Darwin’s Quantum Leap

By Terrell Clemmons

The Quantum Leap

Early in 2009, the International Year of Darwin got underway in Shrewsbury, England, the birthplace of Charles Darwin. As part of the celebration marking both Darwin’s 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his seminal work, On the Origin of Species, a sculpture was unveiled in Shrewsbury’s Mardol Quay Gardens. Nearly forty feet high, sixty feet long, and weighing over 200 tons, the structure, named Quantum Leap, resembles a gigantic slinky placed on the ground like an upside down ‘U.’ Darwin coordinator, Jon King, explains, “What we wanted was an iconic structure – something that was big was bold, but something that could be interpreted in different ways.” In an irony apparently lost on its celebrants, the name ‘Quantum Leap’ makes a fitting metaphor for the thinking of contemporary Darwinists.

Quantum Leap - Darwin's

Charles Robert Darwin began his career in the summer of 1831 when he boarded the H.M.S. Beagle on a four-year surveying mission. The budding naturalist had studied a bit of medicine and divinity at Cambridge, but geology and nature interested him most. During his five-week stay on the Galapagos Islands Darwin was particularly struck by the varieties of plant and animal life on the different islands.

A Paradigm is Born

On return, he took up pigeon breeding and discovered that with selective breeding, he could produce a variety of pigeons from a common rock pigeon. Like any curious scientist, Darwin began to speculate. What if, over time, little changes added up to big changes? And if random variations arose along the way, could not entirely new species come into existence? If the changes had enough time to accumulate, and if changes that failed to meet the requirements for survival died out, then the result could be a multiplicity of organisms adapted to their surroundings. This extrapolation from observed variations among species to adaptation and survival of the fittest came to be known as the Law of Natural Selection.

Darwin later put forth his ideas in On The Origin of Species, which reportedly sold out on its first day of publication in 1859. Though Darwin stopped short of atheism – in his autobiography he called himself an agnostic, and in fact never addressed the origin of life in any of his books, the intimation that life could have freely emerged, independent of any pesky notion of God, took on a life of its own, and within a century Darwinism, or ‘Evolution as the Explanation of Everything,’ would become the reigning paradigm of science.

Questioning the Premise

But is this paradigm itself a scientifically established fact? That was the question raised by a surprise entrant to the creation/evolution debate. Phillip E. Johnson, neither a theologian nor a scientist but a professor of law at the University of California at Berkeley, entered the ring in 1991 with Darwin on Trial, a lawyer-like examination in which he weighed the evidence for Darwinism and found it insufficient to support the conclusion. In Darwin on Trial, Johnson drew out the suspiciously sequestered fact that Darwinism presupposes a naturalistic worldview. Naturalism, as a worldview, says that nature or matter is all there is; the supernatural does not exist or, if it does, is entirely irrelevant to life in the natural realm. Johnson deftly pointed out that naturalism is not a scientifically deduced fact but rather a philosophical presupposition.

The first result of Johnson’s contribution was to expose the atheistic scientists’ philosophical presupposition of naturalism and separate it from their science. Like the lad saying the emperor has no clothes, he identified the philosophy masquerading as science and pointed it out. More far-reaching, though, Johnson gave birth to the scientific movement of intelligent design theory (ID).

The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, and not by an undirected process such as natural selection. ID does not begin with the book of Genesis, nor does it address the question of who the intelligent cause might be, and for that reason, it’s been criticized by some creation scientists, who believe the study of creation shouldn’t be divorced from the Creator.

Three Facts of Life Evolution Fails to Explain

But ID provocatively challenges Darwinism’s overreaching claims. Here are three major problems for which Darwinian Evolution supplies no answer (but ID does):

(1) The Initiation of life. Natural selection says that evolution favors one already existing organism over another, but it says nothing about how those organisms came into existence in the first place. In The Selfish Gene, atheist zoologist Richard Dawkins ponders how the first living molecule might have formed. His speculative language suggests we “imagine” or “suppose” how it “could” or “might” have happened. “It was exceedingly improbable,” he concedes and says science has no idea how it happened. But he’s admitted he’s open to one possibility, that life on Earth was seeded from outer space. Seriously. The theory is called Panspermia, and, setting aside the implied drift from empirical science to science fiction, its mere suggestion reveals the dearth of working theories of abiogenesis, or how life got started without a Starter.

(2) The Information of life. The information content of DNA is mind-boggling. The DNA molecule for the single-celled bacterium E. coli contains enough information to fill a whole library of encyclopedias. Geneticists are still learning how to read the coded chemistry, but evolutionary science has no plausible theory as to how random processes can produce so complex, specific, and detailed a set of instructions.

DNA precipitated the undoing of one prominent atheist’s naturalistic worldview. In December of 2004, Antony Flew, one of the world’s leading philosophers of atheism for half a century, dropped an intellectual bombshell on the scientific community when he announced that he had come to believe there is a God. The 81-year-old British professor said his life had always been guided by the principle of Plato’s Socrates: “Follow the evidence, wherever it leads,” and that he had arrived at this startling conclusion after studying DNA. “The enormous complexity by which the results [DNA] were achieved a look to me like the work of intelligence.”

(3) The Irreducible Complexity of life. An irreducibly complex system is one involving interrelated parts or subsystems, all of which are necessary for the system to function. Given the technology of his day, Charles Darwin believed a simple cell was only a little blob of protoplasm, and he envisioned it emerging spontaneously “in some warm little pond.” Still, he anticipated the potential difficulty of irreducible complexity. “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications,” he wrote, “my theory would absolutely break down.”

Too bad Darwin never met Dr. Michael Behe. A lifelong Catholic, Dr. Behe says he believed the standard story he was taught in school about evolution until he read Evolution: A Theory in Crisisby agnostic geneticist Michael Denton. “I was shocked because I had never heard a scientist question Darwin’s theory before. And here I was an associate professor of biochemistry, and I didn’t have any answers for his objections.” At that point, Dr. Behe realized he’d accepted the Darwinian theory, not because of compelling evidence, but for sociological reasons. “That’s what I was supposed to believe,” he said.

Dr. Behe went on to explore cellular life and ultimately concluded its great complexity could never have come about by random and unguided processes as Darwinism requires. His research culminated in Darwin’s Black Box, in which he describes in elegant detail several microbiological systems, all of them intricately and irreducibly complex.

Questioning the Quantum Leap

“There is something fascinating about science,” Mark Twain, a contemporary of Darwin, once quipped. “One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of facts.”

He could have been referring to the Darwinists. Keep in mind that the starting point one chooses when it comes to the origin of life is not a question of science but of philosophy or, if you will, faith. Ultimately, we choose to adopt one worldview or another, and that involves making a faith choice. Darwin assumed that God – if he existed at all – was irrelevant, and then concluded that natural selection must have been the mechanism by which life developed into its present form. His intellectual descendants effectively consecrated his hypothesis, decreed Darwinism the principle canon of science, and began interpreting all data accordingly.

ID differs from Darwinian Evolution in that it allows for the possibility of an outside agent. It begins from a different philosophical starting point and asks, “Where does the evidence lead?” As technology advances, the three ‘I’s of life – initiation, information, and irreducible complexity – pose ever-growing difficulties for evolutionists. Michael Behe summed up his inquiry this way, “We are told by ‘Science’ with a capital ‘S’ that the universe is just matter and energy in motion. But it turns out that actual evidence of science does not necessarily support that philosophical claim.”

To Behe and other ID scientists, life looks more and more like an outside job.

This article first appeared in The Lookout and was reprinted in Salvo Winter 2009, Issue 11.

 


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58 replies
  1. Andy Ryan says:

    “Dawkins admitted he’s open to one possibility, that life on Earth was seeded from outer space. Seriously.”
    .
    This is false. Dawkins has specifically said he doesn’t believe life on Earth was seeded from outer space. Yes, seriously. Ben Stein asked Dawkins if there was any way that life on earth could have been intelligently designed. Dawkins offered a hypothetical scenario, in order to make the point that even if intelligent creatures had deliberately started life on earth, their own origin would ultimately be explained by evolution. You may disagree with his point there, but to say he was ‘open to the possibility of panspermia’ is blatantly misinterpreting what he actually said. You should cut this claim from the article, because it simply isn’t true.
    .
    Here’s Dawkins on the claim:
    “I was most emphatically NOT saying that I believed the thought experiment. Quite the contrary. I do not believe it (and I don’t think Francis Crick believed it either). I was bending over backwards to make the best case I could for a form of intelligent design. And my clear implication was that the best case I could make was a very implausible case indeed. In other words, I was using the thought experiment as a way of demonstrating strong opposition to all theories of intelligent design.”

    “[Mark Twain] could have been referring to the Darwinists”
    It’s unlikely that he was. Twain appeared to have accepted Darwin’s theories, saying: “Darwin abolished special creations, contributed the Origin of Species and hitched all life together in one unbroken procession of Siamese Twins, the whole evolved by natural and orderly processes from one microscopic parent germ.”. If he was sceptical of anything it was the Bible, ironically observering: “God made all the animals in a single day; he could have swept them all away in the flood and re-created them in one day when they were again needed. Therefore it was an odd idea to save specimens of them for eleven months in the ark, whilst aware that eight persons could not feed or water them by any human possibility. If they were to be preserved by miracle, the ark was not necessary – to let them swim would have answered the purpose and been more indubitably miraculous.”

    Reply
    • Andy Ryan says:

      Four days later no answer to this, no defence of the lie about Richard Dawkins? It’s strange how Christians who claim ‘God is truth’ are so unconcerned with whether or not something is actually true.

      Reply
  2. TGM says:

    ID is not a theory. It does not even qualify as legitimate conjecture as there is no evidence of an outside agent, there is no mechanism under which it operates, and no condition under which it is falsifiable. That it was proposed by a lawyer says much about its merit as a scientific question.
    .
    Re: The three major problems…
    1. Initiation of life: the ToE is not about the origin of life. Why is this a problem? The Theory of Gravity is not about the origin of mass. Does that make it any less valid?
    2. the information of life: What information means in the context of ID is unclear. The only reason it seems plausible is because we, human pattern-seeking brains, intuit a pattern of information. But we can intuit information in absolutely everything we’ve discovered to this point, so DNA is hardly impressive.
    3. Irreducible complexity: This has never been demonstrated. Presenting Behe is comical to anyone who understands this subject. Kitzmiller v. Dover was such an embarrassment to ID and Behe. Has anyone heard from him since 2005?

    Reply
    • Mark Heavlin says:

      “the ToE is not about the origin of life.”
      .
      And it never will be. That subject would be called CREATION.
      .
      .
      “The only reason it seems plausible is because we, human pattern-seeking brains, intuit a pattern of information. But we can intuit information in absolutely everything we’ve discovered to this point, so DNA is hardly impressive.”
      .
      Yep, we recognize patterns. And to this point we know of only one thing that can create those patterns.
      INTELLIGENCE !
      I fail to see how it would be possible to “intuit a pattern of information” if no pattern was actually present. Again this points to INTELLIGENCE !
      Information in absolutely everything we’ve discovered to this point – seems like a slam dunk for INTELLIGENCE !
      DNA is only impressive in that it is the longest word ever discovered – some 3.5 billion characters in length for the human genome.
      Again this points to INTELLIGENCE !
      .
      .
      Irreducible complexity: This has never been demonstrated.
      .
      Actually it has – Bacterial flagellum.
      .
      ” Kitzmiller v. Dover was such an embarrassment to ID and Behe. Has anyone heard from him since 2005? ”
      .
      Yeah, as a matter of fact people have. Just finished watching a show about ‘Kitzmiller v. Dover’. The judge in the case should be in jail and/or disbarred for plagiarism as approximately 90% of his written brief has been proven to have been taken directly from documents provided to him by the ACLU lawyers. Including misquotes of Dr. Behe that exist in both documents.
      .
      .
      Of course I guess you could posit that the two of us just randomly punched keys on our randomly design computer and hit any key to post to the internet on some random Christian apologetic blog site in some random article on that site. At some point however you have to reach an incredibly high level of denial to continue to believe that so many random things just look like INTELLIGENCE but are not actually INTELLIGENCE !
      .
      .
      Final thought – If you have read this far and been able to understand even a single word I have typed then you have confirmed, yeah you guessed it, !

      Reply
      • KR says:

        “And it never will be. That subject would be called CREATION.”
        .
        Or, if the subject is science, abiogenesis.
        .
        “Yep, we recognize patterns. And to this point we know of only one thing that can create those patterns.
        INTELLIGENCE !”
        .
        Tree rings form patterns that can inform us about the age of a tree and under what climate conditions it grew. If we have access to a large library of such tree ring patterns, we can even tell when and where the tree grew. All that’s needed for tree rings to form is seasonal variations in the growth rate of trees – intelligence is clearly not a requirement.
        .
        “DNA is only impressive in that it is the longest word ever discovered – some 3.5 billion characters in length for the human genome.
        Again this points to INTELLIGENCE !”
        .
        The only mechanism that’s been suggested for the formation of sequence information in DNA is evolution through mutation, recombination, natural selection and genetic drift – all of which are observable phenomena. Feel free to present an alternative explanation (hint: “an unspecified, unevidenced intelligence did it in an unspecified, unevidenced way” does not qualify as a mechanism).
        .
        “Actually it has – Bacterial flagellum.”
        .
        This is incorrect. The Type III Secretion System represents a reduced subset of the parts that make the bacterial flagellum and is still perfectly functional (unfortunately, since it’s a rather nasty system for bacteria to inject toxins into host cells).
        .
        “Yeah, as a matter of fact people have. Just finished watching a show about ‘Kitzmiller v. Dover’. The judge in the case should be in jail and/or disbarred for plagiarism as approximately 90% of his written brief has been proven to have been taken directly from documents provided to him by the ACLU lawyers. Including misquotes of Dr. Behe that exist in both documents.”
        .
        Judge John E Jones was a conservative republican appointed by George W Bush. Fortunately, he was also able to distinguish between science and religion. The judge wasn’t presenting a dissertation or claiming to be the originator of the science involved so what plagiarism has to do with this is a bit of a mystery. Of course he used the material provided by the people who represent actual science – that was what the case was about.
        .
        “Of course I guess you could posit that the two of us just randomly punched keys on our randomly design computer and hit any key to post to the internet on some random Christian apologetic blog site in some random article on that site. At some point however you have to reach an incredibly high level of denial to continue to believe that so many random things just look like INTELLIGENCE but are not actually INTELLIGENCE !”.
        .
        Since no-one is denying the existence of intelligence, this seems like a rather pointless argument. If you believe that our human intelligence was created by God, then that would be a faith-based position. If you claim that this belief is supported by science, however, then you need to show the actual science. This is where ID has failed spectacularly.

        Reply
        • Andy Ryan says:

          Plus, of course, evolution isn’t random, making the ‘this couldn’t have happened randomly’ argument a complete straw man.

          Reply
        • Mark Heavlin says:

          “Or, if the subject is science, abiogenesis.”
          .
          Where’s the science behind that. It has never been created in the lab. It is still a faith position.
          .
          .
          “All that’s needed for tree rings to form is seasonal variations in the growth rate of trees – intelligence is clearly not a requirement.”
          .
          So we are now at the entire Earth’s ecosystem as providing for the seasonal variations. Which brings in The Fine Tuning of the Universe for life to even be possible. Which brings us back to how many random extremely unlikely events does it take to infer INTELLIGENCE? As there is clearly no order to the Universe as a whole things just happen randomly all over the place. NOT
          .
          “So it requires no intelligence to interpret the data?”
          .
          .
          “This is incorrect. The Type III Secretion System represents a reduced subset of the parts that make the bacterial flagellum and is still perfectly functional (unfortunately, since it’s a rather nasty system for bacteria to inject toxins into host cells).”
          .
          Point #1 – The Type III Secretion System has been proven to have developed after NOT before the Bacterial Flagellum motor.
          .
          Point #2 – Even if the Type III Secretion System is a reduced subset of the parts in order for Irreducible Complexity to NOT be true you still have to show a functional mechanism all the way from the Type III System ( 10 proteins ) all the way through to the Bacterial Flagellum ( 30 proteins ).
          .
          Point #3 – Toxin injection system does not seem anything like close to a biological outboard motor capable of 100,000 RPM with an efficiency in the range of 95%+.
          .
          .
          “The judge wasn’t presenting a dissertation or claiming to be the originator of the science involved so what plagiarism has to do with this is a bit of a mystery.”
          .
          I suggest you go look up the definition of the word “plagiarism”.
          .
          .
          ” If you claim that this belief is supported by science, however, then you need to show the actual science. This is where ID has failed spectacularly.”
          .
          As has the neo-Darwinian theory as well. If you claim that this belief is supported by science, however, then you need to show the actual science.

          Reply
          • KR says:

            “Where’s the science behind that. It has never been created in the lab. It is still a faith position.”
            .
            Scientists like Jack Szostak, John Sutherland, Matthew Powner, David Deamer and others are doing real, experimental work within the abiogenesis field. They have shown that the building blocks of life (amino acids, nucleotides and lipids) can all be formed spontaneously in plausible pre-biotic conditions, that lipids in water can self-organize into cell-like vesicles that can grow and divide and that RNA can self-replicate in the absence of protein enzymes. There’s no need for faith when there’s actual data.
            .
            “So we are now at the entire Earth’s ecosystem as providing for the seasonal variations. Which brings in The Fine Tuning of the Universe for life to even be possible. Which brings us back to how many random extremely unlikely events does it take to infer INTELLIGENCE? As there is clearly no order to the Universe as a whole things just happen randomly all over the place. NOT”
            .
            Your claim was “we know of only one thing that can create those patterns. INTELLIGENCE !”. I pointed out that tree ring patterns seem to happen without any intelligence involved. If you claim otherwise, then it’s your job to support that claim. How would you demonstrate that tree rings require intelligence to form?
            .
            “So it requires no intelligence to interpret the data?”
            .
            We were discussing the formation of patterns, not their interpretation. Again, no-one is disputing that intelligence exists.
            .
            “Point #1 – The Type III Secretion System has been proven to have developed after NOT before the Bacterial Flagellum motor.”
            .
            If you’re conceding that protein complexes have been proven to develop from earlier forms, you’ve pretty much given up the game, haven’t you? If the Type III Secretory System was exapted from the bacterial flagellum, this still means that the bacterial flagellum isn’t irreducibly complex and you still have to prove that the process couldn’t go the other way, i.e. from a less complex ancestral system to the bacterial flagellum.
            .
            “Point #2 – Even if the Type III Secretion System is a reduced subset of the parts in order for Irreducible Complexity to NOT be true you still have to show a functional mechanism all the way from the Type III System ( 10 proteins ) all the way through to the Bacterial Flagellum ( 30 proteins ).”
            .
            I have to show no such thing. In order to refute your claim that the bacterial flagellum is irreducibly complex, all I have to do is point to the existence of a functioning system consisting of a subset of parts of the flagellar complex. The Type III Sectretory System exists, ergo your claim is refuted.
            .
            “Point #3 – Toxin injection system does not seem anything like close to a biological outboard motor capable of 100,000 RPM with an efficiency in the range of 95%+.”
            .
            So? This seems completely irrelevant to the point. Evolution doesn’t proceed with any particular goal in mind and exaptation where structures gain new functions is pretty much what would be expected from an unguided, trial-and-error process.
            .
            “I suggest you go look up the definition of the word “plagiarism”.”
            .
            I did. The definition is: “the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own”. Unless you’re suggesting that judge Jones was pretending to be the originator of the quoted science, your accusation of plagiarism is still nonsensical.
            .
            “As has the neo-Darwinian theory as well. If you claim that this belief is supported by science, however, then you need to show the actual science.”
            .
            The neo-Darwinian theory was largely superceded by Neutral Theory (and subsequently Near-neutral Theory) half a century ago. Do try to keep up. The science of evolutionary biology is easily available through the peer-reviewed literature. The way we know that a theory has failed is that it’s replaced with a better one. Let me know when a better explanation for the diversity and development of life comes along and I will study it with great interest. Intelligent Design isn’t even in the running at this point.

          • Mark Heavlin says:

            In response to this piece only:
            .
            “The definition is: “the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own”. Unless you’re suggesting that judge Jones was pretending to be the originator of the quoted science, your accusation of plagiarism is still nonsensical.”
            .
            From http://www.dictionary.com ( all annunciation, examples, and synonyms removed ):
            .
            plagiarism
            1. an act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author’s work as one’s own, as by not crediting the original author:
            2. a piece of writing or other work reflecting such unauthorized use or imitation:
            .
            As he neither credited the original authors or showed that they had authorized the use of the work in its near entirety and it was copied even to the degree as to the copy the mistakes in the original. Then yes ABSOLUTELY it was plagiarized.

          • KR says:

            “As he neither credited the original authors or showed that they had authorized the use of the work in its near entirety and it was copied even to the degree as to the copy the mistakes in the original. Then yes ABSOLUTELY it was plagiarized.”
            .
            This is just bizarre. The only one who has legal standing to claim plagiarism is the original author, i.e. the lawyers and scientists working for the plaintiff. Please explain how they are being hurt by the judge referencing or quoting their writings in the brief when he’s ruling in their favour.
            .
            “Hummmmm……. Perhaps you meant biogenisis instead? If not I am confused as to how a discredited theory can be claimed as science?”
            .
            In your confusion, you seem to have missed that there are two different definitions. Now, which do you think is more likely: that a scientist like Jack Szostak (a Nobel laureate) would engage in medieval superstitions about bugs and rats just appearing out of dirty linen or that he’s studying the possibility of a chemical origin of life?

        • Mark Heavlin says:

          “Or, if the subject is science, abiogenesis.”
          .
          From http://www.dictionary.com( all annunciations, examples, etc.. removed ):
          .
          abiogenesis
          1. the now discredited theory that living organisms can arise spontaneously from inanimate matter; spontaneous generation.
          2. the theory that the earliest life forms on earth developed from nonliving matter.
          .
          .
          Hummmmm……. Perhaps you meant biogenisis instead? If not I am confused as to how a discredited theory can be claimed as science?

          Reply
    • Kathy A says:

      Irreducible complexity has been demonstrated, to my understanding. One example would be the human eye. For the human eye to work the optical nerve, the cornea, the pupil, the retina, etc, are all essential for sight. Without one component, there is no sight, therefore the human eye could not have evolved. All the parts are necessary at once, making the development of an optic nerve in isolation, or any single part, absurd, as it would serve no purpose. On the contrary, this is one of those cautions Darwin himself laid out, as irreducible complexity. There must be intelligent design for so many parts to develop to create something so magnificent as the human eye! Shall we discuss the ear next?

      Reply
  3. TGM says:

    Science proceeds with naturalistic assumptions out of sheer necessity; we can recognize the natural world, measure it, and make predictions out of it. The supernatural has no rules that we can discern, it has no patterns or predictability. We can’t even demonstrate that it exists.
    .
    As soon as you make the supernatural a possible solution to anything, then it must be considered the solution to everything. You can no longer count on a single thing in the reality you experience – reality becomes entirely non-rational by definition. For that reason, ironically, even if the supernatural exists, it is entirely useless as a tool. So, either way you’re left with naturalism. Stop complaining about it.

    Reply
  4. Mark Heavlin says:

    Here’s betting the Stephen Hawking is now no longer an atheist.
    .
    Hebrews 9:27 Just as man is appointed to die once, and after that to face judgment,
    .
    2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some understand slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

    Reply
    • bob says:

      Of course he is no longer an atheist – his mind has (as far as we can determine) ceased to function. Just like Billy Graham is now no longer a Christian.

      Reply
      • Mark Heavlin says:

        If you truly believe what you typed above and we all only have a finite amount of time and then we are dead and gone forever then how can you possibly justify in your own supposedly rational mind any amount of time wasted on this site responding to any comments by anyone. By your own definition this is time that is gone forever; that you have wasted and will never be able to get back. Your continued presence here is highly illogical. Because I can tell you that I would NOT waste a single second of my time here if I believed as you state above.
        .
        Hebrews 9:27 Just as man is appointed to die once, and after that to face judgment,

        Reply
        • bob says:

          “Your continued presence here is highly illogical. Because I can tell you that I would NOT waste a single second of my time here if I believed as you state above.”
          My participation here is perfectly logical. What is not logical is believing the supernatural claims found in ancient middle eastern religious texts.
          And how is your time here any more precious than mine? Why does the fact that you believe in an afterlife make your time spent here on this blog any less a waste of time? And yes, I truly believe what I typed – we only have a finite amount of time before I die and then it is over…for ever, there is no afterlife and there is no “judgment” awaiting us after we die.
          .
          “Mysteriously, wonderfully, I bid farewell to what goes, I greet what comes; for what comes cannot be denied, and what goes cannot be detained.”
          ~ Chuang-tzu
          .
          r.u.reasonable@gmail.com

          Reply
          • Mark Heavlin says:

            “My participation here is perfectly logical.”
            .
            As you are an atheist can you explain where you get your standard of “perfect logic”.
            .
            .
            “What is not logical is believing the supernatural claims found in ancient middle eastern religious texts.”
            .
            2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
            .
            .
            “Why does the fact that you believe in an afterlife make your time spent here on this blog any less a waste of time?”
            .
            My time here is not wasted. Yours by your own definition is.
            .
            Matthew 28:18-20 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
            .
            Mark 16:15-16 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

          • bob says:

            @ Mark full of bark
            .
            “As you are an atheist can you explain where you get your standard of “perfect logic”.”
            Show me yours and I’ll show you mine.
            .
            2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
            “Anyone who, in discussion relies upon authority, uses not his understanding, but his memory.”
            — Leonardo Da Vinci
            .
            “My time here is not wasted. Yours by your own definition is.”
            My “definition” for what?…and where did I give it?
            .
            r.u.reasonable@gmail.com

          • Mark Heavlin says:

            “Show me yours and I’ll show you mine.”
            .
            Luke 24;1- 1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women came to the tomb, bringing the spices they had prepared. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were puzzling over this, suddenly two men in radiant apparel stood beside them. 5 As the women bowed their faces to the ground in terror, the two men asked them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; He has risen! Remember how He told you while He was still in Galilee: 7‘ The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.’” 8 Then they remembered His words. 9 And when they returned from the tomb, they reported all these things to the eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But their words seemed like nonsense to them, and they did not believe the women. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. And after bending down and seeing only the linen cloths, he went away wondering to himself what had happened.
            .
            EMPTY TOMB – your turn now.
            .
            .
            As quoted by BOB : ““Anyone who, in discussion relies upon authority, uses not his understanding, but his memory.”
            — Leonardo Da Vinci”
            .
            Still you labor under the delusion that when I quote scripture you think it is me arguing. I am as nothing; but The WORD of The LORD endures forever.
            .
            Leonardo Da Vinci – A great man no doubt by mere human standards; but still a man.
            Born: April 15, 1542
            Died: May 2, 1519
            .
            Hebrews 9:27 Just as man is appointed to die once, and after that to face judgment,
            .
            .
            “My “definition” for what?…and where did I give it?”
            .
            Seems like the intellectually lazy mind can NOT even keep track of it’s own sphere that lies between it’s own ears. Not my job to keep up with all of your illogical thought processes. Might I suggest you get your own mind in order before you comment again? Makes for a more coherent conversation.

          • Mark Heavlin says:

            Your concept of GOD is way to small. As to the video and those in it:
            .
            Philippians 2:10-11 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

          • bob says:

            @ Mark

            Philippians 2:10-11 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

            You’ll let me know when that happens, won’t you…like…send me an email…?
            .
            r.u.reasonable@gmail.com

          • Mark Heavlin says:

            “You’ll let me know when that happens, won’t you…like…send me an email…?”
            .
            Won’t be necessary you will be there.
            .
            2 Peter 3:1-7 1 Beloved, this is now my second letter to you. Both of them are reminders to stir you to wholesome thinking 2 by recalling what was foretold by the holy prophets and commanded by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. 3 First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 “Where is the promise of His coming?” they will ask. “Ever since our fathers fell asleep, everything continues as it has from the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately overlook the fact that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world of that time perished in the flood. 7 And by that same word, the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

          • bob says:

            @ Mark full of snark
            .
            “2 Peter 3…First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.”
            .
            How about a little bible lesson for you, Mark…
            .
            First of all, by any human definition, “Look, I am coming soon…” and “Yes, I am coming soon…” does not mean “I’ll see you guys in a few thousand (or a few million) years”. If “soon” does mean a few thousand years, then a complete failure of communication has occurred. After all, if the bible was written by humans to/for humans then it is reasonable to expect the words in the bible to follow certain rules of definition. Obviously people in Peters circle believed that “soon” meant at most, in their lifetime.
            .
            The author of the 1st and 2nd Epistle of Peter addressed people he was personally acquainted with at that time. The epistle was NOT written to you, dear Mark. Just look at 2 Peter 3 v. 1&2: “Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you, to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets…”
            I know there has to be a word for this syndrome (that you, dear Mark, constantly exhibit) of taking what someone wrote in the past and applying it as if it was meant personally for you, but I don’t know what it is. I guess we could just call the syndrome “Christianity”.
            Suffice it to say, Peter was obviously writing to people who were acquainted with some who were skeptical of the claim that Jesus was going to return “soon”. Why were they skeptical – because he obviously had not returned “soon”.
            Peter, probably believing he himself was living in the last days, was attempting to discredit anyone who was vocal about their doubt concerning the return of Christ. He (as you) even considered the act of “scoffing” to be associated with evil (not the first time – won’t be the last).
            .
            Peter was not writing to you, dear Mark – you are not the you in the 1st few verses of chapter 3. Peter had no idea that his letters would be considered as Holy scripture 2,000 years later. He had no idea that there would be people like you reading them in 2018, let alone people still waiting for Jesus to return…2,000 years later (If it were not so sad it would be funny – no wait – it is funny).
            .
            By your logic (illogic?), everyone during the past 2,000 years who scoffed at Christianity were themselves evidence that they were living in the last days and Jesus was now, finally, knocking at the door. And by that same logic, 200 years from now when my Great, Great, Great, Great, Great Grandson is “scoffing” at the claim that Jesus is coming back soon, your GGGGG Grandson will claim that my GGGGG Grandson is biblical evidence that he is living in the last days.
            It looks like humans have been living in the “last days” for 2,000 years. Kind of like a going-out-of-business sale that never ends. Just go out of business already!
            .
            Why did Hippolytus of Rome predict that Jesus would return in the year 500? Because he believed Jesus would return “soon”.
            .
            Sandro Botticelli believed he was living during the time of the Tribulation, and that the Millennium would begin in three and a half years from 1500. Why – because he believed Jesus would return “soon”.
            .
            Jerry Falwell predicted in 1999 that the Second Coming would probably be within 10 years – “soon”.
            .
            Jack Van Impe said 2012 was a possible date for the second coming – “soon”.
            .
            No doubt dear Mark, you believe you are living in the “last days” and that Jesus will “soon” be coming back – how do you know this…because some dude named bob “scoffed” via crossexamined.org.
            .
            People have been skeptical of the claims of the religious for a very long time. Hypatia said in the early 5th century – “Fables should be taught as fables, myths as myths, and miracles as poetic fantasies. To teach superstitions as truths is a most terrible thing. The child mind accepts and believes them, and only through great pain and perhaps tragedy can he be in after years relieved of them.”
            Was she a scoffer? If so, was she living in the last days? Do you have a “child mind” dear Mark?
            .
            How about Aristophanes – “Shrines! Shrines! Surely you don’t believe in the gods. What’s your argument? Where’s your proof?”
            Was he a “scoffer”? Are his questions evidence that he was living in the last days, 400 years before Jesus was born?
            .
            Thus endeth the bible lesson dear Mark. Sure hope you learned something…

            “Still you labor under the delusion that when I quote scripture you think it is me arguing.”
            No delusion – I can see very clearly that you are not arguing – not because you are quoting bible verses, but because you have not presented any arguments. I have to conclude that you just don’t know how.

            “Seems like the intellectually lazy mind can NOT even keep track of it’s own sphere that lies between it’s own ears. Not my job to keep up with all of your illogical thought processes. Might I suggest you get your own mind in order before you comment again? Makes for a more coherent conversation.”
            Why mark…that hurt my feelings. I don’t think I want to be your friend anymore!

          • Mark Heavlin says:

            So much confusion on your part:
            .
            “After all, if the bible was written by humans to/for humans then it is reasonable to expect the words in the bible to follow certain rules of definition.”
            .
            2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
            .
            Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it pierces even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
            .
            .
            “Suffice it to say, Peter was obviously writing to people who were acquainted with some who were skeptical of the claim that Jesus was going to return “soon”.” AND “Peter had no idea that his letters would be considered as Holy scripture 2,000 years later.”
            .
            If the shoe fits. AND Even if Peter didn’t you think GOD didn’t?
            .
            .
            “Jack Van Impe said 2012 was a possible date for the second coming – “soon”.”
            .
            Well since this is the one closest to us in the recent past we will use him as the example as it will stand for all the others in the same manner. I would suggest you read the entire Chapter of Matthew 24 but I doubt you would understand it.
            .
            Matthew 24:36 No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,e but only the Father.
            .
            .
            “how do you know this…because some dude named bob “scoffed” via crossexamined.org.”
            .
            No not really. I prefer The Holy Bible to your opinion I find it much more reliable.
            .
            This much is sure: We are one day closer to the end.

        • Mark Heavlin says:

          Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
          .
          Genesis 3:1-7 1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
          .
          Genesis 3:16-19 16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. 17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
          .
          .
          One wonders what people who believe as the two in the video and yourself will say when you stand to be judged by their CREATOR GOD?
          .
          Luke 17:26-35 26 Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man: 27 People were eating and drinking, marrying and being given in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 It was the same in the days of Lot: People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. 29 But on the day Lot left Sodom, fire and brimstone rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 It will be just like that on the day the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day, let no one on the housetop come down to retrieve his possessions. Likewise, let no one in the field return for anything he has left behind. 32 Remember Lot’s wife! 33 Whoever tries to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it. 34 I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed: One will be taken and the other left. 35 Two women will be grinding grain together: One will be taken and the other left.”
          .
          2 Peter 3:1-7 1 Beloved, this is now my second letter to you. Both of them are reminders to stir you to wholesome thinking 2 by recalling what was foretold by the holy prophets and commanded by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. 3 First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 “Where is the promise of His coming?” they will ask. “Ever since our fathers fell asleep, everything continues as it has from the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately overlook the fact that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world of that time perished in the flood. 7 And by that same word, the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

          Reply
          • Mark Heavlin says:

            You labor under a delusional mind.
            .
            Here’s betting the Stephen Hawking is now no longer an atheist.
            .
            Hebrews 9:27 Just as man is appointed to die once, and after that to face judgment,,/b>
            .
            2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some understand slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

          • Mark Heavlin says:

            By the way that is 3 strikes on watching your videos. As the content is unfit to watch I think I will stick to The Holy Bible as the inerrant WORD of GOD.

  5. Brent Hurst says:

    To say there is no God is to say there is no Infinite reality that transcends this Finite one.
    .
    As we exist in Finitude, an Infinite experience is beyond our grasp, it appears only as a “Potential”.
    .
    From God’s POV as the sum and substance of the Infinite realm, all that is Finite exists only as a “Potential”.
    .
    Between the two, only the Infinite can possess true reality and Being as a Finite reality cannot exists without the Infinite context.
    .
    If there is no Infinity, neither could there be Finite, nor Mathematics, or science.
    .
    Everything here exists with limitations, we can count one, two, three, four, because potentially there is a whole we are moving towards.
    .
    That which is based upon partiality (Finite) could not possess something that a whole could not, so as there is Consciousness here, in a limited sense, so does that which is whole (Infinity) possess consciousness of It’s wholeness, this wholeness is what is known as the Creator. (Although most men have a very poor concept of Him, thinking about Him as if He is Part and Parcel of the Creation)
    .
    Time came into existence at the big bang, would not timelessness precede it, and since timelessness could not be destroyed does it not still exist transcendent to Time and Creation.
    .
    Trying to understand the Creation from wallowing around within it is useless, And atheist claims “There is no scientific proof for God”, but how can Time measure Timelessness, We project our own limitation on that which is beyond all limitation.
    .
    To understand Creation we have to first stand in the Infinity and see the Finite through Infinite eyes, through God’s eyes, where He is the true reality and we are the dream.
    .
    Intelligent Design makes the same mistakes as the evolutionist, they think of Creation in a linear way (time), as if it Began, and has yet to end, but that is merely our limitation as our consciousness moves through time moment by moment.
    .
    From God’s POV the beginning and the end are simultaneous. i.e. the chicken is in the egg and the egg is in the chicken, all at the same time, the creation of time is the SEPARATING of the past from the future, as they are pulled apart time appears as they seek to come back together, and so the egg gives rise to the chicken and the chicken gives rise to the egg, but neither was FIRST.
    .
    Creation is already complete, birth and death are forever inseparable, merely temporarily divided.
    .
    The fact that DNA must exists before the cell can function, and the cell must exist to house and beget such DNA, is a mystery of science. One that they FORCE into a linear paradigm, the truth is we cannot go left or right to understand it, we have to accept the mystery and let it drive us up to a new perspective.

    Reply
    • Andy Ryan says:

      “To say there is no God is to say there is no Infinite reality that transcends this Finite one.”
      I think it just means you don’t believe a God exists. What’s that got to do with Darwin, though?

      Reply
      • Brent Hurst says:

        Dear Andy
        .
        What does “belief” have to do with “Truth”. Christians believe there is a God, evolutionists might not, both sides are often too lazy to actually think through the logic of their own beliefs. Christians might feel morally superior as they assume themselves having the virtue to choose Christ or God, Atheist also feel intellectually superior as they see themselves too intelligence or modern to fall for such superstitions.
        .
        The virtue of blind belief is cheating logic, whether from an atheist or a religionist, both lean upon a broken staff.
        .
        If you walk outside with your eyes closed and you feel the heat upon your skin, do you believe the sun is out, maybe someone has just place large heaters around your porch, so one thinks if the sun is out, so will the birds and so they listen to hear if the birds are singing, so it is that as we are blind to God, we search for a preponderance of evidence. An unseen truth can be known and understood by the testimony of several witnesses, no one has actually seen an Atom, or black holes, or even envy, yet we say they exists because we see the “context” of their existence.

        As for Darwin, when there is intelligence, it leaves clues behind it, when there is ignorance, laziness, or assumption, they also leave a trail, like a black hole, all light just disappears, swallowed away into the nothingness.

        Reply
          • Brent Hurst says:

            Dear Andy,

            I get it, children believe there is an Easter bunny, tree huggers believe in fairies, conspiracists believe there was a second shooter behind the grassy knoll, others believe there are aliens in area 51, denialists believe in nothing but they will deny that is true, and irationalists believe in illogic, at least the Easter bunny and Fairies might actually be “Something” but to believe in “NOthing” has got to be a no brainer.
            .

            I kind of think the purpose of this comment section is so people might offer up some reasonable argument, logic, universal reality, something that might show their “belief” has some possibility of being an actual reality. Impotent beliefs really hold no interest for me. So now you have had your fun, and I have had mine.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            Sorry Brent, but me saying I don’t feel intellectually superior to theists makes my beliefs ‘impotent’? Are you saying I have to feel superior to theists in order for my beliefs to be ‘potent? I don’t get your argument at all, or why you’re turned off or whatever by my reply.
            .
            “but to believe in “NOthing” has got to be a no brainer”
            Who said they believe in “NOthing? Not me. I believe that you’re a person having a conversation with me online, so it’s not true to say I believe in nothing. I just said I don’t believe in God. That’s one single thing I don’t believe in. You don’t know anything else about me. I think you’re making unjustified assumptions.
            .
            “As for Darwin, when there is intelligence, it leaves clues behind it”
            And there’s also apophenia and its subset pareidolia where patterns or intelligence is falsely perceived. That aside, evolution also left clues behind. There are hundreds of thousands of scientific papers examining those clues. A whole branch of science is built around it.

          • Mark Heavlin says:

            “There are hundreds of thousands of scientific papers examining those clues. A whole branch of science is built around it.”
            .
            Gotta love it when atheists do NOT even KNOW the meaning of the word science.
            .
            If you haven’t taken it into the lab and made it happen multiple times by multiple different people it is NOT science. It is interpretation of historical data. And as such you must begin with a basic set of assumptions that you believe are true; but that may NOT necessarily be true. Thereby rendering it just an opinion.
            .
            Whatever the whole branch is may be called science but that does NOT make it science.
            .
            And I think we have dispelled the theory of atheists being intellectually superior at least in these blog comments.

          • KR says:

            “Gotta love it when atheists do NOT even KNOW the meaning of the word science.”
            .
            Personally, I get a good chuckle from seeing someone who clearly doesn’t know the first thing about science taking it upon himself to lecture others on the subject.
            .
            “If you haven’t taken it into the lab and made it happen multiple times by multiple different people it is NOT science. It is interpretation of historical data.”
            .
            Science is about finding the best explanation for the observed evidence. The way we evaluate a suggested explanation (i.e. a hypothesis) is by making predictions of what we should be able to observe if the hypothesis is correct and then putting these predictions to the test. These tests can certainly be lab experiments but they can also be simple observations of nature. IOW, your exclusion of studying historical data as valid science is at best a fundamental misunderstanding and at worst a deliberate misrepresentation of the scientific method.
            .
            When it comes to biology, specifically, what has been known going back at least to the times of Linnaeus in the 1700’s is that living organisms can be placed into nested hierarchies, i.e. tree-like patterns of relatedness. Darwin’s explanation for these patterns was that life evolves through a process of descent with modification and speciation. He didn’t know the underlying mechanism but he could see that if there is a variation in traits within a population there will always be a difference in reproductive success. He called this natural selection.
            .
            As we’ve come to learn more about genetics and DNA, even down to the molecular level, this of course poses a challenge to Darwin’s ideas. The prediction is clear: if Darwin was right, we should see the same recurring patterns of nested hierarchies right down to the DNA sequence level. As it turns out, this is exactly what we see – and not just in the DNA sequence data but also in DNA synteny data (the study of where genes are placed in the genome), pseudogenes (genes that have lost their original function but still remain in the genome) and endogenous retroviruses (ERV:s, viral DNA sequences that has been inactivated but still remain in the genome).
            .
            Even if Darwin’s ideas have been adjusted in several ways to include new findings in genetics and molecular biology (specifically, we now know that evolution is not just an adaptive process and that random genetic drift plays a bigger part than Darwin thought), his basic idea of descent with modification was correct. Every new fossil or DNA sequence that’s discovered is a test of the theory and, so far, nothing has been found to overthrow it. At this time, there is no alternative mechanism on the table so some version of our current evolutionary theory (with perhaps some minor modifications or additions) will likely remain our best avaliable explanation for the foreseeable future.
            .
            “And I think we have dispelled the theory of atheists being intellectually superior at least in these blog comments.”
            .
            As Andy has pointed out, no-one here has suggested that atheists are intellectually superior – except maybe the odd theist using it as a straw man. Do you think theists are intellectually superior?

  6. Andy Ryan says:

    I’ve found interacting with Mark pretty pointless as he mainly deals in insults and long irrelevant Bible quotes, but for others reading, his characterisation of science, biology and evolution here is completely false. DNA is examined in a lab. Carbon dating is lab work. Speciation has been observed in a lab. The famous Lenski Experiment happened in a lab, for goodness sake. And of course one of the most important tests of whether something is science is whether it’s falsifiable and whether it makes testable predictions. Evolutionary science easily qualifies for both.

    Reply
  7. Brent Hurst says:

    Well Andy,
    .
    I just seems you cannot understand anything I say, from the theoretical context of existence itself as I discuss the finite and the infinite contexts of Being, to the sardonic humor I took jest in.
    .
    If you ask a question based upon my first post that even gives me a hint you understood what I was saying, I will be sure to answer you. But I think our thinking styles are too diverse. You took my statement that any such context of Infinite, as it exists transcendent to our finite universe, would be inarguably to sum and substance of a God as Creator, existing outside of time and space,
    .
    and blew all such universal mathematical truths aside for the sheer human will to believe something that might or might not be true.
    .
    So down here on Earth, with our little minds, some people BELIEVE in Evolution (Macro), others do not. Metaphorically let say you believe a cell, along with its DNA, randomly or situational one day ROSE FROM THE DEAD. One minute there was ooze just sliding down a cliff or floating on the top of a scummy pond, and poof, a little static electrical jolt and not that ooze somehow not only resembles a cellular structure but begins to breath (osmosis). Now our mad scientist has his little cellular Frankenstein.
    .
    That’s a nice little story, and punish humor aside, there are plenty who believe in such a supernatural event.
    .
    But why would I call it supernatural, because it is contrary to a universal reality which we can clearly be seen all around us, namely “Life beget Life”, Observable, repeatable, a perfectly acceptable scientific principle that can be seen universally.
    .
    If this is so, then where did the origin, the original Life come from that beget all the life we see today. If science was truthful they would admit they just don’t know. Its a mystery, the smallest form of anything of life is inherently amazingly complex in structure. And so according to their linear thinking, they cheat, jumping over great assumptions, vast time, etc… trying to make something work, a little protein, a few million or billion random accidents, when does it become too much.
    .
    I do not approach the issue from a linear perspective but rather from the POV of the Infinite context of existence. In linear thinking one might think as standing “before” anything was created. Although in truth it is vertical and transcendent.
    .
    Now here is a mind blower, God as the Infinite context of Being, is the one and only true reality. All that is finite, including you and me and the Creation to boot, is not real. Logically can something be only temporally real, this means it APPEARs as a reality but it is not. A cloud for a moment looks like a duck, but its very identity is illusionary. The universe is fluid energy, shapes appear and disappear, it is only as our consciousness is trapped in the limitation of a moment that such fluidity appears as a solid form.
    .
    But back down here in the mundane, nothing evolves, everything is maturing, everything is simply manifesting what it already is within, the universality of this only reveals the darkness and limitations of the minds of men. Nothing can become more, express more than that nature within it allows, we mature, we manifest, we grow, we age, and we die. In fact the whole universe will die, collapsing back into the nothingness from which it, apparently without impetus or direction, exploded into existence from. Nothing can “EVOLVE” into something it is not already, TIME is not changing the Universe, it is manifesting it, but it is already complete, we just can’t perceive it within its boundaries.

    Reply
    • Andy Ryan says:

      “Metaphorically let say you believe a cell, along with its DNA, randomly or situational one day ROSE FROM THE DEAD.”
      The earliest cells would have had RNA rather than DNA, so right from the start you seem to be showing you don’t really understand the science.
      .
      ” a few million or billion random accidents”
      Evolution isn’t random, again showing you lack a fundamental grasp of the science.
      .
      “Nothing can “EVOLVE” into something it is not already”
      Speciation has been observed in laboratories. That’s a third strike against you, Brent. Do I need to go on?
      .
      ” it is contrary to a universal reality which we can clearly be seen all around us, namely “Life beget Life””
      If you’re using that logic, we don’t tend to see supernatural beings creating life.

      Reply
      • Mark Heavlin says:

        “Speciation has been observed in laboratories. That’s a third strike against you, Brent. Do I need to go on?”
        .
        Only by the loss of information in the DNA; otherwise show the data.

        Reply
        • KR says:

          “Only by the loss of information in the DNA; otherwise show the data.”
          .
          The thing is, we know the mechanism behind speciation. We know it because we can study it through the existence of ring species. If you take the time to look up this fascinating phenomenon, you will come to realize that loss or gain of information is irrelevant to the process. All that’s needed is a population dividing into subpopulations that stop interbreeding, either because they’re separated geographically or because they develop different behavioural patterns.
          .
          If this separation persists for long enough, these subpopulations will – due to mutations – become reproductively incompatible with each other. This means they’ve effectively become different species. From this point of speciation, these populations are basically locked into separate paths of evolution and will likely continue to diverge as time passes.

          Reply
          • Brent Hurst says:

            Dear KR
            .
            If one wants to talk about evolution as it corresponds to a God creating, all this talk of speciation is useless. All breeds of dogs came from a wolf, despite the difference between a great dane and a teacup Chihuahua, all such information still exists today in each as well as the wolf. Diversity within the information is a given, what is needed though….
            .
            Is to find the smallest, simplest form of life, something that can reproduce, and determine if such a simple structure could have come together on its own. Either randomly or situationally where the environment shaped it somehow. Of course the problem is that what is considered the simplest form of life, is not simple at all.
            .
            I get it, Christians say God intervened and just brought it all together, yet even biblically one can see God “Forming” Adam from the dust, then breathing the “breath of life” into that inert mass. So even in the context of Adam there is a synchronicity with what science would speculate.
            .
            To compete with that biblical context, one must address how basically a soup, a rock, something that was inert like the rest of the natural world, first drew breath and procreated itself.
            .
            The claim is that Christians are assuming outside the bounds of logic, but what science speculates is no less miraculous. We are talking to origin of LIFE, that moving, breathing, eating, procreating miracle that so far as we really know only exists here.
            .
            This is a big step that science tends to pass over, two or three molecule amino acids, speciation, these might encourage speculation but the are infinitely pitiful when trying to explain a shift from inert matter to a living breathing organism, about which nothing is simply.
            .
            The claims of religion seem fantastic, but so do the evolutionists who are in reality just as ignorant as those who rehearse something they read in a book, of which the same could be said of the Atheist have also read their books.
            .
            Of course don’t bother trying to educate me one way or the other since I approach this problem from an infinite perspective as outlined in my earlier post. Past and future to me have no bearing as they are merely an illusion produced by our consciousness travelling on a time line. God just took the whole Creation idea thing in His imagination, grabbed the beginning in His right hand and the end in His left, and pulled them apart to create Time and space and all that is within.
            .
            Since our very existence is illusionary, how foolish is it to argue what came first, finitude is finitude does, duh…. 🙂

          • Andy Ryan says:

            ” all such information still exists today in each as well as the wolf”
            .
            This is not true in any sense.

          • KR says:

            @Brent Hurst
            .
            “All breeds of dogs came from a wolf”
            .
            …which came from another ancestral form, which came from another ancestral form a.s.o., a.s.o.
            .
            “Of course the problem is that what is considered the simplest form of life, is not simple at all.”
            .
            What is considered the simplest form of life currently existing may not be simple but then all current life forms have had around 4 billion years to evolve.
            .
            “To compete with that biblical context, one must address how basically a soup, a rock, something that was inert like the rest of the natural world, first drew breath and procreated itself.”
            .
            No, that’s not what one must address. The first life forms would have been single-cell organisms that obviously didn’t “draw breath”. What one must address is how simple chemicals could have formed a structure that had the ability to evolve. Abiogenesis researchers have some pretty good ideas on how that could have happened.
            .
            “The claim is that Christians are assuming outside the bounds of logic, but what science speculates is no less miraculous. We are talking to origin of LIFE, that moving, breathing, eating, procreating miracle that so far as we really know only exists here.”
            .
            No, we’re talking about how the evolutionary process could have gotten started – and it wouldn’t require moving, breathing or eating, just the capacity to self-replicate.
            .
            “This is a big step that science tends to pass over, two or three molecule amino acids, speciation, these might encourage speculation but the are infinitely pitiful when trying to explain a shift from inert matter to a living breathing organism, about which nothing is simply.”
            .
            No-one is passing over anything, there’s an entire field of research that is addressing this issue head on. If I compare this approach with the religious one, which is basically to throw up our hands and declare the whole thing a mystery, the former seems decidedly less pitiful.
            .
            “The claims of religion seem fantastic, but so do the evolutionists who are in reality just as ignorant as those who rehearse something they read in a book, of which the same could be said of the Atheist have also read their books.”
            .
            You’ve given no indication of knowing nearly enough about abiogenesis research to make any assessment of the state of knowledge of the people involved in this research. I also can’t help noticing the irony of someone holding a Bible-based belief talking mockingly about rehearsing “something they read in a book”. Getting your knowledge from books is fine, as long as this knowledge is based on verifiable empirical data.
            .
            “Of course don’t bother trying to educate me one way or the other since I approach this problem from an infinite perspective as outlined in my earlier post. Past and future to me have no bearing as they are merely an illusion produced by our consciousness travelling on a time line.”
            .
            Feel free to use whatever approach you like – but when you offer criticism of other people’s approach, you need to make an effort to understand what that approach actually is. In this case, it would seem you haven’t.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            KR, I think Brent’s belief is that abiogenesis involves a rock taking a deep breath from fully formed lungs, sprouting arms and legs, crawling out of a pond and going around with its tongue hanging out looking for something to munch on with teeth that it just grew. Having developed this straw man he figures he doesn’t need to do any more than underline how absurd it is. As you say, he’s criticising something he not only doesn’t understand but takes pride in not researching or understanding.

          • KR says:

            Andy,
            Yes, it’s pretty clear that what’s being criticized is an absurd caricature that bears no resemblance with what’s actually being suggested. Abiogenesis research is about finding a plausible chemical pathway from basic molecules that would likely have been available at the time to a self-replicating unit or “protocell” that could get the evolutionary ball rolling. If the claim is that this is impossible, then this assertion needs to be justified with some kind of evidence.

      • Brent Hurst says:

        Dear Andy,
        .
        Then I guess I’m out, evolution has won, and everything will continue to evolve, at least until it dies.

        Reply
  8. Tracey. says:

    And on another note to Darwin and his theory evolution-simply put. Is death part of evolution? Anyway what I was here to write is,

    So I do agree with the term, Big Bang, it has never resonated with me, the Universe went bang? No I feel/think, the Universe went, Big Birth, the mother of all Births, why, because all come from a birth of some-way, or another a pattern of Life, no bang, like it just couldn’t hold on anymore and burst.
    The chatter about different species, plant and animal still doesn’t give information about, the, Life of LIfe, but God does, and nicely too.
    The more I read, hear objections to God, and almost tantrum like displays, the more real God becomes, paying true to His ways are greater than mine/anybody really.
    See God, supports those who say they don’t believe in Him, as it all works in His favour- now that is Intelligence, of the Supreme kind.
    God is so very complex that He causes by His complexity, all people to acknowledge of Him, regardless of what type of acknowledgement that may be, believe in Him or not.

    Reply
  9. Brent Hurst says:

    Dear KR and Andy,
    .
    Dudes, chill, if you cant address the questions honestly there’s no need to get all snippy.
    .
    “””””””The seven characteristics of life include: responsiveness to the environment; growth and change; ability to reproduce; have a metabolism and breathe; maintain homeostasis; being made of cells; passing traits onto offspring.””””””””
    .
    “breathing” includes osmosis as a cell takes in nutrients and expels waste.
    .
    “”””””””””What is considered the simplest form of life currently existing may not be simple but then all current life forms have had around 4 billion years to evolve.”””””””””
    .
    OK, so you lack any real evidence, but you seem to have a theory, something like:
    .
    “Perhaps, definitely, in a galaxy far, far, away, and billions and billions of years ago, life began, but probably not defined as we define life today, but it has to be real because we have some cool scientific names for those who are looking for it, but it is lost, yeah, definitely lost”
    .
    I only have one more question, is there any history of drug abuse in your family? I mean I really feel like I’m talking to a couple of stoners, I mean really, something science is looking for but has NOT found, and for me to question it’s existence I have to PROVE it doesn’t exist.
    .
    Wait!, I get it, because you really, really, believe it exists, that means it must exist, it has to exist,
    .
    Therefore if I suggest it does not exist, I have to come over to your house and pick you up in my space ship and fly you all over the universe (because if I simply took picture you would claim I photo-shopped them)
    .
    Wait! Try this, “To disprove something you have no scientific evidence of I have to prove scientifically does not exist.
    .
    Hey you guys are fun. I can actually hear the eggs frying in the skillet now. Oh wait, I’m supposed to be sad aren’t I, (sniff), oh I’m so hurt, they have insulted my intelligence, they’ve exposed me for the ignorant pretender I am. (sniffle).
    .
    Seriously guys, if your going to belittle and mock, show a little style, make someone laugh so at least someone can enjoy it besides you. You guys are so stuffy with your pocket protectors, have some fun. 🙂

    Reply
    • Andy Ryan says:

      “Seriously guys, if your going to belittle and mock, show a little style, make someone laugh”
      I use my twitter account for jokes, Brent. I have almost 10,000 followers who seem to enjoy my sense of humour. Yesterday I posted a joke that’s already been shared over 2,000 times and viewed by over half a million people. That’s beside the point though (feel free to seek it out then moan you don’t find it funny). I find that putting jokes into arguments here just distracts from the point I’m making and leads to confusion rather than clarity. Sorry if you lack the attention span to make read to the end of a post without the help of gags. You seem to be aware that you’ve lost the argument and so are now trying to play “Well at least I’m not all serious like you two nerds”. If that makes you feel better, go for it.
      .
      “if your going to belittle and mock, show a little style”
      What, like asking us if our family our drug abusers? You’ve got a different notion of ‘style’ to me. And it’s ‘you’re’, not your.

      Reply
    • KR says:

      Yikes. I just pointed out that you’re using fallacious arguments and don’t know much about abiogenesis research – no need to throw a hissy fit. Seriously, dude – what happened to that cool philosopher who approaches life from an infinite perspective? It’s like you’re a whole different person. I miss the old Brent. 🙁
      .
      “””””””The seven characteristics of life include: responsiveness to the environment; growth and change; ability to reproduce; have a metabolism and breathe; maintain homeostasis; being made of cells; passing traits onto offspring.””””””””
      .
      So you accuse me of not addressing the question honestly and then you throw a definition of life at me which is about the properties of extant life – when the issue is life from non-life. Do you see a slight problem here? If the hypothesis is that life formed through chemistry, then that would obviously entail precursors to life as we know it now. In the case of the “RNA world” hypothesis that scientists like Szostak, Sutherland and Powner are working on, such a precursor could consist of nothing more than RNA molecules and maybe some amino acids trapped in a lipid vesicle.
      .
      Would such a “protocell” have all the characteristics of your definition of life? Obviously not – but that’s irrelevant to the really important question: could such a protocell evolve? It’s still early days in this line of research but so far, there’s no indication that it couldn’t. The more you look into the subject of abiogenesis research, the more obvious it becomes that defining what life is will not help us understand where it came from.
      .
      ““breathing” includes osmosis as a cell takes in nutrients and expels waste.”
      .
      Again, this isn’t really applicable to the simple structures I’m talking about. Uptake of RNA nucleotides across the lipid bilayer of the vesicle could, I guess, be called “taking in nutrients” but that seems like a bit of a stretch.
      .
      “Perhaps, definitely, in a galaxy far, far, away, and billions and billions of years ago, life began, but probably not defined as we define life today, but it has to be real because we have some cool scientific names for those who are looking for it, but it is lost, yeah, definitely lost”
      .
      So when called out on attacking straw men, your response is – a straw man. Surely you know how hypotheses work? In the words of Aristotle: “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” Aren’t you in possession of an educated mind, Brent? Was I wrong about you?
      .
      “I only have one more question, is there any history of drug abuse in your family? I mean I really feel like I’m talking to a couple of stoners, I mean really, something science is looking for but has NOT found, and for me to question it’s existence I have to PROVE it doesn’t exist.”
      .
      No history of drug abuse that I’m aware of. I could ask you if your family has had any issues with reading comprehension but that would just be rude. Suffice it to point out what my statement was: “If the claim is that this is impossible, then this assertion needs to be justified with some kind of evidence.” If you’re not making this claim and accept the possibility of life from non-life through chemistry, then we’re cool. If, on the other hand, you are making that claim, I will ask you to substantiate it. Burden of proof, you know – that kind of thing.
      .
      “Hey you guys are fun. I can actually hear the eggs frying in the skillet now. Oh wait, I’m supposed to be sad aren’t I, (sniff), oh I’m so hurt, they have insulted my intelligence, they’ve exposed me for the ignorant pretender I am. (sniffle).”
      .
      I believe someone doth protest too much. Like the man said: dude, chill.
      .
      “Seriously guys, if your going to belittle and mock, show a little style, make someone laugh so at least someone can enjoy it besides you. You guys are so stuffy with your pocket protectors, have some fun.”
      .
      I’ll do my best if you will, how’s that?

      Reply
  10. Brent Hurst says:

    Dear KR,
    .
    “”””””In the case of the “RNA world” hypothesis that scientists like Szostak, Sutherland and Powner are working on, such a precursor could consist of nothing more than RNA molecules and maybe some amino acids trapped in a lipid vesicle.””””””””
    .
    OK, so some guys have a theory, and some Christians have another theory, some believe in the theory of evolution, despite not having any real scientific proof. Some believe in a more Creational theory, not really having and scientific proof.
    .
    What’s all the fuss, we’re just having fun aren’t we, kick back, down a couple of brewskis. as the rappers would say, just conjecturalating a bit.
    .
    “”””””””The more you look into the subject of abiogenesis research, the more obvious it becomes that defining what life is will not help us understand where it came from.”””””””

    I see, so we have to pass it to find out what’s in it.

    “”””””””Surely you know how hypotheses work? In the words of Aristotle: “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” Aren’t you in possession of an educated mind, Brent? Was I wrong about you?”””””””

    I tried to entertain a thought once, it wasn’t impressed so it just got up and left, didn’t even pay it’s bar tab.
    .
    “””””””If you’re not making this claim and accept the possibility of life from non-life through chemistry, then we’re cool. If, on the other hand, you are making that claim, I will ask you to substantiate it. Burden of proof, you know – that kind of thing.”””””””””
    .
    You show me yours and I’ll show you mine
    .
    “”””””I believe someone doth protest too much.”””””
    .
    “Methinks thou doth protest too much”, or perhaps “the Lady doth protest too much methinks”, but tell you what, I’m in a good mood, I’ll let this one pass.
    .
    You do know we are long past any serious discussion. Banter passes the time, but I just can’t take you or Andy seriously, no offense, its just a thought you can entertain, you don’t have to accept it.

    Reply
    • KR says:

      .
      .
      “”””””””””What is considered the simplest form of life currently existing may not be simple but then all current life forms have had around 4 billion years to evolve.”””””””””
      .
      OK, so you lack any real evidence, but you seem to have a theory, something like:
      .
      “Perhaps, definitely, in a galaxy far, far, away, and billions and billions of years ago, life began, but probably not defined as we define life today, but it has to be real because we have some cool scientific names for those who are looking for it, but it is lost, yeah, definitely lost”
      .
      I only have one more question, is there any history of drug abuse in your family? I mean I really feel like I’m talking to a couple of stoners, I mean really, something science is looking for but has NOT found, and for me to question it’s existence I have to PROVE it doesn’t exist.
      .
      Wait!, I get it, because you really, really, believe it exists, that means it must exist, it has to exist,
      .
      Therefore if I suggest it does not exist, I have to come over to your house and pick you up in my space ship and fly you all over the universe (because if I simply took picture you would claim I photo-shopped them)
      .
      Wait! Try this, “To disprove something you have no scientific evidence of I have to prove scientifically does not exist.
      .
      Hey you guys are fun. I can actually hear the eggs frying in the skillet now. Oh wait, I’m supposed to be sad aren’t I, (sniff), oh I’m so hurt, they have insulted my intelligence, they’ve exposed me for the ignorant pretender I am. (sniffle).
      .
      Seriously guys, if your going to belittle and mock, show a little style, make someone laugh so at least someone can enjoy it besides you. You guys are so stuffy with your pocket protectors, have some fun.

      “You do know we are long past any serious discussion. Banter passes the time, but I just can’t take you or Andy seriously, no offense, its just a thought you can entertain, you don’t have to accept it.”
      .
      Don’t worry about it, the feeling is mutual.

      Reply

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