Friday, August 06, 2010

Quote of the Day: "The Impersonal Plus Time Plus Chance"

This equation of the impersonal plus time plus chance producing the total configuration of the universe and all that is in it, modern people hold by faith. -- Francis Schaeffer

Quote via ChristianQuotes.

30 comments:

xn--hrfn-woa said...

Ah yes, Francis Schaeffer, one of the chief 'pharisees' of the Religious Right, whose viewpoint is all too frequently "hard on others and easy on [themselves]."

Why should we consider his comically reductionist and ill-informed views on the beliefs of secular 'modern people' any more credible than the Klu Klux Klan's views on the beliefs of Jews or Catholics?

jonathan said...

I get it, it is really simple. Because one cannot fathom how a system originated or operates subsequently produces the notion that it must have been designed in order for it to operate in the manner it does, while ignoring empirical evidence that shows how and why the system originated and operates. It is the delusion of said individual that then continues their disbelief even in light of the mountain of evidence growing before their eyes. I mean really, how can this one individual who claims the absolute knowledge of ultimate causation, perpetually ignoring the constant stream of data because it does not fit his model of an anthropomorphic god, be WRONG!? Silly me!

RkBall said...

The accumulating mountain of evidence is collapsing the Junk DNA hypothesis, which was a key plank in the neodarwinian model.

The shift is moving away from chance to laws, as evidenced by your own posts, and with it, a move in the direction away from mindless randomness to intentional order.

Joe_Agnost said...

@RK_Ball: You've been saying that for as long as I've visited this blog. You'll say the same thing for as long as you live. You refuse to learn, but work very hard contorting reality to fit your dogma.

None of that changes the reality though... science works, ID fails.

xn--hrfn-woa said...

"The accumulating mountain of evidence is collapsing the Junk DNA hypothesis, which was a key plank in the neodarwinian model."

BALONEY!

1) IT IS NOT a "key plank in the neodarwinian model", in fact as far as I know, there is no "Junk DNA hypothesis". If you wish to prove otherwise, then cite where genuine evolutionary biologists, NOT yet another ignorant lying creationist make this "hypothesis.

2) Your MOLEHILL of data has only found a function, and often a very tenuous one, for only a tiny fraction of what was previously thought to be "Junk DNA".

3) "The shift is moving away from chance to laws" is IGNORANT MEANINGLESS statement -- many laws (e.g. the Second Law of Thermodynamics) are STATISTICAL, and thus rely on "chance".

What is blindingly obvious is that all Richard K. Ball knows about science is what he read in religious tracts, and he knows nothing at all about real science done by real scientists.

xn--hrfn-woa said...

For an example of what real scientists actually say about non-coding DNA, read 'Evolutionary genetics: All genomes great and small'.

xn--hrfn-woa said...

'Megabase deletions of gene deserts result in viable mice'

Joe said...

I like real scientists. They keep changing the story. Galileo said the earth moved around the sun. Real Scientists said no way the sun went around the earth. Real Scientists said the earth was entering a new ice age, Real Scientist say the earth is suffering from AGW. I love real scientists. I think everyone should own one or two.

Joe_Agnost said...

@Joe:

That whole 'going where the evidence leads' thing always gets to theists. They just can't seem to grasp that EVIDENCE is the only important thing.

Scientists have biases like everybody else - which is why the scientific method is SO important... so that even when biases get in the way (like it did in Copernicus' day) the truth will ALWAYS win out once the evidence catches up.

Joe is simply demonstrating his juvenile idea of what science is and what scientists do. It's OK though Joe - you and RK_Ball can sit back and enjoy the fruits of science even though you've demostrated a COMPLETE lack of knowing what science is and how it works. You still get to use it.

Joe said...

Why there Joe Agnasty how ya doin'?!

The point of fact is that the only 'Real Scientists' in atheistic minds are the clowns that only accept materialism as sole cause for existence. Makes for a very unproductive debate since such agendized individuals simply ignore any evidence that runs contrary to their preconceived ideas. That is why I am much more interested in what the individual scientists who have changed their views from one side to the other have to say rather than those who simply parrot their secular indoctrination. You know kind of like Galileo did back in his day.

Joe_Agnost said...

Joe wrote: "..such agendized individuals simply ignore any evidence that runs contrary to their preconceived ideas."

Listen - there is not an educated person on earth who will take your 'the sunset is so pretty it HAS to be god' statement as evidence. If life worked like that we'd still be burning witches etc. We'd get NOWHERE!

You rail against "materialism" - but what else is there? Subjective experiences with the supernatural is a cute idea but lacks evidence. Scienctists use what they have available - they HAVE to, because it has to be ~verifiable~ by others before it's widely accepted. Incidentally - that's why science works.


"That is why I am much more interested in what the individual scientists who have changed their views from one side to the other have to say rather than those who simply parrot their secular indoctrination. You know kind of like Galileo did back in his day."

I have no idea what you're talking about here...

xn--hrfn-woa said...

"They keep changing the story."

Yes, the story changes when the evidence changes. That's how you tell real scientists from pseudoscientists (like creationists) who carefully cherry-pick or ignore the evidence so that the story stays the same regardless.

"Real Scientists said no way the sun went around the earth."

Given that science was barely in its infancy in the time of Galileo, I don't know who the hades these "Real Scientists" are that you're talking about.

"Real Scientists said the earth was entering a new ice age..."

NO THEY DID NOT! This LIE was made up by dishonest Global Warming deniers, based upon misrepresenting conflicting scientific conjecture based upon thin evidence. It would be more accurate to say that "some real scientists thought that there was a possibility of global cooling."

"...Real Scientist say the earth is suffering from AGW."

Yes, and they've been saying this, with ever greater confidence, as the evidence mounts up in support of this conclusion.

xn--hrfn-woa said...

"The point of fact is that the only 'Real Scientists' in atheistic minds are the clowns that only accept materialism as sole cause for existence. Makes for a very unproductive debate since such agendized individuals simply ignore any evidence that runs contrary to their preconceived ideas."

BALONEY!

Dishonest creationists do not merely "ignore" single pieces of evidence, they ignore WHOLE FIELDS OF SCIENCE, such as palaeontology (the "no transitional fossils" lie), geology (and particularly geochronology), and biogeography.

On the other hand real scientists (be they theist, atheist or Buddhist), do not ignore any evidence, but at most ignore a bunch of long-debunked, logically-flawed arguments.

xn--hrfn-woa said...

Likewise AGW-deniers like Christopher Monckton have been shown to be simply making up their evidence, making claims that have no legitimate basis in the cited literature.

Joe said...

Well maybe you folks hang out with different scientists than I do. The ones I have met are stridently materialist (spout the "official" line) or have been converted by the evidence to believe that there is more to this world than materialism. One such fellow is a former Russian Communist with several PHDs in the biology field. He admitted to me that he became a Christian based on the scientific evidence. Ditto a mathematician and a physicist. I might also bring up the Medical Doctors like wise convinced. The fact is that 'science' is not a block wall. Scientists are confronted with evidence and do their best to interpret said evidence. Some evidence is easily explained by materialism other evidence is not so easy and in fact trying to explain it using materialism stretches credulity to the breaking point.

xn--hrfn-woa said...

"...other evidence is not so easy and in fact trying to explain it using materialism stretches credulity to the breaking point."

Much evidence is not easy to explain unless you have a very thorough understanding of the models involved and how the evidence fits together. Where this happens it is often easy for laymen to misunderstand the science, and perceive implications and contradictions where none exist.

Of course there are also numerous 'bleeding edges' in science -- but the vast majority of them are in areas which the public never hears about them (the few exceptions tending to be in the areas of theoretical physics and cosmology).

xn--hrfn-woa said...

Also I would point out that science, in that it seeks to find material explanations for material phenomena, is fundamentally a "stridently materialist" activity -- regardless of whether the scientist in question is theist, atheist or Buddhist, and therefore whether the scientist believes that their "stridently materialist" discoveries glorify God, or simply yield a better understanding of a beautiful but uncaring universe.

Joe said...

I happened to be talking with a medical doctor one day who had recently converted from strident atheist to passionate Christian. When I asked him why, his one word answer was, "Miracles". I asked him if he meant the ones recorded in the Bible and he said, "No, the ones he saw happen in his office and on the operating table." He then rattled off about a half a dozen that completely baffled his atheistic materialist mind. He concluded either he was delusional or else there was Something else way beyond his ken. He consulted another medical Dr. who it turned out had gone through a similar experience and had become a Christian a few years previously. When last I heard of them they were still practicing medicine and attending Church in Canada.

xn--hrfn-woa said...

Doctors are not scientists. Doctors frequently work under very stressful, time-critical circumstances with often imperfect information. Given that doctors are also often control freaks, it seems hardly surprising that they have a tendency towards Magical Thinking.

Given the vast range of memory biases, I would not take anecdotes of a couple of doctors, who most probably had imperfect information about the patients in question, as evidence of anything 'miraculous'.

Joe said...

xn hrfn woa It is so nice of you to so arrogantly declare this fellow is a scientist while that fellow is not a scientist based on what you perceive as their belief system. In your closed little mind Scientist = Atheist. What I am saying is that there are a lot of former Atheists who have become Christians because they were true Scientists and let their observations lead them to a deeper understanding.

The problem you have is that you are at root a shallow thinking little person who is angry at the world. As a Christian I encounter your type on a regular basis. Set in your bigotry you demand that everyone meet your shallow standard. Well news flash. Your shallow little standard curtails 99% of life. While you think yourself wise you prove yourself a fool by leaving out all the important bits!

Lets assume for a moment that your point of view is correct. Lets assume that we are nothing but random bits occurring in random time. Then why would we want to debate anything? You're just a bunch of random atoms moving about in close formation. Your thoughts don't matter. Your feelings don't matter. The other bunches of random atoms that you interact with don't matter. There is no TRUTH to debate or love to give or anger to feel. You don't have a life you have a temporary coalescence. When that coalescence is over....

And yet still there remains the ONE who declares I AM. I AM therefore I will Create. I AM therefore I will bring Order out of Chaos. I AM therefore I will Love the ones I have Created. I AM therefore I will be Angry with those I have Created. I AM therefore I will Create others who will become like ME. I shall be their Father and they shall be my Children. I AM therefore the entire Creation shall be a reflection of ME. In MY Creation others can see the order I have brought about. Others will see the LIFE I have given.

Now xn hrfn woa if you want to live your shallow little life (or shall I say your temporary coalescence) in anger and hatred please feel free. The GREAT I AM has given that ability to you.

As for me and my family? We shall rejoice as we explore the hidden mysteries that lie beneath this otherwise shallow existence. For in delving deep into the Mysteries I have found LIFE. You don't want it then you're the poorer.

xn--hrfn-woa said...

"xn hrfn woa It is so nice of you to so arrogantly declare this fellow is a scientist while that fellow is not a scientist based on what you perceive as their belief system."

No you blithering idiot, I declared it based upon their profession. Scientists study scientific fields, doctors treat patients.

"In your closed little mind Scientist = Atheist."

No you illiterate cretin, this is the exact opposite of what I wrote. I wrote"real scientists (be they theist, atheist or Buddhist)". This means that I DO NOT THINK THAT SCIENTIST=ATHEIST! Can't you read?

"What I am saying is that there are a lot of former Atheists who have become Christians because they were true Scientists and let their observations lead them to a deeper understanding."

(i) Except that the examples that you gave were not scientists but doctors (dentists are also not scientists, architects are also not scientists, etc, etc). (ii) The thought processes you outlined have nothing whatsoever to do with scientific thinking or the Scientific Method -- if anything it is the polar opposite of scientific thinking. Science suggests that (i) the mammalian body is a very complex organism & (ii) that complex systems often act in ways that are unexpected (lacking more information on the specifics of the complex system than you could normally reasonably expect). Therefore a "true Scientist" would not be unduly surprised when the unexpected happens on occasion.

"The problem you have is that you are at root a shallow thinking little person who is angry at the world."

"Shallow"? Given that your own thoughts are remarkably lacking in both factual basis, and logic, I find your accusation ridiculous.

"As a Christian I encounter your type on a regular basis. Set in your bigotry you demand that everyone meet your shallow standard."

No you 'orrible Bible-bigotry-believing little troll, what you have encountered here (and most probably elsewhere) is skepticism not bigotry -- an honest refusal to accept tradition, hearsay, I-think-I-heard-it-somewhere-but-I-can't-remember-where, and other such truthiness as fact.

[contd]

xn--hrfn-woa said...

[contd]

"Well news flash. Your shallow little standard curtails 99% of life."

No, It curtails "99% of" truthiness, urban myths, etc. I'm sorry but your religions traditions, dogma and myths quite simply are not "99% of life." For one thing it is only one of many hundreds of mutually exclusive 'one true religion's.

"While you think yourself wise you prove yourself a fool by leaving out all the important bits!"

And you yourself are leaving out all sorts of other "important bits" -- Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Wicca, Asatru, etc, etc.

I am no more concerned that I am "leaving out" your religious "important bits" than you would be at missing out mine.

"Lets assume for a moment that your point of view is correct."

If you think that my "point of view" is atheism then you'd be wrong.

"You're just a bunch of random atoms moving about in close formation. Your thoughts don't matter. Your feelings don't matter."

They matter to me. For me, that is enough.

"The other bunches of random atoms that you interact with don't matter."

I'm sure they matter to them. I will not however attempt to declare whether this is enough for them.

"There is no TRUTH to debate or love to give or anger to feel."

You are correct that I don't believe in (big T) Truths -- but that does not mean that there is no (small t) truths, or love or anger (the former is where you find them, the latter two are emergent qualities of being mammalian).

"You don't have a life you have a temporary coalescence."

Please distinguish between the two without bringing your religious preconceptions (which we have already established that I don't share) to bear.

"And yet" your religious dogma leaves me unmoved -- as the dogma of hundreds of other 'one true religion's would leave you unmoved.

xn--hrfn-woa said...

The problem here appears to be what may be termed 'Christian exceptionalism' -- the unwarranted viewpoint that Christians have that their belief that Christianity is the 'one true religion' in some way sets it apart -- when the majority of the world also believes in a variety of 'one true religion's that happen not to be Christianity (Islam, Buddhism & Hinduism between them make up approximately two third of the world's population).

xn--hrfn-woa said...

I would conclude by pointing out that Joe's lengthy tirade is what is known as the ad hominem fallacy -- attempting to discredit me by claiming that I'm a bad person, rather than addressing ANY of my points.

For the record, these points include calling into question the following claims:

1) The creationist myths about "Junk DNA"

2) "Real Scientists said no way the sun went around the earth."

3) "Real Scientists said the earth was entering a new ice age"

4) "The point of fact is that the only 'Real Scientists' in atheistic minds are the clowns that only accept materialism as sole cause for existence. Makes for a very unproductive debate since such agendized individuals simply ignore any evidence that runs contrary to their preconceived ideas."

All that Joe has come up with is vague anecdotes and ad hominem attacks.

Joe said...

xn hrfn woa You're funny! If you actually believed the nonsense you spew you wouldn't be spewing the nonsense. If everything is simply random chance then you and I are merely temporarily coalesced atoms so there is nothing to argue about. You are a bunch of nothing just as I am a bunch of nothing so let's all go to our dark little corner until we begin dispersing. There is no point to debate or intellectual intercourse because we are just random chance.

Now I'm not going to tell you that you are wrong. I don't have to. You already do that by trying to argue against meaningful existence.

Oh BTW the Biologist I wrote about and the Mathematician and the Physicist, they aren't medical doctors. They have Doctorates in their field of study but they teach and do research in universities. Oh and one of the medical doctors did extensive research in organ transplantation before he went into the practice of medicine so I suppose you could say he is a scientist in the truest sense of the word.

As for my background, well just let it be said that I too went to university and I too was well trained in the discipline of science. That being said I quote a well known author who said, "When I was a child I thought like a child and I acted like a child, but when I became an adult I put childish ways behind me.

You see I am not so daft as to believe that everything that is to be known is known. Therefore I explore and I dig and I debate. In the course of that exploration I have found the Truth the Way and the Life. Its a pity you haven't yet so we could have a grown up conversation but then again if everyone had eyes to see and ears to hear life would be pretty dull.

Now run along and have a nice coalescence!

Joe said...

Well xn hrfn woa since it is abundantly clear that you don't read so good I will type real slow.

First of all you are not entitled to pick your data set. If I run around picking all the temperatures that have gone up in the last decade and ignoring all the temperatures that have gone down in the same time frame then I would reach the conclusion that the earth is warming. On the other hand if I pick only the temperatures that have gone down and ignore those that have gone up I would conclude the earth is entering a new ice age. Neither conclusion is correct so long as there is contradictory data.

If I do nothing but read the works of Atheists and ignore all the works of Christians then I would assume that the atheist perspective is right. If I read nothing but Christian literature then I am convinced that Christian is the right way to view things.

The point is that years ago I gave up such reading for just that reason. Instead I sought Him who had sustained me during the times I could not sustain myself and slowly but surely He has revealed Himself to me. After I reach one conclusion or another He confirms it to me one way or another For example I found my understanding of the Triune God explained in the works of the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle.

Now from what you have written I would conclude that for you Christianity was ritual practice and intellectual exercise. I've encountered a number of 'former Christians' coming from the same root. The problem they have is that they have omitted the Spiritual and thus become - lost. Christianity is at its foundation Spiritual and anyone who attempts to be a Christian without being Spiritual became lost at the outset. Back in the day I read the old time Rationalists and the 'Experts' in textual criticism. I almost became convinced that they were telling the truth. That is until I began examining that which I had experienced. How could I reconcile the dry dead readings that would seem to show the Bible to be a complete pack of lies when I had just seen the Shekinah Glory pouring from the Cross? How could I compare the textual critics who argued that when Paul said left he really meant right to the left over spaghetti having fed 10 people seconds from what was originally barely enough to feed 4 one setting each? How could I compare the Spiritual insights given to me to the scribblings of someone who obviously had no clue what he was writing about? I could have done what you did and abandon Christianity but to do so would be Spiritually and intellectually dishonest. Instead I have asked to be led farther along and by His Grace farther along I have been and shall be led. You want to be the child in the middle of the freeway ears plugged and eyes closed yelling, "I can't hear you" then you go right ahead. You want to be an intellectual fly weight and a Spiritual non being then that is your choice. Enjoy your choice in temporary coalescence and affiliated sentience. By His Grace I will continue to serve the Lord from whom both existence and sentience originates.

xn--hrfn-woa said...

"Well xn hrfn woa since it is abundantly clear that you don't read so good I will type real slow."

The 'I know you are, but what am I' approach only works for Bart Simspon. It was you who equated "real scientists (be they theist, atheist or Buddhist)" to "In your closed little mind Scientist = Atheist."

Stop whining and move on.

"First of all you are not entitled to pick your data set. ..."

To be data (or a fact), it has to be substantiatable if challenged. You have substantiated nothing (in spite of repeated challenges), so you have nothing.

"If I do nothing but read the works of Atheists and ignore all the works of Christians..."

I studied Aquinas' arguments for the existence of God in first year Metaphysics. I have dissected Alvin Plantinga's 'Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism'. I have read more superficially the works of Christian Apologists, mostly creationists (and the rebuttals of the latter come as frequently from Christians as from Atheists). What I have seen is pervassive misrepresentation and/or ignorance of the evidence and trite and shallow caricature of the scientific (not "atheist" per se) explanations.

"The point is ..."

The point is that you have had your personal religious experiences, and I have had mine -- and these experiences aren't reconcilable. That's the whole point behind the Argument from Inconsistent Revelations, an argument against (revelatory) religion that you (and/or Rick) have chosen to Gish Gallop right past. If you were genuinely interested in dealing with my objections to any religion claiming a unique divine revelation, then this would be a good starting place.

"Now from what you have written I would conclude that for you Christianity was ritual practice and intellectual exercise."

Sorry, but you're wrong. Christianity for me was little more than tribalism. It wasn't until decades after that I developed an intellectual interest in my tribe's mythology -- probably because (i) I've always been interested in mythology (be it Greek, Egyptian or Norse), & (ii) I had achieved sufficient distance to feel comfortable investigating it. These investigations have turned up too much that is contradicted by the historical and archeological records, and too much that fits too well with the cultural imperatives of a small Canaanite remnant's need to build cultural cohesiveness, for me to have any hope of believing that it was divinely inspired.

Joe said...

"Christianity for me was little more than tribalism".

In other words you never were a Christian and thus have been lying when you say you were a Christian.

Since we now have you lying about something that fundamental there is nothing you can post that is to be believed.

Or is there another potential and that being you were deluded into thinking that you were a Christian. If you can be deluded about something as basic as being or not being a Christian then is it not likely that all you postings are the result of similar delusions.

Either way it does not look good on you. Far better that you say you never were a Christian, have never actually experienced anything Christian and as such are completely ignorant about Christianity except that which have read about in anti-Christian literature.

You are rapidly becoming an object of pity.

Joe said...

xn hrfn woa If going to church makes you a Christian, going to a garage makes you a car.

I went to my friend's mosque but I am not Muslim. I went to another friends temple but I am not Sikh. I recently went to a synagogue but I am not Jewish. I even went to a Roman Catholic Church but I am not Roman Catholic.

Reciting rote prayer does not make you a Christian, reading the Bible does not make you a Christian. Listening to Sunday School lessons and sermons does not make you a Christian. Therefore I am absolutely correct when I say you never were a Christian. The rest of my argument stands on its facts.

RkBall said...

I have deleted a couple of posts due to intemperate language.

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"