Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Darwinism: Do You Believe In Magic?

The Evidence for Evolution         
Stephen Pinker endorses Alan Rogers' "The Evidence For Evolution" with this glowing commendation: “Alan Rogers addresses the political controversy over the theory of evolution (there’s no longer any scientific controversy) in the best scientific spirit: with evidence and logic. For anyone with an open mind, a curiosity about the natural world, and a desire to see controversies settled with evidence rather than rhetoric, this is an invaluable contribution and a fascinating read.”—Steven Pinker, Harvard University.

A political controversy? Uncommon Descent picks up on sword:
It’s not a political controversy. It is: 
1) An evidential controversy (for example, the fossil record, especially the Cambrian explosion). 
2) A logical and computational controversy (the insufficiency of random errors producing highly complex, functionally integrated, self-correcting computer code). 
3) A mathematical controversy (clearly insufficient probabilistic resources for anything but the most trivial changes based on Darwinian mechanisms).
Well said. Two comments.

1. If by evolution we mean that species change over time and share DNA, there is overwhelming evidence for evolution.

2. However, there is equally overwhelming evidence that the mechanism posited by darwinists -- undesigned, undirected, unintelligent chance variation -- is by incapable of producing elegant new designs.

The naturalist scientist sticks to darwinian explanations regardless of the improbabilities or inconsistencies -- because it's the only conceivable tool in his naturalistic tool-box. A person not wedded to the materialistic philosophy of naturalism is free to examine the evidence and follow it wherever it leads.

I believe in the principle of sufficient reason -- that everything that exists or happens has a sufficient reason (or cause) for its existence. Not just a cause. A sufficient cause. That's why I reject darwinism -- the mechanism posited is feeble and insufficient.

The gap between what exists and the darwinian mechanism's ability to produce the goods is not just a minor problem, it is huge. This gap includes the obvious physical design complexities of human beings and other species, but also includes things like human aspirations and moral sense. To the extent that there is a gap between what exists and the sufficiency of the darwinian mechanism to adequately account for it, darwinists believe in magic (hello, SDC -- I'm toyin' with ya).

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

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Joe said...

I few days ago on the web there was an article about the speculation of other life in the universe. I wish I had the time to go back and re read it but it said that there is a particular formula they use to predict the number of stars capable of fostering planets etc etc etc. Each number they used seemed reasonable until they got to the last number. The last number was that given all the right conditions the 'chance' of life forming was virtually 100%. That number seemed extremely optimistic but then it fit nicely with the agenda of the formula formulators.

Anonymous said...

More wishful thinking from someone that can't accept the fact that they're not so special to the universe that an invisible magic man in the sky had to have "designed" everything for them.

RkBall said...

SDC -- what gives you special insight into the psychological motivations of another individual -- yet more magic at work?!

RkBall said...

Anon said, "The exact same "insight" that YOU use when you put any superstition but your own under the microscope, Richard; you and I both know that the Hindus are crazy for believing that a 8-armed "god" created the universe and stacked everything on a pile of turtles; you an I both know that the Mormons are crazy for believing that Indians are "descendants of the Lamanites", and that their skin colour has anything to do with the "curse of Ham"; you and I both know that the Scientologists are crazy for believing that "Xenu" flew millions of spirit "thetans" to Earth in jet-powered 737s, stacked them in volcanoes, and blew them to smithereens with atomic bombs. However, because you are so wedded to the cult you have chosen, you are unwilling to acknowledge that believing that a semi-mythical cult leader was "born of a virgin", could "walk on water", "raise the dead", was "resurrected", or any of the other nonsense claims made for this character ARE JUST AS [expletive deleted] CRAZY.

Joe said...

Well SDC when you have proof beyond your own cult the rest of us might start taking you seriously. As it is the Hindu 8 armed god putting the world on the back of turtles is more believable than the "something out of nothing for no good reason" your cult perpetuates.

SDC said...

Since Richard has decided to stop allowing my posts, Joe, I don't see that I CAN respond to your insane claims anymore; what science tells us beyond ashadow of a doubt is that the fairy tales that your cult promotes as "the truth" are nothing more than simple-minded lies, told by and for first-century savages who had no clue about the nature of reality; are you really sure you want to hitch yourself to that particular wagon? Science doesn't claim to have ALL the answers, but what it DOES have is light-years ahead of your self-contradictory fairy tales.

Joe said...


"Science has now PROVEN that something comes from nothing for no good reason" Thus spake SDC!


Thanks Richard. I had a really bad morning and SDC just lightened my whole day with his insane ramblings.

RkBall said...

Joe - be careful around SDC -- he sees our innermost thoughts and motivations. In fact...

He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good,
So be good for goodness' sake!

I still think SDC may be the product of an auto-comments generator. I mean, have we been naive thinking SDC exists when we have NO EVIDENCE (as he/it? likes to put it) that he does?!

SDC said...

Sorry to bust that imaginary "god" bubble of yours, guys, but science HAS proved that the nonsense "creation" fable in your little magic book is just as big of a lie as the creation fables of any other cult; that means, whatever else it might be, it certainly has no basis in reality. Ditto for so many of the other BS that you place such stock in, like "Noah's ark". So, one more time, let me know when you get some sort of an argument more worthwhile than "I dunno, it must be magic", OK?

Joe said...

I suspect you are right there Richard. SDC is a auto comments generator. It must be as no human could possibly believe in 'something from nothing for no good reason' and then try to defend it after studying two big buckets of nothing. I suppose I should have recognized his yapping dog style ages ago but it is such fun toying with him even though you know you're going to get the same silly answer time after time after time. "Science has proved", is on the face of it a lie. The true statement would be "science would seem to indicate". Of course every time 'science proves' another scientific study 'indicates otherwise'.

SDC said...

Look again, Joe; the sequence of events given as "fact" in your little magic book's fairy tales are simply nonsense, and the two versions of said "creation" don't even agree with EACH OTHER. Your fairy tales expect me to believe that the earth was "created" before anything else, and that plants were "created" before the sun was. Can you explain to me how photosynthesis is supposed to operate without the sun, fool?
On a larger scale, your position is that "oh, something as vast and complex as the universe couldn't possibly exist without something even MORE complex to design it", yet you don't even pause to see that basic logical contradiction in your claim. It is a sad fact of humanity that if someone can be convinced to believe an absurdity like this, then they can be convinced to commit any atrocity in the name of that absurdity.

Joe said...

So when is that 'yapping dog' auto comment generator actually going to provide some 'evidence' from his side. Inquiring minds want to know, just how does something come from nothing for no good reason? Once you answer that one we can start discussing what only you see as magic. Come on there auto comments let's have your explanation. Something comes from nothing for no good reason _______

I'll wait for you to fill in the blank. Failure to do so will confirm Richard's contention that you are simply an auto comments generator that doesn't really exist.

SDC said...

The uncontestable evidence available to us is that (contrary to the fairy tales in your little magic book), the universe began with what appears to be an "explosion" some 14 billion years ago; every observation that we have been able to perform as a species confirms that, and shows both of the creation myth(s) in your little magic book up as a bucket of tripe. Since I can't time-travel, I'm not about to claim that I know what happened before time even existed, but what I DO know is that the laughable explanation provided by your cult is nothing more than horse-droppings.

RkBall said...

"The uncontestable evidence available to us is that (contrary to the fairy tales in your little magic book), the universe began with what appears to be an "explosion" some 14 billion years ago;"

Nice try. Until the Big Bang, it was the Church that insisted the universe had a beginning; scientists insisted the universe was eternal (if materialism is true, it had and has to be).

The evidence for the Big Bang was fought tooth and nail by materialist scientists, until they finally caved. It was first postulated by who, a Jesuit priest, a Christian?! Big bang was a term of derision coined by disbelieving scientists.

That the universe had a beginning has been known by Jewish and Christian believers for thousands of years.

Nice game of catch-up you're playing, SDC.

And this supposed war between science and faith -- it exists only in your mind. The Big Bang -- first postulated by a Christian, a Jesuit believer -- bwahahahaha!

Secular scientists climb over the highest mountain, peer over the top -- and find a happy band of theologians who've been there for centuries, playing "How Great Is Our God!"

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

You can take it to the bank.

RkBall said...

"uncontestable evidence".

You're kidding, right? You misspoke, right? In the heat of battle you dashed off some careless words, right?

SDC said...

"Nice try. Until the Big Bang, it was the Church that insisted the universe had a beginning; scientists insisted the universe was eternal (if materialism is true, it had and has to be)."

The trouble, Mr. Ball, is that your cult's "explanation" ("a magic man in the sky poofed everything into existence") is no sort of explanation AT ALL; it depends on the sheer gullibility of halfwits who aren't willing to look at the evidence of what actually happened. The fairy tales in your little magic book aren't supported by ANY sort of evidence, while physics and experimental data can give us a pretty solid idea of everything that happened from milliseconds after the big bang to the present. And this IS uncontestable, unlike the fairy tales that you cling to (which even contradict themselves); have you ever wondered why the bronze-age nomads that wrote your myths down gave two completely contradictory accounts of your "creation" myth, or does your cult's brainwashing not allow you to ask such questions?

RkBall said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe said...

"The uncontestable evidence available to us" is???????????

I'm waiting with bated breath SDC. I keep asking you for some and all you can spew is your misconceptions about my beliefs.

Once again: Something came from nothing for no good reason by/because/for__________

SDC said...

Joe, how else would you explain the fact that EVERY piece of evidence fits the big bang model, and NONE of it supports your invisible magic man delusion? Everything from red-shifted light to microwave background radiation, to geology and biology, to magnetics, to physics, matches the predictions proposed by the big bang model, while we have NOTHING to support your fantasies. That's right, I forgot; who needs inconvenient things like "evidence", "logic", and "experimentation", when you have everything all sewn up with some 2000 year-old fairy tales and voices in your head to "explain" everything? You're asking for a "why" when there is no "why", there is only an "is", but that leaves you as nothng particularlarly special in the universe, and that's why your ego clings to these myths.

Joe said...

SDC your problem is that you keep projecting a fundamentalist point of view on me. The accounts in Genesis are not a science manual and were never intended to be such. The Big Bang theory fits much more nicely into a Creationist's theory than a Scientism one. Since Scientism says that something came from nothing for no good reason there is no explanation for the Big Bang.

We Creationists on the other hand believe that something came from the Creator and the Creator started this physical realm with a singularity that exploded into all the stars and planets etc including eventually life on earth. The Genesis account points out that time elapsed as the Creator created and that that the act of Creation followed a logical pattern.

Scientism starts out saying that there was nothing. Nothing sat there for a very long time until it achieved singularity, which for no good reason exploded. That explosion for no good reason set up all kinds of rules and laws which given the right amount of elapsed time happenstance life formed where ever conditions were right.

The scientism model is so contradictory and inconsistent that I'm amazed that anyone would even consider taking it seriously. Something from nothing for no good reason. Now you want to talk about inconsistent fairy tales. Scientism has a whopper it wants to sell you.

SDC said...

"The accounts in Genesis are not a science manual and were never intended to be such."

Then tell your cult to stop selling these fairy tales as the "truth", fool; you still haven't given anyone any more reason to believe your particular delusions than any other cult's delusions, while science has actual evidence to go by, and that evidence gets stronger each time new evidence is uncovered. Once again, you're looking for a "why" to try to explain an "is", in an effort to convince yourself that you're somehow "special". And if you want to worry about inconsistencies, you don't need to look past your cult's myths; they don't agree as to practically ANYTHING regarding your imaginary invisible magic man in the sky, the supposed "prophet" that was supposed to speak for said imaginary invisible magic man in the sky, his birth, life, deeds, death or laughable "ressurection", nor, in fact, almost ANYTHING AT ALL. This is why you can find contradictions in it on practically every issue that your cult has made pronouncements on.

Joe said...

Nice dodge there SDC but you still need to answer the question. How does something come from nothing? Especially how does something come from nothing with out any reason?

RkBall said...

Incoming alert -- SDC special on Monday. Stay tuned...

Anonymous said...

No dodge at all, Joe; are you so desperate for an answer that you will accept your cult's made-up "answer" over a "we don't know, because we don't have a time machine to go back and watch it again"?

Joe said...

The auto comment generator dodges again. As is to be expected.

Let's try again. Something came from nothing for no good reason _______

Either How or Why is acceptable.

PatJ said...

"everything that exists or happens has a sufficient reason (or cause) for its existence. "

So what is the sufficient cause for God?

RkBall said...

1. Anything that begins to exist has a sufficient cause. God did not begin to exist, so he does not need or have a cause. Only contingent entities, like our universe with its precise set of laws, require sufficient cause.

As for the sufficient reason for God, it resides in God Himself. That is why his revelation of Himself to the Hebrews as the I AM THAT I AM is so profound. He is what he is, and even more elementary than that, He Is. He is a self-sufficient, uncaused, necessary being that bears sufficient reason within his own being. Everything else that exists, unlike God, is contingent, and flows from this uncaused, eternal first cause.

We both agree that something exists. If something exists now, then something must have existed for all eternity. The only question is what is that substance or being.

And I am saying that substance is God.

P@J said...

and that painful tautology is the root of all ignorance.

Thanks Ball, I'm out.

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