Friday, August 21, 2009

Life's Ultimate Question: Does God Exist?

Now that I'm through laughing (or perhaps crying) at the anti-evolution pamphlet, I'll go over the second one I received.

Obviously, the title gives it a pretentious start: The question is only "ultimate" if you presuppose the answer to be "yes". Otherwise it's equally as yawn-worthy as asking whether or not you've been touched by his noodly appendage.

The first section is called "Asking the Crucial Questions". The way this one starts off just pisses me off; It's a description of the collection of the data for the Hubble Deep Field. Ugh. You just know that this scientific set up is just going to end up being twisted into some bizarre collection of BS. Indeed, it ends pointing to a box (on page 15) asking "Our Awesome Universe: How Big is Big?"

It never even winds up answering the question. It stops at the size of galaxy clusters with a comparison to oranges. But it does pose another question: How did this all come to be.

Skipping back to page 4 where I left off where it poses several more such questions, quoting Stephen Hawking asking, "What is our place in [the universe] and where did it and we come from?" as well as Sagan. There's some quotes from historians asking about a supposed "purpose" for Earth and its inhabitants.

The authors of the pamphlet make a bold declaration:
We can find the answers to these questions. Evidence of God's existence is both abundant and available.
I'm smelling the smelly smell of something smelly. It's their definition of "evidence". I'm willing to bet it includes logical fallacies, lies, and personal testimony. I hope they don't keep me waiting....

The next page starts off with the new section with the title "Evidence All Around Us".

So what is their evidence?

Cosmic fine tuning.


That's not even worth addressing beyond a good laugh. After all, ridicule is a good response to the ridiculous.

So what else they got for me?

"A world of design and purpose"


Sorry, not impressed with arguments from incredulity.

I'm thinking the authors must have sensed just how pathetic their arguments were, because their next section attempts to drag the opponents down to their level:
Supporters of evolution like to point out that the acceptance of the idea of a divine Creator requires faith in someone or something we cannot see. Yet they are far more comfortable admitting that all who believe that life evolved from inert matter also have faith in a theory that cannot be proven - and is founded on far more fragile evidence than that which supports the faith of believers in a Creator.
That's right. Equivocate on the term "theory" and claim that the Miller-Urey experiment and all its subsequent follow ups never happened. Ignore the fact that your previous two "evidences" were based on poor logic and a logical fallacy and as such, don't count at all. Ignore that this means even the slightest bit of real evidence for naturalistic abiogenesis would be infinitely more than that of the Creationists since they have exactly none.

Yet none of that stops them from claiming "Evolution has become, in a real sense, another religion."

As the saying goes: Don't argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

They then go back to mumbling about "natural laws" proving God, obviously missing the operative word there (natural). They even claim abiogenesis violates the "law of biogenesis". Which just goes to show how little these people know about scientific terminology. After all, they already dropped the ball (probably intentionally) on the definition of "theory". Why should we expect them to have any inkling just how solid "laws" like the "law of Gravity" end up being in the extremes.

The next few pages are more ramblings about how "designed" things look (go go gadget Behe quotes!) and flaunting personal incredulity.


The next section is on "The Beginning of the Universe".

The thrust of this?

"OMG! Universe had a beginning! Thus God."

Even though they seem to accept the Big Bang, they still try to invoke God as a first cause without reason. The faulty reasoning is apparent when looking at two quotes together from the section "Where science stops":
...everything scientists know simply breaks down at the moment of creation.

...the universe leapt into existence from nothing.
If everything we know breaks down, then how do we know it came "from nothing"? As they themselves are admitting, scientists can't (yet) know! Thus, the entire claim is just Creationist projecting what they want to believe into the unknown. In other words, it's yet another God of the Gaps.

So to what do they make the logical leap in the face of ignorance?
We must seek a source other than science to understand who or what existed before the origin of the universe. And only one source offers a truly believable and rational explanation - the Bible.

There is only one alternative to the biblical claim of supernatural creation by a supreme Intelligence. Atheists must argue that the entire universe came from nothing without a cause.
Holy false bifurcation Batman! If you're not a Bible Believing Christian, you're an atheist!

Again, I'm having some problems with their use of the English language. Namely their claim that the Bible is "believable and rational". Rather, it's annoyingly vague and can (and has) be twisted to agree with any claim with which you happen to come up with.

Which is precisely what they try to do in the section "Understanding Genesis: 1:1-2 which attempts to shoehorn the Genesis account into what we know of history through science. Of course, they ignore that the order is wrong on many key points (flowering plants were much later on the scene than Genesis claims).

The rest of the section is more of the same: It's a rip off of Privileged Planet. And it's completely destroyed by the Anthropic Principle.

The next 14 pages are a restating of the anti-evolution pamphlet so I won't even bothering touching that again.

Then there's 13 pages on "Life's Purpose and the Consequences of Ideas" which is just a long section that claims you can't be good without God because (Godwin's Law).

The last 10 pages is a sort of "get to know Jeebus" section and is a brief overview of their sect's beliefs, interspersed with claims that they actually gave some real evidence and claims that flout the need for evidence in the first place (since they can just shove God outside the universe and it solves everything anyway).

Thus, the opening title is just as weak as I predicted: They failed to justify why it's any more of an important question than how much beer I'm going to get from the eternal beer volcano as I toast with the midget.

So in the end, my "ultimate question" (at least for the moment) is what to have for breakfast....


Conroy Holds said...

interesting! Merely quoting other humans and talking about human experience is never a way to talk to a scientist. You cant offer rational explanations over tested evidence and then call it theory or fact. Thats when it becomes "Faith" however that is a another huge argument, then again..what isnt?

Conroy Michael Bartlett said...

interesting! Merely quoting other humans and talking about human experience is never a way to talk to a scientist. You cant offer rational explanations over tested evidence and then call it theory or fact. Thats when it becomes "Faith" however that is a another huge argument, then again..what isnt?