The book of Wisdom

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Jude, May 21, 2003.

  1. Jude

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    from the Apocrypha...


    Wisdom of Solomon 13:1-9

    1 For all men who were ignorant of God were foolish by nature;
    and they were unable from the good things that are seen to know him who exists,
    nor did they recognize the craftsman while paying heed to his works;2 but they supposed that either fire or wind or swift air,or the circle of the stars, or turbulent water,or the luminaries of heaven were the gods that rule the world.3 If through delight in the beauty of these things men assumed them to be gods,let them know how much better than these is their Lord,for the author of beauty created them.4 And if men were amazed at their power and working,let them perceive from them how much more powerful is he who formed them.5 For from the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator.6 Yet these men are little to be blamed, for perhaps they go astray while seeking God and desiring to find him.7 For as they live among his works they keep searching, and they trust in what they see, because the things that are seen are beautiful.8 Yet again, not even they are to be excused;9 for if they had the power to know so much that they could investigate the world, how did they fail to find sooner the Lord of these things?
     
  2. Helen

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    Hi Jude -- I noticed how everyone ignored your post, so I thought I would thank you for it. Men do indeed ignore a lot of what they see in favor of what they prefer that fits in with what they already think they know.

    The Intelligent Design argument is somewhat similar to the last line in the quote: if men think they know so much, how is it they are ignoring the clear message of intelligent design in nature?

    The answer is, I have found, because they want to.

    So many men tend to prefer man's explanation of the creation rather than God's. As Paul says in Romans 1, these men are without an excuse...
     
  3. The Galatian

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    In science, you first have a phenomenon, and then figure out a theory to explain it. Intelligent design is a theory without a phenomenon to explain.

    That's why Paley, when he tried to show intelligent design in nature, had to use a watch. If he hadn't used a human artifact, he would have no evidence of design.

    On the other hand, it's not unreasonable as a religious doctrine. But not for Christians who believe that God is omnipotent.

    To demote God from Creator to a mere designer, like any other intelligent creature, is highly disrespectful.
     
  4. Helen

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    Yes, of course, why didn't we think of that to begin with? There is no phenomenon in the fact that when one sees a two-dimensional painting of a flower, one presumes an artist, but when one sees the actual flower in its three-dimensional, vastly increased complexity, it is of course a product of time and chance! No phenomenon there.

    Of course when we see a watch with interconnecting gears all precisely fashioned to cause the watch to keep proper time we presume a designer, but when we see the human body with vastly more complex interactions among tissues and organs and systems which maintain themselves and even fight against that which threatens the organism (which a watch simply cannot do), we know it is just a product of time and chance. How ignorant of us!

    Of course you are right, Galatian/Barbarian/Parson/Pat/whatever else... you are always right by your own pronouncements. We, who are still working on understanding cells and genetics are vastly more ignorant than you are. We are so stupid to be amazed at the complexity and design of what we are seeing -- which, of course, all came by time and chance and some lucky mutations...

    Well, I suppose that would be right, too, if they were starting with God and working down, but that is not what is going on with ID. The point of it, as with all good science, is to start with the data and work up. In our ignorance we have been amazed at what we have seen in nature and in our silly way of looking at things, have wondered if there is actually an objective way to look at such things that would give even the pagan or atheist a clear idea that an intelligent designer had to be at work.

    We forgot that everything can be explained by evolution, time, and chance.

    How silly of us!
     
  5. The Galatian

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    (Barbarian observes that Paley's "evidence" for "natural design" was artificial)

    Well, I'm hardly the first to point it out. Paley was reminded of this discrepancy almost immediately.

    Actually, (as Darwin discovered) chance has little to do with it. Natural selection is the opposite of chance. Chance couldn't do it. But natural selection does.

    Well, there is, but you don't approve of it.

    Quite right. Evolutionary processes can do things that designers cannot do. Scientists and engineers are now using genetic algorithms that copy evolutionary processes for things that are too difficult to design. Evolution turns out to be more efficient and creative than "design".

    http://aero.stanford.edu/GA.html

    http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/RT2001/5000/5530kobayashi.html

    http://www.geneticprogramming.com/ga/GApapers.html

    Perhaps that's why God used it.

    All of us think we are right. The difference is in the evidence. Not all opinions are equally supported by the facts.

    What we don't know, is a dangerous place to put faith in God. Nor is what we don't know, evidence that we cannot know, or that we don't know other things.

    Even more amazing is a God capable of creating a universe in which such things can evolve. God is a great deal more capable than creationists suspect.

    Barbarian observes:
    To demote God from Creator to a mere designer, like any other intelligent creature, is highly disrespectful.

    That is all I can see going on. The Discovery Institute, for example, features Jonathan Wells, who admits that he had a "mission" from God to "destroy evolution" before he got his education. He assumed the religious doctrine of ID first.

    Let's talk about Dembski's "Explanitory Filter", then. Another major star in the ID faith, Dembski has touted the filter as "real science", but can't actually make it work, unless he's presumed the answer in advance. That's not good science. It isn't science at all.

    It would be wonderful if that were true. But the evidence for God is only found within each of us. That's how He wants it.

    If He chose to make Himself obvious from the evidence, He would have done a good job of it.

    You're thinking of the Cartoon Theory of Evolution. The real one involves natural selection, which is not a matter of chance.

    As they say, people are down on what they aren't up on. Most people who object to evolution, do so because they don't understand the theory very well.
     
  6. Helen

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    Never mind, Galatian. You present a stage for me to show some things to the other readers, but I'm not going to waste my time responding to what you said above. I think just about anyone can see what you are doing above, so I don't need to point it out.
     
  7. The Galatian

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    There comes a time when there's no more to be said about it. Wells clearly made up his theory of ID because it supports his unorthodox religious notions about the Rev. Moon.

    Dembski can't make his "explanitory filter" work.

    And that's all that's to be said, unless someone manages to actually find a way to make ID something more than a religious doctrine.
     
  8. WillRain

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    Galatian, with all due respect, you don't SERIOUSLY mean to imply that ID rejects God as Creator do you?

    If you don't, then the comment is suprious if not intentionally deceptive.

    If so, then I invite you to cite for me even one ID proponent which proposes a "Designer" seperate from a "Creator."

    (A situation I suppose would be analogus to the relationship between an arcitect and a contractor)

    OBVIOUSLY to put forth a system of Intellegent DESIGN requires that one postulates a "builder" as well as a designer and nothing in the theory implies these to be distinct individuals.

    Intellegent design merely imlyies that the existing order gives evidence of having been driven by an intellegence as opposed to undirected processes.

    There is a building on the campus of Ohio State Universety which, I believe, is the art museum.

    It was "designed" to be "postmodern" arcitecture.

    It has stairways that lead nowhere and columns which support nothing and other such random elements.
    The building presents the illusion of undirected construction, that is, a lack of Intellegent Design. Now, since it was built by humans, we know that it was, in fact designed by something which passes for intellegence, BUT setting aside that knowledge, an alien or someone with no information on our society might well compare that building to the one next to it and conclude that the traditional building showed evidence of Intellegent Design.
    For our little alien friend to say that could not LOGICALLY be construed as saying that it had no Creator. It would not even require that he meant that its Designer and Creator were seperate beings. He would in fact have no grounds for assuming so.

    So, what do you mean by the quoted remark? It strikes me as either poor reasoning, or a spurios distraction at best. A cheap potshot at worst.

    (and I've no reason to expect it's the later on this board in general or from you in particular. On other boards I'd assume it was an intentional cheap shot, but not here - at least not in my experience here)
     
  9. The Galatian

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    Barbarian observes:
    To demote God from Creator to a mere designer, like any other intelligent creature, is highly disrespectful.

    That's what it does. "Design" is the activity of a limited creature who must figure things out. God is the Creator.

    I always say what I mean, unless I'm joking, and I assure you I am not joking about this. One may not mean an insult to God by calling Him a designer, but that's what it amounts to.

    The ID people are pretty coy about admitting that the "Designer" is really God. So few of them will admit Who they mean.

    Picture an being Who has no need to be an architect, Who never has to plan or design at all. The contractor, as Genesis tells us, is nature.

    Of course, as noted before, natural selectin also directs processes, and many other things are directed by other natural processes. God is above that. He is the creator.

    Were you aware that most "columns" on the exterior of modern buildings do not support things? They are generally for appearance only.

    Like Paley, you have to find an artifact, not a natural object, because there is no natural object that would support design.

    If I was doing a cheap potshot, it would have been much, much more effective. I don't do cheap potshots at Helen, whom I respect very much. I am often blunt to a fault, but I don't make fun of her.
     
  10. WillRain

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    No natural object supports design?!?!?!?

    Well, I must say that you may have achived your objective there because if anyone else is like me, such a claim would leave them speechless...

    It does me.

    I'll just have to concede to you that our minds can never meet on this subject.
    If you see no evidence of design in nature then we have no common frame of reference.
     
  11. The Galatian

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    So you're saying you don't have even one example?

    What's the best example of "design" you can think of in a natural object?
     
  12. WillRain

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    Practically everything.

    but I see no point in throwing out examples which you will certainly claim "prove" evolution just as much or more than prove design. We'd go on for 11 pages and no ones mind would change.

    I might mentione, for instance, the fact of having 2 eyes provides so many more benifits than having one and in order for them to focus properly and so forth they have to have several properties which reflect "engineering" if you will...the design of the eye itself reflects design...so on and so forth.

    Right down to basic processes like photosynthesis nature practicly GLOWS with design.

    but having made the comment you made I can see that you cannot or will not see it so there's no profit in beating that particular horse.

    No offense intended.
     
  13. The Galatian

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    Response to Barbarian's request for something natural that shows evidence of design:
    If it can't stand up to evidence, maybe there's a good reason for that.

    The first chordates, BTW, had three of them. Spiders and insects have varying number of them. Paired eyes are a consequence of bilateral symmetry, which is a consequence of mobility. No "design" there. In fact, vertebrate eyes are built "backwards" and lose a great deal of sensitivity because of it. It just happened, and once it happened, there's no way to start over, because evolution doesnt' work that way.

    Which eye? There are many different ones, each evolved for a specific use, some less evolved than others.

    Would you like some examples of intermediate eyes still existing?

    Sorry. Evidence there is that it evolved from simpler energy systems. And in plants, it's evidence of evolution by endosymbiosis. Would you like to learn why?

    In science, what counts is evidence. If you have none, you are truly beating a dead horse.

    None taken.
     
  14. Helen

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    If it can't stand up to evidence, maybe there's a good reason for that.</font>[/QUOTE]Since you confuse evidence with interpretation, there is no way to discuss any of it reasonably with you, Galatian. I speak from experience here. You distort just about everything to suit your pleasure at the time.

    The first chordates, BTW, had three of them. Spiders and insects have varying number of them. Paired eyes are a consequence of bilateral symmetry, which is a consequence of mobility. No "design" there. In fact, vertebrate eyes are built "backwards" and lose a great deal of sensitivity because of it. It just happened, and once it happened, there's no way to start over, because evolution doesnt' work that way.</font>[/QUOTE]No design? Backwards?

    From a friend who is an anti-evolution biologist, from an old email:

    Having been involved in research on the rat eye for several years, I feel qualified enough to address the "poor" design of the eye. It's been a couple of years and I'm going from memory, so these things might need to be double-checked.

    The photoreceptors in the back of the retina are embedded in the pigmented epithelial layer of the eye (this is the black we see in the pupil). The pigmented epithelium does several things: -it absorbs the excess light that the photoreceptors don't absorb, to prevent them from reflecting and activating other photoreceptors, hence the poor eyesight of albinos which lack the pigment. -the degree to which the photoreceptors are buried in the pigmented epithelium depends on the light intensity i.e. in brighter light they are buried more and thus are not activated as intensely (that's good) -the pigmented epithelium secretes Pigmented Epithelium-Derived Growth Factor, which supports the survival of photoreceptors. Mutations in the gene for PEDGF as well as retinal detachment cause retinal degeneration.

    Since the pigmented epithelium is opaque (obviously) it can't be in the front of the retina. Since it also serves important functions, it does a good job right where it is and is an excellent example of design. Besides, our vision is fine the way it is, so why would anybody say it's an example of poor design? In the fovea, which is the part of the retina receiving the image that we're looking at (I always have a hard time describing the fovea!) the other layers of the retina are pushed away, to minimise the thickness of the retina in that area, again, allowing maximum visual acuity where it's needed most.


    And from a different biologist, also anti-evolution (they seem to be multiplying! Be careful!): http://www.arn.org/docs/odesign/od171/retina171.htm

    the abstract and the conclusion read:
    Abstract: It has been commonly claimed that the vertebrate eye is functionally suboptimal, because photoreceptors in the retina are oriented away from incoming light. However, there are excellent functional reasons for vertebrate photoreceptors to be oriented as they are. Photoreceptor structure and function is maintained by a critical tissue, the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), which recycles photopigments, removes spent outer segments of the photoreceptors, provides an opaque layer to absorb excess light, and performs additional functions. These aspects of the structure and function of the vertebrate eye have been ignored in evolutionary arguments about suboptimality, yet they are essential for understanding how the eye works.

    ....Conclusion
    The vertebrate retina provides an excellent example of functional -- though non-intuitive -- design. The design of the retina is responsible for its high acuity and sensitivity. It is simply untrue that the retina is demonstrably suboptimal, nor is it easy to conceive how it might be modified without significantly decreasing its function.


    In other words, the eye is exquisitely designed.


    An excellent example of confusing data with interpretation right there. As is your response regarding photosynthesis.

    Then I suggest you quit wearing your arm out.
     
  15. The Galatian

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    You know that I speak only what I believe is true. But "distort" is a vague enough accusation to apply to anyone.

    Instead of ad hom, let's talk about the evidence.

    Barbarian observes:
    The first chordates, BTW, had three of them. Spiders and insects have varying number of them. Paired eyes are a consequence of bilateral symmetry, which is a consequence of mobility. No "design" there. In fact, vertebrate eyes are built "backwards" and lose a great deal of sensitivity because of it. It just happened, and once it happened, there's no way to start over, because evolution doesnt' work that way.

    Nope. It shows evidence of gradual change. You might be familiar with the work of George G. Simpson, in which he shows the evolution of eyes in the existing species of several phyla. Mollusks have theirs right side out, but all of them are like that. No chordate has it that way.

    Yep. Because the neves come in front of the retina, it loses sensitivity, and we have a blind spot where it must come through. The loss of sensitivity over a wide range of light levels is the greater problem. Some vertebrates have evolved complicated ways of getting around it.

     
  16. Helen

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    We just got Denton on our side. Seems like we get the famous ones, and you get the obscure ones.

    He's famous because of his book showing the problems with evolution. But if that is the kind of argument you are going to resort to, forget it. Hitler was famous, too, and he was an evolutionist...

    a logical one, too, actually.

    Since you are convinced the mammalian eye evolved, and you are, there is nothing that anyone, biologist or not, professor or not, Ph.D. in biology or anatomy or not, can say to sway you. Facts don't seem to dent your belief system. At least they haven't for at least the five years I have watched you talk down to people on forums.

    But those who work with the eye, and study it, are amazed at the intricacy of its design. And they call it that, too.
     
  17. The Galatian

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    We just got Denton on our side. Seems like we get the famous ones, and you get the obscure ones.

    Let's see... from his latest, "Nature's Destiny":

    "it is important to emphasize at the outset that the argument presented here is entirely consistent with the basic naturalistic assumption of modern science - that the cosmos is a seamless unity which can be comprehended ultimately in its entirety by human reason and in which all phenomena, including life and evolution and the origin of man, are ultimately explicable in terms of natural processes. This is an assumption which is entirely opposed to that of the so-called "special creationist school". According to special creationism,living organisms are not natural forms, whose origin and design were built into the laws of nature from the beginning, but rather contingent forms analogous in essence to human artifacts, the result of a series of supernatural acts, involving the suspension of natural law.

    Contrary to the creationist position, the whole argument presented here is critically dependent on the presumption of the unbroken continuity of the organic world - that is, on the reality of organic evolution and on the presumption that all living organisms on earth are natural forms in the profoundest sense of the word, no less natural than salt crystals, atoms, waterfalls, or galaxies." - Michael Denton

    If he had some problems with evolution, he worked them out. This is as big a deal as if Ernst Mayr or Stephen Gould had become creationists.

    Hitler also was in favor of electricity, and physical education, and literacy, and a host of other things. In the same way that he praised evolution, he praised Christianity, even proclaiming himself a Christian. However, I'll just invoke Godwin's law now. [​IMG]

    Actually, many of them presented evidence that convinced me. I'm not going to be much impressed if a tiny minority of biologists disagree for religious reasons.

    Hmmm... whenever someone challenges evolution, I appeal to the facts. Maybe there's something to be learned from that...

    Honestly, I can't think of a time when I wasn't talking about the evidence, Helen.

    The overwhelming majority of biologists working on eyes do not. And the ones who do, do so for religious reasons.

    An appeal to authority is especially unconvincing when the "authority" is part of a tiny minority among his peers.
     
  18. WillRain

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    Exibit A:
    A near perfect example of the sort of human intellectual arrogance which leads to a emotional, even religious, atttachment to naturalistic explinations.

    What did God say to Job?

    "Where you there? Tell me IF you know."

    Would God have asked such a question if it were possible for man to learn ALL the secrets of the Universe?

    His question echos through the corridors of history.

    Man says: "I have determined..."

    God says, by implication: "Oh? Really?"

    A few weeks or months or years later, man says: "Well, I was wrong before but now I'm SURE that I have determined..."

    And God replies: " [​IMG] "

    The number one cause of anyone who thinks for themselves believing evolution is vert simple:

    Mankind's arrogance which makes him so VERY reluctant to say "I guess we'll never know"

    Face it, Hawking, Gould, et al. There are more things that mankind if he exists a million more years will NEVER figure out (short of the revelation of God) than the sum total of the stars in the sky - cubed.

    A little humility is in order.
     
  19. The Galatian

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    "which can be comprehended ultimately in its entirety by human reason and in which all phenomena, including life and evolution and the origin of man, are ultimately explicable in terms of natural processes."

    And this guy is one of the leaders in the ID movment. Arrogance seems to be a requirement for that kind of thinking.
     

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