Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Intelligent Design Essay Contest -- Win $$$

Undergrads                    Image via Wikipedia
What a great idea:
Here’s the question: How would acceptance of design, alongside law and chance, as a fundamental cause in nature change the way we do science?
Eligible entrants: High school, college, or university undergrads, worldwide.
Prizes: $200 first prize, $100 second prize
Length: 1200-1500 words
Deadline: Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Submit to: Uncommon Descent at udnews.contests@gmail.com
Judges to be announced.
Of course, from a Christian point of view, nature's laws are themselves designed, and chance is an epistemological/ontological conundrum to earth-dwellers looking "through a glass darkly". What this means is, what appears as chance to us may in fact be the hand of God ever-so-subtley directing natural forces to obtain his ends. Did not the Lord, e.g., cause a wind to blow, still a storm, etc. etc.?

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Anonymous said...

Too bad that "intelligent design" isn't even CLOSE to actual science;it has no experimental method, tests, or findings, and is nothing more than "I dunno; magic man in the sky musta done it" repackaged to appeal to people that are slowly realizing that mythology is no substitute for reality.

RkBall said...

"Inference to the best explanation" worked for Darwin; it's just when someone doesn't like where the inference leads he suddenly finds it non-scientific.

We are the result of exquisite bio-engineering -- the evidence for this conclusion abounds. At the mega level, the evidence is that the initial conditions and contingent laws of the universe are tuned to result in... us.

Sorry this disappoints you. You've been "de-throned" -- there is someone bigger and grander than you, to whom you are ultimately accountable.

Yet, at the same time, this also means you are "fearfully and wonderfully made." Your life does have meaning and purpose and significance. And there is hope for eternal life because of the resurrection of Christ from the dead.

Most rational people would find these assertions attractive and look for supporting evidence, rather than batting away the evidence. Sorry all this distresses you so much. A rational person would find it wonderful news indeed. Only die-hard irrational atheists lean away from it.

I'll let Joe do the mop-up.

Anonymous said...

This "exquisite bio-engineering" that you prefer to imagine is the handiwork of your imaginary "god" is nothing more than the result of AEONS of evolution, Richard; how are those invisible refrigerator pixies treating you, anyway? My life has meaning because I MAKE it have meaning, not because I'm so vain and desperate to imagine that I'm so important that an invisible magic man in the sky had to have made me.

RkBall said...

Tag team -- over to Joe.

Joe said...

Well Richard I often wonder the value of any discussion you or I may have with Caveman-SDC-Annony-Meaningless-Nothing. After all he exalts science and then refuses to do any experimentation to validate his theory. Quite unscientific I must say. He keeps claiming that we Christians have been brainwashed by some sort of cult but never bothers to question his own brainwashing - I mean indoctrination - I mean "education" in scientism.

Personally I wonder if the high priests of scientism realize how silly they sound when ever they say that this or that serves a specific purpose. Of course this or that serves a specific purpose it was Designed to serve that purpose. Accidents and aeons are not sufficient explanation for even the most basic life forms. But don't bother telling Caveman-SDC-Annony-Meaningless-Nothing that he is too busy looking for pixies in his fridge.

SDC said...

EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF ACTUAL EVIDENCE supports evolution, Joe, while there is nothing to support your cult other than a 2000-year old collection of self-contradictory fairy tales. What is it that makes you think that your hallucinations are any more valid than the hallucinations of the followers of any OTHER cult?

Joe said...

Dear Caveman-SDC-Annony-Meaningless-Nothing:

Please provide one SINGLE PIECE OF ACTUAL EVIDENCE that is beyond inference in support of evolution. Why do you disparage inference since your side uses it so exclusively?

Thank you in advance


SDC said...

The fact that the DNA of humans is identical to that of the other great apes, except for the fusion between chromosomes 2 and 13; for me to believe anything OTHER than that this is rock-solid proof of evolution would mean that your imaginary "god" is doing everything in his/her/it's power to prove its NON-existence, fool. You still haven't shown me any sort of reason for believing your hallucinations over the hallucinations of any other member of any other cult.

Joe said...

News flash according to Caveman-SDC-Annony-Meaningless-Nothing Microsoft Office and Microsoft Works evolved and were not intelligently designed. Proof positive is the fact that they have a lot of common coding. NO point in further argument or discussion.

Ah Caveman-SDC-Annony-Meaningless-Nothing your cute in the morning and always good for a chuckle. Your proof is proof for either side and therefore useless.

Do you want some equally silly proof from my side? According to the science I read and held as gospel back in my youthful anti-theistic days the universe is folded. (That's how Star Trek's 'wormholes' work). Now according to Christianity we live and breathe and have our being in Him. We are also made in His image. Just like the universe, which has its being in His mind, our brains are 'folded'. See proof positive that we are created and not evolved. As we used to say back in university, QED. Or as William Shatner is famous for saying, "Weird or what?"

BTW I don't hold the 'folded' universe as proof of Creation any more than I hold similar DNA as proof of evolution. The proof of the Creator is found only by experimentation which you refuse to do.

RkBall said...

"The fact that the DNA of humans is identical to that of the other great apes"

SDC: your arguments are 5 years out of date. You need to catch up.

The interesting thing is that supposedly "identical" DNA accomplishes different things in different species. There's a lot more going on than just DNA "blueprints". Every time a biologist scrapes a layer of bio-engineering complexity away, there's another layer of blindingly complex engineering below it. This is not the kind of thing one can reasonably expect from blind, undesigned purposeless, undirected processes. It takes stubborn, blind faith to believe it.

Plus, you have to first come up with self-replicating DNA from these supposedly unintelligent, undesigned processes. Maybe it looks like engineering because it is engineering. Or you can stick to darwinism in spite of the evidence.

Thirdly, the argument is not about evolution. It's about darwinism, which is a particular brand of evolution rooted in philosophical naturalism -- which is an assumption that lacks empirical justification. It's about the sufficiency of natural selection to drive evolutionary development; so far natural selection has been empirically demonstrated to have very feeble creative abilities. You have no empirical evidence that indicates otherwise. None.

It's also about whether the biochemical processes we see at work are the result of unplanned, undesigned laws of nature, or whether there is purpose and design embedded in these laws. The evidence points to purpose and design. You shun this evidence perhaps (probably) because you want atheism to be true. So, your stance of dispassionate reason is really just a smokescreen for passionate reasoning. You want atheism to be true, don't you? Why not admit it? What (or Who) are you afraid of?

Finally, on the broader scale, it's about epistemology -- how we know things. Hard empirical evidence is not the only way we come to know what is true. But, that's another battle for another day.

Have a good one.

SDC said...

Joe, your little magic book claims that your imaginary "god" made humans in its image, yet DNA proves that we are simply another form of primate; that being the case, are other primates made in the image of your imaginary "god" too, or was that just some more ego-stroking on the part of the BS artists who wrote down your fairy tales in the first place? Your fairy tales are based in nothing more than FANTASY, while DNA can be extracted and compared by anyone in the field anywhere at any time. And Richard, just because we don't have ALL the answers yet doesn't mean that your fantasies somehow magically become true, anymore than the fact that ancient cartographers used to write "here be dragons" on areas that they had no idea about; "magic man in the sky done it" is simply a religious lunatic's version of "here be dragons".

Joe said...

Well I guess this discussion thread is over. Once again Caveman-SDC-Annony-Meaningless-Nothing is reduced to closing his eyes, covering his ears and shouting it just isn't so.

You know Richard since Caveman-SDC-Annony-Meaningless-Nothing won't do my experiment I wonder if he would do one along the lines of his own theory. What do you say we chip in and give him a whole bucket of NOTHING and he can watch the bucket until a universe is formed and life evolves. Should keep him occupied for an eternity or two. No?

RkBall said...

Joe, you are 'way off.

The universe wasn't created out of a bucket of nothing -- it was created out of TWO buckets of nothing. It's all about when nothing meets nothing, and sparks fly!!!

One bucket of nothing, ha ha ha, still chuckling over that one, Joe. Such a basic error!

But TWO buckets -- now ya got something!

Joe said...

Of course you are right Richard please forgive my oversight. One question though: How do you know if you have a boy bucket of nothing and a girl bucket of nothing? I mean it would be rather embarrassing to give him two boy buckets or two girl buckets. He might read something into our gifts that we don't intend!

RkBall said...

The implications of what you have said are very, very disturbing. Must stop and contemplate the cosmic implications. Two yins, but no yang!!!! Two positives, no negatives!!!

Creating a whole whiz-bang universe out of nothing just got a lot more complicated, and risky!

SDC said...

I'm more than willing to look at any actual evidence you might have to offer, but so far, your "evidence" is no more convincing than that of any other religious fruitcake, ie. "it must be true because my cult says it's true, and I FEEEEEL it". Sorry, but that's no more true when your cult claims it than when any other cult claims it, or do you just expect me to place your cult's claims above any sort of rational scrutiny? The unbiased evidence that we DO have access to shows evolution beyond a shadow of any doubt, no matter how much that might bruise your delicate egos.

Joe said...

I do hope that Caveman-SDC-Annony-Meaningless-Nothing realizes that calling someone else's view (Christianity) irrational based on your own cult's (scientism) definition of rationality is to say the least a bit presumptuous. Just as is ruling out evidence based on your cult's (scientism's) definition of evidence. A truly free thinker is capable of looking at the value of all the evidence and giving it proper weight. I know that my back ground in engineering strengthened my belief in intelligent design. Accidents and aeons don't give you the delicate beauty of a flower. Beauty and a design that serves so many purposes besides gladdening the hearts of young maidens.

SDC said...

The difference here Joe, is that what science believes can be supported by unbiased EVIDENCE, while what your and other cults believe is nothing more than "trust me, it was only driven by a little old lady on Sundays". There is no more reason to believe the drivel that your superstition puts out than there is to believe the similar drivel of the Mormons, the Scientologists, the Wiccans, the Muslims, the Raelians, or any other such dim-witted nonsense throughout history. When I look at the history of how your superstition came about, it is chock full of instances of additions, substitutions, contradictions, and "who cares if it's a lie, it's in their best interests", no different than any other political organization. That's why my standards of evidence are equal for ALL such claims, and your baloney is treated exactly the same as that of any other cult.

Joe said...

Richard: Did you send Caveman-SDC-Annony-Meaningless-Nothing a boy bucket of nothing or a girl bucket of nothing because Caveman-SDC-Annony-Meaningless-Nothing says he sees no evidence of a universe/life evolving from the boy bucket of nothing I sent him.

At least Caveman-SDC-Annony-Meaningless-Nothing is starting to practice what he preaches.

SDC said...

A "bucket of nothing" is what your fairy tales amount to, Joe; have you come up with any sort of reason yet to believe your cult's fairy tales over the fairy tales of any OTHER cult yet, or are you just going to keep pretending you didn't see the question?

Joe said...

Well Caveman-SDC-Annony-Meaningless-Nothing since it is widely accepted that "Nothing begets Nothing" and since we are not nothing we had to have come from Something. Scientism's idea that something (us) came from nothing is the real fairy tale. Guess which scientism cult member is spreading that particular whopper on Richard's blog?

RkBall said...

I think it's a fair statement to say that something has always existed. You just don't get something outta nothing-nothing -- even if you start with two scoops.

So, the question, is, what has always existed.

SDC said...

So how do you know that your imaginary "god" is that something, as opposed to any one of a multitude of OTHER things, either natural or supernatural? YOU DON'T, so you're simply doing the same thing that every other cult throughout history has done; you're claiming that your imaginary "god" tells you things through voices in your head or "feelings" that you might have, or similar bunkum. That fertilizer isn't evidence for ANYTHING, and you know it as well as I do, otherwise all of the other lunatics who claim to talk to their imaginary "gods" have just as much evidence for their claims as you do. So, ONCE AGAIN, why are your cult's (contradictory) claims any more believable than any others?

Joe said...

Well there Caveman-SDC-Annony-Meaningless-Nothing since any evidence you have provided supports my position and any of the evidence I provide you reject what say you we move on.

Your god is natural forces. Natural forces begat something out of nothing. Natural forces brought order out of chaos. Natural forces brought life out of the non living. Natural forces brought intelligence out of the non sentient.

I say that your god (natural forces) is too small. I say that only Something beyond natural forces could have even brought about natural forces! I say that only Something beyond natural forces could have brought the physical universe into being. I say that only Something beyond natural forces could have laid out all the physical laws in such a way that stars, planets, mass, space energy etc could even exist! Only Something beyond natural forces can account for life and all its living forms. The detail and craftsmanship in everything we see is so completely beyond natural forces ability or ken to produce that only Something beyond natural forces could have caused it.

What is that Supernatural Being? It is the Presence that contains the universe. It is the Rational Thought that decides which shall be what. It is the Will that keeps the Presence and the Thought on task that the order They have brought about shall not revert to Chaos.

What is that Supernatural Being? We Christians refer to Him as I AM.

He is completely Self Aware and completely Competent to complete the task He has set before Himself. He has set about replicating Himself and you and I are part of that process.

Now if you want to reduce yourself to a result of natural force then please go ahead and so reduce yourself. As for me and my family and I believe I speak for Richard as well, We shall find exaltation as we humble ourselves before I AM.

Anonymous said...

Evolution: The Creation Myth of Our Culture
by David Buckna

"My theory of evolution is that Darwin was adopted." --Steven Wright

Anonymous said...

A question for the Darwinists:

Programmers utilize complex codes to create software. The genetic code, which is more sophisticated, controls the physical processes of life and is accompanied by elaborate transmission and duplication systems.

How does evolution, using natural processes and chance, solve the problem of complex information sequencing without intelligence?

Anonymous said...

You don't get off that easy, Joe, since your made-up "explanation" has no more evidence in support of it than any other cult's does; I ask (again), why should I take your fantasies any more seriously than the fantasies of any other cult? None of you have anything more than "trust me, I heard this from an invisible magic man in the sky, so you can believe it", and I'm not about to believe that horseshit when it comes from you, anymore than I'm about to believe it when it comes from anyone else. The fairy tales that you base your cult on are proven to be nothing more than after-the-fact fabrications, but if you're happy lying to yourself so you can imagine that you'll "live forever", that's just you; I happen to think reality is so much more important and fulfilling.

Joe said...

Well Caveman-SDC-Annony-Meaningless-Nothing since you are happy with the cult you are in why don't you just stay there. You don't have to accept my beliefs. I certainly don't accept yours. I think yours are infantile, silly, baseless and nonsensical. And that's just to start. However you seem happy to accept your cult's beliefs without any logical reason or hard evidence so have at it. Knock yourself out. Enjoy. Go ahead. Worship your god all you want. I really don't care. Its your life.

As for me; I used to worship your god. Then I came to realize that natural forces (Caveman-SDC-Annony-Meaningless-Nothing's god) is way too small! It failed to meet any of the intellectual or philosophical standards I set for it. That is why I sought a God that could meet those standards and that is why I serve the only God that is big enough to answer all my questions. That is why I choose to serve Yahweh (I AM).

Now I understand that you want to wallow in the intellectual pig sty of belief in natural forces. As a former fellow swine I don't want to go back there. So have a nice wallow. If you dig deep enough the ticks (goads) don't bother you as much but you sure get dirty doing it.

Anonymous said...

So all you need to do to convince anyone with a brain to buy into your nonsense, Joe, is to PROVE your claims; otherwise, your insane cult has nothing over any other insane cult throughout history. Have you ever asked yourself why your standards of evidence magically change when it comes to your imaginary invisible magic man? I am completely consistent no matter what the claim; ie. "show me the evidence that it's true", while you are so tied up in your fairy tales that you can't bear to evaluate them in the same way that you'd evaluate any other claim on anything else.

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