Home » Intelligent Design » As An Outsider…

As An Outsider…

Richard Dawkins says

As an outsider, I observe American culture polarizing fast, and religion is at the center of the action.

Side note: Dawkins’ essay disappeared from his website after 3 days. I wonder if the thumbsters will accuse him of deleting embarrassing articles as they accuse us of doing? Something tells me Dawkins’ faux pas will escape mention over there. Can you spell “hypocrite”? Or how about “double standard”? I knew you could.

Anyhow…

As an outsider, I observe European culture deteriorating fast, and religion is at the center of the action.

Rushing in to fill in the cultural power vacuum created by Christians abandoning their beliefs Muslims set fire to France.

Europe, the birthplace of the Protestant church, has abandoned the church and the venerable Protestant Work Ethic. The result is capitalism is on the decline, socialism is on the rise, unemployment is skyrocketing, and Europe’s population is becoming a welfare society dependent on government largesse for survival. Her economic output per citizen is 70% that of the U.S., her unemployment rate is 8.8% vs. 4.6% in America, and GDP growth is 1.5% vs. 3.0% in the USA.

Worse, a growing dependency culture such as Europe requires an increasing number of new, young workers entering the workforce to pay usurious tax rates in support of the growing number of older slackers. Because Europe has abandoned her belief in heavenly rewards she is increasingly focused on the material rewards of the earthly world. Children are a financial burden and adults can live higher on the hog without them. Europe’s population is growing only through net migration (mostly Muslims, which were already discussed above) at a paltry 0.15% vs. U.S. 0.59%.

So Professor Dawkins we in the United States ARE polarizing. One side wants to follow the European Union into the abyss and the other wants to continue being the shining city on the hill. I know which side of the polarization I’m on and thank God in heaven I also know which side of the Atlantic I’m on.

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40 Responses to As An Outsider…

  1. Well DaveScot,

    You just don’t understand how evil those religious people are. I mean they believe in dumb things like teleology, Aristotles final cause. I mean everyone knows that the liberal dream is the only dream worth having and anyone who disagrees is just plain dumb, or at least that is the main assumption you ought to make.

    On another note, why do people who believe we have no purpose but to survive, continually push for some utopia vision of what humans are supposed to achieve???? Why is he making claims about things being better than other things when in the end it makes no difference, if he is right??? Does this make sense in a worldview which basically says all views with regard to VALUES are essentially equal???

    I smell a rat!!!

    I like the preview system. It was Intelligently Designed, no?

  2. Being an european citizen, I have to say that it’s a matter of great sadness to see the continent that offered so much to the world die of such a painful and slow death. :-|

    The spiritual vacuum is *the* central cause for the “death” of Europe.

  3. What’s wrong with polarization? Would that there had been more “polarization” in Germany when Hitler moved to consolidate his power. Unity around bad principles is not a good thing.

  4. Dawkins has a lot of guts referring to his newest hero – Albert Einstein. Einsten had no more truck with atheists like Dawkins than he had with religious fanatics. Furthermore, in contrast with what Dawkins says, Einstein’s view about a personal God was transparent. He had no truck with that either.

    “The main source of the present-day conflicts between the spheres of religion and science lies in the concept of a personal God.”

    Richard Dawkins is to neoDarwinism what Paul Kammerer was to Lamarckism, a perfect charlatan.

    It is hard to believe isn’t it?

    I love it so!

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  5. Mats,

    It is dissappointing to see it from on this side of the pond as well. And given the demographic trends, Europe will adopt, through the influx of Islam, the very values it currently finds such anathema.

    But, Dawkins sure is a stitch. Surely he is an adaptation that has evolved to bring us humor as representing the very caricature of the end state of his worldview.

    For example, his statement ” A universe with a god would be a completely different kind of universe from one without, and it would be a scientific difference. God could clinch the matter in his favour at any moment by staging a spectacular demonstration of his powers, one that would satisfy the exacting standards of science.” Oh yes, ladies and gentleman, God should and would behave in exactly the way that Dawkins deems fit.

    Another of his choice tidbits: “Complex, statistically improbable things, by definition, don’t just happen; they demand an explanation in their own right. ” Well, isn’t that what IDers have been saying all along?

    And a couple of sentences later: “Intelligent, creative, complex, statistically improbable things come late into the universe, as the product of evolution or some other process of gradual escalation from simple beginnings. They come late into the universe and therefore cannot be responsible for designing it.” Recognizing that he means the later experienced complexity could not have designed the cosmos from the beginning, which no one is disputing, he comes dangerously close to admitting that the complexity we find today cannot have been responsible for itself. But, Darwinian evolution would say that the complexity of life is responsible for itself in the sense that the only conditions necessary were time and chance. After all, who needs external assistance?

  6. Dawkins is a kook. Someone must have abused him as a child. Now he’s trying to abuse the world with this new book.

  7. What nobody, except me of course, seems to realize is that God is dead and has been for a very long time. That is why we can’t expect him or more likely them to present themselves now. What we see now is the fruit of their labors which in my personal opinion must have completely consumed them.

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  8. *cough^

    *descending whistle^

  9. John A. Davison,

    “What nobody, except me of course, seems to realize is that God is dead and has been for a very long time. That is why we can’t expect him or more likely them to present themselves now. What we see now is the fruit of their labors which in my personal opinion must have completely consumed them.”

    I have to say, your metaphysics are always interesting – whenever you mention them that is. A determinist who proposes a supernatural start to the universe by agents who are now deceased. I remember seeing you mention being a baptized and confirmed Catholic once as well, though I suppose no longer believing in any sense of the word.

    If nothing else, Darwinian detractors are more colorful than most of the proponents.

  10. Where’s my 10 foot pole?

  11. I’m not as wise as Scott and Todd:

    (cliche to follow) God’s not dead, I just talked to Him.

    ;)

    BSF, anyone wants to get started about errors of scale relating to the existence of God, I’ll try to keep up.

  12. 12

    As far as my science is concerned, God is dead. There is no place for God in science and I know of not a single breakthrough that ever required even the mention of God and neither does anyone else. My Catholicism is no ones business but mine. Got that? Write that down.

    It is hard to believe isn’t it?

    I love it so!

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  13. I know which side of the polarization I’m on and thank God in heaven I also know which side of the Atlantic I’m on.

    Now, that is a well-placed shot!

  14. John A. Davison, as far as science is concerned, what about this thought, especially as to creation or causality?

    http://metaresearch.org/cosmol.....ciples.asp

    [blockquote] Abstract. Physicists and mathematicians have fundamentally different approaches to describing reality. The essential difference is that physicists adhere to certain logical principles, any violation of which would amount to a miracle; whereas the equations of mathematics generally are oblivious to physical constraints. This leads to drastically different views of what is, and what is not, possible for cosmology and the reality we live in.
    Introduction

    “Something is wrong with science – fundamentally wrong. Theories keep getting stranger and stranger.” [ref. 1; opening words of Preface] This is certainly true of physics, which has backed itself into apparent contradictions, leading directly to the dominant Copenhagen view that “there is no deep reality to the world around us”.

    A reasonable person might ask, “What is the wrong turn that physics has taken to arrive at this predicament?” The answer proposed here is that physics has given up its principles. It has too long consorted with mathematicians, who have no such principles. Mathematics obviously has considerable value as a tool for describing the world. However, a strength of physics historically has been the discipline it brings to mathematics by relating directly to nature. Forgetting this has surely been to the detriment of progress in physics.

    The Causality Principle

    Perhaps most basic of all the principles of physics is the causality principle. In its simplest form, it reads: “Every effect has a cause.” In more precise language, it reads: “Every effect has an antecedent, proximate cause.” Let’s examine these components, and see why each is required.

    First, why must every effect have a cause? The answer is so basic that it is practically a matter of definition. The “cause” is whatever makes the “effect” happen. If something in the universe changes (an effect), having no “cause” to make it happen is the logical equivalent of magic, a miracle, or the supernatural. Even then, we might think of the will of the magician, miracle worker, or supernatural being as the cause. However, we are not referring here to tricks or illusions, but to events that happen without something making them happen. Even the will of a powerful being cannot produce an effect without having the means to do so. The “means” is the cause, and typically involves force or energy in some form. This point will be clearer when we examine the other two parts of the causality principle.

    No Time Reversal

    “Antecedent” means that a cause must exist in time prior to the effect happening. If their order were reversed, we would still refer to the chronologically first as the cause and the second as the effect. This is because if something were able to change the past, it could create logical contradictions. For example, let A cause B, then let B directly or indirectly eliminate A in the past. Then B could never have come into existence because A, now gone, is what caused it; and so on, in an endless loop of contradiction. So logically, all causes must be antecedent to their effects.

    (We ignored the possibility of simultaneous cause and effect because that would require change without benefit of the passage of time. But we consider time to be a measure of change in the universe, making change without time a meaningless concept. Of course, nothing prohibits a cause from operating so close to simultaneously that we lack the ability to measure the short interval by which it precedes the effect. For our purposes here, it is important only that the effect must precede the cause, by however miniscule an amount.)

    It follows that time travel into the past is not possible. Imagine what it would mean for a person to time-travel into the past, as in an H.G. Wells story. As the person appears in a time where he did not previously exist, that instantly violates any hope for conservation of matter or energy in the universe. Not only has more of both just been added to the past (displacing any substance that existed in that place previously), but the universe continues to have this supplemental mass and energy until their progenitors disappear from the present.

    Another problem is that time travel must also involve travel through space. For example, the Earth is continuously traveling through space in its orbit around the Sun, in the Sun’s orbit around the Galaxy, and in the Galaxy’s motion through the local supercluster. If one could suddenly pop into the universe at a past time, how could one expect to find the Earth in space at that time? [/blockquote]

  15. Says John A. Davison above: “There is no place for God in science and I know of not a single breakthrough that ever required even the mention of God and neither does anyone else. ”

    This is explicitly refuted by the Kalam argument:

    1) That which begins to exist must have a cause (thanks to P. Phillips in comment 14 for a spirited defense)

    2) The universe began to exist (P. Phillips, I know you disagree with this one, but the consensus of the cosmological community would be behind it)

    3) Therefore, the universe has a cause.

    For a naturalist, everything that is real exists within the universe. Since this cause must exist outside; the supernatural is hereby demonstrated.

  16. Darn, the blockquote function didnt’ work! I guess Carl’s lesson was lost on me.

    Let me try one more time, the more important part:

    No “Creation ex nihilo”

    “No creation ex nihilo” is the principle that something cannot come into existence out of nothing. In a sense, it is another manifestation of the causality principle because such creation would represent an effect without a cause. However, this is a particular case worth considering on its own merits because our primary cosmology today, the Big Bang, begins with the ultimate creation-from-nothing scenario – the mass, space, and time of the entire universe from nothing – as its first step.

    Creation ex nihilo is forbidden in physics because it requires a miracle. Everything that exists comes from something that existed before, that has grown, or fragmented, or changed form. Growth requires accretion, nourishment, or energy input. Fragmentation ranges from chipping to evaporation to explosion into bits so tiny that we can no longer see or detect them. Changing form includes changes of state, such as solids, liquids, gases, or plasmas.

    “Matter” and “energy” may be regarded as simply different forms of the same substance, convertible back and forth. It is easy to visualize matter as exploding into ultra-tiny bits that we might call “energy”. But part of that energy consists of the high speeds of bodies. Where does that energy come from? Bodies have small constituents inside atoms that already have high speeds. These constituents may be liberated by an explosion, just as high relative speeds of bodies can be converted into fast constituent motion (heat) during a head-on collision. Even if we could not be specific about how this happened, we could still be certain that energy is not created on the spot from nothing.

    So-called spontaneous particle creation from vacuum need not violate this principle because the vacuum is not empty. So called “zero-point energy” is energy of the vacuum, implying that the vacuum is occupied by substance on a scale too small for us to yet detect in any form other than in Casimir-type experiments. The principle only requires that the ingredients from which something is made pre-exist, but not that we can discover them yet.

    Religious people might wonder why physics does not admit creation ex nihilo as an “act of God”, and therefore a valid cause. However, this is a non-economical, and non-testable hypothesis, thereby violating two of the criteria of Scientific Method. Moreover, “acts of God” are a potential explanation for everything, ending the need to investigate further and discover predictable causes. As long as all observations and experiments can be explained without need of miracles – something that has so far remained true – this principle must remain an inviolate guideline. Even if an apparent exception arose, it is difficult to imagine circumstances where a more economical, and therefore more scientific, hypothesis than an act of a Supreme Being would not exist. See also the later section of this paper about “repealing physical principles”.
    No “Demise ad nihil”

    The counterpart of not allowing the creation of something from nothing is “No Demise as nihil”; i.e., something cannot become nothing. However finely a thing may dissolve, however undetectable the bits of “energy” into which a thing may explode, if all the individual bits were brought together again with the same ordering, the original thing would be recovered. In other words, nothing has ceased to exist; it has merely changed its appearance or form.

    It is conjectured in general relativity (GR) that “black holes” might exist, in which case anything inside an event horizon would be out of communication with the rest of the universe. Such a condition might appear to be the practical equivalent of passing out of existence. However, even for black holes, indications of existence can still be found outside the event horizon in the form of a gravitational field, so the object does continue its influence on the universe.

    Nonetheless, as we will shortly consider, objects such as the “black holes” presently attributed to GR are forbidden to exist by the principles of physics (such as the next principle below). A type of astrophysical object for which escape velocity exceeds the speed of light might exist, and we might choose to call that a “black hole”. However, such an object would presumably remain in two way communications with the rest of the universe through the action of faster-than-light particles, and eventually disperse in some way as everything eventually does. But it cannot provide an example of demise ad nihil.
    The Finite Cannot Become Infinite

    The last of the often-self-evident principles of physics we will consider here is “the finite cannot become infinite”, and of course vice versa. That is because, no matter how many finite things we may collect, their total number and total substance remain finite. Likewise, if something is truly infinite (such as the set of all integers), then no matter how we divide it, at least one piece must remain infinite. And no matter how many equal-sized pieces we divide it into, each will still have an infinite number of components.

    A singularity is a point where something has become infinite. In astrophysics, it is a point where matter has collapsed to infinite density and infinitesimal volume. Singularities occur routinely in mathematics. But up to now, whenever a singularity occurs in an equation, some constraint always prevents a singularity from arising in nature. For example, Newton’s Universal Law of Gravitation, universal law of gravitation (1013 bytes), where a (830 bytes) is acceleration, GM is the product of the gravitational constant and the mass, and r is the distance from the center of mass, has a singularity at the origin, r = 0. The equation requires acceleration to become infinite at the origin. But in reality, no test particle can ever reach the origin at the center of mass without first entering into the mass itself, which then changes the acceleration formula in a way that limits acceleration.

    A classic example of this principle operating in physics is the “ultraviolet catastrophe”. It appeared that the energy of re-radiation of absorbed light should become infinite until Planck realized that such energy must occur in discrete packets, called “photons”. In similar manner, every other potential infinity in physics has always led instead to new constraints and improved equations lacking accessible singularities.

    Physicists have tended toward the soft view that such infinities have never yet arisen, so perhaps they never will. But the principle is really a logical necessity if energy, force, density, and all physical quantities are viewed as consisting of a finite number of discrete physical components, even if at an undetectable level. Then obviously, no finite sum, however large, can become infinite. This guarantees that any equation containing a singularity will not continue to represent nature in the immediate neighborhood of that singularity, and that some constraint enforcing singularity-avoidance remains to be discovered in connection with that equation.

    Of course, mathematicians are unaccustomed to physical principles and are very comfortable in dealing with singularities in their equations. The mathematicians who have taken over the province of general relativity have therefore, not surprisingly, advocated the existence of real singularities in nature at the centers of “black holes”. Einstein himself, as a good physicist, never accepted the concept of black holes, and held that some new constraint would modify his equations in the future. His own words [3] written late in his career while he was at Princeton) are illuminating, showing as they do a respect for physical principles over purely mathematical reasoning:

    “If one considers Schwarzschild’s solution of the static gravitational field of spherical symmetry …, [g44] vanishes for r = m/2. This means that a clock kept at this place would go at rate zero. Further it is easy to show that both light rays and material particles take an infinitely long time (measured in ‘coordinate time’) in order to reach the point r = m/2 when originating from a point r > m/2. In this sense the sphere r = m/2 constitutes a place where the field is singular.

    “There arises the question whether it is possible to build up a field containing such singularities with the help of actual gravitating masses, or whether such regions with vanishing g44 do not exist in cases which have physical reality. …” [brief discussion of uncompressible liquids omitted]

    “One is thus led to ask whether matter cannot be introduced in such a way that questionable assumptions are excluded from the very beginning. In fact this can be done by choosing, as the field-producing mass, a great number of small gravitating particles which move freely under the influence of the field produced by all of them together. This is a system resembling a spherical star cluster. … The result of the following consideration will be that it is impossible to make g44 zero anywhere, and that the total gravitating mass which may be produced by distributing particles within a given radius, always remains below a certain bound.” [core of analysis omitted; skipping to conclusions]

    “The essential result of this investigation is a clear understanding as to why the ‘Schwarzschild singularities’ do not exist in physical reality. … The ‘Schwarzschild singularity’ does not appear for the reason that matter cannot be concentrated arbitrarily. And this is due to the fact that otherwise the constituting particles would reach the velocity of light.

    “This investigation arose out of discussions [with Robertson and Bargmann] on the mathematical and physical significance of the Schwarzschild singularity. The problem quite naturally leads to the question, answered by this paper in the negative, as to whether physical models are capable of exhibiting such a singularity.” [End of Einstein quote]

    Einstein wasn’t arguing that the Schwarzschild singularity doesn’t exist in the equations, but that it doesn’t exist in physical reality. Much as for the case of “the ultraviolet catastrophe”, he reasoned that the equations will be shown to be incomplete as observations or experiments approach that limit.

    That’s it, “triangular” so it’s the key next to the letter ‘m’, with shift pressed!

  17. P. Phillips, I can see why you opt to oppose the 2nd Kalam premise rather than the 1st. If the universe began to exist, then some type of ex-nihilo beginning ocurred regardless of the mystery.

    I see also that your critique is directed at the standard GR Big Bang model. The typical model of today, however, is non-singular at the Big Bang yet still results in a beginning. So I’d stick with denying the observational evidence for expansion (see Hugh Ross’s Creator and the Cosmos for that evidence) if I were you.

  18. Sinclair, whether the Big Bang is true or not — and I suspect that it isn’t — people will be what they are. So, pursuit of knowledge is a fine hobby, but our lives won’t get any better.

    In that aspect of “Hellenic” wisdom, the Ancient Greek concept of “man”, I agree with Pope Benedict; I don’t think that’s what he meant, but the “reason” part — good in theory, not observable in “real life”, IMO! :)

    What evidence exists that fifteen or fourteen billion years ago — evidence, I mean observation — there was an “explosion” and then one hundred billion black holes were created and galaxies formed around them?

    To me, plasma cosmology fits the observational evidence better than “inventing” dark matter, dark energy, etc.

    http://www.haltonarp.com/Artic.....elease.pdf

  19. John A. Davison,

    “As far as my science is concerned, God is dead. There is no place for God in science and I know of not a single breakthrough that ever required even the mention of God and neither does anyone else. My Catholicism is no ones business but mine. Got that? Write that down.”

    That’s quite fine – I wouldn’t have mentioned it but for having seen you post it in the past. I don’t know or care to inquire about the faiths of most people involved in ID or Darwinian criticisms. I wasn’t calling your posts ‘interesting’ in a snarky, sarcastic way. Interesting is interesting, nothing more.

  20. John A. Davison: “As far as my science is concerned, God is dead. There is no place for God in science and I know of not a single breakthrough that ever required even the mention of God and neither does anyone else.”

    Dr. Davison, if I got you right, a science breakthrough – IMHO – is not an argument for God’s death. Searching for God in the surrounding world is one thing, and unveiling & understanding His creation is another thing…

    I don’t believe you can put God in a laboratory and study Him in a test tube…

  21. 21

    Sladjo

    You can’t study that which does not exist. What you can study is what does exist and how it got to be there. That study demands a past role for an intelligence far beyond our capacity to comprehend. That is all that is required in order to understand the world and that is all I am willing to concede.

    “All great truths begin as blasphemies.”
    George Bernard Shaw

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  22. Dr. Davison,

    I understand your position, and there is logic in that…
    But… Are you ABSOLUTELY SURE that God is dead ?… Have you seen His dead Body ?… :-)

    I mean, just if we cannot detect God using our present senses (biological & “technological”) there is no guarantee that in some day we won’t be able to sense/feel/see/detect God’s presence…

    On the other hand, one guy once presented the situation something like this: in our search to find (locate/identify/describe) God, we are like Thomas Mann’s novel characters asking themselves “where is Thomas Mann ?”…

    So, IMHO, we shouldn’t just jump to conclusions…

  23. As far as my science is concerned, God is dead. There is no place for God in science and I know of not a single breakthrough that ever required even the mention of God and neither does anyone else.

    Saddly, this is not true:

    But some will object, ‘If we allowed appealing to God anytime we don’t understand something, then science itself would be impossible, for science proceeds on the assumption of natural causality.’ This argument is a red herring. It is true that science is not compatible with just any form of theism, particularly a theism that holds to a capricious god who intervenes so often that the contrast between primary and secondary causality is unintelligible. But Christian theism holds that secondary causality is God’s usual mode and primary causality is infrequent, comparatively speaking. That is why Christianity, far from hindering the development of science, actually provided the womb for its birth and development.
    Moreland, J. P., 1989. Christianity and the Nature of Science: A Philosophical Investigation, Baker Book House Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, p. 226.

    Dr Jonathan Safarti says:

    And as any good student of the history of science knows, it was practicing Christians like Galileo, Copernicus, Kepler and Newton who laid much of the foundations of modern science.
    http://www.answersingenesis.or...../trial.asp

    While modern day scientists use “science” against Christianity, the truth is that it’s no coincidence that modern operational science started in Christian Europe, and not in any other part of the globe.

    The God Hypothesis is within the realm of true science.

  24. We cannot study God where he is not present. He is immanent, but to be pesent is to be observable, at least in principle, and therefore subject to what we might call ‘Quantum Actualization’. See the last point in this post to see one reason why this cannot be true of God.

    It seems quite reasonable to me to extend Dr. Davison’s Prescribed Evolutionary hypothesis to the Universe at large. I have taken to referringto all that is as the Omniverse, with the term Universe encompassing all that is Humanly observeable/measurable.
    Mathematics is exapanding hypothesese about the fine structure of spacetime, which has apparently revealed the necessity for the existence of multiple dimensions beyond or back of our universe. These cannot be apriori excluded as planes of existence for intelligence or personality on any basis except personal philosophical bias.

    The Universe itself cannot produce itself but was apparently extended (from our perspective) or intended (both senses apply).

    IMO it is not logically tenable that a Being which must be taken to be the Ground of Being would be subject to principles of chaos/irreversibilty/entropy which we observe here.

    The principle is that one can only create ,with full intention, toward a lower level of being than oneself.

  25. 25

    The womb for science was Pythagoras and his followers long before the birth of Christ. Galileo was a Pythagorean and so am I. I occasionally wear the pentagram suspended from my scrawny neck but never in church because devout Christians, for some weird reason which they never explain, regard it as a sign of the devil.

    I love Phi, discovered by the Pythagoreans.

    1.618033989…..

    the only number whose square increases it by one and whose reciprocal decreases it by the same amount. Don’t take my word for it. Get out your calculators and enjoy, as I sometimes do, the birth of science three centuries before the birth of Christ. They did it with nothing more than a ruler and compass.

    It is hard to believe isn’t it?

    I love it so!

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  26. John A. Davison,

    You say that God is dead. Well, almost. God WAS dead, but He overcame death.

    Anyway, how do you KNOW that God does not exist? What hypotheses/tests have enabled you to determine this to be a fact? What repeatable, empirical evidence do you have?

  27. Douglas,

    I believe that is just John’s private conjecture and it’s no reason to get into a debate.

    See here:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/comment-policy/

    Theism and Atheism – We don’t discourage discussion of the implications ID or evolutionary theories have on religious or irreligious beliefs. We do discourage preaching–proselytizing for a particular faith or attacking one. This includes atheistic faith.

    Or in this case John’s version of deism or whatever he terms it. If John is interested in such a discussion you both can communicate outside of UD.

    EDIT: Without first reading this page I responded to Douglas after removing his comment from the spam and I just now realized that everyone else was already discussing this subject… I guess you guys can ignore me.

  28. Heck, horticulture was a science a thousand years before Christ. Central American Indians had bred corn, terraced their hillsides, and built a elaborate systems of water storage and transport to extend their growing season from the six month long monsoons to all year round. They were digging water wells at least 10,000 years ago. Their astronomical observations are legendary as well. The Mayan calendar with 365.25 days was established before the enlightenment. Interestingly it begins counting in 3114 BC and ends in 2012 AD. I find this slightly more alarming than I did the Y2K (year 2000) rollover.

  29. 29

    Douglas

    Well I’ll be. I was publishing Intelligent Design when most of you folks were in grade school and I am the original creationist with a capital C. Of course I DON’T KNOW that God is dead. What we don’t know isn’t worth a nickel. He sure looks to be dead to me. Sorry about that. What counts is what I DO KNOW, which is that there must have been at least one of them in the distant past.

    “I get no respect.”
    Rodney Dangerfield

    “A past evolition nis undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  30. Hi, Sinclair; I only speak as an interested layman. Your remark:

    I see also that your critique is directed at the standard GR Big Bang model. The typical model of today, however, is non-singular at the Big Bang yet still results in a beginning. So I’d stick with denying the observational evidence for expansion (see Hugh Ross’s Creator and the Cosmos for that evidence) if I were you.

    In addition, you wrote:

    ) That which begins to exist must have a cause (thanks to P. Phillips in comment 14 for a spirited defense)

    2) The universe began to exist (P. Phillips, I know you disagree with this one, but the consensus of the cosmological community would be behind it)

    Well, to address the latter first, about consensus, what are you doing here, when the consensus is that Intelligent Design is “creationism” in disguise? I say this with humor. I don’t worry about consensus.

    I believe “science” is necessarily a human attempt to interpret observations. I have read and am sympathetic to Rosen’s The Capricious Cosmos.

    This review makes a good point:

    In fact, I further argue that cosmology (per his definition or Mercer’s) should not be classified as science. One can hardly argue with Timothy Ferris that BBC is “the ultimate history story” (The Creation of the Universe, produced by PBS Home Video, edited by Bob Estrin and Lisa Day, 1985), and contrary to the popular maxim, history does not repeat itself. By any reasonable definition, science is a study of reproducible phenomena, thus cosmology (as with any study of history) is not a science. This led Rosen to state that “if someone prefers the biblical description of the coming into being of the universe, for example, or any other description couched in mythic terms, science cannot object. It really can do no better” (Joe Rosen, The Capricious Cosmos, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1991, p. 4). Having addressed these semantical issues, let me attempt a brief overview of Brockelman’s cosmology.

    http://www.metanexus.net/metan.....sp?id=2573

    But if I were to perform a “thought experiment”, and accept the key tenets discussed here, I don’t tthink Bell’s inequality can be avoided. Thus, the potential “interconnectedness”, whether in nonstandard models or in the quantum model, exsits!

    Citing Herbert:

    http://twm.co.nz/herbert.htm

    MISHLOVE: A term that I keep hearing is quantum interconnectedness, and the notion that separability doesn’t exist — that somehow all is one, the way the mystics used to say it.

    HERBERT: Yes. There is a peculiar feature in quantum theory called quantum interconnectedness, and it was discovered right when quantum theory was discovered. It was found that in the quantum description of two objects, when two objects briefly interact and then you pull them apart, in the description at least they never come apart; there’s a kind of stickiness that connects them together, so they’re bound together forever in the theory. They never separate, even though they’re not interacting anymore. It was thought that this was just a theoretical artifact; it was nothing that existed in the real world. Physicists noted it, said this is very strange, and then they promptly forgot about it for about fifty years. But recently, due to something called Bell’s theorem, new interest has been rekindled in this interconnectedness. Bell’s theorem proves that this connection is not a theoretical artifact, but actually exists in the real world.

    MISHLOVE: I should mention for the benefit of our viewers, Nick, that you are probably one of the world’s foremost authorities on Bell’s theorem; that’s what you specialized in. Bell’s theorem seems like the crack in the cosmic egg, in a way; it’s the one part of quantum physics that’s almost turned everything upside down.

    HERBERT: One of my claims to fame is that I have produced the shortest proof of Bell’s theorem in existence. It’s about three lines.

    MISHLOVE: Now, Bell’s theorem, as I understand it, goes back even prior to Bell — to Einstein, and Einstein’s disagreement with quantum physics, back in the early days. He made his classic statement, “God doesn’t play dice with the universe,” at a time when Einstein himself felt he disagreed with quantum physics, as I understand it. He felt that if quantum physics were true, it would have these horrendous implications which it now turns out are true.

    HERBERT: Yes, Einstein was never comfortable with quantum theory, and he basically had three gripes with it. The one gripe was that quantum theory is a probabilistic theory. It just describes things like the world is essentially random and governed only by general laws that give the odds for things to happen, but within these odds anything can happen — that God plays dice. Einstein didn’t like that, but he could have lived with that. The second aspect that Einstein didn’t like was the thinglessness, this fuzzy ambiguity — that the world isn’t made of things, it’s not made of objects. It was put by Paul Davies — the notion that somehow big things are made of little things. Quantum theory doesn’t describe the world that way. Big things aren’t made of little things; they’re made of entities whose attributes aren’t there when you don’t look, but become there when you do look. Now, that sounds very, very strange.

    MISHLOVE: Like an illusion.

    HERBERT: Like an illusion, yes.

    MISHLOVE: Or the Hindu concept of Maya, something like that.

    HERBERT: That’s right. The world exists when we don’t look at it in some strange state that is indescribable. Then when we look at it, it becomes absolutely ordinary, as though someone were trying to pull something over our eyes — the world is an illusion. Einstein didn’t like that. He felt that the big things were made of little things, as the classical physicists thought.

    MISHLOVE: The Newtonian view of billiard-ball-like particles — that if you could only understand the momentum and position of each one, you could predict everything in the universe.

    HERBERT: Everything in the universe, yes, a comfortable sort of view.

    MISHLOVE: You mentioned three things that Einstein objected to; then there must be one more.

    HERBERT: Well, the third thing is this interconnectedness. Einstein said the world cannot be like this, because this interconnectedness goes faster than light. With this quantum interconnectedness, two objects could come together, meet, and then each go into the universe, and they would still be connected. Instantaneously one would know what the fate of the other one was. Einstein said, now that can never be; that’s like voodoo — in fact, he used the word — it’s like telepathy, he said; he said it’s spooky, it’s ghostlike. Almost his last words in his biography were, “On this I absolutely stand firm. The world is not like this.” He died in ’55, and ten years later Bell showed that the world must be like this. It’s kind of ironic. Bell himself said, “My theorem answers some of Einstein’s questions in a way that Einstein would have liked the least.”

    MISHLOVE: And Einstein created a very strange picture of the universe as it is, almost time travel, in his theory of relativity.

    HERBERT: Yes, but even Einstein’s mind wouldn’t go this far, to accept these instant connections, which now we believe really must exist in the universe.

    MISHLOVE: The notion of instant connections almost implies that space itself is an illusion.

    HERBERT: Yes, that distance is an illusion.

    MISHLOVE: That distance is an illusion — that you and I and our viewers and the chair are all somehow intimately connected with the most distant part of the galaxy.

    HERBERT: Yes, that we’re all in one place, that there aren’t any places.

    MISHLOVE: And the notion the mystics sometimes say, that you and I, we’re not really separate individuals, but at a deeper level we’re like fingers; we’re all connected. Or we’re like islands connected. There’s that sense of connectedness as well.

    Therefore, whatever one’s beliefs, the Universe is wondrously strange. Since you are part of the “establishment, I wonder at your thoughts on “interconnection.

    However, returning to Rosen, the universe, I recall he wrote, originated in a “random” fluctuation, thus obviating the need for a “creator”. Thus the problems with your tenets, versus a universal electromagnetic field of unknown origin.

  31. Observational evidence — I give credence to Arp’s, for example, on The Einstein Cross.

  32. John A. Davison,

    “Well I’ll be. I was publishing Intelligent Design when most of you folks were in grade school and I am the original creationist with a capital C.”

    Cool. Which reminds me – Darwin was publishing evolutionary propaganda well before you had even entered grade school. I’m not sure what my point is, but I think we’re even here.

    “Of course I DON’T KNOW that God is dead.”

    Good. At least there’s still hope for God, I suppose.

    “What we don’t know isn’t worth a nickel.”

    Hey, I don’t know chemistry or biology, or science (apparently), but I consider them to be relatively valuable, nevertheless.

    “He sure looks to be dead to me. Sorry about that.”

    He does? In what way or ways? Can I get a second opinion?

    “What counts is what I DO KNOW, which is that there must have been at least one of them in the distant past.”

    I would think that what counts is what WE know, not just what YOU know. And I (part of “we”) KNOW that God is alive, and active in the world. This, of course, regardless of what you know. No offense.

  33. 33

    Douglas

    Of course there is no offense. I know when I ‘m licked. Excuse me while I go lick my wounds.

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  34. Physical death is simply the seperation of the soul from the body. How could God die? He exists in spiritual form; there is nothing to seperate Him from Himself.

  35. John A. Davison’s comment on Pythagoreanism is of interest to me, since I am not hostile to any other faith and recognize the genesis of “our” “scientific method”, not to mention the arts and our form of government is due to the “gifts” of the ancient Hellenes, to borrow a phrase from Edith Hamilton.

    Therefore, what we know of Pythagoras — limited, perhaps because of destruction by Christians, I fear — is instructive. Those who admire C.S. Lewis should note the influence of Hellenistic thought in his works, and when he was dying, he was reading The Iliad, in the original Ancient Greek.

    If this Internet article from a Wikipedia link can be trusted for accuracy, it states:

    The belief in the transmigration of souls provided a basis for the Pythagorean way of life. Some Pythagoreans deduced from this belief the principle of “the kinship of all beings,” the ethical implications of which were later stressed in 4th-century speculation. Pythagoras himself seems to have claimed a semidivine status in close association with the superior god Apollo; he believed that he was able to remember his earlier incarnations and, hence, to know more than others knew. Recent research has emphasized shamanistic traits deriving from the ecstatic cult practices of Thracian medicine men in the early Pythagorean outlook. The rules for the religious life that Pythagoras taught were largely ritualistic: refrain from speaking about the holy, wear white clothes, observe sexual purity, do not touch beans, and so forth. He seems also to have taught purification of the soul by means of music and mental activity (later called philosophy) in order to reach higher incarnations. “To be like your Master” and so “to come nearer to the gods” was the challenge that he imposed on his pupils. Salvation, and perhaps ultimate union with the divine cosmos through the study of the cosmic order, became one of the leading ideas in his school. (see also reincarnation)

    The advanced ethics and political theories sometimes ascribed to Pythagoreanism may to some extent reflect ideas later developed in the circle of Archytas, the leading 4th-century Pythagorean. But a picture current among the Peripatetics (the school founded by Aristotle) of Pythagoras as the educator of the Greeks, who publicly preached a gospel of humanity, is clearly anachronistic. Several of the Peripatetic writers, Aristoxenus, Dicaearchus, and Timaeus, seem to have interpreted some principles–properly laid down only for esoteric use in the brotherhood–as though these applied to all mankind: the internal loyalty, modesty, self-discipline, piety, and abstinence required by the secret doctrinal system; the higher view of womanhood reflected in the admission of women to the school; a certain community of property; and perhaps the drawing of a parallelism between the macrocosm (the universe) and the microcosm (man), in which (for instance) the Pythagorean idea that the cosmos is an organism was applied to the state, which should thus mix monarchy, oligarchy, and democracy into a harmonic whole–these were all universalized

    http://cyberspacei.com/jesusi/.....eanism.htm

    I think it uncivilized to criticize anyone’s beliefs about religion; certainly there is much that is admirable in the conduct of the adherents, if they did indeed “practice” what they believed.

    So, John, more power to you.

    However, again, my thoughts about interconnectedness of the “cosmos”, whether in quantum theory or in the plasma-electrical model remain. However, I am glad there is a very good “firewall”!

    For more on Ancient Greek culture, I recommend this site, which has excellent free translations of the classics and essays:

    http://www.mala.bc.ca/~johnstoi/index.htm

    Finally, why is phi implicit in the structure of the galaxies, sunflowers, “the golden section” et al.? However, I think the nature or existence of god or God or gods or angels cannot be determined by the scientific method, even if there is evidence of “design”.

  36. Finally, the very long quote from Einstein was to demonstrate that he would not, evidently, think much of the “establishment’s” views about black holes, dark matter, dark energy — I think.

    The citation is:

    Einstein, A. (1939), Annals of Mathematics, 40, #4 (Oct.), 922-936.

    http://metaresearch.org/cosmol.....ciples.asp

  37. 37

    phi like pi pops up in all sorts of mathematical formulas and I am not sure anybody always understands why. Maybe a mathematician here can explain.

    It is also arrived at with the Lucas series where you take any two numbers and add them in sequence as for example -

    3,5,8,13,21,34,55…

    or

    5,2,7,9,16,25,41,66….

    The ratio of subsequent numbers approach phi as a limit, alternately above and below getting closer and closer to phi as the number of terms increases.

    I am not sure if anybody really understands why this should be so. I sure don’t but isn’t it wonderful? I think I will wear my pentagram tomorrow!

    phi is also the ratio of the side to the base of the 5 triangles that make of the pentagram.

    I love it so!

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  38. Isn’t it remarkable how “Phi” is implicit in DNA and galaxies? Perhaps “God” is a mathematician after all?

    I think phi was discussed in this book, How the Leopard Changed Its Spots: The Evolution of Complexity

    http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/arn/reviews/rev004.htm

    However, this site on Phi may be of interest. More questions, no answers; even the Electrical theorists brought phi up, but their website is not searchable.

    http://goldennumber.net/

    http://goldennumber.net/dna.htm

    http://www.mcs.surrey.ac.uk/Pe.....i/phi.html

    The question: why?

  39. Worse, a growing dependency culture such as Europe requires an increasing number of new, young workers entering the workforce to pay usurious tax rates in support of the growing number of older slackers. Because Europe has abandoned her belief in heavenly rewards she is increasingly focused on the material rewards of the earthly world. Children are a financial burden and adults can live higher on the hog without them. Europe’s population is growing only through net migration (mostly Muslims, which were already discussed above) at a paltry 0.15% vs. U.S. 0.59%.

    While this is strictly true, it is worth looking in a bit more detail. The key statistic in looking at birthrates is the Total Fertility Rate (TFR). The US TFR is 2.09 which is exceptional among developed nations – others such as Australia, Canada and Japan are similar to Western Europe. The higher rate of teenage pregnancy almost completely accounts for the difference.

  40. 40

    “Science” originated with the Greeks but the “scientific method” originated with Galileo as near as I can determine.

    Did you ever notice that the Darwinians never do experiments? They never really have and I know why. They are afraid to that’s why. They even find it necessary to ignore the findings of one of their own, Theodosius Dobzhansky when he actually tested the Darwimpian fairy tale with disastrous results.

    It is hard to believe isn’t it?

    I love it so!

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

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