Evolution and God
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1. There is experimental evidence for God in the form of the fine tuned universe we live in.
2. There is theoretical evidence for a creator God in the theory of the Big Bang.
3. There is the theoretical argument of the prime mover.
I think we have to talk about the existence of god in probabilistic terms - no one can Boolean prove or disprove the existence of god at this point, so it makes more sense to talk about the % probability of God existing.
My argument would be when you consider 1, 2, 3 above individually then each on its own is not necessarily a convincing argument for god. But when you combine the probability of all 3 events, then you get a high probability that God exists:
Chance god exists because of fine tuning 50%
Chance god exists because of Big Bang 50%
Change god exists because of Prime Mover 50%
Combined chance God exists:
+ 50% x 50% = 75%
+ 25% x 50% = 87.5% chance God exists
I'd like to see the calculations that led to those percentages.
The numbers were set at 50% to illustrate the idea. Plug your own numbers in. If you do the research on the web, starting with the Wikipedia page for fine tuning, you will find science is putting a much higher than 50% probability of god on fine tuning. The Big Bang was more likely the act of a creator rather than random luck so I’d put that at higher than 50% chance god exists too.
Prime mover argument is rather abstract so maybe 25% chance of God.
Well if I just make up my own numbers; that isn't going to convince anyone (the same problem you have).
"1. There is experimental evidence for God in the form of the fine tuned universe we live in."
No there isn't - Hitchens's razor applied.
"2. There is theoretical evidence for a creator God in the theory of the Big Bang."
No there isn't - Hitchens's razor applied.
"3. There is the theoretical argument of the prime mover."
Which by definition is not an argument for a deity, and every prime mover argument I've seen is a string of logical fallacies.
Seriously claiming evidence isn't evidence, and an argument is not objective evidence. The universe isn't fine tuned, how many universes have you tested this claim on exactly? If the big bang theory evidenced a deity then this would be reflected in the thinking and claims of that field of science, and it isn't. Please give the best prime mover argument you have, and the explain how such a prime mover argument evidence a deity exactly?
"My argument would be when you consider 1, 2, 3 above individually then each on its own is not necessarily a convincing argument for god. But when you combine the probability of all 3 events, then you get a high probability that God exists:"
**Sorry Dan but that's just hilarious. Though not as hilarious as this:
"Chance god exists because of fine tuning 50%
Chance god exists because of Big Bang 50%
Change god exists because of Prime Mover 50%
Combined chance God exists:
+ 50% x 50% = 75%
+ 25% x 50% = 87.5% chance God exists"
Seriously are you being ironic? This has to be some sort of joke right? 50 + 50 x 50 = 75, really? Making up stats is bad enough, but you seem to be making up your own maths as well.
Well I take issue with everything you’ve said but let’s concentrate on the prime mover argument:
We live in a universe of cause and effect. Everything in the universe has a cause. But this implies an infinite regression at the start of the universe which is impossible. So we conclude there must have been a causeless effect that started the universe. This the comman man understands to be god.
Has the law of cause and effect ever been evidenced outside of the temporal condition of the material universe? Better yet has the law of cause and effect ever evidenced a non material or supernatural cause? That's why the argument is fallacious, it is using inductive reasoning to try and create a generic rule from specific examples, but then immediately breaks the rule it creates by ignoring those examples of cause and effect never evidenced a supernatural cause, an un-caused cause, or anything outside the temporal condition of the materiel universe. Take a look at your post and you can see the error...
"Everything ****in***** the universe has a cause."
Your argument is making claims outside of the universe and trying to apply the same law you have just shown only applies to natural phenomena ***in*** the universe.
"This the comman man understands to be god."
Which one, Zeus, Ganesha, Thor perhaps? So firstly you will note your assertion gets you no closer to Jesus Yahweh or Allah, than it does to any other deity, hardly a compelling assertion then. Now I shan't pretend to know what the comman (sic) man thinks. It will suffice to point out that the common man once understood the world to be flat, and the universe to be geocentric, and that what you did there was neither argument nor evidence, but pure assumption.
You miss the point cause and effect is fundamental to time in this universe. The only way to start the universe is evade cause and effect IE time. So the prime mover argument posits God created time. It agrees nicely with the Big Bang and the argument has stood for 2000 years unchallenged so you should not dismiss it so easily.
I don’t completely buy the argument myself but assign to it a 25% probability that it demonstrates the existence of God
No I didn't miss the point at all Dan, you made a claim for a supernatural cause outside of the temporal state of the material universe, and cited the law of cause and effect. So I ask again, how many supernatural causes has the law of cause and effect ever evidenced? How many causes has it evidenced outside of the temporal state of the material universe?
After that perhaps you can explain how is it you claim to know what the "only way to start the universe" is? Care to evidence that assertion? As it sounds like an appeal to ignorance to me, argumentum ad ignorantiam, a logical fallacy.
" So the prime mover argument posits God created time."
No it doesn't, the clue is in the name "Prime mover" argument. Theists like to assume the deity part at the end, as you did, and are doing here again.
"It agrees nicely with the Big Bang"
Nonsense Dan, nothing in the big bang posits the existence of a deity. However by all means evidence this claim as well, a dozen peer reviewed publications positing the big bang evidences a deity should be a good start.
"and the argument has stood for 2000 years unchallenged so you should not dismiss it so easily."
So what, the antiquity of an argument doesn't validate it at all, and there have always been strong criticisms of it. Lastly I did not dismiss it, I offered reasoned objections that you have not bothered to address, just spiralled off into even more unevidenced claims and logically fallacious arguments.
"I don’t completely buy the argument myself but assign to it a 25% probability that it demonstrates the existence of God"
Please stop making up ridiculous stats, it's worse than risible. An argument is either rational or it is not, if it contains logical fallacies, or is logically inconsistent then it cannot rationally be asserted as true. I have cited both for you.
Here are some formal objections to the Kalam cosmological argument.
The prime mover argument does posit a supernatural cause for the universe; it merely obsverses that it is impossible for the universe to have started without a break in causality. Breaking causality is not supernatural - causality is part of space-time - something external to space-time is not necessarily bound by causality.
On the Big Bang, there is no evidence that God caused it and no evidence that God did not cause it so a 50% probability is appropriate.
What is wrong with assigning probabilities to uncertain statements? It’s better than the simplistic approach of 100% sure that God does not exist or 100% sure that he does... Im trying to move the argument on here...
Space and time didn't exist prior to the material universe, the law of cause and effect has only been evidenced within the temporal condition of the material universe. So what evidence can you demonstrate that it applies outside of the material universe?
"something external to space-time is not necessarily bound by causality."
Precisely my point. So how can you claim the law of cause and effect indicates the universe had a cause?
"On the Big Bang, there is no evidence that God caused it and no evidence that God did not cause it so a 50% probability is appropriate."
That's asinine, there is no evidence fairies didn't create the universe, do you seriously think that make it a 50/50 premise? If not then this is another example of special pleading.
"What is wrong with assigning probabilities to uncertain statements? "
It's a common logical fallacy called argumentum ad ignorantiam. You cannot rationally make assertions for a position based on not having contrary evidence.
Either something is logically possible or it is not. These are logical negations of each other, but you can only know both or neither, you can't claim not to know if something is impossible, thus it might be possible. It is a meaningless statement. This is the problem with unfalisifiable claims they are "not even wrong" they are useless and can teach us nothing.
"It’s better than the simplistic approach of 100% sure that God does not exist or 100% sure that he does..."
Absolute certainty is an epistemological impossibility, but I see this fallacious argument from apologists all the time. Lets say you the deity in question is defined in an unfalsifiable way, you must remain agnostic, that is to say nothing is known or can be known about such a deity's nature or existence. This axiomatically negates the possibility of any evidence being demonstrated for it.
Now do you generally believe claims for which no evidence can be demonstrated, and which you can know nothing about? I set the same open minded criteria for belief, that any claim must have objective evidence demonstrated for it that is at least commensurate to the claim before I will believe it.
It's worth noting here that it is a fact beyond any reasonable doubt that human beings create and have always created fictional deities. The disparities of these deities, which almost always reflect the fallibility of the cultures and epochs that produce them, mean it is rationally impossible for them all to be real, but it is of course rationally possible for none of them to be real.
Well it looks like the law of cause and effect applies universally in this universe; except for its start; which is precisely what we should expect - causality is a feature of space-time and causality started the moment space-time started.
My definition of God is the creator of the universe, so if fairies created the universe then fairies count as God. With this definition of God, my 50% estimate for the Big Bang is reasonable.
You are still taking a very simistic, boolean viewpoint; absolute certainty is impossible in this discussion so it’s natural to resort to probability, else we will get nowhere.... Could you at least not present a probability argument to justify your views?
I'm not prepared to simply makeup imaginary stats as you do based on sheer caprice.
I asked you if you generally believe things for which no evidence can be presented and about which nothing can be known?
You didn't answer.
If we don't know whether the big bang had a cause or not then wild speculation and assumption doesn't get us any closer.
I don't believe a deity caused it as no one can demonstrate any evidence for the claim.
Why would I assign probability to a claim for which no objective evidence can be demonstrated, and which is ostensibly unfalsifiable?
The problem is that absolute knowledge of the physical world is impossible; we can have absolute knowledge only of abstract concepts like math and logic; as Descartes pointed out we can’t trust our senses so absolute knowledge of the physical world is impossible.
So we have to choose between no answers at all or probabilistic answers.
"So we have to choose "
Not really, you're creating a false dichotomy. We can have the intellectual courage to admit to our ignorance, but try and reduce it with objective evidence. That is the very essence of science, it is both what it demands, and what it offers.
What you're doing is making absurd assumptions, and wild unevidenced assertions, because you're unhappy with not knowing. That is the very essence of religion.
What increases the probability of something being true is objective evidence, the more there is to support a position the more likely that position is to be true. Plucking stats out of thin air as you have done is absurd Dan, sorry.
Ok if you are happy with no answer to the ’was there a creator’ question, you can just say not enough evidence, unanswerable question and move on. But you should really call yourself agnostic in that case.
Not everyone is like that though. The question will probably not be answered absolutely in my lifetime but I need answer sooner than that. A combination of science and probability at least give me the odds. I call that an improvement over no answer.
Now you're making up lies Dan, where did I claim to be happy, or unhappy for that matter? How I feel about it either way is utterly irrelevant.
Your problem is you're unhappy so you are making shit up, and that is precisely how religions work, and why they work. I can live with being unhappy at not knowing something, without resorting to wild conjecture, or absurd beliefs that are not supported by any evidence. I also don't see why the "god claim" demands an answer be made without evidence, we don't do that for any other claims.
" But you should really call yourself agnostic in that case."
I am an agnostic and have said so multiple times, and I am also an atheist. Why would I believe any claim that no evidence can be demonstrated for and nothing can known about? that is what agnosticism means.
"I need answer sooner than that."
Yes I think it's impossible to avoid noticing your cloying sense of entitlement here. Oddly enough that's another theistic trait.
"A combination of science and probability at least give me the odds. I call that an improvement over no answer."
Call it whatever you want, it's more wild conjecture as far as I can see. I'll deal with reality, and I'll accept claims based on proper evidence, or I'll have the intellectual integrity to accept I don't know until that changes. What I won't do is accept bare assertions, or wild conjecture as valid.
When I said ‘happy’ I meant it in the sense of willing to accept. Your argument seems to be we should accept no answer rather than a provisional answer. So I mean willing to accept no answer. Which I am not. Science is nothing but a series of provisional answers, so I see no reason not to arrive at a provisional answer for this question.
It’s impossible not to notice how rude you are; a common enough trait amoungst those losing an argument.
I think the real problem here is you won’t engage in a discussion of probability because you don’t like the numbers?
"Your argument seems to be we should accept no answer rather than a provisional answer."
Nonsense Dan, you're completely and dishonestly misrepresenting what I said. I quite specifically set a standard for belief in a claim, and it is demonstrably the best standard we have, that objective evidence be demonstrated to support it commensurate to the claim. I never mentioned being happy or I'm happy until you did, and then only to point out it is irrelevant to the validity of any claim. What I don't accept is wild biased conjecture propped up with risible made up stats, that deny everything we know about epistemological philosophy and rational thinking.
You're making up wildly inaccurate claims based on not having any objective at all because by your own admission you want an answer. You also seem to have no understanding of epistemological imperatives about the burden of proof. Your posts imply heavily that you also seem determined to want one specific answer. That a deity designed and created the universe. There is no evidence for this.
*No one has mentioned absolute proof except you Dan, and this is a standard theistic straw man misnomer theists throw in when they are trying premise a dichotomy fallacy of their desired position of unevidenced belief, against the intellectually honest position of admitting we have no alternative explanation for something. That is the very definition of an argument from ignorance fallacy.
Your stats are simply risible nonsense. The idea that all claims start as a 50/50 premise regardless of evidence is asinine.
Dan, your calculation assumes that god exists. There is no reason to think the universe was created, that the universe was "fine tuned", that the universe itself is not the prime mover.
You claims there is a creator god. Can you provide evidence that any god created the universe? Can you prove your god created anything?
You still do not get it.
Please provide the testable evidence please.
Please provide the testable evidence please.
This is nothing more than bullshit hearsay.
1. I have finally figured it out.
2. Dan's true identity is William Lane Craig, the Master of Genocide and Supporter of the Slaughter of Children.
3. He is using the same EXACT bullshit WLC spews from his mouth.
And here is why I am laughing at your arguments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4u6Mz21jTaA
I'll say it again.
NO EVIDENCE = NO EXISTENCE.
Making statements as those blockquoted above is nothing more than hearsay.
Either provide evidence, or your preposterous statements are summarily dismissed as bullshit.
1. Well there is plenty of evidence here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine-tuned_Universe
2. It is probably impossible to provide evidence for the cause of the Big Bang because the cause is outside our universe. So we can take one of three views: god 100% did not do it, god 100% did do it, somewhere in between. I would say the 3rd approach of assigning a probability is most reasonable.
3. No it is not bullshit hearsay: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unmoved_mover You are calling Aristotle and a lot of other great thinkers idiots!
Notice that all 3 choices imply god exists.
"1. Well there is plenty of evidence here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine-tuned_Universe"
Now Dan this becoming tiresome.
From the first sentence in your link:
"The fine-tuned Universe is the proposition "
a statement or assertion that expresses a judgement or opinion.
Now for the umpteenth time the opinion that the universe is fine tuned does not evidence a deity. What you are claiming as evidence is an opinion about the universe, and an assumption with no evidence to support it, about what you think that means.
" It is probably impossible to provide evidence for the cause of the Big Bang "
There you go again, another wild unevidenced assertion about the probability of something. At least you didn't attach some risible made up percentage to it, I suppose this is progress of a sort.
"the cause is outside our universe. "
Amazing you start your sentence with an assertion that evidence for something is "probably impossible" to provide, and end it with a claim about that something. Why can't you see how absurdly contradictory that is?
"So we can take one of three views: god 100% did not do it, god 100% did do it, somewhere in between. I would say the 3rd approach of assigning a probability is most reasonable."
We can make up as many views as we like, that doesn't make any of them valid. Your views expressed here are pure guesses based on obvious bias. That last sentence is hilarious fair play.
"3. No it is not bullshit hearsay: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unmoved_mover You are calling Aristotle and a lot of other great thinkers idiots!"
Oh dear wrong again I'm afraid, geniuses can have asinine ideas. Newton believed in astrology and alchemy, and of course the christian superstition. This doesn't mean he was an idiot, it just means that even a genius can be wrong.
Read those two Wikipedia articles. They are both written by Absolutist Apologists. Remember, Wikipedia is neutral. The two articles were definitely NOT written by any scientists, NOR anyone with any kind of scientific education.
Fine-Tuned Universe article
In the Fine-Tuned Universe article, it is nothing but something like William Lane Craig would say and Quote Mine.
For instance, this Quote Mined statement by Stephen Hawking, "The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life."
Notice the operative word: seem.
Do you even know what that word means?
1 : to appear to the observation or understanding
2 : to give the impression of being
In the usage above, Stephen Hawkings use of the word "seem" is definitely the 2nd meaning: "to give the impreesion of being..."
Notice Stephen Hawking DID NOT use the word you wanted him to have used: "were."
He said they seem to have been finely tuned. Or using the definition, they give the impression of being finely tuned. NOT, were, or are, finely tuned. All astrophysicists have been saying this for over 50 years. Probably longer than you have been alive. They have all been saying "SEEMS" to be finely tuned since I was a little kid and watching Mr. Wizard on TV.
Martin Rees is a mathematician, not an astrophysicist. When it comes to the realm of physical sciences, mathematicians are the worst. They only understand math, not the physics.
Paul Davies is an Apologetic Absolutist. Someone whose work, all of it, should be dismissed as subjective.
At least the article's author quoted Steven Weinberg correcltly. Like ALL atheists, he admits, "I do not know." He is also famous for this quote: "Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you’d have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes religion."
Ultimately, the Fine-Tuned Universe Wikipedia page is NOT evidence. It is nothing more than a quote mined article written by an Absolutist Apologist.
The Unmoved Mover article
Right off the bat, Aristotle was in an age of ignorant savages when compared to what we know today. Yes, Aristotle was quite intelligent, but compared to our knowledge today, he knew next to nothing.
And then this statement sums it up nicely:
"Despite their apparent function in the celestial model, the unmoved movers were a final cause, not an efficient cause for the movement of the spheres; they were solely a constant inspiration, and even if taken for an efficient cause precisely due to being a final cause, the nature of the explanation is purely teleological (religious)."
As it says in the article, the whole article is nothing more than an Absolutist Apologist article.
Your Laws of Probability
And what was it that Nyarlathotep said?
And what was it Sheldon said?
Besides, assigning those odds (god 100% did not do it, god 100% did do it, somewhere in between) shows you know very little about mathematics, let alone the Laws of Probability.
In actuality, there are only two probablities: God did not do it, God did do it. There is no between. This is a binary choice. Since there is absolutely no evidence that any kind of deity has anything to do with the formation of the universe, that leaves only one option: It occurred naturally. No deity required.
Ultimately, what you thought you were offering as evidence is not evidence. Both articles look to have been written by Absolutist Apologists.
Still no evidence, thus your preposterous claims are still summarily dismissed.
If the universe gives the impression of being fined tuned, is there not a chance it was fined tuned? Assuming ‘absolutely 100% not’ like you do is deeply flawed reasoning.
On the unmoved mover argument, your quote above is criticism of Aristotle‘s other religious beliefs not the prime mover argument. Anyway it was not just Aristotle, many great thinkers have made the same argument:
On statement 2, sorry it was not too clear in the first place. To clarify, the Big Bang was either due to chance or on purpose and science cannot tell us which. So rather than adopt an extreme view of 100% sure it was chance or 100% sure it was on purpose, a more reasonable approach is to estimate an in between value like 50%.
Men have more teeth than women.
Heavy objects fall faster than light objects.
Men's blood is hotter than women's blood.
There are people who are naturally born to be slaves, and it is just and right to enslave them.
The earth is the center of the universe.
The earth and everything in it existed for all eternity and will exist for all eternity.
Some animals spontaneously come into being from mud and earth; they don't reproduce.
Just some of the things Aristotle believed were true. What you;re doing is making a fallacious appeal to authority, followed almost immediately by a fallacious appeal to numbers.
Your assumption. Not mine. I never said any such thing. Please prove that I did say "absolutely 100% not".
You still have it wrong. It is, or is not. As said, it is binary: Yes/No, On/Off, True,False, 1/0. No in-between. The most reasonable approach is to realize it is a binary choice. Not in-between.
Here is another quote about theists (absolutists), and I am paraphrasing from memory: "People of a religious bent are often chronically incapable of distinguishing what is true from what they wish to be true." — Richard Dawkins
The same bullshit William Lane Craig has always spewed from his lips and has been completely debunked in the, what is now?, umpteenth debate. There is nothing that comes from William Lane Craig or other Apologists like him that is not a genuine falsehood.
And as you said, "great thinkers":
Great thinkers ain't scientists. Only Scientists can also be Great Thinkers. But very few Great Thinkers are also Scientists. And I said this:
Not criticism of Aristotle's other religious beliefs, it is about everything Aristotle knew back then. Compared to today, it was next to nothing.
Me thinks you not know English too good. Switch to language of Greek perhaps I should.
There has been no great thinker that has proven ANYTHING! Yes, some may have guessed correctly. However, NONE have proven anything.
Your assumption. Now provide hard empirical evidence. There is no evidence the universe was fine-tuned.
Besides, think on this. If the universe were "supposedly" fine-tuned by a deitic being, then that being was incredibly retarded. So retarded even a human in a vegetated state has a higher intelligence. Proof of this is that the deity made such a microscopically infinitesimally small speck of dust the only place in this vast universe where we can survive.
A very RETARDED deity. The universe occurred naturally. No intellgence required. No deity required. No Dan required. No Aristotle required. Only the universe and nature.