Sunday, November 18, 2012

Atheism Dilemma III

Atheism many times presents itself as the sole rational position.  If one is not an Atheist, one is not "rational" or "intelligent."  Those who are religious are considered "superstitious" or in living in the "Bronze age."   The latter is extremely far from the truth since it was the Catholic Church who gave us modern science as we know it.  Before CERN, NASA, or any scientific institution, there was the Catholic Church.

Franciscan Friar, Roger Bacon formulated what is now universally used to obtain empirical evidence: the Scientific Method.  Without this method, we would not have discovered the many scientific discoveries that are taught today.  From Evolution, to the Big Bang, from Chemistry to Biology; none of the knowledge we possess today would have been possible had it not been for Friar Bacon and the Catholic Church who supported him.

It is funny to hear Atheists cite Science as the "killer of God."  Science is no such thing.  It is even funnier to hear Atheists claim that religion opposes Science.  Again, this is a distortion of the truth.  The Catholic Church being the pioneer of modern science and academia has always advocated its use to learn of God's creation.  The Church is not alone.  Islam as well produced many great mathematical and scientific minds.  How can these 2 great religions produce science and hate it at the same time?

Moreover, how can science "kill God?"  Well, Atheists often cite Evolution and Physics in order to "disprove" God.  Using misunderstood knowledge, they create all kinds of sophistries in an attempt to formulate supposed logical arguments against the existence of God.

Does Evolution disprove God?

Well let's take a look.  Simply put: Evolution is the theory that all organisms developed throughout time from primitive genetic points.  In other words, all life gradually changed over millions of years developing into its present complex structure.  It is an ongoing process that will see more changes as time passes.

The theory was first proposed by Charles Darwin, a Christian who authored The Origin of Species in 1859.  In the book, he describes his observations while on board the HMS Beagle on a 5 year journey.  He noticed similarities in organisms that led him to conclude that they had a common ancestry.  Human beings were found to have many similarities with the ape.

Evolution takes place in many ways.  Microevolution is one of them.  In microevolution, tiny changes or mutations take place in the genetic makeup of organisms.  These changes are possibly due to errors in genetic processing and/or environmental factors.  Radiation and chemicals have been observed to cause mutations in genetic material.

Natural Selection is another manner in which Evolution takes shape.  In Natural Selection, an unconscious agent or mechanism is believed to dictate which organisms are strong enough to survive.  Those organisms with genetic structures that are not built to handle the environment will eventually become extinct.  Only those who have a better genetic build up will survive and therefore add to diversity among organisms.

Then there is Speciation which is the point where an organism mutates and becomes a different species.  This difference makes it incompatible to reproduce with organisms that still retain the older genetic buildup.  The consequence is a new species that can only reproduce with its own kind.

Evidence for Evolution is based on observations in the fields of anthropology, homology, paleontology, and molecular biology.

What about Abiogenesis?

Abiogenesis is also cited as proof that God cannot possibly exist nor could have created man.  Abiogenesis is the study of how life can come from inorganic compounds.  This is believed to have taken place during the Eoarchean period in which the molten Earth was cooling down.  As this occurred, the molecular structures of inorganic materials formed together in such a manner that bacteria was formed - or carbon/water based life.  It is then believed that from this primitive life, new species evolved.

The concept is not impossible.  Scientists created an artificial cell using synthetic Mycoplasma Genitalium which has its origin in parasitic bacteria.  Recently, an artificial Jellyfish was created with rat cells and silicone.

The question is, do the aforementioned disprove God?

The answer is no.  These theories and ideas all deal with natural processes and not causality.  Evolution is still a theory with many gaps in it.  There are still issues with it such as the HAR1 gene, the Cambrian explosion, missing fossil records, the Missing Link and so on.  Despite claims that the "Missing Link," or transitional fossils were found, these have all shown to be false.    

Nevertheless, the theory is still valid and can stand for now based on the evidence collected. 

In Physics, we learn that matter cannot produce information.  All matter in this universe is information.  The structure of it, how it is built and interacts, and what makes it construct itself in the way it does is all information.

Think of the universe as a computer screen.  In a computer, the OS system organizes data in such a way to allow the user to interpret it in the way human beings learn to use language and data.  Data is a collection of codes that organize to create images on a screen.  The codes on a computer are programmed in such a way that the user can tell a Word document from a Music file.

The universe is the same.  Everything is coded - it is built on information structured to exist in a particular manner.  Matter cannot produce this code on its own.  So only two possibilities exist:

  1.  It was just there 
  2. An intelligence programmed it.

Both possibilities might satisfy a rational mind; however, when we observe how we program DVD's, CD's, computers and the like, the latter makes more sense.  Computers, DVD's, CD's - all which are matter - do not program themselves.  A programmer is needed.  Since the universe is information and it cannot produce it on its own, the logical conclusion is that an external intelligence capable of programming instilled the information within matter.  When the impossible is extinguished and all that is in its place may be improbable due to lack of tangible evidence, then the latter must be the reality that holds what is true.

In light of this, neither Evolution or Abiogenesis can "kill god."  Both would merely be the instruments of an intelligence used to create and sustain life.

All processes whether natural or man-made have an origin.  Both need a mover.  



  1. Is this not just a restatement of dilemma II?

  2. Is this not just a restatement of dilemma II?

  3. That's what I try to tell religious people who say that evolutionary biology "tries to do away with god". That is nonsense, evolutionary biology only deals with what happened after there already was life. But it is the religious people (I'm an atheist) who often don't seem to understand that.

    1. It happens. Usually this comes from the fundamentalist variety.

  4. Wow! Where to start.. Catholics did not produce science. True, there are many scientists who were monks, friars and the like, but there were many Greek, Roman and Arabic scholars that weren't Christian..And let's not forget the Chinese, Arabs, Romans or Phoenicians, those cultures produced a tremendous base of scientific knowledge centuries before the birth of Christ. And although there are Catholics (actually Christians) that added to our knowledge, to say they 'gave us modern science' is an exaggeration at best, and a blatant lie at worst.

    I have never heard an atheist say "Science is the killer of God" Nor have I heard atheists claim "Religion opposes Science." I have heard religious types put those words in the mouths of atheists though. And let's face it, the Creationist movement has caught on big with Christians here in the US..The last figure I heard was 46% of Americans believe the Creationist Theory of life? If you take that 46% at face value, I'd say you'd be well on the way to arguing that Religion does oppose science.

    "Atheists often cite Evolution and Physics in order to "disprove" God." ...Nope. Sorry, once again you're putting words in people's mouths. Factually, as you already pointed out, you can believe in God and evolution. In fact there are more than a few scientists that do believe.

    The next few paragraphs repeat a pattern that I encounter with believers..They contrive a position for the other party and then proceed to knock it down. Sorry. That's illogical and fallacious.

    "In Physics, we learn that matter cannot produce information. " .. Says who? I've never heard that. You made that up. What exactly do you mean by matter and what exactly do you mean by information.

    "Abiogenesis is also cited as proof that God cannot possibly exist nor could have created man." ..That's not true. Although abiogenesis can be used as an argument that there is "no need for gods", it is not proof that a god didn't interfere in some fashion.

    " Matter cannot produce this code on its own. So only two possibilities exist." Who says matter can't produce this 'code' on its own?

    "That leaves only two possibilities" ..There are many more than 2 theories..and that doesn't even consider divine intervention.

    "so it needs a programmer"... Who says and why?

    Lastly, Sir Francis Bacon wasn't catholic, nor particularly religious:

    Francis Bacon: "Affiliation: Anglican. Bacon's mother was a thorough Calvinist. He adhered to the middle road of the Church of England, however, neither authoritarian nor sectarian. His religion was more formal than fervent."

    1. The Catholic Church did produce science as we know it today. This is a known fact. Even in secular universities, the Catholic Church is credited for innovation and for the introduction of science and academia for that matter. While there were scholars who did study things in the past prior to Catholicism, they did not study them to the extent that Catholics did. The "science" of the past was based on philosophy, not empirical observation. This is something Friar Bacon introduced which allowed for new discoveries based on evidence and not thought experiments.

      You may have not heard atheists say this, but I have said it myself and know atheists who do believe this. Many atheists claim science to be the destroyer of "superstition." God and the supernatural are included in the latter. The Creationist theory is popular in the United States for several reasons. Puritanism and Calvinism were the primordial religious beliefs in the foundation of the nation. Some of the ideas of these faiths still remain today as echos of the nation's culture. Also, it is hard for many to accept that the universe just appeared on its own and developed the way it did by mere chance. No evidence exists to support this, so it is hard to digest.

      Atheist do like to quote science and twist it around in order to promote atheism. They often cite Hawking's erroneous claims that God is not necessary for the creation of this universe. I suggest you research this more and see for yourself what I am referring to.

      The law of thermodynamics states this. Matter cannot produce information on its own. Information is basically everything in this universe. This is the term used by physicists.

      Abiogenesis is often cited as another proof that God is not needed. Again, any atheist would be aware of the use of this term against theists.

      Physicists and those who work in information theory state this fact. Code is a produce of an intelligent mind capable of using mathematics. It therefore cannot occur on its own without an intelligence behind it capable of "programming" the code. Logic dictates that if a program exists, a programmer made it. Can Windows 8 create itself? Think about this.

      I'm afraid you are mistaken in regards to Bacon. The Bacon I am referring to is Roger Bacon who was a member of the Order of Friars Minor.

  5. Nicely done. I especially liked your comments on information and matter. I understood the physical aspects but I never considered the philosophical implications. Good work.


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