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Evolution Needs to Evolve
American Specator ^ | 09/16/2011 | By Hal G.P. Colebatch

Posted on 09/16/2011 1:37:45 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

Professor of Atheism Richard Dawkins grows increasingly shrill. His outbursts include the following, not very recent, but typical:

__________________________________

It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I'd rather not consider that).

__________________________________

You can, of course, make any point you like providing you don't care about first premises. One thing which evidently fails to enter Professor Dawkins' mental universe is the idea -- accepted by many scientists -- that the theory of evolution is broadly correct, but as an explanation of life and the human condition it is incomplete.

We know life exists. We also know it had to be created by some process. Biology tells us that that process was evolution. It tells us nothing about what set that process in notion, created the Earth we stand on, or created the universe from some unimaginable pre-Creation state without space or time. The idea that the Universe created itself out of nothing seems somehow unsatisfactory.

Whether the Heaven and the Earth, and human life, was created over 13.2 billion years following the Big Bang, or over six days as a literal reading of Genesis is interpreted as saying, actually does not matter.

Of course I accept evolution. I find the Biblical literalists who claim the Earth was created in six days, and who believe that we are all descended from a couple called Adam and Eve Fell who because they were tempted by a walking, talking snake, tiresome. I am more-or-less aware of the historical reasons why these fundamentalist beliefs took root and persist in some communities.

But this does not mean that evolution explains everything, or that it ought to explain everything.

(Excerpt) Read more at spectator.org ...


TOPICS: Education; History; Science; Society
KEYWORDS: creation; evolution; godsgravesglyphs; id; intelligentdesign
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1 posted on 09/16/2011 1:37:48 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane.

Hineini!

Science degrees, big boards scores, and all.

ML/NJ

2 posted on 09/16/2011 1:43:18 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: SeekAndFind
absolutely intellectually void quote from article:

Whether the Heaven and the Earth, and human life, was created over 13.2 billion years following the Big Bang, or over six days as a literal reading of Genesis is interpreted as saying, actually does not matter.

Actually, it matters a whole lot, it effects how one views nearly everything else....

3 posted on 09/16/2011 1:53:12 PM PDT by FreedomProtector
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To: SeekAndFind
It's insane to believe we are all descended from a couple called Adam and Eve Fell who because they were tempted by a walking, talking snake

but believing we're all talking monkeys descended from swamp thing isnt? *shrug* Pick your insanity but make mine God.

4 posted on 09/16/2011 1:57:52 PM PDT by Dick Tater
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To: SeekAndFind
A rather good essay on the subject by Ann Coulter here.

From the article:

We also ought to find a colossal number of transitional organisms in the fossil record -- for example, a squirrel on its way to becoming a bat, or a bear becoming a whale. (Those are actual Darwinian claims.)

But that's not what the fossil record shows. We don't have fossils for any intermediate creatures in the process of evolving into something better. This is why the late Stephen Jay Gould of Harvard referred to the absence of transitional fossils as the "trade secret" of paleontology. (Lots of real scientific theories have "secrets.")

If you get your news from the American news media, it will come as a surprise to learn that when Darwin first published "On the Origin of Species" in 1859, his most virulent opponents were not fundamentalist Christians, but paleontologists.

Unlike high school biology teachers lying to your children about evolution, Darwin was at least aware of what the fossil record ought to show if his theory were correct. He said there should be "interminable varieties, connecting together all the extinct and existing forms of life by the finest graduated steps."

But far from showing gradual change with a species slowly developing novel characteristics and eventually becoming another species, as Darwin hypothesized, the fossil record showed vast numbers of new species suddenly appearing out of nowhere, remaining largely unchanged for millions of years, and then disappearing.

Darwin's response was to say: Start looking! He blamed a fossil record that contradicted his theory on the "extreme imperfection of the geological record."

One hundred and fifty years later, that record is a lot more complete. We now have fossils for about a quarter of a million species.


5 posted on 09/16/2011 2:06:36 PM PDT by mc5cents
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To: SeekAndFind

The problem I have with rigid natural selectionists (something that is totally disproven btw) is their total disconnect from reality. They as it tends to be with the left on nearly every issue want to act as though if you don’t believe in their exact narrow interpretation of evolution that you must be ignorant stupid or just plain dumb. I’m surprised they haven’t found a way to work in the “hate” angle somewhere because you know hate is all that motivates religious people because you know how very civil people were before organized religions like Christianity.

What I don’t understand is why they are so very religious and hateful about an issue that really has no effect on whether the sun rises or sets. People believe all kinds of totally fictional subjective and unproven things. Their problem is they want to use evolution as a spear to slay God and that is not and should never be the aim of science.
The great scientists that founded nearly every branch of hard science were creationists and to more or lesser degree religious. Newton certainly was, Galileo, Copernicus a priest was, Kepler was a very religious man, who even though he was persecuted by the church found a way to credit God for each and every discovery he would make.

There is an unreality to rabid evolutionists just as there is with all those who have tunnel vision. It is bad enough in people who are uneducated but it is a true travesty in those who are educated. The first acknowledgement of science should be of the limits of our knowledge not the narrow constrainment of it. Those who worry about children and whether they are taught about creation don’t seem concerned at all that the very obvious differences between man and apes are taught the simplest being the count of our chromosomes. Apes have 48 and humans have 46. Strange given that most undomesticate species have more not less but lets not worry about that nor the fact that gene expression patterns of human beings is vastly different than any so called ape cousins.

Rigid Evolutionists expect us to ignore our eyes. They expect us to ignore that given their measurements mice, men, apes are nearly the same give or take a small percentage. This of course is not true but they still refuse to fully acknowledge the role of epigenetics for some of the same reasons that the church tried to suppress knowledge it did not like. The whole of academia is built to reinforce accepted notions and has a decidely liberal bent so when they say most scientists believe such and such or an even better one most pre-eminement scientists agree one has to ask how could they not?

There is one simple fact that should be accepted by any person who has any degree of intellectual honesty and that is that there are more questions than answers and that the role of science is not to disprove religion or carry a liberal or conservative political torch but instead to tell us a bit more about the world around us. The grande ironey is that evolutionists like Dawkins have far more in common with those who persecuted Kepler and Galileo than not and both of those great men died loving God having appreciated living a life discovering the great myteries he laid before them.


6 posted on 09/16/2011 2:13:23 PM PDT by Maelstorm (Better to keep your enemy in your sights than in your camp expecting him to guard your back.)
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To: mc5cents
Here is another Coulter piece that is very good too. Here.
7 posted on 09/16/2011 2:32:53 PM PDT by mc5cents
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To: mc5cents
"One hundred and fifty years later, that record is a lot more complete. We now have fossils for about a quarter of a million species."

Let's have a little context with that:

Scientists have described over 1.7 million of the world's species of animals, plants and algae, as of 2010.

From Wikipedia:

Total number of species (estimated): 7–100 million (identified and unidentified), including:

Number of identified eukaryote species: 1.6 million, including:[25]

So, let's be conservative and say just 100k vertebrate and hard invertebrate species at a time, with an average species life of (say) 5m years (again conservative - what did horses and humans look like 5m years ago?). A fossil record of (say) 500m years gives us 500m/5m x 100k = at least 10 million fossil species that we might expect to discover. Even using that (very) low-ball number, we've only uncovered 2.5% of the record so far.

The tired old "Zeno's Paradox" argument ("but what about the missing link between Mesohippus and Miohippus?") is ignorant, stupid or insane.

8 posted on 09/16/2011 2:41:58 PM PDT by Vide
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To: SeekAndFind; betty boop; metmom; Alamo-Girl
The idea that the Universe created itself out of nothing seems somehow unsatisfactory

I know of no Christian Cosmology which makes this absurd statement. First Principles state the following: "Everything which comes to be has a cause." The capricious statement that the universe (notwithstanding the capitalization of the word Universe, which should not go unnoticed) created itself ex nihlo has never been advocated from Christian cosmology. It has, however been misstated time and again by seemingly illinformed atheists with an agenda. They create this pretext, taken out of context for their text. It is the underpinning cosmology of atheists and Hindu.

The simple syllogism is as follows:

Everything which comes to be has a cause

The universe exists

Therefore the universe had a cause.

The 20th century cause of Cosmology has largely been one attempt after the other to do away with a beginning of the Universe. Einstein hated the idea of a beginning. The great astronomer and Christian Arthur Eddington said he found to idea of a beginning to be so absurd that he would be shocked if anyone else believed it, except himself. Fred Hoyle, father of the idea of a steady state, finally capitulated and accepted the idea of a beginning. As did, Penzias, Wilson, Hubble, Smute, Goddard, and hundreds of other men who examined, without presuppositions against facts, concluded the same thing.

Richard Dawkins was so convicted to his worldview that upon William Lane Craig going to Cambridge, England this summer to debate Dawkins, Dawkins, in a display of cowardice, so self-evident, no casual observer could deny the feckless Dawkins, like the mental pigmey that he is, ran for the tall weeds to avoid Dr.Craig. They keep pumping out these articles, keep calling others names who disagree with them, and keep avoiding intellectual confrontation with the likes of Dr.Craig, that their motives are revealed in their process....call a name...then run like hell to avoid a logical, reasonable, rational examination of the facts before them....not what they believe (not their faith), just the facts. They claim to be the champion of knowledge, yet their own worldview will not allow for reason and logic via evolutionary model. If it did, they would put it out there. But alas, theirs is an empy vessel devoid of any factual prescription to put the argument to rest. Come forth Mr. Dawkins and let us reason together.

9 posted on 09/16/2011 2:43:47 PM PDT by Texas Songwriter (I ou)
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To: Texas Songwriter
"The capricious statement that the universe (notwithstanding the capitalization of the word Universe, which should not go unnoticed) created itself ex nihlo has never been advocated from Christian cosmology. It has, however been misstated time and again by seemingly illinformed atheists with an agenda."

Not hardly illinformed but, as the structure of your statement indicates, just Atheists with an agenda.

10 posted on 09/16/2011 3:39:45 PM PDT by YHAOS (you betcha!)
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To: YHAOS

Sorry!~-—I should have diagrammed the sentences for the grammar nazis. I’ll keep that in mind....next time I make a comment. But not this time.


11 posted on 09/16/2011 4:13:39 PM PDT by Texas Songwriter (I ou)
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To: Texas Songwriter
"should have diagrammed the sentences for the grammar nazis."

I offered support . . . not a correction.

Read #10 again.

No, wait . . . Never mind. Not worth the trouble.

12 posted on 09/16/2011 4:30:06 PM PDT by YHAOS (you betcha!)
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To: Texas Songwriter
Everything which comes to be has a cause

The universe exists

Therefore the universe had a cause.


However, if the universe has not come to be but has always existed, then it either has no cause or has an eternally ongoing cause.

Still, even though within a contingent universe one could posit that one thing cannot happen unless caused by another, it doesn't necessarily follow that the universe, as a whole, that is, existence itself, is the product of such contingency.
13 posted on 09/16/2011 4:38:28 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: aruanan
However, if the universe has not come to be but has always existed, then it either has no cause or has an eternally ongoing cause.I will need to comment on the first portion of your sentence..."if the universe has not come to be..." then one must conclude it has always existed." If it has always been, and if entropy is true, then the universe has has 'plenty of time' for the atomic and subatomic particles to be infinitly dispersed into a cosmic ocean of nothingness, approaching absolute zero. But....here we are discussing this subject.

Yes, it is logically possible for the universe to have always existed, but the problem with your assertion is that it is practically and actually factually not the case. Einstein, asserted the theory of the General Theory of Relativity and Eddington and Hubble proved that this theory was, in fact, the case that the universe had a beginning. Wilson and Penzias found the cosmic background radiation of the initial event of creation (they received the Nobel Prize in science for their discovery). George Smoot, NASA project manager for the COBE (cosmic background explorer) brought photographs which revealed the ripples of heat energy from the echo of the initial event of creation. This was further solidified by the findings of WMAP revealing the heat 'echo' of creation. Smoot, atheist extraordiaire, said, "For those who believe in a Creator it is like looking at the fingerprints of God". All of these scientist, atheist (except Eddington) were out to prove there was no moment of creation. Hawkin, trying to disprove a beginning, resorted to 'imaginary numbers' for his theory of a beginning...but admitted, in the end, they were imaginary...and in fact there was a beginning (from "A Brief History of Time".

Finally I will take you back several hundred years to a philosopher named Leibniz, who asked the pertinent question, "If there is no God, why is there anything at all?"

14 posted on 09/16/2011 5:52:52 PM PDT by Texas Songwriter (I ou)
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To: Texas Songwriter
If it has always been, and if entropy is true, then the universe has has 'plenty of time' for the atomic and subatomic particles to be infinitly [sic] dispersed into a cosmic ocean of nothingness, approaching absolute zero. But....here we are discussing this subject.

That's assuming a fixed amount of matter and energy to start with and a finite space within which to exist. Remember also that you're assuming that "a cosmic ocean of nothingness" has some sort of attributes, but nothing is nothing.

The so-called heat signature of the big bang is a characterization of a phenomenon that doesn't necessitate the existence of a big bang, rather, it was the idea of a big bang, arrived at by a premature interpretation of red shift as being evidence of recessional velocity, that gave rise to this interpretation of the cosmic background radiation. That interpretation is by no means certain or even likely now that we know that at least a large portion of that red shift is intrinsic to certain types of matter and an indication of their age rather than their physical velocity through space.
15 posted on 09/16/2011 6:14:23 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: aruanan
That's assuming a fixed amount of matter and energy to start with and a finite space withing which to exist. Remember also that you're assuming that "a cosmic ocean of nothingness" has some sort of attributes, but nothing is nothing.

Is your inference that matter and energy are continually being created? I am a little at a loss to understand your point.

Regarding the heat signature, I will simply quote Robert Jastrow, "No explaination other than the Big Bang has been gound for the fireball radiation. The clincher, which has convinced almost the last Doubting Thomaas, is that the radiation discovered by Penzias and Wilson has exactly the pattern of wavelengths expected for thelight and heat produced in a great explosion. Supporters of the steady state theory (Hoyle) have tried desperately to find an alternativce explaination but they have failed. At the present time, the Big Bang theory has no competetors".

Hawking said, of Smoot's projects findings, it is the "The Holy Grail of Cosmology".

If you can, through physics, regress the orignation of the universe, beyond the moment of creation, please explain.

16 posted on 09/16/2011 6:36:07 PM PDT by Texas Songwriter (I ou)
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To: Texas Songwriter
Thank you so much for sharing your insights, dear Texas Songwriter!

Come forth Mr. Dawkins and let us reason together.

Indeed.

17 posted on 09/16/2011 9:47:55 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: SeekAndFind

Bump!


18 posted on 09/17/2011 2:09:59 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Texas Songwriter
Finally I will take you back several hundred years to a philosopher named Leibniz, who asked the pertinent question, "If there is no God, why is there anything at all?"

This is begging the question and involves itself in a contradiction. It is saying, "Something cannot exist without a cause; that cause is God, who exists without a cause."

More on the background radiation thing later. I must have some coffee first.
19 posted on 09/17/2011 5:07:29 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: aruanan
This is begging the question and involves itself in a contradiction. It is saying, "Something cannot exist without a cause; that cause is God, who exists without a cause."

It does not beg the question and is not circular reasoning. Many others have postulated other causes. Even you postulated that energy and matter are being created at the same rate as it is destroyed in your previous post. Others have put forth other explainations as a cause. Of course these postulations have been reasoned to be groundless, as you are apparently wrestling with when you affirm "....who exists without a cause." Physics cannot deal with anything prior to that moment of creation (singularity). We must move into realm of metaphysics (what Aristotle referenced as reality above or beyond physics). So, far from begging the question it, by induction, allows one to use reason and logic to make a rational conclusion...this is what Leibnez did and put the question well and properly, "If there is no God, why is there anything at all?"

Prior to singularity nothing existed...not time, not space, not matter, not energy. No thing. Prior to that moment there was no physical space in which matter to exist, and no time for events to take place. This is why the Leibnezian question is so pertinent to this discussion. What brought all of this universe into existence. It would have had to be timeless and eternal, as well it would have had to be incredibly powerful to bring the universe into existence. It would have had to be personal to had made a decision to bring the universe into existence. Further it would have to be nonspatial (not extended into space, as space did not exist). It would have had to be immaterial as matter did not exist. It would have had to be self-existent. It would have had to be supremely intelligent to have designed the universe. These conclusions are derived from reasoned induction of the findings of scientific studies byEinstein, Hubble, Eddington, Wilson, Penzias, Smoot, NASA (through COBE and WMAP {go to NASA's web site and take a look}). It is noteworthy that these are the same attributes theologans have described in the Jewish/Christian God.

It would be noteworth to quote Jastrow again when he said, "For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the moutains of ignorance, he is about to conquer the highest peaks; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries."

20 posted on 09/17/2011 1:24:02 PM PDT by Texas Songwriter (I ou)
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To: SeekAndFind; mc5cents; Maelstrom; Vide; Texas Songwriter; aruanan
Thanks for some really great posts, makes for a good thread!

Vide's point is the important one on the issue of allegedly "missing links" -- of the many millions of species which could have left fossils, we've discovered only 250,000 according to Ann Coulter = maybe 2.5%.

So, you'd expect "missing links" to be the rule, not exceptions.

But the key idea that everyone seems to miss is that every species is a "transitional form" between whatever went before and what may come after.

Indeed, the very word "species" is so vague, that we can't really say for certain if two similar looking fossils are more-or-less the same species or not.
As proved by many examples (i.e., horses and donkeys, or brown & polar bears), the process of speciation can be gradual and incomplete over millions of years.
Breeding populations get separated by geological forces, then come back together, possibly forming hybrids, etc., etc.

In the case of human beings, we find the remains of about two dozen "species" of pre-humans dating back about 7 million years to a presumed common ancestor with chimpanzees.
How many of these two dozen or so ancient species were actual ancestors, and how many merely distant uncles & aunts?
Well the fossil record suggested that Neanderthals were not directly related, but the DNAs say maybe there was a little hanky-panky going on in back of old cave.
So much is unknown, even unknowable.

But none of that effects the facts (=confirmed observations) of evolution: A) descent with modifications and B) natural selection.
Nor does it challenge the confirmed theory of evolution: descent from common ancestors.
Nor does it effect current work on unconfirmed hypotheses such as abiogenesis.

As for the rantings of atheists, why should those effect what we understand?

Of course, it's that word "kind" which drives our Creationist FRiends nuts, but it seems to me the answer should be quite simple: Yes or no, is God Infinite?
Could not an Infinite God have an infinite number of "kinds"?
Indeed, in the eyes of an Infinite God, could not each & every individual be its own "kind"?
If God is the giver of life itself, then how can some theory of "descent with modifications" in any way restrict God's creative power?

Finally, if God intended to keep his creative processes secret from us, do you not suppose He would have hidden them more effectively?
Surely you wouldn't suggest that God provides us with evidence confirming Evolution just to trick us?

Anyway, seems to me that last sentence from Genesis quoted above, and others like it, is the very important point:


21 posted on 09/17/2011 1:42:08 PM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK
But the key idea that everyone seems to miss is that every species is a "transitional form" between whatever went before and what may come after.

Actually what is missed is Genesis 1:2 wherein everything living up to that point was destroyed. There was nothing left to transition. Jeremiah 4:22-27; IIPeter 3:5-6

22 posted on 09/17/2011 1:47:32 PM PDT by Just mythoughts (Luke 17:32 Remember Lot's wife.)
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To: Just mythoughts
Just mythoughts: "Actually what is missed is Genesis 1:2 wherein everything living up to that point was destroyed."

You likely mean some other verse.
Genesis 1:2 reads:

Nothing there about destroying living things.
By the way, the "waters" referred to are not earthly oceans, but water in the heavens.
And it could be more than beautiful metaphor, since scientists speculate that much or all water on earth arrived here as comets from the heavens.

Just mythoughts: "There was nothing left to transition. Jeremiah 4:22-27; II Peter 3:5-6"

These do not sound to me like the moments of first Creation, but of some later event such as the biblical flood.

What's certain is that none of the biblical authors had any real idea of the Earth's actual history, and so God's moral revelations to them had to come in forms that they could understand.
None of those moral revelations are overthrown by our more recent scientific discoveries, imho.

23 posted on 09/17/2011 3:02:51 PM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK
Just mythoughts: "Actually what is missed is Genesis 1:2 wherein everything living up to that point was destroyed." You likely mean some other verse. Genesis 1:2 reads: "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. "

No, I do indeed mean Genesis 1:2, that word 'was' is not the correct verb, 'became' is the correct verb. The earth became without form, and void: and darkness was upon the face of the deep. (water... a flood)

And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."

All these words describe the katabolle, or used in other places as the foundation. Meaning the casting down or overthrow. (The overthrow is described in Isaiah 14:12- and Ezekiel 28:12-) Job 38 to the end is kind of an inventory of what was created and asked of Job where was he when God did this and that.

Isaiah 45:18 For thus saith the LORD That created the heavens; God Himself That formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it NOT in vain (same Hebrew word used in Genesis 1:2) He formed it to be inhabited: " I AM the LORD' and there is none else.

Nothing there about destroying living things. By the way, the "waters" referred to are not earthly oceans, but water in the heavens. And it could be more than beautiful metaphor, since scientists speculate that much or all water on earth arrived here as comets from the heavens.

I won't disagree about what scientist speculate, but about the only thing they are correct about is this earth is very very very OLD.

Just mythoughts: "There was nothing left to transition. Jeremiah 4:22-27; II Peter 3:5-6"

These do not sound to me like the moments of first Creation, but of some later event such as the biblical flood. What's certain is that none of the biblical authors had any real idea of the Earth's actual history, and so God's moral revelations to them had to come in forms that they could understand. None of those moral revelations are overthrown by our more recent scientific discoveries, imho.

Jeremiah writes that everything 'living' was destroyed. NOT Noah's flood. And Peter in IIPeter 3:5-6 specifically describes that world (age) that was and is not discussing Noah's flood, as Peter discusses that time in the previous chapter.

The 'authors' were putting down what God intended them to write, and there is not a scientist ever born that has disproved what God said He did, WHY, and WHAT to expect.

24 posted on 09/17/2011 3:32:08 PM PDT by Just mythoughts (Luke 17:32 Remember Lot's wife.)
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To: BroJoeK
I think you almost made the point.....

"In the beginning, God........"

25 posted on 09/17/2011 5:01:30 PM PDT by Texas Songwriter (I ou)
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To: Texas Songwriter
Even you postulated that energy and matter are being created at the same rate as it is destroyed in your previous post.

I didn't say that. We all know that energy and matter aren't destroyed but only changed from one form into another.
26 posted on 09/17/2011 5:19:26 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: aruanan
That's assuming a fixed amount of matter and energy to start with and a finite space within which to exist.

This is your quote from a previous post. I had written to you saying I did not know how to interpret this statement. It seemed you were putting it out there that the assumption was wrong. I apologize if I misinterpreted your statement and wrongly asssumed such.

27 posted on 09/17/2011 7:16:32 PM PDT by Texas Songwriter (I ou)
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To: Just mythoughts
Just mythoughts: "No, I do indeed mean Genesis 1:2, that word 'was' is not the correct verb, 'became' is the correct verb.
The earth became without form, and void: and darkness was upon the face of the deep. (water... a flood)"

I don't read Hebrew, but I'd be amazed if the Hebrew word for "became" somehow got mistranslated as "was" by every ancient scholar:

Pal, the correct word is not "became", and whoever told you it is should be questioned carefully.

Just mythoughts: "Jeremiah writes that everything 'living' was destroyed.
NOT Noah's flood.
And Peter in IIPeter 3:5-6 specifically describes that world (age) that was and is not discussing Noah's flood,"

I'm not familiar with those events, but they appear to me to have nothing to do with Genesis 1, which begins with: "In the beginning...".
And I don't see any way you can translate "beginning" to mean there was actually something before that.

Just mythoughts: "The 'authors' were putting down what God intended them to write, and there is not a scientist ever born that has disproved what God said He did, WHY, and WHAT to expect."

Most of my posts here on the subject of Evolution include some pretty obvious and basic descriptions of the difference between science and religious faith.
By definition of the word "science" it's impossible for science to "disprove" an article of faith.
Neither science nor faith works that way.

Faith comes from the revealed word, which cannot be proved or disproved by science.
Science comes from natural methods entirely without reference to revealed Truth.
Science simply cannot speak of matters for which there is no physical evidence.

28 posted on 09/18/2011 3:39:03 AM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: Texas Songwriter
Texas Songwriter: "I think you almost made the point.....
"In the beginning, God........" "

I didn't mention it here because I didn't think is was a point of contention on Free Republic.
But now I learn that, apparently, some people believe the "beginning" was not really the "beginning", and that something else came before it!

Oh, well...

;-)

29 posted on 09/18/2011 4:02:23 AM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK
Prepare yourself to be amazed, because the transition of that word to ‘was’ when it should be became is one of many words from the original Hebrew and Greek that have been transitioned.

IF it correctly read ‘became’ then Genesis, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Ecclesiastes, Job, Christ's own Words, Paul, Peter, etc., would not be so hard to comprehend. I did not write it nor did I transition the word, but I sure do appreciate the world of difference it makes to have it correctly translated.

God said he did NOT create this earth without form, void, and darkness. He said He created it to be inhabited. SO since God said he did NOT create this earth in the condition as described in Genesis 1:2, Jeremiah 4:20- IIPeter 3:5 it BECAME that way.

True science explains things, it does not make things up as it goes along. There is but one perfect scientist and that would be the Creator.... and He took the time to have somebody write down the WHY.

30 posted on 09/18/2011 4:26:37 AM PDT by Just mythoughts (Luke 17:32 Remember Lot's wife.)
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To: BroJoeK

The Beginning referenced was the beginning of the universe. Prior to that there was no time, space, matter, or energy. Then the Genesis account goes on to chronologically describe the creation. First Cause was not created. First Cause was not contingent upon any dause. He was, as Alamo-Girl often explains, I Am. He is eternal.


31 posted on 09/18/2011 7:22:52 AM PDT by Texas Songwriter (I ou)
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To: Just mythoughts; Texas Songwriter
Just mythoughts: "Prepare yourself to be amazed, because the transition of that word to ‘was’ when it should be became is one of many words from the original Hebrew and Greek that have been transitioned."

I doubt that, because there's no evidence for it I can find.
But, no doubt there is a story here, and just possibly I can independently confirm or refute it.

The question is whether the word normally translated in Genesis 1:2 as "was" might include the meaning of "became"?
If it did, then at most the translation is ambigious, and might support some of your other interpretations.

But even so, I see no way the word "beginning" means anything other than "beginning".

32 posted on 09/18/2011 8:49:35 AM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK
Just mythoughts: "Prepare yourself to be amazed, because the transition of that word to ‘was’ when it should be became is one of many words from the original Hebrew and Greek that have been transitioned." I doubt that, because there's no evidence for it I can find. But, no doubt there is a story here, and just possibly I can independently confirm or refute it. The question is whether the word normally translated in Genesis 1:2 as "was" might include the meaning of "became"? If it did, then at most the translation is ambigious, and might support some of your other interpretations. But even so, I see no way the word "beginning" means anything other than "beginning".

Seek and ye shall find.

I did not quote Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

A declaratory statement. No 'date' given as to when the beginning began, or how long this time consisted. We can get an estimate by what has been discovered.

Genesis 1:2 AND the earth (only speaks to and about the earth) (my King James places that word was in italics, which means the word used is questionable) and because of Isaiah 45:18 there can be no doubt that something happened to cause the earth to become "without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

This is NOT Noah's flood, but it is the flood that Jeremiah 4:22-27 describes where in nothing living survived. And Peter in IIPeter 3 says verse 1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance;

2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, (Moses, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Solomon, etc.) and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

Finger are tired so I am skipping verses 3-4 for no other reason.

5 For this they willingly are ignorant of,

that by the word of God the heavens were of OLD, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

6 Whereby the world (age) that then WAS, being overflowed with water, perished:

Peter is referencing Genesis 1:2, directly, and verifying what Jeremiah and Isaiah penned. How one knows, because Peter already addressed Noah's flood in IIPeter 2, and Genesis 6:2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of Adam that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. This is what Peter is speaking about of the 'old' world (age) in regards to Noah's flood.

33 posted on 09/18/2011 4:38:14 PM PDT by Just mythoughts (Luke 17:32 Remember Lot's wife.)
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 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks SeekandFind. Not pingin', just addin'.
The Doctor Fun Page
To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


34 posted on 09/18/2011 4:58:57 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's never a bad time to FReep this link -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Just mythoughts
Just mythoughts: "Genesis 1:2 AND the earth (only speaks to and about the earth) (my King James places that word was in italics, which means the word used is questionable)..."

Here's what is not questionable --
Young's Literal Translation:

So, your earnest wish to read the word "was" to mean "became" is not granted by the text, according to any expert that I can find.

Just mythoughts: "This is NOT Noah's flood, but it is the flood that Jeremiah 4:22-27 describes where in nothing living survived."

I can't see what difference it makes, or what any of this has to do with discussions on the topic of evolution.

35 posted on 09/19/2011 4:36:33 AM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK

Not quite there BJK [re-read verse 27]...

Jeremiah chapter 4 verse
27 This is what the LORD says: “The whole land will be ruined, though I will not destroy it completely.

Reading the surrounding passages in context indicates that the ‘whole land’ in this case is either Israel of simply Jerusalem. From a quick read I believe it is either a reference to the day of the Lord [end-times] or another time where God tells his chosen people to flee the promised land.

There were no warning for the sinners in Noah’s time. See Genesis ch 6 thru 8. And there were no people or any other lifeforms when it was formless and void.

Context, context, context!!!


36 posted on 09/19/2011 10:31:49 AM PDT by BrandtMichaels
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To: Texas Songwriter; aruanan; Alamo-Girl; djf; xzins; YHAOS
Finally I will take you back several hundred years to a philosopher named Leibniz, who asked the pertinent question, "If there is no God, why is there anything at all?"

Ah! Leibniz's questions! There are actually two main ones, and they are (IMHO) absolutely fundamental, in that they root or ground all human knowledge:

(1) Why are things the way they are, why not some other way?

(2) Why is there anything at all, why not nothing at all?

Question (1) cannot be answered if one presupposes that "all that there is" is the product of random development. Randomness does not have any principle that can tease "matter" into existence as particular lasting things — for the same reason that we do not find an astronomical number of "transitional species" in the fossil record....

Question (2) cannot be answered on the presupposition of randomness either. For to say that something is "random" implies the existence of something that is not random in nature. If something actually exists and persists, it seems clear to me it cannot be "random."

At this point, Christians have no trouble whatsoever in assigning the cause of specificity and lastingness, and first and final causes to God.

But Richard Dawkins — a certifiable maniac — goes ga-ga anytime anyone would suggest such a thing.

It came to my attention recently that the infamous Jeffery Skilling, of Enron fame, was a hard-core Darwinist who literally "culled" one-fifth of his employees every year to (in effect) prove Darwin's maxim of "survival of the fittest." He is also a major "groupie" of Professor Dawkins....

We can all see what Mr. Skillings has wrought.... NOT a good example to follow, IMHO FWIW.

But the attraction of Darwin for Mr. Skillings, I gather, is that Darwin is promulgating a totally amoral "sociobiology."

Thank you so much, TS, for your excellent observations!

37 posted on 09/19/2011 12:40:20 PM PDT by betty boop (We are led to believe a lie when we see with, and not through, the eye. — William Blake)
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To: BrandtMichaels; Just mythoughts
BrandtMichaels: "Not quite there BJK [re-read verse 27]..."
"...Context, context, context!!!"

Right, pal.
The context here is evolution, and how it relates to the Bible.
The issue of this post is whether Genesis 1:2 can be read to mean:

Or is the King James and other translations the only correct reading:

That reading of "became" is used by poster "Just mythoughts" to help explain other verses in both Old and New Testaments, relating to earlier destructions of the earth -- i.e., Jeremiah 4:22-27 and II Peter 3:5-6.

Well, I am certainly not expert enough to know what those other verses refer to, but my point is that Genesis 1:2 can not be legitimately read to mean "the earth became without form..."

And yes, BrandMichaels, I understand that you desperately want to change the subject to something you feel comfortable discussing.
But I think I've already gone about as far as I can go with this.

Have a great day!

;=)

38 posted on 09/19/2011 3:24:19 PM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: betty boop
Thank you so much for these outstanding insights, dearest sister in Christ!

Truly Leibniz' questions "root or ground all human knowledge."


39 posted on 09/19/2011 9:03:32 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: BroJoeK
Just mythoughts: "Genesis 1:2 AND the earth (only speaks to and about the earth) (my King James places that word was in italics, which means the word used is questionable)..."

Here's what is not questionable -- Young's Literal Translation: Genesis 1:2 "the earth hath existed waste and void, and darkness is on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God fluttering on the face of the waters,"

Young did not literally translate from the Hebrew. There mere fact that he picked hath existed ought to cause 'red' flags to go up, because hath existed is an sophisticated attempt to deceive or misdirect. We already know from Genesis 1:1 the earth hath existed.

Genesis 1:2 says AND continuation from verse 1 the earth became or elsewhere this verb is came to pass. without form does mean 'waste'.

So God planted in Isaiah 45:18 Using that very specific Hebrew word ... again 18 For thus saith the LORD That created the heavens; God Himself That formed the earth and made it; HE hath established it, He created it NOT in vain, He formed it to be inhabited: "I AM the LORD;

and there is none else.

So, your earnest wish to read the word "was" to mean "became" is not granted by the text, according to any expert that I can find.

Young is not an expert IF right off the bat he messes up Genesis 1:2.

Just mythoughts: "This is NOT Noah's flood, but it is the flood that Jeremiah 4:22-27 describes where in nothing living survived."

I can't see what difference it makes, or what any of this has to do with discussions on the topic of evolution.

The importance of Genesis 1:2 and allll those other Scriptures that described Genesis 1:2, is to let any one who WILL know there was NOTHING left for evolution to evolve. Every living thing in 'flesh' was destroyed. We can see all over this earth the remains that once lived, in this land before 'time', but all was destroyed. Which is why so many for a buck down through this AGE have gone to extremes to 'change' what God said happened in Genesis 1:2. You really think God did not know that some would claim evolution was the vehicle used to explain HIS creation and HIS WORK.

40 posted on 09/19/2011 9:14:18 PM PDT by Just mythoughts (Luke 17:32 Remember Lot's wife.)
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To: betty boop; Alamo-Girl

I will explain later if I need to why this fits on an evolution thread...
But for right now, I’m gonna take a short nap.

I have been thinking about writing this for a while, but it is only in the last week or so that it has taken on enough internal consistency. It may add to the discussion.
It is going to be quite lengthy.

TOE, or why physicists should play more horseshoes

Much of the things that we see or feel our colored by the slippery slope of syntax and the meanings of words and concepts, so I have thought about it alot to try to have some sort of a firm foundation.

Everyone, or at least most, hears about TOE. Theory of Everything. It is a model that physicists are trying to put together to explain why things are the way they are and (if possible) what is the meaning.

The one thing that proves is that most physicists are really, really, really bad epistemologists!

I’m going to use four or five examples here to explain what I think is going on.

First. Legos. We are going to take a big bag, a huge bag. We put a large number of regular legos in the bag, of whatever type/flavor legos come in, the important thing being that we put them in individually.
Now, we shake our bag. We shake it a bit more. Then we pour our legos out.
What do we see?
Well, assuming for our discussion that the legos are unbreakable, and that’s not necessary and is somewhat immaterial to the results, but just an assumption so that we don’t find broken legos, we find the following.
Most legos still come out individually.
But a SMALL! number of our legos have connected! For the purposes of the discussion, we assume that all the connected legos are simply two-fers.
We can then put them all back in the bag, being careful to not disconnect any connected (by randomness) legos, and keep shaking.
Everyone should be able to see where this example is going, as time goes on, we will find more and more complex patterns. It will have a hyperbolic distribution, the number of single legos will always vastly outnumber the connected sets, the two-fers will a;ways be way more plentiful than the three-fers, etc.
The point of the legos example is that it is not surprising at all that simple atomistic non-living items can be arranged by random forces in complex patterns.

Second example. Someone knocks on my door and I answer it, he’s standing there with a brick in his hand and asks “What can I do with it?”
I think to myself I could throw it at my neighbors cats, then a tractor trailer drives up and the back is full of bricks, so I got more bricks than I ever need!
I could build a walkway.
I could build an outdoor fireplace.
I could build a miniature model of the Taj Mahal.

Instead, I decide to build a model of a small hummingbird that lives nearby.

Now as part of my research, I decide to call ALL the physicists and architects of the world. I tell them the shape and details of the brick and ask them what I could build

None of them, not a single one, says a hummingbird.

According to TOE, shouldn’t it be obvious that I make a hummingbird? Well, not really. Because the simple properties of something don’t tell you what patterns you can make from it.

So I decide instead to build a model of the Taj Mahal, and move on.

Example three, in explanation
I and a couple buds used to play horseshoes. Summer days, a couple brews, the ladies hanging out with shorts and halter tops, that kind of thing. Now as you play horseshoes, you learn more about it, and have some fun. We all thought we were way better than we really were, but that’s not the point.
Somewhere on the planet, there are some real super duper horseshoe players. And they will be able to tell you details of the game and past experiences playing that you could not even dream about! Here is the point: The really good players who have invested a lot of time and study in the game will start to come to a conclusion.
They will conclude that there are parallels between horseshoes and life. I know it sounds crazy, but it is simply inevitable that some will conclude this.

Why would this happen?

It’s easy to understand but will take probably one of the longest sentences I ever wrote to explain it.

Any process or system of large complexity when studied in sufficient detail WILL BE SHOWN to be able to be mapped to other systems of large complexity, so that parallels, allegories, and metaphors can be drawn.

Saturday morning rolls around. Husband asks the wife what she plans on doing. She says she will bake a cake. He says he has to work on the transmission.
Neither one of them really understands what the other will do, but let’s look closer:
She gets her stuff ready, the mixing bowls, the spoons, turns on the oven.
He gets his craftsman tools close, his jacks, his flashlight.

They both have a place that they work, she works in the kitchen, he works in the garage.

They both have timelines to follow and steps that must be done in order to be succesfull.

There are a great many more similarities, but my point is that what they are doing actually might not be that different.

This is an example of how models can have parallels and be mapped to each other. This is PART of what we mean when we say “meaning”.
It happens because of two things: our human understanding and the way we try to make sense of the world and the actual process of modeling things.

SO now we can look back at our legos. Is there what we might call “meaning”?
I would say no.

We would find all sorts of examples of things get put together by the randomness. But that’s all it is. Yes, we might even some day empty out our bag and find a nice little model of the Taj Mahal. But for every Taj Mahal we find, we will find many, many more complete sentences that say the following:
E=MC CUBED
One attributes divine wisdom to it at his own peril.

See what I mean? It is simple randomness.

The last example.

People have been looking for meaning and knowledge for years without a good description of it. And they ask “What does it mean to have knowledge and communicate?”
One of the representations of knowledge goes something like this: our brains are like these boxes that have switches. My switches are set in a certain position, and when we communicate, that sets your switches in a similar position.

Why does this matter? Because NONE of the forces in nature (I mean the fundamental forces studied by physicists) can explain WHY I, as a collection of atoms, should do something that makes you, as another collection of atoms, have your switches re-arranged. Because I mentioned the Taj Mahal earlier, I tweaked peoples switches!

If our collection of legos in the bag were to do something even close to this, the physicists would be forced to admit “Hey. There is something going on here that we cannot explain.”

The expert horseshoe players above see similarities between horseshoes and life, even between horseshoes and the universe.
The physicists see the same between their studies of atoms and quarks which might be nothing more than another kind of lego. Admittedely, the ohysicists are closer than the horseshoe players, but NEITHER is sufficient.

Ultimately, the processes that happen during life are not due to the material things that humans and legos and the Taj Mahal are made of, but a result of the PATTERNS that make life. If there is an emergent field of science I think is needed, it is the study of patterns and geometry. Conway’s Game of Life is a good example, as many simple patterns can be constructed that have properties that are totally unpredictable from what we know at the start.

So what is the Taj Mahal REALLY made from? Is it made out of bricks? Is it made out of legos?
It is actually made out of imagination.


41 posted on 09/20/2011 11:04:05 AM PDT by djf (Buncha sheep: A flock.. Buncha cows: A herd.. Buncha fish: A school.. Buncha baboons: A Congress..)
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To: djf; betty boop
Thank you so very much for sharing your fascinating insights, djf!

I also am keenly interested in geometry and patterns - both in the cosmos and in living systems. And along with that, information theory. For instance, the form (double helix) of the information content of DNA is quite engaging - but many ignore it altogether.

And I strongly agree with your horseshoe remarks. People are more likely to see what they want than to want what they see.

Scientific theories which cannot be subjected to rigorous empirical testing and falsification are often built on theorists seeing what they want to see, e.g. evolution, anthropology, archeology. Observations are fit "into" the theory.

Theories from the hard sciences (physics, chemistry, etc.) are formed from the evidence and are valued by their ability to be falsified (Popper) and how they "weather" such attempts over the years.

That is an enormous difference in discipline - the former seeing what they want to see. Both are subjective at the root because the observer is part of the observation.

Only God knows objective Truth. Only He can see "all that there is" all at once - every where and every when. Indeed, He is Truth because when He says something, it is. It is because He said it, e.g. "Let there be light..."

God's Name is I AM.

42 posted on 09/20/2011 9:15:01 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl

Thanks!

It’s very obtuse. I could say that was me, or blame it on the subject matter.

My choice! So I will blame it on the subject matter!

There is a logical progression to the examples that have led me to some conclusions that are kind of startling, and for me personally, very rewarding. I will expand more on that later.

I’m still waiting for any scientist or even philosopher to explain to me why, when the husband got home, he found a cake.
In the shape of a transmission!

;-)


43 posted on 09/20/2011 9:47:14 PM PDT by djf (Buncha sheep: A flock.. Buncha cows: A herd.. Buncha fish: A school.. Buncha baboons: A Congress..)
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To: djf; Alamo-Girl; Texas Songwriter; Mind-numbed Robot; Matchett-PI
The point of the legos example is that it is not surprising at all that simple atomistic non-living items can be arranged by random forces in complex patterns.

Thank you, djf, for these marvelous thought experiments!

And yet this propensity of legos — simple atomistic non-living items — to "arrange" in complex patterns is not really random. For there is a "bag" (a constraint) and something (e.g., you in this thought experiment) is "shaking" it. I.e., a "force" that is deliberately applied and is therefore not "random." If the legos seem to "arrange themselves," it is because there are [non-random] "rules" that constrain the types of outcomes that can be achieved by these simple atomistic non-living items when they are "agitated" by this outside force.

As my dearest sister in Christ Alamo-Girl reminds us from time to time, we cannot say what is "random" in a system unless we know what the system IS. To me, the word "random" stands for the (observed) behavior of a collection of objects whose (actual) behavior we don't really understand.... So we intone the word "random," and are thought to be geniuses (rather than ignoramuses).

You wrote:

Everyone, or at least most, hears about TOE. Theory of Everything. It is a model that physicists are trying to put together to explain why things are the way they are and (if possible) what is the meaning.... The one thing that proves is that most physicists are really, really, really bad epistemologists!

It seems to me that physicists and scientists in general aren't all that interested in understanding the "why" of things, merely the "how" of things. If I might put it that way. Questions of value and meaning are beyond the scope of the scientific method anyway. IMHO (FWIW).

One thing's for sure: physicists really are bad epistemologists — if they try to universalize what are actually finite observations. This instantly lands them in what A. N. Whitehead called the Fallacy of Misplaced Concreteness — a fallacy fairly routine nowadays in both the physical and life sciences.

You wrote:

People have been looking for meaning and knowledge for years without a good description of it. And they ask “What does it mean to have knowledge and communicate?”

To a scientist, it means to have a formal model which captures "knowledge" and provides a suitable language by which it can be communicated (shared with other minds).

But it seems to me that science is not so much about knowledge as it is about data. Data is the raw material of knowledge, not knowledge itself. Something more is needed to convert data into information (knowledge) — and that is mental processing by an observer. And still we are far short at this point of questions of meaning — which belong, not to science, but to philosophy and theology.

I so agree with you here, dear djf:

Ultimately, the processes that happen during life are not due to the material things that humans and legos and the Taj Mahal are made of, but a result of the PATTERNS that make life. If there is an emergent field of science I think is needed, it is the study of patterns and geometry.

Nature is replete with patterns and regularities, the mere presence of which strongly argues that nature is principally not "random" at all at the global level. Such patterns and regularities, involving persistence over time, bespeak of lawful — not "random" — behavior.

And so it is not at all surprising to me that "Any process or system of large complexity when studied in sufficient detail WILL BE SHOWN to be able to be mapped to other systems of large complexity, so that parallels, allegories, and metaphors can be drawn." And can be drawn clear across different knowledge disciplines.

Thank you ever so much, dear djf, for your excellent, mind-bending thought experiments!

44 posted on 09/21/2011 10:39:02 AM PDT by betty boop (We are led to believe a lie when we see with, and not through, the eye. — William Blake)
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To: betty boop

Thanks!

Note that my original post is king of a foundation for conclusions that I really didn’t spell out.

I am composing a reply offline and will post later.

;-)


45 posted on 09/21/2011 1:10:10 PM PDT by djf (Buncha sheep: A flock.. Buncha cows: A herd.. Buncha fish: A school.. Buncha baboons: A Congress..)
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To: betty boop

kind of, not king of.

I gotta stop posting in the dark!


46 posted on 09/21/2011 1:11:48 PM PDT by djf (Buncha sheep: A flock.. Buncha cows: A herd.. Buncha fish: A school.. Buncha baboons: A Congress..)
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To: betty boop; Alamo-Girl; Texas Songwriter

Thanks again for inviting me to another wonderful discussion. As before, I will speak from inspired ignorance.

Since we, as Christians, all agree, I presume, that God is the end-all, be-all of everything, He is boundless in space and time. When you consider the implications of “boundless”, then this and most conversations of the sort become meaningless. If He always has been and always will be, the very definition of eternal, then what does “beginning” mean? Why do we bother ourselves with these things other than through a self centered and egotistical desire to “know”?

God IS! God always has been! God will be forever! As A-G offers frequently, God said I AM. That says it all! So why do we discuss this? I suppose it is to try to understand HOW God’s universe works, and ourselves in it. Yet, to try to determine whether things happened because of God or for some other reason is a futile gesture.

Relax! Love it, live it and enjoy it! Let the scientists and engineers learn how it works and how to use it to make even more things work. It is our place to simply love and glorify God.


47 posted on 09/21/2011 7:03:26 PM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot
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To: betty boop; djf; Texas Songwriter; Mind-numbed Robot; Matchett-PI
Thank you so much for sharing your insights, dearest sister in Christ!

As my dearest sister in Christ Alamo-Girl reminds us from time to time, we cannot say what is "random" in a system unless we know what the system IS. To me, the word "random" stands for the (observed) behavior of a collection of objects whose (actual) behavior we don't really understand.... So we intone the word "random," and are thought to be geniuses (rather than ignoramuses).

As an example, a sequence of numbers pulled from the extension of pi would appear random to an observer when they are, in fact, highly determined. Which is to say, any time a person calculates pi to that extent, the same numbers will appear in the same position.

We mere mortals do not know - indeed, can never know - the full number and types of dimensions (e.g. spatial and temporal.) So whereas "randomness" is a very useful construct in mathematics it does not translate to the physical "world."

The same is true of the mathematical term "infinity" because space/time is finite.

As another example, scientists cannot say that massless particles which have no direct or indirect measureable effects do not exist. Or to put it another way, the scientist cannot say a thing does not exist on the basis of his inability to measure (observe) it.

God's Name is I AM.

48 posted on 09/22/2011 9:10:27 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Mind-numbed Robot
Since we, as Christians, all agree, I presume, that God is the end-all, be-all of everything, He is boundless in space and time. When you consider the implications of “boundless”, then this and most conversations of the sort become meaningless. If He always has been and always will be, the very definition of eternal, then what does “beginning” mean? Why do we bother ourselves with these things other than through a self centered and egotistical desire to “know”?

Indeed. And I confess to being a curious creature. LOLOL!

Thank you for sharing your insights, dear brother in Christ, and thank you for your encouragements!

49 posted on 09/22/2011 9:13:04 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: betty boop; Alamo-Girl; All

Pt. 2

OK!

I probably should have done an outline before I did this, but I think I got most of it covered.

First, let me say this. I may (actually, there is no doubt) say some things here that might upset certain people. I don’t mean to say by that

that there is anybody here I blame in any way, but we all are grown up enough to realize that religious beliefs are very closely held by people, certainly a large part of their identity, and I am in no way attacking anyones personal beliefs. Too often I have seen threads that talk about evolution, etc. descend into crippling flame wars with literally viscious personal attacks on both sides.

These are only my observations and conclusions based on the evidence before me. Everyone else is perfectly free to come to the observations and conclusions based on the evidence and experiences they have had. I will happily discuss and debate this with anyone but will not argue with anyone.

Second.
In the interest of full disclosure, I believe in evolution. Let me qualify that.
We all know DNA can change.
We all know that changes in DNA can be passed on to future generations.
That’s what I believe, and I am not qualified enough to say if that means man descended from apes, or the other way around! Or if man descended from ferrets! Or if aliens came down and tweaked DNA of animals here! My belief that DNA can change and be passed on DOES NOT in any way rule out the possibility that God came down, scooped up a handfull of dust, and placed Adam in the Garden alongside all the other animals and plants he had already created.
I don’t have a personal interest in evolution and am not here trying to convince anyone about evolution. It is, in my thinking, kind of a side issue.

But I need to make two statements about evolution.

Darwin was, in my opinion, most of all a naturalist without equal. His powers of observation and his persistence was stunning. I have read “Origin” many years ago, and just last year re-read “The Voyage of the Beagle” about his trips to South America, and can say I firmly believe when he went into the field, he went out without any pre-conceived notions about what he SHOULD see, and reported what he saw. He was highly educated, mostly about biology of course, but also interested in geology, climatology, oceanography, sociology, pretty much everything that post-Rennaisance science had to offer.

The Bible itself describes something that COULD be interpreted as evolution. Gen 1:11 talks about the plants emerging. Gen 1:20 talks about the first appearance of THE MOVING CREATURE in the waters. It then goes on to describe more and more complex animals appearing, culimnating with man.
I can’t think of any way that current theories about evolution contradict the Biblical narrative of the appearance of life.Except, perhaps, the creation of Man. And IMHO we are not given enough detail in the Bible to say that man DIDN’T come from evolution, a “day” in the bible being 1000 years (meaning a long time), so we know that however man got here, it took longer than a coffee break!!

Anyways evolution is not a necessary part of my discussion.

Last prefatory note:
I want to make crystal clear I AM NOT DINGING PHYSICISTS!! My bookshelf is LOADED with physics and chemistry and math and I have looked at hard sciences my whole life.
BUT!!
We hear terms like “Theory of Everything” and “The God Particle” and cannot help but wonder or speculate if physics is trying to go somewhere that in fact and in truth it has no business going because it is incapable of proving some of those things one way or another. In his wonderful essay “The Domain of Physical Science”, A. S. Eddington pretty much puts science in it’s place when he shows how sciences are nothing more than taking the readings off of dials. Pretty much just taking measurements and hypothesizing why they get the results they do. In NO WAY being able to say if something is good or bad or Godly or musical or anything else. Those subjective qualities are OUTSIDE THE REALM of what gets measured by the hard sciences. So it is a bit of an exaggeration and quite presumptuous to use some of the terms that seem to be going around.

Onward!

BB, sadly “random” can mean different things to different people. One of those slippery words, depending on if it’s used casually or in a more technical fashion.
By “random”, I am trying to say that the results occur in a non-deterministic way, and do not take on any favored form based on some influence of the experimentor.

Now in my previous post I described four examples (what I called examples) and will now discuss them a bit further.

The examples were:

The legos-in-a-bag universe
The me with a truckload of bricks case
The horseshoe players speculating on thing
The husband working on his car and the wife making the cake

The first example of a legos universe represents a place where there is (as of yet) no INTENT. No direction. No preconceived result or end state. No emotion, no values, nothing subhective. The legos are by every definition DEAD.
This is a very important point. The legos are dead.
When we have a bunch of dead things, no matter how we put them together or add them up, they are still DEAD.
It’s because of logical laws of conjunction.
If we had a bunch of RED things, then no matter how we put them together, whatever we could possibly build out of them, that thing that gets built will be RED!!!
All (and I mean ALL!!!) of the universal atomistic things we know about in our universe (atoms, photons, closed, bounded regions of time and space, electromagnetic fields), all of these things are DEAD!

Our legos universe kinda clicks along, day after legos day, and builds and tears down these more and possibly more complex things made up of legos AND THEY ARE ALL DEAD.

Now here is where I have to add a point: It will fold back into things later.
We, as humans, as philosophers have painfully learned something over the years.
We can make good, educated guesses and predictions about what nature might or should do, but these are, at the very best, just guesses!
About the time we try to say something concrete about nature, she turns around, smacks us upside the head, has a good laugh, and then goes off and does what nature does when we’re not watching.

“You will never get that thing to fly, it’s heavier than air!!!”
Wham! Slap!!
“You can never travel faster than the speed of light! It’s impossible!”
Smack! Double smack! (incidentally, happens all the time in the QM world, it’s called the tunnel effect)
Nature is laughing so hard she can barely contain herself.

Now in the second example, the example of me building things out of a truckload of bricks, something got introduced.
Intent. My intent.
The universe of bricks is QUALITATIVELY DIFFERENT than the universe of legos, not just because it is bricks, not legos. Because of my intent.
And that is why I say the Taj Mahal isn’t made of bricks or legos, it is made of IMAGINATION!
In our legos universe, there is no intent. There is no imagination. If we dumped our bag of legos and found a small model (there’s that “model” word again!!), we could not possibly conclude that there was some kind of legos architects... or could we?

The third example talks about our horseshoe-playing philosophers. I emphasize that they might sometime conclude something along these lines “Well, life is like horseshoes, because sometimes you have a string of bad like..”
I used this as just an example.
AG!, you have seem to interpreted this as a failing of sorts that people fall into. I meant it as EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE!

Our horseshoe players, by making these speculations, are mapping the INSIDE (their experiences and knowledge and understanding) to the OUTSIDE (the external world, politics, astronomy, whatever!)
This is one of the most profound processes that exist in the universe. No single lego will ever do this.

And whether they are right or wrong, in a universal sense, THEY ARE ALWAYS RIGHT! Because the process and the model WORKS, even if the conclusions are wrong!

There’s that “model” word again!

The last example was the model of the cake-baking and the car repair. This one serves to show that these “processes” and models can, on the surface, be very different, but there are underlying similarities that make them much the same. I could just as well have said that she was going to bake a cake, in the meantime, an alien near Alpha Centauri would be changing the tires on his flying saucer.

The Pythagoreans studied math. They came to understand that the truths they found were true everywhere. On a hillside in Greece or in some far-away land. They were true yesterday and would remain true tomorrow.
So they (rightfully, IMO) attributed a certain amount or aspect of divinity to their findings.

This essay has been an attempt by me to prepare to ask the following question:

Is life made of matter?

I think I have presented enough for most people to say “Well, you really can’t answer that question...”
Asking the question itself is like asking the question “Is a fire truck made up of red?”

Well, every fire truck has some red, but red is not the totality of what it takes to make a fire truck.
And in the same way, physical bodies that are alive are made from atoms or maybe even legos, but that is pretty much IRRELEVANT as to us deciding whether it is alive or not!

We could not, even with all our sciences, make up a list of questions that caould be asked to positively conclude that something was alive.
Does it have goals?
Does it take naps?
Does it reproduce?
Does it dream?

No matter what list we can come up with, it is IMPOSSIBLE for use to have a precise definition. The best we can do, is by watching the behavior, and come to some kind of conclusion. We may even then still be wrong.

If you believe the above, then the conclusions becomes the following:
Matter is arranged in patterns and the patterns exhibit behavior.

The life force is in the behavior, not in the atoms.

Kinda sounds like I am kicking the can down the road. A distinction without a difference. Until...

we remember that plain old energy can form patterns too!

Light. Radio waves. Sound. Thermal energy.

Kinda makes you go Hmmmmmm.....

Now I’ve thought about these questions for years and these are pretty much my conclusions. They are not scientific or emperical in a sense that they can be documented and proved, but arguments against the models and conclusions are not very strong.

But I want to emphasize they are still just opinions.

The implications are fairly astounding and I will leave them to the readers imagination.

And these are the reasons evolution does not bother me I have a religious faith of sorts, although I would not say I adhere to any particular church. I do believe in a higher power, but whatever it is, it is beyond our conception.
Evolution is a type of scaffolding. It is little more than the hooks you put into walls to hang pictures on.
If evolution is true, that doesn’t in any way, shape, manner, or form, make prayer less true.

One final exercise before I close.

We return to our legos universe.

What happens if one day, when we dump out the bag of legos, we find the following:
An object that is able to pick up various legos and build an exact duplicate of itself.

It would be an astounding occurrence and have huge scientific interest! But I’m fairly sure everybody would call it simply a machine, and no one would call it “life”.

Let’s go as far out on the limb as we can and imagine we ourselves can build something out of legos that everybody is able to examine and we decide that it is alive. What happens if we put it in our lego universe?
Does that universe have a God? Are WE the Gods?
My opinion is that a BIG part of God is THE POTENTIAL for all these things happening, but another big piece is all the processes and models we have described. So I am unsure at best, but I would tend to think that if there is something living in the lego universe, then there absolutely is a God. Because it is the models and processes INSIDE the lego creature that map to the POTENTIAL that exists outside him, perhaps as he looks up at the lego stars in the lego night.
I will leave it to everyone else to come to their own conclusions about that.

I have had great pleasure thinking about and writing this essay and hope it inspires some questions and helps answer some!


50 posted on 09/22/2011 2:01:32 PM PDT by djf (Buncha sheep: A flock.. Buncha cows: A herd.. Buncha fish: A school.. Buncha baboons: A Congress..)
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