Board index Creation and Evolution

Evolution and Creation. Where did we come from? How did we get here? What is life all about?

A satisfying response to the watchmaker argument

Postby Drano » Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:35 pm

Please take note of the new and improved response to the Watch Maker Argument. The old response left theist wanting more. They wanted you to address the core of the issue which is how seemingly designed complexity can exists in a random, chaotic universe. https://youtu.be/aeFydLcd3oI
Drano
 

Re: A satisfying response to the watchmaker argument

Postby jimwalton » Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:46 pm

Yeah, I didn't like the argument. I don't think it works. You used many terms to try to explain how the universe "acts," and in the process used many "personal" terms: attempts, overcome, etc. You attribute personal capabilities to blind forces, and even eventually insert progress and purpose. But this is impossible (or ridiculously impossible, even given enough time) in a world of random forces where all events are happenstance, and necessarily without purpose. The universe can't "overcome" anything. Even at the point of life where all changes happen by random mutations and natural selection (another misnomer), both of which are blind forces and don't "communicate" (another personal term) with each other. Blind and random forces simply cannot eventually "learn," "attempt," "overcome," or anything of the sort. They are always random. It's like asking, "How long will it take that traffic light to learn to recognize my car and turn green every time it sees me?" The answer is never. It is mechanical, and there is no possibility for learning in the system. So also with the universe without God. It is mechanical, and all the words you use are automatically out of play.

You asked, in your video, which of the two boxes looked more designed. Before I knew where you were going, I thought to myself, "Neither." Then you assumed I would say the bottom one, but I didn't. While possibly a random situation could occasionally mimic design in a snapshot kind of scenario, and maybe, if I were being ludicrously gracious, assume that random forces might be able to mimic progress (just as my iTunes might be able to actually get a few of my favorite songs in a row by accident), it's not like that could ever develop into anything more. My player is set on "shuffle," and there are no mechanisms inherent or learnable to make it anything different. The primary axiom, that we are the result of so many accidents that we now have intelligence, purpose, reason, and progress is a non sequitur. Intelligence, purpose, reason, and progress cannot come from a source other than an intelligent, purposeful, reasoning, and personal being.
jimwalton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4675
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: A satisfying response to the watchmaker argument

Postby Drano » Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:59 am

You nail me for giving personal terms to the universe (I was doing it as a way to explain my idea more elegantly and simply, not meant to be taken as me literally saying the universe has agency) and you go on to call the events that made us what we are "accidents". I'd say that's also a personal term. It implies there is intention but these events were not the intended outcome. In a universe with no agency, the word accident has no place.
Drano
 

Re: A satisfying response to the watchmaker argument

Postby jimwalton » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:00 am

Thank you for that clarification. It's so difficult to keep personality out of the universe, as scientific naturalism would require. Personality and intention are so much part of the fiber of life, betraying a personal and intentional source.

Perhaps I should have used a word like arbitrary or random. We have to work pretty hard to remove personality from the backstory of life as we know it today. I'm not sure it's even possible, and that's part of the point. Personality, order, appearances of design, purpose, and intelligence are integral to the system. Personality, purpose, and intelligence are clearly part of the "end" product (we have them). How is it possible for the impersonal to produce anything personal, for random process to produce purpose, and for mechanical to produce intelligence? It's a great stretch of blind faith to believe such things.
jimwalton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4675
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: A satisfying response to the watchmaker argument

Postby Drano » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:40 pm

Very poetic. Almost a shame to try to explain. Faith is a religious term, so it's not that. If you understand evolution it becomes clear how these things happened through nature. This planet had 4.5 billion years to make this all happen. Look at the advances humans have had in technology in the last 100.
Drano
 

Re: A satisfying response to the watchmaker argument

Postby jimwalton » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:42 pm

Oh, faith isn't solely in the religious arena. There are lots of things that evolutions believe for which there is no evidence. Since you accept the framework, you believe in some reality for the gaps. And, by the way, I believe in evolution, too, and I understand its processes. I just think the evidence is strong that the process was designed and guided, not random. A guided process makes far more sense than a haphazard one.
jimwalton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4675
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: A satisfying response to the watchmaker argument

Postby Drano » Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:51 pm

I assume everyone I talk to believes in evolution like we believe in gravity. It's the details of the theory that we all may have our opinions and made up shit for.

That's why I said you should try to understand it more. I can only imagen someone thinking there are gaps in evolution theory big enough to justify believing its a guided process if they are not understanding it or missing a lot of information that exists. I bet if you put any big issue you think has a gap in evidence into google, and type it next to "Richard dawkins" you'll find that expert telling you what the evidence is.
Drano
 

Re: A satisfying response to the watchmaker argument

Postby jimwalton » Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:55 pm

I'm continually on a learning curve, but I understand evolution quite well. Had it in school, have kept reading and learning about it, and plenty of conversations about it. Always learning, but I pretty much have it down.

When I talk about the guided process, I'm talking about elements of fine tuning like these from Stephen Hawking and Paul Davies:

Stephen Hawking says that "reduction of the rate of expansion by one part in 10^12 at the time when the temperature of the Universe was 10^10 K would have resulted in the Universe starting to recollapse when its radius was only 1/3000 of the present value and the temperature was still 10,000 deg"—much too warm for comfort. Hawking concludes that life is possible only because the universe is expanding at just the rate required to avoid collapse. At an earlier time, the fine-tuning had to be even more remarkable: "We know that there has to have been a very close balance between the competing effect of explosive expansion and gravitational contraction which, at the very earliest epoch about which we can even pretend to speak (called the Planck time, 10^-43 sec. after the big bang) would have corresponded to the incredible degree of accuracy represented by a deviation in their ratio from unity by only one part in 10^60" (- John Polkinghorne). Paul Davies: "The fact that these relations are necessary for our existence is one of the most fascinating discoveries of modern science."

In evolutionary theories there are HUNDREDS of these. It's like winning the lottery 1000 times in row. Possible? Technically yes, but the odds are so slight that we can reasonably say it's impossible to have happened on its own.
jimwalton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4675
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: A satisfying response to the watchmaker argument

Postby Out of My Mind » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:03 pm

> It's like winning the lottery 1000 times in row. Possible? Technically yes, but the odds are so slight that we can reasonably say it's impossible to have happened on its own.

This seems to be phrased much too strongly. As applied to biological evolution, it's more like winning the lottery 1,000 times in a row while buying enough tickets for a long enough period that 1,000 straight wins isn't statistically astounding anymore.

> When I talk about the guided process, I'm talking about elements of fine tuning like these from Stephen Hawking and Paul Davies

Fine tuning is only evidence of design when we have reason to believe the fine tuning is for something in particular. I don't see that we have that here.
Out of My Mind
 

Re: A satisfying response to the watchmaker argument

Postby jimwalton » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:19 pm

> As applied to biological evolution, it's more like winning the lottery 1,000 times in a row while buying enough tickets for a long enough period that 1,000 straight wins isn't statistically astounding anymore.

The problem here is that the processes of mechanical expansion, along with random mutations and natural selection are all blind processes. It's like claiming that enough explosions in the print shop will eventually result in a dictionary. (More realistically, that one explosion will result in a combination of letters that makes sense, and a million explosions later will yield an actual word, and a billion after that another word, etc.) But this is mere wishful thinking, because the subsequent explosions have just as much chance of destroying the previous combination as creating a new one, and so progress is an illusion. In agreement, any geneticist will tell you that random mutations are far more deleterious than beneficial, and so the odds of progress are, again, so absurdly low to the point of impossible.

Put that in combination with the fine tuning necessary for the universe to support life anywhere (the illustrations are gave you from Hawking and Davies were but two of hundreds of such measurements) are abysmally minuscule. Dr. James Coppedge says, "The probability of a single protein molecule being arranged by chance is 1 in 10^161 using all atoms on earth and allowing all the time since the world began ... For a minimum set of the required 239 protein molecules for the smallest theoretical life, the probability is 1 in 10119,879. It would take 10^119,841 years on the average to get a set of such proteins. That is 10^119,831 times the assumed age of the earth." That's why I used the analogy of winning the lottery 1000 times in a row, which is probably generous. It's more like a billion. The simplest conceivable form of life should have at least 600 different protein molecules. The mathematical probability that only one molecule could form by the chance arrangement of the proper sequence of amino acids is far less than 1 in 10^450. And yet Harvard scholar and professor Ernst Mayr admits that "A chance of one in a billion is almost a miracle."

> Fine tuning is only evidence of design when we have reason to believe the fine tuning is for something in particular. I don't see that we have that here.

And yet evolutionists continually attribute purpose to the process, personality to the components, and claim that

- order has come from disorder
- the impersonal has somehow resulted in personality
- chance has given birth to reason
- accidents turned into purpose
- genetic entropy has resulted in progress
- natural selection resulted in sustainable, long-term advancement

Unguided biological evolution is such a tremendous leap of faith requiring one "miracle" after another in a chain of statistical anomalies that it defies reason.
jimwalton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4675
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm

Next

Return to Creation and Evolution

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


cron