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SPJ
12-23-2005, 07:46 PM
Origins of life. The ultimate Q.

Life must come from life.

The first life must be created by a creator or random chance.

Evolution is meant to say change or adaptation over time. We have better car, telecom, computer TV, cell phone etc. Evolution did not say anything about the original creation or the start point.

Are the better products and services indicating the evolution selected or driven by the market place and consumers?

Are they better intelligent designs to adapt?

I do not think evolution and creation contradict each other

what is your comment?

http://www.nytimes.com/pages/science/sciencespecial2/index.html?OVGNintelligentdesign

http://www.intelligentdesignnetwork.org/

http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/050530fa_fact


:D

viper
12-23-2005, 09:04 PM
I would be willing to pherhaps put in my 2 cents into this thread but when it comes to this debate noway simple we are here now lets move forward.

Mr Punch
12-23-2005, 09:22 PM
Evolution by rear naked choke end of round one.

Intelligent design had a chance towards the beginning of the fight with a double leg and ground and pound, but let's face it, evolution was just a more developed all-round fighter :D

Mr Punch
12-23-2005, 09:36 PM
Precisely.

It is a perfect example of evolution when the least-evolved people try to argue something in court! Survival of the fittest: case dismissed. :p :D


ID - for people who don't know who (or what) they are!



















































And I was trying to get with the Solstice spirit and not insult anyone... sigh :(

:D

lkfmdc
12-23-2005, 10:43 PM
I can't tell you how much easier breathing became the day I fully afirmed my atheism



Can't help myself though.....

"God is dead"
- Nitze

"Nitze is dead"
- God

Chief Fox
12-23-2005, 11:04 PM
We are in the midst of a hiccup between ice ages.

Ben Gash
12-24-2005, 03:41 AM
This is an issue that is very difficult to discuss rationally. For example, cjurakpt believes that he is speaking rationally in terms of the rational. However, he is in fact discussing his beliefs. As he himself says, he doesn't know what happens after death, therefore he is not acting on solid information. He chooses to believe what he does because it makes him feel better about himself. Therefore he should probably refrain from sneering at others who believe differently.
As for evolution, again, you have to think about it in terms of belief. Evolutionary theory is just that. Macro evolution cannot be directly observed, cannot be proven experimentally and cannot be repeated or reversed. It is therefore at it's most fundamental level unscientific. This is then compounded by the fact that the bulk of post Darwinian work (and the majority of postwar work) has worked on the assumption that macro evolution is fact, with no nul hypothesis stating that evolution doesn't happen. This again is fundamentally unscientific. The methods used to date things (because the world has to be older than the Bible says to accomodate macro evolution, another unscientific assumption) are theoretical, and have been repeatedly called into question. No-one has directly observed the degredation of isotopes over thousands of years, therefore it is only assumption that it is uniform.
It even breaks it's own rules, as in terms of survival, reproduction and DNA perpetuation, it's very hard to beat a simple single celled organsim.
Attempts to map interspecies human evolution are much less solid than claimed, the "missing link" being more a case of a missing 6 foot length of chain. A jaw fragment and a piece of thighbone are hardly a sound basis for how you view the universe.
Viewed this way, macro evolution is a belief system. It cannot be proved or disproved, therefore it is a matter of belief. It is a faith where man is god, due to his "advanced " evolution, and biologists are it's priests.
Viewed this way, the manner it is taught in schools becomes more serious. Why do most of us believe in macro evolution? In most cases not because we have seriously studied the issue and weighed up the evidence before making our own judgements. It's because we were taught it as fact in school, and encouraged not to question it.
Therefore maybe it's a good thing to offer alternatives to it in education, or alter the emphasis with which it is taught.
As with many such things, it doesn't make a great deal of difference to our daily lives in and of itself, so why is it such a "holy cow" in educational terms?

FuXnDajenariht
12-24-2005, 05:38 AM
i dont see a conflict neitha'

Ben Gash
12-24-2005, 06:29 AM
Hey, all I'm saying is "people who live in glass houses"......... Many criticisms from either group can go both ways.
You have attempted to influence people's views and asserted that your own view is superior. Your opening line was hardly non partisan. You are completely entitled to your beliefs, but it's hardly respectful to describe people as immature and silly, now is it?
There is also a major section of the evolutionary faction (if you can call it that) that are completely unwilling to consider alternatives, it's not the sole purview of the "religious" community. This is why extremism generally doesn't achieve much.
As I said, reasonable discussion to prove the unprovable is difficult.

Scott R. Brown
12-24-2005, 08:04 AM
Intelligent design is not merely a concept based upon blind faith or religious precepts; it is also a concept that goes back at least as far as Socrates and Plato. It is a principle with foundations in philosophy.

Plato noted that all things in the universe are moved by other things. Indeed, anything that moves is moved by something else that is itself moving. By reduction he reasoned there must be, at some point, an eternal primordial prime mover.

Plato also postulated that there was a primordial condition of chaos which is the substrate or substance from which all physical matter (ordered objects) are composed. Order (Ideal Forms) whose origin is Mind was imposed upon this substrate to create physical (ordered) things.

The British scientist and author C.P. Snow described the 3rd law of thermodynamics in this manner:

1. You cannot win (that is, you cannot get something for nothing, because matter and energy are conserved).

2. You cannot break even (you cannot return to the same energy state, because there is always an increase in disorder; entropy always increases).

3. You cannot get out of the game (because absolute zero is unattainable).

Since energy and matter are conserved they are in essence indestructible and since absolute zero is unattainable matter is in essence eternal as well.

These principles of physics indicate that Order is clearly not the natural state of matter; its natural state is chaos or entropy! The dictionary states: “Entropy increases as matter and energy in the universe degrade to an ultimate state of inert uniformity [Chaos].” As water’s nature is to flow to the lowest point and thereby eventually approaching its own level, so does matter approach its natural lowest point to reach its own natural level, which is “inert uniformity” or chaos. According to Plato, mind exists outside the realm of matter and imposes Form upon chaotic matter to create order! Since Mind has dominion over matter, by Plato’s assertion, it must also be eternal.

These principles of physics, an increase in disorder (entropy), or the tendency for matter to approach chaos, confirms the concepts of Plato are founded upon true facts of nature. If creation tends towards disorder, as stated by the 3rd law of thermodynamics, at some point something must have ordered it. Plato says, if something is moving, something must have moved it. This something, according to Plato, was “Mind”!

In scientific terms we may say: “Energy was imposed upon a system that did not possess its own inherent energy!” This “Energy” has been called many things, “The Creative Force of the Universe” will do for purposes of this discussion! Since this Creative Force has dominion over physical matter and has the ability to order it, and since this order follows the principles of cause and effect, that is REASON, we may deduce the Creative Force is not merely eternal, but reasoned as well!!

The conclusion we must arrive at is that there IS a Creative Force that is eternal and reasoned that orders the universe. This does not necessarily negate the theory of evolution. The two concepts are NOT necessarily mutually exclusive!
__________________________________________________ ______________

At present the evidence for intelligent design outweighs the evidence of random chance!

We arrive at our own conclusions based upon our present level of learning, understanding and reasoning ability. Foolishness occurs when we are convinced the conclusions we assert are based upon a comprehensive foundation of knowledge, understanding and reasoning ability and that we are unaffected by personal bias! A wise man seeks to continually deepen his learning, understanding and reasoning abilities and introspect into his own personal biases in order to increase the opportunity for arriving at factual conclusions.

Ben Gash
12-24-2005, 08:12 AM
Hence why there are many more religious physicists than biologists ;)

mantis108
12-24-2005, 11:15 AM
I don't think the United States of American can ever do away with ID. The minute that ID is undone you will all go broke. Don't forget your currency is based on "IN GOD WE TRUST". ;) By the same token, we will not have Kriss Kringle to deliver toys and presents over Christmas Eve. Now who on earth would want that?

So I say let God be and let ID be. I personally like a motto in a bar in HK. It said "In God we trust, all other pay cash!"

Serious, I am enjoying the brilliant minds there posted those debates. Man, it is ever a good Christmas presents from you. Thank you. :)

Mantis108

FatherDog
12-24-2005, 12:27 PM
Macro evolution cannot be directly observed, cannot be proven experimentally and cannot be repeated or reversed. It is therefore at it's most fundamental level unscientific.

Microcurvature of the earth can and has been observed, but macrocurvature just isn't possible! Assuming we live on a round earth is unscientific!

Matrix
12-24-2005, 12:44 PM
In all matters of faith, for those that believe, no evidence is required, for those who do not believe, none will suffice.

Peace,

Mika
12-24-2005, 02:52 PM
Oh, my favorite subject...:D

As such, however, thoroughly "debated", so I'll just be throwing in some wild punches, if you will. ;)

By the way - and maybe someone already mentioned this - ID is challenging evolution whereas evolution is not challenging the existence of God. Evolution does not concern itself with that matter, evolution does not challenge God as it has no stand on the issue. ID is not science, but it claims to be, and this is where the real problem steps in. So, the attack, so to speak, comes from the ID crowd. This must be acknowledged.


http://www.talkorigins.org/

http://www.daeniken.com/e/index.html

http://www.taemag.com/issues/articleid.18132/article_detail.asp

http://www.rae.org/

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4427144.stm

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

http://www.everystudent.com/features/isthere.html

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

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

http://www.400monkeys.com/God/

http://www.csicop.org/intelligentdesignwatch/dawkins.html

http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/index.html

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dover/kitzmiller_v_dover.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitzmiller_v._Dover_Area_School_District

My favorite: http://www.caida.org/~bhuffake/cartoons/evolution-creationism.gif

And the ruling: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4547734.stm


Choose your link, there are all kinds. ;)

Cheers,

Mika

Chang Style Novice
12-24-2005, 02:54 PM
Attempts to map interspecies human evolution are much less solid than claimed, the "missing link" being more a case of a missing 6 foot length of chain. A jaw fragment and a piece of thighbone are hardly a sound basis for how you view the universe.

Perhaps, but it is a chain millions of miles long. While long stretches of it are indeed missing, there are no known links that don't fit the theory. As mentioned before, this is because the theory is by it's very definition flexible enough to accomodate new information. This is the critical difference between scientific knowledge and religious faith. Science will always accomodate new data. Religion will steadfastly refuse to do so.

Chang Style Novice
12-24-2005, 02:57 PM
PS - Have a joyful Saturnalia!

Oso
12-24-2005, 05:12 PM
"Calculating God"

by Robert Sawyer

it's Sci Fi but I still think there's a decent argument for ID.

Sawyer seems to base the argument in the book for ID on the basis of water. As in H20 and the (supposed) fact that there is no other liquid in the universe like it. I've only read the book once so I may have misunderstood his point.

Can anyone validate that? I've always meant to research it but haven't. Is H20 the only liquid that expands as it gets colder?


I kinda like the idea of ID. I like being able to cuss as somebody and pass the buck of responsibility upward. ;) :D

Finny
12-24-2005, 06:23 PM
The war's over - evolution won.

To say they are both unproven, so equally valid is so far beyond stupidity that it's almost impossible to begin arguing.

It's sort of like saying DNA evidence used in criminal trials is 'inaccurate'. Sure it may not be 100%, but it is 99.9999999999999999%. Same with evolution.

Scott R. Brown
12-24-2005, 07:21 PM
The war's over - evolution won.

To say they are both unproven, so equally valid is so far beyond stupidity that it's almost impossible to begin arguing.

No more so than making a blanket absolute statement without providing supporting evidence to validate its truth! ;)

What was that someone said about Glass Houses????

Oso
12-24-2005, 09:01 PM
Nobody, KNOWS.

We're all gonna find out for sure soon enough.

Philosophy, Religion and Science all make people feel good whenever they talk about how whichever one they're stroking at the time 'proves' the truth.

It just gets silly when anyone tries to take one of those three things and disprove the others with it.



Me?


I'm gonna go have some eggnog and wait for Santa.:p

Mika
12-25-2005, 01:09 AM
I'll say this once more, as it is imperatitive to understand the difference.

As far as evolution goes, there might be a God. Evolution does not dispute God, it simply does not say anything about God. So, if you are a man of faith, go easily, there isn't a contradiction.

But ID then, that's another matter. ID is trying to overcome evolution, it's trying to do away with evolution.

See the difference? It's s huge one.

Anyone who believes ID and thus denies evolution (sorry, you cannot have it both ways, these two are the opposites), is simply letting his faith cloud his scientific judgment. I have never seen anything so unscientific gain ground so easily among the common man (not here, religion is so secular here, I mean y'all, the US), but then, matters of faith can make a man kill his brother, so...::rolleyes:

Once again, you can believe in God and still see evolution for what it is - the best possible theory there is. Evolution has no rivals whereas ID is just a bogus, unscientific and political agent of propaganda that is aimed at the uneducated.
Take your pick. :D

Scott R. Brown
12-25-2005, 03:32 AM
Hi Mika,

You are a bit incorrect in your assessment of ID. Not all who propose ID posit a Christian God. I refer you to my post regarding Plato’s views on this matter.

There is no inherent reason ID must disregard evolution. Even amongst Christians there is nothing inherent within the Bible that negates the possibility of evolution. It is the manner in which scripture is interpreted that creates the disagreement. At any rate the ID/evolution discussion for many individuals is only a façade used to disguise the issue for those who believe it is God who dictates appropriate attitudes and behaviors versus those who believe man is the measure of right and wrong. This is a topic for another post, not this one!!!

A conclusion that insists ID proponents may not accept the theory of evolution is founded upon misunderstanding and misrepresentation of the issue!

I am in agreement with some of the previous points mentioned by Ben Gash:

Evolution is merely a “theory” and not a demonstrable scientific fact. At best scientists may state that evolution “appears” to be a scientific fact. The evidence cited to demonstrate evolution is arrived at through inductive reasoning. That is, the conclusions are arrived at by observing effects and attempting to use reason born of experience to speculate on the causes. Inductive reasoning may not be used to demonstrate certainties, only probabilities. I may assert the sun will rise tomorrow morning. I arrive at this conclusion because the sun has risen every morning, apparently, for millions of years (thousands if you are a Christian). This assertion is not a certainty, it is only probability. To be sure it is a high probability, however there are any number of possible scenarios that may “actually” occur in which the sun will not rise tomorrow morning. As such scientists do a disservice when they insist a plausible explanation is a certainty and not a possibility or probability. Scientists have asserted many “facts” throughout history that were later proven false in the light of future discoveries!

When arguing for evolution scientists may only assert evidence they have observed and must also demonstrate the evidence and its interpretation are accurate. Neither of these conditions may be proven to an absolute certainty. This is because when inducting conclusions we are particularly susceptible to our own personal biases. Scientists observe what “appear” to be intermediary stages in the fossil record of similar, but different, animal bones that “seem” to indicate a progression from one type of animal morphology to another. By comparing the types of fossils a conclusion is reached that one form evolved into another. This conclusion is arrived at because no other possibility is accepted or conceived. This does not mean there are no other possibilities. Even if we apply Occam’s Razor, that is, the simplest conclusion is most likely to be the most accurate, we must understand that this principle is merely a rule of thumb that is accepted as a guiding principle, but does not carry with it any inherent certainty as to the validity of the conclusion. We therefore return to probability and not certainty.

It appears we know of no intermediary evolutionary species present on earth at this time. If evolution is fact there must always be intermediary species present and evolution must be perpetual if it is inherent to our system. The only examples of evolution scientists have been able to point to in our present are merely examples of adaptation and NOT evolution. A moth whose wings were once brown, but are now white, is proof of adaptation, not evolution. The breeding of dogs to get the various diverse breeds are an example of guided adaptation. They remain dogs! We CANNOT breed dogs until we get a bird.

Carl Sagan in his book and TV series Cosmos sought to demonstrate the possibility of random chance creating life by citing an experiment in which a closed system was DESIGNED. All the constituents of the primordial ooze PLACED INTO the closed system. The experimenter then INTRODUCED an electric jolt to the mixture and a rudimentary amino acid was formed. This experiment was thought to validate the THEORY that life occurred by random chance, however the biases of the scientists and Carl Sagan are clearly evident. Any impartial observer would perceive that:

1) The experiment was conceived and performed by an Intelligent Designer, the scientist!
2) The “closed system” was created by an Intelligent Designer, the scientist!
3) The “primordial ooze” was produced, combined and placed into the closed system by an Intelligent Designer, the scientist.
4) The electric jolt to stimulate the chemical conversion of the substrate to rudimentary amino acid was INTRODUCED INTO THE CLOSED SYSTEM FROM WITHOUT by an Intelligent Designer, the scientist!

How can it be a closed system if all the constituents of the experiment, including the electric jolt, were produced outside the system and then introduced INTO it!! This is a serious experimental flaw and negates the implied conclusion!!

Intelligent Design permeates this entire experiment, but the biases of the scientists blinded them to the inherent contradictions that negated their conclusion. This demonstrates the inherent flaw of these types of scientists: They seek to prove a conclusion they have already arrived at and are thereby unaware of their biases that caused them to reach invalid conclusions!

Now in regards to Plato, he arrived at his conclusion of a prime mover (ID) through reasoned consideration using inductive reasoning. His conclusion can only be said to “appear” to follow from the “seeming” evidence as well. His conclusion is also supported by the 3rd law of thermodynamics, a current LAW of physics. Scientists are, at present, unable to account for the Order found within a system that has a natural tendency towards disorder and they are apparently unconcerned with this unexplained anomaly! Could this be because they FEAR the only conclusion presently reasonable? It is ABSOLUTELY CLEAR to any reasoned and unbiased individual that something MUST have ordered the system.

Order is present in everything man lays his hand too. Everything that is created by man springs from his inherent ability to intelligently design/create. The natural system is both ordered and follows a reasoned (cause & effect) process. When man creates something he follows a reasoned process to CREATE a new order out of his chosen media. It takes no great leap of logic and takes no faith whatsoever to conclude that what occurs on a micro level, (man) has its inherent foundation within a source of greater intelligence and order. It takes greater faith to believe everything sprung spontaneously out of nothing than to consider an Intelligent Designer.

Who then is the greater fool, the Evolutionist or one who believes in ID??

Ben Gash
12-25-2005, 03:53 AM
Father Dog, what are you on about? A round earth is directly observable and experimentally provable and repeatable.

Mika
12-25-2005, 06:32 AM
Scott, I see you are serious. That's good.

Still, this particular subject I have discussed to death. I sincerely doubt anyone can produce anything even remotely logical I haven't heard before, and that goes for you too, at least so far. I have heard all that before - and not just once. It's OK, you need to dig a little deeper. No offense. :)

There is no viable alternative, simple as that. Science speaks for itself.

By the way, why is it that really only in countries where religion has a more or less strong foothold, ID comes up? OK, in Finland we have this nutty professor (of engineering, so his expertise is nowhere near the subject matter) who has made a fool of himself by ranting on and on about ID, but other than that, we have separated religion and science.

Seriously, common sense doesn't always cut it. Please, study the area if you wish to be taken seriously. Again, no offense. :)

Start with Dawkins: http://www.csicop.org/intelligentdesignwatch/dawkins.html

Cheers,

Mika

RAF
12-25-2005, 08:12 AM
http://beliefnet.com/story/178/story_17889_1.html

The Problem with God: Interview with Richard Dawkins
The renowned biologist talks about intelligent design, dishonest Christians, and why God is no better than an imaginary friend.


You criticize intelligent design, saying that "the theistic answer"--pointing to God as designer--"is deeply unsatisfying"--presumably you mean on a logical, scientific level.
Yes, because it doesn’t explain where the designer comes from. If they’re going to emphasize the statistical improbability of biological organs—"these are so complicated, how could they have evolved?"--well, if they’re so complicated, how could they possibly have been designed? Because the designer would have to be even more complicated.

Dawkins on Design
Listen to clips from Dawkins' recent speech:

• The Flaws in the Argument from Design
• There Is an Alternative to Chance
• The Faulty Logic of 'Irreducible Complexity'
• Creationists Adore Gaps in the Fossil Record
• Evolution and Theism Are Incompatible

Audio provided courtesy of the World Congress of Secular Humanism

Obviously, a lot of people find the theistic answer satisfying on another level. What do you see as the problem with that level?
What other level?

At whatever level where people say the idea of God is very satisfying.
Well, of course it is. Wouldn’t it be lovely to believe in an imaginary friend who listens to your thoughts, listens to your prayers, comforts you, consoles you, gives you life after death, can give you advice? Of course it’s satisfying, if you can believe it. But who wants to believe a lie?

Is atheism the logical extension of believing in evolution?
They clearly can’t be irrevocably linked because a very large number of theologians believe in evolution. In fact, any respectable theologian of the Catholic or Anglican or any other sensible church believes in evolution. Similarly, a very large number of evolutionary scientists are also religious. My personal feeling is that understanding evolution led me to atheism.


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393315703/ref=ase_beliefnet/103-4255880-5647832?n=283155&tagActionCode=beliefnet

The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design (Paperback)by Richard Dawkins "We animals are the most complicated things in the known universe..." (more)
SIPs: one true tree, togetherness factor, true cladists, computer biomorphs, choice discrepancy (more)
CAPs: Biomorph Land, South America, Old World, Charles Darwin, The Selfish Gene (more)




Amazon.com
Richard Dawkins is not a shy man. Edward Larson's research shows that most scientists today are not formally religious, but Dawkins is an in-your-face atheist in the witty British style:

I want to persuade the reader, not just that the Darwinian world-view happens to be true, but that it is the only known theory that could, in principle, solve the mystery of our existence.
The title of this 1986 work, Dawkins's second book, refers to the Rev. William Paley's 1802 work, Natural Theology, which argued that just as finding a watch would lead you to conclude that a watchmaker must exist, the complexity of living organisms proves that a Creator exists. Not so, says Dawkins: "All appearances to the contrary, the only watchmaker in nature is the blind forces of physics, albeit deployed in a very special way... it is the blind watchmaker."

Dawkins is a hard-core scientist: he doesn't just tell you what is so, he shows you how to find out for yourself. For this book, he wrote Biomorph, one of the first artificial life programs. You can check Dawkins's results on your own Mac or PC.

RAF
12-25-2005, 08:33 AM
http://www.beliefnet.com/story/153/story_15340_1.html


Yet today many intellectuals think that if they're going to be true Darwinians, they should give up on any notion of divinity, any hope of higher purpose. Why? In no small part because of the widely read philosopher Daniel Dennett. In his influential 1995 book "Darwin's Dangerous Idea," Dennett insisted that evolution is "purposeless"—and that, indeed, this lack of purpose is part of the "fundamental idea" of Darwinism. More recently, in a New York Times op-ed piece, he urged his fellow non-believers to unite and fight for their rights, depicting belief in God as contrary to a "naturalist" worldview.

I have some bad news for Dennett's many atheist devotees. He recently declared that life on earth shows signs of having a higher purpose. Worse still, he did it on videotape, during an interview for my website meaningoflife.tv. (You can watch the relevant clip here, though I recommend reading a bit further first so you'll have enough background to follow the logic.) [Editor's Note: Since this article was published, Dennett has claimed that it misrepresents his views. Robert Wright responds to Dennett here.]

Dennett has long accepted Dawkins's line of thought, and he has long accepted one extension of it: that natural selection has imbued organisms with "goals," with "purpose". Specifically: the goal of organisms is to get genes into subsequent generations. That may not be their conscious goal, but it is nonetheless the basic thing they were "designed" to do. (And their other apparent "goals" are subordinate to it. All animals seek food, for example, but that goal was itself favored by natural selection only because it helped animals survive long enough to transmit their genes.)

In short: Dennett has long believed that William Paley was right to look at organisms and surmise that (a) they had a designer (in some sense of the word); and (b) this designer had imbued them with goals, with an overarching purpose (however ignoble a purpose genetic proliferation may seem to us).

The gist of the argument I made to Dennett was this: What if you took this part of Paley's logic—the valid part—and applied it not to individual organisms, but rather to the whole system of life on this planet? Doesn't it suggest that the whole system had a designer (again, in some sense of that word). To see what I mean, let's look again at an organism through Paley's eyes, only this time let's look at its whole life span, starting at the very beginning.

Meanwhile, as the human species is becoming a global brain, gradually assuming conscious control of the planet's stewardship, other species—also descended from that single primitive cell that lived billions of years ago—perform other planetary functions. Trees are lungs, for example, generating oxygen.

In other words: If you watched evolution on this planet unfold from a distance (and on fast forward), you would find it strikingly like watching the maturation of an organism ("epigenesis"). So why can't the part of Paley's argument that can be validly applied to an organism's maturation—the idea that it suggests a designer of some sort—be applied to the whole system of life on earth?

Convinced? Even if not, you're at least ready to go to the videotape. After viewing it, you can come back here to read the findings of my post-mortem:

1) Dennett's climactic concession may not sound dramatic. He just agrees reluctantly with my assertion that "to the extent that evolution on this planet" has properties "comparable" to those of an organism's maturation—in particular "directional movement toward functionality"—then the possibility that natural selection is a product of design gets more plausible. But remember: He has already agreed that evolution does exhibit those properties. Ergo: By Dennett's own analysis, there is at least some evidence that natural selection is a product of design. (And this from a guy who early in the interview says he's an atheist.)

2) Again: to say that natural selection may be a product of design isn't to say that the designer is a god, or even a thinking being in any conventional sense. Conceivably, the designer could be some kind of natural-selection-type process (on a really cosmic scale). So Dennett might object to my using the term "higher purpose" in the first paragraph of this piece, since for many people that term implies a divine purpose. But "higher purpose" can be defined more neutrally. You can say that organisms have a "higher purpose" in the sense that (a) they have a purpose (genetic proliferation) and (b) the purpose was imparted by a higher-level process (natural selection)—so much higher, in fact, that all organisms on earth were oblivious to it until revelation came in the form of Charles Darwin. Analogously, once you accept the argument that Dennett has now accepted, you can say that evolution's directionality is evidence of "higher purpose."

3) How much evidence? I want to stress that Dennett isn't saying he thinks evolution's directionality constitutes anything like a strong case that natural selection was in some sense a product of design. He's just conceding that (a) to the extent that evolution exhibits directionality of the kind I've just described, there is at least some evidence of design; and (b) evolution does exhibit some of this directionality. Anyway, however strong you deem the evidence, I contend that it's growing. Over the last few years alone, cultural evolution—notably the mushrooming of the internet—has made the term "global brain" less of a stretch.

4) If there is indeed a "higher purpose," what would it be? Answering that question would be a little presumptuous. For all we know, the "maturation" of the ecosystem is in an early phase, nowhere near manifesting any ultimate purpose it may have (just as, say, a three-year-old human is nowhere near manifesting the "purpose"—genetic proliferation—for which natural selection "designed" it). But if you're interested in theological speculation, you might check out the recently re-released collection of essays The Future of Man by the mystical Jesuit priest (and paleontologist) Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Teilhard deserves credit for seeing and grappling with the direction of cultural evolution early on; he was writing about the emerging giant planetary brain more than half a century before I had heard of the internet. (But note: Unlike Dennett and I, Teilhard wasn't a strict Darwinian; he didn't believe that nuts-and-bolts natural selection is the sole propulsive force of evolution. And as long as I'm distinguishing myself from others who see the possibility of purpose in evolution: I'm not part of the "intelligent design" school; like Teilhard, intelligent design theorists, such as William Dembski, see forces other than natural selection at work, whereas I'm just saying that natural selection, though able to do all the work of designing organisms, may itself be a product of design.)

5) If we don't know what the purpose of life is, can we at least say whether it's something we should be happy about—whether any "designer" of natural selection would merit the term "divine"? Well, natural selection is in some ways a horrible creative process; much past death and suffering are the price paid for the evolution of our species. So it isn't easy to argue that natural selection's creator would be a wholly good being (or process)—just as thoughtful Christians, for example, don't find it easy to reconcile all the suffering in the world with their notion of a benevolent, omnipotent deity.

Still, one could mount an argument that evolution on this planet has at least some of the hallmarks of the divine—a directionality that is in some ways moral, even (in some carefully delineated sense of the word) spiritual. In fact, I've mounted such an argument in the last chapter of my book Nonzero. But Dennett hasn't signed on to that one. Yet.

Scott R. Brown
12-25-2005, 09:40 AM
Hi Mika,

Thank you for the response. I must say I am a bit disappointed however. I understand you may be weary of participating in this seemingly eternal debate, however responding by referring the reader to someone else’s thoughts on the matter is a bit of a cop out. You are discarding the arguments presented outright by saying you have heard them before, but have provided no reasoned response demonstrating them to be invalid. This is an inadequate and impotent response!

I have read the referenced webpage. All Dawkins has done is complain about the political motivations of the “religious” ID crowd, referenced what he believes to be some of their flawed logic and rhetorical tactics, and completely misunderstood the motivations of mystics. I am sure many mystics (myself included) are just weeping in their oatmeal over his clear ignorance of their motivations!! LOL!! If he wishes for the “religious” ID crowd to be better educated and more adequately reasoned he should start with himself. He presumes to know the motivations of others, when he clearly does not!! Dawkins has not presented himself adequately! His polemic did not address any of the points I have made.

If you find flaws in my reasoning please address my argument directly. If you are unable to address my reasoning that is fine too, but to divert your unwillingness or inability by referencing an ineffective polemic is a waste of time.

I am not an apologist for the “religious” ID crowd. I know nothing of their movement, purposes or goals. Neither do I care. I prefer to think for myself using whatever limited talents for reasoning I possess! You will have to ask someone else if you wish an answer to your questions concerning them. This is not a political issue for me it is an investigation into the Truths of existence. I have no emotional investment in either view. My purpose is to ascertain Truth!

I am interested in obtaining a reasoned response to the argument presented. You have made blanket assertions without providing any reasoned argument for your conclusions. The presentation of unfounded conclusions makes the comments inherently valueless within the context of a discussion based upon reasoned argument. This gives the appearance your view is based upon unfounded opinion, belief or faith which is the same flaw you accuse the “religious” ID’s of committing. Personal views founded upon opinion, belief or faith and not true facts are inherently valueless when one is attempting to ascertain the Truth of a matter!

I would be interested in reading any referenced webpage that directly refutes my argument, but I am more interested in having YOU respond, since it is you that I am responding too. I am not interested in making a lifelong study of the debate nor am I impressed so far by Dawkins. He has presented himself to be more of an ill-informed whiner than anything else! You say you disagree with the argument that I have presented yet you are unwilling or unable to refute it. Therefore your comments are inherently meaningless since they seek to divert the focus of the discussion to someone else’s ideas and do not demonstrate the flaws within the argument I have presented.

Chang Style Novice
12-25-2005, 10:27 AM
The only debate on Intelligent Design that is worthy of its subject (http://abstractfactory.blogspot.com/2005/10/only-debate-on-intelligent-design-that.html)

Mika
12-25-2005, 10:32 AM
Scott, in general, when referring to me, you are right, but in this particular conversation I am placing myself beside the all arguments because I really have gone through this several, several times. It is not stated anywhere how far I should go in a discussion and what I should or should not do or say, as far as I comply with the usual rules of discussion (no ad hominems etc.).

But I did want to reply to you since you called me out in several paragraphs. I owe you that much.

OK, let's do this. Say what in Dawkins' text bothers you intellectually and from a science point of view. Let's leave his style aside, it bears no difference to anyone who ponders matters of science as they are to be thought without emotions. Only the core matters, not the covering. Dissertations are a different matter, free text is free in its style.

When you have shown me something that bothers you and have explained why it bothers you, and have come up with a logical and viable option, I will do my best to respond.


EDIT: CNS: Nah, you're right, actually. Why do I keep doing this to myself? :rolleyes:

Oso
12-25-2005, 10:33 AM
LMAO!







btw, Santa said everybody has it wrong.

Scott R. Brown
12-25-2005, 11:23 AM
Hi Mika,

You are attempting to load the discussion according to your own parameters. You are the one who has stated my assertions are not valid, but deflect the discussion to Dawkins. I am not here to debate Dawkins. I am not emotionally offended by his assertions. I clearly see his flaws in reasoning. Your method of disagreement with my assertions is to deflect the discussion to Dawkins and avoiding addressing directly the flaws of the argument presented. You are not required by any law to follow an accepted paradigm of reasonable discussion. I merely point out you are not following any productive or meaningful method of response.

The following comment was written prior to your present reply. It is not intended to introduce or discuss at length Dawkins; only to express my fascination with the devotion he seems to receive from some who don’t appear to perceive his flaws in reasoning. You have asserted my argument is flawed, but repeatedly refuse to demonstrate the flaws. If you continue to decline I can accept that, but your comments then carry no inherent value or meaning and are reduced to mere a belief not necessarily based upon reason.

Hi cjurakpt,

LOL!! I am sorry, but I am greatly amused by this fascination with Dawkins. The article you referenced is no different than the one referenced by Mika and uses just as flawed reasoning.

His very first sentence makes an assertion that implies only two interpretations are available to choose from. He has setup the argument as an either/or proposition. This is tantamount to loading the dice in order to win the game. He has loaded his argument by narrowing the field of possibility. He assumes that we must accept EITHER evolution OR ID, but not both or any other yet unconsidered or undiscovered option. He appears to assume that there may be only two possibilities: evolution or special creation. This is ludicrous; he is caught within his own narrow preconceive view and I reject his premise!

Dawkins makes blanket assertions without providing any foundation for his conclusions. He feels free to criticize the flawed logic of the “religious” ID’s and at the same time seems to think that because they use flawed logic to disprove evolution, evolution is thereby proven. This is the same faulty logic he accuses the ID’s of using! His premise is that evolution is a fact so he never proceeds to proofs that demonstrate it. Since he takes it as a fact and merely demonstrates the flawed logic of evolutions opponents, he never demonstrates evolution to be fact he simply repeatedly asserts it is so.

He asserts the consequences of the laws of physics are the illusion of seemingly Intelligent Design. He asserts it is an illusion without demonstrating how this occurs only that it is so. He assumes the ID’s want to believe in ID and therefore find design where design is absent, but does not demonstrate how it is absent. He merely ridicules their ignorance. This is not the behavior of an unbiased reporter of fact, but one with his own political agenda!

His assumption the Laws of Physics allow phenomena to “just happen” disregards the fact that the Laws of Physics follow the principles of reason, that is the process of cause and effect. Using the Laws of Physics to explain an evolutionary consequence does not address where the Laws of Physics originated nor does it demonstrate why we have the Laws of Physics we have and not other unimagined ones. He is a biologist and not a deep thinker. He has a preconceived view and doesn’t seem to be able to perceive his own unfounded assumptions; he only denigrates those of others. I do not intended to imply I agree with the flawed logic he identifies as originating from ID believers, only that his logic is not much better. He is no philosopher who looks deeper into their own basic assumptions and deeper meanings.

He fails to recognize that evolution itself follows the principles of physics and it is these principles that indicate ID. They do not prove it, but the do indicate the possibility and plausibility of it.

He IS clearly full of himself!!

Mika
12-25-2005, 12:29 PM
Hi Mika,

You are attempting to load the discussion according to your own parameters. You are the one who has stated my assertions are not valid, but deflect the discussion to Dawkins. I am not here to debate Dawkins. I am not emotionally offended by his assertions. I clearly see his flaws in reasoning. Your method of disagreement with my assertions is to deflect the discussion to Dawkins and avoiding addressing directly the flaws of the argument presented. You are not required by any law to follow an accepted paradigm of reasonable discussion. I merely point out you are not following any productive or meaningful method of response.

Now you contradict yourself as the last sentence clearly states that you yourself are doing what you accuse me of in the first sentence. :D

Anywho, Dawkins is far more advanced in this issue than you and me combined, so it is only natural to refer to him.

You see flaws in his reasoning? :D
Of course you do. Please, be so kind as to point them out for me, will you? :)
(I know, you kind of did, but not really; you are missing a lot here; that's what I have been trying to tell you :) ).


Nah, this isn't worth it, like CNS said (great link, btw). My only responsibility is to my own peeps at Potku (www.potku.net/forum), all rest are someone's else homies. ;)

Scott, keep at it. Study some more, rely less on your common sense or something, and you will advance on this issue. But, as the Good Book teaches us, "pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall"*. Scott, you know nothing or very little of the subject matter, so don't hide behind your rhetorics but go to work and learn something. That's what I did when all of this was new to me. I certainly wasn't trying to debate it on intuition and emotion, let alone without thorough enough academic study into it. Again, no offense, just an honest observation. *Take or leave it. :)

Peace out,

Mika

SifuAbel
12-25-2005, 12:57 PM
I don't know if this has been said before. I haven't read the thread becasue , well, I don't want to.

My question:

Why can't science and evolution BE the intelligent design? :o

As carl sagan said, We are made of star stuff, so we may be the universe trying to become aware of itself.

mantis108
12-25-2005, 02:36 PM
The problem I see with ID is that it would more than likely bring back the inquistion because most of the "scientific" evidences can be thrown out of court by the line of "reasoning" (goodbye CSI and hallow torture chamber!). Our society will not benefit from it, rather it will suffer. No offense to my American friends, don't say it's not happening but just look at what's happening arround the world and within US soil since 911. Sorry to say there is inherit danger in Monotheistic teaching.

If there really is an Intelligent Designer (ie God), than he must suffers, by Buddhist's "reasoning" the same as the phenonimal world as we know it. Hack, we might just be the "Sin" (or Karma in Hindu tradition) that which he suffers. ;) Who caused him so that he can caused us (the effect)? What was his higher purpose (the design) then? Was he like "his son" on earth that meant to suffer for or rather from us? Anyway, I don't know nothing but I do suffer like any sentient and non sentient being. So....

Namaste to all,

Mantis108

YMC
12-25-2005, 03:00 PM
The methods used to date things (because the world has to be older than the Bible says to accomodate macro evolution, another unscientific assumption) are theoretical, and have been repeatedly called into question.

May I ask which methods these are and how have they called into question?



Intelligent design is not merely a concept based upon blind faith or religious precepts......Plato noted that all things in the universe are moved by other things. Indeed, anything that moves is moved by something else that is itself moving. By reduction he reasoned there must be, at some point, an eternal primordial prime mover.

But isn't an argument for a "prime mover" inherently a argument for the existence of a diety? How is this not sophistry, your argument saying that Intelligent design is not a merely a concept about relgious beliefs; all this says is that not all people who posit similar theories with Intelligent design are Christian.

Of course, you later say


You are a bit incorrect in your assessment of ID. Not all who propose ID posit a Christian God. I refer you to my post regarding Plato’s views on this matter.

The argument, nevertheless still points to a diety of some sort; by saying it is not necessarily a Christian God doesn't take away from the ultimate conclusion of a creator and also also serves to divert attention away from the real political machinations of most of it's supporters.

By the way, isn't Plato the one who, using the classic Greek didactic method of a "conversation" in the Symposium, have much of the discussion on the nature of love etc begin a priori with Aristophenes' description of how both sexes originated from a fission from an original unisex being as being true? Just pointing out that Plato or any philosopher are only as good as the facts or assumptions they start out with.....


In scientific terms we may say: “Energy was imposed upon a system that did not possess its own inherent energy!”

But from what I understand (which is not alot mind you), the total measurable energy in the universe is almost zero; nothing violates the first law because no energy was added to create the universe as we know it; the second law only holds if we assume that the universe is a closed system of constant volume. Also since I'm not a physicist, can anyone out there give a good definition of entropy; it isn't chaos or disorder as we non-physicist use it. Now, I'm not here to argue that there is in fact creation ex nihilo, but that these arguements about conservations of energy should probably be argued by people better equipped to deal with the nuances of the math.


“Energy was imposed upon a system that did not possess its own inherent energy!” This “Energy” has been called many things, “The Creative Force of the Universe” will do for purposes of this discussion! Since this Creative Force has dominion over physical matter and has the ability to order it, and since this order follows the principles of cause and effect, that is REASON, we may deduce the Creative Force is not merely eternal, but reasoned as well!!
QUOTE]

But if energy wasn't imposed on the system if my earlier point is correct, does your entire line of reasoning fall apart? By the way, as a strawman point I'll make, on a macro level Newtonian physics works quite well, but falls apart at the quantum level. Does that invalidate all his observation on, say gravity, gravity?

[QUOTE]There is no inherent reason ID must disregard evolution. Even amongst Christians there is nothing inherent within the Bible that negates the possibility of evolution.

Which again diverts attention away from the political motivations behind much of the movement. Incidentally, I grew up in Western Pennsylvannia; I know a few people that would disagree with "is nothing inherent within the Bible that negates the possibility of evolution." :D But then, your argument ultimately gives way to proving whether or not there is a creator (God; let's not mince words here) by punching holes into your sample of defects in in evolutionary theory. I understand that you may not be part of the movement, but this is part of the debate.


A moth whose wings were once brown, but are now white, is proof of adaptation, not evolution.

Very true.


The breeding of dogs to get the various diverse breeds are an example of guided adaptation. They remain dogs! We CANNOT breed dogs until we get a bird.

True again, but you are arguing against evolution by bringing up an example of adaptation. We do however, have examples of speciation, tigers and lions for example, donkeys and horses. Not exactly a dog to a bird, but yours is a strawman argument because this is not what evolution argues is happening.


Dawkins...He is no philosopher who looks deeper into their own basic assumptions and deeper meanings.

True, but then you and I are not evoluntionary biologist. Somehow we think our opinions are well reasoned. Incidentally, why do people insist on interpreting data through a philosophical or religious prism? Scientists are biased enough interpreting their own data when they have their own little pet hypotheses.


He fails to recognize that evolution itself follows the principles of physics and it is these principles that indicate ID. They do not prove it, but the do indicate the possibility and plausibility of it.


Again, if the creation of the itself doesn't require the addition of energy outside the system, of course I may be wrong in my understanding, then how do the three laws support ID?


It takes greater faith to believe everything sprung spontaneously out of nothing than to consider an Intelligent Designer.

I think that there is a fundamental misunderstanding of how science works. You have a theory, you test the theory or parts of the theory (no matter how limited the scope, and then revise or disgard as needed. Aside from the inductive reasoning that has been outlined, which actually require a set of a priori assumptions (which of course science and mathmatics have as well (e.g. a line is the shortest distance between any two points)) is there anyway to test the existance of a creator? Last time I checked, God has been been proven to exist by every other thinker, mathamatician, physicist, theologian, in the canon; we're still arguing about. The argument over, say synaptic transmission between neurons only lasted about 70-100 years; although last time I checked, the scientologist were making headway debunking some of it.

Chang Style Novice
12-25-2005, 09:25 PM
It doesn't count as spiritually fulfilling unless it involves an old white guy with a long beard, you silly goose! Well, I guess a baby with an elephant's head or a giant dung beetle would work in a pinch.

SifuAbel
12-26-2005, 12:32 AM
Man is very arrogant in claiming the center for himself. Both sides want to be such a center.

The idea that God created the heavens and the earth is not outside scientific study.

Frankly, man gives himself, or that which conciders "himself", to be the ultimate product. When In fact we aren't that important. We are a mole on the but of a flea that is biting the ankle of God's dog "spot". The best we can do in our INFINITE smallness is to plug in to that massive immeasurable signal. That, if anything, is prayer/connection/experience. Chemistry is divine, science is divine. In the beginning God created us in his own image. As per carl sagan, that image is 1. You can find that image on the periodic table of elements. That is where all this matter comes from.

hadit at nuit.

I do recommend capt morgan and vanilla coke, ****ing awesome.

Scott R. Brown
12-26-2005, 04:34 AM
Hi Mika,

LOL!! Nice try!! I have not loaded the discussion I am following a thought process to explain why I believe what I do. You have disagreed with my conclusions by merely stating it is wrong not by demonstrating it to be so. You are once again attempting to divert the discussion. I have pointed out you are diverting the discussion and you consider this a means of me diverting the discussion? This is a false assertion! You claim superior learning, but continually fail to demonstrate it through reasoned argument. Stating you have greater learning, but providing no information merely means you are skilled at making unfounded claims. This is what Dawkins has done in the two polemics I have read. If you have as comprehensive an understanding of Dawkins’ arguments as you say then you should have no trouble stating the arguments in your own words, yet you refuse my request that you do so.

I have adequately, and I do emphasis “only” adequately raised enough questions about Dawkins method of reasoning for the purposes of this thread. The appeal to authority you use is, as many understand, a logical fallacy. Just because Dawkins can turn a phrase and point out the logical flaws of others does not demonstrate his premise to be fact, only that the methods of reasoning he attacks are flawed. As I previously mentioned he assumes his premise to be fact, but never demonstrates the facts that make it so. This makes his article a diatribe and not a scholarly argument.

I do not rely on common sense or rhetoric; I rely on a logical analysis of the argument and the presented facts. I have provided a reasoned argument for my view which demonstrates a conclusion from the premises. There is no reasoned argument when one assumes a conclusion without providing supporting evidence. Neither you nor Dawkins has provided a reasoned argument supporting your views not withstanding your fascination with HIS rhetorical style.

It is clear you have no intention or perhaps no ability to address my argument. So I will wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Scott R. Brown
12-26-2005, 04:38 AM
Hi YMC,

I) But isn't an argument for a "prime mover" inherently a argument for the existence of a diety? How is this not sophistry, your argument saying that Intelligent design is not a merely a concept about relgious beliefs; all this says is that not all people who posit similar theories with Intelligent design are Christian.

Sophistry is the act of deliberately using false argument with the purpose to deceive. I have not done this. I have no intention to deceive nor am I covering for a hidden agenda. I am seeking Truth and I go where it leads, if it leads to a Christian God so be it, if it leads else where that is fine too.

Whether one concludes a deity depends upon how one defines a deity. Many “assume” certain characteristics when considering a deity, but the existence of a deity does not presume specific characteristics of necessity! In western culture we tend to assume a deity is the Christian God. This is because this is the dominant view of God held by our culture. My argument does not automatically presume the Christian God; it does not rule it out either. Just because someone cannot conceive of another form of Intelligent Designer does not mean one cannot exist. For example: if one considers concept of Tao one may have an Intelligent “Something” called Tao, but would not necessarily presume a Christian God character. I am making no claims as to the character or motivations of an Intelligent Designer in this thread. I do have some thoughts on this, but I am, at present merely arguing the likelihood that one exists.

II) The argument, nevertheless still points to a diety of some sort; by saying it is not necessarily a Christian God doesn't take away from the ultimate conclusion of a creator and also also serves to divert attention away from the real political machinations of most of it's supporters.

I am not concerned with the political machinations of the supporters of a Christian God. I do not disrespect their cause either. There is a never ending battle for the various worldviews of men. I recognized this exists and I accept it will always exist. Proponents of a Christian God are not doing anything differently than proponents of “random cause”. They are arguing for their ideas and attempting to force them onto others. This is the manner of men and their ideas! I have no fear of a Christian God; neither do I fear the possible lack of a God. Part of that reason is I believe a God or ID is a probability. But if one were not to exist I don’t perceive myself as having necessarily lost anything of inherent value.

My purpose is not to be an apologetic for the political views of “religious” ID’s, only to examine principles using reasoning. I do not personally see any conflict between evolution and ID. To me it is just as plausible that evolution demonstrates ID. The “theory” of evolution does not necessitate random chance, and even random chance itself does not negate the possibility of ID. Random chance could very possibly be part of the design. Evolution does not demonstrate the absence of ID it only demonstrates the absence of the special creation in seven days as asserted by Christians.

III) By the way, isn't Plato the one who, using the classic Greek didactic method of a "conversation" in the Symposium, have much of the discussion on the nature of love etc begin a priori with Aristophenes' description of how both sexes originated from a fission from an original unisex being as being true? Just pointing out that Plato or any philosopher are only as good as the facts or assumptions they start out with.....

Regarding your reference to Plato, you must note that I did not appeal to his authority; I referenced to a thought process of his and used the 3rd law of thermodynamics to argue for its plausibility. As such it does not matter what other improbable conclusions he may have arrived at regarding other subjects. If I formulate an unreasoned argument today it does not mean I am forbidden from providing a reasoned one tomorrow.

IV) But from what I understand (which is not alot mind you), the total measurable energy in the universe is almost zero; nothing violates the first law because no energy was added to create the universe as we know it; the second law only holds if we assume that the universe is a closed system of constant volume. Also since I'm not a physicist, can anyone out there give a good definition of entropy; it isn't chaos or disorder as we non-physicist use it. Now, I'm not here to argue that there is in fact creation ex nihilo, but that these arguements about conservations of energy should probably be argued by people better equipped to deal with the nuances of the math.

We assume nothing violates the first law but we cannot really know for sure. Even if you do postulate energy coming from outside the system we could still stay it is just part of a larger system. So this is a concept in which we may not get to a satisfactory conclusion.

Entropy is the amount of energy within a system that is no longer available for work. It implies a cooling of the universe to near, but not absolute, zero. This is generally accepted as meaning the tendency towards chaos or disorder. All chaos is, is undifferentiated substance or disorder. In other words it takes work to order a system and work is measured by the heat it produces as a by product. So as heat diminishes we infer less work is being accomplished and a state of disorder results.

V) But if energy wasn't imposed on the system if my earlier point is correct, does your entire line of reasoning fall apart? By the way, as a strawman point I'll make, on a macro level Newtonian physics works quite well, but falls apart at the quantum level. Does that invalidate all his observation on, say gravity, gravity?

You raise some interesting questions concerning the seeming laws of physics. We must not assume the Laws of Physics “we accept” to be necessarily absolute as they are presently defined. Science continually redefines Laws of Nature based upon new evidence. At one point it was believed that the speed of light within a vacuum was constant, however new discoveries are questioning this hypothesis. Herein lays a flaw amongst many scientists. They state as certainty facts that are only based upon the latest evidence. They repeatedly fail to qualify their statements of fact.

Newton’s observations on gravity should be understood to apply within a specific context. Within that context they may at this time, according to the evidence we presently have, accept them as certainties.

We may presume we live in a closed system and we may presume that matter may not be added to or subtracted from this system based upon our current understanding of the Laws of Physics, but this does not mean we have a complete understanding of these Laws. If all questions were answered we would have no reason for curiosity.

As a philosopher I may look beyond the Laws of Physical Matter to postulate other principles as possible. For example: if we consider mind as non-physical we can accept its influence within a closed “physical” system without necessarily adding anything tangible to the system. The question of “What is mind?” is for another discussion. Suffice it to say that because we cannot conceive of a solution to a dilemma does not mean a solution does not exist only that we are at present unable to find one.

When I mentioned energy as being “imposed from without” it was meant to illustrate the idea that “something” from the outside of “the closed system of the experiment” was necessary to induce the amino acid creation. This was to imply that within the experiment the closed system was not really a closed system. We may also posit that the closed system was actually of greater dimension than the artificial closed system of the experiment. That is, the experimenter’s system is merely part of the artificial system of the experiment. In this circumstance the experimental closed system was only part of the greater “seemingly” closed system of our existence. This then indicates that we may only “appear” to exist within a closed system, or that our closed system is greater than we conceive it to be! So something coming from without may only appear to come from without when it is actually within the system, just not perceived.

If energy had not been imposed upon the closed system of the experiment than an amino acid would not have resulted, so how would the argument fall apart? One must admit that the Laws of Physics allow for the generation of an electrical stimulus within our system, however within the experiment it was not spontaneously generated from within the closed system. My intent was to demonstrate that the experimenter was the ID of the closed system and all the elements of the closed system were combined by the ID. This is similar to Plato’s concept of a chaotic substrate organized by mind into order. Without the experimenter there would be no experiment. The experimenter was the ID of the experiment and set up the conditions for the amino acid to be created. This argues more for ID than for random chance in my opinion.

Scott R. Brown
12-26-2005, 04:42 AM
VI) Which again diverts attention away from the political motivations behind much of the movement.... But then, your argument ultimately gives way to proving whether or not there is a creator (God; let's not mince words here) by punching holes into your sample of defects in in evolutionary theory. I understand that you may not be part of the movement, but this is part of the debate.

As I have previously stated this is not a political issue for me, but a search for Truth and although I have not mentioned it, an academic exercise as well. The political motivations of others do not concern me. Societies of man have existed for thousands of years following seemingly irrational premises of life. Who is to say any of the conclusions we posit today won't be laughed at in another 2,000 years. It is just a game!

I am not attempting to punch holes in the theory of evolution. I am attempting to identify errors of reasoning; this is where my interests lay. I do not disagree necessarily with evolutionary theory only irrational methods of supporting it. The same could be said for a Godlike Deity. I am not against the concept per se, only the irrational arguments used to demonstrate ITS existence. I do argue against “random chance” as the sole cause of existence however. I find “random chance” requires a greater leap of faith than the concept of an ID.

Special creation in seven days is implied in the Bible, but not definitely seen as specifically pertaining to seven 24 hours days by some. It all depends upon how one chooses to interpret the Bible.

VII) True again, but you are arguing against evolution by bringing up an example of adaptation. We do however, have examples of speciation, tigers and lions for example, donkeys and horses. Not exactly a dog to a bird, but yours is a strawman argument because this is not what evolution argues is happening.

Good point!! However, the theory that one came from another is still arrived at through inductive reasoning and therefore cannot be said to follow as a certainty! I will concede it is plausible, possible and even probable, but it is not certain. Remember I am not actually seeking to argue against evolution, just improper arguments that support it. In this circumstance I really only require the qualifier!

VIII) True, but then you and I are not evoluntionary biologist. Somehow we think our opinions are well reasoned. Incidentally, why do people insist on interpreting data through a philosophical or religious prism? Scientists are biased enough interpreting their own data when they have their own little pet hypotheses.

We each have our own preconceived manner of viewing the world. These worldviews color our perceptions and therefore the conclusions we accept as valid. It is part of life.

As to questioning evolutionary biologists: all arguments follow the principles of reason. All one requires is the evidence and the reasoned argument one is using to defend the conclusion. If the argument is reasoned and is supported by true facts then we may assume the conclusion to represent a Truth. Once again since evolution is founded upon a series of inductive arguments and many of the arguments are supported by assumptive facts we cannot say with certainty that evolution is a fact, only plausible, possible and/or probable according to our most current understanding. (Notice my qualification. This is provided because I recognize that new understanding of the evidence is possible. Qualifications are not provided by most scientists because they assume themselves to have all the facts and to have a complete understanding of the facts. This has been proven to be an error in the past so I do not assume that for myself!!)

IX) Again, if the creation of the itself doesn't require the addition of energy outside the system, of course I may be wrong in my understanding, then how do the three laws support ID?

The third law of Physics demonstrates that our system has a natural, that is, inherent tendency to disorder. The, “ultimate state of inert uniformity” I mentioned previously. Since the system is moving towards disorder, a priori, the system was at one time more ordered than it is now. If the system was ordered against the natural tendency to disorder it implies a force, as yet unmeasured, that imposed order upon it. I consider this force to be an ID. Why? Well we know intelligence exists. We possess it. We know that intelligence has the desire and ability to create. We do it! Since we know intelligence exists and we know that intelligence creates order out of seemingly chaotic elements, it is not implausible to postulate an ID that did the same to our material universe.

X) I think that there is a fundamental misunderstanding of how science works... is there anyway to test the existance of a creator?

All rational knowledge when reduced to its basic premises is founded upon unprovable assumptions. This makes the conclusions we arrive at only best guesses.

At present I do not subscribe to the belief that God may be proven to a certainty through scientific or rational means. But when referencing my argument in the previous section I do believe we may infer ID to a “reasonable” certainty.

First, when considering whether we may test for the existence of an ID we are really asking can an ID be measured. This is the purview of science, to measure the world. However, some things within our world are inherently un-measurable, yet we accept their existence. When I express a feeling or an experience it is a subjective experience that may be indicated, but not measured. To be sure the effects of experiences and feelings upon the body may be measured, but this is only the measurement of the effects and does not represent the actual experience. We may measure when an individual is having a dream using an EEG, but we are presently unable to measure or access the actual dream of the individual or experience the feelings of the individual as THEY experience them. These are considered REAL experiences, but they are inherently un-measurable. We may not know exactly what an individual is dreaming or experience their experience, but we may infer they are having a dream by observing the physical, measurable indications. As such we may infer an ID from its physically measurable indications. i.e. my conclusion using the 3rd law of thermodynamics. Some scientists posit that dreams are merely the interaction of chemicals within the brain, but the chemical interactions are not the dream they are physical responses. Further did the dream cause the chemical interactions or did the chemical interactions cause the dream. We don’t truly know! Just because we may stimulate a portion of the brain and access a feeling or a memory does not mean the memory or feelings is limited to that region. Also, what is it that experiences that memory or the feelings, it is the mind. Is the mind the brain? There is some research that indicates the mind is not dependent upon the physical brain.

Second, I may measure the constituents indicating the taste of an orange, but the measurement is not the taste. The taste is a phenomenon that must be experienced by a mind. I cannot prove to you what an orange tastes like. Even if I describe the taste to you and provide you with the chemical analysis of the constituent compounds, even if I compare it to similar tastes such as a lemon or a lime, you have no real knowledge of the taste of an orange until you taste it for yourself. Your mind is the experiencer of the phenomena we call taste. This is then is the motivation of mystics, to obtain direct experience of the Divine. In this case the proof is in the pudding!! You know an orange has a specific taste because you have tasted it for yourself. Prior to that you may only rely on the authority of others and they may only indicate using in adequate metaphor that does not convey the actual experience only what it is like, i.e. “an orange sort of tastes like a tangerine, but different!”

Thirdly, what is it that has experiences? We call it mind. We may at best say that mind is that which perceives while recognizing that this is merely a conventional description that does not actually provide a comprehensive definition. We cannot measure mind, but we accept its existence. We ascertain it exists by experiencing life. Life for humans is the interaction of mind on a physical universe, but it is also more. We have non-physical experiences called dreams and imagination. The laws of physics do not hold sway here, but the depth of the experience is not diminished because of this. How can we verify three dimensional activity and sensate experiences occur within the mind of another? We cannot unless we have experienced the same phenomena for ourselves. Our methods of measurement only exist according to the physical universe. If such experiences are merely physical at some point we will be able to see and actually experience the dreams and imagination of another using only physical means. When this occurs I will be required to re-think my conclusions, until we may posit that since mind exists for me it may also exist for an ID. Since I may imagine an ordered universe I may posit an ID that does the same!

This has been very time consuming and I cannot guarantee any further responses if they require so much time to compose. However, Thank you for a reasoned, well thought out and invigorating post.

Merry Christmas to you!!

TaiChiBob
12-26-2005, 09:22 AM
Greetings..

Nicely crafted, Scott..

I will try to explain my personal perspective, with no assertion of "truth" or reality for anyone but me.. My experiences lead me to combine perspectives.. that there is a "prime mover" or original mind.. that in its balanced and inert state it had no companionship and no input or interaction, and.. its only thought due to no comparative subjects, was "I AM".. keep in mind that in this state (place within eternal cycles) the "original mind" has no active memory, no prediction capability.. it exists only in its eternal "now".. but, as Scott points out, creativity is a signature of consciousness.. so, the original mind conceives a single thought, a single one word addition to its previous 2 word mantra.. "What Am I"?.. considering its lack of active memory and inability to predict, it is without prejudice (a fundamental "now" concept).. so, in order to discover "what" it is, it sets creation in motion.. no crafting of complex organisms or inter-related systems.. just a little push to get things started.. This is the only true way to reveal itsel to itself, set it in motion and observe its "evolution".. tinkering or manipulating based on lessons learned from observing the evolution would contradict the desire for "self discovery", it would interupt the natural evolution of consciousness..

As consciousness evolves, it becomes self-aware and inquisitive.. it ponders its own nature and origin.. it attains some level of "originality".. and like the Yin/Yang symbol suggests, at its peak it begins its own decline.. not contented to exist in balance with nature, it seeks to understand and dominate, to exert "God-like" dominion over its environment.. thus the decline, the return to the inert balance and the beginning of another cycle.. each subsequent cycle retains an "inactive memory" of all cycles locked in a chaotic pattern of order.. each subsequent cycle modifies its experience without understanding the concealed mass memory.. and so the Original mind evolves also.. with each subsequent cycle pacing itself toward a universal "nirvana"..

So, i sense that there is ID in the creation of the evolutionary process (big-bang?).. but, that the process is random and left to naturally find its own destiny.. other scenarios such as complex design contradict basic fundamental concepts relative to self-discovery and self-determination.. and, without self-determination the game is pointless.. pointless at every level..

As Parts of the Whole (Original Mind), we are free to create our own experience as elements of the "Prime Mover's " own self-discovery.. in-so-much-as we are not yet so good at the game, we conjure all manner of ill-reasoned and contrary notions about our individual relationships to the Original Mind.. like: greed, dominance, love, hate, separate individuality, science and a plethora of deities.. we race past a balance of consciousness and nature toward a self-negating reunion with the Original Mind.. a self-indulgent aspiring to know it all.. we tend to be dis-satisfied with a simple physical experience and the occasional glimpse into the "Whole", a delightful taste of our original mind becomes a gluttonous feast where we indulge ourselves into the oblivious state of "inert balance", we perpetuate the cycles..

I accept the notion of a superior consciousness, but.. i do not favor some trite cosmic adjudicator's aganda of law and order.. i see that as the providence of our own consciousnesses.. i sense that, as a species, we are moving beyond the healthy and self-sustaining balance between social awareness and natural process.. but, that is the nature of the game.. the eternal cosmic game of hide and seek, i hide and then try to find myself.. currently, i'm better at hiding than at finding.. :D

So, for what it's worth, there is my perception of "it".. Be Well....

Merryprankster
12-26-2005, 12:38 PM
Bottom line:

ID doesn't belong in a science classroom. You want to teach it in school, teach it in Philosophy. It's THAT SIMPLE.

We don't have ANY natural evidence to indicate there is an intelligent designer. Even the argument most IDers/creationists like to revert to, "irreducible complexity can't be evolved," has now been shown to be incorrect. Computer "life" that evolves is quite capable of developing irreducibly complex functions through random mutation.

What IDers/creationists do is try to use the whole PROCESS of science against itself by framing it as a concrete body of knowledge. It is not. Science is a process for uncovering information about the natural world. IDers/Creationists appeal to an "IDer or God of the Gaps," when science can't explain something.

Well, folks, since science is an ongoing process wherein some explanations are discarded for better ones on the basis of observations and experiments about the natural (emphasis on natural) world, you cannot cite the fact that it doesn't explain everything that ever happened ever as an argument AGAINST science. That's exactly the point! We use science to figure out stuff about the world around us. We don't treat it as a concrete, definitive body of knowledge. Every door opened leads to others. It is nothing but a process of exploration, and we keep pushing the boundaries out.

Supernatural entities need not apply (goodbye God) because science concerns itself with the observable, natural world. ID falls victim to Occam's Razor in that there is no defining necessity for ID in any complete theory. It secondly is non-falsifiable, since there will always be knowledge gaps that need filling - when one gap is filled, you just move ID along to the next gap that is created by our increased understanding of the universe. That's the "God of the Gaps" folks, and the irony is that it RELIES on our increasing scientific explorations to perpetuate itself. IDers just change whatever it is that ID is supposed to explain once we understand the previous knowledge gap and discover others. ID, therefore, doesn't actually explain anything. "ID explains what science can't (yet)" - That's no theory.

By contrast, whatever faults one might find with scientific theories, they have staying power because they actually explain certain phenomena. They might not have the full solution or exactly the right answer, but that is why we tweak them from time to time, as technological innovations allow better measurements, conceptual understanding advances. The Newtonian Universe gave way to the Relativistic Universe and on the small scale, the quantum universe. I have no doubt that at some point, relativistic and quantum processes will be merged - and that will, in turn, open up more questions.

Which I'm equally certain creationists and IDers will attribute to "something else," in the eternal god of the gap cycle.


I don't have a problem with God or ID. I have a problem with teaching either in a science classroom. The cognitive leap from "We don't have a scientific explanation for that," to "there must be a Creator/IDer," is not a logical leap, it is a leap of faith. So keep it out of the science classroom.

mantis108
12-26-2005, 01:28 PM
I would like to thank you for sharing such interesting view. I think you have done a wonderful job in reasoning for ID.

In some ways, as a I have vast interest in the study of Yi Jing (classic of change), I applaud your arguement for Intelligent design. I personally believe Yi Jing qualifies as a a print or a form of ID although it doesn't necessarily involve a creator (ie Christian's notion of God) IMHO.

As such I believe I see the point that we don't have to lump Creationism and Intellegent Design together. I think my problem with ID initial was that it is used by Monotheists as their arguement of existance of a God and subsquently policital posturing. BTW, I am not an atheist per se. I suppose I am more inclined to take the same stance as you for the quest of truth.

I do find the "prime mover" as problematic since "prime" indicates an acceptance or acknowledgement of a singular linear experience of time. But as you pointed out in the example of dream, the mind or to certain degree the body may be experiencing a notion of time (ie historical time) or even incoherin notions of time simultaneously yet the mind-body continuum is at least in theory still experiencing universal/physical time.

I do like your finally paragraph and find it supports the Qi experience (hope I did not open another can of worms or worm hole [pun intended] here).

Warm regards

Mantis108

PS TCB thanks for sharing your interesting thoughts.

greensage22
12-26-2005, 03:06 PM
we will never know for sure, so why bother arguing.

YMC
12-26-2005, 03:33 PM
Hi Scott,

To echo TaiChi Bob, nicely crafted!

Actually, if I'm not mischaracterizing you, can I summarize your basic points that you are not necessarily arguing against the likelyhood of evolution, "I am not attempting to punch holes in the theory of evolution. I am attempting to identify errors of reasoning; this is where my interests lay. I do not disagree necessarily with evolutionary theory only irrational methods of supporting it. The same could be said for a Godlike Deity. " but rather whether or not 1) people who support it are using poor logic, and 2) whether or not "natural" laws as we understand them implies the existence of a creator or vice versa, and 3) whether or not lack of belief in a creator is less rational than belief in one; whatever form that creator/mind Logos et al., may take? Ultimately, science can't prove one way or another whether there is a higher being or creator, but as I'll argue, neither can you reason, based on the line of reasoning that you outline, that your position is necessarily anymore rational.



You raise some interesting questions concerning the seeming laws of physics. We must not assume the Laws of Physics “we accept” to be necessarily absolute as they are presently defined.

Yet, you use your understanding of the third law to reach your conclusions, which means that both of our conclusions are equally shakey.


Herein lays a flaw amongst many scientists. They state as certainty facts that are only based upon the latest evidence. They repeatedly fail to qualify their statements of fact.

Yes, I think that much of this is true. (I can speak form first hand anecdotal observation.) (Also as a side point, I have never heard of anyone use the phrase Fact of Evolution; except in a knee-jerk emotional response to attack.) However, because we work in a realm of testable empirical evidence, scientists can revise our weltenshung as needed. Even the most staunch proponent of a theory that he or she may argue as "fact" must change his/her understanding in light of new evidence. How does one do this with philosophical or theological reasoning? As you say, all reasoning may lay on unprovable assumptions, but in one method, you can test outcomes to augment the reasoning. Wherein lies anything testable in your philosophical "proof" of ID? I don't want to get into a point of talking across each other because I understand (I think anyway :D ) your line of reasoning; which I agree is compelling. Yet, I'm not convinced that it takes anymore faith to believe to argue random chance versus ID; one method is arrived at through inductive reasoning based on the preponderance of the evidence that is testable... which leads me to


As to questioning evolutionary biologists: all arguments follow the principles of reason. All one requires is the evidence and the reasoned argument one is using to defend the conclusion.

Ah, but do you have all the evidence or nuances of the data? Herein lies the problem; we as layman are given general simplified information. For example, going back to physics, if I understand it correctly, are there not arguments that the universe at the point of the big bang actually was at the point of maximal enthropy; thus not the much more highly "ordered" state of energy as your line of reasoning assumes. (Please somebody out there correct me if I'm bonkers). Heck there are even people who argue that there is no such thing as maximal entropy, or people who argue that entropy in the universe is constant (via background radiation in an expanding or contracting universe) which argues against your line of reasoning...


Since the system is moving towards disorder, a priori, the system was at one time more ordered than it is now.

Thus, arguements between scientists based on new evolving evidence either support or discount a view. This is the difference between philosophy or theology and science even if they use the same reasoning processes.


Since we know intelligence exists and we know that intelligence creates order out of seemingly chaotic elements,

A minor meaningless point, but order used in the context above is not the order meant by entropy.


If energy had not been imposed upon the closed system of the experiment than an amino acid would not have resulted, so how would the argument fall apart?

The Earth had already been created and energy was already begining released via the sun, lightening, geothermal; no creator had to articially impose energy, you still would have to go back to the original big bang to argue the outside creator imposing energy into the system; and as I noted above, I'm not all that certain that your line of reasoning can be proven unassailable.


Some scientists posit that dreams are merely the interaction of chemicals within the brain, but the chemical interactions are not the dream they are physical responses. Further did the dream cause the chemical interactions or did the chemical interactions cause the dream. We don’t truly know! Just because we may stimulate a portion of the brain and access a feeling or a memory does not mean the memory or feelings is limited to that region. Also, what is it that experiences that memory or the feelings, it is the mind. Is the mind the brain? There is some research that indicates the mind is not dependent upon the physical brain.

First, may I ask you to point me to the research indicating that the mind is not dependent on the physical brain? This is not a challange; just interested. I'm a grad-student in the field of neuroscience (electrophsyiology of neurons in the brain) and it would be of general interest for me to see it.


Just because we may stimulate a portion of the brain and access a feeling or a memory does not mean the memory or feelings is limited to that region.

True, given the complex heterogeneous shared connections from various parts of the brain to others, although physiological, lesion, and functional studies have shown that there is compartmentalization and even lateralization of many functions to specific parts of the brain. Lesions to specific areas of the orbital frontal lobe and areas of the thalamus that project to it result in retrograde amnesia; damge to the frontal lobe results in dramatic changes in personality and even (with the orbital frontal again) sociopathic behavior. Now, if a person's soul or spirit, i.e. who that person is resides outside the brain, why does damage to it change his personality and morality? But this isn't the question that science is trying to answer! We can't infer with evidence or a preponderance of the evidence whether there is something beyond the collection of electical impulses.

But this is off topic to the point, which is that any conclusion arrived by philosophy or theology is only as good as the original set of assumptions you start with. Scientific theory, however, mayhaps start with similar set of untestable assumptions, must have testable outcomes as a line of investigation. Thus, I disagree that faith in ID is necessarily more rationale than other lines of thought.

By the way, if all things that move must have a mover, who created mover? :D ;)

YMC
12-26-2005, 03:38 PM
Merryprankster,

Oops, it looks like I pretty much echoed what you said with less clarity.

Christopher M
12-26-2005, 10:17 PM
Scott,
You've made some good observations, but I think you are mistaken on some very central points, and this confusion undermines your argument.
Firstly, you've frequently drawn the distinction between something of which we're absolutely certain and something for which we can only be relatively certain. You're absolutely right that this is an important distinction, but you're mistaken when you apply it to science in an attempt to minimize the importance of the scientific evidence for evolution. All scientific arguments deal with only relative certainty. The fact that we are only relatively certain of evolution doesn't diminish its weight -- it places it in exactly the same category as every other scientific statement. Moreover, the philosophical arguments that fall under the label of 'classical skepticism' have demonstrated that relative certainty is basically all we have for any statement whatsoever, other than analytic statements (like "all bachelors are unmarried"). So observing that we're only relatively certain of evolution is entirely trivial.
Secondly, you've misapplied the second law of thermodynamics, which does not furnish the argument against evolution you suggest. This law does not indicate that decreases of entropy are impossible. If this were the case, then, for example, chemical synthesis would be impossible. To the contrary, if you take any given unit, like an organism or a chemical compound, a species or a chemical reaction, and so on, you will quite often observe decreases in entropy. Of course, more complex products are produced all the time, even in purely inorganic reactions -- there is nothing spooky about this whatsoever which might imply the outside intervention of a Creator. So the fact that evolution suggests an increase in complexity in no way violates the second law of thermodynamics, and hence in no way suggests that we need to posit such a Creator's intervention.

Scott R. Brown
12-27-2005, 03:13 AM
Hi Merryprankster,

A very comprehensive rant!

I agree ID does not presently belong in science class. Philosophy or Sociology would be more appropriate. God is not measurable and measurable things are the purview of science. God is found in the realm of direct experience!

Hi mantis108,

Thank you for the kind words!! [Respectful Bow!]

I agree with you, there is a seeming problem with linear time as opposed to the concept of an “eternal present”. If we think of our physical system of existence as a game, then linear “cause and effect” is merely one of the rules of the game as are the rules of physics. It is no different than when we follow the arbitrary rules of the board game monopoly while playing that game.

A prime mover only has meaning within the context of this linear game.

Also, I try to do the best I can to communicate with others according to their belief system and not my own. If I am speaking to a Christian then I try to communicate using concepts they are familiar with. When speaking with the scientific and philosophically minded I try to use logical discourse. With students of Tao, using terms and concepts they are familiar with, etc. I try to respect each person’s individual belief system. If they find value and meaning in it then that is good for them. I don’t try to change someone’s belief system, but I may attempt to offer a different slant. I will try to expand what may be perceived as limiting concepts and I will try to do this from within their own worldview.

Hi YMC and ChristopherM,

I will try to respond to your posts. I don't presently have a lot of time and I must rob peter to pay paul in order to find the time to give your posts the time they deserve. I must post around other repsonsibilities and i can see responses will take quite some time. thank you for your thoughts!

Sifu Darkfist
12-27-2005, 07:23 AM
This is a subject i have fought with for the past 15 years as well. My deep engrossment into the Torah unseated many originally held catholic beliefs. it finally led to me giving up for a period on all of the study do to the many contradictions in all religious literature, until...

Until i did the same deep genetic research through my universities holdings on the subject and found the key to ensure my personal belief in Inteligent Design. In fact it ensured my belief in god (although it never answered who he was or what his or her address might be or even how to worship).

The evidence was simple, for me to understand and was the last thing I would ever look for it was in the genetic code itself.
There is a piece in the code that moves about the code randomly at close intervals, almost identical to the concept of the enigma machine from germany in the 30's-40's. It was the cause to the difficulty in deciphering the human genome because it changed so randomly.

Let us reflect for a moment, why would evolution encode the code to such a high level of encryption. furthermore how COULD it encode at this level.

My personal answer it could not and it did not. For no where else in nature is there an accidental occurance of an Enigma Machine not in the sea, not on land, and not in the mountains, only in our heads. Much like the head of an incredible artisitic creator who goes by an unproven name and reigns from only he or she knows where.

Mortal1
12-27-2005, 09:58 AM
It's simple. liberals are anti-God and want it eliminated from our society. That way when they have abortions on demand they don't have to worry about spending eternity in hell. There is no direct link that proves evolution either. Thusly it is NOT scientific fact but theory the same as intelligent design because either way none of us no for sure. But the libs only want one side of the argument taught. I see no reason why they both shouldn't be taught. For the record I am a republican atheist.

Christopher M
12-27-2005, 11:29 AM
Mortal -- As I noted to Scott, it's a fiction to think that because we're not absolutely certain of something it somehow counts less as a scientific fact. We're not absolutely sure about anything. Evolution is no different than any other scientific premise in this sense.

Scott and others -- I think another clarification would be useful. There seems to have been, in this thread, an equation of 'science' with quanitative measures, whereas in reality science also includes qualitative measures; similarly, an equation of 'science' with physics, whereas science also includes biology, psychology, and so on. With this in mind, in fact 'the mind' and other examples which have been given can be measured scientifically. The fact that they can't be measured by the standards of physics doesn't change this. The domain of science is any lawful, observable event. So long as something -- the mind, the proposed effects of a Creator -- are lawful and observable, science can investigate them.

Mortal1
12-27-2005, 11:45 AM
Exactly so why shouldn't it be taught along with evolution? The liberal freedom of speech party only wants their side taught.

Christopher M
12-27-2005, 11:52 AM
Why shouldn't what be taught alongside evolution? Psychology? Qualitative methods? They are.

Mortal1
12-27-2005, 01:35 PM
Intelligent design and evolution. When intelligent people talk about one the other comes up automatically. Wouldn't you agree?

Christopher M
12-27-2005, 01:48 PM
That's rather simple: ID isn't taught as a science, alongside evolution or any other science, because it's not a science. (Ie. for the same reason basket-weaving or haiku aren't taught alongside evolution.)

Scott R. Brown
12-28-2005, 05:58 AM
Hi YMC,

I will not list your post point for point as I did previously due to time constraints. If I do not answer you completely I would not be offended if you asked again. I don’t have a lot of time as I have previously stated so I am trying to find the most efficient manner of responding within the time limitations I have, but as such I may not answer each of your queries adequately. Please to do not take the event of no answer or incomplete answer as an intent to NOT answer. I will attempt to respond to ChristopherM within this text as well. This is not my complete response. There is more to come. If you feel it necessary to post more questions it is unlikely I will be able to finish answering your present one, LOL!! Do as you wish I am just warning you.

…if I'm not mischaracterizing you, can I summarize your basic points….whether or not 1) people who support it are using poor logic, and 2) whether or not "natural" laws as we understand them implies the existence of a creator or vice versa, and 3) whether or not lack of belief in a creator is less rational than belief in one; whatever form that creator/mind Logos et al., may take?
This could be a reasonable operating premise for now; however I would say it should be qualified as “for my present purpose”. I have many purposes. One additional purpose is, I see it as an academic exercise, but this is still not the limit of my purpose.

I do not consider, at this time, (my qualifier) a logical proof adequate to demonstrate the existence of an ID to a certainty. To my present view an ID may only be “indicated” or alluded to using reason, not proven! However an ID may be proven through direct experience and I will try to demonstrate why I believe this presently. Proof is in the direct experience, as in the proof of the taste of an orange. The measurement of a phenomena is not the thing itself only a description. In matters concerning an ID, the direct experience IS the proof!!!
__________________________________________________ ___________________

In the realm of reason we may only indicate an ID using inductive reasoning and may not demonstrate it with certainty using the scientific method, at this time (Qualifier). As such the inductive argument will by necessity be filled with logical holes that may be exploited. This is because the conclusion is determined by the un-provable assumptions we begin with and relies upon no tangible measurement. This flaw applies to the random chance argument as well however! Random chance is merely an assumption and relies upon no measurable criterion. It reasons that because there is no measurable data indicating an ID, there must be nothing there. This is flawed reasoning. 2,000 years ago there was no tool available to measure infra-red light, yet it still exists whether we are able to measure it or not. We were merely unable to PROVE its existence using measurement. Scientists presently think there is another planet or large body beyond Pluto. We cannot see it, but we infer its presence due to its indications, its effects on Pluto. We may infer an ID based upon the indications or effects we perceive around us. One of the reasons it is difficult for the ID’ers and “random chancers” to reach a common ground is because they begin with different basic assumptions. They each perceive the world based upon these different un-provable assumptions. Since they start from different places they will end up at different places as well.

Of course to me, I can conclude ID is a more rational conclusion than random chance!  This is because of the assumptions I begin with. Since I recognize them as un-provable assumptions I have a bit more flexibility when playing the reasoning game.

To me is it more reasonable to believe that because if something actually exists “now” it is likely it existed “then” rather than not at all! Another way to put it would be, it is easier for me to conceive of something coming from something, than something coming from nothing! Why?? Because everywhere I look I see something coming from something. No where do I see something coming from nothing!

ID exists now!! As I have previously mentioned: I KNOW intelligence exists, I have it! I KNOW creativity and intention exist, I intend and I create! I KNOW that my intent and creativity may utilize seemingly chaotic materials and create a new something, I do it! If I exist and I intend then it is more reasonable to infer an ID (a something) exists rather than “random chance” (a nothing).

One may posit then, using my reasoning, if a horse exists now why has it not always existed. I could answer a number of ways. First, the IDEA (Plato’s Ideal Form) of a horse very possibly always existed if we are considering an ID. Secondly, if my first proposition has not occurred then I would say, a horse is a tangible object which may be measured. Idea, purpose and motive are qualities of a mind which may not be directly measured. They may only be known by the consequences of their action. If I see a painting (the consequence) I may infer a painter and that his purpose was to paint the painting! Why? Not because of anything I may tangibly measure, but because I possess those qualities myself. I have DIRECT experience of purpose, intent and motivation creating a consequence! Therefore, I recognize it when I see it manifested else where!

Random chance is not a certainty. It is merely one way of viewing phenomena beginning from one of many possible un-provable premises. This premise is arrived at by starting with a result and then reasoning back to a “considered” cause using inductive reasoning. But really we have begun with the conclusion first and used rationalization in an attempt to validate it. With random chance we infer purpose occurred AFTER the fact of spontaneous unmotivated creation. But we know from observing human behavior that in ALL cases purpose precedes action. Reason would indicate to me that if everywhere in the actions of man I see pre-conceived motive and these motives produce consequent phenomena, it is not unreasonable to conceive an ID with a pre-conceived purpose and intent to create and motivate the universe. Purpose and intent precede action now, why not always and for eternity?? If scientists presume the laws of physics rule everywhere in the universe, cannot also the laws of purpose and intent apply at all times as well? Even if we assert that these principles did not hold sway because there was no mind to have purpose, I would respond, this is merely a guess with no basis in measurement and not a certainty. I have already demonstrated that some phenomena cannot be directly measured. Therefore, it is more reasonable to assert purpose and intent did hold sway and we know that purpose and intent are qualities of mind. Therefore, in all likelihood a mind exists and utilizing purpose, intent and motive it created the universe.

With random chance the premise is that for no reason, reason occurred, for no reason intelligence occurred, for no reason phenomena occurs, and at the same time life multiplies itself for the only purpose of continuing itself and no other purpose. To me this appears inherently illogical. Out of nothing comes something for no real reason? Well then why should anything occur at all if there is no reason or purpose for it other than because it did? So what we are saying is that the universe is ruled by “cause and effect”, that is reason, in everyway EXCEPT for its reason for being created in the first place. To me this is exceeding illogical. Out of nothing comes reason and purpose, but there is no reason or purpose for its creation. This seems like the greater leap of faith to me than a pre-existing ID!

Remember the scientific method is only able to verify facts through measurement and not direct experience such as the taste of an orange or the experience of a dream. These may only be measured scientifically by examining their constituent parts or effects, but the parts and effects are NOT the experience. To know ID we must experience it first hand. This is not just my assertion. It is the assertion of those who have sought first hand knowledge, those inclined to mystic research. Their attestations are for the most part consistent with one and other.


Here is a metaphorical story to illustrate the point. We will return to the orange:

I am a traveler who enters a city. I meet a man and I talk to him about a fruit I have tasted in a far off land. It is an orange, the most delectable taste I have ever experienced.

The man says to me, “I don’t believe you. You have tasted no such thing!”
I repeat, “Yes!! I have! And it is as I say!”
The man challenges me, “Then let me see one and taste one.”
I reply, “I cannot bring one here, but I can tell you how to get to where they are found.”
The man says, “If you cannot bring one to me it doesn’t exist!”
I reply, “You don’t understand, it is impossible to bring one to you. You must go to where they are found!”
The man says, “Then you take me to where these oranges are found!”
I respond, “No! Each man must go alone. I can tell you how to get there, and once you get there, where to look, but you must go alone.”
The man replies, “That is ridiculous! There is no such thing as an orange and you can't prove it to me either!”
I say to the man, “If you do not look for you it you will not find it! You are the one who refuses to go! Your disbelief does not demonstrate it to not exist. I know it exists because I have eaten one many times. You have not!”

Each of us walks our own way thinking how sad and foolish the other man is. But who is the greater fool? The one with the direct experience? Or the one who refuses to look where the orange may be found?

Scott R. Brown
12-28-2005, 06:03 AM
I used the laws of physics (the 3rd law of thermodynamics) to demonstrate a point according to principles I inferred you would accept as true. I don’t need to accept them to make my point. It is only necessary that you accept them. I accept them or not according to the point I am attempting to make and the belief system of the person to whom I am talking. That is not to say I don’t accept them either, only that it is not imperative to my argument that I accept them. It is an “IF/THEN” argument. In an “IF/THEN” argument we may accept a premise as a provisionary truth for the purpose of the argument. The argument must only follow the provisions of a syllogism to be a valid argument. The premises must be true facts in order for the conclusion to be true. So it the premises are true the conclusions are truth as well.

Concerning my comments that scientists rarely qualify their assumed facts as provisionary: I have rarely heard them do this to the point that I cannot ever recall hearing one give a qualification. It may be fairly asserted that it is implied. But I don’t believe the general public understands this to be implied. In this circumstance I was specifically motivated by the article of Dawkins I read wherein he stated emphatically evolution was fact. Also, I have never heard a scientist state the speed of light in a vacuum being constant was anything other than fact until it was recently discovered to be possibly untrue. But we could go on and on about this one, so propose we let it lay where it is.

In reference to evolutionary biologists having all the facts and us ignorant commoners don’t, therefore we must trust their judgment smacks an awful lot like blind following. This is not dissimilar to the criticisms religious individuals get for following their religious leaders. Religion and science each has their accepted authorities. One may argue that at least scientists found their assertions of measurable facts and they are self correcting by the design of the scientific method. A religious person would assert that they find their truth through direct experience. Their experience and meaning and cannot be demonstrated to be false just because a scientist is unable to measure them. As I have previously and repeatedly stated, “please prove to me what an orange tastes like!!”


I think it is fair to assert that there was no “apparent” ordered state prior to the Big Bang. It is also fair I think to assert that through observation it appears that life has progressed from simple to more complex organisms. This appears to be divergent from my thesis and the laws of entropy. However, if entropy occurs as the 3rd law states, how can existence go from “apparent” disorder to order back to disorder? Well, we must decide if we will accept the 3rd law. The third law according to British scientist and
Author C.P. Snow states: “You cannot break even (you cannot return to the same energy state, because there is always an increase in disorder; entropy always increases).” I assert, “I did not say it!” It is stated in the law. Therefore, it is not incumbent on me to explain it away in order for my thesis to be true. If you choose not to accept the law as stated, I would merely use one of my other arguments and discard the 3rd law argument as inadequate according to your belief system!

However, for the fun of it I will entertain the idea!

My thesis only falls apart if there were no ID. In a random chance universe one must ponder the solution to your question. In an ID universe I of course attribute it to the ID. The physical mechanism should of course be measurable, however. I would postulate that what we have is energy that motivates substrate substance to accrete into matter and other complex substances. As this energy dissipates matter tends toward entropy. This is after all what the 3rd law states. So scientists see the energy of the universe slowing down from the initial BANG even while enough energy still exists to continue accretions.

An expanding and contracting universe does not negate my premise. In fact, it is the assertion of the Cycle of Brahman in Hinduism. In simple form Brahman (God) dreams existence and then existence collapses and he begins a new dream. If the cycle were to continue the intensity and gravity of the collapse merely powers the next Big Bang!

__________________________________________________ _________________

You may assert limited attitudes to “some” theologists when confronted with new evidence, but I would not ascribe the same condition to a philosopher.
__________________________________________________ __________________

The illustration of man’s inherent intelligence implying an ID is not dependent upon the 3rd law and the 3rd law as extended by me does not rely on the illustration. They are two independent arguments laid along side each other. The purpose for this is because there is no real means to directly demonstrate ID using logical argument as I have frequently admitted. Therefore, I must illustrate it using numerous metaphorical allusions.


Entropy is the increase in the state of disorder; this is most evident on the macro level even if we don’t perceive it on the local level.


The fact of earth already being created and energy being released does not argue for random chance since it can also be attributed to the overall plan of an ID. I agree the energy came from somewhere. The question then is, where did the energy originate? I have given numerous arguments already demonstrating why I think ID is the more reasonable conclusion.

Scott R. Brown
12-28-2005, 06:05 AM
There is ample research that suggests a mind independent of the physical brain. I would start with looking into the research on death and near death experiences. Also I would recommend reading some of the research by Dr. Brian Weiss, a graduate of Columbia University and Yale Medical School, Chairman Emeritus of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami. (http://www.brianweiss.com/) He has done extensive research into life after death experiences. There are many more researchers as well. I would also refer you to the Harvard Egg experiment. This uses random number generators on computers all over the world to monitor the global brain. These computers have consistently anticipated most or all of the major world events such as the Asian tsunami and 9-11. I have not been to the website in a long time and I am not sure of the link. I will try to find it though. There is ample evidence that the mind influences random number generators. This particular study may not directly demonstrate a mind separate from brain function, but it may as well. I don’t really remember, but I thought it would interest you.

I am aware many scientists assert that death experiences are merely random brain activity as it is going through the dying process, however this is only speculation. They cannot know for sure. They have a preconceived notion concerning the phenomena that colors their interpretation of the data. As far as I know they have no population of data recording EEG at the time of death. If I am wrong I would appreciate a link to the evidence. Following are a few arguments against the certainty of their assertion:

Once again, their assertion is premised on a purely mechanistic view of personhood dependent upon the chemical reactions in the brain. They assert as previously, mentioned by me, that brain functions such as memory and dream like experiences can be physically and chemically induced. Therefore, the brain is merely the mechanism of our personhood and that personhood dissolves with the loss of brain function. If the brain ceases to function properly as in dementia and psychosis, then personhood is diminished as well.

I can best illustrate the flaw in this view using a story metaphor. Remember we must presume a mind, and in this case we may also refer to it as a soul. I feel it appropriate to assume a soul since the scientist may presume a mechanistic view.

Let us say I have a robot. I motivate this robot through wireless remote control and use it to explore Mars. While exploring Mars, through the wear and tear exposure to the environment, the robot begins to malfunction. The sensors function erratically sending me inaccurate and distorted information. The commands I send are misunderstood, mis-processed and sometimes do not get through at all. So I send a repair robot out. We will call him Doctor. Doctor performs analysis on Robot, diagnoses the problems and implements procedures designed to improve Robot’s functioning. Soon Robot is functioning and information is being sent and received properly. Eventually, Robot wears out and no longer functions at all. Robot is beyond repair. I get another Robot and proceed with my Mars research the process continues over and over again.

I admit this process only has meaning with an enduring soul or mind. However as I have already stated there is amble research to suggest the likelihood it may actually occur.

Under this thesis the human body is a vehicle for the mind or soul. When a human has a functional disruption in their brain the mechanism for perceiving and interacting with the world system is disrupted. When the dysfunction is repaired, normal operating procedure occurs. If I am a psychotic, by providing the missing chemicals my brain lacks I may function adequately.

The second illustration involves the Will. If my mind is based upon only the chemical reactions of the brain then this mechanistic process relieves me of all responsibility for my actions. I am genetically predisposed to the actions I perform and thus I am not responsible for any of them. Except!!!! I may work against my chemical predispositions through an act of Will. I may train the chemical reactions within my brain to fire in alternate manners. If something makes me angry today I can train my brain to not fire the anger centers through force of will or other operant conditioning means, which involves the Will, tomorrow. We call this learning.

There is certainly some genetic predispositions this cannot be denied and these predispositions limit our experience in one way or another. However, there is a phenomenon called Will that affects the chemical reactions of the brain and indeed of the body as well. What is the source of this Will? If we posit it as merely a chemical reaction of the brain we are stating that a chemical reaction has the ability to alter other chemical reactions with specific motive? Are we to suppose that chemical reactions have motive? If they do from where does the motive originate chemically?

Will also has other attributes that suggest it is not chemically dependent. Will is the quality of the mind that intends a phenomenon to occur. This phenomenon may be a simple action, such as walking, or a creative act such as painting. If we posit Will as merely chemical reactions, we have chemical reactions controlling other chemical reactions for the purpose of providing enjoyment for other chemical reactions’. Are we to suppose the chemical reactions enjoy the interplay of other chemical reactions? For what purpose? If we assert this than we are also asserting that chemical reactions enjoy experiences. But what is doing the enjoying? How about a Mind!! It is more likely that Will occurs in a Mind separate from the body and induces the proper chemical interactions within the body to produce its intent, than Will is a spontaneously production of chemical reactions for the purpose of entertaining other chemical reactions.

This is all I have time for at the moment….. I am getting tired and I feel the arguments are getting a bit weak towards the end here. This should be attributed to fatigue and time constraints. I will try to respond to the rest of your post ASAP!

Good Job to anyone who has actually read all this, LOL!!!

SPJ
12-28-2005, 09:03 AM
Evolution is a process. as pointed out earlier, there are small and big, micro or macro. It is not intended to explain it all about life. It is a general assumption that things come about at the present state due to selections of traits over time.

10 bugs with different colors, only the one with green to blend into the leaves will survive without being eating etc.

ID has several assumptions. recognition of higher being than people, everything was designed as shown in the genetic codes. thus there is a higher purpose of life. there is order in the seeming chaos. etc

If you say everything is due to random chance, then there is no other purpose for life other than a temp state out of many possibilities. there is no meaning of existence but a point in the great chaos.

other then again would say that it is a miracle to have life.

---

just some thoughts.

:D

Scott R. Brown
12-28-2005, 10:16 AM
Ok here is the ending I hope, LOL!!

I actually miss-wrote the portion indicating redundant portions of the brain.

I meant to imply the Mind was also an area wherein memory would reside not just the physical brain. Damage to the brain through trauma or chemical imbalance or damage would be damage to the hardware that is meant to interface with the Mind (software). When communication between the Mind and Body is impaired behavioral dysfunction would result. I am clear that presently this thesis is also un-provable. But it is likely if a separate Mind does exist this would be the logical explanation of behavioral anomalies. As I previously mentioned, chemical or surgical interventions would then repair enough of the receptive structure to allow for Mind/Body communication to take place. This is clearly speculation as is much of the final part of my previous post.

Concerning who created the Prime Mover:

In the Old Testament the name of God is stated to be Yahweh. “Yahweh”, or “I AM”, or “I AM that I AM”, indicates “Self-existent One! This condition concurs with the Hindu belief and is somewhat similar to philosophical Taoist conceptions. In Buddhism it is referred to as “Suchness”. That is “That Which Is” and has no definition. This “condition of being” occurs, but as I have previously mentioned it must be apprehended directly and without mental commentary. It cannot be defined and communication of what it is cannot be accomplished. As such it is beyond the scope of science which is not comfortable with anything it cannot measure and define. The error of science is that it tends to consider anything that cannot be measured as irrelevant, whereas from the view of the mystic anything that can be measured is superfluous. Indeed the Hindu/Buddhist term for the “illusion of the material world” is “maya” which is the root for “to measure”. This means that if you measure it or try to measure it, you have lost it. This is why mystic/religious experience is beyond scientific measurement.

Our minds tend to think along linear lines; however this is not actually the natural state of mental function. Linear thinking is a result of language. Because we begin to learn language at such a young age many people are unaware that it is merely a conventional manner of thinking and not the Mind’s inherent method of operation. When I was about 15 years old I noticed I could think in what I called “conceptual form”. To figure out a dilemma I could either reason along in a dialectic form or I could hold the dilemma in my mind in conceptual “non-linear” form and the solution would occur without any real thinking in the conventional sense. The solution seemed to coalesce out of a cloud of conceptual thought. That is the only way I can explain it. To communicate the resultant solution I was required to translate “the feeling of knowing” into the linear form of words. To me it was visualized as an amorphous “fog of knowing” wherein an entire linear thought process occurred at once. From this “fog of knowing” I would communicate a thought process into linear form. Something I knew at once could take minutes or hours to express in linear form. But the linear expression was not an exact representation of the“fog of knowing”. This is a very inadequate but passable account of the phenomena of how the mind actually functions. Most people are unaware of it because they are so accustomed to linear thinking in words that if it occurs they don’t notice it. This is also similar but on a very limited sense an example of “Suchness” It is not that “I” was thinking, it was “thinking occurred” there was no subject or object per se until I began the translation into linear terms.

Another expression of the phenomenon takes us back to the orange. The description of the taste of an orange is not the actual taste, but merely a linear representation of it. The experience of tasting an orange is instantaneous, but the effort to explain the experience could take pages to describe.

The scientific method cannot define this mental state of being because science is concerned with cutting things up and measuring them and not with non-communicable experience. This is the realm of the student of mysticism.

Hi ChristopherM,

I agree with your statement that inherently all knowledge is only relatively certain. My complaint is that scientists insist on making statements of fact and while it may be implied that it is only relatively certain, I don’t believe the general population believes that is what they are inferring. Whether they are actually inferring it or not is debatable.

I don’t see it as a trivial assertion when it is implied or outright stated to be fact by scientists including Dawkins as I have previously stated. It is taught as fact in school and while I do not have a problem with it being taught as the most plausible explanation at present, it is still founded upon inductive reasoning and many of the methods used to verify it are subject to question as well such as carbon dating and geological strata dating. These are both based upon the best scientific data as well, but are also not scientifically verifiable to a certainty. So what we end up with is marginally verifiable facts verifying other facts that become marginal because the supporting evidence for it is marginal. This creates a house of cards all founded on the acceptance of assumed fact rather than verifiable fact.

Either I was not clear or you misunderstood my argument. I was not intending to imply the 3rd law of thermodynamics cancels evolution. I meant to imply the possibility of an ID. That is if a system is in less order now it must have possessed greater order in the past. Since I know that mind creates order out of seeming chaotic materials (we do it all the time), we may infer the “possibility” of an ID. I do not find the 7 day creation of Christianity to be a necessity when an ID is implied. To me evolution may be part of the ID design. I just don’t consider evolution to be a certainty. Although I do agree it is plausible, possible and perhaps probable.

Neither do I find it confounding that the evolution of organisms from simple form to more complex form in conflict with the 3rd law of thermodynamics. I did not originate the law. If it exists as a Truth the universe as a whole will conform to it eventually. There is clearly enough energy existent within the universe to motivate complex accretions. But I believe the 3rd law implies the overall amount of energy in the universe is dissipating. As such, even newly created complex forms will at some point conform to the law and become disordered; joining the “ultimate state of inert uniformity”.

As I qualified previously i can't promise anymore postings. My family is not appreciative of the time I am robbing from them. However, i must offer appreciation for the mature and academic tone this discussion is following. This is why i have made an attempt to continue participating.

I apologize for the excessive length of my repsonses, this is the way my brain works and i fault no one for not wishing to read anything i post for its excessiveness.

Robbie
12-28-2005, 10:33 AM
Scott,
For an authoritative reply to most of what you are saying see
http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-qa.html
You'll notice Mika posted this already. It not only answers your questions but also provides links for further research.
As to understanding what ID is. Have you read the Kitzmiller/Dover decision.
http://www2.ncseweb.org/kvd/main_docs/kitzmiller_342.pdf [in pdf form]
Yes it is 139 pages but guess what? Judge Jones was had a good look at everything they've got. The DI stated that ID was science. Both parties agreed to the definition of science. And in the end he ruled it wasn't science. If you want a good laugh check the trial transcript for the testimony of Behe. He says that in order for ID to be science Astrology has to be allowed in too. btw Behe is one of the main movers of ID.
I'll probably check this thread tomorrow but don't even answer me if you don't read the decision. Pretty much any argument you can make gets shot down in there just like it has been in science circles.

Scott R. Brown
12-28-2005, 11:02 AM
Hi Robbie,

I think you have misunderstood my posts. I do not consider evolution "not science" and i have repeatedly stated it is plausible, possible and probable. But it is not certain. on the FAQ they state:

"The evidence for historical evolution -- genetic, fossil, anatomical, etc. -- is so overwhelming that it is also considered a fact." I agree it is probable, but it is still founded upon inductive reasoning. In otherwords, it is not subject to repeatable experimentation to verify its certainty. this is why I do not consider it FACT!! If it could be subject to repeatable experimentation, i would be more comfortable considering it a certainty.

To bad I am too dense to have thought to put it so simply from the beginning, LOL!! i wouldnt have had to waste so much time writing al that previous non-sense!;)

I repeatedly asserted that ID is not science. To know or expereince the ID one must go the opposite direction of science. It is a state of being and not measurable, but it is repeatable. If you haven't had the experience you wouldnt understand.

I have also stated that I consider evolution merely a part of the ID's design. Evolution does not eliminate the possibility of an ID only special creation in 7 days. I have never asserted special creation in 7 days was something I agree with! Some evolutionists suggest "random chance" or "random cause" is the source of the creation of the universe. I find this assertion ridiculous and this is what I am arguing against!

I thank you for the links and i will read them!

mantis108
12-28-2005, 12:29 PM
Thank you once again for replying to my thoughts and thank you for pointing to the land of the orange (although I prefer the peach as I am Chinese, lol).

It took me a quite a bit of chewing and digesting what you are saying, but if I may, you truely have a beautiful mind. ;) I believe in the "fog of knowing" you are the beacon that shine through. Now, I understand the difference (not that I intended to) between the primodial soup and the stew of chemicals. I confess that I have been for a long while confused or being indifference about the 2.

My anecdote to share is that in the early 80s, I have a chance meeting with a Tibetant Lama. I believe he was trying to come across the power of the mind as you eloquently expounded, which for another decade later, I thought and misinterpreted as Chaos theory and that's just in my mind what he wanted to come across. But today you have shattered that illusion with the might of Vajra/dorje (great wisdom of the void). I guess that's like the lightening bolt that was introduce to the closed system in the previous example that you gave. :) For that I am in your debt.

Perhaps this means little to you but I say this with utmost respect that You are indeed a great teacher and a Bodhisattva.

Sincere Namaste

Robert Hui (Mantis108)

FuXnDajenariht
12-28-2005, 03:07 PM
like i said....i dont see any conflict. maybe some people shouldn't associate an ID with a god figure. maybe create a new definition of god that they wouldn't be so adverse to. im sure there alot of advocates for ID that are also atheists, me included.

Christopher M
12-28-2005, 04:06 PM
My complaint is that scientists insist on making statements of fact and while it may be implied that it is only relatively certain...

The distinction your argument here relies on simply doesn't exist. There is no useful distinction between "fact" in the sense of absolute certainty and mere relative certainty because the former does not exist -- there is no such thing as absolute certainty. There is absolutely nothing wrong with teaching something of which we're only relatively certain as a scientific fact, because that is precisely what a scientific fact is; that is precisely what any sort of fact is.


I meant to imply the possibility of an ID.

Implying the possibility of ID is trivial. There's also the possibility of the moon being made out of cheese and of hamburgers eating people. Pointing out the infinite number of things which are merely possible is a pointless exercise. This is why scientists and philosophers focus their efforts, rather, on reasons why something might be the case.


Neither do I find it confounding that the evolution of organisms from simple form to more complex form in conflict with the 3rd law of thermodynamics.

The two aren't in conflict, as I explained.

SanHeChuan
12-28-2005, 07:09 PM
Scott sorry you got a little too long winded to read everything.

I think you have one point slightly backwards. Your assumption that the universe is ordered and moving to chaos seems backwards. In a state of perfect entropy or absolute zero everything is perfectly predictable because nothing changes, and that would be closer to the definition of order than chaos. Since the universe is moving towards entropy it is moving towards order. The universe is in movement and subject to change and there for unpredictable from our point of view. We can try to understand parts of it and hope that they apply to the whole but we can not know.

I feel that our attempts to measure and there for order the universe mirrors the universe attempt to order our self. We try to apply ordered frames to pieces of the universe only to find that they do not perfectly fit. Is that because we have not perceived the right order or because the universe as a whole has no real order? Is the order we do imagine only an illusion created by the chaos and our own mind, like when we perceive familiar shapes in the random forms of clouds? The universe in its progression towards ordering itself implies some form of consciousness, which would make the “universe” “God”. So are we in fact mirroring “God”? Which would seem natural, a common belief of mysticism is that the part mirrors the whole. OR I’m I only imbuing the universe with my own familiar consciousness (order), or does the universe/god in fact have a mind separate from the one I imagine for it? Is God mans ultimate paragon of order to apply to the universes unfathomable chaos?

Scott R. Brown
12-29-2005, 05:48 AM
Hi Mantis108,

Thank you once again for the kind words. Your words do have meaning to me and I appreciate your kindness. I am happy I may have helped in some small way to clear up some confusion you may have had.

Hi ChristopherM,

I disagree:

I am certain fire is hot, I am certain water is wet. I am certain if I hit my thumb with a hammer it will hurt. If I get cut I will bleed. If my heart stops beating I will die. Many things in life are certain.

Here, in my view, is an example of the certainty of evolution:

I am sitting at a refreshment stand next to an orange grove. There are boxes of oranges in plain sight. I have on my table glasses of orange pulpy liquid. You walk up to me and ask me for a glass of orange juice. I reply, “I have no orange juice.” You say, “I can see you have 5 or 6 glasses right in front of you.” With a twinkle in my eye I respond, “Those are not glasses of orange juice.” You laugh at my joke and say. “No really! May I have a glass of orange juice please?” I smile and repeat, “Really! I have no orange juice available!” You counter with a big grin wondering what is so funny and ask, “OK! May I just have one of those glasses of juice in front of you?” I say, “Sure thing! 25 cents please!” You pay the money, take the glass and drink the juice! Then you laugh, now understanding the joke! Since I am next to an orange grove, at a juice stand with boxes of oranges in plain sight you ASSUMED I had orange juice in the glasses. But once you actually DRANK the juice you discovered it was TANGERINE JUICE!! LOL!!!!

Certainly your assumption was a reasonable one. Certainly just about everyone would have tended to draw the same conclusion. But your assumption was not a certainty AND YOU WERE WRONG!!!!

Here is the thing about science. We continually here results of experiments telling us. Coffee is bad for you!! A few months later, Coffee is good for you!! Then we are told secondhand cigarette smoke is dangerous, then we find out the World Health Organization is sitting on a study that demonstrates there is absolutely no evidence to show secondhand smoke is dangerous. Science with all their knowledge and FACTS tell us the sky is falling, but then it doesn’t fall. They do this over and over again. At some point they lose their credibility. Forgive me then for distrusting their conclusions. Science repeatedly asserts conflicting conclusions (FACTS). A few years ago they found that the white mice that many scientists were running studies on had a genetic flaw due to inbreeding. This invalidated hundreds if not thousands of tests!!

Some may bow to the GODS of science, but I do not! I don’t bend over and just take whatever tripe they decide to dish out today! Scientists are NOT altruistic researchers into truth! They are flawed human beings just like the rest of us with egocentric attitudes, political agendas, preconceived notions, and fixed ways of interpreting their data. Anyone one of these will cause flaws in data collection, errors in design, and negatively influence data interpretation. How much more error when they are combined?

Implying an ID is trivial to YOU!!! Not to everyone!! To many it is the most important thing in their lives! You are merely the man who wants proof what an orange tastes like, but refuses to go get one and eat it for yourself. Or perhaps you don't care what an orange tastes like, that is fine too. But some people find value and meaning and yes, TRUTH in eating their oranges. Be careful not to pass judgment on that which you know nothing about!

Hi SanHeChaun,

LOL!! I understand! It is a little much to read.

I did not state the universe is tending to disorder, the 3rd law of thermodynamics does:

British scientist C.P. Snow writes: “You cannot break even (you cannot return to the same energy state, because there is always an increase in disorder; entropy always increases).”

I merely repeated it and used the law as a support for my thesis.

If something is moving towards disorder it may only do so if it began ordered. Disorder cannot move to disorder, only order can move towards disorder. If you say well disorder could move to greater disorder, I would respond then it was still in a state of order if it is moving from one state to another. Once there are two states disorder and "greater disorder" one of them is relatively ordered compared to the other. That would be the lesser disordered state!

I like your notion! Does existence have inherent order or do we perceive order because our minds impose it upon phenomena? I would say yes and no both! The conclusion we arrive at is based upon the perspective we start with. If there was no inherent order we could not perceive it, but if we didn’t possess an inherently ordered mind we couldn’t perceive it either. Our minds are ordered, therefore we perceive order in an ordered universe.

Please consider this:

Once we postulate anything beyond “ONE”, we automatically have order. Order springs in to being spontaneously once TWO occurs. If we didn’t have order we couldn’t have TWO. Order and TWO are so closely combined that without one we cannot have the other. This is because the separation of ONE into TWO is an ACT of ordering! When we have ONE we have no order, once we have TWO order is present. If we couldn’t perceive order we would only perceive ONE and we could not perceive TWO, that is, no division would be perceptible. When no division is perceived there is no order present. Therefore, order is not only an inherent quality of the mind, it is also an inherent quality of phenomena. We may state this because, as you have postulated, each of the parts possess the characteristics of the whole. Because the whole (ONE) has order once it is divided, we possess order. This is because we are part of that which is divided, but when we no longer choose to perceive the ONE as divided we will perceive no divisions and order dissolves. This is why we experience ourselves as unified with ”all things”, the ONE, when having a mystical experience and this is why we can say that order is inherently present and not present.

TaiChiBob
12-29-2005, 07:57 AM
Greetings..

First, a sincere thanks to Scott for his diligence and remarkably well reasoned and well structured presentation..

I think the word "God" carries way too much religious and social baggage.. its use in this very interesting thread introduces preconceptions that confuse some very important points..

A serious issue for my understanding is the notion of a closed system.. considering the vastness of infinity/eternity i am of the opinion that we deal with the limits of our perception/reason.. necessarily discounting unknown variables beyond our current limits of perception.. What i reason is that we function collectively within the limits of our perceived reality, by collectively i sense that there is a "collective consciousness" (intelligent designer).. the CC (colective consciousness) is, for our practical purposes, eternal and infinite within our limits of perception/awareness.. as much as we can conceive the concept of infinity/eternity, it is quite difficult to imagine situations or conditions exceeding anything not based on prior experience.. that there may be unimaginable forces and realities so distant in spacial relationship from us as to be unobservable is not beyond reasonable consideration.. that these unimaginable forces and realities could observe our "closed system" is also not beyond reason.. from this perspective we might appear as a single-celled organism.. with its own primitive (read simple) intelligence, a perspective looking in from the outside.. from the inside, the "simple" intelligence would seem to be something akin to the Prime Mover or Intelligent Designer.. a matter of perspective.. i refuse to limit reality to the limits of humanity's perceptive capabilities..

Heat death or inert uniformity is an interesting possibility (pun intended).. that is to say that aside from uniform absolute zero, there is possibility and potential.. considering that gravity affects light waves/particles, it can be reasoned that it could also affect radiant (heat) energy.. that even with the state of inert uniformity there is the potential for change.. either from gravitational anomalies or outside influences.. to suggest otherwise is to negate existence in its entirity.. by that i mean that in relationship to a true infinity/eternity field that relationship would eventually, by comparison, be so insignificant as to be pointless and non-existent.. rather, i sense a scenario not unlike a sponge, where the voids in the sponge represent "closed systems" separated by limits of perception unique to each closed system.. as i am drawing from this "fog of knowledge" (thanks Scott, for the great analogy) i begin to wonder if the separation is, itself, an inter-related observer, the "real" universe.. the cradle that supports closed systems of possibility.. sorry, just some speculation.. The point is, that in dealing simply with knowns or givens we limit potentials..

Scott has cleverly woven a plausible and well reasoned description of a "most-likely" scenario.. i have long accepted the notion of ID, i have equally as long rejected a cosmic dictator ("God") as the best description of that ID.. i sense that for all its seemingly complex intracacies the "Desiginer" is quite simple.. it permits order and chaos to be interchangable, according to the observer's perspective.. since i cannot conceive of "something from nothing", i accept, without further complicating the issue, that there has always been "something", there is no "origin", only changes in relationships.. i find no reasonable benefit from discerning an "origin" or a "conclusion" to existence.. i find great benefit from discerning its proper relationship in the day-to-day affairs of mankind.. That there may be implications of spirit/soul continuation beyond the physical manifestation of our "Being" is a notion i favor.. i sense that we are not these aging bodies, we are the eternal energy that animates them.. that once the flesh expires so does so much of the identity associated with it.. that we are left with a pos/neg accrual of energies based on our intentions during the brief physical experience.. and that accrual sets up further experiences/manifestations as generally pos/neg..

OOPS.. i just realized how much i've been rambling off-topic, sorry....

Be Well...

Christopher M
12-29-2005, 08:12 AM
I am certain fire is hot...

If by 'hot' you mean the mere sensation, rather than any sort of intellectual understanding of it, then you're not, by definition, referring to any intellectual understanding of which we could be certain or not, which is what at stake in philosophy and science.

On the other hand, if by 'hot' you mean more than the mere sensation, then in fact you're not absolutely certain about it. You're not absolutely certain you're feeling a kind of energy or even that the object exists.

So, in either case, your example is moot.


Some may bow to the GODS of science, but I do not!

No one is talking about bowing down to Gods (other than you). The issue at stake is whether we have substantial reason to believe evolution, and we do; whether evolution stands as a scientific fact, and it does.


Implying an ID is trivial to YOU!!! Not to everyone!! To many it is the most important thing in their lives!

The fact that many people find it important doesn't make it reasonable in the logical sense.


Be careful not to pass judgment on that which you know nothing about!

To the contrary, it's precisely my interest in truth which has lead me to the reasons why your argument is false.

You've yet to give even a single reason why anyone believe your case. Believing something for which there are no reasons hardly counts as a pursuit of truth -- again, exactly the contrary: this is the dogged clinging to ignorance.

Nick Forrer
12-29-2005, 09:08 AM
Chris M is correct

The fact that a belief may be wrong does not mean

a) that it is wrong
or b) that we should not or cannot include it amongst our beliefs

Instead we have to look to the evidence available and make conjectures based on that evidence. Theories which have expanatory power and which fit the evidence available should be accepted provisionally until such time as evidence arises that doesnt fit into the theory in which case we must either discard or modify the theory

On the other hand if we confine admissible beliefs to only what we can be certain i.e. those that admit no possibility of error we are left with:

a) logical truisms ( e.g. I know that whatever else may be true of him, if Doug is a bachelor Doug is unmarried)
and
b) direct sensations (such as the senation of heat - without making any further ontological assumptions about the sensation itself i.e. that it inheres in something or is caused by something)

And this is of course an intolerable situation. Indeed as Hume notes you simply cant exist in the world without forming beliefs over and above those which are certain.

On the other hand to qoute Bertrand Russell, ignorance is not a license to believe whatever we like...it is just ignorance and we must be honest with ourselves about it.

Turning to evolution then there are a number of basic points to consider:

1) As individuals our particular characteristics are the products of our parents combined DNA plus mutations (this is obvious from the fact that for example a child of black and white parents will have brown skin)
2) certain bequeathed characteristics will serve us better in our environment than others (e.g. a giraffe with a long neck will find it easier to eat then one with a short neck)
3) those who have more advantageous characteristics are more likely to survive than others that dont and hence mate and hence pass on those characteristics
4) thus over time certain characteristics will become prevalent whilst others will die out

Now is there anyone who disagrees with any of these points? They seem to me to be self evident and uncontentious. Moreover the theory of evolution would seem to follow logically when you look at this pattern over a long term. It also makes sense of and is assisted by plate tectonics (continental drift), carbon dating and the fossil record.

YMC
12-29-2005, 09:10 AM
Hi All,

Don't have time to read everything yet; but I just remembered something that is kind of off-topic, but maybe has meaning to this conversation. This November I was at the Society for Neuroscience convention (held in D.C. this year) where the Dali Lama was giving a keynote address. He was supposed to talk about bridging the gap between meditation/mind over matter and how science can begin to quantify such things, but he gave an impromtu talk instead (it was funny because the newspapers all reported that he talked about mediation...I guess they just went with the press release).

In it he talked about his love of science as a child and he brought up a point he made years ago; (I'm paraphrasing a lot here) He said that Science and Buddism are both searching for the truth, but if what we know today about the world based on science is different from the cosmology of Buddist texts, then Buddist must revise their cosmology.

As a funny sidenote; at then end of the speach, he was asked a leading question; what he thought of the whole ID debate (the political one, not the one we are having here now). He paused, laughed and said; The problem is that in the US, you have a deistic system, Buddism is not that. It's your problem, figure it out for yourself!

TaiChiBob
12-29-2005, 09:41 AM
Greetings..


Now is there anyone who disagrees with any of these points? They seem to me to be self evident and uncontentious. Moreover the theory of evolution would seem to follow logically when you look at this pattern over a long term. It also makes sense of and is assisted by plate tectonics (continental drift), carbon dating and the fossil record. I sense that most observers would tend to favor evolution as a satisfactory process leading to the physical world as we perceive it.. i also sense that there is the question of the "origin of evolution", random chance or inspired by ID.. ID, of course, not introducing assigned personalities (i.e.: "God").. but, some form of consciousness/intelligence.. it is not without merit to reason that there is some level of design/purpose to the evolutionary process.. Scott has presented a compelling discourse that supports ID.. i do not link ID with "creationism", ID may be as simple as a little nudge to initiate the evolutionary process, the process left to determine its own destiny.. The link between ID and "God" is a deceptive tactic used by "God" worshipers in an attempt to legitimize their beliefs.. ID may just as well be a primitive survival instinct inherent to the universe as a whole/collective.. it only suggests that it is not simply a chance occurance, that there may be forces and possibilities with purposes sufficiently plausible to initiate the evolutionary process..

I do not sense a "Cosmic Dictator" with its own version of Law and Order, intimately scrutinizing the affairs of mankind.. i sense a Universe exploring its own existence..

Be well..

Ou Ji
12-29-2005, 10:04 AM
I'm loosly following this thread and was not planning on commenting because you guys are way beyond me but a thought came to mind.

Now hopefully I won't be stuck into one side of the discussion because the reason I stayed out is because I don't have a belief one way or the other.

But, I noticed the tendency to argue for ID by claiming it as a starting point or initiator and that evolution can proceed after this ID nudge and take over from there.

This might be minor but could it be considered that evolution expands into and is guided by a framework of ID? I'm sure I'm not saying anything new and I haven't read every bit of this thread but I didn't notice this in anything I did read.

I've always thought that if ID exists he/it would be outside our physical world otherwise he/it would have to create himself/itself.

All in all and interesting discussion. Wish I knew more.

Robbie
12-29-2005, 10:21 AM
Intelligent Design is from Creation Science is from Creationism is from a Fundamentalist interpretation of Christianity. Or to put it another way Fundamentalism beget Creationism beget Creation Science beget Intelligent Design. Each change was in specific response to the courts telling them that they can't teach their religion in school.

Scott,
I think you should look closer at the history of ID itself. Much of what you're saying is more of a theistic evolution stance. Minus the science which you don't understand. Sorry, but you are commenting on things which you need to study specifically to understand. If you understood entropy as a whole you wouldn't use it to justify your beliefs. What you have been told is wrong. Ask someone who uses the concept, what they think of the 3rd law of thermodynamics blocking evolution and you will get an honest answer.
Remember before Darwin almost all the worlds scientists agreed that some higher power had a direct hand in creating man. 30 years later that was reversed. That is the power of explaining something in a manner everyone can use. Many are still religious but they don't deny evolution whenever they walk into church.
I hope you have had time to read the Kitzmiller decision. Here is a link you can use to read the trial transcripts themselves. http://www2.ncseweb.org/wp/ it's on the left hand margin.
So long as you identify yourself with ID you're going to have problems. ID is not a theology or philosophy. It was created specifically to get around the 1987 decision that Creation Science was religious bunk. It is bunk. If you want to be a naturalist go for it, but please learn about each of these issues instead of accepting what you are told from PR groups like the Discovery Institute.

Christopher M
12-29-2005, 10:27 AM
i also sense that there is the question of the "origin of evolution", random chance or inspired by ID...

This is one of the points of popular confusion. Evolution has nothing to say about the origin of life, or of the origin of its own evolutionary processes. (This is an entirely different field of inquiry, eg. abiogenesis.)

FuXnDajenariht
12-29-2005, 10:37 AM
how many times does it have to be said that everyone who advocates ID isn't a Christian, believes in a god figure or is even associated with a religion? im not saying its anyone here but everytime i see this argument come up i've noticed the evolutionists try to pidgeon-hole everyone in the ID crowd into the creationist camp and thats just not how it is. maybe some of them wanna maintain their superiority complex by claiming we're all backwards god-mongerers, i dont know, but that just isn't the case. we're not all puppets for the christian fundamentalists and it isn't one big conspiracy. there are different groups theorizing about different things just like the evolutionists. its not about the history, its about where the ideas are going now.

FuXnDajenariht
12-29-2005, 10:41 AM
This is one of the points of popular confusion. Evolution has nothing to say about the origin of life, or of the origin of its own evolutionary processes. (This is an entirely different field of inquiry, eg. abiogenesis.)

if thats the case then i dont see there really being a conflict between the 2.

TaiChiBob
12-29-2005, 10:59 AM
Greetings..


Intelligent Design is from Creation Science is from Creationism is from a Fundamentalist interpretation of Christianity. Or to put it another way Fundamentalism beget Creationism beget Creation Science beget Intelligent Design. Each change was in specific response to the courts telling them that they can't teach their religion in school. Please read the posts more carefully.. i don't think anyone is suggesting that ID = "God".. it is two words with whatever meaning the observer assigns to it..

Robbie: I choose "ID" for my own purposes, not to satisfy your specific perceptions or agendas.. it allows for a "Prime Mover", a motivating force.. a logical conclusion.. I had the same distrust if the acronym "ID" until i let go of my own prejudices.. the fact that it is used for differing purposes is not my issue, i have qualified my use of it throughout my posts, be gentle and read with an open mind.. ID is not here to steal your individuality, your free-will or your eternal life.. it is just a logical conclusion regarding basic motivations for existence.. not the feared "Cosmic Dictator".. i have no issue with creationists, until they assert sufficient leverage to have creationism taught as equal to science.. or, until they impose their beliefs upon others.. otherwise, they are free to believe as they choose, as am i..

Be well..

Christopher M
12-29-2005, 12:51 PM
if thats the case then i dont see there really being a conflict between the 2.

There is a conflict between ID and evolution because ID explicitly denies evolution. ID proponents do not believe that evolution occurs and argue to this end -- we've seen examples here.

SanHeChuan
12-29-2005, 01:01 PM
Scott I think we are defining chaos and order differently. One is completely predictable and there for ordered. The more variables you add to the equation the less predictable and more chaotic it becomes. What we do in modern science is look at the two’s and five’s or 5,000,000 and find what we believe to be a pattern within that microseism and then infer that it must apply to the greater macroseism of the universe. We find that the broader we look the less our pattern applies.

Your point about our minds being ordered there for the universe must also be ordered displays typical human arrogance that man is god or patterned after god. I don’t have a good rebuttal though. :D

TaiChiBob
12-29-2005, 01:24 PM
Greetings..


There is a conflict between ID and evolution because ID explicitly denies evolution. ID proponents do not believe that evolution occurs and argue to this end -- we've seen examples here. How strange!! we have several ID proponents here that explicitly state their acceptance of evolution (me being one in particular).. why, then, would you read the contrary evidence and still make such a general statement.. ID doesn't deny evolution, some people/groups may interpret it as such.. but, it treats evolution as if the process was by some ordered design.. NO DEITY IMPLIED!!! i hope that's clear.

Intelligent design does not qualify "intelligence".. or design for that matter.. if an amoeba moves in such a manner to capture food, there is an implied intelligence in the movement..

Don't let Religio-phobias harm comprehensive reading skills..

Be well..

Oso
12-29-2005, 03:44 PM
ok, you guys are much more brainiacs than I am. But, why does ID have to mean that the planet and the animals were just plunked down here pretty much as we see them.


why couldn't 'something' have maybe decided to see what happened if 'it' designed certain elements to react to each other in certain ways?

maybe there is another universe where the chemistry reacts differently.

the thing is, we actually really only KNOW so very little.

Merryprankster
12-29-2005, 07:09 PM
I am. But, why does ID have to mean that the planet and the animals were just plunked down here pretty much as we see them.


It doesn't. The problem is the "god of the gaps." Or, in ID's case, "unknown intelligent force of the gaps."

ID posits the existence of an unknown, untestable, unobservable something that caused things to be the way they are when the process of science has yet to uncover the answer.

When the process raises new questions and identifies the new gaps, ID just switches to the new gaps. As long as human knowledge is incomplete, there will always be gaps. But ID doesn't explain anything and it doesn't make predictions about what the physical world is like. It doesn't rely on observable evidence to reach its conclusions (blind watchmaker arguments notwithstanding, despite some people's insistence on them). It's not a theory. It's a belief. Imagine if I posited that there were a little green man under my chair that we couldn't see, couldn't test for, etc, but nonetheless existed. It would be like pythagoras' assertion that the universe was composed of harmonious strings nobody could hear or make audible because we were all attuned to music of the universe. Very pretty, but not very compelling.


why couldn't 'something' have maybe decided to see what happened if 'it' designed certain elements to react to each other in certain ways?


It could have. But it's not necessary to scientifically explain something. I don't HAVE to have an IDer. I can explain it quite well without it.


maybe there is another universe where the chemistry reacts differently.

Maybe. But science concerns itself with our observable universe. Until we begin observing other universes it's sort of a moot issue.

The bottom line is that ID calls for a sort of speculation that is metaphysical rather than scientific. It explicitly ignores observable evidence to reach its conclusions, again, blind watchmaker arguments notwithstanding.

Here is an example. Scott has been trying to use entropy to make his case. The first law of thermodynamics essentially states that in a closed system, energy is conserved. That is the total amount of energy in any given closed system remains constant.

The second law of thermodynamics is that total entropy in any closed system increases until a state of maximum entropy is reached. What it means is that everything will diffuse out to the same temperature everywhere, because all points have exactly the same energy levels.

The third law is unimportant - it makes a statement about absolute zero and isn't terribly useful here. There is also a zeroth law which is equally useless for our purposes.

The universe can be considered a closed system. And this is where the argument begins.

"Blind watchmaker" arguments ALWAYS appeal to the second law. If everything approaches the same energy level over time, then how is it that we are here? The answer is always ID/God. This ignores scientific evidence, which shows that it is quite possible.

The big bang model is the currently accepted theory for the origin of the universe. It states that from a very small origin, possibly a singularity (a thing just like a black hole), the universe suddenly began to expand. As things began to cool off, the seperate forces of the universe began to emerge, the pure energy of the singularity began to coalesce into matter, and things started, seriously, to happen. Over time, enough matter coalesced in certain places that gravity began having a major effect on the universe. Somewhere, a gas ball ignited as gravity compressed the gas to the point that fusion took place. Then another. Then another. Heavier nuclei began to form. These heavier nuclei form the basis of rocky planets, and other things, like us.

For years there were two major objections to the Big Bang theory. First, nobody could figure out how to get to carbon via fusion within a star. It was refered to as the 5-nucleon problem and eventually solved (has to do with the equivalence of matter and energy and rest states within nuclei). The second was far more ****ing. If the universe began at a single point, then the universe should be the same temperature everywhere through the 2nd law of thermodynamics. We wouldn't even be here to ask these questions.

In fact, this argument was so ****ing, that for years, a debate raged between two theories of the universe. One was a steady-state universe, and the other was the big bang theory. Ultimately the big bang theory won. Why?

Well, around the late 60's astronomers discovered what appeared to be a uniform "background" radiation in the cosmos. When measured, it was the same temperature, everywhere in the universe. It was as if everything in the universe were floating in a bath of the same temperature.

What this proved was that the universe WAS the same temperature everywhere and thus, every point in the universe had a common origin. The steady state universe could not explain this. However, the cosmic background radiation was a predicted result of the big bang theory. Still, we run smack up against the 2nd law here. It's a bit of a mess really, right? I mean, here's this uniform background radiation of 2.73 Kelvin- why are we here?

Well, the answer was again found in big bang cosmology (and the fact that we are here). A particular version of big bang theory held that the universe was almost uniform...but not quite, at the moment of inflation. We should be able to see slight variations in that background radiation. In other words, the temperature isn't QUITE uniform throughout. It's very slightly higher in some places and very slightly lower in others. In fact, here's a map.

http://www.cerncourier.com/main/article/43/3/10/1/cernast1_4-03

What this demonstrated was, once again, big bang theory could satisfy the requirements. We have neatly escaped the blind watchmaker argument and entropy issues, at least with respect to the beginning of the universe

Now, what, exactly, does this have to do with us? Well, it turns out that our type of universe (a slightly rough, oblique 4 dimensional "sphere") is the MOST PROBABLE of all STABLE universe types. Unstable universes have this tendency to mathematically collapse or expand so quickly they kind of rend themselves. They don't last long. While stable universes are mathematically rare, ours is the most probable type of stable universe. So the universe being what it is, so finely tuned, really isn't that surprising. If you see a stable universe, there's a good chance that it's going to look like ours (cont.)

SPJ
12-29-2005, 07:16 PM
Hi All,

Don't have time to read everything yet; but I just remembered something that is kind of off-topic, but maybe has meaning to this conversation. This November I was at the Society for Neuroscience convention (held in D.C. this year) where the Dali Lama was giving a keynote address. He was supposed to talk about bridging the gap between meditation/mind over matter and how science can begin to quantify such things, but he gave an impromtu talk instead (it was funny because the newspapers all reported that he talked about mediation...I guess they just went with the press release).

In it he talked about his love of science as a child and he brought up a point he made years ago; (I'm paraphrasing a lot here) He said that Science and Buddism are both searching for the truth, but if what we know today about the world based on science is different from the cosmology of Buddist texts, then Buddist must revise their cosmology.

As a funny sidenote; at then end of the speach, he was asked a leading question; what he thought of the whole ID debate (the political one, not the one we are having here now). He paused, laughed and said; The problem is that in the US, you have a deistic system, Buddism is not that. It's your problem, figure it out for yourself!

I was a neuroscience people more than a decade ago.

I met Da lai lama before in Taiwan and in Univ of California Irvine.

:)

Merryprankster
12-29-2005, 07:25 PM
(cont.) Secondly, with the amount of time the universe has been in existence, life really isn't that unusual either. While our physical experiences appear to be concrete, they are actually a sum of the probabilities of all possible histories for every particle interaction in the event (Feynman's sum of histories). So our experiences, like that we can't walk through a wall, are really nothing more than probability curves. There is, in fact, a finite probability that you can walk right through a wall. It is an extremely small probability, but finite nonetheless.

Similarly, the right conditions for life as we understand it are fairly small. But, they are finite, the universe is big, it has been around a really long time, and there are multiple opportunities for life to evolve many places in the universe. As a matter of probability, the universe is probably sparsely populated, and life is fairly rare. But it is quite probable that it evolves. And here we are.

Now, the math for all of this is fiendishly difficult, and I won't pretend to be able to do it. But the concepts are fairly simple. You can get from a big bang to us, all without a creator, be it sacred or secular. ID/Creationism is NOT NECESSARY.

The objection for some then rests on well, what started the big bang? ie, first causation arguments. There are two simple answers for that:

1. The question is non-sensical. Time is a ray, not a line. It began at the big bang. There was no "before." No event in the observable universe happened before the big bang. Since science deals with the observable universe, and all events observe happen in spacetime, by definition, no event happened before spacetime began. Metaphysicians often view this as a cop-out. I view metaphysicians who hold this view as unimaginative in the extreme. If time is a ray, then it logically follows that at some point, our ability to see into the past must cease.

2. Positing a "first cause" is just as arbitrary as the above. We are attuned to the idea of cause and effect because at the macro level, that is what happens. Yet, at the quantum level "common sense" ideas quickly hold no relationship to reality. Particles can be in simultaneously mutually exclusive states, electrons can "tunnel" through matter, 'magically' appearing on the other side, etc, and our very observations affect the outcomes!

Science has its limitation at the very beginning of time. It is possible that these limitations may change or disappear or something better comes along - but even right now, at our primitive level of understanding, we don't NEED a creator or ID, and the existence of one adds no new predictions or completeness to our scientific theories.

I don't mind if people believe in them - but it ain't science.

Oso
12-29-2005, 08:46 PM
Great Scott! (not you Mr. Brown ;) )

uh,

1 - Thanks!

2 - just call me Winnie the Pooh

3 - I'm gonna print that out and get back to you.


seriously, thanks for the reply. I'll certainly have to re-read several times to assimilate.

mantis108
12-29-2005, 09:21 PM
Thanks for the anecdote. I believe fthe Dali Lama gave a very appropriate and "politically correct" answer. ;)

I personally see Buddhism as a discipline of spirituality rather than a form of religion. The historic Buddha - Siddhartha Gautama drawn some conclusions based on observations, which is known as the 4 noble truth:

1) Life is Suffering - statement of problem

2) Suffering is caused by desire - diagnosis of the problem

3) suffering can be eliminated - prognosis of the problem

4) suffereing can be eliminated by following the 8 fold path - prescription for healing

the 4 noble truth and the existance of the mind (fog/organ of knowing) aren't mutually exclusive. The historic Buddha didn't prove or disprove the existance of a "Intelligent designer" or creator. That question was not his concern IMHO. This is IMHO similar to what Scott and other ID proponents such as TCB and myself are trying to come across. This is to say that something doesn't just come out of nothing and then from something became nothing once again. The truth is Buddhism came from Hinduism. It has root in Hindu tradition.

I too don't feel comfortable with the idea of a "Cosmic Dictator" whichever label that might be (ie God, Alah, etc..) The provision for a "primer mover"(no need for another label and/or qualifier) is just that - a provision - so far as we are operating within the confines of a linear time experience (cause and effect). This is how I preceive ID. I don't think ID is the be all end "blue pill". It's a starting point but the journey is still far from finish.

Hi Oso,

Scott pointed out the "act" of one becoming two as order. This is consistent IMHO with the Yijing's view of the Taiji "giving birth" to Liangyi (yinyang). This is why his reasoning is important as the philosophical footing of my studying of Yijing and subsquently Kung Fu (in particular praying mantis). Yes, my friend, Kung Fu is in my mind a form of Intelligent Design but no diety has to be involved whatsoever. There are lots of documentations available about the "evolution" of Kung Fu although most of it are in Chinese only. It is definitely not blind faith but rather reasoning. I would also agreed with Scott that it is just as hard if not more at least IME to have faith/devotion in ID then accepting random chance. But I am have no regret to know that I am capable of having faith which is a form of love and an integral part of humanity. BTW, Kung Fu and Wushu (classical or modern) are not necessarily the same discipline.

Warm Regards

Mantis108

PS Like TCB, I don't wish to force my ideas onto others and naturally feel the same way when others try to force theirs onto me. I come to respect Scott's reasoning by my own free will. Of course those who wish to disagree are free to do so accordingly.

SPJ
12-30-2005, 08:23 AM
there are several points:

1. science is a set of rules of ruling out or sorting things out. something is there, if it is qualified and quantified. something is there, if it is repeatable when all the conditions are there. science sets orders into things and tries to find the order in things in an orderly fashion. the order is arbitary and may be updated or changed completely to accommodate all data/evidences that are measurable in arbitray units.

2. people are innately curious to know things or everything. people like things in order so that they are predictable or anticipated.

3. the begining is the end. the end is the beginning. so everything is there since the beginning. the end of something is the begining of something else. order or new order of things.

from stars down to sub particles of an atom or molecule.

----

life is a miracle.

--

thinking out loud.

:D

SPJ
12-30-2005, 08:39 AM
As MP and other pointing out;

The span of time and space is way too big--

if we arbitrarily set the beginning of something, then there will be an end when that something is no longer there.

but what if that something changed into something else or a new order?

we may set the black hole is the end or death of stars. they are sunken in by gravitational pulls of their own very dense masses.

that would contribute to the supernova or birth of new clouds of particles and stars.

new life of stars continues?

Scott R. Brown
12-30-2005, 11:39 AM
Hi SanHeChuan,

Yes, I apparently did not understand the context in which your reference to chaos and order was meant to be applied.

At the risk of sounding like I am in conflict with some of my own assertions; let me say I do not actually believe in Chaos as a complete disorganization of substance without apparent limit. To me there is “that which is indefinable” but I do not consider that Chaos. I consider it closer to the Suchness referred to in Buddhism, or Tao as indicated by philosophical Taoism. I consider Chaos a term to be used within a specific context. When discussing Chaos and Order it should be understood to occur within a specific context and that context needs to be agreed upon or misunderstandings will occur. When the context of a discussion changes then I change my manner of discussion to accommodate the new context, but I can only discuss a topic according to my perception of the context.

Science is concerned with phenomena that occur within a specific context, direct experience is concerned with a context beyond the prevue of science. That is why this discussion is really getting no where. Scientists cannot really comment on phenomena beyond their worldview, ability to understand or measure (but then neither can anyone else). Experience may be measured, but as I have repeatedly stated and illustrated with metaphor, the description is not the thing. It is one thing to understand the physics of the ideal golf swing; it is another thing to do it! It is one thing to know the chemical constituents of an orange; it is another thing to actually eat one!

Re:

Your point about our minds being ordered there for the universe must also be ordered displays typical human arrogance that man is god or patterned after god. I don’t have a good rebuttal though.

I disagree with this assertion!

The Mind is equipped to order our thoughts and our environment. The order we choose to perceive in our environment is arbitrary. It may be illustrated in this manner:

Let us say I have ten pebbles. I may keep them all together in one group and thus they are ordered in one group of 10, I may also separate them into two groups of 5 pebbles, or 5 groups of 2 pebbles, or 2 groups of 2 pebbles and one group of 6 pebbles, etc. so on an so forth. Arrogance occurs when I insist there is only one manner of ordering the pebbles, say one group of 10 and no other ordering allowed or possible.

Whether I order them or not the pebbles still maintain the potential to be ordered. If I choose not to order the pebbles that does not take away my ability to order them. We may return to the illustration: Once ONE becomes TWO order comes into to being as a natural consequence.

It does take a Mind to perceive this ordering. Order cannot occur without something to perceive it and just the fact there is something to perceive Order implies division and as we know once we have division we have Order. This is because once Mind occurs “subject and object” arise as a natural consequence. When we have “subject and object” we have order. One does not create the other. They are what is called, MUTALLY ARISING! One cannot manifest without the other.

There is no place for arrogance to occur under this circumstance because arrogance is a quality manifested by ego. Ego is a “tool” of Mind used to portion, divide, or order a part of the Mind for the purpose of efficiently interfacing with our environment. It is only a tool. As with any tool it may be misapplied. Arrogance occurs when we misunderstand the purpose of the ego and therefore misapply it. Arrogance is a defense mechanism the Ego uses to protect it’s preconceived notions.

Christopher M
12-30-2005, 05:35 PM
but, it treats evolution as if the process was by some ordered design..

That is a denial of the biological understanding of experience, whose very basis is the non-teleological nature of the process. You're putting yourself in opposition to evolution right here.


Don't let Religio-phobias harm comprehensive reading skills..

I have an awful lot of faults, but being illiterate and a religio-phobe aren't among them. Scott's resort to ad hominem was unfortunate, and yours here is as well.

SPJ
12-30-2005, 07:20 PM
An evolution is a slow process of genesis of a new design. it is to fit to the fittest or in itself is an intelligent design and coded from your DNA.

in contrast, there would be de-volution or reverse evolution in theory.

--

an intelligent design as opposed to er a unintelligent one?

:confused: :D

SPJ
12-30-2005, 07:24 PM
as pointed out earlier;

the question of the beginning and the end is only a relative question or an arbitray one.

in terms of vastness in time and space,

the beginnig and the end will become meaningless or unarbitrable.

:D

Christopher M
12-30-2005, 08:25 PM
Merry --

I'd hate to disagree with something you say here, since we're so much in agreement in principle, but... :p

Big bang theory isn't a theory of "the origin of the universe" as such. Such a theory would have to explain the presence of the singularity in the first place, and of the cause for its change to instability. Physics deals very poorly with both of these. I think physics makes a great mistake by searching for origin theories, which are more properly the domain of metaphysics. (Physics often confuses itself for metaphysics, in any case.) To the point: physics is a study of the dynamics of matter -- the question of the origin of that matter is a question beyond that domain. Analogously, evolution has nothing to say about the origin of evolutionary processes (life), because it's a study of those processes' dynamics, and their origin is necessarily beyond that dynamics.

(Actually, it's worth pointing out here that, in the discussion of ID, all of these things get confused. The origin of the universe is not the same as the development of the universe is not the same as the origin of life is not the same as the development of life.)


A particular version of big bang theory held that the universe was almost uniform...but not quite, at the moment of inflation.

Did you know C.S. Peirce held this theory before it was fashionable in physics?


While our physical experiences appear to be concrete, they are actually a sum of the probabilities of all possible histories for every particle interaction in the event...

Oh lord! Hidden variables, dude, hidden variables.

Christopher M
12-30-2005, 08:29 PM
Science is concerned with phenomena that occur within a specific context, direct experience is concerned with a context beyond the prevue of science. That is why this discussion is really getting no where.

Except that that isn't true. Science is constrained to things which are observable and lawful. If what you have in mind with "direct experience" is observable and lawful, then science can study it. Why wouldn't it be able to?


Experience may be measured, but as I have repeatedly stated and illustrated with metaphor, the description is not the thing.

Right, but what difference does this make in the discussion? The fact that scientific models of evolution are models doesn't do anything to support ID.

Merryprankster
12-30-2005, 09:57 PM
Chris M,

No, you're quite right about all of that. I don't disagree with any of it. Physics is absolutely not equipped to handle anything outside the observable universe, which, as of right now, extends back to the event horizon of the original singularity.

But then I would have had to explain both singularity and event horizon, and I felt it was already long enough. What physics can handle is everything back to the moment of initial inflation. Anything before that is, by necessity, sheer speculation - unless we manage to merge general relativity and quantum mechanics. If/when that happens, we just might be able to penetrate an event horizon (I'm not sure that will actually do us any good though, since the information beyond an event horizon has been deconstructed in such a way that retreiving it may have no value).

Certainly, if supersymmetrical string theory is correct and is the ultimate resolution between general relativity and the standard model, then we've got some very interesting things going on. Singularities, for example, would not exist, which may call into question the nature of an event horizon. Nothing with mass could be smaller than the fundamental string length, and some versions actually predict that should this occur, the supermassive string in question would start expanding - anything that massive would have a super high frequency oscillation that the string basically couldn't handle. The energy would have to be released somehow, and more spacetime would be the result of that energy release. If this sounds suspiciously like the big bang, it should. All that energy would condense into its own strings hence, the particles, since any particle with mass is just a vibrating fundamental string, or collection of vibrating fundamental strings of some kind.

For simplicities sake, I just said that time began at the beginning of the universe, which by definition, limits our observations to that period. :D

It will be interesting to see, in the next few years, just what develops. If LIGO and VIRGO manage to detect gravity waves, then the implication is that gravitons exist - every other force wave has an associated carrier particle. That would suggest that supersymmetrical string theory has at least a conceptual leg up on the Standard Model. I am also curious to find out if we mange to detect the Higgs boson in the new Large Hadron Collider that should be coming on line in 2007 or so.

If SST is correct, then our definition of "observable universe" may substantially change since if it is right, gravity is not bound to our universe, but "leaks out" to other, nearby dimensions, and theirs leaks in. That would provide all kinds of potential measurement opportunities as technology advances!

FuXnDajenariht
01-03-2006, 01:12 PM
but theres still the problem of interacting with or observing those other dimensions. and i thought the main controversy with quantum physics was that things on such a sub microscopic scale such as strings wouldn't ever be able to be observed?

Fu-Pow
01-03-2006, 04:35 PM
A conclusion that insists ID proponents may not accept the theory of evolution is founded upon misunderstanding and misrepresentation of the issue!

I am in agreement with some of the previous points mentioned by Ben Gash:

Evolution is merely a “theory” and not a demonstrable scientific fact. At best scientists may state that evolution “appears” to be a scientific fact. The evidence cited to demonstrate evolution is arrived at through inductive reasoning.

By inductive I assume that you are talking about reasoning from the specific to the general...ie the specific case of microevolution to the general case of macroevolution.


That is, the conclusions are arrived at by observing effects and attempting to use reason born of experience to speculate on the causes. Inductive reasoning may not be used to demonstrate certainties, only probabilities. I may assert the sun will rise tomorrow morning. I arrive at this conclusion because the sun has risen every morning, apparently, for millions of years (thousands if you are a Christian). This assertion is not a certainty, it is only probability. To be sure it is a high probability, however there are any number of possible scenarios that may “actually” occur in which the sun will not rise tomorrow morning. As such scientists do a disservice when they insist a plausible explanation is a certainty and not a possibility or probability. Scientists have asserted many “facts” throughout history that were later proven false in the light of future discoveries!

I think that you may fundamentally misunderstand how science works. It is not the job of the scientist to prove that he is correct. It is to prove that he ISN'T incorrect. In technical terms he must prove the "null hypothesis" to be incorrect.

So to use your example of the sun rising. A "scientist" comes up with, by whatever means, the hypothesis that the sun will rise tommorrow. So his hypothesis, which he must disprove, is that the sun will not rise tommorrow. He then collects empirical evidence (ie sensorimotor data) that would prove this "null hypothesis" to be incorrect. The data, he steps outside and sees the sun rising, the null hypothesis is disproved.

In the case of evolution, the null hypothesis is that evolution doesn't occur. The basis for whether or not this statement is true or false is the empirical (ie sensorimotor) data that is collected.

To date, no one has collected data that has sufficiently proved the null hypothesis to be true. All data, from many different fields, points to the null hypothesis being incorrect or false.

So the reponsibility is on the creationists to collect data that would prove the null hypothesis to be correct. The repsonsibility is not on scientists to prove that they are correct.

The difference is subtle yet important.




When arguing for evolution scientists may only assert evidence they have observed and must also demonstrate the evidence and its interpretation are accurate. Neither of these conditions may be proven to an absolute certainty. This is because when inducting conclusions we are particularly susceptible to our own personal biases. Scientists observe what “appear” to be intermediary stages in the fossil record of similar, but different, animal bones that “seem” to indicate a progression from one type of animal morphology to another. By comparing the types of fossils a conclusion is reached that one form evolved into another. This conclusion is arrived at because no other possibility is accepted or conceived. This does not mean there are no other possibilities. Even if we apply Occam’s Razor, that is, the simplest conclusion is most likely to be the most accurate, we must understand that this principle is merely a rule of thumb that is accepted as a guiding principle, but does not carry with it any inherent certainty as to the validity of the conclusion. We therefore return to probability and not certainty.

To use Occam's Razor, what is the likelyhood that many different researchers from many different, barely related fields ranging from geology to developmental biology to genetics to biochemistry to evolutionary biology were all wrong? Even if they're not 100% correct they can't all be totally wrong.

To argue that we can't know anything to certainty is called Argumentum Ad Absurdium. "We can't be 100% certain about anything so we can't be certain about evolution." Well, you're right, we can't ever be 100% certain but we can be a lot more confident about some things over other things. (and that's all most scientists will ever give you anyways...much to the chagrin of journalists who want sensational conclusive headlines. )




It appears we know of no intermediary evolutionary species present on earth at this time. If evolution is fact there must always be intermediary species present and evolution must be perpetual if it is inherent to our system. The only examples of evolution scientists have been able to point to in our present are merely examples of adaptation and NOT evolution.

Do you understand what evolution is? Evolution IS adaptation. Evolution is not species "morphing" into another species. Evolution is not an ape "turning into" a man. Over millions of years environmental pressures select for certain characteristics over others. The process is generally slow and gradual, punctuated by quick bursts of evolution as species compete to fill an available ecological niche. This is what Darwin wrote about....natural selection. The hardest thing for people to comprehend about this is the eons of time involved. The earth is 4 billion years old. How do we know that? Again, from lots of empirical evidence from many different fields.



A moth whose wings were once brown, but are now white, is proof of adaptation, not evolution. The breeding of dogs to get the various diverse breeds are an example of guided adaptation. They remain dogs! We CANNOT breed dogs until we get a bird.

Again, two major flaws in your logic. 1) Species don't "morph" they are selected for. 2) artificially breeding dogs takes place over several hundred years. In terms of evolution, we're talking about BILLIONS of years to go from a bacteria to a human being. It's a staggering amount of time. Give me even 1000 years and a sufficient population of dogs and I'll give you some tripped out looking creatures than't can't interbreed (which incidentally is one of the major prerequisites for defining a species.)


His conclusion is also supported by the 3rd law of thermodynamics, a current LAW of physics. Scientists are, at present, unable to account for the Order found within a system that has a natural tendency towards disorder and they are apparently unconcerned with this unexplained anomaly! Could this be because they FEAR the only conclusion presently reasonable? It is ABSOLUTELY CLEAR to any reasoned and unbiased individual that something MUST have ordered the system.

A living creature is known as a "dissipative structure" in thermodynamics. We essentially feed on the energy of the "universe" to maintain the order of our structure. If we stop feeding, we start to degrade. Quite amazing, but not supernatural.



Order is present in everything man lays his hand too. Everything that is created by man springs from his inherent ability to intelligently design/create. The natural system is both ordered and follows a reasoned (cause & effect) process. When man creates something he follows a reasoned process to CREATE a new order out of his chosen media. It takes no great leap of logic and takes no faith whatsoever to conclude that what occurs on a micro level, (man) has its inherent foundation within a source of greater intelligence and order. It takes greater faith to believe everything sprung spontaneously out of nothing than to consider an Intelligent Designer.

Who then is the greater fool, the Evolutionist or one who believes in ID??

You are arguing by analogy, not any kind of empirical evidence. Philosophy and science are not the same thing. I can induce and deduce all kinds of conclusions about the material or biological world. What makes those conclusions = science is empirical data. Right now the large preponderance of physical data indicates that evolution does not, not happen. In other words, it happens. It doesn't need anybody steering the wheel.

Peace and please do some more reading. I would start with Darwin's Origin of Species or any entry level biology text book. You seem like an intelligent guy but horribly misinformed.

Take Care.

Merryprankster
01-03-2006, 05:32 PM
FuXn,

Not sure what you're referring to - do you mean that one of the major conflicts between string theory and quantum mechanics is that we'd never be able to see objects as small as strings? Or do you mean that we can't measure the tiny stuff present in quantum mechanics?

The issue with the standard model of quantum mechanics is that we can't seem to reconcile it with general relativity. We can detect lots of the stuff predicted. Usually, the problem isn't size, but the amount of energy it requires to force the particle in question to form/condense.

The problem with string theory is that it seems to describe the universe in anything between 11 and 21 dimensions (although 11 seems to be the most common, agreed upon number) and there is no certainty that we would ever be able to detect those dimensions. We can detect strings - in that everything is made of them, but fundamental strings might be smaller than the planck distance/length, which may mean that we couldn't detect them. And if we can't detect them, then the theory may be internally consistent, and it may do an awful lot of predicting about the physical world, but it will be hard to validate.

On the other hand, technology has often solved seemingly intractible problems...

CoRWiN
01-12-2006, 08:30 PM
If you guys havn't done so already you should definitly check out "The Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene and "A Brief history of Time" by Hawkins both of which are excellently written. Going back to the original question I have to agree with Buddhist thought. Life exists, why question how? We die, when we get their we'll know what happens.

Oso
01-12-2006, 08:39 PM
I said that way the fvck upthread:


Why all the fuss?


Nobody, KNOWS.

We're all gonna find out for sure soon enough.

Maybe I'm just not intellectual enough (forget that, I know I'm not)

I just don't get why people feel the need to vehemently argue about things they can't possibly prove. I'm not talking about a solidly formed, logical argument. But, real honest to goodness, live birth, proof.

But, people seem to gain satisfaction from doing it. So...


:)

Merryprankster
01-12-2006, 09:30 PM
Oso,

I think what you'll find is that people arguing about things like "the big bang doesn't explain everything," fundamentally misunderstand the purpose of science and the big bang theory. The argument over science or creation is, I think, fundamentally miscast. It's a bogus question to begin with.

I'm with you - I'm largely unconcerned with the CAUSATION of the universe. That is a metaphysical question. Let the apologists on all sides whack away at the problem. It is intractable for science, as near as I can tell.

I am, however, terribly interested IN the universe, which science is quite useful for!

Oso
01-13-2006, 07:09 AM
I'm with you - I'm largely unconcerned with the CAUSATION of the universe. That is a metaphysical question. Let the apologists on all sides whack away at the problem. It is intractable for science, as near as I can tell.

well put...

the monkeys will keep hammering at that coconut forever though.

don't anyone take that comment personally :)

TaiChiBob
01-16-2006, 08:12 AM
Greetings..

Metaphysics... Beyond physics, beyond quantifiable observation.. but, no less real.. There may be much BS in the category considered as metaphysics, but there are also matters concerning the nature of the universe and our role in it.. it is quite possible to function in the "known" universe and live a rich and rewarding life.. it is equally possible to inquire into the metaphysical aspect of the universe for an enhanced understanding of our relationship with the universe and still experience a rich and rewarding life.. there are those that are comfortable with the status quo, and there are those that seek answers.. neither should conflict with the other, just differing preferences.. it is the need to feel superior in one's beliefs that instigates conflict.. i see no conflict between ID vs. evolution.. i can reason that evolution could be a process designed to determine the nature of the universe by some other inquisitor..

The largest problem with ID is its association with religious agendas.. The concept of ID, by itself, has no personality.. it simply surmises that there is likely a purpose to the universe, a direction.. from which it is reasoned that the purpose or direction is a product of a thought process, of a consciousness. My own observations suggest that most (inluding my former opinions) fear the motivation of a creative consciousness, that in some way it diminishes our role or our freewill.. i sense it does not, that our freewill is a part of evolution, a necessity.. otherwise it would be a pointless game.. to pursue inquiry into this process is not without merit, it could uncover answers that improve the human condition.. is this a problem?

The pursuit of inquiry into metaphysical possibilities should be balanced with attention to the known universe.. "chop wood, carry water" can be a mindless drill or an enlightened experience.. both accomplish the same task and both serve the preferences of the experiencer.. to add conflict due to perspectives has no rational purpose..

Metaphysics.. beyond physics (beyond measurement).. becomes conventional physics whenever we develop a technology to observe and quantify the conceptual experience.. Without invoking the criticism of historical fanatics, the following analogy serves as an example.. Until columbus found the "New World", the world of his time was thought to be flat, people rejected the notion of a spherical earth.. Columbus's beliefs became science due to his pursuit of his beliefs.. Some people reject possibilities that they aren't comfortable with rather than letting the "evolution" of experienced based knowledge determine the validity of the metaphysical claim(s).. So much of today's science was once ridiculed as delusional thought.. To reject new ideas or new theories or concepts you find unfavorable is to be rigid and closed minded.. it is stagnant. To acknowledge possibilities is to permit growth and "evolution", evolution is change at its elegant best.. rejection of possibilities is stagnation, even absurd possibilities.. it is a limitation of creativity..

So far, i sense that a brilliant consciousness set the universe, as we know it, in motion and let it grow according to its own nature (evolution).. this consciousness, whatever it is, trumps entrophy and maintains eternal creativity..

While science has contributed to modern comforts and a comfortable lifestyle for the more affluent, it has also subjugated the less fortunate and some of its by-products hold the doomsday equation... I hope there is a balance..

Be well.. and, these are simply my own opinions.. not worthy of conflict..

Merryprankster
01-16-2006, 08:57 AM
see no conflict between ID vs. evolution.

That's because there isn't one. There is no contradiction. One is an ultimate causality (a why), the other is a mechanism (a how).


The largest problem with ID is its association with religious agendas.. The concept of ID, by itself, has no personality.. it simply surmises that there is likely a purpose to the universe, a direction.. from which it is reasoned that the purpose or direction is a product of a thought process, of a consciousness.

Your own observations about human fear aside, the largest problem with ID as a "theory" is that it's not science. You want to teach ID somewhere, be my guest. Just don't teach it in science class. When you start asking/answering why in the grand causation sense, you aren't talking about science anymore. That is unavoidably a metaphysical question, not a physical one.

Your Colombus analogy is flawed (apart from the historical inaccuracy - which you are right to deem immaterial to the conversation at hand) because it could be resolved by simple experimentation.

Show me the experiment that reveals an ID. Show me an experiment anywhere at anytime that would do so, seeing as an ID as the ultimate cause would by necessity exist outside the known universe, and therefore outside time itself, which defines the limits of science? No technology will allow us to see outside time. Ever. Time defines information and its flow. Cosmologists short-handedly refer to this as "the light cone." The Universe began, time and the light cone began. Information in our universe did not exist prior to that, ergo, science cannot look beyond it.

Some might try to get around this by talk of other dimensions, but those other dimensions would by definition be part of our observable universe if we ever manage to "see" them - they would be part of the light cone. String theory, certainly, postulates anywhere between 10 and 21 of them.

As Indiana Jones once said: "Archaeology is the search for facts - if you want to search for truth, Philosophy is right down the hall."


To reject new ideas or new theories or concepts you find unfavorable is to be rigid and closed minded.. it is stagnant.

ID is not new. It's as old as animism at least.

TaiChiBob
01-16-2006, 01:12 PM
Greetings..


Your Colombus analogy is flawed (apart from the historical inaccuracy - which you are right to deem immaterial to the conversation at hand) because it could be resolved by simple experimentation. "It could be resolved by simple experimentation" by our current standards, not those at the time.. there are too many examples of old theories, once thought to be nonsensical, now accepted as fact due to "evolved" methods of observation.. Anton van Leeuwenhoek discovered "wee beasties" through his early microscopes, prior to that it would have been difficult to convince people that "unobservable" organisms lived everywhere and were responsible for illnesses.. another case of improved technology changing the perception of reality.. ID may someday shift from metaphysical to fact based on more evolved observational techniques..

Show me an experiment anywhere at anytime that would do so, seeing as an ID as the ultimate cause would by necessity exist outside the known universe, and therefore outside time itself, which defines the limits of science? would by necessity exist outside the known universe, and therefore outside time itself.It is convenient to limit the scope of your assertions by suggesting self-supporting parameters.. "would by necessity exist outside the known universe, and therefore outside time itself" or "No technology will allow us to see outside time. Ever".. this sort of thought is stagnant and exclusionary to matters not of the author's preferences.. i suggest that it is possible that ID is a collective consciousness.. that we are like cells inside a "Universal" body, this would liken our own minds as an ID to the cells in our own bodies.. My dad had his own wisdoms, one of which went something like, "the only thing impossible was impossibility", kind of like "never say never".. observing outside of time as we perceive it is not so far-fetched and certainly not impossible.. unless, of course, you stop the evolution of technology..

ID is not new. It's as old as animism at least. Humble apologies if my post implied that ID was a new idea, it is not.. but, the analogy remains, rejection of something simply because you do not believe it to be so will limit one to existent knowledge.. i do not suggest that we believe everything, only that we include possibility as an option..

Information in our universe did not exist prior to that, ergo, science cannot look beyond it. For someone who suggests that we cannot see beyond time you have just made a statement that is only verifiable by looking beyond time.. what is your source for the notion that no information existed prior to the beginning of our universe.. how can you explain a vast void, an infinite and eternal absense of absolutely everything, simply sprouting a "Universe"? That theory has no more sway than an infinite and eternal consciousness.. Science merely explains that which it can observe, simply because something is unobservable it doesn't mean it is nonexistent.. Anton van Leeuwenhoek's "wee beasties" existed prior to observation but an explanation to someone would have been futile..

I cannot reason a purpose in arguing against a possibility that has no harmful implications.. suppose there is an ID, then what.. freewill is intact, evolution continues, status quo.. the majority of humanity expresses its arrogance and ego in its quest to control or dominate its environment, in its individuals' desire to be right and to seek validity from others.. in its dismissal of things not preferred or not fitting into personal models.. We cannot know all that there is. Arrogance, is to dismiss someone else's experiences on preference alone..

Be well...

David Jamieson
01-16-2006, 01:17 PM
The process of natural selection which is strongly linked to the theory of evolution is observable.

The idea of creation and an omnipotent being in teh sky on the other hand...is not.

so, on matters of faith, I would be in the school of opinion that this is best left out of the matters of education in regards to biology, natural selection, chemistry etc because it is easier to advance these scieneces when they are not held back by traditionalist conservative thinking that fears change.

TaiChiBob
01-16-2006, 02:05 PM
Greetings..

Geeze..
The idea of creation and an omnipotent being in teh sky

it is easier to advance these scieneces when they are not held back by traditionalist conservative thinking that fears change... A creative force is not, by default, some religious deity.. a cosmic consciousness is not, by default, a cosmic dictator.. it seems that the fear of change is inherent on both sides of this issue.. science equally fears the introduction of something that may have more insight than science's own fraternity.. i accept evolution as the most likely path to where we are today.. i can also accept the notion that there can be a motivating force without attaching religious phobias to it.. My most favorable understanding of existence is very closely aligned with Taoist philosophy, not ritualist religions..

I see the same elements of fear on each side of the issue.. there seems to mostly be the fear of changing one's perspective..

Be well..

Oso
01-16-2006, 02:17 PM
Good post, TCB.

but, man has been ascribing deific attributes to anything they didn't understand from day 1.



I like the ideas of the older gods (sumerian, babylonian, greek, roman) because they drank and screwed with the best of the humans. :D

David Jamieson
01-16-2006, 02:28 PM
Greetings..

Geeze..
.. A creative force is not, by default, some religious deity.. a cosmic consciousness is not, by default, a cosmic dictator.. it seems that the fear of change is inherent on both sides of this issue.. science equally fears the introduction of something that may have more insight than science's own fraternity.. i accept evolution as the most likely path to where we are today.. i can also accept the notion that there can be a motivating force without attaching religious phobias to it.. My most favorable understanding of existence is very closely aligned with Taoist philosophy, not ritualist religions..

I see the same elements of fear on each side of the issue.. there seems to mostly be the fear of changing one's perspective..

Be well..

The part i bolded isn't about science, it's about the social construct in teh world of scientists that deals with "accepted" thinking and how hard it is to break down that accepted thought. However, it is not undoable and all that needs to eb done is the science in short. Provide quantitave and quantifiable data and show it and say this is what this is. IE: water = a hydrogen molecule and 2 oxygen molecules because we can observe it through the technology we have created with science to do so and in fact the theory that was a precursor to the technology and the confirmable facts is remarkably close to the findings of the hard science.

a force that is not attached to a diety? Sure. Sunlight for instance, there is an incredible force yeilded by the sun which ensures that we continue living. But, even that good old disc in the sky has been a god to many cultures and is still to some.

To chnage one's perspective, one must be persuaded. It is a lot more meaningful to see results than to take someones word for it because there isn't an answer elsewhere.

besides, unknown forces and what not are just some other mechanical nature in the universe that hasn't had the minds and money into researching it's origins yet.

But , I would also like to not have words put in my mouth. Bob, my comments weren't about you or what you said, theyw ere simple matter of opinion.

Frankly I could care less what people believe in. Just so long as it doesn't fuk up my kids education for the benefit of some stick in the ass religious lobby group who doesn't like the idea that maybe everything isn't as sacred and deeply godalicious as they would like to think, now THAT is the perspective change that people haven't dealt with yet as is indicative by the amount of power any given church still weilds over it's people and our own society at the roots.

just because someone is blind to the rules doesn't mean they aren't subject to them.

Merryprankster
01-16-2006, 04:20 PM
"It could be resolved by simple experimentation" by our current standards, not those at the time..

On the contrary, not only did archistratus - a couple thousand years BEFORE Columbus - establish a rough diameter of the earth as a matter of simple geometry, but the standard was well within their grasp.

Or, have you forgotten that Magellan's fleet circumnavigated the globe with technology nearly identical to that of Columbus? That's quite the experiment, and quite acheivable with their technology. Oh - and they DID it.

As far as the rest of your post goes, it's utter bunk. You don't seem to get it. Here, let me show you an example:


For someone who suggests that we cannot see beyond time you have just made a statement that is only verifiable by looking beyond time..

Uh, no, I didn't. I said that information in OUR universe did not exist prior to that. My point, which seems to keep ****zing by you, is that information/time/our universe all began at the same instant. Science concerns itself with the observable universe. As such, it is limited to the information set of our universe. What ever happened "before" is nonsense. There was no "before," at least as far as our universe is concerned. Science can't see beyond the beginning of the universe. Science doesn't purport to see beyond the beginning of the universe. No technology will change that because the information inputs to that technology can only come from as far back AS THE BEGINNING OF THE UNIVERSE.

Now, as to what happened "before," we can speculate all day. There may have been all sorts of things going on! But science cannot now and never will be able to answer anything about it because of the limitations I laid out above.

But I'll be glad to speculate with you. Perhaps "before" the universe, there was a place inhabited by 20' tall hermaphrodite, hyper-intelligent blue frogs. Or maybe, it was a bowl of tomato-basil soup. Or the stereotypical little green men. Or perhaps nothing at all. Or, maybe we're just one cell in the body of a pan-dimensional being. Or perhaps Marvel got it right and the Beyonder has something to do with it.

Why don't you just let science be what it is?

KC Elbows
01-16-2006, 04:34 PM
What did the Beyonder have to do with it?

KC Elbows
01-16-2006, 04:41 PM
That wasn't a troll question, It just made me question my comic book lore. I couldn't remember if the Beyonder was from Secret Wars, or if he was one of those Phantom Stranger related characters, or what.

Design Sifu
01-16-2006, 05:28 PM
The Beyonder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beyonder) was from SECRET Wars...

however it was later discovered that he was actually a baby Cosmic Cube.... I think.

TaiChiBob
01-17-2006, 06:10 AM
Greetings..

Perhaps we have differing concepts of the "Universe".. science considers the "universe" to be confined to what it can observe.. others accept the notion that the universe is everything observable or not, infinite and eternal.. i am not so arrogant as to presume that such tiny and obscure creatures as humans, by comparison to the universe, can know it all.. i leave room for possibility..

David: I am in agreement with you on the teaching of religion in schools, it is inappropriate.. but, i also think that there is room for teaching the possibility of a "motivating force".. something may have initiated evolution.

The vast majority of "hard science" in this area is "if/then" mathematical theory.

Merryprankster: Speaking of missing the point, i am saying that until technology evolves to the point of observing previously unobservable phenomena, people generally dismiss possibilities.. that we tend to confine the universe to the limits of our own perceptions..

information/time/our universe all began at the same instant. Science concerns itself with the observable universe. As such, it is limited to the information set of our universe. What ever happened "before" is nonsense. There was no "before," at least as far as our universe is concerned. Science can't see beyond the beginning of the universe. Science doesn't purport to see beyond the beginning of the universe. No technology will change that because the information inputs to that technology can only come from as far back AS THE BEGINNING OF THE UNIVERSE. "BEGINNING OF THE UNIVERSE"? what you describe is only the current limits of our ability to observe, rigid and confined thinking (nonsense in its own right).. even the "big bang" is just a place-marker in an infinite and eternal cosmos.. there was a before and an after.. humans think according to physical existence, beginnings and endings.. not so. There are convenient place-markers along the way, but.. the "Way" is infinite and eternal, it cannot be otherwise.. if you choose to define "universe" as something less, that's your issue, not mine.. science works in self-imposed parameters, the universe is not subject to the whims of science..

Why don't you just let science be what it is?I'm trying.. but, some seem to think science defines the universe, when in fact, science only describes what it can observe.. and theorizes the rest..

But I'll be glad to speculate with you. Perhaps "before" the universe, there was a place inhabited by 20' tall hermaphrodite, hyper-intelligent blue frogs. Or maybe, it was a bowl of tomato-basil soup. Or the stereotypical little green men. Or perhaps nothing at all. Or, maybe we're just one cell in the body of a pan-dimensional being.I appreciate the delightful sarcasm, but it is the signature of confined thinking.. ridicule the unknown.. Sure, it's convenient to let science tell us what our existence is.. but, there is too much evidence, evidence of direct personal experience, of matters and conditions relating to things science simply has no means of measuring.. science measures, analyzes, and quantifies things.. those measurements are not the "things", they are the descriptions.. too often, people mistake the description for the thing.. Religions do this quite well, people have authentic, empowering spiritual experiences.. religions describe those experiences so as to favor their own agendas, and the description "shall bind you down".. but, "the truth" shall set you free..

Truth is not the words, labels, measurements and descriptions we assign to the experience.. truth is the experience itself.

Be well...

David Jamieson
01-17-2006, 08:20 AM
my personal feeling is that too much emphasis on the metaphysical removes people further and further from reality.

to minimize science and to put it into an arena against religion isn't something science did. from the beginning, science has been put at odds with religion, by religious people with religious agendas.

I think science has spent enough time defending itself against the church and should just move on and continue to define things for us in a factual and real way.

strip away the illusions...so to speak :p

SPJ
01-17-2006, 09:02 AM
Science is people ways to organize everything in an orderly fashion.

Laws of physics or chem or bio, are rules found out to be applicable to certain things. The value is to be able to predict an outcome if everything is the same.

However, nature has things that do not follow these rules or just randomness or improbable.

If science is to find truth or some kind of orderness in things, ultimately it will lead us to the greater truth, be that a creator or creators.

---

Science will lead people to God.

----

Buddhists embrace science as ways to find truth in physical world.

Daoists embrace science as ways of the nature.

---

:D

TaiChiBob
01-17-2006, 09:37 AM
Greetings..

Science is not at odds with religion, it simply observes, quantifies and theorizes based on the limits of its ability to do so.. Religion is at odds with science because what science has discerned is contrary to what religion "believes".. A well-reasoned scientist would not reject religion, they would simply assert that they do not have sufficient data to support a particular belief.. many religions have many ancient documents and many beliefs, each claiming theirs to be the "way".. some philosophies simply believe the "way" is revealed in the lives we live, in the processes of nature..

One of nature's phenomena is the natural tendency to search for answers of origin and purpose, to have individual insights independent of scientific scrutiny and unmeasurable by conventional methods.. emotions, feelings and insights are the sources of knowledge, they precede the science that quantifies them or that determines the need for more data.. in an analogy, emotions, feelings and insights are like the "motivating force" for knowledge.. not unlike a motivating force for evolution, just on a different scale..

Just because we don't know doesn't mean we can't or won't know.. unless, we choose to not to know..

Be well..

KC Elbows
01-17-2006, 11:16 AM
The Beyonder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beyonder) was from SECRET Wars...

however it was later discovered that he was actually a baby Cosmic Cube.... I think.

I thought that's who that was. Thanks.

Mr Punch
01-18-2006, 05:31 AM
I like the ideas of the older gods (sumerian, babylonian, greek, roman) because they drank and screwed with the best of the humans. :DThank you! But I have to go back soon...


...we're just one cell in the body of a pan-dimensional being.... It's been fun but finally gotta have my treatment to get rid of you ****ers!

SPJ
01-18-2006, 08:48 AM
Science is gathering of new facts or knowledge and an evolution of newer theories to accomodate new findings.

In Daoist theory, there are Yin and Yang and both compose of the grand/extreme limits or Tai Chi.

The orgin of things is limitless or with no limits or Wu Ji.

Everything "exists" by reference in space and time.

So if science finds a common rule among many things, however, some may not follow the rule or fit the rules, and ask why.

If you set a rule, it is a limit, there will be things inside and outside of the rule, they are Yin and Yang by reference. the rule or the limit is the reference point.

So things are relative.

Science and science less or limit and limitless.

If something is not bound by your limit or rules or reference, it is absolute or everywhere and all the time or not bound by the time and space. It is all encompassing and compose of both of Yin and Yang.

---

keep searching the ultimate truth or the emptiness of things.

---

:confused: :eek: :D

In short, there are many things in the universe, some would and some would not fit the rule .

Science is a group of many reference points.

etc etc

Judge Pen
01-18-2006, 10:39 AM
Science is limited to what we can observe and comprehend. Religion is only limited by our imaginations. That's not to say it is or isn't real, but it is unverifiable.

Why does evolution or intelligent design matter so much to people? I know people who use science to try to disprove religious ideas. I know people who try to bend science to prove their religion. They are both foolish.

Science endeavors to be objective. Good science is 100% objective. A scientific Law is infallible, but a theory, no matter how well supported or documented, maintains some degree of extrapolation (or, in some minds, faith). As evolution still relies upon extrapolation, it is still a theory albeit one of the most scientifically supportable theories this side of a scientific Law.

As far a s teaching, they shouldn't receive equal time as they are not equally supportable by science, but any school that bans the discussion of intelligent design is not a school I want my kids to attend. How else are they supposed to learn to think critically if they are not allowed to entertain opposing view-points?

wdl
01-18-2006, 10:43 AM
As far a s teaching, they shouldn't receive equal time as they are not equally supportable by science, but any school that bans the discussion of intelligent design is not a school I want my kids to attend. How else are they supposed to learn to think critically if they are not allowed to entertain opposing view-points?

JP: Objective as always.



-Will

TaiChiBob
01-18-2006, 12:17 PM
Greetings..

Well said, Judge.. balance is the key.. we need to start teaching our children how to think, not what to think..

Be well..

MightyB
01-18-2006, 01:49 PM
It always seemed to me that the scientists who were involved with quantum physics seemed more open minded in a spiritual sense.

Biologists and Chemists are completely close minded and they are quite dogmatic... much like their hard line Christian ID counterparts. Both are unwilling to apply a detatched critical view of their beliefs, and in the end they are both just different "Religions".

Friggin Schroedinger's dead cat... "Reality is nothing more than our collective conscience and anything that you truly want to prove will be proven given enough time and research and "belief" by the seekers"... ugh. my head hurts.

Makes me want to read the "Temple of Man".

Makes me angry that a Roman politician realised how much there was to gain by siezing control of a fledgling religion that was composed mainly of illiterate people. History favors those who write it.

Makes me mad that the "translations" were heavily edited by a king with an agenda... wasn't there a scroll by the gnostics that was pretty controversial? and what happened in those 30 years that everybody tends to skip over?

FuXnDajenariht
01-18-2006, 09:34 PM
yea your right. what was that movie called? what the hell do we know? that was a very good movie. very perspective changing. there was another one called mindquest or sumthin with the guy from law and order.

FuXnDajenariht
01-18-2006, 10:09 PM
i always thought this was interesting:

A collection of parallel quotations from the scientific and spiritual traditions. . .
EINSTEIN:BUDDHA

According to general relativity, the concept of space detached from any physical content does not exist.
-Einstein

If there is only empty space, with no suns nor planets in it, then space loses its substantiality.
-Buddha

Physical concepts are free creations of the human mind, and are not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world.
-Einstein

All such notions as causation, succession, atoms, primary elements...are all figments of the imagination and manifestations of the mind.
-Buddha

Time and again the passion for understanding has led to the illusion that man is able to comprehend the objective world rationally by pure thought without any empirical foundationsóin short, by metaphysics.
-Einstein

By becoming attached to names and forms, not realising that they have no more basis than the activities of the mind itself, error risesÖand the way to emancipation is blocked.
-Buddha

In our thinking...we attribute to this concept of the bodily object a significance, which is to high degree independent of the sense impression which originally gives rise to it. This is what we mean when we attribute to the bodily object "a real existence." ...By means of such concepts and mental relations between them, we are able to orient ourselves in the labyrinth of sense impressions. These notions and relations...appear to us as stronger and more unalterable than the individual sense experience itself, the character of which as anything other than the result of an illusion or hallucination is never completely guaranteed.
-Einstein

I teach that the multitudinousness of objects have no reality in themselves but are only seen of the mind and, therefore, are of the nature of maya and a dream. ...It is true that in one sense they are seen and discriminated by the senses as individualized objects; but in another sense, because of the absence of any characteristic marks of self-nature, they are not seen but are only imagined. In one sense they are graspable, but in another sense, they are not graspable.
-Buddha

The belief in an external world independent of the perceiving subject is the basis of all natural science. Since, however, sense perception only gives information of this external world or of "physical reality" indirectly, we can only grasp the latter by speculative means. It follows from this that our notions of physical reality can never be final. We must always be ready to change these notionsóthat is to say, the axiomatic basis of physicsóin order to do justice to perceived facts in the most perfect way logically.
-Einstein

While the Tathagata, in his teaching, constantly makes use of conceptions and ideas about them, disciples should keep in mind the unreality of all such conceptions and ideas. They should recall that the Tathagata, in making use of them in explaining the Dharma always uses them in the semblance of a raft that is of use only to cross a river. As the raft is of no further use after the river is crossed, it should be discarded. So these arbitrary conceptions of things and about things should be wholly given up as one attains enlightenment.
-Buddha

how do you figure men come to these conclusions thousands of years ago without modern technology? its kind of cool to think what ancient peoples knew the we might not be close to rediscovering......if anything. or things they created that we think are the sole property of our age. or maybe they weren't able to create because of technological or maybe social limitations. pearls before swines as they say.

i think the saying, "there is no new knowledge, only knowledge rediscovered", is truer than people think.

anyway, im getting sidetracked.... if any evidence of this thing is to be found, i dont think it will come from chemistry or biology but from fields like quantum physics or neuroscience or neurobiology. the study of the human mind basically and not from digging holes in the ground.

Scott R. Brown
01-19-2006, 05:09 AM
Part of the confusion is that we use the mind to define phenomena that are manifestations of mind. Nothing can exist separate from a mind to perceive it, therefore all phenomena springs from the mind. It is perceived by the mind, ordered by the mind, explained by the mind. Then we forget this, thinking everything follows rules separate from how the mind perceives and manifests phenomena.

We define (measure) the world using science, but we forget that the rules of science are arbitrary and this causes us to confuse the rules with the reality of phenomena. The rules we choose to use and accept as valid will support the view we wish to have, our preconceived notions. We often become unable to think beyond the arbitrary rules. Then when we perceive phenomena or receive information that is beyond the rules we “think” are set in stone, we tend to discard it out of hand because it does not fit our rules. But we forgot or never notice that the rules are merely arbitrary. Thus we limit our perceptions and our reality.

Religious experience is not unverifiable as proposed by Judge Pen. Deep, or dare I say, TRUE religious experience is universal, but must be directly experienced to be known and understood. It cannot be accurately described, but only pointed too, or indicated by metaphor. It is transcends our arbitrary rules and that is why it does not make sense to those who have not searched for it and experienced it for themselves. Many confuse the superficial teachings, expressions and rituals of religions with TRUE religious experience. These things are designed for the majority of people who are not inclined to delve into deeper religious experience. Rituals and superficial teachings are for the masses. It provides them with a foundation of morals and ethics and a springboard from which to begin deeper learning when they become inclined to do so. They contain seeds of the deeper knowledge waiting to germinate in the minds of those ready to search, explore and question. The deeper knowledge of all meaningful religions are unified by their expressions of that deeper knowledge. The expressions vary slightly according to the culture and particular religion, but there is a common thread that is easily recognizable to those who have gained a certain amount of insight.

SimonM
01-19-2006, 08:04 AM
That aside though it is still irresponsible to teach "intelligent design" - OK let's call it what it really is "CREATIONISM" in class and say that it is as likely to be true as the theories of Evolution put foreward by biologists, anthropologists and paleontologists. Science may not be perfect but for describing the process through which life came to be on this planet it is a much more appropriate tool than religion. After all the universe predates this planet and this planet predates us. So in the end whether there was a motive force for the creation of the universe or not is entirely irrelevant.

Judge Pen
01-19-2006, 09:41 AM
That aside though it is still irresponsible to teach "intelligent design" - OK let's call it what it really is "CREATIONISM" in class and say that it is as likely to be true as the theories of Evolution put foreward by biologists, anthropologists and paleontologists. Science may not be perfect but for describing the process through which life came to be on this planet it is a much more appropriate tool than religion. After all the universe predates this planet and this planet predates us. So in the end whether there was a motive force for the creation of the universe or not is entirely irrelevant.

I think there can be a difference between the concept of "intelligent design" and the concept of "creationism." I have always taken the concept of creationism to support a literal interpretation of the first chapter of Genesis. Intelligent design, imo, allows for one to believe that the laws of science and even the theory of evolution are the method of our creation as directed or set into motion by some supreme entity.

Judge Pen
01-19-2006, 09:49 AM
Religious experience is not unverifiable as proposed by Judge Pen. Deep, or dare I say, TRUE religious experience is universal, but must be directly experienced to be known and understood.
If it is perceived by the mind, as your first paragraph so articulately states (and I agree 100% with) then how can ANYTHING ever be truly verifiable? Even if we experience and describe the same phenomenon, how do we know it is TRUE? How do I know that you felt the same thing that I did? Could my mind be interpreting your description as the same as mine even if they were very different?

Scott R. Brown
01-19-2006, 12:44 PM
If it is perceived by the mind, as your first paragraph so articulately states (and I agree 100% with) then how can ANYTHING ever be truly verifiable? Even if we experience and describe the same phenomenon, how do we know it is TRUE? How do I know that you felt the same thing that I did? Could my mind be interpreting your description as the same as mine even if they were very different?

Hi Judge Pen,

This is truly a dilemma! How do I know the orange you taste, tastes like the orange I taste? Even when we eat different portions of the same orange, is the taste you experience identical to my experience of the taste of my portion? The answer is no! It may be similar, but your experience is yours, and mine is mine. We recognize the similarity in our experiences when we compare them to each other. We will find we have similar descriptions, but there will be some differences as well. This is partially due to the limitations of language, but also due to our individual characteristics. You may find the taste enjoyable, while to me it may be distasteful; you may love the taste, I may be indifferent. These differences are due to what we each bring to the experience. Regardless, we will both recognize the taste as similar when we share our experiences with each other. We will also recognize the taste again when we each eat another orange in the future.

When you approach me and say you ate a fruit that was round, orange in color, kind of tart, kind of sweet, I may confirm to you it is indeed an orange. We do this constantly when we have children and they have a new experience. We help them categorize an experience by giving it a convenient and albeit socially agreed upon, arbitrary, label for the experience. We call this a name. “That is an orange!” We now have a shared experience with a shared label. The label is not the experience, but it does allow us to discuss the experience using agreed upon, understandable terms. We recognize the experiences as being similar and therefore recognize “that” experience or similar experiences when we discuss them in the future. Labels help us distinguish between other experiences, both similar and dissimilar, but they also form an inherent and commonly unrecognized limit to the experience. This unrecognized limit confines our experience when we place greater value and meaning upon the label than the experience.

Judge Pen
01-19-2006, 02:54 PM
Scott,

Exactly! The label and description is our best estimation but, in the strictest sense, it is all unverifiable because the means we have to verify it are constructs of the mind which we cannot know to be accurate. We simply trust it to be.

For all I know, I am the only sentient life form in the world, and my consciousness has created this dream-like state in which I live. . . . Now I just need to figure out how to change my consciousness to make my constructed perceptions of life "better."

Scott R. Brown
01-19-2006, 03:54 PM
Right!! “Guesstimation” might be more accurate though.

When experiencing any conflict, am I projecting the opposing view on an unknown media I call another person in order to give myself something to do and to stimulate change (growth)? Do I also project agreement upon an unknown media I call another person in order to lend myself emotional support, to validate myself, or my personal perspective? Who cares? Does it matter?

It matters because we choose for it to matter? It is a game!! With no winners and no losers, just those who recognize the game and rise above it, and those who are trapped within it!

I would prefer to learn to change my perceptions first, this will influence the way I interpret my projected construction of reality. It isn’t the projected construction that gives our life value and meaning, but how we choose to interpret it! When I learn to change my perceptions with fluidity it won’t matter what the construction happens to be, I am free at all times!!!

TaiChiBob
01-20-2006, 05:44 AM
Greetings..

Great dialogue JP and Scott.. an enterprising observer could glean enough meterial from this forum to write several good books.. wait! (note to self, write a book..) Thanks to both of you for consistently insightful and thought provoking posts.. this thread is particularly interesting as it examines the relationship between the thinker and the thought, between reality and relativity (not that there's a difference, perhaps).. Scott's insight:
I would prefer to learn to change my perceptions first, this will influence the way I interpret my projected construction of reality. It isn’t the projected construction that gives our life value and meaning, but how we choose to interpret it! When I learn to change my perceptions with fluidity it won’t matter what the construction happens to be, I am free at all times!!! goes to the core of the human experience and to the core of CMA.. reality is confined only by our own self-imposed limitations of perception.. a maxim i trust is: the universe responds to our every desire according to the degree we actually believe it will.. or, as a wise enlightened being once said, "ask believing, and it is already done".. As for CMA, to the degree we believe our training works, it works.. if it's not working we need to examine our own beliefs and intentions..

Linking Creationism to ID is a mistake.. even the notion of a "supreme being" is a limitation of perspective.. if we are, as i suppose, each parts of a greater whole.. we are no less than the whole except to the degree we choose to be or are indoctrinated to be.. ancient sages realized this and ancient entrepeneurs capitalized on the manipulation of this insight.. There are no cosmic puppeteers, we steer our own ships and judge our own destinies.. we do this through our deeds and intentions, the consequences are the rewards and punishments.. and, the consequences are generally obvious, to the degree we are willing to critically pay attention..

oops, random thoughts.. Be well..

CoRWiN
01-20-2006, 12:04 PM
ID is actually a more recent train of thought. Piggy backing on the fact that evolution has goten so popular ID believers use evolution as proof that their must have been a god. There was actually a really good article on this topic in the New York times a couple monthes ago. I recommend to all interested that they check the times web site.

FuXnDajenariht
01-20-2006, 01:26 PM
the truth is. the ID theory probably has existed in some form or another for thousands of years separate from religion. even before the Greek philosophers got around to the subject. i believe it existed before the common religious concept of god and that ID got dumb downed and misinterpreted into the notion of the cosmic dictator that we have today.

its too bad that the religions with the worst interpretations of the idea are the most popular.... "if you can describe god then your not really describing god". they seem to forget that easy enough. its pretty twisted when you meet christians that believe their god wants them to be filthy rich among other things...... i was actually involved in a conversation about that..... :confused: