Do You Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist?

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Dr. Frank Turek guest hosts for Dr. Brown today, explaining why he doesn’t have enough faith to be an atheist and taking your calls. Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.

 

Hour 1:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: “If you have a moral law then you must have a moral law giver.  You don’t get a moral law unless there’s a moral law giver.” – Frank Turek subbing in for Dr. Brown

 

Hour 2:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: “There’s excellent evidence that the New Testament is true and if the New Testament is true then Christianity is true.” – Frank Turek subbing in for Dr. Brown

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Dr. Brown and Dr. Frank Turek Talk Apologetics

92 Comments
  1. Jon, Step up to the plate and I’ll knock out the arguments that convinced you to become a Christian as well. Or you can back off and keep your faith.

  2. I guess you are borrowing the old Jehovah Witness argument that was first presented by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in 1985. This argument asserts for no good reason that the odds of a protein molecule forming by chance are so astronomical as to be virtually impossible. There are so many holes in this argument one doesn’t know quite where to begin. First of all the calculation of odds is based on the incorrect assumption that the protein molecule formed by chance which makes the calculation of odds meaningless. What goes on in Biochemistry is not chance but rather it produces complex products which interact which each other in complex ways. Also there are certain properties of living matter that also belong to inanimate matter, when it takes certain forms, crystals for example. Second this odds making assumes that the protein molecule had to take a certain form. There are countless possible proteins that promote biological activity. So if you want to calculate odds you have to account for all possible molecules that might promote life and this would include more than just proteins. I’d say the odds of creationists doing that are about the same as whatever their latest odds against the natural formation of life are. Third, the most obvious flaw in this argument is its backward reasoning. It’s looking at life in its present form, after 4 billion years of cellular evolution and assuming that the first life was just as complex. Of course the first life would have been much simpler, with no DNA and reproducing by dividing or simply falling apart.

    Now the JW’s were using this fatally flawed argument against abiogenesis as an argument against evolution which is typical creationist smoke and mirrors. The Theory of evolution explains the diversity of life we see on Earth and it applies as long as life exists. And despite the creationist’s absurd claims about evolution it always will apply. How life came about is not really relevant to evolution. There once was no life on this planet and now there is. So abiogenesis is a fact. You creationists are more than welcome to believe in your particular brand of abiogenesis. However it sounds really ridiculous for creationists to declare that the Theory of Evolution is untenable in an age of scientific enlightenment and then without missing a beat talk about two people having hundreds of children and living to be hundreds of years old. That’s not only untenable, it’s indefensible. Scientists have some pretty good ideas about how life may have formed. Creationists often mention the Miller-Urey experiments but fail to mention that since then scientists have experimented with a wide range of atmospheric conditions and discovered that complex organic molecules form under a large variety of prebiotic conditions. More bad news for creationists which is why they haven’t been making this argument anymore. I guess no one told you that you shouldn’t go there. The fact is that the experiments with atmospheric conditions may be irrelevant since life could very likely have formed around deep-sea hydrothermal vents. I’d be willing to bet we’re going to find life on Europa in just such a place. First the Bible believers will claim the scientists are wrong. But as the evidence grows the creationists will try to find a way to incorporate the findings with their [One] worldview. Finally when the evidence for the new discovery is overwhelming the creationists will give God credit for the life on Europa and claim at least one of the scientists involved with the discovery was a Christian. How many more times to we have to see this play acted out? It’s been the same story with every new scientific discovery and theory right down through history. This supposed age of scientific enlightenment has certainly not been acknowledged by the creationists the vast majority of whom live here in the United States, mostly in the former Confederacy, where it’s always okay to be wrong.

  3. Van,

    You wrote:
    “Third, the most obvious flaw in this argument is its backward reasoning. It’s looking at life in its present form, after 4 billion years of cellular evolution and assuming that the first life was just as complex. Of course the first life would have been much simpler, with no DNA and reproducing by dividing or simply falling apart.”

    In the above statements, where is the scientific proof? Where is the evidence of that supposed first life? It is all speculation…which is way less credible than backward reasoning.

    You wrote:
    “The fact is that the experiments with atmospheric conditions may be irrelevant since life could very likely have formed around deep-sea hydrothermal vents.”

    Where is the scientific proof? “Could be irrelevant” is a not fact but wishful thinking and believing in fairy tales. No matter how many “could haves” you come up with, it is not proof or scientific evidence. Your the one who said that you only believe what has been proven scientifically, but you are obviously swallowing myriads of assumptions and wishes…hook line and sinker. There really is a sucker born every minute.

    You wrote:
    “Creationists often mention the Miller-Urey experiments but fail to mention that since then scientists have experimented with a wide range of atmospheric conditions and discovered that complex organic molecules form under a large variety of prebiotic conditions.”

    “Prebiotic” means before life. So there is still a gigantic leap from prebiotic organic molecules to life…and no scientific proof that the leap was made. You have a lot of blind faith…way more than the Southerners that you disdain.

  4. Van,

    Your Calvinism is crippled by the fact that you have no evidence that any kind of afterlife is even possible let alone plausible.

    Actually, I have, because, from the Christian worldview, God has revealed, not only the nature of man, but also the fact that there *is* an afterlife. If you are asking for evidence that would convince you, that would depend upon what your presuppositions are. If you presuppose naturalism, then asking about life out side of the natural would be kind of absurd. Give up your naturalism, and an afterlife not only is possible, but makes sense. This is one of those “dogmas” that you say you don’t have.

    Also, the point of all of these things is that, unless you accept the notion of an afterlife, you can’t make sense out of any of these things. As I have said, you can’t reduce the mind down to the physical, or you loose the ability to think about things. So, I just give those reading a choice. Do you want atheism and naturalism, which destroys the ability to think about things, or do you want to keep the ability to think about things and become a Christian?

    A professional philosopher accepts an argument founded upon the logical fallacy of Special Pleading? Well for that and other reasons I dispute the claim that William Craig is a true philosopher. A philosopher is a lover of knowledge and so is a person who is a truth seeker. A fundamentalist like Craig clings to his dogma and so he has no interest in discovering the truth. because he assumes he already has it. This “truth” comes from a bunch of superstitious and barbaric peasants who lived in the desert thousands of years ago. Philosophy asks questions that may never be answered. Craig doesn’t do that. Religion gives answers that may never be questioned. That’s what Craig does. William Craig is a Christian apologist. That is his occupation.

    From WLC’s page:

    At the age of sixteen as a junior in high school, he first heard the message of the Christian gospel and yielded his life to Christ. Dr. Craig pursued his undergraduate studies at Wheaton College (B.A. 1971) and graduate studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (M.A. 1974; M.A. 1975), the University of Birmingham (England) (Ph.D. 1977), and the University of Munich (Germany) (D.Theol. 1984). From 1980-86 he taught Philosophy of Religion at Trinity, during which time he and Jan started their family. In 1987 they moved to Brussels, Belgium, where Dr. Craig pursued research at the University of Louvain until assuming his position at Talbot in 1994.

    So, a guy who not only has a Phd in Philosophy, but also studied in both the United States and Europe and is a member of many philosophical societies is not really a philosopher, because he happens to be a Christian. Again, incredible bias. More than that, I would also point out that *you* have your dogmas as well that you refuse to give up: naturalism, atheism, scientism, etc. Hence, if holding to dogma means you have no interest in discovering truth, then I guess you have no interest in discovering truth. You need to recognize that philosophers have written against your position-not just from the Christian position, but from other positions as well. Your views have been heavily criticized by believer and unbeliever alike. Yet, you still hold strong to your atheistic and naturalistic dogma.

    And, as far as superstition goes, I would be very careful about talking about superstition when I am arguing that your worldview reduces down to the inability to even know what is right in front of us. It is the matrix all over again. No thinking about anything, and, ultimately, no ability to know anything. That is what I call superstitious!

    It doesn’t take any special revelation to picture what kind of civilization we would have if everybody thought murder and stealing were okay. Or even just a few of us. I used the word “behave” as opposed to misbehave. Most people behave in a manner that helps them get along in the world whether they believe in God or not. People are good for their own selfish reasons because being a good person has many benefits: you have more friends and better friendships; your family will love you more, you’ll gain respect in the community and you’ll get ahead faster at work among other things.

    So, what if a person refuses to behave in such a way so as to gain benefits? Why should a person care whether they have better friends and better friendships? Why should we care about the respect of the community, and getting ahead? If someone wants to plant bombs in a school and shoot everyone dead, and then take his own life, what is wrong with that? Given your principles, you would have to say that there is nothing wrong with Columbine. If those shooters wanted to do it for their own selfish reasons, then you have no complaint.

    You may say, as you imply here, that it would destroy society if people acted like this. Well, why should we keep society? What is so sacred about society that we must keep it? How would you argue against someone who says that we should not?

    More than that, the notion of what is sociologically beneficial is something that you would have to be God to know. The problem is that you can never know the ultimate end to every single action, because you cannot know the future. What you think might be beneficial today, might end up being harmful tomorrow. All teleological views of ethics suffer from this problem.

    The Bible says it, you believe it, that settles it. I get it. That way you don’t have to think about difficult issues such as abortion, gay marriage, healthcare reform, wars, terrorism and so on. We’ve been wasting our time and energy in this nation all these years electing representatives to sort through difficult issues and come up with ways to deal with these issues when all along people like you have all the answers in a book that claims the earth is flat, never moves, sits on a foundation supported by pillars, has four corners and is orbited by the sun, which can be stopped from moving across the sky.

    Well, as I pointed out above, our society *has* no basis upon which to deal with these issues. These issues have not been dealt with at all in our culture. The left just basically says “Shut up, and listen to us, or we will throw you in prison or sue you.” That’s not an argument.

    Secondly, where does the Bible claim the earth is flat, never moves, sits on a foundation supported by pillars, has four corners and is orbited by the sun, which can be stopped from moving across the sky? Sounds to me like more atheistic eisegesis. Atheists are *horrible* exegetes of the Bible, because they are so dogmatic, and have an ax to grind. Sometimes even unbelievers refute them. I have seen some of attempts at trying to prove those things from the Bible, and they are exegetically laughable. It is real easy to take pot shots at the Bible because you are not an exegete, probably do not even know Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew, and simply have a dogmatic ax to grind. It is much harder to actually post your exegesis, and defend your interpretation.

    Also, you have an ultimate authority that you believe and accept unquestioningly as well. It is the dogmas of materialism, atheism, and secularism. Those things are settled in your mind-period. Hence, what we really have are just two competing dogmas.

    That is a logical fallacy known as a non-sequitur. It does not follow that we have no reference point for understanding consciousness just because there is no God. Obviously scientists have made huge advances in brain science and while we don’t know everything about the brain, we know more and more all the time.

    Of course, you are misunderstanding the argument. The reason there is no concept of aboutness in materialism is because it is absurd to ask how one material thing can have aboutness towards another material thing. A pillow cannot think about a rock. It is inherently contradictory. The nature and character of the material rule out any possibility of “aboutness” to material objects. Your point about neuroscientists discovering more and more about the brain misses the point, because it would force neuroscientists to find a self-contradition. It would force them to find that the material is not actually material. Imagine someone who believes that water can be dry, and, although it “seems” contradictory on the surface, he keeps holding out hope that one day chemists will discover a way that water can be dry. That is the nature of your comment.

    That comment is about as arrogant a comment as a person can make. Billions of people know nothing about what the Bible says, many of them profess to be Christians. What you’re saying is that let’s say Chinese or Scandanavian neurologists can’t make any sense of consciouness at all because they don’t know what the Bible says. The Bible doesn’t make sense of the world it makes nonsense of it.

    Actually, they can’t make any sense of the concept of aboutness, because they *deny* what they know to be true. You see, from my perspective, there are no atheists. There are people who profess atheism, but, in order to do that, they have to suppress the truth they already know. The apostle Paul sums up what Christians believe as follows:

    Romans 1:18-23 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

    In essence, Paul says here that you are suppressing the truth in unrighteousness, that you do know this God I am talking about, and that you have exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for the image of the corruptible man. You seek, ultimately, to worship yourself and your own mind, and not to worship and serve the creator first. That makes you, as Paul says, foolish. You then have to deny that you know anything, you have to believe that you can’t trust your senses, and that you can’t think about things.

    However, the point is, as Paul says, you *do* know this God we are talking about, but you suppress that truth in unrighteousness. You know this God, in that you want to use scientific reason, you want to think about things, and you want to use your senses. Yet, all of those things are Christian concepts, not atheistic concepts. That is why I said that you are borrowing from the capital of *my* worldview to even argue!

    Dr. Cornelius Van Til, who got his Phd in philosophy from Princeton, once said that an atheist trying to argue against the existence of God is like someone trying to argue against the existence of air. They may try to argue against the existence of air, but they have to breathe air in order to argue against the existence of air. In the same way, you have to use the existence of God to even argue against the existence of God in that you have to use things like sense perception, thinking about things, and knowledge-things your worldview destroys. So, I am simply asking you to be consistent. Stop borrowing from my worldview, and either become a nihilist like Alex Rosenberg, or become a Christian.

    What is your argument to support your claim that intentional states cannot exist in the brain? You can look through all of Craig’s propaganda and you won’t find one. So let’s see yours.
    I can tell you’re a fan of William Craig because you use the same tactics he does. The arguments are almost always worded like this: “There is some phenomenon that lacks an explanation which in this case is intentionality [but it could be morality, the universe, whatever] that atheism cannot account for. Then there’s a fallacious argument for why atheism supposedly cannot account for it. But theism can account for it. Therefore atheism is false and theism is true.” This argument is a logical fallacy known as Begging the Question. You demand that the atheists explain how intentionality can exist in a material world, but you cannot provide what would be the equivalent theistic explanation. How is intentionality possible on theism? Theism claims that there is an infinite mind, but fails to tell us how such a mind is possible. You need to explain exactly how theism is able to endow finite minds with intentionality. All you are doing is asserting that this happens without a shred of evidence that it does.

    Actually, I am not a fan of William Lane Craig. I am much closer to K. Scott Oliphant, Greg Bahnsen, Doug Wilson, and Francis Schaeffer. More than that, I am not arguing for general theism. One of the things all of the men I just mentioned recognized is that you don’t argue for theism in general. If you become a non-Christian theist, you are still an idolater. You have just moved from the idolatry of your own limited, finite mind to the idolatry of a false God. I am arguing from *Christian* theism, and Christian theism certainly has an answer to the problem of “aboutness,” because man is not just a material being, but is created in the image of God. From the Biblical perspective, the concept of aboutness makes perfect sense, because we reflect the image of our creator.

    You actually think that because you believe a bunch of Bronze Age religious fairy tales you can be sure your senses are giving you correct information and those who don’t believe these stories or have never heard of them cannot trust their senses. Our senses don’t give us true information. Our eyes have evolved so that we can navigate in the world we live in as have the rest of our senses. If the nucleus of an atom were the size of an orange, the nearest electron would be 4 miles away. We’re a bunch of empty space. That isn’t what our senses tell us though is it? We get just enough information to get by and we have to guess the rest.

    “Bronze Age fairy tales?” *You* are the one holding to a position that destroys our ability to think about things. *You* are the one who holds to a position that cannot answer the problem of induction, and thus destroys our ability to know anything. *You are the one who has a position that destroys sense perception, and you say that our views are Bronze Age fairy tales? Sounds to me that the notion that we are basically in the matrix and can’t know anything is much more fairy tale like then the notion that we are created in the image of the Christian God.

    More than that, I already have made an argument for the fact that atheism destroys sense perception, and you simply are refusing to address it. Here is what I wrote:

    Richard Taylor used an illustration of someone riding a train from London to Wales, and while he is on the train he sees a rock formation that appears to convey the message “The British Railway Welcomes You To Wales.” Now, there are two possible interpretations of that. The first is that someone got up there and arranged those rocks in such a way to convey the message “The British Railway Welcomes You To Wales.” The second, much like the evolutionist, would be to argue that, over time, the rocks eroded from higher portions of the hill, and rolled down the hill due to erosion to the place that they are now, with no intelligence involved. They might even try to show how this rock rolled away from this larger rock, and down the hill into the position of what looks like a “T.” Now, while that interpretation would be highly improbable, it would not be irrational. However, what *would* be irrational on that interpretation is if you concluded that you had information that you are entering Wales from the rock formations.
    Now, compare that information to your senses. Evolutionists say that our senses developed slowly over time by naturalistic processes. If this is the case, then why do we assume that our senses function to give us information about the external world? Just like the rock formations could have formed in such a way to give us true or false information about our location, because there was no purpose to their formation given their naturalistic basis, how then can we be sure that our senses accurately convey information about the external world?
    In essence, an evolutionary worldview destroys science, because it takes away the ability for us to know that the senses we use in observation are giving us accurate information about what we are seeing around us. Aside from the problem of not being able to think about anything, it presents us with the problem of not being able to know that what we are sensing is real either.

    As far as the notion that we are mostly space, that comes from observations about the character of certain charges and particles in physics, which, again, comes from sense perception. However, if your eyes evolved by naturalistic processes, then how could you ever know that your eyes *function* to give you information about the character of certain particles or anything else? You can’t even know that we are mostly space, because you are relying upon your senses, and evolution destroys any way of knowing that your eyes are giving you truth about the external world.

    Also, you can’t even know that you have enough information to get by from your senses, because “information” presupposes that it is true. However, that is precisely what is in dispute. What is in dispute is whether you can *know* that what your senses is telling you is true. If it isn’t true, then it isn’t information, and hence, your use of the term “information” is nothing more than begging the question.

    That is not reasoning, it is non-rational authoritarianism and absolutism both of which are dangerous and neither of which have any place in a free society. Of course you hate human reason because it is the only faculty we have to determine the truth.

    So, is it absolutely wrong to wait for someone in a back ally, murder them, and take their money? Absolutes are necessary to the functioning of a society. If things are all based upon whatever we want, then you have chaos, not freedom.

    Also, I don’t have a problem with human reason; I have a problem with human reason that does not begin by acknowledging the Triune God of scripture and his revelation as Lord. The problem with human reason thinking it can just get up an run on its own is that you need to have certain universals in order to reason. You need to know, for example, that the laws of logic are, in point of fact, laws. You need to know that your senses are reliable, and you need to know that it is even possible to think “about” something. However, given the limited and finite nature of the human mind, these things logically cannot be known, because the notion of something universally finite is a self-contradiction.

    Atheism is not a worldview, it describes a lack of belief in God. FYI on atheism you can think about anything. On Christianity there are things you can’t think about because you must keep your thoughts in captivity. Therefore Christianity is false.

    So, Van, is a rock an atheist? A rock lacks belief in God. Is a tree an atheist? A tree lacks belief in God. Is my dresser an atheist, since it lacks belief in God? That doesn’t even make any sense. I am going to force you to defend things like naturalism, secularism, and things which keep *your* thoughts into captivity. More than that, you are stuck with your own limited, finite mind, trying to come up with universals in terms of which to reason, and destroying reason at every turn. That sounds to me like someone who is in captivity. A mind that can’t even account for how to think about things, and a mind that can’t even say that his senses are giving him accurate information even with which to get by sounds like a mind in a prison. That is why the Son needs to set you free, because if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.

    Science is the study of Nature.Whether they believe in a deity or not scientists only look for naturalistic explanations for things because this is the only way they can expand knowledge. Therefore science is based on materialism because it’s the only thing that works. Your argument is another non-sequitur. It simply does not follow that humans will destroy our own study of something that has never considered God in the first place.

    The problem is that this entire paragraph is self-refuting. Are scientists not supposed to use the laws of logic in their explanations? The problem is that the laws of logic are not naturalistic. You can’t go out and find the laws of logic out in nature. You can’t go out and play catch with the laws of logic. They don’t grow on trees, Van. So, you have two options. Either say that science is not supposed to be based on naturalism, or say that science can be irrational since the laws of logic are not natural. Again, stop borrowing from my worldview in order to argue. Be a naturalist, which means, no laws of logic.

    Also, as I said before, scientists consider God whenever they walk into the science laboratory. Science would be completely destroyed if atheistic scientists were consistent with the principles you laid about above. Yes, atheistic scientists reason, use the laws of logic, make observation, and think about things, and many times come up with very useful information. However, in order to do so, they must breathe the air of the God whose knowledge they are suppressing.

    I don’t want to go over all the logical fallacies in your arguments but your baseless assertions are a good indication that you cannot recognize even the most blaring logical fallacies.

    Maybe so, but who cares according to your principles? You have already said that we must consider naturalistic explanations, and the laws of logic are not naturalistic. Again, the concern for logical mistakes makes no sense in an atheistic worldview. Again, you have to borrow from my worldview to make your argument. As a Christian, I can be concerned about the laws of logic, because they are the way God thinks, and the way he expects us to think. However, you have no reason to be concerned about laws of logic, because your worldview can’t make sense of universal abstract laws.

    My simple challenge to you is to become more consistent in your atheism. Be a *real* materialist, who is willing to acknowledge what some of your fellow atheists holding to scientism are willing to acknowledge-all is nothing, including debate.

  5. Hello Van. I only asked one short question, but you did not answer it (instead you went off on Jehovah’s Witnesses!). It’s a simple question, and it really should be non-controversial, as it was a bunch of professional evolutionists who made the assertion. If you cannot respond to direct questions of evidence, then there is no common ground for a discussion, which means you really were not willing to come to bat, as you said you were.

    Does the following statement sound reasonable to you?

    Various theoretical and experimental evidence indicates that in some average sense about half of the amino acid sites [in any given protein] must be specified exactly.

  6. Actually, I have, because, from the Christian worldview, God has revealed, not only the nature of man, but also the fact that there *is* an afterlife. If you are asking for evidence that would convince you, that would depend upon what your presuppositions are. If you presuppose naturalism, then asking about life out side of the natural would be kind of absurd. Give up your naturalism, and an afterlife not only is possible, but makes sense. This is one of those “dogmas” that you say you don’t have.

    > No it isn’t. I’ve looked into it very carefully and I know what it would take to change my mind on the God question. What would it take to change yours? The answer is nothing could change your mind which proves it is you Adam, who is clinging to his religious dogma, not me.

    Also, the point of all of these things is that, unless you accept the notion of an afterlife, you can’t make sense out of any of these things. As I have said, you can’t reduce the mind down to the physical, or you loose the ability to think about things. So, I just give those reading a choice. Do you want atheism and naturalism, which destroys the ability to think about things, or do you want to keep the ability to think about things and become a Christian?

    > I have you telling me for no good reason that I can’t think about things. Yet this is obviously absurd because I thought about what you posted before and refuted everything you said. Obviously it’s not me who is having trouble thinking about things. I pointed out the logical fallacies your arguments are based upon proving I do have the ability to not only think about things but think about them much more clearly than you have, at least so far. Now why would I take advice from someone whose arguments I can so easily annhilate? I HAVE thought about the Jesus question as well. I’ve never believed such a person existed and my studies of comparative religions confirmed that unbelief. So of course I have no reason to become a Christian. Christian beliefs are not only untrue they’re ridiculous because they contradict what we do know about the universe and life.

    From WLC’s page:
    At the age of sixteen as a junior in high school, he first heard the message of the Christian gospel and yielded his life to Christ.

    > Yes Craig let other people frighten him out of his mind with the myth of hell. And you can’t figure out why only other Christians take him seriously.

    So, a guy who not only has a Phd in Philosophy, but also studied in both the United States and Europe and is a member of many philosophical societies is not really a philosopher, because he happens to be a Christian. Again, incredible bias.

    > His goofy arguments do not reflect any kind of philosophy anyone outside of Christian circles has heard of. People get certified to do a lot of things. Still there are lousy plumbers, lousy electricians, lousy cops and lousy philosophers.

    More than that, I would also point out that *you* have your dogmas as well that you refuse to give up: naturalism, atheism, scientism, etc.

    > You say atheists can’t think about things and say I show incredible bias. That just shows an incredible lack of self-awareness and it’s coming from someone who says OTHER people can’t think about things!

    Hence, if holding to dogma means you have no interest in discovering truth, then I guess you have no interest in discovering truth. You need to recognize that philosophers have written against your position-not just from the Christian position, but from other positions as well. Your views have been heavily criticized by believer and unbeliever alike. Yet, you still hold strong to your atheistic and naturalistic dogma.

    > That’s because unlike you, I don’t let other people do my thinking for me. I’ve read criticisms of my positions coming from Christians and they are ludicrous, much like your posts.

    And, as far as superstition goes, I would be very careful about talking about superstition when I am arguing that your worldview reduces down to the inability to even know what is right in front of us. It is the matrix all over again. No thinking about anything, and, ultimately, no ability to know anything. That is what I call superstitious!

    > Yes you are arguing that and the reason you are arguing is because you have no evidence to support you claim. However the evidence that you are wrong is overwhelming. I do know things and I can spot logical fallacies which is more than you can say.

    So, what if a person… wants to plant bombs in a school and shoot everyone dead, and then take his own life, what is wrong with that? Given your principles, you would have to say that there is nothing wrong with Columbine. If those shooters wanted to do it for their own selfish reasons, then you have no complaint.

    > Strawman Argument. ANOTHER logical fallacy from someone who claims atheists can’t trust their thoughts! First you invent ridiculous principles and then accuse me of holding them! Since most atheists are humanists and to humanists the ultimate value is human life the taking and/or harming of human life is wrong based on that value system, a value system held by about 7 billion people, a value system only adpoted by religion from secular humanism in the last couple of centuries. Christianity was a violent, dangerous and oppressive religion until the rise of secular humanism. We humanists have given Christianity its modern morals and I can prove it. If God told you to shoot what appeared to be innocent people dead would you do it? I rest my case.

    You may say, as you imply here, that it would destroy society if people acted like this. Well, why should we keep society? What is so sacred about society that we must keep it? How would you argue against someone who says that we should not?

    > I would ask them how well they would do without interacting with other people in any way at all.

    More than that, the notion of what is sociologically beneficial is something that you would have to be God to know. The problem is that you can never know the ultimate end to every single action, because you cannot know the future. What you think might be beneficial today, might end up being harmful tomorrow. All teleological views of ethics suffer from this problem.

    > That’s true. This is why morals evolve. We used to think capital punishment was good and benefited society. Now we’re not so sure about that. We used to think spanking children was a good idea. It turns out that isn’t true. So in a society based on humanism we can adapt as the new issues that are sure to come up in the future can be dealt with. However in a society based on ancient rules and customs we could not adapt as our own lives and customs change. All theological views of ethics suffer from this problem.

    Well, as I pointed out above, our society *has* no basis upon which to deal with these issues. These issues have not been dealt with at all in our culture. The left just basically says “Shut up, and listen to us, or we will throw you in prison or sue you.” That’s not an argument.

    > I don’t know what you are referring to here but our society certainly does have a basis to deal with whatever issues come up.

    Secondly, where does the Bible claim the earth is flat, never moves, (1Chron 16:30; Psalm 96:10) sits on a foundation (Job 38:4) supported by pillars (Job 38:6), has four corners (Rev 7:1) and is orbited by the sun, which can be stopped from moving across the sky? (Joshua 10:13) Sounds to me like more atheistic eisegesis. Atheists are *horrible* exegetes of the Bible, because they are so dogmatic, and have an ax to grind.

    > Oh and you don’t? You’re as dogmatic as a person could possibly be, you know it and it’s embarassing for you as it should be. So your defense is to accuse others of being like you who are in fact not like you at all. No one is more dogmatic and has more fear of the truth than a Bible believer.

    Sometimes even unbelievers refute them. I have seen some of attempts at trying to prove those things from the Bible, and they are exegetically laughable. It is real easy to take pot shots at the Bible because you are not an exegete, probably do not even know Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew, and simply have a dogmatic ax to grind. It is much harder to actually post your exegesis, and defend your interpretation.

    > Interpretiing Jesus as a historical person is forcing a meaning on the texts not shared by the authors. I would not expect a literal mind to ever grasp that concept.

    Also, you have an ultimate authority that you believe and accept unquestioningly as well. It is the dogmas of materialism, atheism, and secularism. Those things are settled in your mind-period. Hence, what we really have are just two competing dogmas.

    > Wrong again. My ultimate authority is me. I’m the decider. You wish you could be so bold but all you can be is jealous and envious. Boldness intimidates Christians because Christianity only appeals to the base emotion of cowardice. Once you’ve let other people frighten you with a bunch of ancient superstitions about what might happen to you after you die you have lost control of your own mind and entered a hyper-suggestive state in which you can be made to believe just about anything. You have given over control of your mind to religious nonsense and claim other people can’t think.

    Of course, you are misunderstanding the argument. The reason there is no concept of aboutness in materialism is because it is absurd to ask how one material thing can have aboutness towards another material thing. A pillow cannot think about a rock. It is inherently contradictory.

    > Not in your worldview it isn’t. If thoughts do not come from chemical reactions and are strictly immaterial then you cannot say for sure what can think and what cannot. I pointed this out before and true to form for a creationist you ignored by objection and just kept on repeating your argument s if no objections to it were raised. You know bad debating ethics are reflective of a person’s other ethics, if they have any at all.

    The nature and character of the material rule out any possibility of “aboutness” to material objects. Your point about neuroscientists discovering more and more about the brain misses the point, because it would force neuroscientists to find a self-contradition. It would force them to find that the material is not actually material. Imagine someone who believes that water can be dry, and, although it “seems” contradictory on the surface, he keeps holding out hope that one day chemists will discover a way that water can be dry. That is the nature of your comment.

    > The nature of your comment is reflective of how much you creationists really do fear and hate advancing science as it finally steamrolls what’s left of your religion into oblivion. You wish you could convince neurologists and other scientists to stop trying to expand our knowledge of how things work in the natural world. Every fact that is discovered in the natural world argues against the supernatural, which is really just the polite word for magic.

    Actually, they can’t make any sense of the concept of aboutness, because they *deny* what they know to be true. You see, from my perspective, there are no atheists. There are people who profess atheism, but, in order to do that, they have to suppress the truth they already know. The apostle Paul sums up what Christians believe as follows:

    > Well that is all the proof I would need that your perspective is dead wrong. I have never believed in any God. I know atheists who used to believe in God but after considering the lack of evidence for such a being and realizing the arguments for God are the worst arguments in the history of bad arguments, no longer believe that being exists. Nothing you or your magic book says can change that fact. You and it are WRONG dead WRONG.

    In essence, Paul says here that you are suppressing the truth in unrighteousness, that you do know this God I am talking about, and that you have exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for the image of the corruptible man. You seek, ultimately, to worship yourself and your own mind, and not to worship and serve the creator first.

    > I don’t worship anything. It’s beneath me.

    That makes you, as Paul says, foolish. You then have to deny that you know anything, you have to believe that you can’t trust your senses, and that you can’t think about things.

    > Again the evidence says I can trust my senses. You have no idea who really wrote that passage or even when it was written. You’ve let religionists convince you Christian traditions about those letters in the Bible are true. Well they aren’t. I’ve looked into the subect. You have not becuase you aren’t allowed to.

    However, the point is, as Paul says, you *do* know this God we are talking about, but you suppress that truth in unrighteousness. You know this God, in that you want to use scientific reason, you want to think about things, and you want to use your senses. Yet, all of those things are Christian concepts, not atheistic concepts. That is why I said that you are borrowing from the capital of *my* worldview to even argue!

    > That is just ridiculous. Using a person’s senses is hardly a Christian concept. You Christians think you can hijack marriage, morality, science, logic and whatever else you fancy. However the fact is that Christians and Christianity have absolutely nothing to do with any of those things. In many cultures people were getting married, making law, studying nature and using logic long before anyone ever heard of the Hebrew or Christian God, which are definitely not the same God by the way. And again, if it weren’t for the fact that you have adopted humanist morals you Christians would still be burning witches and books, hunting down and murdering heretics and trying to spread your religion with violence as Christians did for 1800 years. You have a lot of nerve to steal my morals and ethics in broad daylight no less and then claim I took yours! I want nothing to do with morals coming from backward primitives who cut the heads of animals a sprayed blood on an altar to satisfy their vengeful deity. And neither do you which is why you have hijacked my worldview. The light of the world exposes the evil deeds comitted by the darkness of religion.

    Dr. Cornelius Van Til, who got his Phd in philosophy from Princeton, once said that an atheist trying to argue against the existence of God is like someone trying to argue against the existence of air. They may try to argue against the existence of air, but they have to breathe air in order to argue against the existence of air.

    > A Phd made that dumb argument? We know air exists, we cannot say the same about any God let alone fairies like angels, Satan, demons, cherubim, seraphs, heaven, hell or any of the other ridiculous things Christians believe in.

    In the same way, you have to use the existence of God to even argue against the existence of God in that you have to use things like sense perception, thinking about things, and knowledge-things your worldview destroys.

    > You have not made the case that my worldview destroys anything other than your ludicrous unthinking arguments let alone what you say it does. You just keep chanting it over and over and over and over. Those of us who can recognize logical fallacies call this tactic an argumentum ad nauseam which is an argument that depends on constant repetition. Your argument will still not be true the thousandth time that you repeat it. You cannot make a single argument that isn’t riddled with logical fallacies.

    So, I am simply asking you to be consistent. Stop borrowing from my worldview, and either become a nihilist like Alex Rosenberg, or become a Christian.

    > Since I have turned that argument on its head and proved beyond any question that you are borrowing from my worldview you now need to become an atheist.

    From the Biblical perspective, the concept of aboutness makes perfect sense, because we reflect the image of our creator.

    > Well those outside of your religion can clearly see that your supposed creator has been created and recreated in your own image many times. Take off the blinders of religion so you can see what I’m talking about. You ignored some of my questions and it’s no wonder. You demand that the atheists explain how intentionality can exist in a material world, but you cannot provide what would be the equivalent theistic explanation. How is intentionality possible on theism? Theism claims that there is an infinite mind, but fails to tell us how such a mind is possible. You need to explain exactly how theism is able to endow finite minds with intentionality. All you are doing is asserting that this happens without a shred of evidence that it does. I’ll give you one more chance.

    … The second, much like the evolutionist, would be to argue that, over time, the rocks eroded from higher portions of the hill, and rolled down the hill due to erosion to the place that they are now, with no intelligence involved.

    > That is another Strawman Argument. No one would make that argument and you know it. You are just parroting Paley’s fallacious pocket-watch argument. Things people make look designed. The universe itself exhibits no design and no purpose, contains almost no information and its total energy is zero.

    Now, compare that information to your senses. Evolutionists say that our senses developed slowly over time by naturalistic processes. If this is the case, then why do we assume that our senses function to give us information about the external world?

    > It’s hard to believe anyone could not figure that out. Unless they knew absolutely nothing about natural selection. Why would our senses evolve in such a way to give us false information? No species would survive more than a generation or two if that happened. What functions evolves and what does not eventually disappears unless it can serve another purpose. You don’t know the first thing about evolution yet you claim not to believe it! Hilarious!

    Just like the rock formations could have formed in such a way to give us true or false information about our location, because there was no purpose to their formation given their naturalistic basis, how then can we be sure that our senses accurately convey information about the external world?

    > Because a trait that is detremental to the species would be selected out. It’s no wonder you fall for the ludicrous arguments you present. You know absolutely NOTHING about natural selection. Except that Jesus doesn’t approve of it.

    In essence, an evolutionary worldview destroys science, because it takes away the ability for us to know that the senses we use in observation are giving us accurate information about what we are seeing around us.

    So, is it absolutely wrong to wait for someone in a back ally, murder them, and take their money?

    > According to you it would be okay if God told them to do it. Poof.

    Absolutes are necessary to the functioning of a society. If things are all based upon whatever we want, then you have chaos, not freedom.

    > Absolutes maybe, but absolutists no. That kind of thinking is dangerous.

    So, Van, is a rock an atheist? A rock lacks belief in God. Is a tree an atheist? A tree lacks belief in God. Is my dresser an atheist, since it lacks belief in God? That doesn’t even make any sense. I am going to force you to defend things like naturalism, secularism, and things which keep *your* thoughts into captivity.

    > I don’t have to defend anything because I’m not the one making the ridiculous claims, you are. I don’t believe in God and you claim I do. Prove it. You can’t. You lose. You’ve had every one of your arguments destroyed by an atheist and now you have to live with that for the rest of your life.

    More than that, you are stuck with your own limited, finite mind, trying to come up with universals in terms of which to reason, and destroying reason at every turn.

    > You have failed to show how I destroy anything.

    That sounds to me like someone who is in captivity. A mind that can’t even account for how to think about things, and a mind that can’t even say that his senses are giving him accurate information even with which to get by sounds like a mind in a prison. That is why the Son needs to set you free, because if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.

    > The Son was originally the sun. Christianity evolved from ancient sun worshiping cults. Oh yes it did.

    The problem is that this entire paragraph is self-refuting. Are scientists not supposed to use the laws of logic in their explanations? The problem is that the laws of logic are not naturalistic. You can’t go out and find the laws of logic out in nature. You can’t go out and play catch with the laws of logic. They don’t grow on trees,

    > Okay, where do the laws of logic come from? They come from us. We invented them just as we invented the laws of physics. You see laws are simply human descriptions of how things work. If we ask why things that go up must come down it does no good to say, “It’s the Law of Gravity.” We don’t know why this happens or why large objects attract and distort space time. So the laws of logic are indeed naturalistic and my entire paragraphs stands. What is so ludicrous is that every argument you make is riddled with logical fallacies as I have clearly demonstrated and yet you have the gall to preach to me about logic.

    Van. So, you have two options. Either say that science is not supposed to be based on naturalism, or say that science can be irrational since the laws of logic are not natural. Again, stop borrowing from my worldview in order to argue. Be a naturalist, which means, no laws of logic.

    > You don’t get to define what I am, what a naturalist is or in fact you don’t get to define anything. I don’t know who you think you are. I’m not the least bit impressed with someone who can’t even make his own arguments and can’t even recognize fallacies the arguments he steals and cuts and pastes from other Christians are based upon.

    Also, as I said before, scientists consider God whenever they walk into the science laboratory. Science would be completely destroyed if atheistic scientists were consistent with the principles you laid about above.

    > That is nonsense because scientists do not consider the supernatural (magic) in their work. What could you possibly know about what scientists do anyway? You don’t even believe in science.

    Yes, atheistic scientists reason, use the laws of logic, make observation, and think about things, and many times come up with very useful information. However, in order to do so, they must breathe the air of the God whose knowledge they are suppressing.

    > You state your religious dogma as if it is fact. It isn’t.

    Maybe so, but who cares according to your principles?

    > Finally something true eeked out! If you look up logical fallacies you will see that every argument you make is based on one or more of them. That is not my opinion, that is a fact.

    You have already said that we must consider naturalistic explanations, and the laws of logic are not naturalistic.

    > Wrong, they are human inventions which means they are.

    Again, the concern for logical mistakes makes no sense in an atheistic worldview.

    > Now that takes the cake! You have shown no concern for your own logical mistakes and I am the one who had to point them out to you.

    Again, you have to borrow from my worldview to make your argument.

    > Again, you have stolen your worldview from humanism.

    As a Christian, I can be concerned about the laws of logic, because they are the way God thinks, and the way he expects us to think. However, you have no reason to be concerned about laws of logic, because your worldview can’t make sense of universal abstract laws.

    > Another baseless assertion. My worldview embraces nature and yours rejects it and tries to replace it with a bunch of religious hocus-pocus.

    My simple challenge to you is to become more consistent in your atheism. Be a *real* materialist, who is willing to acknowledge what some of your fellow atheists holding to scientism are willing to acknowledge-all is nothing, including debate.

    > I have had enough of your nonsense. Your posts are all bluster and not a shred of substance. You can’t even come close to backing up your claims and so you just repeat them over and over and over and over again. Don’t bother trying to convert me. Your ludicrous arguments are enough proof that your religion is as phony as a three-dollar bill. You have no business talking about logic. You cannot make an argument that isn’t riddled with logical fallacies.

  7. No, that comment looks like creationist woo-woo to me. Very vague.

    If that’s the case Van, it tells me that despite your pretense of respecting science so much, that you are not actually much interested in real science or scientific discussion. For one, the statement is not vague at all. For two, the statement should be considered entirely uncontroversial (see below). My reason for asking was to build up a couple of baseline assertions that we could both agree on. Without such foundations of agreement (on raw facts), discussion is useless.

    To see how uncontroversial this should be, a comparable assertion is as follows:

    In any function written in a given programming language (you pick: C++, C#, Javascript, etc), you cannot on average change more than half of that function’s letters without that function loosing its capability to perform the function it originally performed.

    As you can see, this is actually being quite generous, at least in the case of programming languages (which is a far better analog to the encoded amino-acid sequences that encode a protein as compared to, say, a paragraph from a human-composed letter). For instance, consider the exceedingly simple function below. If you altered part of the two strings, you would be fine, though message would be garbled accordingly, but otherwise, most letters randomly changed would simply break the code (or in the case of a protein, likely make it hazardous!):

    public string PrintSquareRoot(double aNumber) {
    if(aNumber < 0) throw new OutOfRangeException("Come on dude.");
    double root = Math.Sqrt(aNumber);
    Console.WriteLine("Your root, sir: " + root);
    }

  8. (sorry for the bad formatting above)

    And if you want to believe the same problems do not hold true with the encoding of proteins, consider the following:

    Small Errors in Proteins Can Cause Disease:

    Sometimes, an error in just one amino acid can cause disease. Sickle cell
    disease … is caused by a single error in the gene for hemoglobin, the
    oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells. This error, or mutation, results
    in an incorrect amino acid at one position in the molecule. Hemoglobin
    molecules with this incorrect amino acid stick together and distort the
    normally smooth, lozenge-shaped red blood cells into jagged sickle shapes.

    … Another disease caused by a defect in one amino acid is cystic
    fibrosis. … The disease is caused when a protein called CFTR is
    incorrectly folded. This misfolding is usually caused by the deletion of a
    single
    amino acid
    in CFTR. — (NIH.gov) The Structures of Life: Chapter 1: Proteins are the Body’s Worker Molecules

  9. That is hilarious! Do you realize what you have just done? You have proved that disease is not the result if sin coming into the world but rather the result of purely natural causes. I’ll give you a little time to figure out how to remove your foot from your mouth now. You can’t pay for this kind of entertainment!

  10. Van,

    I double dog dare you to stop using rhetoric and mocking and just answer the questions of the other posters here. I bet you cannot do it, because it is most of the content of your posts and is used constantly to not answer directly.

  11. Van,

    If I am not mistaken, you did not answer this:

    “You wrote:
    “Third, the most obvious flaw in this argument is its backward reasoning. It’s looking at life in its present form, after 4 billion years of cellular evolution and assuming that the first life was just as complex. Of course the first life would have been much simpler, with no DNA and reproducing by dividing or simply falling apart.”

    In the above statements, where is the scientific proof? Where is the evidence of that supposed first life? It is all speculation…which is way less credible than backward reasoning.

    You wrote:
    “The fact is that the experiments with atmospheric conditions may be irrelevant since life could very likely have formed around deep-sea hydrothermal vents.”

    Where is the scientific proof? “Could be irrelevant” is a not fact but wishful thinking and believing in fairy tales. No matter how many “could haves” you come up with, it is not proof or scientific evidence. Your the one who said that you only believe what has been proven scientifically, but you are obviously swallowing myriads of assumptions and wishes…hook line and sinker. There really is a sucker born every minute.

    You wrote:
    “Creationists often mention the Miller-Urey experiments but fail to mention that since then scientists have experimented with a wide range of atmospheric conditions and discovered that complex organic molecules form under a large variety of prebiotic conditions.”

    “Prebiotic” means before life. So there is still a gigantic leap from prebiotic organic molecules to life…and no scientific proof that the leap was made. You have a lot of blind faith…way more than the Southerners that you disdain.”

  12. Bo,
    The proof that the first life was simple is in the fossil record. We see animals and plants increasing in complexity in the fossil record. There are no fossils of amphibians or mammals, the most complex lifeforms in the Cambrian layers.

    Do you really think scientists should stop looking for naturalistic explanations for how life began just because creationists claim they already know how life began? No one knows how life came from non-life, only that it did. Creationists claim life came from non-life when the God of their particular religion made a man out of dirt. Scientists are looking for a more plausible naturalistic explanation for how the first life began. Exploring the unknown is what science does. Explaining the known with the unknown is what religion does. We don’t know exactly how life began but we do know how it didn’t come about.

    Miller’s experiments produced 13 of the 20 amino acids that are required for modern life. They formed easily. However we don’t know which amino acids where required for primitive life. The amino acids that form easily would have been sufficient for primitive life and life later evolved to rely on and even produce others.

    We don’t have to know everything to know that creationism is false.

  13. Miller’s experiments produced 13 of the 20 amino acids that are required for modern life. They formed easily. – Van

    It’s not true that they formed naturally. But let’s pretend all 20 amino acid ‘letters’ found in life systems were not only available, but available in extreme abundance. All you have then is an ‘alphabet soup,’ which can never randomly produce a single useful protein, and yet the first replicating cell would have needed many hundreds of proteins to come together all at once, all without natural selection to help it. Because natural selection only works where you have the will of a living creature to survive.

    …which can never randomly produce a single useful protein…

    On what basis do I say this? Well that is what I was getting at all along. Unfortunately, Van, you were not willing to carry on an adult conversation. But for all others who are interested, here is the gist of where I was leading. See the following post.

  14. Excerpt from Dr. John Baumgardner’s The Los Alamos Origins Debate, under the section:

    Can Random Molecular Interactions Create Life?

    … Let us merely focus on the task of obtaining a suitable sequence of amino acids that yields a 3D protein structure with some minimal degree of essential functionality. Various theoretical and experimental evidence indicates that in some average sense about half of the amino acid sites must be specified exactly [3]. For a relatively short protein consisting of a chain of 200 amino acids, the number of random trials needed for a reasonable likelihood of hitting a useful sequence [[a useful protein sequence]] is then on the order of 20^100 (100 amino acid sites with 20 possible candidates at each site), or about 10^130 trials. This is a hundred billion billion times the upper bound we computed for the total number of molecules ever to exist in the history of the cosmos!! No random process could ever hope to find even one such protein structure, much less the full set of roughly 1000 needed in the simplest forms of life. It is therefore sheer irrationality for a person to believe random chemical interactions could ever identify a viable set of functional proteins out of the truly staggering number of candidate possibilities.

    In the face of such stunningly unfavorable odds, how could any scientist with any sense of honesty appeal to chance interactions as the explanation for the complexity we observe in living systems? To do so, with conscious awareness of these numbers, in my opinion represents a serious breach of scientific integrity. This line of argument applies, of course, not only to the issue of biogenesis but also to the issue of how a new gene/protein might arise in any sort of macroevolution process.

    One retired Los Alamos National Laboratory Fellow, a chemist, wanted to quibble that this argument was flawed because I did not account for details of chemical reaction kinetics. My intention was deliberately to choose a reaction rate so gigantic (one million million reactions per atom per second on average) that all such considerations would become utterly irrelevant. How could a reasonable person trained in chemistry or physics imagine there could be a way to assemble polypeptides on the order of hundreds of amino acid units in length, to allow them to fold into their three-dimensional structures, and then to express their unique properties, all within a small fraction of one picosecond!? Prior metaphysical commitments forced him to such irrationality.

  15. Van,

    You wrote:
    “There once was no life on this planet and now there is. So abiogenesis is a fact. You creationists are more than welcome to believe in your particular brand of abiogenesis.”

    What you have done in the above false argument is called a non sequitur. Just because life is here now and it wasn’t before, does not prove that it must have come about via natural chemical reactions. Abiogenesis has been proven to be impossible over and over by science. Did you ever hear of Louis Pasteur? Creationists agree with observable science on this subject. We do no believe in abiogenesis. We believe that life was imparted to nonliving matter by a supreme life. Life only comes from previous life.

    You wrote:
    “The amino acids that form easily would have been sufficient for primitive life and life later evolved to rely on and even produce others.”

    “Would have been sufficient” does not mean nor prove that it happened. There has been no experiment that shows this happened or that has made it happen. “Primitive life” is just a wish that springs from lack of evidence.

    You wrote:
    “No one knows how life came from non-life, only that it did.”

    If “no one knows how” and we have not witnessed life coming from non-life, then we are in the realm of faith, not in the realm of demonstrable, repeatable, testable science.

    So, what you have just confessed is that you know without any conclusive evidence that life came from non life. You just accept it by faith. What you have also done is shown your hypocrisy, by allowing yourself this sort of this scientifically non-proved assumption about life, but lambast and mock us that hold to the belief that matter came form non-matter.

    Science has shown countless times that life cannot come from non-life. That is what we also confess. So you actually believe against science. We believe with it. You have more irrational faith by far than those that you accuse.

    And for the record, science has not proven that matter always existed…it presumes it. It has only proved that in the current state of the universe that matter cannot be created or destroyed. We cannot create it. It cannot create itself. The only other answer is that it was created by a creator that is outside of natural phenomena. He is the original cause in our universe of cause and effect. So real science is on our side in these two areas, not yours.

  16. There is certainly as much intellegence seen in the creation of all kinds of physical things around us, as there is intellegence seen in the above post.

    Therefore, it bogles my mind how anyone could respond to such a post and not believe in an intellegent design to everything else around them.

    If I was consistent to what I believed in thinking there is no intellegent design in things I see around me, how could I possibly assume there is intellegence in the above post, for it seems to me that I should think that it came about by itself, and that if I were to respond to it, I should think I was responding to nothing at all, nothing but a random assortment of letters with spaces in all the right places, and even correct puntuation and spelling, that simply happened by itself, with no intellegent design or designer behind it.

    It seems to me that all who refuse to see intellegent design are phonies, fakes, and con men, men of illegitimate intellegence.

    Yes, we must be born again.

  17. It’s not true that they formed naturally.

    > Now stop right there. You creationists have a very bad habit of making claims without supporting them with any evidence. How did these amino acids form if they didn’t form naturally? Are you going to tell me God made them? Don’t ignore this like you do my other objections to your claims.

    But let’s pretend …which can never randomly produce a single useful protein…

    > And creationists have an even worse habit of ignoring the refutations of their claims and repeating the same debunked claims over and over and over again as if no objections to them were ever raised. I already demonstrated that biochemistry is not random in post #53. Again: First of all the calculation of odds is based on the incorrect assumption that the protein molecule formed by chance which makes the calculation of odds meaningless. What goes on in Biochemistry is not chance but rather it produces complex products which interact which each other in complex ways. Also there are certain properties of living matter that also belong to inanimate matter, when it takes certain forms, crystals for example. Second this odds making assumes that the protein molecule had to take a certain form. There are countless possible proteins that promote biological activity. So if you want to calculate odds you have to account for all possible molecules that might promote life and this would include more than just proteins. I’d say the odds of creationists doing that are about the same as whatever their latest odds against the natural formation of life are. Third, the most obvious flaw in this argument is its backward reasoning. It’s looking at life in its present form, after 4 billion years of cellular evolution and assuming that the first life was just as complex. Of course the first life would have been much simpler, with no DNA and reproducing by dividing or simply falling apart.

    Now you have to prove that all the processes in biochemistry are completely random before you can base an argument on that premise. That’s how it works in a debate. You can’t make claims without evidence to back them up and you can’t ignore the objections to your claims and then just go on repeating your claims as if no objections to them were even raised. Bad debating ethics are reflective of bad personal ethics.

    Excerpt from Dr. John Baumgardner’s The Los Alamos Origins Debate, under the section:
    Can Random Molecular Interactions Create Life?

    > The problem with Baumgardner’s creationist rant is it has nothing at all to do with how real proteins develop. Complex proteins evolve from simpler ones. Baumgardner deceptively ignores all of the elements of evolution – reproduction, occasional mutations and of course natural selection. Modern proteins are not complex because life required them to have a complex structure. Modern proteins are complex because proteins have been evolving from their simpler precursors for about 4 billion years. Baumgardner has no idea what proteins looked like 4 billion years ago. Baumgardner also uses statistics and probability theory deceptively. He pretends to assume randomness that he knows doesn’t really exist. Of course you can show any event is extremely improbable if you assume randomness for non-random processes. Probability theory only works for random processes, it doesn’t apply to deterministic events. No real scientists are addressing the probability of life on Earth. If Baumgardner really thought his argument was valid he would present it to the scientific community. But Baumgardner is not interested in science. He’s selling belief in Jesus. The only reason this guy studied geology was so that he could attempt to make the Noah’s ark story seem possible scientifically. Yeah there’s a real science minded person. Hahaha. Baumgardner is pretending to be an expert in fields he knows nothing about. Bamgardner is not qualified to critique biochemistry or to use probability theory. This is why someone like me can see right through his nonsense. It’s really pathetic that you can’t. But then you’re not allowed to question things like that anyway.

    What you have done in the above false argument is called a non sequitur. Just because life is here now and it wasn’t before, does not prove that it must have come about via natural chemical reactions.

    > You can’t prove it didn’t.

    Abiogenesis has been proven to be impossible over and over by science.

    > Exactly how, when and where was this done? If that were true then why are scientists working on this as we speak?

    Did you ever hear of Louis Pasteur?

    > Actually Pastuer disproved the creationist beliefs of his time, spontaneous generation which was the creationist notion that life such as mice, maggots, and bacteria can appear fully formed. There is no law of biogenesis saying that very primitive life cannot form from increasingly complex molecules.

    Creationists agree with observable science on this subject.

    > Creationists have never done that and they never will.

    We do no believe in abiogenesis. We believe that life was imparted to nonliving matter by a supreme life. Life only comes from previous life.

    > Prove it. It’s easy to say but impossible to prove.

    “Would have been sufficient” does not mean nor prove that it happened. There has been no experiment that shows this happened or that has made it happen. “Primitive life” is just a wish that springs from lack of evidence.

    > You’re one to talk about lack of evidence! There’s not a shred of evidence for ANY of your beliefs yet you swallowed them all hook, line and sinker. Then you have the nerve to say there’s a sucker born every minute! Suckers aren’t born anyway, they’re indoctrinated.

    If “no one knows how” and we have not witnessed life coming from non-life, then we are in the realm of faith, not in the realm of demonstrable, repeatable, testable science.
    So, what you have just confessed is that you know without any conclusive evidence that life came from non life. You just accept it by faith.

    > Well we know life did not come about the way the Bible says it did. So we’re going to get to the truth the way we always have before: through science. The only thing revealed religion hs revealed is that it is false.

    Science has shown countless times that life cannot come from non-life.

    > Well I’ll ask you to prove this again. You see repeating claims without supporting them with evidence only demonstrates the weakness of your case. Now do not address me again without proving beyond any doubt that life cannot come from non-life.

    That is what we also confess. So you actually believe against science. We believe with it. You have more irrational faith by far than those that you accuse.

    > Evolution deniers do not believe in science. Don’t be ridiculous.

    And for the record, science has not proven that matter always existed…it presumes it. It has only proved that in the current state of the universe that matter cannot be created or destroyed. We cannot create it. It cannot create itself. The only other answer is that it was created by a creator that is outside of natural phenomena. He is the original cause in our universe of cause and effect. So real science is on our side in these two areas, not yours.

    > Science does not consider God which is why you deny real science. No one is on your side and I mean NO ONE. Even your own CHRISTIAN colleges and universities teach evolution. There is no argument anywhere that matters over the validity of evolutionary theory. However people like Jonathan Sarfati and John Baumgardner make a lot of money convincing gullible people that there is. I wonder how much money you’ve wasted trying to believe the pseudo-science of creationism.

    Therefore, it bogles my mind how anyone could respond to such a post and not believe in an intellegent design to everything else around them.

    > How come 99 percent of all the species your “Intelligent Designer” has supposedly made have gone extinct? That isn’t any kind of intelligent design I’ve ever heard of. The fossil rcord proves evolution and disproves the notion that all life was created at once.

    If I was consistent to what I believed in thinking there is no intellegent design in things I see around me, how could I possibly assume there is intellegence in the above post, for it seems to me that I should think that it came about by itself, and that if I were to respond to it, I should think I was responding to nothing at all, nothing but a random assortment of letters with spaces in all the right places, and even correct puntuation and spelling, that simply happened by itself, with no intellegent design or designer behind it.

    > I get that feeling when I read creationist arguments.

    It seems to me that all who refuse to see intellegent design are phonies, fakes, and con men, men of illegitimate intellegence.

    > Well every Christian college and university teaches evolution and they all go to great lengths to distance themselves from any form of Intelleigent Design and the creationists who promote it. So all those Christian scientists who teach at Christian universities are phonies, fakes, and con men, men of illegitimate intellegence? I disagree. It is well documented that the phonies, fakes, con men and men of illegitimate intelligence are the people who promote creationist magic as science, not the Christians who actually are employed and teach science.

    Yes, we must be born again.

    > We atheists don’t. We got it right the first time.

  18. Now stop right there. You creationists have a very bad habit of making claims without supporting them with any evidence. How did these amino acids form if they didn’t form naturally? Are you going to tell me God made them? Don’t ignore this like you do my other objections to your claims. – Van

    Before I answer, I would highlight that my main argument above was to assume an outrageously favorable set of all 20 amino acids with which to do the magic of coming up with a single useful protein. Namely, we assumed the equivalent of every molecule in the universe being one of the 20 needed amino-acids, conveniently mixing together to this end for 20 billion years! Even with that, it would be impossible to even chance upon one meaningful protein (like saying: one meaningful English paragraph: ‘roses are red, violets are blue…’ … NOT a particular one, as you misrepresented or misunderstood, but just any ‘meaningful’ one).

    But less you think Van that I am not addressing your caustic challenges, here is the information you requested with regard to my claim that the Miller-Urey experiments were unnatural in some critical regards, and besides that, which simply failed to produce the needed results:

    a) they did not have oxygen represented in the putative atmosphere, which would have destroyed the results,
    b) only very small quantities of amino-acids were formed:
    “In time, trace amounts of several of the simplest biologically useful amino acids were formed—mostly glycine and alanine. The yield of glycine was a mere 1.05%, of alanine only 0.75% and the next most common amino acid produced amounted to only 0.026% of the total—so small as to be largely insignificant. In Miller’s words, ‘The total yield was small for the energy expended.’27

    c) “After hundreds of replications and modifications … scientists were able to produce only small amounts of less than half of the 20 amino acids required for life. The rest require much more complex synthesis conditions.” This is a major problem, because: “without all 20 amino acids as a set, most known protein types cannot be produced, and this critical step in abiogenesis could never have occurred.”
    d) Right-handed major problem: “In addition, equal quantities of both right- and left-handed organic molecules (called a racemic mixture) were consistently produced by the Miller–Urey procedure. In life, nearly all amino acids that can be used in proteins must be left-handed, and almost all carbohydrates and polymers must be right-handed. The opposite types are not only useless but can also be toxic (even lethal) to life.31,32″

    See Dr. Bergman’s: ‘Why the Miller–Urey research argues against abiogenesis’

  19. First of all the calculation of odds is based on the incorrect assumption that the protein molecule formed by chance which makes the calculation of odds meaningless. What goes on in Biochemistry is not chance but rather it produces complex products which interact which each other in complex ways. Also there are certain properties of living matter that also belong to inanimate matter, when it takes certain forms, crystals for example.

    I think you are trying to say that there is an inherent quality in nature (in chemistry, in the periodic table, in the properties of atoms and molecules) to naturally form the kinds of amino-acid sequences and thus protein structures that we observe in nature. But if my memory serves me right, this is not only not true, but that we can be thankful it is not true as well. For there is rather a ‘neutrality’ of attractiveness between the different amino-acid ‘letters’, again, from what I remember reading (I am not a chemist, but I read, and I try to stay accountable to what I say). That is very important, because if it were not the case, the amino acids would not be the terrific building blocks that they are, which can be extremely and endlessly varied in their polypetide sequences, but would rather prefer the same limited types of sequences. This would leave us not with the millions of known proteins, but rather with lots of those preferred sequences. And with no life.

    A couple of educational links on amino-acids and proteins.

    The miracle is that God designed these atoms and the fine-tuned forces so precisely so that these ‘life-molecules’ can form such an endless array of possibilities (and for such endless lengths), but you can see how the neutrality is critical for this to be allowed.

    In general: scientists have tried but not found any evidence for some kind of inherent ‘principal towards life’ in atoms and molecules but also in matter in general. I challenge you to provide contrary evidence. Are they fine-tuned to make life possible? YES! But there is no inherent quality to make them form complex life structures, be it protein chains or whatever else. Any more than when you find a nicely constructed sand-house on the sea-shore, you don’t question if sand-grains have some natural propensity to form such structures.

    For us Christians, the source of that principal is what we call the Logos, which was in the beginning with God, and which was God in the beginning. ‘Through him all things were made, and without him not one single thing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life is the light of man.’ Look to the Logos Van! He loves you, even if you hate him currently. He will respond if you ask for him. He really will. If you seek you will find. If you do not seek, you will not be found.

  20. The reason we believe God created all that is, isn’t just because of our intellect. That’s only a part of it. It’s also because we have experienced him.

    The man that has sinned and known his guilt, hating the kind of man that he was when he did the crime, and asked God to forgive him, has experienced the relief from his guilt, and the joy of a burden lifted. He also then has seen a higher calling, a better way, a solid ground, something unchanging, something immoveable, even an eternal future. (because of the cross which Jesus bore)

    Van, have you ever experienced God?

    When a man experiences God, there’s also something enlightening to the eyes that happens.
    New perspectives come into view, things they haven’t seen before, begin to show up.

  21. Nicolas your argument fails because you cannot prove biochemistry is a totally random process. So all your odds making is meaningless. But typical of a creationist with no evidence for his claims you just repeat the same debunked argument over and over and over and over again ignoring the fact that the argument does not stand up to scrutiny. Now you have to ask yourself why real scientists do not engage in this kind of odds making and why they do not accept your argument. Again your argument has failed. Everyone but other creationists can see that.

    Ray people of all religions claim to have experienced their God. Why would I accept an experience of God as evidence that your God is real from you when you would not accept that very same evidence from a person of another faith that their God is real? This is a perfect example of a Bible believer not being able to detect the fallacies in their arguments.

    There is no evidence of any nature that supports your beliefs Ray and Nicolas. So you have to resort to argumentation to promote your religious superstitions. However arguments are not evidence. They are however that the person making the argument really has no evidence to support their position. That would be you two guys.

  22. Oh and by the way Ray, if your experience of God is really evidence for God then my lack of experience of God is just as good evidence that there is no God. Touche.

  23. Nicolas your argument fails because you cannot prove biochemistry is a totally random process. So all your odds making is meaningless.

    Oh Van, did you not know? It is not we who rely on accidental chance happenings to form (the first purported) life, but you and your naturalistic system? What I have been doing is precisely disproving that random processes can form a purported first life, and really any other novel protein structures along with it.

    So Van, all you have is random chance for the first life, not us. So you are arguing against your own beliefs!

    Also, as for forming the first purported cell and the first proteins, you cannot rely on evolution or on natural selection either. Any professional evolutionists knows this, but you don’t seem to. That’s why all you have is chance, once we’ve ruled out that there is some inherent nature in amino-acids to form, all by themselves, the kind of proteins we see today. If that were true, then why didn’t Miller-Urey’s tests produce not only trace amounts of a few of the letters, but a bunch of useful protein sequences from them?

    I’m afraid you’ve been arguing against yourself.

  24. Nicholas,

    My prediction is that Van will say something like, “You are hilarious…you have faults in your logic…you have proven nothing…creationists are idiots.” He also will not directly address the subject or give any proof for his view. He does this over and over and attempts to deflect the argument by character assassination and by ridicule.

    If he doesn’t do what I just predicted, he will change the subject or make claims, and no proof, that science has shown you to be wrong so many times that it is not worth answering you…or he will tell you to read a high school science book. But he will have no direct answer for you and no logical argument and no scientific proof that you are wrong. He will just scoff and try to intimidate.

    Shalom

  25. Van,

    I wrote:
    “Science has shown countless times that life cannot come from non-life.”

    You answered”
    “> Well I’ll ask you to prove this again. You see repeating claims without supporting them with evidence only demonstrates the weakness of your case. Now do not address me again without proving beyond any doubt that life cannot come from non-life.”

    Van, it is you that keeps making the claim that life came from nonliving matter. The burden of proof is yours. You made a claim that life came from nonlife. You have shown no proof. There is none.

    Every experiment has failed to produce life from nonliving matter. Therefore yy case has been proven by every scientific experiment that has tried and failed to do this.

    There is no such thing as proving anything scientifically beyond any doubt. The one thing that is certain is that you have not proven that life was produced from nonliving matter by natural processes. You are the one that should keep your mouth shut until you can produce evidence. You have produced exactly zero evidence for your case.

    To be quite blunt…Put up or shut up!

  26. Should have been: Every experiment has failed to produce life from nonliving matter. Therefore my (not yy) case has been proven by every scientific experiment that has tried and failed to do this.

  27. Previously on Line of Fire we read this: Nicolas your argument fails because you cannot prove biochemistry is a totally random process. So all your odds making is meaningless.

    Oh Van, did you not know? It is not we who rely on accidental chance happenings to form (the first purported) life, but you and your naturalistic system? What I have been doing is precisely disproving that random processes can form a purported first life, and really any other novel protein structures along with it.

    > I guess if keeping your faith depends on not understanding you’ll find a way to not understand. How anyone could read what I posted and then respond the way you did is mind boggling. What is this random process you are talking about? You have not proved that biochemistry is a totally random process. So you are erecting a straw man argument which of course is a logical fallacy. First you have to prove biochemistry is a totally random process before you can base an argument on that premise. You haven’t done that and you aren’t going to either. Because it isn’t as I already demonstrated. Naturally you have conveniently ignored that because it demolishes your argument. Also can you describe precisely what protein molecules were like 3 billion years ago? You’re looking at the complexity of life after 4 billion years of cellular evolution and so of course you can’t figure out how something so complex could just pop into existence. It didn’t. 4 billion years is a time scale that you cannot even comprehend. So don’t pretend to know what could or couldn’t happen over that period of time. I think you’re one of those people who claims not to believe in that time scale anyway so you don’t believe in biochemistry either yet somehow you’re a self-proclaimed expert on the subject. Somehow you know something millions of scientists are missing. You and Baumgardner neither of whom know anything at all about biochemistry.

    So Van, all you have is random chance for the first life, not us. So you are arguing against your own beliefs!

    > Even if I grant your argument everything it asks and we assume total randomness life could still have come about naturally. When people win millions playing the lottery they often assume there was some kind of divine intervention involved; they simply believe nothing else could explain it. That’s the way many people feel about our position in the universe. I think that view is myopic but you’re welcome to it. Anyway all you have is an ancient folktale that was obviously plagiariazed form the folklore of other surrounding cultures. And again you are assuming randomness without proving it.

    Also, as for forming the first purported cell and the first proteins, you cannot rely on evolution or on natural selection either. Any professional evolutionists knows this, but you don’t seem to.

    > Now see whether that is even true or not is beside the point. You can’t make a claim without providing some evidence it might be true. That is a logical fallacy known as a Bald Assertion.

    That’s why all you have is chance, once we’ve ruled out that there is some inherent nature in amino-acids to form, all by themselves, the kind of proteins we see today.

    > See there’s a big mistake right there. The kind of proteins we see today have evolved from their simpler precursors over billions of years. You’re assuming protein molecules that existed billions of years ago are as complex as modern protein molecules. That is impossible. You have no idea what the first protein molecules looked like. They were obviously much simpler than modern protein molecules and so therefore would have formed naturally. The odds that life would have formed this way in this environment were 1 out of 1. Life arose naturally to bridge the gap between the cold of space and the heat of the sun. The reason we’re here has to do with heat movement and so our purpose so to speak is to move heat. You really should pick up a science book and stop reading stuff written by people who hate science. Science is much more interesting than reading books trying to prove that a 600 year old man built a ship the size of an aircraft carrier out of nothing but wood and tar. FYI they’re not “professional evolutionists,” they’re called evolutionary biologists and you can find them working at any Christian college or university or Christian hospital you go to. Why don’t you creationists go argue with them and demand they stop using their knowledge of how nature structures itself to cure diseases and develop new medicines and vaccines.

    If that were true, then why didn’t Miller-Urey’s tests produce not only trace amounts of a few of the letters, but a bunch of useful protein sequences from them?
    I’m afraid you’ve been arguing against yourself.

    > You’re missing the point. Amino acids form naturally. They are the building blocks of life. They don’t require any special magic to come into existence. So what you’re saying is that your God took something that forms all by itself in nature and made animals out of it. Why would God use something to make us that would make it appear to us that we have evolved naturally rather than having been created through supernatural intervention? To test our faith? Is that why God put fossils in order from simple to complex in the fossil record so He could see who would trust Nature rather than Him?

    My prediction is that Van will say something like, “You are hilarious…you have faults in your logic…you have proven nothing…creationists are idiots.” He also will not directly address the subject or give any proof for his view. He does this over and over and attempts to deflect the argument by character assassination and by ridicule.

    > That’s not true. Atheists have to be very careful what they say and how hey say it on this blog. Contrasting that I’ve been called several names and insulted quite a few times. I do not return the insults nor do I care to. On top of that my objections to arguments are largely ignored and instead I’ve got about six people cherry-picking my posts and then either purposely misinterpreting what I really said or playing around with semantics, while entirely ignoring the parts that deflate their argument anyway. I do address the subjects and I try to stay on the subject of the blog. I do point out the logical fallacies in the arguments I am presented with. It doesn’t do any good. Creationists just ignore the rebuttals of their arguments and go right on repeating them over and over and over again which of course is the fallacy known as an argumentum ad nauseam or an argument that depends on mere repetition.

    Van, it is you that keeps making the claim that life came from nonliving matter. The burden of proof is yours. You made a claim that life came from nonlife. You have shown no proof. There is none.

    > Of course there’s proof. We’re here aren’t we? We don’t have to know exactly how life began to know that you creationists don’t know. The Bible’s creation myth is a combination of Babylonian and Egyptian creation myths. I’d much rather not know something than think I do and be wrong like you.

    Every experiment has failed to produce life from nonliving matter. Therefore yy case has been proven by every scientific experiment that has tried and failed to do this.

    > That not really true. In 2009 researchers synthesized the basic ingredients of RNA which is a molecule the simplest self-replicating structures are made of. Until then scientists couldn’t explain exactly how these ingredients formed. Then about a year later a scientist by the name of Craig Venter was accused by angry Christians of “playing God” for creating self replicating artificial life in a lab. It’s fascinating how they did it. They took bacteria from I think a cow’s stomach and sequenced the DNA into a computer. Then they recreated it with chemicals and it began to replicate. The ability to replicate is the definition of life. I’m not sure how you can call an experiment with results like that a failure. I know why you’ll do it though.

    There is no such thing as proving anything scientifically beyond any doubt.

    > In science no finding is the final word and all findings are subject to further revision or even outright rebuttal. That isn’t true about your religion which claims it can prove things beyond any doubt and whose doctrines and dogmas are not subject to any kind of revision or rebuttal or any kind of criticism at all.

    The one thing that is certain is that you have not proven that life was produced from nonliving matter by natural processes.

    > No, the one thing that is certain is that YOU have not proved that life did not come from non-life. I asked you not to address me again unless you could. You are committing a logical fallacy known as Shifting the Burden of Proof. The person that is making the outrageous claim is the one who has the burden of proof. That would be you. Scientists are looking for a naturalistic explanation because that’s what they deal with: the real world as we observe it. You are claiming for no good reason that life could not have begun naturally. You are trying to prove a negative. That would be bad enough but on top of that you claim that life could not have begun unless the God of your particular religion made it happen through some kind of supernatural intervention, which is the politically correct way of saying magic. And you wonder why scientists are looking for a more plausible answer than that.

    You are the one that should keep your mouth shut until you can produce evidence. You have produced exactly zero evidence for your case.
    To be quite blunt…Put up or shut up!

    > Now if I said that to you, because I am an atheist I would surely be banned from posting on this blog. I just would like to remind everybody that there is a definite double standard on this blog. Now what case are you talking about exactly? I heard some of the show Frank Turek did with Dr. Brown and so I posted some objections to some of the standard arguments Frank always uses. Since then I’ve just been responding to other people’s comments and refuting a couple of bad arguments over and over and over again.

    Should have been: Every experiment has failed to produce life from nonliving matter. Therefore my (not yy) case has been proven by every scientific experiment that has tried and failed to do this.

    > Again, we have produced self-replicating life. What do you suggest scientists do? Just give up? Suppose you creationists got your way and all the scientists in America stopped trying to figure out exactly how life began. Do you think any other nations who have scientists working on origins of life are going to just give up as well? I have news for you, they aren’t. So should we just let scientists in Sweden or Germany or Russia figure out how life began on Earth? Should we just give up trying to find life in space as well and just let the Chinese annex and then colonize the moon and eventually Mars? Your kind of thinking is precisely why our nation now lags behind many other countries in science and technology. Our conservative politicians try to block any funding that could possibly go to further science while constantly attempting to dumb down our public school science classes. What’s going on in Texas is a great example of that. Why? Because science and what comes with it, skepticism, critical thought, knowledge, free inquiry, all of which are virtues, are the enemies of religion and the conservative ideologies that come with it. The reason you want scientists to stop looking for answers is because you’re afraid of what is going to happen to your religion when they find them. And they will. Just remember this: Right down through history we note that 100 percent of the millions of Bible believers who have said science could not explain a particular occurrence or phenomenon have been found to be 100 percent wrong 100 percent of the time. With a record like that I think it’s time to change teams.

  28. See there’s a big mistake right there. The kind of proteins we see today have evolved from their simpler precursors over billions of years. You’re assuming protein molecules that existed billions of years ago are as complex as modern protein molecules. That is impossible. You have no idea what the first protein molecules looked like. They were obviously much simpler than modern protein molecules **and so therefore would have formed naturally.** The odds that life would have formed this way in this environment were 1 out of 1.

    Also can you describe precisely what protein molecules were like 3 billion years ago? You’re looking at the complexity of life after 4 billion years of cellular evolution and so of course you can’t figure out how something so complex could just pop into existence. It didn’t. 4 billion years is a time scale that you cannot even comprehend. — Van

    Well Van, you seem to be living in a cave. If you want to deal with real facts, and not this wishful hand-waving away of every complexity, please provide an article reference or two or three on the minimal necessities we’d expect for a self-replicating cell.

    I will do the same:

    What are the minimum requirements for a cell to live?
    A minimal free-living cell that can manufacture its components using chemicals and energy obtained from its surrounding environment and reproduce itself must have:

    A cell membrane. This separates the cell from the environment. It must be capable of maintaining a different chemical environment inside the cell compared to outside (as above). Without this, life’s chemical processes are not possible.
    A way of storing the information or specifications that instructs a cell how to make another cell and how to operate moment by moment. The only known means of doing this is DNA and any proposals for it to be something else (such as RNA) have not been shown to be viable—and then there has still to be a way of changing from the other system to DNA, which is the basis of all known life.15
    A way of reading the information in (2) to make the cell’s components and also control the amount produced and the timing of production. The major components are proteins, which are strings (polymers) of hundreds to thousands of some 20 different amino acids. The only known (or even conceivable) way of making the cell’s proteins from the DNA specifications involves over 100 proteins and other complex co-factors. Involved are

    nano-machines such as RNA polymerase (smallest known type has ~4,500 amino acids),
    gyrases, which twist/untwist the DNA spiral to enable it to be ‘read’ (again these are very large proteins),
    ribosomes, sub-cellular ‘factories’ where proteins are manufactured, and
    at least 20 transfer-RNA molecules; these select the right amino acid to be placed in the order specified on the DNA (all cells that we know of have at least 61 because most amino acids are specified by more than one DNA three-letter code). The transfer-RNAs have sophisticated mechanisms for making sure the right amino acid is selected according to the DNA code.
    There are also mechanisms to make sure that the proteins made are folded three-dimensionally in the correct way that involve chaperones to protect the proteins from mis-folding, plus chaperonin folding ‘machines’ in which the proteins are helped to fold correctly). All cells have these.

    A means of manufacturing the cell’s biochemical needs from the simpler chemicals in the environment. This includes a way of making ATP, the universal energy currency of life. All living cells today have ATP synthase, a phenomenally complex and efficient electric rotary motor to make ATP (or in reverse to create electric currents that drive other reactions and movement both inside and outside the cell).
    A means of copying the information and passing it on to offspring (reproduction). A recent simulation of one cell division of the simplest known free-living bacterium (which ‘only’ has 525 genes) required 128 desktop computers working together for 10 hours.16 This gives some indication of what needs to happen for the first living cell to live.

    See on YouTube: a greatly simplified animation of protein synthesis, which includes the action of RNA polymerase, ribosomes, transfer-RNAs, chaperonins, and chaperones. All living cells have this system of protein synthesis.

    FROM: Don Batten: ‘Origin of life: An explanation of what is needed for abiogenesis’

  29. Nicolas,
    You can stop wasting time and space now. You lost this argument as soon as you claimed you could prove a negative. You will never prove that life cannot come from non-life. That is impossible and you know it. Now step up to the late like a man and admit you have been wrong. You lost another argument with an atheist and you’ll have to live with that the rest of your life.

  30. Oh and by the way Dan Batten works for Creation Ministries. That means he signed statement of faith that says this: By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record. Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information.

    By definition Dan Batten is not a scientist because no scientist would ever sign a statement of faith such as the one Batten signed. Batten is selling Jesus, not science. And I should not have to point out that he does not have the credentials that would qualify him to write on this subject anyway. No creationist has those credentials. You can’t find one legitimate scientist who agrees with you which is why you have to depend on creationists for all of your dis-information.

  31. Van,

    You wrote:
    “The kind of proteins we see today have evolved from their simpler precursors over billions of years.”

    This is an assertion with no proof. How do we know? Because you told us so below when you wrote, “You have no idea what the first protein molecules looked like.” You also have no idea what they looked like. You cannot assert that it is unknown what the first protein molecules looked like and then say that they were simpler in the past in one breath. You have refuted yourself.

    You wrote:
    “You’re assuming protein molecules that existed billions of years ago are as complex as modern protein molecules. That is impossible.”

    You cannot know for sure that it is impossible. How do you know? Where is the proof? Would something less complex than what we know as the simplest modern protein really be a protein? So now you have made more unfounded assertions.

    You wrote:
    “You have no idea what the first protein molecules looked like. They were obviously much simpler than modern protein molecules and so therefore would have formed naturally.”

    You also have no idea what they might have looked like, so you have no basis for asserting that they were”…obviously much simpler than modern protein molecules…” You have no proof that protein molecules can or did form naturally. Even if someone designs an experiment that did actually produce a protein molecule, it would not be that it formed naturally…it would have taken outside intelligence to design the experiment and no one can go back billions of years and find out what the environment was like then.

    You wrote:
    “The odds that life would have formed this way in this environment were 1 out of 1.”

    That is tautology at best. You are assuming what you trying to prove…except that you haven’t proven anything…just asserted that things must have been just so.

    Now that this has posted, the odds are 1 out of 1 that that it would have formed this way in this environment…because I designed it to be so…not because it must have been so.

    You wrote:
    “Also can you describe precisely what protein molecules were like 3 billion years ago?”

    No and you cannot either. This makes it utter nonsense for you to assert the things that you have. Your words make it clear to the reader that you have no proof and that you can have none.

    You wrote:
    “On top of that my objections to arguments are largely ignored and instead I’ve got about six people cherry-picking my posts and then either purposely misinterpreting what I really said or playing around with semantics, while entirely ignoring the parts that deflate their argument anyway.”

    Hmmm? We give direct quotes and comment. You have quite the martyr mentality going here.

    You wrote:
    “No one knows how life came from non-life, only that it did.”

    Then I wrote:
    “What you have done in the above false argument is called a non sequitur. Just because life is here now and it wasn’t before, does not prove that it must have come about via natural chemical reactions.”

    Then you wrote:
    “> You can’t prove it didn’t.”

    Then I wrote:
    “The one thing that is certain is that you have not proven that life was produced from nonliving matter by natural processes.”

    Then you wrote:
    “> No, the one thing that is certain is that YOU have not proved that life did not come from non-life. I asked you not to address me again unless you could. You are committing a logical fallacy known as Shifting the Burden of Proof.”

    So who shifted the burden of proof? You did when you said, “> You can’t prove it didn’t.” You started with a non sequitur and then sidestepped the argument. Then tried to falsely discredit the messenger (me) instead of actually dealing with the subject.

    But so it always goes. It is getting tedious and boring dealing with your posts.

  32. You can stop wasting time and space now. You lost this argument as soon as you claimed you could prove a negative. You will never prove that life cannot come from non-life. That is impossible and you know it. Now step up to the late like a man and admit you have been wrong. You lost another argument with an atheist and you’ll have to live with that the rest of your life. – Van

    If you do not repent of your pride, Van, you too will have to live with your words for ‘the rest of your life.’

    Dr. Sarfati was right when he called you ‘mendacious,’ which means: ‘not telling the truth; lying’. But another word that really sticks out to me, besides ‘hubris,’ with regard to your combative words even after having thoroughly lost the factual debate (not the debate of who shouts loudest, which you have thoroughly won), is this:

    bom·bas·tic, adjective

    1. high-sounding but with little meaning; inflated. “bombastic rhetoric” … pompous, blustering, pretentious, ostentatious

  33. You can’t prove a negative. You creationists love to hide behind that fact when critics show there isn’t any evidence that God exists. “Well you can’t prove there is no God because you can’t prove a negative,” is what most creationists say after they’ve seen all their arguments refuted and right before they issue the threat that the critic better repent of their pride or face eternal damnation for their skepticism. Skepticism is only a crime in religion and a virtue everywhere else. But that can’t prove a negative argument is a two way street. You shouldn’t have wandered out into that street in the first place. Your argument has just been run over. And since you creationists think repeating an argument over and over and over again somehow makes it true, I’ll repeat it once again. You can’t prove a negative. I rest my case.

  34. Van,

    You assert that life formed from nonliving matter. That is a positive statement. You offer no proof.

    Go ahead and show us the proof. You can’t.

    Just admit it.

  35. From post# 80: That not really true. In 2009 researchers synthesized the basic ingredients of RNA which is a molecule the simplest self-replicating structures are made of. Until then scientists couldn’t explain exactly how these ingredients formed. Then about a year later a scientist by the name of Craig Venter was accused by angry Christians of “playing God” for creating self replicating artificial life in a lab. It’s fascinating how they did it. They took bacteria from I think a cow’s stomach and sequenced the DNA into a computer. Then they recreated it with chemicals and it began to replicate. The ability to replicate is the definition of life. I’m not sure how you can call an experiment with results like that a failure. I know why you’ll do it though.

    How is that not creating life from non-life may I ask? I remember when this happened. Why did the Christians accuse Venter of playing God if he didn’t create life in a lab? What’s so funny about your argument is that your religion claims God made animals and the first man out of dirt which of course is life coming from non-life. You’re just upset because we figured out it didn’t really take any magic for this to happen. And what really bothers you is abiogenesis and evolution proved that ticket to heaven you purchased at such a heavy price turns out to be a counterfeit.

  36. It would be nice if the creationists would concede now. They lost the debate when they claimed they could prove a negative. Creationists are afraid to admit they’ve been wrong because they know the next thing they will hear or see is, “if you’re wrong about that, then how do you know you’re not wrong about the rest of what you believe.” No one has more to fear from the truth than a Bible believer.

  37. That depends Sheila. If you’re doing or not doing things because you believe in some kind of reward or punishment in an afterlife then you are to be pitied. However if you’re a Christian because you want to be part of something that has the resources to make the world a better place then you should be commended.

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