Home » Christian Darwinism, Culture » Bill Dembski: Trouble happens when they find out you mean business

Bill Dembski: Trouble happens when they find out you mean business

Continuing with James Barham’s The Best Schools interview with design theorist Bill Dembski – who founded this blog, we look at how he managed to not avoid trouble, principally with Christian academics:

WD: The problem is that within a month of publishing The Design Inference, I also published Mere Creation, the proceedings of a 1996 conference at Biola on creation and design. In that book, I did put my cards on the table regarding where I saw the methods developed in The Design Inference leading. So, Darwinists quickly made the connection and started going after the earlier book.

Another thing that worked against the book is that I was hired shortly after its publication to found and direct Baylor’s Michael Polanyi Institute. This gave me national prominence, to the consternation of Darwinists in- and outside of Baylor, and thus incentivized them to refute the book at all costs. When the Polanyi Center was dissolved a year later (more about this below), many who had their finger to the wind and wondered whether to back intelligent design, backed down. I stayed on at Baylor to complete my contract, but was persona non grata the entire time.

In 1999, I could still get a job in the mainstream academy on the basis of my work in The Design Inference. By the fall of 2000, my career was toast.

Okay, let’s hop to the Polanyi Institute. What happened there?

TBS: In 2000, after organizing and hosting a very successful and visible international conference (whose proceedings, coedited by you and Bruce Gordon, are now published as The Nature of Nature [ISI, 2011]), you were first demoted, then essentially fired, by Baylor University, in Waco, Texas. Can you explain how this came about? What were the ramifications of Baylor throwing you under the bus for you personally? What do you think the long-term ramifications of this incident have been for our intellectual culture as a whole?

WD: The short of it is that Baylor hired me to start an intelligent design think-tank, the Michael Polanyi Center, we put on a tremendously successful conference, and three days after the conference the faculty senate voted 27–2 to shut the center down. Not immediately, but a few months later, the Baylor administration acceded to the faculty senate’s wishes.

When I protested the center’s dissolution, I was fired as director from a center that had already ceased to exist. This, at Baylor—an ostensibly Christian institution. But in fact, the science faculty at Baylor were probably more Darwinian than their secular counterparts, having to prove that they were as “reliable” in their science as those outside.

The whole story is available online, arranged chronologically in a series of news articles: “The Rise and Fall of Baylor University’s Michael Polanyi Center.” If I had it to do again, I would never have gone to Baylor. But the past is past. It’s all there. It made national news. And Baylor got a black eye for its failure to respect freedom of thought and expression. But massive institutions like Baylor can handle a bit of battering. Private individuals who get chewed up by them are less fortunate.

Mmmm. For many Christian academics, the worst news possible is that the atheists they are discreetly selling out to don’t have the goods anyway. They don’t hate anyone as much as they hate the guy who can demonstrate that fact.

Next: What Dembski is planning to do now.

See also:

Why Bill Dembski took aim against the Darwin frauds and their enablers #1

Why Bill Dembski took aim against the Darwin frauds and their enablers Part 2

Bill Dembski: The big religious conspiracy revealed #3

Bill Dembski: Evolution “played no role whatever” in his conversion to Christianity #4

So how DID Bill Dembski get interested in intelligent design? #5a

So how DID Bill Dembski get interested in intelligent design? #5b – bad influences, it seems

Comment on Dembski interview here.

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • RSS Feed

97 Responses to Bill Dembski: Trouble happens when they find out you mean business

  1. Bill Dembski: Trouble happens when they find out you mean business

    Trouble also happens when you have a chronic case of foot-in-mouth disease, as Dembski does.

    From an NCSE article entitled “Baylor’s Polanyi Center in Turmoil”:

    So the Michael Polanyi Center was stripped of its name, placed squarely under the jurisdiction of a philosophy and religion administrative unit, subjected to a faculty advisory committee, and not very subtly put on notice that ID lacked status as a scholarly enterprise.

    Nonetheless, on October 17, Director Dembski issued a stirring press release declaring victory for ID and the MPC. Although the Center was placed firmly under the aegis of the IFL, and it was the IFL that was encouraged to go beyond ID in its consideration of science and religion issues, Dembski’s press release announced that the MPC had been given a broader mission. The stripping of the name “Polanyi” from the Center was spun as “the Center will therefore receive a new name to reflect this expanded vision”. The admonition of the Center to conduct ID research only “when carried out professionally” juxtaposed with the citation of an article harshly critical of Dembski was transformed into “the triumph of intelligent design as a legitimate form of academic inquiry” and an “unqualified affirmation of my own work on intelligent design.”

    Although many reading the committee’s report and Dembski’s press release might question whether Dembski “got it”, apparently another sentence in the press release got him in trouble. Baylor critics of the MPC would have preferred a more strongly-worded committee report, but in general were satisfied with the results as a compromise between sides with strong disagreements. It appeared that perhaps peace could be restored after the committee’s report had been issued. But in his press release, Dembski thumbed his nose at critics, shattering any possibility of effective interaction with a large percentage of the faculty. He gloated, “Dogmatic opponents of design who demanded the Center be shut down have met their Waterloo.”

    Through newspaper accounts and personal communications, NCSE learned that members of the science faculty and the Baylor Faculty Senate expressed outrage to President Sloan over Dembski’s uncollegial behavior, and on October 19, the Director of the Institute for Faith and Learning, Michael Beaty, announced that “Dembski’s actions after the release of the report compromised his ability to serve as director” and relieved him of his position. Dembski’s associate, Bruce Gordon, described as holding “a PhD in the history and philosophy of physics from Northwestern University, as well as degrees in mathematics, philosophy, theology and piano performance”, was appointed as interim director, although he has stated that he does not wish to be the permanent director.

    On the same day, Dembski followed up with another press release responding to his dismissal. He claimed that the administration had called him on the carpet, asking that he withdraw his inflammatory press release. Dembski refused on the grounds that he meant what he had said “and that for me to retract it would be tantamount to giving in to the censorship and vilification against me that had been a constant feature since I arrived on campus. I could not and would not betray all that I have worked for in my professional career.”

    The inflammatory press release became for Dembski a matter of principle, and he accused the administration of “intellectual McCarthyism,” a statement that is not likely to mend fences. Ironically, it was President Sloan who had established the MPC, defended it against a faculty outraged at the cavalier way in which it had been established, and supported Dembski all along. Now Dembski was accusing Sloan of “the utmost of bad faith”, as if Sloan intended from the beginning to sack him: Dembski claimed that his refusal to withdraw an inflammatory press release “provided the fig leaf of justification for my removal”.

    Apparently Dembski hadn’t sufficiently antagonized everyone at Baylor, because seven years later he was forced to apologize for more idiocy:

    Nonetheless, on this blog I went too far in trying to hold up the Baylor administration’s actions to the light of day. I let it get personal and went over the edge in three things: (1) posting a parody letter attributed to Baylor President Lilley; (2) posting contact information for the Baylor Board of Regents in an effort to apply pressure to the Baylor administration; (3) posting an exchange between Peter Irons and John Lilley largely for the purpose of embarassing both.

    It wasn’t just “contact information” that he posted. It was home phone numbers, home addresses and private email addresses.

    I’ve removed all three posts and herewith extend a public apology to the Baylor administration and Board of Regents for these actions on this blog.

    When Dembski ponders why his career has imploded, he should remember to look in the mirror.

  2. Perhaps I’m missing something, but is this the same NCSE (National Center for Selling Evolution) Of Eugenie Scott, Nick Matzke fame??? where they sue public schools at the drop of a hat to keep any questioning of Darwinism out of public schools? ,,,, And do you support this censorship by law they enforce??? If so, Please tell me what other ‘science’, as if Darwinism is even a science, must pass laws so that it will not even be questioned in the classroom???

  3. Easy, BA. The NCSE is just the messenger. The facts aren’t in dispute.

    I have to admit that I felt sorry for Dembski when the yahoos at SWBTS hauled him before the Inquisition for doubting teh Flud.

    P.S. BA, I’ve asked before, but didn’t get an answer. What’s with the triple and quadruple commas?

  4. F/N: Onlookers, NCSE has zero credibility, much like Talk Origins, Anti Evolution, Wikipedia and similar ideological Lewontinian a priori materialism talking point dispensers on these matters; save when they testify against their known interest and/or are backed up by other more reasonable sources. A capital example is their championing (esp. Ms Forrest, B) of the lie — it is false, they know or should know it is false, and they choose to propagate it to persuade the naively trusting or gullible anyway — that ID is creationism in a cheap tuxedo. So, above, if you have a choice between BA and Ch’s accounts [sorry Ch, I suspect you don't know the background context for my evaluation, I am just letting you know the problem with citing the source], you know which to pick. KF

  5. Is this not an example of ‘following the evidence where it leads,’ in the sense of human communication and social action? The link provided to “the whole story,” presented by William Dembski himself in the interview, constitutes ‘evidence’ of a certain historical variety, does it not? This stuff happened; we are each of us left to interpret the evidence in our own way. Such is the (academic) ‘freedom’ of interpretation that the ‘intelligent design’ movement is promoting.

    Is bornagain77 questioning whether or not Dembski actually said and did those things at & wrt Baylor University, i.e. that they ‘happened,’ or just expressing his/her disinterest in and antagonism (‘culture war’-style) to anything said or written by NCSE? Does she/he value the truth of the evidence or care more about who is displaying it and whether or not they support or share his/her ideology or worldview?

    As for me, I try to ‘follow the evidence where it leads’ as a human-social scientist. So, let me offer this somewhat mysterious suggestion of ‘evidence’ soon to be uncovered publically on the internet:

    A solution to the most important piece to the puzzle about ‘intelligent design’ in the past decade (including anything Dembski himself has contributed) was found yesterday, in a hotel lounge in Eastern Europe, during a discussion about ‘interdisciplinarity’.

    Ironically, during some of the presentations given at the conference that provided the background for the ‘discovery,’ the terms ‘Inter-Disciplinarity’ and ‘Inter-Disciplinary’ were shorthanded to ‘ID.’ ;)

    With the creator(s) of this thread, we are agreed that “Trouble happens when they find out you mean business,” i.e. that you take seriously the ideas and perspectives that they hold, interepting them and the evidence in new ways. However, Dembski’s interpretation that “Naturalism currently dominates science” doesn’t hold sway the same way outside of ‘natural sciences.’ There is thus another story waiting to be told.

  6. From that interview:

    And the “exit interview” of Richard Dawkins by Ben Stein is classic. Stein gets Dawkins to admit that ID might be legitimate, so long as the designer is not God but a space alien who evolved by Darwinian means. I almost always show that clip in my public presentations of ID. Indeed, Dawkins gives away the store in those two minutes.

    Dembski himself “gives away the store” in those words, and reveals that he is not, despite his claim, “a scientist at heart”. He’s a theologian.

    And that’s the problem he faces with regard to the scientific “academy” (which is, of course no such monolith).

  7. champignon states in regards to the censorship, which is enforced by law in public schools, at the behest of the NCSE cronies, of any questioning of neo-Darwinism, which no other ‘science’ ever taught in public schools has ever had to do before,,,

    The facts aren’t in dispute.

    Really champignon??? then why in blue blazes do you sit here day after day, fighting tooth and nail, disputing the ‘facts’ with such shallow rationalizations that everyone can see through???,, Personally, I can’t find any substantiating facts whatsoever to prove the basic premises of neo-Darwinism

    Where’s the substantiating evidence for neo-Darwinism?
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1q-PBeQELzT4pkgxB2ZOxGxwv6ynOixfzqzsFlCJ9jrw/edit

    As well, I find that the recently discovered ‘facts’ of science, whether you personally agree with them or not, falsify neo-Darwinism completely!!!

    Falsification Of Neo-Darwinism by Quantum Entanglement/Information
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1p8AQgqFqiRQwyaF8t1_CKTPQ9duN8FHU9-pV4oBDOVs/edit?hl=en_US/edit?hl=en_US

    Moreover I find neo-Darwinism to be, in reality, a pseudo-science with no more explanatory/predictive power than tarot cards;

    Science and Pseudoscience – Imre Lakatos – exposing Darwinism as a ‘degenerate science program’, i.e. as a pseudoscience, using Lakatos’s rigid criteria
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LpGd3smTV1RwmEXC25IAEKMjiypBl5VJq9ssfv4JgeM/edit

    Moreover I find the atheistic-materialistic worldview, not Theism, to be the true science stopper:

    Is Randomness really the rational alternative to the ‘First Mover’ of Theists?
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pSSfbR2QFZ5JAJTOsrEXQDqkJ_6zPTvYNGwcI4YDvRY/edit

    Whereas contrary to the delusions you so fervently believe in, of God being a anti-science position, the Judeo-Christian worldview not only was the worldview that brought modern science to a sustainable maturity, but is also the worldview that ‘science’ continues to nurse at for success;

    Why should the human mind be able to comprehend reality so deeply?
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qGvbg_212biTtvMschSGZ_9kYSqhooRN4OUW_Pw-w0E/edit?hl=en_US

    No champignon, the reason that neo-Darwinism has to sue public schools to keep any questioning of neo-Darwinism from being taught, is not that the facts are not in dispute, as you claim, it is because neo-Darwinism cannot stand the light of critical scrutiny or else it falls completely apart!!!

  8. Please explain how Dembski gives away the store by using Dawkins words?

    And the scientific academy has its own problems finding positive evidence for its position.

  9. Actually I think Dawkins clearly reveals that he is ‘not a scientist at heart’ in the clip:

    Richard Dawkins Vs. Ben Stein – The UFO Interview
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4134259/

  10. He reveals that he does not understand Dawkins’ point – by thinking that Dawkins has “given away the store”, he gives away his own.

    Dawkins’ point is that there is nothing intrinsically unscientific about proposing intelligent design as a hypothesis to account for life. Proposing a non-material designer, however, is, because there are no tests for a non-material designer, as IDists freely acknowledge – ID, as people keep reminding us, is not about the identity of the designer but about the detection of design.

    However, by failing to understand Dawkins’ point, he reveals himself as not a scientist, but a theologian – someone who disagrees with Dawkins not on the grounds of design detection, but on the grounds of whether or not the designer is non-material or not.

    That is not a scientific question, it’s a theological one.

  11. as to this comment;

    because there are no tests for a non-material designer, as IDists freely acknowledge,,,

    Actually, contrary to what many presuppose about the detectability of a transcendent Creator, the fact is that there is clear scientific evidence within reality, and even within molecular biology itself, that gives clear indication that reality, and molecular biology is the handiwork of a transcendent, non-local, beyond space and time, Creator;

    Quantum Entanglement – The Failure Of Local Realism – Materialism – Alain Aspect – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/4744145

    The falsification for local realism (materialism) was recently greatly strengthened:

    Physicists close two loopholes while violating local realism – November 2010
    Excerpt: The latest test in quantum mechanics provides even stronger support than before for the view that nature violates local realism and is thus in contradiction with a classical worldview.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....alism.html

    Quantum Measurements: Common Sense Is Not Enough, Physicists Show – July 2009
    Excerpt: scientists have now proven comprehensively in an experiment for the first time that the experimentally observed phenomena cannot be described by non-contextual models with hidden variables.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....142824.htm

    (of note: hidden variables were postulated to remove the need for ‘spooky’ forces, as Einstein termed them — forces that act instantaneously at great distances, thereby breaking the most cherished rule of relativity theory, that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.)

    Quantum Mechanics has now been extended by Anton Zeilinger, and team, to falsify local realism (reductive materialism) without even using quantum entanglement to do it:

    ‘Quantum Magic’ Without Any ‘Spooky Action at a Distance’ – June 2011
    Excerpt: A team of researchers led by Anton Zeilinger at the University of Vienna and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information of the Austrian Academy of Sciences used a system which does not allow for entanglement, and still found results which cannot be interpreted classically.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....111942.htm

    Falsification of Local Realism without using Quantum Entanglement – Anton Zeilinger
    http://vimeo.com/34168474

    Further notes:

    Quantum Evidence for a Theistic Big Bang (i.e. for a Theistic Origination and Sustaining of this universe
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1agaJIWjPWHs5vtMx5SkpaMPbantoP471k0lNBUXg0Xo/edit

    Moreover, the same ‘spooky’ quantum entanglement/information that originally falsified local realism (reductive materialism) as the true foundation for reality has now been found in molecular biology on a massive scale;

    Falsification Of Neo-Darwinism by Quantum Entanglement/Information
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1p8AQgqFqiRQwyaF8t1_CKTPQ9duN8FHU9-pV4oBDOVs/edit?hl=en_US

    The following video gives a bit clearer explanation as to exactly why it is so ‘spooky’, to use Einstein’s infamous word, to find quantum entanglement/information in molecular biology on such a massive scale:

    Light and Quantum Entanglement Reflect Some Characteristics Of God – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4102182

    Quantum entanglement/information in molecular biology simply requires a cause beyond time and space to explain its existence within molecular biology which is not within the Darwinian framework of atheistic materialism to explain!!! Thus though God refuses to be a ‘circus performer’, for atheists by giving miracles on demand to prove He is God, the plain fact is that the ‘miracle’ of reality itself is more than enough ‘scientific’ evidence for the existence and reality of God!!!

    music:

    Flyleaf – All Around Me
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xN0FFK8JSYE

  12. KF, BA77,

    If you dispute the facts of Dembski’s implosion as laid out in the NCSE article, then back up your claim. Show us the factual errors.

  13. F/N: Onlookers, NCSE has zero credibility, much like Talk Origins, Anti Evolution, Wikipedia and similar ideological Lewontinian a priori materialism talking point dispensers on these matters; save when they testify against their known interest and/or are backed up by other more reasonable sources.

    This is a curious comment, given that just a few days ago KF (when challenged on his own credibility), thought that logic and facts should speak for themselves. So if KF doesn’t think Wikipedia is credible (and yes he may have a point), but why should we think KF himself is a credible source?

    Why should I wade through pages and pages of inaccessible and unreadable text just for no other reason than KF has appointed himself as a self-identified authority? Again I know nothing about this person “KF” – his publishing history, his credentials, his qualifications, and given the enormous time commitment and hard work required to digest his “logics and facts”, I am not yet convinced it is a good investment of my time. My opinion is that if KF wants to reach out to his audience he should at least learn to write in a more accessible way, otherwise “natural selection” is going to filter him out…

  14. This is a serious question I would appreciate someone to answer:

    Is it conceivable, in principle, that unicorns, pink pixies and other products of human fantasy could be found in one or more of the infinite number of multiverses?

    Or does the fact that, at least pending their discovery in some multiverse, they would appear to be gratuitous figments of human imagination, disqualify them from the application of the word, ‘theory’, as in ‘scientific theory’?

    Or would they, perhaps, merit qualification as ‘scientific conjectures’? Pardon me if I stress ‘science’ here, but, to the eternal shame of such thinkers as Einstein, Planck, Bohr and Godel, who evidently did not view empirical science as the ultimate paradigm of knowledge and understanding, our secular ‘fundie’ friends know so much better, as they nveer tire of assuring us. ‘But…But… it hasn’t been tested and peer-reviewed!’

  15. 1- Wikipedia openly admits it is not a credible source and taht people need to do the research, mainly by following the references given, as well as looking for missing data

    2- Seeing that your only “purpose” seems to be to attack “KF”, you have been filtered out when you first arrived. But because it is a slow day an exception has been made.

  16. Liz @ 2.1.l, I don’t think you grasp the significance of the interchange. Dawkins, responding to a scientific question about origins, INTRODUCED the theological element himself, albeit in the most perverse way. Dembski is responding the perversity of that non-scientific, theological intrusion.

  17. But of course, look up Boltzmann brains popping spontaneously into existence etc.

  18. So what, in your view, is the significance of that “perverse” introduction?

    What was the “store” he gave away?

  19. champignon, Did you know that character assassination is a fairly common ‘go to’ tactic used by neo-Darwinists, and atheists in general, when they can’t answer the science;

    Argument Ad Hominem? (William Lane Craig) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IX3beh6g1Qg

    champignon did you know that Darwin inspired lawsuits, of which NCSE is a major player, seek to shut down free speech??

    On the Fundamental Difference Between Darwin-Inspired and Intelligent Design-Inspired Lawsuits – September 2011
    Excerpt: Darwin lobby litigation: In every Darwin-inspired case listed above, the Darwin lobby sought to shut down free speech, stopping people from talking about non-evolutionary views, and seeking to restrict freedom of intellectual inquiry.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....50451.html

    again I ask you champ; Why is it that,,,

    “Evolution is the only ‘scientific theory’ that needs laws to protect it!”

    ???
    further notes:

    Though the evidence against neo-Darwinian evolution is overwhelming, even to the point of complete falsification,, anyone who dares openly question the sufficiency of neo-Darwinism to explain all life on earth, in the public school classroom, is persecuted, and if not protected by tenure, fired,, as this following documentary, book, and article, clearly point out:

    EXPELLED – Starring Ben Stein – Part 1 of 10 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fj8xyMsbkO4

    Slaughter of Dissidents – Book
    “If folks liked Ben Stein’s movie “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” they will be blown away by “Slaughter of the Dissidents.” – Russ Miller
    http://www.amazon.com/Slaughte.....0981873405

    Origins – Slaughter of the Dissidents with Dr. Jerry Bergman – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6rzaM_BxBk

    Academic Freedom Under Fire — Again! – October 2010
    Excerpt: All Dr. Avital wanted to do was expose students to some of the weaknesses inherent in Darwin’s theory. Surely there’s no harm in that — or so one would think. But, of course, to the Darwinian faithful, such weaknesses apparently do not exist.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....38911.html

    Moreover, the fraudulent tactics used by neo-Darwinists in the courtroom to sway opinion their way can only be appropriately described as ‘sleazy theatrics’;

    “A Masterful Feat of Courtroom Deception”: Immunologist Donald Ewert on Dover Trial – audio
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....1_03-08_00

    In this following podcast, Casey Luskin interviews microbiologist and immunologist Donald Ewert about his previous work as associate editor for the journal Development and Comparitive Immunology, where he realized that the papers published were comparative studies that had nothing to do with evolution at all.

    What Does Evolution Have to Do With Immunology? Not Much – April 2011
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....9_03-07_00

    The deception, from neo-Darwinists at Dover, did not stop with immunology;

    The NCSE, Judge Jones, and Bluffs About the Origin of New Functional Genetic Information – Casey Luskin – March 2010
    http://www.discovery.org/a/14251

  20. Sorry BA, I filter your stuff out, just like Joe filters my stuff out. But it is not an unreasonable question to ask who KF is and why we should pay attention to him. Certainly it is not for the quality of his writing and clarity of thought. Or is UD so desperate to have anybody sound vaguely intellectual they put up with it?

    If I’m going to spend time reading a source, I’d like to know something about them. KF does not get a free pass so must work harder to communicate well. So far that seems a lesson he does not want to take to heart. But given his complete and utter disdain and disgust at unbelievers, that doesn’t surprise me. I’m surprised others here tolerate it. I’m not just trying to get people to see what us “onlookers” see when we come to a site like this…

  21. bornagain,

    The topic of this thread is Dembski’s career, not his ideas. His arrogant and inflammatory behavior is very important in explaining why his career crashed and burned.

    I’m not arguing that Dembski’s ideas are wrong because of his childish and impulsive behavior. They fail on their own (de)merits. See this, for example.

    Lastly, let me repeat my question:

    KF, BA77,

    If you dispute the facts of Dembski’s implosion as laid out in the NCSE article, then back up your claim. Show us the factual errors.

  22. unfortunately for you woodford, I, for the most part, ignore you and listen to kf, go figure! Free country and all that given to us by unalienable rights endowed on us by our Creator. Oh that’s right you don’t believe that your rights are guaranteed by God but just what man decides you can have.

  23. Champ, you really don’t seem to get it do you? You are citing NCSE to make a

    Argument Ad Hominem? (William Lane Craig) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IX3beh6g1Qg

    Citing NCSE material against Dembski’s character, as human as Dembski may be, carries about as much weight with me as if you would cite Hitler as a source for defending human rights!!!

    Moreover, neo-Darwinism, regardless of what deceptive means you try to deny it, is falsified by recent advances in science;

    Falsification Of Neo-Darwinism by Quantum Entanglement/Information
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1p8AQgqFqiRQwyaF8t1_CKTPQ9duN8FHU9-pV4oBDOVs/edit?hl=en_US

  24. bornagain,

    The NCSE claims that the earth is round. Are you going to become a flat-earther?

    For the third time:

    KF, BA77,

    If you dispute the facts of Dembski’s implosion as laid out in the NCSE article, then back up your claim. Show us the factual errors.

  25. Earth to woodford-

    It isn’t that you are filtered out- it is that you never say anything. So it is more like you filter yourself out…

  26. boring!!!,, oh well of interest somewhat as to the supposed flat earth fallacy used against us supposed ignorant Christian dweebs,,,

    ,,,I find it extremely interesting, and strange, that quantum mechanics tells us that instantaneous quantum wave collapse to its ‘uncertain’ 3-D state is centered on each individual observer in the universe, whereas, 4-D space-time cosmology (General Relativity) tells us each 3-D point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe. These findings of modern science are pretty much exactly what we would expect to see if this universe were indeed created, and sustained, from a higher dimension by a omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal Being who knows everything that is happening everywhere in the universe at the same time. These findings certainly seem to go to the very heart of the age old question asked of many parents by their children, “How can God hear everybody’s prayers at the same time?”,,, i.e. Why should the expansion of the universe, or the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe, even care that you or I, or anyone else, should exist? Only Theism offers a rational explanation as to why you or I, or anyone else, should have such undeserved significance in such a vast universe:

    Psalm 33:13-15
    The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.

    Moreover, the argument for God from consciousness can be framed like this:

    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    notes:

    Wheeler’s Classic Delayed Choice Experiment:
    Excerpt: Now, for many billions of years the photon is in transit in region 3. Yet we can choose (many billions of years later) which experimental set up to employ – the single wide-focus, or the two narrowly focused instruments. We have chosen whether to know which side of the galaxy the photon passed by (by choosing whether to use the two-telescope set up or not, which are the instruments that would give us the information about which side of the galaxy the photon passed). We have delayed this choice until a time long after the particles “have passed by one side of the galaxy, or the other side of the galaxy, or both sides of the galaxy,” so to speak. Yet, it seems paradoxically that our later choice of whether to obtain this information determines which side of the galaxy the light passed, so to speak, billions of years ago. So it seems that time has nothing to do with effects of quantum mechanics. And, indeed, the original thought experiment was not based on any analysis of how particles evolve and behave over time – it was based on the mathematics. This is what the mathematics predicted for a result, and this is exactly the result obtained in the laboratory.
    http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....choice.htm

    Quantum mind–body problem
    Parallels between quantum mechanics and mind/body dualism were first drawn by the founders of quantum mechanics including Erwin Schrödinger, Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli, Niels Bohr, and Eugene Wigner
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q.....dy_problem

    “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.” Eugene Wigner (1902 -1995) from his collection of essays “Symmetries and Reflections – Scientific Essays”; Eugene Wigner laid the foundation for the theory of symmetries in quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963.
    http://eugene-wigner.co.tv/

    Here is Wigner commenting on his Nobel Prize winning work on quantum symmetries:

    Eugene Wigner
    Excerpt: To express this basic experience in a more direct way: the world does not have a privileged center, there is no absolute rest, preferred direction, unique origin of calendar time, even left and right seem to be rather symmetric. The interference of electrons, photons, neutrons has indicated that the state of a particle can be described by a vector possessing a certain number of components. As the observer is replaced by another observer (working elsewhere, looking at a different direction, using another clock, perhaps being left-handed), the state of the very same particle is described by another vector, obtained from the previous vector by multiplying it with a matrix. This matrix transfers from one observer to another.
    http://www.reak.bme.hu/Wigner_.....io/wb1.htm

    i.e. In the experiment the ‘world’ (i.e. the universe) does not have a ‘privileged center’. Yet strangely, the conscious observer does exhibit a ‘privileged center’. This is since the ‘matrix’, which determines which vector will be used to describe the particle in the experiment, is ‘observer-centric’ in its origination! Thus explaining Wigner’s dramatic statement, “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.”

    What drives materialists crazy is that consciousness cannot be seen, tasted, smelled, touched, heard, or studied in a laboratory. But how could it be otherwise? Consciousness is the very thing that is DOING the seeing, the tasting, the smelling, etc… We define material objects by their effect upon our senses – how they feel in our hands, how they appear to our eyes. But we know consciousness simply by BEING it!
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-411601

    Further note:

    The Center Of The Universe Is Life – General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy, and The Shroud Of Turin – updated video
    http://vimeo.com/34084462

    He’s Alive – Dolly Parton – 1989 CMA – music video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbRPWUHM80M

  27. Maybe that’s true, but I come here to learn. Since one of the purposes of this site is (I assume) to convince people of the ID view of the world, one would think people here would benefit from some feedback. Part of my job is to teach and communicate software engineering practices, and I benefit enormously from honest feedback from my students on how better to present new concepts and ideas.

    If ID wants to present its best face to the world, then it needs to do a far better job of communications (IMHO first order of the day should be to find a real qualified science writer…)

  28. Convince people? Via a blog? Fortunately most people are already convinced by the design inference.

    But yes perhaps we need someone to write a nice glossy narrative, a story woven by a science-writer- not.

    Look if evolutionists want to be taken seriously they need to focus not only on their communication, but also their evidence.

    Thanks fer playin’…

  29. Dawkins’ point is that there is nothing intrinsically unscientific about proposing intelligent design as a hypothesis to account for life. Proposing a non-material designer, however, is, because there are no tests for a non-material designer, as IDists freely acknowledge – ID, as people keep reminding us, is not about the identity of the designer but about the detection of design.

    You are sadly mistaken as IDists do not know the “nature” of the designer. What we do say is let the evidence lead and if it leads to the metaphysical then so be it.

    That is what science demands.

  30. Look if evolutionists want to be taken seriously …

    You’re right. No-one, but no-one, takes evolution seriously. Sob! If only there were some way of getting its message across. Some kind of journal(s), maybe; maybe run some classes …

  31. Liz: “What was the store (Dawkins) gave away.”

    He gave away any claim to rationality and scientific objectivity.

    By injecting the irrelevant subject of God (and space aliens) into a scientific discussion about ID methods, and then by refusing to allow the same Divine foot in the door that he, himself, placed there, he dramatizes his mindless commitment to materialism and the fact that no amount of evidence to the contrary could move him from that position.

  32. Wood:

    There is no contradiction. NCSE, Talk Origins etc have shown themselves consistently misleading and in some cases outright deceptive on matters related to design theory. So, their word, uncorroborated, cannot stand.

    That is a note on the general problem, not a remark on the circumstances of Dr Dembski and Baylor. (My opinion on that is that there was probably enough blame to go around, as is the usual case in any messy situation as played out, but it is especially obvious that something was very wrong with the institution. Certainly, a glance in the long delayed proceedings of the conference shows me that this should have been COMMENDED, not an occasion for breaking up a centre and dismissing the man who headed it. It reminds me of a place I know where employees too often and with reason said that no one who tries to do something outstandingly good will go unpunished.)

    As touching the undersigned, the problem was that I have been falsely accused, and strawmanniswed, and the issue that has been put on the table, that there is something that we can easily enough recognise — Functionally Specific, Complex Organisation and associated Information [FSCO/I] — that is being trashed rhetorically because it cuts across agendas, surprise (NOT), associated with the very same NCSE etc. In appealing tot he merits of fact and logic, I can simply point to posts in this thread as cases in point of string-organised data elements that are long enough to be complex and are specifically and functionally organised in accord with the rules of English and the context of this thread. Those cases in point are all produced by intelligence, a pattern that turns out to be general across billions of test cases.

    Further to this, there is no known process where chance and necessity, acting on relevant components, would produce such on the resources of our solar system or the observed cosmos as a whole, across their reasonable lifespan to date. (And, onlookers, I am forced to be so specific, detailed and meticulous in statements as the slightest perceived gap will be pounced on, much as the short remark on the problem of sources above was.)

    Indeed, there is analysis that shows why that is so.

    Consequently, the attempt to personalise and attack the source in this case is an Alinskyite smear tactic, not a serious response on the merits. (Or, have you shown that on this matter, I am in gross error, on observed fact?)

    I repeat, it is abundantly shown, on case after case that the sources I challenged above are often inaccurate and misleading, sometimes even deceptive on the matters related to design theory.

    For instance, NCSE’s Barbara Forrest et al — on right of fair comment, e.g. as warranted here on in context, in UD’s weak argument correctives accessible from this an every UD page, under the Resources tab — are deceptive and falsely accusatory in their repeated assertions and insinuations that design theory and thought are in effect simply repackaged Bible-based creationism in a cheap tuxedo, towards imposition of a right wing anti-science theocracy on education and the civilisation. Similarly, starting from how they define “evolution,” Talk Origins is highly manipulative. Going further, on this topic, Wikipedia is biased, and misleading to the point of being propaganda, also stiffly resisting correction of what one might have thought were mere errors. To simply contrast its article on Intelligent Design with that at NWE, is quite illuminating on this point.

    So, even where facts are accurate, the context and invited conclusion may well be highly misleading. That is, it is fair for me to notify the naive onlooker that the sources being used are not to be taken at face value. Which is what I did.

    I trust the difference will now be clear to the unbiased onlooker at least.

    Good day

    GEM of TKI

  33. Chas- you have serious reading comprehension issues. Also there isn’t anything in any peer-reviewed journal that sez accumulations of random mutations can construct new, useful multi-protein configurations. And definitely nothing that says a knuckle-walker can evolve into an upright biped.

    THAT is why no one take evolutionists seriously- no evidence to support their grand claims.

  34. . . . there is nothing intrinsically unscientific about proposing intelligent design as a hypothesis to account for life. Proposing a non-material designer, however, is, because there are no tests for a non-material designer . . .

    So, how are the four forces of nature material? Science seems to have discovered them just fine.

  35. Physical, then.

    Obviously there is far more to the world than literal matter.

  36. And what evidence “leads to” (or could) “to the metaphysical”?

  37. Woodford’s comments are at least 60% constructive.

  38. He gave away any claim to rationality and scientific objectivity.

    By injecting the irrelevant subject of God (and space aliens) into a scientific discussion about ID methods, and then by refusing to allow the same Divine foot in the door that he, himself, placed there, he dramatizes his mindless commitment to materialism and the fact that no amount of evidence to the contrary could move him from that position.

    But he didn’t inject the subject of God! He was repeatedly, and idiotically IMO, goaded by Ben Stein into answering, consistently, that he didn’t believe in any gods.

    He was also asked whether he would countenance, in principle, an Intelligent Design hypothesis. And, quite rightly, he said he would (it’s a widespread myth that scientists cannot, or will not, deal with Intelligent Design hypotheses, which Dawkins put to rest in this interview, only to be widely, and bizarrely, misunderstood).

    In other words, he doesn’t rule out the possibility that intelligence was involved in the design of life on earth, but, again, rightly, points out that this would merely push the question back as to the origin of the designers, and posits that such designers would have themselves have evolved by Darwinian processes.

    Absolutely standard. I’d say the same myself. What store are we supposed to have given away?

  39. So when ID leaders talk about materialism, that entails the rejection of the four forces of nature? Can you name anyone who qualifies as a materialist under that definition?

  40. @Elizabeth,

    How are the four forces physical? They affect physical objects, but without material, they cannot themselves be called ‘physical’ (in a relevant sense to what we’re talking about), unless you intend the very obvious equivocation anyway.

    But if you only mean that affecting matter is the standard, then the intelligent designer is thought to affect matter as well, and so is also physical.

    Unless I just didn’t get what you meant, you haven’t done anything to solve the problem.

    Can, or can science not, conclude or infer from physical, material reality what is not material? If not, then you’d have to throw out the four forces as an unscientific conclusion.

  41. R0bb,

    If your comment/question was directed at me, then I think you’ve misunderstood my point. If you read my subsequent reply to Elizabeth I think you’ll see it.

    If she and others think that ID can’t be science because we infer a non-material designer, then by the same standard MATERIALISTS would be forced to dump the four forces.

  42. The ‘store’ is the “we’ll consider any outlandish and unsupportable conclusions with no scientifically verifiable warrant (and under their breath) as long as it isn’t a capital “D” Designer conclusion” store.

  43. “such designers would have themselves have evolved by Darwinian processes” – Elizabeth (hiccup)

    You’ve ‘given away the store’ (as crudely ‘USAmerican’ as that sounds to me) of being entirely objectivistic. We live in an age where a ‘double hermeneutic’ is widely recognized, if not widely understood. (Pure) Objectivism is a ridiculous fantasy held by people who don’t understand their subjectivity and how it intervenes in their ‘science.’

    You hold to a myth, Elisabeth, of neuro-science neutrality that denies the reflexivity of agents, personalities and ideologies. Dehumanisation is a regular feature of neuro-science (neuro-law, cognitive studies, etc.). This was confirmed to me by the Western European neuro-scientist/administrator that I had dinner with last night.

    Dawkins is a kindergartener wrt ideology and philosophy. He is not really worth much of the time that people give to him and his agnostic-atheism. (Natural) Science was built on the view that the world is understandable because it was ‘created’ by a Mind, not just by random chance without greater (or simpler) meaning.

    But I thought this thread was about Dembski’s ‘troubles’ and his ‘Waterloo moment’ and how the ground shifted on ID when ‘triumph’ and ‘freedom’ was prematurely announced? Only champignon seems to have faced this, with the disheveled ID fans attacking the person, not the evidence.

    To re-emphasize, 1.2 was not said lightly. The ground will shift again.
    - Gr.

  44. You hold to a myth, Elisabeth, of neuro-science neutrality that denies the reflexivity of agents, personalities and ideologies. Dehumanisation is a regular feature of neuro-science (neuro-law, cognitive studies, etc.). This was confirmed to me by the Western European neuro-scientist/administrator that I had dinner with last night.

    I don’t recognise the myth you say I hold to, Gregory.

    Can you explain in more detail what you think it is I deny, becaue I’m pretty sure I don’t deny it!

    Dawkins is a kindergartener wrt ideology and philosophy. He is not really worth much of the time that people give to him and his agnostic-atheism. (Natural) Science was built on the view that the world is understandable because it was ‘created’ by a Mind, not just by random chance without greater (or simpler) meaning.

    I agree that Dawkins isn’t much of a philosopher, and I disagree with him on a great deal. But I also disagree with you that “Science was built on the view that the world is understandable because it was ‘created’ by a Mind, not just by random chance without greater (or simpler) meaning.”

    I mean, it’s possible that early scientists made that assumption, but it is not an assumption required by science. The basic assumption of science is that phenomena can be explained/predicted by other phenomena.

    No Creator Mind need be posited.

  45. And on what do you ground the assumption that one type of phenomenon will reliably lead to another particular phenomenon every time? Obviously we havent performed an infinite number of experiments throughout all time to know that is the case. Why is there predictable regularity in nature at all?

  46. Liz: “I mean, it’s possible that early scientists made that assumption,” (The mind of a Creator)

    Possible??? It is an unassailable fact. The early scientists persisted through multiple frustrations, defeats, and failures because they were convinced that the Creator fashioned a rational universe that was ripe for discovery.

    …”but it is not an assumption required by science.”

    Well, yes and no. From the standpoint of scientific methodology, your statement is true, but from the standpoint of rationality and the philosophy of science, it is not true. As a matter of underlying metaphysical principle, the scientist cannot function without assuming the rationality of the universe, which means, among other things, acknowledging that the laws of causality and non-contradiction are true.

    In keeping with those same rational principles, a law cannot exist without a lawgiver and, in that same sense, a rational universe that corresponds to our rational minds cannot exist without a Divine mind that orders one realm to the other. Many modern scientists disagree, of course, but these are the same irrational, anti-ID partisans who suspend reason’s rules and advance the ridiculous proposition that a universe can create itself.

    – “No Creator Mind need be posited.”

    Again, from a methodological standpoint, that is true. If we assumed apriori the presence of a Creator’s mind, the design inference to a designing intelligence would be a mere tautology.

    On the other hand, any rational person should be able to understand that the rationality of the universe comes from a rational source. The law of causality requires it. In that sense, ID science confirms that which sound philosophy has already established.

  47. kairosfocus scores an own goal:

    Consequently, the attempt to personalise and attack the source in this case is an Alinskyite smear tactic, not a serious response on the merits. (Or, have you shown that on this matter, I am in gross error, on observed fact?)

    Make a slight substitution, KF:

    Consequently, the attempt to personalise and attack the NCSE in this case is an Alinskyite smear tactic, not a serious response on the merits. (Or, have you shown that on this matter, the NCSE is in gross error, on observed fact?)

    LOL.

  48. —Gregory: “A solution to the most important piece to the puzzle about ‘intelligent design’ in the past decade (including anything Dembski himself has contributed) was found yesterday, in a hotel lounge in Eastern Europe, during a discussion about ‘interdisciplinarity’.

    —”Ironically, during some of the presentations given at the conference that provided the background for the ‘discovery,’ the terms ‘Inter-Disciplinarity’ and ‘Inter-Disciplinary’ were shorthanded to ‘ID.’”

    What is this piece to the puzzle? Why does it matter?

    –”With the creator(s) of this thread, we are agreed that “Trouble happens when they find out you mean business,” i.e. that you take seriously the ideas and perspectives that they hold, interepting them and the evidence in new ways. However, Dembski’s interpretation that “Naturalism currently dominates science” doesn’t hold sway the same way outside of ‘natural sciences.’”

    –”There is thus another story waiting to be told.”

    What is wrong with Dembski’s “interpretations?” Who disagrees with them and why?

  49. Are you the same person who wrote the following, who thinks you should be taken seriously, as if Dembski cannot be disagreed with (and surpassed!) by honest scholars or that a ‘neo-ID’ theory is not possible?

    “when I write about the ID world view, I am referring to the belief or attitude that biological design is real, that it is detectable, and that its effects can be measured.”

  50. Well, yes and no. From the standpoint of scientific methodology, your statement is true,

    Yes, it is.

    but from the standpoint of rationality and the philosophy of science, it is not true. As a matter of underlying metaphysical principle, the scientist cannot function without assuming the rationality of the universe, which means, among other things, acknowledging that the laws of causality and non-contradiction are true.

    What a scientist assumes is what I said: “…that phenomena can be explained/predicted by other phenomena.”

    To infer a law-giver from what are called in science “laws”, is simple equivocation. A scientific law is simply an equation that relates observed phenomena, and appears to hold true over a certain range of values.

  51. I will ask you again lizzie,
    Why is there regularity in nature at all?

  52. Why should we expect these regularities to keep holding in the future? What grounds them?

  53. I don’t know why there is regularity in nature.

  54. “I dont know why there is regularity in nature”

    I do. ;-)

  55. Your arrogance is writing checks that your powers of analysis cannot cash. Yes, I am the same person who wrote that comment and who also found it necessary to provide remedial education for you on the difference between a global world view and a scientific paradigm. For some strange reason, you seem to have cultivated the puerile notion that sneering at concepts you don’t understand constitutes some kind of a counter argument.

    I didn’t ask you to explain what you meant in the preceding paragraphs in order to start a flame war. On the contrary, I was simply trying to let you know, without calling attention to the fact, that you did not articulate your views in a comprehensible way. Indeed, your latest foray into the English language is a clumsy mix of half-formed thoughts crying out for a theme.

    With respect to your earlier comments, you need to make some kind of sense out of them:

    –[a] “A solution to the most important piece to the puzzle about ‘intelligent design’ in the past decade (including anything Dembski himself has contributed) was found yesterday, in a hotel lounge in Eastern Europe, during a discussion about ‘interdisciplinarity’.”

    No one knows what you are talking about. Try to think in terms of an argument. It will clear your mind.

    –[b]”Ironically, during some of the presentations given at the conference that provided the background for the ‘discovery,’ the terms ‘Inter-Disciplinarity’ and ‘Inter-Disciplinary’ were shorthanded to ‘ID.’”

    Why do you wander around in a linguistic fog? Come on out into the clear air of rationality and explain your terms and define the relationship between (among) them.

    –”With the creator(s) of this thread, we are agreed that “Trouble happens when they find out you mean business,” i.e. that you take seriously the ideas and perspectives that they hold, interepting them and the evidence in new ways. However, Dembski’s interpretation that “Naturalism currently dominates science” doesn’t hold sway the same way outside of ‘natural sciences.’”

    What’s wrong with Dembski’s interpretations? Who disgrees with them and why?

    –”There is thus another story waiting to be told.”

    Well, then, why don’t you provide an abbreviated account of that story.

  56. way to go, stephenb! don’t let them get away with that!

  57. To infer a law-giver from what are called in science “laws”, is simple equivocation.

    No. It is not an equivocation at all. It is using a metaphor to ask about a metaphor. Both metaphors hold. There are “laws” of nature, and there need to be explanations for those “laws”. It is irrational to just say they just happen to exist, brute fact, nothing to see here, which is what scientists admit when they scramble to explain the fine-tuning of the universe. These laws need an explanation just as the fine-tuning does.

  58. –Liz: “What a scientist assumes is what I said: “…that phenomena can be explained/predicted by other phenomena.”

    Everyone knows that phenomena CAN BE (and usually are) explained by other phenomena. The question is whether, as a rule of science, phenomena MUST ALWAYS be explained by other phenomena. The answer is no. That dubious formulation comes from materialist ideology expressed as methodological naturalism. If a scientist could observe Moses parting the waters, he would be under no obligation to attribute the event to natural causes. Indeed, If what you said was true, archeology, which studies phenomena as the effects of human intelligence, would not be science.

    On the other hand, the rules of reason that I described earlier are, indeed, absolutely necessary for science. You have injected that which is optional to science and withdrawn that which is essential. The rules of right reason are non-negotiable foundations for modern science.

    –”To infer a law-giver from what are called in science “laws”, is simple equivocation. A scientific law is simply an equation that relates observed phenomena, and appears to hold true over a certain range of values.”

    A law is a subjective human description of the objective regularity found in nature. The regularity thus described exists independently the mathematics of human description. The earth would orbit the sun even if no one on earth knew about it or tried to measure it. That regularity, given the contingent nature of the universe, had to be caused.

  59. @Brent#7.1.2.1.5,

    Law has (at least) two meanings: a descriptive one (“science studies physical law”) and a prescriptive one (“Congress enacted a law requiring seltbeats”). This is the equivocation you are deploying. It’s not a metaphor being used — a physical law is not analogous to a civil law, law imposed by a will or some political power.

    The “law” in physical law is descriptive and gets its “ruleness” by virtue of its consistency, the absence of exceptions in natural phenomena. The Second Law of Thermodynamics does NOT use “law” in the prescriptive sense (i.e., referring to a law-giver); science is necessarily silent on such questions insofar as a law-giver is not itself a natural phenomenon that can be incorporated into a natural model.

    As for happen to exist, again, I think you are confusing some positive argument for “just happens” with ignorance regarding any transcendant metaphysic. We just don’t know the provenance of physical laws (the descriptive kind), and do not have a way to know, even in principle. So, “don’t know” is as far as we can get, epistemically.

    Philosophically, though, “just is” cannot be ipso facto irrational, as without it, one immediately falls into infinite regress. For a theist, for example, God “just is”, and needs no Designer. If God can be a brute fact — or perhaps you have an answer for ‘who made God’ rather than ‘God is a necessary, eternal something-or-other? — so can physical law. If physical law must be explained in terms of its provenance, so must all gods, or anything else. And that’s demonstrably a fool’s errand, as any explanation for physical law, or a god is immediately subject to vicious regress — how did *that* come to be? And on and on.

    The explanatory chain must terminate somewhere, necessarily. The absurdity obtains in what you appear to demand, vicious, infinite regress.

  60. I would say that the older laws of physics were indeed approximations/descriptions, but now, the closer we get to the foundation of reality itself, especially since particle/waves are shown to reduce to transcendent information in teleportation experiments (i.e The Word as predicted in John 1:1), then I would have to say that many mathematical formulations are going beyond mere approximations and are actually describing the actual, real-time, actions of information. There is a correspondence that is far tighter than mere approximation. In fact they were able to state this in regards to quantum mechanics:

    An experimental test of all theories with predictive power beyond quantum theory – May 2011
    Excerpt: Hence, we can immediately refute any already considered or yet-to-be-proposed alternative model with more predictive power than this (quantum theory).
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1105.0133

    That is a fairly dramatic staement within science to say the least!

  61. Eigenstate,
    There is no analogy between God and the laws of nature. The laws of nature being a contingent property of a contingent universe require an explanation. There really is no metaphysical necessity in them. I could easily conceive of a universe with no consistent laws at all. The necessity of God is show by realizing that there cant be an infinite regress of contingent causes. The chain has to terminate and that first member could not have an external cause because if it did then it would lead to that infinite regress again. So it would have to be a necessary being. Its explanation would lie in the fact that it has to exist since there cant be an infinite regress. That first member is what we call God. In contrast you would be hard pressed to show that the laws of nature have to exist.

  62. The following mathematical formulation is very intriguing :

    The following is the equation that is found to, mysteriously, correspond deeply to the ‘macro’ structure of the universe:

    0 = 1 + e ^(i*pi) — Euler

    Believe it or not, the five most important numbers in mathematics are tied together, through the complex domain in Euler’s number, And that points, ever so subtly but strongly, to a world of reality beyond the immediately physical. Many people resist the implications, but there the compass needle points to a transcendent reality that governs our 3D ‘physical’ reality.

    God by the Numbers – Connecting the constants
    Excerpt: The final number comes from theoretical mathematics. It is Euler’s (pronounced “Oiler’s”) number: e*pi*i. This number is equal to -1, so when the formula is written e*pi*i+1 = 0, it connects the five most important constants in mathematics (e, pi, i, 0, and 1) along with three of the most important mathematical operations (addition, multiplication, and exponentiation). These five constants symbolize the four major branches of classical mathematics: arithmetic, represented by 1 and 0; algebra, by i; geometry, by pi; and analysis, by e, the base of the natural log. e*pi*i+1 = 0 has been called “the most famous of all formulas,” because, as one textbook says, “It appeals equally to the mystic, the scientist, the philosopher, and the mathematician.”
    http://www.christianitytoday.c.....ml?start=3

    (of note; Euler’s Number (equation) is more properly called Euler’s Identity in math circles.)

    Moreover Euler’s Identity, rather than just being the most enigmatic equation in math, finds striking correlation to how our 3D reality is actually structured,,,

    The following picture, Bible verse, and video are very interesting since, with the discovery of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR), the universe is found to actually be a circular sphere which ‘coincidentally’ corresponds to the circle of pi within Euler’s identity:

    Picture of CMBR
    https://webspace.utexas.edu/reyesr/SolarSystem/cmbr.jpg

    Proverbs 8:26-27
    While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, or the primeval dust of the world. When He prepared the heavens, I was there, when He drew a circle on the face of the deep,

    The Known Universe by AMNH – video – (please note the ‘centrality’ of the Earth in the universe in the video)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17jymDn0W6U

    The flatness of the ‘entire’ universe, which ‘coincidentally’ corresponds to the diameter of pi in Euler’s identity, is found on this following site; (of note this flatness of the universe is an extremely finely tuned condition for the universe that could have, in reality, been a multitude of different values than ‘flat’):

    Did the Universe Hyperinflate? – Hugh Ross – April 2010
    Excerpt: Perfect geometric flatness is where the space-time surface of the universe exhibits zero curvature (see figure 3). Two meaningful measurements of the universe’s curvature parameter, ½k, exist. Analysis of the 5-year database from WMAP establishes that -0.0170 < ½k < 0.0068.4 Weak gravitational lensing of distant quasars by intervening galaxies places -0.031 < ½k < 0.009.5 Both measurements confirm the universe indeed manifests zero or very close to zero geometric curvature,,,
    http://www.reasons.org/did-universe-hyperinflate

    This following video, which I’ve listed previously, shows that the universe also has a primary characteristic of expanding/growing equally in all places,, which ‘coincidentally’ strongly corresponds to the ‘e’ in Euler’s identity. ‘e’ is the constant that is used in all sorts of equations of math for finding what the true rates of growth and decay are for any given mathematical problem trying to find as such in this universe:

    Every 3D Place Is Center In This Universe – 4D space/time – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3991873/

    This following video shows how finely tuned the ’4-Dimensional’ expansion of the universe is (1 in 10^120);

    Fine Tuning Of Dark Energy and Mass of the Universe – Hugh Ross – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4007682

    Towards the end of the following video, Michael Denton speaks of the square root of negative 1 being necessary to understand the foundational quantum behavior of this universe. The square root of -1 is also ‘coincidentally’ found in Euler’s identity:

    Michael Denton – Mathematical Truths Are Transcendent And Beautiful – Square root of -1 is built into the fabric of reality – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4003918

    I find it extremely strange that the enigmatic Euler’s identity, which was deduced centuries ago, would find such striking correlation to how reality is actually found to be structured by modern science. In pi we have correlation to the ‘sphere of the universe’ as revealed by the Cosmic Background radiation, as well pi correlates to the finely-tuned ‘geometric flatness’ within the ‘sphere of the universe’ that has now been found. In ‘e’ we have the fundamental constant that is used for ascertaining exponential growth in math that strongly correlates to the fact that space-time is ‘expanding/growing equally’ in all places of the universe. In the square root of -1 we have what is termed a ‘imaginary number’, which was first proposed to help solve equations like x2+ 1 = 0 back in the 17th century, yet now, as Michael Denton pointed out in the preceding video, it is found that the square root of -1 is required to explain the behavior of quantum mechanics in this universe. The correlation of Euler’s identity, to the foundational characteristics of how this universe is constructed and operates, points overwhelmingly to a transcendent Intelligence, with a capital I, which created this universe! It should also be noted that these universal constants, pi,e, and square root -1, were at first thought by many to be completely transcendent of any material basis, to find that these transcendent constants of Euler’s identity in fact ‘govern’ material reality, in such a foundational way, should be enough to send shivers down any mathematicians spine.

  63. further notes as to the exact equations:

    in the equation e^pi*i + 1 = 0

    ,,,we find that pi is required in;

    General Relativity (Einstein’s Equation)
    https://docs.google.com/File?id=dc8z67wz_52c9nxpz2h_b

    ,,,and we also find that the square root of negative 1 is required in;

    Quantum Mechanics (Schrödinger’s Equations)
    https://docs.google.com/File?id=dc8z67wz_51ck47zff3_b

    ,,and we also find that e is required for;

    e is required here in wave equations, in finding the distribution of prime numbers, in electrical theory, and is also found to be foundational to trigonometry.,,,

    The various uses and equations of ‘e’ are listed at the bottom of the following page:
    http://www.biblemaths.com/pag03_pie/img0.gif

    quote:

    “Like a Shakespearean sonnet that captures the very essence of love, or a painting that brings out the beauty of the human form that is far more than just skin deep, Euler’s Equation reaches down into the very depths of existence.”
    Stanford University mathematics professor – Dr. Keith Devlin
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.....cal_beauty

    Here is a very well done video, showing the stringent ‘mathematical proofs’ of Euler’s Identity:

    Euler’s identity – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zApx1UlkpNs

    The mystery doesn’t stop there, this following video shows how pi and e are found in Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1

    This following website, and video, has the complete working out of the math of Pi and e in the Bible, in the Hebrew and Greek languages respectively, for Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1:
    http://www.biblemaths.com/pag03_pie/

    Fascinating Bible code – Pi and natural log – Amazing video (of note: correct exponent for base of Nat Log found in John 1:1 is 10^40, not 10^65 as stated in the video)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wg9LiiSVae

  64. @kuartus#7.1.2.1.9,

    There is no analogy between God and the laws of nature. The laws of nature being a contingent property of a contingent universe require an explanation.

    Not if those laws are transcendant, eternal, brute. If God gets a pass, you’ve just let “physical law” run by you. And something must be the explanatory endpoint. Else you are stuck in a vicious regress of explanations. Physical law is/can be just as necessary as any kind of necessity you wish to ascribe to God.

    There really is no metaphysical necessity in them. I could easily conceive of a universe with no consistent laws at all. The necessity of God is show by realizing that there cant be an infinite regress of contingent causes.

    None of which works against the “necessity of physical law”. Again, if God can, law can.

    The chain has to terminate and that first member could not have an external cause because if it did then it would lead to that infinite regress again. So it would have to be a necessary being.

    There’s nothing that entails “being” in any of this. Necessary law is just as metaphysically warranted as “necessary God” or “necessary being”. Which is to say it’s totally inscrutable for humans, but the salient point is that it’s special pleading to ascribe necessity to a God or a mind or a will.

    Its explanation would lie in the fact that it has to exist since there cant be an infinite regress. That first member is what we call God. In contrast you would be hard pressed to show that the laws of nature have to exist.

    Well, I don’t mind calling impersonal, physical law, devoid of mind or will, “God”, if you prefer that. That’s fine, as long as we are clear about what we are referring to. I don’t even attempt to show that physical law is transcendentally necessary, any more than I attempt to show that other “God” forms, (Gods with minds, will, etc.) are transcendentally necessary. That’s totally opaque to humans, and we can’t investigate it even in principle. If we could, we have a transcendental paradox, and now have to answer the question: “why is THAT existing in the way it does?” Regress again.

    It’s a very tight algorithm, with no way out. You have to terminate at something “brute”. Law does just as well as “Yahweh” (and better in terms of parsimony!) or “Allah”. Saying it has to have a mind, or must not have a mind, just beckons regress. Why a mind? Why no mind? It can’t be answered with anything that doesn’t itself demand a deeper answer.

  65. eigenstate, you certainly seem to be cutting off your nose to spite your face when you state dogmatic stuff like this:

    we can’t investigate it even in principle

    As Tonto said to the Lone Ranger in that old joke,

    “who’s WE pale face???”, I find reality, especially in this day and age, very amendable to a curious mind that is willing to dig a bit!

  66. for instance eigenstate you dogmatically stated this;

    Saying it has to have a mind, or must not have a mind, just beckons regress. Why a mind? Why no mind? It can’t be answered with anything that doesn’t itself demand a deeper answer.

    Yet contrary to the imaginary brick wall you have erected in your mind that says the question cannot be answered, I find this:

    The argument for God from consciousness can be framed like this:

    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    references:

    Quantum mind–body problem
    Excerpt:Parallels between quantum mechanics and mind/body dualism were first drawn by the founders of quantum mechanics including Erwin Schrödinger, Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli, Niels Bohr, and Eugene Wigner
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q.....dy_problem

    Dr. Quantum – Double Slit Experiment & Entanglement – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4096579

    The Mental Universe – Richard Conn Henry – Professor of Physics John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: The only reality is mind and observations, but observations are not of things. To see the Universe as it really is, we must abandon our tendency to conceptualize observations as things.,,, Physicists shy away from the truth because the truth is so alien to everyday physics. A common way to evade the mental universe is to invoke “decoherence” – the notion that “the physical environment” is sufficient to create reality, independent of the human mind. Yet the idea that any irreversible act of amplification is necessary to collapse the wave function is known to be wrong: in “Renninger-type” experiments, the wave function is collapsed simply by your human mind seeing nothing. The universe is entirely mental,,,, The Universe is immaterial — mental and spiritual. Live, and enjoy.
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/The.mental.universe.pdf

    Wheeler’s Classic Delayed Choice Experiment:
    Excerpt: Now, for many billions of years the photon is in transit in region 3. Yet we can choose (many billions of years later) which experimental set up to employ – the single wide-focus, or the two narrowly focused instruments. We have chosen whether to know which side of the galaxy the photon passed by (by choosing whether to use the two-telescope set up or not, which are the instruments that would give us the information about which side of the galaxy the photon passed). We have delayed this choice until a time long after the particles “have passed by one side of the galaxy, or the other side of the galaxy, or both sides of the galaxy,” so to speak. Yet, it seems paradoxically that our later choice of whether to obtain this information determines which side of the galaxy the light passed, so to speak, billions of years ago. So it seems that time has nothing to do with effects of quantum mechanics. And, indeed, the original thought experiment was not based on any analysis of how particles evolve and behave over time – it was based on the mathematics. This is what the mathematics predicted for a result, and this is exactly the result obtained in the laboratory.
    http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....choice.htm

    “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.”
    Eugene Wigner (1902 -1995) from his collection of essays “Symmetries and Reflections – Scientific Essays”; Eugene Wigner laid the foundation for the theory of symmetries in quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963.

    Here is the key experiment that led Wigner to his Nobel Prize winning work on quantum symmetries:

    Eugene Wigner
    Excerpt: To express this basic experience in a more direct way: the world does not have a privileged center, there is no absolute rest, preferred direction, unique origin of calendar time, even left and right seem to be rather symmetric. The interference of electrons, photons, neutrons has indicated that the state of a particle can be described by a vector possessing a certain number of components. As the observer is replaced by another observer (working elsewhere, looking at a different direction, using another clock, perhaps being left-handed), the state of the very same particle is described by another vector, obtained from the previous vector by multiplying it with a matrix. This matrix transfers from one observer to another.
    http://www.reak.bme.hu/Wigner_.....io/wb1.htm

    i.e. In the experiment the ‘world’ (i.e. the universe) does not have a ‘privileged center’. Yet strangely, the conscious observer does exhibit a ‘privileged center’. This is since the ‘matrix’, which determines which vector will be used to describe the particle in the experiment, is ‘observer-centric’ in its origination! Thus explaining Wigner’s dramatic statement, “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.”

    Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness – Richard Conn Henry – Professor of Physics – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: It is more than 80 years since the discovery of quantum mechanics gave us the most fundamental insight ever into our nature: the overturning of the Copernican Revolution, and the restoration of us human beings to centrality in the Universe.
    And yet, have you ever before read a sentence having meaning similar to that of my preceding sentence? Likely you have not, and the reason you have not is, in my opinion, that physicists are in a state of denial…
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-designer/

    What drives materialists crazy is that consciousness cannot be seen, tasted, smelled, touched, heard, or studied in a laboratory. But how could it be otherwise? Consciousness is the very thing that is DOING the seeing, the tasting, the smelling, etc… We define material objects by their effect upon our senses – how they feel in our hands, how they appear to our eyes. But we know consciousness simply by BEING it!
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-411601

    Moreover, The ‘Mind’ on the other end of our mind, that precedes quantum wave collapse, possesses infinite information:

    Quantum Computing – Stanford Encyclopedia
    Excerpt: a single qubit can store an infinite amount of information, yet when measured (and thus collapsing the Quantum Wave state) it yields only the classical result (0 or 1),,,
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entr.....tcomp/#2.1

  67. @BA77,

    The argument for God from consciousness can be framed like this:

    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    No on #3. Consciousness is not even part of our existing models, let alone special or exceptional within a material framework. That’s the conclusion of the materialist, that consciousness is epi-phenomenal, emergent, fully material (hence the name “materialist”).

    So you’ve quite conspicuously assumed the very thing you are trying to argue for in #3. Here’s a good way to prove to yourself that your #3 is not sound — try to define the terms used. What does it mean in formal terms for consciousness (never mind for now that we don’t have a working model for consciousness in science to begin with!) to be “special”, or “central” or “positioned”. I predict you will find that your definitions are casual, vague, subjective, and intuitive — totally inoperative for the purposes before you, here, in other words. Of course consciousness feels super-duper central to you, a conscious being!

    The argument, as you’ve stated it, doesn’t understand and cannot develop its own crucial terms. Fail.

  68. @BA77#7.1.2.1.13,

    eigenstate, you certainly seem to be cutting off your nose to spite your face when you state dogmatic stuff like this:

    we can’t investigate it even in principle

    As Tonto said to the Lone Ranger in that old joke,

    “who’s WE pale face???”, I find reality, especially in this day and age, very amendable to a curious mind that is willing to dig a bit!

    Curiosity is not the problem. That’s what drives science! Epistemology is the problem, and it’s an intractable problem for you, just as it is for me. You can’t get “outside the universe”, by definition. If you did get “out there”, you’d be “in there”, by definition. ‘Universe’ encloses our epistemology.

    If that’s the case, being CURIOUS won’t help you at all. That’s to totally misunderstand the problem. Curious or no, you can’t get beyond the limits of the universe, and that means that epistemically, you cannot gain any dispositive evidence that will qualify one metaphysical conjecture and disqualify others.

    That was why I used the “in principle”, there. If it were a matter of curiosity, it would just be a practical challenge, not a problem in principle.

  69. @eigenstate 7.1.2.1.12
    Your objections seem misconceived. You yourself said the laws of physics were just descriptions of how nature behaves. I would agree with that. But that being the case, the laws of nature cant be transcendent in the sense that God is. How can there be descriptions of nature’s behavior aside or apart from a universe they describe? Without nature there are no laws of nature. They are not transcendant and in fact have no causal power.
    Physical laws are not necessary since they are descriptions of a universe which need not have existed and indeed did not always exist.
    Also we dont need to worry about an infinite regress when we arrive at God. Remember, everything that exists has an explanation of its existence,either in an external cause or in the necessity of its own nature. There is no necessity in the nature of physical laws. They can fail to exist. They require an explanation in an external cause. And no one is saying that God has no explanation. His explanation lies in the necessity of his own nature. Again no analogy between God and laws since it hasnt been shown that laws must exist.

  70. eigenstate @ 7.1.2.1.7,

    I appreciate your response, but it doesn’t do that much for the case. The fact is, “law” is used both in the prescriptive and descriptive sense for a reason; namely, there are similarities. I mentioned ‘metaphor’, and I think it permissible to do so in this case. They are, in both cases, ‘hard rules’.

    The problem is, as has been pointed out by others already, that these descriptive laws, just like prescriptive laws, do not have the reason for their existence in themselves. They both need an explanation, no matter if you try to say they do not.

    The bigger problem for you (assuming you are a materialist), is to actually say that these descriptive laws do not need an explanation! That defeats materialism! There are, then, real, non-material, i.e. supernatural, forces at work! For the materialist, then, there must be a material explanation behind the laws.

  71. There is that imaginary brick wall again eigenstate, for I indeed did give references, that contrary to what you believe, does show consciousness to be ‘central’, special, positioned, specifically I referenced Wigner’s work on symmetries, but to hash the proof out in more detail for you, (even though you will again probably just appeal to your imaginary brick wall as if that is evidence against reality itself);

    Centrality of Each Observer In The Universe and Christ’s Very Plausible Reconciliation Of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics

    A ‘Christian interpretation’ offers a very plausible, empirically backed, reconciliation of General Relativity with Quantum Mechanics:

    First a little background:

    ,,, First I noticed that the earth demonstrates centrality in the universe in this video Dr. Dembski posted a while back;

    The Known Universe – Dec. 2009 – a very cool video (please note the centrality of the earth in the universe)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17jymDn0W6U

    Job 26:10
    He marks out the horizon on the face of the waters
    for a boundary between light and darkness.

    ,,, for a while I tried to see if the 4-D space-time of General Relativity was sufficient to explain centrality we witness for the earth in the universe,,,

    Where is the centre of the universe?:
    Excerpt: The Big Bang should not be visualized as an ordinary explosion. The universe is not expanding out from a centre into space; rather, the whole universe is expanding and it is doing so equally at all places, as far as we can tell.
    http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/.....entre.html

    ,,,Thus from a 3-dimensional (3D) perspective, any particular 3D spot in the universe is to be considered just as ‘center of the universe’ as any other particular spot in the universe is to be considered ‘center of the universe’. This centrality found for any 3D place in the universe is because the universe is a 4D expanding hypersphere, analogous in 3D to the surface of an expanding balloon. All points on the surface are moving away from each other, and every point is central, if that’s where you live.,,,

    4-Dimensional Space-Time Of General Relativity – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3991873/

    ,,,yet I kept running into the same problem for establishing the sufficiency of General Relativity to explain our centrality in this universe, in that every time I would perform a ‘thought experiment’ of trying radically different points of observation in the universe, General Relativity would fail to maintain centrality for the radically different point of observation in the universe. The primary reason for this failure of General Relativity to maintain centrality, for different points of observation in the universe, is due to the fact that there are limited (10^80) material particles to work with. Though this failure of General Relativity was obvious to me, I needed more proof so as to establish it more rigorously, so I dug around a bit and found this,,,

    The Cauchy Problem In General Relativity – Igor Rodnianski
    Excerpt: 2.2 Large Data Problem In General Relativity – While the result of Choquet-Bruhat and its subsequent refinements guarantee the existence and uniqueness of a (maximal) Cauchy development, they provide no information about its geodesic completeness and thus, in the language of partial differential equations, constitutes a local existence. ,,, More generally, there are a number of conditions that will guarantee the space-time will be geodesically incomplete.,,, In the language of partial differential equations this means an impossibility of a large data global existence result for all initial data in General Relativity.
    http://www.icm2006.org/proceed.....l_3_22.pdf

    ,,,and also ‘serendipitously’ found this,,,

    THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS – DAVID P. GOLDMAN – August 2010
    Excerpt: Gödel’s personal God is under no obligation to behave in a predictable orderly fashion, and Gödel produced what may be the most damaging critique of general relativity. In a Festschrift, (a book honoring Einstein), for Einstein’s seventieth birthday in 1949, Gödel demonstrated the possibility of a special case in which, as Palle Yourgrau described the result, “the large-scale geometry of the world is so warped that there exist space-time curves that bend back on themselves so far that they close; that is, they return to their starting point.” This means that “a highly accelerated spaceship journey along such a closed path, or world line, could only be described as time travel.” In fact, “Gödel worked out the length and time for the journey, as well as the exact speed and fuel requirements.” Gödel, of course, did not actually believe in time travel, but he understood his paper to undermine the Einsteinian worldview from within.
    http://www.firstthings.com/art.....ematicians

    ,,,But if General Relativity is insufficient to explain the centrality we witness for ourselves in the universe, what else is? Universal Quantum wave collapse to each unique point of observation is! To prove this point I dug around a bit and found this experiment,,,

    This following experiment extended the double slit experiment to show that the ‘spooky actions’, for instantaneous quantum wave collapse, happen regardless of any considerations for time or distance i.e. The following experiment shows that quantum actions are ‘universal and instantaneous’ for each observer:

    Wheeler’s Classic Delayed Choice Experiment:
    Excerpt: Now, for many billions of years the photon is in transit in region 3. Yet we can choose (many billions of years later) which experimental set up to employ – the single wide-focus, or the two narrowly focused instruments. We have chosen whether to know which side of the galaxy the photon passed by (by choosing whether to use the two-telescope set up or not, which are the instruments that would give us the information about which side of the galaxy the photon passed). We have delayed this choice until a time long after the particles “have passed by one side of the galaxy, or the other side of the galaxy, or both sides of the galaxy,” so to speak. Yet, it seems paradoxically that our later choice of whether to obtain this information determines which side of the galaxy the light passed, so to speak, billions of years ago. So it seems that time has nothing to do with effects of quantum mechanics. And, indeed, the original thought experiment was not based on any analysis of how particles evolve and behave over time – it was based on the mathematics. This is what the mathematics predicted for a result, and this is exactly the result obtained in the laboratory.
    http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....choice.htm

    Genesis, Quantum Physics and Reality
    Excerpt: Simply put, an experiment on Earth can be made in such a way that it determines if one photon comes along either on the right or the left side or if it comes (as a wave) along both sides of the gravitational lens (of the galaxy) at the same time. However, how could the photons have known billions of years ago that someday there would be an earth with inhabitants on it, making just this experiment? ,,, This is big trouble for the multi-universe theory and for the “hidden-variables” approach.
    http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2.....r.html.ori

    ,,,Shoot, there is even a experiment that shows the preceding quantum experiments will never be overturned by another ‘future’ theory,,,

    An experimental test of all theories with predictive power beyond quantum theory – May 2011
    Excerpt: Hence, we can immediately refute any already considered or yet-to-be-proposed alternative model with more predictive power than this (quantum theory).
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1105.0133

    ,, and to make universal Quantum Wave collapse much more ‘personal’ I found this,,,

    “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.” Eugene Wigner (1902 -1995) from his collection of essays “Symmetries and Reflections – Scientific Essays”; Eugene Wigner laid the foundation for the theory of symmetries in quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963.

    ,,,Here is the key experiment that led Wigner to his Nobel Prize winning work on quantum symmetries,,,

    Eugene Wigner
    Excerpt: To express this basic experience in a more direct way: the world does not have a privileged center, there is no absolute rest, preferred direction, unique origin of calendar time, even left and right seem to be rather symmetric. The interference of electrons, photons, neutrons has indicated that the state of a particle can be described by a vector possessing a certain number of components. As the observer is replaced by another observer (working elsewhere, looking at a different direction, using another clock, perhaps being left-handed), the state of the very same particle is described by another vector, obtained from the previous vector by multiplying it with a matrix. This matrix transfers from one observer to another.
    http://www.reak.bme.hu/Wigner_.....io/wb1.htm

    i.e. In the experiment the ‘world’ (i.e. the universe) does not have a ‘privileged center’. Yet strangely, the conscious observer does exhibit a ‘privileged center’. This is since the ‘matrix’, which determines which vector will be used to describe the particle in the experiment, is ‘observer-centric’ in its origination! Thus explaining Wigner’s dramatic statement, “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.”

    I find it extremely interesting, and strange, that quantum mechanics tells us that instantaneous quantum wave collapse to its ‘uncertain’ 3-D state is centered on each individual observer in the universe, whereas, 4-D space-time cosmology (General Relativity) tells us each 3-D point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe. These findings of modern science are pretty much exactly what we would expect to see if this universe were indeed created, and sustained, from a higher dimension by a omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal Being who knows everything that is happening everywhere in the universe at the same time. These findings certainly seem to go to the very heart of the age old question asked of many parents by their children, “How can God hear everybody’s prayers at the same time?”,,, i.e. Why should the expansion of the universe, or the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe, even care that you or I, or anyone else, should exist? Only Theism offers a rational explanation as to why you or I, or anyone else, should have such undeserved significance in such a vast universe:

    Psalm 33:13-15
    The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.

    Moreover, the argument for God from consciousness can be framed like this:

    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    The expansion of every 3D point in the universe, and the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe to each point of conscious observation in the universe, is obviously a very interesting congruence in science between the very large (relativity) and the very small (quantum mechanics). A congruence that Physicists, and Mathematicians, seem to be having a extremely difficult time ‘unifying’ into a ‘theory of everything’.(Einstein, Penrose).

  72. The conflict of reconciling General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics appears to arise from the inability of either theory to successfully deal with the Zero/Infinity problem that crops up in different places of each theory:

    THE MYSTERIOUS ZERO/INFINITY
    Excerpt: The biggest challenge to today’s physicists is how to reconcile general relativity and quantum mechanics. However, these two pillars of modern science were bound to be incompatible. “The universe of general relativity is a smooth rubber sheet. It is continuous and flowing, never sharp, never pointy. Quantum mechanics, on the other hand, describes a jerky and discontinuous universe. What the two theories have in common – and what they clash over – is zero.”,, “The infinite zero of a black hole — mass crammed into zero space, curving space infinitely — punches a hole in the smooth rubber sheet. The equations of general relativity cannot deal with the sharpness of zero. In a black hole, space and time are meaningless.”,, “Quantum mechanics has a similar problem, a problem related to the zero-point energy. The laws of quantum mechanics treat particles such as the electron as points; that is, they take up no space at all. The electron is a zero-dimensional object,,, According to the rules of quantum mechanics, the zero-dimensional electron has infinite mass and infinite charge.
    http://www.fmbr.org/editoral/e....._mar02.htm

    Quantum Mechanics and Relativity – The Collapse Of Physics? – video – with notes as to plausible reconciliation that is missed by materialists (Please note; the ‘infinity problem’ is focused primarily in black holes)
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6597379/

    Yet, the unification, into a ‘theory of everything’, between what is in essence the ‘infinite Theistic world of Quantum Mechanics’ and the ‘finite Materialistic world of the 4-D space-time of General Relativity’ seems to be directly related to what Jesus apparently joined together with His resurrection, i.e. related to the unification of infinite God with finite man. Dr. William Dembski in this following comment, though not directly addressing the Zero/Infinity conflict in General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, offers insight into this ‘unification’ of the infinite and the finite:

    The End Of Christianity – Finding a Good God in an Evil World – Pg.31 – William Dembski PhD. in Mathematics and Theology
    Excerpt: “In mathematics there are two ways to go to infinity. One is to grow large without measure. The other is to form a fraction in which the denominator goes to zero. The Cross is a path of humility in which the infinite God becomes finite and then contracts to zero, only to resurrect and thereby unite a finite humanity within a newfound infinity.”
    http://www.designinference.com.....of_xty.pdf

    ,,,Also of related interest to this ‘Zero/Infinity conflict of reconciliation’, between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, is the fact that a ‘uncollapsed’ photon, in its quantum wave state, is mathematically defined as ‘infinite’ information,,,

    Wave function – wikipedia
    Excerpt “wave functions form an abstract vector space”,,, This vector space is infinite-dimensional, because there is no finite set of functions which can be added together in various combinations to create every possible function.

    Quantum Computing – Stanford Encyclopedia
    Excerpt: Theoretically, a single (photon) qubit can store an infinite amount of information, yet when measured (and thus collapsing the Quantum Wave state) it yields only the classical result (0 or 1),,,
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entr.....tcomp/#2.1

    It is important to note that the following experiment actually encoded information into a photon while it was in its quantum wave state, thus destroying the notion, held by many, that the wave function was not ‘physically real’ but was merely ‘abstract’. i.e. How can information possibly be encoded into something that is not physically real but merely abstract?

    Ultra-Dense Optical Storage – on One Photon
    Excerpt: Researchers at the University of Rochester have made an optics breakthrough that allows them to encode an entire image’s worth of data into a photon, slow the image down for storage, and then retrieve the image intact.
    http://www.physorg.com/news88439430.html

    The following mathematically corroborated the preceding experiment:

    Quantum Theory’s ‘Wavefunction’ Found to Be Real Physical Entity: Scientific American – November 2011
    Excerpt: David Wallace, a philosopher of physics at the University of Oxford, UK, says that the theorem is the most important result in the foundations of quantum mechanics that he has seen in his 15-year professional career. “This strips away obscurity and shows you can’t have an interpretation of a quantum state as probabilistic,” he says.
    http://www.scientificamerican......vefunction

    ,,Moreover there is actual physical evidence that lends strong support to the position that the ‘Zero/Infinity conflict’, that we find between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, was successfully dealt with by Christ,,,

    THE EVENT HORIZON (Space-Time Singularity) OF THE SHROUD OF TURIN. – Isabel Piczek – Particle Physicist
    Excerpt: We have stated before that the images on the Shroud firmly indicate the total absence of Gravity. Yet they also firmly indicate the presence of the Event Horizon. These two seemingly contradict each other and they necessitate the past presence of something more powerful than Gravity that had the capacity to solve the above paradox.
    http://shroud3d.com/findings/i.....-formation

    The Center Of The Universe Is Life – General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy and The Shroud Of Turin – updated video (more references in video description)
    http://vimeo.com/34084462

    “Miracles do not happen in contradiction to nature, but only in contradiction to that which is known to us of nature.”
    St. Augustine

    While I agree with a criticism, from a Christian, that was leveled against the preceding Shroud of Turin video, that God indeed needed no help from the universe in the resurrection event of Christ since all things are possible with God, I am none-the-less very happy to see that what is considered the number one problem of Physicists and Mathematicians in physics today, of a ‘unification into a theory of everything’ for what is in essence the finite world of General Relativity and the infinite world of Quantum Mechanics, does in fact seem to find a successful resolution for ‘unification’ within the resurrection event of Jesus Christ Himself. It seems almost overwhelmingly apparent to me from the ‘scientific evidence’ we now have in hand that Christ literally ripped a hole in the finite entropic space-time of this universe to reunite infinite God with finite man. That modern science would even offer such a almost tangible glimpse into the mechanics of what happened in the tomb of Christ should be a source of great wonder and comfort for the Christian heart.

    Psalms 16:10
    because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.

    Matthew 28:18
    And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and upon earth.”

    Brooke Fraser – Hillsong: “Lord Of Lords” (HQ) – music
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WB4Tc5zJMUc

  73. THAT is why no one take evolutionists seriously- no evidence to support their grand claims

    No-one, you say? Well, I could have sworn that evolution remains the accepted paradigm. Someone takes it seriously, even if your own comprehension issues restrict your grasp of the subject.

    Now, why doesn’t everyone take you seriously? Your explanation for bipedalism is: aliens! Your explanation for ‘useful multi-protein configurations’? Aliens. Giraffes? Whales? Aliens! Aliens everywhere. I wonder how they got to be so complex? Why, there must be aliens all the way down…

  74. For example, any evidence that leads to something beyond this universe.

  75. Why is the ToE the accepted anything seeing no one can produce any supporting evidence for its grand claims?

    All YOU or anyone else can do is point to circumstantial evidence and circumstantial evidence relies on one’s personal biases.

    Your explanation for bipedalism is: aliens!

    That is false.

  76. eigenstate you also dogmatically repeat your imaginary brick wall here:

    Epistemology is the problem, and it’s an intractable problem for you, just as it is for me. You can’t get “outside the universe”, by definition. If you did get “out there”, you’d be “in there”, by definition. ‘Universe’ encloses our epistemology.

    Once again, ‘who’s we pale face?’ What in blue blazes prevents the minds’s eye from looking beyond the material universe? Indeed, When you look at a written sheet of paper, or look at a work of art, is all that you see the material particles of the medium, and the material particles of the ink or paint thereon? Of course not, a small glimpse of the very mind of the author or the painter is revealed therein. It would be a completely bizarre person who could not detect the work of a mind, but only material particles, thereon! For you to say nothing can be, in principle, revealed of the Mind of the Creator by looking at the universe is completely bizarre, just as it would be completely bizarre for any person to deny anything is revealed of a mind when looking at a painting or written work.

    Romans 1:20
    For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

    Unto The King Eternal – music
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLPYRhOQcCU

    notes:

    as far as epistemology, I just happened to put together a short piece a few days ago:

    Why should the human mind be able to comprehend reality so deeply?
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qGvbg_212biTtvMschSGZ_9kYSqhooRN4OUW_Pw-w0E/edit

    Epistemology – Why Should The Human Mind Even Be Able To Comprehend Reality? – Stephen Meyer – video – (Notes in description)
    http://vimeo.com/32145998

  77. eigenstate, perhaps this will help get the point across more clearly for you:

    The Artists – The Artists is a short film about two rival painters who fail to see the bigger picture.
    http://vimeo.com/33670490

  78. Of course it isn’t. How did you get that from what Dawkins or I said?

    We said precisely the opposite: that we’ll consider a designer if we actually have scientifically verifiable warrant.

    Which we don’t have.

  79. We said precisely the opposite: that we’ll consider a designer if we actually have scientifically verifiable warrant.

    And we do.

    What we do NOT have is any evidence that stochastic processes brought all of this about- and there isn’t any way to even test the claim.

  80. No, you don’t. You claim evidence for “design”, but no evidence that that “design” could not be the product of an algorithm such the evolutionary algorithm, which we know is a powerful design algorithm, so much so, that we actually use them ourselves to create novel designs.

    ID specifically precludes evidence for designers. It merely infers designers from what it regards as evidence for design, making the fundamental mistake of assuming that something that serves a purpose must have been created on purpose.

  81. Elizabeth Liddle: You claim evidence for “design”, but no evidence that that “design” could not be the product of an algorithm such the evolutionary algorithm, which we know is a powerful design algorithm, so much so, that we actually use them ourselves to create novel designs.

    Genetic Algorithms (or the wider class of Evolutionary Algorithms) contains lots of what Dembski calls “Active Information.” (Dawkin’s Weasel being a popular example.)

    Would you be surprised if there was intelligently placed active information at the origin of life and at various points of intervention? I’m not asking you if there were. I’m asking you if you would be surprised.

  82. Yes, we do and an all evolutionary algorithms are written by humans. There aren’t any algorithms created by stochastic processes.

    ID specifically precludes evidence for designers.

    That is false. ID makes the designer(s) a separate question.

    It merely infers designers from what it regards as evidence for design,

    That is how it works- archaeologists infer an artist every time they observe an artifact- forensics infer a criminal when they uncover evidence for criminal activity.

    making the fundamental mistake of assuming that something that serves a purpose must have been created on purpose.

    Well mainly because we have eliminated other options and it fits the design criteria.

    OTOH your position has no methodology beyond “anything but design!”

    So put a sock in it or at least try to support your position with actual science.

  83. I think Dembski’s concept of “Active Information” is flawed. He seems to refer to information from the environment to which the evolving population is adapting. Yes, it is present in GAs and EAs, but equally, is present in nature. There is no “smuggling” into GAs of any information that is not also present in nature.

  84. You didn’t answer my question.

  85. Perhaps it is your grasp of active information that is flawed. And you are wrong as there is plenty of smuggling of information into GAs. nature? You are beghing the question, again- where did nature come from?

  86. Possibly, or possibly it is yours that is flawed

    And if your all the argument for ID is is that the conditions on earth that gave rise to life must have been put there by someone on purpose, then bang goes your inference from life itself that it must have been designed.

    You just undermined ID, Joe.

    :D

    Welcome to the dark side.

  87. Obviously not, Mike. Nor would I answer the question “have you stopped beating your husband?”

    Your question presupposes that I accept the concept of “active information”. I don’t.

    Therefore I cannot answer it.

  88. Well I am an Information Technologist with over 3 decades of experience working with active information.

    And if your all the argument for ID is is that the conditions on earth that gave rise to life must have been put there by someone on purpose, then bang goes your inference from life itself that it must have been designed.

    Then make your case- you don’t just get to baldly say it. But I digress as that has nothing to do with anything I have said.

  89. Fine. Forget Dembski. You acknowledge that natural environment has “information” present in it. So asked another way, would you be surprised if that information was purposefully put there at the beginning of life and at various intervals? Asked another way, would intelligent intervention surprise you if you found out that it occured?

  90. Asked another way, would intelligent intervention surprise you if you found out that it occurred?

    Yes, it would. Or at least it would if the evidence for “intelligent intervention” took the form of evidence for an external intelligent agent tinkering with biological organisms.

    It would certainly be interesting!

    Oh, unless it was just evidence that we already have, of humans tinkering with genomes. That wouldn’t surprise me, as I know it already.

  91. I just realised I misread your post. Apologies. So you are asking whether I would be surprised if the information present in the environment had been put there, by an intelligent agent, at various times and places?

    I’m still not quite sure what you are envisaging. By “environmental information” I mean all the features of the current environment of an existing population, which includes, of course, the population itself.

    So I’m not sure what you even mean by it being put there on purpose. What, specifically, do you have in mind?

    As an example? Something like a meteor strike that affected the whole globe?

    Yes, I’d be surprised if that was thrown by an intelligent agent :) Certainly I’d be surprised if it was thrown by an agent with a specific end in mind!

  92. But there isn’t any need for tinkering once the initial conditions are set, the resources granted, the targets set and the algorithm installed and running.

  93. The point is that Dawkins doesn’t mind positing anything, no matter how outlandish, as long as it isn’t God. Why are space aliens less outlandish than God? Now, I know there is an answer to this, but only because it is a standard answer, not because it makes sense or actually has any meaning.

    The problem is that the topic was origin of life! But Dawkins evades the question by punting it to the aliens.

  94. eigenstate; ‘coincidentally’, this video was just posted yesterday. Hope you have time to watch and enjoy;

    God Speaks Through Creation (Lee Strobel) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H40qMOtv_u4

    “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
    William Shakespeare – Hamlet

  95. The statement was meant to be puzzling and provocative. It marks an historical event. You are welcome to interpret it however you wish.

    Notice that BA77 did not follow-up my much clearer question about ‘following the evidence where it leads’ wrt the Dembski debacle at Baylor?

    To offer something clearer (but not too clear), I met a major figure associated with ‘intelligent design’ and we agreed on a strategy not currently considered by leaders in the IDM. It has the potential to fundamentally change the way ‘intelligent design/Intelligent Design’ is discussed and understood by scientists and non-scientists.

    I would suggest to ‘paragwinn’ a bit more patience with his/her ‘us/them’ categorization. But in the culture war climate in USA, this might be too much to ask for. My preference is for good science, in dialogue with philosophy and religion/theology. Do we disagree on this?

    p.s. Inter-Disciplinary (I-D), Intelligent-Design (I-D) – thought that might have been an easy one to catch… = )

  96. I, for one, would relish the opportunity to make peace and establish a meaningful and productive dialogue with anyone from the TE community. A dialogue, however, consists of mutual respect and bilateral disclosure. Many there are who relish the luxury of scrutinizing without accepting the burden of being scrutinized. Unilateral grilling is not my idea of a healthy interchange.

    Although your question was to Bornagain 77 and not to me, I would gladly respond to the point if I knew exactly what it is that you are asking. Clearly, I think we should follow where the evidence leads and clearly I hold that an author’s own words constitute good evidence. Is there something in that mix that I or BA77 is perceived to disagree with? Is there something that Dembski said that, in your opinion, militates against logic or good sense?

    On the subject of the culture wars, I have no difficulty separating social values from scientific, philosophical, and theological discussions. At the same time, I am happy to enter into debate on either subject and even discuss the relationship between the two. Given Western society’s rapid deterioration, I can’t imagine how any educated person could be neutral or silent on the subject without providing aid and comfort to those who are most responsible for the deterioration.

  97. Gregory, StephenB would be far better than I to discuss these nuances with.,,, I respect his penetrating insights and clarity on these issues very much.

Leave a Reply