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June 17, 2009

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Let me be more explicit - you are begging the question here. We all know that if things were a little bit different in the universe we might not be here. However, you make the assumption that the universe is here for us. On what basis do you make this assumption? Why, on the basis that the Bible says so.

You assume the existence of God as part of this proof of the existence of God.

The fact that the universe could be very different than it is does not constitute proof of God unless you assume that the universe was put here for our benefit. And in order to assume that the universe was put here for our benefit, you have to assume that someone put it here for us. And you assume that was God.

The universe could quite happily exist without us, so our existence proves nothing other than that the universe has evolved in such a way that we can exist in it.


Precisely the problem I've always had with the fine-tuning nonsense. It presumes that because the universe is such a way, and the Earth is such a way, that we can exist in the forms we are right now, that therefore both of these must have been put there specifically for our existence! How much more egotistical and self-centered can you get?

Thanks Jimmy, for expressing all the snark I've been barely holding back. (And my nightshift apartment neighbor for waking me up so that I could read it.)

Another analogy for the probability thing: Golfer swings his club at a driving range. The ball settles on a typical blade of grass. Someone nearby gasps in amazement and complements the golfer for his amazing accuracy. The golfer is understandably confused, saying he wasn't aiming for anything, just trying to improve his range. The spectator says that out of all the millions of blades of grass in the field, he landed on that exact one. What are the odds? With the chances so low, he could only have done it on purpose.

vjazz, sorry to tell you this, but if there is a God, your intellect is not going to help you find Him. If you still haven't worked out that Expelled is based on lies, distortions, breathtakingly stupid misunderstandings and more lies, you can forget about more tricky questions like invisible undetectable forces which are going to save you for eternal bliss, and cast people like me into eternal fires.

Expelled Exposed has some of the facts you are missing.

OK, I'm so late to this convesation, so sorry. Its been good reading for me though.

So I just have 3 questions for vjazz,

1) Is God all powerful and currently using that power in this universe?
2) Does God know me?
3) Does God want me to be saved?

TechSkeptic:

1. Yes, God is all-powerful and is currently using that power in this universe.

"O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens...When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and a the son of man that you care for him?" Psalm 8

"He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible...all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together." Colossians 1:15-17

"He (Jesus) is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power." Hebrews 1:3

2. "You (God) are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother's breast. On you was I cast from my birth, and from my mother's womb you have been my God." Psalm 22: 9-10

God created you and knows even the deep recesses of your heart (good and bad) doubts, questions, skepticism (all of which are fine) to be a Christian doesn't mean you stop asking questions. I think a good Christian has a healthy dose of skepticism always at work...which is good becuz you shouldn't believe everything you hear, read, see, even if the guy behind the pulpit is "anointed" and wearing diamond cufflinks.

Let me preface by saying just because God knows you, doesn’t imply that God will cater to you. Many scoffers (not skeptics) will attempt to barter w/ God. Example: "Well if God knows me then he must know what it will take to make me believe." God is not some cosmic jack-in-the box ready to make things your way. You can't come to God on your terms w/ your demands (it simply doesn't work that way). The only attitude of heart acceptable to God, is a heart of repentance, not arrogance.

3. "...(God) is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." 1 Peter 3:9

"Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?" Romans 2:4

I think you're confusing the question somewhat, it's too simplistic. God's will and his desire are two separate things. The Bible say's that God's "desire" is that none should be lost, but his will is sovereign and unchanging. God desires that you be saved (meaning repent of your sins against him, ask him for his forgiveness and help, and put your trust in the atoning sacrifice of Christ on the cross and the impending hope of eternity) but do I know that's God's will for your life? I can't say? The Bible is clear that God determines who is saved (i.e. Ephesians 1:5, "He (God) predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.")

I know that God want's (desires) that you be saved, but beside his will, it's also up to you...you have a choice to reject him, reject his kindness, reject the many validating proofs of himself, to continue to reason your way out of turning to him, to continue in your sin. I'm not trying to pass judgment and call you a sinner in a mean and nasty way...the bible calls all of us sinners - “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23...so we're all sinking in the same boat...but it is our choice whether we will acknowledge God, his kindness, his forgiveness, his offer of salvation...or if we will ignore the rising water, all the while refusing to believe the boat will eventually sink.

...you have a choice to reject him, reject his kindness, reject the many validating proofs of himself, to continue to reason your way out of turning to him, to continue in your sin.

You mean the BS proofs that were already debunked in the thread? Yeah, I'm definitely rejecting those. And rejecting "his kindness" by thinking it doesn't actually exist is because of the whole null hypothesis thing; we don't have any reason to think it exist, so until you can come up with a decent reason for it to exist (you because of burden of proof) we reject it.

...but it is our choice whether we will acknowledge God, his kindness, his forgiveness, his offer of salvation...or if we will ignore the rising water, all the while refusing to believe the boat will eventually sink.

We're not ignoring the rising water; you're pretending it's there.

vjazz:

do you notice that by answering about god
(well,your particular brand of it)
quoting the bible, you are doing some
circular reasoning, right?.

vjazz, Simply yes/no would have been fine, I didn't need all that other stuff. your answers were:

1) yes
2) yes
3) yes

so now I ask as my last question: Why hasn't a 6 inch frog with a gold belly appeared in my outstretched hands. I put them out there waiting to catch it.

You see, having a big frog like this appear out of nowhere really ought to be a stunt that God can pull off for me, you said yourself he is all powerful and is currently acting in this universe. If he really knows me, this is the sort of thing that he would know that it would take for me to believe in him. Finally, if he really wanted me to be saved, and it was such a minor thing like this to do it, then why wouldn't he do it?

Further, he would know the level of evidence each and every one of us atheists, as individuals, require in order for us to believe in him. Perhaps KoF needs to see an amputee regrow and arm. Perhaps Skeptico needs to see that he doesnt get wet, measurably during the fiercest thunderstorm.

Instead he sends someone to an internet board to use horribly quote mined and deceitful movies, mischaracterize much of science, and use argumentum ad populum, non sequiturs and circular reasoning as evidence?

How does that make any sense?

actually, come to think of it, I would have taken any frog appearing in my outstretched hands.

Actually, we might be able to do the amputee regrowing the arm eventually... though perhaps slowly. And it might take genetic modification. BUT WE MIGHT! I might get to see it without miraculous intervention! Which would be cool.

The big guy only grants prayers for things that could happen anyway... except, on rare occasion, for unusual remissions of cancer etc, which you, bathing in in the sweet waters of oncological ignorance, can claim after the event could not have happened without God's intervention.

Fleegman:

Thomas asked for proof and, guess what, he got it! Why are we any different?

This has always bugged me. God apparently demands the same level of belief from the people who had absolute proof that he existed as he does from people who have only heard about this proof in hand-me-down fairy tales. If miraculous evidence was good enough for Thomas (and for the wedding guests, and for the people gathered at Jesus's post-resurrection shindig, and for the people in the boat when he quelled the storm and walked on water, and for the people eating the loaves and fishes, and for frigging Lazarus, etc.) then why am I expected to believe based on a 2000-year-old game of telephone? I know, I know, "blessed are those who believe but do not see" or whatever. You know, I'm okay with being less blessed than Charlie Churchgoer. I've already accepted that I'm going to miss out on those meekness blessings, I'm willing to drop a couple more if it means I'd get some proof.

thoughtcounts Z:

Did anyone else notice that the "Exit" buttons (at least, after the point where you say you don't believe in God) take you to the Disney website? What are they trying to say?

It's kind of a standard practice for sites with potentially objectionable content. The enter button takes you to the regular site, the exit button takes you to Disney or Yahoo. It was pretty common for porn sites in the '90s to send you to Disney if you clicked the "I'm Under 18" or "I don't agree to these terms" buttons.

...Um, or so I heard. Makes me wonder what sites our Proof of God guy frequents.

Infophile:

then ask if they can imagine a universe in which the lawgiver isn't their god, but is Allah. Or maybe the Jewish god. Or how about Zeus, Thor, or a Flying Spaghetti Monster? There argument does absolutely nothing to rule out another deity being substituted for their god, no matter how ridiculous said deity might be.

Exactly. These apologetics arguments can twist logic all they want, but the best they can get to is a generic theist/deist god. There's no way to get from "God is necessary for logic" to "that God is necessarily Allah" without committing some kind of leap of faith or error of logic.

Vjazz79:

I'm a Theist and I do believe we have ample proofs of God's existence from varied arguments: Cosmological, Ontological, Anthropological, Teleological, Moral, Existential, and Cosmic Fine-Tuning.

And this is a nice example of those apologetic arguments that can't make it past deism. Here's the problem with trying to prove God through logic: at best, you can make an argument that is logically valid with respect to the premises. I say "at best" because I have seen few (if any) apologetic arguments that are logically valid--the vast majority of them, including the ones you've listed there, are based around one logical fallacy or another, which invalidates them right off. But, let's say that you've constructed a perfectly valid logical argument for God's existence--what then? You can't demonstrate that the argument is sound until you demonstrate that the premises are true. And you can't demonstrate that the premises are true without evidence. An unsound argument might be pretty, but it doesn't say anything about reality.

but too often skeptics, who claim to be open-minded find themselves unwilling to give God a fair shake and observe some of these arguments from serious scholars and theologians.
No, too often believers assume that skeptics haven't examined these arguments. In general, we have, and we don't find them convincing. Believers don't generally find them convincing either; when's the last time you met someone who converted to a religion because of the Cosmological argument or the Transcendental argument? Apologetics are ways for believers to justify what they already believe. I have seen no evidence to suggest that they actually have any power to convince anyone who didn't already believe.
Instead they they listen to people like Bill Maher
Bill Maher made a recent and mediocre movie calling out religions for their ridiculousness. I don't know of any skeptic or atheist who was deconverted because of "Religulous." Do you have any evidence that skeptics listen to Bill Maher instead of considering apologetic arguments? I don't know about everyone, but all the people I know who have seen "Religulous" have had time to do both.
or go to silly Christian websites like the one observed in this posting.
That "silly Christian website," silly though it is, is trying to promote the Transcendental Argument for God, an argument promoted by the Christian Apologetics Research Ministry and originally formulated by Kant.

Why is it that so many believers assume that the university theologians must be using more sophisticated arguments than the hoi polloi? Sure, this website is low-hanging fruit, but not because they are using a particularly primitive argument. Theologians are most adept at dressing up the old, logically-flawed, utterly-unsupported arguments in obfuscatory language and ad hocking, but the arguments still fail, and still for the same reasons.

I think ANYONE, christian or atheist, who say's I can prove/disprove the existence of God is flat out lying or doesn't know their information well enough to discern that such a statement requires absolute knowledge of all things (of which i doubt they have)
Wow, you've rolled up a misunderstanding of the burden of proof, a complete ignorance of the null hypothesis, and an unrealistic exaggeration of knowledge, all into one sentence. Kudos.

First, the burden of proof is on the claimant. It's up to the believers to prove God, not the disbelievers to disprove it. You're right, proving that anything doesn't exist to absolute certainty would require absolute knowledge. If you're going to believe in God because he hasn't been disproven, then you'd better believe in Allah, Zeus, Odin, Horus, Ganesh, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster, because none of them have been disproven either. To play it safe, you should also believe in trolls, fairies, unicorns, leprechauns, werewolves, and chupacabra, because no one's ever disproven any of them, either.

This is why, in any reasonable pursuit of knowledge, we assume the null hypothesis with regard to a claim (i.e., "X does not exist") until evidence requires us to reject that hypothesis. Quite frankly, it's not hard to overturn the null hypothesis. Strange how theists haven't managed to scrounge up enough evidence to do so.

Finally, it doesn't take absolute knowledge to say "I know X." In any practical sense, "know" means "to some high but not absolute degree of certainty." I'm not absolutely certain of anything, but I can still say that I know my box of Frankenberry isn't haunted by the ghost of John Candy. There's a small possibility that Uncle Buck is living in my pink marshmallows, but all the available evidence very strongly suggests otherwise.

No one can prove absolutely if there is or is not a God, but we have enough empirical proofs of God that one can be as confident as one can be
I'm pretty sure you don't know what "empirical" means.
I would recommend any good skeptic to read some verifiable authorities on the subject:
I'm pretty sure you don't know what "verifiable" means.
Both men are fair, ask tough questions of themselves and their faith, and are unafraid of where their research takes them.
Bull. Strobel is a hack, and a terrible "journalist." He approaches each book as if he's a skeptic (he isn't) framing the issue as if it's a court case. Then, just like a court case, he only interviews people on one side of the issue, and asks them leading softball questions so they can promote the view he's trying to promote.

Oh, no, that's not how courts operate at all. Courts operate by examining all sides of a given subject, examining experts who disagree, and looking at the actual evidence rather than letting the experts bloviate.

Craig, on the other hand, just likes to use big words to muddle his tired old arguments.

Wow, such animosity in your postings???
Where? None of the responses I saw to your original post had anything resembling animosity.
How could you be so bothered by something that doesn't exist???
Are you saying that you don't exist, or that Strobel doesn't exist? It's not God who's bothering people here, it's his fan club.
Many of you guys/gals are not true skeptics, but cynical scoffers.
Yawn.
David Hume once said, "I never asserted so absurd a proposition as that anything might arise without a cause."
First, I don't see how this helps your point.

Second, Hume lived nearly three hundred years ago; not surprisingly, he was wrong. There are things that happen without causes--nuclear decay is the first one that comes to mind, and vacuum fluctuations are another.

Third, you might want to read some of Hume's other stuff--particularly "An Essay Concerning Human Understanding". It's dense, but it basically lays out the idea that extraordinary claims--in particular, miracles--must be supported by extraordinary evidence. It also talks about our inability to determine the nature of a cause if we only know the effect, something else that tends to work against apologetic arguments.

What a load of hot-garbage. Did u even proof read that before u hit the enter button? Deductive reasoning tells me that my assumption of the gravitational theory is pretty convincing and if I wanted to prove that "axiom" I could (although I prefer you) to go to the top of the empire state building and empirically prove this logical inference...OF COURSE YOU CAN PROVE IT, all you have to do is jump.
Yes, you're right, that is indeed a load of hot garbage. You clearly have no idea what Akusai was saying (which is actually pretty uncontroversial first-semester philosophy knowledge), but I don't think you know what you're saying, either. Not to jump too deep into the ad hominem pool, but what are you, twelve?
Which is greater? The artist "idea" of a painting or the painting itself as it really exists? Obviously the latter, hence God must exist not merely in mind but in reality as well.
That's about the most muddled version of an ontological argument I've yet read. You left out several key premises (most importantly, that "God is defined as the greatest thing" and "something which exists is necessarily greater than something which does not exist"), but even if you hadn't, those premises would have been great examples of circular logic. Instead, you've got an argument here that things are better than ideas, which says nothing about whether or not every idea is necessarily represented by a real thing in the real world.
Are you feeling sheepish yet Skemono?
He has no reason to. All your attempts at math and science are meaningless. First, you're trying to extrapolate from a sample size of one: not only do you not have any other universes to compare this one to, you don't have any other life forms to compare terrestrial life to. All you can say is "if things were different, life as we know it wouldn't exist." This says nothing about whether or not things could be different (many of those universal constants are defined in relation to each other--change one, and you change others, which could very well have a compensatory effect), or whether or not a different kind of life could exist instead.

Not that it really matters. This argument is, as Douglas Adams said, like a puddle waking up and seeing how perfectly it fits in its pothole, therefore the pothole must have been specifically created for that puddle. We are fine-tuned for the universe--in particular, a certain range of ecosystems during a certain era on a certain planet in the universe, not the other way around.

If our universe was fine-tuned for anything, it's dark energy and black holes; there's far more of that stuff than there are humans, and those things can exist in far more places, while the vast majority of the universe is actively hostile to human existence.

You're not very good at math are you, or poker for that matter...
You're not very good at argumentation. Let's say that there's something against which the odds are staggeringly huge...at what probability is God required? 1 in 1,000,000? 1 in 1x10^23? 1 in 1x10^150?

Even incredibly improbable things are still just improbable. If they are possible, then given enough time and enough opportunities, even very unlikely things are bound to happen just by chance. Anything that can be explained in terms of natural causes makes God unnecessary.

Hummm...that's interesting...I don't see anywhere in the definition that a person need be of a certain background, school of thought, persuasion, ethnicity, race, creed, tribe, or nationality to be a person "versed in theology" which means the study of God, in case you had a misguided definition of that word too...??
Hummm...that's interesting...I don't see anywhere in your smug screed anything which would suggest that Strobel is versed in theology, which would make him not a theologian under your definition.
Dawkin's is a joke...you can't take what this guys says seriously. This is a man who's best explanation for the existence of life is that aliens from another planet flew to earth in their spaceship and "seeded" life on the back of a crystal somewhere and that's how life originated...THIS IS THE BEST EXPLANATION your team offers? (look it up on you tube)
Wow, so you actually believed Expelled? You're dumber than I thought. And weren't you just criticizing people for "listening to people like Bill Maher"? I guess when the movie supports what you believe, it's okay to take it uncritically.

Try actually reading something by Dawkins instead of assuming that you know what he thinks from a poorly-edited interview in a polemic movie. He easily demolishes nearly every argument you've ineptly mentioned here.

By the way, vjazz, if Dawkins is a joke, what do you think Strobel is?

And you say a theist's explanation is ignorant?!?! Why because our beliefs actually parallel science and rational thinking
No, quite the opposite. Observe:
(every effect must have an initial first cause;
Simply false; again, nuclear decay is an uncaused event.
out of nothing nothing comes;
Nonsensical and counterproductive. First, there's no "nothing" anywhere in the universe, so what could you possibly base this on? Second, it's the theists who claim the universe came out of nothing, so this undercuts your point entirely. Finally, since I know you'll just respond with "no, theists say the universe came from God," I'll note that this just moves the problem back a step. Either God has always existed, God came out of nothing, or God came from some other creator. If the first is the case, then why do we need God? It's just as reasonable and more parsimonious to say that the universe has always existed in some form. If the second is the case, then why do we need God? It's just as reasonable and more parsimonious to say that the universe came from nothing. If the third is the case, then it demonstrates the inanity of your first premise, that everything requires some first cause. If there's an infinite regress of Gods creating other Gods, then why should we bother with just one?
an observable and objective moral law;
Even if this existed (and it doesn't), why would we need a God to explain it? How is this explained by God?
how finely tuned the comsos are;
Mistaking cause and effect.
the expansion rate of the universe;
Red herring--what does this have to do with God?
irreducible complexity;
Doesn't exist outside of Michael Behe's fever-dreams.
the bacterial flagellum;
Evolved. Argument from personal incredulity.
the observation that every made thing has a Maker just as every painting has a painter, every building has a builder, and every design has a designer)
Ray Comfort is an even bigger joke than Strobel, Vjazz. Yes, every painting has a painter, every building has a builder. And you'd have a point, except that the universe isn't a painting or a building. Argument by analogy.

How about some actual science that your God isn't in line with? Like, for instance, the First Law of Thermodynamics, which says that energy and matter cannot be created or destroyed. Hm, seems to me that has implications on your creation myth.

1. Richard Dawkins (although he's flaky, at times he'll state he can disprove God's existence, then he'll say God is unlikely, and then he'll say no one can disprove anything absolutely) 2. Peter Atkins (oxford professor) 3. Michael Martin,(professor of philosophy at boston U) 4. Ricki Monnier, Phd. (degree in mathematical logic) and director of the Disproof Atheism Society both men wrote a book called the Impossibility of God.
Citations and quotations, please.
Actually it does matter, it matters a great deal...the whole point of introducing the theory of probability is because the chances of producing any planet at all, let alone a life permitting plant are so infinitesimally small as to be incalculable and incomprehensible.
Yes, and if the universe were created by a universe-generating machine that just popped out random numbers for physical constants, this argument would have some kind of meaning. Since we have no reason to think that physical constants are determined by chance, your invocation of probability is meaningless.

You were making fun of people for not understanding math before, and now you're applying simple probability to something that you haven't demonstrated is the result of random chance? I seem to recall there being a relevant saying about glass houses and throwing stones.

Seriously, this is pretty basic high school math, Vjazz--you can't assume that probabilistic reasoning has any validity for nonrandom processes. Until you can demonstrate that the physical properties of the universe are determined by random chance, your numbers are meaningless.

the cause has to be equal or greater than the effect...if the effect is matter, then the cause must transcend matter.
Nice contradiction there. First, you say that the cause must be equal or greater than the effect (which is nonsense anyway--equal or greater how?), then you say that the cause of matter must transcend matter. According to your unsupported initial assertion, though, the cause of matter must either be greater than matter or equal to matter. Which means that the cause of matter could itself be material, which (yet again) renders your God unnecessary.
Seriously King of Ferrets, I can't be doing this all night with you... You want to tell me that you didn't find the answer to the gravitational weak force in the PREVIEW of the book...that's surprising! You do realize the book is 175 pages long
Yeah, it's KoF's job to look up your claims, not your job to provide proper quotes or citations. Hey, Vjazz, I'll give you a tip: grown-ups properly cite their claims. Of course, since you never actually read any of the things you've posted, just cut and pasted them from the apologetics website du jour, it's hard to expect you to know what the actual quotations are or what pages they're on.

We know your game. It's not original, and you're not clever.

Not according to Oxfords Peter Atkins (a leading atheist)...In his book The Creation he explains that sub-atomic particals where performing random and complex mathematical formulas thru eons of time and by random chance, one of the mathematical formulas hit the jack pot and the universe began. But he never explains where the sub-atomic particals came from or complex mathematical formulas?
Somehow, I think you've gotten this as wrong as you got the apologetics arguments you were attempting earlier. There were no subatomic particles before the universe existed, you tool, and subatomic particles don't conduct mathematical formulae. So, either Atkins is a kook talking about things he couldn't possibly know (a possibility), or you're an idiot who can't accurately report moderately complex ideas (which you've demonstrated).

Vjazz, I recommend that you work on your writing skills, your temper tantrums, and your reading comprehension before you get into apologetics as a career. The fact that you don't even seem to be able to articulate the arguments for God, let alone being ignorant of the arguments against, speaks ill about your ultimate effectiveness as a witness.

Actually, we might be able to do the amputee regrowing the arm eventually...

Yes, I know that. Its rather funny that science may bring us something that God can not.

The big guy only grants prayers for things that could happen anyway

Then he either is not all powerful or he doesnt actually want me to be saved.

I'm still waiting on vjazz to answer my question as to why I don't have a new frog in my hands.

Tom's point is perfect: Why was it only good enough for God to perform this type of miracle 2000-6000 years ago and not now? Why do we have to hear a bout it though books that were written decades after the event described. Books that have been edited and modified for 2000 years. He could convert swaths of people, there could literally be zero atheists, if he would go ahead and do this.

One of the answers to one of my questions must in fact be no, and I think vjazz has provided enough text to show that this is not the case (thank you). Or, what atheists have been saying for centuries is true: there is in fact, no god.

vjazz79:

Clearly you missed my post at the end of the first page, there are many questions for you to answer there, if you can.

I mean, clearly you must have thought all of this through and you aren't just cutting and pasting what other people have said. Right?

In case you missed it, you can find it here.

Now, in reference to your Biblical quotes used in reply to Techskeptic. Are you aware of the field of textual criticism?

Do you believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God?

If not, then why do you think citing the Bible proves anything or answers anything?

If you do believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God, do you believe there are no errors or contradictions in the Bible?

If you do believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God, how do you explain differences in translation or the possibilities of variant translations?

Do you believe that the texts presented in the Bible today are the same as those present in the earliest manuscripts we have of the same texts?

If not, how do you explain the differences and still maintain that the Bible is the word of God?

So many questions for you.

Jimmy Blue:

No i didn't see your previous questions (my apologies) i'll take a look after this posting.

OLD TESTAMENT
At the beginning of the 20th century, textual criticism of the Old Testament (OT) was in its infancy, with few early Hebrew manuscripts. However, w/ the discoveries of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947, scholars found themselves in a better position than ever before to evaluate whether the OT texts are reliable.

At present there exist over 3,000 Hebrew manuscripts of the OT, 8,000 manuscripts of the Latin Vulgate, over 1,500 manuscripts of the Septuagint, and over 65 copies of the Syriac Peshitta.

Out of any manuscripts/writings of antiquity, the Bible pulls out ahead as the most reliable in transmission, textual criticism, and sources.

Even given a strong desire to maintain an authoritative, standardized text, common copyist errors can creep in, including confusion of similar letters or words, haplography, dittography, metathesis, fusion, and fission. Only a very small percentage of the Hebrew text has any questionable readings, and of these only a small portion make any significant difference int the meaning of the text.

NEW TESTAMENT
In comparison w/ the remaining manuscripts of any other ancient Greek or Latin literature, the NT is head-n-shoulders above the rest, so far above the rest that it is almost incomprehensible to think about the disparity. When it comes to quanity of copies, the NT has no peer. More than 5,700 Greek NT manuscripts are still in existence, ranging in date from the early 2nd century to the 16th century. But the Greek manuscripts don't tell the whole story. The NT was translated early into a variety of languages, including Latin, Coptic, Syriac, Armenian, Georgian, Gothic, and Arabic. All told, there are between 20,000 and 25,000 handwritten copies of the NT in various languages.


How does this compare w/ the average classical author?

The copies of the average ancient Greek or Latin author's writings number fewer than 20 manuscripts! Thus, the NT has well over 1,000 times as many manuscripts as the works of the average classical author (stronger manuscript support than Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Caesar, and Tacitus).

RELIABILITY
Additionally, the reliability of the Bible is affirmed by the testimony of its authors, who were eyewitnesses, or close associates of eyewitnesses, which recorded events, and by secular historians who confirm many of the events, people, places, and customs chronicled in Scripture (like Tacitus, Suetonius, Josephus, Pliny the Younger, Lucian, Mara Bar-Serapion - just to name a few)

ARCHAEOLOGICAL DISCOVERY
Comprehensive archaeological fieldwork and careful biblical interpretation affirm the reliability of the Bible. E.G. recent archaeological finds hv corroborated biblical details surrounding the trial that led to the fatal torments of Jesus Christ - including Pontius Pilate, as well as Caiaphas.

PREDICTIONS
The Bible records the predictions of events that could not be known by chance or common sense. For example, the book of Daniel (written 530 B.C.) accurately predicts the progression of kingdoms from Babylon through the Median and Persian empires to the further persecution and suffering of the Jews under Antiochus IV Epiphanes w/ his desecration of the temple, his untimely death, and freedom for the Jews under Judas Maccabeaus (165 B.C.). It is statistically impossible that any or all of the Bible's specific, detailed prophecies could have been fulfilled through chance, good guessing, or deliberate deceit.

Tom Foss:

Did you even say anything of value? All u did was rant against my thread, but I heard NO contribution to the topic...my best guess is, you're a moron who can't articulate complex propositions, so you sit in your pink polka dot undies in ur moms basement, obviously contributing nothing there as well.

TechSkeptic:

U embarrass urself w/ ur lack of comprehension. What do you think...God is some jack-n-the-box in the sky just waiting to perform for u and ur silly mindless friends? LOL
Get a clue dood...He's no more going to do anything for you, than you are going to do anything for Him.

If you get saved, it will be the product of his grace, not his tricks.

Should i slow down, or are u tracking w/ me...I know it takes away to sink in...

Additionally, the reliability of the Bible is affirmed by the testimony of its authors, who were eyewitnesses, or close associates of eyewitnesses, which recorded events...

Correction: CLAIMED to be eyewitnesses.

It is statistically impossible that any or all of the Bible's specific, detailed prophecies could have been fulfilled through chance, good guessing, or deliberate deceit.

...Statistically impossible? What the flying fuck are you talking about? I'm pretty sure statistics is unable to deem something impossible.

it's cute how u guys r scratching each others belly's...like girlfriends...u guys would mk good Christians...so sweet and nurturing to each other.
It's too bad ur only keeping each other in the dark by your shameless enabling, using each other as a crutch cuz u can't stand on ur own...pathetic

I think the point Techskeptic was making, Mr. User Of A Great Many Ad Hominem Arguments, was that your Bible records instances of doubters being converted by actually seeing miracles. Why don't we get the same?

King of Ferrets...WHY ARE U STILL IN THIS CONVERSATION?

If u wanna save the planet from pollution, shut that big fat hole in ur face, idiot.

I mean every time you open ur mouth, the stupidest things come out.

Yesterday, how many times did u make a fool of urself and had to retract your post and apologize for getting ur info wrong...

ur skeptic friends won't say anything cuz they don't want to hurt ur feelings or the team...but help them out and stay out of the conversation

a miracle for you King of Ferrets is to actually get a clue...if that were to happen i guarantee u all ur skeptic friends would fall on their knees tonight and all become super duper devout Christians

All:

I think it’s obvious now (if it wasn’t before) from vjazz79’s pitifully short, weak and insulting reply to Tom Foss’s detailed and insightful line-by-line rebuttal (and from vjazz79’s subsequent empty insults), that vjazz79 is not interested in debate, just in posturing. IOW, he is a troll.

A phrase about not wrestling with a pig, springs to mind. Just saying. Up to you, of course, but we’re not going to see anything meaningful from this idiot.

And vjazz79 – lay off the insults please. It’s tedious.

Bronze Dog:

3. Even if no one knows where those particles came from... what's your point?

My point was how ridiculous his thought was. In an earlier chapter of his book peter atkins states that there was NOTHING before the big bang (but i doubt he understands the concept of absolute nothingness). Then in a later chapter he asserts that as atheists (which includes many of you), they must account for "how" the big bang happened. So his explanation goes on to say, that before the big bang there was sub-atomic dust particles swirling around space (where did the sub-atomic dust particles come from if nothing existed prior to the big bang?) and these dust particles were randomly performing complex mathematical formulas (where did those come from as well?) for billions and billions of years until one of the math formulas sequenced correctly and BANG, the big bang took place and now we have all this.

His explanation of the origin of the universe is self contradictory.

vjazz: I had to retract exactly once.

I'm sorry skeptico did i hurt ur feelings? take a good look at all ur postings (meaning u and your minions) and tell me if you guys have been fair and lacking in offense?

I tell u that you have not. How convenient for you to be able to dish it out, but when you get served a piece of the pie you can't stomach it.

If that's the case...you're dismissed.

Even if his explanation of the origin of the universe is self contradictory: So fucking what? We don't think his explanation is right, at least if you're transmitting it correctly. He doesn't speak for all atheists.

vjazz79 – Cut out the insults. Reply to people’s actual points. Last warning.

Oh, no, some of us have been plenty offensive, vjazz. But there's a difference: We were offensive, but we had substance. You have absolutely no substance to most of your posts, just offensiveness.

vjazz: the only one that's making a fool of himself here is you with your childish attitude on insulting others.
you sound like a 5 years old child that's
covering his ears "DADADADADADA, SANTA EXISTS,
I DON'T WANT TO HEAR ANYMORE ABOUT IT,
SHUT UP ALREADY, I KNOW SANTA EXISTS AND YOU
ARE NOT TAKING IT AWAY FROM ME, DADADADADADA,
I CAN'T HEAR YOU I CAN'T HEAR YOU".

that's what your posts look like to me,
childish rants, insults, and trying to
shut up people just because their arguments
are valid but you just happen to disagree,
why don't you try just for a moment to
uncover your ears, listen to what has
been asked to you, and try to reply in
a reasonable way?.

also, I've been reading this thing since the first post and I'm still waiting for you
to provide any evidence or reason to
conclude there is a god. let alone any
empirical proof.

by the way, you should investigate the
story of the NT a little more. specially
the gospels. they were written at least 70
years after the events they are telling,
the writers were not eye witnesses, and,
they even contradict each other!.
you can't have a rational reason to believe
such a book is historical fact.
If you do, then why don't you believe
characters like Tom Sawyer, Sherlock Holmes,
or even Darth Vader, are real?.
Sounds ridiculous, right?, just because they
are in a book, it doesn't make them real,
right?.

I have not heard ONE of you successful provide any evidence what-so-ever against the existence of God (even though I posed that question and challenge). The best one of u came back w/ was that you can disprove only some concepts about God.

I'm the one shelling out all the information and all u guys are doing is responding to it, but none of you has laid out a satisfying defense of your position or beliefs.

And you're getting pissed off at me? You guys are the ones shooting blanks. All u guys can muster up is ridiculous one-liners like: "Sill assertion, I can't believe you watched that movie, that's not real science, I've heard that argument before" but none of you as adequately laid a defense as to why God does not exist.

You think it proves anything to simply disagree w/ me? It does not.

You think that it proves God does not exist by simply arguing the points I provide?

How do you justify your disbelief? You can't prove it, nor are you trying.

Pelger:

Yet proof again that something comes from nothing.

"...the gospels. they were written at least 70
years after the events they are telling,
the writers were not eye witnesses, and,
they even contradict each other!..."

Wow...you disagree w/ me...shocking. Where is your proof? Justify and qualify your weak and unimpressive statements w/ something other than your discredit of them.

Compare my thread to yours...which one provided the more complete explanation? You or me...?

I explain the "why"...you just respond w/ disbelief...so what you don't believe what I wrote, it does not discount or disprove its accuracy. Now who's the one w/ their hands over their ears in childish and unfounded rejection?

King of Ferrets:

I believe it was you who used the "F" work in your thread, where was the outrage then bloggers? Ohhh, I see, you wanna be tolerant only when it's to your advantage, but intolerant and offended when it is not. Hypocrites!

If you want to be fair and decent (which ur crying about now) why didn't any of you come to my defense when bloggers were calling me idiot, moron, and as King of Ferrets so aptly forgot, using the "F" word to display his frustration?

Bigots.

...correction....

"F" word

Subject: vjazz79
Suspected psychological ailment: The Dunning-Kruger effect

1. Incompetent individuals tend to overestimate their own level of skill... CHECK!
2. Incompetent individuals fail to recognize genuine skill in others.... CHECK!
3. Incompetent individuals fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy.... CHECK!


Recommended course of action:

4. If they can be trained to substantially improve their own skill level, these individuals can recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill.


You can pay on your way out. Thanks.

I said that at least some of us, including me, have been offensive. I didn't forget. We're complaining not because you're being offensive, but because that's ALL you're doing.

Also, it's not our job to disprove God! It is your job to prove him. You haven't. We've shown that your arguments don't work.

Oh, and the reason it's your job to prove God is a little thing called the burden of proof. We atheists tend to consider it rather important in discussions about God, since negative evidence is so hard to find when your opponent can asspull his way out of just about anything (That would be "God works in mysterious ways" and similar crap, btw), so you might want to look it up if you're going to make a habit of this.

I have not heard ONE of you successful provide any evidence what-so-ever against the existence of God (even though I posed that question and challenge).

Nor will we. You're challenging us to prove a negative. How about you try to disprove the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Carl Sagan's invisible dragon in his garage, or Russell's Teapot? It's impossible--you can't. You can, however, point out that there's no evidence that they exist, and therefore there's no reason to believe people who claim they do.

It's your claim that god exists. You have to back it up. The default position, or null hypothesis, is that god doesn't exist. We assume that's true until you can disprove it. Which, as we've shown over and over, you can't.

The best one of u came back w/ was that you can disprove only some concepts about God.

"God" is such a nebulous, ill-defined concept, that it can have dozens of meanings. So asking someone to disprove "God" is pretty much impossible. Some definitions of god are logically inconsistent, though.

I'm the one shelling out all the information

You don't have any information. You're just vomiting forth a passel of incoherent and completely invalid "proofs" that are utterly worthless; you quote-mine people and dish out strawmen of positions that no-one holds; you "paraphrase" people with such shoddy understanding that we can be exceptionally confident that you're completely misrepresenting them. And most of the time, you just sit back and spew back inane insults, like a good Christian.

and all u guys are doing is responding to it, but none of you has laid out a satisfying defense of your position or beliefs.

Yes, we are responding to it. We're pointing out that your "information" and your "proofs" are utter crap.

And you're getting pissed off at me?

Let me try listing all of the insults you have uttered in the course of your posts here:
  • Many of you guys/gals are not true skeptics, but cynical scoffers. Even one of the greatest skeptics wasn't as brash and shallow as many of you

  • oh please, how long did it take for you to look that up? You're trying too hard, it's almost embarrassing.

  • Skemono this statement reflects just how ignorant you are.

  • You're not very good at math are you, or poker for that matter...

  • did you research them before making your littler person remark? I bet u didn't, because you're not a true skeptic searching for the truth, you're a small minded cynic, who probably waists his life away playing video games...why don't you go play on those other kids websites and leave the big questions of skepticism to the big boys?

  • So what's next Skemono under your intolerant definition of who who is able to study theology? No women perhaps? No blacks? No pizza delivery guys? (your so small minded is absurd) go play Halo 3 on ur xbox and let your brain rest.

  • Richard Dawkins (who's a loon) and Christopher Hitches (of whom no one can understand a word he say's, I think he's blitz for all his debates)...
    Dawkin's is a joke...you can't take what this guys says seriously.

  • Funny how you left me wanting more (another theme of your insufficiency)

  • Let me know when you popped your stimulating pill and have something longer than 4 words to work with...

  • Get off your lazy ass

  • you'd probably get smacked upside your head (and they'd probably hear an echo)

  • Dood u need serious help. You're the type of guy who still needs his name, phone number and address written on a piece of paper and pinned to his backpack in case he gets lost crossing the street...go to sleep already

  • You're an idiot!

  • you're a moron who can't articulate complex propositions, so you sit in your pink polka dot undies in ur moms basement, obviously contributing nothing there as well.

  • U embarrass urself w/ ur lack of comprehension.

  • It's too bad ur only keeping each other in the dark by your shameless enabling, using each other as a crutch cuz u can't stand on ur own...pathetic

  • If u wanna save the planet from pollution, shut that big fat hole in ur face, idiot.

    I mean every time you open ur mouth, the stupidest things come out.


And you then act shocked when people are short with you? You have the gall to pretend you're contributing anything? You don't actually respond to any of our critiques, all you do is spit out insults. You're a shallow-minded, coarse boor.

You guys are the ones shooting blanks.

Given how we have pointed out that every single 'point' you have made is completely illogical and content-free, this seems to be nothing more than a case of projection.

All u guys can muster up is ridiculous one-liners like: "Sill assertion, I can't believe you watched that movie, that's not real science, I've heard that argument before"

None of which you've actually bothered to refute. So basically, what you're saying is "All you guys can muster up are pointing out all the massive flaws in my reasoning! But that doesn't prove anything, I'm still right, even though none of my arguments amount to a hill of beans!"

but none of you as adequately laid a defense as to why God does not exist.

You think it proves anything to simply disagree w/ me? It does not.

You think that it proves God does not exist by simply arguing the points I provide?

How do you justify your disbelief? You can't prove it, nor are you trying.


Of course not. You should try looking up how logic and science actually work. It's not our burden to prove something doesn't exist. You have to prove that it does. And so far, you haven't. Pointing out that your posts here have done nothing of the sort is completely in line with our disbelief.

To wit: there's no evidence for any god, so we have no reason to believe in one.

Skemono

Instead of putting all that pointless effort in supporting your position...once again all u did was highlight me (i'm moved, i really am that you took so much care to absorb my words and commit them to memory, and actually used them)...ur virtual crush is making me blush.

So if i understand this correctly...u don't have to nor will you defend a position, for as u so adequately and inappropriately put it, all u have to do to qualify your lack of belief is respond to me (there u go again w/ all ur compliments).

So then u really don't have a position?! And if u don't have a position, then there's really nothing for u to defend?

I'll take that as a forfeit...

No worries...I accept your apology (i'm sure you can't help it)

Martin

Is that all you have? You must be friends w/ furry ferret (just when i thought it couldn't get worse)

weak dood

vjazz's desperate effort to bait us into "disproving god," even though we have not claimed to have done so reminds me of that one guy who got sued by a bunch of UK chiropractors and the judge with poor reasoning ability they got:

The skeptic and defendant said chiropractic medicine was bogus, but not necessarily fraud because many chiropractors were true believers in the false practice.

The judge took a narrow interpretation of the word "bogus" to mean that he was calling them frauds, and only left the skeptic with the option of providing evidence of fraud. In short, the judge ruled that his only means to defend his innocence was to commit the crime he was accused of in court.

vjazz, we do not feel the need to travel the world looking for unicorns to disprove them. We don't need to waste our time just because someone else came up with an idea. If you're claiming to have found a unicorn, it's your job to bring one in, take a quality photo of one, or whatever. If we find the horn's just a glued-on cone of posterboard, well, you'll need to do some explaining.

Note on fine tuning: Don't you find it odd that god just happened to be fine tuned enough so that he'd have the right powers and desires to fine tune this exact universe? There must be a fine fine tuner tuner, and a fine fine fine tuner tuner tuner... ad nauseum.

Note on "having to account for" stuff like where particles come from: No, we don't. We don't claim to have a perfect understanding of the universe, so there's nothing wrong with saying "We don't know that part yet." The theists, on the other hand, usually claim to have an answer, so they have to provide evidence.

vjazz, Skemono isn't forfeiting. YOU ARE! And you're lying to do so. As skeptics, we're the goalies. When someone takes a shot at making a positive claim, we go after the weaknesses of that shot. We don't have the infinite hubris and delusions of godhood it takes to claim something (other than some pure math claims) is utterly impossible.

We're sitting here, waiting for you to make a shot. The ball (the claim of god's existence) is in your court, and you aren't doing anything with it.

Oh, yeah, on the claim of the "swirling dust": I think I recognize that, now: That was Kent Hovind misunderstanding someone who was talking about the formation of a single star, not the whole universe. Hovind doesn't know the difference between the two.

We do have a position, vjazz: The negative one. And, if you'd visited the link I gave you, you would understand why the negative position doesn't have to disprove your claim.

vjazz79 - You still haven't answered any of the questions I asked.

No, your post about textual criticism bid not answer them - it appears that your reading comprehension is at the same level as your childish sniping.

Still waiting.

So, Mr. vjazz79, respected sir - are you going to show us some of the slam-dunk proof you claim to have of God's existence?

Yes or no will do fine.

1. Anything that exists has an explanation of its existence (maybe except for furry ferret)

2. Although God (or the concept of God) may not be absolutely proven nor disproven, there is sufficient reason to believe that it is more likely that God exists rather than he does not.

3. Evolution does a dismal job of providing answers for the origin of life (i find it funny that i have to constantly remind u guys that it is an unproven theory and i think u guys have had enough time to prove it but science has still failed to do so) in case u guys haven't noticed there is still a big gaping hole in the fossil record - Darwin was wrong.

4. If atheism is true, then the universe has no explanation of its existence (and this is okay w/ skemono)

If the universe has an explanation of its existence, then atheism is not true (no wonder why he's not interested in finding answers or a position - truth is a scary thing to some people).

5. Atheist view the universe as a gigantic closed system (everything is there and nothing outside). 2nd law of thermodynamics (since one of u tried to bring this up as an argument and failed) here's why...u believe that given sufficient time, the universe will eventually come to a state of equilibrium and suffer "heat death" as Fairy Ferret lover so vehemently postulated. Then why if the universe has existed forever, is it not now in a state of heat death?

Thermodynamics implies that the universe had a beginning and as P.C.W. Davies said, "We must say on the basis of the thermodynamic properties of the universe that the universes energy was somehow simply 'put in' at the creation as an initial condition." P.C.W. Davies, The Physics of Time Asymmetry (London: Surrey University Press, 1974) p. 104
(...for all of you who have complained that i have not documented my references well...eat that) but guess what...so ur lazy ur probably not going to look it up anyway, I could have simply quoted from Emeril's cook book for all u care.

6. The discovery of cosmic fine-tuning for intelligent life has led many scientists to conclude that such a delicate balance of physical constants and quantities as is required for life cannot be dismissed (even if skemono doesn't believe in it...which demonstrates how out of touch his neo-Dawinian theory of biological evolution is) and of course King of Ferrets thinks this is rubbish, but we all know how smart he is. If you are a serious skeptic (unlike these guys) this information begs for an explanation other than "I don't believe that" which u guys have exhausted as a qualification for nothing.
The physical laws of nature are given mathematical expression and contain various constants (such as gravitational constants) of which I could already hear Mr. Ferret say he doesn't believe in gravity either (ur point is well documented...now go jump of a building to see if you're right and come blog about it).
The range of life-permitting values is so narrow in comparison to the assumable values, it would be absurdity to dismiss them and to do so shows a lack of depth and comprehension needed to appreciate these values.

7. If God does not exist, where do objective moral values come from?
I say God...what say you?

8. If atheism is correct and God does not exist...what is your purpose in life? What hope do you offer your fellow man? There has to be a reason for all this...what is it?

WHAT GOOD EVIDENCE (LOGICAL OR OTHERWISE) DO YOU HAVE THAT GOD DOES NOT EXIST? (no lame answers like, I don't have to prove God does not exist)

keep waiting Jimmy boy...unlike u I actually have a life and real people that I hang w/ unlike ur virtual world in ur bedroom...some of u can blog all day...they should give you a blue ribbon

1. Anything that exists has an explanation of its existence (snip the ad hom)

This does not mean that the explanation is known.

2. Although God (or the concept of God) may not be absolutely proven nor disproven, there is sufficient reason to believe that it is more likely that God exists rather than he does not.

You say there is. I say there isn't. One of us is wrong. This is empty rhetoric.

3. Evolution does a dismal job of providing answers for the origin of life (i find it funny that i have to constantly remind u guys that it is an unproven theory and i think u guys have had enough time to prove it but science has still failed to do so) in case u guys haven't noticed there is still a big gaping hole in the fossil record - Darwin was wrong.

You don't know what a scientific theory is, do you? Evolution is doing fine, thank you. Unless you want to back up what you say here.

4. If atheism is true, then the universe has no explanation of its existence (and this is okay w/ skemono)

So? Does it have to have an explanation? Or is the explanation just waiting to be discovered?

If the universe has an explanation of its existence, then atheism is not true (no wonder why he's not interested in finding answers or a position - truth is a scary thing to some people).

Absolute gibberish.

5. Atheist view the universe as a gigantic closed system (everything is there and nothing outside). 2nd law of thermodynamics (since one of u tried to bring this up as an argument and failed) here's why...u believe that given sufficient time, the universe will eventually come to a state of equilibrium and suffer "heat death" as Fairy Ferret lover so vehemently postulated. Then why if the universe has existed forever, is it not now in a state of heat death?

Straw man. The universe has not existed forever, and nobody here has said it has. However, it is possible that time is an innate property of the universe and came into being with the universe. There was no "before".

Thermodynamics implies that the universe had a beginning and as P.C.W. Davies said, "We must say on the basis of the thermodynamic properties of the universe that the universes energy was somehow simply 'put in' at the creation as an initial condition." P.C.W. Davies, The Physics of Time Asymmetry (London: Surrey University Press, 1974) p. 104 (...for all of you who have complained that i have not documented my references well...eat that) but guess what...so ur lazy ur probably not going to look it up anyway, I could have simply quoted from Emeril's cook book for all u care.

But if we say God put it in, that is a better answer?

6. The discovery of cosmic fine-tuning for intelligent life has led many scientists to conclude that such a delicate balance of physical constants and quantities as is required for life cannot be dismissed (even if skemono doesn't believe in it...which demonstrates how out of touch his neo-Dawinian theory of biological evolution is) and of course King of Ferrets thinks this is rubbish, but we all know how smart he is. If you are a serious skeptic (unlike these guys) this information begs for an explanation other than "I don't believe that" which u guys have exhausted as a qualification for nothing. The physical laws of nature are given mathematical expression and contain various constants (such as gravitational constants) of which I could already hear Mr. Ferret say he doesn't believe in gravity either (ur point is well documented...now go jump of a building to see if you're right and come blog about it). The range of life-permitting values is so narrow in comparison to the assumable values, it would be absurdity to dismiss them and to do so shows a lack of depth and comprehension needed to appreciate these values.

Appeal to popularity. Many scientists do not make this conclusion, You have already been given many objections to this argument which you have not answered.

7. If God does not exist, where do objective moral values come from? I say God...what say you?

I say my parents, my school and wider society. A baby has no sense of morals.

8. If atheism is correct and God does not exist...what is your purpose in life? What hope do you offer your fellow man? There has to be a reason for all this...what is it?

Who ever said life had to have a purpose? Why?

WHAT GOOD EVIDENCE (LOGICAL OR OTHERWISE) DO YOU HAVE THAT GOD DOES NOT EXIST? (no lame answers like, I don't have to prove God does not exist)

The same amount of proof you have that I am a Cambridge university professor in Extreme Cleverness. If I said that, you would rightly say "prove it." The null hypothesis is the ultimate "prove it". It is not lame to say that the person claiming an entity exists is the one bearing the burden of proof.

1. Anything that exists has an explanation of its existence (maybe except for furry ferret)

That does not entail that anyone currently knows the explanation.

2. Although God (or the concept of God) may not be absolutely proven nor disproven, there is sufficient reason to believe that it is more likely that God exists rather than he does not.

Evidence for this?

3. Evolution does a dismal job of providing answers for the origin of life (i find it funny that i have to constantly remind u guys that it is an unproven theory and i think u guys have had enough time to prove it but science has still failed to do so) in case u guys haven't noticed there is still a big gaping hole in the fossil record - Darwin was wrong.

Fractal wrongness (wrong at every level of resolution).

A. Evolution does not explain the origin of life. That is abiogenesis's job.

B. You have no concept of what "theory" means in science, do you?

C. All theories are unproven: Absolute proofs only exist in mathematics. I'm not about to walk off a cliff just because gravity isn't proven.

D. Where is this "gap"?

E. The fossils aren't expected to be perfect, unless you are seriously demanding that we have a record of every living thing that ever had children.

F. Fossils aren't the end of evolution. Try taking a look at the genetic evidence.

G. So far, for pretty much everything evolution does explain, Creationists can only scream, essentially "Random coincidence! Randomrandomrandom!"

H. Who gives a flip about Darwin? Yeah, it was cool that he got the thing started, but we've moved onto modern synthesis.

4. If atheism is true, then the universe has no explanation of its existence (and this is okay w/ skemono)

If the universe has an explanation of its existence, then atheism is not true (no wonder why he's not interested in finding answers or a position - truth is a scary thing to some people).

Blatant lie. Just because we don't know what that explanation is, yet, doesn't mean there isn't one. Why is your heart so full of hatred you have to make up lies such as this?

5. Atheist view the universe as a gigantic closed system (everything is there and nothing outside). 2nd law of thermodynamics (since one of u tried to bring this up as an argument and failed) here's why...u believe that given sufficient time, the universe will eventually come to a state of equilibrium and suffer "heat death" as Fairy Ferret lover so vehemently postulated. Then why if the universe has existed forever, is it not now in a state of heat death?

More obvious, blatant lies you're making up. The universe as it currently is is only 13.7 billion years old. We're still trying to figure out if "before the big bang" is even a meaningful phrase.

Thermodynamics implies that the universe had a beginning and as P.C.W. Davies said, "We must say on the basis of the thermodynamic properties of the universe that the universes energy was somehow simply 'put in' at the creation as an initial condition." P.C.W. Davies, The Physics of Time Asymmetry (London: Surrey University Press, 1974) p. 104 (...for all of you who have complained that i have not documented my references well...eat that) but guess what...so ur lazy ur probably not going to look it up anyway, I could have simply quoted from Emeril's cook book for all u care.

What's your point?

(Some fine tuning nonsense) The range of life-permitting values is so narrow in comparison to the assumable values, it would be absurdity to dismiss them and to do so shows a lack of depth and comprehension needed to appreciate these values.

You're the one failing to comprehend our complaints. You're painting a bullseye around a bullethole and declaring it a perfect shot. It's like saying all lottery winners cheat.

7. If God does not exist, where do objective moral values come from? I say God...what say you?

I see no reason to believe that morality is truly objective. I don't believe in objectively random morality as you do. Much firmer and consistent secular morality is based on the nature of social organisms.

8. If atheism is correct and God does not exist...what is your purpose in life? What hope do you offer your fellow man? There has to be a reason for all this...what is it?

My purpose is to help my fellow sapient beings enjoy life without fear of oppression or tyranny. I offer hope by working to convince the enablers of tyranny that they aren't infallible gods.

No, there doesn't have to be a purpose behind why things are the way they are. As sapient beings, we have to find our own purposes for existing. Even if some stone idol outside the known universe tried to impose a purpose on us, I don't see why his random whims are more important than my compassion for my fellow beings.

WHAT GOOD EVIDENCE (LOGICAL OR OTHERWISE) DO YOU HAVE THAT GOD DOES NOT EXIST? (no lame answers like, I don't have to prove God does not exist)

Translation: "Prove that I don't have a glarb in my back yard. Prove that all concepts of glarb are impossible. And I don't want you to whine about 'impossible' being outside your vocabulary, or that I haven't told you anything about glarb other than a bunch of obfuscating words newage (rhymes with sewage) hippies love to put in their books to cover up the absence of meaning."

How about this: Tell us your god hypothesis, and make a verifiable, falsifiable prediction. Once we know what the hell you're talking about (instead of barfing up a thesaurus's entries for 'really big'), we'll be able to prove that specific god hypothesis false when your prediction fails.

I suppose next you're going to demand that we search the entire planet for unicorns before we say that they're very, very improbable.

You didn't check the link I gave you, did you? Y'know, the one that explained the whole null hypothesis thing and why you had to prove God, instead of us disproving him? See, I can tell because you called it a lame response.

Let's compare:

Random universe straw man (which we aren't even betting on): 1 in an illion chance.
Creationism: Out of the illion possible universes he could choose from, he picks this one on a random whim and tunes physics accordingly.

Both hypotheses have equal probability: 1 in an illion. Creationism, however, posits an additional entity without evidence.

Pretty sad when even Straw Man Has a Point.

vjazz79: I won't wait very long, don't worry.

Just like you, I know you can't answer them either.

But keep up the childish insults, it plays exactly into our hands when the neutral reader comes along and sees the hypocrisy of Christians. Remember - I predicted that you would start complaining that we insulted you even though you were the one who started flinging the insults around first - keep playing to the script.

I'll have more later when I finish work, you are just too easy.

vjazz79:


Yet proof again that something comes from nothing.

I guess you meant "prove".
a)I don't have to prove "something comes from nothing" because that's not what I'm saying. you still fail to understand the concept of "burden of proof".

b)putting that aside, can't you see your own contradiction?. why can god "come out of nothing" but the universe and the natural laws can't?. why do you have to invent some entity to explain things that are explained in a natural way or that we just don't know yet?. if it can be explained by natural means according to the known laws of the universe, then there's no need for god.
and if we don't know yet, that's as far as we can go: WE DON'T KNOW. period.
stop inventing placeholders and pretending they are the true answer.

c)if your idea has some internal consistency, then you are only moving the goal post, because the next step would be "who created god?" and then "who created the thing that created god?" and so on. it's a never ending philosophical question, it makes no sense.

I explain the "why"...you just respond w/ disbelief...so what you don't believe what I wrote, it does not discount or disprove its accuracy. Now who's the one w/ their hands over their ears in childish and unfounded rejection?

here's the problem: you think you explain something by saying "god did it", but you are not explaining anything, you are just making up something to fill the space where "we don't know yet, but we are working on it" should be, and pretending it's true.

if you expect me to believe in god because the bible or you say so, then I ask you again, what prevents you from believing that Sherlock Holmes or Darth Vader are real?.

the question would be, how do you determine what to believe or not?. do you apply reason and critical thinking to the rest of the stuff you are exposed to or do you take everything on fate just like with the bible?.

U embarrass urself w/ ur lack of comprehension. What do you think...God is some jack-n-the-box in the sky just waiting to perform for u and ur silly mindless friends? LOL Get a clue dood...He's no more going to do anything for you, than you are going to do anything for Him.

If you get saved, it will be the product of his grace, not his tricks.

Should i slow down, or are u tracking w/ me...I know it takes away to sink in...

Seriously? That is the best you can do. I make one single comment with three basic questions and this is your response? Are you just mad that I showed you how mindless you are being with respect to your sky daddy? Seriously what did he do for you for you to gain your faith? Or is that just it, the answer is nothing, and you are simply relying on "faith" being some sort of ideal that should be uselessly pursued?

So which of my three questions is actually answered no? You said he wanted me to be saved, I explained exactly how that could happen. Then you claim that its a silly trick that God has to do in order for me to be saved.

I asked you three simple questions. you answered them well, you even backed up you answers with scripture proving (to you) that your answers were correct.I accepted that.

But now when I pose the simple task that would convert me in a second, all of a sudden its not something God is capable of or willing to do. Why is that?

God could convert every atheist on the planet in one day. Why doesnt he do that if he truly wants us to beleive in his existence? I thought you said he wants us to be saved. What we do with that knowledge is another matter, but we havent even gotten to the point where we think he is any more real than the easter bunny.

Your response appeared to be that of a flailing fish trying to get one more drop of water past his gills.

Sorry maybe I should be more clear...

If you get saved, it will be the product of his grace, not his tricks.

Nonsense, that is only true if he is real and I am dead. If he wants me to be saved before I am dead, it will take a "trick".

where is my frog?

Instead of putting all that pointless effort in supporting your position...once again all u did was highlight me (i'm moved, i really am that you took so much care to absorb my words and commit them to memory, and actually used them)...ur virtual crush is making me blush.

Yes, I actually responded to what you wrote. This appears to be a foreign concept to you, so let me assure you that it does not imply any fondness.

So, you gonna return the favor? Respond to anything anyone else has written thus far? It doesn't look like it.

So if i understand this correctly...

I don't expect you to. Thus far you've shown that you don't understand logic, math, physics, evolution, how comments work on this blog, irony, English, and pretty much any statement made by anyone on this blog... or in any other place, for that matter. So I expect your streak of a complete lack of comprehension to continue into the foreseeable future. But go on.

u don't have to nor will you defend a position

More or less. We have no need to defend the proposition that something doesn't exist. There's no need for us to prove that something doesn't exist, which would be pretty much impossible anyways. We already assume that things don't exist, unless there is actual evidence for them. Not just god--you live your life assuming that gremlins, unicorns, ogres, giants, dragons, and so on, don't exist. You assume that Shiva, Thor, Allah, Zoroaster, Marduk, etc., don't exist, same as us.

Despite your bleatings to the contrary, you have provided no actual evidence for your god--nor has anyone else in history. There's no evidence for god, so there's no reason to believe, and every reason to disbelieve.

That's it. I don't have to prove gods don't exist, nor do I have to disprove any other imaginary creature. You have to prove they do exist. And you're doing a miserable job thus far. (You know, for someone whose initial comment claimed that we only disbelieve because we don't listen to all the "good" arguments for god, you've not actually provided anything we haven't heard a hundred times before)

for as u so adequately and inappropriately put it, all u have to do to qualify your lack of belief is respond to me (there u go again w/ all ur compliments).

A swing and a miss! You didn't disappoint.

No, I don't have to qualify my lack of belief at all. My lack of belief is based on the fact that there is absolutely zero evidence for god. I was responding to you to show that all your so-called evidence for god is nothing of the sort, and that you're nothing but a vapid, insipid asshole. Of course, since you don't seem to have actually read any of these responses, that hasn't gone so well.

So then u really don't have a position?! And if u don't have a position, then there's really nothing for u to defend?

I have said this many times: my position is that there's no evidence for gods of any sort, and therefore no reason to believe in one. Just as there's no evidence for fairies, unicorns, dragons, a teapot orbiting Mars, an invisible dragon in my garage, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and any of an infinite number of imaginary concepts. We don't believe in any of those, because there's no evidence that they exist. Same with your petty, tiny god.

I'll take that as a forfeit...

That's because you're a thundering moron, but we already knew that. Still, I admit I am impressed that you turned the fact that every argument you have offered have been completely and thoroughly shredded and relentlessly mocked, and that you have converted absolutely no-one to theism, into some sort of "win" for yourself--in your own head, at least. But, you're desperate, deluded, and apparently have the intellect of fishsticks. So it's not that surprising.

No worries...I accept your apology (i'm sure you can't help it)

That's adorable. The creationist troll thinks he's done anything other than waste our time and bandwidth. Apparently he hasn't learned anything at all. Well, he wouldn't be a creationist if he could learn.

This is going to be a long one, I guess my stamina has improved.

I could also fill this with insults but I'm going to refrain where I can, I don't want to sound like you vjazz.

If someone ask's "What do YOU believe" why in the world would someone respond w/ a hypothetical scenario, one in which they do not believe in???

You really just don't get how science works do you? Never mind the editing of film to give the impression the filmakers want to. Hypothetical scenarios are a fundamental part of science. Again I have to ask you, how many of Dawkins' books have you read?

But then again we are talking about Richard Dawkins who doesn't make sense anyways...

If that were the case, you and Dawkins would at least have something in common.

What good evidence do you have or can present to prove God does not exist?

What evidence do you have that God does? What evidence do you think can be presented to prove a negative?

For instance, I say that what you claim is God is actually a giant three headed Prairie Dog named Burt. He can do everything God can, only better. He exists outside time and space or the material universe, but he can affect all of them. Existence is a necessary property of his being, for he is the greatest concievable thing. What evidence do you have he doesn't exist?

out of all the wonderful data displayed in my posting

What wonderful data?

I find it very interesting that none of you professed skeptics have your data ready for debate

You haven't really been paying attention, have you?

the whole point of introducing the theory of probability is because the chances of producing any planet at all, let alone a life permitting plant are so infinitesimally small as to be incalculable and incomprehensible.

Actually, there are calculations on the chances of planets being life sustaining and developing life (not perfect, but better than anything you've got and not incalculable). On top of that, apparently you have no real understanding of how big the universe is.

The edge of the observable universe is now about 46.5 billion light years away. It consists of more than 80 billion galaxies and between 30 and 70 sextillion stars. That's just the observable universe, so there's more. How many planets do you think that is? So how many life sustaining ones do you think there might be even if the odds are 1 in a trillion? You just don't get probability or cosmology do you?

I believe that God is the sustainer of all things (i.e. the universe and all that's in it) evident by proofs of God within the physical world

I thought you said that anyone who claimed to have proof of God's existence was lying or did not understand the information well enough. Which type are you then?

for example look at the expansion rate of the universe

Are you really using Big Bang theory to try and prove the existence of God? You do realise that Big Bang theory does not need the existence of God, don't you? How come you reject other elements of Big Bang theory?

And if it were to change by one part in either direction (faster or slower) we COULD NOT have a life permitting universe.

How does this prove the existence of God?

How do you explain this?

Why do we need to? The fact is that this planet does sustain life, that does not prove the existence of God, merely that you don't understand the notion of probablity correctly. At least try to understand the anthropic principle.

How can you simply dismiss the origin of life and the origin of "information" necessary to bring life into existence?

Who said we did? Where exactly did any of us say we aren't interested in knowing the origins of life? We dismiss your explanation, that doesn't mean we aren't looking for one.

Molecular machines defy explanation by Darwinian natural selection.

Please do explain how this is the case.

The problem for evolutionist is that irreducibly complex molecular machines perform NO FUNCTION until ALL PARTS ARE PRESENT and working together in close coordination w/ one another.

Only if you accept the discredited idea of irreducible complexity.

Now, on to your attempted answers of my questions about Biblical inerrancy and textual criticism.

And, as I thought you might, you lifted your answer almost word for word from another website. Bravo, you can cut and paste. And like many of the believers we get, you don't bother giving credit to other people's work.

It must be very embarrassing for you that a simple Google search shows how dishonest you are. Lying is a sin, you know, even if it is just lying by omission.

Now, to deal with some of the specifics.

If there are any errors in the texts, how can someone claim the Bible is inerrant? How could God allow any errors in the transmission of his word?

The website you lifted your answer from clearly states that interpretation is needed to determine the meaning of the texts. If there are errors, how do you account for the claim that the Bible is inerrant? My NIV copy of the Bible suggests some very significant differences in translation of certain terms that greatly affect the meaning of passages.

If there are ANY errors in later texts when compared to the earlier ones then the Bible as we know it today CANNOT be inerrant. If the Bible you read at home is different to the manuscripts we have then the Bible is not inerrant by definition.

There are something like 200,000 textual variations across surviving New Testament manuscripts. There's some evidence for the non-existence of God for you.

How do you explain this?

As for comparisons to other literature - so what?

Does the Iliad purport to be the inerrant word of a god? Are other ancient texts used to justify wars, oppression, and laws? How many wars have been fought between followers of 'the Iliad' and followers of 'the Republic'? Who has claimed that translations of these contain no errors? Who has claimed these represent the commands of God?

Some of the early surviving manuscripts we have show notes in the margin admonishing the scribes for altering the text from earlier versions. On top of that, we don't have original manuscripts for any of the gospels, the ones we have are from at least 150 to 200 years after the supposed life of Jesus. There are even cases of notes written in the margins of one manuscript finding themselves into the body of the text in the next copy.

I suggest you go and get your self a copy of 'Misquoting Jesus'. Then we can discuss how there are no significant errors in translation.

Additionally, the reliability of the Bible is affirmed by the testimony of its authors

What? You think that reliability of a text can be confirmed by the authors of the text? Sure, because they had no motive at all to confirm its truth. How naive are you?

who were eyewitnesses

Which of the Gospels were written by an eyewitness?

Mark's gospel was written anonymously. We don't know who wrote it, but there are some guesses. Luke and Matthew based their gospels at least partly on Mark's. The scholarly view of Matthew's gospel is that it was not written by the disciple Matthew. Luke's gospel was written by Luke the Evangelist, who was born in Antioch. There appears to be no evidence that he was an eyewitness. Modern scholars also do not believe that John's gospel was written by the Apostle John.

Mark's gospel is now believed to be the first written, and at the earliest after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Thats 40 years after the supposed death of Jesus. There are significant differences between meaning in at least one part of the gospel, between varying manuscripts (the story of the leper), and the verses Mark 16:9-20 are widely regarded to have been added later and not by the original author. The last 12 verses are not in the earliest surviving manuscript of Mark's gospel.

And why don't you check up on the differences between the Synoptic gospels and John's gospel.

And as for Bible predictions - why are there no predictions for modern history? Nothing about the Second World War? How about further back - the collapse of the Roman Empire or the Reformation?

my best guess is, you're a moron who can't articulate complex propositions

This from someone whose only intelligent contribution was a cut and paste job from another website with no citation.

take a good look at all ur postings (meaning u and your minions) and tell me if you guys have been fair and lacking in offense?

Just as I predicted, you now complain about insults from us even though anyone can clearly see that you were the one who started flinging insults around.

You haven't addressed one thing that Tom or I wrote in our detailed criticism of your opinion, because you can't without cutting and pasting from somewhere else. So instead you throw out a few childish insults and hope no one notices that once again you avoided answering any difficult questions.

How do you justify your disbelief?

Easily. Null hypothesis.

Where there is no evidence for the existence of God, why should I assume he is any different to any other character in a book? How do you justify your disbelief in Gandalf, Harry Potter or Postman Pat?

If you want to be fair and decent (which ur crying about now) why didn't any of you come to my defense when bloggers were calling me idiot, moron, and as King of Ferrets so aptly forgot, using the "F" word to display his frustration?

You get treated as you treat us. If you don't like it, don't act like you have been. You don't get to complain about being insulted when you started flinging the mud first.

1. Anything that exists has an explanation of its existence

That does not mean that we yet know the explanation for its existence though. We say "We don't know that yet." You add to the end of this "Therefore, God." You are the one making claims and assumptions, not us.

2. Although God (or the concept of God) may not be absolutely proven nor disproven, there is sufficient reason to believe that it is more likely that God exists rather than he does not.

No, there isn't. Your arguments have been debunked, you just choose to ignore this. There is no more reason to assume the existence of God than there is to assume the existence of Sherlock Holmes.

Do you expect us to also justify our disbelief in Sherlock Holmes?

3. Evolution does a dismal job of providing answers for the origin of life (i find it funny that i have to constantly remind u guys that it is an unproven theory and i think u guys have had enough time to prove it but science has still failed to do so) in case u guys haven't noticed there is still a big gaping hole in the fossil record - Darwin was wrong.

So much wrong in so little space. Evolution does not try to explain the origin of life. We have ample evidence for the process of evolution, we can observe it now and have done. A gaping hole in the fossil record demonstrates nothing other than you have absolutely no understanding of the process of fossilization.

4. If atheism is true, then the universe has no explanation of its existence

Bollocks. Atheism takes no position on the origins of the universe (except in so far as it does not attribute it to gods) - atheism is merely a lack of belief in gods. Atheism is not a scientific position, therefore does not need to explain the origins of life or the universe.

If the universe has an explanation of its existence, then atheism is not true

Rubbish. The explanation for the origins of the universe might not be "God did it." You assume it is with no evidence for that assumption. How do you discount the Australian Aboriginal explanation? The Hindu explanation? The Norse explanation? What is your evidence that none of these are true?

5. Atheist view the universe as a gigantic closed system

No, they don't. You could have at least tried to understand what atheism is before making claims about it. Scientists don't know what is outside the universe, so they say they don't know and many atheists hold the scientific position.

Then why if the universe has existed forever, is it not now in a state of heat death?

Who said the universe has existed forever? Current scientific opinion puts it at 13.7 billion years old. Of course, since time almost certainly began at the Big Bang, you could say that is forever - but in this case we know how long forever is. You don't get to use Big Bang theory to claim it proves God, and then ignore it when it suits you.

6. The discovery of cosmic fine-tuning for intelligent life has led many scientists to conclude that such a delicate balance of physical constants and quantities as is required for life cannot be dismissed

You just don't get it, do you? There was no discovery that the universe was fine tuned for life. The science merely shows that if things weren't just as they are and were, then the universe may be very different to what it is now - nowhere does the science claim that the universe was fine tuned just for intelligent life. That ascribes a purpose you can only grant if you first assume the existence of God.

...which demonstrates how out of touch his neo-Dawinian theory of biological evolution is

Still playing from the script - Darwinian theory has nothing to do with the origins of the universe. Darwinian theory is biology, The origins of the universe is cosmology.

The range of life-permitting values is so narrow in comparison to the assumable values, it would be absurdity to dismiss them and to do so shows a lack of depth and comprehension needed to appreciate these values.

No-one dismisses them - we just don't attribute them to God with no evidence for the assumption.

7. If God does not exist, where do objective moral values come from? I say God...what say you?

You haven't read the Bible, have you? If objective morality (if it actually existed) includes the shit that is in there, who cares where it came from? It's bollocks.

8. If atheism is correct and God does not exist...what is your purpose in life?

Who says there is a purpose to life?

What hope do you offer your fellow man?

A damn sight more than you do. Your version is "Believe exactly as commanded or go to Hell for eternity. Oh, and however you believe it might not matter because God has already decided if you are going to be saved or not anyway." Where's the hope?

keep waiting Jimmy boy...unlike u I actually have a life and real people that I hang w/ unlike ur virtual world in ur bedroom...some of u can blog all day...they should give you a blue ribbon

Now that's funny. You've spent all day answering people on this blog post. I rode my bike to work under a clear blue sky in perfect weather with a good friend; shared some laughs with some more friends; helped some people get what they needed to begin their own outdoor adventures; rode my bike home and watched an awesome sunset over the Colorado Rockies; made myself a tasty Chinese stir fry; drank a good beer and smoked a cigar with my wife on the balcony; decided to respond on here. What did you do again?

So what have we had so far:

vjazz79 has trotted out the usual debunked, flawed or nonsensical arguments for the existence of God. He's confused Big Bang theory with the theory of evolution. He's picked and chosen which bits of Big Bang theory he wants but discounted others. He's contradicted himself. He's refused to answer questions. He's insulted others freely. He's then complained about being insulted. He's relied on quote mines. He's demonstrated he doesn't really understand the science behind the topics or the opinions of his opponents. He's taken information from other sites and passed it off as his own. He's claimed that the burden of proof is on us, not him.

You're checking all the boxes so far. You have precisely nothing new or of interest. Keep it up, fellow believers will be embarrased by you and the undecided will think you're an arsehole. For crying out loud, your most intelligible post was when you stole other people's work! Most telling of all, they'll see your refusal to answer questions and ask themselves, "Why would he refuse if he could?"

Next.

It amuses me that all the "saved" people I meet on skeptic forums and blogs bang on and on about eternal peace, divinely inspired morals, spiritual love and so on, yet these Christian warriors respond to criticism not with calm reason and civilised disputation, but with venom and invective.

I see lots of typos, capital letters, exclamation marks, primary-school logic and you-nasty-poopy-pants-level insults.

The Almighty surely picks some marginal types to gird up their loins and fight the good fight these days...

I find it very interesting that none of you professed skeptics have your data ready for debate

I have observable data. A lack of a frog.

You forgot to mention lying and plagairism Big Al. vjazz79 has been stealing other people's words since his second post.

If you find a sentence in his posts that use sophisticated language and contain fewer spelling or grammar errors, odds are he cut and paste it from somewhere else.

For instance, vjazz wrote this here.

The physical laws of nature, when given mathematical expression contain various constants

Which is the first line on page 80 of 'The Cambridge Companion to Atheism'.

Or this post. Which just lifts text from here, almost word for word starting with 'expansion rate of the universe'.

vjazz writes:

Life at its root requires information - which is stored in DNA and protein molecules.

And the book ('The Case for a Creator', Strobel, page 78) linked to quotes Meyer:

Life at its roots requires information, which is stored in DNA and protein molecules.

vjazz79's comments about the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn made here were lifted almost word for word from here.

Our friend vjazz is really a fine of Craig. When vjazz talks about necessary or contingent existence here, he is lifting part of the comments from here. Again, almost word for word.

For instance, vjazz writes:

Some atheists have tried to justify making an exception to this premise by saying that it's impossible for the universe/God, to have an explanation of its existence. For the explanation of the universe would have to be some prior state of affairs in which the universe did not yet exist. But that would be nothingness, and nothingness cannot be the explanation for anything. So God and the universe must exist inexplicably.

And Craig writes:

Some atheists have tried to justify making the universe an exception to premise 1 by saying that it’s impossible for the universe to have an explanation of its existence. For the explanation of the universe would have to be some prior state of affairs in which the universe did not yet exist. But that would be nothingness, and nothingness cannot be the explanation of anything. So the universe must just exist inexplicably.

I could go on, but you get the point. vjazz79 is grossly dishonest in representing both our position and his own.

Pretending someone else's work is your own is pretty shoddy conduct, even on a blog.

Objective morality indeed...

No, they don't. You could have at least tried to understand what atheism is before making claims about it. Scientists don't know what is outside the universe, so they say they don't know and many atheists hold the scientific position.

Huh. I thought that, since the universe is defined as everything, it had to be a closed system?

It's hard to keep your ranting polemic straight when you have absolutely no ide what the words you're using actually mean.

Or even idea.

KofF - It depends, I think, at least partly on the definitions used, and there are a couple.

The universe is usually defined as everything that physically exists (the universe as reality definition), but I think it would be more accurate to say everything that we know physically exists (the observable reality definition).

You can also take the position that asking what could be outside the universe is unknowable and therefore meaningless.

Or you can ask the question: what is the universe expanding into? Can it expand into nothing? Is it possible that there is an outside of the universe? Does outside of the universe even make sense? Well, yes, under certain definitions.

If we include the universe possibly being infinite as well, then we can't really call it a closed system.

And then we could get into the multiverse theory as well (although this theory does state that seperate universes would by necessity and definition be disconnected).

We just don't really know if the universe is a closed system or not to any degree of certainty.

Although, Tom might have something to say on this I'm sure!

I think the trouble with talking about the universe "expanding into" something is that it immediately conjures up to a layperson the image of a huge room... and then standing outside the room so you can see it from the outside... and a camera set up beyond that...

I feel a little like Sisyphus, but I can't resist a good troll-poking.

Vjazz:

Did you even say anything of value? All u did was rant against my thread, but I heard NO contribution to the topic...my best guess is, you're a moron who can't articulate complex propositions, so you sit in your pink polka dot undies in ur moms basement, obviously contributing nothing there as well.

Ah, more substance-free ad hominem from the guy who can't even get his own arguments right. From where I'm sitting, you're in no position to call anyone else a moron or to talk about lack of contribution. I mean, you left out the key premises of the Ontological Argument! Sad that you couldn't just copy-paste that, too. You'd have looked like less of a dipshit.

But go ahead, Vjazz, keep throwing stones. After all, it's what Jesus would have done.

King of Ferrets:

Correction: CLAIMED to be eyewitnesses.

Not even that! Only the titles of the gospels, which we know were added later, make any claim that they were eyewitness accounts--and even then, only two were supposedly members of Jesus's crew (while Mark was apparently their Wesley Crusher). Paul's epistles, which are our earliest Christian writings, are explicitly written by someone who only met Jesus in a vision.

VJazz:

it's cute how u guys r scratching each others belly's...like girlfriends

Well, I think we've all learned a valuable lesson about Vjazz: He's never had a girlfriend. "You know, like, when you grab a woman's breast and...it feels like a bag of sand?"

u guys would mk good Christians...so sweet and nurturing to each other.
Yes, you've been a wonderful demonstration of the sweet nurturing Christian.
I mean every time you open ur mouth, the stupidest things come out.
Pot, meet kettle.
In an earlier chapter of his book peter atkins states that there was NOTHING before the big bang (but i doubt he understands the concept of absolute nothingness).
I'm sure you're intimately familiar with that concept, though, seeing as it exists between your ears.

But more to the point, if this is what Atkins actually said (and I have no reason to believe that you're accurately representing that), then I question his credentials and his understanding of Big Bang cosmology. The fact is that any talk of what occurred "before" the Big Bang (or any talk of whether or not it's sensible to talk about a "before" the Big Bang) is pure speculation. Such speculation does not even quite make it to the level of a hypothesis, since hypotheses must be based on observation, and we cannot observe anything from before the Planck time, let alone before the Big Bang expansion began.

Time is a dimension, similar to length or width. It's a property of the universe in its present form. There's no more reason to believe that there was time before the Big Bang than there is to believe that there was length.

Then in a later chapter he asserts that as atheists (which includes many of you), they must account for "how" the big bang happened.
Atheists need not account for anything. Atheism is only the lack of belief in a god or gods. Cosmologists and Physicists, eventually, may want to account for how the Big Bang happened, but neither of those groups is entirely synonymous with atheists.
So his explanation goes on to say, that before the big bang there was sub-atomic dust particles swirling around space (where did the sub-atomic dust particles come from if nothing existed prior to the big bang?) and these dust particles were randomly performing complex mathematical formulas (where did those come from as well?) for billions and billions of years until one of the math formulas sequenced correctly and BANG, the big bang took place and now we have all this.
If you are accurately relating what Atkins said, then you're right, it's stupid. It makes no sense whatsoever; it's just speculation (it's impossible for it to be anything more), and it sounds like bad speculation.

But I doubt that you're reporting his words accurately, because I doubt that anyone with any knowledge about Physics whatsoever (which, I suppose, Atkins may also lack) would talk about particles "performing complex mathematical formulas." It's about as nonsensical a phrase as I've ever read. What, did they have tiny subatomic chalkboards? Were they working on a pre-universe supercomputer? Particles are not computing entities, they cannot "perform mathematical equations."

But I think, instead, that you've mangled Atkins' supposition in precisely the same moronic way that you've mangled the ontological argument. I suspect that Atkins is proposing that the matter and energy of the Big Bang began as a sort of vacuum fluctuation--the spontaneous creation and annihilation of particle-antiparticle pairs that occurs constantly in the vacuue. This hypothesis, while based on a known phenomenon, is still barely a hypothesis, since it would require the existence of a vacuum before there was space. Once again, any discussion of where the matter and energy in the Big Bang came from (if anywhere) is pure speculation, since we have no models of the kind of physics that predominated in that pre-primordial universe.

I have not heard ONE of you successful provide any evidence what-so-ever against the existence of God (even though I posed that question and challenge).
I explained the null hypothesis once already. It's not up to us to provide evidence against the existence of God, it's up to the believers to provide evidence in favor of God's existence. So far, all you've managed to demonstrate is that there are some bad arguments for God's existence, no evidence, and a lot of loudmouthed morons who seem to accept that claim as true.

But go ahead, provide some kind of testable definintion of God, and we'll see if we can find some empirical evidence. Techskeptic already conducted such a test based on your definitions, and your response was so much special pleading. So define your God in a testable manner, and we'll try to track down some evidence. In the meantime, we'll accept the null hypothesis.

I believe it was you who used the "F" work in your thread, where was the outrage then bloggers? Ohhh, I see, you wanna be tolerant only when it's to your advantage, but intolerant and offended when it is not. Hypocrites!
More pot and kettle. You've provided no proof, but you ask us to provide evidence to justify our disbelief? You accept "Expelled" unquestioningly, then ask for proof about the (well-documented) history of Biblical criticism? Pull the redwood out of your own eye before you mock your neighbor for the speck in his.

Incidentally, the reason none of us are upset at KoF for the f-bomb is that his posts have actually contained actual information and argument, regardless of the language he uses. On the other hand, your posts have all been either substance-free tantrum-throwing or shit you copied from other sites. Or occasionally, shit you've misremembered from other places but assume is absolutely true. The difference is one of substance, not style. You lack both.

1. Anything that exists has an explanation of its existence (maybe except for furry ferret)
All right, I can accept this, except for the stupid sniping.
2. Although God (or the concept of God) may not be absolutely proven nor disproven, there is sufficient reason to believe that it is more likely that God exists rather than he does not.
But this is just bald assertion. What do you have to support this premise? It is not necessary to disprove every possible concept in order to disbelieve in it, and I see no sufficient reason to overturn the null hypothesis with regard to any god. The believers have failed to meet their burden of proof. If they had any evidence, we wouldn't be having this conversation.
3. Evolution does a dismal job of providing answers for the origin of life (i find it funny that i have to constantly remind u guys that it is an unproven theory and i think u guys have had enough time to prove it but science has still failed to do so) in case u guys haven't noticed there is still a big gaping hole in the fossil record - Darwin was wrong.
First, you're a fucking moron. Second, you're right, evolution does do a dismal job of providing answers for the origin of life. It also does a dismal job of providing answers for multivariable calculus, the formation of volcanoes, and how the weak nuclear force operates. Thankfully, the theory of evolution isn't meant to explain any of those things. Abiogenesis is the theory which explains the origin of life; the modern evolutionary synthesis explains how living organisms got to be so diverse and widespread. And at that, it does quite a good job.

See, if you'd pull your head out of Ben Stein's ass for a second, you'd find out that evolution is actually a very well-supported theory (in science, we don't call something a "theory" until after it has been repeatedly validated by evidence), independently verified by multiple lines of evidence from the fossil record, genetics, and basic biology. Gaps in the fossil record are expected; fossils only form under particular circumstances, and only survive and are found by luck. Claiming that the fossil record has gaps says nothing about the validity of evolutionary theory, since evolutionary theory already explains those gaps, and since there is other, better evidence than fossils to support the theory.

And yeah, Darwin was wrong about some things, and ignorant of others. He knew nothing about genes as the mechanism of heredity. But we rely on Darwin's word and Darwin's knowledge even less than we rely on the fossil record; science has progressed in the last century and a half, and every observation in that time, from the founding of genetics to the discovery of how DNA functions, has supported modern evolutionary theory. Darwin was just some guy who made good observations and had a good insight. He's no more an authority than Newton or Feynman, and science has progressed considerably since he wrote his books.

4. If atheism is true, then the universe has no explanation of its existence (and this is okay w/ skemono)
This is not even coherent enough to be wrong. The fact is that we don't know what the ultimate origins of the universe are. You don't either, for that matter. You've just taken what you don't know and put the "God" label on it, and then you believe (based on no evidence or reason) that an ancient book of fairy tales must have the right story about how this unknown, unproven God went about creating the universe in unproven ways. You don't "know" God said "Let there be light" any more than the Hindu "know" that Brahma made the universe from a lotus flower.
If the universe has an explanation of its existence, then atheism is not true
And this is just silly. What if the explanation for the universe's existence is found, and doesn't involve a God? Then isn't atheism validated?
Atheist view the universe as a gigantic closed system (everything is there and nothing outside). 2nd law of thermodynamics (since one of u tried to bring this up as an argument and failed) here's why...u believe that given sufficient time, the universe will eventually come to a state of equilibrium and suffer "heat death" as Fairy Ferret lover so vehemently postulated. Then why if the universe has existed forever, is it not now in a state of heat death?
This is actually a moderately decent question. Shock of shocks.

Unfortunately, it's based on a flawed premise. None of us are saying that the universe has been here forever. As far as we understand, time began at the Big Bang, because time is a feature of the universe's current form. After the Big Bang, the universe was in a state of very low entropy, and has been increasing ever since.

Thermodynamics implies that the universe had a beginning and as P.C.W. Davies said, "We must say on the basis of the thermodynamic properties of the universe that the universes energy was somehow simply 'put in' at the creation as an initial condition." P.C.W. Davies, The Physics of Time Asymmetry (London: Surrey University Press, 1974) p. 104
I'm pretty sure this doesn't say what you think it says; it certainly doesn't say anything about a God or a supernatural creation event. What it says is that the amount of energy in the universe has remained constant, in accordance with the first law of thermodynamics.
The discovery of cosmic fine-tuning for intelligent life has led many scientists to conclude that such a delicate balance of physical constants and quantities as is required for life cannot be dismissed
Who are these many scientists? And how many of them have relevant experience?

Once again, cosmic fine-tuning is a backwards argument. Yes, we evolved in a universe where we could evolve...so what? If the universe were different, then things would be different. You can't determine statistical significance from a sample set of one--in other words, you can't extrapolate from this universe to speculate on the possibility of other ones.

The range of life-permitting values is so narrow in comparison to the assumable values, it would be absurdity to dismiss them and to do so shows a lack of depth and comprehension needed to appreciate these values.
Once again, we have no reason to believe that the constants could be different, because we only have this one universe as an example. Some of those constants are related to one another, so it's unlikely that you could change just one (for instance, if you changed the speed of light, it would necessarily alter the permittivity of free space and/or the permeability of free space). This means that there may be other possible configurations that could support life as we know it, where changes to various constants balance each other out. Finally, even if light as we know it could not form in such a universe, there's no reason to suspect that some other kind of life couldn't form. Again, you're trying to extrapolate from a single example.
7. If God does not exist, where do objective moral values come from? I say God...what say you?
I say that morals are socially determined, and the only objective moral values are the ones which are necessary for societies to exist.
If atheism is correct and God does not exist...what is your purpose in life?
Whatever I want it to be.
What hope do you offer your fellow man?
Real hope, and not the false promise of pie in the sky when you die.
There has to be a reason for all this
Why?
keep waiting Jimmy boy...unlike u I actually have a life
This is the biggest lie you've told yet.

Skemono:

Thus far you've shown that you don't understand logic, math, physics, evolution, how comments work on this blog, irony, English, and pretty much any statement made by anyone on this blog... or in any other place, for that matter.

Don't forget theology! He doesn't understand that, either. All he knows is that there are these arguments (he can rattle off names, and a few random, unconnected premises, but that's it) and according to his pastor, they prove that God exists. It doesn't matter what the arguments actually say, he knows they exist and he believes they must do what people have told him they do, so God exists. It's arguing in the fourth person: "I heard from a guy who said he read that someone had this argument about God."

Jimmy_Blue:

Or you can ask the question: what is the universe expanding into? Can it expand into nothing? Is it possible that there is an outside of the universe? Does outside of the universe even make sense? Well, yes, under certain definitions.

Everything I've ever read about the universe's expansion tries to disabuse people of the notion that the universe is expanding into anything. As far as we know, and probably as far as we will ever know, the universe is all there is, and there is nothing outside. If there is something outside, then it doesn't interact with us (in any way that we can currently tell), and so we can be justified in ignoring it.

Try to think of it less like the universe is expanding like a balloon being inflated in a room, and more like the room itself is getting bigger all around you. There may or may not be something outside the room, all you know is that the end table and the armchair are farther apart than they used to be.

Hi Guys;

As a passer-by, I'm posting to say that I appreciate the logical and patient atheist responses, particularly those who replied at length to individual points referred to in (if never fully articulated by) the earlier posts.

This may have been a minor bit of troll-poking, but it was very informative for me. From my point of view at least, you haven't wasted your time. Thanks :D

You are one of the reasons we do it.

Thanks.

you want empirical proof for God's existence? Cuz there is only need for one. What is it, you ask? DNA! That's right DNA. By the by I am not, nor will I ever be a Christian or participate in any organized religion. Religion has sought to enslave us, but that does not take away from God's existence. First off, DNA is a code. Plain and simple it is a code. Here are the three definitions for "code"

(n.) A systematically arranged and comprehensive collection of laws.
(v.) To systematize and arrange (laws and regulations) into a code.
(v.) To specify the genetic code for an amino acid or a polypeptide.

What is the common thread between all three of these definitions? The need for intelligence! I would like anyone who reads this to please tell me of a single naturally occurring code anywhere in the Universe. Don't think too hard, scientists have already conceded that there are none. So where does that leave us? Well if a code is intelligently and systematically created with a very specific intention, than that means... well since skeptics are so fond of logic and rational thought, perhaps a logical syllogism will be the best approach.

a. Codes are systematic arrangements are made by an intelligent being.
b. DNA is a code.
c. Therefore DNA must be created by an intelligent being.

That is an A I A Aristotelian syllogism for you.

I have more empirical evidence for you. Let's take a look at the speed of light shall we? The speed of light is a 186,000 MPS, but ONLY in a vacuum such as space.(though space is not entirely vacuous because if it was the temperature would be absolute zero and the entire universe would cease to exist) But yes Light speed slows down considerably when entering our atmosphere and passing through objects like windows and our eyes. Yup, that's right. If light speed didn't slow down when entering our eye, through refraction, we would be blind. Our eyes wouldn't work. In fact, everything in the Universe works only with a microscopic margin for error. In so many facets of our existence, if something is a little more or less of where it is now nothing in the universe would work the way we've come to expect. If at all. Skeptics are well aware of this pinpoint accuracy the Universe seems to have imbued within itself. They say that given enough time anything can happen, and that if our universe didn't work this way we wouldn't be here to consider our origins. In other words our Universe works this well by chance. But what, I ask does that prove when stacked up to this. Our universe, according to physicists is only one of an infinite number of parallel universes, so according to skeptics each of them had to happen spontaneously, right? An infinite number of universes all happening by chance? I don't think so. What I do think is that religion has scared the crap out of so many people with talk of heaven and eternal damnation, have inundated us with so many needless and ridiculous rules to keep us nice and obedient little sheep, that it has alienated a great many people in the world. But if they believe God doesn't exist, then they can live however they want. It's easy to say there is no God, but when one sees how many things had to be just right for us to even be here, I find it inexplicable.

I would like anyone who reads this to please tell me of a single naturally occurring code anywhere in the Universe.

Easy - RNA. Thanks for playing.

In fact, everything in the Universe works only with a microscopic margin for error.

That's probably the reason then, that your argument for god's existence falls flat on it's ass.

Eric, DNA is not a code.

Why does my argument fall flat on it's ass? Because of the microscopic margin for error that everything works? So nature somehow knows that if the interstellar medium temperature was really absolute zero our universe would cease to exist because it would break one of the most fundamental laws of physics? And what about the laws of physics themselves? They are so complex, so vastly unimaginable, that we as humans don't even come close to getting it right. We only know have the gravity story because science has realized now for the second time this century, the first being when Einstein blew Newtons theories on gravity out of the water, the second came with the discovery of dark energy, and the expansion of the Universe. See nobody is talking about it and I am surprised more people haven't made this leap, but if you know anything about General relativity, it's that space and time are linked. And spacetime is merely a warping effect caused by the presence of matter. However gravity doesn't merely warp space-time in one direction. It warps it in all directions. There is one dependent factor that will signify how gravity will warp space time in a particular area. That being the presence of dark matter and matter. If they are present space-time is warped in on itself. If not, such as where the galactic halo of dark matter ends and interstellar space begins, the warp of space time becomes oppositely polarized. In other words gravity is and always shall be a dipole. Look up dipole gravity and cross reference it with electromagnetism as well as UFO propulsion systems. You will see how it all nicely fits together with some very, very convincing equations. But why, why have we not been told about this? We are taught gravity is Mono-polar but clearly this is not so. The reason for that is every top physicist in the last three quarters of a century has based their work largely on Einstein's theory's of relativity, both general and special. Furthermore science just as anything else in this ridiculously messed up place is based on belief. Most people believe in Eisenstein and his work. If they all admit this great miscalculation the upheaval in astronomical physics would be catastrophic. Funding would cease, reputations would flounder, everyone who was anyone in the world of physics will now have to answer to why they didn't admit they were wrong when they first knew. What is belief anyway? The opposite of truth. Beliefs are the things we cannot not prove, and that are essential for living in a fear based world. Religion is based upon belief, and what has happened in essence is religion used God to garner control. They made up a bunch of shit that doesn't make any sense and told people they have to blindly believe in such things or go to hell. But it's not like that. God is not like that. Religion apparently is totally unique to Earth, though spirituality and a belief in one creator is the norm. I myself never made a decision as to whether or not I thought God existed until I started doing the research. Yet my research was so unbiased that I wasn't even researching about God. This came about as I began researching UFO's which came about because of the large amount of anomalous sightings of some very strange flying objects over my head in the last year or so. I couldn't believe how much evidence including faa radar reports nasa videos and photographs(some of which were admitted to being airbrushed for UFO's and a base on the moon. I didn't say it ask the nasa lady off the disclosure project.), and reliable witness testimony there is out there. It's unreal. Crop circles that have been so cleverly debunked are by no stretch of the imagination all hoaxed either. go to cropcircles.net and you'll see what I mean when I say they're not all hoaxed and it can be systematically and scientifically proven. Eventually I'd seen so much in the skies, and got ahold of so much reliable evidence for the existence of UFO's,that I could no longer say with any confidence that they weren't real and they weren't extra terrestrial. I have a 141 iq and I know the truth when i see it. google (disclosure project)and seen the same kinds of debunking and misinformation tactics used when something really does happen, over and over. Debunking is a science of discrediting a person or a particular event or field of study by using dishonest, underhanded, and narrow minded tactics all aimed at misleading the public saying the ends justify the means. By then I wanted to find out, why they're here. I looked and I looked and I looked, and I'd gotten the general idea they don't want us to continue fucking the planet up for starters. Number two most places in the Universe are basically good. We live on a planet that is basically evil. Not our fault, this dark presence is part of a small minority of ET civilizations that are fear based enslavement oriented otherworldly beings, and they were the ones who seeded the world's religions. Thereby infusing belief and self delusion into the very core of our being. Make no mistake my friend, you too are deluding yourself. You believe that humans are the pinnacle of everything and that if you don't see it hear it taste it and touch it that it must not be real. Me too said the ostrich. The fact is, that there is a whole world of things that happen in the universe that we will never see, hear, taste, or touch. But that doesn't make them not real. I know, I know the existence of a God is too scary for you. Well it's not the way it's meant to be. God doesn't want us to fear him or fear eternal punishment for temporary lapses in judgment. God had nothing to do with a single world religion. Jesus came here but not to die for our sins. Just to infuse the energy of love into our dying and decaying planet and all it's people. We would not be sitting here having this discussion in a relatively free country if he had not.

I wanted you to check out a place called cosmic paradigm dotcom go to Mark's corner and start with september 2008. begin reading at the bottom of each page, not the top. Just read through until the most recent entry. Let me just say that if it didn't go into so much that i've already come to know about our world it's people and the universe at large, I wouldn't be so ready to accept it as truth. But it summarizes a lifetime of deductions and discernment in about 8 months time. Wow, is all i can say to that!

Oh and I almost forgot! I believe in God and that he was the one who set off the big bang, but I also believe in evolution. See God is a scientist and we are his grand experiment, but that when he created nature with it came its own designing process. This comes from the phenomena called Emergence as well as evolution. Emergent complexity is a law God imbued in the Universe as a way to kick start the process of life. RNA is a direct result of emergent complexity. Then the first life-forms began a process that we know as evolution. The ability of a living thing to change overtime. So there is your answer to that. Nature has its own effective designing processes because God made it that way. He was the spark that set off the big bang and he created within this universe everything that would be needed for it to grow evolve and die before he set it off.

Eric:

First off, DNA is a code. Plain and simple it is a code. Here are the three definitions for "code"

(n.) A systematically arranged and comprehensive collection of laws.
(v.) To systematize and arrange (laws and regulations) into a code.
(v.) To specify the genetic code for an amino acid or a polypeptide.

I fail to see how the first two are relevant. The third involves a metaphor. A globe is not a planet.

What is the common thread between all three of these definitions? The need for intelligence! I would like anyone who reads this to please tell me of a single naturally occurring code anywhere in the Universe.

A combination of argument from lack of imagination, shifting the burden of proof, and/or circular argument.

Don't think too hard, scientists have already conceded that there are none.

What scientists? What evidence and logic did these anonymous scientists use to reach that conclusion?

a. Codes are systematic arrangements are made by an intelligent being.
b. DNA is a code.
c. Therefore DNA must be created by an intelligent being.

That is an A I A Aristotelian syllogism for you.

b is a false premise. Prove that DNA is a code.

{Snipped ye olde SoL fine tuning argument from the big book of poorly thought out cliches}

If the speed of light were different, our eyes would have evolved for that speed, and not this universe's.

Isn't it funny that the bottle of milk I bought today so exactly matches the shape of the milk inside?

{Snipped the second moronic fine tuning argument}

Translation: If the universe were different, it'd be different!

Duh. What makes you think the existing result we have for the universe is any more special than any other hypothetical universe?

Also, who fine tuned your stone idol so that he could have the power and desire to fine tune this specific universe? And who fine tuned him? Ad infinitum.

You're just answering a question with the exact same question and wiggling your eyebrows as if it were profound.

{Part about dipole gravity and UFOs}

You seriously expect us to believe you know something about aliens? What's your evidence?

{Doggerel about relativity and what science is based on}

We accept relativity because it gives accurate predictions. It gets results. If you're claiming to have a better theory, conduct some experiments and publish the results.

You believe that humans are the pinnacle of everything...

LOL!

...and that if you don't see it hear it taste it and touch it that it must not be real.

Doggerel #72. Do you even know what science is?

Doggerel #33, too. You do realize that it was science, not your ego, that verified the existence of dark matter, right?

I know, I know the existence of a God is too scary for you.

Right, like we have a reason to fear an entity we don't believe exists. Nice way to sneak in a blatantly transparent appeal to motive. You've been learning about us from the fundies' propaganda, haven't you?

Emergent complexity is a law God imbued in the Universe as a way to kick start the process of life.

Tell us the exact description of this law. Is it anything like the Law of Attraction, which works every time, except when it doesn't?

Next time, try using some critical thinking instead of reading from a playbook of cliches.

Sorry it's late for the people who I promised it to, but here's a post inspired by vjazz and Calvin and Hobbes.

Eric should probably read it, too.

I'm just wondering why a being who creates a universe with a mere word prefers to make make humans (and insects and sponges and slime moulds) by:

creating four bases (two pyrimidine, two purine),

stringing them together on a sugar-phosphate helix bound by hydrogen bonding between the complementary bases

creating an enzyme to split the helix open to create copies

creating RNA which almost, but not quite, matches the DNA code (uses uracil isntead of one of the other bases)

gets this cobbled-together acid to be read by ribosomes, three bases at a time, with each triplet group resulting in the insertion of a specific amino acid - some unique, some acids specified by several redundant codons. The ribosome chunters away happily until it encounters one of several "stop" codons, whereupon it spits out a protein - but for specific detail, like any other protein.

has these protein strands assembled into a human (or an insect, sponge or slime mould). Or a fingernail. Or a piece of bowel lining. Or mucus.

Sometimes it goes wrong, and the outcome can be disastrous.

Sometimes it goes wrong and the mistake is actually quite good.

Someties, a mistake happens without benefit or detriment to the DNA carrier, who trundles merrily on.

It sounds awfully... mechanical to me. But not clever-mechanical, more like an old factory using different machines from different eras to do different jobs.

It also sounds very different from "LET THERE BE LIGHT". It is indeed complex (as fundies never let us forget), but does it sound remotely divine? It strikes me that a team of flawed mortal design engineers could easily come up with an improved design, as they could with the eye, the vagus nerve, the backbone and a host of other "perfections".

Oh, and of course much, if not most, DNA, doesn't "code" for anything at all: not an amino acid, and not a stop.

But the wonderful messenger RNA still faithfully carries its useless message to the waiting ribosome, which faithfully tries to marshall the nonexistent amino acid ready to peptide-bond it to the last one. Then, I presume it gives up when the next fragment of mRNA comes along, maybe with a "real" message, maybe not.

Pretty dumb system if you ask me. Wouldn't it be better (although still non-divine-sounding) if all possible triplet codons were allocated to useful amino acids or "stop" instructions? You could have plenty of redundancy to boost copying fidelity...

Aye, there's the rub, isn't it? Perhaps if such a system existed, EVOLUTION WOULDN'T BE POSSIBLE! You see? God DESIGNED IT THAT WAY! IN YOUR FACE, DARWIN-DISBELIEVER! WHO DA MAN? WHO DA...

Oops... I have a headache. I think I need to lie down in a darkened room. My teleology gland has overloaded.

I would like anyone who reads this to please tell me of a single naturally occurring code anywhere in the Universe

Could you please define what you mean by "occurs in nature" as distinguished from "made by god"?

No matter what I show with respect to how codes (as you are using the term) occur in nature you will simple say "well god made that also.

Skeptico pointed out RNA.

Tree rings clearly encode the age of the tree, but I guess god made that too.

Co2 deposits in glacial ice clearly encode the age of the ice, but I guuess god put that there also.

the color of hydrangea flowers clear encode the alkalinity of the soil.

The angle of rhododendron leaves clearly encodes the temperature of the air.

Thing is, if humans were never here to interpret these "codes" they would still exist, in fact these coding mechanisms surely existed before human interpreted them, unless you think all plant life before 2 million years ago were all cacti.

As skeptico said, thanks for playing.

Fraunhofer lines encode the details of the elements within a distant star. And, unlike more or less fallible DNA, this one is absolutely, 100% unerring.

The Big Beardy Man must be more keen on us knowing what stars are made of (after inventing the telescope and spectroscope, anyway) than He is on how accurately His creations reproduce.

Then there's the characteristic X-ray emissions that identify elements... again, infallibly and inevitably.

So, if you want a totally faithful code, DNA is a pretty crap example. It's good - remarkably good, even - but perfect it ain't.

But, alas, when you know the (quantum) reasons for Fraunhofer lines, characteristic X-ray emission, they don't sound any too divine or mystical, either.

Red shift encodes the recession rate of distant stars. Blue shift obligingly does the reverse.

Bone fusion roughly equates to human age.

The pitch of a musical note, a gas escape, or a suspension bridge's cables singing in the wind is directly proportional to the frequency of vibration.

The ratio of Carbon 14 to Carbon 12 in formerly living tissue is roughly proportional to the time since its owner's death.

The time in seconds between seeing a flash of lightning and hearing the thunder, divided by five equates roughly to the distance in miles the flash was from the observer.

The time in seconds between seeing a flash of lightning and hearing the thunder, divided by three equates roughly to the distance in kilometres the flash was from the observer. (There you are, even God isn't too fussy about using the metric system from time to time)

The angle from the vertical of the centre run of a bee's dance on the honeycomb encodes the horizontal angle to the sun of a pollen source.

The frequency of the bee's rhythmic piping is inversely proportional to the distance of a pollen source.

Some of these codes may require enhanced senses or special equipment to identify, but the codes are 100% natural.

Some are more accurate than others, but, as I've said, DNA, cited by Eric Marks as the only natural code is not unique, and it is not even the most accurate.

In my website there is one formal logical proof: bloganders.blogspot.com (see the left menu)
It proofs the existence of a Creator and His purpose of humankind. It's relevant both for religious and non-religious.

Anders Branderud

I glanced over your place. Funny thing I noticed: You don't seem to allow comments. Saw briefly that you apparently equate heckling (acceptable) with silencing (unacceptable) in your tirade against the purpose of free speech.

Freedom of speech means that we can criticize. You are not above criticism, no matter who you think you are. And you're looking an awful lot like a hypocrite.

Anders, your "logical proof" is just another rehashing of the cosmological argument. Please try again. And learn to link.

A very late postscript to the debate, and a simple point. If the existence of 'god' were provable (in the commonly accepted meaning of the word) then there would be no need for debate, and it would have been accepted by all long ago. I was about to say 'like the earth orbitting the sun', but YOUTUBE now has some 'serious' videos by creationists who dispute this fact! I agree with Richard Dawkins about the nonsense of 'having to believe'. If God wants to show he/she/it's there, then DO IT! Why this stupid guessing game...'but I want you to BELIEVE that I'm real!' 'Only a wicked generation asks for a sign' says the Bible. IF the whole creation/god story WERE true so many millions would be damned to eternal fire because they were misled,unable to comprehend, brought up to REALLY believe the 'wrong' story, unable to believe ANY religion etc..it's all bit hit and miss....and if you 'miss' the punishment is extraordinary!

Non-Stampcollector's new vid has some relevant commentary:
God and Lucifer are talking, before the creation of the world -
God: When they notice the incredibly intelligent things in my design, they can't possibly miss seeing my hand in it all.....I designed their bodies to be only able to survive in watery environments rich in oxygen. And I'm so wise that I'm actually going to provide them an environment with water and oxygen for them to live in!!! It's pretty much the best piece of evidence that I'm going to leave them. And how about this, their bodies are designed to consistently need fuel in the form of food or else they die. And I'm gonna provide some of them with adequate food, some of the time!!!
Lucifer: And you think they'll worship you for that?
God: Of course! The ones who don't starve or freeze to death will.
Lucifer: Well if you design them gullible enough they'll worship you for that, I suppose....

"...and I'm going to give them the priceless gift of speech. However, they'll have to pay for it by having a short epiglottis, so they can breathe in food and choke. Oh, and let's make the hyoid bone really slender, so they can form the tongue easily into complex shapes, but so it can snap if they get a sharp, accidental tap on the throat."

"Um... God, why can't you just give them telepathy or something?"

"Du-uh! As if! What fun would that be?"

The god that many profess nowdays does not interfere directly with the world anymore (and even if God does we wouldn't notice it). Suppose you have an accident and have to quit professional basketball, but discover you are also talented for painting. Is it god or luck? the only answer is: "I don't know". So, if God does not exist, we can live calmly, and if He does, we stillcan live calmly. Personally I think this debate is futile.
Calling theists weak, crazy; or calling atheists, wicked or evil is pointless.
I believe in God, you guys don't. Fine. I don't give a s***.
Believing in God is a right, not an obligation.

Debating the existance of God is a good thing as long as it is done only to excercise logic and philosophy, and its a real pity that atheist or theists yell and get sullen at each other over something that is irrelevant to their lives.

Awesome blog, cogratulations

Debating the existance of God is a good thing as long as it is done only to excercise logic and philosophy, and its a real pity that atheist or theists yell and get sullen at each other over something that is irrelevant to their lives.

Except that theists are in power and imposing their interventionist deity and its rules on us whenever they can.

Also, it sounds like the god you believe in is about the same as Carl Sagan's garage dragon.

Debating is debating.
Proof is proof.

http://www.outersecrets.com/real/biblecode2.htm

Displacing yourself from the truth is what in the long run puts you in a hot place indeed, if the God truly exists. Bit of a risk, NO?

"Suppose we’ve chosen the wrong god. Every time we go to church we’re just making him madder and madder!"
–Homer Simpson

Hint: if you find Homer Simpson running rings around your logic, either learn a bit about how to use it, or just go back to preaching fire and brimstone. In the meantime, please keep your evil stupidity away from children.

Bible Code? Funny. Last I checked, that was a game of "Here's the result I want, now let's make the computer go through illions of ciphers to find it."

It works for pretty much any large volume of text.

bronze dog, what the hell is carl sagan's garage dragon

Carl Sagan's invisible dragon.

"Bible Codes"... If you were Satan, and true Bible Codes existed, then you simply force people to loose interest in the subject before the true codes were looked into.

In general, people are stupid. Imagine that the wheel was not yet invented. If a fellow showed up with his new invention, that being a square wheel, and said that he intended to use it for transportation purposes, those who he presents it to, simply laugh at him, and thus also call him crazy.

He then thinks about it and does agree that the ride is very bumpy, and so he tried cutting off the four corners of his square wheel. This helped indeed. Then he cut off the smaller corners and repeated this over and over until the once square wheel became a round one. His four wheeled transport vehicle now moved along smoothly and with little resistance.

Ans so he presented his revised edition to the folks once again. But without even examining his new round wheel, they once again just laughed at this "crazy guy" and his "crazy inventions" and told him to get lost.

Thus to the general folk, if a square wheel dun work, then all wheels dun work. Thus if some Bible Codes seem to be nothing but a farce, then all Bible Codes are a farce.

Most people believe that to examine an entirety of a subject, one must only look at a mere portion of it.

Thus to them, a portion is clearly greater in scale, than is the scale of the entirety.

Thus they are always satisfied with keeping themselves at a distance from the truth, by practicing petty beliefs and disbeliefs.

http://www.outersecrets.com/real/biblecode2.htm

Beyond Belief, have you ever tried using your favourite Bible code on a different book, as Bronze Dog suggested? You can report the results here, showing your methodology, of course, and we can discuss it further.

If you were Satan, and true Bible Codes existed, then you simply force people to loose interest in the subject before the true codes were looked into.

And if I were God...

Either I would want people to know about these things and would tell them, or

if I wanted to wait until humanity had reached a certain level of technological sophistication and civilisation (although I think many previous societies have the edge on us in the latter regard) I would tell them directly once my omniscience told me they had reached that level, or

I wouldn't tell them at all.

Couching vital information in so-called "codes" that could be the encryptions of "AAAAAA...A" through to "ZZZZZZ...Z", and anything in between doesn't strike me as a brilliant scheme. I also don't see it as a great success if the Bible Codes have been encoding important information that people needed centuries ago but which we can only decode now.

The guru who is often credited with first cracking the Bible Code, Dr Eliyahu Rips, has said, "I do not support Mr. Drosnin's work on the Codes, nor the conclusions he derives....All attempts to extract messages from Torah codes, or to make predictions based on them, are futile and are of no value. This is not only my own opinion, but the opinion of every scientist who has been involved in serious Codes research."

I would dearly like to know of a specific, measurable, attributable, realistic and timely prediction likely to happen soon which one could verify or refute.

Wow, ferrets, bronze dog that was a nice piece.

However my friends, this analogy is not exactly 100% correct. Because the dragon in the story was portrayed in the garage, a physical space which can be visited and investigated.

On the other hand, nobody is placing God currently on the physical world (except for ID advocates). Therefore we can't demonstrate with material evidence that God exist. But we also can't demonstrate with material evidence that God does not exist.

Again, the only possible answer to the question Is there a God? is: I can't know

Note: I also believe ID to be stupid.
It is also true that theists try to impose their beliefs much more often that atheist. I won't argue that

As I said before religion is a right, not an obligation.

I think the most important question to ask oneself is "Do I have any reason to believe in God?" For me, the answer is "no".

I used to consider myself agnostic because I knew I could never disprove God's existence; then again, I can't disprove the existence of many, many entities whose sole evidence for existence is someone else's say-so. Xenu, for example.

I don't get the "strong atheist" position of "There is definitely no God", and I don't know any atheists who subscribe to this view. Most of them, like me, belong to the camp of

"I have no reason to believe in God, (or Mithra, or Gilgamesh, or Quetzalcoatl, or the Thunderbird, or the Jolly Green Giant). So I might as well act as if He doesn't."

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