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Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:22 am
Hi Lord Elevation:
I do not define God in precisely those terms. Remember, God created the Earth FOR Adam and Eve, with one exception: they were forbidden to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. So what did the Edenic duo do (i.e., at Satan's prodding)? They violated the one rule their Creator forbade them to break. Remember, the God of the Bible is not akin to the Greek and the Roman gods, who were immoral themselves, and derived sadistic pleasure from interfering with the lives of humans and assigned cruel and unusual punishments to some of their mortal enemies. Once humanity transgressed, no one would, on his or her own volition, accept the grace of God, even if it were freely offered. (Christ's crucifixion, as theologian Dr. James White, explained, "paid the price for" certain humans' misdeeds by enduring God's punishment so that God's elect would not have to face His wrath.) Consequently, God had to predestine who would ask Christ for absolution, or else everyone would go to Hell. Unfortunately, God could not save everyone, or else, as Dr. James White points out, God would not be considered a just God who punishes those who violates His Laws. Some might argue that predestination is similar to the Greco-Roman philosophy of fatalism. Nevertheless, the teleological aim of fatalism in the Bible concerns saving some persons from perdition through the Holy Spirit's power, since He is responsible for convicting God's elect, and "bringing them to Christ." The Greco-Roman philosophy, on the other hand, involves immoral immortals showing that they have the authority to plan the destiny of the mortals whom they exercise jurisdiction over, some of whom are also unscrupulous. But, to answer you question, God isn't a bully--He approaches Adam and Eve in a selfless way, as opposed to the Greek and Roman gods, who treat their subjects in a very selfish manner. Hence, when God sculpted order out of chaos, the word originally possesed the neutral connotation of randomness. Later, the term "chaos" acquired a negative connation when humanity sinned again God, and began to mean disorder and destruction (as your post implies)--BUT ONLY AFTER HUMANITY DISOBEYED THEIR CREATOR.
Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:28 pm
Hi Marcus Annex:
You brought up a great point about religion! There are usually two ways individuals approach beliefs: through the lenses of science and philosophy. The classical debate leads some to posit that quantitative studies, which transpire in scientific realms, cannot be interspersed with qualitative analysis, which occur in the philosophical environments. In simplest terms, quantitative analyses attempt to use mathematical laws to solve problems, whereas qualitative studies place emphasis on how logical assertions are. Historically speaking, quantitative searches are construed as objective whereas qualitative explications are considered as subjective. In other words, the former concept emphasizes something which can be tested free from personal bias, and, if it is true, attain repeatable results on experiments which follow, as opposed to the latter concept, in which the logic of a situation can be confounded by a personal opinion.
Nevertheless, the advent of quantum mechanics has shown the classical qualitative / quantitative divide to be a false dichotomy. In A Brief History of Time: From Big Bangs to Black Holes, Stephen W. Hawking, points out that Maxwell Planck, a scientist, noted that 1) "the more of knows about a particle's speed, the less they know about it's location, and vice-versa," and 2) answers in quantum physics generally yield a solution set (e.g., a quadratic formula) rather than a single solution (e.g., a point-slope formula). Although I believe that God, and not a big bang, was responsible for bringing our cosmos into existence, I find it interesting that 1) one can understand more about one idea, but only at the expense of the other, and 2) science does not always lead researchers to one answer to a problem, but to many outputs. Hawking's discussion, as a result, implies that there are no such things as quantitative or qualitative investigations when addressing the issue of religion, since both inquiries are used when scientific philosophers test whether certain creeds are credible.
Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:48 pm
Hi Lord Evolution:
Happy New Year (2005)!
I believe that humans are designed with the capacity to create languages, information of which, according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics does not evolve, but, rather, devolves over time. The opinion expressed reflects the opinions of Chemist Dr. Jonathan Sarfati's "The Greatest Hoax on Earth: Refuting Dawkins on Evolution," and Chemist Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith's "The Natural Sciences Know Nothing of Evolution." For example, inflective languages have lost many of their inflective cases, and have now become analytic (i.e., word order) languages, as pointed out by Dr. Sarfati in 148-9 of his book.
To understand my viewpoint on why language did not evolve in a progressive fashion, though, you have to comprehend the raison d' etre I now believe that big bang cosmology and life emerging from nonlife belong in fiction novels, not in science classrooms. (See my review of an evolution book written by a Marxist author below, which I will soon post on Amazon.com.)
(Critique): Materialism, and Its Influence on The Science of Evolution
Dear Dr. Skybreak:
I have read The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: Knowing What’s Real and Why It Matters, and found it, while vastly intriguing, largely predicated upon materialistic beliefs. The Science of Evolution mentions that Karl Marx challenges feudalism and divine right as being grounded in an archaic order which permits the upper class to exploit the poor and uneducated, and uses frequent Appeals to Heaven to keep them in their place (79). The Science of Evolution also observes that Marx, based on the understanding alluded to herein, wrote his Das Kapital, and dedicated it to Darwin (79). However, as Allene Phy-Olsen points out in her Historical Guides to Controversial Issues in America: Evolution, Creationism, and Intelligent Design, “Marx wanted to dedicate Das Kapital to Darwin, who politely declined the honor” (38). Although Marxism proclaims a direct objective geared towards eliminating manipulation of the poor by the rich, and creating a classless society in the process, Dr. Richard Dawkins, himself an evolutionist, acknowledges that no morality exists within the confines of a pure evolutionary system. As Dr. Dawkins argues in A River out of Eden, “On the contrary, if the universe were just electrons and selfish genes…such a universe would be neither good nor evil in intention. It would manifest no intentions of any kind” (132-3). Darwinism, rather than liberating and equalizing classes, has been implemented to maintain control over certain types of people. American slavery assumed white genetic superiority over blacks, sometimes even reducing members of the latter category to primates. The Nazis used Darwinian-based theories to justify the wholesale eradication of the Jewish population, who the Nazis deemed as inferior, and capable of contaminating the Aryan gene pool. Also, when Vladimir Lenin introduced Marxist policies into Russia, this rapidly deteriorated into an oppressive regime led by Joseph Stalin, a dictator. Rather than create a classless society, Marxism, by planting its roots in an amoral survivalist struggle, actually brought about the most debilitating economic condition of all: a malevolent dictatorship. Marxism’s objective failure can even be seen today in China, as a large amount of its inhabitants live in subpar conditions. Though Marxism seemed theoretically feasible, it failed to work in practical environments. Sir Karl Popper, the father of falsification, and a Darwinist, as Stephen Thorton’s “Karl Popper” recognizes, deemed neo-Marxist creeds unscientific due to their unfalsifiable nature (4). The doctrine of falsification, according to Sir Popper’s Logic of Scientific Discovery, mandates that disproof of a hypotheses or theories en parte disproves both the former and the latter en toto (41).
Perhaps the most obvious conception which cautions against confusing the theoretical with the practical involves the notion of the Big Bang (i.e., material formed from a genesis of absolute nothingness) which, while perhaps mathematically plausible, has yet to offer an explanation about how such events would unfold on realistic terrain. Stephen W. Hawking, in his Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes, acknowledges that humans can never know what transpired before the Big Bang, due to a complete “breakdown” of physical laws which demarcate the state of the world prior to its sudden development (91). Jim Al-Khalili, in Black Holes, Worm Holes, and Time Machines, notes that the singularity of a black hole is not a point of zero size possessing infinite curvature (65). It is, instead, a tiny ring which shrinks in size over an infinite period of time, approaching nothingness, yet never quite reaching that quantity (65). The aforementioned concept proves crucial, since it begs the following query: if certain scientists cannot conceive of mass shriveling out of existence, which disregards the First Law of Thermodynamics, then how can one logically reason the converse, and assert that our cosmos is self-created, an explanation which validates spontaneous generation, a theory that Louis Pasteur has already disproved? The universe possesses three possible origins: 1) it created itself; 2) it has always been extant; 3) it is designed. The first alternative resurrects the falsehood of spontaneous generation, while the second, as Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith realizes in his The Natural Sciences Know Nothing of Evolution, is simply information which is the work of a Designer (7). Since the universe is infinite, this means that the matter present in it, too, contains an eternal origin (7). This implies that the Cultivator of such matter must be omnipotent to create such pieces that are part and parcel of one puzzle; the Creator must be omnipresent to remain observant over all of that which is fashioned; the Designer must be omniscient in order to develop the proper scientific laws governing the movement of such particles without such edicts leading to their annihilation. For a fuller appreciation of this topic, see “Bethinking 2/6: John Lennox on Stephen Hawking’s ‘The Grand Design’”: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?
As mentioned in the opening paragraph, it is worth acknowledging that some Creationists believe the title of the book itself, The Science of Evolution, champions Darwinian arguments over Creationist propositions from the onset. Yet, these monikers imply that evolution is factual, whereas Creationism constitutes Sophistry, based on the annexation of the suffix “ism” to “Creation.” A more impartial way would entail counterbalancing the two diametrically concepts above (i.e., “Darwinism,” a synonym for both microevolution and macroevolution, against “Creationism”). One can rid the title of philosophical bias altogether by contrasting the science of “Evolution” with the science of “Creation.” Science is derived from the Latin term meaning “to know,” and, since epistemology is at the root of science, it would be helpful to allow the reader to decide which of the two metaphysical theories are truer to science, and, on that vein, whether or not one or both theories are even scientific. It should be duly noted that, in The Science of Evolution, all beliefs in divine creation are crowded under the mythic umbrella (14-15), whereas atheistic, naturalistic doctrines throughout the book are presented as factual. The implication one can draw from such a presentation is problematic: since science involves epistemology, and epistemology rejects the supernatural, science rejects the supernatural, leading some to the conclusion that atheism is a fact.
The Science of Evolution posits that Creationists reject all aspects of evolution (73), but this is not a conviction shared by every Creationist. As Dr. Jonathan Sarfati points out in his The Greatest Hoax on Earth: Refuting Dawkins on Evolution, genes do mutate, but bacteria acquire resistance by devolving, or losing information (68-9). Likewise, cross-breeding experiments succeed because organisms are of the same kind (34-7). While mixing kinds might add new traits to a species (45-6), information, in keeping with the Second Law of Thermodynamics, can only be lost, and never gained (262). Even the modern-day dinosaur, the Tuatara, has not evolved dramatically over a supposed “220 million years,” as pointed out in “Tuatara: New Zealand’s Living Dinosaur” (pars. 1-3). Moreover, as “Coelacanth: The Fish out of Time” recognizes, the Coelacanth Fish, though formerly estimated to have become extinct “65 million years ago,” is still living today (par. 1). Animals cannot be extinct and alive, as this is a logical contradiction, leading Dr. Wilder-Smith, in his The Natural Sciences Know Nothing of Evolution, to question the accuracy of Index Fossil Dating (11-4). In Mount St. Helen’s, too, recently formed volcanic rock was dated at millions of years. As Dr. Wilder-Smith’s The Natural Sciences Know Nothing of Evolution posits, the decay rates are tempered both by inorganic activity and atmospheric conditions (14 ff.).
According to The Science of Evolution, “the theory of evolution is falsifiable in principle, but, as a point of fact, science has never found a single thing to falsify it” (306); yet, further investigation into this sector has unearthed proofs which directly contradict evolution. Dr. Wilder-Smith, who teamed with fellow Creationist, Dr. Edgar Andrews, in debating two Darwinists, Dr. Dawkins and Dr. John Maynard-Smith, at Huxley Memorial Hall in Oxford, disproved three evolutionary claims, two of which are experiments performed by Dr. Stanley Miller and Dr. Harold Urey which allegedly prove abiogenesis, and one that is an argument used by T.H. Huxley against Bishop Samuel Wilberforce in a debate to suggest that a Creator is unnecessary, existentially speaking, for humans. Here are the hypothetical Darwinian claims: 1) if abiogenesis succeeds in the Miller-Urey experiment, then nucleotides must be extracted; 2) if abiogenesis transpires during the Miller-Urey experiment, then all molecules must be left-handed; 3) if primates are given perpetually working typewriters (“where time is infinite, the probability is one”), the Twenty-Third Psalm, like humans, can form randomly. Dr. Wilder-Smith falsifies such hypotheses by noting that no nucleotides are trapped during the Miller-Urey experiment, fifty percent of the molecules obtained during the Miller-Urey experiment are right-handed, and enzymes are simulacra to “reversible typewriters”: they “type and un-type,” always returning to their source. For Dr. Wilder-Smith’s detailed explanations to why such evolutionary hypotheses are invalid, see “Huxley Memorial Debate 1986 02 14 (7 Dr Arthur Wilder Smith – Prof of Pharmacology / Cons of Geneva))”: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7x_
V1VOH_UE>. As Dr. Sarfati’s Greatest Hoax points out, the concept of ape-hominids, especially Lucy, has been debunked (156-7). Sir Popper’s Logic of Scientific Discovery, too, only permits a single falsification per theory, whereas Irme Lakatos’ falsification model, as Dr. Sarfati’s Greatest Hoax notes, permits a theory to be defended by numerous auxiliary hypotheses in succession (76). In the Popperian model, one falsification can destroy a scientific theory (76). In the Lakatosian plan, one can hold onto a metaphysical concept in perpetuity simply by replacing one falsified auxiliary hypothesis with another one (76), as Irme Lakatos demonstrates in his “Falsification and the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes” (174-5).
I value the breadth of The Science of Evolution, and the time and energy which you have spent in carefully packing information into it. It is well-written, informative, and illuminated with timely evolutionary pictures, diagrams, charts, and other useful aids. Although I find the extensive evolutionary genealogies in The Science of Evolution fascinating, it is imperative to realize that wonderment and facts are ideologically different. A theory can be delivered brilliantly, and can crystallize a “3D” image in a reader’s mind of a highly accessible idea which is void of murky philosophical jargon—and yet the picture, for all its beauty, truth, and complexity, could turn out to be false. The parts of The Science of Evolution which I strongly disagree with are those which present Creation and Intelligent Design as simplistic and mythical, when, in fact, they are metaphysical ideas that prove just as intriguing as evolution. Consequently, I believe that challenging the reader to view science through an overly Marxist lens might weaken some of your arguments by eliding what Sir Popper considers a pseudoscientific principle (i.e., Marxism) with what you consider a scientific one (i.e., Darwinian theory), and, as a result, can make certain criticisms of Creation and Intelligent Design appear as caustic and defiant dismissals of a Controller, which, as you imply, is explicable from a purely naturalistic perspective. Let us part ways, and just accept the fact that the Creationist-Darwinian war, while controversial, benefits us by producing interesting scientific philosophies on both battlefronts.
Al-Khalili, Jim. Black Holes, Worm Holes, and Time Machines. 2nd ed. Boca Raton,
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Coelacanth: The Fish Out of Time. Web. <dinofish.com>. 28 Oct. 2014. 2 pars.
Dawkins, Richard. A River out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life. New York: Basic, 1995.
Hawking, Stephen. A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes. 10th ed. New
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100% Pure New Zealand. “Tuatara: New Zealand’s Living Dinosaur.” Web.
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Popper, Karl R. The Logic of Scientific Discovery. New York: Basic, 1959.
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Sarfati, Jonathan. The Greatest Hoax on Earth? Refuting Dawkins on Evolution. Atlanta,
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