Dawkins Delusion – by Dr. William Lane Craig

Part one of the Dawkin’s Delusion lecture and Q/A session delivered by Dr. William Lane Craig that coincided with the 2007 “Does God Exist?” debate at UBC.

Part 1

Part 2

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47 Responses to Dawkins Delusion – by Dr. William Lane Craig

  1. I like what you are doing here. Peace. A.

  2. tildeb says:

    Right off the bat, Craig is setting up a Strawman argument. His summation of Dawkins’ six points leaves out exactly that which explains Dawkins’ conclusion at the end of chapter 4, and it is not ‘Therefore, God almost certainly does not exist.” It is the fact that the God hypothesis is untenable. Specifically, he is writing about the ‘crane’ mechanism necessary in physics rather than the ‘skyhook’ mechanism favoured by religious apologists like Craig, you know… the the that sees a gap in knowledge and substitutes Godidit as an explanation. Rather, Dawkins is explaining why something similar to the mechanism of evolution in biology may be found to succinctly replace “I don’t know” or “God did it” in Dyson’s physics with a crane rather than a skyhook mechanism. The “God almost certainly does not exist” bit is not the summation of the previous six points, but why should Craig present Dawkins argument on this conclusion honestly? Well, because he can’t refute it with anything other than supposition and assertion.

    Whenever you come across someone like this who has a history as a religious apologist and is criticizing the work of someone else, then check the source. So far, I have yet to find a creationist who presents Dawkins argument honestly and coherently… and I’ve read hundreds. What apologists do is quote each other’s misrepresentations as if they were true. They’re not. Craig is no different and Defend The Word has continued this misrepresentation with this video post.

  3. tildeb says:

    Dawkins chapter is all about understanding the improbability of natural selection with what is often called the 747 Gambit: the argument for the statistical improbability of complex design is similar, the argument goes, to a wind blowing through a junkyard and assembling by ‘chance’ a fully functioning 747 airliner.

    Dawkins calls this the ‘skyhook’ argument used by creationists, that to go from nothing (or bits and pieces of unrelated material lying about) to a fully functioning complex entity (or organism) is so astronomically slim that no reasonable person could possibly believe it could be true. This argument is flawed in several ways and misrepresents the actual statistical probabilities for evolution. Remember, complex organisms do exist, so their chances of doing so are a probability of 1. What is really under examination is the cause. Let’s look for evidence.

    But to tackle this argument first and explain why it is based on a false premise (or a very poor understanding of what the probability calculation actually is), Dawkins takes the time and spends the words necessary to carefully build up his explanation for a mechanism that could achieve what appears to be so improbable – by means of what he calls a ‘crane’ mechanism rather than a ‘skyhook’ mechanism.

    In a step by step approach that builds something more from something less – like a crane that adds more material to a building under construction with a closely related compilation of related materials similar to the rest of the building (in the case of biology we’re talking about proteins and enzymes rather than the the physics of bits and pieces of metal and wiring for the 747 Gambit) – Dawkins explains how evolution provides us with a theoretical framework that attempts to explain exactly that which critics say cannot be explained by statistical probability. In other words, the crane mechanism – natural selection – alters the statistical odds radically to something we can actually test and verify, thus rendering the 747 argument as worthless tripe trotted out by those who do not understand either probabilities or biology and replaces it with a testable theory: the process of natural selection. The probability for biological complexity to come from less complex biology is not only vastly reduced within this theoretical framework, but it is given a framework for further exploration to test whether or not the framework is meaningful. That’s good science. Let’s look for evidence for natural selection rather than be smugly satisfied that goddidit explains everything.

    Lo and Behold, natural selection not only passes with flying colours but does so with exceptional ongoing success. The evidence for its ongoing mechanism is overwhelming and its usefulness in things like medicine and technology is beyond doubt. It works. It explains. It allows us to test it, to successfully predict what we should find, and so on.

    So when someone states that biological complexity cannot come from something less complex (therefore goddidit), then you know that they are wrong on a couple of accounts: the reasoning is poor and their scientific understanding is confused. Not only can this increasing complexity occur, but it does occur. P=1. Stating that it does not is a sign of misguided belief. It requires correction.

  4. There are few problems with both what Dr Dawkins is saying and what you conclude based on his assertions. First argument that crane use explains things that can be tested is not scientifically true, based on the fact that so much of data requires interpretation and reliance on the data that may or may not have passed rigorous tests required for theory to hold water. So I would question this principle, this explanation still does not shed any light on how this happens. Fact that you require mechanism shows that you need something other than simple dare I say stupid particles that have no brain of their own, directing their actions to move upwards therefore requires both planning and intelligence. As statistically if anything can evolve good it must also be possible to evolve bad characteristics. So we must remember that this is infinitely multiplied when we see complexity we find in world today. This is not to say that evolution is wrong. But the way Evolutionary biologist are suggesting is simply not factual and relies heavily upon their faith that this is how their process must move upwards.

    On the issue of passing with flaying colours when looking what Evolution stipulates certain results, we have to remember simple example. If you get Lego blocks with the specific design of a boat if you have enough parts you could build car with it. But the function may be severely reduced. In fact this kind of childish action will often will lead it to inoperable but never the less imaginative peace that tells us much about the imagination of the child and very little about the design of the man behind the blueprint often included in the toy box.

    I have mentioned before, that it is not right to call something as scientifically correct when all you are given is multitude of data but lack of linking instructions. To use another analogy here, it is like a small child that connects the dots of the painting but in incorrect order. Therefore regardless of how beautiful theory may seam to anyone, we must continue to work out again and again not only the mechanism but also faith that is driving the conclusions. As I said before, you could have two scientists coming from differing perspective looking at the same data coming to differing conclusions. So whilst Dr Dawkins may go some way to explaining how things work he is still missing the answer to why it must constantly react or mostly in order to support progressive improvements which he suggests happened. Also note that this data is acquired trough inference which is so often rejected when ID proponents try to use same methodology on proving design in nature and physical world. Therefore I would say this inconsistency points to preferential treatment to one but it is simply not granted to the other. And that bias is simply not justifiable when looking at things scientifically.

  5. I shall only answer this by saying you are doing that which you are accusing Dr Craig of doing. It is not correct and factually right for one to assert that apologist copy each other unless you can prove that as a matter of fact. Which I would say you can’t, secondly you still fail to explain any of the arguments given by Dr Craig. Your crane argument only works if you accept and believe in such presupposition. And to strengthen your argument then one needs to prove that counter argument is not valid simply because wait for it we go back to our first premise that our assertion is right. That sounds like loads of circular reasoning to me, without meaning any offence. I’m trying to say this in a nicest possible way, and come to the heart of the matter. Lastly Dr Craig is PhD Qualified in Philosophy of Science and religion, but guess what Dr Dawkins is Evolutionary Biologist, saying Dr Craig can loose everything if God is not true is to omit the fact that Dr Dawkins becomes Dr of stupidology if Evolution is incorrect. You could not have one without the other, and just considering one side of the argument is just not logically sound.

  6. Birdieupon says:

    “it is not ‘Therefore, God almost certainly does not exist.” It is the fact that the God hypothesis is untenable.”

    I must say this is an invalid objection, for the precise words “God almost certainly does not exist” follow on immediately in conjunction with the quote given above from his book (as if to say “it is untenable because…”). Even though Dawkins did not formally put this conclusion as a “step 7” it is by now means a distortion to represent this as a concluding step, for this is the faithful structure of Dawkins’ argument when it is formally articulated (after all, what else do you think he’s arguing for).

    Dr Craig destroys Dawkins’ argument. Demanding an explanation of the explanation will halt scientific progress dead in its tracks. You wouldn’t reject a diagnosis of murder because you did not know who the murderer was. If there is any evidence of intelligent design, it is to be found within the universe itself. Interestingly, Dawkins’ fallacy in step 3 also destroys his Crane principle, because in the same way one can ask “who designed the designer?” you end up with “from which simpler entity did this evolve?” – resulting in an infinite regress of shrinking complexity, rather than expanding complexity.

    Dawkins is therefore forced to drop step 3 and leave himself open to the possibility of some kind of uncaused first cause (which, as a materialist, he obviously presupposes for the natural universe, despite the awkward fact that it began to exist at the Big Bang, which Dawkins even conceded in his debate with John Lennox.)

    On the subject of presuppositions, he also begs the question in insisting that God must be more complex, because this is to force God to conform to material complexity. To presuppose that a non-physical first cause, spirit or mind cannot exist is to indulge in a circular argument. The whole point of the argument is to show why such a being can’t exist in the first place!

    I went on more than I should have, but the point is that Craig in no way misrepresented Dawkins’ argument. When analyzed from a logical, rigorous standpoint, Dawkins’ reasoning is a total flunk and he should get back to the lab where he belongs.

  7. Hi Birdieupon

    Thank you very much for your input, I like your reasoning and clarity, and please come back again, I especially like your explanation of God that may not be complex according to our standards with biology and physics limiting his God like quality. Also his form being outside the know universe, should not be excluded, and if they are then we have to ask under which criteria, if you could not test it how could you affirm positively that he is non existent. So as far as I’m considered the best one can do is be an agnostic if he/ she is intellectually honest to their principle of critical and logical examination of the evidence we currently have.

  8. misunderstoodranter says:

    You don’t have to explain the explanation?

    Really?

    If everything is designed, then everything that existed even god must be designed, since nothing cannot exist unless it was designed and created by the creator. The only rational thing here is that the creator could have designed itself or came from nothing, or has always existed – which only makes sense if the creator is not sentient.

    God could be a process like the sun or a nuclear reaction, in other words we are living the creation now, creation has not stopped it is always happening. Evolution has not stopped either, it is still happening right now to all living things. Simply put Dawkins is saying that creation is a process, and the cause of that process is unknown and not fully explained, but we do understand that it is a process rather than a design.

  9. I’m going to try and keep this short and sweet, first of all, as per the video you could not possibly have infinite regression of explanations. You would not have science based on that kind of reasoning. Secondly I have noticed your use of word sentient in the past please clarify how do you intend to use this as there are several options available here. Intelligence and self awareness etc, or are you talking science fiction etc. Secondly you continue to make very simple logical mistake here, Even Bible does not go that far to define God, we know much about Jesus but about God the father and the Holy Spirit we know some but with much limitations. What we know is that God is a spirit, that he exists outside of his creation and that includes this universe. Also issue that you refer to is from the argument by the Thomas Aquinas who was Roman Catholic saint, philosopher and priest that lived in 13th Century. Dawkins is misunderstanding his argument and therefore Dr Craig was offering explanation to this issue.

    It is based on logic and philosophy, modern philosophers are still accepting this argument as relevant. His starting point is where the misunderstanding arises with his claim that some things have cause. However Dawkins understood this to mean that all things must have cause. If original argument was formulated like that it would be justifiable for Dawkins to proceed with his claim. But Aquinas is arguing that most things have cause, but that this could not go on indefinitely therefore there has to be original uncaused source which he calls God. Fact is that many people misunderstand this statement and this included Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett etc, etc. We know that Universe is not eternal, Einstein was unhappy about it but eventually agreed that this is true. This strengthened this theory, that if universe was caused then there has to be some other force that caused it, and Aquinas argued that this could not go indefinitely so there had to be uncaused creator. Looking at scientific data, some scientists agree with this proposition and have therefore abounded their atheism. I still think that this is a very strong case for Gods existence hence I have included it in this blog.

  10. misunderstoodranter says:

    You should watch this… it deals with many of the issues you mention, and explains it better than I can.

    youtube.com/watch?v=7ImvlS8PLIo&feature=SeriesPlayList&p=D62809AD452EDB98

  11. misunderstoodranter says:

    By sentient I mean a god that can think like us – and make decisions.

    I guess you can say we all believe in god – we just spell it Nature.

    I believe in Nature – I don’t believe in a grey haired man with a booming voice that judges people because it is absolutely ridiculous to do so unless I have hard evidence. I don’t believe in monsters for the same reason, or aliens or anything unless I have evidence, god is no different. However, I have evidence of nature – I see that everyday, and it fills me with wonder and a thirst for knowledge.

    Religion is a primitive form of social order and a way of trying to explain things that we couldn’t explain 2000 years ago – it is out of date.

    You can either waste your time sitting in a church praying (wishing) or you can actually do something useful with your life and study something that will benefit society with real tangible evidence – which despite what you say Dawkins and his kind actually do.

    A proper biologist works in the field, gets their hands dirty and works on a theory that helps society understand the world and find solutions to its problems regardless of their beliefs. Some scientist do believe in a creator – most have come to the same conclusion that I have and that is that we are all part of nature.

    You are lucky DTW – you have a mind, you can think, you can apply yourself to many areas of society if you choose to. But in order to be truly useful, you need to soften your religious beliefs and become more humanitarian help by doing rather than by praying, and see that religion is just an old fashioned idea based on translations of a book that was based on stories and fables of the time. Use the bible for comfort, study it for its poetry, or even study it’s creation and drafting because it has many insights about the human race and early society – but what ever you do don’t use it as a moral compass because it is seriously out of date with the way the world actually works.

    It is your choice DTW.

    As for evolution – it does have hard evidence – look up fossils of horses in America. Look up and study lung fish, look up amphibians that CAN grow a limb back if it is removed – and find the DNA evidence that is allowing scientists to discover that we may be able to do that same with the addition of some medical science – because we share DNA with them. If evolution wasn’t true we would have nothing in common with these creatures.

  12. I have had a pleasure of watching this, and have given my critique on this video to teleb. Interesting that you don’t want to get involved, you need someone with the title of Theoretical physicist to hide behind. Much of what he said could be, but also may not be true. Some of the things that are correct may or may not be applicable when looking at question of creation. Otherwise he would be praised not only by atheists but by all, everyone admitting that our Big Bang understanding needs to be changed significantly. Why do you think people like him and Dawkins desperately need to find alternative??? So you are welcomed to take his word for it, and ignore “reason to believe” web page that I directed you to. There you will find astrophysicist that strongly believes in Big Bang long earth age and God who is the creator. So who you are going to believe is obviously driven by your preference for your world view. Your atheistic philosophy is preventing you from seeing the full picture. Why do you think people wanted to show continuous creation process or multi-universe, all they need to add is little bit of magic dust, but its OK to accept their word for it, and hey most certainly we must not look at all the evidence that goes against it. (Notice sarcasm for people like that and his best buddy Dawkins – fully intended)

  13. [By sentient I mean a god that can think like us – and make decisions.}

    Defend the word: So what are you saying?

    There could not be a god because;
    A.) He could not think?
    B.) Thinking God is bad?
    C.) You could not think and be God?

    [I guess you can say we all believe in god – we just spell it Nature.]

    Defend the word: I’m glad that you said that, you have taken the very words out of my mouth. Case closed!

    [I believe in Nature – I don’t believe in a grey haired man with a booming voice that judges people because it is absolutely ridiculous to do so unless I have hard evidence. I don’t believe in monsters for the same reason, or aliens or anything unless I have evidence, god is no different. However, I have evidence of nature – I see that everyday, and it fills me with wonder and a thirst for knowledge.]

    Defend the word: And nature works for me too, every time I see it I’m grateful to God that he did this for me.

    [Religion is a primitive form of social order and a way of trying to explain things that we couldn’t explain 2000 years ago – it is out of date.]

    Defend the word: And we should ignore the fact that science is still young and undergoing many changes?? Therefore we could not use something that is not static and stable to judge something that may well be extremely compatible with the future more mature science.

    [You can either waste your time sitting in a church praying (wishing) or you can actually do something useful with your life and study something that will benefit society with real tangible evidence – which despite what you say Dawkins and his kind actually do.]

    Defend the word: Actually most of the work he is doing is building his pension fund by doing countless debates and promoting Atheism. There is nothing scientific about that is there?

    [A proper biologist works in the field, gets their hands dirty and works on a theory that helps society understand the world and find solutions to its problems regardless of their beliefs. Some scientist do believe in a creator – most have come to the same conclusion that I have and that is that we are all part of nature.]

    Defend the word: How is that contradicting what the Bible is saying??

    [You are lucky DTW – you have a mind, you can think, you can apply yourself to many areas of society if you choose to. But in order to be truly useful, you need to soften your religious beliefs and become more humanitarian help by doing rather than by praying, and see that religion is just an old fashioned idea based on translations of a book that was based on stories and fables of the time. Use the bible for comfort, study it for its poetry, or even study it’s creation and drafting because it has many insights about the human race and early society – but what ever you do don’t use it as a moral compass because it is seriously out of date with the way the world actually works.]

    Defend the Word: What makes you think that I am not active in the community, I have spent years teaching children Football, basketball and music, all for free! I’m actively involved helping people at work even now. It is precisely because I am a Christian that I find this respect and love for people. I don’t judge them according to their appearance or their ability to understand. I can see that they are made in the image of God and that is what makes me see them as the most important and valuable part of this universe. So faith and goodness goes hand in hand, prayer helps to drive this point deeper and equip us better to do what we can and make Gods love known. Its called practical faith!

    [It is your choice DTW.]

    Defend the word: And likewise, freedom of choice is something that God give us all, invitation stands, whether we respond to that is entirely up to us.

    [As for evolution – it does have hard evidence – look up fossils of horses in America. Look up and study lung fish, look up amphibians that CAN grow a limb back if it is removed – and find the DNA evidence that is allowing scientists to discover that we may be able to do that same with the addition of some medical science – because we share DNA with them. If evolution wasn’t true we would have nothing in common with these creatures.]

    Defend the word: And you and I do not disagree on that one single bit, but all that you have given me is what we call, adaptability, and mutation, that goes up and down, like with Darwin’s finches, they get bigger father beaks, during dry season, but that does not stay like that forever, when there is no need to crack tough seeds they revert back to slender beaks. Ability to grow new limb is not proof that nature gives new limbs to the existing species all it does it demonstrates Gods clever design with lizards. Therefore none of your examples proves that there is evidence for what we call Macro Evolution. Functions can be lost, but for new information to happen you need specific guidance. A blueprint is required at the minimum, and using science to say this demonstrates that evolution is possible is false reasoning. Remember that any experiments are highly complicated and guided by research that takes years, but not only is the knowledge required also specialised equipment and sterile environment is required. So what you have in fact is more design, in other words, God given ability to humans to be like him, creating and designing.

  14. misunderstoodranter says:

    There is no Macro evolution – there is only evolution, if you agree that the changes occur you agree that evolution is true – species adapt according to their environment. Large changes in the environment leave no time for a species to adapt, small changes allow for natural selection to occur and for generations of species to adapt. The issue you have with evolution is related to time. I have red hair, and pale white skin – why is that? Is it because god thought what a great colour it was? Or is it more likely that human skin adapted to the environment that it found itself in i.e. dark nights of northern hemisphere – would this explain why the human populations that inhabit the equator are dark skinned? Probably yes – since there are very few examples of red heads that live in hot countries.

    So like many creationists you only want to accept what supports your claim for the existence to god – you just can not be that selective.

    However, we digress – my main point is that the act of creation does not have to be a conscious one.

  15. misunderstoodranter says:

    “Defend the Word: What makes you think that I am not active in the community, I have spent years teaching children Football, basketball and music, all for free! I’m actively involved helping people at work even now. It is precisely because I am a Christian that I find this respect and love for people. ”

    I forgot to mention – that I don’t doubt that you intend to do well. But the issue for me with any religion is that it does not promote free thought.

    If my child was to ask you if god existed – your answer would be yes.

    That answer is not acceptable to me – because it excludes all other possibilities and hence the possibility of free thought.

    If you are true free thinker you need to accept that the possibility of god existing is just that – a possibility and nothing more. And once you do that, you have to find evidence that supports god’s existence beyond reasonable doubt.

    You don’t like Dawkin’s and I can understand that – many people do not like him, me included – but it does not and has not clouded my academic opinion of his thoughts and arguments. In the same way that Robert Winston’s arguments for god do not detract me from his knowledge and understanding of science. You really need to get over the conspiracy – there isn’t one.

    You also need to disassociate being Christian with being good. While you may be a good person and Christian, this does not mean that all Christian’s are good – and therefore Christianity and religion as a whole is not necessarily a force for good. Atheists are equally as active in the community and provide support – it makes good rational sense to be active int he community, and to help others – I don’t need god to make me do this – I just do it, because it is the right thing to do for the good of everyone, as I understand that we all rely upon everyone else in a structured society. This trait is not unique to Christians.

  16. I don’t understand how anything you said could possibly dispute what I said previously. Both you and I agree that we adopt according to the external pressures, this however does not prove anything of the kind you would like me to believe. Note that Palaeontologists have long been saying that we are missing links everywhere. This is not just human evolution but also all other species. This is precisely why we have punctuated equilibrium, but people like Dawkins don’t like this idea and this is why he must invent mount improbable with long time and gradual changes. He lives in the hope that we will one day find this gradual change that supports many transitional specimens. As it stands all they can do is line up all existing creatures and try and put them in order of similarity. But then again we could simply conclude that choosing different car parts and saying they belong to same car model, say Ford for the sake of this discussion. This would be incorrect assumption, as in this junk yard we could be picking up parts that are taken from tractors, trains, tanks, bicycles etc. They may be similar but they only show that one human mind had designed them all using same principles for all of them.

    On the case of non conscious evolution processes think about this. How can you then explain that Evolution is always going to pick advantageous rather than disastrous new trait? If the chances are split you will only go in circle. Actually according to Dr Behe he says as much, that after some 30,000 bacteria and fruit flies, (this would equate to few million years in human evolution.) all the mutation points to loss of information and very few benefits. His argument is that our understanding of evolution is based on faith that things are going to get better on their own is just that in our heads and not founded on scientific research.

  17. [I forgot to mention – that I don’t doubt that you intend to do well. But the issue for me with any religion is that it does not promote free thought. If my child was to ask you if god existed – your answer would be yes. That answer is not acceptable to me – because it excludes all other possibilities and hence the possibility of free thought.]

    Defend the word: If your child is to open bottle of poison, would you sit idle and let him/her find for themselves if this is dangerous? No I don’t think so, education is not an evil, on the contrary. I have also mentioned to you before, God does not have grandchildren, they have to make their own minds up. And my responsibility will be to make sure they have all the information they need, choice is then up to them. And as far as I understand 99% of Christians believe exactly the same thing as me.

    [If you are true free thinker you need to accept that the possibility of god existing is just that – a possibility and nothing more. And once you do that, you have to find evidence that supports god’s existence beyond reasonable doubt.]

    Defend the word: Why do you think I spend years studying and reading? I believe that all this searching has paid of. Jesus himself said “seek and you will find”! So I would argue you are giving false assumption when you say we could not know, on the contrary, we have historical evidence, loads of scientific data that supports creator, and we should not forget personal either. Otherwise I would challenge you to dispute in the best scientific way why my personal experience is not valid!

    [You don’t like Dawkin’s and I can understand that – many people do not like him, me included – but it does not and has not clouded my academic opinion of his thoughts and arguments. In the same way that Robert Winston’s arguments for god do not detract me from his knowledge and understanding of science. You really need to get over the conspiracy – there isn’t one.]

    Defend the word: Actually, I respect Dr Dawkins and people like yourself, because both of you bother with the question of religion. I disagree with the philosophical explanations but I have nothing to dislike about him. I believe that any such action brings pain to people that harbour grudge and hate. It is actually his arguments that I have issue with, and if you read what the many critics, including atheists have written about his work, very little is complimentary.

    [You also need to disassociate being Christian with being good. While you may be a good person and Christian, this does not mean that all Christian’s are good – and therefore Christianity and religion as a whole is not necessarily a force for good.]

    Defend the word: I have never made this link in the first place, otherwise I would not bother with people like yourself, it is precisely because I think that you have interest in the rest of the humanity and I can sense your goodness that I persist with our conversations.

    [Atheists are equally as active in the community and provide support – it makes good rational sense to be active in the community, and to help others – I don’t need god to make me do this – I just do it, because it is the right thing to do for the good of everyone, as I understand that we all rely upon everyone else in a structured society. This trait is not unique to Christians.]

    Defend the word: You are absolutely right, and good on you, please carry on! I only wish that you would influence more people to join you in your good works. However it’s not about goodness, you have brought that subject up not me, so no need to go there. The only thing that I would say is that this morality is not explained best in the structure of the society or interlinking favours for one another. Otherwise it is drastically different in the reasoning from what Christians do. When Christians are undertaking good deeds it is for the love we carry inside, both for God and our fellow man. No need to receive anything in return, this giving is at the heart of the message of Jesus. Only shame is that many Christians have forgotten about this original message and will from time to time give very bad name to the founder of their faith. But then again we are all human and need loads of Love, support, understanding and forgiveness. And this is what God offers that no other religion will give you. This will then result in meaning, peace and Joy that is not dependent on what you are, or how much you are worth, or how many friends you have. Simply it will be inside you as a gift from God to you personally.

  18. You just caught me as I was to turn my PC off. Let me first say it clearly, that it is obvious from the video itself that he admits that some of what he said was speculative as that is his job! Unless you would want to argue with me about theoretical physics and what that means in practical terms? Secondly whilst what he said in the paragraph that you quoted sounds plausible, we know from the rate of expansion of the universe would require significant amount of energy. Fact is that the rate of the expansion is also one of the miracles of nature as you will find from physics, too fast or too slow would result in star formation that is not equal to the size of our sun and therefore you have no life in this universe. Where those he propose that original matter comes from? His assertion is as ridiculous as when Einstein divided his formula with zero in order to explain constancy of the Universe.

    In my limited knowledge I would say that his assertion that universe came out of nothing from Zero is as absurd as me saying that explosions happen on their own, it is simply based on guess work, it is not widely accepted argument, it is an attempt by an atheist to find solution to a very strong argument that Christians have used for the last 30 years. He was not there, hi is not able to observe this far in the past therefore what is left is his guess work. Whilst as always I applaud people with innovative mind, we have to be careful that existing evidence is simply not going against what is observed.

    You require matter and that matter needs creating regardless of how small that may be, as they say when scientist claimed he could be like God and create things out of nothing, God relied show me, and when scientist then said “I’ll just take little bit of dirt, and put it in the test tube” god protested and said “Get your own dirt”. So no I don’t buy his argument, I think he is eloquent and clever, but I don’t think it gives satisfactory answer, he only addresses small part of the question, things can come out of nothing, nut why do they form in the way that seam to be rigged in favour of life forming?

    It is precisely because of quantum physics that many have turned to believing in God so that argument is as usual is a just a bluff that ignorant people will buy and not check the facts. As they say, little knowledge can be dangerous, and I deplore arrogance of people who think that they can blind us with science. One other fact you should have noticed his skilful admission that in theoretical physics you always tell things that are not equal to the calculations themselves. Explanations given by him are words that are used to describe mathematical calculations therefore some pinch of salt is needed.

  19. misunderstoodranter says:

    “How can you then explain that Evolution is always going to pick advantageous rather than disastrous new trait? If the chances are split you will only go in circle. ”

    The chances are not split – something dies, something lives – that which lives is given a chance to reproduce, that which dies is given nothing.

    If god created everything then, he must have also created the parasites, that feed off our blood, and other animals blood. Malaria even makes our blood smell nice to other mosquitoes, so that protozoa has more chance of spreading – did god design that as well?

    Did god design the Ichneumonidae wasp which upon sensing the vibrations emitted by a wood-boring host (a caterpillar larva), the female wasp will drill her ovipositor into the substrate until it reaches the cavity wherein lies the host. She then injects an egg through the hollow tube into the body cavity of the larva. There the egg will hatch and the resulting larva will devour its host before emergence – did god create that?

    What about the parasite Dracunculiasis – did god create that disgusting creature for his love of man?

  20. misunderstoodranter says:

    “a bluff that ignorant people will buy and not check the facts. ”

    Ignorant people like the best minds in the world that are working at the LHC? Perhaps?

    Come on DTW – do you seriously believe that science is a conspiracy against religion to bluff people – i.e. the devils work, and that people who work and follow science are ignorant… people who build computers, space rockets, medicine, split atoms – all ignorant, with the motive to prove that god doesn’t exist.

    That anyone can work in science without working hard for their credibility?

    The truth is anyone can become a creationist – I could publish some rubbish tomorrow, and Ray Comfort and his clan would support me full on. As a minor scientist, I know exactly how to do this. All I have to do is write something that obvious, without explaining it fully, and say look god must have done it – it is easy.

  21. harry says:

    ”Actually most of the work he is doing is building his pension fund by doing countless debates and promoting Atheism. There is nothing scientific about that is there?”

    He did that for two years. Hes back to evolution now.

    Hes past retirement age and still wants to work. Thats admirable.

    Not only is it work, its public education. There is a reason he was the oxford proffesor for the public understanding of science.

    That, is even more admirable.

    You wouldnt be complaining if you got paid to tell everybody what you had spent your entire life’s work on, and actually had an effect on countless peoples lives.

    You underestimate Dawkins. He FOUNDED the selfish gene theory. One of the corner stones of neo-darwinism. It was an absolute stroke of genious and althoguh he will not be remembered on par with Newton/kelvin/einstein he will be remembered. If we make it another 200 years his name will crop up in history of science textbooks.

    And before you say his atheist rantings has discredited him.

    Bobby Fischer, the greatest chess player of all time, spewed forth horrible rhetoric in his later years, racist and anti-semetic. Far worse than Dawkins, He is still remembered only for his chess.

    Newton believed in Alchemy and spent more time on religious studies than science ( which Dawkins might be doing now) but he is still remembered for his physics.

    ”In my limited knowledge I would say that his assertion that universe came out of nothing from Zero is as absurd as me saying that explosions happen on their own, it is simply based on guess work, it is not widely accepted argument, it is an attempt by an atheist to find solution to a very strong argument that Christians have used for the last 30 years. ”

    I am going to use your favourite word.

    Straw man.

    I have often wondered why you say atheists believe something came from nothing.

    A true atheist does not believe nothing came from the big bang. That is a belief, without evidence. Next time an atheist says this, tell them that. I believe they will realise they are wrong and change their position or correct it as an issue of pedantics.

    If I say

    NOTHING CAME BEFORE THE BIG BANG, I am making a statement of faith.

    I can only say. I DO NOT KNOW WHAT CAME BEFORE THE BIG BANG. IT IS ONE IN A COUNTLESS TRILLION IT IS THE CHRISTIAN GOD, JUST LIKE IT IS ONE IN A COUNTLESS TRILLION IS WAS A SNEEZING GOAT.

    That is the only position an atheist can take. Otherwise, people are right to call atheism a religion. which it is not, beacuse a true atheist, can not make any claim based on faith.

  22. dguller says:

    Quick question.

    Craig seems to put a lot of weight into the idea that if X began to exist, then X must have a cause.

    First, I was wondering how he could possibly know this?

    There is no empirical evidence of this claim. I mean, could someone point to me to a clear example of someone observing something popping into existence from nothingness, and observing something else causing that to happen?

    There is no evidence that something can pop into existence from nothingness WITHOUT a cause, either!

    The best that we can say is that we have no idea whether something coming from nothing requires a cause or not. We have to be agnostic about it, if we are being honest.

    Second, everything that we experience WITHIN the universe occurs within a chain of causality, but it does not follow that the universe ITSELF must have a cause.

    That would commit the fallacy of composition, i.e. the properties that parts possess do not necessarily also occur in the whole.

    For example, just because atoms are invisible to the human eye does not imply that material objects that are made of objects are also invisible.

    See?

    I think the same thing applies to saying that the universe has a cause.

    Fallacy of composition.

    Any thoughts?

  23. You forget one catastrophically big question that you have not answered. One DNA has self repair system that reduces significant mutation does only allowing changes in size, thickness of beaks, variations that seam to be very limited to the adoptability of the external pressures on our environment. Secondly we see genetic deformation as more than we see “Improvements” this is why some scientist have openly said that “Humans have fully evolved” and that we should not see any more beneficial changes. So your reply is not answering my question especially as we are doing our best to combat all the diseases with medicine, which is hardly natural way to evolve is it not?

  24. I have heard David Attenborough say exactly the same thing, but this is short sighted hypothesis against God, this is not how you prove atheism, best you can do is show that God did not plan his things very well. But as I said to you before, introduction of sin to humanity has brought curse on humanity and Gods creation, it is in chapter 3 at the very beginning of the Bible. And if we take bible to be true then could we not accept that this explains your problem? I hope you can see where I’m taking you with this logic, even hypothetical assertion is strongly dismantling your argument. I say that as you would have to disprove my argument before I would be happy to change my opinion. And before you go anywhere with this argument I accept that you don’t take bible to be reliable, but I do, and I have given you my many arguments so all of them would have to be addressed before you could successfully dispute my hypothesis.

  25. I can see how your argument could work, and is often used by atheists, but you are forgetting one small thing. OK not really small, as I said before there are many great scientist who are Christians, and many Christians who love science and that includes myself. So your argument just does not stacks up against the real data. Fact that there are serious disputes, opposing theories and lack of openness shows precisely that most people who don’t investigate would conclude like you did that Christianity is not compatible with Science and that is just plain wrong. This is not your fault, it is just preference and ignorance of many TV producers as most of our science today is inherited from our documentaries that are in agreement with the established dogmatic teaching.

  26. This only works if you accept Dawkins and his mount improbable where you have big drop on one side and gradual increase of the mountain on the other side. I hope you understand what I’m talking about. But note that such assertion is kind of metaphysical assertion as you don’t have evidence for such process. Unless you can prove it to me that you have mechanism that could take you and I trough time travel. So no me saying that small changes are evident does not mean that I will agree that because finches change thickness of their beaks will mean that I will agree with you that fish have evolved to become dinosaurs. Two are simply not connected; this imaginary connection is forced on evolutionists because there is no other explanation. And therefore they say “we can’t have God of the Gaps” but hey they are OK to use their own version fully modified and then claim to be scientific. They just refuse to accept that this is no better in fact it should be rightly called “Evolution of the gaps”.

  27. ”Actually most of the work he is doing is building his pension fund by doing countless debates and promoting Atheism. There is nothing scientific about that is there?”

    Harry [He did that for two years. Hes back to evolution now. Hes past retirement age and still wants to work. Thats admirable. Not only is it work, its public education. There is a reason he was the oxford proffesor for the public understanding of science. That, is even more admirable.]

    Defend the Word: You wouldn’t know that when you check his blog / web page by the things come up there. Secondly if he is in retirement as you suggest should not that imply that he is not doing anything. I appreciate that you admire and love him and there is nothing wrong with that. But hey why should I have to agree with his world view??

    Harry: [You wouldnt be complaining if you got paid to tell everybody what you had spent your entire life’s work on, and actually had an effect on countless peoples lives.]

    Defend the word: My comment is about his cleverness, he knows what sells, and he is brilliant communicator but this does not make him right. That would be a step too far in my logic.

    Harry: [You underestimate Dawkins. He FOUNDED the selfish gene theory. One of the corner stones of neo-darwinism. It was an absolute stroke of genious and althoguh he will not be remembered on par with Newton/kelvin/einstein he will be remembered. If we make it another 200 years his name will crop up in history of science textbooks.]

    Defend the word: I have just said that he is brilliant communicator that is not underestimating, on the contrary. I consider him to be most able atheist of our time, but that does not mean that I’m afraid of him or in admiration of his ideology. Two are completely separated and I guess according to your thinking if you disagree with someone and you don’t like them. In my book it is completely different I may dislike their approach to philosophy and even may question their honesty, but I may still respect their intellect.

    Harry: [And before you say his atheist rantings has discredited him. Bobby Fischer, the greatest chess player of all time, spewed forth horrible rhetoric in his later years, racist and anti-semetic. Far worse than Dawkins, He is still remembered only for his chess.]

    Defend the word: When someone is linking their research with their world view, then he will inevitable be remembered for both. As simple as that!

    Harry: [Newton believed in Alchemy and spent more time on religious studies than science ( which Dawkins might be doing now) but he is still remembered for his physics.]

    Defend the word: With one difference we know that Alchemy is discredited, we are yet to witness honest acceptance that loads of what Dr Dawkins said is hypothetical, and metaphysical in nature and that includes his mount improbable.

    ”In my limited knowledge I would say that his assertion that universe came out of nothing from Zero is as absurd as me saying that explosions happen on their own, it is simply based on guess work, it is not widely accepted argument, it is an attempt by an atheist to find solution to a very strong argument that Christians have used for the last 30 years. ”

    Harry: [I am going to use your favourite word. Straw man.]

    Defend the word: Do you understand what the word straw man argument means? If the issue is inseparably linked to the argument it needs addressing, my argumentation is linking world view and uneven treatment of science, and ignorant statements that are used to justify their disbelief. Need I say more???

    Harry: [I have often wondered why you say atheists believe something came from nothing. A true atheist does not believe nothing came from the big bang. That is a belief, without evidence. Next time an atheist says this, tell them that. I believe they will realise they are wrong and change their position or correct it as an issue of pedantics.]

    Defend the word: True atheist? Are you in a possession of the correct definition of what is a true atheism? I would love to hear it, as I thought that as many world view and ideas as many types of atheists you will find. And even if you provide me with a definition how do I know that all the atheists of the world would agree with you. Are you again going to dictate the rules of the game, in order to guide this debate? How very atheist.

    Harry: [If I say, NOTHING CAME BEFORE THE BIG BANG, I am making a statement of faith. I can only say. I DO NOT KNOW WHAT CAME BEFORE THE BIG BANG. IT IS ONE IN A COUNTLESS TRILLION IT IS THE CHRISTIAN GOD, JUST LIKE IT IS ONE IN A COUNTLESS TRILLION IS WAS A SNEEZING GOAT.]

    Defend the word: And why do we have study of biogenesis, and why do we study big bang? And not to say least of all, why do you say that there is no God. I’m glad that you finally and openly state where you come from. This explains why you say things that you do. I think your initial attempt to show impartiality some months ago did not work. I guess you got this from Sam Harris about hiding your atheism but I believe that inevitably whatever we say, our world views will become visible regardless of how hard we try and disguise them into science. Fact is science uses inference all the time, and from the very science we could infer that intelligent being was responsible for the creation of all the know universe.

    Harry: [That is the only position an atheist can take. Otherwise, people are right to call atheism a religion. which it is not, beacuse a true atheist, can not make any claim based on faith.]

    Defend the word: I admire your honesty, but this is not how it works in a real world. In fact just check any atheist blogs, and most of what they say is based on presuppositions that are simply not provable, often there are many possible explanations and often they are deliberately ignored. And should I not forget, often they ridicule good arguments when they have no real substance that they could use to oppose strong argumentation from people that ask the right questions and give solid explanations as to why they have rational faith.

    Yes that is right, faith can be rational despite of what you said above, you are logically wrong, I don’t need scientific evidence to understand that yesterday I had coffee with my wife, and neither do I need it if I had personal life changing experience that can not be accounted by any other means other than the work of God.

    We use faith in combination with science all the time, I’m only surprised that you can see the obvious links between the two important components in the progress of any argumentation. If you assume that previous scientific research is correct and you build your hypothesis on the existent hypothesis, what is it that you are doing? Answer you put your faith into it.

    When you say that certain processes are only achievable trough evolution without solid evidence, bit like Dr Dawkins mount improbable, when you have no means to demonstrate this hypothesis. What do you do? You put your faith into it. Faith, faith, faith, glorious faith. Without it this world would not go around. The only difference is that I acknowledge that I base my faith on limited understanding, on science and observation whilst atheists like to hide behind materialistic world view and demand that all science should be done in this way. Even when science itself does not demand such blind following. The sooner people realise this the better for them and they can be liberated from the notion that their understanding will take them straight to knowing that there is no God. According to your statement, best you could do is become agnostic and reject Atheism and that would be the step in the right direction.

  28. It could not be simpler; he is referring to the Big Bang theory which is used by most atheists today, perversely to disprove God, when in fact by inference we could rightly conclude that based on causality opposite is more likely. Now on addressing your main objection, atoms may be invisible to the naked eye, but we have indirect observations and these are not new to modern science. Likewise same principle can and should be used to demonstrate that intelligence is required to create perfectly formed earth, to use common analogy, “earth and universe seams to be rigged for life”.

    Your example demands closer look and your assertion that disproves Dr Craig is too quick but not well researched. In fact let me quote Answers.com for you, so you can see that I’m not making this up.

    …”In the 5th cent. B.C. the Greek philosophers Democritus and Leucippus proposed that matter was made up of tiny, indivisible particles they called atom, or in Greek “a-tomos”. The reason why they assumed this is because nothing can come from nothing. Around 1803, John Dalton (1766-1844) developed the first useful atomic theory of matter. He imagined the atom as a sphere full of an electrically positive substance mixed with negative electron. Then in 1897, Thompson discovered the first component part of the atom: the electron, a particle with a negative electric charge.”

    Taken from: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Who_discovered_the_atom

    So even that discovery backs up precisely what Craig had expanded upon. So your argument not only does not disprove Craig but confirms Dr Craig. Lastly for your argument to fly, we would have to assume that universe was either eternal, which is disputed by Big Bang theory or have multi universe theory, mixed up with other parts of String Theory. Which as we know we could not observe, we only postulate about it, and more often then not, this is done precisely as an alternative to the cosmological argument, but what they (Atheists) don’t tell you is that it is faith based not factual argumentation. Good try though; it is a magic trick that works on children but not on thinking people who will be prepared to examine validity of data that is presented before them

  29. dguller says:

    DTW:

    First, all arguments in favour of ID make a number of basic mistakes.

    One, they are all basically arguments from ignorance. In other words, “X is extraordinarily complicated, and since I cannot possibly imagine how X could be formed according to scientific theory Y, therefore God must have created X”.

    Two, just because science is unable to account for X does imply that ID is true, by default. That is a false dichotomy, because they BOTH could be false.

    Second, “nothing comes from nothing” is just an assumption. It has not been demonstrated to be true. The best that we can say is that we have never observed “nothing” coming from “nothing”. But then again, we have also never observed “something” coming from “nothing”. That is why I am saying that, if we are being honest and not bringing prior commitments, then we have to remain agnostic about whether something can come from nothing, or always requires something.

    Third, you did not address my point about the fallacy of composition. Just because everything WITHIN the universe requires a cause does not imply that the universe ITSELF requires a cause. That would require some evidence in support of it. As I said earlier, there is NO evidence saying that the universe HAD to come from something, and there is also NO evidence that it HAD to come from nothing, either. We just don’t know, and should be agnostic about it.

    Fourth, I do not have to assume that the universe was eternal. It might be. The Big Bang only refers to our current universe. It makes no inferences about whether there were other universes before ours in an infinite series of Big Bangs and Big Crunches. You are right that this is all speculation, but I would include your hypothesis of a cause of the universe being necessary. It is also speculation, because it is based ONLY upon an assumption that commits the fallacy of composition.

    This is not magic at all. It is just making sure that our arguments contain true premises and do not commit any informal logical fallacies. I would say that the First Cause argument makes both mistakes.

  30. harry says:

    ”don’t need scientific evidence to understand that yesterday I had coffee with my wife”

    Yes you absolutely do. If someone were to inquire about it in a situation which required it, such as court, you would require evidence to back up your alibi!

    prove you did not steal the apple at 10am

    I was having coffee with my wife

    Where is your evidence for that statement?

    If you had no evidence for it, you would not remember it, your wife would not remember it, there would be no used coffee mug or surge in the electricity use in your home at that moment to put on the kettle.

    ”True atheist? Are you in a possession of the correct definition of what is a true atheism? ”

    Yes I am.

    An Atheist is a person who denies the existence of a creator…

    I am not an Atheist, I am an Atheist agnostic. I can not possible KNOW that there is no god. I am just 99% sure there isnt, so I simply say there is no god, just like i say (typical) there is no teapot in orbit around there sun. I am not 100% sure of it, the chance of it being true though are so small I just say ‘there is no teapot in orbit around the sun

    ANY ATHEIST worth their salt will be an atheist agnostic. And if you talk to one it may appear they are 100% sure there is no god they probably will clarify to a point similair to mine.If they don’t, they are making a statement based on faith

    NO I AM A 100% SURE THERE IS NO GOD
    Where is your evidence for that?

    All I know, there is a lot more atheists out there saying ‘ no i am not 100% sure there is no god’ than there are christians saying no i am not 100% there is no god.

    Nearly all christians will tell you ‘YES THERE IS A GOD’. Which is why atheists are inherently more reasonable than the religious.

    On the big bang subject.

    You completely and utterly did not answer my point about we can not know what game before the big bang, and just talked about atheist blogs which mean absolutely nothing.

    Any atheist basing their claims on evidence can only say we dont know what came before the big bang.

    Along those lines which was mentioned earlier by someone else. it is not even 100% certain ANYTHING DID come before hand.

    We have NO observational data regarding a ‘big bang’. We dont know if anything needed to cause it. Cause and affect works, but during the big bang, the laws of physics didnt even apply. We not only dont know what came before the big bang, we are not even in a position to hypothesise what happened.

    oh and lastly, even Richard Dawkins describes himself as an Atheist Agnostic, Atheist for short.

  31. misunderstoodranter says:

    There is a 40 year gap between Jesus death and the first gospel been written – but this doesn’t seem to bother you in the slightest?

    I am also trying to get my head around the god of the bible – is it Jesus (our so called Lord), the holy ghost, or Yahweh?

    I am still struggling why you believe in the bible – and not egyptian gods – I am not sure you have explained this fully to me… but I don’t understand why you don’t believe in egyptian gods? There is more evidence for them, and it is more reliable.

    What I want to know is your reasoning for rejecting other gods…

  32. Dguller: [First, all arguments in favour of ID make a number of basic mistakes. One, they are all basically arguments from ignorance. In other words, “X is extraordinarily complicated, and since I cannot possibly imagine how X could be formed according to scientific theory Y, therefore God must have created X”.]

    Defend the word: This argument only works if one is ignorant of the fact that much work has been done to support and show how ridiculously overstretched “facts” of evolution are. You can bluff as much as you like but facts tell us something different.

    Dguller: [Two, just because science is unable to account for X does imply that ID is true, by default. That is a false dichotomy, because they BOTH could be false.]

    Defend the word: That is 100% correct, but it does not remove the fact that often when ID proponents point out that much of what is said by Evolutionary biologists is a guess work.

    Dguller: [Second, “nothing comes from nothing” is just an assumption. It has not been demonstrated to be true. The best that we can say is that we have never observed “nothing” coming from “nothing”. But then again, we have also never observed “something” coming from “nothing”. That is why I am saying that, if we are being honest and not bringing prior commitments, then we have to remain agnostic about whether something can come from nothing, or always requires something.]

    Defend the word: As long as you are agnostic about it I don’t have a problem with you. I have no problem in saying that my faith is based on inference and whilst it does require small step of faith it is also based on solid reasons.

    Dguller: [Third, you did not address my point about the fallacy of composition. Just because everything WITHIN the universe requires a cause does not imply that the universe ITSELF requires a cause. That would require some evidence in support of it. As I said earlier, there is NO evidence saying that the universe HAD to come from something, and there is also NO evidence that it HAD to come from nothing, either. We just don’t know, and should be agnostic about it.]

    Defend the word: Let’s stop talking semantics here, tell me how you propose to resolve this problem other than saying we don’t know, fact that life on earth and cosmological argument point out to finely tuned universe for life, and I will be grateful for your enlightening revelation. I have already mentioned that the spread of universe is at the right pace and any faster or slower and you have incorrect star formation and therefore no life on this planate, this is just one of the arguments, and there are many such clues to precisely formed universe that can support life. Otherwise you are no better than person who chooses to argue for the sake of arguing, for that I can go to the local pub, (Bar if you are from USA)

    Dguller: [Fourth, I do not have to assume that the universe was eternal. It might be. The Big Bang only refers to our current universe. It makes no inferences about whether there were other universes before ours in an infinite series of Big Bangs and Big Crunches. You are right that this is all speculation, but I would include your hypothesis of a cause of the universe being necessary. It is also speculation, because it is based ONLY upon an assumption that commits the fallacy of composition.
    This is not magic at all. It is just making sure that our arguments contain true premises and do not commit any informal logical fallacies. I would say that the First Cause argument makes both mistakes.]

    Defend the word: I love how people will clutch for the straws, when evidence is strongly pointing out to the intelligent causation. Even if there were 100 billions universes out there, you have to have strong faith to say that conditions that are perfect for life just accidentally happen. Such argument is very strong aginst lady luck.

  33. Misunderstoodranter [There is a 40 year gap between Jesus death and the first gospel been written – but this doesn’t seem to bother you in the slightest?]

    Defend the Word: According to History Jesus died in 30 to 33 AD that makes possibly Johns Gospel which is oldest according to many scholars 65 to 62 years after Jesus was crucified but we should not forget that it is written by the eyewitness.

    Marks Gospel was written around between 55 to 65 that makes it between 22 to 35 years away from the time of last sighting of Jesus.

    Luke about 27 years after the time of Jesus

    “Q” source could have been right after the time of Jesus, this is the source that many scholars say Mathew, Mark and Luke used.
    So I have no idea where you get your information from.

    1st and 2nd Thessalonians was written in 51 AD that is under 20 years after the death of Jesus and Paul also refers to the eyewitnesses, only an idiot (I’m talking about Paul here) would make such claims and do such thing in a highly disputed new movement, which was highly opposed by then Jewish community.

    Book of Galatians was written in 53 AD by Apostle Paul who mentions other apostles and his main topic is guess what Jesus. That is 20 years after Jesus and he describes his conversion just two years after the resurrection of Jesus. Sounds pretty good to me, no Egyptian mythology comes even close to this. We are talking about religious writings of others that are over 1000 years apart from the original events. Your argument just does not have any serious merits.

    Misunderstoodranter: [I am also trying to get my head around the god of the bible – is it Jesus (our so called Lord), the holy ghost, or Yahweh?]

    Defend the word: If you are trying to wind me up, then all I can say you are not succeeding, you know the answer to this, you attended your religious education and I’m sure have heard about the Holy Trinity.

    Misunderstoodranter: [I am still struggling why you believe in the bible – and not egyptian gods – I am not sure you have explained this fully to me… but I don’t understand why you don’t believe in egyptian gods? There is more evidence for them, and it is more reliable. What I want to know is your reasoning for rejecting other gods…]

    Defend the word: Not even Egyptologists would make such claim, where do you get your information. How typical of atheist even though they may reject other Gods they want anything that may possibly disprove Christianity. Fact is if you look at history, there is far more solid evidence for Christianity then any other religion. Only Christianity bothers with the apologetics, all others are subjective, spirit orientated where you could not possibly use any evidential data against. Therefore as logically minded person who has experienced God personally I reserve my right to use both, faith and Logic in combination and not in opposition to each other.

  34. Defend the word previously: ”don’t need scientific evidence to understand that yesterday I had coffee with my wife”

    Harry: [Yes you absolutely do. If someone were to inquire about it in a situation which required it, such as court, you would require evidence to back up your alibi! prove you did not steal the apple at 10am I was having coffee with my wife Where is your evidence for that statement? If you had no evidence for it, you would not remember it, your wife would not remember it, there would be no used coffee mug or surge in the electricity use in your home at that moment to put on the kettle.]

    Defend the word: Funny how you deliberately twist things around and this is not the first time you did this. Lets look at this slowly and logically so you don’t skip things again.
    1.) Nobody is talking about judgement and legal system here, and such analogy is used to divert attention to wrong area of the argument I would assume quite deliberately.
    2.) Faith in God and rejection of God can be just as subjective as coffee I had with my wife. But personal experiences.
    3.) Nobody argued that personal experience could not be verified only that one may not necessarily need it if the evidence is for personal use and that is all the difference in the world one needs to point out. Case closed, you don’t have to be forensic scientist. That kind of attitude only shows mentality of the person that is analysing this kind of data. This verges on obsessive Compulsive behaviour that is considered unhealthy by most and can be treated by Cognitive Behavioural therapy.

    Defend the word previously ”True atheist? Are you in a possession of the correct definition of what is a true atheism? ”

    Harry: [Yes I am. An Atheist is a person who denies the existence of a creator…]

    Defend the word: That is a very broad definition and I understand your reluctance to look at the existing divisions amongst many atheists just look at the reading material that is produced by Sam Harris and Chris Hitchin’s or your teacher Dawkins ; I wanted to point out that any specifics on your part would show great division that becomes evident to anyone who has studied atheism.

    Harry: [I am not an Atheist, I am an Atheist agnostic. I can not possible KNOW that there is no god. I am just 99% sure there isnt, so I simply say there is no god, just like i say (typical) there is no teapot in orbit around there sun. I am not 100% sure of it, the chance of it being true though are so small I just say ‘there is no teapot in orbit around the sun. Harry: ANY ATHEIST worth their salt will be an atheist agnostic. And if you talk to one it may appear they are 100% sure there is no god they probably will clarify to a point similair to mine.If they don’t, they are making a statement based on faith NO I AM A 100% SURE THERE IS NO GOD Where is your evidence for that? All I know, there is a lot more atheists out there saying ‘ no i am not 100% sure there is no god’ than there are christians saying no i am not 100% there is no god.
    ]

    Defend the word: Bravo, now I understand your intellectual integrity is completely intact now. Note that this humorous reply shows exactly what I mean, greatest kind of certainty you could have is given and then claim of impartiality is claimed, nothing could be further from the truth. Most if not all of your assumptions are faith based, otherwise I beg you help me rid myself of religion that enslaves me by giving me some evidence.
    Nearly all christians will tell you ‘YES THERE IS A GOD’. Which is why atheists are inherently more reasonable than the religious.

    Harry: [On the big bang subject. You completely and utterly did not answer my point about we can not know what game before the big bang, and just talked about atheist blogs which mean absolutely nothing. Any atheist basing their claims on evidence can only say we dont know what came before the big bang. Along those lines which was mentioned earlier by someone else. it is not even 100% certain ANYTHING DID come before hand.]

    Defend the word: You show again and again how little you understand on the implications of this subject, if this was not an important issue would people like Dawkins, and Sam Harris not simply ignore them? It is precisely because they have cause so many atheists to become religious that they pay so much attention to it. Why do you think Anthony Flew decided that there must be God??

    Harry: [We have NO observational data regarding a ‘big bang’. We dont know if anything needed to cause it. Cause and affect works, but during the big bang, the laws of physics didnt even apply. We not only dont know what came before the big bang, we are not even in a position to hypothesise what happened. oh and lastly, even Richard Dawkins describes himself as an Atheist Agnostic, Atheist for short.]

    Defend the word: Whilst this may sound reasonable to you, to me this continues to be faith based religiously driven world view. Where completely and utterly metaphysical conclusions are drawn our of teen air in order to prove that there is no God. They claim that they stand for reason and scientific approach but show complete contempt for scientific approach when it comes to God analysis. Little bit of humility would go long way, and accepting that faith plays massive part in their assertions would be welcomed. And on the issue of no physical laws before Big Bang all I can say you are playing in my territory now, that is a drive towards metaphysical, as we Christians say, God stands outside the physical world where physical laws do not apply. This is precisely why he is the prime candidate for the job of creation. And lastly your throw away comment about Dawkins being Atheist agnostic is very funny, he only gives it 99% out of 100% sounds like the most certainty one could possibly have. There is just very big difference and great lack of understanding of what agnosticism means. For that check what Dr David Berlinski has to say about pretensions of atheists and their distortion of facts. I don’t think he would appreciate your twisted definition of Atheist agnostic, as he calls himself agnostic and he should know he is a professor of Philosophy as well as Applied mathematics.

  35. dguller says:

    >> This argument only works if one is ignorant of the fact that much work has been done to support and show how ridiculously overstretched “facts” of evolution are. You can bluff as much as you like but facts tell us something different.

    Listen, I’m not going to get into a detailed discussion with you about the theory of evolution. My understanding is that it is as well established a fact as can possibly be expected, given all the different lines of evidence that all converge upon the single phenomena of evolution over billions of years.

    The objections are entirely based upon hyping the areas in which there is not consensus, and concluding that these areas undermine the entire theory. Yes, there are controversies about aspects of the MECHANISMS of evolution, but NONE of them affect the underlying truth of evolution itself. Furthermore, your point becomes meaningless if the “much work has been done” that you cite ALL utilize the argument from ignorance as their primary justification. That would just prove MY point, no?

    Anyway, it is firmly established that there HAS been change on this planet over billions of years, and that all life is connected through a long chain of ancestry stretching back to the beginning of life.

    >> That is 100% correct, but it does not remove the fact that often when ID proponents point out that much of what is said by Evolutionary biologists is a guess work.

    It is “guess work” in the sense that it can never be established as 100% certain. However, that is irrelevant, because NOTHING can be established to that degree. The best that humans can do is to reach for probability and plausibility in our explanations of the world, and I would argue that evolution has far surpassed both probability and plausibility as an explanation of the phenomena of life on earth. So, if you are saying that it is “guess work” in the sense of lacking absolute certainty, then you are committing the fallacy of the red herring, because this is irrelevant to its justification or truth.

    >> As long as you are agnostic about it I don’t have a problem with you. I have no problem in saying that my faith is based on inference and whilst it does require small step of faith it is also based on solid reasons.

    Now, you may have REASONS, but I doubt that you have “solid reasons”. If your reasons rely in any way upon our experience of things WITHIN the universe as all requiring a cause, then you are committing the fallacy of composition, and thus your reasons are fallacious. If your reasons do NOT require our observations of objects within the universe, then I would love to hear about your experience outside the universe to ground your speculations about what goes on outside the universe.

    My point is that since our experience is ONLY within the universe, we have no justification to take a stand on what happens OUTSIDE the universe, and a cause of the universe would have to be SEPARATE from the universe, and thus outside of it. Agnosticism is the only epistemically justified position that one can take on the basis of our evidence. Anything else is just bias, distortion and wishful thinking to justify what we WANT to believe. However, what we want to believe is true is not a reliable guide of what IS true.

    >> Let’s stop talking semantics here, tell me how you propose to resolve this problem other than saying we don’t know, fact that life on earth and cosmological argument point out to finely tuned universe for life, and I will be grateful for your enlightening revelation.

    I don’t have to resolve it. I just have to say that there is insufficient evidence for what happened outside the universe, if that concept even makes sense. In the same way, I do not have to resolve whether aliens exist in a galaxy adjacent to our own. I just don’t know and should shut up about it. I could SPECULATE, but that is just using my imagination to generate some images of what COULD be going on. I still don’t KNOW.

    >> I have already mentioned that the spread of universe is at the right pace and any faster or slower and you have incorrect star formation and therefore no life on this planate, this is just one of the arguments, and there are many such clues to precisely formed universe that can support life.

    So what? The fact that we are alive and conscious implies that the universe MUST have been able to support conscious life. Big deal. This is just a tautology. In the same way that the fact that I am hungry implies that my body MUST be physiologically capable of generating the experience of hunger. Again, so what?

    >> I love how people will clutch for the straws, when evidence is strongly pointing out to the intelligent causation. Even if there were 100 billions universes out there, you have to have strong faith to say that conditions that are perfect for life just accidentally happen. Such argument is very strong aginst lady luck.

    I’m not clutching at any straws. I’m actually REFUSING to touch straws altogether! All I’m saying is that there are multiple possibilities to account for how the universe got here, and there is NO WAY to decide between them on the basis of empirical evidence. And without empirical evidence, it is all just speculation, and speculation requires agnosticism until evidence comes in to support it.

    I really don’t think that this is controversial. Unless you are endorsing that one is justified to choose a speculative position in the absence of any empirical evidence to support it. For example, is it okay for me to believe that when I have a thought about X, the thought that X opens an invisible wormhole and reaches an alien intelligence at the other end of the universe? I mean, I can sort of imagine this happening, but there is no evidence for it or against it, and so I should just say, “I have no idea” and move on, no? It would be CRAZY for me to believe with all my heart that this happens, right?

  36. dguller : [Listen, I’m not going to get into a detailed discussion with you about the theory of evolution. My understanding is that it is as well established a fact as can possibly be expected, given all the different lines of evidence that all converge upon the single phenomena of evolution over billions of years.]

    Defend the word: And my understanding of it is that is anything but well established fact beyond micro evolution on which we both will agree.

    Dguller: [The objections are entirely based upon hyping the areas in which there is not consensus, and concluding that these areas undermine the entire theory. Yes, there are controversies about aspects of the MECHANISMS of evolution, but NONE of them affect the underlying truth of evolution itself. Furthermore, your point becomes meaningless if the “much work has been done” that you cite ALL utilize the argument from ignorance as their primary justification. That would just prove MY point, no?]

    Defend the word: Not sure what are you after here, but lets not pretend that this blog does not provide plenty of reasons why we should doubt Macro Evolution. So if you are after evidence you could not state as above that you don’t want to go into details. As for the unknowns, evolution has many unknowns but yet firmly states things that could not be provable. Sounds like religion to me!

    Dguller: [Anyway, it is firmly established that there HAS been change on this planet over billions of years, and that all life is connected through a long chain of ancestry stretching back to the beginning of life.]

    Defend the word: Only in your mind and those who affirm atheism, though there are many Christians who also believe in evolution. This is not the way to argue your case is it?

    Defend the word previously >> That is 100% correct, but it does not remove the fact that often when ID proponents point out that much of what is said by Evolutionary biologists is a guess work.

    Dguller: [It is “guess work” in the sense that it can never be established as 100% certain. However, that is irrelevant, because NOTHING can be established to that degree. The best that humans can do is to reach for probability and plausibility in our explanations of the world, and I would argue that evolution has far surpassed both probability and plausibility as an explanation of the phenomena of life on earth. So, if you are saying that it is “guess work” in the sense of lacking absolute certainty, then you are committing the fallacy of the red herring, because this is irrelevant to its justification or truth.]

    Defend the Word: No what I’m saying is that it goes beyond that, whilst we have evidence that there are mutations and many of them harmful, most of what we know of evolution has been taken from thing like Dog breeding which is hardly natural processes and that also shows us much of deformities we see in today’s highly desirable dogs.

    Defend the Word Previously >> As long as you are agnostic about it I don’t have a problem with you. I have no problem in saying that my faith is based on inference and whilst it does require small step of faith it is also based on solid reasons.

    Dguller: [Now, you may have REASONS, but I doubt that you have “solid reasons”. If your reasons rely in any way upon our experience of things WITHIN the universe as all requiring a cause, then you are committing the fallacy of composition, and thus your reasons are fallacious. If your reasons do NOT require our observations of objects within the universe, then I would love to hear about your experience outside the universe to ground your speculations about what goes on outside the universe.]

    Defend the word: Last time I looked your arguments are based on more limiting data than what I allow, I love how you like to show off your knowledge of “Fallacy of composition” yet you fail to see that your argument is based on what??? We know from our first supposition about atoms and subatomic particles that they are there, don’t we? I find it funny that you hide behind purely materialistic world view and you want to use scientific argument yet you fail to spot that science does not advocate only materialistic existence? Where did you get that idea? Indoctrination I guess, o wait we get accuse of that all the time but when we point out the obvious what happens then to honest intellectual debate?

    Dguller: My point is that since our experience is ONLY within the universe, we have no justification to take a stand on what happens OUTSIDE the universe, and a cause of the universe would have to be SEPARATE from the universe, and thus outside of it. Agnosticism is the only epistemically justified position that one can take on the basis of our evidence. Anything else is just bias, distortion and wishful thinking to justify what we WANT to believe. However, what we want to believe is true is not a reliable guide of what IS true.]

    Defend the word: So you are agnostic then? If so you could not argue either for Religion of Atheism. If this is the case then fine, I think I have presented my case for my faith in plenty of examples, but then again I do strongly argue that anything requires faith. Anything except agnosticism, but does one have right then to claim that there is no God to someone who may say that they have personal experience of God?

    Defend the word previously: >> Let’s stop talking semantics here, tell me how you propose to resolve this problem other than saying we don’t know, fact that life on earth and cosmological argument point out to finely tuned universe for life, and I will be grateful for your enlightening revelation.

    Dguller[ I don’t have to resolve it. I just have to say that there is insufficient evidence for what happened outside the universe, if that concept even makes sense. In the same way, I do not have to resolve whether aliens exist in a galaxy adjacent to our own. I just don’t know and should shut up about it. I could SPECULATE, but that is just using my imagination to generate some images of what COULD be going on. I still don’t KNOW.}

    Defend the word: And we should ignore finely tuned conditions that create perfect environment for life to start on this planate of ours? And considering that you don’t have to resolve anything we should just take anything you say as correct? Because everything else is just too much to ask?

    Defend the word previously >> I have already mentioned that the spread of universe is at the right pace and any faster or slower and you have incorrect star formation and therefore no life on this planate, this is just one of the arguments, and there are many such clues to precisely formed universe that can support life.

    Dguller: [So what? The fact that we are alive and conscious implies that the universe MUST have been able to support conscious life. Big deal. This is just a tautology. In the same way that the fact that I am hungry implies that my body MUST be physiologically capable of generating the experience of hunger. Again, so what?]

    Defend the word: So what? I think you need to understand this subject little bit better before you give such flippant comment. This is nothing even remotely close to tautology, if you see laptop in your garden you are not going to say, hey it works but this proves nothing? That would be nothing short of absurd, would it not? You would also presumably try and find the original owner of that property.

    Defend the word previously >> I love how people will clutch for the straws, when evidence is strongly pointing out to the intelligent causation. Even if there were 100 billions universes out there, you have to have strong faith to say that conditions that are perfect for life just accidentally happen. Such argument is very strong aginst lady luck.

    Dguller [I’m not clutching at any straws. I’m actually REFUSING to touch straws altogether! All I’m saying is that there are multiple possibilities to account for how the universe got here, and there is NO WAY to decide between them on the basis of empirical evidence. And without empirical evidence, it is all just speculation, and speculation requires agnosticism until evidence comes in to support it.]

    Defend the word: So we should discount Big Bang then? I thought that you go with what most scientist go with? Make up your mind, you just can’t have your cake and eat it.

    Dguller: [I really don’t think that this is controversial. Unless you are endorsing that one is justified to choose a speculative position in the absence of any empirical evidence to support it. For example, is it okay for me to believe that when I have a thought about X, the thought that X opens an invisible wormhole and reaches an alien intelligence at the other end of the universe? I mean, I can sort of imagine this happening, but there is no evidence for it or against it, and so I should just say, “I have no idea” and move on, no? It would be CRAZY for me to believe with all my heart that this happens, right?]

    Defend the word: Big bang is based on observable evidence unless you have some new scientific data you would like to share with us. And if this is the case, then question remains, it is not as simple as you may think.

    I have to get off the PC as my wife is self employed and she needs it, I will come back to your other questions after Sunday.

    Regards

    Defend the word

  37. harry says:

    ” And lastly your throw away comment about Dawkins being Atheist agnostic is very funny, he only gives it 99% out of 100% sounds like the most certainty one could possibly have”

    Exactly my point….There is nothing funny about that sentence.

    But its interesting how many christians claim to have 100% certainity.

    Are you 100% certain God exists?

  38. dguller says:

    Defend The Word Previously: Only in your mind and those who affirm atheism, though there are many Christians who also believe in evolution. This is not the way to argue your case is it?

    Dguller: I’m sorry, but you’re doubting that there has been CHANGE on this planet over billions of years? Isn’t there clear evidence that species have gone extinct in the past? That species that once existed, no longer exist? If there is no macroevolution, then where did new species even come from? Were they created de novo, out of the blue?

    Defend the Word: First let me say that I am very impressed by the civilised and calm manner that you show, and in particular your logical approach to your statements. However I will disagree with some of them. I can’t go in too many details I will simply assume that you are familiar with what I’m talking about as you continue to use more technical language, which I tend to avoid as it scares and confuses people. But as a good point you go straight to the main objective brake things down to the relevant components.

    First let me go with the age of the universe. I don’t know how old it is, and this is very important question, it could be 100 of thousands of years, millions or even billions but I personally think that based on the information we have we are simply guessing and are using yes you guessed it, our faith.

    Let me give you some of the reasons why I’m reluctant to engage in this debate about the age.

    1. Layers on earth could be explained in tectonic plates movements and disasters could have caused pollution of data.
    2. From observations we know that volcanoes and floods have tendency to disrupt normal processes and folds have been known to systematically deposit material according to the weight and buoyancy.
    3. Radiometric dating and other methods are not full proof as we would need to know exactly what happened in the history of the earth, secondly we know from past experiments that rocks from the volcanoes which should have been very young have been shown to be “millions of years old” what does that mean? Well it could mean number of things, one that data is incorrect, two that Data is correct but contaminated material i.e. that you have old rock amongst many that are young show how easy it is to make mistake. And lastly that we may be using circular reasoning that we will date rocks according to the layers in the ground and will date the layer according to the dating of the rocks. You can see my dilemma and I’m not being simplistic here.

    The second point about the new spices coming suddenly into existence is precisely my point, 530 Million years ago according to evolution we have Cambrian explosion and that means it goes against everything that evolution stands for. I will assume that you knew this. What we see and what skeletal remains tell us is that we see new species just appear without evolution this is the problem that has bothered many honest evolutionists.

    Defend The Word Previously: No what I’m saying is that it goes beyond that, whilst we have evidence that there are mutations and many of them harmful, most of what we know of evolution has been taken from thing like Dog breeding which is hardly natural processes and that also shows us much of deformities we see in today’s highly desirable dogs.

    Dguller: First, I think that you’re missing the point. The fundamental concept of evolution is that when you combine variation of heritable traits plus selection pressure, then the population will evolve over time. Now, that selection pressure can be artificial, such as in dog breeding, or it can be natural, such as survival in the wild. The underlying process is exactly the same, and by accepting dog breeding, then you have already accepted the fundamentals of evolution.

    Second, you are right that most mutations are harmful, but many are helpful. For example, a mutation in a species of bacteria that allows it to better utilize glucose as fuel will be advantageous, especially if glucose becomes scarce. This has been well demonstrated by Lemski and his team in E. coli. Regardless, the genetic variation that underlies differential trait expression does not only come from mutation, but also comes from sexual reproduction, bacterial transposition, and many other methods.

    Defend the Word: Let me start by saying that despite your informative and detailed knowledge you fail to take on board several points.

    1. Bacteria continues to stay bacteria, yes they evolve I have no problem with that you and I are in complete agreement there. But there is simply no change beyond that. We also know that in cases where Human temper with animal kingdom if left alone they tend to revert to their original state, we see oscillation and negative mutation, but rarely and I mean rarely do we see any positive and every one of them is consigned to microbial world. What we have is what looks like evolution I would suggest that as some species die out when we have multitude of complexity we assume Evolution and secondly where evidence is clear that evolution has taken place we still have horse with four legs and fish that is still doing things that it was designed to do originally with minor adjustments.
    2. Same goes with other animals, I’m sure you have heard that many Christians have objected that we are having multitude of missing links and this is not only on Humans alone. That is one of the first things that must be answered before we will buy into MACRO evolution.
    3. Environmental pressure on animal kingdom and indeed on us has shown that as the situation goes back to normal so does our original design return to the original starting point. Clearly this can be demonstrated by observing Darwin’s finches.

    Defend The Word Previously: Last time I looked your arguments are based on more limiting data than what I allow, I love how you like to show off your knowledge of “Fallacy of composition” yet you fail to see that your argument is based on what???

    Dguller: My argument is based on the fact that no-one has any solid evidence of what happens outside our universe. There is lots of speculation, but without good evidence to support one speculative theory over another, there is no way of telling any apart, except for subjective reasons.

    Defend the Word: I’m glad you said this rather then me, as this is precisely my point. Note that I don’t advocate Big Bang, I’m using what is generally accepted to point out to the inevitable conclusion. Anything else is speculation, one of the arguments that points to the cause is based on the scientific laws not philosophical presuppositions. Therefore anything else is arguing against established science.

    Defend The Word Previously; We know from our first supposition about atoms and subatomic particles that they are there, don’t we?

    Dguller: Yes, atoms are there. So?

    Defend the Word: In the same way we can infer that God created the universe from observing current expansion and point of singularity (Scientific term) that science claims was there at the beginning. Get my point?

    Defend The Word Previously; I find it funny that you hide behind purely materialistic world view and you want to use scientific argument yet you fail to spot that science does not advocate only materialistic existence? Where did you get that idea? Indoctrination I guess, o wait we get accuse of that all the time but when we point out the obvious what happens then to honest intellectual debate?

    Dguller: I never mentioned materialism at all. I actually think that science is a broad practice that isn’t limited to material objects. It studies emotions and thoughts, which aren’t material entities. It studies energy, which is not a material object. So, I’m not too sure what you’re trying to do with this red herring and straw man, other than distract attention from the fact that you have not responded to my question:

    Defend the word: Go back to your original point and expand or refer in full to the question. Secondly you could still use materialistic approach to study emotions and thought. Or did that somehow escape you. Our world view is crucial in how we analyse and interpret any “evidence”. Therefore your claim of red herring is not only not justified red herring itself.

    Dguller: Do your reasons in support of a cause of the universe require observations WITHIN the universe ONLY, or do you have observations and experience of what happens OUTSIDE the universe?

    As I said, if your evidence includes ONLY what happens WITHIN the universe, then you commit the fallacy of composition. And if your evidence includes what happens OUTSIDE the universe, then I would LOVE to know what that evidence is. Who has observed in a reliable fashion what occurs outside the universe? Hmmmm?

    Defend the Word: Let me keep this simple, first you demand that I should give you evidence, but you draw your conclusions despite the observable evidence? How does that work. Can I say Hmmm like you or would that be too patronising? Secondly based on the law of causality that governs modern science how do you explain Big Bang as mentioned above. I don’t advocate anything all I’m doing is using established arguments to point to inconsistency in logic drawn from mulitiverses, string theory and alike. If you have one singularity expanding precisely to harbour life, don’t you wonder how on earth did this happen, excuse the pan here.

    Defend The Word Previously; So you are agnostic then? If so you could not argue either for Religion of Atheism.

    Dguller: First, I am agnostic about the universe requiring a cause for its existence, yes. I lean towards atheism, because either there is or isn’t a cause. If there is a cause, then there is no good reason to assume a personal deity as the cause, and if there is no cause, then a creator isn’t even necessary. So, on the balance of probabilities, I lean towards atheism, but I cannot say for certain that there is no personal deity who created the universe. Not 100%, that is.

    Defend the Word: I see so another example of following Sam Harris and good on you, that way we all look at the facts rather than make up stories. Secondly if the scientists tell us that causality is important how could you dismiss it and claim rationality?

    Dguller: Second, atheism is not a religion, except in the trivial sense that I described elsewhere on your site, I believe.

    Defend the Word; This is what atheist say in order to avoid ridicule that they are basing their ideology on faith rather then facts. Those who are truly logical will maintain the worst we could conclude is that we don’t know the best that we could take some inference on some of the data that we know about. Even a disbelief demands logically that you believe that something is not there. If I say there is a serial killer in your bedroom and you say I know you are playing a joke on me you cognitively and through faith conclude that it is false statement. But amazingly despite the complexity and multitude of data that could justifiable be inferred that it is caused by God you decide to be agnostic or Atheist. That just does not make logical sense to me, despite your claim and protestation to the contrary.

    Defend The Word Previously; If this is the case then fine, I think I have presented my case for my faith in plenty of examples, but then again I do strongly argue that anything requires faith.

    Dguller: Now, you have to be careful here, because depending upon how you define “faith”, your statement is either false or trivially true. If you mean “religious faith in the supernatural”, then it is false. If you mean “conviction without absolute proof”, then it is trivial, because all our beliefs lack absolute proof, including both justified and unjustified beliefs. Therefore, you would need some other than “faith” to justify one’s belief in God, because “faith” exists for atheism and theism, and thus cannot be used to decide between them. Only EVIDENCE can do that.

    Defend the Word: And how do you conclude that speed of light maintains same constant speed throughout the Universe? How do you explain our explanation of subatomic particles? And then you claim that you don’t use faith and demand simplistic materialistic world view? Inconsistency I say, and lack of willingness to consider the obvious problems with such demands and interpretations.

    Defend The Word Previously; Anything except agnosticism, but does one have right then to claim that there is no God to someone who may say that they have personal experience of God?

    Dguller: Of course. A personal experience of God is just like any other human experience. It is a byproduct of neurobiology. This is evidenced by the religious experiences of those with temporal lobe epilepsy, those who have undergone neurosurgery and had their temporal lobes electrically stimulated, and those who have taken psychoactive substances and had religious experiences. All of those situations consist of individuals who had intense religious experiences, but it’s clear that they were all due to neurobiological changes in the brain.

    Defend the Word: And you claim that you don’t focus on purely materialistic data? How does that work for you I wonder? If this was not peddled as science one would simply laugh it off. But fact is that even in modern medicine we simply don’t have a clue, this is precisely why we have to use millions of experiments before we find medication that may be helpful. In fact often we discover medication that is helpful to other unintended illnesses which were first not part of the scope of the research. This lack of precise understanding will tell us things that are in complete contrast to what you claim. In fact we know from the attempts to show Gay gene and even God gene what had been shown is in fact when this was replicated by other researchers no conclusions could be drawn as they are simply inconclusive. And then you tell me you don’t use faith? I’m surprised not by your comments but by your inability to see where science stops and faith begins.

    Dguller: The implication is that just because someone has a religious experience is not prima facie evidence of a genuine divine encounter. One would need to disprove the possibility that it is a byproduct of their brain.

    Defend the Word: No this is where you are logically wrong, this demand for proof is preference that is evident to you and used on your part it is not logical simply because you think it to be. Should I not demand that you provide me for counter evidence if you are attempting to pup my idea? Argument is that if you want repeatable testable information you can go and ask many Christians and you will get precisely that. This is how its done in historical and even psychological studies. Fact that you have preference for materialistic data evaluation that is disguised as science is telling about your world view, and sheds no light on the data in question.

    Defend The Word Previously: And we should ignore finely tuned conditions that create perfect environment for life to start on this planate of ours?

    Dguller: I understand that intuitions vary on the anthropic principle. I see it as a tautology. There is no mystery in the fact that for me to be conscious and alive, conditions must have existed for me to be conscious and alive. That’s just obvious and not particularly deep. The other issue is how LIKELY those intial conditions were, but I have no idea HOW to calculate probabilities like that, and I doubt that you could, either.

    The truth is that we don’t know what the odds are of our universe coming into existence, because we do not know the number of possibilities, the different probabilistic weight of each probability (i.e. are some possibilities more likely than others, and should be given extra weight in the calculation), and so on. It’s all just guesswork and speculation.

    Defend the Word: As ex statistical analyst I can say with confidence that I do understand not only the principles but also remoteness of what you claim to be likely. You use Dawkins argument but this flippant remark does nothing and I mean absolutely nothing to answer this question. You would do well to read book by John Lennox God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? Here is a scientist who is a mathematician and philosopher of science. You can find it here on Amazon; I understand your reluctance to take my word for it, but why not look what other intelligent people have to say. And he is British so you have no excuse. Another great mind is David Berlinski who is agnostic but never the less he shows how ridiculous are atheists when they get overstretched with their wishful thinking.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0745953719/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=471057153&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=0745953034&pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_r=09MAES438SYGGM069QMQ
    Defend The Word Previously; And considering that you don’t have to resolve anything we should just take anything you say as correct? Because everything else is just too much to ask?

    Dguller: I didn’t say that I didn’t have to resolve “anything”. I just don’t have to resolve matters for which there is insufficient evidence to resolve the question. As I said, I cannot resolve the issue of whether there is life in an adjacent galaxy, because there is insufficient evidence. Now, I could start speculating, but without anything to ground my speculations in empirical reality, it is all just fantasy, and should be taken as science fiction until it is supported by facts.

    Same thing here. You are asking me to resolve issues for which no human can do resolve at this time, including yourself. Now, you may PREFER one speculative theory over the others, but that is based upon personal preference, which is no guide to truth. Like I said, it is best to just be honest with ourselves, and say that we simply do not know, and work on ways to improve our knowledge of this matter to possibly resolve the issue in the future. I mean, isn’t it better to just be honest about our limitations?

    Defend the word: To be honest, that is all I wanted to say, I can infer from the data available that likelihood of god being there is great. And that through clear observation of history, universe and Christianity I’m logically justified to believe in God. After all it is faith, but that does not mean it is illogical or irrationally based on faith that is not supported by facts, on the contrary. In fact when Atheists make contrary claims it is clear that they base their World view in their faith in materialism.

    Defend The Word Previously; This is nothing even remotely close to tautology, if you see laptop in your garden you are not going to say, hey it works but this proves nothing? That would be nothing short of absurd, would it not? You would also presumably try and find the original owner of that property.

    Dguller: Right, but we have experience of laptops being made by conscious agents, which is why I would try to find the original owner of the laptop. We have NO experience of living beings or the universe at large being created by conscious agents, and that it why I would not be looking for a conscious agent. This is just an argument from analogy, which is actually one of the weakest kind of logical arguments.

    Defend the Word: If you make such claim, I would argue that you continue to show only preference to materialistic. There are many parallels we draw from logic, physical world and metaphysical. Argument still stands whether you like it or not, weak or strong, inference is clear and inference is used everywhere that includes subatomic and evolution. So no I will not grant you this, plea for argument that you could ridicule based on philosophical preference. Analogy is very helpful and used in science world over, should we demand that they all stop using it? Just because you don’t like it, and because is not in agreement with your world view? Secondly I like millions of Christians believe in the Bible to be revelation and its bean with us for the last few thousand years, so again your argument does not work, that is unless you presuppose things that you presuppose.

    Dguller: I mean, I have experience of pilots getting directions from other conscious beings. Does that mean that when I see butterflies flying in the air that they must be getting directions from conscious beings? Of course not. They have other non-conscious ways of getting around. The analogy fails, just like it fails in your argument. See?

    Defend the Word: If you believe in revelation like I do then no the argument is just as solid as before. In fact I believe we would have no chance of knowing God unless he was there revealing himself to us. Again you use analogy to destroy my argument is that not contradiction itself??? Secondly analogy was simply showing inference argument and not some kind of childish explanation as you claim. I am confused how intelligent person of your calibre could not see the obvious?

    Defend The Word Previously; So we should discount Big Bang then? I thought that you go with what most scientist go with? Make up your mind, you just can’t have your cake and eat it.

    Dguller: I accept the Big Bang. It is a well validated scientific theory. However, the Big Bang theory is SILENT about what happened “before” the Big Bang, or what happens “outside” the universe that came into existence following the Big Bang. That is where religious apologists put their efforts, and I would say that theories about those areas are just speculation and fantasy, because there is no hard evidence to justify their truth at this time.

    Defend the Word: My Argument as I said before uses well established data of Big Bang to draw inference from complexity, inter- dependability of multiple systems and clearly points to indigent cause. Case closed, you don’t have to pretend great intelligence to spot the obvious. In fact any other conclusion simply needs to diversify into other more complex explanations in order to eliminate possibility of God.

    Defend The Word Previously; I have to get off the PC as my wife is self employed and she needs it, I will come back to your other questions after Sunday.

    Dguller: I know the feeling!

    Defend the Word: Thanks for your understanding.

  39. So your 99% is better because its one percent less than my certainty. That is more than funny, it is hilarious how people lack real perspective and yet when they want to they can be very reasonable. Secondly I have never personally heard anyone say I’m 100% sure because I’m guessing, whenever such certainty is shown it is because of the experience, you know that same thing that if you get hit on the head you know its going to hurt. Your pain receptors become active, likewise when you encounter God, same as when you receive this reply you know that I exist and I’m not imaginary (Just in your head). Therefore I would conclude that one has right to maintain his logic, reason and faith intact and still claim that he is a Christian. Unlike Atheists who have no clue about much but make 99% claims which could not be substantiated.

  40. misunderstoodranter says:

    misunderstoodranter: “So your 99% is better because its one percent less than my certainty. ”

    I am not sure you can 100% certain of anything.

    I am fairly certain that when I see the colour green it is the same colour that everyone (who isn’t colour blind) sees – but I am not 100% certain. My green could be your red, it is just that I call it green.

    I can not be certain that god exists – because I have never observed god ever – and if god did exist he would be everywhere, and observable, recordable and demonstrable – the simple fact is he is not. All we see is the product of delusion, people following doctrine blindly and establishing faiths organisations. This is not testable, nor is it of any real benefit – I would not approach a design team for an aircraft based on their ‘faith’ that they can make things fly, I would approach a design team that can prove through demonstrations that they can make things fly.

    I am fairly certain that there is life at the bottom of Ocean, because others have seen it recorded it and filmed it – so I am certain that it exists, and that if I dare go to the bottom of the Ocean I will see it to.

    But no such evidence is available for the existence of god – nothing. If there was there would not be the multitudes of religion and people would not fight over it – there would be one religion, because it would be obvious to everyone who the god was and what he intended.

    Just as people do not fight over the existence of creatures on the ocean floor – it is fact that there are creatures on the ocean floor, I can see them with my own eyes, if I choose to. If I choose to listen to god, or pray nothing happens and never has, even when I was religious.

    What you forget DTW, is everyone is born an atheist, thy learn their religion from their family or social upbringing. This happened to me, I was brought up and raised in a religious school, I stopped being religious, when I realised that what I prayed for never happened ever. I also stopped believing in god of the bible, when I read the passages of the bible which described god as a vengeful, foolish, spiteful, racist who killed anyone and everyone. I questioned why would a god do this – why wouldn’t he just educate people, or better still change time and space and made everyone perfect – why leave us in living hell, why be born at all, just live in heaven?

    By contrast, my 99% certainty that life evolved as the result of unthinking processes is demonstrable, experimentally, by multiple people in multiple fields of science.

    Defend the Word: I’m going to stick my reply in your assertion/question as otherwise this will be going on forever. Very quick and very simple answer is often best one to consider and therefore I will stick with the best formula. Actually what the bible says is that God is outside the Universe contrary to Pantheism and Panantheisam. So your argument has no legs to stand on. Secondly most if not all Protestant Christians claim that God revealed himself to us, therefore we have a way of knowing him, we only need to test things.

    Another point that you should have taken on board is the inference argument that I have used from the very outset of our conversations. Somehow you continue to ignore this, I can only explain this as the inner sin and preference to atheism. One of the two is likely.

    And lastly your decision to stop being religious because your attempt to treat God as some kind of cosmic vending machine is not argument based in logic but in personal (limited) experience. And your attempt to sell total evolution is not going to go unnoticed by those who will raise all the questions I have mentioned previously. You could not simply hide behind the backs of people who have studied. I can use the same argument there are about 40% of scientists that don’t believe in MACRO evolution but then again as we know from History minority of people have been proven right in the past. And I believe it is only question of time before we are all forced to look at this little bit more honestly and will less reliance on computer simulation and little bit more on actual factual data.

    Note that only Micro evolution has ever been scientifically demonstrated and any other lies are precisely that lies.

  41. I have never claimed 100% certainty this is why we call it a faith, or did you not know that? But my faith in God is as strong as is your faith in the atheism that he is not there.

  42. misunderstoodranter says:

    DTW Previously: Actually what the bible says is that God is outside the Universe contrary to Pantheism and Panantheisam

    misunderstoodranter: Ah but this still an assumption, and cannot be verified outside of the bible – the universe may not have a beginning or an end, we just do not know. And even if god is outside of the universe, this does not solve the problem – where outside of the universe is god? And what is the universe contained within?

    Defend the Word: Either your knowledge of Bing Bang theory is not up to scratch or you stand by some other explanation. In either case I would urge you to elaborate on what you mean by no beginning, we touched upon that before with Einstein clearly stating that he accepted that universe had the beginning. Secondly as I said before in the same way atheist will say we don’t refute things simply because we don’t know everything about evolution how can you refute God based on limited knowledge on what is outside our universe. Two things are clear universe is expanding and that leads to next conclusion it must be expanding into something that is outside it. Therefore your question is partially answered that there is at least something to expand into.

    DTW Previously: I can only explain this as the inner sin and preference to atheism.

    misunderstoodranter
    : I am not sure what you mean by inner sin? Such a concept has no meaning to me because I don’t believe that anything can read my thoughts. The concept of moderating my thoughts based on the assumption that someone is listening to them has no meaning at all to me. However, I understand that I am judged by my actions, and my spoken thoughts by real humans and possibly animals.

    Defend the Word: I am not here to make you believe anything. My job is just to share the word and the job of convincing and opening eyes is the job solely assigned to God. So likewise I will say this is not my problem I live it to stay between you and God, I did what was asked of me.

    DTW Previously: And lastly your decision to stop being religious because your attempt to treat God as some kind of cosmic vending machine is not argument based in logic but in personal (limited) experience.

    misunderstoodranter: My prayers fitted the criteria of the bible precisely, in some instances they were the prayers devised by clergy, which I agreed with and repeated – they were never answered.

    Defend the Word: You show exactly the right signs that your understanding of prayer is not according to what Jesus thought. This is supposed to be conversation between you and God not wish list therefore I maintain that we must not treat God like cosmic vending machine.

    DTW Previously: And your attempt to sell total evolution is not going to go unnoticed by those who will raise all the questions I have mentioned previously. You could not simply hide behind the backs of people who have studied.

    misunderstoodranter: I hope it does not go unnoticed, on the contrary, I want people to challenge evolution with all the science that they can muster – in the same way I want the theory of gravity to be challenged. The more it is challenged the better our understanding becomes.
    Defend the Word: Amen to that!

    DTW Previously: Note that only Micro evolution has ever been scientifically demonstrated and any other lies are precisely that lies.

    misunderstoodranter: And this is where my respect for you breaks down, because you know that there is evidence, but you choose not to accept it – which is disappointing, and moderately dishonest. As I have stated before even deeply religious people like professor Robert Winston accept evolution.

    Defend the Word: And you thought I was after your respect? Secondly I maintain that those are lies about MACRO evolution that are widely circulated to this day. And I’m not the only one saying this. There are people who believe in evolution that will agree with me. They only think that we should be honest and say when we don’t know all the answers. I on the other hand would say that for evolution to be true is just as miraculous as God creating the universe in 6 days or even / or through very long time. Neither can be proven, both are based on faith and both need some imagination to make it work.

  43. tildeb says:

    DTW, you write Note that only Micro evolution has ever been scientifically demonstrated and any other lies are precisely that lies.

    Tildeb OED – Scientific Theory: A scheme or system of ideas or statements held as an explanation or account of a group of facts or phenomena; a hypothesis that has been confirmed or established by observation or experiment, and is propounded or accepted as accounting for the known facts; a statement of what are held to be the general laws, principles, or causes of something known or observed.

    Defend the Word: Thanks for that, if you read carefully what you just cited you will also note that the last line states “a statement of what are held to be the general laws, principles, or causes of something known or observed.” This is still open to change and modification as in deed many such changes have been incorporated in the thory of evolution or would you deny that???

    Tildeb You have no excuse to intentionally calling evolution ‘just a theory’ as if it were just a hypothesis that may or may not be true. That’s a definition of theory not meant when used by science. By calling the science of evolution ‘just a theory’, you have abdicated your responsibility to learn what is known and replace it with what you believe. That is not only an intentional semantic error in language, it reveals an intentional error in your thinking.

    Defend the Word: I appreciate your enthusiasm, but if you look carefully what I said you would get of your high horse and listen more carefully. I did say that I accepted Micro Evolution but rejected MACRO evolution if you could give me any evidence that could support the second I will apologise and denounce everything I said. Fact is you can’t so lets stop pretending that you could read my mind I don’t presuppose such arrogance on my part and neither should you.

    Tildeb In spite of your beliefs, and whatever other sources you wish to use to lend support these, evolution is THE theory upon which all modern biological science rests. Evolution is a theory BECAUSE it is true, because it does provide us with the means to advance our knowledge in the biological sciences. You may think your beliefs to the contrary are justified, or that you have some measure of academic support to believe as you do, but what you fail to grasp is that evolution is what is known, and those ’scientists’ who disagree on behalf of their religious allegiance are a tiny fringe much like holocaust deniers are a tiny fringe of historians; denying what is true, denying what is factual, denying what is known, makes you what is known as a denier.

    Defend the Word: I maintain that beyond Micro Evolution, it has nothing to offer to science, you will note that science was progressing just fine even without it. And today there are many scientist who do not believe in Evolution beyond Micro stage and still go on to achieve great fame for their work in separate sciences. I appreciate your boldness but I’m shocked by your obvious blander of logical missteps on associating two things that are completely unrelated. It shows willingness to overlook and exaggerate which I would say is one of the main things that is today highlighted by modern scientist and this is going to be pointed out more in the near future as the spread of the knowledge increases.

    Tildeb You cannot account in any meaningful and scientific way for the evidence at hand nor are you able to supply any alternative explanation for the biological facts as they are. Your purpose is simply to deny the natural mechanism known as evolution in order to feel justified in inserting your idea of a supernatural creator in its place. You have no evidence to reveal a supernatural creator as the mechanism for how life changes over time; all you can do is attempt to deny the natural mechanism that does work as an explanatory tool.

    Defend the Word: On the contrary, you should read carefully what was said here before and your assertion serve no purpose but to reveal your ideology and not wallpaper over the severity of massive cracks in the wall of this exaggerated theory. I maintain Micro Evolution Yes MICRO Evolution is simply fairytales for those who will believe anything without questioning.

    Tildeb No single ’smoking gun’ exists as proof for evolution. But it is an explanatory framework that accounts for ALL of the evidence we have of changes to life over time. You may believe otherwise and that is your prerogative, but your religiously inspired belief does not add any knowledge whatsoever to the world; all it does is make it necessary for those of us involved in the biological sciences to have to fight a rear guard action against the nonstop attacks by the religious who attempt to insert willful ignorance (meaning a lack of knowledge) in evolution’s place.

    Defend the Word: You should note that there is a percentage of people that hold not religious belief who are qualified scholars and hold that MACRO evolution exists only in the minds of those who wanted it to be true. Therefore your argument holds no water as they say.

    Tildeb The truth of the matter is that your anti-evolutionary beliefs have nothing whatsoever to do with establishing knowledge or its attainment in the biological sciences. Sure, you’ll use the biological sciences’ knowledge and technological advancements based entirely on the acceptance that evolution is a fact to your benefit now, all the while blinding yourself and anyone who will listen to you that the necessary understanding that has brought forth such meaningful wonders like medications and inoculations and genetic testing and applications that you insist must be false because they are based wholly on what you call “lies”. And not surprisingly, you see no disparity within your own mind at maintaining these absolutely contrary opinions about exactly the same theory.
    You should notice the disparity because one of your contrary beliefs is wrong… and it isn’t the one that medically WORKS; it is your belief.

    Defend the Word: What I notice from what you say is that you don’t know how but somehowe Evolution must be true! That is not and argument that is a plea to agree with you based on either majority view or hiding behind science that actually never explicitly supports your views.

  44. misunderstoodranter says:

    MUR: This is the problem, I don’t want you or any other religion to make me aware of your god hypothesis, I am more than aware of it and have considered it a possibility. I don’t hear voices in my head telling me what to do, and there are plenty of other people who do not either. In fact if I started to hear voices in my head I would see a doctor – because it is not healthy.

    Defend the Word: So why come here to this blog?

    MUR: It was a conversation I had between me and god, I have had many, where I did the talking. But a conversation involves two way traffic – god has never spoken to me ever.

    Defend the Word: Have you considered reading the Bible? I call that personal address to us humanity.

    MUR: You seem to think this is a win for religion, it is not, this is the strength of the scientific method. Science, is challenged by its own workers constantly, so if evolution was wrong every scientist by now would be pointing this out – and they are not. You will always find scientist that challenge core theories of science, and hope that this is always the case, because this is how theories are improved – unlike the bible which is basically fixed.

    Defend the Word: Actually you assume that scientist are somehow different from you and me. They are not, when you have well established dogma they shake in their boots to be first to challenge this faith statement.

    MUR: This reply is equally as disappointing, because right now the Church needs respect from society, going around denying evidence or finding dubious deceitful evidence that you agree with because it supports you claim for a deity does nothing for the reputation of your religion. As I have mentioned before, MACRO and MICRO evolution is a creationalist concept in the main. There is only evolution. I think of it as a sand hill, one grain of sand does not make a hill of sand, but equally all sand hills are made of grains. Over time millions of sand grains fall in one place and eventually a grains of sand become a hill of sand – the grains evolve into something else.

    Defend the Word: What Church needs is not respect in fact the Bible clearly states that as soon as Christians are accepted by the world they become of the world but that this world hates them because they are precisely different and I will pray that this continue. Unfortunately Many Christians ignore gospel of John 17 and they do that at their own peril. It is clear from statistics that churches that are respected by the world are the ones that are dying out.

    MUR Many religious people in discrediting evolution do so because they cannot accept the long amounts of time that are involved or the maths that is involved – there lack of comprehension in this area makes evolution look like a miracle but I can assure you it is not.

    Defend the Word: This could be true but you should be reminded that there are many who are not religious but still straggle with this so beloved theory. Case made!

    MUR Indeed, I struggled with Chaos theory as well, as most of my maths teaching was traditional Newtonian maths – but Chaos is a well established branch of maths now it is used across all of the sciences, and it does explain how evolution can naturally occur, and how complicated things can come about from simple things. Alan Turing used it to describe patens in nature for example.

    Defend the Word: It is maths that are currently used to discredit Evolution this is called Applied mathematics and is therefore in direct contrast with what you say. Read David Berlinksi and John Lenox and William Dembski they are all PhD mathematicians who have written extensively on this subject.

    MUR You have now mentioned that your faith in god is a surety, rather than a certainty and that your surety is as strong as my surety in evolution and atheism, which is more rational than being 100% sure of anything, this is refreshing to hear from a Christian. However, it does open up another line of debate. As I have previously mentioned my disbelief in the bible is the result of many years reasoning, I started out being 100% sure of god, and this belief was slowly eroded away, mainly because of lack of god intervention against evil, and scientific explanations for what appear to be a miracles, but which can with the appliance of logic be explained without a supernatural cause. I still do not discredit god altogether, and in the face of all the evidence I have seen and heard – so this means that my faith in ‘a god’ is probably stronger than most Christian’s because I have actually tested my faith, rather than just accepted it – I have actively gone out and looked for god spiritually, materially, philosophically, logically, scientifically and have repeatedly found no such evidence of a supernatural all knowing god as that which is described in the bible or any other religious text. The only religions where I have found evidence of such a being have been in the religions that worship the sun and then moon – but for obvious reasons, I know that these are not gods either.

    Defend the Word: Yes I do have faith that is not new, and yes there are questions from time to time that come up. Issue of evil and suffering is one of them, but as I said before I have experienced pain of loss of close relatives even a child and know what it is to be rejected and not have enough. But it is precisely Gods willingness to take me past these things that has strengthened my faith.
    And yes like you I strongly argue for testing of our faith, in fact Bible does the same, I plan to post some staff soon precisely on the issue of faith. As for the issue of miracles how about our well used issue of Big Bang this is neither repeatable as its once in the life of the universe time and secondly precise formation of universe and its expansions resulted in formation of correct stars that allow us to exist today secondly think about many laws that are there to make sure we exist, like gravity and correct distance from the sun and moon that helps tidal forces tilt of the earth that makes sure that we have more less even spread of seasons and same exposure to sun across the globe. Continental shift that enables things to be recycled and ensures that we have enough resources to support life and so on.

  45. Whilst I appreciate your desire to encourage dguller and I would agree that he is rather skilful in putting his words to the paper could I ask you to get in touch directly as it otherwise looks like ganging up, as you offer no explanation what is it that he said that is so great. I will include this in my rule of engagements now. I welcome argument support but no generalisations of what or who is good or bad. That leads to patronising assumptions as many evolutionist will do that others that disagree are by default be wrong. If you like I will provide you with his e-mail address and you can get in touch with him. I think that is the fair and honest approach. Otherwise anyone who had no clue to anything we previously debated could do just the same. So please either use main points you want to highlight or get in touch directly. This is not a socialising place it is place to challenge both sides of the argument.

  46. AgeOfReasonXXI says:

    “if you could give me any evidence that could support the second I will apologise and denounce everything I said. Fact is you can’t”
    to say that there’s no evididence for what you creationists call “Macro evolution”, is one of the most ignorant and pathetic statements a person living in the 21st century could possibly make. the people who wrote the Bible lived some 2000 yrs ago and have an excuse. you don’t. there are thousands of research papers, books, articles on this subject, supported by a montain of evidence. and yet you’ve walked right passed it with your eyes firmly closed because it doesn’t fit well into you Iron Age faith.
    it’s a disgrace that a human being can be so prodigiously ignorant!

    Defend the Word: That you can say all of these things without any supporting evidence is the evidence itself the kind of argumentation atheist use and they call themselves “reason” and “reasonable” in my experience it is usually ill informed young people. It is arrogance beyond reason; this is usually what encourages young man to bring judgement without logical justification.

    I thank you for making this point clear for us. By doing this you are destroying any reasonable argumentation you had and using emotional blackmail as you have nothing else left to use.

  47. Rev. Dr. James L. Verner says:

    I like what Defend the Word has to say. He is cautious, thoughtful and well able to handle the topic. As for “misunderstoodranter”, well, it is only a matter of time before he joins Dawkins in secretly searching the scriptures like the ancient Bereans to see if what Dr. Craig says is true after all. It is in fact only a matter of time before Dawkins is convinced of ID and a Risen Christ.
    James Verner

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