Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Rambling thoughts on Assumptions and science in the class rooms and life,

We all have a worldview. What is yours? What is your preconceived idea about the important questions about this universe/world...even if you do not recognize that it is a preconceived idea. Think about it.

Mine is that there is a God who designed nature and its laws to a greater or lesser degree. I cannot accept that it happened blindly and by chance (more or less). I believe in meaning apart from us.
Assuming you are an atheist, what would your worldview be? Naturalism?
What do you expect to find at the beginning of our world/universe through science? God or rocks, mutations, energy etc? or if you don't accept any view, the view you "neutrally" fall to will be your preconceived idea since regarding God (and particularly the Christian God) You cannot be neutral.
Both view points are invisible literally but each one of us bring that view point to the way we look at the meaning of life and even the study of science.

For example: If I did science, I would expect it to be ordered and to be able to find evidence of God's handiwork.
If an atheist/naturalist does science, he assumes that it was not made and therefore he searches for possibilities of the universe/world making itself and somehow finding order amongst itself.

Both follow evidence, both are possible views for arguments sake.

Though, some people believe religions such as theism and atheism should be kept away from science classes. Quite reasonable to think this in some aspects.
But how is this achieved?
As I pointed out before, our worldviews affect our outlook on science and the world. How then can we keep our worldviews from science rooms? I don't think we can. Therefore why is it so bad to teach Intelligent Causation and Atheistic Naturalism as philosophical companions to science and let the children decide where the evidence points to...IC or AN? Each child's outlook will influence their search and their inferences about the origins of our universe/world.

I am annoyed about a possible bias that science will play toward a "neutral" atheism and its related beliefs about the universe.

Or am I wrong and science can be conducted without these worldviews in the background?

Thoughts anyone?

83 comments:

  1. Science is Secular, not Atheistic. That's why so many religious people, ALL RELIGIONS are active contributors.

    Science Teachers don't Teach 'Atheistic Naturalism'.

    I don't mean this too harshly, but have you studied much science?

    I've taken a year at Victoria on an Intermediate Engineering Certificate before going on to Massey to do a Bachelor of Engineering/Technology (I need to decide which, I get the choice) which I am now 1 Report away from completing.

    And in all those years I can't think of a single time 'Atheism' or 'God' came up in any of my Chemistry, Physics, Electronics, Mechatronics, Applied Engineering, or whatever class.

    And I have had Muslim and Hindu professors. And those were the obvious ones, of course the Russian/English/Kiwi Guys could have been anything.

    Dr Ibrahim never tried to teach us that Allah was the reason the IR remote control worked.

    My Mentor is a Hindu. He's never tried to teach me that Brahma is the reason the Superconductor works.

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  2. Science is Secular, not Atheistic. That's why so many religious people, ALL RELIGIONS are active contributors.

    Science Teachers don't Teach 'Atheistic Naturalism'.


    I realize that. I am wondering whether it can be very easily turned into something more than just being secular without realizing and sometimes with realizing :)
    Why would it be so hard to mention a scientific problem as possible evidence for special design? And explain that a naturalistic answer has not been found and may not be found but can still look.
    Like Darwin and his eye. He had the guts to talk about how difficult to accept that it evolved.

    http://creationwiki.org/Eye

    Hmmm, an interesting site.

    I suppose it may determine on what topics regarding science which may be where worldviews will come in the background, like the origin of life and the universe where a little more inference is made.

    I don't mean this too harshly, but have you studied much science?,

    No, I haven't studied or taken courses in straight science outside of school so I probably don't have the experience.
    I only look around at cool topics of science which I come across. I am doing an apprenticeship in horticulture but my boss is a christian and I really just learn how to grow plants etc.

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  3. You're misunderstanding how science works. You don't look at what happens and then try to find an explanation that fits your preconceived notions of how it should work, you try to find an explanation that actually fits the facts. You then have to reproduce your results and others review your findings and try to reproduce your results. In essence, every step of the way, you are trying to prove yourself wrong, and others are trying to prove you wrong. If nobody can, then it becomes accepted scientific fact.

    However, there is no punishment for proving something wrong, in fact, there is great reward. If somebody came out tomorrow and proved Einstein wrong, they'd be the brightest star in the scientific community.

    And then we get back to ID. If ID were capable of disproving evolution, big bang theory, etc., then those who actually did so would be the toast of the town.

    I would suggest reviewing talkorigins.com.

    (Oh, and I just read your engagement story- how sweet!)

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  4. Da,
    "Why would it be so hard to mention a scientific problem as possible evidence for special design?"

    Because there is no evidence or repeatable falsifiable facts or evidence to support it.

    It has been tried over and over again with no results.
    There is no evidence for special design.
    The best Creation "scientists" have been able to do is to try to obfuscate and cast doubt on valid science. In effect, there is no Creation Research being done.

    Perhaps you should get a degree in biology and find some evidence.

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  5. Da Pilgrim,

    There's a difference between science and 'philosophy of science'. Generally, in the school classroom, the first is taught and it is taught in a neutral way, ie;

    'These are the facts and these are the current explanations for these facts.'

    The 'current explanations' are those that are accepted by the experts and the 'experts' are scientists from many, many different backgrounds with various worldviews. However, they've reached a consensus on what explanation best explains the data.

    No teacher I've ever had has had any problem with saying 'we don't yet know why this works the way it does' and, typically, this is the point where the IC-proponent would want to jump in and say 'goddidit'. But it just isn't useful in a science class because you can't demonstrate it to be correct.

    In a philosophy of science class you can get into the whole naturalism/intelligent guidance discussion - but that's a whole different ballgame.

    "Like Darwin and his eye. He had the guts to talk about how difficult to accept that it evolved".

    And he also proposed a mechanism by which it could have evolved; and we now have a pretty good understanding of how the eye evolved.

    To answer your questions:

    "what would your worldview be? Naturalism?".

    Yes, but then, if you can provide any physical evidence for the supernatural acting in our reality - that becomes natural, does it not?

    "What do you expect to find at the beginning of our world/universe through science?".

    There was no 'beginning of our world' as I understand it - it was a gradual process of accretion. Planetary formation is fairly well understood.

    At the beginning of our universe? I have absolutely no idea. The early existence of our universe is known (if not understood) but the beginning; I don;t even know if the question applies!

    Cheers,

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  6. "Like Darwin and his eye. He had the guts to talk about how difficult to accept that it evolved.

    http://creationwiki.org/Eye

    Hmmm, an interesting site."

    FFS We've already talked about creationwiki.

    Darwin's eye quote which they use is the quintessential example of a dishonest quotemine.

    They are deliberately lying about Darwin and the eye.

    They quote:
    "To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree."

    For some reason they left off the rest of the quote.

    "Yet reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a perfect and complex eye to one very imperfect and simple, each grade being useful to its possessor, can be shown to exist; if further, the eye does vary ever so slightly, and the variations be inherited, which is certainly the case; and if any variation or modification in the organ be ever useful to an animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, can hardly be considered real."

    All required stages of the evolution of the eye are easily found in nature. It's quite well understood.

    The whole of Darwins book is written
    i. Here is a problem.
    ii. Here is the solution

    Of course then the dishonest quoteminers cut and paste from i. and conveiniently ignore that ii. exists.

    And I can't believe they would reference Harun Yahya.

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  7. Dan,

    For example: If I did science, I would expect it to be ordered and to be able to find evidence of God's handiwork.
    If an atheist/naturalist does science, he assumes that it was not made and therefore he searches for possibilities of the universe/world making itself and somehow finding order amongst itself.


    You hit the nail of the head. Science in its pure form is unbiased and points to it's true origin, the creator. However, there are those, who refuse to give any credence to G-d, even when it points directly to him. Thus they search for answers that are pleasing to their point of view and create pseudo-sciences such as "naturalism".

    I put "naturalism" in quotes because it has been hijacked and misused. True naturalism points to the true natural center of all creation, G-d.

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  8. No Doubt,

    You quote Dan, where he's talking about people studying science with their own personal assumptions and bias, and he's trying to see if science can be neutral on this account.

    Then you come in and say "Science in its pure form is unbiased and points to it's true origin, the creator". Do you not see how that is your biased view of things?

    Just because you believe it, doesn't make it right and unbiased, you know?

    Regards,

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  9. ExPat,

    That's exactly what the comment and the blog is about....bias in science. I'm sorry that either you didn't get it or I didn't convey it properly.

    The fact is that most creationists do allow room for your point of view. However, atheists, in general do not allow room for ours.

    Yes...I do admit there are some, even a minority, on both sides of the issue that indeed give unbiased credence to all the facts or observations.

    These, which I am one, allow room for the possibility of what can not be proven 100%. That is where you and I APPEAR to be different. You swallow what you are fed, hook, line and sinker. You call yourselves, "seekers of truth", when in reality, you are not.

    Please correct me.... if I'm wrong.

    Shalom

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  10. No Doubt,

    "The fact is that most creationists do allow room for your point of view".

    Could you expand on that a little bit please? Where exactly do creationists allow room for a naturalistic point of view?

    However, atheists, in general do not allow room for ours".

    Again, in what context are you referring to here?

    "Yes...I do admit there are some, even a minority, on both sides of the issue that indeed give unbiased credence to all the facts or observations.

    These, which I am one, allow room for the possibility of what can not be proven 100%."
    .

    The peer-review process is designed to weed-out bias by opening up results to repeated testing by different people, from different backgrounds around the world. Even if a bias is brought to a piece of work, it can be identified as the faulty assumption it is and ripped to shreds in the peer-review process.

    But I love how egotistical you are in placing yourself in the rarified minority of people who are able to give 'unbiased credence to all the facts'. Gosh, what an intellect you must have!

    But then you go on to to imply that a defining feature of this unbiased club of yours is that they accept that things that cannot be proven 100% may also be true.... except for the fact that all scientists hold to this point of view, of course!

    "That is where you and I APPEAR to be different. You swallow what you are fed, hook, line and sinker. You call yourselves, "seekers of truth", when in reality, you are not

    It must be nice to be able to assert things like that with such certainty (no doubt, if you will!). Of course it makes you look like a total douche, but each to their own I guess.

    "Please correct me.... if I'm wrong"

    Done and done.

    Cheers,

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  11. Frankly No Doubt, that's a total load.

    Most irreligious people here, like myself, were religious once, and had to concede they were possibly wrong to to turn their back on their faith in the first place. There is a reason I have said that I often seem to know more about Creationism than many Creationists.

    Science THRIVES on being shown it's wrong, that's how it advances.

    Clearly you missed the big news this week from Per Ahlberg, which radically moves back the evolution of tetrapods 20 Million years (at least).

    http://www.nature.com/nature/videoarchive/tetrapods/index.html

    What is the response to this new evidence? Are they sitting around fingers in their ears going "LALALAL CAN'T HEAR YOU". No. The response is "THAT'S FRACKING AWESOME"

    Comparatively it seems most YEC groups demand that their followers ignore and deny evidence.

    Answers in Genesis (Ken Ham)
    "By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record"

    CSE (The Hovind Family)
    "No apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and science, can be valid if it contradicts Scripture"

    Creation Ministries International
    "By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record."

    We've already on this blog discussed Ray Comfort flat out saying he will accept NO EVIDENCE for evolution.

    But check this out.

    From the Ambassador's Application:

    "Do you deny:

    7) ... the theory of Theistic Evolution (It states that God initiated life on earth and allowed evolutionary principles to bring man to where he is)"

    So Ray actively filters Christians who believe in evolution OUT of his ministry classes.

    Yeah real open mindedness there.

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  12. OK,

    A bit of discussion has been happening since I was last here.

    Firstly I will take the quote which Kieth (ND) quoted from me and his reply.

    I said For example: If I did science, I would expect it to be ordered and to be able to find evidence of God's handiwork.
    If an atheist/naturalist does science, he assumes that it was not made and therefore he searches for possibilities of the universe/world making itself and somehow finding order amongst itself.


    You hit the nail of the head. Science in its pure form is unbiased and points to it's true origin, the creator. However, there are those, who refuse to give any credence to G-d, even when it points directly to him. Thus they search for answers that are pleasing to their point of view and create pseudo-sciences such as "naturalism".

    I put "naturalism" in quotes because it has been hijacked and misused. True naturalism points to the true natural center of all creation, G-d.


    (a note about naturalism, what I was more meaning was a materialism that denies the supernatural)

    I do see what ND is saying. (Correct me if I am wrong) I agree that you do not need a bias to consider a Designer because there IS evidence of a Designer. But for me to "believe" there is a designer is my conclusion based on the evidence given me so far which may have what is classed a bias.

    Same for an atheist. He has evidence of life making itself so it is no bias to consider it as a possibility. However he is biased when he "believes" it made itself.

    I do find it interesting what ND said here:

    The fact is that most creationists do allow room for your point of view. However, atheists, in general do not allow room for ours.

    Many creationists accept on old earth view and some even accept evolution. I would class that as allowing room for a view held commonly by atheists.
    However atheists are not generally as accommodating to creationist beliefs because they seem to deny and mock at evidence for design when there is evidence for design.

    cheers

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  13. Personal Failure,

    And then we get back to ID. If ID were capable of disproving evolution, big bang theory, etc., then those who actually did so would be the toast of the town.

    Um, or do people actually want to believe evolution. I wonder why it caught on so fast if the evidence in its beginning was so small?
    Was it an attempt for people to escape God?

    Or is the reason why people don't toast ID people is that they are expecting based on assumption to find an explanation that does not involve God?...(I am speaking of ID generally, including YEC and theistic evolutionists).

    No doubt that there is good evidence for design...unless it is shown to be very probable that earth "just" fell into the right place around the sun and life "just" happened from non-life.

    (Oh, and I just read your engagement story- how sweet!)

    Many thanks :) We get married on March 13th. Only 2 months!

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  14. EPM,

    There's a difference between science and 'philosophy of science'. Generally, in the school classroom, the first is taught and it is taught in a neutral way, ie;

    'These are the facts and these are the current explanations for these facts.'


    Quite true about philosophy of science and science. I suppose what atheists and theists are talking about mostly is the philosophy of science.

    I hope you are correct about teaching the "facts", but if they teach that we all evolved from little single cells etc then I would say they a stepping into assumption and bias. If they were to teach that as a "view" then Intelligent Causation should be mentioned as a view also.

    If you were to talk about the view that twelve oranges fell into a line under a tree by themselves then you should also teach the view that they could have been placed there like that.

    BT, I believe that science and scripture must match up.

    There are two ways of looking at things for me. Either man has interpreted scripture wrong or man has interpreted science wrong. I believe the Bible and I believe science...good science.

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  15. WTH?

    If you are going to extend the definition of Creationist to people who believe in Evolution then the term becomes completely meaningless.

    And there you go again asserting that all the Christians wanted God out so they all just jumped aboard Evolution. Or are you really pretending that 150 years ago the entire western scientific establishment was God Hating Atheists desperate to remove God from the world?

    And the same reason 150 years later Christians aren't jumping on ID (Creationism 2: Electric Boogaloo) is because these Christians still want God out of science.

    You know I would have no problem listing names of Christian Evolutionary Scientists.

    Now you can argue that Genesis creation story doesn't explain the details of how Creation happened. That's fine.

    But you can't argue that Noah's Ark/a Global flood has any relation to reality.

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  17. Creationists are almost as "exclusionary" as atheists are. It's a simple fact that Creationists reject, out-of-hand, any ideas that involve Allah or Zeus or Joseph Smith or [insert favored deity/prophet here].

    As for whether science can be neutral... I think you only need to look at the scientific method to understand that it was designed to reveal and correct for bias. Here are the basic steps toward determining "truth":

    1. observe
    2. hypothesize
    3. test the hypothesis empirically
    4. if the tests confirm it, turn it into a theory and keep testing. If not, go back to 1
    5. make all information about the test available to other people. Incorporate subsequent testing done by those people into the hypothesis/theory.

    Simply put, a scientist might be biased, but the process makes sure that this bias be as visible/apparent as possible. If someone had the experience & experimental data to show that the theory of evolution were faulty, he/she would become famous overnight; the same can be said for the theory of gravity, quantum mechanics, molecular genetics, etc ad nauseum.

    What's "wrong" with wondering whether God is the answer to the question a scientist is asking? The main problem is that God, himself, isn't defined clearly, and to date we can't show empirically that he exists. If theists could provide scientists with a definition for the deity in question, such that we could actually test whether he/she/it created a thing, the testing would begin.

    Science can't assume God created stuff until we can find a way to show, without religious bias, whether the idea is confirmed by experiment. Simply put, give us a definition for God that we can test for.

    To date, almost every definition of God I've heard in my 42 years of life is fundamentally untestable.

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  18. Da Pilgrim wrote the following: I am annoyed about a possible bias that science will play toward a "neutral" atheism and its related beliefs about the universe.

    Science can make no claims about whether God exists or not, until such point as it is given some means by which it can look for such a being. Sorry for harping on this point, but it's important because it shows that science (as a whole) can't be atheistic. It is effectively neutral on the question of deities - the understanding / knowledge it produces can only be based upon things which have been tested.

    At best, science has refuted theist claims, but not God him/her/itself.


    Da Pilgrim also wrote this: Or am I wrong and science can be conducted without these worldviews in the background?

    I hate the term "world view" because it's so nebulous.

    Can science be conducted without the influence of "world views"? Probably not. However, good science is conducted in such a way that effort is taken to be aware of when world views might influence the results. Good science also opens up the results/conclusions of the testing to critics, and must take into account when its claims are seriously challenged by them.

    People are people, and as such will make mistakes. Unlike most human processes, however, science attempts to reveal and learn from those mistakes. Theology rejects this methodology; rather than trying to learn and incorporate new information, theology generally has a story and sticks to it. This is why faith is such an integral component to it - belief is maintained even in the face of contradictory information.

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  19. BT,

    If you are going to extend the definition of Creationist to people who believe in Evolution then the term becomes completely meaningless.

    What I mean by creationist is that somehow God was involved in the formation of our universe, even Einstein's view of God a Creator is in a way a creationist view. It became what He intended it to become...though not entirely because of the nature of man's freewill changes things...another topic.


    And there you go again asserting that all the Christians wanted God out so they all just jumped aboard Evolution. Or are you really pretending that 150 years ago the entire western scientific establishment was God Hating Atheists desperate to remove God from the world?


    There are no and/or's, I was stating that the belief took off and I was wondering why?

    Whateverman,

    Creationists are almost as "exclusionary" as atheists are. It's a simple fact that Creationists reject, out-of-hand, any ideas that involve Allah or Zeus or Joseph Smith or [insert favored deity/prophet here].

    Another topic bro. We are talking about science.

    What's "wrong" with wondering whether God is the answer to the question a scientist is asking? The main problem is that God, himself, isn't defined clearly, and to date we can't show empirically that he exists. If theists could provide scientists with a definition for the deity in question, such that we could actually test whether he/she/it created a thing, the testing would begin.

    God is super natural by nature as would know. You are right I don't know of any method to test God Himself. However, Like the 12 oranges, Because we cannot find an orangelinerupper scientifically does not mean that that it is wrong to take a possible scientific option/explanation (regarding the empirical evidence) that the oranges were placed in order by intelligence.

    Sorry for harping on this point That's alright. You listen to me harping on about my points :)

    At best, science has refuted theist claims, but not God him/her/itself.

    I am unsure what you mean here?
    As far as I know Isaac Newton and many others found that science confirmed their belief in God because it was ordered. Einstein as well.

    Theology rejects this methodology; rather than trying to learn and incorporate new information, theology generally has a story and sticks to it. This is why faith is such an integral component to it - belief is maintained even in the face of contradictory information.

    I am glad you said "generally" or else what you would have said would have been untrue. Isaac Newton and the first scientists didn't find that their theology got in the way but rather helped their science.
    Faith is based on evidence. I would not claim to believe in God with the only reason that I simply believed God was real. That is blind faith of which I despise. I have faith in God by experience, history and science.

    cheers

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  20. "I was wondering why?"

    Simply because it's the best explanation for all the evidence we have.

    And almost 100% of people who disagree with the conclusion are religiously motivated to do so.

    Be careful when you invoke others as supporting your idea of God/Religion.

    Would you be happy if I said to you 'ok I am going to take up Newton/Einstein's idea of relgion'?

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  21. Ex Pat,

    Wrote:
    "Could you expand on that a little bit please? Where exactly do creationists allow room for a naturalistic point of view?"

    and your comment concerning atheists and our beliefs:

    Again, in what context are you referring to here?

    I point you to Dans response. I couldn't say it any better.

    Dan said:
    "Many creationists accept on old earth view and some even accept evolution. I would class that as allowing room for a view held commonly by atheists.

    However atheists are not generally as accommodating to creationist beliefs because they seem to deny and mock at evidence for design when there is evidence for design."


    The bold was mine for driving that point home. I must add: Please give me one atheist that would entertain the possibiltiy of a creator. Point Proven.

    "The peer-review process is designed to weed-out bias by opening up results to repeated testing by different people, from different backgrounds around the world. Even if a bias is brought to a piece of work, it can be identified as the faulty assumption it is and ripped to shreds in the peer-review process."

    The "The peer-review process" is only good only if you allow for opposing veiwpoints, facts and observation. In the pseudo-science of naturalism and most science today, you have too many like-minded scientists that immediately close the door on the possibility of a creator. Todays "The peer-review process" is liken unto two hungry lions discussing whether to eat their latest kill. You know what the outcome is going to be before you go in. So biased.

    "I love how egotistical you are in placing yourself in the rarified minority of people who are able to give 'unbiased credence to all the facts'. Gosh, what an intellect you must have!

    Hey... I'm presently scooting over on the couch to give room for you if you want to be part of the unbiased group. It's only seems egotistical because you happen to be wrong. But, that's your choice, not mine. We all have free will. You just use yours to be on the biased side. All I ask of you is to be open minded. That is your door to the enlightened side.

    "But then you go on to to imply that a defining feature of this unbiased club of yours is that they accept that things that cannot be proven 100% may also be true.... except for the fact that all scientists hold to this point of view, of course!"

    I only put the 100% in to rile you up. It worked. It was antagonistic of me. I'm sorry. :-)However, the invite to the enlightened side is still open.

    "It must be nice to be able to assert things like that with such certainty (no doubt, if you will!). Of course it makes you look like a total douche, but each to their own I guess.

    A simple, "Truth Hurts" should suffice, especially when you do not give a sufficient rebuttal.

    Shalom, my friend.

    Annd I do mean that even though we don't see eye to eye.:-)

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  22. BathTub,

    "Most irreligious people here, like myself, were religious once, and had to concede they were possibly wrong to to turn their back on their faith in the first place. There is a reason I have said that I often seem to know more about Creationism than many Creationists.

    Quite simply put...You had no faith to turn away from. That is, faith in G-d. All those, who are of faith, have a special relationship with G-d, thereby making it virtually impossible to turn away, with the one exception...those who make a deliberate choice to turn their backs on G-d. Only you and G-d know where you fit into the equation. BTW, if you are not one of those who delberately turned thier back of G-d, then your knowledge is very incomplete and superficial. Don't feel bad. Many Christians, today, fit into that category and are surface feeders instead of bottom feeders who seek the truth of G-d. However, there is time, even though each moment brings us closer to no time at all.

    Science THRIVES on being shown it's wrong, that's how it advances."

    Yes...True science does. Not the science that is being fed to us today. You are either really naive or a willing accomplice. Why don't you be truthful and come clean. Tell us which one you are.

    "Clearly you missed the big news this week from Per Ahlberg, which radically moves back the evolution of tetrapods 20 Million years (at least)."

    I will accuse you of the same thing I accused ExPat. You swallow everything hook, line and sinker. If you are one of true science, then you would do what all enlightened people do...wait to see if the science plays out instead of jumping on the bandwagon. BTW, show me one time that I said that evolution is wrong. I have always said that evolution is a possibiliy. What I have said it that evolution without taking in the possibility of a creator is nothing but foolishness. I continue to stand by that truth.

    As for Ken Ham, The Hovind Family, Creation Research Ministries, Ray Comfort, and most importantly me and you will stand before the throne of G-d and give an accounting. As for me, I will stand on an enlightened truth. Again, I ask, where do you stand?

    Finally, you mentioned people that I feel are not enlightened people of G-d. True people of G-d accept the truth even if it goes against the traditional teaching of the church. I and forever will be against tradition but on the side of truth. At the risk of being redundant, where do you stand? Are you willing to look at all possibilities and you going to continue to stand in the dark. Again....your choice not mine.

    Shalom

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  23. Dan,

    "I do see what ND is saying. (Correct me if I am wrong) I agree that you do not need a bias to consider a Designer because there IS evidence of a Designer. But for me to "believe" there is a designer is my conclusion based on the evidence given me so far which may have what is classed a bias."

    No correction needed. I thought your blog is, at its root, about bias in the classroom. I just wanted to expand it to the outer edges of our existence, to include atheist and creationist.

    I leave you with this:

    "Truth between candid minds can never do any harm"

    Thomas Jefferson

    ...and if I can be so bold as to add the following:

    Closed mindedness seeks the end of mankind as its ultimate goal.

    Shalom

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  24. Ah yes "No True Christian..", who didn't see that coming?

    Hahah and now "No True Science..."

    Can you define True Science for us, and give us some examples?

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  25. Whateverman,

    "Creationists are almost as "exclusionary" as atheists are."

    No better truth has been said. With that said, why do continue to be on either side. Are you not tired of being wrong. Why not seek the truth rather than be either a creationists or atheist? Exclusively being either/or is liken unto and osterich with his head in the ground. Seek the truth whether or not it goes against your traditionist thought.

    Shalom

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'll save Whateverman the trouble.

    He's not an Atheist.

    "Are you not tired of being wrong."

    ReplyDelete
  27. BathTub,

    Can you define True Science for us, and give us some examples?"

    Already did. What bothers me and proves my point is that you don't already know what true science or true christianity is...especially since you continually espouse so called "scientific" and "christian" facts. Please reread what has been written and get back with me on where you stand.

    Shalom

    ReplyDelete
  28. BathTub,

    "I'll save Whateverman the trouble.

    He's not an Atheist.


    Are you not reading the comments? I didn't say or imply that he was. Please respond with a little less emotion. It will help.

    Shalom

    ReplyDelete
  29. So lets see.... you definition of True science must be...

    "Science in its pure form is unbiased and points to it's true origin, the creator"

    Is that it? I don't see anything else close. Where were the examples?

    So basically you define True Science as Science that backs up your chosen religious beliefs. Great.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Bathtub,

    I usually don't give into baiting, however, because I like you,:-) here is what has been said so far.

    1. Science in its pure form is unbiased. Yes I said that I believe the facts point to it's true origin, the creator.

    2. Give give any credence to G-d, if it points directly to him.

    3. Search for answers that are not pleasing to their point of view and create pseudo-sciences such as "naturalism".

    4. Give unbiased credence to all the facts or observations.

    5. Give unbiased credence to all the facts or observations.

    6. Allow room for the possibility of what can not be disproven 100%. That includes both sides.

    7. Weed-out bias by opening up results to repeated testing by different people, from different backgrounds around the world.

    8. Observe unbiasly

    9. Hypothesize unbiasly

    10. Unbiasly test the hypothesis empirically

    11. If the tests unbiasly confirm it, turn it into a theory and keep unbiasly testing. If not, go back to 1

    12. Make all information about the test available to other people. Incorporate subsequent testing done by those people into the hypothesis/theory.

    Now. What is wrong with science today can be exemplified with the following quotes:

    "Simply because it's the best explanation for all the evidence we have. "

    Who said that....oh...you did.

    and

    "Because there is no evidence or repeatable falsifiable facts or evidence to support it."

    Oh, I forgot... todays science has all the facts. Talking about arrogance. That was one for ExPat.

    Finally, advocates, for the speudo-sciences of today, put out out and out lies like:

    "It has been tried over and over again with no results.

    There is no evidence for special design.
    The best Creation "scientists" have been able to do is to try to obfuscate and cast doubt on valid science. In effect, there is no Creation Research being done."


    Please notice that I don't respond to anything froggie says, because the majority of what he says it wrong. You guys should really re-evaluate his membership in your club.

    Now...tell me which one of these do you disagree with. What side do you stand? Lies or truth?

    Shalom

    ReplyDelete
  31. You're an odd one, aren't you No Doubt? I think I like you.

    Where exactly do creationists allow room for a naturalistic point of view?

    "Many creationists accept on old earth view and some even accept evolution. I would class that as allowing room for a view held commonly by atheists."

    Okay, we're using different definitions of creationism here then. It is usually used as short-hand for young-earth creationism. For not clarifying that, I apologize.

    "However atheists are not generally as accommodating to creationist beliefs because they seem to deny and mock at evidence for design when there is evidence for design."

    Again, it's not generally design that gets mocked, it's so-called 'evidence' for The Flood, or mankind and dinosaurs co-existing that gets mocked.

    As always, we should have been defining our terms from the start.

    "The bold was mine for driving that point home. I must add: Please give me one atheist that would entertain the possibiltiy of a creator. Point Proven."

    Not quite. I'm an atheist and I entertain the possibility of a creator. I actually think it's quite likely. Care to retract?

    "The "The peer-review process" is only good only if you allow for opposing veiwpoints, facts and observation. In the pseudo-science of naturalism and most science today, you have too many like-minded scientists that immediately close the door on the possibility of a creator."

    What are you basing this on? Do you have much insider-information as to how science operates? Your comment about closing the door on a creator is clearly in error when the head of the Human Genome Project is an evangelical Christian.

    "Hey... I'm presently scooting over on the couch to give room for you if you want to be part of the unbiased group. It's only seems egotistical because you happen to be wrong."

    Haha! You are quite a card, aren't you! Tell me, how do you know you are unbiased?

    " We all have free will. You just use yours to be on the biased side. All I ask of you is to be open minded. That is your door to the enlightened side."

    Tell me, what is my bias?

    "I only put the 100% in to rile you up. It worked. It was antagonistic of me. I'm sorry. :-)However, the invite to the enlightened side is still open."

    It didn't rile me up - you were just wrong, that's all.

    It must be nice to be able to assert things like that with such certainty (no doubt, if you will!). Of course it makes you look like a total douche, but each to their own I guess.

    "A simple, "Truth Hurts" should suffice, especially when you do not give a sufficient rebuttal."

    What rebuttal was needed? You don't know anything about me, what I believe, how I go about collecting information and processing it or how interested I am in finding 'truth'. Didn't stop you from making unfounded assertions though, did it? Oh, sorry! I forgot that you're on the 'always right: never biased' team; my mistake!

    Take it easy man, enjoy the rest of the weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Da Pilgrim,

    This thread should have ended when BathTub won with this comment;

    "Creationism 2: Electric Boogaloo"

    Too funny!

    Anyway,

    If we discovered 10 oranges (or leaves or acorns or whatever) in a perfectly straight line, any good scientist would determine that the odds of them being like that naturally were incredibly unlikely (based on our understanding of how things are usually arranged) and would thus conclude that they were put there on purpose.

    What I'm struggling to understand is; what are the oranges analogous to in reality? Could you help me out there please? Thanks.


    No Doubt,

    When BathTub told you that Whateverman wasn't an atheist and you responded with;

    "Are you not reading the comments? I didn't say or imply that he was. Please respond with a little less emotion. It will help."

    he was probably thinking of this comment of yours;

    "Whateverman,

    "Creationists are almost as "exclusionary" as atheists are."

    No better truth has been said. With that said, why do continue to be on either side. Are you not tired of being wrong. Why not seek the truth rather than be either a creationists or atheist?"


    That's probably where BathTub got that impression from.

    Cheers,

    ReplyDelete
  33. yeah, and I missed this line.

    "Please give me one atheist that would entertain the possibiltiy of a creator."

    I would suggest that many, if not most, do entertain that possibility.

    I certainly do. Richard Dawkins definitely does. Christopher Hitchens who describes himself as an Anti-theist can (and has) entertained the possibility of God.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'll add my name as an atheist who is perfectly willing to entertain the possibility of a creator. I'm interested in the way things are, and if the way things are includes a creator, then I want to know about it. So far, though, I see no evidence for any such creator, and I see lots of evidence that people make up creators all the time, for a number of reasons. That's fine with me; but until such time as there is actual evidence for some creator, then creator theories (aka "religions") have no place in science classes.

    cheers from snowy Vienna, zilch

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hey there,

    Would you guys believe in the statement saying:
    "Only those those things that can be empirically verified have any meaning"?

    That rules out God and many other things.

    What would you class as evidence for God?

    What I'm struggling to understand is; what are the oranges analogous to in reality? Could you help me out there please? Thanks.

    Well, the forces of our universe are ordered to have a universe like this one (Orange one), to have an earth like this one(Orange two), this far from the sun (Orange three), have life that develops from non-life (orange three) etc etc.

    Did they just accidentally fall into place or is it evidence of a designer arranging them? I like this quote from Einstein:
    "We are like a little child entering a huge library. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written these books. It doe s not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. But the child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books---a mysterious order which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects."

    ReplyDelete
  36. Would you guys believe in the statement saying:
    "Only those those things that can be empirically verified have any meaning"?


    No.

    And once again I will ask, would you be happy if I 'converted' to the religious beliefs of Newton or Einstein?

    ReplyDelete
  37. EPM n BT,

    This thread should have ended when BathTub won with this comment;

    "Creationism 2: Electric Boogaloo"

    Too funny!


    Sorry if I am slow but what was so funny about that, I don't get it?

    BT,

    No.

    Ok, that is interesting.

    And once again I will ask, would you be happy if I 'converted' to the religious beliefs of Newton or Einstein?

    Newton from my understanding :) But Einstein's beliefs would be step forward (in a way) from atheism or agnosticism in my opinion.

    I quoted Einstein to support my understanding of scientific evidence for design.

    Zilch and EPM,

    Being random.... Seeing you guys are from Europe do you like soccer? Cause I love soccer and I can't wait till the world cup. New Zealand have made it to their first one in decades! They will probably get annihilated but it is like winning the world cup for us when we make it to the world cup LOL.

    I am also a German fan (Sorry EPM)...they play great soccer.

    DP

    ReplyDelete
  38. I'll ask again.

    What would you guys class as evidence for God?

    cheers,

    DP

    ReplyDelete
  39. lol

    [name] 2: Electric Boogaloo is an old gag online, it's a play on a real film, Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo.

    You asked...
    "Only those those things that can be empirically verified have any meaning"?

    Do you think anyone would say yes to that? Off the top of my head I would say, Feelings/Emotions/Ideas/Concepts all those kind of things have plenty of meaning.

    Newton was an occultist, he believed in Alchemy and denied the Trinity.

    Einstein did not believe in the supernatural. As much as Ray tries to pretend he in anyway believed in Yahweh, at best he was a deist.

    As for evidence for God? Well prayer working would be a good start. And all the associated effects that would entail. "I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you." That kind of tangible prayer effects. Not the completely meaningless 'Yes/No/Wait' excuse people use.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Well, Da Pilgrim, I like playing soccer (and other sports), but I'm not really interested in watching other people play. I understand that lots of people do enjoy spectating, and that's fine, but I don't.

    Evidence for God? In addition to what BathTub said, I would consider as evidence for God any phenomena that could be better explained by supposing the existence of God than by not. But I'm fussy as to what counts as an "explanation"- for instance, "goddidit" is not an explanation in my book. If you could give me an example of what you consider to be evidence for the existence of God, I'd be happy to consider it.

    cheers, zilch

    ReplyDelete
  41. Da Pilgrim,

    What I'm struggling to understand is; what are the oranges analogous to in reality? Could you help me out there please? Thanks.

    "Well, the forces of our universe are ordered to have a universe like this one (Orange one), to have an earth like this one(Orange two), this far from the sun (Orange three), have life that develops from non-life (orange three) etc etc."

    That's not even close to analogous! We can look around our entire planet and not find ten natural objects, naturally lined-up in a perfect line...so when we do find such an occurrence, we can assume it had some intelligent input. We can assume this because our sample size was large enough for us to reasonably understand the probability of such an event happening without intelligent interference.

    What you're trying to comparing that process of deduction to - the emergence of a life-bearing planet - is simply ridiculous!

    What you've actually got is a field full of thousands (billions, really) of oranges that are all scattered around randomly. You've then found ten that line up 'perfectly' (not hard to do) and discarded the rest - claiming design!

    The existence of the universe is a prerequisite for everything that follows. The distance of earth->sun is a prerequisite for life. But what is your sample size for determining how statistically likely/unlikely those events are?


    "Did they just accidentally fall into place or is it evidence of a designer arranging them?"

    Like I said, you've got a random jumble of oranges, but you're selectively seeing the ten that you want to see in order to confirm your belief. That's what I see as happening here anyway.

    PS. Being English I am, of course, super-excited for the World Cup! You've got Italy in your group (which is tough) but you stand a good chance against Slovakia and Paraguay; good luck to the Kiwis!

    ReplyDelete
  42. But what is your sample size for determining how statistically likely/unlikely those events are?

    How many other planets have life around the place?
    Water gives allowance for life does it not? Then why is our world so perfectly suited to have water that is so useful...with the right temperatures. A too cold world would be ice and a too hot a world would not have any water would it not?

    What you've actually got is a field full of thousands (billions, really) of oranges that are all scattered around randomly. You've then found ten that line up 'perfectly' (not hard to do) and discarded the rest - claiming design!

    How do you know its not hard to do?
    Also it is not just circumstances of things falling and developing in amongst laws but the laws themselves speak of design does it not? I did a post ages ago on that if you remember.

    What about you EPM? What would you class as evidence for God?

    PS. Being English I am, of course, super-excited for the World Cup! You've got Italy in your group (which is tough) but you stand a good chance against Slovakia and Paraguay; good luck to the Kiwis!

    Yay cool. I remember recently in a friendly NZ gave Italy a run for their money...we were winning 3-2 at one stage if I remember correctly but then Italy brought on their stars which changed the game a bit and we lost.
    Can't wait till June!

    cheers

    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  43. Thankyou Zilch and Bath Tub for sharing what you would call evidence for God. It truly has made me re-think the angles at which some of you atheists come from.

    DP

    ReplyDelete
  44. Sorry, or should I say agnostics?
    What ever the word is for the "I don't know" people.

    ReplyDelete
  45. "How many other planets have life around the place?"

    Who knows, we've only just started looking, but the planets are beginning to pile up.

    Did you know Nasa just announced Another 5 planets found this week?

    http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/science-technology/Five-New-Planets-Discovered-by-NASAs-Kepler-Spacecraft-81147872.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_extrasolar_planets

    Summary 93 planets found so far, another 303 candidates.

    ReplyDelete
  46. "Sorry, or should I say agnostics?
    What ever the word is for the "I don't know" people."

    I am positive we have gone over this before.

    Theism = Belief
    Gnosticism = Knowledge

    If you aren't a Theist (having a belief in a God), then you are an atheist.

    If you don't think it's possible to know that God(s) exist then you are an Agnostic.

    They aren't mutually exclusive, you can be an Agnostic Atheist, just as easily as you can be an Agnostic Christian.

    This is a decent video on it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9stJ8h2ilZU

    ReplyDelete
  47. BathTub: you forgot the Apathetic Agnostics: don't know and don't care. It's hard for me to imagine that there are such, but my colleague here in the workshop claims to be one.

    While I agree more or less with these divisions, they strike me as too cut and dried to accurately depict people's state of mind: there are many different ways that people have of believing in things, and they cannot really be neatly divided into such pigeonholes without doing some violence to reality. But that's a whole nother can of worms...

    ReplyDelete
  48. Da Pilgrim,

    But what is your sample size for determining how statistically likely/unlikely those events are?

    "How many other planets have life around the place?

    That's not the point. As BathTub noted, we are currently aware of 100-400 planets or potential planets after having the capacity to look for, what, a few decades? How many planets do you think there are in the whole universe? Probably billions and we have no idea what percentage of those have liquid water - odds are good that there are quite a few.

    "Water gives allowance for life does it not?"

    For life as we know it, yes. But what about life as we don't know it?

    "Then why is our world so perfectly suited to have water that is so useful...with the right temperatures. A too cold world would be ice and a too hot a world would not have any water would it not?"

    Why is a hole the perfect size for the puddle that fills it?

    What you've actually got is a field full of thousands (billions, really) of oranges that are all scattered around randomly. You've then found ten that line up 'perfectly' (not hard to do) and discarded the rest - claiming design!

    "How do you know its not hard to do?"

    Would you like to conduct an experiment?

    Take a sheet of paper and a pen. Make as many, random dots on the page as you can. Now take a ruler or straight-edge and draw a line that goes through two of the dots (continue the line to the edges of the page). How many other dots does that line go through?

    How many straight lines that through 3 or more dots can you make? Would this number go up if you included more dots?

    Let me know what you think.

    "Also it is not just circumstances of things falling and developing in amongst laws but the laws themselves speak of design does it not? I did a post ages ago on that if you remember."

    How would you be able to tell? If the laws were some other way then that's what we'd be used to and we'd think that was the way things were designed to be.

    If you're already convinced of design then you're going to see everything as design. But there's no test you can come up with to confirm or deny it, so it's not science.

    "What about you EPM? What would you class as evidence for God?"

    A tattoo on every chromosome in the human body that said; "Property of Yahweh", that would be pretty convincing.
    The discovery of a global Flood layer and/or Noah's ark
    Witnessing a healing (a limb growing back before my eyes would be best)
    The Rapture


    -------

    Football-talk:

    Have you been following the African Cup of Nations? Absolute shambles.

    ReplyDelete
  49. That's right Zilch, I know at least one apathist.

    And I agree the divisision are a little simplistic, the main point was the fact that a/gnoticism and a/theism aren't mutually exclusive.

    ReplyDelete
  50. EPM and BT,

    Just playing the skeptic as you guys do for me :)

    Probably billions and we have no idea what percentage of those have liquid water - odds are good that there are quite a few.

    By what calculations do you determine that the odds are good?

    The dotted experiment I have not done as of yet but I know what you are trying to get at.
    Though when I thought of the ten oranges I though of a pattern like this:

    ............

    not like this . .. .. . ... . ..

    Our earth has a little more to it than 12 oranges in a line :)

    Though I am wasting my time because you guys don't consider it evidence NEway!

    Who knows, we've only just started looking, but the planets are beginning to pile up.

    Did you know Nasa just announced Another 5 planets found this week?


    I had a look at the wiki link you gave... I didn't say planets (rocks and gases flying in space), I said planets that have life.

    cheers guys,

    DP

    P.S.


    Have you been following the African Cup of Nations? Absolute shambles.


    Na I haven't, maybe I should have look.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Sigh.

    Da Pilgrim,

    There are billions of starts in our galaxy. There are billions of galaxies in our universe. Are you saying that you find it unlikely that there are other, life-supporting planets in the universe?

    What will you do/think if we discover a life-bearing planet?

    It all comes down to the hole and the puddle. You think it's amazing that the hole was just the right size for our puddle, and we think that our puddle has adapted to fit in the hole.

    That's pretty much it, isn't it?


    I still contend that your analogy of twelve (evenly-spaced) oranges in a row is utterly useless as a tool in determining 'design' in the universe. It doesn't do what you think it does, basically.

    "Though I am wasting my time because you guys don't consider it evidence NEway!"

    You're not wasting your time, it's just not a very good analogy. Analogies are not evidence, by the way. You have yet to provide any actual evidence of design.

    [you also never provided any evidence for the existence of Heaven and Hell, as Zilch and I were asking you for on my blog!]

    Cheers,

    ReplyDelete
  52. "I didn't say planets (rocks and gases flying in space), I said planets that have life."

    Yeah and the point is we don't know. We've only started looking and the possibles are piling up.

    Check this out.

    http://imgsrc.hubblesite.org/hu/db/images/hs-2008-39-a-web_print.jpg

    The first ever visible-light image of a planet outside our solar system:


    This composite image, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys, shows a dust disk surrounding the bright star Fomalhaut, about 25 light-years from Earth in the constellation Piscis Australis. The star itself has been blocked out from the image, so that its light doesn't drown out the far dimmer object orbiting it: the planet named Fomalhaut b, which is about the same mass as Jupiter and orbits its parent once every 872 years, four times as far as Neptune is from our own sun.


    Do you understand the puddle analogy?

    It's from Douglas Adams.

    Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!'

    ReplyDelete
  53. I wrote "Creationists are almost as "exclusionary" as atheists are."

    No Doubt responded with the following: No better truth has been said. With that said, why do continue to be on either side. Are you not tired of being wrong.

    I lack the knowledge, or even evidence, that I'm wrong. Can you please, without appealing to the faith I'm trying to test, how I *am* wrong?


    No Doubt also wrote this: Why not seek the truth rather than be either a creationists or atheist? Exclusively being either/or is liken unto and osterich with his head in the ground. Seek the truth whether or not it goes against your traditionist thought.

    I am seeking the truth, No Doubt. You're the one trying to tell me exactly what that truth is, rather than actually doing any seeking. If there's a head stuck in the ground, it's not mine.

    PS. I'm neither atheist nor creationist nor agnostic. Isn't it curious that you assumed otherwise?

    ReplyDelete
  54. Da Pilgrim asked the following: Would you guys believe in the statement saying:
    "Only those those things that can be empirically verified have any meaning"?


    Speaking only for myself, the answer is no. Can art be verified empirically? Or emotion? Can symbolism or memory be verified empirically? Can you verify that when I say something like "That car is red", you and I both perceive the color red in the same way?

    No.

    Attributing "meaning" to things happens regardless of whether verification is present or possible.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Da Pilgrim also asked the following: What would you guys class as evidence for God?

    I use a loose definition for "evidence". Simply put, it's anything that supports a claim or idea. As such, if I had a dream in which God convincingly spoke to me directly, I would count it as evidence.

    Assuming I found it to be credible, it certainly wouldn't be credible to anyone other than me. it wouldn't stand up in court as evidence that God exists, although it would count as being "evidence that Whateverman thinks God spoke to him". And as long as I didn't try to convince people based on my very subjective evidence, there really wouldn't be a problem.

    So, when you're asking about evidence, I *think* you mean "something which would be convincing to you and other people as well". For me, that would constitute an obviously intelligent/sentient being demonstrating to many people simultaneously, that He exists, and that he has powers far beyond the ability to destroy things. Creating a new planet would be nice; a hallucination simultaneously experienced by people (believers and non believers alike) world-wide would be hard to dismiss; indisputable evidence that there's life after death. Etc

    ReplyDelete
  56. Da Pilgrim,

    Oh great, I just typed in a big comment, and I lost it all. :-/

    I'll try to make this one shorter.

    Above you used the 10 oranges analogy in a different way than you used it in the "Preface to John Lennox's "God's undertaker"" comments, where you wrote:

    "10 oranges on the ground under a orange tree, they are in line. Is this evidence for a designer?"

    Here's the trick question:

    *Why* would that be evidence of a designer?

    The implication (and Ray Comfort just says this outright in his "Atheist's Test" tract when he talks about the oranges in a square) is that it would be near-impossible, if not just plain impossible, for the oranges to end up in a line without intelligent agency.

    Now, when we talk about something being impossible, or near-impossible, we're talking about probability calculations. And when people bring up this story (or the "oreos/leaves in a line"), all they're doing is making it clear that they don't understand how probabilities are calculated.

    They're basically saying, "I just feel that it's very unlikely that oranges would end up in a line".

    Why is that unlikely?

    Have you done that calculations?

    What's the probability that, after being dealt five cards from a standard deck, that you would receive the Ace of spades, King of spades, Queen of spades, Jack of spades, and 10 of spades?

    Now, let's say we put those cards back into the deck, shuffle it up, and re-deal five cards. You get the King of clubs, 10 of hearts, 9 of diamonds, 6 of clubs, and 5 of spades. What's the probability of getting that hand?

    Which hand appears more likely to happen?

    Which hand is more special?

    Btw, as for the other recent questions (such as evidence for God or things that have meaning outside of being empirically verified) in this thread, I would respond to them in pretty much the same way that Whateverman, EPM, and BathTub did.

    As for World Cup, I am looking forward to it, but I'm more of an NFL man myself, especially with my SD Chargers still in it!! :-)

    Be well.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Whateverman,

    "I lack the knowledge, or even evidence, that I'm wrong. Can you please, without appealing to the faith I'm trying to test, how I *am* wrong?"

    Once again, you hit the nail on the head. You also lack the knowledge or even the evidence that you are right and yet you continue to argue your points.

    At the risk of getting back to the original theme of this perticular blog, all I was saying to you is search for truth without your bias which is so prevalent in science today.

    I'm neither atheist nor creationist nor agnostic.

    Ever hear of the old adage, "A rose by any other name is still a rose." You may say that you are one thing but you actions say differently.

    I am seeking the truth, No Doubt. You're the one trying to tell me exactly what that truth is, rather than actually doing any seeking. If there's a head stuck in the ground, it's not mine.

    Please remind me. Who denies the possibility of an intelligent designer without knowing how life began? That's right...it's you. I'll finish with what I said earlier in this blog, something you didn't read before you made your emotional response.

    Those who seek the truth never discount possibilities that can not be disproven.

    You should print that out and hang it on the wall as a daily reminder if you desire to be a truth seeker.

    Shalom

    ReplyDelete
  58. Ex Pat,

    "If you're already convinced of design then you're going to see everything as design. But there's no test you can come up with to confirm or deny it, so it's not science.

    Can we not say the same thing concerning evolution, naturalism, etc. or anything that denies out right the possibility of an Intelligent Designer without being able to disprove it?

    Shalom

    ReplyDelete
  59. No Doubt said:

    "Who denies the possibility of an intelligent designer without knowing how life began? That's right...it's [Whateverman]."

    Oh man, I can't believe you just wrote that.

    Quote where Whateverman said or implied anything of the sort, or retract.

    The below is just me being a jerk, specifically aimed at No Doubt. I wish this was more polite, but my interest in people like No Doubt drives me to write this, and I'll blame 'net anonymity.

    No Doubt, you are the most fascinating type of personality to me, and the one that I look for online, to read and talk with. You have this idea that you know pretty well the opinions and viewpoints of certain other types of people, yet whenever you speak about their opinions and viewpoints you make it unquestionably clear to those certain other types of people that you have no idea whatsoever what they actually think.

    In short, you say people in group X have opinion P. Not only is this assumption based on misconceptions (some more bizarre than others), but many people in group X -- or especially individual A who just hangs out with group X -- not only don't have opinion P, but some even have the opinion ~P!

    In for-real-this-time short, you use straw men with a confidence that I find surprising.

    If you ever had an interest in self-analyzing why you do this (I have no idea, hence my fascination), I would be thrilled to read it.

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  60. No Doubt wrote:

    "Can we not say the same thing concerning evolution, naturalism, etc. or anything that denies out right the possibility of an Intelligent Designer without being able to disprove it?"

    Please show me where an evolutionary biologist, as part of his work, "denies out right the possibility of an Intelligent Designer".

    Please show where this is part of the theory of evolution.

    Or, just admit that you learned about evolution from anti-evolutionists, and therefore actually have no idea what the theory of evolution claims?

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  61. I haven't seen anyone here deny the possibility of a designer, least of all Whateverman!

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  62. Eh, change that to:

    Or, just admit that you learned about evolution from anti-evolutionists, and therefore have no idea what the theory of evolution actually does and does not make claims about?

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  63. Zilch,

    In addition to what BathTub said, I would consider as evidence for God any phenomena that could be better explained by supposing the existence of God than by not. But I'm fussy as to what counts as an "explanation"

    So what you are saying is that if you don't like what you are hearing, then you discount it. Very subjective and not very scientific. Again, that's exactly what's wrong with the pseudo-sciences of today.

    Once you begin to discount possibilities because you don't like it, you leave true science behind and enter into your own belief system. Whether you agree or not, the truth is, that's not science, that's a religious belief.

    Shalom

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  64. Here's a better way to represent what I was trying to explain about probability calculations, mixed with emergence:

    When you go to the beach, and see the different layers of sand, as they stretch out in lines, do you think that a person put that sand in those lines, like the oranges laid in a line?

    Also, are your ten oranges located anywhere near an orange tree? Is it still by intelligent agency if a person nonchalantly tossed the oranges out of a moving car?

    Why are we paying attention to the watch in the desert or the painting in the forest if all things are designed? Why not grain-of-sand #169367 or large-oak-tree #836872?

    Aaaaaaand I'm shutting up on this. :-)

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  65. Zilch said:

    "In addition to what BathTub said, I would consider as evidence for God any phenomena that could be better explained by supposing the existence of God than by not. But I'm fussy as to what counts as an "explanation""

    No Doubt then responded:

    "So what you are saying is that if you don't like what you are hearing, then you discount it. "

    Seriously, you're fascinating. Do you understand how it might appear to other people that you select the worst possible interpretation of the written statements made by certain people?

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  66. I'll probably answer many people by answering EPM who seemed to be frustrated with me.

    EPM,

    [you also never provided any evidence for the existence of Heaven and Hell, as Zilch and I were asking you for on my blog!]

    !!!! What? I remember the discussion ages ago but what is the point giving evidence of heaven and hell when you don't class the Bible as evidence, I have never even been to either place and I assume you have not either! (I can point you to books where other people have been there apparently...but as Whateverman said that it is personal evidence...mind you it seems to happen often.)

    I believe the Word of God and you don't. How could I possibly give evidence for heaven or hell without God's word which you deny to be evidence?

    You're just mocking on this comment rather than seeking!

    You have yet to provide any actual evidence of design.

    Like in this thread or never?

    I still contend that your analogy of twelve (evenly-spaced) oranges in a row is utterly useless as a tool in determining 'design' in the universe. It doesn't do what you think it does, basically.

    Maybe you guys are right?
    It is the closest thing that I can distinguish between apparent design and chaos. Our planet is of apparent design, and you seem to claim that it is a fluke...or are you claiming it is neither...that we are "just here"! I don't see earth as evidence of a fluke...do you? Or are you claiming that it is evidence of nothing?

    Nohm said: They're basically saying, "I just feel that it's very unlikely that oranges would end up in a line".

    Why is that unlikely?


    Because I have never come across 12 oranges in a line under an orange tree that has fallen apparently randomly before.

    EPM,
    Your puddle explanation against the idea of scientific design is very similar to the snowflake one thrown around.

    How does a puddle fit neatly into a hole? How does a snow flake form complex shapes?
    ORGANIZED LAWS THAT ARE NOT CHAOTIC BUT ORDERED.
    By the way, I am not a puddle and I do not live in a hole. I live in an ordered would much more complex than a puddle in a hole. A world that requires more complex information to make it than a puddle in a hole.

    What about the puddle in the hole/life filled earth in a universe?
    WHY? HOW? WHERE FROM? NOWHERE? JUST IS? God?
    I say the EVIDENCE points toward a Designer but not random chaotic beginnings. If the laws were not ordered then we would not be here to testify that it was chaotic.

    (I'll steal the meaning of evidence from Whateverman because I agree with it Simply put, it's anything that supports a claim or idea)

    I may be out of my water but my little mind tells me that someone wrote the books (to quote Einstein). That is the BEST explanation I can come to and I identify and live by faith that explanation.
    I do not live by faith for the """Default""" chaotic explanation.

    DP

    P.S.

    Wow, that might be little bit of a mess of comments to decipher :)

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  67. OH and thanks Nohm and Whateverman for sharing what you would call evidence for God.

    cheers,

    DP

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  68. Da Pilgrim,

    Hi. I actually don't think I did say what I would call evidence of God, because without a testable definition for "God", I have no idea what I'd accept.

    But I think you'd agree that, if He exists, God Himself would certainly know.

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  69. No Doubt,

    Please research the terms "determinism" and "emergence", and think how they would apply to "12 oranges in a line", and whether that's

    A. random
    B. chaotic
    C. fluke
    D. all of the above
    E. none of the above

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  70. Nohm,

    I was referring to what you said here:

    Btw, as for the other recent questions (such as evidence for God or things that have meaning outside of being empirically verified) in this thread, I would respond to them in pretty much the same way that Whateverman, EPM, and BathTub did.

    Are you new to blogging Nohm? I haven't seen you around before but your name does seem familiar.

    But I think you'd agree that, if He exists, God Himself would certainly know.

    Ah. yes :)

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  71. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  72. I wrote the following: I am seeking the truth, No Doubt. You're the one trying to tell me exactly what that truth is, rather than actually doing any seeking. If there's a head stuck in the ground, it's not mine.

    No Doubt responded as follows: Please remind me. Who denies the possibility of an intelligent designer without knowing how life began? That's right...it's you.

    Hi No Doubt. My name in the blogisphere is Whateverman. As far as I know, you and I haven't exchanged words prior to this thread at Da Pilgrim's blog. However, in the short time we've spent together here, you've managed to make yourself appear remarkably dense; I would like to be shown that I'm wrong about this.

    Please read above where I mentioned that I'm not an atheist (nor am I a creationist or agnostic). Think about this for a second and then ask yourself "Well, if he's not one of those things, is it possible that he believes in God?"

    The answer is yes. In fact, by my own statements, it's almost impossible for me to NOT believe in an "intelligent designer". Instead, you seem to be arguing with someone other than me, and ignoring my own statements of belief.

    In short, please read more carefully. You've not made a positive impression on me, but I hope you manage to convince me that I'm being too hasty.

    EDIT: original deleted and reposted to fix spelling errors

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  73. In regards to "randomness" and "design apparent in the existence of this planet", Da Pilgrim, I'd like to explain what I think EPM and Nohm and Bath Tub would answer. The following is certainly what I myself would answer

    Science does not rule out the possibility of "intelligent design" (in generic terms), and I don't know of an atheist or agnostic who claims otherwise. The problem is that where some people see "obvious signs" of intelligent design, other people are much less willing to come to the same conclusion.

    Let me repeat this: being unwilling to claim the Earth was designed is not the same as denying that the Earth was designed.

    To be sure, science rejects certain brands of "intelligent design", but for the most part, it does so because the ideas can not be tested. As defined by the popular Christian movement of the same name, intelligent design falls apart upon investigation. Irreducible complexity has always been shown to NOT be irreducibly complex; IC objects can be reduced further, and uses found for the components.

    ID has shown itself to be a statement of faith, not science. And for this reason it is rejected (by EPM, Nohm, Bath Tub and me), but only because the it can not be tested.

    I mean this most sincerely (I can't stress it enough): if you can define intelligent design in such a way that we can test for it, and the results of those tests made available for the whole world to see, you would become instantly famous. Even if the test results show that the idea is incorrect, you'd be famous for having turned the idea into a scientific hypothesis.

    ID proponents have yet to do this. I'm not aware of any definition of ID that is testable, nor am I aware of any testing that's occurred. If you want to become a celebrity overnight, come up with a definition for it that allows us to see whether it might be true or not.

    Atheists reject ID because it's a statement of faith, not science. The universe may well have been designed, but until we can confirm or reject the idea, it's much more safe to reject the bias of assuming that it was designed.

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  74. Da Pilgrim asked:

    "Are you new to blogging Nohm?"

    Hi Da Pilgrim. No, I'm not new to blogging, but I blog under a different handle. That is, "Nohm" is my handle for message boards and comment threads.

    "I haven't seen you around before but your name does seem familiar."

    Actually, you have seen me around before because you and I got into a short discussion on Ray Comfort's "Atheist Central" once, but that was at least 6 months ago, and back when you were using your "Da Bomb" handle.

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  75. I wrote:

    "No Doubt,

    Please research the terms "determinism" and "emergence", and think how they would apply to "12 oranges in a line",
    "

    I think I meant to address this comment to Da Pilgrim instead.

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  76. No Doubt, I said:

    In addition to what BathTub said, I would consider as evidence for God any phenomena that could be better explained by supposing the existence of God than by not. But I'm fussy as to what counts as an "explanation".

    You replied:

    So what you are saying is that if you don't like what you are hearing, then you discount it. Very subjective and not very scientific. Again, that's exactly what's wrong with the pseudo-sciences of today.

    Er, beg pardon? Nohm said it: you are way out of bounds with your interpretation of what I meant by "fussy". Are you a mind reader? Otherwise, how could you know that by "fussy" I must have meant "what I don't like"?

    For the record, what I meant by being fussy about what I consider an explanation for something is this: I consider something an "explanation" for some phenomenon when it fits the facts, enables me to make predictions, and is falsifiable. In other words, pretty much your bog-standard demand for scientific accountability. And ID doesn't fit the bill.

    To mention just one example: the recurrent laryngeal nerve connects the brain to the muscles of the larynx (voice box). Curiously, it descends to the thorax and makes a loop around the right aorta before returning upwards- hence the name "recurrent". In humans, this detour is no big deal: it amounts to the nerve being perhaps a foot longer than it needs to be. Exactly why it makes this loop is not known for sure- probably the nerve evolved in creatures where going around the aorta was a very short detour or none at all- but it serves no conceivable function. But since it likewise is no great disability in humans, it has not been selected against: it works well enough, although it is obviously not the work of a perfect designer.

    In any case, things become more interesting in the giraffe, where the rln also loops around the aorta (surprise?), which forces a detour of around twenty feet. No halfwitted engineer would ever run a wire twenty feet longer than necessary, especially when the speed of nerve impulses is slow enough that it makes for a considerably delay in transmitting messages.

    So, my question for creationism/ID: why is this nerve so long in the giraffe? Evolutionary theory can explain it, and make predictions: the rln is this long in giraffes because they share a common ancestor with us (and other animals) that had one; and it's very hard for evolution to completely replace or reroute an organ or structure, but very easy to lengthen one. My prediction based on this: the okapi, which also has a rather long neck, will also have an overlong rln that loops around the right aorta. Want to take bets? Creationism/ID has no explanation for this.

    The case of the human blind spot is similar: there's no engineering necessity for it, and indeed the octopus doesn't have one. But ours happened to evolve that way at an early stage, and it's hard for evolution to completely scrap existing designs, but easy to make incremental improvements to them.

    That's why I consider modern evolutionary theory to be an explanation for life, and Creationism/ID not to be an explanation.

    cheers from chilly Vienna, zilch

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  77. Nohm,

    Please research the terms "determinism" and "emergence", and think how they would apply to "12 oranges in a line", and whether that's

    A. random
    B. chaotic
    C. fluke
    D. all of the above
    E. none of the above


    I would say that it would be "none of the above".

    I don't know of any pattern that would guide 12 oranges into a line to cause emergence. D
    Determinism? How is that related?

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  78. To clarify, Da Pilgrim, what I was asking was this:

    If you accept determinism and emergence like I do, would you think that *I think* that 12 oranges scattered about (i.e., not in any pattern that you recognize, such as a line) is:

    A. random
    B. chaotic
    C. fluke
    D. all of the above
    E. none of the above

    You then wrote:

    "I don't know of any pattern that would guide 12 oranges into a line to cause emergence."

    Da Pilgrim, this sentence does not make any sense... I can't even parse it. Patterns arive from emergence, and not the other way around.

    You then asked:

    "Determinism? How is that related?"

    Because the pattern, or lack of one from our point of view, of the oranges is determined.

    I ask you to again research "Determinism" and "Emergence" so that you can understand what these words mean, why someone like myself would accept them over the concept of "intelligent design" of the universe/earth, and why it makes all the arguments of "you all think that the universe was an accident" to be straw men fallacies.

    The concepts of "random", "fluke", and "accident" simply DO NOT exist when viewed through the lens of determinism.

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  79. Ack, I muddled the question. I will re-write it:

    I accept determinism and emergence. So, would I think that 12 oranges on the ground, whether scattered about (i.e., not in any pattern that you recognize, such as a line) is:

    A. random
    B. chaotic
    C. fluke
    D. all of the above
    E. none of the above

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  80. You would choose E.
    By nature of what I believe, I would choose E.

    Though in my understanding of a determinist, C. would be an option. It seems maybe you would consider any "fluke" as coincidence when I cannot.

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  81. Da Pilgrim, does it take faith to not believe in The Flying Spaghetti Monster?

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  82. Yes,

    Because you cannot confirm without a doubt that he/she/it does not exist.

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  83. So then, it takes faith to believe that the traffic light will turn Red after it turns yellow, that eating a can of mushrooms wont kill you, that a pen will work when you try to write something, that your computer will turn on when you hit the power switch, etc.

    DP, if everything takes faith, why do Christians endlessly trot out their faith as evidence of God's existence? According to you, believing and not believing in things requires faith - meaning that Christian faith is no different from belief or disbelief in an invisible pink unicorn...

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