Monday, June 20, 2011

The Miracle of the Butterfly


[perfect beauty]

On Saturday morning, while walking home from my local synagogue, I noticed a butterfly floating around my neighborhood.

I began to consider for a moment what a beautiful miracle this tiny creature is.

A monarch butterfly, for example, has six legs and four beautiful wings. It has two compound eyes and is about 1.3 inches long and 0.15 inches wide and weighs about 0.41 grams.

In man made technology, the state of the art today is the microdrone. It weights about a kilogram and must be recharged every 30 minutes and guided constantly by human operators and of course it cannot reproduce itself. Although quite remarkable (see demo), it is still laughably primitive compared to the beautiful, tiny butterfly, which guides itself, feeds itself and reproduces itself all in a tiny package weighing half as much as a dollar bill. (I will admit however that the microdrone will send you some interesting videos of what's going on in your neighbor's backyard, if you really need that and don't mind the $40,000 price tag.)

We must stand in awe of God's simple, commonplace creation - the tiny butterfly flitting about at this time of year. All of mankind's combined wisdom does not even approach it's sophistication.

[The atheist will respond: The butterfly merely appears to be exquisitely designed by a superhuman intelligence. However actually blind chance could have done it. A monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type the complete works of William Shakespeare. To this I respond with the duck test: If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. Absent very strong evidence to the contrary, things are what they appear to be.]

107 comments:

natschuster said...

Scientists are having difficulty explanining the evolution of metamorphosis. A butterfly starts off as a wrom like creature, then it goes to sleep, it's body dissolves, then reforms as a butterfly.

ksil said...

here is an idea: rehash the same tired, refuted arguements OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER again on your blog.

that way you can keep it fresh and active

LOL

(the watchmaker arguement?!?!? really?!?! really?!!?)

jewish philosopher said...

Refuted only in the minds of delusional evolutionists, but not anywhere else.

natschuster said...

I understand that evolutionists are having sme trouble explaining the evolution of metamorphosis. A caterpillar is wormlike. It goes to sleep. The entire catepillar disintigrates. Then the msuh turns into a butterfly.

Abe said...

Yeah, aren't the evolutionary dynamics that transform the caterpiller remarkable? You don't even need a god to effect the metamorphosis.
But if you want the scholarly scientific lowdown, here's a good starting point:
http://www.iscid.org/papers/DeRoos_InsectMetamorphosis_12152006.pdf

But you wouldn't listen to the explanations anyway, and you certainly wouldn't accept it. We could kick 50 years worth of science up your sorry butt and you still wouldn't get it.

Of course then, you could always ask the formidable question; "How did god do it?" When you figure this out, just subtract "god" from the equation and you have arrived at a answer.

Fundies expell much hot air with the same old crap -- they simply bend the rules of logic in the service of their ossified religion. However, there comes a time when the truth becomes inevitable. I cannot understand why you cannot come up with better explanations for your delusions, but, you persist with the same old barf.

Why not take responsibility for your wretched life and embrace the greater more beautiful mystery; REALITY.

Reality is beautiful and it is all what any of us really has.
Except of course the delusional chareidi. After immersing themselves for years in insipid mythology, it is no wonder that very few have emerged with their sanity intact.

NC said...

Other than misrepresenting evolution and using a false analogy, a perfectly cogent argument.

jewish philosopher said...

"Reality is beautiful and it is all what any of us really has."

Exactly, God's handiwork. But of course, for obvious self serving reasons murderers, addicts and scientists don't like that answer, as I have explained here:

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

"Other than misrepresenting evolution"

I suppose that you're referring to my failure to mention natural selection.

"Advocates of Intelligent Design contend that complex biological features cannot arise by chance, the implication being that chance equates to sentient forces. From a scientific vantage, however, the driving force of adaptive evolution–natural selection– is itself the antithesis of chance."

http://blog.oup.com/2010/02/evolution/

Fine. However, according to atheists, how did the laws of nature originate which do this non-random selecting? By chance.

"Short of invoking a benevolent creator, many physicists see only one possible explanation [for our universe being suited for life]: Our universe may be but one of perhaps infinitely many universes in an inconceivably vast multi­verse. Most of those universes are barren, but some, like ours, have conditions suitable for life."

http://discovermagazine.com/2008/dec/10-sciences-alternative-to-an-intelligent-creator

So the natural selector which is our universe itself is the result of random chance. Then this randomly created universe began selecting those random mutations which are best able to reproduce according to its own randomly created rules.

It's ultimately simply blind chance all the way down, but it merely APPEARS to be exquisitely designed.

Other than confirmation bias (also called confirmatory bias or myside bias), a tendency for people to favor information that confirms their preconceptions or hypotheses regardless of whether the information is true, I see no logical basis for this belief.

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

Absent very strong evidence to the contrary, I assume things are what they appear to be.

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

When an atheist looks at himself in the mirror, he must believe with a perfect faith that he is not a creation of God and he is not imbued with a God given soul. Rather, he is in fact a zombie which has been produced by an infinite random chance interaction of particles. Furthermore, he is hallucinating that he has free will and that he is inhabiting his body but he is not only his body.

NC said...

"Fine. However, according to atheists, how did the laws of nature originate which do this non-random selecting? By chance."

JP, many fine religious people that God is, in fact, nature and all of its laws, including evolution. There is nothing wrong with that. I love and appreciate butterflies as much as anybody.

"It's ultimately simply blind chance all the way down, but it merely APPEARS to be exquisitely designed."

You again are falling for the fallacy of serendipity and post-hoc probability. After something has happened the chance of it happening is 100%, regardless of how unlikely you imagine it appeared to be beforehand. You have to look at the prior probabilities, which in this case are unknown (since we don't have experience of other universes and how often they create life.)

The analogy that you have given in the past regarding identifying gambling cheaters via probabilities is not a valid analogy. We are able to calculate probabilities in that case only because of prior knowledge and experience of how gamblers and cheating works.

Think about it. You actually have no idea whatsoever about what the probability is of life occuring in a universe. It is not meaningful to specify the chance of something happening after it has already occured, and you have no other prior examples to make a prediction.

Since "unlikely" things happen everyday, (like a person winning the lottery) they cannot be used to prove any "design". And the fact that man cannot synthesize it means nothing either. We can't manufacture an asteroid, but that doesn't mean that it can't be naturally occuring, by chance.

jewish philosopher said...

"You actually have no idea whatsoever about what the probability is of life occuring in a universe."

That's because we do not yet even understand how complex the most simple life, such as bacteria, actually is. The newest computer model is only a first step toward an accurate simulation of a whole working cell.

http://www.sciencecodex.com/researchers_make_the_leap_to_wholecell_simulations

But it's pretty complex.

We do know that the chance of something, like my heart for example, which demonstrates complexity and purposefulness, originating by chance is impossibly small.

Ignoring punctuation, spacing, and capitalization, a monkey typing letters uniformly at random has a chance of one in 26 of correctly typing the first letter of Hamlet. It has a chance of one in 676 (26 × 26) of typing the first two letters. Because the probability shrinks exponentially, at 20 letters it already has only a chance of one in 2620 = 19,928,148,895,209,409,152,340,197,376 (almost 2 × 1028). In the case of the entire text of Hamlet, the probabilities are so vanishingly small they can barely be conceived in human terms. The text of Hamlet contains approximately 130,000 letters.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_monkey_theorem#Probabilities

Atheists must fall back on infinite multiverses to make their religion work.

I am inclined to say that things which appear to be designed (and atheists agree that life does at least appear to be designed) are designed.

This is besides the fact the that the infinite, eternal multiverse theory seems to violate either the first law of thermodynamics, the second law of thermodynamics, or both.

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

natschuster said...

Abe:

I had trouble opening the site you linked. So I did a quick Googel search on the evolution of metamorphosis. The best explanation I could find was the theory that a cockroach hybridized with a velvet worm. This doesn't explaint he pupa stage. This is why I have trouble accepting evolution.

Abe said...

"Exactly, God's handiwork. But of course, for obvious self serving reasons murderers, addicts and scientists don't like that answer, as I have explained here:

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

Stupid people quote themselves and try to make themselves look smart, but smart people argue with logical precision so that the stupid people will know what they're talking about.

jewish philosopher said...

Nobody can convince a crazy person however.

NC said...

"I am inclined to say that things which appear to be designed (and atheists agree that life does at least appear to be designed) are designed."

I am inclined to say that books that appear to be written by men, are in fact written by men.

[In fact, since all books other than the bible, we know in fact are written by man, and we know of no other books written by god, we have no "god books" to know when a book is written by god.]

I am inclined to say that laws which appear to be the product of men of ancient societies with different morals than ours, are in fact the product of such societies.

I am inclined to say that since 99.9% of religions are clearly invented by man, the remaining 0.1% is also invented by man.

I am inclined to say, that since god hasn't spoken to man for at least 2000 years, he never has or he has died.

I am inclined to say that when bad things happen to good innocent people, it is a bad thing, not a good thing done by a "loving" god punishing them for their own benefit.

I am inclined to say that the Talmud, which only appeared only thousands of years after the Torah was supposedly given, was in fact invented at that later time.

I'm only following common sense. It looks like a duck, it must be a duck.

jewish philosopher said...

No, you're not saying that things probably are what they appear to be. You are arbitrarily saying  that all literature must be human.

What would you say then about SETI?

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

By your logic, even if we would pick up a radio broadcast from another galaxy, it must be coming from people living out there since all radio signals other than this one  we know in fact are transmitted by man, and we know of no other radio signals transmitted by aliens, so this signal must have a human origin too.

Incidentally, the Torah is the world's oldest, most original and most influential book. Once one has established that God created us, I can't think of a better candidate for being His message to mankind.  

ksil said...

"Nobody can convince a crazy person however"

so true

natschuster said...

NC:

The Torah does not look entirely like other books. It contains a unique national revelation. It contains lots and lots of stories about our ancestors doing of bad things. Just this Shabbos we read about the entire nation turning into despicable cowards. And the Torah is unique in that it works so well as a guide for living a good life. I don't knwo of any book that does auch a good job.

NC said...

"You are arbitrarily saying that all literature must be human."

Arbitrary? Setting the bible aside, is that not true? SETI is just an experiment, nothing has come of it, and it proves nothing. Its totally hypothetical, I'm talking about reality. Do you know of any literature that is not human?

BTW a few more conclusions from your "duck is a duck" idea, or "I am inclined to say that things which appear to be ...":

I am inclined to say, that since there appears to be no life after death, heaven or hell, no evidence has ever appeared for their existence, so there most likely is no such thing.

I am inclined to say that it appears that since science is figuring out more and more about the chemical basis for life, most likely we will figure out the chemical basis for consciousness as well.

I am inclined to say that it appears that prayer has no effect, so it probably has no effect.

I am inclined to say, that it appears that nature follows certain laws of physics at this time, so most likely it followed the same laws of physics 3000 years ago.

You see, JP, I am just following simple inductive reasoning.

jewish philosopher said...

NC, I think that you are using a straw man argument.

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

I am claiming: something presumably is what it appears to be unless overwhelming evidence indicates otherwise.

You are refuting: You are claiming that anything which has not yet been discovered does not exist. [Which is silly.] Therefore no non-human authors exist and therefore the Torah must have a human author.

Abe said...

"natschuster said...
Abe:

I had trouble opening the site you linked. So I did a quick Googel search on the evolution of metamorphosis. The best explanation I could find was the theory that a cockroach hybridized with a velvet worm. This doesn't explaint he pupa stage. This is why I have trouble accepting evolution."

There are scores of sites that attempt to explain it. Again, insisting that a god perfected the metamorphic mechanism explains nothing. First you have to demonstrate that a god exists, a goal that is as demanding as the proof of the existence of the elusive leprechuan or tooth fairy.

Here is another address for that unresponsive website:
http://www.iscid.org/boards/ubb-get_topic-f-6-t-000680.html

jewish philosopher said...

I'm saying: If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. Absent very strong evidence to the contrary, things are what they appear to be.

You're saying: If something is unique it can't be real. There has never been a black president before Barak Obama, so it appears to me that he's really white wearing black makeup.

NC said...

All of my statements I believe to be correct, it wasn't a straw man argument at all! (that would be the case if I was making obviously absurd conclusions from your rule, to ridicule it, which I wasn't. I was just applying it as I see fit)

"You're saying: If something is unique it can't be real."

Now that's a straw man argument! How am I saying that? If all swans that we observe are white, and I say "all swans are white", that would be true until we in fact saw a black swan. The rule would then have been disproven. That is inductive reasoning. You have data points, and make a rule from it.

All I said is that we have data points for books, and all of them are for human books. Many of those books are unique. One can argue that the Torah is as well. You are still stuck, however, with the problem of not knowing what a divine book looks like, how its different than a human book. If you could provide me with a good data point, on another divine book, I would know what a divine book looks like, and would be able to judge whether the Torah is divine. Or provide some other evidence that justifies breaking the rule.

Until then, I would presume (although it is not conclusively true) that the Torah is probably not divine.

"You are refuting: You are claiming that anything which has not yet been discovered does not exist."

Slight correction:...most likely does not exist, until proven otherwise.

" I am claiming: something presumably is what it appears to be unless overwhelming evidence indicates otherwise."

Right, which is why I believe all of the statements that I made in the last 2 comments.

NC said...

I think that I have explained inductive reasoning quite clearly. Your duck rule is a simplification of inductive reasoning. Its how we think, and its also how science works. We derive rules for data points, from observations. We make a model that best (but not necessarily perfectly) fits the data points. The model is revised or changed as we get more data points.

So we make assumptions about the unseen from the seen. Even a simple measurement like getting onto a weight scale is inductive, since we assume the instrument measures properly (from previous experience) and therefore conclude that this measurement is correct as well, even though we cannot be 100% sure.

natschuster said...

I wouldn't say there is no evidence for the afterlife. There are those near death experiences. And most adults don't hope for things that don't exist, e.g. magical powers. But people hope for an aftertlife. That provides evidence (not proof) that the afterlife exists.

natschuster said...

And the laws of physics were in place three thousand years ago. The whole point of a miracle is that the laws of physics were suspended.

And it looks like every discovery indicates that life is mre complex than we ever imagined. So the purely naturalistic explanations are moving futher away.

jewish philosopher said...

"Or provide some other evidence that justifies breaking the rule."

No problem. Mount Sinai.

http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/proof-torah-true/

"So we make assumptions about the unseen from the seen."

Which means that we know that anything demonstrating complexity and purposefulness has an intelligent designer. It doesn't mean that no non-human intelligent beings exist because we haven't seen one. I have never heard anyone argue "There cannot exist extra-terrestrial intelligent beings because we haven't met one yet."

NC said...

Nathan, that is pretty bad evidence. Near death experiences can be easily produced (and are) by brain hypoxia or drug induced brain states. It has nothing to do with "crossing over".

We hope for lots of things, like winning the lottery or that our enemies should drop dead. That doesn't make them happen.

As a former biology teacher, do you consider your arguments to be "evidence"? I'm glad you didn't teach my kids biology!

natschuster said...

NC:

It doesn't make them happen, but those examples are things that are real.

natschuster said...

NC:

There are different forms and degrees of evidence. And my students had a pass rate on the NYS RCT test that was higher than the rest of the department by one standard deviation. Some of my students passed the NYS regents, even though they couldn't read the Regents due do deep dyslexia.

NC said...

"So the purely naturalistic explanations are moving futher away."

I get it. So by learning and understanding more, we actually know less about nature. Brilliant.

By extension, primitive man, who new almost nothing about nature, actually understood much more than us. In fact, Neanderthal man must have been a genius!! Too bad he couldn't write down all of his knowledge and understanding.

NC said...

"No problem. Mount Sinai."

As we have previously established, the Kuzari argument is not based on evidence but is argument by special pleading and is fallacious.

""So we make assumptions about the unseen from the seen."

Which means that we know that anything demonstrating complexity and purposefulness has an intelligent designer."

No, it means that we can infer that complexity probably did not occur randomly, thats all. Biological organisms are clearly not analogous to man made machanical objects, we have no prior experience or knowledge of a designer making them, any more than we have of an asteroid or a sacred book. So we cannot use induction or analogy from man made machines, with which we have experience.

"I have never heard anyone argue "There cannot exist extra-terrestrial intelligent beings because we haven't met one yet."

No, but I could argue that MOST PROBABLY they don't exist, since environmental conditions elsewhere in our universe don't favor it. Anyway, it is totally hypothetical, you are changing the subject, and it has no bearing on the likelihood of the Torah being divine or creation being true.

Going back to my explanation of induction, the evolution model explains far more data points (observations) than the Torah/creation model. (Like, why do we have body hair or canine teeth? Why do apes and man share 99% of their DNA? Why do we find all of theses transitional form fossils?) The evolution model answers these questions, the Torah model does not. So, in all likelihood, the evolution model is true. [until another model comes along that even BETTER explains what we see.]

Having said that, we cannot be 100% certain about anything that cannot be observed directly. We can't even be certain about things that we DO see, so kal vachomer...

jewish philosopher said...

My primary argument against atheism is not merely that it "appears to me" that life is designed.

Of course, anyone can claim that this or that "appears to me".

Millions of people may claim "it appears to me that the Apollo moon landing was a hoax"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_landing_conspiracy_theories

or "it appears to me that there were no gas chambers in Auschwitz"
http://www.rense.com/general53/aauz.htm

or "it appears to me that if there were a God He would appear on TV every day and have His own morning talk show".

Obviously, any delusional person can claim that any crazy thing "appears to him".

My problem with atheism is that atheists themselves admit that life appears to be designed. In the The Blind Watchmaker, page 5 Richard Dawkins states "All appearances to the contrary, the only watchmaker in nature is the blind forces of physics". "Natural selection is the explanation for the apparently purposeful form of all life."

My response is, things are just what they clearly appear to be, baring very strong evidence to the contrary.

natschuster said...

NC:

We undertand more about nature than the ancients. That's why we can't say things like life spontaneously arose form inanimate matter. We now know that this is impossible according to the laws of nature. We also know that the universe had a beginning that closely parallels the acoount in Bereshis. We can't say primeval existance. We now know genetics, which creates problems for Dawrinism. We know all about he brain. We cna scan it while it is working. We can trace the pths of neurotransmitters. But we can't still can't explain the mind. Teh more we know the more problems for a purelty naturalistic explanation.

NC said...

A snowflake appears to be designed as well, but is formed from the blind forces of nature. Appearances can be deceiving.

jewish philosopher said...

"the Kuzari argument is not based on evidence"

It's based on as much evidence as Alexander the Great or Aristotle as I have pointed out here.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/07/is-history-bunk.html

"but is argument by special pleading"

Special pleading is a form of spurious argumentation where a position in a dispute introduces favorable details or excludes unfavorable details by alleging a need to apply additional considerations without proper criticism of these considerations themselves.

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

Where do you see that here for example?

http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/proof-torah-true/

"Biological organisms are clearly not analogous to man made machanical objects"

Why not? The eye is camera. The heart is pump. Sounds like special pleading.

"it has no bearing on the likelihood of the Torah being divine or creation being true"

That is basically your argument. All books are written by people, therefore so was the Torah. By that logic, all intelligent beings so far encountered are human, therefore all intelligent beings in the universe are human.

"the evolution model explains far more data points (observations) than the Torah/creation model"

If an ignorant person views a super-complex machine there are bound to be many features he does not understand. That hardly negates intelligent design. Bear in mind that practically every year some vestigial organ or junk DNA is found to be actually very useful.

"Why do we find all of theses transitional form fossils?"

Why in an old landfill will you find on the bottom layer type writers, on a higher level punch card readers and on the top layer iPads? Does that demonstrate evolution? As far as why God created earlier worlds, I've taken a guess.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/02/why-god-created-earlier-worlds.html

"A snowflake appears to be designed as well"

Straw man. It is symmetrical and complex, however it is not a machine containing many moving parts all working to perform a certain function.

NC said...

"We also know that the universe had a beginning that closely parallels the acoount in Bereshis."

Huh? What physics textbook are you reading?

"We now know genetics, which creates problems for Dawrinism."

Genetics complements and reinforces evolutionary theory.

"Teh more we know the more problems for a purelty naturalistic explanation."

That is not true for most things up until now. We have naturalistic explanations for many biological and physical systems now, which we didn't have 100 years ago.

This doesn't predict anything about discoveries about consciousness, but it seems ludicrous and silly to say that we are moving FURTHER from understanding it. The closer we get, the further it moves away? What kind of logic is that?

Even when we discover that something is complicated, we have insights that we didn't have before. How can you say that it "creates more problems"?. That we now know that brain states are related to electrochemical processes is a huge insight that has led to enormous progress in understanding how the brain works. If that isn't naturalistic, what is?

I have to say, Nathan, you seem to have a tag team with JP. JP specializes in provocative statements, but yours are just plain silly. I suggest a bit more thought before you post comments.

natschuster said...

We now know that the universe had a beginning, just like it says ion Bereshis. We can no longer gte around the problem of the origin of the universe by saying it is infinitly old. There was a Bereshis. And there is no good naturalistic explanation.

Most evolutionists rejectyed genetics until the development of the modern synthesis. This is because genetics means that the hereditayr material is passed down from the parent to the off-spring in discrete units. It is difficult to explain where the variation that natural selection comes from.

And I didn't say that we are further from undertanding things the more we know. What I meant to say is that the problems of origins are harder to explain.

A snowflake lacks complexity. The same can't be said about organisms.

natschuster said...

Have you ever read the Ramban's Perush on Bereshis. It's almost like he had a modern physics book in front of him while he wrote.

ksil said...

"Obviously, any delusional person can claim that any crazy thing..."

so true, JP, so true!

NC said...

"Have you ever read the Ramban's Perush on Bereshis. It's almost like he had a modern physics book in front of him while he wrote."

Yes, he learned from the best of the Muslim teachers at the time. Not exactly modern physics.

"A snowflake lacks complexity. The same can't be said about organisms."

Even an atom is complex. Its just a matter of degree.

Anonymous said...

A comic that will explain evolution to you: http://darryl-cunningham.blogspot.com/2011/06/evolution.html

Oh, the monkeys-Shakespeare thing is invalid because "Shakespeare" is a target and evolution has no target. Alternatively, to a monkey, "Shakespeare" may be utter crap and the product of their typing may be high literature.

jewish philosopher said...

About your cartoon, the fossils actually refute evolution by indicating catastrophism rather than gradual change.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2006/11/evolution-refuted-again.html

Vestigial organs and junk DNA are disproved daily

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2011/06/atheism-myth_13.html

The "bad design" argument is an "atheism of the gaps" and the gaps are shrinking.

Homologies indicate a common designer as easily as a common ancestor.

And if evolution is real, then you should welcome global warming.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2011/04/why-are-ye-fearful-o-ye-of-little-faith.html

Regarding Hamlet, isn't it odd that "Hamlet" obviously required an intelligent designer while the author of "Hamlet" was created by blind chance?

natschuster said...

NC:

Did you actually read the Ramban's Perush. He says that the Universe started out the size of a mustard seed, e.g. the primeval atom. The universe started as a rarified substance, energy, that condensed into matter.

And an atom and a snowflake alck irreducible complexity, functional integration of parts, and highly specified complexity. All our experiences show that the onl way to make this is with intelligence.

ksil said...

"All our experiences show that the onl way to make this is with intelligence"

and you are a science teacher!?!?!

oh!, the humanity!

JP, i love when you argue by just putting in the same links to your own blog, over and over and over again. please continue to do that

NC said...

"And an atom and a snowflake alck irreducible complexity, functional integration of parts, and highly specified complexity..."

Who says? We haven't figured out all of the subatomic particles and how they interact. Its a "complex machine".

And until we understood the physics of crystals, we would have said that the snowflake must have been "designed".

The only experience we have of design is of machines that we ourselves have designed. Not analogous to a snowflake, and atom, or life. We have no experience of "divine" design from which to draw upon.

From the perspective of a slime mold, the rock under which it is growing was "designed" just for it...just the right temperature, shape, consistency and chemical composition. Does that mean that the rock had an "intelligent creator"??

From the perspective of a water puddle, the hole was "designed" just perfectly for it. Was its creator "intelligent"?

So from a human perspective, it appears that all of the laws of nature and biological substrates were "designed" for our existence. But this has no bearing on the actual existence of a creator.

"Did you actually read the Ramban's Perush.?" What's your point? Yes he was a rationalist and a progressive among his fellow Jews. The Rambam also said many incorrect things, like "shells" that contain the stars and planets.

Anonymous said...

"About your cartoon, the fossils actually refute evolution by indicating catastrophism rather than gradual change."

It's a comic, and not the fossils don't refute evolution at all. Just the opposite.

"Vestigial organs and junk DNA are disproved daily."

No, you are misinformed.

"Homologies indicate a common designer as easily as a common ancestor."

Except a common ancestor is the more parsimonious explanation. One can always hypothesize that an intelligent agent "did it."

"isn't it odd that "Hamlet" obviously required an intelligent designer while the author of "Hamlet" was created by blind chance?"

It's amazing, but not odd. The author of Hamlet was created by his father's sperm and his mother's egg. That kind of thing happens all the time.

jewish philosopher said...

NC, how would we recognize an artifact created by an extraterrestrial alien? Is it possible? We have no experience with "ET" design upon which to draw?

I think any devise involving a number of moving parts all working together to perform a certain function, such as a pump or a camera, would be accepted as proof of extraterrestrial intelligence.

jewish philosopher said...

"the fossils don't refute evolution at all"

So why was punctuated equilibrium invented?

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

Because we don't see evolution in the fossils.

"No, you are misinformed."

Not really. In 1893, Dr. Robert Wiedersheim, professor at the Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg, Germany, published a list of 86 vestigial organs in man. This was eventually expanded to 180. Nearly all of these organs have since been found to have important, even vital, functions. For example, Professor Wiedersheim included the pituitary gland and pineal gland in his list.

"Except a common ancestor is the more parsimonious explanation."

Why?

"The author of Hamlet was created by his father's sperm and his mother's egg."

And the first egg and sperm came from what? Blind chance?

natschuster said...

NC:

Does a hole have numerous parts that are necessary for it to function? Does it have a very specific configuration of parts that are necessary for it's function? Does a snowflake. Organism do. And it is very hard to explain where that complexity comes from without design.

And scientists are struggling to undertstand how ~100 different parameters are balanced just so, ort life wouldn't be possible. The best answer they came up with is multiverse.

And evolutionists are very quickly backtracking on the subject of junk DNA. They used to say that it was vestigal. Then they discovered lots of functions. Now they are saying they never said it was vestigal.

The Ramban in his Perush does not quote the Muslim naturalists. He quotes earlier kabalistic works. Anyway, the point I was making is that the Big Bang closely parallels what we find in the Torah Canon. It doesn't create a big problem for Torah believers. IT creates a big problem for naturalists because there is no good naturalistic explaination for the Big Bang. Not only is there no good casaul explanation, but according to the General Theory of Relativity it is impossible because of the singularity problem.

natschuster said...

One problem with homologies is that the reasoning is circular. How do you know the organs are homologous? Because the organsims are related. How do you know they are related? Because they have homologous organs.

Another problem with homologies is that the infered relationships form anatomy are often contradicted by the DNA evidence. Closely related species are often different genetically. We are suppose to be closely related to chimps. But some of our DNA is closer to that of the oragutan. There are sea slugs with plant DNA, aphids with fungus DNA, etc.
There are Orfan genes. Scientists are trying to explain this away with things like horizonal gene transfer, and deep homology.

Evolution is a lot like geocentrism. It needs an increasing number of epicycles to work.

natschuster said...

When archaeologists find a piece of flint with a sharp edge, they assume it was made by a proto-human. If the find rocks arrainged in a circle, they assume it was a stonge age hearth. It was desinged because the alternative is too unlikely. Organisms are way more complex that a rock circle.

natschuster said...

Ksil:

You seem to be fond of making assertions and insults without providing any evidence. Why is that?

Anonymous said...

"And the first egg and sperm came from what? Blind chance?"

Let's pretend this is a serious question. Blind chance would still be a more plausible and better evidenced answer than saying an invisible being from another dimension visited this planet and decided to make new life forms ex nihilo.

Anonymous said...

"In 1893"

1893? 1893?

What have you got from the 118 years since, or is part of your schtick the idea that science has stopped since WWII?

And there were no gays or blacks then, either.

jewish philosopher said...

"Blind chance would still be a more plausible"

Why? I would assume that baring overwhelming evidence to the contrary things are what they appear to be and eggs plus sperm appear to be designed to create people, they don't appear to be the products of random collisions of particles.

"1893? 1893?"

The vestigial organ idea peaked then and since then has just about disappeared.

http://www.trueorigin.org/theobald1c.asp

NC said...

"The vestigial organ idea peaked then and since then has just about disappeared."

You cluelessly quote a non-professional on this subject, and are plainly wrong. Check real professional sources, not pseudoscience.

The animal kingdom is full of vestigiality going in both direction, ie-- towards and away from usefulness. So while we have hair, canine teeth and toenails, which are vestigial, we also have highly developed mouth and tongue muscles and vocal cords which have become "more" useful. Its a continuum.

natschuster said...

Annonymous at 4:44

JP's point is that science has progressed and it disproved the idea of vestigal organs.

jewish philosopher said...

"You cluelessly quote a non-professional on this subject, and are plainly wrong."

Are to going to break tradition and site actual factual errors in the article

http://www.trueorigin.org/theobald1c.asp

Or are we just going to go with an ad hominem, which is a logical fallacy?

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

The fact is indisputable that over the past century, as we understand more about anatomy, the number of vestigial organs has dramatically decreased. Similarly, as we learn more about biochemistry, the amount of junk DNA is disappearing.

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/04/exploding_the_darwin_friendly033581.html

The "bad design, God would not have done this" is atheism of the gaps and the gaps are rapidly closing.

natschuster said...

Evolutionists use to say that the pineal gland, the appendix, and hte tonsil were vestigal. Now we know they serve various purposes. When junk DNA was discovered, the evolutionists were very happy. It was the theme of Dawkins' book, "The Selfsih Gene." Now we know that much of the Junk DNA performs various critical functions.

NC said...

"Or are we just going to go with an ad hominem, which is a logical fallacy?"

The article simply discounts the logic of homologous structures and vestigiality, by saying that it doesn't prove that god didn't do it that way. It does nothing to refute the fact that homologous structures are explained by evolution, but not by creation. Evolution explains why we have hair and canines, creation does not.

I don't claim that vestigial structures DISPROVE creation, its just that creation doesn't add to our understanding or explanation of the phenomena, of homologous structures. Evolution does. Again, inductive reasoning. (However, I know that Nathan likes to claim that evolutionist use vestigiality to disprove god and creation, which is not true. Its a straw man argument )

The article also erroneously claims that there are no "nascent" structures, only degeneration through evolution. In fact, in many highly developed structure in one species (like a mammalian eye), the more primitive structure in older species, would be considered homologous and "nascent". Paws are "nascent" hands. Gills are nascent lungs, etc.

"JP's point is that science has progressed and it disproved the idea of vestigal organs."

Please reference a respected authority in the matter, since you or I cannot sift through the material ourselves. No populist google sources, please. Its not my burden of proof to refute every junk link you throw at me, but yours to prove its expertise.

jewish philosopher said...

What if I look at the space shuttle and find a few buttons that I can't understand. Would you say that these buttons can be explained by the theory that the space shuttle was created by a tornado hitting a junk yard (since of course in that case we would find useless features) while it cannot be explained by the theory that an aerospace company built the space shuttle (since why would the have put those buttons in)?

Also, are you disputing the fact that as we understand more about life, more and more of this "bad design" is disappearing?

NC said...

I think this argument is a good example of how you and Nathan "cherry pick" your scientific facts, in a pseudo-scientific way, to support your point of view.

On one hand you ridicule and discount all of the science behind evolutionary biology and the scientists who are behind it as a conspiracy theory. Yet in your arguments you than quote (and rely on) 'science' as showing this or that reason why the scientists themselves are wrong. So you'll rely on the 'finding' that the coccyx has some ligamentous attachments (which is not surprising) as proving that its not vestigial, or that this or that DNA sequence has some function.

Not only is this confirmation bias, but it also reflects a total lack of understanding of the scientific method, which by nature involves change, revision and refinement of its conclusions, as more data is collected. Modification in a theory does not disprove the scientific method, it upholds it! Nathan, it is totally laughable to assert that as scientists have learned more, they are actually disproving evolution. I have heard no serious biologist claim that.

I consider your claims to be about as credible as if you wrote a refutation of quantum or relativity theory based on what you read on the internet.

http://www.webspawner.com/users/relativity/

You're simply out of your league, the two of you.

NC said...

"Also, are you disputing the fact that as we understand more about life, more and more of this "bad design" is disappearing?"

"Bad design" is a theological claim, not a scientific one. That's a whole other argument, like, the existence of evil, etc. Why God would do this or that.

Its not a "bad design" argument, nor does it disprove god or creation. Its about homology and relative function.

Of course, if you pre-assume design, than your shuttle question is valid (since we know a space shuttle is designed) , but design in nature is the very thing that we are arguing about.

Look, that the sun will rise tomorrow is not 100%. Nothing is 100%. Inductive reasoning makes science follow the "best fit" for the data. Evolution is the best fit. The Bible creation story is a poor fit. Your Midrashic "lost worlds" theory (which no fundie orthodox believe anyway) is a poor fit.

NC said...

"Now we know that much of the Junk DNA performs various critical functions."

Nathan, how do you know this is true? Why do you believe them? Did you check the experiments yourself? Maybe its just another scientific fraud, or guesswork, by those conniving scientists?

NC said...

JP, please disprove the following claim:

http://www.webspawner.com/users/massenergy/

Otherwise I reject E=mc2 as a Jewish conspiracy.

JP, I'm only doing this to demonstrate to you how all of us must, at some level, rely on the credibility and expertise of others, if we are to live a normal life.

You simply cannot rely on the "analysis" of supposed expert web sites, in technical matters that you are not qualified to critique.

jewish philosopher said...

Evolution is not science. It's a religious belief, and a false one, popular among scientists because it discredits the Bible and any basis for monotheism, as Steven Weinberg points out

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2011/06/atheism-myth_13.html

And therefore elevates scientists to a position of intellectual preeminence in society instead of the clergy.

Indeed, you're exactly correct. REAL science continues daily to undermine evolution, whether it's Haeckel's embryos

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_Haeckel#Embryological_drawings 

Wiedersheim's vestigial organs

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

Junk DNA

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/04/exploding_the_darwin_friendly033581.html

Even the Archaeopteryx, the "killer proof" of evolution, seems shaky  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeopteryx#Phylogenetic_position

However all this is unimportant to you since you believe that if a vast majority of eminent, let's say Nobel prize winning, scientists, believe that a certain concept is true, then it is true beyond reasonable doubt and any rational person should be willing to literally bet his life, his afterlife, his family's lives, everything in this world and in any other worlds, on the truth of that concept. This applies even if the concept appears to be absurd, even if the scientists are not able to provide convincing evidence supporting the concept to a layman and even if there is a clear self serving reason for the scientists to promote the concept.

Personally, I beg to differ.

I think that this attitude is no different fundamentally than the attitude of the followers of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Jim Jones or Kim Jong-il. "Yes, to me this seems crazy, however who am I, with my tiny intellect, to question the amazing wisdom of the Great Leader? I will gladly give up my life, and take anyone else's life, if the Great Leader so commands. I know that he knows best."

Sorry, NC, no Kool Aid for me. I'm not going there.    

NC said...

You don't thing accepting any religion is drinking Kool-Aid?

NC said...

Its not about drinking the Kool-aid. I claim, that in many matters, you have to rely on others for their expertise and information. If they conflict, you have to choose whole to believe, based on the odds.

And I would say that the odds are with the biologists.

natschuster said...

NC:

First of all, nobody says that lungs evolved from gills.

And I use my canines to eat. And I find my wifes hair attractive. So they aren't purely vestigal.

Now, how is vestigality a proof of evolution if it isn't a disproof of design?

The arguement from nascent organs runs something like this. We don't see half formed organs or systems that don't serve a purpose now. We don't see half an eye that doesn't function as a eye now. We only see fully formed feathers.

And how do yuo explain the fact that DNA evidence often contradicts evidence from anatomy?
and there are lots of organs that have no homologue.

natschuster said...

NC:

How do biologists know organs are homologous, anyway? Because the organisms are related? How do they they are related? Because they have homologous organs? Sounds circular.

And biologists keep on getting things wrong. I wouldn't bet on them.

jewish philosopher said...

"Its not a "bad design" argument, nor does it disprove god or creation."

Sure it is.

"Some of the most renowned evidence for evolution are the various nonfunctional or rudimentary vestigial characters, both anatomical and molecular, that are found throughout biology."

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section2.html#morphological_vestiges

In other words evolution explains "bad design", however with each year that bad design is being refuted by science and the "evidence" shrinks. Homologies are an other piece of bogus evidence, implying that similar design indicates a common ancestor not a common designer.

"since we know a space shuttle is designed"

And if you found a space craft somewhere of unknown origin then those unnecessary buttons would prove a tornado hitting a junkyard made it?

"Evolution is the best fit."

Maybe the Koran is the best fit.

"JP, I'm only doing this to demonstrate to you how all of us must, at some level, rely on the credibility and expertise of others, if we are to live a normal life."

If there were another widely accepted theory which appears to be absurd, scientists are not able to provide convincing evidence supporting the concept to a layman and there is a clear self serving reason for the scientists to promote the concept I would probably reject it. Take Freudian psychoanalysis for example

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychoanalysis#Criticism

I'm sure there are a few other crackpot ideas out there. Remember that for centuries the divinity of Jesus was accepted by all European intellectuals as the "Gospel truth" - fact not theory. Only Jews had the guts to say "That's BS" with often unpleasant results.

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

"You don't thing accepting any religion is drinking Kool-Aid?"

Not mine. Fact based not authority based.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2006/12/truth-of-judaism.html

natschuster said...

Many biologists kind of admit that the facts don't support evolution, but since we can only use naturalistic explanation, because anytrhing else is cheating, evolution wins by default. It's not about evidence, its about a priori bias.

NC said...

"And I use my canines to eat. And I find my wifes hair attractive. So they aren't purely vestigal. "

And my butt crack is useful for hiding slips of paper. So what? You don't know even know what vestigial means.

Nathan, you're simply wrong. And there ARE nascent structures. Many creatures have primitive eyes, for example. You present false facts.

"First of all, nobody says that lungs evolved from gills. "

Swim bladders in fish, more precisely

http://icb.oxfordjournals.org/content/28/2/739.abstract

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_bladder#Similar_structures_in_other_organisms


Homologous is not circular. They are structures that obviously resemble each other in anatomy and location in the body. Long before Darwin's theory, people noticed that lots of creatures had mouths, ears, eyes and spines. No rocket science here.

"And biologists keep on getting things wrong. I wouldn't bet on them."

Suit yourself. Remember that the next time you go to the doctor and take a new medicine, or when a new vaccine comes out..

"If there were another widely accepted theory which appears to be absurd, scientists are not able to provide convincing evidence supporting the concept to a layman "

That is an absurd criterion. Based on that you should reject all modern astronomy, particle physics, and math theory. Unless you of course "believe" them and drink their Kool Aid.

"clear self serving reason for the scientists to promote the concept I would probably reject it. "

Another absurd and unworkable criterion. By the same basis you should reject rabbinic authority, who have a clear self serving reason to promote their version of Judaism. How do you determine that somebody has a clear self serving reason?

NC said...

"http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2006/12/truth-of-judaism.html"

Nothing in that post is evidence. Its all based on exercises in logic and analogies like philosophy, which is totally insufficient to solve complex questions of reality and history.

I would say that it is you signing up with the Great Leader.

"Many biologists kind of admit that the facts don't support evolution, but since we can only use naturalistic explanation, because anytrhing else is cheating, evolution wins by default."

Once again, Nathan, I simply don't believe you. From where do you know this incredible secret?

natschuster said...

NC:

So please inform me waht vestigal means and why it is evidence for evolution?

The primitive eyes function as eyes.

Y'know, doctors keep on getting things wrong. Medicines are always being recalled. Procedures arew constantly changing. Maybe your right.


Homologiosu structures are defined as structures that come from a common ancestor. Analogous structures are similar structures that evolved via convergent evolution. How do yuo know if it is homologous or analogous? If they have a common ancestor? How do you know they have a common ancestor? If they are homologous. No, rocket science, just simple logic.

jewish philosopher said...

"Another absurd and unworkable criterion."

When these criteria apply, I reject the concept, whether it would be a medical treatment, a scientific theory or any other concept. 

Just for example, 80% of economists say the "recession is over and recovery is beginning"

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/10/12/ap/business/main5378801.shtml

But considering our ballooning public debt I don't think the real crash has even started

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_Federal_Outlay_and_GDP_linear_graph.png

jewish philosopher said...

"Nothing in that post is evidence."

It's all the most obvious facts of history and biology. But of course nothing will impress an addict in denial.

NC said...

"It's all the most obvious facts of history and biology."

If its so obvious, interesting that 99.99999999999% of people don't seem too convinced. Never mind the academics. And all that information is out there, no secrets. Right. They're all addicts. All 6.7 billion of them. You're one of the privileged few who sees the light. I guess you can't explain it to a layman, because its too complicated. (your rule, not mine:)

Could it be, that if Judaism quacks like a duck (sounds like just another invented religion), looks like a duck (has followers who think that only they have the truth), then it is a duck?

NC said...

"How do yuo know if it is homologous or analogous? If they have a common ancestor? How do you know they have a common ancestor? If they are homologous. No, rocket science, just simple logic."

Wrong again Nathan.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homology_(biology).

I believe wiki more than I believe you. Homology is often obvious, but nor always, based on the anatomy itself. Like if you look at a forearm of a cat and a human, the radius and ulna are obviously homologous. But yes, the term suggests that such structures have common ancestry. That is evolution. But homology was noticed well before Darwin. In analogues, the anatomy is different.

"The primitive eyes function as eyes. " Yes, although they are much simpler in structure and represent an older evolutionary form. In some cases they are just a few cells that can detect light.

"So please inform me waht vestigal means and why it is evidence for evolution?

Homology is evidence for common descent. Vestigiality is evidence of adaptation.

I think this clearly explains it:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vestigiality

An important quote: "Vestigial characters range on a continuum from detrimental through neutral to marginally useful. Some may be of some limited utility to an organism but still degenerate over time; the important point is not that they are without utility, but that they do not confer a significant enough advantage in terms of fitness to avoid the random force of disorder that is mutation. It is difficult, however, to say that a vestigial character is detrimental to the organism in the long term — the future is unpredictable, and that which is of no use in the present may develop into something useful in the future. Vestigiality is one of numerous lines of evidence for biological evolution."

So both of you-- stop the dishonest claim that vestigiality means "useless".

NC said...

"however with each year that bad design is being refuted by science and the "evidence" shrinks. "

From wikipedia "Vestigial characters are present throughout the animal kingdom, and an almost endless list could be given..." (see the article and references)

Hardly "shrinking" evidence. (but, I know, the scientists are lying about it)

More falsehoods, JP; having a philosophy is one thing. But lying and misrepresenting is another.

jewish philosopher said...

"If its so obvious, interesting that 99.99999999999% of people don't seem too convinced."

So now we've switch from an appeal to authority (I guess you're tired of that logical fallacy)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_authority#Examples_of_appeals_to_authority

to an appeal to the people, another logical fallacy

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

What's next? Ad hominem or do you want to go for a straw man?

Just incidentally, actually at this moment about 25% to 50% of all humans do believe that God did in fact give the Jews the Torah at Mount Sinai.

http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html

They just think He cancelled it afterwards, replacing it with the new, improved New Testament, Koran or Book of Mormon, replaced the Jews with the superior Romans, Arabs or Americans and replaced Jerusalem with the new holy city of Rome, Mecca or Salt Lake City.

"sounds like just another invented religion"

Wrong. No other religion includes a public revelation, something the Torah itself anticipated.

"For ask now of the days past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and from the one end of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it? Did ever a people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live?" Deut. 4:32-33

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0504.htm#32

According to you a human author in the Middle East wrote those words over two thousands years ago. How did he know that in China, India or South America no other nation would claim to hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire? I guess just by good luck he happened to be correct.

"has followers who think that only they have the truth"

That's a tautology, an unnecessary repetition of meaning, using different words that effectively say the same thing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tautology_(rhetoric)

A "follower" by definition thinks he has the truth.

"Hardly "shrinking" evidence."

In regards to the species about which we know the most, ours, it certainly is. When and if lesser known species are studied as intensively all those "badly designed" features will go the same way. It's atheism of the gaps, as I've pointed out.

You know, the first stage of mourning is denial.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%BCbler-Ross_model#Stages

That's exactly what you sound like to me, NC. You sound like a man who is 45 years old and has just been diagnosed to die from cancer in three months. You just can't accept it. It can't be true.

By the same token, it can't be true that there exists a God who is telling me what to eat and who to f--k. It just can't be. There must be some mistake here. There has to be.

NC said...

"No other religion includes a public revelation, something the Torah itself anticipated."

Argument by special pleading.

"to an appeal to the people, another logical fallacy"

Its an appeal to sanity, since I, nor 99.9999999999% of the population, can see what you see.

Sounds like delusion to me.

The most recent Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders defines a delusion as:
A false belief based on incorrect inference about external reality that is firmly sustained despite what almost everybody else believes and despite what constitutes incontrovertible and obvious proof or evidence to the contrary.

"How did he know that in China, India or South America no other nation would claim to hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire?"

I make a prediction. That nobody, EVER EVER, will claim that dogs are actually financial gods and run the stock market and the world banking.system. I also predict that human feces will always smell bad. Forever. Gee, if I'm right, I must be a god!

jewish philosopher said...

"Argument by special pleading."

No it's not. Special pleading means that evidence which would normally discredit something doesn't discredit me, without giving a justification. Saying that some special event happened once is not special pleading. Only one time has a United States President visited New City, NY for example (Gerald Ford, 1976, I was there).

"despite what constitutes incontrovertible and obvious proof or evidence to the contrary"

And that proof is what? Evolution? Now that's a delusion, as I have demonstrated.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/03/evolution-science-hijacked-by-atheism.html

"That nobody, EVER EVER, will claim that dogs are actually financial gods"

There are over seven hundred separate religions, besides thousands of sects, being practiced today and I have no idea how many recorded extinct religions.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_total_number_of_religion_in_the_world

According to you, just by good luck the author of Deuteronomy got it right that none of those probably thousands of founders would claim a mass revelation. OK, so he was a lucky guy. Or maybe God wrote it so He knew.

Nc said...

"No it's not. Special pleading means that evidence which would normally discredit something doesn't discredit me, without giving a justification. Saying that some special event happened once is not special pleading. Only one time has a United States President visited New City, NY for example (Gerald Ford, 1976, I was there)."

That's exactly what you're doing. You admit that all of the thousands of supernatural religious claims that other religions make are bogus, despite fervent belief in their truth, because people make them up. Yet you exempt your own religious claim from this skepticism, without justification

jewish philosopher said...

Atheists also claim their religious beliefs are the only true ones. But I guess that's different because you really ARE right.

No matter what you believe, you are claiming that most people are delusional.

natschuster said...

My arm is kinda like a cat's arm. Less like a bird's wing. So how do you know they are homologous and not analogous?

Again, how is vestigality evidence for evolution?

And we never said that there are no organs that are considered vestigal. That means they have no known function. (If they have a function, then how are they evidence for evolution?) But the pattern for a long time now is that new functions are being discovered. So maybe real soon functins for all vestigal organs will be found.

NC said...

" Less like a bird's wing. So how do you know they are homologous and not analogous?"

You look at the skeleton and muscles, and you see parallel structures. A humerous, radius, ulna, carpal bones and digits. Just what you'd expect to see if an arm morphed into a wing or vice versa.

" Again, how is vestigality evidence for evolution?
....That means they have no known function. (If they have a function, then how are they evidence for evolution?).... "

I guess you didn't read the article, so you don't know the facts.

"Atheists also claim their religious beliefs are the only true ones."

Please don't spout rumors about atheism being a religion. Its false by any definition, except one that you made up.

"No matter what you believe, you are claiming that most people are delusional."

No. If you look at the rest of the criteria for delusion, you'll see that it excludes beliefs common to a subculture that one belongs to.

So perhaps your beliefs are just a cultural belief.

You would really not appear delusional if you said, "look, I belong to a culture that has such and such stories, ethics and beliefs. Since I belong to that culture, I accept those things, too"

But by claiming to have a universal truth that would be evident to everybody if they just knew the facts, well, that is delusion.

NC said...

"But the pattern for a long time now is that new functions are being discovered. So maybe real soon functins for all vestigal organs will be found."

How would you know, maybe they are lying? Perhaps if it said so on talkorigins.org?

jewish philosopher said...

"Its false by any definition, except one that you made up."

Me, the United States government

http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-140409171.html

and apparently www.heretic.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dW-bt_1LzY

Atheism is a distinct set of beliefs about the origin of man and the universe [random chance interaction of particles], the meaning and purpose of life [none], ethics and morality [none; we have no free choice anyway]; and the afterlife [none].

Saying atheism is not a religion is like saying zero is not a number. Zero is still a number.

But of course to atheists, it's not a religion. It's the TRUTH. Just like Judaism is to Jews.

"If you look at the rest of the criteria for delusion, you'll see that it excludes beliefs common to a subculture that one belongs to."

Someone has to tell Richard Dawkins.

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

Anyway, NC, just keep strong. Keep repeating to yourself "No, it can't be! It can't be true. There can not be a God who is going to tell me what to eat and whom to have sex with. This nightmare is just not possible!"

NC said...

Let's put it this way. By any commonly accepted definition, the rejection of religion cannot be a religion itself. Not any more than "non-plumbers" or "non-doctors" are professions. Have you ever heard of the American Non-Medical Association?

The legal battle is a different and unrelated matter.

You seemed to be obsessed with sex. You've mentioned it out of context numerous times. Is that perhaps related to your religious delusions?

jewish philosopher said...

"By any commonly accepted definition, the rejection of religion cannot be a religion itself."

Atheism is a religion. My Maltese puppy has no religion. Every intelligent person has an opinion about our origins, ethics and morality, the meaning of life and the afterlife - in other words, a religion.

Insisting atheism is not a religion is simply a silly semantic trick used to give an impression that what you believe is somehow superior to what other people believe. Like "7up is the uncola".

http://www.duke.edu/~ajc6/7up/Uncola.htm

"You've mentioned it out of context numerous times."

Very much in context. Saying atheism has nothing to do with sex is like saying jobs have nothing to do with salaries. See more details here:

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2011/03/sex-and-drop-outs.html
http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2010/07/of-course-its-all-about-science.html

natschuster said...

NC:

Airplanes wings are similar. Cars all have similar parts. Did cars evovle from a common ancestor? Re-using pre-existing components is considered good design practise. The arguemtns from homology may just as well be an arguement for design.

natschuster said...

NC:

Adn you worship at the altar of science. You have pure, simple faith that science will answer all the big questions someday. You havbe unswerving faith in the priesthood of scientists. And you will never dare question what is written in the canon of science, that is, the peer reviewed literature. You are so much more religious than me. Your faith runs so deep. I envy you.

ksil said...

"And you will never dare question what is written in the canon of science"

um, quite the opposite

you however worship men in beards who dress like they live in poland in the 1800s and speak a strange language.

NC said...

"The arguemtns from homology may just as well be an arguement for design."

Are you denying homology or not?

As I said, homology and vestigiality don't disprove god. It just gives a naturalistic mechanism. You could always say god did it that way. You could also say he planted the fossils for this reason or that. Suit yourself.

jewish philosopher said...

Or you could make up some bogus apology for the lack of transitional fossils.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2011/05/amish-refutation-of-evolution.html

Or you could get past your denial and admit that God exists and He gave us the Torah.

natschuster said...

NC:

I admit that some organs in some organisms look like similar organs in other organisms. How they got that way is the question.

Ksil:

I don't worship any human. There is a difference between reverence and worship.

And you actually admit to having the temerity to question the science canon? Then why can't I?

nc said...

You're lying about transitional fossils, JP
And, BTW, an opinion does not make a religion.

Nathan- now you have to pick the most likely explanation for homology and all the other evidence.

jewish philosopher said...

Regarding fossils, we know almost nothing about human ancestry in the fossils.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/01/our-family-tree.html

The evolutionist excuse, from Darwin to the present is, "the fossil record is incomplete".

NC said...

"The evolutionist excuse, from Darwin to the present is, "the fossil record is incomplete".

Induction.

jewish philosopher said...

Induction would tell us

All fossils indicate sudden appearance of new species not gradual change from one species to another.

Therefore we know that species were created, not evolved.

NC said...

"All fossils indicate sudden appearance of new species not gradual change from one species to another."

Why are you dishonest?

You didn't publish my comment regarding transitional fossils.

jewish philosopher said...

I published everything as far as I know.

natschuster said...

NC:

Most of the transitional fossils on the three dozen or so are transitions between major groups, not species to species change. And the status of some of them is questionable. And even evolutionists admit than many of the transitional fossils aren't the actual ancestors. They have the transitional condition, but the real acestors are still missing.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is awful.

Just awful.

jewish philosopher said...

It is a buzz kill.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/05/buzzkill.html

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