Debate the topic "Does an Intelligent Designer of the universe exist?"

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Debate the topic "Does an Intelligent Designer of the universe exist?"

   This is a challenge to anyone who wants to defend the proposition that an Intelligent Designer does not exist.  I will defend its negation in a LOGICAL, RATIONAL manner.  There will be no arguments made on the basis of faith.  Considering the location of this forum, it would seem reasonable to expect the same type of argument in return.  However, in my limited experience with atheists, I've yet to witness one who could actually produce this type of argument.  Nonetheless, I am optimistic that I may encounter a worthy foe eventually.

   So here is the game plan.  I will provide multiple arguments in favor of my position.  These arguments will be supported by a multitude of scientific and philosophical evidence.  If you are to be successful in defending your position, you must first tear down my arguments, and then erect in their place a positive case of your own.  So if you happen to be someone who suffers from intellectually laziness by thinking it is sufficient for you to just resort to unsubstantiated skepticism to defend your claim, please, abstain from engaging.  You see the topic of this debate is "Does an Intelligent Designer of the universe exist?".  It is not a proposition, but rather a question.  So their is no place here for anyone who likes to play the "you are the one asserting the claim so you have the burden of proof-card", considering both sides will be making claims.  So I welcome anyone capable of accomplishing this in a LOGICAL, RATIONAL manner. 

   My first argument is on the basis of the existence of the universe.  It is by no means any new, groundbreaking argument that I have authored.  However, I've yet to witness a cogent rebuttal of it. 

The argument is as follows.
1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.

I have no doubt that you are familiar with the structure of an argument. So as you can see, this argument is air tight logically. That is to say that based on the 2 premises, the conclusion is logically inescapable. So to dispute the conclusion, one must argue against the truth of one or both premises, demonstrating they are less plausible than their negation. In accordance, I will attempt to demonstrate their validity with the following:

Support of premise 1
A. For something to come into being without any cause whatsoever would be to come into being from nothing. This would be worse that magic. If a magician pulls a rabbit out of his hat, at least you have a cause, even if it is the deceiving magician. But this is still better than NOTHING. I don't think anyone sincerely believes that things, like say, a horse or an Eskimo village, can just pop into being without a cause.
B. If something could come into being from nothing, then it becomes inexplicable why just anything or everything doesn't come into being from nothing. Why don't bicycles and root beer POP into being? Why only universes?
C. I would assert common experience and scientific evidence confirm premise 1.

Support of premise 2
A. The universally accepted "Big Bang" model.
B. Redshift of light.
C. Abundance of certain light elements.
D. Microwave cosmic background radiation.
E. The thermodynamics of the universe.
F. The Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem


Clarification of the Cause
A. For think of what the universe is: ALL of space-time reality,including ALL matter and energy.
B. As the cause of space-time, matter and energy, this cause must be transcendent. Therefore, it is nonphysical, uncaused, immaterial, unimaginably powerful, and beyond space and time.
C. Furthermore, it must be a personal being. This is the only way a timeless cause can create a temporal effect. This is because if a cause is sufficient to produce its effect, then if the cause is there, the effect must be there too. To illustrate, water freezes @0C. The cause of the freezing is the temperature achieving 0C. If the temperature was always 0C, the water is eternally frozen. It would be impossible for the water to begin to freeze a finite time ago. Since the universe began to exist a finite time ago, its cause would have to be a personal being with free will, who chose to create as a free act, independent of any prior conditions.
D. To further illustrate why this cause must be a personal agent, consider causality.  There cannot be an infinite regress of causes.  A prime-mover is unavoidable for the chain of events to begin.  So whatever this may be, it has to be an uncaused cause, which exists by a necessity of its own nature.  It follows logically that this cause must contain within itself the cause for the initial event.  This is only achievable for an agent that is capable of free-will.  Which, by nature, constitutes personal, intelligent beings.  We experience this  type of causation regularly.  To illustrate, imagine 100 dominoes arranged in a manner that would allow you to push the first, into the second, into the third...into the hundredth.  Assume you push the first, and they all fall as planned.  If we then ask what was the immediate cause of #100 falling, we would say #99 knocked it over.  It would follow that the immediate cause of #99 to fall, was #98, and so on all the way to #1.  Now, what was the cause of #1 to fall? We could say because you pushed it.  Okay, what caused you to push it? Easy, you chose to.  But what caused you to choose to? You wanted to, simple as that.  You had to make a choice, push it, or don't push it.  This is an antonymical pair that exhausts all possibilities.  Maybe their were factors that were considered in making your decision, but ultimately, none directly caused you to act.  You acted because you chose to, end of story.  Every event now has sufficient cause for happening, and we need look no further.

Conclusion
This demonstrates the existence of a  beginningless, uncaused, timeless, spaceless, changeless, immaterial, enormously powerful, Personal Creator of the universe, which I happen to call, God.

 

   The second argument is in regards to the fine-tuning of not only the universe as a whole, but also biological organisms. 

1. The fine-tuning of the universe is due to physical necessity, chance, or design.

2. It is not due to physical necessity or chance.

3. Therefore, it is due to design.

   Now again, this is logically iron-clad argument.  That is to say if the premises are true, the conclusion follows inescapably.  So are the premises more plausible than their negation? 

   Before we discuss this argument, it’s important to understand that by “fine-tuning” one does not mean “designed” (otherwise the argument would be obviously circular). Rather during the last forty years or so, scientists have discovered that the existence of intelligent life depends upon a complex and delicate balance of initial conditions given in the Big Bang itself. This is known as the fine-tuning of the universe.

This fine-tuning is of two sorts. First, when the laws of nature are expressed as mathematical equations, you find appearing in them certain constants, like the constant that represents the force of gravity. These constants are not determined by the laws of nature. The laws of nature are consistent with a wide range of values for these constants. Second, in addition to these constants, there are certain arbitrary quantities that are put in just as initial conditions on which the laws of nature operate, for example, the amount of entropy or the balance between matter and anti-matter in the universe. Now all of these constants and quantities fall into an extraordinarily narrow range of life-permitting values. Were these constants or quantities to be altered by less than a hair’s breadth, the life-permitting balance would be destroyed, and no living organisms of any kind could exist. 

   For example, a change in the strength of the atomic weak force by only one part in 10100 would have prevented a life-permitting universe. The cosmological constant which drives the inflation of the universe and is responsible for the recently discovered acceleration of the universe’s expansion is inexplicably fine-tuned to around one part in 10120. Roger Penrose of Oxford University has calculated that the odds of the Big Bang’s low entropy condition existing by chance are on the order of one out of 1010(123). Penrose comments, “I cannot even recall seeing anything else in physics whose accuracy is known to approach, even remotely, a figure like one part in 1010(123). And it’s not just each constant or quantity that must be exquisitely finely-tuned; their ratios to one another must be also finely-tuned. So improbability is multiplied by improbability by improbability until our minds are reeling in incomprehensible numbers. 

   So when scientists say that the universe is fine-tuned for life, they don’t mean “designed”; rather they mean that small deviations from the actual values of the fundamental constants and quantities of nature would render the universe life-prohibiting or, alternatively, that the range of life-permitting values is incomprehensibly narrow in comparison with the range of assumable values. Richard Dawkins himself, citing the work of the Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees, acknowledges that the universe does exhibit this extraordinary fine-tuning.  But even if we grant that SOMEHOW the universe did overcome this astronomical problem and provided these initial conditions for life to exist, how did life actually originate? Seems like the best answer an atheist can present is abiogenesis occurred, followed by Darwinian evolution.  Now I hold the view that the absence of evidence is not always evidence of absence.  So I don't reject this claim based solely on the FACT that neither abiogenesis nor Darwinian evolution have EVER been observed (before anyone attempts to condemn and correct me, let me make it easy for you; point me to the recorded observation of abiogenesis and then list JUST ONE observation of an organism that occupied multiple Kingdoms of biological classification.) But also that the probability of this happening unguided is unrealistic.  To give just one example, Barrow and Tipler have calculated the probability of an evolutionary genome to be between (4-180)110000 and (4-360)110000.  Now multiply this by the improbabilities associated with the universe's formation.  So if this somehow did happen, it is rock solid proof of a miracle, and would therefore also be powerful evidence for the existence of God.

 

 

 

"In this book, they list ten steps in the course of human evolution, each of which is so improbable that before it would have occurred the sun would have ceased to be a main sequence star and would have burned up the earth. They estimate the probability of the evolution of the human genome by chance to be on the order of 4∧(360)^110,000, a number which is so huge that to call it astronomical would be a wild understatement. In other words, if evolution did occur, it would have been a miracle, so that evolution is actually evidence for the existence of God”-William Lane Craig


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latincanuck wrote:Teralek

latincanuck wrote:

Teralek wrote:

 

I also don't think I have to explain how the intelligence or intent came to be. The ID theory doesn't have to answer that. It's impossible. As is impossible to explain who made the "strings"...

Well since you are proposing an intelligence for the "fine tuning" you would have to a proper explanation for how ti came to be, second you have to explain how this intelligence was able to affect this universe, second to affect it has to be part of this universe, then with all the given evidence that this universe came from a singularity that released it's energy (the big bang theory and the evidence for it) you now have to provide evidence that it is all wrong, and that some intelligence or intelligent being was already in this universe and affected it....oh and have to some how explain how all the evidence that points to the big bang theory or similar event. Then you have to explain where this intelligence came from....as you can see you have some major holes in your theory....it really explains nothing, it provides no predictions and has zero evidence to back it up.
 

Quote:
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what's, funny is that I'm the one who suppose to be dogmatic here... but I concede you could be correct... With comments like those you're not showing ANY skepticism to your side of the story!

why is "intent" unnatural??!! Do you have any idea of what you've just said?! You could translate that into: "I believe in the Natural numbers (0,1,2,3,4,... ad infinitum), but I don't believe in number 1!" Intelligence is a natural event!!
 

Yes WE simply don't know, that's why this theory is valid.

I never said intent is unnatural, I said there no reason to believe a supernatural event (an intelligence that some how can survive without a physical body in this universe yet somehow affect this universe) So far everything points towards an naturally occurring event without intelligence behind it, much like lightning happens without an intelligence behind it or the formations of planets or suns happen without intelligence happen, that is naturally occurring events....it seems you are very closed minded really at least I can accept different possibilities provided the evidence is there or at least a logical explanation. However you seem to just say, god (or an intelligence) did it....that's it, you dismiss all other explanations. I haven't dismissed any other explanation provided it can be properly explained with the evidence at hand, I simply dismiss yours because you lack any proper evidence or even a decent scientific explanation for yours.

You don't have to know ANYTHING about the designer to infer design. Tell me this, when archeologists unearth spearheads and pottery, do they have to know what civilization it was or anything about them? What about if we find a supply of machinery on the moon? You won't accept that it is designed until you find the beings that put it there? What if you walk in your neighbor's house and find him on the floor dead, with a knife in his chest and a trail of footprints leading out of the house. If you weren't ever able to find the OBVIOUS INTELLIGENCE responsible for this DESIGNED foul play, would you really conclude it was natural causes? If so, you are in no danger of a career in C.S.I.

"In this book, they list ten steps in the course of human evolution, each of which is so improbable that before it would have occurred the sun would have ceased to be a main sequence star and would have burned up the earth. They estimate the probability of the evolution of the human genome by chance to be on the order of 4∧(360)^110,000, a number which is so huge that to call it astronomical would be a wild understatement. In other words, if evolution did occur, it would have been a miracle, so that evolution is actually evidence for the existence of God”-William Lane Craig


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Teralek

Teralek wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

Teralek wrote:

I'm not even going to answer you. An answer to your rants would be logically impossible anyway.

I already said everything and nothing ever said in this forum convinced me that my "Hypothesis" (thanks to digitalbeachbum remark I think this is a better choice of word) is illogical.

I post here and read here so that I can put my ideas to the challenge and evolve them. I've actually done that. I have a more clear idea now of what I believe to be the truth than before joining this forum.

I use to talk in a Christian conservative blog as well and get hammered by them too. I kind of like that!  I like to be different to group mainstream. I like this as much as I like Bertrand Russell.

I will criticize your choice of words any time I want to as long as there is freedom of speech. I think I'm going to write a serious essay about ID! I'm going to do that because everyone who is doing it at the moment ends up screwing it up by having a Christian agenda and talking God at the end. ID has a place in agnostic philosophy in my opinion!

Take the references used here to support ID by jackspell for example, all of them come from that bonehead WLC.

I understand your "matrix" opinion and I think the video explains it better than I could have myself.

If you have a belief, unless there is evidence to support it, then it is an assumption,  maybe even an educated guess.

So if you have one person who says, "we are hooked up to machines and this "reality" is a simulation..."

Then have another person who says, "we are minions created by a god who watches us..."

And have a person who says, "There is no god, there is no evidence proving one, there never will be..."

All three have a chance on being true (even thought the later choice is my pick). Yet, all three have a chance on being wrong because all three are making an assumption.

This is why I prefer the weak stance on atheism.

Yes I understand. The only difference between you and me is that I interpret the fine tuning as an indication of an intentional First Cause. I believe that the highly theoretical String theory and other similar theories that try to explain the origin of the singularity and the fine tunning, are adding unnecessary elements. The intentional First Cause is to me the simplest explanation... my "educated guess". I could be wrong though.

String theory does not allow for the singularity. It is opposed to it.

This is why I am more of a supporter of it because I do not believe in the singularity any more than I do gods.

If the universe formed then nothing existed for their to be a singularity. There were no laws of gravity, time, space, etc. There was no singularity.

When there is a collision that is the moment when the expansion takes place.

Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

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But Jack

 

jackspell wrote:

Maybe if you comprehended the arguments you could respond rationally. Design is inferred when something exhibits "specified complexity". I invite you to look into what that is. Then maybe you'll refrain from posting something as stupid as to imply that you can't see signs of design in natural objects. Biological organisms are composed in such a way you can't even appreciate. Take the human genome. Unfathomably complex. Probability of it forming by chance is between 4^180^110000 and 4^360^110000.

 

the formation of the human genome is not a matter of pure chance. The evidence suggests complex life evolved from the symbiotic alliances of simpler life - itself driven by biochemical interactions we do not understand. That DNA evolved from RNA, that RNA remains a vital ecosystem at the heart of any functioning genome. I still think you are special pleading your first cause, which must be infinitely more complex than nucleobases and nucleosides, the likelihood of which you suggest is virtually zero.

Do you agree that life is the product of symbiotic organelles at the cellular level, and cellular symbiosis at the multicellular? Procaryotic cells contain elements of more archaic life forms. All plants, for example, are an alliance between cynobacteria and algae. Certainly biological organisms are composed in such a way that we can only begin to comprehend them. But to circumvent this challenge you advocate a supernatural being which defies all comprehension and instead must be defined and poked into existence.

None of us are going to deny the complexity of life but I still say you appeal to complexity. You cannot show proofs of your truth claim of supernatural yet personal first cause. You reject methodological naturalism entirely. And you insist your logic equation is the undeniable proof required. But your final conclusion cannot be proven to be true. In the absence of proof it becomes opinion - assumption. You choose to believe something you think you comprehend.

Now logic is a powerful tool that allows us to reason about evidence that is more or less proven to be true. But since we do not comprehend many if not all major concepts, logic cannot be said to rest on some concrete foundation of truth and nor can the concept of truth itself be properly defined in its entirety. Despite your claims, logic is uncertain and cannot supply us with knowable truth. And truth itself is bent and twisted by the language and concept bias expressing it. 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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jackspell wrote:latincanuck

jackspell wrote:

 You don't have to ANYTHING about the designer to infer design. Tell me this, when archeologists unearth spearheads and pottery, do they have to know what civilization it was or anything about them? What about if we find a supply of machinery on the moon? You won't accept that it is designed until you find the beings that put it there? What if you walk in your neighbor's house and find him on the floor dead, with a knife in his chest and a trail of footprints leading out of the house. If you weren't ever able to find the OBVIOUS INTELLIGENCE responsible for this DESIGNED foul play, would you really conclude it was natural causes? If so, you are in no danger of a in C.S.I.

Oh boy it's going to be one of these, ok yes you have to prove that its not a naturally occurring, can we prove the spearheads and pottery are designed yes and don't occur natural by themselves, can you prove the natural forces are designed? No, so why would I believe that they are designed instead of a natural properties occurring without any intelligence behind it? There is ZERO proof provided so far that there is intelligence behind it all. It's like saying lightning has intelligence behind it.......except the fact is we know how it naturally occurs without any intelligence. Fuck that's the BIG FUCKING HOLE IN THIS WHOLE ID THEORY. NO FUCKING EVIDENCE PROVIDED AT ALL. Second if you are going to say that their is intelligence behind it then you have to provide the evidence. Also you have to eliminate any other possibility as well.


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Quote:Design is inferredOk

Quote:
Design is inferred

Ok you want to go there?

The giraffe has a nerve that goes from one ear to the other, but not directly. It goes DOWN the side of the neck and around to the other side of the neck, and back up to the other ear. I hope you don't drive like you use logic. You'd drive to South America and back just to go two blocks to the store.

Is cancer "designed"" Ecoli or Anthrax? Still want to claim design is inferred?

Why is it eagles have better eyesight than humans? And cockroaches and bacteria outnumber humans. If anything is more successful at replication cockroaches and bacteria do a far better job at it.

As far as our solar system.

Our earth in it's history GOT LUCKY, it had many forms from a fire ball to an ice ball and now we are simply at there this point, but that too given time will change as well. But when it first started forming it started from tiny bits of material even down to a meteor the size of a pebble. GRAVITY caused that. The rings around Saturn show us HOW a planet and or a moon can form. Those rings and even our moon PROVE that it is gravity, not design, doing it. Gravity is not a brain, it is an observation, just like when we say "evolution"we are labeling NOT AN INVENTION, but the discovery of an observation. Neither the universe or evolution need a cognition to occur, they simply need the right conditions, just like a hurricane cannot form over land. Just like snow cannot happen at low altitudes at the equator.

Mars was "designed" for what? It serves no purpose. It is a giant dead rock that orbits the sun. Still want to argue "design is inferred"

Your problem is that "luck" to you just isn't mysterious or sexy enough so you need a fictional sky daddy to fill in the gaps for you.

 

 

 

 

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Aw, Geez . . .

Jackspell wrote:
And you deduced that how? Based on your logic, there is no telling. Let me take a guess, because the other things in that set fit that description? So by your logic, in the set of all integers, 5 is a negative number, right?

The "set" you used contains nothing but abstract mental concepts, with the exception of your insertion of God into the set. Could this be because you have no actual set where God is a thing that did not begin to exist but actually exists? In other words, God is a singular thing, and not part of any set and attempting to shoehorn it into one is disengenuous. In the set of all integers, -5 is a negative number.


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FC is a hot

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Herk wrote:Jackspell

Herk wrote:

Jackspell wrote:
And you deduced that how? Based on your logic, there is no telling. Let me take a guess, because the other things in that set fit that description? So by your logic, in the set of all integers, 5 is a negative number, right?

The "set" you used contains nothing but abstract mental concepts, with the exception of your insertion of God into the set. Could this be because you have no actual set where God is a thing that did not begin to exist but actually exists? In other words, God is a singular thing, and not part of any set and attempting to shoehorn it into one is disengenuous. In the set of all integers, -5 is a negative number.

Man I like you. I don't have to sift thought 15 paragraphs to find something outrageous. You are nice and short, but yet retain your outrageousness! Alright, I understand why you THOUGHT you were being logical to call God an "abstract MENTAL concept". F.Y.I. mental is in all caps to highlight a little thing us educated folks call redundancy. You could shorten your posts even more by safely dropping it because all concepts are mental. It's the equivalent of a "female woman". Alright where was I? Oh yeah, the problem with you CLASSIFYING God as an abstract MENTAL concept, is that you inferred this by identifying that all the other ELEMENTS within the set occupied this CLASS. I attempted to convey to you why this was done erroneously with my integer example. If you actually had any idea at all how set theory worked, you would know that the ELEMENTS in a set don't have to be in the same CLASS. Consequently, I assumed by your logic you would assert that 5 is a negative, since the SET of integers has ELEMENTS that are negative. And to prevent you from embarrassing yourself any further, please save the reply that says how I inserted God in there, and ALL other ELEMENTS are AMC's. Doesn't matter. If you have 3 sisters and no brothers and we define S as the set of your parent's children, since the other 3 are female, it follows by your logic therefore, you would have no scrotum. Moving on still, when you called me DISENGENEOUS, (I think you were looking for "disingenuous") that was almost the icing on the cake. Hmmm, so because you call God a "SINGULAR THING", I'm wrong for putting him in a set. Hold on, let me catch my breath!!!
sin·gu·lar   [sing-gyuh-ler] Show IPA
adjective
1.extraordinary; remarkable; exceptional: a singular success.
2.unusual or strange; odd; different: singular behavior.
3.being the only one of its kind; DISTINCTIVE;

Considering the man who founded set theory says:
"A set is a gathering together into a whole of definite, DISTINCT objects of our perception [Anschauung] and of our thought – which are called elements of the Set."
THE ELEMENTS ARE SUPPOSE TO BE DISTINCT! AND YOU ACCUSE ME OF SHOEHORNING? HAHAHA!!!
But for the grand finale...you were able to solve what has eluded mathematicians for centuries, -5 is indeed, a negative number. Well played sir.

"In this book, they list ten steps in the course of human evolution, each of which is so improbable that before it would have occurred the sun would have ceased to be a main sequence star and would have burned up the earth. They estimate the probability of the evolution of the human genome by chance to be on the order of 4∧(360)^110,000, a number which is so huge that to call it astronomical would be a wild understatement. In other words, if evolution did occur, it would have been a miracle, so that evolution is actually evidence for the existence of God”-William Lane Craig