Thursday, January 28, 2016

Is there a conflict between science and religion?

Some of you may not be able to come to our little "dialogue" tomorrow night. Don't worry, you can watch it on YouTube: Is There a Conflict Between Science and Religion?.



41 comments :

  1. Alexander is up here now -- posters all around Carleton (the venue is at UofO). I'm too busy to go, but I did put a poster for our Jerry Coyne event right next to one for the Alexander event ;-).

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  2. i think that the best evidence for god is the "self repliciating watch" argument. its mean that if we will find a self replicating watch (with traits like self replication system and even dna) the best conclusion is that this speciel watch was designed. so its not realy matter if science is realy conflict with religion because i think that science itself prove creation. with evolution or without.

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    1. There seems to be something missing from your argument. OK, so a "self replicating watch" would be considered to have been designed. Let's grant that for the sake of argument. There are no self-replicating watches, so what does that prove?

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    2. first-nature is more complex then this kind of watch. secondly- it doesnt matter if its about watch or a motor or a robot. the flagellum for example is a self replicating motor. we can even use it as a watch because its spining. so nature indeed can made a watch according to evolution. we can consider even ape as a self replicating robot (from materialistic prespective).

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    3. The flagellum isn't self-replicating. And we know it evolved. And even if it's self-replicating that doesn't mean it was designed. The layered stuctures in growing crystals self-replicate. You'll have to come up with something else.

      If all it takes for something to be a watch is to "spin" then every star and planet in the universe is a watch. Individual atoms are watches, subatomic particles are watches etc. etc. None of those were designed.

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    4. first-nature is more complex then this kind of watch.

      Absolutely true. For example, the course of the Mississippi River is far, far more complicated than anything a machine would draw.

      Do you think that means God personally designed it, or that the water molecules must have intelligence?

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    5. the flagellum for example is a self replicating motor.

      No, it isn't. A motor is a device designed and built by human beings. You might speak analogously of part of the flagellum being a "motor", but that doesn't make it one.

      You're just begging the question here. Your argument is just "Something as complex as the bacterial could only have been designed by something intelligent, therefore something as complex as the bacterial flagellum could only have been designed by something intelligent." If you need an explanation as to why that is a fallacious argument, I can maybe help you out with that.

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    6. mikkel. so a self replicating watch need a designer or not?

      " And we know it evolved. "-

      you believe its evolved.

      iutesuite

      "
      No, it isn't. A motor is a device designed and built by human beings. "-

      so if a human will design a falgellum then you will consider it as a motor?

      judmarc,

      "Absolutely true. For example, the course of the Mississippi River is far, far more complicated than anything a machine would draw"-

      so a self replicating watch need a designer or not?

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    7. "mikkel. so a self replicating watch need a designer or not?"

      You tell me. So far all you've said is that it does, but nothing about why this must be so. Impress me.

      "you believe its evolved."
      No, we literally know it evolved. Simply put, if it did not evolve then there'd be no a priori reason to expect there to be homologous structures with only parts of the flagellum, and there'd be no a priori reason to expect we can detect the phylogenetic relationships of the individual protein molecules either.

      Yet they do and we can, so the flagellum evolved. That's it, case closed. Time to move on. This is where you now demonstrate whether you are rational about this or not. And since we already know you're just going to reject this, then irrational you are. Good luck with your life.

      PS: If the flagellum is a motor, then motors can and do evolve. You don't get any closer to your design-conclusion simply by deciding to label biological structures with words we normally use for human constructions. Call it whatever you feel you must, it still says nothing about how it came to be.

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    8. so if a human will design a falgellum then you will consider it as a motor

      No. It'd be a flagellum that was designed by a human.

      If the motor that makes your car run a flagellum?

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    9. Correction: Should be "Is the motor...."

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    10. so a self replicating watch need a designer or not?

      How do you decide whether something you observe in nature is a "self-replicating watch"? Because it is complex? There are many things in nature that are hugely complex - the outline of a mountain range on the horizon, for example. Try to draw it in as computer-generated graphics in a movie and see how easy it is to make it look real. Mountains "replicate," with variability, all over the planet constantly. Does this mean the Creator/Designer must raise them up and all this plate tectonics, geology, and lava stuff is wrong?

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    11. " Simply put, if it did not evolve then there'd be no a priori reason to expect there to be homologous structures with only parts of the flagellum,"-

      both car and airplane have have homologous parts: wheels,fuel tank and so on. so according to your logic its the result of commondescent?


      "No. It'd be a flagellum that was designed by a human"-

      why we cant call it a motor? where is the limit between a motor and flagellum?

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    12. both car and airplane have have homologous parts: wheels,fuel tank and so on. so according to your logic its the result of commondescent?

      Those are not homologous. Homology would be if, say, the wings of the plane were made from a car's fuel tank that had been modified for the purpose.

      why we cant call it a motor? where is the limit between a motor and flagellum?

      If there's no line, then why don't you call a motor a "flagellum"?

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    13. "Homology would be if, say, the wings of the plane were made from a car's fuel tank that had been modified for the purpos"-

      your watch is made by a lot of parts that are very similar to other parts in other systems. so according to you your watch is the reslut of evolution?

      "If there's no line, then why don't you call a motor a "flagellum"?"-

      this is for you- you claimed that the flagellum isnt a motor. why not actually?

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    14. I don't believe there is any problem in referring to a flagellum as a motor. The term need not be reserved for a device designed by an intelligent designer so far as I am concerned. The bacterial flagellum is simply an assembly of proteins that converts the potential energy of a proton gradient into rotary motion. The F1F0 ATPase is another one that is found in both bacteria and mitochondria. I don't know why creationists are especially fixated on the flagellum - they could have stuck with the eye for all the argument is worth.

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    15. your watch is made by a lot of parts that are very similar to other parts in other systems. so according to you your watch is the reslut of evolution?

      Why are you using the term "homologous" when you clearly have no understanding of what it means? It doesn't mean "similar to", otherwise similar structures existing in different organisms that were the result of convergent evolution would be referred to as "homologous" to one another. So why aren't they? Run off and find the answer to that question, so that it might be worth my while trying to educate you. As it is, your ignorance is too profound to make it worth my time. I don't paid for writing here, you know.

      this is for you- you claimed that the flagellum isnt a motor. why not actually?

      Because a motor is a device designed and built by humans. To refer to natural objects by that term is to speak analogously, which is fine so long as one realize that is what is being done. You, it appears, are not.

      So, again, answer my question: Why don't you call a motor a "flagellum"? More to the point, if I did call it one, would that mean it had evolved, and hadn't been designed by an intelligent being?

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    16. "Why are you using the term "homologous" "-

      true. i mean by that to any similar protein. but you are actually wrong because homologous define as 2 genes with commondescent. so its actually base on the belife that evolution is true. but if its not true then any 2 similar proteins arent homologous.




      "Because a motor is a device designed and built by humans. "-

      so why a human made flagellum cant be a motor?

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    17. "Why are you using the term "homologous" "-

      true. i mean by that to any similar protein. but you are actually wrong because homologous define as 2 genes with commondescent. so its actually base on the belife that evolution is true. but if its not true then any 2 similar proteins arent homologous.


      Oh. So, IOW, I was correct, and you were using the term "homologous" incorrectly. Glad I could help you straighten that out.

      So, if an airplane was derived from a car in the same way that the flagellum was "designed" by an intelligent agent, then please show how every single part of an airplane was created by taking a part from a car and physically distorting it. Thanks in advance.

      "Because a motor is a device designed and built by humans. "-

      so why a human made flagellum cant be a motor?


      Same reason a human made motor can't be a flagellum. It's just the way languages work. Certain words mean certain things, and not others. Sorry, that's not my fault.

      But I guess if we did call a motor a "flagellum", then it would mean the motor was not intelligently designed, but arose thru the process of evolution. Right?

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    18. "So, if an airplane was derived from a car in the same way that the flagellum was "designed" by an intelligent agent, then please show how every single part of an airplane was created by taking a part from a car and physically distorting it"-

      some parts of the car changed into wings. even may by duplications of the small "wings" in the back of the car (those part that we see in race cars). the propeler evolve from the cooling fan inside the car and so on. so again- according to you we need to believe that airlane evolve from a car.

      "Same reason a human made motor can't be a flagellum."-

      let me ask you this in a different way- if we will create a self replicating watch(with springs and all the rest). it will not be a watch?

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    19. some parts of the car changed into wings. even may by duplications of the small "wings" in the back of the car (those part that we see in race cars). the propeler evolve from the cooling fan inside the car and so on. so again- according to you we need to believe that airlane evolve from a car.

      Are you saying that, for every plane manufactured, they take the air foil from the back of a racecar, bang into a new shape, stretch it out somehow, and then they have a wing? And a similar process is followed for every component of an aircraft? I'm a bit skeptical of that claim. My understanding is that they fabricate the components directly out of metal. Maybe you could provide some proof of your claim.

      Or, perhaps, it could be that you didn't understand my question, and/or don't understand how evolution operates.

      let me ask you this in a different way- if we will create a self replicating watch(with springs and all the rest). it will not be a watch?

      Yes, it would be a watch.

      Here's an interesting question: Suppose your self-replicating watch has an error occur in the self-replication process that makes it operate better than it did before, in a way that its designer did not foresee? Would you say this improvement was "designed"? If so, who designed it?

      Also, will you answer now answer my earlier question? If we call a motor a "flagellum", would that mean the motor evolved, rather than was designed?

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    20. "Yes, it would be a watch."-

      thanks. so why the flagellum case is different? why i cant consider it as a motor?



      " Suppose your self-replicating watch has an error occur in the self-replication process that makes it operate better than it did before, in a way that its designer did not foresee? Would you say this improvement was "designed"?"-

      the designer gave the watch a system that can improve. but its not just evolve in the first place by a natural process.


      " If we call a motor a "flagellum", would that mean the motor evolved, rather than was designed?"-

      no. because its just a human definition.

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    21. thanks. so why the flagellum case is different? why i cant consider it as a motor?

      You answer the question yourself, at the end of your own post:

      no. because its just a human definition

      Good. So we are in agreement. The flagellum is not a motor, by human definition. I'm glad that's settled.

      the designer gave the watch a system that can improve. but its not just evolve in the first place by a natural process.

      That doesn't really answer my question. If an improvement occurs in an object that the designer did not intend or foresee, can it be said that it was "designed" by him? I think it is obvious that it could not be said.

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    22. " The flagellum is not a motor, by human definition. I'm glad that's settled."-

      no. i consider it as a motor. its my definition against yours. actually even some scientists call it a motor. so why you not?


      "That doesn't really answer my question. If an improvement occurs in an object that the designer did not intend or foresee, can it be said that it was "designed" by him? I think it is obvious that it could not be said. "-

      if i unnderstand you right. true.

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    23. no. i consider it as a motor. its my definition against yours. actually even some scientists call it a motor. so why you not?

      Fine. Then I will call all motors "flagella". I have now proven that the motor in your car was not designed by an intelligent agent, but resulted from undirected evolutionary processes. Right?

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    24. if you say so. now- how this happaned step wise? can you as inteligent designer make a functional ste wise from to a spining motor? its impossible. another question- do you think that a car can evolve in a close room for a bilions of years?

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  3. Larry,

    I will definitely watch the debate tonight but with a little bit of skepticism. I have been following your blog for few months now and I know Denis Alexander views, which supposed to be main stream Christian-Evangelical but they are not. They are modernized Baptists' views that are changing as the science is discovering new things but they are not the same thing as the minorities of the evangelical religions that either adjusted in time or had taught from long ago that, for example, the creative days are not 24 hour days and that the Earth and the universe had been created before the creative days had begun.

    I just hope it is a friendly debate but I'm still skeptical it is going to bring anything new to the ongoing debate, or it will have any impact on either side. I just hope I'm wrong.

    I was going to attend the debate but it is Friday evening isn't it? My family needs me :-)

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  4. So, I've watched the debate. It was good but not great. I wished you had more opportunities to speak about your views.

    However, I found more than one of your statements quite interesting. You said that; "...you hold a similar view to Dawkins when it comes to the existence of God, an agnostic one. You don't necessarily disbelieve the existence of God, but you don't believe in any of the God descriptions that have been presented to you...".

    Can you elaborate on this (new to me view) of yours? I think it is very interesting.

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    1. Larry may well respond, but in the meantime his is a fairly standard atheistic viewpoint. Many religious people seem to be under the impression that atheism involves the certainty that gods (or any particular god) does not exist. A rational person does not deal in certainties.

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    2. Actually I was hoping Larry would clarify this statement as it was just as new to me as to many people in the audience I think.

      I believe public statements of professor Moran's caliber should be noted and they demand answers, don't you think?

      Most rational religious people I know are aware that the existence of God is founded on faith. However, that faith is based on rational or logical conclusions and to most of them on the bible that is not a science book as Larry would like it to be. It is not a science text book but when it makes comments on science, they are scientifically sound.

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    3. Eric, what comments does the bible make on science that are scientifically sound?

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    4. Hey Eric,

      Given that faith is defined as the belief in the truth value of a proposition without any evidence to support it and quite often in the face of evidence that contradicts such a belief, in what sense is faith "based on rational or logical conclusions" and in what sense are the holder of such beliefs "rational" ?

      And in fact is not the term "rational religious people" an oxymoron ?

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    5. It’s a remarkable feature of these holy books that, though written or inspired by (whatever the claim may be), the very designer of the universe they have curiously added exactly zero to our understanding of the nature of the cosmos. The best that can be said is that they relate notions that could be, not surprisingly, surmised by humans who were alive when they were written. These common notions are interspersed with testimonies to miraculous events that of course never actually happened, and never could happen. And notice it is always upon these quite impossible events that the very foundations of the respective religions lay. When you don’t have insight of obvious divine origin, you better have a bunch of bullshit to obscure that inconvenient fact.

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    6. SRM says,

      The best that can be said is that they relate notions that could be, not surprisingly, surmised by humans who were alive when they were written.

      Right. If a scientist looks objectively at the Bible stories it doesn't look like they were inspired by a god who knew all about evolution, knew all about modern cosmology, knew that germs cause disease, and knew that there never was a word wide flood. It doesn't look like it was written by an omniscient god who created Adam and Eve in his own image (either literally or spiritually).

      Instead, it looks like a god who was created by Adam and Eve and who didn't know anything more about the world than they did.

      Denis Alexander didn't like it when I said that on Friday evening.

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    7. Re Eric

      I don't know what Prof. Moran's position is relative to the existence of god but I know what Dawkins' position is. Dawkins has written that, in his opinion, the existence of god is a scientific claim and, thus far, he has been shown no scientific evidence supporting this claim. Therefore, he has concluded that, in the absence of such evidence, it is reasonable to come to the conclusion that god does not exist, always subject of course to the possibility that such evidence may be found in the future.

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    8. Larry,

      I was really hoping you would clarify your statement I quoted above from the debate regarding your stand on existence of God/gods!

      Why are you avoiding it? Don't you think that the people who invited you to the debate as well as your blog followers deserve an explanation for this?

      You said that; "...you hold a similar view to Dawkins when it comes to the existence of God, an agnostic one. You don't necessarily disbelieve the existence of God, but you don't believe in any of the God descriptions that have been presented to you...".

      BTW: Your attacking the bible is so childish and tells me that you are NOT going to accept any evidence against your beliefs. So what's the point debating something you already know you will dismiss?

      Give me one reason!

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    9. Stil...there is no response from professor Larry Moran-the pillar o f so called science-"about the description of gods" he had mention in the confrontation with Dennis Alexander?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtlEOtJWV7A

      I'm just curios what kind of description of "gods" Larry is looking for and how does this have anything with "the science he has been promoting as the only of knowing?"

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  5. Dr Moran
    Right. If a scientist looks objectively at the Bible stories it doesn't look like they were inspired by a god who knew all about evolution, knew all about modern cosmology, knew that germs cause disease, and knew that there never was a word wide flood. It doesn't look like it was written by an omniscient god who created Adam and Eve in his own image (either literally or spiritually).


    So what's wrong with the bible about some scientific facts? I can easily refuted anything you come up with ''professor''.

    At least one thing's for sure. What we observed is each after it's kind and there's nothing evolution can do about it.

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    1. Yes, Kind. Look it up in the dictionary. It means... you never guess.. excatly the same as... species... LMAO!!

      Yes, Darwin was a smart ass to avoid the term while it exactlys means the same.

      http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/species


      SPECIES
      1.
      a class of individuals having some common characteristics or qualities; distinct sort or kind.
      2.
      Biology. the major subdivision of a genus or subgenus, regarded as the basic category of biological classification, composed of related individuals that resemble one another, are able to breed among themselves, but are not able to breed with members of another species.
      3.
      Logic.
      a-one of the classes of things included with other classes in a genus.
      b-the set of things within one of these classes.

      http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/kind?s=t

      -Kind

      http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/kind?s=t


      KIND

      1.
      a class or group of individual objects, people, animals, etc., of the same nature or character, or classified together because they have traits in common; category:
      Our dog is the same kind as theirs.



      Now thay's something... Kind or Species...

      Darwin was really a smart guy to avoid the biblical Kind.

      Btw.. the bible is not written in english.

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    2. So in fact Darwin use the wrong term to describe evolution=Macro-evolution. Never observed.

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