The Science of it All, Intelligent Design

One last bit of reflection

One last bit of reflection

I was astonished when one of the biochemistry professors I was working with on a project to modify a human anatomy/physical therapy program donated by NASA, discussed the elegance of the automatic decision-makers working on the molecular scale to keep the various chemicals of life at the right levels in each cell!  It was a little off topic at the time but was certainly one of my interests.  I mentioned that they certainly seemed designed and he was quick to change his attitude and attributed these ingenious molecular decision-makers to unguided evolutionary processes.  His message was clear: however remarkable these molecular control systems may be, they are nothing more than natural accidents— just like everything else in biology.

I let it slide and nothing more said during the rest of the design project.  I knew— intuitively, anyway— that no string of biological accidents could possibly be so clever as to manufacture themselves or other biological parts.  At that time, I sensed the weight of “scientific authority” standing with his interpretation and against mine.  Notice, I used the word authority here instead of evidence.  He was the degreed individual; I was the understudy, hired to improve the software.  However, by this time, I had completed three semesters of college microbiology and sports biomechanics.  For all the claims that I had heard in lectures and read in textbooks about the inventive power of Darwin’s evolutionary process, I had not seen any convincing scientific basis for these claims.  No one had shown how the amazing cellular machines of life could be accidental inventions instead of deliberately designed ones.

The troubling contradiction between what the voice of scientific consensus was telling me and what the voice of my own intuition was telling me had to be resolved.  That is what I have set out to do, to resolve this apparent conflict within my understanding.  I am certain that this conflict exists in all of us to some degree.  To the extent we share the intuition that life cannot be an accident; understanding is what eliminates the contradiction.  Technical understanding can be overwhelming; I know I had to read some of the data more than once to understand it.  I will offer simplified details of the important technical information.  I will not turn this into a science lecture.  Instead, common science will be the thread that holds everything together.

The most peculiar aspect of Darwinism is not that it takes credit for things that seem too extraordinary to be explained but rather that the explanation offered seems too ordinary for the job.  As a software developer, I recognize the other concepts that continue on here.  Intuitions are interpreted differently (Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without proof, evidence, or conscious reasoning, or without understanding how the knowledge was acquired)

Whether the method I describe is the one that I actually use is less important than whether it justifies my conclusions. Specifically, I want to know whether the intuition that makes us all doubt Darwin’s theory is sound.  If the answer to this is yes, as I think I can confirm, then Darwin’s theory is in trouble whether or not we ever have a fully satisfactory account of how intuitions work.

I think the intuition by which we immediately perceive certain things to be the products of purposeful intent is close to the idea that some things are too good to be true.  This expression does not mean that good things cannot happen; it means certain good things cannot just happen.  They never come out of thin air.  They only happen if someone makes them happen.  Only someone who has that knowledge can accomplish tasks that we would need the knowledge to accomplish.

Whenever we think we would be unable to achieve a particularly useful result without first learning how we judge that result unattainable by accident.  The important point is that we all reach these judgments, often unanimously, and this rule fits these judgments reasonably well.  I use the term universal design intuition— or simply design intuition— to refer to the common human faculty by which we intuit design or the necessity for learning.

If no one makes breakfast, then breakfast goes unmade.  Likewise, for cleaning up after breakfast, for making the bed, and so on.  Everyday experience consistently shows us that even simple tasks like these never accomplish themselves.  Whether we taught ourselves these skills or taught by others, the point is that knowledge had to be acquired in the form of practical know how.

According to the design intuition, neither bricks nor shoes are made unless someone makes them.  As familiar as this intuition is, it turns out to have huge implications for biological origins, because the claimed exceptions are so concentrated there. And what dramatic exceptions they are!  Bricks are not made until someone makes them (or today, until someone makes the machine that makes them), but somehow much more complex things, like dragonflies and horses, were made without anyone making them, we are told.

Sensibly, we know and understand that nothing impressive ever happens by accident.  Far beyond such simple things are the pinnacles of human technology, like robots, communications satellites, and smart phones, which we know cannot appear by accident.  At the highest reaches of the complexity scale is the true masterpieces— things like hummingbirds and dolphins— all of them alive, all of them eluding our best efforts to understand them.  Some technophiles like to think that human ingenuity will one day produce their equal, and good things will surely come from rising to that challenge-obtainable or not.

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson described this utopian view as follows in the first episode of the “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” television series:

“This adventure is made possible by generations of searchers strictly adhering to a simple set of rules: test ideas by experiment and observation; build on those ideas that pass the test; reject the ones that fail; follow the evidence wherever it leads, and question everything. Accept these terms, and the cosmos is yours.”

Somehow, with the conferring of rare honors, with the establishment of scholarship funds and the dedication of buildings that bear a person’s name, with oil portraits and marble busts and postage stamps bearing a person’s likeness, somehow the fallible aspects of humanness we most easily relate to evaporate.  This leaves us with an image of an individual that hovers midway between heaven and earth, neither divine enough to be worshiped nor human enough to be hugged.  Perhaps this tendency to idolize the legends of science is connected to a skewed view of the entire scientific enterprise.  Many of us, including myself, have bought into the idea that science, though practiced by humans, has managed to rid itself of the human flaws that leave their mark on every other human undertaking.  The purity of science is guaranteed by the rigor of “the scientific method,” we think.

if ideas could be tested with a meter, the way batteries and fuses can, then Tyson’s simple rules would work.  But if we intend to question everything, perhaps we should begin by questioning whether the human testing of human ideas can really be so simple, considering how complicated humans are.  Nowhere are these complications more evident than in the discussion of big ideas that touch the way we live, because here we find that everyone— scientists included— have a strongly held view.  Moreover, the very biggest ideas are those that offer answers to the all-important question of how we got here.

Oddly enough, I now see how the pursuit of prestige goes a long way toward explaining how science is stuck on certain wrong ideas.  In the professional world of science, prestige is bestowed in the form of praise, and not just any praise but the rare praise of those who are themselves most highly praised.  Why would anyone assume that praiseworthy science always gets the praise it deserves?

The answer, I think, is that when we fall for the utopian view of science, truth and prestige do appear to be weighted equally.  If we assume scientists are single-mindedly driven by the quest for truth and nothing else, then we expect those scientists with the keenest perception of the truth to rise to the top.  These top-notch scientists form an elite body of experts whose consensus opinion is the surest indicator of the truth there is.  Or so we believe.  Prestige and truth then seem inseparable, as though they are just two different names for the same thing.  Moreover, we need only see that it can easily become an authoritarian science.  With the truth perceived to be so reliably in the hands of the elites, we ordinary folks need not concern ourselves with the details when the elites (the knowledgeable) are challenged.  Instead, we wait patiently for them to deliver their official response, which we assume is surely correct.

My intent in showing the less flattering side of science is not to make me look good or others look bad (many of them are highly qualified individuals), and certainly not to make science look bad.  My purpose is instead to promote a realistic view of humanity and of science as a human undertaking.  We will not really love science until we learn to love real science— not a hypothetical pursuit in a utopian world but an intrinsically human pursuit in this world, however imperfect.

If you are wondering whether it is legitimate for scientists to hope for a particular result when they set their goals, it certainly is.  It is done all the time.  The search for extraterrestrial intelligence is a well-known example.  SETI involves the work of many scientists who hope their search will one day prove successful.  They have no proof, but science never starts with proof.  Like every other worthwhile undertaking, science starts with ambition.

Many scientists devote themselves to finding cures for various diseases for which there is no proof that these long-sought cures will be found, but the goal and the ambition are there.  That is no small thing.  Scientific proof never comes without those key ingredients.  Harm comes to science, not by people hoping to find a particular result, but by people trying to suppress results that go against their hopes. When we consider who has the power to suppress unwelcome results, we see right away that the view most likely to create that suppression is the majority view of the scientific community.

If science is the application of reason and observation to discover objective truths about the physical world, then doing science requires accepting just a few things— none of them controversial.  First, we must accept that objective truths exist, as we all naturally do (I have a five part series on Objective Truth starting here: https://larryemarshall.wordpress.com/2016/06/04/objective-truth-part-one/ ). Then we must accept that some of these truths pertain to the physical world and that some of those that do can be discovered through human observation and reasoning.  Since we all engage in this discovery process from an early age, we all naturally accept these propositions.

There is nothing more.

Adding anything to this essential set of propositions causes two serious problems.  One: the resulting embellished definition of science excludes what should not be excluded, namely any work that adheres to the essential set without adhering to the embellishment.  For example, if a group of people were to insist that science can’t be done properly without accepting that life exists on other planets, then that group will refuse to consider any work done from a contrary perspective, even though this work may be perfectly legitimate science.  Second, the embellishments run the risk of pressuring scientists into accepting wrong answers by ruling the right answers “unscientific.”

The reason adherents to this version hold science to be the only legitimate source of truth are that they also hold to materialism.  This preconceived set of beliefs commits them to the idea that there is not anything that exists that is not physical stuff.  Because science is the only way to know the truth about physical stuff, this leads them to conclude that science is the only source of truth.  The materialist commitment itself is completely unnecessary to science and therefore a harmful embellishment.

According to this now-familiar view, people of faith who challenge Darwinism are really pushing religion, even if their challenge has a scientific look to it.  The real problem for science, however, is not people having agendas (as they always do) but rather the institutionalization of agendas.  This is the embellishment problem we discussed above.  Once an embellished view of science becomes established, active suppression of dissent becomes inevitable, with predictable consequences.  Everything that opposes the institutionalized agenda is labeled “anti-science” by those working to protect the agenda.

Therefore, with this background, we will begin to study rocks (not the ones in my head).  Instead, the ones that make up the world around us and which have been misdated and misanalyzed for many, many years now.

 

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Intelligent Design, The Science of it All

Disrupting Long Held Beliefs

Disrupting Long Held Beliefs

You have been taught that the earth is 4-5 billion years old and the universe about 13.5 billion years old for how many years?  If you are a Christian, it has to have caused some difficulties for you in your journey when the Bible teaches that the earth is only 6,000 to 10,000 years old.  Reconciling the differences has been a problem and has split religious individuals in half with some believing the Bible is inerrant and others trying to make the Bible fit into a MYA (Million Years Age) philosophy.

First, I need to do a brief introduction to the science of geology for my readers so we can at least talk about the subject on a similar level.  I will describe conventional geology theory, with essentially modern geological processes functioning for hundreds of millions of years, and short-age geology, with geological processes functioning for only thousands of years. One might say two very different points of views.

The geological processes to be described will include types of rocks and how they form, the depositional environments in which sedimentary rocks accumulate and how to recognize these environments, how mountains and landscape develop, and erosion processes that shape the land.  Glaciation, the stratigraphic sequence of rock layers, and the fossils they contain and how they were preserved will also be discussed.

This is not the best comparison chart I could have found.  It will do for now, I hope to find a better one later, Even if I have to make it myself.  The important thing is to remember that thee millions of years on the life are condensed in thousands of years during and after the flood on the right side.  We will refer to the names of various periods on the left.

I will introduce two differing theories that attempt to account for the origin of the Cambrian explosion to the recent geological column and its fossils.  Conventional geology estimated to be 541 million years of time and short-age geology is just a few thousand years.  Both of theories must account for a number of geological features and processes.  These are the formation of rocks and minerals, accumulation of sedimentary deposits in various ancient environments, formation of mountains, and erosion of the sediments to form our modern landforms, glaciations on mountains and over continents, and the origin of the fossils in the fossil record.

In evaluating data and interpretations in geology/ paleontology, it will often be difficult to apply the concept of inference-to-the-best-explanation because we are dealing with events that happened long times ago and not directly observed.  If we do not have adequate modern analogues for comparison with the rocks (and we have never observed a global geological catastrophe), we will be somewhat hampered in reaching a confident interpretation of the data.

The most direct source of evidence of the history of ancient life comes from the fossil record.  It poses difficulties for both interventionism and macroevolution.  The vertical stratigraphic sequence of fossils from one-celled prokaryotic (cells with no nucleus) organisms in the Precambrian to eukaryotes (cells with a nucleus), invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, birds, and, finally, humans and the associated questions of geologic time with its support from radiometric dating are the real challenges that face interventionists who accept a literal biblical creation.  The following material introduces the basic concepts of geology with both conventional and short-age interpretations of the concepts.

Geological processes, generally like those observable today, operating over a time period of several billion years produced earth’s geological features.

LOOKING NORTH ACROSS THE CANYON AT THE NORTH RIM, GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK.

“Life” (cells that are alive,t hey have movement, take in nourishment, excrete by-products) have been on the earth during much of Earth’s history according to F. M. Gradstein and others in their book  “The Geologic Time Scale” (Boston: Elsevier, 2012).  The Phanerozoic (Cambrian to recent) rocks formed during the last 541 million years, and the fossil record is a record of the evolution and extinction of life forms through this time period.  The modern field of geology traces its roots back primarily to Charles Lyell, who developed the theory of uniformitarian geology[i].  This theory directly contrasted the theories of catastrophism and supernatural occurrences. Uniformitarianism is the idea that by using observations of current natural processes, we can predict how processes occurred in the past. In order to do this, we must accept that changes in nature occurring millions of years ago are similar to the changes that occur today.

Modern geological theory is a modification of Lyell’s uniformitarian views and recognizes that Lyell was partly wrong.  The term “uniformitarianism,” as used by Lyell, actually includes four different concepts.  These four aspects of uniformitarianism with an evaluation of each summarized in the following table:

Table 1. There are four separate concepts in Lyell’s uniformitarianism[ii]

  • Uniformity of law: This is a part of science in general, and not unique to geology. It is still accepted that natural law is indeed uniform. Water never flowed uphill in the past.  (Interpreted as the Creator making a uniform and consistent world of scientific laws if you are a Christian).
  • Uniformity of geological processes: The present is the key to the past. The application of this means we do not invent unique processes if modern processes can explain the observations.  However, this is only partly valid; it is now known if the geological past was very somewhat different from what we observe today.
  • Uniformity of rates of processes: Geological processes have always been slow and gradual. There have not been any catastrophic geological events. This is known to be false but is still figured in their calculations.
  • Uniformity of conditions: Conditions on earth have always been the same, cycling endlessly with no direction. This is not true and hard to support. Conditions in the Cambrian, for example, were quite different from conditions today.  For example, our existing continents were largely covered with shallow seas during the Cambrian.  In addition, the fossils in different parts of the geological column are significantly different.

The four points in the above table is the basic concept that any theory of geology must satisfy.  So also, should the concept of short-age geology. It’s basic tenets are as follows.  The Phanerozoic (denoting the eon covering the whole of time since the beginning of the Cambrian period, and comprising the Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic eras) record consisted of just a few thousand years.  The major taxonomic (the science of defining groups of biological organisms on the basis of shared characteristics) groups of animals and plants arose at the beginning of that time through independent origins, by creation in other words.  Much of the fossil record consists of remains of these organisms that ended up buried in a sequence resulting from the order of events before, during, and after a worldwide geological catastrophe rather than from an evolutionary sequence.

After the catastrophe, geological processes gradually slowed to the rates observable today and significant fossil deposits formed because of the progressively less catastrophic events during this time.  A significant part of the Cenozoic fossil record, probably formed after the global catastrophe, which would include evolutionary sequences of organisms within the individual created groups.

 

Whether the basic structure of the earth and the lower portions of the geological column (e.g., the Precambrian) had a recent origin or formed over billions of years is a separate question beyond the scope of our discussion.  Other authors have covered it very well.  We will discuss short-age geology as it pertains only to the Phanerozoic part of the geological column.

The short-age geologist proposes that, at some time in the past, a disturbance in the earth’s crust temporarily disrupted the normal relationships between land and water bodies, initiating a period of rapid geologic activity on a global scale.  This period of rapid erosion and sedimentation produced a significant but unknown portion of the geological column.  The geological and geophysical processes that occurred during that event have determined the characteristics of the rocks formed at that time and the distribution of various fossils in the rocks.  They influenced the distribution and character of radioactive elements in the minerals used in radiometric dating.

A short-age geology theory expressed in this form is a simple descriptive statement.  It says nothing about the un-testable question of whether God was involved in initiating this geologic event.  No supernatural powers, no magic or mythical events.  It will satisfy the four requirements in Table 1.  It does not attempt to explain any process or event that may have operated outside the known laws of geology, chemistry, or physics.  This particular descriptive theory can be used as a basis for defining specific hypotheses concerning the sedimentary processes and the amount of time involved in depositing individual formations or in shaping the earth’s landforms.

These hypotheses can be tested in the same way that any geologist tests hypotheses.  Two geologists could be doing research on the same rock formation. One geologist might believe that the formation took a long time— thousands or millions of years— to be deposited.  The other geologist would believe the formation was deposited considerably quicker.  They will probably ask different questions, but they both look for the same general types of data as they study the rocks.  Each must analyze their own data, as well as other published data, and interpret the meaning of all the data. When they disagree, each geologist analyzes the other’s work and reevaluates their own work and tries to determine what additional data would be needed to clarify the issue.  If each is doing good work, the findings will be published in a scientific journal so others can benefit from it.

In time, as more data accumulates it will point to rapid deposition, very slow deposition, or something in between.  If we evaluate the data fairly, eventually it should imply which theory is truer, unless our inability to go back in time and directly observe what happened, limits the data too much.  All geologists will use the same observational and experimental procedures in their research.  One primary difference in the research approach of short-age geologists and other geologists is what they predict the eventual outcome will be: The short-age geologist is confident that when “the data is all in,” they will indicate that much of the geologic column was deposited in a short time.  A conventional geologist is more likely to have confidence that the data eventually will indicate that the entire geologic column was deposited very slowly or in rapid spurts with long periods of time between.

Many would say the data already is conclusive and has disproved the short-age theory.  However, the short-age geologist notes with interest the definite trend toward catastrophism in geology that began a few decades ago.  Some of the pertinent articles are listed below:

  • V. Ager, The Nature of the Stratigraphical Record, 2nd ed. (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1981)
  • A. Berggren and J. A. Van Couvering, eds., Catastrophes and Earth History: The New Uniformitarianism (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984)
  • Albritton, Catastrophic Episodes in Earth History (New York: Chapman & Hall, 1989); R. J. Huggett, Catastrophism: Systems of Earth History (New York: Edward Arnold, 1990)
  • Koeberl and K. G. MacLeod, Catastrophic Events and Mass Extinctions: Impacts and Beyond (Boulder, CO: Geological Society of America, 2002).

Nevertheless, a number of lines of evidence challenge the short-age theory. Discrepancies between a theory and the available data can arise in at least two different ways: either (1) the theory is wrong or (2) important discoveries are waiting for diligent researchers who use their theory to guide their research. Interventionists/ short-age geologists recognize that if their theory is true, significant phenomena have yet to be discovered.  Does interventionism stifle research, as some have suggested? If interventionism is understood correctly and if its predictions of new phenomena waiting to be discovered are taken seriously, it can be a stimulus for vigorous new approaches to research.  I will now review the basic concepts of physical and historical geology and make initial comparisons of how these two theories deal with this evidence.

First up: Rock Types and Processes for Their Formation and Weathering

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[i] C. Lyell and G. P. Deshayes, Principles of Geology: Being an Attempt to Explain the Former Changes of the Earth’s Surface, by Reference to Causes Now in Operation, 3 vols. (London: John Murray, 1830– 1833).

[ii] S. J. Gould, “Toward the Vindication of Punctuational Change,” in Catastrophes and Earth History: The New Uniformitarianism, ed. W. A. Berggren and J. A. Van Couvering (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984), 9– 34.

Intelligent Design, The Science of it All

Something New to Contemplate

Something New to Contemplate

It is only recently that some defenders of evolution have tried to divorce the origin of life from consideration.  It is probably because the hope of finding an answer is rapidly fading, as one scientific discovery after another of sophisticated machinery in even the simplest living cells makes the problem of a naturalistic origin ever more difficult.  Popular articles on origin-of-life research have often portrayed the field as constantly advancing and quickly converging on a purely Materialistic Naturalism explanation for the origin of the first autonomous cell.  This creates an important proposition that atheists must believe.  That is life came from non-living chemicals, a process called chemical evolution or abiogenesis (Abiogenesis, biopoiesis, or informally, the origin of life, is the natural process by which life arises from non-living matter, such as simple organic compounds.)  Every so often, the lame stream media headlines trumpet the latest and greatest solution, even though specialists in the area know that they are not even close to solving this problem.  Moreover, they never ask, why is this theory replacing the other theory that we highlighted and headlined a year or so ago.

Common arguments about the origin of life have traditionally focused on the unlikelihood of life forming by chance.  I myself have promoted this concept and of course have had others say, “It just had to happen once” as naive as that statement is.  Perhaps most famously, physicist Fred Hoyle calculated the probability of a cell coalescing to be roughly 1 part in 10 to the power of 40,000.  He compared this probability to the chances of a tornado plowing through a junkyard and assembling a jet airplane.  Now, I am not happy with that analogy because it takes us away from the concept of a cell that we should be dealing with.  So let us go with the smallest human protein which is made up of 44 amino acids (Human protein Q6YH21, a collagen-like molecule associated with acetylcholinesterase in skeletal muscle, has a variant gene NM_080542, which encodes for the shortest protein in the human body).  If we have 20 of each of these 44 amino acids floating in a solution it would be similar to these 880 amino acids suspended in Lake Erie (to want to make it turbulent).  Well, not quite, we need to shorten it by about 2 square miles.  Lake Erie is 116 cubic miles in volume, so that comes out to 1.277 x 10^24 gallons or 1,277,295,890,000,000,000,000,000 gallons.  So cut out 6 cubic miles and redo the math.  In addition, we would want these amino acids to randomly form together so the lake has a lot of waves and currents and tides.  The interesting thing is we are assuming that the necessary molecules have already formed into the amino acids and that the protein molecule will form randomly and properly and be folded correctly into this protein.  This event happens hundreds of thousands of times every minute within each cell of your body.

It is possible, we might get a protein to form, but it is highly improbable.  Plain and simple. So you understand the difference between possibility and probability now?

 

Closely linked to  the concept of probability is that of entropy, since probability is proportional to the number of configurations (N) in which some state could occur, and entropy is proportional to the log of N.  As an example, the number of ways water molecules can arrange themselves in the solid state is much smaller than the number ways in the liquid or gas states, so ice is the state with the lowest entropy.  Due to this connection, the probability argument is restated that nature tends to move from states of lower entropy to higher entropy, which simply means that nature moves towards states that are highly probable.  This tendency is known as the second law of thermodynamics.

Analogously, some systems do, in fact, naturally move from states of higher entropy to those of lower entropy (i.e., seemingly low probability) if the lower-entropy states are highly biased to occur.  Such a bias is created by a second driving tendency.  Namely, nature tends to move from states of higher energy to those of lower energy.  For instance, rocks roll downhill, since lower altitude corresponds to lower gravitational energy.  Likewise, molecules of water attract each other, so ice is a lower energy state than water or gas as a result of more hydrogen bonds forming on average between neighboring molecules. At low enough temperatures, this attraction overcomes the tendency to move toward higher entropy resulting in water freezing.  We will come back to the  water later.

Jeremy England, a physicist from MIT had a brainstorm of an idea that life is very good at increasing the entropy of its surroundings: life absorbs energy and dissipates it as heat, and this by definition increases the surroundings’ entropy. In addition, of course, if something can self-replicate, then it will generate more energy dissipaters.

However, even in these cases of locally decreasing entropy, the second law of thermodynamics is not violated, for the changes are always exothermic — heat is released. The heat leaving the local system (e.g., a cup of freezing water) and entering the surrounding environment increases the latter’s entropy by an amount greater than the entropy decrease of the local system. Therefore, the total entropy of the universe increases. The problem for all theories of origin of life now becomes quite evident. The simplest functional cell compared to its most basic building blocks has both lower entropy and higher energy.

Natural systems never both decrease in entropy and increase in energy at the same time.  Therefore, the origin of life through purely natural processes would seem as implausible as water on a hot summer day spontaneously freezing or a river flowing unaided uphill for thousands of miles.  Physicists and chemists (in order to try to explain what they cannot calculate) often combine entropy and energy (or enthalpy) together into what is called the free energy of a system. The change of free energy is always negative for spontaneous changes (e.g., wood burning or ice melting in summer), and it directly relates to the total increase in entropy of the universe.  The challenge for the origin of life is then explaining how billions of atoms could spontaneously come together into a state of significantly higher free energy.

Various calculations have been done, all using different variables and the probability has always been essentially zero.  At face value, this thermodynamic analysis for the origin of life would seem to negate any possible materialistic solution to the problem.  Theorists have long recognized one remaining loophole (but remember, these are theorists- a person concerned with the theoretical aspects of a subject).

Most calculations have assumed that the system was in a state near equilibrium.  However, many argue that the origin of life took place in a system strongly driven away from equilibrium.  This would be a pond subjected to intense sunlight or the bottom of the ocean near a hydrothermal vent flooding with its surroundings superheated water and high-energy chemicals.  These settings are commonly referred to as non-equilibrium dissipative systems.  Their common characteristic is that classical thermodynamics breaks down, so the previous analyses do not completely hold.  Instead, principles of non-equilibrium thermodynamics must be applied, which are far more complex and less well understood.  Moreover, the energy from these outside sources is hoped to enable the free-energy barrier to be overcome.  Therefore, scientists are relying on less than scientific methods to prove their points.

However, such appeals to non-equilibrium systems do little to solve the basic thermodynamic problems.  First, no system could be maintained far from equilibrium for more than a limited amount of time. Any progress made toward forming a cell would be lost as the system reverted toward equilibrium (lower free energy) and thus away from any state approaching life.

This has been extensively promoted as a ‘groundbreaking idea’ about why we have life.  Despite the hype, nothing is being offered to explain how life could have evolved from lifeless chemicals; still a massive unsolved hurdle.

The input of raw solar, thermal or other forms of energy actually increase the entropy of the system, thus moving it in the wrong direction.  For instance, the ultraviolet light from the sun or heat from hydrothermal vents would be more likely to break apart  complex chemical structures than form them.

In non-equilibrium systems the differences in temperature, concentrations, and other variables act as thermodynamic forces which drive heat transfer, diffusion, and other thermodynamic flows. These flows create microscopic sources of entropy production, again moving the system away from any reduced-entropy state associated with life. In short, the processes occurring in non-equilibrium systems, as in their near-equilibrium counterparts, generally do the opposite of what is actually needed.

Intelligent Design, The Science of it All

Religion destroyed knowledge

Religion destroyed knowledge

This was another posting that I just had to respond to that religion was damaging to society.  Follow it through and you will see the slick attempts to move the dialogue to side issues and the flat out refusal to answer questions or provide details to specific questions in response to my direct questions on their generalities. And of course after continuous requests to define anything that they are saying the inevitable vulgarity starts.

Samuel

What if every bit of of knowledge about religion that anyone has ever learned was knowledge about math or science instead? Now do you understand how damaging religion has been to society?

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Lauren How could you explain feelings then?

 

Larry Marshall Knowledge about religions is minuscule compared to the existing knowledge of everything else. I suggest you take your head out of a certain orifice and look around. You’re disbelief is destroying America more than anything else.

 

Stephen Time to abandon fanciful beliefs in the superstitious supernatural. Centuries of horrors perpetrated in the name of various ridiculous deities and still ongoing today. Insane.

 

Larry Marshall It is nice to generalize, but please be specific. Remember many wars were not fought for religious beliefs and many millions of people have been subjugated by individuals who have no religious affiliation. Mongol hordes for one. Why do you pick on just those that had some form religious affiliation, many tragic wars fought over land boundaries.

 

Samuel So Larry, you’re ok with all this? Since there were wars that were not about religion it makes the ones that were about religion ok? Since people were conquered for reasons other than religion it makes it ok to conquer in the name of religion? Since there’s so much to know beyond religion, it makes it ok to waste time, effort and knowledge on religion since it’s “miniscule” as you put it?

 

Larry Marshall Once again you miss the point, there are as many or as much murder and mayhem caused by non-religious reasons as for religious reasons. All of the atrocities have been wrong but are all do to mans inhumanity to others- original sin as we like to call it.

 

Samuel I see. You think all the murder and mayhem caused by religion is ok. That’s the difference between you and me.

 

Larry Marshall You just continue to pick and choose. I said “All of the atrocities have been wrong” And the main reason for that is MAN himself, whether for own personal gain or in defense of some religious goal. ALL WRONG. But if war is your only defense, then you are obviously handicapping yourself- intellects far greater than us have debated the subject with no definitive solution. I’m still waiting for a concrete example of :”Now do you understand how damaging religion has been to society?”

 

Samuel  Larry Marshall, technology has been set back a thousand years because of religion. Use your head.

 

Larry Marshall Prove it Samuel, get specific what hasn’t been accomplished or set back due to religious intervention.

 

Anthony Logic and reason Larry Marshall just think about it it’s not hard

 

Larry Marshall  Anthony I am a very reasonable person and I have since 1982 dealt with nothing but logic in my positions as a software developer, getting so far as to be able to have a Class 3 clearance with the NSA for a program that I worked on in conjunction with the City of Boulder , CO in 2000. All I do is deal with facts, sort them out, rearrange them, mine them to check and see patterns that others may not know exist. So then back to the above “get specific, what hasn’t been accomplished or set back due to religious intervention” Give me some facts so that I may sort them out for what they are: reality or ….. we’ll leave the conclusion until you provide me something to work with. And I’ll make a deal, you leave out the Crusades (way to many extenuating circumstances) and I’ll leave out Nazism and Marxism as being the result of Darwinism.

 

Samuel Are you trying to win merit by bragging about yourself? If that’s what we’re doing, I’ll share about myself as well. I also worked for the NSA back in 2008. I was involved in a little thing called The Sweet T Project at Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia. That same year, I spent some time in south Mississippi doing some work for NASA at the John C. Stennis base. With that said, I say religion has done nothing but cause damage, and obviously, with my credentials, what I say counts.

 

Larry Marshall Not bragging at all, just laying out my excitement for dealing with reason and logic which I believe I continually display. However, I get nothing but generalizations from you. Are you familiar with Robert Rice, he was part of the Virtual Interactive Anatomy that was used to help build the spacesuits. I assisted him in animating the VIA. Also you may have heard of John Strand- his book Pathways to the Planets is a remarkable tale of how JPL and NASA didn’t get along very well. I worked with Robert on several programs for geosynchronous satellites for the oil industry and visited the NOAA facility in MS in late 2011 just before I was getting to retire from AT&T . Of course none of this has anything to do with the facts reason for or logic of “religion has done nothing but cause damage,” and you haven’t given me any details to work with

 

Stephen  Larry Marshall The amount of horror created by Nazism and Marxism while despicable pales in comparison to that done in the names of various deities.

 

Larry Marshall Nope more individuals kilted than all the so-called religious wars. you keep getting off subject- name me one item of scientific inquiry that was halted or delayed by religion.

 

Larry Marshall Stephen Not so, far more dead from those two political parties than from all the Crusades put together. You would have to throw in such things as the Roman conquest of Europe and Eurasia (which was political and not religious). What wars do you consider “religious”? Then maybe we have something we can debate.

 

Stephen Larry Marshall Your defending primitive mythology which continues to spread its poison and destruction around the world. For if it’s one thing religionists hate more than non-believers it’s other religions. The belief that one preposterous deity is superior to another preposterous deity is well, preposterous. A pox on all of them.

 

Larry Marshall Two statements with no factual information to back them up. Prove to me Christianity is a primitive mythology and prove to me that it is spreading poison and destruction around the world. Your statement doesn’t prove it so- it just shows bigotry and prejudice almost to the spreading of a poisonous attitude of hate across the country.

 

Samuel Larry, don’t you feel embarrassed when you constantly need things explained to you as if you were a child? What Stephen and I have been telling you couldn’t be more plain yet you’re still lost like a confused child.

 

Stephen  Larry Marshall Any belief in the superstitious supernatural is primitive. It’s fanciful and entertaining in sci-fi movies but the inculcation of belief in punitive mythical deities who never show up for anything anywhere robs the mind of logic. We’re not spreading hate or poison, even though we have been the objects of opprobrium and worse. You’re just unaccustomed to having religious orthodoxy and hegemony even questioned. There’s no reason to be reverential or even deferential to that which we consider deleterious to the well-being of mankind. We mean no offense but the truth must be told and the fraud exposed. Truth always trumps fiction. I hope you get used to it soon.

 

Larry Marshall Samuel and Stephen Again you say many things but do not back them up with specific details. And yet you always ask me to explain my statements. “belief in punitive mythical deities ” is not Christianity. A common statement by you folks “deleterious to the well-being of mankind.” and yet NOTHING specific except what you believe but can’t seem to articulate except by referring back to the unknown. “truth must be told and the fraud exposed.” I’m waiting. I can see nothing truthful in an unsupported statement such as “understand how damaging religion has been to society” It is an unfounded belief of yours that has no backing, at this point, with any supportable facts. You are playing word games, saying what you think you believe and not making any statement that is supportable. But what is to be expected by Atheists, they have a faith that is founded on nothing but is yet everything.

 

 

Larry Marshall Let me make it easier for you. Tell just one technology that has been set back thousands of years due to religious interference?

 

 

Stephen That you don’t accept – despite what’s clearly written in your so-called “holy book” – that christianity, like the other major religions, is absolutely based on a mythological punitive deity is a testament to the depth of your delusion. The onus of proof is on you and the other fantasists: Produce your god. And you’re absolutely wrong – atheists have many beliefs it’s just that none of them are based on silly fables imagined or appropriated from other cultures by primitive men.

 

Larry Marshall Your first misunderstanding, common to man, is that we can call upon our God to perform miracles like a stage magician. The other so called regions are based on various local fairy tales for sure. What you believe is mythological has been proven true by thousands of individuals who are far more knowledgeable than you and me. Some of them, a minority to be sure, find the same values that you do. And the typical statement of an Atheist is “the onus of proof is on you.” No it isn’t You are maintaining that God does not exist- so prove it. It should be simple for you. I know that Atheists have many beliefs, none of them based upon any kind of an unchanging moral authority. And if you engage in enough research you would find that it is the other cultures who have modified and changed the basic tenets of the Christian faith. That is an entirely different issue (I prefer to keep them separate so they can be dealt with instead of grouping them into a 250 word Reader’s Digest version of a history of falsehoods) that I have dealt with some of them on my blog www.iamnotanatheist.wordpress.com I’m not suggesting you read it, you will find fault with everything, but many of your beliefs have been disproven, if you ever decide to want to expand your knowledge. Heck, you might still disagree with multiple PhD’s with years of experience. I sometimes do.

 

I Am Not An Atheist

To counter all the fools on the Atheist pages

iamnotanatheist.wordpress.com

 

Stephen Faith is a cheap and convenient excuse for lack of evidence. You go right ahead and continue believing in your feckless, imaginary deity. Luckily for the rest of us the fastest growing religion worldwide is NO religion. The world is finally emerging from the dark ages of preposterous superstitious belief.

 

Samuel Larry Marshall, you’re such a baby! You’re given details and require more details then require more details! Admit defeat, buttface!

 

Larry Marshall That is what I am saying- WHAT DETAILS! None that I can find, just generalities.

Larry Marshall Here I’ll help you. Ask me to explain the farcical graph

Religon & Science

Samuel Answer this: Would we be better off if churches were hospitals or colleges instead? What if missionaries taught math and science instead of religious lies? I’ve explained these things to you in better detail in previous debates but you still whine about details like a confused toddler.

 

Samuel You honestly think that because evil arises from other sources it justifies all the evil from religion. I don’t agree.

 

Larry Marshall Evil arises from all of mankind. The Christian tries to avoid evil. What evil from religion has caused so much damage to mankind that it has set science and technology back thousands of years. Do see the generalities you are speaking about. what “evil from religion” I won’t and can’t deny that there has been some, but it pales in comparison to the generality that you are trying to make it into and is pretty much on an equal footing with the evil not associated with religion.

 

Larry Marshall All you do is speculate. And do you believe that all the money, all the time and all the effort wasted on political pork barrel projects, wars to gain more territory, bribery to maintain political positions that mankind wouldn’t be better off. You are blaming the faults of manking (original sin) on religion and not on the true root of all evil- MAN themself.

 

Samuel Answer this: Would we be better off if churches were hospitals or colleges instead? What if missionaries taught math and science instead of religious lies? I’ve explained these things to you in better detail in previous debates but you still whine about details like a confused toddler.

 

Samuel You honestly think that because evil arises from other sources it justifies all the evil from religion. I don’t agree.

 

Larry Marshall Evil arises from all of mankind. The Christian tries to avoid evil. What evil from religion has caused so much damage to mankind that it has set science and technology back thousands of years. Do see the generalities you are speaking about. what “evil from religion” I won’t and can’t deny that there has been some, but it pales in comparison to the generality that you are trying to make it into and is pretty much on an equal footing with the evil not associated with religion.

 

 

Larry Marshall Why should a church be a hospital? We have many of them and in some areas to many so that they are running each other out of business (although I am sure that Obamacare has much to do with that) Why should they be colleges. Many colleges are funding by churches and do not use taxpayers money. In my opinion we need fewer colleges and more trade schools. The missionaries put out into the field by the Southern Baptists teach everything that the individuals in their area need to know. How to conserve water, how to cultivate plants ad increase crop yield (without being GMO), sanitation, personal health and hygiene. What you don’t know about Christianity is overwhelming. And no Christian who is a believer in Jesus Christ would knowingly lie. The missionaries are telling the mission people the truth about the Lord- which we already know you spend so much time criticizing. All I know is he is right where he needs to be- living daily in between your ears.

 

Larry Marshall And you and I both know that your question as framed is a straw man argument. It is unanswerable, because we cannot go back in time and change the factors that you would wish to in order to determine if it would create a change that would be judged good. You will never increase your knowledge of Christians or your own faith of Atheism unless you begin to ask realistic questions for which answers can be phased in less than theoretical questions. Theories are always interesting to debate, but no specific answer can arise from them.

 

 

Intelligent Design, The Science of it All

Genomic DNA is not like computer programming

I remember when the news about Watson and Crick came out with their model of DNA.  Every magazine had cover photos and long articles and related articles.  It was the most exciting thing to happen in science (other than the first heart transplant) since the so-called Darwinian revolution a little over 100 years earlier.  Science was alive!  It made far more sense than the idiotic decade’s old junk being taught in the fuddy-duddy textbooks that were passed off as science, geography, social studies, and humanities.  Yes, it affected everything according to the news journals and magazines.  It was just a shame that I was unable, at that time, to distinguish scientific fact from the pseudo-science speculations that were occurring.

 

This is a place holder for the more detailed article to come.

LEM 7/16/2016

The Science of it All

Objective Truth part 6

I find myself need to make a clarification for the second time in my blogging career.  I certainly did not think that anybody would mistake the joke I made about subjective truth with the point of the Objective Truth in part V of the series I am writing.  Below is the original text with the corrections below it.

<< Statistical zero, where scientists usually write something off as impossible, is 1 in 10to the 50th power, or 1 with 50 zeros after it.

There are relatively few atheists among neurologists and brain surgeons and among astrophysicists, but many among psychologists, sociologists, and historians.  The reason seems obvious: the first group study divine design, the second group study human undesign.

Someone once said that if you sat a million monkeys at a million typewriters for a million years, one of them would eventually type out all of Hamlet by chance.  However, when we find the text of Hamlet, we do not wonder whether it came from chance or monkeys.  There are all kinds of debates on this concept and I am not sure I really want to discuss it, but it did seem somewhat appropriate here and leads to my conclusion for this part. 

Why then does the atheist use that incredibly improbable explanation for the universe?  Clearly, because it is his only chance of remaining an atheist.  At this point, we need a psychological explanation of the Atheist rather than a logical explanation of the universe.  That is an objective truth (subjective conclusion though I believe it to be the truth) that is true for me and you, even if you do not want to believe it. >>

The inference to the subjective conclusion was the need of a psychological exam for the Atheist.  The objective truth was the concept of statistical zero.  We will be examining the mathematical probabilities of some of the chance happenings claimed by evolutionary scientists and the convoluted statements to try to dismiss the Objective Truth of statistical zero.

PART VI

Warning: this portion occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

 

Place holder on 7/2/2016  to be completed later

Intelligent Design, The Science of it All

Objective Truth part five

PART V

There are only two types of causes, natural and intelligent.  Common sense tells us the Grand Canyon had a natural cause and Mount Rushmore had an intelligent cause.  We have a natural ability to spot intelligent design even in the simplest form, like a footprint in the sand or a heart carved in a tree.  The SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) program would be thrilled to hear even a very simple organized message from outer space on one of their radio telescopes.  They would immediately know that it indicated intelligent life.  So if a simple message from outer space or the words on this page require intelligence, what about the most intricate design known to man?

SETI-Antenna-array

The search for extraterrestrial life began over fifty years ago.  The SETI Institute has methodically searched the heavens for extraterrestrial intelligence for over twenty-five years and found nothing.  There is no evidence of intelligent life “out there.”  According to these esteemed scientists, our galaxy is 12 billion years old. Some estimate that a civilization as advanced as ours, or more advanced, would colonize the entire galaxy in 5 to 50 million years.  Even if they did not want to “leave home,” they could use self-replicating space probes— sophisticated machines that can explore and reproduce themselves on alien worlds.  Such “Von Neumann probes” would allow an advanced civilization to explore the entire galaxy without leaving home, perhaps in less than a million years.  We have found no aliens, we have found no probes, we have found no signals.  So where are they? One or 5 or even 50 million years is a blip compared to the 12-billion-year age of our galaxy (just 1 percent of 12 billion years is 120 million years).  As we will see in chapter 12, our Earth is special.  Surely an advanced civilization, or its probes, would have reached Earth millions if not hundreds of millions of years ago.  An extremely advanced civilization might be able to alter the position or color of stars. Our telescopes reveal no evidence of that.  We have found absolutely no evidence that intelligent life exists anywhere else in the universe.  Of course, this evidence is inconclusive; it does not prove that life or even intelligent life does not exist “out there.” Perhaps there are a vast multitude of advanced civilizations that, for whatever reason, have no desire to make their presence known.

Or you could go with the theory of a comic strip characters Calvin and Hobbs—“ The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.”

In actual SETI research, scientists are looking for more subtle indicators of intelligence, namely, unnaturally modulated and focused radio signals. 12 Either way, SETI does presume that the presence of a complex and specified pattern would provide grounds for suspecting the existence of an intelligence. Moreover, SETI seeks precisely to establish the activity of an intelligent cause in a remote place and from a remote time in which intelligence is currently unknown.

Arguably, the unnaturally modulated electromagnetic signals that SETI scientists are looking for represent an improbable pattern, but not necessarily evidence of digitally encoded, functionally specified information. Some have noted this difference in the criterion that SETI uses to detect intelligence in order to discredit ID proponents who have cited SETI to legitimate design reasoning in biology. But, if anything, the SETI standard for detecting intelligence constitutes a less demanding threshold for detecting intelligence than that used by ID advocates. Whereas SETI requires only evidence of a channel of communication (i.e., an unnaturally modulated signal), I would argue for a design based upon the presence of functionally specified digital code within the communication channel.

In 1996 a SETI research group scanned all 202 of the solar-type stars within 155 light-years, listening for intelligent electromagnetic signals. They found none.  The latest SETI search effort places the minimum travel distance much farther away than 250 light-years.  A spacecraft traveling at 1 percent the velocity of light (nearly 7 million miles per hour) would require 25,000 years to traverse 250 light-years.  And this makes for a quick trip.  The odds of the travelers surviving so long in radiation and sustaining the journey’s supplies— not to mention psychological isolation— seem utterly remote.

Most scientists feel that the earth is the unique treasure of one planet in a billion trillion possible necessary combinations of temperature, size, gravity, rotation the so-called “Goldilocks” zone.

“The odds of these 122 constants that make it possible for our existence, being precisely as they are at 1 chance in 10138 power.  In mathematics this means: 1 chance in 1 with138 zeros after it.” Dr. Hugh Ross.  NOAA places the odds of being hit by lightning at 1 in 1,000,000 or 1 with six zeros after it. Your odds to win the California Super Lotto are 1 chance in 41,416,353 or a 4 with approximately 7 zeros after it.

“The laws [of physics] seem to be the product of exceedingly ingenious design. The universe must have a purpose.”  Paul Davies: British astrophysicist, Davies, P. 1984, Superforce: The Search for a Grand Unified Theory of Nature.

If you just look at the evidence from science, and assume no divine intent, it appears unlikely we will find another planet equally capable of sustaining life over billions of years in the entire Milky Way Galaxy.

Don’t tell me amino acids can be created by accident.  Don’t tell me about “billions and billions” of years for life to arise.  Don’t tell me about “countless” stars and planets in the universe.  It all doesn’t matter.  Using simple concepts of number— exponents— one can expose as false claims that life arose by accident. You cannot seriously expect to get a specified protein of 75 linked amino acids in the history of the universe, except as a product of already existing life, even if you assume that everything in the universe is made up of amino acids and even if you assume that amino acids will freely combine into 75-unit chains.  Period.  And there actually is no dispute about this fact.  Of course, it takes more than one functional protein to create life.  If you use blue-green algae as a model for the first life-form, it takes perhaps 2,000 functional and exquisitely coordinated proteins.  Yale physicist Harold Morowitz calculated the likelihood of life arising by chance as one in 10 to the one hundred billionth power (one in 10100,000,000,000).  We will get into that in more detail in the Part VI

Statistical zero, where scientists usually write something off as impossible, is 1 in 10to the 50th power, or 1 with 50 zeros after it.

There are relatively few atheists among neurologists and brain surgeons and among astrophysicists, but many among psychologists, sociologists, and historians.  The reason seems obvious: the first group study divine design, the second group study human undesign.

monkeysinternet

Someone once said that if you sat a million monkeys at a million typewriters for a million years, one of them would eventually type out all of Hamlet by chance.  However, when we find the text of Hamlet, we do not wonder whether it came from chance or monkeys.  There are all kinds of debates on this concept and I am not sure I really want to discuss it, but it did seem somewhat appropriate here and leads to my conclusion for this part.

Why then does the atheist use that incredibly improbable explanation for the universe?  Clearly, because it is his only chance of remaining an atheist.  At this point, we need a psychological explanation of the atheist rather than a logical explanation of the universe.  That is an objective truth (subjective conclusion though I believe it to be the truth) that is true for me and you, even if you do not want to believe it.

ADDENDUM 

I find myself need to make a clarification for the second time in my blogging career.  I certainly did not think that anybody would mistake the joke I made about subjective truth with the point of the Objective Truth in part V of the series I am writing.  Below is the original text with the corrections below it.

<< Statistical zero, where scientists usually write something off as impossible, is 1 in 10to the 50th power, or 1 with 50 zeros after it.

There are relatively few atheists among neurologists and brain surgeons and among astrophysicists, but many among psychologists, sociologists, and historians.  The reason seems obvious: the first group study divine design, the second group study human undesign.

Someone once said that if you sat a million monkeys at a million typewriters for a million years, one of them would eventually type out all of Hamlet by chance.  However, when we find the text of Hamlet, we do not wonder whether it came from chance or monkeys.  There are all kinds of debates on this concept and I am not sure I really want to discuss it, but it did seem somewhat appropriate here and leads to my conclusion for this part. 

Why then does the atheist use that incredibly improbable explanation for the universe?  Clearly, because it is his only chance of remaining an atheist.  At this point, we need a psychological explanation of the Atheist rather than a logical explanation of the universe.  That is an objective truth (subjective conclusion though I believe it to be the truth) that is true for me and you, even if you do not want to believe it. >>

The inference to the subjective conclusion was the need of a psychological exam for the Atheist.  The objective truth was the concept of statistical zero.  We will be examining the mathematical probabilities of some of the chance happenings claimed by evolutionary scientists and the convoluted statements to try to dismiss the Objective Truth of statistical zero.

 

 

 

 

Intelligent Design, The Science of it All

Objective Truth part Four

There are barriers in the search for Objective Truth- many deliberate, some simply the result of circumstances.  Scientific literature is, well written for scientists.  Academics write mostly to impress others in academia.  It is often poorly written and ridiculously opaque for the general public.  Even where the text is readable, it tends to be one-sided because the authors need to present one point and cannot expand to related disciplines.  So in presenting their thesis they may confuse fact and fiction, knowledge and belief, and not acknowledge, or properly state, opposing facts or views.  I’m not saying it is deliberate, but it might cost them grant money.

One way around this is to write a book and you can say it goes all the way back to Darwin, when he published his book “On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection.”  Darwin proposed a comprehensive interpretation of many diverse lines of evidence.  He also argued for the superior explanatory power of his theory and its two key propositions: the creative power of natural selection and the descent of all life from a common ancestor.  He also argued against the explanatory adequacy of rival interpretations of the evidence and refuted arguments for them.  This was the first of many books that have accomplished the same concept.  It has made many scientists and pseudo-scientists rich and famous.

There are other reasons that books are used to advance paradigm-shifting ideas.  New scientific theories often synthesize a broad range of evidence from many related disciplines or sub-disciplines of science.  As such, they are often inherently interdisciplinary in scope.  Modern scientific journals, typically focused as they are on topics within a narrowly defined sub-discipline, rarely permit the kind of comprehensive review and assessment of evidence that the advancement of a new interpretive framework requires.

More insidious, are the barriers deliberately constructed by those who fashion themselves to be our ruling intellectual elite.  They have fired, demoted, ostracized, and attacked dozens, perhaps hundreds, of scientists who dare to point out the overwhelming evidence that contradicts the prevailing concepts, both in physics and in life itself.  Others will say and have said to me: “whine about how the media and the courts are destroying the ability to present that concept, get in line. Our media and government are controlled by people that have their own agenda and many many things are excluded.”  Nobody is ‘whining’ however they are diligently working to get the information out so that people can, if they so desire with an open mind, understand the information they are being denied.  They cannot make an intelligent decision about Objective Truth with only part of the information available.

It would be an illusion to think that what we are aware of at present is any more than a fraction of the full extent of biological design.  In practically every field of fundamental biological research, ever-increasing levels of design and complexity are being revealed at an ever-accelerating rate.”  (Biochemist and noted author Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, p. 342)

We, have a choice between wonder and acceptance, between hope and despair, between intellectual freedom and conformity.  Many individuals are persuaded to base their choice on a myth.  The myth that science has somehow displaced religion, that science has somehow triumphed over religion, that science has somehow made religion obsolete.  Contrary to what you may have only had the opportunity to read and contrary to what you may insist upon believing, science and religion are converging on the wonder of a marvelous universe, and both scientists and religious believers are in awe of its magnificent design.

The riddle of existence is as old as the human race.  Why does the universe exist? Is what we see and detect all there is, or is there some type of greater reality, of greater truth?  Why do we exist?  Can we believe we were put here for a purpose, and if so, what is it?  How you live your life perhaps depends upon your answers to those questions. Some individuals devote their lives to a calling they believe comes from God; others mock believers and follow no moral code.  Still others invent their own moral code but doubt divine intervention or design.

We are each entitled to our own views, perceptions, our own reality (no matter how far from real it might be).  I respect Atheists and Agnostics.  I do not share their point of view.  I am not troubled by Atheists, I can see how a person could conclude that there is no God, I certainly did for some 20 years of my life.  I am not troubled by Agnostics, I can see how a person could conclude that one does not know, and perhaps will never know, whether God exists.  I do reject the misuse of science in the debate.  In my view, science and mathematics strongly support belief in God.  The proposition by a small but vocal minority of Atheists, that science somehow reveals the folly of religion, is wholly false.

explain_smile

Many Atheists and even some theologians will suggest I am arguing “from ignorance.”  They will suggest that most of the incredible scientific evidence for the existence of God is but “gaps” in our present knowledge.

bridge-the-gap-failed

Failure of science or God?

Just because we do not currently know how something could have been created from nothing doesn’t mean “God did it”; just because we don’t currently know how life formed doesn’t mean “God did it,” and so on ad nauseam.  They insist I have fallen into a “God-of-the-gaps” fallacy.

god_of_the_universe.

I am insulted by that assertion.  I will place, and have done so a number of times, my background, knowledge and intelligence against anyone.  It is a tricky argument for the Atheists to use, because it assumes it is itself correct.  It assumes that science will ultimately provide a complete non-theistic explanation for all things.  It assumes belief in a “science-of-the-gaps.”  Only one can be true for you and me.

Some of the greatest current luminaries of the evolution movement, Richard Lewontin and Richard Dawkins claim the design in life is illusory.  They claim that life looks designed, but was not designed by an actual intelligent or purposive agent.  That leaves only accident as a reason for life becoming life from inanimate materials.

Before we go further, we ought to distinguish five questions that are often confused.

  • First, there is the question of whether something exists or not.  A thing can exist whether we know it or not.  That is an objective truth.
  • Second, there is the question of whether we know it exists.  (To answer this question affirmatively is to presuppose that the first question is answered affirmatively, of course; though a thing can exist without our knowing it, we cannot know it exists unless it exists. And that also is an objective truth)
  • Third, there is the question of whether we have a reason for our knowledge.  We can know some things without being able to lead others to that knowledge by reasons.  This is subjective.
  • Fourth, there is the question of whether this reason, if it exists, amounts to a proof.  Most reasons do not.  Most of the reasons we give for what we believe amount to probabilities, not proofs.  For instance, the lottery ticket I bought may win this week’s Lotto, but there is a good reason for thinking that is very improbable. That is an objective truth.
  • Fifth, if there is a proof, is it a scientific proof, a proof by the scientific method, i.e., by experiment, observation, and measurement?  Philosophical proofs can be good proofs, but they do not have to be scientific proofs.

evolution_vs_science

We know that only intelligence produces information, and we have now found information in the universe and in life.  Life has been replaced by knowledge that all living creatures run off the same operating system and are built using a tremendous amount of information.  This reasoning is focused and direct.  It is a positive argument, based on finding in nature the type of information and complexity that, in all human experience, come only from intelligence.  To me, design is the only plausible explanation for the creation of the functional nanotechnology in all cells, and the stupendous creation of human beings and the human brain.  You can choose to believe in “cumulative selection,” but I find that an illogical fairy tale that collapses upon even cursory examination.

I believe I have logically laid out the premise that I will point out objective truth in the remaining articles.  It was necessary to lay in these four articles the foundation of the ideas and the concepts that will follow.  Some of these are:

  • A fundamental premise of science is that everything that comes into existence had to have a causal event. What we know points directly to the existence of a supreme Creator outside of space and time to a first cause.  It does not conclusively prove that God exists but it certainly suggests that it is a viable probability.  As an objective truth one has to decide to believe in this first cause or to personally decide what other alternative belief such as an infinite multi-verse which just exists for no reason and that it is more plausible.
  • We know our universe is incredibly fine-tuned for life as we know it, all other possible planetary bodies have any one of a number of problems that would, if life was possible, cause ‘life’ to be incredibly different than what we know it to be. The alternative would believe and infinite multi-verse, and that the laws and constants of physics can have and might possibly in the future change.
  • All life is incredibly complex. There is not even a “mildly plausible” theory for the origin of life by undirected, natural means.  There also, is no expectation of any new laws of chemistry or physics to explain the origin of life.  There is information stored in the same form and manner in the structure of all life on this earth and this good definitely point to the existence of a God.  There is no Atheist explanation for the origin of life, there just is not any.
  • We know the technology of life is far more advanced in many ways than any human programming and knowledge. The Atheist belief that new functional nanotechnology – “life” – arises from random combinations of atoms, is irrational.  As an objective truth, this would point to the existence of God.
  • We know that there are complete unanswered puzzles in the emergence of brand-new species. The neo-Darwinists will speak rapturously of the power of natural selection, but we all know that “cumulative selection” is a fairytale, and the fossil record and other facts of science do not agree with the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution.
  • We know that the earth is special but how special still hasn’t been determined.
  • Incredibly complex mathematical concepts and ideas underlie all of physics and may be the foundation of existence. Objectively, the truth of these known facts point to God.

First, we will deal with the science of some things, then the mathematical probability and then how they relate to each other on a philosophical basis.  It will be objective and you can decide if you wish to believe the truth or not, even though it is true for everyone else.

The Science of it All

The Galileo twist

The Galileo twist

A little science estranges a man from God; a little more brings him back.-Francis Bacon (1561–1626)

Creationists are accused by other Christians with opposing views (as well as non-believers), of making the same mistake as the Roman Catholic Church did during the time of Galileo. Supposedly, the institutional Church insisted that the Bible taught that the sun went around the earth. Galileo showed that the opposite was true and believers found that they could accept this new fact, without any problem to their belief in the Bible. The historical events surrounding Galileo should be a warning to theistic evolutionists and long-agers, to not selectively pick and choose the facts as usual

First the background of this misinterpretation might (or might not) help the idiotlogues in understanding how this all came about.

Around 2,500 years ago, Aristotle (384–322 BC) taught that the earth was the center of a ‘perfect’ universe in which the movements of the stars were circular and never ending.  He was a philosopher and teacher.

Ptolemy (AD 2nd century) expanded these ideas into what was known as the Ptolemaic system[1].

Then in the 16th century, Copernicus (1473–1543) postulated as a better explanation that the earth and planets revolved around the sun.[2]

universe

In the 17th century, Galileo (1564–1642), with his telescope, was able to carry out repeated and repeatable observations (which are one of the tenets of the ‘scientific method’) which refuted Aristotle and Ptolemy, and supported Copernicus.  He observed that the sun had spots which moved across its surface, which appeared to show that the sun was not ‘perfect’ and it itself rotated.  He observed the phases of Venus, relating that Venus must orbit the sun; and he discovered four moons that revolve around Jupiter, not the Earth, which was further evidence that the Earth was not the center of everything. In 1618, he observed three comets pass effortlessly through Ptolemy’s crystalline spheres (in which the planets and stars supposedly moved around the Earth), showing that these spheres must be imaginary.  Contrary to legend, Galileo and the Copernican system were well regarded by church officials.  Galileo was the victim of his own arrogance, the envy of his colleagues, and the politics of Pope Urban VIII.  He was not accused of criticizing the Bible, but disobeying a papal decree

galileo_telescope

The heliocentric (from Greek helios = sun) or Copernican system opposed the views of the astronomer-philosophers of the day, who earned their livelihood by teaching Aristotle and Ptolemy, and so they were highly biased against change. Therefore, they ignored, ridiculed, destroyed, or openly opposed Galileo’s writings. Unfortunately, many Church leaders gave into popular opinion and allowed themselves to be persuaded by the Aristotelians at the universities (which had powerful political sway at that time)  that the geocentric (earth-centered) system was taught in Scripture and that Galileo was contradicting the Bible.  They therefore bitterly opposed Galileo to the extent of threatening him with death to repudiate his findings.

This was because:

  1. The Church leaders had accepted as dogma the belief system of the pagan (i.e. non-Christian) philosophers, Aristotle and Ptolemy, which had become the worldview of the then scientific establishment. The result was that Church leaders were using the knowledge of the day to interpret Scripture, instead of using the Bible to evaluate the knowledge of the day. (Vice-versa, bass ackwards, I am sure you can think of other terms).
  2. They clung to the ‘majority opinion’ about the universe and rejected the ‘minority view’ of Copernicus and Galileo, even after Galileo had presented indisputable evidence based on repeatable scientific observations that the majority was wrong. (Being swayed by the masses or swaying the masses seems to be a common occurrence for the various sects that developed from early Christianity).
  3. They picked out a few verses from the Bible which they thought said that the sun moved around the earth, but they failed to realize that Bible texts must be understood in terms of what the author intended to convey. Thus, when Moses wrote of the ‘risen’ sun (Genesis 19:23) and sun ‘set’ (Genesis 28:11), his purpose was not to formulate an astronomical dictum. Rather he, by God’s spirit, was using the language of appearance so that his readers would easily understand what time of day he was talking discussing.[3] Moreover, it is perfectly valid in physics to describe motion relative to the most convenient reference frame, which in this case is the earth.

This plain meaning (the time of day) is perfectly satisfied by the language of appearance and does not demand the secondary deduction that it is the sun itself that moves.  Indeed, this is exactly the same thing that scientists do today in weather reports when they give the times of ‘sunrise’ and ‘sunset’. They are using the language of appearance, and using the earth as the reference frame. A convenient figure of speech does not invalidate science; nor does it invalidate the Bible.

Likewise verses such as Psalm 19:6 and 93:1, which the writer(s) clearly meant to be poetic expressions, were given a literal meaning by the social minded, crowd-pleasing priests.[4],[5]

Today we live in a world where most of the scientific establishment is heavily biased in favor of naturalism (the belief that everything can be explained by natural causes) and long ages. The scientific establishment propagates this belief system by claiming that everything in the universe originated in a big bang, and that all things are the result of evolution over billions of years., Many astronomers, scientists and teachers today have built their careers and earn their livelihood by teaching these ‘theories’ by selling books and making TV specials.

 

However, these ideas, like Ptolemy’s, although ingenious and possibly plausible to atheists, are loaded with complications and contradictions, and are simply wrong.[6]

At the same time there is a minority of biblical scientists, the creationists, who hold the opposing view that the Bible provides an impressive explanation of how the universe and life came into existence—created directly by God—and that the evidence from design, the fossil record, information theory, etc., is what one would expect if this was the case.  Their scientific studies are consistently poking holes in the evolutionary theories that secular scientists continue to invent concepts to fill in the gaps without explaining what the gaps are.

Unfortunately many Church leaders have allowed themselves to be persuaded by the  outrageous biased ‘science’ taught at the universities; they get around the atheistic part by telling all that the big bang, billions of years, and evolution are all compatible with Scripture (how they are able to reconcile this is the subject of many mystical fantasies).  This inevitably leads them to oppose the minority (creationist) view.

This is because:

  1. These Church leaders have accepted as dogma the belief system and philosophies of non-Christian secular scientists, like Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Jay Gould, et al. Like their 17th century predecessors, they are using the ‘knowledge’ of the day to interpret Scripture, instead of correctly using the Bible to evaluate the knowledge of the day.
  2. These leaders tend to cling to the majority opinion and reject the minority view. This despite the fact that there are many observations that uphold a young age and speak against an old age of the earth and universe.[7] In addition, there is no experiment performed by any evolutionist that has either observed or confirmed the theory of evolution, although they claim the “weight of the evidence” proves it[8].
  3. They end up trying to explain away the Genesis record of creation as myth or they introduce long ages into the account, but they fail to realize that Genesis, too, must be understood in terms of what the author intended to convey. Thus, a plain reading of the text shows that Moses’ purpose was not to set down a collection of myths or camp-fire stories, as is often claimed; nor are the days of Genesis 1 meant to be a metaphor for something else like long ages, or a simplistic way of explaining billions of years to a primitive culture.[9] Rather, the text shows that Moses wrote Genesis as a literal account of the history of the world from the beginning of creation to the arrival of the Hebrews in Egypt.

This creates an interesting ‘twist’ on the Galileo situation.  Back then, the Church leaders said that Bible verses, which were written in poetic format and meant to be poetry, should be taken literally; today they are saying that Bible passages which, were written as prose and meant to be literal history, should be taken as poetry!

Creationists are not making the same mistake as the Church did in the 17th century, by claiming that the Bible says something, which is contrary to fact.  Nevertheless, the Church (organized religion), largely, still is!  The Church (organized religion) has not paid attention to the lesson of history and still insists on taking a popular worldview as its authority, instead of upholding the Bible and allowing it to be its own interpreter.

The Church leaders of Galileo’s day mistakenly thought that the Bible supported a geocentric system.  There is nothing intrinsically atheistic in the notion that the earth moved.  Furthermore, there are no other doctrines that depend on the relative motions of the earth and the sun.  Which unlike many other religions that have (and some still do) worship the “heavens and the earth”.

By contrast, the theory of evolution is an atheistic explanation of origins and is the justification for the anti-God system of secular humanism, which pervades society today.  It also makes God the author of death and suffering which is the furthest from the truth.

Furthermore Christians who do not accept the Genesis account as literal history and the days of Genesis as literal earth days need to explain away a host of other Bible passages and doctrines.

The lesson from Galileo is not that the Church should not oppose the theory of evolution, but rather that it should, because science has not proven evolution; rather evolution is contrary to proven science and opposes the plain Word of God.

[1] According to Ptolemy, the sun, moon, planets, and stars all revolved around a fixed earth in a series of hollow, inter-nesting, crystalline spheres. This is called a geocentric or earth-centered system, and is known as the Ptolemaic system. There were some problems which Ptolemy’s geocentric system did not fully explain, notably the to-and-fro motion of the planets across the sky, as seen from the earth. He therefore postulated a number of mechanisms that were ingenious and initially plausible, but ultimately impossibly complicated and scientifically wrong. For example, each planet was said to move in its own small curve called an epicycle, while all the epicycles moved around the earth in larger circles called deferents.

[2] His book De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), published in 1543, challenged Aristotle’s (and thus also at that time the Church’s) teaching that the earth was the centre of all change and decay, and that around it were the changeless heavens.

[3] Similarly, Joshua was using the language of appearance in Joshua 10:12–13. This will be dealt with in another article.

[4] Psalm 19:4–6 metaphorically describes the sun as coming forth from a tent in the heavens, and also personifies the sun both as a bridegroom and as a strong man running a race. One would have thought that even the inflexible literalists of Galileo’s day might have allowed the writer of this Psalm to have meant it to have had a poetical meaning.

[5] In Psalm 93:1, the phrase ‘the world also is established, that it cannot be moved’ needs to be read alongside v. 2, ‘[God’s] throne is established of old’, where the same Hebrew word [kown = ‘established’] is used and has the meaning ‘set up’, ‘stable’, ‘secure’, ‘enduring’, ‘confirmed’, etc., not ‘immobile’ or ‘stationary’. Likewise the Hebrew word for ‘moved’ (v.1) is used in Psalm 16:8, ‘I shall not be moved’, meaning that the writer would not stray from the path of the Lord, not that he was rooted to any one spot.

[6] For example, the exponents of the big bang fail to say where the energy originally came from, where the laws of science came from, and what it was that ‘quantum fluctuated’ before there was anything there to fluctuate, and so on. Molecules-to-man evolution is contrary to the principles of thermodynamics, as well as to the law of biogenesis (life comes only from life), the fossil record, and much more.  I have dealt with this numerous times and will undoubtedly have to continue due to the growing number of Talking Meme Heads and Idiotlogues.

[7] See, for example, John Morris, The Young Earth, Master Books, Arizona, 1994, and Evidence for a young world by Russell Humphreys.

[8] Using a legal term to justify a scientific theory is typical.  For a more exact description see: https://iamnotanatheist.wordpress.com/2016/05/15/weight-of-evidence/ for a better understanding of the falsity of this approach.

[9] Top-flight Hebrew academics, e.g. Professor James Barr of the University of Oxford, are unanimous that the plain meaning that the Hebrew text is intended to convey is that ‘creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience’

Biblical Discussions, The Science of it All

Why the laws of logic work

Why the laws of logic work

When the non-believer embraces materialism, they literally destroy the possibility of knowledge, as well as science and technology. Materialistic atheism is one of the easiest worldviews to refute-it virtually refutes itself.  A materialistic non-believer believes that nature (what we see, hear, smell, feel) is all that there is. The non-believer believes that there is no transcendent God who oversees and maintains creation. Many non-believers believe that their worldview is rational—and scientific. However, by embracing materialism, the non-believer has destroyed the possibility of knowledge, as well as science and technology. To say it another way, if atheism were true, it would be impossible to prove anything!

Why would I say that?  Reasoning involves knowing, understanding and using the laws of logic. This includes the ‘law of non-contradiction’ which says that you cannot have A and not-A at the same time and in the same relationship.  All of our beliefs, thoughts, and knowledge are built on top of the law of non-contradiction, so when a person tries to deny this foundation, they are bound to go way off track in their pursuit of understanding reality as it really is.   If you have any doubts about this fundamental law of rationality, try to deny it, but then write out your denial in a sentence – “The law of non-contradiction is false” – and ask whether your statement is both true and false at the same time and in the same sense.  If the law of non-contradiction is false, then your statement of denial must be both true and false.  However, if your denial is false, then the law of non-contradiction is true!  By denying the law of non-contradiction, you have just affirmed it.  The more you try to deny the law, the more you will affirm it.

However, why is this law true? Why should there be a law of non-contradiction, or for that matter, any laws of reasoning? The Christian can easily answer this question. For the Christian there is an absolute standard for reasoning; we are to pattern our thoughts after God’s. The laws of logic are a reflection of the way God thinks. The law of non-contradiction is not one person’s opinion of how we ought to think, instead it stems from God’s self-consistent nature. God cannot deny Himself ( 2 Timothy 2:13), and so, the way God upholds the universe will necessarily be non-contradictory.

Laws of logic are God’s standard for our thinking. Since God is an unchanging, sovereign, immaterial Being, the laws of logic are abstract, universal, invariant entities. In other words, they are not made of matter—they apply everywhere and at all times. Laws of logic are contingent upon God’s unchanging nature. Moreover, they are necessary for logical reasoning. Thus, rational reasoning would be impossible without the biblical God.

The materialistic non-believer cannot rationally have laws of logic. The non-believer believes that everything that exists is material—part of the physical world. However, laws of logic are not physical. You cannot stub your toe on a law of logic. Laws of logic cannot exist in the non-believer’s world, yet the non-believer will always try to reason with them. This of course is completely inconsistent. The non-believer is borrowing from the Christian worldview to argue against the Christian worldview. The non-believer’s view cannot be rational because they use laws of logic that cannot exist according to their own beliefs.

The debate over the existence of God is a bit like a debate over the existence of air. Can you imagine someone arguing that air does not actually exist? He would offer seemingly excellent “proofs” against the existence of air, while simultaneously breathing air and expecting that we can hear his words as the sound is transmitted through the air. In order for us to hear and understand his claim, it would have to be wrong. Likewise, the non-believer, in arguing that God does not exist must use laws of logic that only make sense if God does exist. In order for his argument to make sense, it would have to be wrong.

A non-believer then continues, illogically, “I can reason just fine, and I don’t believe in God.” However, this is no different from the critic of air saying, “Well, I can breathe just fine, and I don’t believe in air.” This is not a rational response. Breathing requires air, not a profession of belief in air. Likewise, logical reasoning requires God, not a profession of belief in Him. Of course, the non-believer can reason; it is because God has made his mind and given him access to the laws of logic—and that is the point. It is because God exists that reasoning is possible. The non-believer can reason, but within his own worldview, he cannot account for his ability to reason.

The non-believer might respond, “Laws of logic are conventions made up by man.” However, conventions are (by definition) conventional. That is, we all agree to them and so they work—like driving on the right side of the road. However, if laws of logic were conventional, then different cultures could adopt different laws of logic (like driving on the left side of the road). Therefore, in some cultures it might be perfectly fine to contradict yourself. In some societies, truth could be self-contradictory. Clearly that would not do. If laws of logic are just conventions, then they are not universal laws. Rational debate would be impossible if laws of logic were conventional, because the two opponents could simply pick different standards for reasoning. Each would be right according to his own arbitrary standard.

The non-believer might respond, “Laws of logic are material—they are made of electro-chemical connections in the brain.” Then the laws of logic are not universal; they would not extend beyond your particular brain. In other words, we could not argue that contradictions cannot occur on Mars, since no one’s brain is on Mars. In fact, if the laws of logic were just electro-chemical connections in the brain, then they would differ somewhat from person to person because everyone has different connections in their brain and slightly different levels of required brain chemicals.

Sometimes a non-believer will attempt to answer with a more pragmatic response: “We use the laws of logic because they work.” Unfortunately, for them, that is not the question. We all agree the laws of logic work; they work because they are true. The question is why they exist in the first place. How can the non-believer account for absolute standards of reasoning like the laws of logic? How can non-material things like laws exist if the universe is material only?

As a last resort, the non-believer may give up a strictly materialistic view and agree that there are immaterial, universal laws. This is a huge concession; after all, if a person is willing to concede that immaterial, universal, unchanging entities can exist, then they must consider the possibility that God exists. However, this concession does not save the non-believer’s position. They must still justify the laws of logic. Why do they exist? Moreover, what is the point of contact between the material physical world and the immaterial world of logic? In other words, why does the material universe feel compelled to obey immaterial laws? The non-believer cannot answer these questions. Their worldview cannot be justified; it is arbitrary and thus irrational.

Clearly, non-believing is not a rational worldview. It is self-refuting because the non-believer must first assume the opposite of what he is trying to prove in order to be able to prove anything. As Dr. Cornelius VanTil[i] put it, “[A]theism presupposes theism.” Laws of logic require the existence of God—and not just any god, but the Christian God. Only the God of the Bible can be the foundation for knowledge (Proverbs 1:7; Colossians 2:3). Since the God of Scripture is immaterial, sovereign, and beyond time, it makes sense to have laws of logic that are immaterial, universal, and unchanging. Since God has revealed Himself to man, we are able to know and use logic. Since God made the universe and since God made our minds, it makes sense that our minds would have an ability to study and understand the universe. However, if the brain is simply the result of mindless evolutionary processes that conveyed some sort of survival value in the past, why should we trust its conclusions? If the universe and our minds are simply the results of time and chance, as the non-believer contends, why would we expect that the mind could make sense of the universe? How could science and technology be possible?

Rational thinking, science, and technology make sense in a Christian worldview. The Christian has a basis for these things; the non-believer does not. This is not to say that non-believers cannot be rational about some things. They can because they too are made in God’s image and have access to God’s laws of logic. However, they have no rational basis for rationality within their own worldview. Likewise, non-believers can be moral, but they have no basis for that morality according to what they claim to believe. A non-believer is a walking bundle of contradictions. He reasons and does science, yet he denies the very God that makes reasoning and science possible. On the other hand, the Christian worldview is consistent and makes sense of human reasoning and experience.

[i] a Christian philosopher, Reformed theologian, and presuppositional apologist.