The Probabilty of there being an Intelligent Designer

by cantleave 140 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • bohm


    The chain of causality cannot extend backwards infinitely. This would create a paradox. If there was an infinite chain of cause/effects, then it would take an infinite amount of time to arrive at the present. An infinite chain of events cannot be formed by successive addition, and the flow of time is a form of successive addition. The present moment of time is the sum of all previous moments if time. Therefore the Universe had a beginning. And the beginning itself had to be before causality, before time itself. It had to be an eternal (not the same as infinite!) uncaused cause.

    wrong wrong wrong.

    First off, a big misapplication of zenons paradox. you assume a linear time coordinate for starters. Read up on some GR and especially the solutions to einsteins field equations around a black hole, then you will see that funky things DO happend to the time coordinate that kindof mess up your argument.

    Second, a lot of confusion about causality. Causality is NOT something you can just assume and then go around prooving things, you can build theories with closed time loops, etc.

    Thirdly, the last part of your argument is really strange. It has to be eternal? how do you define eternal without a time coordinate? what about other more exotic coordinates that this event may have 'happened' in?. Just because its uncharted teritories, you cant assume that its full of pink unicorns.

    I has often met the attitude from (nonprofessional) philosophers that physics and mathematics wouldnt really work without smart guys thinking and really 'understanding' the foundation, but in my oppinion science and mathematics (today) do that pretty well, and infact drive the philosophy on science (GR, quantum mechanics, principia mathematica and goedels theorem, baysian foundation on physics are good examples) rather than the other way around.

    When creationists are so keen to turn the existence of god into a philosophical question (rather than a physical or a result of some logical theory constructed for that purpose) I personally think its because creationists have realized that whenever they discuss with knowlegeable people in those fields they tend to loose. Philosophy, on the other hand, just require you to say wierd and complicated things without really backing it up by experiments and calculations. See the "law of causality" as an example.

  • wobble

    Dear Cantleave,

    Thanks for the link, but that explanation has been proved wrong.

    It also smacks of the WT explanation of the divine name in the NT, the argument you pointed me to said the strata with the evidence must be "missing", like the tetragram in all early manuscripts. I have many questions about how evolution works and did work, but I think they are for another thread, or perhaps another place other than this (?) We don't want this thread wandering off topic, it is too good.

    As for an Intelligent Designer, I am agnostic on this, open to proof or reasoning, but I must question "His" ability, the whole thing seems a bit of a shambles in a lot of ways,as already mentioned, creatures going extinct,long before man's baleful influence, the profligacy of nature, millions of sperm that swim like F and then just die etc. etc.



  • bohm

    Zoiks: Thanks for sharing the link for the E coli long term evolution experiment, thats the coolest experiment on laboratory evolution i have ever read!

  • wobble

    A Creationist, and possibly a Dub, would say ,about that experiment "Yes, but they are still E coli bacteria, they have not evolved into a different species"

    Don't you just love the "thinking" ?



  • zoiks

    Bohm - no problem! It is really cool and exciting stuff.

    Wobble - I do love that "thinking" too!

    The cool thing for me is that this is something that can be observed within our lifetime, and it is evolutionary change with no true selection pressure. Add a little of that, and all of a sudden maybe all E coli uses citrate as food. Compound that with a few more mutations to its genome, and you're moving along a crazy path that leads...somewhere else. Interesting stuff.

  • bohm

    CHALAM: "I come back to the analogy of watching a TV that is not tuned in. Watch for a long time and you will just see grey noise. You can watch all day and night and see just more of the same, pure randomness. Watch a lifetime or an eternity even and no change, more grey noise. It makes sense to me that randomness leads to more randomness, not order. You will never see a picture of a tree, or a dog or the sun setting over Ipanema beach."

    There are a problem here. Evolution is not the theory that randomness alone leads to order - evolution is about mutation (pure randomness) and selection (NOT randomness). Like i said, people work with genetic algorithms every day to solve engineering problems, are you seriously saying that instead of using the principles underpinning evolution, they might as well do a totally random search?

    Lets take the snowflake as an example. What is the probability of a snowflake forming? You might build a model where you just mix water molecules and see what happends (the untuned tv) - this process will never result in a snowflake, so you might conclude that all snowflakes require an intelligent designer. The problem is that that model is wrong, snowflakes form based on a different model than water molecules being assembled on random, but something along the lines of 'water wapour freezing around impurities' (whatever). In that model snowflakes are created all the time without the help of an intelligent designer.

    Its similar with evolution. You assume evolution is about a lot of randomness and suddenly you get a dog - thats simply not the case.

    Read Zoiks article on E-coli, its pretty interesting stuff.

  • Deputy Dog
    Deputy Dog

    bohm Just so I understand, you're having a problem with the fact that every effect has a cause? I was responding to Jeff's statement: "It keeps coming back to the 'Who created the creator?' for me. And of course, what was first? Something had to exist to form what came later in the universe, and how did that happen?" Jeff is making the assumption, that everything has a cause. I disagree, I believe "effects" have causes, everything is not an effect. God by definition is eternal, He is not an effect. As BurnTheShips pointed out "The chain of causality cannot extend backwards infinitely."

  • bohm

    DD: " Just so I understand, you're having a problem with the fact that every effect has a cause?"

    Yes indeed i have a problem with that "fact". You described it as a "law of causality" - can you tell me where you read about that law, or did you just assume it was a law because it sound "logical"?

    I allready mentioned that space-time may form a circular structure embedded in a higher-dimensional space - that would throw out causality. Secondly, lets take something like good old quantum mechanics: You got two electrons at a high-energy state. That state will decay (we can even measure or calculate the half-time), but we cannot say WHICH electron will decay or WHEN: It just do. That billiard-ball idea of cause and effect is deeply rooted in newtonian mechanics and you shouldnt take it as an established fact when talking about the origin of the universe (and the time coordinat itself).

    " And of course, what was first? Something had to exist to form what came later in the universe, and how did that happen?", good deep questions. No proof of God, though.

    "I believe "effects" have causes, everything is not an effect." Are this theorems, conjectures, observations or axioms?

    God by definition is eternal, He is not an effect. I assume you are defining god as something eternal. Then you say he has no effect. Is that your definition of "eternal" you are applying to god? Logically, your statements would mean God MAY OR MAY NOT have a cause. Where exactly does that leave us in terms of prooving anything? How about your argument from before (which translated to: monkeys have no fur, a bear is not a monkey, therefore a bear has no fur), do you agree that need some more work?

    The eternal pink unicorn to is eternal, therefore it is not an effect. How does this say anything about the existence of the eternal pink unicorn?

  • PSacramento

    First off, I believe there is a God and a huge part of that belife is based on Faith.

    I also believe that ALL of science is a tool used by God, evolution being one of those tools. There can be no science without God.

    I don't take Genesis literally.

    If we go back far enough the question of "where did *blank* came from" will never be answered by science other than, "it may have been / was always there", which is the same answer that creationst have for "who created God?".

    It think that it is great to ask these question even if we may never get the answer, it is vital though to remember that we do NOT have all the answers, neither side does.

  • bohm

    PSacramento: After i began to post here, i have become more and more fond of that way of thinking about God and faith you describe -- but with regard to your last sentence. i think no scientist will tell you he can give a definite answer, just a more correct answer, in the sence it allow him to predict more about the universe.

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