Thursday, December 14, 2006

Response to Gregg100 and JazzyCat

Gregg,

It's great to see you back at it. I have read your recent posts and have some comments that I will try to get to soon. We went out of town for a few days, and I've been away from all this during that time.

Jazzy,

I agree with Gregg on this (big surprise.) It is, in the end a question of probabilities. At this juncture of human existence, the question you pose, one which we have discussed in the past, is unanswerable. But the probability of there being a "super intelligent [and super-powerful]" god or some such, given what we DO know and understand about this universe we call home, is extremely low.

Regardless, what you and billions of others throughout the world have done is accept the fall back position of a god being the designer of it all.

To once again quote Richard Dawkins from THE GOD DELUSION I site the following which Dawkins states as "the central argument of [his] book:

""1. One of the greatest challenges to the human intellect, over the centuries, has been to explain how the complex, improbable appearance of design in the universe arises.

"2. The natural temptation is to attribute the appearance of design to actual design itself. In the case of a man-made artifact such as a watch, the designer really was an intelligent engineer. It is tempting to apply the same logic to an eye or a wing, a spider or a person.

"3. The temptation is a false one, because the designer hypothesis immediately raises the larger problem of who designed the designer. The whole problem we started out with was the problem of explaining statistical improbability. It is obviously no solution to postulate something even more improbable..."

Dawkins goes on to site evolution as the strongest evidence against intelligent design saying "that the illusion of design in living creatures is just that - an illusion."

Now I know the heart and soul of ID is rejection of evolution. Ann Coulter, among others poses an extensive argument against evolution primarily in siting apparent gaps in the fossil record. Creationists tend to declare that "If there are no fossils to document a postulated evolutionary transition, the default assumption is that there was no evolutionary transition, therefore God must have intervened. It is utterly illogical to demand complete documentation of every step of any narrative... Only a tiny fraction of corpses fossilize, and we are lucky to have as many intermediate fossils as we do. Evolution makes the strong prediction that if a SINGLE fossil turned up in the WRONG geological stratum, the theory would be blown out of the water... No such anachronistic fossils have ever been authentically found...

Gaps, by default in the mind of the creationist, are filled by God."

By the way Jazzy, the global warming is doing fine up here. The temperatures today and for the coming week are predicted to be in the mid to upper 50s - some 20+ degrees ABOVE normal.We flew to Florida last Friday. We left Indiana in a deep freeze with the temperature around 10 degrees. That night in Gainsville, the temperature went down to around 28. It was damn cold.

Go figure.

As to "brilliant scientists" believing in god. I don't dispute what you say, but I do see it as an awkward disconnect for them. Unlike Stephen J. Gould's assertion, I do not ascribe to the notion that religion and science can comfortably co-exist. I cannot accept the notion that science should not, nor cannot delve into areas of morality and the existence of god. It is, rather, imperative that it does so.

TLS

P.S. By the way, this is my 100th post. Woo Hoo! That's a lot of meaningless drivel I've pump out over the last year or so. But, honestly, don't you all feel better for the experience?

P.P.S. The above also appears as a comment on my previous post (with some slight alterations.) But, I thought this would make it much more accessible. I'm one thoughtful SOB.

1 comment:

Jazzy Cat said...

Hey Terry,
I tried to comment after Gregg 100 and had some problems that I have now solved. You must have switched to Beta.

We have debated this before, so there is no need to now. I still think the global warming thing is a media and left-wing politically driven hoax that has resorted to intimidation to bring people into conformity to what has become politically correct dogma. This explains the “consensus” they claim to have with the scientific community. It has become an almost sacred issue to many liberals. It is to them a way to vent anger toward the capitalistic free enterprise system that they hate. The movement is at is core anti-American because it is seen as a way to dismantle or destroy our economic system.

Thirty years ago the media and scientific community was warning of the coming ice age. Things sure changed a lot in thirty years, eh!

Terry, at least keep an open mind on this issue.