Belief in Darwinism; what does it even mean?

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Post Number:#211  Postby Unrealist42 » June 10th, 2010, 7:18 pm

Meleagar wrote:
Even so, the only scientific explanation for the thermodynamic and informational neg-entropy that the origin and continuation of life represents is that such order was imported in from somewhere; the only example we have that imports such FSCI order "from somewhere" is human intelligent design.


What you are saying is that all the information in the universe was implanted from the outside at its inception. Traveling outside the universe is traveling into the realm of mythology, the realm of gods and science fiction writers.

Your theory is based on the mythological belief of extra-universal intelligence, a god or something.
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Post Number:#212  Postby Meleagar » June 11th, 2010, 6:52 am

Unrealist42 wrote:
What you are saying is that all the information in the universe was implanted from the outside at its inception. Traveling outside the universe is traveling into the realm of mythology, the realm of gods and science fiction writers.

Your theory is based on the mythological belief of extra-universal intelligence, a god or something.


It's not "my" theory, but the theory is based upon the known empirical facts; that the universe apparently (according to current evidence) had an origin point where space-time came into existence directly implies some sort of cause exterior to the known space-time continuum.

Unless one wishes to argue that space-time was caused by nothing, or caused by itself, then the existence of an origin point for space-time logically, and necessarily, implicates a cause that lies beyond that physical set. Godel also showed that any existent set is logically dependent upon a larger set that provided the frame work for the existence of the known set, indicating that space-time "nature" as we know it must be supported by some larger or deeper framework.

Characterizing the logically necessary implication of known scientific, empirical facts as "mythology" and "science fiction" is nothing more than trying to insert emotional bias into the debate.

I was only speaking of the generation of the space-time universe as we currently know and perceive it; "the universe" as it actually is may be far different from that which most people believe, and could as easily be fundamentally based on coherent information and intent as it could be fundamentally based on chance formulations of universal constants set by some unguided, unique event.

"The universe" might exist as a superset that goes far beyond what is currently accepted by mainstream science, and the presence of what we call the space-time continuum might be a relatively minor subset within that larger framework. Indeed, logic dicatates that this must be the case.

Of course, you are free to posit a competing theory of where such highly ordered energy and information came from to precipitate the advent of the big bang, or where the highly ordered information that is necessary for life came from if information, as well as energy, had been degrading in usefulness for about 10 billion years before life arrived on the scene.
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Post Number:#213  Postby Unrealist42 » June 11th, 2010, 7:14 pm

Meleagar wrote:It's not "my" theory, but the theory is based upon the known empirical facts; that the universe apparently (according to current evidence) had an origin point where space-time came into existence directly implies some sort of cause exterior to the known space-time continuum.


Logical extrapolation from what we do know into what we do not know is just pure speculation, guesswork, mythology. Often times this leads to scientific breakthroughs but those require experimental evidence. The scientists at CERN are searching for the "god particle" but even that will not confirm the existence of god, or anything else external to our universe.

Unless one wishes to argue that space-time was caused by nothing, or caused by itself, then the existence of an origin point for space-time logically, and necessarily, implicates a cause that lies beyond that physical set. Godel also showed that any existent set is logically dependent upon a larger set that provided the frame work for the existence of the known set, indicating that space-time "nature" as we know it must be supported by some larger or deeper framework.


I am not arguing anything. I am just trying to find out what you are arguing about.

You are conflating experimental evidence that seems to confirm the theory that the universe had a singular beginning point into the non-fact that this beginning point had to come from somewhere else.

You are expecting me to accept unproven assumptions as truth just because they seem to you to be logically unassailable. I am not a big fan of the use of logic as truth, that is faith not science.

Godel speculates as does everyone else who concerns themselves with Cosmology which is a branch of Metaphysics.

The only "fact" is that we do not know.

Characterizing the logically necessary implication of known scientific, empirical facts as "mythology" and "science fiction" is nothing more than trying to insert emotional bias into the debate.


There is no logical necessity for something to exist before the universe began. There may be an emotional or religious necessity but not a logical one.

Even though logic may lead one to a conclusion that seems truthful it does not necessarily mean that actual truth has been discovered.

Logic used to dictate that the Earth was the center of the universe. Logic used to dictate that disease was caused by witches. Logic has many pitfalls.

"The universe" might exist as a superset that goes far beyond what is currently accepted by mainstream science, and the presence of what we call the space-time continuum might be a relatively minor subset within that larger framework. Indeed, logic dicatates that this must be the case.


Might, that is the operative word here. Theories about anything beyond the known universe are just speculative guesses, not really any different than mythology. Logic can dictate a lot but not the truth, truth requires experimental evidence, at least as far as science is concerned.

Even if experimental evidence eventually points to extra-universe existence this will by no means imply any intelligent action in the formation of our particular universe unless evidence of the intelligence itself is also discovered.

The reality is that we just do not know and that is what any reasonable scientist will admit. Only an unreasonable non-scientist insists that their speculation be taken as truth when all they have is a train of logic.

Me, I am waiting for the experimental evidence to come in before I agree with anything.
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Post Number:#214  Postby Unrealist42 » June 11th, 2010, 7:17 pm

Sorry, double post. I got a server error message.
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Post Number:#215  Postby Meleagar » June 11th, 2010, 11:28 pm

Unrealist42 wrote:Logical extrapolation from what we do know into what we do not know is just pure speculation, guesswork, mythology.


No, it's not. It's called a logical inference.

You are conflating experimental evidence that seems to confirm the theory that the universe had a singular beginning point into the non-fact that this beginning point had to come from somewhere else.


No, I'm just pointing out the necessary logical axiom that a thing which has a beginning cannot cause itself; nature cannot cause itself to exist; the universe cannot cause itself to exist; this means something else caused it due to the logical maxim that all things that began must have been caused by something else; if not, then the thing either caused itself, or it was caused by nothing. If things can cause themselves, or can be caused by nothing, then logic breaks down.

You are expecting me to accept unproven assumptions as truth just because they seem to you to be logically unassailable. I am not a big fan of the use of logic as truth, that is faith not science.


I have no such expectations. I'm not making claims of truth, I'm pointing out logically necessary axioms and conclusions - necessary, because without them there is no logical debate available. We can discuss all sorts of irrational views and beliefs; I have several myself. However, they cannot be logically justified or debated.

Godel speculates as does everyone else who concerns themselves with Cosmology which is a branch of Metaphysics.


How do you know that everyone else "speculates"? Are you omniscient?

The only "fact" is that we do not know.


That "fact" indicates that you do not know what "we" do or do not know, and so cannot justify such a statement because it is self-refuting. If you wish to embrace self-refuting positions, that's up to you.

There is no logical necessity for something to exist before the universe began. There may be an emotional or religious necessity but not a logical one.


A denial isn't a rebuttal. What caused the universe? Nothing? Itself? Or something other than the universe? Is there a 4th option?

Logic used to dictate that the Earth was the center of the universe. Logic used to dictate that disease was caused by witches. Logic has many pitfalls.


Please support your contention that logic ever dictated either of those conclusions.
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Post Number:#216  Postby Unrealist42 » June 14th, 2010, 9:40 pm

Meleagar wrote:
No, I'm just pointing out the necessary logical axiom that a thing which has a beginning cannot cause itself; nature cannot cause itself to exist; the universe cannot cause itself to exist; this means something else caused it due to the logical maxim that all things that began must have been caused by something else; if not, then the thing either caused itself, or it was caused by nothing. If things can cause themselves, or can be caused by nothing, then logic breaks down.



If the universe was created by some outside actor, where did that come from? You claim that everything had to begin from something else but if we keep on that path we end up in an infinite regression of origins, a trap.

There is more of a logical necessity for nothing to have existed before the big bang because to assume otherwise quickly becomes logically unreasonable.


I have no such expectations. I'm not making claims of truth, I'm pointing out logically necessary axioms and conclusions - necessary, because without them there is no logical debate available. We can discuss all sorts of irrational views and beliefs; I have several myself. However, they cannot be logically justified or debated.


Your maxims and axioms are not reasonable as I explained above. If you have another line of logic and reason available please describe it.

In any case this is not a debate but a discourse of discovery. You have taken a position and I am trying, through the time honored activity of philosophical discourse, to satisfy myself that your position is believable.
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Post Number:#217  Postby Meleagar » June 14th, 2010, 11:22 pm

Unrealist42 wrote:If the universe was created by some outside actor, where did that come from? You claim that everything had to begin from something else but if we keep on that path we end up in an infinite regression of origins, a trap.


No, I didn't make that claim. What I said is that everything that begins, or has an origin, must have logically been caused by something else. This is why Aristotle described the need for an uncaused cause, an immovable mover, an eternal God.

Since the big bang evidence indicates that the universe began about 15 billion years ago, we can infer that something other than what we now call nature caused the universe to exist. Somewhere upriver in the system of causation there must be an uncaused cause, an eternal god.

Furthermore, the only system of "cause and effect" that we are aware of is that which occurs in our temporal, physical universe; that which is outside it is not necessarily bound by such mechanisms.

There is more of a logical necessity for nothing to have existed before the big bang because to assume otherwise quickly becomes logically unreasonable.


The existence of an uncaused cause, a final orgin, is a logical necessity; otherwise, you must have a thing that causes itself, a thing caused by nothing, or infinite regression. The only logical choice is that all things ultimately caused by the uncaused cause - what one can call "god".

Your maxims and axioms are not reasonable as I explained above. If you have another line of logic and reason available please describe it.


You explanation was about a straw man. I never said everything must have been caused - that is the folly of materialists and determinists. I said everything that has a beginning must have been caused by something else, or else you have an inescapable and unsolvalbe logic problem. The only way to avoid the causation problem is by referring to an uncaused cause - a thing that is eternal and had no beginning.

This is why the big bang evidence was so disconcerting to cosmologists; they wanted an eternal universe or a steady-state universe because of the problem of causation. The big bang theory was ridiculed as being creationist (the name "big bang" was one applied first out of ridicule) because it scientifically necessitated a supernatural (or extra-natural, or non-natural) origin of the universe.

In any case this is not a debate but a discourse of discovery.


What it is to you is up to you. Logically, one must eventually refer to an uncaused cause or else one faces infinite regression, a thing causing itself, or a thing being caused by nothing. The need for an uncaused cause is absolute, logically speaking.
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Post Number:#218  Postby Unrealist42 » June 15th, 2010, 11:56 pm

Meleagar wrote:
The existence of an uncaused cause, a final orgin, is a logical necessity; otherwise, you must have a thing that causes itself, a thing caused by nothing, or infinite regression. The only logical choice is that all things ultimately caused by the uncaused cause - what one can call "god".

Somewhere upriver in the system of causation there must be an uncaused cause, an eternal god.


I agree that there is a logical necessity for a final origin, I believe I pointed that out to you in my last post.

What I do not see is any logical necessity to go beyond that, especially if doing so requires the invocation of mythical beings, like an eternal god. Besides, invoking god just brings us back to the conundrum of infinite regression. The only way to solve that is to say that god came from nothing.

Would it not be more logical to leave mythical gods out of this and just say that the universe came from nothing?
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Post Number:#219  Postby Belinda » June 16th, 2010, 3:09 am

An uncaused cause is the cause of itself.Whether this ultimate is something that has intentions e.g.ID, or something such as nature which has no intentions, is what is under discussion.
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Post Number:#220  Postby Meleagar » June 16th, 2010, 7:57 am

Unrealist42 wrote:What I do not see is any logical necessity to go beyond that, especially if doing so requires the invocation of mythical beings, like an eternal god.


Because the evidence and logic requires it, the argument for which I have already presented, and which I will present again in this post.

Besides, invoking god just brings us back to the conundrum of infinite regression. The only way to solve that is to say that god came from nothing.


No. "God" is the term that refers to the "final cause", the eternal being that is the source of all causation. It invokes no "infinite regression" or "causation from nothing" because it is the eternal uncaused cause.

A deliberate being is required to be the causeless cause, or else how did it generate the universe? The only useful description of a causeless cause that creates things is that it is an intentional agency - or else one is back to irrational explanations of origin.

Furthermore, that the universe is so orderly that continuous, living beings can exist with rational minds which can deliberately discern truthful statement about the world to the point of being able to manipulate materials and forces to generate virtually infinite amounts of specified complex functionality, directly implicates a final cause, a purpose, what Aristotle called the "good" of all things.

A purposeless, happenstance universe cannot generate an encyclopedia, a computer, a space shuttle, a battleship. There must be incredible heirarchical order imposed from a systems management and development perspective in order for everything to exist in just the right states (strong anthropic argument) so that anything cohesive and significant can exist, much less self-replicating, cognizant life that can reason and generate marvels of entropy-defying order and complexity and functionality.

This necessarily means - logically - that the final cause that generated the universe did so with deliberate purpose from a systems development perspective. IOW, there had to be a teleological final goal or purpose in mind.

The conclusion is: the final cause must have been an eternal, uncaused, deliberate, intelligent agency that created the universe for a purpose. IMO, that description meets the fundamental requirements for the term "god" to be an appropriate label.

Would it not be more logical to leave mythical gods out of this and just say that the universe came from nothing?


If you wish to argue that the idea that something can come from nothing is rational, we don't have anything left to debate, because things can just pop into existence from nothing and rational observation and orderly inference based on cause and effect is destroyed.
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Post Number:#221  Postby Unrealist42 » June 16th, 2010, 5:41 pm

Meleagar wrote:The conclusion is: the final cause must have been an eternal, uncaused, deliberate, intelligent agency that created the universe for a purpose. IMO, that description meets the fundamental requirements for the term "god" to be an appropriate label.


I was really wondering how long this was going to go on before you had to admit that Intelligent Design is really just belief in god.

If you wish to argue that the idea that something can come from nothing is rational, we don't have anything left to debate, because things can just pop into existence from nothing and rational observation and orderly inference based on cause and effect is destroyed.


If god can just pop into existence from nowhere why can't a universe? The only reason you would need to invoke god in this scenario is if you have a need for god to exist in the first place.

It has become apparent from our discussion that Intelligent Design is based on a position of divine creation. Since god is, by definition, an eternal deliberate intelligent agent for causation ID invokes these attributes as truths that lead to the inescapable conclusion that god must exist. I see this as nothing but circular reasoning based on irrational belief.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Move along folks, nothing left to discuss here.
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Post Number:#222  Postby Meleagar » June 16th, 2010, 6:08 pm

Unrealist42 wrote:I was really wondering how long this was going to go on before you had to admit that Intelligent Design is really just belief in god.


You are apparently conflating two different discussions. I'm not talking about ID in the above posts. I'm making a philosophical argument about the logical necessity of the existence of a god.

If god can just pop into existence from nowhere why can't a universe? The only reason you would need to invoke god in this scenario is if you have a need for god to exist in the first place.


God isn't proposed to have "popped into existence"; god is the proposed eternal uncaused cause from which other events that have a beginning are ultimately caused by, and without which one is fored into irrational positions concerning cause and effect.

It has become apparent from our discussion that Intelligent Design is based on a position of divine creation.


It is not.
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Post Number:#223  Postby Juice » June 16th, 2010, 9:47 pm

"Exactly"! Without an uncaused cause all other propositions lead to infinite regress.

Yes, lets put all the cards on the table, that while ID does not include, suggest or describe a designer as part of the theory it does and should get the philosophical dialog started considering the logical necessity for an uncaused cause.

With all the theories, subsets and ineptness of evolution to "conclude" particular necessities for that "theory" to be viably consistent that any consideration of an uncaused cause or "God" should not be part of that dialog as a reason to make the theory of evolution one that exists to remove "God" from the dialog despite the numerous inconsistencies and unexplainable's in the theory of evolution, making it just as supernatural as any consideration of an uncaused cause being responsible for our existence.

If an uncaused cause or God is part of a logically considered conclusion then why shouldn't God or an uncaused cause be part of the dialog?

Unrealist42- Mind and matter. Free Will is part of the design and negates determinism. A logical necessity to Know and accept God. "If" God exists and created all that is, then is a determined material reality necessary when free will is also a determined constant for those entities with a mind?

Consider a mind in a perfect vacuum, a perfect void. On what basis would it, could it create without a basis for an idea? And, if an idea presents then a reality is created.
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Post Number:#224  Postby Belinda » June 17th, 2010, 5:26 am

Yes, lets put all the cards on the table, that while ID does not include, suggest or describe a designer as part of the theory it does and should get the philosophical dialog started considering the logical necessity for an uncaused cause.

That's right, Juice, Intelligent Design suggests only disembodied intentions. The traditional God is widely supposed to have a body, albeit a supernatural body, that is capable of emotions such as jealousy.But Intelligent Design is never supposed to be jealous, angry, beneficent, all-knowing, or omnipresent.

I want to know and I still do not know, whether or not Intelligent Design originated the natural world after the manner of the deist's God, or whether Intelligent Design can intervene in the natural world despite its initial conditions.If ID can so intervene then it has miraculous powers.
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Post Number:#225  Postby Meleagar » June 17th, 2010, 6:58 am

Juice wrote:"Exactly"! Without an uncaused cause all other propositions lead to infinite regress.

Yes, lets put all the cards on the table, that while ID does not include, suggest or describe a designer as part of the theory it does and should get the philosophical dialog started considering the logical necessity for an uncaused cause.


I agree. Just as gravity, entropy and evolution are scientific theories that can lead to ideas, dialogue, debate and investigation that is not formally part of those respective theories, of course ID theory can generate implications and debate about all sorts of things.

In modern evolutionary theory, the literature from many scientists - including Dawkins, Coyne, Darwin, etc. - includes theological and design arguments, even up to the point that many scientific papers have had in them comments that certain supposedly inefficient or non-optimal features argue against any "designer"; that argument isn't part of evolutionary theory proper, but is rather just a side dialogue or observation from evolutionary theorists. Those are theological arguments extending from scientific implications.

Many ID theorists, such as Guillermo Gonzalez and Dembski, argue that ultimately the designer is God, and that the universe was in fact largely designed - but they also make sure to point out that this is not a prediction or asertion of the theory of intelligent design proper.

It is when people conflate some implications of a theory with the theory itself that people most often become confused about what the theory actually states. Just because Darwinists make theological arguments from scientific impliacations doesn't make neo-Darwinism a theory about God, any more than such arguments make ID a theory about God.

With all the theories, subsets and ineptness of evolution to "conclude" particular necessities for that "theory" to be viably consistent that any consideration of an uncaused cause or "God" should not be part of that dialog as a reason to make the theory of evolution one that exists to remove "God" from the dialog despite the numerous inconsistencies and unexplainable's in the theory of evolution, making it just as supernatural as any consideration of an uncaused cause being responsible for our existence.


IMO any theory (neo-darwinist evolution) that relies upon chance, natural forces and deep time to generate the phenomena in question, then fails to produce a model of chance, natural forces and deep time that formally predicts, in principle, what we actually observe in the world, cannot be anything more than a speculative hypothesis.
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