Why Trust Reason if You’re an Atheist?

If you read the threads of several of the blog entries on this site, you will see both atheists and Christians charging one another with committing “logical fallacies.”  The assumption both sides are making is that there is this objective realm of reason out there that: 1) we all have access to; 2) tells us the truth about the real world; and 3) is something we ought to use correctly if we want to know the truth. I think those are good assumptions.  My question for the atheists is how do you justify these assumptions if there is no God? 

If atheistic materialism is true, it seems to me that reason itself is impossible. For if mental processes are nothing but chemical reactions in the brain, then there is no reason to believe that anything is true (including the theory of materialism). Chemicals can’t evaluate whether or not a theory is true. Chemicals don’t reason, they react.  

This is ironic because atheistswho often claim to be champions of truth and reason– have made truth and reason impossible by their theory of materialism. So even when atheists are right about something, their worldview gives us no reason to believe them because reason itself is impossible in a world governed only by chemical and physical forces. 

Not only is reason impossible in an atheistic world, but the typical atheist assertion that we should rely on reason alone cannot be justified. Why not? Because reason actually requires faith. As J. Budziszewski points out in his book What We Can’t Not Know, “The motto ‘Reason Alone!’ is nonsense anyway. Reason itself presupposes faith. Why? Because a defense of reason by reason is circular, therefore worthless. Our only guarantee that human reason works is God who made it. 

Let’s unpack Budziszewskis point by considering the source of reason. Our ability to reason can come from one of only two sources: either our ability to reason arose from preexisting intelligence or it did not, in which case it arose from mindless matter. The atheists/Darwinists/materialists believe, by faith, that our minds arose from mindless matter without intelligent intervention. I say “by faith” because it contradicts all scientific observation, which demonstrates that an effect cannot be greater than its cause. You can’t give what you haven’t got, yet atheists believe that dead, unintelligent matter has produced itself into intelligent life. This is like believing that the Library of Congress resulted from an explosion in a printing shop. 

I think it makes much more sense to believe that the human mind is made in the image of the Great Mind– God. In other words, our minds can apprehend truth and can reason about reality because they were built by the Architect of truth, reality, and reason itself.

So I have two questions for atheists:  1) What is the source of this immaterial reality known as reason that we are all presupposing, utilizing in our discussions, and accusing one other of violating on occasion?; and 2) If there is no God and we are nothing but chemicals, why should we trust anything we think, including the thought that there is no God?

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116 replies
  1. db0 says:

    I say “by faith” because it contradicts all scientific observation, which demonstrates that an effect cannot be greater than its cause. You can=t give what you haven=t got, yet atheists believe that dead, unintelligent matter has produced itself into intelligent life.

    Once again you fall upon the roadblock of Evolution.
    Evolution proves something complex can evolve from something simpler.

    We are not certain how dead matter turned into organic but there are many theories, some more plausible than others.

    What is the source of this immaterial reality known as reason that we are all presupposing, utilizing in our discussions, and accusing one other of violating on occasion?

    Reason exists as a result of a sufficiently complex brain.

    If there is no God and we are nothing but chemicals, why should we trust anything we think, including the thought that there is no God?

    Because it’s proven useful.

    Reply
  2. Frank Turek says:

    db0:

    The brain accesses reason but is not the source of reason. What is the source of reason?

    So you believe atheism because it is useful, not because you can know it to be true. Is that what you’re saying?

    Blessings,

    Frank Turek

    Reply
  3. db0 says:

    The brain accesses reason but is not the source of reason. What is the source of reason?

    The Brain is the source of reason along with the rest of our mental faculties. I am not certain what you mean that it “accesses” reason.

    So you believe atheism because it is useful, not because you can know it to be true. Is that what you’re saying?

    That was not your question.
    You asked “Why should we trust anything we think” and I answer: “because trusting in what we think has proven useful overall”

    As a matter of fact, I do not “believe in atheism”. I just don’t believe that any gods exist.

    Reply
  4. Dave says:

    FRANK:
    If atheistic materialism is true, it seems to me that reason itself is impossible. For if mental processes are nothing but chemical reactions in the brain, then there is no reason to believe that anything is true (including the theory of materialism).

    DAVE:
    Note the key words there: IT SEEMS TO ME. You haven’t made an argument, you’ve just said that it SEEMS to you that materialistic consciousness cannot exist. Your own incredulity is not a sufficient argument against materialism.

    FRANK:
    Reason itself presupposes faith. Why? Because a defense of reason by reason is circular, therefore worthless.

    DAVE:
    Is that a reasoned argument on your part? If not, we have no reason to listen to it. If so, then you’re presupposing reason, and thus have falsified your own argument.

    FRANK:
    Our only guarantee that human reason works is God who made it.

    DAVE:
    And what is your basis for saying that God is reliable on such matters? You can’t say God, because the reliability of God is precisely what is at issue, and you can’t say your own reason, because until we’ve established God as reliable we have no reason to trust reason. Unless, of course, you’re completely wrong.

    There’s more I feel like saying but I’m out of time.

    Reply
  5. Chicken Girl says:

    The rules of logic are what they are for the same reason the rules of mathematics are what they are. 1+1=2, not 3, and some conclusions logically follow from their premises, and some do not. I suppose you could insist that 1+1=2 because of a divine decree, but 1+1 still =2 regardless of how you suppose the universe came to be. Reason, the human application of logic, naturally follows from this.

    Ultimately, I think the issue is that we atheists are applying Occam’s Razor and you are not. We think the universe can just exist without a bearded angry white man poofing it into existence, and consequently we also think that 1+1 can =2 because it just does, not because a bearded angry white man says it does.

    Reply
  6. Frank Turek says:

    dB0,

    If there were no human brains, there would still be the laws of logic. Human brains have the ability to access or use the laws of logic, but they do not determine the laws of logic. They exist immaterially beyond our minds. By the very laws of logic we are discussing, if you don’t believe in any gods, then you are an atheist. My question is, if there is no God (or gods as you say), then what is the source of these immaterial laws?

    Dave,

    “It seems to me” was my way of saying “perhaps I’m missing something.” So what am I missing? How can an immaterial reality such as the laws of logic exist in a world that is only material?

    And yes, I have faith in reason. And apparently so do you.

    Evidence for the existence of God is not limited to the laws of logic. The laws of logic are but one line of evidence (others we have discussed are in the post “Darwinists Have a Lot of Explaining to Do” as well as several others). I’m saying that a theistic universe can account for the laws of logic, but an atheistic universe cannot. If I am wrong, please tell me how an atheistic universe can account for the laws of logic.

    Chicken Girl,

    Welcome to the blog. Thanks for your post.

    But we are not talking about a bearded angry man. We are talking about an immaterial, eternal, spaceless, powerful, intelligent, moral, and personal Being that brought time, space and matter into being from nothing as evidenced by the cosmological, teleological and moral arguments (see previous posts). For us to see who is more faithful to Occam’s Razor, you need to posit a cause for the laws of logic. What is your cause?

    Blessings,

    Frank Turek

    Reply
  7. db0 says:

    If there were no human brains, there would still be the laws of logic.

    Ok, before I answer, please define “laws of logic”.
    I did not bring “laws of logic” into the discussion (you may not have noticed that this was Chicken Girl’s reply, not mine) and it is not part of my argument.

    Nevertheless, if I were to replace “Logic” with “Mathematics” in your question I would say that they did not come from anyone.
    I would assume that the ability to grasp mathematics is also a result of our brain complexity.
    Yes, mathematical rules are discovered but that does not imply a creator.

    Reply
  8. Frank Turek says:

    db0,

    We are using the laws of logic, for example:
    1) The law of identity (A is A)
    2) The law of the excluded middle (either A or non-A)
    3) The law of non-contradiction (opposite ideas cannot both be true at the same time in the same sense)

    These are the first principles of all thought. The laws of logic are to thinking and reasoning to what your eyes are to seeing. They are immaterial laws independent of our minds. So even if there were no human beings, that would not affect the laws of logic. Before humans, a creature would either be, say, a T-Rex or a non-T Rex. In other words, the laws of logic are independent of our “brain complexity.” Our brain complexity may be how we KNOW the laws of logic, but they do not EXPLAIN the EXISTENCE of the laws of logic.

    How can these immaterial laws exist in an atheistic universe were only materials exist? What is the cause of these orderly immaterial laws?

    Blessings,

    Frank Turek

    Reply
  9. Dave says:

    Frank,

    By your statements, it is clear that you take logic to be in some way contingent upon God. If logic is contingent upon God, then God can change logic — arrange for violations of, for instance, the law of identity. Obviously that is not the case — not even God can make A not be A, or make both A and ~A obtain. One is forced, even by the act of arguing the contrary, to concede that the laws of logic are necessary truths. Therefore, just by arguing for God’s existence, you have conceded his nonexistence.

    Reply
  10. Frank Turek says:

    Hi Dave,

    I don’t think God can change logic any more than he can change morality. Those immaterial attributes flow from his unchanging nature. It is possible that God could have created, say, the physical constants of the universe differently because physicality is not part of his unchanging nature. But not logic.

    So you are correct that God cannot make A = non A. But I don’t see how that argues for his nonexistence. To the contrary, logic argues FOR his existence because his unchanging nature is the source of unchanging logic. What is the source from an atheistic perspective?

    Blessings,

    Frank Turek

    Reply
  11. Dave says:

    FRANK:
    I don’t think God can change logic any more than he can change morality. Those immaterial attributes flow from his unchanging nature. It is possible that God could have created, say, the physical constants of the universe differently because physicality is not part of his unchanging nature. But not logic. So you are correct that God cannot make A = non A. But I don’t see how that argues for his nonexistence. To the contrary, logic argues FOR his existence because his unchanging nature is the source of unchanging logic.

    DAVE:
    So you’re saying that logic is contingent upon God’s nature, not upon his volition.

    But then logic is still contingent.

    So, once again, you’ve conceded God’s nonexistence.

    Reply
  12. Dave says:

    Oh, I nearly forgot:

    FRANK:
    What is the source from an atheistic perspective?

    DAVE:
    North of the north pole. If you understand that answer, then you’ll understand why your argument from logic (and abstract objects in general) fails. If not, then I don’t know what to tell you, other than that you need a remedial course in basic philosophy.

    Reply
  13. Frank Turek says:

    Hi Dave,

    Maybe all those courses in philosophy didn’t sink in. I apologize. But please save the snide putdowns Dave. It only makes you look petty and does nothing to advance the discussion. If you have no cause for an immaterial logic in your materialistic universe, then say so. If you have a cause, then I’d like to hear what it is.

    BTW, God’s will is an attribute of his nature.

    Blessings,

    Frank Turek

    Reply
  14. Dave says:

    FRANK:
    Maybe all those courses in philosophy didn’t sink in. I apologize.

    DAVE:
    You mean you actually took courses? Man, I’d ask for your money back.

    FRANK:
    But please save the snide putdowns Dave. It only makes you look petty and does nothing to advance the discussion.

    DAVE:
    What discussion? You have no idea what you’re talking about. As for snide putdowns, from what I’ve seen in my browsings through your website, it consists of little else.

    FRANK:
    If you have no cause for an immaterial logic in your materialistic universe, then say so. If you have a cause, then I’d like to hear what it is.

    DAVE:
    Suggesting that the laws of logic might have a cause is tantamount to suggesting that they are contingent. So, for the third time this evening, you’ve conceded God’s nonexistence.

    FRANK:
    BTW, God’s will is an attribute of his nature.

    DAVE:
    What God? You’ve tacitly admitted that God doesn’t exist. And even if not, I have no idea what you were trying to accomplish with that statement.

    Reply
  15. Frank Turek says:

    Dave,

    Most of your comments are very good, so I take issue with you saying this site is all about snide putdowns. It has been rare from you and others.

    I’m trying to understand your argument about why you think I’ve conceded God’s nonexistence. If you want to call me stupid and tell me to take more philosophy classes, that will not help matters. Please explain your argument another way.

    Thanks,

    Frank Turek

    Reply
  16. Dave says:

    FRANK:
    Most of your comments are very good, so I take issue with you saying this site is all about snide putdowns. It has been rare from you and others.

    DAVE:
    Guess I’m one of the first, then.

    FRANK:
    I’m trying to understand your argument about why you think I’ve conceded God’s nonexistence. If you want to call me stupid and tell me to take more philosophy classes, that will not help matters. Please explain your argument another way.

    DAVE:
    I’ll try. If logic depends upon something else for its existence — whether it be God’s nature or God’s will or a human’s will or key lime pie, anything at all — then logic is contingent. However, all human discourse, including making the assertion that logic is contingent, presupposes not only that logic is true but that logic is necessarily true. Therefore, human discourse presupposes the nonexistence of any entity which is defined in such a way that logic is contingent upon it — and since you have defined God in such a way, you presuppose God’s existence even by arguing for it.

    Reply
  17. Paul Henri says:

    Frank,

    I think God can change logic, for he is all powerful. Your interrogators are ignoring your point that random chemical reactions and logic are unrelated. Quantum mechanics and electrons existing in two places at the same time should be sufficient to question the logic that atheists believe in.

    Paul

    Reply
  18. Howard says:

    Dave is saying that the laws of logic must be First Propositions, self-evident, not up for discussion, no matter where we go from there. Why? Because if it were possible for A and Not A to simultaneously be true, then words like “be” and “true” cease to have any meaning. The human mind can conceive of such a place in principle, but there could be no rational thought or discussion about it.

    This is an article of faith, as far as I can tell. I don’t know of any reason why reality has to be constrained to the limits of human discourse. However, I too hold to this article of faith, because it would be impossible to reason, to conclude, to understand anything, without it.

    Actually, I can think of one reason why reality might be constrained in this way: God decided it would be so He could gift us with the facility of reason.

    Reply
  19. Dave says:

    PAUL:
    I think God can change logic, for he is all powerful.

    DAVE:
    Don’t look now, Paul, but you’ve just conceded the nonexistence of God yourself.

    PAUL:
    Your interrogators are ignoring your point that random chemical reactions and logic are unrelated.

    DAVE:
    You’re half right — the former is subject to the latter, but not the reverse.

    PAUL:
    Quantum mechanics and electrons existing in two places at the same time should be sufficient to question the logic that atheists believe in.

    DAVE:
    Wrong. Go to Wikipedia and search for the phrase “quantum logic.”

    Reply
  20. Dave says:

    Incidentally, I am not conducting an interrogation. This is more like a debriefing — I am not asking question, I am telling you folks the way things are.

    Reply
  21. db0 says:

    They are immaterial laws independent of our minds

    Quite not so from my understandinig. The statements you made are concepts of the intelligent mind (I don’t say “human”, for any intelligent mind should be able to grasp them). Like Mathematics, they only “exist” as long as someone is there to think of them.

    If all sentient life in the universe ceases to exist, then they do so as well.

    Keep in mind, that someone might very well attempt to redefine logic and/or refute basic aspects of it (Like “A is A”) and indeed many philosophers have attempted to do so.

    Before humans, a creature would either be, say, a T-Rex or a non-T Rex. In other words, the laws of logic are independent of our “brain complexity.

    You are just demonstating the use of logic yourself. It is a non sequitur that the rules of logic exist beyong the human consciousness or that they were created, from the fact that facts exist .

    How can these immaterial laws exist in an atheistic universe were only materials exist? What is the cause of these orderly immaterial laws?

    As I said, they do not “exist” any more than “honour” exists. It is a human/intelligent life concept.

    In any case, I believe Dave has also displayed the inherent contradiction in your statements and assertions.

    If you want to call me stupid and tell me to take more philosophy classes, that will not help matters.

    Just a note. Both me and Dave (I assume) are discussing under the impression that
    A. You are honestly curious of how we explain our worldview (Which is why you ask your questions)
    B. You have at least a basis in philosophical debate which is necessary in order to discuss higher logical concepts. Indeed, in your front page you pride yourself as being able to counter “Atheist arguments” reasonably and without using the Bible.

    There is a specific reason why I will not attempt to hold a philosophical debate with random fundies who’s only necessary guide to life is the bible. It’s just a loss of time as they just will not be able to grasp what I’m talking about without me starting from the very basics.

    This philosophical base that you claim to have then, should include such things as what logical fallacies are, ways to avoid them and recognise them and at least some common argument to avoid (as they have already been refuted, like Pascal’s Wager).
    If I were to discover that you don’t really have this base and that I will need to “explain the wheel” so to speak, to you, before we discuss the actual argument, then I will just not bother…

    Reply
  22. Frank Turek says:

    Dave,
    Here is your last point:
    If logic depends upon something else for its existence — whether it be God’s nature or God’s will or a human’s will or key lime pie, anything at all — then logic is contingent. However, all human discourse, including making the assertion that logic is contingent, presupposes not only that logic is true but that logic is necessarily true. Therefore, human discourse presupposes the nonexistence of any entity which is defined in such a way that logic is contingent upon it — and since you have defined God in such a way, you presuppose God’s existence even by arguing for it.

    Here is my response:
    Logic is necessary and not contingent precisely because it is an attribute of God’s unchanging nature. So God doesn’t create logic, He IS logic. It flows from his rational nature. Likewise, God doesn’t create justice, He IS justice. You can say that about all of His attributes. He is the source and ultimate standard of these immaterial realities.

    Now you have said that I am presupposing God with this argument. No, I’m positing God because of the effect I detect known as logic. That’s reasoning from effect to cause. Before I saw your post, I didn’t presuppose you existed either. In fact, I didn’t know you, Dave, existed until I saw an effect, from you, namely your post. This is how we know God– by His effects. And it is how I know you as well. Your posts reflect attributes about you.

    What I’m asking you, and atheists in general, is how do you account for an immaterial reality such as logic—which we all agree exists– in an atheistic universe where only material things exist?

    Blessings,

    Frank Turek

    Reply
  23. Dave says:

    FRANK:
    Logic is necessary and not contingent precisely because it is an attribute of God’s unchanging nature. So God doesn’t create logic, He IS logic. It flows from his rational nature. Likewise, God doesn’t create justice, He IS justice. You can say that about all of His attributes. He is the source and ultimate standard of these immaterial realities.

    DAVE:
    I repeat: Logic that is contingent upon God’s nature is still logic that is contingent. Look at it this way: Could God’s nature be such that A sometimes equals ~A? If not, then God would be contingent upon logic, not the other way around. If so, then just by speaking about the God you define you (yet again) concede his nonexistence.

    As for saying that God IS logic, that is not the case — the propositions “A is necessarily A” and “God does not exist” are not logically contradictory.

    FRANK:
    What I’m asking you, and atheists in general, is how do you account for an immaterial reality such as logic—which we all agree exists– in an atheistic universe where only material things exist?

    DAVE:
    Atheism doesn’t entail materialism, so strictly speaking, I don’t have to answer that question, since I do not consider myself an atheist. As for how materialists account for logic, I am hesitant to answer since I don’t want to risk misconstruing their view, but my understanding is that abstract objects such as logic and mathematical truths are emergent properties of systems within the physical universe.

    Reply
  24. Dave says:

    Sorry, the first sentence in my second section above should read, “Atheism doesn’t entail materialism, so strictly speaking, I don’t have to answer that question, since I do not consider myself a materialist.” Whew, glad I caught THAT one! 🙂

    Reply
  25. Frank Turek says:

    Dave,

    Saying that God’s nature and logic are unchangable, congruent and simultaneous does not mean that God is ontologically dependent on logic. I suppose you could say that if God did not exist than neither would logic because his nature is the grounding of logic. You could say the same about justice. But that is exactly the point I’m making. Logic or Justice (morality) does not exist unless God exists.

    So you are not a materialist atheist. What kind of atheist are you then? How do you account for immaterial realities?

    Thanks for your posts.

    Blessings,

    Frank Turek

    Reply
  26. Paul Henri says:

    This extremely abstract discussion does not help the layperson that is the target of CrossExamined. Philosophy is a never-ending churning of ideas. Indeed, the reputed greatest philospher of the twentieth century, Ludwig Wittgenstein, said philosophy was an illness from which philosophers needed to be healed. Surely logic is not what Ludwig was talking about, but this inordinate obsession with essentially mathematical constructs. I mean, it is stupid to consider whether that cat on my piano is an unreal cat.

    Reply
  27. Paul Henri says:

    In other words, my impression of all this intricate reasoning is that it is a game like chess. Fun for the gifted few, but essentially worthless to society except as a form of entertainment for the few. Football is more valuable, as it builds character of a great many participants and it entertains a great number of people.

    Reply
  28. db0 says:

    Paul, the whole initial question was based on abstract arguments. There is no way for us to counter it unless we take the same path.

    Also, remember that your argument could have been said 200 years ago about reading books. It was fun for the gifted few literates but worthless to society. That of course is blatantly incorrect as when the majority became capable of reading, then they too discovered the benefits of reading.

    As for football, well I consider it one of the most worthless types of entertainment. The entertainment it provides is completely shallow and I cannot see how it builds character.

    Reply
  29. Anthony says:

    “Reason itself presupposes faith”

    What’s your -reason- for saying this? 🙂

    “Quantum mechanics and electrons existing in two places at the same time should be sufficient to question the logic that atheists believe in.”

    Cute opinion, Paul. You must think that the complicated equations used in quantum mechanics are solved with irrationality and faith. The majority of physicists are atheists, so it makes you wonder how their able to come up with quantum theories. Oh Paulie.

    Here this is in laymans terms:

    Question: “Why is it that 1+1=2?”

    Humility: “We don’t know, but we are slowly and incrementally discovering the mysteries of the universe by using the universe’s own evidence and rules”

    Hubris: “The Creator of Everything has informed me, because I am able to know His Mind, that He makes it so 1+1=2.”

    Reply
  30. Paul Henri says:

    Nevertheless, Mr. Turek is absent from this discussion. I don’t know why. The discussion should be clear, if one were to believe in cross-examined. It seems there is insufficient evidence that one is cross-examined to the extent of believing God does not exist.

    Reply
  31. Frank Turek says:

    Anthony:

    You and Paul lost me on the football chess discussion, so let’s get back to the point. The purpose of this post was to see how atheists explain the existence of the laws of logic and our ability to reason in an atheistic universe.

    Anthony, why should we trust your opinions– which you supposedly arrived at by using reason– if there is no God to ensure that reason itself corresponds with reality? How do we KNOW that your opinions are not “hubris?” And on what moral grounds are you complaining about “hubris” and “censorship?” Objective reason and morality don’t exist in an atheistic universe where nothing but chemicals exist. What is your atheistic explanation for reason?

    Blessings,

    Frank Turek

    Reply
  32. Anthony says:

    Frank, no one knows why 1+1=2. It seems to work well, and some of us choose to run with it.

    You’re obsessive fascination with “why”, IMHO, is what drove you and your fellows into believing in magic and spirits. “Why, why, why?!?!” for everything and you’ll eventually believe in the most obscure magical beings to make sense of it all.

    My position, and that of many atheists, is that we simply don’t know yet. We are incrementally learning (ever since we stopped using superstition and magic), but its hard for us to make progress when we are surrounded by superstitious people.

    I know your magic explains everything for you, Frank. That’s why you believe in it. Magic has had explanatory power for billions of humans for 200,000 years, how can I criticize that? I am just trying a new, non-magic way to find explanations, and its much harder and slower than yours.

    I could give you the mathematical justification of why murder is wrong, the evopsych justification, the developmental justification, and others, but none of these are as simplistic and gut-checking as your magic beings, Frank. And I’m fine with that. And I want you to feel secure in your magic, because the non-superstitious still have a lot of work to do in order to combat 200,000 years of mysticism.

    Enjoy your ritual day tomorrow.

    Reply
  33. MikeH says:

    “Frank, no one knows why 1+1=2.”

    Actually, we do. Bertrand Russell and Alfred Whitehead proved that 1+1=2. It took them about 360 pages of their epic “Principia Mathematica” to do it.

    Reply
  34. Frank Turek says:

    Anthony,

    If you’re really interested in what I believe and why I believe it, then please go back and read some earlier posts such as God and the Astronomers, and Darwinists Have a Lot of Explaining to Do. I believe in the supernatural because the evidence leads me to believe that there are—in the words of agnostic astronomer Robert Jastrow—“supernatural forces at work.”

    You say that I believe in “magic,” but I offer evidence for why I believe in the supernatural. For example, the natural world itself was created out of nothing, which clearly implies that the cause must be beyond the natural (i.e. supernatural). Yet, when I ask you to offer evidence to explain certain immaterial truths about reality from an atheistic perspective, you deride my beliefs as “magic, superstition, and rituals.” That is not a refutation of my beliefs, nor was it an answer to my question. I was asking you about YOUR beliefs.

    It seems to me, it takes more faith (or “magic” or “supersition”) to believe that:

    1. The universe and time itself exploded into being from nothing and by nothing
    2. The universe was designed without a Designer
    3. Reason arose from non-reason
    4. Intelligence arose from non-intelligence
    5. Life arose from non-life without intelligent intervention
    6. Mind arose from matter without intelligent intervention
    7. Order arose from disorder with intelligent intervention (i.e. the four natural forces)
    8. Personality arose from non-personality
    9. Moral laws have no moral law giver

    Saying that “one day we will find out natural (physical or material) explanations for these things” is: 1) Not evidence but faith (if I said, “Someday God will reveal himself to you, so believe in him now,” you would not count that as evidence), and 2) Finding future material causes for immaterial things does not appear to be possible because ontologically we are talking about two different categories. If everything is made of chemicals– as consistent atheists must believe– then nothing non-chemical (i.e. the laws of logic or morality) can exist.

    Could that be why you get emotional when I ask you to explain how an immaterial reality (e.g. the laws of logic, or morality) can exist in a purely material atheistic world? There is no good answer because immaterial realities don’t exist in an atheistic world, yet we all know they really do exist. To deny the laws of logic, for example, is to use them.

    But why get emotional at all? Is your opposition to theism or Christianity more volitional than intellectual? Do you WANT Christianity to be false, or are you honestly open to it?

    Blessings,

    Frank Turek

    Reply
  35. Josh Charles says:

    Frank, you have a terrible grasp of basic scientific ideas. If you’re serious about engaging in conversations like this, you desperately need to gain this literacy.

    The only reason you can say ‘it seems to be that it takes more faith for’ and the things that you list there is because you obviously have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. You think you’re arguing against philosophical materialism, but you’re taking on much, much more than that.

    Basically, you whole argument is an example of an argument from ignorance. ‘I don’t see how this could happen, so it didn’t happen this way.’

    Well, if you took the time to actually study the science you’re criticizing, you might actually find out why so many people think these ideas are correct. Instead you create straw man after straw man and proceed to rip those to pieces.

    Good job, ace.

    Reply
  36. Frank Turek says:

    Josh,

    If you’d like to post here, please offer arguments rather than personal attacks. If you have an explanation for how immaterial realities can exist in a purely materialistic (atheistic) universe, please offer it.

    Blessings,

    Frank

    Reply
  37. Ernie Laurence, Jr. says:

    Josh,

    I (as I am sure Frank, Neil, and other ID people here have done) have studied the science and continue to do so. I am still waiting for someone to provide the argument based on even one single piece of evidence that shows that evolution must be true. The argument must be valid, the premises true, and the conclusion must be “therefore [macro] evolution must be true.” I have been asking for this since I was 13, which means for 20 years. Haven’t seen the attempt yet. All I have seen is speculation and assumption.

    So, if you have such science as you think we need to see, if you have such an argument, I’d be happy to examine it with you. Present away…I am anxiously waiting.

    In Truth and Love,

    Ernie

    Reply
  38. db0 says:

    Ernie, if you have not been able to find evidence for evolution (there is no difference between micro and macro) than you are not looking very hard or your are in denial.

    I am not a biologist but I know that the evidence for evolution is not just ample, it is overwhelming. Furthermore, it has actual, tangible results, which is more than we can say about religions.

    If you really want to debate the evidence for evolution, there are many places to go and ask. One of the most prolific atheist bloggers is a biologist so go and give it a go.

    Reply
  39. Duane says:

    Sorry Frank, I don’t mean to get off topic here but I am curious of the latest by db.

    If evidence for evolution is so overwhelming, how come Richard Dawkins could not even present one example of a mutation that adds information to the genome in his interview compiled by Keziah Video Productions in 1997? Has anyone come up with anything since then?

    Sincerely,
    Duane

    Reply
  40. Ernie Laurence, Jr. says:

    ~~~~(there is no difference between micro and macro)~~~~

    This is an unproved assumption with no observed (scientific) data to back it.

    ~~~~I am not a biologist but I know that the evidence for evolution is not just ample, it is overwhelming.~~~~

    Then it should be real easy for you to name at least one piece. Something you haven’t done yet.

    ~~~~Furthermore, it has actual, tangible results, which is more than we can say about religions.~~~~

    Such personal shots, especially as false as this one, are useless to this type of discussion. Religions of all kinds, even false ones, have tangible results. Actions of the adherents are tangible: caring for orphans and widows, wars, buildings for worship, idols, and a host of other things are tangible results of religions (true and false). Most religions also have writings that they follow (the Bible, the Quran, Book of Mormon, etc.). As you see, I have given quite a number of examples showing your statement to be false.

    Please follow this example and give one concrete, specific piece of evidence that demands that macro-evolution is true. If micro-evolution is your piece, please provide the data that shows the move from micro to macro. Being that you are not a biologist, I will accept quotes from those who are if you wish to post such.

    ~~~~If you really want to debate the evidence for evolution, there are many places to go and ask. One of the most prolific atheist bloggers is a biologist so go and give it a go.~~~~

    But I am asking about it here, on this site. If you cannot actually offer the evidence, that is okay. In 20 years of asking, no one else has been able to either, so I understand. Just keep in mind I am only asking for one piece of evidence that demands the conclusion “therefore (macro) evolution must be true.”

    And of course I’m still willing and able to provide evidence for the existence of God over in the “Who Made God” thread for anyone who thinks I might be asking for something I’m not willing to give myself. 😉

    In Truth and Love,

    Ernie

    Reply
  41. db0 says:

    Just keep in mind I am only asking for one piece of evidence that demands the conclusion “therefore (macro) evolution must be true.”

    This is akin to you opening a random blog, claiming that evolution does not have any evidence and taking then pointing out to the lack of replies to you as proof. It is an absurd position.

    Once again, if you want to see one piece of evidence for evolution, go to the people who can answer you, don’t hide in the comment fields of a random christian blog. If you can stand up to the argument that will ensue, believe me, a lot of people would flock to your blog to see how you managed it and with which arguments.

    Reply
  42. Ernie Laurence, Jr. says:

    Thanks for your input db0, but I’ve done my time on TalkOrigins.org. By the year 2003 I had read every single page the site had to offer (though more have been added since and I have not kept up 100%). And that is just one of several major venues I have participated in. In 1993 when I was a freshmen in college, I was involved in a campus wide forum on the existence of God between the campus Atheists and the AFC. I was the one in charge of compiling the research and coordinating sources for the upper class men involved in the presentation itself. I’ve been there. I’ve done that. And in 20 years I’ve never seen the answer to the question I’ve asked. So your assertion about me is, once again, shown to be false.

    I will also point out that instead of directly answering the question asked, you turn to attacking me. If macroevolution were such an overwhelmingly proven fact, it should be rather easy to post one single point of evidence whose conclusion is “therefore macroevolution must be true.” So I’ll ask once again, db0, please state one point of evidence that demands the conclusion “therefore macroevolution must be true.”

    The fact that you haven’t answered it and don’t answer it time after time leads me to the perfectly reasonable conclusion that you can’t. This is not akin to the situation you described above. This is akin to me posting on a blog where some are claiming that they know evolution must be true, asking those people to provide some proof of their claim, and never getting anything in response other than personal attacks against me.

    Please just answer the question…if you can.

    Thanks.

    In Truth and Love,

    Ernie

    Reply
  43. Kendenny says:

    Ernie said: “please provide the data that shows the move from micro to macro.”

    Seing as how micro and macro have no fixed definitions, you can claim anything is still micro. The working definition creationists appear to use for macro-evolution is “Evolution that has not been observed.” The fact of observing it automatically classifies it as micro.

    If we can get from a wolf to a Pekinese in less than 200 generations, why would you assume that we couldn’t get from a chimp to a human in a million generations?

    In fact using simple math and known rates of mutation it’s easy to show that it’s possible for the chimp genome to mutate into the human genome in approximately 1/3 the time that it actually took. (Actually the chimp genome didn’t mutate into the human genome. Rather both genomes mutated from the same ancestral genome, but you get the point).

    Reply
  44. Kendenny says:

    Ernie, can you state one point of evidence that “demands that the theory of gravity is true”? Or any scientific theory you agree with? You can’t because science doesn’t work that way. For you to insist on this shows that you have no understanding of science whatsoever.

    Reply
  45. db0 says:

    The fact that you haven’t answered it and don’t answer it time after time leads me to the perfectly reasonable conclusion that you can’t.

    You accuse me of not being able to answer a question on evolution (where I have no actual training or much knowledge and it would be a waste of my time to try and argue with you about it.) and consider this as some kind of proof that you are correct. If you are, there are thousands of scientists that would love to hear it. If you want, start a conversation with a biologist and give me the link, I’d love to see the discussion. If you’ve had such discussions then just provide me a link.
    You claim to have such a strong and obvious argument against evolution and yet, somehow, you don’t go anywhere to tell it and hell, convince everyone that evolution is wrong. I can only help to wonder why.

    Furthermore, I find it brilliant that you expect me to spend so much time trying to argue with you when I can only expect that as soon as your arguments dry out you’ll stop discussing. Should I remind you that my last riddle on the PoE remains unanswered from you?

    Reply
  46. Ernie Laurence, Jr. says:

    [Irrelevant parts have been deleted for space.]

    ~~~~Seing as how micro and macro have no fixed definitions, you can claim anything is still micro.~~~~

    Perhaps then you can provide definitions to explain what YOU mean be each.

    ~~~~If we can get from a wolf to a Pekinese in less than 200 generations, why would you assume that we couldn’t get from a chimp to a human in a million generations?~~~~

    Because in real science we do our best not to ASSUME anything. In science, we use what is called the scientific method. That method is comprised of:

    1. Defining a problem or question.
    2. MAKING OBSERVATIONS (make measurements, collect data).
    3. Forming a hypothesis to describe the answer.
    4. Testing the hypothesis (make more measurements, collect more data, basically make more observations).
    5. Forming theories (make more measurements, collect more data, basically make more observations).
    6. Discovering Laws.

    Since step #2 does not apply to chimps and humans, i.e. descent from chimps to humans has never been observed, measured, or logically implied by the data then I can not say that I know such a thing happened.

    ~~~~In fact using simple math and known rates of mutation it’s easy to show that it’s possible for the chimp genome to mutate into the human genome in approximately 1/3 the time that it actually took. (Actually the chimp genome didn’t mutate into the human genome. Rather both genomes mutated from the same ancestral genome, but you get the point).~~~~

    If the chimp genome didn’t mutate into the human genome [and most evolutionists will agree with that point], what is the point of stating the first statement? Since humans didn’t mutate or descend or whatever from chimps, why bring chimps up? Why not actually present relevant data that refers to what humans supposedly evolved from (the ape-like ancestor)?

    ~~~~Ernie, can you state one point of evidence that “demands that the theory of gravity is true”? Or any scientific theory you agree with? You can’t because science doesn’t work that way. For you to insist on this shows that you have no understanding of science whatsoever.~~~~

    Actually it does work that way. The Law of Excluded Middle states that every precisely stated premise is either true or false. This Law holds true for objects as well. An object either has a property or it doesn’t. So, we can really refine hypotheses into theories and then into laws. A law is either true or it is not. Given that this is the case, we can break any scientific law down into a single argument such that:

    If point A is true, then Law B is true.
    Point A is true.
    Therefore Law B is true.

    Point A becomes that single point of evidence that demands the conclusion.

    For the Law of Gravity we have F = GMm/d^2.
    For the first Law of Motion a = F/m; F = 0.
    For the 2nd Law of Motion we have Force = current mass (current velocity – initial velocity)/time – current velocity (current mass – initial mass)/time.
    For the 3rd Law of Motion we have F-1-> = F-2

    Reply
  47. Ernie Laurence, Jr. says:

    Hmmm, seems like I went too long on that last post. Here is the rest of it…

    **********
    For the 3rd Law of Motion we have F-1 (in direction X) = F-2 (in direction -X) [Equal and opposite forces]

    Each of these is observable and measurable. So for instance if we look at the 2nd Law of Motion I can point to any object in motion as evidence that the 2nd Law of Motion is true. Pick an object there in the room with your computer. Measure the mass and acceleration of that object and multiply them together. Measure the Force being applied to that object. You’ll get the same answer for both. That is an observable point A that demands the conclusion. It can be tested over and over and over again in the lab.

    Here it is in syllogism form:

    Major Premise — If for any and all objects A, A’s current mass (current velocity – initial velocity)/time – current velocity (current mass – initial mass)/time equals the force being applied to it, then Newton’s 2nd Law of Motion is true.

    Minor Premise — For any and all objects A, A’s current mass (current velocity – initial velocity)/time – current velocity (current mass – initial mass)/time equals the force being applied to it.

    Conclusion — Therefore, Newton’s 2nd Law of Motion is true.

    The argument is valid. The premises are true. Therefore the conclusion must be true.

    I’ll help you get started:

    If _____________________ is true, then macroevolution is true.

    ___________________________ is true.

    Therefore macroevolution is true.

    Please keep in mind your argument must be valid, that is to say the conclusion must follow from the premises. The argument must also be sound, that is to say that both premises are true. If the argument is both valid and sound, then I have no choice but to accept the conclusion.

    All you have to do, db0, is fill in the blanks. I don’t know how much more help I can give you than this. If you can’t fill in the blanks, I will accept that as your inability to answer the question asked, just like the 20 years of those who have gone before you.

    I await your answer.

    In Truth and Love,

    Ernie

    Reply
  48. Duane says:

    “If we can get from a wolf to a Pekinese in less than 200 generations, why would you assume that we couldn’t get from a chimp to a human in a million generations?”

    I thought evolution was meant to be an improvement? I used to own two Pekingnese, i.e. pug dogs. They’re certainly not evolved wolves. They’re mutated degenerates of wolves maybe. But if anything, the Pekingnese is evidence of devolution over X generations, not evolution.

    What next… peppered moths?

    Reply
  49. db0 says:

    If “microevolution” is true, then “macroevolution” is true.

    “microevolution” is true.

    Therefore “macroevolution” is true.

    My turn now?

    The PoE in Genesis:

    – If he (the creator) knew what would happen but couldn’t stop it. Then he is impotent.
    – If he did not know what would happen (as seems to be the case from the story or Adam and Eve), he is ignorant.
    – If he knew it would happen and had the power to prevent it but didn’t. Then that is his choice. If however he also punishes the creation for this, he is wicked.

    Reply
  50. db0 says:

    I thought evolution was meant to be an improvement?

    The Pekingnese happened through artificial selection not natural.

    What next… peppered moths?

    What about them? They are a perfect example of evolution.

    Reply
  51. db0 says:

    1. Defining a problem or question.
    2. MAKING OBSERVATIONS (make measurements, collect data).
    3. Forming a hypothesis to describe the answer.
    4. Testing the hypothesis (make more measurements, collect more data, basically make more observations).
    5. Forming theories (make more measurements, collect more data, basically make more observations).
    6. Discovering Laws.

    Btw, Making observation, as you rightly state, does not mean explicitly only seeing something. You can make observations by collecting historical, geographical and biological data.
    Aaand no. You don’t always go from forming theories to discovering laws. Indeed a law is nothing more than a very proven theory.

    So evolution has been “observed” in the same way that gravity has been observed.

    Reply
  52. Kendenny says:

    Ken
    ~~~~Seing as how micro and macro have no fixed definitions, you can claim anything is still micro.~~~~

    Ernie
    Perhaps then you can provide definitions to explain what YOU mean be each.

    OK. There is no difference. Micro changes accumulate and at some arbirtary point you can say that enough micro changes have accumulated that it can effectively be called macro. Since where you draw the boundary is totally arbitrary, it gives you the option of claiming that everything observed is micro. Wolf to pekinese certainly appears to be macro.

    And to Duane. Evolution is change. It doesn’t have to be improvement. Certainly when it’s forced by nature the result is improvement. But evolution doesn’t mean improvement, it simply means change.

    Reply
  53. Ernie Laurence, Jr. says:

    db0

    ~~~~My turn now?

    The PoE in Genesis:~~~~

    This is not an argument FOR evolution. It is an argument AGAINST God. Therefore it does not answer the question as asked. The conclusion your argument calls for is “therefore God does not exist.”

    I do appreciate the effort to directly answer the question, though.

    ~~~~Btw, Making observation, as you rightly state, does not mean explicitly only seeing something. You can make observations by collecting historical, geographical and biological data.~~~~

    I am very glad that you acknowledge this because in so doing, you have just allowed, just validated the type of argument Creationists make and have always made.

    ~~~~Aaand no. You don’t always go from forming theories to discovering laws. Indeed a law is nothing more than a very proven theory.~~~~

    Of course not. Most hypotheses men form get rejected before ever becoming theories. Some that should get rejected still go on to become theories because men are stubborn. A lot of theories get rejected and never become laws. But a few, a very few, become laws. And a law is not just “a very proven theory”. A theory becomes law when it can be shown that no logical contradiction or exception is possible. This generally happens when a theory gets reduced down to a mathematical equation.

    ~~~~So evolution has been “observed” in the same way that gravity has been observed.~~~~

    Has it? What is the equation? What object can I point to and say “measure that and calculate according to such and such equation and for each and every object of this type (biological) you will get the same answer.

    Or, if we are still talking theory, what “historical, geographical, or biological” information demands the statement “therefore evolution must be true”?

    And I ask this question because so many, especially in the education realm, speak as if this statement, this premise, this conclusion is true.

    In Truth and Love,

    Ernie

    Reply
  54. Ernie Laurence, Jr. says:

    Ken,

    ~~~~Wolf to pekinese certainly appears to be macro.~~~~

    Except to you, everything is macro so this statement has no substanative meaning. You also use the word “appears”. I’m not interested in what appears to be, or seems to be, or might be, or other nebulous, illusionary terms. I am interested in what is.

    If you cannot define macroevolution, how can you even say that wolf to pekinese “appears” to be macroevolution?

    Here is one of the best definitions I’ve seen concerning the two statements…

    ***************

    In 1960, G.A. Kerkut, the renowned British physiologist and evolutionist, authored “The Implications of Evolution”. In that small-but-powerful volume, he defined two theories of evolution that are of importance for the discussion here. He termed one of those the Special Theory of Evolution (often referred to as microevolution). This is the kind of evolution to which practically all people subscribe, and over which there is no controversy. It suggests that limited change, within narrow limits, occurs throughout all living things. I know of no one who would deny this point. Creationists agree to its factuality, as do atheistic evolutionists. Years ago (to list just three examples), Brangus cattle, Cockapoo dogs, and 1,000+ varieties of roses did not exist. But today they do. Why? Simply stated, it is because evolution has occurred.

    But as everyone recognizes, this “evolution” produced only small changes that did not cross what biologists refer to as “phylogenetic boundaries.” That is to say, the Brangus is still a cow, the Cockapoo is still a dog, and (to employ an old adage), a rose by any other name is still a rose. While the Special Theory of Evolution allows for change within groups, it does not allow for change between groups. It is not the Special Theory of Evolution that I will be investigating in the pages that follow; rather, I intend to examine the other theory of evolution mentioned by Kerkut.

    In addition to the Special Theory, Dr. Kerkut also identified, defined, and discussed what he termed the General Theory of Evolution (often referred to as macroevolution). He stated: “On the other hand, there is the theory that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form. This theory can be called the ‘General Theory of Evolution’…” (1960, p. 157). This is what is referred to commonly as organic evolution, atheistic evolution, or simply “evolution.” Through the years, numerous investigators have offered various definitions of evolution. The same year that Dr. Kerkut offered his definitions, Simpson wrote:

    Evolution is a fully natural process, inherent in the physical properties of the universe, by which life arose in the first place, and by which all living things, past or present, have since developed, divergently and progressively (1960, 131:969).

    ***********

    So macroevolution incorporates the ideas of common descent, change from one group or kind of animal into another. It also demands a very old universe along with a series of other scientific hypotheses such that if one of these is false, the whole system is false.

    But no one has ever observed or seen implicit evidence of change from one group to another. Bacteria evolve, but remain bacteria. Fruit flies evolve but remain fruit flies. Etc. Wolves evolving into pekinese is nothing more than one kind of dog becoming another kind of dog. We still have a dog. The arbitrary borders of species is a man made invention to help us categorize things for study. The very definition of species is full of holes.

    What evidence, Ken, can you show where one type of animal has ever changed into another type of animal? Where is it recorded OR existant in the world today that a reptile became a bird, a fish became an amphibian (coelecanth? 😉 ), or such like?

    I’ve been waiting patiently for 20 years for someone to show me. The best attempt I’ve seen so far is a dog becoming another kind of dog, which doesn’t even come close to a single celled organism millions of years ago eventually, through generations of reproduction, produced a human.

    To deny that this is the full demand of the definition of macroevolution is disingenuous at best.

    In Truth and Love,

    Ernie

    Reply
  55. db0 says:

    This is not an argument FOR evolution. It is an argument AGAINST God.

    Sorry, I failed to notice when the title of this post turned from “Why Trust Reason if You’re an Atheist?” to “Evolution is false”

    Huh? What do you mean “it didn’t”?

    Reply
  56. Ernie Laurence, Jr. says:

    db0,

    ~~~~Sorry, I failed to notice when the title of this post turned from “Why Trust Reason if You’re an Atheist?” to “Evolution is false”~~~~

    That would be the first comment in response to the blog when that poster directly responded with comments about Evolution wherein that poster begged the question by stating that Evolution proves the very thing that must be proved for Evolution to be true. In essence that poster said:

    “Evolution proves Evolution.”

    By answering the main question of the blog by saying “because Evolution is true” that poster directed the conversation into a discussion concerning proof that Evolution is true. For if Evolution is not true, then the answer to the original question is not true and the atheist’s argument is overthrown.

    I recommend going back to read that first comment and see if you agree with that poster’s choice to head in the direction of Evolution to answer the question asked. If you do not agree with their choice to head in that direction I suggest you take it up with that poster.

    I notice that you still have failed to answer the question I asked of you.

    In Truth and Love,

    Ernie

    Reply
  57. Duane says:

    “What about them [peppered moths]? They are a perfect example of evolution.”

    I meant it as a joke db. I didn’t actually think any evolutionists still promoted this falsified example. I guess I was wrong?

    Reply
  58. Duane says:

    Ernie,

    I think we can go further than simply pointing out the change is limited to within the respective dog or bacteria or fly kinds. The changes within the kinds are also in the opposite direction required – i.e. they are information losing changes – for bacteria to become biologists. No new information within the kind is observable.

    Duane

    Reply
  59. Kendenny says:

    Duane: “I think we can go further than simply pointing out the change is limited to within the respective dog or bacteria or fly kinds.”

    I’ll consider that when you can give me rigorous definition of “kind”. Is there a definitive test that will determine whether two things are the same “kind” or not?

    The problem with creationists is you use fuzzy definitions that give you wiggle room so that anything can be dismissed.

    And since when was the observed evolution of the peppered moth falsified?

    So Ernie you’re demanding that something that takes thousands of years be recreated in a decade or less.

    Look at the difference between a wolf and a Pekinese. That was achieved in only a couple hundred years. How can you claim that another two hundred years changes won’t continue to accumulate, so that in 100,000 years we have something as different from a wolf as a bear is from a squirrel? What mechanism exists that prevents changes from accumulating?

    It’s been mathematically proven that using known rates of mutation we can get from the chimp genome to the human genome in 1/3 the time that it actually took.

    Reply
  60. db0 says:

    I notice that you still have failed to answer the question I asked of you.

    I noticed the same thing about you. However I have the defense that I neither statef the original question, nor am I sufficiently knowledgeable in evolution to have a discussion about it.

    Reply
  61. Ernie Laurence, Jr. says:

    ~~~~So Ernie you’re demanding that something that takes thousands of years be recreated in a decade or less.~~~~

    No. I’m demanding proof that something you claim took thousands (or even millions) of years actually took place at all.

    ~~~~Look at the difference between a wolf and a Pekinese. That was achieved in only a couple hundred years. How can you claim that another two hundred years changes won’t continue to accumulate, so that in 100,000 years we have something as different from a wolf as a bear is from a squirrel? What mechanism exists that prevents changes from accumulating?~~~~

    Why do you assume that those changes accumulate in the manner that you describe? That somehow wolf to pekingese proves amoeba to human?

    I loathe to provide links to websites but I did find one by searching for “wolf to pekingese”. It talked about how all dogs, and in fact most other species as well, contain the gene sequence that deals with size. Which goes to make the point that we aren’t talking about adding information as macroevolution demands, but we are simply adapting to influences (mostly human, see the section on wolves to dogs supposedly 12-15,000 years ago in that article) based on genetic information already present.

    This is not the claim that macroevolution makes. Microevolution does not imply macroevolution. If you want to prove macroevolution you need to provide an example of it (perhaps you could talk about the coelecanth?) or you need to provide the data that demands it as the only logical inference. Data that seems to suggest it, or might allow for it, or could possibly bring it about is nothing more than wishful thinking.

    Let me give you an example of implication just so you understand what I mean when I use the word:

    Statement 1: Tom is taller than Bob.
    Statement2: Bob is taller than Mark.

    Now, in these two statements I have said nothing explicitly about the relationship of the heights of Tom and Mark. What these two statements imply, that is, the inference that is demanded by these two statements is that Tom is taller than Mark. Everything else is just a guess. I could infer that Tom had taller parents than Bob and/or Mark. I could infer that Bob is better fed or exercises more, or perhaps gets more sleep than Mark. But the only conclusion these two statements imply is that Tom is taller than Mark.

    Macroevolution from microevolution is like inferring that Tom gets more sleep than Mark. It’s logically allowed by the given statements but it is not a conclusion demanded by them. It is not a TRUTH we can KNOW from the statements given.

    So, when I ask for you to give data that implies macroevolution, I’m looking for a set of data that demands macroevolution. So far all you have given us is microevolution and strongly suggested that macroevolution might be possible because microevolution takes place.

    ~~~~It’s been mathematically proven that using known rates of mutation we can get from the chimp genome to the human genome in 1/3 the time that it actually took.~~~~

    That’s fascinating, really, but what does that have to do with anything since humans did not evolve from chimps in the Evolution model?

    But I really REALLY love this point of yours and hope that you keep emphasizing it. It is one of the best points you have made on this site since I’ve been here. 😉

    In Truth and Love,

    Ernie

    Reply
  62. Ernie Laurence, Jr. says:

    db0

    ~~~~I noticed the same thing about you. However I have the defense that I neither statef the original question, nor am I sufficiently knowledgeable in evolution to have a discussion about it.~~~~

    There is no question you have asked me that I have not answered.

    If you are not sufficiently knowledgeable in evolution to discuss it, then why are you discussing it? YOU are the one who answered the main question of the blog with these two statements:

    “Evolution proves something complex can evolve from something simpler.”

    AND

    “Reason exists as a result of a sufficiently complex brain.”

    Since your second statement (your answer) depends on the first statement and you admit you aren’t sufficiently knowledgeable about Evolution, then the first statement, on which the second statement (your answer) is based, is invalid. Your answer is stated from a position of ignorance.

    It’s like someone asking “How do you know she’s a witch?” and someone responding “I don’t really know anything about witches but I’m going to say that it’s because very small rocks float in water.”

    You are basically saying you don’t know enough about the question to answer it. That’s fine. You could have stated that in the beginning, though. 😀

    In Truth and Love,

    Ernie

    Reply
  63. db0 says:

    If you are not sufficiently knowledgeable in evolution to discuss it, then why are you discussing it?

    I’m not discussing it. I’m just stating the facts.

    * Evolution proves something complex can evolve from something simpler.
    * Evolution is accepted by scientific consensus.
    * I side with the scientific consensus when I am not knowledgeable enough on the subject.
    * If you want me to change my mind on this, challenge the scientific consensus.

    Reply
  64. Kendenny says:

    Ernie as to your question, let’s turn it around to
    If evolution is false then X must be true.
    X is false
    Therefore evolution must be true.

    If evolution is false then animals and humans appeared out of thin air by magic.
    Animals and humans don’t appear out of thin air by magic.
    Therefore evolution is true.

    Now to your other question: “Why do you assume that those changes accumulate in the manner that you describe?”

    Let look at an analogy. Two objects are moving about randomly. You are claiming that there is a maximum distance that these two objects can get from each other. If that is true then there must be some kind of tether preventing them from getting further than that from each other. You have failed to provide evidence that any such tether exists.

    Finally
    Ken
    “~~~~It’s been mathematically proven that using known rates of mutation we can get from the chimp genome to the human genome in 1/3 the time that it actually took.~~~~
    Ernie
    “That’s fascinating, really, but what does that have to do with anything since humans did not evolve from chimps in the Evolution model?”

    That’s right we didn’t evolve from chimps, we evolved from something in between chimps and humans. If I can get from point A to point B in X amount of time, are you really going to claim that I can’t get from a point somewhere between points A and B to point B in the same amount of time? The reason I use the chimp genome rather than the common ancestor genome is because we have mapped the chimp genome and we have mapped the human genome and we know both in intimate detail. We don’t know the genome of the common ancestor. DNA has a tendency to not fossilize.

    Reply
  65. Ernie Laurence, Jr. says:

    ~~~~Ernie as to your question, let’s turn it around to~~~~

    Let’s not. Let’s actually have someone from the Evolution side of the debate offer some positive proof for the hypothesis. So far we’ve had db0 admit that he doesn’t know enough about it to defend it and so he appealed to the nebulous, ill-defined and ill-named “scientific consensus”. Your best attempt is to switch the burden of proof. I have offered and still have posted the beginnings of an affirmative argument for the existence of God but the one taker has disappeared.

    So let’s leave the burden of proof concerning Evolution in your court where it belongs and lets finally have some evidence. Or you can admit, as db0 has honestly done, that you don’t really know after all.

    ~~~~Now to your other question: “Why do you assume that those changes accumulate in the manner that you describe?”

    Let look at an analogy. Two objects are moving about randomly. You are claiming that there is a maximum distance that these two objects can get from each other. If that is true then there must be some kind of tether preventing them from getting further than that from each other. You have failed to provide evidence that any such tether exists.~~~~

    I have. Others have as well. The tether is the amount of information. You see, as we have stated before, Duane first followed by myself in agreement with him, macroevolution requires an increase in information. Microevolution, on the other hand, is adaptation based on what information is already present. Either a change happens that engages genetic information already there, or that happens when information is lost.

    So the tether in your analogy is that amount of information available in the “ancestor” organism’s genes.

    ~~~~That’s right we didn’t evolve from chimps, we evolved from something in between chimps and humans. If I can get from point A to point B in X amount of time, are you really going to claim that I can’t get from a point somewhere between points A and B to point B in the same amount of time? The reason I use the chimp genome rather than the common ancestor genome is because we have mapped the chimp genome and we have mapped the human genome and we know both in intimate detail. We don’t know the genome of the common ancestor. DNA has a tendency to not fossilize.~~~~

    So let me break this down.

    1. You don’t know the genome of this supposed common ancestor. Since you don’t know the genome of this supposed common ancestor, you can’t know that any given specimen is even similar to a human being. Sounds like there is a lot you don’t know about the concept but act on it anyway. THAT is blind faith.

    2. Your consistent use of the chimp-human relationship actually disproves your argument. If the human genes and chimp genes are very close, and we know that humans did not evolve from chimps, then we know that there is at least on case where genetic similarity does not imply heredity.

    Now, take one of these fossils Evolutionists keep claiming are human “ancestors”. IF you ever manage to find the genome for one of those and IF you find that it is similar to humans, you STILL don’t have a case that says it was an ancestor. All you have is a case that says that the organism that died and left its remains to fossilize was genetically similar to humans, just like the chimp that isn’t an ancestor. You have not PROVED evolution of humans from that organism.

    That you admit that you don’t even know these genomes is even more devastating to your case because you have nothing at all to say that humans descended from that organism. The best you have is the general statements of bone structure, which has the same flaws as the chimp/human-gene argument you present above. Again, similarity does not imply heredity.

    Evolutionists have no evidence that proves the hypothesis of Evolution. They begin with an assumption and then attempt to align the data to that assumption and then conclude the hypothesis is true. But that interpretation is not a necessary inference. The data does not imply Evolution.

    Please present data that actually demands the conclusion “therefore macroevolution MUST be true”.

    In Truth and Love,

    Ernie

    Reply
  66. Kendenny says:

    Ken:
    ~~~~Ernie as to your question, let’s turn it around to~~~~
    Ernie
    Let’s not.

    Ken
    Thank you for confirming that you are unable to counter what I stated.
    If evolution is false, humans and animals appeared out of nowhere by magic.
    Humans and animals don’t appear out of nowhere by magic.
    Therefore evolution is true.

    Please provide proof that any animal or human ever appeared out of nowhere by magic.

    I find it incredibly arrogant of you for insisting that God had to have done something the way you dictate. Who are you to tell God how to do things?

    Reply
  67. Kendenny says:

    Oh and you’re totally wrong about the impossibility of information increasing. If information is copied and then the copy is changed, voila, the amount of information has increased.

    Reply
  68. db0 says:

    so he appealed to the nebulous, ill-defined and ill-named “scientific consensus”.

    There is nothing nebulous, ill defined or ill named about it.

    99.99% of evolutionary biologists, i.e. ,the people who have actually studied this branch of science in great depth, agree that evolution is happening and there is no difference between micro and macro.

    I have no reason to trust a person in a random christian blog over thousands of scientists who claim otherwise. Especially when that person keeps believing in a logical inconsistency.

    Reply
  69. Ernie Laurence, Jr. says:

    ~~~~99.99% of evolutionary biologists, i.e. ,the people who have actually studied this branch of science in great depth, agree that evolution is happening and there is no difference between micro and macro.~~~~

    100% of Creation scientists, i.e. the people who have actually studied this branch of science in great depth, agree that creation happened and that macroevolution is impossible.

    To both statements I would respond — “so what?”

    Furthermore 99.99% of evolutionary biologists is a consensus of evolutionary biologists, not of scientists in general. That you equate the two shows one of the fundamental flaws in the perspective of the Evolutionists. “99.99% of us agree that we are right. If you don’t agree with us, you are wrong.” I’m afraid that really isn’t going to fly. My parallel statement about Creation scientists certainly shouldn’t for the very same reason.

    In Truth and Love,

    Ernie

    Reply
  70. kendenny says:

    Ernie. There are no such things as “creation scientists”. Science studies evidence and draws conclusions/ “Creation science” starts with a conclusion and then searches for evidence that supports their conclusion and ignores or hides evidence that does not support their conclusion.

    Reply
  71. kendenny says:

    If evolution is false living things appeared out of thin air by magic.
    Living things don’t appear out of thin air by magic.
    Therefore evolution is true.

    Anyone care to offer any proof of living things appearing out of thin air by magic?

    Reply
    • Wooo says:

      Would you supply proof of living things evolving from material objects? Life from non life. This blog is full of a lot of reversible questions. The same question you ask me, I can ask you. That’s getting us no where.furthermore, the proper word is not magic, its not sorcery, the proper word would be a miracle. For instance I can say the same thing about evolution. Things don’t evolve from non material life. Just like you say life doesn’t appear out of thin air. Then again, misquitoes don’t evolve out of thin air. So again, reversible question.

      Reply
  72. db0 says:

    Kendenny answered before me but I’d like to add that if you’re going to accept science at all you cannot discredit the evolutionary biologists just because their findings don’t agree with your wishes.
    Evolutionary biologists, geologists, astronomers, chemists and whatnot, all use the same methodology, the scientific method.

    You now have two option.
    A. Attack the scientific method itself, which is like saying that 150 years of rapid progress have been blind luck.
    B. Imagine a grand conspiracy where all the scientists in the world are behind in order to destroy christianity (which is what you seem to be saying).

    Sure, Expelled tried to argue point B and it has failed miserably.

    Furthermore 99.99% of evolutionary biologists is a consensus of evolutionary biologists, not of scientists in general.

    And nor it should be. I won’t ask a paleontologists opinion on astronomy. I don’t need a neurologist’s opinion to form a consensus on geology. Why would all scientists need to be consulted to form a consensus on evolution?
    As long as everyone uses the same method and the appropriate checks are taken (peer-reviewed journals, repeatability) there is no need to.

    Reply
  73. Duane says:

    I don’t know where you guys get the time, but I’m struggling to keep up. Don’t you have nagging wives to placate or adorable kids to read bedtime stories to 🙂
    I’m enjoying the discussion but dead tired.

    So ok, Kennedy:

    My use of the word ‘kind’ simply implies that the organisms/animals/whatever in question are able to reproduce with each other. I don’t have anything more rigorous than that for you, sorry.

    ~~”And since when was the observed evolution of the peppered moth falsified?”~~

    Since dark and light moths already existed in the population prior to the industrial revolution and since Kettlewell used faked photos, not to mention many other problems. As one London newspaper put it:

    Evolution experts are quietly admitting that one of their most cherished examples of Darwin’s theory, the rise and fall of the peppered moth, is based on a series of scientific blunders. Experiments using the moth in the Fifties and long believed to prove the truth of natural selection are now thought to be worthless, having been designed to come up with the “right” answer. Scientists now admit that they do not know the real explanation for the fate of Biston betularia, whose story is recounted in almost every textbook on evolution.

    Robert Matthews, “Scientists Pick Holes in Darwin’s Moth Theory,” The Daily Telegraph, London, March 18, 1999

    ~~”It’s been mathematically proven that using known rates of mutation we can get from the chimp genome to the human genome in 1/3 the time that it actually took.”~~

    Um yes I suspect these known rates of mutation are based on the assumption that mutations actually add information to the genome. So really of what use are these figures? Their starting premise in calculating the mutation rate is based on the assumption that we evolved from ape-like creatures in the first place. This is circular.

    ~~”Oh and you’re totally wrong about the impossibility of information increasing.”~~

    I don’t think I said it was impossible. I thought it was clear that I meant it hasn’t been observed?

    ~~”If information is copied and then the copy is changed, voila, the amount of information has increased.”~~

    Yes, voila is a good way to describe it. All you’ve done is tell a just-so story. You haven’t provided a solid example on which the claim can be substantiated. This is like me saying, God picked up the dust and voila, he made a man. I do believe the biblical account and I do think that information content is good evidence of a creator, but I am not about to resort to the voila argument.

    ~~”“Creation science” starts with a conclusion and then searches for evidence that supports their conclusion and ignores or hides evidence that does not support their conclusion.”~~

    What evidence are they hiding?
    But more curiously, if they’re hiding it, how can you possibly know about it? :P~~

    Goodnight Guys,
    Duane

    Reply
  74. Ernie Laurence, Jr. says:

    I can’t speak to magic since I don’t believe in such. I have consistently referred to an argument I have started in a different thread for the existence of God (which could then move to an argument in favor of ex-nihlo Creation).

    But these things you two have stated are exactly the problem I am referring to. You accuse Creationists of starting with an assumption and then trying to prove that assumption, but this is exactly what you are doing (which makes you a hypocrite). You state that 99.99% of all EVOLUTIONARY biologists believe in evolution and that anyone who does not believe in evolution is not a scientist.

    I find it a bit humorous that only 99.99% of evolutionary biologists believe in evolution. What do you do with the other .01%?

    But to the real point, I personally know a number of biologists who do not hold to the evolutionary model.

    One is Dr. Bert Thompson. Dr. Thompson has a Ph.D. and M.S. in microbiology from Texas A&M University. He is a member of the American Society of Microbiology. He is also a former professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University (taught for several years) and a Former Coordinator of the Cooperative Education Program in Biomedical Science at Texas A&M. He is also a Creationist.

    Another is Dr. Brad Harrub. His credentials include:
    Ph.D. in neurobiology and anatomy from the College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee in Memphis, B.S. degree in biology from Kentucky Wesleyan College, Member of the Society for Neuroscience,
    Listed in the 2001-2002 edition of Who’s Who Among Scientists and Researchers. Author or co-author of numerous scientific articles published in professional journals.

    I know both of these men (among others) personally.

    More than a thousand men and women the world over, all with Masters and Doctorates in science fields related to the concept of Evolution in some way are Creationists. Many more are Intelligent Design adherents (and no, they are not the same).

    So, feel free to dismiss all these men and women, but know that if you do, I for one will not take anything you say seriously any more.

    Now, if you would like to actually have a real discussion on ex-nihlo Creation and the existence of Jehovah God, you are welcome to join me in the “Who Made God” thread.

    But I will again note, and I will keep noting, that you have not offered any positive proof or argument that demands the conclusion “therefore evolution must be true”. The only thing you have offered is a negative argument, which is perfectly fine, but does not answer the question asked, and I don’t think you can.

    In Truth and Love,

    Ernie

    Reply
  75. Kendenny says:

    Duane: “My use of the word ‘kind’ simply implies that the organisms/animals/whatever in question are able to reproduce with each other. I don’t have anything more rigorous than that for you, sorry.”

    So evolution across kinds has been observed in nature and has been reproduced in the laboratory.

    Duane: “Their starting premise in calculating the mutation rate is based on the assumption that we evolved from ape-like creatures in the first place.”

    No. It’s based on comparing the DNA in my chromosomes to the DNA in the corresponding chromosomes in my parents. Mutations happen all the time. If every mutation caused a decrease in information then the DNA of the first humans would contain several hundred thousand times the amount of information in current human DNA.

    Besides that A can mutate to B in one generation then back to A in the next generation so we have a grandparent and a grandchild with an identical gene but somehow the grandparent’s gene has more information even though they are identical? How can that be?

    Ken:~~”Oh and you’re totally wrong about the impossibility of information increasing.”~~

    Duane: “I don’t think I said it was impossible. I thought it was clear that I meant it hasn’t been observed?”

    Ken: Except that you’re wrong and it has been observed thousands of times.

    Ken:~~”If information is copied and then the copy is changed, voila, the amount of information has increased.”~~

    Duane: “Yes, voila is a good way to describe it. All you’ve done is tell a just-so story. You haven’t provided a solid example on which the claim can be substantiated.”

    Ken
    Oh sorry, I thought you were capable of using Google. So here it is from medicinenet.com
    “Gene duplication: An extra copy of a gene. Gene duplication is a key mechanism in evolution. Once a gene is duplicated, the identical genes can undergo changes and diverge to create two different genes.

    A duplication is the opposite of a deletion.

    Duplications typically arise from an event termed unequal crossing-over (recombination) that occurs between misaligned homologous chromosomes during meiosis (germ cell formation). The chance of this event happening is a function of the degree of sharing of repetitive elements between two chromosomes. The recombination products of such an event are a duplication at the site of the exchange and a reciprocal deletion.

    A remarkable class of duplications in which the duplicated region has popped up far away from home base has also been discovered.”

    Duane: “What evidence are they hiding?
    But more curiously, if they’re hiding it, how can you possibly know about it?”

    OK hiding wasn’t the right word. Pretending it doesn’t exist is more accurate.

    Reply
  76. Kendenny says:

    Ernie: “I can’t speak to magic since I don’t believe in such.”

    So what do you call two adult humans who had never existed before suddenly appearing out of nowhere? Let me guess, you’d call it a miracle. So please tell me how to tell the difference between a miracle and magic.

    Reply
  77. Kendenny says:

    Ernie: “But I will again note, and I will keep noting, that you have not offered any positive proof or argument that demands the conclusion “therefore evolution must be true”. The only thing you have offered is a negative argument, which is perfectly fine, but does not answer the question asked, and I don’t think you can.”

    It’s a well accepted method of mathematical proof to use negative arguments. I want to prove X is true so I start with the assumption that X is false and following logically from there I reach a contradiction or an impossible situation. That proves that my original assumption of X being false was wrong. Therefore X is true.

    So how many times has an adult human, or any living thing, who has never existed before appearing out of nowhere been observed?

    Reply
  78. Ernie Laurence, Jr. says:

    ~~~~It’s a well accepted method of mathematical proof to use negative arguments.~~~~

    Yes, I agree. I accept that method as well, as I have stated numerous times already. However it is, as you even said, a negative argument. The question I am asking, which you have no answered, is:

    “Do you have a positive argument the conclusion of which is ‘therefore macroevolution is true.’ ”

    What you have shown me so far, through numerous untaken opportunities to provide such a positive argument, is that you don’t have one and can’t provide one.

    The rest of your comments are attempts to shift burden of proof, to which I have repeatedly pointed out that I am willing to accept in the appropriate thread (“Who Made God”), but not here.

    To save time for other things, I will state here and now that unless you provide the POSITIVE argument I have consistently been asking you for, I will no longer respond to your posts in this thread. There would be no point.

    Failure on your part to provide a POSITIVE argument with the stated conclusion will continue to indicate to me inability to do so. Further it would constitute evidence to me that you in fact don’t trust reason, as the the title of the beginning blog suggests.

    In Truth and Love,

    Ernie

    Reply
  79. Kendenny says:

    Ernie: “Do you have a positive argument the conclusion of which is ‘therefore macroevolution is true.’ ”

    Why does it matter whether it is a positive or negative argument? It is a logical argument that reaches the required conclusion. Why won’t you respond to my argument?

    Reply
  80. db0 says:

    You state that 99.99% of all EVOLUTIONARY biologists believe in evolution and that anyone who does not believe in evolution is not a scientist.

    Of course not. But what I did say is that the consensus on if evolution is true or not will come from the people who know it best. Not from all the scientific field.

    But, otoh, I can’t see how you can argue about this since, as a christian, you can’t even reach a consensus about basic stuff in your dogma within your group, not to mention the rest of the world. Is this a kind of “do as I say, not as I do” thing?

    I find it a bit humorous that only 99.99% of evolutionary biologists believe in evolution. What do you do with the other .01%?

    You seem to accept that if %0.01 of evolutionary scientists believe that evolution is false then it must be false. Does that seem right to you? It looks to me that you’re clutching at straws.
    One could easily imagine of creationists going through the evolutionary science curriculum in order to lend credence to their crackpot theories. Being a scientist does not exclude you from being dishonest and there are many examples to the contrary. Indeed, this is why we need consensus, not 100% majority. Otherwise we would have no science at all.
    Indeed if we were to
    A. Require a 100% consensus
    B. Require all people with any science diploma to be part of it

    No science would ever be done….But I’m certain that as long as it protected the validity of your dogma, that a small price to pay.

    More than a thousand men and women the world over, all with Masters and Doctorates in science fields related to the concept of Evolution in some way are Creationists. Many more are Intelligent Design adherents (and no, they are not the same).

    So effing what? If they are so convinced that evolution is wrong, then let them state their case. But they can’t, for if they could, they would have done so by now and we all know how hard they’ve tried.
    I’m pretty certain most of them take it on faith that creationism is correct, even in the face of overwhelming evidence for evolution.

    It’s like a geologist arguing for young earth creationism or an astronaut believing in flat earth. I can conceive it being done, but it does not give credence to the theory, but rather discredit to the theoree.

    Reply
  81. Duane says:

    ~~So evolution across kinds has been observed in nature and has been reproduced in the laboratory.~~

    Examples?

    ~~It’s based on comparing the DNA in my chromosomes to the DNA in the corresponding chromosomes in my parents. ~~

    Again, one still must assume that information was added. So you and your parents went down to the lab and had this test done did you? So tell me then, what was the new information that you have that neither of your parents do. Have you got a tail?

    ~~If every mutation caused a decrease in information then the DNA of the first humans would contain several hundred thousand times the amount of information in current human DNA.~~

    And I suppose you have some DNA from the first humans to make the comparison do you? Seriously Kennedy you are just blowing hot air.

    ~~Besides that A can mutate to B in one generation then back to A in the next generation so we have a grandparent and a grandchild with an identical gene but somehow the grandparent’s gene has more information even though they are identical? How can that be?~~

    What I’m saying is that A never mutates into B. And if B exists it is only bc it was there in the previous generation. Mutations destroy information, they don’t create it. Instead of these analogies, give me a concrete example that I can examine of A mutating to B.

    Re: gene duplication. This example does not make your case. And I’ll explain it this way. If I copied this thread and posted it elsewhere, have I increased the information content?

    Duane

    Reply
  82. Adam says:

    ~~If they are so convinced that evolution is wrong, then let them state their case. But they can’t, for if they could, they would have done so by now and we all know how hard they’ve tried.~~

    They do state their case. Again and again. And do you know why people like you have never heard about their cases. Because its people like you who are in charge of the media. These guys consistently send their work to Tech Journals and science and nature magazines etc and the issues are not even published for debate they are just ignored. The media has the same prejudiced opinion of the issue as you have just demonstrated. Thoroughly set in their ways and not willing to seriously consider the other sides arguement. Which is why these issues are only dicsussed “underground” on blogs such as this.

    Ben Steins movie ‘Expelled’ shows us whats happens to those that do speak up. They get fired, lose their grants and become outcasts. Sounds rather oppressive.

    Reply
  83. db0 says:

    Because its people like you who are in charge of the media

    Like Fox News? Please.

    These guys consistently send their work to Tech Journals and science and nature magazines etc and the issues are not even published for debate they are just ignored.

    Because they cannot stand up to peer-review, one of the checkpoints for science.
    It’s not because nobody wants to hear what they say, it’s because it’s outright wrong.

    Thoroughly set in their ways and not willing to seriously consider the other sides arguement. Which is why these issues are only dicsussed “underground” on blogs such as this.

    The classic persecution defense. When you can’t prove your theories and you can’t convince people, argue that it’s a grand conspiracy.

    Ben Steins movie ‘Expelled’ shows us whats happens to those that do speak up. They get fired, lose their grants and become outcasts. Sounds rather oppressive.

    No, Ben Steins expelled shows us what “Lying for Jesus” sound like.

    Reply
  84. Kendenny says:

    Duane. I can see that you are willfully ignorant and have no interest in learning anything that might cause you to question your beliefs. Mutrations happen. It’s a scientific fact. It has been well documented and described in thousands of thoroughly researched papers. If you want to delude yourself that evey mutation causes a loss of information I’m sorry. BUT you’re absolutely wrong and it can be proven to you if you had any interest in learning anything but sadly you don’t.

    Mutations happen and sometimes they cause information loss and sometimes they cause information increase. IT”S A WELL DOCUMENTED SCIENTIFIC FACT.

    Do you think every man in the world has an identical Y chromosome? If mutations didn’t happen they would because they are all copies of Adam’s Y chromosome. But copying is frequently imperfect so the copy is slightly different from the original.

    Do some reading and quit making claims regarding things you know nothing about.

    Reply
  85. Duane says:

    I have never questioned that mutations happen. I am questioning whether they add information. I have done a lot more reading than perhaps you give me credit.

    But just as was the charge brought against you lot by Ernie, you continually fail to provide evidence to support your claims. And respond instead with these broadsides.

    I’m done on this thread and won’t be responding to anything further unless I do so on my own blog. Otherwise, see you on another thread and thanks for the discussion Kennedy & db0.

    Cheers,
    Duane

    Reply
  86. Paul Henri says:

    Reason. The sine qua non of Darwinism. And so how do we account for the gradual change that is the nature of Darwinism? How many intermediate changes must occur before we see a new species? Is it five or 10 to the 500th power? And where could we possibly find these changes? The geologic record does not come within a fraction of evidencing these minute changes. No one can credibly say that it does. Oh the gaps in the record just need to be filled in, one might argue. Because of the impossibility of finding these minute intermediate biochemical changes, the debate is about religion and not science, which cannot approach, under current theory, justifying natural selection.

    And so many people think the inability to falsify religion is some sort of impeditment to arguments against Darwinism. Well, one cannot falsify evolution. So chew on that. Evolutionists think that evidence consists in what is, what is. What?

    Paul

    Reply
  87. Paul Henri says:

    Reason II:

    Evololution insists on random mutation and random envnironments. This is double randomness, which can produce only randomness. What a mess. One cannot prove organization (or organisms) from randomness time and time again. The fact that life exists is not a proof; it is a miracle.

    Reply
  88. db0 says:

    You are horribly misinformed about evolution. So much so that even someone like me who has not studied it sees that you are wrong.

    1. Evolution can be faslified. Classic example? Rabbit fossils in the precambrian.

    2. Evolution claims that random mutations in random environments happen and species change because of natural selection which is not random.

    3. There is no need to talk about “changes”. Every generation, in fact, every new offspring, is different from its parents who were different from their parents and so on. Over time, these accumulate and eventually humans categorize it as a new species. There is no set number of “changes”

    Reply
  89. Ernie Laurence, Jr. says:

    1. Evolution can be faslified. Classic example? Rabbit fossils in the precambrian.~~~~

    You mean things like the Lewis Overthrust, the fully human skulls found in the 1800s unearthed from previously undisturbed “Pliocene” strata, in Castenedolo, Italy (1860) and the Calaveras region of California (1866), and the coelecanth?

    3. There is no need to talk about “changes”. Every generation, in fact, every new offspring, is different from its parents who were different from their parents and so on. Over time, these accumulate and eventually humans categorize it as a new species. There is no set number of “changes”

    So which ancestor of yours was the first human? Was that person born from non-humans or did that person transform from being not-human to human over the course of their life?

    In Truth and Love,

    Ernie

    Reply
  90. db0 says:

    1. Unless you provide me some links of the “controversy” I won’t be able to say nothing much. Nevertheless a quick wikipedia search of coelecanth and Lewis Overthrust didn’t give me any issues about evolution.

    3. I would guess my very past ancestor, hundreds of thousands of years ago might have been quite different than me. It is absurd to talk about humans giving birth to non-humans or transforming during the course of their life. Someone who has studied even basic evolution should understand that.

    Reply
  91. Paul Henri says:

    Evolution cannot be falsified because it ain’t legitimate. How does one disprove a belief? And belief is the sine qua non of evolution. Let’s debate this with full honesty instead of with ill will.

    Paul

    Reply
  92. Kendenny says:

    “It is absurd to talk about humans giving birth to non-humans or transforming during the course of their life. Someone who has studied even basic evolution should understand that.”

    Ernie doesn’t have a clue about evolution and he prefers it that way. His straw man version of evolution is easy to refute. You could spend hours painfully explaining every detail to him checking that he understood every step of the way and he would still cling to his strawman version.

    Reply
  93. Andrew Ryan says:

    “You could spend hours painfully explaining every detail to him checking that he understood every step of the way and he would still cling to his strawman version.”

    Then I suggest he is left to his comforting ignorance.

    Reply
  94. me says:

    Hi Frank,

    I suppose this section “Does Truth Exist?” is a good one for me, as I believe I consider myself to be a strong agnostic and weak atheist. But even if absolute, objective truth does exist, how can anyone KNOW it?

    As for this particular post, I’d like to know your response when I tell you that I do not trust reason enough to say that I know anything with a certainty. Though I do suppose that I do trust logic enough to BELIEVE that absolute truth is unknowable, and therefore cannot KNOW if any god(s) exist(s) or do(es) not.

    So anyway, you probably can ignore most of this. These are just some of my mixed-up thoughts from the past few years and, after all, I’m only just a really confused 17-yr-old stuck at the first step to this whole debate. 🙂

    But what I am really searching for is how you, Frank, convince strong agnostics that absolute truth can be known. I mean, any evidence you would offer could just be discredited because you have no evidence (for what is the evidence to prove that evidence? Just another form of evidence you must provide evidence for?) for your evidence. So really, I am very curious, what would you say?

    I don’t know though, I guess I’m not really being very constant. What (perhaps some other factor) truly differentiates between what I will or will not believe? Why do I refuse to believe anything regarding God’s existence or nonexistence, but do believe that absolute, objective truth is unknowable? Why have I allowed strong agnosticism to become a “subjective truth” for me through logic, but have not allowed belief in God’s existence or nonexistence through the same form of evidence – logical reasoning?

    Yeah, I really don’t know. I still need to figure that one out. I mean, I do prefer stability, and how stable can I be without a constant model in what to believe or disbelieve? I don’t know how to figure it out, though. I am completely captive in in my own logical circles. 🙁

    P.S. I know it’s a lot to ask, but please don’t judge me too harshly for my ignorance. I am new at most of this and don’t think I know the correct terminology or know about all the philosophical and theological debates that are discussed. And, being only a teen, I probably don’t really have a magnificent vocabulary or even the ability to understand some of the basic principles of logic. Like, I’ve already gotten totally lost in several of these “threads” (I guess that’s what they are called). But I do generally try to be openminded and I love learning, and I greatly respect all of you who have so much experience and knowledge behind your beliefs, so I don’t believe I’ll be a threat to your website at all. I can occasionally get pretty stubborn 🙂 , but I honestly try to always be tolerant of others and their viewpoints (though I admit that I do greatly struggle with tolerating intolerance).

    Anyway, I’d love to get a response, and hear your thoughts!

    Reply
  95. me says:

    Frank,

    I also understand that you are very busy, so if you can only provide me with some sources for information that may help me, I’d be fine with that as well. (Though it would be kind of cool to also get your own opinion, for I have already come to respect you even with only the little I have learned about you.)

    Reply
  96. Andrew Ryan says:

    “any evidence you would offer could just be discredited because you have no evidence (for what is the evidence to prove that evidence?”

    Don’t do yourself down – I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with regards to the flaw in the argument.

    At any rate, Mathmatical proof is easy to come by, so the following is nonsense:
    “So even when atheists are right about something, their worldview gives us no reason to believe them because reason itself is impossible in a world governed only by chemical and physical forces.”

    Can you give any examples of things in this world that are governed by anything else? It’s absurd to assert that adding the supernatural to a situation suddenly makes reason possible when it wasn’t before.

    Anyway, Dave pretty much destroyed the whole argument from the off:

    “FRANK:
    Our only guarantee that human reason works is God who made it.

    DAVE:
    And what is your basis for saying that God is reliable on such matters? You can’t say God, because the reliability of God is precisely what is at issue, and you can’t say your own reason, because until we’ve established God as reliable we have no reason to trust reason. Unless, of course, you’re completely wrong.”

    It’s just another circular argument. Atheists don’t have a problem definining ‘reason’ and ‘truth’. Postulating a ‘meta-reason’, and a ‘meta-truth’ that is dependent on a deity, doesn’t really make any difference to my life.

    Reply
  97. me says:

    Thanks Andrew.

    I still admit that I have no clue what I’m talking about, though.

    BTW, referring to the request for examples of when genetic information is increased or decreased, does chromosomal aberrations count? I think I’m getting that we probably all accept deletions in our genetic codes as meaning a decrease in information. And yet Duane believes that extra copies and duplications doesn’t count for “increased” information, but what about structural changes or perhaps “inversion mutations” (if that’s even a correct term) within the chromosomes? Would that count as “increased” info? I honestly don’t know.

    Anyway, I’m most likely being a total idiot in even asking about that, but I admitted that I don’t know what I’m talking about. Like, I don’t really know anything about all this biology and evolution talk – in fact, it even kind of bores me. 🙂 And I don’t even know if I believe in evolution or not, so I don’t know which side I would even argue for. Well, it was just a thought, after all.

    Reply
  98. Andrew Ryan says:

    “in fact, it even kind of bores me.”
    Not much point in us answering your questions then! If your interest picks up then have a browse on the talkorigins website, or pick up a book on evolution.

    As for not knowing which side to argue for – I admit to not knowing how a TV works. But I know the information is out there if I wanted to find it (THAT bores me). But I don’t therefore have a default assumption that TV’s might be supernatural.

    Reply
  99. me says:

    Andrew:

    Yeah, I guess you’re right. You have no obligation to respond to simple curiousity.

    So I guess in an apology of wasting your time, I’ll remind you that I’m a strong agnostic. I don’t KNOW if evolution is true or not (though I admit that I sometimes do personally think that evolution is more logical than creatures appearing out of thin air as if by magic, though again – I don’t know) and I don’t believe there is any information out there, now or in the future, that would make me KNOW. I suppose it is because of this current viewpoint of mine (strong agnosticism) that I don’t really care a ton about the subject of evolution.

    My largest concern is how people can say they know Truth (that’s like the basis for all of these arguments, so you do agree that that one is pretty important, right?), and the next major point of interest for me, personally, is whether a god exists or not. Knowing the answer to that second question could majorly impact your life. I guess I just don’t see why the topic of evolution would be so very important to me, on the basis of what interests me. (And several Christians believe in evolution, so belief or disbelief in evolution is not like a distinguishing argumentative factor for whether or not God exists or anything. At least I don’t see how it is.)

    Anyway, I just wanted to mainly say that I only included that last reply as a simple extra thought to the argument, out of simple curiousity for what the response would be to that particular thought. I don’t want to be a part of the argument – it’s beyond my knowledge and, as I just explained, my personal interests.

    Simple curiousity. That was all. Sorry. Gees – does simple curiousity then, as well as arguments, require criticism? 🙁 That’s no fun – I can’t even ask neutral questions without having to defend myself.

    Reply
  100. Andrew Ryan says:

    If you’re curious then I’ll answer your questions! I wasn’t sure if you were curious about the subject or ‘bored’ by it. No defending needed on your part, as I wasn’t attacking.

    “My largest concern is how people can say they know Truth”
    Scientists don’t talk about ‘truth’. It’s about testing and testing in order to get tentative answers. And those answers are basically ‘the best we can manage pending further evidence’.

    Reply
    • Wooo says:

      One thing I’ve noticed about evolution. Scientists, when in the lab, attempting to prove evolution. They have no choice but to attempt to invoke a genetic response, that results in one species, becoming another. They’ve been doing this with fruit flys for years. The only thing they’ve done is produce fruit flys with wings for eyes, legs for wings, and other such mutations that by no means aid the poor fruit flys in anyway.

      Reply
      • Wooo says:

        Further more, how do you evolve an abstract mind. The brain and the mind are different. The mind abstract, the brain physical. You can direct my brain all you want, observe all its parts, but youed never be able to obtain any private thought I may have had, or dream, or memory. So obviously the brain, and mind are two separate things.

        Reply
  101. Philomath says:

    “Chemicals can’t evaluate whether or not a theory is true. Chemicals don’t reason, they react.” Fallacy of composition. If materialism is true, then the mind just is chemicals. It does not follow from this, that because chemicals cannot reason, that the mind (namely, the brain) cannot reason. For example, both sodium and chlorine are harmful, but salt is not.

    Reply
  102. Thoran says:

    Your entire argument is based on a complete and utter misunderstanding on Neurology.

    Little tip; if you want Atheists to listen to you, NEVER display scientific ignorance.

    “how can the heart pump blood? cels don’t pump”

    “how can you chew with teeth? bones don’t eat”

    That’s what you sound like when you talk about the brain.

    Reply
  103. Eric Breaux says:

    This is a very simple thing to understand. His argument is that If we are only physical and the result of an accident unable to produce anything intelligible, then our thoughts would be the result of brain chemistry we can’t control. No one can reason anything if we are subject to the workings of our brain, and have no choice what we believe then. We wouldn’t be reasoning, merely reacting, so no one could factually deduce anything then if atheism and materialism are true and would make them self contradictory. No matter how much sense something makes to someone, any rationale could not be trusted, because anything out brain does we’d believe because of it anyway. So no one can justify faith being ignorance, willful or not, because one prefers to believe one thing more than another. It’s our brains making us do it. You have to have faith that you’re capable of reason. But some things obviously have to be true, or else this very argument from reason couldn’t be determined if true or false either, so the only way rationality cannot be an illusion is if beings are of immaterial essence.

    Reply

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