The universal constant is not evidence of design

heliumIf certain chemical and physical reactions within the atom were any different, life as we know it would not be possible. The main energy source in stars is the fusion of hydrogen into helium, so the helium nucleus is described as “highly stable”. If beryllium did not fuse with helium there would be no carbon. Without helium bonding with carbon, there would be no oxygen.

Because we are nothing much more than carbon and water, the argument goes that this, so-called, “fine tuning” is evidence of design, or God’s “intention” that the universe be conductive to life.

Of course those on this side of the argument will also insist that God is capable of anything He likes—which immediately begs the question, why there should need to be fixed constants at all. Why couldn’t He simply make it so that life is capable of forming no matter what the conditions under which the building blocks of RNA and DNA form might happen to be?

The anthropic principal, as the fine tuning argument is rather more grandly described, can be turned on its head like this with relative ease. In logical analysis, according to the scientific philosopher Karl Popper, this is a very important thing to be able to do, if you want to deduce certain things are “true” until proven otherwise. This is where the scientific definition of the word theory comes from, as opposed to something which is hypothetical, which is the source of so much misunderstanding among those who advocate unfalsifiable supernaturalism as alternatives to falsifiable hypothesise, such as natural selection and the big bang.

Furthermore and regardless of this, we now know that carbon production within stars does not actually balance upon such finite constants, as astronomer and anthropic advocate Fred Hoyle once argued. Carbon production actually hinges upon the radioactive state of three helium nuclei, within a 20 percent range of Hoyle’s fixed figure of 7.65 million electron-volts, which Nobel laureate physicist Steven Weinberg called “not such a close call, after all.”

This means that whenever the more sophisticated argument from theists goes along the lines of asserting that life is so improbable that we must be the only planet in the universe upon which it exists (which even if this were true is not evidence of God), at least in complex arrangements, they are actually relying upon the strongest argument against another of their insistences, that God is was and always will be capable of whatever He sees fit.

This paradox is no-doubt catered for in some branch or another of Christian apologetics and high minded theology. But it is so much more sophisticated an argument than articles of specific faiths, such as miracle myths and biblical prophecy, it would be hard to imagine a better example of special pleading—least of all one which His believers have such an in-built aversion to, despite that it is one which they themselves originally argued would stand as sufficient evidence against a fine tuning God in the first place.

I have seen the practical effect this kind of circular reasoning has upon the debate, quite innocently made by a Christian, whose principal stumbling block was not that he wilfully refused to understand what was being said, but that concessions of this kind are staved off by anything which can’t be shoe-horned into a pre-existing world-view as preached by his cult of choice—which is doubly bullet proofed against evidence of this kind by an absolute unshakeable certainty that anything which proves arguments in favour of a God hypothesis are logically flawed, therefore, couldn’t possibly be true, since the double-edged, non sequitur credo is that God not only exists, no matter what contradictory evidence happens to come along, but that he is actively hiding evidence of his existence in order to test our faith.

This self-healing, feedback loop of internal dialogue, which will drown out even the most obvious of logical conclusions upon which many others might be made, is analogous to the active agents in drug addiction, which work by overwhelming neurone receptors with dopamine, producing a high which the brain becomes dependant upon greater and greater doses, for even minimal ordinary function to continue.

Happily, detoxification is a relatively straightforward procedure, once the victim accepts they have a problem and is ready to seek help.

15 comments on “The universal constant is not evidence of design

  1. You seem to play on the notion that all arguments are based on probabilities. I would concur with your reasoning on that point; however, the special pleading that you make reference to is done on both sides. Theist will argue that the probability of 20 universal constants coming together to form the basis of reality demonstrate the fine-tuning of the universe. The Atheist will respond by saying that it was an accident no matter what the odds and we just have to accept it.

    When it comes down to it, it is more reasonable to assume that 20 universal constants that are specified and complex demonstrate design or are an accident.

    To take Jim Gardners words and flip the argument is illuminating:

    “I have seen the practical effect this kind of circular reasoning has upon the debate, quite innocently made by a atheist, whose principal stumbling block was not that he wilfully refused to understand what was being said, but that concessions of this kind are staved off by anything which can’t be shoe-horned into a pre-existing world-view as preached by his atheistic brand of choice—which is doubly bullet proofed against evidence of this kind by an absolute unshakeable certainty that anything which proves arguments in favour of a God hypothesis are logically flawed, therefore, couldn’t possibly be true, since the double-edged, non sequitur credo is that God does not exists, no matter what contradictory evidence happens to come along…”

    After reading much of your blog, it appears that you make the same type of arguments over and over. You assume a blind belief in atheism to the exclusion of any other word view. The irony seems overwhelming to me in that you exist on a plane of reality that is both specified and complex, you use a brain that is both specified and complex, while being embodied in a body that is the result of specified and complex information found in the DNA. You seem to think it is more reasonable to assume that design can only be seen by dreamers while you being the enlightened one can see the ‘design’ in the world, including your mind and your body as a mere phantom of human sub-conscious that seeks to understand itself in an unenlightened form.

    I am still waiting for a good knock down argument for atheism; however, if your assumption is correct that absolute knowledge in the Cartesian mode of knowing is the only basis by which a person can know God exists, then you fail to understand the nature of our limitations as human since we do not exist in an absolute mode or an infinite mode of being.

    The argument is a slick illusion because it assumes absolute knowledge which alone belongs to God in order to demonstrate that God cannot be known. Using your level of evidence actually is the basis of extreme skepticism which makes everything unknowable including atheism.

    If you are able to know gravity exists by the effect that it has on objects with reasonable certainty, then you can know God exist because only a mind is able to produce specified and complex information that informs reality.

    Your response would be that since we cannot see gravity; therefore, gravity does not exist. You would conclude that things simply fall and that explaining them by appealing to gravity is for the dreamers. You being the enlightened one can see that gravity is a mere blind belief that has no basis in reality. In order to be consistent, you would have to assume that things just fall and draw together without appealing to a constant that we have no direct evidence of. We can only see the effects without seeing the force itself.

    I just don’t find you very convincing Jim…not at all…It seems like you play with a lot of mirrors without addressing the substance.

    In the same way that it is reasonable to assume the existence of Gravity (which we have no physical evidence for itself as we only know its existence on objects), we can with the same reasonable standard believe that God exist due to the specified and complex nature of the information found in the universe.

    The evidence is the same. In order to deny God, you also have to deny Gravity. Your mode of enlightenment is actually in need of enlightenment.

  2. Zdenny, how many other universes have there been? How many configurations of reality have ever existed, with different numbers plugged into the various universal constant slots? In short, how many “chances” have there been for these numbers to have happened naturally?

    What’s that? You don’t know? So you don’t know whether or not reality is anything particularly special and fine-tuned by a deity, or whether the anthropic principle arises from the fact that in other iterations of the universe could not have, by necessity due to the flawed variables, culminated in life? Then why do you therefore assume that a deity did it, when the other possibility — that there have been infinite chances to get all those variables right (and within a particularly large range of “right” for each) — is both likely and involves no intervening deity tweaking at numbers?

    Oh, right, because you’re starting from the assumption that there is a deity, because a book from a mere second or two ago (on cosmological time scales) says so.

    Scientists (or people who believe in the efficacy of the scientific method, as with *most* atheists) start from first principles — what evidence exists? What does that evidence imply? If I make an assumption about natural laws based on this evidence, can I make a prediction and test it against other situations? If these hypotheses are incorrect, what can I do to correct them and make them fit all the available evidence?

    Theists start with the Bible or whatever other revealed truth they believe in, then look at the evidence through “Bible Goggles” — does this contradict the Bible? If it does, can we suppress the knowledge imparted by this evidence by an Appeal to Force (if you tell we’ll throw you out of the church / country)? If not, how can we reinterpret Scripture so that the evidence does not conflict? If we cannot reinterpret Scripture to accomodate this new fact, can we rewrite the Bible into a new edition so that the passage is “retranslated” so as to allow for this new fact about the universe?

    Judging by these two differences in our starting points alone, your reversal of Jim’s argument sounds like nothing but a Mad Libs game. It does not make any internal sense either in context of your starting point, nor of the starting point of scientists or theists.

  3. “When it comes down to it, it is more reasonable to assume that 20 universal constants that are specified and complex demonstrate design or are an accident.”

    This is actually a reasonable argument. It does seem in the case of the universal constant that the existance of some designing force would make it orders of magnitude more probable for things to have aligned in this manner. This of course does not prove the existance of your God, but it is an important consideration, lest we are to make a religion of infinite universal ‘iterations’.

    It seems when you aren’t insulting the ability of an atheist mother to love her child you are capable of coherent thought!

    “So you don’t know whether or not reality is anything particularly special and fine-tuned by a deity, or whether the anthropic principle arises from the fact that in other iterations of the universe could not have, by necessity due to the flawed variables, culminated in life? Then why do you therefore assume that a deity did it, when the other possibility — that there have been infinite chances to get all those variables right (and within a particularly large range of “right” for each) — is both likely and involves no intervening deity tweaking at numbers?”

    This seems to me to be a weak argument, in that what you are proposing is certainly at best no more probable than Zdenny’s alternative, and at worst a great deal less probable. In any case you are in no greater position to prove your theory of ‘infinite chances’ than Zdenny is to prove his ‘creation by God’. Actually if you were to begin with the premise of design, what you would observe in the universe (organised structures fulfilling definable purposes) would seem less surprising than if you began with the idea of a universe created and organised by processes of randomness or chance. It is apparent to me at this point that if an atheistic view ultimately depends upon infinite reoccurring universes, repeating until the variables required for life are ‘right’, then the religious view actually appears more probable.

    I think further reading on this issue might be in order…

  4. You do realize that I only propose the infinite-iterations theory because it is equally capable of explaining the “fine-tuning” of the universe without intervention of a deity, not because I particularly endorse it or that there’s particular evidence of such. The point is, while there’s no evidence to rule the possibility out, it’s as much a wild guess without any evidence supporting it as any proposed deity.

    Interestingly, there’s some evidence that the universal constants may not actually be constant. Additionally, we do not know what constant values or combinations thereof would prevent any life from arising in our universe, or whether there are other combinations of constants that would result in life emerging. And the objectivity necessary to be able to make any kind of judgment as to how fine “fine” is in the argument that the constants are fine-tuned for life, is beyond us — how can we make the judgment that if the speed of light were any faster or slower, that it would impinge on our ability to exist? And by what margin must it approximate our current value for C?

    Beyond that, how is an intelligent designer by necessity an argument from fine-tuning? It could have other agents (e.g. natural processes) that do the fine-tuning (possible if these constants are not constant throughout the universe), or no direct cause at all.

  5. I just realized why you might have gotten the impression I endorse infinite iterations specifically — I misworded my first rebuttal. If I may correct myself:

    Then why do you therefore assume that a deity did it, when the other possibility — that there have been infinite chances to get all those variables right (and within a particularly large range of “right” for each) — is both equally likely and involves no intervening deity tweaking at numbers?

    And while I’m assuming it is equally likely “at best”, with no supporting evidence for either theory I prefer Occam’s Razor wherein entities (e.g. deities) are not assumed unnecessarily.

  6. Jason,

    Infinite iterations IS multiplying entities unnecessarily. That is exactly what Occam’s Razor would do away with. Oddly enough, suggesting “creation by God” is actually one entity. Occam’s Razor would prefer the later because it is the simplest explanation. Of course, you will not, but that is a valid application of Occam’s Razor. If you prefer Occam’s Razor then you should reject the infinite iterations model as clearly ridiculous. I don’t expect that you would then adopt the “God explanation,” but why would you even throw the other out there? If you are going to invoke Occam’s Razor then you must “cut it loose.” And, in so doing you do not have a theory that is in your words “equally capable of explaining the “fine-tuning” of the universe without intervention of a deity….”

    You also equate the two in terms of neither having evidence. Whether or not such is the case, Occam’s Razor still favor’s “creation by God” over infinite iterations. Come on. Infinite iterations? That’s not multiplying entities–infinitely? I know you have stated that you don’t endorse infinite iterations, but you still prefer that theory to creation and think somehow Occam’s Razor tips the scale for you. I don’t see it. I think that for you ANY theory that does not include God is preferred over one that does by default. No matter how weak or even lousy such might be. And, if you don’t endorse it then why throw it in Zdenny’s face?

  7. I throw it in Zdenny’s face mostly because he’s been trolling my own blog for almost a month now and I’m kind of tired of being civil about this trolling. I point out that he jumps to the God conclusion not because he’s jumping to a conclusion at all, but because he’s using it as a starting point — an a priori assumption that informs every argument he ever makes.

    The infinite iterations theory does not necessarily imply infinite universes, only that this one universe has had infinite “chances” going somehow from big bang to some distant big crunch (which I’m guessing if it ever happened, would happen a very long time after the entropic death of the universe). At least, that’s my understanding of the theory, though I’ve heard others where there’s a “foam” of bubbles, each bubble being a universe, on the surface of some larger multiverse where space doesn’t quite mean what we think it does (e.g. in an extra set of dimensions).

    The point of my argument is, how do we know that our universe is fine tuned at all? We don’t have other cosmos to examine, to see whether or not they are capable of life, and whether or not their cosmological constants are different. And we don’t know (as Jim said in the original argument) how fine tuned this universe actually needs to be, even just to have chemistry and atomic theory work the way it does.

    While not multiplying entities unnecessarily with regard to the universe itself is fundamentally important to figuring out how many “rolls of the dice” we had to get these particular sets of constants, how do we know for sure that these constants are the only ones that can result in life? I mean, other than the anthropic principle saying that these ones definitely do because we’re here right now, and some slight variations resulting in life *as we know it* not functioning, who’s to say other kinds of life couldn’t work under other conditions?

  8. Jason,

    Your absolutely right when you say of Zdenny “I point out that he jumps to the God conclusion not because he’s jumping to a conclusion at all, but because he’s using it as a starting point —an a priori assumption that informs every argument he ever makes.”

    He presupposes the existence of God. Here is the irony. All of these theories such as an oscillating universe, parallel universes, bubble universes, baby universes etc. are attempts to suggest a model in which the ASSUMPTION that randomness does give rise to order is upheld. And that, my friend, is not a conclusion that has been scientifically established. Rather, it is an “a priori assumption.” In fact, it is an a priori metaphysical preference for a godless universe.
    So Zdenny has a point, and his “flip” of Jim’s argument is instructive. There seems to be a double standard. Theists are accused of violating some inviolable rules of reasoning because of presuppositions, while many atheists ignore that they bring their own unfounded (scientifically) presuppositions to the table of debate. Either such atheists see themselves as exempt from the same criticisms leveled at theists or they have not critically evaluated their position and are ignorant to their own unproven bias, presuppositions, and a priori assumptions. I’m sorry Zdenny has been trolling your blog, but in many ways he is not off the mark in much of what he says.

  9. The difference between his arguments, and yours, is that yours are informed and logical, and capable of challenging me on points I hadn’t thoroughly thought out. If you want examples of his shallow thinking, please, feel free to stop by. I certainly wouldn’t mind discussing philosophy with a theist that can think for himself. In fact, a few of my closest friends are theists, mostly for that very reason, that they can have an informed conversation with me without coming off like an insipid goober like Zdenny.

    That said. Yes, *assuming* a priori that randomness gives rise to order is certainly bad form, and certainly indefensible. Theorizing all the various cosmological models wherein this particular configuration can emerge naturally is difficult to do without making some massive assumptions, because we are not in possession of enough evidence to make any kind of judgement call as to what is plausible and what should be thrown out as ridiculous. As an agnostic atheist (of the stripe that Dawkins would call a 6 out of 7, or de facto atheist), I leave the door open that crack that a deity could indeed be responsible for setting up the singularity from which the Big Bang sprang, and flicking that one little quark sideways to start the quantum fluctuations that kicked “everything” off, but the evidence is pretty indisputable that everything that happened since is at the very least plausibly naturalistic (and thus Occam’s Razor would suggest the naturalistic possibilities are most plausible).

    As for what started this universe? We don’t know. We may never know, and in fact I’d go so far as to say it doesn’t really matter, because it is outside of the scope of human knowledge, for my belief is strongly that we can only know what goes on in this universe. Any evidence we get of what happens outside this universe can only be collected by observing how these other extra-cosmic events affect our universe.

    And if we can’t prove it, or even find specific evidence suggesting it, starting from any initial condition that a) a deity exists, b) multiple iterations of the universe have unfurled, or c) this universe is the result of some very stringent requirements, are all fallacious.

    Without proof, all else is mental masturbation. And there’s zero proof of what happened before the Big Bang (if “before” even makes sense in this context).

  10. Incidentally, the very existence of all these other unprovable but scientifically “interesting” theories show that there is no dilemma — that there is no “EITHER goddidit OR infinite iterations”. There are plenty of unprovable hypotheses that explain the universe’s existence equally well without a scrap of evidence to back them up. I thought I’d touched on that in my draft of the comment, but looking it over, I don’t see it there. Sorry for the second double-post in a row. :p

  11. Jason said, “why do you therefore assume that a deity did it, when the other possibility — that there have been infinite chances to get all those variables right (and within a particularly large range of “right” for each) — is both likely and involves no intervening deity tweaking at numbers?”

    Response: I am not making the assumption that a deity did it. Based on the argument, I am stating that only a mind is capable of producing specified and complex structures.

    The basic idea is that form has to be informed. For instance, the form of your body has to be informed. As such, information is the ground of reality.

    Since information is the ground of reality, the only example we have in reality of information informing matter is a mind. (Humans inform matter all the time when we build cars, etc…)

    If an atheist attempts to argue that matter is not informed, then they also have to deny form itself which is obviously false as we have all kinds of forms that are consistent in reality such as grass, trees, bodies, etc…

    In an atheistic mindset, they have to explain how form which includes processes that involve a pattern resulting in a form. How can this happen without information to direct the processes?

    This is impossible using any materialistically based theory.

    Whenever you have a process with a specific form such as the formation of the human body, you have inherent design which includes a pattern, process and a specific form.

    There is no other explanation for the existence of such a process other than a mind that has informed reality.

    I could argue the same way for the existence of Jim’s mind. How do I know that Jim has thoughts in his mind?

    I don’t know and cannot know that Jim has thoughts in his mind unless he constructs sentences which are both specified and complex.

    Jim makes the false assumption that since he does not know how God’s thoughts in and of themselves, God does not exist.

    If I apply the same standard to Jim’s mind, we end up with the non-existence of Jim’s thoughts.

    The only way for Jim to know Jim’s thoughts in and of themselves is to be Jim. The only way for Jim to know God’s thoughts in and of themselves is to be God.

    Jim’s standard of evidence is being applied in two different ways. One that applies to him and one that applies to God. He will not accept the same evidence for another person’s thoughts as he does for God’s thoughts.

    You see, science has not been able to read minds as of yet. In fact, it will never be able to read a mind. As such, we will never have proof that Jim’s mind creates ideas without secondary evidence such as specified and complex sentences.

    In fact, science does not even know how the mind is able to produce a unified field of consciousness. It is the biggest puzzle when you look at philosophy of mind with tons of theories and nothing concrete.

    If the evidence is accepted for Jim’s thoughts, then this standard can be applied to reality which proves the existence of God. The standard is obvious since it has only been shown in reality that a mind is capable of producing specified and complex forms.

    The argument is simple:

    If evidence of specified and complex sentences is proof of the existence of Jim’s thoughts, then evidence of specified and complex structures reality is proof of a universal mind.

    The universal constants becomes the ultimate proof for the existence of God because these constants are specified being a specific number with a certain range of acceptability. The constants are also complex because they all work together to produce the reality that we know.

    The universal constants inform matter in the same way that your mind is able to inform such things as sentences and matter. If the standard is the same, then proof of God’s existence has been obtained.

    The only way that Jim can get out of it is by appealing to an illusion and changing the standard for the evidence which he does. He is arguing that the only evidence allowed is for him to know the mind of God in and of itself.

    Jim’s argument is very arrogant because he doesn’t even know my thoughts that are in my mind. In fact, Jim has no evidence of my thoughts themselves unless I produce something that is both specified and complex.

    Since Jim wants to know God’s mind in and of itself, he would have to be God based on his argument above. This standard is not applied judicially for the existence of a mind.

    How can one man know the thoughts of another? How can one man know the thoughts of God? Jim has two standards for knowing that my thoughts exist and God’s thoughts exist.

    I find that this is the problem with atheism in general. It always makes this leap from evidence for God to being God. Since Jim is not God, therefore, God does not exist for him.

  12. Zdenny,

    Do you understand how evolution and natural selection work?

    How the process of small, gradual changes, adds up to a survival advantage?

    You perceive form as something that had to be designed, but its not. Things that worked better survived. This can be seen on a macro level with whole birds, animals, fish… but the really interesting thing is that everything is working at a cellular, genetic level.

    It really is not that hard for DNA to have mutations. It happens all the time.. in fact, we all have several lethal recessive genes in our systems right now. This is why inbreeding is catastrophic — it limits the gene pool and leads to… well, conjure up your own image of inbreeding, and you get my meaning.

    My niece tested positive for cystic fibrosis, a disease that is pretty horrendous. It is caused by having ONE missing DNA base in a protein-making gene. When I researched CF, I found out there are about 10 common places where this DNA base could be missing. It seems like our genetic code is an accident waiting to happen. Fortunately, genes work in pairs, and since my niece’s paired gene was NOT dysfunctional, she has avoided the disease. She still has to be careful, because when she grows up, she could pass the disease to her children if she the father also has a CF recessive trait.

    In all likelihood, you are likely going to point to the chemistry of all of this — who made DNA? Who made genes? — and say it needed God. That’s a faulty argument. Just because we don’t understand something, does not mean it requires the supernatural. Whenever you hear a howl outside the door, and you can’t explain, MUST it be a ghost? Or could it just be the wind whirling around in your keyhole at a high enough pitch that it sounds like a voice? When you commit yourself to ONLY ONE possible solution, you are really turning off the light to possible discovery. I mean, we used to think disease was caused by DEMONS. Now we know its germs. Demons… germs. Big difference.

  13. I’ve been away from the keyboard (mostly) for a two week holiday, with Lucy. When I checked my email last week, I wanted to respond immediately to ZDenny’s first reply, but I also wanted to wait until I had the time to write a detailed, considered reply.

    I see that, since then, some others have very graciously chimed in–but before I read all replies, I would just like to answer ZDenny’s first comment, since it contained some specific points on the original article I wanted to make clear.

    Theist will argue that the probability of 20 universal constants coming together to form the basis of reality demonstrate the fine-tuning of the universe. The Atheist will respond by saying that it was an accident no matter what the odds and we just have to accept it.

    No. That is not true. There was nothing accidental about it. It is a constant source of frustration, to me, that those on your side of the debate, perhaps through a desire to steer the conversation more towards that which you feel better qualified to comment, do not understand, or refuse to acknowledge, what science tells us happened a billionth of a second after the big bang occurred was not random or accidental, but a physical process and therefore predictable and measurable.

    If you want to slot a creator into that billionth of a second gap, no amount of religious faith will meet any scientific standard as an explanation of where that creator came from in the first place or where it vanished to as soon as it was done creating. You can not pass over this problem by attempting to focus your reader onto side-arguments, about gravity for example. When you insult the intelligence of your readers in this way, you highlight your own confusion.

    That does not mean I am accusing you of an inability to think, merely that you can not think clearly. When you insist on including in your reasoning something for which there is no compulsion to induce, apart from where the personal views of the individual happen to be biased by a particular religious world-view, you inadvertently give a perfect example of the kinds of cognitive biases which the scientific method is designed to eliminate–not because individual opinions are irrelevant, but because they are meaningless without evidence to back them up. Your disliking of this reality, does not warrant an alternative explanation on origins more likely to be true than that which has already been explained–especially when this alternative explanation does not describe that which has already been shown to work in a non-magical way.

    I just don’t find you very convincing Jim…not at all…It seems like you play with a lot of mirrors without addressing the substance.

    We are simple creatures. Anything which contradicts our emotional attachments to confused thinking is immediately viewed as a personal attack upon our right to ignore what is true in favour of what is untrue and mistake this confusion for revelation. This is not the central basis of my argument against religionists–everyone is free to think whatever they want to think. But if someone’s thinking becomes so confused that they are no longer able to differentiate between scientifically ascertained evidence from their own wish-thinking, that doesn’t make someone who points out this confusion close-minded–simply because the individual who is not thinking clearly dislikes the position of the person pointing out the mistake.

    You assume a blind belief in atheism to the exclusion of any other word view. The irony seems overwhelming to me in that you exist on a plane of reality that is both specified and complex, you use a brain that is both specified and complex, while being embodied in a body that is the result of specified and complex information found in the DNA. You seem to think it is more reasonable to assume that design can only be seen by dreamers while you being the enlightened one can see the ‘design’ in the world, including your mind and your body as a mere phantom of human sub-conscious that seeks to understand itself in an unenlightened form.

    It is unfortunate that you have taken the time to read my blog and yet still manage to so completely miss the point of my argument. Perhaps this is my fault. In short, then, I do not “believe” in atheism. While it can be a useful way of getting from cluttered thinking to free thinking, I tend to feel that, as an adjective, it infers qualities I do not recognise or exhibit and as a noun I reject. I am a secular humanist. I believe in people, despite a wealth of evidence to suggest this trust is misplaced. I do not lack faith because I have gained reason.

    I will reply further when I have had time to catch-up and read everyone else’s comments.

  14. In reference to Gravity illustration, Jim said, “When you insult the intelligence of your readers in this way, you highlight your own confusion.”

    The argument is used by evolutionists to demonstrate the evolution is true. I guess the evolutionists are insulting their readers too. Jim, you just have more smoke and mirrors.

    Jim said, “what science tells us happened a billionth of a second after the big bang occurred was not random or accidental, but a physical process and therefore predictable and measurable.”

    You and I both know that this statement is an outright falsehood. I assume that you may just be mistaken on the fact. Science does not tell us anything on this issue; rather, it is speculative philosophy that you are using. As contrary evidence, “How do you explain the uniform temperature of the universe or justify the age of the universe being 14 billion years old?

    Once again there is no substance here as I have noticed throughout the blog just smoke and mirrors to confuse your readers. Now, That does not mean I am accusing you of an inability to think, merely that you can not think clearly.

  15. If you’re going to ignore questions which are fundamental to your position, by focusing on what we already know you don’t agree with in the hope we won’t notice, I think the term pot calling the kettle black springs to mind.

    If you can’t (or don’t want to) pick up on my thought process, as I write, and realise that this is an amateur blog not a professional science journal, that is your look out, but given the complexity of the topic, versus the worldwide desire of ordinary people to simply learn more all the time about this fascinating area, you might come across as a bit less of a manic street preacher if you shared your thoughts on what adds to the debate, rather than constantly trying to pull it back to what you think you know about me and my readers, while demonstrating naught but your ignorance of a great many things.

    Specifically in reply to your questions on entropy and the age of the universe, I am preparing a new blog entry in which I will attempt to encapsulate what I gleaned from these excellent books by Victor Stenger, which I might suggest you read, if, that is, you can manage to get over yourself when reading the title:

    God the Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/God-Failed-Hypothesis-Science-Shows/dp/1591026520/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1249389169&sr=8-1

    Quantum Gods: Creation, Chaos and the Search for Cosmic Consciousness:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Quantum-Gods-Creation-Search-Consciousness/dp/1591027136/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1249389229&sr=1-3

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s