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How to respond to a young friend who has come under Dawkins’s spell

Neuroscientist Baroness Susan Greenfield makes an interesting critique of “scientism”

By on Friday, 30 November 2012

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I have recently been in email conversation with a young friend. He is a bright chap but to my dismay he seems to have become an ardent disciple of Richard Dawkins and his kind. He has become quite convinced that “science” has solved the question of “God” – that irrational and improbable deity dreamed up by people long before science came along to enlighten them and to explain to them how the brain works. I have tried to get him to see that the (entirely legitimate) pursuit of science is a different activity from that of theology; there is no reason why they should clash rather than offer mutual, though independent support. He is having none of it: it seems the creation of “Hamlet” is simply the result of lots of cells composing the grey matter being in a happy conjunction; indeed, he thinks the sorrows of the great apes are not far removed from our own. I am simplifying his argument but this is the gist of it.

For this reason, it was good to read “What science can’t answer”, an interview in The Tablet last week between Jack Valero, communications director of Opus Dei in Britain (and co-founder of Catholic Voices) and Baroness Susan Greenfield, a neuroscientist at Oxford University. Lady Greenfield is neither an atheist nor a straightforward believer; but she accepts there are questions which are outside the competence of science to answer. She rejects “scientism” which she describes as “this unshakeable belief, which is as strong as any religious belief, that science is the only approach to understanding the world around you.” She recognises that people can have an experience “that is above and beyond the material.”

Greenfield admits that she has not had this experience – yet. “I have a sense of the spiritual and glimmers of it from time to time, but I cannot say I am a believer in the sense of subscribing to any particular religion.” In 2008 she accompanied Valero and a very sick friend and his wife on a pilgrimage to Lourdes. This was Greenfield’s idea, though she is not sure where it came from. Believers might call it the unconscious prompting of the Holy Spirit. At any rate, the experience did not deter her, as it does some outside the Church, who notice all the souvenir shops full of religious kitsch and conclude the whole place is riddled with superstition and mere trade. Greenfield was deeply impressed by the fact that “sick people were the norm and that…everybody was a volunteer.” She adds that she was also greatly moved by, “the amount of love and altruism and removal from the normal things…people being kind to each other, rather than witty or hostile or defensive”.

In general she robustly rejects the idea that science and religion are in contradiction as “intellectually bankrupt”, mentioning scientists such as Francis Collins of genome fame, who “speaks freely and openly…about being a Christian.” She points out that much of science is not strictly logical but is approached by “a hunch and an instinct”. Science answers some questions but not others “such as the meaning of life, or what is love.” Of course, people might describe love as “when you have a rise in the hormone oxytocin ” – but this does not invalidate or detract from the subjective state.

Apart from her pilgrimage to Lourdes, Greenfield has been on a three-day retreat at Ampleforth. She told the monk looking after her that “I truly don’t know why I’m here”. This didn’t bother him; I suspect he might have heard that remark before, even among supposed believers. When she got home Greenfield felt “super-charged and super-detoxed…bursting with energy and positive.”

I am going to refer my young friend to this interview and see what he makes of it. To be or not to be a chimpanzee; that is the question.

  • http://catholicismpure.wordpress.com The Raven

    Perhaps you ought to try reading the rest of the Catechism then.

  • karlf

    How would that help? You are just being evasive.

  • http://catholicismpure.wordpress.com The Raven

    It would help, Karl, because you would the know the context of your quotations.

  • Jonathan West

    If “God exists necessarily” is synonymous with “God exists without any possible explanation”, then it is complete unquestioning faith to accept that God exists at all.

  • Peter

    Acleron says:

    “You are claiming that randomness doesn’t happen and everything is preordained from the beginning of time. You do realise that this precludes free will. So it doesn’t matter what your god wants it will just happen anyway.”

    You have got that the wrong way round.

    What “will just happen anyway” is precisely what God wants, having laid down the laws of the universe in the first place to achieve that eventuality, while at the same time sustaining everything in being as the process works itself out according to those laws.

    The only way you can claim randomness is either through different sets of laws which could have applied to our universe, as in the Feynman sum of histories, or to different sets of laws applied to different universes as in a multiverse.   In both cases the laws are different and will result in different outcomes.

  • Jonathan West

    The natural laws of the universe are fixed in such a way that only one set of outcomes is possible from the moment the universe begins.   Human complexity is one such inevitable outcome.

    That’s where you are wrong. It’s not the only possible outcome, it happens to be the only outcome we have observed, and necessarily so since with an outcome that didn’t have humans, we wouldn’t be there to observe it.

  • Jonathan West

    The rest was reasoning following on from the initial erroneous statement and therefore was not much use to anybody. Even if the line of reasoning is perfect, it will not get you thr right answer if it proceeds from faulty premises.

  • Jonathan West

    I’ll take that as meaning you haven’t identified an error in the chapter then.

  • Jonathan West

    Do you have a meaning of “non-contingent” in terms of God’s existence that is significantly different from Swinburne’s. If you don’t, then my quoting of Swinburne is highly relevant. If your meaning of non-contingent is significantly different, then I can’t address it until I understand it, and I can’t understand it until you tell me what you mean when you use the phrase.

  • Acleron

    I’m afraid you haven’t. You have started with the presumption that god exists and then tried to deny facts to fit that presupposition. 

  • karlf

    So the quotations can’t speak for themselves? They are just meant to be interpreted by whoever however?
    Is satan real?

  • Acleron

    So it wants people to believe in something totally different from itself and all the misery of innocents in the world is quite deliberate. 

    So not only does it have to be more complex than the universe to be able to work out where every single particle is going from the beginning and their interactions en route but he has to interfere with this sustaining business. 

    We just don’t observe this, so how does it happen and how does it only occur to be the case to certain people?

    It cannot be from any action of those people, you have already proved that there is no free will.

    Unless you accept what we can observe, ie randomness, I cannot see any further point to this.

  • Peter

    “Its not the only possible outcome”

    Of course, from a top-down perspective,  the universe can have different histories but those different histories have different sets of laws.

    We observe the history of our universe to have the laws which lead the universe to its present state, including us.  That is my point.  The laws we observe in our history lead inevitably to us.

    I am not denying that parallel universes can exist each with different histories and different laws, because the Creator can create what he wants.  

    What I do deny is the claim by Dawkins that these parallel universes, arrayed in a multiverse, act as a substitute for the Creator.

  • TreenonPoet

    Supplying reasoning that can be independently verified an objective approach. Of course, that reasoning may be found to be faulty, but claims to failure must themselves stand up to scrutiny (by which I mean rational scrutiny, not opinion). High profile claims of TGD failures have been shown to be false. It is true that Swinburne also presents his reasoning, but it fails (which is not surprising for someone influenced by Aquinas).

    Your notion that TGD is just a subjective view is characteristic of many religious people. There is a widespread failure among the religious to understand why the scientific view is not just another world view having parity with religious views, as is often revealed on this site. Those who gained religion at school are no exception. This is hardly surprising considering the techniques that are used to instil religion.

    I’m not sure what you mean by ‘belief system’, so let’s stick to the words you used ”any religion other than atheism ”. I would not argue against gnostic atheism being classed as a religion, but most atheists are agnostic – they don’t believe deities exist based on current evidence, but would be swayed by evidence to the contrary. (You claim to have evidence, but you have not presented any.) I come across the accusation that atheism is a religion quite often. It is more evidence of the lack of an appreciation of what constitutes scientific evidence.

    I wonder what you consider to be the neutral position on heliocentrism and whether you think schools should not teach that the Earth orbits the Sun?

  • http://catholicismpure.wordpress.com The Raven

    As the first paragraph of my comment was a direct quote from Prof Dawkins himself, I can only assume that it is his logic not mine that you are finding fault with.

  • http://catholicismpure.wordpress.com The Raven

    Karl

    You’re a bright person, you should know that you can’t proof-text single paragraphs out of a larger corpus.

  • http://catholicismpure.wordpress.com The Raven

    Jonathan, as Swinburne’s argument is that God is contingent in general and necessary only in particular, I don’t really see why I have to take responsibility for his argument.

    You know what definition I am using for “contingent”, it was in the comment that you were replying to.

  • PaulThibodeau

    I find this statement to be incoherent and out of touch at too many points with the philosophical discussion.

  • http://catholicismpure.wordpress.com The Raven

    Taking your points in reverse: we have a falsifiable proposition: the sun orbits earth; our observations have demonstrated beyond any doubt that this position is false. The “neutral” view must take into account the observable truth, which is that geocentricism is manifestly false.

    In matters of faith, we do not have a falsifiable position: atheism cannot be proven any more than theism or deism; the only neutral position is agnosticism.

    Sorry scientism ≠ science. The belief that narrow scientific analysis is the only truth and the only way to analyse questions beyond the physical sciences is an ideological belief, not a scientific (i.e. borne out by evidence) conclusion.

    What compelling evidence does Dawkins present for his claim for the non-existence of God? Ultimately he is thrown back on arguments from pure reason, rather than evidence and even there his propositions are anything but undeniable. Dawkins is unconvinced by the arguments for God, we are supposed to be surprised and convinced by his personal expression of scepticism.

    I note that you have given up trying to defend the “unquestioning belief” reference in TGD.

  • Jonathan West

    Of course, from a top-down perspective,  the universe can have different histories but those different histories have different sets of laws.

    Not at all. if the laws are probabilistic rather than deterministic in their operation, then you can get different outcomes on different occasions with exactly the same initial conditions and exactly the same laws.

    And that is what we observe with regard to quantum theory.

  • Jonathan West

    But all you have quoted is his conclusion. You haven’t addressed any of the reasoning which led up to the conclusion.

    I’m sure that when you were at school, your maths teacher kept on telling you “show your working”, in other words write down the intermediate steps towards the answer.

    That is what Dawkins has done – he has shown his working. The chapter is a long line of reasoning which leads up to that conclusion, If you’re going to show me that the conclusion is wrong, there’s not the slightest point in quoting the conclusion and then saying you disagree with it. What you need to do is find some point in the line of reasoning, quote that and explain what is wrong with it.

    Show your working.

  • Jonathan West

    I disagree that Swinburne claims God to be contingent in general. Necessary existence is a fundamental part of Swinburne’s definition of God.

    Are you suggesting that God can be non-contingent and yet there is an explanation for his existence?

  • http://catholicismpure.wordpress.com The Raven

    No.

  • http://catholicismpure.wordpress.com The Raven

    I quoted Dawkins’ conclusion to answer Treenon’s claim that Dawkins didn’t make a sweeping claim for his argument in c.4.

    As I’ve already said, I don’t buy the complexity argument, which looks like an argument based on a fatuous claim and I don’t buy the idea that God is contingent rather than necessary: Dawkins doesn’t convince on either point.

  • TreenonPoet

     Unreversing:-

    Jonathan West has given an excellent and concise response regarding unquestioning belief.

    Pure reason from sound premises constitute evidence. I have pointed out the objectivity of Dawkins’ approach, and all you can do is once again call it personal. I note that you continue not to provide this evidence that you claim to have for the existence of God.

    I could not understand your ‘scientism’ paragraph.

    Our observations have demonstrated beyond any doubt that all claims of divine intervention are not substantiated; not one single instance of divine intervention has been proven. The probability of other claims relating to God being true is almost zero. The probability those claims being false is therefore almost 1. Hence agnostic atheism is justified.

  • Jonathan West

    I’m not that concerned as to whether you “buy” the complexity argument, if you’re going to demonstrate that Dawkins is wrong, you need to take some specific part of his argument, and explain what is wrong with it. 

    So far, all you’ve done is quote his conclusion and said that you don’t buy it.

  • Jonathan West

    So you do agree with Swinburne on this point, and my raising the issue is relevant to the discussion.

    You are expecting people to believe in a non-contingent entity for whose existence you accept that there is no explanation even in principle.

    I think that is a pretty good approximation to “unquestioning faith”.

    Perhaps you’d like to explain this point to Paul Thibodeau. He seems to be having some difficulty with it.

  • http://catholicismpure.wordpress.com The Raven

    Jonathan, 

    All that I need to do is to point out that the complexity argument is no more than an opinion, nothing more. Or are you going to demonstrate the truth of the complexity argument for me?

    As I’ve already pointed out on this thread, Darwin provides a coherent narrative to explain how complex forms can arise from simple forms; in a cosmological sense, “complexity” is only a synonym for “entropy”.  When the universe was initially formed, it was a straightforward thing, and, by Dawkins’ own argument, only requiring a simple creator.

    I am sorry to repeat myself, but neither you nor Treenon seems to want to address the argument.

  • http://catholicismpure.wordpress.com The Raven

    Oh dear, you are chopping and changing between arguments.  

    What does “unquestioning” mean, Jonathan?  Not to you, not any specialist definition: what does the term mean?

    You may not like the fact that I am proposing a God for whom no explanation is possible, but what is your alternative? In short terms, you are just proposing a universe for which there is no explanation. 

    Now explain how that is qualitatively different.   

  • Jonathan West

    Well, before we go any further down that route, I think I need to know what you understand by “the complexity argument”, since you haven’t quoted any specific bit of the chapter that describes it, so i have no idea what you mean by it. 

    Show your working.

  • http://catholicismpure.wordpress.com The Raven

    Re unquestioning belief: really? where? is that on another website?  all he seems to have done on this thread is to use the term as a pejorative for views that he disagrees with. Oh, wait!
    Pure reason from sound premises is no more evidence than any other hokum: you need to review the term “evidence”.
    Re your last paragraph: your argument does not become fact by repetition.

  • http://catholicismpure.wordpress.com The Raven

    Dawkins: proposition, we have a complex universe; proposition, a designer must be equally complex; proposition, the designer can’t have arisen ex nihilo ergo we must have a designer for the designer; conclusion, infinite recursion sucks.
    As you know exactly what I am talking about, I’ll just take this to be an attempt to dodge the bullet.

  • Jonathan West

    Replying to The Raven

    You may not like the fact that I am proposing a God for whom no explanation is possible, but what is your alternative? In short terms, you are just proposing a universe for which there is no explanation.

    Now explain how that is qualitatively different.

    Ah, we might finally be getting somewhere!

    I think that you may be committing what I have come to call the “Auguste Comte fallacy”, of assuming that something which is currently unknown is also forever unknowable.

    On astronomy, Comte said the following in 1835

    On the subject of stars, all investigations which are not ultimately reducible to simple visual observations are … necessarily denied to us. While we can conceive of the possibility of determining their shapes, their sizes, and their motions, we shall never be able by any means to study their chemical composition or their mineralogical structure … Our knowledge concerning their gaseous envelopes is necessarily limited to their existence, size … and refractive power, we shall not at all be able to determine their chemical composition or even their density… I regard any notion concerning the true mean temperature of the various stars as forever denied to us.

    He didn’t quite live long enough to be proved wrong (he died in 1957), but by 1849 Kirchhoff had performed spectroscopic analyses of gases, and in 1870 Huggins attached a spectroscope to a telescope and so carried out the first chemical analysis of a star by means of spectroscopy.

    Comte’s mistake was understandable but instructive, and it is a warning to all of us who claim to be able to put absolute limits on human knowledge.

    You suggest that I am positing a universe without explanation as an alternative to a God without explanation. You have accepted that God (by your definition and understanding) is without any explanation. His origin is not merely unknown but unknowable.

    But I do not make and have never made that claim for the universe. All I say is that its origin is unknown to us at present, and that it might at some point be discovered. We’ve traced it back to a very small fraction of a second after its origin, and we might yet go further.

    Furthermore, even if it were to turn out that the universe is non-contingent, we do at least know that the universe exists, which is more than we can say for God. If it is possible for non-contingent entity to exist (not something we can say with any knowledge one way or the other), then the known universe seems to be a better candidate than a God for which evidence is (to put it as kindly as possible) rather thin.

    Science has made huge strides by not accepting that any phenomena are non-contingent or supernatural, and has gone looking for natural explanations for them. And great discoveries have been made. For instance, we now know the cause of many diseases, and that antibiotics are effective in curing them irrespective of whether the patient is righteous or a sinner. Similarly we now know the cause of lightning, and that a lightning conductor works just as well on the roof of a brothel as on the spire of a church.

    These answers are different from what religion previously provided in assuming that phenomena were the direct action of a supernatural non-contingent God. I think I would back science to keep discovering things. I know of far too many cases of arbitrary limits of human knowledge turning out to be false.

  • Jonathan West

    Reply to The Raven

    Dawkins: proposition, we have a complex universe; proposition, a designer must be equally complex; proposition, the designer can’t have arisen ex nihilo ergo we must have a designer for the designer; conclusion, infinite recursion sucks.

    No. You have missed a most important aspect.

    Complexity can arise ex nihilo, and has done within the universe (e.g. us), but it takes the process of evolution by natural selection allied to time in geological quantities. We are a recent phenomenon in a universe that is exceedingly old.

    The history of the universe is one of gradually increasing complexity from very simple beginnings, a largely undifferentiated mass of fundamental particles.

    We don’t yet know the origin of the universe, we don’t know the fundamental organising principle of physics in the way that we do know the fundamental principle of biology. But all the experience of scientific discoveries to date suggests that the universe has a simple natural origin rather than being the work of a designer.

    If the universe were the work of a designer, of God as understood by traditional Christian theology, with all the properties and capabilities traditionally ascribed to him such as omniscience, omnipotence, reading people’s innermost thoughts, answering prayers, performing miracles etc, that God needs an explanation of how he came to be as he is. Even if God is immaterial, it is a most impressive and complex array of capabilities that you believe him to have, and that complexity must come from somewhere. But the definitions of God seem to preclude any viable explanation. he is eternal and unchanging, and so can’t be the result of an evolutionary process, he is omnipotent, and so cannot be the result of the work of a meta-designer.

    Swinburne cops out that this point and talks of God’s “necessary existence” and states that if God exists, it is a brute fact for which there is no possible explanation. But considering the August Comte fallacy, it is not good enough to declare God by fiat to be noncontingent, Things for which there is no possible explanation tend to turn out not to exist.

    In fact by agreeing that God (if he were to exist) is noncontingent, you are accepting Dawkins’ point that there is no possible explanation for God, and therefore in the absence of any explanation, he “almost certainly does not exist”.

  • http://catholicismpure.wordpress.com The Raven

    Jonathan your (and Dawkins’) entire argument rests on your “Auguste Comte fallacy”: an explanation for God does not occur to you or to Dawkins, therefore there is no God.

    I have to tell you, that isn’t a terribly convincing argument.

  • http://catholicismpure.wordpress.com The Raven

    As I observe, above, I think that you are the one placing an arbitrary limit on knowledge, here.

    And may I offer a correction: we have what look like very plausible hypotheses about the first few moments of creation, but those theories may be overturned by the next discovery in physics, we just don’t know what the future holds.

    Your analysis depends on an assumption that I conceptualise the term “God” as a backstop explanation for phenomena within the physical universe: I personally think that He did a rather better job of creation than that.

  • karlf

    They are clear statements as far as I can tell. But anyway, I’ll ask again: Does the devil exist or not?

  • http://catholicismpure.wordpress.com The Raven

    Karl

    You’re trying to squeeze two thousand years of thought out of a paragraph.
    Why the obsession with the devil, what does the devil mean to you?

  • Peter

    What do you mean “not so”?

    “An important implication of top-down approach is that the apparent laws of nature depend on the history of the universe………
    top down cosmology dictates that the apparent laws of nature are different for different histories”(Stephen Hawking, The Grand Design , p.140)

  • Peter

    “So it wants people to believe in something totally different from itself and all the misery of innocents in the world is quite deliberate”

    The world is a bountiful place provided by the Creator.  Even today with a population of 7 billion it produces enough food for 12 billion people, yet millions starve and billions go hungry. 

    The misery of innocents is caused by nothing more and nothing less than the sheer greed of man, both individual and collective.

  • Peter

    Jonathan West (to The Raven):

    “even if it were to turn out that the universe is non-contingent, we do at least know that the universe exists, which is more than we can say for God. If it is possible for non-contingent entity to exist (not something we can say with any knowledge one way or the other), then the known universe seems to be a better candidate than a God for which evidence is (to put it as kindly as possible) rather thin.”

    It is impossible for non-contingent spacetime to exist.  Or to put it another way, non-contingent spacetime is an impossibility.

    Spacetime, or an array of them, cannot be infinite or eternal for reasons I have already mentioned several times.  Which means it had a beginning in time.  Since spacetime, or an array of them, represents the entirety of spacetime existence, it must have begun out of no-spacetime.

    The existence of spacetime is therefore contingent on there being no-spacetime as the medium from which it was born.   If no-spacetime did not exist, spacetime could not be born out of it and would not exist.  

    But as you point out, spacetime does exist, which means that no-spacetime exists also.

    Spacetime is therefore not non-contingent, as you claim, but continent upon no-spacetime.

    Having established that no-spacetime exists, we can describe it as the absence of space and time where there is no beginning and no end.

    Inasmuch as spacetime is contingent upon no-spacetime, without which it would not exist, no-spacetime is instrumental is causing spacetime to exist.  

    What is without beginning or end causes spacetime to exist.  What is without beginning or end is non-contingent.   What is non-contingent causes spacetime to exist.  What is non-contingent creates spacetime.

    What creates is a creator.   Spacetime has a non-contingent creator.   We call that non-contingent creator God.

  • karlf

    I’m simply trying to answer your question “Why do you believe that it is the desire of the Church is to maintain and promote irrational, superstitious claims to the causes of human behaviour?”
    But you appear to be intent on dodging the issue. If you don’t agree with Church teachings, why are you a Catholic?

  • Peter

    In addition to my comment above, I must add that God is not some nebulous entity deemed to exist outside spacetime or within no-spacetime.

    God is the entirety of no-spacetime. 

    God is the no-spacetime from which spacetime is born.

    God is the no-spacetime beyond the extreme limits of spacetime.

    God is the no-spacetime against which spacetime defines it existence.

    God is the infinite ocean of no-spacetime in which spacetime is a mere bubble.

  • Acleron

    But you have already eliminated freewill. How come it’s our fault?

  • Jonathan West

    What you are talking of is the Argument from Personal Incredulity. And that argument is often deployed by the religious, who say that they can’t think of any way the universe could have come into existence except by being created by God.

    Dawkins argument is somewhat different. We know a means by which the complexity necessary for intelligence can come into existence, and that mechanism is ruled out for God by the definition given to God by the religious themselves.

    Moreover (and this isn’t in Dawkins, this is my own addition based on the discussions here), this is acknowledged by the religious who call God’s existence “necessary” or “non-contingent”, thus acknowledging that no explanation for God’s existence is even possible.

    If you say there is no explanation for God’s existence, then I am rather inclined to conclude that he doesn’t exist. Why should I think otherwise?

  • Peter

    Where have I eliminated free will?

    If you see my post below to J. West you will read that the evolution of human complexity marks the arrival of free will in the universe, which is a radical departure from universe hitherto entirely dominated by the laws of nature.

  • TreenonPoet

     Jonathan points out that the acceptance that God exists without any possible explanation is unquestioning faith. Your statement ”all he seems to have done on this thread is to use the term as a pejorative for views that he disagrees with” is an outright lie that is easily exposed by searching for the term on this thread.

    I do not need to review the term ‘evidence’ because I am quite happy with the standard definition. This one from wiktionarywill do: ”Facts or observations presented in support of an assertion.”. Conclusions derived using pure reason using factual premises are themselves facts, and therefore can be used as evidence. If you want to present your own definition of ‘evidence’, you are free to do so, but the default assumption must be that other writers are using the word as commonly defined, not in the sense that you define it.

    Regarding my last paragraph, I should mention that ”other claims” should read ”other positive claims”. I agree that arguments don’t become fact by repetition, but neither do factual arguments become untrue by repetition. The chances of a feasible fictional being existing, by coincidence, in reality is extremely small if the attributes attributed to such a being are unlikely. After all, one could imagine any number of such fictional beings, each of comparable improbability. There is no justification in behaving as if one of these fictional beings really existed, which in itself is justification for not behaving as if that being existed (as in atheism). Do you have a proper argument against that, or is your only argument that I have stated it again, therefore it must be untrue?

  • Jonathan West

    As I observe, above, I think that you are the one placing an arbitrary limit on knowledge, here.

    I mentioned no limit. What limit do you think I have placed?

    And may I offer a correction: we have what look like very plausible hypotheses about the first few moments of creation, but those theories may be overturned by the next discovery in physics, we just don’t know what the future holds.

    The fact that existing theories might be overturned by new discoveries was rather my point – and many of those past theories have been about God directly intervening in the world. The theories we have concerning the Big Bang are backed by a considerable amount of evidence, but after all that scientific effort we do still seem to be rather short of sightings of God.

    Your analysis depends on an assumption that I conceptualise the term “God” as a backstop explanation for phenomena within the physical universe: I personally think that He did a rather better job of creation than that.

    Even if you think the only thing God did was to create the universe and then let it run on according to its own natural laws, the complexity of God necessary to achieve that would still require an explanation. But if you are a Christian you believe God does and has done much more than that. I’m just taking you at your own word concerning God’s capabilities and actions. If you don’t really mean it, then please tell me what you do mean instead.

  • Jonathan West

    Look up “probabilistic”.

  • Acleron

    By assigning a completely deterministic universe. But now you are saying that suddenly, the arrival of intelligence makes it non-deterministic. But when did this happen, the first time a neuron fired in a flat-worm? Or did it suddenly happen with the first human? And how did this happen, what mechanism is behind it, surely this requires a change in the deterministic physics.

    I’m afraid this is just changing the facts we know to fit a belief.

    But let me ask you a question that any scientist wanting to gain support for his hypothesis must ask. What evidence would you accept that disproves your type of god?