derudo

May 192007
 

Isn’t it interesting that 19th century (the great “death of God” era) Darwinian “science” made it possible for Dawkins to become an intellectually fulfilled atheist, but that late 20th century science has made faith and theism more rational and reasonable than ever before in human history (in my opinion)? It’s an interesting turn of events. The “science” in which Dawkins put his atheistic faith turned out to be bogus.

It turns out that the universe did not always exist, and that it began in a flash of light (high-frequency gamma rays, but that’s electromagnetic radiation, just like light, only much more highly energetic). And who would have expected in Darwin’s time that life was not fundamentally based on chemistry, physics, and probability, but on information, information processing, and nano-technology super-machines?

Paul had it all figured out 2,000 years ago when he pointed out in the book of Romans that we are without excuse to disbelieve, because God has made Himself evident in things that are made (i.e., designed), and these things are all around us, especially us, who are fearfully and wonderfully made.

 Posted by at 6:28 pm
Apr 132007
 

Dear Teleological Folks,

I posted the following over at UncommonDescent.com but it is undoubtedly long lost in the comments. I thought it might be of interest here. As some of you may know, I used to be a militant, Dawkins-style atheist. All that changed in 1994 after I bought my five-year-old daughter a cartoon video entitled The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Everything went downhill from there as I apostatized from my former religion of atheism. 🙂 (Yes, it is a religion!)

***

The gap between humans and all other forms of life on the planet — in so many categories that one would have to write many books on the subject — is so profound that it represents the ultimate discontinuity in nature, which is characterized not by seamlessness, but by discontinuities. This is the antithesis of Darwinian philosophy.

As a former atheist, I would suggest that the great divide is not between Catholics and Protestants, but between materialists and those who recognize the uniqueness of humankind (this includes our great capacity for good, and our great capacity for evil). It is only by recognizing our divine origin — which seems increasingly difficult to deny, in my view — that we have any hope of cultivating the good and suppressing the evil. But this requires brutal self-honesty, which is antithetical to the fallen part of our nature referenced above.

These are ultimate issues, and are ultimately the only ones that really matter, because they affect and reflect upon all areas of our lives, which is why the (ID/Darwinism) debate is so heated.

 Posted by at 6:50 pm
Dec 082006
 

I was an atheist, brainwashed by the establishment, into my 40s. I got a triple dose of indoctrination: from the public schools, from the secular environment in which I grew up (a small college town, surrounded by intellectual university types), and from the university itself. There was no doubt in my mind that God was a human fabrication and that we were the product of purposeless Darwinian mechanisms. In retrospect, however, I realize that I accepted these conclusions completely uncritically, which is ironic, because educated intellectual types supposedly take pride in critical thinking.
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 Posted by at 6:36 pm
Jan 132006
 

When a scientific paradigm is in a state of crisis its proponents resort to increasingly desperate measures to salvage it. These desperate measures are indicative of the fact that the paradigm is indeed in crisis.

I thought it might be interesting to start cataloging examples of these desperate measures when it comes to Darwinian evolution.

1) Those who propose that the paradigm is in trouble are vilified (this occurs especially in academia where one’s career and livelihood are at stake).

2) Consensus is called upon as evidence that the problems have been solved and that no further consideration is warranted. Consensus is never called upon to defend scientific paradigms that are not in crisis.

3) The Cambrian explosion and the fossil record, which, to an objective observer, transparently present severe difficulties for the thesis of gradualism, are dismissed or explained away with stories that have no grounding in evidence. This is an example of, “The theory is sound but the evidence is in error.” This is a recurring theme when a scientific paradigm is in crisis.

4) The revelation that life is foundationally predicated upon complex information is dismissed with appeals to random mutations, despite the fact that all we know about complex systems resembling living systems indicates that this information cannot be the product of stochastic processes, no matter how much time is allowed. This requires blind faith in vanishingly-small probabilities. Once again it is proposed that the theory is sound but that basic logic and the evidence are in error.

The central theme in the case of a scientific paradigm in crisis is a mounting pile of excuses designed to explain away anomalies. When this happens (as in the case of the phlogiston theory of combustion, earth-centered cosmology, and a universe with no beginning) one can reliably detect a paradigm in crisis.

I will expand upon this list in the future.

 Posted by at 10:10 pm
Jan 062006
 

The subject of origins inevitably brings up questions about where we came from, why we are here, and what the purpose of life is (if such a thing exists). When it comes down to it, these are the only questions that are ultimately worth asking or seeking answers for.

When people ask why the unsolved mysteries of chemistry and physics are not the subject of debate when it comes to public education, I ask myself, What planet are these guys living on? These questions have no bearing on anything of ultimate significance.

If the atheistic/materialistic worldview is correct, there is no reason why one should not commit suicide when things get tough. Once you are dead and the biochemical processes in your brain shut down, there are no consequences, there is no accountability, there is no memory.

One day our sun will become a red giant and its outer atmosphere will expand beyond the orbit of the earth. When that happens, the earth’s atmosphere will be stripped away, the oceans will boil away, the sands will fuse into glass, and our planet will be sterilized of all life for all eternity. There will be no record of anything that anyone has ever done.

If the atheistic/materialistic worldview is correct, life is ultimately absurd. And the worst part is, this tragic, nihilistic, dark, cold, depressing philosophy doesn’t even make sense, and requires an unreasonable amount of blind faith. My favorite definition of reasonable faith is, “putting your trust in that which you have reason to believe is true.”

I have come to the conclusion that atheism/materialism requires blind faith, and that theism only requires reasonable faith. In order to be an atheist one must believe that nothing produced everything for no reason, that inert matter spontaneously generated life, that the personal came from the impersonal, that consciousness came from unconsciousness, that the equivalent of typographical errors turned rocks, atmospheric gasses and unspecified liquid concoctions into Chopin in 1017 seconds (and this list could be expanded). It seems to me that this is “unscientific,” magical thinking if ever such a thing existed.

I don’t have enough blind faith to be an atheist.

I do not propose that atheism makes people bad, but that it is destructive because it logically destroys any ultimate sense of purpose in life. Without a sense of self-sacrificial purpose, life loses meaning, and at that point untold miseries are destined to abound.

 Posted by at 10:54 pm
Dec 202005
 

In the Dover, PA case judge Jones has ruled that only the officially sanctioned State religion of Darwinism may be taught in the public schools. Furthermore, neither Darwinism nor its premises, arguments, or evidence may be questioned.

A press release from the Discovery Institute comments, “This is an activist judge who has delusions of grandeur.”

This is being much too generous. Poor judge Jones is suffering from delusions of adequacy.

 Posted by at 2:14 pm
Dec 092005
 

There is one thing that always bugs me about ID opponents: They often present pure speculation, based on absolutely no hard evidence, as established fact.

For example, you’ll hear, “The way evolution produces complex, functionally integrated biological machinery is through a process called co-option. Here’s how it works…” They should be honest and say, “Some biologists speculate that biological components that served other functions can be co-opted to assemble new machinery that performs a new function. However, there is no hard evidence that this process actually takes place, and no detailed, testable proposals for how random mutations could engineer such a process.”

Of course, they also always leave out an explanation for the hard stuff. Where did the assembly instructions come from? They too must be irreducibly complex, since a partially assembled motor is of no use even if all the parts are available.

I sometimes wonder if these people are actually aware of what they are doing. Perhaps — because they are convinced that such a process _must_ take place, because the underlying theory _has_ to be true — they have deluded themselves into thinking they are providing facts and explanations instead of unsubstantiated speculation.

 Posted by at 11:25 am