Spontaneous Creation in Physics

Question from Steve R:
If the big bang was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics, please tell me: which law of physics supports spontaneous creation? I have not found any laws or principles of the physical universe which support the idea of bridging the infinite gap between non-existence (quantity zero) and existence (quantity one) using no previous resources. In fact, I think it’s the opposite – there is a law (and a quite significant law) which clearly state that both matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed (1st law of thermodynamics). If there was no one to make this law, then it is just part of the universe. But if it is just part of the universe, then the universe would have to violate its own laws to create itself. So please tell me, again: which law of physics supports spontaneous creation?

Answer by SmartLX:
No law so far, but multiple scientific theories. Lawrence Krauss regularly talks about quantum mechanics spontaneously generating matter and anti-matter, which have a combined energy of zero when there’s the same amount of each, from a previous state which can be called nothingness. (Something can come from nothing, he says, because “nothing” is unstable.) In Stephen Hawking’s book The Grand Design Hawking makes a claim based on both quantum mechanics and relativity that gravity creates universes and this is only one of them. I recommend reading the work of both to get some idea of the mechanisms science has actually proposed for what you call “spontaneous creation”.

All this may be moot, however, because there is a much simpler solution. As you say, the law of conservation of energy based on the first law of thermodynamics isn’t concerned with the above and states unambiguously that matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed. The universe would therefore have to violate the law to create itself, but if it exists now then the law implies that it has always existed in some form, and it wasn’t created at all.

The idea of anything creating itself from nothing is absurd, because it would mean that the effect existed before the cause. For the idea to make any kind of sense it needs to be an emergence or formation from nothing. Once you get away from the word “create”, it stops being a contest between creation by an intelligent being such as a god and creation by unintelligent phenomena, and seems much more plausible in the absence of a god. This is of course why religious apologists use variants of the word “create” even when they refer to natural hypotheses.

94 thoughts on “Spontaneous Creation in Physics”

  1. Steve writes: [If the big bang was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics, please tell me: which law of physics supports spontaneous creation?]

    Nothing was created by the Big Bang. Please educate yourself about that which you are attempting to discuss before attempting to discuss it. You are referring to where the singularity came from, which already existed at the moment of the Big Bang…

    [I have not found any laws or principles of the physical universe which support the idea of bridging the infinite gap between non-existence (quantity zero) and existence (quantity one) using no previous resources.]

    The entire universe is an example of that. The universe literally, when combined all together, equals nothing. Add up all the positive energy (thermal, kinetic, mass, light, etc) and subtract the negative energy (gravity) and you get zero. Net spin of the universe? Zero. Net momentum, net charge, net (whatever you want)…zero. The universe is nothing broken up into lots of pieces, like 1+1+1+1-1-1-1-1=0, but on a far grander scale.

    [ In fact, I think it’s the opposite – there is a law (and a quite significant law) which clearly state that both matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed (1st law of thermodynamics).]

    The law isn’t violated by the existence of the universe. The net of this universe is zero, so nothing was created or destroyed.

  2. Thank you for your answers.
    Spontaneous Creation is not my idea. Hawking says: “Spontaneous Creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist”. If one truly believes the net of this universe equals nothing, then one would have to go against Hawking’s concept that the universe is actually something. If this universe truly equals nothing – well, I wouldn’t be sitting here at this keyboard right now. That’s how I see it. Is Hawking wrong that the universe equals something?

  3. Responding to this paragraph:
    [All this may be moot, however, because there is a much simpler solution…]
    To my knowledge, the First Law of Thermodynamics is a physical law – hence, it applies to the physical universe. At the time the universe came into existence, this law could not have existed – because there was no physical universe for it to exist in. There would then be no first law of thermodynamics to prevent the universe from being created. The only way out of this argument, then, is to say that the universe has always existed – but by both background and cosmic radiology this has been proven to be false. What other options exist, then?

    1. The law wasn’t violated before the universe existed, and it wasn’t violated after the universe existed. The universe is still nothing, like the nothing before it, but that nothing broke up into a lot of offsetting pieces….

      1. Let’s see – here is the definition of universe:
        “The collection of all space, time, matter, and energy as a whole”.
        So, If you are right, then the net matter and energy of the universe is zero. That still leaves us with space and time. Time is quantifiable. Space is quantifiable. Neither are energy, mass, charge, etc. but both are part of what makes up the universe. Thus, while the net charge/mass of the Universe can equal nothing, the universe as a whole cannot equal nothing, if it is made up of space-time, since space-time is quantifiable.

        1. [Let’s see – here is the definition of universe:
          “The collection of all space, time, matter, and energy as a whole”.
          So, If you are right, then the net matter and energy of the universe is zero. That still leaves us with space and time. Time is quantifiable. Space is quantifiable. Neither are energy, mass, charge, etc. but both are part of what makes up the universe. Thus, while the net charge/mass of the Universe can equal nothing, the universe as a whole cannot equal nothing, if it is made up of space-time, since space-time is quantifiable.”]

          Incorrect. Spacetime exists because matter and energy exist. Regardless of whether that is matter or antimatter, positive or negative energy, it takes that “stuff” for spacetime to exist. If it didn’t exist then spacetime would not exist. If all the parts of “nothing” got back together again and annihilated each other, spacetime would cease to exist.

          1. Actually:
            Space, or the measure of it (distance), is determined by the equation D=st where D stands for space, “s” is speed and “t” is time. Space is a product of the motion of time, then – not a product of matter and energy. Nowhere in the distance equation is there any mention of matter or energy.

        2. Neither are energy, at least in any way that we can know them to be. But, if you are willing to meander down other possible possibilities, than in another form of space and time they very well be a form of energy, spilling out onto our plain of existence. At least in ” theory”
          Man if I don’t watch out, you’ll have me doing it tooooooooooooooo

  4. A few points in rebuttal to Steve R’s claims:

    “which law of physics supports spontaneous creation?”

    None. For the simple reason that ex nihilo creation is something conjured up in the human imagination about the 2nd century CE. There is not a scrap of evidence in its favour. The closest we have to the purely metaphysical concept of ‘absolute nothingness’ is a quantum vacuum and that is most certainly not a nothing (although it is often colloquially described as such – and misinterpreted by theists as such). When physicists discuss creation from a quantum vacuum they are referring to causality (or more correctly acausality or stochastic causation) than ex nihilo causation. If theists wish to hypothesise that absolute nothingness is even a physical possibility then the onus is on them to conduct the relevant research, present their data and methodology. Metaphysical claims don’t get a free pass at the expense of science. I’ve discussed this in previous threads if you’re interested.

    “The only way out of this argument, then, is to say that the universe has always existed – but by both background and cosmic radiology this has been proven to be false.”

    Two responses here.

    First, strictly speaking the universe has, logically, always existed if it is the case that space-time began at the same time as the universe. This can be demonstrated by a simple thought experiment. Imagine a scientist with a time machine, but the time machine can only go backwards in time (and therefore not ‘before’ the beginning of the universe) in exponential leaps. She wants to view the beginning of the universe. So she sets the controls for half of the age of the universe, collects data, then another half of the remaining time. Then again, and again. Ad infinitum. She will never reach the beginning of the universe. For her it would be as if the universe must have always existed. If time began when the universe began it simply makes no sense, in temporal terms, to claim that the universe has not always existed. It has always existed in terms of temporality. And ‘always’ is a temporal concept.

    Second, it is simply not true that physicists have abandoned ‘eternal cosmologies’. If anything they have made a bit of a comeback in the past decade. You can easily search the literature. A number of papers have been published this year. Indeed, one of the physicists widely quoted by Christian apologists as having provided evidence that the universe had a beginning (Alan Guth of the Guthe-Borde-Vilenkin theorem) has recently re-evaluated the data and re-proposed an eternally existing universe. But even if the universe had a beginning, how on earth does that suggest classical theism? The universe might be a natural transformation of eternally existing energy. Or a transformation of a God-like entity, i.e. pantheism. Or a transformation of a part or attribute of a god-like entity, i.e. panentheism. What possible evidence could be provided that this is not the case?

    ” If this universe truly equals nothing – well, I wouldn’t be sitting here at this keyboard right now.”

    That sort of comment just serves to demonstrate a lack of scientific knowledge and understanding. Tim is right. The net energy value of the universe appears to be zero. No serious physicist doubts this anymore, in fact a number of recent papers have confirmed this finding. Just because you don’t understand it or it’s counterintuitive doesn’t place doubt on it. Physics would collapse if it relied on human intuition.

    “If there was no one to make this law, then it is just part of the universe. But if it is just part of the universe, then the universe would have to violate its own laws”

    You have a fundamental misunderstanding of what a scientific law is. Many terms used by scientists differ from everyday use (e.g. theory). A scientific law is not akin to the legal term. It is merely a description of an observed regularity in a local region of space-time. It may not be the case throughout the presently observed universe, nor in any co- existing universes and it certainly isn’t intended to be understood as holding ‘beyond’ Planck time. Furthermore, there is nothing inherent in the term that suggests it has been bestowed on us; serious consideration is given to scientific laws as being naturally emergent properties of particular manifestations of energy in space-time. Talking of ‘no-one to make this law’ is theology, not science. One of which has a track record of discovering how reality works and putting that knowledge to use. The other?

    1. [Tim is right. The net energy value of the universe appears to be zero.]

      Actually, I do have good reason to believe that the universe’s energy is not equal to zero.

      When taking into account the universe as a whole including matter influenced by negative energy (i.e. gravity) and antimatter, you end up with a density d of d=.13Mp/m^3 — i.e. there is, on average, one proton’s worth of mass in every 8 cubic meters of the universe. If you rearrange the density equation, you get Mp (mass ) where Mp=d(M^3). Since d and M^3 (8 meters cubed) are always going to equal a positive number, the total net mass (Mp) of the universe is positive as well.

      Moving on to energy: In any physical system, the total energy of that system can be written as E=mc^2 – where “m” is the mass. “c” is the speed of light in a vacuum; hence, “c^2” is always a positive number and is the constant of the equation. Since the universe has a positive mass, the energy equivalence equation can be re-written as E=(a positive number)(a positive number.) In mathematics, two positive numbers, when multiplied together, always equal a positive number. Thus, the universe’s net energy must be positive – i.e., the universe’s net energy must be greater than zero.

      1. Hence: To say that the universe’s net energy value is zero, you would have to say that it’s mass is zero (i.e. E=0c^2). That’s logical. If the universe contained no matter, then there would be no energy. But, on the other hand, there is matter in the universe. So the energy cannot equal zero.

        1. [Lawrence Krauss regularly talks about quantum mechanics spontaneously generating matter and anti-matter, which have a combined energy of zero when there’s the same amount of each, from a previous state which can be called nothingness. ]

          Both matter and antimatter have mass and energy. They just have opposite charges. If matter reacts with antimatter, huge proportions of energy are released – this could not be the case if their combined energy was zero. Opposite charges: yes. Opposite mass and energy: No. One gram of antimatter combined with one gram of matter = energy, not nothing.

          In address to the above claim of quantum mechanics: This previous state called nothingness isn’t actually nothing. It is a vacuum, but it contains by a low-level quantum energy field. While it is right to say that these particles come from no previously existing matter, one can’t say that they came from nothing because the vacuum contains an energy field. For anyone interested in the quantum field and how it generates virtual particles, There is this book published be the University of California’s physics department: http://web.physics.ucsb.edu/~mark/ms-qft-DRAFT.pdf — It gives all of the mathematical justifications of the quantum field.

          The book explains many factors contributing to the field’s instability, such as free field mechanics and field vertices, both of which explain how the field’s instability can convert its energy into a mass equivalent.

          1. Steve:

            E=mc^2 tells us that energy and mass are the same thing. (That is why “mass” is added in as part of the total positive energy in the universe). Einstein’s equation did not tell us that the energy of a closed system remains the same. Joule (and many others) had already figured that out. Einstein just showed us that mass is just a state of energy.

            What you are doing with that equation is showing how much energy is in the corresponding mass. It isn’t a commentary on the total energy of the universe. Your conclusion is incorrect.

            A lot of people have done a lot of work on the total energy of the universe, and have verified many times over that it is a net sum of zero.

            As to your last post, you are referring to the Casimir Effect, or the Lamb Shift, and the generation of virtual particles. Virtual particles are actually brief violations of the conservation of energy law by the way, but that is covered in the Uncertainty Principle.

    2. No, one has given me any kind of explanation as of yet, that if nothing has always existed, and nothing has been happening for who knows how long, than why, if this nothing has no sense of itself in what ever way, and all of this nothing has been at a status quo, all of the however long time this nothing has been around, than why and why, ” so I don’t forget to add the why later, all of a sudden, did the nothing decide or not really decide but did decide to fart or vomit, or what ever, to do what has caused this discussion in the first place.
      Once again, I whisper ” GOD”

      1. Right. The universe couldn’t have started itself, so some OTHER thing (your god creature) must have started it. All you are doing is adding another layer to the onion. You are pushing back the starting point. Only you are doing it by making up a logically impossible always existing omni being which can’t possibly exist, especially if you believe in the critter in the Christian Bible. And, naturally, you still have zero empirical evidence for the existence of your favorite flavor of baseless god being…

        Science doesn’t know why the universe is here, or how. That doesn’t mean “god dunnit” however.

  5. [energy and mass are the same thing]
    I agree. This is one of the most fundamental principles of physics: Energy=Mass. So:
    If:
    Energy=Mass(c^2)
    then:
    the universe’s energy=the universe’s mass(c^2)
    So, if:
    the universe’s energy=0
    Then:
    the universe’s mass(c^2)=0
    Hence, by the zero product rule:
    the universe’s mass=0

    This proposition is implying that the universe’s mass = 0. Since mass is a quantity of matter, a mass of 0 implies a quantity of 0 matter. This is sharply contradicted by science: the universe has mass. In fact, the universe has positive density, so it must have positive mass.

    Addressing the Lamb Shift: According to the Dirac equation, the 2S1/2 and 2P1/2 orbitals should have the same energy. However, the interaction between the electron and the vacuum field causes a tiny energy shift which is different for states 2S1/2 and 2P1/2. This difference in energy is not unaccounted for: it is caused by the vacuum energy field and electron interaction.

    As for the effect of the virtual particles, when looked at individually, they appear to be able to violate basic laws of physics. Regular particles of course never do so. On the other hand, any particle that is actually observed never precisely satisfies the conditions theoretically imposed on regular particles. Virtual particles occur in combinations that mutually more or less nearly cancel from the actual output quantities, so that no actual violation of the laws of physics occurs in completed processes. As I said before, the vacuum energy field, albeit low-level, still exists. There is no violation of the laws of physics in a virtual equation, because the net energy and mass at the beginning and end are always the same.

  6. I agree. This is one of the most fundamental principles of physics: Energy=Mass. So:
    If:
    Energy=Mass(c^2)
    then:
    the universe’s energy=the universe’s mass(c^2)
    So, if:
    the universe’s energy=0
    Then:
    the universe’s mass(c^2)=0
    Hence, by the zero product rule:
    the universe’s mass=0

    This proposition is implying that the universe’s mass = 0. Since mass is a quantity of matter, a mass of 0 implies a quantity of 0 matter. This is sharply contradicted by science: the universe has mass. In fact, the universe has positive density, so it must have positive mass.

    Addressing the Lamb Shift: According to the Dirac equation, the 2S1/2 and 2P1/2 orbitals should have the same energy. However, the interaction between the electron and the vacuum field causes a tiny energy shift which is different for states 2S1/2 and 2P1/2. This difference in energy is not unaccounted for: it is caused by the vacuum energy field and electron interaction.

    As for the effect of the virtual particles, when looked at individually, they appear to be able to violate basic laws of physics. Regular particles of course never do so. On the other hand, any particle that is actually observed never precisely satisfies the conditions theoretically imposed on regular particles. Virtual particles occur in combinations that mutually more or less nearly cancel from the actual output quantities, so that no actual violation of the laws of physics occurs in completed processes. As I said before, the vacuum energy field, albeit low-level, still exists. There is no violation of the laws of physics in a virtual equation, because the net energy and mass at the beginning and end are always the same.

    1. No.

      “I agree. This is one of the most fundamental principles of physics: Energy=Mass. So:
      If:
      Energy=Mass(c^2)
      then:
      the universe’s energy=the universe’s mass(c^2)
      So, if:
      the universe’s energy=0
      Then:
      the universe’s mass(c^2)=0
      Hence, by the zero product rule:
      the universe’s mass=0”

      All the energy in the universe does not equal all the mass in the universe. That is NOT the meaning of that equation. E=mc^2 shows that mass and energy are just two forms of the same thing. You are using the wrong for formula to obtain the information you seek.

      The universe is a net sum of zero. Please read up on it for more detail if you so wish.

      1. I’ll assume I’m wrong about energy for the sake of the discussion. Even if the net energy of the universe is zero, the universe still has mass. It can’t be nothing. For instance, according to astrophysics, the density of the universe is D=5 × 10-30 g/cm. This could not be possible if there was not a positive amount of matter. If the universe is net zero, how come the total mass of the universe > 0?

        1. Hi Steve,

          You seem to have a block regarding the relationship between mass and energy and the universe. Just because the total mass within the universe has a positive value it does not follow that the total energy within the universe must be positive and that mass is the only legitimate source of energy in the universe. The other mistake you seem to be making is conceptualising energy as a ‘thing’. It’s not, it’s a measurable property of ‘things’, such as a field or a particle/mass (which is akin to a ripple in a field or a ‘condensed’ form of energy). Sure, there’s no such thing as a particle without a field, but what you seem to be implying is that you can’t have a field without a particle. The fact that fields (such as a gravitational field) have the property of energy alone demonstrates that the total mass of the universe cannot be the sum of the mass of the constituents that make up the universe. The total energy of the universe is the sum of all of its constituents (its mass) plus all of the energy resulting from the interactions between these constituents (e.g., momentum and gravity). The rest mass energy (which is what Einstein’s famous equation measures) is actually negligible in these calculations, not because observable mass constitutes <5% of all the energy in the universe (+ approx. 25% thus far unobservable dark matter) but also because mass remains constant for most velocities slower than c.

          Einstein’s equation is a ‘rest frame’ equation which applies only to either a hypothetical ‘resting’ mass (and resting doesn’t necessarily imply stationary, it means moving at a lower rate than can be measured) or appropriately employed by observers co-moving with the mass being measured. As Tim has rightly pointed out, this equation cannot be applied to calculating the total energy of the universe. Rest energy is directly equivalent to mass but that is the only case when this equivalence applies. The total energy of a particle is not just its mass but the measure of its mass plus its inertia, its kinetic energy. So, even if you were correct and all the energy in the universe was bound up in mass, the correct equation would be Einstein’s other equation, E = (gamma) * m * c^2. The gamma coefficient is the velocity of the particle; when velocity is (hypothetically) zero, gamma = 1.

          Another problem with your using Einstein’s equation is that you have assumed, perfectly correctly for that equation, an isolated system, i.e., a closed universe with no additional input of energy from any source outside the system. Yet this contradicts one of the bedrock claims of theism; that the universe is not and never has been a closed system (though a deistic, pantheistic or panentheistic universe could well be). So you shot yourself right in the foot there!

          Now, imagine two hypothetical identical particles, both at rest mass, located at such a large distance from one another that they cannot and do not interact in any way. They would each have a resting mass energy, but their individual and sum kinetic and gravitational energies would be zero, right? It is important to realise that gravity is easily the strongest, most dominant force at both mesoscopic and macroscopic distances. So when gravity acts on each of these masses they might well accelerate toward each other at the same rate. Their mass remains conserved but their kinetic energy increases. So the total energy value of each particle increases identically as per Einstein’s other equation. But their gravitational energy increases too and a gravitational field is always negative; so the sums (mass + kinetic energy – gravity) cancel out to zero. Things exist and events occur but there’s ultimately no energy involved. This might well be counterintuitive to you but the universe is under no obligation to bow to our intuitions.

          This scenario was formally hypothesised about 30 years ago; that the negative energy of a gravitational field might compensate for the positive energy of mass + kinetic energy, making the total energy of the universe equal to zero. And this is exactly what all the subsequent observations show; the positive and negative energies within the universe always sum to zero. This doesn’t mean that mass can’t exist. It doesn’t mean that matter can’t exist. It doesn’t mean that we don’t exist. It means that, for some reason yet unknown, there’s a continuous and equal interaction between the energy associated with some things and the energy associated with other things. If you really understand the maths (and I certainly don’t, and I’ve taught research statistics at postgrad level) then read e.g., this recent paper, which is currently getting a lot of attention:

          Ali, A.F., Faizal, M., & Khalil, M.M. (2015). Short distance physics of the inflationary de Sitter universe. Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, 11.

          While we’re on the subject of maths, I’d like to remark on an argument you made in support of the universe having positive sum energy:

          “In mathematics, two positive numbers, when multiplied together, always equal a positive number. Thus, the universe’s net energy must be positive”

          As evidence for your claim, this observation is irrelevant as well as erroneous, here’s why: Assuming positive real numbers as in your case, you are inferring that if a^2 = b then it logically follows that sqrt b = a. But this is not necessarily the case and, in support of your argument for a positive energy universe, actually leads to a potential absurdity. Let’s say that you’re right and current astrophysics is wrong and the total energy of the universe actually is positive because the energy associated with mass is greater than all possible negative sum energies. So, if we multiply the components, as you suggest we do, we will always get a potential positive sum energy value from negative non-mass energy and positive mass energy (provided the non-mass energy value is the multiplicand). Now, appreciate that all positive real numbers have a negative square root and that two multiplied negative values make a positive. This means that a total negative mass energy value and a total negative non-mass energy value would result in a sum energy value for the universe that is positive! That’s obviously absurd. But this isn’t: a total positive mass energy and a zero value for non-mass energy would result in a total energy sum for the universe of zero………..So, if all the energy in the universe really is associated with mass you might want to rethink your mathematical procedure.

          I’ll finish with a comment regarding your matter-antimatter claim:

          “If matter reacts with antimatter, huge proportions of energy are released – this could not be the case if their combined energy was zero”

          This is a common misconception not helped by physicists using terms such as ‘annihilate’. Matter–antimatter reactions can only release the energy already present in the particles. No extra energy is either available nor released. The suddenness of the release is what causes the explosive effect that science fiction writers love to exploit for their antimatter engines and torpedoes and such-like. The effect is always proportionate; tiny amounts of matter-antimatter collisions produce tiny amounts of energy and huge amounts (such as stellar-scale episodes) produce (in exact proportion) huge amounts of energy. If “huge proportions of energy” were really released in every matter-antimatter reaction we wouldn’t put patients into PET scanners. The tracer put into their bloodstream beforehand contains antimatter particles which annihilate on contact with matter, allowing the scanner to detect the progress of the tracer through the body via the sequence of annihilation events. No more energy is released than is present in the particles. This is ultimately zero. Why? Well, for a number of reasons. It’s commonly observed for a ‘resting’ particle and its antiparticle to react and simply ‘scatter’ (bounce off), without any change whatsoever to the type of particle, quite unpredictably. It’s also commonly observed for a particle-antiparticle pair to transform into another particle and its antiparticle or even two identical particles (again quite unpredictably), without ultimately releasing any energy whatsoever. For instance, a muon and an anti-muon can transform into two photons. These photons will have the identical energy as the original particle and anti-particle, but their mass will have disappeared entirely. Remember that the total energy of a particle is not just its mass it’s the measure of its mass plus its kinetic energy. The two photons have no mass but they will have, for a very, very brief time, identical kinetic energy. Their opposing velocities will then cancel each other out (because a photon can also be an antiphoton). Thus, after reacting, the energy of the original particle-antiparticle pair yields the same net zero sum that was always the case. Other combinations of particle-antiparticle transformation are possible depending on the kinetic energy present in the original particle pair, but in all cases energy is what is ultimately conserved, mass is not (e.g., electron-positron reaction resulting in two photons; quark-antiquark reaction resulting in two gluons) and the ultimate combined measure of this conserved energy is zero.

  7. How could something come from nothing? We have never seen this. There has always been to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. If something is at rest something must be there to set something into motion

    1. We sort of have seen it, on a very small scale. Quantum mechanics appear to cause the spontaneous emergence of particles all the time, and they disappear just as spontaneously. But if you ignore this, the basic answer is that we don’t know that anything ever had to come from nothing, because there may always have been something even before the Big Bang.

    2. “How could something come from nothing?”

      No physicist has ever claimed that something came from absolutely nothing. They theorise, based on evidence, that something can emanate from a quantum field having the property of zero energy. It just (unfortunately) gets colloquially labelled as ‘nothing’ because its the most ‘nothing’ we’ve ever encountered. The only people claiming that something came from a metaphysical absolute nothingness are theists. But they have yet to provide any evidence that a metaphysical absolute nothing or an ex nihilo creation from such a nothingness is actually possible.

      “We have never seen this.”

      Well, as SmartLX pointed out, we do observe matter emanating from a state of zero sum energy. Regularly. On the other hand we have never seen a disembodied mind or mental state. And we have never seen ex nihilo creation. Yet classical monotheism depends crucially on these very concepts.

      “If something is at rest something must be there to set something into motion”

      This is an Aristotelian and later Thomistic metaphysical notion of causality that works at relativistic levels but does not fit with observations made at the most fundamental levels of reality that we observe. If a linear sequence of causality really is essential then we have to accept an infinite causal regression (which also implies that time wasn’t created along with the universe). Many people have no problem with that, but most theists do. They speculate that the causal regression must end somewhere. It might, but that doesn’t necessarily imply a transcendent first mover. And there is no evidence for a first cause of any sort other than Aristotelian logic (which certainly doesn’t hold at the most fundamental levels of reality we are aware of – and isn’t even fully accepted in all philosophical schools of thought). Oh, and special pleading of course.

    1. No, it makes more sense to accept what has been shown, as a basis for what may have been or what is going to be. One just doesn’t see something and theories that it spontaneously came into being. Then you would be as the old time scientists who when they saw poop or a piece of meat one day with nothing on it, but a few days later saw maggots coming from within it they assumed that they just magically appeared. To ignorantly assume that things just magically comes out of nothing with out some kind of catalyst or push or direction, is not giving justice to the scientific method. Why not accept the most apparent reason first and if another pops us, from fact, rather from just pure speculation, than we could entertain that one.
      Rainbow’s used to just appear and accepted as an unexplained phenomenon. But, the curiosity of someone got the best of them and found out the explanation. So, if just the right and amount of the chemicals and what ever other building blocks were mixed together, and then there was added just the right amount and kind of energy, followed up with the proper environment before, during, and after the first kind of life was derived, then why should we assume that it happened by chance. If one is able to accept the possibility that matter , which by the way, has been said to not to be able to created nor destroyed, then why is it so preposterous that there was an intelligence around to do the initialization. It fits. if you don’t throw out the theory, just because you don’t like the answer. For, all of what is now, to have been brought into existence without any intelligence behind it is quite frankly, beyond ignorant. We can’t even equal the making of a simple one cell organism, yet we want to go out on a limb and say it happened by chance. Let alone the human brain, which by my estimates, will never have an equal. No, my friend, it really looks as if Intelligence made all there is. And we would come out ahead if we accept that fact first and go on from there. Whether it be a true God or some other intelligence.

      1. The scientific method does not “accept” ANY explanation without evidence, let alone one which requires the existence of a separate entity for which substantive evidence is lacking. If we knew to begin with that there’s a god, we could then talk about the probability that it created the universe, but until then the need to hypothesise (i.e. invent) an intelligent creator from whole cloth does little to support any explanation requiring such a creator.

        Rainbows were never just accepted as an unexplained phenomenon. Right up until their natural origins were determined, they were thought to be created by gods or magic. They were the symbol of Yahweh’s covenant with Noah, they were the Bifröst used by Norse gods to travel between Asgard and our world, they were the Hindu god Indra’s bow for shooting arrows of lightning, and to Australian Aborigines they were part of the serpent which created the world. There are still many people who think one of the above. Likewise, as the existence and nature of the universe itself is explained better and better by scientists, there will be less of a psychological need to fall back on fanciful explanations like the above. The world isn’t the rainbow serpent’s dream, it didn’t hatch from an egg, it isn’t nestled in the branches of a literal “world tree”, and it probably wasn’t created by a tyrant and filled with people whose only purpose is to try and make it to the other realm created by the same tyrant.

  8. “Quantum mechanics appear to cause the spontaneous” Mechanics is the operating word. What or who, manipulated the whatever to produce what ever came forth? Some one said since matter can not be created or destroyed, and since energy=matter and matter=energy, then why did the one give way to the other? Did you get lonely, and decide to produce the other? Or did the overwhelming amount get to the point where the other just happened. Or did one just evolved to the other? If so, what innate trigger came into play to start the evolution, and for that matter, what was the cause that awakened that trigger and make the process of evolution a necessity. It seems to me that just because we are too proud, stubborn, or mentally challenged, to accept, the obvious answer, and that is, that there was an intelligence behind, all that is, seen and unseen, so we invent things, to keeps us happy, and unfortunately willing ignorant. And the Bible says ” my people perish for a lack of knowledge

    1. All good questions. The answer you arrive at isn’t obvious, it’s merely simple. And then it’s only simple in the sense that you can posit one entity which explains literally everything. The entity you must posit is more incredible and exotic than anything else you’re trying to explain, so as long as you understand nothing about this entity you’re more in the dark than ever, even if you feel more comfortable in its presence. Science does everything it can not to succumb to the desire for a simple, comforting answer not supported by the evidence, and it will never accept anything just because it seems to make sense. There have been enough theories that appear completely ridiculous and yet can produce incredibly precise predictions, for instance quantum electro-dynamics.

  9. Man, my comment went way over your head. Or at least, would have if you hadn’t grabbed it and flung it to the ground. What you commented is precisely why I said there is evidence for a Grand intelligence. Things tend to remain the same unless acted upon by outside forces. Hence if there really was energy and it was by itself any unspecified amount of time, that energy would have always stayed that way if not for what? You seem to be suggesting that for some unknown reason, some unknown force changed the balance of what has always been. Yet, if what has always been, always was, then why change. If that the way it has always been. Then, if by your reasoning, by some random occurrence, some unguided chemicals of life, randomly were pulled from what ever balanced state from where they were, randomly skipped over, around, through,any other chemicals, and forces that held them in there previous, state of flux, and forced them into doing something that had never happened before, and by chance some random spark of what ever happened to be the just right amount of catalyst needed to get the creative juice flowing, and just by chance the inhospitable environment which had previously kept this unheard of action from happening before suddenly flipped flopped into being able to provide the perfect need for that little piece of protoplasm to exist. All you have to do is look at any other environment around and discounting the actions of man, these environment would remain pristine and unchanged. It takes an intelligence to effect a change. To bend it to their will, to cause it, for better or worse, to work in their behalf. To suggest that, especially in behalf of man, that it just happened to work out in our favor, is ludicrous. Why is everything on this earth, following the ” goldylocks pattern”, everything is just right. It fits us like it was made for us. As if we were the center of someone’s attention. If not, just why is this planet more inhospitable. Okay, if we were an freak of nature, why, isn’t this planet more like the other planets, of not only our solar system, but even further out. Where we would just barely scrape out an existence. But, instead, we flourish in an environment that is we could possibly ask for. Pleasing to our senses, to our spirits, to our well beings. No, if you take those blinders off, and actually be a scientist, you would, like so many others who used to be atheists, I was wrong.

    1. You’re assuming a natural cosmology that consisted of a vast or infinite period of total inaction followed by sudden catastrophic change for no reason at all. This is entirely possible as far as we know – besides small quantum emergences with no apparent cause, we’ve never observed anything being created completely ex nihilo, so we actually have no basis to assume it requires a cause – but many hypotheses about the beginning of our universe don’t follow this pattern. Either there is an endless cycle which never needed starting (Big Bang/Big Crunch) or the event that started our universe happens regularly, starting new universes as it goes. In either case, it’s business as usual.

      Regarding the initial emergence of life, you need only look at footage of a flood or a volcano to know that the Earth has never needed life, let alone intelligence, to produce physical upheaval. Continents have split, islands and mountains have pushed up from the sea bed, lakes have become deserts and forests have become swamps. In the Earth’s early days while everything was settling into the new ball of rock, things were even more dynamic. There was an unfathomable amount of movement in the air, water and land across 500 million square kilometres for a billion years or so, until finally the conditions were right for one of an unlimited number of potential forms of life to come together. It was a lottery but it was won by brute force and patience, and once it was won evolution took over.

      As for our Goldilocks-zone planet, the more planets we discover outside of the solar system the closer some of them are to our own circumstances, and the first other Goldilocks planet was found in July this year: Kepler-186f. Of course it looked like we were the centre of attention when there was apparently nothing else around, but this perspective is gradually losing its basis as, in a very real sense, we take off our blinders and look outward.

    2. Gerald, you’ve packed a lot of un-evidenced assertions and appeals to intuition in your own posts without regard to the many potentially fruitful talking points made in previous posts. My suspicion is that you don’t really understand the science but you’ve bought into and memorised well theistic apologetics. So let’s strip your stuff back to the very basics and go through your argumentation step by step. I’ll try to keep the science to a minimum and deal more with the philosophical aspects which you seem to be more comfortable with:

      “……….it makes more sense to accept what has been shown, as a basis for what may have been or what is going to be.”

      So you recommend empirical-style methodology. Good. That’s the scientific method. Thus using that method we can ditch presuppositions and get back to bare bones and proceed from there. When we do we can reasonably formulate the following syllogism:

      P1: All material things have material causes
      P2: The universe is a material thing
      C: Therefore: the universe has a material cause

      Now, if you can refute P1 you would certainly get the Nobel Prize. No doubt about that. You would become another Einstein. Remember, a quantum vacuum is a material thing. Energy is a material thing too. If you refute P2 you would certainly get the Nobel Prize too. Given that, if you refute C you are denying that very form of logic that theism crucially depends on.

      “One just doesn’t see something and theories that it spontaneously came into being”

      But we do, actually. In real life we observe matter coming into existence spontaneously (i.e., unpredictably, and acausally). It’s observed in particle energy labs every day. It’s not conjecture. It’s fact. You need to somehow factor that into your argumentation, not just ignore it.

      “To ignorantly assume that things just magically comes out of nothing with out some kind of catalyst or push or direction”

      But physics doesn’t claim this, does it? If you had bothered to read the whole thread you would have noticed that on two occasions I emphasised that a quantum vacuum is not the same as a metaphysical notion of absolute nothingness. Once again, a quantum vacuum is a material thing.

      “Why not accept the most apparent reason first”

      By reason, I suppose you mean ‘causal explanation’. Well if we did accept the most apparent explanation we would not be following the scientific method, would we? All knowledge in science is deemed to be provisionally true. This is drummed into every science graduate. Science never accepts anything as a final answer. What we do is generate explanatory hypotheses based on previously acquired data and conclusions drawn and devise experiments to test those hypotheses.

      “………….and if another pops us, from fact, rather from just pure speculation”

      But if we’ve already accepted “the most apparent reason”, as you suggest we do, why would we bother generating further explanatory hypotheses? What would be the point? Science would have done its job and been finished. We would have an accepted explanation, just like theists do. Also, unlike theology, if you speculate in the scientific arena you must always preface your ideas by boldly labeling them as speculation. And the only people who are listened to when they speculate are people who already have a proven track record in their field. You never generate hypotheses based on speculation; hypotheses must logically follow from previous research.

      “If one is able to accept the possibility that matter, which by the way, has been said to not to be able to created nor destroyed”

      Quite so. A quantum field or vacuum is a different state of matter. So there is no known reason why it can’t last ‘forever’ or at least must ‘exist’ if temporality is non-existent.

      “…….then why is it so preposterous that there was an intelligence around to do the initialization”

      It is preposterous precisely because you are arguing the following:

      P1: Nothing can be generated ex nihilo except by a mind
      P2: The universe was generated ex nihilo
      C: Therefore, the universe was generated by a mind

      This is an argument that is characterised by its being (i) circular (ii) non-empirical, (iii) absurd, and (iv) dependent upon special pleading.

      It is circular because if we accept the presupposition that nothing can exist without being ultimately willed to exist by a first cause intelligence, how could we ever consider counter-evidence to this “most apparent reason”? What you are effectively arguing is this:

      P1: The first cause is either a supernatural or a wholly naturalistic process
      P2: The first cause is not a wholly naturalistic process
      C: Therefore: the first cause must be supernatural

      The most obvious problem here is assuming that only a binary choice is available. We have no way of knowing this. But to employ scientific methodology, as you suggest we do, we need to preserve some way in which to distinguish or confirm claims of purely naturalistic processes and/or causality beyond that which we observe at mesoscopic and macroscopic levels of reality. If you have already accepted P2 as fact then your approach does not do that. You are not thinking scientifically.

      It is non-empirical because all the evidence we have demonstrates that a mind, or anything capable of cognitive processing for that matter, must have a physical substrate. In other words, something material must exist first before anything resembling a mind exists. This is the totality of our experience. Thus:

      P1: Existence is a necessary predicate for consciousness
      P2: God is conscious
      C: Therefore: God cannot be a first cause

      May I remind you that you yourself commented: “……….it makes more sense to accept what has been shown, as a basis for what may have been or what is going to be.” So, if you refute P1 you are effectively arguing that something that does not exist can be conscious. P2 is speculative but if you assert this as fact then C logically follows, does it not?

      It is absurd because it is the claim that a disembodied mind fashioned a material universe out of a metaphysical absolute nothingness. This is tantamount to claiming that a God comprised of nothing material used absolute nothingness to create something material. If you had equations coherently describing a disembodied mind and a metaphysical absolute nothingness then you would have an explanatory hypothesis that could be experimentally tested and confirmed. But you haven’t, you’ve just got pure speculation.

      It is special pleading because your argument really boils down to this:

      P1: Everything except God has a cause of its existence.
      P2: The universe exists.
      C: Therefore: the universe is caused by God

      P1 is the obvious weakness here. If it is acknowledged that at least one thing does not need a cause of its existence, what possible grounds are there to claim that there aren’t other things that did not begin to exist? Well, the theist has two methods at their disposal. The weaker would demonstrate a logical contradiction in the claim that at least one physical object has existed forever. No-one has ever achieved that. The more robust empirical route (recommended by yourself, remember) is to examine every kind of physical object that exists or has ever existed (or a truly representative sample), to determine whether it did indeed begin to exist. Only one instance would be enough to refute P1. Guess what? This has been done and the (provisional) finding is that acausal existence might well be observed on a regular basis. This leaves P1 at the very best uncertain and so C unproved.

      But your argument is unsound for another reason. It can be reformulated as follows:

      P1: Everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence
      P2: The universe began to exist
      C: Therefore: The universe has a single cause

      I already mentioned in my previous reply to you that Aristotelian and later Thomistic metaphysical notions of causality only work at mesoscopic and macroscopic scales. And even then not in their entirety. It’s a medieval way of viewing causality that has long been surpassed by modern physics because it doesn’t fit with observations made at the most fundamental levels of reality. Similarly, assuming single causation is another overly simplistic view of things that doesn’t even hold at any scale of reality that we can observe. The universe comprises a potentially infinitely complex mesh of interconnected events and multiple causal chains than has unfolded over 13.7 billion years. Is there realistically any example of something having a single cause? We might identify a single cause for operational reasons, but in the grand scale of things? Causality rarely follows a simple linear trajectory which can be dissected anywhere along the chain and then definitively observed. Again, I remind you of what you wrote: “……….it makes more sense to accept what has been shown, as a basis for what may have been or what is going to be.”

      There is nothing in science, philosophy or even theology that makes imperative a single cause of the universe. Yet you assume a single cause of the universe. Why? On what grounds? Certainly not on “what has been shown”. A more honest rendering of your argument, then, would be:

      P1: Everything that begins to exist has at least one cause of its existence
      P2: The universe began to exist
      C: Therefore: The universe has at least one cause of its existence

      And what in our experience is the only thing that has multiple causation? Natural phenomena. Thus to conclude, when pared right down in an objective fashion, the backbone of your argument seems to be no more than:

      P1: It is logically possible that B can be caused by A
      P2: We can observe B
      C: Therefore: B must be actually and necessarily be caused by A

      Where A is god and B is universe. Of course, your retort would be: “No, if you take those blinders off, and actually be a scientist”

      Well I am actually a (retired) scientist. So please appreciate that I might consider it somewhat arrogant of someone who obviously has no scientific training at all to tell me I’m doing it all wrong.

      I’ll try to comment on the fallaciousness of your fine tuning claim too if I get the time.

  10. No, my friend, and I hope this will not cause you offense, but, today aside from all things around that was around before our first parents were conscious, but everything else came about from an intelligence. Hammer and nails, glue, mud, stone, wool, or what ever else, were used to make, invent, construct. It took and intelligence to make it possible. Even the very particles of which you speak as coming into existence an that you with great certainty feel as if it is coming into existence, are being merely brought into focus. Using something to break down, or strip away, doesn’t mean that it is just now coming into existence. As I asked before, why is it so hard for those who don’t want to believe in a superior intellect, to accept the possibility that there is one, refusing to accept the fact that since we create, that all else had to have been created? Especially since all else, eclipses any thing that we have ever made. And most of which, took many attempts at trial and errors. I think all inventors would gasp and grumble if some one would even think that what they invented had merely popped into existence. God, doesn’t grumble, He just laughs at how naive we are.

    1. Gerald, you haven’t addressed any of the counterarguments I made. I’ll give it one last try to see if you’ve got anything substantial to offer.

      “Even the very particles of which you speak as coming into existence and that you with great certainty feel as if it is coming into existence, are being merely brought into focus.”

      Exactly. From a material, not a supernatural source. But you are repeatedly missing the point entirely. They are ‘coming into existence’ as particles. The underlying material already existed beforehand in a different state. No-one, except theists, is claiming ex nihilo creation. You are the one claiming that nothing has become something. Please understand that point. The evidence seems to demonstrate that quantum fields naturally fluctuate and so change their state.

      There are several scientific problems with arguing from design. For instance, what criteria are you employing to ascertain design? If a priori you deem everything to have been designed how can you possibly distinguish between something that is designed and something that is not designed? The answer is you can’t. You are simply asserting that everything in existence is designed therefore any particular object you observe must be designed. In the case of the entire universe, have you compared the characteristics of our universe with a control, i.e., another universe which we know not designed? If you don’t include a control condition then you’re not basing your judgement on scientific premises. You’re using some other way of arguing.

      Remember, most physicists don’t say the universe is definitely not designed. They say that the universe exhibits no evidence of design. There’s a distinct difference. Your argument – that the universe definitely is designed – is therefore circular – if it appears to be designed then it is designed, if it is designed it will appear to be designed. So what criteria might you use to defeat the circularity of your argument?

      Complexity cannot be considered as reliable evidence for design. A mundane example can be seen in snowflakes. Each snowflake has an assemblage of water molecules that is unique and where we to consider the uniqueness of a single snowflake among all the snowflakes that have ever existed the probability of that particular snowflake actually existing would be beyond infinitesimal. Yet it exists. But no-one would seriously suggest that it was the product of purposeful design. You can’t use functionality either; fingerprints are not designed, they are clearly the result of random processes in the womb. Yet they serve to function extremely well in identifying individuals. There are many more such examples.

      The problem you are faced with is that we can observe the complete manufacture of human-made objects that are functional and complex and we can also observe naturalistically made objects which are functional and sometimes far more complex than human-made objects. Yet you are claiming that no actual difference exists between the two, despite employing no methodology other than appeals to intuition. If you want to effectively hypothesise a designer you need to take these observations into account and factor them into your reasoning, as theistic biologists and physicists do. Now I might not agree with their conclusions but I certainly respect them as scientists. They don’t blithely ignore and misrepresent the evidence to get to their conclusions. They do bite the bullet.

      “……….most of which, took many attempts at trial and errors.”

      Quite right, evolution by natural selection and other biological mechanisms, for example, is a perfect illustration of getting somewhere via a trial and error mechanism. And look at the early universe: it appears to have undergone a sequence of spontaneous symmetry breaking phases; first, the gravitational force separated from the strong electro-weak force, the strong force then separated from the electroweak force, followed by the electromagnetic force separating from the electro-weak force. At any of these points the universe could have ended up with very different physical values. So if the universe was designed it appears that the designer had to deliberately intervene at several junctures to achieve its goals. Doesn’t this scenario suggest a trial and error process also? Now if humans designed a universe, sure, we might expect that, but if a competent (omnipotent) designer was involved why would a series of spontaneous symmetry breaking phases even be necessary? Why not just create the shebang in its final form in one move? The evidence surely fits a naturalistic process far better than any creationist ‘pop into reality’.

      “……….those who don’t want to believe in a superior intellect”

      Aside from the thinly veiled ad hominem, wherever do you get that idea from? There’s a whole scientific program which hypothesises that superior intellects to ours might be common (SETI) and so we are actively searching for them. The idea that atheism denies the possibility of any intellect superior to humans is just weird. What about the ‘simulation argument’?

      “God, doesn’t grumble, He just laughs at how naive we are.”

      Well, we can reasonably deduce the ideas and reasons behind human-made objects, anthropologists have gotten quite good at it. But you’ve somehow made a leap from there to assuming that you can know the characteristics and intentions behind a purported designer of the entire universe and maybe infinitely other universes. He grumbles and laughs? Yet is a superior intellect? You know this how? By carefully controlled observation? Do you really consider that claim to be a legitimate part of a persuasive argument?

      One more thing; as well as being fallacious I find it ironic that some theists argue from design. In the Christian world it used to be, even into the 20th century, considered heresy by some theologians (e.g., Pascal, Newman Barthes, but many others earlier) to make that argument – that because the world appears to be designed then there must be a designer. It’s still considered a serious heresy in some Islamic schools, for the same reason that Christians used to disown it: because it places ‘reasoning’ in first place and faith in second place. As Cardinal Newman put it:

      “I believe in design because I believe in God; not in a God because I see design.”

      1. Now, if one is beginning to accept the possibility of a creator, then as you asked why not create all in perfect symmetry. But, what about, the idea that if all is beautiful, then how could that beauty be admired. What would make beauty, beautiful. This thought comes down wind of the thought that if there is a God why would He permit, sin, crime, pain, suffering, and death. And these are all valid questions, and permissible questions, if we are willing to ask and include all possible explanations. So, why just use it to say that there is no God. But, God can not make us to accept Him by, mesmerizing us into submission. That, would be the same as beating us, or scaring us into submission. And not give us the free will to do so, just by the facts. Hence, Isaiah 1:18 ” come let us reason together” But, He has to start with giving us enough reason, to give us cause to want to reason. So, starting with the heavens, where after we find out about how this planet is situated in such a way as to provide for us all that we could possible need to exist and flourish, when all else around is clearly inhospitable, to life especially such as we enjoy. But when you include it with the the way we are allowed to view the ideal location of our planet to all the rest of this part of the universe, well it gives rise to even more reason to ask the question, is there is a God. Please review the Privileged Planet, and then let me know what you think.

        1. I read ‘Privileged Planet’ several years ago. It’s religious propaganda masquerading as science. Which, I’m sure, is why they aimed the book at a general audience and not the astrophysics community.

          Think about the core argument for a moment. The authors contend that because the universe is inhospitable to life (as we know it) yet we have a planet that is hospitable to life then this is evidence of a designer. OK, so the opposite scenario should undermine their argument, shouldn’t it? If the universe was generally hospitable to life, or if we discover other planets just as hospitable to life as the Earth (which we might have), then this finding, logically, would be evidence of a naturalistic scenario; of no designer. But to the theist mindset this is also evidence of a designer!

          Let me remind you of what you wrote: ” if all is beautiful, then how could that beauty be admired. What would make beauty, beautiful.” Now simply apply that train of thought to the book. The authors are not generating testable hypotheses that might point us toward either naturalistic or teleological causation they are simply making unfalsifiable claims. They are doing exactly what I outlined in my previous post you shouldn’t do if you are purporting to be doing science; in this case using data from a sample of one planet to make generalisations about the entire universe. Where’s the control condition? “If all is privileged, then how could that privilege be admired?”

          Let me give you an analogy that describes the situation: I want to know which works better to reduce blood pressure, Table A or Tablet B? But instead of actually comparing data from A and B I assume a priori that Tablet A is the better tablet and just collect data from that tablet. Lo and behold, I find it does reduce blood pressure, so I conclude from that result that Tablet A is better than Tablet B at reducing blood pressure. Now if I did that you’d rightly consider me to be a charlatan. So can you see why the scientific community rightly consider the authors of Privileged Planet to be charlatans?

  11. SmartLX the very thing that you are trying to use to leave a doubt in the possibility in a superior intelligence, is what should give you reason, to accept that the possibility of a superior intelligence behind the all there is. You want to make an argument that what has been made has a different make to what is being made, yet ignore the fact or discount the fact that even though, what was made was and is more complex, but it has no part to do as sufficient evidence that there is a superior intelligence. But that’s the point. If we are going to add one plus one, if you ask how Mount Rushmore came about, 2000 years in history, people will go back and check and see if other things had been produced to give credence to the possibility that an intelligence produced that marvel of notice. So, when we look at all the marvels of what has been around that our most intelligent beings have produced, our first thought should be, what intelligence made it. Now I confess, I’m not super intelligent, or moderately so. I probably would not come close to a novice intelligence, but I know that as the Bible says we are “fearful and wonderfully made” Psalm 139:14. Now, I get a feeling that you are, being at least scientifically oriented that you could give room for intelligent design, but it seems that it would not be out of the question that you also would not try to sweep what would give a favorable light for an intelligent design, under the rug. If someone would have brought to you a nano chip to you from out of an archaeological dig, would you even hesitate to say that an intelligence produced it? No, after closely examining it and seeing it’s intricacies, you would hail it as being intelligently designed. What, is the difference between that and say maybe, a well preserved body, found in a sarcophagus. After a through and exhaustible examination, could you not say that an intelligence also made it. Why not claim with even more enthusiasm that an intelligence designed it. Why do people run from that more plausible possibility. Science is so quick to launch, some off the wall theory, but so slow to say a mistake was made.
    And as far as the law that is accepted, and this with no actual proof, that matter can not be created or destroyed, and that matter = energy and energy = matter. These are simply theories, that are pushed as actual facts, discounting the possibility that if there were no intelligent Creator, then these theories would be possible. But, if we add the possibility of God being able to create matter, and energy, then, this would moot, any other theories

    1. To clear something up Gerald, as I’ve said in many places on this site I do accept the possibility of a superior being. I’m an agnostic atheist, not a gnostic atheist or a “strong atheist”. Accepting the possibility doesn’t lead to positive belief in it, though. In short, I think there just might be one but there probably isn’t.

      The indications that Mt Rushmore or a computer chip of any size are intelligently designed and created are not their order or complexity but their artificiality. A computer chip is a set of materials mined from different locations around the globe, refined, machined, cut with a laser and set into a moulded oil byproduct (plastic), so a hundred different parts of the process are beyond natural occurrence. Mt Rushmore is the same but simpler; the effects of the extensive amounts of dynamite are obvious, but if you look at a picture taken from close enough you can clearly see the unnaturally uniform patterns formed by the use of power tools. A human, on the other hand, develops from a single cell without any intervention, and nowadays we can watch the whole process from start to finish. Again, I’ve addressed the watchmaker argument rather a lot, so it pays to do a quick site search.

  12. And to try to say that to believe in God is imperative even with out proof, is the only way to believe in God is silly. The Bible says that God is love. One can not love with out not being to trust in the person that we want to love. It also says in John 14:1. ” ye believe in God believe also in me”. So God will in no way expect us to believe in Him and not want us to look around and consider the evidence that He has provided to help us to do as He wants us to. It lends to credibility. God wants us to be able to trust Him, not blindly like a terrorist who is willing to blow himself up for someone sending him to take one for the team and that person not willing to do the same.

    1. “And to try to say that to believe in God is imperative even with out proof, is the only way to believe in God is silly.”

      Yes, it is. Very silly. But don’t tell us, tell that to the theologians who think the design argument shows weak faith. Your argument here is with some of your fellow Christians, not with atheists.

  13. then this finding, logically, would be evidence of a naturalistic scenario; of no designer. But to the theist mindset this is also evidence of a designer! But that is not the case. You want to ignore what is by something that is not. And there are plenty of astrophysicists who are Christians, or who are willing to admit that an intelligent designer is more probable than not. Tablet A or B is tangible enough to test. But we have what we have and not maybe’s what we do is theorize with what we have to deal with. But why ask the valid question “how we get here, but disallow for the Creator theory.
    ” It’s religious propaganda masquerading as science.” Why is it merely propaganda? Are you willing to throw our a theory that does have a possibility of being the answer, just because you don’t want there to be a supreme, intelligent Creator. It makes more sense that we were created by an intelligent being, than some accident happened, when everything points to the fact that we are just too complex and everything is just too perfect for us to be an accident.

    1. “….there are plenty of astrophysicists who are Christians”

      Well the vast majority aren’t but yes there are a few. But what the majority of them do is sound science and then they come to different conclusions to the others. What they don’t do is what Gonzalez does in Privileged Planet. He writes a book (along with a lawyer with no scientific training) for the general public that blatantly misrepresents the scientific method and cherry picks findings to make his argument. All he does in his book is poke holes in other people’s ideas. He presents zero evidence of his own for his conjectures. Where is his data showing that a designer exists? Where is his data showing that naturalistic hypotheses are untenable? All he has are ideas backed up by selective evidence. Its not scholarship. If it was he wouldn’t have had to get it published by a publisher best known for its openly racist, white supremacist extremist political texts. He would have had it published by a leading science publisher if it had any merit.

      “Why is it merely propaganda?”

      Because he bypasses the accepted methodology of science and the accepted method by which you get scientific data and ideas in the public arena. He writes an unscientific book which he purports to be scientific and sells it to the general public who are generally not well versed in scientific methodology. Like I say, if he’s got data he should present it in the normal way. He hasn’t though, he’s just got ideas.

      “but disallow for the Creator theory.”

      First, its not a theory. Its a belief. No-one disallows it. All we do is ask to the data. All we get in return is constant criticism of the scientific method and un-evidenced assertions. The reason naturalistic explanations dominate in every scientific field is because naturalistic explanations are by far the best fit to the data.

      1. Why is the intelligent designer not a theory? A held belief can not be a valid theory also. There are many who are responding here who are sounding as if not only is it possible that this universe started by an accident, but they believe this theory is the only theory possible. And correct me if I’m wrong, but we are only talking about theories, right. There hasn’t been anything that actually states one way or the other that there is no God. I mean, The big bang hasn’t added up to one plus one equals two yet. right?

        1. “Why is the intelligent designer not a theory? And correct me if I’m wrong, but we are only talking about theories, right.”

          Gerald, you are way out of your depth here. I advise you to stop before you dig an even bigger hole. Here’s the definition of a scientific theory:

          “A coherent, well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method via formal hypotheses generated from multiple lines of investigation and having been repeatedly tested and confirmed through observation and experimentation. ”

          Theories are the pinnacle of scientific investigation. A body of scientific knowledge can go no higher than having the label ‘theory’, e.g., theory of relativity, quantum theory, germ theory, evolutionary theory. These are fields of science that are so well substantiated and confirmed that no scientific body on the planet denies them and the knowledge is commonly and reliably used within science, medicine, industry etc. ID is in no way, shape or form, a scientific theory. It is a hunch.

          Is ID well substantiated? No. Not a single international, national or state-based scientific body accepts ID as a scientific theory.

          Is ID coherent? No. ID proponents can’t even agree among themselves whether the universe is 13.7 billion years old or 6,000 years old. They can’t even agree whether the designer is the Christian god or the Muslim god.

          Does ID provide an explanation of some aspect of the natural world? No. Claiming that a superior intelligence is behind natural phenomena is a mere description. ID neither identifies nor predicts any explanatory mechanisms for natural phenomena.

          Has ID been acquired via the scientific method? No. There are no testable hypotheses. ID is unfalsifiable.

          Has ID been repeatedly tested? No. There is no body of experimental literature dealing with ID.

          Has ID been confirmed by multiple lines of investigation? No. There are no lines of investigation.

          Has ID been confirmed through observation? No. There are no testable hypotheses nor explanatory mechanisms to observe.

          Has ID been confirmed through experimentation? No. Not a single aspect of ID has ever been confirmed by experimentation.

          “There hasn’t been anything that actually states one way or the other that there is no God.”

          In other words, your stance is that if something is logically possible and fits with our perception of the universe then we have every reason to believe its true. Right? What about this then: Just as there exists matter and antimatter there exists a god (who’s a bona fide intelligent designer) and an antigod. Whenever they come into contact they annihilate each other. Immediately after god created the universe he came into contact with antigod and they were both destroyed. That’s why entropy is increasing in the universe. That’s why insects and bacteria and viruses keep evolving and killing us. That’s why there’s evil in the universe. That’s why earthquakes and cyclones occur. All because the intelligent designer is no longer here to sustain the place. So it’s all naturalistic causation now.

          So: I put it to you Gerald, in your very own words, that there hasn’t been anything that actually states one way or the other that there is no god-antigod pairing. Look at the evidence – it’s obvious, it’s in the heavens! It’s also logically valid. And it fits with our perception of the universe. It even fits scientific findings from multiple lines of evidence! Stop sitting on the fence, man!

          So is it true? Well, sure, it could be. But I don’t accept it because there’s no evidence in its favour and its untestable, its unfalsifiable. It sure makes good mythology, though, just like the Bible. There’d have been no problem basing a religious cosmology out of that a 2 or 3000 years ago. Who knows where that might have gone.

          But do you accept it, Gerald? If not, is it also because, like me, there’s no evidence for it? Then as far as the god-antigod pairing idea goes you’re an atheist just like me. But – if you don’t accept the god-antigod pairing idea because there’s no evidence for it then to maintain intellectual consistency you also have to accept that classical monotheistic theology is doubtful on the very same grounds. But, hang on a minute, you do accept classical monotheistic theology. So you are left with no choice than to admit that you’re doing so for other, non-evidential reasons.

          Which means you’re doing exactly what the ID movement does. They claim to base their ideas on evidence and science, but really, to anyone who actually understands evidence and science its blindingly obvious their motivation is religion, which they attempt to mask as science. If it wasn’t the case, how come they don’t y’know, do some actual science………..

          1. While I’m on the subject of ID I’ll mention prominent ID proponent Ann Gauger who once actually did research. She presented a paper outlining her work with microbial colonies at the ID Wistar Symposium in Boston in June 2007. She reported “leaky growth,” between microbial colonies at high densities which resulted in the horizontal transfer of genetic information from colony to colony. This is unsurprising in itself, but she (inadvertently, I’m sure) also mentioned that under these conditions she had identified a novel gene variant that caused enhanced colony growth! Gunther Wagner, a non-ID biologist happened to be in the audience and took her to task during question time and asked her straight out whether she had observed the de novo evolution of a beneficial genetic mutation in her own lab. She didn’t get a chance to answer because the pro-ID moderator immediately stopped the question session, something that would never happen at a legitimate research conference. As Daniel Brooks, another non-ID biologist in the audience later reported:

            “We shuffled off for a coffee break with the admission hanging in the air that natural processes could not only produce new information, they could produce beneficial new information.”

            ID proponents have two choices. Do poor quality original research and get results that suit their purposes. Of course, they’ll get caught out. Or do high quality original research and risk not getting the results they need to maintain their façade. Better to not do any research………..

  14. ?. I think most Christians wrestle with believing in God. We look at all that has been done, which gave us reason to believe in God, and we remember all the we have experienced in our relationship with Him and we still wrestle with the doubt that is so close but still out of reach. Believing is what we have decided, but the other is still there. We are not impervious to doubt, but because of our relationship with Him it gives us more to continue believing.

  15. “He presents zero evidence of his own” The evidence is in the heavens. I was just thinking about what kind of force was needed to allow this very privileged planet to come to rest in it’s present position. What kind of engineering did it take for it to rest on it’s axis, as it does in order to give it just the right spin and gravitation, to maintain, the environment for our luxurious existence. Those who insist there is no God, claim it and all else was by accident. But, that is a lot of coincidental, accidental happenings. But it all can be explained by a divine Creator.

  16. A question, do you have any idea, what was needed for all of the gravitational pulls to arrest this planet in it’s place? Any idea if say what would have happened if the planets in our system were added one at a time, or little by little. Is it not possible that if one were to try to place it one by one that it would be impossible for the balance that has been achieved, to come to past. I’ve tried playing with magnets. I’ve tried to get one to suspend in the middle while being pulled by two others. How is it possible that an accident caused it to happen. I know that it has been done. But only with a lot of effort and skill. Someone with a lot of intellect. And yet, those who reject God say an accident made the impossible to be possible. Please, there are just to many coincidences, that clamor for the only possible explanation, A Creator.

    1. Hi Gerald
      I’m going to make one last comment. You’re refusing to discuss any details, effectively you’re dumbing the whole subject down by simply reasserting simplistic notions that some churches rely on that appeal to the intuitions of those who are not well educated in the minutiae of the data.

      First off though, I’d like to reiterate what SmartLX said. I am also an agnostic atheistic, I don’t discount entirely the possibility of a god. I note that the evidence does not lead us to that conclusion. To have to say this is a little redundant, however, because it is extremely rare to find an atheist who is not agnostic (i.e., claim no knowledge of god therefore have no belief in god). It is far less common to find an agnostic theist (claim no knowledge of god but do believe that such an entity exists). What’s more common, especially among the more militant theists, are people who claim to have a sound knowledge of god, so therefore they believe in god. You have indicated that you fit into that category, i.e., you don’t have faith without evidence. The difference between people like SmartLX and me (compared with you) is that we are prepared to modify our stance on this issue should appropriate data (importantly: of a rigorous enough quality) come to light. You, on the other hand are effectively claiming that we already have all data we need. And we didn’t even need scientific investigation to get that data. So it doesn’t matter what further data is brought to the table (or what quality it is), you have decided that there’s enough data to make your decision. So, while science (atheism mode, if you like) generates and tests hypotheses and accumulates and interprets more and more data, leading to more secure models and theories that might enable us to come to more and more secure conclusions, you are doing something that is common in creationist, intelligent design circles etc; you are flagging up non-specific, generic data that you perceive to be supporting your conclusion and ignoring and/or misrepresenting data that does not.

      This is what Gonzales did in his book. This is what people like William Dembski have done in his writings. He chooses a definition of ‘evolution’ that no biologist recognises or agrees with, he then invents a metric he labels ‘specified complexity’ which no mathematician recognises and agrees with. He then performs some calculations based on his two ideas and lo and behold! Evolution is mathematically impossible. But does he then present his evidence at a bioinformatics conference? No. Does he present his evidence to a respected peer-reviewed journal? No. He bypasses the acknowledged scientific process and writes a book, just like Gonzales did, aimed at an audience, like yourself, who don’t understand the complexities, but share their a priori notion that there’s a god pulling the strings behind the curtain. And they then proceed to websites such as this one to make claims that the data are in the heavens!

      Gerald, if you had some scientific training and were able to discuss the data in some detail, I might not agree with your conclusions but I would respect your ability to come to those conclusions. Theists often claim there’s a huge international conspiracy within science to not listen to them. It’s completely untrue. For example, Sean Carroll (theoretical physicist and atheist) has often spoken of his respect for the work of Don Page (theoretical physicist and Christian). Probably the most public opponent of intelligent design is the Christian biologist Ken Miller. Stephen Hawking has co-authored several papers with a Christian physicist. What scientists object to are dishonesty and shoddy science, charlatans like Gonzales and Dembski, who abuse the scientific method and present religious propaganda as sound science. Dembski understands the maths just fine, but he’s so dishonest he’s prepared to distort biology and mathematics to support his conclusions.

      “Those who insist there is no God, claim it and all else was by accident. But, that is a lot of coincidental, accidental happenings. But it all can be explained by a divine Creator.”

      This type of thinking is an eminent example of what I’m talking about. It’s rare to find anyone with a training in the sciences who thinks this way. It shows a lack of mathematical understanding. BTW if you’re interested I can recommend a book with hundreds of high magnification photographs of snowflakes and it will just blow your mind how complex and unique each one is. If you think a computer chip is complex, have you seen the detail in ice crystals?

      http://www.sciencealert.com/features/20140107-25790-2.html

      If you came across that, wouldn’t you immediately consider this to be evidence of design? Yet it definitely is not. We can observe these things being assembled, piece by piece, entirely via “chance”, by natural means. You simply cannot use complexity or functionality as evidence of design. If that is what people are telling you they are misleading you. Similarly, you cannot use mathematical probability or improbability as evidence of design. Briefly, here’s why:

      You argument is essentially, that some events are so mathematically improbable that it is inconceivable that they could happen by chance. This is demonstrably wrong. Firstly, notice that you never see a mathematical argument from a theist accurately defining what we consider as probable, improbable and mathematically impossible. The labels are always assigned in some subjective manner according to each case This allows them to shift the goalposts as required, while maintaining that if it’s a big number it can’t possibly occur by chance! With that in mind, let’s take a look at some actual figures that theists have claimed indicate mathematical impossibility. Let’s start with a pack of playing cards.

      Assuming a truly random shuffle, the probability of observing any particular sequence of 52 playing cards (i.e., the ratio of an actual shuffled sequence to the sample space of all possible shuffled sequences) is 1/80658175170943878571660636856403766975289505440883277824000000000000 or 8 x 10^67. Obviously, the next time I deal a pack of cards, the result could only be explained by a divine Creator! To put this into some perspective this figure is far, far larger than all the observable stars in the universe which is about 10^23. The probability of any randomly selected bridge hand being dealt is also far larger than all the observable stars, being 1/53644737765488792839237440000 or about 5.36 x 10^28. Every time we play a game of cards we are in the same numerical territory that creationists consistently argue is evidence for a supernatural origin of life on Earth.

      I’m going to have a game of chess this afternoon. What are the chances that the particular game we end up playing will have actually occurred? Across 64 squares, each player is restricted to starting the game with 20 possible moves. Yet, after each player has made only four moves the probability of that particular permutation of play is 1/200000 or 2 x 10^5. After ten moves each that figure rises to 8.35 x 10^28. The total possible permutations of games of chess that could be played is about 10^120. So, Gerald, what would you conclude from this? That the game we play “is a lot of coincidental, accidental happenings [that can only be] explained by a divine Creator”. What about throwing dice? If you throw one die a thousand times the probability that you would get the sequence of numbers that you do is 1 in 10^778. It has even been calculated that the probability of any particular snowflake structure with a six-sided symmetry assembling all-at-once by ‘chance’ is approximately 1 in 10^2500.

      But there’s an even bigger problem for your view on things. All the above examples assume hat only a single deal of cards, a single game of chess, a single 1000-sequence coin toss and a single snowflake has ever occurred. But in reality cards are dealt all the time, coins are tossed all the time, chess is played all the time and snowflakes fall all the time. So, if it takes 15 seconds for one person to toss a coin and record the result it would take an average of eight minutes (i.e., 32 tosses) to achieve four heads in a row. However, if 16 people simultaneously tossed coins at the same rate we would realistically expect four heads to occur within the first minute.

      Extrapolate these figures out to the entire universe. If you get astronomical probabilities simply by dealing a single deck of cards, imagine the probabilities obtained by the “chance” movements and collisions of every single particle and atom in the universe, over 13.7 billion years. You couldn’t even imagine it. That’s why mathematicians invented set theory and infinity. So long as its physically lawful, you cannot claim that something cannot occur by chance. No matter what people are telling you, in the grand scheme of things, big numbers and the supposed impossibility of chance events signify absolutely nothing. These occur perfectly naturally and are regularly observable. When someone like Gonzalez claims that the probability of an event occurring is beyond chance, we can conclude one of three things; they either don’t understand mathematics, or they understand mathematics fine well, but ignore certain aspects for subjective reasons, or they understand mathematics fine well and, aware they wouldn’t get away with their kind of reasoning with a scientific audience, prefer to lie outright to a non-scientific audience to get heard.

      What you’re expecting of us, Gerald, is what Gonzalez and his ilk are doing. They want us to abandon the rigorous application of scientific methodology and analysis and base our conclusions on a cursory, intuitive approach to finding out how things work, where things are ‘just obvious’, ’common sense’, the evidence is ‘in the heavens’ and, forget about the data from CERN, we can just as effectively reach conclusions about quantum physics by playing with magnets on the kitchen table! This was the point I was making with the tablets, which you didn’t seem to appreciate. Both the tablets are tangible, so could be tested. But I chose not to test one yet came to a conclusion. That’s dishonest. Analogically only one planet or one universe is tangible. So if someone who could test using a control condition but chooses not to do so is being dishonest, why do you not think that someone who has no access at all to a control condition, yet nevertheless comes to a definitive ‘scientific’ conclusion is not being dishonest? The fact is he hasn’t got the appropriate range of data to properly test his hypothesis so he shouldn’t be making a priori judgements and pretending to everyone that all the while he’s doing sound science. He isn’t, he’s peddling snake oil to gullible customers.

      I have to be honest here; I find it unfortunate and not a little sad that there are people whose minds are clearly capable of far better who deny the complexity (and awesomeness) of the universe, that really do believe that these issues are inherently simple, that they can be reduced to some minimal common denominator that appeals to intuition and the stories they were told as children. Gerald, please understand this. I’m not saying you’re definitely wrong. I’m saying you have neither the data nor the rigorous analysis to back up your claims. And we should demand the same exemplary standard of investigation no matter the hypothesis. Nobody has grounds to demand a free pass.

  17. It’s time to get off of the fence. With the simple fact that all we do is create, make. If we have nothing more than that then we could lean to there being a Creator and not an accident. But since we also have the complexity along with the fact that all we know is something made than why not lean toward that theory instead of we are accidents.

    1. Are you serious? We’re surrounded by things we didn’t make. We often make things from them, if we can reach them. It’s a particularly glaring logical fallacy to assert, presume or even think it likely that because some things were made, all things must have been. The way we behave as humans is not necessarily a microcosm of how a god would work with the universe, even if there was a god.

  18. That my friend is just the point. We didn’t make them, yet they are more complex than anything that we have yet to create. What we have made is less than a shadow of that, that surrounds us. But we would scoff at the mere utterance that what we have created, or made, were anything less than made by an intelligence

    1. We’ve hardly scoffed at the idea. For most of human history the vast majority did think that everything was carefully made by the deity du jour. The difference now is that although we still recognise how easy it is to think that, we know how many things develop naturally and unguided, and thus we know not to simply assume that something complex or ordered has any intelligence behind it.

      I agree that the things in the universe which we haven’t made can eclipse our own creations in terms of scale and complexity. This has two possible implications: that it takes someone more powerful than us to create such things, or natural mechanisms can create complexity too. Without first assuming the presence of a godlike entity, the first option does not seem likely.

  19. You are taking it for granted that they are developing naturally and unguided without considering the possibility that the developing was built into what was created. When you cut yourself, your body doesn’t need to wait for instructions onto how to repair itself. God created this world, with all its possible needs in mind.

    1. Just the opposite, I accept that possibility but I’m not taking for granted that all complexity and order are ultimately brought about by the influence of intelligence. The body repairs itself using mechanisms built into its DNA, which we know because some of those mechanisms can be disabled by unfortunate mutations. We’ve observed DNA being altered over time by evolution, so that’s the only method with any evidence behind it.

  20. Ok you are not taking it for granted, but what evidence do you have otherwise. There is yet to anything popping out of nothing. Anything new coming up is coming through the actions of intelligence. And that intelligence needs to use things that have been created to make something else. From an intelligence spring imagination and from that imagination actions. Do you really believe that brains as complex and wonderous as ours could happen. Y chance. Even when something that we created came about by trial and error or by accident it took an intelligence to recognize it and act upon itto apply the finishING touch. What it is you are waiting for God to come down and tell you I am here. But he is saying look around you all I have created tells you I am here. All this we know by the word of God that He gave us to inform us about what has happened. So if the story of creation is right then the story about this world falling into sin is right also. Sure there is faith needed. There is some conjecture that needs to be brought out. But the question remains how did we get here. And that to believe it happened by accident is crazy or to believe that God just create this and sent us on our way without an interest in what he has created is also crazy. There is enough evidence to show that there is a God who loves and cares for his creation and he needed some way to communicate with us after we fell into sin. And that was the Bible

  21. Altered by evolution, more like devolution. Any alteration, not performed by an intelligence, to DNA, has compromised that cell. And that breakdown of DNA, is due to the effects of sin in this world. Notice all that was needed has been encoded in that cell. And even more than that, some cells contained a, pause and then start the next part of the organism. Such as one cell giving way to skin, hair, eyes, and so and so. What did I send before. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. It’s time to come off of the fence. If God be God serve Him. And if Baal be god serve him. 1 Kings 18:21 There are no in betweens. Even the indecisiveness of a person,, with all the evidence available, works to sway others from the influence of God and into the ranks of the devil.
    That is the evidence. Just how do you expect an freak accident to provide the complexity of a simple one cell organism, yet alone that of a human being. Comparing it to the complexity of a robot built by us. Having the ability to reason, reproduce, repair, sustain itself, care for others, diversity for different needs. Come on. down down off of that fence and proclaim God as your God.

    1. In a word, no. Beneficial mutations continue to happen, even in humans. Explaining all such mutations away as part of the organism’s original potential sounds great to creationists, but it loses its power the further back you go in biological history and the more bodily features come about from creatures that had no such thing – until you arrive via comparative genetics at the universal common ancestor, which didn’t have much of a body at all.

      Beware of the word “how” or “how else” in an argument. It usually signals an argument from ignorance, as it does here. Even if we had no idea how human brains and other features had come about, it would not be correct to accept the claim of a divine creator, and for two reasons. One, the creator itself has not been established as real, and two, if you personally don’t know how then leaping to the idea that it’s impossible assumes a kind of omniscience on your part, an act of great hubris. Aren’t you commanded to be humble?

      I think it’s safe to say that I’m off the fence, but on the far side. I think a god is possible, but I don’t believe there actually is one and that’s the important thing as far as your particular version of your particular god is concerned. From your perspective that puts me on a side with Baal or Beelzebub, but guess what? I don’t think he’s real either.

  22. Please name one beneficial mutation. And even if there were, it would not be an evolution from one species to another, but merely an already innate adaptation, in that same species. As what happened to some types of birds on one island where the birds had short beaks. But there was a time where food became scarce and the birds beaks elongated to be able to pull food in between crevices of rocks. But when the food became plentiful again the beaks of the birds went back to the smaller sizes. i believe you are still hesitant or unwilling to focus on the fact that I am endeavoring to emphasize. Since complexity of an organism limits the possibility of it coming out of nothing, primarily because the more complex of an item we invent, the more unlikely it could have popped out of nothing. And reasoning that just because we did not witness from a less complex but still a very complex organism, to the most complex of all organism, man it is still more reasonable to conclude that they were created by an intelligence and not produced out of a random conglomeration of accidental, occurrences
    And no, I don’t believe that just because I use the mind given by a divine intelligent, all powerful, all knowing but all loving being to reason that all that I see is just to marvelous to assume that it all came through the same aforementioned accidental random chances.
    And as for you showing the wisdom into not believing, in Baal that is to your credit. Beelzebub was just another name for the devil, and although he wanted to take God’s place, he could not because not only was he a created being , he lacked the love and care that our true God as part of His eternal makeup.

    1. See Richard Lenski’s E. coli long-term experiment. A strain of E. coli evolved the ability to consume citrate in an aerobic environment where previously it couldn’t. It even did it several times in independent environments. Good thing you dismissed any example ahead of time with “even if there were,” huh?

      If it’s a separation of species you’re looking for, here is a list of observed speciation events. The difference between the resulting two species in each case is small, but they are different species by definition because they are unable to mate with each other. The difference is also small because not a lot of time has passed during the observation, compared to geological time. There is however no barrier to larger changes except total assertions like the idea of a “kind”. (This is an example of a broader type of philosophical assertion known as essentialism, which is currently being fought against in practically all areas of thought.)

      The fact that something is complex does not make it less likely to have come from nothing, because there isn’t anything either simple or complex that apparently comes from nothing. The whole idea of evolution is that something complex can come from something slightly less complex, not from nothing.

      If you go back far enough that means that something living came from something non-living, because life hasn’t been around forever. Before there was life, there were all the material ingredients for life, churning together in the mud and sea for a billion years. There’s an amount of time where an “accident” becomes statistically unavoidable, like a frog hopping around in a minefield. Maybe we got lucky because it happened after a billion years; maybe by rights it should have taken two billion, or else only a hundred million.

      Wherever our brains came from, mine has the same source as yours. Funny how it comes to the opposite conclusion regardless.

    2. “Please name one beneficial mutation.”

      There are literally tens of thousands that have been identified and the number expands week by week in the scientific literature. The plant science (agronomy, horticulture, viticulture etc) genetic databases are a particularly rich source of identified beneficial mutations. Here are a few prominent examples from the animal kingdom:

      Mutations in the HLA-A leukocyte antigen gene (HLA-A*30 and HLA-A*30-C*03 haplotypes) result in a considerably increased resistance to HIV.

      Mutation in the CCR5Δ32 gene result in protection against smallpox and HIV (if homozygous) and delayed progression to AIDS (if heterozygous).

      Mutation in the HbC gene in West African populations result in a marked reduction in susceptibility to contracting malaria (homozygous) and almost certain protection when heterozygous, both without any increased risk in sickle cell anaemia.

      Mutations in the OPN1MW and OPN1MW2 genes result in greatly enhanced colour vision; approx. 2–3% of women are tetrochromatic, i.e., they have a significantly increased ability for colour differentiation.
      Mutation in the MSTN gene results in increased muscle mass and limb strength in cattle, sheep and dogs.

      Mutation in the Apo-AI gene (Apo-AIM allele) results in reduced arteriosclerosis and cardiovascular disease risk in many animals, including humans.

      Mutation in the LRP5 gene results in increased bone density and strength in a number of animals.

      Mutation in the LCT gene allows the digestion of milk after weaning in humans.

      It’s also worth mentioning a few things. First, the term ‘mutation’ is used differently in biology to how lay people use it. It does not refer to a perfectly functioning gene that undergoes a change and so ‘mutates’ into something less perfect. The whole genome is, by its very nature, malleable and undergoes constant change. No genome is set rigid; this is impossible. A mutation refers merely to the labelling of some identified variant in a genome.

      Second, there is a huge amount of redundancy built into genomes so that the vast majority of mutations have no effect whatsoever and may or may not become ‘fixed’ in a genome according to the mechanisms of ‘neutral’ and ‘random drift’. I won’t explain it all here. If you really do want to know why this is the case, appreciate the vast amount of non-coding regions in most organisms and get hold of a codon chart. If you don’t follow the codon mechanism, just ask someone who knows about molecular genetics to explain it to you. It’s not really that difficult to understand in itself.

      Don’t just parrot inane creationist canards; learn some science (it’s real exciting!) and try to incorporate it within your theistic beliefs. If you don’t do that, the only people who are going to accept what you say are those who are ignorant of the science. Do you really want that to be the future of your religion? The usual response here is that so and so is a scientist and a Christian and so is him over there. But look closely at these people. I’m always amused that fundamentalist Christians tout Francis Collins as an example of a Christian scientist. He certainly is. But they obviously haven’t read what he’s written about creationism. He’s as scathing as any ‘militant’ atheist. Same goes for the biologist Ken Miller. Christian. But look at how strong his opposition to ID is. These people may be Christians but they’re also quality scientists who have no time for charlatans. You can learn a lot from them.

      Third, whether a mutation is beneficial or not is not normally immediately apparent (though even point mutations that confer disease usually become apparent within a single lifetime). A neutral mutation can become beneficial at any time in the future, perhaps even tens of thousands of years later. It can confer some selective advantage due to a change in the wider environment (natural selection) or subsequent mutations in other genes (gene-gene interactions) or other effects in the immediate physiological environment (epigenetics). Almost any mutation is potentially beneficial, given the right conditions. So whenever you meet a creationist who says that such and such a mutation is not beneficial you know straightaway that you’re dealing with someone who is clueless about molecular genetics.

      Fourth, contrary to what many creationists claim, a mutation caused by a deletion in the genome (i.e., an actual loss of genetic information) can be immediately beneficial to an organism or prove to be beneficial at a population level at some point in the future. This fact is now well established.

      “…………..it would not be an evolution from one species to another”

      The idea that evolutionary theory considers that a single mutation (with the exception of polyploidy in plants) can cause a complete new species is completely erroneous. Whoever is telling you this is outright lying to you. New species result from thousands of mutations whose effects cumulate, normally over tens to hundreds of thousands of years at the least (although there have been rare speciation events observed over hundreds of years and even decades).

      “……..but merely an already innate adaptation”

      So how do you account for the de novo formation, from completely redundant, non-coding sequences, of a protein-coding gene that appears in a single species but doesn’t exist in any other species? This represents an increase in genetic information from a region where no information was previously available. There are suspected to be about (from memory) 60 of them in human genome, 27 which have been confirmed (from memory, it’s probably larger now). In some other species, such as drosophilia, we’ve actually observed de novo genes forming.

      “But when the food became plentiful again the beaks of the birds went back to the smaller sizes.”

      First off, an observed change in beak size is not a speciation event. A speciation event occurs when a single population branches off into two or more populations until they reach the point where their genomes are so different that they are unable to successfully breed with each other. Hundreds of speciation events have been observed in real time and described in the scientific literature (perhaps even thousands by now, this aspect of biology is growing very fast). Thousands more can be identified using molecular genetics – again a very rapidly growing field. When you hear a creationist say that speciation has never been observed (and amazingly, in this day and age, some still do) then you know you’re dealing with someone who is either (i) scientifically ignorant or (ii) wilfully dishonest.

      Evolution doesn’t go one way; it’s not a linear process. It’s an ever branching process. The mutations responsible for the longer beak would have no longer conferred any selective advantage within the population and so the alleles responsible were gradually removed from the genome over time via the standard mechanisms of natural selection. How does this refute evolution? It’s a specific prediction of evolutionary theory.

  23. This is a classic believer argument, and one that basically defeats itself. This might have been mentioned to you already, Gerald, but in case it wasn’t…

    Your basic argument here is that our brain, or DNA, or the universe itself is too complex to have happened by chance. Its complexity means that it couldn’t have occurred without a creative force.

    OK, fine. What about your god then? Your god, by the very limits you have imposed, cannot possibly exist without being created, right? Is your god not complex? Even more complex than the universe! But that complexity, as you have stated, takes creation. So that must mean that something created your god. See the merry-go-round you have now? The creator of your god must be created, but what created the creator of the creator of your god…on and on and on. You can’t have an original creator if that creator is complex, which obviously it must be.

    Of course at this point the believers always invoke the “exception”. The exception, of course, is the unsubstantiated claim that their god has just always existed. Their god does not need to be created, because it just always existed. But unfortunately all that does is show, again by the believer claims, that complexity does not, in fact, HAVE to be created. Their own god, after all, did not need to be created. And that god is even more complex than the universe. So there’s no reason to think that the relatively simpler universe would need to be created when an all-powerful god creature didn’t need to be created.

    It’s a self defeating argument. Complexity does not prove the need for creation. If anything, complexity only makes sense if it happens by chance and timing…

  24. Gerald writes: [There is yet to anything popping out of nothing. Anything new coming up is coming through the actions of intelligence]

    This is a classic believer argument, and one that basically defeats itself. This might have been mentioned to you already, Gerald, but in case it wasn’t…

    Your basic argument here is that our brain, or DNA, or the universe itself is too complex to have happened by chance. Its complexity means that it couldn’t have occurred without a creative force.

    OK, fine. What about your god then? Your god, by the very limits you have imposed, cannot possibly exist without being created, right? Is your god not complex? Even more complex than the universe! But that complexity, as you have stated, takes creation. So that must mean that something created your god. See the merry-go-round you have now? The creator of your god must be created, but what created the creator of the creator of your god…on and on and on. You can’t have an original creator if that creator is complex, which obviously it must be.

    Of course at this point the believers always invoke the “exception”. The exception, of course, is the unsubstantiated claim that their god has just always existed. Their god does not need to be created, because it just always existed. But unfortunately all that does is show, again by the believer claims, that complexity does not, in fact, HAVE to be created. Their own god, after all, did not need to be created. And that god is even more complex than the universe. So there’s no reason to think that the relatively simpler universe would need to be created when an all-powerful god creature didn’t need to be created.

    It’s a self defeating argument. Complexity does not prove the need for creation. If anything, complexity only makes sense if it happens by chance and timing…

  25. Complexity for created things is one thing. It leads us to ask how we got here. And points us to the fact that there has to be a Creator. But looking on the other side of the coin, This supposedly big bang theory, has the same circle. But has no basis for it happening except from the imaginations of those interested in trying to dismiss the only theory that make sense. We don’t or never have seen anything just popping out of any kind of accident. People say that that is the way it had to happen, but, there have been holes poked into this theory. God, yes He has always existed. But others say that rocks or what they are made of or what ever was around before rocks, it was around for ever. But the question, remains how did that matter or material get here. It makes more sense that someone made it. And that Someone has been around for ever. Even making time itself. All those who find it hard or impossible to believe in Him, only shout He is impossible. Even the evidence of creation is all around them. But, All the other unbelievable theories, from their inceptions, have needed to be tweaked and amended in order to cover up the buts that have been brought to light. This is especially for the so called big bang theory and the theory of evoultion.

    1. “………….how did that matter or material get here. It makes more sense that someone made it.”

      Actually, Tim is correct. It doesn’t make more sense. But even if it did make more sense that would hardly be reasonable grounds to accept it as true. Anyway, here, I will argue that your claim that an eternally existing omnipotent god is the causal agent for the universe is counter-logical.

      It is an accepted condition of the concept of causality that if state B is an inevitable consequence of state A, solely because B is a logical consequence of A then no causation can have occurred. Put simply, consider the syllogism:

      P1: All men are mortal
      P2: Socrates is a man
      C: Therefore: Socrates is mortal

      The conclusion is, of course, logically valid, the premises are true and Socrates is indeed mortal. But you cannot then make a leap to deducing that the cause of Socrates’ mortality is his being a man. Being a man is a sufficient condition for mortality but it is certainly not a necessary condition for mortality. This would only hold if men and only men were mortal.

      Yet a similar counter-logical leap is exactly what theists do. They argue that because they can make a valid logical argument that an omnipotent god exists (and that, of course, is open to much dispute) then it follows that this being is the causal agent for the universe. But this does not logically follow because, just as being a man is a sufficient but not necessary condition for mortality, god may be a necessary, but not sufficient condition for the creation of the universe.

      According to classical theism, if an omnipotent god wills the universe (or anything else) into existence then the universe will, with absolute certainty, come into existence. The problem here is that causation is a probabilistic event characterised by a correlation in space-time between two separate events or states. But when god wills something to existence the outcome is in no way probabilistic. Therefore the mere presence of god within the mechanism would make it a logically sufficient condition that the universe exists. The usual response here, the anthropocentric assumption equating god’s ‘willing’ as a mental act synonymous with human ‘willing’ does not hold because while human willing can certainly cause observable effects there is no guarantee of the intended outcome; it is probabilistic. Neither can human willing ever be a logically sufficient condition for any outcome.

      So, it follows that if the universe (and anything else created by god) inevitably exists on the basis that god has willed it to be so, then we have identified a logically sufficient condition for the universe to exist. Any state which is the result of a logically sufficient condition is (i) not the consequence of any causal interaction and (ii) must hold the reason for its existence within its own nature.

      In other words, it is metaphysically necessary that the universe exist. It cannot fail to exist because it is a logical and not a material consequence when certain conditions (i.e., the existence of god) are met. A god is necessary but clearly not sufficient. It might, for example, be a skillful assembler of pre-existing material, or merely acting non-consciously from innate reflexes, or pantheism may hold; the universe might be god itself naturally and necessarily transforming itself, as a child necessarily changes into an adult. While the argument may be logically sound, the actual mechanism by which the process occurs is pure conjecture, of course. Just like religion.

      Note the problem for theists though: if the existence of the universe is a logically sufficient condition the theist is certainly left with plausible (i.e., philosophically coherent) arguments that this state of affairs involves an acausal non-mental state, but is left with no plausible argument that this state of affairs is the product of an acausal mental state. It is better characterised as a naturalistic state. We can now tend a formal logical argument:

      P1: Everything that begins to exist does so because it is logically sufficient that it does so
      P2: The universe began to exist
      C1: Therefore: the universe exists because it is logically sufficient that it does so
      C2: Therefore: The universe can have no cause

      This fits with current quantum theory and preserves a belief in god. Of course, by definition, a logically sufficient thing is also a metaphysically necessary thing which in turn implies that the universe is a metaphysically necessary thing. This allows a supporting argument:

      P1: All metaphysically necessary things have no cause
      P2: The universe is a metaphysically necessary thing
      C: Therefore: the universe has no cause

      In order to effectively counter these arguments and retain classical monotheism the theist would need to do far more than provide evidence (of any kind) that the existence of the universe was contingent on the existence of a superior intelligence. This would not invalidate the argument at all. They would need to provide specific evidence that god is metaphysically necessary but the universe is not metaphysically necessary. How they do that without resorting to the special pleading they use for the claim that god has always existed will be interesting. I have never sighted a cogent refutation of this argument.

      “All the other unbelievable theories, from their inceptions, have needed to be tweaked and amended in order to cover up the buts that have been brought to light. This is especially for the so called big bang theory and the theory of evoultion.”

      So basically, your understanding of the scientific method is that someone ‘thinks up’ a theory and from then on, to be considered valid, it should remain the same. That if it ever has to be tweaked and amended then that process, somehow, constitutes a failure of the theory. Look, Gerald, this is the 21st century. Information has never been more available. You can read up on scientific methodology for free, on the internet, at your local library. There are very good science books written for the lay person that explain this kind of thing. You can do introductory courses. If you had taken the time to understand these issues you would appreciate that the acknowledged strength of scientific methodology is its mechanisms for investigating in incremental, logical steps and its in-built system for self-correction. All findings are provisional and theories are expected to adjust to incorporate new data. This is normal. This is what science is. This is exactly why science has been by far the most effective method ever designed by human beings to investigate phenomena?

      Your preferred scenario, then, appears to be to institute a belief system based on no evidence and then refuse to tweak and amend it even when new data comes to light. Good grief, that methodology hasn’t even worked for religion.

      1. “All the other unbelievable theories”

        Well if its truly unbelievable ask yourself how it could possibly have became elevated to the status of a theory by atheist and theistic scientists (from all religions) alike. Remember the definition of a scientific theory I gave you. And ask yourself this: if you don’t understand and/or have erroneous ideas about something, as you obviously do about scientific matters, what then gives you the right to so blithely label it as ‘unbelievable’?

        In any case, I don’t accept that you really think scientific theories are unbelievable. After all, you wash your hands after going to the toilet don’t you? So you must accept that aspect of a theory. You play with magnets. So you must accept that aspect of a theory. If your doctor tells you to make sure you finish your course of antibiotics and you do so, you must accept that aspect of a theory. If you buy a ticket to travel around the world in a plane or a ship in a single direction you must accept that aspect of a theory. If you eat modern food crops that are entirely new species, you must accept that aspect of a theory. You accept far more aspects of scientific theories than you claim.

        I suspect you knock science because, unlike religious teachings, we humans have no control over the findings. You have a need for certainty but the way you perceive the universe is not the way that science is finding that it is. Because you lack the humility to accept that some people genuinely devote their lives to doing good quality, honest work finding out how the universe really is, and how we can benefit from our knowledge, rather than just listening to people like yourself telling people what’s what.

  26. God will not go to the trouble to dot every I and cross every t, to try to dismiss every doubt. The only way that would be possible is if He were to reveal Himself openly to all. But you know what would happen. Every one would either try to dissect Him or they would follow Him out of fear, or be mesmerized by Him. Christ said as much when He first came and He said that many followed Him because of what He was providing. I’m sure it happens to every new winner of the lottery. So it seems as if He knows that it’s better to give us enough to peek our interest and allow us to decide if we want to believe. There is just enough to cause us to raise wonder but just enough to cause doubt. But like I said, if there is a God, then the rest of the story is true. Man fell, because they were tempted by satan. satan, made accusations against God and so we are in this trial, on this earth, to see if what satan said is true or if it was a lie. satan since he was a created being can never hope to compete with God, So, God can not just influence us with His majesty. satan would pale in splendor compared to God. So God said about people on this earth, ” by their fruits ye shall know them” so is it in the controversy between God and satan. God said ” behold I hold before you life and death, good and evil, choose ye this day whom ye will serve.

  27. Tim I did not see that you had entered into the fray. I thought it was just between SmartLX and myself. Good to here from you. So I guess what I had written earlier was directed to you about where God came from. And as you already said Christians have to say He has always been. Mainly because this is what He said about Himself in His word. Saying of Himself the Immortal God. But there are more reasons than just the complexity of life why I and others believe in intelligent design. But alas, I get up at 2 am to smart get to work and I need to sleep. But thank you all for the interesting banter we are engaging in.

  28. I’m afraid that your definition or idea of God is far from what I and others have. God is all powerful. God is omnipresent. He is all knowing, and He can do anything He wants. That includes creating something from nothing and that is after He created the nothing to make anything. You speak as if there is absolute proof as to your definition of the why’s and how’s of the universe. But to me, it looks as if all of what you and Tim are saying are only theories, with little to no proof that makes it any more than this is what I think, but I know it is true. Now, I know that the “I think therefore I am” statement has weight, but the ” I think therefore it is so” not so much.
    Based on no evidence! What do you call evidence then? Seeing God produce something with your own eyes? Just how have your theories any more evidence than that of those who believe. It seems as though you must have more belief in your theories than we do. Because reasoning that we are so, without a question, marvelously created and in no where any where have we seen any semi complex or other wise organisms popping up out of nothing, we have more evidence using our reasoning that it makes more sense, to believe that we were created that exploded. For that matter, I ended yesterday with the thought that Christians base their belief upon more that just an organism theory. We base it upon, a few other aspects. One is that this earth is no where inhospitable to our existence. It appears that everything was made to make it not only easier, for us to thrive, but to make it almost impossible for us not to. Comparing this planet to all the others in this system, why isn’t it more like them. Why not to the point that we could barely make out a living. Everything on this planet revolves on the benefit of other organisms. Everything has a purpose. And it looks as if all was to aid us. Sure, we are reasoning, but you are reasoning that all of this I have mentioned so far, happened by accident. If what you are saying could be possible, those odds would be more than astronomical, seeing that we really can’t imagine all the cons confronting the first whispers of life, just to get to the place of starting to congeal. The conditions, since they clearly were not favorable for life, had to have been aligned all of sudden, along with what ever, just the right spark to get everything boiling. And then should I even mention the fact, that the just the right incubator would have needed to become available, to sustain that fragile spark of what is supposed to become you or I. Look how fragile life is in our now a days environment. This is just so much to imagine, that fellows of your supposedly high intellect, would not have thought about what I have just mentioned. Or is it that you prefer to bury your brains in the sand.
    Surly if what you are saying were possible, if those conditions were did come about by such good luck, that there would still be other ancestors popping out of nowhere. Come on. Lets us our heads for more than hat racks.
    Tim you suggest that the singularity had existed, where is this proved. How is not the same kind of belief in what you suggested as for that of believing that there is an intelligent Creator?
    Gary, I know you have not been living under a rock since the big bang and evolution were spit out of the mouth of the great deceiver, satan. Many of the same proponents of these theories have admitted that there are holes. In these theories and others have erased and hem and hawed there way into some other form of these theories, trying to keep them afloat.
    And the theory that the arguments are theoretically sound, has as much potential, to hold air as outerspace would. Reason, dictates first that even if there were any kind of chance for any of these things to happen, that surly not all of these circumstances could happen with out any kind of intelligence looking out for it. Life would have had as much a chance to happen as a cake being made if you left the ingredients sitting on the inside of an oven, with even mixing them or turning on the oven.
    “P1 Everything that begins to exist does so because it is logically sufficient that it does so” What are the basis for this logic. If no one was around to measure, or witness, the first beginnings, how can we even determine that this logic is logical.
    Now, I see you all are hedging your bets, by saying that you are dealing with theories, but you are putting all your eggs in a basket with no bottom, hoping that the eggs will hatch before they hit the floor.
    We see that since it takes intelligence to make the most advanced invention, that we have made, then since all of what we have made can not even hold a candle to a simple one celled organism, than logic decrees that it is more than likely that an superior intelligence made that one celled organism and everything else.

    1. “……….evolution were spit out of the mouth of the great deceiver, satan”

      Gerald, when you make statements to the effect that evolution is Satanic you are effectively making defamatory statements against the many good people working within the field. I have first-authored and co-authored research in the fields of cognitive neuroscience and molecular genetics investigating the neurological and genetic bases for a prominent neuro-developmental condition that has life changing effects on children and adults. I take great exception to you insinuating that our work (directly informed by evolutionary theory) and results (fitting perfectly within evolutionary theory) indicate that we were in league with, or somehow duped or manipulated by Satan. We have verifiable, objective evidence of our scientific findings in this field (our team actually won an international science prize for identifying the first susceptibility gene for the condition). The nine individuals involved in this research were all genuinely committed to making life better for our fellow humans. If you wish to question our motives for doing this research and have comparable verifiable, objective evidence that our results were obtained due to Satanic influence then please email me privately and I will happily give you the details of which universities, funding bodies and scientific journals were involved so you can make formal your allegations. If you are as certain as you claim to be that evolutionary theory is “spit out of the mouth of the great deceiver, Satan” then you would surely have no hesitation in doing so.

      I shall reply to the rest of your posts in the following days.

  29. Over what findings. What are you holding up as evidence that would cause anyone to look unfavorably at there being an intelligence behind the making of all that we have not invented. If as you all are saying that we are talking about theories, then why cast so much doubt at the possibility that we as intelligent beings, were created by an intelligent being. Seeing as how it is not only unimaginably difficult or next to impossible if not completely impossible, for everything that we have not invented, to have so overcome to such a cavernous magnitude as to come to such a grand standing, if all we had to depend on was luck and fortune. Why is it so wrong to flex our minds just a bit more and think that we were placed here by some intelligent.
    And that new food crops that you mentioned is far from new. It is the old wrapped in new paper. New signifies, from being taken from nothing and made into something. Even the new elements that are being talked about are not new. Just like we can remove from H2O and make O2. Who’s to say that that so called new rare element, does not already exist, but we have yet to discover it in it’s virgin form, seeing as how we can manipulate another element to make the rare one. You heard about the scientist that told God that they were now ready to make life, and when he went to reach down and gather a bit of dirt, God asked him what He was doing, and told him to make his own dirt. Or how about the scientist who said that it was impossible for the bumble bee to fly, but the bumble bee ignored the scientist and flew right along. Science stretches it’s imagination knowing that the only thing that would limit that imagination, is that same imagination, yet science finds it hard to accept the possibility that we are not the only intelligent beings.

  30. Why didn’t matter in the early universe collapse into black holes? After all, physicists say that if you squeeze matter to a high enough density, it will collapse into a black hole, and the density of matter in the early universe was extremely high. The answer is that black-hole formation actually depends on the variation in density from one place to another–and there was very little variation back then. Matter was spread out almost perfectly smoothly.
    how was matter able to get out of the big-bang singularity? After all, physicists describe a black hole singularity as a pit into which material flows but from which it cannot escape. Let us leave aside the fact that singularities are an idealization. The basic point is that the universe was born with a tendency to expand, which overcame the tendency of matter to collapse. According to relativity theory, space does not like to remain static; for all but the most special cases, it either expands or contracts. But why it initially chose the former is still a mystery.
    There are problems with the Big Bang theory, though until now we haven’t really had any better ideas, so we’ve stuck with it as a plausible explanation for the beginning of the universe. For one, we have no idea what would trigger an ultradense pinpoint of matter to explode outwards. For another, the universe is almost entirely of a uniform temperature, and it’s unlikely that, at what we think is a fairly early point in time after the Big Bang, the temperature would have evened out so thoroughly.
    This new explanation suggests that the universe might actually be the result of the collapse of a four-dimensional star–a crazy black hole the likes of which we can’t even imagine. Holes. Not every one agrees on these theories. Which if we reason, will only give us more of a reason to deduce a Creator

  31. Gary. I just wanted to add to the part of your comment, about how could the theory be elevated and accepted, for one many of the individuals who don’t want that there is a God promote the other theories, much more than that of a Creator. But, most people of every culture already have embedded within their culture an intelligent creation. I say where there is smoke there is fire. For another reason it seems the more intelligent we seem to be, we end up thinking too much of ourselves. But the Bible says ” broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many there be who walk there on. But narrow is the way that leads to salvation” But so far, although many say there is no God, no proof of another theory, provides the impetus enough to show that we arrived here other but by intelligent design. All the rest are incomplete theories with so many holes in them, there is still room to doubt them

  32. But let me add that the info put in determines the info you get out. If you base your results on what you were expecting g than of ourselves that is what you will see.

  33. It is a mystery to me that so many have a problem with why we or anything for that matter, exists. It is really a simple equation. We exist
    and everything we can see, feel or hear, (and even those things we can’t) because energy or (matter) has always existed. Always. It never
    had a beginning, (creation) and it has no end. Time falls into the same category. Everything in the container is temporal, but the container itself is not. At some point, simple chemical elements, the ones that make up our universe, our galaxy, our solar system and our planet made a transition to biological life here on this earth under favorable conditions. Most likely initially it was in the form of a bacteria and It came with it’s own blueprint for reproduction. Time and accidents in copying that blueprint caused those early primitive bacteria to evolve into all the forms of life we see around us today. It is that simple. it does not require a god or supernatural forces. Just time and matter. If one wants to believe that a god is responsible for it all, then that begs the question, where did he come from? Was he also created? If emergence from nothing is not possible, wouldn’t that rule apply to a god as well? I would certainly think so.There was no beginning and there is no end. It just is. And if it were not so, we would not be here to wonder or ask why.

  34. Where is the proof that matter can neither be created or destroyed. Just because no one has ever seen it created or destroyed, doesn’t mean it is not possible. It only means that we have not the ability to do it. Just like we don’t have the ability to create from nothing, doesn’t mean that someone did not have that ability. It is so ignorant of us to think that just because we can’t do it that it hasn’t been done. No wait, we are here. Just listen to your self, negating the fact that we are here. just how many controlled experiments have you been involved with that took place by themselves, with you looking on? How is it that you have no qualms in denying the possibility of intelligent design, but accept with out question that chemicals and rocks and such have been around forever. Where is that proof. It is widely accepted, just because someone thought of that possibility, and even though it has not been seen people think it is a forgone fact. Both evolution and the big bang along with creation have no physical proof. They are figments as far as we know, of someone’s imagination. The only thing is while evolution and the big bang theories, can be attributed to the whimsical imagination of a human, a human claims that creation was at the loving imagination of God.
    But here is the difference, the mere fact of the complexity of us and all around us, leaves as much to wonder as that of finding a Swiss watch in a cave. When you get down to the complexity of them both, they scream intelligent design. To throw out the possibility of a Creator, only identifies the person not willing to even accept Him as a possibility, as not really a scientist, but a willing ignoramus. Even more, the fact that the Bible has not only made the claim many thousand of years ago that there is a Creator, but makes the claim that the Bible was given to us by that self same Creator, and to prove this He gave prophecies, years ahead of their fulfillment, which to date no one has ever shown how these prophecies have been so right on the money. And even more, there are millions of witnesses, who claim to have had a living, vibrant relationship with that Creator. And I have seen that no one has answered my claim that there have been many a devout atheist and evolutionist, and many of them are of high I. Q., who now wish only to make right all the years of their ignorance by lifting up Christ and Him crucified.
    Remember, evolution, and the big bang, are only thought of, made up unproven theories, and because someone has talked about them so much, that many have been duped into thinking that there is ” gold in them thar hills” while on the other hand there have been and still are, and still many being added to the group who have met their Creator, and share their lives with Him every day. Just because you Atheist have not had the pleasure of that relationship, how can you deny the evidence given by others.
    And of course, just on more thing, Miracles. There are millions, of individuals who testify that not only have their lives been miraculously changed by a Creator, but there is physical evidence to support many of them besides a change in their lives. I myself was witness to a doctor who said that my daughter was being healed after we were told that she had only a 30 percent chance of surviving, by either needing a new heart, having to have a permanent pacer, or dying. but instead the next day after she was prayed over, the doctor said that he can’t explain it, but everything turned around, and she made a complete recovery. A year later after being seen again, the doctor said that he can’t explain it, but her heart had no signs of illness at all, and that she was completely healed. There are millions of such testimonies, around the world. I’m not talking about images in trees or paint, or mold and the like, I’m talking about people who were alcoholics and now live with out drinking. Their testimony? Jesus. People sick and at deaths door, all of a sudden are walking in the newness of health. Their testimony” Jesus. No, other apparent explanation, When others, granted, believers and non believers, in the same situation, have gone on to the grave. But is not everyone suffering the same fate. And why do those who live, claim that it was God. There is enough evidence around to at least take Christ at His word. Jeremiah 33:3King James )
    3″Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” And this last text,
    Revelation 3:20 “Revelation 3:20 “20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” God does not mind if we try Him. He knows that it is hard to believe that Not only is He here, but He cares. He can’t come right out and say peek a boo. Because then why would we believe. To get something. Something other than eternal life. Trying to get close for our selfish reasons. Or doing so out of fear for our lives. No, He has left enough evidence, that for those who wish they can find Him, if we search for Him with all our hearts.
    Jeremiah 29:13
    13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

    1. Gerald writes: [Where is the proof that matter can neither be created or destroyed.]

      First let me note that matter is just a form of energy. Energy cannot be created or destroyed. It’s a technical point, but worth mentioning.

      As for the question of proof, it’s all over the place. Most major universities (like MIT, Cambridge, Stanford, Harvard), NASA facilities, international research facilities (like CERN), etc have reams of data, volumes of papers and experimental notes, verified and validated over and over by thousands of different scientists who have looked into the issue over the last century. Many have tried to show that energy can be created or destroyed. If someone could prove that they could turn the entire field of physics on its ear! Despite the countless man hours on this topic however, every single time it is shown that energy cannot be created or destroyed. Every…single…time.

      Your comment I quoted above is somewhat frustrating to me I must admit. If you had a decent understanding of science, or really wanted to know about these things, you could have easily read up about energy at various physics forums and blogs, or read research papers or even text books. That you would make that comment like that seems to indicate to me that you haven’t really put in the effort to learn about the topic before deciding to comment on it. If I am wrong then my apologies…

      [Just because no one has ever seen it created or destroyed, doesn’t mean it is not possible. It only means that we have not the ability to do it.]

      And I agree. So does all of science. That is why a scientific theory is never considered closed. That’s why we continue to retest and revalidate scientific theories all the time, because science never assumes that it knows all there is to know about any topic. On the flip side of that though, science does not assume that something is plausible JUST because no one has ever seen it. What reason is there to think that energy can be created and destroyed? There isn’t any reason at this time to think that energy can be created and destroyed…

      [Just like we don’t have the ability to create from nothing, doesn’t mean that someone did not have that ability.]

      Doesn’t mean they did either. Doesn’t mean that unicorns don’t have that ability, or Zeus, or spider monkeys. See how quickly your foray into pure conjecture turns into nonsense? You don’t have any substantiated reason for thinking that, other than you believe in your god creature. No evidence, no empirical data, nothing to support the concept. Every speculative claim about your particular divine entity creating something can be claimed about the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and it would have the same amount of support. There is zero reason to think that “someone” created anything…

      [It is so ignorant of us to think that just because we can’t do it that it hasn’t been done.]

      This is a critical point and I ask that you take care to understand what I write here. The reason we do not think energy can be created or destroyed is because there is no evidence or data supporting the claim that it can. I’m serious here, this is important. It has nothing to do with what we can or can’t do. We can’t make gravity, yet we accept its existence because of all the data that says it is a real phenomena. There is no such data, no observation, no evidence that energy can be created or destroyed. There is no mathematics that support it. Every observation ever made shows that energy cannot be created or destroyed. The only thing that matters is what we can support in the scientific method, and the creation and destruction of energy is wholly unsubstantiated.

      [How is it that you have no qualms in denying the possibility of intelligent design, but accept without question that chemicals and rocks and such have been around forever.]

      The denial of intelligent design is easy – there isn’t even one single scrap of data supporting the claim. As to accepting without question that energy has been around “forever”, science does not accept that. No one knows if the universe, and the energy in it, has always been around or not. That is most certainly an unsettled question that a lot of people are looking into. What we do know is that the entire universe adds up to nothing, and the evidence shows that they universe is expanding out from a central point. We know there is an arrow of time and entropy. We have data. What we don’t have is anything showing a directed creative effort had anything to do with it…

      [Both evolution and the big bang along with creation have no physical proof.]

      I find myself frustrated again. No physical proof for evolution? A fossil isn’t physical proof? Shared DNA between all living things isn’t physical proof? You can’t possibly be serious. I don’t think you really understand the subject matter being discussed if you make that comment seriously…

      [The only thing is while evolution and the big bang theories, can be attributed to the whimsical imagination of a human, a human claims that creation was at the loving imagination of God.]

      Utter nonsense. There is a literal mountain of data supporting the theory of evolution. The sheer volume of information you have to ignore to claim evolution is imaginary is staggering in scope and size…

      [But here is the difference, the mere fact of the complexity of us and all around us, leaves as much to wonder as that of finding a Swiss watch in a cave.]

      The old “tornado goes through a junkyard and builds a 747” analogy, eh? This has been debunked many times over, please google it if you don’t believe me. I believe it has been covered on this specific website before for that matter. Humans are complex, no doubt about that. But complex what? We are nothing more than a complex bunch of molecules with the ability to self-replicate. That’s all we are really. Sugars, alcohols, amino acids…they’ve found those on meteors in deep space. Nothing about the human body violates any law of chemistry, physics, or thermodynamics. Did you know there are self-replicating molecules in nature? It’s true. They aren’t alive, but they make copies of themselves. It’s just a property of those molecules. All we are is a much larger group of molecules that do the same thing.

      And, like other arguments for creationism, the complexity claim can be used against the idea of a god creature as well. If complexity “screams intelligent design”, and a god creature is definitely complex, doesn’t that mean the god creature must be designed? It’s your standard, not mine. So what created the god creature? That thing must be complex if it created a god creature, so that means it must be created….you’ve made a false logic loop Gerald. Using complexity as an argument for creationism is self-defeating.

      [When you get down to the complexity of them both, they scream intelligent design.]

      The scream complexity you mean. The existence of something does not prove where it came from or how it came to be. A complex thing merely proves that the thing is in fact complex. It does not explain the source of the complexity. It’s bad logic.

      [To throw out the possibility of a Creator, only identifies the person not willing to even accept Him as a possibility, as not really a scientist, but a willing ignoramus.]

      No one is throwing out the possibility, they are merely not considering it as plausible because of the complete lack of evidence and empirical data supporting the claim that one exists.

      [Even more, the fact that the Bible has not only made the claim many thousand of years ago that there is a Creator, but makes the claim that the Bible was given to us by that self same Creator, and to prove this He gave prophecies, years ahead of their fulfillment, which to date no one has ever shown how these prophecies have been so right on the money.]

      Pick a prophecy at your leisure and we can discuss it and see how “right on the money” it is…

      [And even more, there are millions of witnesses, who claim to have had a living, vibrant relationship with that Creator.]

      There are millions of witnesses that claim to have seen Bigfoot, and UFOs. That makes those things automatically real to you, eh? Mass hysteria is not evidence…

      [And I have seen that no one has answered my claim that there have been many a devout atheist and evolutionist, and many of them are of high I. Q., who now wish only to make right all the years of their ignorance by lifting up Christ and Him crucified.]

      First, define “many”. A comprehensive list is a good place to start. Aside from that, do any of these high IQ people have even one single scrap of data or evidence to offer the world that confirms the existence of a creative force? Anything at all? What about the high IQ people that became Hindus? Since they are high IQ people that means that Vishnu must be real then too, right? Right????

      [And of course, just on more thing, Miracles. There are millions, of individuals who testify that not only have their lives been miraculously changed by a Creator, but there is physical evidence to support many of them besides a change in their lives. I myself was witness to a doctor who said that my daughter was being healed after we were told that she had only a 30 percent chance of surviving, by either needing a new heart, having to have a permanent pacer, or dying. but instead the next day after she was prayed over, the doctor said that he can’t explain it, but everything turned around, and she made a complete recovery. A year later after being seen again, the doctor said that he can’t explain it, but her heart had no signs of illness at all, and that she was completely healed. There are millions of such testimonies, around the world. I’m not talking about images in trees or paint, or mold and the like, I’m talking about people who were alcoholics and now live with out drinking. Their testimony? Jesus. People sick and at deaths door, all of a sudden are walking in the newness of health. Their testimony” Jesus.]

      Miracles. More mass hysteria. People lie, sometimes a lot. The psychology or it all is fascinating, but that’s for another time. To be blunt, there isn’t any physical evidence for miracles. Are there unexplained things in this world? Absolutely, no question about it. Prove it was god. You can’t, can you? You only assume that it was a god, but you don’t actually know if it was or wasn’t. There is zero data for the existence of a god. If you could even prove that there was a god, which you have yet to do, you’d THEN need to prove that this god actually did the miracle. For all we know the god exists but doesn’t do miracles…

      Every single time I’ve been told by people that someone they know has been “cured”, I ask for that patients name, and the name of their primary physician, and the date and location this all occurred. No one ever provides that. Oh they might reply, saying they don’t want their friend’s privacy violated, or some other excuse, but the actual facts of the matter? It never sees the light of day. How about you Gerald? You want to step up to the plate and provide us with some verifiable facts that can be looked into?

      I wonder, by the way, why your god never performs the miracles that medical science can’t already do. When does a war vet suddenly regrow an entire leg Gerald?

  35. Tim you mentioned something about a veteran growing back a leg. You don’t think it’s possible. I know a lizard or a jelly fish or two who could tell otherwise. There are things such as cause and effect. God can not work miracles all the time to prevent us from feeling all the bad that we are exposed to. If He did how could we learn to not touch the hot stove. He has to allow us to experience life with out Him. Life as the devil would really like us to be exposed to. A life where the devil would rule, with out the law and authority of God. No, God holds back the full wrath of satan, but He allows us to see, that following His instruction, through His word is the best and only way to go.

    1. Gerald writes: [Tim you mentioned something about a veteran growing back a leg. You don’t think it’s possible. I know a lizard or a jelly fish or two who could tell otherwise.]

      No, I don’t think it is possible for a human to grow back a leg. Why? Because humans can’t grow back a leg, and medical science can’t make that happen either. What that has to do with other species, like jellyfish or lizards, is beyond me. (Certain lizards by the way can regrow their tails, not legs). Actually, I do know. It has NOTHING to do with the point I was making. The point I was making, which I would like to repeat here if I may, is that the only miracles gods supposedly “work” are the miracles that can already be achieved without them. In other words, if a god was making lives better, why doesn’t it grow a veteran a new leg to replace the one blown off by an IUD? Or why doesn’t a god send a blizzard to the Middle East to punish the Muslims? Funny how miracles are never truly impossible to achieve via other methods, or naturally occur anyway…

      [There are things such as cause and effect. God can not work miracles all the time to prevent us from feeling all the bad that we are exposed to.]

      Not an excuse. Your god creature supposedly answers SOME prayers, right? Why aren’t the prayers that ask for a new leg ever answered? How about letting someone win the lottery when they never bought a ticket? That’d be a neat trick. No, your god, despite the ability to do whatever it wants, doesn’t answer all the prayers. And when it does feel like it, the only WAY the prayers are answered is by doing it in a way that already happens without the god’s help. No new legs for veterans….ever.

      Maybe you can explain why a god creature that loves everyone unconditionally makes people ask for a break before giving them one, if they are in the lucky group that gets a miracle thrown their way…

      [If He did how could we learn to not touch the hot stove. He has to allow us to experience life with out Him. Life as the devil would really like us to be exposed to. A life where the devil would rule, with out the law and authority of God. No, God holds back the full wrath of satan, but He allows us to see, that following His instruction, through His word is the best and only way to go.]

      A little ahead of yourself, as usual. You have to prove the god creature exists first, remember? We can’t go around giving credit to a being that doesn’t exist. You need to show the god exists. THEN you need to show that the god actually does miracles. For all we know the god could exist but could care less about what humans ask of it…

    2. Gerald, in this thread all you’re doing is reiterating the same unevidenced assertions. You’re neither responding directly or cogently to any refuting comments. It seems obvious to me that you’re unable. But my irony meter veritably exploded with your last comment. Previously you have argued that:

      (i) The universe is so finely tuned that even the minutest alterations in physical laws would mean life cannot exist. This is claimed by you to be evidence for the existence of god.

      Then you argued:

      (ii) Miracles (defined as temporary alterations in physical laws) are common and you yourself have directly observed them. This too is claimed by you to be evidence for the existence of god.

      Now you’re arguing:

      (iii) The apparent lack of a miracle (limbs regrowing in vets) is further evidence for the existence of god.

      Can you really not see the logical inconsistency in your claims?

      The reason mammals cannot regenerate limbs and some amphibian species can is no mystery. There’s no need to introduce mythology and ludicrous theological assertions here. Put simply, there are more than a dozen genes that are responsible for limb regeneration. Mammals (including humans) share these genes but they gradually became deactivated as mammalian species evolved. They are now deactivated in all mammals. When one gene, Lin28a, was experimentally reactivated in mice they were able to regenerate severed limbs during their early life, though not when fully developed. In years to come when we have identified the precise mechanisms there is no reason why limb regeneration could not also occur in humans (although the time required may prevent use in adults).

      But assuming that it could be done now – are you then prepared to sit by the bedside of children who have lost a limb and advise their parents that they should not have the treatment because your invisible friend has told you that he has deliberately arranged things so no mammalian species can regenerate limbs – and he did this so that humans could experience what life would be like if your invisible friend’s invisible foe was the boss – and if they did accept the treatment and regenerated a limb their child would be missing out on that valuable experience and so acting against your invisible friend’s wishes? Would you maintain the moral high ground when the guys in white coats came to collect you?

      If god really didn’t want humans to regenerate limbs why did he not limit that inability to humans? He could have deactivated all the genes in humans only. Now that really would be a miracle! So, why include all the other mammalian species in this little game? They can’t understand the concept of invisible friends and invisible foes. They have no mythologies. They ain’t going to heaven or hell. Deactivated genes are a natural and common feature of biology. Deliberately harming animals (and children) without reason is a primary diagnostic feature of psychopathic personality disorder.

  36. Hello again. Look around Tim. The Bible says in Psalms 19 that the heavens declare the glory of God. You are, as many do, forgetting the fact that there is war going on. A war for the hearts and souls of we who inhabit this earth. Since our first parents, and if you have a mind to look, it seems that the DNA evidence suggests that all have come from one single set of parents. But, aside from that the reason that God does not step and make everything hunkey dorey for every one, not permitting that no one stubs their toe, or worse, is that our parents chose to allow satan to take control of this world. So, there are things that God do that affect all, like sending the sunshine, and rain. But, there are things that He can do only for those who choose to accept the ample evidence around that say that there is a Creator who actually created all. And because they accept that He is their Creator, they accept Him, pushing back the mantel that covers that of the now so called ruler of this earth, who tricked Eve into doing what satan wanted and caused Eve and Adam to reject God as their God. But for those of us, who decide to pledge our allegiance back to God, He has permission to work somewhat in their behalf.
    True story. I have a daughter who at the age of six would have died from freak viral heart infection. She had presented with fainting from having fallen off of some monkeys bars where she had been hanging upside down. After getting up she began to loose balance, and continued fainting. We were called and went to take her to the ER, but thinking that the fall was causing her to faint. In the ER they, dumbfounded said that some how started to have seizures, but could not say why. They gave us some meds and gave us the go home advice, there’s nothing more they could do. But she continued to have fainting spells, and with that we returned back to the ER, where a wiser Dr. than the one previously, decide to call the children’s hospital of Ft. Worth, who quickly said to transport our daughter to them. After having arrived their they decide to place her in ICU stating someone just does’t develop seizures with no reason. So, up to ICU we went. Later a nurse, a very wonderful nurse who knew her stuff noticed that every time my daughter fainted the heart was not doing it’s job. After test were run, it was shown that her heart had become enlarged due to a very bad viral infection. Now there we knew what, but we also discovered that there was no cure. She was given by her Dr. a 33% chance of living but only with a replacement heart or with a pace maker. Devastated, we turned to our friends and family for solace and compassion, but we lifter up prayers also to the God in whom we have given our trust and loyalty. She was taken up in prayer over the whole world by others who heard of the situation, and was anointed by pastors of our church. Well, this time God did do something. With in 24 hours the Dr. told that some how the infection was not there. Her heart had started to heal on It’s own, and he said he could not explain how. They could not even treat her for there was not treatment available to treat her. A year later we took our daughter back for a follow up and the Dr. was still amazed, He said her heart was as normal as that of any other child who had not had the infection. He said that this was indeed a miracle. Since then our daughter always remembering how God had healed her has sung over different places of this earth. She has an angelic voice, and I am not saying this because she is my daughter. She was healed by our God.
    Does He do it every time, no. But He does it just enough to show that there is a difference and to cause us to ask why there is a difference. Look up miracles on the net and I’m sure you will see that many have had miraculous encounters with no other explanation but that God intervened.
    Now, sure it hasn’t happened to you. But God puts himself on the line because He invites us to answer the knocking at the door of our heart, where He is asking permission from us to permit Him to enter and reign supreme, in place of our self, or satan, who actually wants to reign. He invites us to ” Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
    29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Found in Matt:11
    You see, He dares you, to take Him at His word. He actually wants to show you that He is there, even now beside you. In what ever condition you find yourself. He doesn’t care, for He loves you. Just as you are. He understands that it is hard to make that leap from not believing to actually trusting. But look around many have done. Sure some are simple people such as I. But there have been and are now some who have won or earned some of the most prestigious awards and honors that this world has to offer but would gladly surrender them all, all for the honor to be called the sons and daughters of God.
    It has been said that a stranger is only someone you have yet to meet.
    I would like to broaden this to God is He who you have yet to surrender.
    Deuteronomy 4:29New King James Version (NKJV)
    29 But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.
    Proverbs 8:17New King James Version (NKJV)
    17 I love those who love me,
    And those who seek me diligently will find me.
    Jeremiah 29:13New King James Version (NKJV)
    13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
    Proverbs 3:5-6New King James Version (NKJV)5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    And lean not on your own understanding;
    6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
    And He shall direct[a] your paths.
    You see He is daring you. To throw our that which the world is telling you and listen to Him. Tim, this world could not have come from a big bang. We are much more than the evolution of some simple one celled mindless organism. Please watch the video Cancelled, No intelligence Allowed. by Ben Stein. and one more The Privileged Planet. They can both be viewed on You tube.
    Tim, greatness comes not from this world but form the Creator of this world. You are meant to be more than you are, and He wants the best for your. And even more He longs to live through you and love through you. For there are many around you who need what only He can give.
    Tim, all He is waiting for, is for you to open the door Revelation 3:20New King James Version (NKJV)
    20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
    Please email me @ rtmcdge@gmail.com

    1. There were several ways I was going to respond to you Gerald. I was going to point out all the obvious flaws in scripture, and how believers take phrases out of context from the entire text so they can make them mean something other than what was intended. But that won’t get us anywhere because you are only parroting what your preacher does on Sundays. It’s what you’ve been taught to do. (It’s also why so many creationist websites are so good at quote mining actually, but’s that’s a whole other discussion.)

      Ignoring all the bible passages you threw at me then, what does that leave us? It leaves us the story of your daughter.

      Right off the bat let me say that I am glad she got better. I truly mean that. But I wonder how far you are prepared to go to prove that is was truly a miracle? Are you prepared to list the names of the medical centers, doctors, and medicines she was given, so that it can be researched? Are you willing to give me permission to talk to those people and make my own determination as to how she got better? If she was given an anti-viral it will be documented. I’m willing to bet that, and not prayer, is what made the infection disappear.

      You see just like you’ve learned your methods (like cherry picking passages), I’ve learned mine. I don’t take people’s word for it, I research it myself and see if I agree with their statements. That includes things like the theory of evolution too, not just religious claims. I am of a scientific mind, and I validate and verify all that I can.

      Are you willing to let someone delve into the entire story and make a determination as to the truth of your claim?

    2. Hi Gerald,

      “……it seems that the DNA evidence suggests that all have come from one single set of parents.”

      Gerald, in all seriousness, whoever is telling you this is straight out lying to you. If they have any training in molecular genetics at all, they are certainly knowingly and deliberately lying to you. I’m sorry to be so blunt but its true. Genetically it is physically impossible for all members of the human species to have originated from one male and one female. I could explain why and cite relevant references but I’m not going to bother because I know you’ll just ignore my effort. Suffice to say, if it were the case we would be able to routinely perform organ transplants without either blood type or HLA allele-antigen matching.

      “Well, this time God did do something.”

      Gerald, I emailed a cardiologist I know and copied what you had written. He’s Spanish and so English is his second language. He replied (verbatim):

      “She probably have myocarditis, due to viral or bacterial infection. This is inflammation of heart tissue. Rare cases not respond to treatment a heart transplant is an only option. A pacemaker is no use for the condition. Spontaneous remission is observed at any stages of disease in the high percentage of patients.”

      Note the last sentence. Now who should I believe: you or a colleague who’s a specialist in his field with decades of experience?

      But let’s say it really was a miracle! According to the 2007 data from UNICEF, 25,500 children died EVERY DAY from starvation. In 2011 it was 21,000. The decrease isn’t due to miracles it’s due to a concerted effort by human beings. If your god exists, he is quite capable of preventing all of this, via miracle or otherwise.

      But according to you he personally intervened, disregarded all those others and for whatever reason, saved YOUR daughter from dying. And for that he’s the greatest guy ever. All praise unto him! Gerald, I implore you: please take a step back, try to be objective about this and take a moment to think about the quality of the morality you’re trying to convey to us with your mythology. Now let me tell you a story.

      Suppose I want to give your daughter a bag full of money. Suppose I’m omnipotent and perfectly able to create a bag full of money ex nihilo. But instead of doing that, I create ex nihilo an entire bank with a safe containing a bag full of money. I also create sentient bank staff, a manager, several security guards, and a few dozen customers. I then enter the bank with a machine gun. I start by indiscriminately shooting several people dead. I then grab one of the terrified members of staff and force her to open the safe. Then, after killing several more people, and seriously wounding several others, I make my getaway with the bag of money in hand.

      I then give the bag full of money to your daughter and leave. Your daughter asks you why I didn’t just create the bag of money for her ex nihilo? Your answer is that I had good reasons. If all these people hadn’t died and been badly injured and terrified, the survivors would never know just how bad things would be if my evil enemy was in charge……….all my actions are justified because the money means more to your daughter now than it would have done had I simply created it ex nihilo………..

      Gerald, think about it.

  37. You have received an infraction at City-Data Forum.
    You, are threatening me with what? Expulsion. Because I attempted to help someone. I did not belittle, or harass any one. Those who want to read or not are free to do which ever they please. The purpose of this forum was for communication. And to so in a way that would not purposely condemn or antagonize. Why would you even seek to limit that which has been proven to aid and soothe the pain of this world. Telling someone about Christ has always only led to the betterment of individuals and communities, around the world. Now, if you intend to continue to sensor my words and seek to hogtie my free speech, I will gladly surrender your website, and leave it to those who are afraid of the Gospel of Christ, and the power of His salvation. Please email at your pleasure your decision, or better yet call me at 817 948 0270, unless you are too afraid to have an actual communication with someone that is not on the other side of the net. And remember God loves you.

  38. There were several ways I was going to respond to you Gerald. I was going to point out all the obvious flaws in scripture, and how believers take phrases out of context from the entire text so they can make them mean something other than what was intended. But that won’t get us anywhere because you are only parroting what your preacher does on Sundays. It’s what you’ve been taught to do. (It’s also why so many creationist websites are so good at quote mining actually, but’s that’s a whole other discussion.)

    Ignoring all the bible passages you threw at me then, what does that leave us? It leaves us the story of your daughter.

    Right off the bat let me say that I am glad she got better. I truly mean that. But I wonder how far you are prepared to go to prove that is was truly a miracle? Are you prepared to list the names of the medical centers, doctors, and medicines she was given, so that it can be researched? Are you willing to give me permission to talk to those people and make my own determination as to how she got better? If she was given an anti-viral it will be documented. I’m willing to bet that, and not prayer, is what made the infection disappear.

    You see just like you’ve learned your methods (like cherry picking passages), I’ve learned mine. I don’t take people’s word for it, I research it myself and see if I agree with their statements. That includes things like the theory of evolution too, not just religious claims. I am of a scientific mind, and I validate and verify all that I can.

    Are you willing to let someone delve into the entire story and make a determination as to the truth of your claim?

  39. There were several ways I was going to respond to you Gerald. I was going to point out all the obvious flaws in scripture. Tim what flaws are there in Scripture?. Don’t you realize that the Bible has been around for years. Don’t you know that better Atheists have said the same thing you just said, yet, they have yet to take it to the bank. And the belief in Scripture has outlived all of the famous Atheists, and if they didn’t die as Atheists they died as having to give up their Atheistic views and have themselves accepted that same Scripture as God’s word.
    And by the way, going to church on Sunday as far as it being the day God asked to worship Him on, is not found in Scripture. Instead, God asked us to worship Him on the seventh day and that is the Sabbath, which is Saturday. So, I go to Sabbath School and not Sunday school. The only discrepancies found in Scripture are the ones due to our failings to allow God to tell us what the truth is in His word. Just as the injustices that have been historically perpetuated by people doing things in the name of God, that God never told people to do.
    As far as my daughter is concerned, thank you for your concern for her. But you are mistaken, This was a virus that had attacked her heart, and it had ravaged her heart so badly that it got to the point that her heart was failing, and causing her to loose consciousness. The Dr. himself said that there was nothing they could do except administer a anti virus drug which right now escapes my memory, but that they didn’t have time to administer, because He had already came down to inform us of the miraculous change in her condition. The only thing they could do is watch as the virus was stopped in it’s tracks by, yes i believe, it was God.
    You would like to investigate this, just to make sure that I’m not stretching the truth? Well go ahead. When you are ready you can email me at rtmcdge@gmail.com, and we can talk and I will give you all the particulars.
    But, if you investigate my testimony, you should investigate all the others that are out there, from thousands and thousands of individuals.
    THE UNTOLD HIROSHIMA MIRACLE-All Adventist Survived & Unharmed from The Atomic Bomb
    Posted by Melissa Kh on August 24, 2013 at 1:06am in General Discussion
    View All Discussions in Category
    I do not know why this amazing story has never been told to the world before, even in Adventist journals nor churches.
    All twenty Seventh-day Adventist church members in Hiroshima, Japan, were miraculously saved from the atomic bomb which exploded there on August 6, 1945. In the 1970′s, they were interviewed by Asako Furunako, a professional news reporter. Not one was injured in the slightest, nor suffered the effects of radiation. They all lived less than a mile away from the central impact of the bomb. Six of them have since passed away from old age.
    The Atomic Bomb destroyed everything within a two-kilometer (1.2-mile) radius: the temperature of the ground reached an unimaginable 6,000° C (10,832° F). Everyone within a four-kilometer (2.5 mile) radius was burned to death. A tremendous wind, at the speed of 4.4 kilometers (2.7 miles) per second, was generated, causing even cement buildings to collapse and broken glass to fly up to 16 kilometers (9.94 miles) away. The radiation from the bomb was unbelievably strong, causing those exposed to it to lose all bodily functions and their cells to undergo apoptosis, a kind of cellular suicide. Between the blast itself, the resulting fires throughout the city, and the radiation burns, some estimate that 200,000 citizens of Hiroshima lost their lives. But…
    …In the midst of all this devastation, was it really possible that not one church member, even the one living within 1 kilometer (0.62 miles) of where the bomb hit, was killed, or even hurt?
    During her investigation the journalist heard the testimony of church member Mrs. Hiroko Kainou, who, surprised by the sudden fierce wind, fell to her knees and prayed. Though every piece of glass in the house blew out, she came away without a single scratch. All of the other 20 Adventist church members in Hiroshima were also kept alive and safe. Though six of them have since passed away from old age, Mr. and Mrs. Morita, the Yoshimuras, the Sumis, the Matsutanis, and others are still active.
    Iwa Kuwamoto, who is still doing evangelism from her home by telephone and letter at age 83, was within one kilometer (.62 miles) of the bomb site when the bomb fell. When she crawled out from under the fallen buildings, she witnessed the giant mushroom cloud that was obscuring the sun and shrouding the land in darkness. She tried desperately to help her husband, an unbeliever at the time, to get out from under the fallout, but the raging fires were threatening to close in on them. Taking her husband’s hand and crying, (Iwa) said, “The fire will be here soon. I can’t do anything more, so let’s die here together. God knows everything. Please believe in Jesus Christ. I cannot save you!” But her husband said, “No. I will die here, but you must escape for our children’s sake. You must somehow get to safety and find the children. Do it for the children!”
    Once again she said, “No, there is no way I can escape from this fire. I will die here with you.” But her husband would not listen to her. He said, “No! I’ll be OK here. For a long time I rebelled against my mother and you and wouldn’t believe in God. But now I do believe in God’s salvation, so we can see each other again. Please, please go and find the children. Please, just go!” So, with burning tears and a breaking heart, she left her husband there, and, pouring water over herself along the way, she escaped the flames, and was eventually reunited with her children.
    Tomiko Kihara was a doctor with her own clinic at the time. She had been on night duty the evening before and had arrived home at 2:00 a.m.; she was sleeping when the bomb fell. Although she was less than one kilometer (.62 miles) from the center, nothing fell on her, and she was not hurt in any way. Shocked by the blast, she ran outside to see what was happening, but all she could see was the burned and blackened ground. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, she ran to a hospital on the edge of town, and there for one week without rest or sleep she worked for the victims as one of the very few doctors still alive in the city after the blast. In the weeks and months following the tragedy, she continued to use everything she had to help the victims, and was able to witness to many in this way.
    This is a truly remarkable story, and I cannot fathom why it would not be the headline, the permanent headline, in all media of the world. Why am I just now hearing it? Why is the church just now printing it?
    Not that every Christian in Hiroshima had failed. Not that there were no true believers there. But twenty Seventh-day Adventists were spared a most horrific death. Surely, that means something.
    A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look… (Psalm 91:7,8.)
    So please…stop arguing and stop fault-founding now, I pray. We are the Seventh-day Adventists! Jesus is coming soon! Please keep sharing the message…
    ~[Adopted from the official Adventist Media] http://www.adventistworld.org/article/1069/resources/english/issue-
    Sure you can ignore, and blow it off, but there are thousand of such stories and this should at least cause you to ask yourself, is there a God. And like I said, God has placed His promise in His word that if anyone seek Him, He will reveal Himself to them.

    1. 20 members of the Adventist Church? You call that a miracle? That’s not a miracle. This is a miracle:

      The atomic bomb intended to destroy the Japanese city of Kokura had to be diverted to Nagasaki at a few minutes notice because thick cloud cover had accumulated over the intended target, despite the forecast. Using your logic this obviously means that God preferred Kokura to Nagasaki and had some clouds sweep over the region. When the bomb did detonate over Nagasaki it fell 3km off target, sparing some intended areas of the city from destruction. God obviously gently nudged the bomb with a gust of wind as it dropped because he favoured those areas of the city with his grace more than the others.

      Thousands of people were saved on that day. I wonder how many were Adventists and how many were atheists? What grounds would you have for denying that this was an even bigger miracle?

  40. by Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D. *
    Resources › Life Sciences Resources › Genetics

    With the advent of modern biotechnology, researchers have been able to determine the actual sequence of the roughly three billion bases of DNA (A,T,C,G) that make up the human genome. They have sequenced the genomes of many other types of creatures as well. Scientists have tried to use this new DNA data to find similarities in the DNA sequences of creatures that are supposedly related through evolutionary descent, but do genetic similarities provide evidence for evolution?

    DNA Supports Distinct Kinds

    In the June 2009 Acts & Facts, an article was published by the author that showed how this approach has been used in an attempt to demonstrate an evolutionary relationship between humans and chimpanzees.1 The article showed that scientists incorporate a large amount of bias in their analyses in order to manipulate the data to support evolution, when in fact the DNA data support the obvious and distinctive categorization of life that is commonly observed in the fossil record and in existing life forms.

    In reality, there is a clear demarcation between each created kind (humans, chimps, mice, chickens, dogs, etc.), and there is no blending together or observed transition from one kind of animal to another. All created kinds exhibit a certain amount of genetic variability within their grouping while still maintaining specific genetic boundaries. In other words, one kind does not change into another, either in the fossil record or in observations of living organisms.
    Not exactly what I wanted, but I’m looking for it

    1. Gerald has cited Tomkins in support of his claims and Tim has linked to a discussion of this work which, for those who aren’t aware of the nature of the pseudoscience behind Tomkins’ ‘research’ might be too technical. Because this is a paradigm example of how creationist ‘research’ is trumpeted by the faithful despite being demonstrably bogus, I thought I’d post a brief synopsis of what it’s all about.

      Gerald, please try to read this with an open mind. This is the truth of the matter.

      I’m not sure where Gerald got the 2009 date from. Tomkins is most (in)famous for having published a paper in a creationist journal in 2013 which purported to show a 70% genetic similarity between humans and chimpanzee rather than the 96-98% similarities normally found. This is what he seems to be referring to.

      Before going into details it’s important to note two things: First, even if true Tomkins’ lower figure was true it would NOT constitute evidence that humans and chimps do not share a common ancestor species. It would simply indicate that divergence from the common ancestor species had occurred earlier than thought. That’s no real problem for evolutionary theory. Second, the evidence for humans and chimps sharing a common ancestor species does not rely solely on this kind of genetic analysis; it comes from multiple sources. For example, the evidence from shared endogenous retroviruses is, quite frankly, overwhelming. The evidence from genetic comparisons of other parasite and symbiotic species adapted to human and chimp physiology is very strong, etc.

      There are a number of methods by which to come up with a measure of genetic similarity between two species and different methods are used according to the research question. The accepted method (because it is the most rigorous) for determining a date for divergence from a common ancestor species is to identify those segments of DNA which both species have in common, place them in a one-to-one correspondence (alignment) and count the individual point mutations. Because we know the per generation mutation rates for the different kinds of genetic material in humans and chimps we can then calculate how many years have passed since the two species have evolved their genetic distance. This has now been done many times over independently, by labs in numerous countries and the answers are invariably 96-98% genetic similarity with a divergence from common ancestor species 8-12 million years. We cannot obtain a more precise date because one doesn’t exist. Speciation is not a single event, it’s a lengthy process and ancestor species do not just disappear, they can co-exist with a novel divergent species for hundreds of thousands, if not millions of years.

      So anyway, Tomkins decides to do his own analysis. But instead of employing the accepted scientific methodology he uses an algorithm of his own (BLASTn) which as he arrogantly and erroneously stated, measures “optimal alignment conditions”. Rather than comparing point mutations he compared whole chromosomes to ascertain how many segments of DNA (of widely varying length) are in one to one correspondence. Now this method of genetic analysis is perfectly acceptable for some types of investigation (such as perhaps searching for broad genetic loci for genetically-transmitted disease within a species) because while a point mutation affects only a single base pair other kinds of mutation can affect large segments of DNA. A duplication or insertion, for example, might affect 10,000 or more base pairs. But this method is wholly inappropriate for calculating inter-species similarities.

      Tomkins did not mistakenly use the wrong analysis. He knew beforehand that his method was not suitable for this type of research and it would certainly yield a much lower percent genetic similarity. Interestingly, he also conveniently ignored data from the Y-chromosome in his calculation. The Y-chromosome put him in a bind. On the one hand, it’s the human chromosome that differs from chimp chromosome the most, which might act to support his argument, on the other hand it’s the chromosome that shows evidence for evolving the most rapidly. As any creationist will parrot, new information cannot be added to the genome, however, a comparison of Y-chromosomes would have revealed just that; recently acquired de novo genetic sequences unique to humans…………oh dear…….no problem, though for the creationist………..just put analysis of the Y-chromosome aside. Too much explaining to do.

      Tomkins has also been taken to task for making basic miscalculations (or blatant dishonesty). He claimed, for example, that the GULO pseudogene (present on chromosome 8 in both humans and chimps and deactivated identically in all primate species) shows 84% genetic similarity. However, when others tried to replicate his work (using Tomkins’ own BLASTn software) they found 97-99% similarity. Most embarrassing for Tomkins, even the creationist biologist Todd Wood reported a 95% similarity when using BLASTn software! The irony is that if Tomkins’ figure was correct, the actual per generation mutation rate in humans and chimps (one method of identifying the rate of evolution) would be 7x higher than is actually observed!

      He had even aligned human base pairs with chimp base pairs in a region within the gene that had yet to be fully sequenced in chimps! He must have known what he was doing here. The BLASTn software has a known fault. It does not accept regions with alignment gaps, e.g., a known 10-base pair sequence in humans aligned with a known 9-base pair sequence in chimps (because the 10th chimp base-pair was not yet sequenced) would not return a value of 90% similarity, but would return 0%. No wonder he achieved the results he did!

      I understand he has since acknowledged some of these errors in private but the article has not been retracted (as it would certainly have been in a legitimate science journal, if it even got to the publication stage in the first place which is very highly unlikely). So it’s still available for people to find and think is good scientific evidence for creationism……..

      But it gets worse. When Tomkins’ method of calculating inter-species genetic similarity is applied to chimps and gorillas (claimed by creationists to be included within the same ‘created kind’ or ‘baramin’, despite the fact that humans and chimps exhibit far more genetic similarity than do chimps and gorillas) the results show that they are too genetically diverse to possibly be of the same kind! Similar results have been found for other species claimed to belong to the same ‘created kind’, such as yak and cow; their genetic similarity using BLASTn is almost identical to that of chimps and humans, which of course are completely unrelated and could not possibly be of the same ‘created kind’! Tomkins’ attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of his fellow creationists has come at a high price – at the expense of the notion of ‘created kinds’. So, I won’t hold my breath waiting for Tomkins to publish his research comparing the genomes of other species in order to provide evidence for Biblical ‘created kinds’……….

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