Home » Evolution » MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: I Believe in Evolution

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: I Believe in Evolution

After much thought and consideration, I have decided to announce at UD that I believe in evolution.

Living things are not now as they once were, so they must have evolved.

There you have it: I believe in evolution. In fact, I assert that evolution is a fact based on the evidence, and not a hypothesis or “theory.”

I have major proof that evolution is true: I was once a little baby, and now I’m a great big baby! What further proof could be required to support the fact that evolution is true? And my evolution didn’t take even one generation; it took a zero generation. (I tried “zero generations” but that didn’t quite seem to work logically, since zero is obviously not multiple. I need to work out the tricky math here. I’m currently investigating multiverse theory in an attempt to resolve this mathematical conundrum.)

Now that I have come to my senses and accepted evolution as not only being true, but established fact based on evidence, how can I resolve my few remaining doubts? (I’m sure that these doubts are based upon my complete ignorance of the empirically verified research of Darwinian scientists, who have worked out all the details. I’ve searched for such research high and low, and always seem to come up empty-handed. Obviously, I must be searching in the wrong place.)

Here is one of my few remaining doubts about the fact of evolution: After writing this post I’m going to sit down at my Baldwin grand piano and practice Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.

If I understand evolutionary theory appropriately, this means that I, Rachmaninoff, his music, my piano, the people who designed and built my piano, and every aspect of every living thing was the product of the Darwinian mechanisms of random changes filtered by natural selection, which turned a bacterium into Rachmaninoff in about 10^17 seconds. I’ve done the math, and this seems highly unlikely. Obviously I’m missing something here (silly me!).

Once again, I want to emphasize that I have now converted to the obvious, factual, irrefutable, scientific truth of evolution.

I just have a few remaining doubts about the creative powers of the Darwinian mechanism. I’m sure that this deplorable lack of scientific understanding on my part will be cleared up promptly by qualified Darwinian scientists.

I’m astute, well educated, and experienced in a number of computational, scientific, mathematical, and engineering disciplines. I’m thoroughly open to any logically persuasive argumentation concerning my very few and obviously inconsequential doubts concerning my thorough and irrevocable belief in evolution.

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74 Responses to MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: I Believe in Evolution

  1. 1

    I tip my hat to you, Mr Dodgen….thanks for the chuckle. ;-)

    Cheers

  2. I hope to God you’ve decided to become a Christian Darwinist.

  3. Thanks, Gil.

    It also means that you, “Rachmaninoff, his music, [your] piano, the people who designed and built [your] piano” all came about and did what they did (including writing music and building a piano), because it provided an important survival advantage. Remarkable.

  4. 4
    Elizabeth Liddle

    I don’t get it.

    :(

  5. I hold evolution to be an apriori committment to a proposition that natural causes are the reason for, well, everything. Supporting evidence is moves to the front – those other bits can wait until their material causes are uncovered by…science, real science that is. Unless it’s leading you to an ever increasing understanding of the material causes aforementioned, doubt is neither necessary, or an option.

  6. 6
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Science necessarily involves an a priori commitment to the proposition that natural causes are the reason for everything.

    It does not possess the methodolgoy to discover any other kind of cause.

    What methodology would you recommend for investigating an un-natural/supernatural cause?

  7. Elizabeth you state this as a ‘truth’;

    ‘Science necessarily involves an a priori commitment to the proposition that natural causes are the reason for everything.

    It does not possess the methodolgoy (sic) to discover any other kind of cause.’

    Please tell me Elizabeth, since you hold ‘science’ is the only ‘rational’ way to truth, the exact scientific methodology you used to deduce this truth that you hold to be true???,,

  8. 8
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Well, can you answer my question, ba77?

    What methodology would you use to discover any un- or super-natural cause?

    Because if there isn’t one, my claim stands :)

  9. Actually Elizabeth,,,

    ,,, there are a number of ways to show that positing natural (materialistic) causes for absolute truth claims is absurd.

    THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS – DAVID P. GOLDMAN – August 2010
    Excerpt: we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel’s critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes.
    http://www.faqs.org/periodical.....27241.html

    Gödel’s Incompleteness: The #1 Mathematical Breakthrough of the 20th Century
    Excerpt: Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem says:
    “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle – something you have to assume to be true but cannot prove “mathematically” to be true.”
    http://www.cosmicfingerprints......pleteness/

    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

    This following site is a easy to use, and understand, interactive website that takes the user through what is termed ‘Presuppositional apologetics’. The website clearly shows that our use of the laws of logic, mathematics, science and morality cannot be accounted for unless we believe in a God who guarantees our perceptions and reasoning are trustworthy in the first place.

    Proof That God Exists – easy to use interactive website
    http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/index.php

    Stephen Meyer – Morality Presupposes Theism (1 of 4) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSpdh1b0X_M

    Nuclear Strength Apologetics – Presuppositional Apologetics – video
    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....pologetics

    John Lennox – Science Is Impossible Without God – Quotes – video remix
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6287271/

  10. Materialism simply dissolves into absurdity when pushed to extremes and certainly offers no guarantee to us for believing our perceptions and reasoning within science are trustworthy in the first place:

    Dr. Bruce Gordon – The Absurdity Of The Multiverse & Materialism in General – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5318486/

    What is the Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism? (‘inconsistent identity’ of cause leads to failure of absolute truth claims for materialists) (Alvin Plantinga) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yNg4MJgTFw

    Can atheists trust their own minds? – William Lane Craig On Alvin Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byN38dyZb-k

    “But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?” – Charles Darwin – Letter To William Graham – July 3, 1881

    It is also interesting to point out that this ‘inconsistent identity’, pointed out by Plantinga, which leads to the failure of neo-Darwinists to make absolute truth claims for their beliefs, is what also leads to the failure of neo-Darwinists to be able to account for objective morality, in that neo-Darwinists cannot maintain a consistent identity towards a cause for objective morality;

    The Knock-Down Argument Against Atheist Sam Harris – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvDyLs_cReE

    “Atheists may do science, but they cannot justify what they do. When they assume the world is rational, approachable, and understandable, they plagiarize Judeo-Christian presuppositions about the nature of reality and the moral need to seek the truth.
    As an exercise, try generating a philosophy of science from hydrogen coming out of the big bang. It cannot be done. It’s impossible even in principle, because philosophy and science presuppose concepts that are not composed of particles and forces. They refer to ideas that must be true, universal, necessary and certain.” Creation-Evolution Headlines
    http://creationsafaris.com/cre.....#20110227a

    This following video humorously reveals the bankruptcy that atheists have in trying to ground beliefs within a materialistic worldview;

    John Cleese – The Scientists – humorous video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-M-vnmejwXo

  11. further note:

    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

    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

    “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.”

    From a slightly different point of reasoning this following site, through a fairly exhaustive examination of the General Relativity equations themselves, acknowledges the insufficiency of General Relativity to account for the ‘completeness’ of 4D space-time within the sphere of the CMBR from different points of observation in the universe.

    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

    The following article speaks of a proof developed by legendary mathematician Kurt Gödel, from a thought experiment, in which Gödel showed General Relativity could not be a complete description of the universe:

    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.faqs.org/periodical.....27241.html

    The fact that photons are shown to travel as uncollapsed quantum information waves in the double slit experiment, and not as collapsed particles, is what gives us a solid reason for proposing this mechanism of the universal quantum wave collapse of photons to each conscious observer.

    Double-slit experiment
    Excerpt: In quantum mechanics, the double-slit experiment (often referred to as Young’s experiment) demonstrates the inseparability of the wave and particle natures of light and other quantum particles. A coherent light source (e.g., a laser) illuminates a thin plate with two parallel slits cut in it, and the light passing through the slits strikes a screen behind them. The wave nature of light causes the light waves passing through both slits to interfere, creating an interference pattern of bright and dark bands on the screen. However, at the screen, the light is always found to be absorbed as though it were made of discrete particles, called photons.,,, Any modification of the apparatus that can determine (that can let us observe) which slit a photon passes through destroys the interference pattern, illustrating the complementarity principle; that the light can demonstrate both particle and wave characteristics, but not both at the same time.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D.....experiment

    Double Slit Experiment – Explained By Prof Anton Zeilinger – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6101627/

    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’:

    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

    And of course all this leads us back to this question. “What does our conscious observation have to do with anything in collapsing the wave function of the photon in the double slit experiment and in the universe?”, and furthermore “What is causing the quantum waves to collapse from their ‘higher dimension’ in the first place since we humans are definitely not the ones who are causing the photon waves to collapse to their ‘uncertain 3D wave/particle’ state?” With the refutation of the materialistic ‘hidden variable’ argument and with the patent absurdity of the materialistic ‘Many-Worlds’ hypothesis, then I can only think of one sufficient explanation for quantum wave collapse to photon;

    Psalm 118:27
    God is the LORD, who hath shown us light:,,,

    In the following article, Physics Professor Richard Conn Henry is quite blunt as to what quantum mechanics reveals to us about the ‘primary cause’ of our 3D reality:

    Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism (solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist). (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007

    Personally I feel the word “illusion” was a bit too strong from Dr. Henry to describe material reality and would myself have opted for his saying something a little more subtle like; “material reality is a “secondary reality” that is dependent on the primary reality of God’s mind” to exist.” The following comment from a blogger on UD reflects fairly closely how I, as a Christian, view reality;

    “I do believe in the physical, concrete universe as real. It isn’t just an illusion. However, being a Christian, I can say, also, that the spiritual realm is even more real than the physical. More real, in this sense, however, isn’t to be taken to mean that the physical is “less” real, but that it is less important. The physical, ultimately, really derives its significance from the spiritual, and not the other way around. I submit to you, though, that the spiritual reality, in some sense, needs the physical reality, just as a baseball game needs a place to be played. The game itself may be more important than the field, but the game still needs the field in order to be played. The players are the most important part of the game, but without bats, balls, and gloves, the players cannot play. Likewise, without a physical, concrete reality, the spiritual has “no place to play”. Love, without a concrete reality, has no place to act out its romance; joy has nothing to jump up and down on, and consciousness has nothing to wake up to.” – Brent – UD Blogger

    As Professor Henry pointed out, it has been known since the discovery of quantum mechanics itself, early last century, that the universe is indeed ‘Mental’, as is illustrated by this quote from Max Planck.

    “As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.”
    Max Planck – The Father Of Quantum Mechanics – Das Wesen der Materie [The Nature of Matter], speech at Florence, Italy (1944)(Of Note: Max Planck Planck was a devoted Christian from early life to death, was a churchwarden from 1920 until his death, and believed in an almighty, all-knowing, beneficent God (though, paradoxically, not necessarily a personal one) This deep ‘Christian connection’, of Planck, is not surprising when you realize practically every, if not every, founder of each major branch of modern science also ‘just so happened’ to have some kind of a deep Christian connection.)

    Colossians 1:17
    “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”

  12. 12
    CannuckianYankee

    “What methodology would you recommend for investigating an un-natural/supernatural cause?”

    I call it the methodology of the open mind. Science should be open to the possibility of any cause, not simply “natural” causes. Otherwise it isn’t exactly science, but narrowly defined ideology.

  13. lizabeth Lidle:

    Science necessarily involves an a priori commitment to the proposition that natural causes are the reason for everything.

    Nonsense- ya see naturl processes only exist in nature and therefor cannot account for its origin, which science sats it had.

    It does not possess the methodolgoy to discover any other kind of cause.

    Who are you to make such claim? Do you really think you continued bad ssetrtions mean something?

    What methodology would you recommend for investigating an un-natural/supernatural cause?

    Clueless- you investigat he event/ object/ phenomena in question and try to determine the cause. And if nature, operating freely couldn’t do it then there must have been something else- just as there was in the origin of nature.

  14. Lizzie:

    What methodology would you use to discover any un- or super-natural cause?

    Watch “Ghost Hunters” and observe their methodolgy.

  15. Elizabeth Liddle says: “Science necessarily involves an a priori commitment to the proposition that natural causes are the reason for everything.”

    I guess forensics and cyrptography are not real science when they find that something has been generated by artifice – by non-natural agencies?

  16. 16
    Elizabeth Liddle

    ba77: that is not what I asked. It may well be that it is absurd to posit an uncreated universe.

    My question is methodological: by what methodology could

    science

    uncover a supernatural cause?

  17. 17
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Meleager – you misunderstand (indeed a number of you do!): I am not saying that science cannot establish intelligent causes, or intentional agesnt as causes, it can and we do.

    I’m saying that science cannot investigate supernatural causes.

    You may like to infer from the lack of an evidentially supported scientifically postulated natural cause that a supernatural cause is at work, but that isn’t a scientific inference, it’s a philosophical one.

    It’s simply the stance that posits the supernatural as the null – but it’s a weak one because it’s essentially supernatural-of-the-gaps and vulnerable to shrinking gaps.

  18. Elizabeth Liddle:

    I’m saying that science cannot investigate supernatural causes.

    Again you aren’t anyone who can make such a declaration.

  19. 19
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Well, tell me how they can, then, if you think my view is incorrect.

  20. I have already told you. I have also linked to Dawkins who says it (the supernatural) is science.

    I cannot force you to read what I post but your ignoring what I post doesn’t make it go away.

  21. Also, Lizzie, it is up to YOU to support your claims.

    And if you don’t understand that then you don’t understand science.

  22. 22
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Well, I saw that you suggested I watch “Ghost busters”.

    I don’t watch much television. Can you describe their methodology?

    Also I do not find your link to Dawkins in this thread – could you repost?

  23. 23
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Wiki tells me that Ghostbusters is “1984 American science fiction comedy film”.

    um.

  24. Clueless- you investigate the event/ object/ phenomena in question and try to determine the cause. And if nature, operating freely couldn’t do it then there must have been something else- just as there was in the origin of nature.

    The implication you make is that there’s something about religion which is personal and upon which evidence doesn’t have any bearing. Now, as I scientist I care passionately about the truth. I think that the existence of a supreme being – a supernatural supreme being – is a scientific issue. Either there is a God or there isn’t. Either there are gods or there are no gods. That is a scientific issue. Yes, it’s a supremely important scientific question. If the universe was created by an intelligence, then we are looking at an entirely different kind of scientific theory than if the universe came into existence by natural means. If God or gods had something to do with the creation of life, then we’re looking at a totally different kind of biology.- Richard Dawkins

    That was taken from here- Dawkins starts talking near the 14:30+ mark.

  25. Ghost HUNTERS Lizzie- but thanks for proving that you are obtuse…

  26. 26
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Joseph:

    Also, Lizzie, it is up to YOU to support your claims.

    And if you don’t understand that then you don’t understand science.

    Well, not really. I’m willing to be persuaded otherwise if someone can tell me by what methodology science can investigate the supernatural.

    But I’d like a more credible source than Ghostbusters, I think :)

  27. Dr Liddle:

    Pardon.

    I think a comment on points in light of your remarks at 8 above is in order, for record at least since this seems to be a sticking point.

    The following summarises points I have made in several threads now, but have not seen a cogent response from you (or others):

    _________

    Science necessarily involves

    a: This is a claim of MUST, i.e this is already a commitment that suggests that apart from this no science, so how do you account for the facts of the founding of modern science and the views of the actual founders thereof, as I have documented say here?

    an a priori commitment to the proposition that natural causes are the reason for everything.

    b: NIX. Science only implicates the study of empirically observable and testable phenomena, which in turn implicates the question of inference from well-tested sign to signified cause.

    c: We may and do categorise these as tracing to chance, necessity and choice, whereby we may further cluster the first two as material or natural, and the latter as artificial. This categorisation is for instance used by Plato, by Newton and by Monod [cf his, Chance and Necessity]

    d: We may characterise and study each of these causal factors on their general signs, and further investigate on the specific observed object or phenomenon. To wit, we may see that:

    i: by mechanical necessity, we get lawlike regularities — i.e. low contingency of outcomes — under sufficiently similar starting conditions (a dropped heavy object falls at g), a common enough goal of scientific investigation being to identify such laws, e.g. F = m*a

    ii: by chance, under similar initial conditions, we have highly contingent outcomes (a dropped die will tumble and settle to various readings) in accordance with a statistical distribution. Sometimes scientific investigations try to characterise such distributions and their roots, e.g. the Weibull distribution of wind speeds etc.

    iii: by choice, we will also get highly contingent outcomes under similar starting conditions, but credibly linked to purpose not chance, e.g. the pattern of symbols in messages as opposed to noise — studied in and foundational to information theory.

    It does not possess the methodolgoy to discover any other kind of cause.

    e: This is premised on an assumption that the only way we may categorise the world is on natural vs supernatural, where the later may be derided.

    f: In short, this is an implicit — perhaps unrecognised — assumption of a priori MATERIALISM, not an open-minded, empirically based investigation of the world as is, in light of empirical facts and observations, explained without ideologically censoring possibilities

    g: Do we know that all that there is, is “natural,” or that science may only study and explain by the “natural”? That depends, crucially on what you mean by “natural.”

    h: If you mean a smuggling in of materialism by assumptions and definitions, that is a major begging of the question, for what science studies is the EMPIRICALLY OBSERVABLE in a world that credibly had a beginning.

    i: Such a cosmos, is credibly contingent, i.e. it entails a cause external to itself, as if something may not exist or had a beginning, it has conditions under which it may/may not exist.

    j: In turn that points to a causal root in a necessary being, that has no external causal dependency. Such a being has no beginning, and has no end. By logic. (Formerly, until it was recognised that the evidence points to a beginning for the cosmos we live in, the Steady State type view assumed the wider observed cosmos was that necessary being, but now Humpty Dumpty has fallen. [We need not go into the wider discussion of contingency, contingency on a credible beginning is enough to force consideration of possibilities, then.])

    k: Multiply by the evident fine tuning of our observed cosmos, that supports C-chemistry cell based life; which is also relevant even in the case of an assumed or speculated wider multiverse, as LOCAL fine tuning is enough. As John Leslie put it:

    . . . the need for such explanations [[for fine-tuning] does not depend on any estimate of how many universes would be observer-permitting, out of the entire field of possible universes. Claiming that our universe is ‘fine tuned for observers’, we base our claim on how life’s evolution would apparently have been rendered utterly impossible by comparatively minor [[emphasis original] alterations in physical force strengths, elementary particle masses and so forth. There is no need for us to ask whether very great alterations in these affairs would have rendered it fully possible once more, let alone whether physical worlds conforming to very different laws could have been observer-permitting without being in any way fine tuned. Here it can be useful to think of a fly on a wall, surrounded by an empty region. A bullet hits the fly Two explanations suggest themselves. Perhaps many bullets are hitting the wall or perhaps a marksman fired the bullet. There is no need to ask whether distant areas of the wall, or other quite different walls, are covered with flies so that more or less any bullet striking there would have hit one. The important point is that the local area contains just the one fly.

    [[Our Place in the Cosmos, 1998. The force of this point is deepened once we think about what has to
    be done
    to get a rifle into "tack-driving" condition.That is, a "tack-driving" rifle is a classic example of a finely tuned, complex system, i.e. we are back at the force of Collins' point
    on a multiverse model needing a well adjusted Cosmos bakery. (Slide show, ppt. "Simple" summary, doc.)]

    l: That points to functionally specific, complex organisation of a cosmos [and associated complex information], something that is habitually and empirically associated with choice and purpose, i.e. design. Indeed, in every case where we directly know the cause for such FSCO/I, it is designed.

    m: So, we have as a reasonable possibility — and, arguably a best explanation — that the observed cosmos is externally caused by a purposive, powerful, necessary being, which has no beginning, no ending, and that based on scientific observation and the logic of contingency. Such a being is warranted on our contingent world, and is causally self-sufficient, i.e. self-explanatory. The real issue is the nature of the necessary being, not its existence, once we have a contingent cosmos to be explained. And, blind necessity or a chaos are vastly inferior to intelligence as explanations of FSCO/I, absent imposition of a priori materialism — i.e. we here see the censoring effect of the materialistic question-begging above.

    n: Since, too, we have here a case in hand where science has indeed studied origins, and the beginning of our world, and — absent question-begging censorship — a serious alternative points beyond the contingent “natural” world we inhabit to root cause by an entirely different category of being, we already see that science can not only study natural vs artificial, but design by an entirely different category of being that can credibly be termed, supernatural. That is, beyond nature in the sense of our observed cosmos. (The proposed multiverse we hear about so often today is UN-observed.)

    What methodology would you recommend for investigating an un-natural/supernatural cause?

    o: First, stop begging metaphysical questions by imposing a priori materialism, or going along with such imposition, not hard as that evolutionary materialism (aka scientific materialism aka [scientific] naturalism etc etc) is already self-referentially incoherent, self refuting and necessarily false, by undermining mind itself. As Haldane summed up the challenge it faces:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms.” ["When I am dead," in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209.]

    p: Then, recognise that it is more useful to scientifically study natural and artificial causes on an empirical basis, and so to focus their characteristic signs, than to beg metaphysical questions.

    q: Nor should we allow ideologues to rattle us with their Alinskyite uncivil bully-boy tactics of distortion, denigration, censorship and intimidation.

    r: For instance, this pattern as follows is reasonable and quite often actually used, tracing to say Hippocrates of Cos and early medicine, and also reflecting Peirce’s more recent logic of abductive inference:

    I: [si] –> O, on W

    (I infer from a pattern of observed signs, to an objective state of affairs, on a particular warrant [often, inference to best explanation], each to be specified case by case, cause by cause.)

    s: Then, proceed on the understanding that we commonly observe causal patterns that may be described with profit as natural or material [= chance and/or necessity], and intelligent [= art or design or choice contingency].

    t: in that light, identify and test characteristic reliable signs of these causal processes for aspects of phenomena, processes or objects.

    u: Just as, in say studying a pendulum [a case of direct manipulation as experimental design], we identify what is caused by the experimenter manipulating the string’s length, what is or is not due to varying the mass of the bob, what is chance-based random scatter around a line that characterises a law of mechanical necessity, and what is due to the dynamics of a pendulum swinging across an arc in a gravity field. (And similarly, how — using ANOVA — we isolate factors in a control vs treatment study across blocks and plots.)

    v: In short, we routinely apply the explanatory filter algorithm in doing scientific studies, so it is not unreasonable to identify general signs of the relevant causal factors, and to trust them if they pass reasonable tests, e.g. necessity produces lawlike regularities, chance produces statistical scatter, and choice produces FSCO/I.

    (If you see a pendulum experiment set up with apparatus fitted to the purpose of adjusting length of string, arc, and mass, with a timer sitting nearby and a record of results on say a coded digital tape, do you infer to chance or choice or necessity? Why?)

    w: Now, the hard step: have the courage to trust the patterns of warranted inference beyond where we have direct access to observe the causal process. This is the step taken by Newton when he said, in his General Scholium to Principia:

    . . . This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. And if the fixed stars are the centres of other like systems, these, being formed by the like wise counsel, must be all subject to the dominion of One; especially since the light of the fixed stars is of the same nature with the light of the sun, and from every system light passes into all the other systems: and lest the systems of the fixed stars should, by their gravity, fall on each other mutually, he hath placed those systems at immense distances one from another . . .

    x: In short, if we see a tested, reliable pattern of inference from sign to signified state of affairs, we have good reason to trust that it will expend to cases where we cannot directly check.

    y: Now, simply apply to the origin of our cosmos, as above. We see signs of art, i.e FSCO/I, in the context of fine-tuning that facilitates C-chemistry, cell based intelligent life. We see also that we have an evidently contingent cosmos that cries out for a root cause in a necessary being. (You will note that I do NOT use the case of evidence pointing to design in life, as this is a case where, from the very beginnings of modern design theory — as utterly contrasted to the caricatures being used by objectors — it has been recognised that design of cell based life on earth would be sufficiently accounted for by a designer within the cosmos. Say, a molecular nanotech lab several generations beyond Venter et al.)

    z: That is as far as science and logic proper will take us, but:

    1: that is far enough to see that a very viable candidate will be an intelligent, extra-cosmic, powerful, purposeful and deeply knowledgeable necessary being;

    2: this being a case of empirically based, observationally anchored inference to design or art, as opposed to

    3: a priorism-driven inference to or against “the supernatural.”

    4: Philosophy and theology will take the ball and run with it from there.

    5: Such a being would be a very good example of the super-natural, pointed to by investigations of nature on empirically well warranted patterns of cause and effect.

    6: So, we see that science needs not essay to study “the supernatural” only to study natural vs artificial causes on empirically tested warrant.

    7: It therefore is high time that the materialists’ favourite “natural vs supernatural” strawman caricature of our alternatives, was laid to rest, with a stake through its heart.

    8: We only need to study, on empirical signs, natural vs artificial causes. As was pointed out by Plato, 2,350 years ago, in The Laws, Bk X.

    ___________

    In short, the matter pivots on breaking a powerfully institutionalised strawman caricature of the scientific method, and our investigatory and warranting options.

    Our real, as opposed to strawman options are to study:

    Natural vs supernatural artificial causes.

    GEM of TKI

  28. 28
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Well, that’s exactly what I mean, Joseph – if the methodology simply means inferring the supernatural from lack of an alternative, that is no more than regarding the supernatural as the null.

    Which is an extremely weak methodology, and means the only falsification possible is by continuing to investigate natural causes.

    Which is exactly what science does.

    In effect, by accusing science of having an “a priori commitment to natural causes” you are saying that science should cease investigation which it ceases to find a natural cause, and conclude “supernatural”.

    In which case, by what criteria should science cease to investigate?

    Do you not see the problem?

  29. OOPs, in-mod comment, probably on number of links.

  30. 30
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Oh, and BTW, I disagree with Dawkins on this.

    He’s made exactly the mistake I think that UDists often make, which is to confuse a “supernatural” cause with an “intelligent” cause.

    Intelligent causes are well within the domain of scientific investigation.

  31. Elizabeth, by you writing your very own posts you are demonstrating a ‘super (beyond) natural’ cause; i.e. Is what you write the result of material particles bouncing around in your brain (a natural cause)??? or is what you write the result of your transcendent mind (a supernatural cause) choosing, with intent, the precise functional information that you wish to express???

    Here is the methodology for determining which cause, natural of supernatural, is true;

    Book Review – Meyer, Stephen C. Signature in the Cell. New York: HarperCollins, 2009.
    Excerpt: Now, if you go back to the universe of elementary particle Planck time chemical labs and work the numbers, you find that in the finite time our universe has existed, you could have produced about 500 bits of structured, functional information by random search. Yet here we have a minimal information string which is (if you understand combinatorics) so indescribably improbable to have originated by chance that adjectives fail.
    http://www.fourmilab.ch/docume.....k_726.html

    The methodology for determining functional information in molecular biology is similar:

    Mathematically Defining Functional Information In Molecular Biology – Kirk Durston – short video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3995236

    Three subsets of sequence complexity and their relevance to biopolymeric information – Abel, Trevors
    Excerpt: Shannon information theory measures the relative degrees of RSC and OSC. Shannon information theory cannot measure FSC. FSC is invariably associated with all forms of complex biofunction, including biochemical pathways, cycles, positive and negative feedback regulation, and homeostatic metabolism. The algorithmic programming of FSC, not merely its aperiodicity, accounts for biological organization. No empirical evidence exists of either RSC of OSC ever having produced a single instance of sophisticated biological organization. Organization invariably manifests FSC rather than successive random events (RSC) or low-informational self-ordering phenomena (OSC).
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....MC1208958/

    The Law of Physicodynamic Insufficiency – Dr David L. Abel – November 2010
    Excerpt: “If decision-node programming selections are made randomly or by law rather than with purposeful intent, no non-trivial (sophisticated) function will spontaneously arise.”,,, After ten years of continual republication of the null hypothesis with appeals for falsification, no falsification has been provided. The time has come to extend this null hypothesis into a formal scientific prediction: “No non trivial algorithmic/computational utility will ever arise from chance and/or necessity alone.”
    http://www.scitopics.com/The_L.....iency.html

    In fact Elizabeth this, reasoning from presently acting cause, is the same exact type of methodology used by Charles Darwin himself,,,

    Stephen C. Meyer – The Scientific Basis For Intelligent Design – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4104651/

    Thus Elizabeth do you wish to reject Charles Darwin’s methodology???

    further note:

    “A code system is always the result of a mental process (it requires an intelligent origin or inventor). It should be emphasized that matter as such is unable to generate any code. All experiences indicate that a thinking being voluntarily exercising his own free will, cognition, and creativity, is required. ,,,there is no known law of nature and no known sequence of events which can cause information to originate by itself in matter. Werner Gitt 1997 In The Beginning Was Information pp. 64-67, 79, 107.”
    (The retired Dr Gitt was a director and professor at the German Federal Institute of Physics and Technology (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Braunschweig), the Head of the Department of Information Technology.)

    The DNA Code – Solid Scientific Proof Of Intelligent Design – Perry Marshall – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4060532

    Codes and Axioms are always the result of mental intention, not material processes
    https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1PrE2Syt5SJUxeh2YBBBWrrPailC3uTFMdqPMFrzvwDY

  32. Elizabeth, as to falsify Neo-Darwinism, once again,,,

    quantum entanglement, which rigorously falsified local realism (reductive materialism) as the true description of reality, is now found in molecular biology!

    Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA & Protein Folding – short video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/

    Quantum entanglement holds together life’s blueprint – 2010
    Excerpt: When the researchers analysed the DNA without its helical structure, they found that the electron clouds were not entangled. But when they incorporated DNA’s helical structure into the model, they saw that the electron clouds of each base pair became entangled with those of its neighbours (arxiv.org/abs/1006.4053v1). “If you didn’t have entanglement, then DNA would have a simple flat structure, and you would never get the twist that seems to be important to the functioning of DNA,” says team member Vlatko Vedral of the University of Oxford.
    http://neshealthblog.wordpress.....blueprint/

    Untangling the Quantum Entanglement Behind Photosynthesis – May 11 2010
    Excerpt: “This is the first study to show that entanglement, perhaps the most distinctive property of quantum mechanical systems, is present across an entire light harvesting complex,” says Mohan Sarovar, a post-doctoral researcher under UC Berkeley chemistry professor Birgitta Whaley at the Berkeley Center for Quantum Information and Computation. “While there have been prior investigations of entanglement in toy systems that were motivated by biology, this is the first instance in which entanglement has been examined and quantified in a real biological system.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....151356.htm

    i.e. It is very interesting to note that quantum entanglement, which conclusively demonstrates that ‘information’ in its pure ‘quantum form’ is completely transcendent of any time and space constraints, should be found in molecular biology on such a massive scale, for how can the quantum entanglement ‘effect’ in biology possibly be explained by a material (matter/energy) ’cause’ when the quantum entanglement ‘effect’ falsified material particles as its own ‘causation’ in the first place? (A. Aspect) Appealing to the probability of various configurations of material particles, as Darwinism does, simply will not help since a timeless/spaceless cause must be supplied which is beyond the capacity of the material particles themselves to supply! To give a coherent explanation for an effect that is shown to be completely independent of any time and space constraints one is forced to appeal to a cause that is itself not limited to time and space! i.e. Put
    more simply, you cannot explain a effect by a cause that has been falsified by the very same effect you are seeking to explain! Improbability arguments of various ‘special’ configurations of material particles, which have been a staple of the arguments against neo-Darwinism, simply do not apply since the cause is not within the material particles in the first place!
    ,,,To refute this falsification of neo-Darwinism, one must show local realism to be sufficient to explain the quantum non-locality we find within molecular biology!

    ,,, As well, appealing to ‘non-reductive’ materialism (multiverse or many-worlds) to try to explain quantum non-locality in molecular biology, or anything else for that matter, destroys the very possibility of doing science rationally;

    Michael Behe has a profound answer to the infinite multiverse (non-reductive materialism) argument in “Edge of Evolution”. If there are infinite universes, then we couldn’t trust our senses, because it would be just as likely that our universe might only consist of a human brain that pops into existence which has the neurons configured just right to only give the appearance of past memories. It would also be just as likely that we are floating brains in a lab, with some scientist feeding us fake experiences. Those scenarios would be just as likely as the one we appear to be in now (one universe with all of our experiences being “real”). Bottom line is, if there really are an infinite number of universes out there, then we can’t trust anything we perceive to be true, which means there is no point in seeking any truth whatsoever.

    “The multiverse idea rests on assumptions that would be laughed out of town if they came from a religious text.” Gregg Easterbrook

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the “Boltzmann Brain” problem: In the most “reasonable” models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

    =================

    Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism (solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist). (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007

  33. 33
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Well, ba77, I wouldn’t call my mind “supernatural” – or rather, if that is what you are calling “supernatural” then it’s perfectly amenable to science, and science has no “a priori commitment” to natural causes only.

    There are entire fields of science devoted to the mind, and I work in one of them.

    Similarly, if you call what particle physicist work with “the supernatural” ditto.

    So I am bemused:

    If the charge is that scientists a priori exclude “the supernatural”, how do you account for psychologists and neuroscientists, and particle physicists?

  34. So Elizabeth, you are in quite the conundrum!!! The only option I see for you is to completely ignore positing any cause whatsoever, and to pretend that a warrant for cause beyond ‘natural’ exists!!! Which, just so happens to be what you have done in a few other posts when presented with this evidence!!!

    ,,

  35. Well Elizabeth, I don’t care what you call your mind, but the ‘miracle’ of you producing functional information is not reducible to the material particles bouncing around in your brain,,, I don’t care how many degrees you got!!! Sometimes those who claim to be wise are the blindest of all!!!

  36. correction; and to pretend that a warrant for cause beyond ‘natural’ DOES NOT exist!!!

  37. 37
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Well, ba77, it seems to me, the conundrum is yours.

    Are you saying that scientists do, or do not, have an a priori commitment to excluding the “supernatural”?

    If your answer is that they do, and you include minds and quantum effects as “supernatural” then you do you account for the existence of quantum physicists and neuroscientists?

    If your answer is that they do not, then what is your complaint about science?

    Seems to me that you are in quite the conundrum :)

  38. 38
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Well Elizabeth, I don’t care what you call your mind, but the ‘miracle’ of you producing functional information is not reducible to the material particles bouncing around in your brain,,, I don’t care how many degrees you got!!! Sometimes those who claim to be wise are the blindest of all!!!

    I entirely agree that my mind is not “reducible to the material particles bouncing around in your brain”.

    My mind is a higher level entity entirely.

    And perfectly amenable to scientific investigation.

  39. 39
    Elizabeth Liddle

    oops, should have amended “your” to “my”.

  40. EL:

    Well, that’s exactly what I mean, Joseph – if the methodology simply means inferring the supernatural from lack of an alternative, that is no more than regarding the supernatural as the null.

    We come to an inference based on our knowledg of cause and effect relationships.

    I can’t help it if you cannot understand that.

    If we have evidence for a chair moving- very noticeably moving- without any known causes present to move it, did we or did we not see it move? Do we then infer it moved by itself “just because”? Or do we consider something unknown caused it and go from there to try to pinpoint it?

    He’s made exactly the mistake I think that UDists often make, which is to confuse a “supernatural” cause with an “intelligent” cause.

    I take it you don’t understand what is ment by an “intelligent” cause.

    I would say all supernatural causes are intelligent causes but not all intelligent causes are supernatural causes.

  41. Elizabeth you ask:

    ‘Are you saying that scientists do, or do not, have an a priori commitment to excluding the “supernatural”?’

    Once again, let’s break down methodological naturalism:

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

    The artificial imposition of the materialistic philosophy onto the scientific method has blinded many scientists to the inference of God as a rational explanation in these questions of origins. In fact, the scientific method, by itself, makes absolutely no predictions as to what the best explanation will be prior to investigation in these question of origins. In the beginning of a investigation all answers are equally valid to the scientific method. Yet scientists have grown accustomed through the years to the artificial imposition of the materialistic philosophy onto the scientific method. That is to say by limiting the answers one may conclude to only materialistic ones, the scientific method has been very effective at solving many puzzles very quickly. This imposition of the materialistic philosophy onto the scientific method has indeed led to many breakthroughs of technology which would not have been possible had the phenomena been presumed to be solely the work of a miracle. This imposition of materialism onto the scientific method is usually called methodological naturalism, methodological materialism, or scientific materialism etc… Yet today, due to the impressive success of methodological naturalism in our everyday lives, many scientists are unable to separate this artificial imposition of the materialistic philosophy from the scientific method in this completely different question of origins.

    A Question for Barbara Forrest
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....rrest.html

    In fact, I’ve heard someone say, “Science is materialism.” Yet science clearly is not materialism. Materialism is a philosophy which makes the dogmatic assertion that only blind material processes generated everything around us, including ourselves. Materialism is thus in direct opposition to Theism which holds that God purposely created us in His image. Furthermore science, or more particularly the scientific method, in reality, only cares to relentlessly pursue the truth and could care less if the answer is a materialistic one or not. This is especially true in these questions of origins, since we are indeed questioning the materialistic philosophy itself. i.e. We are asking the scientific method to answer this very specific question, “Did God create us or did blind material processes create us?” When we realize this is the actual question we are seeking an answer to within the scientific method, then of course it is readily apparent we cannot impose strict materialistic answers onto the scientific method prior to investigation. No less than leading “New Atheist” Richard Dawkins agrees:

    “The presence of a creative deity in the universe is clearly a scientific hypothesis. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a more momentous hypothesis in all of science.” Richard Dawkins
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....e-crocker/

    The best data we have [concerning the Big Bang] are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the bible as a whole.
    Dr. Arno Penzias, Nobel Laureate in Physics – co-discoverer of the Cosmic Background Radiation – as stated to the New York Times on March 12, 1978

    In fact when looking at the evidence in this light we find out many interesting things which scientists, who have been blinded by the philosophy of materialism, miss. This is because the materialistic and Theistic philosophy make, and have made, several natural contradictory predictions about what evidence we will find. These predictions, and the evidence we have found, can be tested against one another within the scientific method.

    Steps of the Scientific Method
    http://www.sciencebuddies.org/.....thod.shtml

    For a quick overview, here are a few:

    1. Materialism predicted an eternal universe, Theism predicted a created universe. – Big Bang points to a creation event. -

    2. Materialism predicted time had an infinite past, Theism predicted time had a creation. – Time was created in the Big Bang. -

    3. Materialism predicted space has always existed, Theism predicted space had a creation (Psalm 89:12) – Space was created in the Big Bang. -

    4. Materialism predicted that material has always existed, Theism predicted ‘material’ was created. – ‘Material’ was created in the Big Bang.

    5. Materialism predicted at the base of physical reality would be a solid indestructible material particle which rigidly obeyed the rules of time and space, Theism predicted the basis of this reality was created by a infinitely powerful and transcendent Being who is not limited by time and space – Quantum mechanics reveals a wave/particle duality for the basis of our reality which blatantly defies our concepts of time and space. -

    6. Materialism predicted the rate at which time passed was constant everywhere in the universe, Theism predicted God is eternal and is outside of time – Special Relativity has shown that time, as we understand it, is relative and comes to a complete stop at the speed of light. (Psalm 90:4 – 2 Timothy 1:9)-

    7. Materialism predicted the universe did not have life in mind and life was ultimately an accident of time and chance. Theism predicted this universe was purposely created by God with man in mind – Every transcendent universal constant scientists can measure is exquisitely fine-tuned for carbon-based life to exist in this universe. -

    8. Materialism predicted complex life in this universe should be fairly common. Theism predicted the earth is extremely unique in this universe – Statistical analysis of the hundreds of required parameters which enable complex life to be possible on earth gives strong indication the earth is extremely unique in this universe. -

    9. Materialism predicted much of the DNA code was junk. Theism predicted we are fearfully and wonderfully made – ENCODE research into the DNA has revealed a “biological jungle deeper, denser, and more difficult to penetrate than anyone imagined.”. -

    10. Materialism predicted a extremely beneficial and flexible mutation rate for DNA which was ultimately responsible for all the diversity and complexity of life we see on earth. Theism predicted only God created life on earth – The mutation rate to DNA is overwhelmingly detrimental. Detrimental to such a point that it is seriously questioned whether there are any truly beneficial mutations whatsoever. (M. Behe; JC Sanford) -

    11. Materialism predicted a very simple first life form which accidentally came from “a warm little pond”. Theism predicted God created life – The simplest life ever found on Earth is far more complex than any machine man has made through concerted effort. (Michael Denton PhD) -

    12. Materialism predicted it took a very long time for life to develop on earth. Theism predicted life to appear abruptly on earth after water appeared on earth (Genesis 1:10-11) – We find evidence for complex photo-synthetic life in the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found on earth -

    13. Materialism predicted the gradual unfolding of life to be self-evident in the fossil record. Theism predicted complex and diverse life to appear abruptly in the seas in God’s fifth day of creation. – The Cambrian Explosion shows a sudden appearance of many different and completely unique fossils within a very short “geologic resolution time” in the Cambrian seas. -

    14. Materialism predicted there should be numerous transitional fossils found in the fossil record, Theism predicted sudden appearance and rapid diversity within different kinds found in the fossil record – Fossils are consistently characterized by sudden appearance of a group/kind in the fossil record, then rapid diversity within the group/kind, and then long term stability and even deterioration of variety within the overall group/kind, and within the specific species of the kind, over long periods of time. Of the few dozen or so fossils claimed as transitional, not one is uncontested as a true example of transition between major animal forms out of millions of collected fossils. -

    15. Materialism predicted animal speciation should happen on a somewhat constant basis on earth. Theism predicted man was the last species created on earth – Man himself is the last generally accepted major fossil form to have suddenly appeared in the fossil record. -

    references:
    https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1ubha8aFKlJiljnuCa98QqLihFWFwZ_nnUNhEC6m6Cys

    As you can see when we remove the artificial imposition of the materialistic philosophy, from the scientific method, and look carefully at the predictions of both the materialistic philosophy and the Theistic philosophy, side by side, we find the scientific method is very good at pointing us in the direction of Theism as the true explanation. – In fact it is even very good at pointing us to Christianity:

    General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy & the Shroud Of Turin – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5070355

  42. Say we are observing some phenomena- X.
    We can study X as X is occurring right in front of many scientists.

    Afetr many years of investigtion scientists conclude that with X energy is increasing and physical laws are being violated. And seeing that X is ongoing they have been able to trace back to the source. The source is God.

    Were they doing science? According to Lizzie they were not.

  43. Elizabeth asks:

    ‘If your answer is that they do, and you include minds and quantum effects as “supernatural” then you (sic) do you account for the existence of quantum physicists and neuroscientists?

    The point is that natural processes are completely bankrupt as to explain the existence of quantum physicists and neuroscientists in the first place. Just because your preferred natural cause of filtered accidents (neo-darwinian evolution) is unable to account for even the most trivial levels of functional complexity, much less the existence of quantum physicists and neuroscientists, matters not one iota to me. Why should I even entertain the thought that you are sane for positing as such???

  44. Elizabeth Liddle (#6):

    Science necessarily involves an a priori commitment to the proposition that natural causes are the reason for everything.

    Many people make that claim. I think it is mistake. For it depends on the assumption that there is a fixed division into natural and supernatural.

    As I see it, science is evidence based. And when science identifies a cause, it deems what it has identified as being natural.

    The history of science is a history of the growth of what is considered to be natural, and the shrinking of what is considered to be supernatural. Those who still insist on a role for the supernatural are in the position of painting themselves into a corner. And as the supernatural continues to shrink, the corner where they have confined themselves becomes increasing uncomfortable.

  45. F/N: my no 27 is in mod, though I separately posted.

  46. 46
    Elizabeth Liddle

    I would agree with that, Neil.

    And, indeed, if Ghost Hunters or whoever, demonstrate that psi forces exist, in scientific terms they will simply have extended the range of “natural” phenomena we know about in the world.

    This is why I continue to think that the charge that scientists are a priori committed to naturalism is a straw man.

    Better to say that anything investigable by science is, by definition, natural. If we find incontrovertible evidence for design in living things, then we must posit a natural designer, just as we posit a natural designer when find a watch on a heath :)

  47. of related note on the irreconcilability of General relativity and Quantum Mechanics:

    Quantum Mechanics and Relativity – The Collapse Of Physics? – video – with notes on plausible solution materialists have missed
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6597379/

  48. 48
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Well, ba77, I simply don’t accept your premise :)

    I think “filtered accidents” (nice phrase btw) can account for the phenomena you say they can’t.

    But if you regard me as insane for thinking so, so be it :)

  49. 49
    CannuckianYankee

    Lizzie,

    “Oh, and BTW, I disagree with Dawkins on this.

    He’s made exactly the mistake I think that UDists often make, which is to confuse a “supernatural” cause with an “intelligent” cause.

    Intelligent causes are well within the domain of scientific investigation.”

    You’re quite new to this forum, so I don’t think you’re privy to a lot of the discussion we’ve had on this matter from several years ago.

    If intelligent causes are well within the domain of scientific investigation, it should not matter what we believe about such causes whether they are “supernatural” or not. The main issue is that intelligence can be detected by scientific methodology. This is not an issue of gaps – everything in science has gaps that are often filled in with metaphysical assumptions, and sometimes left alone as a mystery.

    What is at issue is your contention that every cause in nature must be “natural” as defined by naturalism.

    Now part of that discussion we had several years ago, and we continue to discuss from time to time is how these terms “natural” and “supernatural” are defined. The problem is that we are well aware of what natural means, but “supernatural” is a construct for something that we can’t explain in terms of natural processes. I personally believe that it’s ill-defined, and I agree with you that we should leave it outside of science; but that’s as far as my agreement with you goes.

    I believe that the whole issue over methodological naturalism is an extremely important one.

    We don’t have the luxury of defining science as only looking for natural causes as defined by naturalists, but as looking for reasonable causes; and the two are not the same thing.

    It’s possible to accept reasonable causes whether they are part of natural processes or not and remain scientific.

    For example; one could accept that there are “supernatural” causes and still reject specific claims of the supernatural from a scientific perspective. This is done quite often.

    I believe it was Joseph who mentioned Ghost Hunters (not Ghost Busters), which is basically a rather juvenile show in which people go into “haunted” places and by using various electronic instruments, try to detect the presence of ghosts. I do have some skepticism regarding the initial assumptions, and this is quite a scientific perspective, which does not dismiss the existence of ghosts altogether.

    My contention with this practice begins with an understanding of how the whole modern ghost cultural phenomenon started with the spiritualism movement of the late 1800s in Western countries, and much of the beliefs about ghosts in popular culture today stem from that particular view. I would agree with you if you find the methodology there to be totally overlooking some assumptions that must be made. They don’t appear to be involved in ruling out natural causes for what they detect as ghosts. They begin with the assumption, stemming from a cultural phenomenon that started in the late 1800s, and they run with it. I don’t think it’s at all scientific, and I would agree (if it’s your view) that ghosts at least in that particular instance are not being detected.

    However, I do believe that ghosts can be experienced and encountered. Are they natural? Perhaps; I don’t know. The people who produce Ghost Hunters seem to believe so.

    You can see I’m sure, that it is possible to believe in something that we define as “supernatural” and yet reject certain claims regarding supernatural detection using the instruments of science. I think it’s a flawed methodology as depicted on the show simply because they don’t show the actual existence or experience of apparitions. The only thing in my thinking that would make such investigations scientific is if actual apparitions had been encountered and filmed. Otherwise, they are forcing an assumption on a situation they have created, and there are perfectly “natural” explanations for what the instruments are detecting – drafts and such; which do not necessarily imply the presence of ghosts.

    We could determine the cause of what is interpreted as apparitions from purely natural explanations. But what we can’t do is rule out that they are supernatural if we can’t find a natural explanation. That would not be scientific, but interjecting a particular metaphysical assumption that eventually there will be a natural explanation, simply because we have a history of finding natural explanations for other formerly mysterious phenomena, is also a faulty way of thinking about these issues. That’s no way to do science.

    To state altogether that what is supernatural (without adequately defining what that means precisely) cannot be investigated scientifically is to infuse science with metaphysics; the very thing you’re objecting to.

    So it’s not IDists who have infused science with metaphysics, but materialists with the insistence that all phenomena can be explained “naturally,” even so far as the creation of the universe itself. I don’t think materialists do much thinking in that area. They accept as a given that the universe has a perfectly natural cause, even if it is not yet known. That’s quite an assumption to make.

    I don’t know about you, but in my thinking, I start with the universe as a whole. I try to see the whole picture, and I can’t for the life of me, given my understanding and experience with natural causes; figure out how the universe could have had a “natural” cause as we currently define it. In fact, logically it becomes absurd to even think in those terms. This allows me to determine that there is at least one instance in creation where there must be a cause that is not “natural” as we define it; and with that, I have to be open to the possibility that there are other causes that may not be “natural” as we define them. This does not force me to accept all claims of “supernatural” causes simply because I can find no other explanation and I must fill in the gap with something. For me some things are better left as a mystery than resorting to conclusion jumping. But when a reasonable explanation can be given for phenomena, which trumps “natural” explanations (i.e. is more reasonable), it is not justifiable to rule out such explanations simply because they don’t jive with my metaphysical assumptions.

  50. 50
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Good essay, CannuckianYankee. I would agree with a lot of it.

    Possibly all, except your last sentence:

    But when a reasonable explanation can be given for phenomena, which trumps “natural” explanations (i.e. is more reasonable), it is not justifiable to rule out such explanations simply because they don’t jive with my metaphysical assumptions.

    Can you give an example?

  51. EL:

    And, indeed, if Ghost Hunters or whoever, demonstrate that psi forces exist, in scientific terms they will simply have extended the range of “natural” phenomena we know about in the world.

    At least she flat out admits she will move the goalposts.

    Too bad she still refuses to address the issue of natural processes cannot account for the origin of nature because natural processes only exist in nature.

    But then again I predict a changing of the definition of “natural”…

  52. 52
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Joseph, we really need to get something straight:

    When I ask for a definition, I am not “moving goal posts”. I am attempting to find out where they are.

    If you want to know where I stand, then give me the definition of natural you are using, and I will tell you.

    And if someone gives me a different definition, then I will probably give them a different answer. Not because I have moved the goal posts but because the goal posts have moved.

    But if someone says that scientists have an a priori commitment to “natural” causes, then that person needs to say what they mean.

    I assumed a certain meaning. It turned out that a number of people defined natural differently from the way that I had assumed it was meant.

    Fine.

    But if “natural” excludes such things as “mind” and “quantum effects” then clearly, scientists do not have an a priori commitment to natural causes, because both are investigated by scientists.

    If it does not exclude such things, then I ask what it is supposed to exclude. What is it exactly that scientists are being accused of excluding?

  53. 53
    CannuckianYankee

    Lizzie,

    “Can you give an example?”

    Have you read “Signature in the Cell” yet?

    I don’t think examples are necessary for the point being made as it’s simply a matter of failure of imagination outside what one has narrowly defined as science, on the part of strict naturalists; who seem to be monopolizing the dispensation of scientific knowledge.

    However, I give you ID as an example. Joseph pointed out in the above post that it’s really an issue of moving goal posts. Right now one of the goal posts is “supernaturalism” inadequately defined in order to keep science focused on “natural” causes as naturalists define them.

    So when I say I try to look at the big picture, and what disturbs me is trying to find a reasonable “natural” explanation for the creation of the universe, arguments such as Meyer’s ( as well as the fine tuning arguments from Gonzalez and others) begin to sound a whole lot more rational and grounded in science than materialistic arguments, which must begin with a priori assumptions about the “nature of nature.”

    Please understand that part of the thinking among theists regarding these issues is that what we call supernatural is not necessarily so. There could be dimensions outside of what we experience as “natural,” which also operate under specified and ordered parameters, and which can affect our own physical dimension; and we have good empirical evidence that at least something outside of the universe has affected the universe.

    If it now comes to pass that we have empirical data pointing to their existence and we accepted them scientifically, we would not then define them as outside science, but I think we would render them as anomalies; which don’t adhere to the law-like properties we find in our own dimension. While we couldn’t exactly call such hypothesized or real entities natural in the strictly naturalistic sense as physical reality; we could infer that a strict adherence to laws such as what we find in our own universe would render such entities just as natural as we view our own natural universe. And quite frankly, the ordered adherence to law is precisely how naturalism is appropriately defined.

    But even if they don’t operate according to law, we still don’t have an argument that their presence is outside of science. You stated yourself that we can detect “art” or design. While design may be limited to law, it is not necessarily so. Some of the greatest achievements in design have been so precisely because they deviated from convention. This does not render them outside the limits of scientific convention. It simply means that there are other parameters for science that lie outside or beyond our current understanding of law and principle. Agents act, and they don’t always act according to narrowly defined law and principle, but we can still detect that they are exercising agency.

    The problem with naturalists is they assume that any deviation from that law-like nature would greatly affect our ability to do science; such that even to posit or think about the possibility of forces outside of “nature” becomes anathema to science – even if one were to hypothesize an entity or existence in a realm where law-like principles are still in operation, while defying of our own laws of nature.

    But the goalposts have been set such that the scientific establishment prohibits any deviations into such fields; and I’m not talking about astrology or ufology or any of what are likely and justifiably referred to as “pseudoscience.”

    ID is one such proposal that has gone outside the goalposts of “naturalism” as arbitrarily defined by naturalists themselves. Once naturalists see that their inability or refusal to precisely define what they mean by “supernatural” other than that there exists phenomena which they can’t explain by a naturalist methodology, and so they either ignore or leave it as a gap to be eventually filled in by naturalistic causal explanations, I think science will begin to fall into line. That will take the commitment of an altogether new generation of scientists.

    Another example is in the neuro sciences and the science of mind. I think you have acknowledged that evolutionary psychology is inadequate to account for what makes us human. What is adequate then? If the mind is something outside the physical parameters of the brain, what makes it so? These are questions that are not permitted in a strictly naturalistic scientific environment; yet they are legitimately scientific questions.

  54. Natural means either existing in or produced by nature.

    Humans exist in nature and therefor are natural. However there isn’t any evidence that humans were produced by nature. Therefor humans could have a supernatural, or at least artifial, cause.

  55. 55
    Elizabeth Liddle

    OK, thanks CannuckianYankee. I have got as far as Chapter 6 of The Signature in the Cell.

    Wrt one of your other points: I’m not sure what you mean by naturalists refusing to define the supernatural.

    It seems to me that if science is being accused of ruling out the supernatural, that it is those leveling the charge who need to make clear what they think science is ruling out.

    That’s really been my point all along.

    If scientists are being accused of having an “a priori commitment to naturalism”, what do the accusers mean by that?

    Because as I see it, scientists are simply committed to finding ever-more-explanatory models. If that is to be labeled “naturalism” then what is wrong with it? If “naturalism” is supposed to be something else, what is it supposed to be?

  56. Elizabeth Liddle writes at #54: “If scientists are being accused of having an “a priori commitment to naturalism”, what do the accusers mean by that?”

    I think Richard Lewontin is the scientist quoted with regards to this commitment. He states that “we [scientists] cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” So, in other words, he absolutely won’t consider anything that can’t be experimented with/on or empirically discovered.

  57. 57
    CannuckianYankee

    Barb and Lizzie,

    “I think Richard Lewontin is the scientist quoted with regards to this commitment.”

    Well that’s part of it for sure, but I think that the institutions, which vocally “support” science education such as the NCSE are in on the scheme.

    Frankly, to not recognize this is really quite revealing regarding one’s own metaphysical assumptions.

    I disagree with you Lizzie that it is up to theists to define “supernatural” when it’s folks like philosopher Barbara Forrest making the charge that naturalism is the default position for any reasonable person; and she does so in comparison with what she terms “supernaturalism.”

    “…supernaturalism is little more than a logical possibility.”

    “Philosophical naturalism is emphatically not an arbitrary philosophical preference, but rather the only reasonable metaphysical conclusion–if by reasonable one means both empirically grounded and logically coherent.”

    http://www.infidels.org/librar.....alism.html

    Well in my estimation “supernaturalism” is not even a logical possibility when you have no coherent definition for what you mean by it. It’s really an arbitrary distinction used to place religious belief outside of the bounds of reason. She said it, not me.

    There are many others who have said something quite similar to Forrest’s charge. It’s not an isolated POV from Forrest, rather it permeates a general consensus; particularly among those who view themselves as scientifically literate.

  58. And, indeed, if Ghost Hunters or whoever, demonstrate that psi forces exist, in scientific terms they will simply have extended the range of “natural” phenomena we know about in the world.

    Better to say that anything investigable by science is, by definition, natural.

    Well, that does wonders to the claim that science is bound by methodological naturalism. And what’s natural? Why, anything that science can investigate of course.

    So much for the common claim that science has never discovered evidence of the supernatural. It damn well couldn’t, since anything ever inferred or discovered by science becomes natural on the spot.

    This is rich.

  59. 59
    CannuckianYankee

    Lizzie,

    I think bottom line for science that does not interject metaphysical assumptions is that science seeks out causes for phenomena based on their evidential effect(s). These causes must be reasonable. They don’t necessarily have to be “natural” as we define it.

    Science has operated quite well without naturalistic assumptions. That it leaves some questions unanswered as far as who or what ultimately did the “causing” is inconsequential. The Big Bang theory I think is the obvious example of this. Try to come up with a reasonable natural explanation for what caused the Big Bang. Well what caused that cause? As you can see you don’t avoid the absurd when it comes to causation if you go about it from that perspective.

    One could leave well enough alone and not deal with the problem of infinite regresses of causes, or one could reasonably go in the direction of theism; which solves the problem with inference to a necessary and uncaused first cause. Either way one could remain scientific. Where one departs from being scientific is when a natural explanation is forced upon the genesis of the cosmos. It is only for that position that there is no empirical data. If one says that the empirical data is nature itself, one is begging the question. Without a first cause for nature it could not and would not exist.

  60. 60
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Nullasalus:

    Well, that does wonders to the claim that science is bound by methodological naturalism. And what’s natural? Why, anything that science can investigate of course.

    So much for the common claim that science has never discovered evidence of the supernatural. It damn well couldn’t, since anything ever inferred or discovered by science becomes natural on the spot.

    This is rich.

    But it’s exactly the point! Science cannot “investigate the supernatural”.

    It can only reach the arbitrary end of a causal chain. The only way it can test whether there is another link to the chain is by pulling on it.

    i.e. as I said, “supernatural” in science, can only be the null. It can never be the study hypothesis.

    And that is the limitation – not censorship but inherent in the methodology.

    Science can neither prove nor disprove the supernatural. It can push back its limits.

  61. 61
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Meant to write: “it can only push back its limits”.

  62. I liked esp. Rachmaninoff out of a bacterium in 10^17 seconds!

    Elizabeth:

    Positivism has already been disqualified as a universal paradigm by quantum effects, so there ARE things we cannot reliably measure and therefore there ARE things for which there CANNOT be a naturalistic methodology based on observation -> measurement – prediction.

    In maths, incompleteness results show the same, as has been pointed out in this thread and in others multiple times. So there IS part of reality we cannot rationally comprehend (observe/measure/predict). But most remarkably, there ARE pointers to this reality, that are discernible by our rational reasoning (e.g. the fine-tuning of the universe).

    I am afraid you are holding on to assumptions of the 17th century. I think your methodological mistake is that you are trying to use everywhere tools that are only good for one purpose.

  63. Hi Gil,

    What other fairy tales do you believe in now?

    Do you believe the one about how the giraffe got it’s long neck, or the one about how the leopard got it’s spots?

  64. 64
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Elizabeth:

    Positivism has already been disqualified as a universal paradigm by quantum effects, so there ARE things we cannot reliably measure and therefore there ARE things for which there CANNOT be a naturalistic methodology based on observation -> measurement – prediction.

    In maths, incompleteness results show the same, as has been pointed out in this thread and in others multiple times. So there IS part of reality we cannot rationally comprehend (observe/measure/predict). But most remarkably, there ARE pointers to this reality, that are discernible by our rational reasoning (e.g. the fine-tuning of the universe).

    I am afraid you are holding on to assumptions of the 17th century. I think your methodological mistake is that you are trying to use everywhere tools that are only good for one purpose.

    Well, no, I’m not. All I’m saying is that science does not have tools to determine whether a cause is “supernatural”.

    However, you want to define “supernatural” in a way that includes quantum weirdness, then obviously that ceases to be true, but in that case all we can infer is “quantum weirdness”, not a creator God. Certainly not a specific God.

    And I don’t think the fine-tuning argument works, for several reasons, but the foremost reasons is that again, “supernatural” has to be the null, and is therefore an argument-of-the-gaps.

    Fine tuning is falsifiable.

  65. All I’m saying is that science does not have tools to determine whether a cause is “supernatural”.

    Perhaps what you meant to say was:

    All I’m saying is that science does not have tools to determine whether a cause is “natural”.

    That is your stance, correct?

    I would not be misrepresenting you to say that is what you believe, would I?

  66. 66
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Well, Mung, before we go further, can you tell me how you are defining “supernatural”?

    Otherwise we will continue to talk past each other :)

  67. Elizabeth Liddle @6:

    Science necessarily involves an a priori commitment to the proposition that natural causes are the reason for everything.

    It [Science] does not possess the methodology to discover any other kind of cause.

    What methodology would you recommend for investigating an un-natural/supernatural cause?

    I’m using your definition.

    If you don’t like what I wrote in @65, are you now saying that science does have the tools to determine whether a cause is natural?

    Because over on another thread, you’re saying just the opposite.

    It either does it it doesn’t Lizzie, there’s no middle position to take on the matter.

  68. 68
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Mung: you say you are using my definition – I’ve used several, as several have been presented.

    I’d like to know what how you are defining it; when I know that, I will express my claim in your terms,then, I hope, it will be clear.

    But I can’t make myself clear to you until I know how you are understanding the term “natural” and whether you are regarding “supernatural” as its antonym, or alternatively “artificial”, as kairosfocus suggested.

    In either case I need to know how you are defining the difference between the members of each antonymic pair.

    Thanks.

    Lizzie

  69. Elizabeth,

    If you are saying that there is a limit to science in principle, then I agree. What I was trying to say is that naturalism is limited in its means.

    Since perhaps the times of the Industrial Revolution we have been taught that nature is a machine. “Weirdness”, as you put it, revealed by science in the XX century essentially shows that it is not the case.

    “The fine-tuning is falsible”.

    I can see no problem with that in principle (unless of course falsifiability involves imaginary multiverses).

  70. 70
    Elizabeth Liddle

    In that case we are quite close, Eugene S!

    I think I am saying that you (generic you) can’t have your cake and eat it.

    Either we agree that scientific methodology is intrinsically limited to the “natural” world, in which case there is no censorship, no “a priori commitment” because, simply, no other methodology is possible within the scientific domain, or we say taht science should, could, but, culpably won’t extend its methodology to cover the supernatural, in which case, my question is: how do you propose to do it?

    (Again, generic “you”!)

    In other words either science is innocent, but intrinsically limited, or guilty, in which case I need demonstration of how it could do otherwise.

    Pick one, guys :)

  71. Either we agree that scientific methodology is intrinsically limited to the “natural” world, in which case there is no censorship, no “a priori commitment” because, simply, no other methodology is possible within the scientific domain, or we say that science should, could, but, culpably won’t extend its methodology to cover the supernatural, in which case, my question is: how do you propose to do it?

    Yet elsewhere you write:

    Science cannot distinguish the natural from the supernatural; it [Science] can only tell us what is not supernatural.

    And again:

    I’m saying that science does NOT have the methodology to establish whether a cause is natural or not. I’ve said that several times.

    So you’re talking out of both sides of your mouth. You’re the one wanting to have their cake and eat it to. You’re the one who needs to pick one.

    You truly fail to see the inherent contradiction on your positions?

  72. Once upon a time, Moses, Elizabeth Liddle, and Stephanie Abrams (Meteorologist from the Weather Channel) were walking by the Red Sea. Suddenly, under the influence of Divine inspiration, Moses looked toward heaven, raised his arms, and parted the waters.

    Stephanie: Good grief! I have been studying the weather for years. I know for a fact that nature cannot do this. Only one reasonable inference is possible. This is a supernatural event.

    Lizzie: Scientific methodology forbids such a conclusion.

    Stephanie: The methodology employed depends on the question that is being asked or the problem that is being solved. Once the scientist decides on a question, only he/she can develop the appropriate methodology. Based on methodologies I already use, I can easily fine-tune them on the spot to draw this conclusion.

    Lizzie: You don’t understand. Science must study nature as if nature is all there is.

    Stephanie: Are you saying that, as a scientist, I must suspend my knowledge that the wind, acting alone, cannot create such a phenomenon. Are you saying that I am obliged to forget the fact that the waters parted at the very same time that Moses raised his arms? Is that what you are saying?

    Lizzie: That’s right. The scientist may not draw conclusions based on evidence if those conclusions would allow a “divine foot in the door.”

    Stephanie: But what if the Divine really did stick His foot in the door.

    Lizzie: The facts in evidence do not matter in those kinds of circumstances because, as I said, science cannot address them.

    Stephanie: But I am a scientist using my best judgment. Doesn’t that count?

    Lizzie: No. Scientists are not allowed to use their best judgment. Methodological Naturalism forbids it.

    Stephanie. I never heard of such a rule. Where did it come from?

    Lizzie. I made it up.

    Stephanie: Well, if that is the case, why did you not apply it to big bang cosmology, which clearly allows a Divine foot in the door?

    Lizzie: I will have to get back with you on that one. I can tell you this, though, if you pursue this line of thought any further, you will lose your job.

    Moses: May I speak?

    Lizzie: No.

  73. Steve

    Point . . .

    G

  74. Elizabeth Liddle:

    Science cannot distinguish the natural from the supernatural

    Elizabeth Liddle:

    science does NOT have the methodology to establish whether a cause is natural or not.

    Elizabeth Liddle:

    it [Science] can only tell us what is not supernatural.

    Science can only tell us what is natural.

    But Science cannot distinguish the natural from the supernatural. And Science has no methodology to establish whether a cause is natural or not.

    But Science can only tell us what is not supernatural.

    Stop. Read. Ponder.

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