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God Does Not Exist Because... (3)

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Posted on 1 Jul 2012 10:43:23 BDT
Reply to Mr Proctor.

Your comment (part of which is quoted below) seems sensible enough, but actually consists of subjective criticism without any supporting facts whatever, save Mr Ranganathan's name. If you are accurate in your suggestion that Mother Nature can indeed produce from nothing the 223 interelated genes:- "that do not have the required predecessors on the genomic evolutionary tree", now largely understood to seperate the thinking/reasoning human from the instinctive/irrational chimp, I would ask that you produce a few consultable/checkable facts/articles etc... which validate this opinion. Another point that I would appreciate is your clarification on is the "probable horizontal transfer from bacteria." which as I understand it, is the exact process by which scientists today transfer genes from one species to another when conducting 'genetic engineering' experiments?

Relevant Quote.
There are hundreds of these articles because Christians have been putting this stuff out since the 1960s and quoting each other verbatim, just as you did, without even basic checking of facts. Try Google searching your quotes and see the kinds of places where they circulate. Your particular claim had been made at least 27 years ago.

When reading these articles, consider a few things. How does Mr Ranganathan, for example, know that there is no evidence for mutations producing new genes? Did he examine the scientific literature before concluding this, or did he just hear it from another Christian writer? Did he ask any geneticists? Has he provided any sources for his information, so that you can check it? If he hasn't, why should you believe what he says, and why should anyone believe you?

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jul 2012 12:55:57 BDT
Mr. P. Smith says:
Paul says:- "If you do not understand them, please ask me again and I will try to explain them to you more clearly."

Please do Paul because, as sure as eggs are eggs, if you weren't born when you were you wouldn't have been born at all.
Conception occurs to one egg, by one sperm (out of something like 80 to 120 million), at one particular moment, during one particular month, of one particular year. At any other time in the life of Mummy or Daddy the resulting foetus will be / or would have been, someone other than the person born at your nativity.
Yourself would not, therefore, have existed.
Pure chance Paul and you cannot gainsay that statement.
It is, in fact, almost down to the very moment of 'hanky panky' in the total of such events in any couples' lifetime Paul.
I would hate to have to calculate the odds against the 'you', or any of us, being born by 'design' or divine deliberation.

Then Paul says:- "If you mean that I am wrong to conclude an Almighty Intelligence, when I look at an intelligible universe, with intelligible matter, intelligible laws and intelligible evolution over the last 13.7 billion years to and including intelligible little earth with intelligible life and intelligent man, then I do not call that `suppositions' but a solid conclusion based on solid evidence. "

While the 'evidence' is solid right enough where Earth and the Universe is concerned, you base your conclusion upon an *assumption* (another word for supposition) that there *must* have been some divinity out there to start it all.
According to the dictionary this is akin to guesswork, unsupported opinion, conjecture, and speculation; all of which would be thrown out of court.
How pathetic Paul and I was hoping you could have done better.
Cheers
Peter.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jul 2012 16:23:34 BDT
Mr. P. Smith says:
Paul says:- "But still a good word to describe atheism (monomania), don't you agree?

Not really Paul - more appropriate for the monotheists I would say!
Peter.

Posted on 1 Jul 2012 17:09:04 BDT
Egomania would describe Paul's approach to everything.

Posted on 1 Jul 2012 17:15:03 BDT
Spin says:
Monomania is the condition of focussing on, being aware of, concentrating on one thing only (usually something trivial). While I am sure there may be monomaniacal atheists, and indeed monomaniacal theists, neither group consists of people who focus only one thing or action. Life is too complex for that and it takes a severely disturbed mind to engage in monomania.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jul 2012 17:26:41 BDT
Mr. P. Smith says:
TW says:- "Here we go again Notreshuggie with a travesty of Catholicism @burn in hellfire for all eternity@-- not what the Church teaches about the fate of non-Catholics and non-believers. "

Quite right TW - here are quotes about what the RC Church actually says on the matter:-
"Unbelievers go through the same process as Christians. The difference is that someone who does not believe in Christ or His Church is not condemned for that fact IF, *and this is ONLY IF*, they are invincible ignorant of Christ and His Church.
God is not so cruel as to allow people go to hell who have never heard of Christ and His Church, or in any other way that through no fault of their own never came to a saving faith in Christ. This would be a gross act of injustice. God is a just God and a merciful God.
God will never intrude upon our free will. If we chose to reject God, then God will respect that. He forces no one into heaven and He sends no one to hell."

Oh yes - here's Paul's free will again; and what 'respect' does God show for it when we use it?
This is what He does :- "Those who go to hell send themselves there, in effect, by their conscious actions to reject God.
Bottomline is that no one goes to hell by mistake, and no one goes to hell without a conscious and deliberate free will decision to reject God."

So Hugh was, in effect, perfectly correct in his assessment of the situation - "Join our club or go to Hell".
This is not an invitation - it's a threat!
Cheers
Peter

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jul 2012 17:38:20 BDT
That's not a miracle. That's just something unexplained at the time. If you use this rather weak definition of a miracle, then there have been many people throughout the ages who've performed miracles and Jesus was about as special as an egg sandwich.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jul 2012 17:40:38 BDT
Thanks for the answer. This sort of stuff is interesting.

As you also point out, it stuffs the argument from design.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jul 2012 17:44:53 BDT
It also means that the surest way to save everyone's souls would be a total suppression of all knowledge related to religion. If complete ignorance of God and Jesus is the perfect defence, then don't tell anyone.
Let's see the Catholic Church adopt that policy...

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jul 2012 22:42:50 BDT
Last edited by the author on 1 Jul 2012 22:58:12 BDT
G. Proctor says:
>>>Your comment (part of which is quoted below)

Yet oddly, not the part you're actually responding to...

>>> seems sensible enough, but actually consists of subjective criticism without any supporting facts whatever, save Mr Ranganathan's name.

My comment criticises you for simply repeating the words of a dubious source without attribution.

>>> If you are accurate in your suggestion that Mother Nature can indeed produce from nothing the 223 interelated genes:- "that do not have the required predecessors on the genomic evolutionary tree", now largely understood to seperate the thinking/reasoning human from the instinctive/irrational chimp, I would ask that you produce a few consultable/checkable facts/articles etc... which validate this opinion.

I never made that claim. Would you like to know where this claim comes from? It's quite interesting and shows exactly why you need to check your sources.

Your quote, again unattributed, is from a 2001 article by the late Zecharia Sitchin. The article is called 'The Case of Adam's Alien Genes'.

Zecharia Sitchin, who died in 2010, was a proponent of the Ancient Astronaut theory. He believes that the ancient Sumerian culture was created by aliens from the planet Nibiru.

Do I really need to continue after this? Your source is a UFO nut.

But it gets better! This quote about the '223 interrelated genes' is a quote mine. I can provide you the exact quote from Science.

Actual quote from 'The Human Genome', Science, Feb 2001:
---------------------------------------------------------
"Another head-scratching discovery, made by the public consortium, is that the human genome shares 223 genes with bacteria--genes that do not exist in the worm, fly, or yeast. Some researchers suspect that the ancient vertebrate genome took on bacterial genes, much the way pathogenic bacteria have taken in genes that confer antibiotic resistance. However, "it's not clear if the transfer was from human to bacteria or bacteria to human," Waterston points out."
---------------------------------------------------------

Your quote:
-----------
"The "head-scratching discovery by the public consortium," as Science termed it, was that the human genome contains 223 genes that do not have the required predecessors on the genomic evolutionary tree.

In the evolutionary progression from bacteria to invertebrates (such as the lineages of yeast, worms, flies or mustard weed - which have been deciphered) to vertebrates (mice, chimpanzees) and finally modern humans, these 223 genes are completely missing in the invertebrate phase. Therefore, the scientists can explain their presence in the human genome by a "rather recent" (in evolutionary time scales) "probable horizontal transfer from bacteria."

In other words: At a relatively recent time as Evolution goes, modern humans acquired an extra 223 genes not through gradual evolution, not vertically on the Tree of Life, but horizontally, as a sideways insertion of genetic material from bacteria..."
-----------

Your quote is an absolute misrepresentation of the Science article, and several parts of it are simply made up. There is no mention of the genes being 'interrelated', whatever that means. No claim is made of the insertion being 'rather recent' - that appears nowhere in the article. Your quote completely omits the part where the OPPOSITE of this is implied - it could have happened early in vertebrate evolution and be shared with all mammals. Your quote also completely omits the last sentence of the Science quote, where it's pointed out that the transfer could actually have gone the other way, from human to bacteria. Since bacteria are noted for being able to receive DNA, this is actually more likely.

Do you see the problem here? You're repeating what is demonstrably a lie. The man whose words you're repeating took a science article and deliberately lied about what it said. Seriously, read it. Read the article. It's right here: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/291/5507/1177.full . It's the second from last paragraph. Mr Sitchin took this quote and cut off the parts that he didn't agree with. He lied. You can compare the two quotes and see that he isn't telling the truth.

The sad thing is that the people who spread things like this don't care that it's not the truth. They'll accept the word of anyone who says what they want to hear. They won't check. They'll just pass it on, and even worse, they'll pass it on with astonishing conviction. I have seen people who absolutely insist, in their heart of hearts, that evolution CANNOT happen, is 100%, completely, mathematically proven impossible. They don't understand the mathematics, or even evolution, but they trust their source SO MUCH that they're willing to repeat his words as if they themselves had come to the conclusion, that they're willing to not even QUOTE the source. As far as they're concerned, it's fact, so they can just go right ahead and add it to the conversation. When nobody's checking any facts, anti-scientific nonsense can simply proliferate.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jul 2012 22:55:52 BDT
G. Proctor says:
>>> Thanks for the answer. This sort of stuff is interesting.

If you're interested in learning more about, or even just playing with CAs, I cannot recommend enough the free, open source CA simulator Golly. It has the best, fastest implementation of Life that I've seen, and it simulates hundreds of other CAs as well, from Langton's Ant to Von Neumann's self replicating machine. Even if you don't understand the mathematics or know the rules, it's incredibly fun just to play with.

>>> As you also point out, it stuffs the argument from design.

I don't know about that - I don't usually bring up CAs because they're easy to dismiss as trivial simulations. But I do find it interesting that the GoL is essentially the holy grail of ID - a universe where all rules are known, that contains patterns that are provably of non-natural origin. If IDers had the science they claim to have, they could prove it. They have everything they need. They could run their calculations in seconds. Heck, they could even find other Gardens of Eden, something which is actually quite difficult (the mathematics to prove that a pattern has no precursors is quite complex). But they won't, because ID is a religious scam.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jul 2012 04:48:58 BDT
I think it counters the argument from design because the argument relies upon things being 'obviously' designed.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jul 2012 05:09:20 BDT
Shakepen says:
Sam: Both Jesus and the people he healed felt that a miracle had occurred. From their standpoint, the healings were a miracle. But the question is: "From the standpoint of modern science were these healings miracles? The answer is, "Of course not." The laws of physics and the natural world cannot be suspended. However, this fact does not prevent Jesus performing miracles according to the standards of his age.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jul 2012 05:30:47 BDT
Last edited by the author on 2 Jul 2012 05:36:18 BDT
Withnail says:
Wouldn't a better miracle have been to produce and widely distribute anti biotics? I mean what with being god, he must have known about anti biotics. It would have been a verifiable miracle and would have had a much bigger impact than his other "healing". Maybe it is just an example of God not thinking it through.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jul 2012 05:34:18 BDT
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In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jul 2012 05:42:52 BDT
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In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jul 2012 05:55:23 BDT
Withnail says:
I have never claimed to be agnostic. I would suggest however that your word play works both ways and assume you are happy to be described as superstitious.

Posted on 2 Jul 2012 05:58:09 BDT
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In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jul 2012 10:40:19 BDT
Hi Sam

Quite right!

You get my vote.

Best wishes

Paul

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jul 2012 10:47:48 BDT
Hi Shakpen

You say:

>>> The laws of physics and the natural world cannot be suspended.

That sounds like atheist dogma.

Don't tell that to Jonathan JoMo, an atheist who believes that all dogma is automatically false.

Best wishes

Paul

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jul 2012 10:53:58 BDT
Hi Withnail

If you are not an agnostic atheist, are you dogmatic on that question?

Best wishes

Paul

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jul 2012 10:57:11 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 2 Jul 2012 10:57:27 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jul 2012 11:10:10 BDT
G. Heron says:
Mr Paul Davidson

Can you please explain what you mean by a spiritual; life.

I suspect that a lot of followers of other religions would claim that they have spiritual lives
does this mean that the gods they worship are real?

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jul 2012 11:53:06 BDT
Withnail says:
dog·ma (dōgm, dg-)
n. pl. dog·mas or dog·ma·ta (-m-t)
1. A doctrine or a corpus of doctrines relating to matters such as morality and faith, set forth in an authoritative manner by a church.
2. An authoritative principle, belief, or statement of ideas or opinion, especially one considered to be absolutely true. See Synonyms at doctrine.
3. A principle or belief or a group of them

So - no

Posted on 2 Jul 2012 14:15:44 BDT
God doe's not exist according to the "Arch Inwards Kid" and who can argue with him?
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