The Case for Macroevolution

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Sheldon's picture
Tell us Breezy when a

Tell us Breezy when a scientific consensus has admitted to being in error, say with the knowledge of tectonic plate shift evidencing continental drift, was the previous consensus held rigidiyl in the face of proper evidence or was it replaceD by a new *CONSENSUS?

You are funny...

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
"Science, since people must

"Science, since people must do it, is a socially embedded activity. It progresses by hunch, vision, and intuition. Much of its change through time does not record a closer approach to absolute truth, but the alteration of cultural contexts that influence it so strongly. Facts are not pure and unsullied bits of information; culture also influences what we see and how we see it. Theories, moreover, are not inexorable inductions from facts. The most creative theories are often imaginative visions imposed upon facts; the source of imagination is also strongly cultural" (Gould, 1981).

Reference: "Gould, S. (1981). The mismeasure of man. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

arakish's picture
Remember Breezy stated in one

Remember Breezy stated in one post that he is going for a Master's in Cognitive Science. That means he is a psychologist. Not a evolutionary biologist.

rmfr

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Ahh right. In that case,

Ahh right. In that case, since Stephen Jay Gould was an evolutionary biologist and not a psychologist, I should dispose of my Mismeasure of Man copy.

Sheldon's picture
Stephen Jay Gould was a

Stephen Jay Gould was a paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science. His expertise on the topic was well established.

He wasn't some Billy no name on the internet claiming to have bested Darwin, in a chatroom. You might as well claim you've cured cancer or proved the world is flat.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
It should be noted that the

It should be noted that the chatroom argument is dependant on the quality of the chatroom members. The more you bring down the intellectual value of the chatroom, the more valid the argument that this is the wrong place to discuss such ideas.

Sheldon's picture
Well fuck me he has finally

Well fuck me he has finally got it. Very late in the day, and a little sad and ironic he thinks this fact reflects badly on his audience, rather than pointing to his ideas being aimed at people he mistakenly thinks he can bamboozle.

Look John, your claims are risible nonsense, because like all claims in order for them to be scientifically valid they have to satisfy strict scientific methods of validation, now pay attention and I'll go really slowly for you.....is the the main method that trumps all others winning over atheists in a chatroom who have no expertise in the scientific field you are claiming to have completely reversed after 160 years of research?

Do take your fucking time here as I'm sure no one has lost patience with your arrogant unpleasant ad hominem, or your ridiculous denials of scientific facts being "too intelligent for us to grasp".

Or you could go down the red herring route again and use your straw man argument that a consensus is not the only factor in validating scientific ideas, that was enormously impressive to us mere laymen who don't know this rather obvious fact and have never claimed it anyway, sigh. What it is to watch a scientific genius at work, and one so seldom gets the chance to see paradigm shifting reversals of this magnitude broken in an internet chatroom with no scientific credentials.

Sigh...

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
There are many members here

There are many members here who are clearly capable refuting and testing my ideas, it just so happens you are not one of them, but tend to be the loudest. There may or may not be an evolutionary biologist in this forum. But we know for sure there are people with degree in physics, such as the BlindWatchMaker. Lucyanthrolopithicus is an astrophysicist I believe. Akarish is a geologist/volcano-guy. Nyar is a mathematician of sorts. Me I studied psychology. I don't know what Sushisnake and Aperez are, but the way they speak lets me know they are bringing something useful to the table.

Such intellectual diversity, tells me this is a great place to test out ideas. Of course, this is still the internet nonetheless, which means its comes with its share of Sheldons.

Sheldon's picture
How many of them agree with

How many of them agree with your ludicrous creationist claims?

How many experts in evolution have you shared your creationist propaganda with?

Nice ad hominem again, but it's still obvious to everyone that you are claiming someone needs expertise in biology in order to accept the opinion of every expert in the field over 160 years of research, rather than some billy no name student in psychology claiming he knows better than all those experts based on his religious beliefs. So insult me all you want John, I learned long ago how deeply unpleasant theists and apologists can get when their creationists mumbo jumbo is challenged. It just beads up and rolls off now. You keep claiming the world is flat all you want, and I'll keep pointing and laughing.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
" I learned long ago how

" I learned long ago how deeply unpleasant theists and apologists"

Presumably, long enough ago to see the rise of the internet? There is bound to be differing perspectives between your generation and mine as to the role of chatrooms. In the 17th and 18th centuries you had salons, the place were people exchanged ideas and philosophies. In this day an age, we have the chatroom, which serves the same purpose.

Sheldon's picture
You're denying a scientific

You're denying a scientific fact, the only perspective that counts is that of science and how it validates claims. You also think we won't notice that you have come to very specific chatroom, an atheist one, whilst denying your motives are religious, as if that isn't risible enough you refuse to acknowledge multiple posters asking you how many experts on evolution you have shared your creationist claims with.

You're not going to falsify evolution in here, and I don't believe you can't see how ridiculous it is to suggest otherwise. It's like trying to cure your cancer on a gardening site, and insisting they have no valid answers to your claim that you can cure it with crystals, faith healing, and homegrown parsnip soup.

Sheldon's picture
In all the excitement you

In all the excitement you forgot to tell us how many experts in evolution you have shared your creationist ideas with?

Greensnake's picture
Sheldon strikes me as having

Sheldon strikes me as having a good, educated noggin--degree or no degree. Don't know what Mr. Breezy is complaining about. Most of the stuff on here is either common sense or requires only a bit of reading. There is no substitute for common sense!

Greensnake's picture
John 61X Breezy,

John 61X Breezy,

"There are many members here who are clearly capable refuting and testing my ideas,..." --Breezy

Ideas? Did you say Ideas? Despite intensive interrogation we yet to even see your alternate model for macroevolution (the fact of evolution)! Can't test them until we see them.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Well obviously; but you

Well obviously; but you started this thread and placed yourself in a position for being interrogated and criticized. I did just that, why would I give you a free pass?

CyberLN's picture
Perhaps you should give him a

Perhaps you should give him a pass equal to those you give yourself.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Ok, let's do it. Find me such

Ok, let's do it. Find me such an example of me giving myself a pass, and I'll match it by giving him the same benefit.

CyberLN's picture
You have side-stepped direct

You have side-stepped direct questions.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
I side-step strawman, as I

I side-step strawman, as I already mentioned. So, if I ever straw man Greensnake, and he side steps it, I'll gladly retract.

Sheldon's picture
"Ok, let's do it. Find me

John slippery mendacious breezy: "Ok, let's do it. Find me such an example of me giving myself a pass, and I'll match it by giving him the same benefit."

Well lets see how many times you have ignored the interrogation you claim others deserve...

1) How many experts on evolution have you shared your creationist ideas with?
2) How many scientific facts do you deny that in no way refute any part of your religious beliefs?
3) How many website with expertise on evolution have you voiced your creationist ideas on?
4) Why are you on an atheist chat room making claims that deny a scientific facts, which just happens to refute your religion's creation myth? No one on here is an expert after all.
5) Why did you claim the bible denounced slavery but refuse to discuss any texts that actually mentioned slavery?
6) How many of your professors have you shared your creationist denials of evolution with, and what are their qualifications in evolution, and what were their reactions?
7) How many of the scientific texts you have quoted as supporting your claims, don;t accept species evolution as a valid scientific theory / fact? Citations please...

Let the evasion commence...

Greensnake's picture
John 61X Breezy,

John 61X Breezy,

The concept of life arising from a primitive source, and branching out in many directions, makes some obvious predictions about the fossil record. You have never challenged this fit between model and data. Do you have any explanation for the fossil record? We can't test it until we see it! If you want to be taken seriously, you do have to address that point. If you don't even have a model, and neither I nor biologists in general see any credible, alternative models in sight, then your attack on macroevolution (a model that fits the data exquisitely) becomes laughable. Nothing wrong in interrogating me, John, but don't forget to give us your explanation for the fossil record!

The model of macroevolution FITS THE DATA. Even if we made the ludicrous concession that all of this data was ad hoc, the fact remains that we have a credible model that CAN fit the data. The hypothetical concession is, of course, ludicrous because an ocean of fossils since Darwin's time have provided multiple confirmations. (And, of course, we have additional confirmations from independent lines of data.)

Scott242's picture
Suggesting that evidence for

Suggesting that evidence for macroevolution supports atheism is a complete non-sequitur. Indeed, the very idea that evolutionary arguments are evidence for atheism results from a category error. The following two statements commit the same category error because they confuse and conflate different levels of causation:

"Life is not caused by God, but rather, by natural processes."

"Automobiles are not caused by people, but rather, by manufacturing processes."

Below is a copy and paste of an article which I wrote at my website (GodEvidence.com), which elaborates on this topic:

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” The misuse of language in order to deceive is one of the central themes in George Orwell’s famous novel Animal Farm. The pigs in the novel outrageously distort the word "equal" in order to prevent the other animals from perceiving the great inequality present on the farm. Much like the pigs in Animal Farm, atheists such as Richard Dawkins do not shy from such distortions of language to promote their agenda. Indeed, a little digging reveals some of the most prominent arguments in support of atheism to be notably, well….Orwellian.

Doubtlessly the most prominent argument in favor of atheism in the last 150 years has been Darwinian evolution. Since the process of evolution is random (advanced by the random mutation of genes and natural selection of offspring) and purposeless—-so the argument goes—-there is no need to invoke an intelligent creator such as God to explain the origin of life.

Indeed, the real conflict is not between Christianity and evolution. Rather, the real conflict (as the Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga points out in his book Where the Conflict Really Lies) is between Christianity and atheistic PHILOSOPHICAL ADD-ONS TO EVOLUTIONARY THEORY. Despite atheist rhetoric to the contrary, Christians do not deny evolution since the term "evolution" only means change over time…when stripped of philosophical add-ons such as the insistence that this change over time is driven by random and purposeless (rather than intelligent and goal driven) processes. Most Christians objecting to evolution are really objecting to evolution with the atheistic philosophical add-ons of randomness and purposelessness.

It is just that an enormous amount of distortion (and outright denial) is necessary to apply the terms random and purposeless to evolution…especially in light of the science which has emerged since the time of Charles Darwin.

First of all, as Perry Marshall points out in his book Evolution 2.0, it is possible to prove that a pattern is non-random, but there is no mathematical procedure for proving that a pattern is random. Atheists can only assume that genes mutate randomly…because their worldview demands it. But the random mutation hypothesis can never be verified, and therefore it stands in opposition to the scientific method itself.

Marshall cites the renowned mathematician Gregory Chaitin from his paper Randomness and Mathematical Proof:

“Although randomness can be precisely defined and can even be measured, a given number cannot be proved to be random. This enigma establishes a limit to what is possible in mathematics.”

But the fundamentally unscientific nature of the random mutation evolutionary hypothesis is only its first problem. Marshall continues by calling attention to the research which has proven that evolution is clearly NOT random. Scientists such as the famous evolutionary biologist and geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky conducted six decades of research in which fruit flies were exposed to radiation in order to induce the mutation of genes, with the intent of accelerating evolution. But after 60 years of research, and despite the fact that a new generation of fruit flies occurs every 11 days, no new species emerged, or even a new enzyme. Rather, the only results are what amount to frankenflies, including mutant fruit flies with legs growing out of their heads where their antennae belong.

So, if it is not random, how does change over time (the definition of evolution stripped of its atheistic philosophical add-ons) really happen?

Marshall answers:

“Remember the fruit fly experiments? [Nobel Prize-winning biologist Barbara] McClintock’s experiments were similar. She too used organisms damaged by radiation. She discovered that radiation broke chromosomes and triggered editing systems in real time. Cells would reconstruct the damaged chromosome with another section of radiation-broken genetic material.”

“…Barbara McClintock had discovered that plants possess the ability to recognize that data has been corrupted. Then they repair it with newly activated genome elements, and in the process of repairing the data, the plants can develop new features!”

Random mutation and natural selection is not what drives evolution (as Darwinism insists). Rather, directed processes drive evolution. The directed process mentioned above is known as transposition, and amounts to a cut/copy/paste of genetic information within a cell. The discovery of transposition won Barbara McClintock the Nobel Prize in biology, and her face on a U.S. postage stamp.

And despite the fact that no legitimate biologist denies transposition, Marshall notes, it is noticeably absent from popular presentations of evolution, such as in books by atheistic evolution promoters Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne. Scientists with an atheistic agenda do not wish to call attention to directed evolutionary processes such as transposition.

Physicist Amit Goswami echoes Marshall’s point about the directed (as opposed to random and mindless) nature of evolution in his book Creative Evolution: A Physicist’s Resolution Between Darwinism and Intelligent Design. Atheistic scientists argue in favor of upward causation, in which elementary particles make atoms, which make molecules, which make living cells, which make the brain, which produces consciousness. According to the upward causation model, then, everything begins with elementary particles, and winds up with consciousness (in human brains), as the result of mindless and random processes working over millions of years. But, as Goswami points out, downward causation (in which a consciousness comes first) is the actual state of affairs:

“The new evidence suggests that certain bacteria, when threatened with mass starvation, accelerate their own mutation rate to evolve to a new species that can survive on the available food (Cairns, Overbaugh, and Miller 1988). This behavior is called directed mutation. Critics of directed mutation point out that under starvation perhaps the mutation rate of all the genes is enhanced, not just the one needed for survival. But even so, the question remains: What enhances the mutation rates? The correct explanation is to see this phenomenon as direct evidence in favor of downward causation (Goswami and Todd 1997) and the causal efficacy of organisms, as also propounded by organismic biologists.”

So what (or rather who) is responsible for this downward causation? Goswami responds that the only answer can be God, in part because an immaterial conscious mind is required to explain the famous “observer effect” in physics. The “observer effect” refers to the conclusion of modern physics that, prior to observation by a conscious observer, particles exist only in an immaterial form known as a possibility wave (or probability wave). It is only after an observation is made by a conscious observer that these possibilities “collapse into actuality,” thereby taking on material form. Readers who find this bizarre or difficult to understand are in good company. Even the world’s most elite physicists are amazed and puzzled by the observer effect. However, it has been repeatedly scientifically verified. Goswami writes:

“If the idea of downward causation were an isolated idea invented to solve the special problems of fast-tempo evolution and purposiveness of life, if it were needed nowhere else in science, then it could not be called a scientific idea, end of story. But the intriguing situation is this: The idea of a God as an agent of downward causation has emerged in quantum physics (Goswami 1989, 1991, 1993, 2000, 2002; Stapp 1993; Blood 1993, 2001) as the only legitimate explanation of the famous observer effect. (Readers skeptical about this statement should see these original references, especially Goswami 2002.)”

Downward causation (in which a conscious agent comes first) is no doubt a bizarre (even mind-bending) concept for persons raised in a culture which has deeply entrenched assumptions supporting the upward causation model. But, far from being a fringe concept, downward causation is a virtually undeniable conclusion of modern physics, as Goswami notes.

Physicist Richard Conn Henry from Johns Hopkins University agrees with Goswami that downward causation by God is the only reasonable conclusion one can draw from modern physics:

“Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the illusion of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism.” [“Solipsism” is defined as “the view or theory that the self is all that can be known to exist.”]

Indeed, the founder of quantum physics himself, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Max Planck, was referring to downward causation, in which a conscious mind (read: God) comes first, and produces matter, when he wrote:

“I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”

Planck also wrote:

“As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.”

Similar to Planck, the Nobel Prize-winning, Harvard University biologist George Wald discusses how his science led him to embrace the downward causation model, in his address to the Quantum Biology Symposium titled Life and Mind in the Universe:

“It has occurred to me lately—I must confess with some shock at first to my scientific sensibilities—that both questions [the origin of mind and the origin of life from nonliving matter] might be brought into some degree of congruence. This is with the assumption that mind, rather than emerging as a late outgrowth in the evolution of life, has existed always as the matrix, the source and condition of physical reality—the stuff of which physical reality is composed is mind-stuff. It is mind that has composed a physical universe that breeds life and so eventually evolves creatures that know and create: science-, art-, and technology-making animals.”

(Please also read my post titled How Atheism Relies on Special Pleading to learn why DNA is a language in a literal (not metaphorical) sense. Only a mind can produce a language).

As if to kick a dead horse, I must call attention to a final nail in the coffin for the random mutation evolutionary hypothesis: It is flat-out mathematically impossible…in addition to being wrong and unscientific. The vast majority of mutations are harmful, and an organism cannot evolve from random mutations with such a state of affairs. Cambridge University physicist and mathematician Fred Hoyle, despite being atheist, admits in his book Mathematics of Evolution:

“The reason why most mutations must be bad is of course that random changes made to any complex structure lead to many more downward steps in the operating efficiency of the structure than to upward steps. How the occasional lucky improvement is to lead to positive evolution is a puzzle that has disturbed many mathematicians.”

Most people intuitively know that unintelligent and random processes do the exact opposite of organize and create, and therefore do not need the assurance of elite physicists and mathematicians. This includes atheistic biologists such as Richard Dawkins, who writes in his book The Blind Watchmaker:

“Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

It is just that intense ideology requires atheist scientists such as Dawkins to ignore their intuition. Regarding this point, and Dawkins’ above comment, Norman Geisler and Frank Turek comment in their book I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be An Atheist:

Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA and another ardent Darwinist, agrees with Dawkins about the appearance of design. In fact, the appearance of design is so clear he warns that “biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.” Crick’s little memo to biologists led Phillip Johnson, author and a leader in the Intelligent Design (ID) movement, to observe, “Darwinian biologists must keep repeating that reminder to themselves because otherwise they might become conscious of the reality that is staring them in the face and trying to get their attention.”

Let the pigs on the farms known as academia and the media continue to fool themselves, but don’t let them fool you into believing that words such as "random," "undirected," and "purposeless" can be applied to life or evolution.

Sheldon's picture
"Francis Crick, co-discoverer

"Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA and another ardent Darwinist, agrees with Dawkins about the appearance of design."

How stupid do people have to be to try and claim that one of the leading evolutionary biologists in the world, and the author of the atheist polemic The God Delusions believes nature is designed? As for Francis Crick he described himself as humanist, which he defined as the belief "that human problems can and must be faced in terms of human moral and intellectual resources without invoking supernatural authority." He publicly called for humanism to replace religion as a guiding force for humanity. For clarity his position on religion and Christianity in particular are expressed here:

"I do not respect Christian beliefs. I think they are ridiculous. If we could get rid of them we could more easily get down to the serious problem of trying to find out what the world is all about."
---------------------------------------
"Doubtlessly the most prominent argument in favor of atheism in the last 150 years has been Darwinian evolution."

Nonsense, the only reason anyone needs to be an atheist is the unequivocal fact that no one can demonstrate any objective evidence for any deity. If evolution were reversed and falsified tomorrow I would remain an atheist, as theism is a superstitious faith based belief. What's more I have never in my life heard an atheist claim species evolution is the reason they don't believe in any deity. It's such a stupid idea as well, as creationists who make this absurd straw man argument have no problem not believing all the other thousands of deities aren't real even as they risibly deny the scientific fact of evolution.

Creationism is a superstitious myth without a shred of evidence of support it. That's why creationists waste so much time lying about scientific facts like evolution, because they know they can't demonstrate any objective evidence for creationism. It's a smoke screen, nothing more.

The Orwellian doublethink reference had me splitting my sides laughing, talk about ironic. Refresh my memory wasn't Orwell an atheist? Let's have a quote from Orwell on christianity then...

" ‘If you talk to a thoughtful Christian, Catholic or Anglican,’ he wrote in 1944, ‘you often find yourself laughed at for being so ignorant as to suppose that anyone ever took the doctrines of the Catholic Church literally… [Those] who cling to the letter of the Creeds while reading into them meanings they were never meant to have, and who snigger at anyone simple enough to believe that the Fathers of the Church meant what they said, are simply raising smokescreens to conceal their own disbelief from themselves.’"

Scott242's picture
Sheldon, Dawkins and Crick

Sheldon, Dawkins and Crick very clearly do believe in the possibility of designer. It is just that the designer which they believe in is ALIENS FROM OUTER SPACE, rather than God.

Please watch the following video clip in which Dawkins endorses the aliens-brought-life-to-earth-in-their-spaceship hypothesis (known as "directed panspermia") in an interview:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoncJBrrdQ8&t=1s

Here are Dawkins’ words from the above video:

“It could be that at some earlier time somewhere in the universe a civilization evolved by probably some Darwinian means to a very very high level of technology and designed a form of life that they seeded onto perhaps this planet. Now that is a possibility, and an intriguing possibility…and I suppose its possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the details of biochemistry and molecular biology. You might find a signature of some sort of designer….”

Yes, Francis Crick was an atheist and a humanist just like Dawkins. But he, like Dawkins, chose to endorse the aliens-brought-life-to-earth-in-their-spaceship hypothesis ("directed panspermia") in order to rectify his atheist beliefs with the overwhelming evidence for design.

Below is an article which discusses how Crick endorsed directed panspermia in his book titled "Life Itself."

http://www.spacedaily.com/news/life-04zzz.html

An excerpt from the above article:

'Directed Panspermia' suggests that life may be distributed by an advanced extraterrestrial civilization. Crick and Orgel argued that DNA encapsulated within small grains could be fired in all directions by such a civilization in order to spread life within the universe. Their abstract in the 1973 Icarus paper reads:

"It now seems unlikely that extraterrestrial living organisms could have reached the earth either as spores driven by the radiation pressure from another star or as living organisms imbedded in a meteorite."

"As an alternative to these nineteenth-century mechanisms, we have considered Directed Panspermia, the theory that organisms were deliberately transmitted to the earth by intelligent beings on another planet."

Greensnake's picture
Scott242,

Scott242,

Every good scientist acknowledges the various possibilities, which cannot totally be ruled out. Even if that were true it would only push the origin of life back to an earlier time in another place. Every scientist in the growing field of abiogenesis has bet his chips on life arising right here on earth. And that's probably how most biologists, especially Dawkins, feels. The "appearance of design" that they speak of is the handiwork of macroevolution, of life successively adapting to environments. So, what's your point?

David Killens's picture
@Scott242

@Scott242

Have you ever heard of Alfred Thayer Mahan? He is arguably the most influential American strategist of the nineteenth century. His strategic concepts are still practiced today by the US Navy. Yet in the application of those theories on a tactical level, he was incredibly weak.

The point is that no matter the level of genius, an individual may not be perfect, and wrong in some areas.

Sheldon's picture
"Sheldon, Dawkins and Crick

"Sheldon, Dawkins and Crick very clearly do believe in the possibility of designer."

No they don't, you're being absurdly dishonest or absurdly stupid. Or both of course. Both men are outspoken atheists you clown. The reference you quote mined from Dawkins about the *appearance of design, was an argument against design not for it ffs. If you read his book instead of using creationist quote mined propaganda you'd know this.

As for Crick read the fucking quote, he thought religion and theism was ludicrous nonsense.

Sheldon's picture
Speculating that something

Speculating that something may be possible isn't an endorsement of it unless you have an execrable grasp of English, and panspermia doesn't in any way require a designer. I can't tell if you're being deliberately dishonest or are being this obtuse involuntarily?

Neither Dawkins nor Crick believed in an *intelligent designer, or any deity. They spent their lives arguing the opposite, and your claims just confirm what I stated earlier that creationists are the mother and father of all liars.

Sheldon's picture
"different levels of

"Life is not caused by God, but rather, by natural processes."

Nice straw man, and false dichotomy fallacy to boot. We know for a fact natural processes exist, and can demonstrate objective evidence for them. What objective evidence comparable to science can anyone demonstrate for any deity?

Scott242's picture
Sheldon, please note that

Sheldon, please note that merely making accusations of logical fallacies does not constitute a logical argument.

You suggest that I am creating a false dichotomy.

However, it is you who are making the false dichotomy by suggesting that evolution and creation are mutually exclusive concepts: The automobile has clearly evolved since it was invented over a hundred years ago. But does the mere fact that it evolved mean that this evolution was the result of unintelligent processes? No, this would be a clear non-sequitur (does not follow), and a category error. Again the two following statements commit the same category error by confusing different levels of causation:

"Life was not created by God, but rather, by evolutionary processes."

"Automobiles were not created by people, but rather, by manufacturing processes."

And the evidence that evolution (which merely means "change over time," when stripped of the atheistic philosophical add-ons of randomness and purposelessness) is the result of intelligent processes is overwhelming. Please respond to the evidence for the "downward causation" model which I cited in my previous comment. You can choose to conveniently ignore the evidence I present, but absolutely no intelligent third party viewer of this discussion will fail to take note.

Regarding the "downward causation" model, in which consciousness comes first, physicist Richard Conn Henry from Johns Hopkins University explains why people (such as atheist biologists) cling to materialism (the matter-first view) despite the fact that it has been completely discredited by modern physics:

“Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the illusion of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism.” [“Solipsism” is defined as “the view or theory that the self is all that can be known to exist.”]

Physicist Paul Davies points out that the phenomenon of the genetic code mediating information between the two languages of life (proteins and nucleic acids) provides a mystery: How can mindless processes set up codes and languages?

In his book Evolution 2.0, Perry Marshall explains the scientific reasons why DNA is a language in the most literal sense. This is not some “loosey-goosey analogy,” as he puts it:

Rutgers University professor Sungchul Ji’s excellent paper “The Linguistics of DNA: Words, Sentences, Grammar, Phonetics, and Semantics” starts off, “Biologic systems and processes cannot be fully accounted for in terms of the principles and laws of physics and chemistry alone, but they require in addition the principles of semiotics— the science of symbols and signs, including linguistics.”

Ji identifies 13 characteristics of human language. DNA shares 10 of them. Cells edit DNA. They also communicate with each other and literally speak a language he called “cellese,” described as “a self-organizing system of molecules, some of which encode, act as signs for, or trigger, gene-directed cell processes.”

"This comparison between cell language and human language is not a loosey-goosey analogy; it’s formal and literal. Human language and cell language both employ multilayered symbols. Dr. Ji explains this similarity in his paper: “Bacterial chemical conversations also include assignment of contextual meaning to words and sentences (semantic) and conduction of dialogue (pragmatic)— the fundamental aspects of linguistic communication.” This is true of genetic material. Signals between cells do this as well."

Atheism relies on mindless chemical and physical processes to explain life. But the insurmountable problem for atheism is that such mindless processes can never account for the fact that DNA is a language which utilizes the arrangement of symbols…just like a human language. Much as the chemistry of the ink and paper that constitute a newspaper cannot explain the arrangement of the letters in the words of a newspaper, the chemistry of a DNA molecule cannot explain the arrangement of letters in a DNA molecule. Michael Polanyi, a former Chairman of Physical Chemistry at the University of Manchester (UK), who was famous for his important theoretical contributions to physical chemistry, emphasizes this point:

“As the arrangement of a printed page is extraneous to the chemistry of the printed page, so is the base sequence in a DNA molecule extraneous to the chemical forces at work in the DNA molecule. It is this physical indeterminacy of the sequence that produces the improbability of occurrence of any particular sequence and thereby enables it to have meaning–a meaning that has a mathematically determinate information content.”

It would be just as absurd to assert that mindless chemical or physical processes could write a newspaper article as it would be to assert that such processes could produce a DNA sequence.

Again, the arrangement of symbols (such as letters) according to a language is not something that can be accomplished, even in principle, by unintelligent chemical or physical processes. Werner Gitt is a former Director and Professor at the German Federal Institute of Physics and Technology (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Braunschweig) and former head of the Department of Information Technology. In his book Without Excuse, he discusses the substitutive function of what he terms “Universal Information “(UI):

“Universal Information is always an abstract representation of some other existing entity. Universal Information is never the item (object) or the fact (event, idea) itself but rather the coded symbols serve as a substitute for the entities that are being represented. Different languages often use different sets of symbols and usually different symbol sequences to represent the same material object or concept. Consider the following examples:”

“-the words in a newspaper, consisting of a sequence of letters, substitute for an event that happened at an earlier time and in some other place,”

“-the words in a novel, consisting of sequences of letters, substitute for characters and their actions,”

“-the notes of a musical score substitute for music that will be played later on musical instruments,”

“-the chemical formula for benzene substitutes for the toxic liquid that is kept in a flask in a chemistry laboratory,”

“-the genetic codons (three-letter words) of the DNA molecule substitute for specific amino acids that are bonded together in a specific sequence to form a protein.”

The substitutive function of the the symbols in a code or language is something that can only be set up by the activity of a conscious and intelligent mind.

The substitutive function of the the symbols in a code or language is something that can only be set up by the activity of a conscious and intelligent mind. Gitt skillfully explains this crucial point:

“An abstract symbol set provides for an immense number of combinations of basic symbols to form words. These words may then be arranged in near-limitless ways to form phrases and sentences that, in turn, are used to form larger bodies of text/messages such as paragraphs. Thus, for example, the English letters ‘a, c, and t’ may be used to form the word ‘cat’ (a mammal that purrs and meows).”

“The very same letters may also be used to form the word ‘act’ (a word that, depending on the context, will have any one of a number of meanings; e.g., consider the phrases ‘caught in the act‘, ‘the second act of the play’, ‘an act of Congress’, ‘performed a heroic act‘ and others). The point to notice is that the letters ‘a,c, and t’ by themselves do not have a one-to-one relationship with the entity that they are combined to represent. These letters acquire function and meaning only after they are combined in agreed-upon sequences and assigned meanings.“(underlining mine)

Simply put, what a symbol serves to represent must be decided upon by a conscious and intelligent agent. Symbolic representation is by necessity a mental process. Biologists with less rigid ideological commitments to atheism (or at least more intellectual integrity) have been frank enough to admit the necessity of mind (a conscious and intelligent agent) in the origin of life. The Nobel Prize winning Harvard University biologist George Wald, although certainly not an ideological ally of theism, stated the following in his address to the Quantum Biology Symposium titled Life and Mind in the Universe:

“It has occurred to me lately—I must confess with some shock at first to my scientific sensibilities—that both questions [the origin of mind and the origin of life from nonliving matter] might be brought into some degree of congruence. This is with the assumption that mind, rather than emerging as a late outgrowth in the evolution of life, has existed always as the matrix, the source and condition of physical reality—the stuff of which physical reality is composed is mind-stuff. It is mind that has composed a physical universe that breeds life and so eventually evolves creatures that know and create: science-, art-, and technology-making animals.”

DNA is a language (because it utilizes abstract, substitutive, symbolic representation) that is very similar to a computer language. Microsoft founder Bill Gates writes: “Human DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any we’ve ever created.” Natural processes do not create anything even vaguely resembling a computer program.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates writes:

“Human DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any we’ve ever created.” Natural processes do not create anything even vaguely resembling a computer program.

Even the world’s most outspoken atheist, the biologist Richard Dawkins, concedes that DNA is a language very similar to a computer language. In his book River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life, Dawkins writes:

“…The machine code of the genes is uncannily computer-like. Apart from differences in jargon, the pages of a molecular biology journal might be interchanged with those of a computer engineering journal.”

Elsewhere, Dawkins writes:

“What has happened is that genetics has become a branch of information technology. The genetic code is truly digital, in exactly the same sense as computer codes. This is not some vague analogy, it is the literal truth.”

Atheism cannot explain how a code/language can be produced without intelligence. In order to suppose that a code or language could be produced by an unintelligent natural process, atheists must receive a special exemption from the rule which states that abstract, substitutive, symbolic representation (language or code) can only result from intelligence. And atheists fail to explain WHY it is necessary to grant such a special exemption.

Atheists require an exemption from the rule that only INTELLIGENCE produces codes and languages because accepting that the DNA code was caused by an intelligence is DEVASTATING to atheism. But they cannot cite a plausible reason for such an exemption, and must therefore engage in special pleading.

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