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Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss: Intelligent Idiot Atheists

Updated on December 16, 2016

Richard Dawkins is a well known English ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and writer. Lawrence Krauss is an American theoretical physicist and cosmologist who is Foundation Professor of the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University and director of its Origins Project. Both are celebrated atheists who are more vocal than most about their atheism. 'The Unbelievers' is a documentary that follows them as they tour together through America and Europe doing interviews, debates, and public appearances.

Despite what the title of this piece may suggest, I respect Dawkins and Krauss. They're obviously very intelligent men. For example, as showcased in his book, "The Selfish Gene", Dawkins shows to have a capability that many lack. He's able to imagine natural processes playing out over the course of millions and billions of years, over numerous generations, and he's able to formulate possible mechanistic reasoning for why things are the way they are. He is able to then explain and flesh out these ideas in a clear, concise way, bringing the reader around to his way of looking at things. Reading 'The Selfish Gene' I found to be revolutionary and incredibly insightful.

The above mentioned book is one of his more notable contributions to modern science and modern thought. Where I run into issues with both Dawkins and Krauss is in their insistence to waste their incredible intellect in the interest of debunking God and religion. From the standpoint of Dawkins book "The God Delusion" it makes some sense considering his point of interest. He's looking to understand how the modern human mind so bent on religious beliefs and philosophies came to be. And that in itself can be insightful and enlightening in one's effort to better understand the modern human psyche.

But I think in their haste to dismiss religion as being the detriment they see it as being, a point I don't totally disagree with, they've managed to toss out the proverbial baby with the bathwater. I do agree that to properly understand humanity, you must include the whole religious aspect. It's played a major role throughout our history. But I think it often times gets oversimplified and dismissed as delusion dreamt up by less informed minds of our past.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a pro-science, pro-evolution Christian. Though I am a Christian, I am not a church-goer and do not associate myself with any particular denomination.

My Thoughts on "The Unbelievers"...

Description on Netflix ... "Scientists Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss travel the globe promoting a scienific worldview and the rational questioning of religious belief."

To begin, I am a huge proponent of logical thought and discussion. So watching this documentary about these two men being celebrated as logical/intelligent thinkers, when I see so many blatant logical violations in their thoughts and statements, is literally hard to stomach.

Let's start with what should be the most obvious of logical flaws. Why are these two intelligent men making the obvious mistake of speaking about 'super-natural' themes in the context of 'natural science'? As if the 'natural sciences' could have anything to say on the topic? It's like watching someone you know to be incredibly intelligent pushing on a door that clearly says "Pull". Or like watching someone you respect intellectually struggling to remove a bolt with a screwdriver.

Now, it's understandable considering how religious types tend to reject science and scientific thought as if it's somehow a threat. So, it's natural to want to promote scientific thought, and to sometimes think that means chopping away at religion. The mistake is in interconnecting the two at all, no matter which side of the conversation you're on.

The documentary starts off with various "famous people" praising Dawkins and Krauss for their bravery. Which there is some bravery on display here. Religious people can and often do have strong feelings on these subjects and can react strongly. I agree that this is a conversation that needs to be had. And it can be a dangerous place to tread.

To illustrate my issues, I'm going to share a few comments of theirs that I typed up, then write out my response.

The Opening ....

In the opening scene we see Dawkins and Krauss having a discussion in what appears to be the dining car of a train they're travelling on. And right off the bat we run into some issues.

Lawrence Krauss - "What's more important in some sense, if you had a choice, which is to explain science or destroy religion?"

Richard Dawkins - "Oh, I think they go together, because, 'Destroy religion' makes it sound negative. To me it's a positive thing. Science is wonderful. Science is beautiful. And religion is not wonderful, it's not beautiful. It gets in the way. There are all sorts of other things wrong with it, but I mostly care about truth, the beauty of truth, the poetry of reality which is science. And the fact that religion as a scientific explanation, which it is a competing scientific explanation, it's so dull, it's so boring, it's so petty...."

Lawrence Krauss - ".. and it's wrong too."

Richard Dawkins - ".. and it's also wrong."

Lawrence Krauss - "As an aside, ultimately, is this other incompatibility between science and religion, that when imperical evidence tells you something, you have to accept it. When you give up that by saying I can believe this myth and fairy tale, then it opens you up to lots of other things. So it's not innocuous. Inevitably, when you have to deal with the real world, you inevitably make bad decisions."

Richard Dawkins - "If we can get people to believe that, then it's easier to convince, or it should be easier to convince people, that evolution is true because the evidence is so strong. Once you tell them what the evidence for evolution is, there's "oh, right, well, so much for God."


This is where their thought process loses me. What about determining a natural causal explanation leads one to the conclusion that God has been ruled out in any way? Is it the assumption that if a God were involved then miracles, or magic, would be too? Why? Where do they get that? Why can't evolution simply be the 'how' answer to the question? What does evolution being true have to say at all about the existence of a God?

If anything, the realization that there is coded information embedded into each cell that stores and passes on information, which of course makes evolution the accumulative and progressive process it is, makes a pretty strong case for intelligent design.

Intercut Scenes between Dawkins' Debate and Krauss' Lecture

From there we then go to a series of scenes intercut between a debate that Dawkins has with an Arch Bishop and a lecture that Krauss is giving at a college.

Arch Bishop of Canterbury - "It's part of being human to ask why we exist."

Richard Dawkins - "The question 'why' is not necessarily a question that deserves to be answered. There are all sorts of questions that people can ask, like "what is the color of jealousy?" That's a silly question. 'Why' is a silly question. You can ask 'What are the factors that led to something coming into existence?', that's a sensible question. But 'what is the purpose of the universe?' is a silly question. It has no meaning.

(then, literally 26 seconds later...)

Lawrence Krauss - "Because that's the liberation that science provides. The realization to assume the truth, to assume the answer before you ask the questions, leads you nowhere."

I totally agree with Krauss' statement. But do you see the contradiction here? These two statements directly contradict one another. Granted the two men were in two different rooms participating in two different conversations, but obviously whoever edited this piece together did so with no awareness of the distinct contradiction they all but highlighted here between what the two men are saying. In Dawkins statement, he's assuming a truth, assuming an answer without asking the question, by saying the universe has no meaning. Based on what exactly does he reach this conclusion? Anything more than his belief?

This is the kind of thinking that drives me up the wall about these guys.

Richard Dawkins - "We do have a scientific understanding for why we are here. And we therefore have to make up our own meaning to life. We have to stand up, look the world in the face, face up to the fact that we are not going to last forever, we have to make the most of the short time that we have on this planet, we have to make this planet as good as we possibly can, and try to leave it a better place than we found it."

What? Based on what? Who says? He just said there's no meaning to life or our existing, so who says we have to do anything? What does it matter in that mindset? There's such a contradiction between statements he makes as far as us just being biological machines and statements like this one. Those we're shaping the world for are only here a short time too. What does it really matter what kind of world we leave? The world is doomed to die eventually. We're doomed to extinction, inevitably. So by what standard can he now make the statement that we 'have' to do anything? For what? To try to make the short lives of future generations a little easier before they disappear into oblivion? How can Dawkins say that coming from his mindset? How does that even make sense? That we, basically just being biological machines who have proven successful at surviving, have some sort of obligation to leave the world a better place? I mean, it's a nice sentiment and all, but it doesn't exactly make sense in the mindset he's constantly trying to tout as the "right" one.

Dawkins - "It's such a privilege to be alive in the 21st century, and to look out at the stars, to look down a microscope, to look down an electron microscope, to look into a single cell and see the predigious stupifying complexity of a single cell and then realize that there are trillions of those cells in your body all conspiring together to produce a working machine which can walk and run and eat and have sex, and think. What a priveledge it is for each one of us to have in our heads an organ which is capable of constructing a model of the universe. It is sad that that model will die when our brain dies, but my goodness what a privilege it is before we do die."

I agree whole-heartedly, except for the part at the end that it dies when our brain dies. This is another assumed answer. Understandable as it is to think this to be true, it is in fact not "known". Therefore, it's another assumed answer that gets in the way of asking the right questions. This is how progress dies. Not that I'm proposing this idea as being close to any real truth, just more of an exercise to encourage further thought and to discourage this premature answering of questions. Call it playing devil's advocate.

We know that as we live life our life experiences, as perceived by our senses, gets etched into the physical matter of our brains. And stored there in some way we don't quite yet understand. We just know that we can later recall these sights and sounds and smells and such willingly, and we know through our understanding of the plasticity of the brain that physical changes are being made to our brains as this information is taken in and processed. So, who's to say that's where it ends? Information is in some way etched into the physical material of our brains. Physical matter which is then introduced back into the world. Who's to say that just dies when the brain dies? We don't even know how exactly that information is stored, yet we're sure that as soon as the brain stops functioning, that information 'dies'?

Hypocrisy

Lawrence Krauss appearance on The Colbert Report ...

Colbert - "Why does what you're saying have to be an attack on my God?"

Krauss - "It doesn't have to be an attack!"

Colbert - "But that's all you've done. You've attacked my God for the last six minutes."

Krauss - "No, no, you have. All I've said is that you don't need him."

Colbert - "That's an attack"

Krauss - "We've changed our minds about the universe. We've learned that the universe is more remarkable than anything we ever thought before. And in fact, changing your mind, and in fact being wrong is wonderful, you should try it sometime."

Yes, I agree. You should try it sometime, Krauss. Let's look at this statement, all in the same breath, along the same train of thought. In one statement Krauss says we don't need God. Then he goes on about how remarkable the universe is. Yes, it is remarkable. Why a more remarkable universe means we don't need a God confounds me. How do you connect one to the other? A more remarkable universe, it would seem, would increase the need for a God as an explanation, not reduce it. Was it not just discussed the importance of keeping your mind open to the possibility of being wrong? Must that only swing one way?

The Arrogance of an Atheist

Dawkins - "Well, there are what, 535 members of the US congress, and 1 has said he does not believe in a supreme being. That's statistically not possible. I mean, a fair number of those members of congress, presumably, have had some sort of education. There have got to be a very substantial number of atheistic members of the United States congress, probably more than a couple of hundred would be my guess. And yet they cannot admit it. So, in order to get elected, you've got to lie about your beliefs."

Here Dawkins makes another very common mistake. He equates belief in a God with being uneducated. I find this a very common thing, especially when reading about ancient human history. The way most explain away the mythological stories of the ancient Sumerians and Greeks and Romans is by dismissing them as being the delusional beliefs formed by simple-minded people of those ancient times in their attempts to understand the natural world around them. This assumption permeates nearly everything I read about these times, even though these are the same people and same cultures who first gave us astronomy and mathematics and the written language. We assume they were simple-minded morons because we've never in our lifetime witnessed anything that could suggest there be any truth to these stories, so we assume the stories bunk, and the authors simple-minded.

Genesis makes a pretty remarkable claim that to most of us sounds pretty far fetched. It says that Adam and Eve, and those born of Adam and Eve, being created separate from the naturally evolved life around them, lived lives that spanned centuries. That's impossible, right? How do we know it's impossible? Because nobody in this age has lived that long? Does that mean that it never happened? What's interesting is that every culture that existed in that age in that part of the world make similar claims. The Sumerians, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Indus Valley Culture, and many others, they all claim that god-like beings lived among them. Across the board. Well, if beings at one time existed as Genesis describes, then they'd seem god-like to a mortal human. Is it really impossible? According to Genesis they were created directly by God, formed from the Earth. How can we be so certain that it's impossible? Because we've never witnessed anything like it in our lifetime? We've never witnessed dinosaurs either, but we know they existed at one time.

Let's suppose for a moment ... What if you or I witnessed with our own eyes, something truly remarkable? An event otherwise not known to even be possible, something we educated and science-minded people recognize as being truly remarkable, happened right in front of us. Being science-minded as we are we recognize this event as needing to be in some way documented. It's important. So we might feel compelled to write about our experience. Yet it would seem that future generations that read what we took the time to write down, would immediately dismiss us as not actually understanding what we saw, dismissing us as simple-minded, and dismissing what we wrote as nonsense. Does that seem right? Should we maybe keep our minds open and not be so quick to dismiss others as uneducated dopes because we don't agree? Can we not be open enough to actually consider that we ourselves could be wrong? Is that not what these guys are preaching? The willingness to be wrong? How arrogant is that for these guys to assume it's only others that are wrong?

To truly move forward, do these otherwise seemingly intelligent guys really think progress can be made by dismissing the other side as unintelligent or uneducated? To dismiss their beliefs as ignorant or delusional? Do they really see this as a productive way of thinking? Should you not instead try to understand and appreciate, really appreciate, the mindset of those others. Should you not practice what you preach and keep your mind open to maybe being wrong?

Krauss' Statement on Plausability

Krauss - "Do we know how the first forms of life started? Absolutely not. But it's certainly plausible that given everything we know about genetics, biochemistry, that chemistry by natural processes can turn into biology. Do we know that? No. But it's plausible, and that's worth celebrating, that you don't need miracles."

There it is... God's involvement or existence is dependent on "magic" or "miracles".

"If this is the case, and our universe just popped into existence, and space and time were created in our universe in the moment it came into existence, along with the laws of physics we measure, then there's an object if you want to call it that, that is greater than our universe. We call it in physics now the 'multiverse', in which case there are many possible universes.... the point I want to point out is the 'multiverse' now serves the role of a prime mover, from a philosophical perspective, it can be eternal. It can be eternal and certainly beyond our universe.... The 'multiverse' was proposed because the laws of physics are driving us to it. I don't even like the 'multiverse', but if nature tells me that's the case, and that the laws of nature are incidental, I gotta live with it.

Ugh!! How is a multiverse plausible, but a conscious intelligent creator isn't? The more likely answer, it would seem, if the laws of the universe did just come into being as is in that they create the natural world we now experience because of the values that they are, that they were deliberately created that way. And this is plausible because intelligence and deliberate intent do in fact exist. Intelligence and deliberate intent are in fact natural products of this natural world. It occurs. Is biological the only form of intelligence that exists? Don't know. But it's plausible, especially considering all we now know, that other forms of intelligence could indeed exist.

Atheists Are Humanists?

Dawkins - "We do have a scientific understanding for why we are here. And we therefore have to make up our own meaning to life.”

Krauss - "So, to conclude, I've told you today that the universe can come from nothing, that you're far more insignificant than you ever thought, and that's what I want you to celebrate here today. People say that science takes away spiritual fulfillment and wonder and awe and happiness. You should be happier because you're insignificant and the future is miserable because you're here today and you're endowed by evolution with a consciousness and an intelligence and you can ask these questions, so instead of being depressed and requiring meaning in the universe beyond your own existence you create your own meaning and enjoy your brief moment in the sun."

Krauss - “It's surprising in some sense that we're talked about as being arrogant for somehow saying that we create our own importance, that our knowledge and our understanding and the way we live our lives is what makes our importance. People don't seem to recognize that a universe that's created for us a little more arrogant. And for me that's the most powerful and enlivening thing is the fact that the more unimportant we become the more powerful is the importance of science for pointing out that the universe exists whether we like it or not.”

Dawkins - “It's a sort of cosmic humility, where it's the exact opposite of what we're often accused of, science is responsible for the justified humility of humanity. Which is a new thing.”

This is a fairly common stance amongst atheists. That there is no meaning or purpose to our existence, and that any meaning or purpose that we assign to life is something we have to make up for ourselves. Which is correct in their way of thinking. If it is indeed true that there is no deliberate creator, then there is no meaning to life. And any meaning we, 12 billion years after the fact, assign ourselves is not really meaningful either, other than to maybe appease our own minds.

The whole concept of atheism robs humanity of any sort of purpose or meaning or significance. In their eyes we're simply highly evolved biological machines who are nothing more than the interplay of chemical and biological happenings that come from generations of evolution. Meaning, things like love that we hold in such high regard is nothing more than chemistry. It doesn't actually mean anything to love someone. It's just a chemical happening in your brain because that chemical happening somehow proved beneficial in our evolution.

Dawkins - “Karl Sagan said that when you're in love, you want to tell the world. To say that I'm in love with science, and I have to tell the world.”

So what does love in this case mean? Does that mean you're biologically/chemically predisposed to share science because science stirs within you some kind of chemical event? You can't have it both ways. If I'm to listen and take in what was said initially, then I have to reject this statement as meaningless as well. There's a serious lack of consistency here. You can't have it both ways. You can't dismiss us as biological/chemical machines, then start speaking of love and passion as if they're meaningful in some way. How exactly did love for ideals prove beneficial in evolutionary terms?

"The Reason Rally"

The grand finale shows these two speaking at the “Reason Rally” in Washington, DC. Yet all throughout the documentary up to this point there's example after example of broken reason and logic. This kind of thinking is being bandied about as “logical” and “reasonable”, yet there are so many holes in this line of thinking that it boggles the mind.

I agree this is a conversation that needs to be had. That religion and beliefs in God should be scrutinized just like anything else. But I don't think it's this easy to dismiss. I mean, half the world's population still believes in a higher power of some kind. To dismiss half the world's population as basically not being educated enough in science is to not understand what does and does not constitute as proof, or evidence, of God's existence. Or to even understand the distinction between what is "natural" and what is "super-natural".

Let's say, for example that something did come about through a "magical" or "miracle" event. How would that appear to us in the physical/causal evidence of science? Just a gap, right? A gap in our understanding where we haven't quite figured out how something progressed from this point to that. Kind of like people who claim we have no souls. How exactly do you reach that conclusion? Because you found no 'soul gland' in the body? Because if there is a soul then there should be some kind of detectable/measurable energy that is in no way accounted for in any other way? Does any of that even make sense? Are we really thinking these things through?

For example, at one point during a phone interview Dawkins makes a statement about how the actions of Jesus are directly tied to original sin, which was said to have been carried out by Adam. A being, who he claims, we now know to have never existed. Now, it is true that we now know there was not some "first human" who just showed up one day. However, the story of Adam and Eve makes it pretty apparent that other humans existed. Genesis 4 makes it apparent that there are other humans around that Cain voices concern about when he's being banished. And Genesis 1 directly says God created humans a full chapter before the story of Adam and Eve. It's only assumed that what the story is actually saying is that the humans created in Genesis 1 and the creation of Adam/Eve in Genesis 2 are two depictions of the same event. Now, there's a distinct possibility here that it's not the story that is wrong, merely the way it's been read. In which case it would mean we actually don't know whether or not Adam existed. Yet here's Dawkins running away with that conclusion as if he's properly weighed all the facts and is reaching some "logical" conclusion. When in actuality he's clearly missed some pretty "in your face" pieces of the puzzle that directly contradict his conclusion.

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    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 3 months ago from Texas

      Thank you, Sparkster. I agree confirmation bias cuts both ways. But it's even more frustrating when those doing so are doing so while criticizing the thinking of the opposing view. I think I said in that article that I respect both of these men. They can make meaningful contributions, so it's really frustrating to see them wasting their time and energy on such a misguided effort.

    • sparkster profile image

      Sparkster Publishing 3 months ago from United Kingdom

      Great article.

      You know, it amazes me how these intelligent atheists accuse Christians of confirmation bias and projective identification whilst being guilty of those very things themselves.

      Just as they accuse believers of doing, they look for patterns and evidence which supports their preconceived ideas of reality. That is projective identification and it is not logical, quite the opposite in fact. Derren Brown is another who does the same thing.

      They also tend to use the placebo effect as a way to defend their atheism whilst at the same time admitting that the placebo effect is real - in other words, they debunk the notion of things like the law of attraction whilst proving that it must be real to some extent. Where is the logic in that?

      At least Richard Dawkins has admitted that intercessory prayer is not against our scientific knowledge and that there may be something to it.

      They also say that if God exists then who created God? Then they resort to evolution. Well, even though we know evolution exists it doesn't explain everything. We could just as easily ask, if evolution exists then who creaated evolution?

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 17 months ago from Texas

      Because without a God, without a deliberate creator, if we truly are just the product of the environment, then we are just that. Clumps of matter. No purpose or reason behind anything. Just a very cold cause/effect world where there's no purpose or meaning behind anything and where we're ultimately doomed to fail when the universe collapses back in on itself. No matter what we do or how we choose to live, it's all irrelevant. We're an accident, basically. A bubble that came and went without notice.

    • Sam Shepards profile image

      Sam Shepards 17 months ago from Europe

      Dawkins is a militant atheist defending schools from creationism and intelligent design and he's not that good at it. Allthough I agree those things don't have room in a biology or science class, people in the West are not fighting the church from previous ages anymore, some fundamentalists and radical biblebelters aside.

      Also I agree for instance if your quote is right "why we are here" should be "how we got from a certain point and place in time and evolution to another." We don't know why otherwise we wouldn't have to create meaning ourselves. But this wouldn't set me on the same path as you for 'answers'. Also just because life is a numbers game doesn't mean it isn't impressive. High level math and logic can be as absorbing as religious experiences. :) Blaise Pascal, Leibniz...

      Why do you see it as being alone in the universe? Why do you see it is as cold when there is no God? It always amazes me how people start pushing words as beautiful, good, warm, light and more to the God side and then say I can't live in a world without God because then it is the opposite of those terms? We are stuck in language and constructs and we can't escape. (Sorry I'm not a native speaker)

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 17 months ago from Texas

      Well, I'm sorry if you find it inconvenient, but that's what we're dealing with. Given what we now know, if God exists, He exists apart from the universe. We should never stop looking and experimenting. We've learned so much. But waiting on science to make a determination about God is pointless. Science is the wrong tool. You're trying to use a screwdriver on a bolt. But you can see what should be recognized as clear evidence of intelligent intent in how nature operates and what it has created. DNA, for example, coded data in each of our cells, should have settled the discussion long ago. Instead it's argued that this could actually happen through pure chance.

      Faith is about having faith that you're not alone in a cold universe. That you're here for a purpose and will be aided along the way. That doesn't mean not using modern medicine. That would be like relying on faith rather than eating.

    • moneymindit profile image

      Money Man 17 months ago from California

      Your answer is a typical answer from believers. "God works in mysterious ways. God exists beyond our dimension and universe."

      Should humans stop searching and experimenting? If God exists, we will find him/it/whatever.

      The Bible talks a lot about faith. Yet I see a lot of believers at the doctor's office. Should humans rely on faith alone and not develop cures for illnesses?

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 17 months ago from Texas

      With all the science-minded people making statements like this, it seems they'd be the first to realize the flaw in this idea of waiting on science. When talking about a God who is said to have created the universe, we're talking about something that exists apart from the universe. Meaning, He is not a product of this universe. Therefore He is not something that can be in some way scientifically determined or detected. We cannot determine anything beyond this one observable universe.

      Yes, science has made some discoveries that have shown the church to be wrong about some things. But the church is still human and just as limited as any other human in what they can know. Science has also revealed the bible to be right about some things that weren't known for a very long time. Like the oceans coming before land, for example.

      It's important to understand that science cannot answer questions about God. Science is the study of the natural world. God, if He exists, is what sets the natural laws. What designed how matter/energy behaves in this universe. All we can see is the result, not the cause.

    • moneymindit profile image

      Money Man 17 months ago from California

      There was a time when the church believed that the Earth was the center of the universe. Then an astronomer came about and said that the sun was the center of the solar system. He couldn't prove his theory at the time due to a lack of technology. However, now we know that the Earth revolves around the sun. Just because science has not been able to clearly explain the origin of the universe doesn't mean it was created by God. The technology is not yet available to provide all of the answers.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 17 months ago from Texas

      I don't doubt that DNA will eventually be found to be a naturally occurring thing as well. I just don't think it was an accident. I think God works through purely natural means. We're not going to find any magic, or evidence of natural order being in some way overridden. Why would God need to override His own creation to make something happen?

      I just argue that finding a natural cause doesn't then rule out a creator or designer. DNA in my mind is one of the most direct indicators of intelligent intent in the natural world.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 17 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Headley

      I'd tend to agree with you in that evolution can only take place with what's already there. How things got started and where the information came from that was put into DNA can't be explained by any natural means at the moment.

      Recently I got a book of Krauss' out of the Library to read, I was a little apprehensive at first but really enjoyed the reading.

      It was great on the science and explained a lot about Quantum physics that I didn't understand until then and erally enjoyed it but as I got further in i realized that he was actually taking just about any position he could in order to not have to rely on God

      A classic example to me was the Anthropic principle where he said "if we live in a multiverse, then maybe only our part of it requires the Anthropic principle!" HELLO!!! He just completely side steps the issue!

      There's absolutely no proof of what Krauss claims yet he wants us to accept it!

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 17 months ago from Texas

      How do you figure? Why can't evolution be the how? Evolution doesn't do away with the need for a creator. Evolution relies heavily on what is essentially coded information, embedded in our cells, that makes possible the retention and passing on of information. Making what would otherwise be a random process, accumulative. Then you've got the will that compels life, that if it weren't for that propellant force, life wouldn't have evolved. having the capability to survive doesn't matter without the will that drives life to survive. These things are not accounted for. Not detected. Not even really covered in the theory of evolution. It's treated simply as a constant, that's always there. No explanation. Therefore, there are elements not accounted for that this theory doesn't address. So no ultimate question has been answered here.

      Intelligence evolved in this place. It's a natural occurrence, right? Then what is so out of bounds about suggesting intelligence could have been involved in what exists? Like DNA? Coded information that enables the formation, duplicatable many times over, of intelligent minds.

    • moneymindit profile image

      Money Man 17 months ago from California

      I see where you are getting confused. Dawkins said, "Once you tell them what the evidence for evolution is, there's "oh, right, well, so much for God." If evolution is true, then God cannot be true. Evolution does away with a creator. How is Dawkins's statement a fallacy? Evolution and creationism do not go hand in hand. You either have evolution or you have a creator. You believe that both can exist together. That is where your logic is flawed.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 17 months ago from Texas

      Right, so don't headline a campaign on the platform of logic while spouting fallacious statements throughout.

    • moneymindit profile image

      Money Man 17 months ago from California

      By definition, logic cannot be a fallacy.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 17 months ago from Texas

      Is a whole documentary about a campaign supporting logical thought and reason that's riddled with logical fallacies not obvious enough?

    • moneymindit profile image

      Money Man 17 months ago from California

      You sure typed a whole lot, but never explained why these two intelligent men are idiots. Thanks for wasting my time.

      MM

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Thank you TheBizWhiz

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      TheBizWhiz 2 years ago

      Great Hub! This was well written and very interesting. Voted up!

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Thank you Buildreps.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 2 years ago from Europe

      That's a very long and very intelligent Hub about atheism and these two very intelligent people. Well done!

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      Insane Mundane 2 years ago from Earth

      In less words, the divine funnels that create don't procreate in the same dimension, as we can only hope to find the pattern. All of this recent chatter reminds me of the 1987 flick entitled "Innerspace." LOL!

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Slarty,

      I agree. It's two different topics. Science is the study of the natural, not the supernatural. Trying to answer questions about God using science is like trying to remove a bolt with a screwdriver. It's the wrong tool.

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      Ron Hooft 2 years ago from Ottawa

      ."He's not there in the strip and can't be found by studying the strip. That is the universally true relationship of creator to creation: the creator stands apart and is of completely different substance. "

      That's like saying the words on the page are not the mind of the author, which clearly they are. Why would the author bother if they weren't?

      I'm an atheist, by the way.

      Science doesn't care if there is a god or not because that is irrelevant to the quest of science which is not who created it; but "how does it all work?"

      A god or no god doesn't tell us anything of interest in that regard.

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      Insane Mundane 2 years ago from Earth

      The best thing about this Hub (along the comments found below it) is that it demonstrates, in a bold fashion, just how subjective the concept of "intelligence" really is to these humanoid diddle-daddles. In other words, to a 3-year-old kid, even "Bozo the Clown" is seemingly intelligent, and deservingly so; ha!

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      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Thank you allpurposeguru for the way you summed it up and brought things back into perspective. Really liked what you and the hub author wrote

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      allpurposeguru,

      Yes, exactly. Trying to use the natural sciences as if they can have anything to say about the 'super-natural' is ignorance. 'Natural' and 'super-natural' are not the same category. It's like trying to use a screwdriver to remove a bolt. It's the wrong tool. God is not and cannot be a detectable part of physical reality. The maker of the causal chain cannot be a link within it.

      That's what I was trying to get at. All determining a causal explanation to something that exists can accomplish, if they truly think it means anything as far as the existence of God is concerned, is it means they somehow have a flawed concept of God in mind. I'll often pose a question like that to atheists who make statements like evolution means God isn't necessary. I'll try to get them to explain what it is they think the evidence should look like if a God were involved. What would that look like? What is it that you expect to see, that you think you should see, if a God were involved, that you don't that then convinces you that a God isn't necessary? Usually they expect some form of magic, miracles. For God to have at some point waved a magic wand and make something happen. So, what would that look like in the evidence if that were the case? It would just look a gap in our understanding of how this particular thing came into being. There'd be a causal chain to explain most of the process, but that one point where natural/causal reality was overridden, it would just be a gap with no explanation. To most in science, this would not be confirmation of a God, this would simply be something we don't understand yet.

      There have been times in the past where simply sharing scientific ideas would actually be dangerous. Like the concern Darwin voiced in going public with his ideas on evolution. He knew then that it would stir the pot. Or Copernicus who waited until he was on his deathbed to publish his ideas about a sun-centric planetary system. When the church claimed one thing to be true, and established themselves as the "authority" as to what truth is, it could be dangerous when you had truth that showed their view to be flawed. And even now, speaking out and challenging ideas about God can be dangerous. But I seriously cannot stand these two being held up as some sort of intellectual pioneers or whatever. I agree this conversation needs to be had. I think all ideas should be up for discussion. If it's truth it'll stand on its own. if it doesn't then it isn't truth. The truth does not fear scrutiny or questioning. If it's the truth, questioning it won't change anything.

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      David Guion 2 years ago from North Carolina

      It looks like this discussion has completely departed from the point of the hub: science is the study of anything and everything that has to do with matter or energy. It is incompetent to deal with the question of whether anything else besides matter or energy exists.

      There are three monotheistic religions. I'll not make any attempt to speak for pagans, but the monotheists believed that God created matter and energy. Therefore God stands apart from creation. He is not and cannot be matter and energy.

      Permit me an analogy: Steph Pastis writes himself into his strip Pearls Before Swine, but you can analyze that strip by every conceivable method, from literary analysis to analysis of ink and paper, and never find Steph Pastis himself or even be able to prove his existence. He's not there in the strip and can't be found by studying the strip. That is the universally true relationship of creator to creation: the creator stands apart and is of completely different substance. But if we can't discern him in his creation, at least we can believe that someone thought of it and drew it, and we can believe Pastis is that someone by believing his byline.

      These guys are idiots because, scientific geniuses that they are, they're not bright enough to recognize that inherent and substantial difference between creator and creation. It actually has nothing to do with religion. It has to do with recognizing what kinds of questions science deals with and what kinds of questions are beyond its scope.

      And as for all the congratulations that pour in about how courageous they are, that's just more self-congratulatory idiocy. Darwin may have been courageous in expressing his views in a manner that rejected Biblical revelation. There weren't many avowed atheists then. But even he wasn't exactly a pioneer in questioning Biblical revelation, so it may be necessary to go a generation or so earlier to find anyone truly courageous in avowing atheism.

      If anything, the author of this hub demonstrates much more courage in posting it than Dawkins and his ilk do in their academically respectable babbling.

      (By the way, I have an earned doctorate. My first masters degree came from a study of the scientific method as it related to 17th-century music theory, and I'm a life-long academic myself. I was just fortunate enough not to be in any of the disciplines that systematically purge anyone who departs from atheistic philosophies and progressive politics by refusing to hire them or, if one slips through, denying them tenure.)

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Hey oceansandsunsets,

      Yes, exactly. I think that's what most irritates me about Dawkins and Krauss. They're clearly intelligent guys, and could really bring some interesting discussion to the table if they just respected the other side of the conversation enough to do so. Instead they come off as dismissive and arrogant, turning off any real chance at a real conversation. Dismissing believers as uneducated. Yet if they were truly the intelligent people they're often touted as, then they'd understand that half the world's population still believing in a higher power warrants more than just these dismissive tactics. That alone should earn it more respect, as well as all of those people. To dismiss them all as unintelligent or uneducated is the mistake of the unintelligent.

      Yes, it's true that God can't be detected or observed. But there are clues of him being there all throughout the natural world. That's the conversation I would want to have with someone as knowledgeable as Dawkins or Krauss. I have no interest in putting them in a position where they feel they have to defend evolution or anything else. I'd be more interested in discussing the merits of ideas like random mutation, and how random is it really? That given the timeline, as long as it may be, can we really attribute things like stingers and venom and the ability to change color or any number of other fascinating things that life can do can really be attributed to such a clunky explanation.

      That's why I think they irritate me so much. That and the fact that they're held in such high regard and get such regular pats on the back for such a flawed and short-sited approach to what they see as a problem. I just think they could be better than that.

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      Paula 2 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hello Headly, I just completed reading this article, and wanted to thank you for encouraging people to be very thought out about these topics that are clearly very near and dear to the hearts of people on all sides. It seems that often what I observe when I see people like Dawkins and Krauss (and many others) is a kind of setting of paramaters really. I mean trying to gain some support in saying what is allowed to be right and true, and what is not allowed, in some greater sense. Krauss and Dawkins are very clearly against what a lot of people think and believe, but in stating so end up using more of what turns out to be their own beliefs and assertions and perceptions. It is one thing to esteem science, logic, reason and rationality, but another thing to use those things in our own arguments, whatever the argument may be. Very intelligent people can make such errors, and if so, I imagine would welcome some critique of their thought process. Even if not, people that have followed the ideas of some like Krauss and Dawkins, might be willing to check them against what you have shared here. (Or at some point, I would hope so.)

      As always, I believe that whatever is true, and factual, and best explains all we do know and even agree on on all sides, will stand on its own merit. Things that don't stand on their own merits often need to have more tactics applied, and/or are clearly lacking in facts, reason, and rationality and can be shown how. One of the biggest clues that an idea might be lacking is to look for any inconsistency. (You have pointed out several things in your article.)

      Logical fallacies may be employed when an idea needs help to hold its ground. (If the idea itself is lacking any merits on its own, yet a person wants to still hold on to an idea anyway for any number of possible reasons.) So while your title and some comments could initially seem harsh, or "wow", I find that as usual, you are doing a very good thing to encourage people to see if and where their own ideas, or the going after others ideas may be failing them. (Through lack of consistency, for example.) To encourage the possible opening of the door to ideas that seem to have the door shut so firmly against them, but without warrant. If your own ideas fail or break down, I applaud that in the past, you have encouraged others to show you where and how, so you can honestly look at them. If we can all do this, we can all benefit and grow. Our precious and short time here can be understood and appreciated for all that it just might be.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Slarty,

      I've approved every comment from you that I see. I don't see one that looks to be directed at me.

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      Ron Hooft 2 years ago from Ottawa

      "Thank you for that. I'll remember it in future"

      Now to be fair, I'll drop this on you now. The approximate temp at the point of the BB would have been many times hotter than our sun. In the order of 10 to the 32 degrees K which I think translates to 10000e+33 C

      I could be wrong about the C value. Never was great at math. ;)

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image

      Ron Hooft 2 years ago from Ottawa

      HeadlyvonNoggin

      I've replied twice now to your latest post and both disappeared into the void. If you should find them delete one of them for me would you? that is if you decide to allow either one. That's entirely up to you, of course.

      At any rate, thanks for the discussion. I'll be talking to you again when time permits.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image

      Ron Hooft 2 years ago from Ottawa

      "Stephen Hawking said that to have the idea of a universe existing without God and without meaning 'makes you wonder why it bothers to exist in the first place"

      Then he wrote a book trying to prove god doesn't exist. I wouldn't put too much stock in his belief in god. I'd also like to read the context this quote came about in.

      Never the less, as wonderful and complex existence is: saying a god must have done it without material proof that a god exists in reality is purely speculative and not as Christians assume: the only answer.

      I've spent a lifetime trying to get a definitive dialog with god and have never succeeded despite having had experiences a religious person would envy; which is why I'm an atheist.

      The brain is an amazing thing which is designed to fill in the blanks and make a solid seeming reality for us even in dreams. It can make you believe you talk to god when in fact you are communicating with your subconscious.

      At any rate, this will be one of my last posts for a while again. wish I had more time for this sort of debate again.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Slarty,

      A couple of thoughts...

      "I disagree. I can create a bacteria and have a use in mind for it, but is that it's meaning in life? I should think not. It may be the purpose it is created for but how can it be it's "own" purpose? It's my purpose. The fact that I exist does not add to its own meaning or purpose. Should I die, what does it care?"

      The point is, you were created deliberately for a specific purpose. You had nothing to do with your own creation so you can have no real say so in why you exist or what your purpose or meaning is.

      "Good question. But you are in the minority. The bible and most Christians asked tell us their goal is to serve and worship god. I agree. I view that as real waste."

      It's not that the primary purpose is to worship God. It's a requirement. Think about it this way. What if each cell in your body had the choice whether or not to behave according to what your body's DNA says? The system wouldn't work if your cells didn't behave as they're supposed to. Worshiping God primarily has to do with willfully acknowledging God as the authority. The DNA. It's a necessity for the system to continue to work with harmoniously.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Thank you for that. I'll remember it in future

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image

      Ron Hooft 2 years ago from Ottawa

      lawrence01

      Just an fyi: our sun gets hotter than 27 million degrees F or 15 million C. And it's not the hottest star out the.

      A consequence of the BB is that much hotter stars turned simple atoms into complex atoms through fusing them together under high pressure and temp. The 20 million C you mentioned is about what it takes for the process to work rather then being a problem

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Stephen Hawking said that to have the idea of a universe existing without God and without meaning 'makes you wonder why it bothers to exist in the first place'

      Take a look at the beauty of the earth and universe. Yes I know you can enjoy it without believing in the God who put it together but my belief and the belief of all who accept belief in God is that he put us here to tend and care for it (Something we aren't doing too well at I'll admit). Part of that tending and caring for it is to look for answers to the problems around us. That's the purpose he's given us.

      As for any elaboration on that point that's a discussion you'll have to have with God himself (You'll be surprised, he even talks to atheists)

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image

      Ron Hooft 2 years ago from Ottawa

      You still haven't told me what meaning a god adds.

      "If this God took the time and effort to deliberately create you and ensure you exist, then whatever meaning that has for Him is meaning for you."

      I disagree. I can create a bacteria and have a use in mind for it, but is that it's meaning in life? I should think not. It may be the purpose it is created for but how can it be it's "own" purpose? It's my purpose. The fact that I exist does not add to its own meaning or purpose. Should I die, what does it care?

      "What would be the point of going through the trouble of ensuring humans have their own individual wills if the only meaning or purpose they serve is to serve God? "

      Good question. But you are in the minority. The bible and most Christians asked tell us their goal is to serve and worship god. I agree. I view that as real waste.

      "Seems kind of a waste to have such a capable brain and an individual will if this is our only function."

      Well when broken down all our activities have to do with information processing, so while it may not be our only function I'd say it's the main one. Big questions need innovative brains to solve them. Conflict resolution is a major part of information processing for us. We could conclude that that's why we process information: conflict resolution.

      To what end? A better life for ourselves and our rug rat genes? Not a bad function as it goes. Not a waste at all.

      We have purpose provided by function and needs, which is objective purpose, but it also subjective in that our goal is enlightenment and a better existence for all.

      We also have the purposes others assign us, like bosses, spouses, kids, parents, teachers, all of them assign a purpose for us.

      Then we have our private reasons for existing. We have a plethora of meaning and purpose both objective and subjective. Why would we need a god? I certainly have found no use for one in my life, and I love life.

      So please explain your idea of a purpose given by god.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      I agree.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Slarty,

      Re: Meaning to life

      "The problem is that a god's meaning for you is not your meaning its his."

      If this God took the time and effort to deliberately create you and ensure you exist, then whatever meaning that has for Him is meaning for you.

      "The only purose a christian has is to serve god. Wow, be the slave of a higher power. What a purpose that is. No thanks."

      What would be the point of going through the trouble of ensuring humans have their own individual wills if the only meaning or purpose they serve is to serve God? With it being a free will, yes, you must willingly and deliberately choose to serve God. But if that's all He wanted then not giving you free will would have accomplished that. He wants you to willingly choose to. And He wants you to have your own mind.

      "There is no intrinsic meaning to life other than function. Our function is obvious in what we do. We gather, process, and pass on information with all we do including passing on genetic information."

      Seems kind of a waste to have such a capable brain and an individual will if this is our only function.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Yes, Slarty, exactly.

      I think that's my issue is that they're both clearly very intelligent men, yet they're using the absolute worst approach in what they're doing. It drives me crazy. Their approach can only be alienating and damaging to what they presumably hope to accomplish. So I really have a hard time holding them in such high esteem while watching them do this. Visions of monkeys and footballs come to mind.

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      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      I noticed after I sent the link that it was by proponents of intelligent design. Both Einstein and Hawking accepted that,possibility But it the idea if no meaning to life is what saddens me

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image

      Ron Hooft 2 years ago from Ottawa

      "That there is no meaning or purpose to our existence, and that any meaning or purpose that we assign to life is something we have to make up for ourselves. Which is correct in their way of thinking. If it is indeed true that there is no deliberate creator, then there is no meaning to life. And any meaning we, 12 billion years after the fact, assign ourselves is not really meaningful either, other than to maybe appease our own minds."

      The problem is that a god's meaning for you is not your meaning its his.

      To me whether there is a god or not makes no difference to the purpose for my life. It adds nothing to my existence either way

      What is meaning in this context? The bible says our purpose is to dress the earth and care for it. Wow, what an important purpose.... not.

      The only purose a christian has is to serve god. Wow, be the slave of a higher power. What a purpose that is. No thanks.

      There is no intrinsic meaning to life other than function. Our function is obvious in what we do. We gather, process, and pass on information with all we do including passing on genetic information.

      That's your purpose. Is that your meaning?

      Meaning is subjective while function is objective.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image

      Ron Hooft 2 years ago from Ottawa

      By the way: "What Are the Top Ten Problems with Darwinian Evolution?" link is by creationists; specifically intelligent design advocates.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image

      Ron Hooft 2 years ago from Ottawa

      awrence01

      As you were informed, a theory has a high probability of being correct. Science deals in facts, models that try to explain the facts, and probability.

      Science is not a religion and doesn't require belief or faith. Scientists would love to find something wrong with any theory or hypothesis. That's how you get famous.

      That's what review is all about. Most things can't be proven 100 percent, but they can be proven false if they are false. This overwhelming evidence you say exists against evolution and BB just doesn't exist. There is no conspiracy.

      There are always hypothesis and speculation, but the math can look good on paper, but that's meaningless unless backed up by actual hard evidence.

      Believe me, evolution is a fact. BB has nothing to do with evolution. Prove it wrong tomorrow and you don't prove evolution false, anymore then if you prove evolution wrong you haven't proven a god exists.

      This fight over evolution is meaningless. It does not farther the religious cause.

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      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Thank you for clarifying the point. But then is the Big bang a theory or a hypothesis? bearing in mind the evidence against it is almost as much (I would say substantially more).

      I agree that there is a problem with the debate but it isn't 'fundamentalist issue' that some are claiming the real issue (and this has been raised by many scientists both creationist and evolutionist) is that the purse strings are controlled by the evolutionary big bang proponents and in many sciences you can't actually get funding for research that might criticize the two sacred cows hence much of the work points to evolution despite the evidence to the contrary that is 'brushed under the carpet'

      Sounds horrible but it's there

      here are a few problems with the Big bang Theory

      http://metaresearch.org/cosmology/BB-top-30.asp

      And a few more with evolution

      http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/07/what_are_the_...

      Both sites are not creationist (as far as I'm aware) but both tell of the problems, but I wonder if they really tell us of the issues

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      Ron Hooft 2 years ago from Ottawa

      awrence01

      Agreed. BB is a model derived from facts. All models try to explain the facts they contain. I would say that BB is a good model for the facts, and perhaps the best we have had to date. But I would not want you or anyone else thinking it is an absolute fact. The model has changed many times over the years and will continue to evolve as the facts unravel and new info comes in.

      Who knows, it may evolve into another model all together.

      BB is a good working model for now, and much can and has been learned from it. But it isn't a complete theory.

      I advocate accepting facts, not believing in the speculation that surround facts.

      However, that aside, when it comes to BB theory, I assure you that high temperatures were not a problem. Again, at that time particles and atoms did not exist. Massless quarks and such were all there was, according to the theory. The singularity that expanded was in theory all the energy that now exists in the universe. When it expanded it created space and hence time.

      That expansion was highly energetic, spewing forth all the energy now in the universe, freeing it from it's compressed form. That freedom is what caused the high temps; all that highly excited energy expanding.

      And BB is not an event that happened long ago and went away, it is still happening; we live it and the universe continues to expand.

      I do not understand how anyone can make a case for heat being detrimental to the processes that followed, assuming for the sake of this discussion we are working within BB theory as it stands.

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      Ron Hooft 2 years ago from Ottawa

      Headly

      Interesting hub.

      I'm an atheist, of course, but I've also noticed that Dawkins and Krauss don't really have a handle on how to debate Christians. I even wrote to them both with my concerns.

      They are scientists studied in biology and physics respectively; not studied in theology. And again, you can't fight something properly if you don't understand it at least as well or better than your opponent does.

      The other issue here is that the only part of the religious landscape that is a threat to science and rational thinking is the fundamentalist of any religion. In this case they are targeting Christian fundamentalists while alienating moderates who often also value logic and rationality, while believing in a higher power.

      Scientists have traditionally believed that they were discovering how it all works, and hence how god does things. God itself is irrelevant in science, because it is trying to find how it all works. Whether a god did it or not can't be known with certainty, but how it all works can.

      So the average Christian already accepts evolution. They may even accept a big bang, though that is less certain then evolution. They should be included and invited to stand against the fundamentalists with us. After all, they have as much to lose in this war as we do in terms of freedom and human rationality.

      Dawkins is trying to attack fundamentalism with rationality. He is doomed to fail as there is no common ground between us. No points of common reference. Fundamentalists have faith which is something that makes one think they know with certainty, when they can actually have no certainty at all. Atheists/scientists rely on evidence for certainty, or at least high probability.

      The two ways of thinking can not be reconciled. So this war will be won with numbers. Alienating moderate Christians is counter productive.

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      Julie McFarland 2 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      But there's a huge difference between the way you're using the word theory and the way the word theory is used and understood in science. Something is not a theory until it has been priced, and has a mountain of supporting evidence. A theory is the Pinnacle, the graduation point of science, not the initial hypothesis, which is how you're using the word.

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      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Thanks for the link JMcfarland I did look them up on Wikipedia but I'll have a look at the link you sent. It's good to go to the source and not what others say about it. I've ertainly learned a bit from this discussion.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      My point is that because of the conditions that were there they couldn't have happened in the first place!

      What you're quoting at me is all theory and may sound good but what I want is proof not theory! I agree that it does help to be well read on the subject but the best way to learn is to debate! Some of the points here have been good but my points still stand. They're based on what I've read from the likes of Einstein and Stephen Hawking among others. Remember that about 40% of scientists including at least 14 Nobel Physicists have rejected the Big Bang Theory. In fact the term Big Bang Theory was actually coined by a sceptic Nobel prize winner making fun of the whole idea!

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      Julie McFarland 2 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      I think this link may help, Lawrence, and I highly encourage you to read it. Creationist sources often misrepresent macro evolution and say things that simply are not true. At all.

      http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/macroevolution.htm...

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image

      Ron Hooft 2 years ago from Ottawa

      lawrence01 said,among other things:

      "First we have to point out that if the Big Bang took place then the temperatures reached (at least 20 million degrees Celsius) would have sterilized all material in the universe. It would have stayed sterile because nothing would exist to contaminate it (the heat would have destroyed it)"

      Nonsense. This shows a complete lack of understanding in regards to particle physics as well as B.B theory.

      At the beginning of the big bang all there was energy. All sub atomic particles were massless and were traveling at light speed. Heat wasn't a problem. How can you sterilize energy? Good grief.

      The higgs field formed later slowing most sub atomic partials down giving them mass. That slowing to well below light speed allowed for subatomic particles to interact. By then things were much cooler.

      Even so, to sterilize means to kill all or most biological life in a given sample. There was no biology at the start of the BB, so what do you suppose could have been sterilized?

      It helps if you are well read on the topic you choose to debate. You can't make valid points if you don't have a good handle on what your trying to break down. Get the facts first and then find flaws in it, if you can.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Micro evolution is where a change happens within a species and usually occurs through the deletion of genes in the DNA. Nothing new is added.

      An example of this is the Dog. In ancient times only a handful of breeds were known but through selective breeding (the elimination of unwanted genes) we have developed some four hundred breeds of dog.

      Macro evolution is changes that happen at species level and often involves adding more genes to the gene pool. This is what creationists and evolutionists disagree on. Creationists say that adding genes to the gene pool can't be done but evolutionists disagree.

      An example of this is the proto dog (according to Wikipedia) turning into the proto horse.

      As one who believes in creation I don't see them as being the same at all.

      Personally I disagree with the macro evolutionary idea but I think it might warrant more study on my part.

      I hope that explains it.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Yeah, I've heard quite a few people say that, and I never get it either. I think ultimately most people have trouble with the concept of long expanses of time. But I agree with you, if you accept microevolution, just imagine those same small changes, accumulating over numerous generations, and you've got macroevolution.

      But even beyond that you've got the fossil record. You've got actual "proto" animals that are 'in between' two species, sharing characteristics with both, showing hard evidence for macro changes. Just look at our skeletons. Fish, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, we all have very similar skeletons. Rib cages, skulls, etc. We all have blood that circulates, blood vessels, muscles, etc.

      I don't personally get the hang up with macro-evolution. It seems to me that from a believers standpoint, that's exactly how you should expect God to have realized all the different forms of life.

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      Julie McFarland 2 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      I don't understand how someone can accept micro evolution (which is understandably obvious and provable) but not macro, which is the sane exact thing, only with a greater amount of time passing. It is not two different processes.

      http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section1.h...

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      I enjoyed the discussion as well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Exactly my point. The microbes didn't come from the broth but had to come from an external source! Hence life can only come from life!!

      As for the RNA here is a quote from the article you linked in your reply.

      "However, though researchers have been able to show how RNA’s component molecules, called ribonucleotides, could assemble into RNA, their many attempts to synthesize these ribonucleotides have failed. No matter how they combined the ingredients — a sugar, a phosphate, and one of four different nitrogenous molecules, or nucleobases -ribonucleotides just wouldn’t form." In other words they got so far as to see that they might form (used the word 'could' they just couldn't do it!!!

      I agree with you that natural process is the way that God uses to create. What I'm not in agreement with is how he did it right at the beginning. My belief is that he created and set the natural order in motion at the same time bypassing the need for evolution! I accept that micro evolution (within a species) takes place but don't accept that macro evolution (from one species to another) happens. I still think the hub was good though and enjoy the debate!

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      JMcFarland,

      Yeah, I'm generally leery whenever a lay-person begins arguing the actual science of a situation, like his statement that the temperatures created during the big bang would have sterilized everything. I generally concede to the experts to have considered such things, recognize myself as a lay person, and don't argue those types of points. There's a whole slew of really intelligent people that see no inconsistency with evolution, who are the ones actually doing the experimenting and such, so I'm not about to argue the science of it. I will sometimes point out how people have a tendency to attribute things to evolution by simply putting it in an 'evolution' venacular, like this particular trait obviously came about because it mutated randomly, then proved beneficial to survival and was passed on. I think it's important to recognize that just because the process makes sense doesn't mean it's the explanation for everything. There's really no way of knowing whether that's accurate or not. We may be cheating ourselves out of understanding something better by dismissing it as yet another product of evolution.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Yeah, I can see what you're saying. I don't personally have an issue with evolution. Evolution itself doesn't deal with abiogenesis, only the changes over time that account for the emergence of different species and such.

      Personally I don't have an issue with abiogenesis happening naturally. 'Naturally' is how God works. Floods, the people being dispersed at Babel was the result of a drastic climate change, the mass extinction events that shaped life. Even the formation of the universe and all the stars and planets is the result of how matter/energy interacts within the environment the natural laws create. Natural processes is how God realizes what He creates. He doesn't just 'miracle' things into place. So I'm sure however life emerged will eventually be revealed as a 'natural' process as well.

      The best example I know of is documented here, where ribonucleotides, the basic building blocks of RNA, were created in a lab under 'natural' conditions that would have been found on early earth... http://www.wired.com/2009/05/ribonucleotides/

      Pasteur's experiment wasn't exactly valid for what he was trying to accomplish because the microbes didn't originate in the broth. They 'contaminated' the broth. They were pre-existing organisms in the environment that were able to get into the broth until he changed the conditions. This is not generating life, only attracting it.

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      Julie McFarland 2 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      Since the term "law" is not used in the life sciences where theory is the graduation point (such as biology) and is generally only used to describe mechanisms in physics, I'm curious to see what Lawrence is referring to as well.

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      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      One example it is the experiments done by Pasteur in the 1870's

      First we have to point out that if the Big Bang took place then the temperatures reached (at least 20 million degrees Celsius) would have sterilized all material in the universe. It would have stayed sterile because nothing would exist to contaminate it (the heat would have destroyed it)

      Pasteur decided to test the idea that life could rise from non living sources to see if it would work.

      He took some glass jars and put beef broth in them with the idea that if microbes came about then the experiment would prove evolution possible! Within a few weeks he had microbes growing in the jars but he realized that the jars hadn't been sterilized so he ran the experiment again with sterile jars that were open ended but had an s bend in them. The s bend would allow for air to circulate but would prevent microbes getting into the jars. THIS TIME NO LIFE EMERGED

      One hundred and forty four years later the jars are still on display at the Pasteur institute (Pasteur got the Nobel prize for his work on understanding microbes and what he discovered in this experiment is still used in Pasteurizing milk) and they are still sterile!

      Pasteur concluded that Life can only come from life (Biogenesis) but this is disputed by evolutionists and say 'it must have come from non life' Dawkins goes so far as to say that what Pasteur discovered isn't a law of science but a 'guiding principle' which has been broken many times!

      I've got a few hubs on the creation evolution debate that I try to stick to the science (or at least my understanding of it)

      Personally I am a 'creationist' but I'm also conscious no one has all the answers so I would class myself as one still looking as well. I hope you see a little of where I'm coming from (and not some 'rabid' creationist).

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Thank you Lawrence. I have to say I'm not sure what you mean about evolution breaking all the laws of science. Can you explain?

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      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      I enjoyed this hub but the issue I have with evolution is that for it to work sciences (all of them) have to forego their laws because evolution breaks them all. You can't have laws applying now that didn't apply a million or ten million years ago! The creation view teaches that the laws of science came into being the same instant the created whole came into existence

      The hub does a good job of showing the inconsistencies the two revert to. It does a good job of saying 'Hey guys, try being consistent!' Well done

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      bradmasterOCcal 2 years ago from Orange County California

      HVN

      I will have to check out your hub on the scientific forensic of the bible.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Thanks Oz.

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      Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

      Von Noggin

      Excellent Hub.

      Intelligence without wisdom is idiocy

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      I appreciate that, brad. One of my primary points is much like what you said. These two highly intelligent, knowledgeable men are spending so much time and energy coupling knowledge of science together as somehow having something to say about religion that I find it confounding. I don't know if you've read any of my other hubs I have shown, through scientific-type practices, that the bible can be shown as factually and historically accurate. That further insights into those ancient texts, and on the whole God concept in general, can be attained if one isn't so quick, as these guys are, to dismiss it out of the gate without truly giving it due consideration.

      I thought about that, as writing, that most reading this probably won't be aware of the connections I've made or the scientific approach I used to do so. I might edit at some point to try to address that. You make a good point.

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      bradmasterOCcal 2 years ago from Orange County California

      So, after reading this hub, I don't know what was the point.

      Clearly, these two people are not the pinnacle of knowledge on a subject that is without any practical evidence.

      Religion is sociology or philosophy where opinions are the result, as opposed to science where the result can be demonstrated. Religion is static as nothing new has occurred in two thousand years. While science marches on, and then further.

      Neither science nor religion has proved who are what is responsible for creation. Faith in religion isn't any different today than it was since AD. Science has changed dramatically, even when it crossed the beliefs of the church. And in those cases, it proved that the church was wrong.

      My point is that trying to couple science with religion to determine creation like trying to compare oil with water.

      I really don't care how we were created or whether science or religion has the answers. It is what it is and no more. And who or what ever created the universe needs to try to get it right the next time.

      While the hub was done well, I don't think that many people would read it through, but that is my guess.

      Thanks

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Thank you for that, Julie, but I understood. I understand this to be a naturally charged topic that will inevitably incite reactions from both sides. My hub here, it could be argued, is similar, as it's my initial response directly after watching this documentary. I know how you feel and where you're coming from, so I wasn't insulted in any way by your reaction. I understood.

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      Julie McFarland 2 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      I'm sorry for my reaction after your dd appearance. I was taken by surprise and defensive about your accusations, and responded before I could properly think my response through. I hope you accept my apology, and I still enjoy reading and thinking about your work. Good luck on the book.