I wonder how this follow-up is coming along?
Welcome to the Battle Royale VII Post Game Show.
In the post game show we will be allowing some of TOL's resident atheists (lead by Flipper) to post a follow-up to Battle Royale VII . Then our winner from Battle Royale VII Bob Enyart will respond to the atheist follow-up and that will be it!
We hope everyone enjoyed Battle Royale VII
Flipper has until Wednesday August 27th at midnight MDT to post the atheist follow-up post.
Flipper has requested additional time to complete the atheist follow-up.
I have granted that request.
Flipper now has until Saturday - August 30th at midnight MDT to make the atheists follow-up post for the Post Game show.
Thank you, Knight, for hosting this addendum to the formal debate between Zakath and Bob Enyart. Our thanks also to both Zakath and Bob Enyart for both the inspiration for our collective response and for the quality of their debate. And thank you especially, Pastor Bob, for agreeing to answer this addition to the formal Battle. Our only regrets are the space limitations imposed on us which have forced us to trim, rather painfully, each of our responses.
Taoist: A Supernatural, Eternal Creator
Pastor Enyart believes in a God who is (a) the supernatural Creator of the natural universe, (b) existing eternally, (c) powerful, (d) wise and knowledgeable, (e) personal, (f) loving, and (g) just.
Of the good pastor's seven attributes, the last five could describe any good mortal ruler, and are anything but unique to a divinity. The first two are impossible to ascertain by natural, mortal beings such as the good pastor and I. Unstated but implied is the belief that the God of these attributes is himself a unique being.
God and the infinite
While Pastor Enyart demonstrates a passing familiarity with large numbers, he is clearly ignorant of the infinite. In all of his arguments for his God, not once has he provided evidence of His eternal nature. It seems he has obscured this point deliberately in order to advance his other arguments.
When presented with an hypothesis of a second natural universe which budded off to form our own, he discards it in favor of a supernatural, infinite being, meanwhile claiming this is a less complex solution. To put it very simply, the supernatural is more complex than the natural, and infinity is more complex than two.
Pastor Enyart, can you count? Are you aware that infinity is not unique? Can you compare different infinities? Can you construct a larger infinity from a given one? Have you ever heard of cardinal numbers? Do you know their rules of arithmetic? Any beginning graduate student in topology could answer yes to all of the above. Pastor Enyart, if your God is infinite, then what order of infinity is your God? Is any other order of infinity more complex?
Life and statistics
Pastor Enyart's use of probabilistic arguments violates the fundamental requirement of statistics. In constructing a mathematical model to describe the natural universe, he inserts a supernatural being. In doing so, the statistical universe is corrupted and limits to natural processes are discarded.
Models of natural processes must assume the processes occur naturally. Calling this circular reasoning is intellectually dishonest. It is instead an investigation which limits itself to that which can be observed.
Life arose. This is an observation. Science can investigate this observation for a natural cause. When natural causes are discarded, there is no longer a place for science. Probabilistic arguments form only a tiny fraction of scientific investigations into the origins of life. At best they can show a particular natural model is unlikely. The natural response is to investigate another model.
Pastor Enyart instead considers a single model, that of random chance, and discards the natural universe when it fails. "I say we take off and nuke the place from orbit. It's the only way to be sure," said Commander Ripley. What's amusing when applied to aliens loses its appeal when directed at science itself.
Given that life arose, what is the probability that life has arisen?
Justice and extraordinary claims
A just God as preached by Pastor Enyart would gift me with the proof of Thomas, exhibiting his hands and side for examination to cure my unbelief. I hereby ask Him, if He exists, to appear before me now that I might see the wounds received vicariously in payment for my sins.
I ask you, Pastor Bob, which would be more believable: A claim that He answered my request or a claim that He did not? "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence," said Carl Sagan. I know the answer to my request, but I choose not to feed the natural impulse of disbelief when truth is shoved down one's throat.
Heusden: A Being Cannot be Both Necessary and Conscious
Where to begin?
Whether we reason from a point of view of science, philosophy or religion, whatever we claim to know, our reasoning about and knowledge of the world needs to start from some point. Where does your outlook on reality begin if not in acknowledging the fact that we are conscious, and have conscious and sensuous awareness of a world that exists outside, apart and independent of our mind?
So, this means our basic position and our ground for any reasoned assumptions about the world, would have to start from the fact that the world itself, which is reflected and projected in our minds, denotes something that exists independent, outside and apart from our own minds.
A necessary being
The whole of existence consists of finite and temporal forms that interact with each other and transform into one other. Every finite part of the whole denotes something that has started at some point in time and will end at some point in time. All the finite and temporal parts of the whole, of which it consists, did not start or end in nothing, but always started in or ended in a finite and temporal part of the whole. The whole of existence must necessarily contain something, a collection of finite, temporal existence forms, because a "nothing" does not and cannot exist by definition.
No finite part of the whole of existence, as a temporal form of existence, is a necessary being, since it has not and will not exist always, and its existence is not essential for the rest of the world to exist. For something to be a necessary being, it means that it must be a necessity in order for there to be something instead of nothing. But no finite and temporal part of the whole of existence qualifies for that. Any finite and temporal part of the whole could have been left out, could in fact never have become existent, without denoting that the world itself would not exist. Only the non-existence of the whole of existence itself would require that there would not exist something.
A necessary being therefore cannot be anything less (or anything more) than the whole of existence.
A conscious being
A conscious being is a being that exists objectively. This being can state the existence of something that exists outside of, apart from and independent of itself. There must also exist something outside, apart and independent of this conscious being that can relate the existence of this conscious being. A conscious being can be conscious because it can have sensory awareness about things that exist outside, apart and independent of itself.
To be self-conscious means that one can distinguish between oneself and something that exists outside of oneself. If an objective form of existence cannot be stated, it must mean that nothing exists that is outside, apart and independent of itself, which means that there is no objective relationship between oneself and anything that exists outside, apart and independent of oneself. If a being does not exist objectively, neither can it have consciousness nor have conscious/sensory awareness of something outside of itself or of itself.
God as a necessary and conscious being
God is defined as both a necessary being (a being without which the world would not exist, eternal, infinite and omnipotent) and a conscious being (a personal being, that is omniscient, has will, intent and purpose and is all good). But a necessary being, since it is defined as the whole of everything that exists, cannot have anything that exists outside of itself. This necessary being cannot therefore exist in the objective sense, since there cannot be an objective relation between the necessary being and anything outside of it, as everything that exists is contained within the necessary being. Since the necessary being cannot be stated to have objective existence, neither it can be a conscious being. The necessary being can therefore neither be conscious of something outside of itself, nor of itself.
God therefore cannot be both a necessary being and a conscious being simultaneously. If God is said to exist, then either He is a conscious being that is not a necessary being, a finite and temporal form of existence or He is a necessary being which does not exist in the objective sense, and can therefore not be a conscious being.
God therefore, in the way He has been defined, does not exist.
Flipper: Pastor Bob and Science
The God of the gaps has been previously debated ad nauseum. Bob’s tack appeared to be one which indicates science had stalled in its search for natural origins when in reality the opposite is true. His science is based more on rhetoric than analytical observation.
Hubble Deep Field Survey
Bob claimed to have outpredicted NASA’s astronomers with his eyeballing of an HST photograph released at the start of 1996 in which he predicted a uniform universe. Unfortunately, he never explained why he saw fit to draw attention to this or expand on what his divine universe should look like.
Do the Hubble Deep Field images show an unchanging universe? By no means.
The higher the red shift, the further away an object must be and the younger it is, according to General Relativity. Galactic filaments have been observed at high red shift, as predicted. Quasars – supermassive, superluminous objects – from the early universe and protoclusters (pdf) have been observed at high red shift, in a form predicted by bright cluster galaxy formation simulations (pdf). Distorted and misshapen galaxies indicate a much higher rate of collision in the early universe. The sizes of galaxies the galaxies themselves increase continuously from one billion years to six billion years after the big bang.
Hubble Deep Field images show many instances of galaxy formation. Page three of a draft paper on galaxy evolution (pdf) sets a computer simulation image of early galaxy and star formation 500 million years after the Big Bang next to some actually observed images.
An ancient universe
Let's quickly review some of the evidence that favors the Big Bang theory.
What we know of the Hubble Constant, that measurement of the universal expansion rate that helps us to gauge its age and size. It again confirms that our universe is indeed ancient and expanding. We live in a vast universe filled with trillions of stars and other planetary systems.
Cosmic background radiation lets us build a picture of a universe growing from a high energy event. The extended Standard Model (pdf) of physics at a sub-atomic level, built by theoretical prediction confirmed by experimental evidence within particle accelerators, allows extrapolation of conditions back to the first hundredth of a second after the Big Bang, as well as helping us make predictions for the abundances of elements that we can observe today. CERN’s Large Hadron Collider is expected to take us closer still to the origin event itself and Big Bang predictions will either be validated again, discarded, or incorporated into a better theory. We know that the closer you get to the primal expansion, the more the event appears to be governed by quantum interactions. In quantum physics, it is possible for “something” to come from “nothing.” Theorists have developed some highly speculative but mathematically allowable frameworks for the creation event. There are even some possible ways by which these models can be tested. What equivalency is offered by the theist?
A chaotic solar system
The clockwork orrery solar system Bob describes in his posts is not accurate – the solar system is, in fact, chaotic. An interesting paper (pdf) presented this year by Professor Jacques Laskar, who models solar system dynamics, explains how. It gives an explanation of the retrograde orbit of Venus, it shows how planets are given to a slow motion tumble in their orbit in a similar way to asteroids, and how the effects of complexity on planetary orbits will disorder what we observe today.
Speaking of asteroids, those who believe in an orderly solar system need to fit massive chunks of planet-busting space debris into their model of divine order. The massive Chixculub crater in the Gulf of Mexico and the resulting KT layer of Iridium, which we know to be found in higher quantities in meteors and comets, is often advanced as one explanation for the extinction of the dinosaurs. There’s no shortage of impact craters on earth or elsewhere in the solar system. Why is the vacuum of space filled with deadly missiles?
Why are some of these missiles http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2003/pdf/1036.pdf]rich in amino acids[/url], the building blocks of life? But we need look no further than terrestrial volcanoes to find them spewing out of the ground.
A natural universe suffices
So, for now, it seems best to proceed on a basis that a natural explanation is sufficient. What competing theories or models does intelligent design have to offer us? Can Bob explain what parts of General Relativity he accepts and why he doesn’t accept other parts? What are his problems with the Standard Model? Is the universe huge, ancient, and changing or isn’t it? What alternative explanation does he have to offer that explains the evidence we see more effectively?
Theists's cliché: If your world-view can be dismantled within eight seconds, then get a better one.
Atheist's rebuttal: Assume for a moment that God does exist, as defined by you. Then, Pastor Bob, if you can spare no more than eight seconds answering another's world-view, developed over millennia of philosophical, scientific, and mathematical thought, be prepared to answer your Maker for the disbelief you have sown.
Wow..... good job Flipper!
I want to thank Flipper for organizing and compiling the atheist follow-up post in the Battle Royale VII Post Game Show. I would be lying if I told you I wasn't worried about this post being far to long or completely incoherent since it was written by three different authors. Therefore I am glad to see Flipper has done a nice job of editing it down to a manageable size. I would also like to thank those who added their time and effort to this post.
As for the content..... I will let Bob address that in his rebuttal.
I am going to give Bob one week from tomorrow night to complete his rebuttal.
Therefore Bob has until Monday September 8th at midnight MDT to complete his follow-up post in the Battle Royale VII POST GAME SHOW!
Days, hours, minutes until the atheist follow-up post must be made.
Any and all posts made on this thread will be deleted unless they are posted by Flipper, Bob Enyart or me (Knight).
Flipper sent me the following PM clarifying how the above post came into being....Thanks for the clarification.Request for a change to your post on Round 11...
I have a question - any chance you could make a minor edit to your summation post on round 11?
Actually, it wasn't me who did the editing this time - it was Taoist who very kindly did the work while Heusdens and I were ploughing through our Magnum Opi.
Any chance you might give him the credit instead? He really did do an excellent job.
To Flipper, Taoist, and Huey (Heusden), thanks for giving me the opportunity to respond to more arguments of atheists. Below, I represent Flipper by FL, Taoist’s by TA, Huey’s by HU, and all by FTH:
FTH: Our only regrets are the space limitations imposed on us which have forced us to trim, rather painfully, each of our responses.
BE: As for me, after the many weeks of effort invested into the original Battle Royale VII, I am thankful to Knight for the current restrictions. Below, I quote FTH and underline the main points that I respond to.
TA: Pastor Enyart believes in a God who is (a) the supernatural Creator of the natural universe, (b) existing eternally, (c) powerful, (d) wise and knowledgeable, (e) personal, (f) loving, and (g) just. Of the good pastor’s seven attributes, the last five could describe any good mortal ruler, and are anything but unique to a divinity. The first two are impossible to ascertain by natural, mortal beings…
BE: Any Mortal: I will show below that apart from God’s existence, Taoist could not claim that these “last five could describe any good mortal ruler.” But first, notice the form of Taoist’s argument: In principle, I reject as irrelevant anything in a description of God that could also be descriptive of men. Imagine if we were debating whether the moon really exists or if it’s just a phantom in the sky, and I offered that the moon has mass as evidenced by its pull on the oceans, and Taoist shoots back: Well, the Earth has mass also, so I reject that part of the definition. Debating atheists is like dealing with spoiled brats. This is the kind of irrationality that we theists must put up with. And Taoist leads off his argument with this. Typically, I lead off my arguments with my second strongest and most well thought-out point (I try to save the strongest for last). If any single attribute of God is proved conclusively, then God’s exists. (I know, I know, the average atheists cannot process that last statement… but that’s not my fault.) If I showed a physics proof that God’s eternal power must exist, then I would have shown that God exists, regardless of what other “power” we can find in the universe. (I know, I know, the atheist comprehension thing…) If my definition redundantly stated (perhaps only to humor Huey), that “God exists,” well then Taoist could shoot back, “so do men! nah, nah, nah.” If I stated, “God can think,” TA: “so do men!!” “God is alive,” “so are men, three strikes and you’re out Bob!!!” The monotheism in the world teaches that God created man “in His likeness,” that is, we have personalities and power, we can embrace wisdom and knowledge, we recognize justice, and we can love. That is the belief system that Taoist has volunteered to refute. I’m discouraged at the sloppy reasoning displayed when Taoist starts off by rejecting non-unique attributes of God. For I also described God as “the supernatural Creator of the natural universe, existing eternally,” which by definition distinguishes Him from any “mortal.” Now let’s look at those five attributes that we share, albeit imperfectly, with God.
Just: As admitted by Zakath and many atheists, atheism forces a denial of the existence of absolute right and wrong. Without absolute right and wrong, there is no ultimate standard on which to base justice. We can have preferences, but no final justice. For example, NAZIs prefer to execute a Jew who marries an Aryan, and some atheist might prefer otherwise, but he cannot convict the NAZI of wrongdoing based on an absolute standard of justice. So the atheist who toys with justice is really only experiencing what some call a theistic hangover. An atheist on truth serum will admit that since ultimate right and wrong cannot exist apart from a God of justice, therefore via atheism no person or action can objectively be deemed as just. Thus, before Taoist claimed of my attributes for God that “the last five could describe any good mortal ruler,” he should have remembered that atheism undermines the concept of justice robbing mankind of the availability of an absolute rule by which we can judge human actions, making justice relative, subjective, or even democratic, as though if the majority wants to kill Christians or Jews, then religious genocide becomes “just.” This is one reason I despise atheism. For if justice becomes subjective, and one man’s justice is another’s cruelty, then the world has lost the meaning and benefit of justice.
Wisdom: And regarding God’s attribute of wisdom, of course, without knowledge of absolute right and wrong, we cannot determine whether someone is wise or a fool. For example, if human beings are only animals, then cannibals may show wisdom preferring to eat one another; atheistic evolutionists like the Soviets may have shown wisdom preferring to see the strong human organisms destroy others to exploit the resources of the weak; but if right and wrong do exist as absolutes by which men will ultimately be judged, then the cannibal and the communist are fools for shedding innocent blood and stealing other men’s property and freedom.
Love: Regarding the attribute of love, without knowledge of absolute right and wrong, in many instances it may be impossible to determine even whether an action is loving or the opposite. For example, if no absolute morality exists, and death is the final end of a human life, then a man who seduces his neighbor’s wife in order to love her and to enjoy her companionship may be loving her (and himself) by maximizing the pleasure in both their lives. And even today, our increasingly godless culture defends extramarital sex between consenting adults. (It’s ironic that the same liberals justify a cheating spouse by the “consent” of adults, but will not allow the same “consenting adults” to agree to work for less than minimum wage. Ha!) On the other hand, if it is unloving to violate a pledge of lifelong marital faithfulness given to another human being, then even though an affair could generate much excitement and emotion, it would be unloving (and wrong). Thus, without an absolute standard of right and wrong, atheists cannot authoritatively define whether something is even loving or cruel.
So apart from the existence of God, wisdom, love and justice are all ambiguities that permit no ultimate definition. For love would not encourage self-destructive behavior. So does an atheist encourage the pothead in his pot-headedness, or discourage him? Do you encourage or discourage the communist who wants the government to take away all private property? Do you encourage the temptress or discourage her? What is right? What is wrong? What is wise? What makes a fool? How can justice be anything other than a popularity contest? Do you call for tolerance? Or do you recognize tolerance as just the introduction of a new intolerance? And would that even matter?
Personal: Of the last five attributes of God by Taoist’s count, “powerful, wise and knowledgeable, personal, loving, and just,” the three mentioned so far can be only ambiguities to the atheist. (Of course, an atheist may easily become intellectually dishonest about this and deny it; or his commitment to atheism may make him simply incapable of comprehending the point since he’s foggy with that theistic hangover.) Regarding the attribute of “personal,” my BA10-3 evidence for God is the existence of consciousness, which is the prerequisite for personhood, by which an entity is aware of itself. I challenged Zakath to admit that atheists cannot explain, even conceptually, in the most broad terms, how consciousness could have arisen by itself from atoms and molecules, to make matter aware of its own existence. The argument is this: there is no conceivable way to propose how a computer made only of matter (atoms and molecules) could become aware of itself. With a boatload full of high-IQ atheists, we theists can confidently make this challenge because we know that consciousness is not materialistic, but non-materialistic, based not upon the body, but upon the soul and the spirit. And so I encourage you atheists, go ahead and spend your days pondering the imponderable of how consciousness could arise from matter by itself so that a collection of atoms become aware of its own existence. They can’t! And you will go to your grave wondering why, if consciousness can arise so readily that it happened on Earth in such a short period of time, then why is it so utterly imponderable? And why can the Christians use this fundamental aspect of personhood against more knowledgeable atheists? So, Taoist, your observation that “any good mortal,” has personhood, of course I agree with, but you ignored the pressing argument, that: atheists cannot even theoretically explain how matter can become self-aware, because self-awareness itself is non-material, irrefragable, and by itself proves the existence of an eternal, self-aware Creator who can make self-aware creatures.
Knowledgeable: Regarding “knowledgeable,” this attribute means having knowledge. If Taoist’s “mortal” denies the existence of truth (as do many of the atheists I have met), then he becomes willfully ignorant, and disclaims any real knowledge. Knowledge can only exist if truth exists, otherwise, nothing can be actually known. Thus by atheism, whether a mere “mortal” can be knowledgeable is debatable. In the Battle, I gave the example of atheist Bertrand Russell who by the time of his death became convinced that almost nothing can be known. Remember, atheism is the pinnacle of ignorance. In the University of California, Irvine debate that I linked to from the Battle, the infamous atheist, Dr. Gordon Stein, admitted to the Christian, Dr. Greg Bahnsen, that as an atheist, Stein did not even believe that the laws of logic were absolutes. This was an admission from one of America’s leading atheists that atheism undermines logic. If logic itself is not valid as an absolute, and so, if not a single thing can be shown to be either absolutely true or false, then of course actual knowledge is unattainable.
Power: Finally, of the five, even the attribute of “powerful” cannot be explained by the atheist. We think of power materially, that is, of energy, and politically, that is, of control. Politically powerful men use that power to accomplish material goals of rearranging atoms and molecules to suite their own desires. For example, a powerful leader may take some gold from others to deposit in his own vault, and he may take someone’s physical body and deposit it in his own prison. In countless ways, actual physical work is being done as humans exercise their power. And if any physical work whatsoever is being done in the universe, that tells us that all of the potential energy of the universe has not been expended, and thus, the universe has not always been here. Remember Hawking’s and Asimov’s comments:
Hawking: “This argument about whether or not the universe had a beginning, persisted into the 19th and 20th centuries. …if your theory disagrees with the Second Law of Thermodynamics, it is in bad trouble. In fact, the theory that the universe has existed forever is in serious difficulty with the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The Second Law states that disorder always increases with time. …it indicates that there must have been a beginning. Otherwise, the universe would be in a state of complete disorder by now, and everything would be at the same temperature.” Stephen Hawking, [i]The Beginning of Time/i]
Asimov: “This [second] law is considered the most powerful and most fundamental generalization about the universe that scientists have ever been able to make.” Isaac Asimov, In the Game of Energy and Thermodynamics You Can’t Even Break Even, Journal of Smithsonian Institute, June 1970
Remember, every observation is direct evidence for God, and at the same time presents insurmountable difficulties for atheists. If God does not exist, then either the universe has always been here, or it made itself from nothing. And (I know atheists really freak out about this, but) the physical universe consists of all matter that exists! (It’s funny what simple things scare atheists, isn’t it?) It is a challenge, sometimes impossible, to get some atheists to admit that every physical thing that exists is part of the physical universe. If we humor our atheists and say that perhaps other spatial dimensions exist than the Three, even then, the objects in all such dimensions would combine to form the one, overall, true physical universe. And still, the atheist has accomplished nothing to answer the challenge. For that multi-multi-dimensional universe could not have made itself from nothing, and neither could it have expended energy eternally. That is, those who believe in raw science realize these basic truths, whereas atheists must hope that basic science falls apart. That is, atheists typically hope that the most basic laws of physics, upon which all of hard science is based, are exactly false. Thus, atheism undermines science and rests its hope in ignorance and the inability to know anything. Atheists truly fear knowledge. That’s why they so often equivocate on something as basic as the existence of truth.
So Taoist, of your five attributes that any mere “mortal” exhibits, your atheism can account for none of them.
TA: God and the Infinite. While Pastor Enyart demonstrates a passing familiarity with large numbers, he is clearly ignorant of the infinite. In all of his arguments for his God, not once has he provided evidence of His eternal nature.
BE: Evidence that God is Eternal: Remember IMA? Taoist can ignore my argument all he wishes, but that does not refute it. I argued that by the laws of science, the physical universe could not have existed forever, nor could it make itself from nothing. The latter, that something could not make itself from nothing, is not only a law of science (the First Law of Thermodynamics), it also follows from logic and reason. Something cannot make itself from nothing. I realize that this scares the living daylights out of many atheists to unequivocally admit this, but… tough guys. Something cannot make itself from nothing. (Atheists, read the previous sentence ten times while nodding your head up and down.) Zakath feared to admit that there are only three possible explanations for the existence of the natural universe: it was always here; or it popped into existence by itself from nothing; or it was supernaturally created. Since the first two are impossible, by science and logic, then reason requires drawing a definite conclusion of the third, that the universe was supernaturally created (by something outside of itself). In my first post of the Battle, I stated, “If someone proposed a god created by some other God [or now let’s add by a Super Alien who had been created by some other alien], then they proposed wrongly, and may have been referring to an angel or demon [or Alien] or some other created being, but not to God. So for the sake of understanding, let us agree that the God we are debating, the one I will argue for and you against, is the first Creator, the eternally existing, uncaused, first cause.” For, if an atheist finally submits to the force of logic and science, and admits to the necessary existence of a creator, then his rebellion against God may lead him to propose a non-Deity creator such as a Super Alien. But then, he has not moved a single inch toward a solution to this problem. He has only punted. For the Super Alien’s world could not have always been here, nor could it have come into existence from nothing. When Crick and Hoyle admitted the impossibility of complex DNA arising by chance on Earth and separately proposed that aliens planted life here, they did not in the slightest resolve their dilemma of lacking a mechanism for the origination of biological life apart from God. For their theory to work, biological life would have had to arise on some alien planet. And just as they cannot get DNA started on Earth without a creator, neither does their science-fiction theory help them out on some alien planet. They only punted. “Let’s shove the problem back a generation and hope that no one notices that we didn’t solve it.” And that’s what an atheist does when he finally succumbs to the pressure of the scientific laws, but then posits some non-eternal, non-personal creator. He’s only punting. Ultimately, the atheist cannot break the laws; rather, the laws remain, and he is broken upon them.
Of course Taoist has no opportunity to respond in this post game show. But I am so accustomed to atheists ignoring the main points and obfuscating that I predict he will not directly respond to these points anywhere on the boards. For example, how could he possibly have even brought himself to say that “personal” is an attribute of mere “mortals” without first responding or admitting an inability to respond to my argument about consciousness. I cannot do that. If an opponent has a strong point against me that I cannot answer, my desire for intellectual honesty drives me to admit that I can’t answer it. Unlike Taoist and the atheists I debate, I simply could not ignore such an unanswered point and go on pretending to make a further argument when I have not admitted my foundationless predicament.
TA: It seems [Bob] has obscured this point [of evidence for God existing eternally] deliberately in order to advance his other arguments. When presented with an hypothesis of a second natural universe which budded off to form our own, he discards it in favor of a supernatural, infinite being, meanwhile claiming this is a less complex solution. To put it very simply, the supernatural is more complex than the natural, and infinity is more complex than two.
BE: Taoist Punted Mr. Taoist, you punted, and we noticed. The two most basic laws of science (you hate them, don’t you) declare that our universe could not have made itself, and could not have always been here. And the silly second universe you posit does nothing to answer your dilemma. You punter. Also, Zakath didn’t propose a second universe, but he quoted Hawking’s ridiculous mathematical model which allowed “the existence of infinite numbers of parallel universes.” Do you remember Hawking’s inane methodology as described by Zakath in post 2a? He created a mathematical model of the universe and with it determined the viability of an infinite number of other universes! But Hawking’s utterly unscientific methodology apparently escaped countless atheists. For starters, how can Hawking create a reasonable mathematical model of the universe when we don’t yet know the size of the universe, its total mass, whether it is bounded or not, the nature of gravity, the nature of the supposed 96% of all matter which is “dark” (atheists have no proof for, but their Big Bang desperately requires, dark matter and perhaps even dark energy which supposedly neither emits nor absorbs light), and we cannot yet explain even the particle/wave behavior of light. So, how accurate could Hawking’s mathematical model of our universe be? With that much scientific ignorance about our own universe, Hawking certainly cannot create a mathematical model accurate enough to predict the feasibility of an infinite number of other universes. So his guesswork model showed what his atheism assumed to start with, that our universe could come into existence uncaused. Give that man a prize! And his model predicted the possibility of an infinite number of parallel universes (after all, you know, the number line is infinite). Try reading this quote from Zakath with a straight face:
Zakath: Hawking’s theory is based on assigning numbers to all possible universes. All of the numbers cancel out except for a universe with features our universe possesses. For example, [it] contains intelligent organisms such as humans. This remaining universe has a certain probability very high -- near to a hundred percent -- of coming into existence uncaused.
History lacks a better example of bias masquerading as science. And yes, if you can’t explain how one universe can come into existence from nothing, or burn fuel forever, then explaining how an infinite number of universes can come into existence from nothing, or can burn fuel forever, only becomes increasingly impossible. But your commitment to absurdity (atheism) will make it especially difficult for you to comprehend this simple reasoning.
TA (again): When presented with an hypothesis of a second natural universe which budded off to form our own, [Bob] discards it in favor of a supernatural, infinite being, meanwhile claiming this is a less complex solution.
BE: Oops! When atheists respond to theists, it seems that they put almost no effort into first understanding the theist’s point. We argue that the complexity in the universe requires a complex cause. We argue that wild complexity in biological life indicates that the Creator has vast wisdom and knowledge. It is the atheist who struggles to defend the claim that apart from any intelligence, all complexity in nature has built itself up from pure simplicity. Taoist, have you never even comprehended the most basic form of our argument? Are you that confused? And why didn’t Flipper warn Taoist of this obvious goof up? If Taoist’s point is that there is something wrong with our argument that a complex world requires a complex Originator, he should make that case. But after participating on these boards for some time, he thinks that theists propose a simple God? In response to Taoist’s lazy intellectualism, I’m going to blow off the rest of his post (besides, it only gets worse from here), and move on to Huey.
Taoist Ends, Huey Begins
HU: A Being Cannot be Both Necessary and Conscious
BE: Hey Huey, were you conscious when you wrote that?
To the reader: I’m getting punchy. I feel like someone’s piping nitrous oxide into my office. The atheist arguments are so hard to take seriously, and to listen to with a straight face. Of course, theists agree with Huey that “the world itself… denotes something that exists independent, outside and apart from our own minds.” I am also happy to agree with Huey that “a ‘nothing’ does not and cannot exist by definition.” The rest of his argument is based upon the following false assertion, for which he provides no evidence:
HU: The whole of existence consists of finite and temporal forms…
BE: Circular Reasoning #1: Here, Huey is assuming his conclusion. For if the whole of existence consists of only finite entities, then an eternal God cannot exist, and voila! Huey won the debate! Hey Huey, you claim that only finite entities exist, so you should have provided your evidence for that statement if you have any. And then Huey makes this conclusion which he bases on his assumption (which he later uses as the basis for another conclusion!) “A necessary being therefore cannot be anything less (or anything more) than the whole of existence.” Huey then confuses himself with another assumption:
HU: A conscious being can be conscious because it can have sensory awareness about things that exist outside, apart and independent of itself… To be self-conscious means that one can distinguish between oneself and something that exists outside of oneself.
BE: Circular Reasoning #2: Once again, these are self-serving assumptions designed to lead to Huey’s atheistic conclusion. It’s circular reasoning. Consciousness fundamentally is awareness of one’s self, i.e., self-awareness. Then, if something else does exist, a conscious mind may discern between itself and the other thing. We humans could have first hand knowledge of how this works if we were able to remember our earliest thoughts in the womb; but we don’t. We’re not sure if we were aware of our own existence prior to being aware of any external entities. Theism, the position Huey has volunteered to refute, claims that God alone existed forever into the past prior to any creation. So Huey’s assumption that nothing can be conscious if it existed all alone handily assumes his conclusion once again. (And he thought we wouldn’t notice!) So again, Huey makes an assumption without offering any evidence for it. Then he does the same circular reasoning thing (is anyone getting dizzy?) a third time:
HU: A conscious being… can state the existence of something that exists outside of… itself. There must also exist something outside, apart and independent of this conscious being…
BE: Circular Reasoning #3: Ditto my above points. Now, for a fourth ride on the merry-go-round:
HU: God is defined as… a necessary being… But a necessary being, since it is defined as the whole of everything that exists, cannot have anything that exists outside of itself.
BE: Circular Reasoning #4: Hey Huey, who defined a necessary being “as the whole of everything that exists?” You did. Based upon what? Based upon your assumption that God cannot exist because as you declared, “the whole of existence consists [only] of finite and temporal forms.” When you deny God, you commit yourself to the irrational, and then the more rigorously you attempt to support your position, the more you draw attention to your irrationality.
Let me give you an example of clear thinking and honesty, and then atheists can attempt to mimic this when considering Christian arguments. Here we go: If Heusden’s assumptions were correct, then his conclusion would be correct also, that the God I believe in does not exist; but I believe his assumptions to be false! Thus, if you can prove that “the whole of existence consists of finite and temporal forms,” I would concede the debate. Likewise, if you could prove that “there must also exist something… independent of this conscious being,” then I would admit defeat. Do you see how easy that is? All of you atheists? Taoist, Flipper, Huey, Zakath, and the rest of you? It is easy to recognize the form of an opponent’s argument, to admit (or disprove) it logical features, and accept (or reject) its factual basis. This is easy, and honest -- unless… unless you are afraid of your opponent’s position. And that is what characterizes the atheist response from the first rounds of Battle Royale VII through to this Post Game Show. Hey, if you are afraid to challenge what you believe, then you better challenge what you believe. My many Christian friends and I really LOVE to take on atheist arguments, honestly acknowledge them, and deal with them. Why don’t you try reciprocating? It might get you somewhere.
By the way, I call Heusden “Huey” in honor of one of the Disney characters because of Heusden’s obsession on the boards with the existence of a talking mouse (by which he means Mickey). Finally, I’ll repeat Huey’s summation here underlining the supposed logical construction of his argument, and without further comment in order to illustrate the strength of my rebuttal:
HU: This necessary being cannot therefore exist in the objective sense, since there cannot be an objective relation between the necessary being and anything outside of it, as everything that exists is contained within the necessary being. Since the necessary being cannot be stated to have objective existence, then neither can it be a conscious being. The necessary being can therefore neither be conscious of something outside of itself, nor of itself. God therefore cannot be both a necessary being and a conscious being simultaneously. If God is said to exist, then either He is a conscious being that is not a necessary being, a finite and temporal form of existence or He is a necessary being which does not exist in the objective sense, and can therefore not be a conscious being. God therefore, in the way that He has been defined, does not exist.
Huey Ends, Flipper Begins
FL: The God of the Gaps has been previously debated ad nauseum. Bob’s tack appeared to be one which indicates science had stalled in its search for natural origins when in reality the opposite is true. His science is based more on rhetoric than analytical observation.
BE: God of the Gaps: That’s it? Flipper? That’s it? Why didn’t you take this center-stage opportunity to list the form of my Post 5b rebuttal of the God of the Gaps, and then refute it? Zakath failed even to address my rebuttal, and now you join him and instead of a rebuttal of the argument you just throw a stone and run away to another topic? Recall that my rebuttal to the God of the Gaps deals with the difference between filling and closing gaps? You gave no illustration of how my argument was based on rhetoric, so I’ll fill in that gap and show its substance with these summary quotes:
Flipper, does science, or does it not, resolve gaps in knowledge in these two very different ways? Scientists like Redi, Pasteur, and Mendel closed the gap of understanding the daily spontaneous generation of life by showing that it doesn’t happen! With scientific observation and discoveries of laws of biology they proved that such a gap in knowledge never really existed, because the proposed functionality of nature does not exist. Science thereby falsified the daily spontaneous generation of life that atheists hoped for. Science fills some gaps, and closes others. Atheists should readily admit to this function of science, but as shown since Post 5b, atheists instinctively stay away from such simple and clear observations. But when an atheist admits that science can close gaps (because they were imaginary gaps to begin with), he hasn’t thereby conceded defeat. All he’s done at that point is to exercise a bit of honesty and admit something that is overtly obvious. But that little baby step takes him in a direction that he fears. For, once he admits that science can show both the capabilities of matter, and prove fundamental limitations, then to be intellectually honest, from that point forward whenever the atheist claims a God of the Gaps defense, he must give evidence why the gap being debated has not already been closed. And that is the kind of careful thinking about fundamental issues that atheists naturally recoil from. (For example, only three possibilities account for the universe: always here, popped into existence, or supernaturally created. Right? So, the atheist typically is afraid of such simple yet ironclad reasoning, and fears being trapped by science if hard science disproves the possibility of the first two possibilities. Thus atheists like Flipper prefer just to avoid clear thinking, and use science as an occasional prop rather than learn from all its findings.)Science has addressed gaps in human knowledge in two ways. Science has filled gaps, and it has closed gaps. Here we go again:
Filled gaps represent previously unconnected observations which new knowledge has linked together. For example, men observed that rain fell from the sky, and that the sky never seemed to run out of rain, but people could not fill in the gap to explain the apparently eternal supply of rain. An understanding of evaporation and the water cycle filled the gap between these observations, and explained their association.
Closed gaps represent previously linked observations that science has permanently disassociated. For example, men observed that dead animals would putrefy, and that life spontaneously generated from the carcasses, but they could not fill in the gap to explain how new life (albeit maggots) could arise so regularly out of death.
Wouldn’t it have been great for Flipper, Taoist or Huey to answer these Gap rebuttal questions from 5b:
Only after being shot up with sodium pentothal did Zakath have the courage to answer such simple and direct questions in my Post 10. But where are you atheists on these simple matters of basic science? Also from my Post 5b Gaps rebuttal:BQ14: Can science possibly discover real limitations of matter, energy, and natural processes? a) Yes b) No If No, please explain.
BQ15: Can you admit a bias in which you would be slower to recognize a scientific limitation of nature than would a theist? a) Yes b) No
BQ16: Could science conceivably ever falsify natural origins by closing the gap for the origin of the universe and biological life, showing conclusively that natural processes themselves cannot account for such origins? a) Yes b) No If Yes, please explain how. If No, please explain why not.
FL: Do the Hubble Deep Field images show an unchanging universe? By no means.We theists do not argue from “what we do not know, but from what we do know…” In post 2b I asked rhetorically: “Applying knowledge to see the functional limitations in systems and laws [is] a scientific proposition, no?” I also stated: “The theist applies the most well-tested and fundamental laws of science to eliminate the possibility [of natural origins].” And I almost pleaded: “Zakath, I think you have misunderstood some of my arguments, so I am going to clarify them for you. If you find error in the clarification, I will be grateful if you can identify it. But please don’t just ignore the clarification and continue to repeat the mischaracterizations of my evidence. You have accused me of using ignorance as evidence. I agree with you that ignorance is no evidence. I can’t explain how gravity works, or why interior designers use odd-numbered groupings, or why vanilla ice cream outsells chocolate, but none of this ignorance, no ignorance, can reasonably be used as evidence for God. And if you ever find me doing such a thing, I will appreciate getting flagged. My evidence to you was not based upon what we don’t know, but upon what we do know, with the claim that your naturalistic time and chance proposals cannot work because they contradict what we do know! That’s not ignorance for evidence, that’s applying knowledge. If you can identify how I am misapplying knowledge, please do so. But don’t say that I’m arguing from ignorance. Instead, show me how I’ve incorrectly applied knowledge…”
In the fourth round, Zakath presented his God of the Gaps argument as though it were a new introduction into our debate. But he had made the same case in the last four rounds. That is fine. What is not fine, and what speaks to the common denial among atheists generally, is that he utterly ignored my response (remember IMA Flipper?). And his atheist supporters in the grandstands greeted his round four Gaps post with cheerleading, seeming also not to have noticed that my rebuttal still stood unopposed. For atheism, the God of the Gaps contention is a leading argument. And if I present my leading argument, and it is fundamentally challenged, I am then compelled to address the challenge. Either I rebut it, admit that I cannot, or ask for more time to think it through. I don’t ignore it, [and I don’t throw a rock at it and run,] especially not in a moderated, publicly held forum.
BE: Straw Man: Dear readers: in logic, a Straw Man is an imposter argument set up so as to be easily refuted, by which someone intentionally or by oversight misstates an opponent’s position, and then proceeds to show the obvious error of that position. So for Flipper’s first attack, he utterly IMA (Ignored My Argument), and for his second attack, he ISM (Invented a Straw Man).
So far FL IMA and FL ISM. Flipper’s Straw Man argument here (and in his second-to-last question below) implies that we Christians propose an unchanging universe. We don’t. Christians know that God created a vibrant, functioning universe, and we celebrate scientific discoveries of the nature of that functioning.
FL: Bob’s Prediction: Bob claimed to have out-predicted NASA’s astronomers…
BE: Flipper seems especially interested in my prediction, so I shall clarify it by making a new prediction based upon the same principles:
New Prediction: If astronomers ever claim to have photographed forming galaxies far enough away that they reveal the earliest stages of the universe and the formation of first-generation galaxies, we will always be able to objectively falsify their claim.
Two ways to test this prediction:
1) subsequent photos will peer further beyond these galaxies to show other fully formed galaxies; or,
2) any such photo will also show fully mature galaxies which will appear at the same distances (i.e., “red-shifts” or “ages”).
Thus, not the Hubble, Chandra, CGRO, SIRTF, nor any of their successor telescopes shall ever photograph a field of space far enough from Earth that they show the earliest formation of galaxies. Why not? Because galaxies do not form; they were created. Of course atheist astronomers will look at features at virtually any distance from the Milky Way and claim to see galaxies being formed. But my prediction avoids such subjectivity. For I present conditions that can objectively falsify photographic evidence of claims of supposedly first-generation galaxies forming. And as I have presented in the debate in post 7b without rebuttal, and as has been known to astronomers for decades, the stars in spiral galaxies appear to be moving in such a way that these galaxies could not be billions of years old because they would have lost their spiral shapes billions of years ago. So I maintain that Flipper’s evidence of seeing “many instances of galaxy formation” in photos is nothing more than wishful atheistic interpretation of the photos.
Further, we acknowledge the extraordinary size of the universe, and while Flipper mentioned in passing that it has trillions of stars, if it is only of the size estimated by various astronomers during the past decades, it could have quintillions of stars. But perhaps what science today perceives as the likely size of the universe is only one-billionth of one percent of its actual size, meaning that it could have octillions of stars. And while we know the universe is vast, at the same time though, I believe that some of our fundamental measurements of galactic and intergalactic distances will be adjusted significantly as hard science makes further progress. On page 296 of The Dynamic Universe, An Introduction to Astronomy by University of Colorado at Boulder professor Theodore Snow, the author gives an overview of the difference in orders of magnitude of all the known stars on some fundamental stellar features such as brightness, temperature, size, rotation, and magnetic strength. When compared to their absolute magnitude (actual brightness), stars are rather similar in the other measurements of size, temperature, magnetic strength, and speed of rotation, with our Sun being rather typical. That is, stars are all within a relatively small few magnitudes of difference regarding temperature, size, rotation, and magnetic strength. For example, one star might rotate a few hundred times faster than another, or be a couple thousand times hotter than another. But when they calculate the difference in absolute magnitude (brightness) of stars, astronomers believe that some stars are tens of thousands of times brighter than other stars. That strikes me as peculiar and I think it should bring others to question our measurements. Why? By analyzing the emission lines of starlight (the frequencies of the light spectrum from a given star that shine brighter than other frequencies), we know what elements that star is made of (what it burns as fuel, because various elements, like Hydrogen, burn with identifiable “fingerprints” in the light they emit). And by analyzing the absorption lines (the frequencies of the light spectrum from a star’s light that shine dimly or not at all), we know what kinds of gaseous clouds the light is passing through on its way to Earth, because different gases absorb different spectrums of light. Thus, we know that stars burn the same basic fuels. And yet those of similar sizes, temperatures, rotation speeds and temperatures supposedly give off absolute magnitudes that are tens of thousands of times different. Supposedly, of two similar stars, one might yield about the same brightness of our own Sun, and the other might yield an absolute magnitude 30,000,000 times brighter, even though they are of about the same size, burn the same fuel, and at the same temperature. If two similarly sized fires are burning the same fuel at about the same temperature, they should give off similar amounts of light, and one should not be 30,000 times brighter than the other. Of course, I could be in error with this, and no part of my theology or belief in God is dependent upon this observation, but I think that astronomers have more work to do in nailing down distances and absolute magnitude. For example, unless there is an error in the collection or interpretation of the data as is possible, astronomers have measured widely divergent red-shift values in connected or paired entities, which if those red-shift values are interpreted in the traditional fashion would suggest that the connected entities are at hugely different distances from the Earth, which indicates some level of red-shift misunderstanding.
FL: The higher the red shift, the further away an object must be…
BE: Today, I spoke by phone with a professor of Russian and English who teaches at a college in Uzbekistan. She told me that their government had forbidden her generation from reading the Bible or even talking about God. Until she began translating my manuscript, The Plot, into Russian (working with one of her former students who is now living in Michigan), she had never held a Bible in her hands, and was unaware that Jesus Christ was thought of as an actual historical person. I can report that with the defeat of enforced atheism in Uzbekistan, her faith is growing steadily! Oh yeah, back to Flipper, red shift, and the early universe… Well, when I hung up, a friend reminded me of the statement by the Russian physicist Lev Landau, that “Cosmologists are often wrong, but never in doubt.”
The Stretched Universe: Flipper, please let me first make an analogy. When providing evidence for theism as against atheism, or vice versa, it is best to provide evidence that, if true, favors one position and not the other. For example, evolutionists go on and on showing similar functions among various species, and argue the similar functions are evidence for evolution. But of course, if the Creator made similarly functioning animals, He very well may design similarly functioning parts for those animals. Thus, evolutionists can list thousands of similarities in function among species, yet with all that they have not moved the weight of the evidence even a single nudge toward evolution. So Flipper, for your red-shift argument to provide evidence against theism (to the extent that red-shift indicates distance), the idea of an expanding universe must be unique to atheism and contrary to theism. However, between 2,000 and 3,000 years before Hubble, the Bible described God as “He who sits above the circle of the Earth, and… who stretches out the heavens” (Isaiah 40:22). The Bible frequently gives this description of God as “the LORD who created the heavens and stretched them out (Isa 42:5; see also Isa. 44:24; 45:12; 48:13; 51:13; Ps. 104:2; Jer. 10:12; 51:15; Zech. 12:1). Thousands of years after the writing of Genesis, popular scientific thought declared that the universe had a beginning (the Big Bang), while the Bible had declared that the universe was not eternal but had a point of creation all along. I agree with Galileo when he quoted in his 1615 Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina of Tuscany, “That the intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how one goes to heaven; not how heaven goes.” Nevertheless, the Bible contains incidental scientific observations some of which are extraordinary as I show in BRVII, Post 10, under Special Revelation: Scientific Knowledge. Thus while the Bible may not speak of a currently expanding universe, it speaks of a universe that had a beginning (Gen. 1:1; etc.) and a universe that is growing old (Isa. 51:6; Ps. 102:25-26; Heb. 1:10-11) as consistent with the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and it speaks of a universe that was stretched out from a central point (Isa. 42:5), which is what Hubble’s constant tells us.
FL: Quasars… from the early universe… have been observed at high red shift…
BE: Quasars: If Quasars, star-like objects, exhibit “high red shift” and thus are considered to be billions of lights years away in the farthest regions of the universe and yet visible, it seems that we should rethink our understanding of what they are and how far away they really are.
FL: “galaxy formation simulations… [And] Page three of a draft paper on galaxy evolution sets a computer simulation image of early galaxy and star formation 500 million years after the Big Bang next to some actually observed images.
BE: Simulations: While attending Arizona State University as a computer science major, for about a year I worked for McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company in their Apache AH-64 Helicopter division in the simulation department, and I understand more about simulation software than the average person interested in simulation. (Not to boast but to obtain at least some small credibility regarding computer simulation, Jack Real the president of McDonnell Douglas gave me a commendation for outstanding achievement.) It is extraordinarily difficult to create complex simulation software that is not biased by the desired outcome of the engineers who created it. In the early 1990s I read Richard Dawkin’s book titled The Blind Watchmaker in which he showcases an embarrassing absurdity of evolution simulation which he called his “biomorphs.” In short, these claims of simulations are not the least persuasive to me. (Anyone up for some double-blind simulation development?) Simulation results can simply reflect its creator’s bias.
Flipper, you have knocked down another Straw Man with your quote that the clockwork:
FL: solar system Bob describes in his posts is not accurate – the solar system is, in fact, chaotic.
BE: Order and Chaos: I have never stated, and do not believe, that the solar system lacks randomness and even chaos. Even Jesus mentions “chance” for that matter (Luke 10:31). Also, the Bible teaches that when sin entered into the world, the entire cosmos suffered. I realize that you would not accept any connection between mankind’s rebellion against God, and the resulting breakdown in the cosmos. The ecosystems on Earth are interrelated, although we are just beginning to unlock the mysteries of the interaction between species. And our Earth is part of the ecosystem of our solar system. Atheists believe that meteorites on Earth have come from other planets. What they don’t realize is that debris from the Earth also left our atmosphere and has negatively affected the functioning of the solar system. Of course, most of the rock and water shot up in geophysical catastrophe rained back down upon the Earth, deposited the “KT layer of Iridium” and any dropped any “meteorites” that may contain signs of life (for there was no life on Mars). However, the disarray in the solar system notwithstanding, the beautiful clockwork order of our solar system accounts for vastly more matter and energy than does the chaos. While trouble can easily wreak havoc in well-designed systems, the laws of physics do not drive toward the development of the extraordinary solar system intricacies I document in my fifth line of evidence for God.
FL: Let’s quickly review some of the evidence that favors the Big Bang theory. What we know of the Hubble Constant, that measurement of the universal expansion rate that helps us to gauge its age and size. It again confirms that our universe is indeed ancient and expanding. We live in a vast universe filled with trillions of stars and other planetary systems.
BE: Hubble Constant: The Hubble constant helps in the measurement of distance, but beyond that you are only making size and age assumptions based upon your bias. Further, theists do not claim that the universe is not expanding.
By the physical laws, logic, and reason, a natural Big Bang could not be the beginning of the universe. Why not? The universe could not make itself from nothing; and the universe could not have been here forever. Yet you say there is evidence of the Big Bang. That evidence must be extraordinarily powerful, because if it existed, it would refute the laws of thermodynamics. You give two forms of evidence, the “Hubble Constant” measurement of an expanding universe, and “background radiation” pointing toward an initial “high energy event.” Let’s see:
FL: Cosmic background radiation lets us build a picture of a universe growing from a high energy event.
BE: CMB: True. But now, apparently, we both agree with the evidence of CMB that the universe was not always here. So that brings us to the subject of this debate, Does God Exist?, and thus to the question, Did the universe begin naturally or was it supernaturally created? If the Big Bang occurred, or the universe was created by God, the event was a high energy event. Again, some of your evidence as here does not favor atheism as opposed to theism. If you are going to defend atheism, you might as well submit evidence that, if valid, would actually support atheism as opposed to theism.
FL: In quantum physics, it is possible for “something” to come from “nothing.” Theorists have developed some highly speculative but mathematically allowable frameworks for the creation event. There are even some possible ways by which these models can be tested. What equivalency is offered by the theist?
BE: So, you think that scientists can experimentally test this “something from nothing” concept? You atheists really do desperately hope that something can come from nothing, don’t you! Well, it can’t. What can we theists offer as compared to this atheistic hope? Let me make another prediction: No test will result in the ability to make something from nothing; especially, not something as big as the universe .
FL: Can Bob explain what parts of General Relativity he accepts and why he doesn’t accept other parts?
BE: Relativity: Flipper, you are assuming that General Relativity proves the Big Bang. That’s simply not true. Big Bang equations are a specific solution to the General Relativity equations only if you make simplifying assumptions specifically designed to produce that result.
FL: What are his problems with the Standard Model?
BE: Quantum Physics: Flipper, once again, you are not showing how the understanding of sub-atomic physics presented in the standard model would support atheism as opposed to theism. If you make assumptions regarding the Big Bang expansion rate in order to get the right temperatures in the universe to produce our current allotment of elements by the standard model, then what you have done is reasoned backward, and assumed that which you are trying to prove. Your question implies what atheists often suggest, that scientists have figured out origins and only the uneducated doubt their work. But Gratton and Steinhardt write in the June 19, 2003 issue of Nature that “The standard model is less a solid edifice than a scaffolding with many gaps, resting on uncertain foundations.” Personally, I have no problem with furthering our understanding of physics, and I look forward to the time when physicists incorporate gravitational attraction into the standard model, and hopefully, improve on its foundations! You can also read in this article about how Stephen Hawking’s proposal in his best-seller A Brief History of Time would lead to an almost empty universe. Oh, and I almost forgot, how about this quote from the article: “What events led to the onset of inflation? And does the Universe even contain the ingredients necessary for inflation…? Without answers to these questions, the model is incomplete. Most cosmologists have set these questions aside… [yet] the question of what happened before inflation seems hard to avoid.” So Flipper, your questions can imply to the gullible reader that you atheists have this cosmology thing all worked out. Do you really believe that, or did you just get carried away trying to win the argument?
FL: The sizes of galaxies… increase continuously from one billion years to six billion years after the big bang.
BE: Please line up by size…: Again, you present questionable evidence with such confidence. Perhaps you hope to mislead gullible or uneducated readers. But you will not easily trick folks educated at Cornell University:
Because size is such a simple concept it should be an excellent tool to investigate the geometry of the universe. However there is a paradox in that the observational results appear to fit a static Euclidean model where angular size is inversely proportional to redshift and they cannot be reconciled with the standard cosmological model without invoking evolution or some other effect such as size dependence on magnitude together with selection effects. There is no general agreement (Nilsson et al. 1993) on what the evolution or special effects should be. For a given set of data it is usually possible to find an evolution function that provides a good fit. However the freedom provided by the use of an evolution function means that the use of angular size data to test the standard model reduces to arguments about whether the evolution function is reasonable or whether it can be disentangled from other z dependent effects.
Yeah, I’d say you nailed that one Flipper. The difference in quality between my evidence for theism in Battle Royale VII, is that the evidence I provide, like the synchronicity in orbits, Venus in retrograde orbit while showing her same face toward us without sufficient gravity to cause this, biological functionality, etc., these are not in dispute. Your supposed factual evidence is often in dispute by the same secular scientists you quote. In the future, when you use evidence which is largely in doubt by your own side, it would be best to admit such. Otherwise, you might get caught!
FL: Is the universe huge, ancient, and changing or isn’t it?
BE: All or Nothing?: Flipper, did you intend to imply that the universe must be all three or none of the three? If so, why would you think that? The universe is huge and changing, yet certainly not billions of years old.
BE: We Know God Exists: because:
1. the universe could not always have been here, nor could it have made itself from nothing
2. even the basic functions of biological life are irreducibly and wildly complex and could not originate by the laws of physics
3. consciousness, that is, self-awareness is non-physical and could not arise from atoms and molecules
4. only a moral God can account for absolute right and wrong and the human conscience
5. the laws of physics cannot account for broad and extraordinary features of the solar system
6. even if evolution were possible, apart from supervision, even the simplest proteins would each require trillions of years to form
7. human behavior indicates the existence of the soul and spirit and the real existence of ideas indicate the existence of a non-physical reality
8. higher biological functions like sight, flight, and echo-location are so wildly and irreducibly complex they could not evolve in stages
9. apart from the existence of God, logic and reason have no foundation, and thus leading atheists deny the objective nature of the laws of logic
10. God has revealed Himself uniquely in the Bible and confirmed its claims through scientific statements, prophecies, and many other wonderful proofs that God became flesh in Jesus Christ, who was crucified by Pontius Pilate, and rose from the dead on the third day, according to the Scriptures, and that those who trust in Him will have everlasting life.
Sincerely, -Bob Enyart
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