Explain this…

Posted: September 25, 2013 in God, Life
Tags: ,


Naturalistic evolutionists might come up with a creative explanation for why trees do this, but I challenge them to explain why we find it beautiful…


  1. agnophilo says:

    “Explain this evolutionists! Oh, that’s why that is the way it is… well explain this!”

    Why don’t you explain how god did something for once in 2,000 years.

    • I’m sorry, I don’t understand what you’ve written.

      • agnophilo says:

        You demand people you don’t agree with explain every mystery in the universe and after 2,000 years of discovery you still obnoxiously demand we explain even more, yet don’t ever illuminate anything about what you believe. No one has ever explained how god made anything, ever. But we’ve explained how planets and stars form on their own and countless other things. I just read the other day about how we can trace the evolutionary cause of male hemmeroids back some 300 million years into the fossil record.

        What I am saying is, now you go. It’s your turn. Blow my mind, reveal some deep mystery of nature.

      • I’m not demanding that anyone do “even more.” I am deeply appreciative of scientific discovery and advancement. However, I object to the notion that naturalism has all the answers. The point of my post was that there appear to be features of the world we inhabit which are not reducible to naturalistic causes…the appreciation of aesthetics being one such feature.

      • agnophilo says:

        You are in fact challenging people who don’t agree with you to explain things. And as someone once said, when discussing the meaning of knowledge (that knowledge, as opposed to belief or opinion can be demonstrated, ie I know the earth is round because I can prove it objectively, it isn’t merely my opinion or subjective impression) “science doesn’t know everything, but religions don’t know anything”.

        Literally, they simply believe things, they can’t demonstrate any of them. Which is why they rely on this tearing down of science and bashing of other groups and all these convoluted sort of tactics.

      • I take it as demonstrable that the universe exhibits evidence of design which therefore requires the existence of a designer. This evidence is found in a variety of things which fall into two major categories of irreducible complexity and specified complexity. Such things constitute knowledge as you define it. But do not make the mistake of thinking that belief and opinion are not major factors in scientific thinking.

      • agnophilo says:

        “I take it as demonstrable that the universe exhibits evidence of design which therefore requires the existence of a designer.”

        So demonstrate it. And we know man-made things have a designer because we can watch them being designed. We know the car was designed because we have the patents on file and they sell them in stores and have logos etc, which we know by direct experience, not inference. We do not have a similar experience with a flower or a solar system.

        “This evidence is found in a variety of things which fall into two major categories of irreducible complexity”

        This doesn’t even try test intelligent design (which is how you demonstrate an idea in science, by testing it), it merely attempts to attack evolution. And not only have all of the supposedly irreducibly complex mechanisms given as examples either been shown to be reducibly complex and cobbled together from simpler mechanisms that exist in other parts of the organism or other species, but it was already well understood that irreducibly complex mechanisms can evolve because mutations do not simply add on parts like legos, they also remove old parts and modify parts. Similarly all of the modifications from a simple to a modern computer have made it so that my modern laptop cannot be broken down into a PC from the 80’s. You similarly can’t get a baby or a zygote by chipping parts off of an adult, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t one once.

        “and specified complexity.”

        Circular reasoning. Specified complexity means complexity that is specifically aimed for, in other words it assumes that the particular configuration of life was aimed at by god and then uses this to conclude that it was created by god. Any complex event is incredibly improbable even if it is something as commonplace as dumping a handful of sand out of a car window – the odds of each particular grain landing where it does are so slim that you will never be able to repeat a particular outcome. But it was easy the first time when it was not planned for because, as demski puts it, “land it must”.

        “Such things constitute knowledge as you define it.”

        They really don’t.

        “But do not make the mistake of thinking that belief and opinion are not major factors in scientific thinking.”

        Science is designed to weed them out. A double-blind controlled study makes belief irrelevant – when it’s done a medication either works or it doesn’t regardless of what anyone thinks or believes. A theory can be used to make specific prediction or it can’t.

        There is a line in creationism today that scientists are merely interpreting the same evidence differently than creationists – but that’s not the way science works. In science you don’t dig up a fossil and then speculate about it’s origins (or at least that’s not actual science, it’s speculation). Science is predicting what the next fossil will look like, where it will be geographically, in what environment, with what traits, how old it will be, where it will fall chronologically in the fossil record etc. Archeopteryx had traits unseen at that time that darwin specifically predicted. Whale intermediate fossils matched perfectly what the scientists who found them for had predicted. The first mammals had just the kinds of teeth predicted by paleontologists, as did did countless others. When they found tiktaalik they weren’t just stumbling around, they were specifically looking in a particular environment from a particular geological era for that specific type of intermediate creature.

      • So I take it you are familiar with the work of Dembski and Meyers?

      • agnophilo says:

        Yes. The only reason they ever saw the light of day, riddled with flaws and false assumptions as they were, is that both authors bypassed or ignored the peer review process before publishing their ideas for consumption by non-scientists.

      • Well, we are at in impasse, then. Anything that attempts to do the very thing you insist must be done, you immediately dismiss with insults. Both Meyers and Dembski have done careful work which has been reviewed and lauded by many respected scientists. The work of intelligent design theorists such as Michael Behe, a highly respected molecular biologist, has been published in peer reviewed journals. Your dismissal of the entirety of their work is both ill-informed and highly prejudiced. Of course, to be fair, my acceptance of their work is also prejudiced. And that seems to be the essential problem, doesn’t it? Our prejudices tend to muddy the waters. However, you should know that I do not dismiss all the work of evolutionists. I happen to think that some aspects of evolutionary theory do explain a number of observable phenomenon…just not all observable phenomenon. Your presuppositions, on the other hand, appear to categorically dismiss everyone who feels that theistic explanations may be required to adequately explain certain phenomenon.

        I would be happy to continue this interchange, but only if you are really interested in conversing. Contrary to what you might think, I am not ignorant or a blind fool and I see no point in spending time on a conversation with someone who is uninterested in really debating key issues. I have had many enjoyable and profitable discussions with real scientists on this subject. We haven’t always ended up in agreement but the conversations have been respectful and enlightening. Sometimes I have learned important things and sometimes they have learned some things that they seemed genuinely pleased to have understood.

        If you would really like to explore this issue, why don’t you make a positive assertion and we can discuss it?

      • agnophilo says:

        I am not sure if this is your blog, if so the above comment is a reply to you.

  2. agnophilo says:

    I don’t believe that anyone who disagrees with me is automatically wrong, I think those specific people are wrong for specific reasons which I have elaborated on. Your broad, negative comments about me are unfounded. I was giving facts and arguments (that those two men bypassed the peer review process and went straight to the book tour is also a fact), you started in with personal attacks directed at me and ignored the substance of everything I had written.

    • I apologize. I felt that you were making broad, negative comments about me and all those who hold similar position to mine, but perhaps I responded in precisely the way I faulted you for responding. I am sorry for all my negative comments about you.

      So let’s try this: what kind of hypothetical evidence for intelligent design would you find worthy of contemplation? I ask only because, based on your earlier comments, I am honestly at a loss as to what kind of thing you would consider admissible.

      • agnophilo says:

        Apology accepted. I am sorry you felt that way and I try not to generalize about anybody. I don’t have a great deal of respect for the leaders of the ID movement but not because they don’t agree with me, but because of some of the specific tactics their movement employs.

        As for your question it is a genuinely hard question. We know man-made things are man-made by experience, not by logical inference, so I suppose if we had experience of a god creating matter or stars or something it would be logical evidence of the likelihood of other similar things being created. The problem with the idea of intelligent design from a scientific point of view is that there is no real way to test it because there is nothing that has to be true or can’t be true if something is “intelligently designed”. It has no parameters and is simply not specific enough to test. For instance to step away from intelligent design by a god for a moment, what experiment could we perform to test whether the solar system was created by an all powerful genie? If we want to know if x being did y thing then we must know about x being, it’s nature, it’s limitations etc. So if we were homicide detectives and we want to test the hypothesis that bob killed steve for instance we need two things – 1) we need to know something about bob (like say his fingerprints, his DNA, whereabouts the night of the crime etc) and 2) we need to have some evidence to compare that to to test our hypothesis. We automatically know a lot about bob because we know he’s human and we know a lot about humans so that helps. So for instance if there’s an explosion and steve was found with a charred knife stuck through his chest and we wanted to know if bob killed steve or if the explosion propelled the knife, we can test that a number of ways. We know how strong the average human is and can test with say a dead pig how hard and deep the average person can thrust a knife into muscle and bone and see if that’s consistent with our bob-killed-steve hypothesis. Or we can test whether there is residue from the explosion inside the knife wound, indicating the knife was charred before it went into steve. And so on and so forth. And the more ways we can test our hypothesis the better the case for it.

        But we don’t know anything about yahweh or the god of deism so we can’t test it in the same way. It’s not like we can call god on the phone and have him create some matter so we can test that against the matter we see in the universe.

        So we have these more diffuse arguments about a creator being necessary for existence or a designer being necessary for something to be complex. But that doesn’t make any sense because a god would have to exist without being created and be complicated without being designed which contradicts the whole necessity part of the argument. At some point you have complexity either existing or arising without conscious design, and something existing without a creator. So why assume a creator? To me it’s like finding a micro-chip on a beach and saying it must have been designed by a super-computer. It ignores the obvious problem of where did the super-computer come from.

        I’ve never found an argument for an intelligent designer or a creator that made sense to me. And short of directly experiencing a creative being the way we directly experience people making things I don’t see how you could demonstrate it.

        Plus in nature there are lots of things that don’t seem very intelligently designed like wisdom teeth and the appendix. Then there’s natural selection (we see life changing all around us and actually understand much of how it is being perpetually re-designed by natural processes) and the fact that rather than being built up from the outside like we would build a machine living things are all self-assembling and are not necessarily comparable to man-made things. For instance we know no god built you, you grew out of an embryo. This is indisputable even if a god built one of your ancestors a long time ago. So it’s not a solid comparison to compare a flower or a person to a flat screen tv.

    • And for what its worth, here is a partial list of articles published in peer-reviewed scientific journals which are supportive of intelligent design theory:

      • Joseph A. Kuhn, “Dissecting Darwinism,” Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings, Vol. 25(1): 41-47 (2012).
      • David L. Abel, “Is Life Unique?,” Life, Vol. 2:106-134 (2012).
      • Douglas D. Axe, Philip Lu, and Stephanie Flatau, “A Stylus-Generated Artificial Genome with Analogy to Minimal Bacterial Genomes,” BIO-Complexity, Vol. 2011(3) (2011).
      • Stephen C. Meyer and Paul A. Nelson, “Can the Origin of the Genetic Code Be Explained by Direct RNA Templating?,” BIO-Complexity, Vol. 2011(2) (2011).
      • Ann K. Gauger and Douglas D. Axe, “The Evolutionary Accessibility of New Enzyme Functions: A Case Study from the Biotin Pathway,” BIO-Complexity, Vol. 2011(1) (2011).
      • Ann K. Gauger, Stephanie Ebnet, Pamela F. Fahey, and Ralph Seelke, “Reductive Evolution Can Prevent Populations from Taking Simple Adaptive Paths to High Fitness,” BIO-Complexity, Vol. 2010 (2) (2010).
      • Michael J. Behe, “Experimental Evolution, Loss-of-Function Mutations, and ‘The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution,’” The Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 85(4):1-27 (December 2010).
      • Douglas D. Axe, “The Limits of Complex Adaptation: An Analysis Based on a Simple Model of Structured Bacterial Populations,” BIO-Complexity, Vol. 2010(4):1 (2010).
      • Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig, “Mutagenesis in Physalis pubescens L. ssp. floridana: Some further research on Dollo’s Law and the Law of Recurrent Variation,”Floriculture and Ornamental Biotechnology, 1-21 (2010).
      • George Montañez, Winston Ewert, William A. Dembski, and Robert J. Marks II, “A Vivisection of the ev Computer Organism: Identifying Sources of Active Information,” BIO-Complexity, Vol. 2010(3) (2010).
      • William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II, “The Search for a Search: Measuring the Information Cost of Higher Level Search,” Journal of Advanced Computational Intelligence and Intelligent Informatics, Vol. 14 (5):475-486 (2010).
      • Douglas D. Axe, “The Case Against a Darwinian Origin of Protein Folds,” BIO-Complexity, Vol. 2010 (1) (2010).
      • Winston Ewert, George Montañez, William Dembski and Robert J. Marks II, “Efficient Per Query Information Extraction from a Hamming Oracle,” 42nd South Eastern Symposium on System Theory, pp. 290-297 (March, 2010).
      • David L. Abel, “Constraints vs Controls,” The Open Cybernetics and Systemics Journal, Vol. 4:14-27 (January 20, 2010).
      • David L. Abel, “The GS (genetic selection) Principle,” Frontiers in Bioscience, Vol. 14:2959-2969 (January 1, 2010).
      • D. Halsmer, J. Asper, N. Roman, and T. Todd, “The Coherence of an Engineered World,” International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics, Vol. 4(1):47–65 (2009).
      • Winston Ewert, William A. Dembski, and Robert J. Marks II, “Evolutionary Synthesis of Nand Logic: Dissecting a Digital Organism,” Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, pp. 3047-3053 (October, 2009).
      • William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II, “Bernoulli’s Principle of Insufficient Reason and Conservation of Information in Computer Search,” Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, pp. 2647 – 2652 (October, 2009).
      • William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II, “Conservation of Information in Search: Measuring the Cost of Success,” IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics-Part A: Systems and Humans, Vol. 39(5):1051-1061 (September, 2009).
      • David L. Abel, “The Universal Plausibility Metric (UPM) & Principle (UPP),”Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling, Vol. 6(27) (2009).
      • David L. Abel, “The Capabilities of Chaos and Complexity,” International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Vol. 10:247-291 (2009).
      • David L. Abel, “The biosemiosis of prescriptive information,” Semiotica, Vol. 174(1/4):1-19 (2009).
      • A. C. McIntosh, “Information and Entropy – Top-Down or Bottom-Up Development in Living Systems,” International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics, Vol. 4(4):351-385 (2009).
      • A.C. McIntosh, “Evidence of design in bird feathers and avian respiration,”International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics, Vol. 4(2):154–169 (2009).
      • Richard v. Sternberg, “DNA Codes and Information: Formal Structures and Relational Causes,” Acta Biotheoretica, Vol. 56(3):205-232 (September, 2008).
      • Douglas D. Axe, Brendan W. Dixon, Philip Lu, “Stylus: A System for Evolutionary Experimentation Based on a Protein/Proteome Model with Non-Arbitrary Functional Constraints,” PLoS One, Vol. 3(6):e2246 (June 2008).
      • David L. Abel, “Complexity, self-organization, and emergence at the edge of chaos in life-origin models,” Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, Vol. 93:1-20 (2007).
      • David L. Abel and Jack T. Trevors, “More than Metaphor: Genomes Are Objective Sign Systems,” Journal of BioSemiotics, Vol. 1(2):253-267 (2006).
      • Kirk Durston and David K. Y. Chiu, “A Functional Entropy Model for Biological Sequences,” Dynamics of Continuous, Discrete & Impulsive Systems: Series B Supplement (2005).
      • Michael Behe and David W. Snoke, “Simulating evolution by gene duplication of protein features that require multiple amino acid residues,” Protein Science, Vol. 13 (2004).

      • agnophilo says:

        This list is deceptive, as I said before in science ideas are supported by testing the idea in question – not by attacking another idea. Einstein didn’t attack newtonian physics and then declare relativity therefore proven, he found a way to test his theory of relativity (many ways actually). These are, as far as I can tell, all attacks against evolution, they neither put forth nor attempt to test an alternative model.

      • If they are as lacking in scientific substance as you say then why were they accepted in peer reviewed scientific journals?

      • agnophilo says:

        I didn’t say they’re lacking in substance, I said they’re being cited as support for a model they don’t put forth attempt to test in any way. The articles are real and the journals are real – the discovery institute’s characterizing them as support for their movement however is inaccurate.

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