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Christianity Thomas on 10 Mar 2011 01:14 am

A comment from a former Christian about Christian Dominionists

The following comment appeared in this thread about Christian Dominionists:

sonofapreacherman said …

My father is an ordained minister in the Assemblies of God. Let me tell you right here and right now: These Palinesque people are 100% serious! They all believe with every fiber of their being that Jesus Christ is Lord and that “every knee shall bow” — and if you don’t find that to be creepier than the wide, tapping stance of Larry Craig, you must be one of them!

The Bible, the Christian faith, and the Assemblies of God utterly destroyed my youth. I was deprived of any normalcy whatsoever throughout my entire childhood. I grew up living in abject fear of a burning hell and the imminent Second Coming of Jesus Christ. What if I slipped up and committed some small transgression only moments before the skies parted and the Great Rapture suddenly took place? One shall be taken and the other one left.

Surviving seven years of Terrible Tribulations seemed to be improbable at best. Surely I’d be doomed to burn forever in the unholy fires of hottest hell unless I could muster the courage to be publicly beheaded by the followers of the evil AntiChrist! I spent the first 20+ years of my life whispering nonstop prayers of repentance and faith lest I find myself caught in the vicious snares of Satan himself.

That is the type of shat-bit insanity which ruled my days and haunted my nights for far too long. I was not allowed to think for myself nor to question authority. I was taught only to trust and obey for there was no other way. It was a hard-core, God-blighted, miserable existence based on the fantastical tales of sheep-herding dolts and the delirious ramblings of imprisoned, self-proclaimed prophets.

I was completely immersed in this cultish religion from the very moment I was born, and it took me two decades before I could even begin to break away from the pervasive, mind-twisting, brain-washing grip of the Assemblies of God. Many years have since passed, and my parents are still active in the church today. I, on the other hand, am more certain than ever that, when my parents die, they will simply be dead. I am confident today that there is no god and that there is no life after death. For this I am thankful. It didn’t come easy.

Make no mistake: The Borg-like Dominionists are a dangerous lot. Give them an inch and they’ll just take over. The delusional arrogance of this self-righteous lot knows no bounds. They’re willfully ignorant, slyer than foxes and more persistent than a family of woodpeckers on crack!

The history of Assemblies of God:

On Dominionists:

118 Responses to “A comment from a former Christian about Christian Dominionists”

  1. on 11 Mar 2011 at 3:34 am 1.Anonymous said …

    would like to hear more from sonofapreacherman

  2. on 13 Mar 2011 at 1:25 am 2.Observer said …

    Glad to see some stuff on the Dominionists. They are filth. The National Prayer Meeting is put on by this lot. It is disgusting.

  3. on 13 Mar 2011 at 6:19 pm 3.Jesus-The Evidence said …

    Corporal DeShazer, a native of Oregon and the son of a Church of God minister, was among the five-member crew of Bat Out of Hell, the last bomber to depart the Hornet. His plane dropped incendiary bombs on an oil installation and a factory in Nagoya but it ran out of fuel before the pilot could try a landing at an airfield held by America’s Chinese allies.

    The five crewmen bailed out over Japanese-occupied territory in China and all were quickly captured. In October 1942, a Japanese firing squad executed the pilot, Lt. William G. Farrow, and the engineer-gunner, Sgt. Harold A. Spatz, along with a captured crewman from another Doolittle raid plane. Corporal DeShazer and the other surviving crewmen from his plane, Lt. George Barr, the navigator, and Lt. Robert L. Hite, the co-pilot, were starved, beaten and tortured at prisons in Japan and China — spending most of their time in solitary confinement — until their liberation a few days after Japan’s surrender in August 1945.

    Amid his misery, Corporal DeShazer had one source of solace.

    “I begged my captors to get a Bible for me,” he recalled in “I Was a Prisoner of Japan,” a religious tract he wrote in 1950. “At last, in the month of May 1944, a guard brought me the book, but told me I could have it only for three weeks. I eagerly began to read its pages. I discovered that God had given me new spiritual eyes and that when I looked at the enemy officers and guards who had starved and beaten my companions and me so cruelly, I found my bitter hatred for them changed to loving pity. I realized that these people did not know anything about my Savior and that if Christ is not in a heart, it is natural to be cruel.”

    Corporal DeShazer gained the strength to survive, and he became determined to spread Christian teachings to his enemy.

    Upon returning home, he enrolled at Seattle Pacific College (now Seattle Pacific University) and received a bachelor’s degree in biblical literature in 1948. He arrived in Japan with Florence, also a graduate of Seattle Pacific and a fellow missionary in the Free Methodist Church, in late December 1948. A few days later, he preached his first sermon there, speaking to about 180 people at a Free Methodist church in a Tokyo suburb.

    In 1950, he gained a remarkable convert.

    Mitsuo Fuchida, the Japanese naval flier who had led the Pearl Harbor attack and had become a rice farmer after the war, came upon the DeShazer tract.

    “It was then that I met Jesus, and accepted him as my personal savior,” Mr. Fuchida recalled when he attended a memorial service in Hawaii in observance of the 25th anniversary of the attack. He had become an evangelist and had made several trips to the United States to meet with Japanese-speaking immigrants.

    Mr. DeShazer spent 30 years in Japan doing missionary work, interrupted only by a sabbatical to earn a master’s degree at Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky in 1958.

  4. on 13 Mar 2011 at 6:56 pm 4.TGHO said …

    3 Jesus-The Evidence,

    And…?

    You can find similar stories for every religion under the sun. There are several such stories from Japanese prisoners of war within Australia, and their requests for Shinto holy books (they were not mistreated though).

    This is in no way evidence that a god or Jesus-figure actually exists. It’s simply evidence that people can be deluded by religion.

  5. on 13 Mar 2011 at 8:04 pm 5.Anonymous said …

    If this is delusion I wish more people were deluded. I saw this man interviewed about 10-15 years ago. If everyone lived as this man did, this world would be a much more beautiful world.

  6. on 13 Mar 2011 at 8:09 pm 6.Xenon said …

    If love is proven by a momma bear killing another animal near her cubs wouldn’t Corporal DeShazer’s life change be proof of God? You know eternal actions proving unseen forces?

    Yes, the parallels are undeniable.

    TGHO, dod you have some facts to back up Japanese soldier’s ding the same thing?

  7. on 13 Mar 2011 at 10:40 pm 7.TGHO said …

    @5 Anonymous,

    I’d want to know more about his politics and beliefs before agreeing with you. He might be a lovely, kind person. But that doesn’t necessarily stem from his theology. And most of the christians I have met are horrible, dispicable people.

  8. on 13 Mar 2011 at 10:49 pm 8.TGHO said …

    @6 Xenon,

    I think the mother bear experiment simply shows that a human shouldn’t get between a bear and her cubs. I’d hesitate to draw deeper conclusions than that without much more data. And, by the way, there is no proof in science.

    No, the Corporal’s actions certainly do not prove the existence of anything supernatural. As I noted, there is ample evidence of the same reactions occuring in dozens of other religions.

    Yes, plenty of evidence of the Japanese POWs adhering to their religion – go to the Cowra war memorial or the Canberra war memorial. Quite a few Shinto and Bhuddist religious artefacts there. Note however that the Australians adhered to the Geneva Convention, so the POWs were mostly well treated. Apart from the Breakout, not many died.

  9. on 14 Mar 2011 at 1:40 am 9.Xenon said …

    TGHO

    Maybe you should share with your fellow atheists that a momma bear protecting her cubs do not prove love. I thought it ridiculous as well.

    The corporals actions carried over a lifetime and happened instantaneously for good, not evil. I hardly think this is a delusion. Personal experience is valid for love and for God. They are experienced not proven in a lab. Some have experienced neither and that is a shame.

  10. on 14 Mar 2011 at 2:11 am 10.TGHO said …

    @9 Xenon,

    I believe the post was sarcastic, and not an actually suggested scientific experiment. And as I’ve stated numerous times – no proof in science.

    “The corporals actions carried over a lifetime”

    Repeating what I said earlier – so what? There are numerous examples from all other religions.

    “for good, not evil”

    More information is required to make this judgment call. Firstly, what is your definition of “good” and “evil”, for these are subjective measures. And secondly, I would need to know a whole lot more about this gentleman before making such a judgement. What were his views on women? Education? Abortion? Homosexuality? Equality? Race? Environment? Atheists? Communism? War in general? The death sentence? Etc., etc.

    Personal experience is NOT a valid argument for the existence of a supernatural being or event. The human brain can be tricked. Eye witness accounts are not 100% reliable. The memory is not infalible. A claim such as the existence of some sort of god-being requires actual hard data and evidence to support it. Personal experience is neither.

  11. on 14 Mar 2011 at 5:11 am 11.sonofapreacherman said …

    The Pentecostal Evangel loves to publish stories like the one shared above about Corporal DeShazer. There’s always some terrible hardship a person faces. Somehow with faith, hope and love in their heart, the person is able to rise above their circumstance and triumph in life. It has nothing to do with anything supernatural, of course, but is instead a simple testament to the power of the human psyche to survive and succeed in the face of adversity. Such stories are often used as cheap and easy feel-good ways to shore up the faithful and keep them coming back for more. They provide, however, absolutely no evidence of anything or anyone supernatural.

    I have experienced much love, faith and hope during my lifetime. I live my life with compassion and empathy for my fellow man. I treat others as I would like to be treated myself. I am capable of complex and loving relationships. I have hope for the future and faith in those I love, and I can forgive others who ask forgiveness of me.

    These things have nothing to do with god. (I purposely do not capitalize the word “god” because I refuse to grant the semblance of validity to anything so completely unreal.) I can do these things because I am human. Such emotions and experiences are a part of the human experience. I, along with the rest of mankind, have evolved with the capability to feel and experience all of these things.

    People the world over have told stories of inspiration since the use of language first appeared upon the earth. Many choose to attribute their victories over adversity to something or someone outside themselves for lack of a better understanding.

    Those who fail and die trying to overcome their insurmouuntable life experiences aren’t able to write handy dandy little stories giving credit where they may feel credit is due. It would be most interesting to hear the story of the widow who trusted her savior to save her when the tornado tore through her neighborhood but instead died choking on shards of glass while her wife-beating neighbor managed to escape with little or no harm.

    It’s sad but true that not everyone gets saved by faith and by prayer, and everyone’s luck eventually runs out. It’s not hard to notice that those who believe in their god’s great hereafter are never too anxious to actually go there. I can’t even begin to tell you how many devoted born-again Christians I have seen fight tooth and nail to stay alive for just one more day. Amongst the faithful there can seemingly never be too many prayers requesting a miraculous healing, and medical treatments offering the tiniest shred of hope are rarely turned down.

    Maybe someday we’ll better understand how to extend the vitality of life. Two hundred years might be pretty nice. The world is a beautiful place in spite of all the ignorance, injustice and tragedy we see around us nearly every day. I wish I had the power to grant long life to everyone, but I don’t, for I too am human. We all have the power, however, to embrace our humanity, educate ourselves, do the next right thing for our fellow man and work together to improve our world and whatever time we each may have to live upon it.

    I choose to do exactly that. I refuse to waste my time and energy worshipping an unseen, nonexistent deity while trying to coerce others into adherence to the artificial parameters and dogma of my chosen fraudulent faith. I am even willing to tolerate another person’s belief in a deity, but I am not willing to tolerate anyone’s attempts to force the rules and regulations of their fictitious god down my throat.

    It’s a shame so many people allow their personally experienced endorphins to convince them of the reality of their gods. Personal experiences are indeed valid, but how those experiences are interpreted is the point where logic often goes wildly awry. Willful suspension of disbelief plays an important part in this process as does the willful submission to the authoritarian beliefs of others.

    Scientifically valid education is key to breaking the cycle of religious superstition gripping our world today. Such knowledge provides the individual with personal empowerment, and truth fosters improved self esteem through freedom from the oppressive chains of religious belief.

  12. on 14 Mar 2011 at 1:39 pm 12.Anti-Theist said …

    The theists whom frequent this forum are not going to appreciate your expressed views; let’s first expose this imminent empty defense (in of coarse your own eloquent way): “Do you have any evidence to support your claims that god does not exist?”

  13. on 14 Mar 2011 at 1:57 pm 13.Anti-Theist said …

    #9
    As someone who puts god before everything including your wife and children; I doubt you have anything resembling love at all. What’s close, I’m sure, is your masturbatory worshiping of god (yourself) and your self serving arrogant superiority complex above those uninfluenced by your demographics dilutions. Trust that what you display hear in belief dictates that if commanded by your chosen deity you, like Abraham, would be willing to murder your children. That’s not love. Instead your ranks include those whom drown their babies unto the word of Yahweh.

  14. on 14 Mar 2011 at 2:54 pm 14.Anonymous said …

    Xenon,
    Oh Xenon what a can of worms you have opened now.
    What is love?

    I love my wife…she is a maid in the house, a cook in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom.

    I love my children for obviously other reasons. Even though they frustrate me to no end.

    If you come between me and my family, wave a knife around and act stupid, I might react much like a grizzly. Does that prove love?

    I love my family enough to NOT kill any of them when ordered to do so by a god. What does that tell you? I lack faith? I lack love? Devotion? Or am I just a sane kind of guy?

    I love coming to this site and reading the various entries.

  15. on 14 Mar 2011 at 5:44 pm 15.Biff said …

    A

    Maybe you do not understand the comments on this site. Experience is not proof. Do you have scientific proof of your love? As an atheist you can appreciate we cannot allow personal experiences to masquerade as proof.

    How can atheist have any uniform definition of good and evil? Would it be Stalin’s or Idi Amin’s?

  16. on 14 Mar 2011 at 6:54 pm 16.MrQ said …

    Biff,

    How can atheist have any uniform definition of good and evil?

    Maybe it’s something that evolved. If it didn’t evolve we wouldn’t be here exchanging messages.

  17. on 14 Mar 2011 at 7:29 pm 17.TGHO said …

    @15 Biff,

    No proof in science – proof only exists in mathematics. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t plenty of scientific evidence that love exists. I read a paper last week which postulated that chickens can feel love, and it had a lot of data to back this up. Love doesn’t require a god belief or a god-creature. It appears to exist within most mammals, and quite a few non-mammals.

    There is no uniform definition of good and evil. One person’s “good” is another’s “evil”. As for Stalin and Idi Amin, their definition of “good” and “evil” was probably different to the majority of people around at the time. There is no uniform definition for these two terms.

    Interestingly, I was in a class on the weekend where two Russian students were arguing that Stalin did a huge amount of good for Russia, from a military and economic sense. Again, the definition of “good” is subjective.

  18. on 14 Mar 2011 at 8:13 pm 18.Lou said …

    9.Xenon said …

    “TGHO

    Maybe you should share with your fellow atheists that a momma bear protecting her cubs do not prove love. I thought it ridiculous as well.”

    As is your assumption that it was meant as anything other than sarcasm.

  19. on 14 Mar 2011 at 8:42 pm 19.Mitch said …

    I consent there is a large deal of data to sustain the existence of love. And to follow this to the logical conclusion, there is a great deal of evidence to maintain the reality of an ultimate designer/creator. But only if you don’t take the posture “we know creation looks designed but we must remember it was not”. As a very logically inclined entity, when I detect design I consider a designer.

    However, Joshua maintains that if we observe him and his spouse long we will see substantiation of love. I remain astounded at how uninformed so many remain of the scientific method. Using this identical data could I not make the following conclusions:

    1. Joshua is attempting to get sex when he has the desire
    2. He is building trust to steal her resources.
    3. He loves his wife

    The data probably could support all three conclusions and perhaps more. In reality all we have is his word. I would be inclined to accept his experience as I would Corporal DeShazer. I don’t have sufficient data to conclude either is delusional.

  20. on 14 Mar 2011 at 9:15 pm 20.TGHO said …

    @19 Mitch,

    “there is a great deal of evidence to maintain the reality of an ultimate designer/creator”

    In over thirty years of discussing theology, I’m yet to find any evidence at all.

    “As a very logically inclined entity, when I detect design I consider a designer”

    That’s fine, but you’d be struggling to actually find any “design” within nature. Any example you give I can point out obvious “design flaws” which any competent designer would simply avoid. As I noted in a separate post, nature is only designed if the designer was a blind moron who didn’t use any engineering tools or processes.

    You’ve conceded that there’s actual scientific evidence for the existence of love – I’ll happily concede the existence of a god/creature/being if you can provide scientific evidence of its existence. Like I said, I’m yet to see any.

  21. on 14 Mar 2011 at 10:24 pm 21.sonofapreacherman said …

    12 Anti-theist stated:

    {{ The theists whom frequent this forum are not going to appreciate your expressed views; let’s first expose this imminent empty defense (in of coarse your own eloquent way): “Do you have any evidence to support your claims that god does not exist?” }}

    I don’t need to prove the non-existence of god any more than I need to prove the non-existence of invisible dragons who fly around the planet 24/7 causing brown-eyed people to fart. The burden of proof lies with those who claim their invisible god exists. No amount of circular reasoning from theists can change the facts. Their logic sucks toilet water, and it is offensive to any lucid human intellect. I can’t be any more blunt. Follow this link to a post which shows the illogical nature of the circular reasoning employed by theists: http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/blog/?p=1882

    and 19 Mitch stated:

    {{ As a very logically inclined entity, when I detect design I consider a designer. }}

    Your methodology of inductive reasoning is simplistic and flawed. A mineral’s pattern of crystallization is formed based upon the laws of physics. No “Great Designer” came up with these patterns. Any so-called design you may perceive in any given life-form is purely the product of evolution and adaptation to its native environment. Simply put, the successes and failures of life forms are the determining factors between those which advance and those which become extinct. Again, no designer is required.

    A good place to start for anyone wishing to boost their level of intellect is to study mathematics. Get a firm grasp on the concepts of exponential and logarithmic functions. That alone should shed some light on how small and ridiculous many of your preconceived notions about the universe really are.

  22. on 14 Mar 2011 at 10:36 pm 22.Mitch said …

    I find it quaint when capable individuals play down the astonishing design throughout the universe. We speak of man’s great intellect and resourcefulness, yet man comprehends little and is able duplicate little. TGHO, has anyone maintained the design is perfect? I have yet to find a theist who claims perfection. On the contrary, I am not aware of any religious dogma that makes such assertions.

    SPM,
    I recognize your plight and your bitterness and I am not unsympathetic. Anyone who gets roped into one of these dopy religions has the right to be angry and bitter. However, tell me more of these exponential and logarithmic functions that dash the concept of designer? I have always been open to new concepts.

  23. on 14 Mar 2011 at 10:39 pm 23.Horatiio said …

    Did our resident help desk tech just claim we can find no design in nature.

    Ha Ha Ha

    Wow, I’m not sure he is even qualified to work the help desk.

  24. on 14 Mar 2011 at 11:10 pm 24.Observer said …

    HorMitch et al. you continue to prove you are idiots. I am in the same boat, as once again I will try to help you get some understanding.

    Assuming you have the gumption to do something with a computer other than use a web browser, do some research on genetic programming. You can actually find the equations and their solutions, not just solve equations, for natural systems with just observed data. Further allowing for meager ability at abstract thought, and you can demonstrate to yourself how evolution works. If you still don’t get it, then you are hopeless.

  25. on 14 Mar 2011 at 11:38 pm 25.Lou said …

    22.Mitch said …

    “We speak of man’s great intellect and resourcefulness, yet man comprehends little and is able duplicate little.”

    You are a perfect example of that.

    “TGHO, has anyone maintained the design is perfect? I have yet to find a theist who claims perfection. On the contrary, I am not aware of any religious dogma that makes such assertions.”

    Really? You’ve never been taught that God is omniscient? Or that God created man in his own image? One would think that an omniscient god wouldn’t be such a poor designer.

  26. on 15 Mar 2011 at 12:17 am 26.TGHO said …

    @22 Mitch,

    Fine, give me some examples of this “design”. As I said, I’m yet to encounter any.

    “has anyone maintained the design is perfect?”

    Yes – almost every single theist I have met or debated with. The sole dissenter is you, if you’re actually claiming that your particular god’s design is not perfect.

    I’m actually rather surprised you’d take this track, as the inference that can be taken from that argument is that your god-belief is not perfect either.

  27. on 15 Mar 2011 at 12:20 am 27.TGHO said …

    23 Horatiio,

    By the nostrils, it’s Boatwright! Now that’s a special breed of ignorance, if you know who I mean.

    There is no design in nature. As I have previously discussed with you (and you conceded this argument already), Behe’s position is untenable, and has been shown to be completely wrong.

  28. on 15 Mar 2011 at 12:55 am 28.Horatiio said …

    LOL!! TGHO, you help desk jockey. You claim to argue theology for 30 years (why??? no God) but yet you don’t even know the very basics?

    From the Christian perspective the earth was cursed after the fall of man.

    You have been asked for proof on a number of items above and have not provided one. Try this. Find one theist who claims the earth is perfectly designed today? I would like to see this individual’s argument.

  29. on 15 Mar 2011 at 1:38 am 29.TGHO said …

    @28 Horatiio,

    Oh, I’m disappointed you didn’t know who Boatwright was. Never mind.

    Asked for proof on what, Hor? I’ve read through the thread, can’t see any specific requests I’ve missed. Please elucidate.

    As for theists who claim that the “design” is perfect, look up any creationist literature. They all claim it. I’m rather surprised that you seem to have missed this (then again, with your proven reading capability, maybe not…).

    Now, are you going to offer up any evidence of this “design” you and Mitch claim? Or are you going to slink away from this debate like you have all the others?

  30. on 15 Mar 2011 at 2:38 am 30.Lou said …

    28.Horatiio said …

    “You have been asked for proof on a number of items above and have not provided one. Try this. Find one theist who claims the earth is perfectly designed today?”

    Until now, nobody in this discussion claimed such a thing – that theists claim the earth is perfectly design.

    However:

    Revelation 15:3 – and sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb: “Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages.

    Deuteronomy 32:4 – He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.

    Do we need more?

  31. on 15 Mar 2011 at 3:16 am 31.Lou said …

    28.Horatiio said …

    “You have been asked for proof on a number of items above and have not provided one.”

    Really?! Show us anywhere in this discussion that it was asked.

  32. on 15 Mar 2011 at 6:51 am 32.Severin said …

    22 Mitch
    “…has anyone maintained the design is perfect?“

    Genesis 1:27: And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

    Deuteronomy 32:4 – He is the Rock, his works are perfect,….

    Was your creator a clumsy bungler?
    An irresponsible idiot?
    Maybe a baby god, who created universe as his school task?

    Or, maybe he never existed, and created nothing.

  33. on 15 Mar 2011 at 2:22 pm 33.Lou said …

    28.Horatiio said …

    “LOL!! TGHO, you help desk jockey.”

    This repetitive, juvenile insult is old and tiresome. Why don’t you give it a rest?

  34. on 15 Mar 2011 at 5:16 pm 34.Joshua said …

    @ Jesus-The Evidence 3

    All that is evidence for DeShazer having a powerful experience during very traumatic times, and a japanese soldier who may be guilt-ridden converting to the religion of his past victims. There is nothing there that specifically points to a god or anything else. You could also hypothesize mind-controlling pixies. Specific evidence!

  35. on 15 Mar 2011 at 5:17 pm 35.Joshua said …

    @ Xenon 9

    Personal experience is valid for the person experiencing it only. For everyone else it is useless. Anyone coming here to convince atheists of anything should remember that. If I had a personal experience I would look for evidence outside of the experience to act as independant evidence because I care about what is real, not what I think might be real.

  36. on 15 Mar 2011 at 5:19 pm 36.Joshua said …

    @ Mitch 19

    There is a lot that I could agree with in this comment. However in that comment I did not mention any specific evidence. You could design your experiment to look for evidence that would let you determine which of the three possibilities matched reality. #2 would include other behaviors that would be specific to such a situation. Also #1 and #3 are not mutually exclusive.

    I would need to see the evidence for a designer/creator. I would be interested in how you would know that it was evidence for such since all we have to compare it too is man-made design/creation in biology.

    I am afraid that you too are uninformed about the scientific method. The scientific method is roughly:
    -Identify the phenomena to be explained

    -Propose a potential explanation that takes into account all that is currently known about the phenomena (hypothesis)

    -Design an experiment that seeks to detect some feature of reality that should exist if the potential explanation is correct

    -Carryout experiment with appropriate controls

    -If data supports explanation hypothesis is provisionally accepted until interdependently repeated. If not the hypothesis is discarded. Either way the result becomes part of human knowledge.

    “The data probably could support all three conclusions and perhaps more. In reality all we have is his word. I would be inclined to accept his experience as I would Corporal DeShazer. I don’t have sufficient data to conclude either is delusional.”

    The whole point is that you have more than my word. You have my actions as evidence. Without specific evidence for a god or other being DeShazer’s word is worth less than mine for anyone who cares about evidence. In our normal experience we see specific evidence of love all the time, we do not see specific evidence of gods (and such).

  37. on 15 Mar 2011 at 5:27 pm 37.Boz said …

    “Personal experience is valid for the person experiencing it only. For everyone else it is useless”

    You have a point. You first original post is all useless. Your personal experience holds no merit here. Live up to your bold expectations. You could have been experiencing delusions that were never really there.

    TGHO said

    “Yes – almost every single theist I have met or debated with.”

    Sorry, more personal experience and therefore invalid. Maybe you cold link to a direct quote?

    Atheist are some of the worst hypocrites. To claim there is no design in nature denies every instinct of common sense and fact. Next you will claim my dell core duo has no design either. You rally hurt any case you might have with such ludicrous statements.

  38. on 15 Mar 2011 at 5:29 pm 38.Boz said …

    Mitch

    You are the only one is this discussion refraining from personal insult, using intelligence and facts and remaining on point. Congratulations, its not easy to achieve with all the sarcastic and insulting comments.

  39. on 15 Mar 2011 at 5:41 pm 39.Joshua said …

    @ Mitch 22
    Most of the time when scientists use the word “design” it is synonymous with “function”. They do not literally mean design with “made by a designer” as part of the definition. This is similar to DNA being described as a “code”. Scientists do not mean that it was a code that was made by a mind like codes we are familiar with such as those during wartime. Instead it is an analogy that is meant to help with comprehension.

    As far as perfection goes I find that interesting. If design is not perfect that implies that the designer that is believed in by many of the religious is subject to error. Also when I start doing searches in an online bible under “perfect” and “perfection” I start finding some interesting things. http://www.biblegateway.com

    “However, tell me more of these exponential and logarithmic functions that dash the concept of designer? I have always been open to new concepts.”

    As has been said a million times before by many others, it is the job of the person making the claim to provide the evidence. I have no knowledge of functions that “dash the concept of designer”. If any such existed than it might make a specific description of a designer less likely, but it is impossible to prove a negative. Genetic programming is evidence for evolution. It demonstrates that in a system with simple rules you can get complexity and solutions that solve specific problems. (The origin of the rules is a separate issue from biological evolution.)

  40. on 15 Mar 2011 at 5:41 pm 40.Joshua said …

    @ Horatiio 28
    I hear the creak of a goalpost.

  41. on 15 Mar 2011 at 5:56 pm 41.Joshua said …

    @ Boz 37
    “You have a point. You first original post is all useless. Your personal experience holds no merit here. Live up to your bold expectations. You could have been experiencing delusions that were never really there.”

    Please be more specific. I have had the courtesy of pointing out directly where my disagreement is with others. Where do I discuss personal experience? If it had to do with my wife and love I clearly discussed evidence with respect to the points.

    “Next you will claim my dell core duo has no design either. You rally hurt any case you might have with such ludicrous statements.”

    We know computers are designed because we have a lifetime of internalized experiences with things that have been designed by humans. If I encountered a human made (or maybe even alien made) device that I did not know the function of I would know it was designed by the comparisons to features that are in my memories. Given this perhaps you can point out the examples of non-human, supernatural, or other design that you have internalized that makes it obvious that there is design in nature. Remember our memories include humans doing design which is why it is obvious to us. So where is the analogous observation for nature?

  42. on 15 Mar 2011 at 7:03 pm 42.TGHO said …

    @37 Boz,

    Sure, just jump over to any creationistic website and start reading. They will very quickly make the claim that “Design was/is perfect”.

    Now, I’ll challenge you to provide an example of this so called “design” within nature. So far I’ve asked every theist in this thread, and none have delivered. Can you pony up?

    Comparing your dell processor to nature is a creationistic error. Machines, as I have pointed out many times before, do not breed to produce offspring. Please remember that basic fact of biology.

  43. on 15 Mar 2011 at 7:49 pm 43.TGHO said …

    @33 Lou,

    Cheers mate, but don’t worry about it, I am not concerned. ;)

    I do find it interesting however that every insult thrown by a theist undermines their arguments. If they truly did follow an actual existent god, then they’d either be more moral than the rest of us, or they’d be too scared to break their holy laws. Throwing insults shows neither is the case. LOL.

  44. on 15 Mar 2011 at 8:08 pm 44.Lou said …

    37.Boz said …

    “To claim there is no design in nature denies every instinct of common sense and fact.”

    Common sense is a relative term. However, common sense elimiates the idea of a supernatural god. How’s that for common sense?

    “Next you will claim my dell core duo has no design either. You rally hurt any case you might have with such ludicrous statements.”

    REALLY?! Are you kidding us? First you create an absolutely absurd proposition that nobody wrote, then you accuse someone of being ludicrous for proposing an idea that they didn’t. That is ludicrous.

  45. on 16 Mar 2011 at 12:54 am 45.Mitch said …

    TGHO
    You provide a very illogical if not convulsive response. Now you allege creation “was/is” perfect. Which is it? “Was” implies past tense while “is” implies present tense. I can only conclude you theology was based on a false premise. Can you offer a quote from anyone constructing the claim creation is perfect? (my second request)

    TGHO, have you found an alternate testimony that would parallel Corporal DeShazer’s transformation? You claimed there was a plethora of these but you provided none. (my second request)

    What has ensued to the claim to the exponential and logarithmic functions within mathematics that exclude the concept of designer? Can anyone support this statement with any logical conjecture?

    Finally TGHO, when the biology textbooks make this statement “we know creation looks designed but we must remember it was not” it is in fact acknowledging the presence of design. We only must keep in mind that it was not. Why? I can only conclude you disagree with your fellow biologist.

    Boz, thank you. Civility is always the best policy.

  46. on 16 Mar 2011 at 2:06 am 46.TGHO said …

    @45 Mitch,

    I certainly do not alledge that “creation was/is perfect”, I am stating that pretty much every theist I have encountered has stated that creation was/is perfect. The majority say “is”, yourself and Hor in this thread have said “was”, claiming that “sin” somehow changed this creation.

    Your comment “Can you offer a quote from anyone constructing the claim creation is perfect?” I answered in Post #29 and #42. Just google any well known creationist and go read their site. (Posting links here seems to set off the spam filters.) Try Ham, Hovind, Behe, etc.

    Your comment “have you found an alternate testimony that would parallel Corporal DeShazer’s transformation” I answered in Post #8. Again, go to the Cowra or Canberra war memorial sites. Or if you feel really adventurous, go and google some of the islamic stories about prisoners in Guantanamo.

    Regardless, the Corporal’s story still does not provide any evidence for the existence of the supernatural. Actual data is required.

    As to your claim of “when the biology textbooks make this statement “we know creation looks designed but we must remember it was not” it is in fact acknowledging the presence of design” – please post the title, author, edition, publisher and year of the text book you’re reading this in, so I can chase it up on Google. I’m yet to see this in any text book I’ve used within biology. (I’m happy to chase this up myself, if you can provide the appropriate information.)

    Let me point out that you are yet to provide any actual evidence of this “design” you claim is so evident within nature. Please provide such evidence.

    From what I can see, I’ve answered all of your queries – you are yet to answer my singular, simple request.

  47. on 16 Mar 2011 at 2:33 am 47.Joshua said …

    @ Mitch 45
    I’m seconding TGHO since I made the same request at the end of #41. No one that I have seen said that the functions exclude a designer. They support evolution. Two different things.

    I too would like to see the source for the claim that “we know creation looks designed but we must remember it was not”. The problem is we see no evidence of design so we do not assume design. We let the evidence guide us.

  48. on 16 Mar 2011 at 3:05 am 48.Lou said …

    22.Mitch said …

    “I have yet to find a theist who claims perfection.”

    http://www.creationism.org/symposium/symp2no7.htm

    “It is as though, where the power of mind does not exist, or is insufficient, God supplied all that is necessary for the perfection of His design in the fulfillment of His purpose.”

    http://www.creationresearch.org/crsq/abstracts/sum34_2.html

    “Without question, God’s intended diet for His perfect creation was vegetarian.”

    http://www.creationresearch.org/crsq/abstracts/sum7_2.html

    “The Bible teaches that before the Fall creation was perfect and without predation.”

    Do we really need to continue to quash the stupid idea that there are no theists who claim God’s design is perfect?

  49. on 16 Mar 2011 at 3:43 am 49.Lou said …

    45.Mitch said …

    “TGHO, have you found an alternate testimony that would parallel Corporal DeShazer’s transformation? You claimed there was a plethora of these but you provided none. (my second request)”

    I propose that you abandon the claim that “we know creation looks designed but we must remember it was not” appears in a biology text book if TGHO will abandon the claim that there’s “an alternate testimony that would parallel Corporal DeShazer’s transformation.”

    We know you can’t support your claim because it didn’t happen. TGHO’s claim will be difficult to document, but it’s actually irrelevant to the discussion about design in nature, even if it is documented.

  50. on 16 Mar 2011 at 7:32 am 50.TGHO said …

    @48 Lou,

    To be honest, I’m not exactly sure what the theists in this thread are looking for with respect to Corporal DeShazer.

    Conversion stories? There’s a heap of them. Google Jeffrey Mark Deskovic, Mike Tyson, B.G. Knocc Out, Flesh-n-Bone, Abdul-Karim al-Jabbar, Dave Chappelle, Alice Coltrane, Michael Cremo, George Harrison, Julia Roberts, William G. Dever, Skipp Porteous, etc., etc.

    But I doubt that Cpl DeShazer converted, I suspect he was a christian to begin with, and just became more devoted due to hardship. Again, thousands of stories – some of the names listed above can be used for examples. Many, many other stories can be found with a simple google search.

    Maybe living a “good” life after becoming more devout? Again, millions of stories. “Allah saved me” is a common meme amongst many followers of islam.

    So, like I said, I’m not sure what they are actually after here. :)

  51. on 16 Mar 2011 at 7:42 am 51.TGHO said …

    Lookee what I found! If the link works:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/21/i-fought-to-survive-guantanamo

  52. on 16 Mar 2011 at 10:51 am 52.Severin said …

    37 Boz
    “To claim there is no design in nature denies every instinct of common sense and fact.”

    Not every instinct, sorry!
    Not mine, for example. Not instinct of any atheist debating here. Not insticnt of any atheist existing on earth.

    When talking facts, I do not believe instincts, I believe proofs.

    People have strong instict about earth being flat, which is not the fact!

    Theists are hypocrites to themself!
    A person with average intelligence and not much educated can see that religions fit no reality, but do not WANT to admit it.

  53. on 16 Mar 2011 at 11:12 am 53.Severin said …

    45 Mitch
    “Can you offer a quote from anyone constructing the claim creation is perfect?”

    Again:
    Genesis 1:27: And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

    Deuteronomy 32:4 – He is the Rock, his works are perfect,….

    Why are you neglecting the answer, and pose the same question again?
    Is there any source more relevant than Bible itself?

  54. on 16 Mar 2011 at 1:10 pm 54.Lou said …

    50.TGHO said …

    “So, like I said, I’m not sure what they are actually after here. :)”

    Diversion from the discussion, because they can’t support their position with anything other than personal experience.

  55. on 16 Mar 2011 at 5:17 pm 55.Mitch said …

    TGHO
    I have yet to find a personality who alleges creation is perfect. You maintain it, but I have yet to come across one who makes such an observation. I can only assume you persist with faulty premises in your theology.

    Your link in post 50 is does not bear a resemblance to the corporal’s experience in any manner. Our corporal went to his capturers and became a missionary to them. Your link shows a gentleman who survived alleged torture and is now looking for monetary gain. Look to the word parallel and maybe you can grant another illustration.

    I am a busy fella so I will not be pulling old textbooks books off the shelves searching for direct quotes to point out the obvious. But science is full of men who perceive design in creation and are attempting to explain Why? This is what science does. It seeks to answer questions. Then some are just frightened of the question. Just a few great scientists below;

    Pierre P. Grasse
    Francis Collins
    Michael Ruse
    Keith Miller
    Kenneth Miller
    Anthony Flew

    Michael Behe and for the record here, your criticism of Behe is in error. Yes, it is true we cannot be certain we are not just ignorant of the reducible elements. Arguing that a character is irreducibly complex because we cannot find a reducible state is an argument from the null, and is not logically tenable. It does not mean he is discredited, like evolution all the facts are not yet available.

  56. on 16 Mar 2011 at 5:42 pm 56.Lou said …

    55.Mitch said …

    “TGHO
    I have yet to find a personality who alleges creation is perfect.”

    A personality? And now you changed your ridiculous spiel from perfect design to perfect creation.

    Now let’s use your requirement of evidence. You haven’t found such a personality, so the allegation of “perfect creation,” a.k.a.”perfect design,” isn’t true. We haven’t found a god, so that isn’t true.

    “You maintain it, but I have yet to come across one who makes such an observation. I can only assume you persist with faulty premises in your theology.”

    And we assume that you persist with faulty logic to support your delusion.

  57. on 16 Mar 2011 at 5:46 pm 57.Lou said …

    55.Mitch said

    “I am a busy fella so I will not be pulling old textbooks books off the shelves searching for direct quotes to point out the obvious. But science is full of men who perceive design in creation and are attempting to explain Why? This is what science does. It seeks to answer questions. Then some are just frightened of the question. Just a few great scientists below;”

    That’s not what you originally alleged and were asked to provide substantiation of. To wit, “we know creation looks designed but we must remember it was not” appears in biology text books.

  58. on 16 Mar 2011 at 6:35 pm 58.Boz said …

    From talk origins…

    Do bombardier beetles look designed?

    Yes; they look like they were designed by evolution.

    Their features, behaviors, and distribution nicely fit the kinds of patterns that evolution creates. Nobody has yet found anything about any bombardier beetle which is incompatible with evolution.

    This does not mean, of course, that we know everything about the evolution of bombardier beetles; far from it. But the gaps in our knowledge should not be interpreted as meaningful in themselves. Some people are apparently uncomfortable with the idea of uncertainty, so uncomfortable that they try to turn the unknown into the unknowable.

  59. on 16 Mar 2011 at 7:46 pm 59.Lou said …

    55.Mitch said …

    TGHO

    “Your link in post 50 is does not bear a resemblance to the corporal’s experience in any manner. Our corporal went to his capturers and became a missionary to them. Your link shows a gentleman who survived alleged torture and is now looking for monetary gain. Look to the word parallel and maybe you can grant another illustration.”

    Why can’t you understand that the DeShazer story and any discussion of it is 110% irrelevant to the topic? Even if TGHO can or cannot document a similar story, it still means nothing. Your continued flogging of this dead horse is nothing but a feeble attempt to deflect discussion of your position that you cannot defend.

  60. on 16 Mar 2011 at 7:52 pm 60.TGHO said …

    @54 Mitch,

    Creation? Waitaminute… Ah, you guys have tricked me! No, not creation – design. My post #46 is incorrect where I have said creation, apologies. It should say instead “design”.

    My basic premise is that the majority of theists claim that the design is perfect. Creation, the implementation of the design, is certainly not perfect (in your theology, due to “sin”).

    “Your link in post 50 is does not bear a resemblance to the corporal’s experience in any manner.”

    What? BWAHAHAHAHAA!!! Wait, do you want a hand shifting those goal posts a little further? LOL. Let’s see, the two people both were captured during war, both were tortured by their captors, both gained the strength to survive from their theology, both went on to live “good” lives based upon their religion. And I think your comment “now looking for monetary gain” is simply an insulting slur – the guy is trying to put his life back together after his ordeal.

    But I’m pretty sure you’ll still maintain that your Corporal is somehow “special” and “different”. You do that – you only show the rest of us how strongly deluded about your religion you are.

    Okay, you concede that no biology text book has the quote “we know creation looks designed but we must remember it was not”.

    I don’t care who joins you in this delusion (you’ve included people on the list who don’t agree with you, by the way). I have asked you to provide examples of this design, and you have failed to do so. If you do not post an example in your very next post, I will declare that you concede the argument, and thus agree that there is no design in nature.

    Behe is 100% incorrect. His basic premise, that of irreducible complexity, has been shown to be false. He’s not been able to show one single system which is irreducibly complex in all of his years of work.

  61. on 16 Mar 2011 at 7:57 pm 61.TGHO said …

    @57 Boz,

    And…? Read what you quoted, it clearly states that bombardier beetles evolved and are not designed.

  62. on 17 Mar 2011 at 12:52 am 62.Mitch said …

    Thank you Boz.
    As typical, we must acknowledge the end product admittedly designed and come to the same conclusion as the writer. That is, it looks designed but in this case evolution designed this simple beetle. Do we have any real data? No. Can we test it? No Can we repeat? No. The writer presents us his speculative argument.

    Most importantly, does he dispute that a God is behind the evolution process? No

    Now, if we carry this inane line of reason to its conclusion we get what? More inane reasoning. What do we have? We have it looks designed. All designers I work with are intelligent, purposeful and have the ability to design systems to meet anticipated results.

    We must invoke Morowitz, Borel and Sagan’s mathematical analysis on the probability of the formation of the simplest, smallest lifeform which is practically zero. I don’t have this much faith in the acumen, proficiency and intention of evolution as we know it. Therefore, it would seem an outside entity is not optional but is necessitated.

    I can only track the data where it leads. If new data presents itself, I am one always open to amend my position. It is the ignominy one cannot carry on a constructive dialogue with such people.

  63. on 17 Mar 2011 at 1:33 am 63.TGHO said …

    @61 Mitch,

    Hold on a second mate – are you putting forward the bombardier beetle as an example of design? As I previously noted, the article clearly outlines the evolution of the beetle, and notes that it’s not designed by some form of intelligent entity.

    Your post is very jumbled – you’ve skipped all over the place. Let me lay out some basic points.

    1) “Do we have any real data?”

    - yes, a great deal, as laid out in the article.

    2) “Can we test it?”

    - yes, by using the models within evolution to make predictions about what we will find in related beetle species. As noted in the article, this has been done, and many of the predictions were found to be accurate. That’s one methodology of science.

    3) “The writer presents us his speculative argument.”

    - incorrect. It’s an argument backed up with scientific evidence.

    4) “Most importantly, does he dispute that a God is behind the evolution process”

    - re-read the last couple of paragraphs again. The writer states that some theists are able to adjust their beliefs to accomodate the theory of evolution. At no point does the writer state whether or not a god-being actually exists.

    5) “All designers I work with”

    - stop right there. The designers you work with do NOT design BIOLOGICAL entities. Why is this so hard to understand? Machines DO NOT reproduce by sexual means.

    6) “probability of the formation of the simplest, smallest lifeform ”

    - nothing to do with evolution.

    7) “an outside entity is not optional but is necessitated”

    - evidence required. There is no data supporting your speculation.

    8) “I can only track the data where it leads”

    - then you would be an atheist.

    9) “If new data presents itself, I am one always open to amend my position”

    - then amend it and give up your delusional theology.

    I have no idea what you mean by your closing line, so I’ve skipped it.

    Finally, you still haven’t put forward any examples of “design” in nature (if you’re claiming the beetle, you need to try again, as it’s not a valid example). One more chance, then I’ll consider you conceding the argument.

  64. on 17 Mar 2011 at 1:49 am 64.Horatiio said …

    I agree with you there Mitch on your conclusions.

    LOL, but you got to admit after looking at The Great Hairy’s post how funny it is that he actually pretended to be a Biology professor.

    At least Lou sees THe Help Desk Jockey (THDJ) failed to follow through.

    More important he declared you the loser. THDJ will tell everyone who calls tomorrow. That must really hurt! LOL!!!

  65. on 17 Mar 2011 at 2:09 am 65.TGHO said …

    @63 Horatiio,

    Oh, Horatiio, is your reading ability failing you again? Such a pity.

    Have you got anything to add besides “me too, me too!” or random insults? Any actual evidence to offer? Anything of worth or meaning to add to the discussion? Or am I expecting too much?

  66. on 17 Mar 2011 at 2:55 am 66.Lou said …

    If some of you see a designer for life because it looks designed, then how do you perceive the extinction of most life forms? If success implies a designer, then extinction implies no designer. Apparently you miss the simple answer that explains both success and extinction – evolution.

  67. on 17 Mar 2011 at 2:59 am 67.Lou said …

    64.Horatiio said …

    “At least Lou sees THe Help Desk Jockey(THDJ) failed to follow through.”

    Except that I wrote that BEFORE he posted his latest links.

    “More important he declared you the loser. THDJ will tell everyone who calls tomorrow. That must really hurt! LOL!!!”

    I did not. What must really hurt is the desperation that requires you to intentionally misrepresent comments posted by those you disagree with.

  68. on 17 Mar 2011 at 8:46 am 68.Severin said …

    61 Mitch
    “Therefore, it would seem an outside entity is not optional but is necessitated.”

    When my daughter was about 7 or 8 (maybe 10, but not older), we watched together on TV a story bout panspermia.
    After she heard the theory about how life (maybe) came on earth from space, she instantly posed an intelligent question (I fell on my back!):
    OK, she said, maybe life came from stars, but IT BEGAN – WHERE? It HAD to begin SOMEWHERE, and if it began SOMEWHERE, WHY NOT ON EARTH, too?

    So, Mitch, WHERE, WHEN and HOW started your “necessitated entity” to exist?

    Who/what created it?

    No need such an entity to be created? It “just exists”?
    What is, then, wrong, if I say: matter/energy “just exist?!
    Or, if I say: matter/energy = god?!

    Of course, such a “god” has nothing to do with gods invented by humans. Such “gods” do not CARE for humans.

    Please have in mind that matter/energy ARE intelligent! They keep following their “built in” laws without exception!
    Try to get 20 g of water from 16 g of oxigene and 4 grams of hydrogen! You will ALLWAYS get only 18 g of water, and have the rest of 2 g of unreacted hydrogen!
    Isn’t it intelligent?

  69. on 17 Mar 2011 at 1:16 pm 69.Lou said …

    62.Mitch said …

    “Therefore, it would seem an outside entity is not optional but is necessitated.”

    It used to “seem” that the earth was flat, or at the center of the universe, or nested inside crystalline spheres. It still seems that the sun, moon, and the stars move across the sky. I could go on and on with many examples of what seemed to be true, but wasn’t until fully explained by science. The point is that what seems necessary by you is irrelevant.

  70. on 17 Mar 2011 at 3:17 pm 70.Joshua said …

    @ Mitch 61
    “It is the ignominy one cannot carry on a constructive dialogue with such people.”

    Mitch I have been nothing but polite to you this whole thread. I have also provided substantive replies to you with no response at all.

    In #39 I explained that when scientists use the word design it is synonymous with “function” and does not imply a designer. If you go to science blogs and email a few authors, or even email a few professors from a university webpage and ask if they imply a designer when they say design in reference to biology I am positive they will say no. I spent over ten years in genetics, ecology, and molbio labs and no once when we discussed design did we imply designer. At most it shows that sometimes scientists need to be more careful about word use.
    You did not respond

    In #39 I also point out that scientists would not say that a god was not behind the process. They would know that a god must be demonstrated and that you can not prove a negative. We say “There is no evidence of a god” not “this disproves god”. THESE ARE DIFFERENT THINGS! When you keep implying or stating that we say there is no god it starts to piss us off after a while. At best we wonder if you have good reading comprehension, at worst we wonder if you are “lying for jesus”.
    You did not respond.

    In #41 I pointed out that the reason we recognize design is that we have a lifetime of memories of humans designing things. Research into optical illusions demonstrates that our brains make us see things that are not there all of the time. Seeing design in nature is our brains taking a shortcut and assuming something for which we have no evidence. In order to say that design is obvious in nature YOU MUST HAVE SEEN SOMETHING IN NATURE BEING DESIGNED. I am asking you to tell me what you have seen designed in nature that gives you a context for such recognition. I hear the argument that everything has a cause from your side of this discussion. What is the cause of your recognition?
    So far you have given nothing.

    You keep repeating things that I addressed. Until you actually give SUBSTANTIVE replies that are more than assertions why should anyone here take you seriously? Don’t just make a statement, explain the statement and discus why it is correct and the opposing view is wrong. If you are not willing to do this why are you even here?

  71. on 17 Mar 2011 at 6:36 pm 71.Mitch said …

    Joshua

    Who is this “we” you feel is necessary to reference? It might be best to speak for Joshua and not the community.

    I never claimed any scientist using the word design was implying designer. Before questioning reading comprehension, check your own Joshua. Frankly, I don’t see how anyone is more qualified to establish if a God exist more than anyone else. But I could list many scientists who do imply design with designer. Then again, I don’t need their input. Check into your group of “we”.

    Finally Joshua, what made you suppose my last statement was directed to you? You believe I am posting unswervingly to Joshua?

  72. on 17 Mar 2011 at 6:50 pm 72.Anti-Theist said …

    The majority of theists who frequent this site do so to incite aggravation and express contempt for those of a contradicting demographic. Since joining the ranks hear I have evolved through and past a sincere inclination of connection, cautious reasoning, hardened defense, unapologetic aggressiveness, and hooded harassment; only to find myself years later reading purely for the purposes of entertainment / encountering the same arguments proposed by the same theists. The question is and remains, “ why are you hear?” You may be here to mingle with peers, debate as sport, cut literarily, or exorcize use of uncommon punctuation; but hold fast your intentions lest they be high jacked by the assumption that you can change the position of a theist whose sole purpose here is to delegitimize your beliefs.

  73. on 17 Mar 2011 at 6:58 pm 73.Lou said …

    71.Mitch said …

    Joshua

    “I never claimed any scientist using the word design was implying designer.”

    Where did Joshua claim that you did?

  74. on 17 Mar 2011 at 7:09 pm 74.Anti-Theist said …

    Mitch; hysterically clinging to the supernatural to ovoid death / the unknown fully negates any personal claims you have concerning your ability to adjust your views or beliefs. The very act of holding such an adolescent premise as you do without immediate self adjustment is testimony to the weak, indoctrinated, discriminatory, and unmovable state your mind ails from. You and those like minded will catalyze laws proclaiming child indoctrination as a criminal offense.

  75. on 17 Mar 2011 at 7:15 pm 75.Anti-Theist said …

    Lets avoid digression over ovoid

  76. on 17 Mar 2011 at 7:39 pm 76.TGHO said …

    @69 Joshua,

    Very well said. Great post.

    @70 Mitch,

    SOME scientists, mostly those who are religious, “see” a designer behind the “design”. But similiarly when challenged, they can not produce examples of this “design” either.

    I’ll ask you again – can you provide any actual evidence of this “design”? You’ve stated, and other theists in this thread have stated, that “design is obvious within nature” – if this is the case, then please back up your claim or rescind it.

  77. on 17 Mar 2011 at 7:41 pm 77.TGHO said …

    Oh, and by the way, I’m quite happy for Joshua to include myself in his “we”. He’s eloquently put together the gist of the argument here.

  78. on 17 Mar 2011 at 7:54 pm 78.Horatiio said …

    THDJ,

    LOL, you think you are a scientist?? Please!

    Design? Lets see, Cells, DNA, circulatory systems, the brain, the heart, photosynthesis, etc, etc, etc. Try getting a biology textbook.

    Joshua

    If you must have seen something designed in nature to declare it true, then one must see a Big Bang to declare that to be true. One also must see abiogenesis to declare it true. Might be a little difficult. What about proving design by recreating such event in the lab? Yes, this has been done to some extent. If things in nature look designed due to a lifetime of memories, then you must provided evidence that is not the case. This is the logical conclusion. All indications are design has taken place.

  79. on 17 Mar 2011 at 8:14 pm 79.Joshua said …

    @ Mitch 70
    I used “we” once in each of the first three paragraphs in #69. I would be nice if you were more specific so folks here might know what you are talking about.

    My first “we” was as a scientist working in various labs for over eleven years. My friendship with my fellow scientists allowed me to know their feelings on the issues we are discussing, and from the discussions/lab meetings we had I can tell from context that “design” was analogous to function. I knew them well enough to feel comfortable using “we”

    My second “we” has to do with how the scientific method itself works. In #36 I outlined how the scientific method works and pointed out that the results of individual tested hypotheses only support that hypothesis. Individual theories are supported by specific data. These things do not disprove competing explanations, they conflict. New tests must be used to determine which of competing explanations are better supported. If a hypothesis such as creationism or intelligent design accumulates data that does not agree with the hypothesis, that explanation is discarded. This is simply how science works. If this is not how someone was doing research, they would not be doing science. Thus I am comfortable using the second “we”.

    In the third “we” I refer to research involving the brain, the friendship that I have had with neurobiologists, and the neurobiology classes that I have been a teaching assistant for. The vast majority of us have encountered optical illusions so we know that our brains lie to us. We do similar things with other areas our lives as demonstrated by this wonderful TED talk http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_shermer_the_pattern_behind_self_deception.html
    This “we” has to do with conclusions based on scientific research on the brain that will still exist regardless of how someone might feel about it. My claim is that recognition of design in nature falls under the same issue due to the lack of evidence for a designer, the general sloppiness of the things that are attributed to design, and the lack of examples of direct observation of design in nature that is required to be able to recognize design in nature. Basically you need a positive control for design in nature. Like I said, what is the cause of the belief that there is design in nature? My explanation is at least based on something real while I heave yet to get anyone out of anyone on this thread or others.

    In the end it is irrelevant if I use “we” or not. If you avoid addressing arguments and settle for obvious rhetoric it just makes you look weaker.

    As for detection of design, I never claimed that you said scientists said that. You have said that if you see design then you consider a designer. (#19). Lots of examples of “design in nature” come from scientific examples describing the function of something like the flagellum or the eye and you used a beetle as an example. I used my observation and the comparison to DNA in #39 to strengthen the support for the idea that detection of false design is similar to optical illusions. I think can see how I may have been confusing and I will try to be more careful.

    As for the end, your first post in this thread was to me so I expected some interaction between us. I have taken the time to post substantive replies to you more than anyone else on this thread. You are under no obligation to respond to anything, but at the same time I have the right to address anything I want here. So questioning my response to #61 makes no sense.

    But by all means don’t respond to anything if you want. When I was a creationist in high school it was seeing supporters of creationism avoid strong arguments, change the subject, and resort to emotional manipulation that convinced me to consider evolution more strongly. I would love to see you contribute to the creation of more people like me.

  80. on 17 Mar 2011 at 8:18 pm 80.Joshua said …

    @ Anti-Theist 71
    “…but hold fast your intentions lest they be high jacked by the assumption that you can change the position of a theist whose sole purpose here is to delegitimize your beliefs.”

    This can also be used as part of your strategy :) (BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!)

  81. on 17 Mar 2011 at 8:20 pm 81.Joshua said …

    @ TGHO 76
    Thanks! I will probably end up conceding this point in the end however. It keeps the discussion more focused.

  82. on 17 Mar 2011 at 8:53 pm 82.Joshua said …

    @ Horatiio 77
    You are comparing two things in a way that does not work.

    1. Big Bang
    An event theorized to have occurred in the past based on observations of evidence in the present. Kind of like demonstrating that a murder occurred even though no one was there. It left evidence that we can study.

    Abiogenesis is the same. All current hypotheses (RNA World etc…) are based on what we know about geochemistry, biochemistry, and the evidence that we can collect today. No one has to see anything, you just need sufficient evidence.

    2. Design
    My rough definition would be a purposeful arrangement of components to achieve some goal or function, feel free to criticize.

    Humans recognize design because we have seen humans designing all our lives. There are examples of humans who have not seen certain design principals who think that designed things are magic such as “Cargo Cults”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult

    My claim is that in the absence of evidence for a designer, seeing design in nature is applying magic to the unknown. This is because I can claim that you have never seen design in nature because you have never seen nature being designed.

    You could get around this if someone could hypothesize how nature was designed so we could look for modern evidence of that design. However no such explanation has been presented, so there is no known evidence for design that has been presented.

    I have experience with how humans do biological design in laboratories through gene splicing, targeted mutations and other techniques. These manipulations leave evidence so if organisms were designed through similar means we could look for that evidence. However no one has described what characteristics of non-human design looks like so such research is not being carried out. If it were possible I would expect that creationists/ID supporters would be spending some of those millions (or billions if you consider how rich some conservative Christians are) on research instead of this glorified midnight infomercial that we have seen since Darwin presented his hypothesis.

    Also one again now and a million times, “If things in nature look designed due to a lifetime of memories, then you must provided evidence that is not the case.”
    NO I DON’T. No one is under obligation to prove something else wrong. It is the job of the person making the claim to prove that they are right. This claim is nothing but laziness. Your side has to do your own research. Science will just keep ignoring you and march on, no matter how bad you gum up the works socially.

    “All indications are design has taken place.”

    Citation please.

  83. on 17 Mar 2011 at 8:55 pm 83.TGHO said …

    @77 Horatiio,

    Tsk tsk Horatiio, I asked for evidence of “design”, not evolution. I’ve read many, many biology text books, and all of those components you mentioned have long evidential trails of evolving.

    Judging by your second paragraph, we can see you’re confused. We do have direct observations of the Big Bang. We do have direct observations of abiogenesis. The challenge here is for you or one of the other theists here to produce some evidence supporting your contention that “design exists in nature”. Since you’ve not done so yet, it seems as though your struggling with this debate.

  84. on 17 Mar 2011 at 8:56 pm 84.TGHO said …

    Whoops “your struggling” should read “you’re stuggling”

  85. on 17 Mar 2011 at 9:01 pm 85.TGHO said …

    @81 Joshua,

    Again, nicely said.

    With respect to your second point, I would further require that the “designed” component have the following features:

    1) No evolutionary trail leading up to this component (i.e. appears suddenly, fully formed and functional, in a long trail of well detailed fossils)

    2) irreductibly complex

    3) designed for a specific purpose – not usable for any other purpose

    4) specific to that species

  86. on 17 Mar 2011 at 10:31 pm 86.Joshua said …

    @ TGHO 84
    I thought of a couple of those too. I wanted to make it as broad as possible though. Your points work great for many conceptions of a possible designer.

    In the end many of them fall back on the “god made it look evolved as a test of faith” claim. This however is a dead end and fails as an explanation. It might be true but since we have no way of knowing and it can’t be proven correct or incorrect it is useless. Unless they start trying to come up with some evidence for the designer itself.

    Teaching science you hear them all and come up with answers to them all eventually.

  87. on 17 Mar 2011 at 10:43 pm 87.TGHO said …

    @85 Joshua,

    Agreed, agreed. I’ve been debating with creationists and theists since about ’78, and the arguments pretty much have been the same the whole time (despite huge leaps forward in science).

    I also taught biology and genetics (many years ago, in the early 90′s), so I’ve had experiences similar to you. Sounds like you were in biology a lot longer than me however, I gave it up for IT in ’94.

  88. on 18 Mar 2011 at 2:00 am 88.Mitch said …

    Joshua

    This is superb. We have another authority on biology. The chances must be extraordinary. Thank you for the link. My observations seem to parallel

    “Shermer engages in the worst self deception of “predetermination””

    It seemed an accurate analysis. If you have any pertinent points to make as to how Shermer has proven no designer is involved, I willing to entertain the point. Maybe you could delineate why Shermer is accurate and Francis Collins, Antony Flew, Mitch among many others are mistaken? I am a very busy man so you will need to keep it pithy.

    Here is a differing hypothesis from Shermer. If it appears designed, perhaps it in fact was designed.

    Thank you for the time and effort. It is much esteemed.

  89. on 18 Mar 2011 at 3:00 am 89.TGHO said …

    @87 Mitch,

    Francis Collins:
    “Collins remains firm in his rejection of intelligent design” See (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Collins).

    (This blog confuses me – it sometimes allows links to be posted, sometimes marks them as spam.)

    Antony Flew:
    a) not a scientist
    b) suffering from dementia
    c) exploited by nefarious creationists for their own political ends

    Mitch:
    a) has not offered any actual examples of design
    b) we don’t know his credentials

    “If it appears designed, perhaps it in fact was designed.”

    - you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    We’re all busy people in this day and age. But that’s no excuse for continually pushing an argument which has no supporting evidence and has been refuted time and time again. Can you actually put up an example of this “design” you continually claim is so evident within nature?

  90. on 18 Mar 2011 at 3:16 am 90.Horatiio said …

    TGHO just observed the Oort cloud. We all now know his credentials.

    Jockey, if you actually refute one argument on this thread, would you please wake us up for it. HA HA Ha, I mean all you do is make vague claims and lies and provide no data.

  91. on 18 Mar 2011 at 3:43 am 91.TGHO said …

    @89 Horatiio,

    Are you sure your name isn’t John P Boatwright? Hrm. You should get that problem looked at by a doctor or something, before it becomes serious.

    As I posted in the other thread – 90377 Sedna. You may want to do some reading before getting too excited. :)

    Oh, and you’re not exactly helping your cause here. I thought you christians were meant to be loving and kind? LOL.

  92. on 18 Mar 2011 at 11:30 am 92.Lou said …

    I FOUND IT! Finally, I must concede that Mitch is correct! There is a designer! If this doesn’t convince you, then nothing ever will!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4019295.stm

  93. on 18 Mar 2011 at 2:42 pm 93.Joshua said …

    @ TGHO 86
    I am afraid that I was born one year before you started debating creationists.

    I had to leave research science due to ADHD. I am great with the concepts but it makes planning and executing multiple experiments difficult. In this funding climate I just was not efficient enough to be competitive. Fortunately ADHD seems to be a benefit in public education. Somehow in the chaos of a classroom it makes classroom management easier, and even fun.

    @ Mitch 87
    “If you have any pertinent points to make as to how Shermer has proven no designer is involved, I willing to entertain the point.”

    He has not proven no designer is involved. He also has not proven a randomize r, bully, practical joker, my little pony, or anything else was not involved either. Like I said many times before in this thread, those who want to demonstrate a designer must provide the evidence, it is not anyone’s job to prove there is no designer, that is not what science does. The person advocating a position is always the one who ultimately has to provide the evidence. I keep harping on this point because I honestly believe that the tendency for many people to make this argument slows down progress for humanity as a whole. Instead of a person arguing for their position they waste time with this logical fallacy. It’s not personal. “That does not prove XXXX is wrong” will always get this reaction from me because it also does not prove trillions of other things aren’t wrong as well so in the end it is a waste of time since it does not advance a discussion.

    What Shermer did is demonstrate just how much our brains lie to us. My contention is that in the absence of evidence for a designer, observations of design in nature are also brain trickery. If there were evidence for a designer or design (see #81) I would be willing to consider it and change my views if the evidence were compelling.

    As for Flew and Collins I will try to respond today, if not check back tomorrow. From what I remember right now Collins says that it is all faith in the end but he thinks what evidence he sees is suggestive but not compelling, and Flew I remember I read but was not impressed.

  94. on 18 Mar 2011 at 2:49 pm 94.Lou said …

    88.Mitch said …

    “If you have any pertinent points to make as to how Shermer has proven no designer is involved, I willing to entertain the point.”

    WOW! If you don’t get it by now, you never will.

  95. on 18 Mar 2011 at 2:52 pm 95.Joshua said …

    @ Mitch

    “Thank you for the time and effort. It is much esteemed.”

    You are welcome. By all means be just as blunt about all aspects of my posts as well. I enjoy internet debate as an art the same way that others enjoy high school debate. I like being criticized because it makes me better. None of this is in a unfriendly spirit on my end because comment forums only let you see a sliver of the person you are talking to. (though Horatiio is so juvenile that I make an excption.

  96. on 18 Mar 2011 at 3:04 pm 96.Joshua said …

    @ TGHO 88

    To be fair credentials don’t mean very much in comment discussions. It can be risky to identify yourself sometimes, if only to avoid getting signed up to a spam list. I was tempted to post a link to the website of the lab I used to work at but I really don’t know if I trust needless exposure of my email. This is why focus on the data and the arguments so much. Credentials mean that someones opinion is worth more than another, but not that they are wrong. Also if the other person is not a troll, taking their argument seriously is a sign of respect that makes a discussion more friendly. I do not think Mitch is a troll so I take his arguments seriously. Horatio is a troll so I take him as seriously as a dead feeder goldfish in a tank of ten thousand.

    Or maybe I am the retarded one for thinking I should take internet commenting so seriously.

  97. on 18 Mar 2011 at 5:02 pm 97.Mitch said …

    Joshua

    I would strongly recommend not identifying yourself or lab on this site. I never take such chances.

    Let me cut to the chase. You stated early on that the negative could not be verified. Consequently supplement attempts at proof are not profitable. I could easily make the point and argue that atheist refuse to recognize design in creation to maintain their worldview. This would parallel the Shermer work you reference. I have no misgiving my observation is true in many cases.

    I have run the gambit from atheist to agnostic to deist to theist. My journey has been driven by scientific advancement which is why I made mention of Antony Flew earlier. It is not my job to prove design in nature. That would be the equivalent of proving Socrates existed or as referenced above proving the Oort cloud exists. I use logic, experience and observation to make my analysis. My conclusions are hardly a landmark event.

  98. on 18 Mar 2011 at 5:06 pm 98.Mitch said …

    I defense of Horatio, he has had to deal with a blogger exaggerating his credentials and sporting a very braggadocios nature.

  99. on 18 Mar 2011 at 5:27 pm 99.Lou said …

    97.Mitch said …

    “It is not my job to prove design in nature.”

    Why didn’t you say so in the first place? It would have obviated ~78 comments in this discussion.

    Seriously, translation – “I don’t have any evidence to support design in nature.”

    FINALLY!

    “I could easily make the point and argue that atheist refuse to recognize design in creation to maintain their worldview.”

    Yes, you could. So could young children argue that adults refuse to recognize that reindeer fly so that they can maintain their worldview.

    You can argue anything you want until you’re blue in the face. But supporting a position with actual evidence is something entirely different.

  100. on 18 Mar 2011 at 7:10 pm 100.Anti-Theist said …

    Requisition of evidence belongs not to those without claim, but to those of proclamation; statements akin to, “there is a great deal of evidence to maintain the reality of an ultimate designer/creator” come from those who owe their intended audience some examples of the evidence in question.

  101. on 18 Mar 2011 at 7:45 pm 101.Xenon said …

    “there is a great deal of evidence to maintain the reality of an ultimate designer/creator”

    There is plenty. But you ignore mathematical probabilities, obvious complexity and obvious design so nothing else can be done to help you. You must prove something as complex as a cell can desgn & evolve without a designer. Show us one example of this happening step by step in nature. Save some time here, you cannot.

    I suggest this book “Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril” It might help.

    Horse, you have been led to the water. You just refuse to drink.

  102. on 18 Mar 2011 at 7:54 pm 102.MrQ said …

    Mitch #97,
    Excuse me but horatio’s ideas are just plain stupid. Somehow Slick has an idea that man made machines should be able to mate and create offspring. Slick is still waiting for a HD motorcycle to wash up on his beach as proof of evolution.

    He references the work of Francis Collins (someone who does NOT support ID) and then simultaneously proclaims that “macro-evolution” (a term made up by IDiots) is impossible. Then he will bounce over to abiogenesis, Oort clouds, and whatever other ideas are firing in his addled brain. I haven’t a clue what his big idea is other than “I believe in jayzus, so there”.

    Xenon,
    Are you saying that the Theory of Evolution is wrong? Or are you saying that you cannot figure out how life arose on our 4.5 billion year old planet? The research of the Kepler project will continue to reveal even more surprises. Stay tuned: http://kepler.nasa.gov/

  103. on 18 Mar 2011 at 7:55 pm 103.Anti-Theist said …

    Neither mathematical probability ( less than absolute,) nor obvious complexity / design (opinion) qualifies as evidence.

  104. on 18 Mar 2011 at 8:04 pm 104.Anti-Theist said …

    Remember that the theory of evolution does not attempt to explain the origin of life, just as the “Big Bang” theory does not attempt to explain the origin of our universe.

  105. on 18 Mar 2011 at 8:37 pm 105.TGHO said …

    @95 Joshua,

    “To be fair credentials don’t mean very much in comment discussions”

    – agreed. However it does give a base understanding of the level of knowledge/education with respect to the discussion at hand. So one can gauge at what level the science should be pitched.

    I take Mitch more seriously than I take Horatiio, simply because Mitch can type coherently and can actually string an argument together.

  106. on 18 Mar 2011 at 8:45 pm 106.TGHO said …

    @96 Mitch,

    “It is not my job to prove design in nature”

    - it is if you are making the claim. This is a positive claim, not a negative one. It is a position which could be supported by evidence. If an organ or component of a biological system was found which matched my criteria of design, then pretty much every scientist would agree that the object was designed (as long as the data was coherent, consistent and stood up to continued scrutiny).

    You have two positions here. Either you claim that there is design in nature – in which case you need to provide evidence – or you can state that there is no design in nature yet to be located. The latter is the position of the majority of scientists. The former (without the evidence) is the position of the majority of creationists, and is basically a dishonest position.

    “proving the Oort cloud exists”

    - at the moment, Senda is an indicator that it exists. I agree that there’s no direct proof as yet, but I would suggest that when the next space telescope is operational, we’ll find something. All indicators point to it actually being there.

    And to be honest, my replay was to a troll in the other thread. :)

    “I use logic, experience and observation to make my analysis.”

    - I dispute this. Logic and observation clearly lead to the conclusion that there is no supernatural component to existence. That includes a god/divine being.

  107. on 18 Mar 2011 at 8:47 pm 107.Anti-Theist said …

    As can the opposite, lack of credentials can be quite misleading.

  108. on 18 Mar 2011 at 10:55 pm 108.TGHO said …

    @97 Mitch,

    You are mistaken and confused here.

    1) I am not a blogger

    2) I’ve not exaggerated my credentials

    3) I’m only an arsehole to those who treat me in kind, or are too incompetent to understand repeated arguments.

  109. on 18 Mar 2011 at 11:08 pm 109.TGHO said …

    @100 Xenon,

    Show us some evidence of this so-called design then! Put your cards on the table, show us this data.

    It’s not up to us (the scientists) to show you every single component, every single step. That’s the “god of gaps” theory, and those gaps are vanishing every day. For you to be correct, you actually have to SHOW SOME DESIGN.

    I’ve asked every theist in this thread to put some evidence up, the only one who tried was Boz, and the example he gave wasn’t a valid example – but at least he tried. The rest of you haven’t even bothered.

    You continue to claim “obvious design” – then produce some.

    Produce some evidence or concede the argument.

  110. on 19 Mar 2011 at 7:21 am 110.Severin said …

    100 Xenon
    „But you ignore mathematical probabilities, obvious complexity and obvious design so nothing else can be done to help you.“

    You obviously don’t know much about probability, and, in fact, YOU ignore it!

    Laws other than mathematical probability rule upon events: laws of physics, chemistry (biology).
    THOSE laws tell us whether, under given conditions, an event is POSSIBLE to occur, or not.
    probability only tell us what are the CHANCES to have right conditions, under which the event will INEVITABLY occur!

    If you have randomly moving balls, each single pair of balls that hit each other, will PRECISELY show reactions connected with physics of collision: action-reaction, transfer of energy, you can precisely measure and calculate their paths, angles of paths…, and EACH collided pair will “behave” PRECISELY according to laws of physics.
    Whether or not will balls colide, IS the matter of probability calculation, but WHEN they colide, probability has nothing to do with consequences of this collision! PHYSICS has!

    If you mix Na and Cl, you need NO probability theory to calculate whether they will react or not: they WILL react, instantly, whatever you do. They will NEVER FAIL to react, whatever you do!
    The probability Na and Cl to react, if mixed together, is 100%, their reaction is CERTAIN, it is NOT given by any mathematical probability, but by laws of chemistry.
    If you have Na and Cl in 2 separated jars, THEN you can use probability to calculate the CHANCES of Na and Cl to come to close touch that will enable their reaction!
    Will earthquake brake the jars? Will a tornado come? Will somebody take them and mix them?
    But, if ANY event enables atoms of Na and molecules of Cl to come to close touch, THEY WILL REACT, and NOTHING will stop their reaction!

    If we know all necessary elemnts, we can use probability mathematics to calculate the CHANCES to have right CONDITIONS something to occure.
    Will this event occure or not IF we have right conditions, does not depend on probability!
    It WILL happen, and NEVER FAIL to happen!

    Now, if you would be familiar to elementary physics and chemistry, and understood what 4 billion years mean, you would be closer to understand that PROBABILITY to have right CONDITIONS for trillions of trillions of trillions of different reactions, that COULD have lead to first primitive cell, were, in fact, TREMENDOUS.
    Under given conditions, it would be a miracle NOT to lead to first primitive life!

    If you don’t see it, I pose the same question you never answer, again:
    Who/what created your creator?

    This time, i kindly expect you to give us the answer!

  111. on 20 Mar 2011 at 4:17 pm 111.Joshua said …

    @ Mitch

    I am sorry that I could not get this yesterday. I had to remove a malware package called “XP Antispyware 2011”. It was a really annoying piece of crap that disabled all my security and disabled my web browsers while trying to convince me I was under cyber attack that could only be fixed by buying the full version of the software.

    Flew’s latest position that I could find is summarized by this quote; “”the latest work I have seen shows that the present physical universe gives too little time for these theories of abiogenesis to get the job done.” He added: “The philosophical question that has not been answered in origin-of-life studies is this: How can a universe of mindless matter produce beings with intrinsic ends, self-replication capabilities, and “coded chemistry”? Here we are not dealing with biology, but an entirely different category of problem.” (From Wikipedia, it seems to be good info).
    The problem that I have with this view is that it boils down to “I can’t imagine how this happened and I do not like the scientists answers so I choose to believe in a general deism”
    Like I said the only thing that is acceptable for belief in a designer or deity is evidence for a designer or a deity. Flew’s problem is that even if it was true and there has not been enough time for what he refers to, this is evidence against evolution not evidence for a designer/deity. The best response until evidence arrives is “I don’t know what is responsible”.

    Francis Collins can be represented fairly by this quote “”I do object to the assumption that anything that might be outside of nature is ruled out of the conversation. That’s an impoverished view of the kinds of questions we humans can ask, such as ‘Why am I here?’, ‘What happens after we die?’ If you refuse to acknowledge their appropriateness, you end up with a zero probability of God after examining the natural world because it doesn’t convince you on a proof basis. But if your mind is open about whether God might exist, you can point to aspects of the universe that are consistent with that conclusion.”
    He basically says here that proof will not be enough for belief in god, and that to believe in god you have to “have an open mind about whether god might exist”. I have to say that I personally find this a disturbing position for a scientist to take. I am in no way trying to detract from his very real scientific accomplishments, but I have to assume that he is very good at compartmentalization to keep these views from messing us his ability to think scientifically. With so little regard for demonstration of existence through evidence and assessment of evidence to determine the reality of something, it is a little scary for someone in his position of authority.
    My first issue is that whatever exists is obviously natural. I find the term “supernatural” and “outside nature” to be non-sense terms that are used to talk about things that either we do not have the best vocabulary for, or things we want to exist. If it is real it is part of nature. I need his definition for the term “outside nature” because any scientist should be willing to examine new evidence for transcendent beings. Which brings me to my second objection, if proof (he should say sufficient evidence, proof of that kind does not exist) is not good enough than why does he believe in it? Why should I be convinced? The less flattering way to say this in my own words is “My impending death bothers me. While I don’t have sufficient evidence for the existence of a god if I cherry pick parts of the universe that I like it makes me feel like there is a god so I don’t feel bad anymore.”

  112. on 22 Mar 2011 at 7:50 pm 112.TGHO said …

    Theists concede.

    Debate won by the atheists.

  113. on 21 May 2011 at 12:10 am 113.Anonymous said …

    sigh none of you no the first thing about our father or the bible ill pray for you all that you can find your faith. if your angry or hate for saying this fine jesus said we would be hated for following him im sure ill get plenty of hate comments

  114. on 21 May 2011 at 12:34 am 114.Hell Yeah said …

    “sigh none of you no the first thing about our father or the bible ill pray for you all that you can find your faith. if your angry or hate for saying this fine jesus said we would be hated for following him im sure ill get plenty of hate comments”

    Why is it that almost everyone in this blog that posts horrible sentence structure like this and grammar, that chances are they are on the God side? I mean, everyone makes typos, but come on. This just shows the education gap between most believers and non-believers.

  115. on 21 May 2011 at 1:16 am 115.Chris said …

    “This just shows the education gap between most believers and non-believers.”

    Citations needed please. You don’t seem all that bright so you argument starts out week.

  116. on 21 May 2011 at 1:35 am 116.Anonymous said …

    Why is it that almost everyone in this blog that posts horrible sentence structure like this and grammar, that chances are they are on the God side? I mean, everyone makes typos, but come on. This just shows the education gap between most believers and non-believers.

    sorry im not stupid ive just never had good sentence structure but o well thats not what this is about GOD does use smart people i know of people who were atheists that became Christians after studying the universe for so long. but But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong 1 Corinthians 1:27 GOD uses all people because intelligence doesnt matter strength and power and wisdom dont matter GOD’s spirit does

  117. on 21 May 2011 at 2:08 am 117.Anonymous said …

    everything on this earth works so perfectly the water oxygen,carbon,nitrogen and so on constantly recycle themselves. metals and rocks are recreated and destroyed and recycled over and over again the planets orbits stars stars orbit black holes forming galexys and so on. the universe and our planet work so well that their is no way someone did not create it the very space we exist in and reality should be prove enough that everything was created by GOD miracles happen constantly and once you begin to study it astounds you not every one believes in the LORD

  118. on 21 May 2011 at 3:27 am 118.Hell Yeah said …

    “everything on this earth works so perfectly”

    Really? Are you living in la-la land? Open your eyes.

    “the universe and our planet work so well that their is no way someone did not create it”

    Yes, because our planet is the only one out there in the universe……hmmm, I guess all those numerous planets out there that are worthless are working so well…….could it be that our planet just got lucky like the chances of someone winning the lottery?

    “sorry im not stupid ive just never had good sentence structure”

    Which shows the lack of education where one can use judgement and reason to base their knowledge, but I guess that isn’t important, is it?

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