Defending the Christian Worlview, Creationism, and Intelligent Design
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Defending the Christian Worlview, Creationism, and Intelligent Design

This is my personal virtual library, where i collect information, which leads in my view to the Christian faith, creationism, and Intelligent Design as the best explanation of the origin of the physical Universe, life, and biodiversity


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Defending the Christian Worlview, Creationism, and Intelligent Design » Philosophy and God » Does God exist ?

Does God exist ?

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1Does God exist ? Empty Does God exist ? Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:40 am

Otangelo


Admin
Does God exist?

Does God exist ? 017

Does God exist ? 
Introduction 
Episode 1

Does God exist ? 116
Today, the existence or non-existence of God keeps being one of the hottest debated topics. There are hundreds of Groups on Facebook, books, articles, TV shows, YouTube channels, Debate forums on the web, secular organizations deal solely with the quest of Gods existence. 

Theists and atheists meet, each side providing reasons for why they believe or do not believe in God. The quest of Gods existence is probably as old as humanity and the most fundamental of all. 

The worldview we adopt shapes our values, morals, and provides us with answers in regards to the meaning of our existence, and our origins.  There were always tribes and people without a belief in the supernatural whatsoever.

Does God exist ? 215
In modern history, the Age of Enlightenment in the period of the French Revolution starting in the late 18th century catapulted atheism and opened the way for the nineteenth-century movements of Rationalism, Freethought, and humanism. Marx claimed that the oppressed working class was using religion to create a dream world.

He claimed that  "man creates religion, religion does not create man". Nietzsche proclaimed that God is dead. Feuerbach criticised Christianity and advanced ideas of materialism. State atheism took it violently on theism, faith and religion.

Under more recent regimes of the nineteenth century, for example, under Russia led by Stalin and China by Mao, many believers were tortured, imprisoned and killed for their religious beliefs.

Does God exist ? 322
In this century, the number of unbelievers and atheists in the western world has increased, and many organizations defend all kind of flavours of atheism, ranging from agnosticism, weak atheism, strong atheism, freethinking, scepticism, humanism, and the list goes on.

Many defend their views vehemently, and elaborate sophisticated atheological arguments which supposedly back up the view that either the natural world is all there is, or that there is simply not sufficient evidence of Gods existence. 

Some go to the length of claiming that it is justified keeping an agnostic position of not knowing about origins. We don't know, but science is working on it. These are today very commonly seen arguments from the `No-God hypothesis` Camp. But is it justified? I argue that it is not.

Does God exist ? 4114

I think George Washington Carver brought it beautifully to the point.   “I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour if we will only tune in.”

Does God exist ? 417

Could it be, that the problem is not lack of evidence of Gods existence, but the lack of willingness to tune in ? 

Does God exist ? 515
That is to put all bias aside and trying to give a honest consideration to the evidence that eventually points to God?

Does God exist ? 614
By the educational system, in the west, but also, for example, communist China, natural science built build upon the foundation not only of methodological but as well as philosophical naturalism. affirming the existence of the universe, and beings and events inside deserve only explanations of origins by natural means.

That the supernatural, or intelligence should be excluded a priori as a possible causal agency since Gods intervening cannot be tested. This ignores the fact that historical events, altogether, cannot be repeated in the laboratory, and are not conducive to scientific study and testing.  The environmental conditions back in the past are not known.  


Creation is a possible explanation, and should never have been excluded a priori in sciences dealing with historical events, but considered and compared, side aside to natural explanations. 


Does God exist ? 713
Stephen Hawking declared famously  “One can’t prove that God doesn’t exist. But science makes God unnecessary. And Lawrence Krauss claimed in an interview with Suzan Mazur :

Does God exist ? 814
Science is incompatible with the doctrines of the world’s major religions.

Does God exist ? 8a11
As Steven Weinberg commented:  Science does not make it impossible to believe in God, it just makes it possible to not believe in God. Once you have science, you realize that God becomes unnecessary.

So is science on the side of atheism then? In other words: Is science and should it be essentially materialistic? Is there a dispute between science and religion ?

Does God exist ? 7a10
Let me cite Carl Woese. He has been described as “the most important evolution scientist of the 20th Century.”  Someone else said that Woese did more for biology than any biologist in history, including Darwin.

Woese was the discoverer of a third domain of life. His pioneering efforts defined a completely different type of primordial cell, known as archaea. In October 2012, in what appears to be his last public interview, he answered to Suzan Mazur :

Does God exist ? 1014
I do not like people saying that atheism is based on science, because it’s not. It’s an alien invasion of science. What does that mean ? 

Does God exist ? 2913
Norman Geisler:
The creation-evolution debate is not religion versus science or the Bible versus science, it's about good science versus bad science. Likewise, it's not faith versus reason, it's about reasonable faith, versus unreasonable faith.

Does God exist ? 1116

Gods existence cannot be proven empirically, but we can come to informed conclusions when we base our inquiry on a sound epistemological framework.  The best methodology to make meaningful inferences and conclude the best, most accurate world view is based on the current wealth of knowledge of operational and historical sciences, philosophy, and theological consideration. 

One must have the disposition to analyze the evidence as much honest and unbiased as possible, permitting the evidence to lead wherever it is.  An unbiased starting point for inquiry of world views and explanations of origins is essential in order to come as close as possible to gain a realistic understanding of reality, the most probable truth of ultimate reality,  that includes physics and metaphysics. 


Does God exist ? 1216
That means proper understanding of science, philosophical and theological explanations and searching for truth without eliminating possible theistic implications a priori.
 
The two main points of inquiry are if there is a direct revelation, expressed in on the existing religions, that is trustworthy, and if the physical natural world points to a creator, or not. If there is a conversion of the three faculties into one predominant direction, which tops the other.

Does God exist ? 1318
One approach is first to make an inquiry in a search to find answers if there are signs and signatures of the past action of a creator in the natural world, or not. For that, we need to know what constitutes evidence and signature of design, and the ( past ) action of intelligence.

Does God exist ? Black_11
The (past) action or signature of an intelligent designer can be detected when we see :

- something made based on mathematical principles
- Fine-tuning and adjusting conditions to achieve specific goals
- an object in nature very similar to human-made things
- something purposefully made for specific goals
- systems and networks functioning based on logic gates
- a language, based on symbols and codes
- communication-based on encoding /sender, transmittance channels, and receiver/decoder
- translation systems of one language into another
- specified complexity, the instructional blueprint or a codified message  
- irreducible complex and interdependent systems or artefacts composed of several interlocked, well-matched parts contributing to a higher end of a complex system that would be useful only in the completion of that much larger system.
- order or orderly patterns
- hierarchically arranged systems of parts
- intelligence can create artefacts which use might be employed in different systems ( a wheel is used in cars and airplanes )

When we say something is “designed,” we mean it was created intentionally and planned for a purpose. Designed objects are fashioned by intelligent agents who have a goal in mind, and their creations reflect the purpose for which they were created.

We infer the existence of an intelligent designer by observing certain effects that are habitually associated with conscious activity. Rational agents often detect the prior activity of other designing minds by the character of the effects they leave behind.

A machine is made for specific goals and organized, given that the operation of each part is dependent on it being properly arranged with respect to every other part, and to the system as a whole. Encoded messages and instructional blueprints indicate an intelligent source. And so does apply mathematical principles and logic gates.  

As will be demonstrated in the next episodes, we find each of the mentioned signs in nature.



Last edited by Admin on Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:58 pm; edited 1 time in total

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2Does God exist ? Empty Re: Does God exist ? Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:04 pm

Otangelo


Admin
There is PLENTY of evidence of Gods existence
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0rDZByvvMc&feature=youtu.be


You Assume Much, My Dear Theist
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKFrVMscmVY&lc=z23qtn24sojexvquaacdp435vod3cqyb1334qpxrkmpw03c010c.1571311230000872

A reply to Kate's video:

https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t2875-does-god-exist#6921


“I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.”
George Washington Carver

Following a list of positive evidence of Gods existence, not depending on gaps or lack of knowledge.

1. Existence of the universe. The universe had a beginning, therefore a cause
2. The universe obeys laws and rules of mathematics and physics. Its implementation depends on the action of an intelligent rational agency.
3. The physical universe and the laws of physics are interdependent and irreducible. There would not be one without the other.
4. Fine-Tuning. The fundamental physical constants, the universe, and the earth are finely tuned for life. Over 100 constants must be just right.
5. Formation of life. Life comes only from life. Abiogenesis has never been demonstrated to be possible despite over half a century of intensive scientific research.
6. Cells ARE literally factories. Biological cells ARE an industrial park of millions of interconnected complex factories, full of machines. Factories are always designed.
7. A minimal Cell requires 560 proteins with an average size of 400 amino acids, which totals  224.000 amino acids. That requires to select 1 out of 40^224.000!
8. Irreducible complexity. Biological cells require a minimal number of parts, which have no use by themselves, and would never accumulate on a prebiotic earth
9. The appearance of design. The universe and biological systems appear designed. Therefore, most probably, they are designed.
10. Codified Information. DNA has the highest storage density known, and stores the blueprint of life. Blueprints can always be tracked back to intelligence
11. The Fossil Record. The Fossil record, and in special the Cambrian explosion, demonstrates the sudden appearance of lifeforms, without intermediates.
12. Consciousness and language. Conscience, mental reality, language, logic, free will, moral values, are immaterial entities, and cannot emerge from physical matter.
13. Human objective logic depends and can only derive from a pre-existing necessary first mind with objective logic.
14. Theology and philosophy. Both lead to an eternal, self-existent, omnipresent transcendent, conscious, intelligent, personal and moral Creator.
15. The Bible. The Old Testament is a catalogue of fulfilled prophecies of Jesus Christ, and his mission, death, and resurrection foretold with specificity.
16. Archaeology. Demonstrates that all events described in the Bible are historical facts.
17. History. Historical evidence reveals that Jesus Christ really did come to this earth, and really did physically rise from the dead
18. The Bible's witnesses. There are many testimonies of Jesus doing miracles still today, and Jesus appearing to people all over the globe, still today.
19. End times. The signs of the end times that were foretold in the Bible are occurring in front of our eyes. New world order, Israel as a nation, microchip implant etc.
20. After-life experiences. Credible witnesses have seen the afterlife and have come back and reported to us that the afterlife is real.

The Bible presupposes God’s existence. To deny God’s existence is to deny the obvious. God made Himself known. When he says that the universe is designed, but it’s not.” the unbeliever  is rejecting the obvious. To deny God’s existence means to reject that the evidence points evidently to God.

Being cannot come from non-being. Contingent existence is evidence of a necessary Creator. But not everybody ( is willing ) to see it.
Romans 1.19 - 23 What may be known about God is plain to them because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.



Last edited by Admin on Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:22 pm; edited 2 times in total

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3Does God exist ? Empty You Assume Much, My Dear Theist Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:58 am

Otangelo


Admin
You Assume Much, My Dear Theist
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKFrVMscmVY&lc=z23qtn24sojexvquaacdp435vod3cqyb1334qpxrkmpw03c010c.1571311230000872

A reply to Kate's video:


https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t2875-does-god-exist#6921

I think to speed up my speech is a good idea, and i will do so in my forthcoming videos. Thanks for that. ( I am not a native english speaker, btw. )

Kate: and I'm tired of theists mistreating people in the name of something they can't justify with evidence:

Reply: To be a Christian is to love others, not mistreat them.

We Christians are often called out and accused of trying to convert non-believers or adherents of other faith systems to Christianity, force them into something they don't want, and not respect them. They do however not understand, that we have a command by the Lord Jesus Christ:  to spread the clear teachings of Jesus and the Apostles of the Gospel (Good News) with love and kindness,  and make disciples. To preach the gospel is one thing. A true religion/worldview is spread by using evidence and logical arguments, discussion and fair debates, allowing people to make up their minds and exercise their free choice to accept or reject the beliefs. We are not asked to interfere in the decision making of the receiver of our message. We are called to make the gospel of Gods grace, love, justice,  forgiveness and eternal life known. If someone by deliberate decision wants to become a Christian, then we are called to instruct the new convert in his new faith. The Christian has good reasons to confess his faith, first, to obey the Lords command, and secondly, to give others the opportunity to find salvation and eternal life.

Kate...........  they can't justify with evidence:

Reply: I think we can very well back up Gods existence based on the evidence of direct revelation of God in scriptures, and the natural world, which points to a creator.
The problem is not the lack of evidence or good reasons to infer a creator as the best explanation of our existence based on what can be observed in the natural world. But the lack of willingness to see it.

Being cannot come from non-being. Contingent existence is evidence of a necessary Creator. But not everybody ( is willing ) to acknowledge it.
Romans 1.19 - 23 What may be known about God is plain to them because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

The "I don`t see any evidence of Gods existence" mantra - and why it's not justified. 

It is very common to see unbelievers claiming as follows: 

I don`t see any evidence of Gods existence.
I don`t know how everything came to be.
I don`t know how I would recognize Gods signature in nature, but if God exists, he knows how he could convince me.
That's a perfectly honest justifiable position.  And what we don`t know yet, science is working on it.

My response:  I see no evidence of how we can exist without God.

I see overwhelming evidence of Gods existence, through his direct revelation in the Bible, and the natural world.
I believe there are many good reasons to recognize that the natural world was made by a powerful intelligent creator. John 1.1 states that in the beginning was the word. Words are information. God has left his signature and imprint in the Cosmos, which is fundamentally a mathematical structure, governed by physical laws, and balanced on a razor's edge to permit life by fine-tuning the fundamental forces. All conditions on earth to permit life on earth are as well finely adjusted and set up. The Moon orbits the Earth in 27.3 days. Of course, a day is one Earth rotation on its own axis. 366.3 x 27.3 = 9999.99 At the same time, the Earth is 366.3% the diameter of the Moon and the Moon is 27.3% the diameter of Earth. 366.3% x 27.3% = .999999. The combined diameter of all the planets in our solar system is 10 times greater than the Earth’s circumference. This has astonishingly high accuracy at 99.99%. The distance between the moon and the sun is 400 times greater than the distance from the earth and the moon. The Sun happens to be 400 times the Moon’s diameter, and 400 times as far away. This means the Sun and Moon appear to be the same size when viewed from Earth.

Is this not astonishing? Should that not make you stop and think, and ask yourself, what is behind all this? Is believing, that this kind of order is just a lucky accident, not a position of incredulity? Would it not make far more sense, to recognize, there is someone behind it all, who set it all up in this preciseness?

Cells are governed by recognizing and reacting to external environmental cues, nutrition supply and demands, inbuild signal networks and codes and languages, which had to be pre-established and created. Development of organisms also depends on codified information, which directs how organisms are built.  Gene regulatory networks work based on logic gates.

Using Mathematics, logic, codes, languages are a faculty of mind, intelligence, conscience, not matter.

It takes Proteins to make the basic building blocks of life. But it takes the basic building blocks of life to make proteins.
It takes ATP to make proteins. But it takes proteins to make ATP ( the energy currency of the cell).
It takes proteins to make amino acids ( the monomers that make proteins ). But it takes amino acids to make proteins
It takes DNA to make proteins. But it takes proteins to make DNA ( a great number of the cell machinery is actually employed to make DNA).
It takes proteins to make RNA. But it takes RNA to make proteins
It takes proteins to go from RNA to DNA.
It takes RNA and DNA to make proteins that turn RNA into DNA
It takes signalling networks to produce the right rate of products required in the cell
It takes these products to construct signalling networks
It takes Glutamate synthetase proteins ( veritable molecular computers ) to sense the right rate of nitrogen uptake, required in the cell.
It takes nitrogen to make Glutamate synthetase proteins

The unbeliever claims that there is no evidence of God. But i see no evidence that we can exist without God. In order to refute a creator, and explain the fine-tuning of the universe, the unbeliever has as only alternative an assemblage of multiple universes with different laws, and one eventually is life permitting. That does however not remove the fact that even such a multiverse would require a beginning, and therefore a non-physical eternal cause. Virtual particles require a vacuum, which also would have required a cause. The Big Bang had a beginning and requires a cause. The accretion theory to explain the origin of stars is bunk. Gas does not clump. Gravity acts only on mass. Rather, gaseous particles would have distanced each other more and more with the expansion of the universe. Abiogenesis is a failed hypothesis. The probability to get a minimal proteome for a minimal Cell by random chemical reactions is far beyond of 1 positive occurrence in 10^150.000 negative attempts. There are 10^80 atoms in the universe.  Evolution by mutations & natural selection, genetic drift and gene flow has been proven false. The true contributor to explain organismal complexity is preprogrammed instructional complex INFORMATION encoded in various languages and communication through signalling by various signalling networks  that act  on a structural level, which are pre-instructed to respond to environmental cues, development, and nutrition demands, and they are apt to communicate, crosstalk, signal, regulate, govern, control, recruit, interpret, recognize, orchestrate, elaborate strategies, guide and so forth. All codes, blueprints, and languages are inventions by intelligence. Therefore, the genetic and epigenetic codes and signalling networks and the instructions to build cells and complex biological organisms were most likely created by an intelligent agency.

Based on the evidence at hand, the believer is justified to see a powerful intelligent creator behind it all, while the unbeliever is left without justification to keep his skepticism, agnosticism, and disbelief in a creator

Kate: Atheism does not come with dogmas. 

Reply: Agreed. 

If there is no God, there are no objective moral values, since they are prescribed " ought to be's".
If there is no God, then moral values are just a matter of personal opinion, and as such, no objectively or universally valid at all.
If that is the case, unbelievers have no moral standard to judge anything as morally good or bad.
Therefore, in order to criticise God, they need to borrow from the theistic worldview, and as such, their criticism is self-contradicting and invalid.
Even IF they could make a case to criticise Gods choices, that would not refute his existence.  

1. If objective moral values exist, then God exists.
2. Objective moral values exist.
3. Therefore, God exists.

Atheism leads to:

Atheists commonly confess ignorance and base it on the claim that there is no evidence of God. The consequence of such a position is:

the lack of
objective moral values
meaning of life
lack of recognition of the real intrinsic value of human beings
what really matters in life ( to love God, and your next )
hope
understanding
inner peace
knowledge
security

and become a playball of their own

desires
wishes
will
inclinations
insecurity
hopelessness
meaninglessness
lacks values
certainty of anything
decisions
egoism
greed
lack of goals in life
frustration
bad decisions
lack of direction in life
the consequences are:
Increase of crimes
homicides
abortions
suicide
betrayals
robbery
separations
destructuration of families
telling lies
envy

false doctrines and various isms which undermine the value of life, like
nazism
communism

Kate: The available evidence that is the most likely conclusion given the sheer number of religions that have existed throughout history and how wildly different many have been that would suggest that humans made-up legends rather than truths being handed down by gods.

Reply: The fact that false religions exist, does not mean that there is no God. It means there are false religions. Thats all.

Kate: the Abrahamic God felt the need to confine his influence to the Middle East until humans could spread his word rather than revealing himself also to say the Native Americans or the Asians again suggest that religions are human inventions

Reply: God did chose his servants to make him known. Why he chose to turn Saul to Paul and use him as instrument to spread the Christian faith, and not Matthew, or any other person, thats in HIS wisdom to chose. The way the message got out says nothing about the existence or nonexistence of God, or in special the Abrahamic God.

Kate: not everything done by an atheist is done in the name of atheism

Reply: Atheist Myth: “No One Has Ever Killed in the Name of Atheism”
http://www.ncregister.com/blog/astagnaro/atheist-myth-no-one-has-ever-killed-in-the-name-of-atheism

Even if we were to ignore the obvious crimes against humanity that atheistic communists have committed, atheism would be condemned simply by examining the devastation of the French Revolution. Even if we were to ignore the obvious crimes against humanity that atheists involved in the global communist movement in the past century have committed, we can condemn all atheists and atheism simply by examining the one million dead at the hands of "rational," "enlightened" atheist French Revolutionaries.

Kate:  atheism isn't like a religion it's not a godless dogma

Reply: Strong atheism is a religion

https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t1293-strong-atheism-is-a-religion

A federal district court in Oregon has declared Secular Humanism a religion, paving the way for the non-theistic community to obtain the same legal rights as groups such as Christianity.
https://thinkprogress.org/atheists-score-major-win-in-federal-court-153aec1662a6/?fbclid=IwAR0kOiBhcZqhO270kj2Z8Y65x5mHO4D2fii8x2KPKZx7anSzRk7JWRpdxnM

Claim: Atheism is the disbelief and rejection of religious claims
Response: This is only half of the story.... Wiki states about atheist in its first line:

Atheism is, in the broadest sense, the absence of belief in the existence of deities. Less broadly, atheism is the rejection of belief that any deities exist. In an even narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Positive atheism, also called strong atheism and hard atheism, is the form of atheism that additionally asserts that no deities exist. 

At the site: Arguments for atheism, they explain:
Atheism (or non-theism, which is broadly synonymous) is the lack of belief in the existence of God or gods or, more strongly, the belief that there is no such thing as God or gods. 
http://www.argumentsforatheism.com/what.html

A rock is theoretically an atheist because it does not possess a belief in anything based on the mere fact that it is consciousless, and as such, cannot believe in a deity of any kind either. When an intelligent, rational, conscious atheists says: "I don't believe in God", therefore I am an atheist, that's a different thing altogether. It is indeed a positive claim, based on a prior rationalization, which rocks lack of. The atheist admitting a series of things: He admits that the natural world exists,  that other minds are real, that the human mind can form beliefs, and that our cognitive faculties are broadly reliable. By expressing his non-belief, he suddenly implicitly admitted a series of other claims. He claims indirectly that his reasoning is trustworthy, but has no foundation to back up his claim.   If he is not willing/able to explain why his mind is rational based on an evolutionary, unguided process, well, then, he might just stop to ventilate anything he believes, nobody needs to know it. If atheism makes no claims, then it has no meaning.  But if the atheist wishes to make a No-God hypothesis, then he has to back up why he thinks so. If atheists ask to sit on the table and make a case for naturalism, then the believer has the right to expect that the unbeliever provides positive reasons that demonstrate why naturalism is more compelling than the theistic worldview.

Disbelieving in God creates a vacuum. And that vacuum has to be filled with something else. Non-belief in the sense as a rock does not cause anything. But the same atheist which confesses non-belief is the same that joins Apologetics groups on Facebook and actively opposes believers and posts anti-christian comments, posts on twitter and other social media platforms. For a non-belief, a non-religion, atheism seems to be a quite busy enterprise with its stars propagators, atheist gurus like Lawrence Krauss or Richard Dawkins, philosophers like Dennett, temples and churches, meetings and street-parades, so if it was just an enterprise to claim non-belief, why should and would anyone do all this? in London, there is for example ‘The Sunday Service’ where every week, hundreds of people join together to sing secular songs. 

Truth is, the dis-belief that atheists confess has consequences, which are not difficult to be recognized, and the self-confessing disbelievers know it. And that is in most cases the true reason why atheists endorse weak atheism. It gives them the illusion of some desirable freedom. If Christianity is wrong, what do they believe to gain?  A member from the Pure Anarchist Philosophies group of Facebook: control over our own self-determination, free thought, ability to define our own moral values, and the joy of whatever we would do that’s forbidden by the church. 

Another point to consider: Atheists form their own tribes, gather together on groups on Facebook, exclusively for them. They identify themselves on their social media profile with a A symbol, which stands for atheist. So, atheists that join debate groups certainly don't do it just to communicate what they don't believe, but have a defined worldview where God has no place, and try actively to endorse that view and find people to convince. They would do well not to hide behind their pseudo claim, and actually engage, and rather than claim of not knowing, and that there is not enough evidence to draw sound conclusion, if they want to make a case, they should do their homework, scrutinize the implications of a worldview without God, and if they believe, there is enough evidence to back up multiverses, eternal universes, accretion of gas forming stars, abiogenesis, common ancestry and macroevolution that explains biodiversity at large, provide good reasons that can be evaluated on a debate table with fairness and honesty. . 


The World's Newest Major Religion: No Religion
The religiously unaffiliated, called "nones," are growing significantly. They’re the second largest religious group in North America and most of Europe. In the United States, nones make up almost a quarter of the population. In the past decade, U.S. nones have overtaken Catholics, mainline protestants, and all followers of non-Christian faiths.
https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/04/160422-atheism-agnostic-secular-nones-rising-religion/?fbclid=IwAR0Mj32lr0eqjYIU7EVO4zsLAwchnNCsbi5rulXA9dcRrBwKcpQ2WYGCjTg

Atheists Are Sometimes More Religious Than Christians
A new study shows how poorly we understand the beliefs of people who identify as atheist, agnostic, or nothing in particular. the researchers found that American “nones”—those who identify as atheist, agnostic, or nothing in particular—are more religious than European nones. The notion that religiously unaffiliated people can be religious at all may seem contradictory, but if you disaffiliate from organized religion it does not necessarily mean you’ve sworn off belief in God, say, or prayer.  Consider the rise of “atheist churches,” which cater to Americans who have lost faith in supernatural deities but still crave community, enjoy singing with others, and want to think deeply about morality. It’s religion, minus all the God stuff. This is a phenomenon spreading across the country, from the Seattle Atheist Church to the North Texas Church of Freethought. The Oasis Network, which brings together non-believers to sing and learn every Sunday morning, has affiliates in nine U.S. cities.
https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/05/american-atheists-religious-european-christians/560936/



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4Does God exist ? Empty Re: Does God exist ? Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:27 am

Otangelo


Admin
Kate:   given modern weaponry to the Crusaders or to the Spanish Inquisition let's just see how much higher their body count would go

Reply:  There are many nominal Christians, but they do not follow Christ's commands. What, if all people that call themselves Christians would actually do as Christ said ??

The Bible's first command

https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t2844-the-bible-s-first-command

Matthew 22:39
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Deuteronomy 6.5
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

Leviticus 19.18
Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.

It is evident that if humanity would follow these commands, we would live in a better world.

What good has the christian faith brought to us
https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t1452-what-good-has-the-christian-faith-brought-to-us

Kate:  If you're exploring the nature of the universe putting aside all bias is how you do it right the evidence isn't pointing to God.

Reply: Well, repeating an assertion does not make it true. I give you just one example which demonstrates in a powerful way why i disagree with you:

When you see a blueprint of a factory, with the precise instructions to make all machines, subparts, how to assemble each machine, interconnect them into production lines, organized production compartments, gates to permit the right materials to get in, and the end products go through error check and repair, and export, and then see the functional factory-build precisely upon the blueprint which you saw previously, but have no clue of how both, the blueprint, and the factory, came to be: What is the obvious answer: 

a) That an intelligent team of engineers, machine designers etc. made the project, and skilled, intelligent labour workers, carpenters, masons, electricians, machine builders etc. constructed the factory, or 

b) that natural forces somehow made the blueprint, and random unguided forces brought the building materials together, and by luck, the factory was assembled precisely based on the blueprint instructions, and started its production ? or

c) you have no way to conclude anything meaningful, and feel justify to say: " I don't know" ?  


Someone wrote that following argument signals the death knell of atheism.
From Wikipedia
“A Death Knell was the ringing of a bell immediately after a death to announce it. Historically it was the second of three bells rung around death; the first being the "Passing Bell" to warn of impending death, and the last was the "Lych Bell", or "Corpse Bell", which survives today as the Funeral toll.”

The factory maker argument

1. Blueprints, instructional information and master plans, and the making of complex machines and factories upon these are both always tracked back to an intelligent source which made them for purposeful, specific goals.  

2. Biological cells are a factory park of unparalleled gigantic complexity and purposeful adaptive design of interlinked high-tech fabrics, fully automated and self-replicating, directed by genes and epigenetic languages and signalling networks.

3. The Blueprint and instructional information stored in DNA and epigenetics, which directs the making of biological cells and organisms - the origin of both is, therefore, best explained by an intelligent designer which created life for his own purposes.

Herschel 1830 1987, p. 148:
“If the analogy of two phenomena be very close and striking, while, at the same time, the cause of one is very obvious, it becomes scarcely possible to refuse to admit the action of an analogous cause in the other, though not so obvious in itself.”

DNA Is Called The Blueprint Of Life: Here’s Why
OCTOBER 26, 2017
DNA is called the blueprint of life because it is the instruction manual to create, grow, function and reproduce life on Earth similar to a blueprint of a house. 10
https://sciencetrends.com/dna-called-blueprint-life-heres/

The Molecular Fabric of Cells  BIOTOL, B.C. Currell and R C.E Dam-Mieras (Auth.)
Cells are, indeed, outstanding factories. Each cell type takes in its own set of chemicals and making its own collection of products. The range of products is quite remarkable and encompass chemically simple compounds such as ethanol and carbon dioxide as well as the extremely complex proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids and secondary products. Furthermore: Self-replication is the epitome of manufacturing advance and achievement, far from being realized by man-made factories.  

Self-replication had to emerge and be implemented first, which raises the unbridgeable problem that DNA replication is irreducibly complex. Evolution is not a capable driving force to make the DNA replicating complex, because evolution depends on cell replication through the very own mechanism we try to explain. It takes proteins to make DNA replication happen. But it takes the DNA replication process to make proteins. That’s a catch 22 situation.


Chance of intelligence to set up life: 
100% We KNOW by repeated experience that intelligence does elaborate blueprints and constructs complex factories and machines with specific purposes.

Chance of unguided random natural events doing it:

Chance of random chemical reactions to setup amino-acid polypeptide chains to produce  functional proteins on early earth external to cellular biosynthesis:
1 in 10^200.000 That's virtually the same as 0%. There are 10^80 atoms in the universe.

Kate: as opposed to what faith how can faith possibly lead you to facts when it relies so heavily on feelings rather than testable falsifiable data on which experiments can be run

Reply: The opposit of naturalism/materialism is not faith, but intelligent design / creationism.  It takes faith for both accounts, that is, that only natural means explain our existence, and intelligen design doing so.  Any worldview is limited in that it does not grant absolute truth, but only yields degrees of probability or likelihood. Bayesian inference is a method of statistical inference in which Bayes' theorem is used to update the probability of a hypothesis as more evidence or information becomes available. Bayesian inference has found application in a wide range of activities, including science, theology, and philosophy. After careful examination, all we can do is come to instant-deduction to the best explanation.

1. Accepting the best explanation maximises the robustness of one’s position relative to accepting any other available explanatory hypothesis.
2. It is reasonable to maximise the robustness of one’s position.
3. One of the explanatory hypotheses should be accepted.
4. Thus: It is reasonable to accept the best explanation. 6

Historical sciences, and methodological naturalism

https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t1692-historical-sciences-and-methodological-naturalism

RICHARD LEWONTIN
January 9, 1997
https://www.drjbloom.com/Public%20files/Lewontin_Review.htm
Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen.


Historical science, experimental science, and the scientific method
Historical research is sometimes said to be inferior to experimental research. Using examples from diverse historical disciplines, this paper demonstrates that such claims are misguided.
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/81ca/78baf41581a70ddf0af3115ea8255aace4fb.pdf

Richard C. Lewontin who is a well-known geneticist and an evolutionist from Harvard University claims that he is first and foremost a materialist and then a scientist. He confesses;
“It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, so we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”(Lewontin 1997)

Materialism regards itself as scientific, and indeed is often called “scientific materialism,” even by its opponents, but it has no legitimate claim to be part of science. It is, rather, a school of philosophy, one defined by the belief that nothing exists except matter, or, as Democritus put it, “atoms and the void.” 2

Methodological naturalism is necessary for science because science requires that as a precondition of investigating natural things. It is not necessary to elucidate historical facts however. History does not investigate by empirically determining anything. Although history does seek to answer questions about the past, it requires only that the past is rational. Rational simply means that there is a reason. So if something did happen that were an act of God in the past, then as long as that act had a reason, history can investigate it.

The specific complex information of living systems as, well as fine-tuning agents of a life-permitting universe and immaterial truths, etc have causal materialistic dead ends. However, intelligent design is a current observable mechanism to explain the design, thus are an adequate simple causal mechanism to explain these realities of our universe, its fine tuning improbabilities, information, immaterial abstracts, etc. Intelligence can and is a causal agent in the sciences such as forensics, archeology engineering, etc., thus there is no reason to rule out a priori the unobserved designer scientifically. We only rule him out by philosophical or anti-religious objection, which anybody has the free will right to do, but it isn't necessarily true or right to do so, and we can't use science to do so, if we are unbiased, correctly using the discipline. Additionally, to argue non-empirical causes are inadequate would rule out many would be mainstream secular materialistic hypothetical causes as well. It then becomes a matter of preference to the type of causes one is willing to accept and one's preferred worldview has a lot to do with that.

There are basically 3 possible  causing agents of origins and the universe as a whole:

1. The universe and the physical laws: an intelligent creator, or random unguided natural events
2. The fine-tuning of the universe  and the origin of life: an intelligent creator, random unguided natural events, and physical necessity
3. Biodiversity: above three, and evolution

This result means that intelligent design cannot be removed entirely from consideration in the historical sciences. They are a division of history rather than science, and what applies to history, in general, applies to them. However, evidence must be found to support them.

Kate:  ok if you insist that we teach supernatural possibilities to kids which one do we choose

Reply: The first question in a solid epistemological framework is to ask, what makes more sense : A creator or none ? Which God is not relevant at this stage, and neither to science, nor the hypothesis of intelligent design.

Intelligent design is science

https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t2313-intelligent-design-is-science

Claim: Science is the study of nature on nature’s own terms, and thus cannot study the supernatural. The absence of a transcendent supernatural deity is completely untestable on an empirically scientific level. A transcendent intelligent agency certainly makes sense, but that is empirically testable because the transcendent intelligent agent is not empirical.
Response:
Design can be tested using scientific logic.  How? Upon the logic of mutual exclusion, design and non-design are mutually exclusive (it was one or the other) so we can use eliminative logic: if non-design is highly improbable, then design is highly probable.  Thus, evidence against non-design (against production of a feature by undirected natural process) is evidence for design.  And vice versa. The evaluative status of non-design (and thus design) can be decreased or increased by observable empirical evidence, so a theory of design is empirically responsive and is testable. Based on a logical evaluation of evidence, we can conclude that a design theory is probably true (if all non-design theories seem highly implausible) or is probably false (if any non-design theory seems highly plausible). A design inference does not claim non-design is impossible and design is certain, it only claims that design seems more probable based on scientific evidence and logic. This type of probability-based conclusion is consistent with the logic of science in which proof is always impossible, even though scientists can develop a logically justified confidence in the truth or falsity of a theory.

A number of evolutionary propagandists have claimed that creation is not scientific because it is supposedly untestable. But in the same paragraph they will claim, ‘scientists have carefully examined the claims of creation science, and found that ideas such as the young Earth and global Flood are incompatible with the evidence.’ But obviously creation cannot have been examined (tested) and found to be false if it’s ‘untestable’! 3

The scientific methods used in a design investigation are also used in historical sciences like geology, archaeology, evolutionary biology, and astronomy.  Many arguments against design are also arguments against every historical science.  But scientists have developed methods for coping with the limitations of historical data, and historical science can be authentically scientific.

Intelligent Design proposes the idea that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by the deliberate creative act of an intelligent cause.

One of the most common charges that intelligent design (ID) opponents, Advocates of methodological naturalism,  is  that the theory of intelligent design is inherently unscientific.  that ID is not real science. They will say that a real scientific theory must be testable against the empirical world, must make predictions, must be falsifiable, must be explanatory by reference to natural law, and so forth. They point to ID and say that it doesn’t meet all of these criteria, and therefore ID must not be science. But is that true? Are there really criteria that define whether something is science or not science? Well, if you ask philosophers of science (the academic experts on this question), they will tell you that no such criteria exists. Every attempt at formulating an ironclad set of criteria has ended up accidentally excluding what scientists consider to be legitimate scientific fields. There is no set of agreed-upon criteria for separating science from pseudo-science; it just doesn’t exist among philosophers of science. The question of whether something is science or non-science is both intractable and uninteresting. The real issue is not whether a theory is ‘scientific’ according to some abstract definition, but where the scientific evidence leads to, and how it is best explained. In other words, what mechanism explains best X. This procedure is obvious, but the attempt at demarcating between science and non-science is a favorite way and artifact of ID opponents. By calling ID non-scientific, they never to examine if the proposed causal mechanism is more compelling than theirs.

Kate:  it's not the fault of science or nature that what's described in most holy texts doesn't match what we see

Reply:  But materialism does ?

Genesis, vs secular science explanations of origins

One common argument seen often spouted by uninformed atheists is that upon the advance of science, the gaps where God can hide are shrinking. The contrary is the case. The more science advances, the gaps where naturalism can hide, are shrinking, and only answers by proposing intelligence as causal agency, is intellectually satisfying.

Genesis V1 and V16 :  
explains the origin of the universe, stars, and the earth.
V9 explains the separation of the land from the ocean
V11 explains the origin of vegetation and plants
V24: explains the origin of animals
V26 explains the origin of humankind, male and female

We have in Genesis a COMPLETE account of origins.

How does science based on naturalism explain all these things?

Science does NOT have conclusive, compelling explanations of:

- The origin and cause of the universe, nor its fine-tuning. All that proponents of naturalism can do is speculate in regard to eventual, imagined scenarios, or admit ignorance. The usual explanations are

- virtual particles
- eternal universes
- multiverses, bubble universes, M-Theory etc.

- Stars: the accretion theory proposed an impossible scenario, namely that gas exercised gravitational forces and clumped together to form stars. It has never been observed, and his highly speculative

- the separation of the land, and oceans: Science has no idea nor good explanations why and how it happened, or where the water on earth came from

- the origin of life: there are not credible naturalistic hypotheses. Rather than closing the gap, scientific advance exposes the impossibility.

- The origin of plants: explained by Darwins Theory, and the highly speculative idea that prokaryotic cells engulfed another cell, and by endosymbiosis, eukaryotic cells emerged.  There are several reasons why that is not compelling. Plants use photosynthesis as energy source. Oxygenic photosynthesis has no known evolutionary precursors, and is extremely complex and requires several parts that are essential. No scientist has compelling answers how photosynthesis evolved. Only speculation

- Animals: Darwins Theory is every day more under attack by the fact that science reveals, that the genome alone does not define body plans. Epigenetic codes are determinant, and cannot be explained by natural selection, drift, or gene flow.

- Humans: science has no explanation for the origin of sex, nor conscience, nor language, nor morality, nor why humans have inherent dignity, value, or meaning.

We have observed atoms having forced that keep them together. We have not explained what that force is, and why it persists. It is assumed to persist for various reasons, but no cause has ever been found, scientifically. The very mechanisms of life: DNA, replication of DNA and other microbiological processes have been observed, but never explained, because their very activity is driven by data processes, which have no known independent cause or source. The force of gravity has been observed, characterized, and tested, but it’s source of energy has never been explained through naturalistic processes or observation. Logic and mathematics themselves have been analyzed, and understood, but what is never explained through naturalistic or materialistic methods or science is why they exist, or what enforces them. They “just are”, and that assumption is the biggest gap materialists make as they seek to explain everything without God. The very foundations of reasoning are the concepts that things are repeatable, and therefore testable and predictable, yet there is no explanation for why things are consistent, from a materialistic perspective. Believers in the one true God, on the other hand have answers for all of those questions, and it is because we have answers to those questions that we can advance scientific understanding and practical application to our universe and to daily life. There is nothing in the theistic worldview that negates or limits scientific discovery, because we expect a consistent level of logic, predictability, order, material processes and that God wants us to intelligently utilize our world, the senses and brains we are endowed with. We discover laws of physics, math and science, and understand they exist and persist because there is a lawgiver. They are there for our benefit, and we are free to discover them and utilize them. To suggest otherwise is merely a statement from ignorance. Ignorance of the existence of God.

Atheists: what they must believe in order to refute creationism

The extreme skepticism and incredulity towards one explanation of origins ( theism) must lead automatically to the extreme credulity and gullibility of the opposite explanation ( philosophical naturalism ). The cop-out of not knowing about origins is unjustified wilful and purposeful ignorance upon the overwhelming knowledge that the scientific advance and inquiry has permitted us to gain, and upon which we can understand the world and reality, how the cosmos and biology works, better than ever before. That permits us to make secure inferences about historical events. Playing Sherlock Holmes was never as easy as today. Agnosticism is not justified.

If proponents of naturalism want to convince that strong atheism or the philosophical view that naturalism explains our existence better than theism, they should provide positive convincing reasons, why theists do good to believe as follows:

About the universe, its beginning and fine-tuning:
1. The Universe popped up out of nothing or is eternal
2. The physical laws were always there, nothing set them up
3. The universe produced the number of electrons equivalent to the number of protons to an accuracy of one part in 10 to the 37th power out of a lucky accident. If it were not so, galaxies, stars, and planets would never form (because electromagnetic forces would so overwhelm gravitational forces).
4. Quarks and anti-quarks form via matter-antimatter pair production. Because of their nature, these particles instantly annihilate each other. However, during the creation of the universe, a slight asymmetry in this pair production resulted in approximately 1 extra particle of matter for every 10 billion produced. It turns out that this 1 in 10 billion ratio of “leftover particles” happens to be the exact amount of mass necessary for the formation of stars, galaxies, and planets. As much as 2 in 10 billion, and the universe would have just been filled with black holes. As little as 0.5 in 10 billion, and there wouldn’t have been enough density for galaxies to form. This was a lucky accident.
5. Upon the finetuning by a happy accident of the cosmological constant,  the probability that our universe contains galaxies is akin to exactly 10^123. That is 1 possibility in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 .
5. Stars and planets exist. That happened by clump of gas upon gravitational forces, despite never proven that it is possible.
6. The right distance of the sun from the galactic center, its right position in the spiral arm, size and force of gravity of planet earth, water, the right atmosphere, right amount of oxygen in the atmosphere, rare earth minerals which make life possible, right size of the sun, its right distance from earth, the ozone layer, fundamental for life, the earths right magnetic field which protects it from deadly rays from the sun, the right tilt of earth which permits the seasons providing a balancing effect, a large, right-sized moon that stabilizes the rotation axis of its host planet, yielding a more stable, life-friendly climate, tides made possible through the moon, life essential, all just happened by a lucky accident.  

the origin of life:
7. The minimal number of proteins and a proteome, metabolome, and genome emerged through enough time and biochemical trials by a lucky accident.

- According to the latest estimation of a minimal protein set for the first living organism, the requirement would be about 560 proteins, this would be the absolute minimum to keep the basic functions of a cell alive.  
- According to the Protein-length distributions for the three domains of life, there is an average between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells of about 400 amino acids per protein. 8
- Each of the 400 positions in the amino acid polypeptide chains could be occupied by any one of the 20 amino acids used in cells, so if we suppose that proteins emerged randomly on prebiotic earth, then the total possible arrangements or odds to get one which would fold into a functional 3D protein would be 1 to 20^400 or 1 to 10^520. A truly enormous, super astronomical number.
- Since we need 560 proteins total to make a first living cell, we would have to repeat the shuffle 560 times, to get all proteins required for life. The probability would be therefore 560/10520.  We arrive at a probability far beyond  of 1 in 10^100.000  ( A proteome set with 239 proteins yields odds of approximately 1/10^119614 )

8. Cells are complex factories, full of molecular machines, and assembly lines. Randomness produced these factories, by orderly aggregation and sequentially correct manner without external direction.
9. Cells use various codes and hierarchical levels of information, based on complex hardware/information processing machines ( computers ). Unguided forces produced these blueprints....
10. Luck or random unguided chemical forces produced DNA with the highest information storage density physically possible.
11. Cells use metabolic pathways and literally manufacturing and production assembly lines. Saint luck did the feat.
12. Cells are self-replicating. DNA replication is irreducibly complex. The biochemical lottery hit the jackpot.
13. Cells have error detection and check mechanisms. Life could not have "taken off" without them. They just appeared to be there when needed.
14. Cells require homeostasis. It just happened.

Immaterial things:
16. There is consciousness.  The brain somehow produced it to give a survival advantage.
17. There are objective moral values. Nobody created them.
18. Language, logic, reasoning, free will, and moral values are not grounded in physics. They just appeared through evolution, to give a survival advantage.
19. Evolution accounts for the origin of 116 distinct language families.
20. Independent thought emerged through Darwin's idea.
21. Matter produced free will.

Dear atheist, please let me know, why that should make sense to me. And why it makes sense to you. If you can, i might become incredulous towards the God hypothesis. As long as you can't, i prefer to remain incredulous in your eyes.

Kate: every supernatural event that could prove religion dried up as soon as we could really put it to the test

Reply: What we can test, is if abiogenesis could have occured, if it could be repeated in the laboratory. But all we have, is a big failure.

Observation: Intelligent agents act frequently with an end goal in mind, constructing functional irreducibly complex multipart-machines, and make exquisitely integrated circuits that require a blueprint to build the object. Furthermore, Computers integrate software/hardware and store high levels of instructional complex coded information. In our experience, systems that either a)require or b)store large amounts of specified instructional complex information through codes and languages, and which are constructed in an interdependence of hard and software invariably originate from an intelligent source. No exception.

Hypothesis (Prediction): Natural structures will be found that contain many parts arranged in intricate patterns, metabolic pathways similar to electronic circuits, and irreducible structures that perform specific functions -- indicating high levels of  Information, irreducible complexity, and interdependence, like hard/software.

Experiment: Experimental investigations of DNA, epigenetic codes, and metabolic circuits indicate that biological molecular machines and factories ( Cells ) are full of information-rich, language-based codes and code/blueprint-based structures. Biologists have performed mutational sensitivity tests in proteins and determined that their amino acid sequences, in order to provide function, require highly instructional complex coded information stored in the Genome.   Additionally, it has been found, that cells require and use various epigenetic codes, namely  Splicing Codes,  Metabolic Codes,  Signal Transduction Codes,  Signal Integration Codes Histone Codes, Tubulin Codes, Sugar Codes, and The Glycomic Code. Furthermore, all kind of irreducibly complex molecular machines and biosynthesis performing and metabolic pathways have been found, which could not keep their basic functions without a minimal number of parts and complex inter-wined and interdependent structures. That indicates these biological machines and pathways had to emerge fully operational, all at once. A stepwise evolutionary manner is not possible. Furthermore, knockout experiments of all components of the flagellum have shown that the flagellum is irreducibly complex.

Conclusion: Unless someone can falsify the prediction, and point out a non-intelligent source of  Information as found in the cell, the high levels of instructional complex coded information, irreducible complex and interdependent molecular systems and complex metabolic circuits and biosynthesis pathways, their origin is best explained by the action of an intelligent agent.


creation is a possible explanation and should never have been excluded up lowly in Sciences dealing with historical events but consider it and compare side aside to natural explanations
Kate: you think it wasn't ?

Reply No, it was not, until the late 19th century. Philosophical naturalism began strongly to be promoted by the X Club

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X_Club
The X Club was a dining club of nine men who supported the theories of natural selection and academic liberalism in late 19th-century England. Thomas Henry Huxley was the initiator

Influence of Christianity in science

https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t1493-influence-of-christianity-in-science

The Christian doctrine of creation gave the impetus to scientific discovery in Western Christendom in the first place, because it said that the universe was freely created by God as totally distinct from God, and is therefore contingent,

If you're talking about many of the first orphanages, all of our major Ivy League universities in fact all but one the first 123 colleges and universities in colonial America, almost every charitable organization i.e. the Red Cross, Nursing (Florence Nightingale), the abolition of slavery in both the Roman world and the European Slave Trade, ALL of the first sciences including the scientific method (as we know it today), Kepler, Newton, Pasteur, Boyle, Maxwell, Steno, Martel, ect; free enterprise and work ethic (ethics in general), wherever there are starving people, there are Christians feeding, wherever there are homeless, Christians are building shelters, in Rome during a plague Christians would not flee but tend for the sick and dying, the greatest contributions to music, literature, and art who brought them to music theory and even revolutionizing literature as we know it today are all contributed to Christians and Christianity.

Christianity Gave Birth To Science – Dr. Henry Fritz Schaefer – video
http://vimeo.com/16523153
The History of Christian Education in America
Excerpt: The first colleges in America were founded by Christians and approximately 106 out of the first 108 colleges were Christian colleges. In fact, Harvard University, which is considered today as one of the leading universities in America and the world was founded by Christians. One of the original precepts of the then Harvard College stated that students should be instructed in knowing God and that Christ is the only foundation of all “sound knowledge and learning.”
http://www.ehow.com/about_6544422_history-christian-education-america.html

Bruce Charlton’s Miscellany – October 2011
Excerpt: I had discovered that over the same period of the twentieth century that the US had risen to scientific eminence it had undergone a significant Christian revival. ,,,The point I put to (Richard) Dawkins was that the USA was simultaneously by-far the most dominant scientific nation in the world (I knew this from various scientometic studies I was doing at the time) and by-far the most religious (Christian) nation in the world. How, I asked, could this be – if Christianity was culturally inimical to science?
http://charltonteaching.blogspot.com/2011/10/meeting-richard-dawkins-and-his-wife.html

The Real Reason American Education Has Slipped (the 17 year slide in SAT scores with the removal of prayer from school) – David Barton – video
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4318930

AMERICA: To Pray Or Not To Pray – David Barton – graphs corrected for population growth
http://www.whatyouknowmightnotbeso.com/graphs.html

you can see the dramatic difference, of the SAT scores for private Christian schools compared to public schools, at this following site;

Aliso Viejo Christian School – SAT 10 Comparison Report
http://www.alisoviejochristianschool.org/sat_10.html

Kate: religion tells us something is so then tells us to not check to just take it on faith

Reply:  Not at all. Unreasonable, blind and reasonable faith:

https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t1840-unreasonable-blind-and-reasonable-faith

Norman Geisler:
The creation-evolution debate is not religion versus science or the Bible versus science, it's about good science versus bad science. Likewise, it's not faith versus reason,  its about reasonable faith, versus unreasonable faith.

Any worldview is limited in that it does not grant absolute truth, but only yields degrees of probability or likelihood. Bayesian inference is a method of statistical inference in which Bayes' theorem is used to update the probability of a hypothesis as more evidence or information becomes available. Bayesian inference has found application in a wide range of activities, including science, theology, and philosophy. After careful examination, all we can do is come to instant-deduction to the best explanation.

There is no empirical proof of Gods existence. But there is neither, that the known universe, the natural physical material world is all there is.  To prove, God does not exist, we would need to be all-knowing. We are not. The burden of proof cannot be met on both sides.  Consequently, the right question to come to the most accurate, case-correct, evidence-based inference and conclusion does not need, require or demand an empirical demonstration of Gods existence but we can elaborate philosophical inferences to either affirm or deny the existence of a creator based on circumstantial evidence, logic, and reason.

Unreasonable Faith
Believing in something IN SPITE of the evidence. We hold an unreasonable faith when we refuse to accept or acknowledge evidence that exists, is easily accessible and clearly refutes what we believe

Blind Faith
Believing in something WITHOUT any evidence. We hold a blind faith when we accept something even though there is no evidence to support our beliefs. We don’t search for ANY evidence that either supports or refutes what we are determined to believe

Reasonable Faith
Believing in something BECAUSE of the evidence. We hold a reasonable faith when we believe in something because it is the most reasonable conclusion from the evidence that exists. The Bible repeatedly makes evidential claims. It offers eyewitness accounts of historical events that can be verified archeologically, prophetically and even scientifically. We, as Christians are called to hold a REASONABLE FAITH that is grounded in this evidence.

The pages of Scripture support the notion of “reasonable faith”. Perhaps this is why so many Christians are evidentialists and have applied this evidential view of the world to their professional investigations (I’ve assembled a partial list of some of these Christian investigators in a variety of fields). Christianity has not stunted the intellectual growth of these men and women (as Anais Nin seemed to insinuate), but has instead provided the foundation for their exploration. For these investigators, the evidential nature of the Christian Worldview was entirely consistent (and even foundational) to their investigative pursuits in every aspect of God’s creation. Christianity did not cause them to “cease to grow” but, instead, provided the philosophical foundation for their investigations.

Kate:  if it turned out that there is a God we could find him and verify his existence

Reply: Why it`s an irrational demand to ask proofs of his existence

https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t2717-godwhy-its-an-irrational-demand-to-ask-proofs-of-his-existence

min. 1:18   Asking for verifiable proofs of Gods existence

Common atheist fallacies: exposed !!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wK99BsNc2Ko&t=3054s

Demand: No one has ever produced any verifiable evidence for any God. All the religions make that claim for their specific God. Well, I want some proof, hard verifiable proof.
Answer: Only people with little or no eduaction in methods of how to establish a sound & solid epistemological framework to investigate origins ask for  verifiable proof of Gods existence.

This is one of the most common demands of Atheists and mentioned as reason for unbelief until the burden of proof is met. All which such demand demonstrates is the lack of epistemological sophistication of the unbeliever. Usually, this challenge goes hand in hand with the claim that " There is no evidence of God's existence ". What they want to say however is, that there is no empirical proof.

When an atheist, an agnostic, or someone holding a mix of agnosticism and atheism makes the claim that there is no proof of Gods existence, he immediately and implicitly admits there is no proof that the natural world is all there is, either. Otherwise, he would say: We know the natural world is all there is. Here is the proof. For that, IMHO, he would have to be all-knowing. Which he is not. He chooses that second option based on no reason at all.

Professor Ulrich Becker** (High energy particle physics, MIT):
"How can I exist without a creator? I am not aware of any answer ever given."

Being cannot come from non-being. Contingent existence is evidence of a necessary Creator. But not everybody ( is willing ) to see it.
Romans 1.19 - 23 What may be known about God is plain to them because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Asking for proofs of Gods existence is a silly epistemological approach and demonstrates the lack of understanding on the unbeliever's side how to get sound conclusions on origins. There is no empirical proof of Gods existence. But there is neither, that the known universe, the natural physical material world is all there is.  To prove, God does not exist, we would need to be all-knowing. We are not. The burden of proof cannot be met on both sides.  Consequently, the right question to come to the most accurate, case-correct, evidence-based inference and conclusion does not need, require or demand an empirical demonstration of Gods existence but we can elaborate philosophical inferences to either affirm or deny the existence of a creator based on circumstantial evidence, logic, and reason.

The probability of God is not to be dismissed. Nobody can prove with reason anything except potentialities, probabilities and possibilities. Reason is not the science of reality when it ventures beyond the scope of physical. It can only imply.

The seeker must also be willing to permit the evidence to lead wherever it is. He needs to be willing to put all his prejudices and bias aside as much as possible, and permit an entirely and exclusively rational approach, based on scientific reasoning and logic, that is, doing the observation, elaborating a hypothesis, testing when possible, and getting well-based and rationally justifiable conclusions. When dealing with the observation of the natural world, the question is, what mechanism explains best the origin of X. That is not the same as to ask, how something works, which is what empirical science deals with. That helps and advances the question of how something came to be when its mechanistic ( physicochemical ) working is known, and what contributes to that. Back in Darwins time, 150 years ago, there was no knowledge about the complexity of the biochemical reality, intracellular action and molecular world. Today, we have advanced understanding on that, and every day that passes, that knowledge adds up.  

The first question to answer is not which God, but what cause and mechanism best explains our existence. There are basically just two options. Either a creative conscious intelligent supernatural powerful creative agency above the natural world acted and was involved, or not. That's it. All answers can be divided in this two basic options and categories. While the atheist affirms, no God was required, the theist claims, God is necessary. Some atheists have argued that the can be many explanations, we just do not know them yet. I disagree. What can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.

The next step a seeker needs to elucidate is: What signs point to design, rather than non-design? What can be clearly attributed to the action of a conscious intelligent agency? ( or agencies - plural ? ) Then he has to move forward to actually understand how our natural world works. The better understanding and education, the better. Unfortunately, this is a huge hurdle, and many are too lazy to spend time to actually understand the natural world and prefer to see what fits best what they want, and then search for who provides the answers they want to be true ( bias is a big factor contributing to self-delusion ). That is a common approach by atheists. They prefer to rely on the claims of the four horsemen of atheism, Dawkins, Dennet, Shermer and Harris, and the pope of all, Darwin, rather than spending time and looking into the evidence by themselves. All they do, behaving in that manner, is disrespecting themselves, putting their souls at risk to be deluded by their own wishes and faulty approach, and if they are wrong, losing their eternity with God.

A smart epistemological approach about origins of our existence goes as this:

1. Asking: what is ? what exists? Answer: X
2. Asking: what are the possible mechanisms to explain the origin of X? Answer: Y and Z ( and eventually, other causes )
3. Is X better explained by Y or Z?
4. Concluding Y or Z, depending on where the evidence leads to.
5. Moving forward, and trying to identify as accurately as possible the precise identity of the cause, if it is an intelligent agent.

6. Number 1 and 2 is a continuing exercise of science, philosophy, and theology. Upon the advance of understanding, the conclusion is eventually re-evaluated, and changed, if sufficient reasons exist.  

Upon my understanding, intelligent design/creationism tops naturalism - materialism as best case-adequate answer in regards to origins:

125 reasons to believe in God
https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t1276-125-reasons-to-believe-in-god

A cumulative case for the God of the bible
https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t1753-a-cumulative-case-for-the-god-of-the-bible

" There is no evidence for God " Really ??!!
http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1440-there-is-no-evidence-for-god

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5Does God exist ? Empty Re: Does God exist ? Thu Oct 17, 2019 7:15 am

Otangelo


Admin
Kate:  I don't care what you infer I care what you show

Reply: BAYESIAN PROBABILITY AND SCIENCE

https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t2721-bayesian-probability-and-science

A typical misconception about science is that it can tell us what will definitely happen now or in the future given enough time, or what would certainly have happened in the past, given enough time. The truth is, science is limited in that it does not grant absolute truth, but only yields degrees of probability or likelihood.

Science isn’t in the business of proving things. Rather, science judges the merits of competing models in terms of their simplicity, clarity, comprehensiveness, and fit to the data.

We speak in terms of “acceptance,” “confidence,” and “probability,” not “proof.” If by proof is meant the establishment of eternal and absolute truth, open to no possible exception or modification, then proof has no place in the natural sciences.

Science observes the Universe, records evidence, and strives to draw conclusions about what has happened in the past, is happening now, and what will potentially happen in the future, given the current state of scientific knowledge—which is often times woefully incomplete, and even inaccurate. The late, prominent evolutionist George Gaylord Simpson discussed the nature of science and probability several years ago in the classic textbook, Life: An Introduction to Biology, stating:

We speak in terms of “acceptance,” “confidence,” and “probability,” not “proof.” If by proof is meant the establishment of eternal and absolute truth, open to no possible exception or modification, then proof has no place in the natural sciences.

Luke A. Barnes writes:
Theory testing in the physical sciences has been revolutionized in recent decades by Bayesian approaches to probability theory.
Wiki: Bayesian inference is a method of statistical inference in which Bayes' theorem is used to update the probability of a hypothesis as more evidence or information becomes available. Bayesian inference is an important technique in statistics, and especially in mathematical statistics. Bayesian updating is particularly important in the dynamic analysis of a sequence of data. Bayesian inference has found application in a wide range of activities, including science, engineering, philosophy, medicine, sport, and law.  .......and......... historical sciences, including intelligent design theory which tries to explain how most probably past events occurred. That is similar to abductive reasoning :
Wiki: Abductive reasoning is a form of logical inference which goes from an observation to a theory which accounts for the observation, ideally seeking to find the simplest and most likely explanation. In abductive reasoning, unlike in deductive reasoning, the premises do not guarantee the conclusion. One can understand the abductive reasoning as "instant-deduction to the best explanation". 3

No one can know with absolute certainty that the design hypothesis is false.  It follows from the absence of absolute knowledge, that each person should be willing to accept at least the possibility that the design hypothesis is correct, however remote that possibility might seem to him.  Once a person makes that concession, as every honest person must, the game is up.  The question is no longer whether ID is science or non-science.  The question is whether the search for the truth of the matter about the natural world should be structurally biased against a possibly true hypothesis. 4

For, we did not – and cannot -- directly observe the remote past, so origins science theories are in the end attempted “historical” reconstructions of what we think the past may have been like. Such reconstructions are based on investigating which of the possible explanations seems "best" to us on balance in light of the evidence. However, to censor out a class of possible explanations ahead of time through imposing materialism plainly undermines the integrity of this abductive method.

Methodological naturalism is the label for the required assumption of philosophical naturalism when working with the scientific method. Methodological naturalists limit their scientific research to the study of natural causes, because any attempts to define causal relationships with the supernatural are never fruitful, and result in the creation of scientific "dead ends" and God of the gaps-type hypotheses. To avoid these traps scientists assume that all causes are empirical and naturalistic; which means they can be measured, quantified and studied methodically. 5

The first difference is that historical study is a matter of probability. Any and all historical theories are supported by evidence that is not deductive in nature. We might consider them to be inferences to the best explanation, or Bayesian probabilities but they cannot be deductions. historical theories are not based on experiments, – repeatable or otherwise – nor are historical theories subject to empirical verification. The evidence for a historical theory may be empirical, but the theory itself is not. These differences mean that one cannot simply treat science and history as similar disciplines. 6

Stephen Meyer writes:
Studies in the philosophy of science show that successful explanations in historical sciences such as evolutionary biology need to provide “causally adequate” explanations—that is, explanations that cite a cause or mechanism
capable of producing the effect in question. In On the Origin of Species, Darwin repeatedly attempted to show that his theory satisfied this criterion, which was then called the vera causa (or “true cause”) criterion. In the third chapter of the Origin, for example, he sought to demonstrate the causal adequacy of natural selection by drawing analogies between it and the power of animal breeding and by extrapolating from observed instances of small-scale evolutionary change over short periods of time. 7

2. http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3726
3. https://arxiv.org/pdf/1704.01680.pdf
4. http://iose-gen.blogspot.com.br/2010/06/introduction-and-summary.html#methnat
5. http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Methodological_naturalism
6. http://simplyphilosophy.org/methodological-naturalism-science-and-history/
7. Darwin's Doubt pg.162:

Kate: if that is life's purpose why are so many creatures so badly designed for

Reply: Bad design: Does it mean no design ?  

https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t1302-bad-design-does-it-mean-no-design

Atheists commonly consider themselves very intelligent, rational and logical, and not rarely feel intellectually superior compared to believers. Funny though is, that when they take out off their hat, from their repertoire of arguments to reject God, as it quite frequently happens, the claim of bad design: they point to a list of supposedly badly designed and/or vestigial organs. Funny though, they never apply the bad design argument to their thinking organ, their own brain and their mind, which they presuppose has superior functional abilities, and was well designed.... this is a blatant contradiction.

Unbelievers commonly argue about bad design and vestigial organs, but in order to argue about bad design, design, bad or not, must be assumed in the first place. Arguing that bad design is evidence of no design is a logical fallacy.

Thoughts on the Human Body, Alton Ochsner, MD
It is obvious that the human body is the most efficient and best designed system that has even been designed
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3096191/

There are a lot of flaws in my smartphone. The keyboard is awful. It obviously was not designed.

Neither, secondly, would it invalidate our conclusion, that the watch sometimes went wrong, or that it seldom went exactly right. The purpose of the machinery, the design, and the designer, might be evident, and in the case supposed would be evident, in whatever way we accounted for the irregularity of the movement, or whether we could account for it or not. It is not necessary that a machine be perfect, in order to show with what design it was made: still less necessary, where the only question is, whether it were made with any design at all. 
Paley, (Natural Theology. 12th edition. J. Faulder: London, 1809, Chapter I, pp. 4-5)


When we are inquiring simply after the existence of an intelligent Creator, imperfection, inaccuracy, liability to disorder, occasional irregularities, may subsist in a considerable degree, without inducing any doubt into the question: just as a watch may frequently go wrong, seldom perhaps exactly right, may be faulty in some parts, defective in some, without the smallest ground of suspicion from thence arising that it was not a watch; not made; or not made for the purpose ascribed to it…
Irregularities and imperfections are of little or no weight in the consideration, when that consideration relates simply to the existence of a Creator. When the argument respects his attributes, they are of weight; but are then to be taken in conjunction … with the unexceptionable evidences which we possess, of skill, power, and benevolence, displayed in other instances; which evidences may, in strength; number, and variety, be such, and may so overpower apparent blemishes, as to induce us, upon the most reasonable ground, to believe, that these last ought to be referred to some cause, though we be ignorant of it, other than defect of knowledge or of benevolence in the author. 
(Natural Theology. 12th edition. J. Faulder: London, 1809, Chapter V, pp. 56-58) 2


In order to say something is badly designed, you would have to make a theological claim about what the designer would do. That would be a theological argument, not a scientific one. A scientific argument only identifies the action of a intelligent agency. Someone could point out that a design could be better, but that doesn't mean the object wasn't designed, even if the objection is eventually true.

It is generally agreed that no human being is perfect or designs things perfectly and yet we are intelligent.
Even suboptimal designs require a designer. The Newcomen steam engine was not nearly as efficient or practical as Watts’ steam engine, but no one in his right mind would suggest on that basis that Newcomen’s engine self-assembled by random chance. Second, some designs that may look suboptimal to us are actual optimal e.g. the panda’s thumb; the panda uses his “thumb” (actually a specialized bone in the wrist) for near continuous grasping of bamboo. If it had used an opposable thumb to do so, as proponents of naturalism suggest as a superior design, it would almost certainly suffer from permanent carpal tunnel syndrome. Third, what we see now is the world as marred by the curse of sin. For all we know, people, as created, may have been able to synthesize every necessary vitamin, but some of those abilities may have subsequently been lost due to genetic corruption and drift. Furthermore: Since Genesis history includes the origin of sin and death, it is crucially foundational to the logic of the gospel: a good world, ruined by sin, to be restored in the future.

Kate: just because something seems designed doesn't mean that it was

Reply: Well, i think if we permit the evidence to lead where it is, then why not stick to design, if it seems to be based on our experience of what designers can do, and chance cannot ?

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