Always look on the bright side.

Posted: June 24, 2006 in Intelligent Design, Theo/Philo

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Richard Dawkins, self appointed high priest of Scientism considered the advent of Darwinian evolutionary theory as the last shovel of earth onto the coffin of religion, ashes to ashes dust to dust in Darwin we trust.

He is well known for his quote: Evolution "made it possible to be an intellectually satisfied atheist,"

In addition to the issue raised here, and Darwin’s own doubts about his theory (here) there are further problems any would be intellectually satisfied Atheist must wrestle with and over come.

The Geneticist J.B.S Haldane said “If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true…and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms.”

The random jostling caused by Brownian motion through time plus the musical chairs of selection according to Darwin serve to produce complexity on a scale unmatched by mans technological advances.

Out of this randomly generated complexity, so the story goes, emerges rationality. Haldane understood why this could not be possible, No thought’s can have any validity if arriving from a non-rational process.

Problem 1 –rational thought cannot be valid if it is from a non-rational source.

Science harvests data to fuel the epistemological cycle. The majority of conclusions arrive at their destination through riding the rails of inductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning uses the premise of an argument to infer the conclusion.

For instance:

Premise 1: All known mammals are warm blooded

Premise 2: My dog is a mammal

Conclusion: Therefore my dog is warm blooded

From a materialistic point view the problem is in the inference inductive reasoning uses. What physical entity exists behind an inference? Is it a neurological state? If so then how can one piece of physical matter be ABOUT another piece of physical matter? Like acne on a first date, this question needs to be dealt with, if the naturalistic story is to come together.

Problem 2-How can one piece of matter be ABOUT another?

Philosopher Steven Horst states: selection pressures “ could explain the presence of consciousness in us given the assumption that it appeared in our ancestors through random mutation. But if no DNA structure could determine (the capacity for) conscious experience, the selective story never gets off the ground…In short a naturalist evolutionary story about consciousness presupposes a physicalistic story about the emergence of the phenotype somewhere in the history of the species.’

This presupposition remains an article of faith; no gene has been shown to produce the product of consciousness.

Problem 3-There is no physical basis for consciousness.

If Naturalistic evolutionists decide to use the joker’s card of an emergent property to answer for the phenomenon of consciousness, they are still required to explain the physical basis of this property in terms of the choices we make, the beliefs we have.

Dr David Berlinski states in his article ‘The origin of the mind’:

‘At some time in the history of the universe, there were no human minds, and at some time later, there were. Within the blink of a cosmic eye, a universe in which all was chaos and void came to include hunches, beliefs, sentiments, raw sensations, pains, emotions, wishes, ideas, images, inferences, the feel of rubber, Schadenfreude, and the taste of banana ice cream. A sense of surprise is surely in order. How did that get here? Although I may be struck by a thought, or moved by a memory, or distracted by a craving, these familiar descriptions suggest an effect with no obvious physical cause. Thoughts,memories, cravings—they are what? Crossing space and time effortlessly, the human mind deliberates, reckons, assesses, and totes things up; it reacts, registers, reflects, and responds. In some cases, like inattention or carelessness, it invites censure by doing nothing at all or doing something in the wrong way; in other cases, like vision, it acts unhesitatingly and without reflection; and in still other cases, the human mind manages both to slip itself into and stay aloof from the great causal stream that makes the real world boom, so that when it gives the go-ahead, what I do is, as Thomas Aquinas observed, “inclined but not compelled.” These are not properties commonly found in the physical world. They are, in fact, not found at all.’

Problem 4-What is the physical basis for choice rather than compulsion?

Never mind these problems, dissatisfied atheists can throw a few more Christians on the Barbie, and purge that religious virus .

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