Monday, May 10, 2010

Manna from the Earth: the Miracle of Food


[bread, the staff of life]

One of the most amazing and obvious miracles we experience every day is food.

The food that we eat is so complex and specialized, that no team of scientists and not even the world’s most advanced laboratories are capable of producing one loaf of bread from the basic ingredients of water, air and minerals. In fact, many people prefer food containing no artificial additives at all because of possible health risks. Synthetic food is completely a science fiction fantasy. There can hardly be a clearer proof of divine plan and purpose than food. Did food, this miraculous and mysterious substance, just happen to come into existence by chance, before humans, also by chance, came into existence? The idea is so ludicrous that only the most mentally perverted fool can believe it.

Next time we pick up a piece of delicious, nutritious food and are about to place it into our mouths, let’s give enthusiastic thanks to the One who created it.

61 comments:

Abe said...

>>>The food that we eat is so complex and specialized, that no team of scientists and not even the world’s most advanced laboratories are capable of producing one loaf of bread from the basic ingredients of water, air and minerals.<<<
The same can be said about dog sh*t.

>>>There can hardly be a clearer proof of divine plan and purpose than food<<<
And it follows that god's plan embraces dog sh*t. What a religion !

jewish philosopher said...

You may be right Abe. And those dog feces are then fertilizer which will cause more food to grow. It's an endless cycle of miracles.

gobbie said...

Bravo, something new!!

I'm as much in favor as the next guy for appreciation of the good things in life. But it doesn't prove anything about god. If there were no food, we wouldn't be here in the first place to argue about it.

BTW and interesting tidbit--cooked food was a human innovation, which allows easier digestion and extraction of calories. If we hadn't thought of that, we'd have to eat the raw food continuously to supply ourselves with enough calories.

jewish philosopher said...

"If there were no food, we wouldn't be here in the first place to argue about it."

And if there was no God there would be no food in the first place.

"cooked food was a human innovation, which allows easier digestion and extraction of calories"

Absolutely. Natural is not good. Man's duty is improve upon nature, including his own emotional nature. Circumcision symbolizes this.

Anonymous said...

Please excuse my going off topic, but this research causes more problems for evolution:

http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/view/BIO-C.2010.2

Evolutionist claim that ID porponents don't do research. I guess they are wrong.

Alex said...

Anonymous, keep on topic. And choose a name for yourself.

JP, maybe synthetic food isn't entirely science fiction:
http://www.caterersearch.com/blogs/guide-girl/2009/04/pierre-gagnaire-creates-the-worlds-first-entirely-synthetic-dish.html

Abe seems to be the kind of guy who, upon receiving the most awesome birthday gift, throws the gift in the trash because it was merely wrapped in newspaper.

Gobbie said...

"Please excuse my going off topic, but this research causes more problems for evolution:"

great. An open-access journal, funded by an
ID charity.

Not exactly high standards.

Shalmo said...

JP did you know SJ, the guy who runs the "Thoughs of a Secular Jew" blog, after years of bashing orthodox judaism has now become a christian?

Why I not see you on his blog trying to show him how wrong he is? I tried reasoning with him on how all the christian proof-texts like isaiah 7:14, or isaiah 53 are lies. Perhaps you can have better luck with him?

Or is it only atheist apostates who merit your attention?

jewish philosopher said...

"synthetic food isn't entirely science fiction"

I saw that too. I guess it depends what you call food. Coca Cola is pretty much man made too. I don't believe however that a full, balanced human diet could be created in a laboratory from simple chemicals. Protein at least would certainly be a problem.

"An open-access journal, funded by an ID charity."

Ad hominem.

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/ad-hominem.html

"is it only atheist apostates who merit your attention"

An atheist who becomes a Christian is actually getting better. An Orthodox Jew who becomes an atheist is getting much worse.

Gobbs said...

"Ad hominem."

Wrong.

Anon quoted research. In science there are standards for published research that gives it credibility. An article from an open-access journal which derives its income from the authors themselves and whose board of directors is funded by a pro-ID organization, does not meet standards of objectivity for a modern peer reviewed scientific journal.

Besides, it was far from "disproving" evolution. Its just part of Anon's pattern of quote-mining and confirmation bias in bringing "sources" that support his view. A scientific theory is derived by looking at the overall weight of evidence and constructing a model that makes sense of the observations. It IS NOT taking a preconceived view, then looking for evidence to support it.

If you want you can do a Google search to find "evidence" to "prove" that the world is flat, that the Jews were behind 9-11, and that the Kennedy assassination was a CIA conspiracy. But this is not a valid way of determining reality, and this is exactly what anon likes to do.

ID is really just a fall-back for creationists when confronted with the overwhelming evidence of common descent, fossils and evolutionary change.

Anonymous said...

"The food that we eat is so complex and specialized, that no team of scientists and not even the world’s most advanced laboratories are capable of producing one loaf of bread from the basic ingredients of water, air and minerals."

?????

Bread doesn't grow in the ground. It's made by people. Our advanced laboratories--Betty Crocker, Sara Lee, etc.--they make loaves of bread all the time.

Are drunk, high, or just distracted from all of the porn you watch?

Anonymous said...

"ID is really just a fall-back for creationists when confronted with the overwhelming evidence of common descent, fossils and evolutionary change."

It will be just as fun to watch how they scramble as research continues to show that the mind is what the brain does and is not separate from the brain, which means that there's no soul and no free will.

jewish philosopher said...

"does not meet standards of objectivity for a modern peer reviewed scientific journal."

I don't believe that most scientists are objective about evolution, because evolution greatly enhances their standing in society, as I've pointed out.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/05/atheism-in-nutshell.html

"Our advanced laboratories--Betty Crocker, Sara Lee, etc.--they make loaves of bread all the time"

Betty Crocker made you bread from the basic ingredients of water, air and minerals? How was it?

"which means that there's no soul and no free will."

Which is ridiculous.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/09/soul-our-greatest-gift.html

Anonymous said...

"Which is ridiculous"...unlike the "soul."

jewish philosopher said...

To claim that our belief in the soul is merely a delusion seems absurd. One may as well claim that our belief in anything is a delusion. In addition, without a soul, there would be no rational reason to punish criminals. No sane person says "I'm going to punish my car because the brakes failed and caused a fatal crash." One either fixes the car or throws it away.

Anonymous said...

But so much fraud gets published in the peer reviewed journals. And so much stuff with errors. What good is it?

And you did't get the point of my post,that the statement that Id proponents don't do research just isn't true.

broken record said...

"In addition, without a soul, there would be no rational reason to punish criminals."

You didn't learn your lesson from that other post where you and I (under some pseudonym I can't recall) went through this? A VERY rational reason to punish a criminal without a soul would be TO KEEP HIM OFF THE STREETS. If you don't want to call it a "punishment," fine. Call it a public safety measure. But the result (ie, the guy is put away for some time) is the same. It's quite rational. Anything you say to refute this just sounds silly.

Anonymous said...

But the mind has qualities which aren't qualities of matter, and the brain is just matter, so there has to be more to the mind than just matter.

And evn if evolution manages to answer the question of the development pf life, the origins of life are still a mystery, as is the origin of the universe. And the problems with evolution are huge. And the evidence from fossils for evolution is spotty. All those transitions like archaeopteryx and tiktaalik and Ida turend out to be dead ends. And actual examples of species to species change, which is what evlolution is are pretty much absent from the fossil record. This is why scientists have to say things like the fossil record is incomplete, or punctuated equilibrium. These are apologetics.

jewish philosopher said...

"But the result (ie, the guy is put away for some time) is the same. It's quite rational."

So why, when Toyota discovered that some cars were killing people, didn't they just put cars away for some time?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009%E2%80%932010_Toyota_vehicle_recalls

When Dell laptops overheated, why didn't we just temporarily take them off the street and then release them again?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dell_Inspiron#Overheating

According to this nonsense that "the mind is what the brain does and is not separate from the brain, which means that there's no soul and no free will" a human criminal and a badly built Toyota are basically the same.

We treat malfunctioning people entirely differently than malfunctioning machines because we believe that people have a soul and free will. Only a lunatic thinks otherwise.

The Gobbs said...

Why we punish:
1. revenge instinct
2. deterrence (to perpetrator and others)
3. public safety

No soul necessary. Just behavioral psychology and practical concerns.

Some animals with social structure also punish. Souls and free will?

Cut the nonsense.

jewish philosopher said...

Generally, criminal justice is based upon the concept of retribution - meaning that society has the right to take revenge on someone who has freely chosen to harm others.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retributive_justice

Prove that free will is a myth and you must entirely abolish criminal justice as we know it. Prisons should be replaced with psychiatric wards for people who can be rehabilitated and gas chambers for those who cannot.

jewish philosopher said...

To put it another way, a criminal who can prove that he has no free will would probably be judged not guilty by reason of insanity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insanity_defense#American_Law_Institute_Model

Scientists who have proven that we have no free will, will have proven that we are all legally insane. We are governed by uncontrolable impulses.

Anonymous said...

A reference that explains criminal justice after we have fully accepted that the soul and free will are fictions.

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/02/04/0915161107.full.pdf+html

jewish philosopher said...

He barely mentions how an abandonment of free will would affect the criminal justice system. He is amazed that even biologists have not accepted the atheistic craziness that we have no soul.

Anonymous said...

"He barely mentions how an abandonment of free will would affect the criminal justice system."

Untrue. Read the "A Proposal" section on page 5. The last paragraph in the first column, going onto the second, explains the effect. He says that the present systems would in some ways not differ significantly from the present one.

He also points out that some (e.g., Morse) argue that the question free will is already not part of the US legal system. So, for all your huffing and puffing about how great the soul is, etc.--it's really not so important. Your religious ideology inflates the matter.

If you were able to view things objectively and not bring in a prior bias of God, soul, and free will, I think you would have an easier time distinguishing (1) reality from religious fantasy and (2) important questions such as justice from unimportant ones like the soul.

jewish philosopher said...

The idea that we are soulless robots is an absurdity which even few atheists can believe and it would mean that all criminals are in effect innocent by reason of insanity.

Anonymous said...

We are no less human without souls. Don't be childish.

And no criminal (or saint, for that matter) would get a free pass. People who commit crimes would still go to jail. People who demonstrate extraordinary acts of altruism and courage would still be venerated.

However, we could dispense with time-wasters such as "Is alcoholism a disease?" "Are sex crimes an addiction?" We could then focus on utilitarian criteria to combat such social problems unencumbered by ancient dogma and superstition.

jewish philosopher said...

You want to have it both ways, which is ridiculous. You want to claim that we are responsible for our behavior even though we have no free will and therefore no choice.

According to you any accused criminal could correctly claim that he was governed by uncontrolable impulses and therefore innocent due to insanity.

Anonymous said...

"According to you any accused criminal could correctly claim that he was governed by uncontrolable impulses and therefore innocent due to insanity."

You still have not read/understood the article. The insanity defense would no longer be available or needed. No psychiatrists in court.

All that would need to be established was whether the accused committed the crime.

jewish philosopher said...

In every court today guilt depends not merely on action but also intent. I am innocent if I shoot an unarmed man who was pointing a toy gun at me if I intended to defend myself.

According to you any accused criminal could correctly claim that he was governed by uncontrolable impulses and therefore innocent due to insanity. Unless you want to throw out the insanity defence and put on death row people who are really demented and have no idea what they're doing.

The Globbs said...

Morality is social (tribal) instinct+agreed upon rules. Get over it, JP. Just like higher animals.
No soul needed.

We have other emotions, too, such as love or jealousy. Just like animals. No soul needed.

Get over it, JP.

The fact that we stopped burning witches comes from rationality and abandoning magical concepts such as the soul or demons. I'd say that's progress. If you disagree, say so.

Gobbie said...

"According to you any accused criminal could correctly claim that he was governed by uncontrolable impulses and therefore innocent due to insanity."

Reductio ad absurdum and slippery slope argument. No good. Of course nobody would accept such an argument, whether or not he believed in a "soul".

broken record said...

Re: JP's response at Thursday, May 13, 2010 4:06:00 AM.

I should've expected it would totally go off on an unrelated tangent, bringing in ideas that were not part of the conversation -- since it couldn't tackle my challenge head on.

Anonymous said...

The idea of intent goes out the window. Intent won't matter. Insanity won't matter. What will matter is what should matter: did the person do the crime and can it be proven?

The proposal really isn't very difficult to grasp. The simplicity and sensibility of it must be frying your ideology-saturated brain cells.

jewish philosopher said...

"Morality is social (tribal) instinct+agreed upon rules. Get over it, JP. Just like higher animals."

So we should live like chimpanzees

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimpanzee#Aggression

or monkeys

http://www.slate.com/id/2176419

"Of course nobody would accept such an argument"

Which proves again how ridiculous atheism is.

"What will matter is what should matter: did the person do the crime and can it be proven?"

So if my car skids and runs over a pedestrian I should be put to death for murder? I did kill him.

Anonymous said...

"So if my car skids and runs over a pedestrian I should be put to death for murder? I did kill him."

If the car skidded, then you were applying the brakes hard to stop the car. You might be charged for involuntary manslaughter.

jewish philosopher said...

But in your crazy world, we don't look at intent. We just look at results.

Same thing: A four year picks up his father's gun, starts playing with and shoots someone's head off. Put him to death. We can prove he murdered. Nothing else matters.

Shalmo said...

Why do atheists bother with systems of order then?

If you are an atheist then fundamentally your epistemology biulds on a universe of randomness. You have to first define how you can fit order into there.

Our systems of ethics, how we conduct law and all the rest come from a predisposition of order. And like it or not, they come from the predisposition that a higher power exists. In the past all belief systems of some form of higher power were what allowed people to develop systems of law; for just as the gods administered justice so too did man on earth

That epistemology of order is what allows law and systems of ethics to function. An atheist abandons that epistemology and thus has to explain why he can even justify order, before he can move on to addressing how systems of ethics and law work

Anonymous said...

"But in your crazy world, we don't look at intent. We just look at results."

Sigh. The results were that the brakes were applied but the car did not stop in time.

Same thing in your murder case, where the child is clearly not responsible for his actions or the results of them. The punishment would not be death (and why are you trying to poison the well by bringing in the death penalty?) but it would would be the most pragmatic solution possible--such as charging the parents for making a gun available to the 4-year-old and such as proper counseling to help the child deal with the awful thing that happened.

So, what's happened here? You have been utterly destroyed in your fantasies of Gods that cook, free will, and the soul. You have been shown that a criminal justice system that already discards the idea of free will to some extent can totally jettison the concept and get better results.

You are flailing and trying to lead the argument to places where it was never headed. I never said anything about death penalty. In fact, at first you were harping on everyone getting off scott-free for not having responsibility.

Indeed, it your religion that is HUGE on the death penalty. The Torah can talk ENOUGH about the death penalty. The Torah loves and worships death. Oh sure, the Talmud scales things back a bit, but this is because Torah is utter nonsense without an interpreter. Torah is too weak, barbaric, and insane to stand on its own. The Torah is a figurehead law.

No one lives by the Torah -- not you, not anyone. So, run along and try to live by Torah. Just please invite me when they finally stone you to death for picking your nose on the wrong evening after a full moon. Let the rest of us live and continue living according to a justice system that applies reason and pragmatism.

Anonymous said...

Shalmo,

Please tell us why you think atheists bother with systems of order, since you know so much about atheists.

However, you don't know what words like "epistemology" mean. Any jerk can string together words to try sounding impressive. It's not working in your case.

If you have a question, just ask it in a direct way, without obfuscation. When you do this, you'll see how your question and the statements following it are quite stupid.

jewish philosopher said...

"So, what's happened here? You have been utterly destroyed in your fantasies of Gods that cook, free will, and the soul."

What's happening here is a transparent scam.

On one hand you believe that there is no God, soul, afterlife, free will, etc. You want to indulge your addictions without guilt.

On the other hand, you don't want people to realize that you are a selfish, evil person, which you are, so you claim that you still believe that we are morally responsible for our behavior and we are obligated to live according to the Golden Rule.

This doesn't make any sense of course, but it's an example of a Big Lie: a lie so colossal that no one would believe that someone could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Lie

"No one lives by the Torah -- not you, not anyone."

Sure I do - according to the Talmudic interpretation.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/05/eternal-torah.html

Anonymous said...

Big lie? Sounds exactly like Sinai.

"Sure I do [live by the Torah] - according to the Talmudic interpretation."

The Talmudic is one of many interpretations. You may as well follow the Christian or Islamic interpretations. All are equally BS.

So, no, you do not live by the Torah. You live by some evil little man's view of Torah. On blind faith, you grant him authority to tell you how to live. However, you don't want people to see how scared and insecure you are, so you insist that they follow your evil little man, too.

It doesn't make any sense, of course.

jewish philosopher said...

The Talmud is clearly authentic.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2010/03/jewish-literature-seeing-effects-of.html

jewish philosopher said...

Speaking of evil little men, have you heard of Charles Darwin?

Shalmo said...

Anonymous it was a geniune question. (I don't even know which Anonymous is which; JP please stop letting those Anonymous who don't take on formal name from posting)

For systems of ethics and law to exist one has to start from an epistemology of order. One begins with how the higher power itself created an ordered universe, with do's and don'ts.

That is how we biuld morality from. Morality comes from pressuppositions that indeed there is a final word on what is right or wrong, other we are trapped in a maze of moral relativisim. This presupposes a higher power.

All systems of ethics and law are biuld on such a presuppositional paradigm. From the polytheists to the monotheists, its all the same. All societies have used that same epistemology to create law and order.

An atheist abandons that epistemology by his creed. You can't have your cake and eat it too!

Please justify your epistemology first.

How do you how right and wrong are determined? How can you be certain a specific law is just?

lots of questions with no answers

gobbie said...

Right and wrong are made made concepts, defined by culture, human instinct, and social rules. For example, most mammals care about their kin. Then we institutionalize it. Then, by agreement, having learned the hard lessons of the result of chaos, we choose to extend the no harm policy to a widening circle-- within our tribe, our country, are co-religionists, whatever. Our for mutual benefit, with some degree of selfish motivation.

Take even a Muslim suicide bomber. In most cases these people think they are doing a moral thing. I have no question that they really believe it. Did God command them to do it? No. But their "ethical" instincts-- tribal defense, sense of justice (however perverted)and indignation at injustice, tell them that this is the "moral" thing to do. Then their clergy tells them its a mitzvah.

JP, the reductio ad absurdum fallacy applies. For unless you could credibly demonstrate, that if we don't believe in a soul, this would lead to no punishment, you haven't shown anything.

Anonymous said...

If the only reason we punish criminals is to prevent them from commtin further crimes, then there is no point in punishing someone who now too old, for example to continue to commit crimes, e.g., an aging Nazi.

And if morality evolved to let us live in tribe, like chimpanzees, then there is no reason to extned morality, beyond our tribe. Chimp kill members of other troops. We should have no problem with killing foreigners. But we extend morality to all mankind.

And if morality evolved by a Darwinian process, where did humans acquire the capacity to behave in a completely unDarwinian way, eg, Mother Theresa giving up jer opportunity to reproduce to deovte herself to the poor of Calcutta?

jewish philosopher said...

"For unless you could credibly demonstrate, that if we don't believe in a soul, this would lead to no punishment, you haven't shown anything."

All criminal justice systems presume that we have free will and that society has the right and responsibility to visit retribution on people who make destructive choices. Free will, the ability to make choices that are not determined by prior causes, is apparently the result of some supernatural entity.

According to atheists any accused criminal could correctly claim that he was governed by irresistible impulses and therefore innocent due to insanity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irresistible_impulse

All this flies in the face of common sense and discredits atheism.

Gobbie said...

JP said: "According to atheists any accused criminal could correctly claim that he was governed by irresistible impulses and therefore innocent due to insanity."

He could claim whatever he wants. But I think that in my previous comments I stated clearly (also outlined in more detail in Abe's article) how and why we have moral standards and punish people. No "soul" or free will is required for deterrence, retribution or public safety. "free will" is a convenient term for volition.

The conclusion you jump to regarding atheists is merely speculation and without basis. Have atheists claimed that criminals should not be punished, for the reason you have given? I don't think so.

The determination of mental illness is a convenient way to determine punishment, that's all. I psychotic schizophrenic who kills somebody-- obviously deterrence and retribution are less relevant, but protection of the public is.

Until the various anon people give themselves I name I won't respond to their comments.

Anonymous said...

Shalmo,

"For systems of ethics and law to exist one has to start from an epistemology of order. One begins with how the higher power itself created an ordered universe, with do's and don'ts."

Prove it. Don't just play philosophy and make these grand-sounding assertions with no support. Give the formal proof.

And by the way, take a look at some of the assumptions of your reasoning. Why does one have to start where you say. Is this always true? How do we know? What are the alternatives, and how do they stack up? How does one get from "order" to "intelligence" to "deity" to "[my particular] God"?

You and JP share the same problem: You are both willing to make these certain pronouncements, but you are unwilling to work out the reasoning and the philosophy in detail. Why? Because you're logic falls apart under scrutiny.

Take the so-called Kuzari or anti-conspiracy principle, for example. This argument sounds pretty compelling until you look under the covers and realize that it tries to get around reality and is not a logically satisfying argument. Ultimately, it relies on special pleading--"our story is utterly unique and not subject to general laws that govern in other instances."

This is the exact same special pleading made for God, for Israel, for the U.S., for humanity, and for every other religion. It's all the same level of nonsense.

jewish philosopher said...

"Have atheists claimed that criminals should not be punished, for the reason you have given? I don't think so."

This is because atheism is so absurd, no one but a mad man can really believe it.

"This is the exact same special pleading made for God, for Israel, for the U.S., for humanity, and for every other religion. It's all the same level of nonsense."

Until someone comes up with a detailed, plausible, atheistic explanation for the origin of Judaism, I'll stick with "God did it".

Anonymous said...

"Until someone comes up with a detailed, plausible, atheistic explanation for the origin of Judaism, I'll stick with "God did it"."

So you're waiting for someone ELSE to tell you a story you like? I'm sorry but that's not the work of an intellectual. Do your own damn research and get the right explanation.

Until I see some extraordinary evidence to match the extraordinary claim that God could or does exist, I'll stick with "Fuck him."

jewish philosopher said...

I would tend to agree with Sherlock Holmes:

Eliminate all other factors, and the one which remains must be the truth.

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Sherlock_Holmes#The_Sign_of_the_Four_.281890.29

Anonymous said...

God is not a factor.

jewish philosopher said...

Only according to your wishful thinking, which is a logical fallicy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wishful_thinking

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 6:20

All the scientific theories of origins of the universe and the fine tuning of the universe to accomodate life rely on a story that is utterly unique and not subject to general laws that govern in other instances.

And origin of morality and the mind rely a story that is utterly unique and not subject to the general laws that govern in other instances.

Nathan

Joseph said...

Synthetic food is completely a science fiction fantasy.

You're saying that like it's a bad thing.

Mr. Cohen said...

Mechilta on Parshat Yitro, Chapter 1:

Rabbi Yehoshua taught:

...They said: This mann that G_d [literally, the Omnipresent] gave us can taste like:
bread, meat, fish, grasshoppers or any taste in the world.
_________________________________________
To receive a variety of quick Jewish Torah quotes, go to:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DerechEmet/
and click on: JOIN THIS GROUP.
For Jewish people ONLY!

Takis Konstantopoulos said...

That's funny because a fellow next door told me the other day that food was created not by the One but someone else called Allah. I wonder what the truth is...

jewish philosopher said...

"Allah" is just Arabic for "God".

Takis Konstantopoulos said...

Thanks for clarifying. But then this makes it even more mysterious for me. I thought that there were 3 gods, at least, one for Jews, one for Muslims and one for Christians and this is the reason these religions are fighting one another.