Sunday, February 10, 2013

Maybe the horse got his wings from the mud or the volcanoes..

One of the more amusing conceits of atheists is that atheists are more rational than believers. Of course atheists define "rational" as "things atheists believe".  For example, atheists assert that the belief that the heart has no purpose is "rational".


Case in point-- commentor Anonymous:
... believing in miracles (including winged horses that carry you away to some glorious place) is not something I can abide; it defies all logic.

Now of course I'm not a Muslim, so I don't believe that Mohammed's Night Journey to heaven actually took place. Yet as a Catholic, I do believe in many miracles-- the Virgin Birth, the Incarnation, the Lord's healings, the Resurrection, among many others.

I do believe in miracles.

Atheists believe in miracles as well.

Atheists believe that all life arose spontaneously-- without purpose or intelligent agency-- from mud or perhaps underwater volcanoes. Contra Anonymous, I fail to see how abiogenesis is more "logical" than winged horses.

Christians: 'The Word became flesh and dwelt among us'.

Muslims: 'Mohammed flew to heaven one night on a winged horse'.

Atheists: 'Mohammed, all men, and all horses came from mud or volcanoes.'

Which one is more rational to you?


  1. Well, actually science has no definite answer as to where life (not humans or horses) actually arose. It's so long time ago - at least 3.5 billion years ago, if not longer. It could have arisen in deep ocean hydrothermal vents. It could have arisen in surface rocks to a depth of several kilometres, which contains bacteria for which the name extremophile hardly does justice.

    But we do know that both horses and humans evolved by a natural process of natural selection from ancestor species within the last million years or so.

    We don't believe that humans or horses came from mud or volcanos. Someone would have to be extremely stupid to such write such a thing.

    1. Bachfiend,

      So if not mud or volcanoes, what is the evolutionary biologist's explanation for the origins of life? It's pretty easy to understand that once life existed it proceeded to adapt and advance, but how did it come into existence in the first place?


    2. Trish,

      Read the first sentence of my comment again. Science has no definite answer...

    3. Isn't that kind of the crux of the matter?

      Actually, I am pleasantly surprised. It's okay to say "I don't know." Sometimes I think that some people have too much pride to ever utter those words, especially people who are well educated and think highly of themselves.

      It does seem rather miraculous that living matter could spring forth from non-living matter, doesn't it? How does a churning cauldron of primordial soup suddenly sprout even the smallest of organisms all on its own?

      By the way, "science" has no answer to anything. It's a method for reaching the truth, not a truth in and of itself.

      However, here is one proposed theory by Alexander Oparin:

      1. The early Earth had a chemically reducing atmosphere.
      2. This atmosphere, exposed to energy in various forms, produced simple organic compounds ("monomers").
      3. These compounds accumulated in a "soup", which may have been concentrated at various locations (shorelines, oceanic vents etc.).
      4. By further transformation, more complex organic polymers – and ultimately life – developed in the soup.

      Apparently he thought he'd solved the mystery. He may be wrong, he probably is, but one of the best minds in science proposed a theory that sounds a lot like life arising from mud, which is exactly what Dr. Egnor said. Sounds like a miracle to me.


    4. Trish,

      Great? Now you're questioning a 1924 hypothesis which was proposed before DNA was demonstrated to be the genetic material (which happened in 1943).

      I don't comment on old hypotheses based on inadequate data.

    5. They were still teaching this 1924 hypothesis in my high school in the 1990's.

      Why shouldn't I comment on it? That was one theory. The theory is basically that life sprung forth from a cauldron of non-living matter and a "energy in various forms" created life. That's probably the miracle that Dr. Egnor was referring to.

      And now that that theory has been discarded, we're back to not knowing again.


    6. Trish,

      If they were teaching Oparin's hypothesis in your high school in the '90s, then no wonder you complain about the standard of American schools.

      The miracle Egnor was referring to was that humans and horses arose from mud. Or volcanos. Didn't happen.

      We don't know what sort of life arose at least 3.5 billion years ago. Or where.

    7. @bach:

      [I don't comment on old hypotheses based on inadequate data.]

      Darwin's theory?

    8. Darwin's theory is akin to the Copernican hypothesis. Both gave rise to modern theories that we teach these days. However, it would be silly to say that we teach the original Copernican picture or the original Darwin's theory. The sciences have moved well beyond those.


    9. "It does seem rather miraculous that living matter could spring forth from non-living matter, doesn't it?"

      There is no such thing as "living matter" -- there are living organisms.

  2. Some of the writers about Jesus' ascension also have him literally fly upwards and disappear from view among the clouds, as if they thought that heaven really is a place somewhere in the sky.

    The men who invented the stories about Mohammed probably thought Jesus was a bit of a womanly wimp to fly without a horse, so they gave their macho hero a horse, propelled by the winged angel Gabriel.

    How can anyone in this day and age believe this kind of nonsense?

  3. I would also add that atheists take more on faith than they would like to believe, and that their standard of proof for belief in anything remotely religious is much higher than their standard of proof for anything else.


    1. So you assert. What's asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.

    2. I'll bet you think Osama bin Laden is dead. So do I. The proof is lacking, however.

      I'll bet you believe in love. So do I. No one can prove that it exists, however. It's an intangible quantity just like God.

      You take more on faith than you think.


    3. Ironclad proof doesn't exist; we could be living in the Matrix for all we know. I try to assess how likely it is that a claim is true.

      In case of OBL I think it's more likely true than false that he was killed by US special forces. OBL's buddies admitted to it and swore revenge. Of course it could be that those videos were faked, and so on.

      Love is a subjective feeling. I can feel it, and I know how that affects me. It seems irrational to assume that others who behave in a similar way do not have similar feelings, although it's not entirely impossible.

  4. Why would you use any quote from the Bible other than Genesis for the Judeo-Christian view of the beginning of life? There are two different accounts:

    Genesis 1:27 - So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

    Genesis 2:7 - Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

    Now we could spend the next few months discussing the deep meaning of these two verses, but for the present purpose lets just say it's telling us "Life begins only through the assistance of God".

    bachfiend: I'm sure you've heard of the famous "missing link" that is suppose to solve the puzzle of the miraculous jump from ape to human. Did you know there is a missing link for every freaking animal known? There is simply no evidence that bacteria evolved to a fish, the fish then crawled out of the ocean and it's fins evolved to legs and it began to walk around, then the arms became wings and it began to fly. That defies all logic, and in fact Darwin never implied or theorized it. Darwin's theory begins with all the species pretty much already in existence, and explains how a wolf can become a dog, or a white hibiscus can become a pink hibiscus. He never suggested that a species could become a whole new species, or that scales could become feathers. That only happened after Darwin, by atheists desperate to exclude God from the process.
    I believe in God, and I believe in evolution. But only the evolution we actually have evidence for.

  5. If atheists take nothing on faith, why do they always insist that we believe in their theories while they're working on cobbling together the evidence? For example, why should I believe in the gay gene when it's never been found? All they can say is "if being gay were a choice, no one would choose it." Here's what that means--we haven't found a gene. We're looking. Believe the theory first, we'll provide the evidence later. That's how science works, right guys?

    Missing links too. Isn't that exactly what a missing link is? They're sure that there's a species out there that fills in the holes in their theory. Just believe that is exists while they're looking. How about this--assemble the evidence first, then show it to me, and I'll tell you if I believe it.

    The Torch

  6. Micheal, atheism on its own is useless to society. It is just a negative proposition of “I think God exists”. It has no moral content, it is not constructive, it is not an ideology, it has nothing constructive or useful. It is useless. I think atheists generally agree on this point.
    Some atheists that try to make it more than what it is are irrational (A-plussers and gnus for example). Theists that try to blame actions (any action, good or bad) on atheism I would also argue are also not being rational. I think the more people realize how utterly useless atheism is to society, the less people will be interested in it.

    Arguing against moral relativism or materialism or metaphysical naturalism or communism or scientism and other silly beliefs and ideologies are more interesting than atheism.

    1. Techne:

      The belief that God does not exist, that there is no ultimate purpose to life, that there is no objective moral law, and that there is no accountability after death are definitional or follow directly from atheism.

      Those views are much worse than useless, and lead necessarily to all manner of evil.

      I believe that atheists are being disingenuous when they assert that atheism is merely the absence of belief in God(s).

      It necessarily entails much more, nearly all of it evil.

    2. So what is this ultimate purpose to life that you keep on mentioning? I'm really interested in learning what that actually means to you.

      Here's how I see my purpose. To lead a productive and happy life, help raise a good family and be a positive influence on the lives of others. I am doing my best to achieve that. My atheist friends feel the same way. It sucks that death and oblivion is inevitable, but I've seen up close how people can accept it and look back on a good life.

    3. Michael,

      Atheism is just the assertion that there's no adequate evidence that god(s) exist.

      Purpose in life comes from the individual. There's no ultimate purpose to life; life on Earth will eventually go extinct when the Sun becomes a red giant in a few billion years.

      Objective moral code comes from society; different societies have different moral codes, even religious ones - so its impossible for a moral code to be god-given.

      There's no accountability in an afterlife; therefore, people have to be made accountable for their actions now.

      Not at all evil assertions.

    4. Interesting ideas, Techne.
      You got me thinking. Cheers!
      While I find myself in agreement on the uselessness and uninteresting nature of atheism, I beg to differ on it's moral gravity.
      An atheist 'can believe' anything they want.
      This is true. In fact they would have to be free to choose in order to make a radical self determination that is so obviously at social odds with most of the people they know. They have CHOSEN to deny God's existence.
      But free will (and free thinking) is open to anyone.

      Much of what you describe (reincarnation, accountability, transcendence etc) are not forms of atheism , but they rather primitive and self styled versions of pantheism, paganism, and animism.

      The adherent of a personal religion that claims there is no God, but Karma is a reality, and that the universe loves the good or whatever may call themselves an atheist to conform with their educators' code of 'cool', but they are no more atheists than a Shinto or a Innu Shaman.
      Atheism is a step beyond all that.
      It is the implicit denial of the Divine.
      I would take it further, I would suggest there is a larger Zeitgeist within the atheist mentality: Atheism is not simply a removal of God. It is the REPLACEMENT of God with one's self.
      The acceptance of the original deception. The 'ancient hope' or promise.
      It is not simply a negative proposition.
      It is the wish to know (judge) good and evil by one's own standard, be like gods in our power over destiny, and one day to use learning (science?) to 'conquer' death.
      This is their nightmare laid bare.

      I do not intend to preach or lecture (well, maybe a little - but not directed at you!), but rather to point out the obvious in this matter.
      We are all free to choose.

      Even the atheist may choose.
      (The same atheist who will usually deny free will in compliance with his almost compulsory eliminative materialism.)

      And so I now get to my much laboured point: I agree that the political naturalism, scientism, communism, etc etc is all much more interesting, as well as much easier to tear down - but these example you use are nested ideologies.
      They are complex and reliant on various social situations and conditions including political apathy and immoral selfishness.
      In that sense all these toxic and authoritarian ideologies are vastly facilitated by the intellectual and social impotence of atheism. This is why the ideologues of these movements, in turn, promote atheism.
      Atheism is like the weeds giving shade to growing toadstools. Without the weeds, the shadow is not cast, the soft flesh of the fungus is hardened by the sun and is made unattractive.
      The plant is ruined and so nobody will harvest it and suffer the consequences.
      This is the way I see the arguments for theistic thought.
      It will never rid us of the die hard atheists, but in ripping up the weeds of pretension, the argument is exposing the self refuting and incoherent nature of that philosophy it makes it harder for the complex compound-ideologies (ie communism) to appear as attractive and sell.
      More light, less toadstools.
      I hope that makes some sort of sense.
      I am on new coffee today :P

  7. I agree that theism is the best view or explanation if one accepts the following:
    1) Ultimate purpose in life
    2) Objective moral law
    3) Accountability after death.

    I disagree though that atheism necessarily leads to a rejection of these.

    1) An atheist can still believe there is an ultimate purpose in life without believing in God e.g. an atheist may believe that the ultimate purpose of life is to know truth without believing in God. It may not make sense, point being an atheist can still believe this.

    2) An atheist may believe in objective moral law e.g. some atheists may follow the Kantian view of morals. Again, it may not much sense, but atheists can believe this.

    3) An atheist can believe in reincarnation without believing in God and somehow work in the idea of accountability. Again, it may not make much sense, but the point is, atheism is useless in providing a positive contribution to these areas. It can't.

    Of course, a naturalist-cum-materialist view of reality leads to a rejection of these three theses above. And of course, most naturalists-cum-materialists tend to be atheists. Point being, it is not their atheism that drives it because it is itself pretty useless. I think a naturalist-cum-materialist view of reality is far more evil and can lead to something as useless as atheism as well.

    1. I see it differently, Techne.

      I believe that the rejection of God-- the rejection of Jesus Christ-- is the root of evil. All evil flows from it, as is implicit in the Catholic doctrine of mortal sin.

      Mortal sins-- major evils-- inherently involve a rejection of God.

      Atheism is the fundamental evil. Other evils-- murder, sexual immorality etc. are rejections of God, which is implicit in atheism.

      One can quibble as to whether atheism properly means rejection of God (while implicitly acknowledging His existence) or whether atheism simply means holding the opinion that God doesn't exist.

      I believe that an all-out attack on naturalism-cum-materialism is warranted and laudatory, but I still hold that atheism-- or perhaps more precisely rejection of God-- is the core evil, from which all evils flow.

  8. I have an old post on this topic; enjoy -- 'Science!' and Miracles ... and Skepticism!

    If one doesn't have the time to bounce over there, here is a specific example of atheist "rationality" that I am mocking in the context of their mockery of our belief that miracles have happened:

    "From The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan

    "Consider this claim: as I walk along, time -as measured by my wristwatch or my ageing process -slows down. Also, I shrink in the direction of motion. Also, I get more massive. Who has ever witnessed such a thing? It's easy to dismiss it out of hand. Here's another: matter and antimatter are all the time, throughout the universe, being created from nothing. Here's a third: once in a very great while, your car will spontaneously ooze through the brick wall of your garage and be found the next morning on the street. They're all absurd! But the first is a statement of special relativity, and the other two are consequences of quantum mechanics (vacuum fluctuations and barrier tunnelling,* they're called). Like it or not, that's the way the world is. If you insist it's ridiculous, you'll be forever closed to some of the major findings on the rules that govern the Universe.

    *The average waiting time per stochastic ooze is much longer than the age of the Universe since the Big Bang. But, however improbable, in principle it might happen tomorrow.

    What is the difference between belief in such miracles as, on the one hand, the belief that God has raised a man from the dead, or that God has caused a lost iron axe-head (at a time when iron was tightly controlled by the enemy) to float to the surface of the body of water into which it had flown, and on the other hand, the belief that "life" "arose" all by itself from mere matter and that all living things and their qualities and properties, including us and rationality, are results of mere accidents, or that one's car really can ooze through the brick wall of the garage and park itself on the street?

    1. The difference is, of course, that the first two are believed to have been intended, and are claimed to have been witnessed, whereas the second two are believed to be wholly unintended, and no one even claims ever to have witnessed them ever actually happening -- and, in fact, the scientistic proponents of the second two aver that no one will ever actually witness them “in the wild”.

      And still these fools want to call us irrational and to claim that they are the epitome of rationality.

    2. Ilion,

      Well, scientific 'miracles' have been observed. Atomic clocks do demonstrate that time does slow down with increasing velocity in relation to a reference frame. And time does slow down with increasing gravitational force due to a massive body. And quantum tunneling does occur. It's the reason why fusion occurs in the core of the Sun (otherwise, two protons wouldn't have enough energy to overcome the electromagnetic repulsion at the relatively modest pressures and temperatures in the centre of the Sun. And virtual particles do exist; the Large Hadron Collider is relying on them when they bang two protons traveling at almost light velocity in opposite directions. The 3 'real' quarks of the proton make up only about 2% of the mass of the proton. Most of the mass (and energy) of the proton is made up of a cloud of virtual particles, which flash into and out of existence. The interesting collisions are between the virtual particles, because they have most of the energy and create the interesting novel particles.

      Whereas, religious miracles happened, if they did, long ago, can't be observed again and we don't know who the witnesses were and how reliable they were.

      A good going religious miracle today would be very useful. If it was impossible to explain in any other way. Such as an amputee growing back a lost limb at Lourdes.

    3. Incorrect.

      The first 2 are claimed to have been witnessed, in the same way numerous other, similar but mutually incompatible events have been claimed to have been witness (ie. miracles and magic from every other culture other than the Judeo Christian culture).

      The second 2 are a either inferences from observations and current knowledge (abiogenesis), or results from understanding what a theory which has been confirmed by numerous experiments actually entails (quantum tunnelling).

      Illion: And still these fools want to call us irrational and to claim that they are the epitome of rationality.
      Of course that's claimed, since you rely upon things which are not only not in evidence, but actually run counter to the evidence that we do have.

  9. Egnor: Christians: 'The Word became flesh and dwelt among us'.

    Muslims: 'Mohammed flew to heaven one night on a winged horse'.

    Atheists: 'Mohammed, all men, and all horses came from mud or volcanoes.'

    The first two resort to invoking things not in evidence, while the third only resorts to things which have been demonstrated to exist (assuming it's amended to describe abiogenesis).

    Therefore, surely the third is more rational.

    1. Havok,

      I'd better jump in before the theists object. Abiogenesis has never been observed. Abiogenesis is at least theoretically possible. 'The Word became flesh...' Is meaningless and it's impossible for horses to fly.

    2. When I mentioned observation, I didn't mean that abiogenesis had been observed, but that we have observed organic chemistry, we've observed the building blocks of organic life forming abiotically, we've observed various parts of the process which might have lead to life on this planet, and no observations have provided an alternative possibility to abiogenesis.

      I should have been more careful in my wording - thanks :-)

    3. @Havok:

      [Therefore, surely the third is more rational.]

      No. Mud and volcanoes are less rational. There is a massive philosophy and theology developed to understand God's creation, nature, etc.

      Mud and volcanic origin of life is an impoverished superstition. You haven't a shred of logic to compare to Aquinas' Five Ways, Aristotle's Prime Mover, Kant's Categorical Imperative, etc.

    4. mregnor: No. Mud and volcanoes are less rational. There is a massive philosophy and theology developed to understand God's creation, nature, etc.
      Yet, as I pointed out, mud and volcanoes exist, while god does not.

      mregnor: Mud and volcanic origin of life is an impoverished superstition.
      Except of course for all of the evidence supporting various pieces of the puzzle.

      mregnor: You haven't a shred of logic to compare to Aquinas' Five Ways, Aristotle's Prime Mover, Kant's Categorical Imperative, etc.
      None of those arguments prove that your god actually exists in reality and actually started life off on planet earth, and you have no evidence to support your claims that it did.

      So, as I said in my first comment, the third option does indeed appear to be the more rational position, due to the lack of evidence supporting the entities appealed to in the first 2.

    5. Michael,

      And when you write of 'mud and volcanos', you're obviously referring the the deep oceanic hydrothermal vents, which are host to a rich ecology of bacteria and worms. Nick Lane's book 'Life Ascending' (the best popular science book of 2009 - according to the Royal Society) has a very good discussion of it in the first chapter on the origin of life.

      You should read it. You might learn something.

      The natural explanation is that life arose there. The supernatural explanation is that God started life in many places, including hydrothermal vents and surface rocks of the Earth's crust to a depth of a few kilometres, for unknown reasons. Perhaps to impress humans for when after tens of thousands of evolution we manage to develop the technology to be able to examine such inhospitable habitats.

    6. The first two are metaphors. A literal interpretation by an atheist (even if he doesn't believe it) puts him in the same camp as a fundamentalist.

    7. James, what is the incarnation a metaphor for?
      What is Mohammed's trip to heaven on a winged horse a metaphor for?
      How do you know they're metaphors, and not literal descriptions?

  10. Son of Confusion? "The first two are metaphors. A literal interpretation by an atheist (even if he doesn't believe it) puts him in the same camp as a fundamentalist."

    How cool is this! Not only does Mr Egnor's blog attract irrational 'atheists' (is there any other kind?), but now it has attracted one of those "theists" whose "answer" to the irrational and/or illogical arguments of 'atheists', and to his own anger at God, and to his unearned and unevidenced feeling of superiority to Protestants, is to turn God into a thing. For, one cannot reasonably be angry at things, nor have reasonable, rational, and moral expectations of them.

  11. The existence of an uncanny amount of conditions, forces, and miraculous events are not what is in contention here. Miracles do happen - no matter what name we call them by. Small scale and large scale, they feature in our daily lives.
    The 'fine tuning' of the universe is a reality; not a matter of perspective. Sane people can agree on this.
    The difference between the atheist and other people is the significance of the miraculous; the cause not the events themselves.
    To most folks, the facts and forces that govern reality signify some sort of universal mind/intelligence that created and/or sustains reality. They see the patterns, coincidence, and 'synchronicity' of these forces and events as indicative of this universal mind at work.
    This concept can usually be summed up with the English word 'God'.

    The more credible/functional atheist generally does not deny the existence of these events and 'perceived' realities. Instead he attempts to appeal to 'random' material causes. He uses scientific sounding words like 'emergent' to describe things popping out of nowhere, and uses models of infinite regression to push away the unanswerable / tough questions. He will politely suggest that any other understanding of these wondrous circumstances than them being the result of pure chance, would be a result of madness, illness, or superstitious simple mindedness.
    In other words, it's ALL just a big coincidence - an accident, actually. Me, you, the Earth, The sun, history, poetry, science - all just a convenient convergence of events.
    This concept can usually be summed up with the term 'dumb luck', or the less flattering '$#!t happens'.
    The atheist may make pretentious noises about 'science' and 'reason', but theirs' is a metaphysical/philosophical position.

    1. CNTD
      In context of this post we see the sharpest possible contrast.
      Al Buraq (the flying polymorphic beast) versus the abiogenetic pond sludge.
      Let's at least attempt to be reasonable in our approach: Has anyone ever discovered a type of animal that is both large and can fly? Well yes. Is it possible that somewhere or some-when a creature such as Al Buraq could exist? Well, yes. Could an omnipotent God (as Allah is described) arrange for Muhammed to ride such a beast ANYWHERE?
      Well, of course - if He is God, why not?
      What are we left with then? A very unlikely sounding story about an unknown creature carrying an extremely famous Prophet and founder of a great religion on a strange inter-dimensional trip into lands unknown to meet the Creator (among others). Very strange, very unlikely sounding, but also profound and coherent within the thinking of Islam.
      What about the abiogenetic pond sludge?
      Has anyone ever observed an inanimate pool of 'pre organic' compounds transform into living organisms? Well, no.
      Is there any force (like a God) that the atheists have in mind that could transform the inanimate sludge into life? Well, no.
      According to the scientists who discovered the code of life (DNA) is there enough time for such a mysterious process to result in complex organisms (or ANY form life) of even the single cell scale? Well, no.
      So what are we left with then? Nothing. Pond sludge does not magically transform into life in a universe in which magic is not permitted. The sudden 'emergence' of life is an incoherence in naturalism that cannot be forgiven. Inventing new terns does not cut it.
      Even if the magic was permitted, there was no time for the sludge microbes to evolve into dogs, dolphins, and astronauts.
      And even given the magic and the time, the metaphysics used to reach the conclusion would be invalidated by it's assertion.

      So.... While I am not a Muslim, I see the story of a man riding a strange creature into another dimension to meet God far more coherent and interesting than an incoherent fantasy about mud or chemicals impossibly/magically mixing into a magic that gives rise to a purposeless and futile life-existence in an accidental (or very lucky, if you prefer) universe...'just cuz'.
      Al Buraq: ∞
      ABG Pondsludge: 0

    2. crusadeREX: Has anyone ever observed an inanimate pool of 'pre organic' compounds transform into living organisms? Well, no.
      Yet living organisms are nothing but complex organic chemistry, and we have a number of pieces of the puzzle worked out (building blocks forming abiotically, abiotically formed lipids spontaneously self assembling into vesicles which can have behaviour like simple cells, and on and on).

      crusadeREX: Is there any force (like a God) that the atheists have in mind that could transform the inanimate sludge into life? Well, no.
      What is the magical ingredient that needs to be added REX?
      Are you promoting some sort of vitalistic theory?

      crusadeREX: ...than an incoherent fantasy about mud or chemicals impossibly/magically mixing into a magic that gives rise to a purposeless and futile life-existence.
      Well, there's nothing impossible or magical about the various hypothesis regarding abiogenesis. It also doesn't necessarily entail purposelessness, though there is no reason to believe there is some uber-purpose to our lives and the universe.

      It is strange that people like yourself seem to have difficulty understanding things which we have actual evidence for (after all, life is nothing more than complex organic chemistry), yet have no problems believing in something which has no coherent, rational definition (god, whose attributes are incompatible with each other and with reality in various interesting ways, with masses of ink being spilt trying to resolve these problems without success).

    3. Havok,

      You have completely misread my comments.

      1. Lipids are not 'pre-animate' or 'pre organic' or even just plain alive, Havok. There is no indication they ever where or will be.
      They are hydrophobic chemicals used by organisms in a nested function. Your example would fit in well for a 'fine tuning' argument. Not so well, however, in a random emergence assertion.

      2. Vitalism? Creationism is my position. Vitalism is an attempt to scientifically distinguish between the living beings and inanimate matter in a material/chemical fashion. Vitalism falls into the same category as ID, in that sense. Vitalism looks for patterns in the data and interprets those patterns VERY differently than the eliminative materialist schools do.
      Vitalism has a solid metaphysical foundation. Eliminative materialism is self refuting nonsense of the highest and most ancient order.
      Does that mean vitalism is correct, and that I support it? No. It just means it cannot be just discarded as sheer pseudo-academic piffle in the same manner that eliminative materialism (EM henceforth) can.

      3. Abiogenesis is sheer fantasy and conjecture. It is lacking even the most basic elements of ANY sort of inquiry.

      Finally, I will address your observation/assertion:

      "It is strange that people like yourself seem to have difficulty understanding things which we have actual evidence for (after all, life is nothing more than complex organic chemistry), yet have no problems believing in something which has no coherent, rational definition (god, whose attributes are incompatible with each other and with reality in various interesting ways, with masses of ink being spilt trying to resolve these problems without success)."

      But at least you're a functional materialist, Havok.
      You have a job, friends, a daily routine, even if you cannot understand how the vast majority (and growing) people think. It has not ruined least yet.
      Who knows? You may be right, and everyone else is nuts; but that does not mean you have to assume an air of superiority or even hide behind words like 'science' to justify your own intuitions and desires.
      You have a hunch there is nothing more to the universe than chance. That's a metaphysical position.
      Some simple points on your observation:

      "It is strange that people like yourself seem to have difficulty understanding things which we have actual evidence "
      People like myself make up the vast majority of the human experience. We are not diminishing, but rather we resurgent in all the places that matter.
      As for the 'evidence', we do not share the same values as you, and thus interpret the meaning and weight of the 'evidence' very differently.

      "after all, life is nothing more than complex organic chemistry"
      Even if that were a proven 'how' (and it is not), it does nothing to explain the 'why' or 'when'.

      "no problems believing in something which has no coherent, rational definition"
      Existence is a rather strange bag of goodies, I'll grant you that.

      "..god, whose attributes are incompatible with each other and with reality in various interesting ways..."
      God is existence. His act/will is what makes comparability possible.

      "... with masses of ink being spilt trying to resolve these problems without success..."
      Problem, reaction, solution? You have a very political view of inquiry (and science). Herr Hegel would be proud as Faust!
      Still, even with your model there has been great success in the fields of philosophy and theology. Your own education is an example of that success.
      One such 'problem' resolved with all the ink and paper is that there are many ways to seek the truth. Many paths, many methods, and many ways to greet (or even obscure or distort) the truth once it is discovered.

  12. Darwinism is officially dead.

    But let us not fear, the atheists will simply prop up his lifeless body and walk around with it - like the guys in "Weekend at Bernies" - pretending and screaming that its alive.

    Vladimir shCherbak put one more fatal nail into Darwins coffin in 2008 with his book The Codes of Life (The Arithmetical Origin of the Genetic Code)

    Some pertinent quotes on his research discoveries:
    "There seems to be but one conclusion: the genetic code is itself a unique structure of arithmetical syntax. The arithmetical syntax is separated from natural events by the unbridgeable gap between the fundamental laws of nature and the abstract codes of the human mind (Barbieri, 2005). Chemical evolution, no matter how long it took, could not possibly have stumbled on the arithmetical language and initialized the decimalization of the genetic code. Physics and chemistry can neither make such abstractions nor fit the genetic code out with them."

    "There is no plausible chemical logic to couple directly the triplets and the amino acids. In other words, the principles of chemistry were not the sought essence of the genetic code"

    "The zero is the supreme abstraction of arithmetic. Its use by any alphabet, including the genetic code, can be an indicator of artificiality."

    For some not so strange reason, atheists are pros at denial of reality. They will look at this, shrug it off as worthless or meaningless and go on their merry little ways in their inane world view as though nothing has changed. Propping up old Charles & his obsolete ideas like Bernie, and smiling like innocents.

    The fact remains. Only minds can conceive abstractions. Only intelligence can conceptualize. Only intelligence can explain the existence of encoded prescriptive information. No stochastic processes can create algorithmic information. But DNA is just that, as well as descriptive and even meta information.

    Zero and the decimal place?

    There is no such thing in nature.
    Nature can no more conceptualize anything, let alone the zero or decimals, than rocks.

    This Darwinism's death knell.

    What remains to be seen is how long the Darwinistas will desperately hold on to the cadaver, hoping & praying (oops just hoping) that it is, by some miracle (oops er... selection/filter), really alive, somewhere way down within its rotting, putrefying flesh.

    Like flat earthers of old, we all know they prop up their idiotic error ridden theory to the very last breath, while persecuting the "New Galileo's", (you can quote me on that ;-)) that have pointed out its fatal flaws.

    Using empathetic logic, I already know what sorry excuses they will devise to make their failed theory appear alive and well.

    1. Gary H,

      Your comment is factually incorrect. See 'Life Ascending' chapter 2 on DNA, author Nick Lane. 'Life Ascending' was named the best popular science book in 2009 by the Royal Society.

      The triplet codon isn't arbitrary. Each triplet coding for an amino acid preferentially binds by physicochemical forces to the corresponding amino acid. That is, the strength of the binding is stronger for the amino acid than for any other amino acid.

      The chapter goes into much greater detail, so you have to read it for yourself. The point is, is that the code isn't arbitrary. It's not a matter of trying to explain by a code could arise accidentally. It's a preferential code based on the strength of molecular bonds.

    2. As usual, you don't get it.
      What a surprise.
      You didn't even understand the argument! -also as usual.
      Atheism has blinded your mind from seeing even the simple and obvious.
      You always miss the logical implications -like all atheists.

      Your own delusions & inability to "get it" on this simple point are as bad as Dawkins' glaring incompetence at logic and philosophy.
      DNA is artificial. You utterly miss the meaning of zero and the decimal place and I'd bet $ you didn't bother to read shCherbak.

      David Abel et al. also demolish the very possibility of Darwinian evolution without intelligence. Sadly, your adamant and foolish stance in atheism has blinded your mind.

      "Considering themselves to be wise, they became morons", comes to mind.

    3. David Abel et al. also demolish the very possibility of Darwinian evolution without intelligence
      Nice assertion you have there.

    4. Why don't you rebut the real points?

      Do you actually know anything about Abel's work?
      Read his papers, he shows with precise and correct thinking and facts why DNA cannot have arisen without intelligence.

      Like shCherbak, his research reveals the glaring fatal flaws in atheism's origins myth - flaws that they pretend don't exist.

    5. If you'd made a real point i might be able to :-)

      After your claim i read some of Abel's " is life unique?"
      Abel seems to make a good word salad :-)

      Perhaps you could present some of these flaws, or the reasoning behind Abel's word salad ?

    6. Really? So then you're saying that shCherbak's book makes no point?
      Good luck on that.

      "Good word salads"? The specialty of Darwinian fundamentalists and atheist wannabe experts.

      That's all you've done yourself so far, a nice tossed (in the garbage) salad of denial and/or blindness to the obvious.

      What don't you get about abstract arithmetical concepts encoded in DNA and the logical implications thereof?
      What don't you get about coded algorithmic information being impossible without intelligent source?

      Again, why don't you rebut the real points instead of pretending to yourself there are none? Am I to believe you're simply to dull to see them?

      Maybe you don't get that abstractions do not and cannot exist without intelligence?
      Do you really think DNA came up with coded zeros and decimal places by accident?
      As shCherbak notes, that's not even possible.

      Or again, maybe you just don't want to understand.
      Like most Darwinian disciples.

      In any case, as always, you merely deny evidence: any & all, and that's all you can do.

    7. Mr. Gary H.,

      David Abel is a certifiable crackpot. Some of his papers were discussed on this forum by a number of experts, including professors of mathematics, physics, and biology.

      I do not know Shcherbak, but he does not inspire much confidence. Al-Farabi Kazakh National University is not exactly a hotbed of hot research. I will take a closer look at his chapter, but so far it does not look promising.


    8. Anon your response to this is really so pathetic it brings me to believe you and your lot of "expert skeptics" are the real crackpots.

      And guess what, almost all the great scientists of the past were called crackpots or worse by the inane drone "consensus science" bozos of their day.
      History is riddled with "crackpots" like Galileo, Alexander Gordon, Semmelweiss, Joseph Goldberger, Alfred Wegener, Borsi Belousov, Boltzmann, Dalton, Tesla ... and on and on it goes.

      I'd rather side with brilliant "crackpots" like Dr Abel, Trevor, Sternberg, Dembski, Meyers, Behe etc., than any of the twerps on any skeptic web site.

      You start right off with an idiotic attack at Abel.
      That isn't an argument, that's just a stupid groundless assertion.

      Skeptics - ie atheists & Darwinian fundamentalists are almost always the real crackpots as history tells. Almost all the really great scientists of the past were creationists. Go figure.

      As even Voltaire described atheists: "The atheists are for the most part imprudent and misguided scholars who reason badly who, not being able to understand the Creation, the origin of evil, and other difficulties, have recourse to the hypothesis the eternity of things and of inevitability..."

      He was right on that.

      Proof? Dawkins, Coyne, PZMyers, Moran, Dennet, Harris, ... insert very long list of incompetent thinkers here...
      Enough proof right there.

      Do you really think a bunch of wannabe expert "skeptics", really know what they're talking about in biosemiotics?

      Sorry to have to break this to you but the average biologist is little more than a stamp collector and most of them know nothing at all about algorithmic information, codes, symbol systems or statistical mechanics.

      When by "skeptic" you mean the kind of patented nincompoop atheists one finds all over the net commenting as wannabe experts, you lose all credibility afaic.

      I didn't have to read more a few paragraphs to recognize misapprehension, incomprehension, wishful thinking, hand waving, speculation and really bad logic to see what kind of "experts" you're talking about.

      These little men & women in politically correct, fashionable "expert" masks are the last place I would look to find intelligent, well reasoned discourse.

    9. Gary H, for every crackpot who turned out to be right, there are many many more who turned out to just be crack pots.

      Dr Abel mixes a lot of words together, but doesn't seem to say anything of substance.

      You say you'd rather side with people like Abel, Sternberg, etc, but those people do not seem to have any arguments. Demski's math has been shown to be flawed, Behe's claims of IR have been shown to be flawed, and on and on.

      You might find their statements comforting or convincing, but that doesn't mean they stand up to scrutiny - and that is something that the successful "crackpots" claims manage to do.

    10. Mr. Gary H.,

      I provided a link to a forum where Dr. Abel's work was dissected by experts with knowledge in mathematics, physics, and biology. You are free to ignore their conclusions, of course, but I would like to know what level of expertise you have.


    11. Havok your "points" are mere unfounded assertions based on you counting on other atheists as your sources to tell you the truth. Not to mention your own obvious bias.

      Abels statements demonstrate simple, precise and clear thinking.
      Yours so far, like most web blog Darwinistas, demonstrate bare & empty assertions with no understanding of your opponents reasoning.

      I frankly doubt you even get what he's saying. And, judging solely on what you've said thus far, I don't believe you could "scrutinize" his reasoning worth beans.

      Unlike any of the evangelical "new atheist" twits who could not reason rightly if their life depended on it, Abel is one of the few that have brought forth powerful intelligent arguments against the patented Darwinian nonsense you choose to swallow.

      Contrary to your foolish claims, the many "crackpots" I noted are in a very large company of other crackpots that advanced science -in spite of salient persecution, black balling and humiliation by all the other pseudo scientists who were too stupid to understand.

      You yourself put yourself on the side of the "consensus" losers.

      " those people do not seem to have any arguments. Demski's math has been shown to be flawed, Behe's claims of IR have been shown to be flawed, and on and on."

      Really? This is so bad. The exact opposite is true.
      If only you had the honesty to look it up.

      I'm now convinced you're exactly the kind of "consensus science" (there is no such thing) adept that would have been black balling Galileo, Belousov, Boltzmann, Dalton, Tesla ...

      Indeed. You'd be there telling everyone how they've all been shown to have flawed research & proved wrong. All while you're the one who is wrong.

      Your statement on Behe is so typical and so laughable that the only proper response I ought to give is a hardy ROTFL.
      Ken MIller's ideas come to mind with all the terrible logic and deeply flawed ideas he presents.

      Now - Dawkins, Moran, Myers...
      "You might find their statements comforting or convincing, but that doesn't mean they stand up to scrutiny - and that is something that the successful "crackpots" claims manage to do."

      Exactly my thoughts on these "scientists" (stamp collectors) who are among the worst philosophers, biblical critics and idiotic thinkers in the world.

      Take it and swallow it. That's the red pill.

      I suggest you try to vomit the blue pill of blissful ignorance & illusion that you ingested, probably because illusion is what you prefer to reality anyway -like all atheists and Darwinian fundamentalists.

      There is not a first class intellect in all of Darwinian "science". But there are dozens of world class intellects against it.
      Abel is one of them.

      Oh and btw, I'm still waiting for at least an attempt at refutation of shCherbak's discoveries and their logical implications.

    12. Anon: "I provided a link to a forum where Dr. Abel's work was dissected by experts ... I would like to know what level of expertise you have."

      First, that's rather irrelevant. What is relevant is whether what I'm saying -and what your "experts" are saying- is true or not.

      My expertise is multiple. Informatics, theology, philosophy etc.

      Second, to me this question tells me that you believe in the whole "experts" thing, at least with regards to science.
      The "scientific elite" thing is a humongous insult to the intelligence.

      Here's the truth:
      You can gather 10 experts in almost any given domain and ask them each the same question and get at least 5 or 6 different answers. Many of which will be mutually exclusive.

      Physics and especially math are probably slightly more reliable, but that's it.

      All you have to do to see proof of this is to watch any talk show, any public debate or any in class discussion.
      Or, just look at Dr. Egnor's experience with some of those of his own field, like Steven Novella, whose "expertise" in logical deduction/induction etc., philosophy, history and information theory, is so sorely lacking that there can be little agreement on the logical implications involved in materialist vs deist or theist type discussions.

      And thirdly, in my experience, very very few atheists -most especially the web forum vidiot kind who ought to admit that everything they know in science they got from Star Trek, Star Wars and Marvin the Martian- are good thinkers with well reasoned ideas.
      Indeed, most of them cannot get 1+1 to = 2 (logically speaking). They can't seem to tell their right from their left.

      They are all saying "I don't believe it. Prove it to me and I still won't believe it".
      -The ubiquitous atheist response to all good solid evidence and good solid reasoning against the logical absurdities of atheism and its chief characteristic, i.e. denial.

      That's atheism in a nutshell, denial of reality.

      Finally, how much confidence do you think anyone should allow these "experts" in a thread which looks specifically designed to discredit Dr Abel?
      How much credibility should we give them seeing the very goal of many is to debunk whatever Abel says -because they themselves are bigoted antitheists?

      And where is Dr. Abel, invited to take part? Hmm?

      Thus, the sometimes little more than assertions & ad hominem nature of the referenced thread means its not to be taken too seriously.

      Moreover, the misunderstandings of some of these 'experts' is often glaring. They end up refuting straw men.

      This is not at all surprising:
      "Artificial life investigators and most applied biologists accepted this reality early on. Steering is required to achieve sophisticated function of any kind. Much of the life-origin research community, however, continues to 'live in denial' of this fact." -Biosemiotic Research Trends