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Offline Alan McDougall

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Fundamental constants & the case for intelligent design

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Evidence for an intellegent designer




Four well-known physical constants with positive values, yet there's a minus sign in front. That immediately tells us that the entire universe experiences negative acceleration. The universe is decelerating. That was a tremendous challenge to the theology of his day because in the 200 years previous to Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity, academic scientific society was operating on the premise that the universe was static.

Emanuel Kant longed to come up with a theory of biological evolution but he didn't have the biological data to develop it. Nevertheless, he laid the philosophical foundation that if the universe is infinitely old and infinitely large and static, maintaining the ideal chemical situation for life chemistry to proceed, then one can posit that the dice of chance is thrown an infinite number of times and in an infinite variety of ways.

If you have infinite throws at the dice of chance, then any matter of complexity would be conceivable - even something as complicated as a German philosopher. But this equation challenged that very notion by saying that the universe is not static; it decelerates.

Einstein was well aware that the term for pressure (P) in the universe is rather tiny compared to the term for mass density (represented by the Greek letter Rho ). It's divided by a huge number - the velocity of light squared. You've got this extremely small number divided by a huge number. This means that for all intents and purposes, we can ignore that “3P/C²” relative to the density. We can drop that term out, and then we have something much simpler to solve.

To his dying day, Einstein held to his belief that as the result of the verification of his theory of General Relativity, God exists. (Good book on Einstein's extensive discussions of religion and theology: Einstein and Religion: Physics and Theology by Max Jammer -Ed) God created the universe and God is intelligent.


It closes with the Space-Time theorem of General Relativity, which states that if the universe is governed by the equations of General Relativity, not only are we faced with an ultimate origin, we are all of the matter in the universe, and all of the energy in the universe. But we're faced with a coincident ultimate origin for even the dimensions of length, width, height and time.

What we've discovered in measuring the universe is that the third assumption of Emanuel Kant; that we have infinite time, the universe is static and that we have an infinite supply of building blocks for life isn't true.
We proved that the universe isn't static, that time isn't infinite. It's finite. The age of the universe is only 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 seconds (10 to the 18th power).

We also discovered that we do not have an infinite supply of building blocks. In fact, we discovered that it takes exquisite design to get any building blocks at all. Molecules, without which, life is impossible.

Atoms must be able to assemble in the molecules in order to gain sufficient complexity for life chemistry to proceed. That applies to any conceivable kind of life.

The Extreme Precision of Physical Constants

Unless the force electromagnetism takes on a particular value, molecules won't happen. Take the nucleus of an atom. There's an electron orbiting that nucleus. If the force electromagnetism is too weak, the electron will not orbit the nucleus.
Electromagnetism

There won't be sufficient electromagnetic pull to keep that electron orbiting the nucleus. If electrons cannot orbit nuclei, then electrons cannot be shared so that nuclei can come together to form molecules. Without molecules, we have no life.

If the force electromagnetism is too strong, the nuclei will hang onto their electrons with such strength that the electrons will not be shared with adjoining nuclei and again, molecules will never form. Unless the force electromagnetism is fine-tuned to a particular value, the universe will have no molecules and no life.

Strong Nuclear Force
We also have a problem in getting the right atoms. Now take a neutron and a proton. Protons and neutrons are held together in the nucleus of an atom by the strong nuclear force, which is the strongest of the four forces of physics.
If the nuclear force is too strong, the protons and neutrons in the universe will find themselves stuck to other protons and neutrons, which means we have a universe devoid of Hydrogen.

Hydrogen is the element composed of the bachelor proton. Without Hydrogen, there's no life chemistry. It's impossible to conceive of life chemistry without Hydrogen.

On the other hand, if we make the nuclear force slightly weaker, none of the protons and neutrons will stick together. All of the protons and neutrons will be bachelors, in which case the only element that would exist in the universe would be Hydrogen, and it's impossible to make life if all we've got is Hydrogen.
How sensitive must this strong nuclear force be designed for life to exist? It's so sensitive that if we were to make this force 3/10 of 1% stronger or 2% weaker, life would be impossible at any time in the universe.

Mass of the Proton and Neutron
We also have a problem with the protons and the neutrons themselves. The neutron is 0.138% more massive than the proton. Because of this, it takes a little more energy for the universe to make neutrons, as compared to protons. That's why in the universe of today we have seven times as many protons as neutrons.

If the neutron were 1/10th of 1% less massive than what we observe, then the universe would make so many neutrons that all of the matter in the universe would very quickly collapse into neutron stars and black holes, and life would be impossible.

If we made the neutron 1/10th of 1% more massive than what we observe, then the universe would make so few neutrons, that there wouldn't be enough neutrons to make Carbon, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, etc. These are the elements that are essential for life. So, we must delicately balance that mass to within 1/10 th of 1%, or life is impossible.

Electrons
With electrons we see an even more sense of the balance. In order for life to exist in the universe, the force of gravity must be 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 ,000 (10 to the 40th power) times weaker than the force of electromagnetism. It's essential that the force of gravity be incredibly weak compared to the other three forces of physics.

Gravity
Yet planets, stars and galaxies will not form unless gravity is dominant in the universe, so the universe must be set up in such a way that the other forces of physics cancel out and leave gravity, the weakest of the forces, dominant.

It's necessary for the universe to be electrically neutral. The numbers of the positively charged particles must be equivalent to the numbers of negatively charged particles or else electromagnetism will dominate gravity, and stars, galaxies and planets will never form. If they don't form, then clearly life is impossible.

The numbers of electrons must equal the numbers of protons to better than one part of 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (10 to the 37 th power). That number is so large that it's difficult for laymen to get a handle on it. So I compare that number with another very large number - the national debt.

The National Debt
The national debt stands at $5,000,000,000,000. One way to visualize this is to imagine we cover one square mile of land with dimes piles 17 inches high. We can pay off the entire national debt with a pile of dimes 17 inches high in one square mile.
That's truly a lot of dimes. Out national debt problem is serious. But to get 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 , we would have to cover the entire North American continent with dimes, but 17 inches high won't do.
We'd have to cover the entire North American continent from here all the way to the moon. That's a 250,000-mile high pile of dimes covering 10,000,000 square miles, and you'd have to do that with a billion North American continents from here all the way to the moon. That is one chance in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (10 to the 37 th power).
To give you an idea, imagine that in those piles of billions of dimes, there's one dime colored red. If you were to randomly shuffle your way through those billions of dimes blindfolded, and you choose one dime, the odds that you would pick up that one red dime is one chance in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 .

God's Fine-Tuning vs. Man's Fine-Tuning
Another way of looking at this incredible fine-tuning of the universe in this one characteristic is to compare it with the very best that we humans have achieved. It's not built yet, but towards the end of this year, a machine will come online at Cal Tech. This machine will have the capacity to make measurements to within one part in 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (10 to the 23rd power). The best machine man has ever designed.

But the very best machine that man has ever designed, with all of our money, technology and education, falls one hundred trillion times short of the level of fine-tuning that we see in just this one characteristic of the universe.


"My research together with god believing friend, no copyright on this article"

Regards

Alan


 

Offline ibssz

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Fundamental constants and my case for intelligent design
« Reply #1 on: 15/07/2008 20:19:44 »
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Four well-known physical constants with positive values, yet there's a minus sign in front. That immediately tells us that the entire universe experiences negative acceleration.

This is simply not true. There have been many Supernovae observed which give evidence (using spectrum analysis) that the universe is expanding. See this article - newbielink:http://www2.cnrs.fr/en/45.htm?&debut=160xt/ [nonactive]

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Einstein was well aware that the term for pressure (P) in the universe is rather tiny compared to the term for mass density (represented by the Greek letter Rho ). It's divided by a huge number - the velocity of light squared. You've got this extremely small number divided by a huge number. This means that for all intents and purposes, we can ignore that “3P/C²” relative to the density. We can drop that term out, and then we have something much simpler to solve.

I really don't understand what this is getting at, please explain what relevance this has.

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Atoms must be able to assemble in the molecules in order to gain sufficient complexity for life chemistry to proceed. That applies to any conceivable kind of life.

So we have about one hundred billion stars in an average galaxy and about one hundred billion galaxies. There will be therefore trillions and trillions of planets in the universe. For use to be here, a 'life building block' molecule would have had to form just once on one planet. And remember, all evolutionists put to chance is this event, the formation of a building block molecule. Once this occurs, natural selection and evolution takes over.

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If you have infinite throws at the dice of chance, then any matter of complexity would be conceivable - even something as complicated as a German philosopher

You seem to be implying that evolution says people came around by pure chance. This is exactly the opposite. It is not chance, but natural selection which created the diverse life we have on earth.

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The Extreme Precision of Physical Constants

The argument against this is really quite simple. Had the constants not been just right for life, then you wouldn't be here to wonder about how seemingly well designed they are.

Finally, just because the universe isn't infinite, and it has a definite beginning, doesn't mean we have to invent an intelligent, personal and conscious being in attempt to explain it.

Regards Harry
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Fundamental constants and my case for intelligent design
« Reply #2 on: 16/07/2008 00:38:28 »
ibssx,

Thank you for a comprehensive reply. Your points are all valid ones, but I still prefer to believe God created the universe not just blind chance. I will revisit the pressure Einstein part it does come across vague I agree.

My real point is you require just as much faith to believe in a chance universe without a creator, as I do with a created universe by an intelligence far beyond ours.
 

Offline _Stefan_

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Fundamental constants and my case for intelligent design
« Reply #3 on: 16/07/2008 04:59:58 »
Alan, please define what you mean by an intelligent designer, and then explain how the intelligent designer came into existence. Your response must contain solid supporting evidence.

Chance events do occur. They are nothing to fear. It is not a matter of preference, it is a matter of accepting explanations based on valid supporting evidence.
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Fundamental constants and my case for intelligent design
« Reply #4 on: 16/07/2008 05:53:13 »
Stafan,


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Alan, please define what you mean by an intelligent designer, and then explain how the intelligent designer came into existence. Your response must contain solid supporting evidence.

Chance events do occur. They are nothing to fear. It is not a matter of preference, it is a matter of accepting explanations based on valid supporting evidence.

God To me God designed the universe and he is infinity smarter than little me. The concrete evidence is at that is of what I perceive all all around me. I call it "existence", my own amazing body so precise that the best mind can not come remotely close to duplicating even one cell of if. My eyes that somehow had to come to an agreement with my nose to drill a little hole threw it to drain off tears running down mt face. "Tear duct"

You are going down the route of "infinite regression" by asking where the intelligent designer came from, "if there is a god who made god?" A valid question I cannot answer. My wife and grandchildren ask me this.I find it much more comfortable to truthfully tell them an infinity intelligent being called God is the cause of their existence than blind random chance.

You have the same dilemma in wanting the universe to have existed forever and ever or blast out of nothing bringing something with it in the creation event called the big bang. I believe in the Big Bang

We do not even have to go as far as asking if god exists , could there not be an alien people "billions" of years ahead of us that would do things we consider impossible?

Regards

Alan

   
« Last Edit: 18/07/2008 09:19:25 by Alan McDougall »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Fundamental constants and my case for intelligent design
« Reply #5 on: 16/07/2008 08:10:15 »

My real point is you require just as much faith to believe in a chance universe without a creator, as I do with a created universe by an intelligence far beyond ours.


I will support your right to believe in whatever you choose; however, the statement above is simply not correct. There is a lot of scientific evidence to support "chance" and evolution. OK, we can't yet say for certain what the Big Bang was, or what caused it - maybe we will never be able to - but the evidence pointing to it having happened is abundant. What actual evidence is there for a creator?

I can't remember who said it, or the exact wording, but the sentiment is - "Religion fills the gaps in science. As scientific knowledge increases, the gaps for religion to fill get smaller & fewer."

A question I've asked a few creationists and not yet had a coherent reply to - if God created us and made this planet for us to live on, why did he make it such a dangerous place (with earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, tsunami, etc)? Surely, any being powerful enough to have created the universe could have put us somewhere a bit safer.

 

Offline _Stefan_

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Fundamental constants and my case for intelligent design
« Reply #6 on: 16/07/2008 08:17:54 »
No intelligent designer, powerful enough to design a universe or a body at all, would have designed the human body this way. It has so many basic design flaws that any human engineer would be ashamed of having designed it.

Take the eye for example. Our retinas are backwards. The photo receptors face away from, instead of towards, the incoming light. The nerve cells that receive and transmit the visual information via the optic nerve, are on top of, rather than beneath, the retina, so that they create a blind spot in the part of the retina where they pass through, out of the eye, to the brain. The blood vessels that nourish the eye also grow over the retina and outwards. All this impairs our vision. It's like designing a camera with all the wiring covering the lens.

Cephalopods (octopods, squid etc) do not have this problem. Is the intelligent designer a squid or squid-lover?

The reason we get back pain is because we have only recently in terms of geological time become upright bipeds. Rather than a horizontal spine as our quadruped ancestors had, ours has been twisted and curved upwards, putting pressure and strain on our back muscles and vertebrae.

The organisms alive today are the result of over 3.8 billion years of blind evolution, not intelligently designed.

Complexity is a product of evolution. Design simplifies and refines structures to their more efficient forms, it does not make them more complex.

You admit that you don't know much about your designer. Why not just stop there instead of assuming further? Indeed, you don't actually know if an intelligent designer exists at all.

Just because something is comforting does not mean it is true.

What is the relevance of your point about aliens? If there are intelligent life forms elsewhere in the universe, they are likely to have evolved from simple, basic chemistry and physics as we have.


Postulating a designer is superfluous, and there is currently no real evidence for one.

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." - Carl Sagan.

-Stefan
 

Offline ibssz

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Fundamental constants and my case for intelligent design
« Reply #7 on: 16/07/2008 08:48:31 »
Alan you don't understand evolution and i suggest you make an effort to read about it. It is a fantastic explanation of how life came about. You will then realise that scientists do not believe in blind chance either.
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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Fundamental constants and my case for intelligent design
« Reply #8 on: 16/07/2008 09:36:47 »
Alan your thinking is very wrong

The intelligent designer begs the question of the origin of everything who designed the intelligent designer.  The logic is incorrect. 

We clearly live in a universe that "designed" itself Evolution is now understood and as a process that creates the most marvelous ecosystems.  There is a growing awareness that evolution by natural selection has shaped the actual physical laws that govern our universe notably the natural selection of processes and values that enable recycling and complexity to develop within the universe because this allows the effective lifetime of what would otherwise be transient events to be extended and makes them more likely to happen.
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Fundamental constants and my case for intelligent design
« Reply #9 on: 17/07/2008 00:45:05 »
Guys I am well read and know about Charles Darwin and his trip to the Galapus islands off the west coast of South America where much of his research was done that finally convinced him that evolution and not a creator was behind the changes in animal species over the vastness of time and I agree with a lot he has written.

But maybe god or the intelligent designer was experimenting himself to advance life.

I difficult I have with evolution especially when looking at the colossal DNA molecule is that the universe is much too young to have randomply produced this ultimate of complexties.

All your point are valid, but do not exclude a creator in them.

While I cannot prove a creator exists no one can prove he does not exist.


Think of it this way,when I am on my death bed in the those of moments before death overtakes medying, having faith that there is meaning to life beyond the grave and a  that loving god is going to guide me across the dark valley of death will be most comforting.

People with deep faith in god seem to fear death less and pass over with less fear and struggle.

Think would you like to have faith in god when the moment has come for you to die, or know that that moment means your extinction forever.
« Last Edit: 17/07/2008 07:40:44 by Alan McDougall »
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Fundamental constants and my case for intelligent design
« Reply #10 on: 17/07/2008 07:11:50 »
"Think of it this way,when I am on my death bed in the those of moments before death overtakes medying, having faith that there is meaning to life beyond the grave and a  that loving god is going to guide me across the dark valley of death will be most comforting."

 Since there are many religions, it's more likely that you will end up in Hell as a non- believer in the "right" faith. Of course that sassumes a few things- but you seem happy to believe those things anyway.
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Fundamental constants and my case for intelligent design
« Reply #11 on: 17/07/2008 07:55:51 »
Bored Chemist,

I belong to "no religion" and indeed have a deep dislike for organised religion in all its guised , silly dogma and doctrine,but like Einstein my position is based on my own logic not borrowed from such ridiculous beliefs such as seven day creationism and I am not going to a hell that does not exist.

This thread-is not about converting anybody to religion , just about the logic of an intelligent designer out there in the great somewhere.

I really respect where you are coming  from but I don't like believing this flashing moment we call life in the infinity of eterinity, is all that there is.

Life "to me" with this bleak outlook has absoltely no meaning and is more a burden than a gift.


If I knew I were my life would be driven by many other factors, "eat drink and b merry for tomorrow you die"

Regards

Alan
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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Fundamental constants and my case for intelligent design
« Reply #12 on: 17/07/2008 08:21:08 »
It seems the trend that creationists are creationists because they have not understood evolution properly. They think that the chances of life forming by chance is so unfathomable it can't be true. But with so many rolls of the dice, life is bound to happen. Here is an excelent youtube video, my favourite explanation of evolution:

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My eyes that somehow had to come to an agreement with my nose to drill a lillte hole threw it to drain off tears running down mt face. "Tear duct"

Here's how the eye evolved:
part 1
part 2

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I difficult I have with evolution especially when looking at the colossal DNA molecule is that the universe is much too young to have randomply produced this ultimate of complexties.

Its hard for a human to grasp the vast scale of time, and again it did not randomly form, it was driven by evolution. It would be unlikely for it to not have formed to how complex it is today.
 

Offline ibssz

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Fundamental constants and my case for intelligent design
« Reply #13 on: 17/07/2008 08:22:50 »
I don't understand why you need to invent a god when you are fine with the theory of evolution.

It seems to be because you are scared of death, but it's nothing to be scared of. You were 'dead' for billions of years before you were born and it wasn't painful or unpleasant at all.

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While I cannot prove a creator exists no one can prove he does not exist.

The same goes for a teapot orbitting the sun which is small enough to be unobservable by telescopes. I cannot prove it exists, i cannot prove it doesn't exist. But even though we can't, none of us actually believe that there is one. To quote Dawkins, "We are all teapot atheists".

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Life "to me" with this bleak outlook has absoltely no meaning and is more a burden than a gift.

I don't understand why people naeed to believe that there is an ultimate meaning to life...
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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« Reply #14 on: 17/07/2008 09:16:27 »
I, however, strongly believe we continue to exist on in some form or other in dimensions of mind boggling unimaginable proposes, beauty and glory, and that our consciousness self continues to exist eternally after death. Otherwise, our earthly mortal lives, no matter what we do, are a vain brief fleeting moment in eternity that it is entirely without meaning purpose or reason.

I am unafraid of death and have not invented God and do not agree with Darwin in his view that evolution caused life to evolve, I only agree with him that indeed life has evolved but by an intelligent being.

To say things are driven by evolution seems to indicate that evolution has some innate intrinsic intelligence this simply is not factual.

Have you ever thought that to be an absolute atheist is much much more difficult be than to be one who believes in a creator, if were true some people have to explain and rationalize away to themselves and others, that everything that exists just popped out of nowhere, from nothingness, bringing a void vacuum of dark nothingness, became light time and energy morphing finally, without reason or purpose, into the something that we have all around us.

All existence including mysterious life and intelligence thus evolving mindlessly, driven by nothing more than random chance. Therefore, to believe that nothing simple created nothing, in the distant past is to me the most ridiculous of premises. What is life and how did the awesome colossal almost infinitely complex D.N.A molecule blue print of life "(evolve)" so blindingly quickly in the universe, in the very short time it did, in relative infinite cosmological time scale of eternity, if there were no intelligent designer behind it?

If for instance we took a hypothetical analogy of millions of Boeing 747 airplanes, full of bricks, mortar and water, and dropped all this, at random upon the earth at once, would the result ever be the one of the glorious building constructions we see all around us, such as the wonderful beautiful Taj Mahal or the Sydney Opera house that was created, designed and built by mere mortal humanity? A trillion billion monkeys bashing at a billion typewriters for a billion years would never produce even one of Shaspears sonnets much less than the infinitely more complex DNA molecule.

One of the arguments used to support a non designer universe is given sufficient time anything that can happen will happen. But the universe is not eternal and is indeed very young.

Do these constructions of man change or evolve over time? No, they go back to chaos. Does life that needs to change or adapt just say to itself and mindlessly command its D.N.A. molecule,, to reconfigure to suit the new environment and thus form new type life form, to meet new conditions?.

Or does something else such as a higher intelligent power that sees the need and brings about the change? The latter case is to me very more likely to any thinking person.

But some people make the case and would have one believe that all that exists, including our mighty vast and infinitely complex and unimaginable beautiful universe and wonderful blue water world of life earth, came into existence out of nothing, in just such a random act of mindless chance. This belief leads one to a vain purposeless life without moral absolutes we see in the evil wicked world all around us today.

Our breathtakingly beautiful universe is expanding constantly and must, therefore, have had definite beginning, in the far distant past. If you read in your dictionary that an agnostic believes no one can prove there is a god, just as no one can prove the opposite that there is no god. To me this makes more sense than been an outright atheist who bluntly states as a definite fact that there is definitely and as proved fact no god or intelligent creator. “The breathtaking wonder and beauty we see all around us does not to me equate with an evil uncaring god but a creator of infinite love and patience.

My conclusion as an amateur astronomer leaves me with the unshakable belief that an Awesome Intelligence is behind the creation of the universe and this same mighty intelligence keeps the universe going. "GOD EXISTS".

A great astronomer looks out at the unimaginably beautiful universe and wondered if he was observing a huge well ordered mathematic machine. .Thinking deeply about it later he said to himself, no this wonder is not a machine but a beautiful thought in the mind of an Infinite Intelligence

Regards

Alan
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Fundamental constants and my case for intelligent design
« Reply #15 on: 17/07/2008 09:41:31 »
Why should atheists fear death? To them, when you're gone you're gone. That's it. Finito. End of story. Bye-bye. They don't have the fear of being judged after death, found wanting, and spending eternity over an open fire being poked in the bottom by demons with forks.

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I difficult I have with evolution especially when looking at the colossal DNA molecule is that the universe is much too young to have randomply produced this ultimate of complexties.

How long do you think it should have taken? And why? Let's have some figures & reasoning. All I ever hear is "There hasn't been time for [insert "the eye", "DNA", "the brain" or whatever as required] to have evolved" with no real explanation and that's just a cop-out.
« Last Edit: 17/07/2008 09:48:19 by DoctorBeaver »
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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Fundamental constants and my case for intelligent design
« Reply #16 on: 17/07/2008 09:53:27 »
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If for instance we took a hypothetical analogy of millions of Boeing 747 airplanes, full of bricks, mortar and water, and dropped all this, at random upon the earth at once, would the result ever be the one of the glorious building constructions we see all around us, such as the wonderful beautiful Taj Mahal or the Sydney Opera house that was created, designed and built by mere mortal humanity? A trillion billion monkeys bashing at a billion typewriters for a billion years would never produce even one of Shaspears sonnets much less than the infinitely more complex DNA molecule.

This demonstrates your misunderstanding of evolution. No, a heap of 747's crashing will not result in a perfect building. But that has nothing to do with evolution. Now if this mass of materials was able to multiply and mutate, it might be a different story.
I urge you to be patient and watch the video i linked to in my first post
as it explains this popular misconception of evolution.

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My conclusion as an amateur astronomer leaves me with the unshakable belief that an Awesome Intelligence is behind the creation of the universe and this same mighty intelligence keeps the universe going. "GOD EXISTS".

A great astronomer looks out at the unimaginably beautiful universe and wondered if he was observing a huge well ordered mathematic machine. .Thinking deeply about it later he said to himself, no this wonder is not a machine but a beautiful thought in the mind of an Infinite Intelligence

Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe there's fairies at the bottom of it?
« Last Edit: 17/07/2008 10:23:17 by Madidus_Scientia »
 

Offline BenV

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Fundamental constants and my case for intelligent design
« Reply #17 on: 17/07/2008 11:17:54 »
I'm a little confused about what this thread is about. So...

Tackling the evolution side of things, everyone seems to be in agreement that evolution is the beautiful and simple process through which species change (and eventually new species are formed) by a process of decent with modification, guided by natural selection.

So far so good. No need for a creator there.

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Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe there's fairies at the bottom of it?
A lovely way of putting it.  Evolution is driven by natural selection, there's no implication that there is any intelligence behind evolution, nor any need for it.

So is it the 'life after death' issue?

Quote
Think of it this way,when I am on my death bed in the those of moments before death overtakes medying, having faith that there is meaning to life beyond the grave and a  that loving god is going to guide me across the dark valley of death will be most comforting.

People with deep faith in god seem to fear death less and pass over with less fear and struggle.

Think would you like to have faith in god when the moment has come for you to die, or know that that moment means your extinction forever.
...
I really respect where you are coming  from but I don't like believing this flashing moment we call life in the infinity of eterinity, is all that there is.
...
Life "to me" with this bleak outlook has absoltely no meaning and is more a burden than a gift.

I think this is a shame.  I don't believe in god, or life after death.  When I'm on my death bed, I will not be scared of the fact that there's no afterlife, but look back on the things I have achieved and the people who I have met.

This "brief flashing moment we call life" is all the life we get, and I'd far rather live it and enjoy it that worry about what will happen after we die.  My personal afterlife idea is that we live on in all of the good things we did, the memories other people have of us and any legacy we leave behind.
 

Offline _Stefan_

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Fundamental constants and my case for intelligent design
« Reply #18 on: 17/07/2008 12:10:56 »
Alan, you clearly do not understand evolution by natural selection. It really is quite simple.
Read:
Quote
As many more individuals of each species are born than can possibly survive; and as, consequently, there is a frequently recurring struggle for existence, it follows that any being, if it vary however slightly in any manner profitable to itself, under the complex and sometimes varying conditions of life, will have a better chance of surviving, and thus be naturally selected. From the strong principle of inheritance, any selected variety will tend to propagate its new and modified form.
- Charles Darwin

To clarify and extend:

1. Organisms reproduce.
2. The offspring vary to some degree from each other, their parent(s) and the rest of the population.
3. Some of this variation is heritable.
4. More organisms are born than can survive, due to restraints and pressures of the environment.
5. Organisms which possess traits that are compatible with surviving long enough to reproduce successfully in the environment they live in, are more likely to reproduce successfully.
6. Some of those traits, which are heritable (I.e. genetic), are transmitted to the offspring.
7. These offspring are more likely to survive and reproduce successfully.
8. Repeat for many generations.

It is completely superfluous, unnecessary, to postulate that a designer is involved at all with evolution. It is a process which occurs blind, undirected, without any help from an intelligence at all.

The only chance events that are involved in evolution are the errors produced in the sequence of nucleotides of DNA/RNA, the recombinations of DNA from each parent in the offspring, and natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions, tsunamis etc. The real driving factor in evolution is whether the traits the organisms have make them successful at surviving and reproducing. Natural selection, the environmental "criteria", acts like a column of sieves, one beneath the other, filtering out the genes that do not make successful organisms, and allowing the genes that do make successful organisms to pass on to the next generation - i.e. the next sieve. When this happens over many generations, at a generation-by-generation rate, you get organisms changing over time. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_selection
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Darwin#Publication_of_the_theory_of_natural_selection

You would do well to actually learn evolution properly before you draw erroneous conclusions.


It does not take more faith to be an atheist than to believe that a god exists. If this is an example of the logic you used to conclude that god does exist... what can I say?

Here is some of why you are wrong:

1. There is NO reliable, irrefutable, objective evidence or reason that any god exists.
2. The default position of any rational mind in the darkness of insufficient evidence is non-belief. In other words, because there is no evidence, there is no reason to accept that something exists. There is an infinity of things you could believe exist, but you don't because there's no evidence they do - it would just be silly (as religious belief is too, it should go without saying).
3. The believer postulates a god, i.e. something rather than nothing.
4. Occams razor.



There are no absolute morals or moral-giver. Morals are the result of thousands, millions, even billions of years of evolution. Do some reading on the scientific study of morality and altruism.


I will repeat this: Comfort does not equal truth.

Believing in god because you fear death and because you don't understand or are afraid of how things can happen unguided, with no intrinsic meaning or purpose, is such a pitiful reason.

Accept the universe for what it is. Learn as much about it as you can. Enjoy the brief time you get to live. Make your own life meaningful.
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Fundamental constants and my case for intelligent design
« Reply #19 on: 17/07/2008 15:05:03 »
I have a rational mind unlike the suggestion that I do not have one. My whole working life has been in the fields of logic.

 Firstly,

I never said atheists are afraid to die, only that I who have lived a fairly protracted life has seen for instance my atheistic father and, atheist mother in laws die a very painful death clinging to life in fear and pain until they breathed out their last breath with fearful eyes.

My father and mother who both had deep faith in God (be he nonexistence) gave into death peacefully without struggle.

So at the end of the day why should I or anyone else try to convince them that they are just a random bunch of chemicals and annihilation follows death?

My sister who is now in the death throes of breast and liver cancer has a deep belief in god and that there is purpose even in her suffering.

Must I know go and bombard her with Darwinian dogma and take away her meaning for living? Not!!

quote
Quote
I will repeat [/color] this: Comfort does not equal truth

There was no need to repeat the above quote as I understand fully where you are coming from from and if, if what you propose is "indeed truth", I will still reject it and die in the comfort and security of my delusion, why not??

"You do not have to repeat what Darwinism is all about and you are all wrongly assuming I have no concept of evolution.

Do I come over as some sort of an ignoramus or what?

TABLE I
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINES ESTABLISHED
DISCIPLINE                     SCIENTIST
ANTISEPTIC SURGERY        JOSEPH LISTER (1827-1912)
BACTERIOLOGY
GENERAL   RELATIVITY  +        ALBERT EINSTEIN 
LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
CALCULUS                 ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
CELESTIAL MECHANICS          JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)
CHEMISTRY             ROBERT BOYLE (1627-1691)
COMPARATIVE ANATOMY   GEORGES CUVIER (1769-1832)
COMPUTER SCIENCE   CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)
DIMENSIONAL ANALYSIS   LORD RAYLEIGH (1842-1919)
DYNAMICS           ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
ELECTRONICS           JOHN AMBROSE FLEMING (1849-1945)
ELECTRODYNAMICS           JAMES CLERK MAXWELL (1831-1879)
ELECTRO-MAGNETICS   MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)
ENERGETICS           LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
ENTOMOLOGY OF LIVING INSECTS   HENRI FABRE (1823-1915)
FIELD THEORY           MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)
FLUID MECHANICS           GEORGE STOKES (1819-1903)
GALACTIC ASTRONOMY   WILLIAM HERSCHEL (1738-1822)
GAS DYNAMICS           ROBERT BOYLE (1627-1691)
GENETICS           GREGOR MENDEL (1822-1884)
GLACIAL GEOLOGY           LOUIS AGASSIZ (1807-1873)
GYNECOLOGY           JAMES SIMPSON (1811-1870)
HYDRAULICS           LEONARDO DA VINCI (1452-1519)
HYDROGRAPHY           MATTHEW MAURY (1806-1873)
HYDROSTATICS           BLAISE PASCAL (1623-1662)
ICHTHYOLOGY           LOUIS AGASSIZ (1807-1873)
ISOTOPIC CHEMISTRY   WILLIAM RAMSAY (1852-1916)
MODEL ANALYSIS           LORD RAYLEIGH (1842-1919)
NATURAL HISTORY           JOHN RAY (1627-1705)
NON-EUCLIDEAN GEOMETRY   BERNHARD RIEMANN (1826- 1866)
OCEANOGRAPHY           MATTHEW MAURY (1806-1873)
OPTICAL MINERALOGY   DAVID BREWSTER (1781-1868)
PALEONTOLOGY           JOHN WOODWARD (1665-1728)
PATHOLOGY           RUDOLPH VIRCHOW (1821-1902)
PHYSICAL ASTRONOMY   JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)
REVERSIBLE THERMODYNAMICS   JAMES JOULE (1818-1889)
STATISTICAL THERMODYNAMICS   JAMES CLERK MAXWELL (1831-1879)
STRATIGRAPHY           NICHOLAS STENO (1631-1686)
SYSTEMATIC BIOLOGY   CAROLUS LINNAEUS (1707-1778)
THERMODYNAMICS           LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
THERMOKINETICS           HUMPHREY DAVY (1778-1829)
VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY   GEORGES CUVIER (1769-1832)
 
TABLE II
NOTABLE INVENTIONS, DISCOVERIES
OR DEVELOPMENTS BY CREATIONIST SCIENTISTS
CONTRIBUTION                    SCIENTIST
ABSOLUTE TEMPERATURE SCALE     LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
ACTUARIAL TABLES          CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)
BAROMETER                  BLAISE PASCAL (1623-1662)
BIOGENESIS LAW                  LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
CALCULATING MACHINE          CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)
CHLOROFORM                  JAMES SIMPSON (1811-1870)
CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM          CAROLUS LINNAEUS (1707-1778)
DOUBLE STARS                  WILLIAM HERSCHEL (1738-1822)
ELECTRIC GENERATOR          MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)
ELECTRIC MOTOR                  JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)
EPHEMERIS TABLES          JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)
FERMENTATION CONTROL          LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
GALVANOMETER                  JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)
GLOBAL STAR CATALOG          JOHN HERSCHEL (1792-1871)
INERT GASES                   WILLIAM RAMSAY (1852-1916)
KALEIDOSCOPE                  DAVID BREWSTER (1781-1868)
LAW OF GRAVITY                  ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
MINE SAFETY LAMP          HUMPHREY DAVY (1778-1829)
PASTEURIZATION                  LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
REFLECTING TELESCOPE          ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
SCIENTIFIC METHOD          FRANCIS BACON (1561-1626)
SELF-INDUCTION                  JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)
TELEGRAPH                  SAMUEL F.B. MORSE (1791-1872)
THERMIONIC VALVE          AMBROSE FLEMING (1849-1945)
TRANS-ATLANTIC CABLE          LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
VACCINATION & IMMUNIZATION    
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/polls/wat/archive/wat060198.htm

Scientists that presently believe in God, and in roughly the same proportions that expressed their faith more than 80 years ago, according to a 1996 survey of scientists that attempted to replicate a classic 1916 study.

These contemporary researchers found that about four in 10 randomly selected scientists two years ago professed belief "in a personal God," almost exactly the same proportion as in 1916, Bishop reported.

One key result from the current study to a question that wasn't asked in 1916: More than half – 55 percent – endorsed the Darwinian view that "humans developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life. God had no part in this process."

However, that "a surprisingly large percentage (40 percent) subscribed to the 'theistic evolutionist' idea that 'humans developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, “but God guided this process”, including humankind's creation.'" "This is where I fit in not siily 6 day creationism

Only 5 percent endorsed a creationist view that God created humans "pretty much in their present form at one time within the past 10,000 years." 

Perhaps you will say this is a list of passed over great minds, if you like I could list a group of latter day scientists and Nobel prize winners that also believe in a creator.

"I agree with this chimp for instance model T Ford no longer used modern cars us Homo Sapient latest model

Perhaps you will note I am amongst very good company in my outlook be it misguided and deluded I will stick to what I believe, until someone can give me concrete evidence that "there is absolutely no god". If this happens it will be a sad day for me."

Regards
Alan
« Last Edit: 18/07/2008 09:17:22 by Alan McDougall »
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Fundamental constants and my case for intelligent design
« Reply #20 on: 17/07/2008 15:23:20 »
Some more great mind who believe in a creator like I do.

PART I. Nobel Scientists (20-21 Century)
Albert Einstein Nobel Laureate in Physics Jewish
Max Planck Nobel Laureate in Physics Protestant
Erwin Schrodinger Nobel Laureate in Physics Catholic
Werner Heisenberg Nobel Laureate in Physics Lutheran
Robert Millikan Nobel Laureate in Physics probably Congregationalist
Charles Hard Townes Nobel Laureate in Physics United Church of Christ (raised Baptist)
Arthur Schawlow Nobel Laureate in Physics Methodist
William D. Phillips Nobel Laureate in Physics Methodist
William H. Bragg Nobel Laureate in Physics Anglican
Guglielmo Marconi Nobel Laureate in Physics Catholic and Anglican
Arthur Compton Nobel Laureate in Physics Presbyterian
Arno Penzias Nobel Laureate in Physics Jewish
Nevill Mott Nobel Laureate in Physics Anglican
Isidor Isaac Rabi Nobel Laureate in Physics Jewish
Abdus Salam Nobel Laureate in Physics Muslim
Antony Hewish Nobel Laureate in Physics Christian (denomination?)
Joseph H. Taylor, Jr. Nobel Laureate in Physics Quaker
Alexis Carrel Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology Catholic
John Eccles Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology Catholic
Joseph Murray Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology Catholic
Ernst Chain Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology Jewish
George Wald Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology Jewish
Ronald Ross Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology Christian (denomination?)
Derek Barton Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Christian (denomination?)
Christian Anfinsen Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Jewish
Walter Kohn Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Jewish
Richard Smalley Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Christian (denomination?)
PART II. Nobel Writers (20-21 Century)
T.S. Eliot Nobel Laureate in Literature Anglo-Catholic (Anglican)
Rudyard Kipling Nobel Laureate in Literature Anglican
Alexander Solzhenitsyn Nobel Laureate in Literature Russian Orthodox
François Mauriac Nobel Laureate in Literature Catholic
Hermann Hesse Nobel Laureate in Literature Christian; Buddhist?
Winston Churchill Nobel Laureate in Literature Anglican
Jean-Paul Sartre Nobel Laureate in Literature Lutheran; Freudian; Marxist; atheist; Messianic Jew
Sigrid Undset Nobel Laureate in Literature Catholic (previously Lutheran)
Rabindranath Tagore Nobel Laureate in Literature Hindu
Rudolf Eucken Nobel Laureate in Literature Christian (denomination?)
Isaac Singer Nobel Laureate in Literature Jewish
PART III. Nobel Peace Laureates (20-21 Century)
Albert Schweitzer Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Lutheran
Jimmy Carter Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Baptist (former Southern Baptist)
Theodore Roosevelt Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dutch Reformed; Episcopalian
Woodrow Wilson Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Presbyterian
Frederik de Klerk Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dutch Reformed
Nelson Mandela Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Christian (denomination?)
Kim Dae-Jung Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Catholic
Dag Hammarskjold Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Christian (denomination?)
Martin Luther King, Jr. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Baptist
Adolfo Perez Esquivel Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Catholic
Desmond Tutu Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Anglican
John R. Mott Nobel Peace Prize Laureate  Methodist
Part IV. Founders of Modern Science (16-21 Century)
Isaac Newton Founder of Classical Physics and Infinitesimal Calculus Anglican (rejected Trinitarianism, i.e., Athanasianism;
believed in the Arianism of the Primitive Church)
Galileo Galilei Founder of Experimental Physics Catholic
Nicolaus Copernicus Founder of Heliocentric Cosmology Catholic (priest)
Johannes Kepler Founder of Physical Astronomy and Modern Optics Lutheran
Francis Bacon Founder of the Scientific Inductive Method Anglican
René Descartes Founder of Analytical Geometry and Modern Philosophy Catholic
Blaise Pascal Founder of Hydrostatics, Hydrodynamics,
and the Theory of Probabilities Jansenist
Michael Faraday Founder of Electronics and Electro-Magnetics Sandemanian
James Clerk Maxwell Founder of Statistical Thermodynamics Presbyterian; Anglican; Baptist
Lord Kelvin Founder of Thermodynamics and Energetics Anglican
Robert Boyle Founder of Modern Chemistry Anglican
William Harvey Founder of Modern Medicine Anglican (nominal)
John Ray Founder of Modern Biology and Natural History Calvinist (denomination?)
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz German Mathematician and Philosopher,
Founder of Infinitesimal Calculus Lutheran
Charles Darwin Founder of the Theory of Evolution Anglican (nominal); Unitarian
Ernst Haeckel German Biologist,
the Most Influential Evolutionist in Continental Europe   
Thomas H. Huxley English Biologist and Evolutionist,
Famous As "Darwin's Bulldog"
Joseph J. Thomson Nobel Laureate in Physics, Discoverer of the Electron,
Founder of Atomic Physics Anglican
Louis Pasteur Founder of Microbiology and Immunology Catholic
Part V. Great Philosophers (17-21 Century)
Immanuel Kant One of the Greatest Philosophers
in the History of Western Philosophy Lutheran
Jean-Jacques Rousseau Founder of Modern Deism born Protestant;
converted as a teen to Catholic
Voltaire French Philosopher and Historian,
One of the Most Influential Thinkers of the Enlightenment raised in Jansenism
David Hume Scottish Empiricist Philosopher, Historian, and Economist,

Founder of Modern Skepticism Church of Scotland (Presbyterian)
Spinoza Dutch-Jewish Philosopher,
the Chief Exponent of Modern Rationalism Judaism; later

pantheism/deism
Giordano Bruno Italian Philosopher, Astronomer, and Mathematician,

Founder of the Theory of the Infinite Universe Catholic
George Berkeley Irish Philosopher and Mathematician, Founder of Modern Idealism,

Famous as "The Precursor of Mach and Einstein" Anglican
John Stuart Mill English Philosopher and Economist,
the Major Exponent of Utilitarianism agnostic; Utilitarian

Richard Swinburne Oxford Professor of Philosophy,
One of the Most Influential Theistic Philosophers 
PART VI. Other Religious Nobelists

60 more Nobel Prize winners are listed

(32 scientists, 17 writers, 11 Nobel Nobel Peace Laureates)
PART VII. Nobelists, Philosophers, and Scientists on Jesus
Quotes by 16 individuals about their beliefs about Jesus
- Alexis Carrel
- Albert Einstein
- Arthur Compton
- Robert Millikan
- Francois Mauriac
- Sigrid Undset
- T.S. Eliot
- Mother Theresa
- Albert Schweitzer
- Theodore Roosevelt
- Frederik de Klerk
- John R. Mott
- Kim Dae-Jung
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Jimmy Carter
- Blaise Pascal 
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Fundamental constants and my case for intelligent design
« Reply #21 on: 17/07/2008 15:30:01 »
Great mind "that do not believe in a creator" to be fair,


political leaders
Thomas Jefferson
James Madison
John Adams
Abraham Lincoln
Susan B. Anthony
Benjamin Franklin
Robert G. Ingersoll
Ulysses S. Grant
George Washington
Theodore Roosevelt
philosophers
Karl Marx
Sigmund Freud
Friedrich Nietzsche
Voltaire
Epicurus
Aristotle
Sir Francis Bacon
scientists
Charles Darwin
Albert Einstein
Thomas Edison
Stephen Hawking
Carl Sagan
Galileo Galilei
Francis Bacon, Sir
Richard Dawkins
artists and entertainers
Gene Roddenberry
Jesse "the body" Ventura
Woody Allen
Charlie Chaplin
Andy Rooney
Katharine Hepburn
Marlon Brando
writers
Samuel Clemens /Mark Twain
George Bernard Shaw
Ernest Hemingway
Isaac Asimov
Arthur C. Clarke
Stephen King
Edgar Allan Poe
Bertrand Russell
Oscar Wilde
Ayn Rand
Thomas Paine
other
Frank Lloyd Wright
 

Offline BenV

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Fundamental constants and my case for intelligent design
« Reply #22 on: 17/07/2008 15:43:08 »
Alan - I suggest you read the "Can anyone provide proof of NO afterlife" thread, to see how likely you are to get proof of a negative. 

Simply put, as a believer in a sky fairy (of any kind - be it one that created the world in 6 days, one that only 'guides' creation, or a monster made of spaghetti), it is your responsibility to prove that it exists.  Until you have proof, it is just your delusion (even if it's a delusion you share with many others).  The burden of proof falls on you to provide evidence for the existence of your particular deity.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Fundamental constants and my case for intelligent design
« Reply #23 on: 17/07/2008 19:51:23 »
Technically it's not the theists' job to prove that God exists. However, if they want me to act as if He does then they need to prove it. Also, if they want to avoid being seen as irrational they need some sort of rationalisation for their belief.
Now, I can't prove that God doesn't exist, any more than I can prove there are no Fairies at the bottom of my garden (they might hide when I look for them).
On the other hand I can use Occam's razot to justify my belief that there's no God.

Also, as a technicallity you can't say that the God squad are delusional for believing in God- it might not be a delusion- they might be right. The delusion is thinking that there's any real evidence for God.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Fundamental constants and my case for intelligent design
« Reply #24 on: 17/07/2008 21:35:10 »
Quote
My sister who is now in the death throes of breast and liver cancer has a deep belief in god and that there is purpose even in her suffering.

Must I know go and bombard her with Darwinian dogma and take away her meaning for living?

Absolutely not, as far as I'm concerned. I already said that I will support your right to believe whatever you wish. I will support anyone's right to that. If your sister finds comfort in her beliefs, that's fine & I'm glad for her. Religion is an excellent palliative.

What I will NOT support though, and I will resist it with all means at my disposal, is having religious zealots trying to ram their beliefs down my throat and threatening my way of life because it doesn't conform to their credo (No, Alan, I'm not aiming that at you).

(Incidentally, I wouldn't call Darwinism a dogma. There is plenty of scientific evidence to support it. If you want to see dogma, look to religions & politics.)
 

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Fundamental constants and my case for intelligent design
« Reply #24 on: 17/07/2008 21:35:10 »

 

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