meester_bond (meester_bond) wrote,

The Reliability of the Bible Saga: Part 16

So I would end up beginning by making one final address to our beloved Scott, even though he had taken the route of extreme lunacy and acting highly immature by refusing to address all the stuff that clearly demonstrated he was full of shit...

Me vs Scott:

The Genetic Fallacy rears its head again. What Dr. Tipler said can’t be trusted because he wrote another book that people aren’t fond of.

That’s not the genetic fallacy; the claim is not that he is wrong because he is Tipler, but that he has been demonstrably wrong in similar endeavours and thus any appeal to authority by virtue of his being Tipler is utterly compromised.

But even granting the argument for a moment…are you aware that the scientific information I draw on from Barrow & Tipler came out BEFORE Tipler turned to Christianity? Sure he’s written a couple of recent books on Christianity and Physics. But when he wrote The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, he was not a Christian. In fact, he was shocked to find that the evidence for God was so good that it LED HIM to Christianity.

Cite citations and sustain your claim, if you care to.

Here is a direct quote from him on this (from his book that you already referenced):

Again: your appeal to authority might count for something if it was in his field of expertise and not disputed by his peers; he is a known crank.

(Google “Omega Point”)

PS Are you aware of Project Steve?

Oh, and:

[Tipler] I never in my wildest dreams imagined that one day I would be writing a book purporting to show that the central claims of Judeo-Christian theology are in fact true

OK, let us examine some biblical “cosmology”:

"And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day." -Joshua 10:13 KJV

Or, "It is in our Magic Holy Book, so it must be true!" Scott, don’t you cringe a little when this crap gets quoted straight back at you?

Now it was time for my addressing of Robert's crap, and hoo boy was it truly an epic smackdown of the bullshit he had infested the thread with:

Me vs Robert:

And at the same point in the vid saying this stated that it only takes one nucleotide to polymerize which is an oxymoron as polymerization is when at least two nucleotides are joined by a phosphodiester bond

Oh, FFS. No such thing is stated anywhere. The video says *types* of nucleotides. Get it? TYPES. Now, “hundreds of types” may be an exaggeration, granted, but it does take one type to polymerize. Many nucleotides of the same *type*.

Sheesh. Try to read for comprehension.

At 3:10 in the vid it incorrectly states we know that early life must have been much simpler which is bluster, there is no evidence of simpler life, the simplest cell we know is incredibly complex and there is zero evidence that life ever was anything simpler.

Like I said, that depends on how you define life. If what fits the definition is already “incredibly complex”, then we postulate that before life there was something simpler that already had some life-like characteristics, namely the capability to undergo Darwinian evolution. And before it something simpler. And so on. If you pick a broader definition, then some of those simpler stages can already be called life and we can talk about a “simpler life”.

Why do we assume that life originated from something simpler? Think about it. Why do we need an explanation for life at all? Because it’s complex, right? Explaining life by postulating something *even more complex* is… not explaining anything at all. Skyhooks and cranes.

“Too complex, therefore something even more complex did it” does not explain anything. Especially when you have no other line of evidence to suggest the existence of that even more complex thing. To add “and that thing doesn’t need an explanation because I say so, so there” on top of it is just pathetic.

because of the a priori belief in neo-Darwinian evolution there was simpler life

No. It’s because it *makes sense*.

no evidence of many simple fatty acids, no evidence of any nucleotides

No direct evidence, but good reason to believe they were there when life arose.

failed to apply critical thinking to this vid

You most certainly did.

We start at the present time and look at the overall complexity of the various lifeforms we see.

We move back in time, looking at the various levels of complexity of the lifeforms in the past.

It is by no means a linear progression, but the broad outline is clear. The further back we go, the less complex things get.

Go back a little ways, and there are no big brains. A little further back, no endothermic metabolisms. A little further back, there’s nothing capable of powered flight. Further back, no amniotic eggs. Further back, nothing that spends 100% of its life cycle on land. Further back, no animals. Further back, no multicellular life. Further back, nothing with nuclei.

Finally we get back to the oldest known fossil organism, which is a prokaryote of some sort. Very simple morphology. Biochemistry still “relatively” complex. Older than this fossil we have trace and chemical evidence of life activity stretching hundreds of millions of years further back. The complexity of whatever it is that produced these traces is unknown.

So what we have is a clear broad pattern over time, the older the time point, the less complex things are on average compared to younger, newer time points, (one can argue that a plateau of complexity was reached, say about 300 million years ago, when life finally successfully colonized every habitat on earth, sea, land, and sky, after which no further additional average complexity was accrued, and the “net” complexity has simply fluctuated around the mean, but that is a different argument for a different subject), going all the way back to the earliest evidence that we have with organisms clearly simpler on average that any other point in the future.

Now we extrapolate backwards towards the origin of life, and we have two options that we can consider.

1) The as yet unknown precursor to that oldest known organism is simpler, fitting with the pattern we have observed all the way from about 300 million years ago to over 3 billions years ago, OR

2) The unknown precursor to that oldest known organism was something MASSIVELY more complex than anything every observed, ie God, completely breaking with the previously observed pattern.

Which scenario is more likely? Which scenario is it more reasonable to start with?

If you allow for God to exist as the unmoved mover, the uncreated creator, the complexity that has always been complex and needs no explanation, there is NO LOGICAL REASON THEN, having allowed for one unobserved entity to have always existed without need for explanation, not allow the same property to any other as yet unobserved entity, such as, say, the first living organism.

If God can be so, then so can life itself. If you allow the existence of God, then you simultaneously offer no logical reason why Life cannot be a thing that has always existed, always had a certain level of complexity, and from there gave rise to all subsequent life.

The very act of inserting the possibility of a creator God immediately eliminates the need to explain ultimate cause at all. And because it is far more parsimonious to simply postulate Life in eternal existence without requirement for an origin than to postulate God in eternal existence without requirement for an origin PLUS Life created by God, the first immediately becomes that much more likely than the second.

That is why the God hypothesis always, immediately, fails. It is logically incoherent. The very insertion of God into the explanatory framework instantly logically negates the need for God to be there at all. God vanishes from the equation in a poof of self-contradiction.

To invoke God as an explanation actually does not explain the origin of life (or anything else, for that matter). It is instead a convoluted way of admitted that you cannot and do not want to even try to explain it. “God did it” is just another way of saying “I know know and I don’t want to know”.If you allow for God to exist as the unmoved mover, the uncreated creator, the complexity that has always been complex and needs no explanation, there is NO LOGICAL REASON THEN, having allowed for one unobserved entity to have always existed without need for explanation, not allow the same property to any other as yet unobserved entity, such as, say, the first living organism.


Another dishonest claim of Jon's is taking credentialed scholars and attempting to avoid their credentials and in a circular reasoning fallacy stating that because they support Christianity they are not scholars but apologists.

Actually, the problem is not that they’re Christians. The problem is that this topic is outside of their fields, so their credentials are not really relevant.

Tipler is not a biologist. His credentials in biology can be ignored because they’re non-existent. That Tipler wrote a book on Christian apologetics means Tipler is a Christian apologist.

But in a way you are quite right, Robert; anyone who seeks to dismiss a scholar solely and entirely on the grounds that said scholar is a Christian, is guilty of a genuine ad hominem fallacy, and we should all try to avoid making use of fallacies.

Now, what do you have to say about those who, like me, acknowledged that Tipler & Barrow do have valid credentials, but pointed out that for all of T&B’s acknowledged expertise in their respective fields, neither Tipler nor Barrow has any particular expertise in the field of biology?

How absurd and dishonest can you get?

That is an excellent question, Robert. I’m sure that if you continue to engage in discourse on the level you’ve started out with, we’ll all see plenty of data-points relevant to answering that question. In other words, seeing your arguments gives an answer to this question.

That is a priori reasoning starting from his conclusion that Christianity is invalid therefore there cannot be true scientists who support Christianity therefore we can ignore any scientist who supports Christianity they must be just apologists when Scott Rachui correctly pointed out their credentials so Jon's desperate plea for negative attention went this way:

The argument is that Christian apologists start with the presupposition that not only gods exist but their particular pet god is the default without offering any evidence not based on the presupposition to support their handwaving. Your argument about their “credentials” is answered above.

Then Jon because of his ignorance of logic and debate contradicts himself asserting an abiogenesis of the gaps argument acknowleding science doesnt know or have evidence that it occured

You’re the one making the god of the gaps argument. We say that we don’t know all the details and you latch on to this statement to claim “ah ha! You don’t know therefore god! And not only god but my favorite pet god! The one who’s super duper intelligent, super duper powerful and wasn’t created!” We don’t know means we don’t know, it doesn’t mean your god is the default.

yet claims Scott is asserting a god of the gaps not understanding the argument which is that from direct observation of complexity we know from inductive inference, he logic used in the scientific method that the complex, specified, meaningfully functional, 3-D, multilayered, computational, communicative, epigenetic, digital metainformation can only be preceded by intelligence and the research to date such as Sutherland et al's experiment requiring intelligent intervention confirms this.

You use all those words, do you know what they mean? Sutherland’s (I assume you mean Earl Sutherland, who got the Nobel Prize for his work on hormones) experiments required intelligent intervention because keeping liver cells healthy and proliferating outside the body is not easy. So your non sequitur doesn’t support your goddidit argument.

Your word salad is just a restatement of your “it’s so complicated that I don’t understand it therefore god” argument that we’ve already explicitly rejected. Arguments from ignorance and incredulity just mean you’re ignorant and incredulous, not that goddidit.

And Jon exposes his ignorance and likely false claim he used to be a Christian referring to entropy as a response to Scott's correct statement God is the God of order.

As for what educated Christians believe about their god, so what? Don’t you know that I'm not a Christian and other people inside and outside this group aren't Christians and therefore do not accept your Bible as being authoritative. We’re certainly not going to accept a 2000 year old book written to push a religious view and heavily edited, revised, redacted and rewritten for centuries by many people all with different agendas actually has something to say about something in modern physics?

and correlates decay as corruption/sin so the sin Adam and Eve brought into the world started the entropy causing the move towards disorder in the universe

So let me make absolutely sure I understand this: If we look at the geological and palaeontological record, then at some point in the Pleistocene, we should see a sharp difference in how physics works; no entropy before a point corresponding to the Fall; and entropy existing after that point?

If we look at the distant stars, their physics will be completely and utterly different if they are more than however many hundreds of thousands of light-years away? Heat will not flow from hotter to cooler, but will… what, stay the same? Flow from cooler to hotter?

What would a non-entropic or anti-entropic universe look like?

You’re asking us to accept a specific religious myth as the basis for thermodynamics? You’re not arguing with your buddies in Sunday School, you’re arguing with a group of atheists with scientific interests or backgrounds or both. Please keep this in mind when talking to us.

So it is likely Jon blustered saying he was a Christian and now asserts his knowledge of science but doesnt know the basics of science from the Christian perspective.

A good chunk of us here are former Christians of various types, and in terms of the overall atheist population, the same fact also applies. Why should we be interested in the Christian perspective rather than the Hindu or Shinto or Taoist perspectives? When Pierre-Simon Laplace was asked why there wasn’t any mention of god in his book, he replied “I have no need for that hypothesis.” Note that Laplace, who was a Christian, wasn’t claiming that god does not exist. Laplace thought god doesn’t intervene to break the laws of science.

Also, yeah, because there’s totally exactly one Christian perspective on science. All Christians are in complete agreement on this and Eurasia has always been at war with Eastasia. (/sarcasm)

We can use the “X cannot possibly come from anything but X” principle, on which you and Scott rely on, as follows:

"Our experience tells us that physical things are never produced by anything other than physical things. The universe is a physical thing. So if the universe was produced by anything, that thing was a physical thing."

As far as abiogenesis is concerned, I recommend this article: , for the latest on the research hypothesis I think is most promising: abiogenesis in honeycombs of metal sulphides in alkaline hydrothermal vents into an early acid ocean (it could well be compatible with Szostak’s work on membranes and RNA). Of course it could turn out to be wrong, but it’s clear scientists working on abiogenesis are able to formulate and test specific hypotheses about the emergence of life.

I notice that both you and Scott are distinctly cagey about what you actually believe. At one stage there is an admitting that evolution may have contributed to the development of life, then blaming the existence of entropy on two fictional characters. Let’s have cards on the table here, Robert: we’re quite open about the scientific account of human and universal origins, including the gaps in it; what account do you have to compare with it?

Ultimately, Robert, rather than allow you your presuppositions, in order to convince me you aren’t a fraud, it is time to restart your arguement with the following null hypotheses:

1) Your imaginary deity doesn’t exist. Evidence must be shown to make it a scientific necessity, and conclusive scientific evidence used. Philosophical necessity won’t count for squat.

2) Your babble is a book of mythology/fiction. This can change, but you are the one to evidence parts true, and only those parts are considered true. To get inerrancy you must show everything is true, and one non-truth is enough to bring the whole book into question.

3) Evidence isn’t opinion offered by presuppositionalists, which is almost all religious people and religious beliefs.

More may come into play, but the main point is that you must lose the presupposition your deity exists. Evidence it into existence. I’ve been waiting many years to see that evidence. And nothing you showed above is that evidence.

I then signed off with something that completely blew all the attacks about me by Robert and Scott out of the water, by completely owning them on their hypocritical positions while admitting my mistakes at the same time.


Finally, I'll just comment about my qualifications. You know what? Screw it? I'm not a biologist. I'm not a theologist. And even though I think what I've achieved with regards to my courses in English Literature and Enterprise have proved particularly useful in my life, they also aren't biology and theology. Okay, fine. I will quite happily admit that I'm unqualified.

But you know what? In terms of qualifications in these relavent fields? Neither is Scott Rachui. Neither is Robert Webb. Indeed, Scott's admission that he has a degree in Psychology doesn't give him any expertise in biology, despite what he says about his supposed "understanding" about how the brain works. If anything, I'd say that diminishes him further as otherwise he wouldn't be trotting out this unscientific crap about Wiring that he did earlier up thread, and it also conflicts with his Christian beliefs as the advanced knowledge we have about how the brain works has long since replaced everything that religious groups including Christianity have before credited to being the work of the "soul". Scott also makes appeals to his Computer Science qualification, but that just sends the irony meter into overload as he nonetheless uses a centre-piece of scientific genius to broadcast his anti-science rants, and furthermore he also hypocritically chooses to disparage the importance of entrepreneurs while quite happily using a website owned by one of the most famous young entrepreneurs of them all to do so. As for Robert, I've seen nothing convincing to back any qualifications he claims he has.

So overall? We're a bunch of guys with no relevant qualifications arguing about the subjects we don't have qualifications in. I will hold my hands up and admit that quite frankly, the one big mistake I made was attempting to defend myself using non-relevant qualifications. I only did it because I was sick and tired of the petty insults and refusals to engage that Scott and Robert were guilty of. But I admit I erred there, and that's fine.

But like I said, me and Scott and Robert don't have the qualifications, so what's meant to differentiate us in terms of who has shown the most quality debating? I would say it's the one who's done more research. And while I've showed I've read plenty of both secular and religious resources(*), Robert and Scott haven't been so forthcoming as to whether they've fairly read lots on both sides of the fence. There's also quite simply the arguments that have been presented. Quite frankly, any neutral observer on a neutral group would see that Scott and Robert have been completely crushed here, although Robert has shown at least more willingness to tackle the arguments than Scott has. But still, the vast majority of my 11 part response to Scott remains unaddressed, as does the vast majority of my second official response to Scott after he finally bothered to take on Part 8. And likewise for any official responses after that. What's largely happened in response to my comments actually looking to advance the debate is a whole lot of insults thrown in my direction including ad hominems and tone trolling. I posted long posts because in this debate I've been given lots of stuff to address, and I promptly addressed it. That they didn't like my responses isn't my problem.

*And yes, in lieu of the fact that I don't own any religious books aside from the ones I've mentioned above - namely the Bible, quran, Greek mythology, Narnia and Life of Pi - as well as also pointing out having read Darwin's Black Box, Of Pandas And People, CS Lewis essays and having read a good deal of stuff from Answers in Genesis and Discovery Institute in addition to other "Holy Books", linking to a RW article on notable Christian authors was perfectly acceptable to do, as without the books right in front of me it would be impossible for me to list them all in the way that I've been able to display the secular resources that I listed up thread.

One more thing, Scott Rachui claims upthread that ID doesn't rely on Biblical Inerrancy. Now I recognise that there's also forms of ID/Creationism endorsed by people like, say, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and Sikhs, as well as cults that don't worship Gods but worship aliens as the Raeliens do.

But then here's the problem: can Scott point to me a single example of an atheist who is still an atheist who accepts the idea of an Intelligent Designer? Doesn't this kinda suggest, especially in lieu of the fact that in Kitzmiller v Dover the ID crowd even got exposed using a creationist book derided in Edwards v Aguillard, that ID clearly has its roots in a belief in God and thus a wholehearted belief that whatever Holy Text from whatever version of God the creators of ID believe in is something believed by the believers to be inerrant? Therefore, surely despite all pretense to the contrary, ID relies a LOT on the presupposed inerrancy of whatever Holy Book it originated from?

We know Scott wouldn't respond, but what about Mr Webb? All will be revealed in Part 17!
Tags: reliability bible
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