Monday, February 09, 2015

Evidence for the existence of god(s)

I am always on the lookout for evidence that some sort of god actually exists. The reason I'm an atheist is because I've never seen any evidence that's the least bit convincing. I keep asking for evidence but nobody ever supplies any. Somebody suggested to Barry Arrington that there was no evidence for god(s) and that really set him off [Astonishingly Stupid Things Atheists Say].

He responded with a list of all the evidence for god(s). Here's the list. I don't find it very convincing but some of you may want to head off to the the nearest church after reading the list.

  • The fine tuning of the universe.
  • The moral sense.
  • The fact that a natural universe cannot logically have a natural cause.
  • The fact that there is something instead of nothing.
  • The overwhelming odds against the Darwinian story being true (estimated at 10^-1018 by atheist Eugen Koonin).
  • The irreducible complexity of biological systems.
  • The vast amounts of complex computer-like code stored in DNA.
  • The miracles that have been reported throughout history.
  • My subjective self-awareness.
  • The fact that we do not even have plausible speculations to account for the origin of life.


73 comments :

  1. And all can be narrowed down to one short list

    "Argument from Ignorance"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I grant that there IS a god, then WTF did IT (he, she, they...) come from? Why search for evidence that would only lead back to this ultimate question?

      Delete
    2. @quest, go back to basic science class and educate yourself on fundamental reasoning.

      You also need to ask "Why is god the special case and not the universe itself". I've never seen the faithful give a good answer to that question. Please note that you require evidence to adequately answer it. Without evidence, don't even bother.


      Delete
  2. The overwhelming odds against the Darwinian story being true (estimated at 10^-1018 by atheist Eugen Koonin).

    ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is actually a calculation of the probability of the origin of life, however, rather than evolution. While you can argue with Koonin's assumptions, his point isn't to overthrow the "Darwinian Story" but to explain why life seems to pretty rare as far as we can tell (but maybe all the aliens are better at keeping to the "Prime Directive" than Captain Kirk was)

      Delete
    2. Hmmm. It seems to be a calculation of the odds that a particular 500-base RNA replicase would assemble by chance. What would that calculation have to do with anything, much less "the Darwinian story"?

      Delete
    3. Atheist Larry Moran has calculated the odds against Intelligent Design Creationism being true. It's 10^-1019.

      We win.

      Delete
    4. A likelihood ratio test wouldn't be significant. Better refine your calculations to add a few more zeros.

      Delete
    5. In regard to Koonin's calculation (if not Arrington's interpretation of it), it makes more sense in the context of his origin of life chapter. The part at the back is just the appendix.

      Delete
    6. What fucking "Darwinian story" is that?

      If creationists are not idiots, they work hard to make it look as if they are.

      Delete
  3. He seems to be basing his faith quite heavily on the idea that biological systems have no natural explanation. No wonder he rails against attempts to explain biology.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The fine tuning of the universe.
    It's not.

    The moral sense.
    It's subjective.

    The fact that a natural universe cannot logically have a natural cause.
    Calling it a fact doesn't make it one.

    The fact that there is something instead of nothing.
    The only proof that "something" demonstrates is that "something" exists.

    The overwhelming odds against the Darwinian story being true (estimated at 10^-1018 by atheist Eugen Koonin).
    Which is on the same order of probability that a person with Barry's exact genome and phenotype would exist.

    The irreducible complexity of biological systems.
    Irreducibly complex does not mean that it couldn't evolve in a step-wise process.

    The vast amounts of complex computer-like code stored in DNA.
    Which, again, only proves that there is a vast amount of information stored in DNA.

    The miracles that have been reported throughout history.
    None of which can be supported by irrefutable evidence.

    My subjective self-awareness.
    Again, this is only evidence that you are self aware.

    The fact that we do not even have plausible speculations to account for the origin of life.
    There are several plausible scenarios for the origin of life.

    That was easy. But what would I know. I am just a simpering atheistic coward.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. «"The fact that there is something instead of nothing."
      The only proof that "something" demonstrates is that "something" exists.» - That's a good one

      «My subjective self-awareness.» - That comes from the brain, by the way

      «The vast amounts of complex computer-like code stored in DNA.» - I have an acquaintance that works in the field of bioinformatics. According to him, comparing DNA to something man made just confirms that if there was a "maker" he wasn't very clever, because it would be deemed "broken" or "damaged".

      Delete
    2. According to him, comparing DNA to something man made just confirms that if there was a "maker" he wasn't very clever, because it would be deemed "broken" or "damaged".

      That's also the theme of John C. Avise's Inside the Human Genome: A Case for Non-Intelligent Design. My own copy of the book has a duplication. I only got one page of the epilogue (and no notes section) and turning the page found two copies of the glossary and the index. Normally, this would have been reason for me to send the book back, but in this case I find it nicely ironic

      Delete
  5. The fine tuning of the universe.

    I just happen to be reading a book by Victor Stenger, a physicist on this very topic. Haven't really gotten to the meat of the argument yet, but the he makes clear the answer is: "No it's not".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stenger's book has recieved a lot of criticism even among atheist cosmologists and philosophers.

      There's only one response one needs to make to the fine tuning argument: What is the probability of fine-tuning by a god? Ooops, we have no idea, so we cannot make a case based on the probability of fine-tuning due to chance vs fine-tuning due to divine intervention. There, that's it. All fine tuning arguments ever have thus been rendered irrelevant. There doesn't exist a defense they can erect to save it.

      Delete
    2. An Omnisciente god could have made the Universe in any other way he wanted, with the life forms he wanted and he can suspend the laws of his own universe, do anything he wants - it explains nothing about the way the universe is.

      Delete
    3. “This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!'

      Douglas Adams.

      Delete
    4. "Fine-tuning" is a contradiction to creationists claims:

      There's no reason why an all-powerful god would be limited by something as trivial as the values of some physical constants.

      "Fine tuning" refers to the constants being within the confines that allow for the Big Bang, for the formation of stars and then the elements, and then solar systems, and then planets, and etc. By proclaiming fine tuning, these idiots are admitting to everything else they don't like, from the very old age of the universe to our own evolution.

      Delete
  6. Mikkel, There is no option for banning on BlogSpot as far as I was able to find out Most Quest's posts just disappear

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can convince blogspot that some comments are spam. That's a start.

      Delete
  7. Hey Quest,
    Have you lost your mind?

    "Larry wrote:"I am always on the lookout for evidence that some sort of god actually exists. The reason I'm an atheist is because I've never seen any evidence that's the least bit convincing. I keep asking for evidence but nobody ever supplies any."

    This is pretty funny... last time I've asked Larry what evidence exactly for existence of God/gods/ID he was looking for he couldn't answer... When I kept demanding, I got banned... Go figure with Larry..."

    Have you really, really lost your mind?

    1. When there is evidence for something, you don't have to ask to provide evidence
    2. Can you provide a link to your quantum mechanics creation hypothesis? I would like to use some of that material in my book if it is ok by you
    3. Can you clearly state what your stand is on evolution, gods, religion, creationism, ID
    I have a hard time trying to figure out if you have a stand at all. You basically keep bashing everyone including poor newbie. I just want to kick your ass whenever there is an opportunity for it

    ReplyDelete
  8. These are all examples of what I call the "New Natural Theology," and I deal with virtually all of them in my (upcoming) book Faith Versus Fact. It's actually pathetic, because believers first say that they don't need empirical evidence for God's existence, and then they use this kind of empirical evidence in exactly that way!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I do not think that the word "fact" means what he thinks it means...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Better to list the words that do mean what he thinks they mean.

      Delete
  10. Lol Quest, you are one sometimes funny lunatic a forgetful one too
    Just go to hell

    ReplyDelete
  11. •The moral sense

    i.e. homosexuality is sinful. If there was no god, homosexuality would not be sinful.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I see that Quest suddenly became very interested in Jerry Coyne, Vibrators and homossexuality more or less all at once... Pretty sugesting. If Quest comes out o the world about his sexual identity, maybe he would be happier and a nicer person and would leave this blog for good, making it a better place. If not, he better kill himself, making the world a better place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MissAtheist, this is not my blog and I don't set the rules here. But common decency and my personal preferences agree in that I don't want to read speculations about other people's sex lives, etc. that are not backed up by evidence. If you have evidence that an anti-gay activist is a closeted gay, OK present it, it would be relevant then, but otherwise please don't speculate about people's sex lives, or their anatomy, or looks for that matter, without evidence.

      References to other people's sex lives are borderline sexual harrassment, the kind of thing ID proponents do (hello, Joe G, Quest, Ray Comfort.)

      This blog is not Arrington's "Uncommon Descent" and we should not degenerate to ID's shrill cacophony of name-calling, sexual references and endless ad hominems.

      I wouldn't let other people do it to you, so by extension I can't let you do it to other people... not even Pest.

      Yes, I know Pest violates all these rules, but technically he's banned. He has threatened Larry, myself and other people here, which is way outside the limits. But his comments get deleted eventually.

      Also, never call for someone to kill themselves. It's online bullying, and what if they actually did it? What would you say to their family members then? What would you say to his mom if he killed himself?

      Delete
    2. I'm sorry if my comment bothered you. I'll make sure it won't happen again. But in the mean time I must say: I was never so mistreated in my entire life (or at least that I can recall).

      Delete
    3. Oh, by the way: http://www.livescience.com/19563-homophobia-hidden-homosexuals.html

      Delete
    4. Fortunately for you, Quest, I don't want to disturb other people here... You chose the wrong person to mess with, but the right place.

      Delete
    5. So, this is the last time I will reply to you.

      Delete
  13. Quest, Can I ask you what you do for living? If you don't mind
    Can you provide the link to you quantum mechanics creation story please?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Larry, in case you're interested:

    http://www.mybloggerlab.com/2012/06/how-to-block-ip-address-on-blogspot.html

    ReplyDelete
  15. Diogenes,

    I think you unfairly singled out MissAtheist. There are a lot of nasty comments going back and forth on this blog, I don't know why comments of a sexual nature are worse than others. I'd be happy if an attempt was made to post 'coffee-shop rules', - only say things that you would say to someone in person in a coffee shop conversation. .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's alright. I can understand that I was kind of brutal and that it can be bothering to some comments and it's not my desire to make this blog a nasty place. And I have no desire to appear rude because it's not who I am in my day to day life.

      Delete
    2. I sympathize with Diogenes especially since he was the object of many attacks especially by quest. I don't know if quest was challenged by anyone or not but that is not the point. Last thing you want to do is suggest to someone to kill himself/herself. We don't know who 99% of people on this blog are. And even if we did, we don't even suggest to them to commit a suicide.
      What if quest is a punk who is using his fathers "credentials" or someone he knows well and post here as a big shot businessman or something? We just don't know. It could be dangerous to play like that

      Good call Diogenes

      Delete
  16. Don't forget the fossil record. If were are to believe evolution all body plans were caused by natural causes. Forget about missing links. ALL fossils found are of well adapted creatures. There is never any important parts missing, dooming the creature. If evolution were true then most fossils would be of maladapted creatures. Of the billions of fossils that have been found none are of defective body plans. Therefore the science proves that evolution does not exist. Therefore God did it.

    Can someone here really believe that the billions of fossils of perfectly adapted creatures actually be created by a natural force. The would mean that the outcome of every series of mutations was beneficial. Let's say there have been 10**1000*1000 mutations in history. If all of them created working body plans the odds would be unimaginable. I know what a bookie would say. Don't waste your money kid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "ALL fossils found are of well adapted creatures. There is never any important parts missing, dooming the creature. If evolution were true then most fossils would be of maladapted creatures."

      If they were doomed, could you explain why we do find fossils? It means they must have been alive somewhere in the past?

      Delete
    2. I know what a bookie would say. Don't waste your money kid.

      If that were true, if you really knew what a "bookie" would say, you would understand how stupid your comment was.

      Delete
    3. Ed, what I'm talking about is ALL the fossil records we have found are perfectly functioning. You don't find people where genetic mutation has randomly not produced a head, or liver, or ANYTHING. All fossils of all creatures have a membrane, dna, etc. Nothing is ever missing in the fossil record. If evolution was true and all creatures were created by random forces then you would expect a lot of creatures that didn't survive because the 'experiment' didn't get it right the first time. This is never the case. The bodies are always functional. The odds of getting every mutation right for every creature in history is mind boggling. So you either believe the irrational that evolution did it, or the rational that God the designer did it.

      Delete
    4. Photosynthesis,

      Wikipedia - A bookmaker, bookie, or turf accountant is an organization or a person that takes bets on sporting and other events at agreed upon odds.

      IOW, a bookie, a professional better certainly would not bet on evolution when the chances against it are unimaginable.

      p.s. insults are not very persuasive arguments. Especially when the criticism is completely wrong.

      Delete
    5. Peter:
      "You don't find people where genetic mutation has randomly not produced a head, or liver, or ANYTHING."

      Correct, during embryogenesis those embryo's die/ are dead or in case of mamals those embryo's get aborted, called a miscarriage. You wont find those fossils, because these embryo's die before bones start to form.

      What you do find in fossils is transition over time from say a cow/ hippo like common ancestor, to slightly better adapted creatures for living in water to ultimately a modern day whale, complete with a rudimentry pelvis.

      I have two questions for you:
      If you look closer at whale embryo's you'll find that during embryogenesis they actually do have hind legs buds, like they have front leg buds. Now thats weird, what in the world would a whale need hind legs for? And why does a whale have a (rudimentry) pelvis, when a whale doesn't have hind legs?
      And 'only god knows' isn't an answer. Want to give it a try?

      Delete
    6. Not all defects get aborted. Thalidomide children didn't get aborted, and that's only one defect. If the forces of creation are random as you suggest then there should be more rejects than successes, way more. The fossil record strongly contradicts evolution.

      In answer to your questions can you create a creature? How do you know which embryonic pathway is the most efficient. Your questions are from a lack of knowledge and do not really suggest anything other than there needs to be more research. I would advise caution here. Too many scientists have misinterpreted data like this before, i.e. gills that didn't turn out to be gills, the whole Haeckels embryo fraud, etc. It's easy to see what you want to see.

      On the topic of subjective interpretation of evidence Steven Myers debated evolutionists at Biologos on the subject of the Cambrian explosion. None of them claimed to have an explanation for the greatest creation event in history. They said that it is a problem they are still studying. If these evolutionary scientists can ignore such monumental evidence then one certainly can be skeptical about what they say.

      Perhaps you could answer one question for me, how is rapid evolution even evolution? Rapid evolution is supposed to happen many times. This contradicts Darwin's understanding of evolution. And yet evolutionists can so easily say a phrase that completely contradicts itself.

      Delete
    7. Thanks for ignoring my question, It also seems your knowledge of embryology is stuck somewhere in the mid 1800's. Haekel may have faked his drawings, modern day embryology knows those hind legs buds in whales are indeed hind leg buds. Evidence you'll obviously brush aside as ' there needs to be more research', but perhaps you should read a modern day university textbook on the subject.

      Perhaps you can define the term 'rapid evolution'? Is it rapid in what YEC's claim, 6K years ago flood and in 6K years from the few animals on board the arc the current diversity in live on earth has come forth?
      Or do you mean this as rapid evolution?. Because what I read here doesn't contradict Darwin. Do explain.

      Delete
    8. Thank you, Peter Wadeck! I'd never seen this argument before. Its wrong on just about every count, but very entertaining.

      Individuals can be born with serious morphological defects, but no non-human vertebrates have the social structures that would allow, for example, wolves born with flipper-like limbs to survive long enough to become fossils.

      And can you be serious in suggesting that if evolution is true we expect to find fossils of vertebrates that lived without heads? (By the way, even the more complete sauropod dinosaur skeletons nearly always lack heads, though, I'm sorry to say, not because these sauropods had walked around without them.)

      The most important problem with your hypothesis is that if evolution is true, past organisms are not merely flawed predecessors of present organisms. They were adequately to splendidly adapted to the physical and biological environment of their times, just as present organisms are to our times.

      Well, there were a few environments (e.g. earth just after an asteroid impact) that organisms mostly weren't adapted to, but in those cases lots and lots of species went extinct.

      Anyway, thanks for the interesting post!

      Delete
    9. It's often mildly interesting to observe the varying levels of incomprehension regarding evolution that creationists suffer. I recall one individual with whom I was involved in a discussion who argued that the earliest tetrapods who emerged from water would have immediately gone extinct because they would have been sitting ducks for any predators that were already on land. I kept trying to figure out what predators he was talking about. Carnivorous walking ferns, possibly? Turned out he didn't quite grasp the concept of common ancestry, and thought that every single vertebrate species had to separately evolve from an aquatic to a terrestrial form.

      Peter Wadeck seems to be suffering a similarly fundamental misunderstanding of basic evolutionary theory.

      Delete
    10. Carnivorous walking ferns, possibly?

      We have ferns in our house. Now I'm not going to be able to sleep at night.

      Delete
    11. Well Ed, I have to agree with your facts and conclusion. Yes the whale must have evolved from a land animal? I guess you'll agree with me that all the other animals in history that don't show transitional fetal development. That would imply all the fish, reptiles, birds, insects, and all mammals except the whale never evolved because there is no embryonic evidence.

      Regarding fast evolution (an oxymoran) I am sure you're aware that it would take more time than the existence of the universe to randomly create on simple protein. So 14 billion years is to quick for a single protein. Now I heard one scientist say that there is enough information in a cm of dna to fill books from earth to the moon. Perhaps Larry could correct me on this one. So, if the entire Cambrian explosion was accomplished in about 20 million years, do you think there is enough time for this evolution which contains many life forms and the requisite proteins of course, to have evolved when 14 billion years was not enough time for a single protein.

      Delete
    12. Lutesuite, nice of you to make an argument for me I wasn't going to make in the first place. Do you know what a straw man argument is, because your argument contains no substance whatsoever. But I find that a lot in visiting evolutionary blogs.

      Delete
    13. Larry, walking ferns? I'm totally lost.

      Delete
    14. You have nothing to fear from the ordinary walking ferns although you might consider buying a leash or at least putting a collar on them. It's the carnivorous walking ferns that cause a problem. Keep your bedroom door locked at night and buy a couple of cats to feed to the ferns.

      Delete
    15. Peter:
      "Regarding fast evolution (an oxymoran) I am sure you're aware that it would take more time than the existence of the universe to randomly create on simple protein. "

      Ah yes. The 'not enough time, thus god did it' argument. The argument based on a creationist caricature of evolution, and a distinct lack of knowledge of biology.

      I vaguely remember someone mentioning strawman argument? Or was he eaten by the ferns? Nasty stuff ferns.

      Delete
    16. Keep your bedroom door locked at night and buy a couple of cats to feed to the ferns.

      Hope Jerry Coyne doesn't read this!

      Delete
    17. Larry, walking ferns? I'm totally lost.

      Yeah. We've noticed.

      Delete
    18. Well, there you have it. You ask a couple of questions to an evolutionists and they're reduced to making snarky comments. The science has evaporated. That's to be expected after all. At the core of it evolution is bad theology producing bad science.

      Delete
    19. "Regarding fast evolution (an oxymoran) I am sure you're aware that it would take more time than the existence of the universe to randomly create on simple protein"

      Why do you think this? From what principle do you extract this conclusion?

      Delete
    20. Mikkel,

      Thanks for your question. It is a reference to the scientist Dr Hubert Yockey. He did the calculation in one of his books. He took a simple protein and did a rigorous statistical calculation to determine it would take longer than the history of the world for this protein to be produced by random chance.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubert_Yockey

      Professor Hubert P. Yockey, PhD is a physicist and information theorist. He worked under Robert Oppenheimer on the Manhattan Project, and at the University of California, Berkeley.

      I did a paper that included his work at school. I don't have the reference handy at the present. The mathematics is very advanced.

      One of the nice things about blogs is their informality, but I guess it can have it's downsides too.

      Delete
    21. Was the mathematics more advanced than putting the probability at 1/(20^N) where N is the number of amino acids in the protein? That would be the probability of assembling a particular amino acid sequence by randomly picking amino acids from the full pool. The drawback of this calculation is that it has nothing to do with anyone's idea of evolution.

      Delete
    22. Well, yes it is very much more complicated. He is a physicist and information theorists.I would hazard to guess that he understands probabilistic distributions better than most evolutionists. And I'm sure he can understand the whack-a-mole definition of evolution that has to change rapidly to deflect the mountains of scientific evidences that constantly contradict it, i.e. junk dna, rapid change followed by long periods of stasis, early origin of super-complex life (photosynthetic), and on and on.

      Delete
    23. Anyway, I got off my butt and actually looked up the quote. Here it is if you want to check his math. (He did work for Robert Oppenheimer on the Manhattan Project).

      Here it is:
      Herbert P. Yockey, Information theory and molecular biology, (Cambridge NY: Cambridge University Press, 1992) 255.

      He calculated the probability of one small amino acid being created by random forces (although he doubted those amino acids even existed when life began). He says it would take 10**25 years. The universe is only 14*10**9, which is quite a bit younger. Now try to imagine how long it would take for an interacting ecosystem to randomly be generated.

      Delete
    24. Clearly you don't know what "one small amino acid" even means, so it's unlikely you understood what Yockey said, whatever it might have been.

      Delete
  17. I think the best evidence for a creator is found in biochemistry.

    The topic is irreducible complexity, and the object is the bacterial flagellum. The flagellum is a perfect illustration of Behe's point:

    "INTERVIEWER: One criticism of ID has been that it makes no predictions, and thus is unscientific. Does The Edge of Evolution address this?
    BEHE: The Edge of Evolution is almost entirely concerned with the major, opposing predictions of Darwinism and ID. The most essential prediction of Darwinism is that, given an astronomical number of chances, unintelligent processes can make seemingly-designed systems, ones of the complexity of those found in the cell. ID specifically denies this, predicting that in the absence of intelligent input no such systems would develop. So Darwinism and ID make clear, opposite predictions of what we should find when we examine genetic results from a stupendous number of organisms that are under relentless pressure from natural selection. The recent genetic results are a stringent test. The results: 1) Darwinism’s prediction is falsified; 2) Design’s prediction is confirmed."
    http://www.discovery.org/a/4097

    Speaking of which, the only effort so far to find an evolutionary pathway for the flagellum is this 8 year old article:
    https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~matzke/matzke_cv/_pubs/Pallen_Matzke_2006_NRM_origin_flagella.pdf

    Larry, as a biochemist you would now best - has any progress been reported in your literature in verifying flagellar evolution in the past 8 years? If so, would you post the cites for us, please?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mr Reynolds, as usual you cherry pick what you want to read, I doubt you have even read the pdf you cite above. A quote:
      "Many new flagellar systems have been discovered through genome sequencing — a trend that is likely to increase with time. For example, over three hundred flagellin sequences were obtained in a single sequencing project that focused on samples from the Sargasso Sea (17) . By even the most conservative estimate, there must therefore be thousands of different bacterial flagellar systems, perhaps even millions. Therefore, there is no point discussing the creation or ID of ‘the’ bacterial flagellum. Instead, one is faced with two options: either there were thousands or even millions of individual
      creation events, which strains Occam’s razor to breaking point, or one has to accept that all the highly diverse contemporary flagellar systems have evolved from a common ancestor"

      Do explain, has Behe adressed this issue in later papers? If so, do cite them.

      Perhaps you should also search for: Brucella melitensis . Has Prof. Behe adressed this issue in later publications? If so, do cite them.

      Delete
    2. "Speaking of which, the only effort so far to find an evolutionary pathway for the flagellum is this 8 year old article:
      https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~matzke/matzke_cv/_pubs/Pallen_Matzke_2006_NRM_origin_flagella.pdf
      "


      Since it was shown already 8 years ago that the flagellum evolved, why are you here now blathering about it?

      Delete