags of an unnamed planet in IOK-1.

          but the gecko showing different body size and toe size in terrestrial and scansorial is not an example of the kind of Evolution needed

          I didn’t ask for an argument against evolution, I asked how you would explain it in terms of design. Once more you fall into the false dichotomy.

          I know I was simplifying things

          No, you were getting things wrong. Let’s take the first one, measurement of two complementary variables, we’ll use the common pair, momentum and position. We then have:

          σ(p) σ(x) ≥ ℏ / 2

          You will see that this specifies the maximum precision of measurement of complementary variables (not “realities”), it says nothing about not being able to measure them at the same time.

          As for entanglement, you seem to have a garbled description of Bose-Einstein condensates. The concept of entanglement is fairly simply, if we take two particles p1 and p2 that are not entangled then their state vectors will be | p1 > and | p2 >. If they are entangled then there is a single state vector | p1+p2 > that is not separable.

          I will add the fact that you are unable to tell me what physicists are baffled about when it comes to QM to the list of currently unanswered questions.

          EDIT: misspelling and HTML characters.

        • Jesse H

          ID theory doesn’t state that if TofE has holes then ID theory is correct. You are failing to understand the scientific arguments. And I agree this gets entangled with question of worldview but at the core ID simply states that when we see certain parameters the evidence points to ID.
          If I were to explain geckos I would say that geckos have been designed to have different body and toe sizes adapted to different functions. It’s not really a product of ID theory to say this, it’s just what we see. The question would be if mutation and natural selection are adequate to drive these changes, specifically in first getting the bodies and toes in the first place, and then having enough adaptable information in the DNA to drive changes. When we have specified complexity like this we can see intelligent design.
          I appreciate the explanations of QM, but when theorists say that photons show characteristics of waves and particles this by nature means we can’t exactly pinpoint particular photon’s location and vector.
          And when I quote that there is still mystery in QM I’m sure you’d agree. I’m merely quoting QM theorists themselves.

        • epeeist

          And I agree this gets entangled with question of worldview but at the core ID simply states that when we see certain parameters the evidence points to ID.

          And at this point you produce a prediction which can be critically tested. I have yet to see them produce anything that can be the subject of such a test (and no, the vacuous “predictions” by Luskin don’t count).

          If I were to explain geckos I would say that geckos have been designed to have different body and toe sizes adapted to different functions

          And how are you going to put that to the test? You don’t expect me to simply accept an unsubstantiated assertion?

          The question would be if mutation and natural selection are adequate to drive these changes

          And away we go again, rather than provide evidence for your position you prefer to whine about the TofE. Now as it is I am perfectly happy that scientific theories (not just the TofE) are held to exacting standards, but this is not what you and other creationists (in clown shoes or not) are about. What you are putting forward is an isolated demand for rigour, where you (rightly) require that evolutionary biologists provide the strongest of justifications for their claims but you essentially give ID proponents a free ride.

          but when theorists say that photons show characteristics of waves and particles this by nature means we can’t exactly pinpoint particular photon’s location and vector (sic).

          You really can’t help yourself can you? You were shown to be wrong in your claim that we can’t specify a particle’s “location and speed (sic) at the same time” and here you are doubling down on your claim and rather than admitting you were wrong.

          I’m merely quoting QM theorists themselves.

          I’m taking that to mean that you don’t actually know sufficient about the foundations of QM to say why theorists are “baffled”.

          Here’s a hint, you might want to go back to a post of mine about the various interpretations of QM. It might just indicate that I have a clue as to what I am talking about…

        • Jesse H

          We appear to be at an impasse. You don’t credit Luskin’s predictions, and you seem to deny the philosophy of forensic science in finding design. You may feel I’m giving a free pass to ID, but scientifically I’m not. We all have a worldview and for many even though new-Darwinianism has severe holes and questions it supposedly has a consensus. But as Micheal Crichton said, “If it’s a consensus, it’s not science, and if it’s science it’s not a consensus.”

          Your question about an isolated demand for rigor seems tied in to questions about worldview. And the link you gave references psychological academia, so I would think you understand that worldview often fills in the gaps in our understanding. I don’t think ID proves God created, it simply points to evidence where certain parameters point to intelligent design. Scientists often seem to be filling in the evidence with their worldview of new-Darwinianism.

          I appreciate your knowledge of QM, so I suppose you can better explain Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. The more precise we know a particle’s position, the less precise we know its momentum. I don’t think what I’ve been saying is very far removed from that.

        • epeeist

          You don’t credit Luskin’s predictions, and you seem to deny the philosophy of forensic science in finding design.

          I don’t credit his predictions in that they are as vacuous as the ones in the horoscopes in tabloid newspapers.

          As for forensic science, as far as I understand it involves using applied science to investigate crime and examine and present evidence, nothing to do with design.

          We all have a worldview

          I don’t really care whether you call it weltenschauung, perspective (Nietzsche), language game (Wittgenstein) or paradigm (Kuhn). Espousal of one of these is the espousal of epistemic relativism (see something like Paul Boghossian’s Fear of Knowledge for why this should be rejected).

          even though new-Darwinianism has severe holes and questions

          And we ware back at the false dichotomy, as I have noted “severe holes and questions” in one theory does not provide evidence for other hypotheses. As I have also noted, all theories have unanswered questions and anomalies.

          But as Micheal Crichton said

          Crichton was an MD, so what is he saying here, that germ theory is not science because it is the consensus view of how disease is caused? Or was it only to climatology and AGW that he meant his remarks to apply? As it is he conflates the idea of “consensus” and “scientific consensus”. Let’s go back to QM for a moment, it is the scientific consensus that QM is the most successful theory in physics based upon its evidential backing, empirical fit and survival of critical testing.

          Your question about an isolated demand for rigor seems tied in to questions about worldview.

          Only insofar as it applies to those who apply rigour selectively. In this context, to those who demand that evolutionary biologists show every step in their reasoning while not demanding it of intelligent design proponents (for example, not requiring them to provide evidence for the existence of the so-called designer, its properties or the design principles and mechanisms it follows)

          Scientists often seem to be filling in the evidence with their worldview of new-Darwinianism.

          So you are indeed a truth relativist.

          I don’t think what I’ve been saying is very far removed from that.

          No, you claimed that, “This means that we can only measure one of those realities (sic) at a time”. You were wrong, suck it up

        • Jesse H

          I appreciate you showing the impreciseness of what I said about QM.

          But I think you are misunderstanding Crichton and it relates to your rejection of worldview. Science evidences certain things that everyone agrees on. But because evidence must be interpreted in a framework and because there are presuppositions in even how experiments are conducted and interpreted not all evidence is the same.

          The more interesting conversation we should have is how worldview relates to evidence because this is indeed the ID conversation. You seem to say that worldview means that truth is relative. But that’s not what worldview means. And if you’re referencing Boghossian then I’d have to say that I would agree that equal validity to all truth claims is invalid, and I disagree with relativism. But there is a healthy uncertainty we should have when it comes to evaluating our own positions. No one can get away from subjectively self-evident beliefs but this doesn’t mean we don’t apply critical thinking to them.

          So the idea that we should apply critical thinking to our worldviews doesn’t mean that truth is relative. And neo-Darwinian theory is a worldview. It’s gratuitous to say that TofE isn’t proven (because science doesn’t deal in provens) and yet also say that objections to TofE by ID can’t apply. And then also to say that a consensus (which isn’t science) is true yet it’s unrelated to worldview. The very idea of consensus means putting the evidence together in a framework. That’s a good definition of worldview.

          And then you are begging the question, the evidence for the existence of the so-called designer is because we see characteristics of intelligent design as is true in forensic science where the difference between homicide, suicide or accidental death applies. The properties and mechanisms of a designer follow from known principles of what natural laws can do or not. A person can’t shoot himself from 10 feet away without the use of a string, pole or remote control. Take away those factors and we have ID. Irreducibly complex machines cannot create themselves, nor can information code itself. The chemical properties can only go so far. (And where did the chemical properties come from?)

          And again, ID is different from Creationism or Christianity. I understand that ID is used by Christians espousing more than what is properly scientific, but atheists do the same thing with science. They use TofE as proof for atheism, when in reality that’s not true either.

        • epeeist

          But I think you are misunderstanding Crichton

          Oh you do, do you. Given that Crichton gave his speech with regard to one subject and one subject only, namely AGW, then I think I understand him all too well. I note that you have no rebuttal to the two examples of consensus in science that I gave.

          But because evidence must be interpreted in a framework and because there are presuppositions in even how experiments are conducted and interpreted not all evidence is the same.

          That all observations are theory-laden is a truism within the philosophy of science doesn’t help you though.

          The more interesting conversation we should have is how worldview relates to evidence because this is indeed the ID conversation.

          The reason it doesn’t help you is that if “neo-Darwinian theory is a worldview” then so must Lamarkism, orthogenetics and critically, so must ID.

          Oh, and and guess what, if the proposition is that “we see everything through a world view” then this too has to be seen through a world view. Once again, the implication of what you are saying is that you are a truth relativist.

          As it is philosophers of science are too convinced about truth relativism (see, for example Maria Baghramian’s Relativism About Science).

          But if you want to go nuclear then be my guest.

          that a consensus (which isn’t

          You don’t actually think I would let this pass did you? As I noted above you completely ignored the two examples of consensus that I gave. I could of course give many more, say the cause of HIV or the efficacy of vaccines for starters. Given this week’s Nobel Prize awards then the existence of exoplanets might be another.

          Does the fact that consensus exists within a particular scientific field mean that the science is certain or that it is held unanimously? Of course not, as ever science is provisional and subject to change.

          For example, the consensus in the West about the age of the earth was that was a few thousand years old based upon nothing more than a “holy book”. This began to change towards the end of the 18th century, the consensus is now that it is around 4.5 billion years old based upon multiple lines of evidence in other words we have both consonance and consilience.

          That’s a good definition of worldview.

          It is? And there was me thinking it was just a conception of the world from a specific standpoint.

          And then you are begging the question

          And yet you don’t say why I am.

          the evidence for the existence of the so-called designer is because we see characteristics of intelligent design as is true in forensic science where the difference between homicide, suicide or accidental death applies.

          This really is becoming tedious. What forensic scientists are doing is availing themselves to methodological naturalism in order to come to a conclusion, an inference to the best explanation if you like.

          The properties and mechanisms of a designer follow from known principles of what natural laws can do or not. A person can’t shoot himself from 10 feet away without the use of a string, pole or remote control. Take away those factors and we have ID.

          We have been through this one before too. All these are simply weak analogies, they don’t get you to an omni-maximal creator of the universe, let alone one that was worshipped by an obscure Middle-Eastern tribe.

          And where did the chemical properties come from?

          Another reset button press. I don’t know, this doesn’t allow you to claim that it was a designer-what-done-it.

          And again, ID is different from Creationism or Christianity.

          It is? And yet where an early edition of Of Pandas and People contained the sentence, “Creation means that the various forms of life began abruptly through the agency of an intelligent creator with their distinctive features already intact. Fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings, etc.” became “Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact. Fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, wings, etc.”

          Oh, and who can forget, “The basic metabolic pathways (reaction chains) of nearly all organisms are the same. Is this because of descent from a common ancestor, or because only these pathways (and their variations) can sustain life? Evolutionists think the former is correct, creationists accept the latter view.” becoming “The basic metabolic pathways (reaction chains) of nearly all organisms are the same. Is this because of descent from a common ancestor, or because only these pathways (and their variations) can sustain life? Evolutionists think the former is correct, cdesign proponentsists accept the latter view.”

          but atheists do the same thing with science. They use TofE as proof for atheism, when in reality that’s not true either.

          They do, or are they just reiterating Laplace, “Je n’avais pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là?”.

        • Jesse H

          Yes, ID is a worldview the same as neo-Darwinianism is. That’s the point, all evidence needs a frameword. So we critically examine our frameworks. This isn’t truth relativism, it’s simply the recognition that we all need self-evident truths, justified beliefs to fit our frameworks.

          Neo-Darwinianism has many assertions it must make. It must assert an ordered universe that has followed the same physical laws, that we have minds capable of understanding these laws and processes, that the processes didn’t change in the past (uniformitarianism), and that there is a meaning reference in all the observations we make. And none of these assertions can be proven simply from empiricism or scientism.

          So yes, we all examine our hypotheses and determine where we can begin. I’m with you against truth relativism, but the flaw in your theory is that any of us can start with neutrality. None of us are neutral, we all have to examine our presupps, our worldviews, our justified beliefs, our self-evident truths and build the gridwork from which we view evidence.

        • epeeist

          This isn’t truth relativism, it’s simply the recognition that we all need self-evident truths

          Self-evident truth’s? But all truths are relative to a “framework” or a “worldview” according to you, so how can such things exist?

          Neo-Darwinianism has many assertions it must make.

          Wow, theories need auxiliary hypotheses, what a stunning revelation. It’s almost as though Duhem and Quine had never existed.

          I note that, once again, you concentrate on the TofE and avoid saying what the “many assertions” that ID must make are.

          Oh, and here is a paper I came across the other day. You might want to consider what is happening in terms of evolutionary change.

          So where are the “intelligent design” papers which consider things in such detail?

        • Jesse H

          Yes indeed, self-evident truths. If you explore philosophy at all you will recognize that philosophers often resort to self evident truths. In fact logic with laws of identity and non-contradiction have to be argued as self evident truths. We can’t prove them except by using logic.

          I agree ID must make assertions too. But I would assert that a theistic framework actually provides a foundation for language, logic, matter, time-space, consciousness, thought, perception, personhood and the order and observation necessary for science. So we have a self-evident framework which actually enables us to have a correspondence to reality, rather than a lack of foundation which can’t show why logic is true, science can be done, or why purposeless mutations can produce creatures who desire and find purpose and meaning.

          And the paper you present is no different from many others where from my perspective it actually evidences ID since we need a highly specified DNA sequencing to even exhibit the retroviral activities in the koala genome.
          Again we have an amazing case for design.

        • epeeist

          Yes indeed, self-evident truths. If you explore philosophy at all you will recognize that philosophers often resort to self evident truths.

          So which particular theory (or theories) of truth are you referring to? Because to be blunt I think you have about as much clue about epistemology as you do about the theory of evolution.

          But I would assert that a theistic framework actually provides a foundation for language, logic, matter, time-space, consciousness, thought, perception, personhood and the order and observation necessary for science.

          Oh, you would assert that would you. Here’s news for you, I really don’t care about your assertions or you beliefs, only what you can justify.

          And the paper you present is no different from many others where from my perspective it actually evidences ID

          You really don’t have a clue what it was about do you.

        • as Micheal Crichton said, “If it’s a consensus, it’s not science, and if it’s science it’s not a consensus.”

          What does that mean?

        • Jesse H

          It means that actual science is demonstrable, not in need of a consensus. And a consensus isn’t actual science, otherwise there would be no need to consent, it would just be observed.

        • Great stuff for scientists. I’m not a scientist. That’s why the consensus is vital to me as an outsider to understand science’s best guesses on the myriad questions it deals with.

          You’re not a scientist, either? Then the same applies to you.

        • Yes, there were a few inoffensive comments in the spam pile. I’ve returned them to the fold, like a good shepherd.

        • There is no scientific fact which refutes ID theory.

          I can’t think of a fact that supports ID over evolution, but that’s a tangent. The main problem here is that you have it backwards. “Refutes ID” isn’t the way to go. Let’s just imagine that nothing does refute ID—so what? Your goal is to actually, y’know, support ID and show that it explains things better than evolution.

          it takes a worldview to put all the facts together.

          Still flogging the “Sure, I’m biased, but so what since everyone is biased” horse? I’m old-fashioned: let’s all try to be as unbiased as possible.

          Of course abiogenesis is another ballgame which gives more grounding to ID theory given the inexplicability of life.

          The value of “God dun it” is that that can never be refuted. It can be applied to address any riddle. But of course since it can’t be falsified, it’s useless. Yes, God could’ve dun abiogenesis, but that fact doesn’t help you since it’s unfalsifiable. (The fact that there’s no evidence pointing there is a problem, too.)

          So even the experts are baffled.

          Quantum mechanics is the most fucked-up theory possible. Thing in two places at once? Quantum uncertainty creating two forks in time? Quantum entanglement? All complete bullshit. Of course, I’m saying that from a common sense standpoint. Evidence makes clear that quantum mechanics does indeed work as described; it’s simply our middle world experience that is offended by this foreign world.

          Why don’t you go bother those QM guys? Evolution is easy to accept by comparison. That you’re annoyed at the one that steps on your religious toes and ignoring the one that’s actually non-commonsensical betrays your agenda.

          But this is much beyond neo-Darwinianism where we can’t explain how a cell first begins, how proteins are formed, multicellular life, how this evolves into animals without backbones, then backbones, complex internal organs, sentience, consciousness, the list is miles long.

          Remember the advice I gave you about immersing yourself exclusively in regular biology and ignoring the Disco Institute/ICR/Ken Ham/etc. for a while? It’s kind of cute seeing you as such a shill for their bullshit, but you really need to do yourself a favor and see things from the side of the people who actually understand the data.

        • epeeist

          The Wedge strategy document pales in comparison to the Evolutionary anti-religion agenda which we can clearly see many espouse today.

          The Wedge strategy is to deliberately reshape American society to reflect evangelical project values.

          So, what are the aims of the likes of Dawkins, Harris or Dennett?

          Discovery Institute clearly aims to present a scientific thesis having scientific merit.

          And yet, as Dover-Kitzmiller shows, they fail. What they do is present creationism in clown shoes.

          The broader theory is clearly molecules to man.

          So, give us a reference to an actual biologist who says this.

          I read all the so-called examples of speciation and they do not prove molecules to man Evolution.

          Ah, the smell of burning straw in the morning.

          Of course they don’t “prove” (I thought we had done with the fact that science doesn’t prove things; it looks like the reset button has been pressed) your straw man. What they do show is that speciation takes place.

          And to say that if we saw genus change this would disprove Evolution is laughable.

          All this shows is that you really have no idea about evolution. You don’t think that something in genus Canis giving birth to something in genus Felis would disprove the theory of evolution?

          But we see nothing of the sort. And the fact is that no scientific theory holds up to scrutiny if it can’t be understood and reasoned on the basic level.

          So we are back to the claim that popular opinion decides whether scientific theories are correct or not.

          The fact that neo-Darwinian theory isn’t convincing across the board from scientist, mathematician, philosopher to layman isn’t proof that only the so-called experts are right.

          Let’s ask a question here. If you have a severe pain in your chest then the opinion of “scientist[s], mathematician[s], philosopher[s]” (or lawyers) is just as valid as that of doctors?

          I will add the fact that you haven’t clarified your position on truth-relativism to the list of unanswered questions.

        • So, what are the aims of the likes of Dawkins, Harris or Dennett?

          Are you kidding? They want all that science-y stuff.

          What they do [with ID] is present creationism in clown shoes.

          … but isn’t Creationism already wearing clown shoes?

        • epeeist

          Are you kidding? They want all that science-y stuff.

          It really is dull isn’t it, the false equivalence, the false dichotomy, the mischaracterisation of the theory of evolution, the inability to provide evidence in favour of ID, the whole nine yards in fact.

          I answered a couple of his posts and then thought sod it and took the camera out. I was able to get some nice long exposure shots at a place called Padley Gorge without being troubled by the tapping of the feet or the folding of the arms (my wife is in Cairo at the moment, fencing at the world veteran’s championships so I am a free agent; this is a Terry Pratchett reference by the way).

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1093910585c31fada88f732b8493fdb67ba59f1db1c8da2fa88859fcf1b7921a.jpg

        • Awesome photo! Can I use it for a post photo if I give you credit?

        • epeeist

          Can I use it for a post photo if I give you credit?

          Of course, I mostly concentrate on wildlife and landscape (though of late I have been doing a series on urban decay; see below) so if you want anything specific then give me a shout.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0a52b81f235756db75e350cbe69490f4fa942653881241ec687dc184440646fa.jpg

        • I’ve heard of a genre of thrill seekers (?) who sneak into abandoned factories, warehouses, industrial plants, and so on to photograph them. I imagine they come across some amazing sights.

          https://www.flickr.com/photos/kellysmith/531837840
          https://www.flickr.com/photos/norue/5250103830/

        • epeeist

          I’ve heard of a genre of thrill seekers (?) who sneak into abandoned
          factories, warehouses, industrial plants, and so on to photograph them.

          I have done some of that, not overly successfully. Have you heard of a town called Pyramiden on Svalbard?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8b3edf7e234dd07f700621a0663d5c04c36d06e34a5d85068fff44a7d87c9980.jpg

        • Curiously, I’ve recently seen several articles about visits to Svalbard. God must be telling me something (since he can only communicate in riddles).

          To answer your question, I’ve heard about Longyearbyen (oddly, it was named after a guy named Longyear) but not Pyramiden. Wikipedia says about Pyramiden, “An archive of over 1000 soviet films lies well preserved in the storerooms on the site.” There’s reason enough to add it to my bucket list.

        • epeeist

          To answer your question, I’ve heard about Longyearbyen

          There is a line of dealerships on the “main street”. They sell snowmobiles rather than SUVs.

          There’s reason enough to add it to my bucket list.

          If you go then don’t take the dog sled experience, the dogs are trained to run and excrete (fsking Patheos filter) at the same time.

        • If you go then don’t take the dog sled experience

          Do you speak from personal experience?

          Disgusting as it is, that is a rather impressive trick on the dogs’ part. Maybe it’s smart to wear a motorcycle helmet.

        • epeeist

          Do you speak from personal experience?

          No, I was warned off beforehand. And anyway it is a bit difficult using a camera on a dog-sled.

        • Phil Rimmer

          What camera, Epeeist?

        • epeeist

          Nikon, D500. I was using a 6x stopper made by Nisi, I can recommend these.

        • Phil Rimmer

          Nice. I wish I could afford the risk of having one. But I’d have to have all the lenses.

          I’ve just bought a Lumix FZ2000 for my son to stop him borrowing mine for his movie making. Its got a decent size sensitive sensor and shoots Cinema 4K . With the need for slow, movement-blurring shutter speeds often, it throws in an inbuilt 2, 4 and 6 stop ND filter.

          I must try some shots like yours. A cracking pic.

        • epeeist

          Nice. I wish I could afford the risk of having one.

          I’ve always been a photographer but it was largely reduced to record pictures when the girls were small.

          I had a good friend who planned to travel when his wife retired, three days before she did so he died. We realised that if we didn’t get our act together the same thing could happen to us. Given the travel I bought to the best DSLR I could afford and upgraded it as and when I could.

          But I’d have to have all the lenses.

          Naturally. I run from a Tokina 11-16mm up to a Nikon 200-500mm, plus a couple of primes, one with macro capability.

          an inbuilt 2, 4 and 6 stop ND filter.

          What’s this like colour-wise? One of the reason I bought the Nisi filters is that they don’t cause a colour cast.

          I must try some shots like yours.

          You obviously need a good, solid tripod, even then I would use the app to actually fire the shutter in order to minimise the chance of camera movement. Oh, and you haven’t got to be worried about getting your feet wet

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3b8a229852c61b9b209e54334d34ac5b308f82fbe3604d9b7b284814d249d1c8.jpg

          I use a program called darktable, I find this gives me more control than Photoshop, for example in isolating the marker while converting the rest of the picture to monochrome.

        • Phil Rimmer

          Indeed, this is not a rehearsal. Crack on and invest accordingly.

          I taught photography and printmaking for thee years at a college that became part of John Moores University. I loved it, selling the idea that it wasn’t about taking pics but learning to apprehend a world. Noticing. (We didn’t have enough cameras to go around, truth to tell.)

          I always used to have a big bag of camera kit, which didn’t work well with my love of walking, nor with the family. Bridge cameras came to the rescue but the tiny image sensors to make the big zoom ranges seemed too much quality compromise. These 1″ sensor and mere 20:1 zooms fixed it. I carry one most places. The kids are long bitten too and being impoverished students still, birthdays are expensive.

          Running these off phone or tablet is nice for not disturbing them whilst perfecting the settings and zoom.

          ND cast? Haven’t checked. Must do so.

          Darktable sounds like one to check out also.

          I always enjoyed your pix when you posted them. Good stuff…

        • Jesse H

          We can show the anti-religious aim of some scientists. We can also show the anti-secularist aim of some religious believers. Truth is that worldviews struggle against each other.
          I disagree that Dover proved that ID is not a scientific theory. I’ve already referenced links refuting this idea and Dover is really old news. ID theory scientifically does not say anything about the nature of a Designer, it exists purely as a scientific theory. The fact that opponents want to disagree based on philosophy and worldview doesn’t do anything to derail the actual science.

        • epeeist

          We can show the anti-religious aim of some scientists.

          So, do they deliberately aim to reshape American society to their anti-religious values in the way the authors of the Wedge Document do? Or is it just another piece of false equivalence on your behalf.

          I disagree that Dover proved that ID is not a scientific theory.

          And yet philosophers such as Robert Pennock and Barbara Forrest would disagree with you? I rather think I am going to go with those who know something about the subject rather than a random ideologue on the internet.

          ID theory scientifically does not say anything about the nature of a Designer, it exists purely as a scientific theory.

          And yet all it seems it wants to put forward is the negative claim that the TofE can’t explain particular elements of organisms within the biosphere.

          I’ll add the questions about genus change or the opinions of experts to the list that you have failed to answer.

        • Phil Rimmer

          Speciation has many mechanisms some more gradual or subtle than others. “Shazam” is not how things mostly happen, except in your world view.

          As it happens, dramatic mechanisms like polyploidy creating whole new informational spaces actually meet your spurious requirement of an immediate reproductive lockout.

          What you read and what you understand, it seems, are distinct categories, with little chance of interbreeding.

        • Jesse H

          Do you think polypoloidy adequately explains all new information found in speciation? If we posit enough gene duplication and mutation events then we will give evidence for every layer of information found in all life?

        • Phil Rimmer

          Speciation happens in manifold ways and at different rates.

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

          Evolution happens. Where is the extra information stored that controls the limit of its extent? The boundaries of the baramin? (yes, you are right to be troubled little spell checker) When will the Discovery Institute discover that? Have they even thought to look?

        • Jesse H

          I agree adaptation happens. But do any of these examples really offer evidence throughout the chain of life that these changes within examples of life show how all life’s diversity happened?

        • Phil Rimmer

          I’ve asked you how does change know went to stop.

          Hmm?

        • Jesse H

          If you agree that speciation doesn’t effectively evidence all of life’s biodiversity I will agree that all the parameters of baraminology have not been found.

        • Phil Rimmer

          speciation doesn’t effectively evidence all of life’s biodiversity

          I haven’t the faintest what you mean by this or what you want to imply. Give me a hint. What for example isn’t evidenced?

          Speciation emerges most often over many generations, creating increasing degrees of difficulty in interbreeding say… That? Often species are poorly defined for extended periods.

          https://www.livescience.com/53389-cat-lineage-littered-with-interbreeding.html

          Or do you mean to invoke the various mechanisms of horizontal gene transfer?

          Do you understand that Baraminology requires two or three times as much data as simple evolving genes? That absolutely no viable hypotheses have been formed to manage this? It is wildly more complex in its repercussions than evolution without formal limits…

        • Jesse H

          I’m onto you my friend. You know that you are a little contrarian.

          Speciation doesn’t sufficiently evidence the outcome of all biodiversity. The adaptations within species we see doesn’t evidence how all species came about.

        • Phil Rimmer

          Like what? An example. Anything… anything.

          PS Sweet of you to consider me a friend. Its a bit too soon for me to return the favour. Keeping up the friend thing might prove a little awkward. Feel free to drop it.

          Contrarian? Skeptic, true… but I’m a sucker for evidence.

        • Jesse H

          Then you shouldn’t believe in the poor theory of Evolution.

        • Phil Rimmer

          Step up to the plate, Jesse. Don’t come this far and blow it.

          This is your chance to nail an alleged deficiency. A thing unaccounted for because…

          Go!

        • Jesse H

          Initially, the Earth was a lifeless planet.
          There is life on Earth now.
          At some time in the past, life either originated on Earth, or came to Earth from outer space.
          Regardless of where or when life originated, it had to originate sometime, somewhere, somehow.
          Life either originated by purely natural processes, or else some supernatural element must have been involved.
          Science, as defined by the American public school system, excludes supernatural explanations.
          Science depends upon the “Scientific Method” for determining truth.
          The Scientific Method involves testing hypotheses using repeatable experiments.
          If there is a scientific explanation for the origin of life, it must depend entirely on natural, repeatable processes.
          If life originated by a natural process under certain specific
          conditions, it should be possible to create life again under the same
          conditions.
          For more than 50 years scientists have tried to find conditions that produce life, without success.
          Fifty years of failed attempts to create life have raised more
          questions than answers about how life could have originated naturally.
          Living things have been observed to die from natural processes, which can be repeated in a laboratory.
          Life has never been observed to originate through any natural process.
          “Abiogenesis” is the belief that life can originate from non-living substances through purely natural processes.
          The theory of evolution depends upon abiogenesis as the starting point.
          If the theory of abiogenesis is false, then the theory of evolution is false.
          The American public school system teaches that somehow the first living cell formed naturally and reproduced.
          There is no known way in which the first living cell could have formed naturally.
          The first living cell would have needed some mechanism for metabolism.
          There is no known natural process by which metabolism could originate in a lifeless cell.
          The first living cell would have to grow and reproduce for life to continue past the first cell’s death.
          Growth and reproduction require cell division.
          Cell division is a complex process.
          There is no known natural process by which cell division could originate by chance.
          According to the theory of evolution, single-celled life forms evolved into multi-cellular life forms.
          Multi-cellular life forms consist of an assembly of cells that have different functions.
          There is no scientific explanation for how a single cell could or would naturally change function.
          Single-celled organisms have a membrane which allows the cell to
          exchange some substances (“nutrients” and “waste”, for lack of better
          terms) with the environment.
          Not all cells in larger multi-cellular organisms are in contact with the external environment.
          Larger multi-cellular organisms need some method for the interior
          cells to exchange nutrients and waste with the external environment.
          Very large multi-cellular animals require a complex system
          (typically including teeth, saliva, throat, stomach, and intestines) for
          absorbing nutrients from the environment.
          Very large multi-cellular animals require a complex system
          (typically including lungs, intestines, heart, arteries, and veins) for
          distributing nutrients and oxygen to interior cells.
          Very large multi-cellular animals require a complex system
          (typically including lungs, heart, arteries, veins, kidneys, and
          bladder) for removing waste from interior cells.
          There is no satisfactory explanation how complex systems such as these could have originated by any natural process.
          According to the theory of evolution, an invertebrate life-form evolved into the first vertebrate life-form.
          Vertebrates have, by definition, a spine containing a nervous system.
          The nervous system detects stimuli and reacts to them.
          There is no satisfactory explanation for how the simplest nervous system could have originated by any natural process.
          According to the theory of evolution, some of the first vertebrates
          were fish, which have eyes and a brain connected by a nervous system.
          There is no satisfactory explanation how optical elements (typically
          including a lens, an iris and light sensors) could have assembled
          themselves by any natural process.
          There is no satisfactory explanation how image processing algorithms
          could have originated in a fish brain by any natural process.
          If the theory of evolution is true, then every characteristic of every living thing must be the result of a random mutation.
          Mutations have been observed that increase or decrease the size of some portion (or portions) of a living organism.
          Mutations have been observed that change the shape of a living organism.
          Mutations have been observed that duplicate existing features (cows with two heads, flies with extra wings, etc.).
          No mutation has ever been observed that provides a new function (sight, hearing, smell, lactation, etc.) in a living organism that did not previously have that function.
          Cross-breeding and genetic engineering can transfer existing functionality from one living organism to another.
          Cross-breeding cannot explain the origin of any new functionality in the first place.
          Artificial selection enhances desired characteristics by removing genetic traits that inhibit the desired characteristics.
          Artificial selection is more efficient than natural selection.
          There are limits to the amount of change that can be produced by artificial selection.
          Mutation and artificial selection have not been demonstrated to be sufficient to bring about new life forms from existing ones.
          Similarity of features is not definite proof of common ancestry.
          Similarity of features is often observed in objects designed by man.
          The fact that one individual was born later than another individual
          died is not proof that the later individual is a biological descendant
          of the earlier one, especially if they are of different species.
          Many different human evolutionary trees have been proposed.
          There is disagreement about hominid lineage because the “evidence” is meager and highly speculative.
          Darwin was correct when he said, “Any variation which is not inherited is unimportant for us.” 2
          Acquired characteristics are not inherited because they do not cause any change in the DNA.
          Explanations for how apelike creatures evolved into humans are fanciful speculations without experimental confirmation.
          There is no evidence to suggest that offspring of animals that eat
          cooked food are smarter than offspring of the same species that eat raw
          food.
          There is no evidence to suggest that mental exercises performed by parents will increase the brain size of their children.
          There is no evidence that if apelike creatures sometimes stand
          upright to see over tall grasses, it will increase the brain size of
          their children.
          There is no evidence that if apelike creatures sometimes stand
          upright to see over tall grasses, it will make it easier for their
          children to stand upright.
          Sedimentary layers are formed in modern times by such things as floods, mudslides, and sandstorms.
          The fossils in sedimentary layers formed in modern times contain the kinds of things living in that location.
          The concept of geologic ages is based upon the evolutionary
          assumption that the kinds of fossils buried in sedimentary layers are
          determined by time rather than location.
          All sedimentary layers formed in modern times are of the same
          geologic age, despite the fact that they contain different kinds of
          fossils.
          Radiometric dating depends upon assumptions that cannot be verified about the initial concentrations of elements.
          Radiometric dating of rocks brought back from the Moon is not a reliable method of determining the age of the Earth.
          “Dark matter” and “dark energy” were postulated to explain why
          astronomical measurements don’t match predictions of the Big Bang
          theory.
          When measurements don’t agree with theoretical predictions, it is generally because the theory was wrong.
          “We didn’t see it happen, we can’t make it happen again, and we
          don’t know how it could possibly have happened, but it must have
          happened somehow!” is never a satisfactory scientific explanation.

          scienceagainstevolution

        • Phil Rimmer

          Abiogenesis then.

          Excellent.

          Start with Nick Lane (The Vital Question) and his team in London doing much of the heavy lifting. He shows how we now understand what the requirements for life really are (Its as much a physics and energy issue as chemistry). We now have much of the early processes (and resultant chemistry) sorted. The “cool white smokers” on the ocean floor are exactly the location of LUCA (the last universal common ancestor) resesarch shows us and Dr Lane and his team demonstrates how heat, olivine and seawater can deliver not only the ingredients needed but the substrates to form the structures. We are able now to create fully reproducing cell pouches and the missing few ingredients seem to derive from chemistry from other environments.

          This latter developed after the publication of Nick’s book is very exciting. Indeed those neglected drying warm ponds of fresh water are involved but needing very high energy UV radiation to gets the reactions to “go”. It just so happens that the early earth, had UV levels up to three orders of magnitude higher than today and that our extensive shallow oceans covering a thin still forming crust, meant that volcanic islands were the notable engines of land formation bringing those smokers into close proximity to land where highly irradiated ponds of rainwater could do their bit and the subsequent run-off carry the product to the thermal vents.

          Simply, its all coming together. What you would do better is to accept that simple life looks to be easy but the transition from simple to complex is more the new challenge. Prokaryotes to Eukaryotes and the facilitation of differentiated cells in bodies is the interesting problem. (I can talk you through that and why we may have a solution to the energy problem.)

          As for the rest of this gishgallop, you can’t hide the fact that in evolution you haven’t identified the problem yet again. You haven’t demonstrated how change is necessarily curtailed and borders between species even established. The transition of un-needed jaw bone elements into the auditory osicles of later animals took necessarily millions of years. We see it in the fossil record. How do you think a few centuries of playing around, breeding animals, is going to progress visibly toward speciation? All that happens with domestication is the slow loss of undesired characteristics, cleverer brains and better eyesight, in exchange for a bit more meat and compliance. You have also done well not to breathe a word about the clear trail of DNA evolution that lies at the heart of all this.

        • epeeist

          As for the rest of this gishgallop

          It isn’t even his Gish Gallop, he copy-pasted it from elsewhere without attribution, in other words he stole it.

        • Jesse H

          Wow, you are grasping. Lane expresses doubt for previous theories and expresses his alkaline hydrothermal vent theory. But he doesn’t bridge the prokaryote and eukaryote gap except with a great deal of speculation.

          I can only present a few objections given the tremendous theorizing Lane has to do. And I will have to paraphrase others because there is so much. Lane fails to demonstrate how any voltage or current can turn CO2 and H2 into simple organic molecules. He theorizes that natural proton gradients across thin semiconducting walls will (theoretically) drive the formation of organics. But with no evidence for this. He doesn’t explain how such gradients could power carbon reduction or energy flux before the advent of organic protocells with genes and proteins.
          He sees in ATP synthase “precise nanoengineering of the highest order, a magical device, and the more we learn about it the more marvelous it becomes. Some see in it proof for the existence of God.” Lane sees only natural selection in this, not God, but he has no explanation for this irreducibly complex nanoengineering, in his own words, “a magical device.”
          Lane merely postulates that some sort of survival of the fittest will imply the arrival of the fittest. If we have morphological constraints this will somehow produce the only life that is possible–but no explanation of this.
          In explaining his theory he says, “there are no surviving evolutionary intermediates, no ‘missing links’ to give any indication of how or why these complex traits arose, just an unexplained void between the morphological simplicity of bacteria and the awesome complexity of everything else. An evolutionary black hole.”
          Lane also speculates that “a single endosymbiosis between an archaeon and a bacterium, neither of which had a genome equivalent to any modern group; and subsequent lateral gene [transfer] between the descendants of these cells and other prokaryotes gave rise to modern groups with an assortment of genes.” So again all we have are possibilities and speculations.
          So no, it is far from coming together, all we have is speculation based on possibilities souped up by theorizing.

          And I do see a clear trail in DNA, that of common design, but so far no convincing evidence for abiogenesis, the incredible complexity and information needed for all of life’s biodiversity, or the purposes needed to produce such.

          And did you just state that domestication will never prove speciation? Aren’t you giving away the store on that one? We’ll never be able to see the proof of Evolution in a small time constraint because it never occurs in so short a time? So you’re basically saying that the proof for Evolution is that we won’t be able to show speciation in our time? My friend, you do believe in a higher power.

        • epeeist

          None of this is your own work, it is copy-pasted from this article without attribution.

          In other words, you are stealing someone else’s work and pretending it is your own.

        • Phil Rimmer

          Thanks. I often put parts of such suspicious posts into search engines to find the source. I had no doubt he was a copypasta enthusiast… There is no hiding the lack of intellectual contiguity.

          Its also clear he is running away from the original challenge with these diversions, like abiogenesis.

        • Women are people

          Totally busted him! Wow!

        • epeeist

          Totally busted him!

          I have been in conversation with him for some little while (this post is just about the start).

          Besides this particular piece of dishonesty it is notable that he has little clue when it comes to science or the philosophy of science, hence he simply drops things where he is shown to be wrong or doesn’t have any kind of answer.

          Anyway, welcome on board. My background is physics, it is nice to have an actual biologist commenting.

        • Jesse H

          Actually I mention that I’m drawing from other’s work. I agree I could have referenced more thoroughly, it’s rather exhausting having to deal with arguments which don’t actually hold as much water as asserted. It’s not an open and shut case.
          But you may now deal with the arguments.

        • epeeist

          But you may now deal with the arguments.

          Two things, firstly what little intellectual credibility you actually had here has been shot by your theft of other people’s property.

          Secondly, one has wonder why you copy-pasted material rather than producing your own arguments. Here’s a guess, it is because this is yet another subject you don’t have a clue about.

        • Phil Rimmer

          Right. All the important work done. I deserve a little time off.

          Nick Lane doesn’t need to demonstrate those things that are trivially true from the physical chemistry.

          The trick with the electro-reduction of CO2 to formaldehyde is finding the suitable catalyst substrate.

          https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/59bb/5b659035b756af51846cd526ad8886e05d9c.pdf

          Case two here shows a 24kcal/mol barrier using iron as a catalyst. This is 6.27E23 eV/mol and dividing by Avogadro’s Number, this 1.04 volts per reducing proton, easily achieved in Lane’s proposed circumstances.

          Here is the process industrialised…

          https://www.uwyo.edu/rpc/_files/available-technologies-docs/16-076-fan.pdf

          Irreducible complexity is not at all what Nick Lane is implying. That is a non-scientific theory (being non-negatable) and is defeated by any conceived evolutionary path via mooted intermediaries. It is fabulous how ID faithers NEVER dare look for such intermediary paths lest they shoot themselves in the foot (as they inevitably would if diligent).

          The mangled nonsense seemingly in reference to prokaryotes fusing (probably through invagination of one by the other) to create eventually a eukaryote with separated nucleus and differently functional organelles is, well, mangled. DNA investigations strongly suggest the prokaryote type for mitochobdrial organelles and the theory of fusion by invagination is well accepted.

          What is interesting is the thermodynamic hump of one prokaryote absorbing another and from the single feeding resource of one having to support the energetic burden of two sets of gene division. The problem was clearly overcome , though as tough as we imagined, given that simple life arose quickly and clever, capable eukaryotes took possibly an order of magnitude longer. The solution involved the elimination of all the common genetic material (duplicated back office stuff) through evolution dropping the energetic burden to five millionths of its forming self. During this long assimilation getting energy needed to be particularly easy and sustained. Many scenarios could explain why this could have happened but, hey, I’m so not going to allow you any more time off from your task.

          How can there by micro evolution and not macro? If bodies can scale through simple cell scale causing reproductive isolation, if new small food becomes available and complicated double jointed jaw bones no longer needed and get reused via bone conduction into hearing enhancement, why not? How do you define the volumes of allowed bio-parameters, for each and every parameter? Because every parameter in extremis at least but mostly before confounds interbreeding. Where are the papers analysing this huge informational requirement of detailed body plans with tolerances analysed and contrasted with the simple requirement of a sequenced recipe?

        • Phil Rimmer

          I felt I needed to go check the current state of baraminology to see if any work on mechanism had been even contemplated.

          Don’t giggle.

          https://creationresearch.org/current-status-baraminology/

          This is so, so pathetic, the pathos only enhanced by a dependence on an idea of body plans and the writer’s surprise at evolution making “types” more divergent than the narrow little baramins he had imagined.

        • Jesse H

          I’ve gotta be honest. Do you honestly think you are answering my questions or do you know that you are not but you think I won’t know the difference? Or are you really blind to the holes in your supposed hypotheses? I’m sure that you recognize that not everything is wrapped up in a bow as you seem to present it. You dearly want to win the argument against me but you demonstrate enough knowledge of the science to know that you aren’t really plugging all the holes. Lane isn’t as adamant as you pretend to be. Lane acknowledges that he has to speculate a lot, he puts forth possible scenarios, he also recognizes that irreducible complexity does provide evidence for intelligent design, though he opts for a different theory.

          And you keep getting it wrong. It’s not that ID doesn’t look for pathways and intermediates, it’s that we don’t really see examples where intermediates (speculative) really answer the questions. And also from a scientific standpoint we see practical examples of irreducible complexity like a combustion engine. So when we see examples which point to IC we are scientifically warranted to posit ID. Fusion by invagination is a wonderful speculation that hasn’t been sufficiently demonstrated, much like other of your supposed proof.

          Nor has sufficient evidence been given to show the articular, quadrate, columella bones evolved into the malleus, incus, stapes. Again it’s a wonderfully speculative theory (many scientists should write more science fiction) but it’s far from being a given.

          As for the difference between micro and macro, that’s wonderfully easy. Micro we have reproduced and observed. It can be tested and duplicated. Macro levels of speculation, like invagination, abiogenesis, hearing bones evolution, and all your wonderful energy system, magical electric production, folding membrane, organelle-producing, thermal-vent magically enhanced theorizing is fun, interesting, but mostly awe-inducing for how much grasping has to be done.

        • Women are people

          The only difference between micro and macro is time.

          Macro is your trip to the store. Micro is the first 10 steps out of your driveway.

          No grasping.

        • Susan

          Micro we have reproduced and observed.

          Give us an example of where something goes from micro to macro and where your superstitious beliefs come in. Show us the mechanism(s).

          It can be tested and duplicated.

          Or ghosts (gods) did it?

          Are you serious?

        • Phil Rimmer

          And still no addressing the question. And still more straw.

          I said we were closing quickly on abiogenesis. The many papers by others since his 2014 book show plenty of progress and picking up pace. That is entirely my point. There is in some ways an embarrassment of riches and we have to tease out the winners and join the remaining dots. Nick argues in his 2018 paper for the viability of low concentrations of products like formaldehyde and others (which he observes) as being a capable means of abiogenerating life. Myself I think the UV powered chemical factory of larva pools with its ability to drive higher threshold biochemical reactions is much nearer at hand physically to the cool white smokers than has been realised and that chemical product can be shared, bilaterally.

          I contrast it with the near infantile assertions of ID. The dismal lack of any viable theoretical basis for it makes it tantamount to a simple just so story. My link actually describes work done mainly by 1996. There is no intellectual fleshing out of the viability of the idea since then. Claiming that this is unneeded because you have seen no evidence is pathetic. Do the groundwork like the scientists you pretend to be.

          Even when we have a contiguous theory of abiogenesis it will still be a theory. Only those with faith believe without that honing razor of doubt.

          We have reproducing cell pouches ready for their contents and many of the possible steps to those contents. We are progressing faster than ever now that genetics can reconstruct a LUCA /extremophile link. The clues are joining up and the parts starting to align. The theoretical basis is explored and tested out throwing up no real barriers. The ID side, however, hasn’t even acknowledged there is a theoretical basis to establish. Even now with your failure to acknowledge this I suspect you still don’t understand what the problem is.

        • Jesse H

          An embarrassment of riches? I think you are teasing out quite too much. And you claim that ID is a just so story? What in the world do you call the abiogenesis models? You do say that even if we have a contiguous theory there will still be doubt, but I honestly think that you must know that you are making too much of it. You seem to have a great deal of faith rather than the contiguous evidence.

          The ID theory is looking at the problem and recognizing that when we see the nanomachines of ATP we’ve seen something like this. We know that when we have complex machinery we have intelligence behind it.

          When you say that we can reconstruct a LUCA I don’t think you realize that you can also be making a case for ID. A simple to complex model of DNA simply means a common language design. I agree from another perspective one could say common descent, but one then has to connect the dots. And really, the more we’ve worked on the dots the more complex it becomes. When DNA was first discovered it was overwhelming how complex this was, it’s like the mystery only deepened. We would have expected that things got more simple, but this wasn’t the case. And this is why ID is a growing science.

        • Phil Rimmer

          Well, empty again. Ignorance fuelling incredulity.

          But for those interested to see real investigative substance here is an excellent summary of pre-biotic chemistry, with (at last) some inclusion of Hadean geology. A few of the riches…

          https://reader.elsevier.com/reader/sd/pii/S1674987117301305?token=8F60EE1AA521461EC14AAFD59C521A3FA869C2B851D4B0FE8F1AD795223FD1001790FDB541113CCD60094EDB4C0E8736

          Now show me yours…

        • Jesse H

          Phil, please tell me you are joking. Please. Do you actually think that the link gives us any sort of thorough enough explanation that would be convincing?

          I’ll be honest, it’s no different to me than people who believe in homeopathic solutions. In all honesty because I know enough about science you have more faith in abiogenesis than I do in God. You appear to believe with less evidence.

          I completely understand that you may feel the same about me, that I’m believing in God without evidence. But can you understand at all that it’s exactly how your “evidence” looks to me? Scientifically it’s appalling.

        • Phil Rimmer

          So roll out the real science you’ve got up your sleeve. I’ve looked and looked for it and all
          find is as bad as the stuff I posted before.

          I gave you a simple task that you clearly don’t even understand, about the excess data needed to define Baramin. Will you enlighten us where this data is kept and how it is kept free from mutation? I’ve long given up hope of you pointing to papers on this fundamental problem…

          I write about religion sometimes (especially in the UK and Northern Europe) being a sense a feeling that we are created beings and somehow meant to be. I actually have no problem with anyone asserting that there is a creator, providing their moral apparatus is in full working order. It is anyone having such a spurious and stunted idea of the creative process that ID represents that appals me. Creating a God as a mental midget in their own image, creating evolution but not able to trust it, putting in fixes to solve its imagined inadequacy. Crappy.

        • Jesse H

          We’ve discussed baraminology. Let’s put it at simple genus level. We have no demonstrable evidence for any species changing above the genus level (and I would argue we don’t even have speciation really.) This could change, but even if it changes by orders of magnitude we still don’t have all the evidence we need for Evolution.

          Imagined inadequacy? Imagined inadequacy? What you mean is demonstrable inadequacy, even admitted inadequacy. It has not been demonstrated that Evolution of any type has sufficiently evidenced the beginning of life and the diversity of life. Period. There is hope, there is speculation, there are pieces of evidence. But even as science says it doesn’t deal in “proofs” this should be agreed upon.

          So stop with the mental midgeting. It is not irrational to understand that a Creator is evidenced both from a sense of purpose and morality and from the complexity found both in the necessary preconditions to even do science, and from the demonstrable idea that complex machines and functions originate from intelligence. We can prove where intelligent design creates complexity, information, simplicity, function and purpose.

        • We have no demonstrable evidence for any species changing above the genus level (and I would argue we don’t even have speciation really.)

          No, what we don’t have is evidence of the force field that keeps descendants in a species within that species. Lots of “that can’t happen” talk but no evidence.

          Macroevolution = microevolution + time. Incredibly, you’re happy with mutation and natural selection for things like antibiotic resistance. You’ve just got some sort of allergy to speciation. What you need is evidence.

        • Greg G.

          Come on, Bob. Just because humans can walk 30 miles in a day doesn’t mean they could walk from Africa to South America across a land bridge in a million years. /s

        • Curses!

        • Jesse H

          I’ve examined the evidence for 20+ years looking for examples of speciation that really involves new information functionality (that is not devolution). Gene duplication and lateral movement is not Evolution. No examples have yet been shown.

        • Greg G.

          Italian Wall Lizards became vegetarians, larger heads, stronger jaws, shorter legs, and cecal valves in thirty years when introduced to an island.
          https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2008/04/lizard-evolution-island-darwin/

          How do you discount cecal valves as not “new information functionality”?

        • MR

          ad hoc objections. sigh

        • Perhaps you can imagine my reaction? That’ll save my having to type it.

        • Jesse H

          I feel like my last comment was too harsh in tone. Let me ask you if you’d agree with this analogy:

          “And to what can we compare the cell, in terms of complexity? A 747? No.
          That’s an insult to the cell. Instead, imagine New York city, shrunk to
          microscopic size. Now imagine it being fully automated, and
          capable of reproducing itself. And that will give you some idea of what a
          cell is. Cells have libraries, translation services, maintenance
          systems, waste disposal systems, internal and external communication
          networks, food location devices, food processing plants, power plants,
          transportation systems, and all sorts of different production
          industries. And on top of this, it has an automated self-replication
          system. If a 747 is designed, and we’ve only seen such complex
          contraptions ever come about by intelligent design, then it makes no
          sense to say the cell made itself.”

          quoted

        • Phil Rimmer

          With a little time I can understand this stuff. (My current job demands I master photosynthesis.) It all seems fairly straight forward. It is complex only in so far as it is extensive. But it had time, not just a few hundred thousand man hours for a thousand people like the 747.

          I return to University in a year to study neuro-constructivism. The principle of constructivism applies to many fields and reveals how matter acting out of its own nature within the environment of other matter, at first second and third order, is organised by that interaction. Thermodynamics powers this topical and jewel-like formation of structure, but hastening the wound spring of stars slowly unwinding, creating far more chaos than it makes with every be-jeweled organism.

          Cells do not evolve themselves. No-one ever claimed such a thing. More straw. More evidence of not even understanding your target.

          Genes map with increasing precision that we (all life today) had a Universal Common Ancestor. Evolution is a fact spanning all species.

          Incredulity from ignorance persuades only the stupid I’m afraid. Most religious in the UK won’t be sold short on this burgeoning growth in mutually supporting evidence for evolution.

          Look, nice as this has been for me, we can’t go on meeting like this. You have not addressed any of my challenges. And a ginger chicken Udon awaits.

          Not finding evidence is the easiest of achievements.

        • Incredulity from ignorance persuades only the stupid I’m afraid.

          Also, the hubris to declare the experts in a scientific field fools (or rascals) and you the one who’s got it figured out.

        • Jesse H

          It appears that you are simply begging the question. You can posit that matter acts out its own nature within the environment of other matter but that doesn’t solve the problem of again why the matter interacts like it does. Why does it follow these parameters? This isn’t an argument from incredulity, but an argument from reality.

          Cells do not evolve themselves. I’m not sure what you mean by this. Cells didn’t evolve from something or they don’t evolve into something?

          A universal common ancestor is not proven by DNA unless we also say that common design is proven by DNA. The evidence is simply that there is commonality, whether it’s ancestry or design is the question. And given the burgeoning growth of evidence it doesn’t point more towards Evolution unless you have preconceived frameworks to that.

          I’ll have to go back and see your challenges, but at this point it’s simply another example of different worldviews. I showed the amazing complexity of a single cell, and given that complexity in virtually any other field we see ID. I’m simply being consistent with the science.

        • Phil Rimmer

          Nothing to see here.

          Content-less opinion.

          I know, as a physicist, how matter interacts. Its interactions are mastered and we can use that to predict future interactions.

          You could posit a Desist God Creator or, alternatively, a theist meddler unable to get things right first time, made in our commonplace image.

          The godless and Deist agree; all our discoveries suggest contiguous mechanism. None reveal meddling.

        • And you claim that ID is a just so story? What in the world do you call the abiogenesis models?

          When there is a consensus theory for abiogenesis, it will be backed with much evidence.

          See the difference?

        • epeeist

          Abiogenesis then.

          If you don’t pick up my post you should be aware that he is simply copy-pasting from elsewhere, it isn’t his own work.

        • Women are people

          “Scientists have tried for 50 years to find conditions that produce life, without success.”

          You seem to unfamiliar with the Miller experiment, where they took elements like carbon and nitrogen and hydrogen and other gases and metals, put it in pressure with electrical charges and bam….amino acids were formed.

          Amino acids, the building blocks of life were formed out of elements.

          Look it up.

        • 21stCenturyCassandra

          A few amino acids are nothing. Try creating a single functioning protein from scratch. Not a cell, just a single protein. Can’t be done in the supposed life of the universe.

        • Women are people

          A few amino acids? Weird. I didn’t know more than 20 was “a few”.

          You are bad at maths, eh? Also, amino acids are nothing?

          You do know that proteins are just linked amino acids, yes?

          You might as well look at a bunch of diamonds scattered across a table and claim that the diamonds are nothing…it’s the diamond necklace that matters when those diamonds make UP the diamond necklace. God damn are you dumb or what?

          https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081016141411.htm

        • 21stCenturyCassandra

          It’s sad for you, to be so rude and so wrong at the same time. Of course I know that proteins are linked amino acids. If a single protein is out of place on the chain, the entire thing is useless. Putting a bunch of diamonds in sequence in a necklace is nothing compared to making a working protein.

          Interesting that the rude atheist has to resort to the Creator’s name for your parting insult.

        • Women are people

          “It’s sad for you, to be so rude and so wrong at the same time.”

          You consider calling someone brainwashed not to be rude?

          “Of course I know that proteins are linked amino acids. If a single protein is out of place on the chain, the entire thing is useless.”

          There you go again. The protein IS the chain. The amino acid is the beads on that chain. So the single protein can’t be out of place, because the protein isn’t what is linked, it’s the amino acids that are.

          And no, the entire thing is not “useless” with one amino acid missing.

          Just. Shut. Up.

          “ Putting a bunch of diamonds in sequence in a necklace is nothing compared to making a working protein.”

          Actually it is.

          “Interesting that the rude atheist has to resort to the Creator’s name for your parting insult.”

          Interesting that the arrogant theist thinks they know what the eff they are talking about when they clearly don’t. Or is this more of a “trust me, I’m a lawyer” bull crap?

        • JGC

          “If a single protein is out of place on the chain, the entire thing is useless.”
          Right! That’s why every enzyme in every species that exhibits the same function are all completely identical….
          Oh, wait. they’re not. Human cytochrome C and equine cytochrome c, for example, aren’t identical: we find “proteins out of place” when we compare their primary structure.
          Never mind.

        • 21stCenturyCassandra

          Thanks for jumping in and being irrelevant. Let me clarify. I meant amino acid in the sequence of the protein. Comparing equine proteins to human proteins is apples and oranges. The equine protein wouldn’t function properly in a human because it is designed for a horse. I would say nice try, but again you were barely on topic. The original topic, which you studiously avoided, was the impossibility of a single functioning protein forming by random.

        • JGC

          “I meant amino acid in the sequence of the protein”

          And what did you think a protein’s “primary structure” refers to, if not the sequence of amino acids that make it up?

          ” Comparing equine proteins to human proteins is apples and oranges.”

          You mean comparing fruit to fruit? What’s wrong with such a comparison?

          You claimed that “If a single protein is out of place on the chain, the entire thing is useless” I’ve proven that isn’t the case: cytochrome C enzymes in different species remain functional even though they don’t possess identical amino acid sequences (i.e.: there are amino acids out of place).

          “The equine protein wouldn’t function properly in a human because it is designed for a horse”

          First, cytochrome c isn’t a product of design.

          Second, you’re quite simply wrong: proteins from other animals are more often than not capable of function in human biosystems. Were you really unaware that before we developed recombinant expression systems diabetes relied on equine and porcine insulin for their survival?

          “The original topic, which you studiously avoided, was the impossibility of a single functioning protein forming by random.”

          It’s fortunate then, that biogenetic model involves functioning proteins forming ‘by random’. You do understand that atoms, molecules, proteins etc. don’t interact randomly but are subject to physical constraint? After all, they did interact randomly there could be no science of chemistry.

        • Quote: “The equine protein wouldn’t function properly in a human because it is designed for a horse.” Complete nonsense. porcine insulin works perfectly in humans.

        • tomonthebay

          As does bovine insulin.

        • jacobvk

          If a single protein is out of place on the chain, the entire thing is useless.

          To start I’m going to assume this makes sense and you meant to say amino acid instead of protein there. Secondly this is, of course, completely wrong.

          The functionality of a protein is essentially a function of its folded shape and the charges of its binding sites. There are many amino acid substitutions that don’t affect either and hence have no impact in the function of the folded protein. There are also arrangements that might make binding sites more efficient or effective. Likewise there are numerous others that might make the binding site less efficient but still leave it efficient enough to function.

          Indeed the functional domain of any given protein even within a single species is very large, and the functional space for proteins in general are even larger if one accounts for variation in the possible shape of the other proteins they may bind to.

        • Are you just shooting the breeze? “Creating a single functioning protein from scratch” is not where evolution says useful proteins come from.

          Creationists need to come up with better arguments.

        • 21stCenturyCassandra

          If you, or Darwin, or random chance, can’t come up with a single functioning protein without outside input, then evolution is an impossible lie. But you probably already knew that.

        • Imagine a random protein that human DNA makes. What does evolution say about where it comes from? Does evolution say that it was created from scratch? If not, why bring up that irrelevant thought experiment as if it were relevant?

        • 21stCenturyCassandra

          Human DNA doesn’t make random proteins. It makes proteins to fill specific roles, as it is designed to. Since evolution is not involved, what it or you say is what is not relevant. If evolution can’t form even a single protein molecule by chance, how would you ever get to even a single cell?

          Answer, you won’t.

        • Face palm…

          Tell me that you understand that evolution doesn’t make a new 150-amino acid protein from scratch. And tell me where evolution says that it is made.

        • 21stCenturyCassandra

          Well, evolution can’t call on outside sources, so from scratch is the only option. Sorry, goo to you via the zoo does not and cannot work. You are obviously wrapped up in your religion of hating God, so there is no purpose to this discussion going on any further.

        • So let’s recap. (1) No, you can’t explain what evolution says about where new proteins come from (or if you can, you won’t because you realize that it destroys your Creationist argument).

          (2) you fling dust (or is it poo?) by changing the subject to abiogenesis (“goo”).

          (3) you flounce off in a huff and pretend that it’s all my fault.

          Why, I believe that’s a hat trick! Well done.

        • JGC

          A newborn’s body has no trouble creating functional proteins from scratch–how else did you they underwent growth?

        • 21stCenturyCassandra

          A newborn has DNA that is designed to make proteins.

          You are so far off base that you aren’t even in the stadium.

        • JGC

          So you knew that we have observed proteins being created from scratch all along?

        • jacobvk

          You seem to be laboring under the very false impression that protein function is a quality inherent to the protein and not a side effect of a protein’s shape relative to the shapes of other proteins to which they bind. Without other molecular structures function is a meaningless concept where proteins are concerned, though.

          What’s more interesting is autocatalytic polypeptide sequences and we have discovered many of these. But even more interesting are autocatalytic RNA sequences, these are particularly interesting because they include ribozymes. The reason ribozymes are so interesting is because in addition to replicating themselves they are also capable of protein synthesis. In fact the entire functional portions of the ribosomes in a cell are the ribozymes with the protein portions of the ribosomes functioning to stabilize the ribozyme sequences and speed up chemical bonding between amino acids, but ribozymes function fine as protein synthesizers without any other proteins helping. It’s probably with those relatively short functional sequences that life began, not random autocatalyzing amino acid poplypeptide chains.

        • Jesse H

          Amino acids is still a far cry even from one protein, let alone a single cell or life, as you well know.

        • Women are people

          Sure. But is the building block. Which means, if the building blocks can be created out of essentially “nothing”, then it’s not hard to imagine the arrangement of those building blocks orbit around each other and bumping into one another eventually – given enough time- facilitating the formation of a bond.

        • Jesse H

          Except it wasn’t nothing. It was intelligent scientists who put together chemicals and zapped them and used a lot of design in order to get amino acids. It’s actually a case for intelligent design.

        • Women are people

          Right. And what makes you think the chemicals weren’t already there from the beginning?

          When scientists talk about the Big Bang and something from nothing, they don’t mean absolute nothing, they mean particles and other elements.

        • Jesse H

          Which isn’t really nothing, and isn’t really explanatory. Sure, someone can believe that chemicals are eternal, but it isn’t a very foundational understanding. It’s rather nonsensical.

        • Women are people

          Why is it nonsensical? You have no trouble believing that some god is eternal, thereby not needing its own creator and so on for an infinite regression, no?

          If a simple chemical cannot exist eternally as a nonsensical belief, then certainly concluding that an infinitely more complex being can exist eternally is infinitely more nonsensical.

        • MR

          Infinite upvotes!

        • Jesse H

          Here is where you have a huge fallacy. Philosophers all the way back to Aquinas have recognized that complexity has to do with having parts. But God is simple, He is a being without parts. Thus in reference to complexity He isn’t complex. Now I agree that God’s infinite knowledge does represent complexity, but it is still one being having this complexity. So the idea is that we can have the hundreds of chemical elements with all their complexities, or we can have the one Being who is simple. In this way the logic of the simplicity of God makes more sense than the logic of many hundreds of chemical elements eternally existing with their properties.

          I have no doubt you may find problems with this explanation, but from the aspect of complexity vs. simplicity Christian theologians actually dealt with this a millennium ago.

        • God is simple? Then make one. You don’t have the materials? Then give us the blueprints.

          You say this is impossible? Then don’t tell us that God is simple.

          If by “God is simple,” you mean, “God’s got no physical parts, doofus–he’s immaterial! Checkmate, atheists!” then this is a ridiculous argument.

          So much for Aquinas.

        • Women are people

          It also wasn’t intelligent. Putting a bunch of crap in a bottle and shaking it, heating it, zapping it with electricity doesn’t mean they “designed” whatever resulted from doing that.

          I take a snow globe and shake it, then place it down and allow other forces to act upon it (gravity and the current inside the globe), did I design anything that resulted? Or did it form at random in that atmosphere? as the glitter settles down, and is more dense in some areas than others, did I design the glitter formation? No. No I did not.

        • Thanks for copying a big pile of stuff from another web site.

          For more than 50 years scientists have tried to find conditions that produce life, without success.

          You really ought to get your science from scientists. No, not “without success.”

          Lots has been discovered in the last 50 years. What we still don’t have is a single, complete, consensus theory of abiogenesis. But so what? Science always has unanswered questions. I’m guessing your claim is, “science has unanswered questions; therefore, God”?

          Science has evidence and a track record. Religion has neither. I’ll go with the consensus, thanks.

        • Jesse H

          Religion has no track record? We have no human tradition in antiquity or modernity which does not have religion, and we have no civilization without religion. That’s quite the track record. Rights, laws, morality, equality, jurisprudence, gov’t, employment, marriage, thank you religion.

        • Religion has no track record?

          Religion has a historical record. What it doesn’t have is a track record for finding out stuff (and validating that) about reality. It made claims, of course, but they’re wrong. Finding out stuff is where science comes in.

        • Jesse H

          Christianity gave science its foundation. Not only from a metaphysical perspective, but also from the bedrock that the universe is ordered and we have minds to comprehend this.

        • you’re saying that only a Christian can figure out that there is some order to the universe? Nope. China, India, Arabia, Greece, Rome, and more prove that science can come from a non-Christian society.

        • Jesse H

          Indeed, and yet those civilizations all did so under a theistic understanding of the universe. And the scientific method particularly as we know it grew from a judeo-christian philosophical foundation.

        • TS (unami)

          So, all theistic understandings are equal, eh?

        • Jesse H

          Is that what I said? Or would you like to clarify your point a little more?

        • TS (unami)

          I’m merely pointing out that Eastern science wasn’t always based on theology.

          Frankly, I think your assumption that if it were that such information would somehow make that become evidence for Western science being founded by religion… is silly.

        • Jesse H

          Any scientific observation needs to operate under certain philosophical/theological assumptions or justified beliefs. Eastern science had to operate with ideas of an ordered universe, cause and effect, limited cause and effect (not the butterfly theory), and naturalistic observance combined with realistic perception. These again are based in metaphysical realities.

        • TS (unami)

          Why do you presume that scientific observations “need” to operate under philosophical and/or theological assumptions?!

          That’s odd… I can observe the migration patterns of fish and don’t have to have a “philosophical” or “theological” reason OR assumption to do so. I don’t need either to record the events, draw conclusions based on the data collected or make predictions based on prior events.

          Not all Eastern philosophy and/or theology requires an ordered universe, btw.

        • Jesse H

          Yes, you need a great deal of metaphysics to recognize the ordered migration patterns of birds and the real perception to do so. You need to understand existence, certain patterns of reality, thinking, consciousness, perceptive awareness of other life, the list is long. And I understand not all Eastern philosophy requires an ordered universe, but they aren’t being very good logically or scientifically if they don’t.

        • TS (unami)

          I’m tired and going to sleep.
          More power to your conversation…

        • TS (unami)

          How exactly does Eastern science prove your point? If you think it does, then your comment comes off as “all religions are equally foundations for science”…

          I disagree.

        • Christian Europe produced a lot of scientists, particularly those who ushered in modern science about 200 years ago. I give very little credit to Christianity. If Christianity were responsible, we’d have seen it produce scientific results when it got power 1500 years ago.

        • Jesse H

          I think you have fallen prey to the notion that the Middle Ages were “dark.” The better understanding of history is that we have advancements all along the way. We have philosophy and science and gov’t and communities and technology and art and music and architecture advancing up to the Enlightenment. In some ways the Enlightenment with its arrogance actually loses historical relevance thinking that “it” is the start of modern civilization. So the better idea is that the foundation for the start of modern science is being built for hundreds of years before. And we do have a rational basis nurtured by Christianity as we have hospitals, orphanages, monasteries with their advances in literature, writing and gardening, and a general civility of life recognizing religious authority, civil and familial authority. Feudalism is actually an advance and lays the groundwork for what’s to come. Some even argue that cities and the industrial revolution and nationalism is a step back from some of the freedoms of feudalism.

        • I think you have fallen prey to the notion that the Middle Ages were “dark.”

          To a large extent, yes, they were dark. Read “Yes, the Dark Ages Really Were a Thing” by Richard Carrier:
          https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/15567

          Do I really need to explain to you what a civilization favored by God with science information would look like? Hint: not like Europe in the Middle Ages.

          So the better idea is that the foundation for the start of modern science is being built for hundreds of years before.

          Huh? That’s what the naturalists say! Wouldn’t God’s own society look far, far different?

          And we do have a rational basis nurtured by Christianity as we have hospitals, orphanages, monasteries with their advances in literature, writing and gardening, and a general civility of life recognizing religious authority, civil and familial authority.

          I’ve written posts about this. Let me know if you can’t find them.

        • Jesse H

          Again we have a worldview operating. But here’s what’s funny. Richard Carrier is criticized by historians and atheists alike. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t interact with his views, but his worldview so colors his thinking that personally I don’t think he’s a good historian or a good atheist.

          I’ll try to find some of those posts, but honestly I’ve read enough history to understand that the medieval period wasn’t dark and the enlightenment wasn’t so light. Every generation comes with its own arrogance, and needs to understand the lessons of history.

        • ?? The last thing medieval Europe looks like is a society guided by the loving hand of God. Every single lesson was learned by humans the slow, hard way. We didn’t get germ theory until the 1800s? Yeah, that’s just what God would do.

        • Jesse H

          Really? The OT law about washing and covering feces and staying away from dead bodies contains a great deal of wisdom that Europe had to rediscover when in fact the Bible had it 2500 years before.

        • Oh, please. If the Bible was actually a supernatural book with health wisdom, it would have a recipe for soap. And rules for how to site latrines, why you boil water, and so on.

          Show me one useful bit of science or medicine that civilization first learned from the Bible (that wasn’t folk wisdom of the time).

        • Jesse H

          So this is how it goes? You mention germ theory, I bring up how if civilizations followed principles found in the OT law it would have prevented the spread of disease and then you deny that this is true? Washing hands, utensils, understanding that diseases spread through contact, the contagion of bodily fluids and dead bodies, waste removal and hygiene, yes, the Bible has all of this thousands of years before “discovery.”

          A recipe for soap? We are actually encountering problems now because our immune systems are underdeveloped in fighting disease because we have so much anti-bacterial and anti-biotic use.

          You really are just a contrarian on a lot of things aren’t you. I’ve already asked you why you’re so angry but I never did get a response.

        • You mention germ theory, I bring up how if civilizations followed principles found in the OT law it would have prevented the spread of disease and then you deny that this is true? Washing hands, utensils, understanding that diseases spread through contact, the contagion of bodily fluids and dead bodies, waste removal and hygiene, yes, the Bible has all of this thousands of years before “discovery.”

          I do indeed deny that. These are ritual commandments. The kosher laws were arbitrary from the standpoint of health (discussed more here: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2014/01/does-the-old-testament-condemn-homosexuality-part-2-bible/ ). Again, ritual commandments.

          I read an article about the Qumran community. They had a ritual bath that you would walk through after going to the latrine—great as a ritual, terrible as a good-health measure.

          A recipe for soap? We are actually encountering problems now because our immune systems are underdeveloped in fighting disease because we have so much anti-bacterial and anti-biotic use.

          Soap isn’t an antibiotic. Anyway, are you seriously saying that soap use is a net negative for health?

        • Judgeforyourself37

          Jesse is certainly someone who just loves to see himself in print. One might conclude that he is “A lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

        • Jesse H

          Very ironic use of that quote given that Macbeth in context was decrying whether life itself signifies nothing, upon contemplating his mother’s death. Yet the whole theme of Macbeth is that life is of course meaningful and significant.

        • Greg G.

          The OT law about washing

          Wasn’t that abolished by Jesus saying “Hear me, all of you, and understand. There is nothing from outside of the man, that going into him can defile him”? (Mark 7:14-15)

          covering feces

          https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061113180523.htm

          Those who make a great show of being religiously pure often lead lives that are secretly very dirty — or at least so it was in biblical times. Recent bioarchaeological findings at the ancient Dead Sea settlement of Qumran confirm the existence of a strange communal latrine — located at a remote distance, conforming with extreme hygiene practices described in ancient texts and possibly accounting for a documented early mortality rate at the settlement.

          It turns out that letting feces dry out in the sun kills parasites while burying them allows the parasites to thrive, survive, and spread.

          staying away from dead bodies

          If everyone stayed away from dead bodies, it would be impossible to avoid dead bodies as they would pile up where they dropped. But wasn’t that just a Nazirite restriction?

        • Jesse H

          Jesus is pointing out spiritual defilement, not physical.

          Thanks for the article about Qumran. I would note that rabbis have long understood that the idea “outside the camp” refers to mobile camps so the idea is that it’s not the same latrine for 100 years. And also the idea of fresh water for cleansing is also commonly understood. So it appears the Qumran weren’t properly applying the text.

          The ideas about dead bodies is that they were of course dealt with, just that being in contact with them would require cleansing and quarantine. This of course would prevent the spread of disease, especially if people were dying.

        • Greg G.

          Jesus is pointing out spiritual defilement, not physical.

          Yes, you must say that now but that interpretation only became possible in the past two centuries. It is subject to the type of mistake the Qumran community made. They were quite dedicated to understanding the Bible and to follow it but failed.

          We see 45,000 different denominations who do not interpret the Bible like other denominations. Most of them are wrong. Maybe one is right or was right temporarily. But probably not. I don’t think it is the believers’ fault that it is not understood.

        • Jesse H

          Please say you’re joking. We can read Church Fathers in the 2nd and 3rd centuries who recognized what Jesus was saying. And also the text is very clear and easily understood. Jesus often spoke of spiritual realities, not physical realities.

          And there aren’t 45,000 denominations, that figure is thrown around haphazardly. I agree there are differences in interpretation but Christendom overwhelmingly agrees on the essentials.

        • Greg G.

          Please say you’re joking. We can read Church Fathers in the 2nd and 3rd centuries who recognized what Jesus was saying. And also the text is very clear and easily understood. Jesus often spoke of spiritual realities, not physical realities.

          Do you have any examples of early church fathers interpreting Mark 7:15 or Matthew 15:11?

          The early church fathers came up with transubstantiation by taking “this is my body” too literally. I have seen a couple of cases where somebody admitted taking a cracker from communion out of the building and Catholic leaders actually compared it to kidnapping.

          I cannot take the early church fathers all that seriously when I see their debates about where the sun went at night and that the New Testament seems to have taken Irenaeus’ thinking about the number of gospels having to be four:

          The Gospels could not possibly be either more or less in number than they are. Since there are four zones of the world in which we live, and four principal winds, while the Church is spread over all the earth, and the pillar and foundation of the Church is the gospel, and the Spirit of life, it fittingly has four pillars, everywhere breathing out incorruption and revivifying men. From this it is clear that the Word, the artificer of all things, being manifested to men gave us the gospel, fourfold in form but held together by one Spirit. As David said, when asking for his coming, ‘O sitter upon the cherubim, show yourself ‘. For the cherubim have four faces, and their faces are images of the activity of the Son of God. For the first living creature, it says, was like a lion, signifying his active and princely and royal character; the second was like an ox, showing his sacrificial and priestly order; the third had the face of a man, indicating very clearly his coming in human guise; and the fourth was like a flying eagle, making plain the giving of the Spirit who broods over the Church. Now the Gospels, in which Christ is enthroned, are like these.    Irenaeus, Against Heresies, III.11

          We can see what they were thinking but we shouldn’t assume their thinking was right.

          And there aren’t 45,000 denominations, that figure is thrown around haphazardly. I agree there are differences in interpretation but Christendom overwhelmingly agrees on the essentials.

          You can find the study as published at the International Bulletin of Missionary Research @ http://www.internationalbulletin.org/issues/2015-01/2015-01-028-johnson.pdf . They count independent churches, who are often adamantly opposed to joining an existing denomination or aligning with another church, as separate denominations. The 45,000 figure was from 2015 and they projected 55,000 denominations by 2025, so by interpolation, we should say there are now over 49,000 denominations.

          What qualifies you to determine what is essential?

          Matthew 5:19 (NRSV)
          19 Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

          Probably taken from:

          James 2:10 (NRSV)
          10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.

          which is probably based on:

          Deuteronomy 27:26 (NRSV)
          “Cursed be anyone who does not uphold the words of this law by observing them.” All the people shall say, “Amen!”

        • You know the 45,000 comes from a Christian source, right?

          We can read Church Fathers in the 2nd and 3rd centuries who recognized what Jesus was saying.

          yeah? Show me where they recognized what Jesus was saying about the Trinity. There must be a solid foundation for that one, given that it is such a fundamental concept, right?

        • Jesse H

          I did read Carrier’s article and he makes some good points. But I don’t think he interacts with history on a spiritual level. The Roman empire is renowned for a lowering of morality, even as they espoused a republic gov’t and cultural advancement. I agree that we do see declines in various ways, but we also see that when the Crusades allowed Europe to interact with ancient texts found in the middle East, this helped advancement. And many of these texts were biblical texts. So the roots of Christian reformation and the Protestant Reformation provided the philosophical bedrock even for humanism and the Enlightenment.

        • It’s fascinating seeing you try to reposition the very slow, natural progression of European society–Black Death, brutal wars, and everything–as God fast-tracking his favorite people into a safe, healthy, moral society.

        • Jesse H

          Yikes, you can twist things with the best of them, can’t you? Would it have been better if the Roman empire had transitioned into nation-states more quickly? Perhaps. It’s certainly good for technologies and studies not to be lost. But it’s another thing entirely to say that the Catholic Church’s influence from 500 to 1500 is dark. The philosophical and theological advances of Aquinas, Abelard, Hus, and the popes and cardinals are not small things. Empires don’t necessarily advance culture without also damaging cultures and morality. The secular humanism of France in the Enlightenment (with its bloody revolution and nihilistic existentialism) is a severe contrast to the Protestant humanism which undergirded England’s rejection of slavery and the American Constitution.
          This conversation is complex. I’m not saying that history couldn’t have progressed any faster than it did. But it also should be obvious that Carrier’s bias against Christianity doesn’t allow him to understand where theology and philosophy have advanced society, both in the East and the West.

        • But it’s another thing entirely to say that the Catholic Church’s influence from 500 to 1500 is dark.

          Now who’s twisting? I didn’t say that. Did important innovations happen during the medieval period in Europe? Of course: eyeglasses, the stirrup, crop rotation (if memory serves), the water wheel, cathedrals, and more. I’m not saying that there was zero innovation under the husbandry of the church. I’m simply saying that this slow progress looks exactly like a natural progression (and not that impressive as natural progressions go).

          Obviously, I don’t claim that therefore there is no God. I’m just saying that, yet again, God has a golden opportunity to step forward and clearly make an impact in society … and doesn’t.

        • Jesse H

          Fair point. Except I’d ask why you think that there is no impact on society. Are you equating spirituality with scientific advancement? I know you aren’t. So I don’t see the problem with seeing a natural progression while there is also a spiritual progression. We could want it to be faster but we could look back on this time period and lament the decline in relationships, community, social progress concerning emotional and mental health. It’s rather relative.

        • Except I’d ask why you think that there is no impact on society.

          We’re on the same page, right? I made clear that I acknowledge scientific and social progress under Christianity’s husbandry, just very little compared to what might be expected for God’s special group of people.

          So I don’t see the problem with seeing a natural progression while there is also a spiritual progression.

          I never fail to be amazed (or gobsmacked) at how Christians apologize for God’s no-show status. Yes, God could have his own good reasons for letting humanity wallow in squalor for centuries, dealing with filth and disease and corruption and famine, instead of putting them on the escalator to the good life. But here again, God’s hand is imperceptible from nature. Therefore, we should assume it’s just nature.

        • Jesse H

          What no show status are you referring to? And what progress is expected progress among God’s special people?

          I don’t believe that the Middle Ages is squalor and filth and disease and corruption primarily any more than any age is. If we take the 20th century where we’re supposedly civilized hundreds of millions of people died in war, starvation, and totalitarian regimes and holocaust–numbers that exponentially outweigh all of the Middle Ages.

          So one could make a case that the chances of being violently killed is worse in the 20th century than in the MA.

          And again, I’d argue that morality and spirituality are better indicators than technology or medical advances.

        • What no show status are you referring to?

          God’s apparent nonexistence at every turn.

          And what progress is expected progress among God’s special people?

          Something, anything to indicate that God isn’t nonexistent. At the moment, he is looking identical to nonexistent.

          I don’t believe that the Middle Ages is squalor and filth and disease and corruption primarily any more than any age is.

          And you look at the progress in Europe in the last 2000 years, from the Roman Empire through the medieval period to now, and you don’t see a dip in progress? Or do you see advance after advance, almost too fast for society to keep up with, showing that Christian society clearly improved at a pace too fast to assign to ordinary human-powered progress?

          And again, I’d argue that morality and spirituality are better indicators than technology or medical advances.

          There again, I don’t see a divine hand.

          You’re arguing for a guy who might as well not exist at all. Does that not bug you? You don’t wish he could get his ass off the couch and come down and engage, even just a bit?

        • Jesse H

          We simply have a different worldview. I do see God in all of history. I see the interplay of how humanity has had to grow and come more in line with the truth of God. When we are in line with this we have advances in technology, science, morality, gov’t, freedom, etc. The fact is that we went from Roman empire to feudalism and then to nation-states. Feudalism wasn’t all bad, in some ways it was better for individual freedom since communities were somewhat self-contained. There wasn’t an imperial totalitarianism, nor was there the nation-state authority which can have a detrimental affect on life. Communities took care of communities. This is a reality we need to learn even today. National and federal solutions are better solved locally.

          So again, I see God in the natural progression because He is the Creator of life, nature, humanity and progress.

        • I do see God in all of history.

          Because you’re bound to do so. Or obligated. Or determined. He’s certainly not there according to an objective observer.

          But if you’re a live-and-let-live kind of guy, where you have your beliefs and I have mine, and you don’t want to impose anything on anyone else, then I can live with that.

          I see the interplay of how humanity has had to grow and come more in line with the truth of God.

          Lots of people say that, but that amazes me. If this is just your worldview talking, I get it. But are you saying that an objective observer would see things that way?

          When we are in line with this we have advances in technology, science, morality, gov’t, freedom, etc.

          Were the Chinese in line with God and Jesus when they invented paper, moveable type, and gunpowder? How about the 500-year-long Islamic Golden Era (algebra, alchemy, alcohol—all Arabic words)?

          Feudalism wasn’t all bad, in some ways it was better for individual freedom since communities were somewhat self-contained.

          And you’d find a way to put a luster on slavery as well? Take a step back and see how this worldview compromises your humanity. Wouldn’t it be nice to call a spade a spade, rather than having to clean up after God’s many Old Testament messes?

          National and federal solutions are better solved locally.

          If your community is rich, great! And screw those that aren’t.

          So again, I see God in the natural progression because He is the Creator of life, nature, humanity and progress.

          Things are simpler when you assume your conclusion at the outset.

        • Jesse H

          Thanks for making some headway here. I would agree with you that it’s rare to find an objective observer. In fact I think it’s impossible. What we can do is try to evaluate our worldviews and be humble. And when we do that I think we can find enough evidence that points to God.
          And yes, when the Chinese and Arabs used their God-given intelligence and reflection of His image to create algebra, invent new chemical compounds and uses for language, this was in line with God.
          I’m not putting a luster on anything, but many things are good and bad. In feudalism there weren’t nation-states at war with each other, there wasn’t imperialism, and individuals were actually very free to leave one community and join another. I feel no need to clean up for God, humanity and history is complex, and from the first page of the Bible we have the idea that all humans, male and female, have integrity and dignity and worth. Civilization is still striving to come to terms with one of the first great truths given by God.
          And it’s not that a federal gov’t is incapable of making things better, it’s simply that those closest and most personally involved (individuals and communities) are best able to present solutions without authoritarian overreach or corruption. It’s not about rich against poor. It’s about the simple fact that whether you are rich or poor you and those closest to you are best able to determine what is best for you. Education, rehabilitation and justice are best done by individuals, families and communities.

        • Thanks for making some headway here. I would agree with you that it’s rare to find an objective observer. In fact I think it’s impossible.

          For some questions, I’d be willing to consider a typical Muslim as an objective observer. Yes, they’re theists, but you can’t even get them to accept your supernatural claims.

          What we can do is try to evaluate our worldviews and be humble.

          The cacophony of conflicting supernatural beliefs makes religion obviously a cultural phenomenon. It’s just what you do in this or that part of the world. If humility is simply a dodge to allow you to avoid considering what religion as a cultural phenomenon means to the supernatural claims, I don’t buy it.

          And when we do that I think we can find enough evidence that points to God.

          Religions worldwide can’t even agree on the number of gods.

          And yes, when the Chinese and Arabs used their God-given intelligence and reflection of His image to create algebra, invent new chemical compounds and uses for language, this was in line with God.

          God? You mean like Brahma? Or Quetzalcoatl? You’re portraying God as a shape shifter.

          I’m not putting a luster on anything, but many things are good and bad.

          In God’s Perfect Plan? I doubt that.

          In feudalism there weren’t nation-states at war with each other, there wasn’t imperialism, and individuals were actually very free to leave one community and join another.

          Spoken like a naturalist. Sure, it could’ve been worse, but medieval squalor can’t be the best that God could do.

          I feel no need to clean up for God, humanity and history is complex, and from the first page of the Bible we have the idea that all humans, male and female, have integrity and dignity and worth.

          Oh, please. Women were property. The difference in rules based on sex is obvious. Then there’s the fact that Yahweh was the god of Israel, and Israel only. The Canaanite conquest, anyone? Yahweh looks like just another Bronze Age god.

          And it’s not that a federal gov’t is incapable of making things better, it’s simply that those closest and most personally involved (individuals and communities) are best able to present solutions without authoritarian overreach or corruption. It’s not about rich against poor.

          Good. Then let’s have rich communities help subsidize poor communities. That’s the way it works now. I presume you’ve seen this data before:

          Mississippi received $2.13 for every tax dollar the state sent to Washington in 2015, according to the Rockefeller study. West Virginia received $2.07, Kentucky got $1.90 and South Carolina got $1.71.
          Meanwhile, New Jersey received 74 cents in federal spending for tax every dollar the state sent to Washington. New York received 81 cents, Connecticut received 82 cents and Massachusetts received 83 cents.

          Source: https://www.apnews.com/2f83c72de1bd440d92cdbc0d3b6bc08c

          Red states are an enormous beneficiary of this. You don’t like it?

        • Greg G.

          https://www.quora.com/What-states-make-up-the-Bible-Belt
          What states make up the ‘Bible Belt’? – Quora
          There is no universal definition of the “Bible Belt”. However, the term is usually used to describe areas of the following states: Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, Kentucky and usually North Carolina as well.

          https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-bible-belt-of-the-united-states.html
          The Bible Belt Of The United States – WorldAtlas.com
          The Bible Belt Region This region includes most of Texas, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Missouri, Kansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Kentucky, as well as the southern areas of Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana and the central areas of West Virginia and Virginia.

          Depending on high wide your belt is, the Bible Belt states need more help.

        • And, incredibly, it’s the atheists who are happy to help our neighbor, no matter where in the country. And it’s the Christians who have the “screw you, I got mine!” attitude.

        • epeeist

          we also see that when the Crusades allowed Europe to interact with ancient texts found in the middle East

          Which is why someone like Gerard of Cremona can complain of the “Poverty of the Latins”. What he was complaining about was that the preservation and development of philosophy of science had been done in Arabia and Persia and that there were few texts that were either available or had been translated.

        • epeeist

          monasteries with their advances in literature

          You do realise that Charlemagne had to issue an edict to establish schools in both monasteries and cathedrals because the standard of learning in them was so poor…

        • Jesse H

          So you’re saying a Christian ruler raised a standard for a Christian institution and made them better? Yeah, I have no problem with that.

        • epeeist

          So you’re saying a Christian ruler raised a standard for a Christian institution and made them better?

          Did you miss the word “establish”? You know it doesn’t mean “better”?

          As it, it is largely irrelevant since your attempt at a quip does nothing to rebut the fact that the scholarship in these institutions was so poor.

        • And the scientific method particularly as we know it grew from a judeo-christian philosophical foundation.

          Which were actually Greek philosophical foundations from about 2300 years ago. Most of the scientific method was already established long before people like Bacon came along, and refined the process.

          We have science today largely because of the Greeks. It’s very hard to say where we’d be without their effort, and the preservation of their ideas.

        • Jesse H

          I don’t disagree that the Greeks laid a foundation. But they also did so based on metaphysics and theistic proponents. And again, the necessary foundations to do science are grounded in judeo-Christian metaphysics.

        • And again, the necessary foundations to do science are grounded in judeo-Christian metaphysics.

          I call bullshit on your claim.. Science only requires three basal assumptions:
          1. There are natural causes for things that happen in the world around us
          2. Evidence from the natural world can be used to learn about those causes
          3. There is consistency in the causes that operate in the natural world

          None of these assumptions require belief in any deities, or a creator deity, let alone any Judeo-Christian “metaphysics” (whatever that happens to be.)

          If you’re just going to assert shit without any foundation, try standing in front of a congregation. They tend to listen to nonsense uncritically.

        • Jesse H

          Well you have to assume a lot more than that. You have to assert universal consistency for one thing. You also have to assert that we have minds capable of understanding the natural causes, and also that there is an understood limit to cause and effect (that not everything affects everything).

          The ideas behind a consistent order and that we have perceptions capable of understanding are assumptions that can’t be demonstrated empirically, that takes metaphysics, and really theology. So yes, we can assume a certain framework in order to do science. But the pillars and supports of that framework require something deeper than science.

        • You have to assert universal consistency for one thing.

          No you really don’t. There only has to be some consistency. As long as there is some consistency you can do science. You don’t have to assume that everything is consistent, everywhere, for all time. As long you can generate predictions from your model, and those predictions remain consistently true, that’s good enough.

          You also have to assert that we have minds capable of understanding the natural causes

          This is pretty much implied by the first assumption I listed.

          and also that there is an understood limit to cause and effect (that not everything affects everything).

          This is irrelevant. As long as there are causes, we can investigate them, regardless of how interconnected things are with respect to causes.

          The ideas behind a consistent order and that we have perceptions capable of understanding are assumptions that can’t be demonstrated empirically…

          Yes, and that’s why we have basal assumptions. All basal assumptions are things that we cannot demonstrate to be true.

          …that takes metaphysics, and really theology

          No, it doesn’t. They’re assumptions, they don’t require anything except our ability to assert them, and see if they hold true, and produce consistently reliable results.

          So yes, we can assume a certain framework in order to do science. But the pillars and supports of that framework require something deeper than science.

          All epistemologies require certain basal assumptions. They’re pretty much inescapable, by the Münchhausen trilemma. You don’t need any “framework” in order to assert an assumption, even if there are some restrictions that we should put on basal assumptions.

        • Jesse H

          Theology takes the basal assumptions multiple steps further. And I don’t think you really understand consistency. If we only have limited consistency then at any point the parameters can change. 500 years ago the stars could have looked different, science could have worked differently, we’d have no basis for science. And if we don’t have limited causation then we can never truly know which really causes what. I think you need to expand your basal assumptions.

          And basal assumptions are a framework. But theism provides a foundation for these assumptions. Instead of just positing them out of thin air. Now I recognize that in some way even God has to be a basal assumption, but theism is at least taking further steps on the path.

        • Greg G.

          500 years ago the stars could have looked different

          The stars that are less than 490 light years away would look different than the stars that are more than 510 light years away.

        • And I don’t think you really understand consistency. If we only have limited consistency then at any point the parameters can change. 500 years ago the stars could have looked different, science could have worked differently, we’d have no basis for science

          Science offers provisional explanations for how the natural world works. If the parameters we to change then the work of scientists no longer hold, but prior to that, if it produces useful results then that’s all we need.

          That’s really what we’re looking for: Useful models that make predictions about how reality works. Pragmatism rules the day where science is concerned.

          And if we don’t have limited causation then we can never truly know which really causes what.

          Then you would have violated my second assumption, and your assumption becomes unnecessary.

          And basal assumptions are a framework. But theism provides a foundation for these assumptions. Instead of just positing them out of thin air

          Positing basal assumptions out of thin air is literally how basal assumptions work! What part of the word “basal” do you not understand? Basal assumptions are axioms, and they don’t need to be further justified, they just need to be useful. You literally don’t need any foundation to assert a basal assumption, because axioms are the foundation for reason. I don’t need to know why reality exists to assert that reality exists!

          Now I recognize that in some way even God has to be a basal assumption

          Then you need to justify that basal assumption. We just go into infinite regress, or circularity. This is why basal assumptions are axioms, and don’t need to be further justified.

        • Greg G.

          If an omnipotence is an axiom, then anything goes by poofing things into existence. Reason goes out the window. Everything we see might have been poofed Last Thursday.

          Apologies to Maeve the cat.

        • Jesse H

          I agree science is pragmatic, but I can’t help but feel that you are simply arguing rather than to concede any point. The science of astrophysics would be meaningless if we don’t have universal consistency. We can’t speak of the Big Bang or paleontology or climate change or any of a number of scientific endeavors if we don’t have uniformitarianism in the prescriptions of time-space since the unknown beginning.

          I agree we need axioms. I’m saying that the axiom of God as Creator of an ordered universe including humans who can understand reality is more explanatory than the axiom of “the universe is ordered for some unknown reason, will continue to be consistent for some unknown reason, and human beings who just happened to evolve with life, sentience and intelligence enough to actually perceive reality can actually do so in a meaningful way.”

        • The science of astrophysics would be meaningless if we don’t have universal consistency

          I don’t actually think that this is true. We don’t actually know if physics is that same across all of the universe:

          https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2056018/Laws-physics-change-depending-universe.html
          https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100909004112.htm

          Our models are based upon certain assumptions. If those assumptions aren’t true then our results aren’t going to be accurate, but in the end it’s the best we’ve got.

          I’m saying that the axiom of God as Creator of an ordered universe including humans who can understand reality is more explanatory than the axiom of “the universe is ordered for some unknown reason, will continue to be consistent for some unknown reason, and human beings who just happened to evolve with life, sentience and intelligence enough to actually perceive reality can actually do so in a meaningful way.”

          God offers no explanation because it doesn’t tell us how, it merely asserts that the reason for X is some omnipotent, creator, who could have done anything. God has no explanatory power because it never tells us HOW God did anything. The assumption of a creator God is superfluous, and adds nothing. There’s nothing that we can do, by adding that assumption, that we cannot do without it. Useless assumptions should be discarded.

        • The science of astrophysics would be meaningless if we don’t have universal consistency.

          So all galaxies are spiral galaxies? And all stars are like our sun, and all planets are like the earth.

          Whew—that makes it easy! Tell me again why astrophysicists need to get doctorates?

          I’m saying that the axiom of God as Creator of an ordered universe including humans who can understand reality is more explanatory

          Nope. It just replaces questions about nature with questions about God. I’d think that you’re as pleased as I am that scientists don’t just say, “God dun it” and go home but rather stay and conduct the difficult work of finding out how things actually work.

        • Jesse H

          How do you have the time and mental wherewithal to argue so needlessly? First, go back and read the discussion so you understand what I mean by universal consistency. (Hint: I don’t mean all planets are the same. Do you really take me for a fool?–Don’t answer that.)

          Sure we have questions about God, and of course God being the foundation DOESN’T AT ALL mean we don’t explore every option and actually do rational science. What it actually means is we have a rational and meaningful basis for actually doing science since we know it has been imbued with meaning from a Creator. Like, duh!

        • Susan

          those civilizations all did so under a theistic understanding of the universe.

          How dishonest. Your original claim was:

          Christianity gave science its foundation

          When called on it, you ran straight to “theism”. It’s an umbrella term under which christianity can hide.

          Christianity is a form of theism, but theism isn’t necessarily “christianity”.

          There is no reason to accept your claim that science requires any form of theism, let alone christianity.

          Please support your original claim.

        • epeeist

          When called on it, you ran straight to “theism”.

          In another thread (finishing, at the moment, with this post) he makes claims about the long history of study of the gospels. When Pofarmer and then I point out that other texts have been studied far longer he immediately switches to the whole bible and Mosaic texts.

          As you say, completely dishonest.

        • Greg G.

          His belief system seems to be a series of ad hoc rationalizations. When I pointed out that in Acts 5, Gamaliel mentions Theudas and Judas the Galilean, one of which was decades earlier and one would have been a decade in the future, he invented an earlier Theudas.

          He is making it up as he goes.

        • epeeist

          he invented an earlier Theudas.

          You presumably spotted his claim that one couldn’t determine the velocity and position of a quantum particle at the same time. That whole exchange was him inventing something and doubling down when shown to be wrong (using an equation which he obviously didn’t understand).

          He is making it up as he goes.

          Well he is a Trump supporter.

        • Greg G.

          Well he is a Trump supporter.

          I didn’t know that but not surprised in the least.

        • epeeist

          I didn’t know that

          Try this post as an example.

        • Greg G.

          I see what you mean.

        • Jesse H

          Fake news indeed.

        • Jesse H

          The Greeks did science based on a metaphysical substrate of theism. The Arabs also did mathematics based on an orderliness of theism. The scientific method which is of modern Western Enlightenment did so on the philosophical foundation of Christianity.

        • on the philosophical foundation of Christianity.

          So let me get this straight: science has theories and laws that are built on evidence, but at the bottom of that inverted pyramid is an axiom, just taken on faith, that God exists. Is that correct?

        • Susan

          The Greeks did science based on a metaphysical substrate of theism. The Arabs also did mathematics based on an orderliness of theism.

          This comment needs fisking but I have to force you to stick to your original claim, as you have developed quite a track record for pointing at squirrels, when asked to account for your assertions.

          Either support it or retract it.

          “Theism”.

          Not christianity, as you originally claimed.

          What are you claiming and how do you support it?

        • Jesse H

          Metaphysics and theism undergirded Greek scientific philosophy and Arab mathematics. One can well argue that even the Greeks were influenced by ancient near eastern philosophical traditions which include the judaic values of the old testament. And of course the Arabs came from the Islamic tradition which itself piggybacked from Christianity 7 centuries after the fact. When it comes to the refined scientific method in Europe we have influence and grounding from a culture steeped in (at that time) 1500 years of Christianity, and 1000 years of Catholic tradition and philosophy. Here are http://www.apologeticsreview.com/2011/03/01/ten-presuppositions-of-science/

        • epeeist

          The Greeks did science based on a metaphysical substrate of theism.

          Now do you actually have some evidence of this, or are you simply making it up?

          The Arabs also did mathematics based on an orderliness of theism.

          Now do you actually have some evidence of this, or are you simply making it up? Did they do this in the Bayt al-Ḥikmah, did the falasifa do this?

          The scientific method which is of modern Western Enlightenment did so on the philosophical foundation of Christianity.

          Now do you actually have some evidence of this, or are you simply making it up? Especially as the Enlightenment is an 18th and 19th century movement and Francis Bacon died in the 17th century.

        • Pofarmer

          It seems this worldview that theism gave us science is 100% bass ackwards. The universe seems orderly, so men devised God’s to explain things they couldn’t understand. Gradually, we worked out from under theistic assumptions to get at the mechanisms that were actually happening. All along the way theism severely hampered this process. But now it wants credit. The mind boggles.

        • Pofarmer

          Wouldn’t it be more interesting to try to understand the cognitive mechanisms that led earlier societies to jump to “theism” than to just go with “theism must be real!”?

        • epeeist

          Christianity gave science its foundation.

          Ah yes, those well known Christians Aristotle, Archimedes, Aristarchus, Eratosthenes, Galen, Ibn al-Haytham, Averroes, Alhazen, Avicenna…

        • Jesse H

          Indeed many of these recognized the metaphysical properties necessary for any philosophical and scientific thinking. But they are only precursors to modern scientific method, which does owe to judeo-christian properties of an ordered universe and proper mind perception.

        • epeeist

          But they are only precursors to modern scientific method, which does owe to judeo-christian properties of an ordered universe and proper mind perception.

          Interesting that you make assertions but rarely provide references to justify them.

          As it is, theories of mind go back at least as far as Aristotle and Plato who one might regard as substance dualists.

          As for an “ordered universe”, are you actually claiming that Christianity actually invented the idea? I rather think I would like some substantiation for the claim. Not that I think that you will actually provide any mind you, you have a habit of making assertions and then dropping them when they are challenged.

        • JGC

          “Life either originated by purely natural processes, or else some supernatural element must have been involved”

          Logical fallacy alert: your argument from a false dichotomy is duly noted and dismissed.

          Note also that the current body of evidence supports a natural origin for the first living organisms while there is no evidence whatsoever in support of a supernatural origin (or for that matter in support of supernatural entities, mechanisms or forces).

          “If life originated by a natural process under certain specific
          conditions, it should be possible to create life again under the same
          conditions”

          Are you telling us you’ve identified those conditions? There’s a noble prize waiting in your future.

          On the other hand if you haven’t then you can hardly expect anyone to have been able to replicate the creation of life, can you?

        • Jesse H

          What are you talking about? Can you give me an alternative to either natural or supernatural origins? Are you referring to aliens?

          And the current body of evidence doesn’t show the mechanisms for life arriving by natural processes. The more we delve into it the more complex it becomes.

        • JGC

          No, I’m not referring to aliens. I’m noting that the fact that we may be unable to think of more than two possibilities speaks to the limits of our imagination rather than argue that there can be only two possible explanations.
          The current body of evidence does support natural biogenesis–for example. we’ve identified conditions known to either have existed in the past or to exist today where biologically relevant molecules (amino acids, formaldehydes, purines, pyrimidines, lipids, etc.) can arise from elemental precursors in the absence of directed synthesis.
          Regardless of how ‘complex’ things get when we delve into the evidence still points to a natural origin–in fact, that very complexity argues against the involvement of an intelligent entity: no competent engineer sets out to achieve the most complex solution to a problem that they can. Simplicity is a hallmark of design: complexity is the hallmark of reiterative trial and error.

        • Jesse H

          I would say you are wrong on both counts. We haven’t established all the biologically relevant molecules, how they came about, how they can interact, and particularly how there is no directed synthesis. All the models are speculative and increasingly more irrelevant, not more plausible.
          And simplicity is not a hallmark of design. What is a hallmark of design is the needed complexity for the required function. And that is what we see.

          And I think you have that in reverse, the increasing complexity we see in life, DNA, a simple cell, these don’t point to trial and error. If we actually did see that things got more simple this would be an argument that these things could have simply come together, but we see the opposite.

        • JGC

          ‘I would say you are wrong on both counts.”

          You can say what you want–the real question is what statements can you support with actual evidence?

          “We haven’t established all the biologically relevant molecules, how they came about, how they can interact, and particularly how there is no directed synthesis.”

          Miller-Urey demonstrated that amino acids could arise from elemental precursors under conditions known to exist elsewhere in our solar system in the absence of directed synthesis way back in the 1950’s. Since then we’ve identified other conditions that allow for amino acid generation as well as conditions that allow for the generation of purines, pyrimidines, etc. in the absence of directed synthesis.

          Further, we know amino acids are being generated elsewhere in the universe (we’ve isolated amino acids from the interior of meteorites, for example.)

          ” All the models are speculative and increasingly more irrelevant, not more plausible.”

          Miller-Urey wasn’t speculative: amino acid generation was directly observed in the absence of directed synthesis. The generation of purines, pyrimidines in the absence of directed synthesis has also been directly observed rather than being speculative. (Your entire argument here seems to take no form other than “that evidence just doesn’t count. because I say so.”)

          “What is a hallmark of design is the needed complexity for the required function.”

          By what reliable and objective method can one calculate the minimal degree of complexity necessary for required functionality? Be specific.

          I mean, one exists–right? If it doesn’t there’s no basis to argue that a system exhibits that required degree of complexity, no more and no less, and therefore must be taken as evidence of design.

          “If we actually did see that things got more simple this would be an argument that these things could have simply come together, but we see the opposite.”
          How does simplicity argue for non design rather than design? Walk me through your argument, if it takes any form other than the classic logical fallacy argument from personal incredulity (“I just can’t believe that something that complex could arise without intelligent intervention.”)

        • Jesse H

          First, I think the amino acids and purines have actually been caused by directed synthesis. The experiments are set up in a way that is speculated about conditions, but it’s speculation on both ends. And again none of this really gets us close to life or even one cell. “If I put enough toddlers in a room with no food and a bunch of blocks then given enough time the toddlers will assemble the blocks high enough to build a platform to get over the wall and to the food.” When I read the papers on abiogenesis they are as plausible as these toddlers.

          If when we discovered the intricacies of the cell we saw that these things could simply be put together and we could do so, this would be evidence against ID. But when we discover DNA, the intricacies of the cell, the intricacies of quantum physics, and each time the mystery only deepens (rather than getting simpler) this is clearly an argument against purposeless generation.

        • JGC

          “First, I think the amino acids and purines have actually been caused by directed synthesis.”

          From what evidence have you derived this conclusion? Be specific.

          “The experiments are set up in a way that is speculated about conditions, but it’s speculation on both ends.”

          The Miller Urey experiment was set up to mimic conditions then thought to have existed on earth in the distant path and known to exist elsewhere in our solar system. Regardless of whether the conditions actually did exist in the past the experiment demonstrated that amino acids could form from elemental precursors in the absence of directed synthesis.

          “When I read the papers on abiogenesis they are as plausible as these toddlers.”

          Please provide a citation to one of the papers on abiogenesis you’ve read so we can discuss the methodological and other flaws you believe render the author’s conclusions invalid.

          ‘If when we discovered the intricacies of the cell we saw that these things could simply be put together and we could do so, this would be evidence against ID.”

          Before we begin looking for evidence against ID, shouldn’t we first identify some actual evidence which supports ID?

          Can you at the very least identify a reliable method to detect intelligent design if present in a biological system–i.e., to distinguish between a system that is the result of intelligent design and one that merely appears to have been the result of intelligent design?

          “But when we discover DNA, the intricacies of the cell, the intricacies of quantum physics, and each time the mystery only deepens (rather than getting simpler) this is clearly an argument against purposeless generation.”

          The foundation of your, for want of a better word, argument seems to be an a priori belief that complex systems cannot other than as the result of intelligent design, but you’ve offered no evidence which argues that is the case.

        • Jesse H

          When we see complex machines we have scientific evidence that they are created by intelligent design, combustion engines and buildings are prime examples. We also found the Rosetta stone and recognized coded language. I’m not bringing up some far-fetched idea.

          The simple fact is that there are no conclusions for biogenesis. That’s the point. There’s a whole lot of speculation, there’s counter-examples, but there is no conclusive contiguous evidence. We can summarize all the evidence, like this paper: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1674987117301305

          But in reading this do we really get the idea that finding the missing steps is just around the corner?

        • JGC

          Let’s look at the scientific evidence that convinces us internal combustion engines are a product of intelligent design:

          They are composed of materials that are not found naturally occurring on our planet: refined metals, plastics, rubber belts and hoses, filter membranes for oil and air, electrical wiring harnesses, etc.

          We know that entities capable of designing and manufacturing internal combustion engines exist.

          We understand exactly how these designers acted to realize their design: metal casting, and machining, rubber vulcanization, etc.

          We can and have in fact observed theses designers designing and manufacturing internal combustion engines.

          None of this is the case with respect to biological systems. They are composed of materials that occur naturally–lipids, peptides, carbohydrates, etc.

          We don’t know that entities capable of designing such systems actually exist.

          We have no idea how such entities if they do exist could have gone about realizing their design (most frequently the process is written off as “by magic”.)

          We lack even a reliable method to actively identify design if present in a biological system, much less direct observation of it occurring.

          “We also found the Rosetta stone and recognized coded language”

          And why did we recognize this? Because the Rosetta stone was inscribed with the same message written in three different scripts: Egyptian hieroglyphics, Egyptian demotics, and ancient Greek, a language we already understood. Note again that we know many things about the development of and types of written languages, including the fact that there are entities capable of writing them, the processes involved in writing or inscribing, etc., that we don’t know about biological systems.

          “But in reading this do we really get the idea that finding the missing steps is just around the corner?”

          No one I know is arguing that ‘the missing steps’ mare just around the corner. but we have identified a substantial body of evidence which strongly supports natural biogenesis.

          There is no evidence, on the other hand, for Intelligent design: all of its steps are missing.

        • epeeist

          Before we begin looking for evidence against ID, shouldn’t we first identify some actual evidence which supports ID?

          He has spent virtually all of his time here avoiding this, instead relying on the usual false dichotomy, “There are ‘problems’ with our current understanding, therefore it is false, therefore ID wins by default”.

          At the moment he seems to be busily pressing the reset-button and simply regurgitating stuff that he has said before as though nothing had been said.

        • MR

          Right. He’s not given me any reason to actually consider that a god might exist. If anything he makes the prospect sound even more absurd. He doesn’t argue for a god, he just argues against the science he doesn’t like. There’s no cohesiveness for it to make sense beyond an agenda to throw shade at evolution. Whatever. Not only is your agenda showing, but you’ve given me no reason to believe in God to boot.

        • Greg G.

          I am conversing with him on two subjects: The Problem of Suffering if an omnipotent omnibenevolence exists and that Luke borrowed from Antiquities of the Jews. He hasn’t hit the reset button on either, yet.

          His arguments against the PoS keep undercutting omnipotence.

          I was pointing out a few points of contact between Luke and Antiquities but he kept responding as if I hadn’t told him there were dozens of these until I pointed him to Gary Goldberg’s list of coincidences between Josephus and the New Testament. Goldberg does not consider the possibility that Luke used Josephus but he seems to recognize there is a literary connection but suggested that Josephus may have copied from Luke.

        • simplicity is not a hallmark of design. What is a hallmark of design is the needed complexity for the required function. And that is what we see.

          Elegance would be a hallmark of design. What we see in biology instead is a Rube Godlberg machine. More:
          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2015/11/argument-from-design-busted-2/

        • baraminology

          Y’know, I once thought that Creationism was complete crap, but then when I heard that they made up impressive words with -ology on the end, I knew it was complete crap.

        • Phil Rimmer

          The broader theory is clearly molecules to man.

          This is catastrophically wrong. The teleology imposed is all your own short intellectual evolution laid bare.

        • I do read the articles and the abstracts that I can

          Since ID has the hallmarks of pseudoscience–it rejects an almost universal consensus of scientists, it’s very closely allied with a religious view, etc.–you should read nothing but conventional biology. Stop reading ICR, Disco Institute, and so on.

          If, after a year or so, you still think that evolution is a house of cards, you’d be in a much better position to make that argument.

        • I believe we have specified complexity in DNA and irreducible complexity seen in many parts of the cell and life which neo-Darwinianism cannot solve with random mutations and natural selection.

          But who cares what you’ve concluded when we have biologists on the payroll? Seriously, you should be the least impressed with your uninformed musings since you know better than anyone how imperfect you are.

        • MR

          There’s no taking someone seriously when they say things like “neo-Darwinianism.”

        • epeeist

          And is there a reason you keep misspelling the word premise?

          Try the British dictionary.

        • Try the British dictionary.

          😀

          40% of the traffic to this blog is from outside the US.

        • Jesse H
        • epeeist

          Perhaps you’d appreciate this: https://evolutionnews.org/2

          We have ID supporters here in the UK too. It doesn’t mean to say that ID has any merit.

          If you want to make claims for teleology in nature then go for it. Evidence and warrant though, not just arguments from ignorance.

        • When intelligent design theory points out that Evolution is unproven

          WTF?? I thought you said that you were a science teacher!?

          Science proves nothing. Ever. No one needed to wait for ID to realize that evolution is unproven since science doesn’t prove things.

        • WTF?? I thought you said that you were a science teacher!?

          Don’t forget that Kent Hovind was a “science teacher” too… Most likely this guy is teaching at some private Christian school, where he can teach what he wants, and the kids end up getting the short end of a science education.

        • Greg G.

          I dated a woman who went to a fundamentalist church high school, then to a Christian college. She said she had to catch up the other students at the college.

        • Yes, that would explain the odd juxtaposition of Creationism/ID with “taught biology.”

        • MR

          Yeah, I had involuntary eye roll spasm when I read “I’ve taught science and biology.” Ri-i-ght…. Certainly not any science or biology a scientist or biologist would recognize.

        • There are very few people with a strong enough grasp across many areas of science who can truly be general experts.

          Not what we’re talking about. We’re just talking about evolution, and you can indeed be an expert in that. You are not an expert in biology, and yet you reject the overwhelming consensus of the tens of thousands who actually are. That’s too arrogant for me, but I guess that’s just fine with you.

          Instead we have specialists who disagree about many things.

          You’re just desperate to justify your pre-determined conclusion, aren’t you? Look—evolution is the consensus view, you’re not part of the group who makes the consensus, deal with it.

          Get your science from scientists, not web sites that have a faith statement on their About page.

          As such, specialized scientists can all point to piecemeal evolutionary theory, but no general expert would say that molecules to man has been proven as fact.

          Agreed, because that’s not what science does. Perhaps more evidence that you need to get your science from Science and stop reading the nonsense from ICR or AiG or the Disco Institute.

          And that’s not even accounting for the failure of abiogenesis, which under specialized conditions can posit some amino acids, but can’t even get to one protein, let alone the hundreds necessary for even a single cell.

          Failure? Perhaps you (dare I say it?) don’t understand how science works. Yes, science doesn’t have a theory to explain abiogenesis; no, that’s not a failure or black mark or anything. It’s how science works.

        • Jesse H

          The reason why Gravity isn’t a theory is that everyone can connect the dots. But the reason why Evolution is not like the Law of Gravity is because all the dots are not connected. In this case consensus means nothing unless it can be demonstrated across the board. And we have people in every field of science who disagree. So we should teach what the actual experiments show, which is adaptation, but a severe lack of speciation (or even complete agreement on what defines a species) and nothing rising even to the genus level of Evolution.

        • The reason why Gravity isn’t a theory is that everyone can connect the dots.

          Show us that you understand what you’re talking about: tell us what “law of gravity” and “theory of gravity” both mean.

          But the reason why Evolution is not like the Law of Gravity is because all the dots are not connected. In this case consensus means nothing unless it can be demonstrated across the board.

          So biologists have a pretty much universal consensus but somehow it doesn’t mean much?

          Pro tip: get your science from somewhere besides Creationist sites.

          And we have people in every field of science who disagree.

          Disagree with what?

          So we should teach what the actual experiments show, which is adaptation, but a severe lack of speciation (or even complete agreement on what defines a species) and nothing rising even to the genus level of Evolution.

          Golly–such a dilemma! The scientists who actually understand what’s going on say that we’ve seen speciation in our own lifetimes and that evolution is the best explanation, but my ol’ buddy Jesse who poorly understands evolution says that it’s crap.

          Which should I go with?

        • Jesse H

          I’ve examined every example of speciation which has come down the pipeline for the last 30 years. And none of it really shows Evolution that proves molecules to man. It’s disputed whether it really even shows speciation. We can talk about stickle-back fish, plants, moths, fruit flies, bacteria, all of it. None of the examples as I said rises to even the genus level, and it’s disputed whether it’s even true speciation. And this isn’t from creationist sites, it’s from the scientific abstracts themselves. The real science, not the popular articles, not the journalistic interpretation. This is what the scientists say.

        • I’ve examined every example of speciation which has come down the pipeline for the last 30 years.

          Words cannot express how little I value your critique of evolution when you’re not even a biologist. I think I’ll stick with the scientific consensus, but thanks.

          And this isn’t from creationist sites, it’s from the scientific abstracts themselves. The real science, not the popular articles, not the journalistic interpretation. This is what the scientists say.

          Huh? What is it that the scientists say? Do they say that evolution is crap? Do they say that speciation doesn’t happen?

          I’m a very reasonable guy: when the scientific consensus changes, I change right along with it. No fretting about whether I like the change or not–I change immediately. My view of science comes from scientists.

          So you show me that the consensus is that evolution is flawed, and I’m there. How’s that for reasonable?

        • Jesse H

          I’m pointing out the disparity between what has actually been proven and what is hypothesized. Perhaps this will help. https://thefederalist.com/2019/04/16/one-third-biologists-now-question-darwinism/

        • No, that doesn’t help at all.

          Let me repeat myself: If the biologists themselves agree that evolution is crap, show me that from the biologists and I’ll correct my mistake. That is, make your argument from within science, not outside of it. If that’s not the case, then we’re back to some random Creationist telling me that a scientific field (of which he’s not a member) is crap. You know by now what I think of that.

        • Jesse H

          The article mentions biologists, atheist authors, Third Way, scientific intelligent design theories, and showing how scientists such as Francis Crick and Richard Dawkins have expressed criticisms. They are making the argument from within science. That is what I’m clearly demonstrating.

        • Great–biologists have open questions. We all agree. Nothing interesting here.

          And evolution (or a natural explanation of some sort) still reigns as the explanation to go with, and we biology outsiders would be arrogant idiots to adopt anything else.

        • And in response to your article (“Why One-Third Of Biologists Now Question Darwinism”), I notice that this is what they’re actually saying:

          Current estimates are that approximately one-third of professional academic biologists who do not believe in intelligent design find Darwin’s theory is inadequate to describe all of the complexity in biology.

          Yawn. Biology has unanswered questions. Yeah, everyone knows that. Wake me when they agree that evolution is crap.

          (And no one gives a shit about Darwin.)

        • MadScientist1023

          That Federalist article plays a rhetorical shell game with readers. It starts with discussion of EES, a position which lacks acceptance only because many think modern evolutionary biology already includes it. It then switches up to talking about ID and laughingstock scientists like Mike Behe. A real scientist should be able to see where the pivot is made and realize that the article drastically shifts what it’s talking about.

        • MR
        • !

        • epeeist

          The reason why Gravity isn’t a theory is that everyone can connect the dots.

          General relativity is a theory.

          the Law of Gravity

          There is no “Law of Gravity”. Gravity being a change in the geometry of space-time and the equivalence principle are both sub-theories of the Einsteinian theory of gravity.

        • There is no “Law of Gravity”.

          Not Newton’s law of gravity?

        • epeeist

          Not Newton’s law of gravity?

          Usage has changed over the centuries. Newton’s “laws of motion” and “law of gravity” would these days be referred to as theories.

          To quote Marc Lange, laws in science are “nomic necessities”. The example he gives is “No sphere made of U235 with a radius of 1Km exists in the universe”.

          Oh, and of course theories never become laws.

        • Greg G.

          “No sphere made of U235 with a radius of 1Km exists in the universe”.

          If it did exist, it would be briefly.

        • Newton’s “laws of motion” and “law of gravity” would these days be referred to as theories.

          Really? I thought theories were explanations. That is, f = ma is a law, simply an equation that works. No explanation is given about why and how. That’s where a theory would come in.

        • Greg G.

          Boyle’s Law is based on an ideal gas which doesn’t exist. f = ma doesn’t work with relativity. The Law of Gravity doesn’t even work well for Mercury’s orbit. Modern scientific theories have up-to-date equations and, often, their limitations.

        • Good point, but I’m still stuck on “theories are explanations and laws aren’t.”

          Wikipedia says:

          A scientific theory is an explanation of an aspect of the natural world that can be repeatedly tested and verified in accordance with the scientific method, using accepted protocols of observation, measurement, and evaluation of results.

          and

          Scientific laws or laws of science are statements that describe or predict a range of natural phenomena.

        • epeeist

          Sorry, I have a stinking cold at the moment which can only be mitigated by copious amounts of whisky. Neither the cold or whisky do anything for coherent responses.

          f = ma is a law

          No, it is the summary from the results of an empirical investigation (See something like Leonard Susskind’s Classical Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum for more details). One would have to ask whether it applies at all scales (i.e. masses, velocities, spatial dimensions) and whether it is necessarily true.

        • Greg G.

          Sorry, I have a stinking cold at the moment which can only be mitigated by copious amounts of whisky.

          Where can I get a cold like that?

        • Weird–but I want to get it right. How would you define theories vs. laws? It’s not the case that theories are explanations?

        • epeeist

          I hadn’t forgotten this, but I wanted to go back to the literature and check what it says.

          Marc Lange, who has written extensively on laws of nature, specifically says that we would not longer consider Newton’s “laws of motion” and “law of gravity” as laws any more. You can find this in his article Laws of Nature in the Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Science.

          Anything online is more tricky, the best I can come up with is this article on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy site.

        • I’d assumed that law vs. theory was just a one-sentence kind of thing. That’s an enormous article–I hope there’s a brief takeaway that I can use if I’m trying to explain the difference.

          I’ll give it a read. Thanks.

        • I came across this interesting video on Newton’s law of gravity. It explored the interesting question of whether that law really does apply universally and why it might not be so crazy to imagine gravity acting differently in in extreme environments.

          https://aeon.co/videos/why-newtons-law-of-universal-gravitation-is-not-so-universal-after-all

        • epeeist

          Agreed, because that’s not what science does.

          It’s always cute when creationists pretend to know something about science isn’t it?

        • MadScientist1023

          I have to ask, at what level have you taught biology? I read somewhere that in a survey of grade school or high school biology teachers, 25% of them believed humans and dinosaurs once coexisted.

        • Greg G.

          Years ago, the fossils of a human ancestor was discovered Half of the creationists said it was fully human and the other half said it was fully ape. Scientists just said it was another transitional.

          A few centuries ago, scientists began to classify life forms by their similarities and they created family trees based on the similarities. Then they started to classify fossils which often fit right into the family trees.

          More recently, scientists began to study DNA and create family trees based on that and they matched up with the trees based on morphology very well, even clarifying relationships that were not clear in the fossil record at the time. Later, the missing links were discovered and confirmed the findings of the DNA.

          What they found is that chimpanzees are more closely related to humans than they are to gorillas.

          At best it proves evolution within species.

          You should study the evidence without those goggles with the godthingie-shaped clean spots.

        • Jesse H

          In actual fact there is still a great deal of questioning for how the DNA and family trees actually match up. Of course phenotype and genotype have a general agreement, but that actually matches common design as well as an idea of common descent.

          And similarity to chimpanzees was first thought to be 98% DNA agreement, but further studies have it as low as 80%. But that belays the point that the clear distinction between human and ape-like fossils still shows huge disparity. The closeness of the fossil record is not at all transitional. We still have a clear distinction between ape and man.

          And that’s what the evidence points to. We all have goggles, and we can stress similarities or differences. But paleontology points distinctly to the differences.

        • Greg G.

          In actual fact there is still a great deal of questioning for how the DNA and family trees actually match up.

          The questioning seems to be the different ways of measuring differences. If two books have one letter different on every page, if you measure at the page level, then it is 0% alike. If measured at the paragraph level, with an average of 5 paragraphs per page, the books are 80% alike. Measured at the sentence level, the word level, and the letter level will give higher measurements of likeness.

          Of course phenotype and genotype have a general agreement, but that actually matches common design as well as an idea of common descent.

          The likeness between phenotype and genotype is necessary under common descent. It is not necessary if magic is assumed by a common designer.

          And similarity to chimpanzees was first thought to be 98% DNA agreement, but further studies have it as low as 80%. But that belays the point that the clear distinction between human and ape-like fossils still shows huge disparity. The closeness of the fossil record is not at all transitional. We still have a clear distinction between ape and man.

          So what? No matter which method is used, chimpanzees and humans are still more closely related than either is to gorillas. In fact, chimpanzees, bonobos, and humans are quite precisely the same distance from gorillas, because they share a more recent common ancestor with one another than the same most recent common ancestor with gorillas. Gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, and humans are equally related to orangutans, too.

          But paleontology points distinctly to the differences.

          You are talking through your goggles. You sound like the creationists who agreed that a certain fossil was not a transitional. One said it was fully ape and the other said it was fully human.

        • Jesse H

          Genotype and phenotype point to the common design made by the designer. I agree we “could” have a different design. But this is simply a difference between similarity/difference. We see from both perspectives. Men and women are similar and different. Both are true.

          The idea of “magic” doesn’t come into play. We certainly see a diversity of body types, modes of living (plants, animals, viruses), and differences in the genetic code. How much difference is needed to point to a creative Designer? How much similarity is needed to point to common descent?

        • How much similarity is needed to point to common descent?

          You know Michael Behe (Darwin’s Black Box) accepts common descent, right? This is from page 5.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2e89a2c98c710e21c2b9cc8a2759ab6224c89a4e05f9506c668ce1d0eea0cd5d.jpg

        • Jesse H

          Indeed I do. But he makes good arguments for intelligent design too. So how much do you agree with Behe?

        • Greg G.

          But he makes good arguments for intelligent design too.

          No, he does not.

          On irreducible complexity http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/ICsilly.html :

          Nearly a century ago, these exact systems were predicted, described, and explained by the Nobel prize-winning geneticist H. J. Muller using evolutionary theory. Thus, as explained below, so-called “irreducibly complex” structures are in fact evolvable and reducible. Behe gave irreducible complexity the wrong name.

          So how much do you agree with Behe?

          I agree with him where I think he is right and disagree with him where I think he is wrong, just like with everybody else in the world.

        • Jesse H

          I’ve already read that article. But one can’t simply assert that Evolution can add and delete parts, one has to demonstrate that. And the bacterial flagellum is not at all like a stone bridge. Science hasn’t come close to explaining the flagellum, nor a single cell, nor DNA, much less all the intricacies of a human being.

          Now here’s one for you. https://evolutionnews.org/2019/04/in-his-latest-review-of-behes-darwin-devolves-nathan-lents-misses-the-forest-for-the-trees/

        • Oh good, more Discovery Institute crap… Please, share more of these articles. They’re so informative.

        • Creationist/ID sources are like Donald Trump: you assume that they’re lying first, and the burden of proof is on the claim that they’re actually telling the truth.

          That’s the reception those sources will get. You sure you don’t want to upgrade to actual science-y sources?

        • Jesse H

          You’re not a very good scientist or truth seeker are you? One must always interact with those who disagree, one must understand other frameworks of thinking, and one must certainly not assume everything someone says is false a priori.

        • At some point, giving the benefit of the doubt to contrarians doesn’t make much sense. You might want to inform you of the best flat-earth arguments, but how much time do you want to spend there? At some point, you’d do what I do: state that you accept the scientific consensus and leave it at that.

        • Greg G.
        • Jesse H

          But it’s not. We don’t have an evolutionary basis for the flagellum. And if you can’t see how incredibly speculative the talkorigins article is I can’t help you. A “series of gene duplication events followed by modification and/or co-option, proceeding gradually through
          intermediate systems different from and simpler than the final flagellum … each major co-option event would be followed by long periods of gradual optimization of function … After the evolution of the T3SS pilus, the pilus diversifies for various
          more specialized tasks by duplication and subfunctionalization of
          the pilus proteins (pilins) … An ion pump complex with another function in the cell fortuitously
          becomes associated with the base of the secretion system structure,
          converting the pilus into a primitive protoflagellum … Numerous improvements follow the origin of the crudely functioning flagellum. Notably, many of the different axial proteins (rod,
          hook, linkers, filament, caps) originate by duplication and
          subfunctionalization of pilins or the primitive flagellar axial
          structure.

          It’s honestly like reading a fantasy novel. I will grant that it shows amazing creativity, but it fills so many holes with conjecture it’s simply a movie script. It’s not really science.

        • It’s not really science.

          You’ve shrewdly been building your science-y credentials so that your evaluation here is very credible. Nicely played.

          Why shoot spitballs at evolution? Defeating evolution does you no good if you haven’t built up Creationism as an alternative. So far, you’ve got “God dun it.” Do you want to build on that further?

        • epeeist

          We don’t have an evolutionary basis for the flagellum.

          Here’s a set of papers for you. Tell us why they are wrong.

          It’s honestly like reading a fantasy novel.

          The Talk Origins articles are summaries, you need to go to the original literature for more details.

        • Jesse H

          I know, they are summaries which show how much speculation is involved in each part of the supposed steps. And it’s important to read both sides. Kenneth Miller has been answered by Behe. I could post articles on it if you like, but I’ve already shown that if the summaries are full of speculation, than there really still isn’t a scientific case.

        • it’s important to read both sides

          Why? Is it important to read what the flat earthers are saying, too?

        • Rudy R

          Discovery Institute? You can’t be serious.

        • Shouldn’t I be asking you that? You presumably point to him as a useful authority, but how useful can he be when his view dismisses your speciation-can’t-happen view?

        • Carol Lynn

          So – ‘everyone smokes cigars’ is an obvious black swan fallacy statement. Starting off your reply with this fallacy does not encourage me to believe you understand much of anything.

          No one needs to keep examining the same evidence over and over, especially when they found it to be inadequate the first time and, trying to avoid being shamed for bias, they dutifully examined it many more times. I do not have time or inclination to examine the same, tired, old creation/ID nonsense one more time. I already know how to refute every argument it is going to present so asking me to go to some site called ‘creation.com’ to find “unbiased” evidence that “science is wrong!!!” is an exercise in futility on your part. If the science behind evolution is wrong, I expect that the science sites will be all over that revelation. That still won’t make ‘goddidit/ID’ true as whatever replaces ‘evolution’ has to include everything we know about evolution and be even more explanatory and predictive than ‘evolution’ is now. “Goddidit/ID’ explains and predicts nothing and by its very nature, it can never adequately explain or predict anything.

          Sure, I have biases. You have biases. We all have biases. Have you examined yours lately?

        • MR

          I skimmed through a couple things for old times sake. It’s not science, it’s damage control. =’D

        • Jesse H

          Sure, I examine my worldview on a daily basis. But when I present an article that actually shows how ID has predictive power and has done so I would expect this evidence to be examined. I agree this touches on the philosophy of science and how we interpret what experiments have actually evidenced. That’s why for me going to the source, the scientific abstracts, actually doesn’t evidence Neo-Darwinian Evolution any more than listening to talking head news outlets evidences who one should vote for. That requires a framework for how evidence is interpreted.

          And common design does encompass all the evidence that points to common descent, and I would argue does so with better science. It’s similar to me to being nuanced in a political discussion. An example of police corruption doesn’t mean that the police force is systemically racist.

        • when I present an article that actually shows how ID has predictive power and has done so I would expect this evidence to be examined

          Ain’t happening in my case. I’d be arrogant in the extreme if I trusted my own conclusion as a not-biologist over the consensus view of all biologists.

          As I’ve made clear, you change the scientific consensus, and I’m there. No agenda here–I’m Mr. Reasonable.

        • epeeist

          For a more detailed analysis see here: https://creation.com/erv-an

          One of my constant themes is that all scientific theories stand on their own merits, rather than on the “problems” of other theories.

          So, let’s for the moment assume that the theory of evolution is false. What is your alternative, given that it must have at least the same explanatory power and empirical fit that the current theory has? What are the testable predictions that it makes and what are the results of the critical testing that has been made upon it?

        • Jesse H

          Very glad you asked. Here’s an analysis you may find interesting. https://evolutionnews.org/2011/03/a_closer_look_at_one_scientist/

        • epeeist

          Here’s an analysis you may find interesting. https://evolutionnews.org/2

          It is only interesting insofar as it shows the author to have little understanding of science or the philosophy of science.

          Here’s a hint, arguments from analogy (i.e. let’s consider how humans do design) might have a role in explaining an hypothesis but they do not form an hypothesis.

          As it is your lawyer author of the “analysis” doesn’t seem to understand the way scientific testing works. None of his ” Predictions of Design” are simply self-sealing. They cannot be falsified.

        • Jesse H

          Did you read the article? There are a great many ways they could be falsified. In fact, there’s a list.

        • epeeist

          Did you read the article?

          Of course I did.

          There are a great many ways they could be falsified.

          So go on, how would one set up “Forms containing large amounts of novel information will appear in the fossil record suddenly and without similar precursors” for testing, and how would one falsify it? We are of course looking for singular existential statements that we can feed into a modus tollens.

        • Jesse H

          The Precambrian explosion shows new body designs coming into existence. In fact, the fossil record actually doesn’t show a wide range of transitional fossils as Darwin would have predicted. Darwin predicted that we’d have fossils like the many species of dogs, where we could see transitions between every form. I think you’d agree that’s not what we see in the fossil record.

          But I agree that this goes into a philosophy of science. For instance, how would you determine that a building is designed? When we dig up arrowheads how do we know humans made them? When we look at fossils without the transitions we might expect what do we do with this?

        • epeeist

          The Precambrian explosion shows new body designs coming into existence.

          You don’t seriously think I am going to let you slip in an unsubstantiated assertion that new forms in the pre-Cambrian were designed do you? If you are claiming that they were designed then you are committing to a causal relationship, so backing for your claim and a causal warrant is required.

          Darwin predicted that we’d have fossils like the many species of dogs, where we could see transitions between every form.

          I think I would like a citation for that

          I think you’d agree that’s not what we see in the fossil record.

          A limited fossil record is not evidence in favour of design. This is of course the standard bait and switch from creationists. They are unable to produce positive evidence in favour and assume that “problems” with the current theory must be evidence in favour of creationism.

          For instance, how would you determine that a building is designed?

          I live in a house that needed an extension (the main part of the house was built before the American Declaration of Independence and is quite small).

          Now I know that the extension was designed because I have documentation from the architect with regard to a contract for designing it, I have the architect’s drawings, I also have documentation approving the extension from the local authority, I have the contract with the builder, I have records of the payments I made to the builder and other contractors, I have sign-offs from building control to say it conforms to regulations. I also have final sign-off from the House Builders Federation. I could go on and describe what I have in terms of fixtures and fittings within the extension but I don’t think there is any need.

          So, lots of documentation, evidence for it being designed and a causal warrant to show that it was.

          Further, I have evidence of the designers and builders, not only do I have documentation but I actually met and worked with them.

          So what have you got in terms of evidence for the existence and properties of your designer? What actual evidence for your claim of design?

        • Jesse H

          Are you really saying that the only reason you know your house was designed is because of documentation? You can’t look at your house and recognize implicit design?

        • epeeist

          Are you really saying that the only reason you know your house was designed is because of documentation?

          Now “know” is an interesting word, the classical definition would be “justified true belief”. I am justified in believing the proposition “my house was designed” to be true because I have lots of evidence that it was, this would include documentation produced by a variety of people including the actual designer.

          implicit design

          This just creationist speak, what it really means is “I want to say this is designed but I can’t produce any justification”.

        • Uh, no–that’s not how humans look at things. You should’ve asked, “You can’t look at your house and think of all the other houses that you’ve seen (and how you know that they were designed) and know that it was designed?”

          Now, map that onto the God situation. Your challenge now becomes: “You can’t look at life on earth and think of all those other universes (that you know were all designed) and know that life here was designed?”

          But, of course, stating it honestly like this kinda makes your argument ridiculous.

        • Jesse H

          Isn’t there a philosophical precedent where we can recognize designed things?

        • Carol Lynn

          If there is some philosophical precedent to recognize designed things, which I’ve never heard of, I don’t think that proves what you think it does. Anyone can tell the difference in design between the rock on the beach and the watch on the beach. I’d say that would be trivial; one is designed by an agency and one is the product of natural processes and the different ei obvious. However, if the world and everything in it are all equally designed by a supernatural designer, it should not be possible to distinguish that one was obviously designed and one was a product of natural forces. If there were two sticks tied together with a wisp of grass on the beach, that too would be easily recognized as ‘designed by an agency’ as opposed to ‘naturally undesigned’ for the beach itself. If there is that philosophical precedent to recognize design, since we do not automatically see design in a rock on a beach the way we see design in a watch, it would be a very good indicator that ‘god the designer of everything’ does not exist.

        • Jesse H

          Again begging the question. The rock is “designed” by physical forces which themselves are products of “laws” that were designed. Chemical and physical forces still need a foundation for their existence.

        • Carol Lynn

          LOL – you can assert the ‘laws were designed and I know who the designer is: GOD” with the corollary, ‘and he says you have to do what I say he says, so there!’ As far as I am concerned the answer to that question is “I don’t know and you don’t either.” I have some vague expectation that perhaps someday someone very clever will figure out the math and physics from before Planck time but I seriously doubt that ‘goddidit’ will figure anywhere in those equations as god has never figured in any math or physics explanation ever. Even if I agreed that ‘god did it’ – so what? Again, your ‘explanation’ has no power to give any actual explanations or predictions. To me it far less satisfying to turn to some ancient holy text with a made up a god and say, ‘god did it!’ than to simply admit I don’t know why the universe behaves the way it does and cheer on the people who have math and physics ability to investigate it. If I read god-fiction, I’ll take Eru, the stand-offish musician from Tolkien rather than Yahweh the bloodthirsty megalomaniac from the Bible.

        • Jesse H

          Except Tolkien believed in Yahweh. Here’s the thing, the idea is not at all that God did it therefore we don’t need to investigate. The idea is that we absolutely can investigate and understand the complexity and the laws and the order and the elements because these don’t derive from nothing, they are actually there because an ordered mind created them.

          And no, we don’t have a chemical basis that completely explains the increasing complexity of DNA. What we actually have is that as DNA became more well-known, this actually pointed some scientists to the need for a designer. And the mystery has only deepened. The more we understand, the more complex things get, rather than getting simpler.

        • Carol Lynn

          At least you admit now that ‘goddidit’ has no explanatory value or predictive power. Occam’s Razor – god is just a layer of unnecessary fiction on top of the science.

        • epeeist

          Isn’t there a philosophical precedent where we can recognize designed things?

          Your claim that something is designed, your burden to show that this is so.

        • At best, you can make a tenuous case for design. Your problem is that natural explanations are sufficient. We don’t look at them, see that they’re inherently bankrupt, and so grope for the most ludicrous category possible: a supernatural explanation.

        • Darwin predicted that we’d have fossils like the many species of dogs, where we could see transitions between every form.

          What is it with Creationists’ obsession with Darwin? What Darwin thought or predicted or wrote matters only for the history of science. Outside of that (like a biologist working today), no one cares about Darwin. You know he’s dead, right?

        • Would you agree that we are finding more and more usefulness in the DNA?

          Sure, but on the Intelligent Design hypothesis, we shouldn’t really expect ANY junk DNA. Unless, of course, we’re only talking about a modestly intelligent creator, which rules out God. Unless you start showing me that ALL DNA has function, Intelligent Design would seem to be much less probable than the evolution explanation.

        • Jesse H

          But here’s the fact. We started out where science postulated that 80% was junk DNA. And that theory was based on Evolution. We now are closer to 80% functional DNA, so obviously the ID theory shows promise and even predictive promise.
          And I’d say that even if we have junk DNA this wouldn’t mean a failure of ID, it would mean that there was a common design stream, a connection among living beings.

        • We now are closer to 80% functional DNA

          I’m going to need to see a credible citation for that claim before I believe you. Most of what I’ve read suggests that the number is closer to 10-25%.

        • Agreed. The Creationist line is, “But much more DNA is useful than previously thought!!” Big deal. Like you say, any junk in DNA says that DNA looks like a product of nature.

  • I’ve become aware of the above points, just the same PRATTs against “evolutionists” regurgitated again and again, just changing the language and like other Fundagelical manure being likely there to keep them isolated from the real world.

    That said, I’d like some of those Fundies explained why we’ve not found in the DNA (sort of) the letters YHWH and everything looks totally natural -same for the lack of mention of it in “the book”-. And to a much larger scale, the same can be said of the Universe.

  • Michael Neville

    How did life arise from nonliving chemicals, without intelligent intervention, when nonliving chemicals are susceptible to the Second Law [of Thermodynamics]? Darwinists have no answer, only faith.

    Besides showing ignorance of what the Second Law of Thermodynamics means, this is an argument from incredulity. GT can’t or won’t acknowledge that life itself is a chemical process. It doesn’t make sense to them that live could have non-living precursors, so they deny that did or even could happen. Having a supernatural critter wave his hand and speak the magic words to create life makes seems reasonable to bem

    • ephemerol

      Design arguments are all arguments from incredulity. They’re skeptical, but only when necessary for the maintenance of their—*ahem*—faith

    • eric

      In fairness, I don’t expect laypeople to be experts in organic chemistry sufficient to understand how organic molecules might replicate or catalyze their own replication. Want a test? Ask your Christian friend what “autocatalysis” means. If they don’t know, there’s no reason to think they could understand origin of life. That’s moderately tough stuff…maybe Jr in college level.

      OTOH, the 2LOT creationist argument is not tough stuff. That’s the sort of thing high schoolers should be able to refute.

    • al kimeea

      “GT can’t or won’t acknowledge that life itself is a chemical process”

      We’re more than “dead chemicals”, as per Mary Midgley. Her fresh idea was vitalism. If no one figures out how life started, oh well. It’s a mystery, not a mysterious god. IIRC, it’s starting to look like life could have been deposited here. Interesting, but leaves the question. Fumaroles on the ocean floor maybe, if not from somewhere else.

      • NS Alito

        As I’ve pointed out ad nauseum to creationists, the response to the claim:

        There is no plausible natural mechanism for life to arise from non-life, therefore God.

        is

        There is at least one plausible natural mechanism for life to arise from non-life, therefore your premise fails.

        Scientists don’t have to determine the specific biochemical paths that were taken to defend natural abiogenesis, only that there are no physical barriers to one.

      • NS Alito

        [BTW, in the Origin of Life on Earth office pool, my money is on the environment being rock fractures where temperatures are fairly stable and there is at least some liquid flow. Nowadays such crevices are studied for the various chemical “skins” that form in cracks depending on the chemistry of the rock and the waters flowing through them.]

        • I’ve heard that they’ve found multicelled lifeforms (worms?) a mile or two underground.

          Life continues to surprise us with how tenacious and adaptive it is.

        • Jesse H

          Or how designed it is.

        • Bold claims require extraordinary evidence.

  • Michael Murray

    I’ve only two things to say to the Great Designer. Testicles. Outside the body ? Seriously ?

    • eric

      They work best when cool.
      Evidently an internal refrigeration system is beyond God.

      • Michael Murray

        I understand the science behind the current positioning but this is God, the one who creates the rules. Why didn’t He just arrange for sperm to be happiest a body temperature or the body to be happiest at sperm temperature or as you say some kind of internal cooling system.

        Of course perhaps before The Fall testicles were inside the body. That would explain why it’s called The Fall.

        • Castilliano

          So the Garden of Eden is an extended metaphor re: puberty?

          Mind. Blown. And yet so obvious in some ways.

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        Legend is that this caused a rash of infertility when laptops were the big status / power symbol back in the day. The guys would use ’em on the train to work and home, and the laptops got hot enough that the guys were 42shooting blanks.

        Since most of the power guys were Type-A personalities, it strained a LOT of marriages before some urologist figured it out.

    • Otto

      And what is the deal with the over the top intense pain with even a slight glancing blow? How does that help?

      • Michael Newsham

        You do your damnedest to make sure it doesn’t happen again?

      • Greg G.

        It makes you very, very careful to protect them.

        • Otto

          I would prefer something along the lines of a rib cage.

    • Jesse H

      So let me get this straight. If testicles were internal or possibly surrounded with a protective rib cage this would be better evidence for God?

      I think I can hear God laughing.

      • Michael Murray

        Not better evidence for God. But less evidence against a Great Designer.

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

      • So let me get this straight. Appearance of design is evidence for God, but poor “design” is not evidence against God?

        • Jesse H

          Who said it was poor design? I think it has great use, keeping sperm at the right temperature, centralized so it’s easily protected, sensitive for erotic pleasure. Great design.

        • I guess you haven’t been paying attention. We’re talking about the downsides.

        • I guess you haven’t been paying attention

          What was your first clue Bob? 😉

          We’re talking about the downsides.

          To IDiots the downsides are never evidence against design. God could always have a reason for his bad design. Much like how theists dismiss the problem of evil/suffering.

        • “God done it” can’t be falsified. I guess that’s another instance of “checkmate, atheists!”

        • Women are people

          Why would he make sperm need a temperature that is lower than the body temp? He didn’t make ova require lower temps so why not spermatozoa?

  • JustAnotherAtheist2

    DNA is complex, and complexity points to a designer.

    Presumably this means that simplicity points away from a designer? Does this mean that GT would conclude the nest is less likely to be a product of design than the far more complex tree that contains it?

    Note to GT and any other aspiring apologist, it isn’t complexity that distinguishes design, but contrast.

    They’ll demand that we show them a single example of information not coming from intelligence.

    And I’ll respond by asking for a robust definition of “information.”

    that’s just a product of living in a corrupt world.

    You know your hypothesis is sound when it needs fabricated, untestable supplements to explain away its faulty predictions.

    How did life arise from nonliving chemicals

    Given that everything currently alive is composed of nonliving chemicals, why is this an outlandish proposition? Is there such a thing as a living chemical to be made out of?

    • eric

      I’ll respond by asking for a robust definition of “information.”

      The ironic thing is that we already have a couple different ones…because any definition that is useful for solving a particular problem will find a place. And that’s okay, even when they are different definitions. IDers, however, don’t want to give one. They aren’t interested in solving problems. And they know that inevitably, any quantitative definition they give will allow for information to be produced via unintelligent means, or it will classify an increase in complexity and function as not a gain in information.

      • JustAnotherAtheist2

        Yes, perhaps k should have said, “their robust definition”. As is often the case, obfuscation through equivocation is the name of the game here.

    • epeeist

      Presumably this means that simplicity points away from a designer?

      Reading things from those working at the foundations of physics it is interesting to see what their thinking is with regard to ontology, everything is fields. Particles are simply excitations of fields, space-time is an emergent property of fields.

      • Phil Rimmer

        It was a joke that, gate crash a party of physicists, they’ll instantly start talking of particles until you leave when they will once again revert to their arcane universe of fields. Mustn’t frighten the horses.

        It was Faraday, in an unpublished letter*, who, possibly first, proposed that indeed the universe may ultimately be a universe of fields, of coupled effects, only.

        * “Faraday” James Hamilton.

        • epeeist

          It was a joke that, gate crash a party of physicists, they’ll instantly start talking of particles until you leave when they will once again revert to their arcane universe of fields.

          I lived in North Wales for a while. It was blatantly obvious that when you entered a shop people had been speaking English, but as soon as you opened the door they switched to Welsh.

        • Phil Rimmer

          Ha, I experienced that. As a scouser my childhood weekends were often spent at a friends cottage high up next to Moel Famau. We were always welsh shouldered by the grown ups. Their kids were great though.

          The cottage, a pre-fab was knocked down in the nineties. It lasted as long as it did perhaps by being substantially made of asbestos. Other holiday cottages didn’t fair so well at the time.

        • epeeist

          We were always “welsh shouldered” by the grown ups.

          I don’t know whether I have told this story before. I was sitting in a pub on Anglesey with a friend of mine when he got up and walked to the bar where a group of men were chatting in Welsh. He tapped one of them on the shoulder and as the guy turned round my friend thumped him, he then came and sat down again. Nothing was said and nothing else happened.

          My friend did have a posh Surrey accent, but his surname was Llewellyn and he was a fluent Welsh speaker.

        • Phil Rimmer

          Perfect.

          I often wondered where the phrase “caught bang to rights” came from…

        • NS Alito

          When we made our annual Easter visit to Mom’s mother’s place, they would resort to speaking the contorted old “French” that Mère-mère’s family used. The only reason I knew they were talking about the Easter Bunny was catching “lapin” (rabbit) in the course of the rapid conversation.

        • epeeist

          I knew they were talking about the Easter Bunny was catching ” lapin” (rabbit) in the course of the rapid conversation.

          Ah yes, the true miracle of Easter, rabbits that lay chocolate eggs.

        • Phil

          and then buries them around the garden for children to find. Very odd behaviour with no evolutionary advantage.

        • Michael Neville

          I was once told by a Québécois, Je parle anglais, je ne il comprends pas (I speak English, I don’t understand it).

        • Jennny

          That’s fair enough in a way. I live in the area epeeist and Phil Rimmer describe and I’ve come to understand that being bi-lingual is not exactly as it appears. Everyone has a mother-tongue, and it was described to me that though you may be 100% fluent in both languages, everyone has a heart language, the one you read the bible in, and the one you make love in. Which was why, when I was a churchgoer, I could understand when welsh church members never came to english services, though they were ‘joint bi-lingual’ occasions, they found the liturgy, prayer and hymns in their 2nd language didn’t facilitate their communication with god, as it did in their first language.

        • Maybe that’s why Allah speaks Arabic, and any translated Koran doesn’t really work.

        • Greg G.

          The longest sentence I can say in Vietnamese is “I speak a little Vietnamese language, but not very well.” I am pretty sure they understand what I am saying no matter how poorly I pronounce the words.

        • Jennny

          Just the other day I was in Caernarfon, a welsh-speaking hub. I speak some welsh and can understand plenty. I must have looked like a local because three times in my first hour there, I got asked a question by a passer-by in welsh. I told someone the correct time, I directed another to the bus station and and a third to the public loos. I made all my replies in my mother-tongue, english, which I get a smug satisfaction from and made the questioners look surprised that I’d understood.

          We all have anecdotes about welsh speakers deliberately switching to welsh in the presence of english speakers. It’s rude. I have a feeling that if one entered a shop speaking french, say, or any foreign language, those welsh speakers would address you in english. I understand the deep-seated cultural animosity to the english who oppressed the welsh for centuries.

        • Phil

          It is ironic that the only true English people are the Welsh and Cornish. Invasions by all and sundry pushed the indigenous population west.

        • TheNuszAbides

          true Brits, rather – from Brythonic (rather than English from “Angles”).

  • eric

    You know he’s scraping the bottom of the barrel (of Christian readers) when he goes for the 2LOT. Who’s going to buy that? See’s dumber cousin?

    • Well, I did for many years. Difference was, once I saw an explanation of why it didn’t work I stopped using it.

      • Michael Neville

        That’s because you were willing to learn and accept the lesson. Many creationists won’t do that. They keep reciting the mantra “Second Law of Thermos Bottles or Something Like That” despite repeated corrections on why it doesn’t apply.

    • NS Alito

      I laugh that they use something they obviously don’t understand (thermodynamics) to refute something else they didn’t understand (biological evolution). They just use the arguments they’ve been taught to use idiomatically.

  • …They’ll demand that we show them a single example of information coming from intelligence.

    There’s plenty of examples of information that don’t come from intelligence. Weather systems, the impressions that heavy objects leave in mud, and even a cast shadow, conveys information to us. I doubt anybody would claim that this information needs a mind.They only argue that minds are necessary to create such “information” when it comes to complicated things that they don’t understand.

    • JustAnotherAtheist2

      Yes, we can abstract information from literally anything, so the gambit here is a colossal failure.

    • NS Alito

      A lesson I will never apparently learn: Read all of the existing comments before adding your own.

      • I find there are plenty of times that I’m guilty of this myself.

    • Jesse H

      Weather systems, mud impressions and cast shadows convey information to INTELLIGENT CREATURES. You are severely missing the point. These things don’t show intelligence in themselves.

      • These things don’t show intelligence in themselves.

        And neither does DNA! At the end of the day, DNA is simply a molecule.

        • Jesse H

          We know that DNA is encoded and contains information at the level of code, then sequence, then proximity and then unfolding. So the level of information actually takes place in four dimensions. This is a level of encoding that we haven’t even touched. It certainly shows an encoded system, and it’s certainly much more complex than mud impressions. There is no encoded system that we know that doesn’t come from intelligence.

        • There is no encoded system that we know that doesn’t come from intelligence.

          Now you’re just begging the question.

        • Jesse H

          I agree, but that is the question. If every encoded system we know comes from intelligence, then coded systems are intelligently designed. This is actually scientific evidence which has changed the opinion of scientists. The complexity of the genetic code is evidence. Look at it another way. What if we saw increased simplicity the more we examine the DNA? If the system showed more simple chemical interactions which enabled life, movement and consciousness this would be evidence against ID. But we actually are astounded with the four dimensional encoding. A single cell shows levels of encoding more complex than all of our encyclopedias. This isn’t trivial.

        • A single cell shows levels of encoding more complex than all of our encyclopedias.

          Even if I accept that this is true, which I don’t, so what? Complexity does not tell us that something requires intelligence to create. This is simply a massive argument from incredulity.

        • Jesse H

          No, it’s really not. It’s a massive argument based on the evidence of informational encoding. What would be the example to you of encoded complexity that comes about without intelligence?

        • Name me any other bit of “information” that you can actually establish came from your God! ID is nothing more than a religious pseudo-scientific argument dressed up as science. At the end of the day, that’s what this is about: You believe that DNA must have come from God because it’s complex, and you cannot see any natural path for DNA to be formed.

          DNA is just chemicals, operating according to natural laws. We really have no reason to believe that intelligence is necessary for the formation of DNA.

          While we don’t yet have a working theory for abiogenesis, that doesn’t mean that we’re completely in the dark about it. Aron Ra explains what we do know about abiogenesis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdozVq81gog

          You’re free to believe whatever you want, but that doesn’t mean that your beliefs are reasonable, or justified.

        • Jesse H

          But again, where do the chemical laws come from? Why do we have these laws in the first place? I don’t mind Aron Ra but he has no foundation.

          And you didn’t answer my question. Can you point to any piece of coded information that doesn’t come from intelligence?

        • But again, where do the chemical laws come from?

          They come from us. All scientific laws are simply descriptions of how reality behaves.

          Why do we have these laws in the first place?

          Assuming you’re asking “why is there consistency in how the universe behaves?”, the answer is that we really don’t know yet. It’s a basal assumption of science that these laws do exist, and that the universe operates according to these regularities. I think it’s important to make a distinction between the regularity itself, which we don’t have think needs an explanations, and the descriptions of those regularities.

          I don’t mind Aron Ra but he has no foundation.

          If you’re going to go all pre-suppositionalist on me, we may as well just end this conversation now. What foundation do you think he is lacking, and why?

          And you didn’t answer my question. Can you point to any piece of coded information that doesn’t come from intelligence?

          And what if I can’t? How does that make you correct? You’re shifting the burden of proof, and then you’re probably going to use that as an argument from ignorance.

        • Jesse H

          The chemical laws don’t come from us. We have intelligence to recognize a certain order within the system. And it’s fine to say we don’t have all the answers, but theism doesn’t say we have all the answers, it simply recognizes that order begets order, and minds create order and recognize order. The mystery doesn’t stop just because we recognize that having a God foundation makes a certain amount of sense.

          I agree that burden proof shifting goes both ways. It is a worldview framework. If you can’t “see” that design comes from intelligence in an ultimate sense that’s ultimately your choice. Ultimately there is always some force at work, chemical/physical laws, laws of motion, etc. And that makes us ask why those “forces” exist in the first place. The mystery goes all the way down to quantum physics (and deeper) and all the way out to the universe’s edge.

        • The chemical laws don’t come from us.

          And yet they do. This is hairsplitting, I admit, but I think it’s slightly relevant.

          Ever read Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance? There’s a bit where someone challenges the existence of gravity. To cut to the chase: there was no Newton’s law of gravity (F = G*m1*m2/R^2) before Newton. There was gravity, of course, and it acted (pretty much) the way Newton described it, but there was not Newton’s law.

          In the same way, a million years ago, there was no November or 10:00am, but of course there was time.

        • Greg G.

          Can you point to any piece of coded information that doesn’t come from intelligence?

          Starlight. It is coded with the elements that the star has by the absorption of specific frequencies. which gives us information about the vicinity of space it formed in. Heavy elements mean an old galaxy with stars that have exploded.

          If the absorption lines have been shifted, we can tell how fast it is moving away from us or toward us. Comparing two stars on opposite sides of a galaxy gives information about how fast the galaxy rotates.

          If there are absorption lines that sre shifted at different frequencies, it tells us the light passed through a gas cloud and tells us the molecules and atoms in the cloud and its relative speed to us.

          There is also information about the temperature of the star with the coded spectral lines.

          What exactly were you teaching? You should know this stuff and should never bring up that argument.

        • Jesse H

          You are talking about the chemical makeup of stars. Is this really code? It’s certainly information because it’s based on the ordering of the chemical elements. But that in one sense begs the question. Where did the code come from for the periodic table? We have information implicit in the system. So it’s actually another argument for intelligence. And we can dialogue about how the periodic table is or isn’t code in the same way as DNA but again the argument goes even deeper. If the periodic table is code and DNA is code then we still have a pointer to a Designer who encoded the system.

        • Greg G.

          You are talking about the chemical makeup of stars. Is this really code?

          The code is in the light emitted.

          Where did the code come from for the periodic table?

          It isn’t about the periodic table. It is the physical relationships between particles that make them resonate at certain frequencies so that they absorb energy at that frequency. Nobody decided it. It is just natural.

          We have information implicit in the system. So it’s actually another argument for intelligence.

          The information is naturally encoded into the light by the natural absorption frequencies of the elements.

          And we can dialogue about how the periodic table is or isn’t code in the same way as DNA but again the argument goes even deeper. If the periodic table is code and DNA is code then we still have a pointer to a Designer who encoded the system.

          The encoding is done naturally. Stop trying to move the goalposts. Your challenge was answered. You should never use that challenge again.

        • Jesse H

          I know you can see your own grasping. You say that the physical relationships between particles make them resonate at certain frequencies and this is just natural. I could just as easily say that our brains are natural, they just happen to fire electrical impulses between synapses and this is why we think.
          Where did the “natural” come from? Why do particles act this way? Why do elements and particles interact in these ordered and understood frequencies?

          The encoding is done “naturally” by “natural” laws expressing a “natural” order which comes from “nature.”

          And my response would be, “Naturally.” Yup, makes perfect sense.

        • Greg G.

          I could just as easily say that our brains are natural, they just happen to fire electrical impulses between synapses and this is why we think.

          You could but that doesn’t eliminate the natural explanation of evolution. If you posit an intelligent designer, why doesn’t the brain work better? Some are as intelligent as Einstein, why not everybody? Why not ten times that intelligent?

          Where did the “natural” come from? Why do particles act this way? Why do elements and particles interact in these ordered and understood frequencies?

          A perfect nothingness is a philosophical concept that might be as impossible as a perfect circle, a perfect square, and a perfect equilateral triangle. The concepts require elements with a zero dimension, which makes them non-existent. A perfect nothingness would require an intelligent party-pooper to prevent anything from happening, but that would be something, so we can toss that out as incoherent.

          An imperfect nothingness would be the default state of everything with nothing to stop quantum events. It would be inevitable that some random quantum events would interact with one another, or any number of them to interact. It would be inevitable that sometimes enough quantum events would occur simultaneously so as to create a universe.

          Trying to work an intelligent designer into that scenario runs into your own rhetorical question but without the synapses for impulses to fire.

        • Jesse H

          You seem to be making a case for God to me. You are arguing that a perfect nothingness cannot exist, we need “something.” We need some sort of imperfection. Nothing cannot exist in a vacuum. Even the vacuum is an existence of sorts, therefore not nothing.

          I agree, we need something, Someone. We need a perfection beyond the quantum realm to even get us to the imperfections required for the quantum realm.

          But saying that we can’t have a designer because we could be 10 times smarter doesn’t follow. You seem to say that a Designer by nature would have to be materialistic. Philosophically and theologically that doesn’t follow at all. The case that is made for Christian theism is that we have an immaterial, infinite, personal Designer. A someone that forms the basis for matter, time, existence, thought, knowledge. Matter can’t create itself, therefore God is immaterial.

        • Women are people

          Uh huh. “We need something”

          So this would also be true for the creation of a god, yes?

          You seem able to accept that god always existed. Why can’t this be true of the universe always existing?

        • Jesse H

          It could be the case that the universe always existed, except we have evidence for the Big Bang. We also don’t postulate that matter creates itself or that matter doesn’t have a beginning.

          So we all need an uncaused Cause. God is simply the philosophical starting point which thinking humans have always recognized as necessary.

        • epeeist

          It could be the case that the universe always existed, except we have evidence for the Big Bang.

          Indeed we do, but that doesn’t tell us how old the universe is.

          So we all need an uncaused Cause. God is simply the philosophical starting point

          Two things, firstly this is special pleading, “Everything needs a cause. Oh, except god, it doesn’t need a cause”. Secondly, how do you know that everything needs a cause? For example, consider a particle in a potential well. The state vector for this will be:

          √ p1 | inside> + √ p2 | outside>

          So, what causes the particle to appear inside with probability p1 or outside with probability p2?

          Lastly, Aristotle posited an “uncaused cause” in his Metaphysics based on his Physics. In this he states that an object requires a constant force to keep it moving, this is of course wrong. This being so, it rather undermines the need for an unmoved mover.

          Oh, and Aristotle’s “uncaused cause” looks very different from Yahweh/Jesus.

        • Jesse H

          What is your uncaused Cause?

        • The decay of a radioactive nucleus is plausibly uncaused. The Big Bang is a quantum event, possibly also uncaused.

          Where’s yours? Y’know, a cause with evidence behind it, not some statement of dogma?

        • Jesse H

          Decay is a property of radioactive matter. And quantum physics doesn’t deny cause and effect. I believe you are stating asserted dogma.

        • Reread my previous comment. Did I make a mistake? Tell me clearly and don’t dodge.

        • epeeist

          Decay is a property of radioactive matter.

          And the sleep-inducing properties of opium stem from its “virtus dormitiva”.

          And quantum physics doesn’t deny cause and effect.

          One thing you avoided in my post above was the “particle in a box” example. It forms the basis of things like radioactive decay and quantum tunnelling. Since Bob raised it, let’s investigate it a little further.

          Take a small box and put two Radon-222 atoms inside it. The atoms will share the same environment, So what causes the atoms to undergo α decay and why do they decay at different times?

        • Jesse H

          Are you saying this is something we haven’t discovered yet or are you saying decay is uncaused?

        • epeeist

          Are you saying this is something we haven’t discovered yet or are you saying decay is uncaused?

          You are claiming that QM is causal, ergo you are making an ontological commitment, which means that you have the burden to demonstrate that this is so.

          Now, I gave you a simple example, I could have given you another example namely quantum tunnelling in small molecules (which was the subject of my doctorate). In either case I expect you to fulfil your obligation and demonstrate that these are causal and to show what that cause is.

          Over to you.

        • Jesse H

          I’m not sure what you’re asking. It’s great to learn more QM from you, but in your study I’m sure you don’t believe there is no cause/effect in QM. We could have causes we don’t understand yet, and certainly the properties are not intuitive. I hope you’re not saying that QM is ontologically not prone to cause and effect, you’d thereby nullify any study of it.

        • epeeist

          I’m not sure what you’re asking

          It really is quite simple. Your claim was “quantum physics doesn’t deny cause and effect”, which is, as I said, an ontological commitment. I am asking you to demonstrate the truth of your proposition.

          If you can do this then not only will you be able to explain what causes the two Radon atoms to decay and why they decay at different times but you will also be able to show why the Born rule is incorrect.

        • Jesse H

          Not at all my friend. I’m simply saying that QM still operates under the philosophical constraints of consistent observation of cause and effect (even if we don’t as of yet know all the causes). The idea that “the outcome of any individual quantum measurement [is] unpredictable in principle” and that Born probabilities are neither subjective nor objective do not in themselves render all cause and effect obsolete.

          Perhaps you’d rather have the idea that we have measurement and probabilistic outcome rather than strict cause and effect? That’s fine, but it doesn’t mean there is no determinism whatsoever.

        • epeeist

          Not at all my friend.

          I prefer my friends to have some measure of intellectual integrity.

          I’m simply saying that QM still operates under the philosophical constraints of consistent observation of cause and effect

          So in amongst the obfuscation and logorrhea you are saying that all effects have causes. At the same time you avoid answering the simple question I put to you, namely what is the cause of the Radon atoms decaying and why do they decay at different times?

          As for your quote mine from the paper I linked to, Einstein’s contention about the incompleteness of QM was demonstrated to be wrong by numerous tests of Bell and Leggett-Garg inequalities.

        • epeeist

          the philosophical constraints of consistent observation of cause and effect

          Just for amusement.

          Consider a couple of balls, A and B, moving towards each other and undergoing an elastic collision. Now we know the masses of the two balls, we can observe their initial positions and velocities and the resultant positions and velocities after the collision. So in my observation of this little experiment, where is the cause?

          It is fairly easy to set up the equations for this situation, they will involve only the masses and velocities (for calculation of the momenta and energy). So where in these equations should I insert the “cause”? Does the fact that these equations are time reversible make any difference as to which is the cause and which is the effect?

        • epeeist

          What is your uncaused Cause?

          That’s it? That’s your best response to the points that I raised?

        • Jesse H

          Good, better, best, never let them rest ….

          Maybe not my best but it does raise the question. And your answer?

        • epeeist

          Maybe not my best but it does raise the question.

          No, what it does is leave a load of my questions hanging in the air.

          And if you think I am going to fall for a fallacy of complex question then you are going to be disappointed.

        • So we all need an uncaused Cause.

          Science has a plausible one. Some quantum events don’t have causes, and the Big Bang could’ve been one of those.

          What do you have in return? Your dogma? We need something with evidence, please.

        • Susan

          t’s actually another argument for intelligence.

          How so? You haven’t made an argument yet. You claim you have them but you don’t make them.

          Show us the argument for “intelligence”.

        • Jesse H

          Where did you get your intelligence?

        • MR

          Intelligence isn’t a thing in and of itself to be had. It’s a description of processes.

        • Jesse H

          Ok, but the interaction of the processes still begs the question as to why there would be coherency. Intelligence takes information and the ordering of that information, understanding, perception and purposeful interaction.

        • MR

          Interactions don’t beg questions. Meaningless drivel. If you’re curious as to the processes that bring about intelligence, fine, but nowhere have you shown God as a cause. You could just as easily make up any reason you like and assert it as well. You give no reason to believe.

        • Jesse H

          Intelligence is certainly a reason to believe in God. Sentient perception, organized information, conscious engagement with being. These are all leaps into the void of the unknown. You can certainly not wish to see God in these realities, but you can’t say these aren’t reasons to believe. If they have no benefit to you, you can live with the mystery, you can even prognosticate that everything came about unpurposefully and that any intelligence we have is merely a byproduct of the purposeless bubbling up into life and consciousness that we happened to achieve. But it is you that has the burden of meaninglessness.

          It’s true that I have the mystery of God, but I don’t have the mystery of meaninglessness, or purposelessness, or as Bertrand Russel said, “the firm foundation of unyielding despair.”

        • MR

          All unsupported assertions. Any nut job cultist can make any such claim. “Anything and everything points to what I believe.”

          It’s true that I have the mystery of God,

          Nut job cultist alert!

        • It’s true that I have the mystery of God, but I don’t have the mystery of meaninglessness, or purposelessness, or as Bertrand Russel said, “the firm foundation of unyielding despair.”

          You’ll have to explain that. (1) “unyielding despair” describes nothing in my life, and (2) you and I are in the same boat. Sure, you can make up shit and say, “There you go! I got that and you don’t!” but that was just pulled out of where shit comes from. Don’t tell me you have/know something that I don’t without providing compelling evidence.

        • epeeist

          or as Bertrand Russel said, “the firm foundation of unyielding despair.”

          Ah, you just have to love creationists and their quote mines. You really ought to read the whole of “A Free Man’s Worship”, especially the final paragraph:

          Brief and powerless is Man’s life; on him and all his race the slow, sure doom falls pitiless and dark. Blind to good and evil, reckless of destruction, omnipotent matter rolls on its relentless way; for Man, condemned to-day to lose his dearest, tomorrow himself to pass through the gate of darkness, it remains only to cherish, ere yet the blow falls, the lofty thoughts that ennoble his little day; disdaining the coward terrors of the slave of Fate, to worship at the shrine that his own hands have built; undismayed by the empire of chance, to preserve a mind free from the wanton tyranny that rules his outward life; proudly defiant of the irresistible forces that tolerate, for a moment, his knowledge and his condemnation, to sustain alone, a weary but unyielding Atlas, the world that his own ideals have fashioned despite the trampling march of unconscious power.

        • Jesse H

          Thanks for that. But if lofty thoughts and self-worship and ideals that have no guarantee of meaning anything to anyone beyond yourself is the end goal of man, this is just a white-washed version of nihilism without any true substance.

          Do you really think that there is hope here?

        • epeeist

          But if lofty thoughts and self-worship and ideals that have no guarantee of meaning anything to anyone beyond yourself is the end goal of man, this is just a white-washed version of nihilism

          Is Russell saying that all values are baseless? That nothing can be known or communicated? No? Then this is not nihilism.

          Do you really think that there is hope here?

          Yes, otherwise I would not have quoted the passage that I did.

          To claim that one’s life is meaningless without there being a god of some kind, an abject dependency on something else, that’s where hopelessness lies.

        • Jesse H

          Ideals that are communicated but “have no guarantee of meaning anything to anyone” after we meet the grim darkness of Fate–this is hopeful to you?

          Here’s the true idiocy of your belief. Everything you think you have is not somehow made meaningless if God exists. I don’t lose anything by understanding that God has imbued humanity and life with meaning. I have all the meaning that you think you have and much more, since I know for certain that ideals are eternal and have a rational basis for communication and are actually bigger than my own self-worship.

          I don’t claim life is meaningless without God. I have all your subjective meaning, all the supposedly lofty ideals and the wishful grandeur of communication. I just also have the rational objective reality that my subjectivity actually has ultimate meaning because it’s not just a shot in the dark.

        • this is hopeful to you?

          Hopeful? Shouldn’t we be focused instead on what is true?

          Everything you think you have is not somehow made meaningless if God exists.

          What if Xenu exists? Or Brahma? Or Quetzalcoatl? Would their existence be equally challenging? I’m wondering why you single out God. maybe just because you’re BFFs, but I was hoping for something more substantial.

          “if God exists”: this is an insanely crazy event. Look: if God exists, then you win the internet. But you don’t win unless you actually provide evidence for this startling possibility.

          I don’t lose anything by understanding that God has imbued humanity and life with meaning. I have all the meaning that you think you have and much more

          You can believe whatever you want. But if you want to argue that your position is well founded, you need to provide evidence. You can’t just make up stuff and declare victory.

        • epeeist

          You can’t just make up stuff and declare victory.

          Oh come on, you must know that this isn’t accurate. You make stuff up, declare victory and then leg it. You might come back later but this tactic means that you don’t have to answer the rebuttals of your mendacity.

        • Busted!

        • Jesse H

          Sorry, if you wish me to respond you have to reply to me. I don’t claim that without God life is meaningless. But I would argue that with God I have all the subjective meaning the atheist imagines plus the objective pointer to meaning that God provides.

        • MR

          Oh, just watch him.

        • Grimlock

          You might have written this somewhere, but could you define “information” for me?

        • Greg G.

          As near as I can tell, information is the superposition of Kolmorogov information, Shannon information, and whatever depending on the needs of the argument.

        • Jesse H

          You might appreciate the work Royal Truman has done on this.

          A Coded Information System (CIS) consists of linked tools or
          machines which refine outcomes to attain a specific goal. A coded
          message plays a prominent role between at least two members of this
          linked series.

          CIS theory recognizes Gitt’s five sequential processes: statistics, cosyntics, semantics, pragmatics, and apobetics.

        • Jesse H

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7b5be4b8088c67eace9b974cdf85c1eadfc2b4eee30bea626347180b2f0f7b1f.gif

          Information has syntax, semantics, pragmatics and apobetics.

          But I agree that a proper definition of information is notoriously difficult being as it depends upon sender and receiver. This is why in intelligent design theory the higher understanding is coded information systems.

          See my answer to Greg below.

        • Grimlock

          So, would it be fair to say that something is information if
          1. It has a syntax
          2. It has semantics
          3. Has the potential to result in some consequence/action
          4. Has a purpose or goal

          And, applied to DNA,

          1. DNA can be represented as words, where each of four letters represent a physical component of the DNA.
          2. DNA can be mapped to the configuration of organs, or more generally, a genotype can be mapped to particular phenotypes.
          3. DNA can, given the right circumstances, result in actions, i.e. physical representations of the DNA sequences.
          4. The goal/purpose of DNA is to generate life.

          Is this a reasonable representation of your view?

        • Jesse H

          Sure.

        • Grimlock

          Would you expect an atheist (such as myself) to agree with (4), namely that DNA has a goal or purpose? That it’s an inherent property of DNA?

          It might be needless to say, but I do not see any need to include teleology in explanations, excepting the affairs of sentient beings.

        • Jesse H

          Indeed, teleology and information are affairs of sentient beings. And the transmission of information is a teleological enterprise.

        • Grimlock

          What I’m trying to get at is whether you expect atheists to accept that DNA is information, and particularly that DNA has a purpose?

          Or whether granting that DNA is information is dependent upon already holding that it is a result of a sentience, e.g. God.

        • Jesse H

          I don’t know how to answer that. I do think that explaining DNA as information, even understanding concepts of communication and info, are only done within a worldview. I’ll say this. I think that an atheist looks at DNA and tries to not infer God, and yet if we had anything remotely as complex picked up by SETI, atheists would conclude that aliens are trying to communicate.

        • Grimlock

          I can only speak for myself, but given your definition of information, you require teleology that I simply find redundant. And as such, by your definition of information, DNA is not something I can consider information.

          Indeed, you should have evidence that allows one to infer purpose without an underlying assumption of teleology. If not, your stance appears to require teleology as an axiom. I would not expect an atheist to share that axiom.

          As to the SETI thing, that’s an interesting approach. What would an analogous signal be? Simply a combination of four types of things wouldn’t be enough, as we wouldn’t necessarily have the machinery to express the signal in a meaningful way.

        • Jesse H

          Can you show any information that doesn’t have teleology?

          Is DNA simply “four types of things”? Notice how you have to so overwhelmingly minimize the true reality and complexity of DNA. It’s base pairs put in sequence where information is derived both from code, sequence, proximity and geometric decoding. It exhibits complex system information at a rate that exceeds all complex human code by orders of magnitude. Yes, if we saw anything exhibiting this on a signal level from SETI it would be front page news worldwide. And I believe you know it.

        • Grimlock

          Do you concede that someone who does not hold teleology as an axiom does not require conceiving of DNA as ‘information’? Unless you’re talking only about our abstract representation of the physical structure of DNA.

          Can you show any information that doesn’t have teleology?

          I’m not sure what you are asking here. If we use your definition of “information” you’re asking me to provide examples of something that has teleology that does not have teleology, which is literally logically impossible. (Well, unless I’m working within an axiomatic system with contradictory axioms…)

          Is DNA simply “four types of things”? Notice how you have to so overwhelmingly minimize the true reality and complexity of DNA. It’s base pairs put in sequence where information is derived both from code, sequence, proximity and geometric decoding. It exhibits complex system information at a rate that exceeds all complex human code by orders of magnitude. Yes, if we saw anything exhibiting this on a signal level from SETI it would be front page news worldwide. And I believe you know it.

          Notice that I’m asking you what such a signal would entail. A signal is basically an abstract representation of some (potentially) recognizable system. DNA is sequences of four types of components. That could be represented in a signal, but we would need a decoding algorithm to make sense of it. How would, hypotetically and specifically, such a signal look like if it resembled DNA?

          It exhibits complex system information at a rate that exceeds all complex human code by orders of magnitude.

          I think this part requires some unpacking.

          Do you mean that DNA has, on an abstract level, compressed information by orders of magnitute better than humans have achieved? That seems highly dubious, and based on a vague familiarity with data compression and a quick look at Wikipedia, would appear to be quite false.

          Note, though, that here we are talking about our abstraction of the physical structure of DNA. It’s our abstraction that we would typically describe as ‘information’, and not the physical structure itself.

          Do you mean that the data storage capacity in the physical structure of DNA is better than our current systems, with respect to bits per volume unit? If so, that appears to be correct.

        • Jesse H

          Do you disagree that DNA represents teleology? I’m not sure how you can show that. There’s an inherent purpose conveyed in the information.

          So to you DNA isn’t information because it does exhibit teleology?

          By the way, I appreciate the interaction and clarifications, you’re not just trying to debunk me, but interact with my worldview. I hope you feel I’m doing the same for you. Bits per volume unit is a better clarification.

          As I understand it the four bases of DNA is one level, the sequencing is another, the proximity is another, and finally the geometric structure is another level. And within the code is a certain software that even runs the various systems and turns the sequencing on and off. Admittedly I’m generalizing and just giving a certain pedagogy.

          As for the space signal, if we got something approximating the level of code found in the DNA, don’t you agree that it would be extraterrestrial evidence? If we saw a volume of information presented with the decoding to understand this information, and this was in a signal from space? I don’t know how to explain how we got this signal from space or what exactly that would look like. If we saw code that exhibited sequence, proximity and geometry and with more bits per volume unit than we can accomplish and which had teleology.

          You make a point about our abstraction of DNA in the physical structure, but this appears to be moving the goalposts. The informative teleology of DNA requires the use of an intelligent agent to understand the abstraction, but somehow we don’t have an intelligent agent who encoded it in the first place? Physical structures don’t order themselves into levels of complex system information requiring abstract thought to decode them.

        • Grimlock

          Do you disagree that DNA represents teleology? I’m not sure how you can show that. There’s an inherent purpose conveyed in the information.

          So to you DNA isn’t information because it does exhibit teleology?

          I do not think that DNA represents teleology. As noted above, I do not hold to teleology as a fundamental assumption or axiom, and as such, I need a positive reason to think that a particular phenomena represents teleology. DNA does not, to my eyes, do so. Which is why I’m asking for evidence that it does indeed represent teleology.

          By the way, I appreciate the interaction and clarifications, you’re not just trying to debunk me, but interact with my worldview. I hope you feel I’m doing the same for you. Bits per volume unit is a better clarification.

          It feels mutual, though it also does feel as if we’re speaking in different languages from time to time.

          As I understand it the four bases of DNA is one level, the sequencing is another, the proximity is another, and finally the geometric structure is another level. And within the code is a certain software that even runs the various systems and turns the sequencing on and off. Admittedly I’m generalizing and just giving a certain pedagogy.

          Sounds good to me. I can’t make any claims to a particularly detailed understanding of biology in general.

          As for the space signal, if we got something approximating the level of code found in the DNA, don’t you agree that it would be extraterrestrial evidence? If we saw a volume of information presented with the decoding to understand this information, and this was in a signal from space? I don’t know how to explain how we got this signal from space or what exactly that would look like. If we saw code that exhibited sequence, proximity and geometry and with more bits per volume unit than we can accomplish and which had teleology.

          First off, a signal wouldn’t really have more bits per volume unit than we can currently achieve unless the signal was itself a physical piece of DNA. The signal would be a pattern of some type, and as noted previously, we are easily capable of compressing the abstract representation of DNA, and as such achieve a higher information density in a signal.

          Such a signal would need to be an abstract representation of DNA, and in order for us to comprehend the complexity, we would need some way of decoding the signal and expressing the representation. I have no idea what such a set-up would look like, and so I suspect that the idea of such a “complex” signal needs further development to make sense. Which is why I’m asking precisely how such a signal would look like?

          You make a point about our abstraction of DNA in the physical structure, but this appears to be moving the goalposts. The informative teleology of DNA requires the use of an intelligent agent to understand the abstraction, but somehow we don’t have an intelligent agent who encoded it in the first place? Physical structures don’t order themselves into levels of complex system information requiring abstract thought to decode them.

          How do you think that I am moving the goalposts?

          We might be talking past each other again. Let me put it this way: If a rock is falling through vacuum, we can represent this by an equation. This equation is us humans mapping the physical structure of the rock (and whatever it’s falling towards). The rock doesn’t care about the equation, and the rock falling is not the equation. The equation is our representation of physical events.

          Our abstract representation of DNA is the same. The physical structure of DNA doesn’t care whether we represent it as a genetic code or not, it just does its stuff. It is chemical reactions, and that responds to certain physical structures. It doesn’t need to decode information – humans do.

          An equation, or an abstraction, of a physical event requires intelligence. But the physical phenomena is separate from the abstraction.

        • Pofarmer

          We’re surrounded by morons. Well, at least one.

        • Bored Now

          Where did the code come from for the periodic table

          The word is “coding” and the periodic table is irrelevant. The encoding of the message into starlight is simply the interaction between the starlight and the media it passes through.

        • where do the chemical laws come from?

          Are you saying that in a godless universe there would be no such laws? Demonstrate this.

        • Jesse H

          I would demonstrate this if we lived in a godless universe, but we don’t. We live in this universe, created by God.

          Yes, yes, begging the question. But I’m allowed to tease a little bit considering that I’m the gladiator taking on all comers.

        • epeeist

          Yes, yes, begging the question.

          No, not begging the question but simply another unsubstantiated assertion.

          I’m the gladiator taking on all comers

          And not only failing to strike a blow but failing to block any either.

        • I would demonstrate this if we lived in a godless universe, but we don’t. We live in this universe, created by God.

          You’re apparently making a remarkable claim, that we’d know we were in a godless universe because there would be no “chemical laws” (which probably needs a definition). I’m asking for a justification of that claim. If you can’t justify the claim, withdraw it.

        • Rudy R

          We live in this universe, created by God

          Since you attribute the universe’s properties to being created by Yahweh, what would be the properties of a non-god universe?

        • Women are people

          No we don’t.

        • Women are people

          Begging the question Fallacy.

          First you need other universes for which to compare this one to in order to conclude how other universes would behave.

        • Jesse H

          I’m afraid we only have this universe. So cause and effect and the need for a Creator apply.

        • epeeist

          I’m afraid we only have this universe.

          Really? Got evidence?

        • Jesse H

          Yes, the evidence is all around. Are you really so badly in need of proving your objections that you resort to this?

        • epeeist

          Yes, the evidence is all around.

          The evidence that is “all around” is for the existence of our universe.

          So where is the evidence for your claim that this is the only universe?

        • Jesse H

          Ummm, the evidence is all around. Aren’t you making an argument from ignorance?

        • epeeist

          Ummm, the evidence is all around.

          Your claim was that this is the only universe we have. Once more you are making an ontological commitment, so once more you have the burden to show your claim is true.

          As I said, we have evidence that this universe exists, what I want you to show is that no other universes exist.

        • Greg G.

          The fact that we have one universe means there is at least one universe. It tells us that the conditions for universes coming into being exist. A universe that can prevent other universes from coming into being would be more complex that a universe that has no such mechanism, so by Occam, there are probably other universes.

          By analogy, if we have a sealed jar approximately half full of water, with air, and a few drops of soap, we have the conditions to make a bubble. The difficult part would be to make only one bubble in those conditions. It is far easier to make a lot of bubbles than just one and only one.

          Guth’s idea that space and energy can come into being in equal but opposite amounts means space and energy could come into being from nothing. This idea has been around for forty years and is still standing.

          The early godbots thought everything revolved around the earth. They had no idea that the sun was like stars. They had no idea that other stars had planets. No much more than a century ago, it was thought that the Milky Way was the universe, but now we know there are other galaxies. There are clusters of galaxies. We know that clusters of galaxies are gravitationally bound to other clusters of galaxies which form superclusters of galaxies.

          Demanding that this universe is the only one seems as silly as the early church fathers wondering where the sun went at night. Making claims about astronomy from religion has a lousy track record.

        • I Came To Bring The Paine

          The “laws” are descriptions of how nature works. They’re not prescriptions like human laws. The chemical “laws” are from the chemicals themselves.

        • Jesse H

          And these chemicals just popped into existence with these innate properties and “laws” about their arrangement and interaction with density, light, heat, electricity, radiation, magnetism and each other?
          Yup, it takes more faith to be an atheist.

        • I Came To Bring The Paine

          And these chemicals just popped into existence with these innate
          properties and “laws” about their arrangement and interaction with
          density, light, heat, electricity, radiation, magnetism and each other?

          No, an invisible magic dude popped them into existence with these innate
          properties and “laws” about their arrangement and interaction with
          density, light, heat, electricity, radiation, magnetism and each other for absolutely no reason whatsoever, you blockhead.

          Yup, it takes more faith to be an atheist.

          And that’s a bad thing right?

        • it takes more faith to be an atheist.

          So you’re saying faith is a bad thing?

        • epeeist

          But again, where do the chemical laws come from?

          I don’t know.

          Now if you claim that you do know then over to you, let’s see your claim. Let’s also see the evidence and warrant for it, something that has been lacking in virtually all of your posts here.

        • Rudy R

          DNA.

        • Women are people

          The chemical laws are just observations of how the chemicals act. The laws aren’t telling the chemicals how to act. The chemical reactions, being consistent, establish the laws about them.

          You are talking about the cart driving the horse when it’s the other way around.

        • Jesse H

          Actually you are talking about the cart driving the horse. We are observing how chemicals act because that is their reality. They exhibit the same interactions in the same way under the same conditions, and they do this repeatedly. Why? Because we observe this? No, because this is reality. And of course we must ask what force/purpose/design put these realities into place.

          But you know this. And does anyone deny women are people? I understand that some countries (most notably those without judeo-christian values) give fewer rights to women. But everyone has a mom, and knows only persons produce persons. (Yes another wonderful argument for God by the way.)

        • Women are people

          Right. They act the same way, because that’s the way they act. We describe that behavior as “laws”. The chemicals therefore drive the laws, the laws don’t drive the chemicals. No one created the laws and then put chemicals in to follow those laws.

          You really don’t know what the hell you are talking about.

        • Women are people

          Also, I have my PhD in Evolutionary Biology. Don’t f’cking “well, actually” try to mansplain shit to me when I know more than you do.

        • epeeist

          when I know more than you do.

          I hate to say it, but that’s a very low bar…

        • Women are people

          Oh I know. Everyone with even sophomore level science course will know more than him.

          It sets my teeth on edge to listen to him, Well actually, to me, and be completely wrong.

        • epeeist

          Oh I know. Everyone with even sophomore level science course will know more than him.

          Indeed

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/58317cb27c29d3e41458d7b74ab8fbdcc859f517a85c699c2132300e9765c147.jpg

          He also does the standard creationist trick, if caught out in something you don’t know or runs against your ideology then make something up.

        • Jesse H

          Please explain to me why after reading this I should feel the need to continue to interact with you.

        • Because you can learn a lot from him? Or is this a trick question?

        • epeeist

          Please explain to me why after reading this I should feel the need to continue to interact with you.

          That’s up to you of course.

          Now in your worldview you may think you are a scientist, but in my estimation your knowledge of science seems to be less than that of the top primary children at the school where my wife used to teach.

          As for making stuff up, I’ll address another of your posts.

        • MR

          Fortunately epeeist doesn’t need your interaction to point out your tactics.

        • Jesse H

          And yet you fail to answer a simple point. Chemicals react in certain ways, we have observed these laws, our observations only describe, not prescribe.

        • Women are people

          Correct. So the chemical laws describe, not prescribe.

          So how are you using the existence of those laws by which chemicals behave to indicate that god created those laws as prescriptive of chemicals to act that way?

          Man oh man do you just enjoy painting yourself into corners with your contradictions?

        • 21stCenturyCassandra

          So you are fully and completely brainwashed. Good to know.

        • mfm420

          why? is she a born again nutjob like you?

          oh, and you’re an antivaxxer to boot. welp folks, looks like we got a 2 for 1 sale on batshit crazy here

        • 21stCenturyCassandra

          And you have cornered the night’s market on obnoxious, judgmental, and wrong to boot.

          Reported for abuse and blocked.

        • sabelmouse

          quite an achievement .

        • sabelmouse

          totally!

        • Women are people

          I prefer the word educated, unlike you who thinks you know what the Eff you are talking about but you clearly don’t. I cannot imagine having an ego so fragile that you cannot except that someone might know more than you on any one subject.

          If you think you have some expertise, then do the godd*mn work required to get the credentials. You basically want to pilfer someone else’s work and expertise and try to pass it along as your own. You think no one notices your copy pasta from google technical term key word search? Please.

        • Women are people

          A lot of people deny that women are people. They view them as not full people with rights to their own body. They view them as vessels. Empty containers.

        • Jesse H

          As a Christian I view a woman as made in God’s image, a wonderful reflection of God in femininity and humanity and with a spark of divinity. The intelligence, beauty, intuition, social awareness, strength and creative powers of life-giving, life-nurturing and life-thriving are reflections of God.

        • And women have a marvelous role, designed by God: to be subservient to a man.

        • Women are people

          Except this idea that mammals, even human mammals, have an innate nurturing ability is complete and utter hokum.

        • Yes another wonderful argument for God by the way.

          Oh? I’ve seen zero wonderful arguments for God or even moderately successful arguments for God. What is “only persons produce persons” supposed to be–some sort of anti-evolution attack?

        • Ignorant Amos

          I don’t mind Aron Ra but he has no foundation.

          But what about his argument, what’s wrong with it?

        • Carol Lynn

          What would be the example to you of encoded complexity that comes about without intelligence?

          Why, DNA, of course! It *evolved* by natural processes. No designer or intelligence necessary.

        • Jesse H

          That’s called begging the question. Everyone agrees that we have design in DNA, the question is whether it comes from intelligence or from purposeless chemical laws “guided” by natural selection. But of course where did the laws come from? Are they code of some sort?

          So no, you can’t use DNA to prove your point when that is the exact issue that is disputed.

        • Everyone agrees that we have design in DNA…

          No, we don’t. At least not in the typical way I use the word “design”.

          But of course where did the laws come from

          I explained this to you earlier. We created the laws as descriptions of the regularities we observe in nature. Laws are humans inventions. The regularities themselves have no current explanation, and none is needed in order to do science.

        • Jesse H

          I agree we can do science without understanding where the laws come from. We can observe. But to say that laws are human inventions when the “laws” brought about human existence is circular reasoning.
          Science needs philosophical foundations which it can’t itself provide. Science doesn’t always answer the why and origin questions.

        • Carol Lynn

          I’m begging the question? I’m confident we have a working understanding of the chemical mechanisms by which DNA evolved complexity with no external ‘guidance’, so I am not assuming the answer to ‘an example of non-intelligent complexity is DNA’ without external support for the concept. You, on the other hand, assume ‘god did it’ from the get go in that example. If anyone is committing petitio principii, it’s you.

        • Everyone agrees that we have design in DNA,

          Ooh! Pick me!

        • Women are people

          There is no evidence of design in dna. Especially when you look at the totality of dna, it’s a rather shitty design. Prone to replication errors and mutations that leave the individual was cancer causing genes.

        • Jesse H

          Many note the wonderful design in DNA, even those who don’t believe in an intelligent designer. And the possibility of errors is not evidence against design. No one argues that the Yugo wasn’t designed, even though the electrical system would sizzle, the engine would catch fire, and various parts would just fall off. Bad design doesn’t mean no design. Just look at toddlers and mud.

        • Women are people

          It is evidence against design.

          What is it evidence for it what you’d expect from evolutionary processes.

        • epeeist

          No one argues that the Yugo wasn’t designed

          Seriously, the reset button again.

          The Yugo was designed by a team of people and put together by other people. All of these people are fallible, not omniscient or omnipotent, they are made of the same types of material as the vehicles. Not only do Yugos age and die, so do the people who designed and built them.

          You know if you are going to attempt an argument from analogy then there should be more similarities than differences. This is why Paley’s argument from design, of which this is a variant, fails. David Hume refuted this type of argument more than a century before Paley made it.

        • Wonderful design in DNA? Wrong again. Endogenous retroviruses, pseudogenes, atavisms, and vestigial components argue against it.

          More:
          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2015/11/argument-from-design-busted-2/

        • I’d have thought that God would have higher standards than the designer of the Yugo. No?

        • Greg G.

          If every encoded system we know comes from intelligence, then coded systems are intelligently designed.

          It is fallacious to make that conclusion until you prove that all encoded systems come from intelligence. If DNA is an encoded system, rather than just an analogy to try to explain it, you cannot conclude that it comes from intelligence because you haven’t proved that all encoded systems we know about come from intelligence. You need a true premise in order to reach your conclusion, but your premise is not demonstrated until you show that all encoded systems are from intelligence, dropping the “that we know of” caveat.

        • epeeist

          If every encoded system we know comes from intelligence, then coded systems are intelligently designed.

          We don’t know details of all encoded systems so we can replace the quantification on your first clause by “some”. So what you are saying is “If some encoded systems are intelligently designed then all coded systems are intelligently designed”. I presume you can see the logical flaw in this…

        • This is actually scientific evidence which has changed the opinion of scientists.

          Yeah? List the biologists for whom this is true. If you get more than zero, compute what fraction of the total number that is.

        • Rudy R

          If every encoded system we know comes from intelligence, then coded systems are intelligently designed.

          Look up Black Swan fallacy, aka argument from ignorance.

        • Women are people

          I actually speak from authority on this subject. I’m an Evolutionary Biologist, and you, my friend, are pulling shit out of your butt.

      • Moving the goal posts much??? Or maybe you’re trying to change the subject. Or maybe you’re extremely confused about what we’re talking about.

      • Greg G.

        Snails and insects follow gradients of molecule densities to find food or mates. Some use intensity of light to hide or to navigate. Cast shadows tell some plants how tall to grow. Trees get information from changes in daylight to know when to sprout leaves or drop them. Gravity tells liquids which direction to flow.

        • Jesse H

          You are making a case for intelligent design. Living creatures are designed to use information to their advantage. And plants aren’t sentient, they demonstrate an environmental response. Also gravity is an example of a physical law which liquids have properties designed to move to. The physical laws point to ordered information which points to a Designer.

        • Rudy R

          …gravity is an example of a physical law which liquids have properties designed to move to.

          “This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’ This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for” — Douglas Adams

        • Jesse H

          Douglas Adams was a great sci-fi writer, but not a great philosopher. The puddle argument is fatally flawed. Every puddle naturally fits the place it’s in because of gravity and laws of liquidity. And those laws shape the puddle. One could say the puddle is designed to fit where it’s at.
          As to comparing humans to puddles, we know that we have a powerful sentience and intelligence, we are much greater than puddles. But I agree with Adams’ point that we are finite grasping beings. That finitude points to infinity to my mind. So we can go the other way and say that because of the creativity Adams so eloquently shows it actually points to a Creator.

        • The puddle argument is fatally flawed.

          Yeah? Tell us what the point of the puddle argument is.

        • Rudy R

          And in other news, white is black and day is night.

        • Grimlock

          Let’s talk physical laws, shall we?

          The way I prefer to frame the physical laws is as regularities. You and many others want to infer design from these regularities. I, on the other hand, tend to wonder what the alternative would be to have regularities at some level?

          Randomness, perhaps? But even randomness follows some distribution, which gives us, yes, regularities.

          Unless one can frame some coherent alternative to regularities, inferring anything from the existence of regularities seem somewhat futile.

  • Jim Jones

    > You don’t need anyone to tell you that something beautifully designed requires a designer.

    Cymothoa exigua

    • Jan S

      Well thanks for the nightmares. You made me go look for stuff I shouldn’t look for. Like “Loa loa” and “Anisakis simplex” and “Fasciola hepatica”. If there is indeed a designer, s/he’s truly sadistic.

      • TheNuszAbides

        Which is why they then have to fall back on the bottomless deceptive powers of Satan.

  • NS Alito

    A world designed by an all-wise god would be elegant—simple, efficient, and effective. All the Creationists can propose is that our world is complicated—awkward, coarse, and good enough.

    This.

    • Jesse H

      Actually the Creation argument is that we see a world groaning under the weight of disease, death and sin. We see that life is not what is could or should be.

      • life is not what is could or should be.

        God’s perfect plan, my friend! Can I get an Amen??

      • NS Alito

        Nah, the Creationist/ID argument against science’s take on evolution was that God’s creation was perfect, and not due to “random acts of nature”.

        They may like to think of humans being born “rotten with sin”, but ask Creationists about the urethra being routed through a man’s prostate and they find some theological reason for it to make it sensible design and definitely not because of natural forces.

      • Women are people

        What does disease and death have to do with creation arguments?

        • Jesse H

          Glad you asked. The biblical tradition has always recognized that we don’t see a perfect creation, we see an imperfect creation groaning under the weight of sin and death. We see a creation longing to be redeemed.

        • Women are people

          All you did was just repeat yourself.

          Please answer my actual question. What does disease have to do with anything?

        • Women are people

          Redeemed from what exactly?

          Why would we need to be redeemed? Wasn’t everything a part of God’s plan?

          Also, who made that “imperfect creation”? If I made an imperfect bridge that groaned under the weight of the cars that were supposed to be on it, and it collapsed, you wouldn’t blame the people driving on it. You’d blame me.

          I hate how you brain washed idiots will literally give god a pass for everything, but blame man for everything, despite god being the one who engineered this entire thing.

        • Greg G.

          Maybe if the drivers were the architects of the bridge or the suppliers who substituted cheaper concrete.

          Still a great analogy.

        • Women are people

          I usually use the analogy of the bridge.

          God being the architect. He designs this “perfect bridge” knowing ahead of time that it will collapse, then he uses faulty materials (man) to construct this bridge and yet the faulty materials are blamed instead of the arsehole (god) they knowingly used faulty materials.

          It’s so odd tat when any of these situations do happen, and they do, people have no problem holding “the man in charge” accountable.

          If a builder knowingly uses toxic drywall in his houses, the builder is sued.

          If a company knowingly dump toxic chemicals into the ground water, the company heads are held responsible, even though they personally didn’t do any of the dumping.

          If a limo driver crashes a limo full of people due to faulty brakes and kills them all, guess who people demand be held responsible? The owner of the limo, who knowingly put his limo in service that night knowing that basic maintenance on the limo wasn’t done.

          Hell. People have no problem placing blame on people to be liable for damage even when they couldn’t have possibly known that there was an accident waiting to happen.

          But god – who is supposedly in charge of, well, everything, is blameless. Always. And it makes no sense. God has the power but fails to act. And if he acts, he does so in the most capricious ways.

          God is nothing more than an abusive lover., and people are trapped in a relationship with him because he refuses to let anyone leave without any threats of torture or damnation.

          Love me or else.

        • Greg G.

          I may steal that analogy at the next opportunity.

        • Women are people

          Only if you promise to point out how the litigious nature of society is evidence that it is not necessary that someone have been personally involved in an accident of some sort, it only matters that are responsible for creating a circumstance where an accident could happen even thought they lack omniscience or omnipotence

          God IS omniscient and omnipotent and therefore has literally no defense.

          God would lose in court. Miserably. Horribly.

          God is supposed to be better than us, yet cannot seem to do what reasonable people should be expected to do.

        • Jesse H

          People are finite. Finite people are incapable of infinitely choosing the good. It’s quite simple.

        • And finite people are deserving of infinite punishment in hell, apparently.

        • Women are people

          Then that makes god rather incompetent to expect it of them, yes?

        • Jesse H

          He doesn’t. He also died for our incompetence. God took upon Himself the finitude and opened the way so all mankind can overcome our finite limitations.

        • Women are people

          if he is our creator, then he made us incompetent, if being incompetent wasn’t part of his plan than he is incompetent.

          If I bought a cst that doesn’t fetch balls and expected him to fetch like a dog, do I get to kick the cat? No. Because I’m the incompetent moron who got a cat when I wanted a dog’s behavior.

          He is incompetent for making us incompetent when he is the one in ultimate control.

          If you design a system to fail, then you are incompetent. The amount of twisting you do to justify the inexcusable is disgusting

        • MR

          It’s like listening to a used car salesman.

        • Jesse H

          If God didn’t provide a way of redemption that allowed us to overcome then yes we could make a case against Him. But He has and does.

        • MR

          Except he made us incompetent…. Ri-ight. Your story makes no sense. Unsupported illogical assertion after unsupported illogical assertion.

        • Jesse H

          He made us finite. And this is entirely logical.

        • MR

          unsupported assertion

        • A real god would’ve made it correct from the start. This is way too complicated for an actual divine plan.

        • MR

          All this guy’s got are hand-waving ad-hoc rationalizations and bald-face assertions with no substance. His is a game of smoke and mirrors suitable only for the gullible.

        • Judgeforyourself37

          The man, Jesus, and he was just that a man, born as you and I were born. There was no “virgin birth,” unless one defines a young woman of marriageable age “a virgin.”
          Jesus was crucified because he was a dissident and anyone who disagreed with the “powers that be at that time,” was a dissident and put to death by crucifixion. He did not “rise up from the dead,” but the impact that he made on the people of his time, lived on after his death. They thought that they saw him. Much like my father in law “saw” my mother in law after her death. They had been married 55 years and in his mind, he “saw” her.

        • Jesse H

          Excellent. You are entitled to your amateur opinion based on not accepting the text of the Bible. However, you are just picking and choosing what you want to believe, and that’s neither good research nor good history. You are free to discount the multiple-authored sources of the Bible which makes it clear that Mary was a virgin and that Joseph even kept her a virgin after they married until Christ was born, and that the physical appearance of Jesus to the disciples was in a bodily form that they could touch and which even ate food. So I will judge for myself.

        • Maybe Mary was a virgin, but there’s no fulfilled prophecy with that. Isaiah 7 isn’t talking about a miraculous conception.

        • Jesse H

          I can provide several answers. Do you want the argument from typology, the argument from double fulfillment, the semantic use of the Greek word “full-fill” with meaning, or the more nuanced argument from Hebrew grammar?

        • I can provide several answers.

          Great. Give me answers that resolve the problems I bring up here:
          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2013/12/virgin-birth-of-jesus-fact-or-fiction/

        • Jesse H

          There is much more I could provide but here’s an article that argues for the common Jewish use of Scripture. It at least illustrates that biblical scholars are honestly wrestling with the texts and not just passing off these questions.
          https://bible.org/article/hints-allegories-and-mysteries-new-testament-quotes-old

        • I provided a simple, clear list of problems with the claim that the birth of Jesus in Matthew fulfills a prophecy in Isaiah 7. Didn’t you say you wanted to engage with that? “Here, read this article” is a diversion.

        • Jesse H

          I’m not trying to be a diversive, long-form debate often requires a deep sense of the issues. You don’t need to read the entire article, but a simple perusal will get the sense that scholars recognize that there is a near fulfillment of the Isaiah 7:14 passage and also that the OT term doesn’t necessarily mean virgin. But we have lots of possibilities, we can have Matthew using Isaiah in a typological way, and really the idea of the name Immanuel points to that. The name means “God with us.” So we can have a lad in Ahaz’s time which fulfills Isaiah’s prophecy, yet Matthew “fills this up with meaning” by using OT language to point to a true “God with us.” This is in accord with Jewish use of Scriptural language. But we also have Hebrew grammar pointing to the idea of near and future fulfillment. Isaiah can be referring to two prophecies.

        • the Isaiah 7:14 passage and also that the OT term doesn’t necessarily mean virgin.

          It doesn’t matter if she’s a virgin or not. She won’t be, then she’ll be pregnant, and then she’ll bear a son. Happens all the time.

          Isaiah is not talking about a supernatural conception. Matthew says that it is, and that’s a problem.

          So we can have a lad in Ahaz’s time which fulfills Isaiah’s prophecy, yet Matthew “fills this up with meaning” by using OT language to point to a true “God with us.”

          Sure, make up whatever nutty rules you want. Just don’t expect that anyone else will see any sense in that.

          Isaiah can be referring to two prophecies.

          And Matthew is still wrong for claiming that Mary’s supernatural conception was foretold, when that’s not what Isaiah was talking about.

        • Jesse H

          As expected you minimize. I bring up the nuanced use of Jewish scripture which has a strong basis in inter-testamental study and second temple Jewish interpretation, the idea of typology, near and far fulfillment and the idea that Matthew “fills up with meaning/fulfills” Isaiah. And you mock.

          Matthew quotes from the Septuagint, where the term is more narrowed as virgin. Matthew doesn’t change Isaiah’s meaning.

          You asked me to interact with you, I presented a long-form article that would present a lot of nuance and complexity (and even itself wouldn’t touch all the issues) and you guffawed and claimed it was diversive. So I presented a simplistic response and you mock.
          I tried so hard

          And got so far

          But in the end

          It doesn’t even matter

          I had to fall

          To lose it all

          But in the end

          It doesn’t even matter

        • Mocking? Ouch. Unfortunately, that does zip to explain why Matthew falsely says that the scriptures foretold a supernatural conception for Mary. I don’t want nuance and complexity; I want a direct response.

        • Jesse H

          Nuance and complexity can be the answer. Matthew doesn’t falsely do anything, I agree that Matthew narrows the term “young maiden” to “virgin.” In the Hebrew the term can mean both, but Matthew uses the term in a narrow sense (following the LXX). And the supernatural part is really pointing to the idea of Immanuel, God with us.

        • “young maiden” vs. “virgin” isn’t the issue, as I’ve explained. The issue is: Matthew says that Jesus’s miraculous birth was the fulfillment of a prophecy (Isaiah 7:14), but he’s wrong. Isaiah doesn’t talk about a miraculous conception–it talks about a regular conception and birth.

        • Jesse H

          I agree, Matthew fills up with meaning what Isaiah has. In Ahaz’s time a young maiden conceived and the boy’s name was Immanuel and he ate delicacies before he was old enough to know right from wrong and had no fear of foreign invasion from the two kings Ahaz feared. Matthew takes this sign and recognizes that “God with us” came about by a virgin and that the sign throughout Isaiah is of the suffering servant who will be the Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6) and will die for the sins of the world (Isaiah 53). One wouldn’t normally read Isaiah in the way Matthew does. But Isaiah does distinctly point to God being with us, being a suffering servant, and dying for the world. And Matthew picks up on this from the beginning.

        • I agree, Matthew fills up with meaning what Isaiah has.

          ?? Uh, no, Matthew makes shit up. He says that Isaiah says something that Isaiah didn’t actually say. I think there was a commandment about that.

          You make an eloquent case explaining Matthew’s justification. But when Matthew says, “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet,” he’s lying . . . unless everyone knew then and knew now that this was just literature. And when you look at faith statements at evangelical colleges or the Apostle’s Creed, they mention the virgin birth, a claim that is grounded in Matthew’s “prophecy.”

          the sign throughout Isaiah is of the suffering servant

          Ask Jews who the suffering servant is. They won’t say that it’s Jesus.

          Look–if you’re just explaining your beliefs and how you justify things for yourself, that’s fine. I don’t need to critique that. It’s when you move from your beliefs to reality that things fall apart.

        • Jesse H

          The reality is that any number of Hebrew, Greek, Jewish, Christian scholars understand the nuance I’m referring to. Matthew uses the term “fulfill” as “fill up with meaning.” Especially given the entirety of the books (both Matthew and Isaiah). And there are many Jewish scholars who recognize that Isaiah 53 points to a singular Messiah. Some orthodox Jews still look for a future Messiah, some believe he’s already come, Messianic Jews believe it was Jesus.

          What is absolutely hilarious is your obvious double standard. You believe the scientific consensus because you have faith that they can explain the complexities and so you trust them, even when you can’t explain everything. But then when Bible scholars do the same thing with sacred texts which have been contemplated and studied for millennia, you don’t apply the same standard.

          I feel sorry for you, I really do. I know you don’t want to hear that and you’ll mock my empathy, but that’s what I feel for you. Maybe it’s the many hours I’ve spent with you, am I just pouring water into a bucket full of holes? Should I just give you up and let you live in your echo chamber of spiritual rejection?

          And it’s not at all lost on me that you could feel the same way about me, but I’m not sure you actually have empathy towards me, but more like vitriol with edges of panic. I don’t know Bob, I really don’t.

          I’ve spent hours on you that I could have spent with my precocious toddler, who often wants Daddy’s attention when I’m on the ‘puter. I value you, obviously, I wish you peace …

        • ed: You dont seem to know the difference between quantity and quality. The only things that animals can do that humans cant do are quanities of things such as running faster, being larger, heavier, stronger, smaller, and etc.

          And the only things that humans can do that animals can’t are quantities of things such as intellect.

          bs: Homosexual behavior is natural. It’s been observed in 500 species.
          ed: Maybe but homosexual ORIENTATION has not been observed in any animal species.

          Wikipedia: “Homosexual behavior in animals is sexual behavior among non-human species that is interpreted as homosexual or bisexual. This may include same-sex sexual activity, courtship, affection, pair bonding, and parenting among same-sex animal pairs.”

          This seems to cover “homosexual orientation.”
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexual_behavior_in_animals

          But what’s your point? Even if homosexual orientation were limited to humans, so what?

        • Jesse H

          I don’t think you are responding to me here. Although I would argue that the intellect of humanity is not just quantitative, but qualitative. Language, communication, philosophy, religious thought, science: animals don’t do these in the realms that humanity does.

        • How did that happen?? You’re right–I misdirected.

        • there are many Jewish scholars who recognize that Isaiah 53 points to a singular Messiah.

          And yet traditional Jewish scholarship says that the “suffering servant” is Israel. Jews don’t have to cut Isaiah 53 out of their Tanakh.

          What is absolutely hilarious is your obvious double standard. You believe the scientific consensus because you have faith that they can explain the complexities and so you trust them, even when you can’t explain everything. But then when Bible scholars do the same thing with sacred texts which have been contemplated and studied for millennia, you don’t apply the same standard.

          No, what’s hilarious is your using the same thinking with scientific claims (which are backed up with evidence) and theological ones (which have no consensus).

          And apply this argument to your own position. You declare yourself judge and jury of all science so that you can laugh at those bozos within biology, knowing that you know that evolution is crap, and yet you embrace Evangelical thinking even though that’s a minority outlook even within your own religion of Christianity.

          No, I have no faith in science, just trust. I have the humility that I won’t be able to evaluate all of science’s claims. There’s evidence that the scientific consensus is the horse to back.

          Bible scholars? If they’re explaining the doctrines of a Christian denomination, of course I accept what they say. As for going beyond that, let me know when theology has its house in order. You theists can’t even agree on how many gods there are.

          I feel sorry for you, I really do. I know you don’t want to hear that and you’ll mock my empathy

          Correct.

          Maybe it’s the many hours I’ve spent with you, am I just pouring water into a bucket full of holes?

          You accepted your Christian worldview for no good reasons beyond that it was part of your environment growing up. And now that you’re an adult, you use your substantial intellect to make the case that, of course you don’t believe for some silly reason, and there are actually excellent intellectual reasons to believe (ignoring that those “excellent reasons” aren’t why you believe).

          Should I just give you up and let you live in your echo chamber of spiritual rejection?

          You think it’s me who’s in an echo chamber? Say hi to the guys at the Disco Institute for me.

          I’m not sure you actually have empathy towards me, but more like vitriol with edges of panic.

          You know all those articles that coach Christians through their seasons of doubt? As a naturalist, I’m like that . . . except for the doubt. Christians have certainty with occasional doubt; I have neither. I don’t need the baggage that comes with (false) certainty.

          I’ve spent hours on you that I could have spent with my precocious toddler, who often wants Daddy’s attention when I’m on the ‘puter.

          Agreed—recheck those priorities.

        • Jesse H

          A few points. I wouldn’t make a distinction between faith and trust. Faith is not blind whereas trust is reasonable. I would never encourage someone towards blind faith, but a reasonable faith. And it’s disingenuous of you to presuppose that I only have faith because of my childhood. Every adult needs to examine our justified beliefs. You simply can’t make the claim that I don’t really believe in the “excellent reasons” I give as to why I believe. I actually do believe because of those reasons.
          So you have neither certainty nor doubt? To me all that means is that you wish to be like jello that can’t be nailed down. You are uncertain about Evolution, whether the Bible is true, and God’s existence? Yet you would certainly argue for a certain position.
          And finally, yes, I will try to answer you less so I can evilly indoctrinate my toddler into the blind faith position of Christianity.

        • I wouldn’t make a distinction between faith and trust. Faith is not blind whereas trust is reasonable.

          There are two ideas that “faith” and “trust” typically label, belief regardless of the evidence and believe in accord with it. These two ideas are without judgment, and they’re useful. It’d be a shame to merge these two words and lose that distinction.

          I follow the evidence, and I use trust. I have no need for faith.

          You can define these words any way you want, but we need to check in to make sure we’re using words the same way. I caution you that Christians like to change definitions on the fly as it suits their argument at the moment. It may not be done with a deliberate attempt to deceive (and they’re the primary ones deceived IMO), but it’s still something I encourage you to beware of.

          it’s disingenuous of you to presuppose that I only have faith because of my childhood.

          I was painting with a broad brush, but I think my point should be understandable.

          You simply can’t make the claim that I don’t really believe in the “excellent reasons” I give as to why I believe.

          Again, broad brush.

          I actually do believe because of those reasons.

          I find that surprising. Please list the top few reasons that are the foundation of your evidence-based faith. These would be the reasons that, if they were shown to be flawed, would cause you to quickly reject your faith.

          So you have neither certainty nor doubt? To me all that means is that you wish to be like jello that can’t be nailed down. You are uncertain about Evolution, whether the Bible is true, and God’s existence? Yet you would certainly argue for a certain position.

          Do unicorns exist? Maybe, but there’s no good reasons to think so. Does this reasoning shock you, or is this exactly how it works for you, too?

          Replace “unicorns” with “God,” and that also applies to me.

        • Can you believe it? Omnipotent and omniscient, and yet God can’t stop two children from ruining his perfect plan in the Garden of Eden. Must be frustrating being God.

  • NS Alito

    Regarding the ol’ “Information requires a Programmer” deepity:
    In my sedimentary geology classes, we used various rock deposition construction patterns to determine the environment in which it was formed, such as preserved ripple structures, proportions of sand vs. clay, silica concretions in sandstone, etc.. The various “programmers” of this information were wave energy, upstream eroded material, water chemistry and other natural physical processes.

    I wonder if they’d think the blood spatter patterns from a crime scene were “programmed” by Maxwell’s silver hammer.

    • Jesse H

      But blood spatter would point to ID. And so would the causation of ripple structures show an inherent programming for how the physical elements interacts. It’s information inherent in the system.

      • NS Alito

        Just saying Σx, x→ID is just mindless assertion. Solar flares point to ID, children’s brain tumors point to ID, electron charge points to ID, hemorrhoids point to ID, magnitude 9.1 earthquakes point to ID, ebola points to ID, billions of years of the existence of this planet before humans arrive points to ID, birth defects point to ID.

        Congratulations. You’ve just made ID completely meaningless.

        • epeeist

          This gets a paraphrase of Marian Moore, “Psychology ID which explains everything explains nothing, and we are still in doubt”.

        • MR

          Ha ha! This is exactly my sense. Just claim it as part of your theory and it’s a win! This is all based on Werner Gitt’s discredited attempt at co-opting the ideas of “Information Theory.” Another silly tactic to make religion seem like it’s backed by science. “Oooh, that sounds sciency to me, it must be true!” It only works on the gullible.

  • NS Alito

    One quick way to defang the argument is to ask which principles of
    design shall we be referencing? How about standards of complexity?

    That’s my first go-to.

    Then I’d point out what the point of the design looks like from various perspectives. As the biology camera dollies back, we see ~8 billion humans, then maybe rats, insects, bacteria…. The cosmologist camera dollies back from our Pale Blue Dot and we might see a solar system, then galaxy, then galaxy cluster…but wait, it really is mostly “empty” space. The physics camera sees subatomic particles and the warped nature of space-time.

    God made the universe for neutrinos, maybe, and we’re just incidental transient formations.

    • God made the universe for neutrinos, maybe

      And on the macro side, maybe black holes.

      • NS Alito

        When asked for His position on the matter, He said, “Dude, black holes are cool.”

  • Joe_Buddha

    I like how all of their many arguments lead to Deism at best. There is NO evidence for the god of the bible.

  • Nogods

    Isn’t it interesting to think that there have been thousands of early questions about our universe that were once explained as “the work of god”. But as we became more educated and learned more about our world, those supernatural answers were replaced with real world answers. The interesting part of this however, is that during this time, NONE of those early questions were actually found to be the work of a god; “God” has NEVER turned out to actually be a correct answer to any question – EVER.

    The god of the bible is no different then the thousands of other gods we now classify as mythology. It really is that simple.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Isn’t it interesting to think that there have been thousands of early questions about our universe that were once explained as “the work of god”. But as we became more educated and learned more about our world, those supernatural answers were replaced with real world answers.

      Things like

      Where does a rainbow come from? (seriously, was there no such thing as the refraction of light before Noah’s flood?)

      Why is human childbirth so painful?

      Why do people speak different languages?

      The people who wrote the bible attributed all of these to God. I mean, we aren’t talking about Apollo’s chariot carrying the sun across the sky, these are myths straight out of the bible. And God is no longer needed to explain any of them.

      • NS Alito

        My personal assertion (because it’s fun) is the Genesis reference to “Adam’s rib” should be the other Hebrew backtranslation from “rib” to mean baculum. Thus the story would combine both the origin of women and the reasons human males don’t have the otherwise-common pen‌ís bone.

        • Phil

          Did Adam have testicles? If so why if Eve wasn’t created yet? No mention of that in the bible.

        • NS Alito

          That question is rated [M]. The closest [PG] version of that question is the old “Did Adam and Eve have Navels?” Omphalos Argument.

    • Women are people
  • Nogods

    GODS CANT WRITE BOOKS BECAUSE THEY ARE IMAGINARY

    Isn’t it weird how gods never write books – only men do. Why is it that the supposed all-powerful creators of everything, can’t write? YHWH didn’t write the Torah – men did. Allah didn’t write the Quran – men did. Brahma, Vishnu, and the other Hindu gods, didn’t write the Bhagavad Gita or the Vedas – men did. Zeus didn’t write any of his holy books – men did. And Jesus didn’t write the bible – men did. So why can’t gods write anything without the help of men? Do you think it is because they are ALL fictional? You already know that the thousands of other gods that you could choose to believe were real are fictional. Yet, the evidence supporting their existence is IDENTICAL to that supporting the existence of your god. The math really isn’t that difficult: maybe your god didn’t write his holy book for the exact same reason Zeus didn’t write his holy books.

    • Jesse H

      Or we could see how harmonious and kind God is that He uses humanity in our humanity to communicate to us.

      • Nogods

        Yeah, that’s exactly how Thor and Zeus work too.

      • Women are people

        So god has the most important message, for which your eternal existence depends upon…

        And he uses human communication which has been demonstrated to be faulty (Game of telephone) and human memory which has been known to be faulty, in order to get his message – the most important message – across?

        Is that your argument?

        Further, you see this as kind ?!?

        If I had a message for you that at 12:30pm est, a white van would pull up beside you, throw gasoline in your face and throw a lighted flare at you, resulting in a death more painful than you can ever imagine, on the corner of Fulton and John st, in NYC, but instead of telling that to you directly, I used a friend of a friend of a friend to pass along the message, knowing that the information, when it reached you, would be full of errors and contradictions, you would think that was kind of me?!?

        Or maybe you would (rightfully) think I was a complete arsehole.

        • Jesse H

          Again a wonderfully illegitimate argument. God has communicated in the clearest way possible, by actually becoming human. And the message of Jesus has reached the world, it’s not hidden, nor is it mistaken. I bet even you know what it is.

        • Greg G.

          God has communicated in the clearest way possible

          The clearest possible way would be to appear to each and every person who ever lived and presented the message perfectly.

          We have no extrabiblical information about this human form, except excerpts that are too late to be first hand information and they are dependent on the gospels, if not forged.

          The gospels are dependent on Mark but the stories in that gospel appear to be derived from the literature of the day, such as OT myths of miracles by Elijah and Elisha, the works of Homer, Wars of the Jews, and the early epistles.

          The early epistles do not give first hand information about Jesus. They never mention a preacher/teacher from Galilee. The only information about Jesus is quotes and allusions to the already centuries old OT writings, particularly the Greek translation of them.

          Before you jump to the concensus of NT scholars, please cite the scholarly basis of that consensus as the concensus appears to be circularly based on the concensus itself and nearly all of the scholars arrived at that concensus before they were scholars, often as children.

          That is clearly not the clearest communication possible.

        • Jesse H

          Sounds like you’ve been reading Ehrman. But Ehrman has been answered by Wallace and Bock and others. The originality of the Gospels is without dispute. One can draw allusions from other sources, but the sayings and doings of Jesus are not a matter of forgery or reification. They would not have the long history of study if they were.

        • The originality of the Gospels is without dispute.

          Jesus wasn’t the first to have a supernatural birth. Or walk on water. Or cure people. Or die and rise again.

          Your point is that the gospels stole those ideas from other religions but made an original story out of it? OK, but that doesn’t make for a compelling case.

        • mfm420

          really?

          cause your own book can’t even figure out when or how your buddy was born (gospels have 2 different versions), or how he came back (all 4 gospels tell it differently).

          but sure, keep shifting the goalposts, then wonder why more and more people are walking away from you guys.

          people like you do more to drive folks out of christianity than any atheist could ever hope to do. keep up the good work

        • Jesse H

          So by your logic if I comment less then more people will remain Christians?

          So what you really ought to do is to keep making me comment. Which I guess you have. Congratulations.

          Christianity is thriving worldwide, no need to worry about that. It’s true that in the egoistic Western world people are becoming less religious, but Africa has more Christians than the entire population of the US. And Christianity is actually growing at the highest percentage in places like Iran where it is very persecuted, also China. But ego and hubris crumble on the altar of life and reality.

        • It’s true that in the egoistic Western world people are becoming less religious

          Yup. Religion does best when there is nothing that explains reality better (like modern science) and social conditions are poor. Have you read any Gregory Paul? I’ve written about his work–search this blog for it.

        • Jesse H

          So you’re saying that Africa and China and Iran are backward places?

          Nah. Christianity has flourished in squalor and in wealth. It flourished in the Enlightenment, it flourished in the Roman empire, it flourishes still.

        • Yes, Christianity has flourished in lots of places. I’m saying that now, research indicates that the best conditions for Christianity are the worst conditions.

          Again: have you read Gregory Paul on this? I’ve summarized it here:
          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2017/06/christianity-lead-better-society-2/

        • Jesse H

          “His research is not in line with works from John Micklethwait and Adrian Woodbridge,[28] or research from Peter L. Berger (2009)[29] and Philip Jenkins.[30]
          These latter works argue that the resurgence of religion in diverse
          and previously secular nations such as India, Singapore, China and
          Turkey, which has primarily been among the more educated, economic
          upper-class, when viewed alongside the continued religious adherence in
          the United States, seems to paint Europe (the primary center of Paul and
          Zuckerman’s arguments) as the exception instead of the norm.

          This is a simple wiki quote showing that Paul’s evidence has contrafactuals.

        • Gregory Paul’s work shows a correlation between high religiosity and poor social conditions. He proposes poor conditions providing fertile ground for religion.

          I don’t know how India, Singapore, etc. change things. I suspect they have worse social conditions than the average of the countries that Paul explores, and they have more religion. That seems to fit nicely into his thesis.

          If your point is simply that Paul’s work has detractors, OK, I’m not surprised that that’s the case.

        • Jesse H

          You didn’t read the quote? The point is that Christianity is flourishing in good social conditions in those countries, not bad. The point is that Europe seems to be the exception. But you are the one who loves to point to the experts. Gregory Paul is a paleontologist primarily. His historical work is suspect.

          Thus you really shouldn’t use Paul as presenting anything close to scientific evidence.

        • ?? Gregory Paul is disqualified because he’s not a historian? Try again, but this time, respond to his argument.

          Yes, you found a naysayer. Again, this is just a data point.

        • Jesse H

          My response to his argument is that Christianity has flourished amongst both good and bad social conditions and continues to do so. The whole set of data points contradicts Paul. And I’m not disqualifying him because he’s not an historian. I’m disqualifying him for a bad thesis. And I’m pointing out that you are doing exactly what you say I can’t do with scientists. Paul isn’t an historian yet he can make an historical argument (if it’s good).

          My fellow scientists (both expert and amateur) point out that one can’t accept neo-Darwinian theory simply because the “experts” have a consensus. The argument must be solid and demonstrable to people who are scientists or not.

        • My response to his argument is that Christianity has flourished amongst both good and bad social conditions and continues to do so.

          OK, thanks for engaging with his argument. Still, this does nothing to negate his findings.

          I’m disqualifying him for a bad thesis. And I’m pointing out that you are doing exactly what you say I can’t do with scientists. Paul isn’t an historian yet he can make an historical argument (if it’s good).

          You’re talking about evolution? Sure, make whatever argument against evolution you want; it still remains that a non-biologist is insanely arrogant if he declares himself Judge of All Science and rejects the scientific consensus.

          Does Gregory Paul reject the consensus view in history? If not, then your symmetry argument fails.

          My fellow scientists (both expert and amateur) point out that one can’t accept neo-Darwinian theory simply because the “experts” have a consensus.

          Do me a favor: if we’re on an airplane together and it’s bumpy, don’t barge into the cockpit because you think you know better how to fly a plane than the pilots. Just leave the nice experts to do their job and take your seat.

          The argument must be solid and demonstrable to people who are scientists or not.

          So if quantum physics is complicated and counterintuitive, it’s invalid?

        • Grimlock

          My fellow scientists (both expert and amateur) point out that one can’t accept neo-Darwinian theory simply because the “experts” have a consensus. The argument must be solid and demonstrable to people who are scientists or not.

          Is the general principle here that in order for a position to be compelling, expert consensus is insufficient, as it also has to be demonstrable to laypeople?

          If so, I disagree.

        • Grimlock

          Christianity is actually growing at the highest percentage in places like Iran

          https://xkcd.com/1102/

        • Greg G.

          Sounds like you’ve been reading Ehrman. But Ehrman has been answered by Wallace and Bock and others. The originality of the Gospels is without dispute.

          Of course I have read Ehrman. Wallace makes a good case that the Gospel of Luke and Acts have a common author but his basis for the authorship of the gospels assume Acts goes back to 62 AD. It is too obvious that the author of Luke and Acts used Antiquities of the Jews a lot, not just as an encyclopedia but as a muse to write fiction. Being so late, it is likely that the author of Acts was using the Pauline epistles to conjure up an itinerary for Acts, so timelines that are based on the epistles and Acts are as fictitious as Acts and the forged epistles. The connection between the name “Luke” is based on epistles that are not considered to be authentic, except for Philemon which gets a free pass because of its lack of theology that distinguishes the authentic and the inauthentic.

          One can draw allusions from other sources, but the sayings and doings of Jesus are not a matter of forgery or reification. They would not have the long history of study if they were.

          About 60% of the verses in the Gospel of Matthew have Jesus speaking. It has been noted that the Jesus’ words in Matthew and the text of the Epistle of James have many parallels. James’ arguments would have been stronger if he could have written “Jesus said” in front of them. But he never quotes Jesus and barely mentions him at all. If you check the cross references of study Bibles for the Sermon on the Mount, you will see lots of links to James, Mark, and the Old Testament.

        • Pofarmer

          Man. This one is particularly dumb.

        • Jesse H

          You are making a lot of assumptions based on your preconceptions. Why is it obvious Luke uses Antiquities of the Jews? We could make a case that they draw from historical events and so are similar. And you make another assertion that Acts uses the epistles to get its timeline rather than the more reasonable idea that the epistles naturally flow from the Acts timeline. And I agree that James has a lot of parallels to the Sermon on the Mount, it’s very likely that James heard Jesus and later assimilates this into his epistle.

          Again, you have to assert a great many things in the quest not to take the text as naturally what it says.

        • Greg G.

          You are making a lot of assumptions based on your preconceptions.

          My preconceptions were obliterated by the evidence.

          Why is it obvious Luke uses Antiquities of the Jews? We could make a case that they draw from historical events and so are similar.

          You could make the claim of coincidence a half dozen times but when it gets up in the dozens, you have a pattern that must be explained. About 70% of Luke is parallels with Mark and Matthew but the Antiquities parallels are only in the other 30%. If it was just common historical events, the coincidences should be spread throughout.

          And you make another assertion that Acts uses the epistles to get its timeline rather than the more reasonable idea that the epistles naturally flow from the Acts timeline.

          The only data point we can use to date the epistles is 2 Corinthians 11:32 where Paul mentions King Aretas. Aretas IV was the king of the Nabateans from ~9BC to ~40AD but he never controlled Damacus. Aretas III did control Damascus until the Romans took it from him about a century before the setting of the beginning of Acts, so Acts cannot flow naturally from the epistles unless we allow that Paul was wrong about who was the governor of Damascus.

          But the problem then becomes that they flow naturally from the forged epistles, too.

          Another problem is that Antiquities parallels in Acts do not follow from the same time period. In Actrs 5:34-37, Gamaliel stands up to defend the apostles by claiming that if they are not of God, then they will die anyway. He gives two examples. He mentions Judas the Galilean, who was active more than three decades earlier, so it would hardly be a good example to bring up.

          But the first case Gamaliel mentions was Theudas. The problem there is that Theudas was more than a decade in the future. So the author is writing fiction.

          But this is easily explained if the author was using Antiquities of the Jews 20.5.1-2. Theudas is described in Antiquities 20.5.1 and the descendants of Judas the Galilean are described in Antiquities 20.5.2 with a flashback to Judas the Galilean himself for context.

          There are dozens of matches like this with Antiquities and Josephus’ biography in Luke and Acts. The parallels between the Paul’s trip to Rome and consequent ship wreck have about a dozen coincidences with Life 3 about Josephus’ trip to Rome and ship wreck.

          And I agree that James has a lot of parallels to the Sermon on the Mount, it’s very likely that James heard Jesus and later assimilates this into his epistle.

          It is more than just the Sermon on the Mount but, again, James never once quotes any of them as being from Jesus, which would certainly strengthen his argument.

          The Epistle of James appears to be a response to Galatians. James 2:8-11 is an argument against Galatians 5:14, with James saying that Galatians 5:14 is a good start but you must follow the whole law or you will be committing adultery and murder.

          James 2:21-23 is arguing against Paul’s claim in Galatians 3:6-9 that Abraham was justified by faith, arguing that it was the work of the Binding of Isaac that justified Abraham.

          But Paul responded to those arguments. In Romans 13:9-10, He quotes the OT commandments about adultery and murder in the same wrong order that James did, and adds a couple more, then points out that if you love, you won’t be doing those things anyway.

          In Romans 4:1-3 and 10-12, Paul quotes Genesis 15:6 as James did, but differently than he did in Galatians, and points out that Genesis 15:6 was before Abraham was circumcised, which is before Isaac was born.

        • Jesse H

          Thanks for the discussion. I always appreciate learning about new objections to the Bible.
          Again, I think you are making assertions. Luke is known as the better historian so it’s very natural that he would parallel real events in the 30% where he differs from Mark/Matthew. It doesn’t mean that M&M have to also have Antiquities parallels.
          For Aretas I’ll quote Adam Clarke Commentary: “But it is a question of some importance, How could Damascus, a city of
          Syria, be under the government of an Arabian king? It may be accounted
          for thus: Herod Antipas, who married the daughter of Aretas, divorced
          her, in order to marry Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. Aretas, on
          this indignity offered to his family, made war upon Herod. Herod applied
          to Tiberius for help, and the emperor sent Vitellius to reduce Aretas,
          and to bring him alive or dead to Rome. By some means or other Vitellius
          delayed his operations, and in the meantime Tiberius died; and thus
          Aretas was snatched from ruin, Joseph., Antiq. lib. xviii. c. 5. What
          Aretas did in the interim is not known; but it is conjectured that he
          availed himself of the then favorable state of things, made an irruption
          into Syria, and seized on Damascus. See Rosenmuller; and see the
          introduction to this epistle, Section 2.”
          Paul didn’t get this wrong. And you are assuming that Acts can’t give a good chronology of the epistles when actually it can and does. And then you make another assumption about forged epistles. I’m not sure which you mean but conservative scholarship has given extensive answers to a rectified chronology.
          And you mention Acts 5 but you fail to mention that Acts reverses the order found in the Antiquities. So it’s better to understand Theudas as someone in 6AD, not the 44AD of the Antiquities.

          As to James, I’d argue (along with the majority of conservative scholars) that he predates Galatians. So he isn’t refuting or even interacting with Paul. He’s simply stating that faith is perfected by works, as Abraham demonstrates. He uses the definition of justification as “vindicated righteous” which is a Greek definition for dikaio whereas Paul uses more of the forensic definition of “declared righteous.”

        • Greg G.

          Luke is known as the better historian so it’s very natural that he would parallel real events in the 30% where he differs from Mark/Matthew. It doesn’t mean that M&M have to also have Antiquities parallels.

          Luke is considered the better historian because he agrees with Josephus a lot. But there are many parallels where the stories are fictional but dependent on Antiquities, which tells us that the historical parallels are also dependent on Antiquities. There are many parallels in Acts between Peter and Luke’s Jesus, parallels between Paul and Peter, and parallels between the three. In the following passages, Peter and Paul each confront a magician:

          Acts 8:9 (NRSV)9 Now a certain man named Simon had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he was someone great.

          Acts 13:4-8 (NRSV)4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia; and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John also to assist them. 6 When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they met a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet, named Bar-Jesus. 7 He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and wanted to hear the word of God. 8 But the magician Elymas (for that is the translation of his name) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul away from the faith.

          Antiquities of the Jews 20.7.2
          2. But for the marriage of Drusilla with Azizus, it was in no long time afterward dissolved upon the following occasion: While Felix was procurator of Judea, he saw this Drusilla, and fell in love with her; for she did indeed exceed all other women in beauty; and he sent to her a person whose name was Simon one of his friends; a Jew he was, and by birth a Cypriot, and one who pretended to be a magician

          This is not a case of historical parallels. These are not three different magicians. Luke split up the Antiquities description of one supposed magician and assigned them to two magicians to create parallel stories for Peter and Paul, with so many details from one sentence of Antiquities.

          Are you determined to stay in denial that Luke used Josephus? We can go over case after case of such “coincidences”.

          The evidence is strong that Mark used Jewish Wars and that Matthew used Antiquities for his Jesus nativity. The dreams received by the father are dead give-aways that Matthew was using Josephus’ account of Exodus and not Exodus itself, which does not have dream warnings. Josephus was a big believer in prophecy like that because his prophecy that Vespasian would become the emperor of the world saved his own skin, and it came true.

          I have visited 42 states in the US. I doubt I could name who was governor of any of them at the time of any visit without Google, even though there was usually a sign at the border identifying the governor. If Paul was to name a governor, Aretas would be a common guess since he was king for so long. But you don’t cite evidence that the Romans did not control Damascus at any point.

          And you are assuming that Acts can’t give a good chronology of the epistles when actually it can and does.

          I am not claiming Acts is wrong, I claim that it is based on the epistles but it adds imaginary travels.

          And then you make another assumption about forged epistles. I’m not sure which you mean but conservative scholarship has given extensive answers to a rectified chronology.

          I do not find conservative scholarship to be convincing. It appears to be based on their assumptions. You keep saying I am making assumptions. My assumptions were conservative scholarship, but my conclusions were changed by the evidence.

          The dating methods used by conservative scholarship are another case for their inability to accept reality.

        • Jesse H

          My friend, I don’t deny we all have to make assertions. But if you honestly think that you are demonstrating a strong case that Luke uses Antiquities it’s simply astonishing. Just merely that Luke says Simon, a Jew and magician is supposed to show that he’s quoting Antiquities? You’ve really got to be joking. And if this is the evidence that convinces you, it’s not the evidence, it’s your predisposition one way or another.
          By this reckoning I could take any two history books and show that they quote from each other simply by any similarity of historical events.

        • Greg G.

          What you keep missing is that I am giving a small sample. Apologists try to explain it away without addressing all of the coincidences. You can say “it’s a coincidence” a half dozen times, but when it gets to a few dozen, it is not coincidence, it is a pattern. I am not the only person to see the parallels nor am I the first.

          For a sample, see http://josephus.org/ntparallels.htm New Testament Parallels to the Works of Josephus, G. J. Goldberg. There is a link at the bottom of the page to a second page of coincidences. He does not argue that one is dependent on the other. I see that he has added one that I suggested to him.

          Also see http://josephus.org/GoldbergJosephusLuke1995.pdf The Coincidences of the Emmaus Narrative of Luke and the Testimonium of Josephus, Gary J. Goldberg, Ph.D.

          He proceeds from the common analysis that there are two layers, one layer that sounds like Josephus, and another layer that sounds like Christianese. Many scholars have accepted that the upper layer is interpolated but the bottom layer is authentic.

          Goldberg considers three possibilities:
          1. Coincidence, which rejects due to the density and specifity of the coincidences being too great to be chance.
          2. That someone forged the Testimonium Flavianum into Josephus. He rejects that by doubting anyone in the distant past could imitate Josephus so well.
          3. That they had a common source, which he accepts.

          The Emmaus Road conversation is basically a summary of the story of Luke, which comes from Mark, which has no parallel to the Emmaus Road, so we can drop that possibility. I think he is correct to reject the first possibility.

          That leaves interpolation. Ken Olson has pointed out that much of the language considered to be from Josephus is used by Eusebius. He also points out that some of the language used in the Christianese layer is also used by Eusebius. There is at least one phrase used by Eusebius that is used nowhere else in Josephus.

          Origen never mentioned the TF in any of his writings but he wrote about the James passage and the John the Baptist passage more than once, even mentioning them together as if those were the only such passages. It is unlikely that he would never mention the TF if he had seen it.

          Eusebius was the first person to ever mention the TF.

          Also important: Origen of Caesarea bequeathed his library to the city of Caesarea, which was curated by Pamphilus of Caesarea, who was the mentor of Eusebius of Caesarea. So Eusebius was likely to have been using Origen’s copy of Antiquities yet found something Origen missed.

          Also note that the accusations that Eusebius forged the TF go back about a thousand years.

          So here is one similarity between Luke and Antiquities that is not from Luke using Josephus.

        • Jesse H

          Why exactly are we discounting the possibility that Josephus uses Luke as a source?

        • Greg G.

          Why exactly are we discounting the possibility that Josephus uses Luke as a source?

          Excellent question! I think it is shown by the level of details in the text. For example, Bernice and Drusilla are mentioned only in conjunction with their husbands in Acts. They play no role in the plot of the story. Each mention of their names could just as easily have been “and his wife” or nothing at all. It is as if Luke included them because his source mentioned them. But Josephus tells us about their family, the fact that they are sisters, their marriages, even that Felix and Drusilla died in the Vesuvius eruption.

          In Life 2, Josephus tells about his earlier religious life. He says that when he was 14, he used to talk to the men about points of the law which impressed them. The story of Jesus at the temple at age 12 is quite similar, but with the added “three days” and the age of “twelve” apparently being the literary technique of foreshadowing.

          In Acts 5, Gamaliel mentions two bad guys, Theudas and Judas the Galilean, with Theudas being at least a decade in the future, so we know it is not a true story. Antiquities is discussing rebels in consecutive sections, mentioning Theudas and the sons of Judas second. He just mentions Judas briefly to explain who his sons were.

          In Acts 21:38, the tribune who has taken Paul into custody is surprised that Paul is not the Egyptian who led a revolt of 4000 of men of the Sicarii into the wilderness. In Antiquities of the Jews 20.8.6, Josephus describes the Egyptian as a prophet who led a multitude of common people to the Mount of Olives. Earlier in that passage, it was other imposters and deceivers who led multitudes into the wilderness. The Sicarii are explained in Antiquities of the Jews 20.8.10, even the derivation of the name. Luke has again mixed and matched selected details of his source.

          Judas the Galilean, the Sicarii, and the Egyptian are also described by Josephus in Jewish Wars.

        • Pofarmer

          The story of Jesus at the temple at age 12 is quite similar, but with
          the added “three days” and the age of “twelve” apparently being the
          literary technique of foreshadowing.

          Well, 12 seems to have been an important number for the Jews.

        • Greg G.

          Yep, twelve months in a year, twelve constellations in the night sky, twelve tribes of Israel.

          I recall reading that the Egyptians had something about there being 13 islands in the Nile Delta but after one flood season, one of them disappeared. IIRC, it had something to do with the story of Osiris being killed by Set who chopped up his body into thirteen pieces and threw them into the river. When Isis collected the parts and put them together, his penis was missing because a fish ate it.

        • Pofarmer

          So back to 12 pieces How much of the stuff we deal with today was dictated by ancient superstitions?

        • Greg G.

          Even 360 degrees of a circle goes back to 12 thirty day months but that was before Judaism, IIRC.

        • Jesse H

          Luke’s non-elaboration on Bernice and Drusilla is hardly proof that he’s quoting, and you have to assert Luke putting in foreshadowing details about Christ’s life as if that proves why his details are different. That’s what’s called speculation based on non-evidence. And I already answered Gamaliel with him speaking of earlier revolts.

          And to your last objection I’ll quote Albert Barnes:

          Art not thou that Egyptian? – That
          Egyptian was probably a Jew who resided in Egypt. Josephus has given an
          account of this Egyptian which strikingly accords with the statement
          here recorded by Luke. See Josephus, Antiq., book 20, chapter 8, section 6, and Jewish Wars,
          book 2, chapter 13, section 5. The account which he gives is, that this
          Egyptian, whose name he does not mention, came from Egypt to Jerusalem,
          and said that he was a prophet, and advised the multitude of the common
          people to go with him to the Mount of Olives. He said further that he
          would show them from thence how the walls of Jerusalem would fall down:
          and he promised them that he would procure for them an entrance through
          those walls when they were fallen down. Josephus adds (Jewish Wars
          ) that he got together 30,000 men that were deluded by him; “these he
          led round about from the wilderness to the mount which was called the
          Mount of Olives, and was ready to break into Jerusalem by force from
          that place. But Felix, who was apprised of his movements, marched
          against him with the Roman soldiers, and defeated him, and killed 400 of
          them, and took 200 alive. But the Egyptian escaped himself out of the
          fight, but did not appear anymore.” It was natural that the Roman
          tribune should suppose that Paul was this Egyptian, and that his return
          had produped this commotion and excitement among the people.

          Madest an uproar – Producing a sedition, or a rising among the people. Greek: “That Egyptian, who before these days having risen up.”

          Into the wilderness – This
          corresponds remarkably with the account of Josephus. He indeed mentions
          that he led his followers to the Mount of Olives, but he expressly says
          that “he led them round about from the wilderness.” This wilderness was
          the wild and uncultivated mountainous tract of country lying to the
          east of Jerusalem, and between it and the river Jordan. See the notes on
          Matthew 3:1.
          It is also another striking coincidence showing the truth of the
          narrative, that neither Josephus nor Luke mention the name of this
          Egyptian, though he was so prominent and acted so distinguished a part.

          Four thousand men – There
          is here a remarkable discrepancy between the chief captain and
          Josephus. The latter says that there were 30,000 men. In regard to this,
          the following remarks may be made:

          (1) This cannot be alleged to convict Luke of a false statement, for
          his record is, that the chief captain made the statement, and it cannot
          be proved that Luke has put into his mouth words which he did not utter.
          All that he is responsible for is a correct report of what the Roman
          tribune said, not the truth or falsehood of his statement. It is
          certainly possible that that might have been the common estimate of the
          number then, and that the account given by Josephus might have been made
          from more correct information. Or it is possible, certainly, that the
          statement by Josephus is incorrect.

          (2) if Luke were to be held responsible for the statement of the
          number, yet it remains to be shown that he is not as credible a
          historian as Josephus. Why should Josephus be esteemed infallible, and
          Luke false? Why should the accuracy of Luke be tested by Josephus,
          rather than the accuracy of Josephus by Luke? Infidels usually assume
          that profane historians are infallible, and then endeavor to convict the
          sacred writers of falsehood.

          (3) the narrative of Luke is the more probable of the two. It is more
          probable that the number was only 4,000 than that it was 30,000
          thousand; for Josephus says that 400 were killed and 200 were taken
          prisoners, and that thus they were dispersed. Now, it is scarcely
          credible that an army of 30,000 desperadoes and cut-throats would be
          dispersed by so small a slaughter and captivity. But if the number was
          originally only 4,000, it is entirely credible that the loss of 600
          would discourage and dissipate the remainder.

          (4) it is possible that the chief captain refers only to the
          organized Sicarii, or murderers that the Egyptian led with him, and
          Josephus to the multitude that afterward joined them the rabble of the
          discontented and disorderly that followed them on their march. Or,

          (5) There may have been an error in transcribing Josephus. It has
          been supposed that he originally wrote four thousand, but that ancient
          copyists, mistaking the ( Δ D) delta, four, for ( Λ L) lambda, thirty, wrote 30,000 instead of 4,000. Which of these solutions is adopted is not material.

          That were murderers – Greek: men of the Sicarii – τῶν σικαρίων tōn
          sikariōnThis is originally a Latin word, and is derived from sica, a
          short sword, sabre, or crooked knife, which could be easily concealed
          under the garment. Hence, it came to denote “assassins,” and to be
          applied to “banditti, or robbers.” It does not mean that they had
          actually committed murder, but that they were desperadoes and banditti,
          and were drawn together for purposes of plunder and of blood. This class
          of people was exceedingly numerous in Judea. See the notes on Luke 10:30

        • Greg G.

          Luke’s non-elaboration on Bernice and Drusilla is hardly proof that he’s quoting, and you have to assert Luke putting in foreshadowing details about Christ’s life as if that proves why his details are different. That’s what’s called speculation based on non-evidence. And I already answered Gamaliel with him speaking of earlier revolts.

          I told you that there are dozens of these coincidences. You can deny them one at a time but they add up to a pattern that you will have to explain. The frequency of the coincidences shows you are simply in denial. Josephus tells about the sons of Judas the Galilean right after Theudas and throws in something to explain who they were in relation to Judas. If there was an earlier Theudas that was famous enough for Gamaliel to mention, Josephus would likely have explained his relationship with the Theudas he was talking about.

          But in these coincidences, there are often factoids pulled from nearby passages into Luke’s invented narrative.

          I find there are four man and woman pairs in Acts. Besides Bernice and Drusilla, there are Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11 who were killed by Peter for not sharing the proceeds of a sale of property. That story is very much like the Ahab and Jezebel story in 1 Kings 20:1-21:21 with the crime being Achan’s of Joshua 7. The setup for that is in Acts 4:32-37 about how the believers shared everything. That is how Josephus described the Essens in Antiquities of the Jews 18.1.5, “This is demonstrated by that institution of theirs, which will not suffer any thing to hinder them from having all things in common; so that a rich man enjoys no more of his own wealth than he who hath nothing at all.”

          The other pair is Aquila and Priscilla, who came to Corinth from Rome after Claudius expelled the Jews. Luke goes on to tell what Aquila did but nothing more about Priscilla. It should be obvious that the names come from Romans 16:3 and 1 Corinthians 16:19.

          Other females mentioned in Luke are a certain girl with a spirit of divination, Acts 16:16, Candace, Queen of the Ethiopians, Acts 8:27, , Damaris, Acts 17:34, Lydia, Acts 16:14-15, Mary, mother of John Mark, Acts 12:12, Rhoda, servant girl of Mary, mother of John Mark, Acts 12:13, and Tabitha, aka Dorcas, widow from Joppa, Acts 9:36-40 play a role in the narrative.

          Priscilla, Bernice, and Drusilla are there for window dressing because a source mentioned them.

          Like Theudas and Judas the Galilean, Luke takes information from nearby passages in the text. Taking information from different places and combining it is a technique that Greeks called mimesis, the Romans called imitatio, and the Jews called midrash. Your copy/paste fails to consider that for the Egyptian. In Antiquities, the Egyptian went to the Mount of Olives, not to the wilderness. Somebody else went into the wilderness in the previous sentence. The Sicarii are mentioned a couple of paragraphs later where Josephus explains that the assassins used a sickle shaped sword. As far as the number 4000, Josephus’ numbers often seem high but Luke like to use fives and tens and multiples of ten, so he may have multiplied the 400. Luke was making stuff up anyway.

          Theists invented the Q document to explain the similarities between Matthew and Luke without having to explain the differences. Luke copied from Mark but left out a lot, too. Luke abandons Mark’s narrative for the trip to Jerusalem from Luke 10 to Luke 18:14. Luke 8:4 to Luke 9:18 follows Mark but jumps from Mark 6:46 to Mark 8:27, also known as the Great Omission, skipping the walking on water and the Feeding of the 4000. Why wouldn’t Luke do the same stuff with Matthew?

          But scholars still posit that Matthew and Luke had there own sources. But when shown first century writings that match up on doesn’t of points, it is rejected because they were expecting it to be about Jesus. Luke seems to have used at least one more source for history and probably some literature about sea travel.

        • Jesse H

          I don’t have a problem with the idea that Luke and Josephus used a similar source, but also just that Luke and Josephus are historians relying on the same historical realities. But it’s when you start making assertions like “Luke was making stuff up” and Luke puts names in for window dressing and Luke quotes from the epistles that I have a problem. Luke’s use of Priscilla and Aquila doesn’t mean he gets this from Paul’s epistles.

          And I fully understand the Q document and it’s entirely speculative, as are other ideas of M document or other materials. I don’t have a problem saying Luke used sources perhaps more than other Gospels, but every theory has counter-factuals including Q theory.

          The best theory is that the synoptic Gospels are similar yet independent Gospels with unknown source material but which exhibit eye-witness testimony, interviews with eye-witnesses, theological commentary and remarkable cohesion which, along with John, present a four-fold account of the remarkable life of Christ.

        • Grimlock

          A question, if you don’t mind.

          Which specific behaviors of the author of Luke do you think indicates that the author was an historian, and that the author intended Luke as a work of historical accuracy?

        • Jesse H

          The testimony of the Luke-Acts narrative about eyewitness accounts and his own undertaking. The verified numerous details of Acts which point to authenticity. https://www.academia.edu/454431/Studies_In_The_Historicity_of_Acts

        • I’ve heard it said that Luke is accurate because it matches Josephus. But couldn’t Luke have copied from Josephus?

        • Grimlock

          Let me see if I understand you correctly.

          You think that the reason that the author of the Gospel of Luke intended the work as a work of historical accuracy, and that the author was an historian, was
          1. That Acts (different text, possibly same author) accurately represents the milieu at the time, and
          2. The testimony of the author and eyewitness account, which I suspect is a reference to Luke 1:1-4?

          Is this an accurate representation of your view?

        • Jesse H

          Those are two pieces of evidence, yes.

        • Grimlock

          Cool.

          Here’s my take on those two aspects, and I’d be curious to hear what you think of it.

          1. My understanding is that Luke is often dated to the 70s, and as such it doesn’t come as a surprise that the general milieu is fairly accurate. The author does appear familiar with the genre of history from that time, and would plausibly have access to texts and information from the previous few decades.

          As such, no surprise that the depiction of the milieu is fairly accurate. It is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the contents and events in the texts to be considered reliable.

          In other words, it is more compelling than the alternative. But not by much.

          2. With respect to this one, a flimsy four verses that makes vague claims about investigations and eyewitnesses is hardly compelling as a discussion of methodology. Particularly not when compared to how thorough some ancient historians were when discussing their methodology and approach. These four verses look more like posing by the autyor than anything else.

        • Jesse H

          Taking Luke-Acts together since they are written by the same author we have a compelling picture of 1st century history. This has convinced people like William Mitchell Ramsay who was a foremost Asia Minor archeologist. He started as a skeptic but concluded that Luke-Acts could hold up better than any other historians.

          But the question is what would be compelling to you.

        • Grimlock

          But the question is what would be compelling to you.

          Depends what you were talking about.

          Convince me that Luke-Acts has a fairly accurate depiction of the milieu at the time? (Late 1st century.) That I can already accept, more or less.

          Convince me that the author of Luke intended the work as accurately representing actual events? That’d take a bit more. What should shift me in that direction could be a thorough analysis from someone I accept as a scholarly authority (e.g. Ehrman) that concludes that Luke shows signs and similarities with historical works of the same era. Right now my impression is that the opposite is true.

          Convince me that the (supernatural) events in Luke actually happened? That would take a lot more, including somehow shifting my background knowledge that currently gives supernatural events a pretty low prior probability.

        • Greg G.

          Luke is considered to be a good historian because he is supported by Josephus, the most robust record of Judean history, especially for the first century. I think the better explanation is that Luke used Antiquities of the Jews and Josephus’ auto biography as a muse for story lines as well as an encyclopedia. I suspect he (or she) used at least one other historical source.

          The eyewitness testimony mentioned in Luke 1:1-4 appears to be Mark and Matthew, poosibly John, too. The coincidences with Josephus appear only in the 25% of Luke that does not come from the gospels. If the similarities were just coincidences, we should expect them to be more evenly spread.

          In Acts, the author uses bits of information from nearby but unrelated accounts to concoct a story.

          That puts Luke no earlier than the end of the first century. There are some blatant tells in Matthew that his nativity story with the baby killing comes from Josephus’ account of Moses’ nativity, not the Exodus account. So that pushes Luke back, too.

        • Pofarmer

          If Matthew used Josephus, instead of the Torah, then doesn’t that really create more questions about who Matthew really was?

        • Greg G.

          I think it eliminates many questions unless the answers are 90 years old. A younger person could be almost anybody.

        • Pofarmer

          They would not have the long history of study if they were.

          People have studied Homer’s epics for longer.

          Hell, the Egyptian religion lasted for well over a thousand years longer than Christianity has so far. I mean, It must have all been true, right?

        • epeeist

          People have studied Homer’s epics for longer.

          Not forgetting the Hindu Vedas, the Confucian Analects and the Buddhist Pali Canon.

        • Pofarmer

          For that matter there are still those worship the nordic in the roman gods

        • Jesse H

          Wrong on all counts. The Vedas, Analects or the Pali Canon do not predate the Mosaic texts with attribution to 1200 to 1400 BC. Not to mention that Confucius and Buddha lived 500 years or more after Moses.

        • epeeist

          The Vedas, Analects or the Pali Canon do not predate the Mosaic texts

          I was making an addendum to the post by Pofarmer. He was responding to your post in which you said, “The originality of the Gospels is without dispute.”

          So, the person that is wrong on all counts would appear to be you. The Iliad, the Odyssey and all the works I mentioned are older than the gospels.

        • MR
        • Jesse H

          But not the Bible taken as a whole, which it is, including the Mosaic texts which are referenced many times in the Gospels.

        • epeeist

          But not the Bible taken as a whole

          You really can’t help yourself can you. Having been shown to be wrong in your original post you double down by pretending you meant something else.

          As it is there are other texts that are older than the Mosaic texts, for example the Maxims of Ptahhotep, the Dispilio tablet, the Epic of Gilgamesh.

          Oh, and this paper might be of interest.

        • Jesse H

          I can see where what you were explaining is texts that are older than the Gospels. I misunderstood.

          I can appreciate the Maxims of Ptahhotep and the Epic of Gilgamesh but on the basis of historical significance, religious belief, cultural appropriation and centuries of study it’s safe to say the Mosaic texts hold more value.

          The paper you shared is interesting. I know of efforts that are digitizing every Greek manuscript of the NT text with painstaking effort, the cameras alone are $100,000 and can in some cases see the text written on the palimpsests.

        • Greg G.

          Egyptian archaeology shows that there were never large numbers of Israelis in Egypt. Israeli and Christian archaeology finds no trace of large numbers of people living in the Sinai for a long period of time. Israeli archaeology shows no disruption of culture around the time the Israelis were supposed to have arrived. What they see is sites with similar culture but some have pig bones and some do not. The biggest traceable difference in culture was a particular dietary restriction. That means there was no Exodus and no Moses. So Moses is a myth and all the other generations before him all the way back to Adam.

        • MR

          Which reminds me, I finished “The Bible Unearthed” if you want to borrow it. It details all kinds of anachronistic problems with the Bible.

        • Is that “The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts” by Neil Asher Silberman and Israel Finkelstein?

        • MR

          That would be the one.

        • Greg G.

          The expurgated version.

        • MR

          Well, there is some softening of the blow, but the implications are pretty clear.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ave just ordered it on your recommendation.

        • MR

          His theory is very interesting and makes sense, but what I really found interesting was some of the damning evidence against the Biblical narrative. I have an old book on Bible Archaeology that I kept from when I was still a Christian looking at that stuff. Some of the things he mentions in the book are things that he says have been known for decades, so I went back to my old book to look up a couple of points, and sure enough, they make this passing allusion to things like, “although the dating is not clear…,” or some other hand-waving comment. Just like our typical apologists here, they just simply ignore and step over the parts that disprove their argument. Very interesting. Greg’s mentioned a couple things like there were no walls of Jericho during the time Joshua was supposed to have blown down the walls of Jericho, but other interesting and undisputed things like the Israelites in conflict with tribes that hadn’t even moved into the area yet. Definitely an interesting read. A flyover of Israel on Google Earth is definitely worth doing as you read the book, too, to get a sense of the geography.

        • Jesse H

          I can bring up biblical archeology that disagrees with that viewpoint. But the larger picture is simply this: whether or not we find artifacts is not really proof against something. It’s certainly nice to find scads of archeological support, but it’s an argument from silence. We have lots of reasons to suppose that Egyptians would want to wipe away the embarrassing memory of Israelite presence and Yahweh dominating their gods.

        • Greg G.

          If a third of the Egyptian work force walked away, do you think job one on the to-do list of rest of the work force is going to be selectively scrubbing four centuries of evidence of Israelis and replacing it with evidence of non-Israelis?

        • MR

          It’s funny how he just admitted that he has nothing and thinks we won’t notice.

        • Tell biblical archaeology to find the 2 million dead Israelites in the Sinai from 3000 years ago. They should be well preserved, since they didn’t cremate and the desert preserves things well.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The Vedas, Analects or the Pali Canon do not predate the Mosaic texts with attribution to 1200 to 1400 BC.

          More crap.

          One of the oldest known religious texts is the Kesh Temple Hymn of Ancient Sumer, a set of inscribed clay tablets which scholars typically date around 2600 BCE. The Epic of Gilgamesh from Sumer, although only considered by some scholars as a religious text, has origins as early as 2150 BCE, and stands as one of the earliest literary works that includes various mythological figures and themes of interaction with the divine. The ‘’Rig Veda’’ – a scripture of Hinduism – is dated to between 1500–1200 BCE. It is one of the oldest known complete religious texts that has survived into the modern age.

          There are many possible dates given to the first writings which can be connected to Talmudic and Biblical traditions, the earliest of which is found in scribal documentation of the 8th century BCE, followed by administrative documentation from temples of the 5th and 6th centuries BCE, with another common date being the 2nd century BCE. Although a significant text in the history of religious text because of its widespread use among religious denominations and its continued use throughout history, the texts of the Abrahamic traditions are a good example of the lack of certainty surrounding dates and definitions of religious texts.

          The story of Moses is a later made up yarn than the time in which the yarn is set.

        • Jesse H

          I didn’t mention Sumerian texts as you can note. I’m not saying that the Mosaic texts are older than all texts. But by the same token there’s a bias to date the Mosaic texts 8th century BC. If that same bias was applied to Sumerian texts there very well would be a different date. There’s also a good reason why the Abrahamic texts have stood up against the Sumerian texts as being more relevant and trustworthy. Sure, we can compare the Rigveda with its polyglot polytheism and see how it stands up philosophically.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I didn’t mention Sumerian texts as you can note.

          That prevents me from mentioning them how exactly?

          My reason for doing so?

          “A lot of the stories in the Old Testament are in fact plagiarized material, particularly from the rich mythical heritage of the Sumerians – the inventors of writing. The story of Noah and the flood story, the creation of man out of clay, Cain and Abel, the gardens of Eden, the tree of knowledge, creation of Eve from Adams rib, and numerous other myths, like the throwing of Moses in the river after he was born, are all but stories found recorded on Sumerian clay tablets dating 5000 years back in time”

          … This has long been common knowledge amongst the scholars of history, archeology and anthropology, but I find it extremely necessary today, in the so called information age, to drag it out of the academic realm and expose it in the open before the public eyes.

          Here’s something for you: https://ashraf62.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/hebrew-bible-plagiarized-mythology-and-defaced-monotheism/

          I’m not saying that the Mosaic texts are older than all texts.

          You’re not? My mistake. I thought the referencing the age of the text and how much it has been studied was support for its veracity.

          But by the same token there’s a bias to date the Mosaic texts 8th century BC.

          What bias is that then? Who is engaging in this bias?

          Who Wrote the Torah?
          Textual, Historical, Sociological, and Ideological Cornerstones of the Formation of the Pentateuch

          If we can assume with some probability that the Pentateuch was written between the ninth and the fourth centuries B.C.E., how can we reconstruct its literary genesis in greater detail? We should begin by introducing a very general observation. Ancient Israel is part of the ancient Near East. Ancient Israel was a small political entity surrounded by greater, and much older, empires in Egpyt and Mesopotamia. It is therefore more than likely that Israel’s literature was deeply influenced by its neighbours and their ideologies and theologies. An extraordinary piece of evidence of cultural transfer is a fragment of the Gilgamesh epic (dating to the fourteenth century B.C.E.) found in Megiddo in northern Israel. The fragment proves that Mesopotamian literature was known and read in the Levant. Also noteworthy is the text of Darius’s late-sixth-century Behistun inscription both in Persia and in Egypt, where it existed as an Aramaic translation.

          Of course, there are indigenous traditions in ancient Israel that are not paralleled in other ancient Near Eastern material. But some of the most prominent texts in the Pentateuch creatively adapt the ancient world’s knowledge, and it is important to discern this background in order to understand the biblical texts properly and with their own emphases.

          https://www.ias.edu/ideas/2018/schmid-torah

          If that same bias was applied to Sumerian texts there very well would be a different date.

          You really don’t have a clue, do ya? Go away and learn something about this stuff before talking nonsense.

          There’s also a good reason why the Abrahamic texts have stood up against the Sumerian texts as being more relevant and trustworthy.

          What’s that then?

          Sure, we can compare the Rigveda with its polyglot polytheism and see how it stands up philosophically.

          Indeed. Let me guess. Not very well compared to your particular flavour of the Christian cults. And when outsiders compare yours, what do you think the answer will be. Try taking the outsider test for faith. When you realise the reason why other religions are not impressing you, then you might just come to terms why the others aren’t impressed by yours.

        • Jesse H

          I agree the Mosaic texts occur within an ancient near eastern mindset and occur within a culture influenced by other cultures. This doesn’t mean that the texts were written in the 8th C. BC. In fact the quote you give actually assumes that from the outset rather than trying to prove that. (Not very good historical or textual analysis).

          The evidence of the Abrahamic texts having more relevance than the Sumerian texts is obvious. Simply look at the world, culture, Christians, Muslims, Jews, philosophy, history and science. I agree this doesn’t defacto mean that the Abrahamic texts are truthful, but they certainly are more significant and relevant in the human history that we see.

          I take the outsider test for faith all the time. I’ve dialogued with Muslims, Mormons, Catholics, Protestants, and atheists. I don’t get as much of a chance to dialogue with Hindus and Buddhists, but I’ve certainly interacted with Eastern beliefs through books, debates and reading their texts.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I agree the Mosaic texts occur within an ancient near eastern mindset and occur within a culture influenced by other cultures.

          Which impugns their uniqueness and therefore not YahwehJesus inspired.

          This doesn’t mean that the texts were written in the 8th C. BC. In fact the quote you give actually assumes that from the outset rather than trying to prove that. (Not very good historical or textual analysis).

          Read the whole article. The buybull is a construct built up over centuries. It can’t have been put down in print before the people learned how to write. The article explains why scholars set the terminus a quo circa the 8th century BCE. It wasn’t just pulled outta their arse. That’s not to say an oral tradition didn’t exist before any writing took place.

          The evidence you rely on is circular. It relies on the buybull to support the buybull. It relies on Moses being the author, and Moses living at a certain period of time. The problem is, the consensus of scholars now is that Moses was a mythical figure and there is no evidence worth consideration that supports the thesis that he existed and led a couple of million slaves outta captivity and got lost in the wilderness for 40 years. There is a far more parsimonious explanation.

          The evidence of the Abrahamic texts having more relevance than the Sumerian texts is obvious. Simply look at the world, culture, Christians, Muslims, Jews, philosophy, history and science. I agree this doesn’t defacto mean that the Abrahamic texts are truthful, but they certainly are more significant and relevant in the human history that we see.

          The Abrahamic texts are derived from the Sumerian and other ANE cultures. That means they are not original. That means they are plagiarised, which is stealing. That means that the world, culture, Christians, Muslims, Jews, philosophy, history and science that they are based on is by extension, the Sumerian texts and the influence of other ANE cultures. That’s my point. It isn’t YahwehJesus inspired or original. It is cobbled. There was no Adam & Eve as the first couple who ate some fruit and thereby sinned and in doing, condemned humanity. Therefore, the Jesus story of vicarious redemption is predicated on a myth, if not a myth in and of itself.

          I take the outsider test for faith all the time. I’ve dialogued with Muslims, Mormons, Catholics, Protestants, and atheists. I don’t get as much of a chance to dialogue with Hindus and Buddhists, but I’ve certainly interacted with Eastern beliefs through books, debates and reading their texts.

          You clearly don’t know what the OTfF is by that comment.

          You may have had dialogue with outsiders, but do you believe their supernatural religious claims?

          Do you believe Mo rode a flying horse to get the word of Allah off an archangel? I doubt ya do. If not, why not? Because it is a lot of mumbo-jumbo perchance? But the claims of Christianity, they are not. That’s the fallacy of special pleading. There’s no more reason for an outsider to believe your holy mumbo jumbo than there is for you to believe theirs. Atheist just don’t believe any of it.

        • Jesse H

          Evidence that the Mosaic texts have areas of agreement with ANE culture doesn’t at all mean they are cobbled together. They occurred within an historical framework, as all texts do. And we can analyze where the Mosaic texts differ significantly from Sumerian views and Hammurabi and Gilgamesh.

          You seem to say that people didn’t know how to write before the 8th C BC? Am I reading that right?

          Are you saying that I have to adopt the worldview and beliefs of other religions in order to really test my faith? That doesn’t make sense. We have to look at evidence, evaluate our worldviews and come to a conclusion. I can’t believe in something against the evidence, or change my worldview without evidence.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Evidence that the Mosaic texts have areas of agreement with ANE culture doesn’t at all mean they are cobbled together.

          Here’s how it works. When a text contains an earlier text from a culture that the newer text has had contact with, it can be deduced that the older text is the original. When a number of bits of texts from a number of cultures are plagiarised and and thrown into a new book, the term “cobbled together” is apt.

          They occurred within an historical framework, as all texts do.

          FFS, you really haven’t a fuckin’ clue about anything. You are embarrassing yerself. That’s because you aren’t willing to learn anything and won’t read the links being provided.

          And we can analyze where the Mosaic texts differ significantly from Sumerian views and Hammurabi and Gilgamesh.

          It’s not where they differ that is relevant. It’s where they are the same. In ideas, concepts, and words.

          You seem to say that people didn’t know how to write before the 8th C BC? Am I reading that right?

          Nope. That’s your shite reading for comprehension yet again.

          The landmark set in the ninth and eighth century B.C.E. by the high amount and new quality of written texts in ancient Israel and Judah corresponds to another relevant feature. At this time, Israel begins to be perceived by its neighbors as a state. That is, not only internal changes in the development of writing, but also external, contemporaneous perceptions hint that Israel and Judah had reached a level of cultural development in the eighth–ninth centuries to enable literary text production.

          A good example are the Assyrian inscriptions from the mid-ninth century B.C.E. that mention Jehu, the man of Bit-Humri, which means Jehu of the house of Omri. The Black Obelisk even displays Jehu in a picture (bowing in front of the Assyrian king), being the oldest extant image of an Israelite.

          Based on these observations about the development of a scribal culture in ancient Israel, we can assume that the earliest texts in the Pentateuch may have originated as literary pieces from the ninth and eighth centuries B.C.E. But to repeat: This chronological claim pertains only to their literary shape, whereas the oral traditions behind them could be much older, perhaps at times reaching back into the second millennium B.C.E.

          Are you saying that I have to adopt the worldview and beliefs of other religions in order to really test my faith?

          Try not to be so fucking stupid, will ya?

          https://religions.wiki/index.php/Outsider_test

          That doesn’t make sense. We have to look at evidence, evaluate our worldviews and come to a conclusion. I can’t believe in something against the evidence, or change my worldview without evidence.

          Just as well that that isn’t what the OTfF entails then, isn’t it? You just can’t use Google search at all, can ya?

        • Greg G.

          Hell, the Egyptian religion lasted for well over a thousand years longer than Christianity has so far. I mean, It must have all been true, right?

          The youngest pyramids were older when Christianity began than how old Christianity is to us. Much of what we know about ancient Egyptian religion comes from those pyramids.

        • Jesse H

          Can you point to billions of believers in Homer today? Can you point to Egyptian religious believers today? I’m not saying that belief today necessitates truth but I am saying that truth is real and what is real lasts. So the continued longevity of the judeo-Christian tradition for 3500 years (with oral tradition to what I would argue is the beginning of any human tradition) certainly is a point in its favor.

        • Pofarmer

          Can you point to billions of believers in Homer today?

          Certainly billions of people have studied Homer today.

          Can you point to Egyptian religious believers today?

          I’m sure there are some. Sam Harris points out that whenever he says “Nobody believes in X anymore, he gets nasty messages.

          I’m not saying that belief today necessitates truth

          Belief has zip point nada to do with truth.

          I am saying that truth is real and what is real lasts

          How do you know that the real and true belief wasn’t eclipsed by a false one? See the point directly above.

          So the continued longevity of the judeo-Christian tradition for 3500
          years (with oral tradition to what I would argue is the beginning of any
          human tradition) certainly is a point in its favor.

          Or you could argue that it’s the most malleable, historically most violent, and most evil belief system so it has managed to win out so far, in some areas, against some beliefs.

        • Jesse H

          One would need a severe case of pessimism and historical blinders to say that Christianity won by violence and evil. Secular humanism and Christianity share many values, in fact one can make the case that secular humanism borrows its values from Christianity.
          I’m not saying there isn’t violence or evil in Christianity’s past, just that if we truly have an idea of humanity progressing/learning/adapting in any way then we should see good progression, not evil. I’m saying that truth and good are lasting values. We don’t progress or survive on non-realistic beliefs or evils. Long term these things don’t last.

        • Pofarmer

          One would need a severe case of pessimism and historical blinders to say that Christianity won by violence and evil.

          Or you could, ya know, just look at history.

          In Christian countries for centuries unbeleivers couldn’t own property or have positions. To speak out could get you our right killed. Hell. We had a religious war on our Southern border at the turn of the 20th century. The Genocide in Darfur had a huge religious component.

          Secular humanism and Christianity share many values, in fact one can

          make the case that secular humanism borrows its values from

          Christianity.

          Even if this is true, it progresses by discarding the dross.

          I’m not saying there isn’t violence or evil in Christianity’s past, just

          that if we truly have an idea of humanity progressing/learning/adapting

          in any way then we should see good progression, not evil

          I’m sure you feel that way. But it’s nonsense. Human society really progressed once it started bypassing the mental shackles of religion.

          I’m saying that truth and good are lasting values. We don’t progress or
          survive on non-realistic beliefs or evils. Long term these things don’t
          last.

          Hinduism and Buddhism have been around longer then Christianity and together, have more adherents. Does this make them “true.”? Islam is now set to eclipse Christianity and become the worlds largest religion, possibly in our lifetimes. Does this mean Islam is good and true?

        • Women are people

          “ One would need a severe case of pessimism and historical blinders to say that Christianity won by violence and evil.”

          Is this dude serious? Is he unaware that Christianity was spread through WAR? The crusades? Hello?

        • Pofarmer

          Inquisitions, forced conversions, excommunications, etc, etc, ad nauseum.

        • Jesse H

          How is it that Christianity influenced the Roman empire? How about how the barbaric European tribes were civilized? How did Christians influence Ireland, England and the world? Sure, the Crusades were a military response to the aggression of Islam. But to say that Christianity influenced the world primarily by violence is historically ignorant.

        • Women are people

          “ Sure, the Crusades were a military response to the aggression of Islam. ”

          Do you just make shit up as you go?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yep, that seems to be just about the thick of it.

        • Jesse H

          It’s complex obviously, but Muslims conquering Jerusalem had a lot to do with the Crusades.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Too complex for you to understand, ya idiot, that’s for sure. Just not as complex as ya think for the rest of us of course.

          The Islamization of Jerusalem happened in 638 CE. The Christianization and formation of the Kingdom of Jerusalem happened in 1099 CE.

          So the crusades were in the planning for over four and a half centuries? Wise up ta fuck. Why wasn’t an army convened by an earlier more powerful pope than Urban II? Urban II seen an opportunity to bring together the feudaling aristocrats of western Europe that was breaking his empire apart, and a chance to re-unify the schism between Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church and the Byzantine empire.

          Why don’t you do some research and find out the real reason for the crusades?

          https://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/opinion/sunday/the-true-story-of-the-first-crusade.html

        • Jesse H

          Thank you. So the fact that the Crusades set out to retake Jerusalem and the fact that they accomplished this has nothing to do with the overall narrative? I agree it’s complex and that the Eastern Western schism plays a part, along with economic motivations. I wouldn’t say that re-taking Jerusalem has nothing to do with the motivations.

        • Ignorant Amos

          My three year old granddaughter has better comprehension skills than you ffs.

          So the fact that the Crusades set out to retake Jerusalem and the fact that they accomplished this has nothing to do with the overall narrative?

          That was the end result, but the retaking of Jerusalem hadn’t a lot to do with the first crusade.

          You didn’t initially say anything about the retaking of Jerusalem you moron, try and stay focused and use that amoeba sized brain behind your eyeballs.

          The retaking of Jerusalem as the reason for the first crusade is outdated 19th century rubbish. What you’d call “fake news”.

          You said… Muslims conquering Jerusalem had a lot to do with the Crusades.…which is absolute ballix coming from the head of a clueless fuckwit.

          Jerusalem had been conquered four and a half centuries earlier. If you’d said Muslim occupation of the Holy Lands was one of the reasons you might have had a wee bit of an argument.

          What had a lot to do with the first crusade were the political agendas of Pope Urban II and Emperor Alexios I Komnenos, in the 11th century turmoil of Europe.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Crusade#Historiographical_debate

        • Ignorant Amos

          I wouldn’t say that re-taking Jerusalem has nothing to do with the motivations.

          I don’t care what you wouldn’t say. You’ve demonstrated yourself to be a dishonest know nothing that spews out fallacy after fallacy. When you are shown to be wrong, you double down and churn out another straw man through your lying arse.

          The conquest of Jerusalem by the muslims wasn’t why the first Christian crusade was implemented.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Ignorant Amos

          How did Christians influence Ireland, England and the world?

          By conquest.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_Ireland#Cambro-Normans

        • Women are people

          That’s a whole lotta logical fallacies in that response.

          Secular humanism borrows it’s values from Christianity?
          That’s odd since it was once considered a Christian value to own other humans as property.

          How do you square that with your claim?

        • Can you point to billions of believers in Homer today?

          Some religion will be #1. That doesn’t mean that religion #1 will be accurate.

          That’s especially important for you to remember since Christianity is projected to be supplanted by Islam in about 2070.

        • Jesse H

          First off, that’s a ridiculous assessment. What do you mean by supplanted? That there will me more Muslims than Christians? I guess it’s possible but if that’s the case atheists better severely hope that Sharia is not the law of the land because atheists are beheaded sometimes more quickly than Christians.

        • First off, that’s a ridiculous assessment. What do you mean by supplanted? That there will me more Muslims than Christians? I guess it’s possible

          That’s what the survey data says. Not possible—likely. So, no, not ridiculous.

          if that’s the case atheists better severely hope that Sharia is not the law of the land because atheists are beheaded sometimes more quickly than Christians.

          Hmm, that’s a good point. Say, I have an idea: why don’t Christians stop attacking the separation of church and state so that if there is a surge of nutty religious thinking, it’ll stay out of government? Sounds like both Christians and atheists win.

        • Jesse H

          Well, I would argue that secular humanism shares many ideals with Christianity which are not (and can never be) shared by Sharia. And the idea that we can have a secular gov’t without Christianity (or religious morality) is actually missing the commonality of those shared ideals. The Founders were wise enough to understand that the Constitutional ideals were not simply secular “in a vacuum” unfounded from religious ideals. The separation of Church and State is not found in the constitution, the actual notion is that Church should not establish a religion. Church and State should remain separate entities which influence each other. Only by this do they both remain strong.

          Here is where we might actually be able to agree the most. If you read the Federalist papers many of these ideas are fleshed out. The Founders were indeed brilliant, they neither wanted a Church-run State nor a State-run Church. But they recognized that there is no such thing as an entirely secularized society which doesn’t lose many ideals. Secular humanism is in many ways good as a philosophy, but without the metaphysical moorings granted by actual transcendence it quickly can lose its moorings.

          This is a fascinating topic, because I think secular humanism tries to accomplish a purpose but because it doesn’t have the true religious zealotry required for such lofty ideals is cannot hope to succeed simply on philosophical grounds.

        • The Constitution calls the shots in the US, and that’s a good thing for Christians and atheists (Muslims, too).

          And the idea that we can have a secular gov’t without Christianity (or religious morality) is actually missing the commonality of those shared ideals.

          Christianity is religion. There’s no role for that in the government of a secular country, by definition.

          The Founders were wise enough to understand that the Constitutional ideals were not simply secular “in a vacuum” unfounded from religious ideals.

          And yet they gave us a secular constitution. Now that is wisdom.

          The separation of Church and State is not found in the constitution, the actual notion is that Church should not establish a religion.

          Nope. First Amendment is pretty clear.

          If you read the Federalist papers many of these ideas are fleshed out.

          I’ve read the Constitution. It’s pretty clear on church/state separation (I’m including the First Amendment here). That you run to another source makes clear that you agree.

          The Founders were indeed brilliant, they neither wanted a Church-run State nor a State-run Church. But they recognized that there is no such thing as an entirely secularized society which doesn’t lose many ideals.

          Ideals, morality, ethics—religion makes a big deal in giving this to humanity, but it came from humanity in the first place.

          Secular humanism is in many ways good as a philosophy, but without the metaphysical moorings granted by actual transcendence it quickly can lose its moorings.

          Huh? Secular humanism can lose its moorings, and you want it to have transcendence?? Show me that that’s firmly grounded and we can proceed.

          This is a fascinating topic, because I think secular humanism tries to accomplish a purpose but because it doesn’t have the true religious zealotry required for such lofty ideals is cannot hope to succeed simply on philosophical grounds.

          Where religion is useful, it offers no more than ordinary human ethics and values, and where religion breaks new ground, it’s grounded on unicorn farts.

        • Jesse H

          A secular gov’t must contantly evaluate its ethos and pathos and this takes morality. And morality is of course influenced by theology, ethics and philosophy, all realms which are subsets of religion, or if not subsets, certainly dialogical partners.

          We can disagree over whether ethics should be grounded in transcendence or not. We’d disagree that humanity is the creator of ethics.

          What I would ask is whether the values of secular humanism at present are values that can be changed? Could we see that the dignity and worth of every human might be changed into something else in the future? We already have controversies over whether babies, mentally/physically challenged, elderly, suicidal individuals have the right to be aborted/euthanized or take their own lives. And we have secular humanists who argue that humans are of less biological worth than pigs.

          When there is no ultimate grounding over ethics, then there is no reason why today’s ethics are true and to value any ethics at all. But let’s say that we’ll never lose the core dignity and worth of humanity as an ethic (being that it took so many millennia to actually agree on this). The actual conflict will be between religions and humanism which affirms this, and other views which do no.

        • A secular gov’t must contantly evaluate its ethos and pathos and this takes morality. And morality is of course influenced by theology, ethics and philosophy, all realms which are subsets of religion, or if not subsets, certainly dialogical partners.

          Morality comes from humans. We have questions about how the brain works, but evolution is sufficient to explain morality. Religion, ethics, morality, philosophy, etc. come from humans, they’re not external to humans.

          What I would ask is whether the values of secular humanism at present are values that can be changed?

          “Morality” is changing all the time. A century ago, you and I might be bitching about uppity women who want to vote. 40 years after that, about “the blacks.” Now, civil rights is assumed.

          we have secular humanists who argue that humans are of less biological worth than pigs.

          And we have a “god” who supports slavery and genocide. Yeah, I guess that idea of unchanging objective morality really needs to be shown the door.

          When there is no ultimate grounding over ethics, then there is no reason why today’s ethics are true and to value any ethics at all.

          Correct!

        • Jesse H

          So the idea that every human has worth and dignity can be an outmoded value that we will toss aside in the future?

          And then you claim that secular humanism can actually be upheld as having lofty ideals?

          I agree there is complexity, is truth worth dying for? Does justice transcend life? But so far you haven’t shown any proof for why any gov’t won’t just bow to Sharia or any other totalitarian and anti-humanitarian ideal. If the ideals can change, then humanism can be changed.

        • So the idea that every human has worth and dignity can be an outmoded value that we will toss aside in the future?

          You’re startled at that possibility because every society throughout history has celebrated the worth and dignity of every human being?

          But so far you haven’t shown any proof for why any gov’t won’t just bow to Sharia or any other totalitarian and anti-humanitarian ideal. If the ideals can change, then humanism can be changed.

          You’re observing that laws and even constitutions can change? Uh, yeah.

        • Jesse H

          So you freely admit that humanism has no bedrock, that it can all be washed away and topple. And you somehow think that it won’t? You’re glad that we have a Constitution, that we have good ideals of secular humanism in alignment with judeo-christian ones, but you have no assurance that these are ultimate values that will always be true?
          Do you really believe that humans have intrinsic worth and dignity or do you believe that homo superior could evolve and kill off all us lesser hominids?

        • So you freely admit that humanism has no bedrock

          You mean that there is no objective morality? Correct. I suspect that if you had any evidence for it, you’d have presented it.

          And you somehow think that it won’t?

          Huh? World War III might sweep it away. There’s no guarantee that we won’t bomb ourselves back into the stone age, at which point, modern morals might be forgotten.

          You’re glad that we have a Constitution, that we have good ideals of secular humanism in alignment with judeo-christian ones

          Cute. Christianity gave humanity the morality that humanity figured out in the first place. (At least for the good stuff. There’s plenty of bad stuff in biblical morality, and the Bible got that from humanity, too.)

        • Jesse H

          See, this is where it seems you fundamentally don’t get it. If WWIII occurs, humanity won’t forget “modern morals” because the judeo-christian ideals are transcendent. They fundamentally don’t change depending on modernity. Even if many things are forgotten, we will still be able to arrive at the achievements of judeo-christian ideals. Now I agree that if these ideals were simply products of humanism and modernity, we very well could forget them. But you basically seem to be saying that you agree with me that secular humanism isn’t guaranteed to stand up to Sharia. You seem quite the pessimist. And again I feel you are proving my point. Secular humanism doesn’t have the philosophical foundation, the transcendent moorings, and seemingly even the determined passion to survive against philosophies which can transplant it.

        • See, this is where it seems you fundamentally don’t get it. If WWIII occurs, humanity won’t forget “modern morals” because the judeo-christian ideals are transcendent.

          If they’re transcendent, why did we have slavery 200 years ago in the US? Those transcendent laws should’ve been in place, on everyone’s hearts at least, since forever.

          you basically seem to be saying that you agree with me that secular humanism isn’t guaranteed to stand up to Sharia.

          Huh? You’re asking if there’s a chance Sharia law takes over the US? Sure.

          Why—do you have some guarantee that it won’t?

          You seem quite the pessimist.

          And you seem clueless. You are determined to see God lurking behind modern morality even though his morality is clear in the OT—and it was barbaric.

          And again I feel you are proving my point. Secular humanism doesn’t have the philosophical foundation, the transcendent moorings, and seemingly even the determined passion to survive against philosophies which can transplant it.

          And again you’re proving my point: you just handwave that God’s morality is transcendent and undergirds human morality without providing any evidence. Indeed, in the face of every clue to the contrary. There is simply no reason to imagine an objective morality (moral truths that are valid and binding whether there are people to appreciate them or not). If there were such a reason, you would’ve given it to us by now. All you have is bluster.

        • Jesse H

          The first page of the Bible grounds humanity as of intrinsic worth and dignity and as stewards and rulers of earth. I agree humanity has not consistently achieved this, that is, we always constantly fail at applying the transcendent ideals. But this failure doesn’t mean that the ideals are wrong.
          We disagree on whether these ideals are truly transcendent, that’s fine. I would offer that human history has flourished with the judeo-Christian values that gave much of the impetus for Greek metaphysical philosophy, medieval progress, scientific philosophy, western civilization, gov’t democracy and jurisprudence, individual rights and freedoms, the abolition of slavery, the valuing of family, morality and civility including romantic love and more.
          But even if you disagree with much of that as I’m sure you might, the broader point is this. Wouldn’t you with secular humanism be in agreement with Christianity in opposition to values espoused by Sharia or other non-humanistic ideals?

        • I agree humanity has not consistently achieved this, that is, we always constantly fail at applying the transcendent ideals. But this failure doesn’t mean that the ideals are wrong.

          Show me that moral truths are transcendental and show that they’re reliably accessible by humans. Otherwise, this is just mental masturbation.

          We disagree on whether these ideals are truly transcendent, that’s fine.

          You have no evidence that they are, and nothing is left unexplained by assuming they aren’t. Your argument fails.

          I would offer that human history has flourished with the judeo-Christian values that gave much of the impetus for Greek metaphysical philosophy, medieval progress, scientific philosophy, western civilization, gov’t democracy and jurisprudence, individual rights and freedoms, the abolition of slavery, the valuing of family, morality and civility including romantic love and more.

          You barely even have correlation here. You haven’t even begun to prove causation.

          Wouldn’t you with secular humanism be in agreement with Christianity in opposition to values espoused by Sharia or other non-humanistic ideals?

          Christianity Dominionism vs. Muslim Sharia—is that my choice?

          They both suck. Tell you what: let’s just go back to reality, where the secular public square defined by the US Constitution is much more sensible than either of these two ridiculous alternatives.

        • Jesse H

          First, whoever said anything about Christian Dominionism? Are you glad you can be an atheist without losing your head? Then thank judeo-christian ideals for that. Christians are in agreement with the Constitution, but do so in recognition that the Constitution understood the importance of the Church and its values, not the belittling of it. What we are seeing is an increase in immorality all across society, and this is leading many to not recognize the liberal values espoused by the Const. including the foundation for those values. Free speech, bearing arms, press, freedom of religion, these are values based on the intrinsic worth of humanity “endowed by our Creator.” They are not arbitrary, they are not happenstance.

        • First, whoever said anything about Christian Dominionism?

          In effect, you. You brought up Sharia law. If we’re going to consider a theocratic Muslim model, we need to match that with a Christian one.

          Or, if you just want a nice “inspired by Judeo-Christian values,” which is the Bible that’s gone through a 21st-century Western filter to remove all the crazy shit like slavery and genocide, then do the same thing to Islam. You need to compare apples to apples.

          Are you glad you can be an atheist without losing your head? Then thank judeo-christian ideals for that.

          I read the Constitution and am delighted that it is so unlike God’s society from the OT.

          You know how this goes, right? I point out the crazy stuff from the Bible, and you say, “Well, of course, I’m not talking about having that in society today.” So perhaps we’re on the same page, once we’ve neutered “Judeo-Christian values” to be just Western, Enlightenment values.

          Christians are in agreement with the Constitution, but do so in recognition that the Constitution understood the importance of the Church and its values, not the belittling of it.

          The Constitution carved out a space for religion. That works for me. It’s when Christians don’t know their place that we have a problem.

          What we are seeing is an increase in immorality all across society

          You remind me of a ‘60s black-and-white family sitcom like Ozzie and Harriette or Father Knows Best or Leave it to Beaver. Or maybe the old guy who shakes his cane at those young rascals in their noisy hot rods. “It’s Communism and rock music, I tell you! They’ll be the death of this country.”

          Read about Gregory Paul’s work. Better social metrics correlate to less religion.
          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2017/06/christianity-lead-better-society-2/

          Free speech, bearing arms, press, freedom of religion

          Free speech? Freedom of religion? Those are precisely what you don’t get from the Bible.

        • MR

          And, I’m sorry, but I take issue with this whole “Judeo- Christian values” thing. They don’t get to stamp the nice bits of human nature with a “Judeo- Christian value” label as if they invented them and no one else has heard of them or can lay claim to them, all while ignoring the negative bits that his religion had codified, in spite of the fact that humanity has moved on and in many ways gotten better than his antiquated “JCVs”.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And there was better before the JCV, and elsewhere at the same time. So they are neither original, nor unique.

        • Jesse H

          This is the heart of what I believe is your fundamental misunderstanding of reality. Please show where other cultures or beliefs are intrinsically better than JCV, how their values either were not correlated or caused by JCV. This is an extremely complex task that you shouldn’t pass off so lightly. We can look at ancient cultures and see where Judaic expressions of law fit better with our “Enlightened” values. And if you bring up Confucius or Buddha, you would need to show where their values came independently away from the idea of humanity’s intrinsic worth or values of transcendence.

        • You first. Show that Judeo-Christian values came from somewhere besides humanity.

        • Ignorant Amos

          This is the heart of what I believe is your fundamental misunderstanding of reality.

          Spooooooiiiing!

          You still don’t do irony very well. Condescension and arrogance in one sentence, from the person who believes in imginary beings.

          Please show where other cultures or beliefs are intrinsically better than JCV, how their values either were not correlated or caused by JCV.

          Intrinsically? WTF?

          I know you struggle with this concept, but Judaism was not the first human religion or culture with a set of laws to govern by. I’ve already given you links on this issue.

          Here’s how it works, if two cultures have the same rules and punishments, the older is the original. If an older text has better rules and punishments, then they win. The Hittites law predate the the Mosaic Law and is better regarding lex talionis…it’s better.

          What Judaism actually added to the world’s religious thinking is something totally different and, at the same time, inherently harmful. Through their tribal and somehow shallow collective mentality, the Hebrews had planted the root of religious dogmatism and fanaticism when they allowed for the absurd idea of God’s chosen people to flourish and permeate the religious thinking from then on.

          Unfortunately that religious extremism passed on to Christianity, which was supposed to act as a counterbalance to Judaism’s tribal vulgarity, until it reached its worst case in Islam. What good is this kind of monotheism when its adherents, be it Jews, Christians or Muslims, are soaked to the skin in their fundamental belief/illusion that their god is the only true god and hence they are the true sons/believers … and that the others are just deluded people who somehow got lost along the way to salvation.

          https://ashraf62.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/hebrew-bible-plagiarized-mythology-and-defaced-monotheism/

          This is an extremely complex task that you shouldn’t pass off so lightly.

          It’s something I’ve done already, but you show no knowledge of doing.

          We can look at ancient cultures and see where Judaic expressions of law fit better with our “Enlightened” values.

          And we can do the same and see where Judaic expressions of law fit worse with our “Enlightened” values.

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

          And if you bring up Confucius or Buddha, you would need to show where their values came independently away from the idea of humanity’s intrinsic worth or values of transcendence.

          I need to do fuck all of the sort. I need to show examples of better values existed before your JCV’s were being formed and parallel to, that’s where my burden ends. If you want to assert that everything morally good in the world derives from JCV’s and the Buybull, you have the onus probandi, not I…good luck trying to demonstrate that crap.

        • Pofarmer

          Jesse H is trying to lecture someone about a fundamental misunderstanding of reality? We really are through the looking glass at this point.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It’s been a brave while ago since we’ve had one so inept at both ability to engage cogently and knowledge of subject matter.

        • Pofarmer

          Ignorant arrogance at it’s finest.

        • Pofarmer

          That link, “The Hebrew Bible, Plagarized Mythology and Defaced Monotheism is a great find.

          https://ashraf62.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/hebrew-bible-plagiarized-mythology-and-defaced-monotheism/

        • Ignorant Amos

          My favourites is so full of stuff I’ve forgotten half of what’s in there, and struggle to locate the stuff a can remember. I’ll have to get me a better system sorted out.

          As for the site at the link, some time can be spent rooting about the place.

          OP’s like this one… https://ashraf62.wordpress.com/2017/10/28/why-didnt-egyptians-convert-after-the-ten-plagues/

          The Ten Plagues not only didn’t impress the Egyptians enough to convert, but the Chosen One’s weren’t that impressed that they didn’t kick back at the first opportunity and from there on in, pissed Yahweh off at every opportunity. If you believe the book yarns.

          If such stuff actually happened, you could bet yer arse that I’m not getting on the wrong side of that smoting bastard.

          The whole thing is a lot of made up nonsense.

          Last night a started reading “The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of its Sacred Texts” by Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman, and so far, it makes a lot of sense.

        • Pofarmer

          I haven’t kept nearly enough favorites, and what I do have is spread across 3 platforms.

        • Jesse H

          Human beings are of intrinsic worth and value equally. This principle hasn’t always been in evidence, yet it’s on the first page of the Bible.

        • Human beings are of intrinsic worth and value equally.

          Can you say, “Chosen People”?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Human beings are of intrinsic worth and value equally.

          No one here is saying anything different. So that’s the straw man fallacy right off the bat.

          This principle hasn’t always been in evidence,…

          Unfortunately, your holy texts reflect that attitude…the evidence is to the contrary…chosen people…human beings as property…misogyny…virgin sex slaves…captured child rape wives…that sort of stuff.

          …yet it’s on the first page of the Bible.

          It is? I notice ya don’t cite where it says such. Perhaps I’ve been reading a different version. Cite the verses on the first page of the buybull where it says “human beings are of intrinsic worth and value equal”?

          Here’s the thing though. The first page of the buybull is the biggest load of nonsense written by ignorant antiquated folk that didn’t know where the Sun went at night.

          https://www.bartleby.com/108/01/1.html

        • Jesse H

          So if I show where the Bible gives all humanity worth because of imago dei you’re just going to say that it’s nonsense anyhow?

          So damned if I do, damned if I don’t? I will give you credit as the most thoroughly caustic atheist I’ve ever met. You should win an award. Unfortunately I don’t think you’re all that happy about it. Or I don’t know, you do seem to generate a lot of satisfaction from your antagonism.

          What can we agree on? How about the latest tv series about Sherlock Holmes with Benedict Cumberbatch? I thought that was pretty good, how about you?

        • Ignorant Amos

          So if I show where the Bible gives all humanity worth because of imago dei you’re just going to say that it’s nonsense anyhow?

          Why not try and see? You spilt enough ink talking about it, as opposed to getting it done.

          So damned if I do, damned if I don’t?

          Made an assertion without evidence and when asked to support your assertion ya start squealing like a stuck pig and play the victim card. Answer or not, I give zero fucks. I’m shining a light on your blatant mindwankery.

          I will give you credit as the most thoroughly caustic atheist I’ve ever met.

          What? Even more than Pofarmer? Gee, gosh…am honoured.

          You should win an award.

          And you should get an award, the Darwin Award, for being such an idiot know nothing who is diluting the gene pool. Idiocracy is just around the corner if there are others like you.

          Unfortunately I don’t think you’re all that happy about it.

          When the best YahwehJesus has got as a messenger, is a nitwit like you, it’s a lot easier for a nitwit like me to tear your nonsense arse a new one. So am really happy about that.

          Or I don’t know, you do seem to generate a lot of satisfaction from your antagonism.

          Antagonism? Another word you don’t understand the meaning of…again. But yeah, as a chew toy, you give me great satisfaction…cheers.

        • Pofarmer

          Holy fuck dude. Judeo Christian values literally CAUSED THE FUCKING HOLOCAUST!!!!! Read some Martin Fucking Luther for Christs sake. Judeo Fucking Christian Values cause the Genocide in Rwanda. Judeo fucking Christian values had Orthodox Christians murdering Muslims in Serbia. Fer fucks sake. C’mon. Judeo Christian values led to Witch Hunts, and Inquisitions where people where tortured an an entire subcontinent was basically held in terror. Judeo Christian Values led to the literal wiping out of cultures. Seriously fuck you you ignorant noob.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yes…yes…yes…but apart from all that, what did Judeo Fucking Christian Values do for us?

          Well, All right, apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health,…ohhhps, wait a wee mo, that was a different list…soz.

        • Jesse H

          You are looking at the wrong values.

        • Pofarmer

          Oh fer fucks sake. You don’t get to pick and choose you degenerate imbecile.

        • Jesse H

          Of course we have to prioritize different values for different situations. But the core value of the worth of all humanity equally is written on the first page of the Bible, even as we often fail to live up to it.

        • Pofarmer

          Right. That’s why Judeo Christian values gave is the 30 years war, and the Magdalene laundries, and Mother Theresa letting people die who could have been easily saved. Face it dude, the “core value of all humanity” is exactly NO FUCKING WHERE in Christian doctrine. You’re a brainwashed idiot. I feel pity for you. Except you wish me to be the same. Fuck you.

        • LOL! Very eloquent. Jesse blundered into a gun fight with a squirt gun.

        • Ignorant Amos

          An imaginary water pistol at that.

        • Jesse H

          Explain to me where else in your life you can get away with such discourteous discourse.

        • Pofarmer

          I have to be courteous to this kind of dunbassery everyday. I see no need to tolerated here. You’re ignorant arrogance hasn’t helped.. You should note I was pretty courteous for a damn the long time.

        • Jesse H

          So you are courteous but it has its limits? So courtesy really isn’t a fundamental virtue for those who disagree? I think we’ve established areas of disagreement, but I would say that courtesy should never go out of style.

        • Pofarmer

          You’re an apologist for a religion that has a history of killing large numbers of people it disagrees with. And I’m the one not being courteous? F**** you.

        • Jesse H

          Is there a truth worth dying for? Is there a truth worth fighting for?

        • Pofarmer

          Really? Just how stupid fuckin brainwashed are you? You just demonstrated yourself to be a danger. As well as an apologist for those who kill and do harm in the name of religion. Ypu should be ashamed you arrogant, ignorant, evil prick.

        • Jesse H

          Is that what I did? Or did you misunderstand me? Let’s say that I am evil. Am I worthy of fighting against? If so then you’ve actually proven my point.

        • Pofarmer

          You really haven’t learned a single thing. What a waste.

        • epeeist

          Today’s Jesus and Mo is apposite:

          https://www.jesusandmo.net/wp-content/uploads/tribe.png

        • Ignorant Amos

          Who gets to decide what’s truth?

        • Jesse H

          That is indeed the question. And also whether truth is universal.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Define courtesy?

        • Bored Now

          Explain to me where else in your life you can get away with such discourteous discourse.

          Hmmm….

          Normal Human Interaction:
          Human:”Hey, BoredNow I really don’t understand how you solved this problem”
          BoredNow: “Well, I used Flsdmr’s theorem.”
          Human: “Uh, I don’t really understand what that means. Could you define that?”
          BoredNow “Sure. This is when you have a rational function and it’s limit at point r converges on either 0/0 or Inf/Inf and both functions are differentiable. Then you can find the limit by taking the derivative of the numerator and the denominator”
          Human: “I think I understand, can you show me a worked example”
          BoredNow: “Sure, ….”

          Abhorrent/disrespectful interaction:
          Human:”Hey, Jessie H, I really don’t understand how you solved this problem”
          Jessie H: “Well, I used Flsdmr’s theorem.”
          Human: “Uh, I don’t really understand what that means. Could you define that?”
          Jessie H “Nope, and I don’t need to”
          Human: “I’m pretty sure, in order for your sentence to mean anything that key words need to have a definition. It’s unreasonable for me to have to fabricate the majority of your solution”.
          Jessie H: “Well, I used Flsdmr’s theorem.”
          Human: “No, see that’s just you restating your claim. It doesn’t tell the listener anything.”
          Jessie H: “I don’t have to.”
          Human: “You mean legally, or in order to be conversing in good-faith with me. Because while the former is true, the later definitely isn’t.”
          Jessie H: “…”
          Human: “Well, if I didn’t know better you are trying to be difficult specifically so you don’t have to answer this question.”
          Jessie H: “I used Flsdmr’s theorem”
          Human: “Sure, that may be true but why say anything at all if you know you will refuse to convey the meaning of your point to the other person?”
          Jessie H: “I don’t have to”
          Human: “We’ve established that. However there is a consequence to taking that position. You are both conversing in bad-faith and it would seem that you can’t really have the same goals as two ordinary Humans engaging in conversation. This seems like something that you set up to make yourself feel better or maybe you’re just parroting something you’ve heard and are being dishonest by implying that you understand it or something. It really can’t be about helping me.”

        • Jesse H

          Why did you feel the need to respond when I was responding to someone else? I would like to interact with you and I can appreciate that you want precision. I agree we have a breakdown in communication, but that also comes in part from our different axioms.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Why did you feel the need to respond when I was responding to someone else?

          Because this is a free and open forum where everyone is at liberty to respond to whatever comment takes their fancy…at the moderators discretion of course, it’s his house.

        • Christianity makes a big deal about giving humanity the morality that came … from humanity. If Christian morality were really amazing new stuff, we’d scratch our heads and wonder why we should not kill, not steal, not lie, and so on.

        • Jesse H

          The idea that we can see value subjectively in JCVs affirms the truth of them. The fact that not killing or lying can also be understood through natural laws and logic doesn’t mean that they have no transcendental value to them.
          And the really enlightened understanding of JCV is the ideas of love for all humanity, the innate worth of humanity, self-sacrifice for higher causes, the need and means of redemption, the work ethic and family values which turned all the many barbaric tribes of Europe into the leaders of civilization. The Western Enlightenment ideals which led to the French revolution with its bloodshed and anarchy is much different from the Christian ideals (in alignment with some of the W. ideals) which led to the American revolution.

        • The idea that we can see value subjectively in JCVs affirms the truth of them.

          ?? It depends on what “values” you’re talking about, but I’m sure you could list important modern Western ideals that we agree on. The problem is when you imagine them being delivered from on high. These are human values that we figured out/know ourselves. Don’t make a big deal about giving to humanity what came from humanity.

          The fact that not killing or lying can also be understood through natural laws and logic doesn’t mean that they have no transcendental value to them.

          You’re just desperate to shoehorn God in there somewhere. Look—he’s out of a job, OK? He’s a solution looking for a problem. We explain “no killing” adequately with natural explanations. No supernatural necessary.

          And the really enlightened understanding of JCV is the ideas of love for all humanity, the innate worth of humanity

          Uh, we don’t get that from a book that begins with the idea of a Chosen People.

          the need and means of redemption

          Huh? This is pretend. This is Christianity struggling to find relevance. This is a Christian solution to a problem invented by Christianity. Dismiss Christianity, and the ridiculous problem goes away.

        • Women are people

          Ironic that they ignore the Samaritan in their own damn book, which shows that “Good” aspects of human nature functions Without Jesus as the Good Samaritan demonstrates that.

        • Jesse H

          No, Sharia can’t be compared to Christian dominionism. Because it is exactly the fact that Christianity has had the Protestant Reformation as well as the fact that the OT and NT represent a nuance and progress to faith. You don’t really understand the interplay between the OT and the NT when you act as if it’s a 21st century filter that has eliminated the supposed biblical atrocities. You have a faulty idea about Christianity as seen before with your ignorance about both the correlation and causation of Christianity to all of the Western Enlightenment ideals. But let’s set that aside.

          I agree that if we have a more “enlightened” model of Islam this can fit with society better. And there are imams who are doing that, but what even they say is that this requires a nuanced reading of the text. One can hope that Western Enlightenment ideals which were and are so deeply influenced by Christianity will also temper Islamic fundamentalism.

          And Gregory Paul? Haven’t we already had this conversation? I responded by showing that his work is countered by others who show that we have resurgence of religion among prosperous classes in many countries in opposition to Paul’s flawed understanding that religion is a opiate of the poor. He fundamentally misunderstands all the complex metrics. Besides this Paul’s bias is overt and antagonistic.

          And yes, if religion is downplayed we will see a fundamental increase in the immorality of societies. We’re already seeing it.

          And yes, free speech and freedom of religion are gotten from the Bible. The example is that this is what the Christians, Deists and Moralizing founders of the Constitution understood. Fundamentally the worth and free will of humanity are values espoused from our Creator.

        • No, Sharia can’t be compared to Christian dominionism. Because it is exactly the fact that Christianity has had the Protestant Reformation as well as the fact that the OT and NT represent a nuance and progress to faith.

          Christian Dominionism (or find a more apt Christian theocratic model) compares nicely with Muslim theocracy. You mention the Reformation, but that’s what the Dominionists are trying to dismiss.

          You don’t really understand the interplay between the OT and the NT when you act as if it’s a 21st century filter that has eliminated the supposed biblical atrocities.

          Let’s talk about those “supposed biblical atrocities.” You’re pleased that OT slavery and genocide are universally decried in the West? If so, how did God get it so wrong?

          You have a faulty idea about Christianity as seen before with your ignorance about both the correlation and causation of Christianity to all of the Western Enlightenment ideals.

          You’re struggling to make this hard. It’s not. List the things that are important in the modern Western view of society—no slavery, civil rights regardless, universal suffrage, working to minimize racism, and so on. No, we didn’t get this from God. Indeed, someone like you who knows the Bible well could find a biblical counterexample to each one of these.

          I agree that if we have a more “enlightened” model of Islam this can fit with society better. And there are imams who are doing that, but what even they say is that this requires a nuanced reading of the text. One can hope that Western Enlightenment ideals which were and are so deeply influenced by Christianity will also temper Islamic fundamentalism.

          Yes, Islam could do with a Reformation.

        • Ignorant Amos

          we have secular humanists who argue that humans are of less biological worth than pigs.

          He never says who these humanists are, because to do so would reveal the dishonesty in that statement when taken in context.

        • Bored Now

          I’m not saying that belief today necessitates truth

          Because that would be an ad populum argument.

          but I am saying that truth is real and what is real lasts

          Ok even if that was true (and you’re presuming a bunch of things just to get there). Homer has lasted. So have thousands of beliefs and ideologies/ So unless you are making an ad populum argument then your statements don’t get you anywhere..

        • TS (unami)

          Don’t use the inaccurate term “judeo-christian”. Don’t assume that Jews agree with you on the misappropriation of their faith.

        • Jesse H

          Since both Jews and Christians recognize the Old Testament there is of course agreement about many things. There is also disagreement. But judeo-christian is a good term recognizing monotheism, imago dei, the freedom and rights of the individual, and the plea for justice and mercy both in gov’t and institutions.

        • TS (unami)

          It is *not* an “acceptable” term for Jewish people. I’m Jewish by my grandmother, although she became a Christian as an adult. Jews do not desire to link their faith to yours. It’s extremely presumptive of Christians to say that phrase and assume that Jews agree with the combination.

        • Greg G.

          I don’t think the term applies to Jews since Christianity came on the scene. It is not used to describe people just to push tradition back to the OT. It pretty much omits Jews from the term from the first century on.

        • Jesse H

          Jews today use the term judeo-christian in recognition of shared values about human dignity, sanctity of life, political views on freedom and gov’t and more.

        • Greg G.

          Jews who are of Jewish ancestry might but Jews who follow Judaism and reject Christianity not so much.

        • Jesse H

          I can list a whole number of prominent Jews who reject Christianity who use the term, as I’m sure you know.

        • Greg G.

          Can you compare how many use it versus how many find it offensive? Do they use it more when talking with Christians than when they are talking with Jews who reject Christianity?

        • Jesse H

          I don’t know. I will say that judeo-christian is usually used in the context of a political discussion more than a religious discussion. The shared values are more of an economical, societal and political community rather than a religious one.

        • Greg G.

          I would agree with that. I think early judeo-christian would be judeo-greco-roman and modern judeo-christian would is judeo-greco-roman-enlightenment. As much as the Romans enjoyed bloody public executions, they appear to have restricted the executions of the Hebrews for trivial Old Testament commands yet allowed some executions for made up laws regarding trespassing on Temple grounds.

          Several things in Paul’s writings echo Aristotle and Plato. A brief search found http://www.grethexis.com/greek-philosophy-in-the-new-testament/ , not the article I read but it makes some of the same points.

        • Jesse H

          I’m sorry but you are making a very ignorant statement. If you look at Dennis Prager, Ben Shapiro and many Rabbis you will see them using judeo-christian as an acceptable term for the shared values within both faiths.

        • TS (unami)

          Dennis Prager and Ben Shapiro?
          Hahahaha!!!

          Please.

        • Jesse H

          So I give you examples of two prominent Jews respected in the Jewish communities and your response is? How about Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein. I agree there are some Jews who don’t like the term, but there are others who understand that the use of the term refers more to the common ideals upon which the Constitution was founded, not a certain religious commonality between Jews and Christians.

        • TS (unami)

          We are not a Christian country nor a made-up term, “judeo-christian”, country either.

          We are a secular democratic republic. The founding principles of the Constitution are mainly from the ideals of the Enlightenment and very, very general Deist concepts.

        • Jesse H

          But the ideals of the Enlightenment had their philosophical roots in the Protestant Reformation and basic concepts that humanity had intrinsic worth (imago dei) and that individuals and communities and governments have the responsibility to each other and to promote the freedom of the individual.

          And it can’t be denied that the majority of the Constitution signers and the Declaration of Independence were Christians. They of course weren’t trying to have a Christian nation, they were trying to set up an ideal gov’t. But the principles they used were founded on humans as “endowed by their Creator”.

          And I certainly agree that secular humanism shares many values with judeo-christian values, but this doesn’t mean there’s no such thing as judeo-christian.

        • TS (unami)

          Ummm, no — the Enlightenment was not based on the Protestant Reformation, but looked further back to Greece, et al.

          The Signers were a mix of all sorts — some christians, some atheists, a LOT of Deists.

          We aren’t a theocracy and hopefully never will be.

        • Jesse H

          Which signers were atheists? I agree that we aren’t a theocracy. But by the same token the Federalist papers show that the Founders understood that religion and morality were necessary for the living out of the ideals of the Constitution.

          And I agree the Enlightenment looked back to Greece, but they were of course influenced by the Reformation as the historical precursor. And Greece actually is based on some ideals of theism and metaphysical ideals. And one can argue that Greece is in part influenced by Judaic ideals of an ordered universe and the metaphysical reality from monotheism. So it’s complex.

        • TS (unami)

          No, the Enlightenment was a Humanist movement — it did not look to Protestant reformers for inspiration. It looked to Voltaire, Locke and others, along with ancient philosophers, for inspiration.

          Greek philosophy was not an extension of Judaism; the Greeks worshipped a pantheon of gods.

        • Jesse H

          You didn’t answer which signers were atheists. Voltaire and Locke interacted with Reformation writers, a lot actually. I agree Greeks aren’t an extension of Judaism, but Greek thinkers had many different ideas. Some were monotheists. What I said was that we can see connections between Greek and Judaic thought as regards metaphysical ideals.

        • Ignorant Amos

          But Ehrman has been answered by Wallace and Bock and others.

          And those answers are lame to everyone not infected with the God Virus, and to many that are too.

          The originality of the Gospels is without dispute.

          Absolute nonsense.

        • Jesse H

          So people have pre-conceived biases? Sure. But even Ehrman’s mentor Metzger disagreed with him.

        • Ignorant Amos

          So people have pre-conceived biases?

          You keep rhyming this preconceived bias nonsense. Bart Ehrman’s preconceived bias was that of a fundamental evangelical seminary trained Christian pastor who believed in biblical inerrancy. The list of similar is lengthy. Folk with a preconceived bias for Christian belief, change their minds on the woo-woo by examining the evidence against the nonsense.

          A pastor called Ryan J. Bell did an experiment called “a year without God” which resulted in him becoming atheist. You can’t claim preconceived bias in that case.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryan_J._Bell

          Have you heard of the Clergy Project?

          http://clergyproject.org/

          Your preconceived bias nonsense doesn’t cut it, like I said elsewhere, most regulars here’s preconceived bias was Christian.

          The problem is that all the scholars have access to the same texts, yet the variety of results that they come up with all can’t be correct, but they can all be wrong.

          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd/2012/01/will-the-real-jesus-please-stand-up/

          But even Ehrman’s mentor Metzger disagreed with him.

          Of course, so what? Metzger is a Christian.

        • Greg G.

          Have you heard of the Clergy Project?

          http://clergyproject.org/

          OK, there it is. I hadn’t read this far before my earlier reply.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Aye…a knew that was the case…there’s an idiom about great minds an like thinking.

        • Jesse H

          My response to Ryan Bell is that fundamentalism without nuance whether from the atheistic or theistic position is actually closer along the spectrum than either nuanced position. Ryan went from ultra-fundamental Adventist (actually a Christian cult position) to extremely liberal Christian to “experimenting” with atheism. It seems that every step along the way he didn’t really partake of what I would call a nuanced, biblical and orthodox Christianity.

        • Ignorant Amos

          My response to Ryan Bell is that fundamentalism without nuance whether from the atheistic or theistic position is actually closer along the spectrum than either nuanced position.

          Of course that’s your response, it has to be. But that doesn’t effect my point, in fact it bolsters it. Ryan Bell being a fundie Christian had more of that bias towards Christianity than most.

          (actually a Christian cult position)

          Ah, yes, the “No True Scotsman Fallacy” again.

          Ryan went from ultra-fundamental Adventist (actually a Christian cult position) to extremely liberal Christian to “experimenting” with atheism. It seems that every step along the way he didn’t really partake of what I would call a nuanced, biblical and orthodox Christianity.

          Absolute nonsense. It’s because all these once hardcore Christians with credentials in theology, take a closer nuanced look at Christianity, and compare the same with the counter position, that they arrive at non-belief.

          Bell explains it in an interview here…

          https://thehumanist.com/magazine/march-april-2015/features/the-humanist-interview-with-ryan-j-bell

          And still, none of this helps you out with your preconceived bias nonsense argument. Bell’s preconceived bias was not that of atheism.

          What is the “orthodox” Christianity that you espouse?

        • Jesse H

          Bell admits that he was leaning humanist even before he started his atheistic experiment, so it simply isn’t the case that he went from bias to non-bias.

          Both sides seem to appeal to no true Scotsman. The shift between worldviews is complex and subtle. And really we all make logical fallacies in different senses, we all have foundations sina qua non and yet we have to justify our foundations.

          I would suggest that orthodoxy is the balance between extremes. It’s not fundamentalism (as if there is no grace) nor is it liberal progressivism (as if there are no absolute truths). It recognizes that ultimate absolute truth is only found in God and we are always developing. We can and should agree on essentials while recognizing the need for semper reformanda.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Bell admits that he was leaning humanist even before he started his atheistic experiment, so it simply isn’t the case that he went from bias to non-bias.

          Bell was a biased fundie Christian. Then he was asked to leave the fundies because he was become less biased Christian. Then he was becoming a more liberal Christian and even less biased Christian by having humanist views. Being a Christian and holding humanist views are not mutually exclusive. He then went on an experiment to see if having no gods in his life would leave a negative impact, it didn’t. At no point was a preconceived bias for atheism a factor in going from theist to atheism.

          Both sides seem to appeal to no true Scotsman.

          Demonstrating your ignorance in understanding the No True Scotsman Fallacy.

          The shift between worldviews is complex and subtle.

          But not through a preconceived bias for the other, that’s the point you are not grasping.

          And really we all make logical fallacies in different senses, we all have foundations and yet we have to justify our foundations.

          Now you are not even trying to make sense anymore.

        • MR

          he didn’t really partake of what I would call a nuanced, biblical and orthodox Christianity in gaslighting himself.

          FTFY

        • Women are people

          And why did he become human?

          To sacrifice himself, to himself, to save us from himself.

          The more you talk, the more you highlight that there can ONLY be two options:

          A) There is NO God, and evil and suffering would naturally occur in a Natural environment devoid of a creator and overseer and theists are forced create realities and fabricate bizarre excuses to justify God’s obvious failings in order to continue belief and avoid cognitive dissonance.
          Or:
          B) There IS a God, but he is flawed, uncaring, fallible, incapable, irresponsible, reckless and un-empathetic.

        • Jesse H

          Do you often deal in false binaries? There is of course a third option, even a fourth and a fifth.

          Evil does exist, we are finite creatures capable of evil. And we haven’t seen the end yet.

        • This gets back to option B: God’s perfect plan was upset by a couple of adult children in the Garden. Whoops–not so omniscient, I guess.

        • Women are people

          And who created evil for us to be capable of it?

          Also- bagging the question again, since you assume that ones finite status means they are capable of evil.

          Every organism on this planet is finite. Is a goat capable of evil? How about a lobster? Is that capable of evil?

          Your logic is sloppy.

        • God has communicated in the clearest way possible

          Sure, if he were an idiot. Or nonexistent.

          If it’s clear, explain the Trinity, including how it was understood by Jesus and Paul. Bible citations mandatory.

          When you’re done with that, you can unravel a few of the Bible’s contradictions:
          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/10/top-20-most-damning-bible-contradictions/

        • Jesse H

          There are plenty of places that have reconciled your supposed contradictions. I shouldn’t be drawn in to your objections since you haven’t shown a propensity to really interact well. You are raging my friend. But your rage doesn’t come from intellectual honesty. And you know it. I’m sorry for your anger, I’m sure it comes from sincere experiences where you’ve been hurt. I can’t speak to those experiences unless you share them and I’d probably be long down the list of people you’d be open with. I don’t know that I can get through to you, or if you even want to talk to me. I guess I’m just tired of the shell game. We could have a conversation where we honestly disagree without having to contradict every point the other makes. You are obviously a good writer, well-read and have worked in the game for a while, when you want to go beyond the shell game perhaps we can converse.

        • There are plenty of places that have reconciled your supposed contradictions.

          Just not very well. Find an objective observer to critique them if you don’t believe me. Heck, find a theist (a Muslim, maybe?) to evaluate them. They wouldn’t have any bias against the supernatural. And they wouldn’t agree with you.

          I shouldn’t be drawn in to your objections since you haven’t shown a propensity to really interact well.

          Curses! I thought I had you in my net, but you slipped away with the unbeatable Bartleby Gambit, “I’d prefer not to.” I’ll get you yet, Dudley Do-Right!!

          You are raging my friend. But your rage doesn’t come from intellectual honesty. And you know it.

          Wrong again. I’m very careful to follow the evidence. (This is hilarious coming from a Creationist.)

          Say . . . I know! You could respond to my posts! Every time I make an error or ignore important evidence, you could point that out. Do it publicly—shame me. Force me to up my game.

          I’m sure it comes from sincere experiences where you’ve been hurt.

          Been hurt . . . by a religious figure? Nope.

          I guess I’m just tired of the shell game.

          You’re telling me? I’d kill to have an honest, civil, smart Christian as a regular here who would point out errors, omissions, hubris, and so on in both the posts and the comments.

        • Jesse H

          I didn’t say you were hurt by a religious figure. But from my perspective you are simply blind. But I get it, from your perspective you think I’m blind. But we could actually have a conversation about that instead of the game. But you posit far too many things as facts that simply are “interpreted facts,” as in the instances of biblical contradictions, I read all your posts on the supposed contradictions, and we could talk about all of that, but it’s a dodge.

          The fact is that we’d have to get even deeper. We’d have to examine our own biases. I admit I have a worldview, and you do as well, which colors what you believe to be evidence. I’ve interacted here for weeks now, and if your perspective is that I haven’t pointed out any errors, omissions or hubris, well, I don’t think you actually believe that.

          What I do think is that you are resolute in your own worldview, so let’s talk, but we have to get beyond the shells.

        • we could actually have a conversation about that instead of the game.

          OK, I’ll start. Welcome to my blog. There are over 1000 posts here. You don’t agree with all of them? You’re welcome to share any errors or omissions.

          But you posit far too many things as facts that simply are “interpreted facts,” as in the instances of biblical contradictions, I read all your posts on the supposed contradictions, and we could talk about all of that, but it’s a dodge.

          Jesse, is that you? Or is that Bartleby?

          The fact is that we’d have to get even deeper. We’d have to examine our own biases. I admit I have a worldview, and you do as well, which colors what you believe to be evidence.

          Hemming and hawing aren’t necessary. You got something to say of interest? Then say it.

          If I’ve made a mistake, no preamble or throat clearing are necessary. Point it out.

        • Jesse H

          Do you agree that you have a worldview that you use to interpret evidence and you aren’t just a neutral party to the questions of theism, biblical interpretation, science and philosophy?

        • I suppose.

        • Jesse H

          And what can you do to evaluate your worldview?

        • Is this a Socratic dialogue? No thanks. If you have a point, make it.

        • Jesse H

          If you recognize that you have a bias towards a certain perspective (say materialistic naturalism) then you ought to also understand where your bias may be interpreting the evidence towards your previous commitment.

        • Bias is bad. Yes, I agree.

        • Jesse H

          So you should examine your bias that the evidence points to Evolution and not ID. And you should examine your bias against the existence of God, and you should really examine your bias against understanding the Bible. And I should do all those things in reverse.

          But that’s extremely hard to do. Our worldviews are at the core of our entire thought processes. But I ask myself all the time what the evidence is for my worldview. Do you? Do you doubt your views on Evolution, God and the Bible? Do you question them?

        • Grimlock

          But I ask myself all the time what the evidence is for my worldview.

          If you were to point to one specific piece of evidence that you find in favor of theism, what would that be?

        • Jesse H

          Consciousness, life, intelligence, meaning, morality.

        • Grimlock

          How would you say that, for instance, morality is evidence in favor of theism? Is it one of those ‘objective morality’ things?

        • Jesse H

          Partially. But also just the codependence of areas of theology, ethics, philosophy and humanism. The idea of altruism doesn’t begin to explain the intricacies of human morality, conscience, guilt, forgiveness, and psychology of spirituality and renewal.

        • Grimlock

          Interesting.

          Don’t get me wrong, I don’t agree, but it’s still interesting. It’s a bit too vague for me to take it as an argument or a reason to shift by view, but I guess it wasn’t intended as such

        • So you should examine your bias that the evidence points to Evolution and not ID.

          . . . and that’s where the symmetry ends. One of these things is the overwhelming consensus within that field of expertise, and one is laughed at by those experts.

          Isn’t it odd that, of all the curious or hard-to-understand fields of science, you protest only at the fields that step on your theological toes?

          Kidding! It’s not odd at all. If you actually cared about evolution making no sense, you’d focus on quantum physics first.

          And you should examine your bias against the existence of God, and you should really examine your bias against understanding the Bible.

          The default assumption (like “innocent until proven guilty”) is that any new supernatural claim is bullshit. Nevertheless, I’ll consider it, but since we know that the last myriad of “god did it” claims for which science has had a chance to answer, the evidence always points to a naturalistic explanation. 100%.

          But that’s extremely hard to do.

          And that’s the beauty of science—it crowdsources things, and it rewards people who overturn the consensus view. Religion, of course, punishes those who upset the apple cart. More asymmetry.

          Do you doubt your views on Evolution, God and the Bible? Do you question them?

          Let’s not pretend that there’s symmetry here. I don’t doubt the scientific consensus because I’m in no position to. I have tens of thousands of scientists on the payroll. That’s what I pay them to do.

        • Jesse H

          Again, you appear to be entirely steeped in your worldview. I’ll let you in on a little secret, but only because you are so generous and courteous in your conversation.

          When you say that naturalism has the explanation and removes the supernatural, that is an example of shifting the goalposts. Take the weather, God is often described as bringing the weather. When we have natural explanations for this it doesn’t mean that we have removed God from the equation. Because we haven’t really explained the basis for the weather. We can understand how precipitation and lightning and plasma and clouds work, but we haven’t thus removed God. We’ve just come to understand more of the naturalism that God created in the first place.

          And I agree with you that miraculous claims require skepticism. Contrary to popular belief, the Bible doesn’t have miracles as an everyday occurrence. They are actually very specific and done to validate the content of Scripture. Jesus didn’t do miracles on demand, He did them to validate His claim as the Son of God.

        • Take the weather, God is often described as bringing the weather. When we have natural explanations for this it doesn’t mean that we have removed God from the equation.

          We have no use for God in the best explanation of the weather. Therefore, shoehorning God into any explanation of the weather is biased thinking.

          Because we haven’t really explained the basis for the weather. We can understand how precipitation and lightning and plasma and clouds work, but we haven’t thus removed God.

          You’re saying we haven’t proven that God has no involvement? True, but that’s true for Zeus and Brahma and Loki as well.

          “You haven’t proven my hypothesis false!” is no grounding for a reliable worldview. We haven’t proven that fairies don’t exist, either, but we have no good reason to believe in them–that’s the point.

        • Jesse H

          You completely missed the point. We still can’t predict where lightning will strike or where the wind will blow. We have the naturalistic explanations but this doesn’t tell us where these natural phenomena came from or why they are ordered the way they are. Even if we were to be able to completely predict all weather patterns we would still not have the explanation for where they came from in the first place. We can’t remove God from natural phenomena because He is the creator of nature.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You completely missed the point.

          Nope, that’s you, that is.

          We can’t remove God from natural phenomena because He is the creator of nature.

          Until you can demonstrate a god exists and created nature, that’s just nonsense words.

          That’s as dumb as saying…

          “We can’t remove Space Ponies from natural phenomena because They are the creators of nature.”

          The fact is, we can, and nothing changes.

        • We still can’t predict where lightning will strike or where the wind will blow.

          Yeah, I get it. This is god-of-the-gaps thinking. You’ve found a tiny niche where God might be hiding. Yes, I agree that maybe when that church gets destroyed by lightning or the little girl is killed by a falling branch, that was deliberate on God’s part. There’s just no good reason to believe it, so neither of us is justified in doing so.

        • Jesse H

          Not God of the gaps. The creator of nature, weather, physical and chemical laws, life, consciousness, thinking. There is no gap. Natural evidence is evidence of God’s design.

          I know you can grasp this, you are free to disagree. But please for the love of time understand from another perspective that is different from your own. If we come to completely understand the theory of everything, we will not have written God out of the equation. God is in the equation, He created it.

        • The creator of nature, weather, physical and chemical laws, life, consciousness, thinking. There is no gap. Natural evidence is evidence of God’s design.

          (1) You’re assuming God. You can say, “I assume God; therefore, God exists,” but that won’t convince anyone.

          (2) This is very much god of the gaps. You agreed that wind and lightning have natural explanations. Your response was that this didn’t prove no god—God might tweak things in subtle ways so that he’s undetectable by science—which of course is true. Sure, this and countless other unevidenced hypotheticals are possible. But why believe any of them?

          I know you can grasp this, you are free to disagree. But please for the love of time understand from another perspective that is different from your own.

          Huh?? If your point is that you have your own unique perspective, I of course understand that. But if you step out into the marketplace of ideas and make a statement, I will assume that you’d like critique.

          If we come to completely understand the theory of everything, we will not have written God out of the equation.

          We can’t prove no god—yes, for the bazillionth time, I understand that. Now, for the bazillionth time, let me try to get you to understand: “You haven’t proven no god!!” is true but not a justification to believe in that god.

          God is in the equation, He created it.

          There’s your problem–you’re assuming God into existence rather than convincing us with evidence.

        • Jesse H

          An equation is evidence of an Equator.

        • Is Saturday Non-Sequitur Day?

        • Jesse H

          Show me any equation that comes without an intelligent designer.

        • I can’t, but so what? You’re missing an important distinction. Newton’s Law of Gravitation didn’t exist before Isaac Newton, but gravity did. November and 10 o’clock didn’t exist before humans, but time did.

        • Jesse H

          And you’re missing the important distinctions that the realities (gravity, time, chemical properties) imply a Designer. I fully agree that intelligence is required to perceive the design, but you appear to want to have the realities without the Designer.

        • Why? Lightning might’ve implied a Designer centuries ago, but not now. Myriad natural phenomena used to be supposed to come from God(s) but now have natural explanations. We have zero going in the other direction. I’m seeing a trend.

          At best, you can find an unanswered question within science (that science itself brought to our attention), or you have a philosophical question (“why is there something rather than nothing?”) which might not even be a correctly formed question.

        • Jesse H

          The more we come to understand the greater the evidence will be that we have a complex universe, and this greater complexity will garner more evidence for something coming from Someone.

        • Despite the fact that countless examples have gone the other way: from a supposed divine explanation to a 100% natural one. You like to swim against the current, don’t you?

        • Susan

          Despite the fact that countless examples have gone the other way: from a supposed divine explanation to a 100% natural one.

          And so far, zero have gone Ed’s way.

          From a natural explanation to a supernatural one.

        • Jesse H

          No, I swim with the current, recognizing that the current and the water and swimming capacity all point to the Creator of these realities. Naturalism will never fully explain its existence anymore than any object can because objects are contingent.

        • Sounds like you’re empty.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Empty? There’s more in a vacuum.

        • Pofarmer

          At least a vacuum isn’t wrong.

        • Greg G.

          A husband isn’t wrong when he is vacuuming, either.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Or even a non husband. I just finished vacuuming the house…or as we like to say here, the hoovering.

        • Greg G.

          My wife found a deal on a Hoover carpet shampooer a couple of weeks ago. I still have to do the front room and dining area which is all one carpet. I am not going to do the bedroom that is her closet.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Good for you…get the ground rules laid. Unfortunately. or fortunately depending on how ya look at it…am my partners registered carer. So the housework, or chores as they like to say in the US, is all on me.

        • Cynthia

          The memory of carpet in the dining area makes my head hurt.

          We often have children (and a few messy adults) over for dinner. No carpet, no fabric, no drapes, nothing that can’t be wiped clean = no stress.

        • Ignorant Amos

          At this very moment I’ve a 2 year old and 3 year old with Play Doh spread all over the place. Fortunately there is a vinyl tablecloth between the carpet and the criminal tots.

        • Cynthia

          Hope the vinyl works. That’s stuff can be awful to clean. Apparently, I ate a ton of it at that age – my dad was the treasurer at the co-op nursery and asked why they were spending so much on it, then the staff told him about my strange snacks!

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’ve heard stories that pregnant women get cravings for it. The stuff smells like it would taste lovely, but it is as salty as hells bells.

        • Women are people

          Objects are contingent? Contingent on what?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Contingent on the observer being real and alive, while having a mind capable of recognising the object.

          The word “contingent” is another of those words that all to often get bandied about by silly Christians without definition or understanding of its meaning.

        • Women are people

          Yeah but the object exists irrespective of anyone’s ability to recognize it.

          There are plenty of people who cannot see the color red. The color red is not contingent on someone’s inability to perceive that frequency of light.

          It exists regardless of someone recognizing it.

          Case in point, Mount Everest was there long before anyone discovered it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah but the object exists irrespective of anyone’s ability to recognize it.

          A was just musing at the silly comment JH made again.

          In the solipsistic world, does anything exist if I don’t know about it, or does it exist because I know about it?

          Last Thursdayism or The Matrix?

          What if the object is a sim? No need to reply…just more silly musing.

          Contingent propositions including objects, depend on the facts, nothing Jesse has said on the subject has been factual.

          There are plenty of people who cannot see the color red. The color red is not contingent on someone’s inability to perceive that frequency of light.

          Coincidence or what. Am colour blind maself. Me ma was told when I was a youngster that it only meant certain jobs would be out of my reach. Joining the armed forces, or becoming an electrician. I joined the army and became a military electrician. The coincidence in you mentioning it, is that my daughter brought my grandson home from a medical examination yesterday and they found out that he too is colour blind. He is about the age I was when I found out. The irony is that she was told the exact same as my mother. When she laughed, the doc asked why she was laughing and did she know something different. She relayed my tale, the doc was flabbergasted.

        • Jesse H

          Philosophically all objects are contingent on necessary being.

        • And philosophy is useful at the frontier of science … how?

          Quantum mechanics says that quantum events (like the Big Bang maybe?) don’t always need causes. Let’s use the right tool for the right job.

        • Jesse H

          We’ve been over this. Science of course needs philosophy, it can’t be science without plenty of axioms. And QM hasn’t completely disproven cause and effect.

        • Science of course needs philosophy

          The philosopher adds nothing when there is a puzzle among quantum physicists.

          And QM hasn’t completely disproven cause and effect.

          You mean disproven the need for cause and effect. Yes, I agree. So let’s return to the comment of yours that started this: “Philosophically all objects are contingent on necessary being.” You should’ve said, “Science tells us that all objects might be the result of a cause. Or maybe not.” When stated properly, there’s not much left.

        • epeeist

          We’ve been over this.

          When it comes to QM, yes we have. I exposed your lack of competence and understanding a while while. I gave you a couple of simple examples, a particle in a box and the radioactive decay of a couple of radon atoms, in neither case were you able to show what the “cause” was.

          You have avoided the burden of your claim that all effects have causes (which I challenged you on in this post

          You didn’t even bother responding to this post on causality more generally.

          Your effrontery on raising this yet again is staggering.

        • Jesse H

          I’d really like to know what you are trying to show. Are you saying that some occurrences have cause and effect while some do not? How far can we take this? Would you say that we can throw out cause and effect as a rule? Or would it be better to say there may be things we don’t understand with QM but that doesn’t entail throwing out cause and effect altogether? I think we need to discern the difference philosophically between cause and effect as the foundation for any scientific reasoning whatsoever, and occurrences where we may not discern specific cause and effect. The latter doesn’t negate the former. In other words, we can’t let go of rational discourse because of some unknowns. Would you agree?

        • epeeist

          I’d really like to know what you are trying to show.

          I’m not trying to show anything. What I am trying to do is to get you to fulfil your burden and show that QM is indeed causal. All the verbiage in your post is designed to avoid that burden.

          between cause and effect as the foundation for any scientific reasoning

          As well as the particle in a box and radon atoms examples, which you have not answered I also gave you another example, of two balls moving towards each other, colliding and then moving apart. I asked you to show me the causality and to account for the fact that the kinetics is time reversible. This too you have avoided addressing.

          Let’s take it a little further, since Einstein it has been accepted that there are no preferred frames of reference. Now, the implied frame of reference I used for my example has both balls moving towards each other. However it would be perfectly valid to consider a frame of reference in which A is moving and B is stationary or one in which B is moving and A is stationary.

          So where, as an observable, is the “causality” in such a scenario?

        • Ignorant Amos

          You’ve just melted Jesse’s brain to more mush than it originally was….bad man.

        • epeeist

          You’ve just melted Jesse’s brain to more mush than it originally was

          I have hardly started as yet…

        • Jesse H

          So are you trying to say that all QM is not causal because we have examples we don’t understand? Do you really believe that QM completely upends the philosophical and scientific endeavor?

        • epeeist

          We aren’t doing this.

          You made the claim that QM is causal. Either demonstrate that this is true or admit that you have no clue as to what you are talking about.

          To be blunt, your whole post is a transparent attempt to avoid both your burden and the questions put to you.

        • Jesse H

          I’m arguing that we cannot even do science philosophically without a primary understanding of cause and effect. QM can’t be done without cause and effect. And the supposed questions about this doesn’t negate the entire scientific endeavor (including QM) of cause and effect.

        • epeeist

          I’m arguing that we cannot even do science philosophically without a primary understanding of cause and effect.

          No, you are not “arguing”.

          QM can’t be done without cause and effect.

          What you are doing, as exemplified by the above sentence, is making unsubstantiated assertions and pretending that you have answered the questions put to you.

          Let’s try another example shall we. Here is a short video showing the interference pattern generated by water going through two slits. One can do exactly the same experiment using electrons. Fire a beam of electrons at a double slit and you will get an interference pattern.

          Here’s the interesting bit. Slow the production of electrons from the source so that there is only a single electron in flight at any given time. You still get the interference pattern. So what is the cause of this? Oh, and in that observables in QM are described by Hermitian operators then you presumably will provide the Hermitian for your observable cause.

          I note you still haven’t attempted to answer the simple question I put to you on the collision of two balls by the way.

        • Jesse H

          Let’s be precise. Causality must be the philosophical metaphysical foundation in order to even make observations and do any science whatsoever. We must presuppose causality before we can even rule causality out. As for your examples, they are certainly intriguing, but you are making some fallacies. First, I don’t think that you believe that QM is without causality. We may have found some experiments where we don’t quite understand what the cause is, don’t know what the quantum entanglement is, where even our observation impacts the experiment, or where causality has a value that works differently than with larger objects. I’d love to hear your explanations for the differences of causality in QM. And I agree that we also have the idea of multiperspectivalism which we don’t fully understand.
          I would argue that our understanding of quantum entanglement is an example of a deeper causality of quantum states. This isn’t a lack of causality, but actually seems to be a layer of causality deeper than what was known before.
          But beyond all this, I’m arguing more about an overall philosophy, not the specifics of QM, which I do not claim expertise in. Does QM operate in a way that denies the scientific endeavor of causality? And if there are areas in which it does, or where we don’t yet know the causality, does this mean that we are to give up causality in other fields, or give up the philosophical endeavor of causality?

          And then finally I’ll throw this out there just because it’s juicy and y’all love to bite down hard. If we find mystery in QM, shouldn’t that point us to our limitations and need for One who knows all mystery? If we discover that at the core of reality is an unquantifiable and mysterious, even incomprehensible non-causality, when we reconcile this with our need for causality in our finite minds, this shouldn’t point us to a rejection of knowledge and purpose, but actually to the mystery of the Other, the One who made the mystery, who is ever and will be the God, the Creator, and we His creatures and QM His creation.

        • epeeist

          Causality must be the philosophical metaphysical foundation in order to even make observations and do any science whatsoever.

          Sez you. Another unsubstantiated assertion on your behalf.

          We must presuppose causality squinzipoops before we can even rule causality squinzipoops out.

          Makes as much sense as your original sentence.

          As for your examples, they are certainly intriguing, but you are making some fallacies.

          Fallacies which strangely enough you fail to identify.

          First, I don’t think that you believe that QM is without causality.

          So nice of you to tell me what I do and don’t believe.

          But what I believe is irrelevant, what is under discussion here is your claim that QM is causal and you fulfilling your burden to show that this is so.

          We may have found some experiments where we don’t quite understand what the cause is, don’t know what the quantum entanglement is

          Entanglement has not been an element in any of the quantum examples I have given. You need to go back to my first response to you on QM to ascertain the common feature in my examples.

          But beyond all this, I’m arguing more about an overall philosophy, not the specifics of QM, which I do not claim expertise in.

          And this is the underlying problem isn’t it. Not only have you no clue when it comes to QM but your knowledge of basic science is non-existent as well. If it wasn’t then you would have tackled my example of two balls colliding.

          The example isn’t mine by the way, though I have embellished it with a little modern science. The fact that you don’t recognise it shows that you acquaintance with the subject of causation is as rudimentary as your knowledge of science.

          Which would, of course, explain why we will wait forever for you to fulfil your burden. You simply don’t have the knowledge or understanding to do so.

        • Jesse H

          Good grief. Why are you squirming so much?

          Do you really just not want to have a conversation?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causality_(physics)

          I don’t think you’re really so dense as to misunderstand that when I refer to causality I’m referring to the deep understanding by which we can even make observations. Causality is the basis for the scientific method.

        • epeeist

          Why are you squirming so much?

          The only squirming I am seeing is from you as you, yet again, try to avoid fulfilling the burden of showing that QM is indeed causal. I note that yet again you have avoided any attempt to do so.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wi

          Good grief, you want to use a class C article on Wikipedia as a basis for discussion. Why not some of the vast literature on the subject from the philosophy of science and philosophy more generally? Ah yes, because you are not familiar with any of it.

          Causality is the basis for the scientific method.

          All philosophers, of every school, imagine that causation is one of the fundamental axioms or postulates of science, yet, oddly enough, in advanced sciences such as gravitational astronomy, the word “cause” never appears …
          To me, it seems that … the reason why physics has ceased to look for causes is that, in fact, there are no such things. The law of causality, I believe, like much that passes muster among philosophers, is a relic of a bygone age, surviving, like the monarchy, only because it is erroneously supposed to do no harm.

          Bertrand Russell, address to the Aristotelian society, 1913

        • Jesse H

          So you seem to be saying that the best philosophers understand causality while advanced science doesn’t? Gravitational astronomy operates because of the cause/law/theory of gravity. Gravity is an undergirding causal substrate. Bertrand Russell is supremely short-sighted in this quote.

        • epeeist

          Gravitational astronomy operates because of the cause/law/theory of gravity.

          Which “law of gravity”?

          Gravity is an undergirding causal substrate.

          Yet again you make an assertion, which, going on past performance, you will be unable to substantiate.

          Now I gave you an extremely simple example of macro physics, namely the collision of two moving balls. You never answered the question I put to you on this and have essentially worked to elide it from the conversation.

          Let’s look at the modern theory which describes gravity, now the Einstein field equations are (you will have to bear with me here since this, like any mathematics, is difficult to set in Disqus, which doesn’t allow the use of mathML. I have had to put the covariant tensor dressings in brackets):

          G(μλ) + g(μλ)Λ = 8πG/c^4 . T(μλ)

          So where in this equation does “causality” or a “causal substrate” appear?

          Bertrand Russell is supremely short-sighted in this quote.

          When you can produce something like his Principles of Mathematics then perhaps I might pay attention to your claim.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You simply don’t have the knowledge or understanding to do so.

          Which, along with evolution, QM is the other thing he admitted way back, that the layperson has no access to understanding. Yet the dumb fuck continues to argue about those two subjects regardless. In this case, with a retired PhD physicist who has knowledge in the field of QM. Ya couldn’t make his fuckwittery up.

        • epeeist

          Which, along with evolution, QM is the other thing he admitted way back

          I think it fairly obvious that his knowledge, and more critically, his understanding of science generally, its methodology, history and philosophy is grossly deficient.

          His ability to express himself when it comes to the trinity doesn’t seem to be that good either.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And I’ve just discovered he’s supposed to be a teacher…no way.

        • epeeist

          And I’ve just discovered he’s supposed to be a teacher.

          Not just a teacher, but a science teacher…

        • Pofarmer

          Makes me want to start drinking, and it’s 8:20 A.M. here.

          Where the fuck did this dingleberry get his science degree? And where the hell does he teach?

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Susan

          this greater complexity will garner more evidence for something coming from Someone.

          There is no reason to see “complexity” as evidence for someone. You have provided none.

          Show us the connection.

        • Jesse H

          When you hear the wind in the trees vs. hearing a symphony, how do you tell the difference? What does the complexity tell you?

        • Bored Now

          Define complexity.

        • Susan

          When you hear the wind in the trees

          No, Jesse. It doesn’t work that way. You made a claim about “complexity” and agency.

          It’s your burden to define complexity and show that it requires an agent.

        • Bored Now

          Also, is the wind supposed to be less complex here? The sound of dozens of instruments is probably a lot easier to model than that of millions of leaves.

        • Susan

          The sound of dozens of instruments is probably a lot easier to model than that of millions of leaves.

          I had exactly that thought when I read Jesse’s comment. To use the wind in the trees as an example of something that isn’t complex is just wrong.

          But I decided to keep things as simple as possible for Jesse in my response.

        • Bored Now

          …and now he’s added “randomness” into the mix. Entropy, information, complexity are all related concepts in information theory. Higher entropy (randomness) must mean more information. Since a lower entropy message would, by definition carry redundancy. Redundancy implies the ability to compress your message. If you can compress your message then clearly the compressed message must have more information per symbol than the uncompressed message.

          So our less deterministic rustling of leaves is likely more complex than our more deterministic (and therefore less complex) symphony.

        • Jesse H

          So to you what is the reason why we know intelligent agents are behind symphonic sounds vs. why the wind is not an intelligent agent?

        • Bored Now

          So to you what is the reason why we know intelligent agents are behind
          symphonic sounds vs. why the wind is not an intelligent agent?

          It’s worth pointing out that your response is almost entirely irrelevant to what I was saying to Susan.

          That said, technically speaking, I don’t know that “intelligent agents” are behind any music I hear. I suspect I simply presume it, in the same way that because I consider myself to be intelligent and I consider people I meet to be sufficiently like me to also be intelligent. I was at a conference with a speaker who gave a demonstration of software which attempted to provide expression to piano pieces that is normally associated with human behavior. The audience was polled in many A/B tests and almost everyone got every piece wrong. They got it wrong because the volume level was slightly lower for the human than the computer. People, even when primed to detect something from an intelligence and something that isn’t. Simply don’t know what they’re listening for.

        • Jesse H

          I’m not sure your example there is truly relevant. There’s a difference between emotionality (expression) and intelligence. And even in your example the test was skewed with different volumes. For the test to match what I’m saying we’d have a human-generated piece of music and a computer-generated piece of music–but even this would depend upon the intelligently produced algorithm given to the computer.

        • Bored Now

          There’s a difference between emotionality (expression) and intelligence.

          Musical expression isn’t necessarily emotionality. I’m not sure if your need to add unnecessary terms to a discussion is just egotism or what here but there’s literally no need for it.

          And even in your example the test was skewed with different volumes

          Congratulations on missing the point. Sure, they had different volumes but except for that and the expression they were otherwise identical. The point isn’t that humans can’t differentiate between something machine designed and something human-designed.

          It’s that they have so little in the way of clue what they are looking for that even if told to examine a really, really precise place they just end up making crap up.

        • Jesse H

          I can agree that we can get into mystery when we try to overdefine the obvious. But back to my original point, it’s very easy to discern a symphony from wind. We often recognize agency in what we see. I agree we can be fooled at times, but I disagree that the basic point is wrong.

        • Susan

          we can get into mystery when we try to overdefine the obvious.

          No one’s trying to override the obvious. You are trying to claim something without supporting it and calling it “the obvious” without addressing the point.

          it’s very easy to differentiate the symphony from wind

          Sure. Wind through the trees is immensely complex, while symphonies (as epeeist pointed out) can be summarized with a score.

          I’m not sure how this supports any of your points. Care to show us?

          I disagree that the basic point is wrong.

          You have yet to show us what “the basic point” is.

          You haven’t thought this through, Jesse.

        • epeeist

          it’s very easy to discern a symphony from wind

          Indeed it is, this is because symphonies are much simpler.

          Consider a symphony orchestra for something like Mozart’s Jupiter symphony (K551). This consists of strings plus a two each of horns, trumpets and oboes, a flute and timpani. This is far fewer instruments than leaves in a forest, especially since these instruments tend to play in groups rather than individually.

          Now ask yourself, do the instruments play notes during the symphony or can they play at any frequency? The former is of course true. Contrast that with the wind blowing through the leaves in a forest, here there is no restriction on the frequencies that can be produced.

          Ask yourself whether the instruments in a orchestra are restricted to playing specific notes at specific times, or whether they can play whatever they want at whatever time they want. The former is of course true. Contrast that with the wind blowing through the leaves in a forest, where there is neither restriction on frequency or timing of frequency production.

          We recognise a symphony because it has deliberate constraints put on it in order for us to be able to do so (we haven’t even mentioned symphonic forms as yet). Whereas there are no such constraints on the noise produced by leaves rustling in the wind. To put it another way, the sound produced by wind in the trees has a higher Kolmogorov complexity than a symphony.

        • Jesse H

          So you agree that we discern intelligent agency from a symphony?

        • epeeist

          So you agree that we discern intelligent agency from a symphony?

          But this wasn’t the point at issue was it, the conversation was about simplicity and complexity (something that, as Bored Now notes, you are unwilling to define; though personally I tend towards incapable of defining). I think that I and others have shown that the natural phenomenon of leaves rustling in the breeze is far more complex than a symphony, but you being you will double down and double down in order to avoid admitting that you were wrong.

          To take your bait and switch though, yes we can detect intelligent agency in a symphony. To take the Mozart symphony that I used as an example. This points to a fallible man (he had great difficulties with money) who was made of the same material as the universe he lived in. He was mortal, dying at the age of 35, probably of rheumatic fever. We know all this because we have his works, his letters (including some very racy letters to his wife), records of his travels, the concerts he gave etc.

          In other words, your repeated attempt to insert an analogy to your “argument from design” is not just weak but positively feeble.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I studied Schubert’s Symphony 6th in C major, for “O” level Music myself…not even joking…you’re wondering how someone so uncouth ordinarily could have? Anno, it intrigues my social circle too. I keep my sorte for classical music quiet among my rave fraternity.

        • epeeist

          I keep my sorte for classical music quiet among my rave fraternity.

          I worked professional theatre for a while, including stints with a travelling opera company. Professional singers seem to be quite happy to accept music of a whole variety of genres. Once of my favourite early-music sopranos is Emma Kirkby (singing music from one of my favourite composers). One of her favourite singes is Bobby McFerrin (Circle Song).

          Posts here have revealed a whole slew of subjects of which Jesse H has limited or no understanding. It looks as though music might be another.

        • Pofarmer

          It’s funny how different musical tastes are. This is more my speed currently.

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

        • Ignorant Amos

          Am pretty eclectic on my variety of music. Not a great fan of hip hop. Though some of it I can listen to.

        • symphonies are much simpler.

          Symphonies can be expressed as a sequence of MIDI notes. That makes them very compressible.

        • epeeist

          That makes them very compressible.

          And hence of a lower Kolmogorov complexity.

        • Bored Now

          I can agree that we can get into mystery when we try to overdefine the obvious

          Don’t I have to say something in order for you to claim that you are agreeing with me on something? Or is this just your ego at work here?

          it’s very easy to discern a symphony from wind

          That’s not your point though. You claimed that it was complexity and randomness that you are discerning here. However you can’t define either of those terms. So you don’t really have a point.

          I agree we can be fooled at times

          It’s interesting that how much you like to distort the facts. It’s not merely “at times”. This is nearly everyone wrongly attributing something as obvious as average volume to intelligence. You might as well claim that the louder the wind gets the more intelligent it is. Maybe you do believe that.

        • Jesse H

          Your example wasn’t about intelligence, but musical expression. At what point do you think it’s possible to infer intelligent agency and/or design? Don’t we do this often?

        • Bored Now

          but musical expression.

          Nope, read it again. Musical expression from a human intelligence vs from a more stochastic process coming from a machine.

          At what point do you think it’s possible to infer intelligent agency and/or design?

          You’re going to have to define “infer” but I’m not sure that’s possible. So, your line of questioning is problematic.

        • Jesse H

          So you don’t think we can ever infer design or agency?

        • epeeist

          Probably? A symphony is fully described by its score.

          Try writing a score for a forest full of leaves…

        • Jesse H

          I don’t need to define complexity to say that we can all understand the difference between wind and symphonic sounds.

        • Susan

          I don’t need to define complexity

          Of course you do. You’re claiming there is a connection between “complexity” and agency.

          You haven’t defined “complexity” nor shown its connection to agency.

          One of the problems that I wanted to bring up but didn’t, @skeptistics did.

          Here: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2019/09/how-much-faith-to-be-an-atheist-a-response-to-geisler-and-turek-part-4-2/#comment-4671556694

          If you’re honest, you’ll click on it and address it.

          Another problem that I chose not to bring up, but will now, is one of the (many) fundamental problems in the Blind Watchmaker argument.

          You’re claiming that all of nature is governed by an agent, but you use a non-human behaviour of nature (the wind through the trees) to contrast it with human behaviour in nature (an orchestra). That is, you see non-agency in something you claim must require an agent.

          You’re making our argument for us.

          You don’t seem to understand anything you’re saying. You’re not thinking about it, at all.

          we can all understand the difference between wind and symphonic sounds.

          Then tell me, what is the difference?

          “Complexity” doesn’t make the top of my list. If it makes the top of yours, define “complexity” and show us how.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You’re making our argument for us.

          Bingo!

          Just another example of God’s non existence. A perfect multi-omni entity couldn’t be that incompetent in order to send such a pathetically asinine messenger.

        • Bored Now

          don’t need to define complexity to say that we can all understand the difference between wind and symphonic sounds.

          Ah but Jessiekins you weren’t merely arguing that these things are differentiable you were arguing that they were differentiable by virtue of their complexity. To wit:

          What does the complexity tell you?

          Once again you argue in bad faith and you are being a poor witness for Christ.

        • MR

          I do wish they were called out more on this.

        • Jesse H

          Wind through the trees is random, symphonic sounds are not. They exhibit harmony, melody, rhythm, as well as intelligent achievement using various musical tools to produce a coordinated sound following agreed upon and even intrinsic patterns which resonate with reality and a history of musical thematic and developed culture. Thus, agency.
          I may very well be a poor witness for Christ by continuing to be drawn in to engagement by those who ridicule and nitpick, as well as possibly wasting time which could be better spent on more noteworthy pursuits. But errors on my part and continued engagement doesn’t exactly equate to bad faith or poor witness. There are plenty of times when arguments made against me are not agreed upon by all of you arguing against me (and when we can see examples of bad faith by my opponents). But I’m willing to stand in the fire, and admit mistakes, though the mistakes aren’t always from bad faith, but sometimes from different worldviews.

        • Bored Now

          Wind through the trees is random

          define “random”.

          I may very well be a poor witness for Christ by continuing to be drawn in to engagement by those who ridicule and nitpick

          That phrase itself is a good example of being a poor witness. Instead of just coming clean and admitting that it was wrong of you to claim that you don’t need to define a term when your very argument depended on it. You make a statement which is in the form of self-criticism but is actually just belittling others. Grow up. Defining your terms is an absolutely fundamental part of argument. If you can’t do it — learn to.

          and admit mistakes

          rarely.

        • Jesse H

          All due respect, but that’s simply facile. At various times in these conversations some people will take what I say at face value, others will nitpick, mock and ridicule, and various engagement occurs, often from the same comments I make. Define random? Really? Do I need to define random in order for you to agree that sounds from wind represent a difference between random and organized or simple and complex? No, I don’t.
          I’m going to double down because you are smart enough to disagree and introduce points without having to nitpick everything. Please do so, it may take removing your defense attorney mindset.

        • Bored Now

          At various times in these conversations some people will take what I say at face value, others will nitpick, mock and ridicule, and various engagement occurs, often from the same comments I make.

          That’s not relevant. Is it? I’m just asking you to define terms that are absolutely crucial to your argument and the extreme vast majority of the time you just foot-drag, whine and refuse. Who wouldn’t consider that bad faith and a poor Christian witness? I mean it took you about a week to agree to a definition which was perfectly good to begin with. Sheesh

          Do I need to define random in order for you to agree that sounds from wind represent a difference between random and organized or simple and complex? No, I don’t

          Yes you do. Since you appear to have almost no idea what at least two of these terms mean. So I need your definitions in order to figure out what you mean here.

          Also why is it so monumentally difficult to produce something that you should know off the topi of your head? If you don’t know what you mean by the terms you use then what business do you have making such an argument?

          Now, of course this is under some pretty charitable assumptions about you. For example, I assume it’s your goal to communicate clearly. If you’re here for some other reason, like to just harass or belittle people . Then sure, arbitrarily withholding part of your argument is rational but that’s also admitting bad faith. I prefer to assume that you want to communicate clearly.

          defense attorney mindset

          Again more belittling of people. Asking people for definitions of key terms is entirely reasonable. Or who knows? Maybe you’re just projecting, in the public-eye it’s lawyers that withhold key parts of their argument until the end. Just like you are doing. Lulz.

        • Jesse H

          Wind through the trees is random and simple. Symphonic music is organized and complex. We see an inherent different in these because we instantly recognize one is from intelligent agency. In the same way DNA is organized and complex, there is a purpose and passing on of information in patterned code. And this complexity points to intelligence.

        • Bored Now

          Wind through the trees is random and simple. Symphonic music is organized and complex.

          Again,you need to define these terms. Since at least two of them you’re using in an idiosyncratic (read: wrong) way. However I can’t tell which because you refuse to define them.

          Again, dialoguing with someone is bi-directional requiring actually listening to and answering their questions. Stop regurgitating the same set pieces and actually converse.

        • Phil
        • Hmm. So maybe river meanders and sand dunes are just the result of mindless natural laws?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Perhaps. But snowflakes are made by snowflake designing and creating fairies. How could such complexity just happen otherwise?

        • Susan

          snowflakes are made by snowflake designing and creating fairies.

          Of course. Each one is lovingly carved by hand by my Immaterial Snowflake Fairies (praise be upon Them).

          How could such complexity just happen otherwise?

          It can’t. It’s impossible.

        • Greg G.

          Are not Snowflake Fairies made of snowflakes? Which came first, snowflakes or Snowflake Fairies? Checkmate, Athiests!

        • Susan

          Are not Snowflake Fairies made of snowflakes?

          No, no, no!

          They are Immaterial. They transcend snowflakes and ground snowflakes.

          You are unsophisticated and attacking low-hanging fruit.

          Ptooey!

          You and your nihilism.

        • Ignorant Amos

          My thoughts exactly. And I was thinking about you and yer fairies when a was making said thoughts.

        • Susan

          I was thinking about you and yer fairies

          I knew that.

          I couldn’t resist the opportuniy to proselytize. 🙂

        • Greg G.

          If you are going to stick an intelligent designer in everywhere, then whoever puts ice on my driveway every winter is a prick. I coworker slipped on the ice on his driveway and required surgery on his shoulder. That intelligent designer was a jerk. the wife of another coworker broke her arm when she slipped on the ice. Is the designer actually unintelligent, indifferent, or malevolent?

        • Jesse H

          Oh man, you’re right. Ice is such a stupid design, obviously there was no designer because water can turn to ice and this is completely stupid.

        • Greg G.

          Your argument is “IDidit” which is just “godidit”. It is an appeal to the supernatural which means your argument is based on the necessity of no evidence. Your argument gets all the respect it deserves.

        • Ignorant Amos

          We still can’t predict where lightning will strike or where the wind will blow.

          He’s still wrong.

          I was on holiday in Orlando, Florida in 1998 and every evening at around the same time, we were entertained by the light show from a passing thunderstorm. You could set your watch by it. The kids were ordered out of the pool just before it was due.

          We can’t predict exactly where those things will happen, but given our understanding of the science behind them we can roughly predict when they are likely, and where, they will happen.

          Here’s the thing, given that same understanding, we also know when and where they won’t happen.

          How Do You Predict Where Lightning Will Strike?

          Since late 2016, NASA has been able to do it through a new addition to their NOAA GOES-16 satellite – a lightning tracker that can give insights to weather forecasters and emergency response teams before the storms hit.

          https://www.txstate-epdc.net/predict-lightning-will-strike/

          Poor Jesse’s incredulity is like a millstone around his neck…and he’s proud of it, that’s the sad part.

          Now, predicting when and where a prayer will be answered…good luck with that nonsense.

        • His position is classic god of the gaps–“Well, yeah, you’ve proven that God can’t be here, but you haven’t proven that he can’t be there! Checkmate, atheists!”

          Now, predicting when and where a prayer will be answered…good luck with that nonsense.

          !

        • Pofarmer

          You’d be kinda surprised how good they are at forecasting winds nowadays.

        • epeeist

          “You haven’t proven my hypothesis false!” is no grounding for a reliable worldview.

          He no longer responds to me after I stated that his knowledge in the areas of science (including the TofE and physics), the philosophy of science and epistemology is virtually non-existent.

          With all this waffle about “world views” he is getting very close to saying that knowledge is impossible, though what he really means of course is that my knowledge is reliable but your knowledge is not (because reasons).

        • I stated that his knowledge in the areas of science (including the TofE and physics), the philosophy of science and epistemology is virtually non-existent.

          Maybe praying for wisdom only worked in Solomon’s day.

        • Jesse H

          I’m sorry if you feel I’ve dropped the conversation with you. Perhaps I missed some posts. I agree you have a better understanding of QM than me but if I remember it seems like you were asking me questions but simply didn’t like my responses. As for worldviews I’m not at all saying knowledge is impossible, but because different worldviews exist evidence will be differently interpreted. For instance, QM to me is evidence for God. I recognize to you (perhaps?) it’s not, but I the complexity and unknowns point to deeper unknowns. The discovery of the god particle only added new dimensions to the questions. And I’m sure you could fill me in from a more expert perspective.

        • epeeist

          I’m sorry if you feel I’ve dropped the conversation with you. Perhaps I missed some posts.

          No, what happened is that as soon as we got the situation where you could either not answer the points that I raised or could only answer in a way that was detrimental to your ideology then you simply ceased to respond.

          I agree you have a better understanding of QM than me

          It isn’t just QM, it is physics and science more generally, it is the philosophy, history and methodology of science, it is epistemology and philosophy more generally. In all of these your knowledge and understanding has been shown, and not just by me, to be rudimentary.

        • Ignorant Amos

          For instance, QM to me is evidence for God.

          But everything to the Christer Godbot is evidence for God, because God created everything, right?

          Except youse lot won’t own all the nasty stuff like the nematode worm Loa loa, harlequin babies, cancer, motor neurone disease, or a multitude of other nasty shite, and explain why a omnibenevolent God would visit such stuff on the creation “imago dei”.

        • Jesse H

          Humanity is fallen. We don’t live in a perfectly designed creation, we don’t live in Eden. We live in a creation needing to be redeemed.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Humanity is fallen.

          Conjecture without evidence based on the erroneous Christian interpretation of an ancient near east myth. How did humanity become “fallen”? What does “fallen” even mean? Is all life “fallen”?

          We don’t live in a perfectly designed creation,…

          I know, that’s the point. And your answer is an unsupported cop-out. The thing is, you are asserting your god out of existence. If God created everything, and he designed creation, then he designed it flawed. Not perfectly designed. Why would the God you believe in do that?

          You’re a creationist, so every bad thing in the world is your God’s creation. Ya don’t get to pick and choose the nice stuff for God and place the crappy at the feet of humanity because of some made nonsense about eating some forbidden fruit in a fancy garden. What did a harlequin baby do to deserve that nastiness? Omnibenevolent God, my arse!

          …we don’t live in Eden.

          I know. Eden is a fictitious place in an ANE creation myth. A creation myth among many. Just because it’s your favourite, doesn’t make it true. Older creation myths are available.

          That said, some folk on the planet have enough wealth to live better than in Eden. Humanities “falleness” effects some folk a lot more than others.

          We live in a creation needing to be redeemed.

          That crucifixion nonsense yarn was a total waste of space then? Christ the Redeemer is piss poor at redeeming.

          Nah, what we see is a natural world that looks exactly like it would with no god necessary.

        • Do you doubt your views on Evolution, God and the Bible? Do you question them?

          Of course I question whether evolution is correct, as I question every claim that comes at me. Evolution has nearly universal support from relevant scientists in numerous related fields. The scientific consensus on evolution is overwhelming. On top of that, ID is nothing more than pseudoscience.

          As for God, I’m not even sure what it really means to say that “God exists.” Hell, even believers can’t come to an agreement about what the term means. Since I’m not sure what the term means, I have trouble coming up with some way to show that the proposition is true. Until somebody can clearly define exactly what they mean by “God”, in terms that I can understand, the statement “God exists” is rather meaningless to me, and there isn’t much I can do until I really understand what the term means.

          As for the Bible, without your particular deity, it’s nothing more than a collection of human writings. It’s certainly useful for some things, but is not useful in the ways that most believers think it is. I regard the Bible the same way I regard the Quran, the book of Mormon, the Hindu Veda’s, or any other religiously inspired writings: They’re interesting from an anthropology, and literary, point of view, but not too much else.

        • Jesse H

          For you to say ID is pseudoscience is evidence of bias. I agree wikipedia labels it as such, but this is just evidence of a war among belief systems. When you have scientists from many backgrounds (even if they are in the minority) who support ID, it shouldn’t be mislabeled. Personally I’ve encountered wikipedia bias as I’ve tried to edit pages to reflect a more neutral point of view.

          The simple understanding about God is that He is Creator. He is the impetus for the universe, life, consciousness and existence. Surely this isn’t meaningless to you. Although I agree we would then need/want more information, which is why the Bible is relevant here. And you can certainly regard the Bible as like other religious texts, but the Veda’s don’t compare historically or theologically to the Bible, and the Quran and BofMormon are attempts to use the Bible but both merely piggyback, one 7 centuries later and one 18 centuries later. So by comparative analysis the BIble is much more relevant and significant.

        • Susan

          For you to say ID is pseudoscience is evidence of bias.

          How so? Show the bias. If ID did science, no one would call it pseudoscience.

          Show us how ID does science.

          What science does it do?

          This is a very straightforward question. Please answer it.

          Show us the studies. Show us the peer review. Show us the models. Show us the evidence.

          The simple understanding about God is that He is Creator.

          Show us that an agent exists. Show us how it created something. Show us the models. Show us the evidence that supports those models.

        • Jesse H

          I can certainly show examples where ID made predictions and were proven correct against evolutionary theory. I can also show you many ID articles peer-reviewed and subject to peer-review. When microbiologists first posited that human DNA was 80% junk, ID theorists predicted that was not the case. And by various reckonings, we have found uses for more like 80% of human DNA now. I can give you more examples if you wish.

          And we have no examples of complex system information that aren’t from an intelligent agent. The way DNA encodes, decodes, replicates, provides multi-level software for the information process, and does so purposefully and specifically is modeled only by intelligent agents.

          If SETI picked up anything like DNA, scientists would unanimously say that aliens were trying to communicate.

        • Susan

          I can certainly show examples where ID made predictions and were proven correct against evolutionary theory.

          Provide one.

        • Jesse H

          I did. Reread what I wrote please.

        • Greg G.

          I can certainly show examples where ID made predictions and were proven correct against evolutionary theory. I can also show you many ID articles peer-reviewed and subject to peer-review. When microbiologists first posited that human DNA was 80% junk, ID theorists predicted that was not the case. And by various reckonings, we have found uses for more like 80% of human DNA now. I can give you more examples if you wish.

          ID theorists have never identified a single sequence. They were pretty much denying junk DNA entirely before the sequencing was completed, then claiming a prediction was correct when it has been disproved.

          The “80%” figure is discussed at the link below. It doesn’t mean what you are trying to say.

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4014423/

        • Jesse H

          Thanks for the link. From an honest perspective, do you believe that DNA shows commonality that disproves the idea of a common designer?

        • Greg G.

          No, nothing can disprove a magic intelligent designer. It’s nothing but “godidit” over and over. It doesn’t actually explain anything.

          Nor can anything disprove that the world came into being Last Thursday as is, with false memories for everyone but amnesiacs.

        • Jesse H

          The theory of God can’t be put on the same level as the theory of Dreamism. Even if we were to say that the world came into existence yesterday we would be in need of a Creator for these false created memories.

        • Greg G.

          Last Thursdayism without a god thingy is simpler than something complex enough to be capable of creating the Last Thursday universe with false memories, so it is far more likely.

        • Jesse H

          Occams razor only applies to the simplest option that would actually explain all the parameters. I would submit that any creation of false memories would involve the need for a Creator of false memories. Simply to say that no God is simpler doesn’t follow the true rules of Occam’s razor.

        • Greg G.

          A is more likely than A&B unless A implies B. You are assuming A implies B which is assuming the consequence.

          I have noticed that our memories are imperfect. That implies they are not authentic or the creator has the property of sneakiness or is simply incompetent.

        • Jesse H

          I can see what you mean about assuming the consequent. But what are you arguing for? Do inauthentic memories give evidence of Dreamism?

        • Greg G.

          Yes, inauthentic memories give inauthentic evidence of Dreamism. Weak evidence of anything is weak evidence but lots of weak evidence might amount to strong evidence. But lots of inauthentic evidence will always be inauthentic evidence.

        • Jesse H

          What can prove an Intelligent Designer? What is the forensic science that helps us determine design from crime scenes, irreducible complexity, information processing; and does any of this offer a basis for ID?

        • epeeist

          What is the forensic science that helps us determine design from crime scenes,

          https://farm5.static.flickr.com/4032/4475268128_d366fe7edc_o.png

          And once again we have the reset button. You have been through this with me, as I pointed out then and as you were unable to refute that what forensic scientists are doing is availing themselves to methodological naturalism in order to come to a conclusion, an inference to the best explanation if you like. Nothing to do with design.

          You really have no shame do you?

          EDIT: Garbled copy-paste

        • Jesse H

          An inference to the best conclusion is that when we see life, intelligence and complex system information with teleology this comes from agents.

        • Greg G.

          Why ask what can prove an ID? Einstein’s theory predicted that light would be affected by gravity. Astronomers devise a test that would prove or disprove it. A solar eclipse was about to occur where a star would be behind the sun but would be visible if light was affected by gravity. They observed the star precisely where the theory predicted.

          Someone has to present a hypothesis that presents a test to discover unknown evidence that can distinguish between an ID and no ID, which also includes the possibility of falsification.

          Which is more problematic for you, that forensic can’t test for god thingies or that every god thingy test that forensic science can do shows god thingy theory is wrong or has to be reimagined?

        • Jesse H

          I would say that basic philosophy argues for the truth of ID. But as for scientific theories, irreducible complexity, complex system information processing and teleology that we see in DNA, and the increasing evidence of baraminology argue for ID.

        • epeeist

          Show us that an agent exists. Show us how it created something. Show
          us the models. Show us the evidence that supports those models.

          Obviously you aren’t going to get anything. At best he is simply going to regurgitate the stuff that he has already posted in response to my questions on the same topics.

        • For you to say ID is pseudoscience is evidence of bias.

          And for you to say this is evidence of ignorance.

          I agree wikipedia labels it as such, but this is just evidence of a war among belief systems.

          And like a good Christian you see everything through the lens of your persecution complex.

          When you have scientists from many backgrounds (even if they are in the minority) who support ID, it shouldn’t be mislabeled.

          The scientists you speak of aren’t doing science when they do ID. They represent a very tiny fraction of all scientists, who overwhelmingly will tell you that ID isn’t science.

          The simple understanding about God is that He is Creator. He is the impetus for the universe, life, consciousness and existence

          Which tells me pretty much nothing.

          Although I agree we would then need/want more information, which is why the Bible is relevant here.

          Why the Bible? Why not any other holy book? Why do you special plead for your preferred book? Why not something by deists, or any other non-Christian faiths? Hell, why even go to a holy book at all?

          And you can certainly regard the Bible as like other religious texts, but the Veda’s don’t compare historically or theologically to the Bible,

          So you assert. I’m sure that a number of Hindu’s, and Hare Krishna’s, would disagree with you.

        • Jesse H

          I’m not persecuted, though there is a war of belief systems obviously.

          ID is a growing science which will become more and more accepted. The war will continue because it is a worldview war. The battle will never be won because it is the primary battle of human existence (theism, not necessarily ID).

          And I agree that we need to do a comparative holy book study, which I have done. Polytheism doesn’t stand up to me philosophically because we would still have questions of eternality and omniscience.

        • ID is a growing science which will become more and more accepted.

          Perhaps with lay people, but the laity believe all kinds of nonsense. It doesn’t mean ID is scientific, or even worthy taking seriously! The Flat Earth movement has gained incredible popularity in the past few decades, as has the anti-vaccine crowd. I think the rise of the internet, along with the Dunning-Kruger effect, has given lay people a sense that they are just as competent at figuring stuff out as real scientists.

          Then you have IDiots like Behe, Dembski, and Meyers. While popular, and produce books aimed at the laity, their nonsense doesn’t get very far with real scientists because they publish pretty much nothing in scientific journals. They’re trying to win a war of popularity, rather than trying to convince scientists (who are much better arbiters on these matter than the ignorant public.)

          Polytheism doesn’t stand up to me philosophically because we would still have questions of eternality and omniscience.

          Polytheism, like all other forms of theism, doesn’t stand up for me either because it doesn’t make sense, and there’s no compelling evidence that any gods exist.

        • MR

          I kind of see ID as a way of trying to hang on to people who are waking up to the fact that traditional religion is a load of crock. “If we can just expand the corral a bit to include sciency sounding stuff, maybe we won’t lose everyone.” I mean, people know that religion is crap. They cling to it, they pray when they get sick and all, but they still go to the doctor, don’t they? ID is a way to try to sound smart and hope people won’t notice that it’s still all just fairy tale.

        • Jesse H

          Your bias is showing my friend. I agree that the ID scientists are smaller in comparison to their opponents, but they do have peer-reviewed articles and a growing popularity among “real scientists.” The fact is that since these issues involve more than just science, but also a philosophy of science, it’s not just a popularity contest. Comparing ID with flat earth and anti-vax is simply untenable. If you really followed the literature, the growing field of information science is making stronger cases for ID, and Behe and Demski answer their critics with articles that show they are arguing from the science alone.
          I agree that lay people aren’t necessarily as good as the experts, but the reason for some of the shift is not due to laypeople being dumb, but because the actual science for Evolution is simply adaptation, not the proof of the entire theory on a grand scale.
          Glad we agree on polytheism. What compelling evidence would convince you about God’s existence?

        • I agree that the ID scientists are smaller in comparison to their opponents, but they do have peer-reviewed articles and a growing popularity among “real scientists.”

          Most credible scientists have more peer reviewed articles, published in credible journals, and more citations of their work, than what ID “scientists” are getting. Compared to most scientists, ID scientists simply aren’t publishing in peer reviewed journals, but instead spend all of their time aiming at lay audiences who don’t have the skills to evaluate their nonsense.

          The total, peer reviewed, work of ID scientists is abysmal, and if they were working for real universities they would probably be fired for how little research they produce.

          Comparing ID with flat earth and anti-vax is simply untenable

          Not really. They all have about the same degree of credibility.

          . If you really followed the literature, the growing field of information science is making stronger cases for ID, and Behe and Demski answer their critics with articles that show they are arguing from the science alone.

          Behe has very few articles, and doesn’t really publish. He also has very few citations. Dembski isn’t any better. For the most part they don’t publish in science journals because their work isn’t science!

          but the reason for some of the shift is not due to laypeople being dumb, but because the actual science for Evolution is simply adaptation, not the proof of the entire theory on a grand scale

          People have the idea that somehow, if Evolution is really true, that a modern monkey should occasionally give birth to a modern human. The truth is that such a thing would falsify Evolution, not confirm it.

          Most people, including yourself, have a terrible understanding of evolution, what it means, what it predicts, and how it works.

          What compelling evidence would convince you about God’s existence?

          First you’d have to give me a meaningful description of what God is, that I can understand. Even then, I really have no idea what might convince me.

        • Jesse H

          I would argue that neo-Darwinian theory isn’t science either, but more philosophy.

          And you actually evidence this when you think people don’t understand ToE. The idea isn’t that apes don’t bear humans, it’s that putting together the whole theory and saying that the evidence is just because of adaptation is swallowing a camel.

          Alleles change within populations, sure, and this means that everything is connected because dogs come in many shapes and sizes? It’s not just not evidenced, it’s a philosophical leap by orders of magnitude. So don’t act as if ToE is simply misunderstood by me or anyone who doesn’t swallow the camel.

          As for God, how about simply the Creator? We have a vast nearly incomprehensible universe in its scope, intelligent life capable of metaphysical abstraction and significance and meaning ringing in our core. We need the uncaused Cause, the Person behind the perspective, the Greater behind the lesser, the immaterial beyond and behind the time-space continuum.

        • I would argue that neo-Darwinian theory isn’t science either, but more philosophy.

          That’s nice. And why should I care what you think about it?

          And you actually evidence this when you think people don’t understand ToE. The idea isn’t that apes don’t bear humans, it’s that putting together the whole theory and saying that the evidence is just because of adaptation is swallowing a camel.

          One of my favorite analogies is the scientific case against stairs: https://sensuouscurmudgeon.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/the-scientific-case-against-stairs/ It pretty well highlights the absurdities that creationists try to use to argue against evolution.

          Alleles change within populations, sure, and this means that everything is connected because dogs come in many shapes and sizes?

          No, that it shows that all organisms are connected because we can see the relationships that emerge between species as we examine their DNA, and their morphology. But let’s talk about dogs. Dogs are a subspecies of the grey wolf, and there is no disputing this.The pug, which is probably most dissimilar to wolves, came about by breeding and selection. While you may have trouble mating a pub and a wolf, you almost certainly could, and be able to get fertile offspring. Horses can breed with donkeys, but because speciation took place they cannot produce viable offspring.

          Ring species are probably some of the best evidence for evolution. Creationism really doesn’t have an answer for why ring species would exist (actually, creationism cannot answer most questions about the evidence, but alas), but evolution has a fine explanation for this. Creationists tend to ignore the falsifying evidence, and insist that a magical creator somehow created all life as we know it, but cannot provide any mechanism (which is what scientific theories give us.)

          Then, when you start looking at the complete fossil record, you start to see patterns that emerge between between various fossils, and you start to see the gradual changes that took place over time.The branching, that is at the center of evolution, becomes obvious once one takes their creationist blinders off.

          So don’t act as if ToE is simply misunderstood by me or anyone who doesn’t swallow the camel.

          Among laymen, particularly in the US, it is very much misunderstood. Many are simply willfully ignorant of what evolution is, and what the evidence is that supports it. While this is slowly changing, the United States is a virtual backwater when it comes to accepting the scientific evidence for evolution. Other Western nations are far more accepting of evolution, and the main reason seems to be the lack of religious fundamentalism, which the US has in excess.

          Even the Catholic Church, which is extremely conservative when it comes to accepting matters of science, accepts the overwhelming evidence for evolution.

          As for God, how about simply the Creator?

          Far too vague, and could describe nearly anything. Under that description, an eternal multiverse could be called God.

          We need the uncaused Cause, the Person behind the perspective, the Greater behind the lesser, the immaterial beyond and behind the time-space continuum.

          Why? All I see here are assertions.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Good effort, not sure it’ll go anywhere, but at least ya tried.

          As for God, how about simply the Creator?

          Far too vague, and could describe nearly anything. Under that description, an eternal multiverse could be called God.

          Sounds like Pantheism to me.

        • Good effort, not sure it’ll go anywhere, but at least ya tried.

          I’m pretty sure it won’t. At least not until Jesse is willing to remove his presupposition that the Bible represents that infallible word of his God. As long as he starts with that presupposition, he’s doomed to viewing the world through his creationists glasses.