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2/16/10

Unnatural Theology – On Atheism’s Erudite Elucidations

This post has been moved to True Freethinker were it resides at this link

16 comments:

  1. I won't repeat the objections to the fine tuning argument (apart from to say, you are aware that the universe is nearly entirely hostile to life, right?), which have been made time and time again and if you refuse to accept them at this point you never will.

    You've made a logically valid (as many arguments are) but completely unsound argument. Here's how I understand what you're saying.

    1. For every natural process, there is a "why?" question as well as a "how?" question. (otherwise there's no way you could consider "why does life reproduce" as anything other than a question that can be resolved by science")
    2. An answer to a "why?" question that does not refer to some purpose, creator or design is inherently inferior to one that does. (otherwise you would have no great difficulty with the atheist answers)
    3. If a belief entails "why?" answers that are inferior to the "why?" answers of another belief, it is inferior to that belief (otherwise you would not have provided any reason to prefer theism over atheism).
    4. Atheism only provides answers to "why?" questions which do not refer to design, creator or purpose.
    5. Theism provides answers to "why?" questions that do refer to design, creator or purpose.
    6. So Atheism entails answers to "why?" questions inferior to those entailed by theism.
    7. So theism is superior to atheism.

    Nearly all of that is false.

    For (1) I see no reason to believe that there is a meaningful "why" question when it comes to questions like "how does life reproduce". If there is a meaningful question "why does life reproduce", then it is meaningful only because it is another way of asking "how does life reproduce?".

    For (2) there is no reason why "Goddidit" should be inherently preferable to "chancedidit" or "evolutiondidit". It might have some (poetic, aesthetic) value that those other explanations do not, but the only value that can make one answer categorically preferable to another is its truth value.

    For (3) there is again no reason to see this to be true. Atheism might do a poor job of answering "why?" questions. But it does a very good job of answering the question "does God exist?". And therefore it should be preferred when we are trying to answer that question.

    For (4), this again is not true. One can be an atheist-lite (like some scientists), professing belief in the "wonderful design and purpose of nature" while refusing belief in God. Likewise, even normal atheists may be willing to see the possibility of non-godly design of some natural process (though the ultimate explanation would have to be naturalistic). So, if evidence emerged to suggest that life is on earth due to some alien intervention (though none has and it is extremely unlikely that it will) then an atheist could consistently accept that.

    For (5) this is only half true. Of course, many theists do express belief that there is some purpose behind natural processes. But there is a matter of degree. You may well believe that the result of the lottery is entirely a matter of chance. You may believe that there a whole host of things, where the "why?" answer actually is just "chance" or "naturedidit". If so, what is to stop some far more extreme theist using the very argument you have used here to claim that, when it comes to questions like "why did the lottery turn out the way it did" you have no answers and only a belief that God picks out the saturday night draw personally is acceptable?

    (6) and (7) do seem to follow from (1) - (5). But as all of those are false, if not doubtable, the argument is unsound.

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  2. I won't repeat the objections to the fine tuning argument (apart from to say, you are aware that the universe is nearly entirely hostile to life, right

    Except for this one blue speck in the vast reaches of space...huh! Imagine that! :-0(Not to mention that said vast reaches are neede for this one blue spect to be able to support life in and of itself)

    If there is a meaningful question "why does life reproduce", then it is meaningful only because it is another way of asking "how does life reproduce?"

    Except that leaves out the question; why did life begin to reproduce if it was doing just fine not reproducing? Why sexual reproduction when asexual seems more efficient? No pesky relationship issues.

    there is no reason why "Goddidit" should be inherently preferable to "chancedidit" or "evolutiondidit". It might have some (poetic, aesthetic) value that those other explanations do not, but the only value that can make one answer categorically preferable to another is its truth value.

    Except that chance and unguided evolution couldn't do it, as observed.

    Atheism might do a poor job of answering "why?" questions. But it does a very good job of answering the question "does God exist?". And therefore it should be preferred when we are trying to answer that question.

    Theism does a pretty good job at answering the question too; you just don't like the answer. Why should atheism be preferred? It's either a yes or no answer. To just assume atheism is to go on a begged question.

    professing belief in the "wonderful design and purpose of nature" while refusing belief in God.

    Which is a silly self contradiction, as if there is no designer then the universe doesn't have ANY "wonderful design and purpose."

    if evidence emerged to suggest that life is on earth due to some alien intervention (though none has and it is extremely unlikely that it will) then an atheist could consistently accept that.

    Which would validate the ID community's claim, but leave the ultimate question unanswered.

    But there is a matter of degree.

    Irrelevant.

    If so, what is to stop some far more extreme theist using the very argument you have used here to claim that, when it comes to questions like "why did the lottery turn out the way it did" you have no answers and only a belief that God picks out the saturday night draw personally is acceptable?

    Red herring.

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  3. In the 19th century many Atheists used to complain that if God was infinite then why wouldn't he make a larger creation(of course back then science was ignorant as to the size of the Universe)?

    Now in the 20th & 21st centuries we know that the Universe is psychotically mega-freakin huge! Now we hear the Atheists complain the universe is too big and has a lot of wasted space.

    So uh which is it? I'm just saying......

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  4. Why is there something instead of nothing?

    Why is there a God instead of no God?

    Why did the universe come into existence?

    The first law of thermodynamics states that matter and energy never "come into existence". They just change forms. The big bang does not describe the creation of matter and energy ex nihilo. It describes a change in form from a very dense singularity into the universe we see today. If you want to know why the singularity came into existence, you first have to establish that it actually did come into existence ex nihilo. I have no evidence that it did. Do you?

    Why did the laws of the universe come to be established?

    The scientific definition of "law" is often confused with the legal definition of "law" often intentionally for the talking point that a law needs a law-giver. But in science, a law is just an observed consistent pattern of behavior. Examples include Kepler's laws of planetary motion, the ideal gas law, and Hook's law for springs.

    Given this definition, I don't even know what the question is asking. Some things, like planetary motion, follow patterns that we can characterize neatly in equations. Other things, like the timing of Beta particle ejections, are too chaotic to predict. So are you asking why isn't everything so chaotic that it can't be predicted? I don't know why not, but at the same time, I don't see why that would be the default expectation.

    Why did the universe come to be fine-tuned?

    I don't know and neither do you.

    What's the Christian explanation for why God created a universe that could only tolerate small changes to certain constants? Why didn't God create a universe with high tolerances? Why didn't God create a universe with zero tolerance?

    I've read the Bible and I didn't find the answer in there.

    Why is the Earth positioned just right in the right galaxy?

    It's not. I don't even know what "the right galaxy" is supposed to mean.

    Why is the Earth in the just right position in the Solar System?

    For what? For human life? I have a better question: If the possibility of human life is what determines the "right position", then why are the rest of the planets in the solar system in the "wrong position"? Why did God stick quadrillions of planets in the universe in the "wrong position"?

    Why does the Earth rotate the way it does, have its axis as it does, etc.?

    Again, you've stumbled upon a pile of rocks, picked one out and asked "why does this rock look like this rock?" What kind of sense is a question like that?

    Why did life come into being?

    No one knows precisely how life came into being. If there exists the possibility that compounds could be configured such that they produce more of themselves, then it is obvious that they would reproduce. As for why the possibility even exists, I don't know. Lots of reactions catalyze other reactions. I don't see why we would expect it to be unlikely for a reaction to produce a compound that catalyzes its own production.

    Why does life reproduce?

    Life can pretty much be defined as things that are capable of reproduction. Why do adjectives describe things?

    Why do bio-organisms pass on their genes?

    From an evolutionary perspective, genes are the things reproducing themselves, not organisms. Organisms are vessels created for the specific purpose of passing on genes. If organisms didn't pass on genes, then they would be of no use to the genes, so genes wouldn't bother building the organisms in the first place.

    What is the absolute, ultimately, objective meaning of life?

    Objective meaning has never made any sense to me. It's like objectively tasty dessert. Everything I know about meaning comes as the product of individual minds and is therefore subjective.

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  5. @bossmanham

    Why did life begin to reproduce if it was doing just fine not reproducing?

    What makes you think that there was ever a time when life was not reproducing?

    Why sexual reproduction when asexual seems more efficient? No pesky relationship issues.

    We actually have a pretty good understanding of the motivation for sexual reproduction. Sex increases the diversity of the gene pool. Although this often leads to short-term suboptimality, in the long-term it is much better for environments that are changing quickly, such as coevolution with diseases and parasites. Sex stores away genes that may come in handy later. In steady environments with few diseases and parasites, sex isn't worth its cost, so asexual organisms still exist in those environments.

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  6. Why is there a God instead of no God?

    Because God exists necessarily and eternally.

    The first law of thermodynamics states that matter and energy never "come into existence". They just change forms.

    So there has been matter existing eternally? That's just unfounded. First off, the philosophical issues that arise from eternal time (which eternal matter would imply) defeat this assertion.

    Secondly, the law you have so blatantly misused defeats your own argument. According to that law, the energy in the universe is not inexhaustable, in that it is being used up. If the universe were eternal, this energy would have been used up an eternity ago. As two cosmologists (Barrow and Tipler) state, "At this singularity, space and time came into existence; literally nothing existed before the singularity, so, if the Universe originated at such a singularity, we would truly have a creation ex nihilo." (quoted from here. As a layman, I rely on the studies of the experts. Furthermore, you clearly don't understand what the singularity was. It wasn't some pea sized thing floating in space that exploded. It was the initial formation of time and space. The singularity was zero, in that it had no length, width, height, or time. It was nothing, and then became the universe. It wasn't eternally existing matter, it was where matter came into being.

    But in science, a law is just an observed consistent pattern of behavior. Examples include Kepler's laws of planetary motion, the ideal gas law, and Hook's law for springs.

    That's not entirely true, as scientists posit that there is a reason things behave the way they do, and these laws are the explanations. If these laws were simple observations, then we'd still need an explanation for them. But then we're left with the question; why do universal constants exist? Why is it that if the strong nuclear force were any different than it is that all carbon in the universe would burn into oxygen? Is it necessary that these forces have the values that they do?

    The only way the natualist survives here is if the fine tuning displayed in the universe can be explained by necessity or chance. Necessity is extremely implausible, to the point of absurdity. If it were necessary that the fine tuning that permits life were the way it is, then it would be physically impossible for there to be a life-prohibiting universe. But that's ridiculous. There are many conceivable ways that the universe could have formed to prohibit life (ie if it expanded any more slowly, if entropy were a little more, etc). If this is the case, it is a radical one that requires much proof; of which you have none.

    The only other alternative for the naturalist is chance. But this goes beyond any reasonable person's ability to believe. The only way to show the absurdity it to illustrate it. It's like the same person winning every lottery ever run. No one would attribute such an event to chance. They'd conclude that the lotteries were rigged! Or, it's like a firing squad of 100 master marksmen firing at their target and missing. You'd be crazy to attribute that to chance. It would be obvious there was a conspiracy to miss the target.

    We're left with design, which this specified complexity screams at us.

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  7. What's the Christian explanation for why God created a universe that could only tolerate small changes to certain constants?

    Um...to show the impossibility of it happening by chance.

    I've read the Bible and I didn't find the answer in there.

    Haha, I doubt that.

    It doesn't take a lot to figure out that the Bible isn't a cosmology textbook. If you read it expecting to find the answer to specific cosmological queries (other than the ultimate one) you were barking up the wrong tree.

    Did you think you were going to find lectures on comology in there?

    It's not. I don't even know what "the right galaxy" is supposed to mean.

    Earth is in a prime spot to, i) permit life. Earth is in just the right spot in the solar system, the correct distance from the sun, to allow intelligent life to evolve. It is also in the perfect spot in the galaxy, the outer edge, so that we aren't bombarded by radiation from other stars and other stars aren't colliding in our vicinity. ii) observe the rest of the universe. Other parts of our galaxy would make it impossible to observe outside of our galaxy, due to the intense light from other stars and the gasses and stars that make up the spiral arms of the galaxy.

    If the possibility of human life is what determines the "right position", then why are the rest of the planets in the solar system in the "wrong position"?

    Because it's too cold to support life on planets too far from the sun.

    Why did God stick quadrillions of planets in the universe in the "wrong position"?

    See Ben Yachov's answer above and see Psalm 19:1 -- "The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands."

    I thought you read the Bible?

    Again, you've stumbled upon a pile of rocks, picked one out and asked "why does this rock look like this rock?" What kind of sense is a question like that?

    Asking why the earth tilts on its axis in the only position that would support life isn't silly. Are you anti-science? These kinds of questions are what drive scientific inquiry.

    If there exists the possibility that compounds could be configured such that they produce more of themselves, then it is obvious that they would reproduce.

    That's a bare naked assertion. Show me evidence. Show me the sludge becoming life.

    Life can pretty much be defined as things that are capable of reproduction. Why do adjectives describe things?

    That's an arbitrary definition. What made you choose it? If there were only one lifeform left on earth and there was no way for it to reproduce, would it be correct to stop calling it life?

    Life can also be something that consumes resources. Takes in food and converts it to energy. Why should things like that begin to reproduce if it would only create competiton.

    If organisms didn't pass on genes, then they would be of no use to the genes, so genes wouldn't bother building the organisms in the first place.

    So you're saying that genes have a specific use, an end that they were...designed for? Only things that are designed have a specific end (use) that they were designed for. You're making it too easy.

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  8. Objective meaning has never made any sense to me.

    I assume you're intending this statement to be objectively true.

    What makes you think that there was ever a time when life was not reproducing?

    Because there was one point when life didn't exist. Then a single life form existed and there was a point before it reproduced. Simple logic.

    We actually have a pretty good understanding of the motivation for sexual reproduction. Sex increases the diversity of the gene pool

    So you're saying there's a good design reason for sex? Seems to me a blind unguided process would be better off with the much more efficient asexual reproduction. It's like my friend says, all this evidence for evolution is actually evidence for intelligent design. Thanks for the help in our cause! :D

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  9. Because God exists necessarily and eternally.

    I'm sure that you can imagine the possibility of absolute nothingness. No universe. No God. Just nothing. Why are we instead in the reality with a God in it? If God is required to exist then what external constraints are responsible for this requirement?

    So there has been matter existing eternally?

    I agree with you that space and time also expanded out of the big bang. Therefore, I agree with you that matter and energy have not been around eternally. However, it is not because matter and energy can come into existence ex nihilo. It is because time has a finite past.

    Just as you admonished me to remember that the big bang did not explode in already established space, let me remind you that it did not explode in established time either. As we look back to the big bang, we can understand the events that occurred down to a tiny fraction of a second after the singularity, but we can never seem to go back all the way to the beginning. If the subjective passage of time slows down as we near the big bang, perhaps it would take an infinite subjective experience of time to reach the true beginning, and therefore it doesn't make sense for us to think of it as a beginning at all.

    If these laws were simple observations, then we'd still need an explanation for them.

    Right. Those explanations are called "theories". You never addressed my point about why there are laws, but instead moved onto the fine-tuning problem. As I said, scientists don't have an explanation for this observation. But I reject your notion that chance and necessity are the only natural candidates.

    What's the Christian explanation for why God created a universe that could only tolerate small changes to certain constants?

    Um...to show the impossibility of it happening by chance.


    I can speculate too, but it's not that helpful. Do you actually purport to know God's motivations when there is no biblical support (or personal revelation, I assume) to back up your conclusion? Do you acknowledge that you could easily be wrong? and that God may have chosen the universe's tolerances for a completely different reason?

    Face it. We're both in the same boat and don't know why the universe has low tolerances instead of high tolerances.

    I've read the Bible and I didn't find the answer in there.

    Haha, I doubt that.


    You should also admit that you know nothing about me nor of what I've read.

    Earth is in a prime spot to, i) permit life.

    Why should we be surprised that in a universe with quadrillions of planets, living things are on the one(s) suitable for living things and living things aren't on the ones unsuitable for living things. What else would you expect? If the earth didn't permit life, you wouldn't be here to ask about it.

    ii) observe the rest of the universe.

    All we know is that we can observe some things from where we are and that there are places that would be not allow us to see some of those things. We don't know if we're in an overall good or bad place, though, because we don't know how much knowledge is unavailable to us. Maybe in the grand scheme of things we're practically blind.

    Asking why the earth tilts on its axis in the only position that would support life isn't silly. Are you anti-science? These kinds of questions are what drive scientific inquiry.

    Understanding the relationship between the earth's axis and life is very scientifically valuable. And understanding how the solar system formed such that the earth has the axis it does is also very valuable. Asking why we, as living things, are on a planet that supports living things is not a scientific question. It's just silly.

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  10. If there exists the possibility that compounds could be configured such that they produce more of themselves, then it is obvious that they would reproduce.

    That's a bare naked assertion. Show me evidence. Show me the sludge becoming life.


    I can show you autocatalytic chemical reactions. My point was just that if a chemical reaction produces something that increases its own production, the obvious outcome would be an increase in quantity. We would recognize this as a type of "reproduction." I am not claiming to know how life on earth began. I can't show you the sludge coming alive.

    Life can also be something that consumes resources. Takes in food and converts it to energy. Why should things like that begin to reproduce if it would only create competiton.

    If God wanted to show that life couldn't have happened any other way, much like you claim he did with the physical constants, then creating life that didn't reproduce would have been a great way to do it. Evolution requires reproduction, so it's a heartening thing for us naturalists that we see reproduction. It's also very heartening that we see the transmission of genetic material during reproduction. God could have put the nail in naturalism by just removing that one thing.

    What makes you think that there was ever a time when life was not reproducing?

    Because there was one point when life didn't exist. Then a single life form existed and there was a point before it reproduced. Simple logic.


    The problem is your strict adherence to essentialism. You act as if life is a clear boundary that was crossed in an instant. But it's a fuzzy category. There are things are "kinda alive" like viruses. Almost certainly what happened was that things without the other properties of life reproduced and later gained those other properties. In some cases, like with modern viruses, they reproduce but have never acquired other properties of life like metabolism. So reproduction came before life, not life before reproduction.

    So you're saying there's a good design reason for sex? Seems to me a blind unguided process would be better off with the much more efficient asexual reproduction. It's like my friend says, all this evidence for evolution is actually evidence for intelligent design. Thanks for the help in our cause! :D

    Wow. Yes, it's true that every competitive advantage described for evolution could be construed as a trait than an intelligent designer would select. But I have no idea why you think that lends any credence to intelligent design as an explanation of origins. I also don't understand why you would even characterize an explanation of sexual reproduction as "evidence for evolution", when it's not. It's an explanation for why evolution led to a particular outcome, assuming that evolution happened. The fact that evolution (common descent) happened, is supported by a different set of facts--a very large set I might add.

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  11. @bossmanham

    I missed one of your points.

    If organisms didn't pass on genes, then they would be of no use to the genes, so genes wouldn't bother building the organisms in the first place.

    So you're saying that genes have a specific use, an end that they were...designed for? Only things that are designed have a specific end (use) that they were designed for. You're making it too easy.


    I never said that genes have an ultimate purpose. I don't think that they do. But if we anthropomorphize genes, and view the genes themselves as designers, then it's organisms that serve a subjective "purpose" to those genes.

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  12. I'm sure that you can imagine the possibility of absolute nothingness. No universe. No God. Just nothing.

    If something can come from nothing, then why doesn't it happen all the time? Why should it only happen at the advent of the universe and not in our living rooms? There's a reason we don't go through the day worrying that a brick would appear above us ex nihilo, because we know things don't appear uncaused out of nothing. If all matter and time came into being at the singularity, then the cause of matter and time must be timeless and immaterial. The only things that are timeless and immaterial are abstract objects like numbers (which are causally effete) and personal minds. But a timeless immaterial personal mind by any other name is still God.

    Why are we instead in the reality with a God in it?

    Because His non-existence is impossible. That's what "exists necessarily" means.

    If God is required to exist then what external constraints are responsible for this requirement?

    The fact that nothing doesn't cause anything.

    It is because time has a finite past

    Which would mean matter also has a finite past, since time implies matter and vice versa. Meaning it came into being ex nihilo.

    let me remind you that it did not explode in established time either

    Irrelevant. You can't have one without the other.

    but we can never seem to go back all the way to the beginning.

    What does this even mean? Barrow and Tipler didn't have a problem explaining that without the universe, there was nothing.

    f the subjective passage of time slows down as we near the big bang, perhaps it would take an infinite subjective experience of time to reach the true beginning

    If that were true, then we'd never have reached "now," as it would take an infinite amount of time for the big bang to occur. It is impossible to traverse the infinite. If the past were infinite, it would be the same as someone saying they had just finished counting all the negative numbers and ending at '0'. But that's absurd. If you can't count to infinity, you can't count down from infinity. We would never reach the present.

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  13. I reject your notion that chance and necessity are the only natural candidates.

    Then you need to offer another plausible explanation. I already have; design.

    Do you actually purport to know God's motivations when there is no biblical support

    I quoted Biblical support.

    Do you acknowledge that you could easily be wrong?

    Sure I could be, but I'm looking for the most plausible explanations to my questions. The Biblical worldview offers the most plausible, logically consistent, empirically adequate, and existentially relevant explanations that all hold up under close scrutiny. Naturalism can't even account for reason. Plus, I have personal experience on my side.

    Face it. We're both in the same boat and don't know why the universe has low tolerances instead of high tolerances.

    Wrong, we're not in the same place. I have plausible explanations. You're reveling in your ignorance.

    You should also admit that you know nothing about me nor of what I've read.

    You're correct. Most of the time when I discuss these things with atheists (or agnostics or whatever) I find their grasp of the Biblical text is infantile. Perhaps I shouldn't generalize, but you're welcome to prove me wrong.

    Why should we be surprised that in a universe with quadrillions of planets, living things are on the one(s) suitable for living things and living things aren't on the ones unsuitable for living things. What else would you expect?

    Since the chances of life are so slim, I am surprised there is life anywhere in the universe, just as I would be surprised if someone won the lottery legitimately over and over and over again.

    We don't know if we're in an overall good or bad place, though, because we don't know how much knowledge is unavailable to us.

    Actually, we do. We know we wouldn't be able to examine as far as we do if we were in one of the spirals of the galaxy.

    Asking why we, as living things, are on a planet that supports living things is not a scientific question. It's just silly.

    For something so silly, Mr. Internet Atheist, you have an awful lot of scientists trying to figure it out. It seems to me there's someone else that's silly...

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  14. I can show you autocatalytic chemical reactions

    You can't show me sludge becoming life. You can't show me random amino acids becoming life. It doesn't happen in a natural environment. And BTW, these autocatalytic chemical reactions are performed in labs under closely monitored conditions by intelligent beings...huh...what would this be evidence for...?

    My point was just that if a chemical reaction produces something that increases its own production, the obvious outcome would be an increase in quantity

    Why would you think life would automatically increase its own production? Why would this be beneficial on an evolutionary basis, since it would create competition and therefore inhibit the survival of that life form?

    I can't show you the sludge coming alive.

    Then I remain justified in thinking the information in the simple cell was put there by an intelligence.

    If God wanted to show that life couldn't have happened any other way, much like you claim he did with the physical constants, then creating life that didn't reproduce would have been a great way to do it

    This doesn't make any sense. By who's standard would this be a "perfect way to show it?" You're now creating objective standards (of which you said there were none)? Who are you? My standard would be since there wouldn't be any intelligent life to view the other wonders God created if He left it at this, then it would be a terrible way to show it.

    Evolution requires reproduction, so it's a heartening thing for us naturalists that we see reproduction.

    Well I'm glad you're 'heartened' but how you feel about the whole thing is irrelevant.

    God could have put the nail in naturalism by just removing that one thing.

    Since when? Everyone would be dead. IF God designed life to adapt to its surroundings by means of natural selection, then that's evidence for design. There's nothing you can point to that would instigate this natural selection on naturalism, which is another example of evidence for evolution actually being evidence for ID.

    The problem is your strict adherence to essentialism. You act as if life is a clear boundary that was crossed in an instant.

    You're welcome to prove me wrong. You're just relying on evolution of the gaps. Show me why I shouldn't assume what seems obvious; that things wouldn't change the way they work.

    Me: "how can you explain life's formation?"

    You: "I can't, but I know it was purely naturalistic, even though I have no evidence."

    Almost certainly what happened was that things without the other properties of life reproduced and later gained those other properties

    Really? Any evidence for that? When was the last time a virus evolved into a more full life form? You said it was almost certain, so you must have some evidence to justify that conclusion.

    In some cases, like with modern viruses, they reproduce but have never acquired other properties of life like metabolism. So reproduction came before life, not life before reproduction.

    You have no evidence that viruses preexisted life. And again, we're working with an arbitrary definition of life that includes self-reproduction. What if life should be defined the way I defined it?

    But I have no idea why you think that lends any credence to intelligent design as an explanation of origins.

    Because all this evidence produced requires intelligent guidance and doesn't occur without it.

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  15. I also don't understand why you would even characterize an explanation of sexual reproduction as "evidence for evolution", when it's not

    Because a specific desired end is something only an intelligence can aim for. Evolution as an unguided process doesn't aim for anything, yet you're ascribing language to it that would imply intelligence. It's unavoidable for you people, and fairly disingenuous.

    The fact that evolution (common descent) happened, is supported by a different set of facts--a very large set I might add.

    Really? I disagree. Prove it. Prove the people who assert this aren't relying on their presuppositions and interpreting the evidence according to them--aka question begging.

    But if we anthropomorphize genes, and view the genes themselves as designers, then it's organisms that serve a subjective "purpose" to those genes.

    Again, you're supporting teleology.

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