science makes case for god
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02-01-2015, 08:34 PM
RE: science makes case for god
(02-01-2015 06:47 PM)Ocean theRAPIST Wrote:  Relax. I'm not trolling anything. My father in law sent me this article. We are in a huge debate that will probably never end. I was just seeing if anyone had seen this article.

Second time in as many weeks. I'm a little concerned about the level of religious woo that seems to be printed by TWSJ. Faith-based economics might go a long way to explaining 2008.

The entire thing is a load of nonsense that demonstrates that the god described doesn't exist if you evaluate it properly.

The whole argument can be summed up as, 'Life in the universe is really, really improbable. We found no evidence of any other life and it looks like we're damned unlikely to have ever happened too. Thus, we must have been Created to have beat such incredible odds.'

There are a few flaws with that. It's a lot like betting on a horse that's already won. The odds of life existing in the universe are unity. Also, none of us really know what the actual odds are. We're having a fun time redefining what life is and discovering what the conditions out there are. Anybody saying that they can make more than a wild guess at either is full of shit. My money is on finding life, probably primitive, within our own solar system.

But let's look at this whole design nonsense. I'll borrow shamelessly from Ray Comfort and use the analogy of a pop can. If we look at a pop can we can infer function and even design. It's small and light-weight so it's portable. The aluminum walls are too thin to contain gas under any significant pressure and the opening is rubbish for getting solids in or out of. Liquids work pretty well in it. It's also single use as the tab on the top can be opened easily but not closed. Given the energy needed to refine metallic aluminum, it's unlikely to have formed through natural processes. Nature takes the easiest route and aluminum cans is off that path by a long way. The brightly coloured markings are likely there to warn of danger or to attract and aluminum is a shitty choice for storing dangerous chemicals.

What's more important in evaluating the design is what isn't present. For example, when looking at the pop can we don't find a transmission. Or a GPS locator. Or a bridge. These would make the design incredibly impractical and terribly expensive.

Now back to the universe. Apparently it's all been created for us. So how does that explain the universe? Billions of stars, all light years away. What function do they serve to life on Earth? Sure they're decorative but there are easier ways to brighten up the night sky. Never mind that the overwhelming majority of stars and galaxies are invisible to the human eye. Asteroids, comets, planets, all unnecessary. What sane Creator populates its Creation with millions of chunks of rock zipping about randomly? Unless you believe in a cruel and capricious god of course.

So a created universe should, like our pop can, consist of only the necessities: 1 star, 1 planet, 1 moon (assuming you need tides/moonlight). Actually scrub that. A star is just a metastable fusion bomb, which is an irresponsible way to heat and light the abode of your finest creations.

A created universe should consist of:
- 1 flat sheet of land fenced at the edges by divine barrier shield. Who needs gravity when you can just command everything to arbitrarily fall down?
- 1 magical bright glowy ball suspended directly overhead. Put it on a timer to give us a day-night cycle.
- 1 magical dim glowy ball. On a different timer to give you moonlight. Tides go the same way gravity did. Divine will makes the water go in and out.

Mr. Metaxas is arguing that his deity was so inept that he had to fill the oceans with cargo containers packed with pop cans just to get one full can.

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02-01-2015, 09:46 PM
RE: science makes case for god
HA. America

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02-01-2015, 11:54 PM
RE: science makes case for god
(02-01-2015 06:29 PM)Smercury44 Wrote:  Yep, read the article. Lawrence Krauss wrote a response that the wsj decided not to run.

I sent krauss' rebuttal to my father in law. I don't think he likes him very much. This was his response. Sorry it's kinda long. He gets into some rants.

Nope, you just found an atheist that supported what you want to believe...and you ran with it. As Paul Harvey would say, here's the rest of the story.

Lawrence Krauss is well known as an advocate of the public understanding of science, of public policy based on sound empirical data, of scientific skepticism and of science education and works to reduce the impact of superstition and religious dogma in pop culture...at least that's how they refer to themselves.. By his own acknowledgement he's an atheist (he spoke at the 2009 Atheist Alliance International conference) that's written several books that have been reviewed critically as beliefs of fantasy. He portrays his beliefs as scientific, though his scientific peers criticize him for play fast and loose with words such as "nothing" as pointed out by physicist David Albert, in a review for The New York Times, who said the book failed to live up to its title, and he criticized Krauss for dismissing concerns about his use of the term nothing to refer to a quantum vacuum instead of a "philosopher’s or theologian’s idealized 'nothing'" (i.e. instead of having the meaning "not anything"). 
Or physicist Sean M. Carroll who asks Krauss  "Do advances in modern physics and cosmology help us address these underlying questions, of why there is something called the universe at all, and why there are things called “the laws of physics,” and why those laws seem to take the form of quantum mechanics, and why some particular wave function and Hamiltonian? In a word: no. I don’t see how they could."Or, physicist George F. R. Ellis, when asked whether Krauss has "solved the mystery of why there is something rather than nothing," notes that the "belief that all of reality can be fully comprehended in terms of physics and the equations of physics is a fantasy . . . Krauss does not address why the laws of physics exist, why they have the form they have, or in what kind of manifestation they existed before the universe existed (which he must believe if he believes they brought the universe into existence)."
Three highly respected Physicists shoot holes in Krauss' theories, but that's okay because like all atheists, Krauss is speaking to the useful idiot giving them what they want to hear, recognizing they won't drill too deep into his work, as they're really only looking for affirmation of their own beliefs. 
"In New Scientist, Michael Brooks wrote, "Krauss will be preaching only to the converted (other atheists). That said, we should be happy to be preached to so intelligently. The same can't be said about the Dawkins afterword, which is both superfluous and silly.
Krauss has formulated a model in which the universe could have potentially come from "nothing," as outlined in his 2012 book A Universe from Nothing. He explains that certain arrangements of relativistic quantum fields might explain the existence of the universe as we know it while disclaiming that he "has no idea if the notion [of taking quantum mechanics for granted] can be usefully dispensed with".[17] As his model appears to agree with experimental observations of the universe (such as of its shape and energy density), it is referred to as a "plausible hypothesis." Plausible hypothesis, (or guess, if you will).
Now let's get into Mr. Krauss' weak arguments.

By Lawrence Krauss
To the editor:
I was rather surprised to read the unfortunate oped piece “Science Increasingly makes the case for God”, written not by a scientist but a religious writer with an agenda (Krauss, as an atheist, follower of Darwin, and a speaker at major atheist conferences also has a religious agenda, as atheism is also a religion).  
Krauss says the piece was rife with inappropriate scientific misrepresentations.  For example:
1. We currently DO NOT know the factors that allow the evolution of life in the Universe ( yet he proposes in his book A Universe from nothing that the "nothing" he refers to is a "quantum vacuum" instead of a "philosopher’s or theologian’s idealized 'nothing'". Well what is it, a quantum vacuum or nothing? This atheist tries to have it both ways). We know the many factors that were important here on Earth, but we do not know what set of other factors might allow a different evolutionary history elsewhere. (Here he's trapped himself, he doesn't deny that the 200 aforementioned factors that are required for life to exist on earth are false, but now he proposes that "elsewhere...possibly somewhere in another universe... perhaps...something "may have happened differently that we're unaware of", different from our universe. He's flipped the argument. He's gotten away from the facts he can't refute and instead has changed the playing field to his own unproven theory, unmentioned until now. This isn't science, this a hope and a prayer on his part. It's similar to how the evolutionists keep extending the evolutionary time line to what is now 65 billion years as their theories keep getting disproved...by science. Just increase the timeline, don't admit that their arguments keep getting defeated, just come up with new "theories". They can't annul the facts so they propose new improvable theories and present them as facts to those that refuse to drill down deep enough to see that what Krauss wants you to believe is an off the cuff theory. It's not even a scientific theory, he just made it up as a possibility because he's lost this argument about "our" universe).  The mistake made by the author is akin to saying that if one looks at all the factors in my life that led directly to my sitting at my computer to write this, one would obtain a probability so small as to conclude that it is impossible that anyone else could ever sit down to compose a letter to the WSJ (Yet he refuses to use that very same argument against his own disbelief. From Krauss' own finite perspective on the universe he pretends that his limited knowledge of the universe is the final and correct answer!)
2.We have discovered many more planets around stars in our galaxy than we previously imagined, and many more forms of life existing in extreme environments in our planet than were known when early estimates of the frequency of life in the universe were first made.  If anything, the odds have increased, not decreased. (This is untrue, unless he's found life on any of those planets. It just further proves that even with new planes being found they still need "at least" the 200 conditions to exist. More planets found that don't sustain life doesn't help his point, it further disproves it! All these extra planets and yet the proof of what life needs to exist still holds.)

3. The Universe would certainly continue to exist even if the strength of the four known forces was different.  It is true that if the forces had vastly different strengths (nowhere near as tiny as the fine-scale variation asserted by the writer) then life as we know it would probably not evolved.  This is more likely an example of life being fine-tuned for the universe in which it evolved, rather than the other way around. (This is nothing more than a hope presented as fact which is why he has to use words like "if, probably, or likely" as he has no clue, he just doesn't like the "other" answer.

My ASU colleague Paul Davies may have said that “the appearance of design is overwhelming”, but his statement should not be misinterpreted. (See what he's doing her, Krauss is putting HIS words in Davies mouth.)  The appearance of design of life on Earth is also overwhelming, (Whoa, he agrees that design is overwhelming) but we now understand, thanks to Charles Darwin (again not scientifically proven, just unproven opinion as Darwin's "theory" is just that, unproven dogma) that the appearance of design is not the same as design, it is in fact a remnant of the remarkable efficiency of natural selection. (He quotes Darwin as if his theory is scientific whereas science today science knows that Darwin was wrong about his (warm little pond theory, the "supposed simplicity" of the cell, Darwin's ideas about the information inside the cell, His expectation of intermediate fossils that have never been found, His FAILURE to see the limits of variations of species, Darwin's discounting of the Cambrian explosion, his theory of homology, his theory of human beings evolving from apes, his theory of the tree of life, and his rejection of biblical creation by God, which Darwin said;
Some of those who admit the principle of evolution, but reject natural selection, seem to forget, when criticizing my book, that I had the above two objects in view; hence if I have erred in giving to natural selection great power, which I am very far from admitting, or in having exaggerated its power, which is in itself probable, I have at least, as I hope, done good service in aiding to overthrow the dogma of separate creations" ( The Descent of Man,1871, p. 92).
Notice that the first reason for writing his book was religious —for he sought "to overthrow the dogma of separate creations." In other words, he had no room for a religious version of origins involving the Creator God of the Bible. He promoted the idea that the world of matter and energy, mainly through natural selection and variation, might well account for all life we see around us—a philosophy of science known as scientific materialism.

Religious arguments for the existence of God thinly veiled as scientific arguments do a disservice to both science and religion, and by allowing a Christian apologist to masquerade as a scientist WSJ did a disservice to its readers. (Which is EXACTLY what Krauss does by presenting evolution as a scientific argument when it's nothing more than an unproven , scientifically discounted theory.)

Nothing he's presented is a scientific annulment of the 200 (or more as Krauss implies in point #2) conditions required to support life. In fact he doesn't deny them concerning our universe, he just proposes an alternate "theory" to support "his" pet religion, atheism. He just has a bunch of hopes and dreams presented as scientific fact, none of which is provable. Unlike the (at minimum) 200 points of scientific fact on what is required to sustain life, none of his theories are observable, testable, or repeatable...science 101.
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03-01-2015, 12:03 AM (This post was last modified: 03-01-2015 12:12 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: science makes case for god
You can send him Sean Carroll's debate with W.L. Craig. He doesn't get that he's playing with fire.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-H6hdjpRRw

There is no way in hell he argues for religion. Carroll is an atheist, Ellis is a Quaker, not a Christian. Whether Krauss succeeds or fails is basically irrelevant.
He is not required to provide "ultimate answers" to anything. All he has to do is point out stupid arguments. "We don't know yet" is a perfectly acceptable answer.
Your father's entire rant about Physics is essentially a "god of the gaps" argument. He's got no better answer, so he *needs* to plug in a god,
(secondary to his low ambiguity tolerance, and need for cognitive closure).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambiguity_tolerance
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closure_%28psychology%29

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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03-01-2015, 12:22 AM
RE: science makes case for god
(03-01-2015 12:03 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  You can send him Sean Carroll's debate with W.L. Craig. He doesn't get that he's playing with fire.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-H6hdjpRRw

There is no way in hell he argues for religion. Carroll is an atheist, Ellis is a Quaker, not a Christian. Whether Krauss succeeds or fails is basically irrelevant.
He is not required to provide "ultimate answers" to anything. All he has to do is point out stupid arguments. "We don't know yet" is a perfectly acceptable answer.
Your father's entire rant about Physics is essentially a "god of the gaps" argument. He's got no better answer, so he *needs* to plug in a god,
(secondary to his low ambiguity tolerance, and need for cognitive closure).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambiguity_tolerance
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closure_%28psychology%29

I'll try sending it to him. Thanks for the info. I'm a complete amateur at debating. I've never had to debate anyone before and he's been studying subjects that benefit him for a long time. I've never cared enough to engage him in debate until my son was born. Any info is much appreciated.
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03-01-2015, 12:23 AM
RE: science makes case for god
Over a hundred billion galaxies in the universe. Over a hundred billion stars per galaxy. Probably something in the neighborhood of 100 quintillion planets, depending on who's estimating. All this for just us?

If we accept that the universe is a natural phenomenon, without intent or design, then that is simply a horrible waste of space.

However, if we accept that the universe is designed then this can only be described as inept and bungling on a scope incomprehensible to the mortal mind. A design so colossally bad that it would require god-like power to screw it up that utterly.

---
Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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03-01-2015, 12:26 AM
RE: science makes case for god
(03-01-2015 12:22 AM)Ocean theRAPIST Wrote:  
(03-01-2015 12:03 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  You can send him Sean Carroll's debate with W.L. Craig. He doesn't get that he's playing with fire.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-H6hdjpRRw

There is no way in hell he argues for religion. Carroll is an atheist, Ellis is a Quaker, not a Christian. Whether Krauss succeeds or fails is basically irrelevant.
He is not required to provide "ultimate answers" to anything. All he has to do is point out stupid arguments. "We don't know yet" is a perfectly acceptable answer.
Your father's entire rant about Physics is essentially a "god of the gaps" argument. He's got no better answer, so he *needs* to plug in a god,
(secondary to his low ambiguity tolerance, and need for cognitive closure).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambiguity_tolerance
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closure_%28psychology%29

I'll try sending it to him. Thanks for the info. I'm a complete amateur at debating. I've never had to debate anyone before and he's been studying subjects that benefit him for a long time. I've never cared enough to engage him in debate until my son was born. Any info is much appreciated.

Send us his replies. We'll pull them apart.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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03-01-2015, 12:35 AM
RE: science makes case for god
(03-01-2015 12:26 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(03-01-2015 12:22 AM)Ocean theRAPIST Wrote:  I'll try sending it to him. Thanks for the info. I'm a complete amateur at debating. I've never had to debate anyone before and he's been studying subjects that benefit him for a long time. I've never cared enough to engage him in debate until my son was born. Any info is much appreciated.

Send us his replies. We'll pull them apart.

I could start a whole forum on the stuff he comes up with. I wouldn't be surprised if at one point he's been to this page and been banned. He loves to debate. I know he gets kicked out of sports pages all the time.
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03-01-2015, 12:36 AM
RE: science makes case for god
(03-01-2015 12:35 AM)Ocean theRAPIST Wrote:  
(03-01-2015 12:26 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Send us his replies. We'll pull them apart.

I could start a whole forum on the stuff he comes up with. I wouldn't be surprised if at one point he's been to this page and been banned. He loves to debate. I know he gets kicked out of sports pages all the time.

We tend to be good at this. We've had some practice. Tongue

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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03-01-2015, 12:39 AM
RE: science makes case for god
(03-01-2015 12:22 AM)Ocean theRAPIST Wrote:  I'll try sending it to him. Thanks for the info. I'm a complete amateur at debating. I've never had to debate anyone before and he's been studying subjects that benefit him for a long time. I've never cared enough to engage him in debate until my son was born. Any info is much appreciated.

No worries. I doubt that there are many professionals here.

Try browsing The Library. Some good stuff there.

The Elegant Nature of Science thread has some good stuff on it too. This one is long but a fav. This one is shorter but covers many of the more common claims.

And you can always invite him to come visit. We'll even play nice. Some of us. Evil_monster

---
Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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