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Money and thermodynamics

Here’s an addendum to Sunday’s show on financial scams. It’s a thought that I had while preparing the topic, but didn’t wind up using while on the air.

Your financial situation is a lot like the second law of thermodynamics — a concept which creationists frequently and (perhaps) deliberately misunderstand. The second law of thermodynamics deals with entropy, which is hard to explain in abstract terms, but it is often described as “chaos.” It is a function of the amount of energy in a system which is no longer available to do work.

In a closed system, entropy always increases, which means that orderliness is being drained away all the time. The only way to restore that order is to bring new energy into the system which can do work. Here on earth, the sun is always shining down, bringing new energy from space. That energy is absorbed by plants, which are eaten by herbivores, which are both eaten by people, which channel that energy into creating orderly things. If all the people in the world were to disappear tomorrow, within a very short time our buildings would decay and rust, and eventually fall down. What is biodegradable would be eaten by bacteria. And so on. Keeping our civilization going takes work.

The sun provides “free energy” for us and so powers order and life and yes, evolution too. Eventually the sun will burn out, but this is too far in the future for us to care about that problem right now. You can’t just keep spend energy without bringing more of it in: if the sun vanished, all life on earth would likely be dead in a matter of days. It doesn’t matter how clever our science is at that point; without new energy coming in, you can only shuffle existing energy around for so long before using it up.

In your personal life, money plays a similar role to order. Most of the things you do as a citizen of the 21st century require money in some way. Keeping a roof over your head costs money, or it costs somebody else money (if, for example, you live with your parents). Feeding yourself costs money. Traveling around costs money. The highways and buildings that keep our economy running cost money to maintain.

So in order to keep this system afloat, we have to do new things all the time that generate wealth. At a basic level, we have to grow enough food to feed everyone. We have to build houses, and create roads. At a less crucial level, we give each other reasons to go on living when we create art and design cool technology and educate one another. These are the things that we do that are of lasting value to our species, and they are things that are worth paying for.

A financial scam is the economic equivalent of a perpetual motion machine. Scam artists will tell you that you can get your money for nothing (and, as Dire Straits tells us, your chicks for free). They say that if you mail their chain letter to other people, or build your downline as an Amway distributor, or hype up Liberty Dollars, or “pay the processing fee” to release the funds from your rich uncle in Nigeria, then you’ll get money without doing work.

Thanks to thermodynamics, we know that perpetual motion machines don’t work, and that anyone who claims to have built one is a charlatan. In order to create motion, you have to spend new energy. In order to keep a lifestyle going, you have to do something of value that brings in new money. In other words, an economic closed system is guaranteed to burn itself out sooner or later.

In a nutshell, that is what I mean when I say that you should always approach a new financial opportunity by asking: “Where is this money coming from?”

Comments

  1. says

    I see where you’re coming from, but I think there’s an important difference: it’s possible to create wealth, in a way that it’s not possible to create energy. In fact, big chunks of our economy are based on that.Of course, wealth is created by adding value to something through work. But get-rich-quick schemes and scams are pretty much predicated on the notion of not doing that work, and just shuffling dollar bills around.

  2. says

    Maybe I should have been a little stricter in how I applied the analogy. I think what I really meant to indicate is that “wealth” does not correspond to “energy,” but to “order.” “Entropy” in this case is an analogy to how broke you are.The point here is that you can’t create new energy, but you can harness existing energy to create both order and wealth. The energy still comes from the sun, and through a roundabout route it powers our minds which create that wealth. However, note that just because there is always energy flowing into the system doesn’t mean that it is necessarily creating order. You need some kind of mechanism to harness that energy and make it orderly; otherwise, solar energy just falls on the ground and is wasted.The problem with a scam is that there is no such mechanism for generating wealth. Energy is being used only to transfer money; none of it has been applied to create it.

  3. says

    …which is how we know the universe is not infinitely old and that a cyclical universe is not an option either. Good points.

  4. says

    I’m sorry, that’s an incorrect assumption. “The universe” has more that one potential meaning – it can refer to the current universe that exists now, or it can refer to “the set of all things that exist.” The two are not equivalent.Our knowledge of the Second Law of Thermodynamics only applies to what we know of the current universe. Before the event horizon of 10^-43 seconds after the big bang, we simply don’t know enough about the way the rules work to describe thermodynamics. For all we know, before this event horizon there was a universe where time and entropy run backwards.Although you didn’t say so, your assumption is that the way to get around the 2LoT is to assume the existence of a God who can break all the rules. This implies that you already believe that 2LoT does not apply in all cases. I would point out that if you have already made this assumption, then there is no further need to assume a God.

  5. says

    Oh, so “the set of all things that exist” is NOT subject to entropy or laws of thermodynamics? Do tell!Our knowledge of the Second Law of Thermodynamics only applies to what we know of the current universe. And that is, kinda, in operation, you know, right now. Nobody’s arguing that the universe was on the verge of heat death at 10^-43 seconds after the Horrendous Space Kablooie.before this event horizon there was a universe where time and entropy run backwards.Well heck, for all you know the laws of physics will fundamentally and radically change one second after you read this.For all you know the previous universe was one in which the God you dislike so much existed. For all you know, He still does. It’s funny like that.to assume the existence of a God who can break all the rules.Well, to presuppose Him, yes.And He’s outside time and space and energy, He created it all, so… yeah. This implies that you already believe that 2LoT does not apply in all cases.It applies to the physical universe. Right?Besides, I’m answering you on your own grounds, and you presuppose NO God, so go ahead and answer my question from YOUR POV, please.Peace,Rhology

  6. Martin says

    Well, to presuppose Him, yes.Thought you weren’t a presuppositionalist, Rho.And He’s outside time and space and energyIn what realm, exactly? Where does this place “outside time and space and energy” exist, what are its physical laws and properties, and what evidence do you have for its existence that anyone can confirm independently? (The Bible doesn’t count.)

  7. says

    No, I am presuppositionalist.In what realm, exactly? Spiritual.Where does this place “outside time and space and energy” exist, what are its physical laws and properties, and what evidence do you have for its existence that anyone can confirm independently?There’s no “where”. It has no physical laws or properties; it’s not physical. Such category errors!Evidence – the impossibility of the contrary.What evidence do YOU have that you’re not a brain in a vat?Maybe could do a post on that – how your atheistic presuppositions are not hopelessly vulnerable to solipsism.Whatever else one wants to say about my presuppositions, they’re not vulnerable to solipsism. That’s nice for me.Peace,Rhology

  8. says

    Rho:And He’s outside time and space and energyI can understand “outside time and space” (not easily, and my mental image of this is probably very different from what most people imagine, but okay).But what does “outside energy” mean? That makes as much sense to me as “outside of blue”.

  9. Martin says

    In what realm, exactly?Spiritual.Define.There’s no “where”. It has no physical laws or properties; it’s not physical. Such category errors!Then explain it.Evidence – the impossibility of the contrary.If you’re arguing that it’s impossible to explain the existence of anything without recourse to this being who operates in some way out of a realm the nature of which you cannot seem to explain (in contrast to the way, for instance, in which, physicists can explain the laws of our own universe), then demonstrate why this is so, and why your invisible magic being of choice is the preferred solution over any of the other thousands of invisible magic beings created throughout humanity’s history to explain that which you seek to explain now. Moreover, please provide an explanation as to how someone like myself can distinguish your deity, and the “spiritual realm” with no physical laws in which you claim it lives, from ideas that may only inhabit your imagination.What evidence do YOU have that you’re not a brain in a vat?Maybe could do a post on that – how your atheistic presuppositions are not hopelessly vulnerable to solipsism.Ah, the Matrix! Time for the stoner philosophizing!We may all be brains in vats, or we may all be inhabiting an objective reality in which we interact with one another, our environments, and in which people interact with each other completely outside of our experience of that. All I can say is that I consider the evidence that there’s a big wide physical world out there I’m living in, which will go on without me after I die and which went on without me just fine before I was born, to be far more parsimonious and persuasive than any evidence (none of which I’ve ever found) that I’m floating in a vat providing sustenance to our evil machine overlords. When I interact with other atheists, we have a shared experience we can confirm independently. Of course, we may be brains in vats, having a shared hallucination programmed by the overlords to fool us into thinking we live in an objective reality. But where’s the evidence for that, and is it more persuasive than the evidence that objective reality is, you know, real? I say not.I could be wrong, of course. But most people generally considered sane would be likely to agree with me, I suspect. Maybe I should follow the white rabbit and find the truth!(Anyway, atheism isn’t based on presuppositions. It’s a response to the claims made by religionists, and the failure on their part to support them adequately with evidence. Come on, Rho, you’re smarter than that — save the projection for the tongue-talking TBN crowd.)Whatever else one wants to say about my presuppositions, they’re not vulnerable to solipsism. That’s nice for me.They’re only vulnerable to being indistinguishable to anyone but yourself from something you may be only imagining. That may not be solipsism. But it does mean you still have weaker evidence for your “spiritual realms” than we do for physical reality.

  10. says

    Spiritual.Define.Of or pertaining to spirit.Then explain it.In what sense? Read the Bible’s references to God. Some of them will help.it’s impossible to explain the existence of anything without recourse to this being who operates in some way out of a realm the nature of which you cannot seem to explainCorrect. Though I can explain Him somewhat. It depends on the question; whether that info is available or not. I’m not omniscient.(in contrast to the way, for instance, in which, physicists can explain the laws of our own universeYou must have missed Kazim’s first two comments where he claimed that the laws of thermodynamics and such could easily simply be reversed in alternate universes or even in this one before a certain time. why your invisible magic being of choice is the preferred solution over any of the other thousands of invisible magic beings created throughout humanity’s history to explain that which you seek to explain now.The impossibility of the contrary. None of those other ones account for reality, intelligibility, and rationality like TGOTB does.how someone like myself can distinguish your deity, and the “spiritual realm” with no physical laws in which you claim it lives, from ideas that may only inhabit your imagination.For one thing, check whether those ideas account for reality, intelligibility, and rationality like TGOTB does.We may all be brains in vats, or we may all be inhabiting an objective reality in which we interact with one another, our environments, and in which people interact with each other completely outside of our experience of that.So IOW, you don’t know and take it on faith. Wise, but sad at the same time. I’m glad my presuppositions rule solipsism out.All I can say is that I consider the evidence that there’s a big wide physical world out there I’m living in, which will go on without me after I die and which went on without me just fine before I was bornYour faith is pretty deep, then. Any pastor would be proud of such faith in a Christian, properly directed of course.we have a shared experience we can confirm independentlyYou THINK you do. No way to know nor verify such.But where’s the evidence for that, and is it more persuasive than the evidence that objective reality is, you know, real?But it does mean you still have weaker evidence for your “spiritual realms” than we do for physical reality.Evidence? Evidence is a posteriori to the determination of whether you’re a brain in a vat. If you are, “evidence” is imaginary.atheism isn’t based on presuppositions.You’ve just disproven that in this very comment.Peace,Rhology

  11. says

    Anyway, atheism isn’t based on presuppositions. It’s a response to the claims made by religionistsTo quote TracieH, “Saying “you’re wrong” is not a religion.”

  12. says

    “Spirit” is really just a pre-scientific conception of consciousness; it is a “life force” that is supposed to be infused into an organism to make it animate (or in our case, to make us more than animate and also a human with “dignity”). The philosopher Daniel Dennett has talked about how our ancestors acquired the intentional stance: we came to regard one another as entities not only possessing physical attributes but also intentionality. This predisposed us to demarcating the “physical” from the “intentional” and mental. Humans are natural dualists, but it isn’t because dualism is correct. It’s because dualism was a useful way to see the world, a handy “rule-of-thumb” that aided our survival. Now couple this with some other things, like dreams. After people die, we often have dreams about them, some of them very vivid. This might make it appear as though “the person”, rather than “just” their body continues to live on (one doesn’t need to believe in the divinity of Christ to believe that they have spoken to a long dead relative). It doesn’t take much to suppose that there is a special place where people go to after they die and “leave behind” their physical bodies, and it doesn’t take much to suppose that this realm has leaders of its own. It’s yet another small step to suppose that this “spirit” is primary, having infused life into the physical realm. After all, the mental and intentional really does seem qualitatively different to the physical. Yet science has made it abundantly clear that the mind is married to matter. Biochemistry, not vitalism, can explain life. Consciousness is the result of physical interactions in the brain. It’s simply that religion had a biological predisposition almost ready-made for its proliferation, which is why many of us keep on supposing that this thing called “spirit” is at all a viable alternative to the physicalist account.

  13. says

    Tommy,I know, you’re shocked that1) I’m not omniscient ;-) and2) I don’t think I’m omniscient. Either way… [/tongue in cheek]TBN = Trinity Broadcasting Network, THE hotspot for prosperity “gospel” and Word of Faith loonies and snake-oil salesmen. On your UHF dial, probably (provided you live in the US). ‘Round these parts it’s channel 23. Oh, you’re in NY, right? Well, no idea if they’re up there. If not, you’re better off for it though it can be highly amusing TV.Lui said:“Spirit” is really just a pre-scientific conception of consciousnessWhich assertion tells us nothing about its truth or untruth. Just so we’re clear.Yet science has made it abundantly clear that the mind is married to matter.Has it, now? So much the worse for “science” if it is stuck in materialism. One would be interested to see science proven as a good way to find truth thru the scientific method. Does “science” grow somewhere? Can it be mined? Found on a meteorite? Of what elements is it composed?Biochemistry, not vitalism, can explain life.Oh? Do tell – how did life arise from non-life?It’s simply that religion had a biological predisposition almost ready-made for its proliferationThis assertion is a double-edged sword that can be invoked back at your (or any) position as well.Peace,Rhology

  14. says

    TBN = Trinity Broadcasting Network, THE hotspot for prosperity “gospel” and Word of Faith loonies and snake-oil salesmen.Would that be people like Creflo Dollar? “My beloved flock insisted on buying me a jet plane, so how could I insult them by turning it down?”As an aside, I just love that name.

  15. says

    >Biochemistry, not vitalism, can explain life.<”Oh? Do tell – how did life arise from non-life?”No one actually knows how life arose from non-life (including you). But here you go, before you go thinking that we’re completely in the dark and that we’re obliged to invoke Sky-Daddy.

  16. says

    Yeah, that is a great name! I actually saw him in person once. {shudder} Yes, he’s definitely one of them.Just for the record, asking for Gulfstreams and such is not Christianity. I don’t consider these guys on my side at all.

  17. says

    No one actually knows how life arose from non-life (including you).Translation: I have faith that biochemistry, not vitalism, can explain life, but I can’t show you how – you just have to have faith. Wow, that’s good stuff man.we’re obliged to invoke Sky-DaddyOnly if you want to make sense. But you’re not obligated to do so.

  18. says

    Bono of U2 had a good line in the live version of “Bullet the Blue Sky” on the Rattle and Hum album.”Well the god I believe in isn’t short of cash, mister.”

  19. says

    “Translation: I have faith that biochemistry, not vitalism, can explain life, but I can’t show you how – you just have to have faith.Wow, that’s good stuff man.”No, it actually means what it says: no one knows how life arose from non-life. Including you (or your pastor, who can be counted on to provide expert advise on all matters scientific). Unlike vitalism, of course, the naturalistic origin for life has some actual evidence to back it up, so if anyone’s asking anyone to have faith, it’s you. And like I said, we’re not completely in the dark about how it might have happened, though it is a very difficult question (which is why we engage in this little thing called research). Your reaction to difficult questions, however, is to terminate inquiry (or “secular faith”, as you call it) and simply declare the “answer”. “The scientists don’t know how such and such happened. Therefore – can’t you see, you God-haters? – I’m right and you should all listen to me instead of people who actually know what they’re talking about.” That’s basically the substance of your argument right there. You’re in a very poor way to be “translating” anyone’s words. I think that, given religion’s track record for advocating things that are later blown to the dust by science, you’d be wise to look at this precedence and keep it in mind. You never know when a J.Craig Venter or some other pesky scientist is going to make you look like a dolt once again. >we’re obliged to invoke Sky-Daddy<“Only if you want to make sense.”Or rather, only if you want to be lazy and provide a non-answer that makes very little sense. I prefer to listen to the men in coats rather than the men in robes. While they don’t always know the answer to everything, they don’t make a living from providing non-answers like the latter crew.

  20. says

    no one knows how life arose from non-lifeYou mean on your side. OK, check.But you’re just SURE that no one on MY side knows. That’s faith. My point exactly.Including you (or your pastor, who can be counted on to provide expert advise on all matters scientific).Which I never claimed he could be. Are you now reduced to putting words in people’s mouths? How are you leading the rational charge, doing stuff like that?How do you know I don’t know? How do you know that God didn’t let me know thru His self-revelation?Unlike vitalism, of course, the naturalistic origin for life has some actual evidence to back it upSure it does, though you have no idea how.How could you know that there’s evidence if you don’t know anythg about how it came about?which is why we engage in this little thing called researchWithout a time machine, “research” apparently means “making massive assumptions about how the earth was back in the day, putting stuff together in the lab that MIGHT MAYBE have been PARTIALLY present, leaving out other aspects of the environment (which, again, we don’t know; we’re assuming), and then observing what happens TODAY”. Wow – that’s really impressive. I mean, I’m impressed.is to terminate inquiry?? Now you’re just making stuff up. Where have I ever advocated that? ‘Tis the secularists who would push my expressions of religion out of the public square.I advocate refutation of your deformed religion, not forceful squelching.I’m right and you should all listen to me instead of people who actually know what they’re talking about.”Better said:God is right b/c He was there and you weren’t and you should all listen to Him instead of people who pretend to know what they’re talking about.You never know when a J.Craig Venter or some other pesky scientist is going to make you look like a dolt once again. It’s going to take a few times to overcome the score you’ve already racked up in this comment alone.If you like comments that are long on fluff and self-congratulation, Lui’s apparently your man/woman (I don’t know your gender).Peace,Rhology

  21. says

    “You mean on your side.”No, I mean ESPECIALLY on your side. Unlike you, we’re trying to actually figure it out (instead of mindlessly mouthing things from a book), but we have some idea of how it probably happened and this knowledge is being built upon all the time, though of course there are still a lot of issues that are outstanding and a lot of controversy within the scientific community). You, on the other hand, mistake mouthing inanities with “answers”. Good luck with that. “But you’re just SURE that no one on MY side knows.”I’m not absolutely sure, I’ll give you that. It’s just that no one on your side has ever given anyone any actual reasons to take you seriously. “That’s faith. My point exactly.”Actually, it’s a simple observation on my part.>Including you (or your pastor, who can be counted on to provide expert advise on all matters scientific).<”Which I never claimed he could be.”And yet, like all creationists, you act as though he does. “How do you know I don’t know?”Because of your pitiable ignorance of everything scientific, that’s how. It doesn’t take a genius to know that you’re a Jesus-freak more concerned with slavish obedience through arrogant proclamations than critical thinking. Can you see that I’m not in any way obligated to hold your evidence-lacking rantings up on an equal footing with the (admittedly incomplete) hypotheses put forth by scientists?”How do you know that God didn’t let me know thru His self-revelation?”I’d have to be pretty gullible to take that seriously, just as I’d have to be pretty gullible to take seriously the ranting of a Muslim claiming that Allah had revealed things to him. This “trust me” nonsense (which strangely should be deemed as nonsense when it’s coming from someone else’s religion but is “compelling” when it’s coming form yours. Go figure) doesn’t get you anywhere, but then it’s not like you ever thought you had any responsibility to provide actual evidence for your claims (just like most other dedicated religionists), so it’s at least entirely consistent with your way of arguing. “Sure it does, though you have no idea how.”Allow me to turn your question onto you: how do you know I don’t? Obviously I haven’t dedicated all that much time to trying to educate you, so my actual explanation hasn’t been very well articulated (and even if it was, you’d find something to dismiss it as mere “faith”, as you can be counted on to do with anything that contradicts the Bible) but saying that I have “no idea how” is clearly dumb. Unlike you, I can actually call on something more solid than self-chat sessions (or “revelations from God”, as you call them. Since you can’t provide anyone with anything by which they could actually distinguish the two (apart from pious assurances and lots of ignorant statements about the scientific method) we are completely justified in supposing that you are engaged in the less extraordinary of the two possibilities – just like Muslims are when they claim to be in contact with and receiving guidance from Allah.”How could you know that there’s evidence if you don’t know anythg about how it came about?”The evidence gives us clues as to how it may have come about. That evidence consists of clues left behind from the time as well as clues pertaining to processes and entities that are with us today that likely have some resemblance to what happened in the past (based upon what we know of the past). “Without a time machine, “research” apparently means “making massive assumptions about how the earth was back in the day,”Massive assumptions that happen to be corroborated by independent evidence and are therefore not assumptions at all, or assumptions that are perfectly reasonable ones given what we know of chemistry and geology. “putting stuff together in the lab that MIGHT MAYBE have been PARTIALLY present,”A good start, unlike the invocation of a pre-scientific book as the only possible authority. “leaving out other aspects of the environment (which, again, we don’t know; we’re assuming),”What aspects? I’m interested to know. Scientists looking into these things are constantly looking for how better to refine their models and experiments to align more precisely with the actual environment. “and then observing what happens TODAY”.”And cautiously building upon those results, always taking into account new information that comes in and gives us a better understanding of the conditions that actually prevailed in the past, and then doing the experiments again to factor them in. Your caricature is a little bit estupido, because it leaves out pretty much everything important about such experiments and models are constructed. “Wow – that’s really impressive.”Qualified with the things I added, it’s surely a whole lot more impressive than the thoroughly dishonest and cowardly enterprise you’re engaged in. >is to terminate inquiry<”Now you’re just making stuff up.”Actually I’m not. Creation “science” has yielded not a single practical application to date; it relies purely upon poking holes in current scientific knowledge. It’s a completely barren enterprise. “‘Tis the secularists who would push my expressions of religion out of the public square.”Now who’s “making stuff up”? When have we ever implied that we would push your nonsense out of the public square? We defend freedom of speech. What we don’t defend, however, is the “right” of fundamentalist ignoramuses with a pious agenda to impose their brand of archaic superstition into the science curriculum. “Better said:God is right b/c He was there and you weren’t and you should all listen to Him instead of people who pretend to know what they’re talking about.”Hang on a minute: if you ADMIT that you weren’t there (like the rest of us), how can you judge that God was there and that the Bible can be trusted to this effect? Perhaps you should stop hiding behind God’s skirt and come up with something that isn’t so transparently ridiculous and hypocritical.

  22. says

    we have some idea of how it probably happenedWhich is?I’m not absolutely sure, I’ll give you that. Kudos, then, for realising your limitations.You’d be even better off expressing those limitations up front before getting called on them. Now it looks like you’re backtracking hastily. Uncanny.Actually, it’s a simple observation on my part.Oh, really? You’ve observed that nobody of my persuasion knows how life arose from non-life? Did you publish that study? Which books did you check and which did you cite? Which publications? Was it peer-reviewed?Or is this another occasion where you should have been more careful up front but now have to backtrack again?And yet, like all creationists, you act as though he does. Quote me citing my pastor. Is it your view that I take all that my pastor says w/o checking to see whether what he says lines up with the Bible?Because of your pitiable ignorance of everything scientific, that’s how.Everything?Lui, you don’t even know me. This comment is quite obviously a case of a fundy’s emotions getting the better of his reason. You’re virtually foaming at the mouth here. May I suggest you take a long weekend?I’d have to be pretty gullible to take that seriously, just as I’d have to be pretty gullible to take seriously the ranting of a Muslim claiming that Allah had revealed things to him.Certainly for the latter, since Islam is self-refuting. Perhaps you could make the argument that Christianity is self-refuting sometime.This “trust me” nonsenseWhich is not what I was referring to, as the careful reader will note.The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself to mankind. how do you know I don’t?My own reading and the fact that you haven’t presented any yet, but here’s your opportunity to bring it forth.The evidence gives us clues as to how it may have come about.You don’t even know the definition of “evidence”, it seems quite clear.Massive assumptions that happen to be corroborated by independent evidenceOh, yes, I’m sure. How could you justify the assumption of the principle of uniformity? That the same physical processes that are in operation today were the same back then? Even if they were similar, that can change a lot. Let’s just start there – go ahead and prove that point and we can move on to the other big assumptions.perfectly reasonable ones given what we know of chemistry and geology. You must have forgotten, then, what we know of philosophy and metascience.1) You admit these are assumptions. Good, we’re getting somewhere.2) You can’t observe these things, so no scientific method.3) You still have a problem of induction. In short, you’re in trouble.A good start, unlike the invocation of a pre-scientific book as the only possible authority. Yes, putting stuff together in the lab that MIGHT MAYBE have been PARTIALLY present is WAY better than listening to the God Who is the ultimate ground for intelligiblity and, yes, science. Your bias is showing.(creation science) relies purely upon poking holes in current scientific knowledge. 1) It’s quite good at poking holes. Big ones.2) Why aren’t you, rather, grateful for the holes? Aren’t you all about “self-critique” and “passing a battery of peer-review” and stuff like that? Or is it only when such reviews come from approved Darwinians? And only when they go only so far in challenging the current Darwinian view, but not TOO far so as to make the establishment uncomfy? 3) I have never appealed to creation science, so take your strawman elsewhere to blow up.When have we ever implied that we would push your nonsense out of the public square? 2 words for you.AC and LU.What we don’t defend, however, is the “right” of fundamentalist ignoramuses with a pious agenda to impose their brand of archaic superstition into the science curriculum.Which would be “speech”. You went too far again. You’ve got a real exaggeration problem.how can you judge that God was there and that the Bible can be trusted to this effect? 1) How would I have been there? I don’t get it.2) If God weren’t there, the universe would not exist.If God didn’t tell the truth about it, that would mean He lied, and there would be no way to know truth at all.It is impossible for the God of the Bible not to exist, in short.Perhaps you should stop hiding behind God’s skirt and come up with something that isn’t so transparently ridiculous and hypocritical.Given your obvious penchant for gross, emotional overstatement, one wonders how to take this statement.Peace,Rhology

  23. says

    >”we have some idea of how it probably happened”<“Which is?”I already gave you the link. Here it is again. Personally, I couldn’t care less if you actually bother to read it or not because scientific arguments won’t sway you in any case (that’s what faith does, after all). You’re of course free to take what they say into account or disagree with it completely, but the fact that you would even ask “Which is?” attests to your ignorance. Do you mean to tell me you don’t know what the naturalistic hypothesis is in even its broadest terms? Really? Which of course means that you have nothing to say about it except that you don’t know what it is but somehow feel qualified to casually dismiss it as mere “faith” on my part. Sorry, but you’ll need to do a lot better than that. “Kudos, then, for realising your limitations.”Thank you. I do wish, however, that fundamentalists also exhibited the same degree of integrity. Still, by all means, go on implying that you’re more well-informed than the world’s leading experts. Who was it who told Bill O’Reilly: “We can all at least appreciate your arguments for how loudly you tell them.” ?“You’d be even better off expressing those limitations up front before getting called on them. Now it looks like you’re backtracking hastily. Uncanny.”Backtracking? Nope. I have always stated clearly that I don’t know how life actually began (indeed I’ve stated that numerous times, for anyone to verify). When I said that I wasn’t absolutely sure that you’re wrong, I wasn’t placing your hypothesis up on an equal footing with the one I would subscribe to; I was merely making an epistemological point about the limitations of knowledge. I can’t be absolutely sure that you’re wrong, but that doesn’t mean I think you have any actual warrant in believing in a divine origin of life. “You’ve observed that nobody of my persuasion knows how life arose from non-life?”Effectively, yes. I’ve observed a lot of hot air and arrogant pronouncements coming from the propaganda mills of the scientifically illiterate, with no actual substance ever emanating from these sources. This consistent lack of content strongly suggests an underlying emptiness in the claims being made, so I’ve never been given any reasons to take the pronouncements at all seriously. It’s always amounted to “No one knows such and such, therefore we’re right and if you don’t believe us you hate God”. “Is it your view that I take all that my pastor says w/o checking to see whether what he says lines up with the Bible?”No, I DEFINITELY don’t believe THAT. :) “Lui, you don’t even know me.”It’s true, I don’t know you. But I can still gauge your scientific literacy (or lack thereof) according to the things you actually say. It’s got nothing whatsoever to do with me knowing you or not; even if I did know you, it would still be your arguments that count for anything in these discussions. “Perhaps you could make the argument that Christianity is self-refuting sometime.”I already have, without rebuttal from anyone. Christian faith relies upon the supposition that humans aren’t capable by themselves of coming to a higher understanding of things if not for the deferment to God on these “deep matters”, yet it supposes that humans are capable of judging that God is to be that guide in the first place. So we can’t judge reality according to notions attested to by physical evidence, yet we can decide that God-belief has the answers (and then perhaps defer onto evidence, except that by now ANY evidence will be automatically taken as further “proof” for God, because we’ve already crowned him as the be-all and end-all). Of course, that’s not unique to Christianity; all Sky-Daddy beliefs carry this fundamental contradiction. “The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself to mankind.”According to one of two possibilities: physical evidence (which you routinely disqualify), or “personal revelation” (which cannot be distinguished from wishful thinking, and works just as well as for any other religion). >how do you know I don’t?<”My own reading and the fact that you haven’t presented any yet, but here’s your opportunity to bring it forth.”Your own reading of the Bible, not science. For otherwise you’d know exactly the answer to you prior question: “Which is?” It doesn’t mean you’d have to agree with what I say, but you’d at least know basically what the argument is. “You don’t even know the definition of “evidence”, it seems quite clear.”Sorry, I forgot that I’m obligated to incorporate God into it before it will mean anything to you. I keep forgetting that’s how science operates. >Massive assumptions that happen to be corroborated by independent evidence<”Oh, yes, I’m sure.”You can sneer all you want (inconsequentially, of course, because the enterprise of science won’t ever much care for what you think), but, as Galileo is purported to have said, “And yet it moves”.“How could you justify the assumption of the principle of uniformity? That the same physical processes that are in operation today were the same back then?”Things like this:“The constancy of constants is a conclusion, not an assumption. It is tested whenever possible. For example: * The fine structure constant affects neutron capture rates, which can be measured from products of the Oklo reactor, where a natural nuclear reaction occurred 1,800 million years ago. These measurements show that the fine structure constant has remained constant (within one part in 1017 per year) for almost two billion years (Fujii et al. 2000; Shlyakhter 1976). * Despite some weak evidence that the fine structure constant may have varied slightly more than six billion years ago (Musser 1998; Webb et al. 1999), analysis of the spectra of quasars shows that it has changed less than 0.6 parts per million over the last ten billion years (Chand et al. 2004) * Experiments with atomic clocks show that any change is less than a rate of about 10-15 per year (Fischer et al. 2004). * Absorption lines in light from quasars suggest that the ratio of masses of the proton and electron may have changed by 20 parts per million over the last 12 billion years (Cho 2006).” and “1. The constancy of radioactive decay is not an assumption, but is supported by evidence: * The radioactive decay rates of nuclides used in radiometric dating have not been observed to vary since their rates were directly measurable, at least within limits of accuracy. This is despite experiments that attempt to change decay rates (Emery 1972). Extreme pressure can cause electron-capture decay rates to increase slightly (less than 0.2 percent), but the change is small enough that it has no detectable effect on dates. * Supernovae are known to produce a large quantity of radioactive isotopes (Nomoto et al. 1997a, 1997b; Thielemann et al. 1998). These isotopes produce gamma rays with frequencies and fading rates that are predictable according to present decay rates. These predictions hold for supernova SN1987A, which is 169,000 light-years away (Knödlseder 2000). Therefore, radioactive decay rates were not significantly different 169,000 years ago. Present decay rates are likewise consistent with observations of the gamma rays and fading rates of supernova SN1991T, which is sixty million light-years away (Prantzos 1999), and with fading rate observations of supernovae billions of light-years away (Perlmutter et al. 1998). * The Oklo reactor was the site
    of a natural nuclear reaction 1,800 million years ago. The fine structure constant affects neutron capture rates, which can be measured from the reactor’s products. These measurements show no detectable change in the fine structure constant and neutron capture for almost two billion years (Fujii et al. 2000; Shlyakhter 1976). 2. Radioactive decay at a rate fast enough to permit a young earth would have produced enough heat to melt the earth (Meert 2002). 3. Different radioisotopes decay in different ways. It is unlikely that a variable rate would affect all the different mechanisms in the same way and to the same extent. Yet different radiometric dating techniques give consistent dates. Furthermore, radiometric dating techniques are consistent with other dating techniques, such as dendrochronology, ice core dating, and historical records (e.g., Renne et al. 1997). 4. The half-lives of radioisotopes can be predicted from first principles through quantum mechanics. Any variation would have to come from changes to fundamental constants. According to the calculations that accurately predict half-lives, any change in fundamental constants would affect decay rates of different elements disproportionally, even when the elements decay by the same mechanism (Greenlees 2000; Krane 1987).”
    What’s more, a universe in which things changed too capriciously wouldn’t be the sort of universe in which scientific discoveries could be made because we wouldn’t be here to talk about them. Thirdly, there is no a priori reason why we must regard capricious change as the “default behaviour” for a universe, and there is no a priori reason why the universe should have been markedly different in some parameter just because we weren’t yet a part of it. That would be completely arbitrary.perfectly reasonable ones given what we know of chemistry and geology.<”You must have forgotten, then, what we know of philosophy and metascience.1) You admit these are assumptions. Good, we’re getting somewhere.”I admit that they’re good assumptions, based upon what we know of the behaviour of certain systems, where we are given no reason to suppose capricious change and where this can serve as the default assumption in the absence of evidence of actual change.“2) You can’t observe these things, so no scientific method.”Not directly, anyway, but since the theories and models in which these assumptions are built in happen to work (as can be seen in their utility in practical applications), we are given reasons to suppose that these assumptions are acceptable approximations of reality. “3) You still have a problem of induction.In short, you’re in trouble.”Not really, but you are, because when it’s found that something in science contradicts a literal reading of the Bible, you are forced to engage in verbal gymnastics and sophistry dressed up as “logic”. I am led to wonder what planet you actually live on. “Yes, putting stuff together in the lab that MIGHT MAYBE have been PARTIALLY present is WAY better than listening to the God Who is the ultimate ground for intelligiblity and, yes, science. Your bias is showing.”I’ll say it again:>And cautiously building upon those results, always taking into account new information that comes in and gives us a better understanding of the conditions that actually prevailed in the past, and then doing the experiments again to factor them in.<You’ve uncovered nothing wrong with this line of investigation other than to indicate that you don’t like it, because instead of investigation you’d prefer to just believe. >(creation science) relies purely upon poking holes in current scientific knowledge.<1) It’s quite good at poking holes. Big ones.”And filling them up with lots of stupidities and non-answers that don’t even fit the data. Also, the holes that it pokes are often nothing but Red Herrings; a “problem” is framed in such a way that the creationist can’t help being “right” (lots of idiotic caricatures of evolution, for example, abound – non of them valid – and these are often held up as “insurmountable problems” for naturalism. When science can’t provide an answer to these ridiculous contortions of reality, the creationist account is then trumpeted as the “solution”. Creation “science” is certainly good at doing that. It’s not much good for anything else). “2) Why aren’t you, rather, grateful for the holes?”Because a) I almost always already know the actual holes that exist, and b) because the creationist wants to hastily use them as “proof” – despite a peculiar track record of getting things consistently wrong – for their version of God. “Aren’t you all about “self-critique” and “passing a battery of peer-review” and stuff like that?”I am. You’re all about belief. “Or is it only when such reviews come from approved Darwinians?”No.“And only when they go only so far in challenging the current Darwinian view, but not TOO far so as to make the establishment uncomfy?”No. I only ask that people address the actual arguments on offer, rather than lying about them through their teeth as creationist propaganda mills can be counted on to do, or – in your case – playing dumb.”3) I have never appealed to creation science, so take your strawman elsewhere to blow up.”Okay, fair enough. So you don’t even factor the word science into your accounting. Got it.>how can you judge that God was there and that the Bible can be trusted to this effect?<”1) How would I have been there? I don’t get it.”Exactly; you weren’t there. So how can you verify that what he “tells you” is true in the first place? Because you need it to be? (see below) By believing it from the outset and then working backwards from your presuppositions, that’s how. Your beliefs are primary and your justifications secondary. Both have more bugs than a Microsoft security update. “2) If God weren’t there, the universe would not exist.”A baseless assumption (not even supported by the evidence) and an argument from incredulity. The notion that only your God could be the cause of the universe is a self-referential presupposition. “If God didn’t tell the truth about it, that would mean He lied, and there would be no way to know truth at all.”Which of course doesn’t mean that God “therefore” exists. You’re essentially saying that God has to exist because if he didn’t we wouldn’t be able to know the truth. Since it would be an awful thing if we didn’t know the truth (an argument from consequence) we “therefore” know the truth, so “therefore” he exists, and since what’s true is defined as what God says anyway, anything and everything become an affirmation of God. That’s an argument? “It is impossible for the God of the Bible not to exist, in short.”Right. Glad you cleared that up for me. I’m reminded of a scene from Billy Madison: “We are all dumber for having heard that.” >What we don’t defend, however, is the “right” of fundamentalist ignoramuses with a pious agenda to impose their brand of archaic superstition into the science curriculum.<”Which would be “speech”. Ummm, no stupid. Imposing one’s religious views onto students in public schools isn’t protected by free speech clauses. Given that you’re misconstruing it as a free speech issue, I suppose you have no problem with Muslims imposing their own version of creation into the science curriculum?

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    I meant to say “Since it would be an awful thing if we didn’t know the truth, we “therefore” know the truth (an argument from consequence)…”

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    Lui,Wow, you linked me to a site that expects me to believe in spontaneous generation of organic from non-organic. And somehow you must think that doesn’t require faith.As an added bonus, it’s not scientific in the slightest. You can’t OBSERVE that going on. You can’t observe the conditions of the early earth. You can’t observe how it did happen. You can’t observe what elements were present. You can’t observe whether there was lightning or volcanic eruptions or not. Etc. By far your best answer is: “We don’t know yet.”Do you mean to tell me you don’t know what the naturalistic hypothesis is in even its broadest terms? Really?There are quite a few naturalists including Ruse and Dick Dawk who endorse other hypotheses than spontaneous generation in the way you describe it here. Yours seems the weakest of the three options I’ve heard, so I had trouble believing that there are people out there who actually hold to your position. This is more like alchemy than science. Do you apply your “values turn into their opposites when it’s convenient to my argument” position to other things too? Like maybe non-being spontaneously became being once upon a time? I do wish, however, that fundamentalists also exhibited the same degree of integrityFundamentalists? Look, either “fundamentalist” means “one who is committed to a strict position and refuses easy compromise” or it means “a movement among AMerican Christianity in the 70s and 80s that advocated withdrawing from society”. The former applies to either of us, and your critique has no referent.The latter doesn’t apply to me at all (else why would I be here?) and thus has no bite. Still, by all means, go on implying that you’re more well-informed than the world’s leading experts.Since I don’t base my argument on such, I don’t know why you’d say that.I identify biases and faulty presuppositions on which these expert observations and “observations” are based and my critique flows therefrom. Strawman again.I have always stated clearly that I don’t know how life actually beganExcept apparently when you link to a flashy website that you like.I can’t be absolutely sure that you’re wrongI know that, but it’s gratifying to see the admission.Incidentally, can you be sure about ANYthing? Anything at all?that doesn’t mean I think you have any actual warrant in believing in a divine origin of life. It’s pretty obvious what you believe. It’s far more interesting to anyone that you present an ARGUMENT for why such is not warranted.“You’ve observed that nobody of my persuasion knows how life arose from non-life?”Effectively, yes. I’ve observed a lot of hot air and arrogant pronouncements coming from the propaganda mills of the scientifically illiterate, with no actual substance ever emanating from these sources.That’s not an observation. That’s a judgment on your part, an interpretation of the data.If you don’t even know how to use the term “Observation” properly, can you help me understand why I should have a lot of confidence in other assertions you make?so I’ve never been given any reasons to take the pronouncements at all seriously. It’s always amounted to “No one knows such and such, therefore we’re right and if you don’t believe us you hate God”.Oh I’m sure you’ve been given reasons, but proof is not the same as persuasions. Some argument from you would need to be forthcoming to overturn those things.And please don’t act like this “you hate God” thing is made up on the spot. It’s straight from the Bible. And it’s fairly obvious from what you say, the way you say it, and the way you spend significant amounts of your time.“Is it your view that I take all that my pastor says w/o checking to see whether what he says lines up with the Bible?”No, I DEFINITELY don’t believe THAT. :)…It’s true, I don’t know you. Once again you backtrack. Your penchant for embellishment is coming thru loud and clear.But I can still gauge your scientific literacy (or lack thereof) according to the things you actually say.More embellishment? How could anyone know? Christian faith relies upon the supposition that humans aren’t capable by themselves of coming to a higher understanding of things if not for the deferment to God on these “deep matters”, yet it supposes that humans are capable of judging that God is to be that guide in the first place.Looks like you’ve had some bad presentations of arguments for CHristianity, then. We require God’s example and standard for intelligibility lest every human make it up as he goes along, which provides no guarantee that any of our thoughts actually lead to true beliefs. This is the very essence of the concept of the impossibility of the contrary.We don’t do any judging at all – God speaks, we listen, and we base everythg else off of the fact that God is and that He has spoken.“The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself to mankind.”According to one of two possibilities: physical evidence (which you routinely disqualify), or “personal revelation” (which cannot be distinguished from wishful thinking, and works just as well as for any other religion).Rather, we know it is from its self-attestation and the impossibility of the contrary. It is impossible for the Bible not to be God’s self-revelation.It doesn’t mean you’d have to agree with what I say, but you’d at least know basically what the argument is. Your argument alternates – you’re not sure, then you point out a highly disputed hypothesis within your own camp, then you’re sure alluvasudden. You’re like a top; how am I to blame for not knowing whether I”m talking to Lui1, Lui2, or Lui3?“You don’t even know the definition of “evidence”, it seems quite clear.”Sorry, I forgot that I’m obligated to incorporate God into it before it will mean anything to youYour ignorance thickens.”Evidence for position X” is data that supports position X to the exclusion of position Y, Z, and R. You cite “evidence” for TOE and yet all of what you cite is perfectly compatible with YEC, so it’s singularly unimpressive.Ah, now my favorite part – your “confirmations” of the principle of uniformity. You really don’t get it – we’re dealing with presuppositions here. You need to provide a presuppositional, a metaphysical argument for how one could confirm what happen***ED*** in the past. Otherwise, ALL of your physical data is 100% dubitable. That’s how presuppositions work.I’ll demonstrate:* The fine structure constant affects neutron capture rates, which can be measured from products of the Oklo reactor, where a natural nuclear reaction …for almost two billion years (Fujii et al. 2000; Shlyakhter 1976).You assume that a natural nuclear reaction occurred.You assume that it happened 1800 million yrs ago. You assume that other conditions in the world and other physical laws have remained constant all that time so as to leave all the surrounding constants constant and unmolested. You can’t observe any of that, so you assume it. You just can’t imagine life being any other way, ESPECIALLY not if God is necessary; that’s ruled out already for you. * Despite some weak evidence that the fine structure constant may …0.6 parts per million over the last ten billion years (Chand et al. 2004)You assume that light behaves the same way in distant bodies like quasars.You assume that light behaves the same way in different areas of the universe.You can’t OBSERVE that. So you assume it.* Experiments with atomic clocks show that any change is less than a rate of about 10-15 per year (Fischer et al. 2004).That is, in the last <100 years of recorded history. You have no idea whether it was changing more rapidly or slowly beforehand. You can't OBSERVE that.* The radioactive decay rates of nuclides used in radiometric dating have not been observed to vary …but the change is small enough that it has no detectable effect on dates.Exactly – “have not been observed to vary”. But you can’t observe before recorded history.You can’t observe how much decay of that element was already present in the immediate environment or sample when it started decaying. Etc.What’s more, a universe in which things changed too capriciously wouldn’t be the sort of universe in which scientific discoveries could be made because we wouldn’t be here to talk about them.1) Yes, b/c the anthropic principle is in operation.2) You have no way, on atheism, to justify believing that there IS a universe at all, that you’re not a brain in a vat.3) You assume that these scientific discoveries are true rather than just leading to semi-correct practice. Thirdly, there is no a priori reason why we must regard capricious change as the “default behaviour” for a universe,What’s your argument for that? Why not?In short, I don’t grant your presuppositions. Prove them true before citing “evidence” at me. Prove that examining evidence is a reliable way to discovering truth, for starters. Problem is, to state that “evidence is a reliable way to discovering truth” requires evidence, so make sure to provide some evidence for that. And presumably you’d think that that evidence truly applies to the situation at hand, so provide some evidence to that effect. And of course, you believe it’s true evidence rather than false evidence, so provide evidence to that effect.See how fun this is? I’m not kidding around – I really want you to do this. Problem is, I could go on to infinity, and that’s where your worldview leads you. Notice I’m taking YOUR worldview and working it out to its logical conclusion. Not directly, anyway, but since the theories and models in which these assumptions are built in happen to work (as can be seen in their utility in practical applications), we are given reasons to suppose that these assumptions are acceptable approximations of reality.YEC “works” for me, but you wouldn’t claim it’s truth.Believing that a hungry tiger right running towards me with bared claws and fangs is actually a doll wanting to play hide and seek with me, to which effort I run to hide as best I can “works” to keep me from being eaten, but it’s not true. Find another standard, one that makes sense.“3) You still have a problem of induction.In short, you’re in trouble.”Not really, but you are, because when it’s found that something in science contradicts a literal reading of the Bible, you are forced to engage in verbal gymnastics and sophistry dressed up as “logic”.You didn’t even attempt to answer the question. That should be troubling for anyone who would be tempted to take you seriously. And as for science/Bible, I have a presuppositional stance that answers the question of why I do that. What God says is far more binding and accurate than what a person says or many persons say when they conflict. So you don’t even factor the word science into your accounting.Neither does your position, since science requires OBSERVATION. YOu’ve made a ton of assertions here that are not observable and labeled them “scientific”. It’s very impressive, sure. Maybe I could play that game too. I hereby label all of this comment “scientific”. Why? B/c, following in Lui’s example, I can just because I can. “Scientific” means anythg anyone apparently wants it to mean. Or maybe it’s just the people on Lui’s approved list who can define “scientific”. Poop, I guess I didn’t get an invite to the elitist We Define Science SO Go Away party. So how can you verify that what he “tells you” is true in the first place?We’ve been over this. God’s word is far more reliable than any human observation, let alone human non-observation like that for which you’re arguing.A baseless assumption (not even supported by the evidence) and an argument from incredulity. Oh, now you ARE making a ‘non-being leapt into being’ argument, as I said above. Wow. Go ahead and provide us some evidence for your assertion.The notion that only your God could be the cause of the universe is a self-referential presupposition. And logical. And such propositions need justification, but the chain of justification has to stop somewhere. Mine stops at God, and mine is logical. Yours is an infinite regress, absent some ultimate justification you’ve yet to bring out. Of course, you don’t show much understanding of the issue, so maybe you’ve never thought that far ahead. Well, now’s your chance.Peace,Rhology

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    I know there’s little point in replying to ρ, so I’ll try to keep it short.Exactly – “have not been observed to vary”. But you can’t observe before recorded history.Actually, we can: looking far into space is also looking back through time. Thus, through observation of the light from SN1987A, we know that radioactive cobalt decayed at exactly the same rate 160,000 years ago as it does today.You can’t observe how much decay of that element was already present in the immediate environment or sample when it started decaying.Actually, geologists use techniques like isochrons, which not only tell you how old a rock is, but also whether your sample is contaminated.

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    thus, through observation of the light from SN1987A, we know that radioactive cobalt decayed at exactly the same rate 160,000 years ago as it does today.On your view, the universe is 10-15 billion yrs old. So even if I granted this, that would mean you can look back thru time at less than 1% of the time elapsed. Congratulations.Still assumes that light and cobalt, etc, act the same way outside your observation, that there’s not some sort of filter that makes it LOOK like it acts the same in between here and there. You don’t know.geologists use techniques like isochrons, which not only tell you how old a rock is, but also whether your sample is contaminated. I’m not talking contamination, I’m talking how much of the decay was already present at the beginning.

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    I’m not talking contamination, I’m talking how much of the decay was already present at the beginning.One of the beautiful things about isochrons is that it doesn’t depend on the amount of daughter isotope present originally.I’d suggest that you look up “isochron” before shooting your mouth off about it, but if you learned anything, you wouldn’t be a creationist anymore, would you? And then who would watch Ben Stein movies?

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    Ben Stein is not a creationist. You are either completely ignorant, stupid, or dishonest to say such a thing. Nor is “Expelled” creationist. It’s ID. Is this all that hard?From here:Isochron dating requires a fourth measurement to be taken, which is the amount of a different isotope of the same element as the daughter product of radioactive decay.Does this not lead to an infinite regress of “fourth measurement”s? How do you measure whether this alternative isotope had already-present decay at the beginning? Hasn’t this just moved the question back one step?The article seems to make some concessions in that direction:—All radiometric dating methods require, in order to produce accurate ages, certain initial conditions and lack of contamination over time.—One of the requirements for isochron dating is that the samples be cogenetic, meaning that they all formed at about the same time from a common pool of material in which the relevant elements and isotopes were distributed reasonably homogeneously.Your thoughts on this are welcome, arensb. It’s a fairly large point for your position and a virtually negligible one for my own, but it’s fun while it lasts.Peace,Rhology

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    Does this not lead to an infinite regress of “fourth measurement”s? How do you measure whether this alternative isotope had already-present decay at the beginning? Hasn’t this just moved the question back one step?No, because the second isotope (the one in the denominator) is non-radioactive and non-radiogenic, meaning it doesn’t decay, and it wasn’t produced through decay.This leads to the broader question of, “okay, so it doesn’t decay, but how do you know there’s the same amount of that isotope now as there was when the rock was formed?” That’s basically what the first “concession” you quote addresses:All radiometric dating methods require, in order to produce accurate ages, certain initial conditions and lack of contamination over time.This is true: if the amount of whatever it you’re measuring has changed over time (either gone up or gone down), then you won’t get an accurate measurement of the thing you really want.But that’s the beautiful thing about isochrons: you can tell if a sample’s been contaminated. Without getting too detailed, in the ideal case, your measurements would produce a set of points, all in a straight line. The slope of the line indicates the age of the rock: the steeper the slope, the older the rock.In reality, of course, either the radiogenic or non-radiogenic isotope can be added or removed, say by seeping in or out (it takes a while for anything to seep through rock, but on the timescales we’re talking about, significant amounts of it can happen). But when that happens, the corresponding point on the graph moves up, down, left, or right. So if you plot your points, and you find that nine of them are in a nice straight line, and the remaining one is off to the side, you know that the tenth sample has been contaminated, and is unreliable.In real life, of course, there’s error in every measurement, which is why geologists use well-known mathematical formulas to quantify how tightly grouped the points are (i.e., to put a numerical figure on “yeah, that’s a nice straight line” or “it’s sort of a line if you squint” or “c’mon, there’s no way you can call that a straight line”). From what I’ve seen, what it amounts to in practice is that if you need to use a magic marker to make your line go through all the data points, then the isochron is thrown out.One of the requirements for isochron dating is that the samples be cogenetic, meaning that they all formed at about the same time from a common pool of material in which the relevant elements and isotopes were distributed reasonably homogeneously.Yup. Basically, this is saying that if your samples were formed at different times, you’re going to get nonsense results.As for the homogeneity requirement: let’s say there’s a rock, and it contains radioactive elements that decay in the normal way. This rock gets heated up a bit and turns mushy, but not liquid lava or anything. Then the heat goes back down and the rock resolidifies. The isotopes you want to measure got spread out a bit while the rock turned mushy, but not very much. A part that had a lot of radiogenic isotope will still have a higher-than-average amount of it, and a part that didn’t have any radiogenic isotope might have some, but less than average for the whole rock. The radioactive elements continue to decay normally until the present day. Effectively, what you wind up with is a rock that doesn’t have a well-defined age.Here’s an analogy: let’s say in 1988 I took some wax and made a candle. Then in 1998, I melted the candle down, stirred up the paraffin thoroughly, and poured it into a mold and made a new candle. What I have in 2008 is a 10-year-old candle, not a 20-year-old one.But what if, in 1998, instead of melting it down completely, I simply left the candle out in the sun until it got soft, then shaped it with my fingers? Now, in 2008, do I have a 20-year-old candle, or a 10-year-old one? If you measure from the last time the paraffin was completely melted, then 20. If you measure from the last time it changed shape, then 10. If you measure by how long individual paraffin molecules have been neighbors, some will say 10, others will say 20. Same thing in the rock.I’m not sure how geologists can determine this sort of event in a rock’s history, but I suspect it’s possible.

  31. says

    It’s ID. Is this all that hard?ID is just sexed-up creationism, “designed” (rather intelligently, but in the case of “Expelled”, not so) to circumvent constitutional prohibitions on the government promoting religion. Or are you too ignorant, stupid, or dishonest to see that? (or perhaps you’re just gullible, which means that the Wedge Strategy is working like a charm)One thing about debating Rhology is that one immediately realises that he is the ultimate sophist. Sometimes his arguments are so dishonest and flabbergasting that one barely knows how to begin addressing them. Wow, you linked me to a site that expects me to believe in spontaneous generation of organic from non-organic. And somehow you must think that doesn’t require faith.Spontaneous generation of the precursor systems, not spontaneous generation all the way from non-organic to organic. See the difference? (Rhology tactic #1: caricature)As an added bonus, it’s not scientific in the slightest. You can’t OBSERVE that going on. You can’t observe the conditions of the early earth.Actually, you can. You “observe” the conditions of the early Earth by measuring chemical compositions in rocks (Rhology tactic #2: dismiss absolutely anything and everything that can’t be directly observed, even if we have evidence that is what we would expect to find if such and such happened).“You can’t observe how it did happen. You can’t observe what elements were present.”You can’t observe what elements were present? Oh man, that’s a good one, even for you. You clearly have no clue how elements are actually formed. You can’t observe whether there was lightning or volcanic eruptions or not. Etc.”(Rhology tactic # 3: make broad, sweeping generalisations about things he knows nothing about). Never heard of the Siberian Traps? No one was there to “observe” them, but we know they happened because we can study what was left behind – and what was left behind indicates massive volcanic eruptions during the latter part of the Permian. That’s not at life’s origin, I know, it’s much later than that – but it makes rubbish of your idea that we can’t “observe” whether there were volcanic eruptions in the distant past. We observe the evidence, and the evidence can tell us about things that occurred. By far your best answer is: “We don’t know yet.”Actually, that would be your most honest answer (Rhology tactic # 4: sheer, bald-faced hypocrisy).We know a great deal more than you think (frankly, I couldn’t care less if you don’t actually believe that, because your contemptible rants will continue to provide great entertainment to atheists for years to come, as well as providing the opposite sex with a hilarious turn-off). >Do you mean to tell me you don’t know what the naturalistic hypothesis is in even its broadest terms? Really? <There are quite a few naturalists including Ruse and Dick Dawk who endorse other hypotheses than spontaneous generation in the way you describe it here.I have no problem with that. But at least they – unlike you – can actually provide coherent reasons for supposing what they do. Yours seems the weakest of the three options I’ve heard,According to what evidence? (Rhology tactic # 5: make out as though he is the least bit knowledgeable about alternative hypotheses proposed by scientists and thus in a minimal position from which to choose among them)so I had trouble believing that there are people out there who actually hold to your position. Right. So you DIDN’T look at the site. Well done. (Rhology tactic # 6: Christian fundie arrogance)This is more like alchemy than science.But “God did it” obviously isn’t. Do you apply your “values turn into their opposites when it’s convenient to my argument” position to other things too? Like maybe non-being spontaneously became being once upon a time?Quantum mechanics? Symmetry breaking? No-boundary condition? (Rhology tactic # 7: arguments from incredulity) >I do wish, however, that fundamentalists also exhibited the same degree of integrity < Fundamentalists?Yes, what you are. A fundamentalist. Look, either “fundamentalist” means “one who is committed to a strict position and refuses easy compromise” or it means “a movement among AMerican Christianity in the 70s and 80s that advocated withdrawing from society”. The former applies to either of us,Actually, it only applies to you since I’m not committed to a strict position. But thanks for admitting that you are. >Still, by all means, go on implying that you’re more well-informed than the world’s leading experts. <Since I don’t base my argument on such, I don’t know why you’d say that.Read what I actually wrote: I said that you IMPLY that you’re more well informed than the world’s leading experts, given that you so casually dismiss almost everything they say. I identify biasesI.e. things that don’t go along with your strict reading of the Bibleand faulty presuppositionsI.e. anything that doesn’t put God in the driver’s seat. on which these expert observations and “observations” are based and my critique flows therefrom. Strawman again.Nothing of the sort. You do indeed pretend to be in a better position to know things that the world’s leading experts. >I have always stated clearly that I don’t know how life actually began<Except apparently when you link to a flashy website that you like.A website that presents a plausible hypothesis for how life arose from non-life, and which you misconstrued as presenting “spontaneous generation from non-organic to organic”. Incidentally, can you be sure about ANYthing? Anything at all?Not absolutely sure, no (except for the existence of my own mind). Just like you (the ONLY difference is that you claim otherwise. You can’t actually demonstrate that you can be absolutely sure of anything. In fact, you can’t prove that YOU’RE not a brain in a vat. Your outlook just assures you that you’re not by positing a being who magics you away from such a predicament) (Rhology tactic # 8: adhere to scenarios that, in his mind, allow him to escape from the problems of his own – never admitted – uncertainty). >that doesn’t mean I think you have any actual warrant in believing in a divine origin of life. <It’s pretty obvious what you believe. It’s far more interesting to anyone that you present an ARGUMENT for why such is not warranted.Because it’s baseless. You haven’t provided any argument whatsoever for a supernatural origin for anything (Rhology tactic # 9: expect others to see his ridiculous, evidence-lacking scenarios as being on a par with what science has actually given us reasons to suppose). So far, the only thing you’ve managed is to look for gaps in current scientific knowledge and hold those up as somehow constituting evidence (though you’re mortified by the very concept of evidence, so you dare not speak its name) for God. You’ve observed that nobody of my persuasion knows how life arose from non-life?>Effectively, yes. I’ve observed a lot of hot air and arrogant pronouncements coming from the propaganda mills of the scientifically illiterate, with no actual substance ever emanating from these sources.< That’s not an observation. That’s a judgment on your part, an interpretation of the data.Okay, point me to someone of your persuasion who knows how life arose from non-life, and I’ll eat my words (and by that, I don’t mean some arsehole who THINKS he knows how life started just because he’s read Genesis). >so I’ve never been given any reasons to take the pronouncements at all seriously. It’s always amounted to “No one knows such and such, therefore we’re right and if you don’t believe us you hate God”. <Oh I’m sure you’ve been given reasons, but proof is not the same as persuasions. Some argument from you would need to be forthcoming to overturn those things.Okay, yes, you’re right, I have been given “reasons”, but they’ve all been pretty poor. And please don’t act like this “you hate God” thing is made up on the spot. It’s straight from the Bible.Fine, it’s in the Bible (frankly, who cares). It doesn’t mean it’s a good argument. And yes, religionists much like you DO use the “atheists hate God” card to weasel their way out of having to provide an actual argument for their convictions. They do this routinely and shamelessly (Rhology tactic # 10: make excuses for his religion’s failure to account for the world as it actually is by accusing atheists of hating God). And it’s fairly obvious from what you say, the way you say it, and the way you spend significant amounts of your time.More self-flattery. Get this through your head: it’s the influence of religious stupidity, much, MUCH more than your God, that I “hate”. “Is it your view that I take all that my pastor says w/o checking to see whether what he says lines up with the Bible?”>No, I DEFINITELY don’t believe THAT. :)…It’s true, I don’t know you. <Once again you backtrack. Your penchant for embellishment is coming thru loud and clear.Pathetic. As if not knowing someone disqualifies one from making ANY sort of evaluation of the person. When I say that I don’t know you, I mean that I don’t know you in the everyday sense that it’s understood, and which I thought you were using. But apparently you’d prefer to string together sentences to try to find anything contradictory (Rhology tactic # 11: playing with words to find ANY weak spot in his opponent’s arguments – even when they’re not actually weak spots – and conflating them as deep problems for the latter’s position). >But I can still gauge your scientific literacy (or lack thereof) according to the things you actually say.<More embellishment? How could anyone know?By reading and understanding what I’ve written, rather than writing what they want into it, as you’ve always managed to do. >Christian faith relies upon the supposition that humans aren’t capable by themselves of coming to a higher understanding of things if not for the deferment to God on these “deep matters”, yet it supposes that humans are capable of judging that God is to be that guide in the first place. <Looks like you’ve had some bad presentations of arguments for CHristianity, then. Right – even thought it’s EXACTLY what you’ve been pushing ever since you came onto this blog (Rhology tactic # 12: playing stupid).We require God’s example and standard for intelligibility lest every human make it up as he goes along, which provides no guarantee that any of our thoughts actually lead to true beliefs. (Rhology tactic #13: backtracking) See what I mean? You can’t go more than a few sentences without contradicting yourself. But thanks for reiterating what you believe (apparently you see that as a rebuttal to what I was saying). Try to actually address what I say in the future. Do it as a novelty. This is the very essence of the concept of the impossibility of the contrary.We don’t do any judging at all – God speaks, we listen, and we base everything else off of the fact that God is and that He has spoken.A baseless supposition, since one still has to judge that God is there to do the “speaking” in the first place. Your argument isn’t just retarded, it’s utterly inbred (Rhology tactic # 14: make sweeping assumptions even while he accuses others of doing the same).“The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself to mankind.”> According to one of two possibilities: physical evidence (which you routinely disqualify), or “personal revelation” (which cannot be distinguished from wishful thinking, and works just as well as for any other religion). <Rather, we know it is from its self-attestationJust like any other god that you have to believe in first in order for it to “affirm” it. and the impossibility of the contrary.Based upon what?It is impossible for the Bible not to be God’s self-revelation.Such asinine nonsense. Actually, it is possible, since there is nothing in the Bible that could not have been written by humans living at the time. A lot of the Bible is pure tripe – nasty, horny tripe at that (Rhology tactic # 15: Bible thumping). >It doesn’t mean you’d have to agree with what I say, but you’d at least know basically what the argument is. <Your argument alternates – you’re not sure, then you point out a highly disputed hypothesis within your own camp, then you’re sure alluvasudden. When was I “sure”? I was only presenting a plausible hypothesis for a naturalistic origin for life that I find plausible based upon what I know (saying that something is plausible doesn’t mean that I’m sure it’s right. See the difference?). “You don’t even know the definition of “evidence”, it seems quite clear.”> Sorry, I forgot that I’m obligated to incorporate God into it before it will mean anything to you <Your ignorance thickens.”Evidence for position X” is data that supports position X to the exclusion of position Y, Z, and R. You cite “evidence” for TOE and yet all of what you cite is perfectly compatible with YEC, so it’s singularly unimpressive.That’s one of the most pathetic, imbecilic things I’ve ever read. It’s only perfectly compatible if one makes endless adjustments and tweaks to existing scientific knowledge in order to accommodate a young Earth. Some of the crap that I’ve heard spouted by YECs is so convoluted and tortured that it’s almost vomit-inducing. Whenever a tweak needs to be made, some new (unwarranted) assumption needs to be hauled in, while ignoring the effect it would have on everything else (creationists rarely take context into account. They look at only a small portion of the big picture, changing things as their dogma fancies, and then skip along to the next area that needs to be expunged of the “atheist influence”. It’s a pathetic hodge-podge, more delicate than a house of cards, so the creationist is obligated to restrict vision to one area at a time in order to conceal how the other areas would need to be changed, which would cause the whole house to collapse). I’ll tell you what, though: go look up the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Then come back and tell me how it’s “perfectly compatible” with YEC. Ah, now my favorite part – your “confirmations” of the principle of uniformity.You really don’t get it – we’re dealing with presuppositions here. You need to provide a presuppositional, a metaphysical argument for how one could confirm what happen***ED*** in the past.”Consistency among disparate pieces of evidence, all pointing to the same conclusion (Rhology tactic # 16: being ignorant of how science works but hoping that no one will notice). As one would expect to find if something is true. Otherwise, ALL of your physical data is 100% dubitable. That’s how presuppositions work.I know. It’s a shame you don’t. I’ll demonstrate:* The fine structure constant affects neutron capture rates, which can be measured from products of the Oklo reactor, where a natural nuclear reaction …for almost two billion years (Fujii et al. 2000; Shlyakhter 1976).You assume that a natural nuclear reaction occurred. You assume that it
    happened 1800 million yrs ago.
    Actually, I don’t “assume” it. I accept the evidence for it. The reason I think there was a natural nuclear reaction at Oklo but not beneath Sydney is because one location has something that would be expected of a past nuclear reaction, while the other doesn’t. You assume that other conditions in the world and other physical laws have remained constant all that time so as to leave all the surrounding constants constant and unmolested.It’s a conclusion, not an assumption. Everything we actually know is CONSISTENT with these constants being constant. Again, you look at each case in isolation, as though one thing had no bearing on another. It’s the mutual consistency of these disparate pieces of evidence that lead us to be reasonably sure of certain conclusions. You can’t observe any of that, so you assume it. You just can’t imagine life being any other way, ESPECIALLY not if God is necessary; that’s ruled out already for you.No it isn’t. If actual evidence for God were brought forth, I would consider it. You haven’t done anything of the sort. In fact, you’ve just made God look bad. * Despite some weak evidence that the fine structure constant may …0.6 parts per million over the last ten billion years (Chand et al. 2004)You assume that light behaves the same way in distant bodies like quasars.You really don’t get this “convergence of evidence” business, do you? If it was actually discovered that light does behaves differently in quasars (and we have no reason to think it does), then we would discount that as something in favour of constancy, but given that there are so many independent lines of evidence from things that all suggest the same conclusion (the constancy of the constants) – and which are consistent in regard to other conclusions as well, which means that these things corroborate one another by all mutually agreeing, I don’t see how you can be so passionate in your whinging. Your only strategy has been to see everything in a disconnected way – which gives your outlook the integrity of a million shards of glass glued together with tomato paste. You seem not to have any conception of the notion of evidence corroborating other evidence (and let’s also not forget that actual predications that have been confirmed have been made based upon the terrible “assumptions” you so decry). You assume that light behaves the same way in different areas of the universe.You can provide no reason to suppose that it doesn’t (indeed, to take seriously the notion that the Earth is only a few thousand years old, you need to believe that the speed of light was different in the past since there are stars mentioned in the Bible that are actually millions of light years away. But this sort of thing always opens up a can of worms you hadn’t anticipated, so you need to change something else…and something else, and so on, just to make everything “consistent”. It’s so lacking in any degree of parsimony that only faith can keep it going, whereas if you accept an old Earth, everything fits together much more seamlessly). > Experiments with atomic clocks show that any change is less than a rate of about 10-15 per year (Fischer et al. 2004). <That is, in the last <100 years of recorded history. You have no idea whether it was changing more rapidly or slowly beforehand. You can't OBSERVE that.Why would it change beforehand? There’s no logical connection between humans being here to directly measure something and that something being any different to when we weren’t around (if there is, I’d love to here it, and so would every physicist, geologist and biologist). At the very least, we would have no reason to suppose that such a change “must have” happened. The direct observations we DO have go against what you’re saying, but no matter: you’ve now moved the goalposts and drawled, “But what about before that?” Well, what’s so SPECIAL about beforehand? If you ask for direct observations, then obviously they’re only going to be made when we can actually do them. The results we get suggest constancy, but instead of accepting that (as any rational person would do) you put in more arbitrary conditions, and refuse even to see it as a point in favour of constancy (instead, you go off and make your own assumptions, like that the constants have changed, even though you don’t have any actual evidence for that. Perhaps you see having evidence as a bad thing, I don’t know). Unless you have some actual reason to suppose that the physical constants should have changed when we arrived on the scene (like something you can point to which can be tested), your argument is empty (I should point out by now that creationists routinely assume constancy when it suites their own arguments, but even then they get it wrong, because they ignore context – they ignore complicating factors that scientists are only too aware of. Perversely, this is how it works for the creationists: they either complicate things by introducing ad hoc, evidence-lacking changes and decrying the scientists for their “assumptions” of constancy, or else they assume constancy themselves and ignore complications for which evidence exists and which must be included in any realistic accounting. As far as science is concerned, they do things precisely back-to-front. Which is of course why they work on the fringes of respectability). >The radioactive decay rates of nuclides used in radiometric dating have not been observed to vary …but the change is small enough that it has no detectable effect on dates. <Exactly – “have not been observed to vary”. But you can’t observe before recorded history.Another case of moving the goalposts (I almost forgot: Rhology tactic # 17: moving the goalposts when it suits him). Another case of providing nothing compelling in the place of what you’re criticising. And another case of ignoring parsimony. There’s a perverse nested beauty to your arguments. They’re wrong on so many different levels. The above argument amounts to this: “We shouldn’t say anything at all about things we can’t directly observe, unless it affirms what I believe. Otherwise, you’re just making assumshens, which is against the troof.” You can’t observe how much decay of that element was already present in the immediate environment or sample when it started decaying.And you can provide no reason why it should have been different “beforehand” – other than that it’s required for a young Earth (in which case pretty much everything else in established science has to be thrown out the window). >What’s more, a universe in which things changed too capriciously wouldn’t be the sort of universe in which scientific discoveries could be made because we wouldn’t be here to talk about them. <1) Yes, b/c the anthropic principle is in operation.Indeed; I use the weak anthropic principle. There’s nothing wrong with that. 2) You have no way, on atheism, to justify believing that there IS a universe at all, that you’re not a brain in a vat.Atheism is a lack of belief in gods. Your “alternative” is simply – and ONLY – to DECLARE that God provides a way out of this conundrum (if it actually is a conundrum). After all, how can you prove that YOU’RE not a brain in a vat and that the Bible is actually just a fiction being fed to you? That the experiences that seem to “affirm” what the Bible claims are themselves just inventions? Because of the Bible. Circular reasoning. (Rhology tactic # 18: special pleading)3) You assume that these scientific discoveries are true rather than just leading to semi-correct practice.Given that the notion that I’m a brain in a vat isn’t actually a better explanation
    for anything (unless you’d like to show me how it is), why shouldn’t I think that the transitional fossil Tiktaalilk roseae is real? >Thirdly, there is no a priori reason why we must regard capricious change as the “default behaviour” for a universe, <What’s your argument for that? Why not?I said there’s no reason it MUST BE regarded as the default behaviour. I didn’t say it MUSN’T be. In any case, the anthropic principle argues against such change. Prove that examining evidence is a reliable way to discovering truth, for starters.You say that even while you use a computer! (Rhology tactic # 19: saying the darndest things). It’s hilarious. Perhaps you’re dumb enough to believe that your computer was built upon a foundation of lies and faulty “assumptions”, but I see no need to follow you there. Good luck though, because you negate your own challenge each time you use a keyboard. Problem is, to state that “evidence is a reliable way to discovering truth” requires evidence, so make sure to provide some evidence for that.Your computer, which couldn’t have been built without the advances made in chemistry, electromagnetism, and quantum mechanics. Or do you deny that?And presumably you’d think that that evidence truly applies to the situation at hand, so provide some evidence to that effect. And of course, you believe it’s true evidence rather than false evidence, so provide evidence to that effect.I think that rather than engaging in this disgusting charade, you should by now have the honesty to admit the following: “I won’t accept any evidence unless it’s got a place for God in it.” Your arguments are a pathetic, infantile joke. Evidence bounces right off you; you’re completely impervious to it, so I’m not going to play your little game. See how fun this is?If you’re retarded. I’m not kidding around – I really want you to do this.To what effect? So you can keep on engaging in more mysticism and convoluted nonsense about “the evidence for evidence”? No thanks. By all means, thought, keep using the Pentium chip that science gave you to keep on promoting your nonsense. Problem is, I could go on to infinity, and that’s where your worldview leads you. Notice I’m taking YOUR worldview and working it out to its logical conclusion.Which must explain why you trust in an archaic book. >Not directly, anyway, but since the theories and models in which these assumptions are built in happen to work (as can be seen in their utility in practical applications), we are given reasons to suppose that these assumptions are acceptable approximations of reality. <YEC “works” for me, but you wouldn’t claim it’s truth.YEC might “work” for you (whatever that means; apparently not much), but it’s still complete and total trash, not least because it hasn’t contributing a SINGLE practical application to date. Not one. Frankly, what works for you is irrelevant. What matters is how knowledge is actually utilised by those who know a bit about what they’re doing. I’ve got too much respect for the men and women who actually investigate the universe and are currently engaged in the most systematic quest for truth in the history of humanity to be much concerned about what works for you. Believing that a hungry tiger right running towards me with bared claws and fangs is actually a doll wanting to play hide and seek with me, to which effort I run to hide as best I can “works” to keep me from being eaten, but it’s not true.So geophysicists (to take one category of scientist you think are mistaken) are wrong and you’re right. They’re the ones running away from a doll wanting to play hide and seek, while you’re the one who sees past that, to what’s actually true. Or maybe (and I think this is something that anyone with a brain – whether in a vat or not – will actually appreciate) it’s the other way around. That would be more parsimonious, for one thing. And I (like most rationalists) am a big fan of parsimony. Find another standard, one that makes sense.Fuck yourself. “3) You still have a problem of induction.In short, you’re in trouble.”> Not really, but you are, because when it’s found that something in science contradicts a literal reading of the Bible, you are forced to engage in verbal gymnastics and sophistry dressed up as “logic”. <You didn’t even attempt to answer the question. That should be troubling for anyone who would be tempted to take you seriously.That coming from someone who believes that the Earth is younger than the domestication of the dog. Yeah, I’m REALLY the one who should be worried. And as for science/Bible, I have a presuppositional stance that answers the question of why I do that. What God says is far more binding and accurate than what a person says or many persons say when they conflict.Then explain sexually antagonistic genes in that context (Rhology tactic #20: making stupid comments). Show how what God says is more “accurate” than what, for example, my university professor says about interlocus conflict (this should be easy; after all, you “talk” to God. Surely you can ask him?). >So you don’t even factor the word science into your accounting. <Neither does your position, since science requires OBSERVATION. YOu’ve made a ton of assertions here that are not observable and labeled them “scientific”. And yet, these “tons of assertions” are used in practical applications that actually work. Funny that. I hereby label all of this comment “scientific”. Why? B/c, following in Lui’s example, I can just because I can. “Scientific” means anythg anyone apparently wants it to mean.”Or so a Young Earth Creationist would believe. There’s a reason the scientific community looks down upon and laughs at people like you. A very, very good reason. Try to find out what it is for some credibility points. Or maybe it’s just the people on Lui’s approved list who can define “scientific”.A list that happens to comprise the scientific community, not a bunch of amateurs at Answers in Genesis. There’s a huge difference there. One is smart, sophisticated and systematic – basically a gigantic positive feedback system that gets to better and better approximations of reality – the other is dumb as fuck, and dishonest to boot. It’s from the latter kinds of sources that you get something that “works” for you. Poop, I guess I didn’t get an invite to the elitist We Define Science SO Go Away party. It’s not my fault you don’t get “invited”. It’s not like you ever bothered to study science in the first place, so who would even think to invite you? You think too big of yourself. You should be grateful than I even give you the time of day. >So how can you verify that what he “tells you” is true in the first place? <We’ve been over this. God’s word is far more reliable than any human observation, let alone human non-observation like that for which you’re arguing.THAT is hilarious. First you’re busting yourself over “observations”, now you’re completely side-lining them. You’ve basically insured yourself against any future contingencies: even in the event that you realised that direct observations all point to naturalistic origins and processes, you’d still disqualify these because, after all, God’s word is far more reliable. > A baseless assumption (not even supported by the evidence) and an argument from incredulity. <Oh, now you ARE making a ‘non-being leapt into being’ argument, as I said above. Wow. Go ahead and provide us some evidence for your assertion.Quantum mechanics, Big Bang cosmology and the
    net zero energy of the universe. Look them up, because I’m not going to spoon feed you (not that you would find facts digestible anyway, which means you probably won’t look them up. Your loss). >The notion that only your God could be the cause of the universe is a self-referential presupposition. <And logical.Based upon that very presupposition, sure. It’s still self-referential and evidence lacking. And such propositions need justification, but the chain of justification has to stop somewhere.And of course, it should be YOU who gets to decide where to stop it. I think not. Mine stops at God, and mine is logical.Actually, it’s precisely because yours stops at God that it’s illogical. Yours is more question begging than mine could ever hope to be.Yours is an infinite regress, absent some ultimate justification you’ve yet to bring out.In a sense, that’s true. While I believe there is some ultimate, simple underlying basis for physical reality, I don’t know that we can ever quite get to know it. It could well be the case that epistemologically, we will always have something more to say. The way you get around that – far from this honest appraisal – is to simply declare the end of proceedings, which you imagine constitutes a point in favour of your outlook. Of course, it’s nothing of the sort. It just means that you’ve labelled your uncertainty with a name, and terminated any further inquiries. Still assumes that light and cobalt, etc, act the same way outside your observation, that there’s not some sort of filter that makes it LOOK like it acts the same in between here and there. You don’t know.Poor Rhology. He’s never heard of parsimony (or if he has, he’s never understood it), yet he feels compelled to talk about “logic”.

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    arensb,You’re still making quite a few large and unobservable assumptions.You can’t observe whether these non-radioactive elements didn’t decay in the past. Shoot, you can’t observe whether these elements weren’t bird droppings that spontaneously became these elements at some point. You can’t observe these physical laws in operation. Sure, bird droppings don’t spontaneously become other elements NOW, but what about THEN? You can’t observe it; you have faith.The more you go on about isochrons (and it is interesting and ingenious, I’ll give you that), the more assumptions you expose. The problem is, you’re trying to refute the idea that you make these massive assumptions.Lui,ID is just sexed-up creationism, “designed” (rather intelligently, but in the case of “Expelled”, not so) to circumvent constitutional prohibitions on the government promoting religionSure, whatever. ID’s Wedge strategy is for…ID teachings. Perhaps you’re unaware of the chasm between ID and creationist teaching and ideas, not to mention between the organisations personally.or maybe it’s just all a big fundy conspiracy in your mind. Spontaneous generation of the precursor systems, not spontaneous generation all the way from non-organic to organic.So there’s non-organic, kind of organic, semi-organic, and then organic, eh? You “observe” the conditions of the early Earth by measuring chemical compositions in rocks No, measuring chemical compositions in rocks is observing chemical compositions in rocks. There are many conceivable ways such compositions could have arrived there.One way is the way you describe, let’s say. Another way is that God made them that way. Another way is that bird droppings spontaneously became that way (much like organic life spontaneously became organic out of non-organic stuff). You weren’t there, you can’t observe how it was nor how it happened. You make many assumptions and then base your conclusion off of them. You clearly have no clue how elements are actually formed. 1) Elements aren’t “formed” – they’re irreducible in their atomic structure. 2) What is this supposed to mean? Even Stephen Hawking and much smarter men than you don’t know what happened before some fraction of a second after the Big Bang. So you don’t know either – and if neither of us know, what’s the big deal?3) Now, I do know – God made them. But I’m focusing on the maladroit challenge you fwded.Never heard of the Siberian Traps? No one was there to “observe” them, but we know they happened because we can study what was left behind – and what was left behind indicates massive volcanic eruptions during the latter part of the Permian.Once again, massive assumptions are required to make that conclusion. You’re a faith artist, much like a faith healer. You claim results and don’t show us the assumptions behind the curtain. Why not just be honest and admit these massive assumptions? Science will be the better for it – get it ALL out on the table, then work to deal with what you really have, rather than what you wish you had.We observe the evidence, and the evidence can tell us about things that occurred. If you make massive assumptions about it, sure. But I can do the same thing. So you DIDN’T look at the site. Well done.I did look at the site. Are you claiming mind-reading powers now?But “God did it” obviously isn’t. No, “God did it” is miraculous activity, not alchemy. Let’s see – to recap, you won’t admit your assumptions, don’t know what ‘evidence’ means, and don’t know what ‘alchemy’ means. Quantum mechanics? Symmetry breaking? No-boundary condition? I’d be interested to know how values spontaneously become their opposites when such things are brought to bear. Have at it.Actually, it only applies to you since I’m not committed to a strict position. But thanks for admitting that you are. Haha. Let the reader judge who’s being fair here.and faulty presuppositionsI.e. anything that doesn’t put God in the driver’s seat. More like anything that is based on a presupposition or set of presuppositions that are self-refuting.You do indeed pretend to be in a better position to know things that the world’s leading experts. [shrug] Your head is apparently impervious to counter-argumentation, even when you’re clearly refuted. Let the reader judge.which you misconstrued as presenting “spontaneous generation from non-organic to organic”. Misconstrued? In what way?In fact, you can’t prove that YOU’RE not a brain in a vat.After all, how can you prove that YOU’RE not a brain in a vat and that the Bible is actually just a fiction being fed to you? Atheism is highly vulnerable to that, b/c your presuppositions allow for it. Mine don’t, so no, my position is not vulnerable to it. God is and speaks – that is my 1st principle. One thing about Him is that He tells the truth, and He tells me I’m not a brain in a vat. You have no such confidence, evidence, authority, nor basis to know you’re not.Solipsism is self-refuting, but then again so is atheism. the biblical worldview isn’t, which is nice. Because it’s baseless. This is apparently what passes for argumentation from Lui.point me to someone of your persuasion who knows how life arose from non-lifeHmm, I guess I misspoke there and mistakenly equated “life arose from non-life” with “life arose”. My mistake – what I meant to say was “You’ve observed that nobody of my persuasion knows how life arose?” In which case, yes, everyone of my persuasion knows. God created life. religionists much like you DO use the “atheists hate God” card to weasel their way out of having to provide an actual argument for their convictions.Perhaps they do; quote me doing it, though. You’re not talking to others.Right – even thought it’s EXACTLY what you’ve been pushing ever since you came onto this blog The 2nd phrase more particularly is what I object to: “it supposes that humans are capable of judging that God is to be that guide in the first place”. The 1st is closer, though it’s not exactly right. It’s more like “Christian faith relies upon the supposition that humans aren’t capable by themselves of coming to a higher understanding of things if not for the deferment to God on every question.”You can’t go more than a few sentences without contradicting yourselfHopefully I’ve cleared up what I meant.(the impossibility of the contrary) Based upon what?An atheistic worldview’s self-refuting nature.You can’t know that you know anything. You are highly vulnerable to solipsism. You have no standard for judging true from false. You have no way to know that your cognitive faculties are reliably aimed at producing true beliefs. Etc. It’s impossible that such statements be true, b/c then they would be either untrue or unknowable. When was I “sure”? You crack me up. Let the reader judge whether you ever make “sure” statements or not. That’s one of the most pathetic, imbecilic things I’ve ever read.You just vented w/o even interacting with what I said. It’s a fairly elementary point. You seem not to be very good at taking even the simplest correction. I’ll tell you what, though: go look up the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Then come back and tell me how it’s “perfectly compatible” with YEC.God created it. Next?The reason I think there was a natural nuclear reaction at Oklo but not beneath Sydney is because one location has s
    omething that would be expected of a past nuclear reaction, while the other doesn’t.
    Which, again, you have to assume a zillion things for. I’m not going to repeat myself over and over. Either you get it or you don’t; you haven’t exhibited any great potential for taking correction, so we’ll just have to let the reader judge.you need to believe that the speed of light was different in the past since there are stars mentioned in the Bible that are actually millions of light years away.I’m amazed people still say this. So the God Who made the stars and galaxies couldn’t also create the light beams stretching from here to there or stretching most of the way here from there? Why would it change beforehand? I don’t know, but you’re the one who needs to prove it. You ASSUME they didn’t and then try to weasel out of it by asking me why I think they’d change. There’s no logical connection between humans being here to directly measure something and that something being any different to when we weren’t aroundI agree, and that’s not what I’m arguing. we would have no reason to suppose that such a change “must have” happened. I agree, and that’s not what I’m arguing. Yuo don’t know either way.You’re really good at typing long paragraphs that have a lot of anger, but not very good at actually interacting with my points.And another case of ignoring parsimony.Which is simply another case of your assuming that parsimony has always been the preferred way to weigh options. Maybe non-parsimony was in “operation” more than 1000 years ago. You don’t know, but you assume it. I’m just asking you to be honest about your assumptions. Why are my calls for increased honesty on your part such a bad thing? Does it hurt?You say that even while you use a computer!B/c my worldview accounts for evidence and truth – God thinks logically and is a logical being. We think our thoughts after Him; He is our example for thinking. He has made the universe so that evidence leads to true conclusions.So, your accounting of it? You’re just borrowing from my worldview and calling it yours until you provide your own. To quote you: Frankly, what works for you is irrelevant. Your computer, which couldn’t have been built without the advances made in chemistry, electromagnetism, and quantum mechanics. Modern science is built on the foundation of theistic presuppositions – that the universe is ordered, that things make sense, that evidence leads to truth. Provide an atheistic alternative that gets you there. Just saying “but it’s worked!” a few times doesn’t help you. Lots of wrong things work and can be conceived to work, like my tiger example. To quote you: Frankly, what works for you is irrelevant. So you can keep on engaging in more mysticism and convoluted nonsense about “the evidence for evidence”?Is that a refusal to answer the question. I’m glad this is being written down. You’re substituting bluster and incredulity for real answers.Which must explain why you trust in an archaic book. Which at least answers the question, which is more than you’ve done here. Frankly, what works for you is irrelevant. So which is it? Fuck yourself. You are doing great – keep your head and you might even make it to the end of this comment before trailing off into gibberish. Aren’t you going to answer any of my central questions?That coming from someone who believes that the Earth is younger than the domestication of the dog.This is how you answer the problem of induction. OK.Then explain sexually antagonistic genes in that contextGod created them. Now YOU explain them in a Darwinian context.It’s not my fault you don’t get “invited”. It’s not like you ever bothered to study science in the first place, so who would even think to invite you? You think too big of yourself. You should be grateful than I even give you the time of day. I guess anyone can see Lui’s snootiness and elitist attitude on display. Yes, he’s definitely egalitarian and levelheaded. It’s obvious to everyone. Lui, that was a disgraceful performance. Apparently you think you can just ride on your laurels and act all high-minded and that should carry the day. Could you try actually interacting with what I ask you? Peace,Rhology

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    Wow, somebody give these two (Lui and Rhology) some brass knuckles and lock them in a cage! I would pay money to see that!Fuck yourself.So Lui, when are you going to bow to the inevitable and accept Jesus Christ as your lord and savior? LOL!In fact, you can’t prove that YOU’RE not a brain in a vat.Well, if we are just a brain in a vat, I just hope the program isn’t running on Microsoft Windows, because otherwise our universe would be constantly freezing up and crashing.Regarding Old Universe view versus YEC, it’s funny how two people can look at the same things and see it in totally different ways.While I reject the YEC view that Rhology espouses, I grant that the Bible does seem to allow for enough “wiggle room” so that the YEC can manage to retain their beliefs. If the creation account in Genesis said flat out that god created the Earth as a cube or a triangle, I am sure even Rhology would have to concede that the account is wrong. On the other hand, if Genesis specifically contained detailed information that no humans at the time could be expected to know from direct observation, such as the existence of Antarctica, or that the Earth was a planet orbitting the sun in a galaxy filled with stars that had planets of their own orbiting them, to me that would be very powerful evidence in favor of Genesis being a product of divine revelation. However, the way the creation account in Genesis is worded, the purpose of all those stars shining in the sky at night is to provide us with light. But based on the fact that we are now discovering planets orbiting other stars in our galaxy, it would seem more accurate to say that those stars are providing light for their own planets.And then there is the fact of all those galaxies packed with stars that are too far away to be seen with the naked eye (please note that this does not include the Andromeda Galaxy and the Magellanic Clouds, which are of course close enough to be seen by the naked eye if one is lucky enough to live somewhere not affected by light pollution). They certainly aren’t providing us with any light in our sky at night.It is because of this that I have a hard time squaring a belief in a god that created us specifically to worship and praise him with a virtually infinite universe. I mean, if Jesus could return any day now and history will come to an end, with some people dwelling forever in heaven, and the rest (including, presumably, me) will suffer an eternity in hell, then a virtually infinite universe does not strike me as necessary for that end.Now, I have had some Christians tell me in response that a vast universe simply shows how great and powerful god is. Perhaps, but if our universe was just the Milky Way galaxy surrounded by nothing but blackness, it would be no less impressive because we would have nothing to compare it with. And it would certainly make a god such as the one described in the Bible more plausible.I don’t offer this as a formal argument, but as my own personal observations on the matter.Okay, I have to wrap this up now and get back to work.

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    Two comments:then a virtually infinite universe does not strike me as necessary for that end.No one said it was ‘necessary’, so just for clarification.it would be no less impressive because we would have nothing to compare it with. And it would certainly make a god such as the one described in the Bible more plausible.True, it would be no less impressive. And tell me you’re not impressed with how cool something like a quasar or black hole is. I know I am.But “plausible” – I don’t see why.Anyway, back to your regularly-scheduled Lui Hurls Profanities At Rhology program…

  35. says

    “So there’s non-organic, kind of organic, semi-organic, and then organic, eh?”It’s about time that you started to get the picture. Now you’re getting the picture. “No, measuring chemical compositions in rocks is observing chemical compositions in rocks.”Which gives some indication of what happened in the past. Oh, sorry…that’s not allowed. “There are many conceivable ways such compositions could have arrived there. One way is the way you describe, let’s say. Another way is that God made them that way.”Another way is that any other god made them that way. Of course, science deals in probabilities, not absolute certainties. “Another way is that bird droppings spontaneously became that way (much like organic life spontaneously became organic out of non-organic stuff).”This is what Rhology wants to argue, people. That absolutely anything he can conjure up in his mind is equally likely as anything that modern science has uncovered – because he says so. “You weren’t there, you can’t observe how it was nor how it happened.”I know, you keep telling me. I GET IT. I wasn’t there. It doesn’t mean we can’t say anything about the most likely explanations. You seem not to get that. At this rate, it seems like you never will. >You clearly have no clue how elements are actually formed.< ”1) Elements aren’t “formed” – they’re irreducible in their atomic structure.”That’s a hoot. Go look up nucleosynthesis, smart boy. ”2) What is this supposed to mean? Even Stephen Hawking and much smarter men than you”And you, let’s not forget. Much smarter than you. ”don’t know what happened before some fraction of a second after the Big Bang. So you don’t know either – and if neither of us know, what’s the big deal?”Because you don’t concede that you don’t know: ”3) Now, I do know – God made them. But I’m focusing on the maladroit challenge you fwded.”Hmmmm…Rhology or Hawking? Gee, that’s a hard one. >Never heard of the Siberian Traps? No one was there to “observe” them, but we know they happened because we can study what was left behind – and what was left behind indicates massive volcanic eruptions during the latter part of the Permian<Once again, massive assumptions are required to make that conclusion.Ummmm….no. Go look it up. You assume assumptions – and you’re pretty much obligated to, to because if you did bother to look any of this stuff up, you might have to compromise on that. And then where would you be?”You’re a faith artist, much like a faith healer.”Even though I trust in modern medicine, not faith heeling. Next you’ll be telling us that you don’t have faith. >We observe the evidence, and the evidence can tell us about things that occurred.<”If you make massive assumptions about it, sure. “Translation: nothing science ever tells us is worth bothering with. Instead, just say “God did it”. ”But I can do the same thing.”Of course; but not only CAN you do it (and boy can you), it’s the ONLY thing you ever do. You assume that the Bible is inerrant, because you need it to be. >So you DIDN’T look at the site. Well done<”I did look at the site. Are you claiming mind-reading powers now?”No, I’m just claiming that you didn’t look at the site because if you had, you wouldn’t caricature it as you’ve done (“spontaneous generation from non-organic to organic”). Then again, creationists aren’t exactly renowned for their honesty, so maybe you did look at it. >But “God did it” obviously isn’t.<”No, “God did it” is miraculous activity, not alchemy.” Same genus of bullshit.”Let’s see – to recap, you won’t admit your assumptions,”The same “assumptions” that the scientific community uses to get things right more often than you do. “don’t know what ‘evidence’ means,”The same evidence that the scientific community uses to get things right more often than you do. >Quantum mechanics? Symmetry breaking? No-boundary condition?<”I’d be interested to know how values spontaneously become their opposites when such things are brought to bear. Have at it.”Ah, so you’re NOT the least bit well-read? Sorry to tell you, but these aren’t things that can be explained in sound-bites. Of course, that’ll mean that they’ll be dismissed out of hand by the religionist who pretty much thinks and breathes in sound-bites, but all the worse for the religionist. >Actually, it only applies to you since I’m not committed to a strict position. But thanks for admitting that you are.<”Haha. Let the reader judge who’s being fair here.” Indeed. I’m totally up for that. ”and faulty presuppositions”>I.e. anything that doesn’t put God in the driver’s seat. <”More like anything that is based on a presupposition or set of presuppositions that are self-refuting.”Self-refuting? Wow, you’ve claimed a lot of crap as self-evident truth, but you haven’t yet claimed THAT. Have at it. >You do indeed pretend to be in a better position to know things that the world’s leading experts.< ”[shrug] Your head is apparently impervious to counter-argumentation, even when you’re clearly refuted.” There’s nothing “clear” about any of your so-called “refutations”, other than that they fail miserably. The only thing you seem to be interested is in sowing maximum confusion, all in a desperate bid to bolster your God-belief. I mean – COME ON – you’re a young Earth creationist, for crying out loud! You’re absolutely ridiculous. “Let the reader judge.”I’ve got no problem with that : ) >which you misconstrued as presenting “spontaneous generation from non-organic to organic”. <”Misconstrued? In what way?”Because it’s not true, dumb arse. This is an example of the dishonesty of creationist propagandists; they can’t NOT lie, as Martin has said. Even when their so-called “arguments” are completely pulverised, they continue in their conniving, lying ways to divert attention away from their failure to actually state things as they’re understood by the people who study these things. >In fact, you can’t prove that YOU’RE not a brain in a vat.<After all, how can you prove that YOU’RE not a brain in a vat and that the Bible is actually just a fiction being fed to you?<”Atheism is highly vulnerable to that, b/c your presuppositions allow for it.”Mine don’t, so no, my position is not vulnerable to it. God is and speaks – that is my 1st principle.” Pure assumption, and again, it’s a circular argument. “One thing about Him is that He tells the truth,”According to the Bible, which might just be signals sent to you by a lying demon to your brain in a vat. God He tells me I’m not a brain in a vat.Or rather, the signals fed to you tell you that. Certainly you’d like to believe otherwise, but “being told” that God is the truth doesn’t make it so. “You have no such confidence, evidence, authority, nor basis to know you’re not.”“Authority” says it all, really. When people live in a fantasy world like you do, anything that you want to believe counts becomes “true”. ”Solipsism is self-refuting, but then again so is atheism. the biblical worldview isn’t, which is nice.”Again, all mere claims. You’ve
    come nowhere near to actually demonstrating that God belief isn’t vulnerable to the brain-in-a-vat problem. You’ve simply reiterated that you think it isn’t, with no logical backing whatsoever. >Because it’s baseless. <”This is apparently what passes for argumentation from Lui.” Actually, if fundies like you constantly fail to back up your arguments with positive evidence, then your claims are baseless. See how that works? Everyone else does. >point me to someone of your persuasion who knows how life arose from non-life<”Hmm, I guess I misspoke there and mistakenly equated “life arose from non-life” with “life arose”. My mistake – what I meant to say was “You’ve observed that nobody of my persuasion knows how life arose?”In which case, yes, everyone of my persuasion knows. God created life.”Nice try. Won’t do. Now you have to actually show the evidence that corroborates their beliefs. >religionists much like you DO use the “atheists hate God” card to weasel their way out of having to provide an actual argument for their convictions.<”Perhaps they do; quote me doing it, though. You’re not talking to others.”You constantly imply that the only reason I and other atheists are atheists is due to a deep-seated commitment to dogma in opposition to God. >Right – even thought it’s EXACTLY what you’ve been pushing ever since you came onto this blog <The 2nd phrase more particularly is what I object to: “it supposes that humans are capable of judging that God is to be that guide in the first place”. Yes? How so? Are you saying that humans aren’t capable of judging that God is to be the guide in the first place? Maybe you’re just more concerned with abusing language. The 1st is closer, though it’s not exactly right. It’s more like “Christian faith relies upon the supposition that humans aren’t capable by themselves of coming to a higher understanding of things if not for the deferment to God on every question.”An argument from consequence, and another way of stating the same thing. All this is saying is that in the absence of some divine authority, we’d be in an epistemological quandary. Since that would be awful, “therefore” God exists, “therefore” we know the truth. This is all you’ve managed to argue for. >You can’t go more than a few sentences without contradicting yourself<”Hopefully I’ve cleared up what I meant.”Not really. >(the impossibility of the contrary) Based upon what?<”An atheistic worldview’s self-refuting nature.”You haven’t shown how it’s self-refuting. At most, you’ve alluded to how it’s vulnerable to being self-refuting. You can’t know that you know anything. You are highly vulnerable to solipsism.Right, and yet it’s YOU who thinks that the universe was made for you as an arena onto which to prove yourself to Sky-Daddy. But I’m the one who’s “highly vulnerable to solipsism”. Hmmmm. “You have no standard for judging true from false.”Evidence and the scientific method – the most powerful tools humanity has for discerning truth from fiction, witnessed through its ability to make matter jump through hoops. Sorry, I forgot: scientists can only produce “assumptions”. I apologise. You have no way to know that your cognitive faculties are reliably aimed at producing true beliefs. Etc.I acknowledge that in some ways they’re not. Humans have psychological predispositions that make certain truths revealed by science counter-intuitive and difficult to grasp. My cognitive faculties – like yours – are “aimed” at surviving on the African savannah, from which we originated. It’s impossible that such statements be true, b/c then they would be either untrue or unknowableWithin limits.>When was I “sure”?<You crack me up.No really, show me where I was sure. “Let the reader judge whether you ever make “sure” statements or not.Enough of this “let the reader decide” crap. Everyone thinks you’re a sophist, and everything you’ve said and continue to say just keeps on affirming that in their own minds. >That’s one of the most pathetic, imbecilic things I’ve ever read.<You just vented w/o even interacting with what I said.Ummmm, no stupid. I DID “interact with what you said, right after writing that. It’s a fairly elementary point. You seem not to be very good at taking even the simplest correction.I’m great at making simple connections. I’m just terrible at believing simplistic bullshit. >I’ll tell you what, though: go look up the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Then come back and tell me how it’s “perfectly compatible” with YEC.<”God created it. Next?”What a fucken joke. And you accuse me of “not interacting” with what you say. Like a mindless moron, you just mouth “Goddunnitt” whenever presented with any challenge. That’s what you mistake for an “argument”. It’s pathetic. >The reason I think there was a natural nuclear reaction at Oklo but not beneath Sydney is because one location has something that would be expected of a past nuclear reaction, while the other doesn’t.<”Which, again, you have to assume a zillion things for.”Ummm…nooooooo. A “zillion” is just a number you pulled out of your arse. You really are one of the most clueless, uneducated twits I’ve ever had the displeasure of coming across. And one of the most odious. ”I’m not going to repeat myself over and over.”Thank fuck for that. “Either you get it or you don’t;”I get it. You’re stupid and uneducated, and you think “God created it” is a good answer to everything. I’ve very much got it. “you haven’t exhibited any great potential for taking correction,”Of course not. I’ve encountered hardly anything correct from you, so by definition nothing much I’ve said can be corrected by your statements. so we’ll just have to let the reader judge.Fine by me. See how that goes for you. The funny thing is that you actually believe that you do make a good case. >you need to believe that the speed of light was different in the past since there are stars mentioned in the Bible that are actually millions of light years away.<I’m amazed people still say this. So the God Who made the stars and galaxies couldn’t also create the light beams stretching from here to there or stretching most of the way here from there?Nah, I didn’t say this. I said that if you assume it to be correct, you have to make endless adjustments to thousands of other things just to keep everything together as part of a consistent story, and you basically end up throwing established science out the window (and for WHAT?). >Why would it change beforehand<I don’t know, but you’re the one who needs to prove it.No I don’t, since there are a million other things that anyone could conjure up. If they do this, the onus is on THEM to prove their own story. See how that works? Creationists don’t get to make things up and then expect the sane people to go off on wild goose chases. You ASSUME they didn’t and then try to weasel out of it by asking me why I think they’d change.I ask you because apparently YOU THINK that this capricious behaviour is just as likely as constancy. Given that, the onus isn’t on me. It’s on you to come up with evidence to that effect. All the direct observations we DO have point towards constancy. In the absence of reasons to actually
    presume capricious change, constancy stays, until someone can show otherwise (we’re all waiting). The only one doing any weaselling is you. >There’s no logical connection between humans being here to directly measure something and that something being any different to when we weren’t around<I agree, and that’s not what I’m arguing.Then you don’t seem to be “arguing” about much, since 1) we both agree that there’s no logical connection between the two, and 2) there’s no evidence for such a connection. Yet you think I’m somehow burdened with having to disprove your flights of fancy. Talk about solipsism. >we would have no reason to suppose that such a change “must have” happened.<I agree, and that’s not what I’m arguing. Yuo don’t know either way.But I have reasons to presume one way: consistency of disparate evidence, and parsimony (and the interaction of the two). You’re really good at typing long paragraphs that have a lot of anger, but not very good at actually interacting with my points.Translation: not very good at agreeing with you. “Let the reader decide” who’s “interacting”. >And another case of ignoring parsimony<.Which is simply another case of your assuming that parsimony has always been the preferred way to weigh options.I didn’t assume that. Maybe non-parsimony was in “operation” more than 1000 years ago. You don’t know, but you assume it.Parsimony isn’t a physical law, learned one. It’s a way of evaluating claims. You really are in a mess here. I’m just asking you to be honest about your assumptions.While I’m just asking you to make ONE honest argument. Just one. Why are my calls for increased honesty on your part such a bad thing? Does it hurt?No. It does hurt, though, to see such disgusting demagoguery at work (not that there’s any other kind). >You say that even while you use a computer!<B/c my worldview accounts for evidence and truth – God thinks logically and is a logical being.Unlike the scientists and engineers who designed your computer. Without them, you’d have a much less efficient medium through which to spread your hypocritical message. You’re so ignorant you do the equivalent of thanking GOD (!) for the Pentium chip. We think our thoughts after Him;Undemonstrated assumption.He is our example for thinking.Or rather, for obedience. Certainly not for thinking. He has made the universe so that evidence leads to true conclusions.And yet the combined might of hundreds of years of investigation has yielded results diametrically opposed to what you believe (like creationism, a young Earth, supernaturalistic origins, etc). So, your accounting of it? That you’re wrong. You’re just borrowing from my worldview and calling it yours until you provide your own.Haha…one thing I DEFINITELY don’t need to do is to borrow anything from you or your worldview. If it died tomorrow, the world would be a better and much happier place. Good riddance to it. To quote you: Frankly, what works for you is irrelevant.In a sense, you’re right. But only until I finish my degree. With you, it’s forever. You choose not to learn. >Your computer, which couldn’t have been built without the advances made in chemistry, electromagnetism, and quantum mechanics.<Modern science is built on the foundation of theistic presuppositions – that the universe is ordered, that things make sense, that evidence leads to truth.And yet you’re a young Earth creationist. It’s hard to see how you can think of “modern science” (which you completely disregard whenever it suites you) as being founded on theistic presuppositions when your own “theistic presuppositions” don’t even agree with it. You’d think that if it was founded on theistic presuppositions, it would lead to conclusions that are concurrent with theism. Not so, apparently. Just pick up any issue of Nature or Science, and take a look for yourself. Provide an atheistic alternative that gets you there.I don’t have to. Modern science logically leads to atheism. No one needs to be an atheist from the outset. Just saying “but it’s worked!” a few times doesn’t help you.Of course, we’re not talking about a “few times”; we’re talking about thousands of times. Modern civilisation would collapse if not for its scientific prop, which underlies its technology. It’s far from a case of ME saying “but it’s worked!” It’s a case of simply looking at what science has given us.Lots of wrong things work and can be conceived to work, like my tiger example.A bad example, since it assumes from the outset that you’re the only one who could see the tiger instead of the doll. You would have it that, like the only solider in step, the scientific community are the ones who see the doll. Such nonsense can be dismissed without any further comment. >So you can keep on engaging in more mysticism and convoluted nonsense about “the evidence for evidence”?<Is that a refusal to answer the question.Yes. I’m not that committed to convincing you. I’m glad this is being written down.I’d have it no other way. Of course, it’s being written down in the way it is only because of the fruits of modern science. It might be handy to keep that in mind. You’re substituting bluster and incredulity for real answers.No I’m not. I admit I’m blustering, because I find you incredibly irritating. >Which must explain why you trust in an archaic book.<Which at least answers the question,With a wrong answer. which is more than you’ve done here.Religious wrongness is more “right” than scientific rationalism. Go figure. >Fuck yourself.<You are doing great – keep your head and you might even make it to the end of this comment before trailing off into gibberish.That coming from someone who can’t NOT talk gibberish from the very outset. I could insult you with lurid and revolting words all evening, and I’d still be streets ahead of you in terms of presenting a case. >That coming from someone who believes that the Earth is younger than the domestication of the dog.<This is how you answer the problem of induction. OK.A young Earth creationist has no business using words as sophisticated as “induction”. It would be like a 10 year old being handed the keys to a Ferrari. You really have no idea how clown-like you appear. >Then explain sexually antagonistic genes in that context<God created them.Yeah, see, that’s stupid, because I asked you to explain them IN THAT CONTEXT (ie. as something we should expect to find if God is the explanation, or at least how it’s more consistent with a Darwinian or other evolutionary explanation). And it’s stupid in any case because you have NO CLUE what these genes even are, what they do, how they interact, or what they tell us about life processes (trying to discern any natural processes at all by looking at nature – in other words, learning about nature – automatically falls under the rubric of “assumptions” for you, so it’s tossed out straight away). This is passes muster as “logic” and “argumentation” for Rhology, people: “God created them” (“them” being anything whatsoever, even if he’s never heard of them, knows nothing about them, or has no conception of their implications). This he deems to lecture others about logic! It’s not even a joke. “Now Y
    OU explain them in a Darwinian context.”
    With all the “authority” he can muster (i,e. by invoking God when he has not a clue about the something that he is being asked about), the learned one lays down the gauntlet for me to provide something in place of the extraordinary explanatory power of mythology. : ) It’s kind of cute, in a perverse way. >It’s not my fault you don’t get “invited”. It’s not like you ever bothered to study science in the first place, so who would even think to invite you? You think too big of yourself. You should be grateful than I even give you the time of day.<I guess anyone can see Lui’s snootiness and elitist attitude on display.Looking down on the ill-informed and uneducated when they try to speak with any authority on the things they are ill-informed and uneducated about isn’t snootiness or elitism, it’s plain common sense. It should be done more often, and I’m doing it now. Yes, he’s definitely egalitarian and levelheaded.Absolutely I am. Get the facts first, then talk. By all means disagree, but get the facts first. Otherwise, the playing field isn’t level. It’s obvious to everyone.Poor Rhology. He feels so exasperated that he needs to call the laurels of the atheists reading all this. Lui, that was a disgraceful performance.Likewise, you’ve once shown your true colours. Your performance was a complete wank. Apparently you think you can just ride on your laurels and act all high-minded and that should carry the day.Argumentation never did the trick with you, so I added a little extra. Could you try actually interacting with what I ask you?What, again? Okay. And tell me you’re not impressed with how cool something like a quasar or black hole is. I know I am.How do you know black holes exist? Aren’t they just built on “assumptions”? Consistency isn’t your strong point.

  36. says

    And another thing: “True, it would be no less impressive. And tell me you’re not impressed with how cool something like a quasar or black hole is. I know I am.But “plausible” – I don’t see why.”In other words, any state of the universe can be retrospectively fitted to Genesis – which makes Genesis and by extension the God who is supposed to have authored it superfluous, as there is no actual criterion by which we could increase or decrease our confidence that the God hypothesis if correct.

  37. says

    Some editing corrections: “A bad example, since it assumes from the outset that you’re the only one who could see the tiger instead of the doll. You would have it that, like the only solider in step, you’re the only one who sees the tiger while the scientific community are the ones who see the doll.””Yeah, see, that’s stupid, because I asked you to explain them IN THAT CONTEXT (ie. as something we should expect to find if God is the explanation, or at least how it’s more consistent than a Darwinian or other evolutionary explanation).”If you don’t have some minimum consistency or expectations flowing from your hypothesis, you don’t have anything. “No I’m not. I admit I’m blustering here, because I find you incredibly irritating.”And a reply to something you said:He has made the universe so that evidence leads to true conclusions.And yet, you would have it that He has changed the physical constants (even though I’m supposedly “borrowing” from your worldview). So in actuality He has NOT made the universe so that evidence leads to true conclusions, because in the absence of constancy, the “conclusions” can only be gotten from Scripture, in which case the evidence was no help at all. One has to FIRST accept Scripture, and then the evidence to it (and this includes changing the constants to make the narrative at all consistent). If that’s the case, then the evidence of course leads to “true conclusions”, because you’ve already decided what those conclusions have to be. If God has radically changed the universe at its most fundamental level in the past, looking at evidence would not itself lead to true conclusions because changes to the constants that have supposedly happened would leave us in a situation where we have no more or no less reason to assign probabilities to things that may have happened in the past. Besides which, you have not hinted at anything that actually makes what we have found any more or less parsimonious with your world view than with the scientific alternative. I accept the constancy of the constants, because it’s no more or no less question begging from the outset than capricious change (both would need good explanations in their own right, and physics is approaching such an explanation), because it is consistent with the anthropic principle, and because of the enormous degree of mutual corroboration and consistency (and this is really what I’m getting at more than anything else) among disparate lines of evidence that point to the same conclusions if constancy is accepted (and by “same conclusions”, I’m not talking about constancy itself. I’m talking about many other things apart from it, like the agreement between, for example, the dates given by different dating methods, and how those agree with a geophysical prediction, and how that agrees with the distribution of certain fossils in certain strata, and how that agrees with…etc). Accept constancy, and it’s all very parsimonious and coherent (rather than ad hoc and convoluted. And as a consequence of this, you also get theories that make accurate predictions and can be used to yield practical applications while the alternative can’t be used in this way. These two things themselves give us more reason to think that the modern scientific view has a strong nugget of truth to it, because predicitive power and practical utility are things one would EXPECT of theories that are consistent with reality. This consistency and power tells us that the constancy of the constants is on the right path, and even if we were all to concede unequivocally that it started off as a pure assumption, the coherence and utility of the theories that have been developed are now themselves a reason to see the constancy of the constants as being, at the very least, much more than an assumption today).

  38. says

    Lui, while I admire your efforts, sadly they are in vain. Someone like Rhology is unreachable. And when you do get visibly agitated with him in the choice of words you use, in his mind you are just validating him. Just remember he is a flawed human being who believes in things that are bizarre to us, and nothing is going to change that. Our lives go on regardless of what he says or thinks.

  39. says

    Lui has made his statement on how he thinks life began. I’m very pleased.That absolutely anything he can conjure up in his mind is equally likely as anything that modern science has uncovered – because he says so.Rather, b/c I don’t see a reason to assume that it did happen the way you say.So you’re counting noses at this point. How about you offer an argument to that effect? Yes, I’m asking you to solve the problem of induction. But you exaggerate so many other things, I just figured you’d be willing to exaggerate your ability to solve age-old conundra.I wasn’t there. So you can’t observe it. So on what basis is your conclusion properly scientific, if you can’t observe it and can’t test it repeatedly?Because you don’t concede that you don’t knowBut you do concede that. Duly noted.You assume assumptions Then make the argument that you have solid bases for these assertions rather than assumptions.Translation: nothing science ever tells us is worth bothering withStrawman.You assume that the Bible is inerrant, because you need it to be.I don’t “need” it to be. Nor do I assume it is. That the God described in the Bible is and speaks is my fundamental presupposition, but that’s not the same thing as an assumption, particularly not on the level that you’re making assumptions left and right and as I’m pointing out.”No, “God did it” is miraculous activity, not alchemy.”Same genus of bullshit.Note the lack of argument. Just a mean-spirited, nasty, bald assertion.The same “assumptions” that the scientific community uses to get things right more often than you do. Begging the question. Whether they DO get these things right is the very topic at hand.so you’re NOT the least bit well-read?Guess not – I missed the books that describe how, when, and where good spontaneously becomes evil, non-organic becomes organic, non-life becomes life, chaos spontaneously becomes order, void spontaneously becomes matter and energy. >which you misconstrued as presenting “spontaneous generation from non-organic to organic”. <–”Misconstrued? In what way?”Because it’s not true, dumb arse.Once again, no argument is offered. Just an insult. It’s a pattern all thru this post. According to the Bible, which might just be signals sent to you by a lying demon to your brain in a vat. Not true, since such a view is self-refuting, and it is ruled out a priori by my presupposition.I bring it up b/c I’m curious how your presuppositions rule it out.Are you saying that humans aren’t capable of judging that God is to be the guide in the first place? Correct, unless you can offer an atheistic alternative whereby humans can judge intelligibility without God. I’d be interested to see that.Since that would be awful, “therefore” God exists, “therefore” we know the truth. Strawman. Again. Not since it would be awful. Since it would be impossible to know it, communicate it, or discuss it. But we are doing those three things, now we have to account for them. Well, YOU have to. yet it’s YOU who thinks that the universe was made for you as an arena onto which to prove yourself to Sky-Daddy. But I’m the one who’s “highly vulnerable to solipsism”.You don’t appear to know the definition of “solipsism”. Evidence and the scientific method – the most powerful tools humanity has for discerning truth from fiction,Give evidence for that claim. Make sure you use the scientific method.Sorry, I forgot: scientists can only produce “assumptions”Amazingly, you fail even to see the massive assumption even one sentence preceding. Go ahead and provide evidence, I’ll be patient.Enough of this “let the reader decide” crap. Everyone thinks you’re a sophistCome now, don’t posture like such a big bad bully. I don’t think you think you’re going to convince ME, so aren’t you indeed arguing for the benefit of the reader? Same here. >I’ll tell you what, though: go look up the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Then come back and tell me how it’s “perfectly compatible” with YEC.<”God created it. Next?”What a fucken joke. For the nth time, no argument is offered, this time as to how YEC doesn’t account for it.Lui apparently believes that, if he doesn’t like the argument, it doesn’t fly. Period. Thus the futility of talking to such a closed-minded fundy. so we’ll just have to let the reader judge.Fine by me. Didn’t you just finish saying “Enough of this “let the reader decide” crap.”? Which one is it?Creationists don’t get to make things up and then expect the sane people to go off on wild goose chases.But evolutionists like Lui evidently don’t have to justify the assumptions they make. Special pleading.Rho: Maybe non-parsimony was in “operation” more than 1000 years ago. You don’t know, but you assume it. Lui: But I have reasons to presume one way: consistency of disparate evidence, and parsimony (and the interaction of the two). 1) I ask you how you know parsimony has been in operation more than 1000 yrs ago, and you answer “parsimony”. Weren’t you just berating me for answering “God did it” too many times for your taste?2) What evidence do you have for this?Unlike the scientists and engineers who designed your computer.This just doesn’t make any sense. Where did I claim that people CAN’T use logic or evidence if they don’t believe in God? My point is that their worldview can’t ACCOUNT for such.We think our thoughts after Him;Undemonstrated assumption.Actually:1) it follows from the impossibility of the contrary, and2) follows directly from my presupposition. Haha…one thing I DEFINITELY don’t need to do is to borrow anything from you or your worldview. Wrong again. You have no reason to conclude that murdering your family member is wrong or even bad, yet I certainly don’t doubt you would spring to their defence if you had to. On atheism there’s no reason to, but on Christianity there are a great many reasons to. You borrow unconsciously from my worldview; that’s just one example.“modern science” (which you completely disregard whenever it suites you) as being founded on theistic presuppositions when your own “theistic presuppositions” don’t even agree with it.Modern BIOLOGY might be founded to a large extent on the theory of common descent via natural selection and selective mutation, but not the rest of science, for one thing.And again, scientists are all about reforming and streamlining science. I imagine you are as well, except when the streamlining touches the raw nerve of your sacred cow, and then you’re fighting tooth and nail to keep it.Modern science logically leads to atheism. Reeeaalllly? What’s your argument for that?I’m not that committed to convincing you. Let the record show it, then. I’m trying to get to the heart of the matter, and Lui is hurling insults and running away when the going gets tough. Maybe someone else can cover Lui’s retreating hindquarters and answer the question.A young Earth creationist has no business using words as sophisticated as “induction”. This is just mindless bigotry. This is passes muster as “logic” and “argumentation” for Rhology, people: “God created them”What law of logic does the statement
    “God created humankind” break?any state of the universe can be retrospectively fitted to GenesisWhat is your argument for that? Genesis means sthg, after all, and so that which is contradictory to Genesis’ text therefore would NOT fit it. All in all, Lui is degrading the conversation. No doubt the length of this exchange has exhausted most everyone – that is the most charitable interpretation of the fact that no other atheist has stepped in to correct Lui on his pitiful practice of insulting, avoiding arguments, and making bald assertion after fallacious assertion after bald assertion. Peace,Rhology

  40. says

    >That absolutely anything he can conjure up in his mind is equally likely as anything that modern science has uncovered – because he says so.<Rather, b/c I don't see a reason to assume that it did happen the way you say.Right, so absolutely anything you conjure up is equal to established science in terms of intellectual rigour and consistency. All flowing from the fact that no one knows how life began but, since God “told you” that he created it, you “therefore” know better. >I wasn’t there. <So you can't observe it. So on what basis is your conclusion properly scientific, if you can't observe it and can't test it repeatedly?Because there are things that flow from the predictions that can be tested, and which would provide impetus for us to suppose that it’s on the right track if those predictions are confirmed by evidence. >Because you don't concede that you don't know <But you do concede that. Duly noted.Of course, that I concede that I don’t know but you don’t, doesn’t in ANY way “confirm” what you’re saying about anything. It merely shows up the deep intellectual depravity that you’ve sunk to. That’s what should be duly noted. >You assume assumptions<Then make the argument that you have solid bases for these assertions rather than assumptions.I have, numerous times. Consistency, convergence of disparate facts all pointing to the same conclusion, the utility of the knowledge gained and its workability and predictive power, and the anthropic principle. >Translation: nothing science ever tells us is worth bothering with<Strawman.Observation. For you seriously suppose that NOTHING in modern science stands up to your on-the-fly conjectures. Therefore, you at least IMPLY that nothing in science tells us is worth bothering with, even if you don’t actually believe it. >You assume that the Bible is inerrant, because you need it to be.<I don't "need" it to be. Yes you do, because otherwise you see “no reason” to suppose that we even live in an intelligible universe. Yours has been one long argument from consequence from the very beginning. Nor do I assume it is. That the God described in the Bible is and speaks is my fundamental presupposition,In other words, your basic assumption that you can’t prove. but that’s not the same thing as an assumption, particularly not on the level that you’re making assumptions left and right and as I’m pointing out.The “level” I’m on working on is well above the level you are, because it at least refers to a coherent edifice of knowledge. Yours is nothing but a drawling “God did it”. Not much of a “level” to speak of. ”No, "God did it" is miraculous activity, not alchemy.”>Same genus of bullshit.<Note the lack of argument. Just a mean-spirited, nasty, bald assertion.What’s there to “argue”? If you’re going to say “God did it” for absolutely anything that you don’t understand, then what’s YOUR argument? The same “assumptions” that the scientific community uses to get things right more often than you do. Begging the question. Whether they DO get these things right is the very topic at hand.Exactly – and of course, since GPS guidance works (vindicating, once again, Einstein’s general theory of relativity), since quantum mechanics makes predictions that are accurate to one part in many billions, since evolutionary biology makes predictions about molecular phylogenies that COULD HAVE falsified evolution (ie. descent with modification) but instead yielded results that are statistically massively overwhelmingly unlikely to be explained otherwise, etc etc etc, that question is settled. So yes, they do get things right quite often. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t even be having this exchange (Internet). I’ve begged no questions. That scientists do get these things right is a conclusion drawn from what’s been achieved technologically, not an assumption. >so you’re NOT the least bit well-read?<Guess not – I missed the books that describe how, when, and where good spontaneously becomes evil, non-organic becomes organic, non-life becomes life, chaos spontaneously becomes order, void spontaneously becomes matter and energy.More straw-men. Try this for a change: try to understand these things in terms that scientists have actually explained them, not just the confabulations of creationist propagandists. >which you misconstrued as presenting “spontaneous generation from non-organic to organic”. <–”Misconstrued? In what way?”>Because it’s not true, dumb arse.<Once again, no argument is offered. Just an insult.And also the truth: that the way you’ve talked about it isn’t the way it’s understood or conceptualised by scientists. And nor does what YOU’VE said constitute any sort of “argument”. It’s a pattern all thru this post.Indeed, but not by me. >According to the Bible, which might just be signals sent to you by a lying demon to your brain in a vat. <Not true, since such a view is self-refuting, and it is ruled out a priori by my presupposition.Only if that presupposition happens to BE TRUE – which is what we’re trying to establish in the first place. Of course, you confuse your ability to SUPPOSE it to be true as a vindication of it. Your “argument” is a little bit estupido, since you don’t apply any consistency when it comes to looking at your own presuppositions. I bring it up b/c I’m curious how your presuppositions rule it out.I can’t rule it out. Nor did I ever claim that I could. Of course, simply because I can’t rule it out doesn’t give me any a priori reason to elevate it as being any better than any of the alternatives, because those alternatives may also be as likely. This applies to you as well, but since you invoke a magical being to pull you out of it, you suppose yourself to be “safe” from it. You’re not, of course, because in order for your presupposition to be considered true, you need to do more than just invoke it in defence of itself. We’re all in the same boat here; it’s just that you end up conflating your troubles by negating the evidence IF we suppose that we’re not brains in vats. >Are you saying that humans aren’t capable of judging that God is to be the guide in the first place?<Correct,So why should I believe anything you tell me? Why should YOU believe anything that you tell yourself, if you yourself have nothing onto which to tether the presupposition that God is the answer other than the presupposition that he’s real? unless you can offer an atheistic alternative whereby humans can judge intelligibility without God. The observed intelligibility of the universe as attested to by the consistency of established science and its enormous utility and predictive power, and the anthropic principle. >Since that would be awful, “therefore” God exists, “therefore” we know the truth. <Strawman. Again.Not a strawman. Once again, you prefer to play dumb. Not since it would be awful. Since it would be impossible to know it, communicate it, or discuss it.A baseless assertion. A naturalistic universe doesn’t necessitate unintelligibility (if it does, you haven’t shown why this must be so). It MIGHT as a matter of fact have been the case that, presuming that the universe wasn’t created by God, that it was intelligible (say, totally chaotic in a way that precluded discovery), but if it was unintelligible then it would lack the minimum requisite re
    gularity in some region of it that make it possible for sentient beings to discern anything about it, let alone give rise to those beings capable of doing the discerning in the first place. Once you talk about intelligibility you’ve given the game away, because there can only going BE talk of “intelligibility” if there are beings capable of appreciating it. The NEXT question becomes “did God create this intelligible universe?” It happens to BE intelligible whether or not God created it. Supposing that the naturalistic scenario is correct, then it must have been the case that we can “know it, communicate it, or discuss it” if we’re even here talking about it. However, this isn’t required if God created the universe and humankind. God could have created us in a completely chaotic (other than our habitat) universe. That we find ourselves in a universe that isn’t chaotic is fully consistent with – and the only logically possible option for – the naturalistic scenario. With God, it’s only one possibility. But we are doing those three things, now we have to account for them. Well, YOU have to. The anthropic principle, as above. >yet it’s YOU who thinks that the universe was made for you as an arena onto which to prove yourself to Sky-Daddy. But I’m the one who’s “highly vulnerable to solipsism”.<You don't appear to know the definition of "solipsism". The sense in which I meant it was the following: “extreme preoccupation with and indulgence of one’s feelings, desires, etc.; egoistic self-absorption.” (dictionary.com) I see that you were using it in another sense. Fair enough. >Evidence and the scientific method – the most powerful tools humanity has for discerning truth from fiction,<Give evidence for that claim. Make sure you use the scientific method.Observation: GPS guidance – which incorporates general relativity – works. Plus a thousand other technological marvels I could list that also incorporate scientific theories into their logical structure that also work and wouldn’t work if not for that incorporation. But you’re not actually DENYING that it’s the most powerful method we have for discerning truth from fiction, are you? If you are, good luck. I’d love to know what you’d put in its place. >Sorry, I forgot: scientists can only produce “assumptions”<Amazingly, you fail even to see the massive assumption even one sentence preceding.Go ahead and provide evidence, I'll be patient.What massive assumptions? It’s an observation. Missiles launched in the Persian Gulf find their way to their targets because a lot of engineers got their sums right. These missiles use GPS guidance. >I’ll tell you what, though: go look up the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Then come back and tell me how it’s “perfectly compatible” with YEC.<”God created it. Next?”>What a fucken joke.< For the nth time, no argument is offered, this time as to how YEC doesn’t account for it.Yeah, and for the nth time, no argument if offered by YOU. Since you can’t be bothered knowing what the Mid-Atlantic Ridge even is (I doubt you even care enough to look it up), you’re in a poor way to be accusing others of failing to provide arguments. Learn what the thing is, then we’ll talk. Lui apparently believes that, if he doesn’t like the argument, it doesn’t fly. Period.What ARGUMENT? Show me where you provided any evidence for supposing that “God did it” even approaches a consistent, coherent framework for actually UNDERSTANDING these phenomena. But Rhology apparently believes that if he can simply type “God did it”, he has a good thing going. so we'll just have to let the reader judge.>Fine by me.<Didn't you just finish saying "Enough of this “let the reader decide” crap."? Which one is it?Both. >Creationists don’t get to make things up and then expect the sane people to go off on wild goose chases.<But evolutionists like Lui evidently don't have to justify the assumptions they make. Special pleading.Since I never said nor implied that I don’t have to justify any assumptions that I do make (speaking of evolution: do you actually think that HIV DOESN’T evolve?). Of course, given that absolutely ANYHTING I say (no matter how powerfully confirmed by modern science) will be taken by you being propped up by nothing more than “assumption”, absolutely any argument that I make will be brushed aside as “special pleading”. It must be tough being a creationist. You’re pretty much obligated to denigrate the whole of established science as a rickety old house held up by a bunch of mere “assumptions” just so that your stupid conjectures – which you think everyone is obligated to take seriously – can be seen as even remotely respectable. Rho: Maybe non-parsimony was in “operation” more than 1000 years ago. You don’t know, but you assume it. Lui: But I have reasons to presume one way: consistency of disparate evidence, and parsimony (and the interaction of the two). 1) I ask you how you know parsimony has been in operation more than 1000 yrs ago, and you answer “parsimony”. Ummm, no, that’s not what I said. Parsimony isn’t a property of the universe, it’s a way of assessing competing claims about the universe. Weren’t you just berating me for answering “God did it” too many times for your taste?Yes, because yours is a baseless non-answer that allows you an easy escape from having to provide any sort of coherent argument of your own while berating me for supposedly not doing so. 2) What evidence do you have for this?Modern technology that incorporates the logical structure of theories, and the predictive power of those theories (which lead to more technology that also, ever so coincidentally and accidentally in your worldview, just happens to work) and the role that parsimony played in that (the technology we have is the visible manifestation of parsimonious theories). >Unlike the scientists and engineers who designed your computer.<This just doesn't make any sense.It should, but I’m not surprised that you haven’t gotten the hang of it yet. Where did I claim that people CAN’T use logic or evidence if they don’t believe in God? My point is that their worldview can’t ACCOUNT for such.The anthropic principle. We think our thoughts after Him;>Undemonstrated assumption.<Actually:1) it follows from the impossibility of the contrary, andThere is no such impossibility. This “impossibility” is derived from the presupposition that God created us; it’s an integral part of your presupposition, not a logical inference from, well, logic. 2) follows directly from my presupposition.And since you have no way of proving the impossibility of the contrary outside of the presupposition that God-man is talking to you and telling you how it’s so, your point is mute. Haha…one thing I DEFINITELY don’t need to do is to borrow anything from you or your worldview. Wrong again. You have no reason to conclude that murdering your family member is wrong or even bad,Yes I do. They’re reasons that I find compelling; whether you do or not is irrelevant. They’re not the same reasons you have for not murdering your family, therefore I’m not borrowing anything from your worldview. If I was, I would need to appeal to God. Since I don’t believe in God, I need other reasons for not murdering my family (though in a way I don’t, since I don’t actually start off with any drive to kill people, let alone having to dissuade myself of such a dr
    ive). Of course, since you’ve FRAMED everything in terms of God, such that anything that doesn’t involve God has no “meaning” (defined as what God wants, which just begs the question), then you can’t help “winning” the argument. The Australian aborigines – the indigenous people of the country in which I live – had and have a wide range of cultures and traditions. Before European settlement, they had never even heard of your God. Yet they had prohibitions on murdering members of their families. Were they “borrowing” from your worldview? yet I certainly don’t doubt you would spring to their defence if you had to.Correct, for reasons having nothing to do with God. On atheism there’s no reason to,Which is fine, since I don’t do things “on atheism”. Atheism is a lack of belief in gods; it isn’t an ethical framework (though it can be PART of one). but on Christianity there are a great many reasons to.A “great many”? You’ve spouted some silly bullshit, but let’s not go completely crazy. You borrow unconsciously from my worldview;I don’t have it in the back of my mind that some celestial dictator is going to punish me for my wrongs. You should really stop flattering yourself. that’s just one example.It isn’t. But do come up with one. I look forward to it. >“modern science” (which you completely disregard whenever it suites you) as being founded on theistic presuppositions when your own “theistic presuppositions” don’t even agree with it.<Modern BIOLOGY might be founded to a large extent on the theory of common descent via natural selection and selective mutation, but not the rest of science, for one thing.That’s fair enough, and true as far as I know. I have no problem with that. Of course, there is also modern geology, modern geophysics, modern cosmology, modern particle physics, modern psychology, and plenty of other developed fields in which the conclusions that have been drawn go utterly against what you believe to be true. And again, scientists are all about reforming and streamlining science.As it should be. If we settled for anything less, we’d have stale dogma. We wouldn’t want that, but some people see it as perfectly legitimate. They’re called “religionists”. I imagine you are as well, except when the streamlining touches the raw nerve of your sacred cow, and then you’re fighting tooth and nail to keep it.The streamlining hasn’t touched the raw nerve of my “sacred cow”, if by that you mean that modern science has cut to the marrow and disturbed my “assumptions” and given me reason to suppose that I am probably wrong. Whatever streamlining and refining I’ve encountered has been exciting and invigorating, and I look forward to more such developments. I myself hope to be a purveyor of them. >Modern science logically leads to atheism.< Reeeaalllly? What's your argument for that?Lots of arguments, having to do with biology, physics, cosmology, psychology, anthropology, etc. all pointing to a universe that doesn’t require any divine intervention. >I’m not that committed to convincing you.< Let the record show it, then. I'm trying to get to the heart of the matter, and Lui is hurling insults and running away when the going gets tough.Reading the bile you pour out IS what’s “tough”. Your arguments are all paper-thin and specious. >A young Earth creationist has no business using words as sophisticated as “induction”. <This is just mindless bigotry. No, I’m sorry to say that it actually isn’t. Mindless bigotry is to denigrate the world’s scientists as though they were part of some giant atheist conspiracy, and then to shit on their discoveries and drawl about “assumptions” while offering nothing more interesting or original than “God did it”. THAT’S bigotry. Next to that, saying that YECs have no business using words like induction doesn’t even come close. >This is passes muster as “logic” and “argumentation” for Rhology, people: “God created them”<What law of logic does the statement "God created humankind" break?I didn’t say that. Note how you’re subtly twisting what I said: I said that what passes muster as logical for you is to simply declare “God did it” whenever you’re presented with something you have not a clue about, and then proclaiming that to be an answer as valid as what the evidence actually warrants. I wasn’t saying that God couldn’t have created humankind. But if you’re going to claim that he did, then you need to explain how it is affirmed by something more than just your ability to say so. >any state of the universe can be retrospectively fitted to GenesisWhat is your argument for that? Genesis means sthg, after all, and so that which is contradictory to Genesis' text therefore would NOT fit it.And yet you won’t actually specify what we should EXPECT to find if Genesis is true. Evolution makes certain predictions about things that, if they were found, would falsify or at least severely weaken the theory. A theory has to be vulnerable to evidence for it to mean anything. You’ll you’ve done is to claim that all the evidence that has been found fits just as snugly into Genesis as it does into the naturalistic alternative – and to actually show that, you simply declare “God did it” even when you have no clue about what “it” is, let alone what it says about evolution. Your argument seems to be nothing more than, “If God is capable of anything, then everything is explained by God”. Truth be told, you left out massive chunks of my post. It’s pretty conspicuous. You actually focused on relatively minor points, but even for that the result isn’t at all impressive. I always have found that, when personal insults are resorted to, it is a clear sign the debater is desperate…if not already thrashed.Yes, he was talking about his own experiences. I was only insulting you because I think that you’re incredibly dishonest.

  41. says

    Some corrections: “You’re not, of course, because in order for your presupposition to be considered true, you need to do more than just invoke it in defence of itself. We’re all in the same boat here; it’s just that you end up inflating your troubles by negating the evidence IF we suppose that we’re not brains in vats.””It MIGHT as a matter of fact have been the case that, presuming that the universe wasn’t created by God, that it was unintelligible (say, totally chaotic in a way that precluded discovery),””All you’ve done is to claim that all the evidence that has been found fits just as snugly into Genesis as it does into the naturalistic alternative”

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