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Against obvious logic, what is the reasonable case for Intelligent Design/God's existence? If not, why is the thought of such so prevalent?

The case for atheism is, frankly, obvious. To think otherwise is to put one's moral reasoning, partial life's purpose, and partial opinions behind the imaginative, to say the least, seems careless at best and wishfully apathetic at worst. As Richard Dawkins says, in the above video, the easy answers found in an unrealistic dogma can all too easily supplant scientific thought. A ignorance of such atheist precepts is rampant as well, at least in the U.S.; this quote from George H.W. Bush, though outdated, is quite revealing; "No, I don't know that atheists should be regarded as citizens, nor should they be regarded as patriotic. This is one nation under God." Extrapolating, more than 1/2 of U.S. citizens voted for him, and it was never really questioned fully by the media. How many Atheist congressmen are there today? Feel free to debate, haha.

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    Dec 21 2011: The most "reasonable" case for intelligent design / God's existence is reason itself.
    If one were to fly over a deserted island and see the graphic "Marv loves Tom" etched in the sand just above the waterline but with no visible footprints in evidence, pure LOGIC would support the possibility that the graphic was formed by the random interactions of wind, wave, and miscellaneous debris, or even the random ramblings of crabs, turtles, etc. Yet, I can't believe that anyone would actually support such a possibility as the REAL cause. However, nearly everyone could support the possibility, both logically and reasonably, that the original graphic was "Mary loves Tom" but that the bottom of the 'y' on 'Mary', as well as the footprints of the person who had etched the graphic had already been washed away by the rising tide. - that is, that the graphic was the product of intelligent design.
    By extrapolation, the existence of DNA "could" logically be the result of random combinations of molecules in the presence of fortuitous environmental factors, but the conclusion that is both logical and "reasonable" is that DNA was created by intelligent design - and therefore by an intelligent designer. After all, a single strand of DNA is FAR more complicated than a simple 14 character (counting spaces) message in the sand.
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      Dec 22 2011: And who created your intelligent designer? Your logic falls apart immediately upon applying your methodology.
      • Dec 23 2011: Tim, Conversation in print over many years includes the term, 'The I Am'. God is. We humans are not endowed with the fullness of mind that can fully understand God, but we can know God by experience. Who caused God? God the Eternal Father, parent of all life and personalities is the Original and uncaused Cause Being of all the Cosmos. Being uncaused, then how can logic explain God? Thinking humans have always been burdened by this dilemma of reasoning. After all possibilities of reasoning, deduction, philosophical explanation are exhausted, there is only faith.

        Life was caused by the Ultimate uncaused Cause through Sons of creative energies and endowments from the uncaused One. What other possible explanation could there be that leads to an eternally satisfactory conclusion? Can we all be satisfied with accepting the fact of mystery?
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          Dec 24 2011: So Mark - are you OK with a pantheistic God? If not, where does pantheism fall short in your ontology?
    • Dec 22 2011: The most "reasonable" case for intelligent design / God's existence is reason itself.


      Exactly. Intelligence itself is the best case for intelligent design.

      ________

      TC Observing the natural order of things, it would seem logical that God has a creator, but that is where your reliance on logic fails you, because you are judging God based on your human existence, materialism, without realizing that God is spirit. He creates, whether that includes a creator for each universe or not, it is still one spirit of God. It's the spirit gene.
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        Dec 22 2011: So now, material logic is unable to explain existence. What we need is, is something non-material! Let’s call it spirit. You know something like wind. Something like the breath. That’ll do the trick. Now it all makes sense.
        • Dec 22 2011: Yup, it sure does make sense -- uless you can exist without wind or breath.
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          Dec 24 2011: Hi Tim

          How does your logic accept the Big Bang scenario, where matter is created from non-matter in contravention of the First Law ? Just as supernatural as a six day creation.

          :-)
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        Dec 24 2011: Bing bang theory? I’m actually more in favor of some mix of an oscillatory universe mixed with a many-worlds interpretation. But if I become aware of new information maybe I’ll change my opinion.

        Sure have missed our discussions Peter. You have to come visit me sometime at my new home.
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          Dec 24 2011: Doesn't an oscillatory universe involve the odd bang ?

          Where's the new home Tim ?

          :-)
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        Dec 24 2011: New home? Check my profile.
  • Dec 21 2011: It seems atheists will always be found wanting and never will there be deep satisfaction through exclusive use of logic. Logic can never explain feelings, values, moral senses, love, or prove with any amount of formulae or computers any person had or has not had experience with the Mystery of life.

    Logic may attempt to explain the beginnings of things, but it does not extinguish man's insatiable desire to know why. When computers lose electrical power, they die or cease to function. Are we able to prove all life is non-existent or never was designed when we reach the end of logical deductive thinking? The case for atheism is obvious only to those persons who know the not the Original Person and have no desire or interest in this Original Personality. Your second sentence may be your opinion, but who can say opinions are higher than the Omniscient One? All humans are limited to opinion as we honestly assess ourselves as being non-omniscient.

    Ignorance of atheist precepts is real, as you say. Most folks believe in something or some One of deity and of divine origin and therefore are willing to address their thinking to high ideals and live a life hoping for more of Goodness. What can logic prove about hope?

    George H. W. Bush spoke his opinion and beliefs just as all of us are able to express what we believe to be true. People act, talk, execute decisions and plans according to what one believes to be true. Consider the vast changes in beliefs since recorded history!

    Logic is useful to limits, although limits are sometimes vague and undefinable. Logic would have one believe if a barber could give a man a haircut in 10 minutes, then 10 barbers could perform the duty in 1 minute. But larger truth is that the 10 would interfere with each other so badly the job could not get done.

    The case for proving what logic cannot explain is profound, real, and spiritually beneficial to a person who desires God. The various religions are only partial.
    • Dec 22 2011: Very well stated.
    • Dec 23 2011: Thank you for replying to the thread, much appreciated.

      To reply to said points:
      "It seems atheists will always be found wanting.. Logic can never explain feelings, values, moral senses, love.."

      This seems odd - I thought the atheism that I attempted to elaborate on was not quite so keen to immediately find answers to all the questions of our universe, through the imagination of personal experiences with deities, scriptures written thousands of years ago, and the simple hope that things will be alright, as there is Someone watching from above. I would also like to refer to endorphins,logical thought, and identifying ourselves to a group as well.

      "it does not extinguish man's insatiable desire to know why."

      Is this the same insatiable curiosity that leads us to not want to find the out of reach, past the "fuzzy bounds of logic"? To accept that, through what can only be called "magic", some being rises above? Would you consider my comment in a reply to ThomasJohn1130? Thanks.
      • Dec 23 2011: Thank you for your kind civility in this very good conversation. I used the word "seems" beginning my comments. Its the best context I know because I don't know everything. I cannot testify about others experiences, but only mine. I know by faith that God exists and this faith is increasing through a real desire to move toward God.

        One day, at a time in my life when I smoked 3 packs of cigs a day I had a real, friendly, powerful, attractive, and desirable urge to quit. I was thinking about truth, beauty and goodness, extrapolating beauty to include the inside of the human body. We surely are colorful inside. In a few minutes I was aware of something good (described above) and realized cigs were defiling beauty inside me. I removed the cigs from my pocket and quit immediately, some 40 years ago. For brevity I can only say such an experience happened; is not explained by logic. It was real; and is my firm believe real spiritual ministry happened for which I am eternally grateful. I can't offer testimony of others' experiences. My was not halucination, but was real lucid and bona fide.

        Humanity cannot prove or disprove God through science, but man can use science to discover the material facts of Diety. Regardless of the material realities, spiritual forces are real and are revealed to man over time. Revelation continues.

        My experience gives me proof of relationship for it shows the Original Personality cares for and loves me. This was not a group psychological event, but was personal and individual.

        I don't ask you to accept any certain religion. I would ask you to consider personal love from on High. Spiritual realities are of God and his Sons. All this Providence is available to any person with faith. Beyond materialism, science, technology, philosophy, and lacking omniscience, there is only faith. After human death, lacking acceptance of sonship with God, there is only cessation of being, as though one never existed. My 2 cents worth!
  • Dec 24 2011: I was raised a very strict christian that believed the bible entirely and literally to be the word of "god". I always told myself I believed because all my family and peers did and I really thought it was the right thing but always had tremendous doubt. Around the age of 15 i realized that I didn't have the ability to truly believe it all no matter how much I wanted to. I thought I would burn an eternity in hell if I couldn't believe but It was beyond my capability to trick myself and bypass reason, you simply can't tell yourself that you are a cat and actually BELIEVE that you are a cat, you will always know the truth deep inside.
    I've always been a very logical person and have argued on both sides of this debate at different times in my life and all I can say is that any argument in favor of creationism used circular logic or just plain opinion. Logic and creationism don't mix.
    Whether you believe the Big Bang or "God" story, you have to except the fact that time and matter either always existed or appeared instantaneously and we have no capacity to comprehend the infinite reach of time and space. We all know that gravity exists because we can witness it's effect not because we can see the force itself, but nobody would come to the assumption that if an apple falls off a tree, an invisible man must have pulled it down.

    The desire to believe that even though we can't fulling explain something, there must be an intelligence that can, is inherent in our evolutionary need for causation which is why humanity has given birth to so many gods and religions. This is a phenomenon that is better understood every day and though this trait has allowed us to reach our technological pinnacle, we have to, as a society, come to the realization that everything is bound to the laws of nature, physics, and causation. Besides, no christian today would believe any of the biblical miracles if they were reported in America, that's why they aren't all Mormons.
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    Dec 22 2011: Like many "atheist" - whatever that means - you missed a lot of points about A.world religions B. the direct problem (fundamentalism) C. the reasoning for mass fundamentalism and D. etymology of terminology.

    Instead of doing actual research you decided to repeat what some smart guy said about something troublesome... Well that is reflective to a process of how religions are circulated.

    To note: Intelligent design is two things: 1. That the Judeo-Christian God is the soul architect of man - examples would be found in the complexities of our designs as humans. 2. That some being (aliens, god(s), fairies, etc) started the original cell on earth and from that cell was the information (DNA) capable of creating a series of other species through evolution.
    - Sure 1. is complete bull, but 2. good luck trying to disprove that without a time machine (it's a mystery of modern science how life started).

    The case for atheism is dumb founded. Irreligion has been practiced in India 600 B.C.

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

    If you are going to talk religion and the flaws of religious practicing, two tips: 1. Direct your problem (all of them will probably be Abrahamic Religion based) 2. Stop generalizing people.

    Although I personally am atheistic in my religious practices... I see in no shape or form that logic can ever disprove a greater being... Nor can logic ever tell another person who believes in a god(s) they are wrong.

    Militant atheism, neo-atheism, are not going to do anything except strengthen fundamentalism - thus it's retarded behavior. Rather then divide, create middle grounds.

    Religious naturalism - Ignosticism - Irreligious/Irreligion = Some terms for you to start with.

    You realize the majority of American is Christian right? Makes sense G. W. Bush Jr. could get away with that no?

    Religion is more than just thoughts, it's emotional. Modern cog. sci. can't even explain the full functions of the brain. Science is still very open.
  • Jan 4 2012: Dawkins is a frustrated old man who could not advance science within his own field, so he takes his frustrations out on religion. Makes about as much sense as man evolving from apes.

    So much for 'obvious logic'.
  • Jan 2 2012: Again, I'm not a scientist, but it seems to me from my limited experiences that at least some of the natural laws and processes are being controlled by Someone more intelligent and powerful than us.

    For example, I have had 4 different species of bumble bee colonies/homes/nests in my yard. Fascinating and beautiful and very important for my tomatoes and raspberries and hopefully the blackberries I'm playing with, these amazing little bees have the most fascinating lives. At the risk of boring you, I'll describe what I've seen.

    An obviously new baby bee peeked it's head out of the small exit hole in the ground near the hollyhocks. When he took a look around, he promptly went back down the hole. His babysitter literally pushed him back out of the hole, determined that this baby bee was going to stay out of the nursery, vulnerable and wet. Again, baby bee tried to get back down the hole, but the babysitter blocked his way, all the while flapping his wings, going around in circles, not backing down. Well, baby bee slowly moved his wet wings, fluttering and attempting to get used to the two of them, trying to dry them. It took about 20 minutes and all the while the babysitter was shouting and ordering and stomping and flapping... then I saw baby bee and his newly dried wings attempt his first flight. How cool was that! Flying into the sidewalk, flying sideways into the fence, flying upside down, several times landing on his back on the sidewalk (they are not extremely agile when learning how to become airborne) and then finally he flew a few inches and landed clumsily on his feet. He walked around, fluttered his wings, this time paid attention to the babysitter who never shut up the whole time - and he was successful in flying a few yards landing on a red clover plant. Seriously amazing. The babysitter, satisfied, went back down the hole.

    I was relieved and exuberant he was successful - and this exquisite bee must have a Someone...
  • Jan 2 2012: OK about God and such dont try and tell me or any one else that a book with stories is proof of such (superior beeing). To make my point clear i belive the bible and ALL else such are just strories to help people move in the right direction. just belivieng in something dosent make it real you can pray all you want but be honest do you realy think God is with you in every step you take? theres billions of people and i dont mind if you belive in any of that im fine with it but i just cant belive how naive some people are. If you want to debte about it go to my post.
    • Jan 2 2012: Why should I believe that belief is insufficient to cause its reality? Because I read so in your post? Because you've stumbled onto some conclusive disproof of solipsism? I doubt it.

      I agree that self proving stories are rare, but they are possible. I could easily construct a parable to teach of a simple mathematical proposition. Sure the literal text I put on paper would be false, but the actual meaning of the story, the proposition, could easily have its proof contained and explored in the story. Such a thing is by no means impossible.

      Further, this thread isn't about proof, it's about something practical and worth discussing; providing a reasonable case for the existence of God(s).
  • Jan 1 2012: I state this right up front, I'm as much an atheist as Dawkins himself (though I'm nowhere near as well spoken), but I happen to like arguing from an underdog position, which in this case seems like the theistic one. If you're a devout anything feel free to tell me I'm wrong, but realize that the likelihood is that multiple devout people will each think I'm wrong in incompatible ways, and thus it's impossible for me (or anyone else) to be right according to those standards, so forgive me for not deferring to your 'authority'. Now, on to the topic at hand.

    The reasonable case for God(s) is that metaphysical systems are defined beyond the domain of consistency, rationality, emotion, and irrationality. The phrase "all things follow from a contradiction" doesn't do justice to the subtlety and possibility of a system that isn't constrained by our idea of reasonable consideration. As soon as you open your mind to the possibility of a metaphysics unconstrained by consistency you realize that there's no reason it couldn't be. If you use the terms flexibly; it is consistent in its inconsistency. Couple that with some compelling ideas beyond most people's ability to intuitively disprove (the ontological argument for example) and it's quite reasonable to expect sentience in a metaphysical system.

    If there is metaphysical sentience why wouldn't it give rise to a universe or nine? In fact, if there is a metaphysical sentience, and we exist as things with a beginning, how could it have not given rise to us? Were they simply not paying attention and then out of nowhere BANG!? That seems unlikely.
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      Jan 1 2012: Hi M@:

      "The reasonable case for God(s) is that metaphysical systems are defined beyond the domain of consistency, rationality, emotion, and irrationality" Well, it's not like that , I don't think frank believers has to do more with metaphysical systems that any atheist.
      We have enough proofs to believe rationally in some scriptures and therefore in God .
      • Jan 1 2012: If you had any evidence ("proofs") whatsoever it would immediately become a science as opposed to a faith, because that evidence could be tested.

        What do you mean 'some scriptures'? Do you mean 'some of the books of the bible' or 'some passages within the bible' or 'any part of any scripture' or 'some part of some scripture'?

        Edit: and further, even if you actually do have a rational belief in a metaphysical entity that doesn't change the fact that the entity is defined beyond the domain of any reasoning we have access to.
      • Jan 1 2012: I'm not sure why I can't reply to your latest reply, but no matter.

        We don't call it science because it isn't science, it's the same reason we don't call it a fruit bat or a pair of sunglasses. I was saying that to hopefully prod you into acknowledging that scientific understanding isn't the point. And you seem to have gotten there in the next response by talking about transcendence of reasoning beyond the physical.

        That said, you may feel metaphysical, but that doesn't make it so. That sort of thing can be tested. Imagine two people who are devout practitioners engaged in what you would describe as metaphysical reasoning. Now imagine injecting one of them with psychotropic drugs that screw around with their brain chemistry. Clearly they will report very different experiences and very different patterns of reasoning. (I'm not claiming to have done this, but I hope you'll agree with the likelihood of it.) Thus their reasoning process is not a metaphysical one, but a physical one, it is governed by the physics of their situation. They may be reasoning _about_ the metaphysical, but they are doing it in a physical way.

        It's an important distinction, because as far as anyone can tell we live in a consistent universe, and the only way to reasonably believe in an inconsistent metaphysics yet also believe in a consistent physics is to draw a clear line between them.
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          Jan 2 2012: Hi M@:

          Sorry for the inconveneinces created by my last comment .

          "t's an important distinction, because as far as anyone can tell we live in a consistent universe, and the only way to reasonably believe in an inconsistent metaphysics yet also believe in a consistent physics is to draw a clear line between them." I agree with you .

          "As soon as you open your mind to the possibility of a metaphysics unconstrained by consistency you realize that there's no reason it couldn't be." I do that: the metaphysics is unconstrained by consistency for US .
          But there is a way in which the metaphysics can became constrained by consistency : by revelation in other words if some ideas from that world comes into our constrained realm in so way to can be comprehend by us . For example : we have the Bible , we can test it , it has been proven true and it still is.
          You said we have to believe in entities which are defined beyond the domain of any reasoning we have access to but it's not like that , we believe in what is revealed to us and can be tested .This is why a frank believer don't has to work to much (in fact at all) with some metaphysical ideas.

          (I remove my last comment)

          Best.
      • Jan 2 2012: You can't test "The Bible" as some indivisible concept since there are no clear (clear == rigorously defined) rules that govern its contents. Even if by magic everyone was assured of 95% of it, that cannot be taken to mean that the other 5% is accurate, it's just a collection of words and words are independent of one another. Yes, there are true things in the bible, there are also false things, and the majority of the things are neither, they're undetermined, if you believe them it constitutes an act of faith. To make matters worse, the bible is not a self consistent document, it would have to be rewritten significantly to even entertain the possibility of being proved true. Edit: or, I suppose, we could just give up on the concept of consistency in reality... I suppose that would also allow a proof of the bible...

        But you raise an interesting point. Is it possible that a sentient metaphysics could directly implant in a person a representation of some set of rules to which the metaphysical are bound (and therefore can be reasoned about)? I don't see any reason why not. Of course, it does beg the question of where that set of rules came from. A metametaphysics?
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          Jan 3 2012: Hi M@:
          There are noclear rigurously defined rules that govern its content ...... well , why do you say this? because there are rigurous rules which govern its content , this has been proven , there are lots of people who understand the Bible rationally , in a consistent way , I'm one of them ...... it's not enough to say ' there are no...' . I talk about the rules of reasoning correct .
          'Words are independent of one another.... ' and because of this you say we can't talk about the acuracy of the entire Bible. I don't agree with you : firstly: - the words are just means of transmitting ideas , I looked in the Bible at the ideas (and many people did that) and they are very consistent, linked with one another ;
          -secondly: every word is different and independent of one another in any book .
          Do you know what you're talking about?

          'there are also false things...' please share me one of them, but be careful to make the difference between an interpretation of the Bible words/ideas and the words/ideas themselves.

          ''the Bible is not a self-consistent document , it would have been rewritten ..... '' there are very few atheists who make this bold claims , and I usually reject them until I don't have some proofs for what thet're saying so here you go......... if you wanna make sense.

          At you're last question :the metaphysical isn't bound because it's metaphysical : I said only that some ideas are implanted (if you like the word) in some people minds and they express the ideas in so way to can be comprehended by us : with the help of the normal languages.

          We can test the Bible and we did that many times .
  • Dec 30 2011: All of the previous comments appear to be written by very intelligent people. Impressive. I'm going to jump in with a very simple example of what I've seen.

    I love to garden. I really like to experiment. So I took some pure white flowers and grew them, protected the flowers from being pollinated by the bees, and manually affected the pure white flowers with pollen from some glistening genetically modified flowers that appeared to be mother of pearly - the three year experiment was successful and the results were stunning! I was so proud of those unique fantastic flowers!

    Well, when I wasn't looking, at night the moths came and laid their eggs and the baby worms ate and burrowed and ate and killed my creation. The plants died of neglect. Sometimes it's called the cycle of life.

    Seems to me that if Someone isn't watching and protecting and guarding and assisting and providing and all the other gardener-type duties, the best of creation dies. I guess I just don't understand why anyone would believe that if the strongest survive, that's good because in my garden the strongest were the moths, worms, drought, neglect...

    I'm probably not making any sense. Thank you for letting me join in.
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      Dec 30 2011: Hi Susan

      You make perfect sense. Smart folks call it the Second Law of Thermodynamics; everything has a tendency to fall apart, your garden , house, car, body, everything in fact. It's a bit like a spring that was wound up at the start & is winding down. Whether anyone is still winding is a moot point, but it certainly looks as if there has been winding going on at some stage.

      :-)
      • Dec 30 2011: Then I'm really puzzled - how could be possibly have evolved into higher life forms? Not even logical.
        • Dec 31 2011: Susan,
          May I invite you to visit the following link?

          http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/11/entropy_and_evolution.php
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          Dec 31 2011: Hi Susan
          We only evolved into higher beings if the theory of evolution is a fact. The bible says that we were made perfect, & have been deteriorating since. Can't both be right!

          You can of course create more order locally. A car Factory can produce cars. It takes energy & carefully directs it through very specialised machinery. The process of giving birth is a similar process. In each case we need energy carefully directed by specialised equipment. Both the car & the baby will ultimately return to dust. This is the ultimate end for the whole creation.


          :-)
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      Jan 2 2012: Susan, interesting metaphor. Guess you are implying that there must be some being putting energy into an overseeing the universal garden of life.
      Another explanation is things change on their own according to natural laws and processes.
  • Dec 24 2011: Hi Mark Kurtz,
    Our very existence, as curious intelligent beings, constrains severely our world view of the universe. If we haven’t been here there would be no one to wonder and ask about why the world the way it is (the anthropic principle). We usually fall in the trap of what has personal/societal appeal such as human anxieties, needs, hopes, wishes, disappointments, frustration from the imperfectness of human existence (e.g. mortality, evil…) which often drive people to create personal otherworldly utopian pictures in the name of reason to compensate for such deficiencies. This is exactly the opposite of what science dictates. Science deals with the universe the way IT IS and not the way we want it to be. Science researches the mysteries of the physical world following impersonal approach which is the only way to understand the naturall world in which we live.

    Consider the following scientific knowledge:

    We live on a speck of dust in limitless, expanding hostile universe; we dwell on an insignificant rock fragment swimming in unbounded ocean of lethal space-time characterized by all elements of annihilation: extreme cold, clusters of nuclear furnaces (galaxies), balls of ice, of gas, and hordes of lifeless rock debris all bathing in an inter-galactic cosmic rays…

    Would the above features indicate an intelligent design? Doesn’t it lack the minimum economical requirements that an intelligent designer should consider? Doesn't it indicate a scheme made by purposeless and mindless processes?

    If we analyse the situation by reason and logic alone we are left but with the most probable conclusion: the conditions of the universe indicate the effects of accidental/arbitrary factors and a series of fortuitous coincidences rather than the result of a deistic design.

    Regards
    • Dec 24 2011: Hello A Latif, While there are folks who love to debate and lecture one another, I prefer to lay out before all to see a few comments and ideas to consider. I don't consider my views or those of others to be superior; rather the experiences of all are part of the whole within humanity.

      I wouldn't want to take anything away from science because man's interest in knowledge is good. Science is part of human thought along with man's musings and curiosity. Science is just as important as religion, but neither can truthfully separate itself as being superior. Both are needed. Science alone cannot disprove what man cannot see. It is not childish or worthless dreaming to have faith in a creator or First Cause probability. Relying totally on science (partial knowledge vs Omniscience) is like looking through a narrow tube, limiting one's view, and then declaring there is nothing more.

      The high probability there is life in other galaxies is strong suggestion of purposeful and intelligent design for all the Cosmos to work together. A common force organizer surely must be watching all this we see and that which we have not yet discovered.

      The mind of a scientist (atheist or believer) who rejects or accepts a Designer is the same mind gift from the Giver, the Origin of all mind. Believing in and knowing of something greater than we can can know or prove is called faith. What else can a small child (limited knowledge) offer in the presence of a mature Father?

      I suggest www.urantia.org and The Urantia Book they offer as a resource for consideration. Some of the science therein is now outdated, but the overall concept of Prime Originator, Creator, First Source and Center is more than we have heretofore known. We can discuss this later if you have interest.
    • Dec 27 2011: "If we analyse the situation by reason and logic alone "

      Good thing the human mind isn't limited by reason and logic alone.
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    Dec 24 2011: The case for atheism it's not so obvious , from my perspective it is resting on misunderstanding and refusal to live the life pursuing the righteousness, for some ; it's hard for theists=the guys who really lives pursuing the righteousness to explain to the atheists why to believe, especially when the theist are however human beings being so many times kept under wrongs .
    • Dec 30 2011: Hello Eduard,

      All people are victims of their experiences and cannot help what they believe. You cannot stop believing in God any more than I can start believing. However, it does not follow that a person who believes in God is more moral than one that does not. If the case were obvious either way, there wouldn't be so much discussion. The truth is that there are no real facts and only our gut feelings to lead us.
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        Dec 31 2011: Hi MIchael :

        "All people are victims of their experiences and cannot help what they believe." It sounds as if the life is a fatality , it's not, we can improve our life even by experiencing something different .
        "However, it does not follow that a person who believes in God is more moral than one that does not." Well , as I said it's a bit of misunderstanding betwixt : in the religion language 'to believe ' means not only to accept something mentally but it means also to practice what you accept , if someone accept to be a christian ,that one has to practice the christianity : to love your fellow , to be forgiving.....and so on , all these make a person more moral .
        "The truth is that there are no real facts and only our gut feelings to lead us." why do you say it ? there are a lot of facts .
  • Dec 22 2011: Richard Dawkins has his PhD. in biology, not theology. His opinion on religion is just that- opinion. It's not even an educated opinion, because whenever he speaks about it the only thing he proves is his ignorance.

    You wonder why the thought of the existence of God is so prevalent- the answer is simply, because God exists. No one is forcing you to believe it or understand it or accept it, but that is the answer to your question, even if you don't like it. It is the reason why it is so prevalent, as there is nowhere on Earth you can go to escape it.
    • Dec 22 2011: First of all, thank you very much for replying to this conversation. There is often a dearth of debate on the most sensitive, personal topics here, on TED, which is a pity as this is the best place to have them.
      By "God", first of all, I assume that you're referring to the one, Judeo-Christian-Islamic omniscient being, creator, and the whole shebang. If not, that's fine, and doesn't really change much. I find that to poke holes in some thousands of year-old teachings copied down from rather poorly educated people is almost unrealistic. Though they are likely there, what does it prove?
      By contrast, I find fault in the answer that God is prevalent because He is real. What evidence has guided people to this conclusion? People have attributed less and less to what I would call "magical" beings as scientific process led to more knowledge of our surroundings. Trees are no longer occupied by Dryads that make them grow. Lightning is more than the anger of the heavens. Of course what can't be quite conquered is the beginnings of our universe (there are heaps of evidence, which is at least more than is shown for Him), and the time after death. Is it a truly likely, believable hypothesis that you would like to make that He defied all laws of physics to form our universe, *poof*, just popped things into existence? That (only applies to Judeo-Christian-Islamic God) is waiting with eternal milk and honey in some distant realm, judging whether you're good or bad? If so, find solace in that. Please don't, however, elect candidates based on their said "values", or deny the scientific progress that's made. Live your life as you want to, and not how He tells you to. You never know...
      • Dec 22 2011: You're welcome, but there's a reason why there's a dearth of debate here, as TED is really not the best place to have them. It might be the best place for an atheist to have such debates, as there seems to be a 10-1 ratio of atheists here on TED, which would explain why you'd think it ideal.

        You find fault with the "God is real" answer, fine. Calculate this- Thought is energy, therefore it exists, yes? It is measured via electrical currents, and it's been proven that we are electro-magnetic beings, yes?

        If it is true, as Tim Colgan believes, that God is just a mental construct of our imagination, then the majority of the planet's inhabitants are directing their mental energy to constructing God, therefore, God exists as a very measurable current.

        Beyond that, (and here is where the magic really takes place) even claiming a disbelief in God still keeps this current active because the brain (specifically the subconscious mind) fails to register negatives such as 'not', so even in saying 'God does not exist', the brain processes it as 'God does ___ exist'. So, even in denial of God, the very thought of God continues to create God.
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      Dec 22 2011: OK. So God exists. He exists in your imagination. He exists in many people’s imagination. He is a mental construct.

      Where did it all come from? I don’t know. Must of come from somewhere. Let’s call it God.

      That’s all well and dandy. But where does it all lead from there?
      • Dec 22 2011: You say 'mental construct' as if it's dismissive. Thought is energy and what we give that energy to is what determines who we are. Even if God is a mental construct withihn the realm of imagination, then where it leadsus from here is both determined by as well as limited to our imagination.
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      Dec 24 2011: Thomas. At last - a believer who recognizes God as a mental construct! No, I don’t mean to be dismissive of the fact that deities are symbolic representations of concepts that go beyond simple description. My problem is with people not recognizing the fact. To me this is the essence of iconography. Worshiping the symbol versus appreciating the complexity behind the symbol.

      Moreover, with a recognition of God as a mental image, we can realize that a mental image is malleable, hence adaptable to new information. So where do you see the construct developing? How will/should humans adapt their Gods in the future?
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        Dec 24 2011: Jesus is my God. He walked this earth in real history, & will be back in the future. I have to imagine what He looks like to a certain extent, but that will have no effect on what He actually does look like. So my mental construct is temporary. What we need to know has been written down, to tide us over, if you will. If we deliberately distort our image of Him with our opinions it will make no difference to the truth.

        :-)
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        Dec 25 2011: Tim & Peter & Thomas :

        I wanna intervene a bit if I'm allowed :
        It was said that God is a mental construct , and it is true from my perspective up to a point :
        1) God is in our minds , this is/and should be (if it's not) very clear for everyone: otherwise we couldn't talk about Him .
        2) God being a mental construct don't mean at all that God is JUST a mental construct , God can exist very well whatever we think about Him . And in this sense I think Tim is right when he says that the constructs are developing . For many by saying that God is a mental construction it's like saying that God has been invented and therefore He don't have any real existence, but this is not correct logically because:
        -even if we invented God , in other words if we invented the IDEA of God , it doesn't mean that God don't have exterior existence , real existence , it just means that we have an idea in our minds about something , and this idea is invented , it's a huge mistake to confuse the idea of something with that something . I can be very well a theist and believe that God/the idea of God has been invented.

        "Richard Dawkins has his PhD. in biology, not theology. His opinion on religion is just that- opinion. It's not even an educated opinion, because whenever he speaks about it the only thing he proves is his ignorance" , I'm glad to meet people who really understand something , there aren't too many , partially that's why Dawkins talks have success . Dawkins view is resting more on childish understandings of what theism is really about , just an example :
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        Dec 25 2011: "Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.'' But what about if we have that powerful telescopes ? Wouldn't we be accused of ignorance and naivety if we refuse to watch through that telescopes the sky and see if really there is there a china teapot only because it's seems now from our actual scientific perspective that it is doubtful to exist a such teapot ? This would be a refusal to science , but this is what atheism is about because the main thing Jesus Christ did was TO BUILD ENOUGH POWERFUL SUCH TELESCOPES . (by the way it's also a refusal to science to not look to the sky only because of : how could I know that Jesus Christ did that ? ) . In fact now follows the example : - it is to think that Jesus Christ really created such telescopes and as we don't have anyone as proof : why to believe ? This is the kind of understanding the atheism is built on . Look: Richard Dawkins had fun of this expressions : 'God bless marriages' , 'God control our sex life ' just because he understand them so 'deeply'
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        Dec 25 2011: otherwise there is no way to make fun of this expressions . Another example is that of Paul Frete ...'s comment ( here under my comments) "I thought I would burn an eternity in hell if I couldn't believe... " I believe he is sincere but what he said is just an childish understanding (if it is an understanding).
      • Dec 27 2011: "Thomas. At last - a believer who recognizes God as a mental construct!"

        Yes, but not quite the way you think.

        You think God is something humans created through the imagination when, in fact, humans have imagination because of the creator.

        It is necessary to use the intellectual, logical and rational mind to learn about, compare and evaluate the varying symbolic meanings of these complex concepts that go beyond simple description, yet it is through the higher levels of mind such as the imagination that we increase the power of our mind. Literally increasing the amount of creative thought/energy.

        Thought is a measurable current and when we focus on God we are not just allowing the current to increase, we "create" a connection to the universal source of energy, thereby increasing our energy in the same way learning increases our intellect.

        It is through the use of imagination that we are able to connect to the creative forces, not to create them- they're already there. It's referred to as having a relationship with God, yoga, union, prayer, meditation.
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    Dec 22 2011: Thanks for the response. I want to make sure I understand you though so let me get a little clarity. My understanding of the self-reproducing inflationary model is that it merely kicks the can down the road from a prior universal model to this one. In that sense it doesn't answer origin questions but instead confuses the issue (for me at least) by creating a chain that is reliant on prior events but offers no original event, a dissatisfying answer.

    Although I follow your point about the boundary issue I was under the impression that this was a solution to topographical questions about the universe more than it was an answer to the issue origin. Also, you lose me when you refer to arguments that "Quantum mechanics considers the origin of the universe as a quantum event" while saying that there is no need for a singularity. A singularity is a quantum event by strict definition, albeit one we don't fully understand because of the relativistic implications. This has the effect of making me feel much like I'm with an interior decorator who says "It's not crimson, it's ox blood". Forgive me here if I seem thick.

    In either case perhaps it's the limit of 1500 characters but I don't see any clear answer to the issue of defining a means for a change to occur in an a-temporal world. This it would seem is a requisite for a hot, dense beginning. I look forward to your response.
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    Dec 22 2011: A century of unravelling some of nature's secrets has exposed just how complex living organisms are. The more we learn, the more we have to accept the deficit in our understanding. I have read that the complexity of the simplest cell is comparable to that of the Space Shuttle. This may well turn out to be an understatement, as we don't really know. Evolution's 'Junk DNA' is turning out to be nothing of the sort.

    I have spent most of my life in engineering. I know how difficult it is to get systems to work, & there is no way that biological systems are not designed. eg There is allegedly 60,000 miles of blood piping in a human, with perfect branching & reducers taking it down to the diameter required for platelets to go through single file. The system seldom leaks, but if it does, it self repairs without interruption to the flow. This is one of the simpler systems in the human (or animal) body.

    Random Mutation & Natural Selection; - give me a break!

    :-)
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      Dec 22 2011: Wow. And any designer who was so complex to design all that must have had an even more complex designer who designed him. And he must have had an even more complex designer who designed him …

      Peter - You just proved that there are an infinite number of Gods!
      • Dec 22 2011: Peter - You just proved that there are an infinite number of Gods!


        One for every universe.
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        Dec 23 2011: No guys. Just one eternal God. No I don't understand eternity/infinity; or non material beings for that matter. That bit has to be faith, but I am sure that we are designed; that is obvious, & that is the question at hand.

        :-)
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          Jan 2 2012: No, Peter, you are not "sure we are designed;" you are sure you believe we were designed by God.

          If you actually studied natural selection, you would see there is a much more plausible explanation for how we were "designed" than some omnipotent being popping us out of His navel, fully-formed, some 6000 years ago.

          That people believe in "intelligent design" is proof that intelligence in design is not particularly necessary.
    • Dec 30 2011: Hello Peter,

      I am also an engineer and I too struggle with the complexity of life and how it could have arose through natural selection. However, a little perspective is in order. We design systems in a matter of years, whereas the first cell took roughly half a billion years, so the intelligent design conclusion does not seem that obvious to me. You can try to dismiss mutations and natural selection, but we see those processes at work every day, with every seed and child.
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        Dec 31 2011: Hi Michael
        Let's. assume we want to make a water valve. At least we know what we want. Do you really think that our valve will self-assemble over the next million years? Nothing I have encountered in mechanical engineering improves with age, & normally would disappear in a million years.
        Evolution Has no idea what it wants & yet comes up with engineering which we can barely understand. All complete in beautiful symmetry, & able to reproduce. Not in the real world.

        Natural selection is accepted by both sides, but no evidence exists that would suggest the ability to produce new creature types. Mutations? If we have a smoothly running cnc program, would we really expect that introducing random typos would improve matters?

        If evolution was really happening, wouldn't we see millions of transitional types in life & in the fossils. Everything we see is complete & functional.

        :-)
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          Jan 2 2012: Hi Peter, agree the development of new complex living entities from other complex variants via natural selection is relatively easy to grasp.

          I start to struggle with the development of complex life from simple life forms. However, I can see shared themes such as reproduction via egg and sperm, DNA, across so many forms of life. Similarities in senses, organs, and chemical makeup, structure, cells, even vertebra foetuses look remarkably similar in the early stages - all of this points towards a common ancestor. Life has a way of fighting entropy, at least for a time.

          I really struggle with the inception of life. How it all started. It is difficult to fathom. Similarly I find the scientific explanation of the life of stars, development of galaxies, solar systems, planets relatively straight forward compared to the origin of this universe.

          However, I find belief in some sort of creator being to explain these gaps in our knowledge/comprehension, seems to simplify on the surface but actually adds complexity. This just pushes back the question a level. How did life and the universe come about? God made it. Followed by a statement that God is eternal all powerful outside time etc. Simple?

          Overall, I find the naturalistic, scientific view of life and the universe makes more sense and fits what we observe a better fit than trying to retrofit reality to literal biblical Christianity. You obviously disagree. But hope you can concede that life and the universe through natural processes, while stretching human intellectual capacity, is no harder to comprehend than the existence of some supernatural being that created a universe that looks very big and old in 6 days, 6000 years ago via inexplicable processes for a species on a single blue planet in galaxy with billions of stars in a universe with billions of galaxies where even the light we see took millions and billions of years to reach us . In fact the natural explanation is probably simpler and better fit.
        • Jan 2 2012: Peter,
          “Do you really think that our valve will self-assemble over the next million years? Nothing I have encountered in mechanical engineering improves with age”

          It has been previously explained to you, in this thread, that a mechanical piece, your valve, is unlike a living thing. A living organism undergoes metabolism, have inheritable information, and capable of reproducing. Living organisms move, interact with and use environmental resources, replicate, and evolve. Inanimate things lack all these characteristics. This should be very straightforward understanding for any learned person. This difference between living and non living is basic and fundamental to bear in mind. But I wouldn’t be surprised that you would come again and present the same point as if it hasn’t been explained for you.
        • Jan 2 2012: "Let's. assume we want to make a water valve. At least we know what we want. Do you really think that our valve will self-assemble over the next million years?"

          Why not? I've seen plenty of natural valves, and not just valves either. Even if you discount life forms these things happen if you just open your eyes. You have to relax your presuppositions about what things are "supposed" to look like. Caves, for example, tend to let liquids in from the top but they never come out the top, caves are "one way", just like a valve. Volcanoes and geysers are the same thing with the direction reversed. But valves aren't really the point.

          The real point is that you're trying to coerce things, and that's not how nature works. Your saying "at least we know what we want" is exactly the problem in your reasoning. If you assume that there is a target state then _of course_ it requires a creator, it's circular logic.
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        Jan 2 2012: GM/Mind
        There are of course many similarities in living organisms. We all have to survive on the same planet, so naturally there is a limit to the structures that will function. To me it points to economy of design rather than common descent.

        We do not even understand our moon; to pretend we understand the universe is blindness.

        Both life & non-life are assembled from dead atoms. To me they are the same; an arrangement of atoms. Life is of course much superior; a lot more skill is required in the assembly. We may understand ohow a spreadsheet works, & admire it's flexibility, but that is no explanation of the computer that runs it.

        The fact that you have explained things to me Mind does not necessarily mean that I have abandoned independent thought.

        :-)
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          Jan 2 2012: QUOTE: "We do not even understand our moon; to pretend we understand the universe is blindness."

          Then why do you pretend to understand, not only the universe but the "creator" behind it?

          And we do "understand our moon."

          Is there more to learn about the moon?

          Sure.

          Peter, you continually present partial knowledge as a refutation of science and as a confirmation of blind faith. "We don't know this," you say, "science must be wrong. If science is wrong, the Bible must be right - it explains everything."

          "We don't know this," you say, "the Bible must be right."

          And then you flip the table.

          "We do know this," you say, "and it conforms to some story in the Bible, science must be right."

          And again:

          "We do know this," you say, "and it contradicts the Bible, science must be wrong."

          As I have said before, your science sucks.

          Your faith is evident but your science sucks.
        • Jan 2 2012: "The fact that you have explained things to me Mind does not necessarily mean that I have abandoned independent thought"

          No Peter, you are abandoning independent thought. You provide an example on how faith suffocates human intelligence.
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          Jan 3 2012: Thanks peter. Can't argue that the universe as we know it could have been created by one or many super beings. Its another discusion on whether yoirs or any religion is even remotely close to explaining them or whether they would interact in any way with humans. I don't deny this possibility. Given science iscontinuing to explain more and more of the universe without undetectable supernatural enities it still seems closer to the truth than any belief system based on scripture revelation and msupposedly miraculous events in ancient times. It surprises me some people still link weather and earthquake events to acts of this or that god due to some human misdimeanours. So many belief systems and interpretations.
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        Jan 2 2012: Hi Thomas,
        A good New Year to you.
        The formation of the moon is hotly debated, & has been as long as I can remember. None of the theories really work & it's recession from the earth is a whole other can of worms.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon#Formation

        So to say we understand the formation of the universe, Big Bang, Big Splat, Inflation, or whatever is stretching things a bit.

        :-)
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          Jan 2 2012: And a Happy New Year to you too, Peter.

          While we are in agreement that it is stretching things a bit to say we fully understand the formation of the universe, life, and everything, it is a much bigger stretch to say the Bible offers valid scientific explanations of, well, anything.

          Do you see the theme?

          "Science does not explain 'everything,'" you say ... "the Bible does."

          You seem to want an explanation for everything - right now! - and, rather than say, "You know, we cannot explain everything," you have latched onto the Bible as offering you just that ... an explanation ... of everything. The problem is, for the "explanation" to work, you have to believe in nonsense.

          Why?

          Because the "everything" you are interested in (really interested in) is not the history or the science. No! You are interested in life and eternity. The Bible does offer an explanation of both. You fear hell. You long for heaven. You want meaning in your life. The Bible offers explanations of all of these that satisfy you (you!) so you believe. You may think to yourself, if the Bible is wrong about anything, it might also be wrong about these other REALLY important things; so it CANNOT be wrong about anything.

          I mean it's a small price to pay, right?

          If the Bible is wrong about the earth being 6000 years old, who cares?

          But if you are wrong by not believing in the Bible, my God, you will go to hell. Forever.

          Which is the "smaller" mistake?

          Well, if you believe the Bible (and a fundamentalist interpretation of it), the answer is obvious.

          You have thought yourself into a corner.

          Yes there is some "truth" in the Bible; yes, the Bible (obviously) provides many with "spiritual" guidance but, as history and as science, it is deficient.

          You do not need to accept that the earth is 6000 years old to accept the spiritual message the Bible contains. Not even the Pope believes in young earth creationism.

          He does believe in heaven and hell (or so I am told.) Oh, that's the other conversation!
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        Jan 3 2012: Hi Thomas
        There is a theme. Whenever I point out 'scientific' inconsistencies all I get in response is an attack on the bible. Not just you, most folks here do it.
        When materialist scientists tell the history of th universe in our schools, colleges, in books, or on tv, for general consumption, it is stated as a fact. All I am saying is that there are many flaws in their line of reasoning. A little honesty would go a long way. Folks like Dawkins have the same instinct as yourself; rather than discuss the science, he will just have a go at the bible.

        The bible doesn't claim to have all the scientific answers. It warns of heaven & hell & tells us how to avoid the latter. It does indicate that the earth is around 6K old, & personally I find the scientific evidence for that pretty convincing. What the Pope believes is his business; I am not convinced that either dress code, or address, has any bearing on one's ability to recognise truth.

        :-)
        • Jan 4 2012: I find it quite tough to believe that any serious effort has been made to unearth your postulate that the Earth is around 6K old. Honestly, in this day and age, that little tidbit is quite shocking, and a little revealing into a certain line of thought. There is a real scientific consensus behind the fact of the Earth not being flat, per se, and please don't throw out such statements as "I find the scientific evidence for that pretty convincing" into the public arena of a forum without thought...thanks.
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      Jan 3 2012: Peter hope you can acknowledge the irony of struggling to accept life and the universe via natural processes but you can take an unbelivevably powerful, eternal, invisible, undetectable prime mover on faith.
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        Jan 3 2012: Hi GM
        I guess it boils down to intelligence versus coincidence. I admire your faith, but it's all too organised for me.

        :-)
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          Jan 3 2012: Perhaps it boils down to “what form of intelligence?”. Peter, I assume you don’t imagine that God’s intelligence resides in flimsy little brain like a human’s. So the form of this omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient creator/inventor is open to debate.

          We can say that the rainwater “creates” a river. We say that the water “seeks” the path of least resistance. Why not God as the metaphor for the totality? “His” intelligence expresses itself through the workings of nature. “He” invents in an evolutionary process (as do all creators) - through trial and error guided by success/failure.
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    Dec 22 2011: There are a fair number of unsupported points in the comments so far that don't really bring the conversation any further because anything that can be introduced without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. However, your question, "What can be a reasonable case for God's existence?" does have a scientific answer.

    Everything we know from our observation of the universe indicates a bing-bang model for creation. In recent years scientists have posited that vacuum fluctuations perturbed the primordial singularity in such a manner as to trigger that event but that model seems to be lacking in the following way; in a pre-spaceial, pre-temporal universe we can't construct any concept of "change", which is by definition timespace dependent. This could just be that we lack for the capacity to understand what "change" is in that context but I suspect not. In any event, the perturbing of a singularity definitionally requires a change in its state. The fact that there is no "time", before a beginning could (only "could" mind you, not "does") indicate that there was a Creator.

    Now on to what that doesn't mean. That doesn't mean that a creator is omniscient, that it cares about you, that it even knows you exist. Frankly, it doesn't mean anything other than that we don't have any well formed idea about how to model the moment of creation, although we are getting pretty close.

    On a side note, I'm not a scientist although I find the literature fascinating and would very much like to hear from anyone in the world of physics who thinks I'm off base here.

    Also @Mark: I think you'd find Sam Harris's recent work interesting on the topic of a scientific study of morality. He takes the position that as long as moral values have to be based on the well-being of conscious creatures, that there are clearly scientific ways to talk about what is moral and what isn't. I think you should take a look.
    • Dec 22 2011: Hi B. Reynolds,
      The classical Big Bang theory implied a beginning for the universe; and religious people took this to indicate a creator. Scientists and philosophers were aware of the metaphysical implications that came with the classical Big Bang. But science has no place for metaphysics.

      Laymen usually forget the fact that theories of science continuously develop. The Big Bang underwent modifications (not to mention alternative, though less popular, models like Alfvén-Klein Model) to fit new observational data or due to the use of different theoretical approaches.

      The inflationary model of A. Linde that followed the classical Big Bang model has also several versions the last of which postulates a self-reproducing inflationary universe

      Quantum mechanics consider the origin of the universe as a quantum event that doesn’t need the hand of God. Accordingly, space-time has no boundary, hence no boundary conditions and no singularity (Singularity of the classical Big Bang). This affords a solution for the issue of " infinities" at which physical laws fail. Therefore, Quantum Mechanics indicates a universe that has neither beginning nor end in time.

      Additional note. Recent advances in physics suggest that the constants of nature might not be constant and that laws of nature may change across the known cosmos. Both fields of research contribute to many cosmological puzzles and would certainly discard metaphysical implications that have been claimed from the “fine-tuning” concept.

      The fields of physics and cosmology head for models and solutions for the origin and future of the universe without the work of a now-deceased/retired God of Intelligent Design.
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        Dec 27 2011: In your fourth paragraph you mention that quantum mechanics has ruled that the universe has no beginning or end and therefore no need for God.
        I have read that the closest we can get to the Big Bang is a unit of time called Planck-Wheeler Time.
        (It is 10 to the minus 34th second, which is a 1 preceeded by 34 zeros and a decimal point).
        If the theory does not propose an explanation for what is beyond that veil of mystery, how do we know it is not something supernatural? Wouldn't an "I don't know" be in order rather than deeming the supernatural retired or deceased?
        • Dec 27 2011: Hi edward,
          Thank you for the enquiry.

          Planck-Wheeler time is the shortest interval of time, but this is not an issue.

          Modern physics affords new concept for time that demonstrates time to behave (in certain conditions) like space and this makes all the difference. The concept arises when we combine Quantum Theory with classical physics (General Theory of Relativity). In such combination, time warps like the three space dimensions; i. e. time dimension becomes directional similar to space dimensions. This leads to the important conclusion that the universe could be finite, self-contained with no boundaries or limits, hence It has NO BEGINNING NO END. You can imagine the situation as follows: the four directional dimensions of space-time warpe like sphere or ball. In such setting the universe does not have start and end boundaries, and no one set of initial conditions. It grows and fluctuates in an eternally self-reproducing scheme.
          I hope this would be useful.
          Regards
        • Dec 28 2011: Dear edward,
          I was away and when I came back to the thread I found that your last sentence needs further follow- up.

          ““Wouldn't an "I don't know" be in order rather than deeming the supernatural retired or deceased?”

          Surely we have many unknowns and there would be unknowns each time science solves one dilemma or another. So it is ok to postulate “I don’t know”. Full stop. But if you attribute this gap of knowledge to something supernatural then you have taken a stand; you have postulated “knowledge” that there is a “supernatural agent” without having evidence for that. This is what science rejects. We, you and me and all others, as curious intelligent beings seek knowledge and truth. But this knowledge should have foundations and not based on imagination or being incited by millennia-old legacy of superstitions and belief systems that produced in humans chronic irrational traits and, as I postulated in another post, “biological and psychological factors that are well explained by Evolutionary Psychology, Evolutionary Neurology and Sociocultural evolution”.

          On my expression “...now-deceased/retired God ” it describes the God of Intelligent Design. ID claims God created the universe and left it to its destiny, with no more supervision, no more intervention, and no maintenance.

          Thank you again
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        Dec 28 2011: Thank you for your apparently (I am not formally trained in science) learned responses to my question re: Planck-Wheeler Time.
        I do not insist that an "I do not know" answer is tantamount to an endorsement of the supernatural.
        Rather I think it should simply mean "I, or we, don't know."
        Statements purporting to explain that which is in actuality unknown are equivocal.
        Even if two parallel lines can intersect, as quantum theory suggests, that does not change the fact that the theory admittedly explains things only so far "back" in time and then says, "Beyond this point we don't know!" It could be turtles all the way down; it could be God; it could be infinitely high entropy; it could be whatever. . . WE DO NOT KNOW! I did not mean to say that if you cannot say for sure what the explanation is then it simply must be supernatural. I merely meant to challenge the assertion that it can be proven that it is absolutely not supernatural. By the way, your profile is closed, but may I ask, are you a scientist? Thanks for your comments A. Latif.
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    Dec 21 2011: Intelligent design/ God, in no way contradicts logic or science. They answer different questions... One says the Big Bang happened, one says that there is purpose to it happening... You don't necessarily need to believe religious dogma to think that there was a purpose behind the creation of the universe. It's only when you start extrapolating that to powers, and dieties, and laws, that there are problems. Most religious Americans don't do that... Most of them just believe that there is a vague difficult to understand purpose to human life, and that does not contradict science or logic, it's just a nice comforting thought that helps get them through hard times.

    George Bush is the exception not the rule... Also he's less the exception in the south. Obama is definately an Atheist by the way, you just can't win an election saying that, because about 30% of people are idiots attached to the dogma.
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      Dec 22 2011: How does, "a vague difficult to understand purpose to human life" add up to, "a nice comforting thought?" Naming the one responsible brings comfort because it quantifies and qualifies the unknown. I'll tell you from personal experience when I began to question the existence of the Christian God I grew up with, raised my children with, my purpose became vague and difficult, and I'm still struggling with that.
      Your final statement is completely unnecessary. Religious people are not idiots whether they live in the south or anywhere else. Again in my experience religious people are sincere, generous, intelligent and long-suffering.
      • Comment deleted

        • Dec 22 2011: Actually it's intellectually lazy to judge something you haven't tested.
        • Dec 22 2011: Ethan, I'm confused why this is being said by the person who is seemingly likes the odds of intelligent design...