Ben Avuyah

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Friday, June 30, 2006

What's Eating Gilbert Grape ?

I don't mean to be repetitive, the Jewish Atheist has already expressed concern with the fact that Gil Student often opens up very interesting debates but then closes them when he feels things are too skeptical. This is not exactly the hallmark of "searching for truth", but Rabbi Student does not partake in the cloak of anonymity under which the rest of us hide, and he is rightly prudent about his reputation within modern orthodoxy, I can't really blame him for that.

That being said I think the ID debate deserves to be looked out from all perspectives. And while many people may be using it simply as an excuse to get God in the classroom, I am interested in why orthodox Jews find ID so palliative…what pain is it relieving?



Firstly, I think some background is useful, as there is a conspicuous absence of claims for God in the production of friction, or chemical reactions, or propulsion. No one felt terribly disturbed when calorimetry predicted rates of heat transfer between the cool and hot container, in everyone's college physics class, without postulating a guiding hand of God, coaxing molecules in this direction or that. Few pulled at their hair in tense desperation when acids and bases where titrated to neutrality in the laboratory with nary a mention of Divine involvment in the negative logarithm of the hydrogen ions.

Why??

Why is naturalism so easily accepted in other areas but not here?

Why in this one science, the science of evolution, must there be room for a force behind the observed, a puppeteer so well hidden his actions mimic naturalism herself.

Should not the consistent believer be horrified equally at the formation of table salt from two such separate compounds as commonplace sodium and chloride, without a designing force, as he is from the gradual development of life as we know it??

I think most religious believers have been comfortable with the following attitude towards the physical sciences: God has created physical laws by which the world abides, and, look though you might, you won't find him in those laws, for he has created a system that functions autonomously.

Why then, can this not be extended by our devout brethren to speciation, and the study of how life diversified?

The answer lies in the realization that this is a world in which science has slowly eroded the ground out from underneath ancient mythologies and religious beliefs. No one wonders any more why an angry Thor chooses on occasion to thunder down from heaven, or why it is that Zeus' horses never tire of carrying the sun on his chariot across the sky. Indeed, the religions that have survived have had to make adjustments in how to "really" view the errant ideas about science and medicine and biology that they contain, and evolution is the end of a several hundred year old game of musical chairs in which, the until now happily "separate magesteria" of religion and science, have attempted to plant their collective posteriors on the only chair left in the Room.

Thus a Torah that makes no claims about aerodynamics and lives happily along side it perhaps supplying the "meaning" that can never be obtained from science, has a much more difficult time playing this familiar and comforting role, in an area which it has purported to give us physically accurate information as well.

So what can ID do to alleviate this uncomfortable crisis? Well it can do nothing to amend the out of order description of development/creation of species in Genesis, for that you will still need an apologetic about what this "really means". But I trust to the apologists to come up with something, and since there are no rules about making apologetics aside from justifying what you want to be ture, I trust it will be accomplished, but this, "answer", whatever it may be, is not the purpose of ID.

So what is the purpose of ID for the frum community?? I think the purpose is to alleviate the tension of having a science in direct contradiction to stated biblical claims, and even if evolution is difficult to squeeze into the Torah, at the very least having room within the theory of evolution for God, is a soothing balm for our biblicaly oriented theists. It tells them that in the within the aggressor itself, lofty science, there is room enough for the guiding hand of God.

Had God told us through the bible that salt was the tears of angels, ID would be called something else and be occurring in basic chemistry, but God told us how he made life and so biology will be the area of focus.

In the end it doesn't seem one gains much from ID. Believers who believe in a God who made an autonomously functioning natural universe don't really need room in evolution for God and design. No matter how flawlessly automatic and stand alone a system is, there is nothing to stop them from adding their unnecessary hypothesis. So who is winning with this theory? Who is receiving the necessary appeasment for their views with the implementation of ID within orthodox society?

I believe it is the religious semi-rationalist. The person who is uncomfortable with an idea that can oppose his idea of a God designed and guided speciation. One who feels that the idea of a developing abundance of life, that can drive itself to higher forms, threatens his vision of God.

I think to this group of people, although God does not need to be evident in what we find in nature, he cannot appear to be overruled by it. A God who preaches the opposite of science and rationale….. is a trickster God, he expects you to deviate from what makes the most sense and is the most reasonable, and side with him despite the evidence. This is an untenable state to many of our coreligionists and so they seek to fight against it. Therefore, the evidence must in some way point to a creator. Defacto, within evolution, there must be room for the view of a guiding hand. I think this is the appeal of ID to many in the orthodox community. And in the end, shouldn't they be correct? If it is very improbable for life to have been guided by natural selection, combined with random mutation, shouldn't there be room for a divine "leg up", boosting naturalism for the hard parts of advancing life. Why can't this be part of evolution? What is the big deal about incorporating this into science???

Well, now that we know who we are talking to, let's understand why ID has no place as a scientific theory, stay tuned for part two……

113 Comments:

At 10:33 AM, Blogger Mis-nagid said...

"Had God told us through the bible that salt was the tears of angels, ID would be called something else and be occurring in basic chemistry, but God told us how he made life and so biology will be the area of focus."

It's not that simple. There are other clearly-stated claims in the Torah that are contradicted by science yet no longer cause much of a fuss. For example, the Torah's etiological myth about how there came to be so many languages (migdal bavel) is as contrary to the findings of linguistics as the creation myths are by biology's. And yet where's the ID movement in linguistics?

You can't boil this issue down so simply. It's a much more complex sociological phenomenon.

 
At 3:07 PM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

True, Mis-nagid, it is an oversimplification, and it is complex, but I think part of the reason contradictions to creation draw so much more attention then the difficulties with the mabul or migdal bavel is likely related to the centrality of God creating life to the rest of the story. All other scenarios are in a sense peripheral.

 
At 7:01 AM, Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

The problem is that evolution contradicts a literal bible. Especially the important things. It is almost like having to invent a new religion to accept an ancient earth and the fact that we evolved from a one celled animal. Accepting evolution and an ancient earth really makes an individual human alive today very little significance in the scheme of things. It is much easier for people to think they are special if they can know the earth is 6000 years old and at the beginning God created man as man.
I notice that the Roman Catholics have been very progressive on this issue, and at least the Vatican seems to be leaning towards Theistic Evolution.

 
At 7:33 PM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

>>I notice that the Roman Catholics have been very progressive on this issue, and at least the Vatican seems to be leaning towards Theistic Evolution.

Yeah, that is definetly the way to go for organized religion, they can't succesfuly buck science for the long run. Of course, the lesser "evil" of this deal, is that they agree to science's methodology for determining truth and reality. Once people have a firm handle on what is beleivable, and why we believe some things and not others, religion is often a belief they choose to discard.

 
At 7:27 AM, Anonymous dave said...

Just to defend Gil Student, these arguments keep going in circles and they become tiresome. That being said, I haven't seen anything yet in any of the atheists blogs or arguments that weaken my faith. On the contrary I feel strengthened that there is really nothing there in your arguements. The bottom line is that the odds given by the scientists themselves for all the conditions necessary to have happened by themselves are like one followed by a gazillion zeroes. Now you can call that a non-sequitur, but I call that evidence. So I don't feel threatened in the least by these arguments.

 
At 7:47 AM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

Naturalism is bunk and ID rocks. That's all there is to it. And I'm not deleting non-Orthodox comments from my blog. On the contrary, I love tearing apart the flimsy arguments which atheists pose.

 
At 9:24 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

Hi Dave,

>> I haven't seen anything yet in any of the atheists blogs or arguments that weaken my faith.

It's difficult for arguments to weaken faith. Faith is what you believe in the abscence of or despite evidence.

>>these arguments keep going in circles and they become tiresome

From your perspective perhaps, from mine it seems the agruments are ended just as the light starts to filter through. I don't ever recall Gill saying, "this is repettitive lets stop". Rather he says, "this is becoming a skeptical hangout...stop".

>>odds given by the scientists themselves for all the conditions necessary to have happened by themselves are like one followed by a gazillion zeroes

Are you talking about the odds against the formation of life from amino acids ? That is not evolution/ID. The debate is about the diffrentiation of life and it's development into different species. You may be confusing two different debates.

>>So I don't feel threatened in the least by these arguments.

That makes me wonder what your premise is....why would knowledge ever make anyone who "is searching for truth" feel threatened ???

Sounds like you may have core beleifs that you feel you cannot leave behind no matter what the evidence shows. Thats a bad place to be in intellectualy.

 
At 9:27 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

>>On the contrary, I love tearing apart the flimsy arguments which atheists pose.

I'm not sure what to say to you Jacob, I actually perused your blog recently, so I know the status of the "torn apart" arguments you refer to.

I don't know how to put this so as not to make it hurtful. You do not appear to have the ability to differentiate wether you are winning or losing your debates.

 
At 10:01 AM, Anonymous dave said...

'Are you talking about the odds against the formation of life from amino acids ? That is not evolution/ID. The debate is about the diffrentiation of life and it's development into different species. You may be confusing two different debates.'

Hi, Ben,

Actually, I'm referring to all facets of the universe by chance theory. I'm not arguing about evolution per se, but about random evolution. So do you agree with the astronomical odds that the scientists themselves say are necessary for a random universe (loosely put), or not? In other words, if you came across Mt. Rushmore, without knowing any information, would you believe that someone with intelligence made it, or was it created by chance? If the answer is someone made it, why is it unreasonable to assume this universe has a Designer?

 
At 10:46 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

Hi David,

>>Actually, I'm referring to all facets of the universe by chance theory.

Thank you for clarifying, I think you will find it useful to seperate your question into the various fields of study as the statistics are different.


>>I'm not arguing about evolution per se, but about random evolution.

I assure you, no one believes in random evolution. Evolutionists believe in a guide called natural selection, and not only is it emminently statisticaly probable it is observed on a daily basis.


>>So do you agree with the astronomical odds that the scientists themselves say are necessary for a random universe (loosely put), or not?

Your right about this, figuring out the universes existence and formation is less well explored and documented than evolution.

I do not know how the universe got here. I await information on this but I am cuatious about saying a designer created it. I recognize the desire to see design as fundamentaly human. We see design any where there is complexity. Our brains have developed to see patterns in this manner. We have been criticaly wrong with this assumption before and may be so again. Rather than making an assumption I will wiegh the evidence and so far it shows no sign of a designer.


>>>>In other words, if you came across Mt. Rushmore, without knowing any information, would you believe that someone with intelligence made it, or was it created by chance?

Not the best ananlogy, mount rushmore bears the elements of human design, true. If I saw it I would assume a human/s created it, but I wouldn't necessarily have this feeling if I just saw a rock. That might just be a natural edifice, as might the enourmous entity of the universe.


>>If the answer is someone made it, why is it unreasonable to assume this universe has a Designer?

Not unreasonable, it is a potential hypothesis, but it doesn't answer any question, nor is it based on any data, or rigerous evidence. "This looks made" is not a scientific argument, it is a plea to what common folk call "plain sense". But experience has told us common sense has little use in accurate predictions in the universe so far afield from our every day lives. common sense wasn't good for gravity, light, time, or evolution, and there is no real reason to believe it will be useful here.

Aside from not being supported by anything, a designer invokes more questions...how did he get here ? If he is eternal why can't the universe just be eternal and skip the middleman?

The argument from design usualy invokes complexity (as you do) and states that: "If something as complex as a watch needs a designer, than certainly the universe needs a designer, as it is even more complex"

The problem with this "logic" is that it cannot extinguish itself and the logic is forced to continue, "And if the universe which is so complex needs a designer, than surely the designer who is even more complex needs a designer."

It is only by denying the premise of the logic, that complex things need design, that one is allowed to get off of the meri go round.

The argument for design may be a argument for never ending complex beings, but it has never been a logical argument for God, as one needs to invoke faith to stop the logic at the exact point that they desire.

I don't know if I have done a fair job of showing you what is wrong with the argument from design, but it has been debunked for well over a hundred years bknow. And generaly does not convince any one who is familiar with it's flaws and not already convinced for faith based reasons.

The fact that is oft qouted as "proof" in theological debates suggests that orthodox strategies for limiting exposure to outside knowledge has succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

10:01 AM

 
At 11:25 AM, Anonymous dave said...

'If he is eternal why can't the universe just be eternal and skip the middleman?'

Umm, becaust the big bang has been confirmed. :)
Anyway, I'm not really bothered by the 'who created the designer' question, because I guess it's just one of those things that you accept-that you can't 'know' God. The same way atheists aren't bothered by 'where did all that stuff come from that made the Big Bang' question.

Now you say that the evidence for the design theory has been debunked, although I'm not sure where you got that from. And I'm REALLY trying to see where you're coming from, but I'm not getting it. You say that the Mt. Rushmore example is a potential hypothesis and not rigorous evidence. I suppose that's true, but what would you believe. We all know what we would believe-given the odds,we wouldn't for a second believe that the design is random. I can't see the difference.

You say that you've visited Jewish Philosopher's website, so I'm sure you've seen the letter by Dr. Theobald. That letter should be required reading in all yeshivos. If that's the best explanation the atheists can come up with-basically that amazing things CAN happen by chance so maybe it happened here, then that letter is a great source of chizuk.

 
At 11:52 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

>>becaust the big bang has been confirmed. :)

Ahh I see you believe in the science that suites you. :-)

>>>Anyway, I'm not really bothered by the 'who created the designer' question, because I guess it's just one of those things that you accept-that you can't 'know' God.

That's the problem with the god hypothesis, it allows you to stop looking. If we had said Goddidit for speciation, then when bacteria became resistant to antibiotics we would just be scratching our heads, wondering why god had cursed us with bugs that must have been newly created to be resistant to our medicines.

The God hypothesis says very much what you admit, stop looking we have -the- answer.


>>The same way atheists aren't bothered by 'where did all that stuff come from that made the Big Bang' question

To the contrary we are very bothered by this, but there are no answers on the immediate horizon.

>>>Now you say that the evidence for the design theory has been debunked, although I'm not sure where you got that from

Please, don't take my word for it, I'm not trying to pull a fast one on you. Take your time and do your research, it will be of great benefit to you to come across the answers you will find.

>>>We all know what we would believe-given the odds,we wouldn't for a second believe that the design is random. I can't see the difference

I'm not sure I understand your question. Not all things that have design were intentionaly created. Evolution is a prime example. The cliffs in La Jolla are beautifuly complex, but made by blind water following it's tidal ebb and wane. Many patterns occur in the natural world, crystaline structures etc.etc snowlfakes, wonderfull complexity wrought by temperature and pressure.....Unless you think god has his work gloves on up there.

>>>You say that you've visited Jewish Philosopher's website, so I'm sure you've seen the letter by Dr. Theobald

Sure, scroll down to some of his earlier posts and see my comments, we've crossed swords before. The difficulty with Jacob is that he doesn't seem to understand the nuances of argument and most people have concluded that it is pretty pointless to debate anything with him, as he lacks whatever inner skills are necessary to consider someone else's point of view.

As far as his letter, I am often amused that people attmept to qoute evolutionists out of context so that it is obvious that even they would be stupid to think evolution was true.

I hate to awaken you from your slumber, but evolution is not a contested subject outside christian and jewish fundamentalists. And it is not becuase of some grand conspiracy of scientists against you, it it due to the enourmous amount of convergant data supporting evolution.


>>>If that's the best explanation the atheists can come up with-basically that amazing things CAN happen by chance so maybe it happened here, then that letter is a great source of chizuk.


Not all evolutionists are atheists, you know...I love the way your portrtay it as the atheist theory...its got a lovely retro yeshivish feel to it.

I think the problem is you have only read the appologetics. Try and read a textbook on Biology, start to get an idea as to why all members of biological science despite religious affiliation support evolution (except the oft qouted behe or wells).

 
At 12:39 PM, Anonymous dave said...

First of all, why are you assuming that I'm arguing on evolution? God could have created the world through it for all I know. I have a problem with random mutations popping up creating new organs. Just a question on one function -how many millions of years did it take until evolution got reproduction right (yes, that's sarcastic)?

'As far as his letter, I am often amused that people attmept to qoute evolutionists out of context so that it is obvious that even they would be stupid to think evolution was true.'

Tell me how I quoted (or paraphrased him) out of context. I think that was exactly what he said-basically it must have happened because we're here. A tautology if there ever was one!

Regarding your last comment on Behe, see your first comment
'Ahh I see you believe in the science that suites you. :-)'

'I think the problem is you have only read the appologetics. Try and read a textbook on Biology, start to get an idea as to why all members of biological science despite religious affiliation support evolution (except the oft qouted behe or wells).'

Again, I'm not arguing evolution. I'm arguing, based on the odds,(given by scientists themselves) that it's IMPOSSIBLE, not virtually impossible, to have happened by itself.

One more point-I remember in a discussion of the physical laws of the universe that are so perfectly tuned for life, that the atheists said no problem-maybe there were multiple universes being created and this one came about! Of course there's no way of proving that but apparently it doesn't matter to them.

 
At 12:43 PM, Anonymous dave said...

'I'm not sure I understand your question. Not all things that have design were intentionaly created. Evolution is a prime example. The cliffs in La Jolla are beautifuly complex, but made by blind water following it's tidal ebb and wane.'

I'm totally at a loss here. Of course the cliffs are beautiful and the design is random at the same time. But I can tell the difference between Michaelangelo and the beautiful drawings of my two year old. One is random and one is not!

 
At 1:06 PM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

I am winning when my irrefutable arguments cannot be refuted.

 
At 2:54 PM, Anonymous dave said...

Hey, Ben, you still there? Did I knock you out with my brilliant and scintillating comments? ;). Anyway, have a good night, speak to you after the holiday.

 
At 3:11 PM, Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Dave, your odds argument is creationist nonsense. For example, the odds of winning a big jackpot lottery might be 17,000,000 to one, but people do win the lotteries. A lottery winner after he has won had a probability of 1 after the fact.

The earth and universe as it is now, is simply an after the fact lottery winner.

 
At 5:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally, I always had doubts about the Truth of Judaism and Kabbalah untill I took Chemistry and Biology class.

 
At 8:33 PM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

>>First of all, why are you assuming that I'm arguing on evolution?

that is the subject of this post.


>>>God could have created the world through it for all I know.


Hmmm, then why all the bluster ?



>>>I have a problem with random mutations popping up creating new organs.

Do you really have any idea what random mutations due on a daily basis, do you have any idea what random mutations have been observed to do in documented science ?? Please look up all the trisomies, Down's, Pateu's....

Look up cyclopia, I bet that will surprise you, look up polydactaly and arachnodactaly, look up icthyosis....etc, start to give yourself an idea of what genes control and how minor alterations create major changes.

Look up Retinoblastoma and the two hit hypothesis to understand how a random mutation can ruin someones life....



>>>>Just a question on one function -how many millions of years did it take until evolution got reproduction right (yes, that's sarcastic)?

I hope you are sarcastic, that question shows a total lack of knowledge, please read how bacteria have been transmiting plasmid DNA/Rna between themselves in a semi sexual ritual, to get an idea of how early genetic material sharing is, and follow the story along through the development of each species and it's sex organs.



>>>Regarding your last comment on Behe, see your first comment
'Ahh I see you believe in the science that suites you. :-)'


No I don't pick and choose.. if the methodology is sound I believe it. The point I was making is that there is far less known about origins of the universe then there is about evolution. They are not comparible...that is my point. You mistook this to be similar to your warped view of the world in which you pick the science that justifies your religious opinion and discard that that doesn't...irregardless of the evidence.

Let me explain to you why that approach is wanting in intellectual honesty. Intellectual honesty mandates that you modulate your belief in proportion to the evidence. In religion some beliefs are set outside the frame of evidence and believed no matter what. Then other beliefs are chosen irregardles of evidence to match the religious belief. That practice, one that I am sorry to say is ubiquitous in religion is that you have committed.

 
At 8:36 PM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

>>Again, I'm not arguing evolution. I'm arguing, based on the odds,(given by scientists themselves) that it's IMPOSSIBLE, not virtually impossible, to have happened by itself.


-what is virtualy impossible..evolution through natural selection ?

 
At 8:40 PM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

>>>One more point-I remember in a discussion of the physical laws of the universe that are so perfectly tuned for life, that the atheists said no problem-maybe there were multiple universes being created and this one came about! Of course there's no way of proving that but apparently it doesn't matter to them.

You state that as if it is a hypothesis that scientists consider proven...it is not. It is a reminder that we don't have a proper method of calculating the odds, our vantage point is too constrained.

I noticed you have not identified or discussed the odds for an omnipresent being, or even feel the discussion is necessary.

Look, what it boild down to is some people are comfortable with what is currently known and unknown and look and the unknown and state, "yes that is unknown, and as of yet the evidence is not terribly convincing" I think the origin of the universe falls into this catagory. Some say it is unknown therefore God must have made it....but this doesn't follow in any logical way, of course, it is just religious wishful thinking masquerading as logic.

 
At 8:41 PM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

>>>I am winning when my irrefutable arguments cannot be refuted

You have created a pleasant little world for yourself..in your own mind...enjoy!

 
At 8:42 PM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

>>Hey, Ben, you still there? Did I knock you out with my brilliant and scintillating comments? ;).

I'll grant you scintillating out of charity, but not brilliant. You have a lot of reading to do.

 
At 8:44 PM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

>>>Personally, I always had doubts about the Truth of Judaism and Kabbalah untill I took Chemistry and Biology class.


Hi anonymous, I sense that something mystical this way blows, pray tell how chemistry pointed you towards OJ and kabbalah.

 
At 7:31 AM, Anonymous dave said...

Bacon Eating-that's a real stupid analogy. Of course SOMEBODY is going to win. The odds dictate that when the odds are 17 million to one AND 50 million tickets are bought then of course one of those will win. A more sane analogy will be for the SAME winner to keep winning week after week. You think that will ever happen?

'-what is virtualy impossible..evolution through natural selection ? '

No, I said random mutations creating organs are statistically impossible relaying on the calculations of scientists. You seem to keep sidestepping my point. I'm trying to understand why in everday life you wouldn't base your beliefs otherwise (again the Mt. Rushmore example), yet when it comes to God since you can't get past the question of who created God it's not satisfying. BTW, I also have a problem with why we don't see the evoltionary process happening now. Why don't we see half made useless organs just waiting for the right mutations to come along and finish them? Why don't we see all these transitonal species?

,You state that as if it is a hypothesis that scientists consider proven...it is not. It is a reminder that we don't have a proper method of calculating the odds, our vantage point is too constrained.,

Boy, your emunah in ultimately finding all the answers is remarkable.

'No I don't pick and choose.. if the methodology is sound I believe it. The point I was making is that there is far less known about origins of the universe then there is about evolution. They are not comparible...that is my point. You mistook this to be similar to your warped view of the world in which you pick the science that justifies your religious opinion and discard that that doesn't...irregardless of the evidence.'

You could fooled me. Apparently those scientists (who even you'll agree know WAY more than you about science) that have serious questions on the evolutionary process are fools. Everyone else has seen the light.

BTW, does the fossil record support evolution or not? Apparently until Stephen Jay Gould came up with the theory of punctuated equilibrium the party line was 'yes'. Then he comes along with his new theory since after all the fossil record didn't support the gradual theory of evolution. Whatever.

Look, we're going in circles here, so I'll just say this. Even though I seem to be arguing on evolution, I personally don't have a religious problem with it. I do have a problem with the censorship on questioning evolution that rivals the censorship that the Catholic Church used to have. In the mass media it's a given and the questioners are all raving lunatic fundamentalists.

 
At 8:40 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

Hey Dave, you sound a bit frayed at the edges. deep breaths. deep breaths.

>>>No, I said random mutations creating organs are statistically impossible relaying on the calculations of scientists

Huh? random mutations occur all the time. I can tell you didn't read the two his hypothesis for retinoblastoma.

>>>You seem to keep sidestepping my point. I'm trying to understand why in everday life you wouldn't base your beliefs otherwise (again the Mt. Rushmore example), yet when it comes to God since you can't get past the question of who created God it's not satisfying.

I will try and decipher that sentence as follows. It appears you are switching from evolution to another argument. That of the argument for God from design. Which you also appear to be answering when you note that since the logic is circular it is not satisfying.

so...yes! the logic is circular and it is not satisfying, as expalined abundantly above.

>>>BTW, I also have a problem with why we don't see the evoltionary process happening now.

We do !! Ever heard of multi drug resistant TB ? MRSA ? VRSA?

>>>Why don't we see half made useless organs just waiting for the right mutations to come along and finish them?

We see an abundance of them, just not in the way you imagine.

Your idea of evolution producing on physical half of a liver and waiting for a second mutation to finish the second half is amusing, but shows poorly for your level of education on the matter.

"Half finished organs" are eyes that see light in various worms an insects but have no ability to focus the light into an image.

We see every variety of "half finished organ" in the animal kingdom in the exact order that we expect them.

Our own "half finished" or poorly functional organs, are hip bones designed to deliver babies without a larger human cranium, resulting in higher birth death rates in humans compared to primates. Sinuses "squeezed to accomodate our larger brains, that constantly clog and cause infections, eyes witht wiring overlying the recieving sensors and large blind spots fifteen degrees of axis etc.....

 
At 9:00 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

>>>Why don't we see all these transitonal species?


We see some of them, and by it's very nature teh transitional species are not meant to last, we should count ourselves lucky to have found any.

>>Boy, your emunah in ultimately finding all the answers is remarkable.

Not really, But I do like the approach of saying I don't know in areas where we don't have enough info rather then going straight to the "God of the Gaps."


>>You could fooled me. Apparently those scientists (who even you'll agree know WAY more than you about science) that have serious questions on the evolutionary process are fools. Everyone else has seen the light.

Huh? I didn't follow... careful with the scentence structure, your yeshiva background is starting to peak through the cracks.

>>>BTW, does the fossil record support evolution or not?


It does.


>>Apparently until Stephen Jay Gould came up with the theory of punctuated equilibrium the party line was 'yes'. Then he comes along with his new theory since after all the fossil record didn't support the gradual theory of evolution. Whatever

Yes, when us poor fools are not in possesion of absolute truth like you are then we use evidence to refine our theories...I know... how cumbersome.

 
At 9:10 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

>>>Look, we're going in circles here,

Yes, it is the circle of you knowing little about evolution and then continuing to know little about evolution.

>>>so I'll just say this. Even though I seem to be arguing on evolution, I personally don't have a religious problem with it.

You appear to have some sort of problem with it.


>>>I do have a problem with the censorship on questioning evolution that rivals the censorship that the Catholic Church used to have. In the mass media it's a given and the questioners are all raving lunatic fundamentalists.

That's funny becuase science doesn't have censorship, and orthodox judaism does.

The reason no arguments against evolution are taken seriously is becuase none of them stem from scientific obsrvations. They are all poorly disguised religious drivel.

There would be no suppresion of a find that unseated evolution, in fact if any one could scientifically show this it would be the most important discovery of our century. It would rival Einstien's overturning of Newtonian physics, or the death of lamarkian gentetics (see how well science covered those up?).

The fact of the matter is this is unlikely to happen because of the enormous amount of convergant evidence from different fields supporting evolution.

And there is no reason for science to take the critiques of bitter religionists, feeling their fundamental dogmatic beleifs threatened, seriously.

 
At 10:06 AM, Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Ben, I think all life forms are transitional species. Perhaps 1 million years from now if man is still around, his appendix won't be.

I think the first thing you have to do with a Fundy is get them to define transitional species.

When two animals mate and don't produce offsprings who can mate, we can classify them as different species. The cane toad in Australia over the last 50 or so years has produced a variation of the original, it has longer legs and now can't produce offspring with the original short legged toad who are still around.

 
At 10:16 AM, Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Dave, it is apparent that you have no interest in learning. Your hole arguments coming from Fundy sites will not sway anyone with half a brain or up.
Every objection you have is completely explained at Talk origins, a site that you have probably never visited.
You think the earth is young, you are wrong.
Does this make your bible wrong?
It must be because you are scared to investigate the truth.
There is not one reputable biologist who thinks biology is bunk.
You take the word of a preacher or rabbi or priest over a scientist when it comes to science. Well, that is just pathetic.

As far as my odds analogy it is right on the money, whether it is 1 million to one or 500 billion to the 500 billionth to one.

It just means there were a lot of other outcomes, and we are experiencing the one the won.

 
At 10:17 AM, Anonymous dave said...

I'm going to ignore your stereotypical insults that have nothing to do with reality and move on. I'm not going to argue with you except note that there are serious scientists, not crackpots, contrary to the impression that you wish to convey, that have serious unanswered questions. Let's see-a one followed by 500 trillion zeroes to one. I'll play the odds.

 
At 10:30 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

dave, it's one thing to be troubled by the odds, but you seem to be denying that evolution is an observed and documented phenominon. WE can all agree it was not the most likely occurence, but it is hard to deny it-is- occuring.

Bacon, I think you are right to extract definitions from fundamentalist believers. Although I sometimes wonder if anything can break through the mental armor they place around them in church/yeshiva that doesn't appear to allow them to cognate past a certain point. Once the conversation goes beyond a boundry adhered to by their religion they are left to grasp at anything to justify their religious belief. Once we reach that point in the debate it seems like the effort to talk sense to these people is futile.

 
At 10:57 AM, Anonymous dave said...

Ben, I am troubled by evolution, I'm not denying it. I have no problem with believing in God AND evolution AND believing in an old universe. (Yes, Bacon, if you would have actually read what I've written, you would see that I never denied that.)
That being said, you obviously didn't get my point about Gould. My point is that until Gould came along with his theory, the party line was that there WAS support in the fossil record. Only AFTER his theory, did we discover that the fossil record did NOT support the first theory. How convenient.

 
At 11:15 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

>>>That being said, you obviously didn't get my point about Gould. My point is that until Gould came along with his theory, the party line was that there WAS support in the fossil record. Only AFTER his theory, did we discover that the fossil record did NOT support the first theory. How convenient.

Your impressions are not uncommon in the yeshiva world. It is widely believed there that there is an atheist scientist agenda that is out to hurt religion for the purposes of establishing a hedonistic godless society.

Hey, I went to yeshiva, I remember !!

It is this mind set that births opinions about science being out to fool people, and things being a little to "convenient" as if they couldn't just happen by the rules, but require some type of overriding agenda to allow them to happen.

Given this prejudice it is very common for people to observe the very normal and expected flow of science in fine tuning it's data as new evidence arrises, as "convenient".

It is nothing of the sort. It is simply the way knowledge and understanding are gained in a stepwise fashion.

Before Gould advanced the theory of punctuated evolution the fossil record was seen as a small repersentation of what may have been happening on a larger scale. After Gould, and not everyone agrees with Gould, it was recognized that the fossil record might be a more accurate account of very small subsets of species undergoing evolution.


There is no conspiracy theory here trying to fool you. Like all science new data and ideas influence the theory.

should you ever choose to study any field in depth you will find the same undercurrents of disagreements and restructuring based on better views and new evidence.

The fact that you see this as "convenient" is a sympton of a deep misunderstanding of scientific method that is omnipresent in our communities.

Rest easy tonight, no one is out to get you, the scientific community barely knows you exist, and are unconcerned with your "proofs" against them.

 
At 11:30 AM, Anonymous dave said...

Well, thanks for not answering another question.

 
At 11:48 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

>>>Well, thanks for not answering another question.


If you don't like my answer read about it yourself !

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

The fact of the matter is that your objections to evolution stem from the fact that it threatens a religious system that you must abide by and cannot change.

Most religious people are loath to admit that they don't like evolution becuase it contradicts literalist ideas of creation in the bible becuase they may not want to be percieved as bible thumping plebians.

It is for that reason that you have to cloak your attacks against evolution in science.

But sceince doesn't agree with you, and this is easily demonstrated.

Pretending that a well respected majority of biologists don't agree with evolution is obscene and is total untrue.

Pretending that every tweak and adjustment that has occured to evolution since darwin proposed it "proves" the original theory to be wrong but accepted by sceince anyway( for "convenient" conspiracy of atheist reasons), is specious, and does not recognize the method by which science refines it's theories in -all areas- not just evolution.


Don't accuse me of not ansering your questions, thats unfair, I've taken the time to provide a framework for you to begin and understand evolution and done my best to uproot some of the comical ideas you came to the table with (half formed organs...don't make me laugh).

the least you could do is continue the process of investigation on your own.

Read a text on evolution of biology and see where you stand after that.

 
At 12:28 PM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 12:31 PM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

This is always the last resort of evolutionists. The fossils aren't there. The odds don't make sense. However scientists say it's true, so it must be.

The vast majority of scientists are atheists, and presumably were even before they went to college. Do you actually think they will renounce their beliefs any more than Catholic priests will just because they don't make sense? I don't think so. And the few theistic scientists are usually smart enough to keep their mouths' shut if they don't want to be unemployed and/or labeled crackpots.

It's not a conspiracy theory, it's a religion.

 
At 1:10 PM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

>>>This is always the last resort of evolutionists.

No it is the first resort, it's called the scientific method.


>>>The fossils aren't there.

Right, right, of course your right, all those fossils are just rocks that god put there to fool those crazy athiest scientists. Ha jokes on them !!


>>>The odds don't make sense.

It is unlikely, not the same as not making sense.


>>>However scientists say it's true, so it must be.

No, your getting science confused with religion. IN religion people say things are true and every one believes them no matter what. In science, sceintist say things are true becuase they have objective evidence.



>>>The vast majority of scientists are atheists, and presumably were even before they went to college.

That's funny, is it worse if you are an atheist before you go into college or after...LOL.

Actually many scientists are religious perhaps as many as half. Go ahead and listen to Ken miller for this perspective.




>>> Do you actually think they will renounce their beliefs any more than Catholic priests will just because they don't make sense?


Science has an excellent record for renouncing beliefs as they become outdated or new evidence arises.

Religion on the other hand....



>>>>I don't think so. And the few theistic scientists are usually smart enough to keep their mouths' shut if they don't want to be unemployed and/or labeled crackpots.

>>>It's not a conspiracy theory, it's a religion.


It's not, of course, but it's funny that the most deragetory comment you can lambast science with is to call it a religion....Funny stuff.

 
At 5:19 PM, Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

I suggest Dave and JP view the videos on this page. I showed them to my 15 year old nephew and he understood it.

Not to be condescending, but it would be nice if Dave and JP understood the lingo of evolution before calling it false.

Unfortunately I doubt either will watch any of them.

 
At 6:43 AM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

My point is that evolution is as much science as the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is history. Proof: evolution cannot be explained rationally to skeptics.

Perhaps 7% of emminent scientists have some sort of serious religious beliefs. So do you honestly expect them to look at the cell and say "Yup, God did it." I don't think so.

The fossil evidence demonstrates castrophes not evolution.

 
At 7:08 AM, Anonymous dave said...

Bacon-again I am not denying evolution-I'm just questioning it. Apparently, people like you can't accept questions out of your little narrow world. Any scientist who agrees with you is 'respectable'. Anybody who questions it 'has an agenda'. Right.
Well apparently even Dr. Francis Crick of DNA fame and Dr. Fred Hoyle, famous astronomer from Britain, couldn't fathom life forming here on Earth by itself. so we have this from Panspermia.org-
'Hoyle and Wickramasinghe also broadened or generalized panspermia to include a new understanding of evolution. While accepting the fact that life on Earth evolved over the course of about four billion years, they say that the genetic programs for higher evolution cannot be explained by random mutation and recombination among genes for single-celled organisms, even in that long a time: the programs must come from somewhere beyond Earth. In a nutshell, their theory holds that all of life comes from space. It incorporates the original panspermia in the same way that General Relativity incorporates Special Relativity. Their expanded theory can well be termed "strong" panspermia. '

So maybe to you DNA forming, reproducing, etc. is so simple and neat, but not to them. And even then, rather than say the G-word, which they know will get them in trouble in the hallowed halls of academia-they promote this theory which is literally off the wall.

Oh, wait they must not be respectable either.

 
At 7:56 AM, Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Dave, where do you get the crap about Crick?
Here is a Crick quote:
"The age of the earth is now established beyond any reasonable doubt as very great, yet in the United States millions of Fundamentalists still stoutly defend the naive view that it is relatively short, an opinion deduced from reading the Christian Bible too literally. They also usually deny that animals and plants have evolved and changed radically over such long periods, although this is equally well established. This gives one little confidence that what they have to say about the process of natural selection is likely to be unbiased, since their views are predetermined by a slavish adherence to religious dogmas." (source: The Astonishing Hypothesis)

Panspermia, has nothing to do with evolution, but is a very questionable theory having to do with the beginnings of life on earth.

You creationists can't seem to get over the fact that evolution is not the science of how life began on earth. Even pnspermia states that tiny organisms came to earth, and evolved from there. Some say God sent these organisms, some say an alien culture sent them and some say that they came here by accident (meteorite). Either way, none of these scientists you cite, deny evolution from a one celled animal to the diversity of life on our planet today.

JP, you should really look up Ken Miller. But I don't doubt that most scientists doubt God moreso now than 50 or 100 years ago, as they continue to see the evidence, and the fact that the evidence makes the bible a complete myth.

Here is a former creationist geologist. He still believes in God, but it goes to show how dishonest creationists are, and how non-scientific they are.

It is sad that you don't have a clue about scientific theory JP. Just very sad. Keep deluding yourself.

 
At 8:06 AM, Anonymous dave said...

'It's not, of course, but it's funny that the most deragetory comment you can lambast science with is to call it a religion....Funny stuff. '

C'mon, you know what he means. So substitute 'belief system' for 'religion'. It's the same thing. Even you'll admit that you can't prove there's no God. If that's what you want to believe, that's your business.

As to your claim that scientists will reject a theory based on new evidence, yeah I suppose that's true IF there's nothing in it for them either way.

 
At 8:18 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

>>Even you'll admit that you can't prove there's no God.

AS a weak atheist, I don't claim to, it's very hard to prove a negative.

>>>C'mon, you know what he means

I rarely have any idea what he means.

>>>As to your claim that scientists will reject a theory based on new evidence, yeah I suppose that's true IF there's nothing in it for them either way.

Yes, that is interesting isn't it. The ability to reevaluate old things that you thought for sure were correct and instead of screaming "I know it's right I believed it all my life" like a typical cleric, wondering qiuetly if it is or isn't and what data exsist to support either side. And what tests might help elucidate the problem to help shed light on one possibility over the other....

One day we will talk of the differences between scientific and religious methodologies. Every thing else is a surface sympton of the this underlying process.

 
At 8:21 AM, Anonymous dave said...

Bacon-you really seem to have a problem with reading comprehension. So I'll repeat
I AM NOT DENYING AN OLD EARTH. I AM NOT DENYING EVOLUTION. I AM DENYING THE PHYSICAL LAWS OF THE UNIVERSE JUST HAPPENING TO BE SO PERFECT AND EVOLUTION HAPPENING BY ITSELF BECAUSE ACCORDING TO STATISTICS IT IS IMPOSSIBLE.

You would never believe that the front page of the new york times was generated randomly, or for that matter you wouldn't believe that one sentence was. Yet you believe that things happening by themselves, let alone life itself happening is possible.
I'll tell you what, since you believe there's no God-YOU prove to ME there's NO God.

 
At 8:24 AM, Anonymous dave said...

Ben, I did mention IF there's nothing in it for them either way.

Ben, I must say that I've enjoyed this give and take despite your sometimes condescending attitude.:)
I'm just curious, you've mentioned somewhere else on your site that you still go to shul. Can I ask why?

 
At 8:26 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

>>>Proof: evolution cannot be explained rationally to skeptics.


Huh ??


>>Perhaps 7% of emminent scientists have some sort of serious religious beliefs

40% believe in god according to the survery you cited, but only 7% beleive in a personal God.

Your atheist conspiracy is losing air fast. Almost half of scientists are against their will upholding a theory that they really don't agee with ??

Actually the funny thing about fundamentalists is the methodology of their thought processes. It starts with an Idea they won't part with religious conspiracy or otherwise. Then all data is viewed but only the peices that support their bizarre outlook are noticed.

It's amazing to actually watch that mindset in action.

Thank you for sharing your pathology so generously.

 
At 9:05 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

>>>I AM DENYING THE PHYSICAL LAWS OF THE UNIVERSE JUST HAPPENING TO BE SO PERFECT AND EVOLUTION HAPPENING BY ITSELF BECAUSE ACCORDING TO STATISTICS IT IS IMPOSSIBLE.

sounds like you are hung up on the anthropic principle, and it's true there is not as much data on this as there is about evolution, but a simple google search will start you in the right direction.

All ideas about why the universe is so fine tuned to life will incorporate the fact that it is a chancy situation, as you point out, but just curious, are you ever concerned about what the odds are of an omnipresent God choosing to creat a universe for us lowly humans ? Do you really think we have a method of determining which is more unlikely ?

Don't worry, no religious folk are ever bothered by this, no one ever feels that to question the idea of a natural universe their own theory should of necessity be exposed to and answer the same questions they pose.

You think God makes much more sense than anything else becuase incorporated in that belief set is permission not to think.

The second you take your childhood indoctrination of it's pedastool and apply any laws of comparison or logic to it it begins to crumble.

It's a painful experience, don't do it unless you really feel you have to.

 
At 9:14 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

>>Ben, I did mention IF there's nothing in it for them either way.

You did, but politics and selfishness are necessary evils of all human endeavors.

>>Ben, I must say that I've enjoyed this give and take despite your sometimes condescending attitude.:)

:-)


>>>I'm just curious, you've mentioned somewhere else on your site that you still go to shul. Can I ask why?


Sure, I like my freinds, I like having a belt of scotch with the kiddush club, I like following along for the torah reading with my new found vantage point, and I like silently giggling at the Rabbi's speach.

But I hope this is not a thinly vieled attempt to move on to part two of jewish reclimation of lost souls, the, so called, personal approach.

I hope your not going to follow with what my decisions will mean for me, for my children etc...I've heard it before...

 
At 10:07 AM, Anonymous dave said...

Bacon, obviously you're not sure about your own beliefs if all you can do is point me to all these sites. Guess what, I went there. I've heard all these arguments before, nothing new there. If you can't explain it yourself then you obviously don't understand them yourself. Why don't you go to some ID sites to get a fresh perspective yourself? I know, it's not comfortable.

 
At 11:05 AM, Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Dave, I am not a geologist or biologist. It is best to have someone in those fields explain these things to you.
I understand the scientific process, and the self-scrutinizing that goes along with it.
I am completely sure of evolution and an ancient earth and that the idea of ID is bs.
I do go to creationist/ID sites, but they tend to delete my comments so it takes away my incentive.

So Dave, tell us, do you believe the earth is ancient and that man evolved from a simple organism? Please tell me the truth as to what you believe here.

 
At 11:20 AM, Anonymous dave said...

Bacon,I said I believe in an old earth AND evolution. Can't you read?
So is Crick a respectable scientist or not? He said he couldn't believe life forming on it's own here on Earth. Go to panspermia.org for the quote.

 
At 12:13 PM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

I happen to know Professor Miller quite well, although only be email. He's a super nice guy, however I must respectfully disagree with both his faith in evolution and in Catholicism.

My brother, who isn't Jewish, is agnostic and has a post graduate degree geology which he received after graduating from Swarthmore. He doesn't believe in evolution. He believes that science simply cannot explain where life came from. As far as he's concerned it could be God, blind chance or something else.

I think you'll find that there is more doubt about Darwinism out there than the National Academy of Sciences would like to admit. It's not talked about more because it makes no practical scientific difference and who wants to give more ammunition to looney fundimentalists like me.

 
At 1:29 PM, Blogger David Guttmann said...

Hi Ben,

Just saw this post. You do it so rarely that i forget to check. However well worthwhile everytime. Excellent post. i never understood why ID satisfies. As you know I think it is nonsense and people go for it just like Kabbalah attracts them. I think that it is kabbalah that ostensibly teaches God's finger in every minutiae, which BTW I don't believe real Mekubalim (thinking ones) believed, that has forced to grab on to the straw of ID.

The problem that I have with all this stuff is that they see God as serving man, rather man serving God and looking for Him in truth. I know that you have a problem with that as i did too, once upon a time. But I think I have found the understanding of what our religion is all about. It certainly is not the stuff we were fed in Yeshivah. Unfortunately weithout Yeshivah basic teachings one cannot intelligently understand Judaism. Anyway I am rambling. I gave myself a headache writing my post this morning and I am looking to distract myself. Keep up the good work!

 
At 5:19 PM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

jp,

>>He believes that science simply cannot explain where life came from

that's not evolution, evolution is the theory of how life diversifies.

 
At 5:20 PM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

Hi DAvid g, I like your take on ID, thanks for stopping by to read !

 
At 5:21 PM, Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Dave, you say you have no problem with evolution, yet I just went through your posts and you have a huge problem with.

Where are transitional species with half organs??????

You ask that and also say you believe in evolution. Ha.

You say that our organs could not have mathematically evolved without the help of God, if I'm incorrect please correct me.

I ask you, why do we have organs we don't need like appendix or why do we have a tailbone?

JP, you are mixing up abiogenesis and evolution again. And who cares if you don't agree with Dr. Miller?
You don't even know the difference between abiogenesis and evolution.
As far as your brother is concerned, does he believe in an ancient earth or a young earth. His views on abiogenesis and evolution are uselesss as an experts opinion because evolution has to do with biology. And if he believes in a young earth, he must have lied if he passed his geology course.

Crick is a real scientist, yes.
But the quote you use is faith based and not based on fact. Most scientists disagree with what you are quoting Crick as saying, Dave.

A quick search on Crick brings this up by someone who understands what Crick said:

"Your post mischaracterises Crick's views on abiogenesis somewhat. This is understandable if you get your information from creationist web sites.
Crick & Orgel's panspermia was one of a number of speculative hypotheses about abiogenesis floating around in the 1970's. Crick was motivated by the difficuly of finding a plausible pathway for the development of molecular replication and he fully acknowledged the deficiencies and the speculative nature of this hypothesis. In later years in the light of experimental results and theoretical advances he warmed to the RNA world hypothesis and abandoned panspermia. Nonetheless abiogenesis remains a speculative field with no clear agreement amongst researchers -- it is still a hole (although a shrinking one) in which a god-of-the-gaps can hide."

 
At 6:48 AM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

Evolution can refer to prebiological and postbiological developments. My brother is uncertain about both, and I suspect that many others are as well.

 
At 7:13 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

>>>Evolution can refer to prebiological and postbiological developments

but it typicaly doesn't




"The chemical evolution from self-catalytic chemical reactions to life (see Origin of life) is not a part of biological evolution, but it is unclear at which point such increasingly complex sets of reactions became what we would consider, today, to be living organisms."

wikipedia

 
At 7:45 AM, Anonymous dave said...

'Where are transitional species with half organs??????

You ask that and also say you believe in evolution. Ha.'

Yes, I'm asking that. Tell me why we don't have animals growing wings that are useless now but will be useful in a million years. Or, where are all those sketches of animals in the evolutionary biologists textbooks that are half this animal and half that animal.

'You say that our organs could not have mathematically evolved without the help of God, if I'm incorrect please correct me.'

What is do difficult to understand? I said IF evolution happened it occured THROUGH God, not by random mutations.

'I ask you, why do we have organs we don't need like appendix or why do we have a tailbone?'

Good question. I'm sure science will find out one day why we need them and not arrogantly assume they're not needed because they can't figure them out. Do you remember when doctors routinely removed tonsils because they were 'useless' also?

I didn't get that quote about Crick from a creationist website. I told you where it's from. Apparently, he had great difficulty accepting life forming from nothing. You, who admit not being trained in the sciences, apparently don't. So you just go around quoting this scientist or that one, not having a real understanding what you're quoting, and then accuse anyone who has questions of blindly following creationist websites while you do exactly the same thing. Maybe you should give some real thought about the existence of God, maybe a little more time than the time it takes for you to decide what's for dinner. After all, this is the most important decision you will make in your lifetime. At least Ben here spent years stuggling with this question before coming to his conclusion, which while I don't agree with him, at least I can understand him, based on what he went through. So if I'm asking you questions that you don't have the answer for, don't point me to some website for their answer. Tell me the answer yourself.

By the way do you understand the The Second Law of Thermodynamics question? This law states that everything goes in the direction of more disorder, which is why the scientists tell us that this universe will eventually reach a state of total disorder, which basically means it will disintegrate. So tell me how the hell it came to be IN order, according to this law. Now I've asked this question of many atheists, and they give me some BS answer that they've memorized and don't understand because they can't explain it to me in a way that makes any kind of sense. So I'm asking you.

 
At 8:50 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

Dave, I will leave most of your qeustion for bacon to answer, since you've directed it at him. But I can't resist making an effort to save you a little emberassment in the long run.

Do your self a favor, stop insisting that not seeing "half organs" or "half wings" is a problem for evolution. To any one who understands the core basic concepts you are only boldly and fearlessly demonstrating how littel you know about the subject.

If I told you that human build skyscrapers and you denied it citing that you'd never seen half a sky scraper ( a perferctly formed and completed right or left half of a building) I would mention to you that you have seen half a skyscraper, they just don't necessarily look like half a building, they look like tall beams with scaffollds, surrounded by cranes and workmen, that's what half a building looks like.

There are many half buildings/ half organs in evolution, but they don't look like half a building, you have to understand the process first, in order to realisticaly know what to look for.

Once you understand the building process you will understand why a worm eye which detects two states...light and no light, is half an eye (or less), and a human eye with wiring in front of the photoreceptors and a blind spot 15% degrees off of your visual axis is 9\10 of an eye, and why an eagle eye with an iris constructed to squeeze the lens and achieve better accomodation than human eyes, is another level of adaptation above us.

Not just half organs, but every level inbetween is perfectly perserved in the biological life around us.

Once you understand what you are looking for, you can't miss it.

 
At 9:00 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

>>>Tell me why we don't have animals growing wings that are useless now but will be useful in a million years

But we do, just they are not useless now....ever see a flying squirel ?? The main purpose of the arms is for grasping trees, but when they spread and jump they can glide for a full 30-40 feet.

Ever see a flying fish, the wings main use is that of fins, but a glimpse of their flight perfomance to catch bugs on any episode of national geopgraphic, will show their amazing flight.

Of course, we can see the opposite occur as well. Ever see a penguin fly ? No. but go to the zoo and watch those suckers swim.... Let's call that a "half flipper"

You have to understand that animals are pushed into ecological niches over time, where certain subsets of the species, those with shorter stronger arms, or more fleshy arms, or thinner more delicate arms, are selected for. The non chosen have a higher death rate, and the few the enviornment chooses will mate, sharing and consolidating the gene "programming" that was andvantegeious to them.

Please, don't take my word for it, get a real textbook and read, the evolution of most organs and organisms are well documented. But you will have to see it for yourself.

 
At 9:05 AM, Anonymous dave said...

OK, Ben I hear (sort of) what you're saying. But how about the second part of the question-all those sketches drawn so neatly in the textbooks showing one kind of animal turning into another-what good reason is there that this process should not be taking place today? Shouldn't there be millions and millions of these kinds of transitional species?

(Attention, Bacon-these are questions-if there are answers, I'll have no problem. So please don't ask me that question again if I'm denying evolution or not.)

 
At 9:26 AM, Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Dave, Ben addressed your post well. I'll add that whales have very tiny remnants of hind leg bones as well.

You really don't understand evolution, and I'm not the one who should be teaching it to you.

I basically answered your question about Crick. He used to believe something was inprobable based on the information he had in the early 70's, but later changed his mind based on new scientific discoveries in the field of RNA. Unfortunately, I gave you too much credit to put two and two together.

As far as the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. I don't accept your definition. From what I understand, the Law basically says that eventually everything in the universe will be converted to heat and the same temperature, thus it will be the end of the universe, as entropy will be at it's peak.
That is in simple terms, I hope you follow. I'm not a physicist but I do get it.

Now do yourself a favor and any question you have about evolution, type in at Google "half organs talk origins" for example.

It is obvious that your idea of evolution comes from everywhere other than experts.

 
At 9:33 AM, Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Dave, evolution is a very slow process usually. The thing is right now we are in the middle or beginning of the 6th Extinction where animal species are dying off. This one is the first that is actually induced by man.

That being said, evolution can occur quicker as it is in Australia with the cane toad. There is a new cane toad species that is growing longer legs. In fact they can not now mate with the earlier version of toad that still lives in Australia. This only took 50 years.

Scientists by the way know the appendix isn't totally useless, but it is not necessary today in humans....in another million years it most likely will not be part of man's makeup if man is still around.

 
At 9:43 AM, Anonymous dave said...

'As far as the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. I don't accept your definition. From what I understand, the Law basically says that eventually everything in the universe will be converted to heat and the same temperature, thus it will be the end of the universe, as entropy will be at it's peak.
That is in simple terms, I hope you follow. I'm not a physicist but I do get it.'

You're not answering the question. If the universe will eventually reach that state (of total entropy), why did the universe go in the opposite direction, that is more order and less entropy?

 
At 10:00 AM, Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

The universe had more order in it's infancy as to my understanding.

It is expanding and because of increased entropy the randomness of what is going on in the universe is increasing as well.
Eventually as the theory goes everything in the universe will be the same temperature and heat will not transfer and no energy will be stored anywhere. This is basically the death of the universe, as everything in it will look like everything else.

Where do you get the idea that there is more order in the universe from 13 billion years ago? Because that is wrong.

 
At 10:10 AM, Anonymous dave said...

'Where do you get the idea that there is more order in the universe from 13 billion years ago? Because that is wrong. '

Whoah, let's talk sense over here for a minute. After the Big Bang, what was there? Order? Or everyting flying all over the place, eventually things start to coalesce, elements start forming, life forming, (don't ask me how, according to you guys), etc. In other words, things are falling into place with more order happening. Why do things fall apart and machinery break down? Exactly because of this law. So how did all the 'machinery', such as elements, and later on down the line, DNA, cells, organisms,etc come together in the first place?

 
At 10:42 AM, Anonymous dave said...

OK, I'm going. I'll speak to you guys Monday if you want to continue. Have a Good Shabbos. Ben, you're going through the motions, so at least have in mind L'shem Shamayim when you do the mitzvos. You never know if you'll need them.:-)

Bacon, just one parting comment before I go. Antony Flew, who was practically the pope of atheism apparently has a problem with a cell forming and being able to reproduce right away. Or is he a Fundy also?
Take care.

 
At 10:46 AM, Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Dave please direct me to a scientific article that states that the universe is becoming more orderly. I don't want to have a philosophical argument here because you obviously don't speak in terms of scientific relevance.

Are we talking about the entire universe? Because if we are, order was at a high at the beginning of the big bang. Now it is more helter skelter than ever. In other words, actions and reactions of particles that we see to today were impossible to predict 13.9 billion years ago. Entropy is all about stored energy. When energy is being stored, the actions of a particular object are a lot more predictable than when they are spent.

I notice how you are cherry picking my answers, as I've addressed a whole whack of your Godmusthavedoneit points.

As far as where all the matter came from is concerned, I can't answer that at this time. But I'm confident that we will have the answer within 25 years. Of course, this is another hole where someone like yourself says "godidit"

 
At 10:56 AM, Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Dave, no Flew has a problem with abiogenesis and he admits he is not a biologist. And he also is very incoherent and illogical in his supposed new belief in a God of the Cosmos. I think it is dementia.

He has no problem with evolution and reproduction.

Where do you get your information?

Have a Shabbos anyways.

 
At 2:14 PM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

Dave, a good shabbos to you !

For more answers to your qeustions just type www.talkorigins.com and use the site map, you will find such issues as the second law and transitional species and evidence of speciation are pretty thoroughly dealt with.

 
At 2:04 PM, Anonymous achair said...

this back and forth has been very interesting. it seems obvious that the existance of "god" can't be proven empirically and the non existance of "god" cannot be proven empirically either. it seems like a toss up to me. it's really matter of choice, but then again i am not a scientist or philosopher. i have been struggling with these questions for more than 40 years so for me at least time is of essence. my question has really evolved into why is it relevant whether god exists or not? if god doesn't exist, then how i choose to live my life is fundamentally irrelevant. there is really no long term motivating factor for me to act one way as opposed to another. i think that you can say that people choose to believe in god by default.
evolution shmevolution. what difference does it make? either god exists or not. no one knows for sure. if god doesn't exist the i can eat drink and be merry and try to get away with everything i can or i can lead my life altruistically (another way of saying "as if god exists"). in either case it doesn't make a real difference anyway. if god exists i can lead my life according to what i believe god expects of me (for reward or punishment - great motivators, or simply because i want to do what is right). or i can eat drink and be merry in spite of the consequences.
again, i am not a scientist or philosopher. most of my family (immediate and extended) consider me to be an apikorus (i'm flattered) but i hope that i am among friends here and that you guys can point out what is wrong with my thinking. be gentle, please. i got enough bashing from my rebayim.

 
At 4:49 PM, Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Achair, I hope you aren't saying it is evolution or belief in God. They are mutually exclusive, though the more one understands science or at least what science proves and explains, the less you need to think there are any gaps at all.

I can't prove one God exists, two Gods, etc. I can't prove my dog isn't God. So I have the same evidence available to me that the Hebrew God exists, or that my dog Daisy is God.

As far as being free to be rapists and pillagers goes. First off, prisons have maybe 1% Atheists in them, where in America 10% of the population are Atheist.

We evolved "morals" as a species. If we went around creating mayhem prior to the biblical days even, we'd be extinct. Of course, there are always those few that are maniacs, but they tend to get killed before they procreate.

I think believers also think in many instances they can do something "evil" and ask for sincere forgiveness afterwards from the LORD.

Atheists appreciate this is our only life, and there is nothing afterwards. So good Atheists stay out of prison:)

Was that gentle enough?

 
At 9:39 PM, Anonymous achair said...

Bacon Eating Atheist Jew said...
Achair, I hope you aren't saying it is evolution or belief in God. They are mutually exclusive,

>thanks for your (gentle) response.
why are they mutually exclusive?

though the more one understands science or at least what science proves and explains, the less you need to think there are any gaps at all.

>i think that ultimately there won't be any gaps at all in our scientific knowledge. can god exists only because there are gaps in our knowledge?

I can't prove one God exists, two Gods, etc. I can't prove my dog isn't God. So I have the same evidence available to me that the Hebrew God exists, or that my dog Daisy is God.

>that was exactly my point. by the way, say hello to daisy for me. the existance or nonexistance of god cannot be proven. i guess it boils down to whether the realization that god exists is necessary or not.

As far as being free to be rapists and pillagers goes. First off, prisons have maybe 1% Atheists in them, where in America 10% of the population are Atheist.

>what does that have to do with anything? it would be interesting to know the same statistics for the former soviet union, but not really relevant.

We evolved "morals" as a species. If we went around creating mayhem prior to the biblical days even, we'd be extinct. Of course, there are always those few that are maniacs, but they tend to get killed before they procreate.

>are you saying that ghengis khan, hitler, stalin to name a few maniacs became extinct because they were immoral? sounds avigdormillerish to me.

I think believers also think in many instances they can do something "evil" and ask for sincere forgiveness afterwards from the LORD.

>they can't.

Atheists appreciate this is our only life, and there is nothing afterwards. So good Atheists stay out of prison:)

>i'm not sure that a belief in god necessitates a belief in the afterlife.
personally i'm going with the belief that god exists. my problem is that i'm not sure what god wants. i'm trying to sort out the drivel/bullshit/static.

Was that gentle enough?

>yes. see? we can disagree and still not descend to name calling and snide remarks. that just clouds things up.

 
At 10:11 PM, Anonymous achair said...

another point that i forgot to make is that science addresses the how of things. the idea of god (if god exists) addresses the why. confusing the how with the why is the reason these arguments get nowhere.

 
At 10:30 AM, Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Achair, the prison records are relevant because many people think that the absence of God means atheist will tend to be immoral. Prison is the ultimate place for immoral people.

Hitler was in fact eliminated from the gene pool. There are examples of horrible people living on, but generally speaking especially today, they have a price on their head.

Evolution is completely mutually exclusive from belief in God, but not a belief in a literal bible.
Many scientists know evolution is fact but believe God is watching and started it out.

You mention that science explains the hows of the universe and God explains the why.
Do share the why, I'm curious.

 
At 11:32 AM, Anonymous achair said...

Achair, the prison records are relevant because many people think that the absence of God means atheist will tend to be immoral. Prison is the ultimate place for immoral people.

>in theory maybe.

Hitler was in fact eliminated from the gene pool.

>in fact he was but not because of any inherent defect in him. it could just as easily have turned out that you and i wouldn't be here to discuss these issues.

There are examples of horrible people living on, but generally speaking especially today, they have a price on their head.

>and they end up ...?

Evolution is completely mutually exclusive from belief in God, but not a belief in a literal bible.

>i thought you said that but i don't understand the exclusivity part. why can't one believe in god and the idea that reality evolves. and then why is evolution not completely mutually exclusive with a belief in a literal bible?

Many scientists know evolution is fact but believe God is watching and started it out.

>is there anything wrong with that?

You mention that science explains the hows of the universe and God explains the why.
Do share the why, I'm curious.

>i never claimed that i was privy to the why. i may never know. but i don't go to home depot when i'm looking for a steak.

 
At 5:53 AM, Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

By mutual exclusivity I mean that evolution doesn't test whether God exists or not. And 40% of Americans believe evolution is fact and God had something to do with it by either planting the seeds that he knew would wind up this way or actually guiding it.

No, there isn't anything wrong with scientists believing in God as long as they separate faith and fact.

A literal bible has a global flood, dates the earth as young, and rejects evolution. So a literal bible and science (including evolution) are conflicting and not mutually exclusive.

 
At 7:14 AM, Anonymous achair said...

By mutual exclusivity I mean that evolution doesn't test whether God exists or not. And 40% of Americans believe evolution is fact and God had something to do with it by either planting the seeds that he knew would wind up this way or actually guiding it.

>agreed.

No, there isn't anything wrong with scientists believing in God as long as they separate faith and fact.

>agreed.

A literal bible has a global flood, dates the earth as young, and rejects evolution. So a literal bible and science (including evolution) are conflicting and not mutually exclusive

>i thought that mutually exclusive meant that they both cannot be true. what am i not understanding here?
i'm still trying to figure out the why.

 
At 7:28 AM, Anonymous dave said...

'Are we talking about the entire universe? Because if we are, order was at a high at the beginning of the big bang. Now it is more helter skelter than ever. In other words, actions and reactions of particles that we see to today were impossible to predict 13.9 billion years ago. Entropy is all about stored energy. When energy is being stored, the actions of a particular object are a lot more predictable than when they are spent.'

Bacon, I was following you till now, (while not necessarily agreeing), but I gotta tell you, I don't think you have any clue what you just wrote. It sounds like you're just copying and pasting the stock answers from the various websites. How in heaven's name could there be more order right after the big bang than now? When there's an explosion there's more destruction, not more order, for crying out loud! I just heard on the news about a 3 story building here in NYC exploding-it didn't turn into 3 neat little houses.

Achair-good luck on your journey and remember, there's nothing wrong with asking questions.

 
At 8:25 AM, Anonymous achair said...

i'm looking for a good chavruta in yerushalim. not aish or ohr. i don't buy their agenda. toda merosh.

 
At 6:26 AM, Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Achair, mutually exclusive means two separate ideas or things that could both be right. I think you have it confused.

Dave, at the beginning of the universe theoretically all matter was the same from the same source. Transferance of heat into the colder universe causes more diversity and less order.

For example, meteorites black holes etc were not around at the beginning of the universe but are around now.

Try looking up your point of view anywhere (that there is more order today than at the beginning of the universe), and I will gladly read it.

You are actually inventing your own interpretation of order. And yours has nothing to do with scientific definitions of order.

 
At 7:15 AM, Anonymous dave said...

Bacon, so is a cell less complex than a meteorite or more complex? And is a single-cell organism less complex than a cell or more? And is a multi-cell organism less complex... you get my drift. Tell me why I'm wrong in a way that you understand and can explain it.

 
At 7:17 AM, Anonymous dave said...

Bacon, by the way, I've visited your website. How could you be so on the money about other things and so wrong about this? :-)

 
At 10:31 AM, Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Dave, a one celled animal is far less complex that a multi celled animal.

That is the point. A one celled animal has more order than a multicelled animal

As things become more complex scientifically, this means more chaos and less order. Just like the universe.

 
At 11:24 AM, Anonymous dave said...

Bacon you're completely backwards on this one. The scientists say that according to this law, the universe will eventually disintegrate and reach a state of total entropy defined as 'The tendency for all matter and energy in the universe to evolve toward a state of inert uniformity.' In other words, we will cease to exist. According to you this won't happen.

 
At 2:54 PM, Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Dave, you are not reading or comprehending my posts.

I said that there will be a point that the entire universe will become dead because everything in it will have exactly the same temperature. There will be no stored heat in any object at that time.

However, prior to that the universe will continue in a disorderly fashion. And it gets more disorderly each day because heat.

Again, I beg you, show me one scientific paper or study that shows that scientists are saying what you are saying. Show me one piece that states that scientists say there was more disorder yesterday than today.

You are the one who says scientists say this and this. I'm losing patience as I've asked for proof of what scientists say. All you are doing is telling me what creationists say scientists say.

 
At 2:58 PM, Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Dave, lets take it one step at a time.
There were no black holes at the time of the big bang. There are now.
A black causes disorder. Therefore just looking at black holes for starters, there is more disorder in the universe today than in the beginning.

 
At 7:16 PM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

Dave, here is the answer to your question about entropy from www.talkorigins.org




"Evolution violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics."

This shows more a misconception about thermodynamics than about evolution. The second law of thermodynamics says, "No process is possible in which the sole result is the transfer of energy from a cooler to a hotter body." [Atkins, 1984, The Second Law, pg. 25] Now you may be scratching your head wondering what this has to do with evolution. The confusion arises when the 2nd law is phrased in another equivalent way, "The entropy of a closed system cannot decrease." Entropy is an indication of unusable energy and often (but not always!) corresponds to intuitive notions of disorder or randomness. Creationists thus misinterpret the 2nd law to say that things invariably progress from order to disorder.

However, they neglect the fact that life is not a closed system. The sun provides more than enough energy to drive things. If a mature tomato plant can have more usable energy than the seed it grew from, why should anyone expect that the next generation of tomatoes can't have more usable energy still? Creationists sometimes try to get around this by claiming that the information carried by living things lets them create order. However, not only is life irrelevant to the 2nd law, but order from disorder is common in nonliving systems, too. Snowflakes, sand dunes, tornadoes, stalactites, graded river beds, and lightning are just a few examples of order coming from disorder in nature; none require an intelligent program to achieve that order. In any nontrivial system with lots of energy flowing through it, you are almost certain to find order arising somewhere in the system. If order from disorder is supposed to violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics, why is it ubiquitous in nature?

The thermodynamics argument against evolution displays a misconception about evolution as well as about thermodynamics, since a clear understanding of how evolution works should reveal major flaws in the argument. Evolution says that organisms reproduce with only small changes between generations (after their own kind, so to speak). For example, animals might have appendages which are longer or shorter, thicker or flatter, lighter or darker than their parents. Occasionally, a change might be on the order of having four or six fingers instead of five. Once the differences appear, the theory of evolution calls for differential reproductive success. For example, maybe the animals with longer appendages survive to have more offspring than short-appendaged ones. All of these processes can be observed today. They obviously don't violate any physical laws.

 
At 7:51 AM, Anonymous dave said...

So why is the universe going to disintegrate according to this law?

 
At 8:32 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

Becuase as far as we know the universe is a closed system that is not recieving any energy from anything. All the energy it has is what it currently contains, and the second law of entropy applies.

However, elements within the universe, can gain energy. Even though the gross net of the entire system is loss of energy.

For example the sun is constantly degrading it's organized energy and bleeding it off of in rays of heat and energy. Losing it's energy in enormous explosions any one of which would obliterate teh earth if it were closer.

This energy can be used by mechanisms on earth like photosynthesis, which stores the energy and reaplies it to growth and development. That's how a seed grows without violating entropy. Becuase it is not a closed system, energy is arriving to earth in boatloads from the sun.

this is not the only example of non decay in the universe...stars form all the time when the conditions are correct and create a more ordered form of energy from a less ordered form, using the fuel of raw materials around them.

It's actually funny that creationist have chosen the second law to harp on evolution with...if they where really correct they would not only disprove evolution but also growing trees, humans, etc...

It's important to realize this, becuase it is the hallmark of fundamentalist argument: twist any fact that seems to suit your purpose to your purpose. There is not underlying thought or methodology, just, what can I use to justify myself.

Once you begin looking for this underlying mentality in creationist arguments you will be one step closer to realizing when you are being led astray from factual knowledge by those who's agenda trumps everything.

 
At 9:27 AM, Anonymous dave said...

C'mon, you know what they're trying to say. They're saying this outside energy is God. You say it's random. I don't think it's twisting anything.

I was just wondering, we have the ability to simulate the odds of the universe popping into existence with all the physical rules being just right, and the odds of random mutations occuring. A computer can generate massive amounts of random numbers and letters and keep at it for a long time. Do you think that this program would generate one sentence of let's say the Declaration of Independence? Let's put it to the test. Would you place any money on it?

 
At 12:15 PM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

>>C'mon, you know what they're trying to say. They're saying this outside energy is God. You say it's random. I don't think it's twisting anything.

No No, your making a mistake, no one argues that the sun provides energy that powers the systems of the earth...it's not debated. Saying that's god is like saying the gasoline in your car is god.



>>I was just wondering, we have the ability to simulate the odds of the universe popping into existence with all the physical rules being just right,

Not with great accuracy, the universe is a singularity, we have no other universes to compare it with.


>>and the odds of random mutations occuring.

this is an observed phenominon, that happens every day, I can tell you did not read the two hit hypothesis of retinoblastoma.

>>>A computer can generate massive amounts of random numbers and letters and keep at it for a long time. Do you think that this program would generate one sentence of let's say the Declaration of Independence? Let's put it to the test. Would you place any money on it?

Wow. It's amazing how taken you are with this argument. As I answered the odds of the universe are just a guess, it is a singularity. The odds of random mutation are 100%, they are certain, and happen every day.

You continue to confuse the issue of evoltution and the universe, thinking that they are equally improbable.

Your random book conjecture might hold some water for the universe but not for evolution. If you had a computer randomly creating sentences, coupled with a mechanism that kept words that made sense, and kept sentences that "worked" like natural selection does, then you would have a book in no time ! Dawkins goes through the stats in the blind watchmaker, you should probably read it.

the problem is you still dont' understand the role of natural selection in keeping "sentences" that make sense. As long as you see the process as random you will never understand it.

Finally, I need to tell you that your supposed stupification at the odds is a poor cover.

What are the odds of a supernatural being who never dies and exsists forever and can do anything to anyone at anytime but is phantasmagoricaly focused on wheather or not you ate a candy bar with kosher ingredients on it ??

The fact of the matter is odds don't bother you. You pretend they bother you becuase you have intuited they are a weak point in the scientific system, the same way you heard that entropy was for evolution.

It's a bad joke...you are not a scientist who is bothered by entropy or odds, you are a nonthinking accoutrament of fundamentalist religion thrashing out of your darkness with any thing you can get your hands on so that your religious ideals are not destroyed by sceintific thought.

Stop pretending you are bothered by odds or sceintific principles. You are bothered by the fact that the fundamentalist and unsuported religious beliefs to which you have devoted your life are demonstrably wrong to any one who can think for themselves.....that's whats bothering you.

 
At 1:42 PM, Anonymous dave said...

Right, so I guess when Antony Flew has problems with life originating and reproducing out of nothing it's also because of his long held religious beliefs, or when some other scientists who can't accept a God come up with this off the wall panspermia theory it's also reasonable. Wait, I forgot, Bacon told me that Flew has dementia. Not that's being real intellectually honest.

 
At 2:30 PM, Anonymous dave said...

'What are the odds of a supernatural being who never dies and exsists forever and can do anything to anyone at anytime but is phantasmagoricaly focused on wheather or not you ate a candy bar with kosher ingredients on it ??'

Aah, I think I've found out your motivation now.

BTW, you keep saying that random mutations happen all the time. That's true on the micro level, but on the macro level? If some animal or human grows a third arm or even part of a third arm is that
beneficial? We all know that it's a freak of nature, and in fact when these things occur there is usually reproductive problems associated with that animal.

I also see that you're not arguing the perfect universe question, and you acknowledge the question.

I'm also curious why you don't mention that Dawkins is a rabid anti-religionist and his agenda doesn't seem to bother you.

 
At 2:38 PM, Anonymous dave said...

From a scientist on Dawkins

'Note that, for natural selection to work, you have to have a self-reproducing entity. What is the simplest conceivable such unit? It is incredibly complex and full of information. This whole functioning unit has to come into being all at once, before Dawkins’ mutations and natural selection can function (assuming that they then can function at all as Dawkins claims!).

Fred Hoyle did some calculations on the likelihood of a hypothetical minimum self-reproducing cell coming together, given all the ingredients (this is impossible anyway, by natural, non-enzymatic processes). Hoyle hypothesised a cell of only 400 enzymes/proteins; a real world bacterium has about 2,000! For this hypothetical minimum cell, Hoyle calculated a probability of it forming by natural processes of 1 in 1040,000.

To put this in context, there are about 1080 atomic particles in the universe. If the universe actually were 15 billion years old, as Dawkins believes, this would give about 1018 seconds. If every second and every atomic particle were an experiment in a soup of all the ingredients necessary for the cell to form, this would amount to 1098 experiments. This is a long way short of any chance of getting our ‘cell’. Let’s make every microsecond an experiment. This gives 10104 experiments. This is not getting us anywhere. Let’s make every atomic particle in our universe a universe like our own with every atomic particle in those universes and every microsecond an experiment. We now have 10204 experiments. Hey, we’re still a long way short of 1040,000 necessary for a reasonable chance of succeeding. The chances of getting our cell are zero!'

 
At 3:04 PM, Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Dave. Flew admitted he didn't know enough about abiogenesis when he had troubles with is and recanted:

Also, what is up with Antony Flew? Did he become an ID advocate? Did he really switch sides? Please fill us in with the details.
Response
From: Mark Isaak
Response: Yes, I agree with the NABT's statement (mostly; evolution is not entirely unpredictable). "Chance" does not preclude god. There are some passages in the Bible which imply that God acts through chance events, or at least approves of them, such as the casting of lots for the parts of Israel in Joshua 18. Chance is a tricky concept to begin with. It is possible that all "chance" is simply determinism that we don't see.

Likewise, "natural" does not preclude god. In fact, to say that "natural" did preclude a creator would imply, to me, that God is not involved in nature, which would rule out God as a creator of the natural world.

Anthony Flew was temporarily convinced of the improbability of abiogenesis by an ID advocate, which caused him to accept a weak form of deism (that a god set the world in motion and has done nothing else). He later learned more about abiogenesis and admitted the invalidity of the abiogenesis argument, but apparently he remains a deist. He has never been an ID advocate. For the full story, see Antony Flew considers God--Sort of.
********************
As far as your admission of micro evolution occurring, that is all evolution is. When does micro evolution stop?
***********************
And this link, which you won't read or understand if you read blows Hoyles calculations to smitherines.

Dave, you are silly. You don't understand science or evolution. It is painfully obvious. And instead of getting your information from science sites, you are parroting creationist arguments which talk origins has no problem debunking.

You are believing non scientists over scientists. And either you are being dishonest or ignorant. I'm not sure, because you haven't posted any links to where you are getting your ideas from.

 
At 5:16 PM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

Oy, one hundred comments and you have not listened to a word I've said. You have a nack for missing the point that I have not encountered with this ferocity since I was in yeshiva !! Repeating the same things over and over again without addressing the points people have labored to instruct you on is rude, and shows you have no interest in learning.

I'm going to try this one more time for the cheap seats, but thats it. Everything I say now I have explained to you several times before.

First, you are critical of the odds of abiogenisis and the big bang, but you are not critical of the odds of a supernatural creator who is interested in your personal life.

There is a reason for this...it is becuase you are not honestly comparing two theories deciding which is better, you have been indoctrinated with a belief you cannot question that's why you have no questions about the odds of it's happening.

A second belief threatons the belief you must believe in therefore you attempt to rip it down never having fully understood it. To any one with half a working brain cell that is what is going on here. If you can't recognize that for yourself then clearly I do not have the power to show it to you and your indoctrinated beleifs will trump anything that is presented to you.

Two, you have noted that many have attempted theories about abiogenisis and the begining of hte universe. It is true that we dont' have as much info in those areas as we have in evolution. However when things are difficult to understand we await more information. Saying God did it just consigns God to the ever shrinking gaps in knowledge, and forces him to pick up his britches and napsack and jump to the next gap when this is filled. If you believe in this hoboe I feel sorry for you.
Additionaly God is not a theory that has any explanaroty power. It explains and predicts nothing.

Third, you continue to gripe about macro mutations. By which I assume you mean mutations with an observable phenotypic consequence. I have asked you three times to look up retinoblastoma and the two hit hypothesis, but you have not done that prefering to remain ignorant.

Helpful vs nonhelpful mutation are in the eye of the beholder, those born with webbed toes or fingers are considered defective and operated on quickly to avoid social stigma, but if we lived in a world of 99.9% water, things might be different.

Fourth, you continue to debate the anthropic principle and the second law of thermodynamics though we have answered you several times. Please read www.talkorigins.org. All of the answers to your questions are dealt with under the section called creationist nusances :-)

Finaly, I have never seen some with so little science background, be so strongly convinced that they were correct, in fact more correct than 99% of the scientific field.

Think...why is that so....

 
At 8:01 AM, Anonymous aaron said...

I've been following this whole exchange here. Listen you guys keep quoting Richard Dawkins as if he is some kind of demigod. I actually read the book and it reads like some kind of fairy tale, or a Leave it to Beaver episode where everything works out perfect. The only way it's believable is if you believe in atheism in the first place, then you hope it's true. In other words, a tautology, like one of those stupid jesus proofs. In other words he is Fundamentalist Atheist.

 
At 3:41 PM, Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Who is quoting Dawkins like he is a demigod? And what specifically do you disagree with about what Dawkins wrote?
You don't need to be an Atheist to understand science and all that goes with it.

Aaron, you spouted rhetoric. Can you be specific with any issue? Thanks.

 
At 6:17 AM, Blogger Ronan Jimson said...

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At 8:40 AM, Anonymous aaron said...

I'm not going to argue anything specific, it's pointless, all it is, is a theory. The same way you accuse any scientist who questions anything about evolution happening by itself, as opposed to guided evolution by God, to be a 'fundamentalist',(belief first, theory later) you can also see that Dawkins is the prototypical 'Fundamentalist Atheist'. He's an atheist first. So of course he comes up with a thesis that if everything works out according to his plan then, by golly, "I can be an intellectually fulfilled atheist",to paraphrase him.

 
At 2:26 PM, Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

Aaron, I haven't quoted Dawkins once here.
Let me ask if this guy is an Atheist first?

You don't have to watch the video unless you want to actually learn something.

 
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At 10:46 PM, Anonymous lines said...

first of all, great title.

secondly:

One day i was an atheist
I was very frustrated
One day I had faith
I was calm
BOTH days are necessary to reach the stars
To put it another way,
You can't have the Enterprise without Spoc, Bones, AND Kirk

 
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