Ethical Realism

October 3, 2012

How to Debunk Creationism In Two Minutes

Filed under: philosophy — JW Gray @ 1:29 am
Tags: , ,

I made two images concerning creationist arguments and I will explain why these arguments fail in greater detail below.

debunking creationism

why creationists reject evolution

All secular arguments for creationism use the following reasoning:

  1. Either creationism is true or evolution is true.
  2. Evolution is false.
  3. Therefore, creationism is true.

There are at least two major problems with this argument:

Premise 1 is unjustified.

Premise 1 (that either creationism is true or evolution is true) is unjustified because it requires us to assume that creationism and evolution are the only two ways we can explain where complex life forms came from (and our observations about how they seem to change). There could be other hypotheses as well. For example, complex life forms might have always existed exactly as they exist now (and perhaps there was no beginning of the universe). Premise 1 commits the false dilemma fallacy and is only persuasive to people who engage in overly simplistic “black or white” thinking.

Premise 2 is totally unjustified.

Premise 2 (that evolution is false) is totally unjustified. No argument has ever refuted evolution, and the evidence for evolution is much stronger than the evidence for creationism.

We can also summarize the reason that creationists think evolution is false as the following:

Creationist Argument Against Evolution

  1. There are observations incompatible with evolution.
  2. If there are observations incompatible with evolution, then evolution is false.
  3. Therefore, evolution is false.

The main problem with this argument is that the first premise is false. There are no observations that are incompatible with evolution that we know about. However, we do have observations that seem to be incompatible with creationism. For example, we have a fossil record that seems to indicate that creatures that existed in the past changed over time until they became different creatures that exist now. We have a much better reason to reject creationism for being incompatible with our observations than evolution.

Let’s consider some of the so-called observations that creationists take to debunk evolution:

  1. There is a complex organism (or body part of a complex organism), but we don’t know how it evolved. For example, the eye was once taken to be such an example. However, we now have a good idea about how the eye incrementally evolved from various beneficial adaptations. Additionally, the fact that we don’t know how something evolves in no way proves it did not evolve.
  2. It is often claimed that something couldn’t possibly have evolved. For example, some people argued that the eye could not possibly evolve. However, we know of nothing that couldn’t have possibly evolved. Moreover, it is quite possible that evolution is true, even if some complex organisms didn’t evolve. Evolution does not claim that all complex organisms must have evolved. Perhaps we will find out how to create new complex organisms through genetic engineering.
  3. It is often said that evolution is false because there’s a “missing link.” However, there is no missing link. We have fossil evidence of several transitional species that show how an organism can change over time—including various apes that were similar to human beings. Moreover, it is quite possible for evolution to be true, even if no transitional species were ever discovered. There was no guarantee that we would ever find them because they existed long ago and their remains could have all been destroyed by now.
  4. It is often said that evolution must be false because monkeys still exist. “If we evolved from monkeys, then how come monkeys still exist?” However, there is a number of problems with this argument: First, there is no reason to think that the existence of monkeys is incompatible with the truth of evolution. Second, evolution does not state that an ancestral species that evolves into another species must become extinct. There was a point that an isolated group of fish evolved into amphibians, but that doesn’t mean all other fish became extinct. The same could be true of an isolated group of monkeys. Third, the monkeys that exist now are not the same creatures that we evolved from. We have a “common ancestor” with monkeys and apes that exist now.

Can we debunk evolution?

It might be possible to debunk evolution by showing how our observations would be better explained by creationism, but that’s never happened. I do not deny that this is possible, but it would be a very difficult task and biologists would be the best qualified people to make such an argument. At this point in time creationism seems to be incompatible with some of our observations rather than better supported by them than evolution.

Can creationism be proven to be true?

Keep in mind that even if evolution is debunked, that does not mean creationism is true. As stated above, there are other potential explanations for the existence of complex life forms. Creationists need to not only debunk evolution, but show that creationism is “better supported” by the evidence than any other alternative explanation.

Conclusion

In conclusion, creationists rely on poor reasoning that is easily debunked. The premises used by the current secular arguments for creationism are unjustified, and evolution has not yet been refuted.

Update (10/8/2012): I rephrased why creationists reject evolution and discussed the issue in greater detail.

Update (10/28/2012): I slightly rephrased why I reject the first premise of the first argument.

You can follow Ethical Realism on Facebook or Twitter.

About these ads

45 Comments »

  1. I like your argument, but I don’t see how it would work, if the creationist position is grounded in faith and belief. And the evolutionist is ground in reason, and evidence and logic. I don’t see how any argument could work unless, one values critical thinking skills, logic and evidence.

    Comment by M. Rodriguez — October 19, 2012 @ 11:53 am | Reply

    • I am talking about debunking “secular” arguments only. Perhaps no argument will work when a person is dogmatic and irrational. Many people seem to use “faith” that way.

      Comment by JW Gray — October 19, 2012 @ 6:46 pm | Reply

  2. I have ‘faith’ that that bridge will remain standing while i drive across

    i have ‘faith’ that my wife (dog?) loves me

    both are based on experience only, as i am not a mechanical engineer

    i am now divorced, but still have the dog.

    i still drive over the bridge

    this is not a koan

    Comment by jon.e.whiteford — October 22, 2012 @ 1:19 am | Reply

    • That use of “faith” could mean little more than “trust.” Such trust could be perfectly justified and rational, but not all trust is.

      Comment by JW Gray — October 22, 2012 @ 5:57 pm | Reply

      • Mr Gray,
        I see you finally deleted my post. And that’s okay, this is your website. I would ask you, since it fits this argument perfectly, why you didn’t copy and paste it here? But, that’s okay, too, because it was not the only copy of a proofread novel that I had worked on for years. I can manufacture more.
        You said, “Premise 1 (that either creationism is true or evolution is true) is false.” And your argument is that there might be another theory, that complex animals have remained the same. Ludicrous. Geneticists have determined that polar bears trace their genetics to a female brown bear about twenty thousand years ago in northern Europe. One can barely see a resemblace. Every living animal on this planet is experiencing evolution at a speed never before imagined. So the question of evolution is closed. But, your argument that a third possibility is naive for another reason. You failed to define “creationism”. Did you mean the philosophy that some god invented by ignorant goatherders actually created the universe, and that the earth is the center of a great chessgame being played by evil gods and angry jeolous good gods? Again, ludicrous. The bad news is: No, mankind was not created six thousand years ago, and no, the earth is not the center of the universe, and no, the flood never happened, and no, no one has ever been resurrected. But, while the simple truth is that organized religion is total bullshit, that fact sheds not a single shred of evidence to prove that the universe is an accident. Proving a premise to be false does not prove the opposit is true.
        So back to creationism and it’s definition. I assume you were talking about the idiots who believe that a dubious compilation of ancient texts, translated, and retranslated, might contain the will of the one true god. What they contain is fabricated explanations of witchdoctors. But questions remain, and you can ignore them, but then you become a witchdoctor, too. One can argue that the sum of the universe is zero, that the sum of the negatives, and the sum of the positives must equal nothing. It is a very interesting theory, but pieces are missing. Inside the capsule of our universe, nothing is ever canceled out to nothing. A theoretical return to it’s origin. Nothing is either lost or created. Absolute rule of chemistry. That’s science, not religion.
        So the next time you meet a freethinker who says something audacious, like, “I dont know”, stop and listen, you might learn something.

        NeoWolfe

        Comment by NeoWolfe — October 25, 2012 @ 2:06 am

      • It is possible that evolution is false. It is a falsifiable theory. Perhaps we are all dreaming right now and will wake up in a very different reality. I think evolution is justified and we should all believe it, but that doesn’t mean that no one is allowed to consider every possible explanation of our observations concerning DNA, the fossil record, etc.

        My point is simply that even if we grant the Creationist that evolution is false, that would not mean that Creationism is true. Why? Because there’s other options! You did not prove my point to be wrong. The point is that the creationist argument is a type of “false dilemma fallacy.”

        I would also consider “intelligent design” to be a type of creationism. There could be sci-fi scenarios involved rather than religious ones.

        There are cosmologists who think they have a good idea about where the universe came from (or might have come from). I am not qualified to comment on that issue. That doesn’t mean no one is qualified to have a justified opinion about it.

        You mentioned the law of conservation. Cosmologists know about it. My understanding is that matter can be created as long as anti-matter is also created.

        Could the universe pop into existence from nothing? Perhaps it could. In that case the law of conservation might have exceptions or anti-matter might have popped into existence as well. However, my understanding is that most cosmologists don’t say that. They might say the universe has existed for as long as space and time has existed and so on. It was not “created out of nothing.”

        Comment by JW Gray — October 25, 2012 @ 5:30 am

      • One point you want to make is that atheists should say “I don’t know” more than they do. I agree with that. Atheists don’t need to know everything. Theists can say “maybe God is needed for x, y, or z.” The atheist can simply respond that they don’t know why God would be needed for such things. Theists often demand that atheists explain why God was not needed — what the “best explanation” is in terms that lack the interference or existence of gods. However, atheists are not rationally compelled to have all the answers. Sometimes we simply don’t have the answers and we should not pretend to have them when we don’t. We shouldn’t just “make stuff up” and pretend to have answers.

        Philosophically, we are interested in knowing if and when God might be needed to explain our observations. However, that generally only requires the atheist to come up with an “imagined” scenario where God is not needed. God is not conceptually necessary for an observation as long as we can conceive of some other explanation.

        Comment by JW Gray — October 25, 2012 @ 5:55 am

  3. James,
    I am going to prove to you right here an now that I am your friend. First, as a debater, you kinda suck. Here is why I say that, as a friend, believe it or not, even when chemical science is based on a fact that you cannot create something out of nothing, the other side of the coin is any originator of the universe needs an explanation of its origin. Was it something out of nothing? You should add that to your argument. But, the fact still remains that if freethinkers want to win the world, you need to understand that moderate religionists can be swayed if you don’t call them idiots. Stop shooting yourself in the foot.

    NL

    Comment by NeoWolfe — October 27, 2012 @ 2:44 am | Reply

    • Your reply does not have much of anything to do with my response. If you disagree with anything I said, then say so. So far nothing you said seems relevant at all. If you want to be good at debating, then you should make it clear what you think my argument is and why it fails. You did not do that. My arguments — assuming I made any — are completely unchallenged.

      I didn’t call anyone an idiot here, and I don’t see how it is relevant to my response at all. If that is what you think my argument was, then you failed to understand what I was saying. You have not given a charitable interpretation of my response. If you want to continue talking to me, then I need to know how anything you are saying relates to anything I said. So far I don’t even think you understand what I am saying. If you have questions, ask them.

      First, you said you would prove you are my friend, then you insult me. No, that is not what my friends do. Second, you didn’t give any constructive criticism relating to my reply. Friends would give constructive criticism. Third, you implied that I called someone an idiot. I did no such thing. That is not what a friend would do to me. Fourth, I see that you want to prove you are my friend. But no argument was given for me to think such a thing, and your actions would even indicate that you are not my friend.

      Comment by JW Gray — October 27, 2012 @ 6:55 am | Reply

    • I never said what was or was not a law of chemistry. I in fact did say that there is the “law of conservation.” Do you know what that is?

      I talked about conceptually possible scenarios. What is conceptually possible is not necessarily consistent with our observations. A conceptual possibility can be unjustified — something we should not take seriously as what is true in reality.

      I already explained this above. I already explained why this is philosophically important. It is important because creationists need to know that proving evolution false will not prove creationism is true. The reason is because it’s a false dilemma argument. There are other conceptual possibilities.

      Sometimes we talk about what “might be true” in a way that actually conflicts with our observations. That is to discuss conceptual possibilities and to even imagine what it would be like for a scientific theory to be falsified. For example, Creationists want to imagine what it would be like if Evolution to be falsified — they think it would prove Creationism to be true. The reason it wouldn’t is because there’s other scenarios in which both evolution and creationism could be less justified than a third alternative.

      All this was already explained both in the piece above and here. I advise you to read what I wrote again.

      Comment by JW Gray — October 27, 2012 @ 7:12 am | Reply

  4. James,
    It’s really hard to debate with you, when you delete my reply. But, that’s okay. That’s what religions do. Silence the dissenters. But, while you imply that I believe in gods, bullshit, I suggest atheism is a religion, not because it believes in gods, but because it adopts as belief that which has not been proven by science, the exact accusation you thrust upon organized religion. You are a hipocrit. Do you hope someday to become the pope of perversion of freethought? Or do you imagine that you can eventually coax humanity out of it doubts and spirituality by arguments that might be true. Good luck with that. That foot wound needs immediate medical attention.

    NL

    Comment by NeoWolfe — October 28, 2012 @ 1:53 am | Reply

  5. James,
    You said, “I didn’t delete your reply. Are you talking about our email conversation?”
    I posted a reply regarding your idea of justified belief, and I compared it with prisoners in the American justice system convicted by criminal courts, later exhonerated by DNA evidence. And added the point of how many innocent people are still behind bars because twelve jurors decided the evidence seemed to indicate guilt. I posted it, now it’s gone. Yes, that angers me, because it’s a very powerful argument that a human perception that the evidence seems to strongly indicate a particular conclusion, yet, occasionally it is very wrong with disasterous consequences. Yet you seem to defend the idea of an accidental universe as justified, without any evidence at all, just confidence that the evidence will eventually emerge. That’s not science, it’s religion.
    You said, “A conceptual possibility can be unjustified — something we should not take seriously as what is true in reality.” Thank you, you just made my point for me.
    You said, “Right now you are doing nothing but trolling”. Believe it or not, you are not the first atheist who has called me a troll. In fact, I hear that from atheists all the time. The second most popular term is “fundy”. I take it that as a conclusion that if I do not buy into your religion, that I am a heretic. Message recieved loud and clear.
    I proved that I am a transparent freethinker, your friend, by putting forward that any argument regarding a designer of the universe must also stand the test of scruntiny. It must be faced if you want to open your mind to that possibility. What is the nature of it’s origin? The intellectual dilemma is even worse than an accidental universe. But, as a freethinker, when evidence is theoretical, or void, a true skeptic will say, “I don’t know.”
    But, I have to respond to your link at wiki about personal attacks. While I did say your logic was bullshit, I stand by that, convincing evidence is not the same as positive proof. Belief based upon what you anticipate science will eventually prove is not science, it is religion. And it was you who called me a troll. The only personal attack of this conversation.
    I am your friend, whether you understand that or not. Atheists are not my enemies, I just get frustrated by their arrogance, and how that cripples freethought from making inroads into moderate religionism. I only ask one favor of you, stop shooting yourself in the foot. Stop shooting me in the foot!!!! Is that too much to ask?

    NeoWolfe

    Comment by NeoWolfe — October 28, 2012 @ 11:38 pm | Reply

    • What you said about DNA evidence was in our email conversation. You sent the email to me on October 26, 2012.

      You said, “You said, “A conceptual possibility can be unjustified — something we should not take seriously as what is true in reality.” Thank you, you just made my point for me.”

      Then you were arguing against me for no reason. You said what I said about premise 1 was false because I suggested that there are possibilities other than creationism and evolution. These are conceptual possibilities. We have no more reason to rule out those conceptual possibilities out of hand than we do creationism. The point was that the creationist argument for creationism is a false dilemma. It requires us to ignore all possibilities. Creationists want to say that evolution is false, so creationism has to be true.

      You said, “I proved that I am a transparent freethinker, your friend, by putting forward that any argument regarding a designer of the universe must also stand the test of scruntiny.”

      Sorry but that doesn’t prove you are my friend. How would that possibly prove you are my friend? It also does not prove you are a “freethinker” as far as I am concerned, but that might depend on what you think a “freethinker is.”

      You said, “by putting forward that any argument regarding a designer of the universe must also stand the test of scruntiny. It must be faced if you want to open your mind to that possibility. What is the nature of it’s origin? The intellectual dilemma is even worse than an accidental universe. But, as a freethinker, when evidence is theoretical, or void, a true skeptic will say, “I don’t know.””

      It is not clear what your argument is. Do you want to say that atheists are irrational unless they know for absolutely certain that a God didn’t create the universe? Do you want to say that atheists are required to believe that the universe is an accident?

      You said, “But, I have to respond to your link at wiki about personal attacks. While I did say your logic was bullshit, I stand by that, convincing evidence is not the same as positive proof. Belief based upon what you anticipate science will eventually prove is not science, it is religion. And it was you who called me a troll. The only personal attack of this conversation.”

      Read what you said again. You were very insulting and had posts of no relevance to our conversation.

      You said, “Atheists are not my enemies, I just get frustrated by their arrogance, and how that cripples freethought from making inroads into moderate religionism. I only ask one favor of you, stop shooting yourself in the foot. Stop shooting me in the foot!!!! Is that too much to ask?”

      This favor doesn’t make sense. I don’t know exactly what you want of me. I never said that belief in gods is necessarily irrational or that all types of religion are irrational.

      Comment by JW Gray — October 29, 2012 @ 6:16 am | Reply

  6. James,
    You said:
    “What you said about DNA evidence was in our email conversation.” This I was a was a clearly aware of, as excerpts from the conversation were copied and pasted in a reply here. It was my interest to clear up for any observer, when you accuse me of not having a question you need to answer. Poof!!! It’s gone. I have no conclusive proof you deleted it . If the file was bigger than the wordpage limit, it might have puked it of it own accord. So, let’s make it simple and keep the debate here, for the planet to witness.
    YOU said: You said, “You said, “A conceptual possibility can be unjustified — something we should not take seriously as what is true in reality.” Thank you, you just made my point for me.”
    That’s from your post, now let’s read the real context, shall we:
    “And added the point of how many innocent people are still behind bars because twelve jurors decided the evidence seemed to indicate guilt. I posted it, now it’s gone. Yes, that angers me, because it’s a very powerful argument that a human perception that the evidence seems to strongly indicate a particular conclusion, yet, occasionally it is very wrong with disasterous consequences. Yet you seem to defend the idea of an accidental universe as justified, without any evidence at all, just confidence that the evidence will eventually emerge. That’s not science, it’s religion.
    You said, “A conceptual possibility can be unjustified — something we should not take seriously as what is true in reality.” Thank you, you just made my point for me.”

    The point you admitted to, the point your made for me was that when humans think that evidence is apparently sufficient, they make stupid decisions with catastrophic results. While one can never reason that evidence available always leads to the wrong conclusion, a skeptic, and a freethinker will wait for the rest of the answers to come in, lest he has innocent blood on his hands. Is that point lost upon you?
    You quoted me:
    ““But, I have to respond to your link at wiki about personal attacks. While I did say your logic was bullshit, I stand by that, convincing evidence is not the same as positive proof. Belief based upon what you anticipate science will eventually prove is not science, it is religion. And it was you who called me a troll. The only personal attack of this conversation.”
    Then you said:

    Read what you said again. You were very insulting and had posts of no relevance to our conversation.

    You called me a troll. And your lack of intelligent responses has nothing to do with how relevent my questions are, or the issues I present. Your demeanor indicates you have been bested in this exchange. As my prize, I just ask that you stop shooting yourself in the foot. And stop shooting me in the foot. Stop preaching logic, and finally learn it.

    NeoWolfe

    Comment by NeoWolfe — October 30, 2012 @ 2:06 am | Reply

    • What does innocent people being behind bars have to do with this argument.

      You argued that I was wrong to object to the creationist premise that “either evolution is true or creationism is true” because I think it is clear that there are other possibilities that are left out. You thought that the other possibilities were unlikely to be true. But that is totally irrelevant. I explained why. The possibilities need not be any more likely than the possibility of creationism itself.

      You now say something about innocent people being behind bars. How does that have any bearing on our “debate?” Do you agree with my objection to the creationist argument or not? If not, then I have no idea why not.

      Comment by JW Gray — October 30, 2012 @ 4:10 am | Reply

  7. Hi, James,
    I guess this is closing arguments. Okay, ready!
    You said, “What does innocent people being behind bars have to do with this argument.?” I already explained that, but, I will do it again. That about once a month a wrongfully accused person is released from prison who has been there from seventeen to twenty years in prison, and DNA evidence has proved they are innocent. The jury was wrong. The point of this, is drawing a parallel between a jury that was wrong, and atheists. The jury thought that the testimony, and the evidence seemed to overpower any doubt. They wrongly ruined a person’s life, because the evidence seemed persuasive. That is what atheists do too. Because scientific evidence leaves no doubt that religious mythology is total bullshit, that that somehow leaves no other logical conclusion other than the universe is an explainable accident. That logic is flawed. It’s a viable theory that no one can disprove at this point in time, but if you believe it as fact without proving it, why not just believe in creation or the flood. Mix and match your new religion.
    You said, “You argued that I was wrong to object to the creationist premise that “either evolution is true or creationism is true” because I think it is clear that there are other possibilities that are left out. You thought that the other possibilities were unlikely to be true.”
    Yes and no. You presented the idea that species have remained the same forever. I didn’t say it was unlikely to be true, I said it was bullshit. I said that geneticists have concluded that polar bears are all descendants of a single female brown bear in northern europe twenty thousand years ago. And that therefore, the discussion about evolution was over. It’s not a theory, it’s a fact. And if I can add a point, a chihuahua, and a great dane are the same species(canis domesticus). Evolution is real, and humans have learned to manipulate it.
    You asked, “Do you agree with my objection to the creationist argument or not? If not, then I have no idea why not.?”
    If you are asking me if I think there is a Jehovah or an Allah or a Buddha, I almost feel insulted by the question, because I thought I had made it crystal clear. Caveman mythology that have been fanatically adopted by the huge percentage, is responsible for a huge part of insane human behavior. Jim Jones, Marshall Applewhite, Osama bin Laden, etc. insane behavior induced by fundamentalist religious belief. What freethinker would own a piece of that insanity? But, you nuance your question about creation. I will not walk away from you in your battle against the people wanting to creep religion into government. But, I will continue to advise you, that people who concieve of intelligent origin are not all insane. But, those who adopt a religion that believes they are insane, have shot themselves in the foot, and become insane. Out of touch with the solution.

    Neo

    Comment by NeoWolfe — October 31, 2012 @ 1:11 am | Reply

    • You are saying what atheists do, but it has nothing to do with anything I said. You are changing the subject from what I wrote here to something else. You took something I said and replied to it with something totally off topic. That is not how you are supposed to debate.

      This is how the debate should have happened: I give an argument. You object to my argument. I reply to your objection and hope to explain why I disagree with it.

      What you did by replying to my argument with something totally unrelated is quite strange and confusing. It sounds like you have an agenda and want to twist the conversation back to your agenda.

      I never said everyone who believes in a first cause are insane. I don’t think theism is necessarily irrational either.

      You said something I said is “bullshit.” I already explained why it wasn’t. I didn’t say that we should believe that species don’t change. Imagine that we find out evolution is false. In that case we need to consider various “hypotheses.” The creationist argument requires us to totally ignore all hypotheses other than creationism given that scenario. Do you know what a false dilemma fallacy is? If so, please explain it to me.

      Comment by JW Gray — October 31, 2012 @ 4:52 am | Reply

  8. Hi James,
    You said, “You are saying what atheists do, but it has nothing to do with anything I said. You are changing the subject from what I wrote here to something else. You took something I said and replied to it with something totally off topic. That is not how you are supposed to debate.”
    And, “This is how the debate should have happened: I give an argument. You object to my argument. I reply to your objection and hope to explain why I disagree with it.”
    Well, you are certainly free to delete my response if you feel it is off topic, but the last time I checked the topic was, “How to Debunk Creationism in Two Minutes”.
    I would certainly argue that everything I have presented fits well inside that parameter. Particularly if you, personally, consider that creationism is a failure to adopt the belief that the universe is an accident. I do reject that “belief” because it lacks evidence to prove its validity. I do not reject the theory as having no merit. On the issue, my input would be, “I don’t know”. The rub with me is that atheists seem to think that if you don’t buy into the belief, that you are a troll. Your word, but, I’ve heard it many times before. And they treat people who do not see the world through their religion as decieved by the (metaphoric) devil, which makes them the same as every other religion on the planet. What I have layed out for you in this debate is not just ways to back away from your religion, it is a way to form a union with agnostics and humanists, and most importantantly, the moderate religious, who feel there is something out there, they are just not sure what it is. Would that not be a huge step toward world peace? Toward sanity?

    NeoWolfe

    Comment by NeoWolfe — November 1, 2012 @ 12:09 am | Reply

    • Creationism has to do with rejecting evolution. I explained that in the piece above. I am not talking about the big bang or origin of the universe.

      The conversation we had was not merely about creationism. It was about my argument — weather or not my premises are all true. You started to talk about something other than that specific issue in the context of a debate about that specific issue.

      Comment by JW Gray — November 6, 2012 @ 3:46 am | Reply

  9. The link in the image “Why Creationists Reject Evolution” image doesn’t work.

    Comment by Andrew — November 13, 2012 @ 3:08 am | Reply

    • Thank you for letting me know. It should be fixed now.

      Comment by JW Gray — November 13, 2012 @ 3:38 am | Reply

  10. From the post:
    “Keep in mind that even if evolution is debunked, that does not mean creationism is true. As stated above, there are other potential explanations for the existence of complex life forms.”

    I believe ‘Chaos Theory’ is going to answer the question whether the cosmos is eternal or not. And it has to be eternal. Just cannot be anything else, in view of the mindboggling complexity that exists.

    There’s a Richard Feyman video on youtube — in which he comments on the mindboggling, multidimensional complexity that exists, even in the simplest of situations.

    We are dealing with infinite, endless complexity, in every moment.

    Such amazing, elaborate complexity cannot possibly be created. Nor can it start from ‘nothing’.

    “The inconceivable nature…of nature” — Richard Feynman.

    Inconceivable, endless, bottomless. Words that will eventually pop up, while pondering the big picture of all that exists.

    Feyman video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjHJ7FmV0M4

    Comment by vikrammadan — January 24, 2013 @ 12:40 pm | Reply

  11. James, YOUR WHOLE PREMISE IS WRONG.. why? Because you wrongly think that Evolution and Creationism must be mutually exclusive. But this is false because NOT all creationists reject evolution. A creationist can indeed accept evolution as long as you don’t remove the God factor from there. Many creationists believe that God created life and man and it was through evolution how God did it. Gush even the Bible talks about evolution. Doesn’t the Bible say that God took clay and breathed on it and the clay EVOLVED into a man?? What would be mutually exclusive would be “Random design” and “Intelligent design”. All Creationists believe in Intelligent design. In this regard, both are difficult to prove, because random design 1) violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics as the universe by the materialistic definition should be a closed system that should tend towards more disorder, yet it has tended to order 2) IT is more logical – If I tell you that I have all the components of a computer and that I am going to put them randomly outside and that after millions of year the computer will simply assemble itself, would you believe me? and this is a computer that is hundreds of time less complicated than an animal or a human..

    Comment by Rasec Adnarg — February 14, 2014 @ 4:46 pm | Reply

    • I can’t edit: Where I said: “In this regard, both are difficult to prove, because random design…”, I meant to say “In this regard, both are difficult to prove, but intelligent design is more plausible because random design …”

      Comment by Rasec Adnarg — February 14, 2014 @ 4:51 pm | Reply

    • I do think evolution and creationism are mutually exclusive. Evolution is not compatible with intelligent design because evolution requires natural selection. Evolution is the view of a process that is not done intentionally. That doesn’t mean it is random.

      Why it’s not random: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism/essays/why-evolution-isnt-chance/

      Concerning the view that the second law of thermodynamics shows that we need intelligent design: http://www.talkreason.org/articles/sewell.cfm

      It is possible that some organisms are created and others are evolved, like if we use genetic engineering. So, evolution is not the claim that nothing can be intelligently designed. But it does require the claim that some things are.

      Comment by JW Gray — February 14, 2014 @ 9:36 pm | Reply

      • James.. Firstly, you are making it mutually exclusive by limiting evolution to simply occurring by natural selection.. The definition of evolution is simple. From Merrian Webster: “the act or process of going from the simple or basic to the complex or advanced”.. Whether evolution occurred because God willed it or just by itself, it will still be evolution.. so don’t be putting limits to its definition.. Secondly, even if it is demonstrated beyond the shadow of a doubt that evolution indeed occurred by natural selection, that does not deny creationism, because God could have created it that way. So again, evolution and creationism are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

        With random I meant that it occurred simply by chance, without nobody designing it or creating it or willing it to be like that.. “Random design” is basically the opposite of “intelligent design”.

        The link that you sent me to regarding the 2nd law of thermodynamics ( http://www.talkreason.org/articles/sewell.cfm) only addresses the fact that EARTH is an open system. NOTICE, that I did not say that Earth was a closed system.. I said that the UNIVERSE from the materialistic stance taken by those who reject creationism should be a closed system, therefore it should be tending towards more disorder (higher entropy), however IT ISN’T. Secondly, regarding even entropy in an OPEN system, every time energy is applied to a system, so that it may decrease entropy, such ONLY happens if the system is intelligently designed and assembled and Energy is intelligently applied. Every time energy is simply applied randomly to a system, it increases entropy.. For instance, look a refrigeration cycle. For the refrigeration cycle to decrease entropy when energy is applied, the system has to be properly and intelligently designed and assembled and then you have to intelligently apply energy to the system (you apply mechanical energy to the compressor). If you simply apply energy to this system in a random manner, say just heat or light is applied, you will simply eventually destroy the system (i.e., increase entropy). The same applies to other machines, such as plants.. For plants to decrease entropy, energy has to be applied to an intelligently designed machinery, i.e., the chlorophyl-containing chloroplasts, and then the energy has to be intelligently applied (i.e., light outside the green spectrum is used).. it is at that point that the plants decrease entropy by being able to uptake CO2 and make plant matter. Otherwise, if the chloroplasts are destroyed, as it happens when a plant dies, the sunlight and heat randomly applied to the plant, will actual INCREASE entropy.

        Comment by Rasec Adnarg — February 14, 2014 @ 11:40 pm

      • James.. Firstly, you are making it mutually exclusive by limiting evolution to simply occurring by natural selection..

        That’s what scientists have in mind by the term. That is the whole point of this conversation. There are other types of “creationism” and “evolution” than the types that are being discussed in my post, but they are not relevant.

        The definition of evolution is simple. From Merrian Webster: “the act or process of going from the simple or basic to the complex or advanced”..

        The dictionary does not describe what scientists have in mind then. Their theory of evolution isn’t what is described in the dictionary. I agree that there are other types of evolution, but they are not relevant to this conversation.

        With random I meant that it occurred simply by chance, without nobody designing it or creating it or willing it to be like that.. “Random design” is basically the opposite of “intelligent design”.

        There is no good reason to think intelligent design is true. You can ask a biologist about it. If biologists are wrong, you can prove them wrong.

        The link that you sent me to regarding the 2nd law of thermodynamics ( http://www.talkreason.org/articles/sewell.cfm) only addresses the fact that EARTH is an open system. NOTICE, that I did not say that Earth was a closed system.. I said that the UNIVERSE from the materialistic stance taken by those who reject creationism should be a closed system, therefore it should be tending towards more disorder (higher entropy), however IT ISN’T.

        The big bang is expected to disintegrate at some point, so evolution by natural selection might only occur for a limited time before the stars burn out and so forth within the big bang itself. Whether or not the big bang is really a closed system is also not completely obvious at this point. For example, the big bang (or the observable universe) could actually be inside a black hole, and matter might still be going inside of it.

        Secondly, regarding even entropy in an OPEN system, every time energy is applied to a system, so that it may decrease entropy, such ONLY happens if the system is intelligently designed and assembled and Energy is intelligently applied. Every time energy is simply applied randomly to a system, it increases entropy.. For instance, look a refrigeration cycle. For the refrigeration cycle to decrease entropy when energy is applied, the system has to be properly and intelligently designed and assembled and then you have to intelligently apply energy to the system (you apply mechanical energy to the compressor). If you simply apply energy to this system in a random manner, say just heat or light is applied, you will simply eventually destroy the system (i.e., increase entropy).

        We know that some life forms use the energy from light or some other source. I would not say that proves intelligent design to be true or that the life forms have to use the energy “intelligently.” Where life forms came from and how they began to use energy efficiently is an interesting question, but that is a question about where the first life forms came from. I would not assume the first life forms had to come from God.

        The same applies to other machines, such as plants.. For plants to decrease entropy, energy has to be applied to an intelligently designed machinery, i.e., the chlorophyl-containing chloroplasts

        Do scientists agree that plants are intelligently designed? No, they don’t agree with that. So, you are making a claim that is directly incompatible with what the actual experts say about it.

        Comment by JW Gray — February 15, 2014 @ 7:44 am

      • This website covers the arguments involving the second law of thermodynamics in more detail.

        If you really think the second law of thermodynamics proves that evolution by natural selection couldn’t happen, then I think that would be very hard to prove. I don’t think anyone has ever proven such a thing. The experts certainly haven’t been convinced by any such argument at this point in time.

        http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/thermo.html

        What you are talking about seems to be covered in “Attributing False Attributes to Thermodynamics.”

        For example: “Thermodynamics correlates, with mathematical equations, information relating to the interaction of heat and work. It does not speculate as to the mechanisms involved. The energy conversion mechanism can not be expressed in terms of mathematical relationships or thermodynamic laws. Although it is reasonable to assume that complex energy conversion mechanisms actually exist, the manner in which these may operate is outside the scope of thermodynamics. Assigning an energy conversion mechanism to thermodynamics is simply a ploy to distort and pervert the true nature of thermodynamics.”

        Comment by JW Gray — February 15, 2014 @ 8:08 am

    • It might be that some type of creationism is not mutually exclusive with evolution. The view that some life form was created is not incompatible with evolution. So, the arguments I gave above are only really against the types of creationism that are mutually exclusive with evolution.

      However, evolution is the explanation for how organisms change over time and how different species come into being. That view does require natural selection rather and requires that no divine intervention is needed. Humans can exist without God interfering with natural selection. God is not needed for the process to work after organisms exist. So, the view of intelligent design that you discuss would be a type of creationism that is incompatible with evolution in my view.

      Comment by JW Gray — February 14, 2014 @ 9:47 pm | Reply

      • Thank you for recognizing that evolution does not necessarily excludes life being created (i.e., creationism). So I think what you should say is that you gave arguments not against the types of creationism that are mutually exclusive with evolution, but for a type of evolution that excludes life being created. I can tell you that most Christians do not reject evolution.. even the Pope has accepted evolution as an extremely plausible theory.. They just believe that it was God who willed evolution to occur.. again, the bible does say that GOd took clay and that clay EVOLVED into a man.

        “However, evolution is the explanation for how organisms change over time and how different species come into being”.. Yes.. and this could be an explanation of how God created the Species..

        “That view does require natural selection rather and requires that no divine intervention is needed.” You have no basis to say that “it requires”.. As mentioned, evolution is evolution.. whether it occurred by natural selection, which is a plausible theory, or by divine intervention, it would still be evolution.. and even if it is by natural selection, this would not be reason to also reject creationism, as it would not discard the possibility that God willed natural selection! It is like if I INTELLIGENTLY build a toy ship with sails and then build a fan and then make the fan move the toy ship from one end of a swimming pool to the other. Even though the ship moved NATURALLY without my direct intervention, as this artificial wind hit its sails, it would still be me who made the ship move by intelligently designing the ship with its sails and also intelligently creating the wind generating machinery.

        “Humans can exist without God interfering with natural selection”… Yes, in as much as the intelligently designed toy ship can move as long as I apply wind to it with the intelligently designed fan without me literately interfering and pushing it with my hand..

        “God is not needed for the process to work after organisms exist” Possibly, just like the toy ship does not need me to push it with my hand as long as I apply the wind to it. But it is still me who made the toy ship move, and by the same token it would be God who would still be making the process occur by designing it that way.

        “So, the view of intelligent design that you discuss would be a type of creationism that is incompatible with evolution in my view.” I disagree for the reasons clearly stated above…

        Comment by Rasec Adnarg — February 15, 2014 @ 12:15 am

      • Yes.. and this could be an explanation of how God created the Species..

        Right, Christians should believe in evolution by natural selection. If God exists, then we should still think there’s evolution by natural selection. But no divine intervention is required.

        You have no basis to say that “it requires”.. As mentioned, evolution is evolution.. whether it occurred by natural selection, which is a plausible theory, or by divine intervention, it would still be evolution.. and even if it is by natural selection

        That’s not what I or scientists mean who talk about evolution. They are talking about evolution by natural selection. There are lots of types of evolution that have nothing to do with the topic of conversation. A human being can evolve, there’s cultural progress, moral progress, etc.

        this would not be reason to also reject creationism, as it would not discard the possibility that God willed natural selection!

        I don’t think “creationism” refers to God willing natural selection. I would just say God and evolution (by natural selection) are compatible in at least some sense. There have to be somewhat precise definitions for “evolution” and “creationism” in this conversation. You can use these terms in ways that are not what I (or others) have in mind.

        “So, the view of intelligent design that you discuss would be a type of creationism that is incompatible with evolution in my view.” I disagree for the reasons clearly stated above…

        You don’t really disagree. You are just interpreting what I am saying in a way that is different from my intentions. I have clarified what I mean by these terms. I mean evolution by natural selection, and I am talking about creationism as as some other alternative to evolution by natural selection — the view that either things can’t evolve by natural selection (such as one organism eventually becoming a different species) and that God is either interfering with the process or that God has to create each animal without anything evolving.

        Comment by JW Gray — February 15, 2014 @ 7:33 am

  12. James, I will be short, as I think I have already covered all that you wanted to say and, for what I can see, your only response is that “the consensus of today’s scientists disagrees with you, so you must be wrong”.. This is a very lame argument.. if you don’t agree with me, tell it to Galileo, who also happened to disagree with the consensus of scientists of his day and you know well who ended up being right..

    I notice from all my reading that when it comes to the origin of life or even the beginning of times, or even evolution, scientists today have developed sort of a squared-headed closed mindedness that is almost like a cult, and they behave almost like religious folks, instead of being OPEN minded as good scientists should be. They ridicule anyone who disagrees with their own theories and they have gone as far as completely destroying some of the scientists career that might suggest “intelligent design” is more plausible. Since none of their theories are observable nor they can be tested repeatedly through experimentation (two criteria needed for the theory to be considered “scientific”), there will be nothing that will make them change their mind. That is NOT science.. like I said it is a cult.. TAKE for instance, the following excerpt from the American Association for the advancement of Science” (http://www.aaas.org/news/press_room/evolution/qanda.shtml):

    “A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. Such fact-supported theories are not “guesses” but reliable accounts of the real world. The theory of biological evolution is more than “just a theory.” It is as factual an explanation of the universe as the atomic theory of matter or the germ theory of disease. Our understanding of gravity is still a work in progress. But the phenomenon of gravity, like evolution, is an accepted fact.”

    Can you see the contradiction?? I hope you can see it.. With “biological evolution”, they of course are talking about species evolving into other species, which takes millions of years (what some call macro-evolution – different from micro-evolution, which is the same species adapting and changing, e.g., bacteria developing resistant to antibiotic. Micro-evolution is indeed an observable phenomenon).. Tell me is that Observable or has it been tested repeatedly through experimentation?? Of course not.. unless you have invented a time machine to go back and check this inter-species evolution. YET, all these scientists from this Scientist organization, go ahead and called it “more than just a theory”… despite the fact that it does not even meet the two criteria, they recognize, is needed for it being a “scientific theory” and then they stupidly compare it to gravity, which is an OBSERVABLE phenomenon. Macro-evolution, unlike gravity, has NEVER been observed nor it has been tested repeatedly through experimentation. There is fossil evidence for it, and DNA evidence as well.. but this does not make it observable nor it allows testing it repeatedly through experimentation; therefore, it is not even a scientific theory as it does not meet the known criteria, much less an “accepted fact”.. Macro-evolution IS a theory.. NO DOUBT and a VERY PLAUSIBLE theory at that, as there are fossil and DNA evidence that are fairly convincing, but they TREAT IT like a CULT when they call it a FACT as they want to force science to fit what they want to believe. It does not work that way.. that is NOT science..

    SO NO.. I will not conform to your idea that just because “most scientists disagree with me”, then I must be wrong.. Specially on these topics.. IF I DO, I would not be behaving like a true scientist should.. think outside the box!

    I already mentioned why I thought that “intelligent design” was in my opinion more plausible than “random design”.. I mentioned the 2nd law of thermodynamics, which has ALLOWED more order in the UNIVERSE, instead of more disorder.. and I talked about the fact that even open systems require an intelligently designed and assembled system and required energy to be intelligently applied to be able to decrease entropy. You disagree with me, mainly because most scientists today would disagree that plants are an intelligently design machinery.. That just shows me that they are simply blinded by their cult, which I mentioned above… but that is ok..

    Now, I will tell you why “random design” defies the MOST simplest logic.. Think about it.. If I tell you that I have all the parts of a computer and that I will put them randomly outside and I will let millions of year pass and after that the computer will just assembled itself without intelligent intervention.. would you believe me??? I would consider anyone that would tell me that to be either a fraud, a con man, a comedian, or a mad man, or at least a very CONFUSED man.. Now think that this is what you are telling me regarding plants, animals and humans, which are machines that are thousands of times more complicated than a computer.. It just defies logic..

    You would probably say that to you believing in the supernatural, which is how “intelligent design” operates, is what actually defies logic, which is why you choose to believe in “random design”, i.e., that nothing came out of something and then it tended towards higher order naturally and randomly, but NOTICE that “random design” would also be SUPERNATURAL as well, as it is beyond what is natural to us.. You are just picking what kind of supernatural you want to believe in, and it seems the one I picked, might not be popular among most scientists today, but it is more logical..

    NOTICE that I am not attempting to say anything about the nature of that “intelligent designer”.. all I am saying is that that seems to be a more plausible theory.. that indeed there is “intelligent design”.. And so that you know I AM NOT ALONE in the scientific community. FAMOUS scientists such as ALbert Einstein, and Michio Kaku believed or believe in “intelligent design”.

    Comment by Rasec Adnarg — February 16, 2014 @ 5:13 am | Reply

    • Finally, I apologize, as all that I mentioned above is sort of outside the TOPIC of your original post here, so getting back to your topic.. I will be VERY BRIEF.. It seems that regarding YOUR WHOLE PREMISE here you have a constrained yourself to disprove a very LIMITED/UNCOMMON definition of “creationism” with a limited, although popular, definition of evolution. So your premise applies ONLY to a “creationism that rejects natural selection” and an “evolution that occurs ONLY through natural selection”.. WITH those limitations or constraints, I have nothing to disagree with you.. However, I will insist to you that this limited definition of creationism that you mention IS NOT the most common one maintained out there .. As I said, most creationists DO NOT deny evolution and they DO NOT deny natural selection.. They see those as plausible theories as to how God operated to design and create the Species.

      Comment by Rasec Adnarg — February 16, 2014 @ 5:20 am | Reply

      • There are people who want creationism taught in schools instead of evolution. It is a powerful political force. Who calls themselves a creationist and agrees that natural selection is true? What makes you think that is the most common type of creationism?

        Perhaps most people are creationists in the sense that they think God created the universe. That has nothing to do with the debate over evolution, though. So, if you think that is the most popular type of creationism, that is fine. It is just not relevant to the evolution/creationism debate, and that is how I have heard people use the term “creationism.”

        Comment by JW Gray — February 16, 2014 @ 7:57 am

    • James, I will be short, as I think I have already covered all that you wanted to say and, for what I can see, your only response is that “the consensus of today’s scientists disagrees with you, so you must be wrong”.. This is a very lame argument.. if you don’t agree with me, tell it to Galileo, who also happened to disagree with the consensus of scientists of his day and you know well who ended up being right..

      Galileo proved something to scientists by using science. Creationism of the type I am discussing is not properly done science. Their arguments are not good arguments.

      I don’t think my response is merely that there’s a consensus, but that is an important response in many ways. I don’t think we should reject the best scientific conclusions and think we know better than scientists.

      I notice from all my reading that when it comes to the origin of life or even the beginning of times, or even evolution, scientists today have developed sort of a squared-headed closed mindedness that is almost like a cult, and they behave almost like religious folks, instead of being OPEN minded as good scientists should be.

      People who disagree with experts often feel that way about experts. It can be frustrating that scientists don’t agree with you no matter how much you argue with them, but that doesn’t mean you know more than they do. Often it is a result of the dunning-kruger effect. Non-experts are often overly confident that they understand things better than they do.

      They ridicule anyone who disagrees with their own theories and they have gone as far as completely destroying some of the scientists career that might suggest “intelligent design” is more plausible. Since none of their theories are observable nor they can be tested repeatedly through experimentation (two criteria needed for the theory to be considered “scientific”), there will be nothing that will make them change their mind.

      Scientists need to have theories that count as good explanations. There’s rational criteria that makes one explanation better than another. If one theory is better than another for many reasons, then there is no reason for a scientist to reject the better explanation in favor of a worse one.

      And scientists do respond to arguments given by those who disagree. There’s a lot of material and resources devoted to explaining why creationists are giving bad arguments. Perhaps too many resources are being used for it that would be better used elsewhere.

      The amount of research being devoted to proving that GMOs are safe and that vaccines don’t cause autism are also probably higher than they need to be. Look at the political agenda of people who reject science. Those who reject that GMOs are safe or that vaccines don’t cause autism and so on.

      Can you see the contradiction?? I hope you can see it.. With “biological evolution”, they of course are talking about species evolving into other species, which takes millions of years (what some call macro-evolution – different from micro-evolution, which is the same species adapting and changing, e.g., bacteria developing resistant to antibiotic. Micro-evolution is indeed an observable phenomenon).. Tell me is that Observable or has it been tested repeatedly through experimentation??

      It is confirmed in many ways, but I agree that we have not observed the millions of years of evolution in a first hand experience. Astronomy also requires that we take limited observations into account in order to try to understand what is going on in the universe.

      e than “random design”.. I mentioned the 2nd law of thermodynamics, which has ALLOWED more order in the UNIVERSE, instead of more disorder.. and I talked about the fact that even open systems require an intelligently designed and assembled system and required energy to be intelligently applied to be able to decrease entropy. You disagree with me, mainly because most scientists today would disagree that plants are an intelligently design machinery.. That just shows me that they are simply blinded by their cult, which I mentioned above… but that is ok..

      I think you are just insulting scientists instead of reading their arguments. They have written about these issues already in detail. Read it for yourself.

      Now, I will tell you why “random design” defies the MOST simplest logic.. Think about it.. If I tell you that I have all the parts of a computer and that I will put them randomly outside and I will let millions of year pass and after that the computer will just assembled itself without intelligent intervention.. would you believe me???

      No, but that’s not what evolution is.

      I would consider anyone that would tell me that to be either a fraud, a con man, a comedian, or a mad man, or at least a very CONFUSED man.. Now think that this is what you are telling me regarding plants, animals and humans, which are machines that are thousands of times more complicated than a computer.. It just defies logic..

      The simple logic you are talking about is a bad analogy. Argument by analogy require a lot more nuance and thought than this one.

      You would probably say that to you believing in the supernatural, which is how “intelligent design” operates, is what actually defies logic, which is why you choose to believe in “random design”, i.e., that nothing came out of something and then it tended towards higher order naturally and randomly, but NOTICE that “random design” would also be SUPERNATURAL as well, as it is beyond what is natural to us.. You are just picking what kind of supernatural you want to believe in, and it seems the one I picked, might not be popular among most scientists today, but it is more logical..

      No, natural selection is not supernatural. Prove it is supernatural.

      NOTICE that I am not attempting to say anything about the nature of that “intelligent designer”.. all I am saying is that that seems to be a more plausible theory.. that indeed there is “intelligent design”.. And so that you know I AM NOT ALONE in the scientific community. FAMOUS scientists such as ALbert Einstein, and Michio Kaku believed or believe in “intelligent design”.

      No, they don’t. And if they did, they would believe in something that they shouldn’t believe in. It’s not more plausible.

      Comment by JW Gray — February 16, 2014 @ 8:11 am | Reply

  13. “There are people who want creationism taught in schools instead of evolution. It is a powerful political force.”

    Yes, because if you are going to teach the “big bang” or “macro-evolution” and so many other theories that are NOT scientific theories (i.e., they do not meet the criteria for being “scientific” because they 1) are not observable to be able to collect empirical data and 2) They have not been tested repeatedly through experimentation), it is ONLY fair that you teach ALL the theories out there so that students can make up their mind. In my opinion, it is “intelligent design” what should be taught, which indeed might lead you to creationism. As mentioned, famous scientist like Albert Einstein and Michio Kaku do maintain such theories about “intelligent design”.. (watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSMTaXYGISU). Why not teach and give a fair shot to all theories that DEAL with beginning of times and, origin of life and origin of species???

    If you don’t want to teach intelligent design/creationism in classrooms, then you should be fair and not teach ANY theories whatsoever that deal with the beginning of times, origin of life or the origin of the species, because NONE of those theories are “scientific” for the reasons I mentioned above.

    “Who calls themselves a creationist and agrees that natural selection is true? What makes you think that is the most common type of creationism?””

    I do, and so do MOST Christians. I agree that natural selection is an extremely plausible theory, which would not contradict with a God creating the universe, creating life and then establishing natural selection for species to evolve and be created. ONLY young-earth fundamentalist Christians, which are a very small fraction of the Christian population (although they might be the loudest), might disagree with natural selection.

    ” So, if you think that is the most popular type of creationism, that is fine. It is just not relevant to the evolution/creationism debate, and that is how I have heard people use the term “creationism.”

    OK, then.. then in this post of yours you are simply addressing a special type of Creationism maintained by only by minority of Christians, which happens to be, it seems, the only “evolution/creationism” debate you have heard about, despite of being the least common belief. I would suggest that you listen to some debate by some creationist that do not maintain this uncommon creationism position, such as Dinesh D’Souza, or Dr. William Lane Craig.

    “Galileo proved something to scientists by using science. Creationism of the type I am discussing is not properly done science. Their arguments are not good arguments.”

    Again, when you say creationism, you have in mind the one that you have heard about, that talks about “what’s in the bible”.. I am talking about creationism that comes from the establishment that there is an “intelligent designer”. Such theories have LOTS AND LOTS of scientific and philosophical proponents, who DO NOT use the bible. They use as much scientific basis as anyone talking about the “big bang” would. I already mentioned Michio Kaku from the theoretical physics stance and Dr. William Lane Craig from the philosophical side, but there are MANY others. They will not quote the bible.. they use philosophical and scientific basis for it, despite the fact that they recognize that because you cannot observe it or tested repeatedly through experimentation their theories are not scientific.. but that is also the case for any other theory that deals with the beginning of times, the origin of life and the origin of the species, such as the big bang or macro-evolution. SO they all deserve equal treatment when it comes to what is and what isn’t taught in schools.

    “People who disagree with experts often feel that way about experts. It can be frustrating that scientists don’t agree with you no matter how much you argue with them, but that doesn’t mean you know more than they do. Often it is a result of the dunning-kruger effect. Non-experts are often overly confident that they understand things better than they do.

    When it comes to beginning of times, origin of life and origin of species, from which you CAN NEVER derive a “scientific” theory, but MERE theories, what makes them experts?. WHY a so-called expert that disagrees with “intelligent design” might be more expert than say Michio Kaku, who agrees with the possibility of “intelligent design”??

    “Scientists need to have theories that count as good explanations. There’s rational criteria that makes one explanation better than another. If one theory is better than another for many reasons, then there is no reason for a scientist to reject the better explanation in favor of a worse one.”

    FULLY agree.. we need to have theories that might count as good explanations.. but that does not mean that theory is a FACT..not even it means that the theory is scientific because it might not meet the criteria (i.e., observable and/or able to tested repeatedly through experimentation). At the end WE MIGHT HAVE many theories with as MUCH worth.. Some experts might like some theories, other experts might like others.. SO YOU HAVE to teach all of those theories to students so that they can be exposed to all of them..

    “And scientists do respond to arguments given by those who disagree. There’s a lot of material and resources devoted to explaining why creationists are giving bad arguments. Perhaps too many resources are being used for it that would be better used elsewhere.”

    And there are LOTS of material also devoted to show why those that reject “intelligent design” and thus reject creationism and embrace “random design” are also giving bad arguments, and so the debate continues. SO WHAT??? WHy then not teach students all the sides of the debate so that THEY can make up their mind???

    “The amount of research being devoted to proving that GMOs are safe and that vaccines don’t cause autism are also probably higher than they need to be. Look at the political agenda of people who reject science. Those who reject that GMOs are safe or that vaccines don’t cause autism and so on.”

    This is irrelevant and off-topic. The need to quench the public fears about GMOs or vaccines or even the fear that oil fracking hurts the environment has nothing to do with beliefs, nor theories. GMOs, vaccines, oil fracking are advanced technologies that the public knows little about and they are afraid it would affect them on a personal level. Showing the public that they are safe can be done objectively because all these technologies can be scientifically shown to be safe through observation and repeated experimentation. Again, when it comes to theories dealing with the beginning of times, origin of life or origin of the species you cannot formulate ANY scientific theory because you cannot observe the phenomenon nor you can test it repeatedly through experimentation. All you got is theories and ALL theories deserve an equal shot to be taught in school.

    “It is confirmed in many ways, but I agree that we have not observed the millions of years of evolution in a first hand experience. Astronomy also requires that we take limited observations into account in order to try to understand what is going on in the universe.”

    I just hope you saw the contradiction from American Association for the advancement of Science, which calls scientific theory to that that can be observed and tested repeatedly through experimentation,and yet in the same paragraph they turn around and call evolution of species “more than just a theory” but actually a FACT, when you have not been able to neither observe it nor test repeatedly through experimentation.. THIS was my illustration as to why many scientists are not blinded by their own biases and why it has become almost a cult, instead of keeping their mind open as good scientists should always do.

    Astronomy is completely different.. because you have telescopes that allow you to OBSERVE what is going on in the stars and planets before you formulate theories. For the evolution of species you have NONE of that. The fossils and DNA might be evidence that allows you to formulate the theory, but they are not observations of the actual phenomenon, so the theory does not qualify as “scientific theory” much less as a “scientific fact” as I heard many scientists call it.

    “I think you are just insulting scientists instead of reading their arguments. They have written about these issues already in detail. Read it for yourself.”

    Firstly, as to what constitutes a “designed machinery” and what doesn’t, this is 100% philosophy, with little biology or chemistry to show for. It is like trying to define when a fetus becomes a human being. I have read tons about scientists considering animals and plants not being designed. I just disagree. Not even natural selection can explain a lot of our traits (such as the fact that cells inside our ear act as a conveyor belt to bring out the wax towards the outside, when wax accumulation in the ear is not a disadvantage that will kill the individual or keep it from reproducing).

    “No, natural selection is not supernatural. Prove it is supernatural.”

    I was not talking about natural selection being supernatural..I was going further back, I was talking about the beginning of times being supernatural.. If you don’t believe in “intelligent design”, you are forced to believe then in “random design” which would prescribe then that NOTHING came out of NOTHING at the beginning of times, then you have the “big bang” and from this disorder, you say that suddenly order came (violating the 2nd law of thermo). Such is supernatural. So you just pick the supernatural that you want to follow or believe in at the end. With or without creator/designer, it is still supernatural.

    “No, they don’t. And if they did, they would believe in something that they shouldn’t believe in. It’s not more plausible.”

    Firstly, yes Albert Einstein and Michio Kaku do believe in “intelligent design” (watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSMTaXYGISU). So since these famous scientists believe in it and give you scientific arguments are to why, your only response is that they are believing in something that they shouldn’t believe in because it is not more plausible??? AGAIN, when you have theories, especially those that ARE NOT scientific because you cannot observe them nor test them repeatedly through experimentation, some scientists will pick some theories other will pick others.. it is the way it is.. you might have your favorite theory, but it does not make my favorite theory less valid and if you believe that your favorite theory should be taught in classrooms it is only fair that so should my favorite theory.

    Comment by Rasec Adnarg — February 17, 2014 @ 3:19 pm | Reply

    • Yes, because if you are going to teach the “big bang” or “macro-evolution” and so many other theories that are NOT scientific theories (i.e., they do not meet the criteria for being “scientific” because they 1) are not observable to be able to collect empirical data and 2) They have not been tested repeatedly through experimentation), it is ONLY fair that you teach ALL the theories out there so that students can make up their mind.

      They are scientific theories. There are observations that confirm these theories and predictions were made based on those theories. Not everything in science is directly observable. Electrons can’t be directly observed, but we can still see what effect they have.

      In my opinion, it is “intelligent design” what should be taught, which indeed might lead you to creationism. As mentioned, famous scientist like Albert Einstein and Michio Kaku do maintain such theories about “intelligent design”.

      What exactly is their theory? I don’t think they had such a theory.

      (watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSMTaXYGISU).

      He isn’t saying that intelligent design is true. He certainly isn’t saying that evolution isn’t a theory.

      Why not teach and give a fair shot to all theories that DEAL with beginning of times and, origin of life and origin of species???

      Same reason we don’t teach astrology, crystals, buddhism, and that GMOs are dangerous in science classes. They aren’t science or scientific findings.

      You could teach people about religious beliefs in schools. See Daniel Dennet’s arguments about that. http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_dennett_s_response_to_rick_warren.html

      “Who calls themselves a creationist and agrees that natural selection is true? What makes you think that is the most common type of creationism?””

      I do, and so do MOST Christians.

      Look for creationism on google. Pretty much the results are about how evolution is false. You might be right that some people will use it in some other sense.

      I agree that natural selection is an extremely plausible theory, which would not contradict with a God creating the universe, creating life and then establishing natural selection for species to evolve and be created. ONLY young-earth fundamentalist Christians, which are a very small fraction of the Christian population (although they might be the loudest), might disagree with natural selection.

      Look at this: “About a quarter of Americans believe that evolution was guided by God while only 32 per cent of those surveyed believe that evolution is due to “natural processes such as natural selection”, the Pew Research Center found.”

      http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/a-third-of-americans-dont-believe-in-evolution-pew-study-finds/story-fn5fsgyc-1226792843126

      ” So, if you think that is the most popular type of creationism, that is fine. It is just not relevant to the evolution/creationism debate, and that is how I have heard people use the term “creationism.”

      OK, then.. then in this post of yours you are simply addressing a special type of Creationism maintained by only by minority of Christians, which happens to be, it seems, the only “evolution/creationism” debate you have heard about, despite of being the least common belief. I would suggest that you listen to some debate by some creationist that do not maintain this uncommon creationism position, such as Dinesh D’Souza, or Dr. William Lane Craig.

      “Galileo proved something to scientists by using science. Creationism of the type I am discussing is not properly done science. Their arguments are not good arguments.”

      Again, when you say creationism, you have in mind the one that you have heard about, that talks about “what’s in the bible”.. I am talking about creationism that comes from the establishment that there is an “intelligent designer”.

      The view of intelligent design is mainly the view that natural selection is insufficient to explain various things that it is supposed to explain. A lot of intelligent design is an alternative to natural selection.

      Theistic evolution is the view that God exists and natural selection is true (rather than intelligent design).

      I am familiar with the many different views people have about this topic.

      Such theories have LOTS AND LOTS of scientific and philosophical proponents, who DO NOT use the bible.

      None of the proponents who reject natural selection have a good alternative to it. That’s why biologists unanimously agree with natural selection.

      They use as much scientific basis as anyone talking about the “big bang” would. I already mentioned Michio Kaku from the theoretical physics stance and Dr. William Lane Craig from the philosophical side, but there are MANY others. They will not quote the bible.. they use philosophical and scientific basis for it, despite the fact that they recognize that because you cannot observe it or tested repeatedly through experimentation their theories are not scientific.. but that is also the case for any other theory that deals with the beginning of times, the origin of life and the origin of the species, such as the big bang or macro-evolution. SO they all deserve equal treatment when it comes to what is and what isn’t taught in schools.

      What makes them theories is that they make successful risky predictions, they are falsifiable in that observations could prove them false or be used as strong evidence against them, and that they are consistent with our observations. There are other theoretical virtues as well. Alternatives to natural selection are not scientific in those ways.

      They might agree with theistic evolution. That is not a rejection of natural selection.

      I am only talking about views that reject natural selection. What people call “intelligent design” is a rejection of natural selection. Advocates of intelligent design think God has to interfere with the process to explain things like the existence of human beings.

      When it comes to beginning of times, origin of life and origin of species, from which you CAN NEVER derive a “scientific” theory, but MERE theories, what makes them experts?. WHY a so-called expert that disagrees with “intelligent design” might be more expert than say Michio Kaku, who agrees with the possibility of “intelligent design”??

      “Scientists need to have theories that count as good explanations. There’s rational criteria that makes one explanation better than another. If one theory is better than another for many reasons, then there is no reason for a scientist to reject the better explanation in favor of a worse one.”

      FULLY agree.. we need to have theories that might count as good explanations.. but that does not mean that theory is a FACT..not even it means that the theory is scientific because it might not meet the criteria (i.e., observable and/or able to tested repeatedly through experimentation). At the end WE MIGHT HAVE many theories with as MUCH worth.. Some experts might like some theories, other experts might like others.. SO YOU HAVE to teach all of those theories to students so that they can be exposed to all of them..

      It is theoretically possible to have theories as good as the theory of evolution/natural selection, but we don’t at this point in time.

      There are different ways people use the term ‘fact.’ I think we might be able to say that evolution is a fact insofar as it has been confirmed to be true. (That’s one way people use the word ‘fact.’) However, our view of evolution can change in various ways. There are some details that need to be worked out. We don’t know everything about evolution yet.

      Astronomy is completely different.. because you have telescopes that allow you to OBSERVE what is going on in the stars and planets before you formulate theories. For the evolution of species you have NONE of that. The fossils and DNA might be evidence that allows you to formulate the theory, but they are not observations of the actual phenomenon, so the theory does not qualify as “scientific theory” much less as a “scientific fact” as I heard many scientists call it.

      There are fossils, DNA, etc. that confirm evolution. There are observations about it. It’s not like there are no observations at all that could confirm natural selection or macro evolution.

      I was not talking about natural selection being supernatural..I was going further back, I was talking about the beginning of times being supernatural.. If you don’t believe in “intelligent design”, you are forced to believe then in “random design” which would prescribe then that [something] came out of NOTHING at the beginning of times, then you have the “big bang” and from this disorder, you say that suddenly order came (violating the 2nd law of thermo).

      I didn’t know you were talking about cosmology, but that’s not what the big bang is. There was no moment in time when nothing existed.

      Such is supernatural.

      Let’s say that there was a time when nothing existed, then there was a time when something existed. Is that supernatural? Not necessarily. Maybe there was a time before the laws of physics didn’t even exist. In that case the laws of physics would not be violated for such an event to occur.

      Comment by JW Gray — February 17, 2014 @ 8:29 pm | Reply

  14. Quick correction: regarding my quote of the American Association for the advancement of Science Where I said: “THIS was my illustration as to why many scientists are not blinded by their own biases and why it has become almost a cult, instead of keeping their mind open as good scientists should always do.” I meant to say: “THIS was my illustration as to why many scientists are NOW blinded by their own biases and why it has become almost a cult, instead of keeping their mind open as good scientists should always do”

    Comment by Rasec Adnarg — February 17, 2014 @ 3:27 pm | Reply

  15. Another correction: “random design” which would prescribe then that NOTHING came out of NOTHING at the beginning of times”. I meant to say “random design” which would prescribe then that SOMETHING came out of NOTHING at the beginning of times”

    Comment by Rasec Adnarg — February 17, 2014 @ 3:30 pm | Reply

  16. “They are scientific theories. There are observations that confirm these theories and predictions were made based on those theories.

    Neither the Bing bang nor “macro-evolution” are scientific theories. The definition of a “scientific theory” is clear: “A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on knowledge that has been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experimentation.[1][2]”

    1. ^ National Academy of Sciences, 1999
    2. ^ AAAS Evolution Resources

    You have not been able to do neither with “bing bang” and “macro-evolution”.. no observation or measurement and not repeated testing through experimentation.. so because they do not meet these criteria they cannot be considered scientific theories. They are theories, nonetheless, but not scientific.

    “Not everything in science is directly observable. Electrons can’t be directly observed, but we can still see what effect they have.”

    Observation is not limited to using your eyes to see them. If you are able to MEASURE the phenomenon, then that is observable as well. Such is the case with electrons. You can measure their presence. You cannot do that with big bang or macro-evolution because those are phenomena that happened many millions of years ago..

    “(watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSMTaXYGISU). He isn’t saying that intelligent design is true.”

    Yes, he is.. Please notice that both Einstein and himself believe that there is a DESIGNER, because otherwise, if there wasn’t, the universe would have been chaotic and disorder would have increased rather than decrease. So he says there is a God of order, harmony, beauty, simplicity and elegance. This is the God that kept the universe from simply disintegrating into more chaos and disorder.

    “He certainly isn’t saying that evolution isn’t a theory”

    No he did not.. but neither did I.. I SAID that macro-evolution is not a “scientific” theory because it does not meet the criteria as mentioned above… but I DO believe it is a theory, and a very plausible theory at that, which has some alleged evidence that has scientific basis, such as the fossil and DNA evidence. I also believe, however, that it is SCIENTIFICALLY IRRESPONSIBLE to say, as many scientists do, that this theory, which is not even a full-blown scientific theory is a “scientific fact”..

    I SAID:” Why not teach and give a fair shot to all theories that DEAL with beginning of times and, origin of life and origin of species???”
    YOU SAID: “Same reason we don’t teach astrology, crystals, buddhism, and that GMOs are dangerous in science classes. They aren’t science or scientific findings.”

    There is no comparison here.. ALL theories that deal with beginning of times, origin of life and of species, have the as much scientific and philosophical basis.. Again, why would the believe that the universe came to being by mere chance and supernaturally out of NOTHING, as you believe would be a theory that is more “scientific” than believing as Einstein and Michio Kaku believe that there was a supernatural intelligent designer???

    So if you don’t like the latter theories, that is fine, but there is not reason to exclude them just because you don’t like them because they have just as much scientific basis or lack thereof, as the former theories.

    Astrology, crystals and buddhism and EVEN CHRISTIANITY, are religions, that I understand should not be in science classrooms. You are wrong about the GMOs.. although some GMOs are safe, there are some that dangerous.. such as a genetically modified virus. In addition, understanding why GMOs are dangerous or safe IS science as you can observe it and tested through experimentation (you cannot do that with any theory that deals with the beginning of time, origin or life or origin of species).

    “What makes them theories is that they make successful risky predictions, they are falsifiable in that observations could prove them false or be used as strong evidence against them, and that they are consistent with our observations. There are other theoretical virtues as well. ”

    I am sorry to tell you, but with “bing bang” or “macro-evolution” it does NOT work like that in practice.. FIRST of all, what “observation” can prove “bing bang” or “macro-evolution” to be true.. like I said you cannot observed such phenomenon unless you invent a time machine. Secondly, how could you falsify the “big bang”.. you can’t.. The theory is basically that SOMETHING came from NOTHING, and then exploded.. expanded universe you said? well there are scientists that have discovered that the universe is contracting in certain places.. yet the big bang is still there… Macro-evolution.. some people say.. if you find say a rabbit in the Cretaceous period you would falsify macro-evolution.. but if you look at the way scientists determine what is in the cretaceous period and what isn’t is by the fossils they find.. so if they find a rabbit, they would say that is NOT the Cretaceous period, and so as you can see it is not possible to falsify. Carbon 14 is not always exact also, so when they find a rabbit that is VERY old, they would just assume that the carbon has been compromised.. I know this because I have seen it done. And again.. what observations?? the fossils and DNA evidence ARE NOT observations.. they are evidence, nonetheless, but they are NOT observations.

    “Alternatives to natural selection are not scientific in those ways.”

    Alternatives to natural selection that are not scientific??? There are at least Two alternatives to natural selection that have been promulgated by scientists. THey have as much scientific basis as natural selection: These are Orthogenesis, Saltationism or mutation theory. They might not have as many followers as natural selection, but they do have scientific basis.

    I can tell you that evolution theory continues to evolve (no pun intended) and will continue to do so for years to come for the reason that again, it cannot be observed and it cannot be tested through experimentation. Just look at how much it has changed starting for the Earth age.. it continues to increase every few decades.. New theories keep popping up..

    “I am only talking about views that reject natural selection. What people call “intelligent design” is a rejection of natural selection. Advocates of intelligent design think God has to interfere with the process to explain things like the existence of human beings.”

    I believe you are mistaken my friend.. intelligent design does not necessarily reject natural selection.. Most creationists believe God INTELLIGENTLY DESIGNED natural selection and then let it loose for the Species to be created. This is the most common view among Christians and you are referring to a very small fraction of individuals that might say that “intelligent design” is at odds with intelligent design.

    “It is theoretically possible to have theories as good as the theory of evolution/natural selection, but we don’t at this point in time.”

    I was not talking about evolution/natural selection, I was talking about the big bang occurring and then ending up with life by random chance.. THAT theory has a much scientific basis as saying there is intelligent design that created the universe and life and then the intelligent designer used evolution/natural selection to create the species.

    “There was no moment in time when nothing existed.”

    That is definitely not what most scientist believe. Even from the fact that energy can become mass and mass energy (E=mc2). IF you ask most scientists they do believe there had to be a time when nothing existed.. they just cannot tell or say there is no knowledge as to how something came out of that nothing.. It is indeed supernatural..

    “Let’s say that there was a time when nothing existed, then there was a time when something existed. Is that supernatural? Not necessarily. Maybe there was a time before the laws of physics didn’t even exist. In that case the laws of physics would not be violated for such an event to occur.”

    I hope you can listen to yourself. So you are saying that there might have been a time when there were no laws of physics and suddenly such laws came into existence out of nothing and since then everything has to be bound to such laws… but none of that is supernatural…

    Definition of supernatural: “Anything that does not conform to what is known to be natural”.

    All that you mention sounds pretty supernatural to me..

    Comment by Rasec Adnarg — February 17, 2014 @ 11:04 pm | Reply

    • “They are scientific theories. There are observations that confirm these theories and predictions were made based on those theories.

      Neither the Bing bang nor “macro-evolution” are scientific theories. The definition of a “scientific theory” is clear: “A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on knowledge that has been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experimentation.[1][2]”

      No, it isn’t simple. Take a Philosophy of Science class. Also, this article in demarcation can be useful: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pseudo-science/

      Even if we are dealing with “philosophy” rather than science, creationism as an alternative to the big bang theory or as an alternative to evolution isn’t really philosophy. It would be questionable to even teach such things in a philosophy class. Philosophy isn’t “anything goes.” Intellectual standards an rational criteria has to be assessed. Every single idea people come up with is not worth teaching or studying. Some ideas are bad and have been debunked a long time ago.

      Yes, he is.. Please notice that both Einstein and himself believe that there is a DESIGNER, because otherwise, if there wasn’t, the universe would have been chaotic and disorder would have increased rather than decrease. So he says there is a God of order, harmony, beauty, simplicity and elegance. This is the God that kept the universe from simply disintegrating into more chaos and disorder.

      Where did he say all that?

      There is no comparison here.. ALL theories that deal with beginning of times, origin of life and of species, have the as much scientific and philosophical basis.

      .

      No, they don’t. There are ways we can assess how good these views are. They are not all equally good. For example, the view that the Earth is only so many thousands of years old is proven false by various observations of fossils.

      Again, why would the believe that the universe came to being by mere chance and supernaturally out of NOTHING, as you believe would be a theory that is more “scientific” than believing as Einstein and Michio Kaku believe that there was a supernatural intelligent designer???

      I don’t believe either of those things. I don’t think you are describing the big bang theory properly. I already said that.

      I am sorry to tell you, but with “bing bang” or “macro-evolution” it does NOT work like that in practice.. FIRST of all, what “observation” can prove “bing bang” or “macro-evolution” to be true..

      A huge collection of observations are consistent with those theories and inconsistent with certain other theories. The universe is expanding at an increasing speed. Big bang theorists predicted that we would find background radiation. I suggest you actually read the arguments given by scientists. I don’t know as much about it as they do. And you don’t know as much about it as they do either.

      I believe you are mistaken my friend.. intelligent design does not necessarily reject natural selection.. Most creationists believe God INTELLIGENTLY DESIGNED natural selection and then let it loose for the Species to be created. This is the most common view among Christians and you are referring to a very small fraction of individuals that might say that “intelligent design” is at odds with intelligent design.

      Show me a website that says that’s what intelligent design is. Read actual things written by people who advocate intelligent design. They reject natural selection.

      From wikipedia: “The intelligent design movement was developed by a group of American creationists who revised their argument in the creation–evolution controversy to circumvent court rulings such as the United States Supreme Court’s Edwards v. Aguillard decision, which barred the teaching of creation science in public schools on the grounds of breaching the separation of church and state.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_design

      I was not talking about evolution/natural selection, I was talking about the big bang occurring and then ending up with life by random chance.. THAT theory has a much scientific basis as saying there is intelligent design that created the universe and life and then the intelligent designer used evolution/natural selection to create the species.

      I do get confused by some things you say. You use terminology in a way that I think is unconventional. I know of no cosmologists who say that creation of the universe by God is as good of a view as the alternatives. However, there are people who say that cosmology is more of a type of philosophy than a science. But as philosophy, there’s no good reason to think that God created the universe than to think something else is going on. I still wouldn’t say that view is as good as the alternatives. I realize that William Lane Craig sees things differently than I do.

      That is definitely not what most scientist believe. Even from the fact that energy can become mass and mass energy (E=mc2). IF you ask most scientists they do believe there had to be a time when nothing existed.. they just cannot tell or say there is no knowledge as to how something came out of that nothing.. It is indeed supernatural..

      I don’t think scientists say that. I have already discussed cosmology more than I would like in the comments section of this post: http://ethicalrealism.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/atheism-as-nonbelief/

      I also talk about how I don’t think the big bang doesn’t state that there was a time when nothing exists. Krauss wrote a book that makes it sound like he thinks something came from nothing, but what he calls “nothing” isn’t really nothing. He made that clear.

      I hope you can listen to yourself. So you are saying that there might have been a time when there were no laws of physics and suddenly such laws came into existence out of nothing and since then everything has to be bound to such laws… but none of that is supernatural…

      How do I define “supernatural?” One view is that it means something nonphysical exists (like gods or ghosts). Nothing I said would be something nonphysical existing. Another view is that there are miracles — violations of the laws of nature.

      Definition of supernatural: “Anything that does not conform to what is known to be natural”.

      That definition is unclear to me.

      Comment by JW Gray — February 18, 2014 @ 1:26 am | Reply

  17. James, I am just abiding by the DEFINITION of “Scientific theory”. If you follow that definition, which requires that the phenomenon either 1) be observable (or measurable) and/or 2)Tested repeatedly through experimentation, you have NO other OPTION but to not consider macro-evolution and big bang as scientific theories. They are theories, nonetheless, but NOT scientific. Now if you want to change the official definition of “scientific theory”, then go ahead and you may then call “big bang” a scientific theory.

    —“Even if we are dealing with “philosophy” rather than science, creationism as an alternative to the big bang theory or as an alternative to evolution isn’t really philosophy”

    Well.. again, as I mentioned, there is no need to have creationism as alternatives to big bang or macro-evolution, as I have mentioned, those two could be just the way created matter and then created Species.. However, I wholeheartedly disagree with you that creationism by itself is not philosophy… Most of the greatest philosophers of all time have believed and maintained creationism, from Plato in Antiquity, through Augustine of Hippo, and Thomas of Aquinas until Dr. William Lane Craig today. Even Michio Kaku and Einstein employ a lot of philosophy to maintain their position on creationism. I suggest you read a few books of Dr. William Lane Craig. YOu will find that there is LOTS of philosophy about creationism.

    —-I SAID: “Yes, he is.. Please notice that both Einstein and himself believe that there is a DESIGNER, because otherwise, if there wasn’t, the universe would have been chaotic and disorder would have increased rather than decrease. So he says there is a God of order, harmony, beauty, simplicity and elegance. This is the God that kept the universe from simply disintegrating into more chaos and disorder.”

    —-You SAID: Where did he say all that?”

    MINUTE 1:39 into the video.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSMTaXYGISU

    —-“The universe is expanding at an increasing speed.”

    Yet scientists have found that the universe is contracting (going the other direction) in other places.. and? the Big bang theory is still there because those proponents of the Big Bang are unwilling to accept defeat so they don’t want to accept the evidence that the universe is contracting in other areas.. I tell you.. it is the way it is.. So I don’t think this theory is falsifiable because their proponents, as those who believe in creationism, as unwilling to accept evidence against its theory.. And since the phenomenon is NOT observable nor it can be tested through experimentation, who is to tell them who is wrong or right..

    THIS IS VERY SIMILAR to CLIMATE CHANGE. IT is not observable nor it can be tested through experimentation that the present CLIMATE change caused by man-made emissions or by a natural climate cycle. As a result, scientists are divided (many of them because of politics) and so neither side will accept the evidence. .

    Which theory should be taught in School? that there is man-made climate change or that there isn’t?? IN my view, either you teach none of them or you teach both of them to allow students to make up their mind.

    —-“Show me a website that says that’s what intelligent design is. Read actual things written by people who advocate intelligent design. They reject natural selection.”

    Like I said that might be because that type of intelligent design is the loudest (from Young-earth creationists) but it is not the most common.

    —“How do I define “supernatural?” One view is that it means something nonphysical exists (like gods or ghosts). Nothing I said would be something nonphysical existing. Another view is that there are miracles — violations of the laws of nature.”

    Supernatural — etymologically — beyond what is natural.. in other words, if it does not conform with our KNOWN natural laws, then it is supernatural.. Gods and Ghosts would be supernatural.. something coming out of nothing, as most scientists believe, that must have been how everything started is SUPERNATURAL as well because it does not conform to our known natural laws.. but that does not mean it did not happen.. Scientists might say it is supernatural because we don’t understand it yet.. when we understand it it will stop being supernatural and become natural.. that is the case of the something coming out of nothing and even certain aspects of the big bang, which claims that there was a tiny little mass the size of a grain of sand, very dense, which exploded and resulted in all the planets and starts flying away from each other.. TELL ME that that is natural.. it is not.. In any case, the point is that even if you don’t recognize that scientists are forced to believe in the supernatural (as per the definition above), it does not change the fact that they do..

    Comment by Rasec Adnarg — February 18, 2014 @ 6:36 pm | Reply

  18. This would be a lot stronger if you could propose a third alternative that someone might believe — nobody is going to consider it possible that all forms of life have always existed. Not that many still believe the universe (or our local bubble of the super-universe) has always existed.
    At any rate, you’ve made it clear that you would accept evolution by faith even if you accepted that there wasn’t any evidence for it and that there was some evidence against it (although I’m not sure your mind can accept the concept of “evidence against evolution”): QUOTE:…the fact that we don’t know how something evolves in no way proves it did not evolve. … it is quite possible that evolution is true, even if some complex organisms didn’t evolve. Evolution does not claim that all complex organisms must have evolved. …it is quite possible for evolution to be true, even if no transitional species were ever discovered. There was no guarantee that we would ever find them because they existed long ago and their remains could have all been destroyed by now.UNQUOTE
    When you say “Evolution does not claim that all complex organisms must have evolved,” you’re going to have to explain that better than noting we might learn to create complex organisms in the future. Otherwise, what you’re saying is that evolution could be perfectly compatible with creationism, with any number of organisms having been originally created and only later somewhat modified by evolution. Most creationists would be happy with this.

    Also, this is not the logic that I use. Mine goes more like this: First some definitions and explanations. Creationism is the belief that a higher intelligence created a wide range of living things. The scientific theory merely states that living things can inherit variations over time and populations can diverge due to natural selection. This is perfectly compatible with creationism. Evolutionism is the belief that natural inanimate processes produced life and natural biological processes produced all other forms of life from those relatively simple forms. (As indicated, I know of no other truly distinct and viable alternatives. Even if life could arise from inanimate processes and evolution could produce all forms of life, nature might have been created that way, but at least evolutionism could be true, too, and it turns out to be a moot point.) Creationism came first, it posits a source which is sufficiently powerful but not subject to scientific investigation (supernatural). Evolutionism claims to have the power and certainty of science behind it. The power and certainty of nearly all claims in science comes from repeatable observations and demonstrations proving that posited causes are sufficient to explain the relevant effects. If there is truly such evidence in favor of evolutionism, then I see no reason to be a creationist, but until then I see no reason to be an evolutionist.
    Now we look at what scientific evidence bears on this subject. Step one is accounting for the origin of life. All attempts to recreate natural inanimate conditions which produce living things have failed. Attempts to reproduce several key aspects of life short of a complete living thing have also failed. Observations of inanimate natural processes of physical and chemical change over time fail to show any tendency toward assembly of any structures exhibiting any significant aspects of complex dynamic organization; in fact, such processes lead to either (non-dynamic) crystallization, (unorganized) chaos, and general reduction of complexity. Just the opposite of what is needed. So evolution doesn’t even get off the ground except in fantasy land.
    However, let’s suppose nature is playing a trick on us and hiding a whole set of conditions in which non-living chemicals could form up in just the right way to produce the precise, integrated, interdependent structures, codes, and molecular machines that would be required to be considered a living thing. I’ll wait while anybody with real brains that haven’t been chained to the idea gets their laughter under control. Now we’ve got to get these simple living things to gradually (more or less) change with each generation until their offspring have all the other features of all other forms of life. What do scientific observations tell us about inheritable biological changes? Most differences between offspring and parents are due to genetic recombination of existing genes, therefore no really new features could come about through them. We do observe some apparently new variations due to mutations. We know that some mutations occur at “hotspots” and produce the same changes over and over again. We also know that the vast majority of mutations are slightly detrimental (no need to even consider the ones that are highly detrimental and thus eliminated before birth or long before reproduction). A small minority of mutations appear to be beneficial, but most of these involve changes that produce no new structures or other features which might lead to new dynamic complexity (e.g. changes in color or color patterns), or actually decrease the complexity (e.g. loss of sight in cave creatures). I don’t know of any observed mutations which involve or might lead to an increase in complexity which may not be lucky throwbacks to an ancestral condition. At any rate, there appears to be no reason to believe that the necessary changes would happen at just the right times to provide both sufficient selective advantage and a step toward a new complex feature.
    What about this fossil evidence that supposedly supports evolution and refutes creation? Does it show living things gradually developing new features and slowly becoming more and more divergent? No, it does not. Accepting for argument’s sake that geologic dating methods are reliable (and off the top of my head): There are traces of bacterial colonies dated billions of years old, and little else until well less than one billion, the “little else” being a few traces like worm tunnels and such. Then there are a whole range of odd mats and such in the Ediacaran fauna and small, shelly bits in the Tommotian, Nobody is really sure how any of these are related to anything that came before or after. Suddenly in the Cambrian we find all the major phyla represented. So if evolution happened, there is indeed no evidence for how all the most distinctive differences in living things came about. Even within the vertebrates, our own phylum that we find so interesting, time after time we see some intriguing traces, maybe one or two possible “missing links” out of a near continuum that supposedly existed, and suddenly the next strata of rocks are filled with a wide range of examples. In the case of birds, most of the examples of “ancestral types” are dated at the same time or later than the first feathered flying creatures. There aren’t any good ancestral forms for pterosaurs (I’ve seen the attempts to line some up; they make me laugh), and for bats it’s even worse although they supposedly evolved much more recently. Even with your example of ape fossils, there are significant differences between them and it is only faith and imagination that connects them with humans through some unknown common ancestor.

    So, I see no reason why the new concept of evolutionism should supplant belief in creation. It has never proven itself worthy of belief. There’s no reason to believe it can account for the origin of life, the processes of biological evolution seem insufficient to produce increasingly complex new forms of life over any amount of time (more likely, given enough time, accumulation of mutational errors will overwhelm the ability of natural selection to weed them out), and the fossil record does not illustrate biological divergence and evolution.

    Comment by David Bump — June 25, 2014 @ 4:59 am | Reply


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Rubric Theme. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 208 other followers

%d bloggers like this: