http://www.tweetdeck.com/twitter/markmobley/~0bFda>> I have answered your questions. Answer some of mine. If materialism is true, where did the material for the Big Bang come from? What about the space that the Universe occupies? Francis Crick thought aliens planted single-cell creatures because naked evolution is so unlikely. That takes a bit of faith, right?
It takes no faith to say "I don't know", we don't know - so what? If I don't know the Higgs energy does that imply God? There have been a billion things we didn't know before that we know now—we used to think gods shook the earth & moved the planets. if you must postulate a god then at least have the honesty to hold it to the same standard of evidence that you demand of evolution. And admit that postulating god does nothing but beg the question and explains absolutely nothing what-so-ever. For, if the universe/metaverse requires a 'god' to create it, how much more necessary is some meta-god to create that god. And if the buck has to stop somewhere then don't invent a useless placeholder for it until evidence demands it. You have NOT established the necessity - all you have is a vast ignorance of the true nature of the universe (ignorance that we all share) And if believers stopped at an abstract god that would be one thing but oh NO, that isn't good enough. it's the god that is on THEIR side in war, that tells them others must die for masturbation or other crocked-up-shit they want to pretend is immoral so they can control the lives of others in ways they have no legitimate business doing.
But EVEN in our ignorance we do have some hypotheses about such things. The Ekpyrotic universe model looks at how collisions between Branes in String-theory (technically M-theory) could cause "Big Bangs". And one of the interesting things we know about the universe is that we sum up all the energy in all the "stuff" we can identify (directly and infer indirectly) and all the gravity of all that "stuff" we find that the sum total energy of the universe is strikingly close to ZERO energy. That puts the universe on par with what we observe happening in the vacuum where we don't find the classical "nothingness" expected but rather a plenum - seething with Quantum virtual particles.
http://www.tweetdeck.com/twitter/markmobley/~ERCwM>> Let's posit that the DNA code is the result of natural selection. It still needs the "machinery" necessary to translate the code into function, and this translation itself depends upon components that are themselves the products of the translation. In other words, which came first, the chicken or the egg? It is circular without someone to start the process.
You ignore things like scaffolding (eg self-replicating RNA) that is built up before the DNA structure is built, the scaffolding is then lost as it becomes unnecessary. Nobody says DNA just popped into existence fully functional. This is EXACTLY like the flagellum
It's not irreducible complexity because we know a lot about how it evolved and we've found simpler versions of it. Same for eyes, we can see hundreds of variations on the eye in Nature - there isn't just ONE eye that can work. A SINGLE cell with a spot of pigment in it can begin acting as a simple light sensor - this exists in Nature, and we see dozens and dozens of ever more complex forms.
And it's funny you mention chicken/egg problem because evolution answers it very well, I've even written it up: http://iconoclasm2000.blogspot.com/2011/05/chicken-egg-problem-evolutionary.html
And we do, in fact, know a tremendous amount about abiogenesis (which you seem to insist on conflating with evolutionary theory even though they are entirely independent).
Abiogenesis summary and collection of resources: http://iconoclasm2000.blogspot.com/2010/12/abiogenesis-part-i.html
http://www.tweetdeck.com/twitter/markmobley/~wgJJI>> The second law of thermodynamics (the scientific laws that you tell me are inviolable) states that a closed system always move toward entropy. How did evolution climb the ladder from disorder to order, from simplicity to complexity, when the law says that this closed system should move toward disorder and dissipation of energy? So evolution breaks the natural law. It is by definition, a miracle. Which you guys made clear that you don't believe in.
Seriously? You realize this argument is a complete lie right? It's utter nonsense. It's exactly this kind of flat out inexcusable LYING that ensures I will never go back to being that deluded again.
This sophism is just inexcusable - you're either lying on purpose here or your are pretending to be knowledgeable in areas you plainly are not because it's fairly easy to look this up. It's an ethical duty to do at least a modicum of research before making claims of fact.
Entropy is a measure of energy unavailable for work - NOTHING in the 2nd law says that work cannot be done to increase order locally. The GLOBAL entropy STILL INCREASES.
What we don't understand at present is why, whatever caused the Big Bang expansion resulted in such a low initial entropy. This is an area of active research, but again it is absurd to assert that our mere lack of information in some area magically implies a god-that-explains-nothing. You are trying to gap-fill with your God rather than offering up actual knowledge.
http://www.tweetdeck.com/twitter/markmobley/~0Nowz>> You posit that a set of random occurrences resulted in the rise of life on Earth. If that is true, then your brain is a result of those random occurrences. So, how can you prove that your logic is correct if the foundation for it was random? None of this has any meaning, right? So, why do you even care if someone believes? How could anything be true? It is either will-to-power to hedonism and then you die. The rest is meaningless.
Not random except in the sense of we cannot predict it because we lack complete information, but rather guided by attractors in the laws of physics. First those that form particles, secondly those that give rise to chemistry (especially organic chemistry), third those that give rise to self-replication with modification within organic chemistry, and finally those that give rise to 'computation'.
Meaning is what we happen to assign to things - we cannot help it, our brains just do it; seems a category error to me to try to ascribe meaning as an inherent property rather than emergent.
http://www.tweetdeck.com/twitter/markmobley/~uRwGf>> You demand evidence, yet, you ignore evidence that is before you because it doesn't fit your world view. Over 3 Billion people in history have had an experiential encounter with a being that they called God. I am one of those. I am not talking about growing up in a Christian culture. I am talking about the shock of being changed at heart. Yet, you dismiss their testimony out of hand.
We don't dismiss evidence out of hand, you ignore psychology, history, physics, chemistry, and biology.
**I'VE** had 'experiences' also - that's what brains do - demonstrate those experiences reflect an EXTERNAL ontology and not merely an internal configuration with NO MORE reality than dreams.
There are part of the brain that signal "significance" of events - when those areas are triggered events seem tremendously important, powerful, and emotional however mundane what is actually going on is.
It's FUN to do this, it's healthy, meditation can do it, drugs can do it, some people just have it happen naturally - others from brain damage or seizures. SO WHAT?
It's NEVER been demonstrated to have even a SMIDGEN of ontological validity other than we know for a fact that brains do it and we know a good bit now about how and why it happens.
See also, "But I Had a Personal Experience": http://iconoclasm2000.blogspot.com/2011/02/but-i-had-personal-experience.html
http://www.tweetdeck.com/twitter/markmobley/~TVJgc>> The same thing is true of miracles. I have demonstrated that evolution itself would be a miracle. What do we say to the millions of people who testify to a radical change outside of the laws of physics and biology? I have been inexplicably healed twice. The doctors had no explanation. Do we dismiss that testimony because it doesn't fit our preconceived notions?
See all of these:
"But I Had a Personal Experience": http://iconoclasm2000.blogspot.com/2011/02/but-i-had-personal-experience.html
"Science, Knowledge, Bias": http://iconoclasm2000.blogspot.com/2011/08/science-knowledge-bias.html
"Intercessory Prayer": http://iconoclasm2000.blogspot.com/2010/12/intercessory-prayer.html
"Time for prayer again": http://iconoclasm2000.blogspot.com/2010/12/time-for-prayer-again.html
"Another look at Bias and Prayer": http://iconoclasm2000.blogspot.com/2011/05/another-look-at-bias-and-prayer.html
"A response to a Catholic": http://iconoclasm2000.blogspot.com/2011/07/response-to-catholic.html
Let me try to be clear here:
Do you see a pattern? Add in some psychology, False Memory effect, or any of the other myriad cognitive biases and you have yourself a Miracle. Details can escape us even under the watchful eye of 'scientists' who are trained to watch out for such things. This is why the scientific methodology includes things like replication (where possible), peer review and consensus building. It's not sufficient for YOU to believe it's true, you must be able to demonstrate it to others - if not the actual event the data you collected about it (e.g., we can't directly observe history but we can all look at the same artifacts).
The human brain is very good at deceiving itself. We know this for a fact. You are sitting there with the impression that you are aware of everything around you but studies have shown that this is absolutely not true. When your attention is distracted you become blind to substantial changes in your environment (see Change Blindness, etc). Studies on the Neural correlates of these processes have exploded in the past few years with the advance of new techniques (such as fMRI).
I addressed evolution above. It's absolutely not a miracle. Organic chemistry is found everywhere from Natural processes (even in space)- initiation of self-replication is only rare and is accounted for by looking at Attractors in the laws of physics: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorenz_attractor
DNA nucleobases and analogs are found in meteorites and we've unraveled the chemical processes that yield them.
"In the lab, an identical suite of nucleobases and nucleobase analogs were generated in non-biological chemical reactions containing hydrogen cyanide, ammonia, and water. This provides a plausible mechanism for their synthesis in the asteroid parent bodies, and supports the notion that they are extraterrestrial," says Callahan.
You've not demonstrated evolution would be a miracle - you've ignored attractors of non-linear dynamic systems (of organic chemistry) in your very poor layman's analysis.
http://www.tweetdeck.com/twitter/markmobley/~42wxL>> And what of the human heart itself? For every desire, there is an accompanying thing to satiate that desire. I hunger: luckily, there is food. I get horny; thank God for sex. Human beings from the dawn of time have sought for God, for eternal life. I believe, as do billions of others, that there is a God and eternal life to satiate my hunger.
Tell that to the 15 million people that starve to death every year. Other than that you have nothing here that isn't accounted for BETTER by evolutionary theory.
We could not exist if we did not have the resources we required to exist, there are probably trillions of planets and moons out there that lack life for that reason. Sex is a product of evolution, we have good data on how it evolved and when it evolved and why it was a successful adaptation. The drive to have sex is a Natural product of those who lack such a desire being less successful at procreation. Over billions of years this was fine-tuned BY Nature by testing trillions upon trillions of different configurations, into the product we see today.
You also ignore the fact (Confirmation Bias again) that the vast majority of desires go unfulfilled. There are many things we can imagine and desire that simply don't exist. I desire a magical unicorn that will teleport me at will - does that exist?
>> @cdp2016 If you mean by objectivity that I should immediately dismiss any supernatural experience as impossible, I'm afraid that would make me too narrow minded. However, I know that I have a confirmation bias. In order to deal with it, I have read atheistic philosophers, scientific texts, psychological studies, archeological treatises. Because I want to be right. I don't want to live for a lie. What about your confirmation bias? Psychology proves we all have one. Do you admit the possibility of being wrong? Funny, Jesus described it 2000 years ago: The problem is not that you are blind. It is that you insist that you see.
I added this block even though this wasn't to me it seems relevant and useful to address in this kitchen-sink post.
I studied the Bible, actually I grew UP studying the Bible - I had planned to dedicate my life in service to Christ, I gave talks in church. It was drilled into me. I had to overcome my religious indoctrination and cultural inculcation - A struggle that stole years of my life. And I DIDN'T read any atheistic philosophers, I didn't have that luxury at the time. I observed for myself. I did read and study science, and I taught myself because the educational system is just pathetic in the US.
Discipline and athletics was all that really mattered to them, Academics was a joke. And I was accused of plagiarism on papers because "you couldn't possibly have written this". I HOPE it's not that bad everywhere but that was my experience.
I don't know if you can imagine this but I'm going against my family, my community, my culture, and my up bringing. That's not an easy thing to do and I don't do it lightly.
So... am I certain about my conclusions or the conclusions of science? Absolutely not. Am I open to other evidence? Absolutely.
I've studied more crazy shit than you can probably imagine. I've BEEN to Heaven AND Hell on a very large dose of LSD (I did that once, about 30 years ago), I've seen things you cannot imagine and that I cannot even speak of because there are no words. I've traveled "Out of Body" through meditative practices. I've seen radiant books of gold with letters of fire burning the future into their pages (again, through meditation). I've had dozens of other experiences, some of which I cannot explain. But I'm willing to say "I DON'T KNOW" and I refuse to jump to conclusions for which there is NO evidence other than some subjective experience that I had that very likely only existed in my Brain. NOTHING I've experienced proves to me otherwise and I tried to test it. If I was truly "Out of Body" how come I could NEVER manage to read a note I had a friend write and hide for me (in a known location)? The more likely explanation is that my internally generated sense of "self location" was altered in my brain as I wandered around in a world generated entirely internally (essentially a dream) EXACTLY as our experience of the world is, in reality, completely and wholly internally generated. We don't "experience" reality, we experience a version of it generated entirely within our Brain, and if you think it cannot do it in absence of external stimuli then you are fooling yourself.
But it is the ultimate fallacy to require me to have some explanation that is absolutely proven to be true to replace your explanation that fails to explain anything. If God actually explained something it might be more interesting but it's just a cop out.
You reject scientific conclusions which are heavily support by facts (and your bit on entropy demonstrates VERY clearly that you don't even understand them!) but you want me to believe something that is patently ridiculous on "faith".
Let's ASSUME for just a moment there is a universe-creating god. So what? Why does a god need us to worship it? Why would a god create us, give us all evidence pointing towards Natural processes to explain the universe, and then expect us to go against that knowledge and presume that some primitive, misogynistic, genocidal, genital-mutilating, goat herders from the first century had the right of it? I'm sure they gave it their best shot but I mean, Come On.
Not just any goat herders, but ones who believed God told them the Earth was immobile and sun went around it. A fact so clear to them that they wrote it into their Holy Book and people continued to believe the nonsense they wrote well after it had been soundly disproved: http://iconoclasm2000.blogspot.com/2011/05/chilling-effects-of-religious-bigotry.html
If your "God" cannot deal with my intellectual honesty then I want nothing to do with it. If it demands of itself a human sacrifice to break humans out of the sin it condemned us to at creation then I'm even less interested (if not hostile to the idea). I don't ask, desire, need, or want a human sacrifice to absolve me of my sin (or whatever you believe that it did). If God caused this human sacrifice I recommend he use his magic powers to undo that nonsense immediately. I will take responsibility for my own sins, thanks all the same. I find the very idea of a sacrifice repulsive and immoral (or unethical if you prefer). It's a scapegoating concept born out of primitive times.