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Krauss looking for signs of intelligence?

In a visit down under, Lawrence Krauss is busy convincing people that there is no evidence for design in the universe. Notice in this quote he says that if he were able to see organised matter conveying symbolic meaning, then this would, for him,  constitute evidence.

“At a time when religion and science are going back to war, and battles over intelligent design and creationism are heating up, new discoveries are seized on by both sides to prove or disprove the existence of God.

There are those who say that, while scientific discoveries are pushing evolution further away from religious belief, cosmology is unveiling mysteries that point to the existence of God.

Krauss, however, says that is just “wishful thinking”. Like most academics, he is firmly on the non-religious side, and a strong opponent of intelligent design, the idea that the universe and living things are not just random occurrences but are best explained by the existence of some intelligent being.

Nothing we have discovered in cosmology either proves or disproves the existence of God, he says, though he personally feels no need to believe in a supreme being because the universe is awe-inspiring enough.

“I see no evidence of a universe with a God who is interested in the personal affairs of humans. I could look up tomorrow and the stars could line up to say: ‘I am here’… [But] right now there is not a single shred of evidence.”

However, unlike the more extreme of his peers, such evangelical atheists as Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, he says “you don’t have to be an atheist to believe in science”.”

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7 Responses to Krauss looking for signs of intelligence?

  1. Notice in this quote he says that if he were able to see organised matter conveying symbolic meaning, then this would, for him, constitute evidence.
    ——————

    Excuse my ignorance, but, doesn’t DNA qualify for this?

  2. Ellijacket,

    Excuse my ignorance, but, doesn’t DNA qualify for this?

    My thoughts exactly. I believe Mike Gene made several comments about the ‘conventional’ nature of the genetic code in The Design Matrix (that it’s convention is not attributable to physical neccesity).

    I also wonder about a design test based on receiving a symbolic meaning from the designed. What is the symbolic meaning of a watch. I know its specific function – infered by its design.

    But I am confused as to its symbolic meaning.

  3. Mike also does a good job of explaining their behavior in terms of cognitive psychology. I’d also like to add sociology.

    Regarding the former, we do in fact have biases that cause us to only see evidence that confirms out beliefs and ignore other evidence. See, for example, The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Nassim points out that we must constantly search out for evidence that might disconfirm our beliefs, and we must actually then listen to the opposition. Interestingly, he even points out that studies confirm that academics (e.g., statisticians) don’t carry their critical thinking into everyday life. Of course, though, he’d probably fall on the random-chance side of ‘worldviews’.

    This ties into the placebo effect and how much our biases confirm our own opinions as well..just look in Denyse O’Leary’s co-authored book The Spiritual Brain of the effect of non-double blind studies on the God Helmet studies.

    Read Rodney Stark’s textbook Sociology 10th edition to see studies that confirm that the groups around us influence our beliefs in great ways beyond our noticing. We even make up intellectual stories after the fact.

    Such is the importance of establishing Intelligent Design as scientific if can be taken seriously. Now, this isn’t to say that Plantinga’s notion of properly basic beliefs isn’t on the mark in a sense, though. (Yes, I am personally a theist with inclincations towards Christianity like Rodney Stark).

  4. “Why is the energy density of all matter in the universe almost exactly equal to the density of dark energy today? It is the great cosmic coincidence: we humans exist at the precise point in the life of the universe when those two numbers coincide. Physicists call it the “coincidence problem. The fact we happen to be close to the time when the two values are the same is absurd,” says Krauss. “It’s absurd. It drives me crazy.”

    Heh heh.

  5. For me personally I am pretty much fine with other people being atheists. After all I cant really put myself in their shoes- maybe that had problems that praying didn’t fix– maybe they just are wired different for w/e reasons- but it always is altering to me when I see a person who is making it their life’s purpose to direct people away from religion. I mean what good do these people really think they are doing especially when they have nothing absolute of which they can appeal to, to justify their definition of good, just, right fair etc- other than themselves?

    Whatever they think is all the reason they need – even though they don’t know why they think it and have no standard they can compare their own views to check themselves. One of the grand problems of Nazism was that it had no standard to appeal to to check itself. It was the new way the only way and justified by (some kind of) God- It wasn’t actually grounded in universal religious beliefs though because Nazism, like militant atheism, is about forcing the world to be the way it’s fallows demand- Universal religious values on the other hand are inclusive as far as race, religion ethnicity, or none- they transcend the mere human condition and appeal to higher ideals- those ideals which atheists refuse to recognize or even ackowledge the need for.

    If anyone should know its the evolutionists… religion has exists for thousands of years – and incidentally, it was the last two thousand years that the human race has become the most advanced both intellectually and interestingly enough religiously as well. Perhaps we should have a publicly funded class in the school called “religion” since according to the fully accept doctrine of Darwin religion must have had a very high and supremely beneficial advantageous affect upon civilization.

    Explain that away .

  6. “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind”. Albert Einstein- IOW there isn’t any war between the two.

    As for wishful thinking, that is for the anti-ID position which relies solely on happy accidents as an explanation.

    And BTW there isn’y a shred of evidence that our existence is due to an accumulation of accidents.

    The ONLY evidence anti-IDists will accept is a sit-down meeting with the designer(s). IOW they are not interested in sxcience- which is obvious because they think that happy accidents is scientific.

  7. Just an FYI…

    Mr Krauss will be appearing in debate with David Berlinski in November (the 6th I think) on the TCU campus. They will be joined by Denis Alexander and Bradley Monton.

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