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Date: 2006/01/24 00:05:13, Link
Author: Zardoz
I stopped posting at UC when Dave was put in charge and I won't post there again until he is removed as the big cheese. I support ID but putting Dave Scot in charge of UC was not a very good move. I understand the reason for Dembski doing it. He would like to have a non religious person be a spokesman for ID to counter criticism that ID is religiously based.

But in choosing a person like Dave Scot (who is childish, crude, quick to anger, egotistic, arrogant and confused) Dembski has made a mistake.

For one thing Scot doesn't represent ID in the true sense of the word. He calls himself an agnostic and yet believes in some convoluted form of ID?

You cannot be an agnostic nor an atheist and believe in ID, it's a contradiction. If you don't believe in an intelligent designer then how can you believe in intelligent design?

I feel it is extremely foolish to try and present ID divorced from reference to a God figure as part of the paradigm. The people who do that look like they are trying to con people. There is no need to try and pretend that ID isn't about God. No one believes it anyways, unless you are a confused person like Dave Scot.

Almost all proponents of ID believe that a God built all life. An extremely tiny minority believe in guided evolution. Dave Scot is part of the extremely tiny minority even though he claims to be an agnostic. Confused our poor Dave Scot is. If you believe evolution is guided by an intelligence then how can you possible be an agnostic? What is that intelligence if not a God? And Dembski put that guy in charge of his blog? I know Dembski doesn't believe in what Dave Scot believes in, but if he thinks that by putting out front a non religious face to represent ID will aid in the appreciation of ID, he is sadly mistaken.

People like Dave Scot who claim to believe in guided evolution have to answer a big question. If God or the intelligent whatever could guide evolution to get the desired life forms, then why couldn't God have skipped the billions of years of evolution and just created the life forms without evolution?

Anyways, ID proponents should quit being such pussies when it comes to being upfront with what they believe. ID is about a God paradigm. It's not about anything else.

I believe the ID movement is basically split into two parts. Those people who want to use ID as part of a social/political or personal/profit agenda and are therefore looking for ways to make ID more "palatable" to evolutionists by pretending it's not about God, and those who simply are disgusted with the scientific fraud that is evolutionary theory and who have no social or political or personal agenda in their support of ID.

I belong to the second group. I wish the people in the first group would grow up and quit trying to please everybody all of the time. Stand up and be proud, don't hide behind rhetorical mind games and mental cases like Dave Scot. Your every move is transparent. Be loud and proud, if your agenda was purely scientific then you wouldn't think you have to con people. I am 100% against the agenda of those controlled and paid by the Christian reactionary elements in society.

As long as ID is represented in the public mind with Chrisitan reactionary elements it will be mindlessly fought against on political grounds i.e the friend of my enemy is my enemy.

Putting up angry confused confrontational arrogant rude  Dave Scot types as your representative is not going to help.

Date: 2006/01/24 05:57:34, Link
Author: Zardoz
Quote (Renier @ Jan. 24 2006,08:16)
Dave plugs in his robotics modem to get a dynamic IP, so that he can read these posts.

I just got banned from UD too. Never try and point out that science is a method, they don't like it.

It's a pity I cannot comment there. This whole thing with Dave admitting to "COMMON DESCENT" could have been so interesting.

Am I wrong or does a totally anonymous proxy enable someone to bypass an ip ban?

As far as Dave espousing common descent; that has been his view ever since I first came in contact with his views some time ago, it's no secret at UD. In fact he likes to compare his views with those of Michael Behe who has also said something or another in favor of common descent.

Date: 2006/01/24 06:11:31, Link
Author: Zardoz
Quote (Flint @ Jan. 24 2006,09:35)
I believe the ID movement is basically split into two parts. Those people who want to use ID as part of a social/political or personal/profit agenda and are therefore looking for ways to make ID more "palatable" to evolutionists by pretending it's not about God, and those who simply are disgusted with the scientific fraud that is evolutionary theory and who have no social or political or personal agenda in their support of ID.

Sounds very simple, but by observation it doesn't work that way. ALL anti-evolution people, as far as I can tell, find the fact of evolution (as opposed to the proposed mechanisms by which it works) an intolerable affront to their pride. Kind of like overweight people rejecting gravity as a scientific fraud because the alternative is to admit what they really don't want to.

I don't know what you mean by "affront to pride". For myself and my friends who hold the same views as me on evolution we simply find evolutionary theory too implausible, nothing emotional about it.

Among the fact-rejecting crowd, the associated motivations seem fairly spread around, not binomial as Zardoz argues. Some are trying to trick a pro-reality system into teaching superstition in science class because they Believe, and want everyone else to. Others consider this dishonest, and instead want to preach against reality on straight religious grounds. Some wish to attain political power sufficient to use civil authority to *coerce* behavior according to their faith. Others are convinced that simply abandoning rationality will be sufficient to guide behavior. Some seek to discover their god hiding somewhere in reality by searching for places where He screwed up and failed to cover His tracks. Others reject this in favor of seeing the Hand Of God guiding every...well, they all have different levels of granularity on this. A few even seem to believe that predictable, natural processes are themselves guided, while others recognize that if this is true, layering on some Guider is superfluous and clumsy.

All of those reasons fall under what I wrote i.e political/personal, it was meant to include any type of religious or social or political motivation.

Essentially, what Zardoz is preaching here is PURE blindness, and he's offended that people like DaveScot give the impression of peeking every now and then. Peeking is a giveaway of confusion. REAL Believers don't do it.

What do you mean?

Date: 2006/01/24 06:38:43, Link
Author: Zardoz
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Jan. 24 2006,11<!--emo&:0)
Zardoz, the good news is you can post here and although not many people here are sympathetic to your ideas and cause, there is no expectation of conformity on this site.  Being socially appropriate is a good idea though.

For an example of what is not appropriate look for comments by a user named evopeach.

And I agree that the rampant dishonesty about who the deisigner/creator is that is within the ID crowd is most distateful.  And I believe denying God is still a sin, no?  If that is true you have a trainload of sinners out there promoting the notion that Klingons are responsible for life.

This will be an answer to you and stevestory. It's not that they believe that romulans or klingons are responsible, what they are trying to do is alter evolutionists perception of themselves as basing their theories on religious beliefs. In effect what they are trying to do is say " It doesn't matter what the designer is we have proof that there must be some type of designer". I think that is a purely tactical rhetorical method used when evolutionists or fence straddlers ask them to describe the designer. Plus they don't really know much or really anything about the designer in the sense of knowing what or how the universe is controlled by the designer.

In my view "god" is a type of alien. Here is my view of the designer which I have learned from my study of vedanta, physics, and personal experience.

A common belief among physcists is a thing called the Higgs Field. Whether it exists or not no one knows, but it is a popular theory. The Higgs field is supposed to pervade the entire universe. It is supposed to be the cause of giving mass to matter along with the hypothesized Higgs Boson particle. Then there is the Quantum Potential and Bells' Theorem. These three theories are postulating an interconnectedness, a unified reality in our universe.

From my way of looking at things I see the "Designer" as being something similar to Bohm's implicate order. The universe (infinite universe:see plasma cosmology, eric lerner et al) which we can perceive is only showing us what is visible to our eyes and to our technological instruments. But there is more then meets the eye and our instruments. It wasn't long ago that the quantum world was unknown to us as well as other things revealed by modern technology, like cosmic microwaves, space plasma, infrared light etc. As our technology has advanced more things pop into our field of view. They were always there but we didn't know it.

To me the designer is something we exist as a part of. 3 dimensional matter/energy and our consciousness/mind are parts of the explicate order, the designer is the implicate order. The world of matter is the quantum expression from a sub quantum substratum of the material universe. The complete holisitic universe is a unified field of an unknown energy comprising many dimensions of which we are usually (most people) only able to perceive the 3 dimensions of matter, plus mind and consciousness.

That unified field is the designer. Mind and consciousness are part of the unified field. Our mind and consciousness exist as parts of the unified field, the unified field as a whole is a single mind and consciousness. A single universal entity. Essentially, reality as we know it, is a living being. We and everything else in our space time exists within and as a part of a conscious intelligent entity, that entity exists in many more dimensions then the ones we can perceive.

As to where it came from? It is part of the natural development of the infinite space time continuum. At some point in time long long ago the original substance of the space time continuum somehow changed from an inert state into an active state. Consciousness and mind was one of the results of that change. We cannot really understand fully what happened because there are many dimensions at play in what happened (is happening) and we can only relate to a few of them. But to give an idea of what happened try to imagine an infinite ocean of ice. In all directions there was ice on into infinity. Then for some unknown reason there was a chemical reaction which created heat in the ice, the ice started to melt and eventually started to boil and kept on boiling from now until forever.

In a similar way the original state of the infinite space time continuum was an inert potential of some type. Some kind of massive change occured to that inert potential and it morphed into a different state. It developed consciousness/mind and gradually developed it's mind and intellect. After a long time it developed it's intellect to the point of being able to build the 3 dimensional world we see around us. It didn't build it like we build something. We build things that are different from ourselves. It builds things out of itself. Matter and the laws of nature exist because they are part of a conscious intelligent being.

Imagine how a virtual reality works. The programmer and computer build a digital world. Everything in the virtual world can seem like it is real, the chair can seem like a chair, the apple can seem like an apple, but in fact all that we experience in a virtual reality is a combination of pixels designed to look like those things. The virtual apple is really a part of the computer which has been designed to appear like an apple.

Quantum particles, neutrons, protons, electrons, atoms, these are like computer pixels to the designer, the designer is like a programmer and a computer in one. We live in a cosmic living computer. Everything exists as part of a cosmic virtual reality.

Date: 2006/01/24 07:16:09, Link
Author: Zardoz
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Jan. 24 2006,12:54)
Zardoz, what you are describing are personal beliefs.  But there is a difference in personal beliefs and what constitutes science.  The issue is the scientific community does not want personal theistsic beliefs being promoted as science.

In over 10 years the intelligent design folks have yet to provide a shred of testable theory or anything scientific.  

And to say "hey look at this evidence of design" is not science.  Besides, the so called evidence they provide is simply wrong.

Furthermore, saying it could be a space alien or time traveler is not scientific either.  It's voodoo.  We have no evidence of a space alien or time travelers, so to suggest these imaginary constructs are responsible for shiny objects we see in biology is nonsense.  

And until they can produce a space alien or time traveler (or God) and demonstrate how they go about creating, their ID theory will remain unscientific.  They might as well say "shiny objects in biology are the reult of wiggly-pigglys" since there is as much evidence for wiggly-pigglyes as there is for Klingons, time travelers and space aliens.

Now there is nothing wrong with theorizing Klingons dunnit, but to suggest that theory is scientific and should be taught in science class is quackery.

And I am sympathetic to the crowd that wants to find God in a petri dish, but if that discovery is ever made it will not likely come from the ID crowd.  So far all the ID "scientists"  are either bad philosophers, lawyers, or blind quacks like M Behe.

What I see in most people who support ID is the belief that evolution is implausible, and therefore by a process of elimination what is left to explain living things?

You mention magical entities as not being a sophisticated enough explanation for life on earth. But if we go all the way back to the very first life on urth we are confronted with no less of a magical event if you postulate that matter self organized into a cell that was programmed to replicate.

Also is it really plausible that evolutionary theory can account for the percentage of artistic precision, color coordination, and symmetrically beautiful shapes found in nature? Almost every life form that we can see with our unaided eye is confounding chance by being artistically phenomenal. Why isn't the overwhelming attribute of the living world utilitarian and drab? Why is art the rule rather then the exception? Magic? What did Arthur C. Clarke say about magic?

Date: 2006/01/24 08:19:06, Link
Author: Zardoz
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Jan. 24 2006,13:46)
[quote=GCT,Jan. 24 2006,13:37]So, you are basically arguing from incredulity then.
Also known as the Argument from ignorance or what Betrand Russell called "poverty of the imagination".

I prefer to call it rational conclusion following occam's razor. And i don't care if it's taught in public schools or not. It's not like many kids are interested anyways. If any kid was really interested in evolution or ID then they would do their own research. From my experience of public school everything we went through was like a Readers Digest version of education i.e superficial, full of mistakes, and outdated.

Date: 2006/01/24 09:42:00, Link
Author: Zardoz
Quote (Russell @ Jan. 24 2006,14:27)
RE: "plausibility"

As others have pointed out, "plausibility" doesn't count for much in science. It ranks somewhere between "intuition" and "hunch".

But I'd like to point out a few plausibility related items:

(1) Very few people involved in the actual study of biology or allied fields share this sense of implausibility about evolution.

(2) Lots of people find lots of physics "implausible" (relativistic time dilation; light being both particle and wave, etc.) So far, no one has tried to elevate that sense of "implausibility" to the status of "alternative theory".

(3) I find ID implausible: mainly the notion of nonphysical supernatural things affecting physical natural things, and the "infinite regress" problem: who designed the designer?

(! ) argumentum ad populum

(2)Yet we do find an alternate theory to evolution :D

(3)Your mind and intellect are not physical and they affect physical natural things

The problem of infinite regression is easily solved when we notice that whether you posit a God or no-God we come to the same situation vis-a-vis what existed when. If we posit no-God we still have the question of where the universe came from. Whether we examine the big bang theory or the universe with no beginning theories we still have to confront the question of what caused the universe or the stuff in the universe to come into existence.

The big bang theory or the universe with no beginning theories don't try to explain where the substance of the big bang or the universe came from. That hasn't stopped some scientists theorizing about where that stuff came from. Whatever theory they may come up with ultimately they will have to face one of 2 possibilities. A) There is no origin i.e the stuff has always existed in some form or dimension. B) The stuff or some form of it popped into existence at some point.

Choice B must be resisted because it violates logic. If nothing existed then something could never pop into existence because there is nothing which can give something the causal impetus to exist. Nothing cannot produce something. If there is something in existence then there has always been something in existence.

That leaves us us with choice A: There is no origin.

Whether you argue for a God or against a God in both cases logic demands that something has always existed. If you argue against a God you have to concede that all of the stuff we can perceive in the universe has always existed in some form or dimension. The big bang theory states that all of the matter and energy in the universe today existed before the big bang in the condensed whatever (different theories have been promoted as to what that was) which expanded when the big bang occured. The "universe with no beginning" theorists may have put forth some theories as to the cause of matter/energy in the universe but I have never read one.

If you argue for a God then you have to argue that God is either the original susbtance of the universe or a product or transformation of the original substance. A logical argument for the God side for the source of the universe would be that 3 dimensional matter/energy which follows the laws of physics in the universe, began when God built matter/energy using the original substance of the universe in whatever form or dimension was available. By universe I mean the stuff in the universe. Space time is where stuff exists. Since there could never have been a time when something didn't exist in the universe, therefore space time has always existed as well in order to accomodate that stuff.

Date: 2006/01/24 13:31:16, Link
Author: Zardoz
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Jan. 24 2006,14:34)
[quote=Zardoz,Jan. 24 2006,14:19]I prefer to call it rational conclusion following occam's [sic] razor.
Zardoz, you can call it anything you want, but that does not make it so.

Ditto. :D

 You were given this Link that covers pretty much every creationist anti-evolutionist arguement.  You'd be wise to use it.

I 've been reading that site for a long time and I disagree with many of the conclusions.

Oh, and here is what have already been said about Ockham's razor...

Claim CA240:
Ockham's Razor says the simplest explanation should be preferred. That explanation is creation.
Morris, John D., 1999 (15 Sep., 10:00-11:00 PDT), "Forum", KQED radio.

Ockham's Razor does not say that the simplest explanation should be favored. It says that entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity (non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem). In other words, new principles should not be invoked if existing principles already provide an explanation. If, however, the simpler explanation does not cover all the details, then additional "entities" are necessary.

Creationism is not an explanation. An explanation tells why something is one way instead of an alternative way. But creationism does not rule out any alternatives, since a creator God could have done anything. Because of this, creationism adds nothing to any argument. Thus, creationism is an unnecessary entity and, by Ockham's Razor, should be eliminated.

In my opinion there is an explanation which better suits what we know are the limits of chance to produce a Mango tree from random mutations starting from within a single cell. In my opinion random mutation is evolutions fatal flaw.

Evolution tells us that random mistakes in a genome not only creates incredibly complex synchronized information processing and storing systems, but also the information they utilize, the nanotechnology which can make use of the information, and the end result of a color coordinated artistically brilliant highly complex living entity, like a tiger, or an orchid, or a butterfly, or a sequoia tree, or a Mango, or pretty much everything.

Evolution tells us that all life (except the first) came to exist through random mutations gradually building every part of every species. Every form of life has a blueprint stored within the lifeform which tells the nanotechnology within the cells and organs how to construct the particular body plan. There are numerous types of very complex coded information systems within every living entity along with extremely tiny molecular nanotechnology which reads the code, understands the code, and then constructs extremely complex biological machines.

Can random mutations build these microscopic nanotechnologies, coding systems (coding, reading, understanding the code) and the blueprints which they come with?

I cannot accept that chaotic disorganized mutations can produce the vast diversity and stunning technological complexity of life as we know it. You may argue that random mutation plus natural selection somehow rises above chaos, but I don't buy it. The numerical probability is beyond astronomical that a series of random mutations can design a Lion or a rose bush. Nope, sorry. For me Occam's Razor rules out evolution because life as we know it would require millions of miracles happening on a scale beyond imagining, whereas a designer would only require one miracle.

To say that "creationism" is not an explanation is not true. Creationism or Intelligent Design makes an explanation, you may not think it to be sufficient, but it nevertheless does make a explanation i.e an intelligent entity built all life forms from a plan. That's an explanation. You don't have to accept it, but it is in fact an explanation. Just like if you asked me how did Trump Towers come into existence and I answered "Donald Trump had his people build it". It may not be a detailed explanation, but it is nevertheless an explanation and a true one at that.

It's all about mathematical probabilities. By the process of elimination we arrive at the mathematical probability of an intelligent agent. Random mutations are random, and it is that randomness which is evolution's fatal flaw. Random events may occasionally produce some type of simple non chaotic outcome, but as more random events occur that non chaotic event will turn back into chaos. The more complex something is the less chance it came about by random forces.

A good example is the snowflake. They are produced by a fairly complex process and they are fairly complex designs. But as random natural events act on the snowflake the design doesn't increase in complexity, it breaks down completely e.g the flake melts or compacts.

I know evolutionists like to ignore the 2nd law of thermodynamics, but it is simply not plausible that chaos can consistently produce increasing complexity over a long period of time over and over multiplied millions of times. The numbers don't add up. So Occam's Razor points us to the explanation which requires the least amount of inconsistency with known laws of nature and mathematical probabilities. Evolution cannot be the answer. And in the end there is only one other explanation which isn't bogged down by fatal flaws.

We shouldn't be attached to the truth or falsity of any given theory. If something we think is true turns out to have been a mistake, and conversely if what we thought was a mistake then turns out to be true, we should be glad our understanding has been elevated. This isn't a contest. People who feel they have something to gain or lose in the debate need to check their agendas and egos at the door. There is much much more to the world then meets the eye.

Date: 2006/01/25 11:37:40, Link
Author: Zardoz
Quote (Russell @ Jan. 24 2006,16:37)
(! ) argumentum ad populum
Quite the contrary! First, it's not an argument at all, it's an observation

A common debating technique is the appeal to popularity. It goes like this:

Most, many, or all persons believe statement p is true. Therefore statement p is true.

Part of a debate or an "argument" is making "observations" which are meant to convince your opponent or your audience that your argument is superior.

If you think your own personal "feeling" of implausibility counts for something, I'm inviting you to wonder why people who have devoted a heck of a lot of time, study and research into it don't share that feeling. If, on the other hand, you contend that your own personal feeling of implausibility counts for something because a largish fraction of the (nonspecialist) population shares that feeling, I would call that an argumentum ad populum.

I didn't make an appeal to popularity, the other person did.

(2)Yet we do find an alternate theory to evolution
What is that theory? (Note: "an unknown entity did an unknown thing at an unknown time" doesn't count as a theory. Nor does "I find evolution implausible, therefore it musta been God".)

That theory is that a known entity ( I know it), did a known thing (build all life), at an unknown time (a long time ago). You may not like that as a theory, but it is a theory. I don't mind if you call it something else.

(3)Your mind and intellect are not physical and they affect physical natural things.
"Mind" and "intellect", like "metabolism", describe properties of my physical self. They affect physical natural things in the same sense my metabolism does.

I disagree. What part of the brain contains thought? Is thought part of a cell? If so which part? Which part is consciousness?

Date: 2006/01/25 11:46:20, Link
Author: Zardoz
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Jan. 24 2006,23:36)
Zardoz, I don' think you and I will agree on much when it comes to the subject at hand, but for someone who does not buy all this evolution stuff you have been a very good sport about it in your posts here.


Thanks, I'm not emotionally attached to proving my point, I enjoy debate. I know where you guys are coming from, I was born and raised an atheist and an evolutionist. Most ID or creationist people will think that you guys are blind fanatics, I disagree with that assessment. I believe that everyone's thought process has to do with how our memory works. See my article at

Date: 2006/01/25 14:47:22, Link
Author: Zardoz
Quote (stevestory @ Jan. 25 2006,08:25)
I think it was someone in Slate magazine who said that's one of the theological pitfalls of ID--it changes god from sad witness to the Fall of Man&#8482;, into an active engineer of evil machines.

That only applies if you subscribe to a biblically based religious philosophy, which I don't. Amongst religious philosophers that problem is sometimes called "the problem of evil". It or a variation of it is a common philosophical argument people make against the existence of a God. Variations of it include: If there is a God why isn't everyone good? Why is there apparent mistakes in biological systems? Why do bad things happen to good people? etc.

Some of these questions are based on the idea that a God entity by definition is perfect in every way and can never make any kind of non perfect outcome to any action it may take. The answer to that mistaken philosophy is that a God entity is not going to necessarily be perfect anymore then anyone else will necessarily be perfect. If you were able to create life in a lab and build a suitable environment for it to live, that act doesn't change you into a perfect being in every respect. Just because you have some talent in the scientific field doesn't change you into a being incapable of being non perfect in every way.

Biblical based philosophers cannot deal with the "problem of evil" very well because they do not accept reincarnation. If you ask them to explain why people suffer they are really at a loss to come up with a philosophically sound argument. If you ask them why are some people born into misery and others born into happiness, why are some people born into wealth, beauty, and privilege and others born into unhealthiness, non-beauty, and poverty, they cannot respond satisfactorily. I asked a knowledgable christian (non-catholic) about this question once and he told me it was because of "the sin's of the fathers". I asked what he meant and he told me that people suffer because of the actions of their ancestors. I told him that that seemed to posit a God without much fairness or compassion. Most biblical believers believe that ultimately human suffering is due to the "original sin" of Adam. Depending on who you ask you will get a different take (either a literal or esoteric explanation) of what that means. Although however it is explained it still has the problem of God being either uninvolved and therefore a non-caring, uncompassionate entity, or involved but not fair and equitable in dealing with people.

Catholic theologian Hans Kung has written a book where he makes a comparison between hindu and biblical philosophies on the problem of evil,  and his conclusion was that the hindu philosophy was more philosophically fulfilling.

In hinduism it is taught that people are born into this world (or many other similar earth type worlds) for the purpose of developing a perfected state of consciousness. People are taken on a journey throughout their existence in the world of samsara (birth, death, rebirth) until they reach a stage of enlightenment and perfection. Along the way they will face many challenges which will call for them to make decisions on how to treat others. As they choose they accrue karma, good or bad. It takes many lifetimes to come to the perfectional stage whereupon the person leaves the world of birth, death, and rebirth, and then attains to a life in the perfected world. What that perfected world is like is understood differently by different hindu religions.

"Evil" in this world is taught as being the reaction which people have to previous actions they took in their previous life. The idea taught is that the consciousness of the individual is a very complex thing. There are deep rooted pathologies which can develop and take lifetimes to overcome. The "bad karma" one experiences is meant to create a perfected sense of empathy within the individual. If someone is born into misery, or is suffering due to the actions of others, it is taught that God has arranged for that suffering based solely on the bad karma that person has developed. If I was cruel to someone in my previous life then my next life will be arranged so that I will experience cruelty of the same magnitude in order to develop empathy. So in hinduism it is taught that God arranges what type of birth you have and what you will experience in life based upon what God thinks you need to experience in order to advance on the path towards perfection.

Someone may object and say that the philosophy of karma leads people to think that people deserve whatever bad happens to them, so why should they help or care if God sanctions the suffering of people? If someone is suffering or being abused by another person doesn't karma teach that the person being abused deserves it?

The answer is that there is more to the teaching on karma then that. You will gain bad karma if you allow the suffering of others to go on if you can help to stop it. So it's taught that Dharma, or righteous action, goes hand in hand with Karma, or action/reaction. Yes people are suffering because they caused suffering previously, but if you can stop their suffering when you can, then you have the duty to do that. Otherwise you accrue bad karma.

Date: 2006/01/25 15:19:44, Link
Author: Zardoz
Quote (Russell @ Jan. 25 2006,18:48)

It doesn't give you pause that, the more people study biology, the less they agree with you? Do you chalk that up to "brainwashing"?

There are hundreds of scientists, many who are biologists in fields of work related to evolution who reject evolution. So your argument would be the fallacy of hasty generalization.

I didn't make an appeal to popularity, the other person did.
No, your only appeal was to your own personal "feeling of implausibility". I assumed that might have been a reference, often asserted by DI types, that in effect "poll after poll shows the man on the street finds evolution implausible".  But if it's just your personal feeling, contradicted by the people that actually study the field, it's even weaker than an argumentum ad populum, isn't it?

No, I intended no reference. There are many scientists in many fields associated with evolution who reject evolution. Therefore your argument is another hasty generalization and an appeal to popularity.

That theory is that a known entity ( I know it), did a known thing (build all life), at an unknown time (a long time ago). You may not like that as a theory, but it is a theory. I don't mind if you call it something else.
Good; then you won't mind if I call that "Religion". I guess I don't mind if you call a dog a cat, as long as you don't run around making a nuisance of yourself insisting that everyone else, or at least the public schools, recognize that dogs are just as much cats as cats are.

I don't care if it's taught in schools or not. You can call it a theory with religious implications. The word religion isn't cognate with ID because a religious belief is not necessarily going to have a doctrine or dogma which posits a God or a God who builds life and the cosmos. Good examples are persons like a Ken Miller or a George Coyne. George Coyne has a religious belief but he rejects the belief that his "God" is involved with the direction of what he calls  universal "increasing complexity". He believes that some kind of ineffable God thingee who is all about "love" somehow created the laws of nature and then set off the big bang and then went back to stewing in his own juices, leaving the universe to do whatever would happen without interference from then on.

What evidence leads you to the notion that thought and consciousness exist anywhere without a brain?

There is no direct empirical evidence as of yet. But that doesn't mean that it is not true. For instance a few posts ago I gave a link to an article I wrote on memory. From my analysis on memory I can postulate a non physical source of our memory system. The only other evidence I have is direct personal experience.

Date: 2006/01/25 15:46:21, Link
Author: Zardoz
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Jan. 25 2006,17:57)
Not getting emotionally involved in proving your point - you are a wise soul.  I also avoid getting emotionally involved with my own ideas.  This allows me to easily change or modify them in view of new evidence or understanding.  

And you and I must be historical opposites, I was raised a believer and later drop kicked that belief around the age of 30 or so.  No big deal.

I just now read your article.  We should drink beer and chat some time.


I was raised without any religion nor any kind of religious exposure. Then when I was 20 I started to practice yoga and also ate some peyote one starry moonlit night on San Diego's mission bay. The yoga philosophy was new and interesting but the peyote opened up my mind to another dimension, whereupon I "met" "God". Peyote has been used for thousands of years by many native american tribes as a religious sacrament. They believe that by eating peyote you can communicate with your "spirit guide". So essentially that was what happened to me, except my "spirit guide" showed me what he/she truly is e.g one with all of nature. I was inspired to dive into the study of yoga philosophy which would enable me years later to once again communicate with "God", although without needing peyote to see the true nature of the hidden reality all around and within us.

Beer sounds good to me :D

Date: 2006/01/26 11:28:40, Link
Author: Zardoz
Quote (PuckSR @ Jan. 26 2006,11:57)

The problem of evil is much different than the malicious or flawed designer argument.

You said it best yourself, the problem of evil is only a real problem if you believe that God is totally and completely good, and that he would never do anything to hurt us.

No I didn't say that. You may want to go back and read what I did say. I said that the problem of evil is only a problem if you don't believe in reincarnation and karma.

Date: 2006/01/27 10:37:59, Link
Author: Zardoz
Card doesn't represent the views of most ID people. Most ID people whom I have read, or written to, or spoken with, do not accept common descent. The common descent view is in the extreme minority in the ID camp. So when Card says "Id teaches this and that" what he is really doing is only giving the views of a tiny minority. His saying that ID people accept evolution but argue that the cause of evolution is something other then natural selection, is a case in point. The vast majority of ID people completely reject evolution beyond micro-evolution.

His views are consistent with his religious views. I hear that he is a mormon. Mormon's are polytheists who don't believe in a supreme being. They believe that each one of the males of their religion can ascend to become a God of his own world and that his first born son will become the Jesus of that world. Their religion is a syncretic mesh of Christianity and Rosicrucianism/Ancient Egyptian/Hermeticism. The founder of Mormonism and the leading early mormons were into freemasonry which at that time was heavily into Hermetic and Rosicrucian philosophy, which is derived in part from ancient egypt, or so they believe. In the egyptian religion the king would become a God in heaven after death and his son would become the new God on earth. For more on the mormon-hermetic history see

So it makes sense for Card to promote ID from the point of view he does. In his religion there is no supreme creator God. In fact his religion is very fuzzy on the details of just how they will rule over a world as a God.

Date: 2006/01/30 13:08:28, Link
Author: Zardoz

Also, your implied age of the cosmos (~6,000 years) is plainly wrong. The evidence that the earth is ~4.5 E 9 years old and that the universe is 1.37 E 10 years old is essentially unassailable.

Date: 2006/01/30 14:43:23, Link
Author: Zardoz
There are a few Coyne lectures online here and there, I've watched 2 of them. His above remarks summed up the 2 lectures I watched and I assume he's just going to give another lecture essentially identical to the 2 I watched online.

Coyne is not really a catholic, he's essentially a disciple of Teilhard De Chardin. De Chardin was a priest whose books were banned by the church (I think) and he was pretty much demonized by the vatican. Still he has his followers, especially amongst the Jesuits. In fact the Jesuits celebrate De Chardin as one of their heroes the last time I checked out their website.

What De Chardin and Coyne (and others) are trying to do is reinvent christianity (I'm not a christian). De Chardin is famous for his Omega Point theology and Coyne seems to more or less parrot it. To De Chardin "God" and the "Universe" are "evolving" towards an apotheosis i.e the omega point. That philosophy has it's roots in Kabbalism and other esoteric philosophies.

What De Chardin and his disciples have been doing for many years is to try to do away with catholicism and replace it with their bizarre esoteric beliefs (The billion dollar Templeton foundation seems to be close with Coyne and has sponsored investigating Omega Point doctrine with Coyne and the catholic church in vatican city or elsewhere in Italy) . I am no fan of christianity but I do know what the theology and philosophy is and what it is not. These people see themselves as prophets who want to do away with traditional catholic and mainstream christian belief.

From the article:

"He stresses that the theory of Intelligent Design diminishes God into an engineer who designs systems rather than a lover."

This is typical of these types of "philosophers". To them god is more like "the force" in star wars theology then an actual thinking, willing, intellectual, single conscious entity. Why does seeing God as a scientist and builder/designer "diminish" God? It is not stated why a "loving" bystander view of God is more appreciative of God then seeing God as an interested active participant. It's just mindless nonsense (but spoken with a specific objective and purpose in mind). Coyne's vision of God is of a "loving" something or other. God "loves" but doesn't get involved. It's kind of like saying to your children "I love you, but I'm not really interested in dealing with your life except to send you good vibes. So don't expect any help in feeding yourselves or in paying the rent, I'm just about love. If I were to do anything to help you  then that would diminish me"

To him a God who gives you life, a planet to live on, food to eat, etc, is less of a noble being then a God who does nothing but sit back and send you good vibes?

What Coyne is trying to do is change the personalist theological viewpoint of the catholic church and of christianity in general into an impersonalist theological  viewpoint. His God doesn't do anything but send out good vibes. His God didn't set in motion evolution of species or the universe. According to his philosophy the universe and all life came about by a completely unguided "drive towards complexity", which is inherent within the matrix of the universe. His God is not really a thinking conscious intelligent entity. Rather it's a kind of universal "love" blob. His beliefs are somewhat similar to the Advaita Vedanta religion in India. Their concept of God is called Brahman. Brahman is an impersonal divine force of some unknowable ineffable variety e.g another "love" blob floating around.

The difference between Advaita Vedanta and Coyne and De Chardin is the idea of the evolving God/evolving universe towards an apotheosis in the future. The Advaita school has no such belief. They believe that Brahman is something which is beyond our comprehension until we reach enlightenment, and that the "world" is not evolving towards an apotheosis.

They believe people are evolving towards an apotheosis over many lives. Once reaching that apotheosis or "moksha" or "mukti", they teach that the individual soul will then realize his/her essential oneness with Brahman. At that stage the individual soul no longer indentifies with his body, his humaness, his identity as Mr. or Mrs Smith.

Upon elightenment they believe the soul leaves behind all tempory designations and conceptions and then merges or experiences the true eternal absolute oneness of the wholeness of eternal infinite divine joy which is self identification with the eternal divine Brahman.

Brahman is the totality, the unchanging infinite "divine" reality of the universe. After reaching that stage they believe that they willl transcend this world of mortality and attain to the same nature as Brahman. Essentially they view God as an impersonal divine force/substratum of the universe,  and they see our souls or consciousness as being of the same nature as Brahman. In our illusioned state of consciousness we identify this temporary existence we experience as all there is to our existence. We identify with our bodies, our egos, our minds, our families, our nations, our species, our planet etc. They teach that the nature of the "material world" is that of constant change and suffering,  contrasted to the nature of Brahman which is eternal, blissful, and changeless, like ourselves. Instead of their God being a love blob who is evolving along with the universe towards an apotheosis, they believe that God is a changeless love blob which is the  supramundane underlying matrix of our existence which we are destined to merge into in some ineffable divine manner for an eternity of unending ananda or bliss.

I don't subscribe to Advaita Vedanta, nor Christianity. Coynes views are closer to Advaita Vedanta then Christianity, with the addition of a little Kabbala thrown in and a few other bits and pieces from the so called "western mystery schools".

Just a few thoughts :D

Date: 2006/02/11 16:54:02, Link
Author: Zardoz
updated on next post

Date: 2006/02/11 17:07:52, Link
Author: Zardoz
So while it is true that evolution (and plain common sense for that matter) conflicts with the Judeo-Christian creation myth but how does this promote the idea that no God exists at all?

It also conflicts with Hindu beliefs, thats another 900 million people or so.

Evolution is  not in conflict with all religious beliefs. For instance someone mentioned recent pronouncements from some bigshot catholics in support of evolution, also many protestant leaders have endorsed evolution. But the fact of the matter is that evolution is directly in contradiction to actual catholic or in fact any biblically based belief system or dogma. So it's not that evolution is copacetic with catholicism or christianity in their traditional forms, it's copacetic with some people who call themselves catholic or christian.

Evolution promotes a a basal ontological paradigm which is directly in contradiction to most religious doctrines of the world. Most religions teach that a God built all of the stuff in the universe living and not living. Evolution teaches that a God did not build life on earth. If life on earth is taught as being the product of purposeless blind chance instead of emotion laden eternal purpose, then in essence evolution is implying that there is no afterlife.

After all the essential component of religious belief is belief in an afterlife. That belief is the sine qua non of almost all religious faith. There are some religions which don't believe  in an afterlife i.e most forms of buddhism and some forms of judaism. But most religious people are motivated in their faith by the belief or hope of life after death in some kind of eternal joyful heavenly world.

Those religions teach that the soul or consciousness or atma lives on after the demise of the body. They believe that the soul is them, and that they are encased in a body made of matter. The different religions vary a bit on that point but the essential idea is that there is a difference between the body and the person in the body.

What evolution does is teach that life is a product of the body, a product of matter. Instead of life being a separate conscious entity which is created by a God, life instead becomes a product of blind forces of nature. God's role as the creator of souls, the creator of people's eternal "spiritual" essence or consciousness, is being called a lie by evolution.

Evolution teaches that God is at best a bystander of a planet left on it's own.

Biblical believers are not all the same but most more or less believe in the above. Hindus believe that there are billions of planets with humans and plants and animals on them, they believe the universe is vastly older then what big bang theorists speculate about. So to them all life found on earth is found all over the universe, and in the eternal heavenly planets as well. To them life found on earth is not new or specific to earth, nor is it's source natural conditions found on earth. Earth is one among countless planets in the mundane universe where we will find the same life forms, the same dramas of birth, disease, old age and death for humans in human society,the same everything as is found on earth. Then there are also the heavenly planets where we will also find many of the same life forms of humans, animals, plants etc, except without anything imperfect e.g no disease, no growing old, no death, nothing bad going on at all, simply the enjoyment of pleasures by perfected people on into eternity.

Date: 2006/02/12 12:05:09, Link
Author: Zardoz
Quote (Chris Hyland @ Feb. 12 2006,10:31)
Then there are also the heavenly planets where we will also find many of the same life forms of humans, animals, plants etc, except without anything imperfect e.g no disease, no growing old, no death, nothing bad going on at all, simply the enjoyment of pleasures by perfected people on into eternity.
Do hindus believe that this will eventually happen on earth, if so hinduism and futuirism have more incommon than i would have guessed.

I think a creationist once said, "If there is no creation story then there is no origional sin, therefore no need for christ to come to earth". I dont claim to be an expert on the bible, but this seems fairly sensible to me. Evolution says that their was no adam and eve (see above), and that man is not created in the image of god, and was unplanned. This seems pretty incompatible with christianity, if im wrong could someone explain it to me.

Having said that i used to work with someone who did a degree in phylogenetics and was a creationist. She didnt belive in evolution in any form, but it formed the entire basis of her work, and didnt affect how well she worked at all. I think perhaps that is easier for scientists, especially biologists to reconcile evolution with faith, as it is easier to ignore philosophical and theological implications, and therefore seperate the two.

Hindus do not believe that earth will ever become a "heavenly planet". Planets like earth are believed to go through 4 stages of time called yugas. We are presently in Kali Yuga which according to traditional hinduism started around 5000 years ago and will go for another 432,000 years. Kali Yuga is the last of the 4 ages in the cycle, after Kali Yuga the cycle starts again with Satya or Krita Yuga which will last around 1.7 million years, then Treta Yuga which is shorter, then Dwapara which is shorter still, then Kali yuga which is the shortest. There are many varied beliefs and interpretations for these ideas found within the diverse hindu theological landscape. But the accepted idea amongst all is that each Yuga is characterized by how spiritually, ethically and morally evolved society and humanity is in general. The highest or most evolved time is the Satya or Krita Yuga where humanity is in a golden age, people have much longer lives then today etc. The Yugas following Satya become less and less perfect until we reach Kali Yuga which is the lowest point in human existence and society for earth.

To say "hindus believe this or that" needs to be understood in the context of "most" hindus believe what I am writing, probably around 85% of hindus belong to the Vaishnava group of religions and these are their beliefs. The other major religions of Hinduism i.e Shaivism, Shaktism, and Advaita, have slightly different beliefs to very different beliefs on the following  topic of heavenly planets.

The "heavenly planets" are different then earth type planets. There are 2 categories of heavenly planets. The first type is where humans who by dint of their good karma on planets like earth are reincarnated on paradisical planets. They live extremely long lives of pleasurable pursuits without aging, but they do not remain there forever. They can gain good or bad karma there as well and take a lower birth or a higher birth still. The other "heaven" of hinduism i.e the real heaven, is called Vaikuntha.

Vaikuntha planets are eternal. That is where God lives and enjoys life and relationships with eternally perfected people. They are similar to earth in that there is vegetation, animals, human society etc. There is no chance of ever leaving Vaikuntha due to bad karma and taking birth in a lower sphere. Everyone is eternally youthful, life is nothing but pleasure, and it is lived in association with God who also has a human form. It is the ultimate goal of life to attain to life in Vaikuntha for most hindus. With there being trillions of people living there, you could ask how could God live and have relationships with all of those people? In hinduism it is taught that God takes on an unlimited number of human forms (male and female) in Vaikuntha so that he/she can be with everyone. There are also different types of Vaikuntha planets where different types of things are going on. It's a bit more complex but that's the basic run through.