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God, Life, origins

Supernatural?

So I’m going to respond to some notifications on twitter.  As per usual I’m going to ignore the snark ones, the “is this a serious question” posts.  As they are just meant to be pedantic and judgmental.  If that makes them feel better by all means, have at it.  I will require no “safe space.”

One person posted an article (which I will admit I skimmed mostly).  The article is about how it takes million years to see meaningful changes discusses body size change.  That’s micro evolution (same type of animal).  If my ancestors were 10 inches shorter than me it doesn’t mean we are not in the same species.  I think this is a good time to talk about what evolution is and what it isn’t.  What we have evidence for and what we don’t.  What she was talking about with this article is much like the change in finch beak sizes observed by Darwin.  During differing years based on conditions finch beaks would vary in thickness (by a very miniscule amount).  However during more normal years the population would return back to the normal range.  This is an observed function of natural law.  However what this didn’t do was create a new structure on the finch.  It didn’t even give any real change in the population at all.  The finches weren’t progressing toward something, they were just favoring one or the other trait for a time.  Still finches and still no new features.

The assumption is that if you stack changes upon each other they will eventually create a new set of features.  This however has never been observed.  There is no reason to believe that other than an a priori assumption that it occurs (Richard Lewontin admits this).  You are, of course, free to believe it but it is not an observed phenomena.

In the middle of the posts one person (a new member to the thread) trots out the old peppered moth hoax.  That actually doesn’t surprise me too much.  I was told it when I was in school in the ’80s (believed it too).  You see, the photos we all grew up looking at were fake.  The photographer pinned dead moths to trees to make a point (moths don’t just sit there with their wings out).  But even if the moths weren’t artificially pinned to the trees to make the impression they wanted, it still wouldn’t be an example of evolution and here’s why.  The population of moths included light moths and dark moths.  At some points there were more light moths than dark moths and at some point there were more dark moths than light moths.  However there was nothing new ever introduced into the gene pool.  At the beginning there existed the genes for light and dark moths.  Today there are the genes for light and dark moths.  Nothing has changed.  No new feature was created.  There was no evolution.

I was also shown the drawings that Ernst Haeckel admitted to faking over 150 years ago.  My son was also shown these same drawings last year.  One would have to wonder if there is so much evidence for evolution then why do they have to keep old fake evidence alive.  Scientists defend the use of staging the peppered moth photos as saying they present the right idea even if the specific instance was false.

I was also told there is no hint of supernatural ever found by science (at least that’s what I think the point of the tweet was).  Well first of all, even if there was, what would a naturalistic scientist do?  He/she would ignore it or invent a rescuing device (like an Oort Cloud) that would allow them to ignore the inconsistent data with no observable evidence. However this statement ignores the most obvious “hint” of the supernatural in the universe.  That is the universe itself.  You see, there are two possibilities about the universe.  One is that it is eternal.  It has always existed.  The other is that it came into being at some point in time.  Most people are aware that the universe had to have a beginning at some fixed point in time.  The reason for this is simple.  For the universe to be eternal it would have to have existed for infinite number of days.  An infinite number of days has no beginning nor ending.  Whatever day you are reading this it is on the (current) last day of history.  Therefore the number of days is not infinite.  You could never get to today if there were an infinite number of days before it.

If the universe (time/space/matter) had a beginning then it is the beginning of the natural universe.  The beginning of nature.  If nature began than whatever caused that beginning is, by definition supernatural.  It exists outside of the natural world.  If that’s not a “hint” of the supernatural I don’t know what would be.  Of course they will respond that they believe science will one day explain it.  This is faith for two reasons.  They will never be able to test a time where there is no time/space/matter.  The beginning of the universe is an untestable event.  Secondly (and similarly) they are assuming whatever mechanisms they are testing existed before the creation of time/space/matter.  There is no way to know that.  They are taking it all on faith.  I don’t have that much faith.

This same person brought up the Epic of Gilgamesh.  She insists the story predates the Ark.  What she really means is it predates the writing down of the story in Genesis.  Her un-argued philosophical bias that everything has a naturalistic, materialistic explanation (which is in itself not materialistic in itself) and simply assuming the stone is the origin of the story.  That’s an unsupported conclusion.  The event that inspired both predates both.

Let’s talk about that worldview for a second though.  She believes all truth is determined through empirical, testable evidence.  If it can’t be tested and proved it is not truth.  This however is a contradiction as the view that all truth can be determined empirically cannot be determined empirically.  It is a faith position.  She believes it I’m sure but her belief in it contradicts itself.

She also insists that if she says the argument in an article I post is wrong because the author is a creationist it is not ad hominem.  She says she has to attack me because that’s who she’s talking to.  That’s just not true.  First I’m not making the argument I’m saying, “Hey look at Jim’s argument.” If she then tells me you can’t trust his argument (without addressing it specifically) because he’s a creationist (or a southerner or French or anything) that is ad hominem.  You are dismissing the argument based on the person making it not the argument itself.  The dismissal is “to the man” not about the argument itself.

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  1. Pingback: Organizing the Bible and the Talmud | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher - August 23, 2016

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