Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Divine Wisdom in a Bug's Shell



Surprisingly the north African desert scorpion, Androctonus australis, unlike other desert animals, does not dig burrows. It is a resistant to sand storms. When the sand whips by at speeds that would strip paint away from steel, this scorpion is able to survive without apparent damage. 

Recently, Dr Han Zhiwu of Jilin University, in China, and his colleagues found that Androctonus armor is covered with dome-shaped granules that are 10 microns high and between 25 and 80 microns across. The granules disturb the air flow near the scorpion's surface in ways that appeared to be reducing the erosion rate. Their computer model suggested that if scorpion exoskeletons were smooth, they would experience almost twice the erosion rate that they actually do.

Aircraft engines and helicopter rotor-blades are constantly abraded by atmospheric dust, and a way of slowing down this abrasion would be welcome. 

The research team placed samples of steel in a wind tunnel and fired grains of sand at them using compressed air. One piece of steel was smooth, but the others had grooves of different heights, widths and separations, inspired by scorpion exoskeleton, etched onto their surfaces. Each sample was exposed to the lab-generated sandstorm for five minutes and then weighed to find out how badly it had been eroded.

The result was that the pattern most resembling scorpion armor proved best able to withstand the assault. The lesson for aircraft makers, Dr Han suggests, is that a little surface irregularity might help to prolong the active lives of planes and helicopters, as well as those of scorpions.

From this we see another example of remarkable divine wisdom in nature. Human engineers are able to learn from humble little bugs.

65 comments:

ah-pee-chorus said...

No, actually what we see is that over millions of generations the scorpions exoskeleton evolved into a design which left it most likely to survive long enough amidst its environment to pass its DNA on to the next generation. isn't evolution cool?

Jeff said...

A beautiful example of how creatures evolved in adaptation to their environment. Thanks!

jewish philosopher said...

In all the millions of propellors produced over the past century, why wasn't one manufactured accidentally with a defect like the scorpion's bumps, and that one would have been selected by pilots as superior and reproduced by factories? We don't seem to find in human artifacts this type of perfection through manufactioning error and customer selection. Apparently it's too improbable. 

In fact, zero defect manufacturing is considered to be an ideal.

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/22/business/philip-crosby-75-developer-of-the-zero-defects-concept.html

According to Darwinism, it should be a tragedy. Imagine how much progress a lot of defects would cause!

But of course every factory owner knows that's ludicrous. It would never work.

Jeff said...

"But of course every factory owner knows that's ludicrous. It would never work."

Because biological tissues are not analagous to inorganic objects.

jewish philosopher said...

Dr Han Zhiwu apparently would disagree with you on that.

Joe said...

Is there an example of evolution working in other than biological things, at all.

jewish philosopher said...

My iPad was created just by manufacturing errors and adaption to customer preferences. Not need to introduce any mythical so called "engineers" into it.

Unknown said...

I mean, can there be everywhere an example where everyone agrees that it happened by chance, and something magnificent Evolved out of it.

Joe said...

Sorry I forgot to put my name in.

Joe

ah-pee-chorus said...

It's kinda cute how you marvel at the evolutionary process and then ascribe it to magical daddy in the sky. He reeeeeaaaaaaly loves you, doesn't he.

Jeff said...

Let's put it this way, TP. In your blog you repeatedly make the same cosmological arguments (first cause) and watchmaker analogies. These arguments have been dealt with and fully discredited by philosophers and scientists, elsewhere. After failing to convince anybody to believe in your fantasy Talmudic world of an angry bloodthirsty deity, demons, purgatorial excrement and heavenly nirvana, all you are doing is bringing up another example of essentially the same thing, thus inviting the same stale arguments which get nowhere. Yes, we all know the world is complicated. And yes, there are alternative explanations besides God.

Don't expect to have different results by doing the same thing over and over again.

Can you come up with something new, please? Move on!

jewish philosopher said...

"magical daddy in the sky"

God is simply part of reality, no different than gravity or magnetism. Evolution is magic - put a worm in a hat and pull out a rabbit, along with a shark, an eagle, a whale and a human being. Magic.

"After failing to convince anybody to believe in your fantasy Talmudic world of an angry bloodthirsty deity, demons, purgatorial excrement and heavenly nirvana"

A world where our behavior inevitably has consequences. Yes, I think we should believe that.

"These arguments have been dealt with and fully discredited by philosophers and scientists, elsewhere."

The best anyone can do seems to be the 747 gambit

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate_Boeing_747_gambit#Dawkins.27s_statement

which seems to be based on the groundless assumption that God cannot be eternal and therefore monotheists must explain where He came from. Of course that's ridiculous.

This article is relevant.

http://www.aish.com/sp/ph/The_Design_Argument_Answers_to_Atheists_Objections.html 

Anonymous said...

"This article is relevant."

That article is FUNNY! They must be offering online rabbinical ordinations now.

jewish philosopher said...

You're more FUNNY because you don't know anything.

Ironmistress said...

In all the millions of propellors produced over the past century, why wasn't one manufactured accidentally with a defect like the scorpion's bumps, and that one would have been selected by pilots as superior and reproduced by factories?

Because that propeller would be inferior on its intended function - to convert the rotational energy of the propeller shaft into translational energy of the air mass to create lift and tract the airplane forward.

But what you describe actually occurs. It is called serendipity. Sometimes a "defective" product with plausible cast or milling errors is actually superior to the original design. It is part of the technological evolution.

Your iPad is a product of lenghty technological evolution with trials and errors. Evolutionary algorithms are essential tools in today's engineering design.

Ironmistress said...

Ah, the good old Pascal's Wager. Suppose there exists a deity. Now we are back in the good old Theodichy, which the best brains of both Christianity and Judaism have attempted to solve for millennia, with no avail.

God is by definition omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent. The world is evil. Why?

The existence of evil means take two of that trilemma, but cannot have the third.

If God is omnipotent and omniscient, he is not omnibenevolent. God is evil. He is a whimsical cosmic bully, and the duty of all righteous humans is to hate him and fight him. Non-omnibenevolent deity means misotheism.

If God is omnipotent and omnibenevolent, he is not omniscient. He has created a flawed universe. God is stupid. The creation of humanity is an extremely sad occurrence. Non-omniscient deity leads into maltheism.

If God is omnibenevolent and omniscient, he is not omnipotent. He simply cannot do anything to correct the universe and remove the evil. In plain English, God is weak. There is no point on worshipping a weak deity, which leads into atheism.

The problem of theodichy has never been resolved in a satisfactory way. Why?

Judaism suggests an evil God, Christianity a weak God. Islamic God is both evil, weak and stupid.

jewish philosopher said...

"Because that propeller would be inferior on its intended function"

Apparently it works fine and lasts longer.

"Sometimes a "defective" product with plausible cast or milling errors is actually superior to the original design."

I know of only one historical case similar to that - the invention of the pacemaker.

http://www.cpaglobal.com/newlegalreview/2917/accidental_inventions_the_pacemaker

"Your iPad is a product of lenghty technological evolution with trials and errors."

Involving a lot of intelligent designers. So if the iPad needed engineers to design it, don't those engineers themselves require a Creator?

"The problem of theodichy has never been resolved in a satisfactory way"

Sure it has. God is good, people are often evil and then they suffer the just consequences.

Joe said...

If God would have been evil he wouldn't have outlawed following evil, the fact that he created evil rather suggests he is a Smart God who had something in mind by doing it.

Joe said...

BTW, When I say evil, I mean evil inclination (or satan) which is the root of all sorrows in this world.

But the suffering we have to go thru to reach perfection, may be an effect of a flaw lying within the laws of common sense/physics, which laws in my humble opinion, did God not created, but is here from before.

ah-pee-chorus said...

As a side point, why does god hate poor people? So many more of them die at childbirth (both the kids and the mother), and so many more succumb at early ages to disease. Is it all part of gods plan to make it look like he doesn't exist? These folks are paying a pretty high price for gods cosmic hide and seek game.
I guess it'll all be evened out in the 'world to come', that place never mentioned once in the torah, though its existence is essential to any sysem of reward and punishment which are clearly unfulfilled via the torahs threats and promises. I guess god forgot to mention it. Silly god will probably include it in the next torah.

Jeff said...

Then He is a stupid god. He should have anticipated it.
The story of Noah....

Ironmistress said...

"Because that propeller would be inferior on its intended function"

Apparently it works fine and lasts longer.


No, it doesn't. The bumpy surface would ruin its aerodynamics for good. The longer lifespan is a poor compensation for poorer aerodynamics.

But such structure could improve the lifespan of the fuselage, yet on the cost of its aerodynamic properties.

Bumpy surface will ruin the laminarity of any fluid flow over the surface and turn the flow into turbulent. This is a VERY nasty tendency on airplanes and small ships, but actually beneficial on very large ships. That is why the antifouling paint on large ships is very coarse, but silky smooth on small boats.

"Sometimes a "defective" product with plausible cast or milling errors is actually superior to the original design."

I know of only one historical case similar to that - the invention of the pacemaker.


It is called serendipity. Another is Viagra, which originally was designed as cardiovascular drug.

"Your iPad is a product of lenghty technological evolution with trials and errors."

Involving a lot of intelligent designers.


And even more technological evolution.

So if the iPad needed engineers to design it, don't those engineers themselves require a Creator?

Maybe - maybe not. We simply do not know and we do not have an answer.

"The problem of theodichy has never been resolved in a satisfactory way"

Sure it has. God is good, people are often evil and then they suffer the just consequences.


That is known as "blaming the victim". An omnibenevolent God would simply have created a world where evil is an impossibility. Ergo, God is not omnibenevolent because He allows evil to exist.

jewish philosopher said...

"As a side point, why does god hate poor people?"

Who says He hates them? For one thing, poverty can prevent people from doing a lot of very wicked things. Had Hitler remained a slightly irritable, penniless street artist, it would have saved millions of lives, as well as his own.

"that place never mentioned once in the torah,"

Plenty of things are never mentioned explicitly in the Torah, including how to make phylacteries or how to convert to Judaism. However a verse like 

"The Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice; a God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and right is He." Deut. 32:4  

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0532.htm#4

would be incomprehensible were there no inevitable reward and punishment after death. An evil man like say Christopher Hitchens would get off Scot free.

"Then He is a stupid god. He should have anticipated it."

Of course God anticipates future wicked people.

"And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Behold, thou art about to sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go astray after the foreign gods of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake Me, and break My covenant which I have made with them." Deut. 31:16

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0531.htm#16

However the wicked serve a very important purpose: they present a huge temptation to the righteous who will earn an immense reward for resisting that temptation. For example, a child raised in an exclusive private prep school may not deserve much praise for being accepted to Harvard while a child raised in foster homes and educated in a poor black ghetto and goes to Harvard surely is worthy of great respect.

"The bumpy surface would ruin its aerodynamics for good."

Well, these Chinese researchers never said that.

"Another is Viagra"

No, that's not a case of a random error making something better, which would be the equivalent of a genetic defect improving an animal. That is a case where a new usage is found accidentally for some existing substance.

"We simply do not know and we do not have an answer."

I do know. Trust me.

"That is known as "blaming the victim"." 

Exactly correct, although in our present culture of victimhood, it may be hard to accept this.

http://www.zurinstitute.com/victimhood.html 

"An omnibenevolent God would simply have created a world where evil is an impossibility"

Evil serves indirectly a very good purpose. See my comments above.

Ironmistress said...

Umm... perhaps in a parallell universe Hitler would have been approved to university to study architecture?

In that parallell universe there is a town full of mediocre buildings, but Holocaust would never have happened.

Ironmistress said...

JP, the foremost requirement for a propeller are its aerodynamic properties.

Its durability is a secondary feature.

This feature is well enough known already. Cast parts stand better the abrasion because of their irregular surface, but milled parts have better aerodynamic and hydrodynamic properties because of their smooth surface.

Irregular surface on wings may slow an airplane down for 10% to 15% of the maximum speed, and increase fuel consumption. The extended lifespan is not worth of it.

jewish philosopher said...

Apparently what they are trying to do here is add very tiny irregularities to the surface of the propellers which not affect fuel consumption.

Jeff said...

"Evil serves indirectly a very good purpose."

The tsunami served a very important purpose. Right.

Face it. Your god, as you describe him, is either stupid, evil, or incompetent.

jewish philosopher said...

Have you ever heard of psychological projection?

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

I keep explaining again and again that no one innocent suffers

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2009/08/kindness-of-suffering.html

that evolution is nonsense

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

Yet, rather than somehow refute me, atheists just return ten minutes later "evolution created us!" and "the innocent suffer!". The same baloney cut and pasted from Dawkins again and again.

Please, someone at least try to be serious.

Furry Bunny said...

JP, I enjoy your ability to demolish the arguments of these imbeciles.

Believer in awesome accidents said...

ah-pee-chorus writes: "No, actually what we see is that over millions of generations the scorpions exoskeleton evolved into a design which left it most likely to survive long enough amidst its environment to pass its DNA on to the next generation. isn't evolution cool?"

Fine, but where's your evidence? Have you seen a evolutionary path? Or are you just making a supposition, parroting what others tell you?

To paraphrase you: "It's kinda cute how you marvel at the cool features of nature and then ascribe it to magical lucky mutations."

Ironmistress said...

Apparently what they are trying to do here is add very tiny irregularities to the surface of the propellers which not affect fuel consumption.

Casting adds very tiny irregularities on the surfaces of any structures. On the cost of aerodynamics.

Milling produces very smooth surfaces with very good aerodynamic properties.

Aerodynamics - fuel efficiency - durability. Take two but you cannot get third.

The scorpion does not need to care about aerodynamics.

Ironmistress said...

"We simply do not know and we do not have an answer."

I do know. Trust me.


You may know, but that is not universal knowledge. It is only anecdotal evidence.

"That is known as "blaming the victim"."

Exactly correct, although in our present culture of victimhood, it may be hard to accept this.


Ergo, God is a bully and he is evil. Actually the Torah pretty much suggests this. [The later parts of the Tanach tend to ameliorate the anger control issues of God.]

Which is more miserable: an evil god (Judaism), a weak god (Christianity) or a clueless god (Islam)?

"An omnibenevolent God would simply have created a world where evil is an impossibility"

Evil serves indirectly a very good purpose. See my comments above.


No, it doesn't. An omnipotent and omniscient God could have created a world with all those properties without evil.

jewish philosopher said...

"Aerodynamics - fuel efficiency - durability. Take two but you cannot get third."

I can't find any other writer mentioning this. Why don't you ask Dr Han his opinion?

zwhan@jlu.edu.cn

Ironmistress, where exactly do you see in the Bible or real life an unequivocally innocent person suffering?

This is always the "proof" of atheism "the innocent suffer!", however this is a baseless assertion and they have no proof of any such thing.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2009/08/kindness-of-suffering.html

The case of Job may be an exception. His suffering was apparently solely designed to be a test, which he passed and was then richly rewarded.

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt2701.htm

"An omnipotent and omniscient God could have created a world with all those properties without evil."

And He could just have created nothing also. But He chose not to. Which proves what?

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness the north African desert scorpion was able to make its way to Noah's ark!

Studying these animals seems more informative and helpful than studying Torah. Do you agree?

jewish philosopher said...

No. Studying the will of God is far more important than studying God's creations. God's will determines our eternal reward or punishment, not merely comfort in this temporary world.

This is why many scientists fight ferociously against God. In a God fearing society, they merely become slightly glorified plumbers and electricians while true prestige is bestowed on the clergy. To this day, in the ultra-orthodox world, every girl's dream is to marry a great Talmudic scholar because these are the community's most prestigious members. Before Darwin that was true everywhere. All the great univeristies of today were originally theological schools.

Ironmistress said...

"Aerodynamics - fuel efficiency - durability. Take two but you cannot get third."

I can't find any other writer mentioning this.


It is a truism. All engineering designs are always more or less compromises.

Ironmistress, where exactly do you see in the Bible or real life an unequivocally innocent person suffering?

Book of Job is an excellent narration. An innocent man becomes subject of insurmountable suffering because God has a bad day and makes a bet with Satan.

In the real life the question is easy to answer - any babies born with birth defects or mental disorders. A loving God would have not created a world where things like that do happen.

This is always the "proof" of atheism "the innocent suffer!",

I am still not an Atheist. But it is still a valid point. More people have lost their faith because of the theodichy than nothing else.

Theravada Buddhism rejects completely the notion of a loving and caring God because of this issue. The goal of life is non-involvement and non-being - to detach oneself completely from this world of suffering so that no rebirth will occur anymore.

The case of Job may be an exception. His suffering was apparently solely designed to be a test, which he passed and was then richly rewarded.

This world doesn't reward richly in the real life. Suffering leaves one crippled, maimed and damaged and usually with PTSD.

"An omnipotent and omniscient God could have created a world with all those properties without evil."

And He could just have created nothing also.


In a sense it would have been better that way. If life is nothing but suffering, torture and misery from day to day, then non-existence is preferable state over existence.

But He chose not to. Which proves what?

He enjoys seeing His creations suffering. Ergo, He is evil.

Ironmistress said...

Your god, as you describe him, is either stupid, evil, or incompetent.

My interpretation is that Christian God is incompetent (omnibenevolent and omniscient but not omnipotent), Jewish God is evil (omnipotent and omniscient but not omnibenevolent) and Islamic God is stupid (omnipotent and omnibenevolent, but not omniscient).

jewish philosopher said...

"any babies born with birth defects or mental disorders"

You must prove that they are not reincarnated sinners. Otherwise you have no example of an unequivocally innocent person suffering.

"This world doesn't reward richly in the real life."

Then the afterlife will.

"He enjoys seeing His creations suffering."

He enjoys seeing those precious few who triumph. 

"My interpretation is that the  Jewish God is evil"

Fine, that may be your personal opinion, however I am not responsible for that. There may be people who specifically because God has given them life and showers them with undeserved kindness every moment with each breath of air, feel resentful and hate God.

The only thing which might be of interest to others is not your personal emotional state but rather whether you can show contradictions within Judaism, for example one biblical verse and another, or between Judaism and history or between Judaism and science.

Ironmistress said...

"any babies born with birth defects or mental disorders"

You must prove that they are not reincarnated sinners.


That is an ad hoc. First, we must assume reincarnation exists. Second, there is nothing in the Bible which would validate reincarnation.

"This world doesn't reward richly in the real life."

Then the afterlife will.


1. We have absolutely no proofs of an afterlife.
2. How about those who become so embittered that they abandon religion and God for good? And they are not just one or two.

"He enjoys seeing His creations suffering."

He enjoys seeing those precious few who triumph.


Ergo, he is not fair. An omniscient and omnipotent being who is not fair is not omnibenevolent. Back to square 1.

"My interpretation is that the Jewish God is evil"

Fine, that may be your personal opinion, however I am not responsible for that. There may be people who specifically because God has given them life and showers them with undeserved kindness every moment with each breath of air, feel resentful and hate God.


What makes you think Jewish God is the correct one? What if Christian God (weak) or Islamic God (clueless) is the correct one?

If God is evil, our duty is to reject and hate and rebel against him. If God is weak, he is not worthy of worshipping - respecting perhaps. If God is clueless, he is worth only of pitying.

If an evil God gives His creations life and showers them with undeserved kindness every moment with each breath of air, he does have strings attached to it. If a weak God does the same, he fears His creations. If a clueless God does it, He is irresponsible.

Mind you, the problem of theodichy has never been resolved sufficiently. The best brains of Judaism, Christianity and other religions have attempted to do it for millennia - with no avail.

[Given to the choices, a weak God is less harmful than an evil God or a clueless God.]

The only thing which might be of interest to others is not your personal emotional state but rather whether you can show contradictions within Judaism, for example one biblical verse and another, or between Judaism and history or between Judaism and science.

See here: Skeptic's Annotated Bible. The same website hosts also Skeptic's Annotated Qura'an and Skeptic's Annotated Book of Mormon, so it is not about being anti-Judaist.

jewish philosopher said...

Since you never see in the Bible or real life an unequivocally innocent person suffering, your argument that the innocent suffer, which would contradict the Bible, falls apart. You're just left with some bitter, angry ranting which requires a psychiatrist not a philosopher.

I am right now reading a book called Neon Angel by Cherrie Currie.

http://www.amazon.com/Neon-Angel-Memoir-Runaway-ebook/dp/B003C2SP6Y/

On page 243, she writes about how she went to a party, at age 17, with her boyfriend Tommy. At the party both became drunk and took numerous Quaaludes. On the way home, Tommy drove and hit a tree, destroying her father's car and slightly injuring both of them. Police took them to jail. While in jail, she had the following thoughts:

It was all Tommy's fault, I decided.
It was my agent's fault for having a dumb party.
It was the city's fault for not lighting the street well enough.
It was God's fault for making a fucking tree grow in such a stupid place.
The cops seemed to think it was our fault for driving "doped up". What do they know, stupid cops? 

This is the atheist mindset in a nutshell. It's never my fault. In my miserable, disastrous life, I'm a victim, pure and simple. If God does exist, He's a sadistic demon for doing this to me. How dare He put a tree right where I was driving while drunk!

I think you'll find that Jewish commentaries have dealt with the questions on the skeptics webpage.
 

jewish philosopher said...

"Mind you, the problem of theodichy has never been resolved sufficiently."

Re-reading your comments, I think the only "problem" is that there does not exist the type of God whom you wish would exist and who will care for you the way you would like Him to. That is probably correct, however this is more a problem for a psychiatrist than for a clergyman. 

Jeff said...

"where exactly do you see in the Bible or real life an unequivocally innocent person suffering?"

Among the tens of thousands of victims of he Japanese Tsunami presumably at least some of them were innocents.
Please explain, why exactly did they deserve to drown, have their children killed or lose all of their possessions? Was that loving kindness?

What is "unequivocally innocent"?

jewish philosopher said...

I think this is a variety of the "Chewbacca defense"

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

"If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit" 

"If a lot of people died, some must have been innocent of sin in this or any prior lifetime."

I could just as well claim "thousands of people claim to be Jesus, so some must be Jesus"

ah-pee-chorus said...

Believer in awesome accidents-


" and then ascribe it to magical lucky mutations."

no, its as a result of evolution whose mechanisms include natural selection, mutation, genetic drift and migration.
to focus just on genetics for example....
"There have been numerous observations of morphological change in populations of organisms (Endler 1986). Examples are the change in color of some organ, such as the yellow body or brown eyes of Drosophila, coat color in mice (Barsh 1996), scale color in fish (Houde 1988), and plumage pattern in birds (Morton 1990). Almost every imaginable heritable variation in size, length, width, or number of some physical aspect of animals has been recorded (Johnston and Selander 1973; Futuyma 1998, p. 247-262). This last fact is extremely important for common descent, since the major morphological differences between many species (e.g. species of amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds) are simple alterations in size of certain aspects of their respective parahomologous structures. "http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section5.html

the other contributing methods have been observed many times as well.
can you direct me to where one can observe a magical invisible being going through the process of 'creating' ? or do you just demand to see the whole process play out in front of your eyes when evolution is claimed? but if magical daddy in the sky did it then you happily accept it with no observation and no evidence.

Jeff said...

JP, you're a bit confused; it is not I that needs a defense, it is your deity.

I accuse your deity of mass murder or reckless endangerment of human life. All these people die and suffer without an accusation, trial or conviction that anybody knows of.

And you come back at me with "Chewbacca defense"?

Let's say the UN discovers a mass grave of 10,000 Bosnian Muslim in an area that was controlled by the Serb militias. There are multiple witnesses that Radovic's army lined people up at an open pit, and shot them. The Serb general is arrested, and he admits to control over the territory, but claims, "but they (the victims) were all guilty!". The prosecution asks for the evidence of some crime or conviction, and then you, as his defense attorney, cry "Chewbacca Defense!"

Jeff said...

I'm not talking about my own personal safety or welfare. Have you actually watched the You Tube videos of the tsunami sweeping onto the coast of Fukushima?

Now, imagine that a human being were responsible for such an act of destruction, suffering, and death. And that person said "oh, they deserved it!".

In most civilized societies such a person would be tried as a mass murderer, or, at best, for gross criminal negligence.

Same for god.

I say put your god on trial for mass murder, and executed after his conviction.

jewish philosopher said...

"There have been numerous observations of morphological change in populations of organisms "

But to defeat the watchmaker analogy, we must see a machine, a devise with many moving parts all efficiently working together to perform a certain purpose, somehow develop without a maker. We never do. And the chance of it happening through a series of de novo genetic mutations which increase fertility accumulating one on top of the other seems to be nil. Only one organism in trillions is born with such a mutation. Therefore we must conclude that every watch has a maker and our eyes, heart, kidneys, etc were created by God.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._coli_long-term_evolution_experiment

"I say put your god on trial for mass murder, and executed after his conviction."

I think that your critique of divine justice ignores a few key points.

First of all, God, unlike a human killer, is all knowing. He knows everything a person has ever thought, said or done and all the circumstances involved. Therefore He can be judge, jury and executioner. 

Secondly, unlike a human killer, God has created his victim.
"And he said; naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither; the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." Job 1:21
http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt2701.htm#21
Therefore He has the right to destroy a person based on any transgression.

Thirdly, unlike Christianity and Islam, Judaism accepts reincarnation, meaning that even a new born baby may be guilty of unknown sins.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilgul_Neshamot  

Anyway, I know that atheists, who are really addicts in denial, will merely ignore all this and in a few days someone will come back and insist "but evolution created us!" "but the innocent suffer!".

Jeff said...

"I think that your critique of divine justice ignores a few key points."

I don't ignore those points at all. I just don't agree with them.

Regarding the points:

1. From the bible it does not appear to be that he is all knowing, given several stories where god regrets what he did

2. Just because he CAN do something does that make it is right?

3. Why is killing a child, inflicting suffering on him and his parents, fulfilling justice for something he or they don't even know about?

JP you distort the meaning of the word "justice" making it into some obscene and abstract concept disconnected from any concept of ethics or humanity. Call it something else if you want, but don't call it justice. For you its like some make believe game rules.

Joe said...

The truth is, God rarely punishes people, and does so only when he wants to help the good guys like when drowning the Egyptians in the red sea.

All other sorrows are coming naturally from self inflicting wounds for not following the golden rules, like not being kind to others which is a natural effect, for if one is bad to another person people will turn on him, being afraid they're next. Unless he nevertheless don't want to change himself despite the pain (Which then God keeps the account For him)

As the book of Lamentations (Aichah) points out: (chapter 3 verse 38)
"Out of the mouth of the Most High does not come out the evil and the good. Wherefore doth a living man complain, a strong man because of his sins? Let us search and try our ways, and return to the LORD..."

jewish philosopher said...

"From the bible it does not appear to be that he is all knowing, given several stories where god regrets what he did"

I recall the word "regret" being used once - Genesis 6:6. And the word used actually isn't exactly "regret" according to almost all English translations.

http://www.biblestudytools.com/genesis/6-6-compare.html

On the other the Torah and the entire Hebrew Bible are full of divine predictions concerning the future. It's taken for granted that God knows all and can do all. Take for example Deuteronomy 30.

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0530.htm

"Just because he CAN do something does that make it is right?"

If you made something and you own it, you have the right to do with it as you wish. God does not have to care for you the way you would like Him to.

"Why is killing a child, inflicting suffering on him and his parents, fulfilling justice for something he or they don't even know about?"

Temporary memory loss is no defense and the suffering of the family, neighbors etc is all taken into consideration and all results are fair and just.

Bottom line, I don't see how my concept of God conflicts with reality or with the Hebrew Bible.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2009/12/higher-power-as-i-understand-him.html  

jewish philosopher said...

The fact is that incidents such as the recent Japanese tsunami

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5P3Iz-MFu4A

should serve as a powerful reminder of God's awesome anger and vengence and thereby remind us to repent while God in His mercy will allow us to.

Believer in Awesome Accidents said...

ah-pee-chorus writes: "no, (as opposed to magical lucky mutations) its as a result of evolution whose mechanisms include natural selection, mutation, genetic drift and migration. "

I'm fine with that, but those mechanisms themselves are all, ultimately, products of pure accident, in your view.
I will assume that when you type, you're typing with a purpose. At some time in the past, there was no such thing as purpose. Tell me, when did (and how did) (and could) Accident yield Purposefulness?

Jeff said...

"Bottom line, I don't see how my concept of God conflicts with reality or with the Hebrew Bible."

Only if you define "reality" as including things for which there is no evidence and defy common sense such as afterlife and reincarnation.

"Temporary memory loss is no defense "

A baby born is "temporary memory loss"? That's an interesting twist of the word "reality".

"should serve as a powerful reminder of God's awesome anger and vengence"
Yet he is a loving god, Ha!

"and thereby remind us to repent while God in His mercy will allow us to."

What's the point? Shit happens anyway.

jewish philosopher said...

"Only if you define "reality" as including things for which there is no evidence and defy common sense such as afterlife and reincarnation."

Your belief that we are zombies with no soul or free will defies common sense and no one really believes it.

"What's the point? Shit happens anyway."

It does exactly because people think that. 

How many doctors hear "Doc, why should I quit smoking/lose weight/exercise/stop drinking? I'm going to die anyway."

Ultimately, all this atheistic nonsense about God being a murderer, a mass killer, a psychopath, not worth worshipping even if He did exist etc is just whining that "I am an egomaniac and if there is a God He is not caring for me the way I would like Him to." 

Agreed.  

Jeff said...

You keep on saying that it's about me being taken care of. I am talking about humanity, not me. It's you that's worried about your sorry little ass and what is going to happen to you in the afterlife.

jewish philosopher said...

Mail me a copy of the receipts for the big bucks you sent to the tsunami victims.

natschuster said...

Jeff:

What is exactly your basis in logic, reason or science for saying G-d is immoral, or that the Torah is immoral? What is your basis for saying that morality even exists?

Jeff said...

"Mail me a copy of the receipts for the big bucks you sent to the tsunami victims."

I will when you mail me a list of the souls you have saved.

jewish philosopher said...

Atheists are always busy being angry at God, but never give charity. If they aren't busy murdering people for sexual pleasure or political goals, we're lucky.

Jeff said...

The argument here is not about the motives of each side, but rather the soundness of the position. Whether I am a sexual pervert or you a nutcase or not as totally irrelevant.

The question is, is the priority of your philosophy about the welfare of living human beings, or is it about god.

I would say unabashadly that mine is about human beings, and that god, if he exists, can take care of himself, thank you.

If your philosophy is about mankind and god is just a means to an end, then we can argue about the best way to accomplish improvement for mankind. But, if your ideology puts god ABOVE man, than indeed the conflict is insoluble.

Alex said...

No rhetoric there ^

jewish philosopher said...

"The question is, is the priority of your philosophy about the welfare of living human beings, or is it about god."

It's about rationally analyzing the world we find ourselves in and making the right choices.

Jeff said...

"It's about rationally analyzing the world we find ourselves in and making the right choices."

That is only part of it, and it is subjective. Culture is 90% of our behavior, and religion is but another culture.

jewish philosopher said...

So let's choose the right culture. The Nazis and Communists for example made poor choices and ended up with problems.

Jeff said...

Agreed