« Challenge Response: Why Is Good "Good"? | Main | There's No Need to Panic (If What We Believe Is True) »

February 07, 2014

Comments

Even if they were to succeed, look at how much effort it would take for a single cell; whereas the Creator simply spoke and the whole universe sprung into being...

If they are successful, that would show intelligent design to be sufficient for the creation of life, but how does it show intelligent design to be necessary for the creation of life? I get the impression you mean to argue that because of the difficulty of creating intelligent life by intelligent beings, it would be even more difficult for nature to do it on its own since intelligent beings have more creative powers than nature does.

But is that really true? Fusion happens in nature all the time with no problem. There are billions and billions of stars. But fusion is very difficult for humans to achieve. So clearly it isn't true (at least not in every case) that it's easier for intelligent beings to do something than for nature to do it.

So I don't think this is a good argument for intelligent design.

Sam,

Couldn't disagree more. The argument is quite good. The only way biogenesis can be duplicated in the lab is through non natural processes.

Real science shows that the magic sauce is intelligence, not billions of years of time.

As for fusion, we know how to do it, we just don't have the means yet. Completely different.

Goat Head 5

Sam,

Yup.

I was about to quote...

Scientists may indeed be very close to achieving creating such a synthetic organism, and if they do, their work will demonstrate the level of design and intelligent interaction necessary for life to emerge in the universe.
...and say...
Sufficient. Not necessary.

Arriving by Route A is not evidence against the existance of Route B (let alone proof).


RonH

Sam nailed it.

What route B?

Nature does lots of things to life.

Observable things.

Mindless things.

Exploding supernova being equated to the language that is life begetting life is a false identity claim wrapped up inside of an unjustified belief.

Language is a funny thing...... semantics, definitions....and so on.


False identity claim.

Well, Goat Head disagrees with me and RonH agrees with me. Now I don't know what to think. I think I'll go with RonH. He seems to be the genius. After all, he agrees with me. :-)

The identity claim of:

[Explosions] =

[Objectified etymological linguistics housed within the [Observed Entity] that is the codified communiqué spelling out the necessary summation to build the computed whole that will decode to the methodized, systemized unit of [(Syntactical Software) + (Robust Village) + (Hardware)] which is (life begetting life)]

is an identity claim which houses just no justification at all, and as such to believe thusly is to hold to an unjustified belief.

We don’t observe nature doing that.

Ever.

We do observe nature destroying such things.

Explosions, fusions, collisions, expansions, contractions, and so on. The Mindless.

In the real world we actually do find such communiqué, such patterns at our fingertips in concrete, measurable, falsifiable, and brutally repeatable physicality only along the vectors of Subjectivity within Mind etching themselves into Objectivity within Physicality.

All available evidence tracks in that direction.


Here's what we know through SCIENCE. Life can (possibly) be "created" through intelligent agency using pre-existing complex chemical material.

Here's what we DO NOT know through SCIENCE. Life can self-assemble from non-living, naturally occurring chemical materials.

So, who is taking a leap of faith here?

1. The Theist, who trusts in what we actually know by scientific inquiry, that intelligent agency can manufacture "synthetic life".

or

2. The atheist, who must have faith that life self-assembled through a random chemical accident that has NOWHERE been proven or even reasonably shown to be possible scientifically?

The Necessary and the Sufficient,

If we actually did observe nature authoring such robust Novels, as we observe nature filling up the sky with fissions and fusions, and so on, then the naturalist may be able to justify his belief that nature does in fact build such communique without Mind’s pesky intrusions. But Novels are as odd a thing as is the Language which fills up their pages. And therein, in that oddity of Language, is that persistent Achilles Heel called evidence which the Naturalist must believe against - for nature - in undeniable reproducibility - moves - unanimously - in the opposite direction - every single time.

Fissions and Fusions being equated to Novels and Language is a step the Naturalist has to embrace, despite the obvious difficulty of such a claim.

The oddity of Novels and Language would not be such a game changer if we could find even one piece of physicality behaving thusly, like we find fusions and fissions and so on doing what fusions and fissions, and so on, do. But we see no reason to believe that rocks roll up hill, that is, until we see a rock roll up hill. To posit “Rocks roll up hill” one needs to present something, anything in nature where we observe, in the real world as we find it, rocks rolling up hill.

But the game-changing status here is not that we “only” observe “a few” Novels being filled up with Language, but rather, the game-changing status is that we never observe any physical systems, void of such Novels full of such Language, ever taking it upon themselves to write even that Necessary, but never Sufficient, chapter one.

Ever.

We can forget about Sufficient, for Nature cannot even rise to the level of Necessary.

And this is where the Naturalist finds himself in the position of having to believe, not against “most” of physical evidence, but rather, he finds himself in the position of having to believe against every bit of the entire anthology of evidence that is the observable universe.

He finds himself saying things like:

“Well, since we can actually observe that Nature can in fission implode/explode thusly, then, we can take this to mean that Nature can do what we actually and always observe Nature doing the opposite of.”

Well, that just won’t do, as the Naturalist hasn’t there given us any reason to believe him.

Or, he finds himself saying things like:

“Well, since we always observe Nature unable to spell out even the first Necessary, but never Sufficient, sentence of chapter one, then we can take this to mean that Nature clearly is the Necessary and Sufficient author of the voluminous anthology that writes for us the [Objectified etymological linguistics housed within the [Observed Entity] that is the codified communiqué spelling out the necessary summation to build the computed whole that will decode to the methodized, systemized unit of [(Syntactical Software) + (Robust Village) + (Hardware)] which is (life begetting life)].

Well, that just won’t do, as the Naturalist hasn’t there given us any reason to believe him.

“Necessary and Sufficient” are both undeniably demonstrated not only by Nature Herself as empirically established on the side of Mind, but also by all synthetic life projects which themselves present further empirical validations that such is the scientifically favored location of the Necessary and Sufficient.

John Pennell,

I think you mean to say that science does not know HOW life can self-assemble from nonliving material. But science does indeed know THAT it can self-assemble, in the sense that scientists have shown the earth was once lifeless and now contains self-replicating life forms. The obvious conclusion is that life self-assembled at some point in the past.

Now, strictly speaking, scientists cannot PROVE that God didn't poof life into existence. But then, they cannot prove that God didn't form the earth last Thursday and implant us with false memories. Science works under the assumption that God is not screwing with us in that way.

Sam’s point is a very logical point / part 1 of 2:

“I get the impression you mean to argue that because of the difficulty of creating intelligent life by intelligent beings, it would be even more difficult for nature to do it on its own since intelligent beings have more creative powers than nature does.”

But this just is not the point atop which any argument rests.

There are lots of things Mind is observed doing, which Nature is not observed doing, just as, there are lots of things Nature is observed doing which Mind is not observed doing.

And no one, that we see, is saying that some “difficulty in either direction” is somehow a proof of anything in the opposite direction.

What is being presented is simply the real world, Nature Herself, as we find her.

The Naturalist is claiming here that physical systems, Nature Herself, houses the Necessary and Sufficient wherewithal to do two things:

1) That which she is never observed doing. Language is pesky.
2) That which necessitates her doing the opposite of what we actually do, and always do, observe her doing. Language is pesky.

Nowhere do we find this appeal to, “Well, gee, it really is difficult to for me to get this to happen, so, therefore, Nature could never do this”.

There is no such “therefore” being presented.

All that is being presented is the behavior of Nature, and, the behavior of Mind.

That’s all.

Sam’s point is a very logical point / part 2 of 2


Oddly, it is the Naturalist who is presenting a silly sort of logic appealing to “difficulty” by saying something like “Well, since we can actually observe that Nature can in fission implode/explode thusly, we can - therefore - take this to mean that Nature can do what we actually and always observe Nature doing the opposite of, because, since Nature can do a difficult thing, and Man can’t, Nature can -therefore - do what we actually and always observe Nature doing the opposite of.”

If one reads carefully one notes the death of circularity hid within that appeal to difficulty.

This argument by the Naturalist just will not do.

Nature Herself perpetually demonstrates to us two things:

1) She never writes novels full of language
2) She always - short of Mind’s pesky intrusions – disassembles such novels

Now, various “chapters” are Necessary for such Novels, and, it takes about, say, a few million “chapters” (all Necessary) to rise to the level of Sufficiency that is the [Whole Novel].

Not only does Nature Herself prove to us, every single time, that she refuses to rise to that mammoth level of the [Whole Novel] that is Sufficiency, but, she even refuses to rise to the level of the far more simple “chapter” of Necessary.

That is observed reality in the real world as we actually find it, not as it may be in our fantasy.

The other observed reality in the real world as we actually find it, and not as it may be in our fantasy, is that Mind does fill up such Novels full of such Language, both in Print and, it seems, in Matter as well. In the real world we actually do find such communiqué, such patterns, at our fingertips in concrete, measurable, falsifiable, and brutally repeatable physicality only along the vectors of Subjectivity within Mind etching themselves into Objectivity within Physicality.


The logical conclusion, based on all this undeniable – brutally repeatable – evidence is that, in the beginning, there once was no life, and then, Mind created life.


The only scientifically valid question at this point is, Which Mind?”

Ben,

Scientists do not know that life can self-assemble. Many scientists think it can and even hope it can, but thinking and hoping is not knowing.

The kinds of conditions necessary for life to form in an unguided chemical process simply DO NOT exist. This is not me talking, it is science. Study Origin of Life science for yourself. I have, extensively.

Science points to the necessity of intelligent intervention in order to have even the simplest form of life (which is in NO WAY the tiniest bit simple).

Once again-

Life from soup? Leap of faith.

Life as a product of intelligent agency? Following the SCIENTIFIC evidence where it actually leads.

John Pennell,

'Self-assembly of non-living, naturally occurring chemical materials' seems to be a good description for the process by which our bodies go from being one cell to being as we are now.

It's not the same process you were talking about but, still, it fits the description.

In fact, if we weren't witness to it we'd probably find our own body's self-assembly more amazing than evolution.

RonH

Life from life.


scbrownlhrm,

Life from life.
Remember the OP? It took Craig Venter's group 15 years to build a genome (from 'four bottles of chemicals' to paraphrase him) and transplant it into a cell. If they are someday able to build the cell too, will you still say Life from life?

Fortunately we can see, observe, nature right here, right now. She always does the same thing to life.

She never writes.

Never.

Seeing is believing.

At least we can witness.......

Building a cell? Well.. life from Mind etc....if we ever get there...

Nature always does the same things to life.

Fission... difficult.... "therefore" she can do what she always - actually - does the opposite of....

Sam's point is now leveled on the naturalist....

Language.... software....codified information.... nature unwrites into gibberish.... Mind writes... there are minds greater than mine.


I'm comfortable seeing a book and calling it a book, and I'm comfortable in the fact that there are Minds greater than mine.

"Therefore"

....as pointed out it is the Naturalist... not the theist.... who is practicing Sam's noted illogical appeal to difficulty...


RonH,

We never observe nature writing.

She always, actually, scrambles.

If you present a man pushing a rock uphill and claim this is evidence that rocks thus roll without men, when in the real world rocks always, actually, never do any such thing, you have no evidence.

It's that we always, actually, see her messing up the chapters..... never mind a whole book.

Always.

Actually.

Really.

We witness......

Typo:


....It's that we always, actually, see her.....


Should read:


....It's just that we always, actually, see her.....


In other words, that is the only real argument here.

There is no appeal to difficulty, to fission, or any other “therefore” being presented.

All that is needed is to describe the real world as we actually find it.


The Naturalist is telling us that Nature does an act which we not only never see her do, but which we always, actually see her do the opposite of, and so, the premise goes, the burden of proof for this Naturalism-Of-The-Gaps to justify totally discounting the wide array of background information of actual, present, verifiable, falsifiable reproducible evidence of Mind doing the very thing that the Naturalist is saying Nature does (which we never see her do, and which we always see her do the opposite of), is entirely upon the Naturalist. In the real world as we actually find it, and not as it may be in our fantasy, we have both the cause and the effect well in hand in touchable, measurable, falsifiable, reproducible evidence. Books coding for entire [Villages] of [software/hardware] are not written by Nature. Ever. Nature shreds up such books unless pushed to do otherwise by Mind. Mind, however, does write such books. The only scientifically valid question at this point is not, “God or No God?”, but, the far more humble, far less caustic, and far more scientifically precise question is simply, casually, gently, that of: Which Mind?

scbrownlhrm,

Because of the way you talk, it's very tough sometimes to get a handle on what you mean to say.

You might want to think about that.

Whatever it is you are saying about naturalists, it doesn't bear on the quality of the argument in the OP.

Speaking of the OP: it seems to argue against some hypothetical claim that success in synthetic biology is evidence for evolution and/or against ID.

Such a claim would deserve refutation, but who is making the claim?

If there is someone making such a claim, how do they defend such it?

My view is that success in synthetic biology isn't evidecene for evolution or against ID.

I do see success in synthetic biology as evidence against vitalism.

Generally, people do synthetic biology to 1) understand biology and 2) lay the ground work for engineering cells.

I take mind taking matter and building cells as evidence that mind writes such books.

But that isn't needed to show that nature never does.

Nature just never does.

And worse, she scrambles up such chapters......

Never mind the whole book....


I see no reason to believe she does what she doesn't do, and I see no reason to believe she does the opposite of what she always does.....

@Sam

We have known how to perform fusion for quite some time:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermonuclear_weapon

You might be referring to creating a controlled fusion reaction, something that scientists are working on, but haven't yet achieved. But, nature hasn't achieved that either.

Vitalism? You mean magic?

That's silly.

Only Naturalists foist that Nature does what she never does or that she (magically?) does the opposite of what we always see her do.

We see mind do all these things that Naturalists say nature does, but doesn't do, and we see mind push nature to do the opposite of what she always does, which she never does otherwise.

But they would rather discount such brutally reproducible evidence and believe in a spooky vitalism instead.

I get the impression you mean to argue that because of the difficulty of creating intelligent life by intelligent beings, it would be even more difficult for nature to do it on its own since intelligent beings have more creative powers than nature does.

Creating “intelligent life”, Sam? Wow, that’s quite a leap from bacterium’s genetic software isn’t it?

From scratch too!

I bet that’s more than 3 to 10 years away!

I'm confused: If vitalism is to be called 'magic', then it is supernatural and, therefore, is excluded from existence by a naturalist.

Christianity has vitalism for the really smart (us), at least. The 'soul'. Do you call that 'magic' too? If not, what's the difference?

I don't know what you think, so I ask: Do think that a bactirium is just matter in motion or is it a bit 'soulish'.

Where do souls come in? Bacteria? Plants? Racoons?

Are there degrees of soulishness? Or is it descrete?

Does Venter's success rule out souls for bacteria?

What if he built the whole cell from, say, four thousand, bottles of chemicals?

We're running a bit far off the topic, so I reiterate: The answer to...

What Do "Artificial Life" Projects Demonstrate About the Need for a Divine Creator?
... is 'Nothing'.

KWM,

Quite a leap? Yes.

But you need more than 'quite a leap', don't you?

You need a firm barrier.

Technical difficulty is not enough; you need the task to be impossible.

And it doesn't look impossible to make intelligent life.

It just looks more technically challenging.

By the way, you don't have to build the whole thing.

Make a human fertilized egg, provide it a suitable habitat, and it will self-assemble.

RonH

RonH,

"Make" an egg?

Sure, Mind will be able to do that from scratch someday.

I don't see nature doing it.

I do see nature destroying eggs.

That is, unless that pesky [Village] comes to the rescue.

Discounting concrete mechanistic evidence in favor of the Naturalist’s spooky magic?


So we have A) Nature never writes the necessary nor the sufficient codified volumes needed. But the Naturalists tell us she does do this. Then, in addition to A, we have B) In fact, every time we do put current codified volumes in her hands all she ever does, ever, is shred them, that is to say, she does, always, the opposite of what the Naturalists tell us she does.

So, thus far, we have a double-negative balance in Naturalism, for, it is not only the above described A, but, it is also the above described B layered over that.

We have, thus far then, in Naturalism a “Double-Negative-Mechanistic-Balance” that is on any front measurable, falsifiable, or repeatable, that is – assuming – we do not push her around with our Mind.

Then, we have Mind A) actually doing and writing such communique, all these things which Naturalist say nature writes, but doesn’t write, and B) we see Mind push nature to do the opposite of what she always does, which she never does otherwise, to get her to so write these volumes of communique.

So, thus far, we have a double-positive-mechanistic balance (and a concrete balance at that) for Mind.

I’m not sure if the Naturalists understand how it is we “apply” actual “evidence” when asking, “What is the mechanism for this observed event?”

That such concrete data happens to be inconvenient for one’s presupposition does not, that I can see, give one the scientific standing to say of such concrete data: “So again I ask you, what in the world does this concrete data mean? N-O-T-H-I-N-G!”

I’m disappointed in the Naturalist’s application of the scientific process.

RonH,

Soul?

God made our body out of dirt.

Matter.

Physical stuff.

Na+, K+, Mg++, H2CO3, and so on....

That is to say, God uses the pre-set laws of physics, housed within the nature of physical stuff, which He fashions, and makes life out of that physical stuff using those pre-set laws. Mind atop Physics. That is the sequence we find in scripture.

RonH,

Technical difficulty is not enough; you need the task to be impossible.

Technical difficulty? Have you been watching the Olympics? : )

I’m not sure that’s what I need. But, ok. It’s impossible for us to create intelligent life. That’s all I really need to say, isn’t it? It is true isn’t it?

But nothing is impossible with science, right? So even if I were to say, “It is impossible to replicate a life sized sun possessing all the properties (heat, mass, energy, etc.) of the real sun.” Science can always say not yet anyway!

If a senile scientist says that in the year 5050 we might have some sort of contraption that can do something cool with creating life forms you get to say God doesn’t exist?

How so?


These synthetic experiments serve to increase the gap between two kinds of thinkers. On the one hand, Naturalists, or, those who believe not only in the absence of evidence but who also believe against every bit of evidence. And, on the other hand, Theists, those who believe in scientific reproducibility.

What this synthesis work does is give us more concrete reproducible mechanistic data which we can apply inside of the confines of the scientific process as we look for the answer to the kind of question which reads, "What is the mechanism for this observed event?"

As we just saw in the recent post, in the real world as we actually find it, the presupposition of Naturalism houses a "Double-Negative-Mechanistic-Balance", whereas, the presupposition of Mind houses a "Double-Positive-Mechanistic-Balance".

Mind writing out such codified communique brings the score from [-2 to 0] up to [-2 to +1], and, then, Mind pushing nature around to get it to do the opposite of what she always does (the synthetic work in question) and write out such communique brings the score from that up to [-2 to +2] in favor of Mind.

The Gap widens, making Naturalism-Of-The-Gaps ever more so the business of Gaps, and, making Mind ever more the business of scientific reproducibility.

I'm not sure if Naturalists understand how it is we "apply" actual "evidence" when asking, "What is the mechanism for this observed event?" as we engage in the scientific process. We look for reproducible mechanistic explanations. Nature does lots of things without Mind's help as the laws of physics constrain all sorts of reverberations, collisions, fissions, fusions, expansions, contractions, and so on. We need not even ask if Mind is needed in those events for we find that God's pre-set Laws of physics (housed in their own nature which He has fashioned) constrain them and those Laws themselves account for such events. Other things nature not only never does herself, but, also, she is actually observed, always, doing the opposite of what we are trying to explain mechanistically, and as such we find that it is not housed within nature's nature to do such things. It is in Life's pre-set-nature to beget life, to write out those voluminous anthologies of communique' housing those necessary and sufficient words, for, God has fashioned it in their own nature when he made it out of dirt, out of regular old physical stuff, using his previously pre-set-laws of physics to so fashion. That is the sequence scripture gives us.

That is to say, God uses the pre-set laws of physics, housed within the nature of physical stuff, which He fashions, and makes life out of that physical stuff using those pre-set laws. Mind atop Physics. That is the sequence we find in scripture.

So, inside of the scientific process we look for other mechanisms that may explain "Event-X" since "Mechanism-A" (offered in naturalism's presupposition) not only never does Event-X, but, also, always does the opposite of Event-X, the very event we are seeking a mechanism for. An analogy here would be that if worms never fly, and, even worse, if worms always fall from the sky, always, every time, it is a mark of insanity, or, simple delusion to keep thinking that worms fly.

Nature not only never writes out the necessary and sufficient [Etymological linguistics housed within the [Observed Entity] that is the codified communique' spelling out the necessary summation to build the computed whole that will decode to the methodized, systemized unit of [(Syntactical Software) + (Robust Village) + (Hardware) that is (life begetting life)] which is the [Whole] without which nothing at all gets off the ground, but, also, Nature also shreds up all such manuscripts as all "traces" void of this [Whole] simply vanish in Nature's ruthless hands, and also, the [Whole] that is Life is itself ever at odds/war with her (nature) for she, always, shreds up that too. We expect this given that Nature's Nature has been subjected to fragmentation along with Man, just as, we expect that, since Immutable Love is ipso-facto a Host Who deliberately creates His Own parasites (Man) that they may feed on Him, then too inside of His Creation, from the highest to the lowest, such parasitical patterns will be found manifest throughout physicality, from ecosystem to genome to sub-species to species and beyond. Lower life parasitically derives life from higher life, ever upward, throughout physicality's A to Z, and onward to Man himself feeding on that Immutable Host beyond Time and Physicality, which is another story all together. Seamless. From the ground up.

Naturalism's hypothesis being dead in the water, and doubly so, the scientific process doesn't just "stop" and sit still in sheer "belief" that "Well, She (nature) just did it, darn it, so we need not look further". No. That's not how the scientific process works. When Hypothesis-A falls apart within the real world as we actually find it, we keep looking for other mechanisms which may explain the observed event in question.

In Mind (and nowhere else) we discover the perfect mechanism, for, Mind not only writes such odd compilations of communique', but, also, Mind gets Nature to do it too against her very own "nature".

So, in the natural world, in the real world, we find this real thing called Mind, this actuality called Mind, which actually exists, which is real, in the real world, and which actually explains, mechanistically, the real observed event in the real world. Real + Real + Real + Real. No wonder we love science so much.

That such concrete data happens to be inconvenient for Naturalism's presupposition does not, that I can see, give the Naturalists the scientific standing to say of such concrete data: "So again I ask you, what in the world does this concrete data mean regarding the mechanistic explanation for these [Communique' / Villages]? N-o-t-h-i-n-g at all!"

That is a very unscientific statement to make. I'm disappointed in the Naturalist's application of the scientific process.

The Gap widens, making Naturalism-Of-The-Gaps ever more so the business of Gaps, and, making Mind ever more the business of scientific reproducibility.

The comments to this entry are closed.