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#476041 - 10/15/01 06:28 PM Re: Bill Mahrer, Marr, Mahr, ... whatever
Talon T M Offline
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Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 702
Quote:
Originally posted by Charles Reece:
The possibility of positing such a thing belies the content of what's posited. How could you be claiming this without there being a human artifice, namely language, allowing you to do it? Consequently, humanity must be extant for you to deny it. Therefore, you now have a rational reason (and I could give more) for believing in the existence of humanity.

[This message has been edited by Charles Reece (edited 10-15-2001).]


And why couldn't this have been posited by a race of Giant Bunnies?

Or a smattering of random electrons simulating language?

Or God himself?

TTM
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#476042 - 10/15/01 06:39 PM Re: Bill Mahrer, Marr, Mahr, ... whatever
Charles Reece Offline
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Registered: 08/18/99
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Well, I don't know. Are you any of those things?
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#476043 - 10/15/01 07:05 PM Re: Bill Mahrer, Marr, Mahr, ... whatever
Talon T M Offline
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Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 702
Quote:
Originally posted by Charles Reece:
Well, I don't know. Are you any of those things?


Hey! Who said that?

TTM
_________________________
TTM
"I am well aware of you. You are surplus to requirements here. Stick to the Comicon zoo. " -- Warren Ellis

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#476044 - 10/16/01 01:45 AM Re: Bill Mahrer, Marr, Mahr, ... whatever
Kal Offline
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Registered: 09/25/01
Posts: 113
I think the logic in the design argument is this...

We have the ability to observe occurrences in the physical universe. By repeated observation, experiment and measurement, we gain knowledge about how things work. (This is sometimes called ‘science’. [img]/resources/ubb/smile.gif[/img])

One principle that we see in action every day of our lives is that when we put our human intellect and creativity to work, we can produce order and design — a comic book for example. Alternatively, when we witness an accident — such as an artist accidentally knocking a container of ink over their semi-completed page — we know to expect a result that lacks order and design. This is simply an irrefutable observation. We are all familiar with it.

Now applying that same principle to the natural world (by natural, I mean that which humans have not created) it seems logical that much of what we see has at some stage been ‘designed’. You don’t have to look further than your own hand. It is an incredible tool. A human hand can be used to perform tasks ranging from lifting a heavy rock, to performing piano concerto. It’s tough enough to use in a game of tug-of-war or basketball and yet sensitive enough to pick a lock or perform brain surgery. Doesn’t the nature of such a device point to a designer?

Some people have suggested that since a universal designer would logically be more ‘complex’ than the created universe, that such an entity would be subject to the same argument. This is to first make the assumption that the designer is operating under the same conditions as the physical universe. If the entire physical universe is a creation of a non-physical entity, why would that entity be subject to the physical laws it created? This is faulty human reasoning. ‘End of story.’

Even the proponents of this view will tell you (when it suits their argument) that God is not subject to science in that he can’t be directly observed, experimented upon and measured. So how can you try and apply the same physical laws to God?

The idea that the complexity of design that we see in nature could have arisen by accident (even assuming that we somehow have matter and energy in the first place) sits uncomfortably with the observable, provable, measurable fact that randomness doesn’t create order and complexity.

Edited to fix typo.

[This message has been edited by Kal (edited 10-16-2001).]

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#476045 - 10/16/01 03:14 AM Re: Bill Mahrer, Marr, Mahr, ... whatever
Charles Reece Offline
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Registered: 08/18/99
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By your admission, the analogy of an intelligent designer behind a purposive design is nonapplicable to a god. You can't use rationality to argue for a god and, then, upon the arrival of said god in the argument suddenly throw up your hands, claiming "well, God's beyond rationality, end of rational inquiry." That's a bad argument.

Accept fideism; Sam does.
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#476046 - 10/16/01 03:49 AM Re: Bill Mahrer, Marr, Mahr, ... whatever
Kal Offline
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Registered: 09/25/01
Posts: 113
Please re-read my argument Charles. I am not arguing against rationalizing anything. I said that you cannot apply the laws governing the physical universe to a non-physical God. The laws still apply to the physical evidence — evidence which I maintain points to a God.

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#476047 - 10/16/01 03:58 AM Re: Bill Mahrer, Marr, Mahr, ... whatever
Kal Offline
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Registered: 09/25/01
Posts: 113
On the contrary, I am appealing to rationality. I am saying that it is IRRATIONAL to say that God, if he exists, is subject to the same physical laws that he subjected his creation to. That's like saying a comic book artist is trapped in two dimensions.

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#476048 - 10/16/01 04:58 AM Re: Bill Mahrer, Marr, Mahr, ... whatever
Samuel Catalino Offline
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Registered: 04/04/99
Posts: 4447
Actually, I was saying the only rational thoughts were to doubt the existence of God or to believe in existence of God.

That is because we are finite beings. We can not prove God exists or that God does not.
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#476049 - 10/16/01 04:41 PM Re: Bill Mahrer, Marr, Mahr, ... whatever
Pat ONeill Offline
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Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 3064
Loc: PA, USA
Kal:

Many scientists--notably Stephen Jay Gould--say just the opposite: That it is the very sloppiness of the natural world that argues for natural selection as opposed to a primary designer.

Read Gould's collection of essays The Panda's Thumb. In the title essay, Gould demonstrates that the panda's "thumb" is actually an outsized bone of the wrist in all other mammals of its class--but the evolutionary need for grasping developed that bone into something approximating the opposable thumb in primates. Now--why would an intelligent designer not simply give the panda a real opposable thumb, instead of this make-shift, jerry-rigged substitute?

The scientific, evolution-based answer: The panda's forebears (excuse the joke) had a paw that could not develop an opposable thumb, unlike the line of mammals that primates came from. So evolution works on what's available; but an "intelligent designer" would simply have scrapped the original plan and built a new one.
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#476050 - 10/18/01 03:14 AM Re: Bill Mahrer, Marr, Mahr, ... whatever
Kal Offline
Member

Registered: 09/25/01
Posts: 113
Thanks for the reference Pat.

It does seem though that people (including scientists) will often interpret evidence in such a way as to support their preconceived views. Evolutionists will also argue that similar features among different species is evidence of a common ancestor, whereas in the example you quote variation is maintained to represent evidence of randomness at work. Neither arguments nullify my previous observation that randomness doesn’t produce order and complexity.

I happen to think wings on birds are a fantastic feature, and yet I don’t have wings. Does that mean I am fundamentally flawed, and therefore not the product of intelligent design?

Regarding the supposed “sloppiness” of the natural world, I’m not sure Stephen Jay Gould lives on the same world I do. Consider:

Amazing maneuverability: “Dragonflies can reach speeds of up to 30 mph - and they can stop, start and reverse direction apparently instantaneously.” (http://www.pbs.org/saf/transcripts/transcript402.htm) Compare a dragon-fly to a helicopter. No one questions that the helicopter has a designer. Is it so irrational to think the dragon-fly might have one too?

Unparalleled propulsion: “Fish can accelerate incredibly rapidly. A pike can accelerate at over 150 metres per second squared. For all you motorheads out there, that's the equivalent of doing the 0-100 km/h burnout, not in 5 seconds, but in one-fifth of a second!” (http://home.vicnet.net.au/~einstein/robotuna.htm)

Efficient heating: “Through a highly developed circulatory thermal exchange system known as the rete mirable or ‘miraculous network,’ bluefins [tuna] maintain body temperature of 24 to 35 degrees C, though they inhabit waters ranging as low as 6 degrees C.” (http://www.seaweb.org/background/safina2.html)

Creative hunting: This one’s almost unbelievable. If you’ve ever seen footage of this you’ll know what I mean. “The Bola spider catches its prey by creating a poison sticky mixture and attaching it to a web. It then throws it's lasso at an insect who flies into the spider's range.” (http://www.exchangedlife.com/Creation/thehunt.htm)

Energy efficient housing: Various species of ants and termites work together in their colonies to produce complex structures, far beyond the intellectual capability of any insect. “[The African Macrotermes Bellicosus] termites build the largest non-manmade structures in the world. If they were the equivalent size of man, their tower would be 180 stories high. ... The M. Bellicosus termite’s structure is so climate efficient that it maintains a constant temperature of 88-89 degrees in the growing chambers...” (http://www.exchangedlife.com/Creation/african_macroterm.htm)

I defy anyone to call this “sloppy” engineering. [img]/resources/ubb/smile.gif[/img]

[This message has been edited by Kal (edited 10-18-2001).]

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