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The Blind Atheist: The Unscientific Root of Atheism

Discussion in 'Creation & Evolution' started by RFHendrix, Sep 28, 2003.

  1. RFHendrix

    RFHendrix New Member

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    Thanks for creating a strawman lucas but we are trying to make a real man here. :)

    If you agree that this is an information problem then you should have no problem demonstrating that intelligent communication can take place on a computer without the aid of an intelligent programmer. That is the problem as I have stated several times. Forcing chemicals (or words and letters etc.) to direct themselves further as a result of the initial intelligent intervention rather proves my point that it is not posssible without such intervention.

    Now we have several decades of attempts to produce artifical intelligent communication WITH the aid of intelligent programmers and have so far only succeded in proving my point. Why don't you try one without the intelligent input? Until you can, your objections are groundless.

    Your defense of Dawkins shows your complete misunderstanding of the problem (or an attempt to purposely mislead). I will give you the benefit of the doubt because I don't know you so please tell me how Dawkins proved anything except his own intelligent intervention in either his biomorphs or METHINKS... experiment. He programmed and he selected and he set a goal. What exactly didn't HE do???

    Making chemicals to wiggle and squirm and reproduce with the aid of an intelligent being directing is not creating a genetic code along with the associated machinery of translation without intelligetn input. Fox's experiments did not produce a genetic code and the associated logical communication necessary for real life. Again, give me the proof that you have overthrown several thousand years of human experience and produced meaningful information and communication without intelligent input. Your strawman does not fit the bill.
     
  2. RFHendrix

    RFHendrix New Member

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    As far as the book being entirely scientific I made no claims that it was, as I explained in the preface. It is a book about atheism and theism with scientifc support for theism. And I certainly am not going to engage in a theological discussion here about what God was or was not thinking and the problem of good an evil in the world.

    People like to blame God for not thinking like they do. The book is about a generic creator and I suppose that an alien could fit the bill if one prefers that approach. I interjected my personal beliefs as explained in the preface. Take it or leave it. The Christian God is known by revelation. Find another one if you don't care for the way he does things.
     
  3. RFHendrix

    RFHendrix New Member

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    The nylon bug and "glitches" in the program:

    If God was involved in the creation of life or at least in the initial programming of it. (I speak for the sake of argument.) Then there is no reason to think that he abandoned his creation to the forces of nature. A new food product (nylon) is like a new destructive virus that invades a healthy organism. All possibilities are not allowed for necesarily but many are, including those that the organism has not encountered previously. Adapting to a new source of food may or may not require "planning" depending on the organism and the capability it has to adapt and survive in new environments.

    The reason that science does not want to consider God in creation is obvious to me. It creates too many possibilities for his ocntinued intervention by natural or supernatural means. That is one reason why I believe the God of the Bible fits so perfectly, i.e., the cursed earth, the battle of good and evil, the corruption of creation and the continued intervention of God into natural processes.
     
  4. RFHendrix

    RFHendrix New Member

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    Finally, I do not have time to spend on this debate because I really do have another life. I will check back on this thread in a couple of days so please make your question to the point and please read the thread first. The topic here is the origin of information (as I defined it earlier) and the questions are as posed earlier in the thread. The tangents are interesting but I suggest that someone interested in them post another thread. I can't solve all the problems in the world for you. :)
     
  5. notto

    notto Legend

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    You've introduced another term into the discussion. 'Forced'. Please show us where any of the chemical reactions are 'forced' and do not simply follow the rules of chemical reaction in the way we would expect them to.

    Again, you assert intelligent communication and language but cannot provide an example where this communication can be measured, analyzed, and determined. Can you give us an example where a chemical or mechanism 'forces' another chemical or mechanism to do something other than what its nature is. Or, when given two options, it takes the one that is the least anticipated?

    Why do you consider some reactions to be using this mechanism of communication while other do not?

    You seem to be avoiding providing a way to determine if communication is happening and if information is used. If, as you assert, this information problem exists, you should be able to provide examples of mechanisms where it is a problem and where it isn't and a clear way to deliniate between them, otherwise, your determination of this is purely subjective and wishful thinking to allow you to conclude what you wish (a logical fallicy of including your conclusion in your premises)
     
  6. Jet Black

    Jet Black Guest

    well you haven't answered any of my issues, so that is ok.
     
  7. Meatros

    Meatros The Meat is in the Middle!

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    Hey man, I don't even think he saw my post...:sigh:
     
  8. RFHendrix

    RFHendrix New Member

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    I am not trying to cut you off and I think most of your questions are legitimate. I simply do not have time to engage in a debate on the nature of God. I am trying to finish the one I have started and keep it on topic. If this helps, I will answer the basic problem I think you have with the God of the Bible:

    1. He didn't do things the way you think he should have. Well that is where my statement about one of the aspects of God (... not only a God of pleasentries..) comes in. He never claims to be like us and to think like us. He also claims to hide evidence and purposely deceive people. Mankind is in the image of God but the image is now corrupt so we find ourselves debating why God is not like us with a corrupted intelect. There is no solution to the problem of finding God without a direct revelation from God initially. My book is only for those who wouldn't mind knowing the truth even if it is the Christian God. Fanatics on either side will not listen regardless of evidence.

    2. I didn't prove that the God of the Bible created life: No, and I didin't intend to. Evidence supports theism because of the nature of information and the entirety of nature. Meaning does not come from the laws of physics with or without the aid of natural selection. Meaning comes from intelligent value judgments. The laws of physics are only tools, and to assert that they form opinions and think about solutions to problems is absurd. However you look at it materialistic evolution claims that the laws of physics are able to think and plan ahead. That is what atheism is based on -- absurdity. Clouding the central problem with several billion years of "could haves" simply shows the inherent dishonesty of atheism. If spacemen created life then we are left with the same problem, i.e., who created them and where did the intelligent source come from that is outside the laws of physics?

    3. Why would supernatural evidence point to the God of the Bible and not another god or gods or aliens? Maybe it does point to other gods. I do not claim that other religions are inherently false and Christianity as it is practiced is true. Careful study of the Bible shows that God is more concerned with loving our neighbors than going to the right church. I don't think that God sends people to hell if they have not joined the right church (if their is such a thing). God has provided all of mankind with a concience. We are judged by the use of our concience and that makes for universal justice in the end.
     
  9. Jet Black

    Jet Black Guest

    please only look at the example with reference to what it was originally intended. I don't really want to sidetrack. If you think that the nylon bug was preplanned, then just say so. you of course will then have to explain how this enzyme-in-potentia (remember it is a frame shift, so this "word" had never been spoken before, so it is not kike the bacteria knew that the "word" even sounded like) wasn't corrupted by millions of years of mutations.
    anyway, back to my example on how abiogenesis could have happened and generated a language then, since you haven't really refuted any of my hypotheses so far....
     
  10. RFHendrix

    RFHendrix New Member

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    I thought that you and I already agreed that there was more to the information in life than is contained in DNA? Maybe it was someone else but anyway I think that most people know that it is the entire system that produces the information. Without the translation mechanism there really is no information because the string of letters must be cut and pasted and otherwise selected in order to be useful. In fact we can say that without the system we really only need an almost random assortment of letters to select from. Read the chapters of my book; The Evolution of the Frog and Junk Science..., to see my views on the entire system of information processing.

    A frame shift is not always the result of a "mistaken" mutation. They can simply be the intended manipulation of the information contained in the DNA. The same can be said for many "mutations". I can change many words into others simply by crossing out certain letters or adding one or two. The system (such as in a frog) has a great potential for variation because of the ways the information in the DNA can be manipulated (and in fact is).

    If intelligence is indicated in the formation of the code and it's associated machnery and corruption is a fact of life then why would it be difficult to believe that the nylon bug either adapted to it's new environment naturally through selection or that it was simply one more creature on this planet created to maintain some type of balance with foreknowledge of the attempts of mankind to (inadvertantly perhaps)upset it? We overcome new diseases all the time and we are defeated by many as well until we have time to adapt. Whole species have died out because they could not efficiently meet the challenge of a new threat. Why is the nylon eating bacteria any different? The strong survive and the weak die out.

    But what does your example have to do with the evolution of meaningful language? I do not question the manipulation of existing language and the addition of new information within that framework.

    Your summary (above) leaves us with the same question that Fox, Kaufman et al leaves us with. Everyone simply says; "Well here is how we find the letters, and here is how we put them together, and here is how we did it in the lab so now let's just wait for a few million years and naturally a language will come forth..." Where is it? The essential question is ignored and we are in the same place as the plastic letters are in after they have been filtered naturally. We may have order or patterns but not a language.

    Again, the problem can be solved with a computer (if it can be solved) as it is an information problem. The laws of physics cannot think unless they have in fact ben interjected with intelligence. If matter and energy evolved into meaningful thought and real planning and foresight (as in the human mind) then that is a tacit statement that the laws of physics are interjected with intelligence, or there is an intelligent being outside the laws of physics directing those laws. The end result is intelligece. That did not come from thin air.
     
  11. RFHendrix

    RFHendrix New Member

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    Someone asked about "forcing" chemicals:

    I am talking about the gathering of specific chemicals and putting them together in one place and subjecting them to various forms of energy etc. This is how you make plastic for example. Forcing is done by intelligent beings (humans) so it is often not a fair demonstration of a supposed natural condition.
     
  12. ThePhoenix

    ThePhoenix New Member

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    Now "forcing" is an illegitimate way of making organic chemicals, because it doesn't happen in nature? Evidence is that it took about 1.5 billion years. I think that's long enough to create conditions similar to the ones scientists used somewhere. It's a fair demonstration if you can show that it's possible that conditions like that could have existed during the earth's formation. After all if the chance of such an occurance happening somewhere on the earth's 10^15th square meters each year was a miniscule .00001% the chances of it occuring in 1 billion years would be indistinguishable from 100%. It's interesting how you talk about probability from a Young Earth perspective. It's almost like you completely ignore the fact that the theory states that the 6000 year estimate is off by 6 orders of magnitude. What is impossible in a thousand years, or unlikely in a million, is nearly certain in a billion.
     
  13. RFHendrix

    RFHendrix New Member

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    Yeah I know, given enough time all things are possible. Or so says he who cannot answer the questions. Time solves all the problems. How convenient.
     
  14. RFHendrix

    RFHendrix New Member

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    Come to think of it I think that time must have asembled all the chemicals together to make that old rusty truck I pass each day on the way to work. I'm sure there was no forcing involved. In other words; atheism is based on absurdity.
     
  15. Vxer1000

    Vxer1000 Provoking Thought

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    My friend has a PhD in organic chemistry and works for Abbott Labrotories. He thinks evolution(evolution from a simple organism to human life) is an absurd joke. I am not nearly educated enough in this field to present a decent arguement, but I do believe God created us and agree with my friend concerning evolution. I don't believe someone has to have a PhD in any field to realize one simple fact: Just as lawyers argue a point whether ethical or not to win a case I believe(I may be wrong) many scientists with atheistic beliefs dig so deep into science and their "theories" that they many times discount the facts of previously established truths. Then everyone else has to stand in awe of their discoveries because they get lost in a sea of supposedly proven theories trying to argue(I really don't see the point of trying to look to the universe to find that I came from an ape or amobe. Do you think you came from a monkey? Maybe you did. I know I didn't). I follow science that has an already established, proven, and repeatable track record that falls in line with probability such as simple physics(it go boom), chemistry, mechanical engineering, and the such. I once considered getting into this "theory of the universe" science and believe it to not be worth my time. I have my faith in God, don't need the accolades of men, and am content with knowing the simple things in life that affect us all.
     
  16. Frumious Bandersnatch

    Frumious Bandersnatch Contributor

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    You have a friend with a Ph.D. who thinks evolution is a joke. I have met 6 Nobel prize winners in science and several members of The National Academy of Sciences and countless other scientists who disagree with him. Four of the Nobel Laureates I have met were among 72 Nobel Laureates who signed the Friend of the Court brief supporting the teaching of evolution in Edwards versus Aguillard
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/edwards-v-aguillard/amicus1.html
    If you want to keep trying to argue this by authority you will lose badly. Ask your friend to come here. Maybe some of your friend's misconceptions couild be corrected.



    No but there is overwhelming scientific evidence that you share a common ancestor with monkeys which is a different thing.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

    The frumious Bandersnatch
     
  17. RFHendrix

    RFHendrix New Member

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    Well folks, it has been 12 days. I really do have to attend to other business so I will have to bow out of this thread. I am trying to learn the Thai language and I find I am spending my time on these types of debates while neglecting that. So I have reread much of the thread and I think that there is more agreement than I first thought and also a few unanswered questions that got lost in the thread.

    1. My book is about theism and atheism with personal opinions interjected. I do not claim that it is pure science and I make that distinction in the book. Subjects such as this one cannot be explored properly anyway if we limit ourselves to the modern scientific method so I made no attempt to limit the discussion to those parameters.

    2. It is my thesis that God created life however he chose, with or without the aid of natural processes that we observe today. I generally argue from the turf of materialists but I do not believe that evidence supports the idea that all that God is needed for is to somehow interject intelligence into some chemicals that formed naturally. I posit and maintain that he must have done at least that but I certainly do not believe that is all he did in relation to creation.

    3. The laws of physics cannot create intelligence. Putting “natural selection” between the laws of physics and intelligence only obscures the problem but does not solve it. If mankind evolved like some assert that he did then that is evidence that there is an intelligent force in the universe. Evolution cannot be expected to arise out of thin air because of the spontaneous self assembly of chemicals and then create intelligence. That is assigning supernatural powers to a natural process and is a contradiction of terms. If we begin with the laws of physics we cannot end up with meaning to anything. Even Peter Singer calls our existence “meaningless” because he does not believe in God. But language does mean something. It is a product of intelligent thought. Information implies meaning.

    4. If there is discovered to be a natural affinity of certain codons to certain amino acids that matches the existing genetic code then what has that proved? It certainly would not be evidence that disproves my thesis because that is tacitly what I am saying. I am asserting that intelligence has been interjected into the universe, especially the universe of life. God originated the language of life and assigned meaning to the chemicals symbols. There should be a correlation unless God somehow operates entirely outside of life. That is something I do not believe but to each his own.

    5. Finally, I don’t know what God did or how he did anything. I am simply showing the absurdity of trying to assert that he did nothing. Atheism is based on personal belief. Join the crowd. At least most theists admit it. The book is intended to show that atheism is not the default position. I think I have proved my point. Thanks everyone for the debate. My email address is available at www.blindatheist.com (links page on the bottom) if anyone would like to correspond personally with me. I am getting ready for a trip to Thailand but I will still answer you if you are patient.
     
  18. Frumious Bandersnatch

    Frumious Bandersnatch Contributor

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    Gook luck. I find Thai very difficult because of the five tones and the fact that I don't have a very good ear for tonal languages.

    This seems untestable and unfalsifiable to me but maybe others disagree.

    You have asserted this and clearly believe it but I don't think you have presented any evidence that it is true. What do you really know about the spontaneous self assembly of chemicals that proves this impossible? Your assertions do not constitute proof of your position or even evidence for it IMO.

    I don't know if your thesis can be disproven but I don't think it can be proven either and there is a big difference.
    If you don't know what he did then how can you claim to prove that he did anything? This doesn't make sense to me.
    One of my favorite places. I plan to go there in December as I did last year. I went in October once and it was still a bit hot especially in central Thailand. I went once in August and will avoid doing that again if I can. Have a good trip.

    The frumious Bandersnatch
     
  19. notto

    notto Legend

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    '


    You might want to change some of the language you use to describe your book.

    "The main assertions made in the book can be either confirmed or disproved by scientific means without appeal to a supernatural source".

    The assertions you have shown here, by your own admission above, are unfalsifiable, and therefore, unscientific.
     
  20. Jet Black

    Jet Black Guest

    well the first paragraph pretty much evades everything I said.
    this is a terrible description of a frame shift mutation. which Is why I asked to stop using the letter/word analogy. I am sure you know about how they work really so I am not going to bother describing them to you (plus you're not coming back)
    this was not the point of the nylong bug example. the point of the nylon bug example is that completely novel, previously uncoded for enzymes can do a job, even if it isn't very efficient. I think this is the third time I have told you, and you still haven't refuted that the nylon digesting enzyme was completely novel yet.
    perhaps you weren't following the whole example then. you see you have to look at it as a whole in the same way that you look at a painting as a whole, not just critique a brush stroke.
    but we do though. lets go through the whole thing, very very simply again:

    the mutations we can use are all the normal mutations in DNA.

    1) simple self reproducing RNA Catalyst, with additions becomes better.
    2) Catalyst begins to code for more specific stretches of RNA (at this stage the RNA catalyst is becoming enzymatic), there may be several active sites on the catalyst that select for more specific regions of RNA (like a codon)
    3) catalyst develops the ability to connect to amino acids and form chains, creating an additional catalyst, increasing reproduction rate.
    4) simple protein becomes more and more specific in it's catalysation, eventually becoming an enzyme in it'sown right.
    5) new enzyme takes over job of reproducing RNA with similar mutations (conceptually) to the RNA.
    6) selection selects for the optimum number of letters in a codon, since we want the correct polypeptide chain every time. this turns out to be three.

    now we have an RNA chain, that codes for proteins that facilitate it's reproduction with a basic language where amino acids are coded for by a codon base of three.

    simulating this on a computer is awkward, since it would require setting up the chemistry of the entire system, unless you can think of a method of doing it with rules other than chemical ones. the chemical issues are structural ones, and the killer of a computer program would be certain stages, such as where the most basic protein catalyst is produced. this improves the reproduction rate slightly, as I said, probably really bad, but even if it helps our RNA to reproduce just once, that is once more than all the others (and this is then magnified exponentially)

    anyway you aren't coming back, so I feel that this has all been a waste of time, and I suspect, perhaps rather cynically, that you just came to plug your book. If you want a provate debate about this (we can be as slow and patient as you want) then pm me.good luck with the thai anyway, I am learning German and Chinese, so I know it isn't easy.
     
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