Stephen Hawking, God and the Whole She(Big)Bang

In another thread, our @slinger writes:

Sorry R.D. … not to get off topic, but you do the same thing when you state that “the science is settled” in relation to creation science. First of all, you most certainly DO believe in creation science. You simply think that the creator stopped at a different point than I do. For instance … there is no “something from nothing” moment … no big bang … without a metaphysical event … i.e. the creator.

For the record, I am probably rather closely aligned with what you might call a “theist agnostic.” While I was raised a Christian, schooled as a Christian for 8 years, and generally have a “gut feeling” that there is a great, big dude up there that created everything, I can’t prove a Creator’s existence so I can’t believe in one. I believe in things that I can see and touch, is the short story. Or at least in things where I see convincing evidence thereof, in the cases where I can’t see and touch (i.e. dinosaurs and shit).

I’m not an atheist, note, in that I won’t ever say that God doesn’t exist. We’ve had this discussion here before on the Revo. Don’t worry, I’m not one of them.

But I feel it’s something worth pointing out that recently (okay, relatively recently) Stephen Hawking has, after many years of at least my level of agnosticism, seemingly developed a pretty sure form of atheism. For many years he and most of the world has been pretty comfortable with the concept that something cannot come from nothing. But Hawking recently hypothesized that something can, in a way, come from nothing.

To wit:

I will do my best to put this as succinctly as I can, but much of this discussion revolves around the existence of matter and anti-matter. Tied to this concept, we have (I believe experimentally detected) the presence of protons (and, this is key, proton-sized particles) blinking in and out of existence. That’s the best way I can put it. They appear in our reality one moment, and the next moment they’re not there. Then they’re back. We don’t see this happening with large objects, but it does happen on a subatomic level.

In any case, keep that in mind when we discuss the formation of the universe.

How do we traditionally see the universe as having been created? Well, “something” touches off an infinitesimally small and infinitely dense particle that then “explodes” and expands, thus creating “the universe.” Well, we assume that this “something” touched off the match to make the thing in the first place… and then to make it “explode,” right? Welp, if you believe that particles really can blink in and out of existence, then it seems that just maybe, the universe can blink into existence when it’s still that small.

And at a time in which there is a point with infinitely small size and infinitely large mass, you have no progression of time (remember that time slows and comes to a stop as gravitational force increases). Meaning there is no time before the Big Bang. And if there’s no time progression prior to the Big Bang, prior to the everything, then how can there have been a Creator to touch off the whole damn thing?

Short story, not only is a Creator unemployed in Hawking’s theory, but he likely doesn’t even exist in the first place.

***

Anyway, I’m still a theist agnostic (rather than an atheist), even with all that. But damn it’s an interesting discussion (even if I skipped over some of the meatier parts due to wanting to churn this out quick, heh).

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128 Responses to Stephen Hawking, God and the Whole She(Big)Bang

  1. R.D. Walker says:

    I am going to double post this comment because it goes in this thread too…

    I don’t do the same thing, Slinger.

    Look, I could be convinced that I am wrong about global warming. If I am presented evidence that the feed backs are positive, there is water vapor forcing and there are net negative countervailing effects, I would become a strong advocate of global warming theory. I would immediately abandon my current position and happily become a strong advocate of the theory of anthropomorphic global warming. If the evidence presented itself, I would change in a second. I wouldn’t think twice.

    I don’t believe that you are even remotely interested in objectively looking at the science of evolution except to oppose it. I believe that creationism reinforces your religious faith. I don’t believe that you are open to other theories. I don’t think you could let go of “creation science” under any circumstance. Sorry, sir. By definition that isn’t science. It is dogma.

    Look, we could get into a big debate about the science. I am right now resisting the urge to debate you on the things you represented above but it would be pointless. I will debate science but I won’t debate your faith.

  2. R.D. Walker says:

    I don’t contemplate the nature of creation except as an amateur scientist, Uke. I have looked at all of the scientific evidence and I have contemplated what I have seen. I have arrived at the conclusion that there is nothing in the observable world that requires the existence of God. Occum’s Razor leads me to conclude, therefore, that God, very likely, does not exist.

    Yet I believe. I believe to my core. I have accepted the mysterious Gift of Faith and I know the truth. That is, in my opinion, the profound beauty of the gift. I don’t need any proof for faith. There is no intersection between faith and science. They exist in different dimensions.

    People can giggle at me as deluded. That’s okay. They are entitled. I giggle right back.

  3. Uke says:

    How much of that comes from the “better living” principle?

    I mean, even an agnostic can argue in favor of being one of the faithful if he feels that it helps him (and his family) live a more wholesome, fulfilled, centered life.

    Because (and this may be because my ability to have faith has atrophied away) I simply cannot believe something if I know there is no compelling reason to believe it. I used to be able to; I can’t anymore.

  4. R.D. Walker says:

    “I simply cannot believe something if I know there is no compelling reason to believe it. I used to be able to; I can’t anymore.”

    Yes you can.

    I used to the say the same thing. I thought the faith of the Gospel was believing in Santa Claus when I knew better. It’s not. It is something very different. All I can tell you is that I didn’t understand right up to the minute I did understand.

  5. slinger says:

    Right, so now even time itself was a product of the big bang. Of course, Creationists will also say that time did not exist before the creation because the Creator lives outside the bounds of time. Still who or what lit the match? There is no such thing as a scientific action without a catalyst. Nothing occurs spontaneously … never has, never will. The events that we see as spontaneous are only that way because we do not understand the cause … that doesn’t mean that there is no cause.

    God put His calling card on every atom of creation. From the smallest detail to the largest. He made sure that man had no excuse to not know of Him.

    Again, order does not come from disorder. Entropy shows us that everything has a finite lifetime (at least in our physical realm) … at the end of that lifetime, there is no energy left. Hawking doesn’t get away from this fact.

    Furthermore, these particles that may appear or disappear still have an origin. Even in their parallel universe state, they still had to start somewhere. Atheists are very good at pushing the can down the road.

    • R.D. Walker says:

      “Again, order does not come from disorder.”

      It most certainly does. Trillions of times every day. Every time a simple droplet of disorganized liquid water forms into an exquisitely complex and symmetrical snowflake, order arises from disorder.

      Every time the wind forms rows of perfectly aligned, perfectly shaped ripples of sand, order arises from disorder.

      Every time a saline solution forms into perfect crystal cubes, order arises from disorder.

      When millions of fragments of a crushed moon formed the rings of Saturn, order arose from disorder.

      I could go on all day. You really need to go back and study the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Pay special attention to the part regarding closed, finite systems.

  6. slinger says:

    Pushing the can down the road … atheist insist that there must be infinite parallel universes, as that is the only way to explain the finely tuned cosmological constants required for our universe to even exist (try changing the gravitational constant by a gnat’s fart and see what happens). This is why the most brilliant astrophysicists know that there is a Creator.

    Infinite parallel universes? Really? What was that about Occum’s Razor?

  7. BaconNeggs says:

    I dont know what it is, but every year around Easter, this type of discussion starts – and its good, to think and reflect on the collective mental cargo, we have accquired over the years.

    I am not good at Metaphysics, its like Algebra to me, you take a simple thought, explode it and then shrink the wreckage down to make some brand new concept. Whoopee-do!

    A lot of brilliant theologists and scientists and their theology and scientific theories, are held in high regard. Yet they are the most messed up examples of human beings that ever walked the planet. And I doubt such evolved minds and thinking ever made them personally better than some simple folk, following the pulse of the planet and living in blissful ignorance.

    My own simply thoughts regarding the “blinking atom” theory Uke cited, is that it is probably nothing more than a scientific pluse, the beating heart of atomic life itself.

    And as for RD and the reve-lation of “Faith”, over the years I have come to appreciate Faith in the same way I appreciate Love. Scientifically neither exist yet both are powerful forces.

    Personally I wish I could see “the Creator”, there is a hell of a lot he has to explain about why he created all the satanic shits, that seem to abound today.

    But in reality, seeing is believing and Empiricism, warts and all is my cup of tea. At least for now.


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

  8. DarthJay says:

    Here’s my two cents…

    Whether or not you believe in evolution and the big bang, God and creationism or the flying spaghetti monster — none of us where there when the universe began and all any of us have are theories.

    1) While the Hedron Collider is bringing scientists ever closer to finding what they are calling the “God particle” – all the big bang is right now is a theory and nobody has indisputable proof that it happened.

    2) While I personally prescribe to the creationist view of things, I also do not have indisputable proof that God created the universe and anything that I would offer as proof to that in my eyes is simply conjecture and options…or faith.

    There’s a heck of a lot out there that we humans do not understand – despite how smart we think we are. Heck I read a story the other day that we just discovered that there are particles that go faster than light – which kinda blows away the theory of relativity (put together by arguable the smartest man that ever lived).

    I know this, though. I think life experiences play a BIG part in who we are and what we believe. I’ve seen things in my life that, in my opinion, are inexplicable unless you add God into the equation. For me, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. I’ve chosen to put that faith in God.

    Different people put their faith in different things…God, science, spaghetti monsters, etc. I don’t suppose any of us will really know who is right until it’s probably too late, huh?

  9. R.D. Walker says:

    “Empiricism, warts and all is my cup of tea.”

    Me too. I am guided by empiricism and skepticism in my observation and understanding of all aspects of the physical universe.

  10. MadBrad says:

    Brother Love says that just because you don’t understand it doesn’t mean that it is disordered. The scale of the Order of the Cosmos is a MUCH bigger thing than the Eight Pounds of grey matter that “The Brain” uses to attempt to comprehend it.

    God makes every single snowflake to serve whatever purpose he intends.

  11. slinger says:

    R.D. Random patterns are not order … they are beautiful, but they are not “order”. Life is not created from random patterns.

    Second law … you mean the one that says that entropy always increases or stays constant? Constant is “best case”. What do you think happens to entropy over “billions” of years?

  12. slinger says:

    R.D. The bottom line for me is that I react to “the science is settled” of evolution the same way you react to “the science is settled” AGW. The fact is that it is not settled … won’t ever be until we meet our Maker. The fact is there is no unified theory of evolution. There is the theory of “there is no Creator”, and there the theory that there is. The “no God” theorists constantly change their theories, and they will never arrive at a unified theory. “Settled” science shouldn’t need constant revisions.

  13. R.D. Walker says:

    There is nothing random about the patterns of a snowflake. In fact, a snowflake is anything but random.

    Entropy always increases in closed or finite systems. Species are neither and, as such, they are not subject to the constraints of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    The entropy of the universe as a whole tells us absolutely, positively nothing about the entropy of minuscule subsystems within it. They are unrelated.

    God does not violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Neither does evolution.

  14. R.D. Walker says:

    The science is never settled and I don’t claim it is. It is always open to being falsified and disproved. I am only stating that the overwhelming evidence, as I observe it, leads me to believe in the evolution of species.

    The irony Slinger is that your belief in the origins of life is most certainly not open to being disproved. With all due respect, it is you, not me, that claims that the creation/evolution debate is closed to modification. My view of the origin of of life and species is open to falsification. Yours is not. It is you, not me, that claims it is settled.

  15. slinger says:

    So you are saying that there is no genetic loss through specialization? There is no genetic mutation? Those are both entropy inducers in a species. Genetic information is lost … once it is lost, it can never be regained … just like entropy.

  16. R.D. Walker says:

    Of course I am not saying that. I am saying that genetic information is changed over time. Some data is lost, other data is created. It has nothing to do with entropy and nothing in the laws of thermodynamics precludes this process. Entropy is irrelevant in the evolution of a species.

  17. slinger says:

    Data is not created though. Science has never been able to show a positive mutation. Genetic data has always been lost. Specialization is just that … specialization. The ancestor of all dog types (wolves, beagles, chihuahuas, great danes, etc) had the original genetic code for all modern specializations. Furthermore, why is it that “pure-bred” dogs are always genetically predisposed to problems? It’s because of specialization.

  18. R.D. Walker says:

    “It has nothing to do with entropy…”

    That oversimplifies things and you would be correct to respond that entropy exists in all matter everywhere. Let me restate.

    The argument that the Second Law of Thermodynamics states that is impossible for things go from disorder to order without the intervening hand of God is incorrect.

    Individual organisms create order internally by taking external energy in the form of food, water and sunlight from outside of their open systems. That process creates net disorder outside of their systems. The net effect on the universe as a whole is increased entropy but not within the subsystem that is an individual organism.

  19. R.D. Walker says:

    “Data is not created though. Science has never been able to show a positive mutation.”

    That is just untrue. Insect species develop immunity to pesticides all the time. So do plants develop immunity to herbicides. Insects develop color and pattern changes to match new environments. It happens all the time and has been observed thousands of times.

    Please don’t respond that micro changes cannot, over millions of years, lead to macro changes. The process is identical and is only a matter of degree and time.

  20. R.D. Walker says:

    “Furthermore, why is it that “pure-bred” dogs are always genetically predisposed to problems? It’s because of specialization.”

    The vast majority genetic mutations have a negative effect on the viability of the individual organism. These individuals – without the help of man as in the case of dogs – usually don’t survive to breed. You will never see packs of Dachshunds on the savanna. Very rarely a mutation is positive, however, which gives the individual bearing it a survival or breeding advantage. It is quickly passed on giving offspring the same advantage until the new dominates. After this happens thousands of times, a new species arises.

  21. slinger says:

    I didn’t say God is the only one to create order out of disorder. All living beings have that ability to an extent. Witness mankind.

    Just one example in nature that evolution cannot possibly explain:

    http://www.icr.org/article/flight-migratory-birds/

    Golden Plover: Alaska to Hawaii without ever being taught the route … and without enough energy to actually make the flight … no intermediate stops. Evolution requires a gradual process, and it requires that all information is learned. There is no gradual process here.

  22. DarthJay says:

    You know what amazes me about this argument? I’ve had this very one more times that I care to count and it always ends the same way. Nobody is going to change anybody else’s mind.

    Not to say that debate is bad – but I will be surprised if one of you ends up swaying the other.

  23. slinger says:

    rare positive mutation? I’ve not heard of a single case of positive mutation. Even in the case of mutation though genetic information is not “created”.

  24. slinger says:

    DarthJay, right. The interesting thing is that I am always the one accused of dogma, while evolutionists are guilty of dogma as well.

  25. R.D. Walker says:

    “Just one example in nature that evolution cannot possibly explain…”

    That doesn’t require a gradual process and that is easy to explain. A group of plovers migrating from Alaska to, say, California, may have been blown badly off course in a storm and found Hawaii purely by accident. Their offspring were imprinted with a new migratory pattern and, because Hawaii is a very beneficial place for plovers to winter, they became successful with millions of decedents who all migrate between Hawaii and Alaska. Other plovers continue to migrate to Asia and California.

  26. R.D. Walker says:

    I have not resorted to dogma a single time. I will debate the science on its merits and I will not appeal to authority at all.

    My belief in evolution in no way diminishes the fact that I am a devoted follower of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  27. R.D. Walker says:

    “I’ve not heard of a single case of positive mutation.”

    Yes you have. I just gave you several. An insect with a mutation that makes it immune to a common pesticide has very positive mutation indeed.

  28. DarthJay says:

    I’m not attacking or accusing…just making an observation. :)

  29. R.D. Walker says:

    I could be swayed, DJ. Again, scientific theory is always open to falsification. There is extraordinary evidence supporting evolutionary theory, however. It would take some VERY extraordinary evidence to override it. I really don’t see any evidence disproving it at all.

  30. DarthJay says:

    I will simply say this. The fact that evolutionary processes, on the scale of millions of years, cannot be observed, tested, repeated, or falsified places them in the category of historical science. In science, evaluating historical events is considered just as acceptable as conducting laboratory experiments when it comes to developing scientific theories. Since scientific theories are subject to change, it is acceptable to work within an admittedly deficient framework until a better or more reasonable framework can be found.

    The typical neo-Darwinian mechanism of mutation, chance, and time cannot generate new information. The failure of evolutionary models to explain how a single cell could have evolved more complex information by additive mutations challenges the entire concept.

    Can of worms…opened. Damn. Sucked in again. :)

  31. R.D. Walker says:

    “The typical neo-Darwinian mechanism of mutation, chance, and time cannot generate new information.”

    Why not?

  32. slinger says:

    I do not recall you stating several examples of positive genetic mutation. Regardless of whether a positive gene mutation is possible, it is not a creation of genetic information. Mutation is the mangling of original genetic information. Information is not created spontaneously.

  33. slinger says:

    DNA is source code … that source code still need a “processor” to interpret that. Each species type has its own processor. Human source code is not binary compatible with a dog processor and vice versa. Each “type” had original source code for all of the “type” specializations; however, cross-type evolutionary process does not exist. The cambrian explosion and the lack of a missing link is further evidence to this.

  34. R.D. Walker says:

    Slinger I said this: Insect species develop immunity to pesticides all the time. So do plants develop immunity to herbicides. Insects develop color and pattern changes to match new environments.

    Those are all positive mutations. The genetic code in the DNA of an insect with a mutation that makes it immune to Ortho has new information encoded in its DNA. A million bad mutations may have killed their carriers, but this one random change in gene sequence that gives the bug immunity, will make that insect live to breed. It will pass it to its 100,000 offspring and they will pass it on to hundreds of millions. If Ortho keeps killing those without the mutation, soon all individuals remaining of the species will have the mutation. New information is encoded in the DNA and a new form of the species is created.

  35. Uke says:

    DarthJay, right. The interesting thing is that I am always the one accused of dogma, while evolutionists are guilty of dogma as well.

    Oh no you don’t. This is not merely an issue of saying that “both sides have their own dogma.” That’s bullshit. Don’t confuse me and RD with the bad scientists that do merely rely on their own consensus, despite the truth.

    I have always been and always will be perfectly willing to change my own positions on matters if new scientific findings prove convincing enough to have me do so.

    And while you’ll never hear me say that the “science is settled,” you will hear me say much what RD just did. That a particular theory is so compelling, its components and support structure so thoroughly and empirically observed, that it is very likely the right answer.

    Though many of our old-timey science has been overturned in the passage of time, some is still valid and holds, you know. Such seems very much the case with evolution.

    Anyway, it ain’t just dogma with which me and RD argue in favor of evolutionary theory, and it would behoove folks not to confuse it as such.

  36. DarthJay says:

    Why not?

    Not only does natural selection select from already existing information, it causes a loss of information since unfavorable genes are removed from the population. Mutations are not able to add new information to the genome. Not a single mutation has been observed to cause an increase in the amount of information in a genome.

    Your example of the insect mutation to change color or become immune to poison are example of mutations to existing genomes within the insect – but the idea that the existing genome of an insect could be mutated to such a varying degree over millions of years that allow it to GAIN sequences to completely change it’s species classification is where, in my opinion, the argument falls short.

  37. DarthJay says:

    Those are all positive mutations. The genetic code in the DNA of an insect with a mutation that makes it immune to Ortho has new information encoded in its DNA.

    That’s where I would argue you’re wrong. It’s not adding new information to the DNA but mutating the existing DNA (and dumping off the bad info) to allow for the immunity. Nothing is being added to the genome of the insect that there wasn’t the code already in there to do…it just needed to be mutated to allow for it.

  38. R.D. Walker says:

    Nobody is claiming salamanders spontaneously turn into aardvarks Slinger. I don’t understand your point about different species having different DNA. Unless it is a clone (and even then at the margins) every living thing has a unique DNA sequence.

  39. slinger says:

    R.D. I don’t think the color change is a genetic mutation. It is genetic selection. I can’t say I am familiar with the pesticide argument. Perhaps that is genetic selection as well. Either way, genetic information was lost. If all non-resistant insects die off, then their genetic information is lost forever. Then we have all mutated insects. But they don’t have “new” genetic information … just mangled information from their source “type”.

    Uke, I certainly did not call you dogmatic. I apologize if you took offense. I have been called dogmatic, but somehow I am supposed to accept that. The fact is I have spent a great many years studying both sides of the debate, and I make my decisions based on scientific evidence. I am not considered “lacking intelligence” in the human world.

    That said, the wisdom of man is foolishness to God.

    Honestly, I wish I could make a living at this because I’m getting tired of writing software for robotics.

  40. R.D. Walker says:

    “It’s not adding new information to the DNA but mutating the existing DNA…”

    Well, I think you are getting into semantics there, but the new information is the information that allows the insect’s body to survive the chemical effects of Ortho. That is information and it is new.

  41. slinger says:

    “Nobody is claiming salamanders spontaneously turn into aardvarks Slinger.”

    Funny you should say that … evolutionists are claiming that we all evolved from single cell organisms (forget that there still isn’t a workable theory to where that first irreducibly-complex cell got created). That’s a bigger stretch than salamanders to aardvarks.

  42. slinger says:

    “That is information and it is new.”

    No, it is not. It is a flipped bit in the software. It is not “new” information … it is a 1 instead of a 0 … different form of the same information.

  43. slinger says:

    The processor still has to process the software, and the processor has not changed … only the software.

  44. Uke says:

    @Darth
    In DNA replication, sections of DNA get reorganized, excised or added (or repeated) all the time.

    Most of these anomalies are caught by the internal cellular quality check, and the anomaly is corrected. Some do not. These changes can result in mere phenotypic variance, or dramatic changes that begin leading to different species.

    Given the various things that can “go wrong” when cells divide and multiply, it’s amazing that things don’t “go wrong” more often.

    So yes… natural replicative processes can indeed ADD or SUBTRACT information in addition to merely changing it all around. Virtually anything you can think of that could theoretically go wrong when coding a DNA sequence, does go wrong. Routinely.

  45. slinger says:

    Uke, the problem is the DNA is software. The software has to be processed by a processor, and that processor only knows what it knows. If it is told to process something it doesn’t know, it cant just make it up as it goes.

    Try running an ARM binary code through an i386 processor.

  46. DarthJay says:

    Well, I think you are getting into semantics there, but the new information is the information that allows the insect’s body to survive the chemical effects of Ortho. That is information and it is new.

    It’s not semantics – it’s the very point I am trying to make. The information sequence may be new, all the elements to let the sequence happen were always there. They just needed to be mutated in a way that allowed for it. Let me say it another way, the mutation is new – but the architecture was there all along.

    However, there is no architecture in the insect’s genome that would allow it to — no matter how much time it was given — mutate into a completely different species. That is the piece of the puzzle that evolution is missing and why I cannot accept it as a workable theory for how we came to be.

  47. R.D. Walker says:

    “I don’t think the color change is a genetic mutation. It is genetic selection…

    It is both. Peppered moths, since time immemorial, where white with peppered spots. This allowed them to conceal themselves on the white with peppered spotted bark of trees in England.

    The industrial revolution and coal turned the bark of those trees black. Now the white moths had a hard time surviving being eaten as prey.

    There is, however, a common and well understood genetic mutation called melanism that makes organisms black. Black moths didn’t survive long on white trees but they did well on black trees.

    We understand the gene on which the mutation occurs and we understand how it works. We understand why it is common.

  48. R.D. Walker says:

    “However, there is no architecture in the insect’s genome that would allow it to — no matter how much time it was given — mutate into a completely different species.”

    Again, nobody is claiming that salamanders all at once turn into aardvarks. But yes, gradual DNA changes over time can create different lines that become so different they can no longer interbreed. Then you have two species. Over millions of years, they may become so different that they are no longer recognized as coming from the same ancestor.

    With all due respect, there is no missing piece to the puzzle at all. They are all there if you look for them.

  49. slinger says:

    hmmm … my posts don’t seem to be making it through anymore.

    R.D. For gradual species creation, the processor must change … not the source code. DNA mutations, reorganizations, etc does not change the processor … only the source code.

  50. DarthJay says:

    @Uke

    Evolution teaches that, over time, by natural causes, nonliving chemicals gave rise to a living cell. Then, this singlecelled life form gave rise to more advanced life forms. In essence, over millions of years, increases in information caused by mutations plus natural selection developed all the life forms we see on earth today.

    For evolution to happen, there needs to be a gain in new information within the organism’s genetic material. For instance, for a single-celled organism, such as an amoeba, to evolve into something like a cow, new information (not random base pairs, but complex and ordered DNA) would need to develop over time that would code for ears, lungs, brain, legs, etc.

    If an amoeba were to make a change like this, the DNA would need to mutate new information. (Currently, an amoeba has limited genetic information, such as the information for protoplasm.) This increase of new information would need to continue in order for a heart, kidneys, etc., to develop. If a DNA strand gets larger due to a mutation, but the sequence doesn’t code for anything (e.g., it doesn’t contain information for working lungs, heart, etc.), then the amount of DNA added is useless and would be more of a hindrance than a help.

    There have been a few arguable cases of information-gaining mutations, but for evolution to be true, there would need to be billions of them. The fact is, we don’t observe this in nature, but rather we see the opposite – organisms losing information. Organisms are changing, but the change is in the wrong direction! How can losses of information add up to a gain?

  51. R.D. Walker says:

    “The processor still has to process the software, and the processor has not changed … only the software.”

    That isn’t really an accurate representation of biological functions. The software defines the processor that reads it.

    If the software says “make this individual not develop a liver”, then the processor dies and the trait isn’t passed along. This happens all the time.

    If, however, the software says “give this individual slightly longer legs,” those legs might give that individual a survival advantage and it will be passed on.

  52. slinger says:

    Different lines that cannot breed are specializations of the source “type” … they have no “new” genetic information … only portions of the source “type” information.

  53. DarthJay says:

    But yes, gradual DNA changes over time can create different lines that become so different they can no longer interbreed. Then you have two species.

    A different genome of the same species? Yes. A completely different animal? No. There is no proof of that that I have found.

  54. DarthJay says:

    Okay – I am way behind on a deadline and I could go at this all day. :)

    Will check in at the end of the day to catch up…

  55. slinger says:

    R.D. Your view of DNA is outdated with modern biology. The DNA does not define the processor. The processor decodes the DNA and generates an output based on the input. The processor is a distinctly-separate entity from the DNA that interprets the DNA strand much like a computer processor interprets assembly code. The processor does not get new instructions whenever the DNA says it needs something new. The processor has a limited set of instructions just like a PC.

  56. Uke says:

    Uke, the problem is the DNA is software. The software has to be processed by a processor, and that processor only knows what it knows. If it is told to process something it doesn’t know, it cant just make it up as it goes.

    Try running an ARM binary code through an i386 processor.

    It’s actually not like that, though. Genetically, even a damn mushroom shares much in common with a human. Even the coding paradigms are similar from species to species. A human ribosome reads a DNA sequence reading CCA-GAA-ATG, and that may very well be read as requesting the exact same protein in an entirely different species.

    Now, of course there are differences. Not every species can create the same proteins first of all, and given that species may be millions or tens of millions of years separated on the evolutionary tree, even their subcellular processors change subtly over time. Oh well.

    Doesn’t mean we didn’t come from a common ancestor though. Not at all. Genetic replication is a pretty darn volatile process, I might have mentioned.

  57. slinger says:

    The bottom line is that there cannot be evolution of new species from simpler species without an evolution to the processor that interprets the DNA.

    DNA is the binary code 1′s and 0′s. The code does not mean a thing without an interpreter. The interpreter is different on every species source type. In order for the different species source types to come from a common ancestor, then it has to be shown that the type processors themselves can add information. The DNA is irrelevant.

    What we need is a artificially-intelligent meta-processor.

  58. slinger says:

    Uke, I think we are saying the same thing. The problem is that scientists have yet to show how subcellular processors can change subtly over time. Currently, there is no answer for that.

    That’s a pretty big glaring hole in evolutionary theory.

  59. Uke says:

    What we need is a artificially-intelligent meta-processor.

    Why?

    Just because we are only barely starting to understand–meaning, don’t yet fully understand–how DNA (and the decoding mechanisms for it) originated, doesn’t mean there isn’t a perfectly rational and scientific reason for it. It did not necessarily need a big blueprint from which to copy.

    It’s less magic and more about molecular attraction. The constant molecular quest for the lowest energy state.

  60. R.D. Walker says:

    “A different genome of the same species? Yes. A completely different species. No. There is no proof of that that I have found.”

    If by proof you mean “observed it happen” then no, there is no proof.

    The observable genetic evidence, fossil evidence, anatomical evidence and adaption evidence is so absolutely, profoundly compelling that I accept it as 99.99999% proof. Your mileage may vary but I haven’t seen anything in your arguments that is not easily answered.

    Your declarative statements that new information cannot be created by random mutation isn’t supported by logic or observation. Of course it can. A million monkeys pounding on a million keyboards for an infinite amount time will eventually write a flawless copy of Encyclopedia Britannica. They will also write wonderful new novels never before seen. That is the nature of randomness and large numbers over long periods of time.

    I don’t have anymore time or appetite for this thread. I do want to get back to the original point for a moment.

    I complained that the warmists scream the science is settled and appeal to the authority and headcounts of believers. I said that annoys me. Slinger, you said I do the same thing. That isn’t true.

    During this entire debate, I never said the science is settled and I never appealed to authority or of headcount. I debated each point on its merits. I supported my arguments and I didn’t demand that the time for debate is over.

    Finally, I am a Christian in good standing and, I believe, I am good with the Lord. I require no scientific evidence to believe in the Grace of God and the salvation through faith in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. It is a good thing too because I don’t see any such scientific evidence.

  61. Uke says:

    Uke, I think we are saying the same thing. The problem is that scientists have yet to show how subcellular processors can change subtly over time. Currently, there is no answer for that.

    That’s a pretty big glaring hole in evolutionary theory.

    Not at all. Tiny hole, at best. If we already accept that organic, subcellular processes are fallible, then why not the processors themselves? Must only the floppy disks be fallible and fungible?

  62. RJM says:

    Genesis 1:1

    “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

    I take the bible literally, Genesis 1:1-31.

    I call it faith.

  63. slinger says:

    “A million monkeys pounding on a million keyboards for an infinite amount time will eventually write a flawless copy of Encyclopedia Britannica. They will also write wonderful new novels never before seen. That is the nature of randomness and large numbers over long periods of time.”

    Is is really information that’s created, or is it just a random pattern that happens to appear to be information? You still need an interpreter for the source code.

    R.D. From your mind, that may not be true, but you stated evolutionary theory as if it is absolute accepted fact. To me, that is claiming the “science is settled”. I am sure that you agree there are too many holes to consider it settled.

    I am glad that you are a Christian R.D. To me, the creation is God’s most obvious calling sign. We can learn about our Creator by studying His Creation.

  64. R.D. Walker says:

    RJM: That’s cool.

    I, on the other hand, take the Bible metaphorically. I call belief despite a lack evidence “faith.”

  65. slinger says:

    Uke, it is a big glaring hole because there is not a theory presented that can explain it yet. That doesn’t mean there never will be … but for now there is not.

    Software without an interpreter is useless random data. The interpreter is what make the software work.

  66. John B. says:

    Accepting that positive mutations are possible. What kind of time frame are you looking at to go from a fish to an elephant or a parrot? Also, explain how organs (like an eyeball) deveolp that would require several mutations that are not necessarily positive individually.

  67. R.D. Walker says:

    “but you stated evolutionary theory as if it is absolute accepted fact.”

    I don’t think I said that at all. I did say this and I believe this is what caused you to enter in the debate in the first place.

      “I have no doubt that species, including humans, evolve and I find “creation science” to be pure twaddle. I know that offends some of my fellow Christians, but the evidence is overwhelming.”

    Those two sentences are packed with opinion statements… “I have no doubt…”, “I find…” “The evidence is…”

  68. R.D. Walker says:

    Can’t do it John. I have to get back to work… Maybe tonight.

  69. slinger says:

    I can accept that you do not hold a high regard for “creation science” … I hold the same regard for “evolutionary science”.

    The only hard evidence that evolutionary science has used to produce all of the other theories is species specialization (survival of the fittest). From species specialization, it is a pretty great leap to information creation and species creation. Species specialization is the extent of the “overwhelming” evidence.

    Forget about the finely-tuned cosmological constants, the creation of the first irreducibly-complex organism, the evolution of the DNA interpreter, the fact that we are not random collections of molecules … we have a soul, and we know right from wrong. There is such thing as universal right and wrong because we were programmed by the Creator with that knowledge. Evolution has a lot of explaining to do.

  70. R.D. Walker says:

    “The only hard evidence that evolutionary science has used to produce all of the other theories is species specialization…

    That is simply not true.

    “Evolution has a lot of explaining to do.”

    If I had time, I would stipulate, for the sake of argument, that evolution is hokum and ask you to apply the same high degree of hard, scientific evidence to prove creationism that you require for evolution. Specifically, I would like to explore the effects of your contention that processes that cannot be observed in nature in their entirety cannot be accepted as truth.

    That would be a hoot.

  71. slinger says:

    I’m pretty sure you started with the whole Occum’s Razor argument.

    I can look at cross-discipline science from every aspect and arrive at the conclusion that astrophysics, biology, metaphysics all require a Creator.

    I can also see that evolution doesn’t even provide a real theory to the points stated above. No theory. So following evolution means you are also following the holes in it.

  72. R.D. Walker says:

    “I can look at cross-discipline science from every aspect and arrive at the conclusion that astrophysics, biology, metaphysics all require a Creator.”

    That is an opinion statement. You have presented absolutely no supported, observable scientific evidence of creationism.

    Evolution is off of the table. Now it is time to scientifically prove beyond a shadow of a doubt the creation theory.

  73. R.D. Walker says:

    As you go, bear in mind that a lack of knowledge is not proof of creationism. Stating that “I don’t have any other theory for the existence of eyeballs” is not proof of or even evidence of creation theory. It is simply a statement that we don’t know where they came from and, since we tossed out evolution as an explanation, don’t have evidence to explain their origin.

  74. Van-a-gram says:

    “Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mind-bog-gglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as the final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God.

    The argument goes something like this: `I refuse to prove that I exist,’ says God, `for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.’

    `But,’ says Man, `The Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don’t. QED.’

    `Oh dear,’ says God, `I hadn’t thought of that,’ and promptly vanished in a puff of logic.

    `Oh, that was easy,’ says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.”

    –Douglas Adams

  75. slinger says:

    Let’s take a step back for a moment and look at all the societal good that has come from Darwin: eugenics, abortion, racism … We are all just random collections of molecules. There is no universal right. Some people are simply more evolved than others. Progressives will be quick to point out how much more evolved they are than you.

    R.D. I pointed out some scientific truths that support our Creator. The finely-tuned cosmological constants is a good example of that. If I wanted to point it all out, it would take a volume larger than the library of congress.

    Why is it that evolutionists are allowed to distill their theories as if they are gospel, yet faith in a Creator labels one as a nut?

  76. slinger says:

    There is a fundamental basis of faith that everyone has.

    Either:
    1) There is a God, and He is the Creator
    2) There is no God, and the Creation was spontaneous from nothing.

    Everyone has to decide on one of the above. There are no other options. Either option takes faith.

  77. R.D. Walker says:

    “Let’s take a step back for a moment and look at all the societal good that has come from Darwin…”

    I don’t base by conclusions regarding scientific truth on societal or economic goals. In fact, that is what warmists do. I base my conclusions on the empirical evidence.

    “I pointed out some scientific truths that support our Creator.”

    You have done no such thing. You attempted to shoot holes in the theory of evolution. Disproof of evolution, were it to occur, would not be proof of creationism. For credibility purposes, you must subject your theory to the same degree of scientific scrutiny that you demand that evolutionary theory be subjected. That means, for example, any process that cannot be observed in its entirety must be discounted as untrue.

    “Why is it that evolutionists are allowed to distill their theories as if they are gospel, yet faith in a Creator labels one as a nut?”

    Brother Love has advised me not to respond to questions like that.

  78. R.D. Walker says:

    “Everyone has to decide on one of the above. There are no other options.”

    There is a third option and, frankly, it is the option I have taken…

    3) Don’t worry about it.

    All that is asked of me is that I accept what is written in John 3:16. I do and the Lord and I are good.

  79. slinger says:

    No 3 is NOT an option. John 3:16 is meaningless unless Jesus is actually God’s Son. If Jesus is not God’s Son, then he was just a nut, and you are following a nut. Nuts can’t die for your sins, and nuts cannot fulfill promises of eternal life.

    You have chosen option 1, just as I have. We differ on our views to God’s approach to creation, but we do not differ on that fundamental point.

    If God exists, then He is necessarily the Creator … otherwise God does not exist.

  80. R.D. Walker says:

    John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

    You got your faith, I got mine. I won’t debate that. Option 3 works for me.

  81. slinger says:

    What can I say? You won’t even admit that God is the Creator? That is some dogma.

  82. R.D. Walker says:

    I said I don’t worry about it one way or the other. I am not called upon to worry about it. I don’t see how not contemplating something is dogma. Seems like it is the precise opposite of dogma to me.

  83. Van-a-gram says:

    Ok, breezing through this thread I have concluded the following:

    There appears to be two disjoint arguments going on: Slinger is making an argument for (or against) the existence of evolution v. creationism. RD is arguing that whichever you believe, the same set of rules should apply.

    I agree with RD’s argument (which is not to say creationism is or is not accurate) but rather that faith is not proof — in fact it could be argued as the opposite of proof. But none of that is even remotely close to what the point of this thread was, or has become.

    The absence of proof of evolution does not equate to proof of creationism. You cannot make the statement “We win — you can’t prove evolution!” if you aren’t willing to apply the same scientific standard to creationism.

    RD’s comment: “If I had time, I would stipulate, for the sake of argument, that evolution is hokum and ask you to apply the same high degree of hard, scientific evidence to prove creationism that you require..” is the heart of the argument. I will dog pile on that and state:

    Evolution is indeed hokum because there is no concrete, quantifiable scientific evidence that would prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that evolution is supported.

    Someone please show me that same set of undeniable empirical data on creationism without the use of personal beliefs or opinions (aka “finely tuned cosmological constants”

    Lastly, I will also note that I do not even subscribe the “its one or the other” argument. Maybe. Maybe mot. Apparently, neither camp can prove their theories so maybe there is indeed a yet-to-be-understood third option. Seems just as valid a premise as any other.

  84. Uke says:

    @slinger
    What are you on about?

    There is a fundamental basis of faith that everyone has.

    Either:
    1) There is a God, and He is the Creator
    2) There is no God, and the Creation was spontaneous from nothing.

    Everyone has to decide on one of the above. There are no other options. Either option takes faith.

    Option 3: I don’t know.

    You’d be best served not telling people they have to decide one or other, because it’s not true, and there’s no compelling body of evidence to support either choice.

  85. slinger says:

    You guys win. Clearly creationism is hokum and evolution is scientific fact. The holes in evolution are just an illusion. Clearly the fact that science is been focused for the last couple hundred years on evolution, yet has still failed to provide any evidence on top of specialization that evolution is actually happening. We can’t teach creation in the classroom because it is based on faith, yet evolution is based on faith too. The “overwhelming” evidence doesn’t support Darwin’s theory any more now than it did when he coined the theory.

    Information is not created in the biological process. So where does the information come from? Can’t say God in school, so it must somehow be related to evolution…

    It is easy to say that creationism cannot be supported by scientific measurement, but the same is tru for evolution. Specialization is NOT evolution. Evolution requires the creation of information.

  86. slinger says:

    Uke, I will give you option “I don’t know”. At some point in your life, that “I don’t know” will become either 1 or 2. We will all die being either right or wrong.

    I am not telling people that they have to decide. But they will … one way or the other, everyone will decide.

  87. R.D. Walker says:

    “Information is not created in the biological process.”

    Yes it is. All the time. Every day. Billions and billions of times. It is a beautiful thing.

  88. slinger says:

    By the way, I love being ganged up on by the very people I respect and look up to. I love being talked down to like I am an imbecile, and I love being told that the “overwhelming” evidence points to evolution. I see “overwhelming” every time I look out my window.

    The wisdom of man is foolishness to God.

  89. R.D. Walker says:

    Slinger: I didn’t even want to have this debate with you. It started when I described my frustration with the warmists. You then said I do the same thing they do vis-à-vis evolution essentially calling me a hypocrite. See? If I am critical of them and then do the same thing, I am a hypocrite.

    You may have seen me battle it out with Brother Love (aka Mad Brad) the other day. He said something in which I interpreted as a claim that I am a liar and/or a hypocrite and/or not intellectually honest. That pissed me off and we had it out. Later he said I was none of those things, “just full of shit.”

    I am fine with that. Anyone here can call me wrong, mistaken, or full of shit. I get pissy, however, when people say I am not intellectually honest. Hypocrisy, which you accused me of, is intellectual dishonesty. That led to me defending myself and inexorably to this debate.

    I don’t think you are stupid or anything else negative. I like you and respect you and am proud to call you an Inner Circle Revoista. I just think you are wrong on this. That should be okay, you think the same of me.

    Don’t worry about it.

  90. DarthJay says:

    Yeah, I stepped back in to take a peek and man did I step in it. Wheels are off on this one.

    It’s the age-old argument, isn’t it? Does God exist? If so, how did he create everything? Is the account in Genesis to be taken literally that God made the earth in 6 days or did God use evolution?

    Sure, I have my own opinions and beliefs based on my upbringing and the way I have learned the Bible — but at the end of the day…truly, at the end of the day – does God care what we think about that? Or does he see what is truly in our hearts and judge us based upon that? If we believe in our hearts that Jesus is the Son of God and died for our sins, the Bible says that is all we need to get to heaven. It doesn’t say if you believe in Jesus AND that you accept the earth was made in 6 days, etc. We’ll never get into heaven on our works or knowledge…it’s a grace thing.

    Honestly, I have to believe God does a face-palm anyone starts to argue about things like that, cause it’s really not the message. There’s a lot we don’t know and I’m sure when we get to heaven we’ll all have a good laugh how smart we thought we were while we were on earth.

  91. Bman says:

    I don’t think anyone is trying to gang up on you Slinger.

    I stay away from topics like these. I honetly do not care if someone believes in evolution or creationism. My personal opinion is, “I don’t know” and will not pretend to act otherwise. I believe in God. I believe everything in the universe is because of the hand of God. Period. That works for me. I could care less what others believe, or if they accuse me of being wrong. Ok. I’m wrong then. Next topic….

  92. Van-a-gram says:

    Ok, one last comment from the Hall of Justice:

    This thing started out with RD being lumped in the global warming crowd and the “decided science” argument. I think RD has sufficiently made his point that he does not believe evolution is a “decided science” and that the dialogue is not closed.

    However, ironically, that is precisely Slinger’s argument (creationism is “decided”). The comment:

    “What can I say? You won’t even admit that God is the Creator?” is the precise kind of argument used by the global warming group. “What can I say? You won’t even admist the planet is warming!”

    That’s the whole GW M.O. Start with your opinion as a given, and build from there. “The Planet is warming and that warming is due to man, so starting with that fact….” Warming is “decided” and God as the Creator is, apparently, “decided”.

    RD is the one saying, “Well, maybe. But maybe not. Let’s look at the evidence. Slinger is saying that’s fine as long as we view such evidence through the lens of God as the Creator, which is “decided”.

    It may indeed be decided based on your faith, but RD’s whole point was to apply teh same standards to both options which is something slinger is unwilling or unable to do.

  93. slinger says:

    R.D. I don’t worry about it. Honestly, I didn’t come to this site to make friends or influence people. I am not a Christian because it’s popular. I am not an Engineer for the chicks. I don’t believe in Creationism to fit in with the crowd. I don’t believe in conservative principles because it’s the easy thing to do.

    I do think I would be friends with most on this site … don’t think I’ll be having Luan over for steaks any time soon :-), but that is not my purpose for being here.

    You should know by now that statements regarding the “overwhelming” evidence of evolution will be met with my comments. It is not my intention to imply that you are a hypocrite. Obviously, I’m in the minority in my beliefs. But in all fairness, warmists believe that their evidence is overwhelming too … that’s man’s wisdom I’ve been talking about.

    The older I get the more I realize I don’t know.

  94. DarthJay says:

    By the way – how far are we from “longest comment section” award on this one?

  95. R.D. Walker says:

    “But in all fairness, warmists believe that their evidence is overwhelming too…”

    Well sure. So do “spherical earth theory advocates.” There is nothing wrong with being sure of the theory you support.

    My complaint about the warmists is that they appeal to authority and headcount and refuse to address specific objections to their theories while dismissing the objections as unworthy of response. They dismiss anyone who argues that a consensus is not the same as evidence as “deniers” or “anti-science.”

    I don’t think I do that and, if you review this thread, never once did I say “there is a consensus” or “all the experts agree” or “polls show the majority of people” as a defense of the theory of evolution. I was willing to debate each point on its scientific merits. A significant percentage of warmists refuse to do that.

  96. R.D. Walker says:

    “By the way – how far are we from “longest comment section” award on this one?”

    We have quite a few that are longer but I doubt any got this long this fast.

  97. slinger says:

    Van, I think you misinterpret me. I do not view creationism as decided. Obviously, it is decided for me, but I don’t pretend to decide for others.

    I do believe that there are 2 possibilities though, and I believe that everyone will eventually decide one or the other. If God exists, how would creation happen without His Hand? If God doesn’t exist, then evolution is the best theory we have to go with.

    I have long seen evolution as a tool to separate man from God. Nothing good in this world has ever come from the theory of evolution. Nazi Germany used it as a reason to murder millions. Many if not most of the things we fight on a daily basis here are a result of evolution: eugenics, abortion, racism, moral relativity.

  98. R.D. Walker says:

    One additional footnote here: Reviostas can be atheists, believers or none of the above. No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or trust under the Real Revo.

  99. RJM says:

    “Doesn’t matter who’s right or wrong, just who’s left.”

  100. Ironheads82 says:

    Truly fascinating. Diverse points of view and not a personal attack in the post. True gentlemen all. Could you imagine this post in a liberal blog?

  101. Uke says:

    @Ironheads
    We’re a pretty tolerant bunch around here, and much like a family. We love to argue, but we do our very best NOT to tear ourselves apart with “going over the line.”

    “It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” –Thomas Jefferson

  102. John B. says:

    Looks like I was late getting back here. RD I can snipe holes in evolution all day but I can’t prove creationism to anyone else’s satisfaction. If you are interested, Answers in Genesis is going to be in Kalona the 25-26 and they can make the argument alot better than me. One of their speakers convinced me a few years ago. They also have a website. Slinger I feel your pain brother. Your a minority but not alone. For the record, I think believing John 3:16 makes you a Christian. Everything else is gravy. But who doesn’t love gravy.

  103. notamobster says:

    First, holy crap ladies.

    slinger (from a non-believer in any of it) why cant the code be changed by the guy who wrote it?

    much as we see programming, why cant we view dna code thesame way?

    dont jews suffer the same fate, now? torah, eternal covenent, and all that?

  104. notamobster says:

    why must science and faith be at odds? (i must say – as much as i hate it- that they are NOT in islam)

    i think it boils down to one’s willingness to accept that which he does not know. as my Mama said was the first sign of TRUE wisdom.

  105. RJM says:

    Very interesting website about the size scale of the universe:

    http://htwins.net/scale2/scale2.swf?bordercolor=white

  106. slinger says:

    Nota, I never said the code can’t or doesn’t change. In fact, I agree that it changes all the time. What I said is that the interpreter for the code doesn’t change … at least I haven’t seen any evidence that shows change in the interpreter.

    Also, I don’t think that science and faith are at odds. Every new scientific discovery has only strengthened my faith. Looking at the complete picture requires evidence across all disciplines. How is it that man has reason and emotion? Evolutionary theory can only explain mechanics … we are highly-evolved pattern matching machines, and we can only make predictable decisions (just like a computer program). We know that is not the case though. There has to be something else, a Creator, that has endowed us with such gifts.

    Additionally, evolution also requires that a lesser intelligent thing can give rise to a more intelligent thing. As a programmer, I can simulate or model pretty much anything my mind can imagine. My simulation is limited, however, by my intelligence, and I cannot make my simulation more intelligent than myself. That is my own intelligent design, yet random evolutionary process over billions of years can be more intelligent than the combined intelligence of all of humanity?

    My theory: we are all objects in God’s software simulation. I hope the computer doesn’t crash :-)

    I can say with 100% absolute certainty that God is the Creator, and He is my God. I have never been more sure of anything.

  107. R.D. Walker says:

    Evolutionary theory easily explains the evolution of reason, emotion and increasing intelligence in species.

    Faith shouldn’t be cop-out. It is too often an excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is actually belief in spite of, or even because of, the lack of evidence. Faith stands alone.

    One of the greatest joys in my life is the feeling of awed wonder that studying and really understanding a scientific principle gives me. A true understanding of the various aspects physical world is one of the highest experiences of which the human mind is capable. There is just no way something so sublime is contrary to God’s will.

    For me, true scientific understanding is like music and poetry and love and spiritualism… It is profound aesthetic joy. It is as close as I get to touching the face of God.

    You should try it sometime, Slinger. You might like it.

  108. slinger says:

    Again, I love being talked down to. You’re right, I have never studied and “really understood” scientific principles … I just use them on a daily basis for my day job. I have a science background, and none of my beliefs run counter to scientific discovery. As I have said before. Every discovery has only enhanced my faith. Do you know how simple the cell was theorized to be when Darwin coined evolution? Today, we know that a single cell is more complex than the most advanced factories built by man.

    As you know, the brain is a pattern matching machine, but it is not who we are. Our identity resides outside our physical body. There is a reason why clinically dead people can have memories while their bodies are dead. It is not explained by evolutionary theory.

    Evolutionary theory requires greater intelligence coming from lesser intelligence. Having delved into artificial intelligence, I understand what a tall order that is. Will we get there someday? Some will say yes, but I seriously doubt it. A singularity including hardware-enhanced memory? Possibly. A singularity including hardware-enhanced intelligence. Not happening. Even so, artificial intelligence requires real (and a very lot if it) intelligence … maybe in a few billion years.

  109. slinger says:

    When we can create the most simple single cell organism in a lab, and when we can create true artificial intelligence (including reason, which is quite different than logic, and emotion) …

  110. R.D. Walker says:

    Your blanket contention that evolutionary theory can’t explain reason, emotion and intelligence is objectively false. Evolution can explain these things. Perhaps not to your satisfaction, but there are explanations.

    Your contention that entropy precludes the possibility of evolution is false. It does not unless you redefine the meaning of “entropy” and the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    Your assumption that information cannot be generated by random trial and error indicates a misrepresentation of both statistics and evolution. It most certainly can and it can be proved experimentally.

    The belief that difficulties in evolutionary theory are evidence of creationism is a misrepresentation of logical progression.

    Look, I don’t mean to talk down to you but it is difficult not to when you continue to make objectively factual misrepresentations of the science behind evolutionary theory.

    You can say that you are not willing to accept evolutionary explanations for the development of, say, emotions, but you cannot say that evolution can’t explain it. The theory does it explain it an quite elegantly.

    Now, if you go back and really try to understand, say, entropy as a function of the laws of thermodynamics, you will necessarily return and state that nothing in those laws precludes the possibility of evolution. It doesn’t follow that you must, therefore, start believing in evolution, but an objective look at and understanding of the science would lead you inexorably to that conclusion.

    Creationism as science is, in my view, hokum at every level and demonstrably so. It is ridiculously easy to debunk and there is almost never a bit of evidence created to support it.

    Bear in mind that if evolution were to be proved false, the failure of that theory would not represent even the slightest, minuscule evidence that the theory of creationism is true. It would be irrelevant. Yet all I have ever seen creationists do is take pot shots at evolution as if that proves creationism. It does not and is a pointless effort that does nothing to support creationism.

    So come here and talk faith and God and your view of the nature of the universe and I will never say a word to you or argue with you in the least. Hell, I am tired of this debate.

    If, however, you come here and misrepresent the science – the science I love – I am going to call you on it.

  111. slinger says:

    R.D. Just because you say evolution explains something doesn’t mean that it does. I’ve seen the same articles and science journals that you have. All I have seen in the way of the initial living cell is an extremely shady theory that no evolutionist puts any weight behind (ice crystals assembled the first living single-cell organism).

    I never claimed that creationism is the only alternative to evolution. Is is the only theory that is currently out there to my knowledge though. Got another one? I also never claimed that God couldn’t or wouldn’t use evolutionary process in the creation; however, I do not believe that the facts support evolution. The only evidence that we can show in a lab is that specialization happens. There have been a number of theories that rose from the demonstrable fact of specialization, and they have yet to pan out in anything beyond theory.

    You would think it would be easy for a civilization as advanced as ours to make a single-cell organism. If nature can do it devoid of a creator in a couple billion years of random chance, shouldn’t we be able to do so in a hundred years? Maybe next century?

    I have never misrepresented science. There is not much science to go on. Specialization is science … so far everything else is theory without any supporting evidence.

  112. R.D. Walker says:

    “Our identity resides outside our physical body.”

    That, for example, is an extraordinary claim that requires some extraordinary evidence.

    That people, during periods of extreme trauma, would often experience dreamlike visions of “walking into the light” when such imagery is a common part of our shared cultural tradition is not surprising. It is easily explained as a part of our psyche imprinted and defined by a shared mythology. We see theses visions because, at some level, we expect to see them. It certainly does not prove that our identity resides outside our bodies.

    I am not saying that there isn’t a soul or that our consciousness doesn’t outlast our physical selves. I am confident that I have an immortal soul. I am saying there is no relevant scientific evidence that a soul exists.

    That doesn’t bother me in the least. Faith doesn’t require evidence.

  113. R.D. Walker says:

    “Just because you say evolution explains something doesn’t mean that it does.”

    That is absolutely, positively true. I am, however, willing to defend those explanations with reason and evidence. That the explanations don’t meet your approval doesn’t mean they aren’t correct, either.

    If you want to debate evolution, I am willing to do it. The debate seems to result in long threads and your feelings being hurt, however. I am sorry about that.

  114. slinger says:

    R.D. My feelings are not hurt. It’s OK, I can turn the other cheek.

    Men that are much more intelligent than me believe the same as me. These men are primary among their scientific peers in a number of hard-science disciplines. You’re just fortunate to debate with the king of fools instead of those men.

    As for the out-of-body stuff. I am not referring to walking in the light, but there are documented cases of patients hovering over their lifeless bodies and describing in absolute detail watching the surgical procedure from above on their lifeless body. Perhaps this is proof of the soul … perhaps it is imagined. But the viewing perspective and detail seem to warrant curiosity.

    Finally, there will always be a chicken-egg problem if the Creator is removed from the creation equation. Matter (dark or light) has to be infinite if there is no Creator. Where did that matter come from? From energy? So where did the energy come from? Everything has a beginning. Processes are not 100% efficient. That’s the crux of my entropy argument … you can shoot down the word entropy because you don’t want to overload its thermodynamic meaning, but it’s practical meaning is still apparent in every single process ever observed.

    Anyway, I am away for 4 days of camping with my family, so you will not have anyone to argue with.

  115. R.D. Walker says:

    “Men that are much more intelligent than me believe the same as me.”

    That is called “appeal to authority” and is one of the specific behaviors of the warmists I was complaining about.

    “Matter (dark or light) has to be infinite if there is no Creator. Where did that matter come from? From energy? So where did the energy come from? Everything has a beginning. Processes are not 100% efficient…”

    The answer to that is in theoretical physics, not biology and the evolution of species. Entropy does not preclude the evolution of species because organisms are not finite systems. Entropy can decrease in subsystems by increasing the entropy in the rest of the system creating a net increase in entropy but a decrease within the subsystem. This says nothing about the universe as a whole but, frankly, I wasn’t debating that.

  116. slinger says:

    Yes, but that does tell us that whatever energy was here to begin with (i.e. prior to the big bang) is being reduced over time. That implies that everything is winding down. Who knows how long this clock can run. After billions of years, I would think there wouldn’t be a whole lot of time left …

  117. R.D. Walker says:

    Again, I was debating evolution.

  118. RJM says:

    Please explain to me how this could be evolution?

    This screams to me creation.

    Besides why would I risk the chance that God is not real and not the Creator of everything.

    I have nothing to lose by believing in him and everything to gain.

    Scale of the Universe

    http://htwins.net/scale2/scale2.swf?bordercolor=white

  119. slinger says:

    As far as appealing to authority, that is OK … even a necessity at times … since we all can’t be experts on everything. The bottom line is that we should scrutinize their work and verify that we agree with their process, logic, data, etc.

  120. R.D. Walker says:

    “Please explain to me how this could be evolution?

    It’s not. It’s astrophysics.

    “I have nothing to lose by believing in him and everything to gain.”

    I believe in God. I just don’t believe in hokum.

    Tell you what, when we meet up in heaven we’ll ask God about evolution. I hope He isn’t annoyed by your denial of His good works. :-)

  121. RJM says:

    Did you scroll in? That didn’t look like astrophysics to me.

  122. R.D. Walker says:

    The salient point was the scale of the universe. It said nothing about evolution. The animals were just decoration. The scale of the universe is astrophysics.

  123. Van-a-gram says:

    For the life of me I do not know how or why this post keeps circling back to some kind of science v. Faith as as mutually exclusive concepts, or for that matter, why faith is even relevant to the core point of this post.

    If we get in Mr. Peabody’s Way Back machine (up near the top of the page), this whole thing started with the comment that GW alarmists and Creationists often begin their arguments — from a SCIENTIFIC perspective– in the same manner which is to state an opinion as some kind of scientific fact, and build the argument from there. This has nothing to do with faith. But if you’re going to set out to PROVE something, scientifically, then be prepared to have your foundational premise questioned, and for the presentation of facts v. opinions.

    Example:

    GW Alarmist: “Well, given that we know that man-made carbon dioxide is causing Global Warming, the science clearly indicates the following…..”

    Creationism: “Well, Given that God is the Creator of the Heaven and Universe, we can easily conclude the following….”

    Both camps begin with a premise that is not necessarily viewed as “decided” at least on a scientific level. Maybe it is on an emotional level, spiritual level, or even some kind of intuitive level, but not a scientific one.

    All RD has been saying since the beginning is that if you are going to start with that kind of premise, show me the empirical, scientific data to support that. Period.

    That has been spun out as some kind of attack on spirituality, which ironically, is comparable to the defensive positions taken by the GW folk, which I presume is also sort of RD’s point. Ask for anything empirical and it is viewed as an inappropriate assault. Question the foundational premise (opinion) and you are branded a de facto GW “denier” or God “denier”.

    Sure, questions are allowed, but not about the underlying “truth” that is the foundational statement used to support everything else.

  124. R.D. Walker says:

    “…explain how organs (like an eyeball) deveolp that would require several mutations that are not necessarily positive individually.”

    That is very thoroughly and elegantly done here: The Evolution of the Eye

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