meester_bond (meester_bond) wrote,

The Reliability of the Bible Saga: Part 13

And now for my full response to Scott's claptrap.


I am not relying on any Christian apologets source for this, Jon.

You essentially are. Show us your imaginary deity/designer really exists with solid and conclusive physical evidence, not mental masturbation. You need to provide conclusive physical evidence for your imaginary deity. Evidence that will pass muster with scientists, magicians, and professional debunkers, as being of divine, and not natural (scientifically explained), origin. Something like the eternally burning bush. Tell us where to find it.

Your mental masturbation about the anthropomorphic principle doesn’t qualify, as science does have explanations, which you ignore. And the probability of life as we know it somewhere in the universe is 1. Low probability is meaningless with a large number of suns and planets to overcome your inane probabilities.

Try again with real evidence. Leave the philosophy about your imaginary deity where it belongs, in the sewer, with the rest of the Xian apologetics.

What I rely on is the work done by John Barrow and Frank Tipler in their book "The Anthropic Cosmological Principle". You're welcome to pick that book up and read it, but here is a summary statement I put together from the book that explains this:

Frank Tipler is a professor of Mathematical Physics at Tulane University and John Barrow is a professor of Astronomy at Sussex. They are both well-respected scientists and are not writing as Christians, but as scientists.

So let me get this straight: these guys are totally not Christian apologetics, and yet Frank J. Tipler wrote a book called The Physics of Christianity. Would you like to revise your claim?

In their book "The Anthropic Cosmological Principle" (pp. 562-564), they note the vast improbability of life developing anywhere in the universe.

And yet it did.

Also, so much for the "finely-tuned for life" claim you made back in Part 4, then.

They list 10 crucial ingredients that must be present for life to develop.

If they do, you didn’t list them. Those things you listed aren’t “ingredients that must be present for life to develop”, they’re things that evolved after life developed. All of them.

each of these are so improbable and would take so much time to develop through blind evolutionary processes

You will need more than an argument from incredulity to establish that. Saying “OMG I cannot possibly imagine how that evolved!” is not an argument. Do you understand why?

There is a lot to be said and a lot you could learn about the evolution of each one of them, but really, you can go do that on your own. Or pick one that really intrigues you and we can try to discuss it.

Now before we get to your ten listed things, I just have to say one thing: Dear gods, probability does not work that way! You’re not looking at one person rolling one die a billion times trying to come up with a specific sequence of events. You’re looking at a billion people rolling a billion dice a billion times! These events did not occur in isolation:

1. The development of the DNA-based genetic code
2. The invention of aerobic respiration
3. The invention of glucose fermentation to pyruvic acid
4. The origin of autotropic photosynthesis
5. The origin of mitochondria
6. The formation of the centriole/kinetosome/undulipodia complex
7. The evolution of an eye precursor
8. The development of endoskeleton
9. The development of chordates
10. The evolution of Homo Sapiens in the chordate lineage

Besides that, THIS does not equal the 10 crucial ingredients for life. This is a list of the 10 crucial ingredients for humans. There is likely some planet somewhere else in the entire vast, VAST, VAST universe where some species exist without an endoskeleton, or without eyes, or without a DNA code, or without aerobic respiration. You and all the other god botherers see life and think “people” but life can mean something completely foreign to us.

The anthropic principle is a stupid, stupid way to look at the universe cause you’re in the universe! If the universe wasn’t such that we weren’t here, then we wouldn’t be here to wonder why the universe isn’t such that we exist. Some other type of life might surely exist and wonder why the universe is such that they exist, and not some other kind of life form. Savvy?

You do not seem aware that our bodies are not intelligently designed. A head that is too big to get through the pelvic bone? Nerves that goes from the brain, around the heart before it goes back to the head? Knees? The structural weakness in males that allows for the genitalia to be held out of the torso but leaves males open to hernias? Not to mention backbones that are actually not very well adapted at walking upright. The human body, and that of most vertebrates actually, is a pretty piss-poor job if it was intelligently designed. That designer must have been one incompetent arse.

In fact I take back something I just said, it's not even 10 crucial ingredients for humans, as they don’t do number #4 in that list.

I guess it’s a list of… random things that the authors find puzzling. Or something. Now that I think about it, what are a “professor of Mathematical Physics” and a “professor of Astronomy” doing telling biologists and biochemists that those ten things are highly improbable and couldn’t have evolved? Ever wondered about that, Scott?

None of those events are necessary for life. In fact, there are lifeforms today that don’t follow one, several or all of those steps. The exception is step 1, but that’s only because RNA-based viruses straddle the definition of “life”.

Besides, this is a classic error of probability, confounding the probability of a specific sequence of events with the probability of any sequence. If you don’t get a full house, that doesn’t mean you’ll end up with no cards on your hand. If life didn’t evolve to be us, it would be something else.

It’s this untenable faith commitment that life can spring from non-life. Every attempt at an explanation has failed.

Well then, if you hold life cannot come from non-life, then your god must be alive. But since your god is alive, its life must have come from something else that was alive. (What living thing made your god?)

Also, define “life”. Trust me, this is important. It’s also very tricky, but I’m hoping that in your attempt to do so you will understand that there’s a continuum between life and non-life, so getting life from non-life doesn’t sound so mysterious any more.

Your view requires FAR more faith than I'm able to muster. You leverage a naturalism of the gaps (a true argument from ignorance) to reach your conclusions.

That’s because you don’t question your faith in the supernatural, and thus discount it as faith. (I don’t need faith in the natural; there it is all around me!)

Then let me help you…we don’t say “they can’t explain the origin of life, so God must have done it”. No, we have positive arguments for God’s existence, which are scientific, logical and philosophical in origin.

Saying “goddidit” ain’t an explanation.

Saying *how* god did it would be, if it didn’t boil down to “it made a miracle”.

(Also, what specific scientific, logical and philosophical positive arguments lead you to believe that your god merits the male pronoun?)

Now here's what's wrong with your "analogy":

Suppose that you decide you’re going to study the origin of rain. And before you get started, you determine that rain cannot come from clouds

First, no one determined that life cannot come from an invisible supernatural being before they got started. We merely concluded that it is an unparsimonious non-hypothesis after analysing it.

because maybe you don’t believe in clouds, or whatever

Second, clouds aren’t invisible supernatural beings that show no sign of existing and aren’t even well defined.

I then proceed to offer you the evidence that rain does come from clouds

Third… do I really have to point out that you have NOT done the equivalent to this? Or are you going under the belief that saying “Oh yeah, I’ve got loads of evidence” is the same as actually presenting it?

But you’ll never explain the origin of life because you reject the source of the origin of life.

You haven’t explained it either, you’ve just said a magical being poofed it into existence.


even though we have no explanation (and no hope for an explanation) for how life spontaneously appeared from non-life
abiogenesis is a profound gap that you guys can’t cross (and will never be able to cross, in my view).

Tell me, Scott, how up to date are you with abiogenesis research to make those assertions with such confidence? What were the last papers you read on prebiotic chemistry research? Seriously, name a few. I mean, the way you talk about it, the way you say there is “no hope for an explanation”… surely you wouldn’t be pontificating on it like that if you weren’t very familiar with field, right?

Having said that, there are certain things we can know about the designer just from observing the design (and I’m using ‘He’ here for convenience):

- He exists

How do you know that? Which specific observations are supposed to support this?

- He is immaterial and timeless (because material and time are part of the creation)

How do you know that? (Feel free to keep repeating that yourself as we go on.)

- He is quite powerful

How so? More powerful than what? Is he bigger than a breadbox? If "He" is truly male, how about what he's "packing", if you catch my drift?

What would it even mean to say there’s something “powerful” which is immaterial and non-temporal? We observe material stuff exerting forces on other material over some amount of time. That’s actually what our observations are, of any bit of this purported “design,” and there are none of immaterial non-temporal “powers” floating about (nowhere, presumably) being “powerful” in some undefined way. Why do you think that is?

- He is incredibly intelligence

By “incredibly,” you must mean unbelievably rather than amazingly, because I have no idea how an immaterial non-temporal whatchamacallit is supposed to be intelligent. How about you stop groveling and lavishing praise on your cosmic buddy Jesus for a second, so you could try telling us something useful? (You’re not talking to him right now. Remember?) Does he know everything there is to know or only everything he could know? If the latter (the only option that would make sense), what sorts of things is he unintelligent about? If you can’t at least say something about that, then why say he’s “incredibly intelligent” at all? What good is it?

- He is a creator that values order

Then why is entropy increasing? Did he get bored performing miracles? Or is he more incompetent in his old timeless age? Or maybe he doesn’t value his creation as much anymore? Or what? (I mean, besides a god not existing, obviously, those are the only options that pop into my head.)

- He is interested in being known by His creations

What makes you think you know he has interests? Explain that and how that could work, then we’ll get to whether and how you know what at least one of his interests is. That’s also after we know we’re dealing with your specific god, give or take a Jesus, a Satan and who knows what else.

- He is not dependant on the universe (in other words, He is not a component of His creation)

So, according to you, why does a god exist? (Would there need to be another god to make him, and another, etc.?) Was existing one of his many interests? Was it the intelligent thing to do? Was he powerful enough while non-existent (which, oddly, seems to be the same “while” as it is for the existent-and-timeless version) to make himself exist? Is it because there just had to be someone to make the things-he-hadn’t-yet-made orderly (then more and more disorderly) — and that’s the reason why a god exists?

Looks to me like you haven’t “deduced” jack. Start over without a god, then see if one is actually needed anywhere along the way, to do anything other than preach at people about nonsense. (Hint: it won’t be.)

So how did he end up responding? With stupid comments about me being immature and using more tone trolling of course. View Part 14 for when I actually got comments that addressed the topic!
Tags: reliability bible
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